Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Built Ford Tough

What do you do when your husband's work {literally} burns to the ground?
Well let me tell you: 

First you freak out. I mean you really, really freak out. 
Second, you try to remain calm since the kids are watching your every move.
Third, you take a deep breath and tell yourself that everything will work out.
Because it will...just breath.

At 6:30am on Saturday, April 25th, we found out that Howard's work place of the past 15 years, Ford of Bellevue, had been completely burned to the ground. 
Not exactly the most ideal way to wake up and start your weekend.

The news report said it started around 3am that morning, and that the building was completely engulfed in flames by the time the firefighters got on the scene. 
And it was:

Howard immediately got dressed and drove to Bellevue. 
At that time no one knew what to expect. 
Maybe the shop had held up? 
Maybe his tools were okay? 
This was not the case. 

He got there around 7am, and sent me this picture:

As it turns out, the entire building is gone. 
Barely anything survived the blaze. 
Customer cars: gone. Vehicles for sale: gone. Toolboxes: gone. 
Except for a few cars set further away from the building, everything: gone. 
The only good thing about this, is that not one person was injured. Thank God for that!

Ever since Saturday morning, he has been down there helping every day.
He volunteered, and was selected, to be the person in charge of taking care of all of the tools for the shop. That includes all 22 technicians, and all of the shop tools and equipment.
He has been OK'd to handle the inventory of everything the shop and technicians need. 

He has not stopped. 
He is constantly attending meetings, taking phone calls and answering hundreds of text messages. 
He is, essentially, helping to rebuild this company.
I cannot begin to explain to you how tedious this task is, and will be.

The company assures everyone that all 96 employees will be taken care of, and made whole again. 
That includes compensation and the replacement of tools and equipment. 
What exactly that entails, we are not 100% yet.
{We are hoping for more solid answers by the end of the week}.

Speaking of tools, this is the current state of Howard's personal toolbox and equipment:

The ceiling beam fell directly on top of it...Keep in mind that it used to be bright yellow in color...

Needless to say, it is not recognizable, and not salvageable. 
The stall that he has worked in, for as long as I can remember, is the third door from the left in this photo:

The 15 years he has worked there, we have been together. 
I have, for all intents and purposes, been there as long as he has.
It is so surreal to think that this place is gone. Forever. 

They are planning on moving the company to a Mercedes shop in the interim. 
They have to get that location set up and running, so it is up in the air as to when that will take effect.
And as far as I know, the fire investigation is still underway, and nothing has been determined yet.
There is a brief update on their website HERE

This is something that you just don't think about.
It's something that you never think will ever really happen.
But it does, and it did. 

Howard and I can add this event to the long list of things that we have overcome together. 
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to remind you of what you really have.
And for those things, I am incredibly grateful!

R.I.P. Ford of Bellevue...your slogan takes on a whole new meaning to me know!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

MY Truth About Direct Selling

I have noticed quit a few opinions swirling around lately about Direct Sales.

Direct selling is not for everyone.
And sometimes it's still not for me. 
I am honestly not all that good at it.
It can be hard, and I do not make a ton of money.

But that's just me.

Part of starting up is to reach out to those around you, the people you already know.
Some will be supportive, MOST won't. 
They say to go out side your circle, outside of your comfort zone. 
Which is what I have had to do since day one. 
Day freaking ONE! 
And I have been at this for almost three years,
{which is a drop in the bucket to a lot of people in the industry}.
They also say to attend as many events as you can, and to put your name out there.

But then there's me.

I do NOT hassle people or bug them about my product.
I do NOT walk up to strangers and say "you should buy this," etc...
I do NOT corner people or pressure them into buying. Even at parties.

I do however, mention my product if someone I know is talking about something similar. 
I do have my own private Facebook group that I invite people to.
I do carry my own product and I love it!

The way I figure it, if someone wants my product or is interested, they will let me know.
I personally HATE pushy, overwhelming salesmen/women. 
So I think like the customer. 
Which I know is my biggest problem. I am not naive to that fact!
 I am not a pushy person. If I want something, I will seek it out!
Which is what people do, right? Right! 

Like I said, I invite Facebook friends to my private group. If they want to stay, GREAT!
If they choose to leave the group, GREAT! 
And I will not bug them with trying to add them again.
I will NOT blow up your newsfeed with annoying posts, etc... 
I am not going to force you to look at my products, or make you hear what I have to say about them.
The choice is 100% YOURS. 

I love my products, and think the world of them! 
If people want to go and spend their money on similar products, then please! Go right on ahead!
I am not going to stop you.
But please consider the alternatives.

Are you really getting what you pay for? 
Is that product as versatile as you think it is? 
Are you supporting someone you know?
Alternatives that are much more fun than strolling around a store stressing yourself out and wasting your gas. 
But who am I to say "don't do that"?

 I, personally, would much rather support the people that I know and help them out.
I would much rather have fun with people in a casual setting, chat, shop and eat!

While I am supporting friends, family and acquaintances in their endeavors, realistically it would be fantastic to receive that same enthusiasm in return. 
But that doesn't always happen. 

Unfortunately, not all of us have the funds or means to start up a super successful business from scratch. And some of us cannot afford to go back to school full time, or work full time outside of the home. Some of us have to start smaller, work our way up, and take the small successes where and when we can. 

Which for me, is where Direct Selling has come into play. 
Yes, I have found new friends through it, and I have learned a lot.
Cheesy and cliche? Sure. 
But it's my truth. 
And I certainly do not want someone else to feel ashamed, or inadequate for their truth or success.

So while many people out there may have choice words on Direct Selling businesses,
all I can ask them is to please keep an open mind about it. 

That friend, family member or accquaintence you know who may be selling something,
{skin care, purses, oils, food, clothes, makeup, etc...}
is just trying to make it. 
Trying to make it through life with small successes. Trying to make new friends. 
Trying to have a life outside of the home. 
They may be trying to focus on something other than laundry and dishes everyday!

After all is said and done, aren't we all just trying to make it?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Getting Reacquainted

 I am taking the time to really sit down and get to know my Canon.
It's been a long time, my friend!

Today I am sitting down and actually playing with the settings, and checking out all of the functions that this amazing piece of machinery has to offer! 

I am ashamed to say that I do not know my camera as much as I should.
And for as much as I talk about picking it back up again and shooting like crazy, I have not taken the time to do so. Why? Because I keep making up excuses, that's why! 

I have been having trouble finding inspiration lately, and I believe that that is a huge part of it. 
So today I am making the time to find inspiration!
Going back to the beginning, and remembering what it is that I love about photography!

For me, the details are everything: what someone's eye might miss, is what I try to find. 
What one might think is mundane or inadequate, I find appealing. 
The everyday happenings and objects that I am surrounded by, or the way the light hits a subject, the emotion that you get when you look at a photograph, the way it makes you feel...that's where it's at! Well, at least for me...

Here's to hoping that I find the Inspiration I want...the Inspiration I need!