Monday, May 6, 2019

Is It Really, "THE WORST THING EVER!"?


Before I get into this, let me preface that I wrote this last year when something happened and it felt, at that moment like the worst thing ever! I wrote this to post on social media and then did not hit "post." I did think enough of what I wanted to share to copy it and save it for a later, today is that time.

At what point in our lives do we recognize that there are good days and not such good days in our lives? Of course, we know that logically, but there are times when shit happens and we can't get out of the mindset that it is "THE WORST" thing that could happen. 

When life beats me up, I try really hard to allow myself to feel whatever is appropriate at the moment, but ultimately to try to move out of the really bad feelings, I remind myself that Mason is alive and well, Dave and I are being granted the privilege to grow older, and everything else is the stuff that we have to do our best to deal with and get through. 

Look at really old people and how they stay calm and encourage us to enjoy the people around us, work in our gardens, paint the picture, bake the cake and then eat some, and just know it will be okay. It may not be the same, but it will be okay. My granny is in my ear today, "Kahty, (that's how she said my name) this too shall pass. Here, let's have some tea and toast." And she would make me tea and sing a little song while she did it.

And before I get beat up for not fully understanding how bad it really is, I am writing this for me, to process my feelings, not about anybody else. I still feel bad about the way things go sometimes but I just can't stay in the, "how bad this is." Ask my husband and son, I prefer to look for the rainbows and butterflies that seem to surround me wearing my rose-colored glasses. I'm okay, just working through life stuff, I will do what I can to repair and or rectify the situation and then I have to release it.  

Friday, March 8, 2019

International Women's Day


Speak your love today and then speak it again everyday❤️🗣. To those women I know and get to surround myself with; I celebrate you, your hard work and your determination💪 For showing up and giving yourself to others each and everyday. When you thought no one was watching, I saw you😉. I learned from you. I continue to learn and be inspired by you. On this International Women's Day, I speak love to you!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Month of Love Day 29 - Juli and Preston Marx


Day 29 Month of Love goes to Juli and Preston Marx III. Juli and Preston are two of my favorite people on this planet. Like all my other amazing people our meeting comes with a humorous story. 

I purchased some readers from Juli on the yardsale page and she offered to deliver them to me. I gave her my (then) office address and she came in to see me. A little time later she sent me a message on Facebook and asked me about real estate and that conversation lead to another private message asking if we could talk. We did and she, in her sweet yet confident voice said, "Here's the thing, there is this house I want to see but my husband, Preston, he's a lawyer and very involved in our community and may have other friends who may want to be our Realtor. I can't promise that it would be you when it's time to buy, but do you think we could go see this house together?" I had to chuckle and I absolutely appreciated that she was honestly putting her cards on the table.

We went to look at that house, and then another house, and then several more houses! It was so fun shopping for their next home sweet home. They had a very specific set of criteria like all home buyers do and I was doing my best to find as many, if not all of the things they not only needed but wanted. I told them what I tell all of my buyers, "You have to see houses in person, you have to feel them. When you find the right one you won't need to compare what works and what doesn't. You will both agree that it is the right house and the things it needs or doesn't need won't matter, it will be THE house." I don't know how many homes we looked at when I got the call. Juli said, "I think we found our house! We want you to come to see it, will you meet us there?" Yep! I met them there and when I walked in I said, "I would have never even thought to show you this house!" Very little about this gorgeous home met their need/want criteria. 

I tell this story to almost all of my buyers because it is such the epitome of home shopping, maybe of life in general, the things we think we want are not always the things that we get and love. 

Juli and Preston have become two of my dearest friends. We went through withdrawals after their escrow closed because we weren't talking every day, that was especially hard on Juli and I. But we worked through it and we have been able to hang out when we get it on the calendar and don't allow other things to creep in. I got to celebrate a huge accomplishment in Preston's career by helping with the food, and Juli and the kids came over to help me put together bookcases when Dave and I moved into our new home. 

