Posts Tagged ‘Blue Christmas’

Honky Tonk Heart Break

November 25, 2017

I have nothing to complain about.

Especially when I listen to the music from this Spotify playlist.

Honky tonk heart-break is a for real thing.

Bottom of the whiskey bottle, bottom of the bear glass, the lonesome sound of the woman you love walking out the door.

Yeouch.

I mean.

What do I have to complain about?

My massage was kind of weak.

Oh.

It wasn’t bad, but I was surprised, in fact, at one point I thought to myself, deep tissue, my ass, this isn’t deep tissue at all.

It was pleasant, I suppose, but not what I was hoping for.

In fact, the spa really wasn’t as posh as I thought it would be.

It was still nice, I’m not bitching, but I was a bit surprised, it was smaller, and the back patio was covered with leaves and the reclining chairs didn’t have cushions.

So much for sitting outside on a lounge and getting some sun.

The fireplace wasn’t on either.

That bummed me out.

It, was, however, when I left, I thought that was funny.

The massage was nice though, and the sauna was good and it was nice to drive my car to a new spot in town and to find parking that wasn’t a meter in the area was pretty sweet.

I also made a little pilgrimage to Nest and got a sweet little Christmas ornament.

Last year I actually was pining pretty bad for Christmas.

I think it was mostly the fact that I was so fucking lonely last year, since I was under quarantine with the lice, I let myself get a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.

I saw social media post of people who have already got up their tree and I was like, whoa!

I’m not feeling it quite like that this year.

Although, granted I am very much looking forward to getting a Christmas tree.

It’s an expensive bit of self-care.

I get a live tree and they’re expensive, but the smell, oof, so good.

I just love having that smell and the magic of Christmas lights and the sweetness of having presents wrapped under the tree.

So, yeah, it was fun to get an ornament today on Fillmore Street.

And I thought about doing a little Black Friday shopping, but once I got back to my car, I would have to move it and re-park it and it just didn’t seem worthwhile.

I hit the road Jack instead.

I did actually, inadvertently do a little shopping anyhow.

I swung into Laurel Village on my way home to deposit a check into my bank and there was an Ace Hardware store there that I got a bunch of little things there.

A replacement light bulb for my salt lamp my friend gave me for Christmas last year.

A set of blue Christmas tree lights, I have some from last year, but I think I needed to replace a strand.

I always do blue lights, I like to have an Elvis Blue Christmas theme for the tree.

I got a pack of printer paper, I got a pack of papers I need to write-up before the semester wraps up.

I also got a phone charger for my car!

That was cool and I got a car mount kit so that I can mount my phone to the dashboard.

Quite happy with that as well.

And can I just say, Bluetooth is revolutionary.

So nice to have my Spotify go straight to my radio.

So nice to have phone calls I can answer via touching a little button on my steering wheel.

Amazing.

My mom was my first call I took in the car.

Heh.

Also, lovely, really, to have navigation, I love plugging in the address and having the directions told to me.

Remember maps?

I fucking do.

Fuckers.

I had a stash of them and somehow never quite used them all that well.

I mean.

I made it across country driving my little two door Honda Accord, but really I am still amazed I made it.

All the places I used to have to look up in an Atlas, remember having the AAA Atlas in your car?

Maps for every state.

I think that’s what I used to drive cross-country.

Now all I have to do is type in the address on my phone and my car literally syncs up with my phone and the directions come out of the speakers.

It’s fucking magic.

I know.

Maybe it’s not magic for you, you’re used to this, but remember, I haven’t owned a car in fifteen years.

It’s really nice.

I have to say, I really like it.

I’m so grateful to have gotten it.

I am so grateful for all the help I got getting it, meant the world, it really did.

There is such a comfort in driving.

It feels right.

It’s really interesting.

It feels right to be in a car.

I must be an American.

And one from the Midwest for sure.

It was out of the question for me to not have a car when I was in Wisconsin.

It wasn’t for over a decade here.

Plenty of transit options, shit, more so now then when I moved here if you count Lyft and Uber and Get Around and car share services and what all.

But.

Really.

Having my own car is something special.

It feels really natural.

I am almost surprised by how natural it feels.

And occasionally, I will admit, a tiny bit smug that it’s a stick shift.

Not sure if smug is quite the right word.

Perhaps.

Self-satisfied.

There is something about being able to drive a stick shift that seems really cool and a bit anachronistic and well, just a tiny bit out of the ordinary.

