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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Our Lives in the Catskills

It's Saturday morning, another very nice day - 2 nice days in a row is quite a rarity this summer. This top picture is of Albert's house and barn, with the grass coming in and the driveway smoothed.
Not a very exciting picture for most people - but the signs of utility trucks on the road where we are building Cottage 17,19 and 22 means one thing for me - Electric (and subsequent celebration). Many things move slowly up here and with the exception of Catskill Farms, most dealings with vendors and the like can test the patience of most people. We have nearly completed 3 new homes before we had electric to the site - meaning lots of generators and generator maintenance, such as who is stopping at the gas EVERY morning to fill up the gas containers, which subcontractor will need power who won't come with a generator, and mostly, it's impossible to hop from job to job, since every time you relocate, -even for just a 5 minute project, you have to lug a 300 lb generator with you. Anyway, electric utility trucks are always a welcome sight to my eyes.Here's our offices - this large steel construction post and beam structure served for 20+ yrs as the Eldred School District bus repair terminal. We bought it in the spring of 2008 and have big plans for it - mostly, renovating it into chic shared office space for those professionals who are outgrowing their offices.
Here's a shout out to Lara - our incredibly skilled controller, as well as about 12 other jobs. Good employees consistently help us grow our business - and we spent 5 years looking for the right ones for the right jobs. And as I have mentioned, it took the economy to go off the rails to free up some of this labor that had secure jobs elsewhere. As I have also mentioned, we have benefited from the down economy in many ways - more access to construction and office labor, more service and better prices from our vendors, and pickier clients who choose us more and more when concerned about lasting value in this large purchase.
And James. What more needs to be said? Good help enables businesses to grow and James has qualified as good help from day one (besides that HF3 window order mistake). People ask me if I am capable of giving unqualifed praise, and the quick answer is definitely not. Sorry.
And here's Edwin's 2 sons in America, just repatriated from Honduras, right before the coup and all the political upheaval going on over there. The thing about business is, sure, you love your customers - but a business provides satisfaction as well from seeing employees and associates do better for themselves through the business - be it personally, financially or career-wise.


  1. 0 comments!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 0 comments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Man, Chuck... someone really has a thorn in their side, huh? To them I say here's several unsolicited comments from a regular reader:

    1) Congrats on the new office and, as a homeowner in the Town of Highland, let me say that we're thrilled to have you.

    2) Cottage 22 is probably the cutest dang house I've ever seen.

    3) I can't believe someone took the time to actually call you an a$$#@!e in a previous post. I mean, c'mon.

    4) Please keep on blogging... I dig your perspective, and it's nice to see someone - anyone - take an interest in our area.

  4. Nest Dweller - great to hear from you. the "0 comments" person has sent me an email everyday for about a month - and finally I was like, what the hell? Might as well post it - what's the harm? It's obviously from someone who can't stop reading my blog since the "O comments" comes within hours of each post. So frankly, I'm flattered I rank up there so high on their priority list.

    Most importantly, I know the positive impact we are having up here. As we like to say over here at Catskill Farms - "Reinvigorating the architectural landscape of Sullivan County"

  5. posting your own comments and making up names just makes you a bigger asshole!!!!!!!!!!!