Thursday, August 30, 2012

Taking a vacation trip~~~~

Well Darklings,

I am ON VACATION!!!  The call of the open road beckons me, although I have to leave my dear Belladonna with her babysitter I know she will be well.

I hope to blog at least a couple of times if wiifii permits.

But not to worry I will return, just like a good vampire, no matter how many times one gets "staked" they keep coming back for more sequels.

Until later my Darklings, enjoy Life because it is never long enough and enjoy doing what you enjoy doing the most.

Later, Darklings.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vampires on my mind~A Cabinet of Curiosities....

Well Darklings,

It seems that I cannot get vampires off of my mind.

I have fun reading “Archaeology” magazine, with articles such as “The hunt for Australia’s Baddest Outlaw” or “Were Neanderthals artists?”  or “Burial Customs: Death on the Roman Empire’s eastern frontier” but I always drift to the “from the trenches” column and was intrigued by a brief article about vampires in Bulgaria.

I know Darklings---“Vampires in Bulgaria??”  Well why not, if Transylvania can have them why not Bulgaria.

It seems that in Bulgaria there are some 100 known “vampire burials”  but this was covering the site of the town of Sozopol on the Black Sea, where two bodies were discovered with metal objects driven into their rib cages and to all appearances as a protection against vampirism.  The two graves are from the 14th century or mid-1300’s and not much is know about who they were.

However the archaeologists do not know why they were buried this way, as there was no sign of “long teeth.”  ;-)

Of course the case for the legend of the “vampire” goes back to ancient Egypt and Sumner although they were not called as such and all over the world you have different ways of how to deal with them, detect them, protect yourself from them and, most importantly, how to dispatch them.

Although the traditional aspect of the vampire came about in the mid to late 1700’s in Western Europe with eventually John Polidori putting it into story form with his novel “The Vampyre” and everything took off from there.

Just as a joke for my “Cabinet of Curiosities”  I think I’ll purchase a “Vampire Killing Kit”, something macabre to add to my macabre collection, what could be more perfectly Goth than that.   It’s not unusual.

There is a historic house here called the Pardee Mansion, it was built in the mid-1800’s by the father of a former governor of California and no I don’t mean Jerry Brown, whom I refer to as the great, molting bald eagle, and that is giving bald eagles a bad name.  But Governor Pardee was considered the most honest politician in the political history of California, a rarity in politics, but he was against monopolies, and anything that was damaging to one’s health having a half sister and a daughter dying from diseases that could have been easily prevented if the politicians had admitted that there was a disease epidemic.

Pardee’s wife Helen loved to “ramble” and collect things, but being the wife of a politician made travel to exotic places and locals difficult, so various  people on their travels would bring her something unusual for her collection, her cabinet of curiosities, things from baskets to human skulls, now if that isn’t unusual I really don’t know what is. 

Oh and what is a “Cabinet of Curiosities” you ask, my Darklings.

A cabinet of curiosities was (and is) an encyclopedic collection of types of objects whose categorical boundaries were yet to be defined.  They were not necessarily a cabinet, because most of them were entire rooms.   They were also known by various names such as Cabinet of Wonder, and in German Kunstkammer ("art-room") or Wunderkammer ("wonder-room"). Modern terminology would categorize the objects included as belonging to natural history (sometimes faked), geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art (including cabinet paintings) and antiquities.

Besides the most famous and best documented cabinets of rulers and aristocrats, members of the merchant class and early practitioners of science in Europe also formed collections that were precursors to museums.    The term cabenet originally described a room rather than a piece of furniture.   Obviously, cabinets of curiosities were limited to those who could afford to create and maintain them.

Now we have museums, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot have our own personal collections---for some people it can take up a room, especially if you are (Heavens!!) a  Barbie Doll collector.   For me I think I’ll keep it in my Library,  I have several locking cabinets there,  they use to call them curio cabinets, a much smaller version for the lower middle class families, to keep birds eggs, sea shells, unusual rocks and the like.

But I think a vampire killing kit, that would make people’s eyebrows rise up in wonder, don’t you think Darklings??

Later, Darklings.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What Television program does an Elder Goth watch?

 I was asked "What T.V. programs does an Elder/Elderly Goth watch or has watched?"

Well Darklings,

I have to confess I do not have cable, satellite, or go on Hulu or what ever means that people use to watch their programs or films.  And for you overseas readers of my blog,  the programs I’m going to mention have been shown here in the United States, but you might be able to find episodes on the internet.

Being an Elder/Elderly Goth and determined to keep some things in my life simple, I remain firmly using the old-fashioned Antenna reception, even if it has gone digital.

Darklings you have to remember I grew up at a time when Television was in its infancy, with programs such as Superman, Hopalong Cassidy, Howdy Doody, the Lone Ranger, Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, Milton Berle, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, Perry Mason, just to give you an idea.

And for some reason even today, I stubbornly remain fixed with Antenna reception, I mean why I should have to PAY to watch programs when I can get it for free, something that a number of people seem to forget, or wait for something to down load.

One thing I do remember, I always enjoyed best programs that talked about mysteries, ghosts, and hauntings, anything that was other worldly.  It was, in a way, a form of storytelling, and I enjoyed that as well when we had family gatherings.

It never failed, one family member or another would tell something funny, sad or spooky about an event or experience either by them or a friend or a long dead family member.

These stories I managed to write down, the funny ones were like some of Mark Twain’s stories as narrated by Hal Holbrook.

So sitting down either in front of the radio (there still were radio programs going on in the 50’s) or in the evening in front of the Television for our session of “storytelling” was a wonderful way to relax.  But that did not prevent us from having family fun night, because there usually was an evening in which there was nothing of interest that was the nights we’d played games or put puzzles together.

The only time we didn’t watch either Television or play games was during Easter, from Holy Thursday through Holy Saturday, no Television nor games, we could read books, but not comic books, I could color in my coloring book, and not until Easter Sunday could games be played.  I remember Grandma being very strict, no Television until after Easter Sunday and no radio unless it was on a classical music station, which made the men folk very unhappy, so they would sneak over to a neighbors’ house to listen to what ever baseball or football game was playing.

Frankly I enjoyed the enforced quiet during that time, it gave me a time to think, reflect to even talk to my parents about family and things, sitting out on the back porch looking at the garden watching the birds come to the feeder or taking a bath or a drink in the bird bath, and I still prefer the quiet to this very day.

But what programs did I watch?   Well I’m going to focus on the ones that were spooky and perfect for the Elder Goth.

