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Concerned Citizen and a Serial Entrepreneur wrapped in a progressive democratic soul longing for us all to get along.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Today is Tuesday, December 11th

December has arrived in all its splendor as our lives have taken on new meaning....  We are oh so alive!!  This holiday season which began with Thanksgiving and will culminate with the New Year has been joyous!  I can't even express how wonderful it is to slowly regain our footing and rejoin the rest of you in actually taking part and experiencing each and every day.

We've had boisterous blustery storms blow through the coast and the last few days have left very large numbers of Humboldt squid stranded on the shoreline.  It's weird..

Squid next to T's boat er shoe

And here's one of our mornings on the coast...

Only one disappointment for me...  I made a bas relief of Cenz from a photo I took in '89 in the Louvre where life imitated art

Unfortunately for me, Cenz decided not to be captured for now anyway... I arrived at the studio on Fri. only to find my piece had blown up in the kiln... happens sometimes... but I can't help but think my Cenz didn't like it and decided I should do it again...

Love you all... be safe and enjoy!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Today is Saturday, December 1st

Wow!!!  It's been awhile...  As we welcome December and all that it brings, we want to acknowledge the gratitude we feel for the month of November and it's tidings....  November was truly a month for Thanksgiving!!!

After the election, we settled in to our routines and started to accept that our cancer journey was almost over.  We also celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on the 24th.

Tracy and I have survived!!!!  It's been grueling, frightening and totally absorbing BUT the end of treatments was oh so near and oh so dear....  We had the fight of our lives and we have come out the other side:  VICTORIOUS... WE WON!!!  Those thoughts have consumed me and stifled me from even wanting to express them in writing... the thought that I might jinx the outcome kept creeping close to the surface... I know that's crazy but you know a lot crazier things come to mind when I think about the Big C....   the fight after all was mind boggling...  I wonder how many healthy cells I killed just by the fear and anxiety and stressful ever present reality of Tracy's travails.  There were times when the responsibility of keeping the flame of life going with my T were way too much to bear.  Way too many times where he hung by a thread and I bore witness and fought as hard as I've ever fought to keep him going...  after all it was a good fight... we survived and T is a new man.  The gentle soul of my big bear has returned along with his humor and his new outlook not without lots of scars and residual aches and pains but my T is back.   The most important thing we both embrace is he's alive and his indomitable spirit has survived!!!  I can't even say all the lessons we've learned about who we are and what we can do BUT we are so thankful for it all.  I can't say I'd ever want to repeat it... although who knows what the future will bring? and that in itself scares the hell out of me.  The journey was a perilous adventure  and yet the lessons we learned will remain for all of our time on this plane...

The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and T's last treatment became an opportunity for me to wind down.  I finally acknowledged that I needed a break and some rest and relaxation.  I took the most relaxing vacation I've ever had.  We stayed at home and just enjoyed the time to lay back and read, watch movies and recharge.  I stocked up the larder and proceeded to lodge my car in the garage and pretty much unplug.  T even read to me!!!  I feel the 20 years I aged over the last 2.5 creeping off me slowly but surely and the stress and fear subsiding cause at the end of the day we survived!!!

I have this overwhelming desire to celebrate and slowly my friends we're going to celebrate with each and every one of you!!!

T will continue to be monitored by Stanford and our Bruno will keep a watchful eye. We return for a bone marrow test after Christmas and then, we see Bruno in January.  We encountered the head nurse of the ITA (treatment area) on Wed. and Sandy was a welcome sight.  She reminisced with us about a memorable meeting last year some time when T was insisting that his 103 temperature was caused by standing too closely by the fireplace... and by my finally breaking down in tears and admitting that he'd had a raging temperature all night.  T ended up in a hospital stay with ultimately, good results... Sandy embraced each of us and we all teared up as she admitted that that was the story she told lots of scared patients because just look at Tracy now!!!  Terry stopped by to double check T's chemo and he said he almost didn't recognize him cause "he looked like shit"  back then...  Wow, we have survived...

A year ago I didn't know if we'd make it to today but yesterday,  we had another kind of adventure...

We enjoy our daily walk down to the beach with Riley each morning and yesterday, was no exception...even in a torrential downpour.  We were bundled up with rain gear on top and I chose very light pants with my waterproof  Rockports and T chose shorts and flip flops.  Riley goes au naturel and jumps in and out of the new lagoon looking for birds or sticks or anything to chase after... The surf was huge and threatening but we meandered on the minimal shore ( the sandy beach is only about 10-15 feet wide right now) for a couple days now.  We picked our way along and finally had to cross the newly raging Aptos creek at Hidden Beach or turn back.  T decided that he could handle traversing with me on his back... ai yi yi!!!  I hung on as we got to the middle of the creek (which had become a raging river) T sunk in the muddy riverbed as a huge wave crashed on us, the water swirled and uprooted and pushed my huge man down into the current with me trying to ride the raging bull... Riley was oblivious as T shouted "your phone!!!"  and I finally was able to scramble out of the water to climb the cliff... upon checking, my iPhone finally came back on.  PHEW!!!   It's been sitting in rice overnight.  I hope the ringer isn't cooked... and T and I survived laughing about our adventure all the way home to a warm shower...

I'll add photos later...  love you all and thanks for your patience!!!  I think we're back on track now!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today is Election Day, November 6th, 2012

I've been keeping busy all day... working, walking, cleaning out my office closet... anything rather than turn on the TV ever since I voted this morning  (BTW:  I had to turn my Obama 2008 t-shirt inside out while I was in the polling station at Seascape Golf Club in order to be allowed to vote ) ... and as of about 8:30 PM this evening....


I've been very upset and pre-occupied... the way women have been attacked throughout this campaign cycle has been unconscionable!  I was one of those women when I was young, who fought vehemently for a woman's right to choose because quite simply... there is NO one person and absolutely NO government or religious group that has the right to tell me what I can or cannot do with my body!!!  No one told me to feel that way... it was and still is an innate sense of what is right and true and undeniable...

We did it!!  The last Presidential election I worked very hard to register voters, in fact I was the Chair of Voter Registration for the Democratic Party of Santa Cruz County.  This time I was very distracted by life and didn't participate except by writing letters and checks BUT thank God, Obama won!!!

 I must say I'm soooo glad!!!

Lots more to say and I'll get to it in the next couple days...

In the mean time,  LET'S CELEBRATE!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Today is Monday, October 29th

As Hurricane Sandy hits the East coast, we watch the news hoping that the worst is not too much to bear.  Johnny is safe and I hope the rest of our family in Florida and Connecticut friends are also safe.  Maren is posting to Facebook and we're hoping she's safe at home in North Beach, Md.  And there are still people who don't believe that our climates are changing.....

We've been rolling with the ups and downs a lot lately... I've been trying to stay positive throughout Tracy's many mood changes wrought by aches and pains the result of way too many Neupogen shots and who knows what else....  The communication breakdown between Bruno at Stanford and Dr. Wu's office in Santa Cruz is the latest debacle...  After much discussion where we've acknowledged no one will concede their error, Tracy was the victim.  T had started having his mid month labs done back in Dr. Wu's office.  T's counts had been on the low side lately and we'd accepted that that just may be what's normal for our T.  Well, Dr. Wu's office isn't used to that and apparently, altho' they are supposed to be on the same system as Stanford; who knows whether they are looking at the same tests? So, we received a call on the 18th from Kellye (at Dr. Wu's office) stating that she'd been told by Bruno to have Tracy start Neupogen shots...Thurs, Fri and Sat.... to drive those counts back up.  T started immediately and neither one of us questioned what the counts actually were.  Poor T started having terrible joint pains and shooting pains through his feet and cramping.  I tried to help and mostly stay out of his way. On Mon. another call came in to continue with 3 more shots.  Neither one of us questioned it altho' I became kinda suspicious... nobody had checked his labs again so why?

Well, when we saw Bruno on Fri. T's counts were very high and I asked why he'd told them to start the Neupogen.  Bruno made some excuse around his being in the midst of something else and not really being able to see T's labs.  So, I pressed the question but to no avail.  As Jim said, Bruno's never going to admit he may have been wrong.  The sad part was the fact that Tracy had to suffer through and we're back to questioning everything. We'd become complacent and we're back to being vigilant.  Perhaps thats a good thing...time will tell ... Bruno was in a talkative mood... he advised us to avoid using Dr. Wu's office and just not get the mid month labs since "they tried to kill you last year didn't they?"... reminiscing about the fact that T had survived his initial 2010 Stanford stay by cheering the Giants on to win the World Series & we were hoping that they'd repeat the victory just as T had.  Then, Bruno retorted with " you're living on borrowed time" and that he remembered a lot of tears ( that would be me ) when he gave us the diagnosis.  I've been reeling over that phrasing all weekend.  Tact, not much but we do have Bruno to thank and we continually do.  Tracy is feeling great as of Sunday... the steroids have kicked in....

Several buyers are circling and I've tried to be home in time to watch most of each of the Giants march towards their World Series win... what a series!!!  what a sweep!!!!   and the 49ers are rolling along... aren't we the happy bay area sports fans!!!

