Monday, November 27, 2017

Of after Thanksgiving and thoughts on shopping mania and a simplier life~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Last Friday morning was like something out of a Sherlock Holmes story, the fog covering the area in a misty fuzzy way, softening the harsh outlines of homes, street lamps and other objects, as if they were in a dream.  The Fog Horns sending out their mournful tunes of warning and yet mystery.

The colors from the leaves of the street trees and my fruit trees in the back yard  were just soft blots of color, even the paths in my garden disappeared into nothingness, and I felt the house was shrouded from the world of hectic and frenzy shopping and we were into a world of  genteel manners as if Mother Nature was saying breathe, relax.

I love mornings like that, it puts everything into the right mood of fire places and cozy chairs and a good book,  but because of the slipperiness of the ground and such we decided to hold off putting up the outside lights and instead decorated the inside of the house for Christmas.  The T-Rex was taken down and stored away before the rains came, I just could not take the chance of his internal workings being damaged.

Later on in the week we’ll purchase the two trees to put up in the house and plan on going to the Dickens Fair this coming weekend.   That is an event I never want to miss.  The children and their mother are coming with Sis and me and we plan on an early start because of traffic and possible rain.  Hopefully my brother can come with us if his brother in law will take care of the twins, they want to go to some sporting event, or watch some games on T.V.    I’ve never seen such divergent differences in taste between all 4 children, but then being different is what makes the world go round.

Thanksgiving was wonderful, good food, good people, good conversation and NO politics, that was my rule.  And plenty of left overs to handout for the next day, well more like almost the entire week.   It was a bountiful feast.

But I think Christmas Eve and Day will be a bit more low key, immediate family and those few friends who have nowhere to go, gifts will be given a few days early to be opened at their homes.  

Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers will be getting together with their children for their gathering.  My friends, their children,  are still dealing with all the paperwork and Insurance about re-building.  They did sign up for the government to clear away their property,  but getting their house rebuilt will be a long process,  I don’t mind my house guests if they have to stay for a long while, they are very nice and are developing their own routine and rhythm to their current surroundings.   So it is working out well.

One thing that both I, my sister and the Rodgers agree on is how horrible this “Black Friday” mania is, I mean is it more important to shop till you drop starting on Thanksgiving than being with one's family?   Whatever happened to having a day of rest and being with family or good friends?

My sister and I prefer to do our shopping on Saturday and rest and relax on Sunday, unless something happens and we have no choice but we have found planning our week for “chores” is best, of course medical/dental appointments, hair appointments, vet visits always have to be squeezed in but that it what Calendars are for. 

I have found on line people, young people who are turning to living in another era as if it were Victorian times or the 30’s, 40’s or 50’s, to the point where (unless it’s a uniform) they dress that way, their homes are decorated that way and most modern things are banished, with the exception of flip phones for emergencies, medical/dental procedures, the computer is banished into an armoire, the flat screen T.V. is put into a vintage T.V. cabinet.    Of course one has to have a modern land line telephone, but those are the few concessions.   Even I have done that, it makes the pace of living so much easier, I’m not locked into having that smart phone stuck to my ear.   And it is far less stressful.

Sis believes eventually there will be a backlash to all this mania shopping and lack of a day of rest, we may not see it but it will eventually happen, she believes.

Interestingly enough Poland has actually voted on phasing out Sunday shopping,   I have copied here an article from USA Today~~~~

Poland to phase out Sunday shopping by 2020
The Associated Press Published 8:27 a.m. ET Nov. 24, 2017

WARSAW, Poland — Poland's lawmakers on Friday approved a law that will phase out Sunday shopping by the year 2020 despite criticism that it may eliminate thousands of jobs.

Proposed by trade unions that want shop workers to spend more time with their families, the bill got support from the ruling party that adheres to Catholic values. Critics say it would negatively affect Poland's economy, eliminating tens of thousands of jobs, and hurt supermarket chains, which are mostly western.

The lower house, dominated by the ruling party, voted 254 -156 with 23 abstentions to limit Sunday shopping to the first and last Sunday of the month from March 1 until the end of 2018; only on the last Sunday in the month in 2019; and to ban it totally starting in 2020. There will be, however, some exceptions that will allow Sunday shopping before major holidays like Christmas and Easter. Also, online shops and bakeries are to be exempted from the ban.

The bill still needs approval from the Senate and from President Andrzej Duda.

Frankly I can see that, with the exception of emergency services for humans and animals, and of course gasoline stations because some people need to travel a long distance home, and public transportation, and I don’t think it will hurt jobs, because it will create longer hours for those businesses to be open.   In hot areas where the temperature can climb into the 100’s  such stores such as Wal-Mart are open 24 hours with serious air conditioning because it’s far more comfortable to shop at night.   So things can be re-adapted.   

We’ll see how it goes in Poland.  

