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The Summer Solstice

Can you imagine my surprise upon awakening the morning after the Haight/Ashbury Street Fair, seeing my right arm up in the air flashing a peace sign? (Oh, like it couldn’t happen.)  What’s more, I was shouting “Peace and love!” “Peace and love!” (Ringo Starr would have been so proud, man.)  According to my old man I was one chaotic mess.  He considered calling for emergency assistance, but he knew I wouldn’t want to be seen in  over-sized tie-dye footed jammies in such a frazzled condition. Not to mention that my hair was a total mess, man.  My hubby really did not want to explain HIS terrapin tie-dyed pajamas to any First Responders either.

They wouldn’t understand “Flower Power” anyway.
Despite this unbelievable morning after, the 39th annual Haight/Ashbury Street Fair was like a total trip, man.  I began dressing myself at three in the morning….alright, maybe it was more like four or five or maybe even six a.m. (Not!) It was very early, however. It takes me a loooong time to achieve that groovy glam look for this particular hippie event, but the old man, not so much. With a final touch of glitter I was hippie haut monde, monsieur.

I nearly forgot to bring the Parking Angel with me. At the last minute I received divine intervention and popped her into a clean cloth bag.  Good job, my winged friend.  She found a primo space for our Mini Cooper. The Coop was newly sporting a “Give Peace a Chance” stick-on. John Lennon would have been so proud, man. How could we not get a great spot for the car?

It was still fairly early when we arrived on the street, so I was able to visit the facilities before any cameras were aimed at us. Yay! We saw our ultimate Deadhead pal, JB, who was there mainly for the musical entertainment. Rock ‘n’ Roll, baby! Our colorful red-headed friend Annie was out and about as well.  We eventually were joined by the color-crazed couple we met at the Fair several years ago. Although partners for a looong time, they decided to make it legal last November and are acting like newlyweds.
(happy hippies, huh?)

The number of photo devises has reached epidemic levels; everyone has one, or so it seems.  It’s a wonder my lips weren’t locked into a permanent smile the next morning because it seemed like I smiled non-stop.  We posed for tourists from all over. There were visitors from London (pre Brexit vote), France, Holland, Finland, Austria, Australia, and Canada (eh?), The World visits the Haight/Ashbury.

Speaking of the World, along with the tie-dyed newlyweds we were filmed by a Brazilian Television crew here for the Copa America Soccer (Football) championship held at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara. Guess they wanted to get some far-out film for their local station.  The announcer was quite a hottie, although I don’t even know or understand a word of Portuguese. The four of us whooped it up, flashing peace signs and shouting “Peace and Love!” Imagine being featured on foreign TV thousands of miles away!
We were that groovy.

Last year we four were “volunteered” (the new wife offered our service) to pose for paid photos at the San Francisco Food Bank booth. It was supposed to be for one hour, but although it was way fun, it was exhausting. After all, I’d already posed for so many pictures I was becoming dizzy. (I felt a little like a carnival barker, trying to lure people in to take a photo (many posed with us), and give a donation to a worthy cause.) The food bank staff was very helpful and we hope they raised a ton of cash. I think we’ve been volunteered for next year, too.

We managed a wee visit to “The Love of Ganesha” shop. The folks there are so kind and loving; No longer selling at the Himalayan Fair in Berkeley as they have become a shopping mecca since they moved to a much larger location on Haight Street.  It’s so worth a visit.  We visited with folks a bit too long. I was feeling a bit puckish as the English like to say. Henry was practically drooling over some meat kabobs, but I thought a plate of garlic noodles would fill me up. Oh, yeah, it did. The noodles were piled so high, and came with a tiny fork that was about useless. I just seemed to be eating and getting nowhere!  I could not take anymore of those suckers, garlic or not! Remember the Beatles film, “Magical Mystery Tour”?  In that flick John Lennon “feeds” this woman spaghetti from a vat –with a shovel!  I didn’t have a shovel, but I sure could have used one!  I did try some Indian style Spinach Tikka pizza. It rocked.

Also rocking were some of the hippie vendors on the street. A couple of them were Grateful Dead booths.  Decorated ALL Dead they were. (See photos). My fave vendors are the real deal hippie kids who sell under the name GypsyHalos.  They are a fun, creative young couple full of love, gorgeous smiles and a beautiful hippie spirit to boot. They have a variety of handicrafts that any hippie would love to have. They truly live the free-spirited life. They were at the Shakedown Street Festival in Berkeley last September and I lost their business card.  Please visit them at www.gypsyhalos.com  Then Google them: They have lots of websites. You will not be sorry, man.

We also spent a great deal of time (missed some major music, but had a blast) with Charmaine & Robert. Robert is a real trip, a wild and playful creative spirit.  He has long been known as The Tie-Dye Kid. He and partner Charmaine do amazing, colorful work. It’s obvious they put their heart and soul into each and every one of their projects. They are really nice people who could use your business. Google Psychedelic Clothesline or see the info on them from last September’s post. Puleeeze.

Hope you all got to see the full moon on the awesome Summer Solstice. The hubby took a photo. He also took a photo of moi and our pal Sharon from the Berkeley Bowl grocery store. She thoroughly decorates a hat each time she visits the store. She’s one creative woman, an asset to the funky city of Berkeley.  If you’re wondering if this post is ever going to end, just read the next paragraph and it will be so over!

