Thursday, November 27, 2014


     What happened at the Food Addicts' Anonymous meeting... Do you really want to know? Any thoughts, how it might've gone? I'll bet, you'll be wrong!
     I was very inspired and ready to start this new attempt to lose weight. I mean, my life is not a life, due to the extra pounds affecting my health, self image and the ability to be helpful to my family and community.The example of Anne Lamborn, a textile artist, who recently lost 140 lbs attending and following the FA program, made me forget depression I've felt after I had to stop the Kaiser Weight Management regime.
     Mary was more than happy to meet me at the first FA meeting. Roberta also decided to tag along, rather than lying in bed all evening. We had half an hour to get to the Veterans' Memorial Center in San Leandro. It was already dark. We couldn't see the numbers on the buildings, and, although I could imagine, the Veterans' Memorial Center would look different from other houses on the street, we couldn't find it for the longest time . I lost my nerve, because I am not a good driver at night, and began saying to myself: "I should've just stayed home!"
     Then we found the building. We were a little late by then, and there was no parking. I stopped at a red-lined curb to let Roberta out, thinking, I could park the car somewhere else and come back there. She began to motion for me to come to her though, so I closed the door and went to see, what she needed. It was nothing, and went to the car. The doors were locked! The keys gently swayed in the ignition and my purse with the phone in it lay on the seat.
     Just like that, my plans and hopes, at least for that evening, were shattered. I brought Roberta into the room, where the meeting was going to take place: there was no need for her to stay with me on the street, waiting for an AAA truck. I told Mary, who was already there, what happened. I expected her to do, what I would've done, if our roles were reversed: get off her butt and come to support me in my travail. She did nothing of the sort! Granted, she handed me her phone, so I could now call the Roadside Assistance, but then she turned back to listen to a speaker.
     It was, of course, a practical thing to do. Then again, what kind of a friend is that?!
     I managed to call and request help. They said, they'll be there within 45 minutes. I knew, the best thing in that situation was to have a positive outlook on things. It was difficult. I felt shell shocked. Perhaps, after all the prayer to Heavenly Father I had higher expectations. Perhaps, I was wrong to do so, and I began to desperately try to change that. I began to pray, telling God, I trust Him and His reasons. I needed to feel in tune with my Higher Power. 
     The minutes flew by, then crawled slowly. I walked up and down the street and, I'm not kidding, sang Amazing Grace ten times and prayed and prayed. The dog-walking passer bys veered away from the crazy singing lady, who, seemingly, talked to herself. 
     After about an hour passed, I called the Roadside Assistance again. They assured me, the car was fifteen minutes away. Try as I may, I couldn't feel peace in my heart. 
     A guy came and opened my car, making it beep hysterically, until I stuck a key in the door. I went to the room, where I left Roberta. The meeting just finished. 
     Thank God, at least now I could go home and lick my wounds... 
My phone had three messages from Sonny: the metro station near his college was closed due to the protests about the Fergusson business. Could I drive there to get him from Berkeley?
     There was no other option, I had to go there. Taka never went to Sonny's college, so it would've been unreasonable to ask him to do it. On the way back I asked Sonny to drive.
     Two days later, and I still don't feel right. I can't find my words or say the wrong ones instead. I am doing my best to run the family. Today we went to Mary's house to celebrate Thanksgiving. I smiled and laughed and talked, but I feel nuts. I feel lost.
     Its a good thing, I am confident that, Heavenly Father is not far and will step in to help me, because, as I said before: it is His will for me to be healthy, happy and able. I'll just wait here for Him to make His presence known!

Monday, November 24, 2014


     And, finally, by six o'clock on Sunday evening and after being stuck in terrible traffic, we made it to the celebration.

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     It was our first time at the Texas Roadhouse, 

 and we were properly impressed by the huge buffalo's head looking philosophically from over the entryway at the absolute chaos of, seemingly, hundreds of people seeking admission to the place. I was amazed to notice small, metal buckets of peanuts, provided to destruct us from complaining about the long wait. I never before saw such casual approach to cleanliness in an American restaurant:

after eating peanuts, the patrons simply throw the shells on the floor!


Reina visibly enjoyed her steak. so did Hanah, Sonny,


and the rest of us!

     I want to emphatically add: it just looks like all the plates on the table belong to me! I had a modest portion of ribs with a salad.

     Roberta snitched to the waiters that it was Sonny's birthday, and they presented him with a free dessert: a funny face with cherries for eyes and a tiny brownie for a mouth in a sea of whipped cream.

