Sunday, November 23, 2014

My REG Experience

I wanted to write about my REG exam experience while it is fresh in my mind. I won't get the score until around December 9th.

Yesterday I kept a decent study pace, but nothing too crazy. I could tell I was fighting a cold and ended up going to bed around 9pm which is even earlier than I planned. Leela has taken to shameless stationing in front of the space heater (sometimes even when it isn't on so that I will turn it on for her).

This morning, Sunday, I had to be at the exam site at 8am. I woke up about 4am with a sore throat. :( I laid there until about 5:30am and then I started to get ready to leave at 6:30am. It is about an hour drive for me to the test site with no traffic. This morning it was absolutely pouring rain for my drive there and for a Sunday morning there was a surprising amount of people on the road.

Christmas Tangent: Generally speaking I vary from year to year on how I feel about the Christmas holidays. It depends on my overall outside stress usually. Regardless of how Christmas-y I am feeling, I certainly NEVER listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. In fact, I don't think I usually do even before December. 

That changed this morning. In the pouring rain I sang to Christmas music on the radio all the way to Puyallup. The last song I heard before parking was Burl Ives "A Holly Jolly Christmas." Hard to go wrong with Burl Ives. 

CPA Exam = crazy making. 

I probably shouldn't even make a "crazy making" comment with the CPA exams even if it often feels that way. Judging by some of what I read in the online forums, I think the CPA exam probably comes pretty close to ruining some people's lives. As much as I don't love waiting until December 9th for my score, I am fairly certain that score should never be immediately available.

As it would turn out, this early Sunday morning, I was no where near the sickest person in the testing room. Got to love expensive, standardized testing. People aren't going to miss unless they are probably literally dying.  You cannot bring your own tissues into your testing station. You are allowed 2 tissues at a time that the center provides. If you need more they have to throw your two used ones away and issue two more. Fortunately my first two issued ones were sufficient as I am mostly in the sore throat stage.

By the way:
  1. I am not kidding about the tissue system.
  2. I would be a bigger smart ass about this except that I really like the people that staff the Puyallup testing center. There is one girl I have worked with I think on all three of the Enrolled Agent exams. They work a hard job.

The current REG exam is broken into 3 "testlets" of multiple choice and 1 "testlet" of something called simulations (think: word/application problems). Once you close one testlet you cannot see it again. You have to close one to open the next one. Except for questions I flagged, I did not have time to review all my answers. You have 3 hours total for this actual exam.

I would say that overall there was nothing on the exam I didn't at least have familiarity with. There is definitely stuff I could have known better. The simulations were hard for me.

So in all honesty I don't know how I did. I actually felt a bit depressed but it doesn't help that it is cold and dark and I feel crappy.

I will start the next section FAR in a few days and at least start laying the foundation towards it. I would like to take FAR in February, but we will see.

Thank you for reading my REG exam ramble. It even is still a ramble in my head.

I love my neighbors, but just today I wish they would stop running the tractor.

I am tired. :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rainy Friday

It is absolutely pouring out here today. Good weather to stay inside and study.

I am in the last couple of days before the test and actually feeling pretty darn good. Not just because my sister sent me over a pound of vegan fudge in honor of this test. :)

She actually said it came too early. I beg to differ.

My study partners...have not been helpful.

Emile has taken to stationing himself in front of the computer unless the electric blanket is at his disposal of course.

Leela likes to be in the area of space heater.

I am ready for this. I know what the odds are and they are intimidating, but I also know I am well studied and have taken decent care of myself this week.

The best part is that after Sunday morning this test at least will be over. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Little Si Sunday and Meet Mickie (Charles)!

Nim made it pretty clear around 5am that if we didn't walk today that I wasn't getting peace to study, so around 10am we hit the Boulder Loop trail for a quick walk.

Talk about weird conditions. It was very cold air, but the sun would be warm in spots.

I suspect I looked similar to Nim because my lungs definitely had to adapt to the cold air quickly. It was also warmer the higher we went and cold again back at the parking lot.

I don't normally touch Little Si on a weekend, and today was more crowded than I prefer to hike, but it is a fast, nearby solution, to a pent up dog problem.

I studied a bit when we got home and then got the call I was waiting for! Meet Mickie! (or possibly Charles, I believe the name is in flux).

This cute boy is about a 1 year old and my friend Cindy is the lucky human that will share her life with him. He is on a trial visit with her right now, but based on what I saw, I would be surprised if they don't work out together.

Mickie (Charles) was taken in from Yakima (eastern WA) by a Snoqualmie area rescue called Three Rivers Rescue. WA state tends to get a lot of their rescues from the east side of the state. There is more of a free roaming dogs problem on the east side of the state and less resources towards management and spay/neuter. He is a cattle dog mix (one of my favorite breeds) and super cute, smart, and curious.

Nim was his usual self which means Mickie probably wondered what was wrong with him, but Nim played with his over sized pig while Mickie took in the environment. It didn't take too long for Mickie to want to be more engaged with Nim and Nim's fluffly. And who wouldn't want a long, over sized pig?

I am looking forward to hiking them together. 

I guess I better buckle down. I plan on taking a practice test tonight. Contain yourselves. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Needed Break

Why yes, I am taking time for a blog post. No thanks to CPA exam or Adobe.

Allow me to complain about Adobe for a moment. I am a long time Photoshop user (and actually other Adobe products) for literally years and product generations back. Today I have resigned myself to Elements due to a terrible subscriptions system being the only way to purchase Photoshop anymore. In the end this will probably be fine considering I don't build sites anymore, but way to cut off your loyal long-term customers Adobe.

As you can see I have taken to marking all over my most visual calender. Yes, first CPA exam is Sunday, November 23rd. I believe the current stage I am in is "acceptance."

