Thursday, October 31, 2013

Of A Halloween Chant~~~~

Well Darklings,

Halloween is upon us, I only have time for a short post.

Cousin Louise is helping me in the kitchen, my new stove is not ready yet so the small one is doing yoeman's work.

Sis and Doyle will be helping out this afternoon to make sure everything is in place.  Food  and drink to be served buffet style, the dinning room table streched out to its limit.

And for just a brief moment when I woke up this morning I remembered a Halloween chant that I and my siblings use to say when we went around trick or treating which I'll share with you.

Trick or treat,
Here we meet,
Give us something sweet to eat.
Be it candy be it cake,
Give us something sweet to take.

Happy Halloween Darklings

You just never know who is going to show up.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Of creating a Halloween Name~~~~

Alright Darklings, now is the time to create your Halloween name and we've been having fun with this at work.

This is what you do --- Take the 1st letter of your first name , then take the Last letter of your middle name, then take the 1st letter of your last name and compare them to the list below.

For example if your first name starts with the letter A, look at the green column and you will find  it equals "Creepy"
If the last letter of your middle names end with the letter E, look at the orange column and you will find "Ghost"
If the the 1st letter of your last name starts with the letter A, look at the blue column and you will find it equals  "Caster"
So your Halloween name will be  Creepy Ghost Caster.

Mine came out Haunted Skull Giver,  oh well.

Have Fun Darklings!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Of the Further adventures of an exhausting Halloween weekend~~~~

Dear Darklings,

Oh I so did not want to get up this morning, every bone in my body is aching with exhaustion and the cold, BUT it was a fun weekend!!

I certainly cannot deny that.  Haunted Houses (fund raisers), Halloween displays, spooky music, Harvest Festival goodies, a Day of the Dead Exhibit at the museum, face painting, ice cream, spooky movies, popcorn.

I think the quiet time was really when we were at the musical concert "Pipe Screams"  I wasn't sure the girls would enjoy it but they did, now they want to create their own compulation of scary music both classical, pop and rock,  I hope it goes beyond Screaming Jay Hawkins "I put a spell on you".

Afterwards we had Pizza at one of the girls favorite pizza places, and it had the works,  I had to take Tums to calm my stomach and later Alza Seltzer for the headache,  but even with a headache and a tumbling tummy, it was fun and none of us were going to stop them from having fun because we were enjoying it too.

I had a list of things to go and see for the girls to select and both girls wanted to go to the museum to see the day of the dead exhibit and the Harvest Fair as well, and we manage to cram both of it in.  We let them scamper along as we took our time to buy some homemade goodies for the pantry.  And somehow we managed to grab a bite to eat as well.

Saturday night after pizza fest, I had a selection of Horror movies for the girls to select and watch and they wanted to see "Night of the Demon"   I was surprised they wanted to see such an old (1950's) film, I thought they'd chose "Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Halloween"  but they said they want to be scared but not too much, so with popcorn in the new bowls we all watched it and I approved their choice.

Sunday was overcast and very cold so it was a good thing that indoor events were selected,  when we got home for dinner we fired up the fireplace to add a certain amount of added warmth, and while Sis and I finished up the crock pot stew, Doyle and the girls were playing Mexican train dominos, and were joined by Sis's tennant Brian whom we invited over for dinner.  He had been putting in long, long hours at his job and was greatful for a home cooked meal. 

After dinner in the family parlor the girls told Brian about their adventures and Doyle, Sis and I filled in some of the details.  We were waiting for the girls parents but both sets were delayed, the weather had taken a cold and extremely windy turn and there were some accidents on the roads that delayed their getting to us, but our concern was their safe arrival.

Brian turned out to be a very good story teller, it seems his hobby is collecting true ghostly tales and he told us (mostly the girls) about the local hauntings of Alcatraz, a book store in Oakland, poltergeist activity, and other haunted locations and he did a very good job, his memory of such things was surprizing, we even had a lively discussion about the Amytiville Hauntings and he had recorded the interview from Coast to Coast with Christopher Lutz the youngest son involved at that house and how much of the so called haunting was over exagerated and Brian talked about the Warren's and how they saw Demons in every thing.

Which of course took us into the realm of ghost hunting and such,  and while we talked the wind became wilder and wilder with bumps and thumps and a crash or two, which the men folk checked out, to add to the exciting spookyness of it all----it wasn't until midnight that their girls were gathered up and we bid a relucatant goodbye.

Now this morning it dawned extremely cold, and chilly,  I had a hard time having Belladonna go to the bath room even with her sweater on,  I put her sleeping cushion on the couch in the family parlor and covered her with a fleece throw and she is not complaining.  

Doyle and I assessed the damage that the wind did to the graveyard display, one of the skeletons was blown apart and scattered here and there, some tombstones were knocked down but old Grim Reaper was still standing, so when the sun is higher and a little warmer we will repair the displays.  The wind storm was bad, knocking out power to some area's, a tree crashed into a house, but there is snow on the mountains. 

But it will be clear and very cold come Halloween night, I'm only going to be working the mornings so I'll have the afternoons and evenings to prepare for my party Sis and Doyle will help when they get home and Louise is helping me as well, she was gone for the weekend to stay with a friend of hers who may have an apartment for Louise to rent, since her friend owns a 4 plex unit so things appear to be working out for her.

But it was a fun and spooky weekend, much better than I hoped, even if tiring.

Now I'm going to get some more coffee and get a bit warmer.

Later Darklings

We are such a Happy and Fun Family

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Of an Exhuasting Halloween weekend and~~~~

And Dear Darklings it is NOT over!!!

Taking a break while Doyle goes and gets hamburgers and dare I say it, french fries, from a favorit hamburger place the girls like, I'm not going to name names but it is NOT MacDonalds'.  Sorry Mac.

