Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year for 2013!!!

Well My Darklings,

In a few hours we will turn to a new year, fraught with changes, joys and fears.

Right now for us here the United States we a looking at the ineffectiveness of our politicians---and that is the only comment I'm going to make of that situation~~~I will leave the rest of it to the news media.

Doyle and I have our plans to celebrate New Years on the retired aircraft carrier USS Hornet, for those of you who are not familiar with this ship it is now a floating museum and the largest dance floor in the entire Bay Area.   We are going dressed in period clothing, something I am looking forward to.

My sister is having a couple of friends over for a quiet celebration and will be watching Coralline who insists on staying up till midnight, I suggested that she dress in her pajama's, warm robe and slippers,  I remember the number of New Year Eve's where my sister and I tried to stay up late to watch the New Year arrive, and always fell asleep.

My sister is wondering if the New Year's drunk will be running down the middle of the street this year dressed only in his "tidy whiteties", tennis shoes, blowing a whistle while he runs down the block and back with his belly moving like liquid jello,  Miranda's folks told us about him, he's been doing this for about 15 years and hasn't stopped yet, who he is no-one knows.   But I did tell my sister I wasn't sure if Coralline should see that spectacle.

Miranda and her family will be going to her grandmother's house for celebrations, but we did offer them an alternative if that might have been changed.

My brother and his family will be hosting their own party.

Our New Year's Day will be a quiet one, no special plan's we'll have to see what the weather has in store for us.  We may all go out for breakfast as I know of several places that will be open, and if the day is as sunny as today we may just take a little tour around town in my vintage car, in our vintage clothing and appear as if we have come through a time warp. 

But to all of you who read my blog, from the United States, Canada, Russia, the Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, the UK, France, Israel, China, Japan, Venezuela, Brazil, Italy, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Turkey, India, Austria, and Australia, Afghanistan, Germany, South Korea, Poland, Mauritius, Belgium and many, many more countries I wish you and your Love One's a Very Happy, Healthy and Wealthy New Year!

See you in 2013 My Darklings

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Of post Holiday musings~~~

Hello Darklings,

Just a short post.   Todd is up in the attic/attic area with Doyle, looking at the roof construction right now, his fascination with my house is very interesting.  I did tell him that if he spotted something up there that needed to be taken care of to let me know.   With all the rain we've been having roof leaks are important to investigate.

I do not have Coralline today, which surprisingly leaves me feeling a bit flat, I had not realized how much I enjoy her infectious joy of discovery.  But all is not lost, she and Miranda and Miranda's folks and Coralline's folks (including the Three Stooges ---that is the girls reference to Coralline's energetic brothers) are out on the town so to speak to some event and will be gone all day until late.

Todd decided to not go since it was more for "the kids", so he and Doyle are looking at things around the house, we've invited him to stay for the day.   He's seen the Pet Cemetery and the garage in the back and much of the garden and grounds, he is just amazed as to how so much land could be set aside and have been held onto without succumbing to pressure to be developed.   Well not so unusual my Great Aunt was very wealthy and invested her funds carefully, but wisely set up a trust to cover the care of the place.

He said we should look into historical status for the place since it was designed by some famous architect and considering it's age and everything have valuable design status.   But I told him that I want to keep it in the family.  He said that both could be done provided that we think about doing tours at least once a year, much like that reproduction of the Munsters House in Texas, the family there opens the house to tours during October for the Halloween season, donating the funds to children's charities.

I liked that idea and will toy with it. Halloween is so much fun.  But I think I'll contact that family in Texas to see what they had to do and what is involved.

My sister still has the sniffles and cough, but she is slowly getting better and hopes to be back in some kind of form after New Year's Day.

Doyle and I have our plans for New Year's Eve, but New Year's Day will be one for just relaxing. 

One very interesting thing has developed---both Miranda's and Coralline's folks have taken a liking for each other despite the distance in locations, and they are hoping to plan to do some events together as a huge family,  Coralline's parents have realized that being too focused on sports, sports, sports has skewed their outlook and neglected a more balance life style, but they do know that there are somethings that only Coralline will like so she will still spend some time with us.  So I'm feeling a very healthy development in that direction.

The house is just a little too quiet right now, I miss the girls.  But right now Belladonna is demanding her second walk of the morning and I think with the rain having ceased for now I will take advantage of the dry weather.

Later Darklings

Friday, December 28, 2012

Of family and friends a Christmas review~~~

Hello My Darklings,

Well Christmas has come and gone, and the dinner went very, very well.

My brother and his family came along with his Mother-in-law she of the uneatable Thanksgiving meal.  The update on her is new medication as well as seeing a therapist about her behavior and strick observation of her,  also her finances are now being handled by her daughter, she was never broke fortunately, but never applied her funds to where it needed to be applied.

The rains prevented the boys from playing outside, but the board and card games kept them amused, and each time they wanted to go upstairs planning mischief,  "Kitty Kat" would roar, the hard part was having Kitty Kat roar when they were on different stair treads but my sister's electronics friend figured that out.

Where my sister found that old Lion head I'll never know but it was rigged with a speaker, so I said let's leave Kitty Kat mounted in the Hall, definitely a point of conversation.

Coralline's and Miranda's mothers were in awe of the decorations of the home, Coralline's mother said she could understand why her daughter wanted to spend so much time here, even she felt that she wanted to stay. 

Miranda's older brother Todd was a wonderful addition, he helped supervise the boys and made sure they stayed out of trouble, he said he missed having younger brothers but after dealing with those three he said he's glad to have had only a sister.

I took them all on a tour of the house although it was too wet to go outside but Coralline and Miranda had fun telling the boys about the Pet Cemetery. 

The food was perfect, all that hard work paid off.  And all our guests relaxed wonderfully.

Todd will be home for another week or so and asked if he could come and drop by sometime of course he's welcomed but I did advise him to call first to see if we were at home.  It seems he's studying architecture, so the house fascinates him.

Coralline and Miranda exchanged their gifts, both of them were delighted with them.   That evening after everyone had left and Coralline was about to go to bed my sister and I presented our gifts to her, and she bounced with joy stating that this was the best Christmas ever.  

I smiled at that thought.

Later I noticed my sister was drooping a bit and she seemed under the weather,  later that evening when Doyle and I were relaxing my sister developed a full fledged cold.  Of course it upsetted her plans to visit her children, and she had me call and cancel some of her appointments and reschedule them for her as she complained that she couldn't think clearly.  

Even now she is still in bed but I took her to the Doctor this morning for medicine for her cough, I was afraid of it becoming worse.  Hot soups and tea as well as Ginger ale is the best things for her now so she can get well.

Yesterday Todd came to visit the house and with Miranda and Coralline giving him the extensive tour including the Pet Cemetery and talking to me about the repairs and improvements he made copious notes and took a lot of photo's,  I think the house will be part of his thesis.

And now with my sister resting and Doyle at his office I am taking the girls to the store to replenish the pantry and we will go in my vintage car as a treat. 

I've come across a few Goth web sites that I will comment about later.

Later Darklings

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Of the Night After Christmas~~~

Dear Darklings,   A poem for you~~~

It was the night after Christmas

And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring not
Even Belladonna our doggie
Little mouse.

Coralline was nestled
All snug in her Bed,
As memories of the Christmas joy
Danced in her wee little head.

The fancy dishes and silverware
Were washed and waiting
To be put way with care
And our breaths abating.

With Doyle in his bathrobe
And I in my wrap,
We were relaxing and
Planning our next hi-jinks flap.

When all of sudden there were
Sudden sneezes,
We rose from our chairs to see
Who had the wheezes,

Away to the stair way we flew
Like a flash,
Stopped at the bottom
And realized someone’s plans were dashed.

When what to our concerning eyes did appear
But my sister Marie in her sloppy sleeping gear.
With her eyes all teary and nose all red,
She really needed to be in her own warm bed.

She had her flu shot
That wasn’t the matter,
But a cold did develop
And it made her all the madder

With a sigh and a sniff,
She told us her tiff.
Now she couldn’t see her children
Or take them their gifts.

Recommending Bed and
A liquid Hot Toddy
I said “Sister dear,
Don’t feel quite so shoddy”

With a late night phone call
And tons of reassurances,
We made plans for another time
To make our appearances.

With a pat and a murmur of love and concern
We sent Marie upstairs to sleep and learn
That resting will greatly improve her health,
But she needs to take better care of herself

With her nose all draining
And dripping and wet,
And blowing into Kleenex
After Kleenex and yet,
She said to me wickedly
As she walked out of sight
“Don’t catch this sweet sister,
Or you will look a fright.”

And knowing a sister’s curse
As well as I do,
I’ve had all my shots
So it won’t be the flu.

Later Darklings

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Of Merry Christmas~~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I am taking  short break from the Christmas preparations.

My sister Marie yesterday made Grandma's fabulous Turkey stuffing, which some people claim is like a pate, frankly it's wonderful but time consuming.

Coralline went home with her parents earlier yesterday for their home Christmas celebrations, and my sister, Doyle and I went to Midnight Mass to celebrate our religious Faith and Foundation of and for Christmas.  The Midnight Mass never fails to move me and the Catholic Church we went to was packed to standing room only.