All things I rather like about myself.

The manual feels right and of course, that makes sense to me since all I owned previously were manuals.

It’s rather like coming home.

And being surprised that it’s been patiently waiting for me all along.

It’s not honky-tonk at all.

Nope.

Not one bit.

But I can play honky-tonk in my car if I want to.

Ha.

Advertisements

Bunny Slippers

December 24, 2016

And the Glee Christmas album.

Fuck you.

I had a hard day.

Shit.

I had a hard week, but today really took the cake so to speak, even though I told myself to not go into it having any expectations I still didn’t expect it to go the way it did.

Oh well.

It’s done.

Christmas by myself this year.

Sadness in my heart.

And.

Yes.

Thanks Santa.

A cold.

I have it off and on all week, I’ll have moments of being completely fine, then like last night, I woke myself up coughing.

Happy holidays!

And here’s some rain too.

Yay!

Fuck.

It’s actually kind of funny now that I’ve made it out the other side.

I’m home.

My Christmas tree is lit.

The house is clean.

I have my bunny slippers on and my feet are finally warming up, it rained on me on the way to work, despite the weather report showing no rain, it rained, and wet feet at work.

Yuck.

And work.

Well.

It was hard.

Hard to say goodbye.

Hard to believe it’s done.

And my time was wonky.

The mom and I had some miscommunication about my hours and I had down in my calendar totally different hours than the ones she was expecting me to work.

I mean totally off.

Even though I double checked all week-long, I guess I missed the memo and yup, my last day of work I was a half hour late.

Mortifying.

The only time I have ever been late.

My last fucking day.

And.

Instead of getting off at 1 p.m. when I thought I’d be getting off, she had me down until 3:30p.m.

There were groceries getting delivered and soup to be made.

Ugh.

I was aghast.

I mean.

I didn’t have plans per se, I was going to book myself a massage, but the place I was planning on going was closed, then I thought maybe I’ll girl treat myself and go to The Balm store on Valencia and buy some eye shadow and get a manicure.

Nope.

Instead I was making broccoli soup and roasted cauliflower.

It was not how I thought my last day would be.

The boys spent most of the day with the mom and I spent most of the day cooking and cleaning.

It was really hard guys.

I mean really awful hard.

We never had a moment alone.

I wasn’t able to take them out to the park or to the cafe or anything.

Thank God I had a lot of solo time with them earlier this week.

In retrospect, maybe it was for the best, as I burst into tears a few lines ago, I might have done that all over them.

“Carmen I hate you!” Sound of slamming door. “It’s your last day,” little sob of sadness, as the youngest did the first big cry of the day.

“Carmen, I love you, I didn’t mean that at all, I love you, cuddle me,” he demanded and crawled into my arms.

That was about the amount of cuddles that I got.

It was, like I said, an odd day.

I stood in the kitchen standing up in a corner, hiding, and crying over a pot of broccoli soup while the neighbors dropped in and the family opened Christmas presents.

The boys colored.

I cooked.

The boys did quiet time.

I cleaned.

I was sad, I am sad, but I also know how much the boys love me.

The little guy was nonplussed when I left at 3:30 p.m. today, the boys had a classmate whose parents were throwing a birthday party at the Roxie Theater and the movie was Star Wars.

The boys were dressed up.

The oldest had saved up all his allowance and had gotten a flight suit like the one Luke wore piloting his ship and he looked so handsome, it about broke my heart.

The little one was dressed up as a Storm trooper, raspy talking voice box mechanism and all.

“Tell Carmen goodbye,” his father prompted him, “she’s leaving, this is her last day.”

“She’ll visit,” he said, glibly, playing with his helmet.

“I will visit, I promise,” I kissed his forehead, “I love you, bunny, have fun at the party.”

The mom couldn’t say good-bye to me, she apologized and excused herself with tears in her eyes, “I understand,” I said as she walked back to the office, “I might be a little teary in here.  Thank you for everything, so much, thank you.”

I got my jacket on, grabbed my purse, I’d turned in my keys already, put my nanny clogs in my scooter basket liner, pulled on my scooter jacket and walked to the door.

“Let me give you a hug!” The dad jumped up, and then ugh, I did tear up, I wasn’t expecting that.

“Thank you for the last few years, you’ve been amazing, whoa, you’re like in armor!” He said and patted my jacket.

“Yup, safety first,” I smiled.

Then I looked at the older boy, he’d paused in the costuming and looked at me.

