Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It Came Without Boxes, It Came Without Bows...

Blue gift box, by Naypong, found at

"And the Grinch with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling.  How could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled 'til his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  What if Christmas he thought, doesn't come from a store?  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." - Dr. Seuss

 No real Grinches around here.  But people who are up to their necks in moving and haven't had the time to do the things that normally make us feel all 'Christmassy', yup we've got those. 
 I used to think that skipping all the decorating hoohaw and such might be just the thing.  I was wrong.  And a couple of weeks back I hit the dollar store and did a little instant decorating at the Palm Springs condo.  I also baked some cookies and mailed them to friends.  Haven't had the time to do all the things that make Christmas feel just perfect, but somewhere along the line Christmas showed up anyway.  Maybe it was when my good friend who is always short on funds sent me my favorite homemade peanut butter cups, even though I know she totally couldn't afford it.  Maybe it happened when my husband and I took the time to be silly and shop for crazy stocking stuffers like bacon flavored cotton candy for my nephew.  Maybe Christmas came when we decided that since we have to eat Christmas Eve dinner on the road, we will be leaving a great big tip for whoever the waitperson is at wherever we stop when the traffic gets to us.
 Whatever let the holiday spirit in, in the midst of our craziness, I am grateful.  And although the world is not all Christmas magic, just a little piece of the good side of humanity is enough for us this time around.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Once Upon A Time...

Sorry folks, no free cars here today- just a simple story of finding home...

It's hard to believe that it's been a little over 5 years since my husband came way too close to losing his very life.  (you can read about that  here but I must warn you it's a very long and involved post.)  It was not long after that moment when the two of us decided that it was time to start living like we really meant it.  No more dreaming of 'one day' as we had safely been doing from our little corner of the world.  It was time to really put it all out there.

Naturally, for my husband and I who met online way back in the day- when only researchers and supergeek college students lurked among the interwebs, this involved an internet search.  I guess we figured after finding a spouse online we could certainly find a suitable place to live.  We decided that a good bold move for us would be try to find a place where we could make our own way in this world, a place that felt like our very own to call home.  And not to simply rely on one of the places that either one of us had happened to land on, when we arrived on this planet.  My husband was far ahead of me in having already left his place of birth and NOT having so many people clamoring to assure him that the place he was born in was really the ONLY place to be.  I was excited to join in a new adventure and to find a 'home' of our own.

After a thorough internet/map/ideas of what appealed to us search, it was Texas, and specifically Houston, that came up as what might be the answer.  So we visited and we enjoyed and loved what we found.  Many people said we were crazy and that Houston was certainly not desirable, even Texas people said so.  But we loved it anyway and we set about to get there.  I felt sure we would do it.  I even started this blog.  And for those who have hung in there reading said blog, you know how much this has meant to me.  And also how hard this has been to achieve as we have come up against some major roadblocks- things like a nasty recession in which we would have had to sell our home at a huge loss and simply finding a new job anywhere was near to impossible.  But we pressed on, never giving up and remembering how awesome it felt to realize that one really could live in an affordable place where the sun shone in the sky far more often than in Seattle.

During this time, my husband and I learned a lot.  As our frustration grew we tried different angles.  We opened up our search to other sunbathed yet affordable cities and even purchased a vacation home in sun-guaranteed yet job poor Palm Springs, CA where we visited as often as we possibly could.  We even tried to secure some sort of remote position to no avail.  Meanwhile, we figured out that not all cities in the sun would feel right and that long drives to Palm Springs would get old.  So there we were having found a place we loved that we couldn't live in and still searching for a way to depart from the grey that we still felt we were paying too much for in Seattle.

Last Spring, we seemed to come up with at least a partial answer to our connundrum.  Having secured a job and sold our house, my husband and I would move to southern California where we could wait out finding a job in Texas while being close to our Palm Springs home and certainly getting our fair share of sun.  It would be fun; it would be like one big extended vacation!  We felt good and jumped in.

And we were right.  It has been good in many ways and very much like a long vacation.  Some of that has come as a surprise that we probably should have seen coming.  Have you ever noticed that after a long vacation there are lots of bills to pay and by the end of it you get a bit cranky and the only thing you really want to do is go home?  Yup, that's the point we got to.  Only now we felt like we didn't really have a home to go to and the closest we could find was our vacation home for the weekends.  And about a month ago, my husbands job took a turn towards watching many people in the organization lose their jobs and the offices being downsized in several locations.  Naturally, we realized the 'vacation' time was over.

But never fear, all that is good in the universe did not bring us to the land of Disney and crystaline swimming pools only to dump us on our butts and leave us bitter.  Oh no.  Suddenly all that work of making connections all over Texas was about to pay off.  My husband got a call from a firm in Dallas that had previously filled their position from within.  They were looking again and remembered him.  We were thrilled and my husband impressed them for the second time.  We were quickly in the throes of negotiation and planning a move to Dallas!  Finally, we would find ourselves in Texas! 

But wait, our story doesn't end here....  While we were super excited about finally getting to Texas, my very selfless husband suddenly had to admit that there were things about the JOB itself that left him concerned.  He wondered aloud at whether he was really a good fit for this particular job and if we might not find ourselves possibly needing to make changes yet again.  He was just not totally comfortable and decided to seek more information.  In talking things out with the Dallas organization, a truly amazing thing happened.  (Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up!)  Although the people from Dallas were convinced that my husband would do well with their company, one of them suggested that he check out a more traditional type of position in another location that might at least give my husband a good comparison.  This location had been looking to fill their position for a long time and it couldn't hurt to make sure everyone was happy in the end.  I was in shock yet again at just how nice those Texans are!

So it was off to Greensboro, North Carolina, where we had once visited my great aunt.  A whirlwind of interviewing, neighborhood touring and sincere consideration followed.  We had to take time back on the west coast, away from all of the excitement and possibilities, to really weigh out the choice.  There was Dallas- where we would be in Texas, the place we've been trying to get to for several years now.  There was Greensboro- where the job felt like a better fit and we realized could also be a wonderful home for us.

In matters of choice over the years, I will readily admit that my husband usually very smartly defers to me.  I am decisive, don't spend time regretting stuff and usually have the stronger opinion.  This story would be a true fairy tale if I told you that this time we gave the decision to my husband.  I would also be lying.   But I know he still got what he really wanted, because he told me so after the fact.  And I believe him.

In the end, the choice is easy.  In January we will be at home in Greensboro, North Carolina!  The job is just right.  The details of the offer and benefits will be life changing.  And after 2 years, my husband will be free to tranfer to any other office within the company that he chooses, including offices in Texas.  It's nice to know that offer exists, but somehow I doubt we'll need it.  After everything we've been through we've managed to find a place to call home that has a wonderful cost of living, a greater percentage of sun than Seattle ever saw, and is much closer to my husbands relatives and best friends.  There's not much more we could ask for.

