Beware, or I'll eat you alive.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A sad end for 2011~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

Some of you have asked me why did I come home early since it was my original plan to stay with my Folks for the New Years.

I saw that things were becoming a bit unsettling in my type of business and thought it best to return home and head to the office to talk to some of my clients. Fortunately things worked out well.

And in another way it is a good thing I did return early. Joe finally returned to my place after a difficult long shift. He's angry and sad at the same time.

Angry at how the "Occupy Oakland" group is wasting resources and taking those same resources away from much needed areas and both angry and sad that someone for no apparent reason, shot and killed a 5 year old boy at his parents Taco truck stand.

The suspect is an adult male, but you will have to go to to read more details, it hurts me to even think about it. A little boy who never even had the chance to go to kindergarten, who never had a chance to live a life. This is the third little child killed this year and near a food truck, that one would think would be a neutral area.

ANIMALS!!! JUST ANIMALS!!! This shows that something is so terribly wrong with our society that people without compunction can kill just for "KICKS".

Do not get me wrong, I am not anti-gun, I still believe in my 2nd amendment rights, it is not the gun----it is the Animals behind the gun, they do not have a soul, they do not have a conscience, they do not have love or compassion or a moral compass...they have just become thugs, monsters, beasts, animals and even animals have a sense of what is right and wrong.

Swans and Wolves mate for life, wolves will try to move away if possible from human contact, hawks hunt for food, killer whales hunt for food, their instincts maybe primeval but they do not kill for pleasure or just for the sake of killing. They kill for food, to defend themselves and their mating territory, to defend their herd, to protect their young. When they are in battle it is rarely to the death, because that defeats their prime directive to procreate.

Heather and I took a walk along the beach early this morning, then stopped for coffee at our favorite shop.

We talked about this sad news and coming from a college student who has to deal with other students and teachers she said an oft repeated statement "The more I know about people the more I prefer nature's animals; at least you can understand the actions of nature's animals, but the human animal, suppose to be high on the food chain, suppose to have a thinking, reasoning brain and then goes beyond disgust" and she is only 20.

Last night she and I and Lillian we're going to go to our favorite restaurant but decided to leave a bit late, Lillian loves to watch Judge Judy and the Judge had a defendant that was talking Ebonics "Like I feel ya" and statements like that, looked like and talked like he hadn't cleared out his sinuses, would yawn like he was bored with the whole thing but still tried to play the judge. The plaintiff did put together a very good case even though she did not have a signed contract, but she spoke well, answered her questions well, had enough circumstantial evidence to win her case.

This morning Heather and I discussed about what we saw on Judge Judy and the killing of the little boy, and we knew that it goes back to not enough discipline both at home and in school. And to cap it all those students going on a holiday ski trip and being found with drugs and alcohol and the Elko, Nevada Sheriff not even siteing them??!! I was surprised to hear Heather say "We are too soft, too P.C. to much sparing the rod for these little S*&#@^T's to get away with it. They should be sent to a Marine Corp basic training camp and be called and treated like the maggots they are to square them away!!"

And Heather is a Liberal, but she is changing fast. And I think that in due time the pendulum will swing that way, there can only be so much turning the other cheek, she wants to kick Ass and I don't blame her. I even showed her that I was carrying Pepper Spray, since I do not have a C & C licence, our County Sheriff refuses to even consider giving a legitimate, legal, responsible gun owner one.

The Pansy.

So today, the both end and start the New Year's right, Heather and I are going out to buy her a can of Pepper Spray. Yes Heather, I "feel ya".

All of you Sweet Things have a Happy and Safe New Year! Kisses.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Memories

Hello Sweet Things,

I have to say that this is one of the happiest Holidays I've ever had with my family.
I only wish Joe was here, but for him sometimes duty comes first and he wanted those who have children, especially to have the time with them.

Sometimes I think he misses the idea of having children, but as he says "we can do what we can to protect them".

Baby Sis and her fiance have set a wedding date, and they said they want it to be a simple wedding, nothing fancy, just close family and friends. Mom is glad that it's set for nearly a year away, yes Sweet Things, they want to get married on Dec. 31st. of next year.

At least we'll always have something to celebrate besides New Years. I think its just marvellously wicked and perfect.

Both Mom and Dad are happy and yet a bit sad, the baby will be leaving the house, but I told them while we were sitting at the kitchen table and baby Sis and Ted were out of the house, I said "Just think of the fun with the Grandchildren".

I wish Sweet Things you could have seen the sparkle in their eyes. I know Dad will spoil them. And yes I'm still here at the house with them, I won't be leaving to come home until tomorrow, all too soon.

I've been following all the news, financial, and political reports, the slight down turn is something I half expected. With the Middle East, as one of my co-workers says, you can always expect their governments to come up with something to spoil Christmas. And yes I know that is not polite to say, but one needs to be honest, it seems that something like that always happens this time of year, just when you don't want it to happen.

I am just devastated about the Ad Exec who lost her children and parents in the house fire. I can't think of anything worst than to lose family in such a horrible circumstance. The Exec was right when she said "My Life is in there!"

Both I and my parents have fireplaces, but the one thing we are very careful about when we have burned a fire is about embers, I usually let mine completely die in the fireplace with a tall firescreen around it to prevent sparks, something that Dad taught me ages ago.

Not that I would have burnt a fire with all the spare the air days, even in this freezing weather, even Dad got into the burning candles in the fireplace idea and that always works. And I have on the outside of my fireplace a trap to drag the old coals out into a metal bucket, wet down with water and leave for one more day away from anything flammable.

Dad and I took a number of walks with his dog Trixie, meeting people, looking at things, talking about things. I feel closer to him now and to Mom, but especially to him. I understand what he went through and I feel the sense of guilt that he has about his treatment of me, of Mom and of Sis.

Even though we've made amends, I sensed that this was something he might take to the grave, so I gently confronted him about that. He admitted it to me when we were walking Trixie on Christmas Eve.

I looked at that little dog that was wearing a nice little warm doggie coat and asked him "Who bought the coat?" He looked at her and said "Well your Mom mentioned that the nights were getting cold and one day we were at the pet store getting her food and treats and such and I saw this nice one, fleecy on the inside and plaid on the outside, not too fussy and I bought it. Wasn't sure she'd take to it but she did. Gets happy when I grab it first and then the leash." He smiled at me "What are you getting at?"

"Didn't you feel that when she was on your porch that you had a second chance?" Dad thought for a minute then nodded.

"Didn't you see Mom when she was soaked with water from cleaning the old refrigerator?" He nodded again.

"Didn't you tell the other fellow that was trying to date Baby Sis that she wasn't interested in him and it would be best to not pursue the matter?" Again Dad nodded.

I said to him "Dad whatever guilt you have been feeling, let it go, what was done in the past, is past, Mom, Sis and I are wise enough and forgiving enough to let it go and enjoy the new you, and work with you as well. How are your employees how do they feel about you?"

He said that they feel that they can work with him and that the company even in these bad economic times is holding its own and has even gain business, making a profit. He had to inform them that there would not be any financial raises but they did manage to get them Christmas bonuses and are hoping to add eye and hearing care to their medical benefits. They've also have created a transportation benefit for them if they switch to public transportation or create car pools which nearly all are doing. "Many of them feel that even if they don't get an increase in salary, there is a savings in other ways, they are willing to work with me, and most importantly we've avoided any layoffs."

I said to him "Would that have been truly possible with the old you?" Not as easily he admitted.

"Then let go of the guilt" I said. And we continued walking but Dad had to asked me a question. "What about you?" he said, I looked at him and replied that what he has done, kicked the monster out of the house (meaning his old church), doing things to make it better for Mom and Sis, taking me into his confidence, being proud of my accomplishments and, yes apologizing to me in his own way is the best gift one could receive and for that I forgave him quiet sometime ago.

And with that we hugged. And then all of us, with Trixie staying at home to 'guard the house' went to Christmas Midnight Mass and such a joyous feeling there was!

I'm not going into Christmas Day but it was fun! And I managed to Call Joe later in the day, he was at Lillian's grabbing some Turkey Sandwiches and such to take to eat when he'd take a break, he told me about his Christmas Eve adventures, he even played Santa Claus when he managed to catch someone trying to steal packages from a car. The thief got away, but with the commotion the kids came out. Fortunately the only thing damaged was the lock on the trunk of the car but how to explain the presents...quickly Joe said that Santa left them in the trunk for their parents to find and take into the house BUT they couldn't open them until Christmas day.

