#240 (no snow fun for us)

Since I was rudely awakened out of a deep sleep yesterday morning, I changed my alarm to NOT sound at it’s normal weekday morning time. I woke a few minutes after 7 AM, made a fresh pot of coffee, and sat down to enjoy a few minutes of quietness and solitude before S and her flock of children arose out of their slumber. 

Prepare meals for the day…

I was working on preparing our slow cooked dinner when I heard S coming down the stairs. She kissed me good morning, poured herself a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and sat in one of the barstools opposite the countertop stove but was facing me.

The menu for the evening meal was a pork butt roast seasoned my way with bay leaves stuffed with garlic and a salt and pepper rub. My plan was to cook it slowly in a crockpot with carrots and parsnips for the entire day so that it would be ready by the time we returned from our second day of having fun in the snow. 

I had just started cutting slits in the roast to accommodate the garlic wrapped with fresh bay leaves, which she thought was a great idea and something she’d never had done or thought to do before. As she continued to sit and watch (and commen), I started doing my salt and pepper rub. 

“Don’t you rub the pork with oil before yo put the salt and pepper on it?” she asked. 

I replied, “I guess it can be fine that way, but I typically pat dry my meat as I want the dry ingredients to stick to the meat itself. I do add oil to a turkey though to give it that golden brown color.”

She responded with a facial gesture that said, “I don’t know if I’d do it that way.”

I reassured her it would be fine. 

The last ingredient which is something I’ve always used whenever I make roast (beef or pork) is worcestershire sauce. 

Well of course S questioned, “wouldn’t that be too vinegary?” followed by a facial expression that said, “I think you made a mistake there.”

I proudly announced, “I guess I’ll just have to convince you. Have you had many of my meals that hadn’t tasted better than you expected?”

She responded, “yes you have surprised me but this one I’m not sure.” and grimaced again. 

I put the roast in the barely big enough crockpot and repositioned the roast several times before the lid set closed. I added a few thicker sliced carrots and parsnips and the wedges of half an onion. I turned the setting to low and began working on our breakfast. S continued to sit and watch. 

I had the routine down as bacon was in the oven baking at 400 degrees, which she later questioned why I didn’t broil it as that is how she would do it. 

Is it me or shouldn’t you refrain from commenting if you’re not helping with breakfast. I said, “I didn’t want to overcook the bacon as I’m also making the country style potatoes as well as eggs.” 

She continued to spew advice from the seat opposite the cooking area. I ignored her comments and changed the subject to talk about today’s ski trip. 

She was off the subject of breakfast and rattled off the weather conditions which I admit I only listened to the last few words and repeated them back to her showing I was somewhat listening to her rambling. I was concentrated on making breakfast and doing a good job of multitasking trying not to ruin the three breakfast items. 

By this time she moved into the kitchen and started making fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice to accompany breakfast. I guess that’s one thing S contributed to breakfast. 

As I was almost finished cooking breakfast, I politely interrupted her juice squeezing and asked her to get the kids up and ready for breakfast. She disappeared momentarily to waken her kids, which instead of yesterday’s big brother alarm system of loud door banging, I heard the somewhat gentle calling of each her children’s names as she entered their sleeping quarters. 

Her daughter emerged and began plating her normal breakfast of bacon and hash browns. I’ve learned her daughter is not fond of eggs or fruit. You would think she would be obese but in reality she is extremely fit and wears a size 4. I bought her some Nike stadium pants as part of her Christmas gifts in extra small size. 

After calling on her boys, S returned to the kitchen, finished her juicing project, and began plating her breakfast. I asked, “Are the boys up?”

She said, “I told them breakfast was ready. They snooze they lose.”

Hold the phone…

More conversations were occurring in my head and questioning the actions of S with her children. Now her daughter has well adjusted and moves quickly to action when it comes to food or when it requires them to be out and about. I know this meal must be special as I’ve rediscovered that her mom doesn’t cook breakfast. 

