Showing posts from 2018
Earlier this year, I was once again dumping/trashing out 'stuff' that I had no need for. Those high cabinets on top of built-in closets in my office, hide the most boring stuff, until it's not. 

Daughter Sutter, response was "Don't do that!" Well, I'm here and she lives in New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, Sean. Uh, yes I will!

Some of those 'items' were old photography equipment: movie cameras, a slide viewer, actual movies (on reels) that Carl's dad made when racing in Transpac events from LA to Honolulu. Sure, they're the real deal, but I don't know anybody who's on those boats. And based on my experience with the Soaring Museum in New York...the Transpac folks don't want any more stuff to stuff into their coffers.

Actually, I never had the privilege of meeting Carl's dad, Dick, who was a Western Air Line's pilot. He was fondly known as Schuey. He and four others were killed in a Western Air Line crash, which was ca…

Waiting....who will show up?

Neighborhood Night Out!

I never know how many will show up. Good news, it's been quite calm in the 'hood. Bad news...what if nobody shows up? argh!

Way back in the day, my son, Evan, and his best friend, who were in 4th? grade and were riding their bikes home from school (and believe me, he will correct me when I'm wrong, or else my daughter Sutter will), and they were held up at gunpoint (nobody knows if the gun was real or not, but that didn't even matter) by some 'kids.'

When I got home, there were 3(?) police cars outside of our house...and the cops were interviewing the kids in the living room. Bottom line...they didn't catch the hoodlums and I think they found their bikes, somewhere. Maybe not.

I couldn't stand around and do nothing! I typed up what happened and hand-delivered the letter to all the neighbors within 2 blocks, the next day. Did they see anything unusual? Did something seem not right? That's not the way I would prefer to meet the…

Un-link me.

I went out to dinner with a couple of friends earlier this week. I rode my bike there, and they walked. 

At one point, somebody said.. "Look around! Most every person in this restaurant has their eyes focused on their phones!" And it wasn't just solo folk who were doing it! 

I'm quite amazed by those who ask to join my Linked In group/sphere/world. 

I glance at their profile and I think why do they want to know me? Or better yet, why do I want to know them?

Actually, I think it's a number's game, kind of like having a bunch of 'friends' that you don't even know. 

And from what I've figured out...a lot of these folks are paid to 'dial for dollars', or in today's lingo 'punch the keys for profits.' 

And while I'm at it (bitching and complaining about social media), I don't tweet, have never tweeted and don't plan on tweeting - ever.

But, in fairness, I must say this about tweeting. If your cell phone is still working, an…

no no no no NO!

I woke up this morning and went into the kitchen. I'm always worried about the dishwasher leaking on to the floor. Kinda like I worry about the base of a toilet leaking. (Marilyn, you have a warped mind, I told myself.)

Hhmm...where did that water come from? Normally, I start saying 'no no no no NO NO NOOO! But I didn't this time.
I opened the cabinets under the kitchen sink, and the water was dripping at a pretty good clip. I pulled out the cleaning stuff in the cabinet. I tried to turn it off and sure enough....I found myself holding pieces of the fixture in my hands. Tupperware was closer. I put that under the steady drip.

I continued to get the cleaning stuff Then I realized a pile of dish towels was within arm's length in another cabinet.  I grabbed them and threw them near the sink and started mopping up the wet floors with my dish-towel lined feet. 

For decades we've had a piece of vinyl flooring laying on the bottom of the sink-cabinet, unatta…

By the sea, by the San Francisco bay....

And this is why I like Alameda. Not that I've ever tried kite sailing or windsurfing, but to ride my bike from home and be by the bay within 5 minutes and on flat pretty amazing.

I was meeting a friend at the Concert at the Cove, i.e. a local park. The city books a different band for the 3 concerts. This band was kind of a mash-up..between rock, country, and loud! It was great!

I got there a bit late, but there was parking...for bikes. There will be one more concert in August...and then it's over for the summer!

Then I treated the two of us to dinner...she drove and I rode my bike.

It's all good...and if I complain I let people know they can slap me. So far nobody has taken me up on the slapping...but it keeps me from bitching about the world.

Live richly, marilyn   

My Alameda real estate blog...The Second Story click the link!

Cell phone photos..

I was awakened by my phone this morning. I used my phone for an alarm earlier this week. 
It was a different noise, but I think I put must have installed the noise myself,, while trying out other noises.
When technology works, the world is going well. When it doesn't...well, ask my son, who I call about midnight, hoping for an AHA moment from him for me. 
I tried to ignore the noise, but it just kept going. Okay, okay. I wandered into the kitchen where I had my phone plugged into the outlet. I unplugged it. Then I heard the noise again. It was from the side of the house! It came from the driveway! And thank goodness, it was not the car alarm.  
It was the crew working on the brick walkway between our house and the neighbor. For years, that 5 foot by 30-foot strip of dirt/debris/trash had laid fallow. And to follow the rules, the crew waits until the clock strikes 8 before they fire up their machines. 
I knew that sound, though. I thought about Carl, who used a table saw to cut wo…

"Liberty is always unfinished business."