     As the custom dictates, we had to have a cake for Sonny. We bought it, but everyone was so full of meat and potatoes that, we never got to, actually, eat it. Everyone that is, except Taka, who, as soon as he came home, made himself a big cup of coffee and began to wait for the cake. 

I guess, we'll have to extend Sonny's birthday for one more day to be able to sing the happy B-Day song to him and cut the cake!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


     Hanah is home! We had a very busy day yesterday, preparing for her arrival. It was the day before Sonny's birthday, as well, but I made him clean and clean, until he begged for mercy... No, don't worry, that's not what happened!
ovtLFix.gif (194×221)     On Friday I had an appointment with Mr. P. Although, like I told you in the previous post, he, sometimes, annoys me with the repetition of his troubles in his early life and many accomplishments later, he really knows people. I was moved to tears by the insights he had about my situation and how I need to deal with it. I went there quite dispirited, but left with a new hope.
     Afterwards, I met with Mary. She told me before, she doesn't like shopping, so I asked her: "Mary, would you like to help me shop for Sonny's present?" You see, people like us can't resist a chance to rescue someone!
     We met at Macy's, walked around the floor, peering at men's shirts, trying to gauge Sonny's response to some of them. Mary was right in there with me, doing her best to find the best gift. I can really see, how the sessions with Mr. P. helped strengthen my personality, because, when Mary let her controlling side slip, I was totally able to calmly and lovingly, but strongly assert myself.
     That was Friday. Hanah was arriving the next day, and I already started to fret about the house being dirty, because she was coming with a friend.On Saturday, I took Sonny to Costco to order him glasses. We (Reina and Roberta also came with us) bought some necessary - and not - stuff. Then we went home and I and Sonny cleaned for a few hours before Hanah was supposed to come.
     About that... She told us, they would, probably make it here by 6 o'clock. Taka is very big on showing gratitude to people, who help us, so we planned to take Hanah's friend(s), who drove her all the way from Arcata to Hayward  to celebrate Sonny's birthday. It would be a day early for it, but Sonny didn't mind.
     Of course, it proved to be impossible to reach Hanah on the road. Her phone went straight to voicemail, when we tried to call to find out, when they'd be arriving. At five pm we made a final decision to treat Hanah's friends to some snacks at home and postpone the restaurant outing until tomorrow.
     Hanah showed up at seven with one of her friends, Shea. He is a senior in her college and gay. He is also a giant.
     Shea is easily 6 foot 6! He spent night on our couch. In the morning I began making breakfast, when
something huge passed in front of me. It looked like a bear, but, of course, there couldn't be a bear in my house! Could there?!
     It was Shea. I forgot overnight, just how huge he is!
     He sounds and looks like a very nice person, though! He drove Hanah here for six-seven hours and will take her back in a week. They seem at ease with each other: of course, they shared an apartment in Arcata. I'm not too crazy about my daughter having lived in a small room with a guy, but she assured me, he was gay and not interested in women at all. Let me assure you: I am praying for her without seizing!

To Be Continued...


     You might think: "There she goes again! Always so chatty and excited in the beginning of some undertaking and then depressed and whining at the end.." You might be right!
     Although I am a slave to my addiction, and it makes me feel guilty and hopeless, I  am also a child of God, whose Will it is for me to live a healthy, happy, fulfilled life. 
" Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he [she] is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 
(II Cor. 5:17)

"“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds, then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more"." 

     God loves us unconditionally. Whether we are heroes or saints or the devil incarnate, God loves us. Long ago I understood the fundamental difference between God and Satan: even if you do evil, Satan still wants to destroy you. On the other hand, even if you go against God, He still wants to save you. When we pray to do God's will, He will always make it happen. 
     I accepted Jesus into my life, although for many years I allowed myself be destructed by a false ideology.  It moves me to tears to think of being a "new creation", free from the failures of the past and the "feculent" (Mr. P.'s expression) influence of negative people. 
     "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 
(I John 1:9)
     So, that's the plan then! I will gather my strength and "gird my loins" (oh, dear God, not that picture in my mind!). I will repent to Heavenly Father of being weak and rebellious and receive His Grace of forgiveness and cleansing "from all unrighteousness". I will start over.


