Showing posts from 2019

Rain rain go away...

...come back when the painting is done!

Two separate people drove by my house...two times, because they didn't recognize it.

The priming and prep is almost done. The most of the dryrot has been filled in by some gray/brown/mastic/epoxy, and then sanded into the wood, where it will harden into the correct shape (curves, straight lines, patches). This also works for nail holes in the woodwork, and where boards have some gaps in them.

The last photo is from the inside of the main entry. It's still light inside, but I feel like I'm living in a cave...with the plastic on all of the windows.

Maybe, I'm told, next week the painters might be able to put on the colors, to see if those colors meet my expectations.

And I've told those that have driven by this white house, looking for the colors that have been sanded off...I'm may still be living in the white house, but please don't even think that our President resides there, at all.

Live richly, marilyn

Rerun: A splice of life...or two.

I was attending a class today, but I was the only student that showed up. I knew the (woman) instructor and so we started talking about the real estate program that she would teach. I wanted to be sure I was taking advantage of most of the program's functions. She asked me how I got into real estate. And I told her. 
That discussion lead me to this...a re-run of my initial introduction to flying. 

Splice: to join two ropes by intertwining the strands.

"Marilyn, I have something for you.  My dad wanted you to have it.  See you back at the house." This was from Bud Murphy's son, Rich.

Hmmm.  Wonder what that could be.

There are two men who have framed my life.  The first was my late husband, Carl.  The second was Bud Murphy.  The first inadvertently introduced me to the second.  And now they are both gone.  Carl, in 2002, and Bud in 2011.

Within a year of getting married, Carl decided that we must be extravagant with the $40 per month he got from a five and a half year st…

If you don't have one, you need one. Or three.

I received a 2-page list that came from Alameda County and it was sent to most everybody who has an address. And whether you live here or not, you need to prepare for it (whatever 'it' is....)

Emergency Preparedness Kits
It outlines what you need to have in case of an emergency.
If you'd like a copy, let me know and I'll send you a copy of it via email or snail mail. It would be a pleasure for me to get you a copy of this list.

I have 2 emergency kits that I bought from KQED (a local  Public Radio Station) over the last years. One is in my car and the other is in  a bin in the backyard. 

And let's get rid of plastic (and even paper straws)...I have 2 straws in my backpack that I can wash, dry, and reuse again. And again. And again.
This is important!
Live richly and be smart!
best, marilyn

First sand...

...then more sanding...not sure when the paint will go on this old lady (not me).

The front porch will get scraped and sanded tomorrow.

Note the car cover that the painters put on my car, again! (far right of photo)

 Westside of house, and under the curtain that's covering the scaffolding.

And here's what's in front of the house - The Honey Bucket!


I've taken the leap...getting the exterior of this old lady (not me), it's my house which was erected in 1898, painted.

With the rains this past winter, the house had peeling paint, had paint bubbles, and some dry rot (not sure yet how much yet).

The painters started on Tuesday.

They are super-organized: ladders stacked, drop cloths folded, paint cans organized, and they brought a microwave so they can heat up their lunch...which is homemade. They leave their tools exactly the same each day. The project manager has come by to be sure all is well.

They've spent 2 full days sanding the east side of the building and they're not done yet. This old gal (not me) is getting a facelift. They'll be working their way around the building... the last phase is the front.

While I don't speak Spanish, the music is good, but with the sanders sanding, the tunes are off.

So far, they said the house has really good wood (I'm assuming it's redwood).

I'm keeping the col…

Company is coming....

My son, his wife,  and their 2 kids were here to camp inside for 2 nights. We had some other friends over as well, with their 2 kids, and we fired up the Weber barbeque. It had been at least 3 years since I used it. It's been outside and I still haven't removed the cover from the pavement. GROSS.

When I woke up that morning my kitchen lights wouldn't turn on. Then I realized that the noises that my icemaker would make at night.... weren't happening. I opened up the refrig door, and the lights weren't on. argh.

I went to the circuit box that morning, then called my electrician, and he walked me through what I needed to do to be sure everything was set just right.

But during this 'entertaining' event, my refrigerator stopped working, again. I called my electrician and he said maybe the GFIC (ground fault circuit interrupter) had popped out. Most modern kitchens must have them...and it's part of keeping everything and everybody safe. You push in the red bu…


My son, his wife, and their 2 kids, took a road trip from San Diego up to Napa (to see her huge extended family), down to Alameda, and then back to San Diego. They arrived home early this afternoon. I think they were gone for a just over a week.

It's always fun to watch what all of them have to do for such a trip to be successful and remembered.

The parents: because they have to bring all of the 'stuff'.

The kids: because they bring a bunch of special toys... in particular, stuffed animals to make them feel at home. I have a bunch of Discovery Toys, Legos, etc. in my dining room cabinets and once the kids show up...they know exactly where to go, and what to do.

Now I've been introduced to Pokeman. I still don't know what the goal is, and I don't know how it's played, but my grandson knows most everything about Pokeman. He goes on and on about each character. It appears to be a huge card game...with names I can't pronounce.

All of their devices are on my…

Roses and some lessons from them....

I've had some time to spend looking around my yard, both front and back, and realized that I've been completely ignoring....everything.

Yes, I do have gardeners and they do a great job...but I'd rather work on my roses and trim and prune them, and then I can only blame myself if they don't do what I'd like them to do.

One late afternoon this week I went out and cut off the dead roses and there were a lot of them. Then I cut off the suckers (they take up space and don't actually grow any roses).

Next, I cleared out the center of each rose bush and rose tree. This gives them sunlight to keep producing roses.

And the way I'm supposed to prune them is to find an outward-facing bud, so the rose bush/tree rather looks like a bowl. And I'm supposed cut below  "the first 5-leaflet stem". It takes some time...and I'm no expert.

The good news is they keep blooming.

I am blessed...and these roses remind me of that fact.

Live richly, marilyn

This is the view from my reclining outdoor chair, under a tree.   And the chimes sound heavenly, soft and deep. 

-I was talking on the phone with a friend yesterday. She said she 'got a cold'. My response was to 'Give it back, give it back!' She laughed. 
-I've been clearing out my home office. Files, gone. Papers, gone. Old devices that were once high tech, are no longer.  Buh-bye. 
--I asked for 12 more 3-sided legal files from a local title company. I've filled them up. I now need to go through those files another time, and see if I can get rid of more stuff. 
-My shredder has been grinding away. 
-Have space...will fill. That's my motto. That's my life. Not any more. 
-I found a ruler in one my desk drawers (and I found several rulers). It was old and beat up. I looked at the backside. It was a friend of my son's from middle school (and that was 22 years ago). Somehow I got the ruler. And I took a photo of it. I emailed it to my son. 
I said, "Dani…
I rode my bike to the most recent City Council meeting, last Tuesday evening. I met a couple of friends there and they were saving a seat for me.

I was there to speak about rent control. And I took less than my 2 minutes to say what I wanted. I usually take some notes to the podium with me. That way I don't mess up too badly.

But what I learned was how to be grateful for each person that spoke: that meant young people in high school, it meant older (than me) people. All kinds. All colors. All points of view.

It meant the city council members, (even if 2 of them have recently been investigated by a Grand Jury), for some no-no's. In fact, one of them said 'Hello, Marilyn' to me before the meeting. I didn't even know he knew my name, much less what I looked like.

On my way home, about 8:30pm, I made eye contact with many of those who were at the meeting...and I said 'hello' and smiled. Even those who didn't know anything about the meeting: they were riding…


Have you ever been in a meeting...and one person is constantly texting/emailing to who knows who?

I have...and it's more than annoying. I don't care how many things you can do at one time...but you can't! And this is an adult!

One of these days, I'll interrupt the meeting and ask this person...what did we just say? I bet he won't know.

And what good is the meeting to him? Nada, zip, zero, nothing.


I heard the above on KQED in the past week. Check it out....PLEASE!

And please, live richly! marilyn

Boom in the night....

I live in an old house. Most of the houses around me are old. Lot's of them are getting work done on them after the heavy winter rains. However, finding a good contractor that has the time, is nearly impossible.

Last night, while I was in bed, it was silent, until it wasn't. I heard a lot of firecrackers, explosions, or whatever, very close to me. I don't know if it was behind me, up the street, down the street, or even out of the area. It sounded if it was in my back yard.

