Friday, July 21, 2017

Going back to School~~~

Hello Darklings,

No not me, Thank Goodness.

My brother and sister in law asked if I would be kind enough to purchase the school materials the children would need when School goes back in session.

And they gave me the list of what they do have and what needs to be replenished and the money to buy it with (Thank You very much).

Stuff for the boys is easy enough, although Christopher asked if I could find a magnetic mirror for him to put into the inside of his locker,  the twins teased him and said he has a girl friend, well more like several girls have a crush on him, he says he wants to look presentable around his friends.

Coralline just rolled her eyes but did confide to me that while she was recovering at home several girls that know Chris came by the house,  supposedly to study.  And they commiserated with her about her broken ankle,  but she said that she could see they were there to flirt with her older brother.

He still keeps an eye on her and helps her, but she is getting better, but the way she told me about this was funny.  

I did find the magnetic mirror, plus a magnetic shelf to hold a comb and Tic-Tacs and anything else he might need,  It came in a pewter color,  I also got a set for Coralline in gold for her locker as well,  and a replacement battery operated chandler, her old one got broke when those thieves stole stuff from their house.   And a few other gold accented things for her for school, to cheer her up, no sense having school be drab for her.

They left a few days ago and fortunately where they are going there are no wildfires,  I was on pins and needles about the one burning near Mariposa, near Yosemite.   But I heard on the news that the mandatory evacuation of the historic town has been lifted, the town was safe but people did lose their homes.   Some friends of mine who live in that area called me a few hours ago and said they were one of the lucky ones, their home was spared.

I am planning a trip towards the beginning of October, to the wine country again, I'm hoping Doyle can come with me, but if not, well I'm use to traveling alone.   Although I don't think I'll buy as many varieties as the other time.  I've seemed to settle in with a few that I like.  But one never can tell.

Or I may go to Columbia State Park, in time for one of their Ghost Tours, and considering bookings I think I better start planning now.

And now I'm preparing for another heat wave,  fans are out, plenty of water bowls for the dogs.  And now Sis has come by for a late dinner, she's been working hard, but I think I'm going to try and persuade her to take a mini-spa vacation with me.  Just have to think where to go.

Later Darklings.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Of Voodoo Beer and Cemetery Travels~~~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I know, I haven't posted for a while.

Well as usual I got called into work while some of my former colleagues took vacations.   And of course their children's graudations.

I've really retired but I'm on call when needed, but I do have to let the bosses know when I'll be out of town so they can plan accordingly.   I have to say the extra cash helps nicely, but eventually I'll be needing to say that I am officially "gone" .

I've also been having some maintenance work done on the house, an upper bedroom window got accidentally broken when Doyle was installing the screens, at least he didn't get hurt, and we've been putting in stuff to make sure that there are no mosquitos developing in the cisterns.

And adding a few more orchids to the green house,  the indoor Koi pond looks beautiful I find it fascinating how they come up to feed right out of my hand.

My brother and his family took their RV to Pleasanton for the County Fair and they timed it just right when the major part of another heat wave had passed, Coralline can walk a bit she's on a figure 8 elastic cross brace but after 3 hours she has to remove it so my brother arranged for an electric wheelchair to help her get around,  she can walk around the RV carefully without the brace, but she uses a cane to steady herself.   She still is afraid of walking up the stairs inside the house, but can manage the few steps outside, with someone's help holding her hand. 

I did have a chance to visit them at their RV at the Campground near the Fair I stayed overnight and got to see the All Alaskan Pig Races,  those little porkers have their own air-conditioned trailer where they retreat to between races.  And the Funnel Cakes!!  I have to admit even being Goth you do have to indulge in a little old fashion fun.  They also made arrangements to go back this weekend to see the demolition Derby's.   Sort of like seeing the Car "Christine" getting crushed by a Caterpillar Tractor.

They had Brian, Sis's room mate house sit for them and I would check on him from time to time to see how he's doing.   They've made arrangements with him to house sit while they travel up north to the Trees of Mystery and they are hoping that by the end of August they can go to Santa Cruz and do the Boardwalk Amusement Park.  But it not then they will cruise around and camp at Big Bear Lake and just relax and if need be scamper around in their Jeep to see what there is to see.

A lot of it is based on how well Coralline can walk and what her Doctor will allow her to do. 

I have been looking for "Darkish", Gothic things to talk about but for some reason things seem to be barren at least for now,  but I did ask Doyle that since the 4th of July is over can we go ahead and put up the Halloween decorations.   He of course rolled his eyes.

