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Get Your Green On

It was St. Patrick’s Day and my “hippie” home was awash in green. I had covered nearly every visible nook ‘n cranny with as much Gaelic- themed decor as I could muster. Celtic colors decorated most of the house, while a newly set-up photo display honoring my departed ancestors was a true Irish blessing. The living room windows were festooned with a colorful Irish banner, assorted festive decorations, and a plug-in shimmering shamrock flashed far-out patterns in groovy green.
Oh, and don’t even think I would forget to install an Irish-theme flag to fly in front of my house.
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Did I mention that I was feeling (and looking) rather green, myself? (I’m not saying it’s a curse or anything like that, but the same thing happened to me LAST St. Paddy’s Day! Where was my “Luck of the Irish,” anyhoo?) Too run-down –and likely too contagious – to travel to our fave Irish pub in Berkeley, all I could do was wait for the old man to bring our St. Pat’s feast home.

As I sat waiting with my dog, Rosie Colleen, I thought I heard a feeble tap on the front door, but I wasn’t sure. Dunno, I might have been feverish or something. The tapping intensified so I went to investigate: SOMETHING was happening, but what? There were wee taps occurring all along the lower half of the screen door! And I had yet to drink even ONE Guinness! I wasn’t going to open that door. No way.
“Kathleen, it’s us, open the door!”

“Say what?” “Kathleen, look down it’s US!” Well, US had this thick Irish brogue, so I asked who US was. “We’re the leprechauns. You asked us to be ready for you this year, remember?” Oops, NOW I did. In 2013 I pleaded, “Leprechauns, puleeze be ready for next year, ok?” I needed their help in finding a parking space a couple of years ago, but not tonight. (Dang, I guess they spotted my Irish Snoopy flag with its pot ‘o gold and they just had to stop.) What would I do?

I hated to send them on their way, but what else could I do? “Howzabout returning next year, OK? I’ll have an entire year to recuperate and get ready for the 2015 ‘Wearing of the Green.’”
After hearing a rather loud “Groaning of the Green,” I suggested they give me bro, Billy Danny, a phone call. .”You guys are way cute and I know how much you want to get your green on. I’m convinced that Billy Danny is from a long-lost leprechaun branch of the family. He’d be up for some silly shenanigans, I bet.” Just call him –puleeeze!!
(Rumor has it they’re still partying. They’ve gotta be pretty darn green by now!)

Wishing you peace, love, joy & all the love and luck of the Irish!
Kathleen

Michael O' Bender's Concord Car Stereo
Michael O’ Bender’s Concord Car Stereo

 

 

 
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Fifty Years of FABruary!

What a month for celebration! Although I usually don’t watch the annual, over-the-top salute to those who make the music industry far more wealthier than anyone has the right to be – aka The Grammy’s- this year I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. This show now gives-out more awards than I have channels on my TV satellite box. There are so few awards given that I actually care about that I usually tune-out most of the program. However, it was “now time for something completely different,” as was often warbled on the far-out Monty Python’s Flying Circus*. beatles

This year, my beloved Beatles were to be honored for their fab, gear and totally groovy contribution to the American rock music scene. I’ve been a devoted Beatlemaniac since I was a…um…?/&!$$$%%!!!? year -old! (Some kind of computer malfunction must have occurred.) Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Sir Paul McCartney won a Grammy, baby! The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was also present at the Grammy Awards, looking quite smashing, baby! (Oh, sure, they both brought their wives, but who paid any attention to them?) I just wish that John Lennon and George Harrison were still on the planet. We’ll never forget them. Sir Paul & Ringo performed individually, and they really out-shone the majority of the music “biggies” who performed. (Fuggedaboud rap and hip-hop, cause these English chaps don’t need it!)

The city of New York decided to devote an entire week of celebrating the Fab Four. The airport in NYC even recreated their arrival in the USA, and then dedicated a plaque to commemorate their initial visit to the city. On February 9th, the actual day that the British Beatles first appeared on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” a rock-star tribute to the Boys filmed in L.A. a day post Grammys was shown on CBS. This was the same network that featured the fab foursome 50 years ago.

(FIFTY years? THAT CAN”T be right!!)

Unfortunately, most of the music performed was by Grammy award winners who appeared to be doing their own renditions of Fab Four tunes. Most of them weren’t even around when the Boys were creating their awesome classics. It was absolutely wonderful to see George’s son, Dhani Harrison, a guitar rocker just like his late father perform on live television. The “kid” looks just like George! While John Lennon’s son Sean was in the audience with mother, Yoko Ono, he did not perform. Sean’s older half-brother Julian was off helping needy people in Africa, which John would certainly praise. I want to praise the far-out showmanship of Sir Paul & Ringo: Well-done I say.

