Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We're Having a Hail Storm

Call me crazy... but I absolutely love the rain. There is something so natural about it. The grass, flowers and trees all get watered. Even the bugs get a drink.

We have rabbits in the neighborhood. Almost every day I see 2 or 3 in the back yard. We throw the tops and ends of carrots and celery in the yard for them.

On my adventures around Pennsylvania I came across the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. It's worse than a ghost town. I mean, a ghost town would have vacant buildings. This place doesn't even have the vacant buildings. It's got roads and sidewalks and walk ways that use to lead to homes and buildings.

Some Dude (I know it wasn't a chick...lol..) was burning trash 40 years ago and the fire caught a vein of coal. They thought the fire was out but it wasn't. It was still burning underground. 40 years later and $40,000,000 dollars and the fire is still burning underground. That's wild! That's crazy! Click on the above link and read more about it.

A happier discovery was that of Gertrude Hawk Chocolate. Gertrude Hawk Chocolate is in Pennsylvania what Sees chocolate is in California. I have some and it is good, however, as I have said before my all-time-favorite is Galaxy chocolate. And I am very happy to report that I currently have some of that chocolate too! My brother-in-law made a recent trip to London and I asked my sister to ask him to pick us up some. He did really really good and came back with a giant bar, which my wonderful sister mailed me half.

The picture of of a hail storm.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson....

Well, I am sure everyone around the world knows that Michael Jackson passed away today.

I never met him... however... here is one of my interesting life stories.

In 1998 I had to go down to Newport Beach, CA to take care of some business. My friends at the time, Hank & Judy, came with me. While I was taking care of my business Hank picked up a tiny newspaper and saw a tiny ad. The advertisement said "IRS Auction... the date... to be auctioned off; 1) The piano that Michael Jackson composed Thriller on; and 2) The Rolls Royce that Michael Jackson bought his Mom and Dad with the proceeds from the Black and White album. Apparently Michael Jackson's parents owed big money to the IRS. His parents lived on Hayvenhurst Drive in Encino, CA. My friends, Hank & Judy, lived just a few blocks away from them.

Hank tore out the ad and attended the auction. He put in a bid of $35,000 for the Rolls Royce and got it. The license plate said "BLK & WHT".

I rode in the back of that Rolls Royce a million times and even got to drive it one evening.

We use to joke around a lot and say that if they had not decided to come with me that fateful day and just casually pick up a paper... well.... that picture would not have been taken.

The picture is of Judy and I in front of the infamous Rolls Royce.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"You Sound Happier"

Those are the words that I have heard echoed from around the world! And YES, I AM HAPPIER!!! I was not happy living in Los Angeles for the last 3 years. In facts, I told my sister that I felt as if I were dying a slow death by being there. That's all changed now.

It's totally different. Almost like going to another planet (except they speak the same language).

For example, I went into a restaurant to eat breakfast and on the menu with my eggs were a choice of bacon, ham, sausage or scrapple. Click on the word and it will take you right to Wikipedia and let you know it is a Pennsylvania Dutch food thingy.

Okay, then there is this food called "pigs-in-a-blanket". This is not the traditional American Pigs in a Blanket, sausage wrapped in a bread pastry. These are Pennsylvania specific, pork and rice stuffed cabbage leaves. My special guy, the intuitive chef, made some night before last. Man they are good.

There are also a lot of different traffic signs. The one that I can recall from today was a stop sign with a white sign right below it that said "Except Turning Right'. That's a new one on me.

Today I looked at a 45 acre farm with a small house. The land isn't being farmed right now. I didn't go in and look at the house. Just walked around the land. Ideally I would love it to be 45 acres of woods.

The video is of a deer that was in the corn field next to the storage facility where my furniture is. He/she is in deer Heaven right now. Today I saw him/her dead along the side of the road, it had been hit by a vehicle.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Today is the 16 Year Anniversary of my Legal Business

16 years ago today I began my legal filing service, Professional Legal Assistors. The day I began it I said to myself, "I only want to do this for 10 years." The 6 years that followed that 10 year mark has flown by. I guess it just wasn't meant for me to do for only 10 years.

