Thursday, April 30, 2015

Of Doing Jury Duty, speicality sodas and the drought~~~

Hello My Darklings,

Yes I know I haven't post for a while, BUT.....

Well what is more Elder Gothic than being on a Murder trial?   Being On a Murder Trial.

Oh I know Darklings bad pun.   But I am stuck doing Jury Duty and it is a murder trial.   I cannot talk about the case itself, but I can tell you it was 3 of the most excruciating days of jury selection I have ever gone through, and because I'm semi-retired I cannot claim hardship.

Well to be honest, this may be interesting to see unfold.  You know see how the lawyers do things, I mean Darklings it's totally different from "Perry Mason", "Boston Legal" or even "The Good Wife". 

One thing I'm grateful for is the chairs in the jury box are comfortable if they weren't I'd be screaming.  

And I'm glad we got off early today, the Judge had something to attend to, there is no trail tomorrow and the courtroom is air conditioned, yes Darklings we are now having a bit of a heat wave.

So Dinner is going to be light a spinach salad with shrimp (grilled),  lime sherbert for dessert, no wine, but a delightful specialty soda called "Portuguese Blend"  it's green in color, but lighter in flavor than 7-Up and it's made with cane sugar not corn sugar,  we had it after dinner last week, so Sis went and bought 6 bottles of it.  Doyle prefers the Root Beer called "Rat Bastard"  I told him we cannot serve a root beer with that name to the children when they come over to visit.  So we'll stick with "Dad's"

I know---- What??  The Elder Gothests is off of wine??  No Darklings I'm not, but once in a while in a playful mood we do like to try specialty soda's, and just see what they come up with.  And really with the heat, it's best to drink water with a hint of lemon in it for a sense of freshness. 

We did have about a week ago a very nice rain storm which did wonders for my water cisterns, so I'll be able to water the plants for a while without having to use the districts water system.  But because of this drought I've decided to not plant any new exotic plants in my garden, however to make up  for any sparseness, I've decided to increase the plantings of Lavender, Sage and Rosemary, these plants encourage the honey bees and humming birds and I've made sure that the moveable bird baths are in area's of shade for the birds, bees and humming bird feeders are in the shade for them as well.  

I've been happy to see a few Monarch Butterflies as well, which cheers me up a lot, at least the flowers on those plants are lavender and purple, may be not too dark but enough to keep things interesting.   And at least they can tolerate the weather conditions much better.  Towards the back in the Pet Cemetery area nasturtiums have sprouted, I did not plant any seeds so either the birds brought them over or something, I think they are rather pretty in their own wild way so I will leave them to grow, something as natural as that is fine.

Poor Belladonna and Wiener Dog are just to tuckered from the heat and have chosen to lay down on the kitchen floor near their water bowls, I have a fan rotating in here  to help cool them down.  But I'm going to ask Doyle when he comes home if he could up the fans from the storage room, we may not need them all the time but at least they will be available. 

I've advised my Sister in Law to buy fans as well and she has mostly for the bed rooms, she wants something more Victorian for down in the main rooms so I suggested she check out the Victorian Trading Company that is where I got mine.

I have no idea how long this murder trial is going to run, but my Boss is not exactly happy, because already several of the staff have summer vacations planned, I said ..."It is what it is..." and left it at that. 

And now I'm going to take a nap my Darklings, the heat is getting to me.

Later Darklings

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

of Still on Jury Duty, it's freezing here, a new T.V. station and storms in Australia~~~

Hello Darklings,

I'm still waiting to see if I will be on the Jury panel, the two lawyers are so slow in choosing and picking and it is FREEZING here.  No rain but Freezing cold.

Granted we are in April and not expected to be really warm but this is too much.

The only good thing is that I can get to the court house by Bus, but if I want to avoid standing forever in the long line for screening I need to get there early before the Judge steps to the bench other wise latecomers have to wait outside the court room until the Judge says O.K.

The weatherman is threatening drizzel, but have not seen anything yet, at least my cisterns are full enough that I can water my plants but the lawn will have to suffer I'm afraid.  Well it's hardy enough.

On the dinner front, thank goodness for crock pots, Chinese take out and my Sister, Doyle takes care of Belladonna and Wiener Dog sees that they get to their baby sitter.

I wish I could talk about this trial but I am bound not to, even though I have not be sworn in as a Juror, prospective jurors are bound by this as well, until either sworn in where they have to remain under the code of silence or are dismissed when they can freely talk about the case.

It was interesting because how this all started out is first the Judge is explaining to us that in the U.S. we go by the presumption of innocent until proven guilty, but in many other countries it is guilty until they can prove they are innocent.  Obviously in a country that goes by that formula you had better have a good lawyer to prove your innocence--   Even the judges and juries in those countries think you are guilty so you much convince them you are innocent.   I find that very twisted, it's like you are already convicted before you even say a word.

Doyle couldn't sleep Saturday night after we watched Svengoulie's presentation of "Jungle Captive" and I can understand even I felt a little restless but managed to fall asleep.

So he decided to channel surf and discovered a new station off of the antenna  here locally its 2.3 and it's called "Marquee Movies!" and that's all they show is movies, and very late Saturday night to Sunday morning they show Film Noir---he found out they were going to show "The Line Up" 1958 so decided to record it so I could see it, and he stayed up to watch "Riot in Cell Block 11".

