Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Annabelle update

I imported her two weeks ago and we are getting used to each other.
Last night she watched baseball with me and currently she is playing
mouse and I love her frantic antics. It is beyond me how anyone can
lose a mate and NOT have a fur creature to keep them company.
Annabelle is both predictable and not. She finally decided to snuggle
next to my legs the entire night and I told her from Day One that
this is her only real job. She has a huge appetite and has gained some
much needed weight since moving to our Bernal home.

Monday, July 30, 2018

my elite Sunday

Yesterday I met Joe here for brunch ~ that's what we singles do
in SF. We brunch. And it was perfect because we had a private
booth and the food was terrific. I took the #22 Fillmore to meet
him and then we walked all the way down to Valencia Street,
so this endeavor filled my Sunday nicely. Annabelle was (as
usual) delighted to have me back in HER home and yes, I know
you need a report on her soon as that will happen. Tomorrow.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

friendship in the FOG

Friday late afternoon Linda and I crossed emails about Saturday LUNCH
(possible?) and that happy coincidence made yesterday happen. First a
belated b.day celebration for Linda at "the Thai place" and then meeting
Anne (center) at her FOG gallery where we admired the magnificent
ocean photography exhibit of Paige Laverty. FOG = Far Out Gallery
located at Taraval and 40th Avenue. I love that place, and these women!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

I needed this

Great fun and the reader can sure feel President Clinton here. That
man loves to pontificate and that's just fine with me. Lots of intrigue
in The President is Missing ~ I am enjoying this book on my trusty

Friday, July 27, 2018

Tahiti time

Late yesterday afternoon Neti, Pat, Janine and I went to see Gauguin
(the movie) at the Opera Plaza. It was a little dark and a little slow,
but Vincent Cassel was excellent as this famous artist who moved
to Tahiti, fell in love and painted so much beauty. Then we celebrated
Net's birthday at Max's and it was a fine time indeed.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Wednesday was a-ok

Chrissy Field brings memories
Tiapos brings warm companionship

I walked with Ginger at Crissy Field in the morning, remembering all the
times Husbando would love being there. As he aged he would walk for
a bit and find a bench and wait for us. He loved watching the Bay and
all the people, bikes, dogs and boats. I sprinkled a few of his ashes in
the sand and found that not as easy as I expected. And illegal.

Last night was Tiapos over at Suzy's and it was delightful. Doug brought
sandwiches and we all enjoyed our writing and each others company.
Suzy's mother just died so grief was not absent from our gathering.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

my appetite returns!

If you can believe it, I didn't take my cell phone to Doug and Barb's
last night and I was fine, but I missed the photo-taking feature. We had
scrumptious BBQ'd Greek Burgers with corn on the cob and pease
from their garden. I ate more than I have in months and it was so nice
to be there talking of many things. I needed that. Their niece Brit
is here on business and she is a delight. Gratitude, Greek and otherwise.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

mornings and mourning

I wake up at 5 or 6am and say "good morning, Sweetheart," and then I
talk to myself silently to appreciate my home, my kitten, my dear
friends and family. When I see the fog I am delighted because Husbando
would bitch about the fog and for awhile there I thought this would be
the sunniest summer here EVER and how unfair would that be? I sit
here in the back room and read/write emails and drink strong coffee.
I am content. This week I started my daily writing habit and my partner
Karen lost her boyfriend to Mr. Death and doesn't mind my sorrow.
Yesterday it was difficult and I put off writing until late in the day, this
morning it was a breeze. Bill would always put down his Chronicle to
read my daily writing and comment on my work and god, I miss that.
Just in case you wonder, my morning contentment does not last much
after I eat my fruit breakfast, but I keep busy and carry Kleenex®.
I am okay. I am.

Monday, July 23, 2018

a sweet Sunday

It was good to be with Mr. and  Ms. Blogmaid yesterday down in Pumpkinville
and my appetite returned thanks to a sandwich from Jersey Joe's. You can see
how Sabine enjoys the view on our walk. And, oh my, those Stranger Kittens:
Hopper on the left and Eleven will turn out to be a nice orange-ish. It has
been a month since Husbando died and I still have the achey-breaky heart
and I just let myself cry in strange public places. But I am better. Trust me.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

talking, crying, walking, cleaning

Friends are so loving and generous. Thanks to Terri for letting me cry once
again in public over coffee yesterday morning. And for her good advice ~
keep up with the cleaning and tossing. I get annoyed at Husbando for leaving
all this for me to handle ~ must we keep his x-rays from every knee re-
placement? But I am making progress. Then I enjoyed all the people and
colorful artwork at the Graffiti event down in our little park.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

new photography exhibit

Yesterday I met Carlini at SF Moma to see the Susan Meiselas works
on the 3rd floor. This is one of her earlier works from when she lived
in Boston. There were some really interesting photos and she has the
"eye" but when she turned to war and the abuse of women I had to
leave. I'm still a bit raw and maybe I always will be. This is all so
new to me. I felt better when we had salads at California Pizza Kitchen.

