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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!!).



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.



(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. ( and

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. ( 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,




August began with the birthday of the late Jerry Garcia. It always does, man. Only this year is the 20th anniversary of his untimely passing. Hard to believe it’s been twenty years. Unfortunately time doesn’t only fly when you’re having fun. (I’m still waiting for calories to fly right outta my body when I’m really having fun: Like eating vats of luscious lasagna (Veggie is OK, right?), chucking down entire chocolate cheesecakes, and wasting away –including my waistline – in Margaritaville.) NOT like this could ever happen, huh?


But we ALWAYS have fun at Jerry Day! It’s just that word of this free event seems to have gone viral, or global, or maybe even cosmic! (I did see some funky folks who looked like they may have come from a galaxy, far, far, away.) There were so many people packed in the park. I tried to tell the hubby that we needed to get to McLaren Park post-haste, but he did not listen. The recent Grateful Dead concerts in Santa Clara and Chicago only held so many fans, after all. And a lot of Deadheads were not as fortunate as the old man and moi in getting concert tix. (The old man does not feel all that fortunate, however, just broke.)

The old man thinks we will always get a primo parking spot if only we go in my Mini Cooper. He’s been correct-o every year since we first flew the Cooper over the San Mateo Bridge, and up into McLaren Park. This year, however, I’ve never seen so many decorated cars, tripped-out hippie vans and marvelous motorbikes parked like some kind of crazy quilt. Somehow hubby managed to guide the Mini into a too small space. If you even wondered about the Parking Angel, she decided to stay home, so our vehicle must have been protected by some way groovy Rock gods, man.
They say the music never dies, and I do believe in the Rock gods, too. Huh, Jerry?

I’ve said before that my hubby is quite the rock photographer. When he remembers to charge his camera, he is, that is. Jerry Day was a bummer in the summer for photos. He did manage to snap a few and let’s hope y’all enjoy them. He took a photo of the mother and son duo that are kind enough to save us seats in the bleachers. They made it to Santa Clara for a final show. Yay! Although people may not get the word about donning colorful threads to the Haight-St. Fair, Deadheads are down with color: helloooo, tie-dye! Next year I will personally see to it that the camera is over-charged if I have to, dagnabbit. The music was grand, and Jerry’s older brother Tiff was groovin’ in the stands. Although there was so much sand covering the winding path to and from the amphitheatre it could all have just been a mirage, man.

Because of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Grateful Dead, the band members were on hand for the annual Dead night at AT&T Park in San Fran. The last time we attended the ballgame we nearly became Eskimos because it was so cold. (We spotted some real Eskimos who looked quite content.) Now, with climate change going on, we talked to some Canadians who were confused by our now balmy weather. Join the club, eh? The Giants won! Lately, not so much. I was so busy eating garlic fries and a sensuous chocolate ice cream sundae. (I may have moaned a wee bit. What garlic-chocoholic wouldn’t?) I wouldn’t have noticed. And, no, garlic fries with a chocolate sundae –with whipped cream, nuts, and a big red cherry on top to boot is so not weird. This time the old man had a charged camera on hand. Unfortunately for you guys he was so enamored by the scenic views that he hardly got any photos of groovy Deadheads.
Luckily, for him, that is, he managed to get some FAB-U-LOUS pictures of moi!

If you are a fan of the great crooner Tony Bennett, you will be very happy when the Giants win home games, because his famous tune, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” reverberates through the ballpark Well, it’s the record, of course. Ya can’t expect Le Tony to be present for every home game, now can you? The man is busy, baby.
It was time to leave, but my old man was busy photographing seagulls who had patiently waited for their nightly fan leftovers buffet. Don’t buy what you can’t eat, folks. Some of the gulls were so big they might be eating baseball fans. I wanted to avoid that.
It was so groovy seeing Hunter Pence and Buster Posey. Yeah, seeing the Grateful Dead is always groovy.

It had been many years since we last made the trek to Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park for The Festival of the Chariots. It’s a colorful Hindu event, run by the devotees at the Temple for Krishna Consciousness in Berkeley. I thought it was high time we made a return visit. And the hubby was up for the free vegetarian feast. Totally yummy. It was another warm, humid day in San Francisco, which is a pretty strange thing to say, especially if you have ever lived there. And I have, so we made a journey out to the old hood while we were in town. Lots of wonderful, happy people were in attendance. Everyone was wishing each other “Hare Krishna.” My late mom and dad went all Indian festival while they were visiting us. I had a way of talking my father into doing stuff that was, ahem, rather outside his field of vision.

My mom really went deep into the spirit of the day, chanting “Hare Krishna” with enthusiasm. I mean, you really get into the energetic joy of the chanting which becomes increasingly hypnotic with numerous repetitions.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

I think of Beatle George Harrison every time I hear that chant. Loved him. And I remembered just how much fun I had with my mom and dad at the Festival of the Chariots. Tell you about my old hood next post, ok? Did I tell you that I would discuss my doggy diva cleaning service this post? Well, I do mean well, but sometimes you just hafta wait. I love you guys!

