Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

In The Quiet

August 13, 2018

In between the sound of the ocean coming through the back door of the studio, the sonorous bellow of the fog horn and the running trains along Judah Street, I fell into the grief.

I knew I would.

I knew it would happen when there was down time, low time, time to allow the feelings to move and pass.

I was reminded tonight, as I sobbed with my head on the table at a cafe in the Castro, that the grief would come and it would go and I was not going to always know what would trigger it to happen.

I mean.

Some of it was obvious, that Stevie Wonder song playing in the grocery store with the refrain, “I love you, I love you, I love you,” crooning out of the speakers.

Great.

Tearing up as I get my bulk oatmeal and brown rice.

The sappy love songs at Firewood Cafe tonight, I don’t even know who they were by, I didn’t recognize the singers, I don’t listen to much contemporary pop music, they were just cheesy love songs, but they left a tender spot on my heart.

Some things were less obvious.

The Mason jars.

They were a surprise.

The grief overwhelmed me when I was putting away dishes from my dish rack this afternoon.

Mason jars.

I don’t have vases, so I use wide mouth Mason jars as vases for flowers.

I threw away the flowers he gave me last week.

He gave me flowers on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

My room was a bower.

They were beautiful.

I thought about pressing some of them, but it felt too sappy and mopey and when they started to wilt I decided it would be better to compost them.

I tossed out one of the bouquets that was fading faster than the other and contemplated letting the other stay in residence in my kitchen for another day.

After all the trash and compost don’t go out until Monday evening, I could keep them around for another day.

But there was something about not wanting to see them wilt further and needing to let them go.

So I threw them out too.

Pretty flowers in the compost bin.

And yes.

I did feel a ping of sadness when I closed the lid to the bin, but it wasn’t so bad and I was happy to keep on with my day.

A day that was a lot of chores and cooking, laundry, and tidying up.

A day with a lot of writing as well.

I wrote a tome this morning.

Then I wrote to him.

I have a journal that I bought and I have been writing him love letters in.

It helps to let him know how I feel even if they are not being read by him.

Writing helps me process.

And it help me find the grief, locate it, and allow a little more out.

So I was completely taken aback when I fell to pieces putting away the Mason jars.

I took the first one and something popped in my chest.

I realized that I was never going to be putting flowers from him in the jar again.

I literally burst into tears and started sobbing.

Retelling the incident to my person is what led me to having my head down on the table at the cafe tonight.

“You don’t know that,” he said to me.

He was right.

I don’t know that.

I hope so much that one day he will give me flowers again.

Then my person made a nod to my wrist.

“Did you give that to yourself, or….”he paused.

I panicked.

“NO, it’s from him, I can’t take it off, I don’t want to take it off, 3/4s of my jewelry is from him,” I said tearing up again and shaking my head.

It’s a beautiful silver infinity bracelet from Tiffany’s that he gave me for graduating with my Master’s Degree.

The infinity symbol was meant for us, that we, our love is infinite and never-ending.

It hadn’t even crossed my mind to not wear it.

I have worn it every day since he gave it to me.

What would it be like to not wear it?

Heartbreaking.

Just stomp on my crushed heart a little more why don’t you?

I love the jewelry he has given me.

He knows my heart well and has given me such precious things.

And yes.

He is the first man to ever give me anything from Tiffany’s.

I have a few blue boxes in my cupboard tucked inside sweet little blue bags, with thick white ribbons wrapping them all up.

I don’t want to think about giving those up or putting away my jewelry.

Not yet.

Maybe not ever.

Just, well, just not tonight.

I was able to let go of some things that don’t need to be in my house though.

Sugar and flour.

I have baked him a birthday cake and I have baked him cookies and made him nice pasta, imported from Italy, and cooked him lovely things.

I love to cook for someone I love.

He was the best person ever to cook for.

Ever.

But I don’t eat pasta and I don’t eat sugar or flour and I don’t foresee baking for a while.

Plus, I reasoned, I’m moving, best to clean out some of the cupboards.

So I put that in the compost too.

Maybe I should compost my heart.

Perhaps some flowers will grow from it.

I will water them with my tears.

Cut them when they bloom.

Put them in a Mason jar.

And.

There I will keep them very well.

 

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What Are You Doing

November 5, 2017

For self-care?

My group supervisor asked me after I checked in around a client that I have to do a lot of outside resourcing for.

I blurted out, “baking!”

And it’s true.

Last night I made cookies for a dearest ones anniversary.

It was the first time that I have made cookies in my little home here by the sea.

You could say this person is extraordinarily important to me.

So.

Important.

And I knew that I wanted to make cookies for them.

Peanut butter chocolate chip.

Oversized.

Soft and warm.

Full of love.

I was fluffing the butter and creaming the sugar and adding all the super extraordinary rich smelling ingredients together in the bowl and reflecting upon how much I love this person.