And then I had the DREAM:
“Peace & love, Kathleen…Peace & love,” said the ravishing Ringo as he boogied on down to me exhibiting his signature peace sign. “It’s been awhile, hasn’t it love? Didn’t you and your sister last see the Beatles in ??!!oops-oops-mayday-mayday!!??” (Contact tech support? Naaaaah). “Are you going to see my show in July? It’s going to be far-out and groovy, baby. You need to be there. You just must know the way to San Jose.” Then suddenly, far-out of nowhere, my old man appeared, and I belted-out a Beatles tune I needed him to hear:

Henry you can drive my car (a Mini Cooper!),
Please let me see Ringo Starr
Cause Henry if you drive my car
I’ll try not to bug you!
Don’t be cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, yeah!!

Ringo grew excited like many a Beatles fan back in the day, screaming: “Wow, such talent. You rock, Kathleen. PLEEZE join my band!!”

My old man objected. “But he believes in peace & love & ME –and he gives peace signs JUST LIKE ME!! And I’ve always wanted to be in a band!!

I awakened from my dream surprised to find myself dressed in ab/fab Beatlemaniac attire. Nothing dead grotty for moi, baby. Surrounded by my many Beatle books, albums, and a plethora of fan paraphernalia, I was even making my signature peace sign, with all my fingers covered in bling rings, ala Ringo Starr!! Where did those rings come from? That was one magical mystery dream, man.

Just before St. Valentines Day the old man came through: I’m gonna see Ringo and his band, baby!! I probably won’t be joining his gigs with the band, however. A real bummer. But please look for me flashing my signature peace sign in his direction. I’ll be wearing complete Beatle Bling to this event, so you’ll have NO trouble recognizing me. Peace & love, man, peace & love.

What a month for celebration! The Beatles, Valentines Day, the festive Lunar New Year & a visit by the Dalai Lama to the Bay Area. “All you need is love, love is all you need, love is all you need, oh, yeah!”

Peace, love, laughter & yeah! yeah! yeah!,
Kathleen

* The British “Monty Python Flying Circus” troupe is celebrating 50 years of making outrageous comedy together. Google them and get a giggle.
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Happy New Year! Well, we’re off and running…or not. (2014 isn’t a race, even if it feels like it!) The husband and I spent New Year’s Eve with the Deadheads, just not as many as usual. And not even at the Bill Graham as we have for several years now. We did go to San Francisco, however, and were surprised at how light the traffic was. No doubt in my mind: NO FURTHUR CONCERT, man.
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(The “boys” have decided to stay off the concert tour circuit for an entire year! I know, it’s a real bummer for Deadheads in the SF Bay Area. We have been privileged with so much access to Phil & Bobby’s shows. We even have Mickey Hart come on down fairly regularly to perform. And Bill Kreutzmann will soon be well enough to drum again.)

This year – we wanted to get our “Grateful Dead” fix – the hubby and I went to see Stu Allen & Mars Hotel, a DEADicated cover band. The venue was quite small, but the owners somehow packed-‘em in, I say. The joint was jumpin’ and sold-out, too. This band was SO worth the modest price of admission. These talented musicians headline at Jerry Day every year and are truly amazing. Stu sounds just like Jerry Garcia. Although I missed all the color and hippie pizzazz of the Bill Graham, especially the Midnight festivities, I had fun nonetheless. It was a groovy way to begin a new year.
PS: We even found some fun & funky friends from Jerry Day, and chatted with a woman we recognized from the Furthur show in Berkeley!!

Bunnies AND Bears in Berkeley?

We never know what to expect when we visit Berkeley. I’ve told my hubby to always bring his camera with him, lest we miss a good photo op –they’re everywhere! On two separate occasions we’ve encountered a woman who carries a gorgeous bunny rabbit! (Alas, he forgot the camera.) I mean, this is one cuddly wabbit. She told me that being a Berkeley bunny, he attends protests & holds his paw up in solidarity, man. A peace bunny living in Berkeley? Really? Hey, why not? The only “real” bears in Berkeley are the Cal Bear players, but I had the hubby take photos of some pretty life-like bears that might just put a smile on your face. I can find joy any month of the year in this fascinating town.
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The San Francisco Bay Area has been experiencing balmy January weather joy, albeit with a modicum of guilt. Yeah, I know that vast areas of the USA are inundated with snow, ice & cold temps. My “baby” lives in Watertown, New York, where they experienced the coldest mornings in America last week. Wednesday it was 37 degrees BELOW ZERO, and on Friday morn it was 30 below!! (My son told me he was SURE that he spotted some Eskimos in town. I dunno…Could be.)

