Penny Palace

Penny Palace

Saturday, December 13, 2014

NO Ho Ho Ho!

This week I won a Holiday Themed Chalkboard which read “Ho Ho Ho”. Since I do not decorate for Christmas, I was planning to bring it home and immediately place it into the “To Be Donated” box.   I was headed out to the garage with it, but decided instead to modify it to express MY sentiments.  It now reads “Bah Humbug!”

I see Christmas as a three-month frenzy of businesses trying to make money.  In addition, many people use Christmas as an excuse to overeat, overdrink, and overspend.  People rush around buying, baking, cleaning, decorating, etc. and get so stressed over it all!  


I choose instead to relax and extend Thanksgiving through the month of December.  No gifting, cooking, decorating, shopping or wearing of holiday sweaters!  Bah Humbug”!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Goodbye Cabin

It never rains in Southern California right?  Wrong.  Today was gloomy and drizzly – just like my mood.  Escrow was scheduled to close tomorrow, Wednesday, the 3rd.   I was planning to go up there, one last time, hold Doc’s hand and wander through the house saying “Thank You and Goodbye” to that wonderful place.  The realtor called in the morning to say everything would be finalized today!  Poop.

I was doing chores around the house and gushing tears when Doc came home at 10:30 a.m.   Doc quickly assessed the situation.  He said, “pack your stuff” we are heading up to the cabin.  My “logical side” argued back at him.  “It would take me an hour to shower and pack the gear for today.  Then it is an hour’s drive up there.  We have a 1:30 p.m. class way out in Fontana. With the rain and the traffic we could not make it on time.  Plus we have a 4:45 p.m. meeting at school.  After that we would need to change clothes in the bathroom; suit and tie (Doc) and a dress and heels (me) to be at a Retirement function by 6 p.m.  That is just way too complicated.”  Doc simply said, “Go get ready and pack your bags”.  I protested; he insisted.

We arrived at the cabin to find the new owner had already parked his trailer in the carport and put many of his tools inside the house.  Since he was not there and the cabin was still ours, we went inside and said our goodbyes.

As we started down the mountain, Doc suggested that we have a nice lunch and a drink to Celebrate the sale of the cabin.  I agreed.  We ordered deluxe burgers at the McDonald’s drive up window.  I broke off pieces and hand-fed Doc his burger since it was rainy and he needed to keep both hands on the wheel while driving.  His “stop for drinks” of course meant Starbucks to get a coffee to keep him awake during class.


At the evening function there were elegant appetizers and desserts served.  There was a champagne toast as well.  While everyone else was toasting the Retiree, Doc and I used that moment to also celebrate the 15 wonderful years of memories which the cabin provided to so many people.  Thank You Cabin!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Moving Out

Today was the final session to take our belongings out of the cabin.  My heart was heavy.  I had written a heart-felt letter ten days ago to the new owner asking him which things he wanted and if we could perhaps meet with him, tell him some of the “stories” about the place and share with him the special Memory Album.  He never responded.
We arrived at the cabin at 11 a.m. and packed up a first load which we transported to the Mountain Thrift store.  We took more than I originally planned because if the new owner was going to be rude and ignore me, then I was not going to be overly generous with him.

My plans were to be driving away from the cabin by 3 p.m.  Doc and I were packing and loading to meet that deadline.  Approximately 2:58 p.m. a guy pulled up in front of the house and asked if Doc was the plumber there to fix things!  I went out to drag Doc back inside when this stranger informed us that HE was the new buyer!!!!!  He was driving from Lancaster back to Palm Springs where he was staying, but he was “nudged” to drive past the cabin.  That would be one heck of a detour!  Was that COINcidence?

I asked J.B. how he had planned to get inside the house.  He said he was merely going to drive past.   So of course we invited him in.  (So much for that 3 p.m. deadline).  I spent probably 45 minutes with him showing him everything from the blueprints of the house to the owner’s manuals, lockbox, controls, cuckoo clock, and of course, the precious Memory Album and Visitor’s Log. 

Doc and New Owner J.B.
I finally asked J.B. why he had never responded to my letter?  He said he never saw it.  That time together was really nice.  My hurt was healed and there were hugs exchanged before J.B. left.  He promised he would take good care of the place.


Remember the COINcidence on November 25th about the cuckoo clock?  It gets even better.  My father had hung the clock on the wall when he visited.  Since I did not know how to operate the weights, I had never heard the clock chime.  When I took down the clock to dust it and get it ready for Neighbor Debbie, it chimed for me!  And the little carved figure came out of the doorway.  Special JOY moment and tears streaming.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Birthday Gifts

Doc has been asking me what I wanted for my birthday today.  I could not think of anything, so the Angels came up with TWO great answers.

