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Showing posts from 2015

Pre Thanksgiving.

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It was the day before Thanksgiving and all over the house, the place had been cleaned except for the foyer and the front porch.

I dusted the inside, cleaned the hardwood stairs, took out my vacuum and made it as bright as a torch.

The windows were cleaned by Mr. Sparkle, within and without.  But the cobwebs, dust, and leaves outside were very abundant, no doubt.

As I looked around and thought 'ugh....how should I proceed?' I wasn't into ladders or brooms. There must be something else I need.

Hey, there is! I have an extension-pole with a dust-cloth that will take down the 'webs. Could it work outside? Maybe not, I thought with some dread.



I swung the pole around making my efforts look simple. And the grin on my face surely showed a dimple!

Now, looking at the inlaid-tile porch wondering what else I could do? Blowing was not an option. It would only blow back. Would my Dyson vacuum suck it all up? Give it a try, what the heck.

Out came the Dyson. I turned on the switch…

Therapy.

I've mentioned before that Carl and I wanted to do something together, that neither of us had done before.

And thus we discovered our local municipal golf course. And we took lessons based on Carl's good friend, Scott's, recommendation. He told us to call Woody Woodard. We had a weekly lesson with Woody, both of us at the same time.

For both of us, golf was a form of therapy. It got us out of our own way, and into other people's ways (the wayward balls, skiffs, scuffs, and wild swings). It got him away from his yacht designing biz. It got me away from my real estate biz. Not for long...but we did get away.

Because Carl was left handed and I wasn't, when we practiced, we would face each other. We would try not to make faces about our own inadequacies or swings. Often we would be super-frustrated in only the effort of trying to hit that small ball, short or long distances. And of course we would just start laughing at each (with) other.

So it's been almost 14 yea…

Rats, traps, false fears.

This last week I had Rudy, my go-to furnace person, do his annual check on my heating devices. Everything seemed good as gold except I hadn't washed off the filters, but I have now.

Then he dropped a bomb on me. Well, not a real bomb. He told me it looks like I have rats in the basement...and he showed me the evidence - their droppings. Oh no! "Yep, get yourself a rat trap, set it up along this piece of wood, come in and check it daily, and then toss it if a rat gets in it."

My response..."How many rats? I've never set any trap for anything."

His response..."They've made a better rat trap, these days. It's black, it's plastic, and it's easy to set and it even has a place for the peanut butter you put in it."

My thoughts...sure. Right. That's great. Now who am I going to find to set a rat trap?

So it took a few days for me to get to the hardware store because I was so busy. No, that wasn't it. I didn't want to set a trap…

Moving on by moving out.

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I've had the honor of helping three recent buyers purchase houses. And everyone has a unique way of moving. Sharon moved to the west coast all the way from WA DC. Now that's a move. And it was 30+ years of life she was moving.

My other two buyers were able to reap the benefits of Sharon's move by getting newsprint-style wrapping paper to protect their stuff (bags and bags of it), and boxes of all sizes. It is so much fun to watch others pack, unpack, and then give what they no longer need to others in need.

Along with that, most of us have known folks who have rented storage units. Maybe you are one. I was one. After my husband passed on, I rented a storage unit nearby, piled the stuff into it, and then I pretty much forgot about it.

Except for the monthly bill. Month after month after month. I'm not sure how long I had it. One assumes that all is well..even if one doesn't check in on it. And it was. And I imagine that is how it goes for all of those who rent stora…

How do you get through a life without.....

....a daughter or son who has been brought up in the tech age?

I was working at my computer the other night, and suddenly the internet wasn't working. What? Doesn't Mr. Internet or Ms. Google understand that I have work, real work to do? 

There was no explosion, no flames, but there was...nothing. Not a blank screen: my computer was working.  But the silence of a screen not connected to the internet can be deadly to those who can no longer see it or hear it or function without it.

Just to be sure I tried to play free cell (the solitaire game)...nada, zip, nothin'.

