Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Originally posted on Facebook - August 1, 2017 - 001 Unrecorded Income

I've been looking at parts of our yard where we have green banana trees and where mangoes fall and I have been wondering about our unrecorded income, our yields and our movement of assets on the property...

Sometimes we give away mangoes, green bananas and we keep no record of it. If I were dealing with things from the view of keeping proper records, I would definitely keep a record of either the weight of the green bananas, they are really big in this harvest or the number of mangoes which were given away and to whom...

So on a small scale, the "gifts" may not account for much and while they are unrecorded and the monetary value is not assigned, they impact on the quality of life of our neighbours and others..

Other aspects of home care for which records may need to be maintained relates to:

The creation of mulch,

The movement of soil (loaded with mulch) from one area to another..

For example in one area we have about 3 bird pepper trees which are fairly large and are in dire need of some care... Today, while passing an area where some green fig trees had been left to decompose I noted the looseness of the soil, the color and decided to scrape some of the "top soil" from the ground and place it on one or two of the pepper trees in an effort to nourish the bird pepper trees. They sprung up during our tenure, btw. 

We have never given much thought to the creation of mulch as we leave the fallen trees to decompose and nourish the trees which are in existence and we move on..

So while I deal with my guilt over being a terrible recording person and I start thinking about what type of software would tell me what I need to track with respect to yard management, I will leave you all with a link to Wiki on Gross Domestic Income where the concept is documented..  Here is the link to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_income.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Originally posted on Facebook - Changes to a name

In the field of work, some persons have professional names and personal names which they use as the occasion fits and as their world changes...

One example of the above occurs when a single female joins the world of work, she may be known by her maiden name and after marrying , she may:

Add her husband's name to her surname via a hyphen or
Drop her surname and use her husband's surname as hers.

Sometimes she may do neither and may continue to be known by her maiden name.

Given that I have a professional life and a personal life and I wish to develop both, I will having a professional name and a personal name...

Thus persons with whom I have attended school, will know me by my professional name and there are persons who will know me by my personal name...

I will be developing one more Facebook page, however given that there may not be much FB content in the personal page, I will leave the name of that page to be a mystery for now....

I will continue to post on this page as I enjoy most of what I read and share such as the weather, so there will be some info from time to time.

Take care...

Originally posted on Facebook - Learning Tip 2017- 07- 27 -002 - Emergency Funds

As mentioned in "Learning Tip 2017- 07- 27 -001", I have taken a few career breaks during my work life and used the time to develop either skills or knowledge. One of the cross overs which happened was the use of planning in gardening:

Close to a year before I was to take one of my career breaks, due to some changes in the home, some freeing up of space in the home and the garden, with the intention of providing food for the family or to support the home in some way, I started planting...

This skill, along with grace from God, a good yield from the cassava allowed me to package the extras from the harvest and store them in the "freezer" section of the refrigerator...
These packets of cassava, can be likened to emergency funds or emergency rations in several ways...

1 We purchase canned foods for our "emergency bag" for use or for holding during the wet season when hurricanes are expected... Some of these are used or some are held for the duration of the storm...

In using my planning skills, the packets of frozen cassava now form part of my emergency rations as they can be taken down and boiled should there be a need for food... One of the benefits of cooking cassava is that it can be warmed in water over and over and eaten as needed.

2 Knowing that there are different needs for "emergency funds" at times and at short notice, I may not be able to meet all of these needs, going forward I will be relying on the produce of a variety of plants to supplement my funds and form part of my emergency funding... There will be:

Cassava which, God willing can be harvested on a rotation basis. Also given the weather, it can be planted out of season and yield either branches in abundance or crops... Sometimes, there may not be any grass to place around the soil which would act as mulch. Then you may have to become resourceful and use the peels from the cassava around the new plants.

Melongene, which when planted near to the cassava, tends to yield produce after the cassava, is a good late producer.. This late yield may be due to the freeing up of the resources after the cassava has yielded as the banana peels are now applied in a concentrated manner to those plants....

Beans... This may be one of those plants, which can be used as one of the essential elements in a Joint Venture. Ventures may be entered into with persons with wire fences. These persons can rent out their fence for a share of the crop and or increase their share in the venture due to the provision of peels, time and care of the crop.. This year, due to some flux, I have several young bean plants as I "sprouted" the seeds, rather than rely on them to be carried forward. With one working fence, I am now in need of partners as I cannot see myself selling the seeds, knowing the possible produce which may be obtained....

Bodi - The yield on Bodi, may not be as quick or bountiful as the yield of beans, however it can provide a change in your menu and or your income as you may wish to sell the produce. The earnings may be reinvested or saved in the Gardening fund, rather than the Emergency Fund.

Ochro - The output on ochro can be bountiful and the produce can be sold as persons may not use all that they harvest.

Pimentos - These plants can be bountiful. One of the benefits of harvesting pimentos and using them is that the seeds can be replanted... This plant, also can be grown out of season, thus you can have a year round supply of these crops.

So if there are persons with fences, who are willing to enter into a Joint Venture, please check me out via FB post or message. Btw, my mother has pimento plants and she would be willing to enter into a Joint Venture....

