Friday, November 30, 2018

between rain storms

It was a perfect day for lunch at the Cliff House where the Great Plotniks
treated me for my birthday celebration. We four have been doing this for
years and I love that this continues. Yesterday, after too many popovers,
I had steamed clams and they were outstanding. Barb had crab cakes and
Doug enjoyed the crab salad which I think Bill would have ordered too.
None of us had seen our ocean as active as it was yesterday and so that
made the day extra special. Thank you, dear friends.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

many endings in 2018

Yesterday I received a snail mail letter from Right Wing Wong. our
dentist from forever. He is joining a dental group and moving further
away in Oakland so I made the wise (I think) decision to find a
dentist here in SF. That BART-under-the-Bay gets long and difficult
and I remember traveling with Husbando after a tooth extraction. No
fun on so many levels. I have a new dentist in downtown SF thanks
to Frances who sings his praises. But still, Dr. Wong knew us both
so well and he helped us often. Change/change/change keeps happening.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Life on the Streets and in the Home

I use a different coffee mug every morning, a choice of four or five favorites. 
But Bill was faithful and he would ONLY use this cup given to him one xmas
by the Blogmaid. We three were huge fans of Homicide, Life
on the Streets and, as you can see, these DVDs remain an essential
part of our home. I will watch them again one of these days.

This was such a wonderful series that ran on NBC from 1993 to 1999.
It took place in Baltimore and featured not only great story lines but some
wonderful actors that we still see in the movies and on TV today:
  • Peter Garety
  • Clark Johnson
  • Melissa Leo
  • Kyle Secor
  • Callie Thorne
  • Richard Belzer
  • Andre Braugher
  • Yaphet Kotto
  • Reed Diamond
Produced by Barry Levinson and based on the book by David Simon. Looking
back, this series seemed way before its time, in my opinion.

Bill would take his coffee mug down from the top shelf, fill it with hot water
and then, after he chopped his fruit and topped it with cottage cheese, 
would pour his coffee. Almost without fail he would say, “Great coffee
today, Swiss!” and those are the memories I cherish. Little stuff, daily
rituals. We were creatures of habit and that’s OK by me.

The Great Plotnik questioned this wisely because I forgot to mention that
Bill would do the dishes right after breakfast. His Homicide mug was always
clean and ready for the next morning.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

we swim, we talk, I fall asleep

Alas, I didn't really appreciate this play last night, but it was kind of The
Great Plotnik to invite me to take Barb's place. Four characters, two of
whom talked too much, in my opinion. But what did I know? I was busy
catching up on my zzzzzzzz's. Sorry Doug.

Monday, November 26, 2018

another first

Well, I didn't take a photo yesterday so I will depend on words alone.
Ginger and I went to the SF Symphony. MTT will be retiring soon
and he was conducting Beethoven's 9th ~ I knew I would enjoy this,
but I did not realize how magnificent the experience would be with
the full orchestra, four singers and then the SF Symphony Chorus
singers all dressed in black standing behind the musicians. Oh,
and the music. For the first time in my long and mostly wonderful
life I GOT IT. I felt the music, I really felt it. "Seek Him above the
canopy of stars." Joyful tears appearing with "Nature ~ a friend faithful
until death." Of course the beautiful hall was sold out for this extravaganza.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

when it hits, try walking

the alley next to Community Thrift
See, I thought my grief had subsided and I was congratulating myself on
the Thanksgiving dinner here which was indeed a success. It all kept me
very busy before and after the event, but then yesterday I was sinking
into a bit of gloom, so I put on my walking shoes and hit the always
colorful and vivacious Valencia Street and I quickly felt better. I enjoyed
my latte and bagel at the Crepe House where they always treat me like
a favorite relative ~ you know the one with money and humor. I came
back home to Annabelle feeling much better and we played chase-the-
mouse and watched our Warriors win by one point 117 to the Kings 116.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

grey, wet, much needed rain

But today I think we will have a little break. Thanks to Husbando
for the new roof, but he neglected to remind me to take down the
chairs on the back deck. Ooooops, I will do that today. And I will
hear him say, "Be careful, it gets slippery out there." Today I feel
contentment in my small home with my previously small cat. She
really enjoyed Thanksgiving...

Friday, November 23, 2018

lots of celebrating

a google turkey, I forgot to snap ours yesterday 

today is Ryan's happy birthday

This was a good thing, me doing Thanksgiving. In my notes I call
it Solo #1. The pre-brined turkey from Mollie Stone's was quite
expensive but delicious. I made a few mistakes, but the preparations
kept me happily busy and everyone (there were seven of us) had a
really good time. Including me. I asked for and was allowed to do the
clean-up and dishes alone so I could spend some time with Bill's
spirit and all those memories from days gone by.