I have always worked in the legal field. I am good at it but don't like the fact that there is nothing creative about it. I have built up a loyal database of clients and a reputation that proceeds me and I do feel thankful and blessed however, my sister will tell you, I have worked my ass off in this business. For 3-4 years before 9/11 happened, I worked 80 hours a week.

Once a month I would work for 36 hours straight. I had it pretty dialed in. It would begin on a Wednesday morning at 7am. At 5pm on Wednesday I would leave my desk and run to the post office. I would grab a small bite to eat and sit back at my desk at 6pm and begin working, with gummy bears, red bull and techno music. At 6am I would jump in the shower and then sit back at my desk working away. At 3pm I would call The Cheesecake Factory and order dinner. I would then go to the post office, pick up dinner and head home. I would eat take a shower and be in bed by 6pm. I would sleep 11-12 hours. At 7am Friday morning I would be back at my desk and work a normal 11 hours day (7am to 6pm). My Mother use to say, "You shouldn't work like that you will get sick." I never really knew how sitting at my desk working for long hours would make me sick. I mean I wouldn't have done it if I didn't want to.

Personally, I was delighted when business slowed down after the 9/11 incident. No one needs to work like that.

I now have a more relaxed attitude toward working. I am responsible and I do what needs to be done. I feel differently about it. It's not who I am. It doesn't define me. It's just a job.

The short video is of some birds that I saw one morning in California. It is the second time that I have seen a bunch of black birds sitting on a wire or line and there is one white bird amongst them. I have wondered, "Do the black birds know that the white bird is different than them? Is the white bird there delivering a message?"


Friday, June 19, 2009

In Loving Memory of Steve

Wow, I tell ya.... it's the way that life plays out that gives ya that feelin' that there is more to it than we have any idea of. We can't see the big picture. And I have found that if you go with your gut feelings... you'll be glad you did in the long run and find out that "everything DOES happen for a reason".

I have been busy these last few days locating a new printer to print my newsletters for my business. Doing this was one of the very few things that was a bit sensitive for me.

16 years ago I found a printer in Reseda, California who printed my first business cards and my first newsletters. Two of the great things about this printer were Mary and Sue who worked there. I so looked forward to my quarterly visits to drop off and pick up my newsletters. We chatted about everything under the sun; boyfriends, husbands, hair color and psychics. The owner of the printing company's wife was dying of cancer and he had his hands full so he sold the business to Mary, and her husband, Steve. Mary and Steve operated Universal Copy in Winneta, California.

It was approximately 10 years ago that Steve and Mary began printing my quarterly newsletters. Saying goodbye to them was bitter sweet.

This week as I walked into the printers here I explained that I had a printing relationship of 16 years in California and was looking to begin a lengthy relationship with a printer here. One printer in particular stood out and it was because of this girl named Christine. She and I chatted up a storm like Mary, Sue and I would do. The printing quote came in as the most favorable and Blasi Printing Corp. will be printing my July 1st newsletters.

I was both shocked and saddened when I opened my email yesterday evening and found an email from Mary that Steve passed away last week. I saw both Steve and Mary the end of March as I picked up my last batch of newsletters that would be printed in California.

I was looking forward to shooting Mary and Steve an email telling them about my new printer in Pennsylvania. This of course was planned to be done after picking up my newsletters around the end of next week. I will still send Mary and email as we have kept in touch since my rolling out of California, 3 weeks ago.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Things I loved to do in CA

There are a few things that I did love doing in California.

I loved going to the Apple store and taking classes, learning different software and things my MacBook can do. Yesterday I took my first Apple class here in PA. The store is smaller. I believe the store in Canoga Park, CA is the largest Apple store (that's in a mall). The drive was one hour to the store. In CA it was only 2 blocks from my home.