Having fun is one thing. Being obedient to the law (no fireworks) is another. I believe I wrote about this a few years ago.

When we lived in half a duplex, on the east end, July 4th evening came around again. I believe that Carl was racing to Hawaii. I don't remember if we had 1 or 2 kids. But during the next couple of days...I breathed in some whiffs of smoke. Not enough to call the fire department, but I definitely smelled smoke.

Looking back it may have helped if I had called the fire department.…

Happy 4th of July!

We're coming up on Independence Day and in Alameda, it starts with our annual parade! I was invited to 2 parties, one along the parade route on Park St., and one after-the-parade.

We've watched the Rose Parade (in person) because Carl's mom had a second marriage to a guy named Joe, who was very jolly except when he wasn't. But he wanted a motorhome and so he got it. And that's how we got to watch the Rose Parade: in a motorhome. That marriage broke up. Yay.

You can watch our Alameda local parade on the curb of a sidewalk, or park yourself and your bike somewhere along the parade route, well before it comes around. There are helicopters flying overhead taking videos for the 6pm news.

We've got folks coming into town from all over. Barbeques are going full blast in homeowners front yards as the parade marches, drives ancient cars, dances, sings, and does gymnastics along the route. It's very diverse as well.

I've been in our 4th of July parades...represe…
The company that does all my marketing for me is called Fusion. Their tagline is 'Meet People, Make Friends'!

I don't go into Bed, Bath, and Beyond thinking this. However, I have a stack of coupons in my kitchen and in my car.

This past week I took my BB&B coupons out of my car. I found what I wanted and while I was in the short line, the service person at the counter asked if one of the two customers ahead of me had any coupons? She said "no."

I said "yes!" The woman said "no no no!"

I held up my stack. The service person said "Use it!" After a few seconds, the woman acquiesced. Thumbs Up!

The next person in line stepped up. The service person asked if he had any coupons. Obviously, he hadn't paid any attention to the person before him. He said "no." I said "yes!" He didn't want them.

The service person said "It's like free money!" That woke the guy up.

No expiration date. The best of t…

"Have a good day."

There's a 1950's (?) apartment building next door (not pretty)...but it's attached to a gorgeous Victorian, next door. We're separated by a 20+-foot wall of ivy.

There's a regular turnover there, within those units, but..I don't know how often.

One of the neighbors is a woman and her son. For decades I've watched him pull out aluminum cans from the blue bin, on our driveway.

I used to discourage him from doing this. Several years ago, I just gave up.

Not sure how much English the son speaks, and I don't know if I'd recognize the mother.

What caused the change in my mind? Why did it even matter to me?

But every time I see him he says hello in this way "Have a good day." And every time I see him leave he says "Have a good day." Same tone...every time.

There are items that take more importance. But for this man....he's doing his part making a living with his mother.

Live richly, marilyn

Women over 50

Here is a piece written by Andy Rooney - CBS 60 Minutes:

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 opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

* Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. The…
Who knows what you'll find searching around the internet? I found these!  But I wasn't looking for them. “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”
― Thomas Jefferson
“I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” 
― Thomas Jefferson
“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” 
― Thomas Jefferson
“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” 
― Thomas Jefferson
“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” 
― Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson
“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.” 
― Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

I'll leave it at that. <

Another of the Indian Hills signs....

Live richly, marilyn

Working waterfront...

This past week I needed to get my daughter, Sutter, to the Alameda ferry. Once she boarded that, then it would stop @ the San Francisco city front, and she'd board the ferry to Tiburon, where she'd meet some lovely people who she came to know (and love) through my late husband's yacht design business. They had at least two of his designs over the years, and now they have just one boat/yacht that Carl designed for them.

She seemed to be running late...(rather strange because I'm the one who runs late and she has no problem telling me that). She hustled down the gangway...but other folks were also doing the same she was safe.

I decided to do some reading, in my car, and parked the car, maybe an eighth of a mile west of the ferry. I was there for over 3 hours.

The container ships were loading and off-loading. It was non-stop. The cranes were going non-stop. The ferry was heading over to SF. A large sailboat was doing practice runs up and down the estuary. A ma…

Maybe laugh, maybe cry.