Later Darklings

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Of Black Orchids and Black Friday~~~~

Hello Dear Darklings,

Thanksgiving is almost upon us and we have in my home and with my family a lot to be thankful for.

Sis and I have most of the goodies for the table purchased, friends and family are also bringing other goodies to add, and I have lots of aluminum pans to put in left overs to give to people afterwards.

Our house guests, Mr. & Mrs. Rodgers have settled in nicely, Mr. Rodgers loves taking the dogs for their walks and talking to the neighbors, Mrs. Rodgers has started crocheting comforters, slippers socks, and mittens as gifts.   And they have found places that they enjoy going to.   Mrs. Rodgers said to me that she enjoys the quiet pace of my house, even when I have the Merry Maids come in to do dusting and such and with my part time house keeper Betty who comes in to help with heavy work like the laundry and making beds.

Today it will be getting down the special dish and glass ware as well as the pots and pans used for the holiday dinners.

I have only found a few things Gothicly and I have to credit  the “Dear Darkling” newsletter ( for showing morbid edible candies and Gothic clothing for the toddlers as well as writing materials from pens to notebooks to help you write things grim and dark to make E.A. Poe proud of you.   

So I decided to do a word combination just for fun to see what I could find that’s matches that and is sort of Gothicly,  the most popular combination is “Black Orchid” 

For example there is Black Orchid Denim at  I’m not in favor of ripped leggings or jeans but some of their tops are very nice for casual wear if one wants to make a statement subtly.

Then there is Tom Ford’s Black Orchid cologne and perfume,  according to its Hype “This is not about an ordinary orchid….a little more strange and rare.”    It’s floral-spicy with patchouli and sandalwood, amber and balsam and hint of incense.

Then there is the Black Orchid Resort in Belize.   According to it’s website  “Located in the heart of Belize on the outskirts of Burrell Boom Village, the Black Orchid Resort is an oasis of modern convenience in an exotic tropical rainforest setting. Just 15 minutes away from the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City, the Black Orchid Resort is worlds away with 16 comfortable rooms, 7 luxury suites, & two well-appointed villas.”

See its web site   Trip Advisor gave it 4 ½ stars out of 5.

Then there is ILNP Black Orchid nail polish, a high quality lacquer, cruelty free and vegan with sparkle, you can see it and buy it on

And odd thing is a fish called a Betta, we use to call them “fighting fish” as they don’t seem to get along and can be aggressive to other fish so they need to be in their own but they have developed one called a Black Orchid.

You see where I’m going on this and that’s to not eliminate the actual black orchids that can be found in Belize (it’s national flower),  Madagascar, Ecuador and the Dracula vampira orchid on the slopes of Mount Pichincha in Ecuador as well as Dracula anthracina (the coal-black Dracula), a species of orchid from Colombia.    Many are too rare to have in the U.S.  so that is why I lean towards the deep purple cymbidiums to get my “Drac” fix.

But now we also have that Dreaded Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving shopping frenzy.  My niece Coralline asked me where did that term come from?

Well I can thank   Sarah Pruitt  who wrote an article on November 24, 2015 at for her story which I’ll re-print here but also will give you the direct link to it

Here is Ms. Pruitt’s “What’s the Real History of Black Friday” article:

It makes sense that the term “Black Friday” might refer to the single day of the year when retail companies finally go “into the black” (i.e. make a profit). The day after Thanksgiving is, of course, when crowds of turkey-stuffed shoppers descend on stores all over the country to take advantage of the season’s biggest holiday bargains. But the real story behind Black Friday is a bit more complicated—and darker—than that.

The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied not to holiday shopping but to financial crisis: specifically, the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869. Two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. On that Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.

The most commonly repeated story behind the post-Thanksgiving shopping-related Black Friday tradition links it to retailers. As the story goes, after an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted merchandise. Though it’s true that retail companies used to record losses in red and profits in black when doing their accounting, this version of Black Friday’s origin is the officially sanctioned—but inaccurate—story behind the tradition.

In recent years, another myth has surfaced that gives a particularly ugly twist to the tradition, claiming that back in the 1800s Southern plantation owners could buy slaves at a discount on the day after Thanksgiving. Though this version of Black Friday’s roots has understandably led some to call for a boycott of the retail holiday, it has no basis in fact.

The true story behind Black Friday, however, is not as sunny as retailers might have you believe. Back in the 1950s, police in the city of Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year. Not only would Philly cops not be able to take the day off, but they would have to work extra-long shifts dealing with the additional crowds and traffic. Shoplifters would also take advantage of the bedlam in stores to make off with merchandise, adding to the law enforcement headache.

