Friday, August 29, 2014

Of a long weekend and plans~~~~

Well Darklings,

Doyle and I are packed and we're going to take a chance on finding a place to stay in the wine country, we have the dish and glass wear packed for that consignment shop as well to donate.

Although Doyle is still on his 2nd round of antibiotics he's feeling pretty chipper, so if we just take it slow and easy we'll be fine.

We won't stay near Napa, because I feel that many places might be booked because there are tourists that want to see disaster sights and then say "There but for the grace of God go I"   as a matter of fact we don't know where the road will take us.

Doyle doesn't have to be back until Wednesday and the same for myself, so I made sure we packed enough for a week. 

So even though we are leaving a bit late, we'll have a late lunch in the wine country and see where the road takes us.

Have a safe, happy enjoyable Labor Day Weekend My Darklings

And remember the Spirit Store will be opening soon!!!

I can hardly wait, my inner spookiness is trying to come out!

Later Darklings.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Of Some Earthquake Good News~~~

Hello Darklings,

We've been following the news of the Napa quake here at work and we cheered when we heard that the boy that was crushed under bricks from the family fireplace, although having major surgery has been upgraded to "satisfactory condition"  his pelvis had to be, as I understand it, re-built, but for a bright and happy 13 year old he's very upbeat.

Two very venerable historic churches are going to be saved from demolition and restored.  And from what we've been hearing that is what they are going to do with as much as possible with historic Downtown Napa.   I sincerely hope so.

They are saying that Napa is open for business but the main part of town is still being cleared away but many businesses around the area are functioning including many wineries. 

And from what we've seen in the news the whole community is pulling together and helping out any way they can.

They have over 100 aftershocks but the chance of having another big one is now down to 12%.

I always love good news, so tonight Doyle and I will plan on doing something over the weekend, there is the place, I have to go to KPIX (CBS ch 5) website to get the name, it's a consignment shop and they are taking donations of kitchen goods, glasses, dishes etc to help people get back on their feet who lost their dish ware and it will be exchanged for free. 

Sis and I have some modern dish and glass wear from our old apartments before I moved into the house, so now I think Doyle and I will take it with us and drop it off up there, when we go up on the weekend.

Coralline is both happy and a little sad, School for her starts next week, happy because she'll be seeing a number of her friends, sad because the Summer for her is over, but her Dad has said that does not end the trips.  So I think something is in the works.

Later Darklings

Of "Earthquakes" and aftermaths~~~~

Well Darklings,

As the new poured in the last count was nearly 200 people injured but 4 or 5 critically, the worst was a 13 year old boy that was sleeping with a friend in the living room and the bricks from the fireplace fell in and crushed his chest.

Last word on him was he's stable and so far no fatalities, Historic Down Town Napa has sustained a lot of damaged, the fires were mostly in mobile home parks, very old homes were sheared off their foundations.  At least 100 structures were "Red Tagged" not habitable.

The odd thing is Doyle and I just to get away from it for a day had planned to go to Napa and Sonoma for the Day and with luck maybe overnight, but I think we'll have to change plans and think of something else.

This is going to be short post, several of my co-workers have relatives in Vallejo, Napa etc. and have gone to help out so I was called in to work for a few days to take up the slack.

Then I'll be back to my old schedule in Mid-September.  But it will be only 3 days a week, and on call for emergencies.  Frankly I like my reduced schedule, much easier for me.

Now must go, my mini-break is over.

Later Darklings

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Of Earthquakes or "I'm all shook up!!"

My Goodness Darklings,

For those of you who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, did you feel that Earthquake at 3:30 this morning???

Here we are all nice and cozy in our beds when suddenly the dogs jumped up and started barking, and then we felt the rolling shake of the earthquake, it felt like it was going on forever, and being on the upper level of the house you feel it more.

The reports are a bit confusing they say that the epicenter was near American Canyon, but Damage was reported in Napa and Vallejo and it was between a 6.0 to 6.1.

There were or are fires now either contained or put out, some buildings (older one's partially collapsed) 2 to 4 people seriously hurt, of course broken water mains, reports of gas leakage. 

But so far very little panic.  I did see a photo of a house that was sheared off it's foundation. 

