Posts Tagged ‘soup’

We Were Talking

August 10, 2017

About you tonight.

Oh you were?

“Yeah, we were saying that you’re doing too much,” my friend said and gave me a hug.

Well.

Of course I’m doing too fucking much.

And I’m ok with it.

I am a busy woman.

But pockets of time present themselves to me and I get stuff done.

I managed to sneak in making a pot of soup in between a phone call, work, and covering my Wednesday night commitment.

I am good like that.

I also, wait for it, dropped off my paperwork to the school practicum office!

Killed two birds with one stone.

I had the mom ask me to take the oldest boy out on a solo adventure with me.

We went to the Exploratorium today down on the Embarcadero at Pier 15.

On the way, we swung into my school campus, rode, “the slowest elevator in the world,” according to my 7-year-old companion, and dropped off my evaluation to the woman who runs the practicum office.

We chatted a bit and it was nice to down load a little about my experiences and how it feels to be running with clients.

I have seven now.

My charge was as patient as a 7-year-old could be and after three minutes of chat I corralled him and we made our merry way to the FMarket trolley.

We also stopped in at the Peets Coffee across the street from my campus and I got a large nonfat latte and he got a steamed milk with whipped cream.

He was so cute.

It was adorable hanging out with him all afternoon.

When it’s just he and we have the best times.

We played all over the Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception and had marvelous experiments and adventure and looked at all the things and played with all sorts of miraculous contraptions.

It really was great.

We ate lunch there and he ate most of my lunch because it was tastier and I happily shared and he cuddled with me hard and fell into a bit of a food coma and collapsed on my lap and hugged me and said, “scratch my back,” and I did and it was fabulous.

There’s nothing like a seven-year old boy snuggling on my lap to make me happy, he just loves me so much and it makes my heart super full.

He can be a total handful when he’s around his siblings, but one on one, oh my god, melt my heart.

He literally sat in my lap the entire way back.

We took the FMarket all the way into the Castro then hopped on the 24 bus and rode it to Church and 30th.

He’s a big fan of the Beatles and walking up the hill we sang Beatles songs and held hands.

Mostly “I Say Hello and You Say Goodbye,” over and over again.

I’m not much of a vocalist, I mean, I can sing, everyone can sing, but my little guy can really sing.

I was happy to hold my own and actually harmonize a bit with him.

And when I couldn’t hit the high notes, well, he did.

I feel pretty in love with the little guy and it was so nice to have the day with him.

We got back to the house a tiny bit before mom and his siblings and I got dinner going while he played Legos.

Dinner was pretty simple, I made his favorite dish, organic ground beef pan sautéed in good olive oil with garlic and onion, sea salt, rosemary, black pepper, and a bechamel sauce that I make right as the beef has browned up and then I put it over brown rice fusilli or whatever non-gluten pasta I wrangle up out of the pantry.

The boy loves it.

It’s amazing to watch him inhale it.

I love cooking.

It’s a nice perk to my job.

I know some nannies who would be horrified to have to cook, but I do really like it.

I love my family and I love making them dinner.

In fact, the mom told me that they, the kids, were excited to come back from their big trip and eat my food.

That was nice to hear.

The mom let me go a few minutes early and since I had dropped off the paperwork to my school I was able to slip home, do some practical stuff, eat a quick dinner, make a pot of soup and take a phone call before heading back out the door to my next gig.

I know I am busy and it was sweet to hear my friend and I looked at him and said, I get it, I do, I am busy and it’s a lot and yeah, I’m probably doing too much, but I don’t feel like I have much of a choice.

Although, that’s not necessarily true.

I could quit school and have oodles of free time.

But.

I would just be a nanny.

And I want more.

I am too smart and too driven to just stop here.

I want this.

I have been groomed for it, or so it feels.

And yeah.

This last year of school is probably going to be full tilt boogie.

But.

I know.

I know without any doubt.

That I will get through it.

I haven’t felt anxious at all about my schedule and the things I need to do.

It feels like it’s all falling right into place.

I can’t fuck it up.

I can’t manipulate it into happening.

If it’s supposed to happen it will.

I just get to show up today in the best way I know how and do whatever work is in front of me.

And yes.

When I can.

Well, yes, a girl will like to play.

And I shall.

No worries.

It’s all happening.

All the things.

All the.

Wonderful.

Amazing.

Awesome.

Things.

Oh, yes, they are.

Thank God.

 

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Unexpected Days Off

June 8, 2017

I had today off and as of an hour and a half ago, I will have tomorrow off too.

My employers are all very sick.

Sad face.

But.

I am super grateful, wildly grateful, that they told me not to come in.

Flu with severe vomiting is not my gig.

Although I had a friend joke that it would be a great way to work on my abs.

Nah, I’ll pass.

I went to yoga instead.

In fact, holy shit, I can go tomorrow too, I am going to go see about signing up for a morning class.

Hang on I’ll be right back.

Nice!

I got into a 10a.m. class.

I went to a 9:30 a.m. this morning.

The instructor spoke about setting an intention.

Mine was loving self-care.

I did pretty well.

I went to yoga, did my laundry, had a super hot shower, had a fantastic breakfast and a big latte, did lots of writing and then made some phone calls to folks and did some check ins.

I talked with a friend for an hour on the phone.

God damn that was good.

When was the last time I had the time to take an hour-long phone call in the middle of the day?

I cannot remember.

It was delicious.

I went grocery shopping and really loaded up.

I came home and cooked.

I made homemade chicken soup with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, Andouille sausage and the remains of chicken I had made last weekend.  Mixed it up with some brown rice and froze the entire batch of it.

Meals for a week of work and then some.

I also roasted another chicken, because, well, it’s nice to have roast chicken on hand.

I made another pot of brown rice.

It’s the simplest meal to have and super tasty–brown rice with roasted salt and pepper encrusted chicken and tarragon butter.

Yummy.

