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Jerry Jammin’ & Beatles Bliss

Did you remember that the late Jerry Garcia’s birthday is the very first day of the awesome month of August? It’s OK if you didn’t as I nearly forgot myself! Wondering how that could happen to a Deadhead like me? Well, I’m gonna blame it on GDSO. I think of it as Grateful Dead Sensory Overload. That’s a Dead post concert phenomenon where you experience the cumulative effects of all that far-out music, magic, flashing lights and some groovy dancing bears. (Dancing bears? Well, I saw them, so there!) So I was just plain (no, tie-dyed) exhausted for the next couple of days, people. But my neighbor sent my hubby home with some of her home-baked lemon cake after Henri dropped off a wee gift bag for her and the hubby. Maybe there is such a thing as good karma: Not only did I get an unsolicited reminder for Jerry’s b.d., I got some yummy birthday cake to boot! The hubby bought “Cherry Garcia” ice cream in Berkeley to have with zee cake. Delish, man. Hippie Birthday to Jerry!

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Jerry Day, known as a Hippie High Holy Day for Jerry Garcia fans is celebrated on the first Sunday of August. However, this year it was held on August 14. Oh, boy, nothing beats having to wait nearly two weeks without an explanation. (We don’t get many reasonable explanations these days, do we, huh?) We had to miss the 50th anniversary of the Festival of the Chariots in Golden Gate Park because of the changed date, but we are well-known at Jerry Day and could not miss this groovy birthday bash.

(You just know that my old man was so looking forward to the free vegetarian feast at the Golden Gate Park Hindu festival. Yeah, right.)
We brought our own “feast” to nosh at McLaren Park, however. But the real feast was the one we had for our senses. I don’t even bother to take the Parking Angel with moi to this event. Why bother? She would not function under such trying circumstances. (She told me she needed some rest after the trauma of the Haight/Ashbury Street Fair.) After all, word about the primo (free!) event always gets around to everyone who is a devotee of the departed bandleader. It’s announced in myriad publications because Deadheads still love print, as well as the Internet, TV and radio waves. The news may even travel on the Ethernet waves, man. And don’t forget to ask a psychic; they probably know, too!

I did mention the feast for our senses, didn’t I? I’m pretty darn certain that all the tie-dye colors worn by fans have increased at least ten-fold since we first began going to Jerry Day. OK, my math isn’t that great so I may be a few folds off in one direction or the other. But the intensity of so many colorful costumes is noticeable. People were complementing moi on my festival attire. I plan well in advance, although I’m game for groovy updates, folks. Hey, it’s a partay!

 

It was awesome to see so many familiar faces, including folks from the recent show in Mountain View. The fab diva from Australia was there. And when I gave her my business card she commented on my name. Turns out we are both named Kathleen. Pretty groovy, huh? Tie-dye Bob, he who has the busted toe from a skateboard mishap, is still trying to get around on his cumbersome contraption. He told us he has had worse injuries than that one! I did not ask what they were. Nice guy, though. A true devotee Primo was there, too. Man, can this dude dance. We have been seeing him for many years doing his thing. He gets shown on the TV news a lot because of his “primo” dance moves at every Jerry Day. We even saw a young couple we thought had missed at last year’s bash. Don’t know how we could have missed them with only a few thousand fans covering nearly every inch of the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre. I’m sorry, but EVERY inch appeared to be covered this year, so don’t even think about going. Please save this totally fab, groovy and freeee concert for me, man. Puleeeze remember, my old man loves free! We even have the fabulous folks named Wendy and Odin save us free seats every year. Odin even takes our photo. It doesn’t get any bettah than this. Well, maybe the music keeps getting bettah every year. How is that possible? Must be magic, I guess. Special props to the awesome Jessica, and to a super Deadhead Cindy from Saccamenna.

To summarize Jerry Day I quote our tie-dye purveyor friend, JB:
“One of the best days of our year. Seriously, our community comes out in force, showing their colors, and loving one another. What’s not to love?”

 

Indeed. Does anyone remember the post where I included a link to the famous Beatles Abbey Road crossing? Well, why not? I told my readers that I was photographed crossing this very road, but had lost track of the photos (my English friend was kind enough to be my photog.). I found them! Enjoy. It’s no wonder that London drivers wish that intersection would go away. I watch folks jumping into traffic all the time. I didn’t jump into traffic, but I was oblivious to the stopped cars you will see in my pics. Oh, and notice I am giddily smiling as I risk their patience. One of them is a cab and they are always in a rush. Check out http://www.onabbeyroad.com/cam.htm and take a look at moi. Thanks.

Road1 Road2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is a historical day in Beatlemania: The final Beatles concert took place in 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. I was not there for the final Beatles concert, but I was there for the final concert at Candlestick which featured Sir Paul McCartney! Candlestick Park was leveled so the land could be turned into some sort of corporate colossus. It’s sad, man. Some say the haunted strains of Beatles tunes can be heard when the vibes are just right. “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!”

As a dedicated fan of the Fab Four, I put on a Beatles tee, tie-dye socks and my Union Jack sunglasses. I fixed an amazing English dinner and downed some Shandy. All the hubby had to say was, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!!”

