Good Blogs – Hatch Green Chile Eggs and Ham?

Hatch Green Chiles, Eggs, and Ham?

Okay – So a lot of businesses have taken to writing blogs for their websites, because they are told this is what they are supposed to do. But, truth is, most of these businesses are not very good at writing blogs, which are creative, intriguing or engaging in any sort of way. They want clients and potential clients to read what is on their minds, but they usually bore people to death by presenting industry yammer that has no spice or fun to it.

People want to read blogs that are entertaining, right? I know I do. In fact, a blog article has got to be beyond fantastic if I am going to spend my time on it. After all, there are plenty of interesting distractions out in the world, which cry out for our attentions. So, why would people choose a boring business blog option over those other distractions?

Anyway, I wanted to share a blog article here that was written by someone from a West Texas John Deere Tractor dealer called South Plains Implement, because it is a great example of how to bring some zest to what would otherwise be a boring topic. I don’t care much about farm equipment or harvests and I especially do not care much for reading a blog about those things – And yet, I love this blog article, because it uses Dr. Seuss-style rhyme to showcase it’s subject matter. It’s about hatch green chiles and those who farm them and it cracked me up. Read below and tell me what you think about this method of communicating on a business blog.

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In this blog, I want to celebrate our New Mexico farmers who grow the super popular Hatch Green Chile.  I am a huge fan of these yummy chiles, and so I tried to get as creative as possible to raise a banner for you dedicated providers of these flame roasted taste-buddies.  Here goes my best shot:  

As I researched these chiles, it became quite obvious these commodities are beloved by their ingesters.  There is a yearly festival drawing people from all over the world  dedicated to these Chiles.  And there are numerous blogs out there featuring “The Hatch. “ This latter finding led me to start thinking about what might happen if one of my favorite writers, Dr. Seuss, had been exposed to these chiles.  I think he might have showcased them somehow in one of his excellent stories.  Probably not “Green Chile in the Hat,” but maybe The Lorax would speak up for the trees and for Hatch Green Chiles.  I bet the Grinch would even try to steal him some of these chiles, too.  But, when it came down to it, I chose to re-imagine the ever-famous Seuss story about eating – “Green Eggs and Ham.”  

Are you ready to turn Sam-I-Am into a Hatch Green Chile Eggs fan?

Are you ready for some really bad poetry?

Hatch Green Chile Eggs and Ham?

Dear Sam I Am – Eating Green Eggs and Ham sounds silly to me.

But, I would have no problem eating runny eggs with Hatch Green Chiles.

Sam, I’d eat them in the street.

Sam, I’d eat them mixed with meat.

Sam, I’d eat Green Chiles in the sleet.

I’d even eat them with that bleating sheep named Pete

Who always tries to get me to count him and fall asleep

To me, they are everywhere a tasty treat.

I’d chomp them up in Green Chile guacamole.

Drink them down in Green Chile Slurpees.

Hatch myself a juicy enchilada fantasy 

While thinking about my Hatch Green Chile Festival memories

I still don’t know how these Chiles earned so much popularity

From relative unknown to daily Prom Queen honoree

I guess it doesn’t matter too much to me

As long as I can always plop down some money

And get them from one of those amazing New Mexico Farm factories.

Or taste new strains straight from a NM state university.

Sam I Am, won’t you eat them with me, please?

That’s my Hatch Green Chile Happy Dream.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

If you are groaning, that’s fair.  Comfort yourself with some Hatch Green Chiles and the knowledge I could have chosen Dostoyevsky over Seuss.  

Also, know we at South Plains Implement are thankful for all of our customers.  We love our Texas and New Mexico family of farmers, and we hope we can serve you to the fullest with our top-of-the-line equipment, parts and service.  We are here for you!

________________

So what did you think? Creative, right? They blew this blog right out of the box and now I will have to check back to South Plains Implement’s site to find out what else comes out of their brains. Who knows, maybe I will join Little Nas X and get me a tractor to ride around on…

Send me your comments. I’m always listening!

Wedding Preparation – Human Fax Reports

Preparation M 
(Not to be mistaken with H)

What should every individual do before taking those risky and beautiful steps down the wedding aisle?  It’s Wedding Preparation Time!!!

A.  Order a Human-Fax Report

Most people in this country will not even purchase a used car nowadays without finding out about its history.  For years, there were far too many lemons sold, far too many bad buys and far too many machines breaking down before the first payment was made. 

