a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Saturday, July 23, 2016

What say you

Okay, I want your honest opinions about this. Don't hold back, I can take it.

I belong to a Facebook group for people who live in Prescott. Granted, I don't live in Prescott any more and one day I'll unjoin the group but when I lived there it was a great source to find restaurants, learn about things going on, etc. 

People can post on it. There are a few guidelines, like no pornography, have it related to Prescott, no selling of items, etc.

Tonight a woman posted a gorgeous Prescott sunset and wrote "God is good."

A guy commented "That's just the sky. God isn't real. Quit pushing your beliefs on people. Great picture though."

She replied back "Sorry I offended you." 

(Now before I go on, she does a lot of posting on Facebook, pictures, encouragement and if people are going through a rough time she'll say she's praying for them, but I have yet to see her really "shove down" her faith and beliefs on this page. She doesn't post Bible verses, she doesn't preach, she just encourages and prays for people.)

I was a bit spunky (I usually don't post much on the page, just read what others say) so I left a comment "Actually I don't think she is pushing her beliefs, she is just simply stating a fact she believes to be true which I believe to also be true. A person can scroll past if they don't agree, but she has the right to post what she wants and she has the right to believe what she chooses to believe, which in this case is the truth. God is good."

He responded back "You too are pushing your beliefs on others. You simply don't get it." 

And he was right, I didn't get it. She simply made a statement. People have made other statements about other religions and beliefs there, just as statements. Not pushing, not evangelizing, just stating.

My last reply was "no I guess I don't, but I believe I say hope you have a nice day tomorrow. I hope that's not pushing it too far 

To which he replied "You as well, thank you." 

To which I just hit like.

So, here's my thing. Was she pushing her beliefs? She made a simple statement 

God is good with a picture of a pretty sunset.

Why would someone take it offensively and think she was shoving her beliefs down his throat? 

You guys are all respectful of me with my beliefs and I try (I know I'm not 100% perfect) to be respectful of yours and other peoples beliefs. 

I'm just curious your thoughts. Think she was over the line for pushing her beliefs? Think he was just having a bad day? 

He right?

She right for posting something?

I'm clueless here. I don't get it.

Do you?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Book Review Times Three

There are a lot of bloggers out there that have written and published books. I have featured a few here before, but there are more that I follow that have also written and published books and I thought for "fun" I would try to read through at least one of their books this year and write a review of it on my blog.  So, if I follow your blog and you have written and published a book and I haven't gotten around to you, hold on tight and it will be sometime in the coming months.

Today I'm featuring 3 reviews from each uniquely written books and each unique bloggers.  

I'm reviewing them in the order I read them, not in the order I liked them, because frankly, I liked them all. 

The First One is The Appalachian Trail by Jack Darnell.  Jack writes a delightful blog called Shipslog and chronicles day to day things he and his wife, Sherry, might be doing or things he has opinions about, etc., and always leaves a few pictures of cars he likes at the bottom of his blog entry.

The Appalachian Trail is a fictional account of two retired people taking on hiking the Appalachian Trail. Based on the true story of Jack and Sherry's experience with hiking the trail after Sherry had suggested it in the twlight of their lives.  This fictional couple stopped about 300 miles short and the mileage Sherry and Jack actually did when they hiked the trail.  It was a very cute book, enjoyable story with a couple of twists, and while it didn't inspire me to want to hike the trail, it at least gave me a little insight into preparations needed to be made and how plans were made to hike the trail which is over 2100 miles.  Definitely a good read.

The second is A Change of Mind by Nick Wilford.  Nick blogs over at Scattergun Scribblings. I "met" him a few years back on the A/Z Challenge.  He lives over in Scotland and isn't doing too much blogging these days.  

A Change of Mind is a book of six stories.  A Change of Mind is the longest of the stories, A Hole in One the shortest of the stories.  All were very interesting to read and made you think long after you had completed reading the story.  A Change of Mind is about a young man that needs a bit more confidence and self esteem in himself and finds a way to make that happen. The ending was not what I was expecting, but again, it gave me some things to think about, would I want to go through what he did to try to change something about myself?  Again, another good read.

The third book is Murder Has a Price by Pat Hatt who writes a charming blog It's Rhyme Time where he writes about anything and everything and usually always in rhyme. There are two things I think about Pat. He dreams in rhyme and he never sleeps because he usually has his blog posts (he posts daily) written 6 months in advance and I believe if I'm not mistaken that he already has next year's A/Z written. He also plays a "game" on his blog with bloggers trying to be the first person to comment on his blog. It took me a bit to figure out the strategy (and I won't give it away) but I've been known to be first (but only on those pesky nights of insomnia (that's the only clue I'm giving).