And now for today the pies are baked, the jello is done, the dishes that need baking are ready with labels to show the temperature and time to cook, all based around the timing of the Turkey;  the table is set and we know what will be put into what serving dish.

The house sparkles, and smells of Cinnamon, Vanilla and wonderful things that maybe baking, the fireplaces are set and ready to burn, but if we find that it's a spare the air day we do have candles standing by. 

Our guests won't arrive until after 2, the Turkey is slow baking and I'm so glad that we have a very large refrigerator and the spare in the pantry,  two ovens, 6 burners and a large microwave to handle the load.   Just love that kitchen.

Dinner will be about 5 p.m.  Coralline will be coming with her parents and brothers, Miranda and her parents and her brother visiting from college will be here as well as our guests, Doyle invited a retired friend to spend Christmas with us as his family is back east. And I am glad I have a long drive way to hold the cars.

I have cards and board games and domino's all ready, the policy is no television, but I did advise my sister-in-law to bring a change of clothing for her boys, because I know if it's not raining they will go out into the back and play and get muddy. 

No gifts to exchange except Coralline will give something to Miranda and Connie told me that Miranda has something for Coralline, so a special exchange.  My sister and I have Corallines special presents to her safely hidden in my sister's closet, we'll give that to her later tonight after her parents leave.

So to all of you all around the world,  yes I know Dear Darklings, my blog is being read all over the globe,
I wish you and yours a Very Merry and Happy Christmas, a Happy Holidays greeting and a wonderful New Year.

Later Darklings

P.S. Coralline suggested I wear the Kardashian Kolor called "Keeping Up with Santa" and it has held up very well,  it's possible that the other color was a bad batch.  And I really like this shade of red.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Of Christmas insanity and Observations~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well I think I had to have been a little insane to even toy with the idea of going shopping just the weekend before Christmas, but Coralline wanted to see everything again.

Inside the stores it wasn't so bad even people were doing their best to be polite but trying to find parking was pure insanity,  mostly male drivers---which is interesting when you think about it---all that tertoseron of "Gotta find a parking space".  

There was one point were one driver nearly t-boned my Honda (I'd never drive my vintage car in insanity like this), and he said we were not looking---so I got out of my car, told Coralline to remain seated in it and I sat on the  hood of my car, folded my arms and just looked at him, he kept ranting and ranting at me calling me names, his wife was pulling on his arm, finally when he looked exhausted I said to him "Now that you are done yelling at me for what was your fault I'd advise you to SLOW DOWN!!!!   Take a Deep breath and realize that parking is going to be a Bi%*#, and drive defensively, you would have hit us and a court of law would have found you at fault and YOU would have to pay for damages.   Be thankful that you reacted as quickly as you did or you would have injured my niece!!! and if that happened you would have a very sorry and in-jail Christmas celebration---REMEMBER THAT!!!"

I heard his wife saying to him "She's right you fool,  I told you to slow down!"  He looked at her, sputtering trying to defend himself and his wife said "The Lady is right you could have hurt her daughter!!"  (well niece really but I did like the complement).

Then I got into my car, drove just a few stalls down and found a perfect parking spot.   Coralline and I took a couple of deep breaths and I looked at her, evilly smiled and said "Now lets watch the Zombies play!" 

I loved how she laughed at that idea.  And in spite of the crowds we did have fun, Coralline fell in love with a soft red scarf that could double as a light weight shawl at Nordstrom's so I bought it for her as an early present,  and we found matching black berets that had on one side decorations made of angular black beads in the shape of flowers,  so I bought that for each of us and we asked the sales clerk to cut the tags and just give us the receipt so we could wear them right away.

We looked at jewelry, cosmetics, shoes and purses, clothing in her size and in mine but we felt everything there was picked over.  I had taught her to be selective in shopping, then she confessed that she wanted to find something special for her mother and dad.  So over lunch we talked about what her folks liked to do and what they wished they could do.  Her Dad loves sports---and he had his favorite teams.  That was easy, but she wanted something not sports for her Mother, and we found it, a pair of pink fresh water pearl earrings, just dressy enough but not over dressy, and we added a small bottle of Giorgio cologne for special times.

I did ask about her brothers and she said they have never given her any presents for Christmas or her birthday, so she wasn't going to "spoil" them.  She wanted to get something for me, my sister and Doyle and I said that was not necessary, just by being helpful around the house was special enough.

Every so often we'd take a short break just to people watch and I was pleasantly surprised at how she gaged people by their actions and what was going through their minds.   There is one coffee shop that although indoors is designed to give an al fresco appearance, so we stopped there for coffee for me and milk for her and a bit of pastry for the both of us and took our time people watching.  Going by how she judged people by their actions and the accuracy of her in sight I asked her what did she want in the way of a career and she said she'd like to go into psychology, what makes people do what they do.

I asked her why and she said that she wants to see if there was a way of developing environments to make people calmer, to relax tension and create a creative, positive environment to increase co-operation and stimulate positive creativity and ideas, both in the work place, in science and medicine.  She said that people are always frighten going to doctors or dentists what could be done so it's not so scary.

She told me that Miranda wants to be a writer and keeps a journal about what she sees around her and observes people, and she loves mysteries and she and Miranda talk about what motivates people and with that she wanted to find a good mystery book for Miranda.  Going to a book store we found a book that talks about how to write mysteries and he had several chapters about motives, observing people and researching and learning from local and world events.  And we found a mystery novel that was one of several Miranda said she'd like to read. 

With that our purchases were complete, and we were going to go home but decided to wait a little longer because a tremendous deluge came down, the rain was so heavy that it looked like people were going to drown.  We waited a bit back at the book store and Coralline became excited and asked if I would buy her a deck of Tarot cards she saw,  the designs were beautiful based on a Russian motif, I was enchanted by the cards, but I had to "mock scold" Coralline that I was spoiling her by buying early Christmas presents but as 10 year old will do, it was "please, please, please".   So I gave in.

The evening was quiet, Doyle sprung for dinner by ordering Chinese, much to both I and my sister's relief, she had a very hard and tiring day with her clients and all she wanted to do was relax and be numb.  Coralline was having fun playing with Belladonna in a game of tug of war with Belladonna's new toy and talking to all three of us about the people she saw at the mall,  Doyle asked her questions about how she came about her observations, and I saw him raise his eyes at her answers finally he said that maybe psychology might be the career for her to follow as she got older.

After a while as we all relaxed after dinner, read and listened to music I saw Coralline and Belladonna had fallen asleep in the big overstuffed chair,  we let them sleep and know that they feel safe as Christmas draws near.

Later Darklings

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Of Christopher Lee and Christmas Songs~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Coralline is sleeping late as she was up late last night, but I know she will be up soon.  She wants to plunge into the middle of the last bit of Christmas insanity, not to buy anything but to see what is around.

I have to confess, seeing the store shelves depleted and tossed, things scatter and broken is not exactly my idea of Christmas but I think it's more the excitement of it for her.

Doyle is relaxing with his cup of coffee and my sister had to go out to see a client, something that could not wait after the holidays. 

The other evening Doyle came across something on You Tube----Christopher Lee, my favorite actor of horror/terror films, signing Christmas tunes in Heavy Metal style, I was amused and said "What a brave man willing to have fun".

Then a thought came across my mind----Christopher Lee singing "Your a Strange one Mr. Grinch", like Therogood Ravenscroft, he could do it, and with his diction and British pronouncing it would be perfect.

I certainly would buy a copy of that CD.  

Now must go Coralline is tugging on my sleeve.   I am amused by her enthusiasm.

Later Darklings

Friday, December 21, 2012

Of the End of the World, Thoughts and Writing~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well here we are December 21, 2012 or 12-21-12  The Winter Solstice, or when people were proclaiming the end of the world on this date because the dates on a Mayan Calendar ran out.

How foolish!!!  And people hand wringing and saying "we're going to die".

As a matter of fact one of my co-workers didn't show up today, she was claiming to be ill, I said to her on the phone she better bring in a Doctor's visit slip or she'll be docked a day's pay since she'd used up all her vacation time.

She is an Ultra Religious person, I'm not even going to dignify it with the word Christian.  But she is one of those that said we better be prepared.  I replied to her in front of staff that even in the Bible it says that we will not know the time of our end, so she better cease that remark.

To wit one wag remarked "That's O.K. the Zombie Apocalypse is going to happen the day after".  And I responded "Then shoot for the head since everything else is dead".  

But I have to say that the staff looks exhausted because of the Holidays, shopping etc.  I'm glad that I put in for the week of Christmas off, but I may have to come in here and there for a few hours just in case.  One staffer just put in for the day before and the day after Christmas and will work the rest of the week just to ease the crush. 

If it wasn't for the fact that we are in a 24/7 world, I'd say everyone should have the week of Christmas off.
But the office looks festive, with Hanuka, Kwanzaa and Christmas decorations and a few New Year's ones.  We have one pagan who put up a Winter Solstice tree (rosemary trimmed like a tree).   And we have one Scrooge who doesn't believe in anything.  Our witty wag put a sign over that person's area that said "Bah, Humbug!"  and no decorations.

