Sunday, April 26, 2015

We Bought A Home

"If light is in your heart, you will find your way home."

~Rumi

Our New Condominium



We did it! After nearly 25 years of marriage we finally bought our own home. They are building it, and we will be able to move in sometime around July 1st, until then we are packing and cleaning and saying goodbye to the cottage in the Berkeley hills. It was amazing here. The views, the fog, the pretty trees in autumn. The Gourmet Ghetto. Going downtown for cheese from the Cheeseboard. Picnics in Tilden Park. Oh my, I will miss it all so much. I love the San Francisco Bay so much, and will miss taking off to San Francisco on a whim, but we lost our place because of the lies of our landlord, or rather because he finally decided to tell the truth, and then a bigger truth came out. Anyway, that's done and done, and we are moving on to our own place. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a mortgage, but at least when we close the doors, and turn off the lights, it's ours. Or at least it will be in 30 years. 

Yikes! Do you know how old I will be in 30 years?

Mood: Happy

~Me :)


Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Groupon Box

"What greater gift than the love of a cat?"

~Charles Dickens

Joey, is napping in a very beloved place, the sacred Groupon Box that my Birkin knockoff purse arrived in last October. Since then, Dylan and Joey have taken turns sleeping in the little brown and green box, and they have come to be friends as they worked out their own feline sharing negotiations. There was a day when I thought Dylan would never share that box with either of his brothers, but I was wrong, Dylan and Joey have actually bonded over the sharing of that chewed up box. And it is probably the least important thing we are taking with us to the new home, unless you consider that it would mean the world to those two wonderful cats to have that box. Dylan worked constantly over weeks to scallop the edges, and form it perfectly to his body, and Joey helped in his own way, and now it's as important to them as a catnip mouse, or Dylan's brush or Joey's Zsu Zsu pet Scoodles. But I couldn't help but wonder, why did they bond over a Groupon box, and why do they love all boxes so much?

Turns out, there is a reason...


And BIG cats love boxes also!


Yay! Boxes!


 


Mood: Happy

~Me :)
 


Friday, April 24, 2015

My Friend Gladys

"Every year, back comes spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off
 and the ground all mucked up with plants."

~Dorothy Parker

I flew into a fit of nostalgia yesterday, and went downtown for lunch and then a drive around Berkeley. One of my favorite spots to visit is my friend Gladys. She's the lady in the photo above. Gladys and her friends sit inside a special little garden, behind a pretty unique house on Ashby avenue. Gladys always makes me smile, and reminds me about how it's the unusual in life that makes living in this world whimsical and bearable. Gladys has her affairs in order. She knows who she is. She always makes you feel welcome. And when you leave, it's a huge comfort knowing that no matter how busy, or crazy life gets, Gladys will always be a constant in an ever changing world of birds yapping their nasty little heads off.

I don't think her real name is Gladys, but that's who she will always be to me. I am going to miss a lot of things about Berkeley, and Gladys is definitely one of them!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Almighty Dollar


"It's not easy to steal where the landlord is a thief"

Irish Saying

My landlord is a criminal. Period. He knowingly rented an apartment to me, well after he found out that my unit was illegal. That is against the law, so I sought legal help, and we have reached a monetary settlement, rather than I visit the District Attorney and press charges against him. The amount we settled on will help us, but it has placed our family in peril. We thought we were close to closing on our own home this weekend, but it all fell through on Wednesday. Now we are not sure what we will do, except try our best to find a new home that is ready to be purchased as soon as possible. We have the money for the down payment. We have the money for all the fees and closing costs. We have everything packed and pretty much ready to go. What we don't have is a place to go to. 

Having money doesn't make the world go round. With only 60 days to figure things out, rather than the year or more he could have given us, we are backed against the wall. Today I will get up, and get at it again, I will try to find us something... anything that we can maybe purchase and call home. Fortunately, we may have a solid line on someone willing to foster care the boys for a while, if we still haven't found a place by late next month. What a mess. Money doesn't buy happiness. And it doesn't buy love. It also can't buy a soul. My landlord sold his long ago, I can only imagine the look on his face, and the pain in his heart, when he finds out he won't be able to buy it back!

 For The Love Of Money



Mood: Sad

~Me

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Condiments

"Failure is the condiment that gives success it's flavor."

