Posts Tagged ‘Stone Tree’

My Body Hurts

August 16, 2016

My brain hurts.

Everything hurts.

I am not sure why.

It’s not sick hurt.

It’s like I slept on my back hurt in a strange way.

But I slept like a baby, like a tired baby with hot milk in its belly.

In my own bed for the first time in eight days.

I remember putting my head on the pillow and rolling over and I was out.

I mean.

OUT.

I woke up to go to the loo at some point.

I think.

I mean, I usually do, as I like to have a cup of tea before I hit the hay, but I don’t even remember if I did, it was just an assumption.

I woke up when my alarm went off and got moving.

Now that I remember it, I did feel sore when I woke up, but I think I just shrugged it off.

And perhaps it’s tension or psycho-somatic, or who knows, I certainly don’t have to figure it out, but it is certainly there.

And there is no sleeping in my sweet, cozy, dreamy little studio tonight.

No.

I have made my return to Glen Ellen, to Stone Tree, to a week of being in Sonoma, but instead of being in Petaluma, I am at work.

The family’s vacation spot for the summer.

It’s not a bad bed and fuck, the room I have is huge, I mean, really gigantic.

Bigger than my in-law, that’s for certain.

It’s just not my bed.

I will be wrangling up some ibuprofen in a little while, after I blog and make a cup of tea and I think, yes, an episode of Mr. Robot.

I tried to do some Burning Man stuff, order a few last minute things, but I found I didn’t have the focus in me to do so.

I just paid my phone bill and that was all the online activity I could handle, no Amazon shopping for me tonight.

I made it out here ok, although there was a bit of a miscommunication between me and the mom and I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to lock up the house after letting in the housekeeper.

So I was in and around the Mission for many unnecessary hours.

That being said, I made an appearance at one of many fine church basements in the Mission and got right with God.

I figured, a week out of town, a week away from my fellows, from my favorite cafes and food and San Francisco, from my bed, my home, my things, was going to warrant a little getting steady with my emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.

I will be getting compensated for the additional money I had to spend on the rental car, which is nice, but I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with the parents about it.

The conversation happened via text this morning while I was at the house waiting for the cleaner to show up.

And today when I got there.

Well.

I was too busy catching up with the boys who wouldn’t let go of me.

Dinner was had with one leaned against me and the other in my lap, there was no removing myself.

The youngest was such a little darling, he was napping when I showed up and dad had to run to town on an errand, the older boy and mom were out, and it was just the little guy and me and the dog.

Said dog who was so happy to see me it made my heart warm and fuzzy.

When he woke up, the look on his face, incredulous joy.

“Surprise,” I said softly, touching his sweet face, and wiping his little sweaty brow.

He sleeps hot.

“Carmen!  Oh, Carmen, I missed you, I want to go pick tomatoes with you in the garden and make you a salad,” he said all warm and soft and cuddly and my god, my heart.

So much.

So much love.

He crawled into my arms and wrapped himself around me and told me how much he missed me and how much he loved me, and then he took my hand and we walked to the garden and picked tomatoes off the vine and fresh basil.

When the oldest boy got back, he proudly showed me all the places they had picked blackberries and then insisted that we go back up to the garden and pick even more tomatoes, because he too, missed me, loved me, and wanted to make me a tomato salad.

They remembered from last year.

The tomatoes were out of hand and I probably ate two or three each meal, mostly chopped up with sea salt and olive oil, black pepper, lemon balm (it’s a type of herb), oregano, and fresh basil, splash of balsamic and I am a very happy girl.

Both the boys helped me make the salad and then they both ate out of my bowl and dredged their fingers through the olive oil and vinegar and ate bites of grilled chicken off my plate and just were relentless with touching me, cuddling with me, sitting on me.

“Carmen,” the oldest boy whispered to me, “please massage my back again,” he said, then tugged on my hand, when I had stopped to take a bite of dinner.

I melted, just a little bit.

Ok.

A lot bit.

We sat chair to chair and while his brother basically licked the bowl clean, I rubbed his shoulders and told him about my graduate school adventures and the animals I saw at the institute–hawks, the deer, the does and their fawns, the jack rabbit in the grass, the ears so high and big.

I tried to get a photograph of it, it was just huge, but it loped off into the high grass before I was able to get my phone up and open to the camera.

After dinner, which began to devolve, I think the eldest has a bit of a cold he’s struggling with, I let the boys smack me with pillows.

I had a sense that though they were not necessarily mad at me, there was a need to be a little aggressive with their feelings, get out some of the consternation and energy from not getting to see each other for the two weeks I was away from them.

They had missed me and they had feelings around it and they needed to express that too, not just the snuggly love stuff, which not withstanding was divine to experience, so a pillow fight ensued.

And it was absolutely the best.