Our Scrooge got up set about the holiday decorations so I took him into my office and informed him that he is only one person who doesn't believe where as we have other staffers who believe some sort of wonderful renewal of the heart during this darkest of times, I told him that sometimes Faith is all a person has and if you take away Faith then you destroy a person's soul,  I said his area will not be decorated but the others can decorate reflecting their belief and renewal, we even have a person working of the Muslim faith and we work with that persons beliefs especially during Ramadan because I always worry about extreme fasting.

I said are we to not respect that as well?  I continued saying that you cannot plunge a world into darkness, how you believe and how you bring up your children and how you celebrate or not celebrate is your choice, but do not take it away from others just as they will not take your disbelief from you.

I asked him about his enjoyment of the "Star Trek" series and Movies and he said that he enjoyed it, and liked the concept of science and logic.  I reminded him of Spock saying that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and if he felt that the science and logic of Star Trek to be correct then he needed to also respect that statement.  If he couldn't then he might want to update his resume and look for a work place that believed the same way he did.

He noticed that I was wearing my Vulcan IDIC pin, it was given as a gift to me some time ago and I have a habit of wearing it around this time of year.  He acknowledged my logic and said he would not pursue the matter further and acknowledge the diversity of people and their beliefs.  I said good because I did not like to lose a good employee over something like diversity.

My niece Coralline said I should present him with the Android docker since I'm his Secret Santa, she didn't know that I had purchased that already. 

After having taken now my late break and posted this, I am looking forward towards relaxing for a week or so,  I've taken Coralline and Miranda to see the Nutcracker Ballet and last weekend I sprung for tickets to take them back to the Dickens Faire again which Connie was very grateful for. 

But now I've been presented with an interesting thought, some of you have suggested that I print out my musings and see if they are worth being published into a book form.  It is interesting but I have to say that my thoughts and progress as an Elder/Elderly Goth is not complete yet as I am still going through this world.  But maybe someday.

Later Darklings

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A correction to the previous post~~~

Sorry Darklings,

The vodka is called "Crystal Head Vodka" and they have a web site so just google it in and you can buy the the martini skull glasses as a pair.

And guess who is one of the founding members of Crystal Head Vodka---Dan Ackroyd he of "Ghostbusters" fame.


Now I must go!


Of the Brothers Grimm~~~

Dear Darklings,

Do you know that today is the 200th anniversary of the Brothers Grimm and their fairy tales??

I find that so wonderfully delicious, to read such violent fairy tales on such a cold, cold night.

How they came about in putting together their collection I will leave for more informative websites, needless to say all you have to do is Google in the Brother's Grimm.

We are having Coralline early for the Christmas Holidays, she called me from her cell phone during her lunch time at school to tell me about the anniversary and so I promised we would read some of those tales later tonight. 

We need to do some grocery shopping.

And speaking of shopping, once again I went through some stores to see about anything interesting and right now I see tons and tons of perfume collections for all those young men who haven't a clue what to get for their girl friend or friends  (evil wink).

I do admit I did buy some of them to try out and I love the little bottles they come in too.

On nail polish my discoveries were a bit flat, although I did love Sally Hansen's "Wedding Glitters", a soft gold that's a cross between a shimmer and a glitter, perfect for the Holiday parties, I bought 3 bottles, one for Coralline and one for Miranda and of course one for myself---I think that is why I love the holidays,  I can be selfish on shopping.

Another Polish that I came across is "Constant Caribbean" but as a shimmer instead of a polish, this is by Covergirl, there was something so Summery romantic about it and wonderfully dark blue perfect for a Goth to wear.  Cover Girl also did "Grapevine" as a deep royal purple shimmer---I had to buy them both.   Doyle said he's going to have to put up another shelf or two.

And speaking of shelves~~~~sometimes one comes across the most interesting things that people put on the curb side---now I'm not talking about couches or mattresses (I wouldn't touch that with a 39 and half foot pole) but odd things.

Last night Doyle and I had to run a quick errand and as we were coming home I spotted something, and told Doyle to stop and turn back, we did and I got out, sitting on the curb was a double shelf as if it had been removed from the top of a side board, or knick-knack shelf,  it was terribly scared and what finish there was was badly stained, it still was solid no cracks or breaks, and placed next to the recycling bin.

One does not pass up an opportunity like this so into the trunk it went and it arrived into the garage which is also Doyle's workshop, assessing it he pronounced good, no rot or bugs, and will proceed to strip it and paint it to match the decor in my Dressing Room (aka "The inner Sanctum Sanatorium).  I love finds like that.

And one other thing that I will surprise Doyle with and maybe my sister too~~~Vodka.

Yes Darklings, Vodka,  ahhh but what kind of Vodka you ask.

It's called Crystal Vodka and it comes in a clear bottle in the shape of a skull along with a very large martini glass with a skull on the handle  (and yes I bought one for myself).   I thought was a perfect Gothic gift to give for Christmas---I know my sister will love it as she thinks the way I do and she likes dirty martini's.

Doyle will laugh at it, as a matter of fact he pointed it out to me and remarked upon it.  I think it will be fun to surprise them with it.  It seems that this brand of Vodka won a medal in 2011 for its range, but I will have to check out a web site for it.

Must go Darklings, my lunch hour is over and Coralline will be here is a short while.

Later Darklings.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Of Tragedies, Pain, Tears and Friends~~~~

Dear Darklings,

This I fear is going to be a very long post.

As I’ve said it appears that I have lived a romantic life, but I have to admit that I have to work at it. Even with all the dirt and filth, the obscenities, the horrors and insanity that surround me, the crassness and commercialism that well up like unthinking bedbugs, I have to work at having things beautiful, graceful, elegant and romantic even if I am an elder/elderly Goth.

It’s not being in denial, it’s looking past all that and trying to bring beauty even dark beauty into one’s life, one doesn’t have to buy new things to do that either, finds at yard and estate sales, 2nd hand shops, thrift stores, flea markets, with thought and ingenuity it is amazing what one can bring into one’s life and it’s not just things but an outlook and an attitude.

In my childhood I never thought of us as being poor, Dad had a “white collar job” and it paid a decent salary, but we were lower middle income, it was hard to save for a vacation, we rarely took one, any money saved would be for repairs or a sudden medical expense or a special purchase, we made do with things, learning to sew our clothes, buying day old bread, plant cuttings and seeds for flowers or to grow vegetables, making do and finding fun, free fun, purchasing cheap cuts of meat for stews, there were lots of mac and cheese, sometimes with ground round, sometimes with tuna, but we never thought of ourselves as really poor.

Christmas meant we would take the bus and see the stores all in their Christmas finery and seeing Santa, I remember how some of the stores would have these marvelous full human size displays that had sound and motion, each showing a scene that had humor, and us looking to find all the little details in the displays, we each got one toy from Santa and something nice from Mom and Dad and See’s candy from Grandma, for Halloween we made our own costumes and the pumpkins carved for Halloween became pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving.

For our birthdays Mom always baked a cake, Dad would buy ice cream, crepe paper streamers and my sister and I made hand written invitations to give to our school mates, but Mom would always write a little note to the parents inside saying “no presents please, just come and have cake and ice cream” because a lot of our school mates were from working families like ours trying to make ends meet.

Mom always managed to save some money and buy for my sister and I a special party dress, it had to last until we out-grew it and we had to keep it neat and clean. When we’d out grow our party dresses Mother would donate them all nice and neat on hangers to a local charity.

I remember one time I saw a little girl whose folks were really hard up but managed to make do, wearing my old party dress and she looked very happy, I went up to her and said “What a pretty dress, it looks pretty on you” and the little girl smiled and said “My Daddy bought it for me for my birthday” Mother and Dad taught us to always be polite and nice, but because of things that happened in my life I could see how hard it was for some people and simple things like a 2nd hand party dress could make a little girl happy.

One year Mother bought one for me that I didn’t like, it was very pretty and I loved the look of it but it was made of nylon and always scratched me around the sleeves, but I didn’t tell Mom I didn’t care for it, because my best friend Betty had one just like it but in a different color, hers was a pale blue with dark blue flowers and mine was pale pink with dark pink flowers and we were happy that we had similar dresses, so that was enough for me to tolerate the scratchiness.

Betty was a pretty and very happy girl, with blue eyes and blond hair, she was a little shorter than me and her hair was always in curls, my hair was dark, straight and in pig tails and I was taller than her, but I always felt gawky next to her because she moved with such grace. Betty had taken ballet lessons and said that if I took ballet lessons I could become graceful like her.

I remember pleading with Mother and Dad about the lessons but they weren’t sure we could afford them at the time. My sister who was a few years younger wanted to take lessons too but again money was an issue, I told Betty that there wasn’t any money for the lessons but Betty came up with an idea, once a week I would go over to Betty’s house and she’d show me what she learned in her class and taught it to me, even speaking like her ballet teacher. Plies, stretches, the foot positions, pirouettes, how to hold my arms and hands and we’d practice and dance, we must have worn out those old records, even today I think how patient Betty’s Mom must have been with our personal ballet lessons.

We were both 8 years old when she started teaching me, and we became best friends, sharing secrets, talking about books and boys and teachers and things, walking to school together, playing together, doing homework together, and after a while I noticed that I moved more gracefully, even my Grandma remarked on it.