Let’s start with Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, this ran from 1959 to 1961 and all the stories had something to do with something supernatural

The Adventures of Ellery Queen—there were 4 T.V. productions, the one’s I remember is Murder is my Business and then two others in the late 1950’s and early 1970’s and always with a twisted solution.

Danger (T.V.) this was psychological suspense—I do not have any idea if there are any surviving episodes.

Science Fiction Theatre with Truman Bradley---I loved all the persudo science as presented in these stories, I rank it right up there with One Step Beyond.

The Addams Family---need I say more---there were times when I wished the Addams were our neighbors although my Mother would have been slightly concerned but not too much.  She always said that they appreciated family values even if they were slightly skewered.

Outer Limits ---“We control the Horizontal, we control the vertical….”

Thriller with Boris Karloff---“I promise you this will be a thriller…” and a wink and some of the stories would just blast you out of the water.

You Asked for it (from the 50’s and 80’s)- -- “Remember ‘You Asked For It!’”  some of the things they showed like a woman kissing a cobra, that was part of a ritual, not fake either.  (A side bar on this)  Some years later a friend of mine who deals in books on magic managed to get 16 mm film of almost all of the “You Asked For It” episodes, including the one of the cobra kissing woman, he said that a team of anthropologists were very interested in that episode as it was a verified ritual to bring rain and there were very few filmed segments of it and it was no longer being done.

And there were The Munsters ( I wish I had bought the dolls) , Creature Features, Dark Shadows (T.V.), Ghost Story/Circle of Fear (not to be confused with a book of the same name),  In Search Of…., The Magician, Mission Impossible, Man From Uncle, Blacke’s Magic, Friday the 13th (TV.), Tales from the Crypt, Tales from the Dark Side, Night Gallery, Twilight Zone,  Unsolved Mysteries, The Sixth Sense (T.V.), The “X-files”---oh that was a winner

Of course we cannot forget “Kolcheck the Night Stalker”, everything stopped when this one came on, my Mom and Dad would talk about the stories that were presented and they’d tell me about what they had heard, so some of the stories on this program were based on legends or known myths. 

But when my folks passed away, it was sad for me, I became depressed, I really had no interest in things, no one to talk to who understood these things, not even my siblings, it took me a long time to find other like minded people besides my Great-Aunt, until years later when “Supernatural” appeared on the independent channel, then things got interesting with their satiric take on the old legends.

I’ve found that many of the current programs are boring, all this “reality T.V.” is not “reality” to me, but a forced exaggeration of bad manners and manipulation.  And the vampire TV. programs, again “boooorrrriiiinnngggg” geared to teens and pre-teens.  Nothing I, as an Elder/Elderly Goth, could really “sink my teeth” into.

Since I do not have cable or satellite service, there is no way I can see the ghost hunting programs, until they come out on DVD, and I buy them out of interest.  And I can “tear them apart” as well, some of them, oh REALLY!!  “Dude Run!!!” and you can see the tennis shoes on the fake ghost on that program.

Those T.V. programs for an Elder/Elderly Goth that I listed were all of interest to me.  As a child my Mother never discourage me from anything that was ghostly, she always thought I should have a healthy interest in things unknown.

But Mother always made sure I watched Healthy programs like “Kukla, Fran and Ollie”, or “Howdy Doody” (please give me a break, although as a children’s program it could be fun), but Superman was always interesting and exciting (“Great Ceasar’s Ghost!”), to balance my viewing and she encouraged me to read as well.

My Dad adored the westerns and police dramas like Gunsmoke, Wyatt Earp, Tales of Wells Fargo, Wild Wild West, Dragnet, while I loved The Cisco Kid and Roy Rogers,  some of the comedy radio programs transferred over to television like George Burns and Gracie Allen, The Jack Benny Show, Amos and Andy and of course Ed Sullivan.

One show that my Granny loved to watch was “Life is Worth Living” with Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, I’d watch it with her and we would talk about those spiritual matters that Sheen brought up.  I learned about Death from Granny, she told me that the greatest gift was being able to die with dignity.

But please remember, television was not the focus of our lives, it was simply an attachment which we could ignore if we choose and there were evenings when we so choose to ignore it.

Those were family evenings, we’d play games, either board or card games, or put puzzles together and during all that we’d exchange what was happening in our individual spheres, Mom would mention if a repair that needed to be done, or an event that was coming up, my sister or brothers would mention a movie they’d like to see or something at school, Dad would be talking about finances (we’ll see if we can budget for it), and when we had other relatives over visiting it would almost always turn to something wonderfully spooky. 

My Uncles and Aunts (I loved my Uncles but the women they married were pains in the you know what) lots of time they would talk about my Great-Aunt (whose home I inherited) and in scandalous tones, I felt that a lot of what they talked about was exaggerated.  Although there were times I felt that my Great-Aunt was a little like ‘Prendergast’ the character in the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child novels.  And when I met her finally, I adored her, although she was honest with me about her personality.  Yes she could be abrasive and manipulative, but in a way that was very helpful.

When she heard that Mother had passed away she was quick to call me and tell me that I was not alone, and it helped me get over the worse of my depression.  I’ll never forget her saying to me “One never gets over the loss of a loved one, one never gets over the loss of a loving parent, only through the passage of years can we even begin to deal with it and even then, when you least expect it we suddenly feel that loss all over again, but then my Dear, That is Love.”   That helped.

Now with ME-TV and RETRO-TV (here in the United States) can I begin to experience some of the pleasures of those old television programs and also Thanks to DVD’s  I am not trapped by the vulgarities of “reality shows” or paying for service, nor cramped by the down loading of HuLu.

But I am always on the hunt for programs or episodes that can send a thrill down my back, more recently I’ve been enjoying “CSI: Las Vegas” and “CSI: New York”, the “CSI: Miami” was interesting until they took a vendetta twist that bored me to death (Yawn).  And “Castle” is a fun program for an Elderly Goth, “Criminal Minds” there is something about going into the depths of depravity of a twisted mind that is morbidly fascinating,  “NCIS” (the original) while not a convoluted as “CSI”, has it’s moments, I think I love the characters of Ducky and the Perky Goth Girl. “Bones” of course I enjoy for its forensic information.  Of course “Supernatural”, but I always thought it was better dealing with haunted legends, going on the Angel course, well I’m not sure where that will end up.   “Nikita” a wonderfully dark spy program, I never know what she is going to do next, but it is the villainess of the piece that I like even better.

One program that I had hoped would continue was “Alcatraz” I really liked the dark psudo-science fiction in that, but it was never given a chance to develop and lift off.