Then he told them about the NORAAD Santa Tracker and that Santa is going all over the place. The Father was happy with the save, and said he'd put the car into the garage because of the trunk lock.

At various places he'd check in and owners would give him coffee to keep him warm, he wanted to pay but they said they were giving it away to everyone. He managed to get some homeless guys to a shelter or they would have frozen up. One other was a very happy drunk who asked to be taken to the drunk tank, well better than nothing thought Joe.

He said he'd have more to tell me when I got home.

New Years he'll be pulling duty again, so I'm going to take my friend Yoshi to the Hornet for New Year's Eve, even if we have to dance together although I think there will be gentlemen who will ask to dance with us. Her niece will be staying with Yoshi's Mom, unfortunately Yoshi's Husband is over seas and will be celebrating the New Years in Japan at least he will be with some family members.

Baby Sis and Ted will be going to a 1940's Dance and have invited the Folks to go with them, I'm sure they are going to enjoy it.

I'm sure a number of you think I'm becoming old and staid but I still do wild things, just more quietly.

But for now I'm just enjoying what life brings my way, no great expectations but enjoying the ride.

Kisses Sweet Things.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Of Hot Apple Cider & Pumpkin Spice~~~

Well Sweet Things,

I am taking a well deserved break right now. Yesterday we were busy, we found the right tree for Lillian at one church tree lot and I found mine at another. We wrapped the cut trunks in damp newspapers, but that may not insure that they will remain fresh through the holidays, so we trimmed a little off on each and put them into buckets of water and allowed them to soak until later.

Heather and I went off in Lillian's van and Joe set off to get what I call "grain lights" not LED's if possible, I find them although efficient the colors they do are too "cold". O.K. we have to be energy efficient but for the Holidays---let's splurge.

Heather and I found used in great shape ornaments at some of the thrift stores, and I found several old boxes of tinsel, but what I wanted them for was to put them up on the mantle (boxes and all) as decorations---a hint of "A Christmas Story". But my best find was an old fashioned angel, the angel is of paper but with spun glass halo's much like the kind you'd find from the 1950's, she maybe a little large for my tree but I fell in love with her.

So yesterday evening, we put the tree's up in their stands adding more water and some stuff that is suppose to help them stay "fresh" much like the stuff one adds to fresh flowers. We worked on Lillian's tree, taking our time, breaking for dinner that was slow cooking in the crock pot. A nice hearty stew with rice, and lots of vegetables, Joe complained he was eating too good, I had noticed that his uniform pants were getting a little tight in the waist. So with a promise to watch he eating habits and do more work outs especially for the new year we finished Lillian's tree.

We enjoyed looking at it, relaxing, listening to KOIT radio with their Christmas music, Heather called out for us to see the full moon, and there we were in the brisk cold looking at the full moon, Joe had his arms around me and just then Frank Sinatra came on singing "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas". We just stayed there looking at the moon, in each other's arms, listening to Frank sing, and it felt perfect, that I didn't want it to end....But eventually it had to, with Heather bringing us back into reality with mugs of Hot apple cider and a wink in her eye at us romantic "old folks".

And groaning at desert of pumpkin spice bread that Heather had baked up the day before. Lillian said that she is becoming quite the cook. But Heather confessed that there was something soothing about doing something so old-fashioned, a sense of slowing down and breathing.

I could understand that. I've been looking at things, technology in a different way, using the DVD recording device to save things for me so I won't miss them, to watch at a later time( for example Svengoolie finally showed Bob Hope's "The Ghost Breakers" and I recorded it while at Lillian's). And being more careful with check card usage.

Recently here Lucky store had their credit/debt card scanners compromised by thieves who would steal the information and then create false debt/credit cards and use them to buy things from merchants using other people's accounts. We have become so use to the convience of these cards that we as consumer's who work hard for our money are at risk.

Although I'm in the financial business, I've been taking a very hard look at things and technology and I realize that I am forced to use things to keep me abreast for my job. I've decided that for my personal use I will cut back on somethings and learn to live a simpler more organized life style. I know with Joe's job that can be impossible as he could be called into work at anytime at any hour depending upon the situation, so that is where organization and flexibility is important.

I'm fortunate that I have a cleaning lady who is so efficient that she makes my home life easier, and that I have neighbor's and friends I can call upon in a pinch. But I am looking to eventually "retire", I have an excellent income from investments and I am beginning to feel the need for "ME time". Perhaps I'll get involved in a hobby that pays for itself. Who knows, but I am glad that Heather has discovered the mental relaxation of making "pumpkin spice bread" and is already thinking in those terms.

For Joe, he's beginning to feel that way, unless something changes, he will become too burned out and it could affect his health. We've talked about this on and off. So with the new year we shall see what our options are going to be.

I know I will not abandon where I live right now, nor my job, I have some things I need to put into place, I am thinking about the long term further "down the road". And it's best to start thinking about it now or at least after the Holidays.

For now, I'll finish trimming my little tree, allow Joe to nap, check to see if this is a spare the air day and decide on wood or candles in the fireplace. Koit is playing softly in the back ground, I've made plans to visit the family, Joe will need to stay here unfortunately, he said he wants to cover some of the other's schedules so they can have time with their family, him being 'single'. It's his Christmas/Hanuka gift.

So Sweet Things, if you do not hear from me before Christmas, have yourself "A Merry Little Christmas" now, Happy Hanuka, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Worries & Sadness~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

I have been keeping both my eyes and ears glued to the media on any changes in the European economy. Because we have become global we do have the "Butterfly Effect". What happens in Europe affects the U.S., what happens in China, Japan, the middle east, Canada, South America affects the U.S.

I have continued to encourage my people to be conservative and think of their basic needs, shelter, food, medicine, health care, utilities, transportation---I know I'm over-simplifying, but I really cannot give out more information, but I can tell you this I have given as gifts, when I can purchase them, Elaine St. James' books on simplifying one's life. For my older people they have taken it to heart, and I can see that their faces are more relaxed, less stress.

On the younger ones they do not like the suggested restraints, but I've become a sort of "Mama Bear" and have told them that it will create a greater comfort level for them as they get older.

I've been doing it too, not walking so much on the wild side, I think having re-connected to my family and with Joe in my life along with Lillian's comfortable and wise wisdom and Heather's youthful zeal on things, I am finding the simple things to be so much better.

Although a bit chilly today, Lillian, Heather and I are going Christmas Tree Shopping, I have no desire to put up my "black" tree (artificial) I want a real tree. Not too big, table top size.

Lillian is going for something a little larger about 4 or 5 feet, There is a couple of lots sponsored by local churches that I know will have something just right and it benefits the church programs for the needy. Now I'm going to need Christmas ornaments, but Heather said to check Salvation Army, Goodwill and St. Vincent De Paul, so I will, but the lights will need to be new.

Joe is tired, angry and sad, he knows it's not going to be a happy Christmas for one family, an 18 month old toddler was taken off life support yesterday and died. His father is a rapper and he had taken his young son to a food truck where he and some of his "homeys" were going to do a music rap video, when someone snuck up on them and spray shot at them, some where hit but the little boy was shot in the head, he had been on life support, and the doctor's told the family that all indications showed the baby was brain dead.

What frustrates Joe is that the people know who did it, they won't give up the names, and these same people complain that the police won't do anything---how can they if the witnesses refuse to at least anonymously give up names.

Joe and a number of other officers along with the chief of police were in a march organized by the community and family members in memory of this little boy to try and have people speak up and help the police stop this violence. What makes it even sadder is that the boys father will not co-operate. There is rumours of possible gang retaliation.

Between this and the expenditure of dealing with the idiots of "Occupy Oakland", law resources are spread thin. Joe said to me that the basic message of the "Occupy" groups is correct but they are going about it all wrong, and they need to be careful of doing more damage than good.

There is a petition going around to re-call Jean Quan, the question is "who would be better".

I am glad that I live were I live and not in Oakland, or Berkeley. Not that it's much better in a way, this local government has made mistakes too, not as bad as others but still I cannot turn a blind eye on things. With my work it's impossible.

But for a few hours I will think on church Christmas trees and ornaments, and getting some toys for Toys for Tots, giving food to the food bank and doing what good I can where I can.

Joe has some time off, so he is going to drive Lillian's van and help us haul some trees, tonight comfort food for all 4 of us and hot apple pie and cider as we decorate Lillian's tree.

And you Sweet Things---what kindness are you going to do to help others this Holiday Season and through out the year?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Thanksgiving Update~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

I hope you don't mind the picture that I've posted but as you go further down reading I think you'll understand why I posted it.

