Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Last Post for This Blog

Well, it's that time folks... this blog has come to an end.

I feel very confident that I accomplished my goal of informing, enlightening, educating and possibly even entertaining, everyone with the differences in coastal lifestyles.

So to all the folks on the west coast.... I didn't freeze to death during my first winter, nor did I suffer any frost bite...lol...lol...

And to all the folks on the east coast.. I hope that by now you realize "All that Glitters... is not Gold".

I want to personally thank each and every person who took time out of their lives to read my post on this blog. I sincerely hope you had as much enjoyment reading it as I did posting it.

I took this picture while in Lucerne, Switzerland. It is of the very famous Chapel bridge. This is the oldest covered bridge in Europe. Inside the bridge are paintings from the 17th Century. The pictures don't look that worn and I guess it is because they were protected from the weather.

Wishing everyone a life better than they could ever imagine.

Ciao

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sod Farms

I never knew what a Sod Farm was until I moved to the San Fernando Valley in California. There's a really big one near the Sepulveda Basin.

I was amazed that people had farms that grew grass. I remember telling my Dad, who was a farmer that grew vegetables, about these farms that just grew grass and he thought that was crazy.

I have seen a few sod farms here in Pennsylvania.

If I were a contractor building homes and got to the end and needed grass I probably wouldn't think a sod farm is a crazy idea. I know that there are different kinds of grass. Many years ago, someone I knew in California purchased Champion grass for their front lawn. That was when I learned about the grass market...lol...lol....lol.

I took this picture in Salzburg. It is the garden where the famous movie "The Sound of Music", with Julie Andrews, was filmed. The gardens are beautiful and are open for all to walk through.

It's funny cause I just realized that Mozart was born and lived in Salzburg. And I wonder if that is why Salzburg was chosen for the filming of a movie entitled "The Sound of Music"... hummm.. I wonder...

Ciao

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Out with the Old.. in With the New

Every one's experiencing changes in their life. Personally, I think that most of the changes that is occurring, aren't "self-imposed" changes. Lots of peoples jobs are changing. Loved ones are moving on and leaving this planet. A change in one person's life can affect several. Kinda like the "butterfly effect".

The last several years of my life has undergone major changes. I often think that the changes are done with.... but then new ones arise.

My life changed dramatically when I moved from the deep south to Los Angeles (almost 24 years ago). And now it is changing drastically again. Partly my fault, and partly not. Almost like a "be careful what you wish for thing." You know like if you had this magic gene come out of a lamp and you tell him that you want him to clean and organize your life and then he deletes three of your websites because he doesn't see the use or need for them. Well, you can't be mad at the gene, cause he was, after all, doing what you asked...lol...lol..lol...

And that's what happened, I wanting a simple, uncomplicated, not-busy-every-moment, kind of life, inadvertently deleted 3 of my websites. All three were what I like to call "shits and giggles" websites.

I read the book "The Tipping Point" (How Little Things can Make a Big Difference) and in the book it said that, from the age of 1 to 151, everyone loves a story. You tell someone a story and that gets them feeling all warm and fuzzy, then you point them to what you want them to purchase. So in the middle of the night I woke up and wrote a story about 3 magic monkeys who created the "Magic Monkey Method." I had the website up with the story for a few years and at the end of the story it would point you to my t-shirt website. The book also said that people respond to vertical head movement and, they believe, that is one of the contributing factors to Reagan becoming President. I decided to see if it was true and made a video. Click on the word video to see the video.

A friend of mine called me up one day and said that he was going to go and get hypnotised for better sleep, clear thinking, more mojo, etc.. I asked him how much it was going to cost and he said $500 and I said, "Dude, come over here and I'll bitch slap you for $50 and you'll be fine." And then the light blub went off and "Bitch Slaps R Us" was created. It was a website that, with humor, linked everything else I did. I even created a video, which can be seen by clicking on video.

And then one night, a few years ago, one of my friends called telling me how bad the economy was and I told him, "So everyone is up shits creek, Dude go make paddles." The light bulb didn't go off then. Then he started talking about a recession and that's when the light bulb went off. I asked, "How about making recession survival kits?" He pissed and moaned about how long it would take to get it off the ground and soooooo as kind of an experiment I woke up the next morning and looked at the clock and it was 9am and I said to myself, "I am going to see how long it takes to set up a Recession Survival Kit business." I got the domain name, figured out what I was going to put in the kit. Designed the website. Set up PayPal. Went to the store and got everything to go into the kit, went to the post office to find out what size box I needed and how much postage would cost. The kit consisted of items in a brown paper bag. The items were; a handkerchief cause we know you're gonna be crying; a blue's cd cause we know you're gonna be singing the blues; a box of mac n' cheese cause you gotta eat; 16 beer recipes cause we know you're gonna wanna drink; a pad and pen cause we know you're gonna come up with some bright ideas. Recession Survival Kits sold for $24.99 (including shipping). This was a humor gift. From start to finish it took me 3 hours and 5 minutes. Website built, paypal capable and product in hand. My friend was blown away. Later I decided to make a video, which you can see by clicking on video.

Yesterday I felt a bit sad about the 3 websites being gone, but not bad enough to put them back up again. I told my sister this morning that I would let them go and I would create new things.

I am getting you ready for the travel website so I am going to be posting pictures from vacations around the world. This is one of my favorite pictures. Just a lone Chuch on top of a mountain. I was in Switzerland, on the worldest steepest cogwheel railway, going up to the top of Mount Pilatus. The mountain was named after a local legend that alleges Pontius Pilate was burried there. Amazingly, I had a full cell signal at the top of this mountain!

Ciao

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I am Done With the Snow!

Last week I heard on the weather channel that a snow storm was going to hit our area Saturday and Sunday. I was surprised when I woke up on Friday morning to 12-16 inches of snow and it was still coming down.

I went out and did the mandatory shoveling. My neighbor taught me that you shovel the first 6 inches off and then the next six, instead of trying to do the whole 12 inches at one time.

My neighbor was out shoveling and I mentioned that I thought the storm was going to come this weekend. He said that it got here early.

So the snow stopped around 2:00 yesterday and it warmed up into the 40's (4.4C) and a lot of snow melted from the sidewalks and street, which is great, cause you don't want it to turn to ice.

I woke up this morning and opened up the window blinds and OMG there's ANOTHER 6-8 inches of snow and it was coming down pretty heavy. It appears to have stopped within the last 15 minutes.

I hear California is bracing for a rainy day. Stay inside you guys where it is safe and dry!

I heard that because of this narly winter we are having that the weather guru's are predicting a narly hurricane season. That sucks! My mother, who had her home rebuilt after Katrina, could potentially loose it again! Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Ciao

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

That's my new mantra!!!

I have been going through boxes, cabinets and closets and loading up the car for weekly trips to Salvation Army. I just don't want to carry anymore unnecessary stuff through life.

Last Friday I found 4 old cell phones. One had teal stones all over it. I really believe I was the first one on the planet to come up with the idea of blinging out things. My second cellphone that I covered was done in rainbow crystals. People in restaurants would come up to my table to see my cell phone. This was probably 10 or more years ago. I think I hung onto them because they were something I created. Well, now someone else can enjoy them.

Today is Wednesday and my next blog post will be sometime over the weekend. I am going to be posting only once a week since I will be winding down this blog real soon.

This is also in an effort to simply my life. I want to spend less time connected to technology and more time planting flowers, painting pictures and/or connecting with friends.

Speaking of friends.... I think it is totally wild that since the age of 12 I have ALWAYS had a friend named Judy in my life. My first friend named Judy lived a couple of doors from me and she was older than me and we hug out. We were friends for many many years. Around the age of 19 I met my second friend named Judy, who is still my very best, dearest and closest friend. Talking to her on the phone these last 2 Sundays brought back so many wonderful memories. Judy makes the BEST popcorn on the planet! Then around the age of 28 I moved to Los Angeles and immediately met a girl named Judy who I was friend with for 17 years. I don't know about you... but I think that is just wild!