Sometimes we dream of  home being something like this:
 But we are only truly happy when home feels like this:

Monday, November 17, 2014


Is it just me or do you also think of Carly Simon when you see that word???  Yeah, if you guessed I'm feeling a bit snarky today, you'd be right...

So I'm taking a cue from the guys over at  A Beer For The Shower  and I'm going to post about how my next post will be one that you don't want to miss.  Seriously, if you have been around and reading this blog for awhile you deserve to know that something big is up-  complete with twists and turns and Oprah style 'ah ha' moments.

I hope you have a great day and I'll see you back here soon!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

An Attitude Of Gratitude

Just about every year in November, as Thanksgiving approaches, I'm given to begin thinking in a bit more of an appreciative way.  We probably all do this in one form or another.  And as for me, I know I should do it more.  Every day.  It's one of my many important life lessons that I'm still working on and will continue to do so indefinitely.

This year I am particularly grateful for these things:
 1)  We finally managed to leave Seattle.  It was way beyond time and we needed to make the leap.  Seattle is good in many ways.  Being able to choose our own path is even better.
 2)  Major relief from allergies has been such a blessing.  A whole long summer of being allergy free was like a miracle.  And having noticed a more 'normal' seasonal bit of Fall allergies with the leaves finally on the ground- and full of mold and mildew spores- tells me that being born in a place with perpetual mold and mildew, I should have relocated sooner!
 3)  Connections with friends have been imperative to my sanity this year especially.  Move 1200 miles away and you really do find out who you're friends are!  And some new insights into putting a positive spin on just about anything have been a fabulous gift from one particular friend.
 4)  Dogs are just awesome.  They are there for you, give you purpose, love you unconditionally, and are the best form of entertainment around.
 5)  Seeing things with new eyes.  Slowing down and really looking at all the beauty, strangeness, people around me.  I have found so many things right there in front of my face that I know I would have missed had I kept up the rapid pace I had been and continued on in a subconcious way.  Really living conciously takes effort and it's worth it!
 6)  Being open to more change.  Embracing the unknown really does allow for greater possibilities.  I used to think that control over your life was the ultimate freedom.  That always knowing what comes next was the best way to meet goals.  I have truly changed my mind.  I'll always be a 'planner', but I now know the detours are often the best part.
 7)  I am super grateful for anything that makes me feel useful and productive.  Without much work since moving to California, I have needed to reform my idea of what makes me feel worthwhile.  I have a newfound deep appreciation for everything that anyone brings to the table of life.  We all have so much to offer in so many ways and realizing all the different ways that is manifested is awesome!

 Please do hit me up with some of your own favorite 'gratitudes' of the year!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's Not Just A Theory

I recently moved away from a city that prided itself on being a frontrunner in the liberal race of ridiculousness, right over the cliff to idiocity.  This included the fact that they were very busy there getting things lined up such that everyone who can show up, breathe and do a half-assed job can be rewarded with $15 per hour.  Never mind that people who currently earn that wage will also then desire more, etc., etc....

 But there was also a nagging thought in the back of my mind that told me it would never be that simple for other reasons.  And now, I have seen it with my own eyes.  The other day, in small town Palm Springs CA where things happen slowly and the older than average population is resistant to change, there it was.  The 'it' that I refer to is an automated ordering system at a restaurant.  It was right there when you walked in, and for now it was just there if you wanted to try it out.  I could clearly see how this would be able to eliminate some need for human labor, so I asked a member of the waitstaff if he was worried some people might lose jobs because of this new device.  "No", he replied.  "They just won't hire as many new people".  Well, well, well...  You don't say!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bucket List

Thank you Sherry over at "Mama Diaries" for this fun blog hop idea.  I can't wait to see what's on different bloggers bucket lists!  If you followed over from Sherry's blog or another 'Bucket List' blogger today, welcome!  And to the regular readers, I hope you might be inspired to think about your own bucket list.

As someone who has had many life experiences all along the spectrum of positive to negative, I believe I am especially fortunate in the realm of never truly feeling as if I have 'missed out' on much.

 However, I am a big believer in having goals and a focus on the future.  So my 'Bucket List' is definitely a kind of blueprint expanding on the life that I currently live and am hoping to add to in the future.
 So here we go...
1)  To live in Texas.  If you've read me at all you know I've wanted this for a long time.  Even if I have to wait until I am retired to do it, I WILL live in Texas.
 2)  To have a ridiculous number of dogs in my household.  I used to think a pair or maybe 3 dogs was a good numberlike most sane people do.  Having met people who have the right resources and time who just relish in loving on a whole bunch of dogs, I believe I could be one of those people.
 3)  To go at least one year where I don't decorate for Christmas- hint, it might be this year!
 4)  To make a real difference in the lives of children.  I have no kids of my own.  I have worked with kids for about 20 years of my life and I take a large role in the life of my nephew.  I want to be sure that this item on the list does not end when I do.  I'm working on a way to keep this going long after I'm gone.  If it were not for some very instrumental people in my life, I never would have made it.
 5)  To get a private pilot's license.  As a self-proclaimed 'freedom freak' I crave any and all forms of freedom and flying seems like a wonderful one.  Plus I come from a long line of recreational fliers.
 6)  To learn to be as selfless as my husband.  He inspires me with his ability to be both selfless and happy.
 7)  To have a home that is both uncluttered and yet feels warm.  I think I am getting close!
 8)  To get to a point where I feel that I am fulfilling what I was meant to do.

Sorry I got to the party late today.  I actually had a surprise work opportunity!  Hopefully, I still get some readers over here today!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Where I've Been

You may have run into a comment or two of mine, so you know I haven't dissapeared completely.  Mostly, lately I have been working my butt off to try and find some decent paid work.  I knew it might be tough here in California as the job market is still not great, but this has been a doozy of an experience.  And while I'm glad that my husband feels its fine for me to just 'hang out and enjoy the great weather for a while', it turns out that I'm not as comfortable with this idea as I had initially believed I could be.  Ah, the beauty of being a motivated person who doesn't give up easily.... But in essence, after 38 tries I have actually admitted to myself that even I can't fix this lack of decent paying work in SoCal.

Here's the skinny if you're interested in my personal job hunting experience in California.  The line of work I have specialized in for the last 20 years involves dealing with personalized services for people who have successful and busy businesses of their own.  I am very good at anticipating needs and have NEVER had trouble being referred to others by present clients.  However, this time around, I have come to find that people here are so strapped by their sky high cost of living- due mostly to mortgage payments that would keep anyone up at night- that they simply can't afford ANY 'extras', even if said extras would lead to a better run life and business.  It is interesting and frustrating- and will lead to us too being unable to afford living in CA sooner than we had originally planned.  And so the cycle continues...

