Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Of Thanksgiving and Christmas and a tragic Fire~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well I have been out of the loop but a lot has been happening, so where do I start.

Well we slowly took down the Halloween decorations and carefully packed them away, but then I had a leak in the hot water heater!  A good thing I don't keep anything at floor level, so the water was shut off to it.  

I called my plumber and he quickly came out, for some reason there was a defect in the bottom of the tank, still under warranty,  so had that replaced at no cost. 

Then the Washing Machine broke a belt,  now try and get wet clothing out of a tub full of water and hand wring it out and bail the water out of the tub,  called my appliance repair man,  he replaced the belt, tested the machine,  only just over $100.00.   And we finished wringing the clothing,  Thank Goodness the dryer was working.

Then the original refrigerator that I moved from the kitchen into the large walk in pantry died,  I was a nice large side by side refrigerator freezer, but nothing was going to resurrect it, so moved most of the stuff in the freezer to my sister's and the chilled beer was left out.  

The good thing is my much newer refrigerator works beautifully, so I was deciding, do I move the one in the kitchen into the pantry or install a new one in the pantry,  I mean how hard is it to move a refrigerator?

Well Doyle said "Nope ain't moving it, buy a new one for the pantry and have the delivery guys handle it"  so did that.   Nothing fancy, a good dependable Maytag refrigerator, plain white,  and energy efficient.

With all this happening my brother and sister-in-law said "Thanksgiving at our house!"   What a relief!    So Sis and I brought side dishes while the main feast was cooked at my brother's house,  and relatives and children all over the place,  Thank goodness my brother has a "Man Cave" for the children,  that way we could cook and set up without worry.   And everything was delicious.

My brother yelled up from below that Santa Had Arrived so Christmas is now officially here.   A flash of memory went through my mind of all those Thanksgivings when Dad and my Uncles would watch the Macy's parade with my brother and a couple of nephews, and Mom, Grandma, a couple of Aunts, Sis and I would set up the table and then Dad would call out "Santa arrived!!! You ladies can go Christmas shopping!!"   And Mom and Grandma would roll their eyes.   But it never gets old.

The next day, my sister in law, Coraline, Christopher, Sis and myself we went to the Dickens Fair, I had to use a cane and rest a lot because my leg muscle is still weak but still it was so enjoyable, seeing all the Dickens characters, and the entertainments, and all the lovely things to buy,  Coraline and Chris were wearing Dickens finery thanks to an on line shop called "Recollections"  and the children were having fun researching how to behave in a proper Victorian manner.   We are going back for one more weekend to see what we've might have missed.  But the scent of spices and baking and cinnamon buns,  and hot tea,  and watching scenes from some of the Dickens novels.   It does add magic to the season.

Christmas dinner will be at my house,  we bought the trees today,  a large one for the formal parlor and a smaller one in the family parlor,  bit by bit Christmas decorations have been put up,  I've hired Betty full time to help me,  of course the Maid Service will do the house cleaning,  it's far too much for Betty to handle, but with her and I and occasionally her daughter to assist, along with the Cleaning service it's not so bad.  

But last night was very difficult for me and for some of my friends and I was glad that Sis was at my house to help.

We've had a very tragic fire in town,  if you Google "Oakland Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire" that will give you all the news,  it seems in this Artist Collective Warehouse, where people were illegally living in, a party, some people call it a Rave, was held and a fire broke out and people were trapped, the place was a "fire ready to happen".

My artist friends, the ones I call very Ghostly, had been planning to go to this party to meet someone there but for them luck was on their side, they didn't get there til nearly midnight when the fire was at it's height,  their friend was fine but she couldn't find someone that she met there that my artist friends knew,  only today did they find out this person had died in the fire.  They were grief stricken.

My artist friends didn't know for the last few days, where to go or who to talk to to process their grief, the memorials and areas of prayer didn't seem to assuage their feelings,  so they came to my house,  I think the warmth of the house, the candles burning in the fireplace, the Christmas decorations and the hot lemon ginger tea helped them, I let them talk and talk, even if they were going over it again and again it helped them process it.