Meanwhile, whether layin’ back on a sun-drenched beach, or hangin’at a backyard barbeque, or by merely hummin’ an ice-cream van’s musical tune as it slowly rolls down your street, a Californian knows it’s supposed to be RAINING!! A priest in Berkeley even asked the congregation to please pray for some snow & rain. (Heavy snow falls in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to fill local reservoirs with much-needed water as it melts.)
Heavy precipitation is what we need. We don’t need no steenkin’ drought.
I’m gonna enjoy this unseasonable warmth while it lasts.
Hey, is that an ice-cream van playing a Grateful Dead tune, or did I just imagine it? I dunno…Could be.

There is so much stress among the populace, but apparently not with the popular Pope Francis. He is always smiling & has a great sense of humor. In fact, comedian Stephen Colbert (the host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central) was having a bit of fun with the Prelate: Stephen called him a “hippie” and showed a photo of Francis wearing total tie-dye! Far-out. I loved it! My husband, official photographer of The Laugh Laundry, took a picture off the TV set & it is totally groovy. However, I could not find a way to contact Mr. Colbert or anyone involved with his show to get permission to use it. What a bummer. So I guess you’ll just have to visit the Colbert website if you want to see it. Sorry.

To help you deal with stress I contacted Father Al Moser, C.S.P. for his permission to use something from a Sunday bulletin he authored several months ago. Fuggedaboud Stephen Colbert cause Fr. Al is the real deal. He ought to know something about stress reduction after teaching relaxation exercises for SIXTY years! The wise and wonderful Father Al is 90 years young. Get some joy from Fr. Al’s
“Amusing Stress Reduction Maxims:”

“If you can’t be kind, at least have decency to be vague.”

“Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.”

“The second mouse gets the cheese.”

“Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.”

“When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.”

“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.”

“Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.”

Amen to that. Now let’s give thanks to Father Al.

I began this post with Happy New Year, and I’m ending with it: This time it’s Happy Chinese New Year, or Gung Hay Fat Choy. Tis time to honor the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac.
Wonder if I’ll be seeing any horses in Berkeley? I dunno…Could be!
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Peace, love, JOY & laughter,
Kathleen

Rosie Colleen’s Letter to Santa

Oh, please, please, Dear Santa Paws,

Give me a lip- smacking doggie bone that I’ll adore
& I won’t mess -up Mom & Dad’s home anymore.P1110450

I really need something extra yummy to chew
Mommy won’t let me lick her designer new shoe.

A tiara or two would also be nice
But a princess pet bed would likely suffice.

If you get me a collar, please make it chichi
Diva Dogs always howl when they look at me.

And please bring dad a new wide-screen TV.
We recline together while he cuddles with me.

R-u-u-u-ve you, Rosie
PeeS: Mommy hopes you had a Merry Crimble (John Lennon) & wants you to have a very Hippie New Year!

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Ghouls, Goblins & Gobblers

I’ve been flying around on some kind-of-a wacky carpet ride since Halloween, and it’s been one wild ride. Before holiday commitments loom large on my horizon (& somewhere over my rainbow), I knew it was high -time for me to return to terra firma and fulfill my blogpost obligation.  (I was also waiting to hear from a rather funny newspaper cartoonist, although I never did.)  Meanwhile,”Rosie Colleen” really hopes you like her Halloween photo.  So does my old man. He had a “ghoulish” time getting Miz Rosie into her canine costume.  Guess she really was “spooked” by that witch hat on her furry little head.  Rosie is such a demanding diva, we shudda known betta.  The old man then took a photo of a young woman grocery shopping in costume (I think) for a “Day of the Dead” event. He tried to tell me that she was a Deadhead. I told him this particular “Day” has nothing to do with the Grateful Dead. It’s an ancestral celebration.  I don’t think he believed me.  But, we were in Berkeley, where anything “G. Dead” can & does happen.blog123f

 Earlier that day in Berkeley – we encountered pal Sharon at our fave grocery store (Hey, we enjoy grocery shopping), and had her pose for a second photo. I thought she was wearing an early Christmas chapeau, although she referred to her topper as a “celebration” hat. This colorfully-dressed woman is a charter member of the celebration nation. It’s a “nation” we all ought to join. Sharon puts a smile on your face & sometimes makes you giggle with delight at her enlightened sense of fun. She probably has no idea that she is a natural healer who provides endorphin moments for nearly everyone she encounters. Yeah, even in a light-hearted place such as Berkeley, there are SOME grouches. Go figure.  Don’t YOU dare be one of them!