That pink hanging sheet of paper includes all the things I am going to do Sunday after my test is over. I keep adding to the list.

I caught Leela this morning snuggling with a toy. Or possibly pretending she killed it which she did not.

We are in a super cold snap, but Nim and I are going totally nuts so it was jackets all around today and we spent sometime outside. For every several questions I got correct, I allowed myself to rake leaves. Ha!

My table is on fragile ground. I will get a new one next season. I wish I could say that damage was only cosmetic, but as it turns out it is not. This damage was during our series of recent wind storms.

I have power, a space heater, an electric blanket, and a horrifying amount of junk. I am ready for the final countdown to test!

PS...not loving Elements in case you are wondering, but I am sure I will adapt.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween! Love, Gypsy, Maggie and Nim

Happy Halloween all! This is probably one of my top holidays and I feel like I have done nothing...not even black nail polish!

Last weekend mom and I took the pups out for photos and a little early Halloween celebrating.

First, we went to PetSmart. They all got their matching costumes there.

Nim's head part wouldn't fit over his big giant head and neck.

And Maggie wouldn't stop talking about her feelings. Nim was a little confused.

Maggie was less chatty in this second photo. 

Gypsy, well. It is hard being Gypsy.

She had to wear a costume and cameras are trying to suck her soul. Interestingly the head part actually fit on her. She even has her little antennas up.

 Apparently Maggie was trying to say that she wanted her own photo alone too. 

After we left PetSmart we then drove to Woodinville for Cascade Kennels Haunted Puppy Town. That was nuts! I really am impressed with what they pulled off for this. That was a lot of dogs and kids in a pretty small area. It was great fun.

All of the following photos were on the Cascade Kennels facebook page. I definitely needed all my hands free at this event.

Gypsy was probably a bit underwhelmed with the riff-raff, and I am sure that a week later she is still processing the events of the day.

Maggie of course had fun and she got to see one of her favorite trainers there. I am pretty sure all of Maggie's trainers are her favorite, but you never know.

Nim and Maggie went through a maze together. Maggie peed in it. Nim did not. Ha!

It was really a great event. Several different groups were represented. You participated in the event for a donation and they all had little treats to give away. There were even animals for adoption there.

This was the first event that Nim was surrounded by kids in costumes. It wasn't until I noticed him really trying to investigate one of them that I realized it was probably a weird experience for him. He wasn't freaked out or anything, but really just seemed generally interested.

We took some time in a corner for awhile so Nim could actually calm down and just be present. In retrospect he really needed a lot more support and work on the way in.

Either before or after this photo was taken Nim jumped on the table. Judging by my vice grip on the collar I guess it was after.

The "Maggie Favorite Trainer" (Katie from Dogs in Progress) had a little agility course set up that was fun. I haven't yet taken a class from Katie, but I have seen her in other classes and watched her compete. Great handler and trainer. Another "Maggie Favorite Trainer" was supposed to be there (Pritamo from FunQuest Dog Sports), but she was out sick. Gypsy says Pritamo is HER trainer anyway and NOT Maggie's. But since Pritamo is a Nose Work trainer I was of course hoping for a scent game. :)

Both Nim and Maggie had fun on the agility course. It has been about 2 years since I have done any agility and contact work and watching Nim slow to do his contacts made me miss it a lot.

There was a bobbing for hot dog event for the dogs (I think the humans were competing on Marshmallows). This was slightly disastrous because first Nim wanted to jump on the guy with the string. The guy was actively moving the string and talking to Nim so from Nim's point of view that is where the game was. Nim was completely missing the hotdog dangling in front of him. Then when he finally did understand the hot dog part I had to fight to get the string back.

This photo of Maggie and Nim is hilarious.

I leave you on that.

I have been silent due to a dead primary computer, work, and studying, but really miss my blogging. This Halloween adventure was a nice break.

I can't believe November is starting...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hello October!

This has not been a pretty couple of weeks. I am not loving my life right now. Fortunately for you, I have a lot of pretty photos. It is also a good reminder to me that I have some really nice things still in my life.

The pellet stove is back in operation. I even went shopping for my first ton of pellets. I also changed my car oil that day. That, my friends, is called "studying avoidance."

For whatever reason this year Nim seems to like the leaf piles.

He is really into running them which has never been his thing. The last dog I had that really liked the leaf piles was Rusty.

Leela says for the record this is not snuggling. She actually backed into Emile in an attempt to move him out of her spot. It was unsuccessful.

Pretty flowers on a walk.

You can see how tiny they are next to Nim's giant head.

Mt Si going into dusk.

Happy Nim in full support of me blowing off an evening of studying.

This sunflower might be my favorite thing I have grown. It was just a tiny start that my friend gave me, look at it now.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Study Weekend & Study Motivation List

Well this is what Nim's Friday morning looked like. He took his time getting up. I think he wonders sometimes what I think I am doing so early in the morning...especially when it is dark outside.

When Nim finally did get up he had breakfast with Emile. Most mornings I try to move Emile, but sometimes I just give up. I swear Nim moves to the side to give Emile a spot.

Today I wanted to buy a new puzzle and ended up putting it back. I will add puzzle to the motivation list. That list is growing. This my motivation list to study hard and pass all these exams (preferably on the first try):

  • Road trip/camping/vacation
  • More hiking
  • Regaining a personal life
  • Less isolation (let me tell you, it was a surprising day as an introvert when I realized my study schedule was really isolating me)
  • More sewing
  • Take a new enjoyment class (writing, quilting, knitting, something entirely new????)
  • Increased dog training time
  • Hours to put into a 1000+ puzzle
  • Satisfaction of studying right the first time
  • Save money by not retaking exams

Have a great weekend! I got my new laptop today so no more excuses for me. :)