Beware, or I'll eat you alive.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Had to Take a Break~~~~

Well Sweet Things,

I just had to take a break from the Bay Area and once again drove down to the Santa Cruz Mountains.

I took a chance that a hotel or motel room would be available, but this time I did not go all the way to Santa Cruz but instead stayed in Brookdale just 5 miles north of Felton on Hywy 9.

I think it was last year that I drove past it on my way to Santa Cruz and thought it would be a quaint place to stay for a night or two.

Work was boring me, and the weather had turned yucky, not warm enough, over cast, just a bore.

I was ahead of things and with WiFi I knew I could keep in touch if I had to, so I made arrangements and on early Thursday evening I took off, Chugged South down 880 and I have to say chugged because it was afternoon going home traffic.

But near Los Gatos I took the opportunity to turn off onto Hywy 9, the back door, granted with it's twists and turns it is slower, but at least people don't try to run you off the road like they do on Hywy 17.

I was so into going along the road that I missed the turn off for Brookdale Lodge and had to back track, not unusual considering how tight things are.

And I was lucky they did have a room available, I had a chance to see the age of the building, it had been around for a long time, and it seems that maintenance is a never ending chore, but the room was comfortable, the water hot, the fellow stayees quiet.

They have a swimming pool, a cafe for breakfast and lunch, a bar, live music on the weekends, and the most fantastic dinning room, a brook runs through it and an excellent dinner, more than enough to eat, I had to take what was left over to my room and finish it later when I dined there on Friday evening.

I was told that I should come in the spring after the rains and see the brook when it runs at it's fullest.

There are some down sides, no air conditioning but it seems that people come to the mountains to get cool and air conditioning is not necessary, heat really is.

So I used Thursday to settle into my room and do a bit of simple exploring in nearby Felton in the evening where I came across a park that had a historic bridge built and had a chance to walk a bit in Henry Cowell redwoods with a family before sunset. It was enchanting, and felt otherworldly

Granted Felton had a number of the "modern" conveniences, like a chain drug store and super market, the Starbucks, but if one looks you can find things that are still "rustic" and "Homey".

Friday I used to see what the town of Brookdale and the other nearby communities, there was a church that had been converted into a museum, I was lucky to get there just as docent was opening it up, I bought a couple of books about the area and took pictures, the lady who was more than happy to talk about things told me about some of the other historic places I should check out and about Roaring Camp, Big Trees Railroad and was advised to get there early for parking----it seems that "Thomas the Tank Engine" was going to be visiting Roaring Camp

Saturday Morning I got up early and had a very good breakfast at the Lodge's cafe, blue berry pancakes and they didn't skimp on the blue berries, I got there early and found parking and was already being overwhelmed by little children and their parents clamouring about "Thomas"

The closest I came come to the excitement is like opening day at Disneyland, a lot of children, a lot of steam whistles and a lot of parents tired before the day begins, but friendly helpful staff at Roaring Camp, I managed to buy a ticket to ride the Narrow Gage train that takes one up Bear Mountain----this was different from the Thomas train ride-----very informative, historical peaceful and just delightful. We even managed to catch a glimpse of a buck I think his antlers we coming out of velvet, of course the children cried out "Bambi", it just stood there for a moment and then trotted off while everyone clicked their cameras.

A lot of old growth and second growth redwoods, all preserved for future generations I'm happy to say and the people of the concession of Roaring Camp also working to preserve it as well.

I've got to admit, I spent time in the "General Store" afterwards buying books in regards to history about California and the West---it seems my library is going to be taking a different turn.

I again had a chance to take a walk from a different end through Henry Cowell Redwoods, seeing it from a different time of day, but I felt at peace with it even though I could hear the steam train whistles it seems as if they were not intruding but a part of the fabric of the area.

I left about 1:30 just when it was getting really, really crowded, but staff was smiling and working to make things run smoothly, I could appreciate that. I also manged to get information about future events they are going to have, I have to plan on going down for Labor Day weekend when they have their Great Train Robbery Event---it should be fun as well as a nice little get away.

I couldn't leave right away as there was a pond with ducks and since I also bought a bag of duck feed I had to toss it to them, all fat and sassy.

In going back through Felton I checked out several place that were more out of the way and quiet and found several to my liking, they still had rooms available for Labor day weekend, but I'll have to reserve them by this week.

When I eventually returned to Brookdale Lodge, I was amazed to see the parking lot filled with antique autos----I found out that they were doing a run from the Bay Area taking Hywy 9 with the owners staying at the Lodge overnight.

I made the acquaintance of one couple that had the most marvelous Model T. They invited me to join them for dinner at this little restaurant in one of the communities that was just two miles away, so jogging and jolting along I had the most fun ride, and enjoyed the wonderful company.

Paul and Gretchen live in Fremont and knew a few acquaintances of mine, they said they were coming up for Labor Day weekend as well and recommended one place that was on my list, it seems they are also members of a Gunfighters re-enactment group that is taking part in the Great Train Robbery event. Now I have to go.