But all is not lost I found an e-mail news letter and blog called "Cemetery Travels"  the author Loren Rhodes goes around or her fans seek out interesting Cemeteries to tour,  and of course what can be more interesting than touring Cemeteries, I would call that the Perfect Goth Vacation.  And her web site accepts submissions for others to read,  if you have not signed up to receive her e-mail news letter or have read her blog here is its link:  https://cemeterytravel.com/    

Another thing during the Summer time is to take the Ghost Walk tours that a number of cities offer, we have one here in the Bay Area called the San Francisco Ghost Walking Tour  this is their link   https://www.sfghosthunt.com/  and there is also the San Francisco Chinatown Ghost Walking Tour  their link is  http://www.sfchinatownghosttours.com/home.html    (if the links don't work just Google in the names and it will come up)  of course the various ones offered in New Orleans.

Doyle's boss gave him a case of Beer called Voodoo Ranger IPA---what a perfect beer to offer on a warm summer night!   I mean it's a skeleton wearing a ranger's outfit on the label.  

Oh yes I know how does it taste?   Well its
flavor has notes of pine, grapefruit, biscuit malt,, pears, lemongrass, cantaloupe melon, spices, toasted malts, resin and lots of tangerine followed by a dry and bitter aftertaste. It feels much lower than the announced 70 IBUs, though the bitterness grows with time.  It's lightly sweet at first with the perfect bitterness at the end.  Doyle says you can't really feel its alcohol but it's not overly sweet.

I suggest that you try out a 6 pack for a taste test and see how you and your friends like it for a Gothic beer.    And now its cool enough to take Belladonna and Wiener Dog for their walks.

Later Darklings

   This is called a Dracula Orchid,  I'm hoping to find one or two to add to my Greenhouse







Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Heat Wave continues and Adam West~~~~

Hello Darklings,

The Heat Wave continues, although temperatures are a little cooler where I'm at, its still triple digits inland.

Using the misters have helped a lot cooling things down,  Doyle and I slept in the screened in back porch,  so did Coralline and Chris and my sister in law Maureen,  my brother had to go home and guard the house,  the twins are at their Aunt and Uncle's place he has air conditioning and a pool.

Sorry, being an elder Goth I will not go pool side during the heat of the day, give me the evening with the stars and the moon(if it's out) soft candle light and the pool as a reflecting pool of serenity, playing soft music and drinking chilled Chablis.   I know what I like.

With this heat I've not been able to really hunt for Goth like things,  the hot sun drives away the Fog and the bats,  however Doyle needs to get a new vehicle,  he's been using the company cars since his own car was shot up by a very angry criminal culprit,  the insurance company totaled it out.  I am so Glad he didn't borrow my car.

So he will use the company cars while on assignments, take public transportation to work, but at my insistence I've been encouraging him to look at the Nissan Rogue Midnight Edition in Magnetic Black,  I mean everything all black, black wheels, black body, dark interior and good gas mileage.

Very Goth if you are car shopping, I like it.  In a way it has a sort of Bond-like quality.

And I also got lucky and found some of my favorite nail polish in "Bite the Bullet"  Sally Hansen,  I will not wear the tropical colors, although I did find a few summer cotton dresses in black with white tropical flowers,  and a new sun hat in black.    I mean the lightest color I will wear is "Wet Cement"  which reminds me of burying the bodies when I want to get rid of them (sorry my fiendish mind is working).

Doyle and I started watching the Dirty Harry series with Clint Eastwood, we are in those hot vengeance mind thoughts of late.  I think it has something to do with the heat.

And I'm still devastated, another icon passed away earlier this month, Adam West T.V's Batman, he was 88,  the last time I saw him was when he made a guest appearance on "The Big Bang Theory"  He managed to keep working even after being typed cast as Batman, but frankly I liked his tongue in cheek performance, a friend of mine gave me a copy of his "Back to the Bat Cave" autobiography, I think I'll read it this weekend.

But the City of Los Angeles has done a beautiful memorial, they lit the Bat Signal on City Hall.  He will always be remembered.

Later Darklings

Farewell Batman, you are always in our hearts....


Monday, June 19, 2017

Of the HEAT!! The Bone Melting HEAT!!

Hello Darklings,

We are having a heat wave, triple digits inland,  and don't get me talking about Death Valley, but it has and is bone melting heat, enough to make a person melt like Margret Hamilton in "the Wizard of Oz"

Yesterday was horrible,  I had misters and fans going on in the back porch, I always knew where to find the dogs,  and I had fans going on all over the house to circulate the air.

Even the children came over and rested on the back porch to keep cool,  my sister in law was sick with the heat, we had to keep her hydrated, and we could barely eat anything. 

I made veggie salads with lemon juice for dressing, and had chilled water and plenty of ice for everyone.

