Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's that on your shoe?

My, my this is a fine mess you got us into Ollie....

When the news hit, I received email, tweets and messages asking what I thought about this new development. Susan G Komen, pulling funding, turning its back on the beleaguer Planned Parenthood. Let me start by saying, I appreciate whatever your stance is on abortion. I disagree with those who tried to vilify Planned Parenthood as the poster child for abortion. I completely disagree. What I know is what when we were younger, friends without insurance, could go and have the health issues addressed at Planned Parenthood. I know women who had Breast Cancer discovered and treated were advocated for because of Planned Parenthood. The people it has severed have been the under insured...and for 6 years Komen has funded this organization not heavily but significantly. Last year it was $680,000 the year before $580,000 for the entire country, for the entire year! When you consider how much Komen invests in research and other services, it is a small amount. The donate 93 million a year to outreach services alone. Heck in DC we made 7.2 MILLION in 3 days! BUT it is politically charged. I resented it when people wouldn't donate because Komen funded Planned Parenthood and I have a hard time understanding those who will withdraw their support because they have stepped back.

I wrote to Komen, that to me it is like someone you loved walked out the door with a piece of toilet paper on their shoe. You are embarrassed for them, You wish they would just straighten up and pay attention. I understand much of the funding given to Planned Parenthood for mammogram and screening was difficult to implement and some money wasn't well used... well Komen then you have something people can understand if you redirect the funds. Not "We have a new policy not to fund organizations under investigations by congress." That would make us all slaves to political agendas. And that is exactly what many people are seeing. Some of your most ardent supporters.

I majored in PR in college. If this had been a class in how not to implement a new policy then Komen would have gotten an A+... But it isn't and they therefore have failed miserably.

But, in the end this organization that walked out the door with a piece of toilet paper on their shoes, is someone I love. I love that they have saved thousands and thousands of lives. I love that they have funded the research that will find an end to Breast Cancer. I will continue to walk. And if after all of this you cannot understand why, read what my 3 day friend says in his blog. He had a knack of summing up exactly what I am thinking.


Tell you what I think. I think Planned Parenthood just had an influx of cash. That is a good thing. I think Komen has gained some Pro-life donors and lost some Pro-choice donors, and that is very very bad. As bad as it was to withhold funding, finding a cure because Planned Parenthood got money to pay for mammograms, it is equally as bad to withhold funds for finding a cure because the funds for outreach are directed in a different direction. It's about a cure my friends. I have two close friends right now battling Breast Cancer, they deserve a cure. Your children deserve a cure. It isn't political it is human. Susan G Komen is still the best equipped organization to find a cure to Breast cancer in our lifetimes - evenwith a piece of toilet paper on their shoe. I hope they wise up and take a long hard look in the mirror, reverse their decision. But in the meantime, excuse me while I walk.

Everything we see is a shadow of that which we do not see.

Monday, January 30, 2012


My back was still stinging from the knife that had been used to stab me but not once, not twice but three different times by people in my business life. Two came from agents who aggressively were looking for favors that came out of my unsold listings. And the original knife, of course, came from the client who turned down a wonderful offer on her home, later to re-list with an agent at a much lower price. One of the phone calls I received was from an agent wanting to know all about the house (no longer my listing). Apparently an offer is already coming in on this house at its lower price, with these beautiful sunny days, with this new agent. I could go on and on about the unfairness, tell you stories that would affirm I was wronged, but ultimately its all lunacy and should not occupy much of my attention. I don't know what emotion they are talking about when they say.... "It's a bitter pill best swallowed whole" but this is one of those pills.

On the heels of this, I received an email from my sister about a co-worker who had just died. He passed away after battling Melanoma. His wife is battling Breast Cancer, they have 3 children. Now that... that is unfair.

I later read Bridget's blog "My Big Girl Pants". Bridget hadn't written in months. She is the girl who called me last year to thank me for my fundraising in 2010 and how the money we raised would help pay for her experimental treatment for stage IV Breast Cancer. Bridget was diagnosed at the age of 21.

