Saturday, March 05, 2016

My New Listing

MLS# 17-666

999 Echoeylake Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90666

Tarzan & Jane Special!

For the mountaineering couple who want to live a carbon neutral existence – but not always under the same roof.  Mountainside views make you feel as though you’re living in a tree.  Rickety wooden decks add drama to your days, giving you the opportunity to grab onto sides of the building and swing freely when worn areas underfoot give way to the sheer drop below.  Two enticing living levels blocked off by a handy (though, most likely unlicensed) friend give buyers two separate living spaces.

One, on street level, is complete with bedroom, bathroom, minimalist kitchen, living room, laundry room with hookups for washer and dryer, but no actual washer and dryer, so there's room to install old-fashioned washtub and clothesline.  A pet door thoughtfully installed years ago provides small neighborhood critters, desirous of spur of the moment shelter, immediate access.  Cooking can be accomplished outdoors, where all cooking should be done -- on a sheet of aluminum foil with a pile of charcoal briquettes set out on the wooden deck by wandering inhabitants of nearby half-way house.

The separate below-level dwelling features bedroom, bath, laundry room and abundant fresh air, thanks to open windows that are free of anything that might block a nice breeze -- such as glass or intact screens. Verdant, indigenous plants freely crawl their way into this rustic space and up the walls negating any need for wallpaper or paint.  This second, below-street-level dwelling is accessible by a fun and often exciting stairway devoid of any obstructive impediments like handrails.  Careful of that last step! Front door landing features the infinity porch® which grandly drops off to the garage roof two stories below. You’ll never be alone here as helpful rats come and go as they please to ensure the property is free of edible vermin.

Keeping to the carbon neutral design of the property, garage can only be accessed by rappelling from the main property, then fighting through thick underbrush to access the garage door which has been sealed by years of neglect and is fronted by a beautiful living curtain of local plant life.  Alternatively, a quarter-mile walk around the block and up a private alley speckled with impressively deep pot-holes will bring you to the tile roofed 2-car garage. This well-thought-out arrangement ensures that owners will opt for modes of transportation that don’t use fossil fuels.

Don’t wait, this property won’t last long as this is a probate listing with court confirmation required.  It will soon be swooped up by some lucky buyer who will then get their day in court -- 35 to 45 days later -- where they will likely enjoy the thrill of fighting off competing buyers for the right to buy the keys to this jewel above Silver Lake.

Listed at $725,000, the price was logically and methodically determined by tallying up the debts and liens on the Estate of the deceased. No Zestimate needed here!

Willing to entertain any and all offers over $500,000. All cash please and 10% down.
When touring the property, please be sure to observe the many areas marked off by yellow caution tape.  The markings are there for your protection, as well as for our own, as per our fussy insurance company and attorneys.

Thursday, February 04, 2016


At age 57,
you will realize
you've passed through the midway point on the continuum
of youthful years spent yearning and reaching for what you desire,
and later years where one's focus
is on gracefully letting go of mounting losses.
Releasing ones grasp.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I'm baaaaaaaaaackkkk

... and aching to write again.

Or, is that ache actually the arthritis.

Right hand arthritis.  Bad for mornings.  You expect that your right hand will be your right hand and behave like your right hand, and serve you like your right hand has tended to do all your life. Then, one morning, you watch as your right hand reaches for your mug of coffee for that delicious, delightful first morning sip, but it delays.  The open motion and the grasping motion, are troubled. One might even stay that Right Hand has stumbled.  Bother that!

Bother the spilled coffee.  Bother the ache.

Wait, what's that?  Left ankle?  Now left ankle demands attention?  What have I ever done to deserve this from left ankle? Fine.  I am not going to be thoughtless.  I shall wrap left ankle in warm, cozy sock so that we can saunter off into the misty morning for daily saunter.

Sauntering, sauntering...  Gloomy day, but there's beauty in it too. Singing birds, skittering squirrels. Pretty, promising day.  Oh, here's that curb, no handicapped slope here.  Lovely, I feel like jumping off it, like a child -- naturally looking both ways first. Or sprinting, skipping even, loving the day. Hey!  Right knee.  Please tell me what that was all about?  You bout near dropped me to the pavement.  Don't do that again, or I shall be keeping you indoors much more often.

Huh.  How old am I?

Monday, October 29, 2012

I am all real estate, all the time.

As if a personal life is such a great thing...  I have my Hamish.  I phone my children, sisters and parents between appointments, open houses and escrow closings.  I have my herbal tea and New Yorker subscription to help me wind down before sleep.  It's all good...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A delightful way to search for real property in Southern California, don't you think?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Delayed Part III of our Ireland/UK Adventure

It's now April 28, 2012 and this trip is just going so fast.  And, we've just now found the most beautiful spot in the world!