I also loved going to the free cooking classes at William Sonoma on Sundays. I would schedule my Apple class an hour before the cooking class and just walk from one immediately to the other. Yesterday, I was excited to find out that the William Sonoma store is only a couple of doors away from the Apple store. So I will be able to schedule my computer classes along with the cooking classes. Yeeeaaaa.

I loved going to the Getty Museum for lunch. Half of the time I did this with friends and the other half of the time I made this trip alone. I always had a great time. It's a really beautiful place and the food was amazing.

For 2 years, 2006 and 2007, every single Friday, religiously, my friend Eric and I, went to Six Flags Magic Mountain. We had it so dialed in. We would wear cargo pants, the ones that come to your knee and have large pockets on the side. I had 2 giant baby pins and would put my cell phone, wallet, etc in the pockets and pin them shut. We would wear flip flops. We noticed these young kids getting on the roller coasters (the ones with the track at the top) and kicking off their shoes. We tried it bare foot and it is a totally different experience. You also have to have the special thingy that holds your sunglasses to your head. I would meet Eric in the parking lot of his office at 9:30 am. Most days he was late. We would arrive at Magic Mountain at 10:30am. Most people show up after noon time so the park was virtually empty from 10:30am to noon. We would ride the roller coasters over and over and over again. Scream is my favorite ride. Batman is also one of my favorite rides. We would leave the park around noonish grab some lunch and I would be sitting at my desk by 1:30pm ready to work. It was the best therapy in the world. The inner child in us got to play like we were 5 again and you get to scream your lungs out to relieve any tension. We had no idea how long our weekly gaunt would be. When year 3 came around both of us had a lot of other things in life to deal with and it wasn't as easy to attend to the routine we had previously stuck to. So we said to each other "It was a great 2 years. So glad we did it."

The other thing that I loved was going to the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara. A friend had taken me there on evening and the energy of the place was amazing. The resort is absolutely breathtaking.... my attraction was more to the energy of the place. I went to Houston to visit my sister and I was telling her about my visit to the Bacara. I asked her, "Sister, what would you think if I went there every week." My sister said, "She thought that was a great idea, especially since it was something I felt drawn to do." So for a year and a half, once a week, I would drive to the Bacara Resort for dinner. I would never go on a Monday as I always seem to have more to do on Monday than any other day of the week. And I wouldn't go on Friday, Saturday or Sunday because that is when everyone else went. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday would be my days. 90% of the time I had the entire bar area to myself. I got to know the staff and they got to know me. I rang in New Year's 2008 at the Bacara. I met a lot of interesting people there and wrote several books there. My friends were all curious about the Bacara and many would say "I would love to come with you." I told my friend who worked there, "Dante, my friends all want to come here." Dante slammed his hands on the bar and said "Batman wouldn't take his girlfriends to the bat cave. This is your sanctuary Dottie. This is where you create." And so... not many of my friends got to experience the Bacara. I only went to the Bacara when I truly wanted to go. If I didn't have the feeling of wanting to go... I didn't go. My sister called me once and asked, "Are you going to the Bacara?" And I responded, "No, I don't feel like it." It took a little time before my sister realized how I am. I love doing things when I feel like doing them. I don't care how long I have been doing it or who I have been doing it with, if I don't feel like doing it I am not going to go along because of the time or the person involved. Because then they wouldn't be with me... the real me.... they would be with a pretend version of me. Pretending is exhausting and not nearly as much fun.

The beautiful picture was taken by my friend, Luci, at the Getty museum on our recent visit there.


Saturday, June 13, 2009


Disclaimer...lol...lol.... these are my thoughts and opinions only. The way that I see the world. You may or may not agree with me. Neither of us is right or wrong. Life is the way it is and we get to see and express it our way.

