Thursday, March 28, 2019


For the past month or so, my older sister Bette has been staying with us.  She's my last sibling, and I treasure our time together.  She practically raised me while I was young, and I spent many a summers with her and her family.  When we were older, we also had some great adventures together...the kind only sisters know how to get into!  ha ha

Most of our years have been in San Diego CA, and she has a young son buried there.  My brother's children still live there and we try to get together with them and their families as often as we can.  This last week, before she needed to return to Tacoma, we decided to rent a car (our little truck only comfortably holds two) and take a short trip to San Diego and visit the family, check on the mortuary to discuss future details, etc. and to see all the changes in the city since she had last been (many, many years ago).

What a wonderful visit we had!  After first checking into our hotel, Jack and I met up for drinks with my favorite work colleague who took over from me after I left.  It's always fun to catch up with James to see whats going on with the Zoo and everyone and get the "inside skinny".  No matter how long one is gone from work, you still miss it...

The following day, we took my sister to the Zoo, I bet she hadn't been in over 15 years!  Well, it's "Spring Break", Saturday, and a sun-filled, you can imagine the crowd!  Just the kind of day my old boss loves to see!!  ha ha  The parking lot was full, full, full and it wasn't even 10am yet!  That was OK, we weren't in any hurry, and didn't need to see every square inch.  The Zoo was prepared and the lines weren't long.  We took the bus tour first, then just took our time wandering around until she was tired.

From there we just started to drive around the city.  What fun!  She used to live in Pt. Loma, right across and up the hill from the Naval Training Center.  You could look right into the Center itself and watch the sailors drill.  (I used to wave at them while I washed my sister's car when I was 14).  So, I couldn't wait to show her Liberty Station!  To say she was amazed, is an understatement!  So was I, the first time I saw what they had done to it!

Driving along the downtown area, along the Embarcadero, seeing the old Anthony's Fish Grotto gone always hurts my heart.  If you have ever lived in San Diego, you know that it was an icon that it was here forever, and now it's gone.  Sad.  We went to the "Unconditional Surrender" statue and stopped to see the National Salute to Bob Hope (which I hadn't seen before) - such a cool memorial.

The other big change, is Old Town.  Another place she had lived was right above it, and she knew that area well.  I explained to her how the Bazaar Del Mundo lost it's lease and that they decided to change it's look to what it might have looked between 1821-1872.

By then we were hungry and decided to call it a day and stop for an early dinner.  Our favorite fish place is Kings Fish House in Mission Valley, and thank goodness, it is still there!  ;-) 

The next day we were meeting the family for lunch in the valley at the Wood Ranch BBQ.  My niece surprised us and was able to get the whole gang there!!  All 20!  Wow.  It sure was great to be able to see everyone.  The only ones missing were a couple of great nieces and a great nephews who were either out of town/state working.  Such a lovely family we have.

Afterward we made a run out to Carlsbad to see the Ranunculus Flower Fields.  My sister had never seen them before, and I remembered that they should be in bloom this time of year.  I thought she would enjoy the sight.  Jack and I used to come up here often when we lived here.  We were amazed though, how much the area had built up around the fields!  "Progress", don't you just love it?

We then took the leisurely drive back down all along the ocean side.  We swung by Belmont Park too, as Bette's first husband used to own the roller-coaster there at one time.  When I was a little girl, she used to take me on it.  I sure thought I was special, since my brother-in-law owned the roller-coaster and I could ride it all I wanted!  ;-) 

Monday morning we had an early breakfast at our most favorite breakfast spot, the Hob Nob Hill (another icon) then drove out to Cypress View Mausoleum.  We were able to meet with a very nice lady and get everything settled quickly and then be on our way back to Arizona.

We flew my sister back home yesterday.  I'll miss her sunny disposition, her wonderful cooking, her sweetness and most of all her loving company.  As I've shared before, sisters are special people, and I've been blessed with two.  I never forget to thank Spirit each day for that (and for the brother that I had).

Memories can be wonderful things when shared with loved ones...I'm glad I had the chance to do this with mine....thanks for coming along with us!