His book, Murder Has a Price, was a very interesting plot.  Detective Hollerin is trying to figure out who the true murderer was of Tori and Kurt Price, Andrew Price having been framed for the murders.  There is a lot of action and violence in the book, lots of people seem to lose their lives, and Detective Hollerin seems to get out of situations you don't think he'll be able to. There were two twists in the book, the first one I caught minutes before it was displayed in the book, the other one completely caught me by surprise. Again, a very good read.

I would recommend each of these 3 books. Jack's book is lighthearted but adventurous. Nick's leaves you with things to ponder. Pat's is a murder mystery that stuns you at the end. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I just can't fathom

I just can't fathom the events from this past week in Louisiana, Minnesota, and now Dallas. What I can do is pray and that is what I will do.  Its a scary world out there.  You honestly don't know if when you kiss your spouse goodbye at the beginning of their day will you kiss them hello at the end of it. 

This little guy is biracial.  Where will he align in the days to come as he grows? Will he feel he has to align with one group or another?  Will he and others be bridges that bring back the gaps together? 

My DIL is worried about her brother and friends who are people of color. I'm worried about law enforcement people who put their lives in danger every day, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity. 

Can we meet in the middle? I know we can because we love each other and have a common goal and cause in being the best we can to help raise this little one in the days ahead.  

Maybe we should just be like Ducky. He doesn't care really what color anyone is. He just gladly floats around the water and enjoys a waterfall now and then. Worse thing that happens to him is when the pump goes off and he is stuck in a particular part of the pool until the wind stirs him a bit.

All I know is, I will pray, pray, pray, pray, and then more pray for the events that have transpired this week and for comfort and for healing and for peace that transcends understanding.

And then after that, I'll start praying again.

Join me if you are one to pray.

Treat others kindly as you would want to be treated.

And be careful out there. Advice I always gave son when he lived at home. Its a jungle out there.

Just be careful. I love you all even the yellow duck.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

the tour

Finally, pictures of the house.

Before I "show" them, a little history.  Most of my long time readers know that before we moved to Prescott in January 2015 we were living in hubby's parents' house that he inherited after their passing. We sold that house in October 2015. Reality is an average house in San Diego County is worth more than an average house in Phoenix, Arizona. We chose to buy 2 houses down in Phoenix, one that we paid cash for that son and his family are living in at the present time at a reduced rent for them to get ahead and save money and then eventually when hubby retires that will become a rental house (they have the option of staying there after then if they want to but then they'll pay whatever the fair market value is).  The other house we decided to put a significant amount of money down and have a really low house payment that we could manage during retirement. There was still a chunk of money leftover; we chose not to buy both for cash to have that cash "nest egg." 

Our intent for both houses was to buy starter type homes so that when we were ready to sell they would be attractive to those looking to own their own home. We carefully chose locations, looking at crime rates (lowest), amenities close by (schools, parks, stores, etc.) and marketability in the future. Now of course things can change but we were pretty comfortable with our final choices we made.

When we were living in hubby's parents' home that he eventually inherited, we were using their furniture. We ended up getting rid of 95% of it before we moved to Prescott and had just a few pieces of our stuff. Our intent was to buy new furniture down the line when we get settled where we were going to be. That is in the works but so far we are still living very simply with what we have furniture wise, though there is a timeline for kitchen table and chairs, living room furniture, bedroom furniture, etc.

We wanted for our house something manageable, again not huge. This house is roughly 1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths.  The other "rental" house is 1300 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. The other house doesn't have a pool, but a nice size backyard. The two houses are roughly 3 miles apart.

And now, a tour.......

The living room (which I call the office since it is my work area). This is the view from the front door.

The view from the kitchen. My work computer is the one by the window, that's how I can observe (spy) on the neighbors.

The kitchen from the living room area. One day the card tables and chairs will be replaced.

The kitchen from the den area.

The pantry. Its messy but it does hold a lot. I need to organize it up a bit.

The den from the kitchen. The door on the left goes out to the laundry room.

The den from by the fireplace. The door on the left goes out to the garage.

The master bedroom. It really is a big room. Again, one day there will be different furniture in it.

Walk in closet in master bedroom.