So I gave son Evan a call. Turns out it was Saturday night and they were in the desert for a small company event. I don't even ask these days about what that involves. For the most part, he has to dumb it down so much, I just feel guilty about him having to do that for me.

Now, I've needed to say several times in the last week, to various folks,..."I may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, …

Grinding on the PGA tour....

My golf teacher, Woody, introduced me to his good friend, James Hahn today, while he was hanging out at the muni golf course in Alameda. James is a legend around here...not only because he plays on the PGA Tour but because he's so nice! Such a regular guy!

James was born the same year as my son, Evan, who also plays golf. James is married and has a son. Evan is married and has a son. James lives in Scottsdale. Ev & Erin & Cadel,,not so much. (Ev has inherited his parents coastal CA climate tendencies.)

Here we were in the teaching shack. I felt a great sense of comfort while sitting down, jawin' with James. I asked him lots of questions and he answered every one. But the thing that sticks with me is how grounded he is.

I asked him how long he thinks he'll play. Answer: hopefully for a long time...but as he said..there is no guarantee of that. He said it's a grind, but he didn't say it maliciously...he just said it's a grind. You can have a great year, a…

It's getting darker sooner...

I don't know why I'm so shocked...it's fall, and it's getting darker in the evening. Each week I keep turning the light timer lights on sooner and sooner and sooner and.....

I love the autumn season. It's so... autumn-y. The sky shifts into high-gear as the sun sinks lower into the southwest sky, with loads of color. The light this time of year is more brilliant to me.

Just last month I was riding my bike during the evening hours on errands. And it was light coming and going! Now, I'm riding in the dark and it's just... blech.

My friend Meredith and I have taken to riding bikes once per week. She comes over when she's off work (she commutes to her job here on the island, via bike most days). She pedals over to my house on her two wheeler steed.

I join her as we take a quick tour along the beach, wave hello/goodbye to her dad as we go by his house, talk about the weather, rain (we hope), her kids, work, my kids, my grand-kid, where we've gone or plan…

Road trips...

880-580-5-405 
880-24-680-80-50
Not social security numbers. Not phone numbers. These are roads leading to destinations, aka freeways.
In the last couple of weeks I took some time away with my computer because I can't seem to stop working (i.e control freak). Now I mostly travel by myself. It gives me time to think about what I want to write in this blog, or just be more observant of what is going on around me.
As Carl and I used to say...we would never retire because we liked (loved?) what we did! Well, he took non-retirement to a new level (heaven)...and I expect we will meet up at some time!
We also used to say...a change of pace and a change of scenery...go a long way towards making everything seem worthwhile and balanced. Back in those days, I came up with a scheme that we should go away for 2 nights, every six weeks. And we did! And those breaks were much needed and quite wonderful.
When I traveled to southern CA recently... son Evan told me I can beat the traffic if I leav…

WERK

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I don't know if the writer of this word 'werk', meant the word 'work.'

I was riding my bike along the beach a couple of days ago, and saw 'werk' scrawled across the pavement. Then I saw some other words that indicated a running race had been run in that area recently, "Keep going!'  "You got it!"

Today I decided to take a photo of it, if it was still there. And it was, so I did.

Then while I was driving home, I heard about the mass shooting in Umqua, Oregon. And the air was knocked out of me. Really? Again? I couldn't get the story...there was so much going on with the fiasco.

I was able to put it out of my head. And then I heard it all over TV. And now, I've heard a repeat of President Obama's press conference. And I saw the photos of those grieving. And I sank lower.

I'm not sure about what I can do about this. But I'm not going to stand by and just watch. I'll just be one voice. Or one voice of millions. I do kn…

How dare they....

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I'm angry. And I don't even own a Volkswagen. But at one time I did.



It was a '67 VW bug and I got it for a graduation present from my parents, in 1971. They told me how much money I could spend and I was on my own.  Then in 1984 an older woman ran a stop sign and that was that. A signal has replaced the stop sign. A Ford Escort replaced the car.

Most recently I had an Audi A4, for 13 years. I could have bought another Audi with the money I put into that car. Looked good. Drove great. When it wasn't in the shop. And I was over it.

