Monday, November 24, 2008

They Say It's Yer Burfday!

So there's this little kid in my life who is absolutely the most infectious person ever. I just adore this kid.

His name is Riley.

Isn't he adorable?

Riley celebrated his first birthday on Saturday and he had his own little cake to enjoy. After a year of being told NOT to play with your food the well behaved one year old can be reluctant to tear into a cake placed before him. In this picture he paused as if to say, "What's the catch?" But his dad Kevin and his uncle Andy kept miming cake destruction and soon Sir Riley was convinced and dug in.

I don't think he was able to down as much chocolate as he might have imagined he could. He ate one and a half ears, sort of, and then was pretty much finished.
I don't have a good picture of it, (Darn the lousy photo quality of my iPhone!) but Riley DID end up with chocolate all over his face, thus passing the rite of One Year Old-dom.
So Happy Birthday to Little Riley Bo-Biley.
You might be Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend's grandson, but you're pretty special to me and I love you very much.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Son Rocks!

Zak is so awesome. I mean...he's just this really cool young man and I watch him doing his thing and I think, wow...what a neat guy. Is that really my baby??? I love him. I really do. Here's his picture.

He's the big guy with the beard. I know he looks like he's 28, but he's only 17. He's funny, but he's serious about his funny-ness.
He was a contestant and an emcee for his high school talent show last night. And let me tell you, high school talent shows aren't what they used to be. These kids are SERIOUS! I had a high quality night of entertainment for just 6 bucks admission!
They just blew me away. But my son...he's a musician/comedian type of guy. He's been acting since he was in the second grade (Children's Theater) and now in high school. He's made movies since he was in the 8th grade...silly, weird movies that I just don't understand. Well, most of them anyway. He's serious about drama and comedy and movies.
I, being from the 80's and a family that wouldn't even understand that such things COULD involve seriousness, am finding it amazing that his focus could result in such skill. He stood on that stage with his friend. They both had their guitars and they did this humorous bit about robots who killed all the humans. Timing...superb. Facial expressions...priceless. I was just so surprised at how funny they were.
People who saw me snapping pictures turned around and told me how good he was. "Thank you, thank you." I said, beaming!And they won first place in the group category!The overall winner trophy went to a pair of salsa dancers that just blew everyone away. I! They could compete on some of those dance shows. And they were so TINY!!!
Okay...just establishing that my son is awesome and I am very proud of him.
You may continue about your day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Personal Stuff

Okay, I dedicated this blog to my wood flooring business, which is going wonderfully, by the way, but something has happened which could result in me writing more personal life stories here.

My personal diary site crashed taking more than 5 years worth of entries with it. Those entries are gone forever. It's a little sad for me, but I also don't have anywhere else to rattle on about my life. This is a very therapeutic thing for me, so it's an issue. I may be writing more personal stuff here until I find a new diary home. Or not. I don't know.

As you can see by the date of my last posting it's been about two months since I last posted an entry about All Wood Flooring.

Shame on me! It's not that things have been stagnant. Just the opposite! We've been quite busy!

I still haven't taken pictures of our new truck and truth be told, this is why I haven't written. I wanted my next entry to have a picture of the truck with me and the Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend standing beside it looking like we just bagged a bear or something, but apparently taking a picture with the truck (clean) is beyond us, picture. Bleh.

I have stolen this picture of the truck from a Google Image Search site, but you'll have to imagine it in white. Champagne is the closest I could get to white.

We bought it over the Labor Day weekend. It's a white, 2008 Toyota Tundra Crew Cab with a long bed. It's beautiful and I love it. Alas, I cannot drive it. IT'S TOO BIG!!!

I had to drive it to a Taco Bell drive-through one night (it was raining) and OMG could they make those little curvy pass throughs more narrow, curvy??? I'M WORKING WITH A LONG BED HERE, PEOPLE!!!

I honestly didn't think we'd make it out of the drive through drive way. My daughter thought it was funny.

I have not driven the truck again. It is Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend's truck. He can drive it. He likes driving it. He drives it with authority. I like that in an Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend.

Okay...he looks good in the truck. We've established that.

Business is going well. I just figured up gross revenue and payroll and business expenses and came up with our 3rd quarter gross profit. It's not bad! I mean, i was all excited when I saw the gross revenue and then le Boyfriend told me to calm down and subtract all the business expenses.

Um...yeah, that does put a damper on things. But the profit margin is still very healthy, especially for a fledgling business and I'll be candid and tell you people that I apparently became quite comfortable with the idea of paying myself during the month of October. (I figured up October too) I am going to try to be more frugal during November.

I promise.

But I DO have to get the truck wrapped and that's going to cost about 2,500.00 right there, so...

but it's a business expense so it's okay. Right?

Okay, personal stuff....Last night, I got mad at Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend about something I had no business getting mad about, but we have history and sometimes things just leave raw spots you don't even know are there and then one day Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend makes, what to him is an innocent joke, and the next thing he knows I'm FAHLIPPING OUT!!!

That's what happened last night. I apologized the next morning. I did. He didn't mean anything bad. He was just being himself, but I must say that something about it really DID get me because I was extremely ticked off, so, maybe it bears some reflection. I dunno.

It must be noted that in the arena of personal improvement...Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend handled the matter much differently than he would have done a month ago. He did not blow up back at me. He did not treat me to an unhealthy dose of the silent treatment. He's turning over a new leaf and stuff. It's easy to turn over leaves when things are running smoothly. It's not so easy when those old rough patches inevitably come along, but he handled it gracefully. I'm glad on many levels for this and I think it bodes well for us.

Everyone messes's how you handle yourself once you realize you've made a mistake that tells people who you are.

I'll try to keep the personal stuff to a dull roar around here...heh, just like I'll TRY not to pay myself so much money during the month of November. lol

Monday, September 15, 2008

Training Day

I can't believe it's been over 2 weeks since I've written here.