In response to this problem, some genius out there created a system by which potential car buyers could check out an automobile before making an expensive commitment and plunking down their hard earned cash.  This Car-Fax reporting system has been used by millions of people to find out whether the car they are considering has been wrecked or in any way mistreated.  People can find out about a driving machine’s repair history and then make an informed decision about the possible purchase.  With this information in hand, a buyer can know whether this car is worth the risk.

Now I am not saying that getting married is the exact same thing as buying a car, but one thing the above makes me wonder is why people insist on this sort of intense information gathering when it comes to car buying, but rarely seek to discover the detailed history of a potential mate.  I believe this level of tire kicking is necessary, not only for buying a used Audi, but also (and certainly more so) for purchasing a marriage partner.  After all, isn’t a life commitment to another human being, who might turn out to be a walking talking lemon, a bigger decision than monthly payments?  

I believe this is a huge deal and that is why I advise all of my counselees, before they get married, to fill out a “Human Fax” report (and order one from their mate.) .

While there is no actual faxing to be done (unless you want to), the idea remains the same — People providing vital and detailed histories about their brokenness, about their past wreckage and about their repair status so that someone else can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to enter into a commitment.

While it is true that someone can lie about their past and present condition, it is not likely.  After all, most people want to be somewhat honest when they step into a relationship because they want the same sort of honesty to come back to them.  Thus, the value of this “Human Fax” is huge.  It reveals to both parties potential areas of weakness and places in need of repair.  And just because a “Human Fax” report exposes these types of things does not mean that a relationship will be a lemon.  Just because someone has wreckage does not mean that they are un-drivable.  It just brings reality into the open and hopefully draws individuals into the hands of mechanics who are able to help them become “roadworthy.”

To those in pre-dating mode:  I recommend that you fill one of these outtoo.  Even those who do not yet have a significant person in mind for marriage.  It is never too early to look under your own hood and to get yourself into the shop.  (It has been interesting to work with single individuals on their “Human Fax” reports because what they find are the very problems that have been stalling their romantic pursuits in the first place.) 

On the next page, I have included an example of a “Human Fax” report.  It uses symbolic car language.  Don’t let that throw you off.  Just roll with my weird brain for a bit and answer the questions you feel are relevant. 

For those spiritual people out there:  As you fill this out, ask God to search you and show you the truth of your condition.  If there are lots of problems with your “car”, do not despair.  Simply seek repair.  If you are filling this form out with a significant other, make sure to offer grace to both them and yourself.  Talk together about what must be done so when you take this longest relational road trip of your lives, you will be able to make it to your destination with minimal problems.

Do the following exercise:

Filling out a Human Fax Report

My Human Fax Report:  When filling this out, recall that you are thinking of your relational life.  

Part One:

  • How have you been wrecked by life/by others?  Have you been in fender-benders?  Dented?  Flipped over and left in a ditch?  Did the airbag release?  Have you ever felt totaled?
  • Who/What has smashed into you?
  • Who/What have you smashed into?
  • How did the crashes come:  Words?  Physical abuse?  Sexual abuse?  Failure?  Rejection?  Betrayal?  Abandonment?  Manipulation?  Parental Modeling?  Selfishness? 
  • How much damage did each crash cause?  Did it cause visible and/or invisible wounding?
  • What did this/these event(s) bring about?  What insecurities did each crash bring about?  How much caution/protection do you now have as a result?  How much fear of rejection?  How much embarrassment?  Shame? Do you hold onto grudges and unforgiveness? Did you develop patterns of comforting addictions to help you get through?    
  • Have you ever taken your life to a good mechanic?  Met with a therapist or pastoral counselor?  Let a trained someone do some Diagnostics and a Fix?  Was there Permanent or Temporary repair?  
  • Did you try to do the mechanic work yourself?  Or did you just suppress everything under a new paint job and drive on as if the things of the past would not affect your decisions/reactions/responses of the future?
  • What damage still needs to be fixed?  What broken pieces are sticking out?

