Tuesday, September 24, 2013

the ice cream fiasco

I like ice cream but I rarely eat ice cream because I'm always watching my calories.  I also don't like ice cream if it is a cool day outside, so if I'm going to eat ice cream, its going to be in the hot of summer. 

Well, confession time here.

A couple weeks ago, the night of that fight with Mayweather? So I guess two Saturdays ago?  Well, hubby was at a job where he helps out a friend of his who has a sound system run it, so he was gone for the majority of the afternoon and evening.  Son went next door to the neighbors to watch the fight. 

I was home alone (well sort of alone, Koda was here, but he pretty much ignores me and waits by the door for hubby, unless I go into the kitchen, and then he comes mooching for a snack.)

So, I was home alone.....and it was a warm evening so I thought I would get a bowl of ice cream.  We had Dreyer's Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream opened, so I scooped out a bowl full and started eating it.  Finished it and thought, "geesh, that was really good, I'm going to get some more."  So I went back into the kitchen and started eating directly from the carton (bad idea). 

Before I know it, I had eaten most of the carton.  I won't say how full it was when I started, but let me just say it was more full than empty and now it was more empty than full. 

I thought "oh my God, how am I going to explain that I ate this much" especially since I'm always watching my calories.....

So I put the ice cream away and go to bed and all night (I swear its true), I'm thinking "I got to make this right. I can't let hubby or son know I ate this much ice cream".  So I thought "I'll go to the store after I walk Koda in the morning and get another carton and scoop out how much had already been eaten and just throw away the carton that I had eaten almost to the bottom and no one will ever know."  That seemed a reasonable option, so the next morning I get up, shower, get Koda for a walk and stop at the local grocery store.....

Only to find out they didn't have that flavor of ice cream.  I briefly thought about going to another store to find it, but then decided to come clean.

As an atonement, I bought another carton of ice cream, one of the favorites they both liked, and then a few donuts for them for the morning breakfast. 

And when I came home I told them both the truth.  They just laughed.

Later in the week I did get another carton of Mocha Almond Fudge to replace that one.

And now I think their ice cream stash is safe, at least until next summer, since the weather is starting to cool down a bit.

It did feel good to tell the truth, but I have to say I was just a bit tempted not to and to cover my tracks.......

so are you an ice cream eater?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

yes, I would have voted guilty

Reynaldo Bonoan, 28 years old, with a 6-year-old daughter and scheduled to marry his fiancee, his daughter's mom, a month later, died May 19, 2012 at 4:21 p.m. in a family neighborhood in South San Diego, witnessed by at least a dozen of people just outside doing normal activities on a spring sunny afternoon; just down the block from the birthday party he had been attending for a relative's young child's first birthday.

Reynaldo Bonoan was shot in the back as he was running, trying to get away from Deon Bryant, the one with the gun, 16 years old at the time.  Mikee Haynes was with Deon, but he had no idea Dean even had a gun or had an intent to use the gun.

Reynaldo pleaded "don't shoot me, don't shoot me", but he died at the scene, a single gun shot to his back that penetrated his heart.  He died instantly. 

A year later, in the courtroom, sitting, listening to the trial of Mikee Haynes for felony murder, the grief of his fiancee and his mother was still palpable and raw.  Time had not begun to heal the loss they had on that day, May 19, 2012.

I didn't know Reynaldo Bonoan.  I never heard of the shooting on the news, or if I did, I "dismissed" it as another sad shooting that unfortunately happens more often than not in San Diego County.

I had never heard of the charge of felony murder until May 30, 2013 when I found myself in a courtroom, having been summoned for jury duty, and had actually been called randomly along with 49 other people also serving jury duty to see if we would be picked for the jury to hear the case of Mikee Haynes, who was charged with felony murder.

I walked into the courtroom, along with the 49 other people, and my first reaction was "it sure looks smaller than it does on TV." My second thought after I sat down at the seat assigned to me as I looked at the defendant, Mikee Haynes, was "this is serious business, drunk driving or a drug charge."

My jaw would have dropped if I had allowed it when the judge said the charge of felony murder and described what it was.

Mikee was 19 years old at the time of the trial.  He was all of 18 years and 1 month when the crime occurred on May 19, 2012.  He was one month short of graduating high school. 

He looked like your average young man. 

What is the felony murder charge you ask?  California has a law that if in the commission of a robbery or a burglary someone is killed, even if you didn't actually do the killing, if you were there or helped plan the robbery or burglary, you could be charged with felony murder.