 But hey, let's look at the bright side.  I have a forced break that will make me stop and smell the roses over on the beautiful little Balboa Island which I am so growing to love, I will be more motivated to work harder on my next life project, and of course the California government is busy keeping me safe from those evil plastic grocery bags.  Really, who needs a decent paying job?  Actually, I do.  And the fact that I have been offered wages that I haven't worked for since college makes me proud of the fact that I've learned how to say NO and sorry that California and I will have to soon part.  Oh well, at least I'll be safe from those scary plastic bags.
"silouette shopping man" by Sattva, found at

Monday, September 22, 2014

Just Flush It, Please!

This one falls into the category of some things are good in theory only...

'white sanitary ware and tissues' by nuttaki, found at free digital

To the inventor of the water saving toilet (apparently your name is Bruce Thompson and you hail from Austrailia): 
 While I can certainly appreciate a desire to save water in a place such as California is with its water woes, I cannot understand taking a device that actually works and turning it into a disgusting, dirty and non-functioning device.
I am not being overly dramatic here. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have come into the bathroom to find a 'half-flushed' toilet that is stinking to the high heavens and looks like something that my dog chucked up after eating something that only a dog would find tasty.
 Seriously, a toilet that doesn't have much more than a few cups of water in it and then you offer up the option of a half flush?!  And it never occurred to anyone that this could be just plain gross?!  Not to mention how much extra water actually gets used when the ineviatable additional flushes happen to make that sad dry toilet try to take on the job it was supposed to do in the first place.  That is before it was robbed of neccessary water to do said job.
 Please, I beg of you sir, try again.  There has to be a better way.

***Thank goodness we left these nasty toilets behind in the apartment in favor of 'normal' ones in the new rental.  Have YOU encountered these water saving toilets?  What did you think?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Treading Water

So in answer to my own question from my last post, my husband and I ended up near the lake that the dogs like walking around- about 4 houses away actually.  With a peek-a-boo view from the guest room.  Renting a home at the beach was just too expensive, it turned out.  Although it would have been fun to experience the true California coastal scene, it is not in the cards for us right now.  Moving out of the townhouse apartment and dealing with the large deposit on another place has been enough of a drag on our time and energy and bank accounts too!

We are hopeful though that we can get into the swing of things and do more enjoying the sun and fun and less of the sweating while moving everything we own for the second time in less than 2 months!  I can certainly say that touching everything you own three times since we packed up and left Seattle in June makes you want to get rid of a whole lot more and certainly puts things like blooging onto the back burner.  I hope to get back to it as I experience new things that inspire me every day.  And now I hope to have the time for it as well.  It's been good to peek in on my favorite bloggers here and there and see that things are moving on as they do.  I really want to join back in soon!

Friday, August 29, 2014

To Beach Or Not To Beach

Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we have it all together.  And then a series of events piles up like traffic on the San Diego freeway and we end up feeling like a great big moron!
No sooner had I patted myself on the back for my great organizational skills on display as I whipped everything into shape faster than lightening when it came to our big move-  I mean who else could sell off half of their stuff, sell their house and get moved over 1200 miles into new place pretty darn seamlessly???  And in 23 days???  Ah, but I forgot one giant detail that has proceeded to glare me in the face and laugh maniacally at my naïveté.

 Folks, we are not apartment people.  Not even for a short term kind of deal.  How in the heck did I manage to forget that I once spent 4 years in a 580 sq. Foot dump of a rental house simply to avoid apartment living???  Not to mention that I have always called them compartments and wondered where the 'apart' part came in!

Sure, I own a vacation condo, but let me assure you- that is completely different.  You don't like your noisy neighbor?  No worries- they or you will be gone soon.  And really, there's never more than half occupancy anyway so that issue is rare.  Plus there's that little issue of ownership- makes a huge difference.  And let's not forget smokers have to live somewhere so naturally they end up next door to me in every apartment I've ever been in.  Llet's just say that my pride in my abilities to organize my own self and issues has taken a giant hit!

So now that we have made the choice to move yet again as I do not wish to join the ranks of my crazy relatives and possibly cause bodily harm to others, I'm feeling a little less than expert at decision making these days.  My husband wants to take the opportunity to move closer to the beach, but that's expensive.  I think I agree with him that we should go ahead and dive into the California culture while we are here.  And yet, I fear being in a smaller place, even though I know I was capable of doing'tiny'in the past.  I just do not want to feel like I have not managed to find the right place to call home- yet again. 

What do you think?  Have I become a 'suburban' girl who can't live without her space?  Or will I regret not having done the beach thing even more?  I'm especially interested in hearing from the beach dwellers out there!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What If Wednesday- A Little Digging

Alright y'all, it's time to get my act together around here- come broken computers or flooded vacation condos!
This installment of 'What If Wednesday' is brought to you by my husband who likes to find himself in interesting situations that he's managed to dig himself into.  And believe me he has managed to get himself into some doozies- like that time he dug a ditch with a guy that turned out to be a serial killer. Seriously, a true story.  But a story for another day!

This week's 'What If' is this:  What if you researched your family tree?  Even just a little bit?
The box and the tree, by njaj/ found at:

Since I have no information about my father's side, I have always assumed that there was not much that I could learn from working through my family tree.  My husband has had a lot of fun proving me wrong!  After finding that his family tree is pretty much exactly as his mother and grandmother had told him, he decided that it would be enjoyable to unearth some mystery and excitement by seeing what he could dig up for me.

A long story short, my husband found out some pretty interesting stuff.  He found not 1, but 2 cases of women who bore children who were then labeled as siblings rather than their own children and one of these was my great grandmother!  He found a boy orphaned by a mother who died in childbirth and a father who died in the civil war.  He also found more than one record of people who spent time in mental hospitals- thereby proving that when I mention that I come from a long line of crazy and that people ought not push it, these are not empty threats!

This whole excercise turned out to be a lot of fun and I'm glad my husband dug down this path.  What about you? What might you know or learn from exploring your family tree?!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Three Weeks

Over the last week or so, there has been more enough excitement around here and not in a good way.  First our Palm Springs condo was flooded in the utility closet by our upstairs neighbor whose management company failed to shut off the water when leaving the condo vacant for an extended period of time.  Dealing with them accusing us of possibly being the source of the leak (since when does water go up?!) and then getting them to finally come and do something about the damage has been none too peachy.  I can start to see why people jump to sue. Now our trusty old computer of 7 plus years has finally decided to give up the ghost.  I am currently blogging on a cheap tablet-not so fun.   However, my nephew will be here tonight and we have lots of swimming, boating and fishing to do.  Not to mention his trip to Vegas that he earned by doing exceptionally hard work during his schooling this year.  So we are going to concentrate on having a blast over the next 3 weeks and deal with life's little annoyances as little as possible!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

If The Devil Went Down To California

So I've mentioned in passing in another post that I am now free of allergies here in SoCal.  I have absolutely NOT done that subject justice.  Allow me to explain a bit more...

