Showing posts from 2013

I need a tissue!

It's the end of Thanksgiving Day.  We are stuffed tonight. At church I cried, feeling so overly thankful for all that I have. Carl and I used to say when a holiday was was 'over'.  Nothing lingering.  No more thought given to it.  Just over. Christmas can be like that.  All for the moment, and nothing beyond. I would like to feel the same way I did in church today, Giving Thanks for all that I have, and feeling it so much I wept. Gosh, I wish I had brought some tissues.  Once I sat down in that sanctuary, with more families, strangers, and friends than we'd seen since the last Thanksgiving service, and I knew real gratitude was going be be expressed, that I had to find a tissue. I got up during an opportune time during the service (if there is one) to find some Kleenex.  Nothing in the restrooms.  No extra boxes in the janitor's closet.  Heck, I'm just grabbing a paper towel and going back in for the count. I'm thankful for my family, fo

Enlarge the circle...Thanksgiving.

I wonder when the change takes place.  Not 'the change.'  That's been over for a long time.  I'm thinking about the holidays.  The holidays stay the same.  Players don't change. But the priorities the players have, do change. Some friends and I were talking today and we reminisced about traditional Thanksgivings.  This is the day that loves everybody and everybody loves.  It is the best day of the year, in my book.  Nobody is grabbing for gifts. Very few people are whining.  A church service can be very special that day.  And Thanksgiving takes many forms for many people. I wrote about my Thanksgiving Day after I was married for one year.  I did everything for a huge family dinner ( Nov 22 2011 ) in a very small apartment.  And I never did it again.  But I still loved Thanksgiving.  It just needed to take a different form. Today, we told brief stories:  the time a dear friend prepped her first turkey and placed the pop-up plug (the 'automatic' timer th

Part 2... Cookies and Milk = wonders for the soul.

The last sentence   of the last post was... I came home.  Then I was approached about being a fire bomber pilot in the (retrofitted) planes we had recently brought back. See some of the planes that Aero Union flew in 1986...I was flying for them in 1980. Once I got back to Alameda, the time was spent enjoying being big with baby, enjoying being home with Sutter and with Carl. And still teaching flying. The next call I received from Aero Union a few weeks later, was an offer to learn to be a fire bomber.   That's right -  put fires out using the DC4 (C54s as the military called them).  Once again, I'd be the co-pilot, which was just fine for me.  The planes had to be refitted for this job and the stinky back-of the-plane-full-of-fish-juice-planks were removed and smoke retardant tanks put on. Carl and I talked about it.  We decided this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn something that could be taught on the ground, but learned only in flight.  I called Ae

Cookies and milk = wonders for the soul.

Flying in Alaska in the summer is rather amazing.  It was light all day, except when the sun gently dipped below the horizon and then...shortly thereafter it would start to light the sky again, a few degrees from where it had set.  We had a sunset every night around midnight and a sunrise just a few minutes later, or so it seemed. It was hard to sleep when I was in Alaska.  The days were sooo long.  And the weather was so completely opposite of wherever we took off from.  It was always that way, no matter where we flew. I was newly pregnant with our second child.  Carl was the only one who knew.  I kept quiet about it. Carl took care of Sutter but because it was summer she went to see her grandparents in Newport Beach.  And they loved going to the beach. We didn't want to tell our folks about the pregnancy because they had a hard enough time figuring how we did things in our lives. So we decided they didn't need to know - yet.   I didn't want to lose that job. I

To like or not to like...that is the question.

Do you like me?   Yes, I like you. Who are you? I'm just a thumb. But you are a thumbs up, thumb.  You  make people happy! And that makes me happy, too!  Maybe you are a hitchhiking thumb, heading east. Where do you want to go?  Maybe to New York, on Broadway!  I'm sure I'll be liked/loved there!    Oooh!  Maybe you DON'T like me...this is strange because usually you are only a thumbs up thumb, not a thumbs down thumb.   It depends on my mood and what you say!  I get frustrated because when you are mad, I want to be mad.   If you don't like something, it!  I should follow your mood! Now I think you are a thumb heading west.   That could be.  I go where my thumb says to go.  I follow my thumb. I, for one, like the symbol of a thumbs up.  It says it all, and says it simply.   Yes, I think so.  Now I'm going to stick my thumb in my ear.  Let's see if Facebook likes that! Live richly, marilyn

Forget about it.

