Friday, November 29, 2013

Of the Days after Thanksgiving~~~~

Well Darklings,

It's the day after Thanksgiving or Thanksgivukkah, and all through the house, the lingering scents of wonderfully cook foods linger, just enought to tempt a mouse, but we have no mice at least none to speak of, but tiny doggies who are hoping for some after Thanksgiving good cheer.

But one must be careful of doggie appietites a tummy upset can be a fright.

The Thanksgiving dinner was a success, everyone enjoyed themselves and there was more than enough left overs to take home and still have some for us, turkey sandwhiches with cranberry spread, perfect for lunch or a late tea instead.

Oh dear, see what happens when the holidays arrive, I start doing a little poetry.

Coralline is staying over the weekend with us, and just reveled in waking up in this "old house".  I thought she'd want to go some place but she just is perfectly content to help around the house as we did the final clean up and washing of dishes and pots and pans and silverware and glasses.

She was happy to go for a walk with Doyle, Brian, Belladonna and Weiner Dog and visit with Marrisa for a few hours before her folks had to leave to go to Marrisa's Aunt's house. 

Things were quickly and  carefully tucked into their proper places with everyone helping that we had it done in no time, Sis and I will heat up left overs for dinner tonight, although it still feels like the trytophan from the Turkey is still affecting us.

The new/old stove performed like a trouper, everything just perfect with the old thing.  Sis started baking cookies, all kinds of cookies, sugar cookies, chocolite chip, soft gingerbread cookies, Oatmeal and raisin, it is just wonderful,  right now the scent perking through the air, I offered to help her but she said she wanted the baking therapy.  So Laundry for me.

But the timing was just right, my policeman friend and his wife and children came as planned and I took them through a tour of the place starting with the garden while it was still warm outside,  and told them of how bad the garden was when I started but bit by bit things were getting fixed up thanks to friends and a very good gardener, I showed them the pet cemetery, the green house, even the garage and tool shed all period.

Then I walked them around to the front of the house to show the front garden and started the tour right from the entrace hall, main floor, upstairs, storage, down stairs and basement, and into the kitchen which was perfect for the children as Sis had a large selection of cookies ready to be eaten, and she even surprised me, she had hot mulled apple cider ready for drinking and hot water for pumpkin spice tea as well as coffee,

They had met "Kitty Kat" and saw some of the other strange things in the house, including the strange names over the door of each room, I said it was for fun.  Although the little boy Gavin had fun making "kitty Kat" roar, until I flipped the switch and said he was tired.  He even asked me if I had a floating head in a crystal ball----Hmmm I thought---and then said "Not yet, but I'm still looking for one".   He did give me an idea for next year. 

And he enjoyed my Cabinet of Curiosities, it seems the grosser the better, although his Mother sort of wondered, until I explained what such cabinets were all about, and why I have one.

They enjoyed sitting in the kitchen and relaxing, the wife told me that I gave her a lot of ideas on what to do with their home, but she knew it would take time and money, they both work full time, so I told them how I went about working on my Great Aunt's house and gave them the name and contact information of my contractor and gardener,  I said that first one must do the roof and the foundation, with all that work cracks will appear in the walls which can work to one's advantage espeically if you're doing re-wiring and plumbing.     

I made suggestions about not rushing to doing something but taking one's time, do what is important to the structural soundness of the house I said.   The wife fell in love with my stove, I told her that I was lucky in finding it, and that the cost of a refurbished one could send a person to the moon.  I also said that any speical hobbies would have to be put on the back burner, that bugeting is important, I said I was lucky in many respects.

They showed me pictures of the interior of their home and I said what should not be done otherwise they would destroy the feel of the house, I pointed out archtectural details that were correct to it and should not be destroyed.  Mr. Policeman wanted his "man cave" I told him about what I was going to do for Doyle, and said it is a good compromise.  He liked that.  

Doyle walked in with the dogs and Coralline in tow,  and while Doyle talked to Mr. Policeman Coralline told his wife what she loved about the house and proceeded to take her and her daughter upstairs to her room, while their son played with the dogs,   and then the Sun began to dip down, and they reluctantly had to leave,  I invited them to come to the Christmas party I was planning, children included as I knew the girls and my brother's boys would be there. 

They said they'd be happy to come, he would make arrangements to swap tours for that date.  I did suggest to watch for estate sales, sometimes one can come across a stove that is in good working order, the one they have now is small, I also told them about Elmira stoves depending on what feel they want to go with the house.  So much to do, so little time to do it in.

And now my nose is twitching,  to the scent of cinnamon and vanilla, Sis is baking another batch of cookies since she gave a lot of them to take home for the children, and Coralline is helping make a new batch including chocolate cookies with walnuts, the soft and chewy kind.  That child knows the way into this auntie's heart.

If it's a good day I think we'll burn a fire this evening.

Later Darklings

But sometimes its good to have fun.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Of Thanksgiving Wishes~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Yes Thanksgiving also known as Thanksgivuka (Because the first day of Hanuka Starts on Thanksgiving) is here.

Sis and I have been up early, our new/old O'Keefe and Merritt Stove is already slowly roasting the turkey, several pies are in the ovens baking and other things are being prepared, but right now Sis and I are taking a little break.

Doyle is walking Belladonna and Weiner Dog with Brian, they've become walking buddies and they get together on occasion for "man talk"

We are going to have a huge gathering, Brian,  Cousin Louise, My Brother his wife his 3 boys and Coralline, Marrisa and her folks and Marrisa's brother, a few of Doyle's friends.  It's a good thing the dinning room is huge and the table can seat 20 at full expansion.

We've set up the buffet for the dessert's and several large card tables to hold the platters, so everyone can serve themselves buffet style, the table will hold the small condiments and the tea cart is set up with wines and sparkling ciders. 

Yes it does take carefull planning, but Sis and I worked on that days ahead of time.

My brother has called and they are only a half hour away and plan to finish watching the Macy's parade here, I understand because of wind conditions there will not be any of the large balloons.

My brother and sister in law are bringing a change of clothing for the boys, they want to play football, and since I have a suitible area for them to play in no problem,  I said to him "Oh the annual 'Toliet Bowl' game?"  after all on Thanksgiving and New Year's there's all these Bowl games, like the Rose Bowl and the Hula Bowl---my Brother and his friends would play "the Toliet Bowl" a form of touch football and get very messy.  We warned Marrisa's Dad and Brother, as well as Brian and Doyle's friends to also bring a change of clothing, espeically if they join in the game.

Us ladies will be staying nice and warm.

I know come evening things will slow down a bit, we have games and music will be playing all suiteable for the holidays, I have plenty of Glad bowls for left overs to be taken home, it is a huge bird.

And I feel Thankful already, things have happened in my life, my sister's and Doyle's life, in my family's life and all seem to be going in a good direction, we have our ups and downs, the set backs and glitches and problems and tragedies that life throws at us.  We make plans and God laughs and says "I don't think so" because we still have life lessons to learn.

We are cautious on things to make sure that bad things don't happen or we quickly take care of it.  In the face of adversity we remain hopeful.

I remember my Grandmother saying "Hope for the Best, Expect the Worse, and Deal with what comes", I bless my parents and Grandparents for being so strong and steadfast and understanding, my siblings for being the best friends, Doyle for just being Doyle.  I look at the little dogs at their trusting eyes, and I want to give such love and Thanks to all living creatures on this earth.

I bless my late Great-Aunt who placed her trust in me to do the right thing.

And even when the darkness tries to overwhelm me, when I had reason to give into dispair, I bless God, Mary, Jesus and the Spirit of Goodness and Love, for lighting the candle of Light so I may find my way.

Happy Thanksgiving My Darklings
From My House and Family to Yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Of JFK conspiracies, "strange guests" and Dark Wine~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Sometimes I have fun, quiet fun when mentally tugging at someone’s braids or shirt tails---I do mean mentally. But sometimes it can reveal things that one wishes they should not have explored.

Saturday evening Doyle, Sis and I were relaxing after having an early dinner, we had seen on the news Friday night about all the damage done by the horrible windstorm that occurred on Thursday night, of which we had our own adventures with it. And then we watched a special about ‘where were you when JFK died”.

I remembered that Day that JFK died so clearly, that it would take a special post just about that. So on Saturday evening we talked about the conspiracy theories, and in some way I do believe that Oswald was a part of it although I don’t think he pulled the actual trigger, I think that he helped get a rifle for another person to use, someone who would have been considered perfectly normal to be at the book depository building.

But Oswald ran when he realized he had been framed, made the fall guy, I think Jack Ruby was also involved to kill Oswald, and if Ruby didn’t succeed, there would have been another person or Oswald would have been found dead in his cell without ever revealing his part in it.

There were at least two shots that hit JFK and one was from the front because the back of his head was blown out, an autopsy photo that showed that was never revealed, the Nixon film and the Zapbrudder film clearly show two shots, and an audio recording recorded a total of 4 shots, there had to be at least 3 shooters.

But putting it upon one man?? No, it was far bigger than that. Much bigger.

