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Like SOOO Groovy, Man

June was like soooo groovy, man. The old man and I put in our annual appearance at the Haight/Ashbury Street Fair in (still) beautiful San Francisco. (I say still beautiful despite all the intrusive building cranes that resemble – at least to moi – an alien takeover. I refuse to pay homage to new buildings that look as though they were designed by architects from the planet Mars.) It was a “beautiful day in the neighborhood” known as Haight/Ashbury (thanks, Mr. Rogers!). The 19h Century Victorians held an appeal to the early hippies who were attracted by their style and inexpensive rents. There is still an assortment of genuine hippies populating this now unbelievably expensive area of San Francisco. 

I like to believe that my hubby and I were among the beautiful folks who visited the 2018 Fair. We always dress the part and up our game each year. (Well, I do!) The wonderful woman (who probably needs a podiatrist after all the hours she spends on her feet) who generously works the booth for the Haight/Ashbury Food Bank said she “upped her game” because of Henry and moi. She rocked in total hippie attire. She told us we missed our “hippie friends” -aka Wayne & Estelle- who stopped by at least 30 minutes before we did. For some reason we missed seeing them the rest of the day, too. (The Fairgoers were denied the pleasure of viewing our annual tie-dye tsunami.) And we “missed” seeing them at last year’s Jerry Day as well. A real bummer.

The throngs of visitors could not miss us passing by: Like we were aglow in total tie-dye. Cameras were popping everywhere we walked. As the day progressed we met fun folks visiting from France, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Germany & China. Heck, we even met some people visiting from a far-flung country called Canada. The World seems to know about the hippie Haight. A mother and daughter from Dublin, Ireland, dressed in fashionable hippie garb, traveled to San Francisco because of their desire to be at the Fair. While chatting, the daughter revealed she worked at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. (Hello, I visited there on my trip overseas with my sister. Got a wee bit tipsy, I did. The national brewski is supposedly stronger when it’s brewed in Dublin. Slainte! I must return for a pint…or two.) Here’s hoping they enjoyed their holiday in the City.

We missed seeing some folks we really hoped would be there, however. An awesome couple who create equally awesome tie-dye paraphernalia were no shows. So were a glamorous hippie couple from Hawaii who create custom crafted flower headbands, and an assortment of groovy hippie goods. We did see (see photos) this glam couple’s equally glam cousin & companion who were strolling Haight Street laden with family craft from Hawaii. Very friendly folks. The unique artist Annie was also missing. She may have left the Bay Area. Hope we see you again.

There was a surprise for us, however. We spotted Deadheads we knew! The husband is famous at Jerry Day for his groovy dance moves (he danced at the Haight St. Fair- far out!) and is often featured on the local evening news after the event. This couple looks SO good and always make the effort to be festive. Thank you, kids. See you at Jerry Day!!

I had some phon-ay beef sautéed with veggies nestled in a bun (yum!), while the old man had some non-fake sausage & onions on a rock ‘n’ roll. OK, it was just a white bread roll. Ya gotta eat, man. I drank green tea and water while I drank in the colorful scene. More folks – mainly Deadheads in Grateful Dead gear- were dressed to impress than in the past. Not certain, but I’m pretty sure (you can believe me!) that I witnessed Beatle George Harrison, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin emerge from their respective wall murals lining Haight Street. Maybe I drank some weird water. Or perhaps a psychedelic effect from too much hot sun? Dunno. But, far out, man.

We had fun, we put smiles on many faces, gifted them with healing endorphins (you’re welcome), and activated some of our own. That’s likely ‘cause I petted a lot of hippie hounds along the street. Looking forward to next year, man.

Father’s Day brought us to the city of Lafayette for some dang good ol’ Texas-style barbeque. Son was not happy they ran out of lip-smacking Ribs. Oh well. Hubby was happy, though. And Henry heard from second son in upstate New York. This son did his own N.Y. style barbequing and he had a good day, dawg.
You know who British singer, comedian and all round badass James Corden is? Well, he’s a multitalented star on late, late night TV. Well, James went off to do his shows from London, and the hubby and moi are quite the fans. We record his program weekly. Henry saw a blurb regarding his final show from jolly old England on a morning news program. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Watched it that evening (it was like medicine for a weary soul), and laughed, cried, and had an experience of utter joy!

What was I watching you ask? Well, it was no other than the legendary Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, it was! James Paul McCartney and the very excited James Corden drove to all the historic Beatle hotspots in Liverpool while warbling fab, gear tunes from the Beatles songbook. It was a sight to behold as fans realized that Sir Paul was in their midst. An unexpected stop at a local pub brought fans to their feet, as well as frantic fans flocking in droves as they heard Paul playing LIVE with his current band. It was more than enough to excite any Beatlemaniac, including yours truly. I’m providing you with a link to view it for yourself if you haven’t already. Sir Paul celebrated his 76th birthday on June 18th. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!
June was like SOOO groovy, man.

Peace, love, joy oh, boy & utter happiness to all,
Kathleen

 

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Celebrations of Love

Love was in the air (hello, aromatherapy) during the Merry Month of May. May was all about celebrations of love. May began for moi with a groovy celebratory meal and cocktail drink (Irish whiskey, brut champagne, fresh berries & lemon syrup equals Yowza!). There was also some fab live rock music after the feast. Where was I? Well, I had to be at Terrapin Crossroads in the magical Marin County town of San Rafael. That’s the spectacular hotspot owned by the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh. You knew that.

