Posts Tagged ‘Sloat Garden Center’

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.

 

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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.

Be The Mother To Yourself

May 12, 2014

That you wished you always had.

That statement takes on new meaning as I develop a new relationship with my mom.

I almost said with my current mom.

And that actually makes a kind of sense, she’s a different person, I am a different person, and we slowly construct a kind of relationship that neither of us have had before.

I am not real interested in reconstructing the relationship we used to have.

It did not work.

I will leave it at that.

She did the best she could.

I did the best I could.

I learned a lot of new behaviours that started to happen when I really asked for, and received some help.  I have had a lot of recovery in this area, I have done a fuck ton of inventory, gone to therapists, psychiatrists and counselors.

I have worked through a lot of the collateral damage.

But sometimes, I still will have my feelings about it and I found myself crying for no particular reason after I got off the phone with my mom this afternoon.

It’s Mother’s Day, that’s what you do, you call the mom.

I had to eat breakfast, pray, meditate, and write before doing it.

And the phone call only lasted six and a half minutes.

I think mom might have been talking for a while, but we had gotten disconnected.

I waited a few minutes, chuckling, thinking she must be chatting away over there in Florida, filling me in on all the doings of her partners daughter.

Like I care.

But, I listen.

I picked up the phone when she rang back and listened to her talk.

That’s probably the best gift I can give her, listening to her.

I don’t need to ask for or rely on my mom for anything.

I never really did, even when I should have been as a kid.

However, for years after I became an adult, I continued to look to my mom for emotional and financial support.

I never really expected it, but I would hope for it, I would long for it, I would go to the very dry well and expect a big bucket of cold, refreshing spring water to slake my thirst for all things mom.

So today, I did the best thing that I could do for myself, I took care of myself like I wished my mom could have when I was younger.

I made myself soup.

I sat outside in the sun.

I went for a bike ride.

I cleaned the house.

I read my book.

I balanced my checkbook, paid my phone bill, dropped the check in the mail to my friend for the Lighting in a Bottle Memorial Day weekend camping trip.

I did all things mom like and responsible.

Then I had a realization.

And perhaps it is like marrying yourself, I don’t know, but I have bought things for the little girl in me when she has needed them–pajamas, stuffed bunny rabbits (all since donated and gifted away to little girls I used to nanny) hair clips, stickers, etc.

I have gotten things for the teenager in my psyche too–lipstick, trips to Sephora, bottles of Essie nail polish, magazines–she like W and Vogue–but I have never, until today, thought about getting something for the mom in me.

I am pretty maternal when it gets right down to it.

I was my own mom, my mom’s mother at times, my sister’s mother at times, I am a care taker, especially in my first long-term relationship,  I was definitely the mom to the man I was dating.

How then should I celebrate myself and do for myself a nice little thing–acknowledge that the mom in me needs a Mother’s Day gift too.

I mean, who doesn’t like getting presents?

So, I took myself to Sloat Garden Center here in the Outer Sunset and I got myself a hanging plant.

A spider plant, to be specific.

I love the green.

I used to have one in my bedroom in the house I grew up in, Windsor, Wisconsin, a land very, very, very, far, far away.

I like them.

They do something for me.

Don’t care to analyze it, but I have had one in a number of the more stable housing situations I have been in.

There’s something about it that puts the final stamp of approval on my place for me.

I got a black metal hanging bracket, screwed it into the wall, threaded the hanger (bought a cloth one in blue with pink roses–yeah, hey, it’s got to have a little mom feel to it you know), and hung up the plant.

It makes me absurdly happy when I look at it.

Again, I don’t know why, but it does.

There’s something fulfilling about having green plants in my home.

In fact, I distrust people who don’t have plants, they’re homes always make me nervous.

There’s something nurturing about having plants in the home, flowers are sweet and I love them too, but just a good healthy green plant, thriving in some sunshine, makes my little space open up and grow too.

It is therapeutic to look at greenery.

It soothes me soul, it does.

Going out to Sloat Garden Center also helped me to get back on the scooter.

I checked it out and pretty much found it to be doable, I wanted to ride it to my evening commitment at Church and Market tonight, and figured a trial run was needed.

The Garden Center was a perfect little jaunt.

It’s at 46th and Sloat.

I am at 46th and Judah.

Just a few blocks to go, then a nice meander through the green house, the flowers, the geraniums and Gerber Daisies, the orchids, slender and beguiling with lush yellow purple sunbursts of petals, the African Violets and baskets of begonias and bouganvilla.

I wanted the spider plant, though, and that’s what I got.

It rode back with me, tied down to the back seat.

I got my scooter legs again and took it to Church and Market and back with no problems whatsoever.

Which is great, since I am working in the Castro tomorrow and want to ride it to work.

It appears i will be making that commute again for the week.

Wednesday I will drop it off in the evening to get the dent popped out of the front fender and I will chalk it up to part of the learning curve.

And when I feel overwhelmed I will soothe myself and regard happily my new plant.

Happy Mother’s Day to you and you and you.

New mom’s, old mom’s, grandma’s, and to those of you who get the gift of mothering yourself too, may it be joyful and everything you need.

Even if it’s just as simple as a green plant hanging in the corner of your soul.

Uh, I mean home.

 


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