You may remember how I seemed to attract gnomes everywhere I roamed. Well, something has happened, folks. Now its elves!  I “earned” a Bachelor of Elf Spotting from HBO’s Last Week Tonight signed by John Oliver, Dean of Elfery. I already had a shirt “Discover Your Inner Elf.” But it’s ME who has been discovered!  I wondered does an elf take an “elfie”?  Then I was watching Bill Maher and he stole the idea from moi! Or perhaps he channels me.  I dunno.  Today I almost lost my breakfast after seeing a cartoon that showed a guy riding in the back seat of an auto which was captioned (you really have to look closely to see him) “Elf Driving Car.”  Noooooo!! It can’t be!!  An elf was supposed to spot gnomes for ME!

It’s the revenge of the gnomes, man. Help me please. But don’t recommend a self elf group.
Peace, love, joy, laughter,
Kathleen

*(Note to readers: Google “dyethesky to see tie-dye from JB’s company. Lots of groovy Grateful Dead & hippie rock star merchandise to peruse. From a company located in Maine)

May Mirth

(Even though there wasn’t a whole lot of mirth goin’ on during the merry month of May (perhaps for YOU?), I’m gonna go with these two words as a title, OK? Just thinking about it has puts a smile on my face. I even feel a wee bit of a giggle. All I ask is that you find some May mirth in this blog post…puleeeze!!)

The Legendary Mayor Bosco

The Legendary Mayor Bosco

May is about Mother’s Day. If you still have your Mom on the Planet you bettah treat her right. Think of all the yummy dinners she made for you (mine did, and so did I!), or maybe not so much. ( Too much canned spaghetti for you? ) Who cleaned up after you? And who loved you, baby? If you didn’t treat her like a queen for at least that one day you still have time. Don’t mess with yo Mama. She loves you everyday of the year, baby!

My now grown “babies” both came through for moi, although they had to learn the hard way: I did return their nabbed crib toys and Teddy Bears to them last year, so get over it you two!! The Son in upstate NY sent me a fun card & gift that appealed to my hippie heart. Peace & love is what it was all about. And joy! My “baby” finally purchased the home he had been hopping for…oops, I meant hoping for. However, he might have been “hopping” when his mortgage was finally approved! The hubby and moi are planning on making a visit to the new Casa Bender sometime soon.

My Numbah One Son arranged for us to dine in the hamlet (I don’t do ham, man) of Sunol. You may remember that we dined there last Mother’s Day at “Bosco’s Bones ‘n’ Brew.” Well, unfortunately the hamlet has changed, and not for the bettah. Last year, we found that our fave little antique shop had recently closed. That was a real bummer, but we discovered our short drive up Kilkare Road was truly magical. This hamlet was quite quaint. I’m not sure what’s happening in the village, but it’s no longer the happening place that it once was. I suspect it’s due to the kind of “upscale” changes that are occurring around the country as the quaint and funky rapidly disappear.

Fortunately Mayor Bosco is still on top ‘o the bar, and spills glasses of beer when you lift his leg. (Bosco is a remarkably life-like replica of the beloved pooch that was legally elected and “served” –he earned a lot of bones, baby- as tail-waggin’ mayor and village ambassador for many years.) An ambassador is sorely needed for Sunol, as the restaurant obviously has new owners. No special menu for Moms this year (or prices either), and they were seriously understaffed as well. Still it is worth a visit before it, too, folds like the once funky and affordable café located next to the railroad tracks. (Some years ago I was using the facilities on a lunch visit with my mum when a train roared by. I kid you not: The tiny loo rocked ‘n rolled while my ears were nearly blown-away. I could have ended-up as freight on the train as it thundered by, for cryin’ out loud. I did manage a weak wave at the conductor. To my surprise, he waved back.)

The hubby did get a photo of a statue of Bosco that graces the front of the Sunol Post office. His leg does not lift, however. They still have train rides available on vintage locomotives on some weekends. Check out the Elliston Vineyard down the road if you want to sip local wines & champagne. I will get there.

I did get to attend the annual Himalayan Fair in Berkeley’s Live Oak Park in May. It looked as though it was going to be a wash-out as I awoke to pouring rain! But the sun soon made a glorious appearance within an hour or two, and the Mini Cooper scored yet another primo parking space in the City of Berkeley. It was literally downhill -a winding staircase -to reach the park, and we passed by an art center with colorful banners hanging everywhere. The fair itself could not have been any groovier. In fact, as we approached the entrance booth, a young woman told me she loved my look. Thanks! We later chatted with a groovy young couple with two fab & furry pooches. They are doing their best to survive/thrive in the Bay Area despite the financial hit to their wallets. Two very creative and friendly people, I say. Oh, and they also happen to be Deadheads so you know they must be alright, huh?

As usual there was a pleasing plethora of Himalayan arts & crafts to peruse. We usually spend a wee bit too much cash at this event. But many of the vendors are just average folks who really need the business. I did get to see my British tie-dye –and her various other crafted items- friend who moved to Hawaii. She wanted warmer weather than the Bay Area summers, being from England where it’s always cold and wet or so many English say, I say. The weather, however, became quite hot, even humid that afternoon. Can you say “heatwave?” Feeling like all was right with my world at my British bud’s booth, I had an unexpected encounter with an awesome woman who will tell you how to get your moon and stars in alignment and remain in a harmonious state long after attending the Himalayan Fair.