We'll know more by the 6 p.m. news.

Anyway Doyle got up and checked for gas and water leaks but our "little fireman" shut off the gas (this is a device that if there is an earthquake or any serious shaking, will automatically shut off the gas)

Doyle said he would wait to turn it on in the morning, and he and Brian did but continued checking for gas, but we had to wait for hot water for our showers, my Sis and Brian her boarder, came running over to my house, her "Little fireman" worked as well, so I had her sleep in her old room and Brain slept in the downstairs maid's room.

So once things are back to normal we'll continue checking things, I was surprised nothing fell or broke, be thankful for little blessings.

Sis says the coffee is hot and my turn for the shower. 

So all is well, so far.

Later Darklings
Frankly that is a great idea.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Of Wearing Fashion Darkly~~~~

Hello Darklings,

And you Dear Rebecca your wish is my command...

As everyone knows, those who are over the age 40 mark, or in my case Well over the age 40 mark, dressing Goth for everyday wear for work or just going to the grocery story,  can look very silly.

Especially with over the top styles that one sees in Gothic Beauty magazine and others.

If you are 50 plus or even 45 plus, we cannot look like Morticia Adams because as my Doyle would say "It would freak out the Muggles".

I've covered this before in much earlier posts a few years ago, and frankly the reason why I have not recently posted about it is that many styles that I see out in the Muggle world are designed for young people, I mean Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, In Style, etc.  so much so that I have not seen anything that would inspire me to say  “YES an Elder Goth can wear this.  

Just the other day, Sis and I went to TJMax and we saw a woman who must have been 60 to 65 if she was a day, with long dyed blond hippie length hair, a cap right out of the late 1960’s, wearing a tank top, pink leggings and much too much hippie bead jewelry and majorly over-size sunglasses.

About the only thing I liked was the hat and the sunglasses, but the rest of it just did not suit her, Tank top without a bra, no, because the “girls” hit the navel,  scrawny arms with wing flaps, Bad wing flaps and legs that were so thin they bordered on tooth picks no, no and no.   The hair was all wrong too, it went well past her hips.

If she was trying to recapture Woodstock then she was living in another world, and it looks foolish on her.

I would have taken her hair and given it a Jackie O. pageboy look, convert  the tank top to have long sleeves and something to support the “girls”, convert the pink leggings to boot cut jeans with maybe a bit of embroidery and remove 99 percent of the jewelry and keep the hat and sunglasses.  She still would have embraced the “ghost of Woodstock” but as suitable for her age.  

And I’d be the first to admit that such Goth magazines such as Gothic Beauty is really suitable for the late teens to mid-thirties.  But in looking at that magazine one can get a few idea’s to inspire a person.

Because to be an Elder Goth one has to “cherry pick” what will look good on you, what will give the effect you want without going over the top.

With that in mind you have to consider your age, and Know  your body shape, that way you’ll know what style will look good on you, know what colors will and won’t work on you,  and know what would be appropriate for where you work.

Another thing is that it does pay to know how to sew or have a friend or good seamstress who can sew for you.

So what do you do?  Well I like to look at what is being offered at most department stores, Dress Barn is my favorite go to store for affordability.

 But for a tallish person like me I've been finding that they are offering what one would call Day dresses or for work dresses in which the hemlines are above the knee.

At my age my knees do not look all that good, or as Mae West use to say "I like long dresses, they cover a multitude of Shins” Meaning not everyone has great shaped legs or knees, but by the same token you do not want to be stuck in pant suits all the time and you don't want to look like you're wearing Granny dresses either or have come off an old West movie looking like you've cross the great plains in a covered wagon.

This means you have to look for separates, blouses and skirts, especially for work and I've found that skirts that have the hemline at where the calf begins to swell is good unless you have thick calves, then I recommend skirts which end above the ankle bone, to prevent dragging on the ground and with just a slight lift of one's hand. 

Some of the skirt lengths from the 1980’s which are just below mid-calf, work very well with dress boots, excellent for winter time and with the simple colors of Black, purple or grey with the right accessories can look very dramatic.

Now I have found some lovely things in the Pyramid Catalogue with just a little down play can give the edgy corporate look slightly bordering on Steam Punk Goth.

