Today, I got an email from my health provider which is geared to my age group (nope I am not saying how old) and it said that playing games is good for the brain. Thank you I have enough activity to keep my brain working for a long time. I am blessed to have a great business because not only do we offer one service or business, but we offer four…printing, graphic design, direct mail and now promotional products. To say the least, it keeps us all on our toes.
Each jobs goes through our shop by a job ticket number. It moves smoothly from graphic design, to print production, into our finishing bindery an then on to the mailing department and finally to the U.S. Postal Service. If it is a promotional product it starts the same way, then into the design department and on to the ad specialty vendor for production and finally to the customer. Attention to detail is essential.
Love all of this brain activity, it keeps me young.
Today as I was on my way to the bank, I saw a truck rear end an older gentleman’s car. The young man got out, checked to see if whatever he had in the back of his truck was OK and then jumped back in the truck and drove off. The light changed just as I was turning and I was right behind him. I was able to give the dispatcher his license tag number and the direction he was heading. When I related this to one of my employees, she commented that I might have to testify in court. I told that was OK, although it would not be pleasant, but it was the right thing to do. If we don’t get involved and cooperate with the police then we are part of the problem.
It has been awhile since I have blogged and I promise to do better in the future. Thankfully, we have been very busy at Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. We just signed the biggest contract in the history of the company. We will be doing graphic design, printing and mailing for a provider for the State of TN. We were selected to bid because we are a State of TN, certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE). The State of TN encourages minority, veteran owned and women owned companies to participate in State business. We were the successful bidder
Things have been busy in my personal life as well. Ken had knee replacement June 24th and spent 5 weeks in a rehab facility. The knee surgery was successful but he is not able to get his leg as straight as he should so his therapist are working on that. We are trying massage therapy as well and he has been approved for Botox injections to relax the leg. He also has a new caregiver, James, and that is going well. He has James take him by Baskin Robbins for his favorite ice cream, rocky road chocolate. A car, driver and a credit card can be a dangerous thing.
This weekend we celebrated the marriage of my grand-niece. It was outdoors on a beautiful fall day in East Tennessee. It was great to have family from out of town get together for this wonderful occasion.
Last year Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc received our certification issued by the State of TN as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE). It seems that there is more interest in government organizations and some private sector companies in sending business to minority and women owned businesses. Now I am not resting on my laurels and expecting a hand out from someone but it is nice that there is more interest in diversity. Has it gotten me business that I might not have had otherwise, the answer is yes but not to a large degree. We have one company in Atlanta that works for the State of TN that was looking for a women owned printer and found me on the Governor’s Diversity List. We have been doing a monthly job for them now for several years. The mayor of Knoxville recently mandated that the City of Knoxville, TN give more business to minority and women owned business and we just got a purchase order from them. Our County mayor is trying to be very small business friendly. I think that the local government is realizing that small business is a big part of how the economy in any given area is doing. We may not have 500 jobs but we have 16-20 jobs and that adds up.
Since I am on my soap box, I just want to remind everyone that no matter what area of the country that you live, it is important to do business with local businesses. That little shop or store that you love may not be there next year if you don’t continue to do business with them. Yes, online printing my be a little cheaper but you cannot get the service that a local printer can give you. You can’t sit down with their team and plan your project, look at the paper, get advice for design and pick up your order, in some instances in one day.
To all my customers who continue to use our services year after year, I sincerely thank you. We have a lot of customer loyalty and after awhile they seem like family.
Miss Nancy, who is in her 70’s, works part time in our mailing department. Everybody loves Miss Nancy. She is a great cook and is especially good at making homemade jelly and preserves. A couple of years ago, she brought me a jar of her peach preserves. They were the best peach preserves I had ever put in my mouth. My youngest daughter, Joy, who lives in Brentwood, TN, was visiting and tasted some of the peach preserves on my homemade biscuits. I have been making biscuits for 46 years, every morning for 35 years, until Ken, my husband, had to have four heart bypasses. That was the end of that and now I make them occasionally. Joy said, “that is the best thing I have ever tasted out of a jar.” She wanted to learn how to make the preserves and so we formulated a plan that when we came back from our vacation in Florida, we would stop at Durbin Farms in Alabama and buy peaches. She would come to Knoxville and we would learn how to make Miss Nancy’s peach preserves. The peaches have to ripen for several days after purchase so about 5 days later Joy came to Knoxville. Miss Nancy agreed to come to my house to teach us how to make her famous peach preserves. Miss Nancy had told us to get four bushels of peaches, two for her and two for us. When she saw the amount of peaches that we had purchased, she was shocked because she was thinking boxes, not bushels so we had twice the amount of peaches that we should have had. We are thinking this is not a bad thing because we really liked the preserves. Did I mention that Joy has a baby that at the time was 12 months old. She is the peach of our life for sure. So here we are making peach preserves, the baby is crawling around and having fun. We decided that after about two hours that we know what to do so Miss Nancy leaves to work on her own peaches. I was chopping the peaches and Joy was cooking the preserves, which had to be timed for a certain amount of minutes when I glanced over at the open pantry where the baby had found a large bottle of Crisco oil. The bottle was plastic so I thought it would be fine to let her just play with the bottle. Was I ever wrong! I glanced over again and she had the lid off the bottle and was pouring it out all over the floor and on her. Joy could not stop cooking the peaches that she was timing, so I was on my own with the oil and the baby. I just pulled her little dress off and sat her in an empty peach box until I could wipe up some of the oil off the floor. In the meantime she decides that she likes the feel of the oil and starts rubbing it in her hair and on her face. We had to stop making peach preserves and give her a bath and scrub the floor. Have you ever tried to get a bottle of Crisco off the kitchen floor? Not an easy job, but finally I used Dawn dish washing detergent and it took the grease up.
We made 95 jars of peach preserves that day and we are still enjoying them. Miss Nancy has also given us her recipe for homemade apple butter that she makes in a crock pot. Another trip to Florida and Durbin Peach Farms is in the works for this summer. After tasting the peach preserves that we made, my oldest daughter, Kathy wants to be in on the peach preserve making this summer. I think we have started a new family tradition. I will be sure to hide the Crisco oil.