Tuesday, January 2, 2018
I'm checking a couple of Calendars from 2017 to remind me of what I did! No guarantee that everything will be accounted for, but I'm sure the lion's share will show up.
JANUARY: Cher and I had our January getaway to Borrego Springs for long weekend from 3rd to 5th. Stayed in lovely condo right on main drag. Did a little hiking, although my pelvis break made me extra cautious...wasn't quite fully healed yet. Loved the weekend. Had a lot of work drama that week, and the vacation in the desert was just what I needed.
Then, Jeanne visited as usual in January...she had a time share in Las Vegas and went up there for a week of her 3-week stay. I joined her on the 12th. It was fun. We went to Valley of Fire on the 13th and then to Zion on the 14th. GORGEOUS parks...pleasant fun with Jeanne...and we also saw Van Morrison at Caesars! We didn't stay in her timeshare...but moved to Bally's when I got there. Continued physical therapy for my pelvic break (Oct 2016).
On 20 January, we inaugurated our new President, Donald John Trump. Enough said about that. But, what deserves to be put in here is that I also joined my Civilian Leadership Development teams to brew beer! What a fun day. Great time was had by all. We named it INAUGURALE! (Of course, I got into a little trouble about it--seems brewing beer as a team-building event is frowned upon.)
Then, on the 29th, I actually had a business trip to Charleston, SC. Finally got to visit SSC LANT and meet in person many of the people I work with daily. I was there to be part of an Inspector General visit; my job was to review training and the Drugfree Workplace programs. Traveled with Ginger, stayed at the Air Force Lodge (no frills, for sure), and got to visit with Brian Lindgren and meet his wife Honey. I'm sure that it will be my first and last business trip as a government employee!
FEBRUARY: Calendars show that things were slow in February. I joined Frazier and family for Betsy Hewett's internment at Ft. Rosecrans on the 17th. Other than that, visited Betty M for a pre-Valentine's Day event and then did the beer bottling on 24 Feb with same team that brewed it in Jan.
MARCH: Donna visited on 9 Feb for a long weekend. Loved having her here and just visited around town, shared her with Cher, and enjoyed time. We went to TOMATO CELEBRATION at Cuyumaca Community College garden program. Did some shopping, bought several tomato plants, and enjoyed time together. For work, big event was attending the Cross-SYSCOM Training meetings at SSC PAC. Also, in March, I had the foundation of the house checked and got estimate for fixing. That was a biggy! Also had a chance to have dinner with Debbie Hatch in O.B on the 23rd. She's a new friend and I'm enjoying getting to know her.
APRIL: Took Betty out for her birthday in La Jolla on the 7th. Lovely time! Quiet month otherwise...although Cheryl and I did take Marge Moss out for her birthday (15 Apr) a little late! Although it doesn't really count as a trip--Cher and I went to flower fields on 22nd up in Carlsbad. Lovely day. Exquisite flowers!
MAY: Big month for travel: Left for STC Summit in Washington, DC, on 6 May. Taught full-day class on Sunday at conference, and then attended some events, spent time alone, roomed with Leah Guren, and enjoyed the venue. Cher joined me on 10 May and we moved to VRBO in DC. Dicey part of town, but little apartment we rented was great. We saw Christine Jackson (went t, her brother & family, visited museums, and enjoyed being DC tourists for a few days. Then, rented a car on Sunday, drove to PA to visit Karen & Lloyd and then Donna and Bill for two nights. Drove down to Fincastle to visit Jeanne for three nights (included trip to Monticello!), then drove back to DCA to fly home on 19th. It was a delightful vacation. Got to see Jeanne's home & some delightfully beautiful eastern geography. Had fun evening with Donna, but wasn't there all that long...wish it could have been longer.
JUNE: Two big events in June. Saw Dalai Lama at UCSD with Cheryl, Connie, and Barbara on the 16th and went to Vegas with Cher to see Brooks & Dunn & Reba McIntyre the weekend of the 23rd for my birthday and drove back to Valley of Fire to show Cher that lovely park during the weekend stay. Great birthday.
JULY: Karen and Pat Farrell dropped by on the 4th in their motor home. Only visited a few hours, but it was delightful to see them. Rest of the month was quiet. Saw Betty and Rex for meals...and enjoyed a quiet month of recouping from busy May and June!
AUGUST: Jeanne returned for a short visit--16-23 August. Brent Argast got married on the 26th, but I didn't go. Just didn't feel inclined. Apparently missed a major event! Oh well.
SEPTEMBER: The month of my Virgo friends' birthdays. Saw Barbara for a meal on the 2nd and took long weekend in Los Angeles with Cheryl from the 7th to the 9th. We stayed in a delightful VRBO in Glendale on Riverside Drive. Lovely neighborhood near Griffith Park. Spent a day exploring Burbank, the Gene Autry Museum, and having mani/pedis and great birthday lunch on the 8th. Went to the Getty on the 9th. WOW. Fantastic spot. Had early dinner and drove home on that afternoon. Had foundation worked on from 12-13 Sept. (Glad that got done!)