Then I just stick everything in the fridge so when I get home from work or my internship or doing the deal I just take some olive oil, heat it up in the pan, add some garlic, slice up a few brown mushrooms, add a cup of brown rice and pull chicken off the roast chicken I made and literally in five minutes I have a hot, super tasty meal and I can kick back and write my blog.

I’m also starting to think about some meal prep for Burning Man, I have grabbed a couple of small things–green drink vitamin mix, a couple of containers of unsweetened chocolate almond milk, and I’m starting to stock pile my beverages.

There’s only so much I can get back on my scooter, so every time I go shopping I grab a bottle or two of sparkling beverages I like to have on playa and start sticking them away.

It’s fun to go grocery shopping.

I like food.

I like cooking.

I like making food for people I care about.

There is something so soothing about making a meal for someone you love.

I love cooking for my employers.

I miss cooking for friends like I used to back in Madison, I used to have some seriously ridiculous dinner parties.

Since I abstain from a lot of the foods I used to so gleefully cook, I don’t as often have dinner parties, but folks are often surprised by what I put together and that it tastes pretty damn good.

I don’t keep any sugar or flour in my house, so that may make having a dinner party a bit of a challenge, or that my space is so tiny, but there was once a friend who defaulted her birthday party to my house and I found myself serving up 6 ladies lunch.

Homemade soup, I think.

And cheese and fruit and I don’t recall a single person complaining, in fact, I ran out of food.

It was all eaten.

But.

When I do have access to other ingredients, like when I cook for my employers, I can have such fun.

Anyway.

There was cooking and shopping and I really enjoyed doing that.

Sometimes I can be very domestic.

Shh.

Don’t tell.

I also did some more work cleaning out my social media.

I deleted a bunch more folks off Facebook and I dropped a couple of groups and deleted a blog or two.

I started going over my Facebook page with a fine tooth comb and removed a few things here and there and I have made it through posts up until 2013.

I still have a bit to weed through and this will be my last publicly posted blog.

And I have a little trepidation about even posting this to social media.

I was assigned two more clients.

One of whom I will start with next week, already talked on the phone and set up our initial session.

Tomorrow is my first session with my first client.

I am going to pull all blogs off social media starting around lunch time I think.

I’m going to go to yoga in the morning and do my morning routine and write and check in with my people about a few things and keep my fingers crossed that the rain doesn’t last too long.

Stupid rain.

Oh well.

At least I won’t have to scooter to work in it.

And hopefully it will pass by the time I have to leave to meet with my client.

I will be giving myself loads of time to get there and get myself situated and feel settled in.

I’m excited.

I’m happy that my time has come that the work is going to be used that I get to do this.

I really do feel so honored and grateful.

I feel really happy that I got to do yoga today and that I get to go tomorrow, that I did so much grocery shopping and cooking and just loving on myself.

I need to take good care of myself so that I may in turn, do the same for others.

And.

Be a model for what that looks like.

Oh.

I know.

I won’t always succeed.

But today.

Well, today I did good.

Yes.

I fucking did.

 

Forgive

April 9, 2017

Forgive.

Forgive.

That’s what the message said.

I forgive you.

I hope you had joy while you ate my chicken soup.

I roasted that chicken last Sunday then used the bones to create a stock, it has garlic, onions, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots, and brown rice.

I hope it fed you.

I hope it nourished you.

I wish you well.

I forgive you for taking my soup.

I forgive you for taking my gift, the one I was going to give to my friend in the cohort who is getting married.

I hope it brings you love and light and joy.

I do.

I forgive you.

And more than that.

I forgive myself.

I was not to blame, I didn’t do anything wrong.

I will, however, remember the feeling of what it was like to mystify myself.

Because I didn’t believe you could do this to me.

Take from me.

Take my things.

Take my little piece of home in a Mason jar.

My warmth and succor after a long day of class.

I was not expecting to have that happen in a space where I practice so much vulnerability.

Please God.

Have me see what you want me to see and help me to let go of what I can.

I forgive you because I have to forgive me.

Some things are valuable.

And some things are ,well, just things.

“It’s just stuff,” he said and looked into my eyes and held my gaze, “you get to grieve the loss of it, don’t shove off the feelings, but don’t hold onto it, let it go, they’re just things, and as crazy as this sounds, the Universe has something better for you.”

I did not think that sounded crazy at all.

I believed every word of it.

I also took what he said to heart and let myself feel the sorrow of the loss.

I cried my tears.

I also know that the soup and the gift were symbols of other things that I had taken away from me, a sense of safety, a sense that the world is not a scary place, an inner equilibrium, home.

So.

I find solace and safety within myself.

That I am enough and that I can take care of myself.

I was able to source another gift for my friend.

I was able to go to The Market and get dinner with one of my favorite people.

I was able to accept hugs and shoulders to lean into and validation that what I was feeling was appropriate.

I took some action too.

I reported it to the school, if someone is rifling through the student lounge and stealing it should be shared with the students at the campus.

Food is a sacred thing.

We all need to eat.

So.

I forgive you.

I hope my soup warmed you, fed you, nourished you, gives you sustenance.

For that is what it has done for me.

I am proud of myself for taking care of myself, for having the good cry, for letting my T.A. approach me in the cafe and actually have a conversation about it that was both sweet and intimate, but affirming of me and my abilities.

“You are amazing, you have so much light,” he said and gave me such a hug.

I felt seen, validated, and empathized with.

I am grateful for that.

It was an unexpected gift in the wake of the loss.

He was right too.

It’s just stuff.

I have unshakeable faith that God took something from me that needed to be elsewhere, those things, all things really, are for God to appropriate, I had them for a little while, they are needed elsewhere.

I now have open hands to accept the things that God wants for me.

One of the biggest gifts were all the interactions I had with my cohort, my friends, and my T.A.

I was smitten with the love and affection that I was showered with.

I still am.

I had some wounds open.

Sure.

It felt that I my home dumped out and stolen.

It felt like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I could almost see the person searching through the refrigerator and going, “Ooh, this looks yummy, and then seeing the gift and thinking, “Ooh, I must have that.”

