Over the past few months my sister, Fallen Angel, and I have been trying to figure out ways to help my parents save their house and land here in Mississippi, lovingly called “the Farm.” My parents moved away about a year ago, and since that time they have not been able to sell the Farm. It’s also been increasingly difficult for them to keep up with the mortgage payments. Fallen Angel decided that she would move back here and try to make the payments and buy it for herself in the process. So in our brainstorming on how to make money for the payments, we came up with a couple of good ideas, and several crazy ideas. I would like to share with you some of those fundraising ideas.
If you don’t use it, sell it.
My sister’s first idea was to start selling off everything that we didn’t need. This included things like scaffolding that the Preacher had left here when they moved. He also left a shop and shed full of miscellaneous tools, equipment, and general crap. Most of the important and valuable stuff he took with him on his last trip, and he left the general crap for us to clean up and deal with. That’s just how the Preacher rolls.
So as part of Fallen Angel’s master plan she began listing things on Craigslist.com. It took a while, but she did manage to sell off some of the bigger stuff. The biggest thing, literally, was a tractor trailer container that the Preacher had bought several years ago and was using as a storage container. She hated that thing, and it was a giant eyesore that was not-so-strategically placed right next to the little cabin here. I had to listen to her bitch about that thing for weeks before she finally sold it to a Cajun for a thousand bucks. That was almost one mortgage payment. We were doing well so far, or so we thought.
In the event of rain.
Her next plan was to have a Trail Ride Crawfish Boil, charge per person, and have a live band to entertain everyone. It sounded simple enough. Nothing is ever that simple when the Preacher’s Daughters are in charge. We started out $1,500 in the hole, and before it was over, we were $3,000 in the hole. I’d call that a bust.
We started out with the best of intentions and plans, but by the end we were frustrated and severely depressed. It took a month of planning, organizing, building, cleaning, advertising, and promoting. I’m not usually the outdoorsy type anyway, and it seemed that almost everything I had to do that week was outside in the Godforsaken Mississippi heat and humidity. When I start sweating, it’s time to go inside where there is air conditioning and iced tea. I couldn’t do that though, because there was too much shit to do before the big day, and sis had to work during the day. So it was left up to me and our wonderful downstairs tenant, MW (Miracle Worker), to get most everything done. Just so you know, MW is married, so no, I am not going to try to seduce him. I wouldn’t try even if he was not married. He’s a great guy, but besides my sister forbidding me, I know better. MW’s wife, AW (Awesome Woman), is just that, awesome. She is a really nice hot redhead who wears short shorts and can fix cars. Need I say more?
The days leading up to it were even more stressful because the weather forecast was not looking good. There was a high chance of rain and thunderstorms for Saturday. This was not part of our grand plan. In fact, we had not even thought about what we would do in the event of rain. As we scrambled to come up with a contingency plan, my sister began to slowly fall apart. We were glued to the weather radar on our phones. We watched as a large green mass moved towards us. I tried to keep her calm by telling her that the rain would probably go around us, which it looked like it would, but that didn’t really help. We debated cancelling the whole thing, but it was so late that we thought at the very least we could have the crawfish boil that evening and might still make enough to break even.
OK, so then the big day came. On Saturday morning Fallen Angel loaded up her horses and left to go on the trail ride. Little Bubba and I did what we could to finish getting everything ready. He, AW and I went into town and stood on the corner with a sign trying to entice people into coming that night. I don’t think it worked. My sister called me later that day and said the trail ride was over and she was on her way back to the Farm. The next thing on our to-do list was to go pay for the crawfish so that our friend could pick them up. This was my mission.
When I got to the place I handed the guy a check and he gave me a funny look. “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot to tell her that I don’t take checks.” Great. I tried to explain to him that she was busy getting everything ready, and I was sent to pay for it and all I had was a check. He wasn’t budging. So I had to go all the way back to the Farm and pick up my sister and Little Bubba and head back to the crawfish place. Little Bubba was in the backseat screaming, Fallen Angel was having a total melt-down, and I was trying to drive and not have my own panic attack.
Thanks to a little help from our friends, we managed to pay for the crawfish, pick it up and head back to the Farm with very little time to spare. Then the band showed up. It was like a rock roll redneck pickup truck caravan, all led by the Drummer. For the next part to make sense, I need to give you a little back story on the band. My sister had called the Drummer the day before and told him about the dreary forecast. The $200 stage that we had built for them was in the open and uncovered. Since it was probably going to rain at some point, we seriously considered cancelling the band. The Drummer insisted that he had 15 people coming to hear them, and that the threat of rain had passed, so it was all cool. Since he said he had 15 people coming, my sister figured that they would at least cover the cost of the band, so she agreed to have them still come and play. However, his 15 fans did not show up and instead, he had added members to the band, members who had been told they could eat all the crawfish and drink all the beer they wanted. Not cool. There were only supposed to be four people in the band, not six and a roadie crew. I have to say this one thing, and being a musician myself, albeit not professional, I can say it. I have come to realize that musicians are some of the flakiest sons of bitches around (i.e. Rocketman and Mountain Man).
