Friday, October 29, 2010

Double Nickels

Thursday was my 55th birthday, and I had sort of thought about my blog post for the day. But then, as we know, shit happens (or compost happens as we say in our business). At 7:15 that morning I received a phone call from the compost center telling me that during the night someone stole one of our semi trucks and two of our walking floor trailers. Really? How does that happen? So the morning was spent talking with insurance companies, the police, etc.

Then good news came in the form of a phone call from an alert truck company owner who saw our truck parked across the street from his business in north St. Louis city. He put a call into his dispatch with our DOT number, and found out that we are the owners. He then called our facility with the location of the truck. Our guys call the St. Louis city police to check on it. Here's the interesting part - there was a flat bed trailer hooked to the back of the truck, and it had a large spool of stainless steel on it. Not our stuff! It ends up that this trailer and metal were stolen Sunday night from a business in Illinois. Weird...but he got his trailer back and we got our tractor back. So I did get a decent birthday present after all, which is great because then Jim and I headed off to boot camp for our usual Thursday night torture...I mean, workout.

Friday we drove down to Branson to be with my sister, brother-in-law and nephew for the weekend. On the way down I got a call from our site manager who told me that the two walking floor trailers had been located and were in East St. Louis. They had been found in the parking lot of the Casino Queen, and their security had them towed because they didn't belong there. They are now impounded as they are part of a crime spree where trailers are being stolen and sold for the scrap aluminum. I have to dig out a lot of documentation before they will release them to us on Monday. But all's well that ends well, and this ended very well for us.

So I have been able to relax and enjoy our stay down in Branson, where the weather is fantastic and so is the company. Double nickels might not be so bad after all!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Show Me the Blog

On Saturday I attended the first ever Show Me the Blog conference. I first heard of it through a posting on Twitter, appropriately enough. At the time there wasn't much information about the meeting on the internet, but as it was the last day to qualify for the early registration fee I went with my gut and signed up anyway. Am I ever glad that I did! Danyelle Little ( put together a fantastic program. On Friday evening conference attendees and speakers gathered in the space of St. Louis Coworking on the 11th floor of the Shell Building downtown. Coworking is an interesting new concept, offering desk space (or just space to hang out) to entrepreneurs looking to get out of their home offices. It was great to be able to meet some people before the conference, and to be able to see what Coworking has to offer.

Saturday the room at the Maryland Heights Community Center was packed and humming with energy. Throughout the day we learned the secrets of successful bloggers on how to have a blog that is fun, profitable and interesting without sacrificing who we are as creators of the blog. The recurring theme seemed to be "Keep it real". The entire day was fantastic, and I very much enjoyed meeting all of the other bloggers and hearing about their stories. It was so odd to be in a room where everyone was constantly on their smart phones and/or laptops. What would normally seem rude in a conference was in fact encouraged. Attendees were tweeting about the speakers (and some awesome boots!) and the contacts they were making, so others who couldn't attend sort of felt like they were there. How cool is that?

So kudos to Danyelle and the other great people who helped her as she walked out on a limb to bring a conference of this magnitude to St. Louis. Can't wait for the next one!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The "New" Guest Room

The painters arrived as promised on Thursday morning and began their prep work while I ran out to pick up the paint. I wanted to make sure I purchased the right finish for the woodwork and walls, so I waited to consult with the painters. After all, Porter Paint is just down the block from us. Jim assured the painters I would be back within a half hour with the paint. I joked that if I was not back within 15 minutes, they should call the cops. Famous last words... Off I went without my cell phone because, gee, Porter is right around the corner. I arrived at the paint store only to be told that someone had come in yesterday and purchased ALL of their cans of the woodwork paint that I needed. Seriously? It's white paint, dude, how can you be all out? He graciously called the closest store to see if they had a gallon for me. So off I headed north towards Clayton in rush hour traffic. With no phone to call the painters and let them know I would be delayed.

At the Clayton store I waited in line (of course there was no one else at the Webster store when I was there), and gave the gal the yellow paint can while telling her that they were holding the white paint for me. She looked at the yellow can and said that it would be 20 minutes for her to come up with the formula as their numbering system had changed. I bought the yellow paint from them a couple of years ago for the conservatory. I told her I couldn't wait an extra 20 minutes as I have 2 painters at my house standing around with their thumbs up their butts since they didn't have the paint I needed in the Webster store. I asked her to find an existing paint that came close to the same color and I'd just go with that. It didn't need to match exactly.

Once back with the paint the job went smoothly and the painters were done by 1:00. Friday Jim grabbed one of the young guys from his office and they went to pick up the bed and mattresses. They got it all set up in no time, and I put on all the new bedding. The room looks great, and now I have to ask myself if we made the room too comfortable. Will the company ever want to leave?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Nursery

The small bedroom is vacant of all furniture now, awaiting re-decorating. I was thinking back to the last time we did much of anything with that room. It was 1991 and I was pregnant with Katie. We painted the walls a very soft green and set up a crib, antique dresser that doubled as a changing table, and added the rocking chair that Jim gave me for Mother's Day that year. Four sheets of antique paper dolls were matted and framed and hung on the wall. A lot of rocking, story telling and singing of lullabies took place in that room. Eventually the crib came down and Katie graduated to the "big girl" bed, which remained in that room until we carried it upstairs.

We purchased a new full size bed last week, and it is ready to be picked up. We decided against trying to hassle with the antique wrought iron bed again. The painter is coming on Thursday, and I need to select a wall color. Today I picked out a quilt for the bed, and that will help me determine what color of yellow paint I want to go with for the walls. Fearful of the bed bug invasion, I immediately threw the quilt and matching pillow shams into the dryer. Supposedly putting any newly purchased garment in the dryer for 20 minutes will kill any bedbugs and their eggs. Ewwwww!

As for the roll top desk in the entry foyer? It went on craigslist last week, and we sold it for asking price last night. That was easy. Anyone need a wrought iron bed frame?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

St. Louis Shuffle

We have been shuffling furniture around in the house. Katie took her trundle bed to college, so we needed to take the twin bed out of the small bedroom and move it upstairs to the third floor so she has a place to sleep when she comes home. Then we found out that we are having additional company for Thanksgiving, and with Andy and Megan here we will have no bed for the other guests. So we took a second look at the small bedroom and decided if we moved the dresser and my sewing machine/table up to Katie's room, we could set up a full size bed in the that bedroom. But first we had to move the roll top desk/chair and vanity table/chair out of Katie's room.

We now have a roll top desk in the entry foyer (anyone need a desk?), and a vanity table in the basement. The other items fit in Katie's room just fine, though I'm not sure she would agree. The small bedroom is now a blank slate. With nothing in there, it would be a perfect time to paint the room. And we are not sure what to do about a bed. We have an antique wrought iron bed frame in the basement we could use. The problem with it is that it was made during the time when people only had a feather mattress on their bed - no box spring. When you put both on the bed you practically need a step stool to be able to get into bed. Should we try to find a modified mattress/box spring or just start over with a new bed? Decisions, decisions...