Both of these individuals are such giving people, they chip in and make our community a better place at every opportunity. They are like you and me in that they are super busy professionals and parents who make time when their friends need help. I love you guys, I am so happy we have each other and Juli took a chance and reached out to me...and for the record, we would still be friends even if Preston had promised the home-purchase stuff to someone else. :) MonthOfLove

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Month of Love Day 28 - Brandi Matteoni


Day 28 in my Month of Love goes to Brandi Matteoni. This girlie came into my life quietly, but that doesn't mean her impact has been any less profound. Our first date outside of seeing each other at Pete's was a project in my backyard. I was laying pavers while Dave and Mason were out of town for a long weekend. I take on these kinds of projects while they are gone so I can do it my way. Dave doesn't always believe me and he absolutely cannot see my vision of our household projects. Yet, when I get 'er done, he's usually pretty pleased. Brandi and I got it done, and talk about girl power, we even ran into Therese Beechler at Home Depot who helped us load more pavers in my car.

Brandi and I have had some fun! We've taken on weekend projects, filled orders for lots of t-shirts, she's taught me how to use my vinyl cutter, we've made gorgeous cookies, played poker, shopped for her store, and made super healthy meals, and some not so healthy ones, too!

Brandi texted me asking about backpacks for our local kids heading back to school. She spearheaded a drive to set kids up who might otherwise have to start school without the supplies they need. She organized it and made her shop downtown available for donations to be dropped off and also for parents to pick them up. It seems to me that it's often the people who don't have nearly as much themselves step up to give to those who have less. 

One of my most favorite stories of this friendship is the night she helped me administer an enema to Gunner. LOL! Yep, we believed he had ingested something he wasn't supposed to eat and I was determined to do everything we could do to avoid a vet visit and another possible surgery for Gunner. I tried feeding him the soup that would make him barf and he was not having it! I googled if it was safe to give a dog an enema and the answers were mixed... I tried to go to the store to get a suppository but they didn't have them. All that was left was the put-it-in-his-pooper and fill him up with the stuff! LOL! Brandi held his hair (LOL! I can't quit thinking that holding his head was the equivalent of holding his hair) and I did the dirty work. We expected an immediate and explosive reaction and it didn't happen! DOH! Now, this poor dog is not feeling good AND full of enema solution. I did the only thing I knew to do and that was to walk him. It didn't take long and he relieved himself. I had to go back with a flashlight to inspect and make sure there were no toys or socks involved. I still chuckle when I think about this night not only because Brandi stayed by our side, and because of what I put that poor dog through and he had not ingested a foreign object.

You all know about our escapades on the lake and the boat, we love our sunshine and summertime. If you get to spend time with Brandi and she tells you she doesn't cook, understand that "doesn't" is not the same as "can't." This girl can cook, but she prefers that you do it. ;) I love you girlie, I'm chomping at the bit for longer days with lots of sunshine and lakes that are full to the brim! Happy Month of Love!

PS This is not my last post, I still have some love to share with some super important people! 


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Month of Love Day 27 - My Mom


Day 27 in my Month of Love goes to my mom, today would have been her 89th birthday. She passed away a year and a half ago and we absolutely miss her. I’m the baby of five kids and my mom always joked that I was an accident. She would tell me how my dad went crazy yelling and screaming when she told him she was pregnant but then when he passed away, I learned he was over the moon to have me. Go figure!

Growing up, my mom and I were very close. I would say that being the last of five kids, she relaxed a lot and parented with more of a “go with the flow” attitude, in addition to wanting to do more with the last child because they are just that, the last one. I had a number of interests as a young girl and my mom supported most of them, mostly the ones she felt like she could support. I played little league baseball, I roller skated, rode horses, but more than anything, from the time I was eight years old, I wanted to be an actor. This is one she had no idea how to help me do so she told me I didn’t have what it would take to succeed in that industry. Before you judge my mom for not being supportive, let’s keep in mind, this was the 1970s and the women who were the ideals in the industry were Farrah Fawcett, Cheryl Tiegs, and Christy Brinkley. I was a young tomboy, chubby, not so tall and nothing about my look indicated that I could make it in show business.

My mom grew up in Shanghai, China and spent several years in the Japanese internment camp as my grandfather was American. My mom met my dad, who was also an American Soldier and that is how she came to America. My grandmother and grandfather followed her immigrating to the US through Ellis Island. My grandmother and mother were so proud to become Americans, my grandmother was primarily Russian but also had some Polish heritage. From what I can tell, the immigrants of years ago wanted to be American, they didn’t want to reference their heritage. This doesn’t mean we didn’t celebrate Russian Easter or have decorations from their childhoods, but they wanted to be known as Americans, they loved this country.