Thanksgiving with my family was wonderful! Baby Sis and Ted her fiance, Mom and Dad, and Trixie the dog, (she was a good little girl).

Dad also invited some of his co-workers who couldn't get together with their families for Thanksgiving, he said it would be a shame for them to be alone.

I'm not going to tell you the feast we had, but we had all the traditional fare, but substituted sparkling cider for wine. I loved it, Mom had made copies for Baby Sis and I of her recipes she said she plans to copy all her favorites for us.

I had a chance to call Joe while he was at Lillian's for their dinner, he said he had to go on duty that evening, so they were having theirs early and he was taking extras as sandwiches for his late supper. Turkey with cranberry spread sandwiches, it may make for a strange sandwich but tasty.

Afterwards we played games first it was "Squeak" a card game, and then "Chicken foot Domino's" I had no idea how to play the latter but I learned. Mom is deadly at that game.

It was good that Dad had invited Alex his co-worker to dinner, his wife had to go back east because her Mother was very ill and she had to help out her sister, Alex was feeling lonely and was thinking of some restaurant then taking in a movie, but Dad said he was coming to our house, and Ralph who is a widower, he lost is wife last year and his children live out of state. Ralph's funds were a bit tight to travel he had just paid off the last of his wife's medical bills, which is sad because although the insurance came through for the bulk of it, there were some that could not be written off and the cost of the funeral as well. And Dad told Ralph that he wasn't going to be alone for this holiday or for Christmas either.

Seeing my Father put himself out there for Alex and Ralph during their difficult times warmed my heart. Dad was always so self-contained before, but as we took our late night walk with Trixie, Dad told me that he is looking at people and situations in a different way, and sometimes, the best gifts he's discovered are the one's that are not bought and gift-wrapped but one's from the heart. He had seen Ralph just looking so down after his wife passed, that he thought he might be suffering from Depression and so one day after work, they got together for coffee and Dad suggested that Ralph see someone to help him make sense of his loss, he knew that the priest from the church that he and Mom go to is also a specialist as a grief consular, so he suggested that Ralph go and see him, even if Ralph is of a different faith.

And it seems to be helping. Dad said that Ralph is now more focused at work and seems a bit lighter in outlook, but the holidays can always be a set back.

I thought that Dad was going to plan to retire next year but he said that he's going to put it off for another year or two. He enjoys the routine and he said that if he retired he'd just be getting into Mother's way, but he told me that he is quick to ask the younger staff members their opinions on things, more staff input, more "brain storming" to which the productiveness has increased as well as moral.

I'm planning on going down the day before Christmas and staying through New Years with the Folks, with Dad's Internet connection I'd have no problem staying in touch with the office.

Joe had a busy Thanksgiving holiday, there were good things and difficult things, the shooting they had recently in which a 1 year old was shot in the head has him feeling down, and the little guy is still in critical condition, just because someone wanted to take out a local rap artist. Joe said that because of the violent competition between rappers and their "fans" no one wants to hold a rap concert, there is no guarantee that no one will not get hurt.

I said in an earlier post that I'd have to modify my thoughts on education and jobs...on the education portion I found out that there are special programs for people who do not have the finances to pay for the training jobs, and this is being offered though several government programs, it's to help keep people on track and off the welfare roles by training them and getting them job assistance especially for those that do not have the funds to pay for training or junior college.

The other thing is that I read in a recent Bloomberg Business Week magazine (Nov 14, 2011 ?approx.) the cover said why Americans won't work. Well they do but they don't want to or can't seem to handle the hard back breaking work like picking tomatoes or cleaning fish, or changing beds. In Alabama alone because of a law in regards to immigrants many of them that were doing these jobs, left because of their illegal status, even when employers used the government Internet program to verify their status.

So several young men who were out of work went to pick tomatoes and most of them quit after one week---Why? Because the work is hard, picking tomatoes in the hot sun. One Employer stated yes the work is hard, but they have the same type of guys working in the hot foundries and that is hotter and more dangerous than picking tomatoes, but the difference is the benefits.

One young man said it is hard and he's just amazed that these immigrants they just keep at it, hardly taking breaks and he's exhausted. Another employer also admitted the work at his fish factory is hard too, cold and long hours but if the work isn't done the food that is produced will rot and go to waste.

One young white male said that for someone like him such work is like impossible, how can anyone white or black do that kind of work that the immigrant workers are doing.

It had me thinking that since these are minimum wage jobs, with next to nothing in benefits, it is one of the reasons why some of our food costs are so low, years ago from the teens to the 1950's in Montery, Ca. there were all these sardine processing factories, and everyone for blocks and blocks around worked in these factories and they were not immigrants per se, so when the sardine boats came in the factories would blow their whistles to call everyone to work and they did, hard, cold, miserable, stinking work to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their backs.

Now the sardines are gone fished out, the Cannery factories on Cannery Row turned into Restaurants, or boutiques and all hurting in this current economy. And back in the depression and drought of the 1930's farmers lost their homes, and people moved from place to place camping out in shacks to work the next crop, the classic picture of the farmer's wife with the two children taken by Dorothea Lang, is iconic for that period, but what a lot of people don't know is that the family eventually by following the crops and available work found themselves in California in L.A. and some years later that same woman, much older saw that photo of herself at an exhibit and she was mad, she said that they were not poor and are not poor, she has a nice house and wonderful children and grandchildren.

What had happen is that when the husband found work and she found work they saved up enough to buy a house and live comfortably, they, according to this same woman were just going though a hard time and were doing what they could to find work.

In the National Review magazine either Nov. 14 or 28 there is an article about the "philosophy" of the Occupy groups, but it is, according to the author a dangerous "Marxist" philosophy.

My thoughts were almost on the same line, I felt that the Occupy groups were really not focusing on the problem and were in danger of falling victim like the characters in the novel "Animal Farm".

As I've said before I worked for my education, hunted for grants and scholarships, went hungry, shared a place with 3 or 4 other girls, walked to save on bus fare, had to go to free clinics when I got sick, even went a dental school when I had a toothache and allowed myself to be a teaching "device" while my toothache was being treated to save money, or for check ups or cleaning, I don't need to tell you how painful that was. To get my hair permed or cut I'd go to a beauty college and allow myself to be a "guinea pig" for students, more than once I had to wear a knit cap to hide the mistakes.

And I had no guarantee that there would be a job out there for me, NONE! I went to the Library the other day and a staffer whom I'm friendly with said that they had one opening for a technician, only one and 92 applicants for the job, every one with different degrees of experience but one, just one edged out the rest by the tiniest of margins.

If the people who are a part of the Occupy groups think that by doing this it will get them jobs, it won't. They forget we are now a Global Economy, not a National one so they are competing with people from India, China, the Philippines, Mexico, etc., etc., etc., for jobs. So they better be prepared to pick tomatoes or clean fish.

The one thing the Occupy groups do have right is the so-called hidden bailouts by the government to the banks, but they need to look deeper, if some of these bailouts didn't happen, more people would have their homes lost with no options for re-financing.

But as I've heard one old-timer say to me "Gas, Grass or what you sit on, nobody, but NOBODY gets a free ride."

Now a slight apology, perhaps I'm over simplifying things, being too simplistic, the issues that surround our economy our un-employment, our fee raising, is far more complicated. I for one do not approve of handing out bonuses and high raises on the backs of students and their parents, I do not approve of stock holders getting big dividends on the backs of the elderly, I do not approve of our government slackers at the Capitol doing cut backs on our elderly, widowed and children.

So if the Occupy groups want to really make a statement, Do it at our Nation's capital in the Middle of Winter if need be and let everyone else get to work doing their job that you are intent on disrupting.

Sorry Sweet Things---I really have a lot of pent-up anger tonight. I think I need some pumpkin spice bread that Mom sent to me, some hot coco and watch "Columbo" on the retro T.V. program when times might have been simpler.

Kisses Sweet Things and thank you for letting me Rant.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An update~~~

Sweet Things,

While waiting for my train I made a couple of magazine and newspaper purchases.

And in reading the November 28, 2011 issue of Time, I came across something that is having me reasses me thoughts on one aspect of my comments.

I will post that reassement later as my thoughts become more fully formed.

Take care, Sweet Things

Happy Thanksgiving~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

I am on my laptop, and am going to be heading towards my family home via the train, where I'm at has Wi Fi and I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I will be with my family for the next few days, Joe, Frank and his girl friend Eva, will be having Thanks giving with Lillian and Heather, then Joe has to go on duty, no chance for the "Turkey Snooze" as he calls it.