I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricanes are common. Hurricane season begins June 1st and is officially over November 30th. Growing up we heard that one day a big hurricane would come and drown everyone in the city like rats. It was a threat that you lived with. Upon the arrival of El Nino the threats became greater. Warmer waters are what fuels hurricanes. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit. It was the one they had heard about, however, no one knew until it was all over.

This is how it will be when "The Big One" hits California. No one will realize until the rumbling has passed how bad it really was. I still think about California and the earthquakes. When I don't get emails or phone calls from the west coast I wonder, did the big one happen? I don't have a television and I don't listen to the radio so it probably would be a while before I would know.

I have friends who have said, "Don't think about the big earthquake." Okay I get that our thoughts are powerful, however, I don't believe that me having an occasional thought will create it. Trust me... I am working on my evolution but haven't gotten anywhere near creating a massive earthquake that will break California off with my mind...lol...lol... And even if I did reach that level of evolution... I wouldn't be blogging about it...lol...lol...

"The Big One" was one of my top 5 reasons for leaving California. And here's the deal.....

I have worked very hard to build my life. Too hard to ignore what scientist and professionals in engineering are saying. I watched the documentary "The Blue Planet" that was released in 2001. It is one of the many places that you can find scientific information that "The Big One" is going to hit California. The information you can't find is exactly when. However, all have stressed that it is "overdue" and will happen soon. If you live in California you know that they say "It's not IF it will happen, it is WHEN it will happen."

I have wondered "Why isn't anything done to protect people?" What I have found out, from various research on the Internet, is that it is only the state and governments responsibility to tell you "It's gonna be big and bad so you should be prepared." State and government officials also know that people in California don't want to hear it, don't want to acknowledge it and most aren't even prepared. What does this mean?

Would you hang from a rope 1,000,000 feet in the air if you knew that the rope was breaking and you were only being held by a few fibers? If all the scientist in the world and the rope specialist told you that without a shadow of a doubt that this rope WILL break and that it will not last very long, would you still stay there hanging on acting like is is the only place on the planet, forgetting that you have free will and are responsible for your life? Are you waiting for someone to come and save you?

I have had friends in California who told me that I was a chicken because they thought I was running away from "The Big One." Call me what ever you choose. I don't think that taking responsibility for my life and using my free will to move from harms way is in any way chicken. I have nothing to prove to anyone by being ignorant to what I can't control.

So what happens after "The Big One"? Are the people who survived going to look to someone to save them? And just to be clear... the big bad nasty about Katrina is that their weren't buses to bus the poor people out of the city when the hurricane was approaching. They were stuck and they drown. What I am talking about is different. People who have money, cars and jobs and are capable of relocating their families to a much safer place in the US are choosing to stay there.

I feel sorry for people who smoke and get lung cancer. Why? Because nicotine is addicting and it's more than them making a conscious decision to smoke. So I wonder.... are people who stay in California addicted to something .... something that is more than them making a conscious decision to live there? I mean could it be an ego addiction? I mean face it, people in California think that they are the greatest and that the rest of the US are second class. I know... I have heard it all.... "Dottie, the people are really really different. Dottie you know in other parts of the US they marry their cousins....lol..lol..lol.." Some clients/friends even said that they wouldn't do business with me if I moved away from California. It is there choice and they get to do what ever they please.

I attended Anthony Robbins seminar "Date with Destiny" about 17 years ago. This Dude's motto is "fake it till you make it". Well, that's what's got this economy in the pickle it is in. I am not blaming him. Just tons of people listened to him and went out and maxed out their credit cards to purchase things that would make them look like they were something that they aren't. And did the expensive stuff get them to the place where they looked real? Absolutely not. I had issues with Mr. Robbins and his seminars. And at the break I approached his giant head (it's super big when you are face-to-face with it) and I told him why.

