Showing posts from 2017

Shake it up...

Have you ever thought about what goes into your keyboard?

I admit that I don't dwell on this subject and I occasionally turn my keyborad upside down and shake it.  But when I'm on hold with Comcast, I just don't shake the keyboard. This week I literally was banging the keyboard on my desk, all the while being on hold with Comcast..

And what came out was disgusting.  The pile of debris hidden in between the letters and numbers of the keys, was completely GROSS. The photo shows the second load of debris that I shook out: sand (where'd that come from?), food bits, crumbs, paper holes from a hole punch, my gray hairs, staples, and things that I don't even care to know about, much less even care to identify.

The smiley plastic person/brush who does the regular housekeeping chores for the keyboard, is always standing by...waiting for me to pick him up and put him to work.

I have but one word to say....GROSS.

BTW...I got things taken care of with Comcast. Two good, posi…

Calgon...take me away!

Most folks don't remember Calgon. It's a bath/bathing product. It was featured in a many decades long advertising campaign.

Calgon...where have you gone?

When various things don't work, are broken, don't function, and blah blah blah...the Calgon ad comes into my head.

On Monday my antique oven (vintage, they say) wouldn't stay lighted (or is it 'lit'?). Not a bad thing..but I couldn't cook. Also not a bad thing. Often I have salads for dinner so that was fine.

Now please realize that although I've had it repaired, I've not had it ripped apart and put back together as a 'new' vintage stove.

But I wanted to make a big dish...Chicken Marbella. It needs to marinate for at least 12 hours, and then you can cook up a storm, once it hits the oven. The scent goes all over the house...yum!

So I had a vintage guy come out and work his miracles on my vintage stove. A friend (and old house owner) referred him to me. And Greg made it work, once again…

Remove me from your mailing lists....please.

For the past several weeks I've been working to get off mailing lists (in between work, committee work, volunteer work, and bike rides to air out my mind).

When I started this, I hoped I wouldn't get too
too many people too mad. I'd not done this before and didn't know what I was getting into.

Well, guess what? The 'removal people' are very nice! They are kind, and mostly do not want to know 'why.'

To keep me company while I'm on hold, I put on my Sonos music or my Sonos NPR station. At least I could sing along with Billy Joel, or Bette Midler, or the British Invasion Radio, or the Eagles, while on hold.

While I've been on hold ('because we are working with other customers') I wonder if these are call centers. Maybe this is kind of like 'piece' work. Can these kind folks do their jobs anywhere? Does the phone ring everywhere? Do they have phone lines tied into the main phone line? Is somebody standing over them...making sure they …

Turning on the TV and the water-works.

I was a bit weepy in church, well, in Sunday School, last week. Not that my regulars weren't there, (which they weren't there), but because I was going over memories that I had with friends. 

After going to lunch with church-goers, (we go for the company not for the food, and by the way, Carl's Jr. has better tacos than The Bell), I came back home thinking (knowing) that I had three projects that needed to be done in my office. 

So I turned on the TV, and completely ignored my office chores. I saw the Golf Channel and was promptly bored. So I ran through the channels and came across the movie...Forrest Gump. 

Again it was a beautiful spring, breezy, and if I wasn't doing my office chores, I should have been outside. However, I had just cut some roses and swept the porch the day before, so that took care of the 'outside' stuff. 

I know you know that Forrest Gump was in the Vietnam war. And I realized that his era reflected our lives. We lived through the …

The tax man taketh....

Here's another winner (of the month) from the gal who does the signs for Central Baptist Church. I'd love to meet her! And she makes it all so timely!

I couldn't figure out what the Glock was, and as I riding by on my bike, I said the sentence out loud. Oh yeah. A Glock is a gun. Well, you can leave that outside of heaven's door.

Since taxes were due this past Tuesday, the IRS occupied a small space in my head. But I solved that by getting my tax professional to file for an extension. No H&R Block upstairs, just down here on earth!

Speaking of taxes, last year the IRS sent me a refund check for a (big to me) sum of money. I had it tacked up on my bulletin board...waiting to see what the next communication might be from the folks at that national entity. It would be a bummer to cash that check and then have them say that I owed it back to them.

