Monday, December 31, 2018

back to xmas

Here is the missing piece, the host and his sidekick. Marsha sent me this
photo of Miss Puma and Carlini after all their work preparing our holiday
meal. A noble twosome indeed.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

bueno Yerba Buena

Samovar Tea Lounge

Yesterday I met Dancing Jen and Jon Garber here at Samovar for a
delightful lunch. Avocado Eggs Benedict and tea, yes TEA. Jen had
a horrible green concoction with her sandwich, but the vibes were
lovely because Yerba Buena itself is just a special park oasis in the
heart of the city and Samovar sits on top of it with glorious skyline
views. Of course I stopped for a latte when I got back to my nabe
later in the afternoon. What's a woman to do?

Saturday, December 29, 2018

belated silver bells

Union Square San Francisco

It's still Christmas Time in the City and I enjoyed my time down there
yesterday immensely. I am a City Woman (as you all know by now) and
I just love the energy and the feeling of youth and hope that SF just keeps
on giving, to me at least. I accomplished a couple of chores, discovering
a new medical cannabis store, having a latte and a read at a Starbucks,
walking and talking baseball for a few minutes at the Dugout Store.
The photo above is from Macy's 7th Floor ~ that place was packed yesterday
and good for them. A positive after-holiday outing indeed.

Friday, December 28, 2018

saved by the puzzle

Yesterday was not easy but Neti and I had a very pleasant day with the
Blogmaid and her family down in Pumpkinville.  Delicious lunch at It's
Italia and then worked on this doable puzzle for a couple of hours.
We walked on the cliffs above the ocean and it was such a beautiful
day ~ cold and clear. Friends help so much. Onward with gratitude...
(Oh, we didn't finish the puzzle but congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Blogmaid
and to Hopper who helped too and they finished this last night.)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

invite takes center stage

I know this is not easy to read. Today it sits in front of Bill's little shrine
as I feel love and gratitude for 49 years together. Many of our guests were
sure this marriage would not work, but somehow it did. I have a cassette
tape here too from him, but I'm not up to that. Two things still knock me
over: his handwriting and his voice. Love surrounds me this morning, but
yes, I'm getting out of the house today for a fine outing and and will report
in tomorrow. Happy Anniversary, HLB. (aka Billy Flore, Swiss, Husbando
and assorted other nicknames ~ some not so nice, but funny.) Love...

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

where's the host?

The cougars two

The animals three

Miss Puma likes my vest
Bill's beret ~ he would approve

Here are some photos from yesterday, however I neglected to take a
picture of Richard Carlini who cooked and entertained us. It was a
fine day with good food, laughter and lots of red color, as you can see.
Marsha drove which was a treat for me as I usually take BART to
Walnut Creek. So glad to have this first solo xmas finished. Made it...

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

feline navidad

Before Bill died he said, "Get yourself a cat when I'm gone." I did.
Annabelle has been such a wonderful companion ~ greeting me when
I come home and causing just enough mayhem to make me laugh.
It's taken some months but now she is a lap cat and a snuggle girl.
Merry Christmas to all and gobs of gratitude for all the love you
shower on me.

Monday, December 24, 2018

East Bay delight

This is a great Go To burger place near Berkeley. Sparky's is a dive,
owned by an Asian family featuring food that is fresh, cheap and plentiful.
Ginger and I went here yesterday for lunch. I usually go here with
Meriel and it was a happy accident to find it yesterday. We split a
burger and it was more than enough with sweet potato fries. Currently
I don't eat much red meat, but no and then a burger is a treat.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

three for tea

Jennie worked with me out at the Legion of Honor and she is special.
Yesterday she and her nephew, Stephen, came over for tea with all the
trimmings and we had a lovely time. Kind friends give me cookies and
candy so we enjoyed those along with the luscious Typhoo Tea from
dear Dancing Jen. So many Jens...

Saturday, December 22, 2018

escape, escape, escape...

I am reading this new novel by Jonathan Lethem, his first mystery since
Motherless Brooklyn. So far, so good. Of course I am reading it on
my LindaKindle #3 or #4 or whatever. Let's get this holiday stuff over
and done with now that the shortest day Solstice has come and gone.