So until this weekend....

Ciao

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Let's Talk Weather!!!

Houston is expecting snow today. That's wild!

My sister lives in Houston and she actually got snow weeks before we did here in Pennsylvania.

I haven't written about "black ice". Mainly because I haven't seen too much of it, which is a good thing.

I first learned of black ice when I was in Iceland. I took this picture while in Iceland. This was right outside the door of my hotel. I wonder why they didn't put salt on the ground. The sidewalk was one sheet of ice. I walked in the street most of the time I was there. Talk about slippery.

Well, I guess by now everyone knows that we are experiencing an El Nino affect. Which will be followed by a La Nina affect.

I was poking around on the Internet and found an interesting website that pretty much forecast the weather for quite a bit. Talking about how the global warming that began in 80's would be ending around 2017 and then a global cooling will begin. Here is the link if you want to check it out http://forums.accuweather.com/index.php?showtopic=13603. It's a fascinating read that's for sure.

So right now California's bracing for more rain. Houston, Pennsylvania and Delaware are going to get a few flurries, not a big snow storm like we experienced a couple of weeks ago.

Ciao

Monday, February 22, 2010

What a Beautiful Weekend

The weather has been amazing the last three days. The sun has been shinning, blue skies and it's been about 50 degrees (10C). It felt warm to me so for the last three days there were no layering of clothes. I opened up my bedroom windows and let the cool breeze come in.

I spent Saturday checking out the tiny state of Delaware. Delaware was the 1st of our 50 states. It is an interesting state. It takes about 4-5 hours to drive from the top to the bottom and about 3 hours to drive from the southeast side to the southwest side. The farther you go south in the state the more farm land you find.

Delaware is a sales tax free state. I went to the Christiana Mall. That mall has every store under the sun. I haven't seen so many people at a mall since Clinton was president! It was wild!

The state of Delaware has income tax and it is 5.95%, which isn't really all that bad. That tiny little state makes almost all of it's money off of franchise corporate fees. Delaware has the most favorable "blue-sky" laws. Which are laws for taking a company public. Hence, the big players are Delaware corporations; Google, Apple, Sony, to name a few.

There is also a huge retirement community in Delaware which I thought was surprising.

I wanted to go back next Saturday and check out some more, however, the weather websites are calling for snow next Saturday in Pennsylvania and Delaware. I wish I could say that the weather man might be wrong, but with technology today they seem to be up with their game and pretty accurate.

Ciao

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winding Down the Blog

I have been thinking that this blog will probably be coming to an end very soon. I have been writing on it for about 9 months now and began upon leaving California.

The purpose was to educate, inform and entertain any one who was curious about my perception of life on the west coast vs. life on the east coast.

I have enjoyed writing on this blog so I may begin a new one when this one ends. The new one might be called "All About Me"....lol..lol... hey I don't know if I am just kidding about that title. I just threw it out there. The new blog will contain more information about my travels as I anticipate doing that quite a bit more.

Well, yesterday was Mardi Gras. I have been to about 35 Mardi Gras celebrations in my lifetime and they were all in New Orleans. So I never feel that I am missing out. Mardi Gras has changed a lot and since Hurricane Katrina and it will never be the same. I am glad that I got to experience it when it was in full force at the height of it's existence.

Okay thinking back to Mardi Gras when I was a child really makes me feel super old. When I was a child and we went to parades at Mardi Gras time there were these guys walking with big sticks with fire on them to light the parade way. They were know as flambeau carriers. The first flambeau carriers were slaves.

And what else makes me feel really old is that my uncle had slaves and I remember seeing them and feeling sorry for them when I went to his house. He said that he treated his slaves better than most because they got to eat the same food that he ate. One of their jobs was to polish the nickle plated motor in his Rolls Royce. I remember going to his house and telling him that it was illegal to have slaves and he would say, "They can leave. They won't leave." And I would look at them and they would say, "Where are we going to go? He is good to us." It was sad it tell you... just real sad.

And here's another thing that makes me feel really old when I think back to Mardi Gras as a child. I would see these groups of people covered in white walking down the street. You know who I am talking about right? The Ku Klux Klan, also known as the KKK. I can remember pointing to them and asking my Dad what are those? I didn't know if they were men or women under the sheets and my Dad would say that they were there to protect us. Hummm.....life in the deep south....

Since Hurricane Katrina, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is celebrated on a nano scale as compared to what it use to be. The parades would begin right after New Year's Day and there would be lots of expensive Mardi Gras Balls that took place. As a child my mother was a professional seamstress and she would make those elaborate kings and queen costumes. Our house was always full of colorful satin fabric, sequins and feathers. You were really someone special if you had an invitation to a Mardi Gras Ball. Those were coveted events.

Today there are fewer parades, fewer participants, fewer balls. People who live there still want to carry out the tradition and I can't blame them, minus the flambeau carriers and KKK..lol..lol..

I am sure it is still fun and everyone should experience at least one Mardi Gras in New Orleans in their lifetime.

Ciao

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sounds You Wake Up to in the Morning

It's funny, I was laying in bed this morning listening to the sound of someone shoveling their sidewalk and it reminded me of the sounds I have woken up to at different points in my life. More specifically different geographical areas.

In the south I would wake up to the sound of a lawn mower cutting grass. I loved that sound. When I am awaken to the sound of a lawn mover it reminds me of living in the south.

On the west coast I would wake up to the sound of helicopters flying over head. I hated that sound. And since I am a "gotta keep the windows open" kinda gal, I would have to jump up and close the windows.

Here on the east coast I have experienced both a familiar, but good, sound to wake up to and a totally different sound to wake up to. The familiar sound is the sound of lawn mowers and you hear them in the spring and summer. The sound I am getting use to is the sound of shoveling snow. I have not figured out whether the sound of shoveling snow is a good one or a bad one. Only my experiences in time will tell.

I took this picture when I was in Iceland. It is of the world's famous blue lagoons. It is said that these blue lagoons contain the most healing waters in the world. I don't know if that is true. I went into them however, I didn't have any ailments so I don't know if they actually heal. What I can tell you is that the sulphur smell gets in your hair and it is so hard to get it out. It literally took me about 2 months before I could get the smell out. The thought of shaving my head popped into my mind frequently during those two months.

Ciao

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm Gearing Up for My Next Move

One more last move. That doesn't mean that my world will stop revolving. It just means that I will finally have a home base that will not need to be relocated. I will be able to hang the pictures on the walls and know that I will only have to move them should I really want to, not because I have to move.

Once that I get settled into my home I plan to kick up the traveling a bit. And I am super excited about that.

I was thinking that it would be great to be all moved into my new home my Memorial Day weekend! That is the weekend that I left California and also the same weekend, almost 24 years ago, that I first moved to California. How appropriate to be moving into my home.

I don't think that I am going to stay in Pennsylvania. My work with the state of Delaware has increased significantly since I moved to the east coast. I am considering making a move to that state.

Yesterday I began going through boxes and deciding what will actually make it to my new home. Not much, that I know for sure. I got enough stuff together, for Salvation Army, to fill my car trunk twice.

BTW, did you know that there is a Salvation Army in Queenstown, New Zealand? I had no idea that they were world wide. I was in Queenstown, New Zealand in December 2008, right around Christmas and the guy was standing outside of the store with his bell and red kettle, just like they do here in the states. I thought that was wild!

The skies are blue and the sun is shining down on the white ice and snow. This winter season has been one that I have never ever experienced before.

Ciao

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winterized Windows

These winterized windows are making me very very uncomfortable and unhappy. I know that I have a mild form of claustrophobia. It's not the "I can't ride in an elevator" kind. It's the kind when I first walk into a place I immediately notice if there are windows are not.