I was thinking of Isabella Allende’s book “Like Water For Chocolate,” and how the main character cooks her emotions into her meals.

How the other characters in the book respond to the emotions in the book, bursting into flames with love and passion and feeling.

Cooking and baking for me are a kind of meditation and they are soothing and full of self-care.

Granted.

I didn’t eat any of the cookies.

I didn’t taste them.

I don’t eat sugar or flour so to make them was sort of a big deal.

It was the first time I had sugar in my pantry in four years.

I found it was fine.

I wasn’t tempted, I wasn’t at all.

Not even to lick my fingers.

And I sense that was the lynch pin for me, that I didn’t have a motive for the cookies except to show this person how much I love them.

Not.

Ooh.

“I’m being secret and baking cookies in my house and all the goodies are going to get eaten.”

There was purpose there and in the purpose, such pleasure.

In fact.

I forgot how much I enjoy baking.

I have been baking a lot at work too, a pear tart, an apple tart, banana bread, plus I make a ton of food, pastas mainly, for the family that I would never touch.

“You’re the best cooker ever!” And, “these are better than granny’s,” are compliments I have gotten from my charges.

I have to take their word for it.

I almost never taste the food I make for them.

But.

I can smell it and sense what works with what and I think about the woman who owns and runs Tartine Manufacturing and how she is known to make the most extraordinary bread.

And.

Oh, the Universe is sly and funny.

She doesn’t ever eat any of it.

She’s gluten intolerant.

But like, me, I presume, there is a great satisfaction in the baking.

I know I felt super happy baking my cookies last night.

Really good and sweet and loving and I planned it so the cookies would be warm when I handed them over.

I love little details like that.

I like giving.

I am remembering when I used to make sugar cookies at Christmas time and bring them into work.

Or candy.

I made a lot of Christmas candy, back in Wisconsin mainly, after I moved to San Francisco I still did a bit of baking but not the candy making and after a few years, 2009, I stopped baking, when I began to get abstinent around my food.

I occasionally made something for someone.

A pie here or there.

But it’s really been years since I have had all the ingredients in my home to bake.

Heck.

I had to buy a cookie sheet last week.

I didn’t mind though.

I had such a good time doing the baking.

And.

I also did a lot of cooking over the last two days.

I roasted a chicken too, yesterday.

I figured I would be using the oven and if I could get some food prep out-of-the-way it would be super helpful as next weekend I’m in classes and I like to have my meals made up before the weekend of class.

I just grab something out of the freeze and a piece of fruit and I’m set.

And today.

Well.

I was up late last night and decided I was going to let myself just sleep today.

Skip yoga, coddle myself, be sweet to myself and just sleep.

Of course.

I forgot I had set an alarm to go off so that I could go to yoga.

Haha.

Can’t sleep in even if I wanted to.

And it was good, I needed to connect with the outside world right away.

Although, I didn’t get out of bed to do so, just lay in bed talking on the phone for an hour.

Slight aside.

Talking on the phone is magic.

I am happy that I have people in my life that still like to talk.

There was luxuriating in the being in bed and not making myself go to yoga, don’t worry, I’ll be going tomorrow, there’s only so much “laziness” I can condone in myself, and being gentle and soft and slow and letting the morning have its way with me.

And it was extraordinary, I didn’t feel rushed and yet I did get all sorts of things done.

I wrote a lot this morning, always helps.

I got a hold of the dealership where I am interested in getting a car from and started some preliminary work, submitted an application and talked to the manager of the sales department and got some good insight.

I wrote my mom’s birthday card and got that in the post.

And.

I made chicken soup with spicy Andouille sausage.

Yup.

All before I left for my internship.

So when my group supervisor asked what I was doing for self-care, baking popped right out of my mouth and was followed up by, “making soup.”

Comfort.

And.

Love.

The best kind of self-care.

Showing up for myself.

And showing others how much they mean to me.

So much gratitude for my life.

So much love.

So, so, so much.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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.

Hello Friday

May 28, 2016

Hello three day weekend.

Yay.

I earned it.

Even with it being a short week at work, it was crazy.

Cookie monster crazy.

The littlest guy turns four this weekend and I was the cookie making queen.

I made cookies for the birthday part, I’m not sure how many dozens, but it was a lot.

“You have such self-will,” the mom said, in awe as I slid the hot cookies off the spatula onto the lined counters to cool off.

I’m not so sure about that.

I think that’s called self-will run riot.

I have no self-control.

Hence.

Alcoholic.

Hence.

Addict.

Hence just give me fucking more.

More attention, more sex, more money, more attention, wait, I already said that, more please.

Are you thinking about me?

Why aren’t you thinking about me?

I don’t think you’re thinking about me enough.

Bwahahahaha.

Fuck my mother.

My brain is the lotus of the crazy, but fortunately, I know I’m crazy.