You know what else I can't believe? That we STILL haven't finished that house in OKC's Heritage Hills neighborhood. (see pic in previous entry)

Everything's been going nice and smooth until this project. I know stressing won't help, so I'm not exactly flipping out about it, but I will be extremely disappointed if we don't complete it soon and to everyone's satisfaction.

Of course, seeing as how the homeowner is 3 weeks away from delivering a baby and her house is a WRECK because none of the subcontractors is finished yet, it's hard to console her at this point and her "satisfaction" may be an unattainable goal.

We saw her yesterday after Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend and I spent the day working on another project. We woke up at 6:15 Sunday morning and headed out. I watched crew members who had to seal a floor AND put two coats of finish on it. They were able to do all three coats in one day because they used waterbased sealer and finish.

Waterbased products dry quickly enabling you to put on another coat anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours later, depending on humidity. The trade off, (Isn't there always a trade off?) water based finishes aren't as durable as oil based, but that doesn't mean the water base isn't good. It is and I guess unless you're going to have kids and dogs and hedgehogs running through the house night and day you'll be fine with a waterbased finish.

Okay...back to me.

It's one thing to listen to people who know the handiwork talk about it. It's another to see it done and to be able to question everything going on. Why did you do that? Is that mark on the floor fixable with finish? How? Why? Oh I'm sure I was the bane of one crew member's existence on Sunday. LOL, but I need to learn so I know what I'm talking about to customers!

I was on my hands and knees feeling the floor at every stage so I'd know the effects of different coats and buffings. You coat...let it dry...buff, sweep and then do a light mopping with barely damp rags to get as much debris as possible off the floor before you apply the next coat of finish.

It's impossible to keep all debris out, but you certainly do your best and these guys seemed quite meticulous to me. I was impressed, but again, I'm sure they weren't thrilled having me over their shoulder all day.

We wrapped up that gig around 3pm. Then we headed south to the lingering 14th street project I mentioned earlier.

I had wanted to get all the floors done at 14th street the previous weekend, but due to circumstances beyond my control...we couldn't do it. In fact, a lead crew member was fired over it. I must tell you that this entire episode with the crew member makes me extremely sad. He completely disappointed me. I was his biggest champion and he totally let me down and in so doing left me with a bit of egg on my face. I didn't deliver what I said I'd deliver because of this crew member's disregard.

Last week an office administrator for the contracting company that hired us to do the floors at 14th street called me and had the homeowner (very pregnant and unhappy) on the line. They wanted to discuss concerns about the work we had done thus far. We HAD managed to finish coating the second floor, but they said the floor was too rough.

"We want to be able to slide on it in our socks." I heard her say.

I asked Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend to go check it out as my day job was hectic all week and I couldn't get away and even if I could...I don't know as much as him because...well, "Expert" IS in his name. So he did a site check and said he thought the floors looked fine. Knowing how consciencious he is, I was immediately put at ease and called the office administrator with the good news.

Alas, the office administrator concurred with the homeowner that the floors were too rough.

Okay, listen up people. If you want new finished floors, please, by all means install them. We'll be happy to help you. You'll be able to slide on them for at least 50 years! (If you go with solid wood) But if you buy a house built 100 years ago with it's original floors and ask a flooring company to restore what thin, little splinters remain please realize that the finish isn't going to be like new or even like....well, 50 years old.

What you see to the right is pretty good for a one hundred year old floor, but if you try to slide on it you might get a splinter because that wood is thin. Talk about Risky Business!!!

Since we were already in work mode on Sunday decided to go look at the floors in 14th street together and we hoped to find the home owners there so we could hear their concerns face to face.

They were very nice, but clearly upset. Besides floors rougher than they had anticipated upstairs, they showed us where one of our workers had gotten stain on their newly painted wall and ...*heavy sigh*....where someone with stain on their hand had left hand prints on their newly installed front room window.

*shoot me now*

Well, it turned out that Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend knew these people. (I shouldn't have been surprised. He knows everybody) Turns out he pegged the husband as the son of one of our neighbors and he told them about our connection immediately.

We will do our absolute best to make the most of those floors. Expert/Mentor/Boyfriend agreed to put an extra coat of finish upstairs to try and make the floor smoother. Honestly, only the upstairs hallway was rough. I thought all the bedrooms looked GREAT! They were shiney and glossy and a rich mahogony color, but if we do the hall, Mr. Expert says we also have to do the bedrooms.

Painters are coming to touch up other boo boos to the walls made by a plumber and a dry waller, so they're going to cover up ours as well. (We weren't the only ones to make a mess on the very pretty walls) And we will take care of removing the hand print stain from the new front window.

We are supposed to get into the house with full crews running Thursday and Friday. I feel like taking those days off of my day job so I can be there, but I have an all day shoot on Friday, so maybe I'll just take off Thursday morning. I want to be on site when the crews get started so I can point out all of these problems.

I'm sure they'll be thrilled to see me.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Da Big Job

In a previous post I said that I hadn't heard back from "The Contracting Company" about the latest bid we submitted for them.

Well, thanks to poor communication I just didn't KNOW they wanted us to do the job. Seems that instead of calling me to say, "hey, we want to use you on the 14th street job." They simply faxed back their response. The onus falls to me on this one because while people normally call, I can't assume that they will. This particular contractor employed by this company is a project manager who has been with them for some time and so he uses office administration for some of his communication.

I am used to over the phone convo's with project managers themselves, but an office person decided to fax. Humpf.

Well, for whatever reason I never saw the fax from the contractor, so I was completely oblivious.

The guy finally called me last week to see if I'd received the fax he'd sent to me a week and a half ago and I'm like..."No. I assumed you had decided to go with someone else."

"No we want you guys to do it and we need you to start next week." says Mr. Entrenched Project Manager. (who is actually very nice)

I calmly say, "Let me check my schedule and see if I can shift things around." as if I'm all kinds of busy. Then I quickly call mentor/expert/boyfriend to see if there is ANY way his crews can do this work. I wasn't sure they'd be able to because they've had their own money-making fish to fry.