Years ago I went to join a gym in Los Angeles and you walked in off the street and there was the front desk and when they took you for a tour they took you downstairs and there were no windows because you were underground. I couldn't even concentrate on what the guy was telling me who was giving me the tour. I just keep looking at the block walks and feeling creepy.

When I would to go the Apple Store in the Canoga Park Mall I was okay because I could look out of the store front and see the mall skylight. I can walk into a store that doesn't have any windows but I am not likely to do any amount of shopping in there.

As a kid, my favorite aunt was claustrophobic. She would not pass a big truck on the highway, even though she drove a big ass Cadillac. And she would never get in an elevator. I remember when we would go somewhere with her we would all have to take the stairs, which didn't make much sense to me because sometimes those stair wells were small and had no windows. I personally think it was the least of two evils for my dear aunt.

Even though I can see out of my windows I can't open them and that bothers me. It feels like a weight on my chest. I have always, as long as I can remember, lived in places where I can open the windows. I love windows open and air flowing in and out. I don't care if it is hot air or cold air.. it's air and it flowing. And with my windows winterized there isn't any air flowing and it bothers me.

Yesterday I couldn't take it any longer so I unwinterized one of the windows. Wow, I could feel my energy change. I got excited and happy and I don't care how much my heating bill will be. I'll gladly pay for the happiness in heating $$$s if I have to.

This is a picture that I took from the first snow storm that we had. My first 6 inches of snow. The weather guy says we may have some snow showers tomorrow and/or Tuesday. But nothing like we have had in the past.

Ciao

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What's Up With the Weather?

Man we've got some crazy weather going on. Yesterday, there was snow reported in 49 of our 50 states! Hawaii got lucky! Lots of states that
never see snow are seeing it. 10 snow flurries can shut down a state, if it hasn't seen snow before. They don't have salt or snow plows. No one knows how to drive in it.

Here's something that I have learned about the cold... if you dress for it, you don't feel it. I put on my boots, coat, hat and gloves before leaving the house. I can't say that I have actually felt cold. Maybe it is an age thing. I remember when I was younger that I didn't want to dress appropriately for the weather. I wanted to wear what made me look good...lol..lol.. And if that meant not wearing a coat when it was 40 degrees outside.. well that's what I did. And then I pissed and moaned the whole time about the freakin' weather, cause I was cold. Go figure... live and learn..lol..lol..

I took this picture outside of the back of my home. I am not sure what kind of tree it is. It sure looks like Christmas holly.

Ciao

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yesterday's Blizzard



The blizzard is all over. Mr. Sunshine is looking down on us.

Click on the picture, it's a video. I made this video yesterday. I decided to take a walk and check it all out. The only places open on Main Street were The Dollar Store, Subway Sandwich Shop and The Candy Store. The Candy Store was packed with college students.

Today is when it is suppose to be bad if you didn't shovel your sidewalks, or shovel near your car or even brush the snow off of your car. Because today all that snow that fell freezes and you have a big blocks of ice blocking your car in, on your car, and on your sidewalks. Good luck moving those! Yesterday most of my day was spent running in and out shoveling and brushing off my car. I just went outside and I must say, I am in better shape than most in the neighborhood.

So it's all over... no more snow storms this winter. The Farmer's Almanac says that by April 1st it will be seasonally warm in the northeastern part of the US.

I am truly thankful for this experience. I feel that now I can hold an intelligent conversation about living through a blizzard. Been there... done that.. Next!

This I know for sure: my next winter will be spent in front of a fireplace, I will never winterize windows again and I will not be sweeping snow or shoveling snow from around my car again.

I will be making my last move in the US in a few months and the place I move to will have newer windows, a fireplace and a garage for my car! Yippppeee....

Ciao

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Real Snow Storm

I took this picture last Saturday. It was of the 6 inches of snow that we got from the storm that paralyzed Washington, D.C. and Delaware.

Another storm is here. Supposedly, by the Farmers Almanac, this is the last one we'll get.

It started snowing last night and it is really coming down now. The news guy said we would get 10 inches but I think he might have been off a bit.

I have been watching my neighbor across the street. He has a 3 car garage and a giant driveway. He began shoveling the snow from his driveway this morning as it was still coming down. I really don't understand why he didn't just shovel the path in front of the garage door so his wife could get her car out and go to work. Because half way through shoveling the driveway there was already 3 inches of snow that had accumulated in the part he just shoveled. It's really coming down like crazy.

The weather man said it was suppose to stop this afternoon. If it keeps up like this we could get a good 2 feet of snow! Now I am getting to experience real snow! So far... so good.

Earlier this morning I saw a yellow truck that shovels the snow going down my street. That was about an hour ago and if you looked outside right now you'd never believe he was here.

I don't need to go anywhere... yippppeee! So it's probably a good time to just pull out the paper work and begin working on the my taxes... not so yippeee.

Ciao

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

OMG I Amost Forgot about Funeral Processions

Okay, you don't see funeral processions in Los Angeles unless it is someone famous like Ronald Reagan or Michael Jackson. I mean can you imagine trying to have a funeral procession with all the traffic that they have in Los Angeles? It would be even crazier on the Los Angeles freeways than it is currently.

I am not sure that they have funeral processions in other parts of the world. So for my European friends who are reading this. A funeral procession is something occurs from the place your dead one's service is performed to the place your dead one's being buried. Everyone in the "funeral party" which is everyone who was at the service follows the hearse to the burial place.

The rules applied in most of the United States are:

  • All vehicles traveling in a funeral procession must be accompanied by a licensed escort. Usually one escort is assigned for approximately every 10 to 12 vehicles.
  • Funeral processions have the right of way. People are required to yield, and not interfere or cause an obstruction.
  • Stickers (colored markers) must be attached to front and rear windows of each vehicle.
  • Everyone that's part of the procession is required to have their lights turned on, and some states require the escort to use hazard lights.
I think depending on where you live (how Christian your town is), folks may pull over and bow their heads for your dead ones last ride.

I remember as a kid that you knew how important or popular someone was by the size of their funeral procession. I remember seeing, what seemed like 50 cars in a funeral procession and saying "Wow, that person must have been someone important." And then I can remember seeing 5 or 6 cars in a funeral procession and thinking "That must have been someone old."

The reason I thought that they must be someone old is that, to me, it appears that the older one gets the less people want to do with them. I think that is why I am drawn to very old people. Because I know that one day I too will be very old and I don't want people to be so busy that the forget that I exist. You know old people are put away into retirement homes and such and kinda taken out of society. I think it is sad and probably part of why they die. I mean they are moved from the life that they know to one that other's think will be better for them. This is what happened to my friend Ruth. I now that her son thought he was doing what was best for her. But Ruth was sooooo terribly upset about the move. I know, I got her monthly letters. After Ruth was forced to leave her home and move to an assisted living apartment she lived less than a year.

I like the feel of the funeral processions. It's like their passing is shared with the world during their final ride.

Ciao

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Also Forgot What it Means When Someone Flashes Their HeadLights at You

I was driving down the road and the car approaching flashed their heads at me and my instant thought was, "WTF, I HAVE my head lights on." A friend who was with me said, "Slow down he was warning you that a cop is sitting just up the road."

This happens in the south and I had forgotten about it because flashing head lights in Los Angeles is not a cool thing. In facts, it will get you killed.

A few years ago I heard about a guy who flashed his head lights at someone. The car that he flashed then turned around and followed him to Seven Eleven. When he exited the store he was shot. Apparently, and unbeknownst to this poor dude, flashing your head lights in Los Angeles is a gang sign. Go figure.

Ciao

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I Was a Freak in Los Angeles

So now I am finally beginning to understand why people treated me the way that they did in Los Angeles. Friendly people in Los Angeles are freaks! They are freaks of nature. It's not normal to be friendly in Los Angeles. In facts, some people thought that there was something wrong with me.