If you really really really know on the inside your value and your worth you don't need one damn thing that you can't afford for everyone else to know it. Everyone knew Gandhi was great. He didn't need fancy houses or clothes. Greatness comes from being real, not from "faking it till you make it".

So for my friends in California I am asking you to take the time to ask yourself why you really need to live in a place that is; over populated, very unhealthy air quality, outrageously expensive, not safe, sparse when it comes to nature and over all "not real"?

I learned in California that "all that glitters, is not gold". "Believe half of what you hear and none of what you see." In California the people who are dressed like bums are the ones who probably have millions in the bank and the people who are dressed like they have millions are probably the ones who are cash poor and maxed out on credit cards. Nothing real about that.

Just know.... no one is responsible for your safety and well being except you and no one is going to come and save you.

With Love & Light,


Friday, June 12, 2009

Just a Few Differences in PA and CA

First, I would like to thank my friends who took the time to comment on my last post "Waves of Christmas". The comments were very interesting and insightful.

There are differences that most might not notice... however, I do.

For example, it takes longer to go in somewhere and get something done, especially if you have to talk to someone. Everyone here has the time to talk to you.

Yesterday, I had to go to the bulk mailing part of the post office and get information on a bulk mailing permit because I send out 1,700 newsletters every quarter for my business. There were two girls working and they asked me why I was mailing my newsletter "first class". I told them that's what I was told my only option was. They opened up my 4 page newsletter and said "You don't have any advertising in it so you can send it parcel post, which will only take about 2 days longer. Do you have any time sensitive information in your newsletter?" My response was, "No." Bottom line I will be saving about $500 a quarter when I mail my newsletters because these girls took the time to show me a better way. It never happened in LA. People rarely take the time like these 2 girls did.

I have a t-shirt that has an advertisement for a "Lost Kitty". It's pretty funny. I have had it for about 10 years and worn it a ton of times. Every time I wear it here people stop me to read my t-shirt. I can be at the grocery store looking at the produce and the person next to me will say "Let me read your shirt. Oh, that's so cute." Like 4 times in one day I will be asked if someone can read my t-shirt. I think in the 10 years that I have had the t-shirt only one stranger in Los Angeles has asked to read my t-shirt. Just different I tell you....just different.

Hey yesterday I got my PA drivers license!!!! Yeaaayyyyy.

I heard the news yesterday that July 1st, the sales tax in Los Angeles will go up again this year... to 9.75%. Like Wow.... just a few months ago it went up to 9.25%. Sales tax is paid on everything in Los Angeles. You do not pay sales tax in Pennsylvania on anything considered a necessity such as food and clothing! Like Wow, what a savings that is!

My sister took this picture of me at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles on her last trip.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Waves of Christmas

So like this really super weird thing began happening to me my last week in Los Angeles when my guy and I were busy packing up my things.

I would get these "waves of Christmas".... which I can only describe as being something like "waves of nausea". The "waves" part was the same... but "Christmas and Nausea" are obviously two different feelings.

They were good "waves of Christmas". The weird thing is that I wasn't packing anything remotely connected to Christmas and I don't have any great good feelings of Christmas stored up in my data bank of experiences. In facts, last year, I took a 3 week trip to the other side of the planet (New Zealand and Australia) to purposefully avoid the month of December and everything that went along with it.

These waves happened about 6 or 8 times each day. We would be packing and I would tell my special guy "I just had one of those waves of Christmas". Something may have flashed super fast in my mind or not (not really sure).... it was more like this feeling that would run through me. It was warm, fuzzy, loving... everything good in one wave. I wasn't thinking about Christmas before or after the "wave" thingy happened.

During our drive to Pennsylvania the "Waves of Christmas" only happened a few times.

Since I have been here I have only experienced the "Waves of Christmas" about once or twice.

It's super weird and have no idea what it means or why it is happening.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Thunderstorm!!!

This morning was magical!!! Around 5am the sky lit up and then a pause followed by a big clap of thunder, then large rain drops fell. My cats were glued to the window as they had never experienced anything like this before. I loved it! Massive energy in the air. It only lasted about and hour or so.