But what legacy would JFK have left? What could he have done after his 2nd term? History would have been far different, we would not have been in Vietnam for one, and the others? Who knows?

Saturday evening Doyle, Sis and I were still kicking the conspiracy theories around, Doyle has books and books about it, Murder and true crime are his favorite subject having been a police officer for many years. We even have discussions about Victorian Murders like Jack the Ripper.

Doyle has so many books on this subject that he had to put them in storage, but I’m going to be kind to him, behind the garage but off to one side of the green house is a large space, so I’m going to have an extension added to the garage which will hold Doyle’s books. My contractor will look into the permits but since it will be on the side of my property next to Sis’s house there won’t be any problems from any neighbor complaining. We will make it so the books will be protected and make it into sort of an office for Doyle for his research.

But while we were talking the telephone rang, our “ghostly artist” friends were driving around the area taking pictures of the damage the winds had done for the last two days and wanted to know if it would be alright to drop by, Doyle and Sis didn’t have a problem but Svengoolie was going to show “Evil of Frankenstein” with Peter Cushing so Doyle set the recorder. I said “Come on over”, then thought what could we serve them?

I mean its not polite to not offer something, Sis and I looked through the pantry, there were some dessert cookies and we had in the freezer the Petridge Farm single serving pastries, we could offer apple, peach, raspberry, and strawberry, and earlier that day we purchased and had in the refrigerator a chocolate cream pie that we were thinking of having for dessert while watching the movie, and there was various teas, coffee, sparkling waters, and wines.

We were set, I was already burning vanilla scented candles in the fireplace instead of a regular fire because of concern regarding the winds, and I placed cinnamon spice candles as well, and lit those. Doyle went to the CD player and put in 5 cds playing old time Jazz music by the Royal Society Jazz orchestra, and set it to soft volume, what some people don’t know is that we can have the music come through the speaker of our old 1930’s radio, it’s a floor model, the radio and record changer works and plays the regular a.m. stations and the old 78 records, but with a flip of a switch it goes to a concealed CD player and it sounds like its playing a lot of old 78’s. We can get up to and over 5 hours of playing time. It helps give the illusion of being in another time.

I wanted to set up an atmosphere of cozy comfort, using scent and sound followed by good food.

Our guests did not come empty handed and brought 2 bottles of Apothic Dark wine, this was a limited pressing from 2012, I had bought a couple of bottles the other day but had not tried it yet so this was going to be a treat.

Our guest’s ooo’d and ahhh’d over the house and its comforts. I asked them the reason for their excursions and our lady artist said she had been inspired by how wild the winds were whipping that night, that she even went out into it to get the feel of it. She said it made her face and body tingle, in some cases with a sense of freezing pain, she and her “husband” drove into it going to the beach that is not far from us and then to several parks to see how the trees were reacting to the wind.  I mentally thought what a dangerous thing for them to do, and how foolish, but artists types sometimes are only into the moment and to capture it.

They both talked of how they saw things being blown all over the place, it was like watching a one act play or a form of performance art as they were describing it, I rather liked it, in a strange bizarre way. They had video’d it and then the following day drove all over to photograph everything that they saw was damage, even the venerable old Eucalyptus tree that fell over at Lake Merritt, she posed all over the tree and its roots while her husband took pictures, she gathered some of the leaves and bark which she intends to include into her next painting---she is still working on her other series, but this windstorm inspired her for a possible new series, “That’s why” she said “It is so important to take pictures, so I can be inspired further”. It seems that this series will not be ethereal but more physically violent.

We told her what we experienced in our own area and Lucretia I even told her about you finding someone’s pajama’s on your Basil plant, I can only imagine your reaction to finding that unusual bit item, we laughed about it and our guest could see the humor in that, she said she’d like to do that as a counter point.

But I decided to tweak her a bit and said “why not a whole series of something like this but use the four elements. You could localize it we had a horrible Firestorm in ’89 or ’91 it was horrible killing 25 people” I began to describe to her the fire and the deaths to her, I told her how she could look it up on the internet, but then I began to see something in her eyes, she was excited by this to the point of like having a high. She didn’t relax until her husband spoke to her in a more matter of fact way in which would be the best way to promote the series and make it so that people would want to invest in such a series of paintings or installations.

When he talked in a more mundane and business type way she became her ethereal self again, I was at first having a bit of fun with her but then I was glad when her husband stepped in, there was something in the back of her mind, in her subconscious that I felt was not good to explore in our home environment. And I was mentally glad that Coralline did not stay over this weekend, for her to meet someone like that I felt would not be good for my young niece whom I felt would not be ready for someone so “Out There”.

Then our talk shifted to food and wine and we offered the cookies and Sis mentioned the pastries but our guests said that the wine would go better with the cookies and the chocolate cream pie but that we should taste the wine first.

We were very pleasantly surprised by this dark wine by Apotlic, it’s a limited edition of a blended wine of Petit Sirah, Teroldego and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a taste of dark fruits like blueberry and blackberry and then underlying it a hint of coffee and dark chocolate, it was an excellent combination that I found it silky smooth and rich to my tongue. Sis felt it should be a wine to serve with dessert, but Doyle thought it would be good to follow after eating a meat dish, like steak or something like that.

I felt that it was a good Autumn wine for relaxing in front of a fire after a busy day, something to indulge in to meditate and relax with. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars myself.

We finished our wine and desserts with coffee, by this time it was nearly midnight and our guests had to leave and thanked us for allowing them to drop by.

After they were gone we looked at each other, Sis told me that she felt that something very dark had been revealed accidentally that evening, Doyle said that it appeared that the husband was aware of his “wife’s” form of pleasure of other people’s tragedies, but we all agreed that it was not like people drawn to a dramatic situation that ordinarily doesn’t occur in one’s life but something that goes to the edge of the abyss and only the husband’s careful monitoring of her prevents her from falling in. Perhaps that is why she is always in white or off-white to keep her calm.

I could only agree, I had noticed that both Belladonna and Wiener Dog did not want to go near her and instead hopped into Doyle's chair and hid down next to him, I was concerned that since the dogs were both wearing sweaters they would become too warm but that didn't seem to bother them and would only come out after our guests left, I knew Belladonna to be very sociable and Wiener always greeted everyone who came by, but the minute our guests arrived they instead went into Doyle's chair, and we didn't try to coax them out.
Sunday morning we all felt like we had awaken from a strange dream from the night before, but the dishes in the sink proved that we did have visitors. Sis and I decided to go to church since we were up early, Doyle was going to take the Dogs for a walk. We managed to catch an early service, and later had coffee and pastry at a Starbucks, I was enjoying the reality of the crowd, and then remarked that we should stop by the newly re-opened Merritt Bakery for an afternoon tea dessert for us for today.  Something told me we should do mundane regular things today to escape the strangeness of the other night.

We took the long route and drove by the fallen Monarch of a Tree, we felt a sadness there, as children we’d gone to Lake Merritt on warm Sundays to picnic and feed the ducks I remembered playing around the tree, and we felt that we had lost an old friend. So many changes, some by alleged progress, some by an Act of God.

I called Doyle to see how he was doing and he and Brian were having breakfast with the dogs in tow at a friends' house, he and Brian had been walking together and a friend of his invited him to stop by for eggs and Canadian Bacon and strong coffee.  They were fine.  I told him we were shopping and would be hope later.
Sis had brought the shopping list and we did our grocery shopping and by a happy situation found quite a few bottles of the Dark Apotlic wine so we loaded up to lay in to the cellar for future. It is a good Dark Wine for those Dark Autumn and Winter Nights, but hopefully not a night like in a Hammer Horror film.

Later Darklings

One never knows what is out there in the dark, in the night.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Of Pfeffernusse, Raging wind storms, power outages and BART confusion~~~

Hello Darklings,

Yes Trisha it is Pfeffernusse!!!  But one receipe calls for a hard sugar coating and another is with powdered sugar.  And I remember Mr. Manning's was powdered sugar, his daughter in law baked them following his late wife's receipe.  My mouth just salavates with remembering,  it is amazing that I didn't get fat.

Earlier last evening I mentioned this to my Sister and she said when she has a breather (many clients this time of year) she is going to try and make it.  For her baking is therapy, but then she shares her treats with us and neighbors.  She told me that there is something wonderful about the smell of something freshly baking in a kitchen.

And hopefully we'll be able to do it this weekend, the stove man is coming tomorrow to work on the stove and if all goes well, we can start cooking on it.  With two ovens and such we are going to have a very warm kitchen for the winter, but that should feel good.

Right now my body is aching all over,  last night we had a raging wind storm with 45 mile an hour guses,  it was enough to cause a fire in Napa, power outages around the area, it was terrible last night, I heard glass breaking, and we went through the house but all the windows were fine, this morning I discovered a pine cone had smashed one of the glass panes in the greenhouse, shot through it like a bullet, tree branches and leaves all over the garden front and back, had to clean out the leaves from the outside pond, the indoor one was fine but had to put a board up to block the cold,  I'll have my contractor work on it in a few days.

