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Adventures, Product Reviews

Sunday Musings

Sunday – it was a nice day – putzing in the back yard – a little housework – Hallmark movies – and “date night” with the Ex.

So my little back yard is mostly a cement slab and a small raised wooden deck with maybe a 2-foot edge along the fences for green stuff.  The previous owners of the unit didn’t do much in the way of fostering landscaping so there is one tree of some sort and a rose bush.  And weeds. Now that the endless rains of this winter/spring seemed to have stopped, and I have a little free time on weekends, I’ve started working on “greening” a bit.  Got a weed wacker to keep the  growth down, trimmed the rosebush and the tree, got a Pikaki bush and a Morning Glory vine, and have started nurturing Daichondra seeds to replace the dirt strips around the patio.  We’ll see how that works!  Aything to take away from the barren-ness.

Ex and I went to see Going In Style (link to trailer) with Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Ann Margaret, and Christopher Lloyd.  It’s about 3 old guys who after losing their pension fund decide to rob a bank.  No spoilers here! Just go see it –

I will be so sad when these incredible actors leave us. No one can bring with them the same class and style.  Going In Style is a timely story for older folks that young people won’t get. And even though it’s about robbing a bank, the movie has great and huge heart about the importance of family and of dear old friends, and always looking out for each other.

We followed the movie with sushi and saki at Silver Sake, our favorite neighborhood sushi haunt for an awesome late afternoon/early evening date – perfect for us ol’ Baby Boomers!

Namaste, my universal groovers – here’s to a pleasant weekend.

Itty Bitty


Can I Just Get A Break?

I’ve come to realize that there are times in life when ….   life …. doesn’t go as smoothly as we would like.   The last few months have been challenging financially – more pay day to pay day than usual for some reason.  Some additional monthly fixed expenses have come up with the divorce being final (minor medical insurance premiums, assuming my half of car insurance premiums),  an unexpected vet bill, loss of my Son’s contribution to the household as he looks for new employment  … just kind of piles up.  I’m sure within a month or so everything will settle down and balance out, but at the moment it’s a bit emotionally overwhelming in addition to financially overwhelming.

And the icing on the cake was having someone run a red light left hand turn right in front of me …



A week ago Friday night …. MIDNIGHT!  I am truly grateful that neither I, nor the young man who ran the red light and his girlfriend, were injured.   No air bag deployments.  Body damage to both cars?  Absolutely.  Shattered nerves?  Uh huh, yep.  And as big a pain in the ass as it is to deal with all the insurance issues, it’s been as good as can be expected.   But with all the other stressers under foot right now, it’s not what I needed. Did NOT add to my calm.

AND … it was on my part a no-control situation.

The car is now in the “car hospital” in “tear down” mode – the insurance adjuster estimated about $5,300 in parts and labor based on what he could see.  Hopefully there isn’t any major “unseen” damage.

Of course in the fortunate absense of physical injury, it is a huge inconvenience more than anything. I am grateful.  And I am seriously grateful for the truly helpful, responsive and compassionate insurance people, both Century 21/Farmers Insurance (mine) and California Casualty (his) I have dealt with.  Thank you, everyone!

Gratitude …. that which illuminates the dark times …



Itty Bitty’s Moving

Hello my friends, I am in the process of transfering my blog to my new website – please check out the new website, and register there to continue following me while I’m in this strange time of transition!

With any luck within a week everything here will be there …

Thank you!

The Itty Bitty Boomer


Girlie Parties

I love “ladies only” parties!   You know – ladies “naughty” parties …  There’s a round of them going in my circle right now through Pure Romance. This isn’t an endorsement or suggestion that you go buy toys and lotions and potions .. but that being said, get 12 women togther on a hot Sunday afternoon in someone’s living room – add appetizers and wine and have a conversation/demonstration about “bedroom enhancement” products and before you know it, it’s a downright hysterically laugh-filled 3 hours.


Sniff this, lick that – OMG! Look at how the tip on that thing buzzes!  The age group?  Late 20’s to Grandma at 87.   Grandma was the funniest one to watch – her expressions while our consultant described what this cream or lotion was for (she actually snorted out loud when we talked about minimizing gag reflex) – and played with speed dials and rotation controls on the toys that looked nothing like old fashion phallac-shaped toys …. and then very calmly stated that after 60+ years of sex, there’s probably not a lot new she could still learn.  Evelyn, I love you!