Hubby's music room (or another bedroom). Its a work in progress. I don't go into it except to vacuum around things weekly.

Walk in closet in his music room. That's where he stores his guitars.

The third bedroom. Eventually it will be a guest room. Now it is "stick anything in there you don't know where else to put."

There are 2 bathrooms, actually 1.75 bathrooms. The master bath is just a shower, the other one is shower and bathtub.

And there you have it. Our abode. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

a lost child

I don't know about you, I'm sure you are the same way I am, but I tend to people watch and I'm always on the lookout to see if I can help someone, either by opening a door, taking their cart back for them, letting them go first in line, etc.  I also watch out for kids, especially little ones. If I see a little one without a parent apparent, I start looking around and can usually spot the parent within a second or two making their way over to their child.

Tonight, however, was different.  

We ran a quick errand to deposit a check and were coming back home when we turned on a street that would eventually take us to our home (it weaves back and forth through neighborhoods).  I saw a young child, let's say no more than 3 years old, more than likely just shy of 3 years old.  He was walking down the sidewalk with just a diaper on.  Barefoot.  Mind you, the sun was going down, but the day had been a hot one at close to 110 degrees. 

There was no one with him.

As we were driving away from the way he was walking, I told hubby to turn around. I rolled down my window and asked the him "where is home?" He kind of pointed behind him.  I said "go home, you need to go home." He kind of looked at me, but stopped walking and then turned around. 

Meanwhile, we saw a man carrying groceries out of his car at a house close to where we were so I asked him if he knew who the child belonged to.  He said "no."  I told hubby then to "call the police" which he started doing.  The child had been on the sidewalk but had ventured now onto a street, albeit a residential street, but one short block over was a major road.  We kind of moved the car to block him so he had to go back onto the sidewalk. While we were doing that, another car stopped and a guy got out and was trying to help too, but left after we said we were calling the police.

The police showed up about 10-12 minutes later.  Mind you, this was now close to 15 minutes since we determined no one at that point was looking for the kid.  Of course we had decided to stick around until the police showed up, always keeping an eye on the child, but I never approached him, always stayed in the car, but if I thought he was going to be in any danger, like start running or something, I would have detained him somehow especially because we were close to that major street.

The police arrived and started talking to him and I guess after a few minutes determined they were probably going to have to take him back to the station because they picked him up, he was crying by then, and put him in the back of one of the cars that had arrived. Meanwhile, frantically running down the street we saw a young woman who we eventually figured was the mother because after she reunited with him, he stopped crying and she walked back to her house a block up the street from where we had found him and the police car followed her.  The other police car said we could go, so we left.

We got home and just settled in when hubby's cell phone rang and it was the police asking us to come back since they had a few questions. We went back to where they were at and they wanted to hear "our side" of events, asking if he had crossed the road, what he was doing, etc. 

I fear someone is going to be charged for something, like child endangerment, etc. 

Anyone would have helped. We were just the ones God chose to do his work through this evening.  We were right where he wanted us to be.

I know I'll say a prayer for that mother tonight.  I was (am) a helicopter parent, my kids were rarely out of my sight.  I can imagine her horror when she realized he was missing. I'm thankful it was an outcome like this and not something else that could have happened.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

just in time

for the next heatwave to descend on us (actually a good portion of the Southwest) Sunday and Monday. 

This was the pool this morning from one angle.

and then from another angle

this was the pool 2 weeks ago when we had the temps close to 116

As you all might remember, we bought the house "as is" and it needed work. Our first project was the roof. The second project was the brick wall that replaced the wooden fence that had been there since the house was built in 1978.

The third project was the pool. As you can see, it had a diving board and I said to my hubby "that's the first thing that is going to go." Which is what I said at every house we looked at with a pool that had a diving board. I consider them unsafe (and your home insurance is more if you have a diving board). 

When we bought the house, the pool was full.  It was actually a working functioning pool though we never swam in it because it was still spring like weather. 

The pool needed to be updated. New plaster (actually we went with pebbletec), new tile, the patio had cracks in it and needed to be redone, and of course the diving board had to be removed.

When I started looking for companies to do the work, it was the start of May and by the time we finalized who we were going with, it was right around Mother's Day. Then we had to be put on their schedule to begin work which was roughly 2 weeks from that time. The final anticipation for the pool to be completed was 2 to 3-1/2 weeks, not that they worked every day on it but they had different crews that came in and we had to wait for the next crew to come.  All in all, it was just a few days more than 4 weeks, but it was worth the wait, except for that super hot weekend we had two weeks ago.