And that is what Mikee Haynes was charged with.  He was involved in the robbery of Reynaldo Bonoan, they were going to steal marijuana from him that he was going to try to sell to them.  They had planned that part to steal.  They had not planned to kill him, well let's say four out of five of them involved hadn't planned murder. I'm not sure what Deon Bryant's intent was, the one who had taken the gun from Andrew Oliver's house, unknown to anyone else. 

For whatever reason, the deal went bad and Reynaldo Bonoan ran, Deon shot, Reynaldo died.  In the course of the investigation, Deon would be arrested, Mikee would be arrested, as he was with him at the time, Andrew Oliver would be arrested for driving the car, and Tyronne Wells, another guy in the car and 17 years old at the time of the crime, would be arrested for being with them during the time of the shooting. 

At the end of the jury selection, I was amazed to find that I had been selected as one of the 12 jurors.  I was kind of excited to see how things would happen as I had never served on a jury before.  I told hubby I had been selected, but of course could not tell what the case was. The case was scheduled to go 5-7 days.  My employer pays up to 10 days of jury duty time so there was no problem with my job.

I was riveted by the testimony when we began hearing the case the following Monday.  I would look at Mikee and wonder what was going through his head, hearing the testimony that had him at the scene and the events that unfolded.  I sympathized with the victim's fiancee as she testified and felt sad listening to his mom's soft crying.

The case did not go to the jury.  On the third day of testimony when we arrived, we were delayed for two hours to go into the court room. When we finally were allowed in, the judge said we were dismissed as they had reached a plea in the case.  She then went on to say that Mikee Haynes had pled to a charge that would have him in jail for 17 YEARS.  She thanked us for our service and said the attorneys would be outside later if we wanted to talk with them.

The district attorney never came out to talk to us, but the defense attorney did.  She filled us in with why Mikee took the plea for 17 YEARS as he had no idea what we the jury would find him guilty of and if we found him guilty of felony murder he could get 25 years to life in jail.  No one wants to have that type of a sentence so he was willing to get the sentence he did.

Deon Bryant, the shooter, got 25 years to life.

Tyronne Wells had taken a similar deal as Mikee and got 17 years.

Andrew Oliver was scheduled to go to trial next and they thought he would plead to second degree murder and get 25 years.  He was 22 at the time of the crime.

The fifth guy in the car they were not sure if charges would be brought against him.

Reynaldo Bonoan's mom was there listening to the defense attorney talking to us.  She cried again, saying "why did they have to shoot him? He was saying "don't shoot, don't shoot".  We all hugged her and I said I was praying for her and her family. 

I'm also praying for Mikee Haynes while he is in prison. The defense attorney said most likely he'll be out when he is about 33 years old.  It seems like a lifetime away. I wonder at my age of 55 if I'll still be alive when he comes out. 

I bet he had no idea there was a law of felony murder when he went along with the crime that they were going to commit. 

I wonder had he known, if he still would have gone along.

Another juror said she couldn't wait to tell her teenage kids about the case to let them know that they need to be careful what they do and who they hang around.

It was such a sad case to be involved with.  There were no clear winners here.  Reynaldo is dead and his daughter will never get the chance for him to walk her down the aisle; his mom will always grieve him.  Mikee, who otherwise was a relatively good kid, ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time and it would cost him that long prison sentence.

And yes, if it had gone for us to deliberate the case, I would have had to vote guilty because as defined by the law for felony murder, he was guilty of it with the evidence I had heard up until the time of the plea. 

This was my first time on a jury.  I will continue to do my jury service as I am summoned.  I just don't know how eager I will be to be on another jury. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Uncle John

My mom had 9 siblings, 5 sisters and 4 brothers. She was the youngest of them and the last of them to be married, at the age of 32, she considered herself an old maid, but nonetheless, she did get married and then had 3 kids over the next 5 or so years.

Being the youngest, I think she was a bit spoiled. I know she was deeply loved by the majority of her siblings.

She was also teased by her brothers, sometimes mercilessly so that she would run crying to her mother, who would tell her not to listen to them, but she would nonetheless.

Uncle John (her brother) would tease her that his nose was smaller than hers and when she would question him about it, he would measure his nose against hers and he would adjust the size of his fingers that her nose was always bigger than his. It took her a few years to figure out his strategy in always having the smaller nose.

My mom was a young widow, my dad dying when he was only 39 years old. I think her siblings that were in the town where she lived rallied around her and helped out whenever they could, they and my cousins, her nieces and nephews. Being the youngest, and married later than they did, the nieces and nephews were in their teens and older by the time her children came along, so my mom had a lot of babysitters available to her.

