Showing posts from 2020

July 5, July 6

This is one of my favorite photos that I've taken along Crown Beach/Harbor.

(I believe I wrote about this previously.)
We stayed at home on the 4th, and we had sparklers for our daughter but our son was too young to know what to do with them. In fact, I think Carl was getting ready to sail on the Transpac (yacht race) to Hawaii.

The next day I smelled smoke. I walked around the house, went close to other houses on Janis Circle. As I went a bit further away, the smoke smell diminished. Had some firework landed on our shake roof?

This went on for 2 days. Every once in a while I'd smell smoke. I'd go outside again.

We lived in a duplex. On a quiet street. I smelled smoke again. "Dear Lord, please tell me where this is coming from."

As I was walking around the house again, I stopped. I looked down. There was a smoldering firecracker wedged into the ground, right next to some plants, and inches from the stucco building.

I lifted it out, threw it on the sidewalk, and …
I'm not known as a flag-waver, but I do love what our flag stands for...and this is how I celebrate Independence Day: decorating our front porch.

When I was in high school, I stood when we pledged allegiance to our flag, but I never said a word. The Vietnam war going full blast, and we heard so much about how many soldiers were killed in that war. It was awful and nobody could explain to me why the US was there.

It's a bit like the vicious virus of today: getting numbers of how many folks have been tested, or are hospitalized, or have died, on a daily basis.

I put the big flag on support near my front door, so it really waves in the wind.

I also have an American flag that's very old that has 12 stars in a circle with the stars and stripes. But it's heavy-duty and I don't know who gave it to me or where I found it...must have been in an old house, in a basement or in an attic in a corner where nobody looked.

Google told me that it's a Betsy Ross Flag. 

The Betsy…


Classic summer day!  Clear in A-town and fog behind the SF city/coast!
Ding dong! FedEx was at my front door..not the truck..the delivery person.
He was there to pick up a 29-pound package. Uh, I don't have a 29-pound package to give to you! 
However, I did receive a notice from FedEx at my address that there was a large package for me from who...I don't know. 
I brought out the notice...and I called that person. He was not very nice. In fact, he was pissed off and said he'd leave that package on the curb at the front of his house, and hopefully, somebody would take it. 
Ben, (the FedEx man), and I had a lovely conversation about being courteous. Courtesy, his 3-year-old daughter, was learning what her name meant! 
Ben was born and raised in Alameda. And each time he said my name, it was Ms. Schumacher. I told him he could call me Marilyn...but that's not how he was taught. 
Bummer. It must be my gray hair...that makes people call me Ms. Schumacher. Or I could blame i…

It's a whole new world....

Yesterday we went on a bike ride.

By 'we' I mean my son, his wife, their son (6 years old) and their daughter (not quite 4).

They had driven up to Napa to see her parents and loaded the 4 bikes onto a bike carrier on their Subaru. Then they drove to A-town.

I usually go bike riding in the evening and that's when we went...less crowded, more space, it was a bit windy.

I'm constantly amazed at how these kids (adults and grandkids) are learning to things these days and using the tools they have (electronics and logic). It's a far cry compared to how I learned to ride a bike.

I was taught to ride a bike by using training wheels instead of pushing on foot. Training wheels only taught me how to fall over.

Eventually, the parents do attach the pedals. The oldest is doing great while the youngest is still pushing. But she is fast! She's a small speed-freak.

I was taught by my grandson how to play 4 Kings in the Corners, last night. My daughter said it reminded her of …

Kitchen drawers....

One of my favorite sayings is "Have space, will fill."

One day this week...I decided to clear/clean out my kitchen drawers. They looked organized enough...but ugh.  I even brought my Dyson vacuum in to do the sucking once the drawers were empty.

How many cheese cutters/knives/slicers do I need? Maybe one. I have about 5.

How about those melon-ballers? I had 2. Buh bye.

I don't know why I have a baby-sized rolling pin (was it my daughter's)?

Oh, and I have a butter slicer ---- so every slice looks identical. Toss it.

I don't have a clue what the flat wooden thing is that has 4 holes (various widths) in it.

When did I last use an ice-cube picker-upper? How dainty....these days I just shove my cup/glass under the icemaker.

How many bottle openers do I need...especially those that have advertisments on them? Nada. Don't all bottle tops twist off these days by hand?