Right now it is 10am here, blue skies and sunny.

I am just beginning to get a grip on my legal business paper work. I literally couldn't do anything for 2 weeks.

Still lots to do.... get car re-registered here so I don't have to pay the arm, leg and one cat in California taxes. Also have to get my PA drivers license soon as my CA one expires in less than 30 days.

What I would really like to do is pack my bags and get on a plane to somewhere. That's the great thing about vacations you can leave your "to-do list" at home....lol...lol...lol...


Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm... Tired.....

Yesterday my furniture arrived at approximately 10am. For the following 6 hours my special guy and I unloaded the commercial trailer and put all of my belongings in a storage unit. As you can imagine, I once again, used muscles I didn't even know I had.

I woke up this morning feeling like I was catching a cold. I immediately jumped on the Cold-eeze.

All of my work lines are set up and working. This week has been a very busy work week for my legal business. Not just everything that I had to do to set up the Delaware office, but client's who I haven't heard from in years calling and new client's calling. Yeaayyyyy.... I love it when I get money calls. I should answer the phone "Professional Legal Assistors, where money never sleeps."...lol...lol...vll..lol..

I have also gotten quite a few emails that my books have been purchased. Yeeaayyyyy..... I am feeling that my move was a great thing for me to do... in more ways than one.

Tonight will be 1 week that I have been living in Pennsylvania (or as my friend in The Netherlands put it... Pencil Vainia...lol...lol..vll..lol).

This morning I am going to look at a 3 bedroom apartment in Bloomsburg (the city I want to live in).

Since I have been here I have looked at 2 commercial properties for sale and one home. The home I looked at yesterday was a large barn that someone began to convert into a 3,600 sq ft home, on 15 acres. However, they ran out of money in the middle of the project. It really looked like they had no idea what they were doing.... just one big mess. I wasn't too hip with the huge power tower on the property about 40-50 feet from the house.

The picture is of a beautiful sunset you often see in California when the Santa Ana winds are blowing. I wondered if I would see these sunsets in Pennsylvania... and I am thrilled to report that I actually saw one last night. The colors looked exactly like this picture, which often makes me think of a Thomas Kinkade painting.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lots of Life Changes... and it's all Good!

I have used this opportunity to make some major life changes.... ones that will last me a lifetime.

One major change is my diet. I am proud of the fact that my man and I ate zero fast food on our road trip. We were very conscious about our food choices and ate tons of fruit and nuts as "snack junk food". We also consumed mostly water. We did have a hot meal every day but it wasn't anything that was unhealthy the way that fast food is.

Life is very different here. I have already begun to make new friends. People in the south have that "southern hospitality" going for them. It's good, however, with the "Bless your little sweet pea heart" comes some line crossing and up in your business before you know it....lol...lol... lol... Here the people are very friendly and gracious without getting all up in your shit. For example, on Sunday morning while I was sleeping my special guy got up and washed the million of bugs off of my car from our travels. The house across the street is being remodeled and the guy working on it said to my man "Hey I am sorry that the dust from my remodeling got on your car. You can use the hose in my driveway to get the dust off." Of course my guy told him that it wasn't the dust from his remodeling on the car. I thought it was sweet.

Now don't misunderstand, I have had the occasional great neighbor in California. It's just with 18 million people you would think that kind gracious compassionate people friends would be abundant in California... and sadly it just isn't.

The picture is of my finger nails that I had done in this fancy plaid pattern for my round trip on the Concord to London. I have had an acyclic coating on my nails for the last 30 years. I began because of all the typing I do. I removed the acrylic 3 months ago and well... my nails do not look like the picture.

One of the other changes that I am going to implement in my life is to garden and begin growing my own vegetables. At this point in my life, eating healthy food, without pesticides is more important than having long beautiful finger nails.