Saturday, November 22, 2014


     I didn't open the Blogger for a few days. What's the use? Why do I write? I started with the hope of expressing my innermost thoughts and memories. I did it in writing about my family's history and Moriko, but then the creative vein ran dry. I love working on my blog, telling you the goings-on in my family, but its not enough!
     I need to change my life, but, as it happens so often, I soon run out of steam in whatever I do, then - lose faith in myself. Doesn't everything I do turn badly? I carry so much regret, it drowns every hope I might have.
     Mr. P... Today, as I drove to his office for an appointment, I saw him standing by a car with a tall, elderly lady. I wasn't sure if I should interrupt their conversation, but they motioned for me to join them.
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     Anne Lamborn is Mr. P.'s client. She is a textile artist.
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After the weight loss
     Recently Anne, who is now 71 years old, lost 140 lbs on Food Addicts Anonymous Program! That's, as they say, a whole another person!
     Mr. P. introduced me to her to inspire me to try and shed the fat. It worked! Anne sat down with me on a bench adjacent to the house and showed me all the Food Addicts' meetings in our area. I found it pretty doable to attend some of them, especially, because I can do it with Mary!
     After Anne left, I went to see Mr. P.
     There is something, I don't like to tell you. Mr. P. is a talented counselor, but sometimes I feel, he can be a little too full of himself. By now I know a lot of things about him, his accomplishments and the hurdles he overcame in life, because he never shuts up about them. Perhaps, it gets on my nerves, since I just separated from a cultish environment of the Unification Church, where we were required to ooooh and aaaaaaaaaaah over Rev. and Mrs. Moon's every move or thought.
     Now, that said, I am not willing to judge Mr. P. too harshly. I, myself, like to slip a few words about my pursuits in the conversations I might have with people around me. I too like being admired. Besides, Mr. P. can read me like a book!
     Do I understand myself or the reasons I have for allowing myself to overindulge in food or TV? I need help figuring out these things, before I eat myself to death, thus completely undermining my own desire to live a life full of purpose and accomplishment.
     To Be Continued...

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Its been awhile, hasn't it? Nothing momentous took place in our lives. 
Here Sonny and Reina are enjoying pizza, and Chikie is also willing to try it!

Roberta prefers pancakes. She liked our outing to Norman's diner for breakfast.

On the way, I stopped to take some pictures of the local beauties - the variety of trees in California always astounds me.

Here, of course, is a little Christmas tree, given to us by the Little Red Headed monster's family. Remember them? Taka planted it together with the baws in our garden, You can still see the sparkly stuff at the end of some branches.

Last night, Sonny went out on the porch and found Goldie, occupying one of mom's couches, we keep there. That's how she looked in a flash!

 We have a mix for the Japanese dumplings, suiton, and Taka decided today to make it. He first added too much water, then - too much mix. That's how it went, with me nearby, alternately, imploring him to read the instructions and assuring him: this was the last time I made miso soup. 

The dumplings have to be added to miso soup, you see, and as the result of his male inability to follow instructions, he, finally, made more batter than soup.

He then dragged Reina and Sonny out of their rooms (they hibernated there for two days). Sonny slinked back, but Reina decided to placate her uncle. I also enjoyed suiton dumplings, but with butter, soy sauce and boiled egg. Despite Reina's horrified looks (it goes against her Japanese sensibilities), the combination worked! I proposed adding caviar to it too, which would make it even better, 

worthy of the Iron Chef!

Chikie thought, of course, it was disgusting!

Monday, November 10, 2014


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     "Well, if I get blown to pieces, at least it'll be in paradise". Meyer looked around him in wonder. The approaching dark of the Moldovan evening has thrown blue haze on the hills and the valleys. The tiny silver ponds shivered in the breeze. The alabaster lillies danced on their surface under the clouds of gnats. The heather and the grasses gave off a head turning aroma. The frogs, the cicadas, just began their nightly song. And thousands of stars looked down at the Earth with consternation. Even the mud on the road, where the soldiers walked, was glistening with unerring beauty.
jpeg (268×188)     The two soldiers plodded on, Meyer carrying the spool of telephone wire, about four feet in diameter, his comrade, Wolfzon - loaded with the tent, tools, wooden poles and the cooking utensils. He was also unreeling the wire from the spool on Meyer's back, laying a communication line for the approaching army. Usually, Lt. Serov would stride unburdened in front of them, giving instructions and feeling important. Today he walked a quarter of a mile back, and the soldiers knew why.
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Red Army soldier
     Meyer heard the crash behind him and instinctively stooped down, covering his head with his hands and dropping the spool. Wolfzon swore and Meyer rose up, to see his comrade take a joint out of his pocket and light it up with shaking hands. For once, Meyer didn't blame him.Three days ago, he was shining Serov's boots, while the lieutenant sat in the chair and tried to sharpen a pencil with his pocket knife. The knife slipped and cut into Serov's thumb. Spitting curses, Serov jammed the thumb into Meyer's cheek, smearing blood all over his face. That was too much even for a meek Jewish boy. He punched Serov and sent him to the floor. Serov flew at Meyer, shouting that he'll see him court-martialed for striking the superior officer. Nothing came out of it, though, because Serov was known as someone who abused his soldiers and a raving anti-Semite, embarrassing even for the Russian army. Today, Serov chose Meyer and Wolfzon, the only two Jews in his unit, for this mission. They figured out why, when he refused to walk with them. The Germans had time to lay mines somewhere in the vicinity, and Serov tried to use this opportunity to get rid of the hated men.