OK, if all sounds rather out there –way out there, but you enjoy reading your daily horoscope in the local paper (oh yes, you do), this friendly woman (pictured in a groovy peace sign scarf) is able to offer you some practical advice based on your own unique birth information. As an experienced astrological consultant, she has even worked with many sports teams. Please go Google http://www.virgoinservice.com End of advertizing…peace and love, peace and love.

Finally sitting down with a chilled mango lassi & some veggie Tibetan momos, we were soooo ready for the day’s Tibetan Bowls & Bells finale with the amazing Karma Moffett. Shortly before the Tibetan long-horn was blown we recognized the photographer whose photo of hubby & meself is available for your viewing pleasure on the December post. We may have told him & several other folks about the coming Haight/Ashbury St. Fair. OK, we may have told DOZENS for all I know. Dunno. We were in a heatwave, man!
OMG, I better get there early. And I better not forget the Parking Angel!!

Take care of yourselves.
Peace, love, joy, laughter, Kathleen
Blow your mind, not your ears sez “Rosie Colleen”

April Antics

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You’ve heard it before: “Beware the Ides of March.” I’m not even sure what it means. (Could it have something to do with Julius Caesar “buying the farm” in ancient Rome? Dunno) Someday I’ll likely Google it. Meanwhile, I’ll just fugedabout March 15: In my world the day to beware totally belongs to April 1. But that’s April Fools Day, you say. People play silly jokes and pranks on each other. It’s just a little harmless fun, right? What’s not to like?

Well, I think my dentist’s office calls patients (moi!) prior to every April Fools just to remind people of dental appointments they didn’t make! Why would they do this? Think about it. Because who in their right mind would make an appointment on such a date?? (No business every first of April, that’s why!). Why, why would I have done this? Ouch, now that was stupid. Then it hit me! I remembered that April First is the feast day of Saint Stupid, patron saint of “The First Church of the Last Laugh.”

Wow. It hit me again. I didn’t hear a thing-nada- about this year’s St. Stupid’s parade. Probably because nobody was there! Everyone got calls from their dentist to “remind” them of the “appointment” they couldn’t even remember making. Oh, like it couldn’t happen. Just don’t let this dental “prank” happen to you! You’ve bee warned, folks. (Puleeeze don’t let my wonderful, kind, funny and caring dentist & staff not read this…I have a real appointment scheduled for the end of May. Ouch.) On my way to the reception desk after my appointment, I must have been in an altered state of consciousness. (I did somehow manage to apply my lipstick, a wee bit crooked, however, before I left the restroom. You really do need to “rest” after an unscheduled visit in the dental chair. Yowza! )

In an altered state, you say? What else could explain what I saw alarmingly (if there was an alarm handy, I would have rung that puppy!) displayed in the front window: Oh GNOME, it can’t be!! Say it isn’t so. I thought I was having a bad dream. I mean, the window was full of red-hat gnomes glaring at me in their colorful foliage setting! What did my dentist have to say about this horrific scene? “It’s Spring! Aren’t they cute?” “Noooooooo!!” April also brought the biannual return of the Mills College PowWow in Oakland. The school is more than 150 years old and it is situated on a verdant campus complete with a bubbling running stream. It’s like an oasis from the hectic urban scene that really lifts your spirits. I’ve hugged many old Eucalyptus trees which is time well-spent on this campus. It’s rather spiritual. The heat was on that day, and I wondered how all the dancers in their native regalia were able keep on. Could have been the yummy Indian Tacos everyone appeared to be eating, but very likely, it was due to the joyful energy generated by the drummers and their sacred chants.

Unfortunately, I have no photos of this celebration. A certain husband forgot to bring his camera. He also forgot it when we went to see a British comedian at a local comedy club in San Francisco’s North Beach. Sorry, it’s not an actual beach. But the weather, although rather cool, was almost mild enough for a toe dip. And did we ever get lucky –minus the parking angel – because we snagged a parking spot (NO fees on Sundays –yay!) just around the corner from the venue. The comedian was funny, he commented on my “hippie” style, said that was exactly what he wanted to see in S.F., and we had a lovely dinner beforehand. Jolly good fun, I say. The city of San Francisco, North Beach in particular, just looked so magical with the lights all aglow. Too bad that the old man forgot his camera –again! Coit Tower, a San Francisco landmark, was bathed in a glimmering light that was either purple, in honor of the recently departed Prince (the musical icon), or maybe a deep blue encouragement to the Golden State Warriors basketball team. Perhaps it represented a little of both. Whatevah…it was way groovy, man.

I just mentioned the Golden State Warriors. What an amazing bunch of groovy guys, you guys. They won 73 games this season and broke a looong-held record by an opposing team. That is so groovy, huh? And they somehow accomplished all this without their star player Steph Curry, he who missed several games because of an injury. Now, he has yet another injury (give yo bod a break, man), and was fortunate that his team buddies more than stepped-up to the plate, er, I mean the net, man, the net. My “Rosie Colleen” is quite a fan of this man (she thinks his name is FUR-ry, not Curry). But she idolizes Klay Thompson cause he so loves his doggy. As you can see Rosie likes to go all glam dressing for their games. She hopes Klay notices her #1 fan-dog style, and throws her a bone.

