Sunday, November 30, 2014

Of Rain, "the Black Cat" and after Thanksgiving thoughts and other thoughts~~~~

Hello Darklings

I woke up to a wet, damp, rainy morning.  Time for a good hot cup of coffee I always say.  

I woke up early this morning, just before 7 a.m. and with all the cloud cover it was darkish, I had to turn on a few lights as I made my way down stairs just to not trip over anything.   As the water was heating up I stepped out onto the back porch while the rain had stopped and was astonished at the Silence I heard, you can hear Silence because it’s the absence of sound. 

Oh there was sound, the slow drip, plop of water running off the roof edge and the tips of tree branches, but nothing from the street or freeway hum, no street sounds, not even birds, no dogs barking in the distance, nothing, complete silence and stillness.  That is such a rarity in this busy hustle and bustle age.

 I looked across the fences to some of the neighbors houses, through the bare trees and saw an occasion warm yellow glow of a light in a window, someone was up, either making coffee like myself in the downstairs kitchen  or an upstairs window that told me that either they were going to church or an early morning sale. 
It had a sort of Thomas Kinkade feeling, wet, silent, very cool, with splotches of warm light in a window here and there.  And I breathed in the fresh rain washed air, and enjoyed the dampness around me, my feet warm in thick slippers, geared for cold days and nights.  

The silence was finally broken by the arrival of two very small birds, too large to be finches, not wild canaries, and just a little too small to be sparrows, they might be chickadee’s, and they did a bit of “chit, chit, chittering” between themselves and then in the distance the very muffled roar of the jets of a plane taking off from SFO airport.   The earth and surrounding urban civilization was slowly waking up, and the coffee was ready.

The dogs refused  to do their business, at least for now, “Nos Mummy is tu wets” but they did eventually.   No one, not dog nor human can hold their bladder forever.
Sis and I are not going  today to do grocery shopping, it would be too insane with the shoppers, so we’ll do it tomorrow morning, not that we need much, just a few staples, milk, bread, cold cuts for sandwiches and such.  We had so much left overs from Thanksgiving for the weekend that we are doing good, even with all the food that we gave for people to take home.
And so much that we froze to heat up, I think we're really good for the week, although I think Doyle may get a bit tired of Turkey sandwiches to take to work, even if there is cranberry spread on them.
No, both Sis and I will each do in our respective houses  a few more indoor projects, another load of laundry, more sorting and such.  Then tomorrow I’ll balance the checkbook, do some banking and such so we can gear up to take care of other things later in the week, like paying the property taxes.   And addressing holiday cards, I just remembered I need to put postage stamps on the list. 

Last night we stayed up to watch Svengoolie's presentation of "The Black Cat" 1934 with Karloff and Lugosi, perhaps one of the best Art Deco styled and Goth horror films I've ever watched, Karloff with that sibilant evil lisp and Lugosi giving one of the best monologue performances in the end as his character is dying, it is broken up in a way, and only runs just over an hour, as I understand it the Head Office was concerned about some of the scene's that would have really tied the movie up better but they insisted on having it re-filmed.  But still in the Bright Art Deco sets, that sense of dark evil hanging over it.

I'd have to say it was one of the better Horror films of the early 1930's difficult to re-capture.

Thanksgiving dinner was a success, the tables groaned with good food, good conversation and good family and friends, the younger boys putting olives on their fingers and eating them off, its a good thing I bought several cans of olives because I remember doing that too when I was a child.

Then as the food settled, we settled in the formal parlor with coffee as the Turkey tryptophan took over, and the children fell asleep on the rugs with Weiner Dog and Belladonna nestled among them, as we chatted about this and that, and candles burned in the fire place making a cozy scene.

I thought the Men folk wanted to watch football, the Niner's were playing, but our brother via a text on his cell phone had the score and said its not worth watching them go down in defeat.  After a bit Coralline and her older brother woke up and laid there listening to us adults talk about things, reminiscing at times, while the younger children continued to sleep.

One of our guests asked me why do I dress sort of old-fashion, and why do I keep the house old-fashioned and I explained to them why, and that modern conveniences such as microwave ovens, washers and dryings and computers and cd player are not far away, just hidden, and how I, Sis and Doyle have a tendency to eschew ultra modern trappings for some thing's  and an era that is far simpler, but is no less complex.

Our guest understood in a way because he and his wife said that they felt totally relaxed for the first time in ages, even if we did have some quirky things in the house, but it was a good feeling.

But all good things had to come to an end and as it drew late everyone had to leave but not without some food bundles to take home.  And yet still we had a lot left over.

Doyle being a wise person recorded the 11 p.m. news last night for us to watch this morning as we didn't want to miss watching the late night movie.

So as I listened to it I was dismayed to hear that in Oakland the small locally owned business did not do very well on Small Business Saturday, the demonstrations that turned into riots earlier in the week, scared many people away so that people were afraid to come into Oakland to shop.

The protests did not do our local small business owners any good, and for many the Holidays is when they are going to either make it or not. 

It reminded me of something I just recently read in a Dean Koontz Odd Thomas novel "Deeply Odd" I looked for the statement and I quote it here:

"The wisdom of the most sagacious ancient Greeks, the wisdom of the most perceptive rabbis of ancient Canaan, and all the parables of Christ teach us to believe not in justice, but in truth

In a world of rampant lying, where so many lies are used to inflame passions and justify false grievances, the indiscriminate pursuit of justice leads sooner of later to insanity, mass murder, and the ruin of entire civilizations. 

Therefore, those who wish to punish the current and future generations for the inequities of a generation long gone, and who equate justice with revenge, are the most dangerous people in the world."

I think we have had another demonstration of this hunt for alleged "justice" and it satisfies no one, it only separates things further, it does not bring things together.  It only hurts those who are trying to make it in this world, it only harms those who live thousands of miles away  or only 1 mile from the original "flashpoint".

