Can You Have Too Much Money?

As many of you have seen on the news, the celebrity enclave of Montecito, a gorgeous, California seaside town is currently being ravaged by wildfires driven by winds.

If you have ever been to Montecito you would know this is a playground not for the rich but for the wealthy…there is a difference.

Lots of celebrity homes have gone up in flames and it is truly sad to hear about the loss people have suffered.  

Montecito is where celebrities like Steven Spielberg have their third or fourth or probably tenth home.  Oprah Winfrey also has a 42-acre estate there.

I have seen pictures of Oprah’s house in Montecito with her gardens.  Let me just say, I would cry if that house went up in flames, it is that amazing.  Unbelievable really.

But when I was watching television the other night and you know how the local news breaks in as a commercial, telling you what’s coming up on the hour, to try and suck you in to watching?

Here’s what the 5 second commercial said…

“Oprah Winfrey’s dogs just evacuated to the Four Season’s Hotel, news at 11.”

I’m sorry, I had to laugh out loud.

I mean all the devastation and that’s the story?  Oprah’s dogs off to the fancy-schmancy hotel?

Those lucky mutts.

I wonder if they got the presidential suite.

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  1. You did a great job showing just how perspective can be all screwed up…we, the public, NEED to know all about our celebrity idols, and the public wants to know about the celebrity doggies too….guess the news channels know what people will tune in to see!

    It is tragic to see so many homes going up in flames and I hope there are no fatalities.

    Love the line about the pooches being put up in the presidential suite !

  2. Debbie 2

    I feel sorry for all the wild animals in this.

  3. Philly 3

    Like I really feel for the wealthy. They should all pool their money together and help out the poor souls who actually have financial problems.
    Oh and don’t get me started on Oprah !!


  4. Becky 4

    You know, it’s terrible when dogs are treated better than some of the people living in the USA.

  5. Barbie with a T 5

    Until you have gone through a devastation yourself, you cannot imagine just how bad it is to lost part or all of your home. Your city torn to ravages. No matter how much money you have, it is still a terrible loss and it changes your life in a flash. As far as Oprah’s dogs, they just epitomized the phrase “It’s a dog’s life”. Being an animal lover, I worried about the pets and wildlife just as much as I worried about the people and their properties. I always said I would never live in California because of the earthquakes and wildfires, but here I am on the Texas coast in the middle of hurricane alley. Go figure!

  6. It is a lovely and serene area, and a fire is a devastating tragedy anywhere. The media are idiots, and jealous of anyone who has worked hard enough to earn the wealth that comes with building or buying a home there. There is also an utterly gorgeous B&B there known as San Ysidro Ranch, which is surrounded by acres of very lovely gardens. If you are ever in Montecito, it is an incredible treat to stay there overnight.

  7. Laura 7

    my hubby and I have talked about things like this over and over and have determined that even IF we had money like oprah we would not live like she does… but since the chances of that ever happening are between slim and none (not becuase we do not work hard )but because the work we do simply does not pay like that…we dont have to worry about it…I do feel that its a shame to have all that like oprah (just using her as an example not dissing her) and have people not far away living on the streets… it seems that a 42 acre place that I dont know how much time she spends there??? but seems like alot could be done to help those less fortunate… I dont mean hand outs I mean jobs or homes or food … anyway … babbleing as usual…

  8. Those fires are so tragic. And I think Montecito and Santa Barbara are the most beautiful places I have ever seen. And this devastation shows us that money can’t save you from everything. That being said, I would like to come back as one of Oprah’s dogs in my next life;)

  9. Sarah 9

    I’m with KathyB on this one: what is wrong with us that the media thinks we want to know that Oprah’s dogs have been evacuated to a posh hotel? Regardless of whose houses are being destroyed by this fire, I feel for the owners. Let’s all hope that no fatalities occur and that the weather conditions start cooperating with the rescue efforts.

  10. Katrina 10

    Ha! But ridiculous. I feel sick for those with the 500 mobile homes that are gone!

  11. ntsc 11

    Until a few weeks ago I worked for what is probably the largest media company in the world. News Corp may be bigger but I don’t thinks so.

    Eyewitless News gives you (in the general sense, not our dear hostess) exactly what you want to see. As determined by very expensive statistical/biometric studies.

    Oprah’s dogs and Britiney’s panties are far more important than those 500 burned out trailers. Or those still living in them after Katrina or homeless after Ike.

  12. I actually had someone say to me recently that watching all those mansions go up in flames was the most satisfying thing they’d ever seen. I think a lot of people, especially in this economy, are sick to death of the wealthy. It’s difficult to feel bad for anyone who loses a home when you know they have 3, 4 or even 10 more they can go to.

  13. HoneyB 13

    It makes me sick that people have that much money that they have so many homes – and there are people out there that have to sleep in the street. This is a sad sad world.

