Sunday, June 30, 2013

Of more on the Heat! Blasted Heat!~~~~~

Well Darklings,

It's a good thing Sis and I did not go to the County Fair yesterday, the temp hit 106 and I believe Death Valley had a record 137 degrees farinhight (did I spell that right?)

Yes Underground for Tea I hope it cools down soon as well,  I have one fan just on Belladonna and from time to time have taken a wet face cloth to her tummy and head,  ice cubes in her water.   She barely touches her food its so hot, not that I blame her.

The weather people say for our area it will go up again on Tuesday and then start cooling down by Thursday.   The house is so hot,  and I remembered when Doyle are Marissa's brother were up in the attic a few month's ago they informed me it was not insulated.   That is going to be the next house project, but I'm going to wait until Fall,  right now I can't get a man in nor would I want to subject any human being to such insufferable miserableness.

One good thing, Doyle is flying in tonight he said he'd call when he's landed and gathered his luggage so we can pick him up, a good thing it was a striaght flight no transfers or anything like that.  And he's been warned about the BART situation.  But fortunately he'll have the next few days off.

I could only do laundry, wash and line dry the clothes, its so warm they dry in an hour or less.   All Sis and I have been doing is just the necessary things and then just relaxing reading, keeping cool, listening to classical music.  

But with the heat I've been getting up early just before Dawn breaking to take in the coolness and water the planets and do the same in the evening, Sis helps out as well.

My cleaning lady has been ill with the heat and I told her to not worry to just get well.   Not that there is much to do, even I can run the vacume on the rugs that need it.    And most of the time when it's too hot to be indoors we sit outside on the back porch in the shade and catch the random cool breeze. 

Poor Brian is exhausted with the heat as well, he had several interviews this last week and hopefully one of them will prove fruitfull.  He said that each employer said that in the event of a strike and if he got hired they would be very accomidating about the communt if their employees were stuck in traffic.

None of us wanted to cook so we ordered Chinese, Brian has just returned with our order and we are all going to eat on the back porch, I have some "Ceasar's" Dog food for Belladonna that I've been keeping cold in the frige, I hope she'll eat it, if not then I'll toss it.  I don't want her to get ill.

And if the strike happens tomorrow, well I won't have to go in until 5 p.m. and work till midnight, we're all on short hours because of this, but full pay and I'm being picked up with two others in our car pool.  This reverse communite better work, because tomorrow will be hell.

Here's hoping for the best and praying for tempetures to go down to the mid-70's.

Later Darklings

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Of further updates on the BART strike~~~~

Well Darklings,

The possible picture is not going to be pretty,  not only will BART strike, and AC Transit in sympathy, but the City of Oakland employees are going to be striking at the same time!!!

I am convinced that the heat has driven people mad.

All three agencies striking at the same time starting on the same day, no one talking to the other, no one steppping in to demand a 60 day cooling down period, no one mediating.

The BART employees union showed up for a meeting with BART leaders but BART leaders were not there, claiming they were talking to the Union via mediators, but the Union is saying no one talked to them.

My question is who is lying?   BART employees are saying the had their wages cut by 27 %  but they are paid on an average of $85,000 a year.  And that is with a 27% reduction?    The Union want BART to pay for full medical and full retirement without the employees paying into it at all.  

I always said if you do a good job your pay would be comiserate to your performance, but I've had to pay into my retirement and into my medical a portion of my wages.  I see no reason that the BART employees should be so privledge.  

I'm not going to even get into AC Transit, theirs is just a sympathy strike although S.F. Muni is stepping up to the plate and putting on more buses and such for the City of San Francisco.

And I'm not even sure what is the City of Oakland employees situation, espeically when almost everyone I know have not had a raise in 4 to 5 years and are just dealing with it because of the economy, which inspite of all the so called good predictions is still horrible, with still too many people out of work.

Oh Darklings, I better calm down, I'm getting too overheated about this.

On a different front, the temperature is going to get warmer with triple digits predicted in the inland areas.

I was up at 5:30 this morning enjoying the dawn breaking, and watering the plants, they will get watered again much later this evening.  And I even went to the grocery store and did shopping for the week, although I feel that it will be cool salads and precooked meats such as grilled chicken, which I'm keeping in the refrigerator and will heat up for dinner later tonight in the microwave.

I've made a huge batch of lemonaid, of which I have bottles of it in the freezer, as well as filtered water with a hint of fresh squeezed lemon in it also refrigerated and frozen.   All the windows are open and fans are going because I do not have air conditioning in the house.

And for now Belladonna is at a neighbors house being babysat and Sis is ready so we will hit the Farmers Market today for lots of fresh fruit, and then rest in the afternoon.   I think we'll eat dinner in the garden this evening,  Brian was kind enough the other day to put up this portable dinning tent that has misquito neting in the flat patio, so it will perfect to dine in.

Now must go.

Later Darklings

Friday, June 28, 2013

Of more on the BART strike and the heat!!! Oh the Heat!!! And County Fairs~~~

Well Darklings,

Unless something or someone puts a stop to this nonsense, the BART Strike will happen, come Monday morning, there will be no way except by car (a frightening thought) and Ferry (if you find a way to get to it) to San Francisco.   At least in S.F. Muni will be working but it will be overworked, over crowded and pure HELL!   I pity any tourists.

I have a feeling that Taxi's will be working overtime and will be hard to find.

Yes Lucretia it is AC Transit Bus system that's striking in sympathy. ***sigh***   Why oh why can't something as simple as Disneyland's old "People Movers" be in place and it be run without strike approval.  If all the "Green People" want us to use Public Transit more, come up with something better.

I am home today.   Given the heat we are having the air conditioning failed at work yesterday,  I was asked to come in yesterday and if possible work most of the day, several staffers were out ill.  I did, until 4 p.m. and then the A.C. went.  

Our Boss said "everyone go home, stay cool, you'll be paid full wages, stay home tomorrow too, you'll be paid" and the phones were put on auto messages.

So I grabbed the Ferry, caught the bus home and lo and behold there was my sister, saying "do you want to deal with gridlock and go with me to the county fair?"   WHY NOT!!!

I was wearing my long sleeve cotton shirt and skirt, comfortable walking shoes,  packed my straw hat and black parasol, a large bottle of water and my Nutragena SPF 100 sunblock and off we went.   Got there by 6 p.m. missing the worse of the 90 plus degree heat.

As soon as we got there, Sis spotted a manufacturer of Tiki Huts and Bars,  I looked at her and asked "What are you thinking?"   she said that the back enclosed porch will be perfect for a Lanai, and she wants to do her yard 1950's tropical (slightly kitchy 1950's tropical).   And she looked at the out door tubs,  found one that is designed to be a rock waterfall. 

I groaned inwardly, but then thought, "why not, she has the money that she's worked hard for, everyone is intitled to dream, so why not?"

So she gathered her information took pix's with her camera and then we continued onto the outdoor garden area's that I found them relaxing and quaint,  Sis took more pictures "Ideas" she said. 

We were amused by the small animal exhibits of chicks, geese, pigeons, baby turkeys, pekin ducks, rabbits and the exotic repetiles.   We even had a chance before they packed up to see from one of the nature santuaries that rescues wild animals and helps preserve nature and educate children,  a barn owl native to our local, he could not be released in the wild, but to see him so close up and admire his beauty was (again my favorite word) fasinating.    I wanted to reach out and pet him but knew that was not a good idea, but the intellegence in his eyes, and how he took everything in and yet not be startled by people.  Of course it helps to not startle him either.  We looked right into each others eyes and I could see he was taking me all in, analizing me, determining if I was friend or foe.   

I took one of their information sheets because I wanted to plan to make an annual or bi-annual donation to the santuary.

Of course we went through all the "hucksters area's"   I bought a sign to put in the front window of my house "this house protected by Bad Ass Mutt Security", not that Belladonna is a bad ass mutt, but she does let me know if anyone is at the front or bad door.

And in another area there was a lady selling vintage jewerly, and I found several pieces of mourning jewerley that I fell in love with.  But I think I really made out with a couple of purses, one was pink with black trim and silver rivets with a skull design, I purchased that for Coralline, and for myself I found a simple slim black purse with a skull clasp in black metal and black eyes, just the perfect thing for a casual evening out.