Uncle John and Aunt Stella lived about 2-1/2 blocks away from us. Funny, they lived in Sharon, Pennsylvania and a mere 2-1/2 blocks away we lived in Farrell, Pennsylvania. State Street was the dividing street on where you lived; we lived east of it, they lived west of it.

They had 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. The boys during summer had a portable ice cone making type of machine that they would walk around in neighborhoods to sell ice cones too. Delicious.

They had a house with a basement and one room was dedicated as a train room with a model railroad set up with lots of tracks, scenery, and trains running.

Uncle John worked in one of the steel mills there.

I remember one time getting off the school bus in the midst of a downpour of rain and running to their house with my brother and sister since it was closer than our house. I remember being soaked, yet provided dried clothes and a place to stay until my mom could come and pick us up after she got off from work.

We eventually moved to San Diego. One year Uncle John and Aunt Stella with one of their daughters, Dorothy, came to visit us. He was retired by then, probably in his early 70's. The neighbors up the street from us had a mulberry tree in their front yard, ripe with fruit. Uncle John asked if he could pick the fruit, they were glad to have it gone. He picked the mulberries and made a pie from them; the one and only time I had mulberry pie, but boy was it delicious.

Aunt Stella died first, Uncle John tried to stay in their house, but he eventually needed additional care. He went into a nursing home, reluctantly. He always wanted to return home, to live on his own. His children didn't want that to happen, they figured he was unable to do so. In fact they sold the house without him knowing that they had sold it (not sure how that happened, can't remember that part of the story if it was relayed to me by my mom or if one of the children had power of attorney to do so).

He always asked at the nursing home what he had to do to get to be able to leave the nursing home. To humor him, they told him he had to do this, be capable of doing that, independent with this activity of daily living, etc. He strove to do what was required of him and he reached each and every milestone that they said he needed to do to leave the nursing home.

He was ready to leave, asked them when it would happen. His children told him it would not happen, the house was sold, he would have to continue to live at the nursing home.

Devastated, defeated, he died soon after that at the age of 94.

My mom always thought it wasn't quite fair how it played out; how hard he had worked, how he had been deceived.

I don't have too many more memories of him. I think though he was a good man.........

Friday, September 13, 2013

the list works, if you work the list

When we lived in the Temecula area, hubby helped out at the church we were attending at the time with their Celebrate Recovery program, which is similar to Alcoholic's Anonymous, except the higher power talked about at Celebrate Recovery is Jesus.  John Baker and Rick Warren at Saddleback Church actually were the ones that started the program back in 1990.  Its a 12 step program for working through addictions and being sober.  He helped with the worship music before the program began.

The leader there had a saying, "the program works, if you work the program," of course meaning if you did the 12 steps and were consistent in doing so and by the power of Jesus in your life, you would be able to get sober and maintain sobriety from whatever your addiction.

I'm not mocking the program or his statement in any way during the rest of my blog post today, in fact I think it is a wonderful program and has much success in the sobriety of a majority of people.

But I often think of his comment "the program works if you work the program" in various aspects of our lives, especially lately as I age (gasp) and I can no longer keep the weekly shopping list in my head like I used to in my younger years.

Before a few years back, I could remember what I needed for recipes or other things we needed in the house.  Lately though, if it is not written down, even despite the best intention, I will forget it.  Even talking over with hubby that we need this or that, we still both forget it, if it is not written on the list.

One of the stores here has special values if you sign up for them, the Vons Just4U program, which I did sign up for. I have to go in weekly to their specials and put the specials I want on the card and then I print out the list to take when we go shopping.  From that piece of paper, I create the shopping list of other things we need.

We tend to go to three stores in our shopping outings, Sprouts for produce, Wal-Mart since it has the cheaper prices overall on house products, etc., and Vons for their specials.  The stores are located in close proximity to each other so we make a loop. 

I fold my list of paper in fourths, one side I write down the menus for the week.  On another, the list for Sprouts, another side the list for Wal-Mart, and lastly the list for Vons. 

Armed with hubby's pen when we get to each store, we get what we need, mark off the item from the list and move on.  Grocery shopping from start to finish takes about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, that includes driving to the stores, shopping, driving home and unpacking.

If I do forget something from the store, usually out of hubby's mouth will be "was it on the list?" or vice versa if he forgets something I'll say "it wasn't on the list."

We usually go shopping Friday afternoons.  So today this morning, I remembered Koda needed dog cookies, so I wrote it on the list (because if I don't, I won't remember, I've learned).  I ask hubby if he needs anything that he wants me to put on the list.  Wisely, he said "mouthwash".  He's forgotten items in the past because they weren't on the list.