     Meyer and Wolfzon helped each other to pick up their loads and set off walking again, Meyer praying to God in whom he didn't believe and Wolfzon getting quietly high. In addition to smoking pot, he also dug out a bottle of hooch, and Meyer heard the musical sounds of the alcohol pouring into Wolfzon's mouth. No one could find drugs or booze better than Wolfzon. No matter, where the telephone unit was: how far in the countryside or in the most ransacked city; Wolfzon would lay his hands on anything that he could sniff, snort, take, drink or cook that would bring him the desired oblivion. It was a testament to the desperation of the Soviet government that a known drug addict and a flat-footed, 18 year old boy, chronically suffering from severe sinus infections, were drafted at all!

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WWII field
     Twenty minutes later, and Wolfzon crushed to the ground again. He sat in the middle of the road, laughing and slapping mud on his face and uniform. Meyer sighed and dropped the spool. He yelled to Serov to catch up with them quickly. Serov approached, swearing. He calmed down though and his eyes took on a sly expression, when Meyer explained his idea. He would walk ahead by himself, laying the wire on the ground and come back for them after he reached their destination and left the empty spool there. They would then be able to manage Wolfzon and the things he carried, as well as set the poles for the wire that Meyer had laid earlier, so that it would be out of the way of the traffic. The lieutenant, obviously, thought that Meyer might get blown up anyway, and, if otherwise, they'll be able to complete their task.
     As Meyer walked off, he heard the thuds of the lieutenant's fists smacking into Wolfzon. Wolfzon just grunted and giggled in response to the blows.

     The night became darker. Walking backwards with a heavy spool and unreeling the wire was hard work. Even so, from time to time Meyer looked up at the stars and mouthed prayers that his grandfather taught him.
Yakov and Hannah,
Meyer's parents
     His mind went from praying to thinking of his family. His parents emigrated to Russia from Poland sometime after the World War I. His mother was an orphan, but she made a life for herself by taking on the cleaning and sewing jobs. She had more money than her groom and even bought him a suit for the wedding! He was a happy man once, a loving husband and father. Yakov often played violin for his family and the guests. Anyone in need, even if they were complete strangers, were always welcome at his home for a meal or the shelter. Life beat the happiness out of him, but could not take away his charitable heart or the unique creativity with which he approached every task. Meyer moaned, thinking of how he wasn't allowed to go home to say goodbye to his dying father. A few months after, he received a notice: his brother, Samuel, was missing in action. Meyer shuddered to think what his starry-eyed poet and a bookworm
Lev later in life.
brother went through in the war, before he disappeared somewhere in the bogs near Leningrad. At least Lev, his other sibling, was out of danger. He had a cushy posting in the supply corps. Meyer's mother lived in Moscow with her only daughter and the grandchildren. Meyer's mind flinched away from thinking about them. He couldn't do 

anything to protect them. 
Meyer's family later in life. He is the third
from the left in the back row.
     As he worked, the fear gradually dissipated. The spool was getting lighter. Meyer saw a crumbling wall of the abandoned village. He took a short rest in the club building, left everything there that he wouldn't need on the way back and set out to help Wolfzon and Serov. They had to drug Wolfzon between them, while Serov kept on a steady stream of dire threats and racial slurs. He insisted on putting unconscious Wolfzon in a separate hut for the few hours before the dawn.
    In the morning, he wasn't there. Usually, after drinking and doing drugs, Wolfzon would be miserable and limp as a noodle, in withdrawal. They went out of the hut and looked around. The morning was quiet and ordinary. They saw Wolfzon, moseying toward them through a small apple orchard, chewing on an apple. He was weak but unharmed. Wolfzon finished the apple, spat the seeds and made a show of throwing the uneaten core back into the trees. 
     The blast of the explosion flung all of them to the ground, the earth clods and the pieces of the tree pelting them as they writhed in mortal fear. Afterwards, they sat there, digging the dirt from their eyes and trying to hear through the ringing in their ears. Wolfzon was pointing at what used to be an orchard and stuttering: "I w-w-walked through there j-just n-now!" Serov's pants were wet and sagging in the back and he smelled like shit.