But what VW did to its diesel cars is unbelievable. They fooled all drivers, thinking that they were buying a cleaner car that did not exist: cheated by software which dodged the US emissions tests. That's the tip of the iceberg....the rest is way below the sea..and I'm sure it will all be exposed.

My experience with German engineering has been replaced by Japanese know-how and lower prices and long lasting parts and ease of maintena…

Look up.

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Wherever and whenever I am riding my bike...I usually keep my eyes on the road or the path. That's a good thing.

But when I turn my head around...I am constantly I am amazed at what I see. Sometimes I a flip u-turn and go back and see what I just got a glimpse of.

Here are some of the things I see:

~The folks sitting in front of Peets or Starbucks, watching the rest of us go by. I think that must be nice to have that type of time to sit and sup.

~I see folks carrying their treasures from the Farmer's Market.

~I see people waiting in line to see the newest movie craze.

~I watch babies being tucked into their car seats.

~I see folks smoking cigarettes: not quite all the way into the street but 20 feet away from the building they live in, so they won't be hassled by by the non-smokers that live in or around the same building.

~I see people dumping their trash into streets...they think that nobody is watching (well, dude, I'm watching you). Sometimes I stop and pick up th…

Recipes and drains...

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I loved this Labor Day weekend. I was emailing with Sutter that it seemed like a gift from God, so I could do my personal work. And I did...but there is more scanning and filing still to go. I've made a small dent in the huge pile of receipts and bills.

But I also realized that once fall shows up...I get into my maintenance mode.

So on Friday, the beginning of the long weekend, I started cooking a bolognese. I got all the right ingredients, fresh stuff when the recipe called for fresh.

My friend Lenny (the lender) gave me the recipe and said he would spend Saturday cooking it for his honey, Carrie.

Once that sauce was simmering (for four hours), I took out one of my used toothbrushes (I save them not for my mouth, but for cleaning small places). And I shoved it into the bathroom sink. Blech! What I put in was off white. What I pulled out was perfectly black.

Time to do my homemade magic. This recipe is inside one of my kitchen cabinets. And here are the ingredients that make it wor…

Um..you've got water (leaking)

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I had an article about water leaks in my real estate blog. I subscribed to a company that provides additional filler for blog posts during the week, when I'm working.

We did have a leak. And I didn't know it. The tankless water heater for the tenants' use was starting to give warnings about wanting to stop working...and when I called the plumbers who installed it about 17 years ago (a very healthy run for a water heater's life), that's when they found the leak. On my laundry room floor, blending in with the floor, just where I wouldn't walk.

So I had the guys come out and change both of the water heaters. All is well.

But Jessie, one of the plumbers, notice the big bulletin board that was covered by a map of the United States. And tacks were placed all over it. It used to be hung on the wall in the hall, but it was resting against one of the walls in the laundry room.

He wondered if we had been to all of those places, marked by the tacks. Yes, I said. Those are…

Fore!

I hate getting up early.

I've been gone the last two and a half days, and I didn't sleep well, even though I felt treated like a queen at the hotel I stayed at, in Napa. Long days in a seminar, and longer nights with work.

Today! I needed to get up at 6am so I could head out to the golf course about 6:30, hit some balls and then have an 'on-the-course' lesson with Woody. Both of us needed to cancel in the last 6 weeks due to surprise obligations...and one of mine was a broken water heater that serviced our tenants. That should be healed completely by tomorrow afternoon.

We didn't know that there was a golf tournament today with a shot-gun start (foursomes start on a specific hole and then play 18 holes from that spot). Gun goes off, play begins. "Let's start over at 13 before anybody shows up," said Woody. "At least we'll get 6 holes in."

There went my excuse. Oh well. Nice morning, not hot, warm sun. Just relax a bit, Marilyn. You can d…

Shake it up.

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We had a bit of a bump in the morning on Tuesday. It woke me up at about 6:30am. By the time I realized we'd had an earthquake, it was over. I'm not sure how anybody could sleep through it..but some did. This was a bit of a wake-up call for me, in more ways than one.