What’s shocking to me is that she fed herself first before ensuring her kids were awake and would have a hot meal before we traipsed up to the mountain for a full day of skiing. 

Again a very different parenting style. 

The cooking of breakfast was done. All had disappeared to get ready for the slopes while I rinsed the breakfast dishes and loaded them into the dishwasher; washed, dried, and put away the pots and pans used; and wiped down the dining table, the kitchen counter, the stove top and the rest of the kitchen to its pre-meal state. 

Then I got myself dressed for the mountain trip. 

Renting equipment…

The second day of our snow trip was underway around 11am with everyone fed and loaded in my truck. The first order of business was to rent a snowboard for her daughter, and to exchange the ski package her youngest rented yesterday for a snowboard package as he wanted to try out snowboarding today. 

The salesperson at the rental place advised us to call the ski resorts before renting as folks have been returning with unused equipment because traffic was taking excess of 3 hours just to the first of many resorts on the mountain. Basically the weather conditions were much improved from last night that everyone in Portland, OR decided to go to the mountains. The salesperson informed that from 7 AM until about the time we arrived, their tiny store front was filled with folks and lines were out the door. 

I took his advice and called the resort we had planned to be at today. I tried several times and could not get through to the resort. So we decided to save the lift tickets for a different day when traffic caused by hoards of people trying to get to the ski resorts were lessened. Instead we took the advice of the salesman to go in a local hike. 

Back to the rental house…

We returned to the rental house and everyone sheared off their skiing and snowboarding clothing and changed into their normal clothes. 

We talked about staying at the rental house for the day and playing games and just hanging out. I thought to myself, “this would be interesting as I’ve never seen all four of them interact as a single family unit without some snide remark or a sharp tongue lashing.”

The first game…

As everyone settled in, they decided to play a card game called “Phase 10”, which was very similar to a card game I played in Texas called “pit”. It’s a little different in that you always start off with 10 cards in your hand. There are ten phases or challenges that each person had to achieve. The first person to complete all ten phases wins. 

The interaction between the four wasn’t bad. I played between the two boys and received discards from the younger boy which meant I discarded to the oldest sibling. The daughter played between her mother and her twin brother. 

Other than the intermittent cursing from the younger son, there were no dysfunctional moments of yelling or arguing among each other. The oldest son won. 

Draw me a picture…

The next game we played was pictionary where  you draw the object described on a card that matches the color block that your game piece landed on. So if your game piece were on a yellow square, you would draw the object described on the card highlighted in yellow. 

I discovered her younger son was a great sketcher. I think I just thought of a great birthday gift for him – his sketch pad with sketch pencils. 

Yours truly won this game. 

Break from game playing…

We took a break from games and S and her younger son went for a hike around the neighborhood. They later informed they followed the Zigzag River up river. It was scenic with trees but nothing else than the river lined with trees. 

Her oldest child retreated to his chosen bedroom to finish homework while her daughter and I hung out watching a movie. During one of my falls yesterday, I bruised my left knee and was a little stiff. Otherwise I would have gone hiking with S and her younger son. 

I didn’t learn more about her daughter than I already knew as she had hung out with S and me on several occasions. This is the child I’ve gone clothes shopping with, as well as eaten out in restaurants with her and her mother. She’s also the child that loves driving my vehicles every opportunity she gets. 

Dinner was served…

I could smell the pot roast as it’s been slow cooking for seven plus hours. I checked and found the roast to be tender. I started on preparing the remaining carrots and parsnips when S returned from her and her son’s hiking trip. The house was quiet (other than the movie playing in the background) up until S and her younger son returned. I’m seeing a pattern emerge. 

I had sliced the remaining root vegetables in a diagonal cut, tossed them in a bit of oil, sprinkled them with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Since this was the last dinner, I wanted to use up all the non-breakfast ingredients so I added the remainder of the partially used onion to this mix. There was also a lime that would be thrown away so I added the zest of the lime to this vegetable concoction. 

