Week 14 

April 2, 2017 – SUNDAY

Computer problems.  Photos to follow.

Photo of balsamic vinegar – broken

Cents and Scent: The lower hall smells like a San Francisco Gold Rush brothel. Yesterday was not a good day. It was a day of dropping things, a day of broken bottles. I broke a bottle in the kitchen. Minutes after that, JM knocked over a 30-year-old bottle of aftershave in his bath. The aroma so strong this morning, it could have broken minutes ago. He has not worn aftershave in years. A few years ago, leaving for work early, he kissed me goodbye. The aftershave in the bottle he broke was on his clean-shaven face that day. “What?” I said, “Is this a sign of an affair?” Poor JM: “NO! It is there waiting to be used!” And thinking I’d see his using it as a sign of an ‘illicit encounter,’ he did not use it again, so the breaking resulted in a smell that won’t wash away and in broken glass which cut JM’s shin, all the unfortunate result of the breaking of something kept too long, a thing unlikely ever to be used. The contents seeped into slate tile, under cabinet and into air. The bottle once containing it tossed out. The bottle of aftershave should have, without the breaking, been discarded long ago.

In college, the girls in my dorm talked of English Leather after shave and how it showed sophistication of the wearer and was a ‘turn-on’ for them. They bought it for boyfriends at Christmas. The bigger the bottle, the more impressive, and by inference something to keep them interested in their man for years. Our first dating Christmas, I gave Michael the biggest bottle of English Leather I could find. Michael NEVER wore it. He did not like it – there was passion enough without the scent – but he kept his first gift from me. When was it tossed? Likely on our move cross country, 20 years after the giving.

For the making of a dressing for our supper salad, I reached under the sink, tipping over my $40 bottle of Italian Balsamic vinegar. The unopened bottle fell to the floor and broke, but unlike the aftershave, once opened, it would have been used and quickly. The vinegar, a useful extravagance. I rationalize that if we were to buy store-bought salad dressing, the cost per serving would be more than our salad dressings made with costly vinegar and rare oils. I adore good vinegars and oils and am not fond of bottled dressings. I’ll develop a rationale to justify the next bottle of fine Italian vinegar. However, if I’d broken a store-bought dressing, I’d be out of pocket only a few dollars. In the breakage of the Italian Balsamic, we’ve lost a bottle of liquid gold……

April 3, 2017 – MONDAY

Photos Baseball – opening day

First Night: Tonight I was to have attended Weezie Mott’s cooking class. Long months ago I had promised Michael I would attend the Oakland A’s opening day baseball game with him. A promise is a promise. JM and I both have computer calendars, calendars that are supposed to synchronize but do not, or do so only partially. During the weekend he reminded me of tonight’s game. I recruited a friend to attend Weezie’s cooking class and went with JM to the opener.

The pre-game event, the naming of the A’s field after Ricky Henderson, an Oakland child who grew up to be one of our best players, and now a field named after one of our own. Jets flew overhead, cannons shot off fireworks, a large flag was carried on the field, the national anthem sung and the first pitch of the season thrown out by Ricky. The weather was perfect, and the game against the Anaheim Angles won (one of the few opening games won in years) concluding a joyous evening at the ballpark with my guy.

April 4, 2017 – TUESDAY

Photo of fern & gifts from JM

Day of my birth: On this my birthday, I woke up to thoughts of my own mortality. Father lived only two years beyond this birthday anniversary. My mother’s father died at 21, and my father’s father died at 50. It seems that there is never enough time in life. Life is too short to love those we love, to do what we want, even to experience it. I celebrate my birthday. I’m happy to be alive, but realize that I live in a body and in a world of limits.

Michael bought me sweet cards, bought me gifts (in spite of the fact that he has already purchased a new camera for me) and took me out to dinner at a fine Southern-food themed restaurant. We had fried chicken and grits, and Michael, for the first time ever, liked grits. I must enjoy the now, today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

April 5, 2017 – WEDNESDAY

Illusion: I would have made a terrible psychologist. I would have doubted what patients reported. Over the years I’ve seen too many people make reports of non-existent events and mis-report events that occurred. I used to think it was because people were consciously making up lies, but since Trump’s election I’ve come to believe that there are those who, without knowing it, compulsively distort reality, their experiences and verifiable facts.