Let me finish the April post with what was like a total surprise for me: I’m so NOT a member of the top one-percent. I’ll never be in the upper echelons of the moneyed class, but you probably know that. But someone, somewhere, far out there (the Twilight Zone?) has made a yuuuge mistake. In my mailbox near the end of April was a catalog for Tiffany…yes, THAT Tiffany! Get real. There is no way, baby, that I can afford their astronomically -priced merch. Although there are a couple of fetching diamond necklaces available for a mere million bucks -each. I’d need to start saving some really big bucks. I just may fancy something from their collection.” April Fools! It’s a joke, Henry. So don’t be frantic. It’s just an April antic.

Peace, love, joy & laughter “Go Warriors!!”

Kathleen

March Madness: Leprechauns vs. Bunnies

Have you ever heard the saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”? Well at MY house it was more like March comes in like a laughing leprechaun and goes (far) out chased by a bunch of bunnies with a loony lamb.  I kid you not (not!). March was one chaotic month, man.

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      Rosie Colleen McShepherd

(You probably know by now that I could be labeled a serial decorator. I don’t decorate with cereal – I eat it. But who knows the decorating potential inherent in an entire boxful of colorful Fruity Loops. Or perhaps a lovely untouched bowl of crispy flakes?  A wee bit over the top? Yes! But I will give it future consideration.)

A laughing leprechaun reminded me that Saint Patrick’s Day was nearly over the rainbow and I’d better be decorating for the big day. Since this particular day is also the passing of me dear dad (15 years), I wanted to do him proud. Enough of this blarney: I wanted to decorate for myself and for all my Irish ancestors that came – and decorated -before me. I hope all of you like the photos you see. March is the month that really brings out the green in me.  My doggie diva, “Rosie Colleen” loves St. Paddy’s almost as much as moi. You can tell by looking at her glam photo. (OK, we did have to bribe her with leftover corned beef. She was even willing to dance an Irish Jig for an entire chunk with cabbage.)
“Rosie Colleen, you back away from that Irish coffee!!!  And don’t slurp me Guinness again either!”

The past couple of years I always seemed to be down with a heavy-duty cold or some unwanted virus, and found myself unable to celebrate in our fave Irish pub. You may recall that in previous years we “hired” a leprechaun who was willing to find the hubby and moi a parking space. Parking spaces in Berkeley are becoming more difficult to find what with population growth and a lot more (or so it seems) thirsty Cal students. Although I was running a little ragged I was dressed to shamrock ‘n roll in 2016 and nothing was going to stop me.
The traffic was madness per usual, and I can’t believe how craycray traffic has become in the East Bay. But the Luck ‘o the Irish was working for me that evening: Even without a leprechaun or the Parking Angel I forgot at home, we pulled the Mini into the best, I mean primo parking spot EVER.  A group of departing revelers newly left a space for us practically in front of the  pub’s door. We did have to claw our way through a crowd of costumed Irish dancers waiting on the sidewalk before their pub performance, however. It was so worth it.  We also had to claw our way inside the pub as well. It was that packed, it was. People of all ages from happy hippies to many wee ones, and all having a grand time it seemed.

We were so very pleased to hear the band “Driving with Fergus” after our brief interruption of going to the pub.  Their enlivening Irish melodies were in harmony with the aromatherapy of long- simmering corned-beef and the co-mingling of Guinness guzzlers. Come on. We’re talking Berkeley here, people!  P.S. We were recognized by Tom Murphy, esteemed host of the annual Jerry Day birthday celebration in San Francisco! He appreciated the fact that we are festively- dressed regulars at this most high holy day for Deadheads. We wouldn’t have it any other way, would we Henry?

A few days later I was visited by the creeping crud, even though I thought I had held it back this year. (I did feel rather ragged on St. Pat’s, remember?)  But I had to decorate for Easter ‘cause it was less than a week away. Now, the leprechauns (two) did not want to make way for any wascally wabbits. And they sure as heck weren’t gonna leave to make room for any Easter bunnies. Or so they said. (I did NOT touch a drop of any leftover Guinness.)

The leprechaun from me mantle said they better leave his pot ‘o gold alone.  They both loved the flashing shamrock lights hanging in the living room window. As I unbundled the bunnies the “leps” got a wee bit testy and were ready to pull out their “hares.” Tee hee.  Rosie Colleen began to chase the “leps” and the “hares,” and then leapt with the lamb which quickly went into hiding. “Silly lamb,” said Rosie. (I may have been feverish, folks.)

After St. Paddy’s reluctant departure for greener pastures, and soon after the leprechauns high-tailed it out of town, my Easter décor was finished in time for the neighbors to admire. The hubby and I had a fab Easter brunch, a wonderful restaurant dinner with family, and I wore a groovy red hat that me bro Billy Danny sent from Chicago. A stylin’ friend of his admired photos of hats that I have worn and personally embellished a beauty for moi!  Such a lucky an gracious gift, I’m pleased to say.

I had one crazy month of March Madness where I devoured both gobs of Irish Soda bread and Hot Cross Buns less than two weeks apart. ( whole lotta raisins going on)  I went from St. Patrick’s Day attire to Easter attire in the same timeframe. And somehow I managed to keep my decorating cred intact without missing a beat.

