Friday, November 30, 2012

Different Christmas Magic

Yeah it's a little bit weird, I'll admit it.
We've been here in Palm Springs for the past two weeks and my husband and I have yet to really notice that it's Christmas time.
Palm Springs Christmas Trees

Between the beautiful warm 80 degree weather and the fact that we've both been working ourselves to the bone to get our little 80's time capsule vacation condo turned into something a bit more modern, Christmas has really snuck up on us.

I can see now what people mean when they say that it's a little bit strange to be in a place without distinct seasons.  You really have to step outside what you've ever thought of as traditional holidays and just embrace what's new and different to you.  

One thing we remember as completely magical is the tiny beautiful perfect snowflakes we saw in Joshua Tree National Park when we first came to Palm Springs 2 years ago.  It takes very dry conditions to get these; something we would never see in the damp northwest.

Can you see the tiny perfect stars?

We're taking the time to take in what's unique for the holiday season here before we head back home to Seattle in a couple days.  And while I'm happy that I had the forethought to prepare my home early for Christmas before we left for this trip so that I wouldn't feel all frazzled and behind when I got back, I have to admit that the fact that the first person to wish me a Merry Christmas this year was a guy that looked like Jimmy Buffet in a red tropical shirt is probably going to be one of the best memories of the season.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One Super Quick Update!

Yes folks, it's all true!
I am here in Palm Springs enjoying the vacation home that my husband and I finally closed on just yesterday.  It has been a whirlwind situation around here:  We recorded at 4pm yesterday and by noon today the whole condo had to be emptied out and readied to have our pink carpets dyed brown.  It was either hurry up and do it or live with pink carpet for a lot longer.  Yeah, we busted our butts and got it done!

The puppy update:  Tanner is awesome.  That's all there is to it.  Even with hanging out in a hotel for days waiting for our deal to close and with me being more than a little preoccupied with so many details, this little 8 and 1/2 week old pup has been such a joy and so good to have around!  He truly is probably the best behaved puppy I have ever dealt with.  Honestly!  Hailey has even been more lively than I've seen her in a very long time.  Tanner just makes us all laugh, even through some pretty heavy stress.

We are going to take the whole day on Thanksgiving to just enjoy and relax.  And I hope you will all do the same!

Then, it's back to the grind stone so we can make this place as lovely as the weather and the scenery it is surrounded by.  Well, at least what we can get done in another week and a half.... :) :) :)

Credit: David Castillo Dominici at

Friday, November 16, 2012


Ever since we lost our sweet dog Parker a couple of weeks ago, our other dog Hailey has been spending all of her time either moping around or begging for food.

She has certainly been more than a little sad,

just as we have been.

We miss our Parker.  We miss having some 'boy spirit' around here.  We've discussed the idea of looking for another little buddy.  At first we thought we ought to wait until next Spring.  We have so many things going and we definitely don't want to try to replace our Parker.

Recently, my husband and I had decided that we would seek out another dog sooner than later.  We've even floated the idea of seeing if we can't find someone special while we are away on our next trip to Palm Springs, which should be starting this coming weekend.

Yesterday, one of those "divine intervention" kind of things happened.

I was talking with a friend about how much we miss having a boy in the house and how sad our Hailey has been.  We discussed the idea that with family coming around for the holidays that would probably help a bit.

Then suddenly, my friend said she had a crazy idea and that she needed to make a phone call.

She ended up calling her in-laws in South Dakota who are due to come here to the Northwest today, for the Thanksgiving holiday.  These people are small time breeders of chihuahuas.  A couple of years ago I had seriously considered getting a dog from them as I have seen so many of their babies who have ended up in the homes of friends here, and how nice their temperaments are.  Plus my husband really, really wanted a chihuahua.  But alas, at that point the timing was off and we never got a dog from them.

Today, the timing is right. 

Absolutely everything lined up just right and our little Tanner will arrive at the Sea-Tac airport with my friends in-laws by 10am this morning. 

I feel as if I should be thinking about how nutty this all is, taking a new puppy on an immediate road trip down to California, where I have lots of work to do on our new condo. 