I attended a neighborhood meeting tonight, a meeting to discuss the future of our local farmer’s market. We talked of the market, its initiation, its past and their desire for its future. I went home from the meeting, astonished at claims made by participants. I had, in the creation of the market, attended meetings, recorded them and the ‘historic events’ around them. I was dismayed at the claims made and in my head, labeled my one time associates: Ego-Ego; Super-Super-Ego and Id of all Ids. I left the community meeting thinking, “I would have made a terrible psychologist. I would have believed NO ONE!” 

Our Lady slippers arrived and I planted them near Trillium, Solomon’s Seal and Columbine. I studied biology (with lots of botany) and love my wild flowers.  I’m concerned that these with some stem bends won’t make it.  About half of our wild flowers, or any flowers for that matter, survive.   Our garden motto:  If it grows, buy more.  If it dies, forget it.  — Unless, of course, we ignore our motto.

April 6, 2017 – THURSDAY

Photos of sf & players & bridge in rain

Wind in the Pines: I did not sleep well last night. I was too upset about yesterday’s neighborhood meeting, but, to quote Gone with the Wind, “Tomorrow is another day!”

Perhaps this day was not dangerously lived, but at times it seemed so. We drove through wind and rain to see “Beowulf,” a play enacted partially outside on the grounds of San Francisco’s Fort Mason. The wind howled in the trees (not sound effects, the real thing) pulled umbrellas away and tore them apart. At times rain poured down, wetting feet and entire bodies. We were glad for the final act performed inside an old church. The actors performed their scenes under trees, along walkways, in gun emplacement. The environment seemed to make the play somehow both more real and more artificial.   As we were rained on and pushed by the wind during the performance, because of its setting at the edge of the sea (San Francisco Bay), we felt the moment magical and thanked nature for making the experience a once-in-a-lifetime event.

April 7, 2017 – FRIDAY

Phone photo of paint on basket top

Un-Zen: I’m taking too many OLLIE classes. I missed my Wednesday morning ‘Scandinavian literature’ class, but I did turn in my writing assignment for another class. I made it to a watercolor painting class this morning. My brush strokes are crude, at least in comparison to the woman sitting across the table from me and to that of the teacher. What on earth was I thinking when I signed up for the class? One woman referred to watercolors as the ‘Zen art.’ I was too anxious to be Zen, but there are those who are.

April 8, 2017 – SATURDAY

Bird feeder & hook

The Disappeared: My week has vanished. Life is spent (not lost) second by second, but my computer record of this week, my week gone to some unknown computer gremlin. In my computer-dated search, e-mails, letters, photographs, documents, but not my 365 degrees of home week. I hate to have to re-write the week, but it seems I must (and did). I have not thrown out my notes of the week written in reporter’s notebooks, recording feeling, observations and memories. I can rewrite my week based on notes, but gone, how I distilled the thoughts of each day on that day. This week, rewritten, recalled at the end of the week, not at the end of each day (although some days I write early, some in mid-day and some just before sleep).

We received our new squirrel-proof bird feeder yesterday and filled it. I looked out our almost floor-to-ceiling study window and saw a dripping-wet sad-looking squirrel hovering on the pole over the feeder. Above that squirrel another in the branches of the Oak. I left the room to locate my camera. When I returned, both squirrels were gone. I looked at our new humming bird feeder on the counter with its s-hook and thought, “We need to get a new hook. Those squirrels will knock the feeder off the hook and down onto the hill. They will get that food!” I went upstairs and got one of our REI camping ‘S-shaped’ hooks which closes each opening of the ‘S” with a clip, making the ‘S’ an ‘8.’ It was already too late. When I returned the bird feeder with its new, special blend of sunflower seeds, out of sight below on the hill, squirrels feasting. They are clever creatures and are rarely outsmarted.