Hysterical!  Reminded me of my mom who was 80 when I started selling Pure Romance 15 years ago (for about 3 years).  The trend then was brightly colored silicone rubber … she examined one 6-inch long neon green buzzing shaft and, with a straight face, looked up and asked, “What is this? A flashlight?”. Ah. mommie – I love you and miss your open and liberal sense of humor!


My order will be arriving in about 10 days.  Hey, I’m a single girl!   And I booked my party for Fall!

Thank you, my friend Kitty Kat, for hosting Sunday’s laugh-fest!   It was a much needed break for the realities of my life!

Namaste – I honor you – and your friendship!

Itty Bitty


Highlights and Tattoos – The Lighter Side of Life

So I’ve been playing with my little blog for 5 years now.  The last few years have been fairly dark ones – and I want to move on from the darkness and chaos. It’s still there, I deal with it on a daily basis.  Mama bear will always deal with the chaos.

And where do I want to go with this little blog from here?  Well, I’m thinking more on:

The joys and stresses of aging from my prospective, staying young at heart while becoming old of bone, friendships, relationships, effective make up for aging skin (cos I’m always searching), fun hairstyles in spite of being older, and a little bit of this and that with respect to family (because that’s number one in my book said this mama bear)  …. yep, that’s it!

That being said, lately I’ve been working on being contented with me and letting that “me” out.  

The “medically supervised fast” is on hold because I started having major issues with digestive issues from no fat, high protein and iron supplements if you get my drift.  I’m in process with finding something else low calorie/high protein to replace it without the side effects.

A few weeks ago I took a second step in changing the color of my hair from mousy brown to a darker chocolate brown – and eventually silver highlights.  Brittney Johnson at  Salon Bravissimo in Fair Oaks, I still love you a year later!


Then last weekend I got my very first (and I’m sure only)  tattoo.  I saw it a few months ago and knew I had to have it.  Thank you Nick at Fat Cat Tattoo in Carmichael, CA for the awesome artwork and being gentle with the ol’ lady!!!


And last but not least, I got a new ‘puter – lending my old smaller one to my son so he has his own laptop to use.

I also have to share a little gratitude here for the new circle of women friends I’ve made over the last year through my work networking systems.  I see some of them becoming life-long alliances.  Part of my availability to foster these friendships is my single state – I have time to actually spend with friends occasionally – and they are the kind of friendships in which we actually do “wellness checks” with each other when one is struggling.   Women and friends ….. critical!

So Namaste, my friends – I honor you and your willingness to grow and change!

Itty Bitty









Fun Work Day – Building New Friendships

Everybody thinks being a hotel sales manager is all fun and games – entertaining clients, schmoozing, playing – believe me, it’s not.  And while we DO those fun things, it’s also just one part of our responsibilities.

This is the fun part – Triple A Baseball games – Giants feeder team in Sacramento – the Rivercats …  Sunday afternoon game with a client and her hubby and my hubby.  But it goes beyond that. This lady is someone I’ve known just as a meeting planner for many years.  I’ve always been intrigued by her personality – her “outgoingness” – her interaction with others in positive ways.  My new job and the segments I am responsible for have put us together in business and encouraged an opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level.  I still admire her spunk and desire to motivate others.  She is also taking the reins as president of  one of the meeting professional associations I belong to and she is working on engaging me as one of her board members.

Thank you, Kit, for the vote of confidence!  I see a huge opportunity to make a new friendship – not just work related, but a personal friendship.  I like her as a person.

Itty Bitty and Kit … Baseball!

The rest of the reality of being a sales manager is 8 – 10 hours a day of making prospecting phone calls to potential clients, responding to requests for proposals for meetings, conferences, training sessions, special events from meeting and event planners, showing the property to prospective clients, negotiating and preparing proposals and contracts, following up on outstanding pieces of business – meeting sales call quotas and dollar quotas on business booked, maintaining relationships with not only existing clients but also prospective clients, checking in with clients who are “in house” during their meetings, attending after hour mixers and meetings, it never ends.  And I love it.