Peace, love, joy, laughter & yer very own Luck ‘o the Irish,
Kathleen  **

Leap, Tweet, Love

Did you remember that 2016 is a leap year? That means that the month of February has a bonus extra day. Yeah, you likely also know that February is the shortest month of the year even with an extra day added to the calendar. Even an extra day isn’t nearly enough with SO many celebrations packed into just twenty-nine, twenty-four hour days, man.

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(There was also that leeetle accident that smushed me fingers in the door of the family sedan (*#$%! ouch, ouch!!); the black & bruising left me unable to do much in the way of typing until now.)

Because of this celebratory overload I found myself leapin’ from one holiday to the next. I could barely keep up with the massive amount of decorating I had to contend with. First there was the Irish Feast of St. Bridget, for which (with great shame) I did NOT do any Celtic décor this year at all. Puleeeeze forgive me! My departed mother would not forgive me if I did not commemorate her & me dad’s wedding anniversary on the Feast of St. Blaize which soon followed. I put a battery-operated candle in the living room window for her big day, so I should be OK.

If you recall, that’s the scary feast day (for me!) where an enthusiastic priest blesses your throat with two crossed candles. I’m not sure if they still do this, ahem, slightly bizarre ceremony anymore. I was a child then and things have since changed a wee bit in the Church. (Although the candles were unlit, I was always afraid the priest remembered me from confession- I went once a week- and would be temped to choke me with those suckers.)

Things really began to really get rollin’ with so many different Asian Lunar New Year cultures celebrating practically at the same time. One thing that Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tibetans had in common this time around was the animal that symbolizes prosperity and luck in the coming year for their people. This year they share in the cute, cuddly and curious Fire Monkey. Man of man, did I try to festoon my home with items from all three cultures: I don’t know that I even pulled it off. It seems that as soon as I got one culture done it was time to move on to the next. From hanging Buddhist bells to flinging New Orleans beads, I just enjoy decorating. “Rosie Colleen” however, was not down with the beads I festooned her neck with. Such a doggy diva, she is.

On to Mardi Gras: Let the good times roll. It could have all been in my imagination. A margarita or two will do that to you. Or so I’ve heard. I was leapin over the remnants of celebrations left and right. Or was it right and left? Dunno. Totally tripped right over those flung beads, I did. Of course, there was President’s Day, but sadly, that is pretty much an excuse to spend a Monday holiday shopping at the mall. I don’t even know if most folks know which two presidents the official holiday is named for! I know that Lincoln’s birthday is February 12 and George Washington’s comes on the 22nd. (It was because we got cherry pie for dessert, that’s why I know that.) Don’t know if they have ever done anything special for old Abe Lincoln. And that’s the pits.

Valentine’s Day had me tweeting like a bird. Ya know, like Tweety Bird, flyin’ on the flagpole outside my front door. No rain drops at all fell on this flag during February because love was in the air. And it was SO dry. Warm, too. An ice cream truck played an addictive little tune as it drove past my house on at least three days (count ‘em) during a beautifully balmy week. I did NOT ask him to stop. No, I resisted because it was soooo close to dinnertime. (At least that’s what I tell myself.)
Howzabout THAT, Saint Bridget?!

February pretty much came to an end with the 73rd birthday of the late George Harrison, the quiet Beatle. Of course I had to prepare a celebratory dinner, I really did. Fish and Chips, mushy peas (it’s an English thing), Cotswold Cheese, and a grand finale of Devon Custard topped with authentic clotted cream with a touch of grated chocolate for glamor. Smashing!
When George passed he was a vegetarian. He USED to eat fish with his “chippies,”
he did. As for me, I’m an aquatofuvegankaletarian (organic, fair trade) with a definite weakness for cappafrappalattemochachinos, heavily whipped. But I had a beer to drink with my dinner for George.

I love to discuss my long-lasting love for everything Beatles, so I want to inform my readers that there is a 24 hour webcam in London that covers the famous crosswalk on Abbey Road that once featured a zany walk by the Fab Four. Their groovy Beatles crossing photo graced the cover of their “Abbey Road” album from the late 60’s. I walked cross this very intersection myself, my camera-toting British friend taking my photo. Nearly was run-over by speeding drivers. The photos are now missing, but when I find one you will get to view it!
(See hubby’s photo of a supersized crosswalk in Berkeley, CA; they have several British style roundabouts as well in town.)
I feel a little bit of a voyeur sitting at my computer half a world away and watching all the people milling about as well as all the crazy traffic. The weekends are especially fun as you see many Beatle fans trying to recreate the Fab Four photo. I saw a man who was dressed exactly like John Lennon in the original photo shoot. He was wearing a white suit and had long dark hair as did John. No, I don’t believe it was him!
If you would like to take a look at this webcam yourself, please go to
http://www.onabbeyroad.com/cam.htm It’s jolly good fun.

Next month I’ll likely be leaping over leprechauns and bunnies. Until then…
peace, love, joy & laughter,
Kathleen

P2010268aA week or so into January, after all the Christmas décor had been boxed and hidden away, I developed my annual case of the post-holiday blues. After all, there isn’t much at all to celebrate during the long first month of the brand new year. I apologize if your birthday falls during the month. Have at it: At least you have a reason to celebrate. But what am I to do? I’m a habitual holiday celebrator/ decorator. I’ve got it so bad that there isn’t much of anything in my home that I won’t festoon for a holiday high. (It’s OK “Rosie”… you can come out of hiding.)