While walking around Warner Park in Woodland Hills I would say hello to anyone I passed. 60% would say hello back. One say I said hello to a woman and she instantly said hello and turned around and asked me if she could walk with me. I said "sure". As we walked and talked I continued to say hello to everyone who passed me. The woman whose name was Cristina said to me, "You make everyone say hello to you." I looked at her and said, "I don't MAKE anyone say anything." She asked me, "Why do you bother to say hello to someone you don't know?" I asked her, "Why wouldn't I? We are all human and we all live on this planet." She looked at me like I was weird.

My accountant recently told me, "Dottie you will do well on the east coast you are friendly, friendlier than most people." I thought that was an odd assessment. I am just me. And if you rub me the wrong way I bet you won't think I am friendly..lol..lol..

I was walking down Main Street the other day and it was about 20 degrees (-6.6C) outside and snowing a little and everyone that walked passed me either said hello or nodded their head and this was before me saying hello.

I also noticed that at a four-way stop the driver who arrived first at the intersection, although entitled by law to go first, often motions "after you" to me. Like Wow, that never ever happens in Los Angeles. The humility and thank you waves that occurs at four-way stops all but brings a tear to my eye.

Ciao

Saturday, February 6, 2010

First Real Snow

Remember a few weeks ago when Philadelphia was hit with a big snow storm? Well, we only got about 2 inches of that. And up until this morning, that was the most snow that I had seen.

A new snow storm hit last night. It was a storm that came up from the Gulf of Mexico, first drenching the southern states with rain and then, as it moved up a northeastern path, it turned to snow.

The snow seems magical to me. It comes in the night and is soooo quiet.

We got 6 inches which is more than I have seen before. It is sooooo white and light and fluffy.

My neighbor showed me how to make a snow angel. She actually laid in the snow and moved here arms and legs and when she got up there it was ... an angel in the show.

Ciao

Friday, February 5, 2010

OMG I saw a Bookmobile

Like Wow, I didn't know that Bookmobiles still existed. I remember them from my childhood. In my 23 years in Los Angeles I never saw a bookmobile.

Bookmobiles were started in Britain in 1859 and the first ones were carts drawn by horses. The first year nearly 12,000 books were loaned out. The whole idea behind the bookmobile was to bring books to home bound people who could not get out to the library. They would lend you the books for a period of time and when the next time they were in your neighborhood they would pick them up.

In Los Angeles I had friends who either read all the time or never read at all. Yep, reading was an all or nothing thing.

Being the bibliophile (lover of books) that I am, it touched my heart to see that bookmobiles still do exist.

Ciao


Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Got on the Scale This Morning

I left California 8 months ago, Memorial Day weekend, 2009. I am 5 ft. 6 inches tall. I weighed 123 pounds when I left California.

My weight is "relative". And thanks to Einstein, I learned that the word "relative" means: depending on where you are.

So if you are a doctor and you are commenting on my weight you would say that I am at a normal weight.

If you are in the south and you were commenting on my weight you might say that I was on the skinny side and try to get me to eat something.

If you are in Los Angeles and you were commenting on my weight you would say that I am fat. Yep, FAT! The first thing you would look at is my stomach to see how flat it is or isn't. That would be the determining factor on whether or not you wanted to be seen with me..... oops I meant, talk to me....lol..lol...lol... It is funny because yes if you were in Los Angeles your decision to say one word to be would be based on the flatness of my stomach. Isn't that wild? Don't you wish you lived there? lol..lol..lol...

I knew this guy who worked at the Apple store and he was a cutie. He told me "Dottie I only have pretty friends. I don't want to be friends with someone who doesn't look good." Woe is me... I hate to have to learn the life lessons that this Dude is going to have to learn. I asked him, "What about the qualities that someone might possess, you know all those important things that you can't see, like trust and integrity?" And he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. And that is typical of Los Angeles... if they can't see it.. it doesn't matter.

I haven't lived in this part of the country long enough to tell you whether I am considered at a normal weight, skinny or fat. I can tell you that I haven't gained one pound! Which was my main concern upon moving here. I didn't want to gain 100 lbs like my friend, Linda, who moved from Los Angeles to Idaho and was afraid to go outside when it was cold, raining or snowing. I have kept moving and living and I am happy about that.

Ciao

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Static and Stars

Wow, I have never seen so much static in the air as I have here in PA. At night I can brush my hand over the blanket and you can see tiny sparks. It freaks the cats and I out. Also, often when I pet them you can hear it and I think they can feel the spark of the static cause they jump a little.

See the star on this house, in the picture? The are on almost all of the houses here in Pennsylvania. I asked a local why they were there, did it mean something? And she said that it didn't mean anything and that about 4-5 years ago someone put a star on their house and then everyone decided to do it. It makes me think of Texas, because Texas is known as "The Lone Star State". And guess what? My sister lives in Texas, and while I can't vouch for what they do in the rest of the state, I can tell you that they don't put stars on their houses in her neighborhood.

It's funny cause a couple of weeks ago I was in Delaware and I saw a house with a star on it. I pointed it out to my friend and she said, "Oh, yea, Texas the Lone Star State." I was like "What? Do you know the people who live there? Are they from Texas?" She said that she didn't know them but that the star made her think of Texas...lol..lol... BTW, she is a native from Texas.

And you don't see houses in California with stars on them.... could be because the stars live in the houses in California..lol..lol....

Ciao

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Enough Already with the Death & Dying

Man oh Man, last week I received a letter from my friend, Nanny, that her husband of 64 years, Clay, passed away. He had a stomach ache and died. An aneurysm ruptured in his stomach. He was only uncomfortable for 3 days and he was gone. Nanny was in shock.

I met Nanny when I was 23 years old. We lived in the same apartment complex in River Ridge, Louisiana. She and I would lay out by the swimming pool together. Her husband, Clay, worked at the local steel mill. When Clay retired they moved back to Alabama and at that point Nanny and I became pen-pals.

On Saturday morning my wonderful neighbor Nanci called me and said, "Dottie my Mother called and said that my Dad is very ill and I should come home. Can you please watch my cats for me?" She left early Sunday morning to drive to upstate New York. I just received an email from Nanci that her beloved father passed away this morning. Like Wow, enough already.

I know it's normal and a part of life, blah, blah, blah... but so much, right now. I feel like I should run out and purchase sympathy cards in bulk!

My friend, Melita, inspired me to start this blog. next week Tuesday, February 9th, will be one year since Mel passed away.

Well, there won't be any excuses for people to screw up in the future cause we have a shit load of Guardian Angels looking after us.

Ciao

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Where Did the Week Go?

I mean seriously.... last week didn't just fly by... it was like a blink!

And everyday, all day, it was on my mind, Gotta write about this and that on my blog. There's soooooo much to say!

Well, let's talk about the rare full moon that we had last night. It was the closest to the earth as it has ever been. It was so bright that it looked like it was daylight and overcast here during the night. That's wild!

What is even more wilder is the affect it has had on some of us. The affect is something I had never heard of before, it's called the "Crisis Lunations". You can read more about it right here http://tinyurl.com/ycy2lko

I tell you, for me this last week felt like Mercury Retrograde magnified 100 times. And it all has to do with "change"... everything is changing and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.

For me, I had a feeling around August/September last year that I should restructure my business. The thought was that of a radical one. Something totally different, never considered before. I discussed it with other business professionals and, while they agreed with my thoughts and feelings, they leaned toward the old school of thought and tried to persuade me to to keep running things the conventional way. The reason, I am sure, is because doing something totally different... well... you have no idea how it is going to turn out. However, I had this feeling that to continue to operate in the conventional way, wasn't going to work to my benefit. So I tossed my feeling aside (bad move) and began maneuvering my business in the traditional way.

Yesterday, I found myself in a position where I cannot move forward as the professionals had advised. I feel like I am facing a brick wall and no matter which way I turn I cannot take a step forward. While this is aggravating to me, it is not the end of the world, that I am sure. And my only choice is to go back to my original thoughts and feelings and begin to implement them. This will take some time to get me moving forward again... but it is okay. I feel 1000% confident that everything, while will be radically different, will be totally fine and the right thing for me.