By 1961, “Black Friday” had caught on in Philadelphia, to the extent that the city’s merchants and boosters tried unsuccessfully to change it to “Big Friday” in order to remove the negative connotations. The term didn’t spread to the rest of the country until much later, however, and as recently as 1985 it wasn’t in common use nationwide. Sometime in the late 1980s, however, retailers found a way to reinvent Black Friday and turn it into something that reflected positively, rather than negatively, on them and their customers. The result was the “red to black” concept of the holiday mentioned earlier, and the notion that the day after Thanksgiving marked the occasion when America’s stores finally turned a profit. (In fact, stores traditionally see bigger sales on the Saturday before Christmas.)

The Black Friday story stuck, and pretty soon the term’s darker roots in Philadelphia were largely forgotten. Since then, the one-day sales bonanza has morphed into a four-day event, and spawned other “retail holidays” such as Small Business Saturday/Sunday and Cyber Monday. Stores started opening earlier and earlier on that Friday, and now the most dedicated shoppers can head out right after their Thanksgiving meal. According to a pre-holiday survey this year by the National Retail Federation, an estimated 135.8 million Americans definitely plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend (58.7 percent of those surveyed), though even more (183.8 million, or 79.6 percent) said they would or might take advantage of the online deals offered on Cyber Monday.

Well for us we will use the Friday after Thanksgiving to put away and straighten up after the Thanksgiving feast and use that day and the weekend to start decorating for Christmas,  YES Dear Darklings we wait until Santa shows up at the end of the Macy’s Day parade.   And there is one thing that we do in my house after the feast when everyone is having their turkey tryptophan slumber I put on “Miracle on 34th Street”  I’ve often felt it was the perfect transition movie from Thanksgiving to the Christmas season.

Just as a trivia note the Macy’s parade that is shown in the movie is the one from 1946, when it was first televised on those early black and white T.V.’s.

Happy Thanksgiving Darklings

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Of rain lovely rain~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I am so happy that we have had and will have rain to wash the air and dust away.

Of course the dogs don't like it, the looks on their faces "what's dis wet stuff?"

I got my flu shot today and as always it puts me a bit under the weather, but Sis has solved that with Won Ton Soup.

Bit by bit all the Halloween decorations have been put away and now we're making plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But I swear it's like we just slide into Christmas without a wink and a "Howdie you do" to Thanksgiving. 

I'm still of the mind set that Christmas doesn't start until Santa shows up at the end of the Macy's Parade.   It's Tradition!!

Well tomorrow I'm going in for a pulmitory exam I've been having some breathing problems, and we're wondering if it was related to the particles from the smoke from the wildfires, well it doesn't hurt to make sure.

Things are a bit slow with me, I help transcribe my sister's notes, but I have to admit I'm slowing down a little.

So I just take it a day at a time.  

I've not been able to come across anything darkly delicious, but I'll keep hunting.

But Thanks Goodness for the rain.

Later Darklings

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Of the after Halloween celebrations~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well Halloween has come and gone, and oh my!  Did we have a  lot of trick or treaters for a school night,  it was a good thing I loaded up on a lot of candy. 

My party went very well, not as elaborate as previous years but then I tend to go all out when it's on Friday, Saturday and even Sunday. 

But everyone enjoyed the party, I even had a fortune teller to read tarot cards for my guests and he was very good and entertaining,  I think I'll hire him for next year or even for New Years Eve.

The skeleton horse and Rider were a big hit and so was T-Rex,  now with the break in the rain the halloween decorations are coming down, I'm glad that after the trick or treaters were gone that Doyle put heavy plastic bags over the heads of the functioning parts to prevent the rain from damaging them. 

I'm debating about having T-Rex up for Christmas with Christmas lights, because if it rains that could damage the functioning parts and with that kind of investment I'd rather not have that happen.

Doyle is making sure everything else is nice and dry before boxing or bagging it, my family is helping out as well.

My elderly house guests, Mr. & Mrs. Rodgers were so happy for the diversion and loved handing out the candy to the little ones, Mr. Rodgers said that it cheered them up a lot.  I've taken them to Target to get some replacement clothing, at this point in time they do not want to know what is lost in the fire, their son and daughter in law are keeping in touch with them, but it will be a while for any forward movement.

I don't mind having them here, Belladonna and Wiener Dog have taken a great liking to them and they enjoy walking the dogs in the neighborhood.  Mrs. Rodgers has said she enjoys the quiet (when it's not Halloween),  I took her to a craft's store so she can get back into knitting, a hobby she finds very meditative.   Mr. Rodgers likes to garden so I may have him putter around in my garden.

When they feel more sure of themselves they said they will use the public transportation to go to different venues like our museum and restaurants.   Sis tells me that it's their way of coping and has had chats with them as well.

Since there is no Spare the Air alert for today or tonight I'm going to be burning a fire in the family parlor to make it cozy and cheerful,  I've been assured by the Rodgers that will not bother them.   Mrs. Rodgers said that my house reminds her of her parents house when she was a girl, a good comforting feeling.

So tonight it will be old-fashion comfort food,  stew with rice, a small salad and french bread, later apple pie.

Then plans for Christmas.

Later Darklings