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Showing posts from 2016

Waves of ch ch ch changes.

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Things change. Sometimes 'the thing' changes quickly. Sometimes it takes 40+ years. But life is not stationary, immovable, or stagnant.

I prefer to see life as a wave:
Always foaming.
Always forming,
Always reforming.

Maybe I get wiped out. Maybe I don't take enough air in when I'm swamped..and think I'm not coming up for a breath.

But so far, so good...and I've got no reason to think otherwise.

When traditions seem to not be, when habits become so expected, then it is time for a shift, a new view.

The questions seem to run rampant. What am I afraid of? Where does the fear come from? Is the water too cold for me to even get my toes wet?

FEAR (as I told a 4th grader in my Sunday School class) is False Evidence Appearing Real. It's an illusion.   And when he started working with that concept, he found out for himself that what was frightening to him, actually was never there to begin with.

Changes are LIFE! As we come into the last month of the year....I expe…

Thank goodness it's almost Thanksgiving

I don't know about you, but the election has made an impact on me. Not that I've been out silently demonstrating on the sidewalk with a group, or have taken to the schools with posters.

But in trying to balance it out in my head...here is what I am thinking:

The world may be ending...but I expect it will not.
Every body is affected.
The President has never been the only person in charge.
Is there any individual that can handle all of the big issues alone? I don't think so.
Us little folks / peons are the backbone of the country. Stand straight.
Sometimes it does take a village. Other times it just takes one, unegotistical, person to make a point.
Actions speak louder than words. Now that's a H-U-G-E deal. 
Disasters happen, but human beings work to make it less disastrous.
The stories that have been written since the election are so moving, so powerful.
We need to pay attention to the stories. 
And we will move forward and make a difference in individual lives.  Because that's…

Angry? I hear it.

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I was watching the election results last Tuesday evening. Everybody I knew was doing the same thing.

I tuned into my go-to TV station, an NBC affiliate. After I while I felt a bit anxious. Then I got a bit more anxious. But I wanted to see the colors of red and blue across the USA. Lots of red states, very few blue states.

I ususally listen to NPR for a balanced take on: the world, the national, and the local news, So I decided to watch a PBS station. I became a lot less anxious, and a lot calmer.

First, there were no commericals interrupting the broadcast. Second, there was a rainbow of people doing the commentating. All colors, all types, And so informed. I felt like I was back in school soaking up the issues.

I stayed with my 'friends-on-TV' through Trump's acceptance speech. Then I went to bed, without knowing a thing about our local election. The results would be available in the morning. I needed to sleep.


The people have spoken. The country wants change. And they …

Treats, Tricks, or Candy Comas

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I love that parents bring their kids to Alameda...joining with those that call it home. It's flat, easily accessible, the houses are close together, and it's considered safe. The rain gods cooperated, with just a very few sprinkles.


A gang of gals who looked like middle-schoolers, commented on my porch and the (non-Halloween) decor the porch had on it. That's kind of amazing...they look beyond their noses!

If you come to my house on Halloween I'll either give you a treat because you are wearing a costume, or I'll give you a trick...if you aren't. And once you perform the trick, you'll get candy.

This year my trick was '20 jumping jacks!' for each kid who wanted the candy but didn't wear a costume.  And I meant REAL jumping jacks...none of the wimpy stuff. And for the most part the kids gave them to me because they really wanted the candy.  I won.

And the kids were so polite! Not pushy like our presidential candidates. I think it might be wise to…

Just tooling around.

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I'm sure I'm not the only one. Maybe there is someone like me out there.

Sometimes I look into my bathroom sink and think "This is gross." That's when the chrome isn't silvery and turns kinda white with toothpaste and toothpaste/spit water remnants.

So I get out my best drain cleaning tool....an old toothbrush that I hold onto and fits down the drain. I use it to clean out the gunk. Gads, who uses this sink?  Um, that would be me and me alone.

I get the black gunk out that's hugging the drain walls...and all is well, until....I drop the toothbrush into the drain and I can't get to it. I can see it but I can't reach it. I always say I have man hands (and that's why I can't text quickly). Well, man hands won't work here either.