Last night I laid in bed and I thought of pursuing the current path and I paid attention to how I felt. I felt sick, dark, tense and just unhappy. Then I thought of my idea, my road that I wanted to explore and I felt a lightness and sense of optimism and happy. And I decided at that moment that Monday I would begin to put my business on a different track! Yipppeeee.

The thing about these "crisis lunations" is that they don't everyone. So if you weren't affected, it doesn't mean it isn't valid. Your time may come when you might experience a crisis to help you get on track.

Ciao

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Friend Does Remote Healing

I am fortunate enough to have crossed paths with the amazing Harriette Knight. Once you have any sort of communications with Harriette you will realize what a special, real, genuine, individual she is. She is one of the most amazing, loving people I have ever met. There is nothing fake or phony about her which makes it all the more refreshing to know her. Did you get it? She's amazing!!!!!!

She makes "one-of-a-kind" healing jewelry.

She also does remote healing known as Reconnective Healing.

She is super-psychic! I mean she is soooooo accurate that it is amazing.

I had her do a remote healing session on me this past week. Before the healing she'll tell you something about you that she or anyone would not know, so that you know she is connecting with you. Then she'll tell you a time that you are to lay down in a comfortable place for approximately 30-40 minutes. During this time you are to close your eyes and relax, but pay attention to your breathing, what you are feeling in your body and/or in the room. During that time she is healing your mind, body and spirit and receiving messages to pass on to you. At the end you talk to her again and she gives you your messages. She is soooo amazingly accurate. I just can't stress this enough. She is super reasonably priced at $150 US dollars per session.

You really need to take a look at her website which contains a wealth of information. She has horoscope information, an online store, a blog, articles, interviews, healing music, daily wisdom and books! She is the author of "Chakra Power! How to Fire up Your Energy Centers to Live a Fuller Life" and "Easy Art From the Heart". Both of these I have read and both are super good!

I love Wednesday evenings cause I can hear Harriette doing her magic on the Psychic Tee BlogTalkRadio Show. You can call in and get one questioned answered for free. I love hearing how right on they are when they are talking to the callers. It's so much fun!

I sincerely hope that everyone gets to experience a healing from Harriette Knight. Don't you think this is an amazing way to begin 2010?

Ciao

Friday, January 22, 2010

I am Implementing a New Rule in my Business

I am going to announce in my April 1st newsletter (and this is not an April Fool's Day joke), that I will no longer conduct business with someone if they are calling from their cell phone in their car. My only clients who do this are my clients in California.

I have been operating my business for 16 years and can tell you that, I now know, 100% of the jobs the clients call about; 1) the information changes; and/or 2) the information given to me is wrong.

You can always, I don't care how much your blue tooth cost, tell when someone is calling from their car.

This morning I sent out an email to the clients that do this the most. The email said "Effective Immediately! I will not conduct business with anyone calling from their car on their cell phone. When you get home or to your office feel free to pick up the phone and give me a call. In my 16 years of doing this business I have gathered up enough information and experience to tell you that anytime someone is calling to do business from their car there is a very large margin for error in the information that I am given and it is not a safe and effective way of doing business. Best wishes."

I feel it is better to give them the heads up instead of waiting until they call, then chopping them off at the knees, and them thinking I am just having a bad day..lol..lol...

Don't you love the sign? To bad it can't be a real sign put up along side of the roads, followed by the sign they have in Australia, of the two guys fighting. Which by the way, that sign should have the big red slash rough it. Like the signs that indicate "you can't do that here". The sign with the two guys fighting looks like a "deer crossing" sign. Like okay this is the spot where you can pull it over and duke it out with that dude that just cut you off...lol..lol...vll...

Ciao

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Raining Cats & Dogs in LA

California's getting 4 rain storms in a row. This is much needed rain for the state. There is a lot of flooding occurring for 2 reasons; 1) a large amount of rain is coming down in shorter periods of time; and 2) for the last 9 months people have used the storm drains as garbage cans. It's pretty gnarly in LA right now, especially since Californians don't know how to slow down while driving in the rain. That makes for a lot of accidents. Which pretty much makes it unsafe to go anywhere so a lot of people are staying home, calling in to work sick, cancelling lunch plans... it's pretty funny to me.

Where is the snow? Where is the 1 to 3 feet of snow that the northeast is suppose to get in the winter time? The most snow we have gotten, so far, is about 2 inches. Everything has melted and it looks like a beautiful spring day outside with the sun shining! It's going up into the low 40's (4.4C) today. I love it!

The picture was created with color splash photography. I just learned how to created photographs like that. You turn a colored picture into black and white and only leave whatever color you want to stand out. It's pretty fun to do and really makes your pictures pop!

Ciao

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In Loving Memory of Ruth

I found out today that my friend, Ruth Drassler, passed away last month. Ruth had just turned 93 years old.

I met Ruth while traveling in Switzerland in September 2005. We hit it off and saw a lot of sights together. Ruth was a librarian for many, many years, so there where lots of books for us to talk about. We exchanged addresses and kept in touch on a regular basis.

Ruth would leave her clothes in the hotel room upon checking out with a note "Please take and give to anyone in need." She would then fill up her suit case with lots of pretty things for her friends and family.

Ruth took weekly violin lessons and I admired that very much. Here is a video I found on youtube of Ruth playing Liberace's famous piano in Las Vegas on her 90th birthday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb_sPFRoyBE

I am eternally grateful for the time that I got to spend with Ruth. She will forever remain in my heart and memory.

Ciao

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Learned More about my Neighbors


Last Saturday night my neighbors, who live in the large purple house, had a neighborhood pot-luck dinner. There were about a dozen people. It was interesting to get to know them as the majority are not from here. Most are retired engineers and surgeons. All moved here for an easier life-style, everything in walking distance, no crime and the University.

This is totally wild, the guy who lives next door to me, well his grandparents were from Sicily and Naples, so were mine. They boarded the boat to leave Italy but it the port was filled in New York so it was diverted to New Orleans, same thing happened to my grandparents. His grandmothers maiden name was "Nuccio". I went to school for many years with a Nuccio. His family lived (until Katrina) in Chalmette, so did mine. After graduating from college as an engineer he went to work for Nasa in Pasadena, CA. When the oil industry bottomed out in New Orleans in the late 80's I moved to California. Two years ago he moved from CA to PA. Last year I moved from CA to PA. As we were talking another neighbor said, "You guys have been living parallel lives." And it was so freakin' true and bizarre at the same time. Like what are the chances? His name is Scott and upon attending his 25th high school reunion he connected with his school friend, Mary, and they have been an item ever since. That's some cool stuff too.

The picture is of a bar of soap and the reason is because this morning I woke up to an email from a friend who lives in Auckland, New Zealand. We met in December 2008 when I vacationed there. She is super fun and she makes these amazing soaps. Here is the direct quote from her email, "I heard of a massive soap called a bath soap which is a huge bar of soap (so you wont lose it in the bath) selling really well in America." Like Wow, I didn't realize that we are the only country with "a massive soap called a bath soap". But come to think of it, we are. It's these things that just blow me away and I guess that is why I love traveling to different countries. I don't know, I don't think I can ever look at my massive bar of soap and not think of Kesten in New Zealand.

Ciao

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Road Signs You SHOULD See in California










I was surprised to see these road signs (except the big one) here in Pennsylvania, especially since we don't have nearly as many people driving on the roads as they do in Los Angeles, California.

These signs should be posted every couple of feet in California. Every year you hear about people who get shot at while driving. Yep, they probably inadvertently cut someone off and then someone pulls a gun and shoots them.

It makes me wonder "What happened here in Pennsylvania for the road authorities to think that it was necessary to put a sign up like this?"