Our favorite house for gathering holiday decorating ideas (ANY holiday, it appears) is located on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland. The extremely creative woman who owns this fabulous showstopper decorates non-stop for holidays both big and small. The hubby and I drove over there before & after Halloween for inspiration –and to take a photo or two. Decorating her domicile with a cornucopia of whimsical pumpkins worked fine for Halloween and Thanksgiving. (I guess she hadn’t heard of Thanksgivukkah!) Her home absolutely shouts “festive holiday.” (I was thankful there were no gnomes in sight!!  Not one. Nada for her entire front yard.)  The homeowner went from mainly ghouls & goblins to gobblers galore.  Visibly happy people often pause to admire or photograph her displays. The joy factor must truly be high in her neighborhood. Let’s give thanks to this wonderful woman, for the happiness and smiles she provides.

 My own domicile is a gobbler-free zone.  On Thanksgiving every year we chow down on a stir-free range “turkey” which I sculpt from a huge, extra- firm block of organic tofu.  My old man hates to “carve” it, but he just loves the fair trade, organic, well-sauced & seasoned gravy-mix reduction I serve it with.  He wouldn’t gobble “Tofu Tom” without it. To be honest, the hubby doesn’t gobble much at all. (He sometimes gobbles late at night & neighbors complain.) Maybe next year we’ll splurge and go Tofurky ™ instead.  I hear it’s a “really” delish dish.

Peace, love, joy, laughter & tofu for all,

Kathleen

 

!! Exclusive Gnome Update!!

Before I get back on my wacky carpet (decorated for the coming Holidays), I did promise you an exclusive gnome update. Remember?  I want to put garden gnomes to bed for the coming winter.  To maintain my own mental health, I MUST.  (To my great surprise, I “found” a funny cartoon in the Sunday comics featuring two garden gnomes hung in the shed and being “put to bed” for the long winter!  I contacted the cartoonist twice for permission to use her ‘toon, however, she went AWOL on me.)

I keep seeing these puppies…er, I mean, gnomes, constantly.  Those darn red hats seem to be everywhere. When I flew recently –NOT on my carpet – there were skeleton gnomes for sale in the flight magazine. Skeleton gnomes?  Including a girly gnomette?  Really?? There’s no way I would purchase these creepy garden-guarders.

Gnomes have even been featured on my local TV evening news. No, they’re not prime-time newscasters…yet.  An investigative report featured a story on two red-hatter gnomes that were pilfered from a porch in the mysterious East Bay.  The “boys” were created by the homeowner’s late granddaughter. And HE wants them returned!

I nearly jumped outta my swivel chair when I saw a garden gnome doormat for sale along with the Christmas doormats.  A gnome with a rake is Christmas?  I don’t think so. Maybe with a shovel, I don’t know.  You’ve heard the old saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”  It went on sale, and I did!  This gnome has one BIG rake to deter all the gnomes who dare approach the front door.  Now I have my very own gnomie on guard duty. Rumor is he once worked for Gnomeland Security, and previously- starred in the hit   movie “Gnome Alone.”  If my gnomie doesn’t do his job, he’s goin’ to bed for the winter…alone. Have yourself a gnomeless little winter, y’all.

Late Summer Juggling

September was a month filled with juggling. No, I didn’t join the circus, but at times it felt like my life was a circus. The hubby and I were once again visiting family in upstate New York, and we were constantly “juggling” our rapidly accumulating stuff from motel to motel, to hotel to motel, to hotel to motel to motel again. Whew! I mean, it was exhausting. (My old man managed to leave all his tee shirts and undies somewhere.) We traveled from Buffalo (hellooo, Terrapin Station) to Niagara Falls (NY), then over to the Canadian Niagara Falls with excited family members. Back to the US and all the way up to Watertown. A couple days later we drove quite a distance to Montreal, Canada, while the nearby St. Lawrence River continually sparkled as the miles passed. Then back to Watertown to say “au revoir” to our family. (We just returned from Quebec, where the language du jour is pretty much francais.) Finally, we arrived back in Buffalo for a couple more nights, the second one in the motel we originally stayed in. (We were forced to move twice because droves of wild and crazy Buffalo Bill fans reserved motel rooms long before we did.) blogupdate0

