Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Of Major Celebration or "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!"~~~~

My Dear Darklings,

Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU all, Trisha, Lucretia, Tea and all you wonderful, wonderful Darklings for you Best Wishes!!!

In just a few words-----I WON!!!!  EVERYTHING!!!

He is paying for all the medical expenseses that was not covered by my medical plan that I had to pay out of pocket, he is paying for the replacement cost of the "nearly new" car that I purchased, he is paying all lawyer/legal fees and he will pay for any continuing medical treatment and therapy up to two years.  He is also re-imbusrsing me for 1/2 the costs of my two caregivers.  I wanted the full amount but my Lawyer said we were in the home streach and to not "blow it".    And he is paying me the difference in loss income because I had to go on disablity which pays less.

Oh there was some consessions from me, but they were minor.  All so he won't lose his job and position, it seems he gets paid "Very Well".  But there was one thing I would not budge on.  I insisted that he admit he had an drinking problem and to go to AA for treatment and that he had to stay with the program for at least 2 years, the same time that covers my continuing medical treatment.  If he didn't there would be serious ramifications.  He accepted the terms.

Darklings, it was a mild day, the room was comfortable but he was sweating "buckets".  The overwhelming evidence nearly made him faint, as a matter of fact I thought he would.   Later, his lawyer informed my lawyer who informed me that he realized that not only would I have won in court but if we insisted on a jury trial it most likely would have resulted in him being bankrupted and losing his job.  But my lawyer told me that if I had been so injured that I could not work anymore or was going to be in a wheelchair there would have been a trial and he still would have lost.

I half expected the man to be arrogant, and I think in other circumstances he would have been, but for what we had.   There was a woman with him who never said a word, never looked at me just down at the confrence table,  I found out later she was his wife, and the look on her face would have made God run in fear, and the look was not directed at me or my lawyer, but at her husband at the conclusion of the meeting.  My lawyer said that the wife has "major bucks", extremely monied, I thought so by the cut of her clothes and the expensive diamond pin she wore on her jacket.  I knew it wasn't costume jewerly.

And now I'm home, HOME!!  Relaxing, typing on my computer, Louise called me to find out the results and was happy for me, I'll see her tomorrow and Friday and then sadly she will be off to another assignment.  My sister called our brother to give him the good news which he will inform his family, seems there is some event at School and he's to join them there.

Doyle is insisting that he treat us to a very fancy dinner, I do wish that Chez Pannisse was open but he is going to surprise me, and Sis is setting up the television to record "Law and Order" at 8 p.m. something about the murder of a female vampire, which should be interesting viewing for later.  And my Doctor said that if I'm not taking any pain pills tonight I can have a glass of wine. 

What wine, it will be Champagne!!!  Doyle surprised me with a bottle of Dom Perion Oh you know Darklings, the Champagne that "James Bond" drinks although not the most expensive vintage, but at $250 dollars a bottle expensive enough!  It was enough to make my eyes grow wide and pop out of my head!  Where he got it I haven't a clue, but Doyle can be that way.

And now my Sister is insisting that I go upstairs and freshen up and put on my most glamorous dress, and to be on the safe side my fanciest cane. 

Later Darklings

Of Seeing the Lawyers (very short post)~~~~

Well My Darklings,

I am a bit nervous.  But I'll have my sister and Doyle as well as my Lawyer at my side.  We are going in 15 minutes to my Lawyers office to have The Meeting with the Lawyer and the idiot who hit me and put me out of work for a long period of time, totalling my car, and medical costs.

My Lawyer re-assured me yesterday that we hold all the cards, the man is nervous, is in a very bad position, and wants to settle this quickly without going to court.  But coming to an agreement could take most of the day as there are various points to go over, and we have a serious stack of paperwork.  I've made notes of the points that I want to be sure will be covered.

So my Darklings, wish me well.   I may have this man's scalp by this evening (as I put on my "War Paint")

Later Darklings

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Of Happy Birthday Christopher Lee and memories of him~~~~

Dear Darklings,

My sister and I spent yesterday evening celebrating the 91st birthday of film actor Christopher Lee, best known for his portrayal of Dracula  and many other roles as well as being innovative.  Just see this brief list.

And besides being a Bond villian he is directly decended from Charlemane and is a cousin to Ian Flemming who originally wanted Lee to play the part of "Dr. No".  He was in the group picture of the album cover for Wing's "Band on the Run" album and many other things that are too numerous to list.

My sister and I nearly swooned when he told Johnny Depp in "Dark Shadows" to take a long walk off a short pier in his perfect precise diction.  His body of film work is so numerous that he could easily walk circles around other actors.  At one of the awards programs he was given a standing ovation.  And he was in not only the "Dark Shadows" movie but also the headless horseman one (title I can't remember) with Johnny Depp.  He's been in murder mysteries, Science Fiction, Westerns, horror films, spy adventures, documentaries, and he was a good friend of Peter Cushing.

Years ago, when I and my sister were finally given permission to date boys, Mother and Dad always had reservations about where we were going on our dates, and would give us a long litany of what to be careful about, a long, long litany of all the tricks and ruses boys would do to try and get even near "3rd base". 

BUT for some reason we never got it if we were going to a movie that was starring Christopher Lee.  WHY??  Well let me give you an example:

One of the young boys that I was dating was old enough to own and drive a car, which for our parents was scary enough, so I was warned about underage drinking and if my date started drinking strong spirits I was to find a telephone and call Dad immediately and Dad would come and get me.   Only once did I have to resort to that, and I never dated that boy again.   Mother also made sure that I had pinned to my bra, coins for a telephone call and money for a taxi and tokens for bus fare (yes Darklings we use to have special bus tolkens, if we found one on the street that was like finding a dollar for us), so we never were stranded and if a boy was going to drive us to a "necking spot" we'd say we were hungry and ask to stop at an "A & W driven in" for a hamburger and then I'd pretend I'd have to go to the bathroom and instead call Dad.

Once I had a very determined young date who insisted on going to the "necking spot" first and then eat, I wasn't having any of that, I told him to first pull over and park the car I needed a light to see to get something out of my purse, I was fortunate that he did that on a well-lighted street; when he did I quickly reached over, turned off the engine and pulled out the key and threw it out of the car.  I then got out and dashed to a house with a porch light on and called my Dad.  I was very greatful for the elderly couple that understood my situation and to the husband that chased off my agressive date and called the police who had a very serious talking to that young man.

Needless to say both my sister and I didn't have many dates so we were not part of the so-called "popular" crowd, but we both made important contacts and became friends with young men and women who were not part of that group and whose peers thought they were "nerds".  Many of these "nerds"  in their later years became very influential and made money and my sister and I were very grateful for their friendship.

But back to Christopher Lee----

I did on serveral occasions have young men take me to a drive-in movie but I'd always ask first what was showing, and check to see who was in the film.
I was selective about which films and more often than not say no.
When my date would pick me up Mother and Dad would ask where we were going and I'd tell them where and what movie, they'd ask who was in the movie and if I said "Christopher Lee" they would just say "O.K. have fun" and nothing more was said.

Because Christopher Lee would be in the movie, when my date would make like an 8 to 10 arm octopuss I'd always say "Wait Christopher Lee is on screen" and push my date away and be totally mesmerized by Mr. Lee.
I'd have to say that the gentleman saved mine and my sister's virtue more than once.

So we had last night a Christopher Lee Film Festival with first "Horror of Dracula" followed by "Dracula, Prince of Darkness" and then with Lee being a good guy pair with Peter Cushing in "Horror Train" with Telly Savalas in a fun role.

And Peter Cushing, also an elegant man who could play villians and heros equally well.

I mean who else besides Christopher Lee, could verbally "bitch-slap" Darth Vadar.
I wept when I heard he had passed on.

Both Lee and Cushing were in Laurence Oliver's "Hamlet"  Lee as a guard with a speaking role who first see's the ghost and Cushing as the fop, "Osric".   Although not in the same scene, in the same movie.

They both can, as my brother (who is also a Lee/Cushing Fan) "kick butt".

But let us not forget Vincent Price, and his accomplishments, actor, art conissure, gourmet cook, author, lecturer, and scary voice in Michael Jackson's "Thriller".

What, my Darklings, do all three of these gentlemen have?
Class, elegance, knowledge, and More Class
Something that I wish more of our young people had.

And that is also another thing that young Goths, whether they are heavy metal, steampunk, Victorian, or Corporate should always, ALWAYS have no matter at what age, is Class, Courtesy,and Compassion, what I call the "Three C's"

So with this final image, Remember my Dear Darklings, the Three C's.

