Take inventory....A picture worth a thousand words.

Take an inventory of what you have in your:
This past week, I took my own advice.

The last time I did an inventory was in 2010.

Actually, I told myself I needed to do a new inventory of my stuff once I started reading articles about insurance companies, (specifically State Farm) and how they wouldn't pay out full value (minus depreciation) for stuff that the owners thought was insured. The state of CA has stepped in and is working with them to be sure they will cover what has been decimated.

And since I've been on a 'look at it, then toss it' binge since the beginning of the year, things have changed a bit around here.

Nobody (well, I think a few are out there) expects the worst to happen. But certainly in this past year, where fires were raging up and down California, wiping out portions of citi…

Well done.

This is not a post about doing something good or great.

Just over 2 weeks ago, daughter Sutter came from New Zealand for a visit. I was actually the shuttle driver to SFO and OAK airports for her, either early in the mornings or very late at nights. Oh well.

Trying to please her kind of makes me nervous. It drives her nuts when I say 'I don't know.' Oh well.

Before she showed up, I was heating up some bacon. No, not cooking the bacon. Heating up the bacon. I usually fry a pound of bacon all at once, and then I put it into a plastic container.

Doing it that way, I can heat up a couple of slices of the bacon in the microwave. And I only smell up the house once, instead of several times.

So that was my plan: set the timer to 20 seconds, and the power to 70%.  Then I lugged some laundry down to the washer. Then I heard the smoke alarm.

As I made my way upstairs, getting closer to the kitchen, the alarm stopped. But it was quite smokey. No, it was very smokey.

OMG I had set the…

Change is in the air...

I was emailing with a very dear friend this evening. She wrote to me:

I'm over it.
I'm a one woman show and need a long runway for take off. ______________________________________________________
How well do I know those words, personally,..."I'm over it." 
And then my prayers are answered..or... I wake up to what God has been telling me all along. 
And I know what it takes to lift off when the end of the runway is in sight: full power, flaps down (more drag so it's slower, but more lift to get the plane off the runway, even if it's just a few inches above the runway). Landing gear up once I know I'm out of harm's way, and I pull the stick back, and point the plane upward...maybe moving slow...but the plane picks up speed once I level off...then it's "I'm outta here!"
She wrote back:
Thank you Marilyn. I’m not sure why but this made me cry. Full power resonates.  And yes, God listens. 
My response: 
First this...
Next this...
Then this…

You've got 3 minutes....I used 30 seconds.

I'm not an 'activist.' But I'm a bit interested in my city government. Right now it's a royal mess...I won't go into the details.

But after a meeting of concerned citizens on a Sunday evening, it was plain that we needed to speak up, for the truths and against the untruths (aka rumors, lies, etc), the next day, Monday, before the council met in a closed session.

I came into that city council meeting a bit late but I was able to grab a seat in the front row after I filled out a speaker's slip.

I often like to hear what the others before me have to say. I'll watch the city council meetings on TV..and if I get pissed off enough, I'll either ride my bike or drive there to offer my opinion.

(BTW -  Alameda is very quiet late at night, once the council meetings or the school board meetings are adjourned. It can be cold/windy/foggy/warm/calm, but the night is so still, it's a bit magical.)

I made a statement to the group about being short, sweet, and …


Monday, late morning blew me away. The clouds!

It looked like I was on the other side of the Sierras, in Carson Valley, waiting to fly gliders in the mountain-generated wave. But I wasn't. I was along the San Francisco Bay, near home!

That afternoon I rode bikes with my friend. It was cold and brisk, and the dramatic clouds were replaced by blue sky.

Both Sides Now
Judy Collins Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun they rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels the dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real, I've looked at love that way
But now it's just another show, you leave 'em laughin' when you go
And if yo…

Quality-Control-Culture - And you only cry once.

What's it like to really love your job?

What does loving your job mean?

What if you have 100's of folks working for you? How do you control them?

What if you are the sole operator, in charge of everything? How do you control yourself?

This is about the mega companies to the one-person shops.

-Dyson...I recently called them because my vacuum was making a very loud squealing noise when I took the hose off the vacuum handle to suck up some paper bits. Good news is that they have a repair stop nearby...about 25 minutes away. But the call did the trick. BTW...I've had the vacuum for at least 5 years. Nobody asked me about that...they were there to solve the issue.

The woman spoke English. I was attempting to describe what was happening, in some form of stupid English. She figured it out in short order. Obviously, she was reading from a manual with the 'what ifs' scenarios. She was calm, clear, and made me feel like a hero, rather than an idiot. I needed to clear out the…


I was reading an article last week about a college student who signed up for a class she thought she might do ok in. Turns out it was far beyond what she anticipated.

Hey, I've been there before! What was it way back when? It took a few moments, and there I was: a senior in high school, in Mr. Taylor's chemistry class.

It was my senior year. Lots going on. President of the Pep Squad. Cheerleading. Painting posters for all of the teams. No, not just for the football and basketball teams, but for the swim team, the water polo team, the track team, the cross country team. I'm not sure that we cheered for the wrestling team but I think we did...a team was a team and we were team of cheerleaders and song-girls.

This was the first year anybody had cheered for all of the 'other' teams..and they sure did appreciate it. It was magical. We felt sky-high, because we were doing the right thing. Every 'body' counted: good or not-so-good.

I know it made a difference for …