S was watching all this time and I guess couldn’t refrain from commenting, “The zest of lime, huh? That’s going to be a different taste.”

“Yep it should liven up the dullness of the root vegetables, but we’ll see.” I said as I put them in the oven and moved on to the mashed red potatoes. 

About 20 minutes later, the root vegetables were cooked as I like them (still a little crispy), the mashed potatoes were smooth and creamy, and the roast was removed from the crockpot and laid out on a platter. The meat pulled away from the bone perfectly.
I guess everyone liked it as there were only a third of the roast remaining, all the mashed potatoes gone, and a couple pieces of the lime zested root vegetables remained, which I ate while I was clearing the dinner dishes. 

Chef and dishwasher…

I noticed after dinner, everyone cleared the dining room and retreated to the places. The boys were in the back room playing a game of billiards, S grabbed a book and was reading in one of the reclining chairs, and the daughter watched TV and texted on her phone. 

As for me, I rinsed our dinner plates and put them in the dishwasher. The only one I didn’t do was the daughter’s as she did that when she was done eating. But the others, including S piled their dirty dinner dishes in the sink as they typically had done in their house. Now I see why there is always an accumulation of dishes in their sink at home. No one bothered to help. 

“Huh,” I thought to myself. “I’m the cook, dishwasher, and mister money bags this trip! Wow!” 

I continued in silence and cleared and wiped off the dinner table, reloaded the dishwasher with the dirtied dishes, washed and dried the crockpot, started the dishwasher, and wiped down the stove and cooking surface of the stove. 

I settled down on the sofa with the daughter to watch TV. This trip has exposed and confirmed a lot of information about S and her family. 

The last game…

We played one last game called nerts. Basically  the setup is similar to a game of solitaire where each player has a stack of 13 cards (called nerts). Instead of having four aces to buil from, you can build off of anyone’s stack of aces. You win by discarding all your nerts. 

Who knew that years of playing solitaire would propel me victorious. The kids and S weren’t happy and I got called a few colorful metaphors throughout the game. I guess that’s just how this family were raised. 

I later mentioned to S that it was fun watching and learning about her family as this was the first time that all her kids were together since we’ve been dating. After searching the corners of her mind, S concluded and agreed that this was the first time in years that they were all together. 

Maybe there would be more of these moments in their lives…

#boardgames #cardgames #familybonding #life

Advertisements

#237 (Christmas in Bellevue)

About five years ago, I was consulting with one of the big cellular service providers and lived in a city west of Seattle named Bellevue. Actually I lived on the outskirts of Bellevue in a suburb called Factoria. 

My son went to school in the Seattle area and now has recently moved to downtown Bellevue in one of the high rise living complex. Since I don’t see him often, I decided that I would spend Christmas with him this year. 

But what about your gf S? 

I will spend time with her and her kids on a skiing trip the day after Christmas. During our ten months of dating, it was just the two of us in an overnight trip. On this upcoming trip, we will have her children together with us for several days. I’ve observed their interactions in their normal settings. So this will be new…

Tiny spaces…

My son’s lives in the heart of downtown Bellevue and is walking distance to almost anything he needs. The housing complex is guarded by a concierge and access to all the building areas is controlled by card readers. I even had to sign in just to park my car in one of their visitor parking spots. 

His new place is small (about 400 sf), but big enough for a single guy. It has a small kitchen that holds a full size stove and frig where the freezer section is on top and the refrigerator section is on the bottom. It’s not the side by side model like I have, which I hate by the way, as it’s too small to hold anything, especially for holding the food for my home parties. 

He has a combined living / bedroom / office that’s probably 12′ x 12′. The only storage he has other than the kitchen cabinets is a shelving unit enclosed and hidden behind a set of accordion sliding doors. 

His combined bedroom / living / office area is decorated with a full size bed (bedroom), about 3′ away are two stand alone chairs (his living room), and about 3′ away from his living room is a small desk and chair that serves as his office. 

