In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now in my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
Caw. Caw. Caw. Caw. A flock of crows have been hanging around the neighborhood lately. I've watched some of them fly through the backyard, coming to rest on the tall, leafy skinny tree (possibly a birch) next door. Caw. Caw. Caw. Caw. I never paid attention to these birds until one Sunday afternoon in 1994. The First Husband and I lived in an apartment building on the northwest flank of Mt. Sutro in San Francisco. That afternoon I was home working while the First Husband was attending a powwow. While I was looking out the window, a crow landed on our balcony. I moved closer to the window. It didn't faze the crow. That crow and I gazed at each other for a long while. I felt the crow was assuring me all would be well with the First Husband who was diagnosed with cancer. Until a few weeks before he died, I saw and heard crows often. There were afternoons where I'd see a crow circling above the trees near our carport. Same crow? Maybe. Hearing or seeing a crow mell
Sewing machines, bicycles, and vehicles are the things that I like to push pedal to the metal. Here are 13 of my favorite ones from today to long ago. Kenmore portable sewing machine. About a decade ago, good friend BB gave me her 1970s portable sewing machine when I was having a sewing fix and she was in a down-sizing mood. After a thorough tune-up, the machine was good to go. Vrrrroom, vrrrooom. I'm going through another spurt (and probably last) of sewing. This morning I started sewing curtains for the upstairs hallway. Yup, that's them in "draft mode" in the above photo. Eliza Do-a-lot. Some of you know about dear 25-year old Eliza. She's a no-nonsense old lady's white sedan with hardly any blind spots. Eliza was Mama's last car. When Mama broke her hip in 1997, I started driving Eliza back and forth from El Cerrito where the Husband and I lived. By the time Mama felt confident to drive again, she needed to renew her license. She couldn'
Day's End. That was how it looked yesterday at sunset. Disaster Rose. What do you think of that for a protagonist's nickname? David. I've always liked that name. Solid, cheerful, thoughtful. Dave. Davey. The Husband's surname means son of David. Debonair. Cary Grant. George Clooney. The Husband. Humor is part of my definition of debonair. Dig it. Can you dig it? Hands, please, who said this once upon a time, with a straight face. I do like to dig in the yard, and I do a decent job of digging, I like to think. Meet John Doe. Recently the Husband and I watched Meet John Doe , a 1941 Frank Capra film starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck with Walter Brennan. Good trembles into arms of Evil so it may survive, but eventually Good realizes it is not Evil and scrambles back onto the path of light. The name John Doe doesn't make sense to me. I understand that it refers to a male with an unknown identity. Shouldn't it be John Bu
coffee. This morning the Husband and I shared a chocolate old-fashioned doughnut to enjoy with our cups of black coffee. Happy smiles all around. Cable. I want us to get rid of our cable subscription. The Husband agrees it's too expensive for the few channels we watch. Will we? you ask. We will, I'm sure we will. The bigger question: When will we? Procrastinators are us. ceramics. When I was 19, my big dream was to own a bookstore with a ceramics workshop in the back. Cute. The Husband says I'm cute. I tell him it's because he loves me. He says, "It's because you are cute." chicken. There are times when I think our representatives at the local, state, or national level of government are too chicken to make a stand one way or the other. Bwak, bwak cooking. I do that once a day, at least, most days. I like when it's a some day. Coast-co. "We're going to Costco," I would say to Mama. "Where?" she w
In Ilocano (the parents' primary language), balasang is the word for a young woman who has reached the marriageable age, which in my parents' day would've been 15 or 16. A balasang presents herself to the world well-groomed, well-dressed, and well-mannered. Graceful and radiant, with no sassy mouth nor a defiant bone in her. Alas, that was not me. Mama did her best to polish me up with the stylish, stiff, and sophisticated outfits that she bought for me. I felt uncomfortable, awkward, and fake in them, preferring, and still do, the bohemian style. In my early 20s, when I worked in the San Francisco Financial District as a clerk typist, I wore a Mama outfit when everything else was in the laundry hamper. To break the monotony of the outfit, I'd wear something silly with it. Once I wore wool knee-high socks and clogs with a pink polyester dress that had an attached two-toned bolero-type jacket. I looked as atrocious as it sounds. Still, in the early evening, whil
That's me standing in the back on the far left side in the photo. I was editing the photo this morning when I noticed the dress and thought it sure looked like the one I used to wear back when I was in my 20s. And, what do you know that was me. haha I cannot remember what the celebration was all about. It could've been the end of the summer youth program for which I was coordinator, which would've been 1980. Then again it could've been the last day of the literacy/job skills program I taught the following summer. Both programs were administered by the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Corporation (West Bay), a community-based organization in San Francisco that served Filipino immigrants in the City, most of whom lived in the South of Market. I was totally out of my element: I did not speak nor understand Tagalog, and I was American born who grew up in a small agricultural town 100 miles south of San Francisco. Even though others assured me it didn't matter, ins