Friday, December 21, 2018

a walk on Bryant Street

A new paint job here ~ on the delivery door it says Juicero. I check it
out on google and they went out of business in 2017. So maybe they
are coming back? In any event, the walk for me yesterday was a
good one. I met Joanne at Starbucks and we did some catch-up. She
was in my fiction writing class and her book is finished and in print.
Mine is on the floor of my office, also over here on my desktop in
a file marked Ellen. I praise Ellen for her patience...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

going slowly, feeling deeply

Christmas cards, lights, small gifts ~ soon this will be over, my first
holiday as a single woman. Well, we can't really count those when I
was young and drunk, can we? My fellow widow and widower people
help, the family photos on cheery cards are a delight. Walking is still
the solution when I feel the blues approaching and those lattes do not
lose their magic. I observe all the single people with their computers
in the coffee shops ~ my family now. I am fine, I really am. Grief is
the final act of love, or so someone texted me yesterday. We were so
fortunate and yes, we knew it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

nose and toes

See, I promised y'all. Here I am reading Linda's delightful book ("I
Love you Nose, etc.") This is Eliza who was enraptured, she is Gini's
grand dot and I, of course, was early to Book Club last week so I
was put to good use in the kitchen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Smiths (really)

I still think of the neighbors across the street as "new" even though
their two daughters are now in their teens. We wave, we say nice
things to each other ~ Bill and I always appreciated them. People
in the city respect privacy, maybe because our homes are smack
dab right next to each other. We have always had wonderful neighbors
here and we occasionally asked and received help from them. Still do.
I snapped this photo Saturday night while I was outside waiting for
Lyft. The next day I texted it to our neighbor Heidi and asked her to
text it to the Smiths. That's how it works in Bernal...

Monday, December 17, 2018

a British binge

Yesterday I had lunch with Frances up on Cortland and she
recommended this wonderful mini series on Amazon Prime.
So I put aside my half ass xmas preparations and concentrated
on Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw reliving the Jeremy Thorpe
scandal that occurred back in the 60's. Lovely.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Chanticleer Christmas

St. Ignatius on Fulton (aka St. Iggy)

The Chanticleers 

This was my glorious xmas gift from Richard Carlini. Men in tuxedos
singing in Latin and English. Strong, clear voices. The church was
darkened at the beginning and the singers came down the main aisle
carrying candles harmonizing beautifully the glory of the holiday season. 
The big church was packed and they sang for almost two solid hours. 
A night to remember...

Saturday, December 15, 2018

taking Taraval by storm

I had to finalize some legal crap yesterday out in the Avenues and Linda
D. was good enough to drop everything and take me to my lunch
at OUR favorite Thai place. Yum. We had much to discuss. Then we
walked up to the FOG art gallery where I was happy to see Anne again
before admiring the work of Stephen Fox, her featured artist this month.
This was a fine example of mixing business with pleasure.

Friday, December 14, 2018

the annual holiday magic

Tiapos met again last night to celebrate the season and appreciate each
other and our long friendships. There were tears, of course, but lots of
laughter too. Great lamb dinner with roasted/roasted carrots, cabbage
and salad. In the center photo Doug plays the song he wrote years ago
(It Must Have Been the Mistletoe) as Barb helps him remember the words.
Chef Sarah brought her excellent persimmon pudding that Husbando
loved so much. My life is so enriched by this group of writers, but
you already know that. A truly wonderful evening.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

santa brings books

I bought these on Amazon because the author (Linda Davick) has her own
special page on there and I can shop easily for the kids on my gift list. I
actually read the Nose/Toes to a little girl yesterday and at some point I
will share that photo with you. Alas, it is on another iPhone, not mine.
But these books are THE BEST.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

updating the shrine

I keep the shrine on Bill's side of the dresser. Yesterday I tossed on the
teddy bears and our first official Christmas ornament. It is a tea bell
that one of us (probably him) crushed in the garbage disposal when
we lived in San Diego many decades ago. The Blogmaid urges me
to be careful as I tiptoe through the red and green landmines this
season and I will, if I can. Last night I went to grief group and we
all do the shrine thing, some more elaborate than others. Everything
helps, nothing helps.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

front door ~ done

Bill always brought home a wreath from Trader Joe's, but I couldn't
do that yet, so I found this for $7 at Whole Foods. I put up a few
lights and ornaments, some steeped in decades of memories. This
is difficult, but I'm OK most of the time. Well, some of the time...

