a bench with a view

a bench with a view

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?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Jeremiah Project Part 1 - a book review


For BookLook Bloggers, I chose to read The Jeremiah Project Part One by A.J. Foltz. For agreeing to read the book in its entirety and posting a review of it on my blog and a commercial site, I was given a free ebook copy of the book.

Little background info here before I do the book review. God entered into a covenant with the Israelites when he brought them out of the land of Egypt where they had been slaves for 400 years. Moses led them out of Egypt to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants more than 400 years previously. Why God chose Abraham and why he chose to make him the father of the nation of Israel, I don't know, but that was God's plan. Israel is God's chosen people. Always has been so, always will be.

When God and the Israelites entered into the covenant, both sides agreed what they would do. God basically would give them the land he had promised, a land of milk and honey. He would provide for them and protect them. Israel was to basically obey God and his commands, to love God only, worship no other goods. Deuteronomy 28 lists the covenant and the penalties if broken.

Israel did get into the promised land, but wanted to be like the other nations around it. It started following other nations' gods, wanted a king like other nations, and made idols out of wood and stone. God gave them a king, but clearly did tell them what the king would make them do.

Through the years there was just a handful of good kings, i.e. those that followed God, obeyed his commands. David was the best of them in doing so. After his son's, Solomon's death the kingdom of Israel that had consisted of 12 tribes split, 10 became Israel and 2 became Judah. Over the next 400 years or so, there would never be a good king in Israel, Judah had just a few.

God would send prophets again and again to warn the people not to worship idols or other gods, but the people would halfheartedly obey or not obey altogether. Israel eventually went into exile, having been overthrown by the Assyrians. Judah remained free for a period of time. One of the punishments if Israel did not obey the covenant was exile. Finally after years of disobeying God despite warnings by prophets not to do so, God had reached his limit and Judah was overthrown by Babylon and taken into exile.

The book of Jeremiah tells the story and why Judah found herself at that point in her history to have her city Jerusalem destroyed and the temple made by Solomon completely destroyed.

Now on to the book review.

Mr. Foltz, the author of the Jeremiah Project Part 1, was on a search of Jesus through the Old Testament. As part of his search, he decided to write in his own handwriting word by word each of the prophet books located in the Old Testament. He started with the shorter books and worked his way up to the book of Jeremiah . He hadn't "found" Jesus a lot in the books he was researching this way, so when he got to Jeremiah he decided to change course and make it as a form of a Bible study with questions and answers and by doing so, he started finding Jesus through snapshots of words in the pages of Jeremiah that described who Jesus is.

His goal is for us who believe in Jesus to become avid believers who are effective for Christian mission.

The Jeremiah Project Part 1 is of the first 10 chapters of the book of Jeremiah and it is basically a Bible study. Each chapter is divided into 4 sections. He describes these as a specialty sandwich:

Prelude - introduction of chapter, described as first piece of bread for sandwich.

Chapter Study - going through each chapter verse by verse with questions aimed at those verses, described as meat, cheese, relishes for a sandwich.

Tag-Along - something to think about, described as bread on top of sandwich.

Scrapbook - a picture of Jesus in the form of words; described as fancy toothpick in sandwich.

It was his hope that by spending time in this study it would help people to understand why God doesn't stop all the "bad stuff" from happening in the world and by the end of the study, one would be able to come to a conclusion of why God does allow what he allows to happen in this world.

I absolutely loved this study, mainly because I find this particularly time in the Bible fascinating. Last year around this time I had on my own did a study of the different kings in Israel and Judah and had listed how long they reigned and whether they were good kings or not (good defined as those that followed God's commands). I also spent time reading the prophets that were prophesying during particular times of kings' reigns. So when I saw this book was available for review, of course it interested me to get it.

It was a very thorough study of the first 10 chapters of Jeremiah and included other books of the Bible as we studied this particular time as well as what brought Judah to the point where it was to be put into exile. Each chapter had multiple questions to answer from the verses.

I started the study the first part of June, working on it during the time I spend most days reading the Bible and praying. Because it was so conclusive of so much information, it took me about 7 weeks to finish the whole study. I think going at a pace of a chapter a week would be good, but I wanted to try to finish it in a timely manner since it was a book I was reviewing, but at the same time I wanted to take the time to do the study in a thorough manner.

I would highly recommend this book for someone who is interested in doing such a study . I would not recommend it for a small group to study unless people were committed to doing the work it required to get through a chapter a week, which I would think would be about 30-45 minutes daily devoted to the study on a weekly basis for the 10 chapters of the book. And definitely if someone is interested in this part of Israel's history, it is a good study with lots of questions answered and information given.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

it was just one of those days

You know what kind of days I might be talking about, everything just seems to flow, it all seems to go well, have you had one of those days?

I took today off.  I accumulate so many hours of PTO per pay day.  I'm capped at 210 hours so if I don't use them, I don't gain any more. It used to be 240 hours, somehow I missed the memo that was sent out that they reduced it to 210 hours and there were several months I didn't gain any PTO. So now I'm careful.  If I am close to reaching 210 hours, I take a day here, a day there.  I try to keep my bank close to 200 hours of PTO which is equivalent to about a month's salary.  I work in an industry that doesn't guarantee steady employment. There have been lay offs.  I could be one of them down the road.  I would like to have a month's salary available before unemployment kicks in.  I have no money to go on vacation for a week or so and really we don't want to board Koda at this stage of the game so we stay put.

So I had the day off. 

Hubby and me went out to breakfast this morning at this great family restaurant.  I thought I ordered small, sausage scrambled with eggs, potatoes, pancakes since the restaurant is known for their pancakes. My platter of eggs and sausage and potatoes could feed a family of four for a week, I kid you not. Three huge pancakes accompanied the order.  I ate less than a third of the eggs, sausage and potatoes, two of the pancakes, and the rest came home.  Son had some of my leftovers and hubby's leftovers for lunch and there is still enough for another meal. And the prices weren't that bad.  Great restaurant. I'll recommend it if you are in the area.

Hubby then did a presentation at the studio he works for 28 kids part of a summer day camp. He talked of music and played some songs. 75% of the kids listened. I call it a success. He may get a student or two or maybe not, but that's okay, it still was a fun time.

Then we came home, gave Koda that car ride he still enjoys and son joined us for lunch.

He's sort of employed now, but not employed now. He's on the payroll but not working a lot lately.  Politics play a part here.  Could go into explanations but it would take a long time to explain it all. A lot his fault, some his employer's fault. He knows the writing is on the wall.  He's gradually being eliminated so he is looking for something else.

So hubby is on his computer doing whatever he's looking at.

I'm on Craigslist looking at jobs for son, sending potential things his way.

Son's laptop is dying (dead but we don't want to admit it) so he's on his tablet, applying for this, applying for that.  Koda is moving among us, by hubby, by son, by me, in the kitchen where he likes to sleep.

We're connected though we aren't talking.

We're all working on technology.

It just seems to flow.

And I like it.

All together.

We won't always be.

Son will get another job.

I won't have a Friday off.

Koda will choose to sleep down the hall in the bathroom.

But we were all relatively together.

And it was good.

Just one of those days.

We got sandwiches for dinner.

We watched Non-Stop (good movie).

We said good night.

And we move on to tomorrow, whatever it brings.

But today was just one of those days.

And it was a good one.