I never discount the informative programs that one sees on our Public Broadcast station such as “Nova”, or our entertaining ones like “Life on Mars”, “Foyles’ War”, “Inspector Morse” and “Midsomer Murders”.  They can be a lot of Food for thought for an Elder/Elderly Goth.

But if one wants to be completely mundane---“Big Bang Theory”,  I have never laughed so hard at a comedy in ages, thoughtful, educational, frustrating with Sheldon Coopers’ attitude, but wonderfully balanced by his Mother’s practical if overboard Christian sensibility---I think where she talks about the Christian Cruise she’s going on was a Hoot with “Gunning for Gun”---where you write your sins on a clay pigeon, spring it and then shoot it down;  the “All You Can East Last Supper” Buffet;  and of course the “Jonah and the Whale Watching” tour, the program is a microcosm of over-thinking, self-centeredness and practicality, as combined by all the characters.

Far better than that stupid comedy about 4 self centered, unthinking people that talk about and do nothing called “Seinfeld”, I know there are people who are “Seinfeld” fans but if I knew people like that I would immediately remove them from my life---they are dangerous---to other people.  The only time the program was even remotely humorous was when the character of ‘Jackie Child’ appeared, as played by Phil Morris.  His development of that character was wonderful.

So what will the new television season bring to this Elder/Elderly Goth??  I honestly don’t know Darklings, but ‘stay tuned’ as they say.

Later Darklings

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Couldn't do what I wanted to do***sigh***~~~

Well Darklings,

Sometimes fun comes ahead of work and so I didn't do what I was planning to do on my blog.  Yes, Bad, Bad Girl.

Well it all started when I took Belladonna for her walk, I ran into friends told them what I was planning to do Saturday which was fine.   And today---well "Forget about it" is all I can say.

Saturday we got together at my place and in my Vintage 1940's Ford we went to the Farmer's Market, Oh Heaven!  Is all I can say Oh Heaven, lovely fruits and preserves, yum!  Then I dropped them off at their place on my way home, did some more shopping, stocked my pantry, put the Bay leaves on the shelves, and grinned.  

My friends came and picked me up Saturday evening and took me to a "Psychic Party",  sort of a pre-Halloween event,  anyway our hostess introduced us to this medium who then had us do psycometry, for us to read what was in a sealed envelope, to give our impressions.  It was very interesting.

But I was cautious because I've heard of "cold readings" so I made sure that I never said anything personal about me or my family.   There was about 25 of us and then after a bit the medium gave readings for each one of us.   I took special pains to not have my face reveal anything.  But this medium gave me a very personal reading, like what my future life choices are, family members who have passed on. 

I was surprised about the accuracy in her readings---it seems that she lives back east in Cassadega, Florida and was visiting some spiritualist churches around here.   

Of course I didn't get home until late, slept in this morning, went to the church rummage sale and found a lovely piece of garden statuary, it's a good thing I was driving the Civic,  it was heavy.  I'll have my contractor take it out later this week.

But again my friends called me up and invited me over to their house, even came by and picked me up, Belladonna went with me of course, and we spent the afternoon talking about what had transpired the evening before.  I have to say the paranormal and the occult have always interested me.   My friends are also curious as well, and have discovered through their hostess, who is a friend of theirs that there is going to be another "psychic demonstration" next Saturday evening at a Spiritualist Church, so out of curiosity we are going to attend.  

I've been to these events before, and since my "boyfriend" Doyle has done what was commonly called "Bunco" or dealing with "con artists" he's going to be attending as well, although he said that when its sponsored by a Spiritualist Church they tend to be "honest" in their own way, no cons but people who want to believe in life after death. 

So it seems I'll be looking into another "dark side" of life, and that is life after death.  I'll let you know what happens Darklings.


Friday, August 24, 2012

End of the Week Catch up and ideas....

Hello, Hello My Darklings,

I am so finally glad to be home after a long, long day at my job.  Had to be there at 7 (Oh My God it's to D*&%##  early)  A.M.  Sorry Darklings I do have to self censor, one never knows who is underage viewing this site.

But considering that many under 18 year olds have heard worse, I'm not about to perpetuate any further filthy words---even at work the worse I say is "Fudgesickle!!"   Part of the problem is we have a "born again christian" in our midst who put out a "curse" box and we have to put a coin in for each curse word we say.

Of course she's upset with me because I say "Fudgesickle!!" and she can't fine me  because it's a proper word.   And now the rest of the work force has adopted that as well.  

For instance "Pound Cake",  "Oreos",  "Cupcake",  "Bleep, Bleep",  "Bleeping",  "Fudge, Fudge, Fudge---BROWNIES!!!"     Then we have to ask are they being served?   My favorites are "Applesauce" and really down and dirty but clean  "Kiss my Grits!!"  even better "Osculate my Glutious Maximus!"

We have one co-worker who has learned to curse in Latin...So our Born again Christian isn't getting any coins for her 'curse box' so  she can't donate to her church---which sometimes I think of as the Church of the Airy-Fairy Fluff Bunnies---which is really an insult to Fluffy Bunnies,  especially Bunnicula, my neighbor daughters pet bunny.  I think the little girl is secretly Goth but she hasn't released it yet.

Sorry Darklings, I am being silly, but it is soooo good to be home.  Again our weather is warmishly mild, reminding me of my upcoming vacation---which I am soooo looking forward to.

I am trying to type this but Belladonna my sweet little four legged darling is demanding my attention,  well I'll take her out for a walk in a little bit and then it's "Little Caesars" for her. 

I've had some fun in my search for more information on the Vera West Mystery and found only tiny snippets which I will add to my "Mystery of Vera West" Page hopefully this weekend.

But right now I have received in the mail my huge  (and I do mean HUGE) September 2012 issue of Vogue magazine---the poor postman must get a hernia lugging that magazine it is SO huge,  it is mostly ads but I enjoy it as it shows what the upcoming possible styles are coming out.  And as Elder/Elderly Goths we can pick and choose the best of the best out of the worse---I am glad to see that a lot is leather and corporate looks, all wicked and sleek in its own way. 

So Darklings if you don't subscribe do go out and buy the September issue of Vogue---Frankly Darklings, only the September and March issues are the one's worth getting, you can forget the rest of the year.

And be on the watch for Vanity Fair as well.  

I also received in the mail my complete Autumn issue from Victorian Trading Company and there are some dresses and coats I am dying to purchase,  it will be worth it.