I understand.

There is a thrill in theft.

I have stolen.

I know.

It has been a long time, but I have.

There is entitlement in stealing.

There is adrenalin.

It can be addicting to swipe something.

To gain vicarious thrill from a source that is unwitting.

But this is just a story.

There is a narrative, an arc of action.

Perhaps there is guilt and shame.

I don’t know the persons story.

I do wish for them the ability to get what it is they need.

That is unconditional love.

I do not like what happened, I don’t care, not one fucking bit, but I do hope there is relief for the person, I wish them the best.

Because you can’t steal what I have in my heart.

In my strength of person.

You only took some stuff.

Stuff does not make the world go round.

You can’t take my sense of value, self-worth, or safety.

You can’t take away my experiences, pains, joys, loves, laughter, growth or healing.

Those things are nonnegotiable.

They are mine and you are not going to ever take that from me.

No one puts Baby in a corner.

I am my own woman and I am grateful for this, already, I grow stronger.

Something got moved around today, an opening was made for some unexpected healing, perception, awareness, and growth.

Actually.

I should be thanking you, Soup Thief, you unwittingly gave me an absolute firm sense of my core and my abilities.

I learned how to use my resources and how to accept help.

I learned it is ok to grieve for something, whether a thing, or a concept.

I softened and I grew.

Pretty amazing day when it all comes down to it.

I will say, I am freaking tired though, it was a draining afternoon to evening.

So.

Another cup of tea.

My apple and some blueberries.

A comfy pillow behind my back.

Half an episode of Billions.

And a good nights rest.

Conflict.

Resolved.

Wanted Woman

April 5, 2017

I got a text today after coming out of my second therapy session, went great, thanks, in regards to some services that someone wanted.

Specifically.

My former employer wanted to know if I could be available to cook for them every few Sundays.

Um.

Uh.

No.

Then my head was like, but it would be great to see the boys and I could make some extra money, and…

Fuck off head.

You are not working on your day off.

NO.

NOPE.

Not going to do it, there really is nothing that I could ask for that would compensate me enough to go into work on a Sunday.

I work 35 hours a week.

Go to graduate school full-time.

Meet with three people on a weekly basis for doing the deal.

Go to do the deal 6-7 times a week.

Plus.

In May I’ll star an internship that will be an additional 15 hours.

May is next month.

The last thing I want to do is spoil the few remaining Sundays I do have off.

And when my internship starts, I will only have Sundays off.

For a year.

One day off a week.

That’s it.

I’m not going to go to my former bosses house and make food.

Not going to do it.

Just saying.

Although, truth be told, I was hella flattered.

It’s nice to know that you are wanted.

I have actually said no a lot lately.

No to some baby sitting gigs.

Two specifically that come to mind, no to this idea of working on my day off and cooking.

No, thank you for thinking of me, but no.

Funny thing too, is how often I get this, “I know you’re busy, I know this is a long shot, but….”

Yup.

I am busy.

And yes, it is a long shot, and nope, still can’t do it.

I have also been asked by three different people to read their writing.

I know I write a blog every day and I write morning pages and I want to be able to read every thing that is sent to me, because that’s what good writers do, they also read, but I’ve got so much reading for school I haven’t even touched the two pieces that were sent to me an there’s a third heading towards my mailbox.

Maybe I’ll read them next year.

Bwahahahaha.

What I am recognizing though, is that I am sought after for my skills and as such, I’m really flattered, it’s nice to be thought of, it’s nice that people want me to weigh in on their writing.

I believe it means that folks think I might have some skills and something to offer.

I was asked last week about writing a blog and what tips I had.

I gave loads of tips.

But basically it comes down to, just write it.

Sit down.

Do the work.

There is, however, only so much work I can do, and as I am on day 9 in a row of working with out a day off, I might have an idea of how precious my time off is.

I have two days coming up, April 10th and 11th, next Monday and Tuesday.

I have to get through two more days of work and three days of school.

Then.

Freedom.

I couldn’t fathom picking up more work right now.

There was a time when I would have, the allure of the extra money is big, but really, I want to have a full rounded life.

I want to have some fun and I want to have a tiny little bit of social life.

I also want to have rest and I want to be able to do yoga.

I have to keep tabs on myself and my self-care, I can’t show up to work or school or my soon to be happening internship if I’m not taking care of myself.

It’s an ethical issue.

It really is.

So I was proud of myself for saying I was unavailable.

I responded with kindness and acumen.

I was nice, I’m saying.

And that felt good too.

People will ask for what they want, and they’re allowed to ask, but I don’t have to people please and say yes to everything that is offered.

I believe that something better than money will happen for me on my Sunday if I’m not busy literally slaving over a hot stove.

God wants more for me than that.

Dating.

Friends.

Life.

Adventures.

Rest.

Recuperation.

All the things.

Not cooking all the things.

Anyway.

I am looking forward to school this weekend, even though my school days are long days, longer than my work days, they are days filled with thinking and showing up and learning and friends.

I am really excited to see my friends.

I have missed them.

I have some catching up to do.

Yes, I do.

The only thing I get bummed about, who would have thought it, is missing yoga on Saturday and Sunday.

Although I may try to sneak in a restorative yoga class Sunday after I get out of classes.

That is a good possibility.

I’m sad to miss my favorite teachers class on Saturday, but so be it.

As long as I can try to get into a Monday class in the morning, I will be making up for the loss of class on Saturday.

I get a head of myself

Let me stay in this week, where, yes, it is full, but there’s wiggle room here and there.

A coffee with a friend.

Catching up with my fellows tomorrow night.

Wrapping up the last bits and pieces of my school preparations.

Doing a little laundry.

And yes.

Chilling out a bit.

Like right now.

A cup of tea.

A video.

A snack.

And bed.

Sounds just about perfect.

No more cooking today.

No soup for you!

Excuse Me Waiter

April 2, 2016

There’s a nanny in my soup.

Ugh.

Or soup in the nanny.

Or.

