a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Thursday, September 25, 2014

things that go on

Just things going on.

Have you ever looked in the freezer and wondered what this was that was frozen in a Tupperware container and when you go to open the container, you still don't remember what it was that you froze? Happened today.  I am defrosting such a container just to see what it was.  It may be the sauce of a dish I made in the crockpot a few months ago that I thought would be a good soup base.  Or it may remain a mystery.

Has your eye ever twitched and you think it is twitching so wildly that everyone 10 miles away will see it but when you look in the mirror, it is barely discernible? Yep, happened to me today. Drives me crazy.  Don't even know why it does it, but it does at times.

Have you ever wondered how fast this year went?  Yep, happened to me today. How can we be at the end part of September already? Three months from today and it will be Christmas. How can that be?

Have you ever considered how OCD a corgi is? He definitely has his routines and continues to develop them.  Lately his newest routine has been wanting out between 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. as well as 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. to lie on our back patio.  I absolutely have no idea how he knows timing, but he sure does. He certainly knows when it is time to eat.

Changes could be happening in the next 6 weeks or so. I'll let you know.  Could involve a major shifting around of living arrangements.  Don't you just love a cliffhanger?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Magnolia Market - book review

For Booklookbloggers, I am reviewing the book, Magnolia Market, by Judy Christie.  For agreeing to read the book completely and posting a review about it on my blog and on a commercial site, I was given a free copy of the book.

The story revolves around Avery Broussard who at the start of the book was working at a clothing boutique, owned by her mother-in-law, that she was hoping to buy.  The book begins at the one year anniversary of Avery's husband, who had wanted out of the marriage before his death in a car accident.  Avery had hoped by buying the boutique, she was finally going to start feeling better and moving ahead after his death, only to find that her mother-in-law as well as other members of her husband's family wanted her out of town and were going to do everything possible for her to relocate.

She is not able to buy the boutique, in fact is fired from the job as manager.  She goes on in an interesting story line to manage the town's market that she turns around from barely making ends meet to being somewhat profitable.  Over the ensuing several months of the story, she and a handyman/carpenter come to know each other, but it takes them a bit of time to get to start to have a relationship.  She meets others that help her in her quest to figure out what she is going to do with her life now and to stay in the city where she is currently living, not wanting to be driven out by her mother-in-law.  In the end, she is able to stay there, keep working at the market store, and settles into the relationship with the handyman/carpenter.

My thoughts about the book.  I kind of liked it, but it was sort of redundant in parts about how much the mother-in-law did not like Avery and how much the mother-in-law wanted her out of town.  Their actions against Avery were a bit extreme and at times unbelievable.  There is hint that the family has some secrets that they might not necessarily want exposed and she knows those secrets, but we are left hanging at the end of the book wondering what those were.

Avery, though, is a strong character in the book with determination and willingness to work hard for what she wants to accomplish.  Having to change her image from what others thought of her as the rich young woman married to one of the town's wealthier familes to basically the good caring person that she was comes across in the book. 

It was an easy book to read.  The plot flowed like you would expect it to.  There weren't too many surprises for me.  At times some of the writing seemed a little stiff.  I also thought the way it ended was abrupt.

Would I recommend it? Yes if one is looking for a book that doesn't have too much depth, light reading for the beach or on a cool winter day wrapped under a blanket. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

little smaller these days

So we are walking tonight at the park with Koda and this young man approaches us (probably about 13 years old) with his dad with him and asks us if we want to buy a candy bar from See's.  I am never anyone to turn down the opportunity to eat chocolate, so I ask hubby if he has any money (I never carry any money, if I'm walking Koda alone, I do have my bank card with my wallet in the car).  Thankfully hubby always carries money (not much, but he does carry some bills).

Young man tells us he has dark chocolate with almonds and milk chocolate.  Milk chocolate always will be my favorite.  He says the bars are $2.00 each.  Hubby has a $5.00 bill, so we buy two, and we get a $1.00 change.

Times sure have changed.  These bars aren't that big.

About 5 inches each.  For $2.00.  I know its for fundraising, but I remember getting a much bigger bar years ago for 50 cents.  Times sure have changed!

Snippets what I've been up to lately:

Had sushi for the first time last Friday; went out to celebrate son's girlfriend's birthday. LOVED it. How could I go 56 years without trying it?  It won't be 56 years before I try it again.