Yes Darklings I’ve found that the Hard Edge take no prisoners corporate look is best for Elder Goths.

Why?  Because we’ve lived longer and have been through the wringer.

I have found the best styles for me is in vintage fashion.  The trick is to wear Vintage Fashion without looking like you’ve gone through Grandma’s trunk.

Vogue Patterns as well as some other pattern companies like Folklore sell modern recreations of vintage patterns and with choosing the right one’s you can find something that will work very well for you.

But sometime you’ll find a vintage pattern that will deliver the look you want.

I found one of a day dress, with a slightly full skirt, ¾ length cuff sleeves, and a pointed collar that would open v-neck style and it was in my size---I had my seamstress trace the patter to protect the original and had several day dresses made from it in black, dark maroon, and a deep dark green with a black pattern all in light weight material perfect for Summer.  She was even able to convert the top part into blouses for me as well.  And considering the hot days we had it was perfect.

An Elder Goth is not afraid to wear a wide brim hat to protect her face from the sun and use the highest possible Sunblock available.

I have found for myself the clothing styles of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and very 60’s work very well for me, they give me that slight other worldliness, like I’m part of the real muggle world and yet not.

I’ve found a hair style that suits me perfectly, it’s the one Gloria Holden wears in “Dracula’s Daughter” but I do wear a wide brim hat on very sunny days and gloves as well.  But not so that it looks ridiculous, but as if to have people think have they walked into a time warp and yet seem part of the current world.
I have posted here several items I’ve come across that you may like

This evening dress is from Dress Barn, and with a lacy silvery shawl can look very goth, just change the make up a bit for a more dramatic look.

This is from the Pyramid collection (the top) now although shown with leggings you can wear it with a skirt that flows, or for work, with black slacks that fit nicely, not saggy.

This jacket is also from the pyramid collection and is perfect for work or going out, it has that steampunk yet edgy felling to it, if you go out on the town in the evening wear one of those little fascinator hats with a veil.   For work a skirt that's mid-calf and dress boots will look good with it.
Now with this one also from the pyramid collection, I don't use the hat and had the veiling removed and made it detachable and it makes for a really wicked evening dress.
This is just a few things I've come across, Sometimes Darklings I'll go through an entire fashion magazine and find only one tiny item that I simply have to have, last year it was a ring that I saw in Vogue magazine, and of all places I found it several months later at TJ Max. 
Simple dressing always can make a statement.
Another place that I look for Elder Goth ideas is the movies, I'm still inspired by Vera West, but a lot of those period gems, the Film Noir up to the early 1960's can be very inspiring.
So I will get back to my "roots" so to speak, but I have been having so much fun and ups and downs with family.  But I will start looking again and see what I can find.
Later Darklings.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Of more Dark things and School Shopping---a short post~~~~

Oh Darklings,

Already the leaves are beginning to fall and curl hinting at Autumn to come.  Halloween is just around the corner!!!

That does get me excited.

But I'm going to have to make this a short post as my niece and her Mother will be here any minute.

I've got to list another magazine link or two in the next few days, that I think all you Gothic Beauties will love.

Doyle is doing well, the Urologist just wants to keep him on antibiotics for another 4 weeks, plus a pro-biotic and then more follow up ultra sounds, blood and urine tests and doctor appointments to see how he is progressing.

He can go back to his job but he's going to be doing desk duty, no more risks to the vital areas for a while so limited functions.  He's happy about that he was climbing the walls here at home, and then I can go back to work in 2 weeks but again just a few days a week, well at least things won't be boring or dull, not that it ever is in our home.

But we still have to post pone the vacation plans Oh Pooh!!!  Well I can focus on the Halloween decorations and see what Spirit has to offer. 

But right now Coralline,  her Mom and I are going clothes shopping for Coralline, she's out growing her clothes and shoes,  and we still need to get her supplies for school, and they are here, already Coralline is tugging at my sleeve singing "Faro-La, Faro-Lee" 

Yes my Darklings---last night they were showing "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman" with one of the only few (with the exception of "Phantom of the Opera") musical numbers to find in a horror movie.

And her parents let her and the boys stay up late to watch it..."Come one and all and sing this song, Faro-la faro lee, for life is short but death is long, faro-la faro lee"...