I'm keeping the yellow plastic thing that assists me in scooping out honey that my neighbor giv…
I took this photo about a week ago, while our mailperson, Shane,  was doing his job. The butterfly did not seem concerned. 
My question is, why can't we at least try to help folks,  give them a helping hand, and do it consistently?  Yes, it is a full-time effort:  like gently keeping a butterfly on a hand, and patiently watching it fly away. 
Live richly, marilyn

Masks & trash.

A friend has been sewing masks...for most everybody! I was grateful to receive 2 masks from her. One has elastic that I can put over my ears. It's lovely and has lots of color. The other has two hand ties, and she said she made it for me because it has bicycles on it!

Unfortunately, I can't find the mask with the elastic. I'm sure it's somewhere around here, or in my car.

I went over to one of our local hardware stores,  today. I've been so grateful for all of the workers, anywhere, and specifically those who know their inventory: what's in and what's on order.

I bought a couple of the N95 masks today, along with some hand sanitizer, and more booties. I already had the Clorox wipes. No line, no waiting. In and out. This was in preparation for putting a house on the market.

Once you put the booties on to view a house they need to be tossed out once you leave the property. 

Good news....we're not required to wear masks when we ride a bike! I find it amazi…

Social distancing on the freeways.

"The colossal, collective laziness that has been defining our culture must change."  My friend, Vicki, wrote this to me this week. IMHO, she couldn't be more right!

Here's an example of a wonderful, definitely not lazy, person I met on Wednesday.

She's probably less than half my age. Her name is Christina. She works at the Hayward Home Depot.

One of my residents asked me yesterday if I could get individual, locking mailboxes for our units, none of this "sharing stuff." She was afraid of having her personal mail being looked at (i.e. stealing one's identity). I thought about it.

She looked online and sent me some links. I went outside and measured to see if the 5 boxes would fit. They did. The price seemed very reasonable and the current mailboxes looked super ugly.  I ordered them online and they had just five of them. The Home Depot said they would text me when they were ready to be picked up. They said it would be about 2 hours.

The time came and …

The good new days? Thinking about the good old days.

I pulled these Alameda photos out of my Dropbox files.

See if they remind you of the good old days, and maybe get you thinking about the good 'new' days?

We need to continue to live richly. marilyn

How do I fill my days?

Big news! The Shredding Party generated $6280!  Thank you, friends, neighbors, and folks who I do not know!

Being under the 'Shelter In Place' rules, I'm not really sure.

Here's a photo of my new gardening gloves and the new pruners that I ordered this past winter. They are super protective, and the pruners are ratcheting. Lovely! I literally tore up my old gloves on the roses.  They lasted for maybe 10+ years?
Here's my estimate of how I spent my time this week: Monday - Thursday:

-Zoom meetings and webinars this week: 6 of them =  11 hours
-Gathering details for my Workers Comp insurance = 5 hours
-Grocery shopping = 1 hour (2 stores)
-Bicycling = errands: Post office /Office Max/Trader Joes/Shoreline to Crown   Harbor/ Central to Eastshore to Encinal Market (Yes! They had Wheat Chex!) = 3 hours
-Fire extinguishers re-charged (have 7 of them) AFE comes to me=15 min.
-Did paperwork for a soon-to-be listing=4 hrs
-Research financing for a co-op= 45 min (2 phone calls…

Mobile Quarantine Facility

Some great friends dropped off some super-heavy plastic bags, should I need them for my 14th Annual Shredding Party. Great! I'll take them, thank you!

Me: Now would you both like to come in for a beverage? Oh, that's right, we can't do that - because we wear masks and we need to stay 6 feet apart. I could bring out my high school megaphone so we could have a conversation! Uh, not so much.

She's been the one who has been able to keep me laughing during these very troubling times. 

I was going through some photos on my phone...and I found a photo of this Mobile Quarantine Facility...which is just one piece of history from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration display on the Hornet. The Hornet was an aircraft carrier during WWII and lifted Apollo 11 out of the water, once it splashed down with the astronauts. 

This seems a very appropriate picture, during these times.

The Hornet was the spot where the Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual meeting with our City Mana…
Reminder! Shredding Party will be May 2, 9-1pm at my house! Tell your friends! 
It's free to everybody whether I know them or not!
If you'd like to write a check (or give cash) to Alameda Meals on Wheels,  I'll match every donation, so AMOW gets twice as much!

