- Many local regions, especially rural areas where I live, have haunted houses. Have you ever spent the night in a house that was supposedly haunted? Anything ‘strange” happen? I have spent a night in “the haunted bedroom” of a 12th century abbey in Scotland and HERE is the story. Yes, something did happen. (The top story room overlooking the graveyard in the photo above is the one we stayed in.)
- The Quidditch Cup (riding broomsticks while chasing a small ball) was a huge sporting event in the land of Hogwarts. What is the largest sporting event (or concert, etc.) that you have ever attended? A Leo Kottke concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I remember Ruth Gordon was in the audience and entered in style attired in an evening gown, but on a stretcher carried by four young men in tuxedos. I think she had broken her leg and wanted a more exotic entrance than on crutches.
- When you go for a swim, do you prefer an ocean, the seaside lakes, or a pool? I grew up swimming in stock dams and the White River in South Dakota. The closest pool was 40 miles away in a town that had scary kids in it. When at the ocean, I like going in every day, but I do exercises in lieu of swimming and it can be tricky with the waves rolling in. One minute you are chest-high in water and the next over your head. So, I guess I prefer going into my own pool at home where the level is consistent and the water is very warm because it is piped in from hot mineral springs that are heated by Colima Volcano. Ahhhhh.
- Ron Weasley received a horrid robe to wear as formal wear to the Christmas dance at Hogwarts. Tell about the most ‘ghastly’ fashion statement that you have ever made. This is a secret that has never been told before. The year that Osama Bin Laden was caught and killed, I went to a masquerade party in a Muammar Gaddafi mask and clothed like him, with gloves on so no one saw my hands. I had a toy pistol and I kept running around, hiding behind chairs every time people came in, ducking behind doors and madly rushing around the garden. Everyone was pretty spooked out. I had made up flash cards with things I wanted to say on them so no one heard my voice. When the party got busy, I went out and changed into my own clothes and came back. No one ever figured out who it was. Some thought it was someone crashing the party. Others thought it was someone else who came to the party right after I left. To this day, Those of you reading this post are the only ones who know, except for my friend Harriet who was with me when I bought the mask but who wasn’t at the party.
Your settings are fantabulous–the china and the cutlery
a window to an earlier time of serving maids and butlery.
Your butter knives and bread plates, shrimp forks and the rest
might lead to intense nervousness as we’re put to the test
to know which fork we should use next. The difference between
the cake fork or the salad fork is not so easily seen.
You’re such an avid hunter through antique stores and bazaars,
searching for ornate candlesticks and antique canning jars,
that you must have been ecstatic when you found this antique set
of twelve place settings, all intact. How lucky could you get?
Eleven serving pieces, plus eleven for each setting—
to hint at all the courses that each diner would be getting.
Spoons for every purpose from ice tea to demitasse.
So many forks that Martha Stewart would be at a loss.
Cheese knives, cake knives, butter knives. Knives for steak and fish.
A different knife or spoon or fork for every single dish!
As we sit down, it’s quite befuddling perusing them,
let alone imagining that we will all be using them.
Our sideways glances indicate we’re all of the same mind.
No matter how confusing, we are bound to be well-dined!
These particular prompt words somehow led me to a memory of a brass-with-teakwood- handles set of cutlery that I bought in a bazaar in India. It was comprised of 144 pieces–eleven pieces in each of the twelve place settings and eleven serving pieces. I was so impressed with it in it’s lovely red felt-lined teakwood case that I bought two of them—one for me and one for my sister. They were, however, a pain to wash and keep shiny as you couldn’t put them in the dishwasher, and when I moved to Mexico, I sold mine. My sister’s had been consigned to her basement storage long before that, but I did once throw a dinner party where I invited eleven people and served a course for each implement. This meant: salad fork, shrimp fork, dinner fork, cake fork, demitasse spoon, ice tea spoon, soup spoon, teaspoon, steak knife, butter knife, regular knife.
