Tribute to Dad 11/18/23-11/10/98


November 18, 2016

Thinking about you today Dad in the memory of your birthday.  Always keeping you in our prayers and thoughts.

You walked the talk Dad: hope where there was despair; faith during times of uncertainty and rejection; compassion and love when confronted with ill-will and indifference.

I see you in the goodness of my kids.

Thank you for giving us your amazing sense of humor and ready smile.  Writing that sentence brings a smile to my lips!!  I am grateful to you for teaching and showing me about the presence of God in every day life and imparting valuable work ethics.  I am proud to be a daughter of a WWII Veteran and POW.  You defended our nation against Imperialism and hatred, and fought for justice, peace and the marginalized.

You practiced tough love when I a kid.  I totally hated that.  But things changed when I became a “grown-up”! Hanging out with you became the “new cool”!!

I believe the best gift you gave was how you loved Mom.  Thank you for loving Mom.  You should be awarded posthumously for being the most amazing husband any woman deserves.  Life knew what they were doing when they gave you as my dad, and that blessing trickled down to my children.  My heart is overflowing with gratitude!

You were One Classy Guy!  I’ll see you on the same side in Heaven someday.

Love You!

NaBloPoMo November 2016

Sushi Date

Renewing my spirit is seizing quality of connectedness with one of my teen/adult children.  One of my daughters loves sushi with a passion.  So, sushi is our gathering meal that binds us together!

Eating food that is gratifying to the palate disinhibits one to talk about anything and everything and makes difficult topics easier to discuss.  Dining embraces community.

Mackenzie and I have our usual “go to” sushi restaurant, but today we tried a new one. Since we were shopping in The Fashion Valley Mall, we wanted to stay in the area.  Yelping sushi restaurants, we found one located in the mall, Blue Smoke Sushi Lounge.  The ambience was welcoming.  We were seated promptly.  Our server gave us excellent recommendations.  Our palates were satisfied.  Our hearts and spirits were renewed!

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Hi! I am Val

Hi! Everyone.  Please call me Val!

I have been blogging inconsistently for awhile and have participated in previous Blogging 101 courses.  My goals are to complete more assignments than previous; to connect with bloggers with common and uncommon interests; to have fun and enjoy the process.

Who am I?  First, I will always be “Mom”.   Then, there is Me.  Wait!  There is no secondly.  I have learned to embrace this mindset of kinetic balance between Val <=> Mom.  This blog is about my journey in honoring, acknowledging, loving  “My Spirit”.  Years ago the only label I knew about myself was ‘doormat”.  Today, I don’t have to fear “walking on egg shells” on a daily basis.  Hence, “valconnectingthedots”.

Things that I like to do and blog more about are cooking and eating out.  Love Love Love to dine out.  This is a luxury but when indulged, I have relished those times.

However, being on a “tight” budget is teaching my family and me to cook more home meals with appreciation and mindfulness.  We have been including more organic vegetables and meats in our diet.  I am learning how to be creative with the remaining ingredients in the refrigerator to last until grocery day which usually coincides with payday.  Googling recipes online has been a fun adventure helping me whip up healthy, tasty, and easy meals for my family.

Another interest is travel.  The on-going question I have for myself is “how do I nurture this desire on a budget?”  To reduce going into  victim mode I have made a decision to spend less time on Facebook .  So, to counter this, I have started to keep a daily journal of things I have done locally that have recharged my spirit.

There are many other topics that interests me, but those will have to wait for another time.  They will have their time to surface organically.  Now, this is a good place to pause.  See you soon!


Titles, Taglines, and Streets


The Spanish Village Art Center, Balboa Park, San Diego, CaliforniaIMG_4200.JPG

To laugh more and to explore where I live are the 2 resolutions I made for 2014.

In the first half of this year I took 2 acting classes at The Point Loma Actors Theatre: “The 8 Week Acting Intensive Workshop and Showcase” and “The 6 Week Advance Acting Intensive Workshop and Showcase”.  My only expectation for myself was to feel less self conscious when on stage in front of an audience.  I got more than that.  I learned improvisation skills mixed with acting techniques that brought me out of my comfort zone; developed friendships; acted in 2 plays (well…the final class of each workshop was acting in a play or a showcase); had lots of fun and most importantly, lots of laughs!

The latter part of this year I found myself being mindful of exploring where I live.  ‘Loving where I live’ developed from the Summer of 2013.  That summer I flew to Worcester, MA with my daughter Mackenzie and moved her into Clark University.  After she was settled, I took The Amtrak Railways into New York City.  I was able to spend time with my older son Geoffrey who resides in Brooklyn and also met my other daughter Caitlyn who had flown in from California.

Caitlyn and I spent 5 adventurous days immersing ourselves as tourists in this frenzied city. Home base was a rented room in East Village found on  We navigated the subways from Williamsburg to Times Square.  We weaved crazily thru traffic  in taxis.  We watched the Broadway play “All That Jazz”; shopped in Soho; ate in Chelsea; toured The Empire State Building and The 9/11 Memorial and Museum; ate The Grimaldi’s famous pizza under the Brooklyn Bridge and experienced the Smorgasburg Brooklyn Bridge Park.

On our sightseeing tours we met people from the surrounding boroughs who shared with us how they make time during the month to see their neighborhoods through the eyes of a tourist.  What an “Ah Ha” moment that was!!  I had always loved to travel and had dreams of visiting different countries with my children, but since my divorce money has been….budgeted creatively!  This was such an inspiration to stay local, play local, and love where you live.  I couldn’t wait to return home to share this with my 2 youngest children, 2 teenage boys, living with me.

Upon my return I booked a guided electric bike tour, “The SO CAL RIVIERA Tour of La Jolla and Mt. Soledad’ with San Diego FlyRides  At the time they were rated #2 of the Top 10 Things To Do in San Diego in TripAdvisor.  As of this writing they are #1!  I will expand on that in a future post.  This tour gave us an appreciation of a neighborhood we knew nothing about.  Our minds were filled with many interesting facts and our bodies more fit from the physical conditioning.  So thankful to see this as the flagship adventure to “loving where you live”.

This year is drawing to a close.  There are about 8 weeks remaining to unearth charming niches where I live.  Let the exploration continue!







Home is 4 miles inland from the corner of Carmel Valley and Camino del Mar.  I’ve been a Southern California Gal since the age of 1 and a resident of San Diego these past 14 years.

Five and one-half years ago when my marriage dissolved, my mother and brother tried to persuade me to relocate closer to them in Los Angeles County.  That decision was never considered!

Our home, which is 4 miles inland from the corner of Carmel Valley and Camino del Mar, is our safe haven where we have established loving, supportive, and lasting friendships.  It is here where we experienced loss, suffering, and desolation.  It is also here where we have begun our process of healing and rebuilding.