“You’re going to visit, right?” His eyes great big brown eyes saucer plates of sadness.

Ah, fuck, cue some more waterworks, I swear I am going to get through this blog, I am.

“Of course I’m going to visit, I promised you.” I looked at him, his eyes full of tears and my eyes too, he was too far away for me to hug and maybe that was alright, it has to be, it’s what happened, “I love you, I will always be in your life, I promise.”

I blew him a kiss and walked out the door.

I made it three doors down then crumpled up and cried for a minute.

Then I got on my scooter and went to the post office.

Santa had tried to get the post office to deliver me a package yesterday, as I don’t have a chimney for him to descend, but the postal person failed to get it through the gate.

So off to the post office.

Nine people in line and two grumpy, tired, over worked workers.

“What do you mean it’s too late to get it there overnight?” A woman screamed at one of them.

High, holy, hell, this package better be fucking worth the ninth circle of hell I just descended into.

Then I realized.

I’m done.

There’s no job to go to, no plane to catch, since I cancelled my travel plans, all I had to do was stand grateful in line that I had already sent my packages and cards and that I was a lucky girl to be getting packages.

Lucky indeed.

Turns out Santa sent me some end of the season persimmons.

THANK YOU SANTA!

So nice.

Christmas persimmons.

See nothing’s wrong.

In fact, I should wrap this up, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is playing, my bunny slippers are warming my feet, and the tears are drying on my face.

Happy Holidays.

I hope where ever you are you know how loved you are.

Seriously.

You.

Are.

So.

Loved.

Feeling Back To Normal

November 28, 2016

Even if my Internet is slow and wonky.

I’m feeling much better.

Today may be my first official “normal” day since the whole “she’s got lice” fabulousness went down.

So relieved to be back into my own regular schedule and getting out and about in the world.

Even if all the out and about was scootering from one hard ware store to the next.

I went to six, SIX, different hard ware stores trying to get the blue ceramic Christmas tree lights I wanted.

No one had them.

Sad face.

Cole Fox Hardware in Cole Valley.

Nope.

Ace Hardware in the Outer Sunset on Noriega.

Nope.

Ace Hardware in the Castro.

Nope.

The hard ware store on Haight, which I forget what the name is.

The hard ware store in the Inner Sunset on Irving.

Nope.

And more nope.

I even went to Sloat Garden Center.

Nada.

I know, it’s a garden center, but I thought, well, they sell Christmas trees, maybe they’ll sell Christmas lights too.

The one place I for sure thought I would be able to get them, Ace Hardware in the Castro, were out, and the check out person was sad too, “shoot! Those were the ones I was going to get too.”

Ah well.

Next year.

I did find some blue LED lights that will work, they’re going to have to, as they’re currently on the tree.

Yes.

I got my tree.

I just figured what with the lonely Thanksgiving I deserved some cheer.

I even did a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

A little thing for my mom.

A little something for my friend in Wisconsin.

And my sister’s Christmas present.

I do like getting Christmas presents, cheers me right the fuck up.

I like wrapping presents and sending cards.

I’m a bit old-fashioned.

The running around to find the lights led me to the other shopping and I was grateful for that.

I stocked up on some lip balm that I can only seem to find at one or two places and never quite seem to be in the right neighborhood to procure it.

Today being in Cole Valley I popped over to the Upper Haight, ostensibly to check the hardware store on Haight, but being in the hood, I dropped into Loved to Death and picked up my current favorite lip balm.

My favorite they don’t make any more.

I still so wish they did.

But.

The one that I get is pretty dreamy and delicious—from Tokyo Milk.

I got one pot of Salted Carmel, one of Cherry Bourbon, and one Dark Cocoa.

Oh my, so very good.

Yes.

I taste good when you kiss me.

Heh.

Not that there’s any kissing on the menu, I’ve been so isolated these past few days I haven’t had a chance to get out there, plus, well, it’s not really sexy to go on a date and like possibly have lice.

I mean.

I needed to make sure I was not lousing up any one’s day.

Pun intended.

If you know what I mean.

Anyway.

So I got those and I picked up a couple of lovely little things for my mom and sister and best girlfriend in Wisconsin when I was in Cole Valley, at Pharmica.

Lovely little store I used to go into all the time when I worked in Cole Valley.

OH!

Shoot.

I know where I should have gone.

Cliff’s Variety on 18th and Castro.

They would have had them.

Oh well.

Like I said, next year.

