Wish for Peace, Joy and Blessings Received Today

My friend Pat sent me the following message today.  This came after I drove through a cold snowstorm to get to work this morning.  What an inspirational message when I just wanted to be cold, wet and cranky!

I sincerely hope that with each passing day, you will feel more empowered and feel a greater sense of peace from within.  A wise pastor once told me to have faith.  That when in a winter’s phase of life, to remember that spring follows with new growth, new signs of life.  It is by this journey that we are given the opportunity for personal growth.

God’s abundant blessings to you.   Wishing you peace and joy, Pat

2014-11-9 Messages received from Sermon Simpson UMC “Awaiting the Fullness of the Kingdom of God” Pastor Tezenlo Thong

Sermon “Awaiting the Fullness of the Kingdom of God” Pastor Tezenlo Thong

Messages received:

  • As we journey through life we must have hope, help others to have hope and make a difference.
  • Consider whether our actions are guided by belief.
  • As we wait for the end of any journey, big or small, it is our responsibility to wait actively and not be idle but continue our service to God.
  • We can serve God by recognizing and serving those in need.
  • Keep hope and patience.
  • Don’t be lulled into inactivity, don’t let life’s journeys be unfulfilled.
  • To give is to receive, to replenish those in need is to replenish oneself.



Emily and Jake (formerly Mary and Jack)

A mostly true story but the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Updated!  The characters in this story have given me permission to use their real names.  Thank you Emily and Jake.


This is the second time we had been to this building.  The last time was last week, exactly one week ago.

Emily was driving as usual and she was nervous for some reason.  She kept glancing over at me and smiling at me, making me suspicious, I suspected that she was trying to put me at ease.

I ignored her odd behavior, I was intent on having a good time tonight just like I did last week.

As we entered the building my anticipation intensified, and Emily’s anxiety intensified.

We were the last to arrive, and as we entered the group I saw that the other couples gave us a wide berth, it suddenly felt like we were an island separated from the others.  Wow maybe I wasn’t going to have a good time tonight!

As our leader entered the group, he was clearly puzzled and possibly exasperated as he almost shouted “Who is that crying like a baby?”

Half of the faces turned and looked at us as the other half turned away as if in punishment.

I looked at Emily adoringly, she had rescued me and I didn’t really want to let her down but I am a being who lives in the moment and at this moment I guess it was I that was crying like a baby.  Well not really crying I was just whining with anticipation of having a good time. The human half of the couples were staring at us, the other dogs were looking away in some kind of doggy embarrassment.

After only week, we were all already a pack – I think our pack is called puppy training class.  The others wanted us to succeed and supported us but didn’t know what to do and that’s why we had a leader who is called instructor or teacher.

Emily adopted me as an older puppy, I’m some kind of a lab mix and a real handful.  It’s possible and probable that I was unadoptable and she saved my life.

I adore Emily and just want to make her happy. I’m not sure how to do that yet but Emily is learning how to communicate with me and we’re going to make it work.

Wish us luck on our journey!



Today’s Muse 4


Muse:  A source of inspiration and a guiding spirit.


I have a sliding glass door I use to let my dogs in and out of the back yard.

Monty is usually the last one to come in.  When he realizes he is in the yard alone, without his 2 pack members, he checks out to see if I am standing at the door.  If he sees me at the door he races at top speed, never hesitating, never slowing down, never even considering that I might not open the door and that he might crash into the glass.

What an amazing thing to have such trust and belief in another being.  I am so honored!

But, he does not race to the back door if he has one of his “outside” prizes he wants to drag into the house.  He does realize that for some reason I don’t open the door if he has a muddy branch, a dead worm, or any assortment of strange things he is able to discover in my little back yard.

My hero and today’s Muse.




Today’s Muse 3


Muse:  A source of inspiration and a guiding spirit.


Today’s Muse is the view from my office window.


I often forget to enjoy and appreciate the simple things I experience almost daily. Enjoying this view throughout the day as the sun hits the mountains at different angles and through the changing seasons is a wonderful thing.

My hero and today’s Muse.




Grace Motoyoshi’s easy fried rice

Grace Motoyoshi’s is my brother-in-law’s mom.

When my sister Kris started dating Den I was a teenager. Kris was nine years older than me and everything about her was fascinating.  I was intrigued. I wanted to know everything about Den.  I would ride my bike to visit Den’s parents to find out more about him and his family.  I just recently found out that Den never knew about these visits.

I think Den’s parents found these visits somewhat alarming at first but then they became amused and resigned and just dealt with me – that teenage sister of their son’s latest girlfriend.

We didn’t have much in common me being at that  annoying age, a teenager who knew it all, I was probably not a lot of fun for them.  I bless them that they tolerated me and didn’t complain to Kris and Den about my visits.

They were thoughtful and knew a teenager would be hungry.  Grace would make me something real quick to eat.  Fried rice not like anything I had ever tasted because Grace had a secret ingredient she used.  Dashi dried soup stock!


Here is her recipe with a very few additions I have made along the years.

You will need cold day old rice (cold rice isn’t  so sticky).

Heat some oil in a pan.  Here you can add some butter and/or some toasted sesame seed oil for extra umami (savory taste).  You can also and some onion or some minced or crushed garlic here and if you do cook for a bit. Then add your cold rice.  Stir occasionally until heated.  Sprinkle with dashi powder to taste.  Here you can also add soy sauce but be careful as dashi powder will also be salty and you will want to taste frequently.  Last add one egg per portion, this is quick fried rice so just crack the egg(s) over the pan in stir in.

