I’ve spent quite a bit of the summer and this fall in brand new endeavors – learning new skills, putting learned skills to use and a lot of research into whether my proudly held standards, both personal and professional, are truly on the right track, or if I’m just becoming an old, smarmy, curmudgeon.
Murphy’s Law and Universal Karma also made several appearances this summer, but so far keepin’ my head above water and my chin out of the gravel – 🙂
Lessons and News from since I visited with you last…
1. A vehicle is only totaled if it’s covered by insurance and they don’t want to mess with fixing it….
Ye Olde Ford Explorer has been outfitted with 2 salvaged doors, the rocker panel popped out enough to create only a slight little windy gap as we cruise down the road and all repairs were done by the great guys at Blosser’s Collision Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who got me back on the road with my own 4wd that has had quite a bit of mechanical work done on it the past 3 years, but just needed some body work after the accident to get be road worthy, but by ‘insurance repair’ standards, would have been totaled because of age/blue book value/cost of repairs.
Chuck, 3rd generation owner of Blosser’s, handled it all – got me back on the road on my limited budget and for less than I could have purchased another 4wd. And though he was my primary contact, don’t think, shop crew, I forget you – just didn’t meet you in order to laud you by name!
Connecting with Chuck bolstered my belief that sometimes, the Universe just looks out for you, whether you’ve been Positive Thinking or Not – he answered the phone on the first call I made to try to find a knowledgeable person willing to drive over and examine the Ford to determine if the frame was bent/or if damage beyond ability to fix or not.
He asked for pictures, asked me the mileage – called back an hour later and said, “To fix it right will cost more than it’s worth, but I located two white doors to replace yours, I can pop out the rocker panel and we can get you back on the road – won’t be perfect, but no one will notice as you’re driving down the highway.” 🙂
I nearly wept with relief – for the first time in nearly a month of dealing with the post-accident mop-up – a live person answered the phone, I did get a call back same day and they simply took over and handled the situation –
Thanks Chuck! You may never fully know how much stress you alleviated from my life, just by being you and doing what you love.
2. Double Check your Insurance and, in Pure Self-Defense and skewed Logic in an Insurance ruled world, make sure you have coverage to cover law-breakers.
In Colorado, if one wishes to be fully covered against the uninsured, one must specifically purchase not just the Uninsured Motorist (PI) policy, but the separate Uninsured Motorist Property Damage policy as well.
Yes, surest way to know I’m hepped up is if I start tossing ‘one’ around….
When I got my own policy after the divorce, I sought coverage for a recently purchased, salvaged, 1998 Ford F-250, slapped liability and uninsured motorist policy on it and called it “Good Enough”, since a salvage vehicle can’t be covered under Comp & Collision – )
I didn’t realize the Uninsured Motorist policy I paid for was for Injury only, not Property Damage – I’m certain it was located in size 4pt font on page 6, subsection 4, but I somehow missed it…..
Given my new found knowledge, and for approximately $3 more per month, I added the Thwart Murphy coverage – – You know – -Murphy, the guy that makes sure nothing happens now, since I’m actually covered for the eventuality –
2. “We Need to Get Right On This…” Doesn’t always mean what I think it means….
Surgery to repair the man-child’s ripped shoulder finally approved, scheduled & performed by mid-August and he is doing well and 3 weeks into regaining his use/strength of the arm.
Still not allowed to help mom with landscaping projects – but he is back to taking out the trash (using his left arm) and I’m feeling less overwhelmed – cuz ya know, taking out the trash is such chunk out of the day – 🙂
Yet more fun & excitement winding through the maze of insurance approvals, payments, billing, etc. I tell ya, the fun just never ends! 🙂
3. Learning new tools and SaaS software….
In order to provide affordable & flexible options to my tiny rural customers, who simply cannot afford a custom built $14,000-$25,000 site, I’ve been playing around with some other options to meet multiple needs on a budget, and first site built utilizing every new tool I started researching/watching last year and finally chose to implment, went live yesterday.
Yes, I’m not a graphic artist and yes, I still have antiquated ideas about website layout/navigation and yes, I have thumbed my nose at recent trends in online world – yes, I focus more on what daily maintaining activities are going to look like for the customer, does the site meet accessibility parameters with it’s colors/font size – did I remember to put in the alt tags? Will those using screen readers curse me and my entire family tree? Are our legal notices easily accessible?
Which means something has to go in the time/budget area I work in, and since I’m not an artiste, guess what get’s cut? Yup – snazzy graphics –
The fact that total statistics for all my customers still show less than 6% of visitors utilizing anything other than a desktop or laptop sized viewing box – I stick with my old ways – responsive, yes, and you wouldn’t believe how many sites out there still are not – 🙂 – massive big picture and never ending front page scrolling? Not so much – I’m busy learning how to make my shopping cart of choice jump through hoops for my unique customers – 🙂
However, the infrastructure is in place now, and daily operations will be streamlined for the owner and their old solution which was, in their own words, ‘horrible’ will soon be a thing of the past –
I’m excited because I get to be a guest blogger for them on the topics of Supporting Local Independent Business benefits, community resilience, etc. 🙂
4. Sometimes, You are Vindicated in Your Stubbornness….
Yes, I still build websites like it’s 1999 –
Did I mention I hate scrolling, scrolling, scrolling at a site – or having to click past a splash screen or find the 3pt font “No thanks” or “skip intro” link?
