Category: Miscellaneous

October was one rockin’ month. There was the 78th birthday of the late, great – I mean groovy- John Lennon. (How can that even BE??) I always treat myself to a wee British treat on this very important day for Beatlemaniacs. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I consider myself a charter member of John’s fan club. Wish he were here. I’d fancy hearing him tell all the people to just “Give Peace A Chance.” Right On. We can do it if we try, try, try.

Right before John’s birthday we attended the annual “Indigenous People’s Day Pow-Wow” in Berkeley. It was canceled last year because of last October’s fires in the North Bay. There were many tribal people from the area and some major roads were inaccessible. But this year was bright, sunny and warm. It was a fine day for such a community gathering of Native folks. There were dancers, drummers and exquisite hand-made crafts to peruse. As I paused to view the jewelry creations at one particularly colorful booth, I asked the hubby what he thought about some cute barrettes. The man seated in the booth said he liked my earrings and where did I get them.

Well, I told him I bought them at the Pow-Wow several years ago from a lady with a booth on the opposite side of the Park from this spot. That “lady” turned out to be his wife, and she suddenly peaked out where I could see her. Nice folks, and she still makes gorgeous stuff that is reasonably priced. It would be so groovy to see them next year. I have a date with the Indian Taco purveyors as well. This is a yummy food. Try munching one if you ever get the chance. Or perhaps you would prefer the Indian Frybread topped with strawberry’s and dusted with powdered sugar! (Uh-oh, my fat cells are starting to expand.)

Just get SOMETHING, Okay!

The day after my beloved former Beatle’s birthday Henri and moi left for a leetle trip down to Southern California for an anniversary celebration. It was a l-o-o-o-ng drive, folks. We left mid-afternoon ( I wanted to leave in the morning ), which is so not advisable. Zee traffique is oh-so- heavy, mon. The freeway also isn’t as free as it once was either. Somebody decided to add toll lanes for workday commuters in a bit of a rush to get home/ go to work. And you need a well-paying job to afford the humongous toll charges. The trolls who control the tolls are working on installing them on my nearby freeway, too! What can ya do?
I didn’t have any lunch because I planned on eating at a legendary split pea soup restaurant. It was dark when we arrived in their parking lot and I crawled to the front door- not! I had an all-you-can eat soup special. For travelers, it was. (I guess they realize hungry folks get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic these days…or into the evenings.) I slurped down four or five bowls of split pea soup; and I could have slurped more, but the manager said I had more than enough already. Yeesh.

Our first rest area spot was not all that far away from the restaurant. I ate all that PEA soup, remember. On my way to the rest room were two workers who commented on my colorful cane. An older man wanted to know if it was a “Mardi Gras” cane. I just like color I explained. It makes me happy and most people respond well to bright color. On to SoCal! (Southern California)

Even though I have some groovy photos of our trip I hope you will Google -puleeezze!- The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside. This hotel is beyond magical. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Truly gorgeous, full of history, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. We got to Riverside at one in the morning and the streets were rolled up for the night. OK, so maybe not, but it was super quiet. We had a reservation for later in the afternoon, but we had to find a place to crash. I had thought that the Mission Inn was 55 miles north of Los Angeles, however, it was past L.A.! What a bummer.

I won’t say much about the hotel -after all it was an anniversary trip, you understand. But we had a special anniversary dinner on the unbelievably beautiful outdoor patio. There was a margarita involved and you will see I became a wee bit tipsy as a result. They hold a Festival of Lights every Holiday season, and they were already installing lights while we visited. The one experience I would love to have involves a “pre-arranged Elf Tuck-ins for children residing at The Inn.”

OK, so technically, I’m not a child, but don’t I deserve an Elf Tuck-in? I saw photos of, ahem, some of those “elves” and I want in. We left and drove to Seal Beach to visit & lunch -in Los Alamitos- with my warm & funny Laughter Yoga instructor who left San Fran to care for a parent. She now resides in his condo which she could never afford in S.F. She leads Laughter Yoga classes at the beach on weekends. HoHoHaHaHa.

We also spent a couple of sunny days in beautiful Santa Barbara, often referred to as the California Riviera. There are palm trees everywhere, along with a drive-on municipal pier over looking the deep blue sea. We spent time there finally deciding to eat at a view café located over the ocean. Fab view we had. Also visited the Santa Barbara Mission (went to mass there) and had a wonderful time. I did not want to leave Santa Barbara. Surfers and sun lovers living in harmony, man. Over the San Marcos Pass (Google it) to arrive in Solvang. Yeah, it’s a Danish theme town, but we managed to find an Irish Pub to dine in and have a refreshing drink and then visited yet another Mission: Mission Santa Inez. So beautiful, sacred & worthwhile. We headed home after a wee stop in Pismo Beach located half-way between L.L. & San Francisco. It was a short jam-packed excursion. We had a wonderful time but were glad to come home. And so was our doggie diva, Rosie Colleen, who was unhappy with her sit & stay vaycay.

