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Thursday, 13 July 2017 13:00

Middle Class Cost Saving

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I did something recently that clients do when we're installing their garden. Used my middle class skill set to 'save money'. Oh yes, gonna save money. Most jobs, clients increase the scope of the project within 24 hours of starting. What? Thei
r money tree was bare when they signed the contract, no more funds. Poof voila, the phone call, "Let's add the entire backyard, and that middle section of the front yard we took out, and go ahead and put in irrigation. Also didn't mention, around the garage, let's do that too." Seriously. From no more $$$ to all that?
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Within working our jobs we'll be off site getting materials or lunch, return and the client has taken a man, or 2, off bid items, for just a little clean-up here/there. We cannot absorb those costs anymore, hourly pay, social security, workman's comp, vacation, sick, bonus. Sonny/Cher said it best, The beat goes on.
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Enlarging the project, after starting, pricing for plants won't be the same, it's not the same for us, plus the extra overhead of delivery. But let's get back to my personal middle class 'cost saving'. It happened here, below, in our dining room.

Our home built ca. 1900, with a central hall, 9' wide x 50' long, 3 rooms off each side. Originally our home was meant to have doors shut during certain seasons. Four fireplaces, central hall door shut, warm rooms, cold hall. So. In the dining room, above/below, why not close the doors? I knew it would save greatly with the HVAC bill. Brilliant. Yes?

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A hint of the central hall, below. Do notice, all the doors are open. This story is after the disaster of middle class thinking.

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Off topic, above, Mr. Salmon Tureen. He reminded me of a salmon spawning river, inches wide, deep into an Irish estate I studied during a historic garden design trip. Had a dinner party, and a guest that lives nearby asked me if I bought it at XYZ shop. Yes. She had her eye on it for months. No worries, she can borrow him.

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More off topic, because it's easier than the middle class cost saving blunder. Blue/white china is to the left of the fireplace, colored china is in the walk-in closet to the right of the fireplace, built-in shelves, obviously meant for survival with rings here/there on the shelves from glass canning jars thru the decades.
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Symmetry of clients using their middle class thinking to save money, and mine, is rather a pay back, every terrible pun intended.
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Here is my best middle class cost saving brain. I shut the doors to the dining room, and guest bedroom, and their air-conditioning registers/intakes. Yep. The rooms are large, with 11' ceilings. Why not shut them?
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Several weeks later, the air-conditioner quit. Late Friday afternoon, of course. Do you know how hot/humid it is in rural middle Georgia in summer? A client owns an HVAC company. Pitifully called, described what the a/c did before dying. He mentioned it may be 'frozen' and I should turn off the a/c, and turn on only the fan. Then, told him of my middle class cost saving, shutting doors/vents. Quite polite, he said it probably played a role.
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Blessedly, doing as told, which I can do in a pinch, the a/c worked again.
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Their man arrived Monday to check the unit. Aside from ancient HVAC, he had a picture from his work on the unit under the house. Within the unit, insulation had pulled away, covering the cooling coils. Go me !!! Middle class cost saving.
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Decades of clients & their middle class cost saving thoughts. Mine, a rather nice bookend. Oh my, where my best thinking got me.
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Garden & Be Well, XO T
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Have not painted the dining room yet. We can't decide on a color. Neither of us with a strong emotion for any color to even suggest. Red until inspiration arrives. Will replace the chandelier with one that is historically correct. It's on the list. The List !

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Seattle Rockeries creates hardscapes and landscapes using stones, boulders and concrete structures.

Hardscaping creates structures that can be used on slopes and hills to prevent erosion and create water barriers or drainage.