Category Archives: The world and my place in it

Be sure you are insured

The fires in the wine country are close enough for the smoke and ash to blow into  our big valley. Winds have picked up (not good for Napa/Sonoma) and blown much of it out now, but it’s still very hazy here. It’s a reminder as to just how close these fires are and the terrible destruction they have caused. Whole neighborhoods gone. Wineries and vineyards wiped out. So many lives lost and even more who have not been accounted for. I was asked to pray in church yesterday and one of my pleas to God was for safety for the firefighters who are putting their lives on the line.

This destruction also reminds us to look at our insurance policies. Could we rebuild under such terrible circumstances? Replacing lost property is one thing, but rebuilding is another. Codes have changed since our house was built. Even putting on a new roof caused extra costs due to those changes. Costs of materials and labor are high, especially in an area where so much rebuilding will take place. Insurance needs to be up-to-date to take care of those increases. Terry just paid our homeowner’s insurance and was reminded that the insurance had been increased so as to completely rebuild our home should something happen.

Shirley wrote in today’s blog about getting renter’s insurance after seeing elderly residents in Santa Rosa lose their apartments and have to be moved to another complex near Oakland. We have always had some kind of insurance on our home. Renter’s when we lived in an apartment when we were first married. Condo insurance when we bought our first small place. Because we only owned the inside of the unit, that insurance was pretty inexpensive. Now we have homeowner’s insurance on the house we have lived in for 37 years. It has only been used a few times, but it sure made me feel better when we did have to make that call. One time, all of our luggage and purchases made on a trip were stolen from our car. Homeowner’s picked up the tab to replace everything. Car insurance does not cover stuff you have INSIDE your car.

I watched our young neighbor weep for the $2000 worth of cosmetology supplies stolen from her car in front of her house. Knowing they were renters, I asked if she had renter’s insurance, thinking they must as they had small children with lots of “stuff.” No, they didn’t. I wanted to weep, too.

Terrible things happen. We can’t stop them. We can’t undo them. Insurance helps, though, to get us to the next step.


Let sleeping cats lie

A morning of errands and shopping. Got my flu shot, too. Home again, jiggity jig. Three cats sound asleep in various parts of the house, not moving a muscle.

I unloaded the groceries and put all the food items away in the kitchen. Next was the Target bags with a variety of cleaning supplies and a new pillow for Terry to try. Even plopping the pillow on our bed didn’t rustle up the cat who was sleeping there. I dispersed the dry cleaning to the various closets, opening and closing doors. No one even opened an eye.

There was a pile of towels in the hall bath that needed to be washed. Threw the kitchen towels into the washer, too. Replaced kitchen and hall towels, again opening the hall closet door. Not a sound, not a rustle, not an eye opened.

Finally, I could sit down. Decided a piece of coffee cake I got at Sprouts would taste good with a cup of coffee so stopped in the kitchen to get that snack. And instantly there were three cats looking at me, meowing. All it took was the removal of a plate from the cabinet and a fork from the drawer to roust them from deep slumber. They too wanted a snack.

To all my blogging and online friends


This is how I’m feeling today about a lot of people in my life. Thank you for being there to help me through these days of craziness and crisis. Your posts and responses light up my day.


Cats and grandkids

The cats have been feeling put-out. Last week the next-door neighbor’s big white cat escaped their home and made it over the fence into our backyard where our cats like to hang out. Actually, all the neighborhood cats like to hang out there. Lots of places to hide, trees to climb, food and water available. This white cat weighs close to 20 pounds, has tags, and a bell. He is quite an imposing figure as he stalks the property. I learned that turning the sprinkler on would get him back into his own yard.

This week our grandkids came to visit for a few days. Their school district is off for two weeks for fall break. They enjoy playing outdoors as well as running up and down the hallway in our house. They are rarely still or quiet. The cats are overwhelmed by all the activity, noise, and small bodies moving around the house and yard.

