Saturday, June 30, 2018

Good morning, World!

This post is a test to see if I can manage blogging on my iPad.  I can’t decide if I can manage the trip in August with only the iPad, and NOT my laptop!  So, I’ll be experimenting these next several weeks to see what’s what.  Naturally, I’m hoping to post pics—and I just realized that my cloud photos do not show up through that’s something I need to fix before making the iPad my posting tool of choice!

OK.  Looks like I can. Here’s copy of pic of my gift from work for beginning my adventure in Paris!  Still no idea how to manipulate and format, etc., here in Blogger, but it’s looking promising.

More to come....

WOOHOO!  I moved photo from iPad to Blogger!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hellos and Goodbyes...

Hellos and goodbyes come in many guises...some direct, some indirect. Some are spiritual, some specifically tangible. But, no matter what form they take, they can be emotional--both positive and negative.

Retirement---a huge goodbye--is getting closer (52 days) and I'm feeling a huge mix of emotions. Been dreaming weird dreams, feeling some anxiety, and getting really tired every night. Part of me is excited to get to it; part of me wonders what the hell I'm doing!

Picture of whiteboard outside my cube.
Over the past week, my good friend Carmen lost her brother to several heart-attack-related issues that quickly overcame him. He was 81, but in great of those guys who ran, ate well, etc. But, his time came, and he wasn't able to hang on to this worldly plane. I had met him a few times over the years, and I really liked him. Carmen felt closer to him than to most anyone else in this world.  He was her big brother. She's hurting and nothing can help but time.

Sedona, AZ, aerial view
My daughter, who is in great health (thank God), and I will be driving to Sedona, AZ, for Mother's Day weekend. We're staying in a metaphysical B&B that uses horse therapy as well as Indian Medicine Circles, etc, to serve their guests. Connie has signed us up for some sort of class on Sunday morning. I'm pretty excited about it! It's been years and years since Connie and I have had a road trip. Well, there have been a few visits to Palm Springs, but those hardly count. This is a biggy and I'm especially pleased about it because it might be the last chance we have to do something like this for awhile--why you may wonder? Because she has shared with me that she's resigning from the Bureau and moving in with her friend Rachel, in Durham, NC.  Yup. Clear across the country! Five hours by plane.  A week's car ride?

Durham's location in NC
So, despite my wonderful, upcoming new life as a retiree, I will also be separated from my only kid by a whole country. A few folks have asked if I'm entertaining the idea of moving there, too. Nope.  Not a chance. I did my stint away from San Diego and when I returned, I vowed never to leave again. This is home. It's not only the people, it's the air, the topography, the ocean, the mountains, the hills, the rocks, and the history. Despite it being an expensive place to live after retirement, I'm here and I hope to stay. I just also hope that my reduced income will allow a few plane rides every year to get to NC. And, maybe, at least once, a road trip across this lovely country of ours.

So, yes...I'm saying hello to a new life.  Hello to my upcoming trip to Paris, hello to a new me, but also goodbye...goodbye to my incredible kid being close, goodbye to a full-time job, goodbye to a plentiful income, and goodbye to many people who have touched my I get older, everyone around me gets older, too...and some of them check out. They find life in this manifestation too hard to continue and they move on to whatever comes next.

I know my "next" manifestation is ahead of me...but I'm confident that it's many years away.  I'm not scared of it, but I'm not looking forward to it, either. I still have a lot of hellos and goodbyes to say (and sing!).

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What You Think about You Bring about!

Related image

So, just how many years have I been thinking about Paris?  Let's see, my first trip there was in 1977.  Forty years?  My best trip yet was in 1995...and then I had one more...which was delightful because I shared it with Connie, but it was short.

So, this coming trip, 126 days away, is overtaking my mind and heart.  I think about it all the time.  Wonder if it's going to be as fabulous as I dream it will be, worried I won't do the things I've dreamed of doing, concerned that the parts I'll share with others might be stressful or uncomfortable, and yet, excited and expectant that it will all be just perfect no matter what happens!

My friend, Carmen, has always said, "What you think about, you bring about."  Well, I've been thinking and dreaming and visualizing this trip for at least 4 decades, and it's finally going to happen.  Can I really afford to do this when I'm about to reduce my annual income by at least 40%?  Nope.  Do I care?  Nope.  I figure it will work out.  Not sure how, I just know it will be fine.

Another friend of mine, Jeanne, says that the Universe takes care of me--even when I do stupid things.  So, I'm challenging it this time to continue to do that!  And, I'm sure it will.  From a spiritual angle, I rationalize my good fortune by explaining that many years of my first few decades were rather hellish and I am getting paid back in good stuff to make up for it.  What doesn't make sense is "Why Me?"  So many others have experienced trauma, abuse, etc. etc. and they never get their lives to turn around!  Why am I so happily blessed?  Why has prosperity of spirit infused in me all this wonderment?  Ain't got a clue--but I'm grateful beyond measure and express so every single day and most moments of each day.

So, thank you, God, or Universe, or Ultimate Being, or Karma, or whatever it is....I am truly blessed and happy that what I've thought about for so long is bearing fruit...manifesting in full measure...and providing me with an adventure of the soul that will set the intention for the rest of my life.  It's a gift that I will treasure forever.

Image result for Paris images

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

YIKES...just yikes.

Not sure what's going on.  I'm truly upended today.  Had a stressful day yesterday trying to prep for a new instructor coming here (work) to do a 2-day class.  LOTS of stuff went wrong...but we pulled it all together and got it fixed and up and running by a little after 8 this morning.  Students enjoy the instructor--she's knowledgeable and has a great teaching style. All in all, a success...but I'm still carrying around a bunch of crap cuz folks on my team didn't come through with what they should have done and I wound up doing most of it myself.