Monday, December 10, 2018

back to museum land

The problem with MY museums is that I always spend a lot of viewing time
with former co-workers and gossip abounds. And that's OK. I found
excellent free street parking yesterday and enjoyed the deYoung and some
of my old favorite pieces of art. Then I hit the small Gauguin exhibit
which was his early work ~ he was finding himself before the Polynesian
women found him. Somewhat lackluster, in MHO.

But wow re the exquisite fashions. So many Muslim women with money,
time and impeccable taste. This exhibit was eye opening and very well done.

Dinner last night over at Pat's and we three widows had a few tears and
some laughter despite this difficult holiday season. We carry on...

Sunday, December 09, 2018

weekends are for walking

more than 30 designers and craft makers at Heath

trees turning into gold

I have nothing and a lot on my mind these days. I grieve, I walk, I think.
Yesterday I decided to head up Bryant Street to 18th to the bank. No
big deal, just a nice long trek. Along the way I discovered a rip-roaring
Make Good Market at Heath Ceramics and I bought a couple of small gifts.
Then I was given this big gift of Ginko trees in the sunshine as I
headed back home. I welled up at the beauty and the sorrow that I could
not share this with Husbando. "Take a photo," he would say. I did.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

six years in four months

I didn't exactly binge, but I started watching The Americans shortly after
Husbando died. I felt like I knew this Russian spy couple (married in real
life) as I watched their two children grow into Americans. Last night was
a terrific and realistic ending, in my opinion. There was too much violence
and some wonderful details like the time Philip took up EST and then the
country music line dancing. Now that the series is over for me I am free
to noodle around again on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Friday, December 07, 2018

home again, home again

Fine trip to Santa Barbara, lovely to be home again. Drove for six solid
hours yesterday and today my knees are barking as I sit in front of the
fire and do some writing. It's a cool, clear day in my city.

I never re-read books but I am now. It was my turn to nominate a fave
for the January Book Club so I selected Motherless Brooklyn which I
adore. God, I had forgotten so much. What a wonderful mystery novel
this is. And soon it will be a movie ~ Edward Norton will play Lionel,
I think, our hero detective with Tourette's Syndrome. Word lovers celebrate.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

rainy movie day

Green Book is a very satisfying movie based on the true story of musician
Don Shirley who toured the deep south with his trio one year and hired a tough
Italian to drive him. Of course they become friends, but these were the 50's
and racism was even uglier and more obvious back then. Leaving for home
this morning, after the hot tub and strong coffee.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

my morning

After a lovely hot tub in the rain, we are watching the Bush funeral
with Ginger's two dogs and strong coffee. Yesterday I met a new
friend, John, in Carpinteria and we had seared tuna at Teddy's for
dinner after a beach walk and yet more coffee. I'm glad to be here
and our cat sitter sends photos and videos of Herself. I call this
my second home and it is...

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

it's been awhile

I used to make this trip to Santa Barbara two or three times a year, but
not lately. So I decided to stop half way and spend the night in King City.
Annabelle's cat sitter next door took the beautiful photo of her and I
snapped the King City monument right before my dinner at Denny's.
It will be good to see my friends again, but it is still strange to travel
and not check in with Husbando, but maybe I still do?

Monday, December 03, 2018

a spoonful of sugar

I wasn't really looking forward to Mary Poppins at the SF Playhouse
yesterday, but after reading the Great Plotnik's review linked over there
on the right under SF Theatre Blog, I felt better about the whole thing. I
met the equally reluctant Neti and we had a glorious time and I do so
recommend this for adults and children. The sets and costumes are
amazing as is the music and dancing. There is plenty in here for we
grown-ups to appreciate, that's for sure. It was a very good Sunday.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

a little Moma, please

Thiebaud appreciated Diebenkorn 

China ~ transformed after 1989

Husbando would urge me to get OUT and do things while he was stuck
inside with his weakening heart. I heeded his voice yesterday and went down
to SF Moma and spent most of the afternoon there. Of course my favorite
was the Thiebaud Artist's Choice exhibit where he got to paw through all the
art at Moma and select his favorites. Thiebaud's written comments are terrific,
down to earth and insightful. Then I had lunch in the overpriced cafe and
went to see China after 1989. Puzzling, impressive ~ the entire 7th floor.
(I avoided the stores and will continue to do so.)

Saturday, December 01, 2018

life with Annabelle

our typical morning

her front yard

allergy season