Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oh, What to Do?

I had to try really hard to have a day off tomorrow. I managed to not schedule any appointments at the store. Now the question is what shall I do?
Clean the garage :( or scrapbook :) ?
Scrapbook :) or clean the garage :( ?
Oh, okay, I guess it's just too cold to clean the garage.
I guess I have to scrapbook! :)
Actually my first item on the agenda is to try to make a reservation for a timeshare in southern California for the week after Christmas. If this works, it will be the first time we have ever planned this far in advance. The window on those reservations starts 9-10 months out, which means tomorrow is the first day to try to schedule for December. And even though I do have a scrapbook project that I want to work on, I have an even more pressing task. A couple of weeks ago I started getting out the Valentine decorations. The Christmas decorations were no longer out (except for one small tree), but the Christmas decorations had only made it as far as the extra bedroom upstairs. (That is the bad thing about having extra bedrooms that aren't in use- they become storage rooms) I really need to get those things packed in boxes and into the attic.
So that is what I am really going to do tomorrow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lifesavers

As I finished up my W2's this morning, I realized that I am grateful for three lifesavers in my life.
The first lifesaver is my executive secretary.

She does all sorts of tasks at my store, everything from- printing labels and envelopes, answering emails, answering the phone, filling out donation forms, counting the cash, sending out thank you notes, tagging dresses, receiving purchase orders, filing EVERYTHING, making follow-up calls to customers, preparing tax information, sending out advertising information, etc. etc., even taking out the trash. She always gets compliments on her appearance (not one hair out of place :) and compliments on her phone etiquette.
The second lifesaver is my personal accountant.
He shows up at least twice a month to update all of my financial information. I have no clue what he actually does- all I know is everything is in the proper account and up to date! Then he prints out my (profit?) and loss statements. Some times his job description also includes exterminating and handyman repairs.
The third lifesaver is Quick Books!
There is no way I could do all of my payroll tasks without it. The whole payroll, taxes, IRS, etc. is mind boggling. I could not have done my W2's without Quick Books. So here is my beef... couldn't the whole IRS thing be simplified??? I have said it before- my little "pile of beans" to count is nothing compared to larger businesses- sorry, but the whole IRS process has gotten completely out of control. Anyway...
I am grateful for the help that I have.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Smitten

I think I'm in love.



I could be found guilty at times of making hasty decisions. I'm a shopper, but I'm not a shopper. When I decide I want something, I will shop long enough to see what the choices are and what the prices are, but it doesn't take me long to make a decision. No months of comparison shopping for me. Sometimes the decision is good, some times it's bad, sometimes it's just a decision. I am not hardly ever guilty of buying something that's not on sale. Mom is always bugging me about shopping at Ross, TJMaxx, Marshalls, etc. Good stuff for cheap :)
So... before we bought the suburban, I spent two evenings shopping online, doing various comparison searches for suburbans. When I found the one I wanted, I printed out the picture. Made a plan for Ron to come and get me at work, at 3:00 on a Saturday afternoon. We drove to the dealer, I handed the salesman the picture and said, "show us this". I told Ron before we got there, "if it smells like cigarette smoke, we are done". To make a short version of the story- we bought it. Another little side issue here- Ron and I are terrible about negotiating with the salesman! Even when we make a plan ahead of time, (because we always know how the 'car vultures' work), we are terrible at trying to get a lower price. So we did pay the full, 'on sale' price for the car. (we had done our blue book homework though and it was a fair price- just not a huge bargain)
Anyway, it looks like this was one of my better decisions- the car is perfect. (At least so far. And as long as I don't think about what else I could have used all of that money for. And now that I have a new gas guzzler, you can plan on gasoline going to $4 a gallon :) :)

Many years ago, I was guilty of another hasty decision. Not much shopping around or comparisons. But it was another decision that has turned out to be perfect...


Yep, I'm smitten... and I think I'm in love.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spoiled!