Originally posted on Facebook: Learning Tip 2017 -07-27 - 001

Having taken career breaks at several times in my work life for various reasons and having used the break period to develop myself by either :

Learning about an industry or the performance of a company or

By learning through practice about some area of interest, I decided to share some information on the outcome of learning on one of the areas, which remained with me, which is gardening or growing crops for consumption. Here is some information on one of the areas of learning which remained with me or which I was able to grasp as a result of my skill and or knowledge in another area:

Skill development - This can take some time in some areas while in others we may achieve results almost without challenges or difficulty.

Also skill development may happen or not. This may also be due to known or unforeseen circumstances and/or understanding of the impact of same.

A good example of the above is growing tomatoes versus growing cassava...

One of the main differences in growing cassava and tomatoes is the use of water as a medium to stimulate growth...

Cassava, on top of the soil or in close proximity to the (ground) surface can absorb a fair amount of water, especially in the dry season.

One of the things which a person who lives in rocky places or a place with stones in the soil, who grows cassava can tell you is that it can be hard work when harvest time comes..

There are soils which can absorb the water and which will not yield the produce easily.

One of the ways to work with this type of soil is to place the cassava stalk on top of the earth, place dried bushes on top of it and to water it daily in the evening...

Of course this is a good fire prevention tool as the soil will be damp in the evening and you will get a good night's sleep after the exertion of lifting the buckets of water and carrying them to the area to be watered and from the coolness of the earth which surrounds the place of habitation.

Tomatoes, on the other hand, may need a traditional approach to master or to obtain crops and may require food for thought..

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Marketing Tip - 20170426 -001 Expanding Market Share through Offering New Products ( A variation of Anson Product Market Matrix)

I've been looking at the Walmart website and was so happy to see Cornmeal in large sizes at decent prices, lots of cookie mixes for about US$2.00 each and peanut butter specials .... However here is a list of items which I would love to see on the site:

1 Ackee in tins or cans ( Jamaican product ~ can work as a substitute for eggs)

2 Richmond Valley Unsweet...ened Cocoa Powder - Yes Hersheys and Swiss Miss are great, however there is something about Richmond Valley that brings back the memories of the teenage years.

3 Pre Cooked whole or chicken halves. (Some supermarkets in T&T offer halves and quarters at reasonable prices)

4 Condensed milk in large cans ( Rainbow offers a large can of condensed milk with the equivalent of the contents of 3 regular sized cans for about TT$13.50 in select supermarkets)

5 Ethnic Spices and flavourings which are sourced from the Caribbean at Caribbean prices... Think Curry, Saffron, Herbs de Provence (Brands such as Chief, Bees)

6 Solar powered water heaters for small and medium sized homes as a partial alternative to indoor water heaters... These have been available in Barbados since the 1990's and will lower some of those bills... Most of them have been created for use in the Bathroom....

As soon as some more products cross my mind, I will update the post.. Read and enjoy...

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Essay - July 2016 - Marketing Artie's Patties


Artie’s Patties is located on the third road on the left on entering Diego Martin and is in close proximity to St. Finbar’s R.C. Church, St. Anthony’s College and several small businesses which are located along the same stretch of roadway. All of these organisations serve approximately several hundred persons within a week.

On the other side of the road, that is the entrance to the street on which Artie’s Patties is located, there are a gas station, a police station (West End Police Station) and two roads with at least three lanes moving in both directions which access Diego Martin proper and Petit Valley.  Over the years, these main roads and highways were expanded and reconfigured to allow residents with and without vehicles better access into and exit out of this general area.

In addition to the aforementioned organisations, there are several multi storey apartment units within a five (5) mile radius of Artie’s Patties, some of which were constructed at least twenty years ago.  Also there are at least twenty (20) housing developments with several apartment units within a twenty five (25) mile radius of the Diego Martin and Petit Valley area. In addition to these there are numerous yachting facilities in the Chaguaramas area.

Outside of these areas, Artie’s Patties are known by party organisers, families with large numbers of children and grandchildren, groceries and road side vendors. (To confirm via marketing survey, and subsequently via survey monkey on FB page).

Strengths and weaknesses

 The brand is known for several products which may be produced internally and or locally. However the new areas of operation may not be known to the public or those who may patronise the store. To confirm via marketing survey and subsequently via survey monkey on FB page).

The new areas of operation appear to be still in the embryo stage and given the nature of the business in which the company operates, assistance may be needed to “market” the company, the products and the lines which are being offered. (To obtain financial information to understand the profitability of the various lines of operation of the business)  

 Compliance with Laws and Legislation – In light of changes over the years in laws and legislation, challenges in the food industry internationally, be it food recalls, the advent of small businesses which are also in the embryo stage of operation, there may be a need to perform the following:

                     i.            Ensure that the company is complaint with the Health and Safety guidelines with respect to handling of food. This area includes:
Ø   Display of goods such as pre made food items and raw produce  which are received from vendors
Ø  Pricing of repackaged dry goods to comply with the VAT Act of Trinidad and Tobago and the Food and Consumer Standards
Ø  Pricing of patties and other meats to comply with the VAT Act of Trinidad and Tobago and the Food and Consumer Standards as to quantities, prices, ingredients, weights, sell by dates, supplier and address of same.
Ø  Drills, Muster Points - Occupational Health & Safety – Food Badges, registers and so forth.