The weekend started last night with a Bang!   Well our Brother dropped off Coralline just as Marrisa's folks were droping her off and it was joyous girlish squeals of delight, the face Doyle made was precious, he said something to me to the effect of how young pre-teen and early teen girls squeals of delight could put down an Alien invasion or cause Zombie's heads to burst.   I had not thought of that.

Once the girls were settled the first adventure was to a Haunted House Fund Raiser done by a local school, and I have to say it was done very well, with games, pumpkins walks (both girls won a pumpkin), face painting, bingo prizes and of course the Haunted House.  The girls went through it 3 times, each time with either me, then Sis and then Doyle.  The fund raiser offered Pizza, cookies, coffee and soft drinks, donuts (thank you I needed that) to help quell any hunger pangs.  The girls got their faces painted, and they had their costumes, Marissa was dressed as Alice in Wonderland and Coralline was dressed as Queen of the Spiders with a Spider tiara.  

Then after we drove through various areas where we knew there would be wonderful displays for Halloween, there is one family that goes all out with their decorating and create new sets every year, one year it was a pirate ship wreak, another year a volacano with godzilla, a mad scientists lab, a western ghost town, a macabre circus,  this year its twisted Fairy tales, complete with a bug catcher that zapps unsuspecting little fairies.  Their ideas are phenomenal.

After all that driving around we headed towards our favorite ice cream parlour and we had ice cream.  I was worried that either one or the other would wake up with a nightmare or stomach ache but this morning they were as fit as a fiddle, and so it was a morning dash to the Spirit Store and then to another Haunted House done by the local Park and recreation department, and they did a marvelous job,  now we are home and Doyle has just returned with our "cheap dinner" and then we are going to a local church that is having its musical concert for Halloween called "Pipe Screams",  musical pieces played on their wonderful church organ, I told the girls if they went to the concert they could stay up late tonight.

Tomorrow we're then going out for breakfast and then onto a Harvest Festival with all kinds of goodies to offer.  Come Monday I'm going to sleep in I will need my rest.   But it has been very interesting so far.

My gardener came by just a short while ago to say he cannot mow the lawn with all the halloween decorations, I told him to not worry about that it will be down in two weeks, and to just do pruning.   He's very understanding and now Darklings I must go or my fries will get cold, I think I'm blowing my diet this weekend.

Later Darklings
Good Gardening Help can be hard to find.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Of a little post update~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well it's the weekend before Halloween, last chance to get what you'll need to keep the little trick or treaters happy.

I'm glad Doyle has a few days off, right now all he's doing is background checks, it is tedious but he offered to do that so he can have a few days off over the weekend and it free's up another operative to take a strenous case. 

Dear Trisha, what Monica told me is that it is a card but you can detach something from it and display it, my sister in law said that when "Coralline" saw it she said it was perfect and she included a little note as well.  Yes she is a thoughtful, quickly growing up young lady,  we're very proud of her.  And then she becomes a child again enjoying child like things, it helps keep us young.

And speaking of child like things, we're going to have her over for the weekend and her friend Marissa will be joining us for a weekend sleep over.  Marissa's parents are going out of two for a couple of days and since I'll be home for the entire weekend and Coralline coming over it will be perfect. 

We'll be going to a local Haunted House, it is a school fund raiser so fun and being helpful and I've found a few other Halloween events for the girls to do this weekend as well so it won't be boring for them, I promised them I'd drive them in my vintage car and they can sit in the back and wave like the Queen. 

Oh Doyle just told me he'll drive the car and all three of us can wave like the Queen. 

And now I need to go,  I still have a few things to do before the afternoon. 

Later Darklings 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Of Oh my aching feet and CANDY!!!~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Right now I'm resting with my feet up as I type this and I think Doyle has gone insane, but let me explain.

Sis insisted that we get up early and go to this new Target store that's opened up, it's much closer than the other one, and since we needed to go to a few other shops in the area we planned on it.

Well Darklings, the layout of all Target stores are pretty much the same, like the layout of "In n' Out Burgers" for those of you who live in California, but there was some layout differences, for instance the minute you go into the store the ladies are immediately hit with the latest Target fashions and----are you ready for this Darklings?  BLING!!!

I am not much into cheap costume jewerly but when it looks nice and stylish and has wearablity for the long haul, then look out I will dive in like a tiger leaping upon unwary prey, and there were pieces any Gothic Dark minded person would love to have, it seems that deep emerald green is the "go to" color paired with gold settings (not real gold, gold colored) and I found a few things that will go with some of my vintage clothing.  

And the clothing was very nice looking, stylish and inexpensive,  but I will not desert my favorite vintage stores or my tailor/seamstress, I'm speaking if you are on a tight budget and have fast growing children. 

We looked around the store to see what was offered, and to get familar with the lay of the land so to speak, toys, toys, toys in the back area and well Darklings I could not help it---the latest Monster High Dolls, two of them, I quickly called (via cell phone) my sister-in-law and asked to check Coralline's list, did she have Polterguesta and a particular version of Clawdeen Wolf?  The answer was No so I told her Guess what Coralline is going to find in her speical trick or treat bag.   And yes I relented I did also get something for the boys for Halloween.

We found the Candy, and it was good bargains, granted both CVS, Walgreens, and the grocery stores carry the same bags and the prices were easily comparable, but Target had the BIG mixes as well and I do get a lot of children, so to put it bluntly, we loaded up.  But then I saw IT, we just walked past the candy area and I said lets see what they have for outdoor decoration,  FORGET OUTDOOR, I was floored by INDOOR, yes Darklings I went crazy!