Part Two

  • How is your Power Train (spiritual condition)?  Are you connected to God?  
  • What sort of roads can you handle and do you tend to drive upon?   
  • How much mileage do you have?  Were most of the miles easy or hard?  How many miles to the gallon do you get?  (Speaks of emotional/relational energy)
  • Describe your make and model?  Are you a Porsche or a used Ice Cream Truck?  What is your current price tag?  How much are you worth in the Relationship Blue Book?  What do you base that on?
  • What parts have been taken from you?  How have you been stripped?  Do you sense that there are missing parts and what does that mean for you?  Replacements?
  • Have you been careful to have regular oil changes (emotional, spiritual, mental refills) or do you ride along until you hurt your overall condition causing permanent damage to self and others?
  • What are the seemingly benign glitches you just let be?  Why?
  • How often do you get a wash?  A detail?
  • Who else besides you do you allow to drive your life?  
  • If you keep running as you are, how long do you think it will take for you to require a push?  Who do you have in your life that you call on for a push?
  • Can you move forward or do you just look backwards?  Have good rearview mirrors?  (Are the things of the past closer than they appear?)
  • Are you high-maintenance requiring tons of upkeep by someone else or are you low-maintenance and able to roll on without much support from someone else?
  • If someone kicked your tires, would they pop?
  • What is your safety rating?  Should people worry about crashing when driving along with you?
  • Are you dependable?
  • Can you be driven long-distances or do you overheat when you are made to wait?
  • How many owners have you had?  Did they treat you well?  Rag you out?
  • How big are your blind spots?  What are things you cannot see to the right and left of you that threaten your safety if you make any sudden changes?
  • Do your lights work (for when the darkness descends)?
  • Do your brakes work?  Can you put a stop to a relationship firmly or are you a brake pumper who can never seem to let go, even at obvious relational red lights?
  • What sort of driver are you suited for?
  • Do your windshield wipers work when a relational storm hits?
  • Are there any dead things in your trunk needing to be confessed or buried?
  • Are you a tow truck who makes a habit out of hooking up with broken down humans?

Human Fax summary:  Once you get to know yourself as written about above, it is key that you do not let the information define you.  Sometimes when we decide to take a closer look at ourselves, we get depressed by what we discover and identify ourselves with the findings.  But, you are not necessarily what it is you found out. You are simply being affected by it.

Sure, the Blue Book might say you are worth five hundred dollars because you can only get around behind a tow truck.  But truth is, you can and will be restored if you let yourself enter into a holistic process of healing and transformation. (Jesus is great at restoration!) 

Yes.  You have been broken and some parts of you do not work as well as they should. And while these parts are causing all sorts of relationship problems for you right now, the time will come when you will leave the junkyard once and for all.  

Suggestion:  Get a pro therapist to help you deal with your emotional junk and then ask God to reveal your actual value.  If you can find a spiritual director in your community, I’d recommend using them to help you with this second part.  There seems to be too much self-hate in the hearts of too many of us.

The Prodigal’s Father – What God is really like

The Prodigal’s Father

Have you gotten yourself dirty in this world of ours and think you have a stench too harsh for God to handle?  Do you want to get clean so you can come back home to Him and get fed?  What do you expect God will do when He sees you heading back with your head hung low and your pockets empty from giving this world a wild whirl?

Here is Jesus, who perfectly knows how compassionate His Father really is, explaining to all of us just how incredible God’s love and forgiveness are – He is not guessing and this is no opinion.  He has spent all of eternity in community with the Father and Jesus has watched Him act like the father in the story over and over.  He knows Him and he knows how He acts, even toward the most rebellious in His created order.  He shows us this beautiful picture of the height and width and depth and length of love in its truest form.  Take a look at how the Father gives his child what he asked for and allows him to go on his own way – So much respect in the giving over when even foolish freewill is chosen.  Then, as the starving and embarrassed pig-boy comes stumbling back from a distant country, most likely stinking of some pretty serious B.O. and definitely with a shame speech connected to his wild living and failures to make it “out there,” the father (our Father) runs to his “dead” son and throws His arms around him.  And he does so without even demanding explanation or insisting that his boy take a shower.  I’ve been around people who haven’t showered in months and the fug is foul – like I loved them but I could hardly stand within ten feet of them without wanting to vomit.  Give me two days without a bath and I’m right there with them.  So, I am figuring since this child of his is traveling a huge distance most likely on foot, that he must stink.  And yet, I reiterate, the father doesn’t allow for any distance to come between his child and him because of a wretched stink.  A stink that is both of the body and of the reputation.  Our own Heavenly Father doesn’t care about getting dirty or smelly as He embraces us as we maybe even crawl our way back – He’s just so thrilled to see us again that He cannot and will not resist reaching out in a full-on embrace.