                               ii.            Compliance with other Statutory Requirements, such as the Board of Inland Revenue, National Insurance, Ministry of Health

a.       New Markets and
b.      New Products
c.      CARIRI – Use of testing and findings of the body to support the legitimacy of the goods
d.      Bureau of Standards – ISO Compliance
e.      Information Technology and the benefits to the company such as Linx, Facebook,    Accounting Software, scanners
f.    Documentation of Processes both those that are in use and those that are being developed so that there are savings for the company, retention of knowledge and adoption of best practices.

copyright: Jennifer N Bailey

The River - A photo Essay from July 2016

It was one of those days when I was trying to decide if I could continue to behave as a teenager or what I could do to become a little more grown up.

I walked towards the bridge gingerly, as there was a slight incline in the walkway,  some cracks in the concrete pavement, along with some missing rails on the barrier. This was not a good place for brisk walking or for stumbling….

Once I got past the main piece of the barrier with the missing railing, I placed my hands on the uppermost piece of the railing and leaned over.

In the previous weeks I had seen pieces of debris, some partially submerged, some lying close to the surface of the water, all of which were differently sized and coloured. 

Some of these pieces appeared to be interlocked, either due to the shapes of the parts or the composition of the items. These pieces of debris seemed to slow down the flow of the water and trap other pieces of debris. The depth of the river could not be ascertained as the water appeared to be dark. This may have been  due to absence of  light in the early morning or due to the build up of silt in this last section of the river.

This river is wide and leads to the sea. Over the years the banks have been reinforced with concrete to protect the land on either side of the river. In close proximity to the river bank, higher up the river is a sub district water processing plant which has the option to release water into the river. However, this may not be done as this plant is one of the main processing areas in the district and to lose water might mean reducing the flow of water to some of the consumers in a valley where rain has been inconsistent for some time.

This morning though, some of these items had been removed. Although there had not been any rain in the night before or in the early hours of the morning which would speed up the flow of water and bring more debris into the area, there was little to no movement on the surface of the water.

Then, I spotted a small set of ripples in the middle of the water just where the sun was beginning to shine through.  These ripples then started moving quickly in the direction of the bridge.

I waited, trying to see what was causing the ripples in the deep blue section of the river. After what seemed like an eternity, the ripples separated into small sections of movement along the water.

In the area below the bridge, where the sunlight was brightening the water, I saw small to medium sized fishes swimming close to the surface of the water. It was a sign that there was hope for the dwellers on both sides of the river. After all, fish in the fresh water meant no mosquitos

copyright: Jennifer N. Bailey
email: jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com

I am now reading Oct. 2016's AB' - Technical Update by Keith Nuthall - Swiss Tax Transparency

I am now reading Oct. 2016's AB' - Technical Update  by Keith Nuthall - Swiss Tax Transparency 

This Technical page consists of small posts on tax matters which  can impact on the world in one way or the other. 

This is important for us in Trinidad as Trinidad and Tobago has a Provision of Relief Treaty a.k.a. Avoidance of Double Taxation Treaty with Switzerland and before banking was known to me "Swiss"  was associated with chocolate. Eventually, the word Swiss,  became associated with Nestle and milk for me.

However, here  is an extract and details on links to articles for further reading. 

 "OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax purposes.... has judged St. Lucia to "be largely compliant" with the OECD's standard for exchanging tax information with foreign tax authorities on request. (OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

There were other countries and other content in the article, however I am focusing on providing information on St. Lucia.

Disclaimer: I have not read all of the updates on the OECD's  Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax purposes, however I have disclosed the above in light of St. Lucia being a member of CARICOM. 

If you are interested in reading more on the articles which are covered on the page, here are links:

copyright: Jennifer N Bailey

I've been reading: ACCA's Accounting & Business's March 2017's issue - Integrated Reporting

I've been reading: ACCA's Accounting & Business's - Integrated Reporting which is listed in March 2017's issue which I received on March 17, 2017

At this time, my mind is juggling the how to's with respect to "The how-to of integration" (by Sima Varsani and Vicki Wright - consultants at creative agency and consultancy Flag) and the practical concepts of copyright and use of another person's work.

In light of the above, let me cover a few of the essentials:

Layout and display

The article is laid out over three (3) pages in the magazine. There are three (3) fairly large diagrams, one of which was extracted from Duchy of Cornwall annual report (the article  in AB indicates that  the diagram  was reproduced from page 19 of the report,). I have linked the post to the article which contains some of the information which is included in the ACCA's article: http://duchyofcornwall.org/assets/images/Duchy%20ARA%202016.pdf. There are two diagrams in the report, with the second one being closer to that which is included in the ACCA's article.  By the way, the Duchy's financial year ends in March, so another report will be due soon. The language of the first diagram provides insight into the style of writing which can be used in the Integrated Report. The language can also be linked to key performance indicators (KPI) which are everyone's business in a business.

The second and third diagram's will take some more "thinking through" for me to absorb what is being communicated as I may not be as familiar with those industries, concepts and focus as I did a little bit of reading on the information which is captured in Diagram 1.


There are at least four (4) references inserted into the article which allow persons  who are practicing writing in another style to practice and remember that style of writing. The references also add a bit of depth to the article in that you can read the reports, develop knowledge and assess the information which is being presented, thus my MBA skills are coming in handy. See the end of the post for details on the links.


The businesses which are discussed operate in the fields of information technology, environmental management and farming and water. These businesses also operate in different countries and one may be classified as a multinational in its trading activity.

One of the other important areas which struck me in the article was the use of the term capitals and more specifically the six capitals (financial, manufacturing, human, social and relationship, intellectual and natural) which are deemed to be of use by a business and which may be necessary to operate successfully and to create value. 