There were these bowls held up by claws perfect for mints or M & M's or nuts, and then large white bowls held up by skelton hands, and this was not cheap plastic this was substantial and re-useable, then the salad bowl tongs in either gold or silver in the shape of talons very solid, glass wear, and a large ceramic dispenser (much like the glass ones for ice tea or lemonaid) but there were labeled Toxic Brew and another that said Poison---need I say more Darklings?   And a candy bowl with bat's that talk and flap their wings.  Sis and I talked about the expense of these items but I told her that considering our (or at least my) outlook on things these items could be used year round.   She began to laugh when she took into consideration some of the outdoor bar-b-Que's we'd been having.   

Sis teased me and said that the large white bowls would be perfect for popcorn when Coralline stays over and her friend Marrisa comes over for a "fright night" movie watching.  We smiled and said "Why Not!"

It's a good thing we brought a lot of re-usable bags, we looked at other things in the store and I found my favorite mascara by Almay, I was out.  I wanted to check the other cosmetics but Sis tugged at me and said we needed to leave and go to the other stores that we had errands at before School lets out and the maddening hord swamps the mall. 

But I do confess Darklings, just behind the Halloween decorations there they were---CHRISTMAS!!  Just waiting to come to the fore front.   Oh Dear thought I, already?

And yes, a dash to the post office to mail bills, I said forget buying anything there so we went to the nearby UPS store for a few things, and much needed milk, bread and stamps at the grocery store. 

When we got home I was surprised to see on the front lawn area among the styrofoam tombstones a huge Grim Reaper, I thought that it was going to be towards the back of the walk way but Doyle moved it to the front and set up a fog devise behind it we had just come home to see him demonstrate how it would look, he attached to the fog machine a short hose that led to an ice chest that had the hose runing through it and out under the Grim Reaper's cloak, there was dry ice in the ice chest packed around the hose, and with turning on the fog machine the fog passed through the hose through the ice chest and creeped out under the Reaper's cloak and hugged the ground like ground fog in a cemetery,  I thought that Doyle had gone insane with bringing the Reaper forward but there was a method to the insanity and the effect was wonderful and frightening at the same time, some parents with their little ones came by and the shierk of their voices convinced me that it was perfect.  Even the adults were a bit frightened.

I looked at old Grim and wondered if it was possible to set up a permanet duplicate of him in the back garden, complete with fog and such, possibly in the Pet Cemetery,  I sort of muttered it out loud and my sister heard it and said to me "If it could be made to move as well it would certainly freak out any would be criminals"   I LIKE that idea.

And now with everything put away, our feet aching, Doyle has kindly announced that he will go and get take out chinese for dinner tonight, I certainly did not want to argue.

'Trisha when I called my sister-in-law she said that something went into the mail today for you, "Coralline" wanted to send something to you for the lovely card, I think its a card but Monica said that it had to go in a padded envelope.  Coralline hopes you will receive it by Halloween.

And now Darklings I'm going to take some Tylenol for me aching toes and put on Chanel's "Vamp" nail polish, I feel in a Vamping mood.

Later Darklings

I can hardly wait for my favorite holiday!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Of "Ding-Dong The BART Strike is dead" and a kitchen stove~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well just a play on words, but in a nutshell, the BART Strike is over.  I think with having the Liut. Govenor There (Gavin Newsom) at the bargaining table and the tragic death of two BART staffers (one was management and the other a contractor), made the Unions wake up and Management ease up.

The Unions because most of the public is not on their side because their hardlineness is causing the general public to be out of work and lose money.  Management because they want this to end and it is easier to bend like a reed than to stand up like a tree.

But Newsom said something that I think is a signal to both Union and Management to transit workers state wide.  He stated that this will never happen again----oh I think Darklings that something is in the works, possibly a bill that would prevent such strikes from happening again and damaging the economy, there were a lot of people who could not get to their jobs because they do not have cars, or only one shared car. 

I think Darklings, that the Unions have shot themselves in the foot with this, oh they want things but when the Liut. Govenor steps in it shows that they have gotten out of hand and now they are possibly going to lose a bargaining chip.

I drive, I have a car, but taking public transit is so much easier for me, less stressful and less wear and tear on my car.  In my sisters' or Doyle's case their car is needed and must be used and they keep tabs on their millage for work related travel so they'd get a tax write off.

I'm glad that today I don't have to go in until 4 p.m. I'm being picked up by my car pool, then I'll have tomorrow off because I'm working late tonight, this was all pre-arranged in case of a strike, but since it will take almost a whole day to get the trains running properly we're going to do it this time, then things will be "back on track" for me Thursday.

Ahhh but Happy, Happy Joy Joy, Darklings,  my "new" used stove have been delivered and is waiting for Sis and I to tackle it to get it clean and make the appointment to have it serviced and calibrated.  Even with it's grime and wear it is a thing of beauty to be made a joy forever.  We are still using the apartment stove until we have the O.K. and I am just so excited about it.  I know Darklings, how can one be excited about something as mundane as a stove?  A homemaker and a good cook know that a good stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, iron and ironing board, and a good sturdy clothes line, plus a working toaster and can opener can make a difference.  One can go into raptures about the latest App or Ipad or whatever, but that is transient---unless it helps with one's work.  I can be that way about a new microscope, if it makes my work easier and more efficent and this stove is a dream.

This weekend is going to be a busy one for me getting things together for our halloween party plus candy goodies for the little trick or treaters---My sister is going to drag me to this new Target tomorrow to see if we can get some candy bargains and see what they have, then I'll be menu planning, my Cousin Louise is going to help out planning it, she's a wonderful cook.  And yes she is going to go ahead with her divorce, she has a good lawyer and she knows what she wants.

Now I must put together what I need to take to work.