I heard a speaker yesterday at a small meeting.  He's a life coach and a kid coach and a biz coach.  And he was good!  Really good. He challenged us.  Do not complain for 30 days.  Gosh, I'm not sure I can go 30 minutes! I've made it through the first day.  And most everything came out fine. I couldn't find my Realtor lockbox key fob.  That's the thingy that hangs off my key chain and allows me to access a property when I plug it into my cell phone, in accord with the written instructions given by the agent. And, behold, the night before, an agent called to say he thought he might have locked the keys inside the house.  No keys, no keybox fob.  Hmmm.  But it was really good to hear from him about the situation. The idea came to call one of my colleagues to ask if she would head over to the house this morning, open up the lockbox with her fob, and put some spare keys in, since I couldn't do it myself. I didn't really yell at the agent.  Score 1.  I

Permission & Punishment - the key may be here.

Two moms (I was one of them), were exchanging emails.  I wrote the comment "When did our adult kids stop asking for permission to do...anything?" I thought about the game Mother, may I?   A mom or dad or somebody stands about 20 feet in front of the small kids.  Mom (that would be me) would say "Evan you can take three big steps forward."  And Evan may or may not say "Mother, may I?"  If he did, I would grant him permission to move ahead.  But oops!  If he didn't ask permission he'd go back to the end of the line.  Too bad, kiddo.  (A mom's revenge.) Permission.  Our kids would beg (not ask for) permission: please, please, please!  If they did ask for permission, I'd have fallen over. How about when a kid does something, and the parents decide bribery is the way to discipline?  That's another type of permission, but it's subtle.  Parents are good at this game, especially if the little angel is acting up/out.  Stop it!  Sto

The times (and clothes) they are a-changin'!

I think you may think I'm going back to the '60's to review a folk song.  No.  Not today. I am not a fashionista - not by any stretch of the word, which is almost too long for me to spell, much less drape it around a body that cannot comprehend what the word means. Yesterday I changed clothes twice during the day...not because I was getting dressed up but because the weather changed on me. But today, I changed clothes three times. No, that does not include my jammies.   First time....I have a standing golf lesson at noon every week.  So I put on some cropped pants, a plaid shirt, and sandals.  Changed into my golf shoes at the range. I often wonder why I take these lessons.  The more I try, the worse I am...yet after a two week lapse, I'm hittin' them just fine.  What's with that?  But for me, as I've said, this is time for me and my therapist, adviser, and my golf teacher, Woody.  He knows as much about me as most anybody on the earth.  But I digr

She's not talkin' to me!

What have I done that could make her so speechless? Maybe I got her mad. Did I ignore her?  Ms. Maps has an attitude these days.  She's on and off,. but mostly off. Audi Eddie assured me that I would love Google Maps.  It's free (yay!) and easy (uh, no).  With the new gadget that Eddie gave me he assured me that I could hear all the noise I need or would want to hear through the speakers in my car as long as it's set on CDC (whatever that is). . I am sure that my mouth hung wide open as Eddie showed me things about my iPhone that I couldn't even imagine.  I am easily stunned and mostly clueless.  First, he said, I need to stop my apps from taking up space.  No!  I need the apps!  No - you are not dumping them.  You're just not allowing them to be draining the phone brain. He assured me that Google Maps would get me most any where I wanted to go - except for mountains and valleys and dead zones  Nonetheless, I felt brave. This past week E&E (son Evan and

Down loading, upgrading...take me back!

More upgrades to my computer, my apps (and I don't mean the stomach kind), my cell phone, my devices like my I can talk on my phone but don't get caught holding my phone. Like an idiot, I bought (well, it was free) into something called Magic Plan.  This Magic Plan app lets me make floor plans on my cell phone.  Yes!  I heard the guy from the company, in person, talk at a meeting all day for all apps for all people in real estate. No, it did-ent. He showed a video of how it worked. I did it in real time.  What was a square came out like a four or five sided parabola (I'll provide the definition/link on Wikipedia! ). All I had to do is to take a picture of a corner, then the next, then the next...and it would be done!  No, it did-ent. So I emailed my appraiser with a "help!" message and he could get to it in a couple of days.  It would take me that long to re-align walls that should have been straight! My friend on NPR, Kai Rys

How's it working out for me?