Ha.

Soup all over the nanny.

It’s Friday and of course the weekend is ramping up and there’s a bunch of motion and hustle and bustle and the dog is under foot and the dad’s grilling veggies in the back yard and the mom’s getting ready to go out and the boys are hungry and I was going too fast.

Trying to assuage the three and three-quarters year old, “CARMEN, I’m hungry, I want milky, bread and butter, bread and butter, bread and butter!” heat up my own dinner, get the toast ready for the soup, slice up some apple, get the meds ready for the older boy, and manage to unload the dishwasher all at the same time.

Sometimes.

Well.

I take on too much.

And kersploosh!

The container of broccoli soup splashes out and all over me.

I had broccoli soup down my bra.

Now.

I have had sand in my bra.

Cheerios.

I have had small children wipe runny noses on my shoulders.

I have had babies burp milk, yes, breast milk, freshly pumped by mom, in my hair.

That’ll teach you.

I started wearing my hair up pretty much right after that incident.

I have been peed on, farted on, vomited on.

I have had milk spilt on me, water, fruit juice.

Melted ice cream.

But never.

No.

Not in all my years of being a nanny, over 9 now, but who’s counting.

Have I ever had a container of broccoli soup dumped over my body.

It was like that Nickolodeon thing where they drop the green goo all over you.

It was cold.

Thank God or I would be blogging from the ER.

When I make it, I blend it hot after a full roiling boil of ten minutes so that the broccoli is super tender and easier to blend.

The mom loves my soup so much I make quadruple batches of it.

Usually enough to get through the week and over the weekend.

I suspect I will be making more broccoli soup when I go to work on Monday.

Oh well.

Broccoli soup in my socks.

That could be a great band name.

Broccoli soup on my leggings, on my jean shorts, in and on my nanny clogs.

Thank God for the dog.

SERIOUSLY.

Broccoli soup all over the fridge too and on the floor.

It was a great big mess.

I made light of it, I got it cleaned up with much help from the dad.

I got most of the soup off my clothes.

But.

I was two and a half hours out from the end of the day and the mom had plans and the dad was still working and well.

Gah.

I spent the rest of my day at work smelling like broccoli.

I was channeling Dana Carvey on SNL and chopping broccoli like no ones business.

I stank.

Of course, no one said so and when I went to do the deal, I was warmly welcomed, hugged, and loved on, but I felt awful.

My belly was moist from soup and my bra felt sticky and my socks were green.

Then someone walked in with no shoes on and abscesses all over his arms.

And.

Well.

I was just fine.

Granted.

Happy to get on my scooter after ward and get myself home and into a very hot shower, but fine, really, nobody needed to cry over spilt soup, let alone I.

I think I rolled with it pretty well.

It’s funny, though, sometimes the small stuff can get me the worst.

It is also a great reminder to me to slow the fuck down.

I don’t need to go anywhere this weekend fast.

Despite what my brain says.

And it wants to holler at me.

“YOU GOT WORK TO DO BITCH! GET ON IT!”

Hey.

Shhh.

Thanks for sharing.

I got this.

“I am so glad you are taking a break and doing something social,” my dear, darling, much missed doctor friend told me on the phone as we briefly caught up and confirmed that we would be seeing each other at the birthday party tomorrow.

I am so excited to see her.

Like.

Way excited.

I also confirmed that I would be able to make her son’s first birthday party, in fact, it will be a sweet little reunion of sorts with three of my friends and a very special reminder of the time that we spent at Burning Man just a few years back.

I will be letting myself have some nice social time tomorrow.

I might freak out about the amount of work I have yet to do, there’s more reading than I want to be acknowledging–a chapter of a book got uploaded for one of my classes and it’s far longer than I was expecting–and my Ethics class has a little more reading than I was expecting, but I got an good solid hour today in this morning as well as my morning routine.

And the papers will get written.

They always do.

I saw a friend on facecrack that just turned in her dissertation for her PhD and I was like, shit, I don’t have time for that, how am I ever going to get to that point.

And it was such a clear signal for me to slow down.

Appreciate what I do have.

First.

I don’t smell like broccoli soup anymore.

Second.

I get to connect with my friends tomorrow.

I am also going to do some nice self-care and get my mani/pedi on and an eyebrow wax.

I will do the deal.

I may do some yoga too.

Depends on how early I want to get up.

Either way.

I am making sure I get eight hours of sleep.

I am not scrimping on my sleep.

Or on my recovery.

Nope.

And I’m not fucking writing a dissertation right now either.

Just a couple, er, three, papers.

I’ll be ok.

It’s ok.

I’ve probably already spent more time being anxious about writing the papers then I will actually spend time on writing the papers.

Because.

That’s what I do.

That too, is just fine.

Tonight is not the night to beat myself up.

Not that there ever really is a good time for that.

Tonight is the night to be grateful to be clean, that I have laundry on site, free, not coin-op, that I have had a superb hot shower and I am wearing my favorite lotion and smell heavenly.

I have another cup of tea queued up and hour to wind down and relax.

Tomorrow can wait.

I just have today.

And today.

Was perfect.

Broccoli soup and all.

 

At 51:55 You’re Giving Me A Hand

October 22, 2015

Massage.

Jesus, people, what do you think I was doing?

Ha.

I got the cutest message today from a friend I made at Burning Man, on top of all things–the Mayan Warrior.

An enormous art car with the most furious sound system ever.

It really is mind-blowing how much this art car rocks.

The stacks of speakers defy description.

I remember the first year it came out, must have been 2013, and it turned on its sound system while still in the city proper and the little boy I was nannying woke up from sleep screaming.

The power of the bass rattled the entire trailer, I am uncertain if it was the bass shaking me that woke me up or the screaming child or a combo of the two.

The Mayan was wrangled quickly, it was fortunately also pre-event, so the city wasn’t too built up yet, and they were told firmly to lower the volume while they were in the city proper.

And they did.

But.

When the car goes deep playa, it goes deep playa loud.