They told me that a few weeks ago they were looking for cheap space to rent to do some of their larger works and had checked it out,  at first it appeared enchanting but then when they looked closer, well as she told it to me it was like seeing something that's beautiful on the surface but it hides the decay and rot underneath.   They didn't feel comfortable about it.   They weren't even sure about going to this party so they kept putting off going there and it seems their feeling was right.

He kept saying it was a monster of flame, devouring all that was inside, people crying and calling out if someone had seen someone,  I cannot even write down how they described what they saw.   They were so upset that I put them up for the night saying they should not be alone right now.

This morning they thanked me and said they were going home to change clothing and go out among people and have breakfast,  I said they were welcome to come by again if they needed to talk.   I feel they will take me up on that. 

I listened to them, and Belladonna and Wiener Dog cuddled next to them, I watched as they absentmindedly petted the dogs and scratched their heads,  doing that seemed to relax my visitors, making them drowsy, and helped them to unwind their tensions.

Doyle was very up on the events, and would encourage them to talk, while Sis helped them go through and process the emotions they were feeling. 

This morning they told me that they have idea's for their next series of art work, dealing with tragedy and monsters.   I sort of questioned about it with Sis but she said it will be their way of processing their grief, and I could understand that. 

We watch horror movies to be terrified but then when one sees it, in real life and know that they've lost someone in such a horrible tragedy,  it is a totally different.   I am going to check in with them in a few days to see how they are doing,  something like this one does not get over instantly.  

I'm going to have a Christmas Evening tea, I think I'll invite them, during this time of the year one should not be alone.

I have not posted about wonderfully gothic things,  I did see the Dr. Strange movie and I'll talk about it in my next post.

Later Darklings

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Halloween was a success!!!~~~~~

Hello Darklings

I had to get a new computer,  the one I had went wonky for some reason that even my computer repair person could not fix it, didn’t have a clue why it acted up.   So I surrendered and bought a new one.

And things seem to be working just fine,  I’m glad I don’t do banking on line,  nor keep phone number etc. on the hard drive,  I still prefer hard copy, you know like address books and paper.

First my Saturday Halloween Party was a success, having everyone come in costume was a big treat,  the fortune teller and the magician were big hits,  and although folks could dance if they liked outside on the patio it was a little chilly and wet.  One of my guests was enthralling his audience with tales of his ghost hunting experiences,  so much so that one of the guests wanted to know if there were spirits in my house,  I said only the kind you drink.

But I wondered, is my house haunted?  I decided not to look into that, no sense stirring things up.

I spent Sunday cleaning things up which wasn’t too bad really, having help from my sister in law and niece Coralline, Betty and her daughter came by as well since I still have the walking cast which will come off in time for the Dickens Fair HooRay!!  But I’ll have to use a cane for a while just to make sure I don’t break it again. 

Halloween was on a Monday and with all the threats of rain I wondered if I would have any trick or treaters,   Doyle was my stalwart guardian at the gates, and we had a huge cauldron filled with Candy,  I had what I thought over bought and thought I’d have a lot left over,  imagine my surprise when almost all the candy was gone by 8:45, by that time the fine on and off drizzle started coming down heavier and all my neighbors had “packed it in” turning off their lights my House was the last hold out.  Doyle didn’t see any more trick or treaters so we turned off the lights to the display  and our porch light,  10 minutes later the door bell rings (we did have the front parlor lights on)  3 older teen ager trick or treaters were there in some semblance of costume and face make up trying to look like zombies,  I told Doyle “Give them what’s left” which they were surprised, after they left 10 minutes later the rains came down.   I thought to myself “I hope they don’t catch cold”.   

I had nearly 300 trick or treaters, children and parents in costume also saying “Trick or Treat” the youngest was 2 weeks old dressed as a Teddy Bear,  Daddy was holding the baby’s trick or treat bag,  I was sure the baby’s parents would carefully check out it’s candy (LOL).

I have not be posting as much lately, only because I have not been finding things that really tickle my Elder Goth Fancy.  

However the latest issue of Reminisce magazine had a whole article about the Soap Opera “Dark Shadows” and Decades TV ran episodes back to back on the weekend before Halloween, I had one T.V. tuned into that, at the party.   Well really it’s an old T.V. Cabinet from the 1950’s and Brian squeezed in a Small Plasma screen T.V. into the old frame making it look retro, and directing the sound bar to come though the speaker system, but not too loud, mostly just for atmosphere. 

