About Me

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Bookkeeper, tax preparer, cat lady, blogger, organizer, mystery writer.

Welcome!

I've finally decided that I am a writer - all the other things I do just pay the bills. Someone eloquent once said that if you do what you love, the money will follow. Well, let's just see about that.

RIP Aggie

RIP Aggie
Aggie was my fifteen-year-old cairn terrier - or maybe I should say I was her 55-year-old person! She was my faithful companion, spoiled rotten and I am still trying to figure out what to do without her.

Peter the Cat...

Peter the Cat...
This is Peter the gingersnap tabby! He's seven years old and has just been promoted to Peter the Very, Very Good. He is working his way up to Peter the Great...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...
Bee is Peter's buddy. He's eight years old and has made himself right at home. I guess cats really do come in pairs or sets of three!

And Jasper makes three!

And Jasper makes three!
Jasper is our new guy - the Cat From Another Place. He's four years old and we think he likes it here - so far, so good!

Buzz about...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good Lord, it's hot!

I just got home from my weekly sauna sojourn at the tortilleria.  Thank goodness Ariela had time to pick me and drop me off at home on her way to work this afternoon.  I am not joking when I say that it is cooler outdoors in the ninety-degree summer heat than it is inside the bakery.  And all I'm doing in there is sitting at a table writing payroll checks and organizing the mound of paperwork that accumulates in a week's time.  Can you even imagine how hot it must be back where they are making the tortillas?  No wonder those women are a bit crabby and difficult to deal with.  I usually keep my cool amid all of the confusion and disorganization but I nearly lost it today when the alleged manager girl asked me to analyze how a Money-to-Mexico company arrives at the amount of commission they pay to my client every month.  She gave me this stack of papers (and I use that term loosely) that were going every which way.  This is the first time I've seen this stuff and when I started going through it, I realized that she had not matched up the daily transactions to the daily invoice from this company since implementing their system back in April and was just depositing the amount on the daily bill to the money transfer account.  There was no rhyme or reason to the mess she handed me and when I dared ask her about it, her response to my client - not me - was that the rep from this company hadn't told her to do that.  She refuses to speak English - or learn to, for that matter - and the more I tried to explain the potential problems with her lack of bookkeeping method, the angrier more upset she got.  I finally just stopped talking, crammed all the papers back into the envelope and stuck them in my tote bag to take home with me.  I decided to figure it all out later - I'll have to download the Wells Fargo bank statements for that account anyway.  And then there was the ham.  Or jamon, if you will.  My client had been out to eat somewhere and ordered a croquette that he enjoyed and decided to duplicate for sale at the tortilleria.  He sent two ladies to the store for potatoes, cheap boiled ham and bread crumbs.  About forty-five minutes later they came back, after having been to two Spanish-speaking grocery stores, and announced that there was no boiled ham to be had.  Both he and I found that really hard to believe and he said, "Did you ask for HAM?"  No, they both replied, we asked for jamon.  Their rationale was that they don't eat HAM in their country, so they asked for jamon, which in some places means bacon.  At that point, my client blew his top and I have never heard such yelling, in Spanish or English.  In the meantime, I called the Bravo Supermarket right down the street, which is heavy on the Latin clientele (since these ladies will only go to a Spanish-speaking grocery) and inquired about boiled ham.  "Yes," the lady replied, "in the meat department."  My client sent one of the ladies back out and for some unknown reason she went to Sweetbay and got ham sliced in the deli for $5 a pound.  More yelling ensued.  Not at all what my client had in mind - but at least it allowed them to get to work on the prototype.  I also discovered that you can buy mass quantities of cheap, boiled ham at Sam's Club for less than $3 a pound, but I digress.  I found a recipe for Cuban croquetas online, but the ladies weren't interested because it wasn't in Spanish - besides, they assured my client that they knew how to make croquetas.  I went back to writing payroll checks and for the next hour or so, one or another of the ladies came in to show my client each stage of the new recipe: mashed up potatoes, chopped ham - you get the picture.  A little while later, all four ladies came in with their version of a ham croquette.  I wasn't sure who was minding the store, but I was afraid to ask.  We were asked to sample the prototype while the cooks waited expectantly.  My client spoke first.  "Needs salt."  He took another bite and looked at me.  "What do you think?" he asked.  What I thought was, needs flavor - but I said politely, "Yes, a little salt.  And maybe a little, como se dice en espanol " it came to me: "ajo (garlic)."  I started to suggest cebollas (onions), but I kept my mouth shut.  Then there was some discussion as to the desired shape of the croquettes.  One of the ladies thought they should be served con ensalada - but who wants hot take-out food served on a bed of salad?  I finally suggested making them smaller and flatter like an empanada - which is more conducive to eating with one's hands.  That was apparently what my client had in mind as well and the cooks were dispatched back to the kitchen.  He shook his head.  "See what it's like?  All I get is an argument or a discussion about everything!"  I reminded him that his business is not a democracy and it's perfectly all right for him to be a dictator; he is, after all, the boss.  But that's just not his nature and things will most likely continue just as they are, whether my client is happy about it or not.  You know what they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  I have a feeling my client will just keep muddling on through...


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