~Truman Capote

That's kinda deep!

Mood: Okay... No Really... Okay Just Freaked Out.

~Me :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Imagine The Possibilities

"Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.
 If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it.
 On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."

~Mahatma Gandhi

A pumpkin made entirely out of New England Cheddar cheese! Can you just imagine that? I know, I know, it's not really a pumpkin made of cheese... it's New England Cheddar cheese made entirely out of a pumpkin! Yeah, I know, I know... it's not that either. But just for a moment, imagine the possibilities!

Cheese Meets Pumpkins.

What A Concept!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Favorite Tree

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself."

~William Blake

This is my favorite tree. I love coming by and looking in it's... eye? Yeah, I know, it's not really an eye, but somehow imagining it to be a tree, with one wise eye, makes me feel better about things. Oh my goodness, the conversations that lovely Liquid Amber tree and I have had! We have discussed the beauty of autumn, the folly of war. We have discussed my crazy sentimentality, and how much we miss certain people. We talk about weather and big life changing decisions. We have enjoyed many lunches together, and the occasional smoothie break. Put it all together and it just life. The tree's and mine. And it goes on for both of us, through the chill and the heat, and the seasons, but autumn is our favorite. We agree that everything seems more reasonable in the autumn.

My Favorite Tree In Autumn

Mood: Happy

~Me :)



Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Point

"The truth is, I can choose to view tough times as growing times, I can choose to see aging as seasoning and I can choose to focus on whatever good there is to be found in living. 
I choose. After all, it's my point of view."

~Steve Goodier

I have passed this sign in San Francisco, which sits at the entrance to Fort Point, at the Golden Gate Bridge, and I never noticed how kinda silly it is. FORT POINT... has a little sign with a little arrow that... POINTS to FORT POINT.

Get my point?

Crissy Field
San Francisco, California
April 11th 2015

Mood: Happy

Me :)


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Finally Feeling Spring

"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."
 ~Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast

The battle is officially over! We are satisfied with the result. It will be enough to move on, and pay some bills off, and get settled into a new place. There are still some details to be ironed out, minor things like the date we will receive the check, and there will probably be a nondisclosure on names, dates, and amount of the settlement, but that's just the usual behind the scenes workings, no additional drama will take place. So, all that's left to do now is to finish the packing, and finding a new place to call home. Fortunately, we have found a really nice, and very helpful real estate professional to guide us through the next steps in this big adventure. So with the biggest part of this behind us now, I have been reassessing how I feel about things.

Q1. With the settlement check on it's way, am I still angry?

A1. You bet I am! I have forgiven the situation, but in truth, that is more for me than for them. Forgiving means you can move on with your life. It means you can heal. But will I forget? NOT LIKELY.

Q2. Will I still be grieving the loss of the cottage a year from now?

A2. A part of me will always miss this cottage. It was our home for 14 years. There was a lot of joy, and happiness that took place here, as well as a lot of pain from grieving the loss of Elvis, Alan's brother Daryl and June, my dear friend, as well as missing friends who had to move on for one reason or another. I still think of the last conversation I had with Mr. November. I was sitting at my desk, and it was goodbye. But that memory is just that, a memory. And I can keep it with me always, wherever I go. This cottage has been the place I can shut my eyes, and feel what I need to feel as I move through life. But when we find the new place, I know I will come to think just as fondly about it, and feel just as comfortable, as I have here. And I will love it for it's own merits. 

Alan and I are an unbeatable team. When someone put our family in jeopardy, we hugged each other and went into battle. Like a few times before, we thrived in a dark time. Trust in marriage really is the key to everything. Supporting each other daily, so the other one knows, even with just a hug, that no matter what... we are each other's priority... that is what makes our marriage work! It's a strange feeling to know that ours will be the last love story the cottage will have in it. And sometime in the next few months it will be torn to the ground, but I am hoping the rose garden I planted will somehow tell whoever ends up purchasing the property that love existed here. A deep, trusting, funny, silly, surreal, kind, steady, romantic love. And there was much more joy here than there ever was sorrow.


Mood: HAPPY

~Me :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Heels... And The Shoes They Wear

"If you were to ask me what's under my bed, I'd tell you shoes. They're brown, and they're still attached to the body that's been decomposing there since I hid it three days ago."