Peace, love, joy, garlic chocolate & lotsa laughs,

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Jammin’ in July

The month of July is pretty darn famous for celebrating American Independence Day.   Our 4th of July is a unique celebration of all that is Red, White and Blue. Fireworks brighten up the evening sky, while the ubiquitous grilling of jumbo hotdogs and over-sized burgers adds aromatherapy to backyards across the US of A.
(You did remember the ice cream, right? Festooned it with extra whipped cream, nuts and a big red cherry? Of course you did.  The Nation’s b-day party demands dessert.)

This year we decided to add a little more “fireworks” to our holiday menu. Helllooo, we went with the Pay-Per-View telecasts of the Grateful Dead final concerts from Soldier Field in Chicago –yeah, my home town. The old man and I were shutout of the shows by people with faster Internet connections and/or bettah luck. (Pulleeze don’t say they had much bettah karma than moi, OK? I did get to see them in Santa Clara, man.)

The hubby brought home a feast to go from a nearby barbeque joint. My house smelled like the Old South. And, oh yeah, I never pass on ice cream on a major holiday. Believe it.

We were SO ready to partay.


What surprised us was when our doggy diva Rosie pranced into the family room wearing her canine hippie gear. She obviously thought we were going to view the Grateful Dogs on TV.  She must have spotted (NOT the fabric) my Grateful Dogs tie-dye shirt, replete in tap-dancing dogs, instead of the usual dancing bears. (Are you following this?)  She even had her love beads around her neck. HOW did she get them over that furry head?!
Our poor girl: She howled when there were no Grateful Dogs, and then she howled late into the night along with the fireworks.SAM_2248a

(Next year she needs to have a couple Margaritas with her dinner. I’m just sayin’.)

Next celebration was for the Dalai Lama’s big Eight-oh.  Hard to believe, but I wanted even more ice cream plus a birthday cake to celebrate this auspicious day. His Holiness could award my husband some extra good karma for getting a single layer cake decorated with “Happy Birthday, Dalai Lama.”  I divinely decorated my dining table for this special Tibetan occasion. OM yes I can!

Next day was Ringo Starr’s 75th birthday. I know, how did this happen?  He was in his twenties one day, the next thing I know he’s turning seventy-five.  All Ringo requested for his big 75 was for everyone on the planet to stop where they were at Noon, open the door and shout “Peace and love, peace and love!”  You probably know I love Ringo, and you must know that I love peace and love, so I was more than happy to oblige.
Although some neighbors may have been thinking it’s just that crazy hippie-chick again, the red squirrel community rattled the higher fronds on our palm tree –in appreciation, I’m thinking. We ate “Dalai Lama” off the bottom of this yummy cake the previous evening, so we eagerly dug into the “Happy Birthday” half for Ringo. I decorated the table for him as well.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Next up was the 20th anniversary (no more cake, man) of the last Grateful Dead concert performed with the entire band in Chicago. I decorated my table for that, too. My hubby said I have way too much time on my hands.  But it provides me with creative opportunity and brings me joy. Joy in July. So I go for it!


I’m gonna tell y’all about ONE other groovy celebration we had in July: We headed to the town of Benicia to visit an old friend. You must cross the Carquinez Strait, which means there’s a bridge involved. As we were getting close to the bridge we noticed a small car ahead festooned with bright metallic paint and glitter. It was a glamorous sight to see. Totally groovy, it was.  The car suddenly swerved to avoid an inattentive driver in the next lane. The negligent driver failed to give a signal and the FAB car swerved sharply to the right. Gasp. As we approached this auto we could not help but notice some words on the rear window: “Headed to Section ONE D.” Then on the side windows were two large heart shapes with the name “Harry” glittered inside one of them, and “Louis” inside the other.


It was now obvious that these young ladies were returning home from the previous evening’s “One Direction” concert in Santa Clara. These ladies obviously have good car-ma!  You think? The highlight of the long day for me was seeing a contented herd of goats happily munching at a hillside buffet just outside the neighborhood where we were headed.
Although my Rosie did not get to see any grateful dogs, I was so blessed to view some groovy goats.

(NO photos as the hubby forgot his camera. Bummer.)
Peace, love, laughter & joyful jammin’ in July,



You may be wondering what all those clueless letters above could actually mean. You may think that I’ve totally lost my mind. But you would be SO wrong. I’ve really had my mind blown. Remember last post where I promised to reveal the event that the hubby and I attended involving glitz and bling? It was just the beginning of one verrrry long, strange trip.
Now everyone get ready, steady, stay calm and & let’s party on!