...kicking back in Arizona,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

Monday, March 11, 2019

Show Time!

Wow, here it IS already the second week of March!  They say "time flies when your having fun", and they are right!

For the past three months I've been in rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals!  When the Theater Group said that being in the show was work, what they really should have said was that it was a full-time commitment!  It wasn't work (that's what I did for most my life) this was FUN, but it sure is a commitment of time (and energy!).  With four single numbers, plus three group numbers, I was in rehearsals every day, many back-to-back.  It sure was great exorcise too!

Finally, it was time to perform!  Four nights, to sold out audiences!  My sister and her granddaughter surprised me and came down from Washington and Las Vegas for the weekend to see it, what a delight that was!

Out the door for "Hey Big Spender"; "Shout"; "Hey Big Spender"; Bye Bye Blackbird"; "Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend"; "9 to 5"
 Each night the audience was so fun to watch and see their reaction to our performances.  I was told that Thursday night's (first night) were usually the quietest, and Saturday's (last night) the rowdiest.  Well, Thursday's was WILD!!  They were great!  My first number was Big Spender, where we are dressed in saloon girl outfits and try to get the attention of the "gentlemen spender".  After he has made his "selection" and walks away with two gals, I walk to the edge of the stage and eye someone nearby and have a line "How 'bout it palsey?"  Well, that first night, the man that I picked, dropped his jaw and then burst out was great!  Made my night!

We ended each night with the song Up Town Funk and get everyone up and dancing with us.  It was a lot of fun, some nights people really got into it and even outdid us!!  Who said "old people act old"??  Not this group, I'll tell you!!

"Uptown Funk"
After the last show, we all brought food & drinks and partied and "let our hair down"!  That's when I really had fun...both the director and choreographer came up to me and told me what a gem I was and how much they enjoyed having me in the group!  They can't wait to have me solo next year, etc, etc.  Sure made me smile a lot!! 

Two days later, I hopped a plane to New York to be with my son.  Brrrr...  What a change going from 70 degree sunshine to 19 degrees and snow!!  I had dug out every bit of warm cloths I own (which isn't much) and layered!   ;-)  I sure was pretty to look at...but not something you wanted to stay outside in for longer than you had to!!

These guys came for breakfast and dinner each day at my son's back yard!

On Saturday, my oldest granddaughter had her "Sweet 16 Birthday Party" with her best friend.  It was cute.  About 20 girls and one (brave) boy, all dressed up.  Her mom rented a local place and decorated it with balloons, streamers, etc.  They played music and games and had pizza, hot wings and had a lovely cake.  They took funny pictures of each other and giggled.  Us three grandmas sat and reminisced about how different "today's kids are".  ;-)  It was sweet. 

Two days later, my son and his wife and I headed to Boston for his court hearing.  One that has been postponed several times regarding him bringing in his licensed gun from NY to MA.  Massachusetts doesn't have a reciprocal gun law.  It's more complicated than that...but that's the simple version.

After getting there bright and early, as we were told, the judge tells us to come back the next day, as he has an appointment that day.  We do.  Then, once again, the judge tells us, that he is going to postpone the case, as another one has take precedence - an officer involved shooting from 2013.  Ours will take place - April 1st.  Ugh.

We've paid for an apartment for the week, flown me in, taken time off from work, etc.  but the court doesn't care...  So, I flew back to Arizona!

...Just in time for another party!  Theater "Thank You Party" -  fully catered by Dave's BBQ, with a DJ for dancing!  I was so happy to be able to make this!  I had heard about it, and was told that it was "the party of the year!"  Well, they weren't exaggerating!  So much fun!!  The DJ played most of our numbers and we sang/acted them out - but made fun of them!  It was a hoot!  Then, and in between, we danced and danced and danced!  I haven't danced that much in years!  It didn't matter if, or who your partner was, that's one of the reasons I love this group!  ;-)  Everyone is so very friendly, and happy!  Best party ever!

Now, it's time to settle down and get some more things down around here...then before you know it, it will be time to hit the road again!  Yea!

...kicking back in Arizona,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at: