Sunday, May 30, 2010

A working anniversary

I only have eyes for you....
But I left my tri-focals at the office.

The photo above is not us... but it is the card Glenn gave me for our anniversary.
Ok, things may have changed, in one or two ways, but one thing hasn't, I am so lucky to have married my best friend.

We are one of those rarer commodities in Marin, a couple who have been married 29 years to the same person. As I said before, I love my first husband, and I love my last. It's great they are the same guy... Glenn.

BUT the things that have changed....
29 years ago, I didn't work!

So instead of flying off to Hawaii to lay on a black sandy beach....I got up and made waffles for Glenn before heading to the Calendonia Street Faire. After the Faire, I headed off to an open house. Then finally.... off to home, to BBQ and drink champagne.

I met up with Myriam and Fil at the office in Mill Valley before the Faire. They had a lot of things to bring with them to set up our APR tent for the event. I knew I wouldn't be able to walk any significant distance this weekend, with the work I could count on doing, but I was insistent that I walk to the Faire from the office. (Probably 2 miles or so...)

The Faire officially started at 11am, but in our early shift we were told to arrive at 9am. Myriam and I gave out bottles, John and Fil handed out calendars, Jean gave our jar openers and all of us gave as many kids as would take them APR balloons. I am betting those folks who came later had a ton more people. But it was a beautiful day, and I am sure a huge success for the Sausalito Nursery School.

When the time was up... Myriam gave ne a ride back to my car at the office where I got stuck in beach traffic on the way to my listing. I don't think I ever looked so causal for an open house before. Dressed in my capris and tee shirt, with "Hat Hair" from wearing a baseball cap, my walking shoes on ... I looked like I was ready to take a hike instead of showing off my beautiful listing on Durant.

Despite the busy beach day, several very interested people came through the house. Some neighbors stopped by to say hello too. It was a successful day. I heard back from one agent that one of the couple who walked through would be writing an offer. (We already have received one that we have countered and are waiting to hear back from). The market is definitely on an upswing.

When 4pm came, I hustled back home to wait for Glenn to come back from working.

You see what I mean???? What are we doing working on our 29th anniversary?!

With no reservations...literally and figuratively, I told Glenn to fire up the grill and open the champagne. We sat outside on out sweet little patio and opened our presents...

Glenn gave us... surround sound for downstairs and gave me roses and scotch.

I gave him a recharger for his IPhone, walking socks and champagne... We have given ourselves 29 years of adventures.

As we headed off to bed I told Glenn, I have to be around at 1PM to receive this offer on my listing. Then said we had plenty of time to go his his Dads by 5PM.

But I said "We have the morning...What ya want to do?!"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sex in the City, Power outages and Frien-er-ventions

Its been a stressful week. To go into each and every reason would be giving it too much credence. Suffice it to say, the week has had its share of blowhards, greed, stupidity and challenge. So when Patti said, do you want to go to "Sex in the City" with me tonight, I considered the characters might call it, a "frien-er-vention".
We headed down to Smith Ranch Road where we were the very first ones there. I don't know if that is because people had read all the reviews or because it was for a 5:15 show, but there we were bright and early at 4:30, waiting to wait. Patty came dressed in style and I worried she might stand out... not to worry though as woman after woman came walking in to the theater in stilettos and jewels, a few hats and a couple of best guy gay friends in tow.

Watching the people turned out to be the best part of the movie. IMHO (In my humble Opinion) the movie succeeded in making the characters people who you didn't care much about. I know the TV show kind of showed the characters and characters, but I have heard reviewers say they used to seem smarter and less crass. I don't know if they have changed or the people who used to love the show remember them in a fonder light than they actually were. But here was portrayed a sex starved, aging nymphomaniac with no regard for societal customs in the middle east embarrassing herself and her friends, her country and her gender.... Sorry, but not my cup of tea. And really I am only kind of a prude really.

BUT , I loved seeing it with Patti as we laughed at Liza Minelli at the gay wedding, smiled at some of the other parts.... and generally enjoyed a girls night out.

