Tag Archives: Small business

Feel Good 5 Friday on a Saturday Night with Take-Out …

17 Apr

After 13 months of this new non-permanent way of living hit us all at varying degrees, life lessons from different angels surfaced. Some, brand new, others reminders of lessons that needed to be held front and center. 

There are people out there that you just want to punch in the face. No amount of Zen training with Phil Jackson can help you with a jerk of that size and nature. I mean I thought they were extinct, but they’re coming out from under their sheets on full display, no need to hide anymore. Apparently. 

Then there are those whose level of kindness and empathy make you think, that there is more good out there than bad. For a moment it makes you feel that way. Everyday people stepping up and helping, when those in power were supposed to lead but failed miserably because they were too busy traveling on vacation or embroiled in some other scandal. 

Everyday people. Women. Men. Girls. Boys. Everyone who didn’t need to step up did and that made for feel-good stories about Meals on Wheels, Lemonade Stands, Children’s Hospitals, Books for Foster Care, Carpool Caravan Graduations, Virtual Music Concerts, Chalk Art, Computers and Hotspots for those most in need. The little bits and pieces adding up from your local paper and coming to light. Everyone doing a little something for someone else just to make One day out of the 13 months better.

I thought about that last year and in January. When people are busy making plans and resolutions, taking stock of their life. Small businesses occurred to me. It takes a lot to run a small business. It takes a lot to be successful, to stay afloat, to start that dream. 

While shopping at grocery stores fully masked and socially distant, I knew a lot of small businesses, particularly restaurants were hurting. Nobody knew what this was and people were worried about eating out, so restaurants sold ingredients and cook-at-home meals just to stay open. Now I love to eat, it’s my favorite. Good food, really good, tasty, and savory food. That makes you close your eyes and think C’MON NOW. C’MON NOWWWW! And then you just start dancing because that food is so good, you become a professional back-up dancer that minute. That’s what really good food does, it fills your spirit with happy. Good music. Good friends. Good food. That’s an awesome combination. 

And so while everyone was doing something little or something big, just to help make someone else’s day better. I thought I could do more than just be an advocate for voting rights, provide books for foster care youth, a little something extra to help someone out once a month. Now I got my favorite hot spots around town that I love, my go-to’s that I’ve been ordering from when I’m too exhausted to cook, but I found that if I also add a new restaurant, a new small business I can help them out at least one day. 

So that’s what we’ve been doing, picking a new small business once a month and letting a couple friends in the neighborhood know about it too.  Most people, I guess do that all the time with pictures of their food on social media, but sometimes I think it’s more about them then the actual food and chef behind the amazingness. So I try not to do it that way.

Since we’re homebodies, we enjoy home-cooked meals. But trying to help your neighborhood, your community thrive is also important. Not many people can, with job loss and loss of hours, it’s been hard for some to manage financially for the last 13 months. But we try to help someone new once a month, and so far the meals and desserts have been savory and sweet, so much so that some of these places will become my new regulars. Pho. Bavarian Chocolate Pie, Sausage and Peppers. These have been welcomed with smiles. And we look forward to new diners, drive-ins, and dives.

So for the next eight months we’ll continue helping our regular spots, but also add a brand new place in hopes that we can help them a little. I encourage you to visit any small business and help make a positive impact on their day. Spreading the good vibes, helps everyone during difficult times. It’s like playing the right song, at just the right moment. Helps you time travel and get you to a place where smiling is easy for you, happiness, good-times-noodle-salad moments, sunshine, and waves. 

Feel good vibes, keeping it better. Paying it forward

Buen Camino …

Kano — I’m Ready

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Philip Bailey & Phil Collins — Easy Lover

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Chente — Volver, Volver

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Tina Turner — Shake a Tailfeather

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King Harvest — Dancing in the Moonlight

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Seven Days, Two Guats, Twelve Boxes, and My Dad’s Taxes.

15 Apr

The Mission: Seven days. 

Seven days of what?

Hostility. Tension. Dirty Looks. Sassiness. And a lot of coffee. All due to the IRS.

Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401K)

Gas receipts, Costco receipts, plumbing receipts, accounting, pay check stubs, invoices from Diestel Farms and Zacky Farms, deductions for knife sharpening and laundry services, list of tax-deductible donations, and inventory count. Massive inventory count.

Seven days to complete a year’s worth of accounting services always culminated on April 15th. The dreadful April 15 tax deadline. Where was my Dad at 11:59 p.m. on April 15th? At the post office mailing his taxes, probably coming out on the news as one of those people that procrastinate during tax time. Years later when taxes could be filed online, where was he at 11:59 p.m. on April 15th? In front of his computer, hitting the enter button.

My Dad. The Master Procrastinator.

This year the 15th landed on a Sunday, so technically tax deadline usually extends to Monday — a “business day”. If this was the case he’d wait until Monday to file. Somehow time would still escape him.

I used to hate tax week. Every year these seven days haunted me. I’d say the same thing every year.

How come you just don’t do this every month during the year, so we don’t kill ourselves with this paperwork? This pinche paperwork! Why? WHY!

His response was always the same:

It makes it more exciting. But don’t worry next year, next year.

Lies. All lies. Come January, I’d see box one.  He was the Master Procrastinator.

Most people don’t really think about their Dads on tax day. It’s just a day that most Americans paying taxes dread. If you’re getting a refund, well it’s awesome. But if you were like my Dad, a small business owner, the month of April was an unatural disaster wreaking havoc on your sanity.

Sometimesdaily "TAX DAY"

Sometimesdaily "TAX DAY" (Photo credit: oxmour)

I had 12 boxes, each filled with  monthly binders of daily transactions and business accounting stuff for the shop. My Dad was old school. He did not believe in computerized accounting files. He did not believe in Microsoft Excel until the year 2002.

I did not major in business, economics, or accounting. But I got Guat lessons on the subject matter for over twenty years. My Dad did taxes, my uncle did taxes, my cousin did taxes, my sister did taxes, and I did taxes. We were not an H&R Block office, but we learned how to do our own taxes, courtesy of my Dad. He took a course or something and learned all the ins and outs. Ever since then it’s been twenty. Twenty years of 12 boxes with binders.

image via accountingweb.com

I’d have to complete two boxes a day for mission pay-taxes-on-time to be successful. That week was pretty stressful in The Guat household. I usually had to endure my Dad’s grumpiness and hostility for his laziness throughout the year.

Could I initiate any commentary? No. Not allowed. As part of The Guat Clan, it was my duty to help him out. This is what I did. So it was a tag-team effort. Seven days, two Guats, 12 boxes and my Dad’s taxes. Over twenty years. This was our chaotic routine.

So as I look around, I see no boxes overflowing with receipts and checks. I see no boxes filled with coffee-stained invoices. I see no calculators or No.2 Ticonderoga Pencils. I see no pay check stub book. I see no tornado of papers spread all over the kitchen table, living room, or couch. I see an empty coffee pot, nothing percolating but thoughts of my Dad. I hear no sassiness or hostility. I hear no laughter of two exhausted Guats cracking dumb jokes at 11 p.m. I feel no stress of the IRS. An accountant was hired when my Dad passed away.

Sometimes you miss the things you thought you hated. I miss the chaos. I miss those seven days. I miss those twelve boxes. I never thought I would, but I do. Mission pay-taxes-on-time no longer a go.