Their birthdays were very close together, (Vincent Price May 27, 1911, Peter Cushing May 26, 1913, Christopher Lee May 27, 1922) so I propose that the last weekend in May be Lee, Cushing and Price weekend---plan on Gothic Horror Film Festivals in the evening starting at 6 p.m., with costume contests, and O.K. BBQ's during the day and Gothic items for sale (O.K. that is a bit commercial) but also to display one's hearse or Goth car as well as lectures about the Horror films and novels, and about the history of monsters, and how they creep into our subconsious mind and what do they represent and WHY DO WE LOVE THEM SO!!!

As a matter of fact, I am going to propose this to my sister, brother and Doyle that we plan on something of this sort---Halloween in May!! as well as October----Do you think that would "fly" my Darklings???

Later Darklings

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Of Memorial Day Rememberances~~~~~

Dear Darklings,

In memory of those who walked the walk, stood between us and losing our freedoms, who gave unselfishly of their strength, courage and lives  I "Thank You" and Honor You.

To those family members and friends who are departed, you maybe physically gone, but I know you are spiritually here, loving us and we will always love and remember you.  You may not have gone to war but you served by being who you are with Love, Compassion and Courage.

Later Darklings

Friday, May 24, 2013

Of Twists and Turns in the Boston Marathon Bombing~~~~

Well My Darklings,
Someday someone will write a book about this tragic event in Boston, it has more twists, turns and convoluted developments than a disorganized murder mystery.

If anything it does show that even the Tsarneaev brothers were not the angels that some people want to paint them, not even the younger one that survived , wrote a declaration saying "F###  U America"   and is currently being held---it’s like watching that new T.V. program “Motive” but running far longer than the movie “Gone With The Wind”.

F.B.I. and other agencies were going through contacts of the deceased Tamerlan Tsarneaev in his cell phone address book and found names going from New York to Florida, and so they’ve been questioning these contacts.

One that turned up appears to have provided a unique motive and clue to the brothers’ actions.

The F.B.I. were looking for Ibragim Todashev an Orange County, Florida man, when they received word that he had been arrested on May 4, for aggravated battery on a man and his son over a parking space in a Kissimmee Mall parking lot. Todashev pushed the father in a threatening manner and the man’s son came to his defense.

Todashev was born in Russia; when he immigrated here is unknown.

Tamerlan Tsarneaev and Todashev knew each other because they fought in mixed martial arts competitions and the F.B.I. were informed by a friend of Todashev that the two knew each other, confirming the contact number in Tamerlan Tsarneaev‘s cell phone.

With the use of DNA tracking, the DNA of the Tsarneaev brothers were run through the system and got a hit with a year old murder.

3 men, Brendan Mess, Raffael Teken and Eric Weissman, had their throats slit and their bodies were left with cash and marijuana placed on top of them. The murder took place on September 11, 2011, the ten year anniversary of the al Qaeda terror attacks on New York and Washington.

Upon Todashev’s arrest his DNA was taken and also linked to the Triple Murder. And it seems that Brendan Mess, Tamerlan Tsarneaev and Todashev all were acquainted with each other because they all trained and competed at Boston’s Wai Kru gym.

In the wake of the bombing, detectives developed DNA evidence linking both

Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar to the triple murder scene.

According to officials, Todashev was initially being questioned about any role

in the marathon bombing when it emerged he had connections to the gruesome

murders. There is no initial indication Todashev was tied to the bombing, sources

familiar with the case said. (My Doyle has some thoughts on that)

Todashev was about to sign a statement admitting to a role along with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in the previously unsolved triple murder that occurred in Massachusetts in 2011, when suddenly Todashev "just went crazy," and pulled a knife during his interview with the FBI, stabbing one agent 6 times, before he was shot and killed during the assault.

This attack by Todashev came as a surprise when the “violent confrontation was initiated by the subject," the Bureau said in a statement. The attack occurred following the initially cooperative interview and just prior to his signing his statement.

The F.B.I. does state that Todashev had lived in Boston previously and had been in contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev just a few weeks prior to the bombing. But the F.B.I continues to believe that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was converted to radical acts when he went back to his home country and was in touch with those who practiced and believed in such actions.

Doyle, my sister and I batted around the reasons for Todashev’s action and Doyle, being more familiar with the criminal element, stated to us, that Todashev most likely knew of the plans for the bombing, perhaps gave them more information on how to do the bombing and maybe gave Tsarnaev money to buy the materials, since all three of them were involved in the triple murders in 2011, they were already criminally involved, and Todashev, in his mind, decided that he was already a “dead man” and did something that all villains do, back up, smile, pretend to co-operate, then attack and attempt to take out as many “pigs” as possible, a suicide attempt. It had been proven that his was an aggressive personality, witness the fact that he had been arrested for battery upon two people over, of all things, a parking space.

Even if Todashev did not have a knife, he was trained in Martial Arts and could have made a very life threatening Martial Arts move that could have either killed or seriously injured another person. What is known is this the F.B.I. agent that was allegedly stabbed sustained injuries that were fortunately non-life threatening. No other agents or Massachusetts state police officers who were there for the interview. were injured. Further investigation into Todashev life will be looked into, after this bizarre twist into the Boston Marathon Bombing.

It things like this when one reads about it, that always adds questions to one’s mind about the minds of other people, the constant “why” of things. My sister and I believe that most murders occur for either money, passion, power, revenge and the sickest reason of all “Just for fun”. And passion can include love, or mis-guided love or a mis-guided cause.

It’s no wonder I’m always intrigued with police proceedurals, I’m constantly trying to figure out the motive.

I’ve said this once before Darklings but I’ll say it again, Agatha Cristie once remarked that the “most evil criminal (or crime) is a person who persuades another to commit murder,” just view Shakespears play, “Othello”. That would also include terrorists who persuade young impressionable people to commit the killing for them, instead of seeking how to create a working peace to rebuild their lives.

Later Darklings

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Of "Grim and Gory, Attorney's at Law" and other updates~~~

Dear Darklings,

Again I Thank You.

If my comment about what it is to be Goth, resonates with your personal feelings then I am Happy to have in some small way inspired you.

Perhaps that is why I also enjoy “The Addams Family” and “The Munsters”, in spite of being different, they are also family, with family values.

Now for something different---- I did promise to “talk” about happier things.

First updates on the progress on the kitchen and laundry room (yes that was involved because of water damage). The sheetrock walls in the laundry room have been replaced and even now is being painted. The support beams and posts are dry so we will not have to worry about mold, thank goodness.

Next will be the purchasing of a new washer and dryer, Doyle’s friends took the old one’s away but one of his friends thinks he might be able to work on them so they can be used at a homeless shelter or women’s shelter. If they can that would be wonderful.

Much of the basic work in the kitchen is still being worked upon, my major concern was matching the metal ceiling tiles, but Hank found an answer. It seems that the cupboards have the same tiles, so they will be carefully removed and modern reproductions that nearly match the pattern will be installed in the cupboard area; the old ones that are original to the house will be installed over the stove area, if there is not enough, then a mixture of old and new will be intergraded over that area.

Hank found a cleaning crew that handles clean up after fires and are now washing down the ceiling and walls etc. in the Butler’s pantry. I know some of you are wondering why I’ve not had my weekly maid service do that, well it is a bit more specialized and it was better for me to have them do their regular assignments, a bit more briefly. One of the ladies did help to move all the fancy china etc. from the butler’s panty to the dinning room table, and cover it with a large old sheet to protect as much as possible from the dust.

We still are either eating out or getting take out, my brother has invited us over Saturday and Sunday for dinner, something we all are looking forward to, I have not seen my niece Coralline or her over-active brothers in what seems like ages.

My sister’s progress on the purchasing of her home will be complete tomorrow with the signing of a lot of papers. With the permission of the bank and the realtor, she had her friend move in and “camp-out” in the living room to prevent copper theft, and he managed to clean up one of the bathrooms for his use, Sis is going to pay him for that hard work. Then she is next going to have the place completely fumigated, and cleaned. It is a good thing she makes good money and has a hefty savings account. She says it will mostly be a good size tax right off. But I am so happy she will again have her own place that she can work out of.

As much as I love having her live with me, and she could for as long as she wants, it is only right that she has a place of her own to decorate the way she wants and live in it the way she wants, although I do believe she will be dropping by very frequently, we are even thinking of installing a connecting gate between our back yards, although hers is not quiet as deep as mine, it is good sized.

I can now happily say that the root canal work is done and we are onto the crown work, once that is done I can finally relax.

I am scheduled to go back to work in June, just in time to cover for some of the staff who are going to graduations and the first blast of vacations. I fear that I will not be able to take a vacation this year, expect maybe for a long weekend or two. But my plans for another wine vacation will have to be put on hold this year. C’est La Vie. But that is not to say that I will be staying at home, no, there are the weekends, so who knows where the winds will take me, so to speak.

I will regret losing Louise, she has been wonderful but come May 31 that will be her last day, however she does have another assignment lined up so she will not be out of work I’m happy to say. I am keeping hers and Ella’s contact information for just in case.