But, ever the capitalist, M/E/B (hmmm, maybe that will be his abbreviation from now on) said "we can do it." (He's awesome that way)

Now we have five, count 'em FIVE guys over at this big house in a nice neighborhood slammin' and jammin' on some wood floor, Baby. It's a big, old house that is getting a beautiful remodeling job. I want to go see it when they're finished.
That's the house up there.
I'll be taking pics of those finished floors!
Our goal is to have the floors finished by a week from Friday. Alas, we are ready to put down stain and the homeowner is dragging his or her feet on calling us to tell us what color they want. If the guys (crew) call me to say, "we've sanded as much as we can sand and are ready to stain." and the people STILL haven't called me, I'll let the crew go home for the day. We aren't going to pay employees to sit around twiddling their thumbs.

On another note, I may have made another contact with another contracting company!

When I went to the job site to scope things out on day one of this current project I pulled up behind a man who was with a different contracting company doing work in the house across the street. He waved at me when I got out of the car thinking I was there for his project. And, of course, I thought he was Mr. Entrenched Project Manger because I've never met Mr. Entrenched Project Manager face to face. Well, we had a good laugh over the mistaken identity thing and then he asked for my card. I obliged and he gave me his, never know. I might have another contracting company to do some work for.

This makes me very happy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm a Rainy Day Drip

Okay...I'm completely uninspired today.

Blame it on the rain or the fact that I've been staying up until the ungodly hour of 11:30 before going to sleep lately. (At my age, 11:30 IS ungodly)

All Wood Flooring is in a hibernation period right now. We finished our fourth job a couple of weeks ago and haven't heard a peep from our new love "The Contracting Company". *heavy sigh*

But just because we aren't rockin' and rollin' on some hard wood floors doesn't mean we aren't taking care of business.

I have hired a graphic designer to develop a company logo. I just saw the first drafts yesterday and while the color palette is a bit blah, the graphic ideas were wonderful. Love them! I emailed back the changes I'd like to see..."mas color, por favor". I'm excited to see the refined product.

I have also checked out the cost on getting a graphics wrap for a vehicle. That will be $2,800.00. However, the young man who gave me that quote has a primary business of his own that has nothing to do with vehicle graphics. After getting involved with his friend's graphics biz he decided to wrap HIS company's vehicles. Here is a link:
He said he was blown away by the response. He said it was a blow out compared to the response he's received from a Yellow Pages ad that costs him between 3 and 4 thousand dollars EACH YEAR! So, while $2,800 sounds like a lot, it might be a good investment.

I still have my sights set on my expert/mentor/boyfriend's van, but we have to get a truck for him first. Apparently he enjoys having transportation. (So selfish)

We have a plan to scrape together some money...checking under couch cushions and in the dryer, so we can afford a Toyota Tundra Quad Cab. (They're beautiful inside) He MUST have quad cab because we have some little munchkins to cart around town sometimes. They like to sneak away with their grandpa and have ice cream every once in awhile. *wink* But he/we need a truck because we're forever buying furniture (we don't really need) on ebay. The furniture is ALWAYS in Texas. (sad that there is no furniture in OKC) and so it is not uncommon for us to drive down to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to pick up couches or glass tables or just...whatever. We usually rent a uhaul for these excursions, but if we had a truck.....oh baby! *que Sanford & Son Theme song*

I'm anxious to get logo, website, vehicle wrapped, but I know it will all happen in due time. First we need a truck and a good logo, then we can move forward on the other goals.

This day continues to drag. It's only 3:15pm. I have 2 hours left....


Monday, August 4, 2008

Do You Know How Much to Set Aside? Do you???

Whatever my concerns were before about doing work for a contracting company, let me tell you now that they are quickly vanishing.

I hope to develop a great partnership with these people. Sure, it could have something to do with the fact that they paid me for TWO jobs this week. One of the jobs wasn't supposed to pay out until next week, but they went ahead and cut me one...nice, big, fat check.

My "mentor"/resident expert/boyfriend was pleased, but then started asking me if I knew how much money to set aside to pay for taxes and for liability premiums.

I already file a monthly report and payment for worker's comp coverage, so I know I'm current with that.

When I set up liability insurance the agent had me "guesstimate" how much I'd pay out in salary my first year. (I did this while on a ski trip over Spring Break with my sweety and his kiddos. The photo above is from that excursion.) Based on my "guesstimate" we came up with a premium which I paid in two installments.

but, because my "mentor"/resident expert/boyfriend was so, shall I say this..."concerned" over the weekend. I called my agent this morning to make sure I didn't have to pay anything.

She said that based on what I've paid out in salary so far, I would not be audited, nor would I owe anything. They would simply renew my policy at the beginning of the year and send me a bill. Personally, I think I WAY over-guesstimated my payroll and they might owe me! I'll bet it doesn't work that way. Maybe I should DEMAND an audit. lol

Oh...and I called my accountant to find out how much I should be setting aside for taxes. He told me to tally up my net profits and he'd come up with a percentage for me.

I don't take any money out of my business account. Well, let me amend, I paid myself once, but the rest of it, I leave in there just because...well, it's a new company and I still have start up costs looming. For instance, I'm meeting with a graphic designer this week to see if she can come up with a logo for me. I need to get a logo ASAP. Once I have that in hand, I'll be ordering forms, stationary and getting a work van all gussied up. (hopefully...first I have to GET a work van)

For the record...(in case any of you are going to audit me)...I have completed four jobs. Alas, my latest bid to the contracting company has not been snatched up. It was a large job that would require careful work as the floors are very old, which means the wood is quite thin. My "mentor"/resident expert/boyfriend saw splintering and told me to charge more per square foot because it would be trickier work.

I supposed the contractor found someone cheaper and that's okay, I guess. But I do know you get what you pay for and if they went cheap, they may just cause more problems for themselves.....or....maybe that's just my wishful thinking. LOL J/K...