Other unusual street signs that I noticed were in Philadelphia. On the freeway there are signs that say "Main Street exit 8/10th of a mile" or "Forelone Avenue 9/10th of a mile". In Los Angeles it would say "Main Street exit 1/4 of a mile" or "Forelone Avenue 1/2 of a mile." What's with all these weird fractions of a mile?...lol...lol...lol...

Check out the "High D.U.I. Crash Area" sign. Must have been a lot of drunk drivers crashing where that sign is posted.

There should be a sign"High D.U.I. Route" posted on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. It seems like every celebrity that has been stopped for driving under the influenced was driving on PCH in Malibu.


The super big picture of the road rage sign is one that is posted in Australia because of the problem with aggressive drivers and episodes of road rage. I really think that this sign is necessary in Los Angeles. Road rage is such a big thing in Los Angeles that they have lawyers who specialize in it. Click here to read more about road rage and cyclist road rage (yep, people riding bikes and getting pissed off and fighting).

Ciao

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Yipppeee Yesterday Was the Last Day of Mercury in Retrograde!

Hopefully you have gotten through these last few weeks without incurring too much head-banging...lol...lol..

Mercury in Retrograde affects types of communications. Which is why it is not the best of times to begin anything new (i.e. business, travel plans, relationships). It has taken me a while to get comfortable with old Mercury in Retrograde. I am use to coming up with an idea and instantly executing it. At this time, I can come up with the ideas and write them down to see how I feel about them once that Mercury is done doin' it's thang.

This time around my telephone was affected, my mail and client's called and said that they wanted something and then called back to change it. I am pretty use to the client thing so when Mercury is in Retrograde and a client calls to place an order, I let it sit for 24 hours before doing the job. I can't tell you how many times I have been so thankful that I did that. Having a client call and change his mind about a corporate name once papers have been submitted to the state, the tax payer number obtained and a corporate kit ordered... well, you can see how it is all a real pain when that happens.

Monday is a holiday here, Martin Luther King Day, so there is no mail delivery, the states are closed and the banks are closed. I am going to use this day to it's fullest to "hit the ground running" by creating and starting all the new projects that I have had swimming around in my head. Yippppeeee.

Mercury goes Retrograde 3 times a year and the next period is April 18th through May 11th.

Ciao

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I am not a Fan of the Red Cross

So what do the Red Cross and the big banks have in common? Greed!

The American Red Cross is a not-for-profit 501C(3) corporation. Which means that when some gives them money they get to write it off as a tax deduction. There are also a lot of perks for a non-profit corporation (i.e. exempt status on taxes, free public service announcements, and much more).

Within the last 24-hours the Red Cross has accumulated approximately $800,000 dollars from people texting and getting charged $10 on their phone bill because of the earthquake in Haiti.

Well, do the people giving the money know that $500,000 of that $800,000 will go to pay the CEO's salary this year? Yep, Gail J. McGovern takes from the Red Cross a salary of $500,000 a year! Now get this... in June 2008 she actually got paid a signing bonus of $65,000!

Every single penny of that money is money that people gave to help those in need. I know that 99% of the people who give the money have no idea. I have been approached by people who wanted me to do business with them and when I have gone to their website and I see that they endorse and promote the American Red Cross, I decline. I ask them, "Did you know that $500,000, of DONATED MONEY, goes to the CEO's salary? And they act as if I told them "frogs can fly"...lol..lol...

I also have another reason for disliking the Red Cross. 99% of my family suffered devastation in Katrina and I can tell you first hand.... Red Cross did not step up to the plate. Yes, they had a presence there and yes they threw out a couple of peanuts....

I personally think that the salaries should be capped for salaries of non-profit employees of all non-profit corporations. After all they are "non-profit".

Ciao

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What is it about January and Earthquakes?

Going through all the information I have experienced and gathered in this lifetime, I have to wonder why the big earthquakes happen in January.

January 17, 1993, I lived through the Northridge earthquake, which was a 6.7 magnitude. I can tell you if you have ever lived through a devastating earthquake it is like "seeing God"... something you will never ever forget and you will view life quite differently.

January 17, 1994, the one year anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, there was a major 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Kobe, Japan known as the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Hummm... both the Northridge earthquake and the Kobe earthquake lasted 20 seconds!

So last Saturday, January 9th, 2010, there was a 6.5 earthquake off the coast of Northern California. It caused $22 million dollars of damage to the beautiful town of Eureka. Eureka is know for having beautiful Victorian homes. 240 buildings were damaged and/or destroyed.

And now the earthquake in Haiti. The Haiti earthquake is reported to be a 7.o magnitude.

So it really makes me wonder..... what's with January and earthquakes?

Ciao

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Going to Warm Up!

This picture was taken by my friend, Luci, in Galveston, Texas. Yep, cold enough for icicles to form on Luci's home. That's wild for Galveston!

I talked to a client who is in Miami, Florida, yesterday and she said, "We just aren't use to this cold." She said, "You are use to it." I was like "What?" I am definitely not "use to it". I lived in the south for 28 years and California for 23 years. I am not use to it. It just is.. what it is...

The weather is warming up everywhere, except California..lol... their weather is doing to drop about 10 degrees. Next week they will get about 6 rainy days, which they desperately need.

One thing I am really surprised about is that "special guy" told me that the sun didn't show itself, here in Northeast PA, for several months during the winter. Well, I am delighted to report that this year has been different. The sun has come out 99.9% of the time, so far. I say "so far" because I checked the 15-day weather report and on June 23rd our sunny days will disappear for about a week.

I realize I talk a lot about the weather in this blog and it is because one of the main reasons that people live in California is because of the weather, sunny dry days. And one of the reasons that people live here is for the distinctive four seasons of weather. I like the changes in the weather, it feels exciting to me.

BTW, I think Luci Girl should seriously look into photography classes. This isn't the first great picture that she has taken.

Ciao

Sunday, January 10, 2010

9am and 10 degrees (-12.2C) Here

The sun is shining and it is beautiful outside! Yes it is a bit chilly, especially if you aren't dressed for it.

Last night I went to dinner with some friends and we went to a fancy restaurant. All day long I wondered 'what to wear'. I don't have any wool pants. I lived in California!

On Friday I went out in the snow falling weather to; 1) keep mobile; and 2) see if I could find a pair of wool pants. No wool pants to be found but a ton of spring clothing! Go figure.

I decided to wear this long gypsy colorful skirt, with black thick stockings, brown sweater and black floor length coat. I walked out of my door and across the street and it was 10 degrees. It felt a bit cool but nothing to ruin what turned out to be a delightful evening. I believe it went down to 4 degrees ( -15.5C) last night.

As I look out of my bedroom window I see people walking their dogs and possibly just running errands. I will soon be one of them. I am going to jump in the shower get dressed and walk to the post office and grocery store.

I sincerely apologize to my friends in Texas if I have offended you with my posting on my blog. This is my interpretation of how I see the world through my eyes. And personally, I don't think that complaining about the weather or a heating bill that hasn't arrived yet, is cool. You can continue to do it and I will still love you. It only makes sense to me in a way that "misery loves company". You don't have to heat a whole house. Get a $10 space heater, like I did, and layer your ass off with clothes, like I do. Be happy! I am going to give my compassionate thoughts to those who are really and truly suffering. Thankfully I don't know anyone who is. But I am going to put it out there in the Universe that those who are without... will find a way ;-)

This is a picture I took of the Godafoss waterfall in Iceland. It's one of the famous waterfalls in Iceland because in the year 1000 the powers-that-be decided to make Iceland a Christian county. If you weren't Christian they threw you from this waterfall.

And don't forget.... Today is Pomegranate Day!!! Pomegranates can be found in the produce section of your grocery store. Here's the video to see what to do with your pom http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKyHx4k1pPc

Ciao

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Weather Languages

Right now it is the same temperature here, in Bloomsburg, PA, that it is in Jaspter, TX.... which is 21 degrees (-6.1C).

The snow stopped here yesterday evening. Right now the sun is peaking out from between the clouds.