Today is RR's birthday and she is Fifteen. Unbelievable, I agree.
She is bright and beautiful and sensitive and talented. Good job here
Mr. and Ms. Blogmaid.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

back to the drawing board

I was feeling lazy about the blog this morning and picked up the SPCA
letter and that didn't work out very well. But this, from my daily meditation,
is just right for today. I hope you all have a fine day of Thanksgiving.
We all have so much, on every level, as Shakti might say.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tiapos in NYC

Suzy (on the left) sent this happy photo this morning. Karen H. and
Randy live in the heart of Manhattan and they met and had some
good writer talk last night. We can see that it was a fine reunion
and I wish I could be there too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

it's a cotton candy world

Pamela, Joe and I celebrated my birthday at the Slanted Door yesterday.
Pictured is their famous Happy Birthday cotton candy dessert ~ sugar, anyone?
We also enjoyed assorted noodle dishes and spring rolls, etc. It was a long
and lovely lunch filled with laughter and only a few tears.

Monday, November 19, 2018

and more celebrating!

Yesterday I met Dancing Jen and Shauna for lunch and some very sweet gifts. We three had many ups and downs at the big box Borders
store, but together we worked beautifully and our friendship survived.
I'm running on gratitude this week.

For the first Sunday ever, The Golden Star was not busy. The good folks
of SF seem to be staying home in droves. Still lots of masks, an ugly and
uncomfortable fashion accessory since the Fire.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

the Pathetica connection

The Blogmaid and I met here at the Chit Chat Cafe in Pacifica yesterday for
a little birthday celebration and walk along the ocean with Sabine, her
sweet dog with the curly tail. There was a bit of a breeze and it felt so
good to breathe what seemed like clean air.  Blogmaid used to live down
here in Pathetica ~ long ago and far away, but good and important
memories for both of us. Thank you for yesterday (and so much more),
dear Blogmaid. Friends make the good times better and the bad times
easier. I don't know who said that, but I like it. So there.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

a visit with The Boys

This city seems deserted because of the horrible air from those disastrous
fires up in Paradise. Free Muni yesterday and no one on the street and
even BART was almost empty as I made my way in the haze over to San
Leandro to visit Meriel and have lunch (fabulous) at Paradiso. (Terrible
coincidence with the name of the restaurant, I realize.)Then back to Meriel's
condo so I could visit with Sam and Wapo ~ always a highlight of my visit.
My appetite is returning, I'm happy to say. Progress...

Friday, November 16, 2018

dreaded day was a-ok

Neti and Pat treated me to an early dinner at the Mission Rock Resort last
night and then I could put this first-birthday-without-Husbando behind me.
I did fine, no tears all day. Thanks to everyone for all the lovely cards and
some phone calls too. Oh, and texts. The celebration continues through
next Monday and on Tuesday I will breathe. Feeling deep gratitude today.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

big show, small stage

Last night I was fortunate enough to accompany The Great Plotnik to
the theater to see In The Heights, an energetic and enthusiastic musical
by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The cast worked so hard on this 2008 play
filled with difficult rap music and delightful dancing. It all takes place
in Washington Heights in NYC. This production was from The Custom
Made Theatre Company, a new group to me, but impressive for sure.
I will be eager to read Doug's review, but I was grateful to take Barb's
place last night. My free street parking karma still worked too...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

the new me?

No worries, I'm not becoming a born-again. I just fell in love with this
church in Nevada City. Or maybe it was being with Ginger and the grand
daughter and the clear blue sky last Saturday, after all that smoke we
encountered on the drive from SF the day before. I will admit that I envy
people who embrace a religion because it brings comfort, I'm sure. But
for now I have my fireplace, my cat and wonderful friends helping me get by.
Deep breath. Gratitude. Ommmmmm.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

her grandpa's voice

Husbando's memoirs are on cassette tapes, more than 150 of them. I
can't even touch these yet, let alone listen. I asked Ceci to organize
them and she started on this project Sunday. Of course she listened
and I did overhear and that was very difficult. But she would chuckle
and laugh out loud and I had to go back in the kitchen and ask what
he said. I believe he started this project back in 2004 and his voice
was strong and he was such a happy man at that time. His gift to us,
but way too soon for me to appreciate these tapes. At one point he
said, "I love the sound of my own voice."