The week after we returned was also birthday time for Bender & moi. Mine is three days before his & I decided on Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. I was there for Mother’s Day, however, the places I would have liked to have dined at were closed on Tuesday!! I got a free birthday dessert, but no cake. Henry wanted to go to Carlos Santana’s Maria, Maria in Danville. ANOTHER free dessert -for both of us!
Just what I needed -not!

The late & equally groovy George Harrison had the following quote about birthday cake:
“All the world is birthday cake, So take a piece, but not too much.”

Well, Henri went way overboard when he went to buy a cake we both could share. The dude bought TWO cakes. We gave some to our neighbors but still had way too much cake to eat! NEVAH again.
Next time I’ll apply it to my hips. OK, there won’t be a next time. I know I worked off some of it decorating for Halloween. And I did NOT eat a single piece of Halloween candy. The idea was just too scary, man.

Hope you had a rockin’ October, too.

Peace & Love & joy & laughter from Kathleen

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July was all about celebrations, leading off with the birth of the USA. There is WAY too much noise in the celebratory mix, man. It’s only ONE day for fireworks (where legal): not a week or so before and a week or so after. The hounds in my hood have asked folks to refrain from this annoying and frightening practice …PULEEEZE. My poor pooch “Rosie Colleen” is begging (no, not for dog treats, she howls for them).

The Dalai Lama was next with a birthday to celebrate, OM my. Following him on the birthday agenda was the big 78 for Sir Ringo Starr. And for that I say OMG! How can he have reached that age so soon? This newly -minted Knight looks totally fab, man. The only gift that Sir Ringo requests is that everyone (that means YOU!) get their bod to the door or wherever, and at noon (anywhere in the world) shout Peace and love! Peace and Love! I know, along with Sir Ringo, that YOU can do it. Throw on a little tie-dye, make that peace sign, and do something that the whole world will thank you for doing.

Because Ringo’s b-day was on a Saturday this year, I knew there would be neighbors out and about. But I was SO ready for them. I had me Ringo tee, bracelet and Union Jack sunglasses on to complete the Royal look, I did. It was no problem at all for moi as I’ve got er down dude/dudette. I exited my front door exactly at noon Pacific Time. Showtime! Ringo was off in Europe doing concert work, so I guess he didn’t hear me, huh? I then repeated Peace and Love (twice) at my backyard sliding door in case A neighbor or two missed the urgent plea. Only a couple of hounds howled, however.
Woof, Woof

July had a humongous surprise for me: Who knew it was the 50th anniversary of the film release of the Beatles in “Yellow Submarine?” I may be a major Beatles aficionado…. You bet I am! – yet I never saw this fab flick until the Big 50th anniversary. It played all over the country for a special, special engagement. Henri and moi decided to go to a classic movie theatre in the city of El Cerrito. El Cerrito is a groovy little burb where we used to grocery shop at a local natural food store where all the produce is organic only. They have a fab new annex with lots of yummy prepared foods for purchase. The hubby and I stopped there for lunch before we went to see the movie.

The staff at the theatre were all helpful and friendly. So were the patrons who said we won first prize for our attire. I even had a tee-shirt for “Yellow Submarine” on. We weren’t at the evening singalong showing, but you know that I was gonna sing right along with the Beatle tunes, don’t ya? How could I hear those groovy tunes and not sing? Come on. Oh, and the word “groovy” was used prominently throughout the film. How groovy is that?

As we walked back to the car (Mini Cooper, baby!) we noticed a classic British Triumph parked in front of us. Far-out! That is until we turned around and drove past the car whose other side had yet to remodeled. In need of a serious paint job, mate. We had a fab, groovy day in lovely El Cerrito. Cheerio.

Peace & love, peace & love, yeah, yeah, yeah & om, om, om


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,


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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/

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,

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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,


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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,


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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,

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MAY: Moms & Momos

Mother’s Day was SO much better than I could have imagined the day would be. Honestly, I was having difficulty finding a restaurant that would be extra special for moi, Henri and our older son. And (especially on Mother’s Day) it is always a bummer that my “baby” son resides so far away in way upstate New York But at least I did get to spend some quality Mom Time ™ with him last October. I was even there for my #@%**!! birthday celebration. I had a lovely celebratory meal at an Irish pub in Gananoque, Ontario, Canada.