The kiddie rides, with one ride that was originally from Michael Jackson's estate, and watching the little kiddies ride the live ponies under an awning to protect them from the sun, there was another pony with it's colt resting in its own corral in plenty of ample shade, with ample water and feed, checked on with regularity by the owners.  Just seeing the look of joy on the little toddler's faces riding on the ponies with either Mommy or Daddy walking next to them.   The owners had set it up in such a way that it was very safe and comfortable for everyone and the ponies.

Then the 4 H exhibits of sewing, quilting, woodworking, baking, art, some of the quilts were amazing.

We had fun listening  for a couple of minutes to an old-fashion country band, as we ate Big Bubba's Bar-B-Que Ribs,  nothing like County Fair Food to put on the calories.  And we had a chance to see a Hypnotist do her work with over a dozen people from the audience.  Although we couldn't stay to see her entire program Sis got her business card.  "I want to have an appointment with her to discuss hypnotheraphy"   I wondered why Sis was interested in this but if there is one thing I've learned about Sis is that there is always a reason why she is going to do something.

Although very warm, the breeze that came up made everything very comfortable.  And no one asked why we had snuck in Belladonna in her carry all.  Well to make it even more spoiled for her, because I was so concerned about walking and carrying her in the carry all some months ago with my back injury, Doyle came across a stroller in a pet shop just for "walking one's little baby"

I know Darklings, am I spoiling her?  Yes I am, but on a very hot day or any kind of long walking like Flea Markets, Farmer's Markets, Art/Wine/Crafts Festivals and things of that nature it is the perfect and humane thing to do, especially for little dogs.  The only place one cannot take a dog or a pet of any kind is Zoo's, because of any airborn transmitted virus.  

We walked the mid-way carnival, but I was concerned that the force of almost all the rides would hurt my back, but we had fun talking about how the rides use to look when we were children and had different names.  

Then it was time to return home, and thank goodness for air conditioning in cars.  I asked Sis why did she want to go to the County Fair?   And she replied, "I wanted to do something nearly child-like and simple, and the County Fair was the best way to go.  Maybe we'll take a picnic lunch to Tilden Park this weekend while Belladonna is being baby sat and we'll ride the Merry-go-round."    I asked her if anything had gone wrong and she said "No, I'm just tired of peoples worries and things and need several mental health days" and that was as good as any explanation.

Yes My Darklings, do simple child-like things, wiggle your toes in the Sand and build Sand castles, take pictures or paint pretty images even if you are not a good painter, neighter was Grandma Moses and her works are work some money.  But just do fun pleasureable things, get out of yourself and enjoy life.

Later Darklings

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Of weather heating up and a BART Strike??~~~~

Well Darklings,

The Bay Area weather is holding true to form, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, wet and drizzely and now this morning heating up.

Ahhh but the air for the last two days felt so fresh it was wonderful to enjoy it, looking at the garden in the late afternoon and in the early morning just enjoying the air,  it cannot be bottled at all, but a pleasure to enjoy, even if I did have to dig out my  black trench coat but it was so delicious.

I am still going in to work at noon and leaving around 5 with my Boss, but next week things commute-wise could turn for the worse.

BART employees have voted to strike if their demands are not met, like a 20 or 30 percent pay hike and that BART not the employees pay the full amount into their retirement.

BART is countering with a 4 percent cost of living raise and that the employees need to pay something into their retirement fund.  And considering that BART employees are the highest paid mass transit staff in the US I am wondering about their seems unreasonable.

When I got a raise it was equal to the Cost of Living Amount aka COLA, and all staff had to pay a small percentage into the retirement fund, if they wanted to pay more or have also an alternate source of retirement in additon to their retirement fund that was fine.  I do not know of any company (although I'm sure there are a few) that do not pay the entire amount into an employees retirement fund..

And to make it worse, the Bus system's contract runs out on the Same day that BART's does and they are calling to strike just on principal.  

Darklings can you imagine the grid lock, the increase in air pollution, the accidents that this will cause?   And we have organizations that say "Use Public Transit" well not if Public Transit holds a metaphorical gun to our heads.

The last time this happened was in 1997 and it was HELL.   It's hell now when the system breaks down or some idiot decides to use it as a form of suicide  (which has happened), and it will be when we are going to have a heat wave.    Oh the CHAOS!!!

All the staff have been talking to their Supervisors, and it seems so far that the best way is to car pool and come in during evening hours when communting is in reverse, some staffers who live in the City will go in during the day to field phone calls and explain things.   This is the contengecy plans. 

But I have a feeling that the Mayors for the areas that BART covers as well as the Govenor (if he has any sense in his 70 plus year old head) will intervene.  For now I can only observe and plan.

The good news is that my sister will not have to worry about that since she has to use her car to meet her clients although she will eventually change that.  The tenting is done on her home, and now she is working with her contractor about the kitchen and downstairs bathroom.  Little "chunks" she says.  Brian will stay with us, but he's going to set up a cot in the living room to sleep in at night and then come over in the morning to eat and bathe, he'll be going back and forth between my house and my sisters to oversee the work crew.

Poor man, he's job hunting right now, sending out resume's, going on line and searching, going to job fairs, saving his pennies, staying at my sister's house is very beneficial financially for him.  He did have some part time work which helped his bank account, but then that dried up, so he's willing to take on part time again just to build up the coffers.

He said the good thing is his ex-wife was willing to go to court with him to do a "stay of alimony and child support" because of his work situation,  but they are working together on this.   I asked him why did he and his wife break up and it was because she fell in love with someone else----another woman.   Well that did raise my eyebrow but he said it was amicable and he even likes the other person.

So for now all of us are going to see what developes.   Now I must go.

Later Darklings

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Of a sudden chilly, drizzly Day~~~~

Well Darklings,

Talk about a sudden change in the weather, it is chilly, and drizzly, overcast, miserable day.  Just perfect for a gloomy moody mindset.

I've even fired up the fireplace it is chilly enough.

Yesterday it was so warm and now overnight like it wants to hearld winter back.  But I understand it will be hotter than Hades come the end of next week.  Typical for the Bay Area.

The people that I purchased the desk from delivered it yesterday evening, and we found a perfect spot for it in the Library.   I invited them for coffee and they were grateful for it.  They told me that they still had a lot of stuff left over but had to put it back because they knew of the change in the weather, my sister was interested in what they had as well, and I was hoping to see more things but didn't have the chance to.

They told me that they are living in their Grandfather's house for now to sort and go through what they still want to keep and what they will sell, while their son stays at their house.  They even had two pinball machines that no one wanted, there was a third but their son wanted that one, so I suggested the pinball museum to see if the museum would be interested.

Over coffee they told us what they had and we suggested what venues to see who would be interested in buying something from them.  We also suggested the local flea markets as well, they said it's a good thing they are retired otherwise it would be impossible for them to unload all this stuff.  It seems that their Grandfather (husband's grandfather) would go around and buy things and sell it at the flea markets and on e-bay and craig's list, but he suddenly took ill and was rushed to the hospital, and passed away just a few weeks later.

His grandson said it was a kindness for him to go so quickly, but now they have all of this.   My sister remarked that his grandfather must have enjoyed the bartering and finding of things, and the man said he did, even more so when his grandmother was alive, she had passed away two years before.

 But the man's wife said that maybe this would help him be more involved in things, he'd been looking for something to do since he just retired and he was familar with the flea market trade through his grandfather.  She said even she enjoyed all the activity.  I was surprised that she said her husband had retired so I asked how old was his grandfather when he passedon and they said 98, he married very young his wife was only 16 and he was 18 when they married,  had several children in quick succession,    "We are very long lived, and my Dad married young as well, at least I was smart enough to marry at 21".   

I told her about one of my favorite antique stores "Gothic Rose Antiques"  if they had anything that would meet what the owner wanted that would be another venue.

And for the next two hours had fun suggesting various venues to sell their items, the military, hunting and fishing items at gun shows.  Other flea markets, the toys and toy trains at hobby shows.  The Wife said that would make for perfect use of their RV and just tow a small trailer holding the items behind it.  Since he is a businessman he could see all the possiblities and not have to wear a suit and tie. 

But I also asked if I and my sister could make an appointment for next week to see what else they had to offer and once they took a look around my home they could understand.  So with that planned they regretfully had to leave but I said for them to call me and I'd treat them to a tour of my home and treat them to dinner.  They leaped at the offer.