Roses in my garden!
When I went into my office about 3 weeks ago, I couldn't get my computer to work. This is not a good way to start any morning. The screen told me that there was no internet connection. 
The good news is that I didn't pick up my Surface Pro and throw it on the ground. The bad news is that I had to call Comcast/Xfinity. Ohhh nooo!
After waiting on hold for 40 minutes, a service person took my call. Turns out he couldn't fix it. He pushed me (figuratively) up the food chain. Whenever that happens I'm thinking that these folks just give up and don't want to wait me out. Usually, I'm disconnected. 
Next in line was a woman from Comcast. Comcast does not have a good reputation based on r…

Juggling with eggs....

I found some small square ball-like objects, and it triggered something in my mind. What, where was it? Did I dream it?

It's been rather surprising to me, when we're in this quarantine situation, that I really stop and look at things around this house! The cabinets, storage closets, drawers, boxes, niches under the stairs seem to be calling to me....."what do I have in here, that you've forgotten about?" As I've said before....have space, will fill. 
While I was riding my bike this past week, during the glow of sunset, and there was nobody on the bike path by the beach, I realized where I learned to juggle. It was at Sky Sailing Airport. 
Sky Sailing is the place where Carl took me for an introductory lesson in a sailplane (aka glider). He had his private pilot's license (both single-engine land and gliders). But his dream was to design and race sailboats/yachts. And that he did...very well. However, he turned me into a 'for real' commercial pilot…
OK. Let's get down to biz. This is the same as my real estate blog this week.

However, You might want to check out what these 2 guys have successfully put together.....

How to Pass the Salt While Maintaining Proper Social Distance - YouTube

Spring is busting out all over….14th Annual Shredding Party!May 2nd Saturday, 9am – 1pmRain or Shine!This is my gift to our Alameda community—-FREE to you and all your friends!If you’d like to make a donation, I’ll match it and all proceeds will go to: Alameda Meals on Wheels! And being obedient to the Alameda County law, we will be ‘physically distancing.’ If you need my address, email me. Many of you will be getting at least 1 or two postcards from me with all of the info and you can tell your friends to come by, or  I can pick up their stuff the week before our party.Live richly, marilyn

GOOD- admire it as soon as you see it. We need to express more good!

I was sitting in my backyard, reading my books, enjoying the sun and the wind.  I wonder if you can find the cat (not mine) in the photo above?

I don't cook much these days.  But I can open a jar of soup and peel a tangerine.  Orange on Orange.  Tomato-Basil is the soup. 
This is the time to be grateful, for anything that is remotely good. 
Live richly, marilyn


You've got until this Wed., APRIL 1!
Life gets too busy....and sometimes we just forget things. 
This is the way the government determines what federal  funds get to our local communities!
It took me just a very few minutes. Then I was done!
Plus, I  did it online and there was no paper, ink, no fuss, no muss, and each person is given  a Census ID.  
Now you're living richly! marilyn

My new friend.

I guess I've been staying in and around my house too much these days. I don't go grocery shopping unless I've got a list of items to get. And I'm quite specific about what I will buy, except for the occasional treat(s) for myself.

Not quite 2 weeks ago I decided to go to Trader Joe's. And it was so crowded there! I literally thought...what is going on here? The shelves were mostly empty. I was mostly confused. I was thinking "I've lost my mind" or maybe "I was having a dream!"

And then I put 2+2 together...and I came up with the new REALITY! Everybody was buying everything...because nobody wanted to run out of anything! I just stood in an aisle and watched the crowds around me.'s the virus. And we're all on a staycation.  And I left TJs.

But there are more people than ever because the kids are at home! No more school. It's homeschooling, Zoom, online classes for littlest ones, too.

Now I'm much wiser. I shop at Dan&#…
This is a classic!  I found this in my files!
Why Older Chicks Rule

by Andy Rooney from CBS "60 Minutes".
This is for all you girls 40 years and over.... and for those who are turning 40 and for those who are scared of moving into their 50...AND 60's...And for guys who are scared of girls over 40!!!!

Andy Rooney says:
As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 40 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 40 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 40 give a hoot what you might think about her or what she's doing.

Women over 40 are dign…


It was quite a time I had a week+ ago. Suddenly my computer went bonkers. I do admit that I'm a not very knowledgable user, and I only use what is simple to understand.

I called Kyle, The Computer Guy. He said he could come by on Tuesday. Good news:  my phone was working. Bad news, I have man-hands and I don't text very well or send emails on my phone because I have those man-hands.