Her writing puts so much in perspective. She has put aside the dream of children but she is grateful to watch her dog experience its first snowfall. She speaks about a grand adventure this holiday season in Prague and Vienna, walking hand in hand with her Big Man. She speaks with thanks for being able tell her story at a "Getting Started" meeting in Boston. How in doing so she touches people, and they share a tear, and build a resolve and nurture their hope. She says she doesn't feel worthy of the love she feels from this community. And in hearing that I was ashamed for wasting even a thought on the petty things that have been hounding me lately.

I train with two other survivors. They both have been dealt some real blows in their lives. I am glad I was reminded this afternoon that what should matter is love, hope, patience and courage. People who matter should lift you up and not push you down. Life is too precious of a gift to spend it with people who cause you to question any of this. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who inspire. I am one lucky girl and I thank you all. If you don't know who you are.... I could name names!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Zin with a beautiful walk as a chaser

Saturday Glenn and I did something we don't often do, we took the afternoon off together. Our dear friend Jackie and Shawn Gorman are big ZAP supporters (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) and have volunteered for them for years now. ZAP generously donated a package of Zin Festival tickets that we auctioned off at our event for last year's fundraiser. Glenn and I bought these tickets to the Grand Tasting.

Grand it was.... Held in the Concourse in SF, the event is described like this "Savor the journey through the world's most comprehensive single-varietal tasting as you sample from hundreds of barrel samples, new releases and premier Zinfandels. Meet winemakers from each of the unique growing regions and explore the dimensions of this authentically American varietal. This distinctively "A to Zin" experience lets your senses guide a spirited adventure through many tastes of American Heritage Wine."

The concourse is around 3 football field long and wide. It was filled from stem to stern with wines, people, wines and wines. When you walk in they hand you a baguette and a glass. YUMMY! And Jackie and Shawn were perfect hosts pointing us in the right directions.

We enjoyed a personal tasting by Joel Peterson (the Ravenswood guy) and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

We had such a good time...

We continued our time off at Hawks Tavern in Mill Valley. Tyler Florence is one of the partners. Found the food to be well priced. I had duck confit and surprise surprise... Glenn had a burger. They need to work on their pretzel though..... Ah aren't I the critic!

Then on Sunday we turned tables. Glenn went back to work ... and I joined my gals Patti and Leslie for a Point Reyes Walk.

I was excited to share on of my favorite walks on this bright and sunny day. Beginning at Bear Valley Visitor Center and and walking 4.1 miles to Arch Rock.

A lot of the walk is shady. This clearing opens up and the sun takes away the winter chill.

Leslie is doing great with the training. I know she is somewhat worried about walking all those miles. But is is so far ahead of where I was on my first walk. She's got this in the bag.

And we are continuing to hope that Pattu will sign up for San Diego. She is going to train with us.
Our sole sister Barbara Bryant has officially signed up for the SD walk. It's real!!!! I am going to walk 2, 3 days this year!

Waterfalls.... trail side. There are few places so beautiful.

The Pacific Ocean in all its glory will be our picnic spot.

Leslie likes to eat. She had a pack full of food. I had a reduced calorie bread peanut butter and jelly.



Beggar Gull

Blow up this photo.... see the gopher. he was the cutest thing ever. Certainly not shy.

These little birds were very polite in their begging.

Patti gave our friend some pieces of apple.

OK.... this shot could be on the cover of Sunset! Team are we there yet.... heading out on a trail in iconic California splendor.

We are hitting our stride with our early training. Next walk scheduled for Tues. I hear from Patty B W, she is walking all of NYC so we better keep walking or she will wear us out.

If you haven't already, and would like to buy a square in a Super Bowl Pool for Susan G Komen, go here and read those directions. $$$ to me by Super Bowl and your in! http://www.superbowlpoolsite.com/grid.php5?url=AWTYSuperBowlPoolforSusanGKomen$35 per square $25 to Susan G, $10 to the pool. One winner takes the pool!
We would appreciate your support. After you pick your square you can pay online here with PayPal.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dusty Showers

One unexpected gift on my 3 day journey has been making the acquaintance of some true heroes. The first day of the first year that I walked, I didn't quite know what to make of all those men in their pink get ups; The tutus, the wigs, the pink dresses, the helmets and the top hats. It all, all so pink! It all seemed so unmanly for heaven sakes. I wondered if these get ups were just to get attention. I wondered if the men did this because a wife made them do it. I wondered if they were sane or not. I just wondered.