The place was packed, indoors and out, with scores of Deadheads and folks in search of a good, affordable time. Outdoors there had been an earlier brunch (I’m not a fan of big, early meals & unlimited champagne- really), and a lunch hours Margaritaville at the Beach extravaganza. Did not know that Phil would be playing outdoors. Bummer, I missed seeing him this trip across the Bay.

My outer East Bay son accompanied Mom & Dad, and I ended my dinner with an extra, extra rich French chocolate dessert. Magnifique, man. I also heard from my younger son who resides in upstate, upstate, upstate New York. Unlike most of the country, Mom Nature said “alright!” for a change. When vivid sunshine happens it adds glorious glam to a special celebration. I believe it does, so there!
Thanks, Mom Earth!
Traffic & parking was such a breeze, I must have been dreaming. And this year I didn’t get blown across Phil’s parking lot. So yeah, it was a dream.

Something that wasn’t a dream, but which I always find dreamy was the annual Himalayan Fair at Live Oak Park in North Berkeley. And it is always a celebration of love: a celebration of Himalayan cultures, food (ah, the FOOD), dancing, singing, chanting, spiritual traditions, etc. And most of all, the colorful people who attend, perform and sell their wares at gloriously festive booths make it my fave event of the social season. But don’t tell the fun folks who run the Haight/Ashbury Street Fair, OK? It’s our little secret.

The festive attire at this particular- fair puts Haight/Ashbury to shame. Even toddlers make the effort. Ditto for dogs. Well behaved pooches are everywhere, man. And a tiny tot chased me after seeing my pink “flower” bag. He thought it was the real deal. Henri and moi posed for many photos, and I received numerous compliments. People remember the two of us from past fairs -even the Haight-Street & Jerry Day as well. Ya gotta give the peeps what they expect to see. OM my gosh.

The love and joy are palpable at this cherished event. Funds are raised to help the needy in the Himalayas and local organizations. Henry recorded two videos that I hope you will enjoy. Perhaps they will do what I love to do: put a smile on yer face. It makes me and the one “gifted” feel happy. That is my heartfelt wish.

The reason for my attendance on Saturday at this two- day fair is the full-blown (literally) healing performance of Karma Moffett. To say that what this man does with Tibetan bowls, bells, conch shells & a long horn is magical is just not enough. Like, what this blissful man does is ethereal. The whole of Berkeley receives a healing, young grasshoppers. It’s totally awesome and you will tingle with joy for days. I thank you, Karma.
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As we were leaving we briefly chatted with a woman who had traveled from Florida to attend the event. She waved at us saying “Namaste,” a spiritual Himalayan goodbye. “Namas Go” muttered my hubby. (It’s a humorous adlib from cosmic comedian “Swami Beyondananda,” who enjoys saying, Namas Stay & Namas Go!) It was time for us to go!

The Himalayan Fair also happened to be on the day that Prince Harry of England married former actress Meghan Markle of California. I had to go to bed awfully early to be assured of a good parking spot for the Himalayan Fair (I got it!), so there was no way I would be able to watch the joyous occasion which was televised beginning at 2 in the morning West Coast time. Whew. I had my home decorated for the big day, however. The mantle, you know, screamed Royal Wedding.

After I dressed in my classy Fair attire (I could have tweaked it to wear to the Royal Wedding if Harry & Meghan had only invited me. Cheeky, they were.), I put my robe back on and sat down to a cuppa tea and some current scones with my fave blackcurrant jam & imported English Clotted Cream. It was the least I could do for this delayed celebration of love.

Although I was drained by the excitement and exhaustion of the lengthy day in Berkeley, I still put a mini wedding feast together when we returned home to watch all that we had recorded on the DVR. Well, some of it I have yet to watch. If you are wondering what we dined on here it is:
Classic Potato Leek Soup -imported, imported English cheeses, including Royal Edition Cheddar from Somerset, I believe. The main entrée was a Shepherd’s Pie (frozen, duh) with a sweet potato topping. I added some imported Branston’s Pickle for a more authentic touch.

No time to purchase the dessert I wished for, so I gleefully ate a Cadbury Flake bar. The English & Irish love this yummy chocolate treat. Next day we had sliced Lemon crème cake with dinner. Short on time to get the ingredients for a proper shandy, so I had me a Guinness. Meghan, er, I mean, The Duchess of Sussex, is a fan of Ireland’s tasty brew. The meal was quite delish. Oh, and I was up way-too late until 2 in the morning catching up.

The Royal Wedding was awesome. It was an amazingly beautiful celebration of love that brought so much happiness and joy to a world in need of it. Love and best wishes to Harry and Meghan.
(My Royal Rosie has it so bad for Prince Harry. She traipsed around for days with a sign reading “Marry ME, Harry!” She refuses to remove her royal wedding attire.)
May was all about celebrations of love. Like the Beatles sang long ago, “All You Need Is Love, Love is All You Need.” Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Peace, love, oodles of joy & healing laughter,
Kathleen

 

Cloud Cuckoo Land

You likely have noticed that TheLaughLaundry has been on hiatus for the past several months. At least I hope you have. You may have wondered waaaazz-up with that? I hope, I hope, I hope that you missed my monthly take on the humorous/joyful events that take place in the life of a FUNcilitator. Wait, a WHAT?? You’ll figure it out, right?