He's been exhausted with moving the "Occupy Oaklanders" from hither to yon, and he's discovered that many of these so called protesters are long time homeless people who refuse to go to shelters, get help or anything, a waste of resources and energy he says. But it seems that the cold and the rain is taking the wind out of them for now. He's hoping that they will form themselves into a more legal positive advocate group to help people who are out of work, losing their homes etc. and give them legal assistance instead of protest demonstrations which only attract the violent elements.

But it's the city of Oakland and it's tax payers who are the losers, businesses have lost business, some have refused to settle here which is a loss of job opportunities, according to some of my sources if "Occupy Oakland" did not do their demonstrations, nearly 1,000 jobs were going to come to Oakland, but are now lost and over $2 million in taxpayers money has been wasted on "Occupy Oakland", money that could have been put to better use.

The general consensus at my office is that the "Occupy" groups have not done much good, true they have pointed out what is wrong with the government and Wall Street but they are not doing it where it needs to be done---Washington D.C. and right on Wall Street in front of the Stock Exchange---but then who wants to freeze in the snow.

I can understand why college students are protesting the increase in tuition's, considering that the State Government is cutting off funds, but when I was going to college I worked, went to school shared a room with 4 other girls, sometimes went with out food, wore clothing from thrift shops, used free clinics for health care, and just scrambled to exist.

They say that education is a "right"---I'd have to agree but---and here is where I know some people may disagree with me, which is alright---because it's only my opinion. So here is where I disagree---all children have a right to education from kindergarten through the 12 grade or High School, which is paid for though the taxes as paid by the citizens of the city, county, state, country----and that will give one the basic skills as needed to get most basic jobs.

But if when one is in High school or even younger, one decides on what vocation or career choice you wish to "train" for then that is on your own coin, you want to be a Doctor, Lawyer, financier, you pay for it when you go to College and other qualified learning institutions. You want to be a carpenter, plumber, electrician, mechanic you pay for it going to vocational school and becoming qualified for it and then apprentice yourself on the job to learn more.

You want to become a first class chief---you pay for it, you want to become a legal secretary or para-legal you pay for it.

You pay to learn these skills and then you work to improve upon it and become masters of your craft, learning from the masters to pass that craft on. And it is hard! Very hard.

One time I was walking back to my shared room from work (to save on bus fare) I had to sit down on a front stoop, because my feet were aching and I knew I still had 12 long blocks to go, there was an elderly African-American gentleman sitting at the top of the stoop and he said I could sit to rest my feet.

We talked as the blood got back to my toes, about life, school, education and he said to me, with a pardon for using inappropriate language "Gas, Grass or Ass, nobody, but nobody gets a free ride, we've all gotta work fo' it Missy, we's all gotta work fo' it. And when we works fo' it, it's all the sweeter." He reminded me of the Aesop's fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant and said "That Aesop feller, he talks about life and how stupid and greedy and lazy people's can be and doin' it on the backs of us Ants, not right ya know, and then when their candy is takin' away they's cry about it, well don't cry I's says, go and works for it"

I walked many a time down that street while I was working and going to school, he'd call me Missy and I called him Mister, I never did learn his name, he never asked for mine, but there was many a time I'd rest on that stoop when he was there and we'd talk.

When I got my degree I walked to that stoop in the hopes of seeing him there but he wasn't so I rang the front door and his daughter came to the door. I told her about our talks and I wanted to let him know I graduated and was going to get my first job. The lady sadly smiled at me and said that they took him to the hospital the other day, he had a heart attack and died.

She asked me for my name and I said "He always called me Missy and I always called him Mister" she looked at me sort of strangely and said "He started sitting on the front stairs and kept saying he was waiting for Missy, then he'd come in after a time and said he and Missy had a nice talk. My husband and I thought that he was dreaming, because Missy was my younger sister's name and she died some years ago."

The lady told me that Missy had a lot of talent and potential but wasted it when she got involved with drugs and died from an overdose, they thought he was dreaming when he'd started talking about his talks he had with Missy but never discouraged him because he'd seem happy and the day before his Heart Attack he said he knew Missy would get her diploma and do good. She was stunned to learn I was the "Missy" he was talking about. And her sister always called their Dad "Mister".

We fell crying into each others arms, she thanked me for making her Dad happy and I thanked her for all the wisdom her Dad gave me.

Now when someone comes along and I know they are working hard and "paying their dues" to get that job or position and I know they would be good at it, I help them, because they are the Ants who work and strive.

And every Thanksgiving I say a prayer and give Thanks to having meet "Mister".

Happy Thanksgiving Sweet Things! Kisses

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Quote to think on~~~

Sweet Things, I came across this quote and it describes how I feel about the print media:

"A newspaper is tactile, engages all of the sences, and leads to more immersive reading than what people might do on line." ---- Arun Gupta


Sunday, November 13, 2011

A slight disappointment~~

I am sorry to report Sweet Things, but no "Ghost and Mr. Chicken" last night.

Instead they ran "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman", but all was not lost, we enjoyed that as well. But Lillian Tvoid "The Indestructible Man" that was running on another station. "Saving it for an opener next week" she said.

I love it! Joe put in a long, cold shift and just came home, I made him take a hot shower to warm him up. He did not tell me what was happening on the "Occupy Oakland" situation, which is just as well, I can always find out on the news.

To my Sweet Fram, I think I will rent that movie you suggested, just to see the country, and that is so very interesting about your gun purchase---I am jealous! I need to go to a gun show.

On the television idea, when Baby Sis and Ted told me about that I ran it by Joe and even he liked the idea. So we too are going to be watching for an old cabinet, that would work. Joe said he needs a few hobbies to get his mind off of things. On his car restoration, that is going a bit slow, finding the right parts, having the time to do it. But in the end it's all worth it.

In my home I have a lot of old-fashioned things, I think it was because I'd always been searching for my "imagined" idea of a family home, and also I always felt that there was a sort of old-fashioned homey style to it. It was my reaction to what I felt I had been missing from my childhood. Now it seems to be coming full circle.

The sun is out right now, and I am going to take a walk down towards the beach, Heather is working on a paper, and Lillian said she'd join me for brunch at one of our favorite cafe's she'll pick me up from my walk once I call her by cell phone.

Joe has gone to bed, and I can hear his snores rattling the rafters, that only happens when he's very exhausted.

By the way Sweet Things, I still have not bought a car yet, I rented one for the Trip to Disneyland last month, and it was a good thing it was a good size Dodge van, Baby sis and I stopped at a number of shops on the way down and back. Had quite a few finds.

So I hope before Thanksgiving I'll be the proud owner of a new car. But I make no promises.

Kisses, Sweet Things

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Comfort things~~~

Hello again Sweet Things,

I can relax briefly, Lillian and Heather have invited me over for dinner, Chinese from our favorite restaurant, followed by fresh baked pumpkin spice bread and pumpkin spice tea. Lillian is on a pumpkin spice kick and frankly, Sweet Things I love the smell, it's so homey and old fashion.

It conjures up the image of great Grandma's kitchen warmed by an old fashion wood burning stove, with good things baking in the oven, a cat cozily curled up on a kitchen chair, hot chocolate and warm cookies.

And for entertainment later this evening watching a old horror movie host named Svengoolie as he presents Don Knotts in "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken", I am looking forward to something that is so simple and amusing from 40 years ago, another time, another place, another era.

Lillian is also going to have her fireplace burning, she was able to get seasoned apple wood from a friend of hers in the valley that has an apple orchard, every other year some of the trees are so old they no long produce anymore so they must be removed, the soil energized and new apple tree saplings planted, the old wood is our gain, except on no burn days.

I need something like this right now, I miss my family although they are doing well and I'll be going down there for Thanksgiving and I hope for Christmas. Dad has discovered "A Christmas Story" and thinks it is the most hilarious film he has ever seen, not that he ever went to the movies much.

Baby sis and her fiance persuaded Dad to buy a television set, this was very hard but what they did is they found an old television cabinet that had doors on it, in a beautiful cherry wood, it was from a T.V. set that was made in the early 1950's, the set had been removed ages ago and the cabinet was revamped to hold a tape deck. Ted spotted it at a yard sale made an offer and then removed the tape deck--it was broken and not repairable, so Ted cleaned up the insides and brought it to the house.

He and Baby sis explained about the Retro T.V. programs that were now being broadcasted and he told Dad about DVD's. Dad is not too fond of new things, it takes a while to convince him, but once he saw what could be "brought in" he felt more at home with the Retro Stations, all on Antenna no cable or satellite.