*Peace, love, joy & laughter, Kathleen *

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Rock Out!

July is a great month to rock out and party on. The US of A celebrated its 240th birthday, which gave us a jolly good reason for barbequing and indulging in hot fudge ice cream sundaes (OMG, I ONLY ate one. It was served in an oversized vat (I had NO idea vats came OVERSIZED), but if I don’t have a problem with that vat why should you?)

Rosie

Yummy, yummy, yummy, I had a gallon of fudge (whipped cream with a patriotic cherry on top) in my tummy.

However, I did have a problem with an overabundance of noisy fireworks this July. I mean, the celebration is supposed to be on the Fourth of July right? Some people in my neighborhood seemed to think two weeks before and three after the 4th are OK as well. My pooch Rosie Colleen has a message and a bone to pick with these lawbreakers:
“Ggggggggrrrrroooowwwwllll…. You scared me, bro.”

My doggy diva did manage to put on a faaaaabulous outfit for the National bash, dontcha think? She is so gifted. She so wanted me to decorate for the big partay. I obliged as usual. I also obliged the gifted Ringo Starr on his 76th (can that be that right??) birthday when I shouted out my front door at noon (adorned in a Ringo concert tee with assorted tie-dye accessories): “Peace and love! Peace and love!” Only a few Police cars appeared in front of my hippie home. I was soooo relieved when the men in blue leapt from their squad cars singing “All you need is love, love is all you need!”
Heck, I then did an encore in my backyard shouting “Peace and love! Peace and love!” for extra good karma, man.
(The Dalai Lama had his birthday the day before Ringo, and I knew he would approve. OM my gosh, he would.)

There were a couple of other big parties in July, but they were not the kind of paries I had any interest in! I need joy not fear. I was interested, let’s say excited, bout a major partay taking place at the end of July at “Shoreline Amphitheatre.” This famous music venue is located near the shore of San Francisco Bay in beautiful Mountain View, California. It was the warm weather concert venue for many a Grateful Dead show. We last attended a farewell concert for the surviving “Dead” members one year ago. That was supposed to be their swan song, but some of the guys in the band were having a lot of fun and decided to continue playing concerts. I think they liked all the “bread” they were making (NOT baking) The band name is a new incarnation, as they are now known as “Dead & Company,” minus Phil Lesh who signed a long-term contract with the farewell tour promoter. The popular singer John Mayer is a newcomer to the Grateful Dead scene, and is there for the younger folk I imagine. We sure do miss Phil, but Deadheads are adaptable, man. We come for the music and to commune with other Deadheads. And let’s not forget all the tie-dye fashion! Tres groovy, baby.

Speaking of tie-dye fashion, I asked my old man Henry, official photographer of “The Laugh Laundry,” to take a photo of a fabulously dressed goddess waiting to be allowed into the Amphitheatre. Turned out she was visiting from Australia! Thought I heard faint strains coming from a didgeridoo, but perhaps I was a wee bit dehydrated. Dunno. Where DID that Koala bear come from? Some straaaange vibes at Dead shows, folks.

We were so surprised that we were recognized from shows and festivals that we’ve been to over the years! I think my hubby’s terrapin hat is a “dead” giveaway. (He has the only one that we know of.) People seem to know me too. A couple of tie-dye folks from Berkeley’s “Shakedown Street” Festival were jazzed to see us. Bob is a youngish gray haired guy who was using some kind of funky contraption to navigate due to a broken toe. Ouch. How the heck did you break it, we inquired? He fell off his skateboard! Remember I said he was gray haired? Bob will be absent from this year’s Festival. He and his partner are in a photo with moi and zee hubby. Guess what? We posed for even more photos–again!

The guys were rockin.’ Drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman took me to new levels of consciousness. I thought maybe all those garlic fries and a trippy Portobello shroom burger may have been at work, especially when I saw Jerry Garcia waving at me. But I know it was the magical percussion and sound work from Mickey and Billy that
blew me away. I had an awesome rock show experience that could have been ruined by an unexpected sight: It was a happy man walking up the stairs garbed in a white shirt festooned with a red-hat wearing GNOME wearing a tie-dye shirt!!!

Oh gnooooome, it can’t be!!!!!! Every dang time I think they’re gone…..
Please rock out this summer and experience the magic of joy, oh boy.

Peace, love, joy & laughter,
Kathleen

The Summer Solstice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May Mirth

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

The Legendary Mayor Bosco

The Legendary Mayor Bosco

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April Antics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathleen

March Madness: Leprechauns vs. Bunnies

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

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      Rosie Colleen McShepherd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leap, Tweet, Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep Calm and Christmas On

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

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

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

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

It’s only once a year

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

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

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

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

So Keep Calm and Christmas on and on and on…

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

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

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

Peace, love, joy & laughter,
Kathleen

 

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

 

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Talking Turkey

Not long ago on a Thanksgiving Day

In an unknown galaxy like, so far away

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

adorned with whipped cream, soaring high in the sky

I seriously wondered how a turkey would taste

all roasted and basted up there in outer space

I imagined a feast with a scrumptious aroma

enough to induce a fast-food coma

Then I woke-up, what else could I do

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

Never, ever let this happen to YOU.

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

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

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