So I looked into one of my bathroom drawers, and then I went to a kitchen gadget drawer.

Now you probably thought an ice pick was for picking apart a block of ice. And a pointy wooden stick was to thread meat and…

Reflections and images and shadows

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I was working at my desk at about 9am, six weeks ago. I saw an image, just to the left of my computer monitor, in the glass which protects a piece of needlepoint artwork of a Victorian house, with a horse-drawn carriage going by it.

My immediate thought was...Marilyn, you are going crazy. Where is that image coming from? It was of two people that seemed to be dancing on the wall of the house next door.








Then I looked over to the window in my office, and I saw the shadows of the two people. But they weren't dancing on the wall of the house next door. Where were the shadows coming from?

It turns out that the early morning sun was casting the shadows of the two people installing my solar panels, on my own roof, but the sun was low enough, that the shadows seemed to be dancing on the wall of the building next door.

I ran to the entry and shot these photos of the shadows...and they did seem to be dancing.

Live richly, and keep on dancing!  marilyn

My Sista by another Mother

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Besides having the same birthday, Debbie and I have the same mindset about our jobs...we each love what we do for work. She works for Franklin Covey.  Stephen Covey wrote the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.It is amazing how the biz is staying ahead of the 'we' group (the millenials) and how to make the gang of young'ins effective.

In fact, she tells me the teaching profession is completely changing because of how 'they' learn and share. For instance, if you have a question...just search the internet and after some exploration, you may come up with some answers. So the idea is to constantly explore the 'why' behind the 'how.' Or is it the 'how' behind the 'why'?

Debbie and I both have grown children and we're grandparents. (I choose to call myself Nana, in honor of my mother.) I typically meet up with Debbie's mom, Susan, when I go to Newport Beach, and take her out for coffee. Our conversations are always deep and m…

Stop your engine. Set your brake.

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                                       No words. Just pictures. 
                                   Newport Beach, October 2016

                               Best advice I've seen for some time! 

                                        STOP YOUR ENGINE.
                                         SET YOUR BRAKE.

10 days in 6 photos.













Living large, living simple....

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Been in the old home town for a bit...and will be here for a bit longer.

I've been astounded about how much house construction is going on, here in Newport Beach. As I ride my bike from the Balboa Island ferry up to the Huntington Beach Pier and then down to The Wedge (called that when it's breaking) aka the jetty entrance for Balboa Bay, it's quite amazing!

I imagine it's much like this in all of CA but in my island town of Alameda (anchored off the coast of Oakland) we just can't tear an old property down...that takes a big disaster...and thank goodness we don't have any of those at this time. Any property that was built in 1942 or earlier, needs extra scrutiny, to see how historic (hysterical) it might be before you can modify any of the exterior, as viewed from the street.

Lots of time and mega dollars go into reducing a house into rubble, and buidling it back up again. As I was sitting on a bench looking over to Corona del Mar State Beach, this huge house …

What's inside these little boxes.....

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I imagine you may have counted how many bottles you are sharing with your shower. No? Well, in my life, the bottles take up all of the shelf space in my shower and when they fall over they take up the floor space in my shower.

I have a plastic bottle full of gel to wash with, a plastic tube full of face cleaner, a plastic bottle full of Head and Shoulders Shampoo (I buy the super big Costco size that comes in huge plastic packs of two), another plastic bottle full of purple shampoo that makes my white hair shine, and a plastic bottle of conditioner.


I am slowly using them up. They are being replaced by a gift that Sutter bought for me from New Zealand, produced by Ethique. Check out their website!

So now I've added the two boxes to the soaps, gels, shappoo, and conditioner. But the boxes fit on top of each other. One is a bar of shampoo, one is a bar of conditioner.

Cute, colorful, solid...and they are in my shower!

Daugher Sutter, who lives in New Zealand with her Kiwi husband Se…

Pancakes....

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Don't get me wrong....I'm not turning into a foodie. I'm becoming a 'don't-waste-food-if-I-don't- have-to' person.

