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Showing posts from 2019
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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…

SCREENAGERS

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.



Screenagers

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


And please, live richly! marilyn

Boom in the night....

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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!

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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…
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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."

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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....

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Live richly, marilyn

Working waterfront...

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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 thing...so 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.

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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....

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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

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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.

W…

Two days: one wedding and one celebration of life.

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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....

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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 week...one 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.

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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 wonderful...to 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.


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LIVE RICHLY! marilyn

Building Bridges....

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Views from our last boat, Hubba Hubba, a 26' twin-engine, 
1966 Chris Craft, as we slowly cruised on the water surrounding 
Mayberry by the Bay...(Alameda). 

If I even think about purchasing another boat...
I give you permission to shoot me. 


Bay Farm Island Bridge, and bike bridge

High Stree Bridge

Fruitvale bridge, drawn...and train bridge to the right no longer has trains

Can we fit through this? Yep


All is well.

Parking

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I think that my current car, a Toyota Corolla SE, makes me look like I'm driving a sports car. And I think that I'm the only one in the world who thinks like that. 

However, these days, the parking lot spaces are a lot smaller than they used to be, especially those that you need to drive straight into: like in shopping centers, and in business centers.

I think that these lots conform to the building code (parking code), standards. Sure the cars are smaller, but really? This small? These vehicles are all mini cars.

In fact, the spaces are so narrow, I can't even get myself in or out of the car. And if a truck, van, SUV parks next to me...I need to wait until the owner/driver returns to get into my car.

Once a larger vehicle encroaches on the parking space next door to it, it's like playing dominoes...one door hits a car, hits a car, hits a car.

Bottom line...now that the rains have begun to diminish, I need to ride my bike to avoid those lots.

At least I'll be wearing…

Personal guidelines.

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I'm in a meeting.  If I'm rolling my eyes, it's to keep me from opening my mouth.

Live richly,  marilyn

Carwash

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Alameda has a pretty good car wash. Most of the folks who work there have great reputations...because...well, A-town is a small town.  The owners seemed to have worked here forever, and they have become friends to those of us who use their services.

I decided my car needed washing.  Sometimes I do the job myself...that way the only one I can blame is me...if something doesn't look right, is smeared, or I skipped/missed a spot/or got too involved with talking with neighbors or passers-by.

The sun was so bright in the blue sky dotted with cloud puffs.  And it was very windy.  I was not the only one with the bright idea of getting my car washed. The line of vehicles going through and coming out was huge! What a terrific location this is....across the street from the San Francisco Bay shoreline.

My CADEAU (license plate on my car - French for gift) and me, were towards the end of the line.

I guess because we've seen so much rain this winter, everybody was happy to speak to everyb…

Short and sweet....and free at last.

I have a very dear friend here in Alameda.

She told me, a couple of months ago, that her husband said he had taken off his watch, when he retired.

Her friend told her that she took off her bra, when she retired.

You go, girl!

Live richly, and freely.

marilyn

Bright lights...

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I've always been fascinated by Air Traffic Controllers. I can't imagine how they do what they do.

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I really love watching the planes land at Oakland International and San Francisco International Airports...but only in the 'bad' weather.

For landing at SFO I can watch them for several miles, as they are on their final approach. The planes land into the wind, which in bad weather, is from the south. The jets don't fly anywhere over my house, but I can see them in the darkness for miles.

For landing at OAK I can watch them for several miles, as they on their final approach, which is to the east, in bad weather.  Again, they don't fly over my house.

When a friend and I ride our bikes along the shoreline in near darkness and decent weather, we can watch up to 20 planes do the dance that the ATC want them to do.

I used to listen to them on the radio pictured below. That radio has been in our carriage house for years...and I think i…

DMV revisited.

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Heating

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Ut-oh. I woke up...and I didn't hear that warm air from my heater/furnace. Despite that, it seemed positively tropical compared to those caught in the polar vortex. In California, we are 'weather wimps.'

I called a heating company that had worked for me recently. The woman who answered the phone told me it might be that the batteries are dead in the thermostat. 


OMG..who knew the last time I changed out those AA batteries? Good news, she was right! I obeyed her instructions.

That warm air warmed my heart and my jammie-clad body. 

And what a coincidence...my client's furnace had stopped working the day before. I tried to change out those batteries, but I couldn't even open up the thermostat.

As I was starting to close up my own battery door, I suddenly heard a symphony...it was playing in the furnace. Really...the music was glorious! 

I looked around...nobody was there...was this a joke? Was I still sleeping? It was some type of victory music! I thought I was losing my mi…

Gray hair....hide it or stride with it....

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Gray hair....why do those that have it, don't want it? 
Years ago, I had a 'pro' color my hair because I was going gray. That turned out to be a disaster...my hair didn't take the color too well, and I was walking around with all kinds of colors on my head. So much so, that I called myself 'rainbow head.'