I did rather enjoy zooming around the city on my scooter though, ha, add another hardwared store to the list,  I also checked the hardware store on Divisadero and Fell, I really was all over the place, looking for the magical, mystical, fairy blue lights.

I did finally cave and I bought some regular LED blue lights, unfortunately they are a bit brighter than the other two strings of little blue Christmas lights I have, they are a tiny bit overwhelming.

Ah, nothing’s ever perfect.

It’s good enough though.

It really is.

And my tree is lovely.

It has a nice shape and isn’t too tall or too big for my little studio space, but it is bigger than the one I had last year, which was a gift from the man I was hanging out with at the time.

Irony?

He never saw the tree in my house.

That whole month we were pretty estranged, even with the plans to go to Paris.

I was emptying out my Facebook messages yesterday and discovered a cache of messages between the two of us.

Fuck.

That needs to get deleted.

Don’t read them.

Don’t read.

Don’t.

I , um, I started to read a few, then noticed something.

He had finally taken down the photograph I took of him on Christmas Day in front of the Temple Metro station stop in Paris that he was using for his profile picture.

So.

Yes.

Ugh.

I trolled his Facebook page for a moment.

Then.

I went back and deleted every message.

And I did not read them all, no, just the first couple, it was enough and I didn’t need to be feeling anguished, but what I did find, which was good and soft and tender and a tiny bit vulnerable, was that I hoped only for the best for him, that I wished him love and joy and that I was ok.

The reality is I learned a lot from the relationship, even if it some of that learning was painful, I grew like gangbusters.

Pain.

Great fertilizer for spiritual growth.

I mean, like Miracle Gro on steroids.

So.

Happy to be taking care of myself and be out in the world and though it didn’t go how I had hoped, when does it ever? I did have a good day, I got to a yoga class, met with a lady and did the deal, and I got my Christmas tree.

That’s a damn fine Sunday.

I’ll take it.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

 

Almost Clear

November 27, 2016

Not 100%.

But.

95%.

I’ll take it.

It was a big relief.

Although I still feel a little stigmatized and a little off, the last three days of being pretty isolated, being alone on Thanksgiving, it rather got to me a bit more than I think I was even letting myself know.

I had a few crying moments.

Not huge.

Just a softening sorrow that streaked my cheeks and left me feeling a little bereft, a bit alone, a little lost and at wits ends with what to do with myself.

So.

I did more homework.

And more laundry.

The good news that Hair Fairies gave me today is that I can cease and desist with the constant washing of the laundry.

I mean.

I like a nice warm set of clean sheets, and I probably change mine out pretty consistently once a week.

Not once a day.

Shit.

Tuesday I changed them twice.

I did one last big load of laundry when I got back from the treatment and washed it all out again.

They still found lice though.

Not like what they found on Tuesday.

I’m not sure I even wrote down the number from Tuesday, I was so grossed out.

The four people working on my hair, the two plus hours of fine tooth combing, the having to make phone calls and tell anyone who had been close to me, oh hey, um, guess what?

I have lice.

Yuck.

It was bad though.

120 + eggs.

There were more, they just stopped counting at 120, which qualifies as a severe case.

Great.

Plus.

36 live lice.

And they stopped counting the live ones at that point as well.

Shiver.

SHAVING IT ALL OFF!

Was my first thought.

And my second, third, fourth, and fifth.

Hell.

Every fucking time I had a tiny itch I was paranoid.

The woman doing my hair today put me at ease around that though, “your scalp will still itch for a few days, you have micro abrasions and scabs.”

Oh god.

Gross.

But.

At least it wasn’t because I was in severe infestation.

Severe.

How lovely.

Yick.

Anyway.

Today they found 2 baby lice and one egg.

The babies, thank fucking God, were too young to have started laying eggs.

The treatment today was about an hour and half.

And I was upped from 70% clear to 95/98% clear.

But.

Of course.

Not 100% since they found the two babies and the egg.

Fuckers.

That being said, I still got the full on treatment and if it could get rid of over 120 nits and 36 bugs, I was feeling pretty competent that what was done this morning would take care of the two babies and one egg.

Get off my head.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

I have one more appointment.

Sigh.

I will be going back to Hair Fairies at 11 a.m. on Friday.

And pray to God that’s the last time I ever need to go there again.

I’ve had more than an ample experience dealing with this, I can mark it off the check list of life experiences I don’t wish to have again.

Boyfriend decides to spend Christmas day with his ex-wife?

Check.