Then the DVD player, well said Dad "If it's nothing improper". How could the 6 Thin Man movies be improper said Baby Sis, Dad was convinced. But in keeping with the house, the T.V. was installed into the cabinet with the DVD player underneath, thanks to Ted's handiwork and it is out of sight with the cabinet doors closed.

And Baby Sis found what people use to call Television lamps, these were made to look like vases or a ceramic leopard and with a low wattage bulb they would sit on top of the T.V. giving light to the room, while the room was dimmed to watch T.V. and it sit's on top of one of Mom's crocheted dollies on top of the T.V. cabinet, as sis would say "We finally brought Dad and Mom into the 1950's".

I am amused by those thoughts, such a difference from a few years ago, that my heart feels light in many ways.

Joe is getting ready to report on duty, it will be a cold and chilly night for him and a long one, he looks so tired that I worry he'll come down with a cold, or the flu even if he's had his flu shot. In the few free moments he's had he's been looking for other positions outside of the area, I asked him if this is a good thing to do right now, and he said he felt he better do it soon, because things are getting ugly.

Then he realized how much his decision could affect me and my life that he almost changed his mind but I told him no, he had to do what he felt was best for himself and we'd go from there.

Heather told me that her teacher have made compromises to the students that were affected by their teachers actions (well bringing in a lawyer can be persuasive) and they will complete their studies with excellent grades, but Heather has decided to switch to a psychology major, by having it originally as a minor she was able to complete a number of classes needed she just has to back track on a few, by having art as her minor she's already completed much of that area. She's been looking into a few scholarships and it appears she qualifies for several. So she will finish this term and using the school break will flip her direction, she's already started the paper work for that.

Once she made up her mind I could see how focused and yet relaxed she became, she said to me that she had a feeling that she Will be able to find work with her psychology degree even if she's getting minimum wages just starting out.

Lillian confessed to me that she was worried she may not see Heather settled into a career, especially since Heather's parents had to move out of state for a new position for Heather's Dad and they sold their house, that is another reason why Heather is living with Lillian so she can complete her studies here. After talking it over with Joe to see if he was agreeable, I told Lillian she didn't have to worry, I would be there for Heather to help see her through.

And that was almost another reason why Joe was going to stop his job search but I told him to continue, we'd work things out.

Today I did some chores and shopping, I found myself enjoying the chill in the air, after yesterdays rain, the changing of the leaves, the feel of Autumn turning towards winter, the wateriest of the Sunlight, the freshness of the slight breeze. And for a brief moment I felt that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were off again on an adventure. I think tomorrow evening I'll get out my volume of Sherlock Holmes stories and follow this particular detective through the fog shrouded streets of London as "the game is afoot".

Until Later, Kisses Sweet Things.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Headaches, aspirin and ramblings~~

Hello Sweet Things,

Right now I'm taking a little breather at my desk, and planning an escape, no 3 day weekend for me.

With Greece, Italy and the other overseas countries having their own form of fall-out, I've been putting in long hours.

So has Joe, this latest insident with Occupy Oakland now has the police union demanding that the "tent city" be removed. I know of one business that has decided to close up shop, and that is a tiny tip of the iceburg of the possible finaincal crisis Oakland is facing. The Occupy Oakland movement has cost 500 new jobs because 3 bussiness that were planning to move into Oakland, make Oakland their headquaters have now changed their minds and 2 others are going to move out.

So what has the movement done? Even my assistant says "Nothing". To ramble abit and say "Hecuba--but what is Hecuba to he and he to Hecuba that he should go on so?"--Hamlet.

For a while I and my assistant have been taking BART home she goes to a different station and her grandparents pick her up, but there have been times when the Ferry has been best and her family has been kind enough to give me a lift home. All because Occupy Oakland has now lost their focus.

That doesn't mean I'm against the message, I'm not. But the message has been lost because of 1960's tactics, hi-jacked by outside elements and no balance between.

I have always been a cautious person especially when it comes to investing, fiances and purchases. But there has always been people who have unattainable dreams. Think of Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz" after all her adventures in a magical land, she learned that the simple things were the most important.

Dear Sweet Fram says I should look into Gold and Guns, well I would not invest in gold at this time, the return would not be good, but a long time ago I started investing in gold when the rates were very low, and my return has been good, but now I would not except modestly, I feel very cautious on it right now.

On guns? I'm thinking about a pump shotgun, and lots of shells. Joe didn't know what to get for me as a Christmas present, now he does.

There is one thing that I have not mentioned to all of you Sweet Things, besides my own home and the two pieces of property that I bought (of which one I sold). I have purchased other pieces of property---income property---a couple of 4 plexes and a duplex at the time when the market has gone into a serious slump.

They pay for themselves right now, the profit is modest and I keep the extra funds for repairs; when the market turns around, and it will, then I'll sell them. The hardest part is keeping the rents affordable and still be able to pay taxes, insurances, repairs. I'm lucky all my renters are very responsible people and I have good property managers.

I fell in love with the properties because of their Art Deco style, something that I'm determined to preserve. And I go with local business that can do the job.

BUT---in this entire world there are more people than jobs ---overpopulation---something that in a better frame of mind I would discuss at greater length but my headache is not getting any better. But that is what we are looking at.

Frightening when you think about it.

Now I must go, my assistant is trying to perk me up with "Pumpkin Spice Tea" and two aspirin.

And if I do not make much sense right now----blame it on the long days and nights.

Kisses, Sweet Things

Sunday, November 6, 2011

An Update for 2011 Fall~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

Well some of you and especially you my Dear Sweet Fram, have asked me for any specific updates, and if I've attended any Gun Shows.

On the Gun Show front, I am sorry to say I have not.

Things at work have been very hectic and very crazy on the European front, the stock Market, the economy in general, with all it's crazy fluctuations, that I had a hard time even taking one full day to go to a gun show and I'm feeling very, VERY deprived.

Even when I was on a vacation trip with Baby Sis(yes we did go to Disneyland), I had to use my laptop and the wi-fi service to stay in touch with the office. Fortunately my clients have gone with my suggestions to be conservative and moderate and go for slow growth.

But if I didn't take some time away from things, I think I'd have a nervous breakdown.

Right now I have to be constantly on top of things, so no more trips for a while, I'm staying "close to home" so to speak.

Since most of my clients are older, I've been able to steer them into things that will keep their investments solvent and aid them in their retirement years. My younger one's are more the risk takers, but I constantly tell them, don't invest more than what you can afford to lose.

And the volatility of the European market especially with Greece is a constantly fluid situation.

Joe is exhausted and frustrated with the situation in Oakland the "Occupy Oakland Crazies" as he calls them. Of course the Mayor is making things worse by not being decisive on the situation.

When the violent agitators were smashing things, some of the police force were injured, far more than what the newscasters let on. Joe is very proud of Phil Tamagi for getting out his shotgun to protect his building---More than ever we need to protect our 2nd amendment rights against Anarchists whose only intention is Chaos and destruction.

And the "Occupy Oakland" group is not helping either, when anyone from City Hall asks the alleged spokespersons for "Occupy Oakland" what do they want? No one has an answer, no one is coming forth with demands or ideas.

With that I would tend to view this situation as non-productive, it is just a rant to let out frustrations about the jobless market and I have agree that the bailouts that were done on the banks because of the untenable mortgage situation and loans at inflated values is the result of basic "Greed", but also greed played upon the greediness of the people.

And I even mean the working person, the desire to have one's own house at any cost, the white picket fence, the two-plus children and the 3 car garage and the cat and the dog. What happens? Everyone suffers including the cat and the dog.

But the worse of it is outsourcing jobs over seas, again greed, and the demand for cheap goods, everyone wants the huge screen T.V.'s their Ipods, cell phones with ridiculous apps.

We need to be a nation of builders again, we need to stop outsourcing work, we need to bring the jobs back and we need to be realistic about the cost of goods. Stop being a throw-away nation, we did it to ourselves.

We do need to look at the tax code but I know too many people who rely on their tax refund to help with paying their property taxes, so some of those tax breaks do need to be kept, a flat tax is totally inequitable it will put more burden on the poor. And some of those tax proposals expounded by some of the Republican candidates will put a double tax on the purchasing of goods, so that one will be paying a state tax and a federal tax; for example if one pays a 10% state tax on goods, there will be another 10% federal sales tax on top of that so you'd be paying 20% on a product.

Lillian has been saying to me "better to vote back in the Devil you Know, than the Devil you don't know." I'm inclined to think that way too.