Everything went fine until one friend showed up half an hour late from the bar, drunk and with three friends! Needless to say, I was not happy as my service didn’t stretch to fifteen. I had to set up another card table with my regular cutlery and they had to eat their shrimp cocktail and salad with the same fork. After that, my own set was consigned to basement storage as well, but at least it led to this poem.
I believe I planted this hibiscus about four months ago and this is the fourth round of blooming. It is still pretty much a single stalk which sprouts three to five blossoms at a time, with one or two coming into full bloom at a time. The strange thing about this plant, however, is that each bloom seems to have different characteristics. I probably have more than a dozen different varieties of hibiscus in my yard, but all of the others have a pretty consistent shape that each flower is a duplicate of. It’s as though this plant, however, gives me little surprises every time it blooms.
They primp and they posture and leave parts uncovered.
Few parts of their bodies are left undiscovered.
Pitching their assets, they rip off small parts
of their form-hugging Levis to capture the hearts
and the libido of young men in passing.
It’s part of their flirting and tongue-in-cheek sassing.
Euphoric and giggling or slightly aloof,
they are every boy’s fantasy, out on the hoof.
Equality isn’t their goal or their pleasure,
for the power they yield is more than full measure.
Their cups runneth over. With their charms, it’s a cinch.
If birds were their quarry, no more than a pinch
of salt would be needed to capture their tail.
Their fish have been caught and just writhe in their pail.
Young huntresses all, yet each young man they meet
no doubt finds them guileless–innocent and sweet.
They are slightly misguided—naive in their Dockers,
thinking that they are the ones who are stalkers.
We will not inform them that hunters they’re not.
They just follow the bait until they are caught!
Click on images to enlarge.
For some reason, this hibiscus, planted at the same time as two others that are now three feet high or more, prefers to remain at ground level. Click on images to enlarge.
You’ll need to enlarge the photos to see the stories told by this cake and gingerbread house constructed by Roberta Cheadle. for the Lonely Artist Covid-19 Challenge.
Here are Robbie’s explanations of her Lonely Artist Covid-19 contribution:
I have attached two pictures of my Covid-19 twisted nursery rhyme cake—The young woman who lived in a shoe.
I’ve also attached a picture of my Covid-19 twisted fairy tale gingerbread house—The witch hides from Hansel and Gretel who are both vectors for Covid-19.
I love Robbie’s originality. What alternative art form can you find to express your Covid experience? Music? Poetry? A story? An original Mask? A costume? A video? A recipe? A painting or sculpture? I think one friend is going to make a piece of jewelry. Use your imagination.
Breach of Conduct
There’s a glitch in my spelling—a flub in my speech.
I spelled the word breech when it should have been breach.
There’s a stupendous difference from word to word,
thus my conveyed meaning was rather absurd.
Forgive me for saying that your breech was ample.
and sending the notice out to get a sample
of whether the world at large shared my opinions,
and that is how my formidable minions
came to demonstrate actions unseemly and rude.
Their remarks about size were incredibly crude.
And so though I am sure that your actions were dumb,
I have no opinion re/ the size of your bum!
I don’t know if this hibiscus is in the act of opening up or closing down, but it makes for a novel capture. First time I’ve ever seen one do this.
For Cee’s FOTD
Masked and Unmasked
Would you please exonerate me from my daily task
of hourly disinfectant and this horrid mask?
They’re needed for survival and using them is wise.
I believe the truth of it. I don’t believe the lies
that Donald tries to feed us about things getting better.
The west coast’s burning up as our southern coast gets wetter.
His conniption fits don’t reach me. I know he’s just selected
any random facts and words for getting reelected.
The only way to free us is to get some wiser folks
to replace these charlatans that are merely jokes.
Self-serving puppets of the rich, they posture and they bluster.
They proudly go out maskless as they gather in his cluster.
The only way to save us is to vote these fools out.
It’s done no good to protest, to riot and to shout.
The finest weapon that we have is easier to tote.
Just put your mask and gloves on and hurry out to vote.
We’ll wear these masks forever until we pass away
if every single one of us doesn’t have our say.
If you’re my friend, please go and vote. It’s not much of a task.
And maybe in my lifetime I can get rid of this mask!!!!