Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thirty years ago come Monday....

Glenn and I were married at Old Mill Church in Mill Valley.

We had 150 guests +/-

Everyone had a good time...

We left in a hail of rice,

drove away in a El Dorado Cadillac convertible with

The Beamer Brothers signing Honolulu Lights, with leis around our necks.

We had our reception at the Alta Mira.

My sorority sisters sang to us.

Glenn dodged eating flaming oysters.

MB caught my bouquet .

When we left, I felt like a million dollars in my David Hayes, one of a kind pink suit.

We honeymooned in Kona.

We bought a house.

We've been blessed two beautiful daughters.

Our lives are not extraordinary. We are not rich or famous. We haven't written the great American Novel or invented the Internet... but, what we have together is extraordinary.

Others dream about finding the perfect person for them. I found mine in Glenn.

Together we have gone through fires and come out stronger.

Glenn has been my rock. He is who I lean on, bounce things off of, and learn from.

He is quiet and funny and handsome and wise.

I would have never made it through my Cancer without his strength. I could not ever follow my passions without his pink boa support and encouragement.

After 30 years, when he walks in the door, I still get a rush.

We are heading off for an adventure in DC tomorrow. I will tell you all about it... next week.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday at Lake Merced

Glenn grew up in San Francisco in a little neighborhood next to Lake Merced. This foggier than normal spot had the added bonus of the sounds of peacocks in the early hours and the sound of the big cats at feeding time from the zoo. Oh and lets not forget the firing SFPD range and the public rod and gun club. Glenn said there was never a shortage of interesting noises. Sometimes the sound of the wind through the Eucalpytus trees would be replaced with the sound of the waves at the beach.

Yet in all those years that Glenn lived here, he never walked the perimeter of Lake Merced. So Saturday morning we did just that.

As we drove to the lake along Ocean Beach I saw more dogs and dog owners that usual. Then I remembered there was going to be a protest. Recent regulations restricting the access of dogs to public spaces has been hotly contested.

There were a bunch...and cops to keep the growling down.

We parked at the old South entrance to the zoo across from the old Girl Scout Camp.

He said the Girl Scouts used to come there to camp out.

We crossed the street and started our walk.
Glenn noticed this heron in the tree.

"Look at that!" He said.

I said "That's what happens when you get up and go outside for a walk. You see neat things."

Canoe races on the lake, with the sound of drums beating out the pace.

A crowd gathered to watch. They sure had a good day for it. The weather was perfect.


Art lakeside. This one a Benjamino Bufano

Place to relax

On the east side of the Lake along Park Merced and CSUSF

It's graduation time.

Harding Golf Course


Glenn saw this sofa for FREE! Go get it before its gone.

San Juan Bastista.

This statue was dedicated in 1962, but neither

Glenn or his Dad knew about it.

The final sight seeing stop... Glenn's old house.

We went back to Marin and did a little business before finishing the day by going to Glenn's Dad's.

Today has been all work. I am looking ahead to next weekend when we will be in DC celebrating our 30th anniversary. I hope we can survey the 3 day route and maybe practice a bit of it at the same time. It will be great to get away.

This week we lost a great man who in his own way did some remarkable things for Breast Cancer.

Budge Brown was a farmer, vintner, water park creator and a lover of life. When his wife Arlene died in 2005 from Breast Cancer after battling the disease for 8 years he said 'My wife died for no damn good reason." And being the kind of fellow he was did what he could to make a difference. He bought the Cleavage Creek label and began bottling fine wines where a portion of each sale went toward Breast Cancer Research. In particular he support Integrated Oncology. He felt like there must be a better way to fight Cancer than poisoning someone. He saw the havoc it played in his wife's battle.

He had semi-retired to Nevada, but he never slowed down. He enjoyed flying his experimental plane and did regular trips between Nevada and the Lodi Area where his children lived. He was on one of those trips "Going to see the people he loved, doing what he loved" when his plane went down in the Sierras. I wrote to the family even though I don't know Budge... I said "The measure of greatness is not how much you have, but how much you give. Budge Brown was a great man."

Follow this great man's example whenever you can. Live life as though you love it... and give whatever you can to make this world a better place.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A quilt for me

It starts with an idea.

This idea was, I need a quilt at Giants games. The last game I attended was FREEZING cold. The Giants sell fuzzy blankets with neon orange and probably do a pretty good business just keeping folks from getting hypothermia. But boy are they ugly.

This next week they are even doing a promotion of a wearable blanket...also neon ugly orange. I was tempted to buy tickets for the wearable blanket game, just to have something to keep me warm. Then the idea struck...a giant quilt.