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The Soviet soldiers walk through Hungary, 1945. 

Copyright protected

Thursday, November 6, 2014


     Its bad enough to have an itch that doesn't go away, but to feel it in your heart is even worse.   
    What do I mean?
     You know, you have to be feeling and doing better. For a while, its possible to convince yourself that, you are OK, you are doing all that you can, but the reality pushes her ugly mug into your face, and its impossible to ignore it any longer...
     "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Paul,  the former accuser and executioner of the Christians; the convert Paul, the driven man, whose whole life became a sacrifice, wrote these words. He still didn't feel, like he was doing enough to count himself worthy of Christ. Perhaps, because he had to constantly compare himself to the apostles, who lived and walked with Christ? Did they feel more comfortable in their skin, remembering Jesus, as he was: one of their own, but, suddenly, - the Master and the Messiah?
     My point is, if someone like Paul wrote those words, how much more justified I am to be tortured by my lack of the willpower and merit?
     "Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
     Heavenly Father, I can no longer abide my weak, faulty character! Outwardly, I am doing, what's required of me, but inside I am crumbling to dust, from which there is no return. Heavenly Father, I need help to ... to lose my passivity.
     I did not cause the way I was brought up. I am, as a human adult, responsible, of course, for my actions, but some things are too deeply rooted for us to be able to get rid of them on our own. I can't completely cure the warping of my personality, which came from my parents' ignorance and their warped personalities! And, by now, I understand: I can't control it. I need help, and it has to come from "THE" Higher Power infusing my own little life with His love and Will. I am expecting and obedient to it, but the uneasy feeling, like I am not doing enough, persists, like an itch, which does not go away. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


     I swear, I took just a few minutes' nap.  It was a stressful day, and Chikie decided to run away just as I opened the screen door to feed Goldie on the back porch. Usually, in this situation, I yell for Sonny, and he catches Chickie in moments. Sonny was at school, so, after following Chickie around the garden, trying to lure him to myself with a piece of ham, I gave up the chase. Even stopping time to time to chew on some shrubbery, he easily managed to stay ahead of me. Goldie was there too, watching us with bright eyes from a base of the basketball stand .

     I picked up the trash from the grass on the way home and decided that, it was enough exercise for Monday! Chickie will come home eventually.
     I laid down on the couch and closed my eyes, struggling to put away the nagging thoughts about the day. ...
     - "Did Chickie come back?" - Roberta's voice cut through the pleasant drowsiness, which began to overtake me...
     - "Mmm... No..."
     Knock, knock, knock...
     There were three knocks on the glass door to the garden. I rolled off the couch, at the same time trying to pry my eyes open.
     "Dina, Dina..." - It was Roberta's voice again, but she never before went to the garden, especially, alone!
     I pushed the vertical blinds aside. Roberta stood on the patio by the steps, holding Chikie in her arms!
     I opened the door. She pushed Chicken Bone over into the room. I had to use my strength to drag her up over the steps, because the poor lady was all tuckered out!
Roberta and Chikie
 I tried to tell her, what a stupid thing she did, going to the garden with it's bumpy, uneven ground and treacherous cats for the company without me knowing about it, but couldn't finish my sentences, so flabbergasted I was! She put herself in too much danger and didn't seem to realize that! Roberta looked rejuvenated by her adventure, although she had to work hard to catch her breath.
     - "I didn't know, how heavy he was! I had him by the neck and the hind legs, but he was slipping and, time to time, he began to cough, because he couldn't breathe [oh. my. God! She had him by the throat!]".
 Roberta continued: "I had to crouch down to prop him on my knees to help him catch his breath, but I am glad that, the door was not much further away: I wouldn't be able to drag him too much
     Roberta usually walks with a walker. She has low blood pressure and can black out anytime and fall, damaging some other part of her frail body. And here, she went out to an unfamiliar, difficult place without her walker or myself. I wanted to strangle her, but she was too excited by the brave thing that she did.
     According to her, Chickie became friends with Goldie, our little, stray, yellow-and-white kitty. She made some advances to him before, rubbing his shoulder through the screen mesh, approaching him playfully, when he ran out to the patio, but he always rebuffed her, hissing or raising a paw at her. He is, actually, a very mild-tempered (neutered) male, so I was surprised to see him react to Goldie that way. Well, it appears that, she overcame his resistance! Roberta said that, they were playing, jumping high in the garden. Chickie and Sylvie haven't played in the twelve years together in our home, never mind, jumping high in abandonment! Of course, there is a chance that Roberta, a master yarn-spinner, could be making it up to enhance her story, but that's too much even for her!
     As we went on with our day, Roberta told to Sonny and Reina the tale of her heroic rescue of Chickie. All I could see in my mind, while listening to her, was her bony hand, clutching his throat, and Chickie's astonished, furry mug!