Friday, July 20, 2018

a little therapy, please

SF backyards

It has been years since I visited my therapist, but Husbando's death just
hurts so much. Above is a view from right before I entered Susan's office
and already I felt calmer.  We talked of many, many things ~ no awkward
silences as in days gone by. Nothing shocks a therapist and no tears are
too loud or ugly. I will return next week and am already looking forward
to seeing her again. (The last time I saw Susan neither of us had cell
phones ~ how about that?)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

our day away

Marsha (above) picked me up at 8am and off we went with her two dogs
to her vet's in Sonoma where there was REAL sunshine and some pleasant
walking and talking. My little weepers from time to time didn't bother her
and we had a delicious lunch at the Bistro on the Square. I didn't get home
until 5:30 and already I miss my girl cat when I'm gone from her for too long.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

there are no coincidences

My friend from the museums, Pamela, was here on Sunday for coffee and
cat talk. She reminded me of the book she gave me when I retired (above)
that she wrote. And the very first cat ~ A is for Annabelle. Now Pamela's
book is featured prominently here in our little cat haven.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sunday at the Playhouse with Jen

My sincere thanks to Dancing Jen for going with me to see this Sondheim
musical about art and artists. I have trouble concentrating during this time
of grief so this seemed a bit long, but very well done and lovely with
music, costumes and color. But the best of all was being with my friend
who comforts me with her love and complete acceptance of all sorts of my
inappropriate comments and tears. Really, a fine Sunday, all in all.

Monday, July 16, 2018

an easier Sunday

Here we have Annabelle doing the meatloaf (thanks to Pat Snyder for
that perfect expression) as we wait for our guests yesterday morning.
We had coffee and pie (!) and good conversation, a lot revolving
around cats, of course. After the guests left I met Dancing Jen down
in Union Square for more coffee and then we saw the play, "Sunday
in the Park with George" which I will review in a half-assed manner later.

I have bad and sad news about George, the Blogmaid's Family horse
who died shockingly yesterday. My heart is with them and it is not
easy to think of anything else right now. Sorrow.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

loving my fur ball

Annabelle is settling in quietly and quickly. She is two years old but the
Blogmaid suspects she might be even younger despite the fact that she
had four kittens recently. I promised her no more kitten birth stuff.
She uses the cat scratch pole, the clumpy litter stuff, has a great appetite
and last night she slept politely on my feet. Right now she follows me
around like a dog, but soon she will settle in. The SPCA is just the
BEST about everything and it was a positive and happy experience with
Neti, Ginger and the Blogmaid. My love and thanks to them and to
Carlini who texted his questions and approval every three minutes.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

TEAM BILL meets again

This morning at 10am the wonderful friends who helped Husbando
"transition" three weeks ago will meet at the SPCA to help me select
a cat. Not a kitten. He told me to get a cat when he died and we all
remember that he did not care for felines. I am excited. So once again,
here's to:

  • the Blogmaid
  • Ginger
  • Carlini
  • Neti 
With love and thanks. Now let's find the purr-fect fur ball. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

how's for a binge?

Husbando and I didn't care for the first episode of The Americans so we
never watched it. I kept hearing good things about it, however, and last
night I tried again on the Flix® and yes, it is a delight. Russian spies living
in America and facing all sorts of complications, temptations and dilemmas.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

so many firsts

Yesterday I spent $8 (!) on a Peet's latte to sit and appreciate our baseball history
because Husbando and I started out at Candlestick at a very bleak time in
our lives and the Giants saved us. We loved the World Series, Dusty Baker,
caps, tee shirts and jackets and all the hot dogs and garlic fries. So it was the
first time I didn't go home to tell Bill about the game and my time with Ginger.
I miss that, the chit chat. We didn't stay for the entire game because I had
Tiapos over at Suzy's last night ~ another first because I would bring work
home for Bill to read. But I got lots of warm hugs and it was wonderful being
with my writing friends again, even though I'm not up to writing yet.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

truth and beauty

Yesterday Neti and I went out to the Legion of Honor to see the new
exhibit of pre-Raphaelites and Old Masters. It is not a large show and
we did not stay long and I only cried once. This was a very good
thing to do and Husbando would approve ~ he loved that I worked at
the museums, despite all my bitching at the time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

the red beret

Husbando wore the red beret often. It is Thanksgiving in the top photo
and he liked to keep his head warm. Nurse/reverend Carlini asked for
the beret after Husbando died and he wears it well. Puma likes to sit
on it which probably would irritate the original owner. Think?