Betty was just a month older than me, her birthday came in the early part of February and mine in the latter part of March.

I remember when my Grandfather died, I was sad that he was gone, however I always felt that in some way he was always around.

In Betty’s case that was my first dark tragedy and it marked me for the rest of my life. It was her 10th birthday, it was a very unseasonably cold day, Betty’s Dad set up some electric space heaters that had thick coils in them, to help warm up the house, their floor heater they had was working over time but the house never seemed warm enough, I remember a few days before the party Betty’s Dad talking to my Dad saying that they are going to have to insulate their house to make it warm but they’d have to take out a loan. Dad said that we were going to have to do the same thing.

I remember the bars over the coils of those space heaters were wide apart, they made me feel uneasy and I made sure I stayed away from them. Betty’s Dad had borrowed them from someone for the party, to help warm the house.

I remember saying to Betty “You’re 10 now but I’ll catch up to you next month at my Birthday party” Betty said to me “We’ll be 10 together” and hugged me. I remember Betty got a birthday present from her parents, it was a gold heart on a chain with her first name engraved on it, ‘Elizabeth’ on the front and on the back the date of her birth. Betty said to me that I was going to have a surprise on my birthday but she couldn’t tell me. I remember begging her to tell me but she said she promised my Mother she wouldn’t. “Some secrets have to be very special” she said. To this day I remember her saying that to me.

Betty’s Mother had a couple of ladies over to help out with the party, they were setting up the chairs so we could have the cake and ice cream, even if it was very cold outside we always wanted ice cream, one of the other ladies had us do party games, like “pin the tale on the donkey”, or “telegraph”, for some reason we were doing “blind man’s bluff”, the whole idea was to have the blindfolded person in the center and then each of us would quickly run up to that person touch them on the shoulder or arm and then dart away, but if the blindfolded person caught you then you were next.

I remember there were about 10 children there; because it was so cold some of the others couldn’t come to the party but for indoors it was enough people, we’d be moving around quickly darting in and out while playing this game. The boy who was blind folded got really close to Betty, she backed up as far as she could, so he caught another boy and just as they were about to put the blind fold on the other child Betty screamed.

She had backed into one of the electric heaters and she was wearing that pretty nylon dress in pale blue since she was the birthday girl, her dress caught on fire, the next thing we knew she was a pillar of flame, screaming and running, the children started to scream and run too, but I remember standing there frozen, my best friend was on fire and I was frozen I couldn’t move even to help her, everything seemed to be in slow motion.

Just then Betty’s Dad came running from the other room, threw Betty on the floor and tried to smother the flames with his coat, it was hard, the nylon kept burning and burning, it melted onto her skin making her skin bubble up and turn black.

One of the ladies gathered the children and put us into a bedroom away from what was happening, Betty’s mother was screaming, I remember another lady grabbing me by the arm saying “No! Don’t look!” but I did. Betty looked like a burnt match, I can’t describe how horrible it was.

I found myself in the bedroom with the other children, a lady was putting our coats on, we were all crying I kept running to the bedroom door crying for Betty and the lady roughly grabbed me time and again, later Mom discovered the bruises on my arm, I told her days later how the lady would grab me to keep me in the bedroom but Mom said the lady did the right thing.

Someone had called our parents, I knew my Mother couldn’t come and get me because my sister was sick with a cold and I had been brought by another parent.

After what seemed like a long time I heard my Uncle Mannie’s voice, he was in his work clothes, I ran to him and he picked me up in one swoop, I remember he smelled of wood because he was a carpenter, he came in his work truck, and left it running so it would be warm and took me home, I saw fire trucks and an ambulance, I could hear children and women crying.

We got to my parent’s house and Uncle Mannie carried me inside, I cried all the way home, my Grandmother was there and it appeared that someone had called my Mother and told her what had happened. I was screaming and crying, just hysterical from the fear and horror that I saw, my Mother undressed me and put me to bed but I wouldn’t let go of her and kept telling her what had happened I remember screaming that it would happen to me.

Dad came home just as the doctor arrived, and between my Mother, Grandmother and Dad they held me down as the Doctor gave me an injection to put me to sleep, the last thing I remember was screaming “I’ll never have another Best Friend again!!!”

I woke up two days later and felt numb, my sister was sitting in the little blue rocking chair next to my bed and had been reading a child’s picture book, she looked up at me with a serious face and said “Betty’s dead.”

All I could do was gather the thick warm comforter around me, I couldn’t talk. My sister, who was feeling better from her cold, told me how my parents, Granny and Uncle Mannie took care of me, and how the Doctor would come by in the evening to check on me.

Uncle Mannie was a widower and sometimes stayed with Grandma when his work brought him close to our town. He never married again and would send extra money to Grandma if she needed it. My sister and I loved him because he’d always would fix our dolls or repaired our doll house when our younger brother would break them (that was another reason we always plotted his demise). He even made furniture for our doll house and for us to use as well. I still have my little red chair that he made for me.

But Betty was gone, nothing could bring her back, for a week I didn’t go to school, my older brother (I’ll talk about him later, that was another tragedy) would bring my home work assignments to me. I wasn’t the only one out of school the other children who were at the party, stayed home as well, one of them, a little girl never did go back.

I hardly got out to bed, I was so afraid of leaving my room, Mom and Dad didn’t force me. My sister would come into my room to play card games or we’d do puzzles she’d talk but I barely spoke. One day she told me that Mom took my pink nylon party dress, cut it up and threw it away, my sister told me that Mom and Dad had heard more about what had happened, the space heaters were not safe because of how they were made and Betty’s nylon dress was highly flammable, of course my sister had a hard time saying the world ‘flammable’, she pronounced it ‘flame able’. Finally several days later Mom talked to me privately in my room.

She talked to me for a long time about Death and how horrible it can be and what I saw is something I’d never forget, and that I’ll always be sad whenever I’d think of Betty, but she told me that Betty wouldn’t want me to be sad, while I was sick in bed, they had Betty’s funeral and Mom and Dad went to it. Betty’s parents came up to them and said that they wanted to pay for my ballet lessons for a year, it was something Betty had pleaded with them and since Betty’s Dad made more money he agreed to it.

That was the Birthday surprise that Mom was going to tell me, and one other thing, Mom had bought a heart pendant on a chair exactly like Betty’s only my name was engraved on the front with my birthday on the back, that day Mom gave it to me, instead of my birthday. Then Mom asked me “What do you think Betty would want you to do?” and I knew, I was to get out of bed, go back to school, take my ballet lessons and do my best in everything.

Mom said to me that some day I’ll have another Best Friend, but I told her “No I won’t, it hurts to have a best friend.” And for years I never did, I’d have friends but I always kept a certain emotional distance.

Betty’s parents some months later moved away, but they did pay for a full year of ballet lessons from Miss Rose Ellison’s Ballet School, I never did dance in any of the recitals we couldn’t afford the cost of the costumes, but it went much longer than a year, I took lessons until I went to college.

When I was little I saved bottles and getting a nickel for each bottle and each week after that first year I’d pay Miss Ellison, what I didn’t know is that the lessons cost far more than my bottle money, but Miss Ellison let me stay, as I got older I’d baby sit and would pay for the lessons with my baby-sitting money. Some years later after Miss Ellison had retired she told me that when I was practicing and dancing in the classes I’d seem happy and she was right I was happy because sometimes I thought I was dancing with Betty.

But I never did have a 10th birthday party, not with my school mates, as a matter of fact I never had a children’s party ever again, Mom and Dad would do a small party with some family members but never a children’s party, my sister also told our parents she didn’t want one either, Betty’s death had affected her too. But for our brother’s birthdays Dad would take them and a couple of their friends to either a baseball or football game. In the long run, emotionally it was much easier.

But did I ever have another best friend ever again? Not for years, I was afraid to until some years later, Garvin was sweet and kind and gay, we worked for the same company, he adored my Mother, would tease my sister when she was in town, helped plan my brother’s wedding, and we became friends, we’d explore the night life together, go to Jazz Clubs and fledgling Goth Clubs although I wasn’t really into heavy metal music. We’d gossip, talk about the Ann Rice books,  go shopping, share secrets, car pooled, we found my vintage car that I'd restore, he’d design clothing for me and we’d love to either shop for or sew up vintage clothing. One year we made for him a “Zoot Suit”, long before the movie “The Mask” came out.

He volunteered at the local community Theatre and we’d would design lighting for plays, we became night owls which worked with our work schedules. Eventually we worked part time for a Community theatre company that specialized in murder mysteries, horror plays, Ghostly Drama’s, some Grand Gulnoild Dracula was always big, and occasionally a comedy like “Bell, Book and Candle” or “Topper” or “Blithe Spirit”, he knew a magician who’d design some special effects for them, we'd receive a stipend for it, that money helped to restore my vintage car. The little theatre developed a cult following for nearly 8 years, but then the building that was used was sold, the rent went up and it went out of business, but I could see that Garvin was in trouble before that.