Then we heard a sound like thunder so Doyle and I went out to investigate, while Sis stayed in the house, it turned out to be  my neighbors canopy E-ZUp had flown over into my yard,  there it was it's broken metal legs in the air, the canopy acting like a kite and getting shredded at the same time. He came over and the three of us wrestled it into submission fighting it and the wind.  We saw other things fly over which I  found this morning such as a styrofoam cooler and a few other stray things that were not mine.  So this morning I was cleaning the worst of it, my contractor who is also my Sister's contractor came over with two men and put them to work to take care of any damaged done to Sis's house where it was being worked on, and he told me if I found any damage to my house to let him know and he'll have men come by and fix it, but I told him it might be a few days. 

Sis had to go and see her clients, Doyle had to go early this morning but came back this afternoon and is finishing up for me,  we lost power last night, Doyle had stayed up to work on a report after we tamed the wild E-ZUp,  and the lights went out, so he went into the basement and powered up the emergency generator to keep the refrigerators and freezer going, and had enough power to light a lamp so he could finish his report.  He set the old windeup Westclock so he'd wake up in time.  Imaging how startled I was this morning when I heard it go off instead of soothing music, nearly gave me a heart attack.

Our power came back on an hour ago,  thank goodness.  And Sis said she'd help me tomorrow with anything that needed work,  all the debrie on the front porch, just unbelieveable.

We saw that a tree had lost some large branches partly blocking the street, but people managed to get around them.  City clean up will get to it, the police had reported it and managed to move the branches so we'd have egress.

And now my back is aching, my leg muscels are aching, my hands are aching,  I think this evening I'm going to take a nice long hot soak with plenty of bubble bath and a touch of J'Adore in the water.

I called my Cousin Louise to see how she fared and she said things were fine, messy but fine and she was going out to dinner with a friend of hers and to not worry. 

Brian called me from the BART Station, Bart was not running because of computer problems so he's going to be late to work, he managed to grab a transbay Bus but of course the freeway traffic over the bridge is backed up because of BART's snaffu.  It was good thing I didn't have to go into work today, I'd never make it.

I managed to catch some of the news, and it is a mess, power lines down all over the place, power outtages, cars damaged by falling trees, and two people were killed in all of this.  Amazing when Mother Nature starts throwing her weight around.

And speaking of weight being thrown around, it seems that BART has another snafu on its contract because of that one clause on family leave.  Of course the Union knows that the people are not happy and will not tolerate even an idea of a strike,  but they do have other recourse, it even may go to court or arbritration. 
I do wish a law would be passed and settle this once and for all.

I thought we might have Coralline this weekend but her Mother asked if we could have her for the following weekend instead, frankly that would be better, I need to know from the little girl, who is growing so fast, what mischief has she been into lately.

And Bat Kid is still in the news, it seems someone has put together a "movie trailer" as if a movie about the adventures of Bat Kid is coming out, not really but the trailer is fun, highlighting all the high points of Bat Kid's adventures.  The little guy said that the Penguin was nice and apologized for being such a Bad person, but not the Riddler, now he's got to catch the Joker.  Still a feel good moment.

Now I'm going to relax and have a cup of hot chocolate,  You're right Trish, I do make every effort for my home to be a santuary to feel safe and even cocooned from all the "evils" of the outside world, it becomes a world unto itself.  It is colors, textures, scents, and warmth, an enviroment to banish the stresses of the world.  We know there are concerns out there, some we can do something about, other's we can support positive efforts, and in others we make our opinion known by writing letters to our politicians and make our presence known at the voting booth.   I know that I cannot singlehandedly save the world, but I can save a small piece of it.

Oh and that very cute police officer that I met a number of weeks ago called and asked if would be alright to take a tour of my house the Sunday after Thanksgiving with his wife and two little children, I said that would be perfect and we arranged a time for them to come by, he said that he and his wife managed to buy an old 1912 Craftsman, at a good interest rate, a fixer upper, and estate sale, the person had no family and the funds were to go to charity, but it needed serious work, so he wants to have his wife see my house to be inspired.  I think I can do that.

And now for that hot chocolate.

Later Darklings

Sometimes the simplest pleasures are the best.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Of "static on the line", old musty book stores and BART is at it again~~~

Hello Darklings,

Oh yes Rebecca, that book on the Victorian House by Flanders is at the top of my list,  I'll have to see what is offered on Amazon.  

I know I would prefer to go to a local book store, but sometimes they have it and sometimes they don't, and my favorite book store has been closed for a few years, the owner was very up there in years and advertised that he was closing everything 50 to 75% off.  Of course we took advantage of it, it has always been my first place to shop for books, but when I saw how fraile he looked I realized he was doing the right thing.  His son and daughter in law was helping him box and bag books as they sold.  I could see how they were concerned about him,  the daughter in law told me, that ever since the Cat died, its name was Queen Elizabeth, her father in law was not the same afterwards and the Cat was nearly 20 years old.  Very old for a cat.

Then he was selling his book shelves and I put in a bid for 4 of them, so wonderfully old and victorian and got them too,  of course I had to borrow a truck and a friend to help me haul them, and put them into my apartment, now they are in different parts of the house still displaying speical treasures.

I miss Mr. Manning, he reminded me of a faded version of the actor Peter Cushing,  and his book store, it was crowded with books, and delightful things and his cat perched on a speical book shelf on a faded red cushion watching her kingdom, and what made it so speical was the wonderful scents of tea's and such, near his mystery section he also sold teas and tea cups and cozies and tea pots and all kinds of tea things.  I could never leave without buying a tea to try. 

I cannot forget how close to Thanksgiving and Christmas the scent of cinnamon and cloves filled the air, and his huge apolicary jar of ginger candies, "Good for a sore throat or cold" he would say and wrap a few of them in wax paper for me to take, always free.  The spice cookies Phiffin...something, such a treat spicy and sweet with a dusting of powdered sugar to get all over your clothes. 

And Tiffany style lamps to light a dark corner to reveal its treasures.  I would stop there at least once a week especially on my way to work to buy a mystery or informative book,  Mr. Manning knew what bus I had to catch and would warn me so I wouldn't miss it.  If I didn't have time to pay for the book he would hold it for me for next time.     

I miss places like that, if I ever come across a place like that again I would cherish it and support it, but alas, they are disappearing from the scene and will only exist in memory, hidden from view, like Harry Potter's Diagon Alley, a speical memory to go down and re-visit when I open a book, drink a cup of tea and have a ginger candy for a scratchy throat.


Well now I must deal with the here and now,  I'm glad I only worked a half day today, it gave me a chance to deal with a problem I thought was developing on my phone line and with the rain I was right, the static is painful to the ears and impossible to talk to someone espeically in dealing with business. 

Even Brian at my Sister's house was having the same problem so we knew it had to be a major line across the street where there are trees and branches rubbing, rubbing and wearing out the phone lines, so both he and I put in a "Trouble on the Line" call and I just hate the automatic telephone tree, but at least they have one for static on the line selection, BUT now I have to take tomorrow off because the phone man will be here between 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. HOW DELIGHTFUL!!   Oh well as long as its fixed, that is my concern.

So far though doing e-mail and posting on my blog doesn't seem to be a problem, in the long run I still do preferr a hard wire land line, to me cell phones are not user friendly, the voice keeps breaking up and people have a tendency to wander around their home or office which affects the quality of communication as they fade in and out---I have to keep saying to them that they are fading in and out and breaking up, do they have a spot where the signal is good.  Well of course they do but then they start wandering around again.
I Give Up!!

And its not 'romantic' for me, people do not know how to hold a telephone conversation, or even to say good-bye, or hello,  I had a wrong number call me one time and the man on the other end said to me "Hey Bro!!  Wassup!!  Man I've gotta ...."  and I interrupted him and said, "Excuse me but I do not think I'm your Bro or Brother,  I'm not even transgender..."  and he says "Wha.., What???  Hey ain't youse (insert name here)?"  "No" said I "and I don't even know the person"  and instead of saying "I'm sorry I dialed the wrong number" being apologetic they just hang up.  How Rude!!   Ettiquete decrees that you should aplogize for mis-dialing and bid the person a good day. 

Now I do have to say I have been given a number incorrectly, when I call and its not the right person I always say "I'm sorry but the number I was dialing is (blah, blah) to reach (so and so) have I mis-dialed?"  now usually because I'm so polite the response is either "well you've dial the right number but no such person is here"  or it will be "I'm sorry but you've dialed the wrong number" either way I'll apologize for having bothered them and hang up.  And I have never had a rude response either.   I think because I'm so polite it startles them......

Or maybe they think that a phone call from the past has traverse time and space only to interrupt their lives and leave a puzzelment....I like that idea...sort of shake them up out of their complacentcy.  Considered that's there's been a movie or two about that...Hmmmmm, such fun when you think about it.