Kyle said that I hit a button that I shouldn't have. It was an  'upgrade' for Google or Chrome. But I learned a lot. The email that I was sent, was bogus. But it looked so official! It made my computer sick, and I felt the same could I make that mistake?

I could not get my printer to work. I went to the local Office Max and met the most wonderful person...who printed up my fliers for the open house I had the next day. At that moment, I could have cried joyful tears!

I couldn't find my contacts. I couldn't pull up my blogs (thus no blogging last week). Things were defin…

It's all in the timer...

As the Building chairperson for our church, one of the members was concerned that our outdoor plants needed water.

OK! I knew where the watering timers were, and I went to the one that was indoors because that was the one that watered those plants. Those timers been  'off' for the last few months.

Even with my reading glasses, I couldn't figure out how this worked. Sure, I've set it before, but this time it just seemed like a big hassle and the print was so small.

It was such a hassle, that when I went on my weekly bike ride with a good friend, I asked her to pedal with me over to the church after our ride to see if she could figure out how this timer thingy worked. She gladly obliged. She gave it a good go, but was a bit frustrated.

I called my gardener, who also just started tending to our church landscaping, to see if he would meet me at the church.

I felt redeemed! Even Sal couldn't get it to work. He said that the timer was really old, and yanked it out of the…

To my friends (two of whom are not present).

The Palace of Fine Arts

Dearest Mary, and Annie, and Heidy This celebrates an evening so mighty That walls come down Throughout the town,  Known as San Francisco, that nighty.
With grace and agility pervasive And the statues overlooking persuasive We witnessed a scene In a place so serene It all seemed nearly evasive.
She lept and twisted and turned  Pretended she carried an urn The moment was fast And then it did pass What was it we had all learned?
The sisterhood reigns ever strong With secrets that will last ever long This act may be gone Yet memory lingers on Of four friends, a palace, a swan.
December 1996
Marilyn Schumacher

This says it all....


Why does every item...

...seem to stop working at the same time?

This is just the way things are.....these days.

Good news! I had three different folks come by...and each item is fixed!

Good news! I was so mad at my printer because it wouldn't print. When I called Office Max about my questions, the woman put me on hold....for like 5 minutes, and then hung up. What?

The printer has been troublesome to me since I bought it in 2019.  My tech guy said it's a great printer. And now it works. It took him less than 10 minutes to get it to work.

Good news! Now my Sonos (speakers) works. And I don't have the replacement part yet, but it has been ordered.

Good news! I had another friend ask me if I had a stove person who could fix her ancient stove. I know what that's like. I have one of those ancient stoves, as well. He should be able to fix any stove or appliance (that's more ancient than new).

Each vendor is on my list, based on categories (like appliances, heaters, general contractors, roofers, c…

Modem in a box....

OK. I get it. Things needed to get upgraded. But to live a life without Sonos? How about life without the Internet?

Comcast (Xfinity) let me know that my modem (whatever that is) needed to be replaced. Why? I thought. It's working just fine.

They sent me the modem in a hefty but compact box. And they expected me to figure out what cords/plugs needed to go where. No, not never, not ever.

If you saw the snake of cords beneath my desk, well, you'd rather not see them. Well, I'm going to show you.

But to live a life without Sonos? Sonos takes care of my music, my radio stations, and I can switch it on in any room that has the speakers (or I could just turn the sound up).

I called my electronics expert. He was able to be here in 10 minutes. He would be dealing with the modem. But then he needed to call Xfinity. And we were put in touch with somebody in Asia/India - for at least 45 minutes, maybe more.

And when he left to go to another scheduled appointment, I lost the connecti…

Christmas Cactus....

And my daughter said it was dead and needed more water.  Uh, not so much.
Live richly, marilyn


Now…it’s just me because the kids aren’t interested.So once again…I am forced to think about what went wrong, what went right, and then decide if it’s worthy to be included on this list.
And the survey says, (and some of these are the same answers as in previous years):
What’s the most fun you’ve had this past year?  Fun is now a very relative term. I appreciate silence. Silence allows me to listen to what's going on and if I don't like it, I stop it. I found a new place to read....along the estuary shoreline, across from Oakland where the huge container ships load and offload. It's where the SF-Alameda Ferry runs. It's fascinating.
What’s the weirdest place you’ve been this past year? On Interstate 5, driving from San Diego to Lodi. CA is a big state...and so varied.
What’s the biggest personal accomplishment you’ve had this past year? Realizing that change is only as big as I make it.And I wonder if I make too much of small changes.Really radical changes can be something …