And so my sister and I relaxed watching "666 Park Avenue" and regret that there would be only 3 more epsiodes left.  We enjoyed the speical effects in "The Invisible Man's Revenge" and I loved the evening gown that Gale Sonnegard was wearing.  Brian came home right in the middle of the movie, but he had called us that he was on his way, we offered to pick him up at the station but he said he'd take a taxi from the BART station to the house, he didn't feel comfortable with us being out late.

My sister has made some delicious stew, which even now the aroma is wafting about the house, but she said we are going to have to go stove shopping soon, but most likely after the 4th of July holiday.  I cannot believe it has gotten so chilly that I needed one of my heavier sweaters.  Even Belladonna is bundled up in hers.

And now I need to plan what I will wear for the next few days and lay out those clothes, the weather is enough to make a person sleepy.  For that is what I feel like doing, so maybe I can catch a short cat-nap before dinner, since most of it is ready.

Later Darklings

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Of a lazy afternoon~~~~

Well Darklings,

I am all by myself this late afternoon, and it is warm. 

I left the house this morning to do some shopping, Sis had to meet a client, Brian was off hunting for a book store in San Francisco, Doyle is out of town so I am left to my own devices.

In some ways they should never leave me alone  (as I smirk).  I really like to go shopping in the morning while the air is still somewhat fresh and other drivers are not insane.   Also where I shop they have from 11 to 2 a truck lunch lot.

I guess the best way is this,  food trucks that prepare food, will park in a part of the parking lot at the shopping center that I go to, and the foodies fadies zoom in there like vultures over a Gnu kill, and they do not pay attention to their safety when cars are trying to find a parking spot, its like a grizzly form of playing chicken, only you can get sued if the pedestrian loses, even when it's their fault.  ***sigh***  and I thought shopping at Christmas time was insane.

I like to go in the morning to avoid the food trucks and the intense heat of the sun, I have a cooler for anything frozen and in hot weather it's the only way to prevent ice cream from melting. 

But on the way home I made the mistake of stopping at an estate sale, and what a magnificent sale, as Doyle would say I was over the moon!   I found a Sticklake style desk that is perfect for Coralline for her room if she had to do any home work, or just to have, the price was a steal!  And then there it was, a stuffed swordfish head, with mouth agape,  PERFECT!!!   Yes Darklings I am crazy.

The people who were conducting the sale and I made arrangements to have the desk delivered, I took the swordfish with me.  I could not believe the various things that were there, a treasure trove to be delved into!

There was  in perfect condition a military parade saddle, uniforms from WWI and II in excellent condition, American Flyer and Marx train accessories pre-WWII or very early 1950's,  teletype morse code keys, old candle stick phones,  fishing rods of every kind, light, surf, deep water, trout, and fishing reels, a boat, golf clubs of every kind, children's toys from the early 50's,  boudior items from the 1930's of which I purchased a few choice items, and a foot stool made from cow horns with red velvet cushion and many more items too numerous to list.  I had to resist the foot stool but I was tempted.

But the one thing I could not resist was a ring, 14 kt gold, with a rounded white gold quartz stone clearly showing the gold imbedded in it.  The design holding the stone was both delicate and yet substantual, either a woman or a man could wear it, if the man wore it on his pinky finger.  I had to have it, and I bought it.

And this was all before 11 a.m.

I gave them directions to my home, went home with the swordfish, ring and the few bedroom items, put away the groceries, the swordfish on the desk away from Belladonna's teeth, and had a light lunch.  But the weather was and is so warm, the house felt stuffy, even though I had the windows open. 

So I decided to rest in the shade of the sun umbrella, the  water fall on the pond splashing, my cd player that plays several discs of relaxing music, my lavendar lemonade, and Belladonna and I fell asleep!   I didn't wake up until Sis came home and saw the swordfish on the desk, she deduced that I had found something.  So I told her of my finds and about the desk to be delivered,  Sis said it might be better to have it in the Library that way Coralline could be with me when she has to do homework while I write out bills and such, that made good sense.

And just a few moments ago the folks called and said they will be by at 7 with the desk,  I can hardly wait.   Sis has gone to buy ice cream, I didn't put it on the list but she said for such a warm day its worth having for a treat.

Brian called and said to not hold dinner for him as he met some friends in the city and will be home late, so with a lovely cooked chicken salad on romaine, with dried cranberries and a bit of blue cheese and a rasberry vinagrette, chilled apricot halves with ice cream, and more lavendar lemonade we will have a lovely and relaxing dinner. 

Then tonight "666 Park Avenue" followed by Svengoolie and "The Invisible Man's Revenge" with Jon Hall, he was a handsome man. 

I cannot ask for more.

Later Darklings

Of Meeting “interesting people”~~~

Hello Darklings,

If there is one thing I’ve discovered is that a question or a remark can lead to a posting of my thoughts and experiences on this blog.

Dear Rebecca, yes I do meet interesting people, not all the time, but enough, we all do in some way or form, sometimes whether we want to or not.

I think because of Doyle’s, my sister’s and my line of work, it does make for meeting interesting people, because through them and their associates we network to other people and further on.

Because I commute by either BART, Bus, Ferry, Muni etc. to San Francisco, one cannot help but “meet” interesting people, although some people prefer to remain with their own thoughts, but eventually if one travels at the same time as others eventually one strikes up a conversation. Although at some BART stations in the City sometimes I wish I didn’t.

Our “naked acrobat” for one; those are just passing happenstance, to be taken in, observed, mentally commented upon, and talked about to family and friends.

One’s own preferences, likes, hobbies, etc. can help one meet interesting people. It is good to get out into the world, either by just being involved in life, or joining an organization or discovering an interest or hobby. Sometimes one thing can lead to another avenue.

If we remain just focused on our job or just family it can narrow our outlook on life, I remember when I was part of a jury for a murder trial, we had one juror who was a housewife, but her focus was so narrow based only upon her interaction with her in-laws (especially a sister-in-law) that she refused to take in a key prosecutions’ witnesses testimony, especially since that person was present and saw completely the event. The rest of us had to come up with the Wisdom of Solomon to finally get this person to admit why she didn’t believe this person, so we found other testimony from another disinterested party that she could believe and then she admitted that we 11 were correct.

Later after the trial was over, I had a chance to speak to the prosecuting attorney, and was told that in the long run they prefer working housewives, that not only raise a family but also work outside the home and have outside interests. Even a housewife who does not hold down even a part time job, if they are members of a club or hobby society where they interact with people outside the family is preferable, jury selection is a delicate matter. The prosecuting attorney suspected the reason we were taking so long was because of that one juror. He was right.

So having outside interests is very important in ways one cannot imagine.

Doyle loves to do photography, and we are going to convert an old potting shed that has electricity and water in the back part of the deep lot into a dark room for him. Doyle is also a member of a photography club, although there are times he can’t go to the meetings or competitions as often as he would like. But he meets interesting people and those that are just lonely, needy, mean, over gregarious, or fascinating.

My sister because of her work meets many interesting people and has quite a network of colleagues whose company both she and I enjoy, and there are also the same types of people including those that are pompous, self important, self centered, and those that are giving of their time.

A long time ago I took up painting, not that I’m good at it, but I did have a chance to meet other artists and one thing led to another, that is why I go to art show openings recommended to me, it helps me network a bit in the art community.

Music was and is another avenue that has led me to interesting places and things, our interest in old films has also led me down a fascinating path. Those three led me to the Goth Society as well, but I knew that in some ways I was/am too old for the more modern mainstream but it had led to many interesting connections and encounters.

In talking to people I find out about good places to travel to, to eat, drink and enjoy the ambience.

Also because of the way I dress, my vintage car, my interest in dark and funeral things has cause interaction, created new contacts and new experiences.

Sometimes because of unusual events one can meet interesting people, such as Jury Duty, I was on a jury twice, once for a Slander suit and once for a murder trial, I made two good friends at the murder trial, after we finally were able to clear our minds once we had discharged our duties, most people just go their own way, but because we could not discuss the trial except when it was turned over to us finally and only in the jury room, we tended to band together trying to find a good place to eat or car pool, and because of the rules it limited our paths of conversation. So we focused on each other, our work, family, likes, dislikes etc.

After 20 years we still are friends, even though one is now in Nevada and the other is in Seattle, Washington, but it gives me an excellent excuse to travel and they know when they come to the Bay Area they have a place to rest their heads.

I think because my sister’s and Doyle’s’ children are grown and with children of their own and I never had children, it has left us free to explore things.