I have learned a lot of things since then. Each person is at the 3 day for a very personal and unique reason. This year I decided to spotlight a few of the 3 day folks just so you can see what this little grassroots movement has created. It has created a community of heroes. I decided to start with Dusty.

Dusty is one of the best known men in the 3 day.

This one fellow that is pretty well known. His name is Dusty Showers. He has even been on Oprah. He was on a segment called "Make Over My Man!" He is a husky, manly man, who wears a pink bra. I've asked his permission to tell some of his story because I think in telling his story, you may better understand these men who embrace the pink in themselves and just why they make us all so much more powerful.

Dusty on Oprah

Along with Tim Gunn of Project Runway!

Dusty Showers, yes that is his REAL name, lives in S. Florida. He has two daughters and owns a company called Creepy Creatures. I find it absolutely perfect that is his profession. His is a pest and wildlife removal business, but he goes an extra step. In a Tamapa newspaper I read...

"Through Creepy Creatures (creepycreatures.net), Dusty will discuss with families what kind of pesky monsters are lurking under beds or in dark closets and then proceed to “remove” the frightening interloper, easing the minds of younger family members who can return to peaceful sleep. “When I was young, I was terrified by alligators and dinosaurs in my room,” the father of two says. “It’s tough if kids can’t get over their fears.” "

This is so perfect because that is what he is doing, whether he knows it or not, for Breast Cancer. He is helping us chase this monster out of the darkness, shed some light on it, bundle it up and put it somewhere where it can't hurt anyone again.

Dusty started in the 3 day as crew. His ex-wife and his ex-mother-in-law are both survivors. They had asked that he come and help when they walked in their first 3 day. In the beginning he didn't know what he was getting into, like a lot of us 3 dayers. Since then he has crewed or walked in 8 events. But the journey started with one event. And like many of us, that event changed him.

As Dusty says, when the first event was ending he saw women and men, finishing with blood, sweat and tears, “I fell in love with you then" he told a camp full of walkers. In the next couple of years he crewed at a hydration station. And that's where the bra comes in. Crew teams often decorate their stations in all sorts of crazy things. One that Dusty was manning decorated their station with bras and they would dress up. One of the women handed Dusty a bra and said “you are wearing this”. At first he said “No I am not!” and then he put on the bra. Nothing has been the same. What he saw was magic. Women would thank him with tears in their eyes. He got a lot of attention for sure. But that was a good thing because it might just help someone think twice about Breast Cancer, and doing self exams or getting a mammogram. This attention he was getting might just save a life.

Dusty moved on to walking in the 3 day a couple of years ago. After finishing his 8th event he has formed his own non-profit, The Second Basemen Inc. and in addition to the 3 day he has lent a helping hand directly.

“I love the men that do the crazy things to get the attention for the cause and to make people smile…but the greatest hero is that man that sits quietly by his partner’s side, holding her hand. Not wanting anything other than for his wife to live. That is a 2nd Basemen.”-- Dusty Showers

He is a true second baseman. He has been there to support this effort in any way he can. And that means so much.

As a survivor even after 16 years, there are times I am self-conscious about my appearance. Those women who have been through this feel self-conscious about having lost a breast or having had it cut into and scarred. There is something about a guy who unabashedly wears his pink that makes you feel they get it and that, that is so amazing. And somehow your own shyness about your looks melts away. So I understand those tears and thanks. I feel the same way when I see Glenn covered in Pink Boas.

For all of us, it helps beyond measure for someone to lift us up. Dusty said the 3 day has done that for him, after a particularly rough patch in his own life. But he, he continues to do that for us.

When someone is battling incredible odds, there are those who make you feel safe and warm. They are there to bring you light when the night is dark and frightening. Thank you Dusty for bringing such amazing lightness to all of us

Dusty just completed a video that will tell you more. He asked survivors to give him a photo so he could include them in the video. I sent a picture of Patti and me, and Leslie. Take a look…

AND get involved . Donate, walk, crew.... you will find it opens a whole new world.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Making mistakes

And it started out as such a hopeful day....