Oh My GaGa! Could I mean the FABULOUS Lady GaGa and Tony Bennett performance held near the end of May in the San Francisco Bay Area? Oh yeah. The venue for this awesome concert was the Concord Pavilion in (where else?) beautiful Concord, California. It was our first visit (hubby surprised me with the tickets) to this magical setting high in the golden, parched hills above the suburban city of Concord. Tony Bennett is one hip dude. In fact, this swinging, singing sensation will soon reach the age of ninety. His singing pipes haven’t “rusted” at all. The man’s stamina is amazing. He’s on a World tour with Lady GaGa: How does he do it? All those ooh, la, la costumes GaGa slips on may be recharging his spark plugs!
Whether good karma or not, he remains an Italian stallion.

We previously saw Tony maybe 10 years ago on my birthday. It was another outdoor venue in Mountain View, California, the scene of many a “Dead” concert. This was an annual benefit for the school that singer Neal Young’s son attended. It’s an all-acoustic gig. Tony was there with Paul McCartney among the cast of performers, and he and Sir Paul sang together. How exciting was that?

There was a wee problem at this show: We could not score any seats and had to settle for lawn “seating.” Yeah, they usually will rent you a low chair for the event, for an extra fee of course. However, the ground was saturated from two days of rain (no drought then), and it was way too muddy for chairs. So the hubby and I sat on black plastic bags provided by the couple next to us.
And you know what happened next?
As the concert progressed, rain began to steadily fall and we soon began to slide down the hill! (I was hoping that I would “slide” into Paul McCartney’s arms, but no such luck.) We were “saved” by somebody who stepped on the bags, man.
But I needed more Tony, so was happy to see him perform again.

No way could I compete with Lady GaGa in the glamour, glitz and bling department. She has the hot bod and the bucks to dress to impress. I just wanted to look somewhat festive and wasn’t sure if my outfit was GaGa-ish or kinda Katy Perry. I just bought some new shades to complete my ensemble (hahaha). The concert was awesome. Man, can the two of then sing. Who would have believed that Tony & the Lady would be so groovy together?

In early June we made our annual trek to Mecca- (heh heh, I mean San Francisco) for the Haight/Ashbury Street Fair. Fairgoers look forward to seeing us every year. (I wanna believe that, I really DO.) Car parking is becoming scarce as more people with megamoola move into the increasingly expensive City-by-the Bay. A lot of less affluent people are crowding into tiny apartments and even tinier spots to park their cars. Saw quite a few “smart” cars on the roads. Don’t even think about getting an over-sized vehicle or (God forbid, and I bet the Almighty does) buying a Hummer. You will NEVER be able to find a space for it. If you do happen upon one, and it happens to be free, puleeeze give me a call. We have a mini van we use when we have visitors, and they wanna see the City, man.

I pleaded with my Parking Angel to guide the Mini Cooper into a heavenly space. She did. Amen to that, my wind-up winged friend. Yeah, I sought her help for our annual pilgrimage to Haight Street, where we like to celebrate what remains of the Summer of Love. A genuine hippie or two can still be spotted…at least when I’m in town!

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I may not have worn the most glam threads to the concert in Concord, but I believe I looked way groovy for the Fair. At least many people said I did. You didn’t lie, did you? You don’t want any bad karma, do you? My terrapin-topped hubby and I didn’t see the trippy, tie-dye couple from last year when we arrived, didn’t see our Deadhead friend Annie, either. (A lot of people have left the Bay Area because of high rents and lowered paychecks and I hope Annie isn’t one of them.)

We did get there pretty early (for Henry, it was really early), and no-one had asked to take our photo for quite some time. Then it happened: We were asked to pose for a photo and then the pepperrazzi (like Sgt. Pepper, man) swarmed around us with a plethora of photo devises- some even looked like cameras. Imagine that.

Well, I thought I might be imagining the tie-dye tornado that nearly knocked us off our feet while we posed for fan photos next to a local food charity booth. (We really act as international ambassadors for the City of San Francisco, although they don’t know it. We happily chatted with visitors from London/Birmingham, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Canada (eh?), South Africa, Brazil and Germany, just to name a few!) The tie-dyers recognized us, how could they not? They also upped their game from last year. They also go in their quasi hippie get-up to the “How Weird Fair” in S.F. every year. I don’t think that dressing in tie-dye is weird, however. Wearing glorious color is just who I am, man.

Finally we knew they were NOT the hippie skeletons seated in the totally groovy motorbike/cycle parked at Jerry Day last August. Whew! The old man and I were relieved. They also looked relieved. Who will be “seated” there this year, huh? Stay tuned to the LaughLaundry for the latest info. They were excited to see us. I asked about their son and he now teaches scuba diving in Cancun, Mexico. Sounds like a dream scene for a 21 year old male. We tried to navigate the street which was now filling- in with people who obviously didn’t have a parking angel of their own. I feel so blessed. Good luck finding yourself a parking space without divine intervention, you guys. We parted company from the tie-dye duo, while we noticed the distinct lack of colorful attire on the majority of fairgoers strolling down Haight Street. There were numerous vendors of tie-dye and hippie-type fashion, so there is no excuse for not wearing hippie clothing next year. Ya hear?