So again,  bearing in mind the above with respect to  copyright and use of another person's work, here are the references which are included in the article if you would like to read up on the topic of Integrated Reporting or on the businesses which were referred to in the article:


copyright: Jennifer N Bailey
email: jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com

Monday, 6 March 2017

Perplexing Things - Part I - March 6, 2017

As indicated in my Curriculum Vitae, I have had many interests (over the years) with most of them occurring in my work life where I was exposed to:
  • Taxation - which had its own level of materiality as compared to auditing,
  • Corporate secretarial records  - where there were different due dates and information which dealt with other parts of legislation,
  • Accounting - which had: end of year inventory counts, financial statements, schedules and notes to support financial statements,
  • Audit - reports, statutory audits, audit planning, and plans, reviews, client meetings, audit files and records,
  • Human resource management - annual performance plans, performance reviews,
  • Consulting - projected cash flow statements,
  • Payroll - end of year close, monthly payroll, statutory payments
  • Internal audit - rotation plans for testing of systems.
So in my last position at the R.C. Archdiocese of Port of Spain - Parish of Maraval, as one of the responsibilities of  the role, I visited the church where I spent some time looking up at the stained glass windows and there was one, to the back of the altar on the right side of the wall which bore the name Alvarez and the period of his life. Having worked with a lady whose surname and geographical history were similar, I was like, o.k., I need to stop and look at things.

To put a little more background to the post, here are three (3) factors which impacted on my "being" at that time;

  1. Coming from CREDI, where there was talk of "Tracer Studies". research, papers and such which were necessary for a Catholic Tertiary institution to have as part of its documentation and focus, there were lots of bridging concepts on my mind... How to let the two institutions go forward together.
  2. Understanding from starting my Master's degree, that research was a necessary component of attaining some Masters and doctorate degrees (which priests need to move up in the hierarchy of the church) and I may have had to rethink my choices with my Masters.
  3. I wanted to document the sacramental information in a software and with  things were getting in the way, I started documenting with gusto, some sacramental information relating to Baptisms, First Communion, and some confirmation records depending on the age of the person whose record was  being entered.
After working on some of the burial records as it related to plots in the cemetery, some information on leases I realized that I needed to stop  and refocus.

I decided to start looking at some additional information, death records from the 1900's going forward.. At that time, the death records contained a certain amount of information, while records of approximately 100 years later contained additional information which the earlier ones did not contain or were not included in those which I was viewing. That is when I started asking questions, such as:

i) Where did a person who was 89 or 90 years old in the early 1900's come from?
ii) Were they Catholic before dying?
iii) Where was the sacramental information documented?
iv) How did they arrive in Trinidad and Tobago? Was it by boat? Or were they born here?

Having left the parish, with its 150+years of records and knowing that there are parishes of similar age and knowing that there are no answers, I am even more in the dark as I do not have:
I) The technical knowledge to write a programme which will sort and match the information with existing legal records...
II) I cannot possibly enter all of the records on deaths and weddings in a reasonable time frame to start entering the sacramental records in the prescribed manner...
III) How do I link the names in both records without persons coming forward  to provide data which can be relied upon going forward?

Anyway, here is a link with the dates on which some of the churches in some of the parishes were established, so that you can have an idea as to the number of parishes for which records are to be entered for lengthy periods. P.S. I do not know how many of them have cemeteries to maintain records for that area of operation.

After attending the Non Violence session which was held at Living Water on Saturday 5th March 2017. where there were presentations by persons of different faiths, I am curious as to the record keeping of the Hindu Community in Trinidad and Tobago as it relates to recording deaths and burnings... Would they need a special key board to capture the language in Excel or how do we bridge the gap to retain the records in a culture which is part of our society... Here is a link to one of the alphabets which I found on the web  https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=iQblP5gW&id=9BB350872ED01D7FCE848C95DFC31FBD92173AD5&q=what+does+hindi+words+look+like&simid=608045286053119307&selectedIndex=0&qpvt=what+does+hindi+words+look+like&ajaxhist=0

copyright: Jennifer N Bailey

Monday, 27 February 2017

Planning, Meetings, Delivery - Part II

Here is an update on my foray into a new line of business which was outside of my usual lines...

After completing the work a little early of the agreed date, I prepared my distribution /disbursements vouchers with the following information:

  1. Items which were to be returned to the client - listed by category and dealing with the items according to the headings which were listed on the receipt or receiving document which was issued to the client on day 1.
  2. A list of the files which were created with an estimate of the number of pages per file.
  3. Additional information: This covered the disbursements which were made for which I was to receive reimbursement on the day of delivery.
So how did it go overall? The client expressed satisfaction and I think that the following areas covered his feelings:

  1. He  did not have to make two trips as we had previously agreed.
  2. He was able to view his equipment, see that it was in good working condition.
  3. He was also able to view the files which were created on his equipment
  4. He received prints which he had requested a bit later in the week. This reduced his efforts in what probably was a busy week.
How did I feel?
  1. I was happy to be of service.
  2. I got a time out  to reflect and practice some skills.
  3. I realized that I wanted to play with some of his documents and insert images. However that would have made his work more similar to some of my early posts on my blog where my focus was faith, works of art and the practice of faith. So I resisted the urge...
Will I try this type of work again? Yes, There can be a quick turn around, flexibility to deal with things and try things and the work was interesting....

copyright: Jennifer N Bailey
email: jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Records - Development of Knowledge - Feb 25, 2017

Recently I worked at a parish office or presbytery office as most offices of Parishes are housed in the Presbytery  of the Parish, either under the priest's rooms or  adjacent to such.