I was looking inside my refrigerator this past week and my eyes fell on some eggs and some (almost expired) cottage cheese. And some leftovers. And some home-grown tomatoes. And mozarella cheese. And some crusty sourdough bread (note that I said crusty, not moldy).

And outside it felt like we just skipped autumn (it's not even here according to the calendar), and went straight into winter.

And then I remembered....


Cottage Cheese Pancakes! That's how I used up my cottage cheese and eggs. My good friend (and one of my bridesmaids back in the day) Lori Ellen Fouts gave this recipe to me (in her own handwriting). I would make these for the family. But it had been years since I last made them. And you only need to use 1/2 cup of flour!

So I made a batch of pancakes on my cast iron griddle and had them for a late lunch and for dinner the next…

Picking, chopping, freezing.

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I had three baskets full of (Donald Trump-style) HUGE apples this year, all from one apple tree. 
It's amazing what drops from the sky can do to a tree! I believe it's called rain.

And my lemons...they keep on giving.

So I went a picking late one afternoon, this past week. Thank goodness that the previous owners had left an apple picker (30 years ago) for us to use.

The freezer bags are stuffed with apples that I've either peeled and sliced myself or they've fit into my apple peeler/corer device.

Just before I put them into the bags they get a rinse of fresh lemon juice, to stop any browning action. Those are now frozen.

I don't know what the apples are named. I tell folks who I give them to just cut out the bad spots and that they are good for cooking. But this year, they even taste good raw.

I need to get the apples that I've removed the bad spots from into my slicer/dicer contraption and into the freezer bags, tonight. Tomorrow night, I'll finish up wi…

How does my garden grow?

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I was talking to my gardener, Sal, the other day. He does landscaping, makeovers, planting, and he has a crew. I call on him to remake properties that have gone awry, are ignored, or are in need some life. He literally raises the dead (garden)!

I'm not sure how long Sal has worked for me. I'm not sure how we met...but I know it was by a friend who I can trust. What other friends are there?

He may have started sometime after Carl passed on. Back in the day, I used to do all of the yard work, front and back, myself. Well, most everything...except the pruning of the big hedges, the large apple tree, the big tropical bush with the giant stickers on the thin stems, and the rest of the perimeter trees/bushes. I would call professional pruners to get that done. But Sal does all of it these days. Except the roses. I claim that for myself, and if I prune them wrong, it's my fault.

When it's my month (3 or 4 times per year) to do flowers for our church services, I try to pick th…

Take a dip...

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Let's say you go to a foreign country, like...uh, Brazil. And then let's say you are a swimming athlete, competing in the Olympics. And let's say you win some medals. And then let's say you tell a lie (or some lies) to police about why you trashed out a gas station restroom, because somebody came and held a gun to your head. And the next thing you know, is you are caught in the lying scheme. Really?

Ryan Lochte is a 32 year old man. He's acting like my 2 year old grandson..well, not really. My grandson has yet to learn what lying is so my toddler-grandson is way ahead of Ryan Lochte.



I am so disgusted by this guy's actions. I'm glad that his actions have been put in front of the whole WORLD! And I'm thrilled that the four major sponsors whose products that he's supposed to represent have canned his ass.

And what is worst of all (because I watched the interview with him once he returned to America), he never told it like was, never said he was humili…

Dearest Carl,

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Dearest Carl,

I'm writing to you on my for-fun blog. I know you are doing well. That's the only way I can even think on these things.

The last couple of weeks I've had the privilege of being the recipient of lovely comments about you and the boats you designed.

The first event was in honor of a couple's 50th anniversary. Steve and Susan have owned and loved several of your boats over the years. Sutter has raced with them to Oahu on the Pacific Cup. Now they have sold Surprise but things are going well for them and the community they continue to live in.

They have created a foundation that builds charter schools for Richmond kids...and they bring all of their talents to build those schools. Two have been completed and there are at least two more in the works. Sutter, (when she came in from New Zealand for her annual visit to attend her church association meeting), and I were honored to see the schools in person. We had dinner with the Chamberlin's in their lovely ho…

Be the best (you can be).