Later Darklings

Monday, October 21, 2013

Of a "Ghostly, Mystery" Vacation~~~~

Hello My Darklings,

I'm at a free wi-fi service here in Sacramento but Doyle and I will be leaving later today, and all I can say is that our vacaton was wonderful.

We stayed aboard the Delta King, a floating Riverboat hotel, and yes the nights did get chilly so warm sweaters are a must, and one night the fog rose up from the river, our room was very nice with a lovely river view, and I do have to admit depending on your pricing the rooms can be a bit on the small side but you ARE on a Riverboat and space is limited.

We enjoyed dining on the boat and had a special dining package with the mystery suspense theatre, I think it's called Suspects theater, and you don't know if you are dining with a victim, a suspect, or a detective.  And you have to help figure out the mystery, such Fun!

But that wasn't all, Doyle had made reservations for a tour on one of Sacramento's Ghost Walk Tours, and Underground Old Sacramento,  there was something about being able to walk on the old Riverboat, watch the river flow by at night, we had a full moon as well, it added to the ghostly atmosphere, add the river fog and all at once you are not in the 21st century but back in the 19th. 

The ghosts of those merchants, gamblers, bankers, miners, farmers, villians, women of means and women of the streets all floated along, calling to you to forget the present, go to the past where you could disappear, no one would know you, you could take on a different persona, make your own way or die trying.  Some people think it was romantic, but there was disease and pestilience, and for some people bathing was not very often, and a wrong word was reason for a shoot out.  And they floated out there, calling to one, some people say that they can hear the screams of people who died when two riverboats that were racing blew up, being burned to death by the hot steam or the fire or drowing.   Even the River is haunted and demands its sacrifice if you dig for its gold.

At one time in the 1860's Sacramento and much of the Central Valley was flooded like Noah's flood, the new govenor instead of taking a carriage to the capitol had to take a boat, the river had no channel and the riverboats could go everywhere,  now a days they call that type of flooding a Noahchian flood, rare but it does happen, now dams prevent that.

And late at night, when most of old Sacramento is in bed, if one stands on the deck of the Delta King and looks at the town, it seems like time has stood still, only the faint honking of a car horn breaks that spell, few places are like that, New Orleans, Old Town Sacramento, even historic gold rush town of Columbia give that feeling of time freezing for just a moment, San Francisco lost that ages ago with its high rises, but now and then peeping through the fog the city becomes like it was in the 1940's and 50's black and white, film noir.  Parts of London can still give that feeling, but its rare.

Now Doyle brings me my 2nd cup of coffee and we'll have to be going,  he needs to see someone at one of the Capitol offices, then back to the real world.

I've been in touch with my niece "Coralline" and 'Trisha she says she recieved your card and just loves it.  My sister says we need to go to the new Target store and buy candy and Belladonna misses me;  so more Halloween preperation to do.

Later Darklings

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Of a Short Vacation and a "new" stove~~~~

Hello my Darklings,

Yes I am up early, but a lot to do and little time to do it in.

Dear Rebecca I do hope you enjoy the pumpkin crunch receipe, I was surprised how easy it was to make, and it seems like just the perfect thing for the fall.   I hope to be able to on occasion post other receipes that I find tasty and enjoyable.
It seems for now BART cannot make up it's mind to strike or not to strike (that is the question), but it seems that the talks are moving forward although slowly.  I find it interesting that when the original mediator went on vacation and a Federal Mediator came in that suddenly there was progress.   They should keep this man in and booth the first one out. 

So the BART trains are running but people have to find out from the 11 p.m. news every night to see if it is so, very inconvient.  AC Transit (buses) were also threatening to strike but the Govenor stepped in and ordered a 7 day cooling down, and if they still can't get it together then he'll order a 60 day cooling down.

And the Federal Government has opened up for business at least for the next 3 or 4 months, frankly raising the debt ceiling is not really good.  The government needs to look at its spending practices and stop borrowing, even Benjamin Franklin once said "man has an income of $20 and spends only $19.90 that equals happiness, but if his earns $20 and spends $20.10 that equals misery" (o.k. I paraphrased it) but that is what our Government Federal, State, County and City is doing and you cannot tax the life out of the people.  Something has to give.

But for now I'm not going to worry,  even my cousin Louise said that the moon and the planets (she's into Astrology) showed that the bottle necks will suddenly clear up temporarily, and she said that on Monday.

Yes my Cousin Louise is staying with me and Sis and Doyle, which is a good thing in a way.  Depending upon how one looks at it, well Doyle is taking me to Old Sacramento and we are going to stay on the Delta King, Sis will be in and out of the house dealing with her clientel, and the workmen on her house,  Belladonna will be staying with our elderly neighbor, and Brian can keep an eye on the houses since he'll be working from home but with Louise here that will help.

Louise is my younger cousin and has moved out of her apartment because she is getting a divorce, after 25 years of marriage, no children and a finladering husband she has had enough.  She wanted a house he didn't, she wanted certain pieces of furniture,he didn't, she liked certain music, places to see, movies to go to and she wanted children---he didn't.  But when she found out that he fathered and was taking care of a child by another woman, that was the end.  And so she is now with me and Sis, I had her talk to my lawyer who recommended a very good lawyer to help her.  Money is not a worry for her, but she is going to get what is rightfully hers by our state laws.

And she'll house sit for me,  I am so looking forward to this vacation, to see somethings different, I understand that there maybe Ghost Walks in Old Sacramento but we'll know better once we get there.

And the 'new' stove,  well Darklings I've been looking and looking, new, old, vintage etc. and nothing seemed right,  I had first thought of getting a new stove from the Elmira works (it would have to be ordered) but what was off putting for me was how high the grates were on the stove, I thought it would be too easy to knock a pot off the stove.   And much of the old stoves still needed work,  I had found photos of the kitchen going back to when the house was built but the stove at that time was very small,  then one from the 1920's but again that seemed too small, I knew I wanted something like my O'keefe and Merritt but since from time to time I give parties I wanted something that would handle a lot.