However back to the essence of the story. I was interested in developing a working knowledge of the software which was used to record the sacramental information on persons who received sacraments in a parish. As luck would have it, after emailing my Curriculum Vitae to about four parishes, (outside of my parish) which were within an easy distance to travel, given the cost and time which would be incurred in getting to and from the parish office, I received a favourable answer from one of the parishes, not easily, but yes, I got a nod of acceptance.

During my  time there, I was exposed to several types of records such as:
  • Leases for cemetery plots,
  • Records on persons who were buried over the years in certain spots or within a family spots. Sacramental records, such as baptism and confirmation.
  • Wedding Registers - capturing sacramental and civil records and
  • Death registers going back to the early 1900's.  Some parishes have been in existence for about 150 years +
In the midst of trying to:
  1. Capture the information on software
  2. Understand the assumptions and consistently apply an approach to recording the sacraments which were administered to persons,
  3. Manage the resources allocated to the project such as:
    • Time - spent per day and over a period,
    • Cost - salary and benefits, information technology costs and operating costs such as electricity,
  4. Yet analyse and identify the possible needs which may not be obvious to us, which would be obvious to a person who has lived in the history of records or who has a different type of knowledge and experience
I had to look at different periods of time as there were/was:
  • Different persons recording the sacraments and information of the parish at different times.
  • Different needs  or requirements  to capture information, due to changes in legislation over the period of time, the knowledge of persons who administered the keeping of the records.
  • A need to link information which may not have been readily understood or which would have stood up  to scrutiny. This linking of information  may be able to be supported by representations which may need to be documented and tracked in its own manner external to the software.
This information in turn may trigger a need to amend the data which is already in the system and even amend the software. Which in turn may create the cycle all over. However given the age of persons now,  we may even be a bit late in the game, given the needs of our adults.

For example, from my personal knowledge and family history, I know that my mother has to have an affidavit as her name is the legal records do not match the name which she carries. Yet  the record bears significance to a point in time which may need understanding and which has its own needs and history, such as where she was born, where she lived when she was baptized and  where she lived prior to her getting married.  That should be something we should be able to have recorded and relied upon as a Catholic and while she is alive.

So when I discover where my mother was baptized, I would like to take in the affidavit, provide a certified copy to that office and  receive a receipt for that document knowing that the document will be retained for future checking and scrutiny and be recorded in each parish's records where a sacrament was administered.

copyright: Jennifer N Bailey
email: jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com

Friday, 24 February 2017

My Note Books and Tracking Things

Currently I use two (2) note books almost every day. One functions almost like a diary or I use it in  place of a diary in that:
  • Most days the times and dates are neatly laid out with the option to either enter things to be done or times which have been booked. Then there is a large space on the page which is used to capture the real things of the day, what happened, or what I needed to remember about the day..
  • Then there are days when I capture what I need to do on the back of an envelope as it  relates to specific do' and then I transfer the information to accomplishments for the day.. Thus on that day, there would be more information being captured to understand what happened today rather than the order of the day..
This is important when I want to savor a "good day" when what may be miniscule to another person is important to me because of the relationship which was involved either one that is building or what it can grow into. When there is something that acted like a positive trigger which I may not want to get into, is captured in the way I document things....

Then there is my "Intellectual Book" where I try to create and document concepts and information to post on Facebook or my blog "jennifernbailey245.blogspot.com"

What is the purpose of the Intellectual Book and how effective is it? There are several purposes to the existence of the Intellectual Book some of which are:
  1. The "Intellectual Book" allows me to have a record of things done and possibly the factors which impact upon my creativity... Thus some times the book can be used to develop my thinking on Intellectual Property, rights or benefits due or break down some of  what may not be apparent in real life. For example if I were to look or develop my thinking on Swiss Miss, the cocoa Mix; here is some of what I think may need to be considered:  Mix - source; Cocoa - source; Sugar - source;  Flavorings - source; Design of the package  exterior - source;  Design of the packages interior - source; concept - mixture add hot water or liquid milk (good quality - Omega) or add cold water  or cold milk not necessarily evaporated milk; distribution; special promotions; impact on other like products such as Cadbury chocolate mix, 3 in 1 Coffee mixes, such as Nescafe, Colcafe and other brands or even single packs of coffee without sugar and milk.
  2.  Expand my creativity...
The book is fairly effective in that it allows me to separate my to do's from my thinking and strategizing.
copyright: Jennifer N Bailey
email: jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com


One of my aunts grew stuff - be it flowers, ground provision, dasheen bush and so forth. She also tended to her trees. She had mango trees  and when mangoes were in season, she would telephone my mother and ask her to come up with us to her home. At the end of the day, we would leave with about two bags of mangoes of different types - a lot of Vere, some Julie, some starch and some Rose...

My aunt also had several  green banana trees or a group of trees here and there... This allowed her to share green bananas with persons she knew and very often there was either curried green banana or boiled green bananas.