I have literally suffered 'seasonal' allergies since I was 6 years old, when I started my own fine tradition of always being 'sick with a bad cold' for picture day at school.  Eventually, my mother figured out that I wasn't actually experiencing a bad cold that lasted for weeks.  No- instead, just when I had managed to get over most of my lengthy list of food allergies (eggs, dairy, wheat, oranges, tomatoes, and even rice- yes, if I had been born in a 3rd world country they would have just thrown me back!) I managed to start in with the seasonal allergies.  And those allergies grew in intensity and length of season until I was hardly ever really normal and healthy at all.  In time and with tests, I was informed that my two main allergy categories were trees and mold.

Let me just let that sink in for a minute.  I was born and lived in the Northwest for 40 years and I am severely allergic to trees and mold.

Yeah, you can stop laughing anytime now...

Sudaphed and antihistamines have been my savior for years and years.  And yet as anyone with major allergies will tell you, any medication for the condition always has its trade-off choices- things like feeling completely sleepy in the daytime or being able to breathe at night or fun stuff like getting real relief for a few hours or choosing to be just a little bit better than if you had taken nothing at all.  I've even tried some natural spices and things and those left me with heartburn and sinus drainage that I choked on all night long.


When I began to realize that on every trip to SoCal I would get this amazing and drug free reprieve from the allergies, you can bet that I was looking forward to finding out if it would last.

I have been here for a month.  I have taken NO Sudaphed.  I repeat- none.  I think the company may be about to experience a big drop in their stocks!  I have a friend who tells me that if I want to be completely allergy free I will have to keep moving every few years so I won't be able to develop new allergies to the place I'm living in.  I've told him that I would move every year if it meant feeling this good!  And honestly, its a really good thing that 'the devil went down to Georgia' and isn't on his way to SoCal, because I tell you if I were asked to sign on the dotted line to be able to continue living allergy free, I just might do it!

Red Devil by bandrat, found at:

Thursday, July 24, 2014


As hard as I try and no matter how nice I've made the cute little patio area at the townhouse we're staying in, with lots of plants and highly desirable 'dog type' attractions, I just can't convince my two little dogs to use that spot to do their business.  I have tried 'waiting them out', standing out on the patio with them for over an hour- treats in hand to give out as soon as the desired behavior is achieved.  Heck, I've even left them out there and closed the curtain on their sad little faces at the window. 


They would much rather get all leashed up to take a walk.  And that's a bit time consuming and frustrating, as it needs to be done several times a day.  And it's also a bit confusing, as these guys have had no trouble using whatever spot I have designated in many different places we have stayed in the past.

Maybe it has something to do with THIS, being 100 yards from our front door:

A small patio holds nothing in comparison to a walk around the lake.  I think I'm OK with the dogs having trained me to do this several times a day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Healing Surprise

Seascapes Stock Photo
'Seascapes' by 9comeback found at

After 40 years of living in a place that didn't suit me and holds all kinds of crummy stuff that didn't work for me at all, you'd think I wouldn't be so surprised to find that there is so much more for me here in SoCal than I ever could have imagined.  Whew, that was a mouthfull...

And here comes another one... 

What I'm trying to say is that along with seeing the sun on a real daily basis & no more northwest tree and mold allergies & enjoying painfree joints & spending more time on a bicycle than I have in years & having the luxury of being able to swim or do any other outdoor activity EVERY DAMN DAY if I feel like it & no longer feeling cold all the darn time, I have also discovered that even though I thought that being far away from my seriously screwed up family would be a nice side benefit- it turns out I was wrong.

It is SO FRIGGIN' GREAT to know that there is 1200 miles between me and anyone I really don't want knocking at my door.  Seriously, I am beyond happy to find this unexpected wonderfulness is way more than a mere side benefit.  It is just about the most FREEING thing that I have ever experienced. 

Yeah, just had to let y'all know!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Will I Ever Get Back To Blogging? Absolutely!

AND I'll be making the rounds to your blogs as well, just as soon as I can!  Thanks for hanging in there with me while I get myself moved and functioning again. :)

Of course it's been an adventure, as all moves are.  We were so happy to leave gray Seattle behind and we headed straight to Palm Springs, where we could relax for a bit while we waiting for our stuff to get shipped 1200 miles to our new home in Orange County, CA.

We picked up Nathan and his Dad in Oregon along the way.  We never told Nathan about the move until that day and he was so surprised!  He was thrilled to know that he will be visiting us only in California now as he loves it down here.
Nathan is getting so big!
While in Palm Springs, we also entertained my husband's mother who had flown in from New York.  It took her a while to realize that the states out here are not small, so she couldn't just visit a bunch all at once.  Also, she had trouble learning how to just take it easy and enjoy her surroundings without having to run around everywhere like a chicken with her head cut off.  Ah, New Yorkers- ya gotta love 'em!  I let her know that we would not be getting up at the crack of dawn to go, see, and do everything in sight after she woke us up slamming doors and talking loudly in her New Jersey accent on the first morning!  After a couple of days, she did calm down a bit..... and she admitted that it was more fun to hang out in the pool than to try and run around in the summer heat.

We did take in some new sights that we've never visited before in the Palm Springs area.
First we drove way up to Lake Hemet:
Lake Hemet is near Idyllwild and the town of Hemet,CA.  It sits at about 8500 feet above sea level and is always about 30 degrees cooler than Palm Springs.  So on the day we visited, Lake Hemet was a cool 78 degrees while in Palm Springs it was 109.

We also finally visited the Palm Springs tram.  Another place to escape the high summer temps. in the desert.
This is the view from the top, looking down over the desert floor.

And this is how different the scenery is up there in the mountains, compared to what we have going on in Palm Springs.  No palm trees and no desert!

All in all things have been remarkably smooth and we have been blessed to be able to take some time in between the first half of the move and on this end in Orange County.  Nathan and his Dad are now gone.  They took the train home.  Nathan was so sorry to go and he and his Dad have already floated the idea of moving down here too!  Meanwhile, I am surrounded by boxes everywhere and spend most of my days on the phone with service people or changing addresses.  Our place here is temporary and really tiny.  We have basically no furniture.  Our outside surroundings are gorgeous and the dogs think they have hit hog heaven as we walk around the lake area here every day and I still can't believe that I actually get to live here.  Even in the midst of the mess that is our post move current condition, having the sun shining and so many things to do is a great way to spend time.  The unpacking can wait!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Terrible Blogger

...but an awesome mover!

After waiting for so darn long to be able to get to a warm weather place, this move sure is happening fast!  We found out that we would be moving for sure when a final offer came in from my husband's soon to be new workplace on May 29th.  We will be moved out of our house completely by June 25th, with said house being sold and closed no later than June 27th.  Now that's some seriously fast moving.

Everything is whizzing right along and happening as it should.  We are so excited to be seeing this through!  In the meantime, it doesn't leave any room for anything extra at all.  No time for playing around.  No time to think twice.  Just get rid of stuff, pack and move, and repeat.   That means my blog visiting is seriously lacking.  I will be back at it just as soon as I am in the new place, which should be shortly after the 4th of July as we are spending time with family in Palm Springs for the holiday.  I am so looking forward to getting back to more blogging interaction.