I am not saying that children can hold us back, no, it is important that one’s focus should be with the child but also through one’s child one can rediscover things that we use to do, never had a chance to do or it is something that has been developed for children’s wonder that a parent can also enjoy. But it also gives a chance for the parent to teach a child to be discerning in their choices as well.

I use to go as a child with my parents and siblings to Oakland’s Children’s Fairyland and allow my imagination to enjoy the wonders there, but like the song “Toyland” once you cross the border into adulthood you can never go back again. But if you have a child to enjoy it with you can briefly see it again through their eyes, everything is geared for a small child, not an adult; because of that it reminds you that you have crossed that border and have different responsibilities

Only with Coralline as she is growing up can I go back with her and her brother’s, although her brothers are too sports oriented to be transported by the imagination of Fairyland, unless it had scary rides. So in time it was just she and I sharing the wonders of this place that was the inspiration for Walt Disney to create Disneyland. In time that avenue will be gone from me, but I don’t despair.

Even now I donate to preserving Children’s Fairyland, so it can continue forever as long as there are children to enjoy it. Its simplicity is perfect for a small child, it does not overwhelm them like Great American, 6 Flags, Disneyland or Resort, etc would. It is perfect for the small child and something I want to see preserved.

I mean Darklings, picture the Wicked Witch Queen of Snow White, and Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty contributing to the preservation of children’s imagination and wonder. That is sometimes how I think of myself, darkly laughing as I write out my check.

We meet many people, through many means, some do not give us that spark that will create interest, some are just dull, some you really want to run away from, and some well one cannot enjoy their company enough, but there are some that puzzle you and you have this double instinct that tells you run away, yet you are fascinated, hypnotize, until you can make up your mind.

And then there are those few, that seem to draw you in but yet you feel off balance, you enjoy their company, their thoughts and yet only a little goes a long way. If one takes in too much one senses it can be like an overdose of some kind. I’m not sure I can explain it any further.

And then sometime as an unexpected gift or treat can make things so pleasurable, like my co-worker, a charming young man who brings me coffee, yesterday he gave me several CD’s, he said he was weeding his collection and had what he felt was a better rendition of Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite. Now I have a copy on CD but I felt it would be rude to refuse his gift, and then was even more surprised because it included Grofe’s “Mississippi Suite” and his “Death Valley Suite” as well as a bonus recording of him conducting “Cloudburst” from his Grand Canyon. I did not have these in my collection and knew they were not well known or frequently recorded.

Because of his gift it led to us having a lovely conversation during our afternoon break about classical music. And we maybe going to a few concerts as well if our schedules permit, I know Doyle won’t mind, he always worries about me being home all the time when he’s gone.

And even now, late yesterday afternoon, I just stepped out onto my front porch and was treated to my neighbors 3 year old son, dancing in the water sprinklers completely naked and enjoying it. His older sisters 5 and 7 were there dressed in their play clothes but wet. I saw that the young master’s clothes were in a pile getting soaked, I knew my neighbors slightly but didn’t know if they knew what their child was doing, went over and rang the door bell. The look of shock on the Mother’s face was especially interesting, they were suppose to be in the back yard. If nothing else I got to know my neighbors better, it just took a little naked boy to do it.

So Darklings, we all meet interesting people, it just takes time to discover them, some are for lifetimes, some will be as “ships passing in the night”, each an experience to add to one’s life.

And may all of you always meet “interesting people”.

Later Darklings

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Of an update and a guest~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well my temporary work arrangment is working out just fine.   I communte in and my boss drives me home.

At least I missed the "naked acrobat" at one of the BART stations,  frankly if he came up to me I would have wacked him where it would hurt the most with my cane.   But then would I have been booked for assualt or would it have been considered self - defence.   Well I'll never know since they have arrested him.  And he may get deported back to Columbia, maybe that is what he wanted to have happen, it would save him the cost of a plane ticket.

Doyle is still out on assignment and may not be back until next week, pooh!  But he does call and keeps me updated and he's doing fine.

Sis has finally had her house tented to be fumigated and her house guest is now my house guest, Brian is a very nice person and has offered to  offset the cost of utlities and food, so we've worked out a nice little arrangement.   Because I never know when Coralline is sleeping over, Brian will stay in the down stairs "maid's room" it has it's own bath so that works out very well. 

But I did warn Brian about the work still being finished in the kitchen, right now some cabinet fixing but the apartment stove is now in place where the vintage stove will be going, once I find the one I want.  Sorry Darklings, I just have not had the chance to shop for one.  Soon though, soon.

Brian didn't seem to mind, and once the fumigation process is over, Sis is going to first have the kitchen re-done and then the bathroom downstairs so Brian can move back.  But that will take a little time.

It seems I'm always having a house guest or family, which is fine, it helps the house come alive.  Although he was a little surprised about the cemetery in the back part of the property, I told him to not worry about it, those pets stay put.   And I had to keepy "kitty Kat" quiet so to not give him appoleplexy.  But he seems to be enjoying the "off-beatness" of the house.

He commented to me about the difference between a cemetery and a graveyard----I had not realized that there was a difference but it seems that a graveyard it always attached to a religious building or church, but a cemetery is simply a piece of land set aside for burials.   The yard is always next to the church and is of grave importance and a serious condition of life.   So person to be buried just outside of a Grave Yard was considered an un-redemmed sinner.  Hmmm and then there is Boot Hill, Columbariums, Tombs, Masoleums, Crypts, and other words to describe where one is buried,  now I understand that if there are people buried near their homes, such as a plantation that is considered both as a graveyard and a cemetery.

I can only tell you Darklings we had a wonderful discussion about this.

Later Darklings
 Gloria Holden's Cemetery marker.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Of a Response to "Father's Day" and "666 Park Avenue"~~~

Dear Darklings, Lucritia and Rebecca,

Thank you Darklings,  Coralline and I did have a wonderful and funny sleepover and Sunday.   I wish it had been longer but her parents had plans.

Lucricia (forgive me I'm not spelling your name right) I consider myself blessed that I knew my Father for a long time he didn't pass away until his very late 70's  Mother lived some 10 or so years later passing away in '94,  my Great Aunt passed away after that living to 100, which is something and still very active, never went into a care facilty until her final illness which was blessedly short, it was the same for Mom and Dad, very active until the last few days or weeks. 

It is sad when one hasn't had a chance to know one's parents better, but in some cases, for some people it might be better.

Mother use to say about people who were difficult to be around, "Let them go, mentally bless them for the life lessons they've given you and don't put them on the pedestal of 'what might have been', it is not worth the time, energy or stress."   and she was right.

But for those that never had a chance to learn about them or know them better, it is always a gap in one's heart, what I've discovered with some friends who were in that situation, they'd like something and then later discover though some odd way that their Father or Mother (that they didn't have a chance to know very well)  liked what ever it was,  as well.  Something either in the gene's, DNA or vague memory stays with us from our parents and remains with us.   If it's good we go with it.   If it's bad we work with it to control it and not let it take over our lives.

But no matter what, whatever time we have with our parents long or short I consider a blessing, and even as an Aunt to my nieces and nephews I work with them to give them a pleasant, positive memory.  

And now for something different---My boss has asked if I could work in the afternoons this week and he will take me home so I won't have to struggle with communiting at least one way, and that is fine.  So if I post on my blog it will be in the A.M. for a while.

I have several comments on some events to post eventually but that will be in another post.

And I just checked out the upcoming television programs and "666 Park Avenue" is returning even briefly, I think it will finish out it's run, that was interupted by Hurrican Sandy.  I am so looking forward to it.  For those Darklings that like the show too, check your T.V. listings---I do that using Yahoo T.V. listings and saw that it was running on Saturday evening at 9 p.m. but it maybe different for your location.

Later Darklings must go.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Of a quiet Father's Day~~~~

Father's Day Darklings,

For those of us who are lucky that have/had wonderful, supportive fathers, "Father's Day" is a great day to acknowlege the man who helped raise you, guided you, protected you even after you flew out on your own.

At least from a girl's point of view.

From a Boy's point of view he's the man that at first we want to emulate, then dispise because he's interfering, and then later go to for advice and information, and in the twilight of his life share a beer and laugh at embarssing situations.

But for those who never had a Father like that, Father's Day can be a horrible joke.   Mother's Day can be like that as well.

It all depends on how fortunate or unfortunate one is in their parents.

My siblings and I were fortunate.  Dad survived WWII came home, raised a family, cuddled and cared for his wife our Mother.   She was the girl he wanted to come home to.