I've talked to my contractor who has been helping me renovate my Great-Aunt's home and it is shaping up nicely.  I told him about my plans for a freezer in the pantry and he made sure that the electrical outlet in there is capable of handling the load.  So I took one day off this week to go with him to shop for one and we found one that is perfect,  an upright so nothing will get buried, with just the right capacity to hold things for two people,  it is also an energy-star saver as well and is just the right size to fit in the spot in the pantry.
He delivered it and set it up so it looks like I'm in business.

Tomorrow I'll have Belladonna stay at the Doggie Day Care and I'll be doing some serious shopping,  one thing my contractor suggested is I buy these large folding crates and cloth coolers, that way anything frozen or refrigerated will stay frozen or cold for a long time, especially if I have a lot of errands.  A very good idea.

I am also going to a nearby Church rummage sale this weekend, and see what they have to offer, one never knows what one will find.

On my lunch break today I ducked into our local CVS drug store and found two nail polish colors marketed under the collective name of "Spoiled"  one color is a deep, deep blood red all ceramic looking, its called "Pick Your Poison",  the other is sort of a dark, dark blackish brown with some faint red sparkle, in a way it reminds me of dried blood, its called "Bite Me!" 

And I think I have found a goth/vamp web site that has things to purchase for your home and just in time for Halloween---I can't WAIT for the "Spirit Store" to open up and see what lovely tacky Halloween goodies they offer.  Well once I have a chance to check out the initial site I'll give you my take on it and post its web site. 

But Darklings, I cannot stress enough what Victorian Trading Company has to offer, including an Absinthe dispenser,  yes the green fairy of liquors. 

Now I must go, Belladonna is making demands upon me and I really want to have some fun during the "Twilight Hours".

Later Darklings

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Autumn is coming ~~~Lots of Thoughts

Hello Darklings,

The other morning when I was leaving for work, I had the sensation that Fall was already in the air, hard to believe when the rest of this country is baking in heat and drought.

But where I live it has been unseasonably cool, with only a few days of any sort of heat, but that morning as I left my home I looked up to the sky and saw so far up, little puffs of clouds like tiny sheep being herded by an unseen shepherd.

There was a soft dampness of breeze that caressed my skin and tickled my nose with the slightest hint of autumn chill and dead leaves and I realized that the next day was the Ides of August, the time closing in for the next to final reaping of the growing crops and the eventual pressing of the new wine, dark flowing like blood, blood of the vine.

In the next few months to follow, the fall crops of apples, pears and fall vegetables would be harvested.
With all that recollection I’ll make plans to take a week or two off in September, and plan to go North to the Napa Wine Country, or (Heaven Forbid!!!) Lodi, (“oh lord, stuck in Lodi again”) it will be for more than just wines, and Lodi is excellent for Zinfandel, it will be perfect to get freshly preserved fruits and vegetables to add to the stock in my kitchen pantry.

One tree that I have in my garden is a Bay Tree and the beauty about Bay leaves is that they keep the small insects out and add a wonderful aroma to the panty area. I remember my Mother and Grandmother doing that to their pantry areas; I cannot smell bay leaves without that wonderful aroma.

I remember those Summer and Fall seasons from many years ago, those hot days and my Mother and Granny sterilizing bottles and the lids, those large pots boiling with hot water, the timing had to be just right, spare tables brought up from the basement that ordinarily were used to fold laundry, doing double duty, now covered with freshly laundered cotton towels, not the fluffy kind for bathrooms, the plain flat kind for kitchens in plain sterilized white, the stove also doing double duty cooking the fruits and vegetables and sterilizing bottles at the same time.

Mother and Granny with their hair tied up and under bandanas to keep hair out of the food, wearing gloves and the heat on hot days, the beads of sweat on their faces, and me with a damp cool face cloth, constantly wiping their faces, peeling, cutting the things to be put up, carefully measuring sugar or something that they needed, washing any utensils, later with careful handwriting the names of what was canned and the date taping it to the jars.

And all with a careful surgical precision to both sanitation and food preparation, then moving the spare tables over to hold the finished products to allow them to cool slowly before being put away like precious jewels to be revealed later in the year as needed. Admiring the hard work, the feeling of accomplishment, then when they were cool enough opening the pantry door to the dark cave of Aladdin’s food, to be discovered later.

Peaches, apple sauce, apple butter, jams, jellies, filling for pumpkin pie, cherries, string beans, apricots slices or jam, pear jam, orange marmalade, lemon curd, potatoes in sawdust, parsnips, turnips, tomatoes either sauce or chunks, pickles, pickled cabbage, picked onions, beets, carrots, corn, and other goodies.

Mother would always go over the list of things she’d always cook for lunch and dinner and she’d know what needed to be put up and if it was more than what was needed she’d trade with someone else who had something wonderful to try.

I’d always wondered why we put them up when we could get them at the grocery store, I asked my Dad one time and he said, “If you knew what the folks at home had to do without while the soldiers were fighting the war (World War II) you’d understand, they grew their own food, put them up, so the soldiers would have plenty of food, women gave up nylons, clothing and food was rationed, Mac and Cheese became a main dish, Jell-O was dessert, or would stretch out foods.

Why do you think your Mom saves buttons and thread on old wooden spools, why do you think that when a sweater is worn out and has holes she carefully unravels it and saves the yarn, sometimes if you ran out of toothpaste you had to brush your teeth with either salt or baking soda until you were allowed to buy your next tube and you had to turn in your empty tube.

If your shoes had holes in the soles or the heels wore down you’d re-heel and resole it, lots of times women and men would have those little metal taps put on their shoes to not wear down the heels.

You walked or car pooled or took the bus, if you were not a doctor or police officer you only got 4 gallons of gas a week, and you could forget about tires, you were lucky if there were any to be had, more than once your grandfather had to drive on bald tires. If a tire blew out you saved it and turned it in, the rubber could be reused.

There were no un-necessary trips, everything had to be carefully planned, the children that are growing up after the war will never know the depravations children and adults had during the war, for example ice cream was a luxury enjoyed rarely if at all.”

Dad looked at me and said “The motto was ‘Fix it up, Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do or Do without.’ And save, save, save, bones, cooking grease, paper, glass, metal, rubber, worn out cloth. Everything was re-cycled nothing was thrown away.”

“Your Mom got recipes for the least used parts of the animal, ox tail bones for soup, tripe, stews made with the very tough cuts of meat, anything to make meat stretch farther. We had ‘Meatless Tuesdays’ and wheatless Mondays and Wednesdays.  On Fridays even if you were not Catholic you had fish. Even now I encourage her to do those recipes, so she would not forget and I would not forget her sacrifice” and he was right, how I remember those meals, and for some reason my Mom seemed happy making them.