If I had not travelled to New York State, the plan was to celebrate my birthday brunch at the trippy Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California, Henri and Moi dined there on our wedding anniversary several years ago, where we were treated to a free…that’s free, baby!… music concert by owner Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead! The Terrapin Family Band that rocked with him included his talented son, Graeme. I had such a blast I looked forward to a repeat performance. After all, you don’t turn #@%**!! each and everyday. Like gasp.

Since my dining opportunities were small in number (picky son) I thought of Terrapin Crossroads. I was so gonna go there by golly! Son and Old Man both found it acceptable. (Henri got to wear his Terrapin Topper.) The only thing that didn’t exactly cooperate was Mother Nature, which was a bit of a surprise with her being a Mother and all. She must have been a wee bit chilly, man. I did not think I would get to see Phil because we were going there for dinner, but he played his bass guitar along with his cute son who has now formed his own rock band. I only got to hear one Grateful Dead tune, but that was OK because Phil’s son Graeme played groovy tunes of his own.

The food was yummy, my dessert was awesome and chocolate- I did say it was OMG CHOCOLATE?, but that was not the most awesome experience that occurred.
While Henry and I were at Berkeley’s Summer of Love Telegraph Ave. Festival, the hubby wandered into a bookstore and found books by The Grateful Dead and various rock musicians from the 60’s on display. We were talking deep discounts for these books, folks. As any serious Deadheads would do, we purchased all three. (Such a deal, dude.)

After the Mother’s Day reservation was booked, it suddenly hit me! One of the books bought was authored by Phil Lesh. And maybe he would autograph it for moi. Yeah, right. I spotted him in front of the bar chatting with fans and sent my hubby over to ask for his autograph. He kindly signed it for me!! And he even added a personal message, yet. Oh, did I mention it was also a used book that was published twelve –count em – years ago!!
I had a magical time even if I shivered amidst the swaying palm trees lining the wonderful, waterside patio. I didn’t even have to walk back to the car as a whirling wind blew me back across the parking lot! Thanks, Phil!

Now I’m talking about Momos. Say what? Well, May is also the month for the annual Himalayan Fair in the Mysterious East Bay city of Berkeley. This happens to be one of my most fave events of the year. I mean, it has everything you could want in a festival that celebrates the culture and spiritual traditions of Himalayan countries formerly considered to be exotic (not in the SF bay Area, however). India, Tibet, Nepal, etc, were among those proudly presented. The Momos are a Tibetan-style dumpling and are quite delish. Berkeley has a significant Tibetan population. I saw a number of Tibetan monks amongst the fairgoers. They always are smiling and look so peaceful. They exemplify a meaningful way to live life, I say.

As usual the entire park had been transformed into a truly magical setting that made my soul sing, although I wasn’t asked to “jam” with any of the musical performers. Perhaps next year somebody will ring their temple bell for me. Or perhaps someone heard my chanted OMs & thought OM no! Dunno. Also dunno who was responsible for listing the performers online. Karma Moffet performs at the event every year, and his Tibetan bowls, bells, and tingsha playing are world-renown. When he blows that precious Tibetan Long Horn the city of Berkeley really vibrates with a sound heard ‘round the town. Although this musician/artist performs a magnificent healing ceremony for the benefit of all beings, this year he was listed as Karma Muffet. OMG! Get it right, people. Now THAT has gotta be some bad karma, man.
Because Karma is such a gentle man, and is a Tibetan Buddhist, I’m pretty sure he forgave the person who goofed. (Little Miss Muffet?) But I don’t know about the person/s who printed the mistake. Stay tuned.

My English tie-dye friend stayed in Hawaii this time around and left a desolate void at the event. Well, her booth which was always a riot of vibrant color DID have another way, way– less colorful exhibitor, but my friend’s totally rocked! I did encounter the amazing astrologer Andrea, where my friend once sold her wares, and she found herself equally bummed. She used to do her tee shirt shopping at this woman’s booth. To me, this woman ought to be addressed as “She Who Has the Most beautiful Hair.” If you need an astrological consultation (or maybe some hairstyle advice?) and you know you do, why not give Andrea a ring. No, not actual bling, baby. Call her phone number: 510-874-4911. E-mail her; Also Google her web address: And may the stars align just for you. Or it could be the Force?