Oh dear we all now have an "earwig" running in our brains---Faro-La, Faro Lee....

Later Darklings----I must Flyyyyyyyyyyyy.......

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Of viewing fashion darkly~~~~

Hello My Darklings,

Just a short post, I still have bills to pay and a check book to balance I'm so glad that Sis will be making dinner tonight.

A friend of mine informed me of a facebook page called Dark Style.  I think it can be found at  I hope I got that URL right. 

Well I went to it and I fell in love with it, I may not agree on all the styles but it was enough to perk up my Goth side.

And well now I better go, but I'll leave you with this wonderful photo from it.

Later Darklings
The family that Goths together stays together

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Of Doyle's condition and RIP Robin Williams~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I'm sure the news has now spread around the world, except where there is fighting, that Robin Williams took his own life and has passed away.

He was only 63, and had been suffering from depression for a long time, as a matter of fact he could be the poster boy for those suffering from acute depression.

It's very sad that such a brilliant and funny man could be so depressed about whatever factors that troubled him in life.

They say that it's not a condition but a disease.  I will accept that.

But I have to say that in many ways I don't fully understand it, unless it is something that is neurological or that it is something chemical with in one's body in which an overwhelming sadness blinds a person to the point where only ending your life seems like the only solution.

I myself as well as my family members have been struck with depression, the horrible murder of my eldest brother, which took much of the light out of our lives, but some how we managed to persevere and took what he taught us to a higher course.

My father fought in World War II and saw so much horrible death and destruction, how it weighed heavy on his mind and heart and yet some how with the support of my Mother, his wife and his own Mother and later my sister and I we helped him cope with it.

But my Mother and her Mother I feel suffered the most, first the two deaths of my Mother's older sisters, in the 1930's when there was no cure for many diseases or any surgical procedures for heart surgery, both of them beautiful, young, talented, then the death of her favorite Uncle his chest crushed by heavy equipment, then the death of Grandpa, and then Grandma, followed by the death of Mom's brother due to incurable cancer and then my brother, and I seeing burned to death my best friend and much later the death of a dear friend from AIDS.

When Mom was well advanced in age long after the death of our Dad I asked Mom "What keeps you going?  I would have rolled over and given up."   She replied "Take me to church" and I did it was open for evening mass and we went into a anteroom where there were statues of several Saints and one of the Pieta, Mom pointed to that statue and said "If she had to endure it, so can I, she gives me strength.  I had to remind your father of that when he came home from the war, there is always suffering, we all have our peaks and valley's, when it is really bad for me, late at night I say the Rosary, and then I finish with the 23rd Psalm.  There are those who have a hard time enduring anything, I don't know why, but my Faith has helped me."

I took what she said to heart, but I do know that there are those who no matter what cannot get past that valley, chronic or clinical depression needs to be looked at more deeply, it is obvious if a talented man like Robin Williams could not overcome it, some thing is wrong. 

I wonder if Robin Williams was Joseph Grimaldi re-incarnated.   Joseph Grimaldi was a clown, on several levels, he was a physical clown much like what you see in circus's, slap-stick, as well as a verbal comedian, circus clowns are called Joey's in honor of Grimaldi.

There is a story and it is believed to be true that a doctor who was know to be a specialist in mental conditions as well as  physical saw a man who was the saddest man he'd ever seen, he checked the man physically and determined that there was nothing wrong with him.  So he told the man "there is nothing wrong with you, you need to laugh and find humor in things, what you need to do is go and see Joseph Grimaldi, he is the funniest man in the world, go and see him to make you laugh."

The sad man said to the Doctor "But Doctor I am Grimaldi."  So it is possible that Grimaldi also suffered from chronic depression and yet he worked to make people laugh.

This theme was carried out in the Opera "I Paligachi" (sp) in the aria sung by the tenor he sings "Laugh Clown, though it's breaking your heart"

What broke Robin Williams heart I don't think we'll ever know.  He's left this world a little sadder by his leaving, so we need to look at his body of work to make us laugh all over again.