OCTOBER: Another quiet month: trip to Panama City for Cross-SYSCOM event was cancelled. Connie had her trip to Ireland. But, things at my home were quiet and normal. Nice. Yet, October saw some medical issues for me. Got a bad cold, then had some major nasty issues with vertigo. Really set me back for a couple of weeks. Still have minor spells, but after a few physical therapy sessions and a trip to the ENT, I guess I'm living a new normal that includes occasional dizziness. It's called Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo (BPPV). In late October, I mailed in my retirement papers with chosen date of 30 June 2018. Decided it was time for me to make it real.
NOVEMBER: Went to Vegas with Barbara on 17th to see Celine Dion. Phenomenal concert! And nice trip. Barb got us Southwestern flights, so the trip was easy. Deb Sauer visited me on 10th and stayed only 24 hours, but Cher and I drove her up to LAX on the 10th, so we enjoyed our little road trip--stopping in La Jolla, Del Mar at Brig for lunch, then the Self-Realization Fellowship gardens and gift store before jumping on freeway to get her to LAX for her red-eye back to Boston. It was delightfully fun.
DECEMBER: Finally. Last month of the year. Bought a new fridge because I hated the old one and I couldn't bend over to see what was on bottom shelves without getting dizzy! Had bone density test to see that I am pre-osteoporosis...(not good)...did all-day focus group about big suit coming up between a couple of IT giants...and made $300 for the day! Helped celebrate Holidays at work by coordinating 80300 party for Margaret. Had evening with Cheryl GH, began Social Security checks, and found out that Charley's nose is probably cancer and her time on earth with us is not long. Also, found out about David Armbruster's death--a sad loss to tech comm for sure. All in all, had quiet Holiday month. Super sad about Charley...but not much I can do but let her wait it out until quality of life is bad. Took Marge out for lunch on 30th for pre-NYE celebration. Great to be able to share time with that lovely 95-year old lady!
AND THAT WAS IT! Whew. I'll add some pics if I get the chance. Sure will make it more interesting.
Thursday, December 28, 2017
1. In two days, it will only be 6 months until my retirement date!
2. Jeanne is arriving in a week--I still have a few things to do to prepare--but not too worried. She takes me as she finds me.
3. Taking Marge Moss out to lunch on Saturday for an early New Year's celebratory meal with Cheryl. Marge is my surrogate mom. Would that my own mom had lived to be 95! But glad that Marge is here and hale and hearty and pretty darned healthy. Blessings abound.
4. Worried about Charley. Her cancerous nose is getting worse. Giving her CBD in her food. Hoping it will help a little. Need to get official biopsy done to be sure that's the problem, despite vet being almost certain it is. She's been extremely cautious and difficult to pet these last few days. She seems to know something is up. Not sure I can even catch her to get her back to the vet for the test. Not sure how it will all turn out, but I'm afraid my little girl's days are numbered. I'm upset, but resigned.
The little pink nose in the pic isn't little or pink these days...it's swollen and red and extremely nasty looking...makes me sad.
5. Nothing to worry about re: Blaze. He's delightful. He is smelling Charley more often than usual...smells the spots she lies in when she leaves. Not usual behavior. I think he knows she's sick. He is perfect. Still my Zen Boy. Happy, healthy, passive, and loving. What more could I ask?
6. My 2-legged kid, Connie, is thriving. She's happy in her loft in Kensington, happy with her coaching, and successful at work. She has a plan for her life and that's always good. I'm delighted we have such a loving relationship. So many moms & daughters do not. My pride and love have no bounds. She did so darned well considering all that happened in her youth. Life is good.
7. I am still and always surrounded by loving friends--near and far. I'm blessed beyond measure with the people who support me, love me, and keep me sane. No challenge or hiccup in this life can ever replace all the prosperity and good I've experienced from friends. It's something I'm always grateful for and will always treasure.
OK. that's all for now. I'm getting sappy. I'll blog about something a little more entertaining sometime soon.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
NOTE: Just found this post in my draft folder! So, I decided to post it! NINE years later!
The techcomm delegation is in Beijing. For some reason, I can't get into the techcomm.livejournal blog, so I'm making this the official team blog for today and hoping someone else can post it.
All 20 of us are here at the Swissotel Beijing. The journey took me 29 hours of traveling--if you include the time waiting in airports! The trip from LAX to Hong Kong was 17.5 hours. Captain told us that a huge headwind was blowing our way, so they rerouted the trip up to the Aleutians, the Bering Strait, and then down through Russia to Hong Kong. From what I could see, we might have been in a windowless tube. We flew all night and I watched two movies, slept, read some trip-related stuff, and talked to Sherry Michaels who was sitting on the other end of our row. We were pretty lucky. We each had aisle seats and had 2 empty seats between us. We flew Cathay Pacific. Coach was well-served, and the seats weren't too uncomfortable. The plane left LAX at about midnight Sunday, and it arrived in Beijing Tuesday at 11 am. We completely lost Monday.