But all too soon Sunday morning has come, I had to return back to my home. My new books are now on my shelves waiting for me to read, in checking my e-mail and work everything is going smoothly.

So now I just have to do a little grocery shopping, pick up my mail from Lillian and treat her to dinner and tell her about my travels.

This next weekend I need to go to my gold country properties, I know it's going to be hot, thank goodness my car has air conditioning. I'll also be taking some more clothes to my country house and see how things are going with them.

But after my little "escape" from the world----I'm beginning to wonder do I want to continue to do what I'm doing---do I want to do something else. These are things I'm going to have to ponder on.

I know I have to make money, and my money needs to make money even in these tough times, it will take some careful consideration.

Until later, Kisses Sweet Things.

Next weekend I'll be visiting my gold country properties.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Happy yet Sad Day~~~~

Dear Sweet Things,

This day was both happy and sad for me, happy in that Lillian and I were part of a very successful fundraiser for K-9's and sad as well because we lost a beloved part of our life.
This evening I talked to Dad over the phone, he needed someone other that Mom or baby sis to talk about the passing of Walter Cronkite.
I could understand his feelings, he said "Mr. Cronkite was the only news man I felt I could trust when reporting the news, I feel that a part of my life is gone." I can understand that.

Although we didn't have a television in our family home(which will soon change), if Dad was visiting one of his church members and the news was being broadcasted he'd only watch it if Walter Cronkite was reporting.
I missed his CBS years although I did have a chance to see his news specials and I managed to come across video copies of his reporting of the Kennedy Assassination and the Moon Landing.

I think that if I had seen him in his "Hey day" I think I would have majored in journalism instead of business finance and investing.
He presented a demeanor in journalism and reporting that was both calm and as unbiased as possible. A quality that many journalist strive for. He set the bar that all people should try to achieve.

I find it very ironic that he passed away so close to the 40th anniversary of the Moon Landing

Both Dad and I agreed that we will not see anyone like him again.

"And that's the way it is."

Goodnight Mr. Cronkite. And God Bless.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm Back!!!

Hello Sweet Things----

Did you miss me? Well if you didn't I hope you all had a wonderful, fantastic 4th of July and that your Summer is going very, Very well.

I'm Happy, Happy, HAPPY!!!! If I was any more Happy I'd be over the Moon as some people would say.

Alright----Why am I Happy----It's because I had the most wonderful visit with my family!!

Some people have doubts about miracles----I no longer have those doubts----they can happen---when they are meant to happen.

Once again I decided to take the train down and I'm so glad I did---there is nothing like riding on the train.

They met me at the station and going home was just wonderful---fortunately my Mom knew that I was tired from the trip, but there was so much Dad and I wanted to talk about---but Mom wisely knew that I had to get some rest---but I insisted on taking the evening walk with Dad and little Trixie and we managed to do some "catch up".

Dad and Mom are more relaxed and happy and they seem comfortable with themselves now, nothing up tight and baby sis---well Ted IS her "Boyfriend" I like him too, I think they are a good match for each other.

Mom has her little sewing venture going, and she is enjoying herself---she did this wonderful bias cut gown and a simple cap-crow wedding veil for this young lady, fortunately no brides maid dresses, such a knock-out was the dress---Mom said she's going to do one for me as an evening gown in this deep jewel blue color with a matching wrap----I'm floored.

We were all in the 4th of July parade---Ted entered his Buick and we were all dressed 1950's style as if we were going on a picnic---well Mom had packed a big picnic lunch for after wards. So we rode in his car in the parade---he won 3rd place.

And he's moved his entire car rebuilding into Dad's garage---I asked Baby Sis if she objected to him working on old cars and she said "I know were he is on the Weekends and in the evenings---sometime I have to chase him home to his parents so they will remember what he looks like."

Sis and I were like school girls in our bedroom, talking about things---when she told me again about how Dad had the old church sermons moved out of the garage, she said and even I feel it too---like a huge hidden monster has left.

Even though Dad had to work a few days the following week after the 4th of July we managed to squeeze some things in, Mom, baby sis and I went to a few vintage shops to look for things and baby sis has taken up crocheting, she looks for the old patterns and Mom shows her what some of the wording means.

Baby sis still has another year of college, she is concerned if there will be any jobs for her, she said "If I have to I'll take out a small business loan and start my own business---I have some ideas" she feels that within two years the economy might begin to even out, she also might go back to college for her master's degree, Ted is going to be getting a Masters in business management next June.

It's good to see their optimism---Ted has already fixed up two of his cars and sold them for a profit---the last weekend before I returned home--Ted showed up with this flat bed truck that had extra seating in the cab and said to us "Wanna come along?" So Sis and I sat in the back with Mom and Dad up front and we went out into some back road that I didn't know existed and met up with this old man who was clearing out his brother's house---and what we found!!