Been a long couple of days.  This made me laugh, and then I cried, figuratively. argh.
live richly, marilyn

Short, sweet, and to the point....

Photo of San Francisco's Ferry Building. My daughter, Sutter, and I had lunch there on Wednesday after I picked her up from SFO. She flew 18 hours from New Zealand. Our tradition is to have lunch at Gott's.  It's not only got good eats, but it's good people watching!

I was talking with a friend, who is a Realtor, and she was telling me that she had helped a client pack up, pile up, and load up tons of stuff in a townhome. 

As I've said before and I'll keep on saying...

Have space...will fill.

However, her client exclaimed..."Good news! I found my wife's ashes!" Well, um, okay.

Today, I was riding my bike home after getting my haircut, and I was stopped by my neighbor who was outside on her porch. She had some questions for me. We started talking about clearing out houses.

And then she exclaimed, "That would make a person 'turn in his urn.' I liked that a lot. That saying beats 'rolling over in his/her grave.'

I know how I want t…

Weeds and Easter

I was walking down the stairs on my back porch, looking at my bike, and I saw these green items, growing in one of my pots, today.

This shows just what living things will do IF they have enough water and some plain dirt to put roots into and something nourishing to feed them.

This pot has been empty since last fall. I think it's a weed on the top of the photo. I think the bottom is a real plant (veggie or flower). But I'm pretty sure they won't last if  I don't plant them somewhere, where they can thrive.

This pretty much explains what I think about Easter. Sure, there's the candy, and the baskets, and the candy, and egg hunt, and the candy...but Easter is about renewal, and rising upward and moving onward. (Sounds like Jerry Seinfeld's bit on candy and Halloween)

Whether you have any belief in Jesus and what he did and how he rose up, after he was crucified, and made himself known to his disciples, who were grieving over his death, doesn't matter to me.


Two days: one wedding and one celebration of life.

Part 2: continued from last week...
The night before I attended a wedding in Sacto. 
The Saturday after the wedding I attended a celebration of life. 
I'm not big on either of these events, celebrations, etc. But these two events knocked my sox off. 
I've felt like I've known this family for decades. Actually, I have known them for over 3 decades. 
I knew the parking lots would be filled. So I decided to ride my bike there. I prayed a bit before doing this. But it just seemed right. 
Central Baptist Church was almost across the street from my own church. This was the perfect way to travel: no rain, out in the air. 
I wasn't sure what to expect. But as soon as I got inside, I felt right at home. 
Sure, there were lots of tears...but the attendees knew there was more than tears. There was music...not moaning music but country-style music sung by three men, members of the congregation. They were joyful! And they sang with purpose and goodwill. 
Some of the family members …

Key to my heart....

This is actually a keyhole to our carriage house. I'm not sure I have a key that fits the hole...but I have a ton of keys, from this old house.
Part 1: 
I went to two very memorable events last was on a Friday evening and the other was the day, a Saturday afternoon. These events unlocked the key to my heart. 
I had given myself plenty of time for my drive from Alameda to Sacramento. I was driving (I assumed) in non-traffic hours so I left at 2pm. Bad news, Marilyn. It was a crawl on the freeway and I wasn't even to the Carquinez Bridge. 
I hadn't factored in the accidents on Interstate 80. OMG. I glanced at my car clock, ticking the time away. Should I turn back? No, I told myself. Keep going. 
I got to Sacto, and the lady in my car continued to tell me where to go. But then GPS lady told me "You have reached your destination. The route guidance is over." Really? 
I got out my phone and google maps said I should turn right, and right, and right again. …

This was a Blustery Day, ...Winnie the Pooh would have said.

I decided to get out for a while today: do some reading, think about things, to watch the clouds, and absorb the weather.

I was on the southwest end of Alameda, beyond Ballena Bay...going through potholes, way out to where windsurfers do their thing (but not today).

I've ridden my bike out here (but not today). A man in a truck drove by...drove as far as he could, hit the end of the road and turned around came back. The driver stopped and wondered if I was okay.  I was fine and told him I was out taking photos of the blustery day.

It was breathe fresh air, and just think, absorb, and be in awe of the clouds. Maybe two hours later it was hailing. But I was back inside my office back to work: snuggy and warm.


LIVE RICHLY! marilyn