But I'm keeping my decisions fluid, and I have to admit I'm over simplifying an extremely complicated problem. But frankly where would I start? I'd start by bringing the jobs back to the United States and making the corporations be penalized for outsourcing. But in doing so, it would wake up the people to the value of goods and it most likely make them slow down in wasteful spending.

I would seek to give tax breaks and incentives to small businesses, and mandate to all financial institutions to stop the foreclosures and work with homeowners to create affordable mortgages to keep them in their homes, investors will not get the returns they'd like to have but they will get something.

And the people will need to be re-educated into how to live more wisely. I'd also look at why other countries have a better health programs than we do, a better education system than we do and seek to implement them.

But the people, the investors, the "banks", and Corporations all need to be aware that they cannot have their cake and be able to eat it too.

I do not see this improving over a short period of time, this is going to take at least a decade to turn it around and show signs of improvement.

What what also has me concerned is new sources of power and I mean electric, gas etc. and also new ways to get fresh water, we need it for food, we need it for our health, we cannot waste it and we are. We need to look at making the earth well again to create an environment that will generate water sources, instead of dust bowls.

Alright Sweet Things---I've done my rant. I don't have answers and I maybe viewing things wrongly, but we as a nation need to start somewhere. The attitude of the liberal love generation is not working, we need the "can-do" attitude of the greatest generation when we were facing WWII.

And Mayor Quan's 1970's attitude and flip-flopping is not working. But neither is "Occupy Oakland" they are not giving answers or demands, they have created another "Hooverville", and many of the destructive ones are not from Oakland, but from out of the city and out of state, some are professional agitators.

O.K. you want to work, then start sweeping streets, pick up garbage, recycling, painting over graffiti walls, cementing broken sidewalks, cleaning sewers and toilets, take old, dilapidated buildings and rejuvenate them to make them habitual and usable; you'll be doing it for minimum wages but it's a start. See about going to school and learning a trade, not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer, or a glib politician, we need people who are mechanics, plumbers, electricians, craftsmen. And it will show you're willing to work, and not just demanding a handout.

Joe is sleeping right now, he is exhausted, much of the police resources are going to monitoring the "Occupy Oakland" group, he has his 25 in. He's been so frustrated by what the Mayor has done and not done, by not working with the former police chief and the programs he wanted to implement and she is not being supportive with her current one. He's started looking at other places to work, it will mean his leaving the Bay Area, it may mean my leaving the Bay Area, but we shall see.

Frankly Joe said that maybe De LaFuentes or Perata would have been the better Mayors for this troubled city and that the voting process for Oakland is more harmful than good. That is should be overhauled so that the better candidate with the highest votes win.

Heather is here right now, she is just so frustrated with Occupy Oakland, she had to have Lillian drive her to college by avoiding all the downtown marches and vandalism, she couldn't take the buses because of all the disruption.

And she's mad at some of her teachers who instead of teaching classes have joined the protests, thereby costing her a chance to complete her degree, she's has gotten some of the other students together and have informed those teachers that if they do not hold extra classes to help them that they will sue them and they have a lawyer who is very good and will do it "pro bono" (well I did tell him I would pay for some of his expenses).

She told me that she doesn't care if she's a "starving artist" she will find and get a job, she doesn't need the 2 and a half story house, white picket fence, 2 and a half kids, 3 car garage, a BMW and a cat and a dog (although she is a sucker for soft brown eyes and flippy-doddle ears), and she can buy a gently used, pre-owned car. She will not give up.

Heather said to me "Those people are cowards, they don't have the guts and determination to get out there, there are ways to avoid living in one's car, they just didn't look, they didn't accept the fact that sometimes you have to give up something to gain something more important, many of them fought to keep an overly expensive home, instead of reassessing their situation and being realists."

I like her attitude, she may not have it all right about things, even I'm not sure I have it right either, but in looking at her I saw a determined "Scarlet O'Hara" who was so down, that she grabbed a rotted carrot to eat and threw up and from that moment own she swore she would never be hungry again.

We all need to be that way.

As for me? I have clients who trust me and I have to protect them. I have a man that I love, sleeping in my bedroom, exhausted, that I need to be supportive of. I have a college student and a dear sweet and feisty old lady who need a sounding board and a friend. I have a family and friends who are doing their own best in difficult times, to love and cheer on. And from all of them I receive their love and friendship that energizes me to keep going.

Until later, Kisses Sweet Things

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallow's Eve~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

First I want to Thank everyone for their kind words of sympathy, especially you, my Dear Sweet Fram. Words of gentleness and understanding can be like a soothing balm, even if one feels helpless, to know that your grief is understood can mean a lot to someone.

Joe will be processing this from some time, he and his Mother were close even though miles apart he would call her frequently or e-mail her with long messages, almost diary entries really. And when he could get a few days free he would throw an overnight bag together and using a commuter flight fly down to see her for a day or two.

I didn't mind as I had things I had to take care of as well. But this will be a long on-going process. I've advise him to continue writing to his Mother, even though she's physically gone, it was a yahoo account so the e-mails will simply build up over time. Perhaps shifted to a file or something. But it will be good therapy for him.

Again Thank You Everyone.

Death is a morbid subject and one I will not deal with tonight, tonight is a night to laugh at Death and let Death know that in spirit we are Deathless. So I will not expound upon it tonight and focus on Hot Chocolate, Apple and pumpkin pie, hot apple cider, the scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, those are the scents of life within death.

Tonight is Halloween, Joe is working, heaven only know what is going to be happening...increased patrols to watch for mischief makers who intend more Trick than Treat.

I will be handing out Candy from my house and Heather will be helping her grandma, Lillian handing out candy at Lillian's' her friends had their Halloween party this last weekend since it does fall on a school night and we went last evening to look at all the lighted Halloween decorations. A number of families are going all out. And we had fun going Saturday evening to the Presbyterian Church for their annual "Pipe Screams" Halloween music concert. And enjoying the Teen haunted house down at the shopping center.

Lillian will be controlling the little beast, Baby, to make sure she doesn't run out of the house.

Afterwards a late night nosh at Lillian's'. Just relaxing, talking and eating.

I went to work very early this morning to clear things away and have just returned. A number of our lady staffers have taken a half day to get their children ready for "Trick or Treat", the men will leave early this afternoon, to at least hand out candy.

So much has happened, a lot of it good. Except for the loss of Joe's Mom. So now Sweet Things, I'm going to put out the last of my Halloween decorations and wish you all a Merry All Hallow's Eve.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sad News~~~

Sad News Sweet Things,

Joe just called me a few minutes ago, his Mother passed away peacefully less than an hour ago.

He was in tears. I know you'd think a big strong man crying is a sign of weakness, but it's not. It's a sign that he truly cares. I feel so helpless to not be there for him. I asked him if he wanted me to fly down, but he said no, it was not necessary, although he did miss me, but he felt that really there wasn't anything I could do.

And he's right.

The good thing is that he had a chance to see her, talk to her before she passed, and those moments were very important.

Lillian came over to see how things were going and I told her what happened. She is insisting that she treat me to dinner once I finish things up.

Joe told me that all the funeral arrangements had been made in advance and how I can get in touch with him, I'm grateful he will not be alone that he is staying with family. And I am grateful that I have such good friends.

Until Later Sweet Things, Kisses

Frustrations and Wedding Dresses(not mine)~~~

I know Sweet Things,

It's been awhile. I'm not at work today, doing it from home, some repairs that need be done and I have to be here while it's being done. Joe has gone to see his Mother in L.A. she's not doing well, his sister called so he took "compassionate leave", then things broke down. ***sigh***well it can't be working perfectly all the time.

He called earlier, his mother is not doing very well, on borrowed time so to speak, he's not sure how long he can stay but he has a lot of time saved up, I'll know better this evening. His mother's health has him very worried. I can understand his feelings and told him that from my end to take as long as need be, he needs to be there for them.

I have an excellent assistant who is taking care of things while I'm at home, she's keeping me in touch via e-mail and phone. I'm mentoring her as well, with all these BART protests by this bogus group "Anonymous" it's been frustrating as well. A few weeks ago I came out and the Bart station was closed and her she was trying to see if she could get a bus and nothing to be had, we managed to flag a cab on another street and took it to the ferry building, and she called her Grandparents to meet us at the Ferry terminal.

Her Grandparents are such nice people, but I recognized her Grandfather as a former business partner from a financial firm that my company has done business with. They gave me a lift home and I invited them in for coffee and tea. And we talked about my assistants, their grand daughter's future. She has a sharp head on her shoulders, and as much as I would like to keep her as my assistant I know eventually she'll be moving up which is good. Networking is so important and in the future if she's in the right place at the right time she will be of valuable help.