And seems that the BART Directors are saying that there was an error in the already signed contract giving 6 weeks family leave and the Directors are saying that the costs for that will be too high, hmmm why wasn't that caught when they signed off on it, espeically considering that it was signed too by the original negotiator that no one liked...was that revenge on his part??

Now there is really no talk of strike but the possiblity of it is there, but the public is like "I'm so over this, I'm not on the Union's side."   I have to agree, it would be very harmful to strike right at the Holiday Season,  I can just see the public now, storming the BART stations with pitch fokes and torches and the BART offices as well.    O.K. who is going to pour down the boiling oil on the peasant rabble?

And for a while we had a wonderful feel good moment with Bat Kid, and another with a little two year old napping with his 9 week old puppy buddy, kids and puppies and kittens, even I can't resist that.

But the Typhoon in the Phillipines and Tornado's in the Mid-West, a harsh dose of reality to be reminded that life and material things are fragile.

And I just got a phone call from Doyle, I could hear him over the static, he's buying Chinese tonight with lots of Soup, no cooking for Sis and I,  he asked me to check to see if Brian and Louise want to join us,  I think tonight deserves to be with good people.  Don't you?

Later Darklings

I just hate waiting for them to fix the phone lines.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Of "murder most foul" and a cousin settling in~~~~~

My Goodness Darklings,

Did I surprise you with that subject heading?   Well yes I did intend to post that.

I've been relaxing a bit while waiting for Sis to get home, then we'll have our manicures, so nice for a treat.

The stove man has been called and will be here to work on the stove in a few days, if all goes well we can start using it and retire our little workhorse apartment stove, my contractor is happy he'll have it back, he needs it for another job and the homeowners wife will still need a stove for Thanksgiving dinner.  We've kept it clean but we'll do another bit of cleaning (gloves on) so it will look nice.

This morning balanced the check book, the cleaning service came and gone, my contractor called to say he has the gates so this Thursday the fencing will have gates added.  But I think we'll still keep the temporary fencing up for a while until we can find something at the salvage yards, I told my contractor about that and he thinks that's a much better idea, instead of dividing the garden into sections with fences and gates.

Louise's chicken dinner was just delicious,  and she had little saute'd cut red potatoes and steamed green beans, with some sort of cream sauce she made from scratch, I need to ask her for the receipe.

She looked over what furniture there was that we still had in storage that we didn't need nor want, there were a few end tables and some lamps,  a plain writing desk with chair, a two drawer metal file cabinet, and a plain bureau and a mirror to hang over it that she chose.  There was a twin bed frame sort of 1940's modern style that she felt was just right for her, I asked if she would prefer to purchase a double bed frame instead and she said no, the twin was just right.  So to the mattress place we went with the measurements of the twin bed frame and she made her purchase,  I just got a call and she said that it was delivered today so she'll need to buy bedding, she took  the bus over to my house to borrow my car, I thought she was going to go to Macy's or even Sears but she said that Wal-Mart will have what she needs.

I asked if she wanted a couch and comfy chair but she said she'll take her time selecting something, she is just glad that she bought the other day some rugs in as well as curtains and kitchen things.  The refrigrator and stove that her friend had installed is working beautifully.  And she going to get some groceries for her place, but I told her she is always welcomed to drop by at my house, just to call and let us know.  How her divorce is going to proceed is something else, but she has her lawyer and is very confident that it will be settled in a year.

Sis and I think that we might as well move the remaining things out of the storage unit and into either my basement or hers until we can finally decide what to do with them.  I think that will be a project for the up-coming summer.

And now "murder most foul"----last night it was hard, should we watch "almost human" or "Secrets of Scotland Yard", Doyle settled for recording "Almost human" and we watched the latter, and I found it fascinating how Scotland Yard or the Metropolitan Police Department came into being and how each major murder had the police department develop their techniques of detection, oh there was corrupt police officers, that couldn't be helped,  and how they handled the "Jack the Ripper" case may have had blunders, but they came up against something that they couldn't comprehend, usually when someone was murdered, it was for gain, or to get rid of someone, so it was a formula to try and find the culprit.  But with Jack the Ripper they were dealing with something unusual----a Serial Killer, something that was completely outside of their scope, but during that investigation they developed even more techniques for investigation, even if some of the major investigators may have mis-handled some things.  

But with the use of newspapers and broadside sheets, murder became a sort of 'spectator sport', will the police catch the criminal, will the criminal escape?  Sort of a Victorian version of "Survivor", but more shocking to the sensiblities of the middle and upper Victorian class.  And yet I think they had a sort of "thrill" about it.  Scotland Yard had their version of Sherlock Holmes but a real live detective, Dick Turpin.  I strongly suspect that not only did Conan Doyle based Holmes on his teacher Dr. Bell but also on Dick Turpin. 

There was an author interviewed who talked about the cases and about Scotland Yard, Judith Flanders, who wrote the book "The Invention of Murder",  this is a book about how Victorian Society in its own way cultivated murder,  and how it was looked upon by Victorian Society.  When I saw her name I went to my Library to see if I owned it and I do, already I'm enjoying it.  Ms. Flanders also has books about Victorian Society and if you are a Victorian Goth or love the Victorian period then her books are a must to have in your collection.   I think I'll purchase her books on Victorian Society to round out my collection.

When I think back on it I am so glad that I found at the Friends of the Library Book Sale "The Complete Jack the Ripper".  I know Darklings what a morbid thing to read towards the holiday season, but with the early darkness upon us, it seems befitting.

And now my sister is here and saying to me "Are you ready?"  well of course I am.

Later Darklings

You can never go wrong with a good book to read.  And I mean a book, not Kindle or e-book, a real book.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Of a Sunset and a Stove~~~

Hello Darklings,

I just stepped out onto the back porch to let the "gang of two" out and saw the most beautiful evening sky that I have ever seen,  clouds in various shades of pink from bright cotton candy to soft baby's breath, and the blue of the sky, from deep rich Maxfield Parrish Blue to sweet baby bunting or a bride's promise.  It was a delight to see, and gave such pleasure that I had to call Sis and Louise to come and see it. 

Sometimes the best things are those that do not cost a dime.

Sis and I have been working on the stove, cleaning it a section at a time,  with the burner gas pipes off we can really get into it to clean, the stove tops were soaking in an old elongated wash tub with boiling hot water,  Sis and I in clothing we don't mind getting filthy, hair wrapped up in bandanna's, platex gloves on, we're doing it from the top down, but the ovens we were suprised to see was not that bad, nor the broilers, so we do a little then rest, do a little more then rest, tackle some more have coffee.

In the mean time the apartment stove is oven roasting chicken, Louise came over and offered to prepare dinner while we had our heads in the other stoves ovens and such.  Although we wore gloves, we are going for a manicure tomorrow evening after Sis is done with her last client.

And I am going to call the stove man to check the new/old stove out and see what it might still need, a couple of knobs are stiff, and he can check for any problems and calibrate the burners and the ovens.

Doyle has been gone for the day checking out something, but he's on his way home,  I feel tired but happy at the same time, amazing what a simple thing like a sunset and a stove can do for a person. 

Sis is now out of the shower, and it's my turn.  The hot water will feel good, and then lots of lotion on my hands.

Later Darklings

Friday, November 15, 2013

Of dogs, gardens, unions and moving~~~~~

Good Morning Darklings,

A chilly nippy morning it is, even though the sun has come out to dry off the very wet dew.  Both Wiener Dog and Belladonna are wearing sweaters,  yes Sis has bought for Wiener a complement of sweaters, coats, rain coats and a t-shirt for the little guy.  No one has claimed him or asked for him, we've checked back with the Cemetery office, various shelters, the Vet and nothing. 

Sis took Wiener in for anothe check up and he's fit as a fiddle and he's about 6 months old, no microchip either, so Sis went the whole route, microchipping, other shots, nails trimmed, bought the right stuff for flea treatment, but he's fine right now, more food, and his own toys but he seems to like his blue wiener dog toy, he even takes it away from Belladonna if she should get too close,  I've seen them sleep together under the throw blanket.

With two dogs in the house we've had to purchase throws for the chairs and couches, then they can be whisked off for guests and parties.  But it will help preserve the fabric,  I was concerned about Wiener's chewing habits but he seems to be very good about that,  and with Belladonna's encouragment, he understands the signals to go out and do his duty.

My Gardener has finished re-enforceing the fence and it would be very hard for him to dig out and it prevents any run off of soil.  My contractor has put in the cement paths where the garden gates would be but has suggested that since my garden is so deep and the dogs are so small to install fencing with gates to separate the garden into sections, this way I can keep the dogs in my sight and prevent them from getting into an area where I can't see them.  His suggestion makes sense, currently Doyle has set up moveable metal fencing around the area that I refer to as a patio and it's very easy for anyone to clean up, so I think I'll select some period looking fencing with a gate and I think an archway to separate it from the rest of the garden.  I could even plant a climbing rose bush like "Cicel Brunner" to cover it.