He was humble but brave, never once were we spanked,  well Brother Dear did get punished on occasion, but if we were out of line Mother would have us go to our room and then when Dad got home, she would tell him of our transgressions, we'd come down into the living room, waited while Mother was laying out our "sins" and then sit down while Dad asked "Why did you do or say that?"  and we had to defend ourselves.

When we were little under the age of 7 the response was usually "I don't know" or "I don't know how that happened" or "I didn't do it"  For the last two it was always clear that we were somehow involved.  And Dad always decided on the punishment, sometimes consulting with Mom about it.

Because of how we were brought up we had respect for our parents, we worked at making them proud of us, but we were also instructed that if we transgressed it was best to be honest about it.   It got to the point where if something looked tempting but wrong we'd ask ourselves "What would Mom and Dad say?"   That made us think about our actions and our responsilities.   Something that is much harder to instill into children these days but it can be done. 

My brother and sister are examples of that,  even if my brother has 3 boys who are complete hellions.   My sister-in-law has said that many a time with those boys it's like driving a troika or 3 horse coach, all three need to pull and work together and it takes a skilled coachman to do it.

But this Father's day was a quiet one for me.

The evening before I had Coralline sleep over, and sure enough she fell asleep in my bed as we watched "King Kong Escapes" on Svengoolie, but we did have a chance to remark about the interesting clothes the evil woman was wearing.   So we slept together in my bed and I was greatful for the company although Belladonna was puzzeled why she had to sleep at the foot of the bed since Doyle wasn't there, but made the best of it.

The next morning we had brunch at our favorite resteraunt, although it was crowded with families for Father's Day and many more going to the Ball game at the Coliseum,  because of that I decided to take the backroads to her parents place, and it was fun.  Coralline likes to take the scenic route if there's time, so do I. 

After dropping her off I kissed my Brother and sister-in-law good bye, I felt I needed quiet time, so Belladonna and I drove to a near by Safeway and picked up a deli sandwhich and drink, a small flag and flowers and we went to the cemetery where Dad and Mom are buried.  It was mild weather, so with a small umbrella, our lunch, a blanket,  I spent a little time with Dad and Mom  placing the flag and flowers on their grave and thought about all the years with them. 

I remember the time Mom got into a fight with a big trucker that dented the car and she a little thing, started verbally going after that man hammer and tongs and Dad picking her up and throwing her over his shoulder saying to the man "Wait here I'll be right back"  The man was surprised with Dad's actions but when Dad got Mom back to the car he said to her "Toots, don't start something I can't finish";  while Mom's mouth was agape, he went back to the man and they exchanged insurance info.  Dad was tall and wirey, and this trucker was Big and burly.  I had a feeling that Dad would have been on the losing end of a physical fight, but he did know his psychological way around, and got a positive response from the man and the man's insurance did pay for the damage.  

In many ways Dad reminded me of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird".   He made decent money and we never wanted for anything but we made things last,  Dad could do many repairs to the cars we had, he did repairs around the house, but he also acknowledge when something was beyond his ablity, he and Mom handled the finances together discussing bills and savings.  

And this was in front of us children, we were never excluded, that kitchen table saw "High fiance", math problems, english essays, "gourmet" dinners of meat loaf and stew,  family counseling, dealing with grief and loss and family fun.

I remembered one time it was a hot day and we were in Gilroy, we had parked to get lunch but the car would not start.  Dad fiddled under the hood, and then came out from under and said "It's an air lock, we'll have to wait a bit."  and we did for 30 minutes, then the car started just fine.  But cars were simplier then.

And his reaction when he came home and Mother announced to him that she had "burnt the refrigerator".   That is a long story I'll save for another time.

Then the sun dipped a little lower, it got a little cooler, so I raised my bottle of Sierra Mist and said "Thank You Dad, for being You."

Now I will go into work later today, my Boss called me early and said he needed to have the afternoon covered so if I would come in later he would take me home at days end.  An equiable arrangement.

Later Darklings

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Of Hitchcock, "Blackmail" and chainsaws~~~~

Well Darklings,

My weekend has not gone quite the way I had originally planned, but so far it's been interesting.

Right now I'm taking a breather while my brother and sister in law take the "three stoogies" their sons, (that is the name my niece Coralline has given them" to go and get pizza and ice cream and other sundry goodies that will give them a sugar high.

Coralline, Belladonna and I are enjoying the brief moment of peace, blessed peace.

My wicked little niece has tempted me to go with a summer nail polish, and has been waiving "Wet and Wilds" mauvish lavendar "Bite the Bullet" in front of me and so I have promised to do my nails with that color for the summer.   She loves her deck of zombie cards, but is going to hide her deck from her brothers for safe keeping.

She and Belladonna are playing a quiet game of "tug of war" near me as I type.

I thought that yesterday I would relax from the heat that we briefly had, today has been cool and now the foggish overcast has rolled in.  My sister and Doyle were busy packing for their respective trips, when I received a phone call from one of my friends asking if I'd care to go with him to see a restored Hitchcock film "Blackmail",   I had completely forgotten that this weekend was the Silent Film festival at the Castro Theater, Doyle and Sis said go, they would be completely impossible to deal with while packing. 

Dressed in my film noir best and with a warm coat since the nights get chilly in San Francisco, Donald came by, picked me up as I air kissed my loved ones and over the bridge we went.

It was fasinating to see Hitchocks' film and see his genius flowering, the same theme of course, innocent person being both protected and threatened by two different people.  The chase over well known landmarks, all so very satisfying and filmed in Germany's UFA studios before the Nazi's took over and destroyed all that creativity.   Now with these 6 restored Hitchcock films from the British Film Institute I hope to see them eventually released to DVD.  But of course it may take a while.  For any Goth film noir buff these are a Must to see, espeically "The Lodger", and to add to one's collection.

But all that went out the window today as Brother Dear and his brood chainsawed the branch down to manageable size,  he loaded half into his truck and I have the other half in the back going to be seasoned for winter.  He also removed one other branch that appeared to be dead, no leaves on it so it was better to remove it than risk having that one fall as well. 

The boys were giving him and their mother fits as they danced like evil imps around the flying chips, I was praying that no slivers would fly into their eyes or fingers be suddenly removed.  It finally took their Mother's strong armed discipline (a resounding swat on their bottoms) to bring order to their intentional chaos.  For safety sake I had Belladonna stay in her open kennel in the kitchen, the noise being too much for her.

The little devils finally became helpful with loading their Dad's truck and stack (quite carefully I might add) my wood in back.  Then the phone call to the pizza place, pileling the boys Mom and Dad into van to get the food (my treat) Silence now reigns.

They were happy with the zombie playing cards and played a few hands of their idea of Zombie Old Maid, if you got the Queen of Spades left in your hands you became a Zombie and had to do the Zombie walk around the table and say "Bwaainnzzz"   Coralline agreed with me, Boys do like gross stuff.

Coralline pleaded with her Mother if she could stay overnight with me and I take her home tomorrow,  which turns out to be just fine, they were going to go to a friends tomorrow afternoon for a Father's Day bar-b-que,  so if I got her there by 1 p.m. that would be fine. 

So I'm going to treat Coralline and myself to Brunch tomorrow and tonight after the Horde leaves we will stay up and have hot coco and watch "King Kong Escapes" on Svengoolie and I'll paint my nails with "Bite the Bullet".

And now I hear the Barbarians returning.

Later Darklings

Friday, June 14, 2013

Of falling tree branches, chainsaws and Zombie playing cards~~~~

Well Darklings,

I guess I know what I'm going to be doing this weekend.

A large tree branch from one of my trees further back on my property just came crashing down and has blocked part of my driveway.

At least from what I can see nothing was damaged, so phone call to Brother Dear and his chainsaw, he'll come by tomorrow to remove the tree branch and I'll be calling some arborists to make appointments to determine the health of the tree and will it need further trimming. 

Fortunately my sister and Doyle left early this morning, I drove Doyle to the airport so my car was not blocked  but I can't drive it into the garage in the back, which for now is a good thing.   Coralline, her Mother and siblings will be coming down for the fun of watching Daddy make like the "Texas Chainsaw Massecar"   My sister in law will bring the brood in their van and Brother Dear will be down in his truck to haul the wood away, he said "Why waste good firewood?" Well I think we can split it 50/50.  After all I have a fireplace too. 

Which reminds me, I need to call the Chimney Sweep to check out and clean the fireplace and it's flue. 

