Wednesday, December 31, 2008


While browsing through a rather chichi shop on Berkeley's Fourth Avenue, I spied this image and had to have it. It is a work by Rudi Hurzlmeier from Berlin on an inexpensive postcard. I am enchanted by it and by the mind that could imagine it.

Some time ago, I spent ages looking on the Internet for boots like those of the crow. I always think of the granny boots I bought in my Hippie days, actual nun's shoes. I put colorful beads on the lace tips of those shoes and wore them under bellbottoms on my long walks around San Francisco. The black tooled leather was supple and the heels not too high. They were the best. I wish I had shoes like that again. Lucky crow.

So for the coming year, I'm going to try to have more fun, be sillier and laugh a lot more. Cruising through the art section of Pendragon Books, I found a book dedicated solely to cheese dishes, many of them quite beautiful. But imagine someone dedicating a huge chunk (no pun intended) of their life to cheese dishes--researching, photographing and then printing a definitive book on them. Well, why not? It did tickle me and I laughed aloud.

I've enjoyed my week off work so much. The time has flown by. One book-on-tape I listened to while puttering around my house was "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. I'd hoped for a few historical details of the period, but it was trash--poorly written and even inaccurate at the end, with the villain being hanged for his part in Thomas Beckett's murder in the cathedral. Not true, according to my history pinup Simon Schama: the knights were banished, but not prosecuted. And full of anemic prose with the book way too long. It's a frame for Follett to hang architectural details upon. Plot twists unconvincing, etc. Not recommended.

BUT--another book on tape by Horatio Clare was a real gem: "Running for the Hills; Growing Up On My Mother's Sheep Farm in Wales". An idyllic and raw childhood with an eccentric mother and hundreds of sheep far from civilization. And all described in really beautiful prose, poetic prose.

One more day of freedom. I'll babysit Los Bebes tonight while their mom goes to a Peruvian family party (dancing, card games and eating all night long). The kids and I will snuggle overnight and greet the New Year tomorrow morning.

HAPPY 2009 to the family and friends who occasionally peek at this blog to see what Granny Sue is up to.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Like Elizabeth II, One expects life to grow easier as One ages.

Not true. In all honesty, 2008 was one of the worst years of my life emotionally. I am hoping things around me stablize and go more smoothly in 2009--a new President, a new worldview, a new vision. A new start.
One of the happiest of my days in 2008 was on Thanksgiving. I got up early, packed a lunch and drove alone to Stinson Beach via the rain forest on the north face of Mount Tamalpais.

Boy, did I catch a lot of crap from family members for "opting out" on THE big American Holiday. But I was in dire need of a day just for me: a slow drive playing my own music (French cafe songs and Bach) through the lush green of the mossy trees and rocks, the fog shreds drifting over the heavily wooded hills. At the end, like the treasure at the end of the rainbow, the sea with a fairly clean beach. I enjoyed that day immensely. Then it was back to a hectic schedule and trying to figure out a more balanced life for myself. in the coming year.

At Christmas, I gave in to family wishes and spent the day at my house with my grandkids making decorations for my last-minute tree and trying to keep peace with battling factions. It worked out fairly well. I bought the kids a camping tent so they could have their own "clubhouse" where no grownups are allowed. The tent takes up my whole dining room, and my grandkids' "babies" (all their stuffed toys and animals) are inside but it keeps them from being too bored on rainy days when we can't go out.