I needed to reorganize my car that day to put some golf clubs and two pull carts for me and a friend with whom I was playing the short course here in town. I keep my own clubs in the car.

I took out a lot of my real estate stuff: a crate full of debris, ancient maps (those have now been tossed), sign riders, twist ties, all kinds and colors of tape: blue paint tape, gray sticky tape, clear tape, electrical tape, and my caution tape.

I use the caution tape to stop folks from going out onto decks, stairs, anytime they might slip, tumble, or slide. And with photos as close as my phone, I'll take pictures that I've put that caution tape up and around, in case they still get out there and do dumb things.

Once …

Golf and therapy...lessons and sessions.

Some you know this...others could care less (of course the 'others' don't read this blog).

I had a lesson with my golf instructor, Woody, today. I usually have these lessons once a week. Last week I had a water-heater issue at the house so I needed to cancel my early morning 9-holes-on-the-golf-course-at 7am. That lesson goes about 2 hours.

I call them lessons. I should really call them sessions. I don't know how much a 'real therapist' charges but I imagine it's a lot more than what I pay Woody!

While I'm trying to work on my swing (start taking the club back and bend my left wrist as soon as I move my arms, in order to re-route my back swing and loop it like a Jim Furyk copycat (and good luck with that happening), we start talking about his ((Woody's, not Jim Furyk's)) bathroom remodel, and E&E&C (((Evan, Erin, Cadel))) who came by my place for a couple of days and then headed back to San Diego.

Argh! I think I need Nana lessons as wel…

In the box....

Every time I go into the laundry room, I sigh.

It's organized enough (maybe not for daughter Sutter, but she lives in New Zealand, so she doesn't have much to say about how I choose to live). I love you Sutter!

I have enough clothes so I don't need to wash them so much these days, due to the drought conditions and restrictions for water use, that we are all under. But still I sigh. I sigh because I have neatly laid some clothes that need mending over the chair that I sit on, when I'm sewing. And they've been there for months.

The last time I attempted to sew I broke a needle on the machine. But something else happened at the same time and nothing would work. I sighed. The sewing machine had belonged to my mom. I don't remember her sewing. But it was her's. And then it became mine. I did some sewing when Carl and I were first married. And then I only did mending on it.

This sewing machine was a member of the heavy metal rock band...it was pure iron (like Iro…

Back yard woes and wonders.

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The tomatoes are growing along fine, thank you, without much help from me.

The basil has died, with no help from me, this year. It outgrew its container, and then fell off the low brick wall and broke the pot, as though to say to me...'See what you haven't done? Now I'm dead.'

The sprigs of spearmint have now turned into stalks of trees, with no help from me. The couple of times I used it in iced tea was nice.

I let the orange/yellow peppers grow back from seeds that I never took out of the container last year!

I'm not quite sure why I planted so much lettuce all at once. All of it went to seed and eventually all became stalks of lettuce. They fell over in their containers.

This is my worst year of container gardening (which I've done for several years). I suck at it.

Maybe the drought is affecting me, and not the veggies.

The roses in the front and back yards look a bit rasty and ugly, but they've been around for a few droughts over the decades, so they s…

We're here!

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The last few days have seemed a bit like Chevy Chase's Family Vacation around here. That movie is on my mind because it's being (re)released with a new cast and the same premise.

Instead of heading to Wally World in Florida, my guests left Florida and came to California. Instead of a car trip, they carried plane tickets. Instead of taking cabs, they used Uber to get around San Francisco.

My brother (Tim), his wife (Kim), their two college-aged kids, plus two of their family friends came to the house for the last 3+ days. Delaney (son) is in his second year at Vanderbilt, and the daughter, Teddy (named after her great grandmother, Theo) is in her senior year of high school.

Teddy's two gal pals, Caitlyn (she had her name long before Bruce Jenner did), and Caroline, joined the family-venture while they toured college campuses. It's all alphabet soup...USC, USD, USF. Then they pulled out the big guns - Pepperdine and Stanford.