We went to several tourist sites we had previously visited, and were highly entertained at some new ones in New York and Canada. I’m talking chocolate, baby! If you ever find yourself in Ontario, Canada, get thee to Chocolate F/X (www.chocolatefx.ca), a chocoholic fantasy site located in beautiful St. Davids –on –Lake Niagara. You can watch the entire process as their staff prepares a variety of sensuous chocolate creations behind glass windows you just want to lick. Ok, well maybe that’s going too far but, the aromatherapy alone is enough to send you to chocolate heaven. The F/X folks let you loose in their chocolate (did I mention it’s chocolate?) tasting room for a free go- round devouring their goodies. I just kept going and going and going…

Have fun & save me some for next time…pleeease!!!

The weather in Canada was hot and humid on the day we visited a popular butterfly conservatory for the first time. Actually, it’s always humid in the conservatory, ’cause it needs to be. I was also completely clueless that the resident butterflies were free to flit about anywhere they wanted to, even if they felt like landing on you! My hubby was way busy filming these magical creatures, so I want to share some of his footage with you (literally).

After we returned to Watertown we drove to Alexandria Bay (A- Bay), “The Gateway to the 1,000 Islands,” for another awesome cruise on the pristine, picturesque St. Lawrence River. If sightseeing on this scenic Seaway doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I don’t know what will. Well, perhaps a stop at one of the town’s eating establishments will! Alexandria Bay is chock- full of history and had its share of pirates & smugglers long ago. Arrrgh. They have a pirate festival every summer, I hear.

Along the way to the international bridge in Messena, New York, we needed to make a pit stop at a McDonald’s in Ogdensburg. Now, I NEVER go to Mickey D’s, but we were really out in the boonies, folks. And this location featured a horse-drawn Amish buggy in its parking lot! This horsie was chomping at the bit & quite agitated. Two young women sitting at a booth inside the establishment were dressed in clothing from another century, and I don’t mean the 20th. These young ladies were enjoying large coffee drinks, however. Don’t know if they were caffeinated or not. The drinks, that is. When we returned (relieved!) to our rental car we could see why the horse was so agitated: hello, horsey doo doo.

We drove across the river into Canada from Messena. I don’t imagine they see too many Californians at this particular location. I decided it would be le fun to visit Montreal this time.around. Their website said even though they speak French, they also speak English & many other languages as well. Only thing they neglected to mention: ALL the highway and street signs are in FRENCH only. Mon Dieu! I don’t want to say we were lost, but our trip to Old Montreal, or Vieux Montreal in French made us both a leetle crazy. We didn’t realize that Montreal is situated on an island, an island of traffic jams that never seem to end. When the hubby stopped at a petrol (gas) station seeking directions to Old Montreal, an older man directed him deeper into the madness. I assumed that this guy was trying to find his own way to O.M. …probably still is. I was ready to chant “OM,” myself.

We finally found our way and arrived in Old Montreal, after we nearly crossed over yet another bridge to the USA: into VERMONT, that is. We really were lost. For intense beauty and an awesome experience of joy, I suggest that you visit the ethereal Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal in Old Montreal. It gets rave reviews from many visitors. Tres magnifique, as were the old buildings lining cobblestone streets so reminiscent of France. Someone told me that Quebec is more French than France, itself. Oui. One thing that I was willing to try in this French part of Canada is a local delicacy known as Poutine. Actually, it consists of French fries with a melted French cheese and a gravy-like sauce pooled at the bottom. NOT what I would normally eat, but when in Montreal, like when in Rome, ya gotta give new things a try.

It was good to come home, however much fun and frilovity we shared together. Yeah, I know the times they are a changin’ and not necessarily for the good. Don’t worry, be happy. And remember to find the time for healing laughter. We found laughter -and I’m pretty sure I saw a Deadhead actually juggling- at Berkeley’s Greek Theatre at the end of September. It was a sizable gathering of Deadheads for the end of summer/early fall concert that is annually celebrated in Mountain View. This year, however, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir returned to their Grateful Dead roots at the Greek, delighting fans of all ages. It was Family Day and wee ones were in evidence everywhere, many in darling tie dye. My hubby and I got full attention from a smiling three month old infant boy named Forest. What a little doll.