But now I get on line two e-magazines which I talked about briefly in my last post, I'm going to go more in-depth about them now:

  Dirge  Magazine  http://www.dirgemag.com/ This is what they have to say about themselves: 

About Dirge Magazine

Dirge Magazine is the premier dark culture magazine, covering counterculture arts and entertainment, lifestyle, and editorials.

Sifting through generalized sites for things that fit your dark aesthetic can be tedious, and an abundance of redundant horror sites has created an explosive amount of coverage on a surprisingly narrow range of interests. While we appreciate what they do, we seek to expand beyond horror, into the strange, the subversive, and the beautifully grotesque.

We want Dirge to be a place you can come to see things you haven’t seen before, or a fresh take on the dark side of something familiar.  A place where news isn’t robo-barfed at you, but rather experiences are shared in a meaningful way.

We reject the ideas of clickbait and garbage journalism. We keep it smart, sexy, and darkly funny.

And they do,  in their most recent offerings they did an article about Tea Pairing for Discerning Darklings, and some of their tea sets are just wonderful  for example AngiolettiDesigns  did a beautiful tea set with skulls and flowers

Perfect for a Gothic Minded Tea.

The other e-magazine that I receive for free is Blum House http://www.blumhouse.com/    Blumhouse looks at films, scary fun, real life scares and stuff called ‘creepypasta’.    And it is generally pretty dark, some of the odd and morbidly bizarre stories are “The screaming mummies of  Guanajuato” and “The Horrific Crimes of Bruce Pardo, ‘the Santa Claus Killer’ “ just to name two.   But their review of such films as “Friday the 13th” especially the first one is very insightful.

But Blumhouse’s  focus is to scare “the pants off of you” not only with films but also true, bizarre and frightening events,  showing that the world is a very dark and scary place. 

Some of the articles in Dirge Magazine are light and fun with a creepy twist, while Blumhouse is much darker, but even so I do not recommend these two magazines for young readers, unless you feel that your young teenager can handle it, because some of these articles especially about true events about real people can cause nightmares.

As I said before Gothic Beauty is now an e-magazine that you pay a subscription for, and I really prefer to have the hard copy,  so I’m going to think a while before ordering it.

Next on my list is going to see the movie “Dr. Strange” a friend of mine has said I must see it,  and I will, I need to see it on the Big Screen before it’s gone.

And now it’s time for dinner,  it’s been chilly out and I have delicious stew cooking in the crock pot.

Later Darklings.

Friday, October 28, 2016

More Halloween Brews and a plus size Steampunk shop~~~

Hello Darklings,

I have not been able to post anything for a while, the medication for discomfort made me sleepy and if I did post anything it would have been gibberish.

But now they have me on extra strength Tynoldo and that works,  I’m still in a walking cast but it’s not so bad,  and I might be able to have it off by Thanksgiving (I hope).

I’ve been looking around for nail polish and lovely Halloween colors but I have to say “Wet and Wild” disappointed me,  but I have seen spider eyelashes (fake of course) and other things to enhance ones eye area.   Nothing for me to go “Oh Wow!” about.   I have noticed that a lot of this temporary designs are more on the area of either Mardi Gras or Day of the Dead, and if one likes Day of the Dead  celebrations then it’s perfect.

Spirit has come up with fun tableware especially pushing the Ouija board theme,  I had to get a pair of coffee cups that have the Ouija board on them,   I think it’s because of that movie “Ouija: Origin of Evil” but there have been other Ouija movies out there before.

Because of my broken leg healing, I have not had much mobility to really look around at what is out there for Halloween, mostly because with the cast I tire easily.   Which has proved to be frustrating for me.  

There have been some strange things happening, a homeless woman near Sacramento I think, was spotted walking around with a real human skull on a stick,  she eventually led the police to decaying remains that was near her encampment.    A neighbor who had seen her camping near his property had smelled something “really bad” but though it was the body of dead cat, didn’t even know it was a decomposing human body.  No I.d. on the remains so far.