Fifteen of us arrived in Beijing on the same plane. The three folks who flew from Chicago didn't get in until about 4 pm. We arrived in Hong Kong at about 5:30 am. The place was empty. Couldn't even find a spot to buy a bottle of water. Starbucks opened at 7, but when it did open, the line was too long to wait in. The sun coming up over the mountains to the east of Hong Kong was cool. Much of the trip comprised standing in line. Security lines, immigration lines, train lines. and custom lines. And, because of my knee replacement, I have to get searched every time I went through a security checkpoint. And, I went through four of them! Had to go outside to change terminals at LAX, so that meant a new security check. Then, we had to go through one at Hong Kong (although I don't know why) and then the immigration line at Beijing.
I got a few pictures, the view from my hotel is pretty cool. It's also pretty hazy/smoggy. Our guide, Huang, says that it is the weather, and that the air quality is rather good. But I'm having a tough time believing it. The day(s) were long, but the people are friendly. We all met and connected immediately. Having the Yahoo group for these last few months worked better than I could have imagined. The hotel is comfortable, clean, and there's even several channels on TV in English! I almost left my laptop at security again. Thank goodness Sherry pointed it out to me! Here are some of the folks on the delegation:
Something about that more sophisticated location has never caught my ongoing attention. It was always a chore to write there--for several reasons. I had basically forgotten how easy it is to post here. So, here I am: Wednesday, 6 December 2017. Several years since my last blog anywhere.
Lots has changed...and not much has changed. I still work for SPAWAR, but I now work as a Federal employee. I worked for OMNITEC (1 year) and then The Marlin Alliance (4.5 years) on my way back to being a Fed. I'm doing well and plan to retire at the end of June 2018.
I do little in STC these days, although I do keep up my membership and hope that I can continue to do so into my dotage! I taught at UCSD Extension for several years, but gave it up because of challenges from my regular day job. I just wrote to them telling them I'd be available again after June. My health is good, although these last few years have seen several challenges--a second knee replacement, a badly broken humeris (upper right arm), and a broke pelvis. The first two required surgery; the second just a lot of time an physical therapy. Oh, yes, I had gastric bypass in 2010...so that was a big deal, too!
My sister died in 2012. I often think of the challenges she faced and that she caused for me, and really don't miss her much. I'm just hopeful that she's found peace in whatever comes next. My brother is still well and fairly happy living in Indio. I see him occasionally and love it every time I do. My nephew is in his senior year of college at University of San Diego. I don't see him much, but am proud of all he's become.
My daughter, Connie, is thriving. She's coming up on her half century birthday soon...still works for the FBI, but now lives in a lovely loft in San Diego, has recently completed a life coaching certificate program, and is still the light of my life.
I've traveled some--mostly here in the states, but the trip to China in 2008 was a big deal. Hard to believe that was 9 years ago.
My best buddy, Cheryl, and I do lots of things together--trips, shopping, hanging out, movies, and dining. It's all good and I'm always grateful that she's in my life. I also have several other close friends who provide me with love and support. Each is an important part of who I am and I'm blessed to have them in my sphere of existence.
Karma went to the Rainbow Bridge in early 2013. Charley is 12 now, but she's still part of my little family. I adopted Blaze in June 2013 and have appreciated his big, goofy self every day. Still miss some of what each previous pup brought to my life, but believe that Blaze might be one of the most incredible dogs who's ever shared my life.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Big news of the day is that Nelson Mandela has died. 95 years old. Amazing how he changed the world in his lifetime. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a black man or woman of days past or even of days now. I recently met a woman named Piper Dellums whose father knew and worked with Nelson Mandela in years past. Her dad is Ron Dellums, a former U.S. congressman from the Oakland Bay area…I think he was also a onetime mayor of Oakland. She is an energetic, motivated woman who has had extreme events in her life…some powerfully good…some horrid. I was drawn to her energy and spirit. Something about her intrigued me. I know that she’ll be upset over Mandela’s death…he was one of her heroes. Can't help but think of her and the thousands who felt a soul connection to Mandela...his presence was a powerful thing not likely to be repeated for generations.
Piper came into my life when I spent a weekend in Idyllwild—a lovely mountain town about 2 hours outside of San Diego. Piper was the proprietor of a great boutique where I spent entirely too much money on some things that are quite delightful! A long black dress; a soft, brown, jersey pullover, and a strange top that is difficult to describe…it is brown and black and gold and has raglan sleeves and if you don’t put it on right, you can get head holes mixed up with sleeves and base. It’s a strange top, but I like it and although I haven’t worn it yet, I do plan to. It’s too fun to let it lie fallow.
Boy, am I ever going all over the place! I did see an attorney today about my slip and fall. Even though the restaurant’s insurance carrier has dismissed my case and stated that they are not liable or at fault, the attorney said that they would look into it. Apparently there’s a way they can test the floor to see if it is conducive to slips. If the floor winds up being dangerous, they’ll take the case. If not, they will not. So, at least I’ll have an answer in a few weeks or so.
Well, I will do my best to have a more interesting post going forward. Today’s is more about making the goal than really sharing something of value. And of course, I am writing to mention the world’s loss of Mandela. I don’t feel badly about Mandela. He lived a long time and he made a huge difference in the world. He was one in a zillion. Would that more of us could make even a fraction of the positive changes he made during our journey here.