The first part was the chipping out of the plaster. The workmen arrived at 6:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning and chipping out plaster involves jack hammers and lots of noisy work. I felt so bad for our neighbors. I knew the workers were coming that day, I just assumed it would be later, not at 6:15 a.m. I did check. Phoenix has an ordinance that you can begin work like that at 6 a.m. from the dates of May 1st through September 30th (in an attempt to "beat the heat"). If I had known they were coming that early, I would have let our neighbors know.

The second part was getting all new piping and plumbing for the pool pump, etc. Then the deck was completed, the tile work (which I thought would take 4 days and hubby thought 2 days, but actually only took them 1-1/2  hours). The last part of the job was pouring the pebbletec in which comprises the bottom and sides of the pool below the tile.

Then the fun part began. Filling in the pool. They set it to start filling in Friday afternoon with hopes that it would be done by Monday morning so that the pool guy could come out and add the chemicals and restart the pump. The guy who did our estimate and was in charge of the project and kept me informed of when workers were coming, etc., said it should take 30 hours to fill the pool.  The capacity of the pool was 22,000 gallons.

Ours took 84 hours. Why? We have TERRIBLY LOW water pressure. It was so bad that we had to reduce the water going into the pool just so we would have water pressure to take a shower, otherwise it was just a trickle coming from the shower heads.

Tuesday morning I woke up around 5:30 a.m. and looked outside and said "we did it!" We knew it would be sometime Tuesday by how much the water was the night before. 

It was a joyful relief to turn the water finally off after running for 84 hours straight.  The pool guy then came later that morning and got everything up and running.  We haven't been in it yet but plan to do so definitely by this weekend. (I had to buy a bathing suit, hadn't had one in 10 years, boy have the prices gone up!!!!)

I thought it would cost several hundred dollars to refill the pool, but water is cheap in Phoenix. Our billing cycle ended June 13th (Monday) and by then the water had been on roughly 60 hours. The charge then for water was only $56 and that included the water we had used for the month for daily showers, dishwasher, laundry, etc. 

We'll get a little relief in the pool during the hot weather. From what I understand sometimes the water can get so warm it isn't too refreshing, but we'll just have to wait and see. 

In the meantime.........I'll let you know how 120 degrees feels like as is predicted for Monday........

and yes I told hubby that this will be probably the hottest summer ever recorded in Phoenix, sorry Myra!

We tend to bring the extremes to places when we move some place new......

Sunday, June 12, 2016

No I don't have an injured arm

So tonight we had the little one as son was at work and daughter in law would be off work in a few hours.

We decided to go out to dinner. We had success the week before when celebrating hubby's birthday. The little one was no problem and it was an enjoyable evening.

We decided tonight to go to Red Robin where son works, unannounced. He had no idea we would be there.

We got there just fine. The little one fell asleep on the way over and was just waking up when we got there. He was content in his car seat.

We checked in at the hostess booth. She asked us if we wanted a sling. I'm thinking "I didn't injure my arm, I don't need one."

I look at hubby. He looks at me. We look clueless at the hostess. She explains what one is. Her helper gets one and shows us what it is. Basically a holder of a car seat at our level so we can keep track of the little one at the comfort of our table. Light bulbs go on in both my brain and hubby's and we think "yes, great idea.". We say "yes" to the sling and get seated. I say "sorry we are new to this" (truly we are new to all of this).

We have a delightful dinner. Hubby informs waitress who the baby belongs to (son cooking in the kitchen). A little bit later we take a picture of the little one with evidence he is there at Red Robin and text it to son, but in the meantime son on a little break comes out to say "hi" as waitress  told him we were there. 

We had the best of salads. I had the avo cobbo, hubby had the insane romaine. I feed the little one, held him (made an incredible mess trying to eat my salad while holding him but we left a great tip.)

It was a success.

And we are learning the lingo of baby hood. A sling was to support an injured arm. Who knew it was also to help support a car seat??

We came home and daughter in law arrived soon after. We had a salad we had bought for another day for a meal that I offered to her. We opened a bottle of wine and just talked and she ate and at the end of the evening the "baby whisperer" settled him and put him to sleep. I would like to say I was that baby whisperer......but I wasn't.......but he is that is......he truly is amazing......(thank you hubby).

I am so blessed.....really.....truly a blessing to have my daughter in law in our lives and that sweet little one..... I don't deserve it, but  I am so thankful.....