I do not have any answers but I do know that change must come from within, within a community, within a family, within an individual, some people call it and I just recently heard it again, "the broken window" theory, if one window is broken then others think its o.k. to break the other windows until a house, a building, a block and eventually an entire neighborhood is broken.   But if people come together to fix that broken window to turn in the evil doer who broke it, then it turns back the evil that seeks to creep into the neighborhood and into people's souls. 

It's like cancer, most cancers can be cured if caught early enough and gone after aggressively enough,   I should know, I've survived two bought's of cancer because I suspected something and I and my doctor went after it aggressively and I've been cancer free for 10 years. 

Education is the first step, encouraging children to stay in school is the second, helping people become independent is the third and a community working together to achieve that is what it takes. 

The holidays are tough times for many people trying to make it, and I and those I love support those organizations that help those in need.  And that is a good way to give to others, because little things as imperceptible as they may be can reap huge rewards that reach out to millions. 

And we have to start by fixing one broken window.

Later Darklings

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Of Happy Thanksgiving~~~~

Dear Darklings,

The pies are baking for tomorrow, the Jell-O desserts for those that like wiggly things with fruit inside are chilling.

The table is set with glass and plate wear upside down to keep the dust off.

Scented candles have been burning and are set to burn tomorrow.

Sis came across a recipe for German Chocolate cookies and baked them, heavenly.

The yams have been boiled and peeled and are ready to bake tomorrow, the Turkey is thawed, the stuffing (home made) has been made and ready to go into the bird.

Veggies are washed and waiting in the Refrigerator to be cooked, pans and pots for each dish to be prepared are labeled.

Doyle has been doing yeoman duty keeping the dogs amused and getting for us any thing we need,  Louise came by with her friend and have been helping with anything that needs to be done for tonight. 

Doyle has set candles in the fireplaces to be burned as it maybe a spare the air day tomorrow.

My contractor has called and said he can start on shifting the location of the gates next week.

The wines have been chosen, the soft drinks chilling.

Everyone has called and confirmed when they will be here and what they are bringing.

The house is sparkling inside and out because Doyle decided to put up the white lights outside last weekend, everything is warm and cozy and Doyle has gone to get our "go-to" Chinese Dinner which we will enjoy. 

Right now as we wait, Sis, Louise, her friend Carol and I are going to relax with some tea as we listen to 1920's jazz playing on my old fashion looking radio that plays C.D's 

And then we all decided that we need to watch an old-fashioned Sherlock Holmes movie, maybe two, with Basil Rathbone.  It's that kind of evening.

We feel thankful for the blessings we have received, we've had our ups and downs, our joys and grief's,  we've been luckier than most, but we don't take it for granted. 

Part of our thing is we took 4 fresh turkeys yesterday to one of the vital soup kitchens to serve food for those not so lucky, we've donated to the Food Pantry as well, there are some charities that will be needing financial help this Holiday Season and we'll contribute to them, Toys for Tots, a program for wounded warriors and others. 

But we don't do it just during the holidays, but all year long, its just that this time of year is when things are becoming at its darkest and we must continue to shed light to drive darkness away, we must bring love to take away hate, we must give healing to take away pain, we must give courage to replace fear.

And we must Give Thanks for that which we are about to receive, and in doing so we must share with those who have nothing.

Our history has been convoluted, secrets are being revealed, old beliefs are breaking down in the light of truth.

And there for we should Give Thanks that is happening.

But we must not give in to greed, and selfishness, but replace it with compassion and sharing.

We must not think of ourselves but of those around us, all of us who are so imperfect, for in our imperfections we create uniqueness and in doing so we see many different facets of the lives around us.

And therefor we should Give Thanks for all the Blessings that we receive whether we know of them or not. 

For if one person does a kindness it echo's on to the next and the next and the next, even if we do not know where it came from, We Should Give Thanks.

Later Darklings
Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Of the repercussions of Ferguson~~~~

Hello Darklings,

My niece "Coralline" called me last night to see if I was safe.  She was very worried, and understandably so.

I assured her that the protests being done where I live is far enough away from mine and Sis's homes and we were all safe.

My sister in law and others who work nearby were permitted to leave early and their office closed early because already people were milling about and it didn't look good, she managed to catch a BART train out of town to her area and pick up the children since their after school programs were cancelled.

I've been home and fortunately Sis's last client was at 3 p.m. and left before it got dark.  Doyle was still in the City,  he managed to come home by going down south towards San Mateo  took the San Mateo bridge back over then took the back roads home, he was exhausted, tired and hungry.

His office advised that unless you had to be in the field to do your reports from home.  Which he is, all of Sis's afternoon clients today cancelled, so after the last one we went via a different route to the store to get a few last things. 

And we were surprised at how calm and peaceful it was in the store, people looking over the baked pies and strudel to buy for Thursday's Thanksgiving,  picking over celery, potatoes, yams (which I bought, I completely forgot about the yams), even flowers.  I found some scented candles in cinnamon and vanilla so I bought those. 

And I found the latest issue of "Guns of the Old West" winter issue,  for Doyle, it talks about the history of various people outlaws and law men, recreational reading for Doyle.

But it was the calmness that I found refreshing, the complete ordinariness of it all.  For the people here it was as if nothing had happened, the people here have their own lives to lead, budgets to maintain, a turkey to defrost and roast.  Let us be thankful for that. 

Sis does not have any appointments scheduled tomorrow and she would have cancelled them anyway until things settled down.

There were protests, blockage of freeways, looting, vandalism, some small fires set, not like in Ferguson but enough to be of serious concern.  There maybe even more tonight.

I am not going to remark about this event or the Grand Jury's Decision which I know was based on evidence and eye witnesses testimony.

But what I do have to say is this----Does anyone remember people rioting when O.J. Simpson was found not guilty?   I certainly don't.

I know that sounds callous and cruel but really, does anyone remember what happened after that decision?  I know I was not happy about it, I know a number of people were not happy about it, but I don't remember any protests.  Do you?