Then my contractor called me last weekend and said he thinks he found the stove I want,  so yesterday evening Doyle and I went to this place that he was in the process of dismantling, yes Darklings dismantling, he preferes to salvage as much as he can before a place is torn down, this house was in very bad shape but he salvage a lot of wonderful things from it, including mahogany panneling, stain glass windows, etc. but it was the stove, I had the measurements as well as photo's of the spot where it would be put and I could not believe my eyes......There it O'Keefe and Merritt Town and Country range, 57 inches wide, 6 burners, 2 ovens with windows, 2 broilers, 2 warming compartments and 2 storage areas.

There were tears in my eyes of joy,  I had seen on a web site the same stove but the asking price was $8,000 I could not afford that!!!    But this one could be had for just the cost of moving it out and installing it at my place plus having a good repair man come out and checking it over and calibrating the burners and ovens,  it would need cleaning yes, but Sis, Doyle and I are up to it.  

Talking it over with my contractor he said he could move the tiny aparment stove over install a new flex hose for it and then move the O'Keefe stove into it's place we could clean it and then he'd install a flex hose for it but not turn on the gas to it until I had made an appointment for the repair man to come and check it out and do what needs be done to it. 

My contractor tested it while the gas was still available to see if there was any problems and he did not find any, but the move could jiggle something loose.  Some of the knobs were very stiff, so that needs to be worked on and yes the chrome was a little worn but it's perfect,  Sis will be home when the move is done this weekend, so the kitchen will be a little awkward but that will be only for a short time.

I do not have a picture of the stove in the old house but I've got a picture of the same one from the web site so you'll see what I'll be getting just remember Darklings this picture is of a totally refurbished stove, the one I'm getting will have seen some wars but it is perfectly useable.

But now Louise is here and I hear her puttering in the kitchen,  I think I'll go and have another cup of coffee and discuss with her, her future plans.

Later Darklings
This is the one on the web site, mine is far more used that this but its the exact same model.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Of Pumpkin Crunch~~~~

Hello again Darklings,

I'm taking a break, the maid service has come and swept through taking care of the hall, upstairs and maids room and bathrooms, Friday they'll be here to do the main floor rooms, expensive but worth it.  It is a good thing my Great-Aunts trust provides for that service otherwise I'd have my hands full.

Laundry done and folded (yes how boring), meat loaf prepared, in the Refrigerator and waiting to be popped into the oven, and I've made the Pumpkin Crunch dessert.  The service staff smelled it and wanted the receipe and were surprised how easy to make, once cooled I cut a little section out for samples, just perfect.

And so my Darklings, I'll share that receipe with you, I may even make a 2nd one.


1  15 oz. can pumpkin

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients listed above and pour into a greaced 9 x 13 inch pan

1 yellow cake mix

1 cup melted butter

Sprinkle cake mix on top of pumpkin mixture and then pour the melted butter on top

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes

Allow to cool, cut and serve, can top with whipped cream  I prefer to use real whipping cream not cool whip but I'm old-fashioned that way.

I still have my tiny apartment stove for now, BUT----yes Darklings I've ordered a wonderful stove, it looks old fashioned, but it's modern, it will be delivered and then I'll have a professional make sure it's properly installed and calibrated.

And speaking of calibration,  it does pay to check to see if your oven is working at the correct temperature, so with the coming winter and you'll be doing a lot of baking I'm sure, have a professional stove repair person come out and make sure your oven and pilots are calibrated to the correct degree.

Now to take Belladonna for her walk.   Enjoy!

Later Darklings

Of Monday, Aviator cocktails, and a possible BART strike~~~

Hello and Good Morning Darklings,

Yes, Moi up early in the A.M.  who would have thought.  But it seems that when I wake up although the clock says 7 a.m. it Does feel like 6 a.m.  I will be so glad when Daylight Savings Time is over.  Of course Belladonna did not want to leave her nice warm bed, I still have her in her sweater and she was under her bed covers (yes doggie bed covers) so I have not forced her, she'll get up when she wants to.

I am so glad I do not work on Mondays and Fridays anymore,  I've been following the news and people thought that BART unions were going to strike today, but not----at least for 24 hours.  This whole thing is so silly and the public is fed up with the unions holding out, it seems anything to do with transportation is not sitting well with the general public.

BART management has given their best and final offer, which is more than before, and BART unions are acting coy hinting its still not enough, but from what I can detect between the verbage, I think the unions are wary of public opinion right now, the public is not on their side....AND there is a move up in Sacramento to design and pass a bill preventing state wide any kind of transit strike, I do believe that New York and at least two other states have a simular bill.  

Both Unions and Management do not want that kind of bill, but I have a feeling it will pass, anything that interfers with the economy, creates chaos and grid lock now a days is not looked upon favorably.   So BART and possibly AC Transit Unions may have shot themselves in the foot.  Well that is what happens if you become too greedy.

Doyle and Sis have left for their respective offices early today,  Doyle muttering about doing background checks,  and Sis saying she'll be glad to have her house done so she can get out of her lease on her office.  And I will be making dinner.  Good Old Fashion Monday Meatloaf.  But I came across a dessert called Pumpkin Crunch, such a good alternative to pumpkin pie.  So I'll be a housefrau today, which is good, my maid service is coming in today.

And meal planning, bill paying all those wonderful mundane things to do. 

Last night Doyle made Aviator cocktails, they have a sky blue color, and it is not made with Blue curaco but Creme de Violete very hard to get I understand but Doyle has his sources, it is a cocktail from the 1920's and such a floral taste almost refreshing----now Doyle said if one uses Palma Violetes or another liquor it tastes different, but he wanted to try this,  I fell in love with it, now there are a lot of receipes out there but the original is best to follow.

