Sunday, June 30, 2019

a family joke

Stepson Rob texted me this gentle reminder today. Husbando always did
the laundry and we know that he was a bit fixated on my cleaning the lint
filter when I used the dryer. Turns out that both of Rob's parents emphasized
this task. I'm pretty good about it, but stepdaughter Nancy and I agree
that we don't have to do it EVERY TIME we do the laundry. Every other
time works ~ OK, Bill?

Saturday, June 29, 2019

a whole lot of Pride

It's too foggy yet to see the pink triangle over on Twin Peaks, but I will
catch it later. Meanwhile the city is festooned (ahem) in rainbows and
tomorrow is the big parade. I used to watch it when I worked at Borders,
but that's been a few years now. "Stay Proud", I say to my gay friends!

Friday, June 28, 2019

a button in the mail

Jess from grief group lost his wife last August and we all felt his
pain and our own around the table with candles and Kleenex®. He
sent me some of these buttons in the mail and I'm happy to say that
I believe the message applies to many of the people I know ~ new
and old friends alike.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

a night in North Beach

Beach Blanket Babylon

Saints Peter and Paul on Filbert Street

We both always adored North Beach and when love was new we would
come here several times a month to walk, drink and eat. Of course it
has changed, but it still feels unique and so alive. Last night I joined
Marsha and her friends for dinner and Beach Blanket Babylon. We
had dinner at Noren Izakaya (a new Japanese place) and then hit
BBB for the last time (for me) since it is closing forever in December.
I had a latte first to let my memories overwhelm me, in a good way.
Decades ago, before coffee was a BFD, we would drive here for
Graffeo coffee beans, dark and Italian roast, of course. Graffeo is
still here, but now even Costco has terrific bags of beans.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

do not miss this film

The Great Plotniks took me to my favorite Alamo Drafthouse
movie theater Monday afternoon to see The Last Black Man in 
San Francisco. Too wonderful for me to describe, but I urge you
to read the history and background and then go and enjoy this terrific
movie. We had an early dinner next door at the Foreign Cinema
and, all in all, a fine day. More gratitude.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

I finally get it

This must be that overused term "closure" that I'm feeling today after
getting through this year with the help of so many wonderful people.
I'm using his Homicide coffee mug this morning as I look out over
this city which, god knows, by now everyone knows we have loved
so much for so long. Or maybe my long love letter to him in Sunday's
paper, or my resolve to keep tossing and organizing. Perhaps it was the
travel or the writing or Annabelle or walking or a delicious dinner
last night for the first time without him at the Foreign Cinema. Who
knows? One year. We did it. Gratitude. Onward.

Monday, June 24, 2019

and the response?

Many, many wonderful emails and texts yesterday. Also a couple of phone
calls, but as I told the Blogmaid, I was having Bubble Wrap Day and kept
quiet and pensive and grateful all day. It was NOT a bad day and my friend
Marsha wrote that my piece in the Chronicle wasn't really an obituary, it was
a love letter. True, that. Again, thank you to everyone ~ onward. I am fine.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

one long year

Or one short year? In any event, there is an In Memoriam for Husbando
in today's Chronicle. I feel like I have been writing it in my head for a
year. Thank you to everyone who has helped me so much with big and
small stuff over these mostly difficult months. As far as the piece in the
SF Chronicle, specific thanks to Dutchhill Anna who was my writing
partner while I worked on this, and to the Blogmaid who edited, added and
encouraged me to write from my heart. Cathartic? Yes indeed.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

OK, I will...

Dancing Jen has never let me down with a book suggestion, so I just
downloaded this into my LindaKindle4. Ask Again, Yes by Mary
Beth Keane is the story of two neighboring families and so far
I like it a lot. As per usual.

Friday, June 21, 2019

a weighty issue

small part of the collection at the Art Institute

my vast collection 

The Chicago Art Institute has an entire room devoted to paper weights and
I get lost in there because they break the exhibit down by styles and the
novice (me) is always surprised to learn how many different versions
and categories there are. I tend to like pretty glass and the paper weight
is just very cool and feels so solid when held. Picture a large mahogany
desk with one neatly organized stack of papers topped by a beautiful paper
weight. (That would not be my actual desk.)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

ain't it the truth?

This from the South African exhibit in the Chicago Art Institute. We
need to take a quiet moment and appreciate how far women have
come in just a few short decades. Here, there ~ everywhere (almost)
and there is no stopping us now. They try, those smug patriarchs,
but they will be crushed.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

pretty Petaluma

downtown Petaluma

the Petaluma River

Yesterday, after Rita's funeral at St. Dominic's, Marsha and I went to meet
Patrice and sit in the shade for coffee in downtown Petaluma. It's been
years since I had been up here and it is now a vibrant city with lots of
little stores and restaurants. Then we drove around to see the lovely old
Victorian homes and some shabby chic shacks too. Delightful.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

back to Chicago

This impressive outdoor sculpture was right across the street from my
Best Western on South Michigan Blvd. ~ Grant's Park. A Polish woman
artist's memory of her childhood and all the soldiers. Robin Williams was
instrumental in funding the permanent home for this glorious art.