If you have wondered where I’ve been, folks, I’ve been living in “Cloud Cuckoo Land.” (Some might believe we currently reside in a version of CLOWN Cuckoo Land. You decide.) I don’t even know what this means. While I was watching a British home-search program on TV (telly), the real estate agent used this term to describe the unrealistic expectations of an American who wished to purchase a home in a trendy (READ EXPENSIVE) area of London. At a bargain price, of course. I took a bit of a fancy to the expression, for some unknown reason. Perhaps I just fancied his posh English accent. Who knows?

I became trapped in C Cuck L because of my inability to keep up with the demands of the serial -NOT cereal! – decorating of my fireplace mantle. I know I said the holiday mantle photos would come to an end, but did I say WHEN? The fact is, the mantle demands to be decorated, folks. And there were just too many holidays/festive occasions going down in Feb/Mar/Apr. Aye, aye, aye, I tried. I really did.
I just could not decorate/undecorate fast enough! The St. Valentine décor fought it ought with the Chinese Year of The Dawg (Dog?) over the mantle space. And puleeeze don’t get me started with the St. Patrick’s elves, gnomes & leprechauns. NOBODY was chasing those wee folk away. Like the carnival cast from Mardi Gras who wanted to stick around for as long as they possibly could. I’m still finding rabbit fur left behind by the Easter Sunday Crew. Dagnabbit…or is that rabbit? (Maybe my Doggie Diva Rosie “plucked” some of her excess fur for a canine decorating scheme? Dunno.) Who would really know with this past Easter Sunday occurring on the annual feast of the patron saint of silly: St. Stupid. Or, as most people call it: April Fool’s Day. Numerous festive photos from the hubby include the famous Lakeshore Ave. house where the residents go WAY over the top with their Easter Bunnies, honey.

There are SO many photos snapped by my old man Henri, official photog of TheLaughLaundry. We even went to an amazingly colorful powwow in Oakland. Please Enjoy. And please forgive moi for leaving you without any of the joy and laughter which constitute a minimum daily requirement in these trying times. I’ll leave you with a quote from the late Beatle George Harrison who would have been 75!!! On February 25. OMG, he was the youngest of the Fab Four. Gasp

“All the world’s a birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.” (quotes/yourdictionary.com/george-harrison/610991)

I ate ONE leeetle cupcake. Okay, George?

Peace, love, joy, laughter & cuckoo- koo from Kathleen

 

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Hi there all you LaughLaundry readers. Yes, all three or four of you who have even noticed that there was no post for December. And yes, I do know that we are currently getting close to the end of January.  I could blame it on Santa Claus and his elves….nah. I could blame it on the weather (pretty darn nice) we have had for almost two months now…. unbelievable. We still have tomatoes growing on the vine. (Sorry. I realize that many of you have endured winter weather that totally sucked. Hi there Kevin)

OK, so I can’t put the blame on Santa’s elves, BUT I can put the blame on an “elf” I thought I knew: me bro Billy Danny:  I don’t know what possessed him to go total elf on Christmas Day. Billy Danny informed me that his Christmas ensemble magically came together; the elf suit, the funky hat and the craaaazy shoes that were gifted to him.
He was truly a holiday gift: He brought smiles and laughter to everyone who saw him that day. Look at his photo. Believe me, he wasn’t hard to miss. Those elf shoes made him merry.

So why am I blaming my bro for not doing my BLOG post?  I could not stop laughing!! Every time I thought of him gone green I created spasms of uncontrollable laughter. With all of the feel good endorphins from nonstop laughter, I just wanted to lie there, chill, and eat chocolate bon bons nonstop. However, I applied a few extras directly to my hips!

Thanks bro, you rock!

Both of our Christmas shopping treks to the annual Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue Fair happened in ideal weather. I even wore too much clothing the second trip. Guys roamed in shorts and flip flops, dude. (Probably Cal students, though.) It’s great fun to see crafts people we love to buy from show up for the holiday shopping season. Sharon, Linda, Sandy, we love you all. And per usual, folks stopped Henri and moi to take our photo. People got excited to see us. WE brought smiles to many faces. Just hope we didn’t bring on any uncontrollable laughter like my bro did to me. I don’t want a chocolate shortage, man.

Billy Danny really makes one groovy elf. However, my Henri is more like the Grinch when it comes to holiday decorating. I was fortunate enough to get him to put some groovy colored lights on Chez Bender in time for Christmas.  Most of our neighbors went all out Christmas in the month of December. Even the local squirrel community participated: I believe I saw a squirrel or two adding decorations to the palm tree on our front lawn. The furry fellows appeared to be attracted to shiny bright ornaments. I noticed some glitter in a bushy tail heading up the tree.  No, it was NOT Rosie Colleen! (SHE just wanted to be one of Santa’s reindeer for Christmas. She heard we left cookies out for the Big Guy to munch and she wanted to hoover her share of the festive goodies.)

New Years Eve was pretty much a bummer this time around. There was nothing for a local Deadhead to do. Not one member of zee Dead was in town for a show. Not even a Grateful Dead cover band to go see.  And because NYE was on a Brunch Sunday as well, there wasn’t an evening show to celebrate at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. Phil Lesh was performing outside of NYC, anyway. Yeah, I know, boohoo.  We enjoyed a yummy dinner from our local Thai place and had bubbly at midnight.  Some people in the neighborhood must think we live in the hood.  Illegal firework displays showered the sky.  They frighten Rosie Colleen. This makes her demand extra champagne. We are trying to reduce her bubbly consumption. (Hello, ice cream too.)

