A lover will give you a kiss, a friend will give you a hug…but a dog will give you his heart.

Layla and I loved discovering a restaurant where we can both dine together hound and hound.  A place



2022 – Moving ahead

2022 here we go! I like the numbers.  They appear more balanced.

Summing up the year so far…

words to live by

The theme of this year is letting go. Letting go of what cannot be controlled. For starters; to stop putting pressure on myself and on others to do more, be more and maybe just BE is in itself, a bit of a challenge. Expectations have changed big time. Energy wasting explanations too – like letting go of a need to explain when there is really no need to explain.

We’ve all experienced many unforeseen events and changes in the past almost two years and this year will be no different because change is constant and we have to deal with the good along with the bad. It’s only the uncertainty that is puzzling and seems to be trying everyone’s patience. 

This year kicked off with a kick in the chest of a few less people in my life – two amazing women I know have passed.  Even some friendships have changed.  Some have lessened, some have strengthened and one has unexplainably disappeared from my life. Nothing is as it was, and yet everything is as it should be (except finding out about the untimely passing of my friend Ruth). Just trying to accept things as they are is a test to human nature along with a testament to strength.

Humans are disappointing.  We can watch all the blood, graphic violence & soft porn on every day TV shows, but we have to watch our personal opinions on social media.

As the symbolism behind the number 2022 suggests: set priorities in life and use your energy and time on them exclusively. Avoid thinking about unimportant things as this will only waste your time and take away energy that can be used in a much more useful way. Only draw in honest people to your life. Don’t dismiss the importance of lessons from the past. If you are aware of your eventual mistakes, you will know things to avoid in the future. Fear can only block you from achieving what you want, so ignore it. Be fierce, confident, and trust your instinct. For example, our own beliefs and idealizing people that are obviously not good for us can teach us not to ignore what our instinct is telling us. If you trust your gut, that means you believe in yourself.  So believe in yourself!

Alison Bechdel in “The Secret to Superhuman Strength” writes:

“Peel it back far enough and beneath every obsession, every compulsion, every peculiarity of being, every creative act and every destructive act, there is the kernel of some universal human struggle or longing — usually for love or for control, the twin faces of the elemental human heartache: we are born to die, and in the meantime life is one great uncertainty throughout which we are fundamentally alone, no matter the people and possessions we surround ourselves with.

How these universals manifest, however, is to a large extent a product of the time and place into which chance has deposited us.”

In “Superhuman Strength” you can feel that Bechdel knows that she doesn’t have that much control. But perfection is not the point, which is the point. Control is an illusion; the secret is to let go. – part of New York Times book review.

Wherever we go, we take ourselves with us – Walt Whitman.

You can follow the right path or you can take a rocky road – which is okay if it’s ice cream.

Monday Mood: getting in the mood

for Christmas

Only in Palm Springs will you be able to find Christmas Tree Ornaments in the likeness of fashion icons such as Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld, music legends like John Lennon, TV idols like Lucille Ball and sex symbols like Marilyn Monroe.  And of course other frivolous and fabulous embellishments to adorn your modern day tree.

  • ornaments available (or were available because believe it or not, they sell out fast) at just fabulous.  A one stop shop for all things you never knew you needed but you definitely want.

Photos: d. king




The Charm of Old Town La Quinta, Ca.

It’s like Night and Day. photo: d. king

We spent the better part of the day/evening in this amiable little town which is only about a 35 minute drive from Palm Springs and had dinner at a chic Mexican restaurant called…

La Quinta is a small resort city in Coachella Valley, known as one of the leading golf destinations in the States. Known for incredible year-round warm and dry climate and superb shopping, world-class golf at more than 20 golf courses, biking through the valley among the orchards and vineyards, and dining at a number of first-class restaurants.

Summing it up: elegant boutiques, gourmet dining, wine and olive oil tasting bars, art galleries, and charming cafes. Upstairs are offices and businesses, creating a fine balance between work and pleasure. There is always something going on in Old Town La Quinta, such as music on weekends, the Art Under the Umbrellas art show, Taste of La Quinta, and very popular Sunday Certified Farmers’ Market.

Summing it up: sums it up best with the best of the best:

11 Best Things to Do in La Quinta, California

All photos: d. king

Wine Wednesday: Golden Grapes

What’s in a Name?

Golden Grapes, a popular Palm Springs wine festival returned (after a long hiatus) on December 4th, 2021, to celebrate the best of small-lot, organic, bio-dynamic, sustainable wineries throughout California.  Tickets sold out fast.  The event was hosted by two well known local hangouts; Ace Hotel & Swim Club  and Dead or Alive Bar + Shop – both within walking distance to where I live lucky for me.

I have to say I was both surprised and disappointed to discover how little supply of organic wines are available for purchase in any of the local grocery stores here; even “Total Wine” the big wine supplier in Palm Desert.  This was really my main intention for attending the event…to discover fine tasting, organic California wines. That plus the fact this fest is known among industry insiders as a winemaker’s favorite wine festival.

Even though it was small in size, it was still overwhelming since I was not at all familiar with any of the wineries featured.  In actuality, it was hit and miss for me.  As with choosing films at a film festival, the movie title (or wine label here) is what first garners my attention.  After that, I hope the film (wine) lives up to my expectations.  Many times it does not.  All in all I enjoyed this outing on a beautiful afternoon with great views. I was able to pace myself and keep it classy, enjoy small bites in between tastings while people-watching.  My dog enjoyed it too especially when I shared some of my cheese with her.

It was fun to meet the winemakers and taste the Golden State’s distinct and diverse bounty of grape varietal, style, and terroir, from Shasta to Mendocino, Sonoma to the Sierras, down the Central Coast, all the way to San Diego – and everywhere in between.

How it Began:

Palm Springs Wine Fest was founded in 2018 by Dead or Alive owner, and locally-born-&-raised wine merchant, Christine Soto, as a platform to uplift and evangelize small producers and their conscientiously-farmed and crafted wines within the greater desert community. The inaugural PSWF was also held in December 2018 at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, bringing together over 30 winemakers of California’s new-guard to pour their fresh, honestly-made juice for the wine-loving assemblage – and the rest is history.

oh yeah; there was beer too.

The $75 admission included unlimited tastings (although they recommend you keep it classy but you know how that can go), small bites, and expert insights from the winemakers such as:

Ashes & Diamonds, Broc Cellars, Las Jaras, Scribe Winery, Ruth Lewandowski, Hoxie Spritzer, Inconnu, Nomadica, Minus Tide Wines, Forlorn Hope, Roark Wine Company, En Cavale, Iruai, Ardure Wines, Augur Wine Co, Carboniste, Los Chuchaquis, Stirm Wine Co, Field Recordings, Fine Disregard, Lo-Fi Wines, Penville Wine, Thee & Thou, Raft Wines, Little Trouble Wines, Rootdown Cellars, Es Okay, Cole Ranch, Roark Wine Company, Woods Beer & Wine Co, Origin Wine, Two Shepherds and more.

From where I drank

If you love wine and want to experience something unusual and unique, I suggest getting tickets early next year.

Later that evening…

I attended the Bouschet Christmas Party (one of my favorite places for curated wine and tastings, small bites, PS Air Bar) and met a few new friends.

I met Anna Rexia – a flight attendant and entertainer for PS Air Bar.




PioneerTown, CA.

True Grit!

Sometimes you’re in the mood for glamour and sometimes you’re in the mood for something a bit more gritty, or something you didn’t even know you were in the mood for…something like the wild, wild West…which has its very own style of glamour.
Way out in the desert, on our drive back from Joshua Tree, we came across an enchanting Old West Town that was built in the 1940’s and used as a film set throughout the 40’s and 50’s.

a few of the movie posters from what was shot on location here

from the little museum – a rotating display of many movies that were shot in this area.

In 1946, Pioneertown was founded by a group of Hollywood investors, including actors Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. They dreamed of creating an Old West set that was actually a town worth visiting, with 1880s-style false-front façades but interiors that had stuff for visitors to see and do too. Up went (from the outside) frontier stables, saloons, and jails; inside, they housed ice cream parlours, bowling alleys and motels. More than 50 films and television shows were filmed here in the 1940s and ‘50s.






These days Pioneer Town is no longer used to make Old West movies. Instead, it’s a real town with a few houses, restaurants and all the remains of the movie set that you actually walk around.  If you’re an old John Wayne and Western movie buff you’ll probably find it quite worthwhile and exciting.  At the very least you feel what it was like to live that lifestyle.

While location shooting and businesses here have dwindled, you can still see mock gunfights on Mane Street (pun intended). But the most happening place by far is Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, with surprisingly good live music (Robert Plant and Leon Russell have played here) in a seemingly unlikely setting. This must-see desert find also serves up awesome ribs, plus classic Santa Maria barbecue, burgers, sandwiches and salads.

Raising the Bar

Bar Cecil (pronounced sessel) is a homage to Cecil Beaton, a renaissance man who was equal parts rebel and aristocrat, an artist who lived between classical charm and new world rebellion, a provocateur, an Expressionist, and an aesthete who incorporated many mediums to create a style all his own.

THIS is how we like it!

Diane Keaton was a walk in the other night.  Guess she was just looking for a good bar.

Cindy Crawford was there for dinner next night.  The place is a draw…for good reason.

We met John (one of the owners) who very kindly gifted my friend and me some very cool swag.  Lucky us.

Bar Cecil is a love letter to Beaton’s vision of life and art: a celebration of what’s good, of eliminating that which is only pomp, and in the process creating memories through food, drink and hospitality. Bar Cecil is for those who follow the beat to their own drum, horn or whatever inspires them to create, to be individuals, and to embrace diversity. – taken from their website.

YES: we shall!

Day Trippin’ Joshua Tree

We enjoyed the newly expanded outdoor market/fair and shops in downtown Joshua Tree.  I’ve narrowed down from the plethora of pictures taken.  

Starting with “THE END” – that’s the name of the boutique.  Art by owner Kime Buzzelli.
Beauty Bubble” – an operating beauty salon and museum.

This unique vendor-run weekly outdoor artisan market is located in downtown Joshua Tree right off Highway 62 at the Hi-Desert Cultural Center. Started Labor Day weekend and runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm.  We had so much fun perusing the showcase of locally handmade goods, arts, clothing, and many more awesome desert creations as only Joshua Tree can bring you!

Reminds me a little bit of Nelson, B.C.

I bought a hand painted linen blouse & soft hoodie from this vendor.

My neighbor Mindy here in Palm Springs owns this unique boutique – “Kama Clothing.”

Joshua Tree Coffee is the best in the West.

The Art of Bob Mackie 

What does Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday Mr. President” gown, Carol Burnett’s “Went with the Wind” curtain-rod dress and Cher’s show stopping 1986 Oscars look have in common?  They’ve all been designed by the one and only Bob Mackie.

Mackie, the true fashion visionary and icon himself was in Palm Springs (actually he lives here) in person for his latest book signing…a first-ever comprehensive and authorized showcase of the legendary designer’s life and work featuring more than 1,500 photos and sketches – many from Mackie’s personal collection.

Duh; of course I was there!  I was one of the first to buy his latest book appropriately titled “The Art of Bob Mackie” as soon as I was alerted about it via bookstore email.  It’s a fashion lover’s dream book.

It’s just Fabulous!  The book signing was at “Just Fabulous” – a suitably named store here in Palm Springs (link below) specializing in extraordinary books, cards for all occasions and other fun items you won’t see anywhere else.  I dare you to walk in and come out empty handed – won’t happen!

I also bought a Christmas tree ornament and I don’t even have a tree.  You’ll see!  Maybe I’ll get a tree just to buy more ornaments.  Post to come…for me it’s still too early to be shopping and/or posting stuff to do with Christmas.

But getting back to Bob. Guess I’m not exactly on a first name basis with him after meeting him only once. But I feel like I know him. What I mean by that is I remember watching almost every episode of the Carol Burnett Show in my grandparents’ living room on almost every Saturday night for years.  And I remember watching the Sonny and Cher show with my parents. What does this have to do with Bob Mackie? Everything!  He was responsible for every costume for the entire production of the Carol Burnett Show and made all of the costumes for Cher after meeting both Sonny and Cher on the Carol Burnett Show.  And of course it doesn’t end there. From Broadway to Burlesque, his  wide ranging repertoire includes dressing every famous glamour girl and some of the guys for stage, TV, movies and concerts with unique, incomparably stunning and sometimes hilarious creations.

I missed meeting Bob Mackie at the vintage market even though he was there on his own and it wasn’t announced.  He was there and I was there but I really wasn’t there because it was after a pride party the night before so don’t ask so I missed meeting him then.  But I got to tell him at the book signing that I unexpectedly and surprisingly came across a few of his designs at the market (which has expanded since the last time I was here) which I had never seen before.  And to my disbelief, he was completely unaware of that fact.  So I felt like we had a “moment.” A Mackie moment that I’ll remember for the obvious, but also for the fun outside the shop while waiting.









On the Outside looking Instyle