“You got to watch for the ones who don’t think they’re insane,” a person once told me.

Yup.

I know I’m crazy.

And I’m completely cool with it.

I’m exactly the person I’m suppose to be and I have a solution for the crazy.

Some folks do different things than I do and that’s cool too, I just do what works for me, eleven and a half years in, it seems to be doing just fine.

I don’t have to be perfect.

Thank fucking God.

And I have no will power, the choice was just taken from me and I’m fine with that too, if I thought I had some control over things I would still be out there trying to figure it out.

Figure it out works for shit.

I can still fall into it.

I fell into a little today.

But.

I called my person and confirmed that we were meeting this weekend, I get to see two of my people this weekend, because this crazy takes a village, and I’m super psyched for that.

I also have a coffee date with a friend of mine from school on Sunday at Trouble.

Because who doesn’t want to get into a little Trouble now and then.

I know I do.

Saturday and Sunday I got plans.

Monday not so much.

One commitment in the evening.

I’m debating a few things.

I may go to the new MOMA.

I have heard such good things about the new space and I have missed not being able to go to it for the last few years that it has been closed for renovation.

I’m also debating getting a membership.

I have had one a number of times.

It’s handy.

Plus.

I can get into the Guggenheim, the LACMA, the New Whitney, the MOCA, and the MOMA in New York with the membership.

Not that I have any more travel plans right now, but who knows what the year will bring.

I mean.

I didn’t make it to the Guggenheim this past trip.

Plus.

With the membership at the MOMA I can get another person in with me free.

The last time I was at the MOMA, I just realized was on my seven year anniversary.

I went and got this little chip with a friend at a spot in the Mission, the she and I went to the MOMA and walked through the exhibits.

That was four years ago.

Crazy so much has happened in that time.

The year or so I worked at the bicycle shop.

The six months I lived in Paris.

The not knowing what I was doing and just continuing to put one foot in front of the other.

The high school twentieth reunion.

The amends to my grandmother, my mother, my father, my sister.

All the traveling.

All the Burning Man.

All the life I have lived.

The uncertainties and the fears and showing up with bravery.

Walking through the fear and discovering yet more untapped sources of courage.

“Men of faith have courage,” it says somewhere, I don’t remember where, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

I have great faith.

I have walked through so much fear.

Graduate school anyone?

New jobs.

Boyfriends.

Ex-boyfriends.

Break ups.

The almost was but never was unrequited romantic love.

“Who’s he,” the oldest boy asked.

“A friend,” I said, slightly wistful, but my, so nice to not have the sadness and the stabbing ache that I used to have when I looked at those photographs of our Paris trip.

Growth.

Change.

Love.

Life.

Friday.

The day of the week where I actually set my alarm a little early to go to yoga in the morning before I meet up with my person at Tart to Tart.

I have my alarm set.

I’ll making the commitment to myself to go to the 9 a.m. class.

Then the doing the deal and maybe hitting up a spot at 7th and Irving.

And then, well the day will be mine.

No plans for tomorrow afternoon either.

“How’s the head,” he asked, after I had calmly rattled off the things happening at work.

I laughed, “oh it’s crazy, but really it just comes down to not getting what I want in the time frame that I want it, that’s all.”

Sex.

Relationships.

Love.

I’d like to wrap that all up in one neat package.

But the fact is, again I come back to it, I don’t need a person to complete me, although a compliment is nice, it’s just that thing I can get focused on when I feel uncomfortable with the idea of having down time.

I can get myself all booked up and busy and make busy and make like I don’t have feelings or a great big bloody heart on my sleeve.

Actually.

It’s not bloody at all.

My heart tattoo has healed up quite nicely.

No.

Today I’m not beating my heart against anything.

My life, perfectly imperfect, my heart beat, a hot flush of rose fire, beats just fine.

There is nothing wrong.

There are no problems.

Only opportunities to learn.

To grow.

To change.

To love a little more.

Because ultimately.

That’s the only thing that I really need more of.

Love.

Love.

Only.

That.

Love.

Soft Surrender

December 16, 2015

A bending.

An acquiescence.

Leaning slow and strong into the reality of my day.

Being flexible.

Stopping.

Pausing.

Soft and gentle and letting go.

“I don’t know, resigned is not the right word,” I told him tonight as he sat in the leather arm chair in the cafe window.

“You’ve surrendered,” he said.

“Yes.”

I have.

I have surrendered and it is a constant source of amazement when I do what happens.

This softening and letting go, the lack of control no longer a threat, but a welcome respite where I lean into the God that holds me and I know I am held and loved, gentle and benign.

Full and held.

It’s a nice feeling.

When I stop struggling and let the reality of my life be exactly how it is.

Where there is nothing wrong and I am absolutely perfect.

Imperfectly perfect.

Because then I can take care of the things that need to be taken care of.

