Tuesday, September 29, 2009


It had been quite the week. Home in Vancouver, Washington deciding what things I wanted to take with me to Palm Springs. I will be working in Palm Springs to help bring back the Rodeo after 22 years for the next seven months. At the same time, I will be keeping my speaking, training and writing career on track. In fact, already have some speaking and training gigs lined up in the Coachella Valley.

My next-door neighbor, Betty, made sure I was fed before I began the 1080 mile drive. Once the car was loaded, we walked to the newly remodeled deli at our condo complex. It was good to relax a bit and spend some alone time with Betty, who helped me out tremendously during the last week….even down to doing my last laundry.

Decided to drive on I5 --- hadn’t done that in years and even though people comment how boring the drive is in California, I was sure I could find something to keep my interest. I had forgotten how beautiful Oregon was and marveled at the mountains. Which triggered in a mental note, make sure you do not drive home in the winter time—the mountains could be a bear to get across.

I saw the Rogue River for the first time --- and noted all the businesses with recreational activities. No wonder people like to come to this area. Literally, the pine tree scent floated into my car.

I stayed in Medford, Oregon (near the California border) and it was there I picked up Harry. At first he frustrated me because he was constantly moving. It was like he wanted to be sure I was paying attention to him. Then he quieted down.

So the journey continued through more beautiful mountains. A couple of times we went off the road and drove through some historic western towns. In one town, I found the belt buckle that was perfect for me. If I am going to be a cowgirl part of the time, I need to look the part.

Our journey continued. Wonderful rest stops along I5 --- Well shaded, clean, though miss the coffee served by volunteers like we have in Washington and Oregon. Harry continued to bug me, yet, at one point glad to have his company because I was in need of afternoon nap.

Thought for sure he would want to get out in Sacramento, but he decided to stay with me and journeyed with me the Harris Ranch. I had heard about this place on “Sunday Morning” and was determined to get there so I could see the place and have one of the outstanding dinners they talked about.

We arrived about 7:00 p.m. Went to a dining room and decided to sit at the bar. It gets lonely sitting at a table all alone. Harry decided to stay in the car. Before long, Jon, sat down beside me – he was on a road trip to San Francisco.

Jon is a distributor of Belgium chocolate. His main client is Trader Joes’s. Now with a daughter living in Belgium you can imagine how easy it was to strike up a conversation. Before long we had agreed to exchange my book “It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask” for some chocolate. We shook hands and agreed that we would talk more about working out a way his chocolate could become part of the Rodeo events. As my Mom would say “There’s always a way.”

Harry and I drove down the road about twenty miles and found a nice place to stay. I had driven about six hundred miles and had filled my head with many new ideas.

This morning, I put my bag into the car and Harry greeted me. There he was all bright and chipper and I hadn’t even had my coffee yet. So looks like Harry and I will continue our journey all the way to Palm Springs. We should get there about 2:00 p.m.

At first Harry irritated me, I did everything to get rid of him. Asked him to stop bugging me and tried to shoo him out at each rest stop. Nothing worked. At one point, I just gave up and smiled to myself that I fortunate to have the company. Harry, my new friend, is a wonder, irritating and friendly fly.


When you cannot remember for sure what you heard in a conversation, write down what you thought you heard and send it to the other person for a review.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


So where is the Coachella Valley? Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and Indio are all part of this valley that is surrounded by majestic barren mountains. This area is truly a desert. It is not uncommon to see front lawns of home covered with white rocks, cacti and other plants that are drought resistant.

I arrived August 4; right at the beginning of what locals say is the two hottest months of the year. You ask, “How hot is it?” I had the wonderful pleasure of being here when the temperature soared to 118 degrees—the hottest ever here. I had just left Vancouver, Washington where we hit 107 degrees – a record for there. Good thing I would rather be hot than cold.

When the heat soars, you quickly learn to run your errands as early in the day as possible. One day, I decided to go out about 2:00 p.m. – a mistake, I could hardly touch the steering wheel on the car. You would not consider leaving for any trip, no matter how short, without a least one water bottle filled.

Interesting I, thought that, perhaps, my stainless steel water bottle would end up sweating. Wrong, the humidity is so low here, averaging about 14 percent, there is never any condensation on anything. Yes, you have to make sure you use lots of lotion to keep your skin hydrated. Of course, it is imperative that you keep drinking lots of water.

Style in Palm Springs

Fortunately, friends immediately took me under their wings and helped me look like a local instead of the visitors to the Valley.

First thing – the small tiny earrings had to go. Sure enough, I looked around and earrings routinely are at least two inches long. Since I am one who always wants to know “why”, I kept looking for the reason so many people wore long earrings, since often they are heavy. Figured it out – it is too hot to wear necklaces, so the earring becomes the chief accessory of your outfit.

By the way, I have discovered Earlifts http://tinyurl.com/n6txyx They are little seal-like patches that go on the back of your ear and the pierce earring goes through it—giving your earlobe support.

Cotton is the fabric to wear. Long flowing skirts are the norm. Our tops are often man-made fabric for we want a little more style than tank-like tops. Local men wear khaki colored pants and modern Hawaiian-like shirts. This time of year, at least, I have not seen a jacket on either men or women at business meetings. At formal meetings, men do wear a long-sleeved shirt and tie.


Since our lives continue to move at a fast pace, it is a good idea to place a phone call or send an email to remind people of a scheduled meeting. Especially important if the appointment has been made more than two weeks ago.