When last I wrote, we were on a train to Tralee where we were to pick up our rental car, and then risk life and limb driving in Ireland where no credit card company would insure us, driving on the wrong side of the exceedingly narrow roads.  I do believe that our elder's prayers are what delayed us getting the car which was supposed to be ready at 3:15, but which we didn't take possession of until 6:30 p.m.  But, miracle of miracles we did manage to make the one hour drive into Dingle before sunset.  Cindy took the first shift driving on the wrong side of the road, and she did pretty well, only nicking the left front tire seriously once or twice.  The man at the rental car threw in a GPS for free to compensate us for the delay, and, oddly it started to shriek halfway to Dingle "Blimey,  woman, get into the center of the lane or you'll have us all killed!

The town,  as we came upon it, was a storybook vision of rolling hills, divided into a patchwork of grasses, sectioned off by trees and stone walls ensuring that sheep and cows and horses stayed where they were put.  The Bay of Dingle shimmering, the Ocean off in the distance.  Just perfect.  And, what was remarkable was how the many little homes looked exactly like the houses and hotels from a Monopoly game, except they were appropriately painted. 

Our hotel was wonderful, wonderful.  A civilized vision of an inn.  I don't know what we were supposed to take away from the fact that our in-room desk was laid with a copy of Louisa M. Alcott's "Good Wives"...

After settling in to the room, we ambled along the bay and up a hill to a restaurant that offered fresh local fare -- fish, fish, fish from the local working dock.  We were entertained throughout our meal by a group of four older, Irish women who were seemingly dignified when we arrived, but increasingly sauced as the meal continued.  One offering up a round of Irish Coffees, two vehemently declining...  Our meal was wonderful especially the flavourful warm breads and butter.  I had a duo John Dorry and Red Mullet and a smear of garlic potatoes which was scrumptuous. 

I don’t really remember much of the walk back to the inn, aside from jack frost nipping at my nose.  We tumbled into bed as soon as we arrived (well, truth be told, we did brush our teeth first, we’re not heathens, you know).

After a delightful night's rest, we followed our noses downstairs just as breakfast was being served which included a buffet of so many lovely things -- cereals, fruits, and a warm, fresh-from-the-oven bread and butter pudding.  I was brave and when they took our kitchen order I chose kippers and scrambled eggs.  Kippers are a smoked fish.  Bully for me.  When it arrived, the kippers laid out with twisted lemon slices and a crown shaped offering of scrambled eggs, I carefully stuck in my fork, and by golly, I can see where many people might find these kippers to be quite good.  One taste was enough for me.

Note to all travelers, it would appear that in Scotland, the finer establishments warm the milk they serve you for your coffee.  Not so in Ireland. 

After a nice stroll through the delightful town of Dingle,...woolen shops, dock full of gorgeous fishing boats, linen shops, restaurants, local jewelry maker shops, we packed our bags, weeping silently to be leaving this darling hotel and this wonderful, magical town, to drive the Ring of Kerry.  I took the wheel this time, and Cindy struggled to navigate with a map laid out for us by the hotelier.  On the drive, we continually marveled at the scenery, the sheep, the cows, the horses, the green pastures, the blue, blue water.  No, Papa, we weren't fighting.  We never found our hiking destination, and abandoned that plan at a golf course where the local golf pro directed us to a path through the course, through the pastures and out to the soft sand beach facing the roiling blue ocean.  So, so, so beautiful.  I took many wonderful photos (which I was unable to upload to the iPad ...dang...I'll show you later...Cindy posted some shots on Instagram, so you can enjoy the substance there).

After we'd rung the Ring of Kerry entirely, we stopped in the town of Dingle one last time and I indulged in a wee cup of ice cream at world famous Murphy's Ice Cream -- I tried two flavours and settled on Carmelized Brown Bread.  Really yummy.  We filled the tank of the beast of a car -- 60 Euros!!!!  And traveled down to the town of Killarney where we found our last minute hotel find, the Killarney Park Hotel (& Spa).  They took one look at Cindy and my windblown faces and determined that, by golly, they should upgrade these ladies to a suite.  And they did!

We dined at the hotel restaurant, which was superb.   There was a woman playing the oddest songs on the piano, like a melodic, sophisticated versions of 'ladies night' and 'the farmer and the cowman should be friends'... the place was filled with mostly gabby Irish groups and the service was friendly and impeccable.  Loved it.  Cindy had a fish platter, I enjoyed the Kerry Lamb with aubergine risotto and black pudding.  The black pudding was served up in little cubes.  It was all fantastic.  Cindy had been eyeing the onion rings as they went by our tables, and at the end of the meal I asked our darling waitress if she would bring Cindy just one. 

Just one. 

She, instead brought us a whole serving gratis, which we nibbled at.  When we were done with our meal and were headed out, the sweetheart headed us off with a plate of chocolate truffles, urging us to take them to our room if we didn't wish to have them then.

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I don't know if I've pointed this out, but the sun doesn't set here to nearly 9 p.m., so though our days have been long and late, it doesn't feel that way because the sun is hiding for so few hours. 

Oh no!!!  it's now April 29 and our holiday is nearly over!  I don't want to go home.  We have absolutely found paradise here in Ireland, and I don't know why anyone would leave this beautiful, peaceful, cheerful place.