Sort of.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Update on Demand and Be Warned It's Gross

One of my fans wants me to update.
But my dear fan, I have nothing to say.
Shall I write about floors?
It bores me today. My mind is elsewhere.

I could tell you about my vomiting incident at Lido's (Chinese restaurant) yesterday WHILE I was having lunch with some work clients. Oh god, it was terrible.

The silver lining is that I went to the bathroom to do said puking. I did not do it in front of any diners.

I puked a lot...then I had to clean up the mess that didn't make it into the commode. Another silver lining is that no one came into the bathroom while I was um...engaged. If they had, customers in the restaurant would have heard me because the flipping door to the women's restroom pracitcally opens on the dining room.

Note to restauranteurs: Please place bathroom doors far from the view of dining room. No one wants to hear or, for the love of God, see what's going on in there.

After I cleaned myself up, I calmly walked back to the dining room. I don't know if the women I was lunching with knew what had happened, but they acted like they didn't and so our conversation about free lance video production resumed. I did not eat a bit of my lunch, but had it boxed up. I couldn't wait until the time came when I could leave that restaurant. When it did, I slowly walked to my car and drove home.

Note: When you're nauseous and the sun is boiling hot, driving home seems to take forever.

Needless to say, I did make it. I crawled to my bed, called my boss and then I stared at the ceiling for like...3 hours straight. I didn't want to watch TV...I couldn't concentrate on anything but the nausea. I HATE that feeling. I can bear any pain except that. By 5pm I was wishing that I could repeat what had happened in the restaurant, but that relief wouldn't come until 7pm.


Yes, Numero Uno Fan, you were downstairs eating when that happened. BWAHAHA!!!

My daughter made me a get well card and my boyfriend's granddaughter made me a beautiful get well flower. I kept both by my face on the bed, so I could see them. Can you say AWWW?? I was really touched. My daughter stayed with me for a bit, forcing me to turn on the TV to distract me from myself, so I watched whatever was on and then around 9:30...fell into blessed sleep.

Today...I feel better...not 100%. My body aches and my head still hurts a bit, but the nausea is gone and for that...I am eternally grateful.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Starting Job 3

We started our third job this morning. I snapped some "before" photos of the rooms we'll be doing just as the crews were getting started.

Dust is everywhere. *cough* Must see about dustless sanding system. *choke*

This is a small, two story house who's owners, for some inexplicable reason, decided to paint over the wood floors in their upstairs hallway, and two bedrooms.

Here is one of those rooms. It will take extra sanding to remove the paint, so I had to charge more per sq ft for sanding in these areas.

Here is one other view of the downstairs living/dining area we'll be doing. I like the french doors. It's a very cute house.

I won't post exterior shots of the houses we work on for the sake of privacy.

This job is going to take us about 5 or 6 days. I'll be sure to get "after" photos before we turn it over to the owners.

I love starting new jobs!

PS: The contractor who hired us for this job (our second with his company) told me that the homeowners for first job we did for his company loved their floors and he gave them my card because they're interested in having us do more work on their home. This was a very nice older couple who has had a horrible 2008. Their son was found dead in a field in March, leaving them to care for his 8 year old daughter and then, as if that weren't bad enough, on the morning of their son's funeral the couple's house caught fire! Luckily the home only suffered smoke damage, but it was enough to force them to move out until insurance could set things right. Our floor work in their house was part of that insurance restoration. I hope things get better for them.

Okay...that was sort of depressing.
I think my work here is done.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Comparing Profits

I've been gone for a bit. My dad had some medical stuff going on, so I flew to Raleigh to see if I could help out.

Now to get back in the groove of my daytime job and my new bizziness.

I got my third job scheduled before I left. Crews start today. This is repeat business from the contractor that gave me my second

I am looking at my profit margin on my second job vs. the profit margin on my first job and I'm not a happy camper. The difference in those two jobs is that on the first job I only subcontracted with one crew. On the second job I subbed with two different crews.

I'm going to have to sit down and pull this apart because by the time I take worker's comp and liability insurance premium out, my profit will dwindle by about another 200 bucks. UGH!!! be fair, the profit on the first job was high and it was a big job...with a larger price tag. So...maybe this is normal. I'll still have to tally up the numbers.

In fact...I'm gonna go do that right now.

EDIT!!!: I paid out MORE for labor on the second job than I did for my first job and the first job had more square footage!!!!! Grrrrrr....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Movie Intermission

I actually got to go see a movie last night!!! I'm astounded and even more impressive is the fact that it was a new release. Typically, if I ever DO get to see a movie in theaters, I'm the last one to see it, but this time...I was one of the first.

Will Smith's summer offering, "Hancock", showed in OKC the day before it's nationwide opening day.

Hancock is a drunken, rude and messy superhero who has no idea who he is or where he came from.

I thought the film was great, but keep in mind I love Will Smith movies...Men in Black, Independence Day, I Am Legend...I just think he's fun to watch. Hancock is no exception except for one difficulty in the storyline. It involves co-star Charlize Theron. The entire attempt to explain Hancock's history along with her function in the film didn't really hold water. I thought it was a weak...well, really a high-schoolish attempt to explain something. Poor job. but it isn't a deal breaker.

I even posted my review on yahoo movie reviews...or whatever it is they call their page for user reviews. After doing my movie review duty (yeah, I'm a nerd) I was curious to see what the critics thought. OH...they hated it! So sad...critics have no sense of fun. They probably hated fairy tales as children, but I was inwardly pleased to see that they also hated the same plot flaw that I did.

Guess if I ever lose my day job I can hook up with Roger Ebert, sit in dark theaters and judge, belittle and criticize to my heart's content.

Go see Hancock if you like fun movies and let me know if the scene in the prison cracked you up as much as it did me...some of the critics thought it was extremely low brow humor. Guess that's why I liked it so much.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Hectic WOO HOO

I have just submitted the invoice for my company's second job. The contractor was happy with our work, his main office had all the papers they needed from me to pay me AND...they have asked us to bid on another job, so WOO HOO. (hence the title of this entry)

Oops, I forgot our Hardwood Centerfold of the day. Behold the Medallion.