Doyle was a hero and went to the store and bought lemon and orange sherbet, grapes, tangerines and oranges, cherries and strawberries and I put them all on ice to keep chilled. 

I made sure I wore my Neutragena  Sun Gard  SPF 110 even indoors, and always wore my wide brim out if I went outdoors.

I was up at 5:30 a.m. just as dawn was cracking to walk the dogs,  never have I felt so much like a vampire keeping away from the sun.

It's been miserable for Coralline because of her broken ankle but she got some good news today, she's been upgraded to a figure 8 cross brace, no more with that Frankenstinian boot,  and her friends from school have been supportive knowing she has to be held back a year, but Coralline is taking it very well.   She does have to go back and do physical therapy to relearn to walk with not one, not two but 7 screws and a metal plate in her ankle.  

But with school part of the problem is she may have to do a substitution for Phys Ed.  she cannot do dance nor any of the sports,  but she's not the only one, it seems another girl and a boy are in the same situation, so they are thinking special exercise classes as well as writing papers on health,   but Coralline says that as long as she can work on the school paper as part of her extra credit for English she's happy.

Her parents are having to adjust their vacation schedule because of the physical therapy,  and the extreme heat but are hoping to take a vacation North again, going into the Oregon Coast, then plan on traveling south in the fall,  they want to take in some of the California Missions in the South,  I might go with them.    When the heat wave breaks they want to go back to Coloma and visit old Dan again, I know Coralline and Chris will be happy to see him.   Dan is stabling a couple of rescue horses and said he'd show the children how to ride and care for them.  

How long this Heat Wave will last we're not sure, the weatherman said that by next weekend it should start to cool down.   I hope so,  otherwise I shall have to live my life as if I was living in Spain, do things early in the morning---long siesta in the afternoon and do things in the evening and late at night---hmmm that wouldn't be bad for an Elder Goth.

Later Darklings 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Of the Golden Gate Bridge's Birthday~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well the weather continues to be very cool and breezy, so celebrating in-doors has turned out to be a good thing, some of my friends brought those Beach chairs where you can sit on the ground and still have a back rest and be comfortable.

Not everyone is attending every day, but often enough.

Some of my more artsy friends said they've become a bit inspired by watching the movies, and hope I'll plan another film fest.   I'll have to think about that, it does take time and work.

Today and tomorrow will be the long viewing days, so much to watch, and the cake will arrive tomorrow taking center space on the table.

I found out a few days ago that this weekend is the Golden Gate Bridge's 80th birthday, so Doyle, Sis, Brian and I watching "A View To A Kill" on Monday is a double event, another birthday for a landmark and a personal memorial to Roger Moore.  Doyle invited a couple of his friends over to watch as well,  I just know they will talk about the "Lefty O'Dule" Bridge and the setting fire to City Hall as well as the chase scene with the ladder truck down Market Street.   I just enjoy the entire movie myself.

Yesterday morning I was going through one of my jewelry case's looking for a pin, when I came across something I had not seen in a while, it was my charm bracelets, one had on it my "accomplishments" and "likes"  and the other 2 were loaded with charms from the various places I had visited over the years, looking at each one I remembered the place, time and what I was doing.

I've found when traveling instead of loading up on souvenir cups or spoons or something, that taking photo's and buying a charm was just perfect,  I have 2 "travel" charm bracelet's and I still have charms in a box to add onto a 3rd, I had not realized all the places I've seen or visited until I lifted them out,  well I think I have a little project to do in the evenings. 

I even came across my Mother's charm bracelet that had all her "accomplishments" and "likes"  and it told a story, in a way they all do.   I think I might start a new one.

But now I must go, things to do yet.

Later Darklings

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Of progress on the World Goth Week, birthdays and Roger Moore~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well my little weeklong World Goth party is doing very well, better than expected.

I sent out invites and said pot luck, choose what days to come and nearly everyone has or is coming everyday--Saturday and Sunday completely filled up.

I had thought that a number of my friends and some family members would be gone over Memorial Weekend but it seems that I have provided a relatively inexpensive alternative,  it is keeping me busy but I do have some help.  

Monday evening was still a bit warmish so we set up the plasma screen outside to watch our opening offerings, but Tuesday things were getting very cool so it was moved to the main parlor with folks sitting on the floor or stretched out with black and white picnic cloths set all over the rugs, for the rest of the week it will be indoors because of the turn in the weather to chilly.  The food spread will still be buffet style with pot luck in the dinning room. And the movie watching will be indoors.

At last night's gathering we took a moment to say a prayer for those who lost their lives at the Manchester bombing, one of my friends who has connections in England is going to find out if there is a fund to help the victims and will announce it at the Sunday gathering. 