That’s hard for me to understand.  That’s hard for me to accept.  I don’t understand that kind of love.  Jesus is telling me I have that sort of love at my disposal, but I hold it at arm’s length because I know I have the smell of a dead man and the history of a bad man.  I have one of the longest rap sheets on supernatural record and I have lived as a lifetime prodigal for almost all of my days.  I look back years and I look back to today and I simply don’t trust myself.  Better said, I don’t love myself.  There have been years and years even, of hating myself for being such a terrible recidivist and thief of my God’s inheritance.  But then, when I pray, I hear this father from the story and I hear this Heavenly Abba of mine saying something impossible but true:  “You are my loved child!”  What do I do with that?  As the ring is put on my finger and the robe is draped over my shoulders and sandals are put on my feet and the fatted calf is slaughtered to destroy my personal rejection, I try to fight this inconceivable love.  I think, “Well, the son in the story is better than me.  He screwed up a bit out there but he finally came to his senses and went home to do the right thing.”  But then I am reminded by the Spirit of God that that son, that child, and me had and have the same motives in coming home.  He didn’t come home because he wanted to be a better son.  He came home because his belly was yelling for food in a land of famine and he recalled that his father was rich and had plenty of food even for the servants.  He is no hero and I am no hero.  But both of us non-heroes come home to a 
Father who just want us back in the house – who just wants to remind us despite our mistakes and gruesome foolishness that we are loved children of the One who has been parenting and protecting us from the enemies of this world since we were born.  So, lately, daily, I have been saying the following to myself:  God, I hate the things I have done and the things I do.  But since you love me so much that you run to me every time I head home and because you love the fearfully and wonderfully made being that you created me to be, I will also love what you love.  I will love the me that you made and I will stop condemning myself for losing everything out there in this stupid world that got me to buy into its charms.”

And it works.  When I say this, I can stop practicing my worthlessness speech prepped for every stupid trip on the prodigal carousel and start talking like a son – like a co-heir – like the loved child of this great Father who is willing to get my stink on him so that He can show me that self-hatred is wrong.  Do I say it every day?  Do I bypass the self-hatred every moment?  No.  I fall back into the prodigal/slave mindset often when I allow my sin to be evidence in Satan’s arsenal against me.  And I whip myself for whatever smells like the distant country that comes sweating from my pores.  But, I’m noticing more and more that God runs to me and grabs me and tells me that I am His loved child before I can complete the self-destruction.  He interrupts my hatred speech and dresses me up in fashion that bashes the lies in their heads.  And to be honest, it’s hard to argue against sonship when you are dressed like a loved son with all of the important accessories, who has been given authority and who is celebrated so mightily.  

I hope that you get what I am saying here in your own life.  Sure, we are to die to our worldly selves daily, but we all must fall in love with the created versions of ourselves who return home – even if the returning is for all of the wrong reasons – even if we are practicing the most selfish form of “repentance.”  You should try, but you will never be clean enough for this reunion.  Our righteousness attempts are filthy rags at best and so we look to Jesus who left his home and his Father to come to our distant country and become our righteousness by getting hammered to a cross and then rising from the dead.  His death and resurrection gave us a passport and an acceptable visa to go to paradise forever to be with his and with Our loving Father.  The robe will fit.  The ring will fit.  The sandals will fit.  The party will be loud.  The feast will taste amazing.  And you will never be hungry again.

This is Home!

This is Real Love!

The Ultimate Marriage Survival Guide – Looking for a Loving Relationship?

Who is this blog written for?

  • This blog is written for everyone who wants to get married but would rather not get divorced at some point (60% of couples divorce.)
  • This blog is written for those who have already gotten married and would prefer to have a really happy relationship rather than have to survive a heart-breaking day-to-day grind (80% of couples report having a miserable marriage relationship.)
  • This blog is written for those who have already been chewed up and spit out by marriage and are still trying to figure out why, so they can someday re-marry and experience marital bliss.
  • This blog is for those who want to be fully realistic and emotionally intelligent about the challenges inherent to marriage rather than living in the “Happily Ever After” dream world of how marriage is presented in both cultural myth and childhood imaginations.
  • This blog is for those who are willing to ask the important and necessary questions so they are prepared to be the best possible spouse for as long as they shall live.
  • This blog is also for me so I can read it and remember not to be an idiot to my wife.