Sunday, November 2, 2014


     Halloween is, mostly, a kids' celebration. Unless the adults themselves feel like celebrating! Reina's presence in our house and the desire to expose her to some of the American culture prompted me to consider reviving my Halloween zeal, which died out with my own children growing up.
     What to do, what to do? Reina and Sonny are too old to go trick-or-treating, neither would they put on the costumes. I almost gave up the idea, when I got an e-mail from a local tea-house. They were going to have a Halloween party! On the program were, of course, the teas, the treats, and old, scary Sherlock Holmes movies. 
Roberta and I did a lot of the errands that day. Here she is, with her hair freshly "washed and set" in a salon, looking, for all the world, like a Victorian matron in her rain bonnet!
     As we came home, the kids were busy carving pumpkins. I tried to persuade Sonny to go to the tea-house with us, but, perhaps, he felt that, it wouldn't be a very masculine thing to do, because he kept refusing. I asked again, just before all of us, ladies, left home, and he seemed like he was ready to give in, but I was in a hurry and couldn't spend any more time trying to convince him.
     We had a bigger table reserved at the tea-house, but only three of us showed up. I didn't really mind it when the owner began to sit other revelers with us, but decided to try Sonny again, and, lo and behold, the little stinker agreed! Of course, now I had to leave the party and go back home to pick him up. As I later found out, Taka, who before outright refused to join us, by that time also considered going along, but I didn't know about it and only picked up Sonny.          My resourceful son put a little table on the porch with the bowl of candy for trick-or-treaters and left a cute note: "Take a handful and don't cheat. The Jack o'Lantern is watching!"
I took the picture later on.
The note, obviously, worked,
because there was still some candy in the bowl!


The tables at the tea-house were set beautifly!

Some people came in costumes, like one of them, who was
dressed as a skunk and this couple, where the lady had small imp's horns on her head and the gentleman sported a smart fedora. Every time I tried to take a picture of them, it came out blurrry, and they, for some reason, appeared mysteriously lit up from behind!
     We each got a pot of tea and treats on a pretty tiered contraption, whose name I don't know.

Here, Sonny, getting in the spirit of things, tries to daintily cut his pumpkin muffin with tiny knife and fork. His cup had a strange porcelain bar across it's opening. I later found out that, its called a mustache grill, and is, probably, used to keep the gentlemen's facial adornments out of the tea!
We watched two Sherlock Holmes movies, while the staff poured pumpkin soup into our bowls. Sonny didn't like it, but Reina and Roberta had two helpings. I dutifully slurped my soup, but didn't particularly enjoyed it. We each had some cute little sandwiches cut in the shape of pumpkins and a good amount of cookies with pumpkin and ginger creme. Yum-m-m-m!
I worried, if Roberta could endure the long evening, sitting in a chair, but she seemed to have taken it in stride. She found the common ground with the lady, who sat at the same table with us: cats. Apparently, the lady had six of them. No judgment, but I silently congratulated myself on stopping after I adopted just two felines. 
 The movies ended, we finished our tea in comfortable laze. Sonny, unfortunately, decided to try a new thing, and ended up with the sassaparilla tea - a horrible concoction. He manfully bore his fate and refused to share my brew: Meyer Lemon. Do you know, why I chose it? Meyer is my father's name! Its funny: in the States, dad came to love going to the cafes, tea-houses and restaurants. I think, his spirit was with us, partaking in our enjoyment and remarking, like he often did in life, while sitting at a cafe's table: "This is how we live in this America!"