Though I hate to admit it, working is my salvation.  It keeps me grounded, keeps my mind busy,  keeps me physically busy, keeps me engaged with others on a work and social basis.

Working makes me appreciate my down time – and gives me the ability to help those I love when I need to.

I have had jobs I loved – and jobs I hated where I cried all the way to work.  But I’ve worked in the hospitality industry since 1969 and I cannot begin to imagine doing anything else.

I wish everyone loved passionately what they did for a living.

Namaste – I honor you – and wish you contentment in whatever ;you do.


Itty Bitty








Stevie Nicks, Ya Still Got It, Girl!

The sad thing is I’ve been going to concerts for … UGH! 47 years? Not so often these days – it has to be someone really special …. like the inimitable Fleetwood Mac.  The great thing is … I still love going to concerts.

Hubby, daughter, her work friend and I went on July 6 to their last US date on their current tour.  Amazing! They are still so full of music and energy and enthusiasm – it was everything a concert experience should be:  A blend of their old, familiar hits as Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks performing her unforgettable songs, Lindsey Buckingham‘s amazing guitar work, Mick Fleetwood‘s amazing drumming and incredible drum solos… AND a few cuts from the NEW CD coming out soon – with all new material!

And two and a half hours of non-stop, no break, no opening act music interspersed with engaging conversation with the audience.  Wish there’d been more Sacramento performances – I would have gone to every one, I’m afraid.

Highlight? A friend sitting on the floor, seven rows back, got this wonderful photo of Stevie Nicks …. not bad for a camera phone!  She still looks amazing for being 65 ….

Stevie Nicks July 6 Sacramento
Stevie Nicks July 6 Sacramento

Is this not SO and TOTALLY the wonderful, magical Stevie?

And so as I relish in the memories of a fabulous concert –

Namaste, Stevie Nicks – you ROCK!

Itty Bitty


My Daily Post – Opposites – Last Sunday In The Park

Since I usually do non-fiction entries, and today’s daily prompt is do something opposite, here are some photos I took last weekend!

Last Sunday the 7-day heat wave in the Sacramento Valley  had finally broken.  After a week of hiding in the house avoiding the 105+ degree heat, it was time for Hubby and I to jump on our bikes and ride the 2 miles to the beautiful  Ancil Hoffman Park which is in our neighborhood!

Sunday In The Park
Sunday In The

From our blanket under the tree,  where we read and snacked on peanuts and Propel, this was our view …

Our Park View
Our Park View

This little guy wanted peanuts to:

Squirrel and Peanut
Squirrel and Peanut

The American River – about 200 yards from where we were sitting …. popular lazy rafting spot in the summer ….

Rafting On The River
Rafting On The River

I love Sacramento in the Summer!

Namaste …. I honor you –

Itty Bitty


Hey, I’m Still Crushin’ 47 Years Later!

I was fifteen (almost sixteen) years old in the summer of 1966 …. and he was eighteen.   Peter Noone and the (Herman’s) Hermits were stopping in Sacramento to do a concert at the Memorial Auditorium … I had my favorite seats … Section 113, Row A, seats 25 and 23 (for my best friend Polly) … on the balcony, corner seats, RIGHT OVER THE STAGE!  I was always in the first five people in line to buy tickets when they went on sale, because, y’know, then there wasn’t any such thing as on-line, or calling into Ticketmaster for tickets.  But we had the joy of getting to know the kids in line as we waited hours for the box office to open!

But I’m off the subject now … I was fifteen (almost sixteen) and he was eighteen … and I was so in love with that sweet, innocent face that my heart hurt!   I knew “we” could never “be” … but we could be friends, right?  I wrote a letter to him and mailed it to the fan club president (hey, I was young) explaining that I lived in a really nice mobile home park with a private pool – and he and “the boys” were welcome to come over and hang out, have a bbq, enjoy the Sacramento summer a little in privacy … if they wanted to.   Just call me and let me know ….

Of course I didn’t hear from him … but the concert was incredible and awesome and … and … and …

And I’ve seen him in concert probably eight times since then over the years,  two with sweet Davy Jones … they performed so well together  … being silly, joking around, playing off of each other …. the last time I saw them together was in 2009 to a packed venue of not only Baby Boomers, but boomer kids and boomer grandkids – and the wildest ones?  The Boomers, of course!