Belladonna has been a bit upset with the strangers coming in and out of the house, so I’ve made arrangements to have her stay with my elderly neighbor during the day and occasionally stay at the Doggie day care, get her back to feeling something close to her normal routine.

I am able to walk around the house much better and without the use of the cane, but my Doctor did advise that I use the cane while I commute too and from work, as a precaution. And I still will have to see the therapist periodically as well.

The idiot who ran into my car has finally conceded to settle out of court and next week we and our lawyers will meet to settle terms, my lawyer said that I will get what I want, the man is frightened about losing. It seems that if he does go to court there would be some serious ramifications for him, what I don’t know, my lawyer would not elaborate, but he said for me to walk in using my cane to prove a point.

I have gotten into the habit of watching “Perry Mason” at 12 noon prior to having lunch, and lately they’ve been having a T.V. host on by the name of Greg Gory. And I finally caught up to a newish T.V. program called “Grim”, I remarked about that to Doyle last night and he said “That would make for a perfect name for a Gothic law practice if those two names were paired.

I looked at Doyle for a moment and then it hit me “Grim and Gory, Attorney’s at Law”----that would put it right up there with “Dewey, Cheatum and Howe” I nearly put out my back with laughing as Doyle and I went on with coming up with other businesses to pair with those names like “Grim and Gory, Funeral Directors” and others. They do say that laughter is the best medicine.

As a matter of fact there are several newish T.V. programs that I hope to catch up with such as “Motive”, “Grim” and Hannibal” they might be just what I need for the T.V. summer doldrums, besides reading my wonderful collection of books from the Friends of the Library Booksale.

Now I must go, my contractor friend Hank is asking me to look at something.

In my next post I’m going to give my thoughts on some of the fashions for Spring (which I’ve nearly missed) and Summer.

Later Darklings

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Of Thank Yous' and further thoughts~~~~

Hello My Darklings,

Dear Underground for Tea, Rebecca and all of you who expressed kind thoughts about the loss of our brother, Thank You to all of you.

Yes, even now years later the loss is painful but now we’ve come to accept that, I feel that it was the religious faith my parents and family members had and instilled into us that to each of our lives there is pain. That all of life is a learning lesson, we cannot learn if we do not struggle, we cannot appreciate the joys unless we also have the losses.

Mother would look to the “Sorrows of Mary” to understand the pain a parent must go through, if more people would look to that it can at least, help towards understanding that we all must go through some form of that. It is ages old, and will continue forever, that is why we contribute to St. Jude Hospital and programs that will help young people learn to avoid violence, to lead them away from violent acts. When our Parents learned of the hospital that Danny Thomas founded, they contributed regularly and often in memory of Matt.

St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes or situations; Danny Thomas was a struggling comedian he vowed if he became successful he would build a shrine to St. Jude to help those in need. He did become successful and he never forgot his vow; many old timers remember his T.V. program “Make Room for Daddy”, he produced other T.V. programs, his daughter Marlo Thomas starred in her own program “That Girl”. Danny Thomas made good on his promise to St. Jude; his daughter continues the work her father started.

So even now for anyone with a heart breaking loss, like those who are now suffering from the devastation the Tornado’s caused in Kansas, you can only come out of it stronger, to have the faith and patience of the prophet Job, the love and compassion of Mother Mary to deal with heart brake. To give into it only means that you will never live to appreciate and to grow from what your loved one’s have taught you, you have to grow stronger.

It is what helped my family and especially my sister and I expanded on what our brother taught us, my sister and younger brother passed this on to their children and with my sister’s oldest daughter she is passing it on to her children. We don’t turn away from disaster or horror, we deal with it, we’ve made sure that our children (or for me nieces and nephews) are not na├»ve about people and situations.

Matt’s professor, his other teachers and the dean of his college posthumously awarded his college degree, our youngest brother marched onto the stage to receive it in Matt’s memory. Our parents framed it and hung it up on a special wall next to Matt’s picture.

Our younger Brother has it now.

By Matt’s example, we, his siblings worked hard to get scholarships to go to college so it would be less of a financial burden on our parents, we also worked part time to off-set costs, we did it because Matt inspired us, but Dad insisted that we go to a college that was much closer to home so we’d only be a hour from home by bus, if we had to study late Dad or Uncle Mannie would make every effort to pick us up, perhaps our family was being over protective but understandable and we did not object.

Every year, on or near the date of what would be his graduation one or all of us, takes flowers to his grave, in celebration of his life.

Perhaps that is also what being Goth is all about, to understand the sufferings of the world, to know the darkness, to understand it, and to make it a little less dark

Again my Darklings, Thank You for your kind thoughts and words.


In my next post it will be something much less sad.

Later Darklings

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Of Death and Darkness, the changes in my life~~~

Hello My Darklings

In my previous post on my beauty routine, I had a chance to write that out over a period of time, but this one, I wrote in the quiet of the evening over a few days, and with reflection. This morning I was up very early, taking Belladonna for her walk and enjoying the hint of heat in the air, the bird song, the way the sun slowly brightened the landscape, flowers, early squirrels looking for food and scampering away.

I felt a mixture of enjoyment of the beauty around me and sadness that someone I dearly loved was not physically here to enjoy it. When I returned I could hear my sister and Doyle moving around, we will leave in a few minutes to go out for breakfast, Belladonna in her carry-along. But while I’m waiting for them I re-read what I have written about my beloved Brother, his was the 2nd major tragedy that helped complete my turning to the Dark side of life, to my own type of Gothicness.

In this post I’m going to ramble down a sad portion of my Memory Lane, it may even explain why my mental thinking is the way it is, why I turned towards the Goth side of life.

On our Spa Weekend, my sister and I, in a period of deep reflection talked about our older brother, Matt. Now Darklings I have mentioned my sister and my younger brother but we did have an older brother and he was another tragedy in mine and my family’s life.

His was a death that should not have happened but it did. Matt was 8 years older than I, born before the start of WWII, and with Dad in the military there was a delay before there were younger siblings. Dad wrote long letters to Mother and Matt, he and Mother had devised a code to say where he was based when over seas, sometimes it was certain words, sometimes it was coded in a poem.

According to Mother, when she got a letter from Dad, Matt became excited and got out the maps and code book, together they followed the military movements carefully, then finally in 1946 when Dad was de-mobbed it was a joyous re-union.

Matt during the War Years, developed a liking for ciphers, and codes, Dad through a police friend was able to get a radio scanner for Matt so he could follow what was happening with our local and county police department. Because of this he knew what was happening in our town before it was printed in the paper, later because of his interest in hidden things, he learned about code words for mind reading acts, he and Mother develop their own mind reading act for amateur programs at the local Elks lodge that entertained and amazed people. Later as I grew up he taught me code words so we could communicate with each other while other people were around and have the others not know. At times it became very handy and Matt taught me how to be secretive without showing that I was.

Later Matt became adapt at spotting suspicious activity, or seeing that something was not quite right, and yet being “invisible”. Instead of privately investigating he’d go to the police station to talk to Dad’s police friend, Tom and report to him what he’d seen. More than once his observations helped crack a crime problem. My brother wanted to be a police investigator. He read the Sherlock Holmes stories, books on spies and how to spy.

But Dad wanted him to eventually go to college and be something else, he felt that what Matt was doing could become dangerous. But I and Sis thought that Matt was a hero, our younger brother admired him for his cleverness. Matt attained good grades in grammar and High School, and received a scholarship for college, we could not have been happier for him. He decided to major in psychology, he felt that would be a good basis for police investigation.

Through him both Sis and I learned about the behavior of people, but our earlier experiences with our older brother also taught us to observe people’s actions and to always be suspicious. We also, through his tutoring, learned code words and simple actions to signal to each other our thoughts when with a group of people. On hot days with the use of a simple fan to fan ourselves we could communicate with each other over a limited distance.

All of us loved to watch and listen to the mystery programs both on the radio (yes, at one time radio had programs much like television) and on T.V., because of this Dad would refer to us as the local version of “The Baker Street” irregulars. And when his police friend came over to visit we were always included in the adult conversations. In many ways it cautioned us about “evil people” and that men, women and sometimes children could be “evil”.

In those days we could wander all over town and not be afraid of being kidnapped, we learned from our brother, and most of the time he’d be with us, keeping an eye on us. If he wasn’t around we’d stay close to home or let our parents know if we were at a friends house. We made it a policy to let our parents know by phone when we arrived and when we were leaving, Matt taught us that as a pre-caution.

Dad’s police friend Tom use to quote several lines from Shakespeare “To smile and smile and still be a villain” and Poloneus speech to Laretes, as well as explaining Hamlet’s remark “The play’s the think where upon to catch the conscious of the King”. He told us that the play Hamlet and Macbeth were murder mysteries, how was Hamlet going to prove that his uncle was a murderer, Hamlet was not indecisive, but needed public proof, unfortunately, said Tom, Shakespeare could not find the words to express that, except on a spiritual level.