In the pages that follow, I will give you solid tools and awesome questions to help those preparing for a new marriage, and also to provide real hope for those who find themselves in an “old” marriage, which needs a rebuild or a restoration.

So, single people, daters, engaged ring-wearers and married folks at every stage of the relationship business, read on.  I am not Dr. Phil so this might get weird, but so does marriage, and this blog will help you do better than you would without it.

Let’s begin with a few facts before we launch into this read.

Fact #1:  Of the two million couples that will get married in the U.S. this year, almost all of those polled report that they are “more in love than they have ever been” and are “positive about their decision to marry.”

Fact #2:  Of those two million couples, almost all of them “expect” to be happily married to their spouse for the rest of their lives.  (In other words, not many couples predict an imminent marital decline as they are saying or preparing to say “I Do.”)

Fact #3:  Hardly anyone gets married just so they can experience divorce.  (Divorce is not on most Bucket Lists.)

**With these three facts in mind, one has to wonder why so many people who boldly proclaim  “I Do” quickly become those who start screaming, “I Do Not.”  Honestly, how does mind-blowing love and togetherness transform into iPad-throwing hate and separation?  

Maybe the better question for this relationship blog is this:  

What can you do to make sure these things do not happen to you?

We shall attempt to answer with brevity and brilliance.

Down In It?

Down in it – Anyone ever felt deeply depressed?

My world of depression 10 years ago:

The more I know, the more grief I have.  All my hopes have been deferred.  Everything is meaningless.  I will not be remembered long after my death.  My chemicals are all jacked up.  I cannot feel joy.  I am not as happy as everyone else.  I am lonelier than I have ever been.  I don’t want to chase money anymore.  There must be More.  I am driven by fear.  I am unable to be intimate with anyone.  No one understands me.  I would prefer not to be known anyway.  I am so depressed.  I feel paralyzed.  I want to tear my skin off.  I’m sick of faking it.  I don’t want to be rejected anymore.  I don’t want to hate myself anymore.  Technology is not making me feel any better.  My distractions have lost their ability to capture my interest.  Where is the joy?  I’m desperate.  I think I am the only one.  I think it would be best to disappear.  I am ready to surrender.  I plant my white flag in the hard earth and bury my dreams.  The drugs don’t work.  The fun is not as fun as I thought it would be.  The thrill is gone.  Love is empty.  I feel alone.  I am alone? 

I’m down in it.

And so are millions of others who see life as it really is and cannot stand to face it any longer.  We dig together, but we choose to live in a solitary confinement where we bide time until death proves us right.  The psychiatrists are just guessing at solutions and their prescriptions just turn us into fatter zombies.  The side effects are deadly.  Do you know what I am talking about?  Do you deeply know it?  Are you suffering like I am?  Have you hit the wall going 100 miles per hour and still breathe out the daily pain?  If so, this is a book for you.  It’s one voice shouting out from the depths in rhymes and streams and crazy, true stories.  It’s poetry for the dying, words for the lonely, and dangerous love for the broken.  Read it aloud.  Scream it to the ceilings.  And know you are not alone.  We surrender, but we don’t give up.  

This is our manifesto for life in the wasteland.

Insurance Claims Consultants

Insurance Claims Consultants

Just as their title suggests, insurance claims consultants are those people who can help guide you through an insurance claim process.  If you experience a fire, as an example, and you are needing to file house fire damage claims, it can be a more arduous process than you might think.  In this case, you’ve probably never done it before so it can feel so daunting.  You probably don’t know what you can even ask for as far as money for repairs and replacement of possessions.  And you probably wouldn’t know that relocation costs can even be covered.  Finally, you might not know that some insurance companies are quite stingy in their settlements. 

With all of this in mind, I suggest that you hire an insurance claim consultant to train you and guide you through this whole process.  They will not only help you understand what is supposed to happen at the end of the day, but some of them who are known as Public Adjusters actually take on an advocacy role.  In other words, Public Adjusters stand on your side of the table and help negotiate the final settlement.  In most cases they help to get you a lot more money than you would have gotten on your own.  That’s a big deal if you want to get everything back that you lost in the fire. 