Later Darklings

Monday, November 24, 2014

Of possible word on Ferguson Grand Jury decison~~~

Hello My Darklings,

Doyle just called he said that the Grand Jury will be releasing its decision later today.

I just talked to my "Merry Maids" ladies and they understood and will take alternate routes.

Sis has called her remaining appointments and advised them to be careful and to also take alternate routes.

I can only pray for peaceful demonstrations here in my local.  How it will be in Ferguson we can only pray for them.

Later Darklings

Of Concerns about the Ferguson decision~~~~~~

Hello My Darklings,

It's unusual for me to be writing this early in the morning, but I am home right now and waiting for my "Merry Maids" to help me "fluff and dust" the house for the Thanksgiving celebrations.

They will make it much easier for me to just give the house a quick vacuuming and wiping down the day before the festivities.  The House Trust covers anytime I have to use their services.

Doyle is at work in the City, my sister is at her home working with clients.

But Doyle advised both of us to be on the alert in case a decision is rendered by the Grand Jury on the Ferguson incident.

Tensions are high, riots are expected.  Of course there will be marches, but there are criminal elements showing up to do harm and destruction.  Already several persons from out of town were arrested in Ferguson for having weapons and bomb making or pipe bomb devises.

Doyle heard that the word is out that the high possibility of protest marches in the City and near by maybe a reality.  Much like the "Occupy (insert name of city here)"  marches which led to destruction of property and interruption of commerce and ordinary people trying to get to work to earn money to pay their bills and put food on the table.

Doyle advised that if we have to leave our homes to be sure to carry our cellphones, leave them on and he'll call the minute he gets word and for us to come home by our planned alternate routes.

I do have thoughts on this situation, but I will keep my own opinions and not voice them.

What I do object to is how these situations give destructive, violent people access to place everyone in jeopardy.    Many of the protestors that were doing destruction were from out of town. 

And they weakened the message of the "Occupy" movement. 

Doyle having been a former police officer (retired) knows the stresses that can happen, knows the split decision making, knows that there are a lot of good cops out there, and that there are bad one's that should be removed.  

But to tar them all with the same brush?   Unless one has walked in a police officers shoes, face the dangers they face, realize the stupidity and self-entitlement the perpetrators think they have which can create a dangerous situation, then do not do a Monday morning quarter-backing.

One time I and my brother(younger) were stopped by a police officer, we followed everything the officer said carefully, we listened carefully to what he was saying, we kept our hands out where he could see them, we did not make any false moves that could be misinterpreted.

It turned out that our car was the same make, model and color of one that was just used in a robbery where someone was shot.  Two white persons were involved, it was believed one was  female.

We complied, I allowed them to search the vehicle, we gave statements, HAD our I.D.'s with us (which many people including criminals never carry).  Could verify our purchases (had receipts).

In the end the officers apologized to us and Thanked Us for our co-operation, and just as we were about to get into the car we heard that the actual robbers had been captured. 

It does not matter what color you are, always have I.D. always comply with orders because those police officers are under stress, if you are handcuffed do not resist because it is for everyone's safety.  And if you have nothing to hide, if you are telling the truth, your stories will match.

But the minute you start hiding the truth, its all over.   I do wish the "COPS" show was still being shown on regular broadcast T.V.  because it is a learning lesson of what not to do, and WHY criminals are caught. 

I remember watching the show and I would cheer for the police dog.  That may sound vicious, but they can go where no officer can, and they are considered officers as well.  I donate to the program for police vests for police dogs.

So for the next few days, maybe a week, if I have to leave the house I'll tell Doyle and keep my cell phone on, just in case and pray that any protests will be peaceful.

Later Darklings.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Of Thanksgiving shopping~~~~

Dear Darklings,

I and my sister are exhausted!!!!  

We did the bulk of our shopping today, both for general use and specifically for Thanksgiving,  Doyle drove us, but wisely brought along a book to read and said "I'll wait in the car while you ladies shop, if need be I can use the store bathroom."

We were lucky in getting a parking spot, so close to the front and we managed to snag two carts, but I swear people were driving as if they were not seeing where they were suppose to go, and people were walking in front of moving vehicles as if they didn't know where to go.

It was a miracle no one was hurt or killed.  

And the aisles in the store was jammed packed with shoppers, leaving their carts in the middle of the aisle while they wandered further down.

There was one cart right in the middle, no space to go left or right, and my sister, well sometimes she amazes me, she went right up to the cart moved it and then yelled "To Whomever left your cart in the middle of the aisle, I WILL MOVE IT to one side, don't block the walk way!!!"   and considering there was about 8 or 9 people they turned looked at Sis as she manhandled the cart over and they didn't say a word and no one owned up to it. 

We continued down the aisle got what we needed then as we turned at the end I glanced back and saw a very sheepish looking young man who was in the aisle as Sis made her announcement, claim his cart. 

Everyone had that turkey glaze look, where's the gravy--it's right in front of you.   They see yet they don't see.  Sis and I were afraid to think how the Christmas shopping was going to be.

But one poor husband and wife (young), were having a problem pushing their overloaded cart, but Sis and I saw what was the problem, it was not balanced properly and we informed them of that.

So all 4 of us redistributed everything, Sis and I showed them how to put things in the cart so nothing would get crushed and how to balance the weight to get good traction, when we were done the wife said "Oh look we've got more space in the cart!!!  I don't have to do a second trip!!"   and yes there was more space in the cart.  They thanked us for the lesson and happily went looking for more goodies.

We had our lists, went up and down the aisles starting first with fruit and veggies, moved to meats and cold cuts, then boxed, canned and bottled items, heading to dairy and frozen goods, finishing with bakery goods. 

Then standing in line and standing in line and standing in line and standing in line, all the lines were full.