Macbeth was more psychological, seeing how greed, vaulted ambitions could lead to murder and madness, unfortunately to be in politics, said Tom, it was best to not have a conscious. Even today I agree with Tom’s assessment.

Over the years we all, Dad, Mom, my siblings, Grandma, Uncle Mannie and Dad’s friend Tom, when we got together would discuss the dark side of human nature. And strangely enough Matt, I and Sis enjoyed it. Our younger brother would go off and play with his toy soldiers or listen to a sports game on the radio and in his own way tuned out, until dessert was served.

This along with other personal experiences led to my becoming more Goth, more darkly inclined.

Then one day tragedy happened. Matt disappeared, it was a Friday, he went to his college classes as usual, he was in the middle of his Senior year in college and working hard on his paper to receive a Bachelors in psychology, he was planning to go back to get a Masters and was being mentored by one of the psychology professors. For the last two years he was living in a dorm near the college but was always calling home to talk to someone in the family to stay in touch, sometimes calling as much as 3 times a day. Mom always sent to him a roll of dimes so he could call, and reverse the charges. Dad didn’t mind, it was one bill he liked paying, just to be in touch with his oldest child.

Matt had friends and acquaintances in college as well as home, lots of times he take the bus home for the weekends unless he had important exams or a paper that needed to be presented but he’d call in advance to let us know.

This time there was only one call, to say he was coming home for the weekend and to not to worry he was going to make arrangements for a friend to pick him up at the bus station and bring him home, we didn’t ask who it was.

He never made it.

We knew what the bus schedule was and we knew what time the last bus would arrive and even if it was late Dad would stay up to greet Matt when he got home, but he didn’t get home.

After Midnight Dad called Tom to find out if there was any accidents on the highway or in town, any kind of delay, there wasn’t. Tom was worried as well but protocol demanded that a person had to be missing 48 hours, I remember how upset Dad became saying to Tom that Matt could be seriously injured and time was a factor, so Tom bent the rules.

In tracing Matt’s movements after his last class, we discovered that he went and talked to his Professor and gave him his paper for review, grabbed a bite to eat with a couple of classmates and they saw him off on the last bus that left the campus that evening, he caught his connecting bus and the driver remembered seeing him get off as he was his last passenger. Before the bus driver pulled away he remembered Matt looking around for someone but didn’t see him and said to the driver as the driver held the door open “I’m sure my friend will be here soon, Thanks!” waved and the bus driver pulled away. But as the driver pulled away he saw a dark older model car go in the opposite direction then do a U-turn and pull up to where Matt was. That was the last time anyone saw him.

The days that followed were agony, Mother and Dad were trying to be brave, Grandma came to the house and stayed with us, Sis, our younger brother and I were told not to leave the house unless an adult was with us or to play in the back yard, but we didn’t feel like playing, we just quietly talked about Matt’s disappearance.

Uncle Mannie showed up about a week later after finishing an out of town contracting job. When we wanted to go to the store Uncle Mannie went with us, he made himself useful around the house doing repairs, yard work or painting to keep himself busy and to free up Dad so Dad could talk to our brothers friends. Tom worked the case looking for any possible clue.

Matt had been missing for three weeks, when one of our neighbors asked if we could baby-sit her dog, a beagle named Sammy, we loved Sammy, if we wanted to play with him she’d let us because it was good exercise for such an active dog. His owner was going out of town for a few days and knew we’d take good care of the dog. One game that we played with Sammy often was “seek”, we’d hide something of ours, like a doll or a shoe or something then we’d have Sammy sniff our hands and then say “seek” and Sammy would always find what ever was hidden making a howling bark too when on the trail, which the other neighbors didn’t exactly appreciate.

We had Sammy in our yard and Uncle Mannie was watching us, when we did “seek” Uncle Mannie jumped up, went into the house and brought out Dad, Dad saw what Sammy did. Now Sammy was not a trained blood hound or what now a days people would call Cadaver Dogs, but he had a good nose.

By this time Tom and the other officers had figured that Matt had been murdered, and it was narrowed down to 3 suspects. Sis and I knew them but there was one we really didn’t like, and we told Matt some months before we didn’t like him, he seemed “off”, Matt understood but said that this friend had been helpful with some research and was just quirky. But I remembered telling Matt that I thought his friend hated him and explained to him why I thought that, Matt understood and promised to stay away from him if we felt that way.

Dad told Tom about Sammy, Tom thought it was crazy but thought that the idea of using Sammy might reveal something. Sammy revealed more than that. He found Matt’s body, or really a part of his body. My brother had been hacked into sections and buried in different spots. Sammy found Matt’s head buried in the back yard of the parents home of the guy Sis and I didn’t like. The person later showed where the rest of Matt was buried.

The reason he killed Matt was jealousy. It seems that the person that Matt had hoped would be able to pick him up was sick so Matt reluctantly called this guy, because he knew his other friends were out of town and he knew the family car was in the shop so Dad would be unable pick him up at the bus stop.

While they were driving to our house Matt talked to him about the final paper and about graduation and this was the trigger that set his alleged friend off, in stead of taking the usual route home he took a side route that was more deserted, claiming that road work was being done on the street, Matt was tired and just let the explanation go, then on an empty stretch of road he said something was wrong with the front passenger tire and pulled over, Matt got out to check and his friend ran over him with the car. He dumped the body into the trunk and later went to a deserted place and hacked the body into sections burying parts here and there with the head perversely buried in his parents back yard with some tomato plants on top.

Matt’s friend was brilliant, but quirky, sometimes talking about theories about President Roosevelt having been murdered and other things that was too fantastic to believe. He had a temper which would go off if he became too agitated, his parents refused to have him attend college because of his behavior, and instead he worked for a man that his parents knew, it was a menial almost degrading job for someone of his intelligence, but his behavior was, in his parents mind, too unstable. How right they were.

Matt liked the guy and appreciated how smart he was and thought that by having him do some research work it would make him feel important and valuable. At first it seemed to work that way, but then his friend began to resent Matt’s kindness, which even included going so far as to giving his friend credit for uncovering information that helped Matt pull his research papers together. Matt talked to his Professor to see if there was some way the guy could work for the college. But because Matt was going to college and graduating and going back for a Master’s, it tipped this man into a blind rage.

The guy never went to trial for his crime, when Sammy found Matt’s head, he revealed where the rest of Matt’s body was, then he went complete insane. He died a few years later in a fire at the mental institution where he was confined, it appears the fire was an electrical short that started in his room. When Mother heard that she had a very satisfied look on her face remarking at the dinner table to Dad “Matt took care of him”. In the years between Matt’s death and the death of his murderer, everyone was trying to get their lives put back together, Mother and Dad realized even in their grief that I especially was having a hard time, Matt had gone to college when my friend Betty had died and now this but it wasn’t until we heard about Matt’s killer having died in a horrible way could we finally put things behind us. Our parents and grandmother stopped having that haunted look. Uncle Mannie was credited with the solution to finding Matt. Tom received a promotion in the Department. In the end we all finally had a form of closure.

When Sis and I talked about our older brother and how much he had influenced us alive and dead and our choices, it wasn’t so much a dark cloud as a dark wing, that sped us to look into the darkness of people’s minds. We always were interested in the dark twistings of people’s minds after that, Mom and Dad never prevented us from reading about gruesome murder’s in the newspapers or on Television. The Death of John F. Kennedy was played out before us on the Media, that we even began to think about conspiracies even to this very day, the sunshine of our Camelot died for us a year before and now for the nation, we never looked at anything or anyone the same way again, we never trusted anything or anyone the same way again.

Sis and I fell back into using the code words, hand and facial signals, even again on hot days the fan signals to communicate. Our brother eventually learned as well. All three of us watched people more closely, more suspiciously, and it carried over into our college years, and beyond. I learned to shoot a gun, and carried a form of pepper spray when I worked nights, we never had our doors unlocked ever again. When either of us traveled alone we always used precautions to avoid harm. And today over 50 years later we are still suspicious, even more so, because we know and understand the dark side of the mind. Our brother even in death, taught us that.

Later Darklings

Of Beauty Routines and what has worked for me~~~~

Hello My Darklings,
Some of you have asked what is my beauty routine, especially for an elder/elderly Goth.

Well to have a good beauty routine when you’re “old” means to establish a good beauty routine when you’re young.

From an early age my Mother instilled into me and my sister a good beauty and health routine, even when we were going through a difficult time, by maintaining that routine helped give us a measure of stability in our lives.

Lets start with teeth, teeth helps us to chew and digest our food, so having good, healthy teeth is important, proper diet to help build strong bones is the basis for it, brushing in the morning and after every meal, flossing and gum massaging is also important, regular check ups with the dentist as well.