Nice, huh? These are great for making a statement either in an entry way or a large room that will have a large open area. Of course they come in various sizes and designs. This is a pretty standard design. They can get fairly intricate. Hang on...let me go find something else for you to admire.

How do you like that? That would be a custom job, but there are pre-made medallions you can have installed.

Okay...hectic...this new biz is turning into a full time job!
I received a notice from the state tax commission last weekend telling me that my right to do business as a corporation in Oklahoma has been revoked because they didn't get my franchise tax report.

Um, I paid my accountants good money to file that report, so I called them. They swear that a new filing system enacted by the commission is to blame because they sent in the forms. I know they filled out the forms because I signed them. forward to today. I'm at my regular job and have nothing to do, so I decided to take my lunch break and go check out the job we just finished for the contractor. I couldn't get into the house, so I peeked through windows and called the client to make sure he was happy with our work. He was and said he wanted us to bid on another project. WOO HOO!!!

Since he was happy, I told him I would run an invoice over to his company's office, so I left the property and drove to their offices. While enroute my accountant called and told me he had new papers for me to sign for the tax commission. I told him I'd be there in 30 minutes. So I dropped off the invoice at the contractors, and then drove even further across town to sign the papers. (I'm keeping track of mileage)

Turns out they wanted ME to send the papers to the tax commission myself *humpf* and advised me to send it certified mail AND I had to attach a check for 15 smackaroos to pay the reinstatement fee. Talk about total B.S.! But the letter my young accountant attached to the new papers DID outline a strong case that it is the Tax Commission's mistake and not anyone elses, so...I decided not to ask said young man to pay the reinstatement fee. I can take that up with the state. And I will. You can't even get through to talk to someone in the commission office. They have a recording that constantly tells you their call load is high and advises you to "call back later". *humpf again*

Determined to get this taken care of, I drove home to get my business checks, then I drove to the post office and mailed that sucker off to the bleeping Tax Commission certified mail. TAKE THAT!

And then...finally...I drove back to work. I was many errands to run just to do biz in my beloved OKC. I had no idea the Tax Commission was so determined to put entrepreneurs out of business.

I'm going to call them about that 15 dollars too...that is, if I can ever get through.

Have a great weekend and DO consider a medallion or design in your floor.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Okay everybody...our second job is in full swing!!!

But's hard wood flooring centerfold.

Isn't this beautiful? It's a herringbone pattern. I have something similar in my dining room.

Okay...if you want a beautiful herringbone floor in your home...leave a message! Now back to our story.

I really love doing this. We're working for a contracting company. They called us to help them out with an insurance project they have going on. This house suffered smoke damage from a fire in March. The company that called us works with insurance claims and other renovation work.
Apparently the flooring guy they usually use wasn't doing something right. Not quite sure what the deal is there...they weren't too gabby with the details, but anyway...they call needing someone to do the floors in about a week and a half and can you start, like, tomorrow?

Turns out we could start the day after tomorrow're welcome.

Wait...I didn't get a thank you. What I got was a call from their corporate office (which, considering the size of the company has a TON of office personnel) asking me to come by and pick up a sub-contractors packet which includes a handbook and forms for me to sign.

"We can't pay you without those signed forms." Says the woman on the phone.

Um...okay, guess I'll come get the packet, but I'm also thinking..."you called us and asked us for help. I should be having you sign a bunch of stuff." But I only require one signature on the estimate sheet where they agree to pay me, so my needs are minimal. However, I am trying to come up with extra "requirements" and more forms for people to sign as we speak. (or, as I type and as you read...whatever)

I picked up the packet and I read the handbook that very evening in the comfy privacy of my dark, dark den. The introduction explains that this handbook is to outline what will be expected of me as a subcontractor for this company and what they will do for me in return.

The part that covers what they'll do for me was less than one page.
ALLLLLLLLL the rest of the pages were about what I'll do for them. It irked me a little bit.

I had my own personal flooring veteran read it. I had to make sure I told him to read ALL of it because if I know him, he'll scan the first page...flip through the rest and call it good. I needed his input on it and so it was vital he read all of it. I depend on him SOOOO much for guidance.

He read it all (yay) and told me there was nothing wrong with their "contract" (which is non-binding) and to sign it without fear. So I did.

I turned it in the next day and made sure they had all the proof of insurance they needed from my little company.

The manager I spoke to seemed interested in using us on a more regular basis. According to "The Handbook" subcontractors for this company are encouraged to bid on all projects offered. In return they are guaranteed to receive one out of every three projects they bid on. So that right there is a good thing because it practically guarantees work. The other side of that coin, however, requires that we make their jobs a priority in our scheduling.

Okay...I guess I can understand that, but I started this business out of a desire to be my own boss and this feels a bit like I'll be working for them. Oh well, I suppose every client I have will be my boss, so what the heck, right?

And again, this contract isn't legal or anything. It's just that if we don't abide by the "requirments" they can stop using us.

They also want us to leave the workplace clean at the end of each work day. No cussing, No drunkards, no druggies, no loud music, don't speak to the property owners except to say "hello" or something like that. Don't use the restrooms at the property. If a portapotty isn't set up your contractor will tell you where to do your biz. Don't try to work out deals with the property owners for other projects, don't put your sign in the yard, um...oh there was other stuff, but our crews already do all those things, so it's all good.

I'm a little nervous about this job. I can act all blase' about whether or not they want to use us regularly, but it's nice to be liked and I want them to like the work we do. I want ALL of our clients to be happy with every aspect of our work. I LOVE going to the job site to see the progress being made by our crews.
I got to meet the property owner over the weekend. The project manager was out of town and asked me to help her choose a stain color. The home owners are very nice people who've had a terrible year so far. I hope their house is restored the way they need it to be.

I have found out something about myself....I'm BIG on communication. Maybe it's because I'm new, but I sweat the details and I always want to make sure I got a piece of information right. I don't hesitate to call with new scheduling information or to ask a question of my client.

