Tuesday, October 29, 2019


I was thinking about my dad today. 

As my dad got older he fell in love with trains and he donated financially to the Pacific Southwest Railway and Museum. So when my sister asked me to plan the train ride as part of our memorial/celebration, that's the one she wanted to go to but it was an hour away and it was kind of expensive.

So I made the decision to just ride the commuter train up the coast of San Diego and back again. It would be quick and inexpensive.

But no. My sister insisted we go to the Pacific Southwest Railway and Museum. She said our dad volunteered there over the years and she wanted to ride that train. So we all piled in our cars and drove the hour out to Campo, CA. 

I had read on-line that we could buy a brick in honor of him and they'd put it in the walkway leading to the station. We all talked about doing that, it could be nice!

When we got there, we all headed toward the office and what did we see?


He had already purchased bricks for himself and for me and my sisters!! I'm so, so glad we followed my sisters advice and took the time to go out to that train! It really made us feel like he was there, like he bought them knowing one day we'd go out to ride that train.

 I bet he smiled as we darted about the walkway searching for bricks! "Here's another one!"

I miss you dad. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Random Stuff

Sharaya took a trip to New Orleans this weekend. As a single mom she tries to get away one time a year for just a little 'me' time. 

So Allie spent the night on Friday! I took her to her school's Halloween dance. Allie and her friends hung out in the center of the gym and danced a little, they ran around outside, there was pizza and cookies... I'm glad I got to take her. It was fun to watch her in her element.

Afterwards I was showing her all the pictures I took and in this one she said they were pretending they were jumping off the titanic. ๐Ÿ˜Š 

 Saturday morning I took her to gymnastics. 
Now she's staying at a friends house for a few nights.

Look at this face!! ๐Ÿ’–

Saturday night was our Harvest Party at church. The theme was Candy Land and there were games in every classroom: laser tag, cookie decorating, ring toss, bowling, a lot like you'd see at a carnival. 

Then the gym was set up with  large inflatables and there were hotdogs and chips... it's always so much fun! We ended up having more than 1500 people come through!

All the volunteers stayed to help clean up and by the time my crew and I cleaned and restocked the bathrooms, vacuumed, mopped, set the alarm and headed home, it was 10:30!

We gave away a LOT of candy!

One of the photo spots

When it was all over...

I just spent a couple hours creating gift bags for my crew. They work incredibly hard throughout the year and I can't thank them enough!

 Just a few of the 8 custodians on my staff
(FYI - he's 6'10")

I've really been loving fall this year. It's usually not my favorite time of year with summer ending and all the sunshine going away for 5 months... But for some reason this year I just can't get enough of it! The cooler temps, the beautiful colors... I'm loving this!

Do you like fall? What's your favorite season?

Sunday, October 20, 2019


We got home on Tuesday and Chuck had a doctor appointment on Wednesday. Plus we did laundry, sorted through 2 weeks worth of mail...

Thursday at work was packed with people filing by my desk telling me all the things that didn't get done while I was gone. All the things the custodians missed or just didn't bother doing. 

I forgot to order dinner napkins before I left and we just about ran out! Thankfully there was a case reserved for our Thanksgiving event so we used those this weekend and I'll be able to order more tomorrow.

Our main coffee maker broke Thursday night and we came to work to find the floor flooded. I called the company and the repair guy didn't see the request so he showed up on Friday, just 3 hours before a huge event!

Thankfully he was able to fix it. Or so we thought. We were able to use the coffee maker Friday night but the floor was flooded again when we came in Saturday morning. 

Saturday afternoon we had a large memorial. 
Sunday morning we had a huge Missions Lunch. 

We spent this weekend making coffee downstairs, putting the large cambros on carts, wheeling them into the elevator and bringing them into the Commons. (That's the room where we have our biggest events. The broken coffee maker is just feet from the Commons.) 

And there were a hundred other little things that happened that could turn into major issues if not taken care of. Sigh.

Also on Friday Chuck had an endoscopy. He was put completely out and they put a probe down his throat to check his esophagus, stomach and small intestine. I can't remember if I've mentioned it on here but he's preparing to have weight loss surgery. We've spent the last 3-4 months seeing surgeons and nutritionists and fitness experts... We'll find out the results of the endoscopy on Monday.

While we were on vacation Beth and Sharaya both had birthdays! Beth is two years older but their birthdays are just 4 days apart. The cousins surprised Sharaya when they all went out one night but we decided to wait until we got home to celebrate them.

Surprising Sharaya in San Diego

The girl cousins

Today the 5 of us (Me, Chuck, Beth, Sharaya and Allie) went out to The Olive Garden for lunch and we gave them both a small gift. Beth is now 35 and Sharaya is 33. Oh my word.

 I suddenly feel very old.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Blinding Colors, Yummy Pastries and Bridge Designs

We flew in late Tuesday night and it felt so good to be home! What is it about that feeling you get when you've been away from home for a while and then you walk through that front door?? There really is no place like home!

This will be short as I'm still on east coast time and my body thinks it's 11:15pm but I wanted to share a few pictures with you.

Vermont was spectacular! The colors were so vivid that sometimes when the sun hit the reds or yellows, it was almost blinding!

Look at all that color! Almost every tree is a different shade of red or yellow or orange...! Here in Seattle we have so many evergreens and there are some deciduous trees mixed in but it looks nothing like this!

We went to church in Queens, New York; bought dessert at Mikes Pastries in Boston, Mass; and drove through the beautiful state of Connecticut! The line at Mikes was out the door and down the street, but oh so worth it! I had a Cannoli for the first time, we bought some cookies, everything was SO good!  

That's Diana on the far right. 
(I don't know those other three, but they were headed to church too!)

Driving by Manhattan

Connecticut was so beautiful! Even their bridges, every bridge, every overpass had a different design. It was so pretty there.

Have you ever been to New England in the fall?

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

What We've Been Doing So Far

We flew into San Diego on October 3rd. For the first time in a long time we didn't have an early morning flight so we didn't have to rush to get to the airport. 

Chuck is better at directions than I am so he always goes first, then I tell Beth to "follow dad" and I follow Beth.

The airport was pretty busy but we made it through security and got to our gate with plenty of time to spare. I'd much rather be early - to anywhere! - than late so I'm a happy camper when we arrive early. 

Chuck prefers the aisle seat and Beth doesn't like to fly so I always get the window seat. She especially doesn't like it when we take off.

Take offs and landings aren't my favorite either but once we're in the air, my phone comes out and I'm glued to the window pane! I love aerial photography! It's a perspective you don't get every day and I've never understood how people can watch movies or play on their phones the whole flight!

Mount Rainier

This is Miramar, the Marine Corp air field where my dad will be interned. (Not sure why Miramar, he was in the Navy.) But anyway, when I saw this I started to cry. This trip was the first time in more than 30 years that I went to San Diego and my dad wouldn't be there. It's a hard thing to accept.

One of the first things we did after getting to San Diego was go to the beach! Our 2 favorites are La Jolla and Mission Beach. This time we went to Mission. We walked along the shore, played corn hole, did some shopping and even had lunch, right there at the ocean. 

For me there's no place like the beach. And I know it's that way for a lot of people. I took a deep breath and smelled that salt water as I walked across the sand and when the water hit my feet I immediately felt a sense of rest and peace. As much as my heart aches knowing my dad is gone, I just knew everything was going to be okay. What is it about the ocean that causes reflection and introspection?