We went to the Balboa Cafe in Mill Valley afterwards to have a cocktail and light dinner... Good time.

In the morning, the first it seemed in awhile without rain, I put on my walking gear. My first client appointment was at 1, so I figured I could walk down to work and walk back in plenty of time to get cleaned up and ready. It felt great in my new shoes....

My old ones have worn straight through.

I stopped to pick up a muffin and cappuccino at Starbucks before making my way to 100 Shoreline. I walked in the office what was still in the dark. Well, it was early, maybe no one was there. But there was John Adlam sitting by the light of his battery powered laptop playing solitaire. "The power's out", he announced. And sure enough when I went into my office, there I sat... waiting for some sort of sign that business could be done in this darkened office.

Carllie Tilton has joined my team, and today she had scheduled with the tech people, a visit to get her set up on the network. Randy from our IT department popped in... "Kind of hard to do anything without power." Ya think???? When Carllie came, the power still hadn't returned. The appointment had to be rescheduled. I walked back to the house and called Myriam and let her know we had to meet at my house to work through our challenging escrow.

On the way back up the hill... (some day I should determine how many feet I have to climb in how far to get home, because it is pretty steep...) I took time to look at some of the "weeds" along the way. Even in the most ordinary things there is incredible beauty if you just look

Over tea, and with a lot of sympathy for each other, we talked about what we could do about the stone wall we found ourselves in front of. I love working with my team. Myriam is a yang to my yin. She and I are very different, but together I think we are teaching each other a lot. I know our clients are getting extraordinary service. Now with Carllie on board we will just continue to get better and better. Knowing that helps in getting through this swampland we call Real Estate in 2010. Together we are navigating and trying our best to help our clients avoid the alligators and water moccasins hiding there, while trying to keep ourselves safe at the same time. So far so good!

Crisis averted.... we are heading into a Memorial Day weekend.


Mine will be busy!!!!!

Check back to see what the REAL MARIN GAL is doing.

Or come to the Calendonia Street Fair on Sunday 9-12, or visit my open house Sunday 1-4

Maybe you will see me on the road...walking.

There can't be enough frien-er-ventions out there. Here is one for you.

WINE WARS! August 13th 6-??? !!!!!!

RSVP now

More great donations arrive everyday. Today CLUB level Giants Tickets! THANKS LINDY!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Speaking of testing your resolve

This weekend while hiking, my muscles began to ache. The sweat started beading on my brow and I could hear my heart beating through my inner ear like a drummer drumming a battle march. There was more than one time whe, I looked at the trail ahead or the ledge I had to climb and thought, how much do I want to do this.

I told myself, it was a test of my resolve.

There have been other tests.

When I was diagnosed with Cancer, I remember thinking about Chemotherapy. The thought of the administration of deadly poisons into my body was more than daunting, it was terrifying. I remember how very sick my Mother had become when she went through Chemotherapy. I thought about how she lost all of her perfectly coiffed hair, and how she worried about her looks. I thought about the pain I remembered her suffering. And then, I remembered her resolve.

And in that I found some of my own resolve. If Mom could get through what she endured to try and survive, how could I not boldly charge ahead to fight the battle I knew I could win. I thought about my two young daughters and how much I would miss if I simply let the Cancer win. I thought about what their weddings would look like without me there. I thought of their father standing alone at their graduations. I thought of grandchildren who would never know me, and I grew more and more determined not to let vanity or illness get in my way.

Each day we are faced with challenges that we simply would rather skip on by. I have clients who have to sell the home where all their happiness once lived. To let the house go is painful and heartbreaking. But to stay, at the sacrifice of all else is really not honoring those memories. It is letting the memories hold you captive. If we think about those people who we celebrated life with, the last thing they would ever want is to see you frozen and unable to move forward.

The past is there for perceptive, not to replace the present or the future. The past can help, as it has for me, build resolve for the difficult road ahead.