Oh, like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Take Santa and his elves off the shelf now. Tell them to return to the North Pole immediately. (But do it nicely, OK?) There is w-a-a-a-y too much time between Christmas/New Year and St. Valentine’s Day. Oh, yeah. I tried reading “The Joy of Quinoa Cookery” (I hope that’s not an actual title!), and found no joy in it…nothing I would want to cook or eat at all. My husband cried and laughed with relief. At least he found some joy in not having any quinoa recipes to eat. Then again, he should not have bought that puffer coat for me as a Christmas gift.

My post- holiday “condition” even caused me to misread some emails: One of them discussed ways to “Stop the torture of sleep depravation.” I read it as sheep depravation. Obviously, I am feeling deprived. I’m totally deprived of the joy of celebrating and decorating, man. It makes me feel so alive. The hubby doesn’t share my affinity for holiday decorating OR celebrating. He’s hibernating (HIDEernating) in his man cave until Valentines Day and Easter and who knows what else have passed! (He knows I’ll make him come out at least for Valentine’s Day. Puleeeze buy me some bling with a little extra zing, alright?)

This January has also been burning up my email server with a plethora of political pleas. Everyone enJOYed begging for much moula. Hellooo, I’m not rolling in dough, you really ought ta know. And please don’t get me started on the wacky Northern California weather scene! Actually, DO get me started on the weather. It’s been crazy train. We’ve had everything from meh to marvelous. Yesterday we had warm sun, rain, wild wind, hail –I saw it! – including a dusting of snow on Bay Area mountains. All this occurred in the space of one day. Amazing how the temp dropped. A few of the tourists here ahead of the Super Bowl dropped from the shock of this crazy weather phenomenon, too. Or so I’ve heard. Some had just unpacked their swimsuits in anticipation of a refreshing swim in the Pacific Ocean. Hang ten, tourist. Remember that Tourist Boards tend to exaggerate a wee bit. They are also seeking joy in January.

“Rosie Coleen” is all psyched for the coming Super Bowl partay. I found her dressed in football finery this morning. She put a groovy ensemble together, dontcha think? She would have worn matching socks, but she chewed the other socks to bits in her furried football frenzy.

According to Rosie: This morning I put on my football bling –
Just doing my doggy diva thing –
My mommy told me, just so you know-
That I could get dolled-up for this great big Bowl-
I’m ready to play, so ready to roll-
You think I’m too old for the Puppy Bowl??

Stay tuned for February, because I’m so ready to rock…Rosie too! Peace, love, JOY& laughter, Kathleen

Keep Calm and Christmas On

What’s up with The Twelve Days of Christmas? Isn’t December 25th enough already? Who needs an additional twelve days of cleaning, cooking, Christmas cookie baking (I’ve padlocked the door to the kitchen, kids), and decorating for all those extra days?? Come on.

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Think you could acquire the items on that list? Can you afford even one golden ring, let alone five? Hello, are you a Kardashian? Didn’t think so. Fuggedaboud Six Geese a-Laying. I would probably go with six geezers. I know my old man would volunteer to lie around. Seven Swans a-swimming? Are you crazy? After four years of drought? And if (as if) I could manage to find ten of them, tell me why I would even allow Ten Lords a-Leaping in Castle Bender? I shudder to think of the damage they would do.

An emergency call to Martha Stewart just might work though….yeah, sure.

Still, I did my best to KCACO, despite the fact that Mom Nature just forgot to cooperate. Holiday shopping was put on the back burner next to the Hot Toddies. (I like me holiday libations.) The weekend weather sucked. Well, actually, it was rather cold & drizzly which made it difficult to shop at the annual Telegraph Ave. Holiday Street Fair. Not all of my fave crafters were in evidence when we attended. However, we were photographed by a fab & friendly chap who was kind enough to email our pics. We did look groovy, baby. I also discovered a photo of the hubby and moi on this hipster’s website: Click on the “glasses” category for a groovy view of us two:
http://www.memorybanque.com
Hope you were able to Keep Calm and Christmas On:

It’s only once a year

A fabulous day for spiked eggnog and slurping suds o’ beer

A day to celebrate much peace and joy
(Even though my inner child didn’t get a toy, oh boy)

(Did I mention it only comes once a year?)

Relax, you still have over 300 shopping days left, I hear

So Keep Calm and Christmas on and on and on…

Let’s cheer this season, there’s really nuttin’ to fear!

Henri and moi spent the last evening of 2015 at former Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh’s entertainment and drinking/dining venue located in San Rafael, California: Terrapin Crossroads. It’s far-out. Phil himself was performing in New York State as PL and Friends, his long-time side band. Giving their NYE best while performing in The Grate Room at Terrapin were Stu Allen and Mars Hotel. Band leader Stu is a well-loved performer at Terrapin Crossroads and other Bay Area concert venues that feature Dead cover bands. He covers them well, man. Rock on! (Hubby could not record a decent video as we were too close to the bands massive speakers…bummer.)

Fun evening and a wild and crazy month. 2015 ended with a Champagne toast and free grilled cheese sammies. Not too shabby (chic). See you in January (late).

Peace, love, joy & laughter,
Kathleen

 

A final note: Thank you Henry for returning that over-sized puffer coat you gave me for Xmas. I so don’t want to look like The Michelan Tire Man!!