Let me leave you with a wonderful little coincidence:  while picking up some dog supplies at our local pet store, I ran into Tanner's trainer.  She told me that the English Bulldog that had trained along side him and his owner will be moving to SoCal as well.  It turns out Tanner's good buddy will be in the very next town over, a little closer to the beach.  We are already planning to have them meet up to play!  How cool is that?!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tanner Would Like To Forget The Whole Thing

This move and all of its ruckus is proving to be a bit difficult for our little chihuahua, Tanner.

Lately I find him hidden away in the guest room, more often than not.

He just can't understand what the heck is going on in his world these days.  And I don't blame him.  There's an awful lot going on!  We are now in contract to sell the house, I've sold off roughly 1/4 of everything we have and am set to sell another 1/4 starting on Thursday.  And of course, everything that's left is being packed.

Yesterday was especially tough for little Tanner.  He was outside in the back yard and I suddenly heard him screech like I've never heard before.  I found him whining and holding up his left front paw.  Right at that moment a bee came and stung him right on his bum!  The poor dog was stung twice by bees! 

Luckily Tanner is not allergic to bees, but he certainly seems to feel like he's allergic to all this chaos! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Let's Try This Again!

For anyone who tried to head over to a new blog that I had planned to use, I am sorry but that just didn't work out.  I have reposted below the main info. from the one post that I managed to get out before I realized that the new blog was a bust...

We have 'jumped at' the chance to have a life in 'the sun'!  In just 24 days my husband and I will leave the Seattle area and make a move down to Orange County in Southern California.  We are looking for a warm weather lifestyle and seeking to challenge ourselves to reach higher than we ever have before.

This follows a long journey that started with a desire to move to Texas and a proclamation that California was not for us!  After purchasing a second home in Palm Springs, CA and realizing that there was a good reason why we kept coming back to SoCal every time we had the chance, we could not deny that SoCal is where we belong.  At this moment SoCal feels right for just a time, but we don't know how long that time will actually be.  It feels good to be open to whatever life brings.

Please join me as the journey continues...

I now have just 3 weeks to go before the big move.  Yesterday we started the process of selling off half of everything we own.  It went great!  We sold so much that I had to really dig for stuff for today's sale.  Then I plan to take a 'break' and just pack stuff over the weekend. 

Thanks for hanging in there with me and there will be a change-up of this blog soon, but I will continue to post only HERE!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

OK, So That Didn't Work Out At All....

Just an update for anyone who attempted to move on over to a new blog that I had wanted to start:  ugh, what a mess!  I will be changing this blog up soon and THIS will remain the ONLY place that I post at.  I tried the whole google plus thing and ended up having to delete the account, (which was way too much like facebook anyway and that stuff just scares me) because it was trying to take over my computer and crashing it like crazy!
Anyway, I will post as I can here soon and let you know how our SoCal move is going.  I am up to my neck in that for now so I will be here few and far between for now!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What If Wednesday: Wild Dreams Edition

Hey all- it's 'What If Wednesday'!  That means I ask a 'what if' question and you give me some answers or at least some fun feedback.  :) :) :)  Oh, and most of the time I let you in on what inspiration led to that days particular 'what if' question.

Today's 'what if' is a big one, but a fun one.  Today I would like your answers to:  What if your wildest dream came true?

Door In The Sky Stock Photo
'Door In The Sky, by Danilo Rizzuti,found  
Lately I have many wild dreams that I am working on.  And I am doing whatever I can to make them happen.  This includes thinking positively and actively using the laws of attraction.  I feel strongly that all of the things that I have not yet achieved, that I truly desire, are not only possible but will happen for me and it is simply a matter of timing and the right situation for everything I desire to become reality.

Right now my wildest dreams include the ones you already know about, moving to Southern California and managing my own vacation rental property.  And then there are the other dreams that I haven't shared so much or at least haven't mentioned in a while.  I still desire to learn to pilot a personal plane.  I want to find a way to make money using another creative/artistic outlet that I haven't explored yet.  I have recently realized that I am inspired to achieve a level of fitness that will allow me to be strong and functional for the life of longevity that I plan to have.  I also want deeply to provide kids who would not otherwise have the chance an opportunity to pursue whatever education level or type it is that they desire, that would in turn make their wildest dreams come true.  I can see myself with all of these dreams fulfilled.

Here is my vision:  I am out in the sun riding my bike or a push scooter.  I take dance classes daily.  I fly several personal planes available to me because I belong to a flying club.  I use my ability to pilot to take kids to visit their educational institutions of choice.  I also fly away to fun travel destinations without the hassle of having my body searched and on my own time schedule.  I have enough money to do the things I want to and I make my salary by doing things that I love and that influence others in a positive way.  I visit my favorite places, including those in and around Southern California and enjoy them to my hearts content.  I am open to the idea of loving Southern California enough to live there for a long time or listening to my heart when it tells me I need to move on.  My life will include people I love and value that also love and value me.  The people I love most of all will be in my life for a very long time.

The vision above is mine and works for me.  What is your vision?  What are your wildest dreams?  What if they came true?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Don't Fear The Hurt

As our plans to get to Southern California have heated up this Spring, I have noticed that I have been subconsciously holding back in other areas of my life.  Specifically, with certain friends who I guess I have deemed as being 'too fragile' to handle hanging out and having fun with me just as I am truly planning to leave.
One friend mentioned to me that she understands just how difficult it is to manage deep attachments while simultaneously letting go.  She hit the nail on the head.
Hammer And Nails  Stock Photo
Hammer And Nails by mrpuen, found at:

I have lived in this area of the country my entire life.  I have some friends whom I have known since before I started school.  These are actually the friends that I have had the least trouble with remaining close to, even as I go through the process of moving away.  I think I've known that we've been through enough as lifelong friends to know that we will make it in keeping contact, even when I am far away.  It seems to be the newer friends- the good neighbors, the friends I've only had for a few years that have been the sticking point for me.  I have been avoiding them and keeping my distance.
I've realized that I have been holding back because I think I've felt that it's wrong to get close to people that you don't have that much history with and then just pick up and leave them behind.  I've also realized that I'm being hurtful by suddenly pulling back my attention and time, just to supposedly keep these people from being hurt.
Being afraid of hurting people has led me to be hurtful- even though I never meant to be.
Sometimes it's just tough to do the right thing.  And sometimes people get hurt.  But I've come to see that spending time laughing, playing cards and making memories is not wrong.
Playing Cards Stock Photo
Playing Cards by foto76 found at:

People deserve whatever you've got to give them, for however long you can.  And I can't know if those connections are going to last beyond 1,200 miles or if they will simply be pleasant experiences for today.  And that's OK.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What If Wednesday: What If You Grew To Be A Giant?