Had a very groovy seatmate from up in rural Humboldt County. He resembled Jerry Garcia, man. Saw several people we know from the area, everyone looking FAB! We even spotted radio personality & Buddhist meditation teacher “Scoop” Nisker walking with Zen Buddhist priest Jack Kornfield. I knew they were Jewish and Buddhist, but who knew they were Deadheads?

That’s the magic of the music, man. It really takes you on one long, strange trip where anything is possible. Enjoy the rest of October and get on down.

Peace, love, laughter & respect for all,
Kathleen

Stay tuned for an upcoming gnome update. It will be worth it!

The Freezing Ballgame

Grateful Dead Night at the SF Giants AT& T Park in San Francisco is usually way fun. Unfortunately, this year it happened to be way cold. I mean, even the seagulls hovering over the field were wearing Giants hoodies to ward-off the chilly fog. So were many of the fans, including the Deadheads who covered their tie-dye shirts to prevent frostbite. Not exactly the kind of weather you want when you practically have to mortgage the house to pay for a couple of tickets to the ballgame, now is it? And this was in August when much of the country was embroiled in sweltering heat! You just never know what to expect in the City by the Bay –weather wise that is. I got me some sizzlin’sunburn on Sunday at Jerry Day. And that was only the day before!
Note to Self: Next time bring mittens…or sunblock to be on the safe side.
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The brewskis were overpriced –the food, too. Somehow, the concession stand that sold my hubby his chicken strips with garlic fries (the derigeur fry in the SF Bay Area) must have misplaced their garlic, unless it was stolen by freezin’ fans looking for the natural immunity boost that garlic can provide. I could almost understand that happening. Almost. The weather attracted members of the local Eskimo community (they stand out in a crowd), but I found myself feverishly (I was most likely delirious) attracted to a Ghiradelli Chocolate Ice Cream stand. Not surprisingly – I mean, the garlic supply was all but gone – there was a mob gathered there. I don’t think it was just for the group warmth, I think they were looking for the Endorphin rush that only a good chocolate can bring.

And good it was. So good, that I believe I was in some sort of ecstatic trance. I think I even heard the late mythologist Joseph Campbell saying not to follow but “swallow your bliss.” Oh, the yum of it all. My poor hubby braved the elements to traverse the stadium in search of tie-dyed fans to photograph for this blog. He was shown on camera, blue lips and all. We really had difficulty finding suitable (I really think I spotted some fans in snowsuits) subjects to photograph. Hope you like who we found.

The game was way fun, however. Hunter Pence is one determined base stealer. And the determined dude can score runs. This year the Giants won the game. They got ‘er done. They owed it to Jerry after last year’s loss, man. The freezing Deadheads would accept no less. It was a beautiful, cold night beside the SF Bay. You just didn’t want to fall INTO the bay….brrr.

Gnome Update

Yeah, I keep seeing them. Man, I was so relieved that we got a Grateful Dead bobblehead. No gnome! But later in the month the Giants were planning to give away a Tim Lincecum gnome. Whew. Just lucky, I guess. Although I can’t promise that I’ll have September stuff ready before the month ends, I’ll do my very best.

Peace, love, laughter, warm gooey chocolate, plus a pair of groovy gloves,
Kathleen

A Grateful August

(Yeah, I know – I’m late, I’m late…again. Hey, it happens.)

August was an awesome month for fans of the Grateful Dead. On the first day of the month we all gathered in movie palaces across the land to see an old concert film that had been lovingly restored: Sunshine Daydream showcases the Dead in an Oregon Dairy fundraiser, circa 1972. I did not become a tie-dyed fan until 1988. Man, the Deadheads were really mellow back in the day! Three days later, off the old man and I went to San Francisco’s McLaren Park and the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater for the 11th annual celebration of all that was Jerry. (He would have celebrated his 71st birthday on August 1.) jd13-1

The hubby and I arrived fairly early, the parking gods blessed us with a primo spot, and arriving fans told us we looked so fab! As we approached the wooded path to the JGA, a totally tie-dyed motorcycle was parked next to the forest path. Some fans thought it belonged to the old man and I and asked us to pose for photos. I’m not into “cycles,” but this was so groovy it had a guestbook of its own to sign (see photo). I kid you not.

Even though we arrived early the Amphitheater was already jam (band) packed! We could not get our usual seats up in the stands, but we were able to score two spots in the first bleacher. Unfortunately, as the crowd continued to expand, people were dancing & prancing –on my toes, man – and the friendly dog behind me (with his human) wanted my total petting attention. We saw some old friends from past birthday bashes and made a few new friendships. It’s really a big free party that only grows in popularity in the expensive times we are living in. No wonder so many want to attend. The music just seems to get better every year. Even one of Jerry’s daughters was there, seemingly amazed at the sight of so many happy tie-dyed celebrants.

