Friday, July 15, 2016

Messages, Luck, and Building a Home

Photo copyright Aji, 2016; all rights reserved.

They say dragonflies are messengers of the spirits, symbols of love and signifiers of luck. Yesterday, this one returned again and again and again to this post next to where I was working. If he had a message, it was delivered at a pitch beyond my hearing, but I'm hoping the old stories are true. We could use some extra luck right now.

The foundational work on the house is more or less done. No, we don't have a slab yet, but in terms of labor, that's relatively minor. The heavy-duty stuff mostly ended yesterday — and with it, the expenses that sit at the lower end of the spectrum. We've spent what seems an absurd amount already on materials and labor (but what has actually been very reasonably priced, with a few breaks afforded us here and there to reduce costs), but those numbers are about to skyrocket.

Which means, of course, that without 1) sales and 2) fundraising, work will grind to a halt equally fast.

In addition to labor costs that are going to rise rapidly now, and the ordinary materials costs of cinder block and adobe and cement and beams, we have three huge expenses upcoming: 1) $6K for the first stage of the plumbing; 2) $5,200 for the first stage of the electrical; and 3) an as-yet-undetermined amount for the windows. The plumbing and electrical will both occur in three stages —  well, with the plumbing, four, if you count the replacement and relocating of the septic system, but that's down the road a bit  and even without including the septic system, those two things are going to run us, in the end somewhere upwards of $30K. This is why it's so much more cost-effective to buy an existing house. Unfortunately, that's not an option for us, and never could be.

So. We need folks to share a couple of different things. 

First, what we'd prefer, as always, is simply to make sales. A few of Wings's larger, more valuable works out the door, and this next round is covered. We also have a substantial amount of other Native art by different artists, and honestly, I would really like to sell pretty much all of it off and get it gone and devote the gallery almost exclusively to his work. So please share the link to his site — the main page, please, NOT one of the subsidiary pages — and if you can post it with a testimonial, so much the better. If you want to send us a testimonial to post on the site, please use the site's Contact form to get it to me.

Second, our YouCaring page. This is, essentially, the end of Stage II, the foundational work. We need to raise $2,649 more for me to close this one out. Yes, we're thatclose. Then I can turn to tabbing all the estimates for the rough-in of the plumbing and electrical and getting the walls up and the windows in, and launching the fundraising effort for that stage. [And yes, we know it's going to be expensive. But we're in this now, and there isn't a choice anymore.]

So please go to our YouCaring page and share the link via the widgets on it (or copy and paste the link if the widgets don't work in your browser). Please grab the widget code from the purple box at the lower right and spread it around liberally. That will post this:

And having the imagery helps. Fortunately, when I launch the next phase, it'll show the work that's been done in the fundraiser photo.

I'm also going to see about setting up a subsidiary page on Tumblr or elsewhere to sell some of my photos, if there's interest in them. They'll be nowhere near Wings's price points; I don't have his skill. But every little bit helps, and maybe it'll bring in something better than the writing does.

And many thanks to everybody for all your help thus far. I'm hoping to carve out a few uninterrupted hours (uninterrupted, ha, yeah, very funny) this weekend to take care of the latest rounds of thank-you notes. But we are, as I said, now solidly in this, and we have no choice but to keep trying to go forward. That takes money, and so I have to do everything I can to make that happen. I'm hoping enough people will keep helping us spread the word, both on the fundraiser and Wings's site, to make sure that Dragonfly's message is indeed one of good luck.

All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2016; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

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