Hey all- it's 'What If Wednesday'!  And today's installment is being done all in fun.  I've had a rough week so far and I'm ready to take a little detour into the realm of silly.

My inspiration for today's post comes from two sources.  First I had to laugh when I saw this:

Somehow nobody looks really comfortable here!

 But it used to work so well!
 They finally worked it out!

And the second part of my inspiration goes to the dear young man that I was a nanny for, for 9 years.  Luke was always a tall boy.  He knew that there were genes in his family for becoming a VERY tall person.  Some of Luke's male relatives are over 7 feet tall!  I remember him doing everything he could to try to stop his rapid growth.  He would drink coffee from a young age and was always willing to try anything else that would supposedly stunt his growth.  Luke is 21 now and hasn't grown much in the last year.  He is 6 foot 7.  At this height, Luke claims that if he doesn't grown any taller then he will have succeeded in saving himself from becoming 'freakishly tall'.  I'm guessing that from my own 5'4" viewpoint on the world Luke may think of me as simply puny.  And although being short can sometimes be inconvenient, I don't think of it as so tough as being so darn tall that you tower over most other humans.  Still, I am confident that Luke will grow psychologically to accept his own tall statured life as just fine, even if he grows some more.

I can imagine that becoming larger or taller than most people is very difficult, even just for everyday things like driving or walking around inside your own house.  Of course there is an upside.  I know I sure would appreciate some extra height when it comes to trimming my trees and being able to get up onto the roof.  I also like the idea of being able to get away with eating a bit more of my favorite things!

How about you?  Do you see the prospect of becoming a giant as something good or bad?  Would you miss doing some of your favorite things (like my little dog that isn't quite as little as he used to be)?  Or would you embrace the cool stuff that you could do that nobody else can?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Still A Balancing Act

Do you have any friends that always seem to come out on top, no matter what? 
Are you that person that doesn't worry or fret about much of anything and it all just works out for you?

I am a person who doesn't envy much... at all, really.
But oh how I would love to be one of those carefree, footloose souls.

I am working on trusting the universe and knowing deeply that things will work out as they should for all of us.  I feel pretty confident that living whole-heartedly and trusting go hand in hand.  And if you've been reading for a while you know that is a big change for me.  For so many reasons, trusting doesn't come naturally for me and living as if there really isn't anyone or anything out to get you is pretty new to me too.

But sometimes I still get it wrong.  Cuz' living life in a genuine way doesn't guarantee anything.  But then again, living with fear doesn't either.  So I guess I'm learning that it's best to live as if life itself is not out to get you.  And then if something crummy happens in a moment of misjudging, I'll just be human after all.  And that's way better than a fearful emotional mess of a human, anyway.

This insight was brought on by a moment in which I thought I was silly to think the worst possible outcome and then very nearly experiencing just that.  I should have trusted my instinct and not brushed away my doubts as being just negativity creeping in.  $1072.00, an endoscope and the thought that I might have actually permanently harmed my sweet little guy will hopefully teach me to recognize the difference.
No animals were actually harmed beyond minor discomfort- thank goodness!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What If Wednesday, Merely A Curiosity...

Welcome back to yet another episode of "What If Wednesday"!

For those who are new, (via Robin's blog Thank you, Robin!) I try to post a 'What If' type query over here on Wednesdays.  Mostly I like to get conversation flowing along in the comments and will usually blog about what brought me to post that particular 'What If'.

This week's post is a little different than my usual.  This time I am not inspired by something that has struck me in particular or has some bearing on something important to me.  This time I'm gonna' hit y'all up with a 'What If' that simply intrigues me.  I ran upon it while looking for a cute saying to add to address change cards (planning ahead and feeling positive!) and it really has nothing to do with that either.

So here we go: 
What if the one that got away, came back?

I love those stories of people who get together with someone from their long lost past and it all works out so beautifully.  I also know that sometimes the best thing that ever happens is to not end up with the person that you think you want to be with so badly at one particular moment.

I personally do not have a 'one that got away', but I have been the 'one that got away'.  I know this because the guy ended up contacting a friend of mine and telling her all about it.  The feeling wasn't mutual. ;)  And it was way too late anyway...

Do you have a 'one that got away'? Would you want them in your life now or at anytime in the future, say if you were available for a relationship at that time?

Friday, May 2, 2014

If You're Happy And You Know It...

Don't question it!

The explanation is long and complicated and I won't go into it all right now. 

Just understand that for most of my life I have needed to be a 'planner'.  I needed to keep the balls in the air and moving in the right direction.  Nobody else was going to do it and there really was true risk to losing track of all the balls; risks that involve loss of my family, my dignity and my actual physical life, starting at a very young age.  So I took up the job and I got very good at.  Simply the best, you might say.

In taking up a 'job' that I never really wanted, but didn't see any way out of, I managed to lose a lot of myself.  After doing said 'job' for years and years, I forgot about that other real me that was hiding deep inside.

I might have forgotten, but it turns out she's still there!
She was there all along- just waiting for me to call her back out to play!

Silhouette Of Child On Beach Stock Photo
Silhouette Of Child On Beach, Anusorn P nacho found at

The hidden me laughs as everyone has been asking, "why California now?" 
"I thought you were dead set on Texas" they say. 
"Weren't there a lot of things about California that bug you?" they ask.

Frankly, there's a lot of things that bug me about a lot things.  Oh well!

We've loved California enough to buy a second home there.  And that's not a small thing.  Also, California has been good to us over the years.  It's where we renewed our vows 7 years ago.  It's where most of my best memories of fun vacations with friends have happened.  It's a place that, despite its imperfections, my inner me has always truly loved.

And I know now that I deserve to go down to SoCal and enjoy it; for whatever it's worth and for however long it works for me.  There are no rules and I'm not required to keep any balls in the air.

Do you sometimes fight happiness?  Do the rules that you've made for yourself over the years sometimes get in the way?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Funny From A Friend

Since I have maintained a 50 lb. weight loss for the last 3 and 1/2 years, I haven't spent a whole lot of time or energy looking for new clothes.  It's easy to justify clothing purchases when things don't fit, but it's a bit trickier when you stay the same size.  Now, I have finally gotten to a place where it is truly necessary to buy some new stuff.  Even though I have wanted to lose just a touch more (maybe 5-10 lbs.) I really can't wait any longer to get some new clothing.  I have literally worn through most of my favorite things at this point.  Seriously, this stuff is no longer fit for public consumption!

So I took an old shopping buddy along with me to help me find at least some pants that would work better than the 'holey' and threadbare ones that I currently own.

Shopping Ladies Walking Stock Photo
"Shopping Ladies Walking", by Sattva found at:

I ended up leaving the store with a killer swimsuit instead.  (Ok, so guys reading this will be wondering how the heck this could happen while shopping for pants, while the ladies know exactly how this happened.)  The woman at the checkout even mentioned that the suit was her favorite one ever. 