On Friday I apologized to the project manager for calling him so much.

He said, "That's okay with me! It lets me know things are getting done."


I really hope they're happy with us. Not that it will be the end of the world if they aren't, but still...

Okay...that's all on the job front.

I should have a check from this gig by the 4th of July. WOO HOO!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

So Tagged, So Cool

Okay, so I've been tagged to do this little five question survey doo dad. I'm late doing this and the rules say I have to tag six other people, but I only know two bloggers here and they've already done this, so I think I'm going to find some random bloggers and see if they'll do it.

Here Are the Rules: Answer the following questions about yourself. At the end of the post you pass on the questions to 6 other bloggers and list their names. Then write them a comment telling them that they've been tagged and ask them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know that you've accepted the challenge and refer to your post.

1. What did you do 10 years ago?
Ah...1998. I was working as a news anchor and reporter at the ABC affiliate in a northeast Tennessee market. I was wrapping up my station's year long coverage of a horrible story about a group of teenagers that shot an entire family along a country road and left them in a ditch. The family was young, the oldest child was a girl named Tabitha. She was six years old and had long blonde hair...she was small for her age. Her little brother, Peter, was 2 years old. The teens lined the family up in a shallow ditch and shot the husband first, then the mother, then the boy and then the girl. I didn't think I had been able to tell the entire story of this crime during the time my station gave me during each newscast over the past year, so I asked them if I could put together a documentary about the crime and the criminals...who these teens were...where they came from. My stations said yes, but I'd have to do it on my own time. They'd only air it for me. I worked nights and weekends to get it done. I wrote it and edited it and held my breath when it aired. It won the Tennessee Associated Press Best Documentary. I loved doing that story. Two years later I would get a job that let me do documentaries full time.

2. Five items on your to-do list today:
Oh what a hard day I have lined up. I HAVE to go out to lunch with my sweety and his beautiful children for Father's Day. (we already went, but I'm acting like it is yet to happen because it's part of my list) After a fun lunch, I HAVE to visit with said children and way adorable grandchildren. Then I HAVE to make a mousse for my sweety to enjoy. (I always make Mousse for him on any holiday, but it's especially important he have it on Father's Day and his birthday.) Oh...I also HAD to go to the flea market with him this morning just because I didn't want him to have to go alone. Yeah...he so enjoys my company. lol And then tonight I HAVE to go to his son's house for a yummy enchilada dinner. Yep...I'm having a rough day. (I love Father's Day!!!)

3. Snacks I enjoy?
I enjoy Trailmix, but trailmix has an ungodly amount of calories and fat. (They have the kind with the m & m's in it in our work vending machine) So I don't get trailmix. I um....will have a cereal bar around 3pm when I'm at work. I guess I don't really snack too much.

4. What would you do if you were a billionaire?
First I would pay off your home and your cars. (Andrea and Jaimie) I would fund any new business you wanted to undertake. I'd put aside money for my son to chase his dream of being a hot shot film maker. I'd make him get a complete education at Uof C San Diego. I would NOT fun a turn at the New York Film Academy until after he'd gotten his degree. I want him to have that degree, darn it! I'd buy some land and build a large house with plenty of room for company and office and....anything else I can think of. I would travel every chance I could with the kids. I'd establish a fund to support worthwhile causes to make the world a better place. I'd buy great art. My daughter would still have to clean her room and pay for her first car, but she'd have really great clothes! lol And I would make sure she got to attend the college of her choice. She wants to be the next Donald Trump. Okay...I could go on and on, so I'll stop. Oh...I'd buy a house for my parents wherever they wanted to live and provide for all their expenses so my mom can stop working.

5. Places I would live:
I plan to live here the rest of my life. I love OKC, but if I ever felt the need to leave, I'd try to relocate to New York City if I could find a job that would pay da bills.

Now i have to figure out who to tag. Excuse me while I go find some unsuspecting victims. bwahaha!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My First Dollar

When I last left you I had just found out that we got our first job. It was for a contractor who was redoing a very nice house. He had to coordinate a TON of different work crews, each needing time in various rooms. For my part...wood floors, we seem to conflict most with painters. They need to paint without dust flying around and well...when you're sanding a floor you make LOTS of dust.

So while we were ready to go ASAP, there were days we had to wait until some paint dried to get into a room and get our hard wood flooring swerve on. Then, after we get the floor sanded and stained, everyone needs to stay off the floor for the stain to set. THEN, after the stain sets, we have to put a finish on...usually two coats and guess what? Crews need to stay off the floors while the finish dries. That means other crews must find another way around from one end of the house to the other because they need to STAY OFF THE FLOORS!!!

But they don't. They do for a bit of time, but then they apparently get fed up and decide "eff it I'm walking where I want" they ignore the giant X of neon green tape blocking the doorways and go ahead and walk on the floors with their dusty, gritty workerman shoes.

Bleh, I say. I think I will much prefer working in a home where it's just my crews. The homeowner is ONLY having his or her floor redone, not an extreme home makeover.

Despite the orchestrated dance with men in dusty shoes, we got the job done on time and I got a check!!!

It's official...I have been paid for my first job!!! And trust me, it's a good check!

Now I just need to pay my subcontractor and then I'll have my net profit.

You know what I want to do with the money? I'm going to combine it with my tax refund (If I ever get it...don't EVEN get me started) and get a professional logo designed, try to buy a used vehicle and get said coolio logo put on the work van so that I'll at least have rolling advertising, since I can't afford TV ads yet.

I think it's a good, realistic short term goal...logo and coolio work vehicle. Yep, that's doable.

Now I need to find my next gig.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My First Job

I got the job!!!

The contractor called me Friday. He needs it done by the 22nd, but told me he couldn't let my crews in until the 19th. There was no way the job could be done in 2 days. Turns out he didn't realize that the day he needed me to start was actually the 19th. I think he freaked a little bit.