Here is Grace Moyoyoshi’s quick fried rice with ebi (shrimp) tempura fishcake and kasuzuke cucumbers.



Recipe Apology

I just realized I don’t put measurements in my recipes.

I apologize for that.  I figured out the reason why my recipes are so vague.


My dad never used recipes and he would just go by intuition.  I can see him now tasting a concoction and adding a little of this or a lot of that to make it perfect.

My mom always used recipes.  She swore that she followed those recipes exactly. But I remember it differently. For example, when she made bread she would have the recipe in front of her.  She would carefully measure out the ingredients.  She would then add more liquid or more flour and I’d ask her how she knew to do that and she would just tilt her head in that Doris fashion and smile but never give me a real answer.

Doris would also, after following any recipe carefully, taste it and add this or that.  Then she’d rewrite the recipe with her “corrections”.

I just realized tonite that Sam and Doris gave me their cooking style, a real gift, but making it impossible for me to follow a recipe….

I have a terrible habit of reading cookbooks like other people read novels. I seriously have at least 100 cookbooks.  My husband had a rule he was trying one summer with the kids about reading as a family for a little while each day.  I would read cookbooks, my step-kids found this hilarious but also curious and asked me more than once, “Are you going to cook anything out of that book?”  It seemed like I never did.

I realized tonight that I often did cook something out of those books but I did it the Sam and Doris way, by taking a recipe and making it mine.  Before even cooking a dish once I had already made changes!

No measurements necessary make that recipe yours!


Make My Day Roscoe and Monty’s Story




Monty is our most recent rescue. He is a Dalmation mix (possibly mixed with Jack Russell terrier – heavy sigh) and a real handful.

He had been with us for about a year and had been keeping the whole household busy with his boisterous activity.

My other dogs, Rommy who is a German Shepherd and Roscoe who is a German Shepherd mix, are extremely dog friendly but were losing patience with Monty as was I.  (We would never let him go we were just finding his personality a bit of a trial.)

Rommy and Roscoe understood each other and I understood them as German Shepherds.  None of us understood Monty, he was out of our realm.  We loved him, well I loved him, Rommy and Roscoe tolerated him because they love me.

Roscoe had not been feeling well for awhile and was getting worse.  He had been to the emergency vet and his regular vet  three times in one week with weird symptoms.  They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him and blood tests were inconclusive.

I was really worried about him.  That night I woke up and checked on him at least every hour. I checked on him around 6am and he seemed alert and okay, this made me feel a little better about him and I was able to fall sound asleep.

An hour later at about 7am Monty, who was sleeping with me on the bed, suddenly jumped up and started barking.  He leapt off the bed and ran down the hall.  I was so sound asleep, if Monty hadn’t woke me up I wouldn’t have woke up to check on Roscoe that hour……

Monty had gone directly to Roscoe and was obviously destressed and worried about him.  Roscoe was unconscious and unresponsive.   I somehow I picked Roscoe up (90 pounds of limp dog) and carried him to my car – then racing him back to the emergency vet.

A different vet was on duty.  She took one look at Roscoe and said: “I’ve seen this before I know whats wrong with him, we don’t have time for the results of the blood test I need to give him a shot now or he won’t make it!”

He got the shot and he was soon regaining consciousness.  The vet told me that if I hadn’t brought him in when I did he would not have survived.

Roscoe has a disease called Addison’s which is hard to diagnose in dogs (people get this disease also) but it is realatively easy to control once you have the diagnosis and figure a treatment plan.

Roscoe has made a full recovery. Amazing things are happening, he is much more confident and his fur is truly annoying (before thin and sickly now has a really thick  coat of fur and sheds like a healthy German Shepherd double heavy sigh).

Monty still creates great havoc  in our house, his favorite target is Roscoe.

When Monty is up to his “special” antics I remind Roscoe who is usually his “special” target that Monty did save his life.

Roscoe lets out a triple heavy sigh and in the true noble German Shepherd fashion moves on with his journey.



Today’s Muse 2

Muse:  A source of inspiration and a guiding spirit.

Today’s Muse is Rose who is 82 years old and has decided to begin practicing Yoga.

She recently had knee surgery and does not like how weak she has gotten. She feels stiff and sore and wanted to get her previous energy and good balance back.

Rose joined our Yoga group Saturday.  Rose and her daughter Chris decided that Rose would use a chair for balance and support.

Every time I looked at Rose she had a good natured determined look on her face.  She carefully experimented with the different poses and was a truly amazing presence.

Like a good friend that chair was there to support Rose if she needed it.   Rose is going to look into some chair Yoga at the senior center but intends to still join our group on Saturdays.

Her presence created a truly uplifting and inspiring experience.  If Rose can start her Yoga practice at 82 years old, what could the rest of us do?

My hero and today’s Muse.




Today’s Muse 1

Muse:  A source of inspiration and a guiding spirit.

Today’s Muse is the little girl, a toddler learning to walk.

Her adoring parents following her every step as she toddled across the parking lot.  Before those doting parents could help her she determinely tried to step up onto the curb.

Her little face scrunched in thought her toe caught  the edge of the curb and she landed with an almost audible smack right on her chin.   I expected immediate tears as her mom covered her face with her hands and as her dad leaned over her, but wait!  Something inside him stopped him from going to her rescue, she struggled to her feet and thought about those tears but changed her mind.  She looked right at me and gave me a big bright smile.

She looked at that curb and carefully stepped up, a little tipsy – but she caught her balance to the relief of the three adults watching her.  Laughing in the moment she continued on her journey.

My hero and today’s Muse.