I set a timer and let them hit me with pillows for three minutes solid without defending myself or hitting them back with the couch pillows.

It was so much fun.

The giggles.

Mine and theirs.

Then, when the alarm rang, we all just collapsed in a heap on the couch and snuggled more.

I was with them far past what should have been my end of day, but I couldn’t resist catching up and re-connecting.

I’ll be here until Friday.

Drive back into SF in the evening then have the weekend in town.

I’ve got some organizing to do in regards to Burning Man, then depending on what next week looks like, I’ll be heading back to Glenn Ellen in the evening on Sunday, I think, for one more week of summer vacation travel nanny fun.

Then off to Burning Man next Friday.

Oof.

Not quite ready yet.

But not really able to do anything more tonight.

Too tired to figure it out right now.

Time for Mr. Robot, I’m into the second season now, cup of tea, apple, bed.

Night y’all.

See you on the flip.

Oh, Sweet Friday

April 30, 2016

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

One sparkling, clean, fresh, tidy home.

I got up early today and I did the deal, wrote, breakfasted, coffee’d, wrote some more, and ran up to the market to pick up a few things for the weekend–my little co-op will be closed for International Workers Day on this Sunday, May 1st.

Which marks three years back from Paris for me.

I remember leaving so well, like it was yesterday and I am marveling at the amazing amount of life that I have lived since I have returned from my adventure in trying to be French for a little tiny time in my life.

It was so very, very, very hard.

But it was so worth it.

Every tear I cried, sluiced away in the memories of buttery smells from the patisserie by Square D’Anvers–which I am quietly and joyfully reminded of every time I ride my scooter to work past Tartine on Guerrero Street.  Tartine is the only place I have ever smelled that same delicious baking smell from outside of Paris.  It has something to do with the butter they use for making the croissants and something to with the bread making.

I am no expert, but my nose, well, it knows.

Three years since I moved back from Paris.

And here I am at the nadir of my last month of my first year of graduate school.

Here I am heading into a well deserved weekend from a great job with children I love and a family I respect and am privileged to work for.

A family that confirmed they want me full time for the summer.

Whew.

Although there will be changes in my schedule which I am not horribly thrilled about, I’ll start much earlier with the family than I do now, for instance.

I will be back to working 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

40 hours a week.

I’ve been averaging 35 hours a week when I’m not in school and 28 when I am.

Plus, I have worked a few extra hours here and there and been hyper flexible with them in regards to coming to the house and doing extra stuff for them when they have travelled.

We will review at the end of summer in regards to fall employment.

I am not afraid of that, although I felt a momentary twinge of fear, it went away fast.

Forget you fear, even should the family decide to not run with me as their nanny and I really can’t see that, although, who knows, come this fall, I will find other employment or it will find me.

l have ten years of nanny experience and I’m getting a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology to be a Child Psycho Therapist.

Who the hell wouldn’t want to hire me.

Yeah, humility, not always my strong suit, but I certainly don’t need to be anxious about employment, I have always, always, always been taken care of.

As long as I put my recovery first, everything, absolutely everything has followed.

It has not always followed the way I thought it would, but everything has been better than what I could have planned or hoped for.

I mean.

If I had had my way, I’d still be in Paris.

But God had his way.

And.

I’ve been back in San Francisco, making it through the crazy tech times and the boisterous economy and the sky rocketing rents.

Side bar.

My land lord sent me a text asking for my e-mail address and my first thought, was “fuck, here it is, she’s really raising the rent,” and then I remembered what my person said to me–“be positive Carmen, don’t always go to the worst case scenario,” and decided that wasn’t the case at all and sent her my e-mail.

She replied by sending me an invitation to her birthday party.

Ha.

Oh.

I fucking love my crazy head.

So.

Yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of that practicing being positive.

“You seem to be coming through this whole Burning Man thing, the not going, really, really well, I am so impressed,” my person told me last night.

I reflected.

Yeah, it was hard and I was sad, but it passed quickly and I know, really deeply, that there is something else I am supposed to be doing, some other experience.

I don’t have to know what it is.

I just know that I need to have the experience rather than Burning Man, otherwise I would be going to Burning Man.

There are no mistakes in God’s world.

I’ll go next year.

And what with confirming my full time employment with the family I was also asked to go with them again to Stone Tree, the place they rent out for weeks in the summer for a part of their summer vacation travel plans.

I will once again be up in Sonoma, outside of Glenn Ellen for a few weeks come this summer.

They go twice, once in the early summer and then again right before school starts back up for the boys in August.

I also found out that they will be traveling to Oregon, but I won’t be going with them, I’ll stay back, do some house work and then.

Hmm.

Maybe Wisconsin?