Though my mom did not have the wherewithal to help me break into show business, she tried to help me in other ways. When I wanted a horse, she told me if I saved enough money to pay for half, she would pay the other half. She never expected me to earn all that money over the course of one summer, but I did. Once I had my horse, she worked and saved her money to buy me the saddle I wanted. Yep, my mom’s full-time job paid for me to do the things I loved. Now before you go pointing the “spoiled brat” finger at me, know that at 14 years old I worked, too. I had to work at the ranch where my horse was boarded cleaning stalls to pay for her board, and the cost of a horse meant I didn’t have the latest and greatest when it came to clothes and shoes, I understood lay-away from the time I was old enough to understand that I tried on clothes that I didn’t get to take home.

She did the best she could. My dad and she were married to the day they each died, but they were no Ward and June Cleaver. LOL! She was, for the most part, a single parent in terms of us kids. She took us camping with her best friend and our neighbor, we took day trips to Mt. Diablo, San Francisco, Frontier Village, Marriotts Great America, Marine World, and she even took me to Hawaii and New York. It is still an oxymoron to me that she made some pretty amazing things happen in our life but always told me, “Kathy, there are have’s and have-nots in life. We are have-nots, we don’t have money to do the things your friend's families have.” I heard her but I didn’t believe her. I recall a Saturday morning that I got up early and had my mind set to go get a job. She asked me where I was off to and I told her, she replied, “It doesn’t work that way Kathy, you have to go fill out an application, turn it in, wait for a call back, go interview and then if they like you, they will call you to offer you the job. It takes weeks.” I looked at her with a blank stare. I went downtown and was home less than an hour later with my first real job.

Holy cow, this is a long post! My mom was something else, she loved her kids to a fault and I mean that sincerely. She blurred the lines in an all-out effort to keep the peace. This was not always a good thing, in fact, it bit her in the butt more than once. I think I am such a stickler about telling the truth because I saw how her “white lies” hurt her and our family. I would rather know the truth even if I don’t like it than have someone lie to me. I know she meant well, she just never really learned that lesson. Happy Birthday mom, I love you and I appreciate all you did for us, and how much more you did for me. #MonthOfLove

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Month of Love Day 26 - My Granny


Day 26 in my Month of Love goes to my Granny. My Granny was a hoot, but before I could know that, I had to do some growing up and get out of my own way. My mom was very close to her parents, they lived walking distance from us in Vacaville where I grew up. My Granny took care of my Grandpop who had a severe stroke when I was really little. My Granny also worked so my mom would take me with her to their house where my mom would take care of my Grandpop while my Granny worked. She was a secretary for a Colonel at Travis Air Force Base until he retired when she turned a spare room in her house into an office and started Zee’s Secretarial Service. She was quite a phenomenal woman, not only was she a female business owner, she spoke seven languages fluently, and could type 130+ wpm error free. I don't know which of those is more impressive. She loved her tea with milk in it, entertaining, and I never knew her to bake anything without alcohol in it. Seriously, she would bake cakes days before an event and soak them with rum, brandy, or whiskey meticulously so they would not be soggy, but loaded with the flavor of the booze. Us kids ate it because the sweetness of the cake offset the flavor of the booze. She had an amazing sense of humor and she spoke her mind without apology.

I wasn’t close to my Granny when I was little because, like most families, relationships are complicated. There are often favorites and sometimes it feels that way even when it’s not necessarily how others see it. When I turned 20 I wanted to know my granny. I made a point to go spend at least a day with her each month, and sometimes the whole weekend. During one of our visits, she asked me to curl her hair. She was sitting on the toilet seat and we were chatting when she made mention of how I didn’t come to see her when I was growing up and lived in Vacaville with her. She was very matter-of-fact in case you ever wonder where I get it, so I told her how I saw it. I told her it was no fun to come over and hear that my hair wasn’t combed the way she thought it should be, or that I was dressed like a boy wearing blue jeans and spent my time riding horses, that the overall feeling was that she didn’t really like me. She turned to me looking me in the eyes and said, “I’m sorry I made you feel that way. I love you so very much and I am glad you are here. Thank you for coming and curling my hair.” I loved that she said she was sorry, she didn’t try to explain, or justify my perception of that time, she simply said she was sorry. From that point forward we were very close talking about everything from how she wanted to live her final days, how she wanted to die, what it was like to be old, and what she wanted for me - to be married, to have someone take care of me, and to be settled. She used to tell me that she would always be with me and I would always remind her to please not appear to me as a ghost, it would scare the heck out of me. She would say, “What if I have something I need to tell you?” to which I would reply, “Leave me a note, I’ll believe you were there.” and we would laugh.

