Archive for October 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Darvonda Goes Back to School

This week’s Lean Flow workshop reminded me of WHY I skipped class for most of my senior year! It’s HARD to be a student. It’s HARD to sit in one spot for 8 hours a day. It’s HARD to listen to the teacher with complete focus…….I’m so glad school is behind me, that’s for sure!

For 2 days straight we met up in the Board Room with 32 eager Lean Flow students from a cross section of different companies. Half of the student body was made up of a number of people from Darvonda who will be critical to the implementation of this new way of looking at EFFICIENCY in our company. Good thing we got to stop for a 10 minute break every hour because most of us are not at all good at sitting all day long. Especially since my sister Lisa was supplying us with coffee, cookies and a hearty lunch at mid day in our cafeteria! YUMMY!We are normally out of our offices to check on plants, production, customers, vendors and the like. Sitting makes you HUNGRY!

As part of our induction into the world of Lean Flow manufacturing, we were set up into 2 teams, TEAM RED and TEAM BLUE. Each team had to learn how to manufacture toy canons as quickly and accurately as possible. On the morning of the first day we were not able to go terribly fast and we were most definitely not that able to be very accurate. By the end of the second day we had improved our production speed by almost double. All we had to do was implement a few simple Lean Flow techniques on our assembly lines like “In Process Kanban’s” and such. I wouldn’t have believed it possible if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes! Can you imagine that, if we implement these techniques properly, we could possibly avoid doing ANY overtime hours at Darvonda this Christmas?! It just seems too good to be true. So, don’t forget to stay tuned……I’ll keep you updated on how well our Lean Flow implementation is going.

Now, I’d better get going because my “In Process Kanban” is telling me I’ve got some work to finish…….


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Today is going to be a very, very long day in the greenhouse. We are having a 2 day course on something called "Lean Flow". It's a way of looking at efficiency in production and so forth. Sounds REALLY exciting, right?! We start at 8 am and go till 5 pm. Did I mention that we will be doing this for TWO days? So, since I will be completely wrapped up in this STIMULATING, on the job training and will be too busy to blog, I thought I would post a few SCRUMPTDILLYICIOUS pictures of the Wee One that I've been saving for just such an occasion.

Can you believe how DELECTABLE she is?

She is unbareably ANGELIC, never making a fuss......

So tranquil and peaceful.......
She is ALWAYS so well behaved and calm........

OK, that's not really quite accurate........
So far this little darling has kept her mommy hopping.......
The pacifier and some warm loving arms are always close at hand because this little lady really requires some serious ONE on ONE attention.


Monday, October 26, 2009

It's a Pioneer Woman Party at My House!

I decided to play hookey this afternoon, but don’t let the Big Guy know! It was a big day today……I finally got to see my favorite blogger, Ree Drummond, better known as the Pioneer Woman, on the Bonny Hunt show. I just LOVE her blog and read it almost every day. When I’m sitting up in my office, looking like I’m in deep thought in front of my computer, I’m probably just reading my favorite blog. With my brow furrowed, I give the appearance of working on some extremely complicated Excel spreadsheet when in actual fact I am just checking out what Ree and her kids are up to today. She’s a farmer like me. I love the way she describes farm life. She makes farming look kinda glamorous.

So, this morning I called my peeps to invite them over for a Pioneer Woman party at my place. Too bad I don’t have more peeps to call for my party but it’s not quantity but quality that counts, right ladies? My daughter......... and grand daughter........ arrived promptly at 2pm. I popped some popcorn, brewed a pot of coffee and sat down to wait for Ree to show us how to make some “man pleasing” food. She promised that if I made her chocolate cake recipe, I would get marriage proposals from my husband on a daily basis. I figured that meant I should really pay attention since he has only proposed to me once so far.
I did my nails while we waited for her segment to start.

The Wee One really loved that red blouse Ree was wearing.

It was great fun to actually see the Pioneer Woman in action this afternoon. I think I’m gonna run down to the book store and buy her cook book later today! I think I’ll buy one for each of my sister’s too because they actually OWN a real MIXER and know how to use a cook book.

Now, I’d better get back to that laundry I told the Big Guy I was gonna catch up on this afternoon. If he finds out I was partying instead of FOLDING, I may have some ‘splainin to do!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Times, They are a Changin'

I feel like I’m getting so old these days. That's because another one of my kids has flown the coop…….been pushed out of the nest…….ELVIS has left the building! It’s quite a METAMORPHOSIS for this Mother, and I’m having a hard time adjusting. Knowing that your first born is no longer counting on you for his every need is a paradigm shift we all make eventually. Some of us do it gracefully…….and then there’s ME.