But somehow it fell from the bulletin board...and I have yet to figure out where it ended up. But it wasn't anywhere i…

Trading. Bartering. Giving. Receiving.

I saw this window while I was previewing a house today.  There were two of the windows (twins), and both of them were simply gorgeous! 
I cringe when I think of giving up stuff. Not because I dislike it. Not because I think I will miss those items. It's just such a hassle. 
But in my business, as a real estate broker, I often watch and hear what clearing out the stuff out does to and for my friends and clients. One of my friends/clients surprised me when she recenttly wrote that she liked seeing the walls in her house! I've said it before...have space, will fill.
Somehow, early this week, I just felt I needed to sweep out the carriage house (yep, the carriage house...long before folks had cars). Carl used the place as a shop. 
It was kind of an unwritten rule for the Schumacher cars in the garage. Homemade planes and boats were just fine..but no cars. This worked for us, because we couldn't get a car into the backyard, much less inside the carriage house. Carl c…

Key to my.....

...heart? No. It's the key to my house.

I was at my front door. I put the key into the lock..and it was stuck. Not the key was stuck in the lock!

OMG! ok ok ok. Just calm down, I told myself. Next thought...what if each of the locks with the same key, don't work? Don't go there, I told myself.

I tried to force it out..not much though...because I didn't want to break the key inside the lock.

Dear Lord, please tell me what to do!

I've never even thought of this, so clearly it wasn't my thought. It came to me to just push in the small circle that surrounds the key. And when I did this the key came out!

Stupid, now that I think about it...but I put the key back into the lock, just to see if pushing the small circle did work! Okay..twice is too many times. But it did work, again.

Since it was after hours, I called the locksmith-ers right away the next day. I've used the shop forever and he had the time to come later that afternoon.

When he arrived I t…

Caring about cars.

I took my Toyota Corolla into the dealership where I bought it, today. The CADEAU (my license plate, in French, which means GIFT), recently celebrated it's 2nd birthday, the last week of 2016.

I haven't washed it for awhile. Heck, it's going to rain again, why bother? It still looks okay on the outside. Inside it's full of shoe and Ugg Boot dirt, pavement debris, used tissues (when I find them under the seat), empty Smints containers, dust on the dash, and bags that have my name on them so I can shop and not use plastic or paper.

I don't pay much attention to the miles I drive, because I don't drive that much, unless I go to Costco, maybe drive to San Franscisco, take a road trip to Newport Beach, or head up to Sacto which is only every 3 months or so.

It was time for a 5K checkup. I overran it by 2K. Gosh, I did see that warning sign on the instrument panel. Then it disappeared. I'm quite sure I would not have let that happen when I used to fly...hell, no!…

I'm so grateful I don't.....

....commute anywhere, regularly.

I left my home at 6:15am on Thursday...and I did get to Sacramento by 8:30am for an annual inspirational meeting/bash/get together with 400 of my associates with Fusion Growth Partners (the company that I hang my real estate Broker's license with).

All was well until there was a vehicle incident on the Carquinez Bridge. Well, that slowed the traffic to a stop. My heart though, was with the people involved in the accident. Made me want to drive a bit more deliberately. Well, I actually don't weave in and out of the traffic. It's just a waste of time, gas, and gets me all riled up.

I know how hard the company works to give us excellent speakers. And each one knocked it out of the park today. But why do people act like their own conversations are better than the speaker's?

I introduced myself to my table-mates. When the gig got going, I was very frustrated because they were having their own conversation DURING a speaker's presentation…

Impluses, listening, doing.

God speaks to me in...impulses, not words. One definition of 'impulsion' is 'the force or motive behind an action or process.'

One time I was quite sure that it was God who told me to say NO to a flying job. And several weeks later one of the DC4's I was co-piloting the summer before in Kenai, Alaska, crashed on takeoff and killed all three SOBs (Souls On Board). No if's, ands, or buts. Just the single word NO.

When I listen in 'this' way, I just naturally shift course, take another tack (as in sailing: have the wind blow over the port side vs the starboard side). And when I'm obedient to the impulse, I know it's the right thing to do, and I usually do it now, instead of later.