Quilting is something I used to do a lot of. I love the process.

You start by finding a pattern or designing one that might suit your needs. For this quilt I wanted something not as long as a twin quilt, not as wide as a queen quilt, certainly BIGGER than a baby quilt. I found a pattern for a 61" x 61" quilt titled, Strip Piece Puzzle. Next you pick your fabrics. NO question about it, this quilt needed two (maybe three) colors.... BLACK and ORANGE and a hint of white. It needed one spotlight fabric that would tie it all together.

There is a great quilt shop in Petaluma called the Quilted Angel. I love this place. The fabrics they have are so far superior to our local fabric store "Joanne's" But they are at least 2 to 3 times more expensive. I decided to do the majority of the piecing with fat quarters (18"x 21" pieces) that I bought from Joanne's. But for the spotlight fabric I made the trek to Petaluma.

I surveyed the fabrics like a starving kid in a candy store. If you have ever quilted you CANNOT avoid being inspired here. Walking through the fabrics I came up with a dozen more quilts I wish I could do... but today I settled on a slightly batik black, orange and brown design.

After I bought the fabric, I headed out for a walk in Petaluma. This town has had a lot of great changes in the past few years, but it still retains is small town feeling. I was enjoying looking at a few of the new buildings when as I walked across the cross walk a BMW came screeching to a stop 10 inches from my leg.

I know I am training for the 3 day - 60 mile walk for a cure. But I don't think it would be a good idea to be hit by a car. It kind of defies the purpose! So after my heart found its place back in my chest, I headed back to the car and back to work.

Since then I have worked on the quilt piece by piece. Cutting out the pieces. Sewing them together. Steaming the seams to the proper sides. The finally piecing the quilt together just like a puzzle. Now I am in the process of machine quilting the quilt. I used to always do this part by hand, but with my new sewing machine I have to give it a try! Certainly it is quicker. I am 1/4 of the way done.

Quilting is something that has always spoken to me.

It is a process that in the beginning seems like it will be too much to handle. There are so many parts to it. The time can seem overwhelming. But I found in quilting you get it done by focusing on the next step, not the whole quilt. You work one piece at a time. You don't rush. You finish a quilt if you manage to put one piece together with the next. What you end up with is a finished piece of art - an expression of yourself.

To me this is so similar to almost any big task. Certainly this is true of the 3 day walk. Focus on the step in front of you. Focus on the miles you will be walking today. Had I not be alright with walking only 1 mile, I would never have walked 60. Our lives are full of choices we make.

Do we let the enormity of our future keep us from living today? Do we find an excuse behind every turn, because the journey is too daunting, and we are afraid to fail? Or do we get up in the morning and just do what we can do that day. Then the next day do we do just a little more.

The people who have achieved great things in this world understand this. They never wake up and expect the world to present itself as a gift, they understand the world is already a gift, but we need to do something before we can enjoy it. We need to pick it up, open it up and live it.

The GIANTS quilt is a symbol to me of never giving up. It is a symbol on building on what you have been given and making the most of it. It will keep me warm on evenings of torture. It will remind me what beauty we can create when we go one piece at a time.

Early morning walk to the beach

Yesterday at 5:45 I woke up and looked outside. The welcome sight of clear skies all the way to the coast was like a jolt of caffeine. It had been a long spell of cloudy drizzly, rainy weather and spring seemed like a distant memory here in Marin. But this morning, this morning was made for walking.

I got dressed and headed out to the trailhead to head out for a pre-work walk.

It was early enough that during the whole 4 mile walk I saw only three other people, two runners and one fellow on a bike. It was so early that the wildlife didn't expect to see me in my pink hat marching along.

The first of the critters was a pair of turkeys. They were scavenging on the trail near the parking lot. I discovered, that even though they have wings and can fly (I have seen them), on a morning like this on the trail, they choose to power walk.

They probably walked 3/4 of mile at a brisk pace trying to keep ahead of me, until there was a fork in the trail. They went left, I went straight.



California Quail....

Ladies in pink hats......


Bunny and quail.....

Bunny and quail....

Even the quail choose to walk instead of fly. They would run along the trail and then head into a bush. Only two of them decided to fly.

After the rains I was surprised to see, not a big raging creek running to the sea, but the creek spreading out and then disappearing into nearly deposited sand.
This was one day in which I could walk easily to the other side of the beach (usually not possible because of the creek. When I got close to the end I saw a small seal. I was debating whether I should call the Marin Mammal folks, because frankly I thought, either this one was dead, or really hurt. I looked carefully to see if it was breathing and I could see an uneven shallow movement of its chest.