Sean & Tracy as Frankenstein 
Tracy was entertaining the neighborhood kids at Sean & Bina's.....Happy Hallowe'en!!!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Today is Friday, October 19th

As I slowly drift into consciousness,  I choose what will give me pleasure today.  I believe that we are put here on earth not to suffer but to learn and teach and leave this world a better place... and when we find that certain something that gives us joy we must embrace it and follow it's lead....  Today will be a fun day!  We'll walk down to our beach when our alarm clock, that would be Riley, stirs us at precisely the same time  ... how does he do it, every morning at the same time?  We just roll with it...  Some days I can't accompany my boys but the best days are when we all take the stroll... the marine life is abundant ... October is a truly beautiful time of year on the coast.

Then, we come back to our morning things... mmm coffee brewed from beans and cooked oatmeal or eggs or pancakes and the papers... today we'll play with clay.  I'm working on several pieces.  A bas relief of Cenz in profile.  I'm using the photo I took in '89 at the Louvre where life is imitating art...

The only problem is my skill, 'tho I'm using paper clay for the first time on my otter and loving it!  It's so forgiving... I can't seem to get Cenz' eye right with the 50/50 red clay... those big beautiful expressive blue eyes... but I'll keep on trying.  I'm also working on another otter.  Can't seem to get enough of those rascally cuddlies...

I'll finish the afternoon with a listing appointment which will give me the opportunity to meet a new friend.  She was referred by Barry, the dog whisperer, at Wag More Farms.  I look forward to this glorious day!

This evening we'll cheer the Giants on to victory we hope!!!  It's their last chance... we watched and then listened to the game last evening until we arrived at the Sons of Italy meeting.  Great to see old friends and new.  We definitely participated as there was a vote to change the venue for next years barbecue from the Crossetti ranch to a place in Corralitos.  Finally after much haggling we will return to the Crossetti ranch next July.

One little back step... Tracy is back on Neupogen cause his counts are too low.  Surround our boy with love and white healing light and go out and enjoy the day!!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Today is Thursday, October 18th

I find myself writing more personal emails lately and sending notes (altho' sometimes we forget to send them )...  ah the beauty of the coast is entrancing and work has been all consuming and playing with clay has captured me yet again.  It's great to have different and yet all consuming interests.  We are very blessed.

Last Friday, Tracy, Riley and I were strolling on the beach in the most glorious early morning sunshine when we were startled from serving up the ball for Riley.  The huge pods of dolphin were all over the horizon on the waves, dancing and frolicking everywhere we looked.  All of a sudden,  the waves set up so that they were rolling in large sets and through the clear green water at the crest, two extra special dolphin surfed directly at us.  A small group of folks had gathered and we all responded with hoots and cheers of amazement... Awesome and goose pimply and blessed we were and oh so content... and shit eating grins were had by all...

Tracy has had a few more aches and pains and wrenching cramps as we wind towards his last two treatments.  After, he starts on a monthly check up at Stanford which we hope will gradually be extended to 6 weeks and then, quarterly...keep sending that healing white light to surround our T.  Amazing that the 15th of October we passed the two year anniversary of his diagnosis and his first Stanford stay.  We've survived... hoping for the best and trying not to worry.  Remission is a heavy state.... And the Giants are in the playoffs once again!  That distraction got us through the first time around.... Participating in Roddy's Celebration of Life this past Sunday was an awe inspiring event that makes one stop and realize that we don't have forever but what we do have we must seize and squeeze every delicious drop out of... as Roddy truly did... His courage and zest for life was truly inspiring and Rowena, his wife and his children will always carry his spirit with them... as we all do who were lucky enough to know him...

A dear friend Gini is fast walking the Big Sur Marathon for Tracy next month.  I'm amazed by her courage and blessed to know she walks for a cure.  Her team has raised a $100,000 which will fund a full time researcher for a year at Stanford.  Who knows?  He/ she may find T's cure!

My beloved brother, Johnny has received the best news!  He is in stage one so, tho' the treatment is rigorous it WILL stop the insidious cancer and hopefully, we'll all celebrate on the beach sometime soon.

Whenever I have had a heavy change of direction or attitude; I seem to mark the change by losing some piece of jewelry or favorite item of clothing... No surprise:  I seem to have lost my favorite sweater sometime over the last month plus.... sometimes I find those missing items... most times they're gone for good marking the change ... I hope my sweater finds its way back to me... it was one of a kind and a present from my hubby.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Today is Friday, October 5th

No matter what happens we're on the right side of the dirt...and nothing makes any sense.... news of the third and I certainly hope the last passing Wednesday... dearest Carrie McCoid... much too young and recently widowed by a tragic traffic accident after which she gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl who turned 4 months on the day her mom passed away.... OMG!!!  So much tragedy!!!  How? Why?

I seemed to stumble through the day today... craving hugs and sharing stories...

Some great news:  Johnny is in stage one so, he's gonna kick this Cancer right outta the park!!!  He's not waiting for anything and he's studying the options and he'll get the cure on very quickly ...

I've been taking it slowly, walking on the beach with Tracy & Riley... reading, playing with clay and slowly taking on clients again.  I received 3 referrals last week from past clients and I've enjoyed house hunting again.  Solving the puzzle and seeing that satisfied grin and twinkle in the eyes of my clients makes it all worthwhile...  I'm a happy woman when I can help my clients achieve their dreams...

Tracy went to his day at Stanford last Fri without me (for the first time in 2 years).  I had been attacked by a stomach flu of some kind and I couldn't see my way clear of my bed and bath.  He survived the day and even brought the batch of my Italian wedding soup to Rowena and family.  I had planned it so that we could bring the soup and visit after Stanford but you know about best made plans...  Anyway, he's about the same, which is good according to Bruno.    We celebrated Tracy's birthday along with our two neighbors, Bina and Debi (all three houses on our block of Granada have one person with the Sept. 14th birthday- kinda woo woo ) and Judy's 9/7 and Jayne's 9/12 by throwing a block party on the 22nd and oh what a bash it was!!!  Lots of good food and drink and good vibes for all and it was a lot of fun to revive the block party (we'd taken a hiatus last year because T was soo ill ) ... the sheriffs even showed up and naturally, I tried to feed them... when offered the brownies they finally balked... hee hee  

So, there you have it...  life moves on and you're either moving with it or you've given up....  and it's way too short for some....

Love to you all and may you rest in peace Roddy, Evelyn and Carrie...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Today is Friday, Sept. 21st

Brian's Wedding 9/6/2012
I thought it was a good time to update my profile with a new photo but for some reason; I couldn't get it done.  There you have it.  This photo was from Brian's gorgeous wedding to the lovely Angela.  An absolutely exquisite wedding and the lovely couple did it all... What a phenomenal venue- The Mountain Terrace in Woodside and Angela executed every detail with so much loving care!!!  I wish them all the best... they deserve it!!!

The weather has been simply breath taking... the dophins and seals have been everywhere and we're the lucky ones witnessing their antics almost everyday....

 Catching up again cause I'm unable to sleep... I hope the bad news is over.... it just doesn't get any easier.... agita...acid reflux has been playing havoc with me...that's how I handle stress...

  We lost our valiant, well loved Roddy on Sept. 7th.  He finally lost the lung cancer battle which he so brilliantly fought for the last 4 years and serenely passed on with his family surrounding him.  We had driven up to Tahoe to get away for a few days ( our first trip to Tahoe in many many years and Riley's first ) and the news was very hard to digest.  I spent a few days battling grief, altitude sickness and agita while we adjusted to life in a different locale....  we are so entrenched in our own little world and comfort zone here on the coast... not traveling for over 2 years may have dampened our traveling spirits...

The next terrible news yesterday was my Johnny has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  He's being probed and tested to determine the degree he's been invaded and to figure out the appropriate treatment needed very quickly.  Everywhere I look I see him and surround him with white healing light.  How? Why?  I'm so sick of cancer!!!!

The last straw was our beloved Evelyn passed away in the early morning Thursday.  She would have been 91 in a few days and we will miss her terribly.  She was of stubborn Maine stock and was an amazing lady of grace ... she and Allan had been a huge part of our lives in the last few years.  Evelyn had broken her pelvis about a month ago and had had a very hard time accepting that it would take a long time to heal...  Riley will miss her especially...she always had a good word and a treat for him...

Our Tracy went to the dentist this morning cause he's in dire need of dental attention... the radiation and the chemo have battered his teeth and I'm scared that by disturbing the decayed roots...who knows?  I'm not ashamed to say I'm scared but he's in pain so, something has to give.

I feel battered and bruised and my stomach just couldn't handle much more today.... went on tour with my buddy, Marilyn this morning and continued on my own for a few more homes this afternoon until I felt that I'd seen enough and went home to rest my weary bones....  took a pass on a Sereno celebration cause I knew I needed to just be at home....

It just doesn't get any easier.... but tomorrow will bring a new day... thank God for that!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Today is Thursday, Sept. 6th

OK... OK... it's been awhile.  I've been peddling as fast as I can and now, finally, I'm taking a little break.  We've gone through all kinds of stress based around T's painful episodes landing him in the emergency room and then, the hospital the last 2 months.  I've been really apprehensive for the last 2 days that tonight was going to be a repeat performance... well so far so good.  I made some grilled salmon and artichokes for dinner ( nice and healthy) with a strawberry, blueberry & raspberry compote smothered in whipped cream dessert to counteract any issue with T's gallstone.  So, I'm hoping that will be the last of that scare.  Bruno almost didn't give T his chemo last Fri based on the aftermath of the uncanny coincidence.  T had to convince Bruno that he was up to it and he did.  Imagine asking for chemo but after all it's been our T's saving grace....