I have really felt a pull to see my best friend from back home and what with my other friend being in Minnesota not too far from the Twin Cities, I may kill two birds with one stone and see a couple of dear friends.  I have to double check dates and times.  I won’t get paid proper vacation time for it, but I’ll get a short week, 28 hours, for their time away and I will still get my full week of vacation time for my second year school retreat, also in August.

It looks like summer is going to be big regardless of what I do.

It’s not here yet though.

My sparkling clean house attests to that.

First the weekend.

Yoga in the morning, shower, breakfast, coffee, writing, meet my person.

Then.

Yes.

My date.

Eek a mouse.

Finally here.

Yay!

It’s the weekend.

I am officially arrived.

Thank fucking God.

Seriously.

Let It Go

June 22, 2015

Let it all go.

Revel in the sunshine, thick, golden, syrupy sunshine, splayed down the mountains.

The song on the radio.

The blue sky above.

My foot on the pedal and I’m off to Glen Ellen for a week for work.

I was anxious this morning, I find traveling extraordinarily exciting and fulfilling, but there’s always a touch of anxiety around it, what to pack, how to pack, am I taking too much, too little, do I have my toothbrush?

It was also a day of coordination, clean up the house, make sure my ducks were in a row, tidy up the back yard from the bonfire the other night, make the bed, water the plants, do a little grocery shopping so that I was able to eat for the day, but not my typical three market shopping.

Just a run up to Other Avenues–a pint of strawberries, a 1/2 dozen eggs, a travel size box of toothpaste.

I may or may not, the verdict is still out, being going to LA at the end of the week.

I have let go any expectations, I don’t want to force things, I am liking the idea of a friendship and going slow so LA might be off the table.  I haven’t heard either way, but I know, I know without a doubt, that there is nothing wrong.

I mean.

I am working in sunshine all week.

I may get to go to LA at the end of it.

And next week?

Atlanta.

I am going to get to wear summer clothes, no scarves thank you very much, for the next two weeks.

That is such a huge gift.

I love San Francisco, but I love sunshine too.

Having been previously diagnosed with seasonal depression when I was younger (not to mention the clinical anxiety, and depression I was diagnosed with as an adult) sunshine is like medicine to me.

I love Wisconsin, but I don’t think I can ever live there again.

Not enough sunshine.

And I love the Outer Sunset and the beach and I know without any doubt in my mind that I will always live by the ocean, how can I not, it soothes me, it cradles me to sleep, “you can hear the ocean from here!” He said opening up the back door to my studio.

But.

I could really do without the cold summers and fogginess.

I know it’s the tradeoff for having rent I can afford in the city, although the rents in the neighborhood have gone up and if you had told me a couple of years ago that I would be living in the Outer Sunset I would have told you to go fire up your crack pipe.

I yearn for sunshine.

So.

This work trip, a gift.

All travel, really a gift.

I watched the ocean sparkle and glimmer with light this afternoon on the way out to the airport, my employers had me rent a car and Uber out to SFO to pick it up, and was stunned again by the beauty that is just there, right there for me to access.

I enjoyed the ride.

I love car trips.

I like driving.

But I like being a passenger even more.

The watching out the windows, the light moving past, the glamour of road travel.

Yes.

I am a weirdo.

I think road travel has a certain kind of glamour to it.

It also has a certain sound track and I spent a lot of time flipping through the radio stations on the car before I found what I liked.

It should be classic rock and maybe some blues and ballads to sing to.

A little folk is lovely, but classic rock does it for me.

It’s how I grew up, it’s what was playing on the radio when my mom and sister and mom’s boyfriend took the first big road trip of my life from California out to Wisconsin.

I was four and a half?

Five tops.

Riding in the back of the Volkswagen Bug, listening to music, watching the clouds scroll by, and the light, the light always capturing me, doing something magical and alchemic to my soul.

My heart burnished with 70s rock melodies and high bright blue skies and sunshine.

No wonder I wanted to move back out West as soon as I graduated from college.

Once I had made the first initial foray I knew I would never come back.

My mom told me she knew that when I got to San Francisco there was no turning back for me, she had not wanted to buy me the plane ticket, it was a gift, one of the few my mom got right on the nose (I asked for it specifically, it may have been the only time in my life I really asked for what I wanted from my mom and she gave it to me.  Thanks mom.) and I knew she regretted it on some levels, her baby flying the coop at the ripe age of 29.

When I drive in California, those songs come back to me, the sunshine comes back to me, I am overwhelmed with sense memory and the smell of the air, the slight oceanic tinge, the dry grass, the time of day even will envelop me with memory.

Some concrete and tangible.

Some vague, yet, so strong, so filled with meaning and emotion I could feel my tender heart, well, growing more tender.

I teared up driving into the sun under a canopy of spreading oak trees as I turned up Sonoma Mountain Road heading to the house the family has rented for the next week.