But keeping sweets to a minimum is very important, as well as acid foods and drinks; candy, soft drinks and even acidic foods are damaging to the tooth enamel. Staying with fruits, vegetables and a health portion of protein helps.

Now this is in keeping with diet, and I don’t mean you should go vegetarian or vegan, I’ve encountered too many people who have been on those types of diets and frankly quite a number of them come across as very weird. Of course for many people being in the Goth culture may seem weird to others, but I’ve come across those not in the Goth scene who were Vegetarian/Vegan and frankly I have a tendency to stay away from them, especially when they become extremely militant about food and drink. There are limits My Darklings.

The body needs to digest a certain amount of animal protein to encourage natural insulin production and many on a Veggie diet have to take too many supplements to do that and in the long run is not healthy, so a balance diet that has a lot of fruit, veggies, some grains, a little fat and a certain amount of animal protein is important. Sad to say I’ve been acquainted with a few people who were militant vegetarians who attempted suicide with some succeeding …Mother use to say to me “If they only had a bit of cake or ice cream or a nice hamburger maybe they’d still be here”

Staying away from fast food helps, especially when they want you to super-size it, but there are times when one has no choice, but places like Burger King and Carl’s Jr. are now offering salads with bits of chicken or tuna and that is a good alternative, I have to admit when I’ve been in a rush and only a Burger King is around I get their Chicken/Cranberry salad with the apple cider vinaigrette. Avoid fried foods if at all possible.

Once every two weeks (and usually on a Sunday) I’ll prepare a number of foods and freeze them for quick cooking, but sometimes Doyle will do a meal or my sister, and having a slow cooker helps as well, so if you don’t want to always order pizza and have to work a bit late doing something like that to have healthy meals is always good, I’ve even prepared meatloaf the night before to just pop into the oven the next evening. Giving a bit of thought on food preparation helps to eat healthy.

When I was attending school, we didn’t have a school lunch program; Mother packed a healthy lunch for use, tuna fish or eggs salad sandwiches, if we had pot roast for Sunday we almost always had left over pot roast in our sandwiches, or a meat loaf sandwich or chicken salad sandwich, and it was always from something left over from a meal or two before, nothing was ever wasted, our thermos always had milk.

Mother always cautioned us to shake the thermos, if it rattled it meant that the glass lining was broken and to not drink the milk, a few times I was stuck with drinking water because some nasty boy would knock over my lunch box to break the thermos, I’d tell Mother and she would go to that child’s house and tell the parent they owed for a new thermos and tell them why. Each one of those boys never deliberately knocked over mine or my siblings lunch boxes again. It was not nice to mess with Mother.

Desert would be sliced apples, dipped in lemon juice to prevent them from browning, and everything wrapped in wax paper. Because of such hardy lunches, when we got home the only thing we’d want would be an apple or pear, and when they were in season, nectarines, apricots or peaches. We learned to love fresh fruit. But we had to brush our teeth, Mother could be a strict taskmaster.

I frequently will pack a lunch from home, it saves money, and time and I know what I’m eating. At my desk I have a pretty cosmetic bag that contains travel size toothpaste and mouthwash and well as those dental picks, I keep a toothbrush in a travel container.

When I go out I have a very small travel toothbrush that I keep in my purse to do a quick brush of my teeth in the ladies room, I’ll wet it down, go into a stall and do my brushing privately. And no matter how late at night I would come home from a date, brushing my teeth was and is mandatory. I still have my own teeth and except for the root canal work being done now, hardly any cavities.

Many people feel that if something is labeled organic or range free that it is, not necessarily, almost something that is not organic is involved, know your food source is the best motto. And if you can, get organic, if you can afford it. Process meats like hot dogs and the packaged cooked ham will have too many nitrates, so always check the ingredients on the packages.

Now that is not to say you can’t on occasion indulge in KFC or some of the others or a family/friends Bar-B-Que, you should really, as a treat, but then get right back to eating healthy. And this needs to start in childhood.

Avoid sweets such as pastry, cakes, pies, candy, ice cream and again the soda’s even Snapple, by avoiding sweets will result in the best in terms of health and prevent as much as possible weight gain…but in celebration or family gathering its fine, and again get right back on healthy eating. Now once in a while I will come down with a tremendous craving for something sweet, even a soda, but just a small amount will suffice, I’ve seen for sale those small 8 oz cans of soda and even ½ of that will tame my craving. I look upon that as an occasional treat, in celebration of something but not an every day thing.

Mother loved to bake, so if there was a bake sale, my siblings and I were guaranteed a cookie or cup cake for dessert that evening----after we did our homework.

Exercise---I cannot stress that enough, I’m not talking about running or even bicycling, just good old-fashion walking works very well, getting into a dance class to do ball room dancing is fun, fantastic and very healthy, doing some weights for the upper arms is helpful to avoid flabby under arms, if you don’t gain weight the under arms do not become flabby, exercising the abdominal and gluts as well are important. Swimming is good aerobics with mild resistance and builds up your breath in take.

I was lucky to get involved in dance, ballet and ballroom are the best and helps with being able to move elegantly, I’ve even done belly dancing as well and found moves that I didn’t know I could do. Personally it has made things interesting for me and Doyle.

Avoid exercise that can cause greenstick fractures or what is called shin splints, running does that, although at times with ballroom you could develop that, but less so because you are not dancing on hard street surfaces that you do in running or endangering your life with auto traffic when bicycling.

Getting plenty of sleep is important to allow the body to replenish itself, although many parents bemoan the fact that teens especially boys will sleep all day if they could, there are studies that show that teens, because their bodies are growing do need more sleep, but it is up to the parent to make sure they go to bed at a reasonable hour and then get them up and outside to do yard work for their health----I know a lot of you are thinking “yeah, right!” But you as the parent are the one’s to create boundaries, limits, duties they must do to earn benefits, and responsibilities, as well as being involved in family things and events..

Sleep is also important to allow the mind in the dream state to help with problem solving, and lowering blood pressure and helping with your heart rate, Meditation is excellent to relive stress, as well as living a life style that reduces stress, my parents always said to never live beyond one’s means, only have 25 percent of your income go to debt, preferably less. As one person puts it, income $20.00, expenditures $19.90 equals’ happiness, expenditures $20.10 equals’ un-happiness.

For many years I worked nights and slept days, my body eventually got use to it, but in time I discovered especially as I got older that was not a healthy routine for me, but at the time I had no choice. Trying to sleep during the day could be difficult I had to prepare my bedroom in a way so that I would not be disturbed, sleep masks, ear plugs and putting a note on my door that said “Day Sleeper, do not disturb upon pain of dismemberment and death” helped but there are some Jehovah Witnesses that discovered my wrath when I was disturbed.

When I was able to get day work my health improved, and although there are nights when I will stay up late to “howl at the moon”, at my age I can’t do that much any more and it is a wise Elder/Elderly Goth to realize that.

So being out all night and then working all day is not a good healthy routine, but if you are a natural night person, that is fine, but do take vitamins to compensate for the lack of sunlight and for the fact that your hours are reversed.

During my work day, no matter what I allow at least 15 minutes to relax to do my prayerful meditation, no calls, no conferences, this is especially good in the afternoon after I do that I will eat a bit of fruit to appease the “hunger gods”. I’ve also found that by taking time when I get home from work to do the rosary, before I do anything else, also relieved the stress from work, if you are not Catholic then 15 minutes of quiet meditation and deep breathing will help clear your mind but your life partner also needs to be on board with this. Lots of times when allowing to do that it avoids angry confrontation and any disagreements can be talked about in a calm manner. Those 15 minutes can be vital.

Avoid tanning, or being out in the sun too much, a lot of people love to be in the Sun especially during the summer but if you are then use a wide, wide brim hat, long sleeves, a parasol and high SPF sun screen. Neutrogena has sunscreen that is up to 100 and 110, I use it and I swear by it.

When I want to work outside in the garden I get up early and work out there until 10 a.m. then I do not go back out until after 4 p.m. This is especially true during the late Spring, Summer and early Fall hours.

I also wear gloves, light cotton gloves for summer, heavy ones during the cold months, to protect my hands, I use dishwashing gloves when I’m hand washing anything, gardening gloves for working in the garden and I wear the cheap cotton throw away gloves that are used by photographers and archivists, when I am dusting or cleaning house, although I do have a batch of them, what I do when they become too dirty is I wash them like I’m washing my hands, rinse and hang them to dry. I also use a good hand lotion on my hands during the day and at night.

Having a good mani-pedi cure even without using nail polish is important especially to work cuticle cream into the areas around the nails, I work cuticle cream into my nails as part of my nightly beauty routine, and one should always be watching for any signs of infection or nail fungus especially with the toes is important to keep healthy nails. I make sure to avoid calluses on my feet especially the heels, using a pumice stone and massaging a foot cream designed for the heel area is always good.

I use Dove soap for sensitive skin for bathing and Aveeno skin cream, for facial lotions I use products by Estee Lauder and their Clinique line.

