I was born in Southern California, in a small town called Alpine, in the foothills of the mountain range which separates the coast from the desert. My brother, sister, and I ran around barefoot and helped care for our dairy goats, pigs, chickens, and beeves. Every summer, our schoolteacher parents took us backpacking in the high Sierra. I carried my first pack when I was 5.
I have a degree in biochemistry, and spent several years in that field before switching gears to real estate. I worked at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, the Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz, Genentech in South San Francisco, the Medical Research Institute in San Francisco, and XOMA Corporation in Berkeley. Many of my friends still are science geeks, so I still get to talk shop and be geeky too.
Two hydrogen atoms are sitting at a bar.
First atom: “Oops…I think I just lost my electron.”
Second atom: “Oh, no! Are you sure?”
First atom: “Let me check…Yep, I’m positive.”
Two of my favorite things to do are spend time outdoors and take photographs, preferably at the same time. This shot of a grizzly bear cub was taken on a recent trip to Alaska.
I studied and taught Martial Arts at Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate. This is me breaking some boards with a flying side kick during my black belt test.
I started learning to read music and play cello as an adult. It's been great for stimulating new brain cells, but not so great for people who have to listen to me play. My excellent teacher is Cathy Allen with the Rose Quartet.
This is my freaky cat. Her name is Devil Cat. She showed up at my house one foggy night and refused to leave. I would love to know her story, but she's not talking, she's too busy crawling inside any available cranny.
In 2014, a wonderful man named Art Simon married me and made me the happiest woman alive. If you are a longtime resident of the East Bay, you may remember B. Simon Hardware, which took up an entire block on Broadway in Oakland -- Art is 4th generation of the Simon Hardware family.
Along with my husband I am lucky to have a large extended family close by, including various siblings, nieces, nephews, step-kids, and my mom.
I especially love to play in my garden and grow fresh produce to cook and feed my friends and family. Every year I also plant a crop of sunflowers of all kinds, and for a month or two the yard becomes a sunflower forest.
My favorite creative outlet is writing. I’ve published some shorter pieces and I have completed my first novel, which now eloquently gathers dust in my attic. I belong to two local writing groups, Solid Yellow and A Good Read. My mentor is Jon Carroll, and I also have a steady writing partner, Jacqueline Winspear, the author of the best-selling Maisie Dobbs series.
Overall I am very happy with my life. I am blessed and grateful to be surrounded by people I love, to do work that fulfills me, and to explore each new day.
Her fund of information is extensive – and that which she doesn’t understand, she researches until she does. She pays exceptional attention to detail and adherence to standards.