Give us peace-loving neighbors a break…puleeeze.

You can see that Rosie really rocked her new year’s attire.  Our little doggie diva dressed to impress –her daddy!  She was pretty exhausted from Christmas so she posed lying down.  Rosie Colleen wants all of you to have a very Hippie New Year!  My bro’s family and friends wondered if he was the elf from the shelf, and I suggested he join a self elf group. (Billy Danny is known for his fab ELVIS impersonations, but now he’s gone all ELFIS??)

Peace, love, joy, laughter & a pair of elf shoes to make you merry,
Kathleen*

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Too Much Thanksgiving

Listen –up, Sisters! I know that you know there are thirty days in November-
That’s thirty days to cook, clean, decorate and remember
that there are THIRTY-ONE days to do it all over again in the merry month of December!!
(Only like turbocharged)

Now let’s review my past month of endeavor: I cooked (sculpted a turkey from sort of fresh tofu), prepared amazing veggie side-dishes with fresh-picked produce plucked from nearby neighbors backyards. (I had to hop, skip & jump away from snarling dogs and desperate neighbors yelling at me to puleeeze take their overgrown zucchinis home with me instead. “Just bake some bread or some fried zuke chips or steam some of it, fer goodness sake!!”) OMG.
Too much vegetal abundance and so little time to waste: I tossed the zukes into sacks and left them on the front porches of other neighbors. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. And, oh yeah, I had to clean the house, the dog house, the bird house, the outhouse & the new neighbor’s house. Just one: She who hates zucchini and is slightly allergic as well. Who knew?

The decorating was fun, fun, fun. I don’t seem to know when I’ve done enough of the stuff. Some grouchy neighbors have asked me to back off. Stick with decorating my own abode, they say. They’ll remove the holiday decorating restraining order after Christmas–or so I’ve heard. Probably fans of the Grinch. Probably would turn up their noses at my tofu turkey, too.

We had warmer weather than is usual for this time of year. The beaches here in the Bay Area were full of sun worshippers eager to catch the last lingering rays of the departing season. (The ice cream truck drivers have been having a blast with an extended season as well.) Not the kind of weather we expect when we go Christmas tree hunting, either. (It seems like a “hunt”: All those folks walking around armed with six foot saws.) We were prepared for both summer/winter conditions. I knew it would still be warm when we arrived at the Christmas tree farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains. But I knew by the time we feasted on our picnic lunch and found a tree to cut it would be getting cold and dark. (Blame it on the old man, because this is his M.O. I prefer an OM, myself.)
You have no idea of the thrill/chill you experience as your tired hubby drives down the long, winding mountain road in the DARK, baby, with a YUGE Yule tree loosely tied to the minivan roof! (We even have to cross a LONG bridge over San Francisco Bay.) And I hope you never will.

We have to keep zee C tree watered until it makes its grand entrance several weeks from now. (Currently there is no rain predicted for at least the next two weeks/or if we decide to attend an outdoor holiday craft fair. THEN it’s guaranteed to rain cats & dogs, man.

Meanwhile, back in the hood, I keep my festive Fall/Thanksgiving decorations up until December 1st. I love the colors of fall & beholding the joy of the décor. It’s kind of a bummer removing all that collection of stuff. There is more décor every year, even though I’ve tried really hard to resist….really. Too much Thanksging.
However, some folks in the hood have been decorating for December 25 since the 24th ….of November, man. Gaudy flashing lights adorn a residence (Noooo! I suppose Walmart may have muscled their way-into the block) well within my view. Then the guy across the street put a tree –obviously phonay- in his picture window. As of yesterday his new set of colored lights were draped across the front of his house and garage.

My neighborhood is in a state of total chaos now with dueling decorating going down. Elves have been spotted roaming the streets searching for stray pumpkins, black cats and assorted fall décor. Pilgrims have been caught mixing it up with an elf or two. As long as Christmas tunes are left un-played, I’ll be OK. Oh, wait, they have been rolling holiday tunes since before Thanksgiving on TWO radio stations here in the SF Bay Area.
Next year they’re planning for Christmas in July. Oh JOY!

Peace, love, joy, laughter, & all the tofu turkey you want: And you know you do,

Kathleen

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Always look on the Bright Side of Life

“Always look on the bright side of life.” (I do believe that is a title of a silly ditty from some famous British comedians. Python peeps will know what I’m on about.) I do my best to do just that. I also make a special effort to live on the LAUGH side of life!! And that’s not always easy.

October was really challenging for all of the above. Everyday seemed to bring news of global/ local impending doom, gloom, or yet another major disaster on the horizon. A real bummer, I must say. I did have the birthday of the late, great John Lennon to celebrate. And that helped a wee bit. Had some lovely Guinness with my celebratory meal wishing it came in an oversized keg as I was really parched. I listened to John Lennon singing “Imagine” over & over. A lot of fans love him to this day. Count me as one of them.
“Give Peace a Chance” Yeah!!

Then the horrible fires started and began to spread across the California Wine Country: Sonoma & Napa Counties were severely devastated by deadly fires that devoured trees, homes, cars, trucks, innocent animals and unfortunate people who were unable to escape its path. Other areas up in the North Country were harmed as well. Even Santa Cruz County experienced a destructive fire. There was nothing on the television but death and destruction. The newspapers & Internet contained more of the same. Out of state friends & family were concerned for our well-being and phoned/emailed.

