Sunday, March 9, 2014
Teddy will always come running when I am working in the kitchen. She knew I'd need her help. There's nothing like having a dog lick clean a bowl coated with peanut butter. It took me a whole lot less time and effort to wash it once she was done! For those Teddy fans out there in blog-land, today is her birthday. She is now six years old.
I made yogurt today with an almond/coconut milk blend. I am hoping it turns out well. Regular yogurt tastes so sour to me and I'm hoping this combination will be milder. It' will be interesting to see how it turns out. We eat a lot of yogurt in this house and while it's not a better bargain to make plain milk yogurt myself, the non-milk alternatives are not inexpensive and I'd like to see if this works.
Well, at least I got a lot of the food prep tasks completed. I'll have to post about my work week wardrobe tomorrow!
ps. blogger is doing annoying stuff with the placement of my images and I've given up trying to make the layout work. This tool really sucks sometimes!
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Our tax appointment was today and the accountant did our taxes on the spot. Without having an income property, our refund is lower. But that's OK -- we didn't owe. Our refund is going right into our checking account. There are no plans for it. Whatever surplus is in the account after bills are paid goes into savings anyway.
Jeff also looks at our investments and we always follow up on our long term goal. Our full retirement age is 67 but we can start at the early age of 63 and work part time and be just fine. We might not even have to touch our nest egg. But if we do, we'll be fine. Our life is simple enough where now we could probably file our own return, but we like another set of eyes on things and our accountant has been doing our returns for 21 years now. Going to an accountant is like going to a doctor, they wade through the fluffy advice you read on line and give a real professional view. This year we put some money in a dividend paying account for my IRA with the plan to pull from that when the rest of our retirement money was nearly gone. He confirmed that was the way we want to be doing it. We have two financial advisers and I know we're on the right track when all three of them agree. Yes, they make money -- but I also feel my money is safer for having them around.
Once our return was done we went to Ted's Hotdogs for lunch. They had a bum batch of onion rings they added to our order for free. We both had a foot-long. OOOOOh baby, it's one of my favorite things!!!
When it was all said and done, I'd count this as another fine day!
Friday, March 7, 2014
[Blogger's note... I am COLORBLIND!!!! TBG just informed me this valance is green checkered, not black!!!! OK, it still works....]
Thursday, March 6, 2014
My dinner tonight was a veggie and scallop with lemon grass seasoning over Asian noodles. Not by best effort by a long shot, but I had the veggies in the fridge so we had to eat them. Tomorrow we get a break. I eat out with my co-workers for lunch and we go out for dinner.
Well I could be doing a bit more as far as housework goes, but the main thing I try do make sure is that we don't waste money by not eating. I am also trying to put a halt to my wardrobe expansion and I'm doing that by making sure I wear what I've got.
I don't really want to have a strict existence but I want us to be responsible. If I can at least achieve meal discipline and not fall into the shopping trap, then we're being responsible enough as far as I'm concerned.
Did everyone else eat at home this week?
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
There's been a big push lately to lure more girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields. It would seem the academic and business voices in the forefront of this movement believe the problem is that girls try to dumb themselves down and that holds them back. I don't agree with that. I believe society's mixed messages and ability to only see black and white versions of technical jobs makes the fields that provide these opportunities invisible to some women entering the job force. It doesn't help that society's messages to women change constantly and are generally nonsense.
I had a meeting today to get some feedback on how the senior VP who hired me wants me to deliver meeting minutes. I'd gotten no feedback from the Project Manager I work with and I knew the VP wanted me to change my method. I agreed -- and was thankful she wanted to meet to get me started in the right direction. One thing she noticed was that I could capture everything that was said in the meeting. This is because I learned to type. That doesn't make me a secretary -- and when I started in tech, that was the biggest insult to a woman. That we'd be in a technical meeting and have topics of substance to report on and the men in the room assumed I was there to take notes! The executive who hired me used to get a kick out of keeping his mouth shut and then when a technical question was asked he'd say "Well, you'll have to ask my techie -- you've been sitting her ignoring her all meeting but she's the only one who knows what's going on."
But things have come full circle. Now having that skill helps. Not many people can type as fast as I can. While I don't need to send that amount of detail out to my colleagues after I've taken it all down, there is no question as to who said what, why a decision was made and what steps led up to it. I've always done this because the topics discussed in technical meetings are what's used when it's time to do the work.
Alas, the push to get women into STEM fields disputes the value of "support" jobs such as mine. But that is a shame. My job is completely technical. The projects I work on are nothing but IT and Tech oriented. In addition, I make a very respectable living. And my job is by no stretch of the imagination easy. Every day is a hard brain day.
Now that we're in the new millennium, I don't have to dress like a man or in a women's suit that mimics a man's. In this day and age, a woman in technology can be her real self and not worry about being judged -- and it doesn't matter if you are in a support or a programming or development position. I just wish that those who are trying to get women into technical fields can keep in mind that there are in fact some traditional/stereotypical components of work that have always done by women -- that can now be done by either gender. Discouraging girls from pursuing this type of work might keep them away from technology based jobs where they can be happy and make a difference.
Your daughter might not be a whiz in math or taking the world by storm in her physics class (both subjects I bombed in). That doesn't mean technical jobs aren't an option for her. There are ways to adapt a girl's strengths and talents that will enable her to succeed. But telling her that she has to excel in math and science if it's truly not something she can handle will translate into her being a professional non-entity simply isn't fair. Being smart and working hard counts for a lot. Girls who don't give up go further than those with a lot of brain power who are lazy.
At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
If you're going to wear wild colors, you might as well eat wild colors!
Monday, March 3, 2014
I will buy what's on sale as long as it's a plausible color. For most people, red is not plausible but since I am a natural red head, it works for me. The worry I have is that it will look fake. At least I have the coloring to pull it off.
Another worry I have is that my hair will dry out. I combat chlorine on a regular basis and that can strip hair and dry it out. I fight that by using an anti-chlorine shampoo, followed by a leave-in conditioner that goes on before I sit in the sauna for 20 minutes. It seems to help. I also wet down my hair and put conditioner in it before I pull on my bathing cap.
Yesterday I mixed up a teaspoon of color and a teaspoon of developer. Using a plastic spoon to measure and mix, I only needed a small portion of the box. The color was applied with a tooth brush to my white roots. Almost all of my trouble areas are around the temple on on the bottom layers of my hair. The white is most noticeable when I pull my hair up in a pony tail. And that's how I started. I put my hair up, put on a good coating of Vaseline at my hairline, then started brushing up from the roots. Once the roots were sufficiently colored, I pulled off the elastic and bent forward from the waist and brushed through the rest of my hair. I flipped my hair back and did some strands around the rest of my head and then let it go for a half an hour. Red hair takes longer to color so I was ready to wait and didn't bother with a test before hand.
I guess it turned out pretty well because TBG says you can't see that it was done. Of course I know the areas that got the color and the color looks fake to me. But that's probably because I have the critical eye of a red head (we can spot a fake a mile away). In any event, the box will last me for at least six months and I'll probably not need to touch up again until May. I'm also better off having done it myself because I didn't subject my entire head to chemicals which is what a professional probably would have done. It's not rocket science if you stick really close to your natural color.
The box cost me six or seven bucks and if I had it done by a pro, it would be three or four trips to the salon. My stylist is not expensive but I would still probably pay $30 bucks for the job. By doing it myself, I've saved about a hundred bucks I think. We'll see how it holds up....