There was a lot of excited talk on the Street among fair going Deadheads about the coming shows commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Grateful Dead. It’s another year of celebration, folks. OMG, are you ready for…

That’s Oh My Grateful Dead, in case you didn’t know. Why didn’t you know? We went to hippie nirvana on Saturday, the 27th. Nirvana has become very pricey these days, just so you know. We went to the new home of the 49ers in Santa Clara for a major celebration for fans of the Grateful Dead and all their individual bands. (They are still referred to as the San Francisco 49ers despite being 40 miles from the City.) This is it for concerts with the surviving members of the band. They haven’t found –they can’t find – anyone who could replace Jerry Garcia, their spiritual leader. So they’re 2 nights performing in Santa Clara and 3 over the 4th of July weekend in Chicago. They say that’s it. The fans at the show were not ready for the music to end. I was jazzed to be part of the scene, but I don’t want the magic to stop.

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A lot of people came in tie-dye for this event. I mean, my very first Dead show looked like a tie-dye convention. Of course, there are a lot of fans who refuse to grow-up and dress in fun attire for anything. It was a PARTY fer cryin’ out loud. The food wasn’t too bad. I had a vegan dog (I hope it didn’t contain any actual vegans ‘cause that would just be wrong, man.) The garlic fries are derigueur cuisine in the Bay Area, but I think they tasted better at Sir Paul’s show at Candlestick Park. No big deal. I doubt I’ll be back to the Levi Stadium. It’s expensive, yet I found it rather soulless. Thank goodness it’s now flowing with the joy and vibrancy of Deadhead energy.

There was a rainbow that appeared over the stadium after maybe 10 minutes of light rain, and many fans think it was a sign of love from Jerry Garcia. I’ve told you how magical the Dead are. Earlier an airplane attempted a peace sign in the sky above. Peace and love, man. We all left sporting neck braces.

My hubby took some fun photos, we were gifted with free roses –tie-dye included, and he recorded a video which will take you on that long, strange trip. It’s far-out, man. Don’t miss the photo of the young hippie girls with the floral headbands. They came from London just to see the show. They never saw one before. Way too young and far away. Glad they got to see a show. Glad I got to see the show. Thanks, Henry!

Peace, love, joy, laughter, with the continuing magic of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia,

It was aMAYzing!

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Easter Extra

I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to dine on Mother’s Day this year. Until my old man brought home a newspaper from nearby Pleasanton, California, that is. (OK, so you do have to drive over the East Bay Hills and some distance out into the Pleasanton/Livermore Valley from my home in Hayward to get there.) Their local news featured a Mother’s Day ad for a dining/drinking establishment in the tiny town of Sunol (the town is actually soooo small it might even be a hamlet- NOT Shakespeare) that grabbed my attention. Well, actually, it was the Mother’s Day menu. It sounded yummy and not -very pricy, especially considering that many restaurants raise their prices for moms big day. They mostly serve Italian-style cuisine, folks, with some Bay Area faves tossed into the mix. But soup or salad and dessert were included with the entrees. It was an offer my old man –and older son- couldn’t refuse. It’s a mistake to mess with a diva mama like me!

So where did I go? After the hubby and I drove to Sunol down the picturesque Nile’s Canyon Road, my family rendezvoused at Bosco’s Bones & Brew. They actually arrived more than an hour after we did: The funky antique shop I had hoped to visit had closed. Me thinks for good. Bummer. So we explored what little of the town, or hamlet, or whatever the locals call it to build an appetite for dinner. (I already was famished as I decided not to eat my usual lunch stuff.)

Sunol is quite quaint…even magical. We drove up the winding Kilkare Road, where we paused to take photos of “The Little Brown Church of Sunol.” Look at the photos my talented hubby took: It really is little and brown, first built in 1885. The church added gaslight in 1905. It’s still an actual parish church, well-known for beautiful weddings in an exceptional wooded setting. The pastor is a woman wearing Easter Bunny Ears along with her clerical garb (my “Rosie Rabbit” has the very same ears!) in a photo on the fascinating LBC website. Please Google and learn the history of this sacred space.

There are impressive old mansions galore on Kilkare Road, and I hope you enjoy seeing a few pics. Farther along the road is Elliston Vineyards, complete with an old, former mansion. We didn’t have time to stop for wine tasting. Dang. But we’ll be back, huh, Henry?!!
So where did I go?

As I previously said, the hubby and I went to “Bosco’s Bones & Brewery,” man. The restaurant/saloon features “elegant dining of the (late) 1800’s,” according to their website. The food served, however, is actually NOT from the 1800’s. The local health pupperazzi would shutter- em –down. You can’t really have food that’s like so last century.

Who is Bosco, anyhoo?