We got out and found Doyle asleep in the car, so loaded things in the trunk and came home to put everything away, now Sis is in her favorite chair, I'm typing this post, Doyle has gone to pick up our favorite go-to Chinese dinner while a berry pie is baking in the oven,  not to worry Darklings I bought plenty of pies.

Then we'll have an early dinner, Sis will check things at her home and then come back for dessert while the three of us to watch our favorite shows on T.V.

Doyle did ask what took us so long, Sis and I merely looked at each other, and Doyle took the hint and offered to spring for dinner. 

I maybe able to squeeze in a little reading, I just started Dean Koontz's book "Forever Odd" one of his Odd Thomas series, I like how he writes and uses descriptive words and even within the narrative gives voice to opinions that many of us have. 

In the mean time Darklings, all of you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving Holiday.

Later Darklings

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Of the Answer to the strange Guessing Game~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I'm sure most of you guessed the answer, and have refrained from posting it, to those who saw but wasn't sure, well don't worry Darklings, even I wasn't sure at first.

The simple answer is ---the Lady in the picture, oh she is human----but  She's Dead!

Yes Darklings she is dead, embalmed and posed with her favorite things, wine, Bingo, cigarettes, etc. 

It seems that this is a slowly emerging new trend in funeral arrangements, a bit morbid for my taste but who knows.

I've heard of several others, a woman in her favorite sexy nightgown posed in her Ferrari and she was buried in it too.

A man posed on his favorite motorcycle in full cycle gear, and a few others.  Not many but a few as I'm sure there have been.

Well there had been jokes going around when Roy Rogers had Bullet the dog and Trigger "stuffed", when he died very in poor taste jokes were going around asking if Dale had Roy "stuffed".

But it seems that the deceased in planning their funerals wanted it to be a celebration of their life, and to not going around all weepy eyed, but to just live it up.  Frankly for some people I think that's a wonderful idea, after all we go to haunted houses to see spooky tableau's why not?

I remember a story, or maybe its just an urban myth.  There was a fun house dark ride and one of the figures was that of a gruesome looking body that was hung, some years later when they were re-vamping the dark ride it turned out that it was not a prop but a real body that had been in the dark ride for years, where it came from no one knew.  Strange things happen. 

That's why I like(d) the CSI series and Bones they would find the most gruesome things, but I was told by a writer friend of mine who has done T.V. scripts that a lot of those are based on actual events that have happened and then they tie it into a story line.  He told me some writers use to joke "what kind of horrible death can we use this week."   Not at all tasteful, but not untrue either.

Mom wanted to put on Dad's tombstone "Gone Fishing" with a fish splashing out of the water, but a couple of relatives were horrified, so a year later on the anniversary of his passing we put flowers on his grave and Mom stuck a small wooden sign she made with the same words.  She was going to have the last say in the matter.  That sign stayed there until it fell apart, next year we're going to put up a new one.

But I'm afraid I am a bit of a traditionalist, I'll want the simple boring funeral service, but I'm choosing the music I want to be played, such as Bach's "Toccata and Fugue"  Some Gregorian Chants, maybe Mozart's Requiem I haven't thought it out yet.

But I do want my hands to be over my chest with a lily in one hand, like Lily Munster,  I don't care if its a silk lily that is what I want. 

And now I must sign off, the timer went off and Doyle has pulled the stuffed Bell Peppers from the oven.

Later Darklings

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Of a strange guessing game~~~~


A few days ago I was shown this picture, and I was, as well as my colleagues, asked what is wrong with this picture.

I present this photo here for your inquiry and for you to guess what do you think is wrong about it.

Please post your answers below in the comments box and I will tell you in a day or two what is the right answer.  It might surprise you.

Later Darklings

P.S. no fair peeking at the internet connection either, this has to be an honest guess, so no moving the mouse over it.

Of what to wear when lounging and it's freezing cold~~~

Yes My Darklings,

It is COLD!!  Freezing cold!!  Or as Dad would say coming in from the outside "It's colder than a Well-diggers backside!!"   He was always polite around Mom and us children.

But yes how does one look glamorous and be warm.  Well I do have a few suggestions, taking into account the limitations offered out there that is affordable.

I love looking at items offered by Dress Barn, Jessica London, Roman's, Woman With-in, even the J. Peterman Catalogue, and of course Victorian Trading Company. 

And although the later offers lovely items to relax in, one has to be practical as well.  Which goes against my saying to also be glamorous but it is Cold outside and its no fun coming down with a cold or the flu.

So I perused though a few of the affordable items from some of the aforementioned websites and I'm come up with a few suggestions. 

This is a chinelle bed jacket which you can wear even over a long lounge robe or wear in bed while watching T.V. or reading

a lovely long embroidered lounge caftan

A velour bed jacket, I like this one with the satin trimming.
This is a lovely light weight 2 piece but not quite warm enough
This is certainly fetching to wear under the lounge robe
But always wear lovely yet warm slippers, it's important to keep the feet warm as well

and a lovely lounge robe velour in red

Well my Darklings this is just a few items that I can suggest for looking lovely on a cold winter's night, and you can always add a nice warm fleece blanket to add to your comfort. 

Later Darklings.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Of minor excitment and getting Ready for Thanksgiving~~~

Hello My Darklings,

Well I know I have not been posting for a while, partly because I was called back to work to fill in for several staff persons, one on vacation and two who are down sick with colds. 

Fortunately the work was not arduous mostly inputting information into the data base, but since I'm a very detailed oriented person, and there was a fair amount of work for the others, I said I could handle it. 

It felt good to be back briefly at my old work place, but I also remembered why I chose to go into semi-retirement and be "on-call" status.  I think what I miss is my co-workers, us having a laugh, grabbing a bit of lunch at one of our favorite places near-by,  but we did have a bit of a City moment last week.

I and 3 of my co-workers decided to have lunch out, and we called our order in advance, it was only a half-block walk but as we walked up the street there jumped out in front of us was a very naked man wearing only tennis shoes---I guess he didn't want to get his feet cut from any broken glass. 