And it's strange the other night when I mentioned it to Sis she became excited and showed me a photograph taken many years ago of the back of the house and it shows a wooden fence and a wooden covered gateway between the main garden and the patio area  from the 1920's, some how over the years it must have deteriorated and was removed, but this time it will be metal.  I showed this to Doyle and he said that we should check out Urban Ore and Omega Salvage, we could find what we're looking for there. 

More planning, more design.

Last night on the news we heard that the BART Strike problem is not over, although the BART trains are running, it seems that there is a problem in one of the area's of negotiations and management may want to go back to the bargaining table, the union has said if they do, they will strike.   Oh Wonderful!!!  Right at the beginning of the holiday shopping season! 

I've come to the conclusion that I really do hope that a law passes where transit unions cannot strike, because this is stupid, and economically harmful.  The Union will lose if this goes to the state capital.

At one time Unions were good in protecting workers rights, but now they've become greedy, one Union forced a situation where a large baking corperation had to close down and sell off its assests because the Union would not be reasonable, this put 2 thousand people out of work, Hostess cup cakes and Twinkies disappeared, as well as Home Pride Bread.  Well another company bought the cup cake and twinkie francise, and another is making Home Pride but that new bread does not taste the same, and even Twinkies (which I really can't stand) is not around like it use to be.

It appears this is what Unions are doing, taking everything to the brink to see if the owners or managers will blink, but what happens, the owners close up shop, sell everything and everyone is out of work.  Everyone loses,  if my Father was alive and he was a Union man, he would have been horrified at what the Unions are doing now, and they are NOT for the workers.

Well I'm done with that rant,  Louise is ready and we're going back to her new place to see how things are going, her friend says its ready to be moved in and will give Louise two weeks free rent, and start it on Dec. 1st for her, because she knows she'll be a good tennant.   So to read and sign the contract, take a measurement of the floor spaces and then to go and buy some things, first thing is a bed and matteress, I'll be loaning her a card table and chairs so she'll have a place to sit and eat,  I'm using Doyles van, he's using my car so that way we'll have plenty of space to carry things.  And we'll go to the storage unit that has the funrniture that neither I nor Sis want to see if there is anything Louise can use.  So much to do, so little Daylight to do it in and we still need to get some serious coffee in us.

Later Darklings

As I said, we do take our coffee SERIOUSLY.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Of Nostalgic thoughts and memories~~~~





---Emily Dickinson 1830-1886

I know Darklings, what a strange sentiment to start a post, but it is true, at least for myself and my sister.

Over these last few weeks, my sister and I have been involved in remembering the dead, our parents, grandparents, and our oldest brother.

We’ve been reading letters and looking at photos. The letters from our Dad to Mom during World War II have this immediacy, not that it happened 60-70 years ago, instead they leap over time and boundaries and death.

To the point where we can almost sense that they just might walk through the door, Dad yelling “I’m home, does anybody care?!!” and us children running to him and hugging him, of course we care, home would not be home without his presence or Mom’s.

Sometimes he’d surprise us with a bag of candy purchased at the candy counter at Woolworth’s, and we had to share and if there was an odd number left over, well that went to Mom and Dad with Dad giving the greater number to Mom.

Sometimes comic books, one for each of us, and we’d rotate them, I still have all the “Classic’s Illustrated” issues, it was how I was introduced to the classic novels, until I could read them properly.

The modern graphic novels don’t have that style, and do not address the proper novel form.

Sis came across the old slide pictures, but we’re not sure where the projector is, and if the lamp in it works, but once it’s found we’ll test it out.

Yes Darklings, we saved everything from our parents and grandparent’s houses, the houses had to be sold to settle the estates, and we were pretty much scattered because of our jobs. But we put everything into storage, bit by bit we’d pull a few things out and decide what to do, when a box had been gone through we’d mark it and put it back in storage until it could me moved.

But now with my Great Aunt’s house and its space, we’ve been able to get a lot of things out of the storage units, and go through them more comfortably. Sis is going to use quite a bit of the furniture from our parents and grandparents in her house which is good, our brother didn’t need it as his wife had her own ideas of decoration and given how active the boys are it was considered best.

But looking over the photo’s, were we really that young, I ask. But I was so glad to miss the worst of the hairdo’s and clothing, neither I nor my sister could get into the paisley stuff or beads, and peace symbols, leather and fringe, it just seemed so tacky. And it was a good thing that we learned to sew, I could never imagine exposing my knees in mini-skirts, although they are nice looking knees, but I felt that when one flaunts too much, one is just “giving it away”.

But the Beatles---not too long ago, at one of the movie theaters they were showing “A Hard Day’s Night” and hearing that first cord of opening music, I found myself being transported back to being a teenager enjoying the infectious enthusiasm of those 4 boys from Liverpool.

The other night I heard Gary and the Pacemakers singing “Ferry on the Mersy” and the tempo and beat of the song had me floating to another time, when one didn’t have the worries that one has now, you were free floating like a bobbing cork on the ebb and flow of the make-believe river, and could take deep breaths of freedom.

But our parents and grandparent’s houses are gone, torn down, one a parking lot, the other a part of a large apartment complex, the neighborhoods have changed, its not the same, stores that were there run by Mom and Pop’s who knew our names, all gone, some torn down, some burnt down. They exist only in our minds and memories.

I think that is why I fight to keep my Great-Aunt’s house preserved and kept up, a bastion to another time, another era, a period of grace and elegance and a certain amount of stability.

I asked my sister when did things change for us, and she said “JFK’s assignation, Vietnam, Watergate, Woodstock, pot and protests, Patty Hearst’s kidnapping, children controlling adults.” Then she remarked “Our dream finally ended we grew up and faced reality when Dad then Mom died and we were in essence orphans, for our parents were the one’s that prevented us from seeing the grave our own mortality.”

She was right and we try to pass on and preserve that graciousness that unruly child/adults try to rip away.

There is really no such thing as progress, only change and sometimes time marches backwards in a strange way, the concept of light rail, echoes our trolley cars, people buying old pre-1965 cars, those who restore old things like typewriters and telephones, various historical preservation societies, and re-enactors, the concept of Retro design, community gardens an echo of the old Victory Gardens, being organic means growing and putting up your own food, re-cycling was like “metal for Victory”, getting points on your credit card was like Green Stamps and Blue Chip stamps, save up enough and you could get something and so on.

Oh this trip down memory lane can be fun, nostalgic and sad at the same time.

And for now, well Darklings I am feeling much better, but I still get a little weak and light headed, so although I’m over the worst of it, there is still some after effects, I’ve been able to go into work but just half days for now, next week I’ll be pulling full days some of the staff did come down ill in spite of precautions.

I’ve been so wanting to work on the stove, but Sis told me to take it easy, it will be there, but I do want to start tackling it at least a little bit this weekend. Just do a little at a time, once it is properly cleaned and working then the kitchen will be back in order the way it should be, and I’ll be very, very happy.

For now I look at Doyle asleep in his favorite chair, Wiener Dog curled up in a hidden nook of it, Belladonna curled up on the couch hidden under an inexpensive throw blanket to keep her warm, its in the low 50’s outside and nippy. Sis is re-mounting some of the photo’s that have come loose and labeling them, a good thing to do.

And now I’ve heard the timer go off, dinner is ready, Stew tonight, hearty and warm, Doyle brought home a loaf of French bread, Louise has just arrived home from work, I’m glad I’ve only put in a half day, and several of Sis’s clients cancelled, they too have the flu, so we were able to have the early evening to relax, and now time to fill our tummies.

Later Darklings

It is good to get together with people you love.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Of Foggy Mornings and Mystery Novels~~~

Well Darklings,

I still feel miserable and achy, but the Alka Seltzer is helping,  Sis got me something for the runny nose, but she says it is important to drain the sinuses to prevent headaches and any infection, my fever has come down a bit which is a good sign, but I'm still eating lightly, although I think a little appitite is coming back.

I've been sleeping mostly, taking a good hot shower helps even though it tires me, Sis, Louise and Doyle have been doing a lot of hard work picking up what I can't do, I appreciate what they do.

Everyone had to leave this morning and left me to my own divices, which I understand completely, Doyle and Sis call every now and then to check on me, which I have done when they've been sick and yet I had to work.  In a way the peacefulness is good, because all I did was sleep, except when I had to sign for a Fed Ex package for Sis.

Louise to see her lawyer and her friend who owns the complex and then I think to buy a few things for her place, I told her to use my car, when she left her husband she called a taxi because they only had one car, and she said she certainly didn't want it.

Sis with clients, Doyle with several assignments.  But I told them to be careful driving for it was foggy this morning, Doyle said there was no fog in last night's forcast, so it was unexpected, but I wondered why I heard fog horns faintly this morning, now I know why.

Poor Belladonna and Wiener Dog were puzzled by it, they thought it hides the Boogins.  Doyle had put out the portable metal fencing to keep the dogs in an area where I can see them when they go out side until all the work is done on the fence and the gates installed.

I stepped out onto the back porch with my cup of hot tea and just enjoyed the fresh feeling of the air, that foggy dampness that is not rain but surrounds you like a shawl, in many ways I like fog better than snow or rain.