Boyfriend breaks up with me morning of my ten-year anniversary party.

Check.

Former best friend sells me bunk knock off Vietnam Vespa.

Check.

Which I injure myself on and have to have a month off from work while not on disability.

Check and check.

Lice.

Check.

And.

Check fucking mate.

I’d like some fun now that I’m in the “clear.”

Tomorrow I decided to go to yoga in the morning, signed up before I started my blog, then a couple of ladies will be coming over to my super clean and louse free abode to do some reading and doing of the deal.

And after that.

I am going to go out and get myself a Christmas tree.

I am getting it earlier than I have in the past, but I need a pick me up.

It was a sad lonely holiday.

And though I made fucking really good use of it, I mean, the reading I got done!  It was still super isolating and I missed being around people.

So.

I am going to hop on my scooter after I have lunch and go to an Ace Hardware store in the Castro and buy some ceramic blue old-fashioned Christmas tree light bulbs.

I may swing through Cole Valley first and see if they have them at Cole Hardware, they might and that would save me having to go all the way to the Castro, plus I like Cole Hardware, they’re local and like patronizing them.

The hardware store in the Inner Sunset had the big bulbs, but no in blue, multi-colored, which I considered, but I prefer the blue.

I also picked up two more ornaments for myself while I was in the Fillmore neighborhood.

Which can be a challenging place to shop, very high-end and a bit expensive.

I felt a little out of my league.

But.

I did find a very sweet painted glass toad stool with glitter on it at Nest.

And.

The most beautiful glass hand blown glass swan at Mudpie, a very high end upscale children’s store.

Expensive.

But.

Oh.

So, so pretty.

And though my five-day weekend did not turn out at all, AT ALL, like I had planned, holy moly, God laughs when I make plans, it wasn’t all bad.

I had some long, genuine, sweet phone conversations.

I took a nice long walk on the beach.

I cleaned my house.

I did laundry, a lot of laundry, ahem.

My house smells hella good.

I did so much reading for school.

So much.

I feel really good about that and I started to get some ideas for how to approach my last big Psychopathology paper.

I took a nap.

I mean.

That’s something.

It wasn’t all bad.

It was lonely.

True.

But I was never alone.

I always was taken care of and though there were moments of sadness and tears, I wasn’t drowning in them.

Ok.

Ok.

I did a little bit, I was pretty fucking upset Wednesday morning, but hey, I got through it and didn’t do anything stupid.

Like.

Cut off all my hair.

Or drink.

Or use.

Or start smoking cigarettes again.

Or eat a bunch of sugar.

Nope.

I bought myself sunflowers to remind me to look at the bright side of things.

And I roasted a chicken.

Self-care for the win.

And.

Frankly.

The holidays can only get better from here.

I mean.

Really.

It’s time for fun.

Bring it the fuck on.

Seriously.

 

Chili In A Pot

November 26, 2016

Naps on the bed.

You read that right.

This lady took a nap today.

Once a year sort of thing.

I cuddled under my grandmother’s afghan and said, screw reading any more for school, I need to rest my eyes.

It was divine.

Delicious.

Sublime.

I had chili simmering on the stove.

I really like cooking and it’s nice to have a little something simmering all day long and tis the season for the comforting smells and snuggling in blankets.

Oh.

And in case you’re wondering.

The day AFTER Thanksgiving is the best time in the entire year to go shopping at SafeWay.

My God.

It was a ghost town.

I wasn’t planning on doing any shopping today except for groceries and it was a very pleasant surprise to have nary a soul in the store with me, to get in line, to not wait, to get out the door fast and efficient.

Lovely.

I also went to yoga today and that class was small too.

It kicked my ass though, which I think may have accounted for the needing to rest and have a nap this afternoon.

Aside from that I didn’t do a whole lot.

I made some phone calls.

I did my morning writing.

The aforementioned yoga.

Groceries.

Cooking.

And.

Yes.

Lots of reading for school.

I started in on my Psychopathology class and that might have been what put me to sleep.

Heh.

It’s dense material.

Really dense.

And I’m pretty damn grateful that I have had so much time to do the reading, it will facilitate me being ready to write my final papers and concentrate on my last projects for school semester.

It has been a gift.

That and to continue to address the laundry that I need to stay on top of.

I have my second treatment at Hair Fairies tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

I’m ready for this.

I want to take care of it and move the fuck on.

It’s supposed to rain, which precludes me taking my scooter, but I’ll hop in a car and get over there first thing in the morning and get it dealt with and out of the way.