At the moment, I'm working on my photo entries for the county fair (due tomorrow). As usual, I let the days go by like three years ago, the last time I participated in the fair. My post from September 28, 2015. ************** Yesterday afternoon, procrastinating me started thinking about my flower arrangement entries for the fair, which are due on Wednesday afternoon. I opened one of the kitchen cupboards and staring boldly at me, obviously begging to be in the fair, was an Eiffel Tower martini glass. "I'm for the A Touch of Glass dry floral arrangement," it proclaimed. "Okay," I said. "Let's go." We went to the office where I set the Eiffel Tower martini glass on the drawing board, into which the poor Husband keeps bumping as he goes in and out of the office. Before I knew it, the dried green moss called out from its basket on the floor, "Hey! Hey!" Bammm! A handful of moss planted itself in the glass,
This morning at the end of breakfast my fingers locked into a Vulcan salute, and I wasn't even trying to make one. "Look," I said to the Husband who was intently bent over his iPad. "Wait, I'm watching this video." I constantly interrupt the Husband while he's in the middle of reading or watching a video online. Sorry, Dude. My fingers weren't moving. Now what? Gah. That got me thinking about what kind of Medicare Advantage plan to get. I think I'm in good health for being a life-time fatty. Poor Mama, the doctor pulled out 21-inches long and over eight pounds me, cesarean style. That must've been awfully scary for her. Baby Sister (who lived two years) and I were cesareans. Older Brother was a natural birth in a jungle in the Philippines. Just kidding about the jungle, though I would love to claim being born in a jungle. I don't know whether Oldest Girl was a cesarean, too. Valentina, the sister who died on the day she was born
Once upon a time, on a beautiful, warm Fall evening, I sat in a university extension classroom of like-minded adults who wanted to improve their writing skills. I spent much of the first hour glancing out the window. I wanted to see the moment of nightfall. I missed it.
There ought to be a song about that combination—buttons and tobacco tins, la la la lah. Remember the song "Buttons and Bows"? I think Dick Dale on Lawrence Welk sang that song, while dressed in cowboy clothes or dapper 1890s suit. Or, was that Larry Hooper? The Lennon Sisters in prairie dresses and bonnets? Yup, I watched Lawrence Welk when I was a kid, developing what I thought was sarcasm and wit. Watching it with The Daddy was a treat. I never tired listening to his assessment on the tenor Joe Feeney after he trilled "Danny Boy" or another break-your-heart song, holding the last note to kingdom come and back. When Feeney was done, The Daddy remarked, "He earned his two-bits." I never knew if The Daddy liked Feeney's singing. Should I meet up with The Daddy in the after life, that's one question I shall ask of him. The tobacco tins in the photo belonged to The Daddy, which meant Older & Only Bro and I bought The Daddy a new pipe for
Here's a treat for you and me: Back in 1970, 16-year-old me wrote a piece about summer for the school newspaper. Today I'm linking up with All Seasons , a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from Jesh St.G . Click here to check out Jesh. For the participants list, click here . Thanks, Jesh!
Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm still playing catch up so I'm back to reaching into my archives for a while more. Have fun out there. Today's post (edited) was first published on November 22, 2015. ============= A warning for delicate ears: Bodily toots are being mentioned on today's post. (Giggle.) I'm one of those people whose body systems get all relaxed when she wanders around a bookstore. The moment I enter the door, total zen. Unfortunately for those around me, I'm one of those book browsers who not only gives the occasional loud ah! when she sees an interesting book cover, but also an occasional silent toot, leaving a lingering aroma. I try not to, but, hey, better out than in. Sorry for the TMI, but it's to set you up for this next paragraph. (Snort) The future-Husband and my first adventure included a visit to a used bookstore in his neighborhood. I have no idea if the shop still exists. I
Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm still playing catch up so I'm back to reaching into my archives for a while more. Have fun out there. Today's post (edited) was first published on April 11, 2015. = = = = = = = = = = = = = Knock, knock. The Mama opened the kitchen door, which was the back door at our house on 44 Shore Road. I sat at the kitchen table, keeping her company as she prepared dinner. Uncle Frank! The Daddy's younger brother. He carried a tree stump in his arms. "I cut down a tree in my back yard," said Uncle Frank, putting it down next to the kitchen counter. "I thought it was the right size for Susie." I was four. Either Uncle Frank or the Mama held my hand as I climbed onto the stump. Yaaay! I had a wonderful view of the counter. I don't remember much of those very early years. But, I must've been in the kitchen a lot with the Mama. Enough so that Uncle Frank thought I o