Son, girlfriend, and I got sick last week.  Weird sickness.  Not a cold, more like a flu with the aches and pains, little fever, incessant cough.  We think it might have been pertussis since its going around and girlfriend has a young child in the school system.  Was pretty under the weather for a few days. So under the weather one night I didn't even check my email before I went to bed.  I'm pretty routine about doing that and making sure all blogs are read for the day.  Didn't happen that day but caught up the next day.

Hot muggy weather.  Enough said.

Chargers, true to form, lost their first game of the season after an impressive lead.  Oh well, there's always next year.

And sometimes, you just have to let sleeping dogs lie.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

can you believe??

That Labor Day is next week?  Where did this summer go?  Honestly, the quickest summer I ever saw pass.  Weren't we just celebrating Fourth of July?

So we go to the store on Saturday, determined to make things right.  We owed for that one ear of corn and I was determined to take care of business.  I wrote it on the list so I wouldn't forget it, because if its not written on the list, I'm more than likely to forget it. Darn that getting old.

Our regular cashier had the day off.  Some new guy I had not seen before took care of us.  We have a card, like a lot of supermarkets, that you get discounts if you use the card.  Someone (not me) lost the card.  To get extra discounts, we needed a particular number. I bring that number with us and ask the cashiers to punch in that number so we can get discounts.  A penny saved is a penny earned, right?

So I asked the cashier to key in our number. He says "no problem."  Then I explain the week before we got 6 ears of corn instead of 5 ears of corn for a dollar.  We want to make it "right."  He is a little taken back, but this week corn is six ears for 2 dollars, so each ear is basically 34 cents.  He keys it in and tells us that. We say "go it" and we take care of that extra ear of corn. All is good.  I know more than likely we get over charged more than we know it, but if I know I should pay for something, I'm going to try to do it.

Things are so status quo.  Nothing new, nothing different. We get up, we do this, we do that.  We end the day just the same.  Its good.  Its routine.  Its mundane, but its okay.  I'll take that over stress and strain and anxiety and pain.

This I know.

Koda is spoiled. Always has been, always will be.

God is good.  All the time, no matter what.

I can live with both.

I can accept both.

I just have no idea where this year went, do you?

Monday, August 18, 2014


Son wanted to smoke some meat today and have his girlfriend over (who we had not met until today). When he asked if that was possible I said "of course" curious to meet her.  I knew he was seeing someone but he doesn't have us meet them right at the start of a relationship.  He had another friend and his girlfriend who he also asked if they could come over and have dinner with us.

Corn was 5 for a dollar at the local store.  Knowing there would be six of us, I bought 2 dollars worth, knowing there would be leftovers, but wanted to make sure we had enough.

I shucked the corn and hubby got it ready to put on the grill.  A few minutes later he came in and said "you know we have 11 ears of corn."

I'm like "oops" I had put what I thought was 5 ears of corn in each bag at the store.  Apparently I miscounted and put 6 in one and 5 in another. 

I cheated out the store 20 cents.  I told hubby I'm going to say something next week since we have a favorite cashier that always waits on us.  He said to "let it slide" so to speak.

What would you do?

(by the way, love his new girlfriend)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunday night dinner

One of the things I enjoy the most is when hubby, son, and me are cooking in the kitchen.  Usually on Sunday, I'll plan something that is a little more special and may involve a bit more prep work in cooking.  Its fun to be working in the kitchen together, each of us doing our own station so to speak, but interacting and talking as we are preparing this or that.

I'm not the cook, they are.  I prepare, they really cook. They know what goes well together with seasonings and everything they cook always comes out good.

In the process though of us working in the kitchen, we go through literally every single knife we have as well as every single plate we have.  The dishwasher will be empty when we start and over stacked by the time we are done with dinner.  We do manage to use a lot of utensils and plates as we prepare and cook together.

Tonight's menu started out to be steak kabobs, Parmesan zucchini and corn salad, and quinoa. 

Here are the kabobs just taken off the grills.  On them were steak meat, onions, yellow pepper, and mushrooms.  Still on the grill is tuna (see below for more info).

About three weeks ago, son went deep sea fishing for the first time.  They were out for about 9 hours on the ocean from when they left port to when they finished.  It was his first time, so he was a "rookie".  He eventually got the hang of things, baiting his hook, keeping it from tangling up, etc. 

He got three yellowtail tuna, which is what they were catching at the time. Some fish they caught had to be thrown back in because it was not what they could catch. 