I may do a little wander around the Fillmore area and window shop, it’s a fun neighborhood to do that.

I’ll bring my umbrella and go for a nice long saunter in the rain.

Maybe buy some Christmas lights and a tree ornament or two.

I actually got one tonight when I went up to the Inner Sunset to do the deal this evening.

Wishbone was still open and also pretty desolate.

You got to love San Francisco during the holidays, the city just empties out.

I got the cutest little glass fox in frosted blue with glitter and a little furry tail

Adorable.

I’m thinking about getting my tree on Sunday.

Which may be the earliest I have ever gotten a tree.

I may hold off until next weekend, when it’s officially December, but the temptation is strong.

There is a tree lot two blocks away!

They were unfurling the trees today.

I was happy to see a number of them that will fit well into my little studio.

I will be continuing my Elvis themed “Blue Christmas” with my blue lights for the tree.

In fact.

I am going to re-invest in the large blue ceramic glass bulbs that I had two Christmas’s ago.

They broke when I was monkeying around trying to add some mood lighting to my house after Christmas had passed.

I want to get them again.

I really like the old fashioned bulb shape.

They make me happy.

Christmas is a happy time for me.

Busy as fuck.

Yes.

But happy as well.

Joyful.

I love sending out Christmas cards.

I have my boxed sets, one from my co-op, one from Rainbow Co-op, the collection I got from the Tuileries last Christmas; I have my holiday stamps.

I send out at least 15 cards every year, usually more, last year I think I sent out 20 or 25.

Lost count.

I usually do.

There is just something special about taking the time to sit down and address them and think about the person I am writing to and let them know that they are in my heart, it’s a wonderful feeling.

Plus.

I love getting cards in the mail.

I can’t expect to get any if I don’t send any out.

It’s the one tradition, and the tree, that I keep up with since I don’t bake Christmas cookies anymore or make Christmas candy.

I flirt with the idea every season, but I really don’t want to have it in my house.

The best scenario would be to make everything at someone else’s house.

I don’t foresee that happening.

However, I do generally get a least one afternoon of cookie baking with the family I work for.

I am pretty sure the mom will want me to help with the Christmas cookies again this year.

Today is the official beginning of the count down.

Four weeks from today will be my last day with the family.

I’ll catch a red eye that night to Wisconsin, spend a few days in the snow at Christmas and be with my best friend in Wisconsin and her family, so happy I get to have their company.

Four weeks and I’m done.

It’s been a trip.

I’m ready for a new adventure.

There will be lots of them soon.

I still need to get my practicum stuff prepared and write a resume and put together letters of reference and apply to the 6-8 sites the school recommends.

There are more than 6-8 sites, that’s just the number they recommend one apply to, cover all the bases.  I hear it’s pretty typical to not get into your first pick.

I’m ok with the work, I know it has to be done and despite the napping today, I did do a lot of work that is going to facilitate me moving forward and having my assignments done before I got to Wisconsin.

In fact.

I’ll be done by the weekend of my birthday.

That’s the plan anyway.

If not sooner.

Sooner I’m actually hoping.

But I get a head of myself.

The next thing is to deal with my head.

Literally.

So excuse me, I have another load of laundry to wash and some chili to put up for the week.

Fingers crossed tomorrow I’ll be cleared.

Super ready for that.

Seriously.

Brown Paper Packages

December 22, 2014

Tied up with string.

These are a few of my favorite things.

“Upcycled” is how I like to think about it when I wrap my Christmas packages in brown paper deconstructed from SafeWay grocery bags and brown paper sacks from CVS Pharmacy.

I cut the bag up, pull the handles off, flip it inside out and wrap whatever present I have at hand that needs a spiffy new look to it.

I put a name tag or holiday tag on the package.

Then the piece de resistance, green jute string.

I also occasionally use fabric and ribbon remnants.

I have a little Christmas box and it was unearthed today.

I got my Christmas tree.

It’s definitely a Charlie Brown type of fella, but he’s got some style and panache and some adorable blue lights adorning him.

Before

Before

After

After

A Few of My Favorite Things

Tied up with String

Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas

And despite the fact that my Christmas tree has blue lights, it’s not a blue holiday for me this year.

I have someone to share it with and that’s first in some years.

I quite enjoyed wrapping up his presents while he lay napping on my bed this afternoon–poor bunny’s been sick.

He did rally like a trooper and helped me go to the Sloat Garden Center and get my tree.