Now about Doyle-----We saw his regular Doctor today and there is the possibility that although the antibiotics have done their work, there is still a small sort of cyst that appears to contain pus from the infection, we'll know more when we see the Urologist at the end of this week, but Doyle may have to have a needle inserted to drain it to finally get Doyle over the last little hump, we'll know more in a few days.

Of course when Doyle was told the possibility of this he seriously winced and later said to me "Now I know for sure I've should have kicked that guy in the nuts.  Next time I will."  Yes my Bogart tough guy, next time go for it.

Right now I have lasagna baking in the oven, with lots of ricotta cheese, a good red wine, and a tossed salad with a wine vinaigrette dressing.  I'm not sure about dessert, but I think chilled peaches will do and Sis bought some orange sherbet last night so I will top them with that.   To be followed by a Pink Panther movie,  yes some comedy is now in order.

Later Darklings 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Of Cutting tree branches, and things not going so smoothly~~~~

Well Darklings,

We did get a bit of a very light shower, just enough to dampen the air, which is nice.  All kinds of fresh smells for the dogs, "Oooo Mummy what's dis?"  is their attitude.

I had my gardener over to cut some tree branches that were too close to the house, one good wind storm and smash windows and removed asphalt shingles leading to roof leaks, don't need that.

But I think with the first serious rains we'll go into the attic to see if there is any kind of leakage.

One of the trees is a walnut tree which of course the squirrels have been having fun with, but my gardener, trimmed the large branches down and is going to take them to a friend of his who works in wood, see if his friend can make use of it.  Waste not, Want not, sounds good to me.

Well Doyle went to his two sonogram appointments, well I think one was radiology, oh now I'm confused, anyway the Doctor in the radiology lab was concerned because it's still showing some inflammation in that area.

The radiology doctor called both Doyle's regular doctor and the urologists, they had a conference and then the urologist wants Doyle to come to his office this Friday and was told if he should re-develop fever and chills to head to the ER right away. 

THAT was thrilling to hear.   So now everything looks to be up in the air, we are not going to plan that vacation trip until Doyle is completely well.  And we don't know what they may do, either increase the dosage or keep him on it longer or possibly something else.  We won't know until after Friday's examination.

Doyle is worried and he has a right to be worried.  So am I, but we do know that the antibiotic did reduce everything rather quickly its just this last little bit that is very stubborn.

There is the possibility that there could be some sort of blockage as well which could be causing this.

Doyle is now wishing he did kick the other guy "in the nuts".  

But I'm thinking, what did they do in "the old days" when something like this happened?   A man must of died from something like this, with a high fever and chills it must have been horrible and painful. 

Thank goodness we have antibiotics, and all these machines and tests. 

And Doyle feels so frustrated, he really can't do anything, he tires easily because of the antibiotics,  this is a blow to his pride, and we can't really go anywhere because of this. 

We can only persevere and deal with it.  There is a solution, it just will take time.

At least he's over the hump from the dental extraction. 

Sis is home now from her various clients, and writing up her reports, she said to me as she kicked off her shoes in the living room "This hasn't been much of a summer for you has it?"  and I told her "Well things like this happen, we'll just make the best of it"

Like this morning, before my gardener came I was sitting on the back porch with my coffee and toast just enjoying the freshness of the air and that slight tingling dampness, listening to my neighbors banging pots and pans, coffee scent floating in the air, with a hint of bacon, then after awhile voices floating back saying "See you tonight"  "Be safe" "Don't forget to pick up...."  and an occasional dog barking.

And seeing Brown Towhee's and Robins in the trees, picking at whatever they can find, sometimes quickly grubbing on the ground for the odd bug or something, I know about now many of them are starting their second nesting, with the first batch of fledging's now on their own, their childhood is very short, now they are on their own and it's eat or be eaten.

And being delighted with an occasional butterfly or white moth, I've seen a few honey bees, which makes my heart glad.  I've heard that breeders are developing a breed of honey bee that is resistant to the parasite that causes hive collapse.  There is hope yet.

So Sis has made the mental nudge about contacting my contractor about enclosing the back porch with screening, like that which is shown in some old photographs of the house, it would make it for a nice semi-outdoor dinning minus much of the bugs, as well as a sleeping porch for those extremely hot days.  I've called him and he'll be out here Saturday to take a look and give me a quote.  And we'll go from there.