I did try to keep my spending at a minimum this year, however. The Himalayan Fair is a great place to get fab gifts for friends at fair –haha- prices. Certainly beats the mall. Ouch! I would NEVAH do something like that. I do care about my karma, even Karma Moffet/Muffet’s.

Peace, love, joy, laughter,


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Ho- Ho- Holidaze

Martha Stewart wouldn’t hold a candle to me when it comes to decorating, or fancy shmancy dessert making skills. She would very likely hold a bejeweled or dough- encrusted candelabra over me, though.  She knows her elite place.  But I know who rocks & (Christmas) socks the holidaze*, and no way is it Martha, man. And please just forget about that Santa dude. Come on. Ho, Ho, Ho is from another century. sam_0159

It’s moi man!  Yeah, it’s me baby. I totally rock, sock & even roll my Yuletide holidaze all up with a big red, green, purple, orange, blue, yellow bow…um, that’s a tie-dye bow, man. I’m a wee bit famous for going over zee top with my decorating, and Christmas is my time to shine really bright. And I’m not talkin’ about battery –operated candles or assorted multicolored light strings on the tree or the house. (Although my hubby did a much bettah job festooning the tree and the outside of the Bender casa this year,)  I’m talking about the bright light created from the sheer joy that comes from decorating in December. However, I may have gone slightly overboard with our letter carrier:

I usually gift her a box of French chocolate truffles in the Bender mailbox right before the Big Day. I mean, she does have to deal with my Rosie Colleen’s heavy-duty barking on a daily basis, so I’m more than happy to raise the red flag and surprise her. But I wanted more this year; I wanted to decorate her.  I’m a serial decorator, remember?

My letter carrier went positively postal yelling all the way back to her undecorated (such a waste) mail cart. A good chunk of my tossed tinsel clung festively to her puffed jacket. I just wanted to provide her with a little bit of holiday spirit, OK?  NO cause for alarm I explained to a grumpy gendarme. Ho, Ho, Ho.

December is also the time when the hubby and I high tail it off to the annual Telegraph Avenue Holiday Fair for a little shopping therapy.  The first day was a bit of a washout. Yeah, it so rained. The second day was a Sunday and our fave tie-dye purveyor from Marin was there with her glorious handmade wares.  We made a return trip to Berkeley the following weekend to purchase additional gifts.  It’s great because we buy local and avoid the mall.  People always appear to enjoy themselves –they also enjoy the hubby and moi- (photo ops!) as there are so many wonderful arts and crafts to peruse as well.  I posed with a hippie who was wearing a very groovy velvet tie-dye coat he saved for and purchased on Haight St. in San Francisco.  People do love it when you make the effort to dress festively and tie-dye usually brings a smile to their faces. So, why don’t more folks make the effort?  It’s FUN. Come on and give it a try.  (You realize we’re going to have a genuine need to smile/ laugh in 2017, dontcha?)


Christmas Day was rather chilly, however, but we warmed ourselves with my homemade Guinness Gingerbread.  I may have guzzled a wee bit too much Guinness while creating the recipe. (Is that even possible?) But did I EVER feel festive!  There were even a dozen or more (burp) leprechauns who showed-up at my front door. And they weren’t there to sing Christmas carols either. They wished to “sample” me gingerbread. They were in need of some Guinness aromatherapy, they said.  I told them to go sniff my Christmas tree instead.  Might remind them of the forest I demanded they return to.  Never knew that leprechauns could turn such a deep, dark shade of green, though.


We have a new canine neighbor whose backyard fence we both share. Her name is Lexie. She’s sooo cute, but that princess pooch is one little yapper. Rosie is extra nuts when she hears Lexie barking, which I did not even believe was possible. The hubby took a photo of the pretty princess in her pink canine couture. Now Rosie Colleen wants her own pink onesie –glittered and with a fluffy hot pink boa to accessorize. What’s a doggy mom to do?

*Gnome Update*: In Gnomevember I asked that anyone who wanted to help me name my new gnome email their suggestion to moi. My bro Billy Danny wanted to know why I did not include a photo of my unnamed gnome.  I thought a colorful description was sufficient –wrong!  The bro suggested a name as did my son in New York. Howzabout you give it a go! Henri took a photo of the gnomie in my homie, so let’s see what YOU can come up with.  Send your email to moi at


Till next we meet, peace, love, joy, laughter & PULEEEZE name that gnome!


*Holidaze* *All the craycray, daze and overload caused by too much stuff to do, too much celebrating, too much partaying, etc., just TOO DARN much, OK? **

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