There was something about the sun dappling through those branches, the Steve Miller Band on the radio, and the smell of it all that made me so aware of how amazing my life is and how much work and effort it has taken to get back here, having circled back and completed this revolution of change and growth in my life.

To be exactly where I am at.

The still point.

Of.

Perfection.

Welcome Back To “Normal”

June 17, 2015

Although there never really is a normal day in my life.

I am just not going on a date, being scammed for all the money in my bank account, or finding out that I won a full ride to graduate school.

It was a big day at work, I had to have the boys out most of the day as the house was being fitted with new heating and air duct work, so crazy amounts of working guys in and out and I had to be off premise from 10 a.m. till almost five p.m.

But.

The mom and dad are so flexible with me and the boys schedule and they have extra space outside their main residence that was used.

It ended up being a restaurant adventure sort of day for me and the boys and one that I marveled at on more than one occasion today.

I got to eat at Tacolicios for lunch, which despite its lame name, I’m sorry, it’s lame, is really quite good.

I had the Marina girl salad with grilled shrimp and sat on the patio with an iced tea while my boys ate the house made refried beans with cojita cheese and had fish tacos on hand-made tortillas and ate corn chips and rice like they were going out of style.

Then this evening, a further celebration with the family for my graduate school acceptance and the scholarship award–dinner out with them at Kiji on 23rd and Guerrero.

Oh my god.

It was so good.

I texted a friend tonight and was like, go, go, go.

I had Hamachi Kama–grilled yellow tail tuna collar-bone–extraordinary; grilled asparagus, Umi Maso, also a first for me, which is ocean trout, sashimi; Unagi–barbecued fresh water eel; Toro–blue fin belly; sautéed Japanese mushrooms; a bowl of the best Miso soup I think I have ever had; and two perfect Miyagi oysters, some of the best I have ever had, super fresh and the presentation was beautiful.

Divine.

I will be going back.

Sans the little guys.

In fact, I thought, definite date night restaurant for upcoming date.

I have many upcoming dates on my mind.

But not obsessively so and I have to say, that is so refreshing.

Just taking it nice and slow.

I’m finding the more I know about myself, the more that taking it slow feels right, good, the thing to do.

Healthy.

I am liking that.

Taking it day by day is how it’s supposed to be anyway and I realize that normal, whatever normal looks like for me, is just staying as much as possible in the moment and keeping the focus on myself and my care; on what I have to accomplish in my day and how to be the best woman I can at any given time during that day.

I’m not perfect and I don’t expect to become so, but I am feeling a whole lot more relaxed about things.

I suppose not having to be concerned with coming up with tuition money for my first two years of graduate school has something to do with that.

And my healthier approach to Burning Man.

I just got off the phone with my best friend from Wisconsin, who echoed how nice it was to hear me doing well and what a big change it was going to be for me to go to Burning Man and not work every day that I am on playa.

It’s coming up pretty fast.

However.

My next focus will be on getting to Sonoma next week and what that will look like work wise.

I’ll be heading up to Glen Ellen to work with the family and stay with them at their place, I believe it’s called Stone Tree?

It’s not their house, they rent it, but it appears to be palatial and has a pool and a lot of space and I’ll have my own room and bathroom.

Which is good.

It’s one thing to nanny at Burning Man, I mean, yes it’s Burning Man, so there’s that; but it’s quite the other to actually be a live in nanny at a house with a family.

For a week.

I’m going to miss my sweet little home by the sea.

Although, it will be sunny and there is the aforementioned pool and I will have down time.

I’m not even anxious about it, really, rather just looking forward to a new adventure with the family.

I really do consider myself so lucky to be with them.

The fit is perfect for my graduate school schedule and goals and they just take care of me and I love the boys.

God.

I love these kids.

I mean.

I know.

I say that about all the children I take care of and I love them all.

I marvel at how they are all so different, but when it comes down to certain things, there is nothing like sitting down somewhere–a stoop, the bench at a playground, on the floor, a bunk bed, or rocking chair–and snuggling and reading stories or just talking.

Yesterday the oldest boy and I sat for a good forty-five minutes on the front stoop bird watching and talking about how much we like spending time together.

“We’re going to have slumber parties in Sonoma!” He said.

And so we are.

Blackberry picking.

And blackberry pie making, the oldest one is adamant about making a black berry pie.

I’m even tempted to break out the old pie crust recipe, although I’m sure freezer ones will do, and weave a crust.

There will be swimming in the pool, hikes along the creek, visits to the llama farm down the road.

I’m excited.

And I get paid.

So there’s that.

I’m excited about all sorts of things.

Some of which I am not going to write about, but you know, read between the lines yo and know that I am happy.

Life is good.

It is generally.

But.

Really.

Life is good.


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