For some reason around those meals my parents would reminisce about things and I listened carefully while my younger siblings would moan about it being ox-tail soup, and Mom giving them all the saltines they could eat.

I remembered how Mother would dye faded bedspreads and curtains in this old bath tub that had legs in the farthest area of the back yard, instead of spending money to buy new, and if something got a stain she would dye it another color after removing as much of the stain as possible, it’s no wonder most of her clothes were dark blue and purple as well as Granny’s.

I also remembered how for a long time instead of a modern refrigerator we had an old fashioned ice box, Mother would only buy meat for a day or two, at the small market across the street or send me down to it with a note for two pounds of ground beef, and milk was delivered fresh every day and kept in it.

There was a huge block of ice that would chill the whole thing and a man, who seemed huge to me, but then I was a small 5 year old, would come in through the back door with a huge block of ice on his shoulder that was covered with a large thick pad of leather  to protect him and he would carefully swing it into the ice box with these heavy metal tongs.  For some reason I remember him wearing a bowler hat which made me think of the comic team of Laurel and Hardy.

I remember he’d always apologize to Mom for dripping water on her kitchen floor and she would say “That’s alright, I was planning to mop today” and she did. It wasn’t until I was 7 that Mom and Dad bought a refrigerator, the Frigidaire. We had that for ages and ages before we were finally forced to sucumb to buying a frost free model.

I remember how if there was something to purchase it would be planned on days when we’d be running other errands “to save gas”. After 15 years of doing without or making do from the Depression and the War with the more prosperous 1950’s it was hard to break a thrifty habit and be foolish even just once.
When I think back on those days I realize how lucky we are now and how young people really don’t know what it’s like to do without.

Perhaps with the increase in Gasoline prices, young people will get the idea to be thrifty and careful, but I think it will need something even far more drastic to get that message across.

I went out earlier in the evening and plucked the Bay leaves off of the tree, washed the dust off of them and let the leaves dry, in a few days I’ll put them into the pantry, since it’s only myself and my little Belladonna I don’t need much, but still it’s a nice scent.

I remember also smelling eucalyptus and lavender all throughout my parents home as well as at my Granny’s and lemon polish from polishing the furniture and I’d smell the same scents when I visited my Great Aunt, it wasn’t until I took up the large carpet in the hall (one of the first to be cleaned) that I saw and remembered what my Mother and Granny use to do to keep Moths and Fleas out of the house, eucalyptus leaves and lavender would be sandwiched between the carpet and the carpet pad. Something which I will do again; I have a friend who has eucalyptus growing on her property as a wind barrier, and lavender I will grow a plenty in my front yard, but for now I’ll get the rich scented kind from a nursery that I know.

I found myself last night sitting in my comfortable overstuffed chair with my feet elevated, little Belladonna snuggled in my lap, one hand is stroking her and the other holding a cup of tea, looking out my window at the slowly growing darkness that twilight brings and with it its own form of peace and I think and plan and one of things I think I’ll do is have herbs growing in the garden, besides the lavender for moths, I’ll include thyme, marjoram, rosemary, spearmint and peppermint for teas and basil for cooking. I’ll make use of the large pantry in my Great Aunt’s kitchen; there is space for a freezer with a nice heavy duty outlet, which I think would be good for some things that are worth stocking up on, provided I put a date on it. In fact I’m planning on taking a couple of days off this week to shop for a freezer.

Considering the increase in fuel prices and the corn shortage our food prices will skyrocket, and one can already see the increases in gasoline and some food products.

Right now there is a bargain on pork cuts, because pigs eat corn, now is the time to weed down the herds, soon beef and chicken. So now is the time to look for bargains in meats and poultry.
So although I’m planning a trip in September I know my gas costs will be high, but then for the rest of the year I’ll be using public transportation or going out with friends. And planning on shopping the way my parents did during the war. Hmmm I think I’ll use my vintage car for that.

In a way I’ll be budgeting for a different type of war, a war of economics, for we are heading into dark times my Darklings, these promises of these presidential candidates are just that --- empty promises, so just as my parents and grandparents faced the Depression and the War so too must we face a time of doing without, of a sort of emptiness and we must fill it with purpose.

Yesterday early afternoon, as I drove over to a church were a funeral service that was being held for a relative of a friend of mine (a sad business), I saw the sycamore trees lining the streets, their leaves turning from green to brown, dusty and slowly drying up, Fall is approaching I thought, remembering how my parents and grandparents really gauged the calendar by the scent of the seasons in the air, and then only to confirm any special dates by using the calendar..

I think that now is the time to start preparing.

We must remember “FIX IT UP, USE IT UP, WEAR IT OUT, MAKE IT DO OR DO WITHOUT”-----And one other thing my parents did “SAVE UP FOR IT”, avoid indebtedness if at all possible.

Later Darklings.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Just Being Lazy~~~

Oh Darklings,

There are times when it pays to be lazy, this was one of those days.

I took the ferry in as early as possible to the city to work, worked till past 12 and then came home.

Oh that doesn't sound like much but once in a while one needs a mental health day, and I had put in for it.

It was mildly warm in my weedy back yard and Belladonna was enjoying her sniffing around and then decided to just laz a bit in the warm sun.  She was so relaxed that it gave me an idea.

I called the Claremount Resort Spa to see if I could get in for their dinner hour and I can,  and I've also booked for spa treatments and a mani-pedi this weekend.

I know it sounds so indulgent, but Darklings, how can you be a "Queen of the Night" if you do not indulge in something even a little hedonistic.

One of my Darkling friends says that her indulgence is to have a mani-pedi, then to go to the See's Candy store and buy a 1 pound box of chocolates and slowly devour them over a weekend---she only does it every 8 to 10 weeks, lots of times she doesn't even finish the box so she'll have one piece of chocolate before retiring for bed, then when the box is empty no more until she goes and gets her next mani-pedi,  the rest of the time she is so good.

Another friend told me that she loves getting a massage, she doesn't do it very often maybe once in 3 or 4 months, but for her it's like being on a short vacation.   Another indulgence is aromatherapy, trying different scents to achieve a perfect mind set.

Another friend of mine goes star watching with some friends of hers,  they pack one of those small tents and folding chairs and bed rolls, they look through their telescopes and she just looks at the sky and has her ear buds on listen to soothing music on her recording device as she views and marvels the night sky,  it's even better when there's a meteor shower.  It during that time she feels one with the night and she tries to bring that feeling into her home.