One of the best things about Jerry Day is the fact that it is an all-ages event. From tie-dyed infants, toddlers, teens & ahem, mature hippies, everyone is welcome and appears to be having an awesome time. We talked to Rosie McGee, who has published a new book revealing her hippie days cavorting with the Grateful Dead. Please go to http://www.rosiemcgee.com and take a peek at her artistically styled work. We posed for a whole lotta photos, we did. Please enjoy the photos snapped by my hubby, who has become quite the rock ‘n’ roll photographer, don’t ya think? We had a blast at Jerry Day. Can hardly wait until next year…I just hope the parking gods bestow another “blessing” on us!

Peace, love, laughter & hippie birthday to Jerry,
Kathleen

July got off to a rip -roaring start with a red-hot cook-out & way too-many (illegal), neighborhood fireworks. It’s become quite the challenge planning a celebratory meal for the Fourth of July. Why? I’m kind of an aquavegantofuvegabarbequetarian kind of gal, while my hubby prefers to go whole hog. Our dog will eat anything that drops from the picnic table. It’s SO not an ideal way to picnic. It’s enough to make you red, white & blue all over. “Rosie Colleen,” however, was in a state of bliss from all the aromatherapy the grill provided, plus the “accidental” picnic table drop-offs. Oops! This “girl” adores getting dressed-up for photos. She just LOVES to accessorize. Come to think of it, I’m missing a few of my own….Rosie!!!

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July marched-on with “National Tell an Old Joke Day.” You can’t make this stuff up, unlike making-up jokes. “Knock-knock” jokes were vital to my repertoire as a child; as an adult I’ve never really felt comfortable telling “blue” jokes (Howzabout tie-dye?). July 24th was the official day to celebrate old jokes, and I had to find one that was appropriate for my blog. One of Hayward’s long-time realtor’s obviously believes in the gift of the giggle as he always provides a place for humor in his monthly newsletter. I thought a joke from his June newsletter might tickle your funny bone. Permission was granted from the realtor to reprint this old ha-ha-ha. In fact, he told me to “go for it.” If you need a humorous realtor, go to http://www.FohlandMcClellan.com He-e-e-e-re is one old joke:

A guy finds a sheep wandering in his neighborhood and takes it to the police station.
The sergeant says, “Why don’t you just take it to the zoo?”

The next day, the sergeant spots the same guy walking down the street with the sheep.
“I thought I told you to take that sheep to the zoo,” the sergeant says.

“I know,” the guy responds. “Yesterday I took him to the zoo. Today I’m taking him to the movies.”

Well, it made me laugh. For more info on this ha-ha-holiday, you can Google it, man. You’ll want to be ready with a funny old joke in 2014.

The new-born Prince of Cambridge has arrived in jolly, old England. Isn’t it great that his royal mum & dad named him after the late George Harrison? Who knew Wills & Kate were such Beatle fans! I hope the dapper Duke & divine Duchess get their royal nipper a gear guitar so he and his guitar can gently weep…then sleep.

Are you curious about goats? Well, please look at the video I took while the hubby was driving the car on a freeway in Oakland. Goats galore, I say. These wild, crazy & ravenous kids “work” in the Bay Area every summer cleaning the hillsides of dried vegetation. They are quite a joy to see. Got goats? Oh, yeah!

!!Exclusive Gnome Update!!

Man, I’ve tried so hard to be good. I rarely indulge in drinking Phibetacappafrappamochalattechinos with shots of decaf Irish whiskey (so hard to find) and low-low-fat, wildly whipped cream, anymore. What more can I do to stop the gnome madness that has plagued me now for months? I get an email from an Irish company recommending a Celtic gnome for me –me!! Then I recently discovered that a pink flamingo has been seen cavorting in the San Francisco Bay –including the Hayward shoreline –since last fall. (Hello, Florida. One of your flamingos is missing.) And do you know what a local city spokeswoman recommends for this flamingo? Oh, yes you do: Just “put out some garden gnomes so he’ll feel at home.” No-o-o-o-o!! Oh, well. I gnome this can’t last. No-o-o-o-o!! There you have it –some goats, some sheep (where?) & some (old) jokes for my peeps.

