Showing posts from 2018

Harry and Meghan

I stayed in bed last Saturday early morning.

The Royal Wedding went on as scheduled without me.

But I did record it! That way I could zoom through the commercials and rush through the parts that didn't interest me.

I've continued to think about certain words/feelings that the ceremony awoke in me:

*Bride and groom actually looked at each other and spoke quietly to each other. And they looked at the guests as they were walking down the aisle.

*Bishop Michael Currey - incredible! He preached like he was a Southern Baptist! The message was all about to day love. None of the formality for him!

*Their ability (clearly not their goal) to make me want to watch the whole thing.

I got the sense that they wanted to get out and make an impact on the world...not overnight, but for the rest of their lives.

Oh...and the hats. It reminded me of the Kentucky Derby. Oh well.

live richly, marilyn

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 …

"Is there anything else...

...I can help you with?"

Those who work in call centers and who continually answer the same questions over and over again and again must have the patience of Job, the prophet; not the computer guy, whose last name is Jobs. 

I'm constantly apologizing for my ignorance, looking through my online papers to verify what I'm trying to do. I'm going through stacks of documents that get delivered to me via snail mail. I have questions and I think they have some answers.

The title of this blog post kind of opens the door, for me, to say, "Yes, please." I think that is an uncommon answer. So it takes the person by surprise.

Here's what happened last Tuesday:

3-20-18  12:20pm spoke with Clemie (short for Clementine) and she confirmed she canceled my auto pay. #S-246-----.  She asked me if there is anything more I can help you with?

These days...I have a standard response. "Will you have lunch with me?"

That's right. I don't know where they are and …

Costco, car, Cadeau.....

I don't often go to Costco in the evening, but I was out and about and I needed some critical items, before I ran out of them: like a chicken, some tangerine juice, some toilet paper (who doesn't find 45 rolls of t.p. in one package?), and those nutty chocolate 'healthy" bars of goodness.

And then I realized. Once I checked out, I had no idea where my car was. And I'm not sure if I had ever used that button on my keyfob- that should tell you where the car is. In fact, I didn't know if that button was something that would scream, or if the horn would blast into the night, or maybe the lights would flash.

As I started the search using the keyfob, I didn't hear any horn, didn't see any lights, and didn't hear a scream.

OK. I gave up. I told the nice uniformed man who was outside the entrance, I couldn't find my car. Good news...he spoke mostly English. I can barely speak English in times of stress.

So off he went, holding that button, high in the…

I wonder who she was talking about?

A good friend sent this to me tonight. She emails me various items and I always laugh at them or gasp at them!

This time I kind of grunted and I sighed and wondered why.

On one of my notepads I've written two words.

Incite / Insight.

Without being too political, our current presidential leader tends to 'incite' which means "to encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behavior)."

As my mother used to tell me, often  "Think before you speak."
Now that is insightful.

Live richly, marilyn

PS if you're reading this, and live're all invited to my 11th Annual Shredding Party on March 31, Saturday 9-noon! It's free to you.

If you think you have too much to shred, you'd need to beat the record that was set a couple of years ago - 82 boxes! She didn't need to pay to shred....but she did leave a nice donation for Alameda Meals on Wheels...and you can too, if you are so inclined!

Now that's living richly! marilyn

check out my lo…

Tick in the night.

I usually don't have any problems getting to sleep.

But the other night I was a bit restless. And when I was still, I heard this noise. Oh my gosh.

It was a slight sound and then I realized there was a pattern to it. I counted what I thought was 41 seconds and it would tick. omg!

Was it a mouse, or mice, or rats under the floor? Was it a nocturnal animal, outside? Was it a baby animal looking for its mom? Was it termites chewing up my house?

This clearly brought back memories from last year. I got up to pee in the middle of the night and there was a mouse scattering across the floor. I tried to chase it out of the house, but it went into a void near the dishwasher. OMG!

And of course, there was the rat trap I set in the basement, behind the utility doors, on a concrete wall about 5 feet high. This little exercise was generated by the guy who looked after my furnaces, once per year. Now Rudy is retired! No rat. This went on for weeks.

Then I smelled a rat. I really did smell a rat …

Busy with work...

Working late tonight...I may yet post something...later! But taking care of biz for now!!

live richly! marilyn

Vogue or rogue...when did the Winter Olympics...

.....feature downhill, backward skiing?

I will admit, I do (or did) know how to ski.

I learned when I went with some neighbors to Sun Valley, Idaho. I learned to ski during the day, and would take care of the kids while the parents went out for the evening. It was a fair trade...since they paid for my ski rentals and my lift tickets.

And Sun Valley did exactly that...those folks taught me to ski! Over the years we've been pay that forward to our kids.

But, really, when did this downhill, backward skiing become vogue, or better yet, rogue?

I'm a bit intrigued by the people who partake in these events.

1. In the two (wo)man bobsled -the person in front is the pilot (not a driver). I thought pilots flew airplanes (in that case, I am/was a pilot).

The back person is the brakeman or should it be brakewoman? Near as I can tell, once these folks shove themselves into the bobsled, the back person can't even be seen! I guess s(he) is along for the ride and the stability?

I've …

MAKE IT EASY...plan on coming by!

You may want to glance at my Alameda real estate blog...The Second Story 
I've taken a bunch of webinars since the beginning of 2018. I think it's averaged 3 per week.

Here's a sampling:

-Tax webinars (at least 2 of those) because I need to know how the tax reform laws affect me, and what I need to tell my clients in generic terms: they must see their accountant, I'm not qualified.