And for all you night lovers, that is something you may want to consider, finding the perfect place to watch for meteors, away from the ambient city lights,  now don't do it alone, go with some friends, or find a group that does it.  Sit back watch and be one with the night.

Now Darklings,  I'm going to get dressed and go to my personal dinner date.

Consider being lazy Darklings, its a wonderful idea.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I have a little fishy tale to tell.  

Today one of my friends called me up and asked if I had nothing planned today.  I said "No" not desiring to go to the "Art and Soul" festival which at one time use to be fun, but now no longer holds any interest or pleasure for me.

Well the sweet Darkling came and picked me up and took me to her place to show her aquarium that she is setting up,  to do it right she told me will take several weeks to allow everything to settle in and properly filter before she even puts fish in.

I mentioned before because of all the chemicals that is put into our drinking water one can no longer put one's 10 cent gold fish into a bowl and expect it to survive with the water we have, you have to filter it properly. 

She told me that she wanted to make it bizarre and sort of Goth and I said jokingly "How do you Goth up an aquarium except to put Piranha fish in it and bones"  and she said "Forget the Piranha fish how about the bones?"   I have to admit I was stumped.  But since she offered to treat me to a late lunch we went to one of the better known pet supply stores.

I have to admit I was entranced by the Beta's or as they use to be known as "Fighting Fish", with the various colors and fin tails so sinuous, but we were looking for bizarre,  and I came across the very thing.  They have these various statues and such to put into an aquarium to add interest.  Ages ago it use to be the diver or a mermaid or a sunken ship or something cutesy.   But a small triceratops skull???   Yes Darklings a made for one's fish tank using those materials that are safe for fishes triceratops skull,  looking dead enough with bones enough.

I fell in love with it and so did my friend, so selecting that as well as a sufficient amount of black gravel it became the start for her bizarre Goth aquarium,  but when she showed me the size of the aquarium that she had I said it might not be enough for hidy places for her fish, so we looked around and found a human skull half the normal size but in size balance to the triceratops skull,  the background to the aquarium will be black as well so black background with black gravel those skulls in a stark setting with just enough light at night to be ghostly.

So I asked her what type of fish is she going to get, she said she wanted to be basic and get goldfish, I have to admit I groaned at the thought of something so mundane, but she had found a place that has gold fish that are almost all white the owner breeds them to be that way and they only have the tiniest aura of gold which gives them a ghostly look.  I can imagine them swimming in and out of the eye sockets of the skulls or picking bits of fish food off of the skulls. 

I asked my friend why she decided on an aquarium and she discovered she needed something relaxing, she had gone to the Montery Bay Aquarium and was entranced by the Moon Jellies and felt so mesmerized by them.   She had a spot in her home that was perfect for an aquarium so she went with the investment, she felt that it would be no harder to take care of than a kitty litter box and she'd get a mental benefit from it as well.

Considering her work schedule I knew that having a dog, cat or even a bird would be difficult but an aquarium would be perfect, especially for her bizarre tastes.

So in a few weeks when the Ph levels of her tank is just right I will go with her to purchase her fish and enjoy the total effect.   Already without the fish in it I find it absolutely morbidly beautiful.  And I think I'll plan on a two day trip to the Montery Bay Aquarium for a little relaxation.

Later Darklings

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Halloween is coming~~~

Oh Darklings,

Guess what?  Do you know that it’s only 3 months to Halloween??!!  Well really two months if you enjoy celebrating Halloween for the entire month of October, which I do.

I mentioned in an earlier Post about the selections from Victorian Trading Company, now I’ve received my catalog from Grandin Road, and the idea’s for decorating for Halloween and beyond are just too much, including the “Dueling Banjo” Skeletons.

If you are into just having plain old-fashion Halloween fun check out these two web sites and see what is offered.

One other thing is that I have fun finding batty and spidey decorations for windows, tables and lamps, which suits my Halloweeney mood just perfectly. 

For some of you it may seem just too poser, but if you love horror movies or the Munsters or the Addams Family then it will be just right.

So right now even before the school materials are put out start looking for those decorations that you covet. 

I will be posting Grandin Road’s Web site but remember their Halloween things are only for the season.  But still you never will know what will turn up.

Later Darklings

Goth Vacations~~~

Well Darklings,

Summer is half way over, and here where I live it has been cold, or very, very mild, unless one goes further inland to experience any heat.

Unfortunately I’ve not had a chance to travel being busy with work and home renovations, but I take my one day trips when and where I can.

But I’ve been asked where would an Elder/Elderly Goth go for a vacation?

I’d have to say one has to first consider your general health and physical condition—those are the two most primary concerns, the next one of course is one’s pocket book.

Secondly:  do you want to tour the United States, Europe or someplace else, other than outer or inner space?

Alright so let’s say you are in good physical condition, love to walk, then almost any walking tour that specializes in Ghosts, Hauntings, vampires, or Jack the Ripper would be good.

With that in mind you can chose a destination city and Google in what they have to offer as well as what is it that you want to tour, is it hauntings?  There are a lot of places just in the U.S. alone.  Vampires? Voodoo?  So the “what” is very important as well.

If you are of a romantic gothic turn of mind then check out this web site: for ideas and locations, this web site covers everything from music, books to places to visit both in the U.S. and out.

Now let me give you places that I’d like to see.

I love to start with the United States and in the area that I live I would Google in walking tours that feature hauntings, and vampires in San Francisco, the city is so Noir that even a British vampire would feel at home and since Ann Rice conceived her vampire story here in San Francisco it would be very appropriate.

The Columbarium in San Francisco, as well as the City of the Dead aka Mountain View cemetery in Oakland is also very Gothic appropriate and a lot of walking, excellent for one’s health, did you know that the tragic Black Dahlia is buried in Oakland?

Nearby is the city of Colma where the dead out number the living, you can even visit Wyatt Earp’s grave.

If you want to stay in haunted places there is the Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco and the Brookdale Lodge in the Santa Cruz mountains, the food at the Brookdale is good and where else can you dine with a brook running through the dinning room.

Seattle, Washington is a beautiful city with its space needle but it also has an underground tour, the city of Seattle that is underground, this was featured in one of the “Night Stalker” made for T.V. movies, this underground city is also reputed to be haunted as well.