We will get enough money from the insurance to pay for...
the tax, title, and license on this :) :(

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Day

Not everyone had a day off today- but my work day was my own fault. Normally my store is closed on Monday- but when it's a holiday and ladies have a day off from work and high school girls have a day off from school, it's a good day for my store to be open. That means women and girls out shopping. I had previously scheduled two appointments, but while I was there for those, several other "unappointments" showed up. One was stuck in traffic and didn't arrive until about 4:15. So needless to say, I spent the whole day at work. I have decided that the whole Christmas-vacation-end of-one-year-start-of-the-next-year is a difficult time for almost every business. I was telling my son (who is a professional bean counter "accountant") that my little pile of beans to count is small compared to lots of other businesses and it's still a difficult task. I can't imagine what a huge pile of beans to count would be :) I have come to realize that most of my problems for the first week of January were extensions of other businesses with "new year" problems. We have also been dealing with an insurance company with major end-of-the-year problems. I have been refraining from posting my whole "business tax/IRS post"- but that may be coming soon. Anyway... all of that aside, business is picking up for prom and spring wedding season. The trick will be whether or not I can keep up the pace, for several months in a row.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy B Day to DP

Happy Birthday!
Thanks for taking care of A and J and H.
We love you!





Below 32 Degrees

So here is what happens in Houston when the temp. is below freezing for a couple of days...
When Ron got home from work on Friday, he noticed that we had water gushing out from the house. Luckily, it was just part of the sprinkler system. He tried to turn a water valve off, the best he could, but it still had water running on to the yard and out to the street. He had to just leave it like that for Friday night. On Saturday, he takes the broken part and goes to Lowes. It doesn't seem overly busy there, until he gets to the isle where he thought the replacement part might be. Then he discovers about 30 other people there, all holding the same part in their hand. :) :) Lowes didn't even have the right part. Neither did the hardware store in Katy. I now have an assignment for tomorrow morning to go find the part, else where :)
Houston just doesn't like cold weather :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

In a Nutshell...

this was one of those weeks where almost everything turned into a problem. To put it another way- if something was going to have a problem, it did- this week. I told Ron that I keep telling myself, "this is just a test". His only response was, but "how long will it last?" That is the question.
Now that I have that out of my system- on a more positive note- I need to be grateful. I am grateful for a warm house. I have definitely decided I could not have been a pioneer, walking across the plains in winter. I don't know how they did it, it is just beyond my comprehension.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sick

There are two people in this world that can't be sick- mothers of small children and small business owners! When mothers of small children get sick, they still have to take care of the kids. They still have to do all of the meals, the diapers, the cleaning up, what ever the kids need, no matter how bad they may feel. Sure the list of chores might get pared down to the very basics, but still no time allowed for mom to just be sick and sleep. For small business owners, with only a few part employees, and with deadlines to meet and work to be done- nope, no time to be sick. Since you know that I don't have small children at home, I must be the small business owner that is at work today, even though I'm sick. The bad side of that is that I had no choice in the matter, there was work to be done, by me. The good side of that is, I'm here alone, not getting any one else sick. :) It is amazing how bad a person can feel with just one of those "good ole head colds"- or "bad ole head colds", how ever you want to look at it. Luckily, I have made so many jackets, that I can even do that when I'm on drugs and in a daze :) :) Ron also has this same stuff "again", or maybe it's he "still" has this stuff- he has been fighting some thing ever since Thanksgiving. (Pretty sure it's not the flu- just nasty sinus stuff) Mom was threatening to get out the "strong meds" this morning, (for a house full of sickies) when I left for work- I think we are having "chicken soup" for dinner tonight! :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Yes...

the Christmas-letter-turned-into-a-New-Years-letter, is going in the mail tomorrow. I wasn't sure if I would get those done today or not. Last night I did all of the mindless tasks like laundry and unpacking the suitcase. I just couldn't bring myself do anything that required much thinking or effort. Today, Ron and I slept in, even though I went to bed pretty early. When mom started doing the dishes at 9 this morning it was time to get out of bed. Ron got in the shower right away, so I guessed that he wanted to go do something. We went to IHop to eat about 11. This evening he managed to find a football game to watch so I could work on the letters. Not sure what the plan is for tomorrow :)