The little girl whose coffin was found under a house, they are still trying to get an idea of her DNA and see if it links to a family that thinks she might be a lost family member.   No word so far.

Lately I’ve been getting on my e-mail articles from Dirge and Blumhouse which talk about creepy and bizarre, certainly on some of those articles not for those under the age of 21.   And I was disappointed to discover Gothic Beauty magazine has now gone digital and are not doing print.   I like print.  So I’ll have to see what is still out there, but that is a disappointment.   

Recollections clothing is now introducing a Steampunk Gothic type line of corsets and some clothing which I sort of like, the corsets especially for my back,  although I’m better from that car accident a few years ago, on occasion my back acts up and I have to wear a back brace but I’ve found that an old fashion corset works just as well and is more comfortable than a medical back brace, and it can be a fashion statement as well for you elder goths, 

What I like about Recollections is that they go up to size XXXXL  which is about size 28 to 30 or a little more.   They have a steampunk basic black crepe dress which can be dressed up with their steam punk plus size corsets many of them go up to size XXXXL and they are pretty true to size, for you plus size elder goths. 

Read the reviews,  one lady liked the Steam punk boots and said she had wider than average feet and found them comfortable even with 4 inch heels.  But only you can tell if it’s right for you.  

Check out Recollections web site its http://recollections.biz/  and on their search engine type in Steampunk.   I’m going to include the link on my links site. 

It might rain on Halloween, but it looks like things will be clear but damp for the party I’m having, which is good.

I’ve found another wine to add to the list if you like wines that have Gothic sounding names, yet taste good  it’s called Poizin. 

This is a lush, delicious and "serious" wine but in a fun package! The nose is fruit driven with fresh plum, bing cherry, spicy peppercorn and zinberry. The mouthfeel is soft with a hint of milk chocolate, sweet oak, and a long vanilla finish. The deep color and firm structure are enhanced by the addition of the Petite Sirah and the firm tannins softened by moderate oak.  As they say “Enjoy this POIZIN with caution; it is The Wine to Die for!”   This is a blend with 85% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah  Doyle had tried it and liked it so we have 6 bottles down in our cellar.

But Doyle was giving a box of beer or ale from the Magic Hat Brewing Company and this call is called  The Night of the Living Dead Variety Pak contains a cabal of beers carefully selected to scare the howl out of autumn thirsts and exorcise the season’s most frightening fluid cravings. Every time one is opened, three bottles of four different ales materialize.

Here is some to give you an idea:

It Includes #9 (like in love potion #9) a sort of dry, crisp, refreshing, not quite pale ale,

Vampifier—a medium-bodied resound red ale with smooth caramel and toast malt flavors and a floral, fruity hop bitterness.

Wilhelm Screaming pumpkin ale----a pumpkin ale, ripe with fall flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel malts

  Smash hits I.P.A.  A single malt single hop  beer, featuring a delectable duet of cascade hops and goldpils Vienna malt singing notes of citrus and grapefruit and rich Toasty Malt tones.

In addition There is HEART OF DARKNESS Stout Filled with the howling of black dogs that haunt the long forgotten shadows of the human soul This dense liquid silk summoned home from hibernation and balanced winter’s endless white snows with a rich swirl of creamy black rapture.

This appears to be a Fall variety pack so the flavors are not available all year round,  I’m afraid that I’ve fallen for Vampifier  which should please all you Elder Goths out there,  have that while watch Christopher Lee or Bela Lugosi  do their thing and make you swoon.

Or the Screaming pumpkin ale while watching American Horror Story: Coven----as a matter of fact while watching any of the American Horror Story series.  

The Magic Hat Brewing Company address is:
    5 Bartlett Bay Road
    South Burlington, VT 05403

Good brews to warm the insides on a cold Halloween night.

And now I must go,  last minute goodies to get for the Party.
Later Darklings

Friday, October 7, 2016

Of an Update and Darkly interesting wines~~~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I have been very bad not posting, but frankly, with that leg cast it was exhausting to move around with it, and it was painful that I had to take some mild painkillers just to sleep,  I should have stuck with drinking wine.

I did manage to enjoy going Meteor shower watching some weeks ago with my family,  it was fun, but there was something about staring at a beautiful night sky that was so relaxing.    And then we had that heat wave a few weeks ago which didn’t do much for me.