I woke up to the sound of, what sounded like a zillion birds, flying by, yapping away. Really I thought that all the birds had migrated down south. Go figure...

Last night I heard the weather man say, "This cold snap will only last a couple more days and then it will warm up." A "cold snap" is unseasonably cold weather. Are they saying that down south? Surely they are getting unseasonably cold weather. I wonder what lingo they are using down there.

I also realized that I will not hear the hear the weather man say the words "coastal eddy". This is said a lot in the spring and summer in California, when the clouds roll in and sit along the coast. It is a big contributor to the "June gloom" in California.

June gloom is just what it sounds like.... overcast gloomy days. No sun shine! Bet you never thought that could happen in California? I lived in the San Fernando Valley which is surrounded by mountains so the June gloom did not make it to my side of the hill. If you lived in a beach community, such as Santa Monica, Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey, even inland to Beverly Hills, you inevitably experienced those days.

Stay warm everyone ;-)

Ciao

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yea, Yea, Yea, It's Cold!

Well in the last 24 hours I have heard from 3 different people in Texas how cold it is. And for those of you reading this blog that aren't in Texas. It is about 32 degrees (0C) right now and it will be going down to 16 degrees (-8.8C) in Jasper, 29 degrees in Galveston (-1.6C) and 20 degrees (-6.6C) in Houston.

Here in Bloomsburg, PA it is currently 28 degrees (-2.2C) and will go down to 16 degrees (-8.8c) tonight. Tomorrow the high will be 23 degrees (-5C) and the low will be 5 degrees (-15C) tomorrow night.

My friends and loved ones in Texas, I realize that this is not normal weather for the south. And you should realize that it isn't like it is going to stay this way for more than a couple of days. I have heard so much pissing and whining about the cold in Texas, actually more pissing and whining than I heard from my relatives who lost everything in Katrina. Maybe the Katrina victims were too in shock to whine. Only one of my friends in Texas will have her job affected by the weather because she has garage sales and people won't come out when it is too cold. I can understand her whining a little. And trust me, I know.... Ya'll hate the cold! It is a different cold down south cause you have the humidity and the cold feels like it goes to your bones. And that is why I am thankful that none of you in Texas are postal workers or construction workers ;-)

I am soooo thankful that I do not let things that I can't control, like the weather affect my happiness. And I would much rather be in the cold because all you gotta do is put every piece of clothes you own on or get under every blanket in sight and you will be okay. Now if you have every experienced heat, like I have in Los Angeles, 119 degrees (48.3C) there is nothing you can do to get cool. Air conditioners are maxed out and won't even blow cold air. Try cooling off the interior of a car that is 130 degrees (54.4C). Ouch!

I love you guys in Texas and know that you aren't suffering... just whining...lol..lol... Be thankful for the down time. Down we all wish we didn't have soooo much to do? Grab that book you have been wanting to read, watch that movie you have been wanting to watch, surf the Internet with a clear conscious that there isn't anything else you should be doing. And know that this too shall pass... nothing ever stays the same..... and this time next week your weather should be back to normal ;-)

This picture is one that I took when I went to Iceland.

Ciao

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mercury in Retrograde Got Me!

Remember Mercury in Retrograde affects communications. Night before last my iPhone died. I was saddened because it was the first iPhone that I ever purchased. There have been lots of newer greater models available. But I still had the original 8G one. Mainly because I love the story of how I got it.

My friend, Max, told me that he was getting one and that I should consider it. I instantly thought, "No way, too much to learn." Max showed me a video about the iPhone and I was blown away. I mean a one-eyed monkey could figure out the iPhone!

The launch of the iPhone was a big deal. Max and I decided to line up at the mail in the early morning 12 hours before the phone was released. The phone was released at 6pm. We arrived at 7am. We were about the 20th in line. I brought coffee, sandwiches and my laptop. Max brought his laptop, a power cord and his work papers. The time went by sooooo fast. Restaurant vendors, from the mall, came out with goodies for us. The Apple employees came out with bottles of water for us. There were camera and radio crews talking to us. Max was a bit grumpy because he had friends in town and had only gotten 2 hours of sleep.

We were escorted into the store in groups of 20. Everyone purchased their phone and left. At that time the only way to activate the iPhone was through iTunes. I knew everyone who worked in the Apple store. I have a Mac Book and had taken a ton of classes there. I purchased my iPhone and looked at my friend the Apple employee and said, "I want mine to work now. I have my laptop." He looked at his boss and they all said, "Let's do it." I opened up my laptop and all the employees surrounded me and Brian, the Apple employee, who was assisting me. There were reporters around and cameras flashing everywhere. And I kept thinking, "OMG they are taking my picture and I look like shit. I have been sitting outside for 11 hours!" I was super excited when my iPhone was on and some guy yelled, "Hold it up!" I held up my iPhone and smiled a big smile and pictures were taken. My iPhone was the first one activated! Like Wow, who knew...lol..lol...

About a week later I went into the Apple store for a class and there right on the wall, super big was a picture of me holding up my iPhone and smiling with the words "The Face of Transformation" underneath. I looked like shit I tell you...lol...lol...

I called my lawyer and asked if they could put my picture up like that without my approval and he said yes. It was taken in there store and it was their property.

A year later the newer iPhone came out and I went in for a class and there up on the wall, again, was my picture. It was funny .... pretty funny.

For some reason I have saved the box and bag from that purchase. Yesterday after purchasing my new iPhone 3GS, with shiny copper casing (just like the picture) I came home and put my old iPhone in it's original box. If I live long enough it may actually be worth something some day...

This is a perfect example of how Mercury in Retrograde affects us. It takes us from one place to another. I would have stayed with my original phone forever it I could have. The new iPhone has lots of things that will make my life better.. like making and editing video right on my phone. How cool is that?..lol..lol...lol..

Ciao

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Heads Up - January 10th - Pomegranate Day = Money

Yipppeeee I got a new tea kettle. Bought the old one back to the store and no problem. I did not get the same kind, instead got something better!

Okay guys and girls it's time to make that trip to the supermarket and get a pomegranate for January 10th.

Approximately 20 years I was a personal assistant for a very wealthy woman. Muhammad Ali lived across the street from her and Lou Rawls was her next door neighbor. She lived in an affluent part of Los Angeles called Hancock Park.

Every January 10th she would take a pomegranate and cut it open. She would eat 10 seeds and put 10 seeds in a piece of plastic wrap and then in her wallet. She said that doing this would insure that you would always have money in your wallet.

I have always, as long as I can remember, had money in my wallet, so I can't say it is from specifically doing this on January 10th. However, I am not going to take any chances and I have gotten my pomegranate all the same.

Here is a youtube video that I made about the pomegranate + January 10th = money http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKyHx4k1pPc

Ciao

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tea Kettles & Snow Flurries

Isn't this a beautiful whistling tea kettle? I purchased it less than a month ago and it is falling apart. I pulled out the paper work and it has a 5 year warranty. I only paid $20 for it. I called today and was told to mail it to Canada and they would fix or replace it. It will cost me $20 to mail it to Canada! I am going to try to return it to the store that I purchased it from, I have the receipt.. but not the box.

It's cold here, 21 degrees (-6.1C) and the high expected today is 25 degrees (-3.8C). We might get a couple of snow flurries. Yesterday I saw a few snow flurries flying by the window, nothing stuck to the ground.

I was talking to a friend, who lives in Texas, and the cold is vastly different down there. Their is a humidity that makes the cold go straight to your bones. Yipppeee the cold here hasn't affect my bones.

I was told that the sun didn't come out here most of the winter. Well... so far it has come out 95% of the winter days. In facts, I see it peaking out right now.

Today is the first work day of the new year so... off to work I go ;-)

Ciao

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pennsylvania 2010 Laws

There isn't a list of new Pennsylvania laws like there is for California. At least, I haven't found any and I have spent hours looking.