I take some dark pleasure in knowing that the next time this class is offered will be my last one working at SPAWAR.  And, I don't know if I'll manage to remove myself from all the prep for that offering.  Of course, it will go much smoother, since it will be a repeat of today...nonetheless, much needs doing that I think I'll boycott and just see how the team manages it without me.  After all, I'm outta here on 29 June!

Image result for 29 June

I'm getting more and more ready to be gone.  Planning the retirement/birthday party needs to come up to the top of my to-do list now that major Paris stuff is done.  Sent out a lot of "save the dates" through FaceBook Events, but tons of them have garnered not a mumble. I don't think most people know how to use the Event feature!  So much for trying to so something that would save some time. Guess I need to send individual invites out to the full group.

Already booked the taco caterer, and now looking into renting tables & chairs...and MUST begin working on yard. Lots to do and only 3 months until the party! 49 work days til retirement. 10 Mondays. But, who's counting? I'm thinking of putting tables & chairs in front and back.  What do you think?  By the way, All the plants in the front are much bigger now!

One thing is good: I'm staying away from casinos. Really am concerned about making ends meet and how to pay for trip and regular expenses from August through October.  But, on the other hand, I know that it will all work out.  It just has to. Life goes on and I intend to live it.  No room for wasting money on slots! (that's a good thing.)

Connecting with my dear friend Jean-Marie (JM) to try to connect with his brothers who live on the outskirts of Paris. Not sure how or when, but I hope to see them a few times during my 6-week stay. Amazes me that these lovely men have been in my life since I was about 5 years old!  Not too many connections last 60+ years!  My mom and dad may have made lots of mistakes as parents, but their connection with the Cercleys was strong and has lasted through their children.  That's pretty wonderful.

I think I've shared that my plane reservations are done...and that Barbara P and Sheila D are flying over with me on the 22nd and leaving on 31 August. But, did I tell you that Linda Palomino (nee Fenton), a woman I went to high school with, has asked to visit while I'm there?  I agreed.  She's flying into Paris on the 28th, staying in a hotel until the 2nd of Sept, and then staying with me for a few days before flying home on the 5th or 6th.  THEN, I will be alone.  FINALLY.  Until 4 October.  Yet, is that truly my main desire?

I must admit, I'm getting a little anxious about having 4 weeks alone--despite mandating it! I must use it to good advantage. I want to walk and explore and read and write and think. I certainly won't do much of that those first two weeks with my I have to ensure that I stay active, yet get time to do the cerebral things I truly want to do.  Sometimes, I have little faith in myself and my ability to follow through on some things.  This thing, however, MUST work as planned! I've been waiting my whole life for it...I know deep inside of me that it's going to be a true rite of passage...yet I'm still a bit nervous.  Oh well. Time will tell!

Image result for sitting at cafe in Paris

So, that's my brain dump for today. I really don't know if anyone is even reading these posts.  I gave up on my other blog because it is too complex...this one is just simple.  I write & post and it's done.No issues on theme or updates or all the behind-the-scenes issues I have with that site. PLUS, this one is accessible from work. My WordPress site is blocked. (never have figured out why)

That's another thing I need to remember: Update and activate my Instagram site. I think it's going to be the best place for me to keep a good historical record of my trip.  or not.  Maybe I'll just blog here every day or so.

OK.  Enough.  Got to move on for today. Sorry for the huge missive into my inner psyche.  I told you at the beginning I was in a weird place today. Now you know for yourselves.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Linda's Life Changes...

The first couple of months of this year have been pretty good.  I'm moving forward into making the decisions that will bring me into retirement.  I have spoken to my financial consultant, researched reverse mortgages (decided to NOT do one right now), counted how many work days (57) and how many Mondays (11) I have left, and have almost totally lost any real incentive to be here.

In addition, I've been planning my big 6-week vacation to Paris.  I'm headed over at the end of August and returning early in October.  I've begun listening to French CDs and am reading maps, Paris travel books, and memoirs to prepare me.  Two of my good gal pals (Barbara and Sheila) are flying over with me, but only staying first week.  Another couple of friends are planning to join me and go on some adventures during the stay.  My rule is that by the end of week two, I begin my solo adventure.  That will give me LOTS of time to be alone and do my spiritual, life-changing, rite of passage whatevers!

The apartment I found is on the Boulevard Saint-Marcel in the 5th arrondissement.  It's on the 4th floor of a 6-story building with no elevator!  I've begun taking stairs whenever I can. So much to plan and do from now until then.  Getting my butt ready for retirement is just part of the story!

In addition, I'm planning a HUGE retirement party on 7 July.  I've sent out the SAVE THE DATE notices, booked a Taco Caterer who will come and set up and serve during the party.  I need to research how to fit 80 people into my little house and yard!  Let's hope it's a not-too-hot lovely day!

Can't deny it...I'm a little anxious.  Yet, I still know that I will be OK.  Finances will work out -- even though I'm spending about $1000 on the party!  Maybe I'll ask for donations for my birthday -- we can have an Eiffel Tower Cash Tree...  (Hey, that might not be a bad idea...)

Health is good; Blaze is good.  Charley's little ghost is still hanging out in corners of the house and yard, and I do miss her.  Am so tempted to get another kitty...but I need to wait on any new critters until I get back from Paris.  Glynn will be house and Blaze sitting the full 6 weeks...and I'll pay him some that he can give to Cher.  I know that it will all be perfect.  Deb Silvi and Robert Keaton are planning to attend...De even noted a "maybe"!  Who knows who else might show up?  I'm open to all.

OK.  This particular stream of consciousness needs to get posted so I can move on. Here's picture I found that I think is appropriate for the times!

Linda O

Linda O
Glamorous Me