But he decided to put the push onto his painters. We were able to start sanding in the two front rooms Saturday. The painters will finish up in the great room by Wednesday. We should be done with the two front rooms by then and will be in the great room late Wednesday afternoon.

This is awesome, awesome, awesome and I'm a nervous wreck! My boyfriend and I went to the job site with the crew to look things over. These guys need little instruction. You just tell them what's needed and they get right to work. We found a couple of trouble spots, but they were easy enough to fix.

We are doing something of a combo type of job. This house has an old floor in the dining room that the owners wanted saved and redone. The rest of the area had new floor installed by another wood floor man, but he got sick and could not finish the job. So we're also doing a sand and finish on new wood floors installed by someone else. We had to be careful and make sure any installation flaws were noted before we started work, so that we wouldn't be blamed for any imperfections from installation.

My crews are onsite today...just working away.

I hope this leads to more work. I'll be taking pictures of the finished job to post here. The home is beautiful, so I think the photos will be really great to use on my website.

Speaking of my website, I've been so busy with my day job that I haven't had time to mess with it. That's a huge problem. I need to get that sucker up and running.

Oops, and I also need to get my workman's comp papers sent to the contractor. I can't believe all the little details you have to keep track of just to work!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

No Networking, No Job, but It's All Good

I'm not going to join the networking group right now. I think I need to be more established for that group than I am at the moment.

My resources shall go toward finding a great, comfy spot in the OKC hardwood flooring market, a niche if you will, and settling myself in for a long stay.

I never heard back from the contractor about the estimate I submitted. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. I am. I hope the contractor didn't take the lowest offer. His desire to match the
yet-to-be-installed floor to an existing older wood floor and newly installed pre-finished flooring will be tricky. He'll need someone with experience. The crews I'd use have that experience and they'll work on it until it's as close a match as it can be. If the contractor cuts corners in order to increase his bottom line his clients will suffer. I can see him telling them, "This is the best you can expect." When, in fact, he could have done better.

If only I could bypass the contractor and go straight to the homeowner. Oh well, that isn't the only job up for grabs. My boyfriend is excellent at staying positive and he never cries over lost jobs. He's always looking forward, focusing on the possibilities, not the lost opportunities. It's one of his best traits. He never takes anything personally. If a repeat customer suddenly stops using him, then comes back years later, he's just happy to hear from them. He never asks why they left in the first place.

When that happens to me, it will drive me insane. I'll want to know why, so I'll likely do more "feedback" stuff. I'll send out feedback requests after every job and, maybe...hmmm, would it be too much to ask for feedback from people who do not accept my estimate? I'd like to know why they didn't choose me.

That might not work though, because they'd probably give me fake answers as opposed to a real reason like, "You really rubbed me the wrong way when I met you. You come across as a tart." Or "I was just acting like I was getting estimates for my client's sake. I planned on using my cousin, Jethro, the entire time." I guess I'll just stick to feedback from actual customers.

Note: I bought myself a work belt this weekend. That should really cut back on any possible "tart" impression.

Okay...I'm off to work on my webpage.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Network News

Okay, so last Tuesday I went to my first networking meeting. Today is Tuesday and I was going to go to today's meeting too. I really was. I asked my ex to take our daughter to school so that I could go. The meetings are at 7:30 every Tuesday morning. They last 90 minutes. The rules state that you are expected to arrive on time and to be at every meeting. If you can't make a meeting you are to send a stand-in. You may attend two meetings gratis, but by the third meeting you must decide whether or not you want to join the group, IE, fork over $430.00 and start to share in a purposeful networking experience.

I love the concept. Only one person from a particular line of work is allowed in each chapter, so there's no competition. The members of each chapter....well, in the one I visited, one is a plumber, another a contractor, a realtor, a roofer, a car salesman, an insurance guy and promotional items person....etc, ...they all keep one another's cards with them at all times, so that if they run into a client who needs...oh, let's say the plumber has a customer who also needs roof work done, well, the plumber would immediately give the customer the card of the roofer from his networking group. At the next meeting the plumber writes down the referral on a little piece of paper...everyone does....they write down all the referrals they made during the week, then those papers are given to the appropriate, referred members. (I know this explanation is becoming dismal, but bear with me) These are considered warm leads. The roofer can now call the plumber's customer and say, "Hi, I'm Don the Roofer. Your plumber, Fred is a friend of mine and he says you need some roof work done."

The organization is called Business Networking International. <--link

You can go check it out because I DO think it's a good idea. I just don't think I'm responsible enough to meet the group's standards. This morning is a case in point. I did not make the meeting. I didn't wake up until 7:00am. My boyfriend said the funniest thing when I woke up. He said, "Can you make it anyway?"

Um...that would be a big N-O. Remember, the meeting started at 7:30 and was a 15 to 20 minute drive away. I mean, maybe if I brushed my teeth, pulled my hair into a ponytail, threw on some jeans and a shirt and raced out the door....maybe, but that hardly makes a good impression on a hardcore networking group that will vote on your acceptance into the chapter plus...I had to go straight to my day job after the meeting. No, I was not going to be able to make this meeting.

Besides, there's another rule that concerns me. The business that I'm promoting, ALLWOOD FLOORING, (I'm working on a website or else I'd have a nifty link to my website for you to enjoy. BE PATIENT!) in the networking group must be my full time job. Well, it isn't. I'm trying to get the business up and running so that it CAN be, but for now...I have to keep my day job, if you know what I mean. Kids need insurance and all that good stuff.
I know I would make that 430.00 back. I know I would. I could cough it up, but...things aren't exactly all flush right now. They will be. I also need to buy a truck or van for my business. Something used and cheap that I can put some signage on, put a crew in and send out into the world. I'm waiting on a tax return for that purchase, but an extremely frustrating act by my ex has delayed my ability to file my personal taxes. I swear I thought divorcing him would mean an end to his ability to screw me over financially. Alas...I was wrong. But that's another story that I might tell you on another day.