Monday, July 09, 2018

pianos in the park

It could not have been a more perfect morning yesterday at the Botanical
Gardens. Doug and Barb were good enough to take me as I wanted to feel
Husbando's presence because we had a lovely time last year. Doug (middle
photo) played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to lots of applause and
some tears (me) and then lunch at a Korean restaurant on 9th Avenue. Such
a delightful morning and I am grateful to them both as was Husbando. Neti
recently mentioned that Sundays are difficult and they are, but I'm OK.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Heather Farm Park

I climbed on BART and spent the day with Nurse/Reverend Carlini yesterday
out in Walnut Creek. We walked two miles in the HEAT to Heather Farm
and that was great. Talked about Husbando and cats and life/death. A late
lunch at a Japanese restaurant and then some reading time with Puma on
the balcony. Lots of coffee, of course. Not home until 6pm or so and then
I watched "The Post" on Netflix. I feel some healing here. Two weeks tonight.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

prep work

Husbando did not care for cats even though we had five of them while
living together. (Not all at once.) Before he died he told me to go get
a cat so I would not come home to an empty house. I am already enjoying
my trips to PetCo to buy supplies for the little fur ball. Soon when I
come home and sing out, "I'm home, Sweetheart," it will be into the ears
of a kitty. We shop next Saturday at (of all places) the SPCA. Purrrrrr.

Friday, July 06, 2018

a caring community

Nancy and Bill Junior had stuffed Ken the Toyota full of walkers, the
wheelchair, commode, shower bench, etc. and yesterday I drove to
the ReCares Network on Dorland Street here in the Mission. In a tiny
backyard I found a labor of love as people brought in used medical
stuff. Some like me had frog eyes and some were delighted to find
just what they needed for free. Gentle smiles and thanks. They are only
open 10 to 3 on Thursday, but what a lot of good feelings all around.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

the purple gorilla diet

My usually reliable appetite has gone south. I did eat more when Nancy and
Junior were here, but not yesterday. Husbando is barking at me from afar
telling me to EAT, especially greens and vegetables and I will. Promise.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

get thee to the Ramp

Nancy, Bill Junior and I had lunch at the Ramp and planned Husbando's
memorable memorial for Wednesday, September 5th, from 4 to 7pm.
How he loved that spot and it's still gritty and not too chi chi, thank goodness.
Now at some point I must face hundreds of photos of my main man.
The month of August will be good for that, don't you agree?

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

get used to it

The first of many grief poems...


When grief comes to you as a purple gorilla
you must count yourself lucky.
You must offer her what’s left
of your dinner, the book you were trying to finish
you must put aside,
and make her a place to sit at the foot of your bed,
her eyes moving from the clock
to the television and back again.
I am not afraid. She has been here before
and now I can recognize her gait
as she approaches the house.
Some nights, when I know she’s coming,
I unlock the door, lie down on my back,
and count her steps
from the street to the porch.
Tonight she brings a pencil and a ream of paper,
tells me to write down
everyone I have ever known,
and we separate them between the living and the dead
so she can pick each name at random.
I play her favorite Willie Nelson album
because she misses Texas
but I don’t ask why.
She hums a little,
the way my brother does when he gardens.
We sit for an hour
while she tells me how unreasonable I’ve been,
crying in the checkout line,
refusing to eat, refusing to shower,
all the smoking and all the drinking.
Eventually she puts one of her heavy
purple arms around me, leans
her head against mine,
and all of a sudden things are feeling romantic.
So I tell her,
things are feeling romantic.
She pulls another name, this time
from the dead,
and turns to me in that way that parents do
so you feel embarrassed or ashamed of something.
Romantic? she says,
reading the name out loud, slowly,
so I am aware of each syllable, each vowel
wrapping around the bones like new muscle,
the sound of that person’s body
and how reckless it is,

how careless that his name is in one pile and not the other.

Monday, July 02, 2018

the family gathers

The hospital bed was in our dining room. Yesterday Nancy and Ceci moved
the table back upstairs and oh man, that felt so good. Ceci made a huge salad
and pasta dinner and I sat in Husbando's place and I knew that he was so
very proud of all of us. It was the most pleasant time, just gentle humor
and stories. Bill Junior hung a picture for me and today they are hitting
the Salvation Army, drug disposal place, eyeglass donation spot and
more. My appetite returns. Bill always washed and I dried after the guests
left ~ last night I did both as we discussed his children and g.child and
he was feeling proud and at peace. And I slept.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

a different relationship

   Death ends a life, not a relationship. One of the real challenges at 
this time of bereavement is to create a new relationship with your 
loved one without a physical presence. 
     You face the task of creating that new relationship, one of heart, 
mind and spirit. Incorporating your loved one’s values and passions 
into your own life and passing them on to others will create a living 
memorial that will keep alive the essence of your loved one and bring 
you comfort. 
~Playwright Robert Anderson