Learning About Dogs

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holy wood

Q&A: What new word have you learned? ploce; the repetition of a word or phrase for emphasis or an extension of meaning, but I use alliteration all the time and can’t think of the word when in conversation; so not sure how learned it is.

We went shopping this morning so we could make breakfast — a sweet potato, a shallot, half a leek, half a beet, half a red and yellow bell pepper, half an inch of ginger, four veggie sausage patties, and two eggs with some fresh ground peppercorn.

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helping dad with hinges

After that filling meal we went to the discount ticket store again (details about those when they happen) and I stopped by the Vitamix (perfect blend app) booth for some key lime ice cream, banana-spinach coffee, veggie soup, and a virgin margarita.

Caleb helped Ryan build a gate while I went with Fallon to walk her dog Zeus, shop for dinner, and make Christmas cookies (before Halloween). She burnt the first round of steaks and went back for more to go with the edamame and fried cauliflower rice.

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from the heart and hunger of a seven year old

Fallon and I kept her friend John company and got to meet his friend Sam while I got to help give ideas for the menu of food and read a book about dogs. Then I read aloud the Dec. 23, 2003 post on Johnwise.com for a laugh down memory lane.

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book cover

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with illustrations

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sometimes

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the end

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Counting Steps

Q&A: Who do you count on? Caleb mostly.

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soaps, succulents, and scarecrows

I have a step counting app on my phone and it comes with the ability for random people, like a guy named Volcano, to challenge me to get 50,000 steps in seven days. I’m currently in the lead by 12,945.

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a Bad Onion and Frankentina

The kindergarten teacher, Tina, invited me to carpool with her and Jorge, my co-worker, to a fall festival in either Escondido or Encinitas (possibly both if she’d had more time) and if Jorge hadn’t been 42 minutes late.

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view from brunch

She drove us to The Farm Stand West and I tried some Kyoho grapes, a peach slice, a carrot cake sample, and an ounce of pomegranate orange juice. We walked out to the pumpkin patch, but not for picking, only pictures.

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Pumpkin and Spice

Next was the Lexus Dealership of Escondido, but we weren’t there for the shiny cars and cookie smells. We went to Vintana Wine + Dine for their cucumber water and their eggs on toast with sriracha hollandaise and side of asparagus with garlic herb potatoes.

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sunset over downtown

I got home at 2:30 and we had leftovers for dinner three hours later so we could go to the South Park Walkabout to play pinball, pet dogs, try Whalebird Kombucha, and sample Fernside trail mix — spicy fried almonds, Chex, gummy bears, and chilli-lime chickpeas.

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South Park

We drove through North Park and then to Balboa Park where we wondered to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion to join in the Festival of Lights ceremony and find the many booths selling clothes, jewelry, and food. The line for parathas was the shortest.

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Festival of Lights

We had planned on walking one of the trails in the dark but didn’t mind the change of plans and will cross the Cabrillo Bridge before trekking back to the car that has four books inside that I picked up during the walkabout.

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free books

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Credit Puck

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entering the Valley View Casino Center

Q&A: What was your last credit card purchase? A large veggie pizza from Round Table for some pre-hockey dinner that came with free garlic parmesan twists. Today’s other purchase was Jarlsberg and mango habanero Gouda with rye bread grilled for lunch.

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going up to our seats

We bought discount tickets ($13 each) to see the San Diego Gulls vs Milwaukee Admirals two days ago and got side-rink seats and a free parking pass (complimentary of Caleb’s coworker) saving us $15.

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kids on the ice during first intermission

I got a blister on my toe today at the gym and left early and Caleb had already beaten me home. He made me coffee (to dip a chocolate chip cookie in) and eggs with little yellow tomatoes and a zucchini.

I worked on a draft for two hours before taking my post-gym shower and washing Sparky, since he hadn’t been cleaned in a month. I will be posting some pictures to Flickr and was able to publish it while Caleb talked with his sister.

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squad goals

Even though today marks one week that I haven’t been allowed on school grounds I still went to the Staff Social at Fern Side. Luckily the principal wasn’t there, but some kind and concerned teachers and my boss.

I told Caleb it would be a quick exchange, but I gave the thank you card back (for Children’s Primary Dental) so that a calligraphy message could be written inside too and then stayed to help eat waffle fries properly peppered.

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view from my seat

This gave him time to talk with his Uncle Ed and his brother, one of which will be coming to San Diego in December. We parked with two hours to spare, had dinner across the street, and got to our seats 30 minutes early.

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when people leave early

There was a gloves-off boxing match within the first 20 minutes; and the last two goals scored in the last four minutes (4-2 Gulls), which is when we’d decided to leave to get ahead of all the $2 beer four-fisting (two drinks in each hand) individuals.

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guys in action with a stick on the ice

Things I don’t remember from the last game we went to: guests on the Zamboni, cheerleaders clear the snow in the rink, laser light shows with the crowd wearing flashing bracelets, and a chuck-a-puck event to win prizes.

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Distinguished Drinks

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drinking in the daylight

Q&A: What famous living person would you want to meet for drinks? This is a tough question. My first thought was Stephen King so he could sign my first edition IT novel and the old one that my mother held in one arm while she held me in the other, but then there are so many other influencers — bloggers, authors, and Ted talkers too.

Caleb’s decision was easy. He would meet Shakira — the professional Colombian singer/songwriter (hip shaker) for the possibility of her dancing in the same room as him. Otherwise, he listed a few dead guys that would be cool to talk to about engineering and get matching tattoos — last part was my idea.

In the past I’ve answered this question with: serial killer, BDSM fanatic, drug lord, a president, the Pope, or Oprah (while Mom was here). Someone who thinks differently, has made a positive or educational influence, or just a person who likes drinking hot cocoa on a cold night under the stars.

Who would you drink with, and what beverage would you choose?

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Hump Day Valuables

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… in a glass bowl

Q&A: What’s the most valuable thing you own? My life, because without it everything else is meaningless. For cash value: car, bed, ring, camera, phone, and dive computer. Sentimental value: purple rabbit mirror from Dad for my 5th anniversary, a snow globe that was Mom’s, and my national park passport (164 stamps) with Caleb.

Caleb would choose three paintings: one I got in Las Vegas without him, the second we got in San Francisco and gave a guy money to feed his dogs and have him take our picture with them, and the third was made during a Blue Man Group show in Orlando after scalping our tickets for Warped Tour in the parking lot.

We both agree that it’s not our lives, but what we do with them that counts. We have done a good job of making memories and documenting them via blog, Instagram, dive log, passport, and photos. Our memories are valuable as we continue to move forward together having no idea what the future brings.

Future me would feel bad if I look back on this post and hadn’t written about our last surviving dog who is currently curled up in Piggy’s bed snoring in the corner. We still need to donate the rest of her things to the shelter so they don’t sit here and collect dust. The value of life comes in our daily routines — words, actions, love, and memories.

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