a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Friday, January 23, 2015


Dear Quiet House, I sure like you during the day when I'm working.  Its nice to see you back after four years of being gone.  Thankful hubby comes home in the evening, but enjoying my time with you alone during the day.  Make sure you stick around for a bit this time, okay?

Dear Hill, you've made me winded and I could barely get to the top of you, but I'm not giving up.  I made it yesterday and I'll make it again and this time with not too much shortness of breath.  I will conquer you, not the other way around.

Dear Green Bay Packers, seriously, could you not hold it together for a few more minutes so you could have made it to the Super Bowl?  Thanks though for a great season, see you next year.

Dear Super Bowl Tickets, I thought it might be fun to see how much you cost since we live close by to Phoenix.  I was not amused that a seat in the highest of the stadium would be $2800 for one ticket.  Sorry, we won't be visiting you this year (or ever based on our budget).  Enjoy the game without us.

Dear Koda, hard to believe but its been a month today we said goodbye to you.  Still miss you like crazy.  You will always be our best corgi puppy. 

Dear A-Z Challenge, April is coming soon.  I got my theme ready to go and sign ups begin Monday. I look forward to checking out new blogs.

Dear Blogging Buddies, I've said it before and I'll say it again, you are all the best.  Thanks for reading my blog and faithfully leaving comments.  May you all have a great weekend.



Saturday, January 17, 2015

that many?

Playing along with Cate over at Show My Face for 6 Word Saturday (haven't played in ages). 

Here's my 6 words.

How many knives do we need?

A lot of you know we just moved.  I was unpacking the kitchen stuff and kept unpacking knives after knives after knives.  I didn't realize we had so many of them.  I think its because they were in three different drawers where we used to live and the movers packed them all together.  I have them in one drawer now so they are all self contained.

I'm thinking a decluttering of them is going to be happening real soon.  We honestly don't need these many, nor have we even used some of them in the four years previous to this last move.

Do you seem to have an overabundance of a particular kitchen gadget or utensil?

To play along or check out other entries, click here.

Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


 We had boxes there

We had boxes here (note, this doesn't represent all the boxes here, just one room of boxes)

In total, we had 70 boxes.  Contrast that to 68 boxes when we moved down from Montana to Southern California eight years ago.  That time we moved 6680 pounds of stuff, this time over 5000 pounds. So less weight, more boxes, but its all good.

I'm very grateful hubby had a generous moving allowance because all our moving expenses were paid for, so that was a relief.  I am grateful that we didn't have to pack up anything ourselves or move anything ourselves except the "survival kit" we brought prior to the movers bringing the rest of the stuff.

The moving company had up to 10 days to deliver our things.  They did it seven days after we moved, so it was good to have the survival kit.  Our survival kit included the bed (we did not want to sleep on the hard floor), clothes to get us through a week, basic kitchen supplies so we could cook some meals, a card table with 4 folding chairs, my computer and computer table, and hubby's 11 guitars. (Not that we needed the 11 guitars to survive, LOL, but he wanted to transport them rather than have them be in a moving truck stored some place for a few days or subject to extreme temperatures in the back of a moving truck for a few days).  We took my computer because we were going to have Internet hooked up and we wanted to make sure it would work okay with my computer.  I'm a bit paranoid to make sure I can connect to the Internet since it is part of my livelihood.

I'm not complaining, because I am grateful that we did get our stuff packed up, but in retrospect we would have done things differently if we knew they would have packed our stuff the way they packed it.

We went with United Van Lines because it was the one that was contracted by hubby's company, which was fine with me. United had moved us from Santa Fe to Montana and Montana to Southern California.  Our packers and movers for this move were professional, kind, courteous, friendly.

I knew from previous moves when we had packers, that they just basically pack. You tell them "everything goes" and by golly, everything will go. Trash has been known to be packed by packers (not in our case, LOL). We stored things we were taking in one of the bedrooms of our previous house and told them nothing in that room was going to be packed so they left that room alone.

Packers pack unemotionally. While I would be emotionally putting this and that together in packing, they just PACK.  They do it well and quickly and they sure enjoy using lots of paper as they pack.  I might put together things that make sense to me while packing, like kitchenware I use a lot, but they have no sense of that as it applies to me, they just group together things as they have been taught and what goes well together.

So we are sorting through boxes for things we need and are missing cords and the power supply to our printer, had a few broken glasses, our washing machine wasn't properly encased, causing some pipes to break on it, causing leaks when it was hooked up, and a few other "minor" inconveniences.  We can report all these as damage and probably will down the road.  Still I'm grateful we didn't have to actually pack and move what we did.  Just wasn't the best experience I've had like previous times with United.  But times change and it was eight and a half years since I had used them before.  Would I still recommend them?  Yeah, I think I would.  They did deliver when they said they would. They were professional and did the job. My complaints are minor and fixable.  So all in all, it was a good experience. 