They show films from the 1930's to the early 1980's  all different types, their web site is   at least I hope I have the link right.  I love it our own little batch of Film Noir to enjoy.  Something for the darkness of the soul.

My friend down in Austrailia e-mailed me saying that they are having the worse storm in Sydney history for the last 100 years, floods, Dams over flowing, Ferries not able to travel, things being knocked over so far 3 people dead and over 600 displaced.  She's fine in her area but she counted 6 umbrellas' so far rolling down her street. 

Well now Sis says dinner is ready so time to relax and then watch a guilty pleasure "iZombie".  Who says Zombies can't be fun.

Later Darklings

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Of Jury Duty and Exhaustion~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well I'm exhausted!!!

I've been covering staff members who have taken time off to coincide with their children's' Easter or Spring Break, and we got a heavy work load.

Then just when they come back and I think I can relax I have to report for Jury Duty, I had postponed it once I could not do it again and because work was back to full staffing I could not claim "hard-ship"

So I report in, one day or one trial, so I'm there all day, and just as I think I and a few others are not going to be needed we are called to report to a court room, the Judge said we were NOT dismissed so we had to come back the next day, and the next day and the next day.  It seemed that either one or the other lawyer had something come up or the Judge could not do a full session. 

I was ready to scream!!

So I'm hoping that I'll be eliminated and today---TODAY!!!  Do I get a good night's sleep??? NO!!!

I'm awake at 4:30 a.m. Up and down and UP and Down, I cannot sleep, I finally lay down praying for a few minutes sleep.  But the Dawn Came Up Like Thunder Across Mandalay Bay---as my Dad would say---actually he'd sing it, some old song, and he'd sing it when I and Sis did not want to get up for School.

So I drag my weary self to the Court House, finally I'm being questioned by the lawyers as they decide if I'm right for the Jury---I know what they are doing.   But we still are not set yet.  The Judge gets a note and he has to stop proceedings and do another Day's delay and we are to pick up where we left off on MONDAY!!!   No Wonder no one wants to serve on a Jury with all this going on.

So now as I type this, my eyes grow weary, Sis called and said she'd make dinner. 

Now I and the Dynamic Duo are going to lie down and get some much needed Sleep!

Later Darklings

Monday, April 6, 2015

Of Easter Bunnies and Jelly Beans~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well the title says it all,  we had a lovely Easter that included rain, wonderful, much needed rain with at least a foot of snow in the mountains and hopefully more for the next few days.

It will not repair much from the drought but it will help a bit.

We went to church and it was packed in spite of the rain, but I think I was a bit disappointed with the very casual dress by some of the people mostly the younger ones, I mean torn, dirty jeans??  Well if the young men and women I saw were going straight to a construction job I could understand that, but somehow I didn't think so.

But there were a number of people dressed in their best, but at least church was packed, Doyle suggested we might consider grabbing breakfast out, but we knew most places would be packed, but we did find a Denney's and got a decent breakfast.

Then back to my place to pick up a few things and then over to my brother's house to help out with the family dinner,  we were going to be eating late so it was just a matter of prepping the food and laying out the table.  And baking the pies in advance, the ham was going to be an easy matter, we do not do the honey bake ham, but a regular ham, I showed Monica how to rinse it of the excess salty gelatin, then to heavily cross thatch it, put whole pineapple rings on the top pack with brown sugar, and a coating of honey, and then the pineapple juice from the rings can, and more crushed pineapple.

We put it in after the pies were done and cooling, cooking at 325 for a few hours, the ham is cooked anyway it's just to get the other flavors into it and get it hot.

Crushed pineapple into a sauce as well as heated applesauce.   Everything else came together easily.

The Twins were disappointed because the entire back yard was wet and muddy so they couldn't play, so they just moped about while Coralline helped and Chris and his Dad and Doyle got the table pulled out to hold everyone and put the chairs around it.  The Twins were asked by their Dad to go down into the man-cave and play games,  which included finding small bundles of jelly beans,

Then it was just waiting for the ham to bake so we relaxed a bit before the last dash to ready the food.

We were so happy to have the rain, my brother found out from the former owner's son that there is a well on the property and showed him were it is, my brother thought that the "wishing well" was just a decoration but no next to it was a pump devise to bring up water to water the garden, but it had been shut down except to water the front lawn, the pump wasn't working so that is another project for my brother.

After dinner we relaxed and talked Coralline is so happy to get a card from you Patricia she hopes you got hers.  Both she and Chris were so happy to spend an entire week at their new home, and really get comfortable in it.

Of course we had to watch a religious movie so the choice was "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" just perfect.  We could have watched "The Ten Commandments" but it does run for 4 hours too late for the children, my brother suggest that he'd buy a copy so that next time it could be watched uncut in any way by commercials.  To see that many actor's and actresses playing in it and Yul Brenner making the final intonement of the inevitable fact, is at the same time hammy and dramatic.  And seeing Ann Baxter chewing up the scenery as if she were a silent movie vamp just delightful.

A hammy yet dramatic, extravagant spectacle, and Cecil B. DeMille's last film.  A legacy really.

I think I'll get a copy of it as well and also "Ben Hur",  I understand there is a DVD release that includes DeMille's silent version from 1923 that would be interesting to see.

I checked the water cisterns this morning and the rain helped to fill them up a great deal, I do hope we get more.

Later Darklings