As I get wiser (not older), I don't question this impulse. I just obey. I let these impulses tell me what, when, and how to say what I want to say. I let the impulses tell me to 'shut up and listen' (not ignore). I listen while I'm driving or riding my b…

School Daze v. 2 You go, girls!

(follow me on my real estate

...from the last post...this came to me, for this post.

Back in the high school days, when I was a cheerleader (Senior year), I had the distinct non-pleasure of being in an art class.

Before that event, my first art teacher was a neat guy, Mr. Don Tredway. I think I was a freshman or sophomore. Over the years he was part of the Laguna Beach Sawdust Art Festival...which always is/has been amazing. His specialty was making jewelry (casting silver/gold rings) into his hand-made designs.

He was super likeable. He always told us 'There's a right way, a wrong way, and a Tredway." Said it like it was.

I needed extra units so I took another art class in my senior year. Mr. Cliff Hooper was the art teacher. He was also a very succesful water polo coach at Corona del Mar High. But he seemed to hate me especially, and the other gals on the Pep Squad.

Turns out that he did hate me, because the Pep Squad never went to any of …

School daze....

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was involved with student government. We actually had a class devoted to Student Goverment. It had everybody who was an elected officer for 9th -12th grades. I ran for and was elected to the Sophomore Vice President position. It was taught by a teacher with the first name of Ken and I don't remember his last name. It was a fascinating class.

What I learned as a sophomore VP was what REAL goverment was, is, and remains today. It was and is all about checks and balances. No one person can control everything in our goverment.

Fast forward to Sutter's, our daughter's, eighth grade class. She ended up going to private school from that year through high school. She finally told us that another student had threatened her with scissors, in her 7th grade public school class. Smaller is better, as it turned out for her. She thrived in the 8-student, eighth grade class.

I met her teacher. He was new to the school as well. I introduced myself a…

Life is like a clothes dryer...

...going round and round and round, yet keeping its contents dry, fluffy, and contained. 

I was without a dryer for a few days over the last weeks, and it was very frustrating. But I got rid of the frustration because I had more important issues to deal with.  And as my husband used to say, 'It is what it is.' And that pretty much sums up most problems. 

But this time I didn't want to live with that saying...'it is what it is.'  IF I really thought life was 'it is what it is,' nothing would ever get done. I would just be satisfied with 'it is what it was.'

Once I hit the start button on the dryer, the rumble started and I flew out of the laundry room, not willing to admit there was an issue. And of course it was all fine once the clothes were dried. But then... my clothes were still wet.

I heaved a very big sigh. I called the appliance shop where I bought the washer & dryer and those guys told me who I should call.

The first time Tim came over…

Just shut up.

Listen more and say less. 
This was a phrase that I used recently while typing an email to my clients. I told them this was my motto these days.
Today, everybody today wants to be heard. Thus, with all of our devices and apps everybody is screaming to anybody who will listen. But nobody is really listening, because they are too busy talking, yelling, tweeting, etc. 
"Marilyn, you've been rather quiet during this. It doesn't seem like you at all. I've know you for years and you've always had an opinion, and have let people know it. I'd like to hear what you are thinking about this situation."
This was a very serious meeting. But it had been a while since this gentleman and I had been to a meeting together -maybe even years. I respect his opinons, as well. In rather short order, I made my position clear.
It drives me crazy, when I'm attending a meeting and everybody is talking over every other perso…

Raining, snowing, hotting, bbbrring.

I can often tell what the weather is doing outside, by the sounds I hear inside.


For the last few weeks we've had more rain days than sun days. Many of us say the drought is over...but I'm not so sure. It will take years to know if that is true or not. And I suppose the drought is the new normal..until it isn't. After all, CA is an arid climate. And I know I've changed my own personal water habits.

A few years ago, I started adding locations to my phone to know what the weather was 'doing' at whatever time it was.

Tonight is a wonderful example:

A-town (Alameda) 50 degrees and wet

Christchurch (NZ) 62 degrees and cloudy (they are ahead of us 1 day, minus 3 hrs. at this time of year and oh, it's also summer there.)

Kaanapali, Maui 70 degrees and half-moony (they are behind us 2 hours)

Princeville, Kauai 63 degrees and half-moony (they are behind us 2 hours...but it's really rainy there)

Newport Beach CA…

Have space...stuff it, store it, ignore it.