The Forty Niners entered Sunday's game with high hopes and huge expectations. The team of Montana and Young, of Rice and "the catch" had lived up to expectations in their last game against the Packers. News media titled their broadcasts as "Return to Glory" in obvious acknowledgement of the golden team that would be going ALL the way. People were making Super Bowl plans. People believed once again their team would soon be wearing ring #6 in final supremacy on February 5. And then it happened.

It was in sudden death overtime. Kyle Williams a 2nd year special teams player was to return a punt and the Niners would score the winning points ending this Championship game. But it didn't go that way. He fumbled. It wasn't even his only mistake, no in fact he had made another mistake that ultimately resulted in the Giants scoring. This one however would result in the Giants winning the game. The "Return to Glory" was cut short. There would be no Super Bowl, no ring, just humiliation.

Twitter in all its social significance (read that as sarcastic) lit up with death threats and suggestion Kyle Williams should jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. As if the man had meant to do it. As it he wasn't the most unhappy person on the planet.
He played badly. He made two mistakes that he and many will never forget. But it shows me in a way how terribly out of whack our society has become.

I don't know how much Kyle Williams is paid to return punts. I assume it would seem like a lot of money to most of us. But most likely whatever he is paid would seem like a small amount in comparison to some on the team. We could debate whether these people are "worth" that kind of money, but what we know is society has deemed they are, or they wouldn't be paid it.

For me, the mistake Kyle Williams made may sit in direct juxtaposition to the money he may be receiving, but neither is based in reality to me.

Mistakes don't make you less of a person, they make you human. A windfall of good fortune doesn't make you a more valuable human being, it makes you lucky. The measure of a person is not tied up in a football game. No mistake in football should garner calls for death. It doesn't speak well of us as a people to try and make things so black and white. There is very little room for that kind of thinking in the REAL world.

In my REAL world, games are not that important. They are fun. It is fun to get caught up with the excitement. I can appreciate the skill of a well placed pass and an impossible catch. I can appreciate a great run back, as someone dodges the defenders all the way to the end zone. And I can groan and be disappointed when someone trips and drops a ball. But when I think about how some people have reacted I am amazed this game, isn't life. It isn't a matter of life an death. Cancer is.

But even Cancer as horrific as it is, isn't something that you can easily make black and white. 40% of Cancer is situational in that if you didn't smoke (for example) you may have avoided getting Cancer. But 60% of Cancer is random or hereditary. So if you drink a soda pop, does that mean you deserve to get Cancer? Should we hate those people whose behavior may have caused their Cancer?

And when Cancer comes it doesn't just bring pain and misery it can bring courage to someone who had none, faith deep in your soul, love for and from your family and community, strength you never knew you had and gifts you never could have imagined. This doesn't mean it is OK to get Cancer...it means even in something so dire, it is a measure of someone what they do with the situation they are in. If you look below the surface, even in defeat you can find something of great value.

The Niners lost their Championship game. For their fans and especially for the players, I feel glad they had the opportunity to have played it. But the ongoing war to find a cure for Cancer I will use every tool I have been given to make a difference. In this, I know there will be ups and downs but I will never take my eyes off the prize. Not a trophy or a ring, but a world in which a little girl can be born and grow to live a full life free of the fear of Breast Cancer.

Now that the GAME is over, life continues. But if you still want to play along and enjoy the Super Bowl, how about buying a square in our Football pool. It's $35 a square and $25 goes to Susan G Komen - $10 toward a prize. We have many squares still available. Whats the expression "Any given Sunday" well here it is any given square could be a winner of up to $1000, but you need to do this now. All payments must be received prior to the Super Bowl. The Niners or Broncos or Steelers may be out, but you don't have to be.... buy a square!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Save a Pair


Buy your square there are 80 left! The pool goes up for every square bough all the way to $1000 to the winner if all 100 square are bought. Its easy. Click a square! Send me a check!

Of the $35 - $25 goes to Susan G Komen, $10 to the pool. If no one wins all the money goes to Susan G Komen and Team: Are We There Yet!

This could be the best super pool EVER! Even if your team is sitting on the sidelines. Have some fun!!!! Do it today!



Friday, January 20, 2012

They are RUNNING - But I am walking....