It also faces its stacks of speakers out toward the deeper desert, out past the trash fence where there is nothing but emptiness and black skies full of the swaths of starlight that you can only get that far out.

Swirls of brilliance on black velvet.

Not that I was looking at the stars that night.

I was deep into the music.

I wish I knew who was the dj prior that had been spinning, I loved Jennifer Cardini’s set, it was amazing, but the set before had absolutely blown my mind.

And.

The circumstances too, now that I think about it, I recall Wednesday night the reason why I was on the Mayan Warrior in the first place–I had just come from a wedding at Dream Land.

A wedding that I randomly got caught in the ceremony and helped to literally sing the service to the bride and groom.

And yes.

I caught the bridal bouquet.

I wonder if that means I will get married at Burning Man next year.

It would be year number 10.

That would be something fun to do.

So many fun things to do.

So much life to live.

So much soup to make.

My God.

The soup I made today.

I have to say it.

I am a pro.

I made a soup I have never made before, pureed cream of broccoli soup, and I slayed it.

I am so grateful I can cook.

And I am grateful that I get to for the family, it’s fun, I feel a sense of accomplishment with it and there is nothing like having a five-year old ask for more broccoli, now please!

Fuck yeah kid, let me feed you some more broccoli.

I am grateful for the gifts and abilities I have.

“She cooks for you too?” The mom from yesterday’s play date said in a hushed voice while I was putting together another plate for her daughter.

Yup.

I do.

Yesterday I made my home-made chili, ground chicken with black beans and red and yellow peppers, onions, garlic, mild chilis, I am cooking for kids, mind you.

I had a moment today when I was plating the boys dinner and I thought, I should take photos and do a nanny cook book.

All the ideas.

All the stuff.

All the things.

Poetry.

Cooking.

Writing.

I could say I am a Renaissance woman.

If anyone knew what that meant any longer.

“I didn’t know that!” The mom exclaimed yesterday when I was being questioned by the playdates mom about my back ground and how I came to be a nanny.

I had been working as a legal secretary in a small criminal law firm.

All the jobs that I have done in this city.

Waitress–Hawthorne Lane

Waitress–Absinthe

I also almost waited tables at Zuni, but the owner, the day I had my first day of training, put a hiring freeze on the restaurant and I was “let go” before I had really started.

Mortgage Broker associate.

Yeah.

Me.

I did that too.

Hahahahaha.

I was not good at it.

But I sold myself so well in the interview that I got the job and yup, hit my rock bottom there.

“Where did you come from!?” My boss asked with surprise, literally jumping back startled as I slipped out of the conference room.

I had been taking a nap.

Underneath the conference table.

On the carpet.

In the dark.

All day.

I quick before I got fired.

But that was a few weeks later.

I left the office that day with carpet imprint on my face and I probably left a small pool of drool underneath the table.

AH.

The good old days.

I have also house sat, dog sat, baby sat.

I did event managing for the first, and the only Mission Bicycle Festival, there would have been more, but the residents on Lapidge really balked at having a street festival there.  I also helped manage an investor party for a restaurant that was trying to open in the Mission.

I did costumer service in the Bayview produce markets.

I was a customer service representative for a specialty veterinary hospital here in the city, in the Mission–SFVS–for two years.

I almost worked at the SPCA for a while, but after a few months of volunteering doing kitten socializing I realized that the majority of the staff needed to do some human socializing and didn’t take a job there.

I worked as an assistant to a sex educator film director.

I got him coffee and ran errands while he directed the actress who taught people how to properly do BDSM bondage.

That was an interesting shoot.

I never knew there was so much involved with making the sheets look good for the shot.

I have been an English tutor in Paris.

I have been a nanny in Paris.

I have been a nanny here in San Francisco.

And of course.

“She nannied at Burning Man too!” My boss told her friend over dinner conversation while I watched bemused by the three-year old shoveling roasted cauliflower in his mouth.

Yes.

That’s right.

The three-year old likes roasted cauliflower.

I am that good.

I also think it’s like cauliflower chips, really, roasted cauliflower is stupid good, all crispy and crunchy and garlic salty.

“You nanny at Burning Man,” the second mom said incredulous.

Yup.

I have.

And I danced a little to.

A LOT.

Just check me out here.

21:53 and yes again at 51:55.

I’m the girl with the giant smile.

And.

The polka dot dress.

And.

Yes.

Of course.

The goggles on my head, it was a dusty year out there.

And.

Always.

The flower in my hair.

Hello.

It’s Burning Man people.

You can take the girl out of Burning Man.

But.

You can’t take the Burning Man out of her hair.

Or the love.

I definitely got my love on that night.

Grateful that I don’t mind looking silly on video.

Because I do.

And grateful that I have such a big full life.

I am a very lucky girl.

I am.

Hello Stranger

November 17, 2014

Where you been?

I have taken the last couple of days away from the computer, the laptop, the internet, the interwebs, the social media, the facebooking, twittering, chirping, instagraming, tinder, okcupid of it all.

I have been busy living.

I am being a little oblique.

I understand.

Curiosity it killed the cat.

This may be one of the harder blog posts I write.

There was and is a very good reason I was offline for the last couple of days.  I mean, I wasn’t totally, I checked a few things on my phone, I’m not a Neanderthal after all, but I haven’t booted up the lap top to input the blog.

I have been, um, busy.

Yargh.

This is hard.

I just recall certain things that certain folks have passed a long for a little while now, snippets of suggestions, dollops of care, maybe I sound like your mother, but I love you, advice.

And you know what is happening?

I am listening.

I am really listening.

To my heart, to my gut, to my instincts.

There are truly some things that I am not going to write about.

I can’t.

Too much is at stake.

Therefor I stayed off the blog the last few days.

I let things unfold, I discovered what feelings were in real-time and had them and processed them and went about my life with new and unusual information about who I am and let myself enjoy the fuck out of it.

I will drop a few hints and if you should be curious, I know one or two of you might, please call me on that old-fashioned thing called a phone and we can have a chat and I can give you details.

