Monday, February 25, 2013

The wind blew

2/25/13 Monday
            The wind is blowing hard and cold. As a result even the fire in the woodstove does not keep the house warm. The blanket over the window is blowing despite the window being closed with a towel stuffed in where the sash is to help seal it. Turned the electric space heater on as well. We try not to use it in order to keep the electric bill manageable. I will have to put my thick winter socks on in addition to the regular socks and wear my coat inside. Went out to check on things, to make sure there is nothing that will blow away. There was some snow mixed in with the blowing sand so this may be interesting. The weather said that Lubbock, which is about 120 miles north of us, was getting a snow storm. We are grateful for any kind of moisture we get.
            So let me bring you up to date on the happenings at Westbrook Farms and in our lives. We don’t feel that there are any accidents in our lives and believe that the people we meet have been put in our path for a reason. There have been some interesting people for sure. Some who have helped us, some whom we have been able to help, and some I can learn from simply by observing their actions and the results of those actions. There are always those who need prayer for a wide variety of reasons. Lately many I have met have expressed their loneliness and sense of isolation. This is something we relate to well and have experienced so there is an understanding of how these people feel. It verifies my desire to create a place of acceptance, where people will be loved without judgment and hopefully can come to understand how much God loves them through this.

            I will need to go cut some more firewood as the truckload I cut last week is already mostly gone as we strive to stay warm. How I long to build a new house, one that is better sealed and designed that will not be as hot in the summer or as cold in winter. We have looked at several designs and the ones built with straw bales are pretty nice and can be built on a tight budget.

            A friend told me about a place that had fifty or more trees that had been cut down and left so I went to check it out. It belonged to a widow whose husband had just died last year. She was grateful to find someone who could help clean up the mess and I was grateful to not only find a source of firewood but mostly to find someone I could help. Went there last week to cut some wood and discovered one of the many dead trees on her land had been blown over. It was partly on top of her front deck and had just missed the trailer home she lives in. I cut much of it up and loaded it in the truck but could not finish because my pain level got too high. It’s a pretty nasty day out there today so I may or may not go finish that job. Considering how many dead trees there are still standing I must go there soon to make sure no more blew over in this storm.

            Still haven’t figured out the wiring problem with the truck. I know I am playing with fire driving it because a ticket for expired inspection sticker is a chunk of change but it is the most reliable truck I have. The other one runs but that bad transmission is scary. I think I will probably drive it today because it is legal and go slow and careful to nurse it along as long as I can. I drove the red truck that way for two years when it only had first and third gear working. It’s dead now and sitting on the farm till we have the means to fix it.

       It's hard to see but this picture shows one of the RV parks that have sprung up all over. I think you can click on the picture and make it bigger

     Speaking of means, things are moving forward with the RV park we hope to create. We are trusting in God to help us do this and that requires us to trust that some of God’s people will be unselfish enough to help. There are two on board with a definite amount of cash they will commit to the project. There is another who is definitely involved and helping me with understanding legal things and how to protect the investments of those who are joining with Cherie and I in building this business. I am left in the dark regarding any monetary amount he is willing to contribute but am grateful for any help and advice I can get.

            This is all new and strange territory for me when it comes to money and asking for investors. I built multiple companies before and advised numerous others regarding sales and marketing but the only time I asked for money was to purchase a store full of pallet racking I could buy for a song but was short of cash for. Everything else I did on my own, building the companies from scratch. The first one started with me in a provided office making appointments for financial advisors with companies throughout the area. Soon I hired and trained my first employee and as things grew saved enough of the income to rent our own office. Then I slowly grew, adding phone lines and employees as work and finances allowed, eventually incorporating and becoming a well-known name in Toledo. The other companies grew from that and each one paid its own way as they expanded. So asking for investors is new for me but add to that is the fact that with the brain damage I lost much of my memory so if I had a knowledge regarding this it doesn’t exist now.

            So the third person, the one with an extensive financial background asked me “What do you plan to for your investors?”. That is a good question and one that I really don’t have the background to know what is normally done or expected. The two who are on board with specific dollar amounts have simply trusted me to do what is right. My thoughts are that they can either consider this as what a lawyer called a note, that will be paid back with an agreed to profit, or they will become part owners of the company and thus get a percentage of the profits for as long as they chose. I told one potential investor I would pay a flat 20% profit on the note and he said that sounded high. Shoot I don’t know. I am grateful for the help and would gladly pay more. Compared to what you can get from an IRA or CD or any other typical investment 20% is a way better return on investment. I am not greedy, and frankly have no desire to get rich, but I would like to make enough to pay bills, fix our vehicles, and help others out. It would be nice to have the resources to build the vision we have for this farm and we trust in God for that as well.

            The big vision for the farm involves a 10 acre or so greenhouse operation, goats and a small dairy operation that includes making cheeses, butter, and who knows, maybe even ice cream. The store on the interstate is important as it is the avenue we will primarily use to sell what we grow and produce on the farm. A fruit tree orchard is also part of that dream and along with it a place for people to come with their families for a relaxing time together picking fruit and enjoying wholesome organic foods. The RV park and a campground have always been a part of that vision, which I had before I knew we would inherit this farm. A 100 space RV park would easily bring in half a million dollars each year.

            The winds finally died down so we have a chance to be warm tonight. Tomorrow I’ll have a chance to see what blew away or blew in with the storm. The day went by quick today. Goodnight folks.

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