I am just fine.  What colleagues want to know is is it working out for you?  Is it scary to make such a change after 25 + years at the same company?  Uh, no. My late husband and I agreed...if we wanted to do anything, we needed to do it ourselves and not play by other's rules.  And for the most part, we did, and I continue to do so.  And so do my adult kids. I've talked to three different people this week about changes they also made- some recently and others a few years ago. John told me he was feeling the squeeze between what his boss wanted him to bill for his services versus actually what he wanted to do for service, knowing that the customer would come back for more great service.  He was not a happy camper.  But in order to be a responsible adult  (a wife and two kids) while he was looking for another job...he kept is yacht rigging gig going...on his own.  And it turned out he loved being the boss of himself!  And he has very happy customers. Toni told me t

Good news and bad news = translated.

You can't see the leaks.  Translated =  they are under the hood, not on the ground.  Gosh, when I flew planes you could see the oil everywhere!  The cowling, the ground, the wings, even the windshield. If you didn't see any oil might mean there was nothing inside. The timing chain was wearing out.  Translated = that chain is the glue that holds everything together under the hood. The tires weren't wearing evenly. Translated = it needed new shocks. The major service needed to be done.  Translated = more $. The glove box was breaking again.  Translated =  they saved it by fiber-glassing it.  About $500 that I didn't have to spend. And on and on and on. My Audi A4 has 83K miles on it.  Audi Eddie and his crew specialize in working on Audi's. The bad news is that the Cadeau (personalized plate) is over 10 years old.  I'm easy on the car, and it's easy on my eyes.  "I like it!" I say, the way Mikey enthused about Life cereal ,

Once a quarter we meet...

We met about 4 years ago.  He's very different than the other two.  One was so cheap.  The other had too many tricks up his sleeve.  That guy scared me for a lot of years. I ride my bike to meet him.  His office is close by.  Parking a car is a hassle. I can park my my bike just outside his door. We talk about our families.  He's got three girls, and the youngest just started college.  Mine are older...been there, done that.  But it's fun to hear about them.  He is very proud of his family of ladies.  Pictures of them fill my mind...I'm probably way off on how they look. We talk about the dog he got for his wife.  Well, it really was for him.  He walks him.  He cleans up after him.  But it really was for the wife.  He says.  I think not. I told him about my work change and what that meant to me.  Went in to full detail about it.  Talked about what I've learned about myself by doing that.  It's all good and getting better. I tell him I've removed my

Vanity Fair, The Bachelor, Facebook

1.  Vanity Fair My daughter hustles to get Vanity Fair when she comes to the US on a visit.  So when I was waiting for a plane flying to Oakland from San Diego, I popped for the most recent issue a few weeks ago and read it on the plane.  I figured I'd take advantage of it because it didn't come cheap!  She says there are very good articles in it. The ads in Vanity Fair!  I have looked closely at the models and it seems they are barely in their early teens. They appear to limit their caloric intake to 2 calories per day, and drink lots of coffee and water. Who buys this stuff?  I bet the those Housewives of Dallas, or LA, or NYC, or Miami, or wherever-city USA, indulge themselves. And speaking of the Housewives...I don't watch them. I breeze by them when I'm channel surfing.  It's about their faces!  I guess once you have a little lift it will make the next couple dozen easier.  My sense of who those ladies think they are must be completely lost when they lo

What makes me happy?

Sometimes when you get the call you just have to act.  No, that is not nature calling.  This is an impulse, that's not physical.  It's 'a ya gotta do it' moment. And that happened to me a few days ago.  I just felt impelled to call a friend.  I wouldn't call her a best friend. I don't do anything social with her at all! As I was asking about how she was...she was the usual stoic voice.  All is fine.  All is well.  I just wanted to know she was okay.  I know there was a lot going on, in all aspects of her life. The subject came up...what makes each of us happy?  Neither of us could answer at that time.  It demands a lot of thought...what makes me happy. I recalled when our family was racing two boats in a regatta on Monterey Bay.  The kids had one, The Right Schu (a borrowed boat), and Carl and I had the other, The Left Schu.  Carl was left-handed.  We used electrical tape to slap the names on the sterns of the boats.   At the end of that day, I was ask

Come meet your new babysitter...

Back in the day. ..maybe a small kid had a dolly or a truck to drag around.  Now they have a phone and/or device to drag around. Today  they carefully hold a parent's cell phone or other device like a tablet, or small Kindle.  They completely block out everything except the itsy-bitsy screen! When I see the kids watching a regular TV, trying to swipe the screen to get the image to move off the face of it....I know I've been had.  The remote clicker for my flat screen (but not mobile), TV seems like an antique.  If they saw how I use the clicker they would certainly look at me like a moron from the moon. Yesterday, I was at at the golf range in the late afternoon.  One of the instructors had set balls in each of the slots to reserve a place for his adult students.  One gentleman brought his two very small kids to watch, not him practicing, but a device with a movie!  And he found he was able to take a golf lesson, totally focused, because his kids were totally focused on a

Calm:airport style.