He proceeded to dance from one foot to the other, the third leg of him bouncing in rhythm but although my female co-worker was shocked I laughed after I got over the suddenness of it and said "Is that all you've got---That is pitiful!" and our two male co-workers called the police, I and Paul stayed behind while our friends went to save our lunches, fortunately the police showed up quickly, and we pointed the man out who by this time he'd put on a long coat but was being held by two workmen from a near by construction job.

It seems my remark sort of stunned the man and slowed down his escape allowing for him to be captured.  So he is going to a psych ward for Thanksgiving and fortunately we did have our lunch.  As we were eating Paul asked me if that display shocked me and I said that I was surprised that the cold didn't affect his "third leg".  Meg, my co-work nearly snorted her coffee up her nose with that remark. 

I have to admit Darklings, I've reached a phase in my life where I will say almost what I think.

We had wondered if it was a Full Moon but that occurred on Nov 6, and we were in the quarter portion. 

But I was wondering if there is something in the air because the night before, Doyle and I were reading in the family parlor when we heard a loud thump bang on the outside of the house, Doyle went out and saw that our neighbors crazy son was quickly walking down our drive way spots Doyle and immediately starts yelling obscenities to Doyle, Doyle wants to walk up the driveway to see what "Crazy" has done but "Crazy" keeps blocking Doyle's path.   Doyle is wise enough to not get close to him but keeps him pretty much in place, of course people are looking out their windows and I went in to call the police because of "Crazy" trespassing onto our property. 

They showed up pretty quickly and Doyle stayed back and started giving information while "Crazy" was talking to the other officers claiming that we had an Ultrasound Machine and we're projecting sound waves into his head. 

Doyle and the officer walk up the driveway to see if there's damaged and found that about 4 feet of telephone cable had been pulled out of the basement connection and out into the driveway, but our phone and internet connection was not affected.

In going into the basement we realized that the line repairman had left a lot of cable and the rest was anchored to a beam in the basement, which explains why "Crazy" could only pull out 4 feet.  He claimed he was trying to dismantle the Ultrasound machine---our phone lines.  But because the way the lineman had installed our line our system did not appear to be damaged but we called for a check up anyway to be sure.

"Crazy" in the meantime was hauled away and will also spend Thanksgiving in a psych ward, and possible charges of attempted vandalism might be filed against him. 

The drive way gate to the house is set far back so it was easy access for "Crazy to walk up the driveway, but I am going to see if my contractor can move the gate down towards the front to be even with the  period iron fencing, I had been thinking about that for a while but this only confirms that it needs to be done.

And then this event in the City.  My co-workers think it has to be something in the water. 

Sis and I in the mean time have been purchasing tidbits of things for Thanksgiving, I'd love to make home made cranberry sauce but the canned version displays itself so much better although I do have that simple recipe for it. We have been making rum balls and Bourbon balls but we'll have to label it for grown ups, don't want the children getting strange.

And of course the sweet pickles and small picked onions all for luck, olives several kinds---black, pimento, onion stuffed and any strange goodies,  I'm afraid we are buying bottled gravy chicken of course,  the turkey has been ordered. 

And we are planning on what types of pies, considering that we'll have 20 people over at least, it's a good size bird, and we have to have all kinds of things to purchase,  Frozen items will not be a problem we'll buy it next Sunday, fresh items will have to be on Tuesday and  Sis and I will have to make an early morning run to the store for that. 

Fortunately my Cousin Louise and her friend are helping out and will have all the table and glass wear down and ready.  Wednesday will be a lot of pre-cooking and making, all the traditional items that Mom use to serve.  But Thursday will be the heavy part of it, Thanks goodness for my O'Keefe and Merritt two oven six burner, with warming ovens stove.  It is a trouper.

Fortunately some items will be made by some of our guests which will take some burden off, and I'm glad that Doyle suggested buying those two extra Micro-wave ovens they will come in handy.

But before the festivities can start I have a small plumbing problem that is now being worked on as I type this.  A small leak developed in one of the pipes in the basement, which leads to the kitchen sink, it can be fixed from below.  Well when one has an old house what can you expect.

 So that is why I haven't been posting much,  so much to do, and not enough time to do it in, I think I'm going to need Christmas just to relax.   Oh that's right I do have that Black Christmas tree, I think it will go into the entrance hall. 

And we are making plans to go to the Dickens Fair, Dunsmuir house, Coralline wants to see the Nutcracker again, and of course I'm trying to find out where the "Christmas Tree Lanes" will be.

It's strange really, but when I think of Christmas, in terms of music I don't hear the usual Christmas tunes but the Waltz of the Snowflakes from the Nutcracker, where you hear the light voices of children singing.  It's on Youtube.  

But that is the music I hear when I think of the magic of Christmas.

And now I must go, the plumber is calling me, I think the work is done.

Later Darklings

I wish I could add this stain glass window to my home

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Of The Berlin Wall~~~~

Hello Darklings,

25 years ago today (allowing for time difference) the Wall that divided East and West Berlin came crashing down and for the first time since the end of World War 2 Berlin became a united city once more.

Gorbachov  did the right thing to not call in the troops to stop the people from destroying that Wall.  Perhaps the wisest move any politician ever made.  He's still alive at 83, amazing.

I remember the news broadcasts, Sis was visiting me when I had my apartment, and she and I shared my queen size bed, this was long before I inherited my Great-Aunts home.  We watched the news sitting on my old couch that sagged so bad in the middle that I had to put a wooden board under the cushions so we could get out of it without floundering, we were  in our sleeper pajama's and robes and slippers, mesmerized by what we were seeing, nibbling slowly at popcorn of all things. 

No this was not a movie to watch and be entertained this was something else that we were trying to absorbed and take in much like how we'd slowly allow the popcorn to become soft in our mouths, we were devouring this event, marveling at it, remembering the dismay our parents voiced when they read and saw on the news this hideous wall going up,  that divided families, friends, parents from children, young from old.