We were doing “Dracula, the Musical?” (don’t ask but it’s true), working lights and special effects the new owners of the building said that we had to be out of it by November so it was our last production and it ran for 8 weeks, Thursday through Saturday evenings only, but Garvin looked like hell.

One evening just before closing night as we were re-setting the “gels” he told me he was dying, he had AIDS and nothing was working. I had wondered why he was being so careful around me at times. I knew of AIDS I had read all about it, he just sat there staring at the empty stage with the lights set, I could see that light was going out of his eyes, he’d given up. I walked over to him bent down, kissed his cheek and said “I Love you” very softly in his ear, the look he gave me is one I cannot describe except that it was a sort of joy and it energized him to finish the run, to direct the packing of all the lighting equipment so it could be either used someplace else or sold.

Then he sold or gave away all his things, put the money into a fund, checked himself into a hospice that cared for those dying of AIDS, he pleaded with me to not come and see him, or call him but I wrote to him every day and he would write a short note to me because now he was getting weak and tired. In the end he dictated a long letter to me; he was too weak to write, but it was a very special letter. He called me his Special Very Best and Very True Friend and I had through my letters given him the courage to make the transition and he had no fear of the end.

I had lost one friend and cut myself off of being close to anyone except for family and eventually Doyle, and then I had taken the courage to have a friend again risking the fact that I would lose him. I felt I had come full circle and had been healed, but in going around in that circle I discovered the darkness, and worked to find the beauty within it.

There were other tragedies in my life and with those I worked even harder to see beauty, I'll 'talk' about those another time.

Later Darklings

Friday, December 14, 2012

Of Spenserian Handwriting, Calling Cards and the children’s questions~~~

Dear Darklings,

I do love flashdrives in saving my observations and notes,  I'm taking a short break to down load this to my blog, I've been here since early this morning, Coralline is going to be dropped off again this afternoon, and we have things planned for the weekend.

An Odd Observation Darklings~~~~

Yesterday at my work as I was writing a Memo, my male colleague was watching me write it out and remarked to me “You have such beautiful handwriting”.

I looked up at him puzzled at first but he continued saying “my handwriting is terrible, and I’ve found a lot of people’s to be that way, it’s so bad that sometimes I can’t read it, but yours is beautiful, and so easily readable.”

I was flattered and told him so and thanked him for the complement, but I also said that he should have seen my Mother’s handwriting---so elegant and graceful, I try my best to emulate it, but always feel that I don’t succeed. I kept the letters mother would write to me after I moved into my own place, even though we had the telephone to contact each other, Mother just enjoyed sitting down and writing letters.

She felt she could speak of things from the heart without it being overheard by anyone else and she loved getting letters from me, but I always typed my letters, either on my old manual typewriter or later on the computer, but I always made sure that I included a handwritten note as well and I always signed my letters.

It wasn’t until Mother was old and had developed arthritis that it became difficult for her to write her letters, so I gave her my typewriter. I remember her first typewritten letter in which she apologized for not handwriting her letter, but the pain in her hands prevented her writing from being legible. But typed or written I saved every one. They are like a diary for me from Mother that I take out and read from time to time, just to hear her “voice” in my mind. And all the cards she gave me, birthday, holidays, special events, each one always had a special note inside. I’ve preserved them in a special scrapbook.

Mother always insisted that I have calling cards, a very old fashioned idea but so very important. Later I had two types printed up, personal and professional. The professional one was related to my job and the personal one was exactly what it was, my personal contact information.

Mother also insisted that I designate an evening when I would be at home to receive callers. I decided that Tuesdays were a good evening, because I discovered that on Mondays I was tired from setting up things at work and it seemed that events were always happening starting on Wednesdays. So my personal cards would say “at home Tuesday evenings 6:30 to 9 p.m.” which meant it was fine to drop by during those times.

And later with the advent of video recorders I could record any television programs that I wanted to see for later viewing.

It was also interesting that it encouraged some of my friends to do the same thing, later I had to add “please call in advance” after the time, because sometimes I’d have to work late, which didn’t happen every often. But as times became more wicked and evil, I dropped the time I would be home, because I never was sure when some one unauthorized would find my personal card.

Doyle remarked to me recently, than when I retire it might be a good thing to revive that portion of when I’ll be at home to receive visits. He thought that it was a good thing to do to sort of keep people at bay for when I didn’t wish to have visitors.

And thanks to Doyle I now have an excellent, reliable cleaning service to come by twice a week to do cleaning. It was decided that giving the extensiveness of the house that by coming by twice a week and splitting up the areas would be more efficient.

The beginning of the week they do the upstairs areas, bedrooms, the stairs, all bathrooms and the upstairs hall, downstairs the later part of the week for when I could have a possible party. But one lady said she’d be happy to come out just to do intense kitchen cleaning, such as the refrigerator and stove, I’d have to pay extra for that. I said that we’ll try it for the holidays and go from there.

I have to admit it does take a burden off of me and fortunately I am in a position to afford it, with those who cannot afford a cleaning service I recommend always having a schedule to do things, by having that it helps keeps things organized.

It seems that the questions put to me by Miranda and Coralline has also been asked by several of you who read my blog and sent to me nearly the same questions.

So I will answer---but remember Darklings there are some things that I will keep private.

As I said I’m an elder/elderly Goth, I’m in my sixties, but my hair although long has remained a deep dark brown with only a few streaks of gray of which one streak, flits over my brow in a silvery white wave, and makes it very distinctive. I do not dye my hair as I feel I’ve earned every gray hair on my head, which is not very much.

My hair is long, it goes just past my waist but nothing like the singer Crystal Gayle, as I said it is a very dark brown almost black color. I wanted my hair to grow and grow but one does get split ends, so they are trimmed on occasion, but with good shampoo and conditioner it remains sleek and controlled. When I was little Mother would braid my hair and my sisters’ hair into pig tails, my sister, Marie, lets her hair grow as well but she wears her hair in two braids that cross in the back and come up and around her head like a coronet. Why do we wear our hair that way, I think from habit, our Mother and Grandmother also wore their hair that way and we never sought to change it, as it seems to suit our clothing styles.

I made rolls out of old clean nylons to roll my hair onto and then it is brought up like two long cords over the top of my head and back, it is a very close approximation of the hair style worn by Gloria Holden in the movie “Dracula’s’ Daughter”.

For some reason with my oval face, slightly pointed chin, slightly broad forehead and a “widow’s peak” hair line, the style seems to suit my face and it gives the impression of being very business-like, that I take no nonsense. I have excellent straight white teeth thanks to good DNA and two wonderful dentists, but because of my love for coffee, tea and wine, on occasion I have lightened my teeth, but not too much, an over white set of teeth can be very off-putting just as much as teeth that are unsightly.

I’m tall still at 5 foot 7 inches, I use to be 5 foot 8 inches but they say as we get older we do shrink. I’m slender still with only a slight sagging here and there, for that I consider myself blessed and I also work out as well.

I have pale colored skin, hazel green eyes, and some dark circles under my eyes as well as a few wrinkles around the eyes, the dark circles become more pronounced if I do not get enough sleep, because I don’t tan, nor do I smoke and have taken care of my skin is the reason why it’s in such good condition. My nose is much like that of Gloria Holden’s and I’m still full lipped. My eyebrows are shaped like they use to wear in the late 1930’s to 1940’s.

I think because I saw the movie “Dracula’s Daughter” when I was young at the old art movie theater, that I was influenced by the film in some ways.

I have had people mistake me for being in my Forties instead of being in my Sixties, I prefer long dark skirts that brush at my ankles, but I have worn shorter skirts that come below the knees, on occasion I wear pant suits especially when its raining. I do wear heels but a more practical style for work no more than 2 inches and more the Cuban style heel and a more elegant look for evening wear. I wear Black or a combination of black and other dark colors as it is easier to combine and keeps my wardrobe easy to co-ordinate, and I feel that it is an elegant color as well as business like.

My legs are nicely shaped, with trim ankles, thanks to having taken ballet lessons which I still do as a work out, at least Doyle doesn’t have any complaints.

I prefer to wear clothing that has a vintage look to them and have worn vintage clothing for day wear, to work and for evening wear as well for a long time---why? Because the style fits and flatters me and my figure, its elegant and business like. It also seems to draw a certain amount of “respect and courtesy” from people around me, I’ve seen people straighten themselves up more, modulate their voices more, and are more polite. It seems, especially among men, they remember their manners, Doyle says that I seem to generate that energy towards people because of how I look and act.

I’m fortunate to have a friend who loves to sew and has sew up clothing for me from vintage or vintage reproduction patterns but she saves the patterns onto a muslin pattern to use over and over again. She has even copied some of the designs that Gloria Holden wears in Dracula’s Daughter as well as some of the more flattering Vera West styles. She really should go into business but she prefers to do things just for friends.

I adore Besame Cosmetics, and all things vintage. And when I do go clothes shopping I keep an eye open for anything that although modern made it looks vintage.

However when I’m doing gardening work I do wear jeans, a long sleeve shirt, tennis shoes, a straw hat, work gloves and sunscreen. But when I’m walking Belladonna, I still keep the hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a dress or skirt.