It's mysterious, it creates mystery, its the stuff of old Film noirs and horror movies, it hides the imperfections of the city, it makes even my back yard mysterious, spooky,  unreal and creates a hidden distance into nowhere, from which a mysterious figure could emerge, like Sam Spade, Philip Marlow, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the hound of the Baskervilles or Heaven Forbid! Jack the Ripper.

It's the atmosphere of ships at dock, abandon wharfs, fog horns in the distance, gloomy castles, lonely cemeteries where strange beings rise up from hidden depths, and it's just perfect to enshroud your home, press against your window with tendrels that cling with wet damp foggy fingers, the atmosphere of claustrophobia, to make you want to curl up in front of a fireplace, with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book to read in the evening, in the hopes that the flames from the fireplace will keep back that which is hidden, unseen in the dark.

The down side of this romantic outlook on fog is dangerous driving conditions, slippery sidewalks, catching cold. Oh well one can't have it all, come to think of it I do have a good murder mystery to read this evening if I feel up to it. 

Doyle will record Grimm and Dracula for me should I fall asleep, mouth open and snoring, not at all looking beautiful or romantic but just an elder goth with the flu and I know he'll tuck the blanket around me and quietly get into bed to not distrube me, and hope that I do not have another retching attack and pay homage again to the toliet bowl god.

He's a good man.

Later Darklings

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Of feeling miserable~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Dear Patricia and Lucretia and everyone who sent me get well wishes, Thank You, Thank You.   There is something energizing knowing and feeling the caring from people, I know that when the heart is lifted everything else will follow.

I must confess I had a miserable night, sweating and everything, Doyle helped me change nightgowns (the Flannel type) and sheets and pillow cases because I sweated so much it became very damp, Sis said to not worry she'd do the laundry tonight. 

Now I'm dressed in a sweat suit, thick socks, a flannel robe, fuzzy-wuzzy slippers, a knitted cap to keep my head warm, nose all red, eyes all red, hacking, wheezing, sniffiling and sometimes looking for something to throw up in---as our Daddy would say "This one's a beaut!"   Louise said last night that once I have a good retching I'll begin to feel better.  I know Darklings---How gross.

But she was right, last night, middle of the night, with Doyle holding my hair back,   I worshiped the toilet bowl god,  and then a libation of Alka Seltzer for Cold or Flu, I think I'll buy stock in that company.  

Doyle said he would buy some Ginger Ale to help keep my stomach settled, and he said he'd serve it in a champagne flute, a classy man, but right now I don't look or feel classy.  But Sis and Louise said I'll be feeling better in no time, as I feel like an ex-Klingon battle crusier dragged through a wormhole back wards and meeting up with Romulans with their cloaking devise right now.

I know it does sound like I'm being a pitty-puppy but I know all of you have gone through the same thing, so we can all comiserate.

I'm wondering if after I recover if I should get a flu shot and Sis said that once I'm up to par I should because there is more than one strain out there.

Belladonna and Wiener are keeping eyes on me, Doyle and Sis take turns walking them.   Louise is busy, and rightfully so, making arrangements to move into her new place, but she will prepare dinner tonight, she is a marvelous cook, but she feels bad that it might be too rich for me to eat, I told her to not worry and go ahead.

And now Darklings, I'm feeling sleepy again, and that is the best medicine----right after Alka Seltzer for Cold or Flu.

Later Darklings

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Of sniffles and body aches~~~~~

Well Darklings,

I think I have the flu, my body aches, my tempeture is up, headaches, I don't feel like eating but Louise, Bless her, temps me with a bit of fragrant tea and saltines,  I drink water to keep hydrated, and I'm taking asprin to lower the feaver  and sleep, sleep, sleep.

I'm up because it aches to be in bed and it aches to sit up.  I do not like being sick.  PooH!!!

I just talked to Coralline and she feels bad for me, but I told her to stay well and her brothers are being nice to her, her older brother has even helped with her Monster High doll house, fixing one of the wheels on it.  And she's learning all about spiders and snakes from her friend a young boy next door to her house.  This terrifies her two younger brothers----a girl not afraid of spiders.  Although she did confess to me that in the wild she's not to keen on them.

Doyle is going to pick up some Wor Won Ton soup for me, although Sis has in the smaller crockpot some homemade chicken soup, which can be frozen and heated in the microwave.

But she's has in the bigger crockpot minstrone soup slow cooking,  that and a salad and french bread for everyone else.  

Now I think I need to go lie down again, my head hurts so bad, Louise is getting a knitted cap for me to wear as I sleep to warm up the upper sinuses,  as I said I do NOT like being sick.

Later Darklings 
Right now this is how I feel.  Pooh!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Of shifting to quiet mode and darn--a cold~~~~

Well Darklings,

My plans for going into work today have been dashed, I've come down with a cold, which means I cannot get a flu shot until I'm well and truely over this.   How frustrating!  My Boss told me to stay home the entire week, he said he can't afford to have people come down sick, he has an intern that can do some of the basic things for me and to just relax.

Louise wanted to stay home and take care of me but I told her she had plans and to go ahead with them.   Sis however was planning to stay home today to catch up on her reports, she has one client who will be coming over to her house next door where she has set up a small office for her work, she can have some of her clients come to her home office but at this time not all of them as she needs a certain amount of quiet but she'll be here if I need anything.

I much rather stay down stairs, its warmer and if I need anything the kitchen is close by and I can lie down and sleep in the down stairs room.  Belladonna and Wiener seem to know that I'm not well and are hugging close to me although last night Wiener slept with Sis as its becoming his habit.  And Wiener goes from the family parlor to the library to check on both Sis and me.  Belladonna just stays with me.

Dear Lucrecia, I was not aware that some shelters charge for surrendering, I remember that one time we had to surrender a cat that was abandon at our house in a box, and because of Dad's allergies we took it to the shelter and were not charged, but I guess times have changed.   I still would prefer surrendering as oppose to abandoning, in the long run its kinder.   And I'd never give one away on Craig's list, I've found out that even if its a young woman that acts nice to collect your pet, its really for those dog fighting rings, they use those pets offered on Craig's list as bait.   More cruelty that I dispise.
I'm so glad I had the cleaning service in yesterday although both dogs had to stay in the open pen in the kitchen to not be underfoot, Belladonna is use to it so it helped Wiener take a lesson from her.   My Gardner called and said he could start tomorrow on the fence re-inforcing. 
I bundled up and talked to my contractor about the gates and such and he can put a team on the concret part tomorrow as well, want to get it done before the rains arrive, which it might by Sunday.  He showed me some gate designs which would go well with the house and one pattern is a very close match to the fencing that already exist so I'll go with that.   I'm so glad that I have the House Trust Fund to draw funds for this, as it is improvements and repairs, otherwise I could not afford it at this time.

Much of the work on Sis's house is done, now it's more cosmetic on the interior, next year she will have the landscaping done as well as having the house painted.  Except for the Kitchen and Brian's room and Sis's office the house is pretty bare, and even Sis's office will undergo some changes, all the walls are painted white thoughout the house but that's just to finish it off until she can decide what to do and how to furnish it.

Doyle and Brian took the day off and have put away all the Halloween decorations into the storage area behind the garage, the Thanksgiving wreath is up,  and eventually some lights and outside decorations will be put up for Christmas.

Oh my head hurts so much I can't think about it.  And we still have the stove to clean but Sis says to not worry about having it ready for Thanksgiving and just get well.  Even the best laid plans etc. etc. etc can some times get side tracked.

I had brought down a box from the upstairs storage area and it contains letters that Dad sent to Mom during the war,  labeled War & Navy Departments V mail Service---Offical Business.... and when I opened up the top letter the first words that Dad wrote was "Hows everything Keed!  Hows every old thing on the Home Front"  he must have written it in pencil because some of the words are faded, I'm going to take my time reading these things and try and make out some of the words I think Sis would be interested in them as well.

"Keep the Home Fire's Burning, While my Heart is yearing....."

Later Darklings 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Of adjustments and adjustments~~~~

Well Darklings,

It is official the little fellow's name is going to be Wiener Dog or Wiener,  we were not sure of the correct spelling but now we know.

Dear Lucretia thank you for the suggestions, we suspected about the burrowing, my Gardener showed up and I talked to him about that and he said he could do it and recommended at least 6 in wide boards in 6 to 8 foot lengths, he's been wanting to build up the sides of the garden anyway to prevent run off, and we're going to have to add two gates with concret paths one between the garage driveway and the garden and the other between my garden and my sister's garden, not exactly planned but thinking about it very necessary, with the concret paths it might prevent Wiener from digging under the gates.

I had been thinking about doing that for the garden, just not quiet so soon, so my Gardener will be back in a day or two with the boards and braces and I've called my contractor and he's coming over tomorrow morning before I leave for work and we can discuss what will need to be done. 