The oft-told story told worldwide –really- is about how two men lost a mayoral (unofficial) election in this tiny town to a dog, no less. Two men were arguing over which one of them should run for mayor, and another man said his dog would beat both of them! They were sitting in a local watering hole, of course. And the man’s dog, Bosco, was a “regular” there. Actually, he hug-out in all the bars & cafes in town. Yep, his fave treats were beef jerky and doggie biscuits and he growled if you didn’t feed him. Just the way my hubby does, doesn’t you Henry?

Bosco won the mayoral race, of course! He ran as a “Re-pup-lican,” with the campaign slogan: “A bone in every dish, a cat in every tree, and a fire hydrant on every corner.”
He was the doggie, er, the mayor, and was pupular with the town’s hounds. Supposedly, all the new pups in town were black like him (black Labrador/Rottweiler). He was reported in a local paper (NOT the one that he did his doggie “business” on) to have ruled with his paw and openly accepted grafts from the town’s business establishments. Many of the town’s businesses have burned down over the years, including the joint we ate in!

Bosco was spotted watching the old place (1850’s) burn. Someone said he looked sad. He held the job as mayor for a total of 15 years before he went to that great fire hydrant in the sky. Now, a replica of Bosco sits on the saloon bar, and when his hind leg is lifted out pours beer! Or pees, I guess. Great little place in a fab little town. The food was yummy with friendly service. Only saw a few motorcycles parked in front when we first rolled into town. The place used to attract lots of “Hell’s Angels.” And good ole Willie Nelson used to frequent the saloon as well. There are photos on the wall to prove it.

Hated to get out of Dodge, er, Sunol. I love being in a time warp, man. As long as I can come back, that is.

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How lucky am I? I get to come back to the Himalayan Fair held in Berkeley every May. This was the 32nd anniversary of this awesomely magical extravaganza, and this year the focus was on raising funds for the recent Nepal earthquake. I was concerned that much of the joy of attending would be erased by the scope of such a massive tragedy, and I wasn’t sure how to prepare for the sadness I expected. I forgot about the natural joyfulness of the Himalayan peoples, and found the attendees happy to just be there. They understood how blessed they were to be alive –and well- in Berkeley’s Live Oak Park. Lots of smiles and loads of laughter echoed throughout the park. It was quite chilly and windy this year. Even the Monks were wearing sweaters.

Each and every year, the park is transformed into a colorful marketplace for food, fine arts, crafts, as well as lively music and vivacious dance. (If you go next year be sure and try some veggie or meat Momos…Om my gosh, they’re gooood!) My British friend was selling her wares at her gorgeous booth. She jets in from her new home in Hawaii for this annual event. I attended on Sunday this year so I could see –and hear- the amazing Karma Moffett.

Karma comes complete with his Tibetan bowls, bells, tingshas, and long horn –it’s TEN feet long and you will likely feel the vibrations at least TEN miles away, probably even farther away! You wondered what that was, huh? Karma performed a ceremony for Nepal, Berkeley, anyone and anywhere healing was needed. The crowd was mellow, including the three dogs who were sitting in front of me. The long horn sent their ears up in the air. Yeah, you wanted to know: They had been doing Downward Dog before Karma began. It’s a now famous “Doga” pose. Just saying.

My old man and I were quite popular at the fair. We posed for so many photos I thought we had been transported to that other fair over in San Francisco. It’s getting close, man.
There was one other event that we attended, but you will have to wait until my next blog post to read all about it. Lots of bling and glitz involved. Oh, get used to waiting, OK?

Until then, Peace, love, joy (cause you really do need it) and laughter,

April was just a marvelous month for bunnies and baseball. Yeah, it always begins with the exceedingly funny Feast Day of St. Stupid, of course. (Come on! Youze gotta know the First Church of the Last Laugh drill by now.) In the meantime, wild ‘n crazy, hippity-hopping’ Easter bunnies and major league baseball teams were engaged in spring training for their big/opening day. Which was rapidly approaching, oh my!

I put a groovy Easter outfit together, and yes, I did find a FABULOUS hat. And I also purchased some fab earrings to match, created by the lovely Linda. You will see her every weekend on Telegraph Avenue. (Photo of moi will be included in an upcoming post.) Unfortunately I was deep in the midst of an upper-respiratory thingie, and I could not taste any of my waterfront restaurant entrée. I wasn’t even hungry. At least I had a gorgeous view. My Easter breakfast was also a bit of a bummer. My tasteless Hot Cross Buns could have been delivered by a hunk with extra hot buns of his own….so what? I love HCB’s, and you can only buy them once a year. And fuggedaboud my beautifully decorated eggs, cause no amount of salt was gonna make me taste them either. I know, I know, boo hoo. It was an absolutely beautiful day, however…if you like some early-morning rain.

And we do in drought-stricken California, Mother Nature. Thanks!

Thank goodness the Bender household was gifted with an Easter visit from our very own resident “rabbit.” Rosie Rabbit, that is. She really dressed for the occasion, she did. (See her groovy photo.) Our little “wascally wabbit” has many fans in the neighborhood. My neighbor Creesh (hippie name!) is a major fan (she’s not in the military!). She loved Miz Rosie’s Easter photo so much she created this wee bit of whimsy for me to enjoy:

There once was a pooch named Rosie –

A Diva from head to toesie,

The threads were made –

For the Easter parade,

As she posed for her close-up –

Way Groovy!