One of the more unusual and religious places that I had a chance to visit is in Portland, Oregon; called “The Grotto” it’s official name is the “Sanctuary of the Sorrowful Mother”,  they offer masses during the late Spring, Summer and Fall as well as tours if you are of a more religiously romantic Goth.  It features the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross, as well as beautiful rose gardens, check out its web site by googling “The Grotto”.

There is also suppose to be what is called “The Shanghai Tunnels” underneath Portland Oregon,  these are education tours of the infamous “Portland Underground” the focuses on the shanghai trade in that city from 1850 to 1941 as well as its use for “white slavery” and prohibition.  This can also be googled.

Have you ever been to Hell?   There are several places in the United States that have that name such as   Hell, California; Hell, Michigan and Hell Creek, Montana notable for its Cretaceous Dinosaur fossils.  Hell, Michigan embraces its name with celebrations on Friday the 13th and other events, so if you want to raise “Hell” this is one place to check out.

Or you can see hell at Yellowstone National Park, yes Darklings I know...It is tourist infested, but it really is hell on earth however. The smell of sulphur, the steaming heat rising from the earth, simmering pots of colored mud in a barren landscape, rumbling earth, pools of crystal blue water less than a foot across and hundreds of feet deep boiling away... Horrifying and beautiful at the same time.

You practically expect something horrible to climb from the depths and make itself right at home like the demons from the Cluthlu Mythos.  And when old Faithful geysers sends its hot plume of water up from the fiery depths it can be awe inspiring.

Did you know that California has its own petrified forest?  Yes Darklings, in Calistoga, California, famous for its mud baths, it has its own web site with all the information, but remember in 1980 when Mt St. Helens exploded forever changing its landscape and killing 57 people who were foolish enough to remain on the mountain?  

Well several million years ago Mt. St. Helena near Calistoga did the very same thing burying redwood trees which eventually turned into fossils.  As a bizarre curiosity and as a relaxing trip this is worth while including our own local old faithful geyser.  Because we sit on what is commonly known as “The Ring of Fire” volcanic mountain range, we could blow up at any minute.   Nothing like sitting on a potential “powder keg” to wet one’s appetite.

Interested in going to some devilish locations, there is the Devil’s post pile in Northern California as well as Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming feature in “Close Encounters”, to see this sticking right out of the land is a bit disquieting but one forgets that at one time the whole area was underwater when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, huge, massive and bat filled.  In this cave is silence so deep you can hear your heart beat and darkness so darkly profound, in the evening like clockwork the bats leave the cave, be sure to keep your head covered.

If you are into tours of the dead and are in New York City then Dead Apple Tours is for you especially if you love to be chauffeured in a hearse.

And what about New Orleans, also made famous by Anne Rice and the Voodoo Queen herself, Marie Laveau, there are tours of both the city and it’s cemeteries, but be careful some of the cemeteries are in locations that are not very safe, so as much as one would hate it, go with a professional guide, and avoid the city during Mardi Gra, you don’t need to deal with boozy drunks and floozies.

 The Anasazi ruins in Utah Canyon Country are both scary and awe inspiring, but remember do not take anything from there except pictures and always be respectful, go with a professional guide.

Salem, Massachusetts, walking around late at night, the spot where the gallows stood or perhaps the downtown area where many spirits lie.  Again a professional guide to start and then a chance to wander a bit on your own.

Then if you are into Western Steam punk Gothic ala “Wild, Wild West” then Tombstone, Arizona is the place for you.

There are many, many more, so this is just a suggestion to at least prick your interest.

And I haven’t even gone through the gamut of places to visit in Europe, such as the Jack the Ripper walks, the Mary’s Gate walks, Stonehenge just a few in England, the Dracula tours, and many, many more, so I’ll just allow your imagination to take you there. 

Maybe I’ll even do a European vacation suggestion.

Later Darklings

Gothic Gardening~~~ Part 2

“…and in her starry shade of dim and solitary loveliness, I learned the language of another world.” ----Lord Byron

 Isn’t that a beautiful sentiment Darklings? 

I feel that one’s garden, especially at night should be the gateway to viewing the stars, to commune with the unseen, the dead; unfortunately with so much ambient city light it does make it hard, but still the night can be beautiful in a garden.

So as another suggestion for a theme garden, consider on planting a night garden, now this would consist of plants that bloom and release their fragrance at night, for example:
The moon flower is born to glow in the gothic night time, it opens at night and stay opens into the morning. Sadly each flower last only for a day. It comes in yellow, pink and purple colors, and there are those that are white; they are great for late afternoon till the early morning blooms. The yellow flower blooms first in the twilight and then the pink and purple ones blossom in the duration of the dark gothic night.

Just Google in “Night Blooming Flowers” and you will get a number of suggestions.

Another idea for a night garden is to plant plants that have a silvery sheen, instead of white flowers, although both will show up beautifully during moonlight times, but white flowers would be predominate in the moonlight.   Also consider flowers that release their fragrance only at night, but only as an addition to your daytime flowers.

I felt I had deserted you when I did not provide the names of at least a few plants that one could consider for a Goth Garden.

This part is to make up for it.  

Now I do advise to see if you are planting in sun or shade, what type of soil and drainage, the theme of your garden and of course, your pocket book.

I have a few Goth looking plants listed here,  the zones that I list are for the United States so if you are viewing from another country check with your local nursery about the climate zones that will handle what I’m posting-----

Cobra Lilies good for zone 4 to 9, 1 to 3 feet tall, open shade; moist, well-drained soil

Toad lily; zones 4 to 9, 6 inches to 3 feet, open to heavy shade, humus-rich, well drained soil.  They look likes yellow toads.

Ornamental kale zones 4 to 8 container works well, their nice dark leaves can serve as a back ground for low growing.

‘Chocolate’ white snakeroot  zones 4 to 8 also a container plant that tolerates cold, spills over beautifully in an old urn.

Cockscomb an annual, looks like a brain removed from a skull, it likes full sun and well-drained soil and will show itself toward the end of summer.

Diabolo Ninebark zone 3 to 7, full sun, moist well-drained soil dark hued excellent background plants.

Mums also come in a wide variety of colors many of them dark hued.

Then there are the roses and Lily’s---the standard white calla lily so perfect for a funeral effect or dead garden, consider also what it typically called the Easter Lilly, when planted it blooms at another time of the year and is forced bloomed for Easter, but is still worthwhile for a Goth dead or cemetery garden.

For your dead or cemetery garden be sure to consider anise, amaranth flowers and wormwood. What make these flowers special for raising the dead are their bitter taste, and also the sharp aroma. Through these plants a unique atmosphere can be created, a sense of death and life together. Wormwood especially if brewed properly is part of the ingredients for Absinthe.