There are a lot of people running these days. You hear the ads incessantly. The news is full of them... New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and trust me there's more to come. It made me think that I should write my own ad. I am walking this year not for political office but for what I think is even more important.

I'm walking 120 miles over six days this fall in San Francisco and San Diego to raise awareness about Breast Cancer, find a cure and support those going through this devasting disease.

I'm walking about 600 miles while training for these events because as far as we have come, there is further we need to go.

I'm walking because I, like Susan G Komen founder Nancy Brinker, have made a promise to never give up until there is a cure.

I'm walking to ensure that everyone gets the lifetime she or he deserves.

I'm walking to make sure that every mom gets to help her daughter pick out her prom dress or dance with her son at his wedding.

I'm walking to make sure that no woman has to hear the words "You have breast cancer."

I'm walking because I believe that we can end Breast Cancer in my lifetime.

I'm walking because I was tired of sitting on the sidelines.

I'm walking because research costs money and the more money we raise the more likely it is we will find a cure.

I'm walking to make sure that underinsured women don't have to choose between paying the rent and having a mammogram.

I'm walking for those who lost their battle too young.

I'm walking because I won my battle 16 years ago and because I can walk when they cannot.

I'm walking because Susan G Komen has funded research no one else has, and that funding has led to some true game changing advances.

I'm walking because one person does make a difference but together we can move mountains.

I'm Cathy Youngling and I approved this message.
To support this campaign to end Breast Cancer, please donate.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Before the rain....

I remember last year. It seemed once it started raining it never stopped. I finally went and bought rain pants and shoes. Almost immediately after that the rain stopped.

The winter here in the SF Bay Area has been... VERY dry. I read, with some sympathy, about piles of snow in other places. I have felt somewhat guilty that I haven't been walking more. Hey this year I am supposed to be walking 120 miles for Susan G Komen! So I decided I better get out there amd get one good walk in... the forecast is for at least a week of rain.

One of my favorite walks is to the SF Ferry Building. From Sausalito it is 12 +/- miles. There a pretty good hill in the middle (something I have avoided so far in 2012). Take a walk with me...

Leaving Sausalito...
Homes barely cling to the hillside...
California Oaks...
A 3 day walker....
The bridge, Marin side.
Presidio Yacht Club and the Bridge beyond Horseshoe Cove....

Pit stop at the Discovery Museum.... I thought this was the ladies room... oops.

Cavallo Point

Presidio Yacht Club with the city beyond....

Pride of Madera starting to bloom....

Morning glory on the way up the hill.

You know it is a steep hill when you see a lot of flower pictures...

Scotch broom......

Finally at the start of the bridge. A memorial to service men.

Love this sailor...his pea coat blowing in the breeze.


Lots of work going on the bridge right now....

Have to keep this beauty... beautiful.

Bikes and walkers have to share the same side of the bridge these days....but I don't think most of them can read.

I dont' know what this filming was all about. Some elderly folks... Maybe the 75th bridge anniversary?

They were following directions though.

On this side there was a lot of work, the gift center was empty...

And the workers are destroying the brick walk way. Apparently it doesn't meet ADA codes so those people who paid for a brick, some inscribed with names as a memorial to them, are out of luck. They won't let them have them back either. I believe its a BAD PR move.

Imagine you bought a brick to honor your father, and this is what they do to it.

They blocked off much of the access to keep people back. That meant I had to go the LONG way down to Crissy.
Presidio homes.
Crissy Field....City beyond.
Was Glenn here???? There was a pink feather.
Stillwell Hall
Sports Basement....
Fort Mason
Ship in front of Alcatraz
Gull with Crab
Aliotos on Fishermen's Wharf
Shop on Fishermen's Wharf
Pier 39....
Pier 39 pigeons....
Pink cotton candy - Pier 39
The Ferry Building 10 minutes too late for the Ferry. I had an hour and a half to kill... so I grabbed lunch and a coffee....
Before hopping on the ferry to go back to Sausalito.

Now I am ready for the rain.... BRING IT!

Have you bought your square for our Football Pool???? $10 goes to the prize $25 to Susan G Komen.

I don't think so we only have 8 sold... 92 more to go!