And old model T Ford---I looked at it and even Dad remarked "It's a basket case" but Ted was enthused about it---so we got it on the truck and then, the old man took us through the house, well Mom couldn't refuse a lot of stuff that the old man said he was going to throw out---to him it was just junk, but I saw the gleam in Mom's and baby sis's eyes--- so we put a lot of stuff inside the body of the model T and went out again the next day and brought home another huge truck load of things----

And baby sis confessed to me that she got a vendor's re-sale license---she's been taking things to the "flea market" and doing very good---I turned to Dad and asked him if he knew about this and he replied "Who helps her load and unload the car and then takes a snooze on the fold up recliner?"

And she still pulls in great grades---

And more than that---which is why I have such a smile on my face when I think about them.

But I haven't been letting the grass grow under my feet either----Lillian has me helping her tomorrow in a dog washing event at our local Pet Food Express store---for each dog washed---all the proceeds will go to buy body armour for K-9 police dogs---it's being held at all the Pet Food Express shops---some people will come in and wash their own dogs but we'll help the senior citizens and the disabled wash theirs.

The body armour for K-9's is $1,200 each---K-9's are also sworn police officers but they do not have medical benefits it has to come out of the officer's pocket and the police department does not provide body armour, nor do they have a retirement program for aging police dogs.

This is a very worthy cause and if anyone wants to send a donation this is the address------

WSPCA "Cover Your K9" Fund

P.O. Box 620629

Woodside, CA 94062

Now this is for California---

Any of you who reads this that are out of state---contact your local SPCA and find out if they have a similar program and how you can donate to it.

And Lillian is not letting me rest on Sunday either---she is a member of several historical preservation programs and on Sunday, I'll be dishing out ice cream at an ice cream social being held at the Historical Shinn House, proceeds to help preserve the house and buildings and grounds.

So it seems my weekends are getting booked up on my "dance card".

Frank and Joe have been offering to help out as well, and Lillian has "roped" them in.

And how is your summer shaping up sweet things?

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Hello Sweet Things,

I know some of you have thought I've gone missing in action again, but the truth of it is I had to put in extra time to make sure my accounts were on track and to have have the right people managing them.

With the end of the fiscal year, so much to catch up on.

But I am right now with my parents and baby sis for the 4th of July holidays, took the train again on Wednesday and everyone met me at the train, I love the feel of it, the sensation of it all.

Right now I'm posting this from our Library, the main street and so many houses are decorated for the 4th of July, there is going to be a weekend crafts festival, and music, food in the park and a parade on the 4th down main street.

And we are going to be in the parade, baby sis's boy friend has entered his vintage car in the parade and we are going to be dressed up in period clothing, Mom has my outfit ready---I was wondering why she had called and asked me for my meaurements, after the parade we are doing an old-fashioned style picnic in the park, seems the family has joined the local art deco group.

The weather here is nice, a bit warm but nice.

So I will not be posting here for the next two weeks---that's right sweet things---two weeks, I'm spending it with my family, Dad can't take the entire time off he has to put in a few days at work, but he's going to be with us for this weekend and next, with an extra day off here and there or an afternoon depending on things.

So much changes are happening here in my parents home, good things, my Mother and Father look younger, more youthful, and joyful. Baby sis and her boyfriend are doing well at college, he's going be completing his degree in December of this year, I asked if he was going to be in the June graduation and he said no, since his parent have attending his 3 older siblings, it was getting to be old hat for them, and he'd much rather have it as a Christmas celebration.

Right now he's looking for a job to segway into, so he's also been going to interviews.

Mom has slowly started her sewing business, just word of mouth right now among the members of the Art Deco Society, but a lady from a civil war re-enactment group has approached her in regards to a Civil war Ball gown. Mother is looking forward to the challenge, it's a beautiful pattern.

And myself---well I'm happy, I don't know how long this happiness will last because I know the reality of life always intrudes, but I feel that this is a very positive turning point for everyone here.

The space that those cabinets of sermons took up has been filled in with a work bench that Dad and Ted (babys sis's boyfriend) use to work on things. I never realized what an excellent wood worker Dad is, he and Ted found a pair of old "captains type" chair left on the side of the street so they claimed them and now they look positively new.

Dad is also planning to have a storage shed built to the back of the lot to store the period stuff that everyone will be using, already there are 3 adjustable dress maker dummies in the upstairs hall covered with old sheets, they look like ghost at night. Trixie just growls at them, the sooner the shed is built the happier Trixie will be Dad says.

And somehow the parents had aquired 6 baby hens, Mom said they showed up on the front porch last weekend in a box, so Ted and Dad quickly built a coop and chicken run for them at the end of the vegetible garden. Ted is pretty sure they are hens and not roosters, a friend of his who is into agriculture "sexed" them. Fresh eggs Mom says, although Dad sort of muttered "the eggs may cost more than what's in the store" but just shrugged his shoulders.

I just laugh about it, it feels wonderful and so old-fashioned.

Well Must go, my 1 hour of free time on the Library computer is almost up.

Have a Happy, Safe and Sane 4th of July Sweet Things.