Get this: According to my neighbor, I might want to get “Rosie” her very own website. Or perhaps find a card company that will feature Rosie’s pooch photo on their greeting cards. Hmm, maybe she could she earn some cash to help pay for all those doggie biscuits she demands. I have to admit I’ve seriously considered renting her for cleaning jobs. Yes, cleaning jobs. After observing her oversized bushy tail, I had a brilliant idea!

Who needs a Swaffer or whatever they call the gadget? Why not rent a doggie duster – a real sWOOFer – who will work their tail off for you. Just remember to give the hound a hug and a biscuit or two after the job is completed. And puleeez don’t blame me for any breakage that (likely) may occur. Capeeche?

I don’t know if Rosie is OK with any of these wild ‘n wacky ideas. Stay tuned.

Get in touch if you are at all are interested in opening your very own doggie duster franchise. We could really clean up (literally) with this. Oh my!

Baseball season is now in full swing. I just wish more of my winning team’s hitters were doing a little more productive swinging while at bat. Like in winning more games, man. There were a significant number of pre-season injuries, including the awesome Hunter Pence –known as the Reverend because he gives encouraging “sermons” to his teammates. Find that hard to believe?  Well what about the THREE –count ‘em- World Series Championships the SF Giants have won, and then say that you don’t believe. GO GIANTS!Dreamcatcher

The baseball team on the other side of the Bay –that would be the Oakland Athletics- or the “A’s” as they are fondly known- is playing well. And that could very well be because of a player that had previously flown under my radar. The dude’s name is Billy Burns!
NOT my bro Billy Burns, however, but a younger guy from the South. This Billy is quite the babe. Don’t hate me bro. YOU are my fave and a pretty darn cute leprechaun to boot. (Rosie will happily dust them off for you if you ask her nicely.)

Peace, love, baseball, and less dust bunnies for y’all.

(Remember: For dust bunny removal all you need is “Rent a Rosie,” the Doggie Dusting Diva!)

March Modness!

You probably think I’ve made a mistake titling my post “March Modness.” But you would be oh so wrong! Yeah, March Madness is usually associated with some type of ball sport –I believe that it’s called basketball or something involving a net. But I could be wrong. No, really, I could be wrong. It does happen occasionally. (I find that the real “madness” is with all the crazed viewers like my husband. The hubby’s delirious dive into his recliner to watch this “madness” is about the only exercise he gets while the games are televised.) Although a seemingly unending, warm, nearly rainless weather (save for a few splashes here and there) here in Northern California this past month is definitely a sign of a planetary March Madness. (More about “Modness” to come.)


(“In this land of drought and sun, we don’t flush for number one”….or howzabout this?


“Save water and shower with a friend.” These wild ’n crazy one-liners are gems from an earlier California drought that ravaged the state in the late 70’s. The population has grown by the gazillions since then….so fugeddabout watering that grass. Brown is the new green.)


Speaking of green, March 17th was St. Patrick’s Day. Now for the past couple of years I’ve missed the wearing of the green at my fave Irish pub in Berkeley. I know, that’s a real bummer. I was so ready for 2015. I may have gone a wee over-board with my green theme this year. My dog “Rosie Colleen” had the good sense to go into hiding when she saw me strolling into a soon- to -be over-decorated room. She could see I was laden with a gazillion green garlands & stacks of sparkling shamrocks galore. (A wee bit over the top? I’m so sure.) And she somehow knew I would not leave her fur unadorned for long! Come on, I live for this, you guys.


This St. Paddy’s I somehow managed to avoid a contagious disease (Hooray!), but I had to cope with a hurting head. I had NOT one drop of celebratory liquid cheer. I did make some lovely Irish scones on the 14th. Even found a recipe for a salted Irish whiskey butter which I found the strength to refuse. The hubby was anxious to have a scone –with the butter, of course, but I told him they were for the big day. Not sure what happened, but I recovered the next morning and that was good enough for me. There’s always next year, huh, leprechauns? Did not need them for a parking space again this year. My bro Billy Danny did not party so much this year as he has let-go of 82 pounds of excess avoirdupois and will need all the luck o’ the Irish to stay his now slender self. Oh, that young lad will really look groovy in his kilt now.


I noticed a photo of a mischievous leprechaun on my 2015 Irish calendar, and the wee fellow looked exactly like my late father (if he were a leprechaun, that is), who left his beloved Corned Beef ‘n Cabbage behind as he departed the planet on St. Patrick’s Day, 2001. Slainte, Daddy.