It's truly amazing how we've grown in the last two years and how thankful we are to have survived this cruel ordeal.  When at Stanford, we are both acutely aware of the varying stages of this debilitating disease ... we can't avoid it.. it surrounds us and overwhelms us that we are coming out the other side... Friday, we met a wonderful couple from Oakland in the ITA.  He was being prepared for his second bone marrow transplant this Friday.  The conversation started with me admiring her red shoes and then, we distracted each other as we absorbed each of our husband's journey.  I'm very aware that T has escaped so far so good.  This couple had moved to a condo in Mt. View last April to begin this preparation for the transplant. He was an attorney and now an anxious patient just like all the rest.  It's a leveling agent, cancer is.  It brings one down to their knees and teaches them and their loved ones what they're made of and just how much they will do for survival.  I've been very reflective the last few months.... and very slow to record my thoughts and moods.

I was brought to tears and cheers this evening as I watched Bill Clinton make the logical and very lucid argument for Obama's re-election.  Amazing how he can cut very complicated issues down to chewable bites.  Thank God for he and Michelle!!!  I hope this country is listening....

We have survived and we're gathering our strengths for the final push....  I've had 2 very stressful deals that are now over and hopefully, T will be able to cope with the final stages of this protocol.... 3 more treatments to go and oh by the way;  his toe seems to be healing.  Not sure if I ever mentioned that the night my family left, T got up in the dark (we were watching a movie ) and walked into the coffee table.  He broke the third toe on his left foot right where it joins the ball of the foot.  Poor guy has missed walking on the beach for a month  BUT this past weekend he joined Riley & I back on our daily saunter down to the shore.   We've been amazed by the wildlife this past weekend... besides the huge amount of tourists (hee hee)!  dolphins, seals and huge pelicans swooping into the same pile playing and spinning and eating.... WOW!  Even watched a fisherman land about an 8 lb. striped bass right from the shore.  Amazing and keeps reinforcing how lucky we are to live here and truly blessed to be here now....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Today is Sunday, August 19th

I'm disgusted with the lies that the Romney Ryan ticket is spreading... how do people that are running for the highest office of our nation dare to speak such double talk and lies??!!!   How are we going to survive the next few months?

On to other important stuff... Tracy is doing well... had an ultrasound and met with our GP and is due to see a GI specialist this Wed.... all prior to seeing Bruno next week on the 31st.  He's back to normal without those horrible chest pains like bands around his abdomen.  So, if he had gall stones don't you think he'd be in pain when he ate or at least sometimes?  We're stumped but thankful that his toe is healing and he doesn't have those terrible pains.  I'm looking forward to T being able to walk with us on the beach.

I'm doing my best to stay above the fray but there are times when all I can think of is a walk on the beach.  Hoping to take a few days in September where I don't even answer the phone... Ha!  Yah sure..

Friday, August 10, 2012

Today is Friday, August 10th

Thank you for all your good thoughts and healing white light!!!

Tracy is exhausted but coming around slowly but surely... our boy is getting stronger every day.  The real issue is what are we going to do about the gleam we see in all these doctors' eyes when they perceive the puzzle... Is Tracy suffering from a gall stone?  Is it his spleen?  How many different doctors and tests can he suffer through??  I guess we'll see as we check off each specialty and sift through the data... I'm still saying that I think it's his body finally rejecting the chemo...

Gary & Deanna are on their way to New York and Jayne and Lou are on their way to Holland....Bon voyage my lovelies!!!

Sand St. closed last week.  Martin Ave. will close by next Fri. to accommodate the expectant Mom -quite a bit earlier than planned.  Seacliff Ave will also close next week and I'll be so glad to have been a part of securing a new home for Carol and Chuck...  It's a wonderful thing!!!

Bless all our athletes!!!  2012 Olympics are great fun!!!   I've totally enjoyed cheering USA on and this evening simultaneously the pre-season 49er win over the Vikings!  Go USA! Go Niners!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Today is Thursday, August 9th

Many times over the last few weeks I've thought about how blessed we are.  I've even repeated to myself that I must take a snapshot to remember when times get tough.  We've done a bit of traveling... went down to Paso Robles with Johnny & Shar and the gang.... had an absolute blast! Celebrated my b'day and Shar's, Pat's, Mo's and Judy's all Leo goddesses!  Lots of fun events, lunches & dinners with family and friends and times to cherish.

Then, we did a repeat: a deja vu this morning.  I'm not a rocket scientist but it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to notice that exactly one month ago almost to the moment... Tracy woke me @ 2:15AM this morning and said he needed to go to the emergency room.  Now the same sequence had been repeated.  T had Vincristine (chemo) on Fri. and took 5 days of Dexomethosone finishing yesterday.  The exact same thing happened 4 weeks ago.  T was immediately taken into the emergency room at Dominican altho' this time we knew it wasn't a heart attack...  EKG, Cat scan, blood draws, blood pressure etc. After I realized how weird this repeat was, we talked through the uncanny coincidence with several doctors.  T & I talked and after he was told once again that he couldn't even have water because of the possibility of surgery to remove his spleen;  I made sure T realized that he could say he wasn't having surgery today... that gave him the opportunity to have multiple opinions rather than one.  Tracy had had a 6 week break before his July treatment.    Somehow I think there's more to it than coincidence.  Maybe our boy's body is saying "NO MORE!!!!"  I called Bruno and was able to connect him with the Dr. @ Dominican.  Now they're saying that it could be a stone in his gall bladder and not his spleen.

Anyway, he's sleeping peacefully after finally getting some tea, scrambled eggs, toast & yogurt into his system this evening.  He was feeling empty but relaxed after 2 morphine drips today and totally disoriented ( is it morning yet? ).  He hadn't really slept at all until I rescued him and brought him home.  Riley won't leave his daddy and neither will I...

We have an apt. with Suzy Nassralla ( our GP ) at 8:50 AM tomorrow.

Stay tuned and keep surrounding our guy with white light please....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Today is Wednesday, July 18th

The excitement is mounting.   Johnny & Shar are due in within a couple hours and our long awaited vacation begins.  I can't believe it!  It's been waaay too long and we're gonna cruise... sun and fun...

The only down side is leaving our Riley... but it's only for a couple days and Allen will take care of our boy.

T's been feeling kinda achy but I'm sure he'll rally too.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Today is Friday the 13th!!!!

It's my lucky day!!!! I love Freaky Friday and there's a reason.. it's always a great day and today was no different.  Started out by deciding that I was too spaced out & stressed out to go to my board meeting... I stayed in bed!  Made a slug station and wrote out my feelings about a deal and decided to listen to my intuition.  Came to a decision about two deals actually and finally after talking to Tracy I began to come down...  my rock...my core started gradually to even out...  after the last 36 hours of compacted stress it was time to let go...

Our gentle giant is home!!!!  Thank God!!  Tracy was told that he shouldn't do anything strenuous, lift anything or take any chance that might cause his spleen to rupture while it heals.  Now our guy has an excuse to do nothing but relax and we're gonna see that he does.  Thank God for Friday, the 13th!!!

Both escrows on track and my new listing will hopefully hit the big time tomorrow... movie and photos taken by the love of my life, Tracy... HE'S BACK!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Today is Thursday, July 12th

How quickly the time flies when you're having fun!

 Tracy has been doing wonderfully even tho' last Fri. his counts remained at 2.2. Who knows? Maybe that's T's new normal.

 Betsy just gave us an article from the front page of the NY Times about a young Dr. who contracted Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and after the same 2+ years of treatment, was in remission for several years and then, relapsed. After several subsequent failed courses of treatment & trauma, was able to sequence his DNA ( very long provocative story how he finally came to that ) & find the errant chromosome AND TREAT IT SUCCESSFULLY with a drug that's used for an entirely different cancer!!! There is hope! I intend to write the Dr. and plead for T to be included in the clinical trial.

 Which brings us to the present.  I rushed Tracy to the emergency room last night @ 3:00AM.  He thought he was having a heart attack.  He'd googled the symptoms as he paced the floor.  When he finally woke me, I wanted to call 911 & he insisted on me, Parnelli or should I say Danica Patrick? rushing him to Dominican.  You don't think twice.  You grab whatever is beside the bed and throw some soft jeans & a tee on, grab glasses & go. They're paving Hiway 1 so I had to avoid the huge obstacles & stay the course all the while driving like a bat out of hell.

Emergency room crowded as it was, T was put into a room immediately to put him on monitors.  Tracy has had several blood tests, 2 CAT scans, EKG & a consult with several Drs. plus Bruno, his Stanford Hematologist, has consulted with the Drs. here. They ruled out the heart attack & thought at first it was an embolism in the lungs, but no...there's blood surrounding his spleen.. so, he's being admitted to monitor his spleen.  How enlarged is it? Does it call for surgery?  Tracy's pretty adamantly opposed to a splenectomy.  Although Riley survived & thrived, Tracy's Dad didn't live to tell about his.