Believe it or not, he still has room to add a few key, strategic furniture pieces to accommodate more storage options as well as a collapsible dining table. Overall, his apartment is quaint and efficient for a single Generation Y male. 

Unlike his father, my son’s place lacked the holiday cheer and was void of any Christmas decorations, not even a small tree. It’s not that he doesn’t celebrate Christmas, he just doesn’t have the room to store the decorations that go with this holiday, or any holiday decorations. In a small place, you have to think – just the essentials. 

Too small for me…
I’m not sure I could downsize to this small of a space. I think I’m just used to having a few bedrooms and enough space to have separated areas and not all being confined to a small living space. 

Maybe I could (if I was forced to – like a prison cell ) but if I don’t have to…why? 

I’m actually looking for a property with a few acres so I could build a house and do some gardening. I’m not looking for something too big but big enough (about 3 acres) to sustain my food needs, and enough space to not feel claustrophobic, and a place with plenty of space between my house and my neighbor’s house and not like the housing communities they build today where the houses are so close to each other that one person could literally reach over and touch their neighbor’s house while they were still inside their own house. 

Maybe that would become a reality one day, but for now it’s suburban living in a cookie cutter designed community, or in my son’s case, a high rise city community. 

City scape…

Looking out his window, the Expedia building could be seen, and like most growing cities, construction. There’s another building going up next to his building but on the other sid of the street. There are actually four high rise communities within a two block square. 

He’s located within two blocks from the Bellevue mall that houses plenty of shopping options. He is also within a couple of blocks for various grocery stores – one of which happened to be an Asian market, which is where we shopped for ingredients to make our traditional Filipino Christmas Eve dinner. He has several restaurants he can walk to as well including a sushi bar that is across the street. 

Nearly everything he needs is within a four block radius. 

Christmas Eve dinner…

We only made two dishes of our traditional Filipino Christmas Eve meal because it was just the two of us. But the two dishes are our two favorites: 

Lumpia 

Pork adobo

What’s after dinner that’s part of our tradition is to watch a classic Christmas movie. We chose the first diehard. Nothing could be better!

#christmaseve #filipinofood #lumpia #porkadobo #bellevuewa #highrise #life #singleasianmale

#235 (52 years ago)

On an island 5 km in diameter, I entered this world as a premature baby weighing under four pounds. At least that’s the story my mother told me when I was a young kid. I don’t have many pictures of me when I was a child and living in the Philippines. The only one I have is in black and white and is the size of a passport picture. It wasn’t a closeup of my face. So making out who the subject of that vintage photograph was would require a magnifying glass. 

It took four years before my mother married my step father who was stationed on a military base in Manila. My mother worked on base as a housemaid for one of the military higher ranking officers. My step father was in the US military stationed on the base where my mother happened to work. That’s how my mother met my step father. 

I unfortunately don’t remember my biological father. The story my mother tells me is that they were both young and my biological father decided he didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.

It takes a village…

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Based on my mother’s stories, I had plenty of relatives to watch and care for me so I guess I was literally raised by a village of aunts and uncles and cousins. 

People say they can remember their childhood but I’m not one of those people. I only have faint recollections of playing with some airplane and I remember the first time I’ve ever seen fireworks. I also vaguely remember taking baths in a barrel similar to an old oak barrel where wine or whiskey ages and ferments. Other than those faint glimpses into my childhood in the Philippines, I don’t remember anything else or people who cared for me. 

Going to America…

Shortly after my mom wedded the only father I know, we both flew from the Philippines to the US of A. The first American soil we put our shoes on was San Francisco. 

Since then, I lived in various states: North Carolina, which was where my brother was born. From there, we lived in Virginia, which was the first time I had ever seen snow. It was fun for me as I was too small to actually do chores like shoveling snow or the like. I remember having loads of fun with my friends during my first snow sighting. 
Then I believe we moved to Arkansas then Kansas then finally settled in Texas, which is where both my little sisters were born. 