People have said that I talk or speak in an old-fashion way, but really what I’m doing is using words that have always been around but because I use these words it requires the person that I’m talking to, to listen. But then I have to do “active listening” to be sure that I have their questions or inquiry correct and have my reply correct.

I love things that are elegant, I love a more genteel period, even the Victorian period through the 1950’s was that way, but it was still demeaning towards women and in the Victorian period the abject poverty and lack of women’s rights is something I do not forget.

If I am in a dispute, I always work from what I call “a platform of power” which means I make sure I have my facts straight, and if I see the error I will acknowledge it and then work towards having the dispute settled in a way that is happy to both parties.

Have I ever been wrong? Yes on several occasions when the facts were muddled, or because of the way the laws work. But no matter what I document, document, document, and by doing that, as one of my co-workers is so fond of saying “You know how to CYA, so nobody gets around you”.

Do I get angry? Of course I do, but the best thing is to calm down, it could be because of a mis-understanding or mis-communications, by being calm I can resolve things that much sooner.

But what if someone “does me dirt”---well they say “Revenge is a dish best served cold” and I have served a number of cold dishes in my day, but at work as in life, I always remember that life is a chess game, I always have to think 3 to 5 moves ahead of the situation. By doing that one can plan on a contingency.

And I avoid being hysterical, it’s alright to be distressed or frightened or concerned, but being hysterical never solves problems, in that I am almost like Mr. Spock from Star Trek. As a matter of fact I believe in the “Vulcan IDIC”---“Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” if one looks hard one can find a solution, even if the solution seems non-existent.

At work I tend to be very orderly, and can lay my hand upon any paper as needed, sometimes I find I may have to work later to make sure everything is in place so that I can continue the next day. I’m very fond of post-it notes to let me know what is happening with each stack of paperwork or where I’m at on a project or assignment.

Many of my co-workers say they’ve never have seen such a neat work area, so as a joke I put up a sign in my officer area that says “A Clean Desk is a Sign of a Sick Mind”. Many get the humor.

Some people think I live a romantic life, in many ways it is and has been romantic but there have been “bumps along the road” and tragedies, painful tragedies. I will cover that in another post.

Later Darklings

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Of Nail Polish and Costume Jewelry ~~~~

Well Darklings,

I spent my lunch breaks this last week cruising through our local drug and department stores, checking out the various nail polishes available for the holiday season.

Color Therapy has 3 types of gift packages with various nail polishes, some with nail kits and other with lip stick and blushes, a perfect gift idea for those who love make up, but one has to be careful with those friends who have cosmetic allergies.

I’ve been checking out the Holiday Kardashian nail collection and although some of the colors are nice like “Deck the Dolls” the glitter polish does not hold up as well and chips easily, even when I use a clear top coat. I would say its fine for one evening but unless you’re willing to do touch ups, not longer than two days.

Revlon, L’Oreal and other nail companies are coming out with lots of gift packages for the season, perfect if you have friends who are into doing nails as you do. Revlon is experimenting with coming out with a duo set called “Expressions” on side is a small full bottle of polish and the side with a nail polish pen of a complementary color, but if you buy several sets you can have fun experimenting.

In Real Simple magazine I was taken by the intensity of a deep rich plum lipstick combination; the model’s lips were outlined and filled in with a deep berry lip pencil topped with a similarly toned lip gloss--- they used Nars Train bleu velvet Matte Lip Pencil and Christian Dior Ultra Gloss Black-Tie Plum, perfect for the Winter Holidays or to sultry beckoned a lover to his doom.

I’ve found that although the lesser expensive nail polishes by Revlon, L’Oreal, Milani, Remmiel, Sally Hansen are fun, but if I want real quality I go to Estee Lauder, Channel, or Dior, although I do prefer Estee Lauder.

It’s the same thing with Jewelry; I have several real good pieces in gold with flawless jewels but its fun to have fun costume jewelry.

Real Simple magazine also showed some out there wonderful in-your-face jewelry, from,, and

But what really caught my eye was a glass stone cuff in gold plate from Kate Spade, deadly, edgy, totally saying I’m the “wicked queen in this room” type attitude; this is one piece of costume jewelry that should be worn by itself as it makes its own statement.

Cocktail rings are a big item statement and I saw a wonderful Swarovski crystal ring that was wicked,

Getting back to nail polish I had to decide on a nail polish that I would wear for this Holiday Season and I found myself gravitating to the Revlon Top Speed nail collection, I already had a green polish “Invitation Only” that I thought was perfect but I found an old standby, “Ignite” a lesser intense Chinese red shimmer that has that soft under glow so perfect for the Holiday season, so testing them both on white heavy cardboard, I was debating which color for my Nails when Doyle popped up and said “Green for the toes, red for the fingers”

And I have to admit Doyle was right, so it is “Ignite” for the Christmas Holidays.

But for New Year’s Eve I’m wearing L’Oreal’s “The Muse’s Attitude” a lovely blue green shimmer that will go well with a vintage evening gown and matching shoes of the same color that I will be wearing when Doyle, dressed as a Navy Lieutenant from World War II and I, dressed as a movie siren will go dancing on the U.S.S. Hornet to welcome in the New Year.

Later Darklings

666 Park Avenue~~~The End???

Oh Darklings,

My heart is broken, 666 Park Avenue, a guilty pleasure of mine, has been cancelled, it seems that it could not come up enough in the ratings to have it continue beyond the initial 13 episode commitment.

And with so many stories and plot lines, and Terry O’Quinn’s character guiding the events like an evil “Daddy Warbucks” (which was the costume character that he was portraying in the Halloween episode) or perhaps a wicked diabolical New York version of “Dallas’s” J.R Ewing. (Although how could anyone top Larry Hageman’s wonderfully villainous portrayal)

I suspect on the fan fiction site there will be people writing their own tie-ins to this series, and it may develop a cult following, perhaps it will be picked up by a cable network, I hope so.

I love how rich, fabulous and evil the place is, The Drake is as much an actor as the people living in it.

But I fear that we will have many story lines dangling. And I just HATE that.

You suspect that the Donovan’s are evil but are they really evil or manipulators are they trying to control what is in the Drake, Olivia’s character loves her daughter, Garvin loves his wife, Jane and Nona’s are children of the Drake, and there are souls trapped in the Drake, as shown by the Starlings birds. You’d think that Garvin is the devil but he is able to enter a church, but a sign on the door of one of the tenants prevents him from entering.

And each of the characters are victims of their own weaknesses and hidden desires. And Victor Shaw was he just as evil or looking for revenge, yet he wanted to take over the Drake, so is the entire plot line about power and controlling the hidden “kundalini energy” that the Drake possesses as signified by the dragon symbol?

Oh questions, questions and more questions. Will we get even hints of what might happen by the 13th episode?

We shall see Darklings, we shall see.


Of Rain Storms, Falling Trees, House Painting and Christmas doings~~~~

Well Darklings,

As I’ve said in an earlier post, I’ve been busy with some Christmas planning.

I know, what is an Elder/Elderly Goth doing Christmas planning, it’s not Gothicky. Well yes and no.

All the Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman stuff is really is not Gothicky unless you watched the episode of “Castle” on Monday evening (Dec. 3, 2012) someone murdered Santa Claus, but if you read Dickens “A Christmas Carol” that is a very dark Gothic Christmas Story with Scrooges’ “Bah Humbugging” all over the place, but to be visited by Ghosts, including the last one, a very dark and somber presence indeed. Yes Darklings I would be inclined to say that there are old aspects of Christmas that are dark and Gothicky indeed.

The rain storm that we had was heavy, not as heavy as feared but it did do serious damage and some flooding in various areas. I think the most frightening thing is when the ground is so soaked and heavy with water that it just falls away, collapsing road ways, like it did in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

But looking out the front windows at night as the rains fell heavily on the street, lighted by the street lamp; it felt almost gas lit as if I was in Victorian London, faintly hearing the clip-clop of a horse pulling a Hansom Cab.

Its nights like that that I do not want too much electric light on, I want that cozy feeling of a cosseted Victorian parlor.

Ahhh but when looking at the house in the clear light of day one can see that it will need a serious coat of paint come Summer, I could see serious paint flecks being peeled off by the wind and rain.

But what colors to paint it? That is my question. A friend of mine told me that with careful scraping away the layers one can find out what colors were there before and decide which one to go with. That might be the way to go. But my sister suggested that I look at the colors that outline the stain glass windows in the front parlor, entrance hall, Dinning room and Library since they are towards the front of the house. She felt that some how the colors of the house paint would reflect the stain glass windows, I liked that idea, but we’ll know more come summer.

After dropping Coralline off at her parent’s home last Sunday a week ago, Doyle and I leisurely returned to my house, my sister was out of town for the day visiting friends and would not be back until Monday.

While Doyle was driving, the car was filled with Christmas music from a radio station, I was reflecting upon my initial thoughts on buying an artificial tree but instead found myself purchasing green trees instead; the scent of the trees as we were decorating was uplifting upon my soul and in the end I was glad we did not buy a “fake” tree. I decided that I can put up with vacuuming tree needles till next July if it brings that much joy to one’s soul.