Recently, I discovered some things about traveling.  It is best very early in the morning and/or very late at night. The Oakland Airport is very quiet and calm early on a Sunday morning.  I mean really early.  Thank goodness for those who work the night shift. These are the people who (wo)man the airports. ~The terminals are immaculate. ~The restrooms are cleaned.  Every toilet is cleaned.  No toilet paper on the floor.  No paper towels on the counters. ~The restaurants are cleaned.  The carpets are vacuumed.  Trash cans are emptied, ready to receive the daily messes that people make, create, or just drop on the floor next to the receptacle. ~People are quiet and nice. Don't be bothering me with jokes, joviality, frivolity. At this time of early day I think that most of us are walking in our sleep and still functioning just fine. There is no shoving or pushing or kids screaming or parents looking for their kids inside the scanning machine. I organize my next move in th

The day the music lived.

A moment in time....                 What triggers that instant?  What sets the mind into backwards motion?  Is it the music or is it the memory of what came with the music? The first time I saw the Beatles they were on The Ed Sullivan Show.  I remember being a bit frightened by my parents.  I watched them looking at 'them.'   They were shaking their heads 'oh no, no, no!'  I watched the TV and 'they' were shaking their hair-ful heads all over and singing "Yeah Yeah Yeah!" I was in sixth grade and this life-changing event (at least for me) heralded emotionally uncharted waters .  No older children before me, and lots of squirrel-y brothers after me.  I was alone in this room of rock, roll, and parents.  How was I supposed to act?  I watched from the back of the living room.  "She loves you.  Yeah yeah, yeah."  No big deal.  Just ride with it. I wanted to dance but I wasn't going to.  I wasn't even sure how to...and I wa

The fan went round and round until....

it stopped.  Aw, shucks. If it doesn't work on low speed I'll just it up pop a notch to medium. That worked for three days. Ut-oh. The fan stopped working on medium speed.  It's always been like analog clockwork!  Going round and round very quickly.  Gosh, what's wrong? Since I use the fan in my bedroom at night, I rarely really  look at it.  I just turned it on.  When I moved the fan to the kitchen it was dis -gusting! I started with old toothbrushes, with the fan over the kitchen sink. That should have gotten the dust/dirt off.  Bad idea.  All it did was spread sticky dust over everything in the kitchen. And the toothbrushes couldn't reach the blades. The grate was too narrow for them I tried the next item on my hit list. The mini wet-dry vac.  Blew it full blast!  All the dust/dirt did was stay in one place. That was really gross. There's got to be a way to clean the blades.  Ah-ha!  A small screw.  It looks like it keeps the metal circle secured

Sporting events...24 hours per day.

This is a sporting time of year for sports fanatics..either watching or participating. British Open Golf 2013.  Tour de France 2013.  America's Cup 2013.  Transpac Race 2013.   British Open Golf (except on the muni course) My son, Evan, showed up for a conference in San Franciso last Sunday and Monday.  He got here about 6pm on Saturday eve, via Southwest Airlines. The first thing we did....we played 9 holes at the muni golf course in Alameda.  Ev rented junk clubs but he's so positive and eager...he didn't even complain. Well, maybe just a little, after seeing he didn't have any wedges and did have two 6 irons in a very ugly bag. At that time of evening there aren't many folks out. Some play two balls, and that's what we did.  Two of us played one ball each.  Not good. But it was fun.  I have to remind myself to have fun. Today I got some invites to two charity golf tournaments.  One is high end and in the hills (more $$), and the other is local (l

If it's not doesn't exist.

My dear, late husband surely thought this way.  Long ago, in a far away place, he brought to our house drawers stuffed with stuff.  It had planes and more planes (that means planes as in models, and planes as in woodworking).  The drawers had electrical stuff.  Electrical stuff for houses, and stuff for those model planes, and model boats, and tools.  Some broken, some very cool. And there was loads of boat stuff. But they all had one thing in common.  They were stuffed into drawers in our garage or carriage house. If I couldn't see them or if he couldn't see them, they were alright, just they way they were. Alot of the stuff was his dad's.  And I'm sure he wanted to get to that stuff.  But he never did. But I do think he loved having his Dad's stuff nearby.  His dad was killed in a training flight for Western Airlines, back in the early 1970's.  I have the accident reports up in my own closet but it's been years since I've looked at them.  I did not

Independence Day - now and then.