All to keep out the so called evils of western civilization, into creating one huge concentration camp of slaves to communism.  Over 100 people died trying to escape, now we were seeing a city made free.

Sis turned to me and said slowly "We're seeing history happening right now."  and I could only agree.

Some weeks later we listened and watched the performance of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" but the word Joy was changed to Freedom, never had such a profound piece of music have greater meaning.

That last movement of it stands right up there with Handel's "Hallelujah" Chorus from "The Messiah".  

And now the joy of this moment is being celebrated again, but with the fears of another "cold war" looming in the background because of Putin's Policies.

With that in mind I wonder what other walls will eventually be torn down, not physical walls but mental and spiritual ones.

I don't know, and I may not live to see it, but I can hope that my nieces and nephews will.

Later Darklings

Friday, November 7, 2014

Of feeling as if I was in "Sherlock Holmes London"~~~~

Hello Darklings
Well I was up early this morning as per usual and while waiting  for the  coffee to perk I went out onto the porch and watered my herbs, I don’t cook with them or anything I just enjoy the scent of them, the sage, basil, thyme, oregano and Rosemary, and I was surprised to see that the leaves and such were damp, a wettish damp.  When I looked up I saw that we had a sort of fog, now that’s really low cloud cover, but it felt just right and perfect for such a day.  I felt as if I had gone back in time to old San Francisco or old London, expecting to see Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson looking for clues in my garden or perhaps Jack the ripper emerging from the fog, it was refreshing really.

The birds were busy as per usual, but what really surprised me was a fat squirrel with a fluffy bushy tail, he was walking on the edge of the fence and came close to the house, then jumping to the plum tree, and looking around, he  saw me and just looked at me with his bright energetic eyes, totally unafraid, I think he was judging if I had any walnuts or unsalted peanuts for him, and if I did I’m sure he would have come right up the steps for them as well.  But I do not try to encourage them, they carry fleas and such so I just watch them from a distance.

The dogs were not with me, preferring to sleep in with Doyle and when they did get up it was like watching sleepy, grumpy children not wanting to get up to go to school, almost comical in a way, their yawning as they go to the back porch with  drowsy looks on their faces. 

Doyle is enjoying the comfort of his pajama’s he says he’s sleeping better at night which is good, tomorrow Belladonna and Weiner Dog will be getting their monthly bath  and flea treatment and then I’ll have to make an appointment for their nail trim.

The bird’s did get startled a bit later, and there’s a tree trimmer on the end of the next block cutting down branches of a tall tree, well there’s about 3 or 4 tall trees, I don’t know if they are cedar or redwood but I felt unhappy about that, we need trees and such for oxygen and they look so refreshing to see, but then it has been a terrible drought, they maybe diseased or so dried out that their roots are endangering water and sewer lines, it’s sad really, I hate to see a tree cut down, but if it does endanger property one then has no choice.

 I have been asked by Street Maintenance if I wanted another tree planted in the front, since the old one fell over a few years ago and I said “NO!”  I didn’t need to deal with tree roots!   I have enough problems with the trees in the back yard.  As a matter of fact I’m thinking of having a shut off value put on one of the water lines that feeds water to the far back garden faucet, we  use it only rarely and I prefer a drip line, but since I do have trees out there if the roots are entangled with the pipe line it could become a problem should a tree fall over.  But I don’t want to remove it either, so a shut off value under the house and accessed through the basement would be best.  That way if I need to use it I can open up the shut off valve. 
I got together this afternoon with my cousin Louise, she wanted me to go with her to Dress Barn to find a nice fancy but not too fancy dress for a special event she and a friend are going to, she thought she had something to use but when she went through her things she found she couldn’t fit into them any more, she hadn't worn them in years so more donations to charity,  I told her Dress Barn carried nice dress for women from size 4 to 24.
So we went there and found a lovely dress and shoes to match, and a very nice dressy but inexpensive watch, she did have a very nice light wool shawl that would work very well for warmth, so she was happy with her finds, so then we decided to grab coffee and a pastry at Starbucks. 
When I returned home after dropping off Louise I found that Doyle had done his small project  today but he had to wait until the garbage bins were dry from the damp and spray paint our street numbers on them so they won’t get stolen again.  Cost $54 dollars to replace each bin, unless they are broken.
Yes Darklings some one stole our Garbage bin and our Recycling bin 2 weeks ago after the pick up, since no one was home to pull them in they were stolen, our Green recycling bin was still there, Thank goodness, and we were able to get them replaced for free, but one can only do that once a year, otherwise $54 dollars per bin.   I don't mind paying for things but not when someone thinks they can get something for nothing.
Doyle thinks its "Crazy Joe's" doing, yes he came home after his last escapade, they (the head doctors) deemed him not a danger to himself or to others.  Oh if they only really knew.  But with our street number on it, it should discourage him, we hope.
And tomorrow will be an easy day even with the dog bathing, and I can take care of a few things odds and ends.
But I feel sort of twix and tween, sort of down, like I can’t do anything but that’s wrong because part of me does feel positive.   I was wondering if the Full Moon from last night had anything to do with it.  It was a beautiful Full Moon, but no we did not howl at it this time. 
Thanks to crock pot cookery dinner is almost done, but I think I will do some reading tonight, even if Doyle wants to watch "Blue Bloods" (he loves that show---and Tom Selleck is still handsome to look at) No I think I'll pull out a murder mystery to read. 
Last night we were watching the news and they talked about an event that I had nearly forgotten, Doyle was saying something to me  then he became quiet to listen as well to the news story. 
Every one has heard about the Zodiac killings, the Hill Side Strangler, the Manson murders, but hardly anyone ever speaks about a killing spree that was labeled the "Zebra Murders".  This occurred in 1974 in the City.  I remember Mother and Dad were grateful that the job that I had at that time was on this side of the Bay.
It's hard but what it was, was a group of Black Men who were labeled as the "Death Angels" were killing white people a total of 16 murders, either shot or hacked to death.  Former Mayor Art Agnos, before he became mayor was one of their victims. 
But I remembered the fear with that and for that year I refused to go to any events in the City, one never knew when the next killing would take place, it was a terrifying time.  Some groups were saying that the S.F. P.D were racial profiling but the descriptions of these young men fitted a lot of people, not until a composite picture of one of them was printed did the police finally get a break.
40 years ago, had it been that long ago?  The memory of that fear at that time never left me and left me very cautious.  And are we anywhere closer to being safe, now with drive by shootings, and violent robberies. 
The "Zebra Murders" are not well covered only two books have come out over the years one of them is now out of print but you can read it on line, the other one came out in 2006 but some people say that the authors are looking at it not as a police procedural but as a race question.  I don't know but since I do have several works on the Zodiac on my shelves I think I'll see what I can do about this subject as well.  It is San Francisco/Bay Area history as sad, violent and tragic as it is.
And yet, I will pull out a mystery to read, but I think it will be an Agatha Christie and I'll sip a cup of chamomile tea with it.  I know Belladonna will snuggle next to me as Weiner Dog will snooze in Doyle's lap, yes we are a pair of homebodies. 
Later Darklings