UNFORTUNATELY for Junior but FORTUNATELY for me, my oldest son has purchased a new home right ACROSS THE STREET from my place. Well, not DIRECTLY across the street but I can ALMOST see his driveway from the edge of my driveway. There are a couple of big trees in the way that block my view that I may eventually have to ask the Big Guy to take down. But, it’s only a short walk to Junior’s place and I find every excuse in the book to stop by for a visit.

The day Junior got possession of the house he gave me a call. “Hey Mom, do you wanna help me paint my living room?” Of course, my response was “I’ll meet you at the PAINT STORE!”.

Within minutes we met at the local Home Depot whereI was surpised to see Junior waiting patiently for me in his Canuck Jersey. For the sake of any American blogger peeps, the Canuck's are our HOCKEY team here in VANCOUVER. They may not win too many games but we love them all the same. And it didn’t take long for me to realize that Junior wanted to paint his living room in the colors of his favorite hockey team to make it a real “MAN ROOM”. With a slight feeling of trepidition about how this blue and green theme would actually turn out, Danny Boneduce...... and I enthusiastically jumped in with both feet. Dark blue for the lower portion of the wall and a dark green stripe above it. Well…….it’s not MY house so why not go for it?!

We painted till the wee hours of the night. The dark blue required a number of coats. The tape did not stick as well as we had hoped and some bleeding occurred, regardless of our best efforts to avoid it. STRIPES are difficult. Does anyone out there feel my pain?
Needless to say, Junior couldn’t understand what I was stressing about. His friends that come to visit are more interested in the flat screen TV than in the less than perfect paint job, right fella’s?!

I also had a TON of FUN shopping with Junior for his furniture and found this gorgeous little coffee table at London Drugs, of all places. It was a house warming present from the Big Guy and I. Imagine my surprise when I checked out the Pioneer Woman’s blog the other day to find a photo of this SAME coffee table on her blog. Now how COOL is that? Here are her daughters standing in the lobby of their hotel………right beside OUR coffee table! Do I know a nice coffee table when I see one OR WHAT?

Anyway, we had a great time getting Junior’s place all done up! I checked up on him the other day to see if he was keeping things clean and I found that he was busy in the kitchen…….making pizza dough from scratch……and feeding his brother and cousin some home made soup for lunch in his “MAN ROOM”. OK…….it was Junior’s ROOMATE that was making the pizza and feeding the boys but…….a mother can always DREAM!

Are you curious now as to who IS Junior’s roomate? Why, who else could it be but our beloved CHEF and chief logistics guy at Darvonda? I guess he wanted to live close to work so he would have a short commute. I am definitely reaping the benefits though. Believe it or not,he even brought me fresh baked PECAN PIE for Sunday dinner dessert! Am I one lucky MOM or what?!
Don't forget to stop by Between Naps on the Porch to check out all the other Metamorphosis going on out there in blog land this week.


Friday, October 23, 2009

What Would I Do Without Microsoft Excel?!

This week I've been very busy trying to finalize all the little details that need to be worked out for Spring 2010 which means a LOT of time spent at the computer. Fortunately my office has just been revamped so it's a comfy place to work. Even the Big Guy got excited about the whole office re-do and splurged on a bunch of TROPICAL plants from IKEA. He actually drove to IKEA one night this week while I was out and bought all this fantastic greenery to dress up the room I just have to make sure I don't kill them. I do NOT have a GREEN THUMB with house plants. Shame on me!

Now check out that purple binder on my desk. See how stuffed full it is with papers?! That is my entire plan for next Spring. I'd love to show you all the AMAZING things we are doing for next year but, alas, it is TOP SECRET.........this is as close as it gets to revealing my designs for 2010.

But as I was working on my planning this week, I suddenly realized how handicapped I would be if I didn't know my way around a spreadsheet. Well, to be honest, I only know the basics of a spreadsheet but when I have something a little more complicated to do, I just call my son-in-law over from the office across the hall. He is a MAGICIAN with a spreadsheet.
As I was going through my planning binder it thought to myself "What on earth did I ever do before Microsoft Excel?!" I mean, absolutely EVERYTHING I do is done in Excel. I love all the amazing things this program can do for me. It's even able to do complicated math equations that I would normally not be capable of doing on my own. I do my costing breakdown, timing breakdown, color breakdown, quantity breakdown and a whole bunch of other things with my Microsoft Excel! Seriously, I am HOOKED on SPREADSHEETS!
Can you tell that I'm suffering with HOOKED on FRIDAY's withdrawl? Oh why did Hooked on Houses stop with Hooked on Fridays?! Is anyone taking up the Hooked on Friday torch? This addict is looking for a fix......