I was watching the TV broadcast of the Washington D.C. Capitol Fourth fireworks, opera, song, orchestra, and band festival, on the night of July 4th, this year.

I was literally weeping while those performers were singing/playing all these patriotic songs. Gosh, even now I'm shedding a tear.

It's difficult for me to NOT cry. I guess crying is a type of release for me. Not that I cry regularly, but even last Saturday, I was at an annual association meeting, and those hymns made me well up. No. I was actually crying.

Speaking for myself, there's nothing uglier than me, who is trying to sing, through tears.

When emotions run so deep, when I'm overwhelmed by the goodness of people, I just give in and give up...and I'm crying.

I keep a calendar in a corner of my bathroom counter. Each day has a saying. My mom gave me this small, mini flip chart. And unless I'm away from home, each day of the year has a new saying. And it's repeated every year.

I love it because i…
Our local public radio station, KQED, fm 88.5 was broadcasting a 6 part series:  
2018 Walls and Bridges (The above is a link to these programs.) 

Seeing the world through my eyes only...'s only a question of time that both the walls and bridges need to and/or will come down, whether it be decades or centuries.

In that time period, much can be done but it's all mental, before it can become physical.  It has to be thought before it becomes 'something.'
People can dig holes under walls, climb over them, blow them up, build them up. 

People can float under bridges, walk over them, blow them up,  or allow them to rot in disrepair. 
In all cases, it's all about fear. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real!  What is false is always false, no matter who//what/where/where/why/and how! 
What people in high places say needs to be questioned!  And that's the bottom line. How the question is asked will elicit a decent or ugly response. 
And that's why I love Americ…


...not the store.

I'm talking about my car (which is kept in the driveway), is a target for bird poop.

About three weeks ago, I decided I'd wash the car...myself. I hadn't done that for a long time. Instead, I take the CADEAU to the carwash. They do a good enough job at the carwash. But I feel I do a much better job, myself.

I hauled all the stuff from under the back porch cabinet:
-a shop vac and the associated attachments
-a big white (paint-style) bucket
-the pink car shampoo
-the reusable microfiber blue square cloths
-the wet/dry towels (those are the ones that dry completely stiff)
-the wiper cleaner
-the wiper fluid

And I used all of it. The CADEAU looked great!

Then I put the car cover on. And I put some bricks on the cover so it wouldn't blow off.

And yes, the wind blew like stink. And the cover was completely off, blown against the gate. 

Another "oh, well" moment.

live richly, marilyn

Mental meltdowns.

I'm a creature of habit. No, not the burger joint..although they a great.

I bought a new camera...I mean a new phone...I mean a new cell phone (that comes with a camera and duh, yes, I've had iPhones with cameras ever since I got my first iPhone).

I went to the local ATT store. ATT is my provider. Actually, I provide $$ to them, so they can stay in biz. For the last 3 months, I've received text messages from them that I've exceeded my 'data' allocation. ATT has been adding a fee, so I can have more data.

Honestly, I don't even know what data is. I mean I know what gasoline runs my car (no, I don't have a Tesla). But I don't know what makes "gas" gas!

At the same time, I also decided to try the new Gmail...apparently, it has some upgrades. 'They' call them upgrades. I call them totally confusing.

These two events lead to mental meltdowns.

It should be simple to get a new phone. It is not. 

I need to find out what's goin…

I'm, so sorry.

I get it. If we've lost trust with somebody or a bunch of somebodies, we need to apologize to those with whom we've lost trust.

But now, apologies are a 'trending' topic.

Wells Fargo...Uber...Facebook...

What the heck?

NOW Wells Fargo is saying"we" lost our way. If I was the head of Wells Fargo I'd fire myself, and all the others 'on my team' who followed my lead into disaster.

NOW Uber is saying they won't hire drivers who offer sexual harassment under the guise of casual conversation.

I wrote about this last summer...but it wasn't about sexual harassment. I shared a ride with a dude, and the driver talked about guns..the kind that kill people and the type of guns he owns. I thought...this maniac is driving me to my house? I should stop and get out..and hike the rest of the way home. This is a very good reason to have a driver NOT stop at your home. Get picked up at the apartment across the street, and get dropped off at another person's…

Women Over 50

KEEP GOING WARRIORS! A big win tonight for the team! 

I was looking through my online notes regarding my blog posts. I'm sure I used this gem before...but it's written by Andy Rooney, of CBS 60 Minutes, not by me. 

He said it best.

From Andy Rooney:

As I grow in age, I value women who are over 50 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

* A woman over 50 will not lay next to you in bed and ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

* If a woman over 50 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it's usually something more interesting.

* A woman over 50 knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 50 give a damn what you might think about her or what she's doing.

* Women over 50 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the…

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 …