It will be good to see them, and it will be Pizza for dinner tomorrow evening.   I think the children will be happy, yesterday before I came home I stopped at my local drug store and I was able to buy 4 packs of Zombie playing card decks (and one for Moi), each court card has the picture of a zombie and all the cards have helpful hints on dealing with Zombies.   Knowing the children they will come up with their own card games with those decks, maybe a form of Zombie Old Maid.

Who knows?

For now it is very warm, so Belladonna and I are going to lay down outside in the shade on the Chaise lounge, with a mister gently wafting around  to cool the air and water gently some plants as I sip some lavender lemonaid.

Later Darklings

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Of work exhaustion, televison programs and lipsticks~~~~

Well Darklings,

I'm not completely prostrate, but I am tired, my boss said for me to take tomorrow off because I did it again,  I worked past 2 p.m. yesterday, I didn't leave until 6 p.m. and today I went in early and got off at 2:30.

But even with just a week and a half behind me I do feel a little stronger but he's right I should not push myself and at least the work is caught up.  And after July 4th a number of the staff will be back, so things will be more normal.

My friendly coffee maker has been hovering around me worried I might faint, I do love his ministrations but I did tell him I had to work to prove I could still do the job.  

Well with having tomorrow off I'll stay up like a bad girl and watch Hannibal, I have to confess this program has me "hooked" but will it die like "666 Park Avenue"?  I hope not.

I did stop at my favorite cosmetic shop to try the new Revolon lipsticks that have come out and I find that all though they glide on beautifully they do not give me the truely saturated color that I like,  so I may use them for casual wear and with frequent re-applications, and use my Besame lipsticks for evening and work.

I did sucumb and purchased the nail color "Beguiled" but I wasn't entralled by "Entralled",  Wet and Wild is pushing its Fergie line but again I wasn't thrilled by the colors,   Essie has a summer line out that touts "naughty girls" like "Madison Ave-nue" which is sort of a bright mauve, there were other colors like a lime green that I found just right for young perky goths but too youngish for me.   So I fear I will have to fall back on what I currently have for the summer.   I know that others will think differently but it is all a matter of personal choice. 

I did find a wonderful wide brim straw summer hat in black with a black cloth band with tiny white poka dots, perfect for summer wear  and it will go well with my black straw hand bag with silver clasp.  I feel that the Black/white and silver combination for summer is perfect, I managed to find some wonderful cotton skirts and blouces in black and  a black crochet light weight jacket sweater perfect for casual evenings out.  Although the weather around here is getting cooler in the evening again,  But should we go inland north or south it will be good.

Doyle is leaving tomorrow to be out of town for a week on assignment again and it will be close to his grown children in time for Father's Day which is a good thing, so I'll be left to my own devices,  my sister is going to visit her children for the weekend for a Father's Day bar-b-que, her ex-husband will be there as well but they are on good terms so no conflict.

I have some idea's of what I want to do, I want to go some place where I can take Belladonna as well,  a day trip I think,  I'll have to think about it.

But for tonight spagetti and a nice salad and rasberry vinagret, with sourdough french bread,  and vanilla ice cream with fresh berries.  I'll let Doyle choose the wine, a good hearty red I think.

Later Darklings

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Of Ghostly Artists and Ghostly paintings~~~~~

Well Darklings,

I did promise to tell you about the art showing that my sister and I attended a few weeks ago, but with all the excitement that had happened (fire in the kitchen etc) I nearly forgot about it.

In an earlier posting I mentioned meeting the two young people a man dressed in black and his female companion dressed in ghostly white. And I was able to determine that they were Goth, and it seems we both knew mutual friends in the art community.

And with that we were invited to her opening.
It was located in a warehouse area that a number of artists use to build large installations, I asked her if she owned the building and she said no that it was owned by a friend who allowed for her works to be shown.

They were oil paintings each mounted on their own white support with white gauzy cloth behind them, the walls and ceiling of the warehouse was also painted white but the lighting was set up to show the paintings and for us to not be detracted by the building, even the floor was painted white.

Her works were very ethereal, in the palest of shades, some shades were warm or cold, as if it were snow, or the palest depths of water, or warm smoke or clouds, and it appeared as if objects or people were emerging from the canvas, without using any heavy layering, in one I thought I could barely see the image of a house, an old house but elusive to capture, the word that came to mind was “Brigadoon”; I determined it was some sort of effect with the use of iridescence materials. Each painting seemed to be telling a story but only the viewer could put their own interpretation on it.

In another painting I felt as if someone just barely outside of my vision was beckoning me to enter the painting. In another one could just make out the image of a female body under a sort of waterfall, like a nymph.

There were others all ghostly and elusive; she told me that she was in her “white” period like Picasso had his “blue” period of painting, Anthena, the artist said that she goes through periods or moods of color in painting, for a while she was working in shades of gray, blue and plum, another time in greens and browns.

Beside her paintings, her boyfriend, Randolph works in clay and had a number of sculptures all worked in white clay with a matt glaze with some high glaze highlights, all very simplistic and stylized but not harsh, one of a female figure dancing and holding hands with two small figures suggested a mother and children but done without hard edges. All of these were displayed upon white round pedestals.

Which sort of eventually put me off balance, the glasses were clear, only white wine was served and the type of wine that needs to be chilled to get the maximum of flavor, the plates, napkins, were white with the only bit of color from the bits of food being served on white trays by several people wearing white full face masks, white clothing and vests and white gloves without a speck of flesh showing, all so very ghostly. Anthena was again wearing white while Randolph was in black it seemed as if she would merge with the walls and paintings while Randolph was a black ink spot among all the whiteness. With the exception of the colors of clothing worn by the people who came to the opening.

Music was being played on a sound system but not really music more like Tibetan bells, softly tinkling, and bird song nothing intrusive but more as background so that people for some reason would talk softly and indeed people who were talking loudly before they entered the showing suddenly lowered their voices.

Although her paintings and his sculptures were beautiful they would not fit in my home, but my sister took a liking to one of her paintings that suggested a ghostly forest and path with flowers all covered with a mist. Sis felt that it would fit very well with what she had in mind for her living room in her newly purchased house, on that painting I could agree, for it felt like it was the only “friendly” painting in the showing, so Sis bought it.

I know using the word “friendly” may seem strange but that was the only way to describe that particular work. The others, well I can only say is that they “frightened” me, as if I did not want to stay with them for too long.

Randolph’s sculptures were relaxing and very modern in many ways but I was not attracted to many of them except two, the first that I described as a mother dancing with her children and another where 4 figures two adults, a man and woman and two small figures children seemed to be affectionately hugging each other, I could almost sense a smile on each of the figures, my sister also took a liking to them and also bought both sets of figures. Both sculptures were not over 18 inches tall and would be stand alones once my sister could determine how she was going to decorate her home, although I had a fairly good idea from her notes that she showed me.

Eventually I had to turn my back on all that “whiteness,” and I zeroed in on a darkish corner that offered a respite to my senses. Randolph approached me and asked if I was well, and I said that I was a bit tired since I was still recovering from my accident. He found a free chair (also in white) so I could rest and we talked about his works and hers. He was very happy not only had my sister purchases a few items but other works were selling as well, so he considered the showing a success.

I was surprised that the works would sell so quickly and he said usually they would be in a gallery for several months, but those that didn’t sell this weekend were going to a gallery in Los Angeles. It was an arrangement they had made with a friend who owns that particular gallery and was up here for the opening. Randolph said that for some reason both he and Anthena felt that they would sell quickly with this opening, to use his words “They just seem to vibrate out to people” and yes I could sense that, but not everyone.

I noticed that Anthena in her languid way of walking and my sister were coming over to join us. Anthena appeared to be quietly animated mentioning that several works were sold already, and that there appeared to be a slight bidding war over several others which their art gallery friend was conducting. I congratulated her on her success, and she said that it made her happy, her other works have sold but more slowly, so to her she felt that it was a sign that the economy was improving.

Then she invited my sister and I, to her workshop which is in another part of town as well as coming over to her and Randolph’s home for lunch both at future dates, which my sister and I accepted. I did ask her if it were possible to bring Doyle and Randolph said the more the better, it seems that he is the cook in that household. “I love to cook” he said “But Anthena has dietary restrictions, so when I cook I take it to our neighbors homes, that way I can have my portion and cook enough for others, it isn’t fun just to cook for one” he remarked.