So while we awaited the word, I climbed into his gurney, to cuddle while we tried to catch a few zzzz's.  Surprised the hell out of any visitors to our emergency room lair cause we made that skinny bed that forces T's long legs to hang off, comfort us both. So another round of consultations while we figure out what's best for our gentle giant.

 Please keep us both in your prayers.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Today is Friday, June 29th 2012

Wow!  Life is truly amazing here on the Central Coast!  As we walked each morning on the beach this week,  we saw children learning how to surf and dolphins frolicking and even some sea lions breaking the surface to see what all the commotion was about.  The spectacle forces me to count my blessings cause I am witness to the bounty... and the outstanding weather!!!

And oh, what a relief yesterday's Supreme Court decision on Obamacare was!!!  I had to double-check my hearing of the decision on NPR... Wow! What a shocker that was!  Chief Justice Roberts was the decider!!!  Now if only Obama's communications folks can get the real down to earth message out...
this country can get back to the business at hand!

Speaking of business... 1028 Jungfrau Court finally closed today and Lisa Cardoza saved the day yet again!  Carol is now in contract on 781 Seacliff Drive and lots of activity on 200 Sand St.

Life is good!  Tracy is showing his incredible talent for sculpture and I'm enjoying playing with clay...

Our God child Lea came to visit for a few days with an Australian grad student, Alicia ( she's studying marine biology) that she'd met in Perth on her year abroad.  Two vegetarians foraging their way with more energy than most... Monday they kayaked in Elkhorn Slough, came home to shower and then, went to enjoy the rides at the Boardwalk...  loaded Lea up with some food (what do you feed a vegetarian? wine, pasta & big salad) a bluetooth earpiece, a little cash and a lot of love... and hopefully lots of good memories...

All is well!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Today is Tuesday, June 19th

I feel like I've been submerged in very deep water and gradually, as I see the light above, I'm working my way to the surface where I can breathe again. Normal? Stress has been my constant companion for more than 2 years. My body and mind have been wracked with the weight of every decision and adrenaline, a constant driver in our fight or flight...

We are truly blessed... I believe this horrible fight is almost over. Evidence? Last week we took advantage of circumstances and flew to Las Vegas to reunite with family. On May 25th, Bruno had finally given T hope by affirming that he could fly and even venture into a club to hear some music. There was light at the end of this dark tunnel... That weekend, Johnny informed me that he was flying Jay and his family out to Vegas for a few days in conjunction with Shar's convention. T & I hate Vegas BUT this was an opportunity to see our great niece & nephew, Jay & Holly, Johnny & Shar & I kept picturing poolside. So, on the 10th, we flew Spirit Airlines out of Oakland for the first time and heeded Johnny's advice to pay for our bags and seats ahead of time. Fabulous airport- in & out incredibly quickly and the flight was great- shades of Southwest.. to the city that truly never sleeps... stayed at the Monte Carlo and went with the flow...mostly people watching and pool dipping... lots of freaks in Old Town... anyway, upon our arrival back home; it all hit me... this was the first time in over 15 years that we have traveled anywhere and T hadn't been ill either upon arrival in a strange city or back home or both!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Is it over? Can we dare believe that T is in remission? It was all an afterthought. Neither one of us realized it while it was happening... it took a few days to 'get it'. Tracy is on his way back... OMG!!! I'm still trying to grasp what that all means.

In the meantime, life goes on with all the mundane everyday things and the demands of my business. Slowly but surely we'll find our way... Now I just wish my laptop would be fixed for good, along with our big screen TV and the bar frig.

 One thing at a time... one step at a time... one foot in front of the other... That's life as we know it on the central coast...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Today is Friday, June 8th

I know, I know... but there's no rest for the weary...

 Time is just zipping by! Jammed packed days of interesting twists and turns and I've been just plain exhausted. I figure something is off with my blood levels cause I awake tired. So, finally this morning I sent an email to my GP to say I need a full panel done.... NEXT!!!

 Closed 320 Rio Del Mar Blvd. this past Wed. and granted an extension on 1028 Jungfrau Ct. All the inspections were completed on 282 Aptos Beach Dr. and we've got lots of thinking to do... New listing at 1656 Martin St., San Jose was referred to me and we're busily getting everything painted inside and out, floors redone and inspections completed over the next couple weeks. 200 Sand St. should be ready for the market in a couple weeks too. Oh Boy!!

 Life is a continual round of interesting moments... Tracy is still suffering with headaches but seems to have more time in between or am I simply hoping for a break for our boy? He's looking very well and coping as we continue to stroll to the beach most mornings with our boy Jack Riley...

 Last week we checked out the grand opening of the Tannery Arts & Craft Center on First Friday in Santa Cruz.  Lo and behold amongst all the studios, we stumbled upon the artist that had seen T & Riley's photo in the Sentinel awhile back... the one where Riley had jumped sky high for his daddy on the beach... and the artist (her name escapes me) had written T a note stating that she wanted to sculpt Riley. Well she did and it's hilarious!!!! All flapping ears and boundless joy shooting for a frisbee...

 Life is good and we look forward to lots of joy...

 Almost forgot my old partner in crime came to stay for a week... Sylvia scrambled to assist her daughter, Sarah & grandbabies as Sarah went through amnio... ah hah! Congrats! Sarah will have a boy to join her girls and Sylvia enjoyed some special time with family and friends. It was a pleasure to see her again in between all the demands on her time, usually late at night or very early in the morn as we left for the beach. She was a welcome guest!!!

 Moved our clay play day to Friday and oh what a joy to finish the week this way!!! I've been having an artist's block? Do I even qualify as an artist? Anyway...have had a hard time trying to figure out what I was gonna do next for about the last month (also missed 3 Wed because of work commitments) This our first Friday together was glorious!! It was a perfectly stunning day and I'd perused a book that Betsy had gotten for me about building a piece from slabs... as we strolled to the beach, it hit me. I made 2 pieces today! I'm a happy gal!

Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Today is Memorial Day, May 28th

Thank you all for your efforts and your sacrifices that have allowed us to survive and thrive!!!

 I feel very thankful today! My life has been very full of late. Started out about a week ago with Jayne & I heading down to Carmel for a couple days.... that was a chance to get away from the routine and relax a bit... we stayed at the Cobblestone Inn and loved this bed & breakfast!!! Highly recommend it! We enjoyed the cozy room with fireplace; the location which was walking distance to everything and the breakfast & afternoon happy hour of wine and hor d'oeurves were fabulous! They even put sherry and almond dabs out before bedtime.

 On the way out of town, we stopped at the beach to admire it's beautiful white sand and turquoise water... we lucked out on weather too! Before we left the area, we stopped to admire Clint's Mission Ranch and then, the Carmel Valley Ranch... wow!!! That's a spa plus salt water pool to sink into ...

 The week sped by filled with lots of trauma around the sale of 320 Rio del Mar Blvd.... tough when you deal with an out of town relocation company and sellers who have no interest in their home anymore.... 1028 Jungfrau Court is speeding along towards close of escrow and finally, we may be getting to some kind of agreement on 282 Aptos Beach Dr... patience is a virtue... which I always seem to be short of...

 Speaking of patience... I dropped my MacBook Pro twice last year in T's hospital room... T was able to get it working again somehow but I've been having a lot of trouble with it over the last year. Well, the Apple genius bar folks determined that my hard drive was the cause of my issues. So, they replaced it twice on Sat. The first time we waited for it. When the new drive failed, we decided we'd come back on Sun. to pick it up... after T had all his curls cut off... awww I loved his curls but 'spose they'll grow back. So, now I can't get my laptop to work at all with the wireless system at home. Apple is closed today so, tomorrow patience will rule.

 I'm content with life and starting to see that we're coming full circle... Tracy is coming back to the land of the living slowly but surely... on May 18th, we saw Dr. Recht, the neuro-oncologist who smiled when I interpreted his medicalese by simply stating that we'd have to think long and hard before they drilled a hole in T's head to drain the fluid around his brain. T agreed that it probably wouldn't happen and that he'd probably stop complaining about his headaches long before he submitted to that procedure. Well, on Fri, past we saw Bruno again and he called Tracy "a delicate flower" ... can you imagine? who would ever call Tracy a delicate flower? I was instantly caught between laughing and being aghast. Bruno was trying to say that Tracy was very sensitive to any change in treatment. So, while T levels out... his white cell count was steady at 2.8 (normal is 4-11) Bruno said he was going to give our T a break. Bruno is traveling over the next month to Japan to speak for 5 days at a Hematology Forum. That gives T a 6 week window this time... maybe he'll bounce back up all the way to 4! In any case, T can even go to Dr. Wu in the interim for his labs and to check in with our local hero. So, I asked if we could put T on a plane and Bruno said "YES"!!! I'm a happy gal! He said we can even go to a club to hear some jazz!!! Now slowly but surely, we're going to get normal... all we have to do is get his headaches to stop....

 We were invited to a barbecue at Matt & Jeanette's on Sun. but T has had a headache since Fri. that wouldn't quit. Poor thing.. so we asked for a raincheck.