~Jarod Kintz
This Book Is Not For Sale

Finally... we arrive at Friday. It's been a long week, and at the same time, the last 3 weeks have flown by. Time is a strange thing isn't it? Alan went back to work yesterday, and slowly, but surely, I am returning to something resembling my life prior to the big reveal that I have been living in an illegal apartment for 14 years...well, it will be 14 years on May 2nd. I still plan to celebrate it, as I have done each year since we moved it. It is my place of safety, my comfort, and while there is now some tragedy attached to all the memories we made here, there are still some moments of great joy that I will never erase from my memories. Like the day we brought Hendrix home. After Elvis's death, it was so quiet in here but along came that little force of nature, Hendrix, and he helped Alan and I through our grief.

It's an odd thing... I keep finding pairs of shoes in different parking lots throughout the East Bay. This the fourth pair I have found since the beginning of the year! Is it the Year Of The Shoe? I thought every year was the Year Of The Shoe. LOL. I just packed 3 boxes with nothing but shoes. Boots. Flats. Canvas Deck Shoes. A pair of tennis shoes that used to belong to Alissa Milano I bought of eBay. LOL. Yep, I am one of those girls. I like shoes. I think you can tell a lot about a person by the kind of shoes they wear. Take the man criminal who I used to call Mr. Landlord... he wore some expensive brown leather shoes, that were strangely scuffed. I always found that a curiosity. Of course now I see that he probably scuffed them while trying to wade through his own bullshit. It's not easy being a brown heel I suppose.

Mood: Okay

~Me :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The World Offers Itself To Your Imagination

Bird In The Tree
Land's End
San Francisco, California
April 2nd, 2015

"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you of mine.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, not matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting...
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things."

~Mary Oliver

Believe it or not, that is not a bird drawn in the tree, that is how it appears naturally. The tree is located in the parking lot of the San Francisco overlook, Land's End. Isn't it awesome?


Mood: Tired

~Me :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Art Of Floating



"It's a very beautiful day. The woman looks around and thinks: there cannot ever have been a spring more beautiful than this. I did not know until now that clouds could be like this. I did not know that the sky is the sea and that clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago. I did not know that the wind could be tender, like the hands as they caress... what did I know... until now?"

~Unica Zurn

Mood: Ready For A Monday

~Me :)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Is Age Really Just A Number?

"I'm not young enough to everything."

~Oscar Wilde

Is age really just a number? HELL yes, and I feel like I am 114! Maybe it's just all the stress and packing. The unknown future. Maybe I am just quickly becoming an old coot! I don't know, but I do know, as Mary Engelbreit said, "Time flies whether your having fun or not." But I also know that, "this too shall pass." funny thing about that phrase... some think King Solomon said it, but it's not so, in fact that phrase is not to be found in any translation of the Bible. Others believe it comes from an Old English poem, while still others think it comes from Persian Sufi poets. LOL. Hey, at least I am not old enough to confirm any of those theories! LOL!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

No Shirts. No Shoes. No Whining.

"Never tell your problems to anyone... 
20% don't care and the other 80% are glad you have them."

~Lou Holtz

Friday was a good day. If you kept me in your thoughts yesterday... thank you. I got your good vibrations. Friday came with some light at the end of the tunnel. We will find out next week for sure but next week, fingers crossed, this case may be settled, and it will be onto the future from there. At least for this weekend, no whining, no crying, no anger, just packing up my things, and moving forward on.

Mood: I'm Good!

~Me :)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Enough Is Enough

"I had a dream about you. Our relationship faded from red to white and somewhere in the middle, in the pink zone, I told you I loved and you and you returned it.
 However, at white, our relationship went black and I sought red in the arms of another woman."

~Jarod Kintz, 
Dreaming Is For Lovers

It's a red day. By the end of business hours today, we will know whether or not my former landlords are going to pay us what is rightfully ours... or if Alan and I have to file suit in Superior Court to get our money back. Sigh. We are really hoping we won't have to do that. We don't want to do that. Sigh. We don't want to devastate anyone, we just want what's fair for us. 
We didn't ask for this situation. 
Sigh.
  There comes a time in life when you have to say... 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

And NO, the quote doesn't really fit the words of the post, but it does remind us that life changes color sometimes, and so do relationships. Sometimes things really are BLACK AND WHITE.

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)