A dear friend of mine who is a marvelous baker has designed the birthday cake, chocolate with raspberry filling, the frosting will be black with red designs to resemble blood and white skulls, to say Happy Birthday Peter, Chris and Vince.

But for Sunday, I've been asked by a number of people to add one more film to the line up and this is in memory of the late Sir Roger Moore,  007 from 1973 to 1985 in 7 James Bond movies, one quote of his goes like this:

Teach love, generosity, good manners and some of that will drift from the classroom to the home and who knows, the children will be educating the parents.   

In a way there are parents that also need to learn that to be good examples to their children.  Roger Moore as Bond and as Simon Templar (The Saint 1963-69) and as Beau Maverick (the English Cousin to Bart and Brett) showed that in all his performances, he even spoofed himself in one of the last "Pink Panther" movies when the bandages were removed to show his face. He was considered one of "Nature's true gentlemen'.   His passing was a shock to both Sis and myself, I considered him a more romantic James Bond, compared to Sean Connery's killer James Bond.

So the James Bond movie that I will be adding will be "The Man With the Golden Gun" with Christopher Lee, we will lead off with that.  

Then on the following Monday evening as  Doyle, Sis and I relax from the fun of our Goth week we will watch "A View To A Kill" with Christopher Walken showing all the views of San Francisco as well as Dunsmuir House that was featured in "Burnt Offerings".

It is a lovely way to have a kick off to Summer.

Later Darklings


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Of Summer's heat and little girl lost now found~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well we are finally being blasted by the first really hot day of the year,  I just came back from walking Belladonna and Wiener Dog,  Got up at 6 a.m. Showered, Dressed, slathered Neutrogena Sun Block at 110 level on my face and neck, got my hat and parasol and we were out to door by 7.

A good long walk allowing them to check out the fresh early morning smells and picking up their deposits,  Doyle and I will walk them again at 7:30 tonight when all is cooled down, of course they have the garden as well to check on things.

I had the handyman put up the window screens two weeks ago, and I had the antique screen front door re-screened.   On the back porch door I do have a regular screen door but the dogs like that magic mesh panels they can go in and out when they want,  and my handy man is replacing the cloth mesh that screens the back porch.

Yes it looks like Summer is trying to come to our location,  allergies are flaring,  people wearing skimpy clothing,  watering either very early morning or late evening (late evening best),  and yesterday I could smell the scent of Bar-Be-Que wafting in the air.  

Last night Doyle and I had fun going to the local Vintage Fashion Fair, "an evening in Paris"  it was fun and I found a few things to add to my wardrobe,  there was one velvet evening dress that was just beautiful and it had  a matching hat and purse to go with it, so much to look at so much to choose.  When one is at one of these events one can go just wild and I need to avoid impulse buying. 

But on the way home we stopped by my brother's house to see how Coralline is doing, and got some sad news,  it seems because Coralline could not do some of the projects for several classes because of her broken ankle the school admin is recommending that Coralline repeat her year come next fall,  they don't want to fail her as this was an unfortunate event but these projects are required.  Coralline was a bit upset but said that talking over with her English teacher it means that next Fall she can also work on the school paper as well as extra credit which would be very helpful.   Her parents said that the Principal was not being harsh, just wanting for Coralline to have the best educational advantage.

Privately her mother told me that she  felt it would be good for Coralline to gain more confidence and maturity by holding her back, in a way I could agree, sometimes I feel that we push children out of school far too fast when they may not be ready for some things. Sis feels the same way, too much pressure on children is not a good thing, she's been seeing too much of the after effects from such tactics.

Christopher is already focusing on college and may major in electronic engineering at San Jose U. so they are looking forward to that.     So we celebrated the mixed news with homemade ice cream sundae's.

Sometime ago I wrote about a child's coffin being found under the floor of a basement in a house in San Francisco,  it seems where the homes that were built the land originally was an Odd Fellows cemetery, the mystery was "who was the little 3 year old child" who laid beautifully preserved in her glass topped coffin.

After a lot of research and DNA  her name is Edith Howard Cook who died on Oct 13, 1876 at the age of 3.   And there is a surviving close relative who lives near by, a many times great nephew who had been putting together his family history but that Edith was a missing part.   She is now interred in a Colma cemetery with a headstone with her name on it, no longer lost but now found.

Because of the heat and sun, I'm going to be researching articles about how to keep one's goth skin as pale as possible, some folks like to do a natural "bleaching" or exfoliating but I want to look more into it,  Sun Block of course at it's highest level, wide brim hats, parasols of course, but more is involved so stay tuned.

Later Darklings