Saturday, November 29, 2014

First Snow of the Season

With much annoyance I welcome the first snow of the season. Nim was very surly in it this morning so it was hard to get photos. He did not like the heavy rain yesterday at all, so this snow is a welcome changed for him and made him playful.

I will try and get better photos later. It is snowing heavy again right now and just a bit too dark outside. Sadly this means we won't be doing the Santa photos I was going to try today. I would have had to go to Spanaway (a little over an hour drive away on a good day) and the roads are gross.

Since I am home bound I might put a binding on this quilt today. I finished quilting the top last night.

And as usual, I am studying. I have started studying for the FAR section of the CPA as if I have passed REG section. I will deal with it later if I haven't.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving all! It is rainy and stormy, but pretty too. I was surprised by this tree in my own yard. I don't think I have ever seen it turn this color.

So my friends got my rear on the trail this morning. It wasn't pretty. I had a small tree worth of tissues in all pockets and I was huffing and puffing the entire way up.

Nim did not care about my issues. I think he is singing Burl Ives in this photo with his heart voice. Don't you?

He got to hike with new friend Kelsey. Like all dogs, she was mystified by Nim's happiness and his love of noises and his mouth. I am sure she will get over it.

She didn't want to sit too close yet. :) The photo doesn't show it well but she has a beautiful coloring. More white in her coat than I normally see.

On the drive home I stopped at the grocery store. I wanted three items:
  1. Hot chocolate
  2. Bagel
  3. Fully cooked Turkey

For some reason I just assumed everyone would be home with their families. I was wrong. They were all in the store with their families. They were all clean and nicely dressed. I was stinky, muddy, and haggard. It was one of those unfortunate times I was aware of my misstep. According to the girl magazines this is exactly why I am still unmarried at 41. :)

My sister and I often have a discussion on this very topic:

Me: I need junk food
Sister: Go to the store
Me: I have to get dressed then (more specifically I usually need to put on pants better than sleeping ones)
Sister: It is North Bend
Me: What if I meet my future husband?

Anyway, if you read the girl magazines you would know that going to the store looking like you just rolled in the mud with your dog is a "no." Probably even in North Bend.

But hey. I got my hot chocolate and bagel and Nim and his cats got their turkey. Nim talked about his turkey the entire drive home.

I did actually cook yesterday. This is the Festive Kale Salad and it is good stuff. I would probably go even heavier on the olives. It is such a strange mix of sour, sweet, and salty. I was particularly excited that I could actually taste it.

I also made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies. I can't taste them as well, but this does not stop me from eating them because they are cookie and from what I could taste they are good. 

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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.