RIP, Davy …

The last time I saw Peter was September 12,  2010 – I finally got to meet him!  I look wilted (and, ok, maybe a Newcastle or two) … but then Sacramento summer nights can typically be still 90 degrees at 11 pm … which this particular evening was.  It was also filled with nostalgia and joy.

Photo: Yummy! Have had a crush on him since I was about 14!

Peter & me – 9/12/10 Thunder Valley Amphitheater

I told him a little story about my best friend Sam who lived in Monticeto in Southern California (as Peter still does).  Their kids (her son and his daughter) went to middle school together, and when the kids were about 13, went on a date to the movie theater.  Sam accompanied her son …. and Peter chaparoned his daughter … to the movie theater ….  much to the kids’ chagrin, and much to Sam’s delight!  He laughed and said, “Oh, yes! I remember that!  Nice Jewish girl (referring to my friend Sam)!”  Of course I had to call her right then and there and tell her my little story!

So I guess I’m due for another Peter fix …. maybe he’ll be back ’round this summer  …. and I’ll be there again! Just like every time he comes through this area!

And  “Listen People”  is still one of my favorite songs … listen people … it’s all about love!  Love you still, Peter Noone! As ever …

itty bitty

PS – I am delighted to say that this is part of a GenFab bloghop on Celebrity Crushes (link to other blogs coming soon)!


Eureka! A Little Get-Away On The California North Coast

It was a simple, 2 day trip to Eureka – a small town five and a half hours away from where I live, on the north coast of California. Hubby had a job that would take us there for either a one hour or two day job. As it turned out, it was a one-hour job plus waiting until the next day for environmental lab results so we could head the five and a half hours back to Sacramento.

Our early afternoon arrival allowed us to get our business done in time to overnight the samples. Given the cold temperatures and rainy conditions, we spent the afternoon napping, and then sharing a leisurely dinner at a little café on the waterfront.

Wednesday we had time to explore while awaiting the return of lab results so we took a drive about forty five minutes north of Eureka on Highway 101 to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, part of the Redwood National Forest. The ancient redwood forests in Northern California are, perhaps, the most stunning of all ancient trees in the world. The trees are hundreds of feet tall and as much as 2000 years old. At Lady Bird Johnson Grove there is an easy mile and a half loop that wanders through a bit of the forest. There is only about a 100 foot elevation change, but you get a glimpse of the terrain and growth common in this area.

Traces of the hail from a passing morning squall were still lining our walk – and a misty veil of fog created a quiet, muted solitude. The wind blowing down on the coast was absent. There was a carpet of huge, deep emerald green ferns, and webs of yards long moss hanging from the winter-bare trees growing under the redwoods. It was humbling walking through these ancient giants – it is impossible not to feel reverence and respect for these living towers


As one who lives a spiritual path that celebrates nature and all living things, I was overcome with love and compassion for all this forest has endured through natural fires (witnessed by the multitude of trees bearing the huge scars at their bases, and yet full and healthy with growth above the scars) and at the hand of man in clear-cut farming of the trees before they were preserved as a national park (or treasure). Had it been warmer, and not quite so wet, I could have stayed there all day and been perfectly contented – the eternal wood nymph!

Too soon it was time to head towards home. On the way back to Eureka, we stopped at one of the many beach parks. In spite of the bone-chilling wind and storm surf conditions, I had to greet my friend the ocean – if only to stand by her side for a moment. Have you felt the power of the ocean lately? Just another reminder of how small we really are.

Just after leaving the beach, we ran across a sign that brought a little reality home, especially after last year’s earthquake in Japan, and subsequent tsunami effect, which actually hit the Northern California coast … it’s a concept that one doesn’t think about often, but …. It happens …

Our little trip to Eureka was enjoyable in so many ways. The last time I was there was in 1963. I don’t think it’s changed much! It was a nice little get away for hubby and me – and I had the much needed pleasure to touching Mother Nature in a very special way. Something we should all do more frequently!

Where have you been lately?

Namaste … I honor you.