When I had some recent water intrusion, everything in those areas was pulled out from where the 'stuff' was hidden, and placed into living space.  But reality checked in. And I'm checking out. Why do I have this, or that, or what was I thinking? I'm giving all the stuff to a local museum to sell. They make $$ and I am over it.   
Here's an example: About three weeks ago. I was parking my bike in the carriage house (a type of garage, but a car can't get into it...due to the yard. And the carriage house probably housed a car once those were invented. Before that, it probably was home to ...a carriage!) It was a far cry from the single car garage that we used to have.

The carriage house was used as Carl's shop. He built beautiful boat/yachts half models in there, and he had his dad's big tools in there: a drill press, a table sander, table saw, and things I don't even remember. I gave his large tools, and some of the smaller ones, away shorly after he …

I just call out your name....

...and you'll come running! (my version of the Carole King song).

I am not an early waker. But on a recent Saturday morning, I was up and about in my pj's,walking outside, wearing my bright yellow, oversized, foul weather gear sailing jacket, and some rain-type shoes, at 7am. I didn't care what I looked like. And inspite of what I think...nobody else cares either.

I just wanted to see what the storm had done overnight. This was not just a regular storm, it was maybe the worst in 25-30 years per the weather experts.

(We actually have an etched concrete piece on the side of the house that reminds us of when we went through the El Nino, in 1998!) After 2 days of heavy rain, I finally went downstairs to do some laundry and get some cleaning stuff.

Bad news. Squish squish, on the carpeted floors. Immediately I looked up, to see if there was a water leak coming from the ceiling. Thank goodness, no!

I walked around some more.  Squish, squish, and more squish.

More bad news...I wa…

Swinging... between the trees.

check out my real estate (may give you some ideas or maybe you can give me some ideas)!

NO, I'm not at the zoo watching the monkeys fly among the branches.  I'm watching the palm trees on the street one block away, displaying their gymnastic styling during a recent major storm. While they bend like crazy, they continue to stick the landing, never budging from their intended place on the floor mat (ground).

I'm also looking at my apple tree in the back yard, I wonder if the remaining leaves scream at each other, "This is my year! I'm hanging on till there's no one else left up here! I refuse to go down without a fight!" I want to get the gutter person out here, to clear the gutters and drains...and I don't want to do it twice, so I'm waiting on the last of the apples leaves to do their final dismount. With the existing drought (which has lasted 5 years), even though we've gotten rain drops, in 2016 those rain drops w…

You light up my life.

I was talking with a member on the staff of the best bike store in town. He knew I was wearing the new helmet that I had spoken so highly about. He was impressed!

It arrived just before Christmas. Although not a gift, it sure seemed like it!

There are over 60 LED lights in this. It is super comfortable. And the turn signals for the helmet on are the handlebars close to my left fingers.

My son and his family were visiting so I allowed (begged) Evan to put the wireless turn signal on my handle bars, while I played with Cadel (their toddler), and Erin (Cadel's mom)! The batteries were charged and I was rarin' to go.

Pictures say more than words! Everywhere I ride, I get looks, not for me, but for the helmet!

Congratulations Lumos Helmet! Click on the link and you'll see the video. It was well worth the wait...especially when I ride around town at night to city council meetings and the like!

Live richly (and safely)! marilyn

Old year

These are the questions that I answer every year. I look back and remember a bit of what was going on at that time, who I was with (or not), what I was focused on (or not), not taking for granted anything.

How would you answer these?

What's the biggest personal accomplishment you've had in 2016? I had the unique opportunity to be interviewed by a San Francisco reporter for an SF public radio station about my views on rent control. I thought a lot about this, did some research on the woman who would be interviewing me, and then I agreed to do it. It was about 6 minutes long, of which I was only a portion. But we met at my house, and I was in the middle of a living room ceiling repair (among other items), caused by an slow tub leak in an apartment upstairs. It gave me an excellent visual, along with the other points I was attempting make. Seeing is believing.

Also, I was invited to speak to a group of people at a local parish, about the same subject. There were about 40-50 folks …