So in all actuality we ended up paying not the agreed $400 and a case of beer for the band, but $400, two cases of beer, and about 50 pounds of crawfish. (One of the band members snuck out with a bag of crawfish before leaving that night.) Really professional guys. We won’t be hiring them again, and I certainly won’t be playing with them again.
Like I said, after it was all over we ended up deeper in the hole than we were when we started. The threat of rain scared off most of the horse people and I guess it scared off most of the crawfish lovers as well.
Total cost: $1,500
Part 2 of Plan B.
While planning the crawfish boil we continued to roll around other money making ideas. One of our earliest, and one of my personal favorites, was renting the cabin. The cabin, now named Dolly’s Cabin (you will understand why in a minute), is a small one room cabin with a bathroom that the Preacher had built to use as his office. Fallen Angel and I were talking about renting it out either nightly or by the weekend. It sounded like a great idea to me. We weren’t using it for anything, so why not? I suggested to Fallen Angel that we offer the cabin for $50 per night, with the option of adding a Preacher’s Daughter for an extra $50, but she vetoed me on that one. LOL
Once we decided to rent it we realized that it needed some work. We cleared out all of the Preacher’s crap, moved in a bed, chair, mini-fridge, microwave and tv. Then we went to Wal-Mart and bought a very cute bedding set. It has kind of a fishing/outdoorsy theme to it which I thought would look perfect in Dolly’s Cabin. I even put a small coffee maker and a basket of goodies. We already had a nice set of towels and matching bathroom rugs that we put in it. After adding a few decorative items to make it look really cozy, it was ready to go.
She rented it to a lady who was coming to the crawfish boil that weekend. Her and her friend wanted it for Friday and Saturday nights. Excellent! After the threat of rain though, they ended up cancelling on us. They were mainly coming for the trail ride, so since that was not a sure thing, they decided not to come. Thankfully one of the men who did show up for the trail ride crawfish boil wanted to rent it for Saturday night. He hasn’t been divorced for too long and I think he had a little bit of a crush on my sister. Actually, he spent most of the day and night doing flirting with my sister and even told her on Sunday that he had left the door unlocked for her the night before. She was oblivious at the time though.
After he told her about leaving the door unlocked for her and about his interest in her they made plans to go out on a date a few days later. So if nothing else at least she got a date out of this whole disaster. When she and I sit and talk about things the conversation usually takes a turn into the gutter and would make Dr. Ruth blush and/or laugh at the very least. While talking I told her that we should name it the “Best Little Whorehouse in [Town].” She said that name was too long and we should just call it “Dolly’s Cabin.” She was also afraid that when our parents come to visit they might not like the name. I agreed. Then I suggested we make the sign a drop-down sign so that we could flip it up when they are here. She thought that was funny, but still said no.
Now we have our cute little cabin available for rent. It’s also available for us to use when we need a booty call location. I have the feeling that we will use it more than it will be rented out.
Total cost: $75
Selling the yard.
Our latest attempt to make some cash is a yard sale. We gathered up everything that we had left that we thought might sell and we put it all on the porch. I priced everything, put a sign up by the road, put it on Facebook and Craigslist, and Fallen Angel emailed it into the local radio station.
As I was walking from the storage shed up to the porch, I stopped and picked up and old galvanized watering can that was in the yard. Sis was behind me with an armload of crap to sell, and she said, “I did not just see that.” I turned and looked at her sternly and said, “Hey, we aren’t using it, and we need stuff to sell.” Guess what was the first thing that I sold on Thursday morning? Yep, that old watering can. LOL
While my sister was at work Thursday and Friday mornings I parked my ass on the porch and waited for customers, and waited, and waited. It was a little weird because, on Thursday and Friday, the only people who showed up were men in their 40s – 50s. They bought a few things, and all of them asked about the house being for sale and said what a beautiful place it is. I tried my best to be a little flirty and get them to buy the farm, but it just didn’t work. Come to think of it, I probably should have told them about the cabin and my “buy one night, get one PD for free” special. It might have worked. LOL
So here it is at 10:30 on Saturday morning and I’ve had five customers, three of which actually bought something, and I’ve made a total of twenty bucks. I guess it’s not bad. That’s not enough for a mortgage payment, but it’s almost a tank of gas in my car.
Total cost: $10 (price stickers sign)
I forgot to mention that my sister also rented out my room for Friday Saturday nights. Thanks sis. I had to sleep on my nephew’s bunk bed, the most uncomfortable bed you can imagine. There’s no wonder Little Bubba won’t sleep on it. I do have to say though that having Little Bubba come over, tuck me in and give me a goodnight hug was priceless.
It turned out that the man who came to the trail ride crawfish boil, and rented the cabin that night, is a really nice guy and it looks like my sister may have herself a new man. That also, is priceless. She needs a good man.
For me the priceless part was getting to get outside and work. I was cooped up in that apartment in New Orleans for so long, other than walking around the French Quarter occasionally. I really didn’t get out much while I was there. At least here I can get some fresh air and not have to worry about being mugged. LOL As much as I loved living in New Orleans and meeting the wonderful people there, I am very glad to be away from Manwhore and all of his nonsense. He was bringing me down and stressing me out. Here I still may be stressed, but it’s a good kind of stress. I know that what I do here is all part of an effort to help my sister and my parents, and that makes me feel good.