The smoke from the intensity of all those fires began to spread across the San Francisco Bay Area. The sky looked a dark grey outside my house. On my wedding anniversary, you could not open the door/window without inhaling smoke. I had a sore throat & a bit of a headache for days. Because of this we did not travel to Berkeley for dinner. The old man picked up a pizza & we drank a little vino (I needed a VAT) to commemorate the occasion.
(Think Paul Simon’s “Still crazy after all these years!”) How many years? I’m not sayin’.

The fires continued to burn for weeks into October, but life & laughs go on. Many courageous folks found humor helped them cope with overwhelming loss & suffering. They are truly amazing people. If they could find a reason to laugh, so could I!

And I did. I needed all the laughter I could find in order to celebrate my, like totally unbelievable, !!## Oops, oops, mayday! mayday! birthday. (NOT a birthday bash, folks; I felt like I had been bashed!!) We did go to Berkeley, although I considered going to Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. No performers playing that I had even heard of, and as San Rafael is located fairly close to the Wine Country, I heard the air quality really sucked.

We arrived at our fave Tibetan restaurant on University Ave. My birthday was on a Monday so I knew I could expect a very delish veggie entrée. I’m big on Paul McCartney’s “Meatless Mondays.” I’m semi-veg as it is. No problem ordering vegetarian, however, our fave chocolate dessert was not available. Ohhhhh Noooo!! (The owner did bring us a complementary traditional Tibetan dessert to share. Namaste, I say.)

“Don’t tell me that you’re out of the Tibetan Rice wine?” She was. But she emerged from the kitchen to ask how many glasses did I want, one or two? She was willing to make some for ME. After all, it was my!!## Oops, oops, mayday! mayday! birthday. As she set the full glass of wine down on the table she said to be careful, that it was very strong. I thought I might crawl out the front door, but I found myself break dancing while the Dalai Lama waved & giggled at me as I exited.
I could have had a second glass.

The hubby and moi shared a giant chocolate cupcake we purchased after dinner at a grocery store in Berkeley. The only candle I could find to put on the cake was from a box of colorful Hanukkah candles I bought on clearance. We’re not Jewish, but, hey, whatevah works. We celebrated his birthday three days later at a Mexican restaurant owned by guitar legend Carlos Santana. The birthday guest gets a free dessert garnished with lit sparklers. They gave me one too! Aye! Aye! Aye! And it was yum, yum, yummy.

I did have some fun decorating for Halloween. So did the folks at the big, big house on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland. The owner must have some connections or moo-la or something. Their holiday décor is looking more and more professional. Think Walt Disneyesque. Henri took some groovy photos. He also took a FABULOUS photo of our Doggie Diva Rosie Colleen. And even one of moi. I forgot to remove my reading glasses, however. Mon Dieu.

Sorry that I’m so far behind with my posting. Please remember to laugh. Put a little giggle in your wiggle. Y’all need it. Because the times they are deranging. (Think Bob Dylan)

Peace, love, joy, healing laughter & don’t forget the wine & chocolate, man,
Kathleen
“Always look on the Bright Side of Life.” (As much as you can, man)

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Where Did My “Summer of Love” Go, Man?

A fifty year celebration for the “Summer of Love” sped into town and drove away just as quickly. (in a psychedelic VW Bus, perhaps?) Where did it go, man? S of L, I hardly found the time to try and remember you. Oh, that’s right: If I remember you, it means I wasn’t there! Or so they say. I’ll never tell.

I do know that the summer of 1967 will never really go away, as it lives on in our hearts and spirits. (And in the trippie hippie decorating I had so much fun with, I never wanted to take any of it down. Fall calls,y’all.) But the “celebrations” were not what they could
have been. All because of the Man, man.

The original hippie residents of the Haight/Ashbury were pretty much left out of the partay with the cancelation of the SF Summer of Love Festival scheduled for Golden Gate Park. It would have been way groovy. However, the powers that be in SF shut it down for their own gig. It had its moments, mainly the joy-inducing tunes from 60’s artists who performed in a very compact area on a black topped road in GG Park. The Man wants to reign us in. Uh-oh, there were thousands of people packed like sardines
In to a teeny-tiny space-what fun!

Later, I learned from a young hygienist at my dentist’s office that the so-called hippie images projected on the wall of the historic Conservatory of Flowers were designed by techies! Explains why her little daughter became so excited watching images the techies designed swirl by. ”Look Mommy,” she shouted, “Fidget Spinners!”

Blame it on The Man, man. Read my Haight St. Fair post to see how the Man has made it too expensive for most crafters to peddle their wares at this event. I wonder if the Man is responsible for the cancellation of Berkeley’s “Shakedown Street” which was supposed to happen in September. It was a real bummer for many Deadheads, man. It’s the fab tunes that provide heaps of healing joy. We really need it.

And now back to the rest of September!
My darling diva Rosie Colleen said she wanted to have her photo appear in this post. Yeah, right. She fought with her Daddy & moi while we struggled to dress her in fabulous canine threads while plying her with doggy treats. Oh, and she insisted on organic top- shelf gourmet treats, she did. What to do? What to do? Whatever Rosie wants Rosie gets.

She says you bettah like, um, love her photo. She demanded that her Dad post her fave of the dozens of pictures he took. Whew.