And I actually attended a tax seminar in person...4 hours! And I bought the CD's as well. These are the folks that try to figure out how the real estate professionals can take advantage of the 'tax benefits.' The woman who lead this was terrific and had been doing it for years. I used to subscribe to their service over 10 years ago. Now.... I'm back!

-Financing for Rehab Homes Webinar (this instructor may come in person if I can arrange a class for this subject). I listened to it 3 times in 2 days! It was really good!

-Instagram webinar (who cares how many 'likes' you…

Milking cows. Squeezing oranges.

Take a look at my Alameda Real Estate blog
The Second Story

I'm not sure if offered the opportunity, I would accept the offer to milk a cow. Maybe I could hook the cow up to those machines, but I'm quite sure it would take some time to train me to do it properly.

However, this past week I was given some oranges from a neighbor's tree. They looked great: round, big, and I've heard through the grapevine (maybe the orangevine), that they are juicy.

Since the first of this year, I've been clearing out stuff that's in my house, that I don't/won't use anymore. One of those items is on the top shelf of one my kitchen cabinets...tall enough that I needed to get more than a step stool to get it down.

Since I had the oranges I decided to get the juicer off the top shelf and onto the countertop. I think my son and daughter-in-law gave this to me several years ago, with the best of intentions of me using it. Step 1 done.

I had about 20 pieces of fruit. After putting…

Nosey neighbors....

See my Alameda real estate blog....The Second Story

Love your neighbors. Even if you don't like them, or care for them. That's what my Sunday School teachers told me.

I was having a mani/pedi with my favorite nail artist yesterday. This is a treat that I give myself every three weeks. She's opened up her own shop...and it's truly lovely!

In the nothingness of my mind (so relaxed) she quietly asked me if the city would allow fireworks for the Chinese New Year?
h, yeah... no. There is a law in this town that prohibits shooting off fireworks...anywhere, and especially on the day of the birth of this nation. I think that it's there because there are so many old wood houses, so many ancient houses/properties, and so many buildings are so close becomes a disaster in my head!

But something came to my mind...hey, I had a story about fireworks. This happened when we had one small child. We never had fireworks at or around the duplex. We would prefer to watch t…

Trains, tracks, old, quality.

Take a look at my Alameda Real Estate blog this week...The Second Story
I've been busy clearing out my STUFF...still!  It's rather amazing what comes out of a box or a stack of paper.

This past week I found the quotes, below, that I had posted on my bulletin board but later I had tossed into a box.

These quotes are from Metropolis Magazine and I cut them out from the January, 2005 issue. They are attributed to Charles and Ray Eames. This magazine is full of the newest ideas/items found in architecture/furniture/materials and more, that designers/creators/makers come up with.

If you aren't familiar with the Eames, you'll learn about them from their official website.(Ray was Charles wife and for the longest time I thought they were brothers)  My bad.

My husband, Carl, didn't know the Eames...but he lived his life the same way: based on quality. He was a yacht/boat designer and bought/created quality. My daughter and son and their spouses also purchase quality. Me? no…

Christmas clean up.

My kids, with their kids, left Alameda for Napa over the Christmas vaca. It was a wonderful time for them, and me, and they got to see their friends (and their kids) who live close to, or in, Alameda.

I'm simply amazed at how busy all of them are from the nearly 1 yr old to the 3.5 year old and their parents!!

Then I realized that when Carl and I had our kids, we were part of an age group that was much younger, than our own kids are now! Like 10-15 years younger! YIKES! No wonder I felt worn out!

I didn't think to ask them if they would be coming back to Alameda, after I met them for Christmas Day with all of their extended family in the North Bay. We know what  assume means -ass out of u and me!. So I assumed incorrectly!

I had enough wash to do at home so I took the big stuff over to the laundromat - like the heavy futon cover and the sleeping bag that the kids put on the floor for their kids. Better not to over-pack my washer, and shove those items into the BIG washers at t…

I'm no Giada or Ina

I proved it recently...Giada and Ina are Food Network stars. I am NOT!

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I came home from church, flipped on the TV to keep me amused while I did things around the house. Well, the pros chefs roped me in just like a cowboy (gal) pulls in a bull, ties it up, and walks away.
I had invited a few gal pals over for Thanksgiving, saying they could bring something but I'd get the turkey sandwiches and the fixings. This tradition came from two sisters (one of which really liked to entertain but shared the food fixings amongst us), and the other liked having us all over and usually found a way to order we could enjoy other festivities.  
I thought...I can do that...and that...and that. It will be easy! Well, that's what I thought. What I did was roast a turkey (I have done it for years), and made a cake, and made a cranberry cheese log. My friends still brought stuff. 
I was up past midnight for 2 nights, and got up at the crack of dawn before ou…

What worked last year, what didn't?

Follow me on my real estate blog... The Second Story 

From my iphone in Alameda...San Francisco during the holidays.
I ask myself these questions each year. It makes me think about the previous year, whether I want to or not! Maybe you'll come up with your own answers...maybe you'll share them with me!
Looking back to 2017
What's your biggest personal accomplishment? Discovering that I've got too many places to hide my stuff. Have space...will fill. I'm over it! Under beds, in closets that don't get used these days, in drawers that don't get used these days. TMS. Too much stuff. 
What brought this on? I needed to get ready for Christmas. I pulled out the stuff. Then I went to put it away...and realized I needed to give a huge amount away or donate it or throw most of it out, because nobody wants it...including me. argh! 
Who collects silver baubles? Spoons? Small bells that fit on shelves? All of it needs polishing. Somebody else can have the 'stuff.'…