Now I find myself looking forward to the growth of bananas, not necessarily the green ones alone, but the ripe ones... I am even more happy when my eggplant tree which has fallen on its side, the only one of six trees which I started with last year and which has  continued to bear "vegetable". I am looking forward to the three little ones which are coming up. The sometime "daily application of peels" has worked miracles in that it allowed several of the flowers to remain on the tree and bear fruit at this time when young trees are scarce for us...

On the other hand, my beans have not sprouted. In despair, I have resorted to soaking some in water to see if they can sprout quickly.. I am hoping to get some potting mix to get them started as I have my toilet paper rolls to hold  the mix and the seeds until they can be placed in the ground... My next stop is to try to get the sorrel seeds started.. I think that may need a miracle....

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Inventory Count, Valuation and Monthly Close Off - Feb 23, 2017

Last month, January 2017, I did an early close off our payments for the month. This consisted of  analyzing the payments  and in our case  adding the amounts spent per category on each page  to arrive at the total of disbursements for the page.

Yes, I have gone back to keeping manual records :)  and sometimes I track several purchases on one page. If I were using an electronic file the process may be slightly different.

P.S. I added a  written summary to capture information relevant to the month such as qualitative and quantitative factors. Now ideally our inventory count  figures,should have been  added to the Summary to enhance the information.  Thus one of my qualitative factors in last month's summary was the absence of an Inventory and valuation of raw materials/ consumables on hand.

Thus this month  given the occurrence of Carnival on the last two days in the month, the plans of persons, the occurrence of the dates as it relates to Wednesdays and weekends I  did a close off shortly after the middle of the month.

Then I did a quick Inventory Count, wrote down a list of items with the quantities purchased, estimates of amounts, then obtained the values of items. Luckily most of our purchases of bulk items occurred in the week prior to the close off and with little amounts being used, the values were either close to the cost or were adjusted slightly. In real terms, two (2) lbs of flour removed from a nine or ten Kilogram bag of flour would not make much difference in the weight or value. It is easier to round up usage to a kilogram so that the 10 kg becomes 9 and the value is decreased by the cost of 1 kg. The same process was used with rice and luckily the oil was not opened. In less than half an hour, the inventory was completed.

Items which were harvested from the garden which had been refrigerated such as cassava, had not been included in the inventory count.

Items I had purchased in prior periods such as the Richmond Valley cocoa which I had bought last year (2016) was not included. Some persons would consider this a slow moving item, which given the time between its purchase and today (the age of an item in accounting) a full provision  of the value would have been necessary. So in dollar terms, these containers of Cocoa would have a nil value (Yes, I have two containers; one larger size with the original contents and one to which I transfer some of the cocoa to use as  the in use container  is emptied.)

Materially from a quantitative point, this is not significant to the inventory count or valuation as the purchase would have been made in another year. From a qualitative point,  this is significant as I can have chocolate cakes  and cocoa drinks as I like. 

Next month, I may do a list of slow moving items, so that I can have some idea as to when I need to replenish these items and I can start budgeting for them, cash wise.

However, the close off may take place on March 24 & 25th, 2017, so that the last week in the month can be used for planning.

Copyright: Jennifer N Bailey
email: jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com

As an Accountant, I may not have  much experience with counting and valuing inventory and given the industries for which Inventory counts are required, one may not be experienced enough to perform or observe counts of every type of Inventory. However it is good to remember the concepts, practice them and keep the skills current.
In my career, I observed a few counts as an auditor and given the size of the company, the preparation for the count and the observation period may take a month or more while in some instances, it can take half an hour. So being prepared mentally and physically is important.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Planning, Meetings and Delivery - Feb 21, 2017

I agreed to undertake some work that was not in my usual line of business. So there I am, the day before the meeting:
  • Note book to take down the information which the "client" will provide.
  • List of questions in writing in the notebook to ask the client.
  • Receipt book as I intend to issue a receipt for the documents which I am accepting and any equipment which I will receive.
Meeting day:

The potential client  came on time after a day of rain falling bucket a drop and my living on a hill so everywhere is damp.

Notes were taken in my notebook; much more than were planned. Discussion over expectations went well.

Receipt was issued for the documents and the equipment which was accepted. Price and payment terms were discussed.

Work in Progress:

I started the work on the day when I received it, partly because I wanted to get into the complexity of the work, see how challenging it would be and because I wanted to make a dent in it.   Night came and I am still at it, partly listening to music from Sunday Carnival in St. James while I work. In one particularly long document, I jump to the end of it and start typing the last page, then I move to the second to last.

By then  I realised that I am slowing down and I have to have a strategy... Either I focus on attaining the goal which is to have  all of the documents completed by the due date or I focus on getting the first set ready for delivery.

 Thus I create another file and start typing another document. Complete  it. Then I create another file and type another document. Complete it. 

I look at my clock and aha I have been at this typing for close to four hours and  I need to stop for the day or rather the night.

On the second day I return to the document which I started the previous day and I complete it.. By now I am looking at pages to complete, thus
  • I create about three files for different pieces of work.. Type up the information
  • Then I look at a pad with documents to type and I am groaning inwardly.. Time to get something to eat... Some of those cookies with oats and peanut butter, protein  which I made on Saturday evening will keep me going....
  • I type a few more pages and I need more food... This time it is potato salad from Sunday... No warming of food, just put it on the plate and have it near enough to you. Side bends come in handy to keep the food from being near to the lap top.
  • This time I start at the bottom of the note pad and work my way forward.. Three documents and I am done...
Then I update one of my copies of the receipt book with each day's activity, so that I know how much I have "earned" per day.