I warned him that I was about to dork out.

I closely inspected all the trees, the pickings were far slimmer than I recalled from last year.  Then I realized that last year I had gotten my Christmas tree far earlier than this year.

That whole weekend trip to Alaska threw my schedule off.

And despite the decorations and the lights and the Christmas carol’s being sung, the stockings all hung by the chimney with care, it hasn’t felt like Christmas until about today.

I feel settled and at ease with what is happening with my father.

I got through my birthday, which, yes, though a day of celebration was such a surreal experience as it was the day I got the news about my father, plus it’s just a loaded day.

“Don’t have any expectations about anything,” I told myself.

Which is the best suggestion I can give myself at any time.

Expectations lead to resentments for me and the last thing I need on top of my already merry-go-round mind is some resentments about the expectations I have around the holidays.

And with a few years of having done this deal and been an orphan as such, although not really an orphan, I have done a few things for myself that speaks to good self-care and holiday joviality.

Last year I worked at half day on Christmas eve, then I rode the F-Market train down from the heart of the Castro to the Embarcadero and caught the last ferry from the terminal to Sausalito and then hopped off, walked a few yards, snapped some photographs, and hopped back on the ferry to San Francisco.

The year before I was in Paris and that was both monumentally mundane, as I helped a visiting friend locate a store open in Paris on Christmas Eve that could fax some paper work to her job, and unbearably magical–walking into Sacre Couer for midnight mass and the entire church is signing the first Noel in Latin.

Yeah, that’s not really a bad way to spend Christmas Eve.

The year prior I took myself out to the San Francisco Ballet and saw the Nutcracker for the first time.

I got all dressed up and took a cab.

I was unbearably homeless and lonely.

I was house sitting for a friend.

One of the sweetest gifts I got that year was a tiny black framed print in aquamarine that says: “Happy is a home that shelters a friend.”

I was pretty much a wreck that year, but tried to muster through it.

Of course in hindsight I can look back and see that I was being stripped down of all the things that I needed to let go of so that when the opportunity arose to go to Paris I was pretty much able to up and go.

The year prior to that I was living in Nob Hill.

And that was the first year that I allowed myself a Christmas tree.

I had a small studio and it overlooked the cable car line on Washington Street at Taylor.

The cable car guys would rumble by and certain operators would wave or flirt, or ask me what I was eating, my window really was just at eye level with the cable cars.

That year I was struck dumb with love and light and joy when I turned off the lights in my little studio and the Christmas lights on my tree twinkled and winked at me and the bulbs lit up the ornaments which cast Christmas colored shadows on the walls and ceilings.

Then.

Oh then.

A full cable car rattled by and all the passengers on the car were signing Christmas carols.

I felt my heart swell and the magic of Christmas kissed my forehead as I settled down for a long winter’s nap.

I can and do get a tiny bit sentimental and I think that’s ok.

There’s love and joy all year round in my life, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to celebrate and decorate and do up my own tiny little scene.

I have some Christmas goodies in the fridge to make a Christmas Eve dinner: warm spinach salad with bacon and Roquefort Blue Cheese, cherry tomatoes, and chopped apples; mini-rouladen–thin sliced black forest ham, slathered with a cream cheese and rolled around a dill pickle spear; asparagus with prosciutto, (I am now seeing a proliferation of pork products in my dinner I was not aware of until just now, ha), roasted Japanese sweet potato, and filet with some of that Blue Cheese reduced down and mixed with softened butter and fresh pressed garlic sautéed with baby Portobello mushrooms.

Yeah.

I like to cook.

Then  Christmas night dinner–caesar salad with grilled chicken and bacon, berries–strawberries and blackberries– and mixed cheeses, which I am going to do a little swing through ye olde BiRite tomorrow while on the way to the park with the boys, I’ll probably get my man a small Acme batard or sweet roll, a relish plate with marinated baby artichoke hearts, black olives, cornichons, deviled eggs with organic paprika, and yes, Virginia (ham is not on this menu), a duck.

I have not ever made duck before, but I am going to give it a go.

As I said, I like to cook, if you haven’t noticed from previous blogs and I am quietly thrilled to be able to make a few things for the man.

And have a tree.

And someone to hold my hand and snuggle with while I watch the lights twinkle in the dark.

Happiness.

Happy home for the holidays.

Happy indeed.

It’ll Be A Blue Christmas

December 9, 2013

With our without you.

I put up my tree today!