Peace, love, go-go-go-goats & laughter,
Kathleen

Yes, I know that it is now July and I’m terribly late with my long-awaited June posting. (You were waiting, right??) Forgive me –PLEASE!! My Internet service was kaput for almost an entire week (a real bummer). I could not write any stuff, either, as the site I always use somehow disappeared. Yikes!! (Well, the icon was no longer visible on the screen.) When the Internet problem was finally – I can only hope -resolved, and after my hubby managed to restore the writing site, I briefly had this feeling that the planets had managed to realign and all was right with the world. Then suddenly….heat wave, baby & could you please restrain your use of electric power until after six p.m.? (Whaddya mean, I can’t use the central air conditioning??) Ha-Ha-Ha -Hot times.
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!!June Post!!

My love of all things tie-dye, as well as a primo opportunity to dress in very groovy threads is reason enough to make a yearly pilgrimage to the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair. However, my hubby and I now feel compelled to make the trek (OK, so we really drove there from Hayward –in the Mini Cooper, man!) to this happening neighborhood. We love to strutt our stuff in vibrant tie-dye colors. I mean, we wished to add some colorful hippie-like FUN to this event.
We totally embodied Flower Power, man.

To assure the availability of finding a legal parking space, I brought my wind-up “Parking Angel.” You simply wind ‘er-up and when she stops –voila! –the perfect parking space magically appears. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work. I may have over-wound this Angel a wee bit. Finally, a really tight space appeared, and my hubby must have found some divine help of his own to successfully maneuver the car into place. Amen. And off we went for a trippy event. We were so ready for peace & love & groovy times.

We made our grand entrance on Haight Street not long after the Fair officially opened. The crowd was rather small at this point. However, the “crowd” all seemed to be toting some sort of camera devise: EVERYONE wanted to take our picture, it seemed. Yes, you know by now how groovy we must have looked. I thought we would never ever get to see the far-out scene for ourselves. My jaws were exhausted from smiling so much. (I‘d really like to know when the Haight-Ashbury St. Fair promoters will start paying us for what we do?) My hubby and I acted like U.S. ambassadors for this famous district of San Francisco: Visitors from France (on their honeymoon), Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Britain, Spain, Columbia,Canada and out-of-state, all wanted us to pose for a photo or two…or three…or more. At one point I counted 11 cameras pointed at us! I even got a hug from a hot Aussie. GGGG’Day. (Hey. I’m an unofficial ambassador, remember?!)
Hope to see you next year, mate!

Most of the tie-dye to be viewed was found at the vendor booths –or on us! We did see fellow Deadhead Annie selling her earrings to raise spending cash for her upcoming visit to England. You can also see another photo my hubby snapped of her on New Year’s Eve at the Bill Graham Civic Center. Have a jolly good time, love. The old man and I were also on TV the next evening: We were interviewed by two 49er cheerleaders (I did not even notice what they were wearing, but my hubby probably did. All I saw was that BIG TV camera pointed at us!) Had a rather weird radio interview with a couple of very animated young ladies, but don’t remember where or when it was to be aired.

We also made a devout pilgrimage to “The Love of Ganesha,” the specialty shop with a most divine booth at the Himalayan Fair in Berkeley. Remember the photo of the young women who were blissed-out from all the music they were grooving to? The ladies were not working the day of the Fair, but the people running the premises could not have been any friendlier. Oh, and their shop is a riot of colors, yet so serene. Om, my gosh.

The day was fun, fun, fun: And we brought the healing energy of peace & love & groovy times to share with visitors from a host of nations.

!!Exclusive Gnome Update!!

After finishing my May gnome update, I really thought I was finished with ‘em. It was the last, nada, no more. I mean done. Or so I thought: That evening I was looking at one of those home decorating programs on me telly, and there in the overgrown backyard grass was a gnome, lying all innocent-like on its side! It was the ONLY thing in the yard. It’s getting scary, man. And then I get an email message from my dear friend in England. You know what she says? She says, do I remember the gnome sitting in a chair in her garden? Say what?

Gnome, I don’t. (Sorry, I can’t seem to help myself.) Next thing I know I get an email message from HIM. He would like to come for a wee visit! I say, no way gnome. But wait, it gets worse. Remember the San Francisco Giants Sergio Romo gnome I told you about? Well, the Oakland A’s wanted to go gnome, too. Only Oakland gave away a “ragin’ gnome” on Father’s Day. Uh-oh! And I’ll bet you gnome (There I go again!) what that could mean. And the A’s gave away 10,000 of them!! This here exclusive gnome update may not be going away anytime soon.

Have a fun summer! Peace, love, laughter,
Kathleen
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