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I'm watching the best of the best...the athletes participating in the Olympics. It's incredible what these folks have accomplished, often under some extreme circumstances.

I cannot comprehend what it takes (and means) to be the best in the world. I just start thinking about it and my brain just shuts down.

Ch Ch Changes

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Yep, things have changed over the years.

-I was riding my bike this week and saw a guy with his phone in his sock! He let me take a photo of it. Can you imagine...back in the day...putting a phone in your sock? Folks would think you were crazy.

-When you sneeze or cough...you put your face into your sleeve. I guess people don't want to shake hands with somebody who has sneezed into his hand/handkerchief/tissue. But I don't know what happens if you don't have a sleeve to sneeze into.

-Pets are treated like humans, maybe better than humans. I get this one too, even though I don't have any pets. We used to have a cat..years ago. Scupper went into pet heaven.

-Smile...you're on Candid Camera. That was a TV program in the olden days. There are very few places when you are NOT in range of an active camera. So show those pearly whites.

-Speaking of pearly whites...flossing your teeth...seems to be out theses days. I just heard that yesterday on NPR. But I still do it. At l…

To party or not to party.

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Beds and bedding.

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I heard an advertisement the other day about beds. "They" said that "beds need to be replaced every 8 years." Yeah, you wish, Mr. Bed-seller.

Hey, I think I may have had my bed that long! Eight years!

I do remember writing about my bed...a bed in a box. That's what I bought. A bed in a box. I don't think I was writing this blog at that time.

Then while waiting for sleep to come, I started thinking "Maybe I need to flip my bed over, like in the old days. Yeah, I think I'll do that. And if I do that, then I need to turn it around...so where I put my head will be where I'll put my feet, but on the other side."

When I woke up I remembered those thoughts. Well, I should do it now. If I'm washing the sheets today, why wait? So I tossed the sheets on the floor, and ripped off the mattress pad (the thing that protects the mattress).

Alrighty! Ready to turn the bed around and over.

Uh, no. Now that the bed is mostly naked, I had forgotten that t…
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I was digging out of our carriage house. Well, not really digging out. It was just dusty, dirty. Okay, we can call it filthy.

Over the years Carl used it as a shop for creating all of his wood-work artifacts: boat pieces, half models, boats (Evan and Carl built a 12? hour canoe and it's still hanging from the roof beams), half models, and more.

Carl's dad, Dick, taught him that a garage was a shop. His dad built small home-built planes in their 2-car garage. My dad (also named Dick) said it was a house for cars and bicycles, and a few tools, just in case (although none of the tools were used, as I recall).

So we've never had a garage for cars, unless my VW bug was getting an engine change-out. The carriage house gave Carl the perfect home for his hobbies. In fact, nobody could ever get any car into the building. No access. Carl was in heaven. That alone made the carriage house better than any of the garages he'd ever known. A reason to purchase the place.

We had talke…

Betty Davis Eyes and Groucho Marx Eyebrows

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I knew something was kinda wrong. But I didn't expect it would be that wrong.

Recently, I reluctantly changed my very lovely and predictable nail and face gal, to someone I didn't know.  The previous one did such a great job! But when I drove over to where she now worked, it was such a hassle to find a parking space, and then to pay for the parking in the lot, and it took so much longer, not only in time, but with her being in a newer salon...yuck.

So I returned to where I came from...close to home and within bike riding distance. YAY! But I traded in one young woman and got two. One for my nails, and one for my face.

And since that day, almost 3 weeks ago, I've become aware that it wasn't all about me...it was about me not being clear to someone who didn't understand exactly what I had hoped to say in English.

When I told the new person I wanted thicker eyebrows, I was thinking one thing and she was doing another. What I wanted was the same shape and not plucked …

Have a Happy Independence Day!

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Have a Happy Independence Day!



This was taken on our boat, The Hubba Hubba, when we owned it!  She was a 1966 Chris Craft, 26', wood plank boat, with twin engines!



She was a money-pit, but fun, when the bay was calm!
Fly an American Flag! 
Despite the grief, worries, and blah blah blah... there is nowhere I would rather live than in the U.S.A.
Live richly, marilyn