Until it woke up and gave me a wide sleepy eyed glance.
"Good for you!" I said to the I backed away and headed back down the trail to a full day at work. I got back to the house at 7:45. A great way to start....

Friday, May 13, 2011


Yesterday I did my favorite training walk. Ferry to SF and a walk back to Sausalito. 12 miles and gorgeous yesterday. With the thought that I should look at each walk as unique, I named this one.... SIGNS

I found though, when looking so carefully to see the signs, I lost the bigger picture. But I did find some pretty interesting signs, like the Government worker on a break "Your recovery dollars at work.." Or as my sister said I hope he put sunscreen on that!

I got home in time to go to an open house in Sonoma, and still get work done at the office. Now that is efficiency in action.

On the Cheers for a Cure front we received a donation of an autographed JUAN MARICHAL baseball and an autographed picture of the Dominican Dandy himself. Hope it brings big buck in the Silent Auction because this is pretty special.

Do you have anything to add to our Auction or Raffle? Have you bought your ticket? This year you can bid online for the silent auction items. You can even give us a reserve bid for the night of the party and we'll bid for you. Send your bid to

Know of a winery who may want to donate or come and pour? Let me know. I need your help.

HELP me make this the BIGGEST success yet!

For your viewing pleasure take a look at SIGNS.... if you are viewing on IPHONE or IPAD use Skyfire to open this link.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Limantour Beach ... Tuesdays with Cathy

This Tuesday, I cleared the work schedule decks to get a walk in. It's time to be training and Tuesday are usually a good day.

This Tuesday I had a Dr. appt at 10:30 where the neurologist let me know my brain is pretty much ok... (I had had an MRI because of some extreme dizziness I had had.) She says my dizziness and tingling and such are coming from somewhere else. So that is good news. I am back to my original thought that I have something going on in my inner ear. She still wanted to do a cervical MRI. I asked what if she sees my neck is out of alignment what would we do... she said physical therapy. So I said let's skip the MRI and try working with my body worker Michael, and let me check out the ENT about the ear. Some how that sounds more direct and less costly.

After the Dr. appt. I drove to Point Reyes. My car seemed to be on auto pilot as I missed my turn to the trail head for Mt Wittenberg and found myself at the parking lot for Limantour Beach.

Happy to be there....

The beach is around Limantour Estuary in Point Reyes. Named after a fellow whose ship sunk here back in the early early days of California. From Olema, you head toward the Point Reyes Information Center on Bear Valley Road, but keep on driving toward lighthouses, until you see the sign for Limantour Beach.

From the parking lot you head toward the beach over a creek running its way to the estuary.

Climb over a sand dune and head toward the water and more solid sand... 7 miles on this loose stuff would KILL me!

The cliffs of Point Reyes remind some folks of the white cliffs of Dover.
A boat seemed to follow me step for step, a testimony to the difficulty of going up coast here by boat.
All along this beach I picked up sand dollars.
The breeze was swift and the sand blew from the land toward the water. Hitting me about ankle high.
Someone was running or tip toeing on the sand. But wait aren't there 6 toes????

No one but the birds and me.
And the boat.
And foot prints telling me some one had walked here before.
Kelp washed ashore.
As I approached the opening to the estuary the waters separated into the ocean in the distance and shallow water closer to shore.

The differences in the water and sand made for beautiful seascapes.

I turned right to walk along the shore of the estuary and found some seals sunning themselves.

I tired to not disturb them.

There was a sign... with nothing on it! Doesn't life feel that way sometimes?
Dunes and grasses

Some weathered relics...

My foot prints in the sand.
Migratory shore birds

They didn't want me too close.
Seagulls in flight
Seagulls at rest
Heading back to the car.

Those birds that were on the beach.... (taken from a sign)
Looking back at the beach from above.

Now that I have done that walk I am encouraged to find another route to Alamenar Falls that wouldnt require me climbing down rocks.... Perhaps next time I will turn right instead of left when I hit the beach.

I got back to the office by 3 pm and managed to sign up a new listing. Now if some of them would start selling I could really celebrate. As it is...How lucky am I? How lucky to live in this miraculous place with a life that allows me to explore what is around me. How lucky to have dodged that bullet with the big "C" on it, to have the time to learn that this is so important. I was given this life to enjoy, to take it all in... and by God I am going to keep on trying.

If in the process if we raise some $$$ to end Cancer well I have you to thank.