So we made arrangements in case this bogus protest group disrupts service again. It will be getting darker soon and I do not want her on the streets at night.

I'm still car hunting, right now it's possible to get some good deals because the 2012's are coming in, so I'll be car hunting soon. I have an idea of what I want it just depends on which car will deliver it.

Lillian and her granddaughter and their little dog, Baby are doing fine. Lillian's granddaughter is so frustrated by the rising costs of college that she is thinking of dropping out, she says she is still floundering trying to decide what she wants in the way of a career, so we sat down the other evening seeing what can be mapped out, it's obvious that a career in the arts is not going to happen anytime soon, even though having a college degree in it would be wonderful, but at what expense?

So we talked about an interim job to cover school expenses, that is working full time and going to college part time, it will take longer, but in this economy she really doesn't have much choice. At least with all this discussion we've come up with some idea's, right now she is not taking a full college load, but cutting back and we are looking at other careers that she can apply some of her credits to. She is not going to give up art, but where can she take her knowledge to.

Myself---so far except for these few things happening, things in the long run are going well. Baby Sis and I are still making plans to go to Disneyland, I feel like a kid when I say that, so by the middle of next month off we go to the land of unreality. We are also throwing in Knott's Berry Farm and Universal Studios as well taking an entire week, 8 whole days, 14 really allowing for travel time down to the folk's and staying there for a day or two both ways.

The whole family is doing fine, Mother has a couple of wedding dresses in the works for a Fall and a Winter Wedding. The Winter Wedding dress will have white velvet trim with a sprinkling of sequins to give the appearance of snow. The Fall Wedding is goth in style, an all back wedding dress with red sequins to be dripping down like blood. Very Addams Family, the Brides maids will be wearing red dresses with black shoes and little red hats decorated with black veiling and spiders.

Mom had to call me personally and tell me about that one, she said at least with the bridesmaid dresses she will not be sewing those they will buy theirs from different sources, only the hats have to be the same, Baby sis helped out with that. So the hats are ready. But the bridal veil is going to be very interesting, black roses, with tiny spiders, the veil is black chiffon with a thin red satin trim to give it a little weight. All very "mournful". The Wedding is going to be on Oct. 29, just perfect.

I always say if you have to decide how to marry, let it be the way you want it.

Oh I have to go, I think the repair man is done.

Later my Sweet Things, and hopefully with some good news.


P.S. I know that's not my usual "Ava" image but all that gothic wedding plans.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cars and "Pretties"~~~

Arrgh!! Cars! Cars!! Cars!!!

If I see or test drive or hear another sales person’s spiel I am going to go NUTS!!!

I finally told Joe I was tired of looking at cars, I know it’s not a good thing to just rush to buy one just to get it over and done with, but I’m reaching that point.

Joe is with me on this and has suggested we take a break, just relax and breathe, he suggested that I might want to look into a short term lease on a car until I can finally decide on what I want, which is what I’m going to do. Although I’ll continue to use public transportation and car pooling with my neighbor for work, but to have my own car for a little while will take the pressure off of me until I can make a reasonable decision.

But Joe can be sneaky, we went to a Dodge dealership and I saw the 2011 offerings, yes I became attracted to the Challenger, there was a V6 that looked promising, yes, one more test drive but are you ready for this, our sales person is a woman, Joe sat in the back and she let me take out one; this little thing was ready to purrrrr. The mileage wasn’t as great as I would like it only 18 city, 27 highway, but I really liked the feel and looks of it.

Our sales lady did point out a couple of the weaknesses of it, such as a blind spot, but she said it’s really how I felt about it, so piling me with information, info on the options and the various costs with each option, she advised that I think on it, let it perk a bit, when I’m ready come on back. I liked her low key approach, so when Joe went to get his car I turned to her and said that I liked her style of salesmanship and she said to me that a product will sell itself when the buyer is ready, she wasn’t in the business to make a lot of sales but to have happy customers, repeat customers, and referrals, most of her sales happened that way and that mostly it’s women buyers who come to her.

With her business card in hand and all the information I’m going to look this over, I have no idea if I’m going to go with this one, but I think what I’m going to do is a short term lease for now and just let my brain relax before I jump into a purchase.

However on the flip side, Lillian and Heather have suggested that I might want to look towards a Dodge Caravan, excellent to haul things to my country place or if I make very large purchases or, as Heather is fond of pointing out, taking a “Lot of Friends” some place. But a Caravan??? How “Soccer Mom” and I’m not a “Soccer Mom”.

Even Joe pointed out the practicality of it (What!! He giving in on the Challenger??), and he said that we could use it if we go camping---Camping??!!! Who said I was going to “rough it”??!!

But---- ***sigh*** I told Joe what I was envisioning for myself, and yes it’s selfish, but I could see the sensibility of a Caravan, even if I’m only using it on weekends. Joe said that something could be worked out, I told him I was not going to buy 2 cars and he only replied with a wink and a nod and said “We’ll see what can be done.” So I’ll do a short term lease on a car, just so I can have transportation for a little while and be independent.

So yesterday afternoon I and Lillian indulged while Joe worked on the old jeep that he’s restoring and trying to find parts of the other car as well, he had some of his buddies over but I warned them about getting grease on my rugs and floors.

Lillian had heard about a vintage fashion faire that was close by, Heather had a paper to work on and couldn’t take her so I said why not. Oh it was lovely to see all the beautiful things that were offered. Even the fashionable (for 1970’s) clothing from one the writers (a lady) who wrote the scripts for the 1960’s-70’s soap opera “Dark Shadows” was on display I remember as a child how all my school mates would rush home to watch it with their mother’s. Something I missed out on.

But there were several things I couldn’t resist, a wonderful hat from the 1940’s, a beautiful 1950’s black croc purse just large enough for my 8 ½ inch file folders to fit into, should I take it to work, and a totally decadent lounge outfit in cream and coral. And jewelry to outfit Aladdin’s cave, not that I bought all of it, only two pins that I just fell in love with. Lillian found a purse she liked and bought a couple of poodle pins that she knew Heather would just enjoy. (which she did). And I collected business cards and flyers for other events, which I will post on my calendar for just in case.

We could have stayed forever there, but Lillian was beginning to fade and I had to see what Joe wanted to do about Dinner. So home we went with our treasures.

Unfortunately Joe was called back on duty and was getting dressed when I got home; I made him a couple of sandwiches, fruit and a thermos of coffee for later. Things like that happen; it’s what I knew I was getting involved with. With a kiss, a “be safe out there” and a wave I saw him off to work.

But all was not lost, Heather was finished with her paper, just needs any editing, I looked it over it with her made some suggestions which she noted while Lillian rested. Then we all decided to go to our favorite cafĂ© for hamburgers and sweet potato fries and indulge in two film noir’s “The house on 92nd Street” and “The Naked City”.

Now today it’s gray and overcast, I hate days like that, but it’s also a good time to catch up on few things and buy groceries. Joe is asleep and will have to go on duty tonight again.

I have an answer to one of my “reader’s” questions --- where do I find the pictures that I post here on my blog. They are the photos of my favorite actress Ava Gardner which I find all over the internet. I have a bit of a resemblance to her so I try to use the one’s that best illustrate my post, that may not happen all the time, but I do have fun, I also enjoy looking at the beautiful clothing that she and other actresses from the 40’s and 50’s wore with such style and elegance.

Now I must go, I have a very empty pantry which needs filling.

Kisses Sweet Things.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where is the Sun??

Hello Sweet Things,

All this Grey weather can be depressing, but for a few hours this morning there was sunshine, so taking advantage of it and letting Joe sleep, I took a much desired walk on the nearby beach.

It was so refreshing to see the waves or more like wavelets, kissing the shoreline, watching the various sea birds swoop and ride the sight air currents, the joggers, the serious walkers, the dogie walkers, the parents with babies in strollers taking it a bit of sun and air and enjoying a free sight and thing to do.

Then looking off into the distance counting the number of carrier cargo ships at anchor in the bay, there use to be the sound of fog horns years ago, even with just a slight cloudiness but either the wind wasn't right or they don't use the horns anymore, I miss that.

The weather man says we will have sunshine for the next 4 or 5 days, frankly it can't come soon enough, I need the natural vitamin D that Sunshine provides to help lift my mood. Yoshi suggested that I look into those light bulbs that provide full spectrum light similar to sunlight, she uses it with her Grandmother and it seems to help. I'll look into it, but for now it was nice just to be out in it even for a brief moment.

