July 2008


Ever since we moved to Eureka, Kiddlebiddle and I have taken one day of our summer visits to go to San Francisco.  When she was little it was the zoo.  A year later, Chinatown.  The next year, Fisherman’s Wharf.  Always touristy kind of stuff that could be done in a day.

This past year we’ve been to the city for very short overnights when we went to the ballet.  And as we drive through the city every three weeks on our “visit with Dad” drives, I’ve begun to think about showing her more of the city of my birth; the city I love dearly; where I went to college and where I lived for several happy years.

This year I decided to do just that.  At 11 she’s actually interested in learning more about mom’s history.  So I began a search for a reasonably priced hotel and was lucky enough to find  a package deal at what turned out to be a wonderful hotel!  The Galleria Park Hotel on Sutter, right in the financial district and just 3-4 blocks from Union Square (major shopping!) and Chinatown!  It was a FANTASTIC weekend!

First, the hotel was a renovated old building that was in outstanding shape and perfectly located.

 

OMG - ACROSS THE STREET FROM OUR HOTEL!!!

OMG - ACROSS THE STREET FROM OUR HOTEL!!!

in the lobby of the hotel

in the lobby of the hotel

On the way in to San Francisco Thursday afternoon, I took her by two of the places I had lived.  It’s been almost 20 years so though I knew where they were, finding my way wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped.  The trip down memory lane was pleasant for me and Kiddlebiddle seemed to enjoy it as well.  (more…)

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Every year, our friends Jerry & Lisa celebrate their wedding anniversary by reserving the entire campground where they were married.  It is an invitation only weekend long celebration – this year, celebrating 25 years!  Congratulations Jerry & Lisa!!!  I should have knit a silver flamingo for you!  (I’ll have to get to work on that!  A couple of years ago I did knit them a flamingo.  Somehow, the flamingo had become a symbol at the campout.  They’re everywhere. 

Anyway, many of the invitees were at the original wedding.  I wasn’t.  Sadly, I didn’t meet Jerry & Lisa until about six years ago.  But UkeHusband has known them much longer and been attending the campout for quite some time.

This year the stay was a bit abbreviated.  About a day shorter than normal.  So some folks didn’t make the trip (people come from all over the country for this shindig!).  My disappointment was that we couldn’t work out the schedule to get Kiddlebiddle up here this year.  She tries to go every other year but ballet classes during the summer are starting to interfere.  But it was a great camp-out anyway!  It’s a gorgeous location; the people are THE BEST; and fun and festivities abound.  UkeHusband always brings a couple of his instruments and this year a couple other Ukesperience members joined us for a day (they had other plans or would have stayed the weekend too!)  I managed to snag a video of them around our camp table:

working on a waving lace sock

 I always spend some of the time knitting!  In spite of anticipated cloudy weather, we had one lovely sunny day that got just about everyone out into the meadow.

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OK.  So I’m one of the herd.  I’m trying to be pretty active in a couple of on-line knitting communities and one of them recently associated with a book and organization I’ve enjoyed for awhile: Mary Jane Butters (http://www.amazon.com/MaryJanes-Ideabook-Cookbook-Lifebook-Farmgirl/dp/1400080479/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214968885&sr=1-2) .  Miss Violet (of Lime & Violet podcast fame) started a “hen circle” for those of us digging into the farm girl in ourselves.

Our first task is to write about ourselves.  So:

Farmgirl?  Me?  I lived in San Francisco for years and years; grew up in suburbia.  What could be farm girl like about me?  Plenty. 

When I was a child, my maternal grandparents lived on a farm in Delhi, California.  Here’s my grandma’s high school graduation photo:

 I have many fond memories (and a few pictures…I’ll have to dig them up!) of playing on the farm: helping grandma gather eggs, sitting on grandpa’s tractor, eating dinner at noon at a large table filled with good ‘ol meat and potatoes good stuff!  I think therein was laid the foundation of the farm girl within me. 

At our own home, my mother cooked marvelous things from scratch, made most of my clothes, and came up with the most ingenious, practical ideas for any problem that arose.  She taught me to sew but I balked at cooking and baking.

When I was in my 30’s and single, I dreamed of living in a cabin in the woods.  As I was then a college student in San Francisco, majoring in theatre, it seemed that that dream was mere fantasy.  But over the years, things transpired to eventually bring me to Pescadero, California.  I found myself living in a small cabin among the redwoods in a very small, close-knit community.  I was in heaven.

Of course, life took over and after a couple of years I found myself once again in suburbia.  But now I lived in a duplex with a bit of a yard and had a small daughter I wanted to introduce to the joys of nature.  I planted tomatoes, herbs, and radishes.  I busied myself learning and practicing aromatherapy.  I baked pies from scratch.  I delved into the mysteries of “putting up” foods, which for me at this point, generally meant making big batches of sauces, etc. and freezing them.  I was down to earth economical.

Again…life progressed and changed (specifically, divorce).  I found myself still in the suburbs and now working full time, but still determined to keep at least a small garden.  I remarried and we moved to a small coastal town.  A benign brain tumor had robbed me of my ability to smell, putting the kibosh on my aromatherapy endeavors.  But neither that nor living in a suburban community ended my farm girl ways.  In fact, growing older has allowed me to explore them to their fullest.  I learned to knit, am learning to spin, love to cook and bake, and busy myself (much too much) sewing costumes for my daughter’s dance school.  Our garden, thanks primarily to my husband, is soon to offer us potatoes, carrots, radishes, garlic, tomatoes…and frankly, I’m not sure what all else!  That, along with a nice assortment of flowers.  And as a family we make it a point to support our local farmers and businesses – keeping the community our focus as we learn and strive to protect our resources, our mother, and ourselves.

Farmgirls Rock!