I blinked…

Now, I’m 52 living in the Pacific Northwest with two grown boys of my own. In retrospect, I’ve lived a life full of twists and turns that couldn’t have been anticipated – but that’s life. You roll with the punches and there were many of them. 

I didn’t think I would be a widow at 26, remarried and annulled within six months, then married the third time to be dismissed after ten years of marriage with no reason other than “I just don’t feel that way for you anymore.”

Apparently my mother had a sense that this would happen as I’m the only child taught how to cook. My other siblings were not required to know their way around in the kitchen. When I confronted her for the special treatment, she replied, “I saw that you would be on your own in the future and you would need to fend for yourself”. Thanks mother for your foresight. It has paid off in spades. 

Birthday celebrations…

I typically keep things on the down low when my birthday comes up as I’m not big in public celebrations. I would rather the day be just another day. So far I’ve been successful in avoiding the public celebrations with the help of taking the day off from work. 

The adage: “Out of sight out of mind” has apparently been the saving grace as when I did have to work on my birthday, I chose the “work remotely ” option for that day. No one had been the wiser. 

For this year, I’m on vacation for my 52nd year and I love it that way. 

Happy quiet birthday to me…

#bestbirthdayever #life #singleasianmale

#233 (packages for Christmas)

December 19 and two more days remaining until it’ll be past the deadline for the gifts to reach my family in Houston. I’ll now have to ship using the USPS priority mail service which guarantees my packages arrive just in time for Christmas morning. 

As with all families, my nieces and nephews have grown up and are harder to get gifts to them. So because my family have dispersed and are now living in separate lives, this year I decided to send several packages instead of sending one big box as I did last year for the older of my sisters to distribute to the rest of our family members. 

As a matter of fact, my presents I sent them last year was collected by them a few days prior to this post. My old sister had been trying to reach them because she were the one I had sent the packages to as my other sister doesn’t want to provide her actual address. Families are weird aren’t they?

Anyway I think I need one more gift. This means I’ve got to rush to the store either during my lunch hour or after work. Then package up the last box and get them to the post office to ensure they arrive on Christmas Eve day. 

Gifts for me…

Most years I’ve purchased at least one gift for myself. However, this year I still hadn’t purchased anything for me. At this point in my life, I really don’t need anything. In fact, my girlfriend told me today, “you’re hard to shop for because you really don’t need anything and you’re very self sufficient.”

“Thanks,” I said and agreed with her in that I am hard to buy for. 

However I think, if she actually recalled some of our recent conversations, she could have identified a few things I could use or would want. But I’m not big on pointing out things for people to buy on my behalf, especially during the holidays. I mean I have the means, I’m single, and I’m a bit picky when it comes to the design and ease of use of things. I also would select quality over price. So better for me to buy my own stuff. 

Santa’s domestic shipping dept…

December 20th – My last gift going to Houston was purchased, wrapped, labeled, and sealed for delivery. All three packages have now been dropped off at the post office and entrusted with Santa’s domestic shipping department (USPS) to get my packages to their delivery point in time for my nieces and nephews to open and enjoy their presents. 

#christmasgifts #family #shipping #usps #life #singleasianmale

#224 (pictures & memories)

In going through the items moved into my garage from my storage, I found pictures that made me reminisce when I was back in elementary school. For me, my childhood was a great time in my life. None of the pressures that I go through today were remotely close to the load of responsibilities I carry today. 
I can’t believe how quickly this and previous years have taken me away from my childhood. Somehow, I blinked and turned 51 with two grown kids and somehow landed in the Pacific Northwest. And I’ve been here 10 years. 

The good old days…

Is it possible to go back to the yesteryears and just stay there for a moment? Some of my friends today didn’t have an enjoyable childhood, but I did. I grew up dirt poor but I didn’t know the difference since everyone in my neighborhood were in the same financial boat. 