Not one disparaging word was heard out of any…

Box full of books...

I had the opportunity to get over to a house that was being packed up. The owners had sold their house to my client and they made an agreement to stay on (hold over) for a specified time.

Prior to the closing, I needed to go into the house with my client's son to be sure all was well. I made an idle comment about Mrs. Seller's Nancy Drew books in a bookshelf, and how I loved reading them when I was in grammar school, specifically the 4th grade. I guess I saw 6 of them in a bookcase.

Here's my diversion:

I remember writing one of my first "newsy" newsletters to my real estate clients. All of my previous newsletters were all about facts all of the time. So this seemed a bit of a stretch for me.

It was about me thinking I was Nancy Drew, driving a car (at that time I had an Audi and Nancy had a roadster) going wherever I wanted, with my computer and a soft-type suitcase, and some credit cards.

Right, I get that Nancy Drew didn't have credit cards and she had a ha…

Ctrl Z and Do-Overs

I learn by doing. If there isn't a goal out there for me to meet, it seems that just 'learning for the sake of learning' does not suit me.

I think that's one of the reasons Carl, my late husband, chose to go to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Their motto was/is Learn by Doing. Plus his sister and her husband lived there and attended the same school. He thought so highly of them.

Learning by doing, he had more than just book, pencil, and paper skills. (No computers back then for any average students -they didn't exist). Those structural engineering classes he told me about could be a bit dangerous. They often had to do projects outside in the dark and get them done quickly, kind of like a T.P. job at a friend/enemies house. Quick and dirty.

One night the cops came and almost arrested those in the class, but they talked their way out of that event..because they were at a school setting up some equipment they had made for the kids. Not so sure about doing that these days. …

Geek freaks. Not me.

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I just got tired of Chrome crashing. Other things were not as they should be.

After speaking with daughter Sutter, who came up from down under for her annual meeting in Boston, I mentioned I might get a Surface Pro 3. This week I bought it. Today it works just fine!

I've mentioned The Neighborhood Computer Guy at least once before in my blog posts. He really considers himself an Apple/Mac guy. Sutter considers herself an Apple person. I thought my Lenovo was about 4 years old. "Uh, no," Kyle said. "I think you got it in 2009!" Really? In my version of time, 6 years is now about 100 years.

I don't ever want to say I'm too old to change or that change is hard...but both Kyle and Sutter (a Project Manger for a tech company) said if I wanted to stick with Windows, the Surface would do fine. I'll take that all the way to the bank...no, I can't do that...I need to withdraw from the bank to pay for this.

In just about 3 hours he did what companies take…
Do you have a great friend...that one person is always there for you...but you don't often have the chance to socialize with that friend? You both are so busy. But you are within easy driving distance of each other. But you are both so busy. And so it goes.

I do have that great friend. Actually I have many of those great friends.

The one I'm specifically talking about is someone I've known since I started my career in real estate. She has been there every step of my life, through thick and thin, through death and life. Through Carl passing on (over 13 years ago), and when Cadel was born (almost 1 year ago); helping me clear out my dad's and his wife's home in 3 days in S CA along with her good friend Donny; through real estate transactions, through my kids' adventures and marriages, through the body massages that we get when life gets just a bit much. She is my dear friend, Debbie.

Debbie is a clean freak. She makes me look like a complete rag-doll-mess. A coup…

'Water gratitude' or 'The good old days have come and gone and they ain't comin' back.'

It's time for some water-saving gratitude...and it's not even Thanksgiving.

I'm grateful.... that I  haven't washed my car for over 5 weeks (even though I want to). It's a mess but nobody seems to care because of the drought. But I expect that condition will change this weekend (I mean the filthy car condition, not the drought). And yes, I do use a nozzle with an instant shut-off trigger, and I only fill the wash bucket half empty.

