Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

The pumpkins are lit, the candy bars are piled high, everything is ready for Halloween.
It might be cold and wet but at least it has quit raining! 

 Having candy bars at hand for all the ghosts and goblins coming to the door saying "Trick or Treat" is pretty easy to manage but getting ready for Halloween parties is not quite so simple. As we all know, sometimes it takes weeks of hard work to get a costume just right. Then other times you get lucky and all that's necessary is a new broom or hat, maybe a mask and you're in business.

Ivy spent all day trying out different looks before deciding what to wear to the party tonight.

She consulted the crystal ball to see if the rain would stop and took it as a good sign when the Blue Moon appeared upside down. Apparently she didn't realize that it was hanging on the wall behind it.  

As we all know too well, it's not simply which clothes you wear,
sometimes it's all about picking out the right accessories. 

After much careful consideration, Ivy decided a simple black mask would be the most comfortable and practical disguise to wear to the party this evening. Burt chose to be a Plague Doctor.  

Poor Spenser can't quite understand what all the fuss is about,
or why people keep ringing the door bell.

Ivy selected a light scent and some velveteen violets to accent her costume. 

Burt chose to take along an extremely loud and irritating noise-maker.

Of course the Black Cat Candy container is a must since it matches Ivy's dress!

Finally Ivy and Burt are ready for their big night out,

while Kibbitz and Spenser think the great pumpkin might be at the door!

Hope everyone is having a Happy Halloween!

How are you celebrating? Has the Great Pumpkin visited you yet?
Thanks for stopping by. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Raven Redux with Tea

Once upon a midnight dreary, Burt awoke, confused but cheery,
While he'd slept (he called it napping), suddenly there came a tapping!
Was there someone gently rapping? Rapping at his own backdoor?
Only this, and nothing more.

He was absolutely sober, that night in late October, when he ventured to that door.
Deep into the darkness peering, wondering just what he was fearing,
 to still the beating of his metaphorical heart, he stood repeating . . .
"Ok, who's there? What do you want? Do you know what time it is?
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Flinging open the kitty door, in there stepped a stately Raven, from the days of ancient yore.
Then this strange bird beguiling got Burt's tired face to smiling, by the bossy continence he wore.
There Burt stood, engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
until he resorted to addressing, what this creature had in store.  
Who are you, grim and skeletal raven, wandering from the Winnebago shore?
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

What a strange name, poor Burt exclaimed. We'll need some tea, this is all too insane,
and with those words it immediately came. The Mad Hatter, as always, was ready to pour.
Quoth the Raven, "No offence Burt, but I think tea at midnight is kind of a snore."

Soon again Burt heard a tapping somewhat louder than before,
Let me see then who it is, who is tapping at my door!
Quoth the Raven, "It's only Ms. Ivy, that you adore!"

Burt threw open the menacing door, "Dearest Ivy, your forgiveness I do implore.
All this crazy tapping and rapping has rattled to me to my very core!
Do come in, I have often offered refreshments to visitors entreating entrance before." 
Quoth the Raven, "there's always room for more!"

A quaint and curious blend of forgotten teas from ancient world's ends,
were quickly steeped for Burt's new friend and as the Hatter began to pour,
Quoth the Raven, ". . . alright, now I'm really, really bored."

Fresh tea was brought for Ms. Ivy along with some cake.
Though she took just a little, as it was getting quite late,
she enjoyed the company, there's no mistake about that.
Quoth the Raven, "Hey, where did you get your hat?"

They shared the cake in silence unbroken, and the stillness gave no token
yet the only words there spoken was the whispered, "have some more?"
Quoth the Raven, "Watch your step, I'm afraid I was sick on the floor."

Mad Hatter's Bella Notte serenade capped the evening off right,
though it's not part of Halloween lore, it fit in perfectly that night.
The party was spooky, but without any gore because after all that's what I was aiming for.
As for the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting on the table, waiting to implore . . .
Quoth the Raven, More, more, more!