Although I grew up poor, I lived a carefree life thanks to my mother and my step dad. Although our neighborhood was not affluent, I was wealthy with great friends who weren’t into drugs or doing bad things. They were kids that loved playing all kinds of sports and respected each other. We were a mixed race group of kids and hung out after school and on weekends. During the summer, we hung out and played outside from sunrise to sundown. 

I didn’t have cellphones and I didn’t own a watch. I just knew to be home before it was dark. On the rare occasions I ended up at a friend’s house after dark, my friends’ mothers would make sure I called (via their analog house telephone) to let my parents know where I was. But most times I was home before it was completely dark. 

Life was easy…

Dinner was normally cooked and on the table, and my clothes were laundered. My mom kept a clean house and made sure we had enough food to eat. 

Now I did have a few chores like babysitting my younger siblings who are 5 – 10 years my junior, and helping with yard work. But those chores were not hard. At the time, I probably was annoyed with the babysitting gig but it was great training with my own kids. 

Back to reality…

I live alone, work between 50-60 hours a week, have a mortgage, have a car payment, have to cook my own meals, clean my house, and have to launder my own clothes. 

What the heck happened??!! 

#singleasianmale #childhoodmemories #simplelife #backtoreality

#218 (cyber Monday)

The third of the big US shopping days have passed and I’m about 90% done with all my Christmas shopping for this year. 

I’m typically not even close to being complete by this time of the year. Usually I’m just starting and have no clue what to get. But this year has been different – in many ways. 

In the past Christmas seasons, I waited to the last weeks. I think mainly I wasn’t in the mood (wasn’t feeling the Christmas season), and I wasn’t ready to buy anything. This year, I actually bought a few gifts during the summer and a few more gifts towards the end of summer. 

The majority of the gifts were purchased online during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events. You can’t beat the prices especially with free shipping, and I didn’t have to fight for parking spaces or deal with the hoards and hoards of people. 

The only items left to purchase are stocking stuffers and gifts for the hardest people to buy for – the elder of my younger sisters and my mother. I’ll need to get that finished as I still have to mail out the Christmas gifts before its too late to send. 

#singleasianmale #christmasgifts #blackfriday #cybermonday

#214 (volunteerism)

One the great things about working at my current job is their spirit of volunteerism and giving back to the community. Last year we volunteered at the local food bank location to process the food donations. This past Wednesday, we’re doing that again. 

After my first wife passed away and when my son was younger, maybe around 8, he was complaining that he couldn’t get something or that I didn’t buy him something he really wanted. I decided it was time he saw a different part of life. 

His big surprise…

I decided to sign up my only son (at that time) and me to volunteer to feed the hungery on thanksgiving day. At the time we lived in Houston, TX. There are usually thousands of folks that come out to the thanksgiving dinner. 

I had told him weeks before thanksgiving day that we were going to do something special. I never told him what activity we would be doing. So by the time thanksgiving day he was excited and couldn’t wait. 

We got into my car and started going the opposite direction of his grandmother’s house. Now my son is very directionally astute and he knew his grandma’s house was not the direction we were heading. 

“We’re not going to grandma’s house?” He asked. 

“Not yet.” I told him. “Remember I had said we were going to do something special today!”

“Oh yeah!” He excitedly shouted back. “What are we going to do?

“It’s a surprise.” I said with my voice at a higher octave than usual. “You will love it!”

He was satisfied for the time being. We reached downtown Houston an fee moments later. 

“What are we doing here?” He asked. 

We are going to help feed people who have nothing to eat today.” I said. “I think you need to understand how well you have it and how other kids your age don’t.”

The air in his sails disappeared and vanished as soon as he heard we were feeding others today.

I’m doing what…

We reached the volunteer entrance and we checked in. There were rows and rows of tables and chairs lined up and as people obtained their thanksgiving dinner, individuals and family units would occupy the chairs. 

We were given caps and gloves to wear while we were serving. My son was given bread duty. Basically he would walk up and down the aisle with either bread slices or buns and offer what he had on his tray to the people sitting at the tables. 