So after hitting up a couple more stores and not finding any pants at all, I went home a little frustrated.  Even my old standby, the Goodwill, wasn't helping me out here.

Then I got a text from my shopping buddy that made me smile.  It read:  It's a sign.  A sign that YOU will be spending more time in the sun.  Pants?  Who needs pants?!  Not YOU!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dear Universe, We're Ready Now

Lest you forget, as I am so prone to 'detours' along the way, this blog was mainly created to document and share my process of moving out of state- to a place that suits my inner self a bit better than the 'lovely in many ways- yet not quite for me' Northwest/Seattle area that I was born into and am still currently residing in.

This week as I slave away at making my typical Northwest jungle of a yard (yes, I had a friend from Texas ask me why people don't ever trim their yards out here and I had to reveal that we do trim them all the time and then the Sasquatch comes along at night and sprinkles the vegetation with magic dust that makes it all grow back to where it was before) come into some type of less unkempt shape, my husband is working over 3 different job possibilities.  Any one of these jobs will be good for us in some form or another and they will all get us to SoCal.  My husband is in different places within the process with each of these jobs and there is no guarantee that any one of them will actually be offered to him.  However, let's face it, the odds are good that he can get at least one of these to become a bonafide offer.

I am hopeful and accepting of the idea that whatever job comes around, it will be what we need.  I am also simply amazed at how this process has resulted in my husband becoming more secure in who he is and what he has to offer.  I am just so pleased to see a tiny bit of ego coming around for that man.  He has worked hard and deserves to believe in himself.

This process has been crazy.  From coming into the idea that I could ever even think of leaving the only place I've ever called home, to landing on the fact that we love Texas in ways we never could have imagined, to realizing that for this particular season of life Southern California is the right place for us.  This has been a roller coaster of surprises and realizations.  And my husband and I both sense that it is all coming to a resting spot soon.  We have good plans for what each of us would like to do for the next 3 years or so and a direction for where to go over the next decade.  We are excited to find out what the universe has in store!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This Time It's Different

Where the heck have I been lately???

Ah, I have been scrubbing and painting and selling and trashing and planting and just plain getting this house ready to sell!

I had the first of many garage sales, that will end up with me having very little of what I currently own, last Friday.  I sold so much that I barely had anything to take to the Goodwill after the sale.

My husband has applied for a remote position with his current company just in case we have trouble with him getting another job in SoCal.  Either way, we have both agreed there will not be another winter spent here.  Nope, it's just not happening.  We'll probably have a more definitive answer as to exactly what job my husband will end up at in another month.  It sure would be nice if we weren't so darn responsible and were willing to just go without employment.  But these days, that's just not prudent...

All I know is that throughout this whole process of wanting and planning to move, we've never been more certain of a direction and a purpose.  So Southern California it will be.  And I am still in shock as to how good this feels and how right it all seems.  Although Texas is a place that feels welcoming and wonderful, I am now feeling that Southern California is a place that has always lived in my heart.  I know I need to experience living there, at least for a while.  It's not simply a coincidence that we ended up with a second home in Southern California.  And our hearts literally ache every time we leave our place in Palm Springs.  Now it's time to make SoCal our full time home.  (Yes, all words of not being willing to do such a thing are being eaten as you read this!)

What I long to be closer to......

Now for another thing that's different this time around.  This one is not so much fun, but honestly to be expected. 

My sister went to prison last Thursday to serve out her time.  She failed in the drug rehab and was caught lying to the drug court judge.  She won't be spared this time.

Of course I am disappointed, but again not surprised.  As my nephew so appropriately commented:  "Why can't she just do what she's supposed to?"

I'm sure I will have deeper feelings about this at some point.  Honestly, right now, I have just accepted the fact that this is who she is.  For now, I feel stronger than ever that moving on from my sisters drama is the healthiest thing to do.

And in that direction, I shall head back to my moving related tasks.  Heck, at least it keeps me busy enough not to cry at all the government overreach that is currently scaring the hell out of me!

How about you?  What's up in your world?  Are you headed in a new direction?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Early Warning

Today I had an adventure with my car.

"Unsafe driving, by digitalart/ found at:

The main vehicle that I drive most is an '05 Ford Escape.  It has been a great car overall and has been pretty low maintenance.  However, I am no fool.  This car now has over 178,000 miles and it is almost a decade old.

So when the clutch started acting funny just after arriving home from California, I have to admit that I wasn't all that surprised that something could be up.  I also thought that I was really happy that this didn't happen while we were on the road.

I called my mechanic.  He is an honest guy.  He told me if the clutch needs replacing I probably need a new car.  He kindly pointed out that putting more money into a car than it is worth is probably not a good idea- especially when said car is old enough and at a mileage that could warrant a transmission or even an engine at any time.  My mechanic also knows that I often travel down to California and he told me he wouldn't want to see me get stranded on the side of the highway.

I was annoyed, but agreed with all of the logic stated above.

I also am very annoyed by car shopping.  Or should I say I hate car salesman.  Hell, don't we all???

My last experience was a good one because it was at the MINI dealer where they don't really have to sell you anything.  You wouldn't be there if you didn't want a MINI.  Duh!

But this time I would need to replace what I have with something similar.  There's nothing that big at the MINI dealer.  Damn!

So I made an appointment to have the car looked at by the mechanic in the afternoon and did a little internet car shopping.  I have had a car in mind if mine should go bad and yet I haven't been so sold on the idea that I have actively ever looked or even test driven.

To make a long story short, I actually found a decent price for the type of car I was thinking about and it turned out to be located at a dealer that, at least over the phone, has salespeople that don't seem to be ready to jerk you around or oozing in greasiness.  I made an appointment to talk with them tomorrow.

Then, during my day of errands and a little work, I drove my car around town with no more troubles at all.  Hmmm.... strange.

by the time I got to the mechanic I honestly wondered if I had just dreamed up some problem that never existed at all.

In the end my issue is simple.  I need a brake job, but my clutch is fine.  It's merely that both the clutch and the brakes feed from the same fluid reservoir and when the fluid is old or dirty it will sometimes affect the clutch performance.  Whew, brakes are way cheaper and I don't have to meet with ANY car salesman at all.  My Friday is saved for something far better.  Maybe I'll hit up a 'Happy Hour' with my neighbor- she's been bugging me to do that.  Oh, and I'm taking this for what it's worth.  I'll be renting a vehicle to drive down to California if I need something bigger than my MINI for the trip!  My Ford Escape is just too old for the trip now and I'm choosing to heed the early warning.

What do YOU wish came with an early warning system?  Have you ever failed to heed an early warning?  What happened?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools!

Crazy Girl Cross Eyed And Pulling Her Ears Stock Photo
Stock photo "Crazy Girl Cross Eyed And Pulling Her Ears" by Stuart Miles, found at:

Isn't it funny that today is the day that the government numbers regarding supposed Obamacare enrollment are being released and even touted as purportedly fabulous indicators of future program success?