I'm grateful that I can take a shower and be smart about it. I turn the shower off immediately and wash my hair, so the water isn't going down the drain. I simply picture myself on the stern of an Express 37 sailboat racing to Hawaii, with 5 of my best boyfriends (including Carl who designed the boat). We each take turns on the stern, squirting with the hose sprayer, and soaping up, and wiping down. And feeling absolutely mahvelous after a quick boat shower. The mind is a very clever thing.

I'm grateful that the drought has m…

Daughter seems to know best....

Okay, okay, okay. You were right. I admit it.

Now that she's back in New Zealand with her wonderful husband, Sean, I recall that the last thing Sutter told me before I dropped her off at San Francisco International Airport, was..."The only thing I didn't get done during my time here was cleaning your house." Ut-oh.

Okay. I wasn't able to be the perfect (well, I'd say wife, but that's not true) mom. I kind of thought she wouldn't notice anything after being on a long flight, getting ready to to meet other folks and friends, heading out of the house quickly, and flying across this country during her two week trip here. But she did. And I couldn't hide it.

Gosh, I can 'make' this place look okay when I need to! But cleaning is way down my list of things to do these days. I have a business to run, a container garden to tend to, my bike to ride around town and meet clients, my car to wash, my front porch to sweep, roses to cut, bills to pay, bo…

Round and round I go....

"Gosh," I told the woman standing next to me just before the elevator started moving. "I thought I parked my car on a floor below."  "Oh," she said. "There's no floor level under us...this is street level and that's where we are!"

Well, okay. So I spent the next 40 minutes looking for my car.

I was in San Francisco for a meeting today. I was ready to come home after thinking hard about what I had heard during the 4 hour blitz of ideas, and protocols, and procedures.

Okay. I was sure I had driven down the ramp. But, maybe...well, I just believed what the woman said. Maybe I dreamed about driving down the ramp.

The parking lot I was in was a complete maze to me. And that made me amazed. This was a whole city- block-long parking lot. I went by most every car on the second floor. No luck. I went up to the third floor. No luck. I went up to the fourth floor.  Nada, zip, nothing.

I felt like every person that was walking to their car or drivin…

Customer service...are you there?

I know I'm not the only one who gets pissed off at Customer Service. I had two experiences today, trying to pay my bills. One was horrible. The other was great!

First Business (A private partner in conjunction with our government at work)

Me- Hi, I'd like to put my monthly bill on auto pay. I got the letter you people sent, directing me to call a phone number to set this up. I've spend over 30 minutes trying to get this simple thing done...and now you're telling me I'm calling the wrong number? What's with that?

Them - Sure. I can can help you with that.

Me (thinking)- wanna bet?

Them - Let's get onto the website and I'll help you with that.

Me - OK, let's see what you can do. I may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I'm not the dimmest either.

Time passesA few minutes goes by...Ms Lady gives up. The website doesn't take my credit card. But she assures me that it should. 

Me(thinking)- wanna bet?

Them - I'll be on the phone with …

Laughter

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Often with laughter comes........more laughter...almost hysterical laughter. Or tears of joy! Or tears of great sadness.



This week has been full of joy-laughter for me.

Daughter Sutter and I flew to San Diego for a very brief trip to visit with E&E&C (son Evan, daughter in law Erin, and nephew/grandson Cadel).  Sutter had never seen Cadel in person, but had seen him on Skype.

Skype is a challenging way to build a relationship....but it beats writing letters, in which every single word is outdated, and the recipients have to realize history has already been made and/or reversed, by the time they read them.

I love Skyping with Sutter and Sean, her husband. There's something that just seems to make us click together...must be the Kiwi humor, which is almost always translated by Sutter to me.

Skyping with E&E&C is nice...but C gets kind of bored with it all.

This week my heart was filled with joy. Watching all that the "kids" and their spouses have done, all …

Homer

I've been thinking about Homer. No, not Homer Simpson. Homer, Alaska.

We had just shut down the DC-4 planes after the salmon fish haul, in Kenai, Alaska. The planes were scheduled to be flown back to Chico, CA to get re-outfitted into fire bombers. Have planes? Need to keep them going year round so they don't sit around getting fat on the tarmack. (I wrote about this experience during the first year or so after I started this blog.)