What is that noise?  Let me sleep.  Just leave me alone.'s the blue, green, and gray bins PICKUP TODAY!  Oh no!  I assumed (and we all know what that means: makes an ass out of u and me) they weren't coming this morning!  AARGH!  Get that stuff out to the curb, now! Throw a robe on, put slippers on, and ask one of the workers "Have they picked up this side of the street?"  "No!"  Then I looked around and I wasn't the only one scrambling...the young gal across the way was dragging the bins to the curb.  Several others up the street were playing beat the clock and the truck, too. Last night when I got home after our Wednesday church service, there weren't many bins out.  Each neighbor always put them out the night before.  But the neighbors obviously forgot that the workers had a holiday on Thursday, Independence Day. Well, those few neighbors had the last laugh!  And they were still in bed and I was on the street. How did this

aha! moments...part I

Each of us has them.  Maybe numerous times.  The Aha moments.  I'm not sure how to spell is aHA?  How about A-HA?  Perhaps aha!  I'll go with the last one. I remember when I had one of my first aha! moments. I told myself  "Self, go over and interview for the flying job to deliver new planes!" Our predecessor pilots pretty much laid the path ahead of us.  They got jobs so maybe I could.  So I went to San Jose...the only chick I knew of, at that time, who wanted get hours in the air. I took my licenses, my log book, some guts, and went in.  They had some type of minimum number of hours...maybe it was 800-1000.  There was a lady there.  She was the only one I remember seeing.  I told her I had an appointment to meet someone about delivering planes. She took my stuff, looked it over and said, "Most of your time is in gliders."  "Yes, it is.  But you know, I need to make each landing work on the first time because I can't go around


This week I was pleasantly surprised at how many emails I read and conversations I heard or had, that were so full of expressions of gratitude. So...let's put a few 'great' gratitudes down in writing.... C called me to move our two hour dinner chat until next week.  Her son J was coming through...and she wanted to see him (more than me?).  He is working as a flight attendant and loving it and was between hops.  It is a thrill to see how happy she is for him.  And her daughter is working for a college trip next winter to Europe.  Nicer kids would be hard to find. B is happy!  She is coming from Vancouver to stay with me, on a mission to rescue and find homes for some of her stuff that's been in storage for over two years!  But the best part?  She knows now that she is really good at digital lighting for movies (big blockbusters) and the movie dudes and dudettes are coming to her often and on her terms.  You go, girl! Mr. J is super-relieved!  He emailed me and a

Get on board...

I love taking trains.  No, I don't do it often at all.  But I'm not invited on this train trip. This week I read about a type of train ride.  This was from The Daily Good , a blog I subscribe to thanks to my daughter Sutter.  (How does she find this stuff?) This is a 10 day train ride in refurbished mid-century cars.  They stop at pre-determined locations during the day, and travel by night.  They all must have a project that is approved by the coordinators, and  'crowd-funded' (as in raising $5000 each by July 1 to pay for expenses).  Millennials are the passengers.  That's right. Younger folk.  It sounds fascinating. I don't think I could pass as a Millennial (duh).  And I don't think they need train-car-moms or chaperones.  One of the generations involved have been there (with 'adults' supervising them in their younger years).  The other generation has done that (I'm so over it with the kids).   But the idea is fascinating to me.  When's grossly undervalued.

I was working on my blogs (real estate, and now this one).  In between I was emailing a friend who is out of town for a bit.  She mentioned that there is so much going on, about, in, out, and around, that she misses her routine at home. Yep,  that's it.  I am going to write about routine. may be boring and may not be exciting.  It just is.'s what we do.  Sometimes thoughtlessly.  Sometimes thoughtfully. Routine...there is comfort in routine.  This is my Thursday night.  Writing.  I do factual things first and then mess with facts about, inside, outside my head, my life. may be frustrating.  I think of jail.  That's the real routine in and day out.  I think of Andy (Tim Robbins) in The Shawshank Redemption.  Digging out one spoonful at a time.  Routine with a goal.  Get the hell out.  And of course, Morgan Freeman playing "Red."  He continued to try to get out on parole and finally did.  Jail works back-a