 T seems to be better today... I made lemonade from our Meyer lemons... reminds me of an old saying...

Happy Memorial Day!!!! ..

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today is Saturday, May 19th

We seem to have come into our own... I'm feeling more comfortable with myself and my responsibilities. Maybe it's cause I've learned not to be afraid to open my mouth as long as I speak from my heart. Today has been one of those wonderful relaxing bright beautifully sunny days on the coast.... starting with a stroll and play time on the beach with our jumping Jack Riley. Then, brunch just the two of us at Red Apple cafe... mmmm with enough leftovers to feed Riley as treats 3 times over. On to have my hair cut & colored by Michael and be witness to his evolution into more of his creative self from the negative place he's been. In a little while we'll have dinner with Jim & Linda in Tuscany... what a wonderful day...

and in between I've done some business.... 1028 Jungfrau Ct. is now pending and will close in a couple weeks. My listing at 320 Rio del Mar Blvd. should move to pending also by Tues. and hopefully, we're going to get an answer soon from the bank on Carol's short sale purchase of 282 Aptos Beach Dr. Lots more happening and I'll be better able to handle it all upon my return from 2 days of total downtime with Jayne in Carmel...

 So, now I'm ready to load some praise onto our niece, Maren McAvoy... Just promoted to a full bird COLONEL!!!! Maren is this amazing young woman of incredible accomplishments!!! There isn't a goal she can't attain in this world... She's gorgeous and nice, has a JD, passed the MD. bar exam, (we made it to her graduation from St. Mary's University School of Law in 1999), has a black belt, is a pilot, a diver, was an intelligence officer and actually was the deputy J-1 for the Presidential inauguration in 2009 of Barak Obama. She holds down a full time position with the GAO in addition to her position as Director of Personnel, A1 at the Joint Force Headquarters, District of Columbia Air National Guard. Next stop, for Colonel McAvoy will be General and that's unbelievable!!!! What a truly inspiritional young woman!!! We are very proud of this fine young lady and hope to see her sometime soon. I hope she's happy... she certainly deserves it!

 Meanwhile, I've just done my third Relay for Life this past Thursday night. The Sereno Group sponsored a Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament at Chris Trapani's Monte Sereno home. What an absolute gas! I'd never played Texas Hold'em and was a little apprehensive about going on my own and playing a game I had no prior knowledge of but it was pure unadulterated fun!!! and all the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society!! A cause near and dear to my heart...

 So, now relax and enjoy Sat. night... we're walking over to Tuscany....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today is Tuesday, May15th

I'm finally giving in... I'm going to Carmel for 2 days with Jayne.  I need a little down time. Yahoo!

 Biz is gr8 (just closed 104 Angora Lane, have 320 Rio del Mar & 282 Aptos Beach Dr. & 1028 Jungfrau Ct., Milpitas- that's another story- 25 offers & it went way over list price- in contract) & Tracy is holding his own although the headaches are sometimes worse. We see his neuro-oncologist & he has another MRI this Fri.. & next Fri yet another round of Stanford treatment & Bruno.

I'll be playing in a Sereno Group sponsored Relay for Life Poker Tournament Thurs evening in Los Gatos. All $$ raised goes to the fight against this wretched disease-cancer. Our dear friends, Roddy and Carol are holding their own in their enormous struggles with the Big C.

 I just finished walking our entire Rio del Mar neighborhood for Zach Friend. Great candidate, the ONLY real candidate running for 2nd District County Supervisor.   It's been a pretty nasty race with all kinds of conspiracy stuff - Agenda 21 & crazies strutting their stuff. Hopefully, people really talk to the candidates & get the straight story.  Don't forget to vote June 5th!!!

 Life is pretty full & I'm happy but I'm looking forward to a couple days of down time Sun -Tues. Tracy & Riley will hold down the fort while I'm gone...

 Keep sending that white healing light to surround us please...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Today is Mother's Day 2012 and I sincerely hope that all you Moms are being feted and celebrated!!!

My Mom passed on May 26th, 1996 and we weren't ready to have her go... Are you ever really ready to lose your Mom?

I'll never forget that morning... We had been to Connecticut the previous weekend to spend good quality time with Mom and to search for a new retirement living home for her.  We had finally convinced Mom that it was time to let go of our family home.  She had survived a terribly lonely winter deluged by 11 snow storms... shut in by the snow, deprived of company... Mom had visited with us for 6 weeks between Nov. and Dec. ( thank God we planned our wedding around her visit) and then again in the new year but she was a social being and living alone in her Cape Cod home (with too many floors)  was taking its toll.

I called Mom every morning and we'd chat about all manner of things.  Funny how you become friends with your parents in later years... I adored her spunk and her ability to "just do it"... and a lot of other things about that wonderful loving soul... and so, I'd spoken with Mom early the day before about our plan to go diving in Carmel Bay on the Monterey coast that Sat., May 25th.  It was to be my first cold water dive in the Pacific and I was yah, apprehensive to say the least.  Wearing a rented wetsuit and jumping off a boat in 10' seas was a little unnerving...  Mom teased me about me being a daredevil... but I figured out that day that I'd prefer to be a warm water diver.  Anyway,  I called Mom early on the 26th par usual.  I remember telling her I loved her many times that morning.... I was compelled and didn't know why.   Do we ever know why we say or do some things?  I repeatedly said "Mom, I love you"  as I related the perilous dive trip and the fact that I survived... and my resolve that I probably preferred warm water diving from now on....  We spoke of what Mom was going to do that day... She'd decided that she needed a Sunday paper and some red grapes.  I asked her if she was going to go get some Chinese food (her favorite treat) and she said she hadn't decided.  I told her that I loved her again and said good bye.

Several hours later,  I was sitting at my desk facing Tracy at his desk when the phone rang.  So many things went through my head as I picked up the receiver.  Shar was calling.  We exchanged hellos and then, Shar said "Mom's gone."  I said "You're kidding" and she said, "No"... and I began to scream, NOOOOOOOO....  I kept thinking that if I hadn't picked up the phone...

I miss her every day...I had a hard time eating red grapes after that.   There are days where I wear her rings or like Fri. when I wore her beautiful flower pin...her jewelry brings her essence to me.  I feel her strength when I wear her things... she helped me through the last year...  I know she lives on in me and I only hope I do her justice...

Love you Mom and the memories....

Monday, May 7, 2012

Today is Sunday, May 6th

I am crazy busy and thanking God for it all... but so sorry I'm not keeping up with my blog. I finally realize I'm not superhuman.... so, first Tracy...

Our man has had a tough week and consequently, it's been tough living with him. He's been impossible but he's also been having more pain and headaches...and unfortunately, he ran out of Norontin. CVS was told by Blue Shield that they couldn't renew his prescription until Tues. and T had been out of the meds for a day already (unbeknownst to me). When T emailed Janell @Stanford Fri., it bounced cause she's not back in until Mon. So, yesterday, I took over, paged the on duty hematologist and explained that as the prescription was written, T had exceeded his allotment (altho' the docs had said he could increase as much as needed). Now CVS wasn't getting the message & I'd enlisted Linda's help to pick up T's meds cause I was enroute to an open house in Milpitas & T had been dozing when I left. Linda & then, T ended up wrangling with the pharmacist and getting it filled & covered by insurance. I have to say I was instantly ballistic cause no insurance co. should be able to dictate what meds a patient needs or when!!! Luckily, Linda & T prevailed and I vented and no animals were injured in the process. So, T was not feeling well when he finally got the meds and ended up having a very hard time 'til his body evened out..

 Today T seems more like himself. Thank God!!! We were able to meet Deanna & Gary's new grandbaby and hang out in Saratoga with our extended family while I fielded 25 offers for my new Milpitas listing. Funny, I thought we only had 15 and then, after finally checking all my email accounts - there were another 8. We countered 4 and made my wonderful clients very happy! I was able to meet them in our Los Gatos office to review the offers.  Background on why I took a Milpitas listing: I sold these referred clients a small home on a 9300 sq' lot in the Cambrian area of San Jose almost 3 years ago. Their intention was to remodel the new home and move in within 6 months. Well, as we all know remodels never complete on time or on budget so, they moved into their new home about a week ago. I put their Milpitas home on the MLS Thurs about 4:30 and my phone hasn't stopped ringing. Would you believe there were over 100 people through my open house on Sat.? Phew! We should be in contract by tomorrow evening....AND while all this was going on, I received another offer for 320 Rio Del Mar Blvd. this evening too! What a day!

 Business has been incredible... ratcheting up as I take this Brian Buffini class which is reinvigorating me... I had 3 listing appointments this past week and I'm amazed! Only caveat: I would love to take a couple days off very soon and just be pampered... a spa would be ideal... massaged and fed and healthy exercise... I'll have to see what I can schedule and soon.

 Life is what we make it and this is it!!! Today and this very moment is all that we really have... make the most of it!