These days, I try to remember, did I really fly these aircraft as a co-pilot? Sometimes I'm not sure. But yes, I did. I was pregnant with Evan, our son. But the head-honchos-powers-that-be didn't need to be told that..so I didn't.

These days, I live vicariously. The Deadliest Catch is recorded on my TV. I find this show amusing, and really scarey. I've never been in those huge-wave-waters, in huge boats, or being swamped with cold ocean salt water every other minute. But the show is more than dangerous. It's about life. And lif…

Cool, and kids.

I was driving through town the other early morning, coming back from an out-of-town appointment, and what did I see?

I saw small kids all walking to school. Some were with a parent (or two), some with older siblings, some were alone, and some were with friends.

And boy, did I feel ancient!

Scooters were the ride of choice!
Protective helmets were on every head.
Decorated (like some type of modern-day knight) helmets were on some of the heads.
Clothes were wild and bright!
Shorts and pants were the call of the day.

I think we thought we were cool, back in the day. But nothing like these kids...they are extreme cool.

But they didn't think anything about being cool. They were born cool.

These are the kids of our kids.

Okay, let me get over this...no maybe I should embrace this.

I'm not trying to be cool. I'll just pretend in my head that I am cool. And drive on by. Nobody will notice.

Live richly, marilyn

A song bird still sings...despite our water shortage.

As I left the house the other day, I heard a bird. Not the normal caw caw of a crow, or the squawk of a seagull. This was a song bird. I'm not sure I've ever heard a songbird in Alameda, out in the wide open spaces and in between the houses!

It sounded so lovely. I tried to find where it was, but the hedge was too high or the roof covering next door was providing a hiding space for it.

I immediately was taken back to New Zealand. My daughter, Sutter, knew the songs each bird sang and identified the bird. And I'm sure her husband, Sean, was the one who taught her. When I was last in NZ I came to appreciate those songs. I imagine that whether the birds are happy or sad...they just sing no matter what! I preferred that thought, truth or not.

Just prior to hearing that bird, I was walking down the porch steps and wondering what more I could do to save water around here.

Saying I won't bath/shower is a lie. So I don't say that. But I have reduced my water intake.

Howeve…

I know them well, I think.

I had my weekly (therapy) golf lesson today with Woody, my golf teacher. He and I have shared all kinds of things during that one hour time, which happens most every week. We've been through life-changing events, including death, and death threatening moments.

I try to hit the balls, and he gives me some gentle advice about keeping my knees bent, head still, turning my shoulders behind my body, keeping my head still...finishing the swing with my body towards the pin. Hold that pose, and tilt your head down as you swing through the ball. Gads! I think I may be practicing a modified type of yoga..I'll call it  'goga' (short for golf yoga).

Based on a conversation I had at lunch with a friend, I realized that each of us have very special people in our lives - one or two hours at a time, with some very predictable time between appointments.

My hair stylist. We share private info, and then fahgetabout it once we're done with the appointment. But we remember just enough…

Under my stove, under my sink....

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I've been rather remiss on cleaning my house these last few weeks. But I do try to keep things broom-clean. That's the way real estate people talk to tenants. "Keep it broom clean," whatever that means.



I was broom-cleaning the other day, and I happen to broom-clean a bottle cap that was somehow lodged under the stove. It was from a Tab bottle. It was not from anyone in our family.

Over 25+ years ago, the new-to-me old stove had traveled from my friends'/clients' basement. They were moving, and we had recently moved to our vintage 1898 Colonial house.

Our new-to-us-house came with an ugly newer electric stove and oven. But worse was that I burned every dinner I cooked on that electric death/fire trap. The god-sent gas stove was appreciated by our whole family.

About three weeks ago I was cleaning up our old O'Keefe and Merritt stove. It needs to go to rehab. But it works really well. No need for fancy gadgets, bells, whistles, or a working timer. I was di…