December 14th, 2014

blackhat

Wreath Shopping

The failed install on Friday night still weighs on me. On the other hand, we had a delightful Yuletide yesterday, going to the San Francisco Wholesale Flower Mart. This is where there are dozens of vendor booths bringing greenery and flowers into the city. I imagine hotel and other venue buyers and florist shop buyers fill the place in early hours during the week. On Saturdays, it is open to the public.

We have breakfast at Bechelli’s Flower Market Cafe then wander looking for a wreath for over our fireplace/video monitor. Small ones, just the right size for your door, are bargains, as are all the snowball hydrangeas, cyclamens, and poinsettias you could want in all sizes.

I saw some wonderful, but not holiday appropriate, wreaths made of lichen encrusted bare branches. We liked them for their architectural qualities, but we agreed we wanted greenery. After walking store fronts noting the choices of magnolia leaves and conifer branch based wreaths, we went into the vendor booths and found this magnificent wreath. The guys who were making these wreaths between helping customers offered two prices, one 20% higher than the other. Christine blanched at the lower price which was a bit higher than i was expecting, but not by much. My memory is that we bought much more plain wreaths in previous years, and it has been YEARS since we bought a wreath. This one doesn't even need a bow, it is so decorated with sprays of various berries and cypress seed pods. I love the contrast of the grey green conifer with the gold-backed green magnolia leaves.

Over breakfast Christine had noted our usual source for fruitcakes was closed for renovations this year: could we find a California source? Some searching on my phone turned up sellers in Napa and Sonoma, but they were all mail order. Then i found a news article about California Fruitcakes (with some editorial and authorial debate at the beginning about who was the California Fruitcake) and discovered a bakery in San Francisco which made them. So after our wreath choice, i managed NOT to buy any other plants (theres a blooming cyclamen and cactus on the deck and the Lenten rose has buds). We wrangled a route through the Castro and Cole Valley to the Inner Sunset and Arizmendi Bakery (http://arizmendibakery.com) where we acquired two smallish fruitcakes. Then we cruised through Golden Gate park to the ocean, where we sat and watched some waves for a while.

We'd bought pizza slices as the bakery, but the garlic was far to potent for Christine. As she exclaimed with wonder that anyone could stand such an overdose, i reflected on her fondness for pepper and chilies - and the chili she made in the evening provided a point in illustrating the possibility to over do other spices with delight. Since she didn't want her slice, i ate them both, sharing a bit with the gulls and a raven.

In the late afternoon, we went to a gaming store in Santa Clara to pick up the D&D introductory set for a nephew.

All in all the day was delightful, with happy energy for both of us.


blackhat

(no subject)

"Why does God allow suffering if he loves us," was asked in ministry today. Suffering is due to attachment, i thought.

And framing and focus.

That is my experience, and in no way does it mean that one should not work towards justice or offer compassion.

There are some frames and focus by which this year has been horrible. Christine's depression is significant and seemingly ever present. My three months as an invalid seems like lost time.

And yet i feel lighter in my heart, and i don't think it's just that i have a new position at work. The work situation is improving. And maybe that's where this sense of gratitude and providence arises: my work life eased as my care for Christine became more significant. While i don't think my mother is "better," my sister has a new home where she and her family can live in joy and grace.

In other news, my back has been spasming with lower back pain all day. Christine's gone to get groceries so i unloaded the dishwasher. Ha, that wasn't bright. Probably should take comments about suffering from someone in discomfort with a shaker of salt.