May 2003

When Your Life Goes to the Dogs
WMMPA Releases Two New Standards 
by Kellie A. Schroeder

Editor’s Note: The following column, written by Wood Moulding and Millwork Producers Association executive vice president Kellie Schroeder, is a new addition to SHELTER magazine.

I woke up, noticed my dog sitting by my bed, and instantly realized the month of May was on my doorstep. The adrenaline rush that followed this errant thought catapulted me from my bed to my clothes closet in one leap. The dawning realization that more than one-fourth of 2003 had passed me by was not the motivating factor behind my chicken dance into my jeans and T-shirt. Nope, I had utilized my time well so far this year.

Fearing that I was some kind of cotton-clothed monster jiggling around in the closet, my dog barked at me, turned her tail and ran out of the bedroom. I halfway slid my feet into tennis shoes, and then hobbled into the bathroom to grab a toothbrush as I flicked on the lights. Once I had the white paste on the bristles, I popped the brush into my mouth with my right hand and whisked up the hairbrush with my left. I stared into the mirror as I was brushing and congratulated myself for keeping up on my task list. I was nowhere near completing all of the duties on the list, but I had crossed off a few big-ticket items.

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho
Rinse, spit and a ponytail later, I was run-walking down the hall. I told myself to think positive thoughts and not panic. OK, happy thought number-one: The Wood Moulding & Millwork Producers Association (WMMPA) has drafted two new standards for the industry. One is for interior primer coatings and the other is for exterior primer coatings. The standards are in the process of being adopted by the WMMPA membership and will go into effect shortly.

I began calling softly to my mutt, which is the name I give to her whenever I am vexed. There was enough soft light coming in from under the blinds on the kitchen windows in order for me to determine the mutt was elsewhere and it was still dawn outside. Elation. I could head off any unpleasantness if I moved swiftly.

I cracked open the dog biscuit jar, palmed a biscuit and dropped to the ground. In dire matters such as these, a treat dangling in front of you is the best plan of action. I began to crawl toward the living room as I called the mutt to my side.

Happy thought number-two: The WMMPA’s summer meeting will be held at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, this August. The meeting agenda has been finalized and the registration materials will be mailed shortly. Plus, the WMMPA is inviting non-member manufacturers to attend this informative program. Anyone interested in attending can e-mail me at for further information.

Shhh! The demon mutt’s tail is sticking out from behind the recliner chair. Move slowly, look friendly and speak softly.

Happy thought number-three: The WMMPA’s website,, has been completely renovated. Visitors will appreciate the user-friendly upgrades, added features and new graphics.

I positioned myself in front of the mutt, held out the treat and gave her my best come-hither look. The mutt gave me a low growl and made a fast break for the doggie door.

Staying Focused
In times of crisis it is best to stay focused, keep calm, reinforce yourself with positive thoughts and outline a strategic plan before acting. The elaborate plan that popped into my head consisted of three words: GET THE DOG! I lunged at the mutt, and as I caught her by the hind legs, I swear that I heard those infamous words, “Let’s get ready to ruuuuumble!” As we wrestled, I noticed that it was getting lighter outside. Desperation! Mrs. Branigan would be taking her morning stroll any minute now.

Each March, my neighbor plants a beautiful flower garden. Come May, nestled amongst the daisies and snapdragons you will find decorative stick people-hand-painted wooden sticks that resemble happy little farmers and milkmaids. They are Mrs. B’s hobby and she treasures each one. Unfortunately, they are also my dog’s favorite chew toys and I re-live this nightmare each spring. As I tugged the splintering stick farmer free from the mutt’s mouth, I berated myself for not fixing the backyard gate latch.

Then I remember happy thought number-four: This issue of SHELTER magazine contains a WMMPA Products Showcase Catalog, which is a terrific opportunity for my members and a great resource for buyers.

Upon inspection, the garden decoration would pass muster if not closely examined. I did the happy feet dance and started for the back door. I would return the stick farmer before Mrs. B stepped outside.

Happy thought number-five shot down in flames at the sound of a doorbell and a blue-haired old lady in a jogging suit peering into the peephole. Sigh. I shot a dirty look at my dog and I swear she woofed the word D-E-N-I-A-L before she ran to the kitchen. I opened my front door to a verbal barrage that made me think Mrs. B was probably a sailor in her younger years.

Happy thoughts number-five, six and seven: I really do love my dog. I remembered to be positive in a stressful situation and formulate a plan before acting. The trip to the “Do-It-Yourself” store to pick up a new latch for my gate will never happen.

Kellie A. Schroeder is the executive vice president of the Wood Moulding and Millwork Producers Association (WMMPA), which is based in Woodland, Calif.



© Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.