For now, check out BNI if you have a small business you'd like to grow. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

In My Estimation

I think my company has it's first job. I had to design an estimate sheet today. My boyfriend helped me work out the kinks. He has his estimate sheets set, but he writes up the numbers by hand in the middle of a preprinted sheet. I wanted mine set up to where I could insert the information on the computer and then print them out and sign them. My computer illiteracy proved difficult to overcome, but at 11:00 on Sunday night, I finally have it done and have emailed the estimate off to a contractor.
I think we'll get the job and I'm ready to celebrate making my company's first dollar.

I really like doing this. It's hard to find the time for it, but actually doing the work is fun. I liked designing the estimate sheet. I like trying to figure out the business stuff. The only downfall is that there isn't enough time in my day. Something's going to have to give. I look forward to the day when I can quit my regular job.

Nighty Night. I'm off to bed.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Get a Brazilian

"Behold the beauty of Brazilian Walnut wood floors. This wood seems to glow with any light that touches it and it is one of the hardest woods you can put underfoot. Beauty and durability? Yeah...I'll take it. Sure it costs a bit more. You're always going to pay a bit more for exotics in any arena, such as women, but this is a home investment, whether you're staying in your house until the day you die or putting it up for sale next month, good wood floors will always pay off."
Okay...that was me practicing a pitch for my new biz. How was it? Maybe I'll leave out the part about exotic women costing more, even though it's true. You get what you pay for, right? I mean, you don't want to hook up with particle board. Not that non-exotics are particle board. Non-exotics can be beautiful and durable too. I have oak floors in the entire upstairs of my home. Those floors are gorgeous, but I DO have Brazilian Walnut in my kitchen and it quite lovely...glowing the way it does.
Note to self..take pics of my floors to post here.
Legal mumbo-jumbo: The above picture is NOT from my home or from any house I've done. I haven't even won my first job yet. That pic is from the archives. but I wanted to show you what Brazilian Walnut looks like.
So why would a middle aged female journalist start a wood flooring business? I know, it's random, isn't it? I mean, wood floors have nothing to do with me. No one in my family had anything to do with them. We didn't even have them in our homes.
It's my boyfriend.
He has a wood floor business as did his father before him. At first I was like, "Wood floors, *YAWN*." But you know what? After being around him and his business, I stopped yawning. I became enthusiastic about his work and his biggest fan. I enjoy the fact that he does floors in the best homes and businesses in our city. I love seeing before and after photos....his transformations are just wonderful and I know...I KNOW that these beautiful wood floors change the financial and aesthetic value of the homes they grace. So, basically...I liked his business, but never thought about doing it myself. I mean...that's a guy thing and I'm a woman who cherishes her pedicures. Besides, he's already doing it and I don't want to compete against him...
But still...
Turns out he can't grow his business any bigger than it is right now. And I have some ideas to do things a little differently than he does. My unique twist has been enthusiastically received by everyone who has heard about it. So, with help from someone who has decades of experience in the wood flooring industry behind me (that would be my boyfriend), someone who will help get business for me (at least he said he would, but I haven't seen any business yet.) , someone who I think might be happy to pass the torch (my boyfriend is 11 years older than me) I am going to start a wood flooring business of my own and at some point, he might do away with his business (but not any time soon, I hope).
I have all my insurance squared away, I'm registered with every governmental entity that might want money from me should I ever make any and I have an accountant to make sure I did all that government...financy stuff right. I think use of the word "financy" adequately illustrates my need for an accountant.
Now it's time to get to work! I, I can't find any work. My boyfriend and I have spent so much money already, but I suppose I need to spend more for a bit of advertising, eh? And I just visited a networking group this week....networking....I've never had to network before. I'm going to have to think about this purposeful networking proposal. Especially since they would like to have $430.00 from me up front. *choke* These people are clearly serious about their networking. They are hardcore and a bit scary, but that could be good, right?
Okay, I'll take your card and get back to you about the networking.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Knock on Wood


My name is Susan. That's me and my daughter over there. I live in Oklahoma City. Now, before all you urbanites and Californians get too carried away imagining conestoga wagons and Indian mud huts, let me tell you...we only have a couple of those things hanging around these days. It's a new century for Oklahoma. We just celebrated our Centennial. We had fireworks and wagon drives (um...okay, so maybe we have more than a few conestoga wagons hanging around) we washed the Buffalo herds and got them all spiffy. Did you know you can drive through a wildlife refuge in Southwestern Oklahoma and see wild buffalo? Sometimes you even have to stop your car and wait for them to get out of the road so you can go on you merry little way down to Meers for a burger as big as a pie plate, but I digress. We had all of our Oklahoma celebrities come home to spend the actual State Birthday, with us.

Oklahoma City has transformed itself from a stagnant little city, to a rambunctious upstart. Our energy companies are pumping lots of mulah into the state's economy, medical research companies are discovering OKC...we have revamped our downtown area's entertainment district and strengthened school budgets. I love Oklahoma City. It offers me all the amenities of city life with out all the headaches like "Dallas-esque" traffic and gang violence. And the icing on the top of our "It's a brand new century for Oklahoma" cake is news that the NBA Board of Governors has approved moving the Seattle Sonics basketball team to OKC. This will be Oklahoma's first professional sports franchise in like...EVER. They'll be here by 2010. Can you believe that's only 18 months away? Good lord, I remember all the hoopla of 1999 like it was yesterday.

So this is where I live and almost as if catching my city's spirit for reinventing itself, I am doing the same. I have been a television journalist my entire life, but I have just put everything in place to start my own business in a completely unrelated field. Wood Floors.

This should be fun-ny. I'm a 41 year old woman...with NO experience doing wood floors and ZERO business sense. But I'm going to try to make this work. I'll be writing about my exploits on this blog...about the crazy things they make you do when you start a business, about trying to juggle my full time job, my kids, my boyfriend and...this business start up. Think I'm biting off too much? Maybe...maybe I am, but the new century looms and it is time for me to take a step in a new direction. The future looks bright.