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 We've got rosemary, lavender, and the sign on the carriage house says 'Apples 5 cents.'  We used to have a very prolific apple tree, along the west side of the carriage house. They were more for baking than for just picking them off and eating them. But they were amazing!  And then we realized it was undermining the carriage house (built in the 1950's?) concrete floor. Out came the apple tree. Carl, my late husband, used the building as his shop. He was a very talented wood-worker. He developed that talent when he was younger, having been taught by his father.  Carl built many of his designs (as half-models) either for his office (at the now-defunct Alameda Marina) or for his clients...as gifts.  During the pandemic, I've spent a lot of time sitting, reading, watching birds, on the patio (which was made of bricks, from the foundation of our house).  We needed to have the foundation replaced right after we closed on the purchase. The contractors needed to remove tho

Spam...and I don't mean Spiced Ham in a can....

I don't know about you...but I get spam calls all the time on my cell phone. I even got one on my landline the other day.  Oh, you may be wondering why I have a landline? It's because if I break or lose or misplace my phone I'll have a way to reach somebody when I'm at home and can order a new phone. And my landline does not ring very often. When I'm at my desk, I can easily reach it, lift it up and slam it down. In my small mind, I'm wondering how the spammers make their money:  -Are they supposed earn their $$$ based how many calls they make? Do they get paid more if they have a 5-minute conversation with each person?  -Do they get paid based on how many folks pick up their phones?  -Do the spammers pay the company, if they don't reach the required 'pick-up-the phone' numbers? SPAM -Do they record us?  -Do they get extra $$$ (rewards) if the not-lucky recipient gets reeled in, hook, line and sinker? -Since many of the phone-owners get the spammer

Subtle ch...ch...changes.

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Meyer lemons from our lemon bush/tree. They are prolific! I put the garbage bins out on Wednesday evenings (or nights): the blue one, the gray one, and the green one. Sometimes my residents/tenants will haul them out, thinking that I've forgotten my duties. They are so kind! I fill up a bio-bag (it's biodegradable) with food waste, in my kitchen sink. I stopped using the garbage disposal decades ago. In fact, I don't even have a garbage disposal, because it required a lot of water. That happened maybe 3-4 droughts ago.   I add that food waste stuff into a hand-held plastic bucket that I requested from the waste-pick-up folks. I keep that on my back porch. It's pretty much animal/critter-proof. Then I'll dump that bucket into the green bin.  Early on Thursday mornings, I'll hear those cherished folks come and pick up the bins. It's pretty much like clockwork. These workers are also essential. I was thinking the other day, way back... when our family lived in

Cooking with gas.....the O'Keefe and Merritt way.

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My stove is over 100 years old.  Yep, you read that right.  About 3 weeks ago my oven wouldn't turn on. Thank goodness it wasn't leaking any gas.  I called one of my vendors.....Keith with Rx Appliance. He came over (and I love anyone who is honest with me), and said he wasn't the right one for the job...and referred me to Reliance Appliance (who is also on my list).  Keith called them right then and there in my kitchen and we made an appointment for Matt (the owner) from Reliance Appliance to come over.   (ALL of my vendors are swamped...and it took maybe 2-3 days before Matt showed up.)  Matt checked it out and said he'd send Sohl, his best repair person over within a couple of days. Sohl has worked on this stove before. He IS the best. Just watching him do what does is fascinating. He knows his craft like a baby knows his mother. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't recall who gave/sold it to me...but nobody makes these stoves/ranges like they used to!  The ne

I'm not a big fan of Hallmark Holidays.....

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. .like Mother's Day and Father's Day, and even birthdays! We used to let our kids choose a "Special Day" (any day) that they would invite their friends over to the house...sometimes the "Special Day" would include going somewhere nearby.  We specifically did not call it a birthday. It was just few hours that the kids could get together.  Parents were totally confused by this....what's a "Special Day"? No, the kids did not need to bring presents. It just a time for them (a few of them) to get together.  (Of course, the kids brought presents.) If I remember correctly, son Evan did attend a birthday party at an ice skating rink.  We got a call from the parent(s), and went over there to pick him up because he had fallen on his arm. All was well with him within a few hours...and we took our kids to a movie. Sometime during that movie, he removed his arm from the sling. And that was that! Back to yesterday...the doorbell rang and there was a neighbo
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 These Canada geese and their babies were walking by a listing that I'll soon be putting on the market. The geese were so kind to the goslings.  And humans were so kind to that family of geese; giving them space.  It rather seems to me, that most of us are a bit kinder today than we were over a year ago. I needed to go to the Toyota dealership in Oakland, this past week. Instead of waiting around for 3-4 hours while they performed the required routine maintenance on my car, the dealership was offering a free Lyft from the dealership to my home, and a free Lyft back to the dealership.  I think this is a great idea, especially with some Covid restrictions still in place. The person who drove me back home was terrific. And when I received the survey  on my phone...that's how I responded in writing.  However, the driver for Lyft (to take me back to the dealership) was really reckless. I let him know that the local cops in Alameda were very strict about enforcing the speed limit, as

Small town....Alameda

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 A dashboard light came on in my car, last Tuesday. argh.  I pulled out my car manual from the glove compartment to see what that symbol was warning me about. (By the way, why is it called a glove compartment? I've never put gloves anywhere near that covered area directly in front of the passenger seat!) One of my tires was low. I immediately drove over to Big Discount Tires (corner of Oak St. and Eagle Ave).  I got my last set of tires at Big O Tires maybe 2-3 years ago. I'm not sure, but I think the owner of the business bought the building on Eagle and changed the name. The folks that work there are wonderful!  Sure enough, I ran over some yellow metal thing. The gentleman pumped up my tire, more than the instructions said, left the yellow thing in the tire, and he told me to come in early (8am) but they wouldn't make an appointment for me.  But the earlier I got there, the sooner that yellow thingy would be history. I got there @ 8am, the next day, to have it removed a