Just when I thought that September was the month of meh, I received an unbelievable email from my bro. The subject said “Give Peace a Chance” which surprised me. I was already surprised to learn that he now fancied brown rice, in fact, he ASKS for it. I thought that nothing he could do would surprise me anymore. But was I ever wrong. My bro obviously had quaffed more than a wee nip of an adult beverage. His fave is the margarita. Is it evah. I have NO idea what else he may favor, however, something strange was going on. And who would have encouraged such behavior? He could have been partying with leapin’ leprechauns or surrounded by a bunch of craaaazy gnomes or maybe elves. He swears there was no alcohol imbibed.

Take a look at this totally far-out photo. He looks to be wearing a green shrub on top of his head, along with nature- themed glasses. He resembles a tripped-out Green Man/Father Earth done-up all hippie. Mother Earth could be so lucky! Billy told me it is not real. Like, it’s Snapchat. I’ve heard the name, but this photo looks real to moi. Like real wild, man. Brown rice, peace signs & then he looks like a full- on nature hippie? No alcohol? Nothing at all?

I just don’t believe it. The “Summer of Love” lives on.

Peace, love, joy, laughter & whatevah my bro was drinking…….
Kathleen

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Some Call It FOGust

August 1st would have been the 75th birthday for the late Jerry Garcia. If only he could still be here. His passing was more than just a bummer, man. After all, the man was like a spiritual leader for scores of Deadheads. A number of fans even were convinced that they saw his face in the clouds over the Grateful Dead reunion concert held at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara. I was present on that day, dunno. A number of famous rock n rollers departed the planet way too soon. Sadly, they’re also missing out on the continuing 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love. Unfortunately I celebrated Jerry’s’ birthday sans Henri. His good old (literally) card-playing buds demanded he be there, man. I also shopped ahead of Jerry’s b-day for goodies I was certain that Jerry would approve of. And I lovingly decorated my dining table as any DEADicated devotee would do. Hello, Flower Power cupcake & Cherry Garcia ice cream. The flavors were divine. OMG


(Puleeeezze take a look at the fab photo I took of my festive Jerry table, ok?)

Off we went on August 6th to the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre in San Francisco’s McLaren Park. It didn’t look like there was any fog swirling over the top of the park peaks. It wasn’t supposed to be that warm of a day, either. But the sun was sparkling (could have been glittered), and I figured that later in the afternoon the fog would arrive. (The chilly fog that typically occurs during the 8th month of the year is known as FOGust. Actually, practically every month of the year can be fog intense in San Francisco! ) However, I was sunburned for several days. Who knew? Sunburn in San Francisco? I guess.

Up the hill we went and were blessed with a primo space to park. Thank you to the parking gods/goddesses! However, despite the fact that the long & winding road (Props to The Beatles!) which leads to the JGA was no longer a sand trap, our seat-saving friends were absent. One of the two is a S.F. school teacher: Next year she better bring me her absentee note to sign!! The same note applies to the over-the-top tie-dye couple last seen at the Haight St. Fair. They said they would be there this year. For the second time, they did. You can’t always believe faux hippies it seems.  

In the expensive Bay Area with ever-diminishing opportunities for rock fans to hear free or low cost music, Jerry Day is like the crème de la crème with an extra scoop of Cherry Garcia. Like yum. It doesn’t get any bettah than this. And it does not help, not one bit, the fact that this festive party grows in popularity every year. You can’t blame folks for staking out a great spot for the show, but….really, camping there for the entire year? (I’ve heard) Yeesh. Some of us can’t do that! 

We hope that our friends were unable to find a parking space and will be there next year, because the grandstands were so jammed with Deadheads we could only find seats that sucked. These are the seats where people crowd in front of you and block the stage or step all over your feet. Next year I’m gonna get me some tie-dye combat boots. Some other folks were on the missing list; hope they were not on the moving list. These are some very groovy people, folks.

But enough of the festive folks we are accustomed to seeing at fairs and other events were present and accounted for. Cindy from Sacramento (Sacamenna) looked totally groovy as ever, and was featured on the local TV evening news. Girl, you rock! So do the hippie couple we see at many events. Man, can the hubby ever dance. He has appeared on many newscasts over the years. Nice people. There were loads of very grooveily- dressed folks in attendance. I’d like to believe that I was one of them! Oh, and I want to give credit to all the colorful hippie kids & even hippie pets in the crowd. I love their bright spirits. Plus, little Deadheads are very appealing. Where do their moms find those far-out threads? I mean, the pet moms. My doggy diva Rosie Colleen needs to know – like yesterday.
The music was awesome as usual, although the frenetic energy of the music cannot be described, it has to be experienced. But do not attempt to come to Jerry Day next year. Improve your karma and kindly leave the music and divine dancing to us locals –PULEEEZZE. The trees were bending from all the Deadheads who could not score seats or ground space. Hug a tree, don’t hurt them. Ouch. And don’t stomp on me feet, either. Karma baby, karma. And not the good kind, either.

Before I go, let me tell you about International Lefthanders Day celebrated in August, foggy or not. I’m a proud leftie, as was my dad, even though the Nuns forced him to learn to write with his right hand. By the time I arrived in the same school that my parents (aunts, uncles & cousins on both sides of the family) attended the Nuns must have decided NOT to force lefties to “change.” My father still used his left hand for everything important, however. He even had a set of left-handed golf clubs. I did have a guitar with the strings reversed, however –I still have it!- and I NEVER did learned how to play it.