(By the way, Public Adjusters don’t just handle fire damage claims.  They usually handle every kind of claim that you can imagine.  Here are a few other claims that they work with:  water damage, smoke damage, sinkhole damage, lightning strikes and floods.)

Anyway, I just wanted to throw that information out there just in case you need to make any sort of insurance claim.  Why not bring in some experts to help you get the maximum claim possible?  I know that if something happens to my house or business, I will definitely employ a reputable company. 

Lubbock Wedding Venues

What should every individual do before taking those risky and beautiful steps down the wedding aisle?  (Besides booking the best Lubbock wedding venue and event center, of course)

A.  Order a Human-Fax Report

Most people in this country will not even purchase a used car nowadays without finding out about its history.  For years, there were far too many lemons sold, far too many bad buys and far too many machines breaking down before the first payment was made. 

In response to this problem, some genius out there created a system by which potential car buyers could check out an automobile before making an expensive commitment and plunking down their hard earned cash.  This Car-Fax reporting system has been used by millions of people to find out whether the car they are considering has been wrecked or in any way mistreated.  People can find out about a driving machine’s repair history and then make an informed decision about the possible purchase.  With this information in hand, a buyer can know whether this car is worth the risk.

Now I am not saying that getting married is the exact same thing as buying a car, but one thing the above makes me wonder is why people insist on this sort of intense information gathering when it comes to car buying, but rarely seek to discover the detailed history of a potential mate.  I believe this level of tire kicking is necessary, not only for buying a used Audi, but also (and certainly more so) for purchasing a marriage partner.  After all, isn’t a life commitment to another human being, who might turn out to be a walking talking lemon, a bigger decision than monthly payments?  

I believe this is a huge deal and that is why I advise all of my counselees, before they get married, to fill out a “Human Fax” report (and order one from their mate).

While there is no actual faxing to be done, the idea remains the same — People providing vital and detailed histories about their brokenness, about their past wreckage and about their repair status so that someone else can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to enter into a commitment.

While it is true that someone can lie about their past and present condition, it is not likely.  After all, most people want to be somewhat honest when they step into a relationship because they want the same sort of honesty to come back to them.  Thus, the value of this “Human Fax” is huge.  It reveals to both parties potential areas of weakness and places in need of repair.  And just because a “Human Fax” report exposes these types of things does not mean that a relationship will be a lemon.  Just because someone has wreckage does not mean that they are un-drivable.  It just brings reality into the open and hopefully draws individuals into the hands of mechanics who are able to help them become “roadworthy.”

To those in pre-dating mode: I recommend that you fill one of these outtoo.  Even those who do not yet have a significant person in mind for marriage.  It is never too early to look under your own hood and to get yourself into the shop.  (It has been interesting to work with single individuals on their “Human Fax” reports because what they find are the very problems that have been stalling their romantic pursuits in the first place.) 

In the next article, I have included an example of a “Human Fax” report.  It uses symbolic car language.  Don’t let that throw you off.  Just roll with my weird brain for a bit and answer the questions you feel are relevant. 

For those spiritual people out there:  As you fill this out, ask God to search you and show you the truth of your condition. If there are lots of problems with your car, do not despair.  Simply seek repair.  If you are filling this form out with a significant other, make sure to offer grace to both them and yourself.  Talk together about what must be done so when you take this longest relational road trip of your lives, you will be able to make it to your destination with minimal problems.

Getting it Done Right (Now)!

So as West Texas temperatures fire up into the 80’s and 90’s, it is an important time to consider the condition of your front and back yards.  And this is especially true for those of us who have sprinkler systems installed in our lawns.  We Lubbock sprinkler owners must be extra vigilant.

Why do I say this?

Because if you are anything like me, you can get lazy and just assume that once you have a sprinkler system installed and the timers set, all will be well.  The grass is going to get properly watered and will be the most beautiful sort of green without us having to think much about it.  That’s why we get these sprinkler systems put in in the first place, right?  I’ll admit that I am the worst at this sort of assumption.  I don’t check my system for needed sprinkler repairs and as a result, I might be letting parts of my yard to dry out due to broken sprinkler heads.  With this potential reality in mind, I decided to research what can be done to keep this from happening to me.  But, after some thought (and the realization that I am not very good at fixing things) I determined to see what sprinkler system repair experts exist in my locality.  I wanted to see if there were any companies who would do a free estimate.