I prepare my "payment voucher" with the information on what I am returning to the client. 

I cross reference the information in my note book with details from the receipt. I now have to enter the details of my payment voucher in my note book when that is completed.

Lessons Learnt
  • A Bible can come in handy as a reference book... Thanks Nick (nephew) for leaving your New Jerusalem Bible, I could not find my copy as I had gotten accustomed to googling stuff and I thought I would not need it. 
    • In typing some of the pages I checked references to see how it was that  I did not know all of those things in the Bible...
    • I realized that Abraham or was it Moses may have had a sense of humor and may have been a kind old man with some amount of wisdom...
  • I realized that I wanted to re read some parts of the Bible as I had focused on the Good News for a long time.
  • Referencing can be learnt in a variety of ways... This can be as simple as identifying a book on  which a  "Reflection is done" just because you know the name of the character or just because you get lucky :)
  • Having your own tools can be great, however sometimes you may need assistance
  • A price can be flexible if you treat the work as something that you will learn from and schedule it for hours outside of the norm.
  • Consider meeting clients on weekends "in regular times" to  receive work.. In that way, you can start it right away and not lose time during your day. This is important during the busy  period of your life.
    • When  there are public holidays either before or after the weekend, then you may need longer delivery dates for work, so that persons are not stressed immediately after the holiday.
  • I can use my accounting and auditing knowledge in other areas of my life... When things get too much for one book, then I can diversify my books into lines of business.
  • I am able to meet due dates. :)
  • I can enjoy work....
copyright Jennifer N Bailey
email: jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com

Monday, 30 January 2017

Planning Tip - January 30, 2017 - Understanding the differences

Here is a post which I did on Facebook to expand my knowledge and to remind my self of important information:

"Sometimes we may view ourselves as Sole traders, Individuals, Partners and we may never see ourselves as part of a Company or operating in the form and structure of a company.
I would suggest that to get ourselves to an understanding of where the other side is, that as far as possible, get something such as a blank corporation tax return or a partnership tax return and examine it.
Look at the differences.. As an individual, what do I do differently? I pay rent, now where would I put that in the company's tax return if I had to report on that? What would be the information which I would need to complete a receipt if I had to track my information correctly? Can I flip my understanding, my knowledge if I had to receive rent instead of pay it?
Have a look at the forms and see if we can spot the information and all of the spaces which may be required?

I am now laughing at myself....

Originally posted on Facebook -Planning Tip - Jan 29, 2017 - Understanding Upcoming Challenges

Here is a post which I did on Facebook in an attempt to allow persons to think creatively. 

"Over the next two months in Trinidad and Tobago, there are public holidays and or major events which are identified as occurring at the end of each month, Carnival Mon & Tues - Feb 27 & 28, 2017 & March 30, 2017. For those with bills to produce based on reports or deliveries which are time sensitive or other deadlines which are time sensitive or who would like to enjoy some of the weekend events, I would suggest:
1 Persons identify what needs to be done in a specific way as possible and in writing (with a copy being kept for their file).  Share this information with everyone as early as possible with updates being done as needed. This will assist newcomers to the organisation to:
~ Understand exactly what they need to do to meet their deliveries with as little disruption as possible.
~Jump in to assist in an effective way so that they can use their skills in a way that they use their knowledge, yet develop new knowledge and skills.
2 Create "in house scheduled time outs" for everyone. This will allow everyone to retain some of their energy for later in the day. This is critical as during these times, there is more traffic on the road, things appear to take longer to get done and without realising it, we may not enjoy ourselves.
3 At mid point from today,  create a list of the deliveries or other critical events of the Dept or company or team (which may not be on target), circulate it to everyone and ask for assistance. This will allow persons to understand that they may be able to assist and allow them to volunteer in ways that they can choose, so that there is a win win for everyone. 
4 Advise everyone that there is room for feedback every day or week and at the end of the quarter, just try to put it in writing (as well as talking) so that:
~Everyone can keep track of their contributions.
~Things can get cleared up in a positive way, prior to the end of the period or the start of the formal feedback period and things can change.
5 Consider hiring additional persons on a part time basis to assist in areas where there may be a need should someone have an emergency. This will assist:
~When critical persons call in sick, such as the Telephone Operator or the person who makes the payments at the Board of Inland Revenue or the National Insurance Board.
~ When there is an urgent bill to be done and no one knows how to use the scanner.
6 Consider shifting internal billing periods to allow for processing of bills by third parties and to receive payments in a time which suits everyone.
7 Thank every one." 

Friday, 27 January 2017

Skills Development - Essay on Cassava July 2016

The following is an essay which I wrote  on Cassava. The purpose of the essay was to document the practices of growing cassava, practice certain skills in Word such as inserting photos into a document and to retain the memory of a period in time.  ( I have copied and pasted a Word document here and I had to use other skills to recreate the document which I had in Word.)

1.   Background

Having recently started planting cassava and having little to no experience of successful agricultural practices, which  resulted in my having to eat the produce in a short period of time,  I decided to note the approach, the concepts and the results of my cassava planting. This will provide knowledge which may be shared and or preserved for copyright purposes and for conversation. Images of the harvest, the location of the plants have been included for illustrative purposes and for retaining memories of the time the activity was performed.