For some reason when Doyle and I arrived home we were just a bit too wide awake to go to bed, so we turned to reading our respective books, having a glass of red wine and listening to music on the radio; in the midst of a quiet moment Doyle suddenly stood up, turned down the radio, quickly went to the window and looked out.

He stood there looking out at the street for a minute or so, I watched him puzzled by his actions, but dared not to say anything seeing how intent he was looking out, then I heard a faint sound outside, and was puzzled by what that was.

I saw Doyle’s eyes grow large then he stood back from the window, closing the curtain he turned to me and casually asked “How fond are you of the tree that’s on the verge?” (street side strip of grass between the street and the side walk)

I looked at him with a questioning look for a moment and then said slowly “Well----it’s a nice tree but I’m not attached to it, why do you ask?”

“Well, it just fell over into the street” Doyle replied nonchalantly.

With that response I quickly went to the window, looked out and saw that yes, indeed, the tree which was about 9 or 10 feet tall that reminded me of a mulberry tree, had fallen over into the street, what was so amazing was there were no cars either in front of my home or across the street and it had managed to fall quite cleanly without damaging anything nor breaking any power poles.

It was, however, blocking the entire street, and I knew that some people had to leave very early in the morning and it would have been a bit difficult for them to get by.

Portions of the tree roots were uprooted doing damage to the side walk by lifting up part of the concrete slabs and there was a good size hole in the ground.

Knowing where my gas, water and sewer lines were, I was grateful that they were not near enough to be damaged.

We went outside to survey the uprooted tree by flashlight, street light and rain sprinkles. We could see that the roots were quite “punky” or spongy, they had been rotting for some time although the tree gave every appearance of health, but because they were so spongy and soft they had not the force to do any damage to any utilities but just enough to lift the concrete sidewalk.

Taking in the entire scene, I found myself thanking what higher powers there be that nothing was damaged and no one was hurt, but I did find that I had a slight feeling of loss, I had no idea how long that tree had been in front of my Great-Aunts house, but now the landscape with its demise, had changed.

Doyle went and got an old saw horse from the back yard and put it across the side walk to warn people of the uplifted sidewalk in the dark as we knew there were some late night dog walkers. Then we went inside, not knowing who to call Doyle decided to call the police non-emergency number and informed them of the fallen tree.

While we waited to see if anything would happen, Doyle changed into dry clothes and I made hot herbal tea to warm us up.

An hour later a police car showed up and using its pusher bar moved the tree just enough so cars could get by and the police officer put up warning signs, after that we went to bed only to be awaken at 4 a.m. in the morning with the sound of a chain saw.

A street crew was sawing away the tree and putting the remains in a dump truck and packing away the signs, they moved our saw horse and put one of their signs over the side walk and the hole the tree had left.

I was glad that it had been attended to, but at 4 a.m.?? Well that certainly disturbed my sleep, but Doyle was snoring with a buzz saw sound that could cut through a red wood tree.

On and off during the next day, according to Doyle, people were walking by and gawking at the hole, some came to the house to ask him what had happened. When my sister came home she saw the tree was missing, the gaping hole and street warning saw horses, we told her what had happened.

Young Miranda and her parents, our neighbors, came around just after dinner that evening, asking about the tree and over coffee and hot cider we told them about the event. Miranda’s parents became concerned about the city tree in front of their house and decided to contact the city maintenance department to send someone to check the health of their tree.

Miranda and her parents admired the three trees in the house as well as the vintage ornaments, Miranda discovered that some ornaments were placed inside the trees to make small scenes and using puffs of cotton stretched thin to look like snow and tinsel to make it sparkle, she was enchanted by what she saw.

Connie, Miranda’s Mother, said that she was lucky to be able to get lights up and throw what ornaments she had onto their tree. With a growing boy and his cousins rough housing in the house, more than once their Christmas tree toppled over with a crash.

I told her folks about my niece Coralline and we talked about getting the two girls together for an event or two. So we shall see how this develops. Even though there is a 3 year difference it’s possible that the girls might be compatible, we shall see.

Connie told me privately while we were in the kitchen that her daughter always loved old fashioned things, that a lot of the modern things that most girls her age including Justin Beber was not interesting to her. She had such a great curiosity about my Great Grandmother’s house wanting to know what it looked like on the inside. Connie told me that Miranda was worried that it would be either torn down or made into apartments, given the current housing market.

She was delighted to see how it was being fixed up and the opportunity to come inside to see the interiors, it was better than she expected.

Of course Miranda knows that she has to use the computer and such for school and eventually work, but cell phones with all kinds of apps, were too much for her tastes, she liked simple things, but her parents insisted she have a cell phone for emergencies, so she has one that’s simple and basic.

They had gone to the Dickens Faire this last weekend and enjoyed it very much. I asked Connie if Miranda enjoyed living in a Victorian home and she said that she does and can’t imagine living in anything else, she’s very much a “history buff.” She has an older brother who is in college but doesn’t seem to have the same interest, at least not before he left for college, but he was coming during the Holiday break for a visit, that they were looking forward to.

I told Connie about various re-enactment groups and different docent programs with museums, perhaps they might have something that would interest Miranda. Connie thought that was a wonderful idea, Miranda was so interested in how old-fashioned things worked that would be wonderful for her.

Later my sister and I wondered if that would also work for Coralline, because in many ways the Victorian Era was a very Gothic period of time, Gaslight, Dark Alleys, Horse drawn Handsome cabs, Fog shrouded buildings.

We shall see.

This weekend we have again Coralline, Saturday we went to Dunsmuir House for the tea and were happy to see that Miranda and her Mother had the same tea time, so we shared a table, that gave the girls a chance to get acquainted, then we all toured Dunsmuir house, I was so delighted with how the Foundation restored this elegant home to it’s Victorian grandeur, the girls were just amazed by it, we had a chance to ride a horse drawn carriage around the grounds and the girls were pretending to be princesses, I was fascinated by the history surrounding the house, how it was built and I sensed that in some ways it was built to spite people as well. Then the Hellmann’s purchased it as a home away from home, installing a swimming pool and tennis court.

For some reason I felt that the modern mansions built by our current millionaires or billionaires just does not measure up to the elegance of this house. Its interior and exteriors was featured in two films that I know of “Burnt Offerings” and the James Bond movie “A View to a Kill”.

But the movies do not do it justice to the feel of the place; one would have to come in the Summer during the Gatsby Weekend event to get the true feel of it. But I would love to see it in its natural setting at night, especially a winter night, with the grounds all dark and damp, that feeling that the “Hound of the Baskervilles” may be roaming the land. I get very shivery thinking about that.

Connie suggested that we take the girls to the Oakland Zoo’s Christmas lights that very evening, “get them good and tired” she said. And although chilly as anything it was very beautiful, with all the lighted decorations, the animal displays were not open to the public except for a few indoor ones.

I promised Coralline that we’d come back when the weather was warmer to take in the zoological gardens.

Next Friday evening it will be the Nutcracker Miranda’s parents and I managed to get tickets together so far the girls seem to be getting along. Coralline and Miranda pleaded with us to go back to the Dickens Faire one last time, Connie said that she couldn’t afford another visit but in the spirit of the season I said that I would spring for the tickets for everyone. Connie’s husband Bob would not be able to come as he has to pick up their son at the air port.

So far the girls seem to be enjoying each other’s company despite the 3 year difference, but Coralline has a bit of maturity, and Miranda has the wonderful gift of just loving beauty. And they seem to like the same things, Coralline showed Miranda the pet cemetery and took Miranda around for a more in depth look at things in the house.  I found myself amused when they would come into the Library while I'm writing out bills and balancing my banking accounts, all excited with their discoveries and asking a "ton of questions" (as they describe it).

So putting down my pen and setting aside my paperwork, I would answer their questions about things in my "Cabinet of Curiosities", the pet cemetery, strange old things in the attic or basement, and various things around the house.   One thing that has them puzzled is the stain glass windows in the dinning room, each of them has a different statement.  In going over the various repair bills and purchases done long ago by my Great-Aunt, I discovered that she had them specially made, I can only surmise that she had gone, many years ago on a tour of the old Winchester Mystery House and became fascinated with the stain glass windows there.

One reads "Fast unclasp the tables of my thoughts"  the other reads "These same thoughts people this little world"   The girls asked me what do they mean, I told them they need to read the two windows as if they were one sentence and then then will understand the meaning.

Both of them asked me why do I dress the way I do and wear my hair the way I do.  I told them that I would be happy to answer those questions but at another time, if they can wait, which they promised.

I asked Connie about her thoughts on the girls and she admitted that Miranda was socially awkward around older girls and boys, and just a little immature, but her grades like Corallines are excellent. She told me that sometimes according to her information and observation, some children mature a little later than others, but she exceeds her education level, so she’s in advance classes like Coralline but not quite so accelerated. And she prefers to come home and study, she takes ballet classes but informed her mother and the teacher that she does not want to do recitals.

I thought that was strange but Connie told me that performing in front of a group stresses Miranda, if it’s for a class assignment she’ll do it and she’s fine when interacting with people and children her own age but when the conversation among her peer group turns to things that teenagers talk about like whom they adore Miranda becomes shy. Although she has a “crush” on one of the Twilight hero’s.