 Carpe diem!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Today is Saturday, April 28th

Wow! What a week!!!! Best news: Tracy is holding his own. His white cell count is still holding at 2.5. Normal is 4-11. His weight is back to normal at 231 lbs. Yahoo! He handled the chemo yesterday with great humor after shucking and jiving with Bruno and a new Fellow. Bruno teases Tracy relentlessly about his beautiful curls... I think he's jealous.... and of course T smiles and preens and tosses his curls. Bruno says T's hair will go back to his original state after chemo... we'll see. We're still looking at October for the end of this maintenance protocol and I think Bruno is resigned to keeping T on Vincristine once a month and no other additional chemo chemicals. I'm glad. T is tolerating this and oh soooo tired. He just left for his walk on the beach with our Riley, his constant companion.

 I'm off to meet with a client/friend to go through all of their new home's disclosures. Tricky, we're gonna conference in her Dad who is at home about 500 miles away. He'll be able to sign digitally as we go through everything. Technology is so amazing! After we're through, I'm off to Relay for Life in Santa Clara. I'm walking for our pal, Roddy Magallanes and of course our boy, T and then... a real treat... a massage for both of us by Jan, of oh so wonderful hands...

 Yesterday, we managed to pack in a listing appointment in Cupertino prior to Stanford and then, a listing appointment in Milpitas afterwards. Then, we came home and collapsed. That's a sample of what our lives have been like over the last week. Jammed packed and happy and very busy... it's a good thing.

 Our favorite Stanford Concierge, Holly Gautier stopped to visit with us yesterday. She told Tracy about videotaped lectures that he can access online. The lectures are all about the different phases of the cancer cycle. I think T will benefit from hearing about others experiences. It would be good for him to know that the aches and pains will cease at some point after chemo... he is coming back though... he solved a dilemma for me and my iPhone yesterday. I have a new fob that attaches to my phone which with a wonderful new app makes my phone my Realtor lockbox key and much more. Only problem was that my iPhone case didn't allow the fob to attach closely enough to get a signal. Tracy saw the problem and was able to cut the case enough to seal the deal. His brain is back!!! His cunning and clever aptitude has resurfaced and our boy is baaaack!!!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Today is Saturday, April 21st

OK, so it's been awhile... life got in the way...

 I'm a very happy gal today. Tracy & I are enjoying the simple pleasures of living on the coast. It's 88 degrees and we're sitting on our back deck in the wonderful shade having listened to my favorite programs on KAZU (our NPR station) since about 10:00 this morning while I caught up on the last 3 days of the SS Sentinel and the SJ Mercury News. Our listening pleasure started with Click and Clack, the Tappet Bros. whose "Car Talk" show about all the foibles facing car owners leads to a lot of giggles until "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" makes for outright belly laughs.

 Speaking of belly laughs...OMG! last night was a night for raucous outright belly rolling hysterics... Carla, Jayne and Tim (the lovelies) arrived about 8:30PM armed with an Aptos Pizza large ( T inspired vegetarian with sausage substituted for mushrooms) pizza pie and their ready for anything selves and we proceeded to sample Skinny Girls Cosmos in frozen form while we munched on pizza and our special cheese cake. I took it it very slowly having already been a very bad girl earlier in the week.

 Interesting... I went from almost zero for several weeks/months (T doesn't drink much at all anymore and I don't like to drink alone) to sharing several bottles of red with my good friend, Deb while watching the finals of the singer/songwriter contest at Brittania Arms Tues. night. Gar had invited us at dinner time with the salmon burger enticing us to join them. That incident cruelly reminded me that having fun has its cost sometimes... also remembered that eating prior to imbibing was VERY important.

 Anyway, last night was a total hoot for all especially after we sampled some of T's special sauce. I felt like a little kid again as we ran outside to smell our blooming lilacs. All of us making enough noise to raise our sleepy neighborhood from sleep... and everything was funny as we each laughed with total abandonment at our stories, Tim's impressions and nothing at all... until T announced it was time for bed...1:15 AM came very quickly. I was sad to see everyone leave this morning but so glad that we had all enjoyed ourselves to the max and none of us would have to give up the day because of excess last night! Phew!

 Lots of amazing stuff going on over the last week. I started a new refresher real estate class- Peak Producers by Brian Buffini. I've realized that I can tailor the class program to what I want to adopt and that's a very good thing. Lots of reminders about what's important to me and most of all to my clients. BUT with starting this 12 week class and my conversational Italian every other Thurs., I've definitely got a very full dance card. I figure if we can't travel, I won't be bored... I had brought up a brief road trip perhaps to Santa Barbara to my honey and he summarily nixed it with "why go there, when we live here?" as we strolled the shore one morning....

 And then there's my honey, Tracy. My love still suffers with headaches and aching feet and body pain with nary a word. I know he's in pain when I hear the Tylenol bottle shaking out a few pills. I'm thankful that he and I share our home and our lives together ignoring the elephant in the room. He had his labs done last week and we waited anxiously hoping that we wouldn't hear anything about low counts... and THANK GOD!!! no news was good news... Next Friday will be telling and we hope uneventful as well.

I've made a commitment to take a few hearty hikes with Marilyn and hopefully, that will lead to shedding a few pounds. I'm ready for Spring and Summer and being outdoors again as we relish being here on the coast...

 Carpe diem!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Today is Tuesday, April 10th

A few days reprieve from the Tax Man... taxes are due on the 17th this year... and the wheel goes round and round.

I'm in a reflective mood... we walked the beach in the rain this morning and Riley ran until I thought he'd drop and then, he ran some more.... I just decided to take the day off. I'm in need of a day to do nothing.... we have a movie and the couch has beckoned me... oh and a good book "Satori" too.... think I'll turn on the fireplace and cuddle with my Riley if he dares...

Tracy has been achy, crampy and a little off for a couple days now. He's gonna take the day too. He managed to drag a rusted out smoker out to the street at my Rio Del Mar listing and put a free sign on it yesterday along with putting it on freecycle.org. Hopefully, someone will want it and soon. Reduced the listing price of the home to $594,000 and that should entice interest...

Allora... I attended a conversational Italian group last Thurs at Lila's. I loved it! Ordered a couple verb workbooks from Amazon last night that should help... I would love to be able to converse in Italian aside from using the present tense solamente.... I probably sounded like a child in the past cause I couldn't use all the appropriate tenses and verbs but it sure is fun to do it this way... all conversations are in Italian with the leader/ teacher correcting and prodding as we go... a total flight from the usual and a chance to exercise my brain in a different way... and a total throwback to my childhood memory of Mom & Dad speaking in their secret language...

Easter day was a wonderful gathering of dear friends and an opportunity to see Lea, our God child. She's gorgeous and vibrant- so alive!!! Grad school- Vet school is keeping her hopping. It was a quick trip over the hill to Carla's for a beautiful dinner and lots of catching up... that's what holidays are all about... we missed Gary & Deanna's celebration and the Pevarnick holiday gatherings and Jan & Tom's picnic on the beach... we were everywhere in spirit and avoiding small children (think petri dishes) and hoping for Tracy's health to hold and thank God it did...

Carpe diem my friends!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday

What a beautiful crisp morning! There are many of us who have lost their faith in organized religion... me being one of them... but on this holy day, I realize that I believe in the power of us. I have faith in us. I love and I find love in people. I believe that we are put here on earth to spread love and to find our purpose to share love in whatever we do. I truly believe in "do unto others as you would have them do unto me". I guess I could call myself a Christian. I could get off on a rant right now about the Christian coalition co-opting Christian for all the wrong reasons but I won't ....suffice to say... I believe in the God in all of us and that God is love...

On this holiest of days... share love with all that you encounter ... I hope you all are with your loved ones wherever that may be...

Happy Easter and Happy Passover!!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Today is Sunday, April 1st April Fool's Day

Wow! What a weekend! As we left for our walk on the beach Sat. morning, I casually asked T if he thought it was going to rain... ai yi yi the next thing we knew the wind started whipping us and the rain was pelting us as the storm came crashing down. Riley didn't care as he roamed the deserted shore and we fought the wind and rain... home to shed our drenched clothes & relish a long hot shower after bathing our contented boy, Riley. Then it was time to attack our taxes and finally, a brief respite with Lila & Pat. Home to rustle up some dinner and watch "A Week with Marilyn". Now that was a 4 star movie. Michelle Williams embodied Marilyn! she was fabulous and I loved the movie!

Today between finishing up the tax compilation for our meeting with our tax gal in the morning and clearing out the route for our new (to us) sofas for Tracy's lair; I showed homes to Carol and Chuck. They are set on one and away we go!!! We'll write an offer by Wed. and keep our fingers crossed...

T had a very big day. He borrowed Tom's truck, & he & Riley drove over to Saratoga and picked up the couches and made arrangements with Sean & a friend to unload the couches on this end. My man is tired but oh so happy...
The couch story is a great one. Deanna wanted a sleeper couch for family to visit (since they don't have a guest room). The couches that Gary really didn't want to replace were to be donated but we came along and were able to lovingly recycle them. They're wonderful! We are able to recline on each end and still have Riley snuggled between us. We settled into them this evening and watched "Moneyball" A good movie but definitely NOT best movie of the year.. and the couch was very comfortable...thank you one and all!!!