Cassava may be planted for retail or commercial sale locally or for export. Locally grown cassava may be available for sale in the local markets or the green grocer section of the supermarket. In these locations, the cassava is left with its skin intact. Thus the dirt from the ground is washed away and the produce is available for sale.

Cassava may also be available for sale in the frozen foods section of the supermarkets as a ready to cook item. 

Cassava may be cooked in a variety of ways, such as boiled as a side dish or for consumption as a main part of the meal or  it may be used in soups or combined with seasonings and meats and served as a side dish. I have also seen cassava chips in the shape of logs or sticks with a dip served in a restaurant chain.

At the time of taking the photo, the plants which are located  on the left have not been harvested, however branches have been removed from them in an effort to allow for more nutrients to be used in the root of the plant.  Note the spread of the branches, the size and shape of the leaves, the size of the branches

2.   Cassava Plants

An existing plant may yield:

  • New stalks or branches for replanting, 
  • A main stalk with a root which may be replanted and
  • Produce which is covered in a brown "skin" with a "white under skin" , both of which can be removed prior to cooking.   

3.   Stalks or Branches of the Cassava Plant

It is possible that the stalks or branches of the cassava plant may not be mature upon harvesting the crop.

A good indicator of the maturity of the stalks may be seen in:

  • The size of the branch, 
  • The colour of the branch and 
  • The strength of the branch. 
Many branches have green soft tips with new leaves, which are often olive in color, which are fragile.

The older section of the branch tends to be:

  • Brown, 
  • Firm,
  • Less likely to sway or break easily, except in extremely strong wind and 
  • Can be planted quite easily.

4.   Timing of Planting of Cassava initially and in successive periods

Upon planting the stalks of the cassava plants, taking into account the soil and season in the year, these plants may take a bit longer than usual to mature with produce. Hence they may take more than six months to yield produce.

If the main stalk is replanted, this may bear produce within a six month period, given the soil, weather conditions and factors of nature and man. 

However the yield may not be same year on year. It may be a  good  idea to have pictures taken of your yield and or maintain a notebook with details of your plantings.

5.   Images of the yield from cassava plants in 2016.

In the image above, the yield from two plants have been peeled, washed and bagged for storage in the freezer section. 

The size of the packages is dependent on:

  • An estimate of the number of times the cooked item will be eaten at meals,
  • The expected number of persons at meals. 
Note that some of the packages have pieces which are similar in size. These pieces will cook in a shorter time than the  larger pieces.

In the image above, the pieces have  been peeled and placed in water for washing, prior to storage.

The pieces are much larger on the whole and represent the expected yield from a typical  plant. 

Given that person’s preferences may differ, the pieces of cassava above may be used in dishes where the cassava is cut up after boiling.

6.   Eating  your produce, factors to consider

If you intend to eat the cassava which you have planted, which happens in many instances, then consider the following:

        I.          Avoiding animal fertilizers. While these are known to produce good harvests, there are many persons who prefer the benefits of peels, potting mix and mulch.

       II.          Changing your diet to include greens, bananas, plantains, mangoes, oranges and pumpkins. These skins or peels may provide a ready source of nutrients when added to your plants.  These peels break down easily and may be added several times a week to provide a steady stream of nutrition for the plants and to maintain a level of mulch around the plants.

     III.          The number of plants which you maintain. If you are the sole provider of peels and skins, then you may need to use a rotation plan to fertilise all of the plants frequently in the early stages of planting and later on in the cycle of the plant. This need to use a rotation plan may be due to the size and quantity of the peels as a day’s worth of peels and skins may not be sufficient to be placed on all of your plants. Also, over time there may be a need to develop new businesses so as to gain income from your hobby, hence selling stalks to a garden shop may be a source of revenue. However selling your produce may also ensure that you grow your business.
     IV.          Crushed egg shells (rinsed in water) may be added to the mulch, either on top of or in between the peels. This will add calcium to the soil and nourish the plants.
       V.          Grass cuttings placed around the plant will protect the roots, the stalk and the crop during periods of heavy sunshine and between watering the plants in the dry season. Since the plant may  be in the ground for at least six months, it may be wise to:
                             i.          Consider the habits of the neighbours as their insecticides, weedicides can impact upon your soil and plants, especially if you live in the lower parts of a valley.
                           ii.          Solicit grass cuttings from other persons to add to existing and other areas of your planting area. This will assist in maintaining the supply of mulch around the plant and prepare other areas for planting.
                          iii.          Purchase peels from supermarkets, hotel kitchens, restaurants, salad bars, other food places. While these peels will add to your supply of nutrients, the information on the receipts or invoices may provide input into the cost of your hobby, the frequency with which peels were added and the quality of your produce.
                          iv.          The quality of the peel and its impact upon your diet. A banana peel cut into small pieces may be spread much further than a length of the banana skin. The smaller pieces, when placed around the plant may make the skin much more difficult for an animal to eat, than the length of one banana. Raw peels add more nutrition than cooked peels.
                           v.          Use the water from cooking vegetables to water the plants. Some of the nutrients will go back into the plant.

Points# II, III, IV and V will add to the soil upon disintegration over time, will assist in the fertilization of the soil and the plant and can protect the plant from animals in the following ways:

        I.          Dogs digging up the plant to bury bones

       II.          Dogs racing around the plants while hurrying from one point to another or while playing together.

 copyright Jennifer N Bailey with contributions from other persons
email: jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com