Sis asked if his neighbors were surprised by his largess and he said no, “I choose a different neighbor every other day, and then I call them or drop by and ask if they’d like me to prepare them something and especially with some of our neighbors who have children it’s a relief for them.”

He said that they repay his cooking efforts with help with some work on the property or taking them to the airport or train depot when they are going to travel out of the area.

“Of late” he said “We’ve been traveling by train, so Anthena can take her painting equipment and her camera, some times she sees something while we’re traveling and takes a picture of it and somehow works it into her paintings, can’t do that on a plane.”

“Train travel is more relaxing for me” she said “but there are times when we just decide to throw things into the car and just go. We let our neighbors know we’ll be gone and they’ll collect our mail, water things and keep an eye on our place, it works out very well.”

By this time more people were arriving so Sis and I decided it was time to leave and Sis made arrangements to have Randolph drop off the works after the showing which I though would be a few weeks but was surprised when he said that it was only for that weekend and he could bring them by in a couple of days in the evening.

As Sis and I were driving home I said to Sis that I was surprised that the showing was only for just two days and then being packed up to move to L.A. “All that work in that warehouse, all that preparation for just one opening night and two days?” that puzzled me, but Sis had talked to the art Gallery friend and was going to do the exact same thing in its L.A. opening so it could have been a “dry run” to see how well that worked.

“Too well” I remarked and told her how I felt off-balanced by it, she asked me how I was feeling as we were going home and I said “relaxed unless that’s the wine” but she told me that was the effect that they were going for, a sort of hypnotic relaxation, she was wondering if they were using a form of hypnosis, if by using the depriving of color that it was working much like those depravedation chambers but in a more subtle way.

I asked her what were her thoughts and she said that she felt that it might help some people relax enough to help them get to a mood where they could look into themselves to find the causes of their fears or neuroses, but she also felt that too much white would be too much and could cause a severe imbalance and create greater harm. But she thought she could apply some of those principals to decorating her home for her work, a relaxing mood stress reduction environment.

“Perhaps using fish ponds, Tibetan bells and bird songs, who knows, but now I’ve seen it applied in full force, I wonder what their house and their workshop are like.” I could only agree with my sisters’ assessment and wonder myself.

Later Darklings

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Of purchasing a new printer, the weather and Hannibal~~~~

Well Darklings,

Instead of an HP we purchased an Epson, it seems there was a wonderful sale on several that had the same whistles and bells but without the touch screen just buttons, I really perfer buttons, and with taking in the old printer (even in non-working condition) we received $50.00 off on the sale price which means the Epson cost less than the HP.  Well at my age I do love a good sound deal, and I didn't have to worry about what to do with the old printer.

But what a HUGE box, I guess it's all that styrofoam, Doyle is going to set it up this evening, better for him to be "standing on his head" to plug things in compared to Moi.

Sis got a lot of information on systems to set up for her home office, what she'll need, costs and such and since its for her work she can write it off  on her taxes.  I was wondering if I could do the same, but decided against that since it would be better to wait and upgrade the entire system and also figure out the square footage for business purposes, if I decide to work from home part-time.

But I never thought I could get so tired just printer shopping, Sis thinks its the weather, yesterday it was so warm I mean up to 106 degrees further inland, and now slightly overcast and windy and cool.  I looked up to the hills nearby and they are covered in clouds and mist, so it can be 65 where I'm at and 55 or colder up there,  and warmer than heck just on the other side of the hills.

But there was something almost mystical seeing the clouds and mist up in the hills, I almost wish I could drive up in it, being among the redwoods, shrouded by the mists, feeling the dampness of it, the cold, cool air of it, a sense of being cut off from civilization even for a few minutes.  But if it wasn't for the fact that a lot of bycilists ride up there hogging the road and not giving quarter, I would do it, but they spoil the mood and the moment,  they have no clue how dangerous a situation they create on riding on roads that are not set up to accomidate both cars and bikes.   I wish that somehow it would be designated cars only, until the roads can be redesigned to permitt both. 

As Doyle is fond of saying "There goes future organ donors"  and sadly I can only agree.  Perhaps if the weather is like this tomorrow afternoon I'll go to St. Mary's or Sunset Cemetry, perhaps St. Mary's its older.

The Crazy person that was arrested the other day is still in jail, thank goodness, but I heard that the parents are getting money together to bail him out, Doyle said he's going to talk to them tomorrow morning to persuade them not to do that if they are even thinking of it.  It would be better for everyone.

I saw the 9th episode of "Hannibal" the other evening, the imagery was very disturbing, but I wondered if Hannibal was the real serial killer, did he, through manipulation drive the other man to think of himself as the real serial killer and when he felt satisfied with the results, send the other poor man who is working with the police to finish off the experiment.   And what is with the imagery of the huge Elk?  How I wish I had seen this series from the beginning.  

But what surprised me was seeing Gillian Anderson at the last few minutes in the end, where she is being the psychiatrist to Hannibal, that nearly white blond hair was in itself disturbing.  It was like she was a femine counterpoint to Hannibal.   In some ways she reminded me of the artist whose showing my sister and I went to a few weeks ago.   I never did have a chance to talk about it.   I think I will in my next post.

Ahhhh Sis is suggesting that Doyle purchase Chinese tonight, and I am in the mood for Sweet and Sour chicken, and she's waving a DVD at me, it's the remake of the "Green Hornet" movie, I had not realized she purchased it while we were at the computer store.  Chinese and the "Green Hornet"  Hmmmm Kato could not have done better.

Later Darklings    
Sometimes I think computers are one or the other.  Don't you Darklings?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Of Freaking out because the computer wouldn't work~~~~

Dear Darklings,

I nearly had a crisis!

Friday afternoon I went to boot up my personal computer and all I got was the basic initial image it would not go to my main page or anything, not boot anything.

I was very upset.  So Doyle and I put the computer into the car and went to a particular computer shop that we know and it worked fine!  Why is that? I ask, fortunatly we also brought in the keyboard and the mouse and it worked fine with those.

The nice technician said it could be my printer,  well it is an old printer, I had not seen any reason to upgrade it since it did want I wanted it to do.

But the printer was the culprit.  Why oh Why little printer did you have to get so sick?  Well it would cost too much to even think of fixing and eventually the printer carteridges will be phased out as they do not make this style printer any more.  Well it has served me faithfully and well.

So tomorrow we'll go printer shopping, Doyle has his eye on an HP that does printing, copy, fax, scan and I think a few other whistles and bells.  So I guess I'm going to be upgraded.  Oh well, where one needs one must.

My sister said I could have used her computer, but it's password protected and I didn't want to compromise her security.  Not that I'd reveal anything.   And she's coming with us, she's thinking of upgrading her system as well and since she will be doing more of her work in her new home it makes sense.

And now we're going out, it's been too warm to cook, and frankly not until I get a new (vintage) stove installed do I really feel like cooking.  Alright Darklings, tonight I'm too lazy to cook, there I've said it.

But on a different note----after I got off work yesterday, I tarried a bit to go to my favorite store to check out the cosmetics aslie, and Revlon is coming out with a new line of nail polish with name's like "Beguiled" and "Hypnotic" the colors are alright, I did like "Beguiled" but it was also accompiened with lip gloss and one I had to buy was "Fatal Apple" a lip gloss red.  I think it will work well over my regular lipstick or by itself.

But right now the colors that are available do not interest me at this time, I'll have to see what the fall and winter selection will be.

Must go.

Later Darklings

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Of "High Ho, High Ho it's back to work I go...." ~~~~

Dear Darklings,

I am home from work today, only because my Boss asked me since I worked from 10 to 7 yesterday, when it should have only been from 10 to 2.  Why?  We had a major backlog and it was all hands on deck, some of it was in what I do so I couldn't leave because it was important to have the work done.

Needless to say I was exhausted, my Boss took me home so I wouldn't have to endure the stress of communiting.  Good thing he lives in Berkely, so he said since I worked in essence a double shift to take today off and rest, which I'm doing gleefully---Why?  Because the delivery of the new washer and dryer is TODAY!!!  Hooray!!!  Caloo, Calay!!!

And with the slow cooker processing dinner (it's beef stew with lots of veggies, and rice, I know Darklings, how mundane---but its comfort food time)  I don't have to worry.

I had one of you Darklings ask me why my legal situation was processed so quickly since many take months to deal with.  Well it was a series of things, one of course is we had a lot of proof to back our claim, two---there were camera's that video taped the event, three---the defendants wife wanted this settled quickly.