Now this is where “March Modness” comes in: Just three days after St. Patrick’s, I was sufficiently recovered to make the trek to Concord, California. (Actually, it’s the town next to Pleasant Hill, where I spent a significant number of my academic years at JFKU.) I spotted an ad for a British Fish ‘n Chip shop named “Scousers.” A scouser is defined as a person who comes from Liverpool, England, especially one who is a Merseysider. That’s living yer life close to the Mersey River, and the Beatles were considered right scousers, mate. Liverpool is the shop owner’s ancestral home. He hopes that Scousers will become your fave British Chippy. There’s a lot more to being a scouser, but go there and let the friendly owner, Kevin, explain it to you. You won’t be disappointed with him or his yummy food.


Why, the man even put on Beatles music just for me. I suspect he played it for himself as well. He saw the Beatles in Liverpool before they were called the Beatles. Far out! You just might feel like you’ve crossed the pond, I say. This smashing place looks like it “jumped” the pond. The place is festooned with Union Jack items, assorted British paraphernalia, photos of the Queen, and a clock the owner stopped at the exact hour John Lennon died. Owner Kevin has earned himself a place in my personal Beatles Hall of Fame.


Kevin didn’t forget the Irish either. Hello, that’s his name. There is a picture on the wall (see me grinning in photo) which shows the ancient church of St. Kevin. (I visited this church when I traveled to Ireland.) The British Kevin told me that the Irish St. Kevin lived to be 120! My own son Kevin hopes he lives that long. Drinking Guinness could help, I’ll bet. And don’t discount my salted Irish whiskey butter, either. You see, I did experience some March Modness after all. Aaahh, it must be the Luck of the Irish.



Peace, love, joy, laughter & a scone -or two! – slathered with salted Irish whiskey butter, of course,



OK, so that’s a whole lot of celebrating for the shortest month of the year. (Oops, I didn’t even mention National Margarita Day – my bad.) I wasn’t even sure I could handle all the fab February frilovity, but (somehow) I did. February 3rd was the anniversary of the day that my late Mom and Dad were married in Chicago. Of course, I miss them a lot. Not missing the brutal Midwest winters, however. I totally get why they decided to wed on this particular day: The Feast of St. Blaize.

St. Blaize (French spelling) is a patron saint of healers and a source of protection through bad winters. Hellooo, this current winter may be the mother of all Chicago winters! When I attended Catholic school we always had our throats blessed by a priest on her feast day. We knelt at the altar as a priest attacked our throats….um, I mean, blessed them with two crossed candles. (Thank God they were unlit.) According to my Mom (and she said this every year), she was married on the Feast of St. Blaize and ever since then it had been holy smoke! (You may try to forget these kinds of things but you can’t….and you don’t really want to either.)


Valentines Day we dined in Berkeley at our fave Tibetan restaurant. Oh, yes, you can find Himalayan cuisine in more than one eatery in Berkeley. You knew that, come-on. We are talking about Berkeley here people. But this is our way fave place to indulge in epicurean delights fit for the Dalai Lama. The beautiful owner is a former pastry chef who still makes her own FABULOUS desserts. Her Tibetan-styled desserts are particularly nice if you are a Tibetan and miss your mother’s home cooking.


However, just in case I haven’t previously informed you: I AM A CHOCOHOLIC. There, I’ve admitted it right here in the Laugh Laundry. It’s true. I eat the addictive stuff everyday; I always lick it off the plate (sometimes NOT even my own), and I’ve been known to sniff empty chocolate bar wrappers AFTER I’ve licked them squeaky clean! I’ve got it bad…no good, that’s how good chocolate tastes. Don’t even try to reform me. You know darn well this will make me wolf (sorry wolves) down a humongous hot fudge sundae with extra, extra chocolate, man. Oh, like you wouldn’t do the same thing if given the chance. (Give chocolate a chance…Yeah!)
I’M A CHOCOHOLIC and this is why I simply must lick the dessert menu at this Tibetan hot-spot. Just reading about her dark chocolate mousse cake – loaded with nuts! -sends me way over the top…and the top is really, really WAY up there in the Himalayan peaks. If I’m truly blessed and able to eat more mousse (a lot more!), I’m certain to achieve Nirvana. (Is there such a thing as Chocolate Nirvana? That would be so OM sweet OM.)
It’s a shame that Presidents Lincoln and Washington no longer have their individual birthday celebration. They are supposedly honored on “Presidents Day,” but usually all it means is a day without snail mail, a day off from school and work, or an excursion to the Mall. Well, leave it to the Margarita producers to use George Washington’s actual birthday as an excuse for a National Margarita Day! How utterly American, Si? AYE, AYE, AYE, AND CHERRY PIE! I CANNOT TELL A LIE.
The Lunar New Year began on February 19th. The Chinese, Vietnamese & Tibetans all celebrate at the same time. And this year they all share the same animal in the Chinese zodiac: The Ram or Goat or Sheep. They all seem to have agreed this year it will be the Sheep. (My dog Rosie voted for the Goat: She snatched a paper fortune left on my hubby’s recliner -it was about smiling more- and the little vixen chewed it up! She could not resist essence of fortune cookie, obviously.) I have included several photos of my fireplace mantle decorated for February’s holidays. The Lunar New Year mantle is mainly Chinese motif with Vietnamese (Tet) and Tibetan (Losar) symbols at each end. Pretty groovy, huh?
Long ago and far away in my grammar school, there was this little ditty we recited because it sounded oh so naughty for a Catholic girl to say. Don’t know where it originated, but it seems appropriate this Lunar New Year:
Mary had a little sheep

And with the sheep she went to sleep

The sheep turned out to be a ram

And Mary had a little lamb


Hmmm….Fifty Shades of Sheep?