Have a great day and  be careful out there.  

Don't be fooled!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What If Wednesday- Lucky Numbers???

It's What If Wednesday folks!

Do you have lucky numbers?  How about other superstitious things that seem to help you out?

I'm not too superstitious myself.  I do like the fun of thinking something might be lucky...

For instance, yesterday I bought a mega millions lottery ticket.  I do this about 2 or 3 times a year- when I hear about the jackpot being extraordinarily large.  Since my husband has assured me that the lottery is indeed a tax on people who are bad at math and I don't really think this is the best use of household resources, I don't do this on any regular basis. 

However, I do find some enjoyment of just hanging onto that lottery ticket and thinking that I just might be toting around a small piece of paper that could end up being the key to a very large cash windfall, right there in my purse.  That seems to be enough fun and enjoyment for my $2-$3 dollar yearly investment in the lottery.
Bingo Stock Photo
Credit:  Salvatore Vuano, from

How about you?  Do you play?  What If you won the lottery?  What's the first thing you would do?

Monday, March 17, 2014

We're All Lucky

I'm a chatty one, really.  But lately, not so much.
I'm getting through some wierdness- something about seeing my husband go through things with his family that reminds me yet again why we're so perfect for each other.  Somehow it's tougher from the outside sometimes.  Ya know what I mean?  It also helps me to see why I'm lucky; as we all are in many ways. 
Single Four Leaf Clover Stock Photo
Single Four Leaf Clover, by Lamnee/ found at

On this St. Patrick's Day, I'm feeling lucky because:

1)  I have a future to look forward to that has nothing to do with my past.

2)  Fulfilling goals is important to me and I am excited about doing more of that.

3)  Being able to stop and realize that things are never all that out of control has become a part of who I am.

4)  Simple beauty appeals to me.

5)  My dogs think I am the 'cat's meow' and they make me feel like a VIP.

6)  I can drive, work, stand and walk for longer than most, without complaining.

7)  My husband wants nothing more than to have me be the me I want to be.

8)  People get excited about my cooking.

9)  My friends trust me to the nth degree.

10)  Most of the time I'm on the short learning curve.

Now You....?  Please tell me what makes you lucky too!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Musical Monday: What I'm Diggin' On Right Now

The cars in our household are all still stick shift.  In fact, it's one of the reasons I haven't purchased a newer SUV yet...  We also don't use GPS and are perfectly capable of finding our way out of a traffic jam, etc. using a good old map and some common sense.  And I am currently sending my nephew notes in the mail every couple of days to remind him to get his school assignments done before we leave for Palm Springs so he can enjoy a real vacation.  This song says a lot of things that I can agree with.  I am especially drawn to the lines in the chorus:
Hey, whatever happened to waitin' your turn
Doing it all by hand,
'Cause when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
It all just seemed so good the way we had it
Back before everything became automatic

Full lyrics to Miranda Lambert's "Automatic":

Quarter in a payphone
Drying laundry on the line
Watching Sun Tea in the window
Pocket watch tellin' time
Seems like only yesterday I'd get a blank cassette
Record the country countdown 'cause I couldn't buy it yet

If we drove all the way to Dallas just to buy an Easter dress
We’d take along a Rand McNally, stand in line to pay for gas
God knows that shifting gears ain’t what it used to be
I learned to drive that 55 just like a queen, three on a tree

Hey, whatever happened to waitin' your turn
Doing it all by hand,
'Cause when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
It all just seemed so good the way we had it
Back before everything became automatic

If you had something to say
You'd write it on a piece of paper
Then you'd put a stamp on it
And they'd get it three days later
Boys would call the girls
And girls would turn them down
Staying married was the only way to work your problems out

Hey, whatever happened to waitin' your turn
Doing it all by hand,
'Cause when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
It all just seemed so good the way we had it
Back before everything became automatic


Let's pull the windows down
Windows with the cranks
Come on let's take a picture
The kind you gotta shake

Hey, whatever happened to waitin' your turn
Doing it all by hand,
'Cause when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
It all just seemed so good the way we had it
Back before everything became, automatic

Give this one a listen and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What If Wednesday, Update/Pet Edition

Hi All-
I could go on about how I so much wanted to post something on another day this week, but hey I'm here now.  Let's do this!

I've got my dogs on the brain right now.  I have been meaning to post an 'update' pertaining to many things I have blogged about before and I realized that so many of those items have something to do with my dogs.
So here we go, let's see how this combo works out!

First the updates-
1) The 40th Birthday party rocked!  I heard from so many people that this was the best party they have been to in a very long time!  I think we got our 70's theme down just right  and Elvis was such a hit!

We held the party at a friends place that used to be a church so it was one big giant hall of sorts.  
We went with 70's colors for the cake-

We had a pet rock making station!

Our friends place is already decorated in mid-century modern and then we added extra 70's goodies
like smiley face decor-

Album covers and wooden serveware-

Lava lamps-

And wine bottles covered in wax drippings-

 And of course, Elvis- in full 70's jumpsuit glory!
 My old lady neighbor- the one I bring the beer to- really got her groove on!!!

2) My chihuahua, Tanner, is now in love with agility.  He literally asks, with a particularly beg-worthy face, to do it all the time!  He can do a row of hurdles with no problem and he loves to finish by jumping high through a hoop and then taking a bow.  I am working on making a pvc teeter-totter for him and I will be adding a tunnel to his practice equipment.  I have got to get some photos of this!

3) As for my 100 day challenge:  I am 54 days in and have missed only 4 nights of making sure to wash and moisturize my face at night, as well as doing it in the morning- which I always do.  Boy have I seen a huge difference in the breakout issues I get.  It is such a big improvement.  I will be sticking with this!  Now my two dogs, Hailey and Tanner, are inspiring me to start a new 100 day challenge.  I am going to do some sort of outdoor walk/exercise with them every day for 100 days.  The weather in the northwest is particularly depressing/grey/misty/rainy at this time of year.  But I figure I'd better get a good start on being outdoors all the time when I move to California and the dogs will love it!

4) My dogs also love it that I am home more now that I am finished with the Hawaii moving project for my friend.  They haven't yet figured out why I am moving/cleaning/boxing/bagging everything in sight.  I know they will be happy when they figure out it means we are moving to a warm sunny place!

So that's all I can think of in the update arena, but you can see why I have dogs on my mind!  So now it's finally on to today's 'What If Wednesday' question.  I am inspired by the fact that I just made sure to make note of relevant and identifying info and put it in several safe places to be sure it can be found and used, should I ever need to.  Not that I would want to...  Today's 'What If" is:  What if your pet/s went missing?  Do you have a plan to help locate them?  Are your pets micro-chipped?  If so, are their micro-chip numbers registered with a service?  Do you even remember what the name of the service is?!  Do you have recent pictures of your pets handy? 

My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am!
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