 

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Talking Turkey

Not long ago on a Thanksgiving Day

In an unknown galaxy like, so far away

I dreamed there flew a pumpkin pie (oh, my!)

adorned with whipped cream, soaring high in the sky

I seriously wondered how a turkey would taste

all roasted and basted up there in outer space

I imagined a feast with a scrumptious aroma

enough to induce a fast-food coma

Then I woke-up, what else could I do

My mom served me “turkey” made of sculpted TOFU!!

Never, ever let this happen to YOU.

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Is everyone recovered from their thanksgiving feast?
You may have detected a wee bit of a science-fiction theme in my Thanksgiving fantasy. A certain popular movie is making a return after many, many years. The merchandising is over-the-moon, shall we say. So much stuff they would like you to buy, oh, my! And with so many retailers pushing the over-priced goods, be ready for “Store Wars.” Meanwhile, the sky is likely to be jammed with drone camera “toys” for boys of all ages. This could lead to “Soar Wars.” Just hope that the predicted holiday marshmallow shortage (made that up) doesn’t result in “S’more Wars.” Stay tuned.

Peace, love, the joy in living, giving, & forgiving

Kathleen (Don’t forget the laughter, man.)

October Means Celebrations!

The San Francisco Giants were absent from the National League Playoffs this October, and although they are no longer the 2015 World Series Champions (next year, baby!) that doesn’t mean I had nothing to celebrate. (OK, the Bay Area –especially Oakland and the entire East Bay- did have the Golden State Warriors win the big trophy and basketball championship for their long-suffering fans just a few months back. There was even a joyous par-tay with a fantastic parade to celebrate their AWESOME win. You rock, Steph Curry!!).

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October meant a lot of birthday and anniversary cakes. (I did NOT worry about the calories as I applied them directly to my hips. Back off Rosie!! Stop licking your chops. The leftover cakes have left the building, and no essence remains on my hips!) The first to celebrate would have been the 75th birthday of the late John Lennon. Seventy-five! How can that be? His signature saying, “Give Peace a Chance” continues to resonate with all peace loving people. John’s “Imagine” is an anthem to many. So I had to honor the day of his birth in a meaningful way.
With an English-style dinner, I say.

I festooned the dinner table with assorted Lennon related memorabilia (see the photo of the smashing shrine I created in the living room). I then slaved in me kitchen to make a proper English meal, I did. Quaffed some bottled Shandy, and finished with a sumptuous dessert which you will recall I applied to my hippie hips-so no calories, man. John Lennon music was played (loudly) for hours. John, I miss you. There will be more on this Beatles legend in my December post, so stay tuned. No, you don’t have to visit a guitar shop to do that. “Yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah.”

The hubby and I celebrated a wedding anniversary this month. Don’t ask how many years, OK? Let’s just say that there have been a few. This year the big day was also a national holiday, so let’s just say that two of the dining establishments I fancied were closed for the day and evening. What a bummer. Even a restaurant coupon at a chichi French place in Berkeley was void on national holidays. What was I (the hubby likes coupons cause he’s like cheap), um, I mean, what were we going to do? I wanted to dine close to the Bay. HE likes to catch his dinner in the Bay; I told you he was cheap. We decided on an old family favorite located on the Oakland Estuary situated in a beautifully restored 19th Century lighthouse. It’s very picturesque place with huge windows that can be slid wide open on warm days.

Henry soon discovered his fishing rod wasn’t long enough to drop down into the swirling water. We had to order from the regular menu.

As an unexpected bonus, some University of California rowing teams were training in the open waters of the Estuary. (I wish I had had binoculars so I could better see … their oars, man, just their oars.) There was even a man on a surfboard with a paddle who looked like he may have been in the middle of his evening commute. Could be, I dunno. I finished my elegant meal with a rather sexy dessert: Crème Brulee. Bon Appetite!

For my birthday I fancied a proper British high tea. I’ve enjoyed afternoon and cream teas in England, Ireland, upstate New York, San Francisco and Marin County, California. All were lovely. Because I had an urge to take tea close to the sea, my hubby made a reservation at Lovey’s Tea Shoppe in Pacifica, California. Never go driving with a man who believes the female voice in the GPS is telling the truth. She was wrong –again! We were driving around in circles and I was getting dizzy. The chick giving directions was just plain ditsy.

 

Unfortunately we were a wee bit late, but no one had been seated at our “Reserved for the Queen” table. I felt like royalty at this quaint tea cottage. The décor was fun and funky, while the wait staff was friendly and warm. The owner brought me a complementary petit four iced with purple frosting and topped with a candle. She wanted to match the icing with the color of my ensemble. (That’s a fancy pants word for whatever I decided to wear that day.) Whatever, the food, the tea, and sweet treats were smashing. After doing a wee bit of birthday shopping both in and outside the Shoppe, this Queen Kathleen had a jolly good time. Rockaway Beach on the Pacific Ocean is just around the corner. Be sure to make a visit there. Catch some surfers, seagulls galore, and people fishing or catching some sun rays. Pacifica is well worth visiting…again and again.