Now they have me in a much, much lighter brace and if all goes well I should be done with this by Thanksgiving.   I can move around much better, but Betty still takes care of me. 

The repair work and painting on the house is done,  I’ve also had the stain glass re-leaded and protective windows put in front of the Stain Glass ones to preserve them from weather damage,  Now Doyle, Brian and my brother have started putting up the Halloween decorations,  but because I’ve been laid up with this broken leg I’m afraid we’ll not be going full blast on the decorations like some years.

Mostly because Halloween in on a boring Monday, and the next day is a school day so I don’t think there will be that many trick or treaters.   So what I am going to do is have a pre-Halloween party the Saturday before Halloween for family and friend’s children are included of course and in costume, I mean what is a Halloween party without costumes.

Part of what will be done depends upon the weather of course, but I’m going to have the back patio for dancing,  in one room Halloween movies for the younger children where they can spill popcorn and drinks and I won’t cry about any stains,  I have movies going in another room with older classic Halloween films playing,  I’ve hired a card reader to read in the Formal Parlor and at midnight a magician will do séance magic for us, he’s performed for me before and I had a chance to see his revised act which is much better and told him I wanted that, so it will mean setting up in the Library area for his performance.

Then on Monday Halloween it will be answering the door bell and hearing little and older children say “Trick or Treat” I was hoping to get the hearse again but it was booked. 

My sister and I are already planning the menu and Betty and her daughter will help with the preparations and the heating and displaying of the food, since I’ll still will be having this brace on my leg.   I can finally go upstairs but it is tiring with it on my leg, so I’m resign to sleeping down stairs still.

A friend of mine is putting together a CD of spooky classical music played on an organ, such as the usual  Bach’s Toccata and Fugue,  Dance Macabre, Night on Bald Mountain, even the organ theme played in the movie “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken”,  Masquerade waltz, etc. this is to play in the back ground,  and I’m also going to have a couple of fellows who have done Ghost Hunting tell us about their adventures or non-adventures,  I’m just glad my home is big enough to do all of this.   In a way it will be more of an adult party but I’m having things for the children to watch they’re older now. 

Keeping with the Halloween theme, I had a chance to check out some darkly interesting wines.

Of course my favorite is Apothic Red the 2014 vintage which I and a few friends give it 4 stars out of 5  the sweetness level is off-dry and has flavors of dark fruits with a lot of spicy wood in the nose in every sip. Make sure you use the right glass for it, is not a regular dry wine. The first time I tried it I used my regular red wine glass and it didn't taste right, I used a different glass and found it to be perfect.

New on my list is Spellbound Petite Sirah  it has an Intensity of color, rich black and brambly fruits, vanilla bean and roasting coffee aromatics. The wine is crafted to unleash dark and luscious characteristics, and deliver an opulent and juicy Petite Sirah. This lush yet easy-drinking wine provides intense berry character, with superb texture full bodied and highly drinkable, plenty of light, spicy fruit, nice flowery aroma. Its alive.  4 out of 5 stars.

7 Deadly Zins
 This is Crushed berry, soft oak and cigar box notes create a fragrant appeal that leaves you wanting more. This wine shows explosive, concentrated fruit in the mouth, with plenty of acidity to balance the ripeness, offering crushed wild berry, spice and black berry compote on the finish. it goes with everything, is smooth and delicious. If you want to sin with a Zin, this one is for you. Wonderfully full flavor and drinkability 4 out of 5 stars

Black Ink 2014 Red
This one is new on my list, it’s Blackberry cobbler that merges with flavors of black plum and licorice followed by an inky, rich finish in this California blend of Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, and Zinfandel.   This one was a surprise to me and my friends we gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

Sin Zin  2012
 This Zinfandel showcases aromas of spice, black pepper, dark fruits and vanilla. This refined, well balanced Zinfandel has spicy flavors of plum and black cherry along with black pepper and cocoa powder. There is nice acidity and length to the finish. Rich in dark berry fruit flavors. Good weight and depth.  4 out of 5 stars