The list works, if you work the list.

Do you need a shopping list when you shop?

Monday, September 9, 2013

breakups

Son and girlfriend broke up over the summer.  It really doesn't matter who initiated the breakup, its a fascinating story and I might share it one day, but regardless, they are no longer together.  This is the third time they broke up in their 3 year relationship, but I think this is the one that is going to take, in the sense that the other 2 breakups they agreed to "stay together" and try to work it out, whatever that meant.   This time, there was no such agreement.

I think it is a good thing. Actually, I'm ecstatic about it.  Its not that I didn't like her, she was a personable person, who like the most of us, had her faults.  He has his faults, I'm sure more than hers. 

They just weren't good together, if that makes sense. 

I have prayed during his last two serious relationships God's best for the two of them.  I only want God's best for son and the woman he is involved in and if neither one of them are God's best for each other, then I don't want the relationship. 

I can only think that she was not God's best for him and he was not God's best for her.

Of course there are loose ends in breaking off such a relationship.  Against my advice, he and her had gotten a cell phone plan together a few years back; not sure what is going to happen to that as they just renewed it this past January.  That's for them to sort out.

Then there is the issue of her little girl, who was 6 months old when the two of them met.  As they were one time contemplating marriage, she wanted him to be fully committed to not only her but to help raise her child(ren) and to be like a daddy to them to the extent of them calling him dad.  It took him a bit of thinking to see if he wanted to be that committed, but did agree and took on what I consider an exemplary role of fathering, especially when he was not there all the time and she would often go against the discipline she wanted him to do.  Things he worked on when they were together would be lost when they weren't together.  But the wee one was used to calling him "daddy," which I knew would be a problem if they ever broke up.  I feel for her because she doesn't understand this all and I wonder what she will think at her young age when another man is presented as daddy, but that is for her mom to work out and explain. 

Then there is the issue, not much of a one, but she had been part of son's life for 3 years.  We spent holidays together, other times together, was led to believe she possibly would be our daughter-in-law. Now she is "out of the picture" so to speak and we didn't get a chance to say goodbye, to wrap up loose ends, to have closure.  I would have liked to at least say "good luck and take care of yourself." 

I would like to hope son waits a bit before he starts dating again and prays for God's best for him.  I know I'll be doing that and will just trust in God.......

Monday, September 2, 2013

I blinked........

........and suddenly it is Labor Day.  Honestly, I had no idea when I disappeared back in March that I would be gone as long as I was gone or that I would even consider giving up blogging or why suddenly blogging had become tedious.  If you know me, you know I loved to blog but in March it stopped being fun and almost seemed like work, so I knew a break would be in order while I sorted it all out. 

.......and now I'm back......with more realistic expectations about blogging......I've struggled with fitting blogging in ever since we moved down here 2-1/2 years ago, always trying to find the time to get it all done, so to speak, with having hubby home during the days, times where I would have normally read blogs.....so realistically, I'm not going to be able to follow the amount of blogs I used to follow or comment as much as I might want and I don't see schedules changing in the foreseeable future.....so I've set up a time limit on how much I'll be blogging daily and see how that goes.  And I totally understand if any and all choose not to continue reading whatever I may write. 

Its been an interesting few months.  There was a time during these past months that I wouldn't have had time to blog, but then we established a routine, only to have that routine change (I know I'm being evasive here, but I must for the sake of privacy for others), and I'm sure shortly this routine too will change and we'll scramble around adjusting to that one, as we all do in our lives and seasons of our lives.

All I can say, though, it is amazing how God answers prayers and when he chooses to answer them and how he chooses to answer them.  And I'm thankful for each and every prayer that he has answered, will answer, is currently answering but there is a particular prayer over this time period that I am so VERY GRATEFUL that he did answer that one and the particular way in which he did so (I know, evasive again, so sorry).

Koda never minds if I talk about him, so I'll say he is doing good, as food oriented as he has always been, bringing us continual laughs with his antics.  I am so very happy to say, and a bit proud of myself too, thankfully by the grace of God, that I can now administer Koda's insulin shots by myself, i.e., me holding him, me "shooting" him.  Before it was a two person operation, hubby holding, me "shooting," but due to some changes in hubby's schedules and son not always being around to help hold Koda, necessity became the mother of invention and we tried it and it worked, thank God.

I've changed how I'll "appear" when commenting on blogs.  I used to be "That Corgi", now I'm simply "betty" with a picture of a sunset. 

I hope all have been well and have enjoyed your summer, amazing fall and the holidays are around the corner, weren't they just here?