Then there are the Roses-----
One dark rose is called “Almost Black” it is a very deep red, there is the Black Baccara rose, Black Magic rose, Black Beauty rose, and the Black Ice rose,  check with your favorite nursery or look on line for it’s hardiness and growing zones.

Roses also come in white and lavender as well, again check for hardiness.

You can have fun with climbing roses especially the white variety for your cemetery or fantasy garden.  Have it arch over a wooden trellis or a black metal trellis.  The wooden ones, unless made out of red wood have a short life span, a metal one lasts much longer, you can even have a distressed metal sign hanging over it saying either “Cemetery” or “Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here” or something equally as suitable.

Then there are the carnivorous plants like the Pitcher plant and the Venus Fly trap, so in deciding what to plant the world is your oyster.

Red poppies are also another excellent flower to have growing in your garden, make sure the colors that you choose are red as close to blood as possible.

Do not overlook the bulb plants like irises, gladiolas, tulips, dahlias, and even daffodil’s especially for early spring blooming.  But you must remember most bulb plants should be planted in October (northern hemisphere) for the spring blooms, so planning your flower beds and knowing where is what is important.

Among the tulips is a wicked maroon beauty called “Queen of the Night” which is a late spring bloomer, when paired with white tulips such as “Maureen” also a late spring bloomer that turns from creamy yellow to white can make for a dramatic appearance, even with all “Queen…” or all “Maureen” for either a dark garden or all white garden or fantasy garden. 

Some people would say “Why Daffodil’s?”  There is an early spring blooming one, “Alaska” really a jonquil that is almost all white for a ghostly-fantasy garden effect especially in the evening,  and for some reason even in its ghostliness seems almost cheerful with its yellow stamen center. If you want Daffodils that look unusual there is Cassata an early bloomer that is ghostly in it’s yellow and white glory and a mid-to late bloomer Poeticus Recurvus which is white with a red outline like it has been splashed with blood on its yellow trumpet. It even has a spicy scent.

If you are planning to grow a “horror” garden you should consider planting among your leaf-losing trees Winter Wolf’s Bane (Eranthis/Winter Aconite) it is an early spring bloomer with it’s cup shaped yellow flowers sitting on fans of bright green leave, plant a lot for best effect, if you don’t mind yellow and couple it with a garden statue of a wolf as well.

Don’t be afraid to crowd your bulbs, for example 9 to 12 tulip bulbs in one square foot in the wild where as standard is 5 bulbs,  Daffodils large 4-5 and miniature 7-11 in a square foot and Eranthis 20 to 24 in a square foot.

Another thing to consider are Ferns, yes Ferns, now some people would think that Ferns demand water, a cool environment  and being in the shade, but there are Ferns that are drought tolerant and will take variegated shade.  Again it depends on your garden design, and theme as well as space as some ferns can take up a large space, check with your nursery specialist.

Then there are plants with names like “Snakehead” and “Bleeding Heart”, you can have fun planting them with stakes that have their names, again consider location and color and time of year when they will bloom.

These are only some suggestions; I myself like the idea of the Cockscomb annual with it’s bizarre growth, and intend to plant it here and there in my garden just to startle anyone. And I’m going to use ferns in the more shady areas to have hidden tombstones and ageing statuary peeking out mysteriously from the past.

Another thing to consider is how are you going to water your garden, drip method, sprinklers, hand watering---if your garden is in an apartment the obvious is hand watering, but you are lucky to have an outdoor or patio garden then one has to consider the remaining methods, we are going to install a sprinkler system and to make sure that all parts of the garden is reached, but it also depends on how much water the plantings will require. 

And this is where one has to consider making it drought tolerant or moist, even a bog garden or rain garden. All of that has to be considered in your theme and planning.

Now if you are an apartment dweller, then consider the bulb plants such as Amaryllis to grow indoors unfortunately there are no very dark colors for your gothic indoor garden mostly reds, of which I suggest starting with what I think is the darkest red “Royal Velvet” it’s flowers are large, followed by “Rapido”, it is a miniature early bloomer, and Red Lion with large blooms.   A pure white Amaryllis is “Christmas Gift” it blooms in January or February.   To grow these beautiful bulbs read the directions carefully.

Some people ask what sort of statues or physical decorations to put into one’s garden, I have seen a lot of different things that go beyond ducks, gnomes, and fairies, and if you don’t mind leaving them up all year, check out the Spirit web site for Styrofoam tombstones, you may have to re-paint them every couple of years or replace them but they are easy to move, I recommend (if you can find them) using old wire coat hangers, cut them and mount the cut ends into the bottom of the tombstone and then into the ground for support,  but garden decorations one has to search, and consider also salvage; one never knows what one will find.  

Some years ago a friend of mine and I went to one of those large antique sales and there in all its repulsive glory, was a metal fountain with a metal surround for the basin, the fountain was a wild boar and it would have the water dribbling from its mouth into the pond where it sat. 

Surrounding the pond basin area was a metal surround shaped to be a woodland floor with leaves and branches but among them was snakes, toads, lizards, insects and some dead looking things.  The whole thing was both horrible and beautiful to look at.  My friend bought it and installed it in his large old-fashion green house where he grew orchids, his green house had two functions one side to grow his orchids and the other side to display them in an unconventional but relaxing setting so on one end of his green house he had a place where one could sit and feel like they were in a jungle of sorts and this fountain had “pride of place” because the green house was heated one could enjoy it year round. 

And speaking of orchids, if one goes into Safeway or some other store and sees blue orchids for sale, these are really white orchids that have been watered with blue dyed water, then when they are through blooming for the current year, next year they will bloom white.

Since I also have a green house (that needs to be restored) I plan on doing the same thing one half for growing things the other side to relax in all year round, my friend has recommended that from my back deck I have two paths, one enclosed to lead to the green house and the other open to lead to the open garden, the trick is to have the green house not be so obvious from the garden side, possibly a back ground fencing, but that is in the future.

And that is also one more thing to think about; a year round green house where those exotic orchids can bloom and grow, so decadent and some so evil looking.

So Darklings, where ever you are, search on the internet for ideas for the flowers that you want for your garden in your area, then check with a knowledgeable nursery person for what will work for you, your growing area and the type of soil and layout of your garden.  If nothing else you can start planning and designing and then watch it come to “dead/life”.

I hope I have been able to give you some ideas for your gothic garden.  Remember all it takes is a bit of imagination, determination and a lot of paticence.

Later Darklings