We pack up from here and head for Cork. 


Oh, the sadness, the terrible sadness of leaving the one you've grown to love.

I'm on my flight from London back to Los Angeles and am as bereaved as can be over leaving magical, beautiful Ireland and wonderful, lovely Great Britain. Before I land, here is the last of our trip.

After our night in Killarney we sadly left the grand hotel with the impeccable service and, with me at the wheel of our oversized rental vehicle, on the often narrow and winding Irish roads, traveled Eastward to Kinsale.  Yes, the scenery was again beautiful, mostly blue skies, fluffy clouds, scattered raindrops clearing to blue skies. The landscape changed from the patchwork quilt pastures with sheep, to rocky ledges and sheer drop offs, and then darker pastures with cows before leading us into the harbour town of Kinsale. 

The heavy rain that had been forecast for our entire holiday did finally begin to catch us
here as we ducked into the fabulous restaurant Fishy Fishy, which offered delicious fish freshly caught in the waters just off the dock.   Cindy felt it was time to sample the Irish beer and ordered a Murphy's Irish stout -- pronounced "Mairphees" --  I had a taste of the  dark colored stuff which was covered with a substantial head and delivered a meaty taste -- in my humble opinion.  After lunch, we shopped the darling town as the wind began to really pick up.  By the time we arrived in Cork it was blowing like the bejeezus.  

You might even say that an ill wind had blown in as well.  The hotel staff at Cork wasn't properly welcoming, rushing us off to our room which was dreadfully dreary, so much so that we asked to be changed to a room that wasn't quite so dark.  With much bustle and stiff intensity, they moved us over to a room that, though brighter was as cold as a crypt.  At this point we rang them up again and explained that we were really unsatisfied with the way things were going at this hotel, after such a perfect many stays at hotels around Europe.  Again, much bustle and getting back to us, as wind and rain whipped outside and whistled into the room which would not be heated.  Finally, satisfaction, the manager came to our room with two glasses of champagne with some peculiar, red berries floating on top, goodie bags of high-end toiletries and offers of many apologies.  We took the champagne, and I asked drily if the berries were poisonous She responded that she was sure that they weren't, not getting my little joke at all!  Within an hour we were ensconced in a room that was more to our liking.  

After recuperating from such a dreadful introduction to Cork, a very big city, actually, and a college town wherein the beautiful countryside had been paved over and was chock-a-block with buildings instead of sheep or cows or bunnies, although I did see a pair of swans enduring the drizzle on the River Lee,.. what was I saying? Ah, yes, after recuperating, we determined it was high time that we gave our ears a treat and headed off to a pub known to feature traditional Irish music.  We walked through the town, over the river Lee and found a muggy, crowded bar with 14 musicians all jamming together.  It was delightful. I made friends with a girl who sometimes plays accordion there, and is a transplant from Ohio.  She had been in Ireland for only a couple of years, but she had already picked up quite the Irish accent.  She explained to me who a couple of the key players were, including a local legendary lyricist, and a guy who played this odd version of bagpipes -- instead of blowing into pipes, he squeezes a bellows under one arm --and another bloke who had some kind of hand-drum the size of a very large tambourine.   My new friend explained that this was called a 'trad session' and that musicians can just pop in and join the group, if they know the songs.  Pretty darn fabulous. 

Next morning we trekked back down the city streets of Cork looking for unique shopping opportunities, but only found rain and a band of Amnesty International solicitors who wouldn't leave us alone.  The local Market was boring, and half empty, so we gave up, freshened up and pulled out the keys to our beast of a rental and ventured out to Ballymaloe in the rain. 

Thank goodness, that brought us back to the Ireland we'd come to know and love, the countryside.  We had a most delightful lunch at Ballymaloe after a bit of shopping in the fantastic gift shop.  My umbrella was blown inside out as we made it back to the car to travel further up the road to view the Ballymaloe Cookery School and adjoining gardens.

This morning it was up at 4 a.m. to return the rental car, catch our Aer Lingus flight to London Heathrow, then board our separate flights back to California.  We were both fortunate in that we did not have to endure a long day at Heathrow awaiting afternoon flights because both of us were able to get onboard an earlier flight; I am on mine now in my sweet little Virgin Atlantic fully flat bed, having napped after watching The Artist. 

I shall be home soon and hope I'm prepared for the culture shock of fewer men being gentlemen, warmer weather and hair that doesn't curl up most unbecomingly each time I venture outdoors. 

I never did get a chance to go horseback riding, nor did we kiss the Blarney Stone, or even view the Blarney Castle.  I didn't see Mary King's Close in Edinburgh or go on any of the ghost tours.    I guess I will have to plan another visit to Europe in the near future.

Cheers! (thats how they say farewell here)


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is Nothing.
[I was going to insert a photo of a dog resisting a bone here, but Hamish doesn't have the self restraint that I do.]

not your usual Catalina Island shot

not your usual Catalina Island shot

fun with spelling

fun with spelling
downtown l.a.