Like cookies.

OH my God.

The cookies.

I baked a lot of cookies today.

There are 60 residences that the family will be delivering cookies to in the neighborhood tomorrow.

Everybody goes, mom, dad, the boys, the dog, and they hand out a little bag of homemade cookies that are made from scratch–the recipe from the mom’s great grandmother, sprinkled with confectioners sugar and non-pareils, hearts and stars and love, lots of little boy love.

“I want all the cookies for dinner,” the three year old pleaded with me.

I mean.

Pleaded.

“Bug, you have to have some of your regular dinner before we can have more cookies,” both the boys had already had some, but I understand how terrifically hard it is to be three and five and not have instant access to the mounds of cookie goodness on the counters.

The house smelled like heaven all day long.

Butter and brown sugar.

The house also smelled of homemade beef stew.

I was a cooking machine today.

In fact, I never went outside the house once I entered.

Which is pretty unusual for my day, but that’s the way it was and I was ok with it.

I got down and dirty in the kitchen.

Rolled up my sleeves and jumped in.

I love baking.

I used to bake a lot more.

Pies and cookies and candy at Christmas.

When I think about all the cheesecakes I used to make–blueberry being the simplest, to the most complex one, I think I ever made, being a pumpkin cheese cake with crushed hazelnuts and graham cracker crust and maple glazing; either that or the chocolate espresso cheesecake on chocolate graham cracker crust with crushed black walnuts decorated with coffee whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans.

At Christmas time I loved to bake homemade sugar cookies.

Butter, flour, pinch of salt, baking soda, sugar.

Mix, chill, roll out.

I would roll out the cookies extra thick so that they were soft when they came out of the oven, almost a cake kind of cookie.

Then I would ice them with frosting I’d made from powdered sugar, cream, and melted butter.

I would mix bowls of frosting with various kinds of food coloring and paint the cookies.

I had cookie cutters of all kinds–penguins, candy canes, snowmen, Christmas trees, stars, gingerbread men, I would also use a wide mouth glass and make Christmas tree bulbs.

Then, of course, there were many kinds of sprinkles, every conceivable color, red hots, non-pareils in silver and gold, rainbow sprinkles, colored sugars–red, green, gold, blue, and white granulated sugar.

The sugar cookies were the big deal.

But I also would make fudge, plain and walnut.

And.

Homemade Brazil nut toffee with milk chocolate.

I think I once made peanut brittle too.

But the toffee was always such a stellar stand out I tended to go with that.

Who doesn’t want homemade toffee drenched in milk chocolate and then dredged through crushed Brazil nuts?

Hello, please.

A couple of times I made popcorn balls, but man, they were so messy to make, I didn’t do it but once, maybe twice.

Oh.

Holiday baking.

I do miss doing you.

So it was a sweet delight to bake cookies all afternoon and on into the early evening, listening to Christmas carols and singing with the boys.

It was a labor of love.

It really was.

Many things are, I find.

This life I live.

Definitely a labor of love.

I was writing about that this morning and all the things I am grateful for.

“I was grateful,” I said, to my person in the cafe.

“I really was, I wrote about it all this morning and I am just so grateful to be taking care of myself right now and letting things be and go and yes, surrender, it’s so much nicer than trying to control anything.”

It really is.

And I do have so much to be grateful for.

Even when things are a challenge.

Even when things are not a challenge.

The great thing about being at this place in my life is to see how much work has gone into this serene place in time for me.

I am not upset about a thing.

I have feelings.

I let myself have them.

They come.

They go.

I move on.

Always this movement.

“Girl, you have grown, really, this past year, witnessing your growth has been amazing” he said as I relayed running into my ex-boyfriend last night and having a kind, thoughtful, considerate conversation with him on the side walk outside the place where I go to do the deal on Monday nights.

It was still a little stilted, our interaction, but not horrible, and the discomfort will pass the more I see him out and about or around.

Funny, I was thinking just where I was this time last year and how it was all such heartbreak.

Not the relationship yet, that was looming, that ending, but my father, the trip to and from Anchorage, my birthday.

I remember working my birthday and feeling so remiss about my father and not caring, not caring at all that it was my birthday.

Then.

I got the phone call from the hospital that my dad was out of the coma and asking to talk with me.

The conversation was awkward and painful and he said some things I won’t repeat here, he was sick, he is sick, and despite that, I was able to tell him I loved him.

I haven’t talked to him since that time.

I surrendered him as well.

So many surrenders this year.

So many things that I let go of.

And as I turn over these ideas about who I am or where I am going and where I am going to land, I know that I don’t have to struggle, I don’t have to be beaten into submission.

I can just set them gently down and walk forward.

A beautiful.

Free.

Loved.

Graced.

Woman.

Supple.

Strong.

And.

Serene in my.

Constant.

Surrender.

 


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