Now when I am on a hike and I see a particularly high hill to climb, I think about why I am walking. I am walking so that one day my children and my children's children can live in a world without Cancer. I am walking so not one else will ever be forced to imagine a world where they will not feel the touch of their grandchild's soft hand, or hear their silly giggles. I am walking so there may never be a world where people have to struggle to remember the sound of your voice or the color of your eyes. I am walking to spend my old age in the arms of the husband, while strolling along the coast of the mighty Pacific. My resolve is deepened when I think of my friends and the journeys they will be able to continue as with each step I get closer to a world without Cancer.

With reasons like that, the hills melt into a plateau...and the next thing you know you are past the summit to the meadow beyond. You have finally come to a place where the birds sing sweetly as you lay in soft green grass, smelling the breeze from the sea under a baby blue sky.

A world without Cancer. And that is why I walk.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why walk when you can hike and climb?

This Saturday was a Glenn and Cathy kind of day.
We had both watched Brian Hackney on Eye on the Bay spotlight local beaches. We have quite a few that a very cool. But one he closed the show with was Alamere Beach.
Alamere Beach sit below Alamere Falls in Point Reyes National Seashore. Its looked to me on TV like a smaller version of Wailea Falls in Hawaii, where water cascades to the waiting sea from high cliffs. This of course move our own falls to the top of the must see list. After walking the dogs and having breakfast, Glenn and I got our gear together for a Point Reyes hike.

We stopped in Bolinas (that anonymous town North of Stinson Beach) to buy some sandwiches and take in its quirky ambiance.

Then we made our way down Mesa Road to the Palomar Trailhead, where we headed off.
The trails take you through stands of Eucalyptus Trees...

Along the coast with Pacific Views, can you see the Farralon Islands?

Over little bridges...

Good looks up and down the coast.

You come to a bend in the trail...where you follow Coast Trail.

The coastal trail takes you up and down.... Changes in elevation of 1300 feet or so...It also takes you inland a bit.

An on this Spring day there were plenty of wild flowers.

Oh and perhaps a little wild life too.

Most of the trail was wider and there were quite a few people who obviously had gotten the same idea and we had. There were about half of those people who have come from outside our country. I love seeing that at Point Reyes. We think of it , living here, as a hidden resource of ours. Too often we don't take the time to enjoy the things closest to home. But here are these people who see the Golden Gate bridge and take hikes in Point Reyes... Good on them.


The surprise to me was the number of lakes on this hike.

The greenery has its own beauty.

The point comes into view.


Coming out of a shaded part of the trail the sun shining brightly on the trees ahead, feels somewhat like you are looking at Emerald City.


Farralon Islands our there....

And there behind a huddling of boy scouts we found it... Alamere Falls Trail.

Parts of it were like walking through a jungle
An then we reached them, the only thing left to do was climb down...

The upper falls had their own beauty and sound. The water thundering down the hill side in a series of falls.

The payoff for many people to me looked like an Episode from LOST.
A half dozen people laying at the base of the falls as if the had been released by the Black monster.

It was still such along way down, we opted to have our picnic next to the uppers falls.

We planned our ascent as we watched people come and go.
I am afraid of crossing ravenes and climbing on shale... This little climb left my legs shaking.
We headed back taking time to stop and look at this pretty lake with its stands of foxglove growing wildly on one side.

Pictures of pictures

More flowers....

Looking up the coast toward SF,

Walking and hiking is all about being prepared. Here I am in my short sleeved layer... The vest came off first, then the long sleeve shirt.

Almost back to the trailhead we see a deer ... staying out of the mountain lion's path.
Near the trailhead is another trail that head to Palomar Beach. Here there are some very old Eucalpytuses with huge trunks...
We ended our day by, me going ot work after a long epsom salt soaking. You know.... 13 miles of hiking and changes of elevatiosn of 1300 feet can leave you... alittle sore, but this is the 3 day and there is no time for whining. So excuse me while I get dressed and head back out, because Patti and I are going to Cavallo Point before my open house today....
Right now, these muscles are testing my resolve, I will have to just show them who is boss!