In Fall 1962, the family moved into a brand new house on a brand new street a couple miles east of town. Lucky 711 was the street number; El Camino Paraiso, the street name. Translation: Paradise Road. Myself, I prefer "The Road to Heaven" because the cemetery, run by the Catholic Church, sat next door. I thought a ghost lived in my bedroom closet. Every now and then, until I left for college, just as I was falling asleep, I experienced old hag syndrome , a kind of sleep paralysis. The only way I felt safe was to sleep in a fetal position on my left side, facing away from the closet. Cute yellow house, don't you think? It had a huge back yard, enough space for the Daddy to grow a good-size vegetable garden, as well as plant fruit trees and raise chickens, pigeons, goats, and pigs. Fortunately for us we lived in the county. With all that, the Parents still were able to put in a patio, some lawn, and a flower garden. The Mama sold the yellow house in 1987, a y
The last time I made Tuna Fish Surprise was in home economics class in seventh grade, which was...hmmmm....over 50 years ago. That was the first time I ever made the dish—a can of tuna fish, a can of cream of mushroom soup, crumbled potato chips, and, I don't know what else. I have a vague feeling we baked the tuna fish on sliced bread. It was after all public school, the 1960s, and the objective to teach us, girls, how to prepare delicious fare cheaply and quickly within 30 minutes or less. The home ec teacher let us give our dish away to other teachers, which meant being able to roam the hallways during class hours. So, yeah, you bet I went that way. I chose Mr. Anthony, the gruff old science teacher. Why should all the favorite teachers get all the good stuff? Yesterday was the second time I made a version of the dish. After consulting the cookbooks and the Internet, I figured anything could be put together for this dish. Thus, it's name. Uh-huh. Got it. To two cans of sus
I'm taking apart the first album of the Mama's. Not her first one ever, but the first in a long line of albums. Sigh. What's with the so-called "acid-free/archival" pages in this album? The cellophane breaks apart when I take out the photos. So much for trying to use my hands with delicateness and refinement. For some reason-yet-to-be-identified, I'm saving the 3x5 pieces of paper (with a single punched hole) that were used as dividers between photos. The how-can-I-repurpose-this part of me has prevailed. I don't know what to do with the photos after I've scanned them. For that matter, what am I going to do with the scanned photos. May be why there are long intervals between scanning sessions. And, for a session to happen, I need to play my era of Rock & Roll and Latin music so I can wiggle and waggle in my chair, as I do this rather sad and joyful exercise of remembering stuff in photos. For instance: the rainy wedding day of a cousin; o
This was in 1996 (or 1997) in our backyard at our first home together. We had an awesome view of San Francisco Bay and, behind the Husband and all that greenery, of San Francisco. It had been about 20 years since either of us lived in a house. What a luxury that was. No flights of stairs to carry groceries, packages, or laundry. Open the front door and sit on an actual porch. Until sound walls were built by the freeway a few miles below us, we heard no traffic. And, we had a huge backyard with nothing in it so we could transform it into anything we wanted. Yes, definitely a wonderful first home for us to get used to each other. Doesn't the Husband look cute? In college, he was given the nickname "Farmer Dick" by his friends. Not because he was a farmer, but because he wore overalls a lot. (That's another thing the Husband and I had in common when we were young.) He makes a handsome farmer, the Husband does, so I say. I'm linking up with All Season
The Mexican lavender has popped back in the front yard. Hurrah! When the Daddy and the Mama bought their house a long time ago, it wasn't completely finished so the builders let us choose the colors for the rooms. I chose purple for my bedroom, my own four walls with a door. No more more sharing with the Only and Older Brother. That was a pretty good luxury for an almost 10-year-old and for the parents, too. So I think. In the end, the painters mixed up the Parents' and my choices. They got a muted purple bedroom, while I got a bright yellow one. Both the Mama and I were bummed, but we sucked it up. C'est la vie. It was just as well that I didn't get my choice. The color yellow, color experts say, is great for nurturing joyfulness and stimulating intelligence and mental somersaults (perfect for growing minds), while the color purple is good for promoting deep thoughts and spirituality. Once I moved into puberty, I became a rather surly, mopey girl too serious fo
The other day I came across these photos of the Mama's front yard in 2010. Neat and proper, how the Mama loved her gardens and landscaping to be. A philosophy that differs from mine, which is essentially a higgledy-piggledy one, although you might say that there is order in chaos. It has been almost two years since I've taken over the Mama's gardens and landscaping. Flowers have gotten out of hand. The canna lilies, for example, were winning in their plot to take over the front garden so I dug out most of the bulbs and transplanted many elsewhere last month. The Mama's rosemary bushes, on the other hand, are getting straggly in a way that I wonder if they may be on their last legs. The Mama's roses got rather tall. Some nearly reached the roof. She deadheaded them, but after someone mentioned how tall the roses were, she was no longer interested in cutting them back. So I thought. Now I wonder if was because it was too difficult for her to prune them and s