Manage a Trois Midnight 2014
 As the Ad says, The time has come to explore your deepest, darkest desires with Menage a Trois “Midnight”.  This has a gorgeous garnet color in the glass, this luxurious blend wraps you up in a velvety embrace. Voluptuous blackberry and plush spiced plum flavors seduce your palate, while hints of mocha and exotic spice linger on your lips like a stolen kiss. Silky and smooth with a long, powerful finish, you'll wish Midnight could last forever. This has a very rich, intense dark cherry and berry flavor. Smooth and very enjoyable. It may become one of my favorites.
A more intense and flavorful wine than the regular red blend. Very enjoyable   4 ½ stars

Dead Bolt
The color shows deep plum to crimson with purple hues. Dead Bolt has a ripe berry nose, vanilla and mocha characters with notes of spice and plum. The palate delivers a richness of flavors with ripe dark berry, juicy plum and mocha oak characters, leading to balanced velvety tannins and a spicy finish. A generous blend full of rich fruit flavors with a long textured finish.  Dead Bolt is built around Zinfandel, with a mix of other fine red varieties including Ruby Cabernet, Petite Syrah and Merlot.  3 ½ stars

Apothic Dark   This one got 4 stars
Apothic Dark seamlessly integrates flavors of blueberry and blackberry with enticing notes of coffee and dark chocolate for a rich and smooth mouthfeel with layers of texture.
What we found out is that a majority of the grapes in Apothic Dark were selected from Lodi, where the intense sunlight and diverse soil structure create layers of complexity. In the cellar, the grapes for Apothic Dark were fermented at a maximum of 90 degrees to increase the extraction of dark jammy fruit characteristics. A variety of yeasts were used to bring out unique flavors and features from each lot. Following fermentation, the wine was influenced by a variety of oak to add complexity and enhance the coffee and dark chocolate flavors.
A Friend of mine invited me over to her house last year to accompany the Hungarian "Goulash"  she made to celebrate Bela Lugosi's birthday which is October 20  She is a hardcore classic horror film fan like me.  I found It be a PERFECT pairing! Bold, but not overpoweringly so. I find it a dark smooth wine, but some of my friends feel that this wine is  heavy and too dark, and  did not particularly enjoy it either by itself or paired with a steak.   Some of my friends call it “Plonk”, I say it depends upon one’s own individual pallet.     Others enjoyed it and gave it a 4 star rating

Phantom, Bogle’s 2013
This is a mysterious apparition of ripe berry and relentless spice. Full of concentration and intensity, this wine will tease, tantalize and linger long after the last sip is gone. Wild berries, black pepper and hints of juniper are framed by the influence of oak aging with baking spices with a hint of toasty vanilla. On the palate, the entry is explosive, supported by chewy, chalky tannins that will age this wine for decades. The lingering, complex finish leaves one in anticipation of the next sip. This is a blend of  39% Zinfandel, 38% Petite Sirah, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon.   My friends and I gave it 4 ½ stars

Cup Cake Black dessert
I Didn’t have a chance to really try this wine I have a bottle but hope to try it soon.

Dark Horse Big Red Blend 3 1/2 Stars out of 5
The Dark Horse Big Red Blend has deep flavors of dark berry and black currant, supported by plush tannins, hints of dark roasted oak and a long finish. This Red Blend underwent alcoholic fermentation with hand chosen yeast to provide enhanced color, structure and fruit characteristics. A blend of Malbec, Rubired, Syrah, Tempranillo, and Merlot.  This is a pleasantly smooth drinkable wine.

I bought a bottle of Insomniac but I and others have not had a chance to try it.  If anyone has let me know what you think.

Now I need to make it clear that these are all dark red wines or red blends and if your pallet is towards sweet wines or white wines then you may not be pleased with these, and I have to say it is all personal taste.

Doyle of course bought Pumpkin Ale and Angry Orchard Hard Cider,  he likes a beer now and then but our cellar is friend to all liquid libations.    And even though I’ve not had a chance to do my wine country tour this year, I think I will have a good cellar laid down. 

And now my Sister says dinner is ready, we’re going to watch MacGyver and then this new show “The Exorcist”  it is really very bizarre.   And don’t forget Darklings “Supernatural” Season 12 premiers on Thursday October 13,  I can HARDLY WAIT!!!

Later Darklings