Now back to sorting through the boxes........

(Thank you all for your kind words on my last post, I truly appreciated each and everyone of them)

Monday, January 5, 2015

He lived his dash much loved

I cannot put this off any longer than I have already put it off and please forgive me that I didn't say anything sooner.  When it happened, it was December 23rd, too close to Christmas to really want to say anything and dampen anyone's Christmas joy. And too busy afterwards and then not the best internet or keyboard to write on. Finally today hubby is getting his pre employment physical and I'm using his laptop.

There is no easy way to say this so I'll just go ahead and say it.

We had to put Koda to sleep on December 23rd.  Totally unexpected at the time, but in looking back, what we thought was his age and his blindness, was that cancer coming back.  And boy did it come back.  Aggressive and with a vengeance.

He had that checkup in October with the swollen gland and there were no cancer cells.  

Somewhere between then and December 23rd the lymphoma returned.  I won't go into all the "gory" details, but he was a sick pup.  The vet said she didn't think he was in pain, but that he just didn't feel well.  

We could have started chemo again, but we had said we wouldn't if the lymphoma returned.  We could have bought him maybe 2 weeks up to 2 months.  

But we knew that wouldn't be fair to him.  Traveling to a new house, new state, new vet, etc., for just a "temporary" fix. The lymphoma was going to kill him and kill him soon.

So we made the tough decision no pet owner wants to make, but the decision so many do.  

We were devastated of course, but know and trust in God's perfect timing.  It would have been hard for Koda to adapt to a new house blind. We were also wondering how he would do on the drive over.  

We will always miss him and think of him with fondness and love.  We have decided though not to get another dog for at least a year. We did not mind taking care of him, giving him his twice a day insulin shots, etc., but we decided to take a break from having any pets while we adjust to Arizona.

I wrote this in my journal 2 days after he died.

Koda 12/1/2004 to 12/23/2014.

He lived his dash lovingly, loyally, contentedly, spunkily, spoily, food drivenly.

He brought joy, love, laughs to his family and friends,

He will always be loved, always be missed.

Thank you Lord for the wonderful gift you gave us in Koda.  It was our privilege to have him in our family and to lovingly take care of him.

Thank you Koda for being such a special dog.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

the calm after the storm

We are here, we arrived safe and sound. The forecast  called for a winterstorm in Southern California in mountain passes we would have to drive through so we left early afternoon Tuesday.  Got here to Prescott after a brief stop at a rest stop (that was not restful at all but that's another story for another day). We arrived here at 6 a.m. Wednesday to a SNOW STORM. I am talking at least 6 inches of snow. Fun unloading the Uhaul, but we did it.

So today it is calm. Sunny, cold, about 23 degrees.

Lots to tell you, pictures to share. Some happy news, silly news, sad news, funny stories.  Those will be in the days ahead.

Trying to keep up reading blogs. Can read fine on the tablet, but hard to comment, that's why sometimes my comments are short (but not so sure how sweet they are).

Furniture arrives Tuesday and with that my desktop computer so life should resume by early next week. In the meantime, Happy New Year, make it a good one.

Monday, December 29, 2014

see you in Arizona!

Happy New Year everyone!

see you on the other side in Arizona.

Should be off line until next weekend and probably won't have much time to read blogs so will catch up with you all soon!

(comments off)

Monday, December 22, 2014

It truly is a wonderful life

I messed up on something.  Made some poor choices about something.  Won't say what they were here, but suffice to say I was not wise and did not use the best of judgment and I knew I had to be accountable to my hubby, as painful as it could be and time was running out that I say something. I already knew tonight was going to be the night I said something and by the grace of God the right time in the conversation came and I took it, as painful as it was for me, and by the grace of God, hubby, who had every reason to be really upset with me was incredibly gracious and forgiving and we had a good talk and set things up for accountability so things like this would not happen again (hopefully) in the future. 

Last night hubby was gone for a band job and I had the remote to myself. I finally saw Its a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart from start to finish.  (Am I the last one that I had seen this movie?) I knew the story, saw bits here, bits there of it, but never the whole thing. I resolved this Christmas season I would see it, so imagine my delight when I turned on TV and saw that the movie was about to start.  Loved it.