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Of more Quiet time and vague thoughts~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well at the last minute Doyle suggested we go by BART to the City and we were fortunate no tie-ups, not like what has happened today, someone had stepped in front of a BART train causing delays, of course the person I heard was killed but reports are still confusing.

Several times in the last few weeks there has been a body on the tracks or someone falling in front of a BART Train.  Its so sad when that happens. I could go on about that but right now my mind does not want to process it.

However Doyle and I went without our car and took public transportation instead, I would have preferred having left earlier but we really were not in a rush. 

Doyle did find two sets of Pajamas and a nice robe and slippers, "I'm all set for winter" he declared!  We decided to eat at John's Grill, made famous for the Maltese Falcon, for a nice early dinner. But before we even got there he spotted an out of the way 2nd hand furniture store.  I thought now what has gotten into him.

But he was determined, I asked him what was going on and he said "My Spidey Sense tells me I'm going to find something here"  and he did.

An old large Office desk right out of the 1940's, but it had a flip desk top, I don't know how to explain it but you can mount a standard typewriter on a frame on a very heavy duty side board, and with a push it folds into the side of the desk, you close the door and it looks like a set of drawers.

To use the typewriter you open the door, pull on the side handle and the typewriter comes right up, it was very cleaver.   On the other side was a file drawer for current files, two drawers one for stationary the other to hold staplers, rulers, tape dispenser,  and above it a side out table to hold papers, the desk also had a middle drawer to hold pens, pencils and other small things like paper clips.

All in Oak and in good condition, Doyle fell in love with it, and there was a matching 4 drawer oak file cabinet and swivel desk chair with arms, the owner of the shop said it came out of an old office so he was displaying it as a set piece, including a cobra head desk lamp.   Doyle asked if there was a typewriter that went with the desk and the owner said yes but it needed reconditioning, and showed it, it was a black Royal typewriter, a heavy monster,  he had detached it from the desk thinking to sell it separately but Doyle would not have that. 

Doyle whipped out his credit card and said he'd take the entire set, desk, chair, file cabinet, typewriter and lamp!  I asked him "How are we going to get it home??  We came by BART!"    The owner asked us where did we live and he said that his son lives in Berkeley although he may move eventually and he could deliver it later this evening or tomorrow morning (meaning today) we said tomorrow would be fine, I'd be home to accept delivery but it may have to be moved to the "Man cave" in the back of the property, no problem, his grandson could help. 

After that surprise bit of shopping we ate and talked about his find, he said he just knew it would be there.   And we happily took BART and Bus home as the light grew dark and the street lights came on.  And for a few moments as we walked up to the house I felt as if time had shifted, that the cars on the street were not from 2014 but from 1940, that radio's were playing "Fibber Magee and Molly" or "The Shadow" and that we were in the same neighborhood but not in the same time.  And then the sense of time shifting passed as we opened the door. 

So now sitting in Doyle's "Man Cave" is the office set of his dreams for his "Office"  I knew exactly where he'd want them placed, so when he gets home he can go play with it.  He will still have to anchor the typewriter but I think he wants to take it to this place he knows that reconditions typewriters first and have it working just right. 

But just for fun after it was delivered I went to Bev Mo bought for him a bottle of good  bourbon and two glasses that I knew would be period correct, and tucked them into the file drawer of his desk, a nice little "house warming" present. 

So with a few more period correct additions the office will be just right for Doyle.  And I could not be more happier for him.

The sun is now more sharply inclined, I can barely hear a ships' horn on the Estuary the wind must be right to carry the sound.  The dogs are in their sweaters and nicely curled up in their beds napping.  I just have a few dishes to wash, dinner will be a simple affair.  Sis won't be back until late and called to say she'd grab a bit of dinner with a friend.  Brian is visiting family for the week.

And it's quiet here, nice and comforting soothing really.  I was out in the back yard picking off Bay leaves from out Bay tree and rinsed the dust off of them and set them up to dry, after a bit I'll tuck the leaves on the pantry shelves to keep small bugs away.  Next Spring I'll have the rugs and padding taken up to do a through vacuuming, and then lay down fresh lavender and eucalyptus leaves to keep fleas and small insects out, I do that once a year in the Spring. 

So I'll make a cup of tea, and do my lists for projects to do, groceries to buy, preparations for Thanksgiving.  And I'll talk to my team of Merry Maids about some serious deep cleaning for the Holidays.

Later Darklings

Doyle had not realized that Thanksgiving would be so close.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Of Having voted and now taking a bit of quiet time~~~~

Hello My Darklings,

To those of you who are of voting age here in the United States---Have you voted?