I hate having to close a pop-up begging me to sign up for newsletter when the only frickin’ reason I’m on that page is because I clicked a link from the promotional email they sent me, the already-subscribed-person!
On my notes board over my work area, I still have the note scrawled in large purple letters during a frenzy of research last winter –
“Don’t bug people who already subscribed/purchased”
..As a reminder to set-up newsletter groups, promotional emails and website widgets for subscribing to newsletter properly. And explain the importance of groups/lists, keeping stuff updated, etc. to customers playing with their newly set up tools.
I wouldn’t be so hard-arse about this, but often this past year, (I’ve actually lost track of how many times) – I’ve clicked the link from a promotional email, only to be greeted by a page of content blocked by the widget that jumped out and begged me to subscribe –
I’ve also purchased e-courses, only to get reminder emails in the following days that I only have so many more hours to save big before the special price is over – um, excuse me, I already bought it – please move me out of the list you’re sending reminders to, please……
I probably wouldn’t be so worked up about it all, if it hadn’t happened so many times, and it confounds me how many times it occurred from those who earn their living from providing guidance or services for online marketing tools and how-to’s – 🙂
You would think those people would be a little more in touch, eh?
Are my sites perfect? Don’t make me laugh – of course not – but since I’m such a picky-picky internet browser, I do try to make them customer friendly – at least for customers like me –
But, still, you forget how far you’ve come – – had a typo in a DNS setting that meant the www. address wasn’t going where it should – and customer asked – and I fixed, but because I quit typing www the minute I learned I didn’t have to, (wasn’t that like 15 years ago or something?) I simply forgot to even check that – Duh!
It was shocking to be reminded of how many still type the www – – www – www – yup just timed it – waste of a nano – second of my life everytime I type www…. Think of the years lost and we could have cured the common cold utilizing that time…
5. I have a new roofline & roof!
A 2-year dream has finally manifested – in a totally unexpected way. Isn’t that how it usually works?
Yes, I am letting my amaranth seed the bed for another season – didn’t plant any this spring, and look at all those gold and burgundy sheaths! Even after I thinned the bed 4 times this spring – Ahhh.. perennial beds are a joy –
Jerusalem Artichoke bed in background hasn’t been cleared, dug, prepped for next year, yet, either – –
I should have enough artichokes this year to harvest, but I might just dig up all of it, separate, replace and plant a few more perennial beds of the same-
They are so suited for this area and pretty, prolific, and drought hardy –
They provide shade, beauty, attract beneficial insects, and are not-needy prima donna’s- I’m tempted to not harvest for food, except for my diabetic neighbors who so love potato soup – did you know? Recently harvested Jerusalem Artichokes slow cooked with leeks can provide flavorful potato-type soups, without sending diabetics to the hospital.
Harvest Or build more perennial beds? Pretty sure I’ll build – Someday, a future Mad Max will appreciate my planning of the home place – slowly installing a wealth of perennial food – the welsh onion and lettuce beds are coming along nicely, too, and think next year, I can start foraging pretty regularly in my own back yard. 🙂
Oops! Back To Roofing Story…..
7. Took several courses to improve my skills this past year
On copywriting, educational newsletters, series on compiling a successful Support Local campaign, more research into community currency systems, webinars to learn the nuances of the tools I added to my web workshop – And though I’m still in the ‘arghhhh, where do I change this setting, again??” stage, it is getting easier – –
I have survived, without too much heartache, a total of 9 updates spread out over all the new tools and didn’t get sent straight back to the drawing board after each update, which re-affirms my belief the 9 months of research, vetting & trial offers or money spent for short term trials, was all worth it to get to where I’m at.
Tried and discarded 4 different hosting solutions, 6 shopping cart solutions and 2 themes before finding what I felt was a long term value investment.
Will soon be familiar enough with and have my templates/blueprints, etc., set up for my new hosting, WordPress framework/child theme etc., set up where I will be back to being able to set-up quickly and easily a new tiny biz or organizational site in less time than I spent writing this blog…
Seven seems like a good place to stop – and the word count tells me three may have been the preferred stopping point for you – 🙂
One more site to finish/launch, a mini-vacation to get my garden beds ready for winter sleep and next spring, then, then back to glorious writing and launching my own website! 🙂
Until then, miss you all so much, hope this finds you well and will be ‘home’ from my long adventure, here soon – we’ll have cocoa by the fire and I’ll get caught up on your adventures and we’ll trade quips and insights and laugh and cry – – sigh – – I can’t wait to get back home….