Monday, November 12, 2018

up at the farm

flowers used to attract bees

broccoli (I think)

the work board inside the barn

Of course when the tells people that she farms, they think of marijuana
and there is plenty of that being grown in Nevada City. But Ceci's is a big and
REAL farm and we loved walking around and seeing the vegetables and
all the stories about her unusual life. She is so happy and has a loving
community of friends and her own little home with the orchard (and two
cats) in her backyard. And the modern touch, her co-workers use group texts to
let each other know where and what they are farming from day-to-day.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

home with house guest

Nevada City Farmer's Market

Husbando in Nevada City ~ RIP

That was a good overnight trip. Ceci came home (she drove!) with
us and she in sleeping in now as I do my writing and cat snuggling.
Out of nothing, except a cauliflower from her farm, she tossed
together a delicious pasta for dinner last night. Tomorrow I will
tell you about her very satisfying life as a farmer. Ceci lives in a
tiny home with this orchard out back ~ she is scattering some of
her grand father's ashes under the persimmon tree. He loved
sunshine, persimmons and life itself.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

a vibrant little city

After a three plus hour drive we are amazed at how much bigger and
busier Nevada City is now that it was years ago. Ceci drove us to a
fun pizza place and then it was early to bed. I did not take the photo
above, but that is how it looked last night. And it is cold!

Friday, November 09, 2018

Ken hits the road

I was too lazy to go to the garage and get an actual photo of Ken, our
old and reliable Toyota. He has a few more dents than his brother here.
Today Ginger and I give him a nice outing up to Nevada City to
visit grand dot Ceci and explore. Just one night away from Annabelle
and that's good because we are growing dependent on one another.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

delightful Green's

This superb vegetarian restaurant was closed for four months because of
a fire in the kitchen, so it was good to get back to Green's yesterday for
our book club lunch and talk. For the first time since I joined all six of
us were in attendance. My portobello burger was The Best Ever.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

another Catholic church?

No, this agnostic is not doing a re-mo. I went to a grief support 
group last evening at St. Agnes (Oak and Masonic) and will
continue because, for me, everything works, or I hope it does.
This is sponsored by Pathways Hospice who helped us so much
when Husbando died. This I like:

Grieving is as natural as crying when you are hurt, sleeping
when you are tired, eating when you are hungry, or sneezing
when your nose itches. It's nature's way of healing a broken heart.
(author unknown)

This is a six week course which they are extending to seven
because of the happy holiday season. There were eight of
us ~ we talked, we cried. 

I came home to Annabelle and the election results. Happy
with the former and some victories from the latter.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Grove Street

Pat pointed this glorious doorway out while we were walking to
coffee last week. Feels like Italy, no? My first thought was, "I'll
bring Bill here tomorrow, he will love it." Always surprises in
this city, I'm happy to say. (And mostly good ones.)

Monday, November 05, 2018

mostly mandolins in the mish

Mission Dolores Chapel

The three cranky widows (Neti, Pat and I) went to see the SF Mandolin
Orchestra last night at Mission Dolores and here is the delightful chapel
where I had never been before. That was a treat as was much of the music,
although I do miss drums and cymbals and the more visual actions of a
symphony. The wooden pews were not exactly a treat either. But I'm so
glad we went and then dinner afterwards at American Chow on Church St.
Soon I will go and tour Mission Dolores, something I should have done
years (decades) ago. That's a promise...

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Dia de los Muertos Concert

Music, color, costumes, dancing ~ what a delight. Dancing Jen and I had
such a fine time at the sold-out SF Symphony yesterday. Jacomo Barios
conducted and spoke mostly in Spanish. He was so enthusiastic and so
was the audience, lots of families and small children who behaved perfectly.
After the intermission the Villalobos Brothers joined the symphony
and what a show they put on! This was just what I needed yesterday,
thank you DJ.

My hordes of faithful readers will remember that last year I went to the
Dia del Muerto gathering and parade near our home. I didn't go last Friday
night because I just couldn't, but next year I will attend and present
Husbando to the Land of the Remembered.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Coffee and Calm

Dear Linda D ~ thanks for recommending this and saying it is
okay to drink coffee while learning how to meditate. I finally
downloaded this app yesterday onto my iPad and Annabelle
and I will listen to Calm again in a few minutes. There will be
a charge (about $60) in a few days, but what price tranquility?

Friday, November 02, 2018

the printed Kindle page

Book Club is next week and I finished Love is Blind for that and I do not
recommend it. The last chapter was odd and unnerving. So to reward
myself I just started The Witch Elm by Tana French. Already hooked...

Thursday, November 01, 2018

is this normal?

We've always saved our household calendars in the desk in the living
room. It is overflowing. Did we ever look at them? I don't think so.
Do I want to look at them now? Probably not. Should I toss them?
Good idea. But for now I will put them in the garage ~ sort of a
holding area for all this stuff from a long marriage. Then in a month
or so, out they go. Or not. I hate this, as you probably guessed.