So, last week I was speaking with the owner of a highly-rated Lubbock sprinkler repair company and he was telling me about how they regularly go out to inspect people’s systems and how they usually find broken sprinkler heads, which have gone unnoticed for a long time.  And the problem with this is that when this brokenness is allowed to continue for lengthy periods, parts of the yard start to dry out.  And once this drying out happens, it is hard to recover that part of the lawn.  I might have a yard with 90% lush greenness but if there is 10% that is dead and yellow because of my inattention to the sprinkler heads, I will definitely be frustrated.  Thus, I made another decision to use this company help me take care of some things.  Even if upon inspection they don’t find anything wrong, at least I will have gotten ahead of the situation.

Now, I’m certainly not your mama and so I am not telling you what to do and when to do it, but I am just setting off an alarm that might help you save your lawn before it is too late. My recommendation is to call a good sprinkler repair business and have them come out and do an inspection.  Find out now, before the weather gets sweltering and your yard starts suffering.  Why not, right?  Then if something is broken, get the best estimate you can get and roll with the repair. I think you will be glad you did!

Okay.  Enough of my commentary and advice.  If you do what I suggested above, let me know about your experience.  Until then, may we all be greener than ever before.

American-Made

American-Made

There are a lot of things that are important to consumers when they are buying just about anything. For Americans, one of the biggest considerations before buying a product is that the product is made in America using American-made materials. In such a world of globalization, it’s not as easy as it once was to find companies who produce products that fit those two criteria – but I found one which produces Allen plantation shutters and Keller plantation shutters (both in the DFW area) using only American-made materials and of course using those materials to make plantation shutters in their own factory (which by the way, if you actually take a tour of their factory, they give you 10% off of your order if you decide to purchase their shutters).

Anyway, back to the point of buying American-made products – I guess it’s a big deal to me as well. I always hate to see businesses moving their operations to another country to save on labor costs and taking jobs away from hardworking Americans. But at the same time, I totally understand the corporate mindset – their bottom line is maximizing profit. Thus, they cut costs wherever they can and this sometimes means that they determine it is best for that bottom line to move their business to a place where they can pay their workforce lower wages. They can save so much money that way. So, I am caught between wanting American-made products like the aforementioned ones (I am in the market for plantation shutters is why I used them as my example) and understanding American corporate interests. I guess in the example of plantation shutters I won’t have to worry about it because this specific company produces American-made shutters and they happen to be ranked in the number one position for their products. Maybe that is the way I should decide each time – how highly ranked are the products I am considering purchasing. I guess this will solve my question.

So, what do you readers think about this conundrum? Are you all about American-made products no matter what or are you stuck in the questions I have? What is your solution to this problem? Do you have any good advice? Please feel free to comment. Thanks in advance.

Misunderstanding Insurance Claims

Misunderstanding Insurance Claims

Insurance claims can be tricky nowadays – there are so many intricacies included in the fine print that the average person is not able to decipher what they are entitled to in the case of some sort of destruction. This is unfortunate for those people because they are already having to put up with the ramifications of the damage itself. How can the average Joe overcome the hail damage, or fire damage, or business interruption and make sure they file the right kind of insurance claims? If you have never had to do it, you have no idea how hard it can be. And this confusion is sad because many times the insurance cases don’t give the monetary returns that are needed for the damage to be repaired.

So what is there to do?

First of all, people need to get educated about public adjusters before something bad happens. I wish I had known about them when my family experienced fire damage in Dallas. We were all ignorant and we felt like we had to accept the settlement we were offered after the “independent” insurance appraiser looked over our situation. Little did we know that we could employ a public adjuster who would fight for us. Yes, that’s right. There are people out there who make it their job to come in with an appraiser that takes their time noting the extent of the damage and reporting it as a secondary appraisal to the insurance company’s appraiser. These public adjusters also advocate for you and your family to get you a better settlement than you were initially offered. And they are typically successful in their efforts – if they aren’t successful, they don’t get paid. So they have major incentives to get you the best settlement possible.

Can you imagine being initially offered $20,000 by your insurance company and then having a public adjuster come in and get that number raised to $50,000 or even over $100,000? That happened to someone I know and they were blown away. Don’t you want to be blown away like this too?

I hope you never have anything bad happen to you and your family, but if you do then take this article’s advice and hire yourself a public adjuster who knows what they are doing. It could be a lifesaver!