I took advantage of my walk to end it at the local Starbucks for coffee and a pastry, and as I was contemplating walking home an acquaintance of mine Hank and his wife walked in so we shared a table and they offered me a lift back to my place since it was on their way out of town. To IKEA they said for bookshelves for their college age daughter's room, when they said she was in college I hadn't realize how much time had pass since I first knew them and their children were just little babies.

Now I'm at my computer, and enjoying seeing the sun play "peek-a-boo" behind the clouds, I have few minor chores to do, thanks to Esperanza my housekeeper, my house work is greatly reduced, but it's nice to be hands on a few things.

I'll need to make plans when the weather stabilizes to go to my country place and check on things, Lillian wants to go to the movies this evening to see "Rango"---Johnny Depp as a lizard, that should be interesting.

Ahhhh the sun is out again, I can't resist it, I must go and enjoy it's benefits, until later Sweet Things.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rain--Cars---and Dogs (well one dog)

Hello Sweet Things,

I am feeling decidedly “House Bound”, Joe agreed with me that I do need some sort of vehicle if I suddenly need to just get out, so to reputable rental agency we went and I’m now set up with “a car”, it’s tiny, it cost the least to rent, it gets good gas mileage, it’s clean and it runs. Is it my style??? Nooooooo, but one needs to do what one must.

I’ve been in touch with my caregivers at my country house, they are doing fine, Buddy the dog is doing fine, the house and land is doing fine, no flooding, no land slides, it is hard to get around, the roads are icy, but carefully passable. Once things dry out they can assess what might need to be worked on that might have been damaged by all the snowy weather.

My services for Jury Duty was not needed, I’m free for another year, although the idea of serving on a jury would have been an interesting distraction after all the sad news about Japan, the destruction by our own storms, the loss of the Beautiful Elizabeth Taylor and the interesting Geraldine Ferrao and my “headaches” in finding a car I really like. Poohh!!

Hunting for a new car with Joe is proving to be informative as well as frustrating, and after comparisons with Popular Mechanics, Consumer Reports April issue, talking to the various sales personnel with a “laser-like” questionnaire, I currently am looking at the Elantra, although I was tempted to purchase a brand new 2010 VW Jetta that has sat at this dealer ship like a “Garage Queen” as Joe refers to it.

According to the sales person it was a special order exterior and interior in a Cream color, but when it was delivered the purchaser never picked it up, even though they had put a sizable down on it. A mystery. But Joe suspects it might have been for someone in an illegal business. Of course he is entitled to be suspicious. Although he is pushing me to look at the Dodge Challenger---why a muscle car? It’s a “guy thing” I think.

However Joe, rightly, insisted testing other makes, but there was something about this car, well I did test a few more, but when I went back this last Sunday to test the Jetta again it had been sold. Oh well it wasn’t meant to be.

And right now there maybe delays in getting whatever car I choose because of the situation in Japan, it only emphasizes the idea that too much outside of the U.S. the manufacturing of necessary parts can cripple our nations economy, it would be in the U.S.’s best interest to set up factories here to back up those in Japan or not be dependent on what Japan or any other foreign country manufactures that is necessary to the product. Globalization has its limitations when one sees how a crisis of such proportions can damage our financial structure. By bringing it back to the U.S. we’ll be adding jobs to the job market. I wonder if “they” will see that.

Several of my blog followers have asked how I’m doing after my accident, I still occasionally have slight headaches, the ringing in the ears is gone, my back sometimes doesn’t want to do what I would like it to do, had more X-rays, but my Doctor thinks it’s more muscle stress than anything and has recommended a massage therapist. I tried one that was recommended to me, oh it was heavenly! I am definitely going back for another, and maybe another.

I’ve been going to the gym, being careful on the type of workouts I do to make sure I don’t strain something, swimming has been very good for my cardio, being in the water is just so relaxing, an “out of body” experience for me.

The Headaches will eventually fade away, but they seem to appear when I’m under stress, I hope they do not become a permanent thing.

And Stress appears to be on the menu for now, work mostly. Too many things in upheaval. The Middle East, the horrible devastation in Japan, it is affecting us in oil and gas as well as the economy. We are watching the Japan Market right now; it is a very serious roller coaster. The very serious trouble with their nuclear energy plants, we’ve been following the updates on the reactors and it’s frightening. Those 50 brave souls staying on, risking their lives for everyone else.

Yoshi is raising funds to help out with the survivors, Joe and I have contributed as well as quiet a number of staff. I can’t imagine the sorrow, fear and deprivation that they are going through, my heart goes out to them as it does to the Haitian survivors. Each day that I listen to the news, it’s horrible and I read in the New York Times the horror stories and tremendous personal family loss of the survivors, it’s heartbreaking, my prayers go out to all the people of Japan.

To those of you who wish to help you can make donations through these organizations: this goes to medicine and medical supplies donations go to help the youngest victims this goes towards relief and emergency services
And you can contact your local Red Cross to see how they are accepting donations for their international branch.

I am so relived my assistant is back, she’d been very ill with that horrible flu that flattens you for weeks; she is proving to be invaluable, running interference for me when she sees I’m developing another headache, gets me coffee, tea or aspirin with barely a whisper from me, she even used her lunch hour to put together a first aid kit, with alka seltzer, band aids, antibiotic cream, Tums, and other necessary nostrums and aids for the ill. Definitely a Team Player, there are some classes and seminars that are coming up that I’d like her to go to, they will increase her value, to the point that I might lose her but she seems to want to stay and learn as much as she can and move up on her own merits. She will go far.

I have a rant that I’m going to post later but right now I’m going to hold off on it, “ranting” requires getting my blood up and doing that right now will bring on a headache.

On the Home Front, Heather, Lillian’s great-grand daughter has a little guest, a 4 legged guest, and after last night I know a permanent 4 legged guest. Heather was walking to catch her bus from the campus a couple of weeks ago, when she saw these 4 boys tormenting a small Chihuahua type dog, running up to them and scooping up the dog she demanded to know which one was the owner. None of them owned up to it. She went up and down the houses and few apartments in the area, no one knew the dog, it’s collar was missing, she told the boys that she was going to take the dog to a vet and get it checked out to see if it had a chip and if she saw them tormenting another animal she was going to call the police.

The next day she took it the a vet to see if it was chipped, no chip, then she took a picture of it and posted the flyers in the area where the dog had been found and even a little further out. She’d been calling the animal shelters and mailing flyers to them as well, out of all of this she got one call from a lady who asked if she could come by and see the dog last night.

Both Heather and Lillian had grown fond of the little beastie, even I have been charmed by it, but if this was the owner, they had no choice, they were going to have to surrender the dog; I was there last night when the lady came by with her husband or boyfriend in tow. The woman looked scared and the man looked vile, not a “nice” person. The little thing seemed to know the lady as she picked it up and it gave happy little licks to her cheek, suddenly she put the dog into Heather’s arms and asked her what she was going to do with the dog, Heather said that she and her grandma had become fond of it and if no owner was found they would keep it.

I saw the lady give a little sad smile and said that it wasn’t her dog and said to Heather “Take good care of Baby” she and the man left Lillian’s house, I stood at the door and before I closed it I saw him give the woman a shove snarling at her “You’re smart, now no dog! Don’t think about asking for it back! Stay here, don’t move! I’ll get the car!” He wasn’t aware that I had heard him or saw what he’d done, his tone made me mad and as soon as he was out of sight I went to her and gave her my business card telling her “Call or e-mail me if you’re in trouble or need help” she gave me a look and I said “My boy friend is a police officer if you need help we can help you get to a safe place, now hide that card.” She nodded and looked relieved.

Just in time she tucked the card away before he drove up, he growled at me and demanded to know why I was there and I said “I just wanted to keep her company while you got your car; some times it’s not safe no matter where you are.” He gave an angry nod at me as she got into the car then drove off breaking rubber. At that moment I wanted my Beretta, I felt he was one scum bag the world would be better off without.

I returned to Heather and Lillian, who was stretched out on the couch with the little beast on her lap. Heather asked me what that was all about, I said “That, I think, was the owner, she gave up the dog once she knew it was safe, I think she even told you it’s name, Baby” with that the little thing stood up and wagged it little tail.

So with Mocha Almond ice cream we celebrated a new member to the family and a happy ending to the little one’s tale (or is it ‘tail’) of woe. Would that there were more happy endings like that.

Until later Sweet Things, I will keep you informed of my car hunt, although I’m getting quite use to the routine I’ve developed, but the freedom that an automobile can bring cannot be denied.