His first fish he caught a determined sea lion wanted to also catch it.  The sea lion literally had its mouth on the neck of the fish as son and the deck hands on the boat were trying to reel it in.  They were more persistent than the sea lion and eventually brought the fish into the boat.  It had a big gash in its neck. 

He said sea lions were big pests for the majority of their shipping expedition.  The sea lions associate boats with fish so they stay close to boats. 

Coming back to port, the deck hands clean the fish caught to the specifications of those that caught the fish.  Son asked for the two fish that were caught intact to be filleted, but the one that the sea lion wanted, he took it whole. He wanted to practice filleting it.  He said on the way back as the deck hands were processing the fish, there were lots of sea gulls flying alongside of the boat and would dive down to get the fish parts that were thrown overboard.

Today was the first time he had a chance to cook the fish he had caught (it was frozen) so he cooked up 3 of the fillets he had. 

He had seen on the cooking channel someone who cooked their fish on lime and lemon.  He had started it with the lime/lemon on top and then flipped it over halfway in the cooking. If I remember correctly, the lime/lemon help keep moisture in the fish.

It was delicious.

This is a quinoa and rice mix.  I had always wanted to try quinoa so we decided to try it this meal.  It was good; we like coucous better. 

This was Parmesan zucchini and corn.  Actually what we do (because we sometimes don't follow recipes) is I had a yellow squash leftover so we used a yellow squash with the zucchini.  I got the recipe online but I can't for the life of me remember where I got it from and when I printed it out, it didn't say where it came from so I can't give credit to where it should be, but it definitely is not my recipe.  It was absolutely delicious (recipe below).

Parmesan corn and zucchini

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
4 zucchinis (I did 2 big zucchini, 1 big squash)
1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or more to taste (we used actual Parmesan shredded cheese)

1.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2.  Add zucchini, corn, basil, oregano, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender and cooked through about 3-4 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in lime juice and cilantro.

3.  Serve immediately, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

no, you cannot pet the dog

Let's just start this out with a fact not too many won't disagree with. 

Koda is cute.

Koda is adorable

I guess that was two facts.  But you get what I'm trying to say.

He is just too darn cute.

He attracts a lot of attention when we go out walking with him.

I think its the coloring he has plus his short legs.  A lot of people don't know what a corgi is or maybe know a little about what a corgi is.  He gets confused a lot with a mini German Shepherd if there is even such a breed.

He is people friendly, not dog friendly.  You guys all know this.

A lot of kids want to pet him.  Hubby was ambivalent about letting them pet him, would tell them to be gentle and would monitor the situation very closely.

I never liked any kid petting him.  Its not that I have anything against kids, I love them, but I worried about the implication if he did bite a child.  I am of the opinion that any dog will bite, no matter what the owner might say. You just don't know and I don't want to take that chance.

So if I'm walking Koda alone without hubby and if a kid asks me if he can pet Koda, I usually say "no."  I have had a few kids say "why not" which perturbs me, not sure why, but it does. So in that case I usually say "because I don't want you to pet him," which usually quiets them.

I had a parent last month at the park ask if his about 18 month old child could pet Koda. I said "no."  He said to his little child "she said no, you can't pet the dog."  I wanted to strangle him.  Koda is not there to socialize with other dogs or give your child an opportunity to pet a dog.  He is there to enjoy the walk and take care of whatever business he wants to take care of.

Now that he is blind, hubby is in total complete agreement that kids shouldn't pet him because in all fairness, Koda really should be able to see who is touching him.  I did tell the parent above that he was blind and I wasn't sure what his reaction might be and I didn't want to take the chance.

So tonight at the park two separate cute little girls commented on how cute Koda was.  The first was walking with her parents laps around the park. The first time she saw us she said "cute dog" I always say "thank you" though I have no credit for him being cute.  The second time around (yes we walk that slow) she said "does he bite?" I said "no". She said "can I pet him?" I just said "no" and continued walking.  The second little girl playing on the play equipment saw him and commented on how adorable he was.  She said "can I pet him?" I said "no" and continued walking.

So am I okay doing this? Am I expected to allow anyone pet him?  In all fairness most kids that have petted him have been gentle.  A few have patted him instead of petted him.  A few have run up and tried to pet him without asking.  I do appreciate those that at least ask.  For the most part, adults who approach him and express an interest, we will let him interact with them.  He does like that. I just think he needs to be respected and appreciated.  I'm not sure all kids are capable of that.

Your thoughts?