  14. Marcy 14

    hahaha, that is truly sad… I know she loves her dogs, but who gives a flip that they were evac’d to the Four seasons hotel, geesh..

  15. Trisha 15

    It does make you wonder what the media is doing these days when a story like that is “breaking news!” Of course, I am glad that the dogs got out but – a four star hotel? Really?

  16. Fires are always a tragedy. It’s not something I like to think about. I couldn’t imagine losing my home and “home” to me is a two-bedroom, 980sf, condo apartment.

    But, to look at the other side, my condo is all I have and contains all I have. I have more sympathy for someone who loses everything in one fire than I do for someone who has three other places to live in if one burns down and enough money to replace the one they lost without the fears that come with the cancellation of your insurance policy.

    Why couldn’t the dogs just go to another estate and be taken care of by a loving dogsitter, or even into some dogsitter’s home? I’m sure there are hundreds of teens who could use a few extra bucks.

  17. Stacy 17

    As a Katrina survivor (lived in Gulfport, MS at the time), I completely understand total loss & the devastation which accompanies these acts of God. What I don’t understand is breaking news regarding Oprah’s dogs ~ I am speechless on this one.

  18. Teri 18

    That is my home and my kids were born and raised. Not everyone who lives there is rich and famous just to dispel what is being shown on the media. That is what they would like you to think.

    Santa Barbara/Montecito is rich with culture and has a great variety of rich and poor and in between. That is what makes it such an interesting place. It is very sad to see so many homeless people that live there and then you have your extreme rich (and I do mean EXTREME). But there really are a lot of median income people that live there too. I would hate for everyone to think that it is just full of the rich.

    Most of the original people that were born and raised there don’t have boatloads of money.

    I have moved to S.F. area this last summer, and it was sad to see that area starting to gain such celebrity popularity. I think it really is changing a once quaint coastal town, as I see from the comments and how the media has portrayed this. That is what’s sad.

  19. haha … I thought the VERY same thing. Zac was bummed to hear about Westmont College – he just went to basketball camp there this summer and OMG it’s beautiful. I wonder if they’ll be able to do it there next summer …

    We dealt with the fire here too – but we went golfing (as the photos I posted will show) haha. Those helicopters that they use to dump water with are absolutely amazing.

    The fire fighters of California have my total respect for the job they do.

  20. ELRA 20

    Montecito is beautiful town, we still house hunting here. It is a very sad news!

    Hmmm, that dog must worth millions!

  21. LOL–it’s a sad state of affairs when that’s the breaking story!!

    Very sad/scary about the fires though!!

  22. Good grief. Slumming it at the Four Seasons, eh? Poor pooches.

  23. Louise 25

    yes. amen. so amy it be.

  24. Louise 26

    uh, yes, I can spell a 3 lettr wrd … “may”

  25. Erin 28

    Man! I didn’t even think of moving our pets to a hotel when our basement flooded last spring! WHAT was I thinking???

  26. tipper 29

    Makes you think-and not all good thoughts either.

  27. Leslie 30

    My prayers go out to those afftect by the fires.
    And damn my next life. I better come back as a Pampered pet!

  28. CJ :) 31

    I know – let’s see if all the “wealthy” people in Montecito will donate their insurance settlements to the 500 people who lost their mobile homes.

    Yeah. Like that will happen.

  29. Liz C. 32

    We saw Montecito when we were visiting our daughter. She says the fires are really bad this time. Damn those Santa Ana winds!

  30. I fear the Brute Squad will never see the inside of the four seasons. However, I think they’re happier bunking with me than O’s dogs wondering why she comes and goes all the time.

    That is a shame about all the houses burning. I would have thought the media would have focused on loss of property than where the little dogs are sleeping… Hmmmm

  31. Amazing.

    Did they get doggie room service?

  32. Marjie 35

    When my hubby was a kid, and bellowing at his father that “some day” he was going to be “rich”, his father quietly pointed out that you can only wear so many shoes and drive so many cars. Turns out the old “f**t” was right, my beloved would say. He only has wears 3 pairs of shoes (kicking around, dress and boots), and we have too many cars to drive and keep them all running. As for Oprah’s dogs, I really don’t care. Those people have so much money that it has become meaningless to them, which is why they’re in favor of raising taxes on hardworking doctors and vintners, to whom the money still means a lot! See the movie “The Ultimate Gift” with James Garner some time; it’s horrifying the attitudes of those folks!

  33. Shirley 36

    The sad truth is that many, many people are more interested in Oprah’s dogs being evacuated to the Four Seasons than the fate of average John Smith a neighborhood or two over. That’s what ntsc is saying. You only have to listen to a few people’s conversations about Oprah, etc. to know that is what too many people are interested in. Ugh.