So thinking tonight after I "came clean" and confessed how I had screwed up and asked for forgiveness, I realized I do truly have a wonderful life.  I am blessed beyond blessed. I am deeply loved by God and by family and friends. I don't deserve it, but do we ever truly deserve it? I have allowed the last four years to define parts of me I haven't liked and I need to change that going forward. 2015 will certainly hopefully be a different year than 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and I have a word of the year for it that I'll share soon. I'm just thankful God never gives up on us and shapes us how he wants us if we will let him do so.

Time is running out here. 

The packers are coming (12/29) and the moving van a day later. My van ships out the 29th. 

Over these past two Saturdays we had garage sales.  Three years ago when I had the last of several garage sales to dispose of hubby's parents' things, I had sworn "never to have another garage sale again" but sometimes a gal can change her mind and she did when she started seeing the stacks of things we were getting rid of and realizing "hey, we can make some money on this." 

Garage sales are interesting, at least here.  You know you won't get what you think the item is worth, but you just want to get rid of it so you accept that.  So you put the stuff out and you advertise on Craigslist and put a sign up (we live off a major street so its easy to advertise that way) and you get people showing up.  People like to bargain; I get that. Despite the bargaining, we did pretty well over the 2 weeks, mainly because hubby finally got to sort through his dad's tools and realized there were so many duplicates from what he had and tools seem to go really well, so thankfully we did well. Probably moved about 90% of the stuff we put out, except for the furniture.....

There were no takers AT ALL for hubby's parents' dining table and chairs (with two additional leaves for the table, we are talking one big table), a buffet (which I was calling a small hutch until someone corrected me), and an entertainment center (I thought it looked nice). I started advertising them on Craigslist, absolutely no interest except for the scammers which I caught wind of right away and said no way was I going to accept a check and ship something to Alabama or Oklahoma.  I put the stuff out for the garage sale, started at what I thought was  good starting price, kept lowering it, couldn't even give away the items for pennies on the dollar. Probably Goodwill will get a call for a pickup for those items because they definitely are not making the move with us.

Hubby's mom had two nice sets of china. Now I don't do china.  China is beautiful, but I never got "into it" so to speak. We didn't register for china or glassware, etc., when we got married. So we had two sets of china to try to dispose of because again, they were not going to make the move with us. 

China is hard to move.  This china was over 30 years old with one set (his mom bought this particular set for our rehearsal dinner she had for us and we have been married for 34 years). The other set hubby's dad had brought back for his mom from Germany when he was in the military and we guestimate if was in the 1950s when that happened. There were also a set of wine glasses and wine glasses that we think were Waterford crystal (because hubby's mom said so, I could never figure it out).  We definitely didn't want to move this stuff but we also didn't just want to give it away.  We wanted to try to get something for it.

I contacted a place that said they bought china. Well they do, only if it is something they are looking for and they weren't looking for what we had.

I was getting pretty desperate when Thursday afternoon I just decided to take a picture of one of the plates of china and put it on Craigslist for a price to move for an 8 piece set with accompanying serving pieces as well.  I honestly didn't think I would get any response.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my email Friday morning and someone said they wanted to buy the china and it was a local number. I called them back, we arranged a time. I happened to mention the crystal. They said they would bring extra money just in case they were interested.

They bought the china, the crystal, the other set of china and a picture we didn't want to move with us.  Definitely a God thing because I had prayed that morning about the china. 

Again, we didn't get what it could be worth, but again, it is gone, we don't have to move it and we did get something for it.

I probably won't have another garage sale again (yeah right). Probably won't have the stuff like we did this time or times before. It is always challenging to have a garage sale here since we are 10 minutes from the Mexican border. Lots of people come up from Tijuana for sales. Lots don't speak English. They do have basic command of it though to understand money values and they are very good negotiators.

My favorite parts of the garage sales were these:

At the first sale, a multi generational family came, grandchildren, parents, grandmother. The grandmother must have been in her 80s, maybe even 90s.  Very agile.  She saw a bell hubby's parents had on their motor home. She loved ringing it.  The family wanted to buy it for her, she said "no". We negotiated. I saw how much she loved that bell. I went way down on the price. As they were leaving, you could hear the bell being rung over and over again.

Yesterday's sale, another multi generational family. A young baby, 6 months old or so, his parents and a set of grandparents. The parents put a pair of sunglasses on his face. You should have seen how he changed in his expression looking through the world with sunglasses on.  Gave them the glasses free just for that look.

I truly do have a wonderful life. I just need to remember that.....

If I don't post between now and then,

may Koda and me wish you all the Best Merriest of Christmases.

We love you all and we thank you for reading the dribble we write.

May we all remember the reason for the season and remember that Jesus didn't remain that little babe in the manager.....but grew up to be a man and our Savior.  He came to restore shalom......

Merry Christmas everyone!