Yes Darklings it was the third reason that things moved so quickly.  My lawyer filled us in over our celebration dinner.   The Missus controls that house hold, maybe that is why the defendant drinks, and she didn't want anything to in any way embarress her social standing  also they were planning to leave in a few weeks on some sort of expensive vacation to Europe and nothing was going to stop her.    There are times when a "hard-headed, determined woman" can be a blessing.

According to my lawyer, the wife sized things up very quickly, assessing damage control etc. and came to a decision, which was "give the plaintiff what she wants within reason and quickly"  and even she was glad that the AA stipulation was in there.   If that had not happened the whole mess could have dragged out for months.   One thanks the powers that be for blessings.

And I found out what was all that yelling the other day, it seems that our elderly neighbors crazy son, went "off the rails" cut the phone line of our other neighbor with a garden shears, and then proceeded to cut down our other neighbor's plantings.  It was a disaster, well our neighbor had a metal baseball bat and batted the shears out of "crazys" hands while the wife called 911 on her cell phone since their land line was dead.  And then Crazy and our neighbor were rolling on the ground and Crazy was punching him.  A good thing that Doyle and another man were able to restrain Crazy till the police came.  Then Crazy said that our neighbor beat him up. 

Well our neighbor went to ER to get checked out, Crazy was taken to jail for a 72 hour psychiatric watch and our neighbor is going to press charges against Crazy, but it may be Crazy's elderly parents who may have to make good on the replacement costs of the plants, damage to the phone line and any medical costs that our neighbos insurance doesn't cover.   Doyle pleaded with the elderly parents to NOT bail their son out and let him stay in jail until the trial, it would be safer for everyone.   But parents are parents and its their son, frankly I do not see anything good coming out of this situation.   

Since we have a land line as well (my insistence) we're going to have someone put metal sheeting around the wires to make sure if Crazy does get out that he doesn't cut our lines as well. 

I saw Crazy a few weeks ago and he has that look that the shooter of the Arizona theatre and the one that shot and killed those school children have,  if you see too much white at the bottom of the eyes its a "signal" that something is going off in a not good way in that persons mind.  And it was coupled with an expression of extreme hatred, it ripped off this man in waves.  I've only seen this a few times in person and each time my assessment of the person was correct, paranoid schizophrenic and a mental ticking time-bomb.   If he is determined to do harm, nothing will stop this person.

Doyle is going to take steps at both my property and my sisters to make sure access by him is not going to be easy and that we will be alerted.

And speaking of my sister, she is moving forward to have work done on her house, we're going to have her "house guest" with us for a week or so while her home is being throughly fumigated.  Oh well what is one more guest, it will make for some interesting repartee.

Must go, the washer and dryer are here.

Later Darklings

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Of washing machines and television programs~~~

Well My Darklings,

This proved to be a most interesting expedition into laundry investigation. It maybe wise to have one’s man along and sometimes it can also be frustrating.

I was perfectly fine with going to Sears to see what they had, but Doyle, bless him wanted to check several other stores but when I asked several key questions on things like repair and delivery well they just could not provide me with “the goods”.

Finally after having a late lunch I persuaded Doyle to go to Sears, but first I had to compliment him on his “due diligence” in looking into this and offered a compromise if Sears could not provide what I was looking for.

Well they had a very nice selection and I zeroed into the Maytag’s’, of course Doyle wanted all sorts of “whistles and bells” and I was more into basic’s. Which of course had us pushing and pulling, we had to let the sales person know we were going to discuss this and would come back to him so he would not be tied up with us if there was another customer.

Finally I told Doyle “Darling, we are not washing the clothing of the Mona Lisa, we are talking sheets, towels, underwear, and other washable items, as long as it can do that I’m happy!” Doyle eventually saw the wisdom of my logic and so we selected a very nice machine in basic white, I don’t need other colors.

And we were able to find a comparable gas dryer as well. So out came the charge card (my insurance money for the replacement of them will go to the bill), arrangements were made on the delivery and installation, warranties were prepared as well as repair warranties as long as it’s a Sears purchase Sears will repair it with almost nothing out of my pocket, we even bought a new toaster (it can do bagels and muffins as well) the old one died this morning. Well when you see it go up in smoke you know it died.

I called my sister to see if she would be available to accept delivery in case neither Doyle nor I got home in time and she said she would.

Now Sis and I are waiting for Doyle to bring home Chinese take out, she was busy with her reports and I was too tired to even think about dinner, so Doyle being the gentleman that he is has gone out to find dinner.

I will get my things prepared to get ready for work tomorrow, in a way I’m looking forward to it but in another I’m sort of liking the idea of being at home, but I am concerned about being out of “the Loop” of things, of becoming to narrow in my outlook and such, of well I guess, of losing my edge.

How I feel after a month will determine my next course of action, with the weather so nice I feel a certain yearning to travel, but that will have to be on hold for now.

I’ve had a chance to see the last two episodes of “Grimm” before they took their summer sabbatical, I like it, its sort of quirky in a “Supernatural” sort of way before “Supernatural” got too serious, (but I still like the program Jensen Ackles reminds me of a younger Doyle but he has dark blond hair)

“Hannibal” is so bizarre but part of the problem is I came into the program when it was already at 8 episodes so without that back ground information it’s a little bizarre, I’m still trying to figure out Hannibal’s motives, he’s manipulating people and in some ways exacting revenge, but is he placing the “hero” in danger? I’ve got to see the first 7 episodes to really understand his motive.

I’ve just started a new program called “Motive” and you really have to watch for all the little clues, I’m not sure if this program is going to have “legs” but it is interesting. Doyle watched the first installment of “Brooklyn D.A.” he sort of likes it, but I felt it sort of weak, but then it was only the first program and well see how that goes.

Hmmm there’s a loud noise outside someone’s yelling, and it’s making Belladonna bark, we’ll have to investigate.

Later Darklings

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Of Getting myself back into the routine~~~~

Hello My Darklings,

Well on Monday I will go back to work, but I will be working for a month on half days, from 10 to 2, at least I'll miss the horrendous communte that BART has been inflicting on the public these last few days.

The system is so old now that it needs major upgrading and repairs.   So I will stick to using the bus and the Ferry for transportation while the weather is good, but come winter and rains I'll have to re-think it.

And then after a month both myself, my doctor and my boss we'll all do a re-evaluation if I can go back to full time again,  I think I can, but I have not pushed myself, so this will be the real test.

Yesterday was Lousies' last day, it was sad really, I've gained good friends with her and Ella and we are in touch via e-mail. 

Now my sister and I are going to do shopping we need to re-fill the pantry and we are taking laundry to the laundromate and to the dry cleaners.

I am happy to say that almost all the major work is done in the kitchen,  it moved a lot faster than I thought,  the laundry room below is  done and painted.  Tomorrow Doyle and I are going shopping for a washer and dryer,  I think we'll go to Sears, they have a good warrenty and repair program so we'll see what they have to offer.  

On the stove I'll have to wait at least another week before I could have one installed, the temporary one works fairly well but it's awkard,   so next weekend with measurements in hand for both the door to get it through and the space I want it installed we are going to this vintage stove resortration shop to see what they have and if they can take my old stove (poor thing) as a partial payment or something.

Then I hope I can relax a bit.

Dom Perignon----Ye Gods!!!  Fantastic Champage!!  The palate was never so excited as it tasted this,  where Doyle purchased it I haven't a clue, but now I know why people become so excited about it.

We had  a 1996 Moet "Oenotheque"  and it had a 95-100 rating!!!  and it cost double the quote I mentioned earlier.   Doyle was saving it for when I was able to go back to work and had it carefully hidden down in the cellar dungeon with the other wines, since I could not drink any because of the pain pills I had to take, I never ventured down there,  Doyle did just to make sure nothing was damaged from the water from the fire.

Darklings, you have to try it at least once in your lives---put it on your bucket list or something.   Now I am spoiled for anything else but I am cautious, one does not want to get greedy and to have too much would spoil my palate.

We are saving the bottle as a momento.   Even my sister was thrilled by the taste,  it's a good thing we lingered thru dinner and over desert, just savoring every drop.  And my lawyer was Sis's date, they seemed to hit it off very well.  I felt like Eliza Doolittle singing "I could have Danced all night" it was that sort of heady feeling of Joy!

And then Monday---back to "the salt mines" but I think I'll enjoy going back to work, at least I hope so, we'll see.  

Later Darklings