But seeing as this is the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love let me tell you about some very famous guitar players who were/are left-handers: the amazing Jimi Hendrix & Sir Paul McCartney, who is now considered rock royalty. I consider Mr. Hendrix to be as equally royal. Guess what? I recently discovered that the dashing Ringo Starr is also a leftie! Like my father, he was forced to “change” as a youngster. HE does everything with his left hand, too.  

I love being a left-handed person. Check out all the celebrities who are of the same persuasion such as moi. The only bummer is that nearly everything must conform for the “righties”? Ask Ringo. And please note that the hubby has gifted you guys with musical videos from Jerry Day. And I’m in one of them: Check me out and enjoy all the photos from the birthday bash. The day and the event were totally hot.

Some call it FOGust.
Peace, love, joy, laughter & world peas,

Kathleen

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Ka-boom!! Ka-boom! It’s GOTTA Be JULY

The 4th of July is supposed to be the day America celebrates its independence. It’s a day when fireworks brighten the evening sky, when those “bombs bursting in air” go ka-boom, ka-boom! It’s a day, folks, only a day. Midnight or so it is all supposed to end until the ear-splitting torture begins….the very next day? (Enough of this rocket racket on the fourth. The crazy canine chorus in the hood at last stopped their howling so I finally could get some sleep…about three in the morning) Our trembling doggy Rosie hid beneath her “daddy’s recliner footrest for at least three weeks – count ‘em – after the 4th.
Rosie Colleen refused to leave her safety zone under the blanket- covered footrest until we bribed her with goodies. She demanded canine caviar. I know. Fuggedabout about any phony bologna sausage, she wailed. What’s a pet parent to do? (Who’s a good doggy diva? Who’s a good doggy diva?)

A few days later it was time to celebrate Beatle Ringo Starr’s 77th birthday. OMG, how can that be? I know that I say that every July, but OMG!! Since I’m on Ringo’s email list I get a heads-up on what is up with this still sexy drummer. Ringo makes only one request for his birthday: He wants everyone at Noon their local time to shout “Peace and love, Peace and love!” (Dontcha think we need it now more than evah?) Of course I was happy/hippie to do so. Shouted out my front door first, I did, adding a very “Happy Birthday, Ringo!! Even though the squirrels in our towering palm tree tossed their discarded nut shells down on me, I persisted. (Have a familiar ring??)
I danced on down to the rear sliding door sporting my Ringo buttons & other paraphernalia to receive a standing ovation from some real cool cats (literally) while I shouted “peace and love” far out into the backyard. Me-o-o-o-o-w!

July weather felt like the hot and humid weather I grew up with back in the windy city and ‘burbs of Chicago. Man, was it ever hot and steamy. And no, I’m not talking about lingering in a hot tub (in a bathtub where I come from It got so crowded in that there tub. It seems like there is a heckuva lot more space in a hot tub!). I don’t know where all the heat and humidity came from, but I sure hope it makes a speedy return to wherever it came from, y’all.

For some bizarre reason I expected the weather in San Francisco to be as I remembered it: cold and foggy. Yeah, right. Climate change has reached the beach! The fog never rolled in. And fuggedabout any chills. The weather could only be described as balmy. The hubby and moi had ducats to go to the United Irish Cultural Center at the edge of our old hood. On the corner was the second location of Java Beach, an Irish-owned coffee house/surfer joint where we had a bite to eat before we went to be entertained by a Catholic priest from Ireland. {There is a giant “dog” head attached to a pole on the median strip outside J. Beach. It’s all that remains from the former “Doggie Diner.” My boys used to go there to munch hot dogs & fries.)

Father Ray Kelly is known as “The Singing Priest.” He became a You Tube sensation when he burst into song while performing a wedding at St. Bridget’s Church in Oldcastle, County Meath. He soon began getting phone calls from parishioners who told him he was on You Tube. “What’s a You Tube?” he asked. Fr. Kelly soon found out. Kelly had performed the late Canadian singer/songwriter Lenard Cohen’s hit, “Hallelujah.” Well, holy moley said Cohen’s record company. You can’t do that. Eventually he was given permission to change some of the lyrics for use in wedding ceremonies. The company even gave him permission to record an album, which he did.

Father Ray is on a promotional tour here in the U.S. and I felt so blessed to see him. It felt like an oven inside the UICC, however. Even downing an entire bottle of Magner’s Irish Cider failed to cool me down though. The charming man is a “lefty” like me! Said he was a left-hander “me whole life.” He is donating his record profits to his parish and to aid low-income people in his native Ireland. Please Google Father Ray Kelly. He has a great set of Irish “pipes.”

I only wish that the good Father could have performed a traffic-parting miracle for us when we struggled to leave San Francisco! Oh, we got lucky finding a parking space. I think it was those leapin’ leprechauns accompanying Fr. Kelly who found us our amazing parking space. Or perhaps, I only imagined seeing those leps after downing an entire bottle of hard cider? Slainte.

Peace, love, joy & the lilt of Irish laughter,
Kathleen

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The first day of the month of June was “Pepper Day.” Whaaat? Am I talking red pepper, yellow pepper, purple pepper or an orange pepper? Or possibly salt and pepper? No, I’m talking ‘bout Sgt. Pepper, as in “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Yes, the 50th – OMG- anniversary of an extremely groovy album that is still widely played today. And I was fortunate that I saw a full-page ad in a local free paper that announced the newly-mixed album would be played in its entirety at a major theatre complex in San Francisco –for free, man! Pepper Power! Like far out.