Now we get to recycle our settee plus leather recliners....and the wheel goes round and round.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Today is Friday, March 30th

WE HAVE GREAT NEWS!!! Tracy is back to normal!!! This roller coaster has us smiling but exhausted and yet, so thankful for yet another twist. We arrived at Stanford today not exactly excited... more apprehensive about what was in store. Thank God we're a little dumbstruck but able to absorb the never ending tale... Dr. Lam was inquisitive and cordial and after ascertaining that T had gained about 9lbs (I say YAHOO!!!) and that his white cell count was back to normal... we all relaxed and Dr. Lam went along with T's answer that he only had problems when doing chores so, he probably shouldn't be expected to do any....hee hee got his sense of humor back too... altho' over the last week there have been several times when I haven't responded as quickly as he'd like to perhaps play some Wii tennis; T's dropped the line "come on now, you know I'm gonna die soon" the shit.... and then, we both giggle...gotta love this man of mine...

So, today was no different. We spent a good amount of time with the Fellow, Dr. Lam... working through the work up and rolling with the punches... and laughing too. And then, Bruno arrived with all pomp and circumstance stripped away. Tracy is an enigma. We don't know why he dropped so perilously low last week and with 3 Neupogen shots returned to normal. We only know he did. So, we're back in a month to revisit Bruno with one lab visit in between.... we hope & pray he stays normal... Bruno believes he will be on this regimen until Sept. That will be one year of the maintenance regimen. Then, hopefully, we'll see Bruno monthly and go back to seeing Dr. Wu for his CLL on a quarterly basis....benign neglect sounds so positively wonderful to me.

So, no more mask and just the same old admonitions. If you're ill, stay away!!! Otherwise slowly but surely, we'll get back to normal. Right now we're wiped out but we heal nicely.

Hopefully, the next time the Voodoos play the Crows Nest we'll have the energy to enjoy it. You rock Tom!!!

C Y'all soon!!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Today is Friday, March 23rd

Oh What a day!

We went all the way to Stanford for T's long day and after labs, found out
that Bruno wasn't there.  We're scheduled for next Fri.  So, on our way
home, received a phone call that T is once again neutrapenic.  Which means
that he has little or no immune system.  

He's back on Neupogen 3x a week and so, I guess going today was a good thing
cause we had no idea. and so the story goes on. T's white cell count is down to less than 500.  

I'm soooo depressed.  I miss seeing you all and having folks over … frankly, I thought we were past all this.  We're back to being hermits….ai yi yi!!!  

Please continue to surround T with white healing light... he is really depressed and I think, a little scared.  He looks great and he's been a little more active... walking Riley several times a day...  WTF?????  

here we go again....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Today is Thursday, March 22nd

The seasons are changing and I'm ready for a change... way too many doctor apts. Today we spent 2 hours in the opthamologist office and the good news is T doesn't have any issues with his eyes and his eyesight is 20/40.... not bad for a 62 year old!!!

Keeping up with demand....enjoying the special little things and withstanding the grind of the continual parade of 'ologists' and their opinions as we slog through the morass.

yet another all day marathon at Stanford tomorrow... life is what we make it...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Today is Monday, March 19th

I'm sorry it's getting harder to dedicate some time to writing my blog. I went to see Claudia Sternbach read from her new book and speak about writing memoirs last Wed. morning at the Porter Library. it was inspiring and at the same time disenheartening... there are times when writing stems from my soul and other times it's just plain hard work. Sometimes it's inspiration that drives me other times not so much. I'm afraid lately I've been suffering from the drone of everyday stuff... while madly looking for the light.

So, the important stuff stems around our boy, Tracy... he's still suffering quietly with a constant headache and various aches and pains. The guy doesn't complain. It's only evident when you study his face.... and all we can hope for is some relief with the meds. So far, no dice. Fri. was 172 miles of relentless driving... we narrowly missed being delayed by the head on fatality accident on 17 and went to Milpitas first to check the condition of the soon to be listed home and then, on to Redwood City for 2.5 hours of MRI's for Tracy. Next stop for me was Paradiso Deli to pick up lunch for Jayne, Carla & I and then, the 3 of us ate and caught up until it was time to pick up T and head for the Cancer Center at Stanford for an apt. with Dr. Thomas, the Fellow and then, Dr. Recht, the Neuro-Oncologist. We were ready for anything and hoping for some answer to T's headaches and all we got was "Stay away from any more LP's!!!" The hope is T's counts will come back up and dissipate the fluid... and heal our boy. Reality: drill a hole in T's skull and insert a port to drain the fluid. Not on our watch!!!!

So, the weekend was a mixture of work and down time...watched "Water for Elephants" which didn't appear to be derived from that great book of the same name and "The Artist" which was truly amazing! Finished my book club selection "Suite Francaise" and decided altho' it was good; life's too short for another WWII book. The saving grace of this novel was the fact that the author developed real characters and made us love them.... so a great dinner with Sally & Dinah, and a great exchange of ideas ... good night all!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Today is Tuesday, March 13th

A whole week has whizzed by as March's weird weather has surrounded us... gorgeous sunny spring days have evolved to a cold winter rain storm... we need the rain & it makes it easier for me to stay in bed today with my flu like aches and pains & upset stomach... 2nd day and today I give... I slept most of yesterday but today I've erected a slug station extraordinaire complete with crocheting in case I decide to watch something streamed from Netflix on my iPad2. Funny, it feels so good to give in and just cave and give myself a break. Tracy & Riley went to the beach this morning in the rain and Riley is about to cozy up... there's my baby...

I spent Sunday meeting with old friends/clients and new clients touring the area. It was
fun, exhausting and exhilarating... I love showing off our community and it's separate and quite different eco-climates & cultures. Lots of trauma with my new listing and yet in the face of their dilemma, as always I strive to be a safe calm port in the storm.

Tracy is hanging in there... as always he has his good and bad days. When his head is bothering him it's apparent by his moods and attitude. I've learned to try to help and then, stay clear. It's best for us both. We go back to Stanford on Friday for his updated cranial MRI and a spinal MRI. While on the other side of the hill, we'll also stop by my upcoming Milpitas listing.

So, while OSX Lion loads and iCloud does it's thing and my iPhone update is loading; I continue to check in on my short sale. The 2nd lien payoff is $29.04 more so, I just got an amended HUD-1 and will be faxing it to the bank very soon. There is a lot I can handle while still in bed... thank God!

The Fab 3 while on tour Thursday went to the newly redone by Robert Irvine, the buffed Chef of "Restaurant Impossible" ,  Hoffman's on the Pacific Garden Mall in Santa Cruz and were rewarded with this scrumptious dessert.  The food and service were fabulous!!!  Put it on your list to try!!!

The flowers were sent by Brian Taylor, (Cathy Maag's son) my wonderful client/ family upon closing his new home... what a great young man and I'm so glad I could help!!!
Marilyn, Me & Vick @Hoffman's for lunch

Flowers from Brian

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Today is Sunday, March 4th

March came in like a lion in most of the country with tornados and high winds, snow storms wreaking havoc... while we finally got some welcome rain and it brought the most beautiful weekend weather to date.
Tracy was doing well with the headaches and foot pain while he was taking the steroids last week. So, now he's starting to adjust the Neurontin. We've got our fingers crossed.

Busy...busy,,,busy... took the listing at 320 Rio Del Mar Blvd and hopefully, it will all come together. Lost a listing in my neighborhood... actually I never even got the opportunity BUT I learned a big lesson. Be who you are... no matter what. We'd done many favors for the absentee owners and I'd shown them some beautiful estates over the years and then, last year when they reached out... I didn't respond. I didn't have the time or the energy. I kept in touch by email but apparently that wasn't enough. Oh well, that's life. Who knows maybe I'll get another shot at it. I love the home and I'd love to have the opportunity. Hopefully, next time it will be my turn.

Saturday I held a beautiful home open on the bluff. 1.395 will get you your piece of paradise. Today, I took a new client to view 7 homes and different areas in the sun. They'll be deciding on when to move from their Boulder Creek home soon. It may be next month or next year but it was a fabulous way to spend the afternoon... Now it's time for the Good Wife...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Today is Thursday, March 1st

Well, we survived Leap year... those once every four year added treats.  I spent a half day working and the rest watching movies... "Drive"... too violent and "Contagion" portends what could happen...  I probably will never eat nuts or chips in a bar again.

T's headache is back and he's taking a wait and see on upping the dosage on his new med, Neurontin.  We're sooo tired of this!  T deserves better. Way too long being sick....

New listing tomorrow in Rio Del Mar ...  keep sending that healing white light please....

Friday, February 24, 2012

Today is Friday, February 24th

Last couple days have been a whirlwind...Started out Thurs. by going to the county planning dept to check out my new listing...thank God it's all permitted and hopefully, I'll have it on the market next week. Brokers tour took me to a KB homes presentation, lunch at Cafe Cruz and tour of some lovely new homes and then, I held 25 Seascape Resort open until 4:00 for Steve. Checked out several homes for comparables to my new listing and then, to the office to do a comparative marketing analysis and start the Brokers Marketing Analysis... It was almost 8PM and I was about to leave the complex when I noticed Lisa's car was still there too....Since I hadn't seen her since the memorial for her brother... wandered over and Brooks was in her office and we chatted for awhile....I lamented that I needed photos taken of the house and I was going to be tied up at Stanford all day Friday... so, Brooks offered to take them for me. Unbelievable!!! Fate and friends are an incredible combination!!!