Monday, June 17, 2019

make mine Mahler

MTT conducts Mahler's 9th Symphony in D Major 

Not really. I don't know enough about classical music, nor do I have ;"the
ear", but Mahler's 9th is one of MTT's (Michael Tilson Thomas) signature
pieces and I do love to watch him conduct. Neti and I attended yesterday
and it was lovely to watch the two harps, one triangle, chimes, and many
more instruments including four bassoons. I love that word.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

photo found

2015 ~ Rita (front ,left) and friends

classy Rita table

Thanks to the Great Plotnik for the group photo from 2015. Rita is
in the left, in blue. Three in this group (Rita, Frank and Bill) are
no longer with us. I am going to accept the little table from Rita
which is far superior to the ones I have here from Big Lot's. And
a nice salute to her excellent taste.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

remembering Rita

I can't seem to find a photo of her on this computer, but we have been
friends forever. The last five or so years have been difficult for Rita and I
would visit her with groceries from time to time. Not often enough. Her
sister called yesterday to tell me the bad news and to help her locate names,
phone numbers and all that death business. Rita was a regular at Thanksgiving
and birthday celebrations for a long time and here is a beautiful paragraph
from the email of the Blogmaid last night. (Frank, Bill and Rita now MIA.)
These beautiful words make me feel a lot better with our mutual colorful memories.

I keep thinking about your dinner parties, with your table set so 
lovingly the day before, leaf added and name cards in place, and 
then the sparkle of conversation and glasses and laughing (and 
some minimal fussing by the hosts) on the actual night of. Now 
just barely over a year, two beloved guests and our most wonderful 
host are gone, and I know this is especially hard on our most 
wonderful hostess. I’m so sorry.

Friday, June 14, 2019

the amazing Jennie

We met in the gift shop at the Legion of Honor ~ our dear Jennie who
turned 96 yesterday. No, her life is not exactly easy now, but she has so
much spirit and she still lives alone in the little SF apartment that she loves.
An inspiration. So last night her niece and nephew invited me to her
birthday dinner at Orexi in West Portal. This is a very Greek restaurant
for a very Greek family and we had a fine time and delicious food too.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Annabelle and Karl

I took this at 6am when the catloaf found a sliver of sunshine this morning.
Karl the Fog has returned and the blessed cool-down is complete and
we slept gratefully last night. People who live in SF do not have AC.
Yesterday the Great Plotniks came over to help me with basic house
repair like changing light bulbs and attacking an insect on the back deck.
I am learning to ask for help and they are so wonderful and willing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

tartine time

Marsha and Larisa

Three old friends cleaned our plates

Bill's fave restaurant was a hit with we three women last night.  Marsha
picked me up and we went to visit Larisa at the tile store where she works.
Then a delicious and fun dinner at Tartine Manufactory where we found
easy parking due to you-know-who. A lovely time indeed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

home to heat and beauty

It's unusually hot, like in the 90's. And, alas, some fires already. I missed
my home and cat and friends, but it was a delightful week away. The
Warriors won in an intense game last night, but I still had time to appreciate
the sunset over SF and my Annabelle girl is fine and sweetly affectionate.
Purr x two.

Monday, June 10, 2019

heading home day

grandson Sam and his son Anderson

this early morning in Nancy's quiet living room

We all gathered yesterday at Nancy and Scott's to say our goodbyes, see
you next times and then I will leave this afternoon. Nancy and I walked
and gossiped later in the day and we ate wedding left overs of which
there are more than too many. I guess it is hot in SF (imagine) and I will
arrive late this afternoon to open doors and cuddle a certain cat. Then
laundry and re-connecting with my world tomorrow. Ready.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

a joyful celebration

grand daughter Lauren, the beautiful bride

Ernie walked up the aisle too

Lovely ceremony (and short)

After dinner music and dancing

I go home tomorrow!

Saturday, June 08, 2019

the family gathers

backyard tent

family (a small part)

It should be nice weather for Lauren and Pete's wedding this afternoon in
Nancy and Scott's backyard. We had a pre-party last night at a pizza joint
and it was fun and noisy and of course I left early to watch the Warriors
lose. So fun to see everyone after all my solo days in Chicago (which I
loved, of course.)

Thursday, June 06, 2019

son of a whore

my view, second row balcony

an early dinner outside

I finally saw and loved Hamilton yesterday! I had been listening to the music
(provided by the Blogmaid) at home before I left so I knew a lot of the
words and I recommend doing that before you see this magnificent musical.
Yes, it's playing in SF, but somehow this was better, more special, closer
to NYC maybe? Great seat, full house, totally wonderful. Then an early
dinner outside in Millennium Park and some more walking and thinking.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

bus, boat, feet

the Obama's Chicago home

Chicago skyline

on the river cruise

old building, new balconies

I had a great day yesterday and learned so much. I took notes and will do some
research as Chicago is growing by leaps and bounds. Lots and lots of new
business and they keep up with housing development too, so it doesn't become
like SF. On the other hand, it is crammed with people and cars. The bus tour
was terrific and the river cruise was amazing. Any new development here has to
adapt to the River Walk way of life so there are lots of restaurants and bars
with sparkly lights, reminding me a bit of the River Walk in San Antonio.

Since I'm reading Michelle Obama's book I loved seeing the University of
Chicago where she worked. My favorite new term from yesterday is, "the
balconization of Chicago" ~ note bottom photo. They convert old lofts for
apartments and condos and hang wrought iron balconies. So clever.

Now I need to get dressed, have some breakfast and head to Hamilton.
I'm tired but proud of myself for doing all of this as a newly single person.
Yes, I miss him.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

walking on day #1

As luck would have it, I'm right across the street from Grant's Park and
the Art Institute and Millennium Park, too. My tour meeting place today
is a few blocks away as is the theater for Hamilton which I will see on
Wednesday. And I've found my Peet's and life is good. It's pretty great
when everything works out so smoothly. It is supposed to be warmer
today, we will see...