For hair I have used Pantene products, but once when I was on a business trip (I was forced to fly) I could not pack my hair products, the store that I went to did not carry Pantene (how primitive) but only cheaper products. They did have Suave, and I found that they worked just as well if I bought the upper line of Suave products, since I had to travel light on my return trip, I left them in my hotel room with a note to House Keeping that I could not travel with them and keep my luggage under the weight limit and they were welcome to them.

In cosmetics I’ve found products by the Estee Lauder and Clinique line to work very well, I do use Almay and Physicians Formula, Physicians Formula also has a pearlizing powder that does very well to soften the face and give a glow to it. It is especially good for the evening and gives a shimmer effect. Just be careful of the amount one puts on one’s face.

One cosmetic line that I’m very fond of because they are naturally made is Besame Cosmetics, all of their face, lip and eye products reflects the colors and packaging of the 1930’s and 40’s although they have come out with two lip colors that reflect the 1920’s, their Black Licorice lip gloss is wonderful, as well as their Red Noir. Their products were used for the latest “The Great Gatsby” movie. I’ve included their link on my side bar. Their packaging is so wonderful and elegant perfect for a Goth, or a Film Noir Fan.

I cannot tell you what is a good face cleaning program but I have used facial scrubs and astringents when my face becomes too oily, but as one gets older the face does change, and I make sure that I change my facial program as well.

There is one thing that I use that my Mother use to use and that is a product called “Porcelana” to lighten any brown spots on one’s face and give even skin tone, but I noticed that for Mother it seemed to keep her face youthful even when she was well into her 80’s. I started using it in my mid-teens with Mother’s permission and it seems to help me. It is also important to apply a moisturizer to one’s neck area to lessen the look of a crape neck.

In applying makeup---I do use red lipstick but I stay with colors that work for me, the lighter brighter reds were fine when I was young but now I seem to be using the deeper darker reds, it all depends upon one’s complexion, the Berry reds can look good on some women but not all, even though they maybe the current fashion.

Always remember to apply makeup to look natural and lightly if possible, too heavy a makeup on an elder/elderly Goth looks clownish or overly theatrical. And remember what looks good on a 20 or 30 something may not look good on a 50 or 60 something, unless it’s Halloween or a costume party then the sky is the limit.

On eye shadow I only apply color to the crease of my eye, keeping the area under the brow a light color as well as the eye lid, during the day I use a matt color and in the evening an iridescent, as long as it does not collect in any creases. If that starts happening then it is time to consider something else. A color that complements your eye color is always good.

I also apply a moisturizer that is geared for the delicate area under the eye as well as the lid; I do under the eye in the morning and both the lid and under the eye as part of my bedtime routine; I’ve been doing that since my late teens.

On eye liner, again one has to consider the shape of one’s eye, a cats eye line may not work for everyone, I’ve found that if I do a slight lift just short of the outside end of my eye that seems to work for me.

I did talk about nail polish in another post for Elder/Elderly Goths as well as in home decorating for those who are now reaching a point in their lives when being mobile is difficult. Please check my back posts.

Keeping hydrated is very important, I try to drink almost a liter bottle of water everyday; because my special indulgence is coffee with hazelnut creamer I try to offset the dehydrating effects of coffee and even when I drink wine by keeping hydrated.

Because of my back injuries it has been hard for me to exercise, but my therapists has come up with exercises that I can do and since my back is much stronger I can start swimming again, and hopefully in the next two months go back to doing my dance classes, but I’ll have to go back to beginner again to get back the tone that I have lost, I was able to keep up with the upper arm exercises. Doyle will be glad; he’s been missing our date nights for dancing.

Have I ever had a face lift? Well so far no, but that is not to say I haven’t considered it, but even now I don’t feel the need for it. Except maybe for a little upper lid eye lift, and a slight neck skin lift, nothing extreme just a little, sometimes the upper eye area will start pouching down and a little removal is not bad, also under the eye pouching, like saddle bag pouches, now I do not suffer from that but a friend of mine did. She went to a highly recommended plastic surgeon and he said “just a little, remember you are mid-50 something not 20 something, it will be just to make you look better but not necessarily younger” and he was right, the saddlebag pouches were removed and she did look better, and although he cautioned her that it was not going to be a youth renewal, she did look younger, I think by cautioning her to not have great expectations, her realization with the final outcome was much better for her.

Extreme cosmetic surgery for Elder/Elderly Goths I do not recommend, and I do not recommend liposuction. The mother of a rap singer did that when it was recommended that she not do that and the poor woman died because of her vanity. And look at the face of Kenny Rodgers, one can hardly recognize him. No, if one is considering surgery just a little lift to look a little better, but remember your age.

Even Joan Collins at age 79 looks FANTASTIC! But she doesn’t go to extremes.

So when I’m ready I’ll consider it.

I think by following what I do, keeping well covered, using hats, parasols, sunglasses and sunscreen has been very helpful for me to keep a youthful looking skin. I’ve had people mistake me for being in my mid-forties, and in the evening with very soft light I’ve had a few young men think I was in my late 30’s, although I think that might not happen so often anymore, but when it does I’m flattered.

I do take vitamins and Iron, my doctor has also increased my vitamin D3 intake to 2000 units once a day for my bones, since I do avoid the sun.

I am tall about 5’ 7”, slender, with dark almost black hair with a little gray although I do have a natural gray streak over my right side, my hair is straight and still thick, my eyes are greenish with some brownish flecks, and yes I do have to use glasses now a days for reading. And Sunglasses with a good high UV rating is a must, I wear them anytime I’m outside, it reduces the chance of developing cataracts.

My eye lashes use to be thicker but over the years have thinned a bit, my eye brows are almost shaped like Gloria Holden’s in “Dracula’s Daughter” I started shaping them that way when I was a teen and they’ve remained that way though all the fashion changes. Why? Because for some reason the style seems to suit my face, but its always wise not to have one’s face “frozen in time”, one has to make reasonable changes.

It is wise to always know what sort of shape your face is, is it square, diamond shaped, round, rectangular, triangle, or oval shaped, is it long or short, is your forehead and chin broad or narrow, are your eyes, large, small, too close together or far apart, is your neck long or short, thick or thin, as well as the shape of your body, one make-up or hair style maybe fine for one shape of face but wrong for another. So as you age check the shape of your face, neck and body.

And that is another thing I recommend, besides regular check ups with your dentist also have regular check ups with your doctor and eye care physician, by doing that you will always have a base line for your health as you age and can take steps to keep yourself healthy.

I wash my clothing in any hypo-allergenic laundry soap that is fragrance free, I started with “All” but “Tide” and “Gain” has come out with laundry soaps for sensitive skin as well. Although I do know of people who have extremely sensitive skin and need to get their products from a specialty source.

As one gets older things do begin to sag a bit, and there can be a little weight gain, it is not unusual for women who have been slender all their lives to have anywhere from a 5 to 10 pound weight gain, I’ve been able to keep close to my college weight, but there are some women I’ve encountered who are angry they cannot get down to their high school weight.

Wake up I say to them, even in High School you have not attained full growth, I was surprised when I grew another two inches in college, that surprised me. It also explained why my bone joints ached so much in college. I do use a light weight garter belt support for my tummy area, even though I do abdominal work on that area. And I never wear pantyhose, or thong panties, they are an invitation to an infection in an area one does not want to have.

I’ve had some people ask me about dying one’s hair, I feel that is a personal preference but I do recommend that you have a professional do it, especially if you also perm your hair, then the professional can time when to do your color and your perm. Mother kept dying her hair until she turned 80, then she said she might as well “Let it all hang out”, but Dad got upset and asked her to start dying it again and so she did “as long as we can afford it” she said.

I’ve never dyed my hair although my sister does, but she chooses a color that matches her original hair color to not be so obvious. And she looks younger than me well she is younger by 5 years. But because she follows the same routine as I do she has been able to keep her youthful appearance, in spite of having lovely two daughters and they too follow the same routine as their mother.

Most of my maintenance beauty routine is at night, I have my favorite programs, but since I have to get up early in the morning, I’ll be watching my later night programs in the bedroom while I’m doing my beauty routine, and since my bathroom is adjacent it is not a problem for me, even Doyle is use to it. In the morning it’s cleaning and preparing my face for makeup, everything is laid out ready to use, in the evening, if we are not going out or having visitors, I will remove my makeup and clean my face to allow the pores to breathe. On days where I’m not going any where special, I will only use moisturizer and Sun Screen and lipstick.  And I always wear perfume, it is my signature.  The only time I avoid perfume is if we are picnicking in the wilds, don't want to attract mosquito's.