I found a couple about driving; you must clear the snow off of your vehicle before you drive so that chunks don't blow onto another driver's windshield; and you must turn your headlights on when you are driving with your windshield wipers on... duh...

I found a couple of tax laws, no biggie there.

I think the point is that there just aren't soooo many people here that you need all those laws.

Okay, maybe all the people isn't the problem. I still, for the love of god, do not understand the California Snake Food law. Everyone knows that snake owners go into the pet store and purchase a couple of live mice and throw them in the tanks for the snakes to swallow whole. So now the mice have to be killed, prior to consumption, in a humane way. What humane way is there to kill a mouse that is going to be eaten? Forget lethal injection, your snake would be consuming the poison. And who is the guy who fought to get this law passed? Is he a big time mice owner? Is he a PETA person gone wild! Let's fight for the mice... now that's the underdog..lol..lol..

A lot of time and money goes into getting laws passed. The people who want to get gay marriage passed should find out who the guy is behind the snake food law, take him breakfast, lunch and dinner and find out what the trick is to getting a law passed. I mean, after all, clearly it doesn't have to have the best interest of people or the economy.

Now if you live in California you are thinking, "Yea, we are head of the world! We know our stuff, snake food is killed in a humane way." And if you are removed from California you look at it and think... "This is not normal." The state is still littered with drunk drivers and domestic violence and but wait... they are way ahead of society in how they treat snake food. Yay!!! California!!!

Ciao

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 New Laws in Effect in California

Every January 1st a large variety of laws go into affect in California. Here's a list of the laws that went into affect.

Air safety: Allows airports to kill birds that pose a danger to aircraft without violating state fish and game laws.

Blueberries: Creates a California Blueberry Commission, to be funded by an industry fee of up to $0.025 per pound of berries sold.

Burial fees: Allows state-owned cemeteries to waive the fees for interment of the spouses and children of honorably discharged veterans if they determine the families cannot pay the costs.

Charter schools: Allows such schools access to about $900 million in voter-approved bond money for construction. A separate law gives districts more incentive to approve them by cutting red tape.

College violence: Allows universities to obtain restraining orders on behalf of students against a person who has threatened them with violence.

Cow tails: Bans the dairy-industry practice of shortening cows' tails unless necessary to protect the health of the animals. Some argue that tail-docking is inhumane.

Delta restoration: Creates a new Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy to oversee restoration of the failing delta ecosystem. Sets goals of "providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the delta ecosystem." Part of the larger water package.

Dog fights: Raises the maximum penalties against those convicted of being spectators at dogfights, subjecting them to as much as a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Drunk driving: Creates a test program in four counties, including Los Angeles County, in which judges can require that first-time drunk-driving offenders install a breath-testing device on every vehicle they own and pass a test on it before the vehicle will start.

Education: Allows school and student performance data to be used to judge the quality of instruction. The change will allow California to compete for federal Race to the Top education grants.

Fat in food: Requires restaurants to use oils, margarine and shortening with less than half a gram of trans fat per serving of regular foods. The standard will apply to deep-fried bakery goods next year. Trans fat has been linked to heart disease.

Football stadium: Exempts a professional football stadium proposed in the City of Industry from state environmental laws, so it can proceed despite a lawsuit filed by opponents.

Fire prevention: Requires government officials to improve guidelines for protecting property from wildfires, including larger brush-clearance zones and better access roads in regions vulnerable to such fires.

Fire safety: In response to evacuation problems during a 2008 wildfire that destroyed dozens of mobile homes in the San Fernando Valley, a new law requires owners of mobile home parks to adopt and post notice of an emergency preparedness plan.

Gangs: Allows tougher penalties, including a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail, for gang members who return to school campuses within 72 hours of being asked to leave.

Gasoline: Increases the underground storage fee paid by gas retailers to help fund grants and loans to those who need to meet tank cleanup rules and install devices that capture more vapor from gas nozzles.

Gay marriage: Recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states before California voters banned gay marriage in 2008 by approving Proposition 8.

Hanging nooses: Makes it a misdemeanor to hang a noose, "knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat to life," in order to terrorize a person who lives, works or attends school at the property where the noose is hung. The law is in response to a series of incidents at California colleges.

Harvey Milk: Proclaims gay-rights activist Harvey Milk's May 22 birthday as a day of recognition and encourages schools to consider commemorating his life.

High-speed rail: Requires the state's High-Speed Rail Authority to prepare, publish and adopt a business plan by Jan. 1, 2012, and every two years thereafter, so the public knows how its money is being spent.

Hospital fee: Imposes a new fee on hospitals to make them eligible for $2 billion in federal funds. The funds are subsidies for Medi-Cal, the state's health insurance program for the poor.

Human trafficking: Quadruples the fine, to $20,000, for those convicted of human-trafficking crimes and allows law enforcement officers to seize traffickers' assets.

Inhalants: Makes it a misdemeanor for a person to sell or furnish products containing nitrous oxide to a minor.

Jail guards: Allows jail guards and custodial assistants to have the blood of people taken into custody tested for specified communicable diseases when exposed to the suspect's bodily fluids.

Liquor ads: Waives rules prohibiting indoor alcohol advertisements in one club that sells the featured products: Club Nokia, a downtown Los Angeles venue owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz.

Mammogram safety: Requires facilities that operate mammogram machines to post any notices of "serious violations" they may receive in an area visible to patients. Serious violations are those posing a significant threat to public health.

Mortgage crimes: Creates a new offense, "mortgage fraud," punishable by up to a year in prison. Such crimes are defined as those in which someone makes "any misstatement, misrepresentation or omission during the mortgage lending process with the intention that it be relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other party to the mortgage lending process."

Office bets: Changes the penalty for participation in a non-commercial or office "sports betting pool" from a misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $1,000, to an infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed $250.

Paparazzi penalties: Allows celebrities and others to sue for up to $50,000 when someone takes and sells their pictures without permission while they are engaging in "personal or familial activity," such as taking their children to school.

Plastic surgery: Enacts the Donda West law, named after the deceased mother of rapper Kanye West, that prohibits elective cosmetic surgery unless the patient is first cleared by a physical examination.

Political spouses: Prohibits political candidates from paying their spouses or domestic partners to work on their campaigns to enrich their own households.

Prostitution arrests: Allows local government agencies to impound vehicles used in the commission of prostitution-related crimes.

Rental cars: Allows car-rental companies to recover from customers an increase made last year in the vehicle license fee from 0.65% to 1.15%.

School books: Expands the use of digital textbooks in public schools by allowing districts to use textbook money to buy electronic viewing devices.

School buses: Extends to school buses the $300 penalty already applicable to commercial vehicles that idle too long. Existing clean-air regulations prohibit school buses from idling for more than five minutes within 100 feet of a school, but the fine has been $100.

School safety: Makes it a misdemeanor to possess a razor blade or box cutter on school grounds.

Talent agents: Prohibits talent representatives from charging advance fees.

Teen voting: Permits a California resident who is 17 to pre-register to vote.

Snake food: Requires pet stores to use specific, "humane" methods for killing rodents before they are used as food for another animal.

Toll roads: Allows toll road operators to use license-plate-reading technology to bill motorists who use their roads.

Used car sales: Bars car dealers from selling a used vehicle until action is taken to cover any previous loan or lease obligations held by a previous owner. Also boosts by $25 fees for dealers' state business licenses.

Vietnam veterans: Establishes an annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day on March 30.

Water management: To better manage California's water supplies, creates a statewide monitoring program to track groundwater levels.

Water softeners: Allows local governments to ban residential water softeners if regulators find that salts discharged into municipal sewer lines pose a pollution problem.

Okay, cow tails, hang nooses, office bets and snake food... give me a break. The bottom line is that all these laws are needed when you have too many people from too many counties in one place. They are also needed to keep the 70 percent of all lawyers in the US that are employed in the state of California with jobs..lol..lol..

Ciao