I asked Doyle why he wanted to try it and he reminded me of an earlier episode of "The Blacklist" where James Spader's character introduces the heroine to the Aviator cocktail---this is sort of a Hannibal character but with a slight difference, unfortunately it runs the same time as "Castle" so we record it and watch it on Tuesday right after the 6 p.m. news,  I find Spader's character devious, a manipulative, but why is his character getting rid of those he's done business with and who are very evil?  What is his motive?  It is far more enjoyable than "Revenge" which is just a fancy Soap Opera,  and "Scandal" is fine but I am not intrigued by that program as much. 

What we have found is that if there are programs that run at the same time we Tivo them and then watch them during "blank spots" in the regular T.V. programing---"Blank Spots" being programs we're not interested in, since we try to have dinner at 6 p.m. if possible, one blank spot is the 7 to 8 p.m. slot. and on weekends it can extend to the 8 to 9 p.m. slot as well.

And I must confess I've become hooked on "The Good Wife" now the plot line is getting very interesting, before it bored me, but Sis liked it.  But now we have "Sleepy Hollow" "Bones", "The Originals" and our favorites, "Castle", "Blue Bloods", "Supernatural", "Big Bang Theory", "NCIS" "NCIS-LA", "CSI", "Criminal Minds", "Person of Interest",  sorry but "Elementary" has lost me,  "Hawaii 50" is still interesting but I don't think it will survive this season.  We've been checking in on "Vampire Diaries"  Sis watches it because of some of her younger clients, but its still too juvenile for me, although I think the Damon character is interesting, he reminds me of a young man I dated many years ago, always acting like a bad boy, but secretly had a good heart and did kind and helpful things for people without their knowing it.  Same green eyes--mmmmmm.

But what has Happened to "Hannibal" and "Nikita"  I didn't hear of them being cancelled.  Unless "Hannibal" is one of those 13 weeks mid-season runs.  Doyle insists that we buy the series "Foyle's War" I agree I enjoy the degree of research into the history of that program and its set design.

But now I understand there are still a few more programs to premier, oh decisions, decisions.

Now I must go, Belladonna finally rose from her bed and has done her thing and is barking at the squirrels, I guess I'll have to go and referee and the Maid Service will be here in the next half-hour, and I still have to get the inside of the house decorated for Halloween, not that I have to do much, just to get out a few things and plan the menu for the party.

Later Darklings

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Of the Sunny Sunday Aftermath~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Yes Undergroundfortea, it did turn out to be a very fun and exhausting day.  But as they say many hands make light work.

The brunch food was mostly for everyone who didn't have a chance for breakfast and were going to skip a late lunch,  as a matter of fact, everyone had indulged so much on the bagels, donuts and fruit that lunch was un-necessary.

But in a matter of a few hours the weeds and brambles were cleared out and dumped into the dumpster and its full, full, full!  It's a good thing we were able to close the lid, well the boys helped by jumping up an down on it, we put a tarp over everything and that way it avoided getting brambles in their clothes and it packed down nicely.

Hidden under all of that we found a dozen head stones for various pets, and it seems that my Great Aunt had a very low stone boundary wall marking the area, standing about 18 inches high, but it couldn't be seen very well, and with some dirt removed we've found a couple of steps that led to the area,  so we now have a clearly defined area, and my brother and Doyle are thinking of going in the next few weeks to Urban Ore or another salvage place to find old style metal fencing and re-making the area, the boys are now into it as well, but from their point of view as a goulish delight.  Oh well, whatever it takes.

It's a good thing my brother knows something about concret work and such since he handled a lot of the remodeling on his house, he's hoping to use that as a way of absolution towards Coralline and it will be a good thing for the boys to learn.

Once the hard work was done we all retired into the greenhouse where it was warm to relax and talk, the children enjoying the Koi, everyone else enjoying a beer or wine and what was left of the food,  then bit by bit my friends had to leave, I did give them standing invitations to come to my Halloween party.

Then Monica shoved the boys into the down stairs shower to get cleaned up, with their Father monitoring them and us "girls" upstairs getting cleaned up,  the idea of dinner seemed too much for everyone so we decided to see if there was going to be food at the Haunted House instead.  If not then we'd find a late night burger place like "In n' Out" for dinner.

I know Darklings, how mundane!  But do you know how hard it is to find a late night fast food place around here, that is not a night club?  

When I was much younger locations of such places were spread by word of mouth for the "Nighthawks" those who 'fly by night', some locations were pretty dicey, and finding an all night grocery store or drug store was even rarer,  very hard for those who live the vampire lifestyle, oh in San Francisco there were places but on the East Bay side much harder.

Now there are places that are almost 24/7  but you still need a directory for some services.  I have a friend who has a skin condition which forces her to practically be a vampire, she has to take vitamin D because she has to avoid the sun as much as possible.  The very early morning hours and at twilight she's fine, but full sun is a problem.   When she had a doctor or dental appointment she had to wear special clothing to shield her, now she has a dentist who has evening hours, can have her pills delivered by mail, she can go as early as possible for blood tests, but scheduling a doctor's appointment sometimes can be hard, but if she can be the last paticent of the day it works. 

Now there are many stores open late or 24/7 and she can find evening entertainment.  She works part-time at night and is also on disablity because her condition limits her to the types of jobs and work she can do.  Sometimes a government agency tries to kick her off their rolls but she has a lawyer and two doctors plus photos that show how horribly she can burn.  But for the last 5 years they've stopped trying to do that, it seems that other people have shown up with that condition. 

One would not think so, given how flawless her complexion is but I've seen her have accidents.