She passed away just days after Dave and I married publicly, but I did tell her that we were legally and secretly married before that day and she told me, “I’m sorry I can’t come to your wedding, but I am so happy Dave will take care of you.” My only twinge of regret in my life is that she never knew Mason. Oh how she would have loved him, I can see them laughing together in my mind as if it is real. I guess we sometimes make our memories like we create our realities, the way we wanted them to be versus how they may have actually played out. My Granny was an amazing woman and if someone who knew her were to think of me as even a little bit like her, I will have grown into a woman of some real character and substance. Happy #MonthOfLove Granny, with such sincere love. Kahty

Monday, February 25, 2019

Month of Love Day 25 - Jose Valenzuela


Day 25 in my Month Of Love is for Jose Valenzuela. Jose and I met the same year Dave and I met, in 1996. He had moved to San Francisco from his home in Goleta, CA to spread his wings and see what this awesome world had to offer. He came into the employment agency I was running and I put him right to work. Like Alice, he would come in on Fridays to get his paycheck and we would chat. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we were both new to the city and we had some things in common. I can’t recall the exact thing that brought us together outside of our working relationship but whatever it was, I’m sure glad it happened!

Through the years we’ve been friends, we’ve had some crazy fun times. We bowled in a league together, he’s a WAY better bowler than anyone in that league was, I think it was sponsored by a country radio station so it was really an excuse to get together, drink beer, and “bowl.” LOL! We were a team of four, Dave bowled with us with his then-girlfriend Mary. Jose came to Poobahs, we went to country concerts, and enjoyed many nights out in San Francisco. For as much fun as we were having as singles in the city, we talked about dating and we shared one kiss at which point it was very clear that we were meant to be just friends and nothing more. It’s funny, those experiences in life when you, “check,” you know, just to see and it becomes very clear that it’s not that. I can hear Hotty Roddy now, “No, no, not that, this!” Jose knows exactly what I am talking about! These were a series of years in my life that could have been right out of Seinfeld.

Jose and I went to Las Vegas together and though there was not a bowling tournament, he took his bowling balls to take me to some grand bowling alley where the big tournaments happen, is it called Showboat? That turned into a total fiasco when we left his bowling balls (yes, I have to keep saying BOWLING balls) in the taxi we were in and thought they may be gone forever! How the hell do you identify the cab you were just in Las Vegas? It was a challenge but when we got home I was able to track it down and learned that if you leave something in the backseat of a cab, it’s on your dime to get sent back to you, but if you have something in the trunk and forget it, it’s on them. We got them back, on their dime! Then there was the time we went on a hike. LOL! Henry Coe State Park in San Jose. He told me there was a lake he wanted to fish. We hiked for HOURS that day until we finally came upon a puddle, seriously, it was a flipp’n dip in the earth with some water in it. To make matters worse, it was hot that day and with all of the stuff Jose had in his backpack, water was not one of the items, but I think he did pack a diet coke.

Jose and I have had some super great times from skiing Sugarbowl to camping, white water rafting, fishing with Mason at a Poobah, he’s been my date for many a fancy-dress-up party, to concerts with a cool-sit-down guy. Oh, and our mutual love of MUTTS. We’ve planned and plotted for better jobs and I asked him to trust me and walk out on the interview of his life, it wasn’t but he thought it was at the time. He got home to a message on his answering machine offering him the job at the pay he wanted, not the pay they originally offered. I love this guy more than words could ever express. Jose is as genuine as a human being comes, he has so much good in him, from the way he loves his parents to how he is there for his friends and all of that communicates in his relationships across the board. Oh, and I can’t write this post without this one last favorite Jose-ism of mine. He and I have shared many a deep conversation and at one point he said to me, “Kathy, I’m sure what you have to say about this is really good, but I need to let you know, I have a shelf in my head and it only holds three things. Is this replace-one-of-my-already-important-things important?” LOL! How the heck do I know? What are the other three things? To this day when I’m overwhelming my guys with my profound bouts of wisdom (aka droning on way too long!), I can hear Jose reminding me of the shelf and its capacity to only hold three things. Love you Pepe, forever you will be part of the fabric of my awesome life. #MonthOfLove