Thank you for visiting! 
My thanks to Edgar Allan Poe and apologies to his fans.

Many thanks to the fabulous Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist for hosting this fun event!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Burt Haunts the USS Salem

For the past few years, Nick and I have traveled to the Boston area in October to visit our son, Andy. We are always too early to catch the famous New England fall colors but that's ok since we have plenty of trees where we live and they put on a really spectacular display too. So instead of looking at leaves we visit museums of all sorts and on this particular day we ended up at the USS Salem, at the US Naval and Shipbuilding Museum in Quincy. This is something of a departure for us since we tend to prefer ships with sails and cannons instead of Heavy Cruisers with antiaircraft artillery and radar.

The cruiser is currently located in the shipyard where it was built from 1945 to 1947 by girl power! We've all heard of Rosie the Riveter but this is the first instance I've seen any museum actually acknowledge them as the important and vital workforce they were. Good work ladies! 

I was curious as to why the ship was named after the city of Salem, MA and discovered that in the 1940's cruisers were named after cities, battleships after states and destroyers were received their monikers from naval leaders and heroes. Submarines, on the other hand were named after fish and marine creatures, hmmm ... are we talking the Kraken here? Of course being named after such a famously supernatural city we were't sure what to expect. There were rumors of it being haunted!  

Armed with a sketchy map, we descended into the deep darkness of the inner hull.
All those games of Battleship did not prepared us for a real ship constructed for actual battle!

Naturally Burt wandered off and was lost almost immediately in the maze of corridors and rooms.
In addition to the engines, armaments and living quarters for 1300 crew members the ship was a regular floating city so there was plenty of places to explore. 

 We looked everywhere for him, even at the dentist's! Now that was a scary sight.

That's not him either, I hope. Time to move along.

Hearing that Burt was on his way to the gun turrets and thinking that it might be less scary on the upper deck, we decided to check it out. By the way, this ship was never engaged in battle and all those guns were never fired except for practice. In it's active life it was the flagship of the US 6th Fleet and mainly served for saber rattling during the cold war era and making port visits in the Mediterranean. Once they did rescue some Greek refugees but it's career was basically diplomatic.  

Inside the gun turret it appears that Burt needed time to pretend he was shooting down enemy aircraft. So different from PlayStation! All that real fire power was pretty frightening. Maybe it's not so dangerous below deck after all. There's still more ship to explore, wonder where the sailors ate?

In the mess hall we found this flag on display so of course I had to find out what it was all about. The scuttlebutt from the Boston Globe on this slogan is that in 1813 Commander James Lawrence uttered it as he lay dying in his cabin while his crew were locked in hand-to-hand combat with the sailors of a British frigate. He had orders not to engage in combat but either chose to ignore  them or just really screwed up. Consequently he lost his life and also his ship. In an instance of revisionist history his words turned into an unofficial motto of the US Navy and Commander Lawrence became a hero.    

Once again it appears that Burt is missing, what has he gotten into this time?
Lots of creepy places to hide and holes to fall down into on this ship!

Oh, great. Glow in the dark Burt, at least he was easy to find. How will he ever get past the TSA?

Thanks for joining us on our visit to the USS Salem.

Do you still have your Battleship Game? Do you still play it?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Burt's Bad Day

One day last week things weren't going too well for Burt,

he couldn't tell if he was coming or going,

 and no matter how hard he tried he just couldn't keep it together.
This is a serious problem for a skeleton, especially since Halloween is just around the corner!

He had definitely gone to pieces.

Fortunately the Mad Hatter knew just what needed to be done and apparently it tickled.

First a sedative needed to be concocted and administered to the patient.

Burt's trusty friend, Kibbitz flew in to lend moral support and sage advice.
In no time at all they got Burt all patched up,

with a little help from a Duck. 

Afterward, Burt slept off the anesthesia,

and soon he was as good as dead!

So how is your week going?  Thanks for stopping by!