The Pirates of Emerson Haunted Houses were soooo much FUN!  and so very crowded but the boys were in their element and Coralline and her parents were enjoying themselves,  Doyle, Sis and I had a hard time keeping up, so we made arrangements to meet periodically.  I cannot tell you what we saw only to say that if you are in Pleasanton, Calif.  go and see, checkout their web site for hours and days and cost.

I can only say it was like a 6 ring circus.   Everyone came home exhausted, and slept like rocks,  the boys (aka the three stoogies) slept in their sleeping bags on padded mats on the floor of the maids room while their Dad slept in the twin size bed (his perogative), Coralline and her Mom shared Coralline's double bed, and we all slept the sleep of the just,  and we had breakfast out, Sis and I were not going to cook for that young ravenous crew.  But everyone had a wonderful time.

And we saw them off and came home to sleep some more.  It's a good thing we put stew in the crock pot, such a handy item. 

I woke up from my nap to find Doyle had left the house, but left a message that he'd be back soon, and he did with Creme de Violete and Bulldog gin, plus lemons, saying he was going to make all of us "Aviator' cocktails---time for a dash of the 1920's said he.   I think I'll have to get into my silk lounge pajama's after dinner to sip this.   I'll give you my opinion of it in another post.

Later Darklings

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Of Saturday, chilly Saturday~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Yes I've been up early and wearing warm clothing, even Belladonna is wearing her warm sweater, (with the skulls on it).  

Some friends of mine are arriving and setting up coffee and tea pots and noshes (donuts, bagels etc).

We are doing a brunch followed by late lunch yard clean up.  I had our waste company drop off a dumpster designed for yard waste, (no dirt or sod), so we can clean up and prepare the garden for winter.  My gardener does a good job, but we are looking at completely clearing out all the weeds and brambles from the pet cemetery area as well as any hidden rotting debrie.

My Brother and sister-in-law will be arriving with the Clan in just a few minutes.  They are bringing a change of clothing so we can go to the Pirates of Emmerson haunted house this evening, so I think we'll order Pizza for dinner and my Brother asked if the they can all camp out inside my home for the night, not wanting to do a long drive home.

So I said the boys and their father could sleep in the "maids' room" down stairs,  Coralline and her Mother could sleep in Coralline's room. 

A bit of a Sleep over,  the halloween decorations are up and in latter part of next week Doyle and I will be in Old Town Sacramento staying at the Delta King, our mini-vacation...I'm looking forward to that.

Must go, people are arriving.

Later Darklings
It's so hard to keep a good cemetery neat and spooky.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Of a Family intervention and "Rear Window"~~~

Hello Darklings,

First seeing Hitchcock's "Rear Window" on the full size screen is just wonderful, you can see all the little nuances that Hitchcock was injecting into the movie, I could almost determine what material Grace Kelly's green and off white suit was made from (either a linen or a nubby worsted silk) and to see clearly the patterns on the materials, the subtle expressions on the actors.  If any of you Darklings has a theater that shows classic films you Must see Hitchock's films on the big screen.
The last time I saw one of his films this way was "North by Northwest", the part when Cary Grant in a drunken stupor is trying to drive down the road way becomes harrowing, and when the bi-plane attacks him is far more frightening.   I can understand now why some people have to have those big screen plasma t.v.'s I just don't want it to dominate my room and my life.

And why oh why can't young ladies and actressess model their gowns the way Grace Kelly modeled in the movie, Edith Head's creations.  They way they stand and pose now a days is horrible and not gracefull at all.

This week Doyle wants to see John Wayne in "The Searchers" well why not, he humors me so I should humor him.

Now the Sunday family intervention....Well Darklings, we had the boys (including my brother) sit down in the living room and they were informed that as part of their punishment they could not see either the Raiders or 49er's games or anything else that day that was sports me it was very painful for them, espeically my brother, it could not even be recorded.

First Coralline in a very well thought out and carefully written speech sited her grievances, the torments she'd been through, how unhappy and miserable her brother's with their father's silent permission has made her life miserable,  her mother had to listen to that as well as Coralline said that because of the overwhelming demands of the boys her mother became an accomplise by not laying down the law.  This included vacations, weekends, holidays, and even evenings when there was no homework.

Then Coralline's mother spoke, she acknowledge her complicity without using parental guidance or acting as mediator between everyone, but also told her husband and sons what she was very upset with and angry with them.

Sis and I then spoke and told them how much Coralline desires to come to my house and be with us because of all the misery that her brothers with the unknowing assistance of their father has put her through and that if they continue it would lead to Coralline cutting her brothers out of her life forever and that the testoserone attitude has got to stop because Coralline's needs were Not being met because everything was given over to the boys, including the biggest boy, our brother.  It has to stop because they were BULLIES, and they were bullying their own sister, and it makes them unfit for society.

All 4 of us said there has to be boundaries, and those boundaries and compromises were not being met, if they want an all male house hold, Coralline and her Mother were going to move out and come live with me.  There would be a divorce  (I know that sounds drastic but Coralline's Mother had to wake them all up)

Sis and I said we would back up Monica our sister-in-law.

Monica said to the boys they got only a taste of their own medicine which they had be treating Coralline to for nearly 7 years, even invading her personal santurary her own bedroom which they Knew was off limits, so how did they like being invaded.   One of the twins said they didn't know Coralline could handle a snake and Coralline said if she could have gotten a real trantula she would have, it is no problem to handle one safely. 

That made them open their eyes about what Coralline could do, even my brother admitted it had been getting out of hand, but it is now at an end, no more pranks or jokes, no more teasing, no more making things miserable for their sister. 