And now not only do we have to make adjustments but so does Wiener. Sis and Doyle left for work today and Wiener was upset, at least I'm here and Belladonna plays with his ears to distract him by flipping them with her nose, she tries to take his toy and they seem to do a mock play about it, it seems to help.  I think having the two of them together is good for both of them, but I called my speical occasion dog sitter and ask if she could handle two dogs, she doesn't have a garden more of a patio all brick fence so I don't think Wiener can escape from there and she was pretty sure it would not be a problem.   So until the little fellow gets use to the routine this will be a bit stressing for him, thank goodness he has Belladonna to keep him calm.

To everyone, I agree why would anyone abandon a pet like that is just cruel and unthinkable, it is much easier to surrender a pet to a well maintained Animal Shelter it does not cost anything to do that and 99 percent of the time they are adopted only under very difficult circumstances are they put down.   But people don't think, if they throw away an old coffee maker, they'll "throw" away a pet and it is cruel.  People who do that have no compassion or a conscience, they are the ones that will abandon their elderly parents in an unhealthy care facility and not check on them, they can't be bothered. 

I think it was some sort of fate that led us to find Wiener Dog, because orginally we were going to have Belladonna with my sitter but I changed my mind at the last minute and it was a good thing.  It could have been days before the grounds keepers would have found him and we are getting very cold nights now, he could have starved or died from thirst.  

Belladonna takes a certain amount of possiveness about him, well she is older and he's just a pup, so its understandable.   But Wiener Dog----what a name.  Why not Max or Buddy or something like that?? But Doyle named him and the little thing responded, so the name stays.
Cousin Louise's new home is one of those happy circumstances, her friend is into vintage and bought this property some 30 years ago as an investment to prevent it from being torn down and a block of cheap looking apartments built instead, at least back then there were some far seeing people into historical preservation.   If one hunts one can find gems in the most unexpected places.

For example I have an aquaintance that has a 2 acre property up in the lower part of the hills, and it is surrounded by single family homes whose back yards back into this property, to get to it one goes down this one block street and encounters a huge wooden fence with a car wide gate, unlock the gate and you are in a different world as if one has gone back into the Victorian era, and yet in looking at the stucco houses on either side of the street leading to it one would never know its there, and oddity amonst normalicy.  Two whole acres??  Fortunately my friend makes good money and can afford the taxes, I believe because the place is so old and is historical I think they are seeking historical status to prevent it from being taken over by developers.  Some politician or some important person lived there.

Sis has come home much to the delight of Wiener, she's barely put down her purse and brief case and he's all over her.  She is going to change into her walking shoes and we are going to take both of them for a walk before dinner, it's been slow cooking in the crock pot, on such cold evenings beef stew with lots of hardy veggies over a bed of rice to soak up the juices seems in order.  Louise is out to dinner with a friend so it will be just us four Brian, Doyle, Sis and myself and the two little 4 legged children.

Then we'll relax and watch our favorite shows, Bones, Sleepy Hollow, Castle and I'm going to record The Blacklist, James Spader is just wonderful in it, he makes evil seem sort of friendly.  Oh that is twisted thinking.

And I have yet to let you know what we think of Cupcake's Red Velvet wine.....

Later Darklings
Even in Dark Times, one must look for the good things.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Of a Lazy Sunday after Halloween~~~

Well Darklings,

It seems Wienner Dog is settling in quite well, he and Belladonna play very well, but until he's familar with the grounds someone has to be with him so he won't get into trouble.

Doyle is now checking the fence line all around to see if there are places where he can dig out and we'll make arrangements to re-enforce them. 

Since our clocks have fallen back an hour I and Sis were up early by Standard Time rates, but that was fine, I asked Sis how did the little guy sleep since she put his sleeping bed in her room and she told me she heard him wimpering, so she moved his sleeping pillow onto her bed and covered him with one of our cheap fleece throws so he could burrow under it, she woke up this morning with him next to her with his cheap blanket over him and his toy under his chin. She slept like a rock for the first time in ages and the dog seemed to do well too.

I said that she might be getting him into a bad habit and she said "But he's such a little thing"  Oh well thought I, I learned my lesson with Belladonna and look where she sleeps, on my bed, at the foot when Doyle is home, next to me when he's not.

I told her that I understand Dashunds tend to be oberfurers and want their own way a lot.  She said "I don't have a boy friend, have no intension of getting one so I don't see a problem."  Oh well again thought I, live and learn, he seems to dote on her already since both he and Belladonna are at our feet under the kitchen table.  Doyle came down stairs joined us for coffee, after he poured himself a cup he looked at the dog and said "Come on Wienner, let's go out side and explore."  and the little thing did followed by Belladonna.

Cousin Louise asked us to come with her this morning to lookover her future apartment to get ideas for her furnishing it.  We were pleasantly surprised to see that it is indeed a cottage in a court of 8 cottages in a U shape, each separate from the other, Louise said some were one bed room and some were two, hers was two.  They appeared to have been built in either the late 20's to early 30's and retained much of their period design.  In going into her cottage we found ourselves in a modest living room with a marble fireplace of 30's vintage, and I saw the chevron pattern on the hardwood floors, across from us were two doors they led to the two bedrooms, the first was not very large but also had a fireplace it's chimney connected to the one in the living room,  the second bedroom was much larger with a huge closet, they were separated by a bathroom tiled in pink tile with black trim.  There was also a small dinning area and a galley type kitchen, a back door off the kitchen led down a few stairs to a laundry area with space for a washer and dryer, there was a door that led to a little back yard with an out door clothes line.

The whole place was like a tiny house, the old stove and refrigerator had been removed and it looks like they were doing some cleanup work where they stood.  Cousin Louise asked us what we thought, I looked again outside and saw how nice the inner court was kept with a flower bed and rose bushes although its was going into winter.  I asked where would she park a car and she said behind the other cottages across from her was a driveway and the garages were in the back,  between the last two cottages was an arch pathway that one could walk to the garages and this was well lighted.   The owner of the property lived in one of those cottages.  We pronounced the arrangement as perfect and if she felt at home here that was great!

But the problem was furniture, Louise was not going to take anything except her clothes and some personal items from her former home her soon to be ex-husband could keep the lot, she was starting fresh.  The smaller bedroom was going to be her at home office, the larger one with the huge closet would be her bedroom, so I said the first thing she would need would be a bed, everything else she could get a little at a time.  So she's going to look into that once the interior was painted.

We left and went to do some shopping at the store, Pot roast is on the Sunday menu, and I saw a bottle of wine that intrigued me, it's called Cupcake Wine and the particular one was named 'Red Velvet' at $8.99 a bottle we thought lets try it, so at dinner tonight we'll discover if its good or not.

When we got home we found Doyle asleep in his favorite chair with both Belladonna and Wienner curled up in his lap. Well Wienner was more buried under his arm and along side him and Belladonna in his lap. We let them be until they woke up on their own.  Sis is preparing the Pot Roast and we have a fire going, Doyle has come in from outside followed by "his gang".  Once I log off, I need to balance my check book and do a bit of laundry, Cousin Louise is making a list of things she'll need to buy for her place, and Brian, Sis's tennant/roommate has come over and challenged Doyle to a game of ....are you ready for this Darklings....Mexican Train Domino's, of course Sis and I eventually I will join in.   We don't need X-Box or Game Boy to entertain ourselves just human interaction.  

It may seem like we're old fuddy-duddys but it is relaxing, I'm even going to turn down the lights a bit and light some candles for atmospher, after a bit it will feel quite Gothic, espeically when the sun goes down.

Later Darklings
Just another quiet evening with us old folk

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Of finding something abandoned, lost and found~~~

Well Darklings,

Today has turned out a bit different than we planned, we are home now from church but with a little situation, and its a good thing our cousin was able to help out.

We went to the cemetery as planned, visited the graves and put flowers out.  Belladonna was with us enjoying the change in location and scents, we trimmed some of the grass back, and made note to bring stone cleaner in the spring, the hard water can make the smooth surface of tombstones have that hard water streaks,  when Belladonna got very excited about something.

We thought oh she has seen a squirrel so Doyle took her leash to humor the little thing and went walking with her on the hunt as Sis and I finished things up.  We sat down for a minute to rest and Sis remarked to me how much Belladonna seems to keep everyone on their toes and we laughed about it.

Then we heard Doyle call us, we turned and saw he was still walking Belladonna who was hopping up and down towards something in his arms,  it turned out to be a very young dog, a black and tan Dashund.  No collar or anything, Doyle said he found the dog tied up with some string under a bush over near the fence of the cemetery, no one with it not even near by, Sis and I went to the spot and looked around for anyone but there was no one.  It looked dirty and cold.  Belladonna whined and kept looking at the dog but wagging her tail like "Look what I found Mummy".

I asked Doyle how did he find it and he said Belladonna led him to the little thing, I was concerned that maybe it had been abandon because it had Parvo, Doyle said one way to find out is to see if it refuses to drink water, so we put Belladonna's portable drinking bowl down and poured water in it and it drank and drank that we became concerned that it would make itself sick.  But it didn't seem to have Parvo.