Finally, today, the neighbor’s cat was at home and the grandchildren left for their home. The cats are feeling a bit more normal and are starting to show themselves again. I’m also getting back into my own routine, too. It’s nice to sit quietly on the couch without having to jump up to get something, check on someone, or watch one of the grandchildren performing some amazing fete of magic, strength, or intelligence.

Next week, we will do it again, bringing the children back to our house for a few days away. Here they are pampered and spoiled. Sort of like what the cats are used to on a regular basis. It’s hard to be displaced by small children.


Last night was the last Wednesday that I will have to drive across town for another meeting in a large African American church where a group of 200 people worked to decide how to spend $70 million from the California cap and trade funds to transform our community. We have been meeting for over two months, beginning on one of those 105 degree days in July.

It was a pleasure to come together with a set of five proposals from which to choose the best one for the downtown, Chinatown, and southwest Fresno neighborhoods. All proposals had green space, housing, job creation, and connectivity from the high speed rail station to the three communities. We had worked diligently to decide the projects that would  go forward, forward all the way to Sacramento for the final approval.

To be eligible to vote, each of us had to attend from three to five meetings, depending on whether we lived, worked or owned property in the two zip codes where the projects would be built. My requirement was five meetings and I made all five, some of them on very hot summer evenings. One of them was on my birthday. We were fortunate that Westside Church of God offered to host these meetings. The church is a large, lovely venue with air conditioning, good sound system, convenient restrooms, and security. The pastor started each meeting with a passionate prayer asking God to bless this work. I feel that God honored those prayers.

The group was cordial and able to decide the proposal to send forward within 90 minutes. The eligible voters were seated in the middle of the sanctuary and had pink cards to hold up until the count was made. The vote was unanimous. Here we are casting our votes:

It was a good experience, but we are all glad that we are done and can regain our Wednesday evenings. I especially feel that way because, as you may recall, I don’t do well in the evenings. This has been a stretch for me. Which was probably good for me.

Dependent on my cell phone, more than I like to admit

We’ve all seen them. The husband in the grocery store calling his wife to see which brand of chips to buy. The mother calling her kids to see what they want for dinner while she looks at the frozen food cabinet. People in stores calling their spouse or children to see what they are to buy or what they should get while at the store. I’ve never understood that behavior. Until today when it happened to me.

It’s been a very busy week and the next one looks to be the same. I learned late in the week that a member of our church needed some meals so I went an extra mile to make a turkey dinner so we could share the bounty with this lady. I also made a pot of soup this morning before heading to the store to get a few more supplies to finish out the meals and deliver the food later today.

Although I’m not good at making a list before shopping, because today I had definite items I must buy, I wrote up a list while sitting at the computer, reading the morning paper. And I left the list there. It was only when finishing the grocery shopping, and wanting to check the basket items with the list did I realize the list was still at home. So, I did the unthinkable, in my book–I called my husband and asked him to read the list to me. That is how dependent I have become on my cell phone.

Oh, I use my cell phone as a computer all the time while out.  I look up things, I check in, I take pictures, I send and receive texts but I never stand in a store and call someone to tell me what I need! Today I did.

Get motivated

This was one of those mornings when I wasn’t ready to jump out of bed. I seem to be having more of those lately. There was work to be done, though, so I shook off the drowsies and got busy. 

Cats fed (the important stuff first), hair washed, and yards watered. I got my cup of coffee and sat on the porch, watching the sprinkler and reading email and Facebook on my phone. Snapped this picture:

And decided I would like to sit on the porch all day. 

Ran errands. Addressed birthday cards. Made lunch. Reviewed all the projects for tomorrow night’s transformative climate communities meeting where we actually start deciding which projects will get funding. There are 38 projects and most are very good. Just wish there was money for all of them. 

I’m telling a wonderful story to first graders this week, “Let’s go, Hugo,” set in Paris and the Eiffel Tower. 

I made an Eiffel Tower for each classroom to keep with the hope that it will encourage the children to want to know more about Paris.