Rode over to Sloat Garden Center and got a small blue fir and I decided I would go with blue lights, channel me some Elvis.

Blue Hawaii.

Blue Christmas.

Beach holiday.

Despite it being really quite too cold out there for me to want to go surfing, I am still a beach bum with a beach cottage style Christmas thematic happening.

I remember when a friend said my house looked like it was a store.

I like things, well, just so.

I know this stems from some childhood trauma crap, but you know what?  I’ll fucking take it.  I like my space tidy and pretty and sweet-smelling and if it looks like a store, that’s not a bad thing, it means my little space has some personality.

My tree certainly does.

It makes me stupid happy.

Or so I related to a friend via text earlier.

I had left to run an errand for my housemate whose little girl has been awful sick, and when I got back and opened the door to my studio I just about broke my face grinning.

Just that was worth the fifty bucks I dropped on the evergreen.

I am really glad I got this for myself.

I needed to do so.

I am really glad I am doing a lot of things, these days for myself.

Also on the list of why my day was fabulous, yoga.

That’s right.

I may not have gone surfing today, I will, don’t you worry, but I did get up early and go to yoga.

I had a lovely invitation to go ecstatic dancing in Berkeley with two of my favorite ladies, but when I was invited to go to the yoga studio that is two blocks away from my house, I did.

Rather than get on my bike and ride 40 minutes to a BART station to hop a train over to Berkeley.

I am sure that I would love to do some dancing, I really would, but the cold, versus the convenience of being right by the studio, well, I got my ass up and went when I got the text to get a move on from my housemate, who was and has been advocating that I get my butt to yoga since I moved in.

It was a challenging class.

I don’t know all the poses, that’s for sure, but I was honest about it being basically my first time.  I did mention that about six years ago I did a week of Bikram, but that’s it.

It was not a beginners class, but I stayed in the mix and I was so grateful to be moving and stretching, the studio got bright morning sunlight and I warmed up quick, breaking into an easy sweat, but not hot, just pleasantly toasty, about twenty minutes in.

I got some amazing stretching in and I discovered that my hips were extraordinarily tight.  I have always had tight hips, but I had no idea.

“Bike riding, I am actually working on a yoga class specifically for bicyclists,” the yoga instructor told me when we were chatting after class.

She expressed some surprise at my ability in the class, hell, I think I expressed some surprise myself, not that I was on par with any of the other folks in the class, but I got through it without dying and when I could not do a pose, the forearm head stand, not happening at this time (apparently it takes a lot of time to master anyhow, years was what I heard from the instructor), I just dropped into Child’s Pose.

By the end of it when the class was lying on the floor and we were all deep breathing, the sun warming the wood floor, the mat under my body distinct to my touch, so present and in my body, I just opened completely up.

Yup.

Tears.

But good tears.

Cathartic.

Soft, heavy, slow, rolling down my face as I envisioned the gold in the water at my feet, the treasure of the present, the waters still around me, the instructor was talking about how we have so much and we get in our own way and the ripples disturb the view and the clarity of the still water.

When we sit still and let the mind calm and be present in the body, the ripples settle and when we look down we can see the treasure like gold just at our feet.

I could see it.

I could feel it.

I could comprehend how blessed my life is.

I envisioned myself rising out of my body and getting up and giving my housemate a hug and saying thank you for getting me out of bed and into the studio.

I am beyond lucky to have friends that advocate for me.

Here, go surfing with me.

Hey, lady, come to yoga with me.

Yes please.

The classes are small and the studio is petite, but that is perfect for me and as I spoke with the teacher and another instructor after class I see how easily it will be to fall right into a yoga practice.

Heck, it’s just two blocks away.

Even once a week will help, I can see that.

My next class is free on the studio, beginners get a free class after their first, so I will go try another style this week and see what I like and then I will probably buy myself a ten pack and get myself to the studio once a week to start.

Ease into it.

I just looked up from my keyboard and smiled.

My tree is sparkling in the light, the blue bulbs make me grin like an idiot.

I got two colors of blue, tiny bright indigo lights and the bigger ceramic bulbs that look like they are aquamarine.

My tree matches my bedspread matches my kitchen table, matches my plates and bowls and matches the bookcase.

Aquamarine up in here.

It is a Blue Christmas for sure.

However, it is certainly not a sad one.

So full of love today.

For my home, my life, my Christmas.

Happy holidays my friends.

Get out there and spread some cheer.


%d bloggers like this: