Phoenix, AZ

Molly, and I spent from Wednesday through Sunday with Mark and Melinda Merrill at their new 2nd home in Gold Canyon, AZ.  We had a wonderful time.  We golfed, went to see Avatar, attended a flea market, and a high end art show in Scottsdale.  They live about 45 minutes south of Phoenix and it took about an hour from the airport to their home.  It was great to spend time with them, and enjoy their home.  We also drove to some small communities, Globe and Inspiration, which are mining towns.  They were pretty sad, but the copper mines were unbelievable.  Miles and miles of huge excavation that has been done over the decades.

The interesting thing about AZ is that it doesn’t look like there is much in the way of land zoning and planning.  There is so much land that it doesn’t appear that much consideration is given to density.

Mark and Melinda's swimming pool
Mark and Melinda

The Happiness Project

I was fascinated the other morning while working out on the bike I was watching the Today show, and Ann Curry interviewed, Gretchen Rubin, who started a blog awhile back that had to do with Happiness, and had asked herself, could you do things to made you happy.  She posted a weekly blog, http://www.happiness-project.com/ and now has 31,000 subscribers, and also has written a book about that experience.  She was very authentic, and her message somewhat matched my New Years resolution.  I still haven’t formed the exact words of what I want my resolution to be, but the general context was to be a better person, which is certainly too vague and not concrete enough, but listening to Gretchen I realized that you could put fairly vague concepts (Happiness) into actionable, and maybe measurable points.  In any event I intend to use this blog this year as I work on this concept.

My first actionable act this year is to be more Helpful.  Not that I haven’t been helpful to Molly, but since this is one point that I have put words and a voice to I consciously have been thinking how I can be more helpful and supportive to Molly.  In the long run, back to Gretchen and the Happiness Project, it seems that if I can be more helpful to Molly, it will also make me happy.  I will continue to report on this weekly.

Chelsey Is off to College

Chelsey left this morning to go back to Boston to attend her final undergraduate year at Northeastern.  It maybe was the best 6 months having her home this time.  We did lots of things over the summer (biking, paddling, out to dinner, plays, etc.).  It was a very entertaining time, and we will miss her alot the next few months.   We also will miss Eric, since we generally don’t see him often while Chelsey is gone.  They are going on a cruise in a few months to the Caribbean, and in May the 4 of us will be going to Mexico (Puerta Vallarta) for a week.  Paul and Bea will also be joining us.

Christmas Season 2009


January 1st, 2010 marks the 14th anniversary of Molly and I being married.  It has been an unbelievable quick 14 years, and 14 years of the best years of my life.  Molly, and I are so suited for each other.  So what did we do on our Anniversary?  Since, losing Juneau last March we both have wanted a dog, but can’t quite figure out how we can do it, living in a Condo.  We have decided that we can make it work, and have spent the last month figuring out what kind of dog we would like.  Molly has spent lots of time on the internet looking at Maltipoos (hybrid Maltese and poodles), and Cavalier King Charles.  Chelsey, has also been encouraging for us to get a dog, and has also spent time with Molly looking on the internet.

We had traveled to Eaglecrest to spend time in our condo there after Christmas, and Chelsey found a place in Bend where they breed Cavaliers’.  We visited the breeders home on New Years day, and saw some really cute Cavalier King Charles.  They are a very loving, docile dogs who want nothing more than to sit on your lap and make your happy.  I think we have decided to get one, and he’s a little boy and what they call a tri color.   We hope that the breeder will keep the dog for one month until he is 4 months old so he can go to the doggie day camp.  Here are some pictures.

Juneau

Juneau Christmas 2008
Juneau Christmas 2008

When we went to Palm Desert on vacation we put Junea in a doggy hotel at Pets Mart.  He has stayed there in the past.  When we picked him up after the week he looked like he had lost alot of weight.  He did not look good.  We took him home to discover that he wouldn’t eat and wasn’t drinking much.

After a couple of days it was very troubling, so on Wednesday I took him back to the Vet at Petsmart.  They took his blood and discovered that his liver and kidney functions were completely shutting down, which was the cause of him not eating or drinking.  The Vet said that it was not good.  I asked if I just take him home and let him die, and she replied that we should not take him home, but rather put him to sleep.  I was distraught, and immediately called Molly, who was in one of the Fred Meyer stores.  She drove immediately home, and I went to pick her up and then back to the Vets.

It was very difficult.  We spent some time with him telling him what a good boy he had been, while Molly held him.  The Vet came in and injected him, and he quietly passed.  It couldn’t have been more difficult or sad.  Molly loved Juneau so much, and he for sure loved her the most.    When we got home she called Chelsey, who also was very sad.

Juneau lived a very good life.  He was well loved and cared for, and we think he was very happy with his life.  For days afterwards our actions and things we did seemed to be missing something because Juneau had always been a part of everything we did, whether eating, watching tv, going to bed, or whatever, he was always there.  We still miss him.

Vacation – Palm Desert

Molly, and I went to Palm Desert a couple of weeks ago.   We had a terrific time golfing, shopping, and having wonderful meals.  Since, Molly sleeps in a little later than I upon rising I would go to a Marriott Resort have coffee at their Starbucks, and read a free Wall Street Journal.  It was a wonderful way to begin the day waiting for Molly to get up.

Typically, when Molly would get up we would go work out at the Golf club where we were staying.  The work out facility wasn’t great, but completely satisfactory.  After working out and breakfast, we would clean  up and enjoy a relaxed day.  Other than golfing we never had a specific agenda, and that was perfect.

One reason we went to Palm Desert this time of year is that there is an annual art fair in Indian Wells.  It has lots of wonderful art and all the booths have the artists.  We met a vendor of Molly’s wife, who is an artist at the fair, which ended up in all of us going to dinner in an Italian Restaurt in El Pacseo.  We didn’t purchase any art, but had a great day just looking around and getting better ideas of what we like.

The weather was in the low 80’s every day, and we plan to go back again.  Its the perfect vacation for us.

Marketing News

Recently, I participated with a marketing agency hired by Atwater Place to  publicize Atwater’s strategy of allowing prospective buyers to have a “sleepover” in one of the towers.  Before we purchased we were offered the opportunity to spend a weekend in the John Ross, another adjacent Condo tower, also owned by Gerding Edlen Development (GED).  It was a terrific weekend, and allowed us to have some since of what living in a condo near the city would be like.

Fortunately, on the weekend we stayed the weather, which had been horrible, turned absolutely beautiful.  When I got up in the early hours the sunlight played in the floor to ceiling windows, and you could see both Mt Hood, and St Helens.  It was spectacular.  A gift basket was given to us with coffee, cheese, wine, etc.  Additionally, we had certificates at the Japanese restaurant La Hana in the Merriweather complex.  It was a wonderful, and free weekend.  Never mind that we soon were back in mortgage debt.  Here is the link.
http://www.newspronet.com/products/feeds/Heads%20Up/0902/15461-%20Sleepover%20Showings.wmv

Push Up Program

I have gotten the family into another fitness routine and this one is a toughie.  We have started the hundred push up program

Rod started out saying that push ups were easy and no problem.  He decided he was good enough to skip the first weeks because they were “too easy”.  Week 5 proved to Rod that this program was not for sissies.  Madre started the program unable to do 2 “boy” push ups, but she is determined to complete the program.  The goal is to complete 100 push ups in one shot.  I am having to take the program a bit slow.  I made the first 2 weeks on level 3 and then on week 3 I had to repeat the week.  Week 4 I did level 2 and then level 3.  Not only are Rod and Molly doing the program, but I have convinced my boyfriend Eric to do it too!  He is ahead of me on week 5 level 3.  Everyone in the family can tell a noticeable difference in our strength and muscle definition.  It may only be a few minutes, 3 times a week, but this program is truly hard.  Wish us luck as we strive for 100!

Malone family Christmas Dinner 2008

Navarre, Sherry, Shem, Micah, & Erica
Eric, Navarre, Sherry, Shem, Micah, & Erica playing Wii

Christmas celebration for the Malone family was held on Saturday, December 20th, 2008.  It was a marvelous day, and truly a white Christmas because it had snowed for a couple of days.   We were nervous that the day might not happen if family couldn’t get here, but everyone had chains, and had no problems coming or going.  While everyone was here,  it snowed several more inches.  But it added a cozy, charm to the day, and it was beautiful from the Condo.

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Snow on Condo West Terrace

Of course the real charm of the day was Navarre.  He was great all day, as he explored the condo, played with toys, and  the buses.  Periodically, throughout the day we went around and looked at the clocks.  He is truly fascinated with them, and loves to oberseve the movements, and listen to the tick, tock.  He is a terrific, but willful boy.

Chelsey and Navarre
Aunt Chelsey and Navarre
Navarre
Navarre

Christmas presents were exchanged, and we had dinner, which consisted of Prime Rib, twice baked sweet potatoes, a wild rice dish, a spinach, fruit salad.  Quite good.  I was a little short on the prime rib.

On the actual Christmas day, Shem, Erica and Navarre spent it with her folks in Eugene.  Micah spent Christmas eve with his mom, and then Micah and Sherry spent Christmas afternoon, and the evening with Molly, Chelsey, Eric and myself .  After dinner we all played games (dominoes, and cards), and very much enjoyed ourselves.  Micah left for Florida the day after Christmas to be part of a friends wedding.