Peace & love & laughter,


Please lovingly remember the gear George Harrison who would have celebrated his 72nd birthday in February.

Doing Downton

It’s a brand new year and many of you make an annual attempt to eliminate your excess avoirdupois. You know what I’m talking about, folks: Over the Holidays you found yourself hotly pursued by pepperoni pizza, chased by extra-chunky chocolates (next year direct them to me), and an army of artisanal appetizers. Oh yeah, and you people surrendered.SAM_1723

(Alas… now get off your a##).
Now many of you are going all Flitzits or Nitwits or whatever they call this newbie- techie- fitness gadget for your wrist. Somehow, this devise follows your every movement, me thinks. It’s kind of like Santa Claus (I know he’s not a good example of the physically fit, huh?), cause it sees you when you’re sleeping, it knows when you’re awake, it knows if you’ve been bad or good…
(Oh, just toss it out the window fer Heavens sake!)

Who needs a gadget such as this? Just say No and get yourself a mother –your mom or any mother that’s handy- if you really think you need someone to monitor your every movement. I know that my late mother did. She had quite a knack for it. Mothers just do. It’s sca-a-a-ry, sisters.

(And your mother doesn’t need no steenking battery, either.)

Well, I hung-in there (over a heavily-laden buffet table, too) during the Holidays. I used some serious kung-food moves ™ as I fought back the French fondue, barely dipping my festive fork into a cauldron of chocolate chiffon. Then I nearly gave in while enduring a massive margarita mugging. Although, I finally did give-in because they were extra –heavy with the luscious limes, man.

(However, nothing fattening clung to my cleavage or attached itself to my hippie hips as far as I can tell).
So while some of you were going down –a –ton (oh, lighten up), I was doing Downton – PBS’ Downton Abbey, that is. The hubby and I got free passes to see the new season’s initial episode a day before you commoners did. However, we had to go to San Jose in order to view it. There were two showings at theatres in either San Francisco or San Jose. And the San Francisco seats went like hotcakes, so the old man and I traveled by coach (not!) to the theatre. It really is a magnificent theatre for the performing arts as both the Sillicon Valley Symphony and San Jose Opera hold concerts there. We were initially entertained by a distinguished gentleman playing the Wurlitzer organ. What a spectacular venue for downtown San Jose; it originally opened for business in 1927.
Many of the ladies dressed in Victorian finery (Downton has now moved into the “Roaring Twenties”), including moi…well, kinda, sorta. Please see my posh photo that the hubby took after the show….well after the event, if truth be told. Rosie Colleen – my doggie diva- thought I was going to see “Dogton Abbey,” and got her self all glitzy fur the gala. She was bummed that they would not let her in…they likely would have in jolly old England as pets rule there.


We were also treated to “The Prime of Miss Jean Brody,” a late 60’s film starring Maggie Smith. I say, it’s quite easy to hear the voice of the Dowager Countess in this award-winning role.
We had a jolly good day, despite the incident where I nearly knocked out some snooty Count, or Earl, or Duke with my tie-dye cane.

This past week we traveled to Stinson Beach and Muir Beach for a one-day staycation. It’s not that easy getting there because of the main entrance to both towns being blocked by landslides caused by torrential December rains. But we were given directions by someone who knows the area well, and we did have our newish GPS. (Yeah, “she” got us home from San Jose after the Downton preview.) Lots of ups and downs, then more ups and downs, and even more on narrow mountain roads, but SO worth it! It was sunny and fairly warm weather: perfect beach weather. The Pacific Ocean looked awesome.
Henry got some FAB ocean photos before we took the only route that was available to Muir Beach with its Elizabethan styled Pelican Inn. And another lovely lunch was had there. The Inn couldn’t have looked any better. It may have been January, but it felt –and looked- like early summer. A crop of newly-planted red flowers greeted us as we approached the front door. Celtic music (perhaps Irish) added an enjoyable soundtrack to our veddy British lunch. A yummy Ploughman’s Lunch & a shandy for myself, while the hubby enjoyed Fish ‘n’ Chips with a Guinness. Lovely, it was. After a visit to the stables across the road to see some very cute horsies, we were ready –although not really willing- to re-cross the pond.

Now back to “civilization,” man.


Peace, love, joy, laughter, & doing Downton Abbey,




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