I was manning the drink station and I watched him as I was doing my duties. I could see at first he didn’t want to do it.  But after the second tray of breads, I could see his attitude change. He was eager and very cordial as people especially kids his age take the bread from his bread tray. 

Our shift ended four hours later. I thought he would be pooped. Instead he was glum and yet satisfied. 

“I didn’t know there were lots of people that don’t have food” He said sadly. “I’m glad we helped today!”

I smiled, gave him a hug, and held his hand as we walked to our car. Definitely a good day…
#singleasianmale #givingback #changetheworld

#153 (midweek fishing trip)

Several weeks ago I had planned a bonfire gathering at the beach for my work team that never materialized. As a result one of my coworkers and I (I’ll keep his name private but I’ll refer to him as Juan Carlo or JC for short) planned for a fishing expedition of some sort. The details we left vague that was until two weeks ago – we were going crabbing. 

Now JC had not been to the Oregon coast other than to the more popular beach that most Portlandians go to – Cannon Beach. He’s never seen anything south of that point, which is a shame since there’s many other interesting areas to explore. 

Juan Carlo is only in town every other week because he resides on the east coast. Crabbing on the east coast and as well in Texas coastal areas are similar. Usually a small crab ring or a chicken leg tied to an end of a string (more like twine) and thrown into the water to lure in the blue crab specimen. Blue crab are sweet but it’s hard work getting the flesh out of the small body cavities. 

Now having lived in Texas for nearly 36 years, I was very familiar with the tactics of the chicken leg lure technique as was JC. Today would be different. We are crabbing for the bigger and just as sweet tasting crab – the Dungeness. 

Our plan were to leave work on Thursday afternoon around 4pm. It’s a 2.5 hour drive so we should reach the pier and our crab pots should be in the water by 7ish. High tide was around 6:38 that day so we should be fine. Not really sure we would catch anything but as the saying goes, “a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work”.

We left a little later and traffic was a bit heavy. I took the back roads to try to make up for the later start time. We got into Newport about 6:45 and we stopped to get bait at the local grocery store. A little voice in my head said, “get chicken liver” so I obeyed. I also picked up the normal bait of chicken legs. 

We arrived at the pier a few minutes later and within a half hour our one crab pot was in the water…7:10ish

The beauty of crabbing with crab pots is you can drop them and let them soak for several hours and don’t need to check on them every 15 to 20 minutes like you would have to if using the crab ring variety.  

So what to do for a couple of hours. Luckily for us, the Rouge Brewery’s facilities were located at the same area. In fact the parking lot where we parked is shared with the brewery. So JC and I left our single crab pot soaking while we grabbed a bite and enjoyed some local brew. 

As a side note, this Rogue Brewery facility is the corporate office and is where all the Rogue beer are brewed and distributed. So if you’re ever in a grocery store and happen to spy a Rogue beer bottle, it’s probably brewed from Newport, Oregon. 

Back to the crabbing story…

About two hours later (actually it was almost 2.5 hours later) we left the brewery to pull up our single crab pot and head back to Portland area. We got to our crab pot around 9:40. 

Now I’ve been crabbing before on this same pier where sometimes (most times) I’ve not had a single crab (keeper or not) in my pot. So before we left the brewery, Juan Carlo and I openly stated our guesses on the number of crabs we would have in our pots. I guessed 3 and JC guessed 5. 

As we approached the spot where we had left or cooler and soaking crab pot, I asked JC if he wanted to do the honors of pulling in our loot. He said, “Sure!”

As he was pulling it up, he asked grunting, “is it normally this heavy?” I responded “No, not typically.” My first thought was we were snagged on something. So I immediately looked over the rail. Keep in mind it’s 9:45ish at night and the pier was not lit so the only light casting on the water were ambient light from the surrounding light of the bridge and nearby brewery. 

As I focused on our rope and where it entered the water, all I saw was the rope Juan Carlo was tugging on. “We’re not snagged on the pier,” I informed JC. I stood on the bottom railing and as I grabbed the rope to help, I instructed, “keep pulling!” After a few more minutes of both of us tugging and pulling I finally saw the pot. It was filled with crabs!!

