Saturday, January 15, 2022
Friday, January 7, 2022
I rarely call my husband by his first name. It's not that I don't care for his name, but rather I like calling him by his various nicknames better. I think he just tolerates the goofy names I have for him, but at least he responds to them.
Since bringing the two cats home a few months' back, I have been inspired to call them all sorts of things besides their actual names.
|From the time I left the linen closet door ajar--|
Bart is on the left; Marcel on the right
Marcel is also:
Monday, December 6, 2021
In November, I received an invite to attend a viewing of the Aids Quilt on Dec. 1, World Aids Day, at a local church. I have never seen the quilt IRL, as the kids say, and I was rather looking forward to it. In the intervening weeks I had somehow forgotten exactly which venue would be hosting the quilt and wound up instead attending the annual reading of the names of those who have died of AIDS/HIV-related causes. That event also took place on World Aids Day, but at the National Aids Memorial Grove within Golden Gate Park. When I arrived to the park at sunset and saw what was a wall of images of Aids Quilt panels instead of the quilt itself, I figured I had goofed. But the Grove was illuminated in such an alluring way and there were lanterns and candles set along the footpaths and a harpist sat amongst the redwoods playing a Lionel Richie song, so I was keen to stay and experience the evening.
The CEO of the National Aids Memorial Grove, John Cunningham, and a couple of speakers began the event by sharing movingly about the AIDS--then known as 'gay cancer'--epidemic that swept San Francisco and the Bay Area in the mid-80s. Then visitors to the Grove were invited to come up on stage and read names. A handful of attendees very quickly lined up stage right. I hadn't felt comfortable doing so myself--I figured I would cry and bungle it--, but then a woman standing with her partner just next to me walked toward the stage. I turned to her partner and asked, 'Is she going to read?' He told me she was and I said, 'Well, if she can do it, then I can do it.' We smiled at each other before I made my way to the stage through the small crowed that had assembled to listen.
As I stood waiting my turn, a man from the event organizing committee kindly acknowledged me. He thanked me for going up to read and I told him that I was feeling both sad and nervous at the prospect. He then gave me a warm side hug and said that that was OK. His hug and warm words made me feel less anxious. At the end of my reading I added a name to the list: Gerald 'Scotty' Batz, my beloved Uncle.
|John Cunningham, CEO of Nat'l Aids Memorial, kicks off the evening|
Thursday, November 25, 2021
We're in gutter season right now. There was a monster rain storm around these parts a couple of weeks' back, so there were many more gutters needing emptying and loads of dirty windows needing cleaning than usual.
We shared cleaning duties last week down in tony Menlo Park with a house cleaner. Fortunately, the property was large enough and we were never in each other's way. Once I and my co-workers moved to the outside of the house I assumed we wouldn't be seeing the cleaner anymore that day. I was wrong as she was then out in the back of the main house picking up dog shit from the large lawn. I have never seen a cleaner also be responsible for cleaning up pet waste. I kind of felt badly for her and hoped that she's being fairly compensated. As she's Latina from abroad I sort of think that she isn't, but I really don't know and wouldn't ever ask.
Yesterday, we spent the day working in another upscale city called Los Altos just south of Menlo Park along the peninsula. We were to clean the windows inside and out of the house and pressure-wash the grounds and house front. The cleaning was in preparation for today's Thanksgiving festivities. Now that the days are shorter, we finished the job just as the sun was setting and did the packing up in the dark. We've been to this property before, but usually in summertime when pretty much no one is home save for maybe the lady of the house. Yesterday, everyone was home (and, therefore, underfoot). Spoiler alert: teens and young adults don't care that the window cleaners are in house and needing to do their job. Mom had to coax them out of their bedrooms so that we may clean their windows. -not such a big deal, really.
What was interesting was cleaning the kitchen and adjacent den windows during Thanksgiving prep. I had to move loose yams from around the kitchen sink in order to drape the area and wash the windows just above. The dining room table was already for today's feast. Everything looked lovely. We paid special attention to the sliding glass doors just beyond the table. Hopefully, the glass is sparkling in the sunshine today.
For the curious, here's a wee map showing the part of the peninsula in which we were working--
Thursday, November 11, 2021
I slipped on dog shit twice while working on the same property last week. Once I could maybe understand, but TWICE?! The elderly client on whose gutters we were working does not own a dog, I should add. Not only did I slide on the poo as if it were banana peel, but I had clocked it beforehand while walking across the lawn in the (gated) backyard. My my eyes spied the pile of poo on the grass and then my brain said: AVOID. But did I listen? Nope. Ick. I'd really like to know who lets their dog take a dump in someone's yard and doesn't then clean it up?
The two new house-cats are settling in fairly well. Sometimes they wrestle a bit too hard with one another and then need to be separated, but there is no hissing or growling between them when they do scrap, so that's good.
As I type, Marcel is entertaining himself with an avocado seed by hitting it across the kitchen floor like Pelé. Bart is waiting for either my husband or I to take the feather toy down from the top of the fridge and wave it around dramatically. It's interesting for me as someone who has never owned two cats at once to note how different cats' personalities can be from one feline to the next. While these two each usually have very distinct play habits, both go bonkers for the toy that sort of resembles a mouse tethered to a wand by a long strand of leather cord.
|Bart will not let the mouse toy go.|
|And neither will Marcel!|
Both cats have taken to running with the mouse toy, stick pulling along on the floor behind them, from one room to the next. Bart will eventually drop the toy like an offering on a mat in the kitchen. Marcel will usually sit with it under the kitchen table, with no one around, all the while growling. Is there catnip sewn into the toy? We actually don't know. However, I do suspect that in another (outdoor) life, these two could have been champion mousers!
Friday, October 22, 2021
Friday, October 8, 2021
|Bart and newly adopted kitty playing with ball and ribbon. (Bart is mostly watching new kitty doing all the playing.)|
|Bart regarding new kitty's paw.|
My school chums and I grew up going down to 'the dairy', a corner market situated on the grounds of an old dairy called Sun Valley, ...