I did, and no I won't tell you how I voted, except that I voted with my conscious on what I felt was right and what I felt was wrong.  Voting is a very serious business in my family, we take it very seriously to the point where we would have discussions on the pro's and con's of the candidates and the propositions.

But only after they have been in office or the proposition has been put to the test do we really know how well it will work.

And I will leave it at that.

I've been, with a little help, taking down the outside decorations, bit by bit and checking them over, making notes for repairs or replacement.   The garden in the front and the back looks sad, cold and bear.  My gardener will be putting stuff down to protect the roots of some of the plants in case of a severe cold snap.

Doyle just got back from an early morning conference and announced he needs new pajama's, so in the next few minutes, we will go shopping for PJ's.  How mundane!  But necessary.  There are a few high end men's shops in the city so we will drive there, have an early dinner and then come home, Doyle wants to wait until after the heavy commute has passed when we return home. 

Frankly I think he wants to use it as an excuse for a quiet evening out.  I don't mind, I enjoy time with him.

But until the flurry of Thanksgiving, I think we will button down the house for winter, and go into our quiet time.

Must go Darklings

Later Darklings

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Of having finished my Essay~~~~

Hello My Darklings,

Yes I have finished my essay on "My thoughts on Horror Literature" and yes it is in 3, count them 3 parts.

I suggest that you print it out to read at your leisure, that way you are not "stuck" to your computer.

I had not realized that I had so much to say but I guess I did. 

Now some of you may complain that I didn't talk about YOUR favorite author, well there is a good reason for that.  I have work to do and other things to take care of. 

If you are really into reading Horror Fiction, I'd suggest, especially during these upcoming long and cold nights to get together a reading group to discuss these various works and suggest titles to each other.

And Do NOT include graphic novels, that's cheating!  No I'm talking about the printed word.  Darklings you could have a lot of fun, decorate your meeting room with cushions and comfortable chairs, make it look Victorian, dress Victorian or Steampunk Goth or what ever it will take to be fun, even plan a "movie night" to compare the book to the movie or even what movies are trying to suggest, but go back go WAY back in films to the early silent movies.  And everyone bring something to eat and drink but watch out of alcohol, not a good thing, stay with tea, soft drinks, or coffee.

Do you know I had a chance to see a silent version of "Frankenstein" and was cringing at how the Monster was being created.  When I saw "The Haunting" with my sister we were so scared we had to climb in bed with Mother, poor Dad went to sleep on the living room couch to make room, claiming he'd get a baseball bat to keep the monsters away.

You can make it fun Darklings, just put some thought into it.

You will find my essay on the links side under Mysteries and Thoughts and remember its in 3 parts.

And now for dinner and "Supernatural".  That Jensen Ackles is so cute!  But don't tell Doyle I said so.

Later Darklings

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Of going out and having more spooky fun~~~

Well Darklings,

Sis and I will be leaving in a few minutes, Brian is taking us to our hotel in S.F. and we are leaving the men folk to have a sense of bachelor freedom, although I will call Doyle to let him know when we arrive safely at the theatre, when we leave and when we arrive safely back at our hotel.

Dear man does worry about us. 

I have also posted on the My Pages links Part 2 on my Thoughts on Horror Literature---I have to confess it is a much longer essay than I suspected by I had to admit, even in my brush up research on it I and going to add these tales of fear, mystery and terror to my library, to either read to myself or read out loud to whomever wants to listen.

You will see it under the section of Mysteries and Thoughts----enjoy Part 2.

Later Darklings

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Of A Halloween Success!!!~~~~

Dear Darklings,

Halloween was a success!!!  The rain held off giving the trick or treaters a chance to claim their candy!!!

And so was the party!!   Everyone getting into the mood and I think what helped even more was discussions about local ghost stories and people being up front and honest with any strange and paranormal experiences. 

Everyone took turns answering the door to the children who were allowed into the hall to get their treats!  And seeing the place festooned with spider webs and strange people in strange costumes,
by 9:30 the door bell stopped ringing with the exception of late night party attendees.

The children had fun watching the movies and falling asleep on the cushions and such, my oldest nephew took turns with the parents to watch the little ones, until they were all finally asleep, with the exception of my oldest nephew and Coralline, they managed to stay awake for the séance and had places front row center.

And we were not disappointed, disembodied hands writing messages, floating tables, spirit bells rapping out answers, moving planchets on Ouija boards and many other ghostly phenomena. It was a huge success.

And I did have a number of people who were in no condition to drive and admitted it, so between calling taxi's and having them sleep over it was a safe Halloween.  And now finally the last of the left over cars had been claimed, and we have a lot of left over food that will tide us over this weekend.

Tomorrow evening we're going to take in a ghostly event, but because it will be in S.F. and we'll be out till late, Sis and I made arrangements to stay overnight at one of the better hotels, so we'll be dropped off by Brian, at our hotel, then take a taxi to and from the venue, stay overnight then come home by BART and Taxi.

But tonight we shall relax because oh our aching limbs, later in the week I will start removing the decorations, Doyle will slowly take down the outside decorations, already today he took down Grim and the Fog Machine, and he was so effective.

Tonight we'll have fun watching Svengoolie present "Black Friday", I have not seen that movie in ages and it will be a treat.

But for now microwaving dinner, even Elder Goths must succumb to the modern use of things, and the two extra Micro-waves were a BIG Help!  

This morning being in a mindless frame of mind I happened to turn on Grit TV and they showed two episodes of Science Fiction Theater, from 1954, I remember watching these programs years ago, and found them to be both educational as well as entertaining. In one of them the strange person showed a devise called a "sonic broom" and Doyle and I saw that and we said "Oh my Goodness!  A Roomba!"

Now I'm making sure to watch this or at least record it so I can see how much did they predict that has come true.

Later Darklings---Time for me to take more aspirin.