There are details.

Be assured.

Some things that I am willing to cop to.

Number one.

Get Tinder off my phone.

Don’t want the app, not interested in using it, not needed, get thee gone.

Except I can’t figure out how to get it off my phone–it may have something to do with the fact that I never was successful at installing the app in the first place; it wouldn’t load and I spent more time watching the error sign come up then swiping left or right.

Second.

I killed OkStupid.

Yup.

It’s done.

I’m off the site.

Now.

I know my friends are some smart monkeys.

If a + b = c one might surmise that.

a. No OkCupid

b. No Tinder

c. No blog for last couple of days.

I will say no more.

See.

I can do this!

Not certain for how long I can keep the hat on it, but I am going to give things room to grow and breathe and be, myself included and keep focus on the practices that I am currently doing.

Writing, writing, and more writing.

Maybe if I’m not writing about certain things I can be writing my autobiographical statement for graduate school.

Not tonight.

I’m too tired.

I had a busy weekend.

I got behind on some things and played catch up a lot today.

For instance, my Sunday soul soup is still cooking on the stove–my food for the week is a vegetable three bean chili with brown rice–I didn’t get to the cooking for a little while today and it still needs a good hour of simmering on the stove.

I did have an awesome late lunch at Thai Cottage, but that’s not cooking for the week.

I did get groceries done, but far later in the weekend then I normally do, same with cleaning the in-law and doing laundry–one load left to go.

I was a little behind on things, I had my attention elsewhere.

I enjoyed that attention being elsewhere.

Especially as I head into a busy week.

One with dancing at the end of it and a lot of service thrown in between.

Two speaking engagements this week and it feels like there’s another lurking around the corner, but I can’t put my finger on it.

Thanksgiving is coming up, which is frankly weird, not the holiday, just that it’s so close already.

I had some plans for the day, and I still think that it will probably happen that I end up in the Castro with Honey and the orphans and take out and a movie matinée at the Castro Theater.

I have plenty to be giving thanks for.

I tell you what.

So many things.

Like already booking dates in December for Christmas parties and on into January for a night at the symphony (the San Francisco Symphony is doing a big screen viewing of the original God Father and the symphony will be playing the soundtrack to the movie).

I actually opened up my closet and started poking through it, could I wear that dress to the party, would this work for the symphony, what about those heels?  Are they too high?

I may have to go out and buy a holiday frock or two.

I can’t remember the last time I had plans around the holidays that required some more formal attire.

I have dresses, but they are not so formal.

Ah.

Yes.

What every woman needs, or just this woman, an excuse to go dress shopping.

I can handle dress shopping better than jeans shopping.

Yikes.

I really do have to buy a new dress, probably two, and maybe some new heels.

My ankle should be all healed up and ready to prance about.

Speaking of prancing, I shall be dancing this weekend too, very much looking forward to the party at the Armory and getting to see some friends who I haven’t had much chance to catch up with since Burning Man.

This party I have clothes for.

And I won’t be wearing heels too, oh no.

Sneakers.

I may lace them up with some pink ribbon shoe laces for flair, but I am wearing flats for my night out dancing.

No hurting the ankle.

Well, the soup is simmering, the tea is in the process of sipping, the night is young and full of stars.

Far away messages of mystery in the sky.

Dumped over the bowl of dark covering the ocean and beach, drizzling me in sweet dreams and delicious thoughts from the weekend.

~End vague blog~

 

Rainbow Redux

May 5, 2014

Let me count the ways I love thee.

Bulk spices.

Check.

Bulk oatmeal.

Check.

Favorite lotion that no other store in  San Francisco carries.

Check.

Pacifica Candles.

Check.

Run in with ex-boyfriend who works at Rainbow.

Check.

“You know,” he said to me today in the tea aisle, I get updates when you come in the store, ‘Carmen was here’.”

I smiled.

It’s good to go noticed and it’s good to be noticed and it’s always best to look better than you did when you were dating someone.

Although at the time I certainly was not unattractive, I was just a bit heavier and I was also going through a really challenging time in my life having just lost a best friend in a freak accident.

I also will always fondly recall this relationship, because though it was not one that lasted very long, a few months, he did say one of the sweetest things to me that a man ever said and then acted on it in the way that I wish more men would.

I was sitting perched up on an exercise machine he had in the kitchen of his place–it was like a horse without the horse, a mechanical saddle–and he was making me a cup of tea.

Side bar, I still find it hysterical that our first date I offered him some tepid, stale, luke warm, peppermint tea that I pilfered from a room-mate, I did not have any tea in the house.

He’s the tea buyer at Rainbow.

He’s a large part of the reason I have learned so much about tea and have a lot of it at my house, not as much as he did, oh no, but I got turned on to tea in a way I never would have thought.

Anyway, so I am in his kitchen and he’s making me Matcha, like the real deal, green powder, whisking it, the whole nine, and he looks at me and cocks his head.

“You have no idea how beautiful you are, do you?” He asked me, setting down the bowl of tea.

I smiled, shy, “I uh, no, I guess not.”

He crossed the kitchen in three strides and smashed me up against the wall and kissed me until I thought I was going to become part of the wall supporting me.

It was pretty awesome.

He has a girl friend now, and never fails to mention it, but I still get a great big hug and an appreciative look over.

Makes a girl feel attractive.

And I was at Rainbow.

Which I have missed shopping at.

I could have been grocery shopping there, I suppose, but it’s quite the haul from my place at 46th and Judah to Rainbow, which is in the SOMA at 14th and Folsom.  The few times I did make the trek on my bike it was just too much.

But now, enter the scooter, and enter my confidence going up and yes, I made it to the mecca that is Rainbow.

It can still be overwhelming and I suppose there are some that say the customers are smug or entitled or hippies or I don’t know and I don’t care.  I just know that they carry pumpkin pie spice in bulk and good organic nutmeg and cinnamon, that they carry California Naturals body lotion and it’s 98% organic and my favorite scent was in stock–Coconut Tangerine–and the oatmeal, which I eat every day, is the cheapest bulk organic oatmeal in the city, was there for the taking.