More cake on my old man’s b-day three days later. By then I had applied so many cakes to my hips I was beginning to waddle. I needed a Margarita. In fact, I needed to drink two. I was trying to forget about my hips. Aye, aye, aye. Finally, the October celebrations came to an end with Halloween. Rosie Colleen decked herself up in a FABULOUS canine costume. Veerry witchy, she was. She insists you like her photos- or else. I insist you like my fall decorating – or else. I was born at the witching hour. Witching all of you a FABULOUS fall.
Peace, love, joy & laughter, Kathleen

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A Sizizling September

September was a month for sizizling. Northern California either had days upon days of intense heat with uncharacteristic humididity (Ya mean you never experienced this, huh?) and such extreme dryness that I convinced myself I’d been transported to the Mojave Desert. Maybe even to the Sahara. It was that hot. Yeah, I know we’ve been enduring drought conditions for far too long, but I know rolling tumbleweeds when I see them. Perhaps that dead lawn a neighbor replaced with assorted colorful cacti is merely a mirage. Dunno.

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(Howzabout we replace some actual dry desert with moist, yummy dessert? With something, anything containing chocolate! NOT as crazy as it sounds.)

(The excess temps and bone dry conditions (not the bones that dogs chew) affected my doggie diva Rosie’s talented tail. We are talking a tail that was way too bushy and stiff as a porcupine. No way to gather any dust with that. My pooch wants me to furget about opening any Rosie’s Doggie Diva Dusting ™ franchises until the drought is so over. She hopes y’all understand. Go get a Dust Bunny.)

You may recall our visit to San Francisco last month. Yeah, another sizizling day that is becoming the new norm in the Bay Area. We headed out to revisit the old neighborhood where we once lived with our two boys. The main drag in the hood reminded me of a mini Malibu Beach. There were palm trees galore, while parked at the end of the avenue is a new traffic circle festooned with some very groovy mosaic-tiled surfboards (that’s what they looked like to moi). Unfortunately for me, the historical remodeled bathrooms were locked! Not good for my bladder (The hubby and I enjoyed an over-sized Iced Café Mocha (including whipped cream topping heavy on the chocolate sprinkles – yes, yes, yes!) minutes earlier from a local coffee place. Now I had to sprinkle.

We discovered newer, still open restrooms a bit up the road at a surfer community hot spot. After blessed relief (amen to that) , we doubled back to drive past our former residence. It looked exactly the same in an established neighborhood that is undergoing significant change. I’m totally jazzed with the hip beachfront village vibe.
Just puleeeze keep the facilities open, man!

This September we attended the second annual Berkeley Shakedown Street Festival. It’s now been expanded to two days! Far -out. Last year it was held in the middle of October and the temp was sizzling. This year’s festival was on the 12th and 13th of the month, but this time the whole vibe was absolutely sizizling. (OK, I made that up.) We only went to the Saturday event ‘cause we are still recovering from all that intense Grateful Dead exposure to our bods and pocketbooks.

But man, it was so worth it. Remember our Deadhead friend Annie? We thought she might have moved as so many folks have had to do. She was nowhere to be seen at the Haight St. Fair this past June. We missed seeing her. She didn’t move! Yay! For some reason she experienced a severe shortage of her unique crafted wares, but plans on attending next year. We could not miss seeing her at Shakedown Street, with her bright red locks and amazing tie-dye colors. Lots of familiar faces on hand, and lots of funky, fun booths to visit. I didn’t spend a lot cause I didn’t have a lot to spend. Probably just as well, huh? I did purchase a vibrant tie-dye scarf from the fun folks at Psychedelic Clothesline. Say what? We saw them at the Haight St. Fair and I told Charmaine (Robert and Charmaine) I would make a purchase in Berkeley. I bought a sale item, OK? The dynamic duo is chock full of fun and possess an abundance of creativity. Their finished work is truly one of a kind. Robert even has his own tie-dye school: It’s called Tie Dye Youniversity, man. (www.Facebook.com/PsychedelicClothesline and www.Etsy.com/shop/PsychedelicTieDyes

The festival attendees were a diverse bunch. Not only were the (un)usual suspects of wacky, colorful Deadheads present, but the festival also had an international flavor. We met visitors from several foreign locales including a young French woman who sounded a wee bit British; she now lives in London, I say. Bender and I were told we could be ambassadors for the City of Berkeley by an out-of-state couple. We did look pretty groovy. Posed for lots of photos, even with some vendors! Take a peak at the website for “Very Fairy Events.” They do festivals, private parties, community events & “Fairy Bombs!” What that is I cannot say. (www.facebook.com/veryfairyevents) Their face painting really rocks!

The music was groovy enough to warm a hippie heart. Henry recorded a small amount of Grateful Dead tune. He was very close to the stage, and you will see who was really getting down as he filmed. This Dead tune was one performed by the Scott Guberman Band. Enjoy. Several young fans selling gorgeous flower power headbands added their particular style of hippie magic to the scene. They sell groovy embellished umbrellas as well. They seemed quite jazzed to pose for photos with us. Be sure to see their photo on my June post as well as September. They smiled and enthusiastically waved to us when we reluctantly left the festival. I’m so ready for next year. Et tu, Henry?

A little extra gift for youse readers: Stephen Colbert is back, baby! Not on the Colbert Report, but on the CBS Late Show. If you have always wanted a doctorate of your very own, but don’t have the time or moola to obtain this valuable sheepskin, Stephen wants to help. I now have an absolutely legit doctoral degree courtesy of the Late Show and Stephen Colbert! You can print them directly from the Late Show website. I’m presenting a couple of examples. Just print, baby.
Peace, love, joy, Grateful Dead & total tie-dye, baby,

Kathleen

 

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