Now rules are in place and if anyone brakes those rules and this included my brother, there would be a serious reprisal, there is also going to be compromises, it's not going to be all sports but other things and if it was something that the boys really were not going to enjoy (like the ballet) then it would be something for Coralline and her Mother or her Aunts would do together.  The boys could do chores.

 Coralline said she really hated sports, all sports, she saw no sense to guys butting their heads, or long dragging times waiting for someone to hit a ball, even basket ball or ice hockey, it didn't make sense just to be violent and agreesive, espeically after the serious beating of one fan and the death of another.

She said she could understand competition like high jump, pole vaulting, and such but to her it did not engage her mind and her mind found it boring to watch, she preferred something which she could learn from, and as an example we all watched a Nova program about the newly revealed secrets of Stonehenge, which did get the boys talking and Coralline being the expert filled them in,  Sis and I even said that one could see Saturn last night,  Doyle had brought his telescope which he has used for survalence and we had an excellent view of Saturn through it.

The boys kept taking turns trying to see it and it became more immediate to them, something that was only in books or films now became real.  (Amazing what a planet with rings can do).

Coralline even pointed out using a pin point flash light the Big Dipper, and Orion. 

My brother told us that from now on he's going to take the kids to places were they will all be interested in and less sports, espeically after Monica said she was afraid of them getting seriously injured and pointed out numerous articles about sports injuries to young teens and pre-teens. 

She also pointed out that the cost of tickets, parking, food etc. was becoming too expensive and the boys espeically the oldest were going to need braces, which is an expensive situation and it is as she said 'a need to be done'  not a 'want' to fulfill personal desires.  She also pointed out other things in which the cost to do or maintain has gone up and they were going to have to do some serious cut backs.  

The money aspect did hit home with our brother.

My brother said that he would like the boys to be in good shape, Monica said there were other things that could be done that didn't necessairly involve butting heads or climbing rocks and gave a list. 

Coralline likes swimming and ballet excerises, she does not like performing on stage though and she enjoys hikes through historic areas and forests etc as long as it is not a forced march.

My brother could see swimming and hiking for the boys---no ballet though, historic places that are open and right now State run would be very good.
But one of the things we all will be doing next weekend is going to the Haunted houses of the Pirates of Emerson, it will be expensive but it will be fun for all.   I'll just have to wear tennis shoes and jeans.  I mean 6 yes Darklings,  6 haunted houses I could really like that.

All in all reviewing what happened last night I felt went very well, it was a shock to the boys, but they did admit they did not want any more snakes or expecting a live spider, and the oldest doesn't want his bed to collapse again, not that they ever did that bed collapsing to Coralline but they did discover that she can be very serious and devious in her "revenge" tatics.   Coralline said that she is still keeping her bedroom locked, she doesn't trust them yet and she is putting together a list of devious plots if they should ever do anything again----with her Mother's permission.

By the way the garter snake was returned safe and sound to its owner a neighborhood boy who owns several snakes, he loaned it to Coralline, I think he's got a little crush on her, because she did ask if we could bring him with us to the Haunted Houses.

Later Darklings.
Yes, the Boys have found out that little Coralline can be very, Very, VERY Fierce.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Of "Thank You's" all around~~~~~

Dear Darklings,

Coralline sends to each and everyone of you her "Thank You's"  I had fun talking to her last night and the "Three Stoogies" have been very quiet....she says almost too quiet....I advised her to alert her Mother.

Of course with the oldest boy he's still feeling some discomfort from the extractions, but now he can gross out the kids at school by showing the extracted teeth, he say's he's going to make them into some sort of pendants.

Funny that is exactly what I did when mine were removed.

Coralline is preparing for any kind of possible retaliation but her Mother told me that won't happen, now that the boys have had a taste of their own medicine.

Coralline has gone one better, she tied the boys pants into knots, and did a running base stitch into their underwear so when they wanted to get dressed they couldn't put their underpants on.  They had to rip the stitches out and untie the knots, which made them late for school and they got detention missing a school game they wanted to go to. 

They complained to their parents but fortunately BOTH of them were unsympathetic to their woes, even my brother is now on board saying to his sons that he's let them get away with it for too long, now they know how mean their tricks are.

But my brother wanted to know how did Coralline get the courage to handle a garter snake---he forgot about his sisters (Sis and Moi) learning about it from our Dad.   We've been giving our little niece a few pointers    ;-)  (wink, wink)

And the little sign that I posted on my last post has become Coralline's motto, but she said she's going to hold off for now, we did warn her to not let it get out of hand.

So Sunday we are all getting together---and none of the boys---including my brother is going to wiggle off this hook.

Later Darklings

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Of "Coralline" getting revenge~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I'm sure you must have read where my niece "Coralline" has complained of being tormented by her brothers aka "The Three Stoogies", well her oldest brother (he's older than she by a year) had his wisdom teeth removed today.

Needless to say he is not feeling at all comfortable, my sister-in-law called to inform me that "Coralline" has had the fun of having revenge on him, such as removing the slats from his bed with only the thinnest boards holding it in place so when her brother flopped upon it his bed collapsed, like one sees in the movies.

Then when he tried to get into his bed she short-sheeted him,  when he moaned to his mother about the bed she said to have him and his brothers fix it, and make his own bed.  Needless to say they all moaned about it but my sister-in-law said that it was to teach them a lesson to stop over harrasing and invading their sisters room and making life miserable for them.

Coralline's younger brothers (also known as the twins) did not escape, not only did she short sheet those as well, she found a garter snake and put it in one of the brothers bed and a life-like fake spider in the other's bed. 

The intervention will happen, but my sister-in-law said it was nice for the boys to get a taste of their own medicine.

The oldest boy will be feeling better in a day or two, and then next he will have to bear the embarresment of braces. 

"What goes around----comes around" and they are learning it all too well.

Later Darklings