But I don't feel that way at all. 

I'm sure you dog lovers can understand.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Could This Be Real???

After 4 extraordinarily chaotic hours that included lost documents, late documents, documents that had mistakes in them, driving all over town- twice, missed connections and one very badly timed dead cell phone, my husband and I are a whole lot closer to realizing one very big dream of ours

As with most dreams that are worth having, this has not been easily achieved.  Along with lots of hard work and sacrifice, the sheer frustration and aggravation of dealing with all the new regulations that have been foisted onto real estate deals has been enough to make a person want to scream- for a very long and loud time!!!

But enough of that...

It's so close I could practically reach out and touch it.  And very soon, we will.
Image credit: Skism by Plismo, found at wikimedia commons

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Little Good News...

...which we could all use these days.

It is hard to believe that it has been almost 2 years since my nephew Nathan was finally transferred into the full time custody of his father.  He has done nothing but flourish amazingly since then!!!

When Nathan moved in with his Dad he was 8 years old.  He didn't know how to use eating utensils properly.  He had zero social skills at all.  He rarely attended school.  I actually felt pretty sorry for the teacher that inherited Nathan as a student mid-year even though Nathan has always been a bright boy.  I knew it couldn't have been easy to take on a charismatic red head that was easily the most disruptive kid on the block!

My how things have changed!  Nathan's Dad has worked very hard to give Nathan a better life.  And last night Nathan's Dad called me to let me know that at his recent teacher/parent conference, the teacher told him that Nathan is one of his favorite students!  Now, I know that I am biased.  However, I couldn't be more pleased to find out that the absolute 'wonderfulness' that is Nathan is shining through! 

Sometimes I Embarrass Myself

How funny that the word embarrass has the word 'ass' in it.
Cuz' right now that's about how I feel.

Yeah, it hasn't been a stellar week- I lost my sweet little dog last Sunday, and then my Nephew's family had to put his cat down last night.  We still haven't heard back from my husbands college room mate (and best friend) in New Jersey yet.  And I've been wanting to pull my hair out or reach through the phone and pull my mortgage brokers hair out over his 'tiny' mistake that cost us a week of waiting for a closing date...

I have been edgy and irritable.  And yet there really isn't any excuse for the way I've been letting myself get all worked up over stuff that isn't going to change just because I got all worked up over it.

All of this stuff is just annoying and I embarrass myself when I don't realize how much worse things can be.  

So... I'm letting everyone know that I am so sorry for being so darn selfish this week.

I think of Nathan's grandma that only wanted to go on a cruise to the Bahamas for her 10th anniversary, with her husband who travels for work so often that they rarely get to celebrate anything at all together.  The trip was to be last week and they left from a port in New York city.  Needless to say they never made it to the Bahamas and were lucky to be able to get back home on Thursday after riding out hurricane Sandy and 3 days of waiting in the airport for flights that were cancelled over and over again.

I think of my friends who just lost their church home.   Their church was suddenly disbanded due to financial issues and a pastor that resigned.  This church was really important in their lives and has been the glue that helped to stabilize them through the loss of parents at a young age, infertility issues, and a long bout of joblessness.  I just know they feel so adrift without the strength of their church.

I also think of all those people who made it through hurricane Sandy and yet have not one material thing left in this world.  No home, no tangible reminders of memories, maybe not even all of their family members.

Sometimes I can't believe what an ass I can make of myself.

While I can't promise that I won't let things get to me again, I can choose how I react to the daily annoyances of life.  It's not always easy, but I owe it to everyone to put a little more effort into the positive side and a little less jumping to donkey-like reactions.

Curious Donkey by Evgeni Dinev / Image found at

I'll start by concentrating on one of the main reasons I have been so excited about having a vacation condo:  I have an idea about being able to use our Palm Springs condo and maybe even network with others who also have vacation properties to be able to help those who never get the luxury of having any vacation at all.

Photo Credit:  Hand Fire by Salvatore Vuono
Image found at

Ah yes, so much more productive than getting all worked up and annoyed.....

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