You likely remember Beatles producer George Martin who produced “Sgt. Pepper’s LHCB.” Well, although he has passed on to his reward (likely producing some awesome heavenly celestial concerts), his son Giles Martin is “mixing” music with newer technical skills. If you have yet to hear Dolby Atmos, prepare to be blown away! I had to hold on to my seat as I felt the magical moving audio that Martin exclaims, “fills the cinema and flows all around you.” Excuuuse me! My entire body was filled with these never-felt- before vibrations. It can only be described as totally hippie trippy, man. I was SO lucky to score my free tickets for Bender and moi. And even luckier to score our two comfy, plush, padded seats as a ticket did not guarantee entry.
I had to be there, and I was!

Next stop in San Francisco was for the 40th anniversary of the “Haight/Ashbury Street Fair on the 11th of June. Now you know that’s usually a totally hippie trip and a half. This year was a total mob scene. I don’t know if it was because so many more folks have moved to the City (where DO they all park their cars???), or they assumed there would be a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of “The Summer of Love.” Dunno. There were rumors of a “50th” flavor at the 2017 fair, but it was mainly the shopkeepers who were promoting the SOL vibe.
But a large number of the festival attendees grooved with the hippie dress code for a change. Many folks were adorned in fun and funky threads this year, including yours truly. Mission accomplished: I have to dress for my peeps.

Posed with people from everywhere –or so it seemed. Zee hubby even took a photo of a darling dog sporting sunglasses! (There are lots of pics from the HASF, because the old man forgot to bring his camera to another MAJOR event held in Golden Gate Park. I don’t know that I’ll try to find a way to forgive him for that summer bummer. Heck, I don’t even know that YOU will, either! But I don’t want to mess with my karma, and you probably feel the same about your own!)

Per usual, nearly everyone had a photo-taking devise of some kind. And mucho pictures were being taken of the old man & moi in droves. And then we encountered our tie-dye buds from the South Bay: We were an awesome color- drenched tie-dyed tsunami, man. Waves of glittery color lit the street as we fabulously flowed down Haight Street. In a state of bliss? We were as blissed as the fairgoers looked to be.
Helloooo cameras!

Our tie-dye friends made a promise to appear at this year’s “Jerry Day” in San Francisco’s McLaren Park. I’ll believe it when pigs can fly. Although when all those Deadheads get together, pigs just may fly! I’ll let you know which happens first. OK?

It was a fun and exhausting day. I believe we brought a great deal of joy to the fair attendees, if their smiles were any indication. Just wish that music from the Summer of Love was played by the entertainers at each end of Haight St. The “stuff” I heard seemed out of place for an annual event on such a storied street that is the epicenter for the Haight/Ashbury experience. Next year, why not get down with Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and others? I promise to get down , but will I get up?? Dunno.

Father’s day was spent at a restaurant owned by another hippie star from the Summer of Love: Carlos Santana. He has more than one location so I doubt that he ever visits his restaurants like the Dead’s Phil Lesh, who has his one awesome place in San Rafael. Phil’s place is also a music venue unlike Santana’s. That’s a bit of a bummer coz Santana is one mean guitar player. His menu is Mexican –hello! – and my hubby was thrilled with his South –of- the Border- style, rack ‘o ribs.

Our last biggie hippie event for June was on the Summer Solstice. A genuine hippie who has held all the previous “Summer of Love” celebrations in Golden Gate Park was denied a permit to hold his own hippie happening in the park. Hey, it’s hard for a genuine hippie to catch a break in the money- centric society we live in these days. It’s such a hassle to come up with the bread the man wants, man.
The city really wanted to hold their own smaller event for the people, but mainly to please San Francisco’s wealthy elite. You know how that rolls.

They were going to keep the numbers small, like just over 4,000 or so, but too many people wanted in so they said that anyone could come. And did they ever come. Supposedly, around 20 to 25,000 folks swarmed the space we were confined in.
Again, lots of color, lots of tourists from all ovah zee place. My face has a permanent smile in place, and my fingers are frozen in a peace sign. Tons of photos were snapped of moi & none, nada snapped by the hubby. I must remember that my karma counts, huh?

The music was circa 1967, however. There were members of bands present and sound-a –likes to warble fab tunes from dearly departed rockers from the past. I was blessed to hear Janis tunes & a talented singer who filled-in for the departed (only from the band!) Grace Slick, vocalizing her “White Rabbit” & “Somebody to Love” tunes. Anyone remember Norman Greenbaum? He performed the hypnotic “Spirit in the Sky.” Just may have been his only hit. Dunno. If you are able to Google the Chambers Brothers, please do. Their psychedelic hit “Time” will rock your world.

The highlight of the evening was a projected colored light art installation that illuminated the 19th century Conservatory of Flowers. There were flower power and assorted hippie images drifting across the Victorian beauty in patterned coordination with tunes from the Summer of Love. (The Beatles, oh, yeah) This extravaganza was known as the “Surrealistic Summer Solstice Jam.” The real surrealistic jam was everyone leaving town at 10:30 at night. What a trip.
What a totally hippie June.

Peace, love, joy, laughter & groovy hippies, man,
Kathleen

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