  34. holy crap…poor dogs–in a strange presidential suite…oh n.p…where have i been? how i’ve missed you so…

  35. How is that news? I’d slap someone. Barooo!

  36. Flea 39

    I’d rather not have – as my neighbor always said – more money than God. Just enough is good enough. :)

  37. Gah. Kinda wonder why the Good Oprah isn’t putting PEOPLE up in a nice hotel… ya know, the ones who…

    Extreme wealth makes me tired. Jealous, and tired :)

  38. Hmmmmmm … money burns faster than happiness. I’ll stick with happiness. But wait . . . with God ALL things are possible — that’s the ticket for me! ; )

  39. THe media can’t even say it was a slow news day. With people losing their homes for the press to be concerned about what hotel the dogs evacuate too is just too weird.

  40. Tracy 43

    I am so glad you mentioned the fire fighters. Although no one in my family is one, I too respect the people who do that job and others like it (police, nurses, teachers etc.). They work hard and that is where I think the story should be focused. Thank you.

  41. Kate 44

    Her dogs have more money that I do.

  42. Carol 45

    You know the dogs had the best room in the hotel. They probably kicked someone out to get it too. I do love dogs but it’s funny what’s seems to be important in the news today. Our perspective is so twisted these days.

  43. Yes we are very warped aren’t we? And those pancakes you made in the earlier post are killing me with all that wonderfully gooey syrup on them. WOW!

  44. Bunny 47

    I would hate to see anybody weather they’re rich or not go through loosing a home and everything in it. Putting the dogs up in a posh hotel…somebody’s got a screw loose somewhere, I mean really.

  45. LOL @ the Presidential Suite – lol. She probably did get that suite. And nah, I don’t think you can have too much money – I’m trying to get to that status.

  46. krysta 49

    we don’t take these fires seriously because the news reports that type of crap.

  47. Pam 50

    I was noticing on the news tonight that they were only talking about the big beautiful homes that had burned down and how sad it was…they barely mentioned the 500 mobile home owners that lost everything.

  48. Tammy 51

    I heard the same news spot…actually Jimmy Kimmel did a little spot on his show where they combined all of the news clips about Oprah’s house and dogs.
    Lucky little fur balls…aren’t they.
    The Four Seasons….geez I wish!

  49. Eileen 52

    My husband loves anything pumpkin. I will have to make these pancakes this weekend.

  50. jordan 53

    I was born and raised here and have spent a majority of my life here. Like a comment above it is frustrating that it gets a bad wrap for being a celebrity hub. The truth is that this area is so precious to the ones that have lived there the longest and know the area for its wonderful natural settings and hometown feel. The saddest thing here is watching my hometown be consumed by a fire that took all of us by surprise and was a half mile from my home. Nobody could have expected this and many close loved ones and friends lost there homes in an instant.

    As a sidenote – Oprah’s house is about 25 acres, not 42. Not that it makes it less wealthy, but just a point of reference.

    I really enjoy your site and love your updates on your vineyard.

  51. I never begrudge someone their wealth…it’s their lot in life, and while to me I can’t always see how hard that lot would be with a ton of money, money can’t buy happiness, money can’t buy love, money can’t even buy peace of mind…..not to say it wouldn’t sometimes make life easier…I’m sure they have burdens to bear of their own.

    That said….the media is more who I have my beef with than celebrities…..and the people who contribute money to those media outlets….

    Oh you think it’s horrible what those press people are doing to Britney…but you just bought the latest magazine to read about it…..HELLO we as the public contribute to the problem.

    I once had the privilege to get to know John Spencer a wonderful actor from The West Wing, and LA Law, wonderful man……he taught me a lot in the months I knew him about celebrities and how they live, and how they don’t get to live. Mostly through his actions and not his words. To their fame and their wealth comes a price… I’m just sorry I never got the chance to tell him how much I admired him before he passed away. I’ll always hold his memory dear to my heart.

  52. Yeah, tough life huh.

    It is kinda hard to be sympathetic, but you can’t fault people who have worked hard for everything they have in life…

  53. Mrs. L 56

    I’ve never had a problem with the wealthy and their money. I’ve never felt they should give it all away…as long as they do some charity stuff and are generally good people, hey, it’s their money, they earned it they can spend it any way they want. That doesn’t mean when I hear something like Oprah putting her dogs up at the Four Seasons, that I don’t raise an eyebrow, shake my head and laugh out loud.

  54. Tammy W 57

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  55. I love anything pumpkin. I might have to try this recipe. Although it doesn’t look very easy.

  56. Melissa 59

    I drove right next to the fires in OC and Riverside on Saturday. Devastating. We made it through the 91 East about an hour before they closed the freeway. What a day.

    I can’t even comment much on the Montecito crap. Yes, it’s beautiful and yes it’s sad no matter what. But I really think a lot of people there don’t value what hey have.

    And I feel sorry for the animals when the fires happen every year too. :(

  57. I agree to you. There are other people worthy of the luxury than dogs.

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