I had done the majority of my grocery shopping earlier.

In fact, I suppose one could say that all I did today was grocery shop.

I went to Safeway, Other Avenues, Noriega Produce, and Rainbow.

I am in possession of the kind of refrigerator that I want to show off to my friends, I want to take pictures of all the goodness therein.

I want to gloat over my home-made soup that I canned and froze for the week.

Because after all that shopping, I made soup to have for my meals at work for the majority of the week.

This weeks soup is a yellow split pea with chicken, onions, garlic, Pattapan yellow squash, asparagus, and golden chard.  I seasoned it with turmeric, Spike, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil, nutmeg, just a pinch, pumpkin pie spice (the nutmeg and the pumpkin pie spice were added to round off the almost dirty taste of the chard–it was a really pungent earthy chard with a whisper of sweetness) and adobo.  I also made my stand by pot of brown rice while it was simmering.

I also have a mound of organic fruit as well on the counter, mangos, bananas, apples, and pears.

I am set for the week and ready to go.

I like being a good little housewife to myself.

I like practicing good self-care.

I like that my sheets are fresh and clean on my bed, the laundry is done, and I took a nice hot shower today.

Sunday.

Short hand for self-care.

I rode my bicycle too.

I don’t think that I need to scooter to the grocery stores in the neighborhood, they are close enough to bike too, and the exercise was good.

I knew I was eventually headed to Church and Market though and when I realized that I had the spare time to do it, I did make the decision to go to Rainbow.

The scooter is slowly opening up the city to me and I am getting better at it.

I will ride it a lot this week since I am up in the Castro four days of my work week.

Thursday I shall ride the velo, no where to park the scooter all day, but the rest of the time, I shall Vespa it up.

And in my saddle bag, er, my messenger bag, I shall have homemade soup and organic apples.

Because that’s how I roll.

 

Split Pea Soup and Sex

March 23, 2014

I don’t actually believe very many folks are going to bait into this blog with that title, but you never know.

I mean, I imagine that the first thing that comes to mind is having sex with split pea soup in the equation, but split pea soup is not necessarily a sexy soup.

I mean it’s green and sort of mushy.

Delicious.

But mushy.

Then I think, is that soup hot?

That would burn.

Maybe you’re kinky?

Hot mushy soup instead of candle wax.

Then I thought, well then, how about cold, like that nursery rhyme: peas porridge hot and peas porridge cold, peas porridge in a pot nine days old.  Some like it hot and some like it cold and some like it in the pot nine days old.

Now first off all who the hell likes anything nine days old?

Nine day old peas porridge sounds like salmonella poisoning to me and nothing says sexy like vomiting.

But cold pea soup, is not sexy at all.

Not even like I am wearing this as a mask to get sexy.

Sexy foods are chocolate and whipped cream, sticky though, let’s be honest, who has had sex with whipped cream?

Raise your hands you kids you.

Uh huh.

And it’s sticky.

Unless you’re hopping in the shower right quick sexy with whipped cream is not sexy.  It makes a good visual, I will grant you that, but otherwise it gets tacky and kind of gross and then you have like lint stuck to you and who wants that?

Or dog fur.

Or gack, cat fur.

“Don’t post a photo of you and your cat!” My friend said over the phone today.

He was asking me to help him look at a few things on his OkStupid profile and I immediately went to you need to change your profile pix, not a good one, take off the sunglasses, show a current photo, you don’t have a beard and the hair cut is much better.

And he replied with the cat insight.

Not that I have a cat photo on my page, but apparently girls do.

“Oh and no kids, even if they’re your cute nieces and nephews,” he added.

I know that one too and told him to do the same, except not with kids, with other women.  I don’t want to see the guy with another woman, whether it’s a co-worker or a sister or an old friend, only pictures of said dude.

As soon as I see another woman I think ex-girlfriend, ex-wife, and it sours me whether or not it’s true.

All this talk about sex and soup and whip cream.

Where is this going?

I basically did my shopping and cooking today, is where it’s going and I was trying to make it sound sexy, and self-care is sexy, split pea soup can be sexy, as long as it’s not cold and nine days old, and I was filled with a kind of warmth, and yes, I dare say it, love of self when I saw my full fridge with healthful stuff in it–homemade soup in canning jars, fresh veggies and fruit and it’s all organic and good and yay.

I suppose that’s where I sort of left it.

I got up late today, almost 11 a.m. before I rolled out of bed, but considering I went to bed at 3 a.m. last night, it makes perfect sense.

I knew I would be busy tomorrow–Joan’s birthday party–and I wanted to get all my stuff dealt with today.  So soup making and food shopping, laundry, and fresh sheets on the bed, flowers in vases, check book balancing, bill paying, and tidying up.

And voila, my day.

No, there was not sex in my day, but you know, as a friend recently commented, I have been baiting my reader with sex in my titles to get a read.  I don’t usually have high readership on Saturdays anyway, so I thought, why not.

I mean, I have sex on the mind, why not put that out there too.

Or at least body contact.

Out at the club last night I sat by my friend for a moment in between dancing and he put his arm around me and I threw a leg over his lap and we hung out.

I have to say, it felt good.

And I wondered, how come never this?

But, he’s a smoker and that’s not a match with me and I know from some experience that guys will let you know if they are interested and I don’t think he is, but we are messaging back and forth on OkStupid to help out both of our profiles.

Apparently the more often you reply the more you get asked out.

According to some blog he read about the site.

I have never even thought about that.

Then when I told him he could use better profile photographs we actually started talking, joking, but I think it could actually be funny, about going around and fake doing things to have that perfect profile shot.

So basically now we need groomers and photographers and more media manipulation on our social sites to get what we really want, personal contact with another human being.

The internet is great, don’t get me wrong, but when I am blogging I am alone, so too when I am on my FaceBook page or OkStupid or Twitter or anything else.