It was a very long day at Stanford but the good news is we actually looked at T's brain on the MRI... the neuro oncologist ruled out a lot of bad stuff and said the fluid that is very visibly surrounding his brain is causing the headaches and was probably a result of all the lumbar punctures.... typically, it would heal and the headaches would be gone but since T's immune system is compromised... no relief in sight. So, the first salve to try is Nuerontin in small dosage to hopefully alleviate the headache and some of the neuropathy in T's feet. Here's hoping.... keep sending the white light please... it's about time for Tracy to get some relief!!!

love to all!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today is Wednesday, February 22nd

Shawn spent one last day with us yesterday and then, took off for the Pacific Northwest last evening while Tracy had a bad day... flu like symptoms so, after our walk in the morning, he stuck to the couch and managed to keep a little food down. Today he was much better...he even managed to play with clay a bit. I joined in after a listing apt in Rio Del Mar. I should have the house on the market by next week. Yahoo!

Life is what we make it and sometimes we have to take a giant leap in order to find our way to the next level. Trust your gut and your instincts... they're seldom wrong...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Today is President's Day, February 20th

Most everyone had today off... I took a half day and enjoyed some time relaxing and watching "Midnight in Paris" and Smash... I love that show!!! The music is fabulous and I'm digging the characters too... reminds me that dreams are hard work and yet some people have the perseverance to attain their innermost dreams... I hope Shawn finds his way to his innermost dreams.

Tomorrow starts another exciting week for us... it's all about the journey...

Back to the beach....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Today is Sunday, February 19th

And then, the dawn came... work day Fri. and then, we joined the Reed's and Whitnicks for dinner to celebrate Deanna's birthday at Rumblefish in Scotts Valley... Lots of birthdays this month...Great sushi and warm sake and then, we were ready for Shawn, our nephew to appear... waited and waited... worried cause he was driving in from Tahoe and then, he magically appeared on Sat. morning. So, I'm trying to figure him out but it's very good to see him. Seems like he's powered by the everready bunny...

Yesterday, we joined Carla & Cathy at Raccatoni's in Morgan Hill for a wonderful lunch to celebrate Carla's birthday. What gorgeous country for the drive over the hill! It was great to catch up with Carla & Cathy until Tracy chose to spoil it by attacking me yet again for no good reason over the consistency of nonna's marchegianna sauce. I stopped the attack by getting up to go. I've had just about enough of that shit... the next time T decides to unload on me; he's gonna find his own way home... when he's not feeling well or is uncomfortable... he always chooses me for his scapegoat. No more... I don't deserve it and I'm not gonna take it anymore. After working out with Wii, we watched "The Lincoln Lawyer"..Good flick!

So, today I showed homes to 2 different clients and put together a comparative marketing analysis for the clients I saw on Friday in Boulder Creek. Home to relax and regroup and dinner soon... Keep sending that white light to surround T... we need it!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Today is Thursday, February 16th

It's been a great week... T & I have walked on the beach each morning to Riley's delight...T works out his aches and pains in his legs and feet by walking through them... just wish his headache would go away the same way... This morning it occurred to me that T's headaches may be caused by his problem teeth. So, I've emailed Janell to inquire about a dentist on staff with experience with leukemia patients. We'll see... T can't be the first.

Valentine's Day was so sweet...made T some chocolates and T surprised me with a dozen red roses and we cuddled together until Wed turned into a jammed packed day... office meeting, memorial services for Lisa's brother, walk thru Brian's new home and then the campaign kick off for Zach Friend's run for Board of Supervisor. By the time I got home last night I was burned to a crisp and ready to go to bed.

Board tour today after a visit with an insurance agent that may have an alternative for our coverage... let's hope... since our premiums have increased 75% in the last 18 months. I'll reserve judgement while we wait to see...

keep sending that white light to surround our T, please....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Today is Sunday, February 12th

Saturday was a full on work day with an open house at 921 Pelton Ave. one block from the bluff on the Westside of Santa Cruz. The only down side of the day was not having a potty available for 3.5 hours...now that was tough... but what a gorgeous day on the coast with the chance to meet and greet lots of really nice folks! I love open houses! I love meeting new folks and even getting to work with some as our relationship develops...

For the last few days I've had the privilege of walking down to the beach with my honey and the Riley dog first thing in the morning... what a treat it is to see our magnificent shoreline, hear the waves and watch the world unfold as the surf crashes on the sand... Riley is truly in his element and we're there to pick up his treats and relish his exuberence... to have that much energy and to be able to run and run and try and catch a bird or a stick or chase another hound dog is just truly amazing!!! I am blessed... truly blessed... I hope to keep doing it most mornings... after all, this is why we're here...

I finished "Tattoos on the Heart" last night. What a wonderful tale for today. The G dog could tell a story that wrenches the heart and forces me to look at my humanity... Highly recommend this book!!! but keep the tissues near...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Today is Friday, February 10th

I'm in heaven... I'm in heaven... this has been another jam packed week. Spent an incredible lunch celebrating CASA ... Court appointed special advocates for children yesterday with Marilyn Koll. Amazing that I didn't think I could cry that much for joy... I am truly astounded that this organization doesn't get more of the limelight... we were surrounded by serious players... judges, attorneys, leaders of the community and the rest of us that believed in our purpose... wow!!! and Marilyn lead this group for many years...

Life is what we make it and I do believe we see what we want to see...I'm so astounded by my place in life... I'm hoping to have my nephew visit soon and Im looking forward to loving my clients and our friends and my love mate, my Tracy James... Tracy's apt. with the neuro oncologist is the 24th.... along with Bruno and treatment... T's taking it all in stride and I'm along for the ride....

Live, love... happiness!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Today is Monday, February 6th

Surprise! Surprise! The weekend whizzed by with a full on work day for me, then dinner with the Reeds in a scrumptious Italian restaurant on Big Basin Way in Saratoga before we rushed off to Stanford for T's brain MRI. That was a trip! After parking for easy access to the Cancer Center, we found out that the Center was closed. So, after a call to Security; we went over to the Blake Wilbur Center and T endured a wait and then, 30 min. in a very loud MRI banging around his skull.... poor thing... and on top of that HE HAD A HEADACHE!!!

So, by the time we rolled home, we were both burned to a crisp... but we'd already heard from the doctor re T's MRI... they ruled out spinal meningitis and a few other equally horrible possibilities and we were relieved altho' we still didn't have an answer for T's headaches...

Sunday loomed large with an opportunity to show a couple homes and then, a retreat to our home for the Super Bowl... T was enduring another headache so, we both watched the game quietly...

Today T was contacted by Stanford and now, we're awaiting an apt with a neuro oncologist...and the wheel keeps turning round and round...

Keep that white light incoming to surround our boy... Please????!!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Today is Friday, February 3rd

Lots of biz as the week unfolds and a bit of concern over my honey... T is achy and sore and still has that damn headache... poor thing...he's tired of this shit! But what's the alternative?

So, everyday I go do my thing... meetings, board tour, Valley Fair with Marilyn, local government relation meetings, showing property and T is on my mind. He's back to managing our properties tho' and that is great!!! While he was gone Wed. afternoon, I decided it was time to get back to cooking... put together a whole free range chicken with lemon & garlic, brussel sprouts, red potatoes, sweet red, yellow & orange peppers in the Romertopf clay pot and after that was ready to go; it was time for eggplant parmigiana. The last couple nights I've been making chocolate chip cookies for my T cause he lights up when I ask "is it time for cookies?"

We're heading into a very packed Saturday ending up with an evening trip to Stanford.

Sunday is the Super Bowl and the last football game in a phenomenal season that saw the niners in the playoffs at long last... It also would have been Cenz's 61st birthday... Happy birthday my love... miss you so...

Enjoy the weekend and the game... love, peace and happiness...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Today is Tuesday, January 31st

An intense weekend zoomed by while in the back of my mind, Bruno's words "you probably had leukemia for a long time before we diagnosed it" kept ringing in my ears... there's nothing we can do about that at this point but it keeps me on a slow burn. So, Tracy is going to have his head examined ( MRI coming right up) Sat. evening at 8PM... would you believe? It was that or Super Bowl Sunday. Now that would be taking his chances... especially if you ended up with a neurologist football fan... so anyway, we're thinking positively...

I'm exhausted. Between studying and testing out of way too many classes crammed into the last week and weekend, I ended up with way over the needed credits and finally the right mix of classes to renew my real estate license. Yahoo!! It's done and I'm done...(also reinforced my love /hate relationship with coffee- drank 2 cups after my open house to rouse myself for my last all important test & was still trying to go to sleep at 2:30AM) I drank Sleepytime tea and finally, was able to drift off by cuddling into T and listening to his steady breathing...

came home today and watched George Clooney play the candidate we'd hope we could vote for until the system corrupted him and everyone around him...and then, we both took a nap...

Dungeness crab call was finally returned in spades!!! Frank came through with some oh so sweet 2-2.5 lbers. for this crab lover... mmmmmm

and the week unfolds... My honey and I will resume our walks on Thurs. cause my day has started way too early to include our walks on the beach today and tomorrow... it's coming tho'...