And both Miranda’s and Coralline’s sense of things Victorian, dark, Gothicky and mysterious are quiet prevalent not in a harmful way but just enough to be a bit “Addams Family” with a sense of fun.

My Sister, Connie and I will see how this develops.

I'm also going to post one or two more postings this morning that I had been planning to post, but have been too busy to.

Today we are going to take it a little easy, Coralline has homework that must be done and Miranda asked if she could come over today to do her homework as well.  Connie had no objections since she has to do things around the house.  So a relaxing Sunday for us I think.

Later Darklings.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Of Live Theater, Children's Charities and an update~~~

Hello My Darklings,

I've been having a very busy week, this evening Coralline and I had a chance to see "A Christmas Carol",  we were both moved when Scrooge gained the Christmas spirit, after being visited by the Spirits.

All the way home Coralline could not stop talking about the play.  The way she talked about it reminded me of when I saw my first opera and my first Shakespeare play, the opera was "I Pagliacci"  and the play was "King Lear", the power of live theater is so immediate and if done right so affecting upon the senses and the soul.

I let her talk and talk, listening to hear her thoughts on what she had seen.

When we got home I settled her down with a cup of hot coco, it was especially chilly this evening.

She finally fell asleep, with the promise that we will be going to the Children's tea and tour Dunsmuir House tomorrow.

It's interesting to see how through her eyes re-discovering the joys of being a young person.   I wish all young children had this opportunity.  It makes me sad that so many do not. 

That is why I will be looking into charities that help young children to make donations to, such as "St. Jude Hospital", "Make A Wish", "Salvation Army", and several food kitchens that feed the needy.   Doyle reminded me of our local Animal Shelter as well.

I have many other postings to put up all saved on my flash drive, which I will post tomorrow.  

Later Darklings

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Season is upon us~~~"Stir up we beeche Thee..."

Well Darklings the Christmas Season is upon us.

Here is where I as an Elder/Elderly Goth must stand her ground.

I do recognize this time of year as a Holiday Season where several ceremonies of light occur, if one is Pagan then it is Yule, the time of the year when darkness is at its greatest, where all things dark and despairing fly and reek havoc upon body and soul, and then bonfires must be lit to dispel the darkness and bring back the light.

If one is Jewish then this is the season of lights when the great temple was defiled but regained by the Hebrew people who cleansed the temple but found that they only had enough holy oil for the lamp for one night, but used it anyway and much to their surprised the lamp burned for 8 nights instead of one, a sign of a Great and Holy presence.

If one is Christian then this is the time of year when all is dark and a displaced family must try and find shelter for the woman is about to give birth and all they could find was a stable because there was no room in the inn (there’s a certain amount of symbolism here my Darklings), but in that lowly stable a great light came into the world to give hope. That old Christmas Carol “Silent Night” in the last verse says it very purely “…Love’s Pure Light…”

There are other religious beliefs that also either around this time of year or near to it, celebrate a season of lights for the same reason.

But Doyle takes it one step further and I won’t argue with him on this because in many ways I felt the same----Doyle says “for all you atheists—you can stay in the dark”.

For as an Elder/Elderly Goth that is part of the beauty of Darkness, the light that shines within, as the old saying goes “it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”, as an Elder/Elderly Goth we look into the darkness with eyes to see in the dark, blazing to find the beauty and the truth, and yes, even if we cloak it with fantasy, we never leave the reality of life.

We know that Santa Claus is a legend, but we will not dispel a small child’s belief in that ‘spirit’ of unselfish giving, we are not sure about when Jesus was born but we will not dispel the simplicity and sense of hope in the Christmas Story.

Just recently a New York City police officer saw a homeless man who had no shoes, the homeless man may be mentally incapacitated but the police officer saw he had blisters on his feet, in stead of rousting him to move on, he went and with his own money bought all weather boots, and thermal socks, when he went into the store to buy the boots and told the sales staff what he was going to do, they gave him the employees discount, and he went back to the man put the socks and boots on the man’s feet, did he expect anything?

No, he did what he felt was right, he could not pass this man by, and like the good Samaritan, did it because it was right, he saw the darkness and put beauty into it.

His simple act of kindness was captured by a tourist and it went viral, this officer is an example of what anyone working and living in a dark Gothic environment can do. This is the true spirit of the Christmas Season and for all year round. The officer says he keeps that receipt for those boots with him as a reminder, “what good you can do, do it now, for you may not have that same chance again”.

And that is also what being an Elder/Elderly Goth is all about during this time of year, seeing into the darkness a shining a light.

When I and my sister were little there was an elderly lady by the name of Renee, Mrs. Renee, and she told marvelous stories, legends, folk tales, fairy tales and ghost stories of all kinds and she’d give various characters voices, and acted it out.

When Mother and Dad wanted a little alone time or had to go somewhere Mrs. Renee would baby sit us girls, while Grandma would take care of our brother because he was just a baby. Especially at Christmas time it would be wonderful to be at Mrs. Renee’s home, which we called the Mansion, her house seems to be always filled with a warm gold color at winter time I really don’t know how she did it, and it always smelled of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and other wonderful exotic scents.

She would baby sit for various families and we loved going to her house, but the stories, oh the stories. She would have a fire going in the fire place, and light candles in glass containers, some in gold and some in ruby, the electric light would be turned off and she’d tell us these wonderful stories.

But wintertime she’d tell us of Hern the Hunter and the wild hunt and how the unjust would be punished if found at midnight on Christmas Eve if they were found by Hern, although later I’ve found other variations of the legend.

But she’d also would tell us the Christmas Story starting with the words “Once upon a time in David’s Royal City….”

I’ve found that if the rains come with wild winds during the Christmas season I’d be reminded of Hern and on Christmas Eve I’d hear Mrs. Renee’s voice saying softly “Once upon a time in David’s Royal City…”

And once again I am a child of 8 or 9 enjoying the fantasy and magic of Christmas with it’s legends and ghosts, and being Catholic doing the ritual of the Advent wreath, I have for Coralline an Advent Calendar, her parents are Catholic (sort of) they do go to church unless there is a game their boys have to be at, but my Sister and I want Coralline to experience the fun, joy and mystical ritual wonder of the season. From “Stir Up Sunday” which is the Sunday of the Advent season to Epiphany or Three Kings Day.

I and my sister always remember how Mother would have Dad bring down the Christmas decorations and go through everything to plan on the Christmas dinner.

Among the Christmas decorations my sister found the frame for the Advent wreath, and managed to buy the candles to go with it, so with some decorations from a Hobby shop she re-decorated it and we will light it saying “Stir Up, oh Lord, Thy Might, we beg thee and come, that by Thy protection we be rescued from the threatening dangers and saved by Thy deliverance.”

There is something about the ritual of the Advent wreath that stirs within an Elder/Elderly Goth’s soul, to give strength for the year of the trials to come and to continue to live the life we want to live.

Now back to current reality~~~~

Doyle surprised Coralline and I Friday afternoon by calling to say he would pick us up at my work, no taking public transportation in this rain he says. And where does he take us?

To a Christmas Tree Lot---and not just any Christmas Tree Lot----one that is run by one of the nearby churches as a fund raiser for their child care programs for single mother’s who have to work. And it was a good thing it was still day light in spite of the rain, Doyle insisted we buy two real trees, one for the Family Parlor and one for the Formal Parlor, I wasn’t going to argue.

But there was something, the smell of the trees, the careful assessment of which one’s would fit the spots in the home, determining the size of their trunk ends to fit into the water holders, then the purchase and bundling and tying down on the top of the van (Doyle came prepared).

But we could not leave just yet.

Coralline spotted a small, tiny Christmas tree, a very small, tiny Christmas tree.

She asked me what happens to cut trees after Christmas, I told her that we plan on having the Boy Scout’s do a pick up and then the trees are made into mulch to help other plants grow. That way the trees are never wasted, but are re-cycled.

She wanted the tiny Christmas Tree. She thought it would look nice in the entrance hall when people came into the house. I thought about how it would be mounted and where it would be placed and remembered an old small battered table in the basement which could be covered with a nice cloth and also remembered these things called “frogs” to hold woody type flowers and plants in an arrangement so it could be kept watered.

We bought the tiny tree.

So Friday evening was spent setting up the trees, with Doyle outside cutting the bottoms so the trees could get fresh water, and us vacuuming and sweeping the needles and moving things around.

Saturday we went to buy new lights for the trees and strung them up, later we went to the Tree Lighting ceremony at a local community, enjoying the entertainment and listening to the words officials had to say, watching the skaters on the portable ice rink, and getting a bit to eat at one of the local eateries, and just enjoying ourselves in general.

Today is being spent putting up the decorations, and staying warm, Belladonna has decided to camp on one of the overstuffed chairs and stay out of the way.

It’s already wonderful seeing all the old-fashioned decorations going up, I was glad that I managed to get more decorations, Coralline and my sister and I are having fun and I’m glad I managed to get the bulk of this typed the night before and save to a flash drive to post this morning.

Seeing the red, greens and gold’s shimmering in the lights brings a smile to my face and tons of memories of Family Christmases gone by, Coralline is building up her own special memories. She hugged my sister, Doyle and I last night for making this so special.

Later Darklings