Perils and Perseverance

Once in a night as black as pitch, Isabel met a wicked old witch.  The witch’s face was cross and wrinkled.  The witch’s gums with teeth were sprinkled.  Ho, ho, Isabel! The old witch crowed, I’ll turn you into an ugly toad! Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry, Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.  She showed no rage and she showed no rancor, but she turned the witch into milk and drank her.  Isabel met a hideous giant, Isabel continued self reliant.  The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid. He had one eye in the middle of his forehead.  Good morning, Isabel, the giant said, I’ll grind your bones to make my bread.  Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry, Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.  She nibbled the zwieback that she always fed off, and when it was gone, she cut the giant’s head off.

Excerpt from The Adventures of Isabel, Ogden Nash, 1931

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Mirth and Musings Part 9

The holiday season provides ample opportunities for socializing amongst family and friends, coworkers, club members, and others and I look forward to such occasions with heady anticipation.  I’m usually a homebody, so this time of year is nice to step out and experience the excitement and expectations in the wind up to the big day and New Year beyond.  I hum carols to myself as I get ready to attend an event, package goodies to deliver as host gifts, wrap small gifts for friends I won’t see at the end of the month.  There is much that is undergoing change at present and just now it feels the time will slow briefly so that we can savor the season, I hope that you all find a little downtime to do just that.  Between parties, of course.

The New Yorker Magazine, Charles Addams, 1987
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Mirth and Musings Part 6

13 days past Halloween and I’ve decided it all went way too fast.  The outside decor has been removed and the interiors are nearly back to pre-Halloween state.  Though not entirely as there are some aspects of the interiors that I liked too much to take down.  I maintain the house never looks so well than it does in October.  In any case the neighborhoods have begun to transition towards the next holiday season and soon Thanksgiving will be here. The color palette is still where I like it to be, greens and oranges well represented and Fall weather steady even for the West Coast. Everywhere I look I still keep an eye out for those hidden Halloween touches still peeking out from behind other decor, always so exciting when spotted. Holdovers and clearance tables. Or just avid conspirators like myself determined to keep it going as long as possible. I often look to collections around the house to inspire me – like my New Yorker Magazine covers. I’ll highlight others in coming weeks, but here is the first I framed and its still my favorite. She is obviously getting ready for a big night out.  It keeps me smiling and looking forward.

Artist Abe Birnbaum, 1967
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Horseman step back

The Hag is astride,
This night for to ride;
The Devill and shee together:
Through thick, and through thin,
Now out, and then in,
Though ne’r so foule be the weather.

A Thorn or a Burr
She takes for a Spurre:
With a lash of a Bramble she rides now,
Through Brakes and through Bryars,
O’re Ditches, and Mires,
She followes the Spirit that guides now.

No Beast, for his food,
Dares now range the wood;
But husht in his laire he lies lurking:
While mischiefs, by these,
On Land and on Seas,
At noone of Night are working,

The storme will arise,
And trouble the skies;
This night, and more for the wonder,
The ghost from the Tomb
Affrighted shall come,
Cal’d out by the clap of the Thunder.

Robert Herrick
The Hag, 1648

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