It took us another 15 minutes of struggling and maneuvering the pot over the beams that supported the pier before we were able to pull the pot up and over the bannister and inspected our catch. There were about 15 or so crabs (and that’s no fish story). I’d never had been that fortunate. 

After sifting through our catch, out of the 15 or so crabs, there were three males. All were legal size with the smallest measuring more than 6″. The others were female and had to be released. 

What a great way to end a work day…crabbing and cold beer…

#singleasianmale #menslife #relationship #life #fishing #newportoregon

#146 (S meeting mother)

On Saturday, the day before my mom and sister were to fly back to Houston, S and I had planned for her to meet them. Since my immediate family members still resides in Houston, S hadn’t had the opportunity of meeting my mom or my siblings. This would be the first time they would meet. 

I’ve always found it best to meet someone new over a good dinner especially if the food looks, smells, and tastes delicious. At least that’s how I had planned it. 

I was making a semi traditional Filipino menu which consisted of Lumpia, pancit bihon (noodles), pork adobo, and chicken with coconut milk. I also added a couple of new recipes of my version of salt and pepper short pork ribs, and salt and pepper shrimp. Both of the salt and pepper dishes were spicier than the typical Filipino dish as it contained fresh garlic, fresh ginger, onions, and sliced jalapeños. 

Dinner time was set for 6pm on Saturday. I did get help from my kids (my son and his girlfriend) in rolling the Lumpia and my sister in frying up the Lumpia. The rest of the food I prepared and cooked myself. 

All worked out as it should. S arrived around 5:30. While my sister and I finished the final cooking of our meal, she visited with my son, his girlfriend, and my mother. My sister and I finished and we were seated at the table eating at 6pm as planned. 

After dinner and desert, S and I cleared the table, and filled and started my dishwasher while my family went for their after dinner walk – of course my mom would be pushed in her wheelchair. As S and I were doing the dishes, she confessed, “Your mom and sister are great! I’m not sure why I was nervous meeting them.”  I hugged her and responded sarcastically, “Of course they’re great! They’re actors who I paid to be my family!”

I’m glad S likes my mom and my sister…

#singleasianmale #buddingromance #relationship #life #familytime #familydinner

#145 (my bed and breakfast)

I’ve been living on my own for many years now. In fact the last few years of my recent marriage were also mainly on my own. I was a consultant for nearly 8 years which required me at times to live out of state. That meant I would only see my now ex on weekends or every other weekend. Also sometimes when my ex were on her sales trips we wouldn’t see each other for a several weeks at a time. Maybe being apart from each other over an extended amount of time was part of what lead to the demise of our marriage – well maybe from me ex’s POV. That’s a different story that maybe I’ll share one day. 

Since my divorce, and even the 2.5 years of the separation period, no one individual spent  more than a night with me other than my son and his girlfriend. In fact I don’t think S has ever spent more than one night at my house since we’ve been dating. So having a house full of people stay over is rare. 

Now my home has three bedrooms plus a bonus room up and to the left of the stairs. So I can actually accommodate enough for four sleeping quarters. However since it’s just me living in my house, the two upstairs bedroom and the bonus area at the top of the stairs are not set up as bedrooms. One of the upstairs bedroom is my office. Another upstairs bedroom is my home gym, and the loft area at the stop of the stairs is the lounging area. 

During my mom and sister’s visit, my son and his girlfriend also came down and stayed with me. So I had four guests in my house for three nights and four days. 

That’s a full house of guests!!

Needless to say, my  home gym became my son and his girlfriend’s sleeping quarters. I slept in the open bonus area and my sister and my mother slept in my master suite, which were perfect for my mother’s mobility impaired condition.  

During my family’s visit, I was also the chef and host. Hmmm, am I being trained to be an owner of a B&B?

#singleasianmale #relationship #life #familytime #fullhouse #bedandbreakfast