And I will do some exercises to keep my body toned; one can do it while watching T.V. or the news, but before my back injury I would take a dance class at least one evening a week just to keep myself in shape, during the summer I go to an indoor pool for swimming, and take at least two dance classes during the evening, I walk to and from the bus stop, to BART or go bus to the Ferry and then walk to my job, even in the rain. Walking in the Evening with Belladonna is also good and on the weekend I walk her early in the morning and at night. Doyle has gotten into the habit with me, especially at night.

Being in a routine is very important for health, beauty, maintenance of one’s clothing and one’s mind. Taking time to enjoy the simple things in life helps keep a mental and physical balance as well, living within one’s means is important as well as saving for emergencies, to prevent stress, for I believe that besides not enough rest, an improper diet, the biggest killer of one’s health is Stress, so relieving that stress is so very important.

But I think I inherited excellent DNA because I hardly have any gray hair except for that streak and very few wrinkles.

Another thing one should consider, and it can help to make for healthy choices, some women are not meant to look like twigs, and some are naturally “jolly” in shape, but it’s always best to be at the weight that is healthy and best for you. If being overweight runs in the family, accept that but avoid becoming obese, accept the fact that you are a size 14 or 16 and will never be a size 2, if you are a healthy size 14 or 16, stay in shape, eat healthy then you have no complaints.

One of my favorite programs is “Criminal Minds” and I love the character of Penelope Garcia, she is not a size 2, more of a 14 but she is smart, lovable, compassionate and quirky. I like that. I’m glad that they chose an actress to display those special qualities is pretty and is not a size 2.

Later Darklings

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Of hot showers---yes! yes!! yes!!!~~~~

Yes My Darklings  We now have HOT WATER!!!!!

Hank was able to have the gas turned on once a new gas pipe was installed for the kitchen stove what ever style of stove that will be.

I was very greatful that there had not been any damage to the hot water heater, and Doyle and I enjoyed a wonderful hot shower together, although Sis said we were a 'little noisy'.  Well even at my age I can enjoy it, I'm not dead YET! 

But it still will be a while before I can buy a stove, all the prep work has been done and things will begin in earnest next week.

I am going to give my neighbor an appreciation gift for the use of their shower, they love going to the movies so I think a $100 gift certificate to the movie theatre of their choice would be a good things, and I told them if their water bill shows an increase I'd be happy to pay the difference. 

Louise and her daughter and I were able to clean a lot of the soot in the breakfast nook and the dishes but Hank knows a professional cleaners that can go though the kitchen and give an idea if there is any soot damage in the other parts of the house, although the swinging door between the kitchen and the "butler's pantry" (different from the food pantry) and the swinging door between the "butler's pantry' and the dinning room seems to have helped contain it, although the "butler's pantry" ceiling and walls will need washing. 

But we are going to wait until after the work is done in the kitchen.  Tonight its Chinese Take Out, I've included Louise and her daughter for dinner and I'll give her daughter a tour of the house and grounds, she is just amazed by it.

Tomorrow I hope to put up two postings on the blog, for now must go.

Later Darklings

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Of Progress on Kitchen Fire Repairs~~~

Hello My Darklings,

Just a brief post, the workmen started at 8 a.m. today and are moving very quickly and efficiently, time line as to when things will be done is hard to say, but they are shooting for us to have hot water tonight,  as Coralline and Miranda would say "Whoo Hooo!!!"

To Underground for Tea (I hope I have your name right)  yes we too are glad no one was hurt, Doyles' firemen friends although retired, their training kicked in and everyone kept their heads, I think the spirit of my Great-Aunt was working with them.   I'm also glad that you found the description of my reactions so funny, now that I've had a chance to reflect upon it yes it was funny.  Sis said to me that she had not realized how "powerful" I could be when riled.   I told her it was a good thing that common sense prevailed or there would have been a massacre.

To Rebecca  I do recommend having a Spa weekend at least once a year, save up for it, it is your time to indulge and have "Me Time", if you can afford to do mini-spa treatments do that as well, like a hand massage it is worth it and I have the names of two vintage Stove shops here in the Bay Area so I think I will have very good luck in finding the right stove for the house.

Now for all of you who enjoy Fashion and Nails I plan on posting that later on in the week, and I know some of you have been asking about the Artist Reception that Sis and I attended that too will be posted.  And I've had a couple of you ask about the story of our older brother that also will be posted, but I need to reflect upon it more.

Right now I am going over to my neighbors house to enjoy their shower, Sis returned just now and she'll be leaving to see a client of hers and the workmen are busy on the job, Belladonna is at my elderly neighbor being properly spoiled and Doyle and Hank have their heads together about were to best purchase the bead board or tongue and groove boarding for the kitchen and would it be possible to salvage or replace the tin ceiling portion over the stove.   Good thing I told the insurance man that my insurance is hefty because of the historical architectural significance of the house, so it is important to properly restore it.

Must go.
Later Darklings

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Of Updates on my Kitchen fire and other things~~~~

Well Darklings,

Yesterday the insurance man came by and he and my friend Hank the contractor went over things, all I could do was hover and make a comment or two or express my personal concerns.

Because the washing machine and the stove was already in the house when I moved in, it was hard to determine a value of replacement, the dryer was no problem I had the bill for that and it wasn't that old.

They factor in depreciation as well, which is a bit dis-heartening, but its just to give you enough money to get the basic things, not all the "whistles and bells".   It was also discovered that the walls in the basement laundry room will have to be replaced since they were sheet rock.

The cost of the work to fix up the kitchen will be covered as well as the clean up which is good, so it will go into a fund and then bills submitted will be paid out of that fund to avoid any fraud.  Hanks' been through this process before and said for me to not worry.

Today Hank assigned a two man team to start clean up and repairs and he covered the old stove that was outside with a plastic tarp to discourage scavenging.  The burn wood that was out side has been removed already.

The workmen are Hispanic and I had fun with one of them, he got confused as to where the downstairs bathroom is, the portajohn had not arrived yet, so I see him in the hall and he's looking at the mounted Lion's Head.   Now one of my sister's friends have rigged "Kitty Kat" to roar either by stepping on a stair tread, or if you get to close to the head it breaks a circuit, and Sis had set it up for the latter. 

Out of curiosity He gets close to the Lion's head and triggered Kitty Kat to roar, I saw him jump nearly 10 feet off the ground, he stares at it then I come up behind him without him knowing and said "Oh I'm sorry if Kitty Kat frightened you, he usually warns strangers to be careful"   Well the poor man nearly fainted and said in his best Spanish his apologies, I showed him where the downstairs bathroom was located.

Later I heard him say to his co-worker about what Kitty Kat did and that La Senora must be very brave to deal with El Diablo.   Needless to say they were very happy when the Portajohn was in place.

Hank just came by to see the progress and if the damage was more extensive then planned.   He privately told me that his workers are now afraid to go into the rest of the house except the area's to work on, they think its haunted.  I asked him if he thought it was,  he just grinned and said "I'm planning on bringing my little grandkids here for Halloween, if you can get Kitty-Kat to roar for them and if they can take a tour of your house when you have it decorated, it will be a kick for them."   He said he knew where to find a stuffed swordfish like the one in the Addams Family  "All I have to find is a manikin leg and a flipper"  I have a feeling he's getting into the 'spirit' of the house.

Louise has checked the rest of the house for soot and it did get into the breakfast nook, and a bit into the dinning room,  she said she'll have her daughter come with her tomorrow to help with cleaning the soot, but I told her that I have a cleaning service as well, she said that what is in the kitchen and the breakfast nook is beyond the cleaning service.   So we came to an agreement on it and I'm glad that she can help me, if there is other cleaning problems I'll talk to my cleaning service and we'll go from there.

I'm going to be carefully saving a lot of submitted billing.

Doyle is going to treat all of us to dinner tonight, but we also figured that we can buy Deli things that can be heated in the microwave and a lot of salads as well.  Tomorrow we'll check the plates and glassware to see if they need to be washed,  Doyle bought a hot plate to heat water for dish washing and face washing, my neighbor has been generous to allow us to use their shower until our gas line is turned on.  Hank said that will happen tomorrow, once the new gas line is installed in the kitchen with its new shut off valve.

So Hot Water by tomorrow evening.  We'll all be very happy.

I just found out that the deceased Boston Bombers body was buried in a Muslim cemetery in Virginia thanks to the efforts of a Christian woman, many people are not happy about that.  It is their feeling that such a person to willfully cause such harm should not be entitled to a proper burial, for fear that others will create him to be a martyr.  Only in sick minds would that happen, but then there are sick people out there.

The mummified head that was found in an Oakland recycling center is being treated as a homicide but where it came from is a puzzlement until the deceased can be I.D'ed, which could take some time.

The two women who were burned in the Limo fire, one has been release and the other's condition has been upgraded to good. 