The interconnectivity is awesome some times, although I did not need to see the post my sister just put up about not wearing underwear anymore.

TMI.

Then again, seeing photographs of my niece, pretty cool, especially since, when will I see her next?

Could be awhile.

But I feel that I need to see people face to face and not just over the net to really connect.

I need to watch people too.

I am an artist and I observe.

I take.

Like the small Asian man on the MUNI tonight, with age spots and a mole the size of a quarter on his face the skin on his face sagged and his eyes weary closing against the overhead lighting on the train.

His shoes were worn down and he walked with a bow-legged swagger that made me immediately think sea man and he was far shorter when he stood to get of the train than I thought he would be, almost diminutive in his navy suit and rumpled white dress shirt that was baggy out of his pants, pulled askew on the left side where he had been  scratching his ribs.

And the hat.

Slouched down, yet dapper, a fedora in tweed with flecks of brown and mustard.

That hat said so much.

Would I have noticed that hat had I been engrossed in my Facecrack feed on my phone?

I don’t think so.

I don’t know where all this is going, but I am grateful for these powers of perception whether they are reflecting on soup or sex.

Or hats.

I am writing and that’s the sexy in my soup any day.

Profoundly Happy

March 16, 2014

“We absolutely insist on enjoying life,” she told me adamantly today from across the table at Tart to Tart.

I am.

I swear.

“That’s your principle today, happiness.”

Enough said.

I am down with the getting happy.

I had a happy day.

I was, I realized, as I was riding my bicycle, slowly, obeying all traffic laws, ahem, through the Irving Street melee of Saturday afternoon parking, shopping, pedestrians, and drunken Irish revelers in green beads and sequined foam green top hats, that I was profoundly, deeply happy.

Part of it is a sense memory from being a child.

I grew up out here, remember, until I was just about five years old, so my earliest memories are of the area, most specifically what I seem to remember the most is the sun, the sky, the smell of ocean.

I was  sailing my bicycle down Irving, once I was through the crazy of 19th to 25th, Irving gets really quiet and it’s such a pretty, straight shot, right to the ocean, the sun was warm on my skin, my hair blowing off my face, the wind cool, and there, just there, a swelling of memory like a song of joy in my body.

This warmth, this sun, this wind, some of my earliest feelings of contentment and joy.

I felt a vast yearning to call my mom and say, thank you for having me in California.  Thank you for not birthing me in Wisconsin, thank you for planting the California seed deep in my heart.

I am glad for my Mid-Western upbringing, I like manners, I like hearing the sound of Mason jars popping when I canned my soup this afternoon, I like that I know how to cook soup and make jam and pie crusts from hand, I like that I know what the sound of snow falling on snow sounds like and the smell of wood burning sharp on a cold night in January.

However, the deep sensual feel of sunshine and wind on my skin that blows in from the ocean is one of my most cherished sensory memories and I was so softened with the emotion of being in the moment with the sun and the wind and the vast, deep indigo expanse of the ocean unfurling in front of me.

I wanted to stop all time, because all time had become right now, right with God, right in my body, right with happy and joyous and free.

Nothing says happy, joyous free, like riding a bicycle down the middle of the road with no traffic, in a new dress, with my hair blowing out behind me and the sun smothering me in warmth and light.

I felt like I was a song.

Just a bicycle ride you know, but something lovely and sweet and powerful in that.

I laughed earlier today as I had gotten up and showered, written, meditated, read,  ate breakfast, drank coffee, did trash and recycling, chatted with the housemate, tidied up and realized I had more than enough time to go grocery shopping too, and I rode my bicycle along the path that runs parallel to Ocean Beach on my way to the store.

How many folks can say that they ride their bicycles to the grocery store to buy laundry detergent while the Pacific Ocean keeps them company?

Not many I say.

Some, yes, but not many.

And I get to have this experience.

I suppose the novelty will eventually wear off and then I will be just going to the SafeWay on Fulton and it will be a chore, but right now, I revel in the going to SafeWay.

Not something I have ever, ever said before.

Most of the time I despise Safeway.

But, I have to say, this one is not so bad, oh, I still have to do my real shopping thereafter, I almost never get what I really need there, but I do get some staples–paper towels, a few toiletries, today it was for laundry detergent.  I think it’s partially because it’s not one of the newer remodeled ones with the weird lighting.

I got my stuff, headed back to the house, unloaded and went right back out in the opposite direction and got organic apples at the Noriega Produce Market, and then jetted it up to 7th and Irving, managing to also send off my niece’s birthday card and present at the post office.

Not bad actions to be taking all before noon.

On my return to the homestead I made soup.

Yup.

Food prep done for the week.

Chicken soup with kidney beans, cannelli beans, corn, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic, big pot of brown rice.  I canned it all up and set aside some in the freezer and boom.

Done for the week.

Toss it in the bag, grab a couple of carrot sticks and an apple and I am set.

So nice to have it out-of-the-way.

Then.

Relax.

Read.

Sit and sip some tea and enjoy the view of the blue sky flecked with the passing raven or three winging through the air over the back yard.

I read for an hour, did some laundry, then headed back out the door around 4p.m. to run up to Noe Valley where I had an evening commitment, but not until after I went and got a spa manicure and pedicure.

I splurged a little and went to the nicer place.

I realize that part of being profoundly happy is allowing for small splurges like this (besides the manicure lasts days longer then when I go to a cheap place) and letting in the happy.

I also allowed myself to buy tickets to go dancing next Friday, there’s a benefit at Public Works for the Flaming Lotus Girls–The Space Cowboy Collective will be playing along with Distrikt and the crew from Opulent Temple–great dance music and girlfriends.

I randomly saw a post on facecrack that a friend was contemplating going and I just decided to say yes and I bought a ticket, then Bonne said she got one and then Jesse got one and Beth got one and Tami got one and holy shit, I got a posse of girls to go dancing with next Friday.

And if that doesn’t make a girl profoundly happy.

I don’t know what does.

 


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