Our mountain cabin has been listed for sale these past five months.  Last week we had an offer and the process is in escrow.  We have begun removing our belongings.  There are two items which are somewhat special to me and my heart was “heavy” in not knowing what to do with them.  One is the deer head which my brother gave us because: “No cabin is complete without a deer head” and the other item is a wooden carved Cuckoo clock which my father gave us while visiting there.

This morning I typed to the neighbors who own the cabins on either side of ours and asked if there were any items they might need to furnish their places.  (The guys on one side are new owners and have just completed major renovations).  I asked if they would need furniture, linens, kitchen ware, etc. and then (semi-jokingly)… or even a deer head?   The guys said they would like Mr. Deer!  YAY.  It appears Mr. Deer may have a new home.

This evening Neighbor Debbie responded to my email. Here is word for word what she wrote:

 “What I was really looking for was a snow blower and curtains.... Oh and a koo koo clock, since my clock got stolen…Let me know if you have any of these items.”

How many people have “cuckoo clock” on their wish list?  And how many people have one that needs a good home?  Sounds like another COINcidence to me!

When I told Debbie that I did, in fact, have a cuckoo clock and sent her this photo, she responded with: “I really love it!!!!! How much are you asking for it??  OMG!!!!! Definitely will super enjoy it!!!!!!  I'd be honored to have it!!!!! Totally appreciative and will never take it for granted!  I understand your sentimental value to it and I would gladly hang it up in my cabin.”

Tonight my heart is Smiling with those two unexpected Birthday Gifts – loving homes for Special things.

It really is so much more fun to Give than to Receive.

P.S.  I was about to post this Tale, but decided instead to open a parcel which arrived a few days ago… The parcel contains a gift from a friend – a book entitled “The Story of STUFF and our Obsession with it”.  How funny is that?  COINcidence?

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Reiki, Readings, and Refreshments!
For those readers who were part of the building process of the Penny Palace, you already know how special this place is.  It is much more than a “house”.  The Penny Palace has Purpose: to teach, to shelter, to link people …

Yesterday the Penny Palace was the venue for a teaching workshop.  It was a wonderful experience which connected both old and new friends.

Mandy and Doggies Seeking Shelter
Tonight the Penny Palace is providing shelter for unexpected guests.  This afternoon friend Mandy (who lives at Mt. Baldy) called to say flash floods had just devastated their mountain neighborhood.  She, fiancĂ©e Kyle, and doggies had hiked away from their home with some backpacks and were calling from a local restaurant.  Their cars were hip-high in mud and blocked by their landlord’s car which was totally drowned in mud.  Their street was impassable and it could be a few days until crews could dig them out.

Approximately 9 p.m. Doc and I headed out to see if we could retrieve Mandy and Family. They could not stay at the restaurant overnight.  The road was closed at the base of the mountain.  Police were only allowing residents through.  We explained, showed Mandy’s text message telling us her location and asking if we could come get her, then prayed.  Eventually the police guard let us through saying, “I am making a Huge Exception here”.  Thank You Angels!

We seemed to be the only car going up the mountain.
As we headed up the road, the obstacles and debris kept increasing in magnitude.  Our mini-van would not be able to hurdle the logs and rocks.  We needed a miracle to get through.  Our ‘Angel’ came in the form of a Front Loader.  It appeared just in front of us and cleared the road until we got to our destination. The downhill side of the road was still covered in debris and we assumed we would need to use the cleared lane (in the wrong lane) to traverse back down the mountain.  Not the case.  By the time we left, the downhill side of the road had been cleared as well!  Thank You Angels!

Doc and I retrieved Mandy and Doggies while Kyle stayed to assist neighbors.  We took doggies to the Penny Palace and left Doc to “canine sit”.  Mandy’s parents came from their home in the High Dessert to fetch the Granddogs.  They are available to dog-sit for the next week (not on travel).  Thank You Angels!

Getting Car Keys and Borrowed Wheels
Mandy and I headed down the freeway to Anaheim (about an hour’s drive).  Kyle’s parents had agreed to meet us halfway from their house in order to loan Mandy and Kyle a vehicle.  Turns out Kyle’s parents are leaving tomorrow for several weeks and won’t need that car.  Thank You Angels.

Now with her borrowed set of wheels (and a Luxury car at that!), Mandy headed back up the mountain to fetch Kyle.  I headed to the Penny Palace to prepare their room.  I had just finished the preparations around 1 a.m. when they walked through the front door.  Safe, sound, and a little muddy.  After a nice shower, they were ready for a good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow is sure to bring new adventures.

Grateful to the Penny Palace for its ability to teach, inspire, welcome, and comfort guests.