My sister has shown me photo's that she received via e-mail of her grand daughter's prom picture, so beautiful and she and her date and their friends went to the prom with an adult escort in a white stretch Limo, so beautiful and so elegant, all had a wonderful time.  Sis had tears in her eyes, yes they do grow up so quickly.  And we received word that Sis's other daughter is expecting a baby in October maybe around October 31st.  That would be such a "hoot!" if that were to happen, but babies will come when they want to come.  Sis is excited, another grandbaby to spoil.

Oakland has now had three police chiefs in as many days, I sincerely hope the current one stays the course, but It all depends on the Mayor and the Mayor's office letting the Chief do what he can to implement the recommendations as suggested in the Bratton report, and not interfering as she has been doing.  I did not vote for her as I felt she would not be effective and I was right.

I am having a laugh about the newly designed eastern span of the bay bridge and their support bolts problems,  I said to Doyle that the design was too radical for that location and I felt that something would go wrong and I was right again,  as much as I hate to say it I will never feel safe going over that new bridge, something inside of me says its going to 'fail'.   Am I being morbid?  Of course I am.  The old bridge only failed at the one spot that the early bridge designers said was the weakest spot the rest of it held up.  Now they are building a new bridge where everything can fail.

It is just like these so-called yachts that are racing in the America's cup races, they are NOT yachts but catamarans, and I've seen them tip on a turn on one pon-toon, catamarans are not for racing not with over size sails that make the catamarans top heavy and can over balance them.  And it seems that the Americas Cup has a rule in which the winner of the previous race can state which type of boat should be raced and the idiot has suggested these designs which were designed on computers not on proven water conditions, no wonder they've had several boats smashed and broken and one of their sailors drown.  I feel that rule should be changed so that people on the Americas cup board should make the rules of what type of boat and certain limitations, not those that hurt and kill people.  Maybe the wife of the sailor that drowned should sue last years winner for making such dangerous suggestions and the Americas Cup for allowing it.

Doyle says at least its not like NASCAR or the Indy 500 where parts of the car could go into the stands and hurt people.  I won't argue with him, he's in deep enough trouble.

Doyle will be home for the next few days which is good, he can co-ordinate with his friends about what to do with the old washer and dryer.   Sis has the phone number and address of the shop that sells restored vintage stoves, tonight after dinner we'll measure the space and then measure the old stove and get an idea of what will fit.

My next posts will be about other things that I have been planning to write about, until another day, now I'm going to first pick up Belladonna, she has been at the Doggie Hotel far too long, she'll think her Mommy abandon her.

Later Darklings

Monday, May 13, 2013

Of a Kitchen fire~~~~~

Hello My Darklings (she says wearily)
I had hoped to come home in a wonderfully relaxed mood, to greet my man and my dog happily, but what met my eyes this morning as my sister’s car pulled up to the house, clutched my heart with dread.

In front of my house on the lawn, burnt, scorched, covered in the remnants of foam was my 1950’s vintage O’Keefe and Merritt Stove as well as burnt wood, and other things.

Doyle and a couple of his friends and some work men I didn’t recognize as well as my contractor friend were standing on the front porch. I saw Louise and she had a very sad but concerned look on her face.

I and Sis got out of her car and Doyle’s first words to me with a sickly smile was “Hi Honey, you’re home?” I stood on the walkway leading to my home looking at the stove and I slowly turned my head towards Doyle and in my best Ricky Ricardo voice said “Doyle, youse got sum ‘spainin’ tu do” and I could feel myself beginning to seethe. Sis said that my eyes were very big and wide and the grim look I gave Doyle would be enough to make a WWE Wrestler tremble. As a matter of fact Sis later told me that she saw Doyle’s friends and my contractor friend kind of back away in fear.

Then I asked “Where’s Belladonna??” Doyle said she was fine and staying at our favorite doggie hotel and daycare until I could claim her. I pointed to the stove and said “And this??!!” Doyle replied “Honey it was an accident and it’s a good thing my friends were here it could have been worse, it’s not too bad, really not too bad, its not bad is it Hank, tell her its not bad.”

My Doyle is a brave man having faced criminals with guns, and been in high speed chases and other dangerous things during his days as a police officer, he even is not afraid to kill an overly large spider for me (smaller ones I can deal with) but Sis told me later she had never seen a man or group of men that I was looking at, so terrified for their lives.

What happened was on Saturday afternoon, while Sis and I were enjoying our Spa treat, Doyle invited several of his friends over for lunch, he put Belladonna at the Doggie Hotel saying he’d pick her up on Monday, allowing for a Sunday hangover. He decided to not use the bar-be-que but instead broil the steaks in the broiler and he was also finishing up cooking the homemade chili(his recipe) on the stove, fortunately two of his friends were retired firemen, his buddies were outside on the back porch drinking beer and he went out to join them for a few minutes, then he smelled something burning, remarked about it and went into the kitchen to find the stove in flames.

One of his friends found the gas shut off value and shut it off, but the fire started burning the back wall, using the fire extinguishers for grease fires (we have 4 of them for just in case) they worked on the stove, while one of them got the back yard hose to use on the wall, another called 911 and between everyone including the fire department, managed to put the fire out and kept the damage to the kitchen stove area. Needless to say the food was not edible.

He and one of his firemen friends stayed in the house that night to make sure there’d be no flare ups. One concession is that one of his friends directed the Fire Department to the back of the house to the kitchen area, avoiding hoses going through the rest of the house. But there was water and fire damage in the kitchen, my laundry room below was covered in water and soot, and it looks like I’ll have to replace not only my stove but the washer and dryer. Right now the gas is shut off until it is deemed safe, so no hot water for baths or showers.

At least I still have flush toilets, and the pantry was not damaged.

I’ve called my insurance company and someone will be coming tomorrow. My contractor friend will also be here tomorrow morning and will stay until after the insurance person and I have finished our business. He said that the fire was pretty much contained to the back wall and only scorched the floor surface, so the flooring is sound, water had been pumped out of the basement and fans were running to dry it and the kitchen. He felt he could match the style of the wall (it’s called bead work) that was there, the floor would need some repair, perhaps replace some floor boards and he could match it up, the main thing is that none of the support posts were damaged, and the rest of it would be drying out, cleaning and painting and seeing about reducing or removing the burnt smell.

I’m sure as we go through things we’ll find more to clean; Louise cleaned the microwave oven, found the slow cooker and the electric frying pan as well as the microwaveable plates and said “We can still make dinner.” But Doyle said that for this evening it was going to be take out and then we’ll get a game plan together until the kitchen is up and running.

My contractor friend said he could get the gas put back on soon, once he was sure about what damage was done to the line that fed the stove, he also said he could get me an inexpensive apartment type stove (a small one) that he just removed in a remodel job that is in good working condition and once the wall and floor is fix could temporarily install it until I decide was stove I want. I do know what I want, a vintage O’Keefe and Merritt stove.

Sis said that would not be impossible and reminded me of a place not far from us that deals in restoring and selling vintage stoves, I could ask them to take this one to see if they could salvage any parts of it and buy a restored one from them. So already a game plan is coming into place. Except I am going to desire a hot shower soon, and tomorrow I’ll call the doggie hotel and inform them that I will pick up my doggie darling tomorrow in the later afternoon, tonight we’ll be sleeping with the windows wide open to avoid as much as possible the burnt smell, at least the weather is warming up.

And Doyle knows that somehow he’s in the dog house, but I can’t help but think that the fire might have happened when only I and Louise would be here in which case it could have been worse, Doyle and his friends quick actions saved my Great-Aunt’s house from becoming a complete loss, so I’m looking on the bright side of things.

But I think I’ll keep Doyle and his buddies squirming for a few days, already one of his friends came by with a 3 pound box of See’s candies and another with a bottle of excellent wine, and all of them are giving me offers of helping to remove the old damaged washer and dryer and to transport the new one’s that I’ll have my contractor install.

Sis reminded me of the time some years ago when we were having a family bar-b-que and our brother was complaining that the briquettes were not firing up and tossed a lot of lighter fluid on them, fire suddenly flared up about 5 feet in height, I started laughing and remarked about how the hair on our brother’s arm was all singed off and Dad getting the water hose because the grass underneath had caught fire and afterwards Dad bawling out our brother and our brother sputtering back “Hey Dad I could have caught on fire!” and Dad saying that it would have served him right pulling a “bone-headed stunt like that, charcoal briquettes are suppose to look like that!” and Mother threatening to hose the both of them down because of their arguing and the neighbors looking over the fence to see what was all the commotion. Fortunately no one was hurt and we all could look back on it and laugh. But I have to admit, on that particular day I did have a near panic attack, nothing like a darkly semi-dysfunctional family yelling on a Summer day.

Once the repair work is done, I’ll invite them all over to celebrate but the cooking will be done outside on the propane bar-b-que, I’m not taking any more chances. And Louise thinks that now would be a good time to have a glass of wine to relax, I agree for there is nothing like fire and soot to give that extra touch of disaster and gothicness to a victorian home.  ***sigh***

Later Darklings