What to do?  Sis said lets take the dog to my Vet and have it checked out and go from there, we stopped at the cemetery office to report the dog and gave our contact information if anyone reported to  them about it.
Then off to my Vet and hoping that we could be fitted in.

We were lucky the appointments were light and the Vet could see us.  We told her how we found the dog and we really didn't want to take it to a shelter but wanted to leave contact information, the Vet helped us, and checked the little thing out,  it needed a bath and flea treatment and it was about 5 months old.  So we left the little thing with the Vet and said we'd pick it up in a few hours and wait for the results.

The Vet must have done a rush on the tests,  we went back before the office closed and we were told no Parvo, but might need puppy shots to be on the safe side and appeared to be in good health, so out came my credit card but Sis said no it was going to be on her, so she paid for all the treatments, and made an appointment to bring the little thing in later this upcoming week for a further examination.

The cemetery office told us that on occasion people abandon their pets there and they have to call Animal Rescue to get them, mostly cats it appears and the Vet said she would contact several shelters to see if anyone reported a lost dog, but we all remarked that it was strange that someone would tie it to a bush, like as if it was abandon but there to be found by the caretakers.  But instead we found it.

The Vet had puppy food for it and suggested several brands that would be good, and it had been bathed and flea treated and we were told it took to bathing pretty good, but we think that it might have been too scared to do anything.  The Vet said that if we decide to keep the little thing to consider having him neutered, Doyle had a pained look on his face when that was mentioned,  I could understand his reaction, but we were in no hurry on that.

So then off to the pet store for a leash and collar and some more puppy food, its own bowls and a dog pillow also on Sis I said that she was putting up a lot of funds for a dog that we may not keep, and she looked at the little thing now in her arms and said to me "I beg to differ"  I only raised my eyebrows and began to realize we may have a new family member.  We put the new collar on the little thing as well as a matching leash and it immediately wagged its little tail and gave Sis a look like "I'm with you?  We're partner's right?"  and then we walked down the doggie toy section heading towards the check out counter when suddenly it grabbed this long blue squeeky dog toy it looked like a blue Wienner dog made out of terry cloth it was longer than the real dog and the little guy was not going to give it up, so with chew bones, dog bowls and bed, collar and leash and puppy food we marched to the counter.

Cousin Louise was home when we arrived and was as surprised as we were about the little guy and asked us the obvious "What's his name" and Doyle said "Wienner Dog" and we said "No" but he was firm. As we put the bowls in the kitchen he said "I prove it to you" and called out "Hey Wienner Dog" and the little thing came running in, found its food and it ate, so we surrendered.  Then we saw the time and asked Louise to watch both dogs while we were gone, she said she could.

And now we're home, because our schedule was mixed up Doyle has gone to  get our old standby Chinese".   Who 'Wienner Dog' is going to belong to I'm not sure but I am aware that they do suffer from back and hip problems, so we shall see, I don't think we'll get a call about someone missing a dog, and from the way its acting it seems to think its home carrying its toy in its mouth, Belladonna seems to have taken to him.  We think so too.

Later Darklings

Of All Soul's Day~~~

Hello Darklings,

It's All Soul's Day.  A time to remember our family and friends who have passed on, to remember them with love and good memories, to celebrate their lives and what they have taught us.

The Hispanic people have the right idea with Day of the Dead Altars and celebrations, and in our own way we do it too, a little differently but we do remember them.....of course it helps if the weather conditions are good.

Today we are going to the cemetery to put flowers on our loved ones graves, tonight we'll go to church for the Saturday evening service----yes we are still Catholic in our observations and beliefs, abit still 21st century outlook.   If it were raining then we'd have small bouquets of floweres on a table with our folks framed photo's and candles and celebrate them.

Then we head into a period of quiet for the next few weeks, no hectic celebration or anything like that, it is a good time to reflect and prepare for the winter to come, in terms of going out or celebrating we most likely might stay home or simply have quiet events to go to or do, or not do if that is our choice.

It is good to have a quiet period, it helps the soul and the mind, as well as the body----and Sis says its a good time to get your flu shot as well because then you'll have a week at least to recover from it.  I do not argue with her on that, we are due for ours.

But today the weather is good, we bought our flowers yesterday and they are in buckets of water, Sis is ready, we'll take Belladonna with us,  and Doyle has put the buckets of flowers, (with only a little water) into the back of the car, and he's looking for the small pruning shears.

So we'll be going.   I may post more this evening it depends upon how I feel.

Later Darklings

Friday, November 1, 2013

Of the Day after Halloween~~~~

Well Darklings,

The party was a success.   Proper mood music playing softly in the background, guest bringing over pot luck to add to the buffet, lots of drink both fremented and not (soda).  Lot's of trick or treaters coming over, neighbors dropping in for a bit after escorting their little monsters for candy, Belladonna safely in her open pen so she can get petted but not underfoot.

One television showing old horror movies Dracula, Frankenstein but not to the point that it would intrude, more as background.  Kitty Kat roaring to the children to not go up the stairs.  

My brother and sister in law brought over the children so they could trick or treat in the neighborhood, and then come and eat afterwards, Cousin Louise having fun for the first time in years handing out candy to the children that came to the door.

The children having fun looking at the decorations, old Grimm looking like he had come up from Hades with the fog rolling out from under his long cloak.

And then bit by bit everyone drifted off as the hour got late, no more children at the door, kisses to the family,  Hugs from Coralline for her monster high dolls and from the boys for their gifts as I saw their eyes slowly drooping from being tired.

Then it was just Sis, Doyle, Louise, Brian and myself, the paper plates and disposable stuff all bagged for the garbage pick up this morning, empty bottles for re-cycling, left overs refrigerated to be eaten tonight (and maybe tomorrow), kicked off my shoes and put on my slippers for comfort and then......and then.....***sigh*** it happened.

Our local crazy was screaming at the top of his lungs running up and down the middle of street and where he got the 4th of July sparklers I'll never know but he held several of them in each hand  and screaming that demons were chasing him he had to burn them up.   We were fearful he'd set something on fire because it seemed that as each sparkler burnt out he'd light another one.  Doyle didn't waste time and called the police, they came code three.   Between the police and his father talking to him he finally calmed down, and we were frightened to find out that he had gasoline on his clothes, how he never caught fire was a miracle.

He was taken into protective custody, but just as they got the sparklers and lighter away from him he started fighting and biting, looking like a rabid animal with wild, unfocused eyes, they had to use restraints.   I was so glad that the children were not here to see this, I know it would have terrified them.

After all the excitement we decided a glass of wine was needed.   That and sleep, blessed sleep.

This morning I heard someone puttering downstairs and it was Cousin Louise, bless her she came down and finished cleaning the kitchen, she told me she's an early riser anyway and wanted to do something since I wasn't asking anything from her, she made our day after clean up much easier.   Then she was off to see her friend who is renting a cottage apartment to her so she wanted to do a walk thru and take photo's and make notes of things her friend (who owns the rental property) may need to do before Louise moves in.

Sis and I decided to go to the Spirit store to see what was left over to buy on sale, and we did pretty good, I bought an evil female gnome, and a zombie frog, and Sis scored some lovely jewerly with skulls on a cameo, at a local drug store I found some ghost and pumpkin Peeps for Doyle he loves that stuff.   And we saw that among the new Christmas decorations were heavy duty outdoor cord in green, perfect for blending into the grass and bushes, so to see what will need replacing and we'll be back to buy it.

We stopped off at the Catholic Church and left our All Souls list with a donation for prayers, although we'll go to the cemetery tomorrow to visit our parents, grand-parents, our great-aunt and my brother.   I'm glad that the weather will be good and not too cold.

Now we're home and Doyle just arrived and informed us that it seems our local crazy will be in care for some time until the doctors claim he's "funcitional"  until the next time.  

Cousin Louise informed us that the Cottage apartment is lovely they had just taken up the carpet to replace but Louise saw the hardwood floor underneath that was in very good condition and asked why re-cover the floor, her friend pointed out a spot behind the front door that was stained but Louise said that wasn't a problem a small rug would hide it with an umbrella vase on top.   So now she just has to wait for it to be painted and the stove and refrigerator replaced they were in terrible shape, it should take only two weeks and she can move in, and she made very good arrangements with her friend on the rent.

She seems so happy to be starting on this new venture of living and we're happy for her.

Now my feet are up resting, I'll take down this weekend some of the indoor decorations while Doyle takes care of the outdoor one's.  And then come Sunday we'll be back to Standard Time, the dark night will come earlier, the weather will become colder, the house cozier in a darkish way. 

The following weekend Sis and I will tackle the vintage stove and get it cleaned up and then make an appointment for the Stove Man to test and calibrate it, but I have a feeling that all will go well.  I can hardly wait to start using it.

And tonight "Grimm,"  and "Dracula" and "Hawaii 50" with zombies,  I'll have to record "Grimm", I mean Darklings Hawaii with Zombies???  Can't miss that.

Everyone had so much fun, they just 'wolfed" the food down.
Later Darklings