Sis said to not worry about dinner, she'll tackle it, she already bought some shrimp and spinach from Trader Joe's so it will be shrimp spinach salad tonight, I like that and lime sherbet for dessert.  That's good something light yet filling.

And maybe we'll play Scrabble tonight, invite Brian over to join us for dinner and a game.

I know Darklings, it does sound so boring but it really is a good Summers evening fare, no demands, no blaring T.V. just relaxing and enjoying each others company.

Later Darklings

Friday, August 1, 2014

Of dental surgery done, all hail the wounded Hero~~~~~

Well Darklings,

Poor Doyle, such a brave man, I mean who wants to be in a dentists' chair, although I do have to say dental procedures have improved quite a lot especially in the last 5 years.

I remember the old-fashioned dental drill with the metal belts, and the needles to inject the Novocain in the jaw.  

Well they have improved a lot, but even my dentist has said there really is no totally painless way to inject Novocain.

We got there in time, poor man looked like he was going to his doom, he was in for just over an hour and then the nurse said he was ready.

And babbling tons of secrets, the stuff they gave him to put him under as he's coming out of it he was babbling about our wine cellar, and how he got blamed for the fire in the kitchen, and I sat down and he goofily smiled at me with a mouthful of cotton wads, and mumbled "Heeellllooooo  Deeearrrrrr, dey pu hi ou seeeee"   and they did too, it did have bibulous roots.  That stuff worked on him like "truth serum".

So while Doyle was a high as a kit, the nurse gave me instructions and a prescription and then I got the car and pulled it up to the side door---they have them exit the side door so the other patients don't see how high they are I guess, the nurse got him into the car carefully and I drove him home.

Thank Goodness for Brian's help Doyle was weaving a bit getting into the house, but as soon as we got him in the bed in the spare bedroom, he fell asleep on his side, we were told to do that because of the gauze wadding.

I asked Brian to sit with him to make sure he didn't choke on the wadding and quickly went to get the prescriptions.

Doyle was still sleeping when I got home but Brian said that the wadding didn't need to be used any more as it seemed to have clotted good.

So with one pain pill, and a few hours later some soft scrambled eggs and a little cold milk he fell back to sleep, to sleep the effects of it off. 

I dried his extracted tooth off, and put a red dot on one side, and it now lays with the other teeth, the latest memento to my cabinet of curiosities.

Sis came home early as she only had a few clients today, and is using my other desk to write her notes, and ask about Doyle. 

I had to move about quietly in the house to not disturb him so Sis recommended Chinese and we also invited Brian over for dinner as well so Doyle could, when he's away relate his "war story" to Brian.

I think though Doyle will only have soup and only when it's cooled down a bit, nothing hard for a day or two.  The clot on the extraction spot has to stay there for a few days.

And I'll boil up some eggs in case he wants some hard boiled eggs, I was told he could have that.

The oral surgeon's office did call this afternoon to see how he was doing and Doyle was able to talk to them about how he was feeling.  Cognizant but still sleepy.

I'm sure tomorrow he'll be feeling better but we don't throw off anesthesia like we use to so I'll still keep an eye on him.  And hopefully he'll we awake for that Penn and Teller magic special tonight.

Sis showed me a brochure for another San Francisco attraction called the San Francisco Dungeon, it goes through the darkest vilest history of San Francisco from  the gold rush through 1907 Alcatraz, and includes a boat ride as if you were shanghaied like many a  young man who was unwary.

I understand that they have several of these Dungeon's in Europe so this is the first one Stateside and San Francisco has the honor.  Plus Madame Tusseaud's Wax Museum has also opened as well right next door.

Well something to go and see to get my Halloween mood on, I'm looking forward to it. 

I hear Doyle moaning, Sis has gone to check on him, I think we might as well order Dinner and I'll put the eggs on to boil.

Dear Patricia I'll send your hugs and kisses to Coralline I know she'll appreciate it, at least her brother's are being nice which is good.

And Lienna-maria we're not sure if we'll go with a totally Harry Potter theme as we are more Addams family but we'll see what we can incorporate it is a good idea.

Later Darklings
And he is too.