Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yuletide Greetings!

As hearty and true as ever can be
These Christmas Wishes to you from me!

With every good wish for
Christmas Happiness
and the best in the coming year.

Most sincerely
your friend,
Cellar Door

Friday, November 11, 2011

Early to Two Beds, Early to Rise, Makes a Witch Happy, Healthy, and Wise!

It has forever been a dream of mine to each night sleep in a bunk bed of my "making". (For at an age early to me, I crossed my heart and hoped to kiss a warty dragon

with skin not unlike this,
only stench~green and not a gourd,

endlessly to Momsy, beggingly pledging that I would indeed make clean sheets of both beds daily, if I could pretty, pretty please exchange my Jenny Lind spindle for a set, if altogether bunkies I could call my very own, would be mine!)

Alas, it was not meant to be. I was (Still am.) an only child and Momsy was (Still is.) Practical. With a capital "P".

My own devices, those of which I was left to, and I (above) would become close, make do creative companions for forever and a day night.

That is until today, when a down~the~street tag sale granted me a lifelong wish come true! Merriest congratulations to me, O Momsy, as I soon will catch a bus to Linens R Us, or some other such specialty shop! Then, have a guess, please do, as to where I will be with an enormous bowl of popping corn and a stack of "Must Reads" just as tall (and mayhaps a butterknife to go with a dessert plate with a Bartlett middling it!)? Here's a hint from words I have quietly recited, over and again, beginning way ago:

"If you have bunk beds,
you might as well sleep on top!"

Image Credt: Mountained-bed politely borrowed from French Vogue.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Ghoul-den Oldie

Whether the night be raw or no, gather yourself up cozy~nested in one of the overstuffeds fronting the warming hearth, and right up close to it, now, because I have the urge in me to spout a Tale Worthy of a Tell, as my Great Aunt Driven always tags them, so, likely, you're going to need a little bit, if not more, of anything that will deflect The Shivers!

White as the Driven Snow

FIRSTLY: Curious? That is, about my great~auntie's nickname, "Driven"? Long ago and maybe even before that, my aunt acquired a new label when her hair suddenly, but for incredibly good reason, whitened at an age typically when it would be least expected!(?) That indeed is another Tale Worthy of a Tell, do tell!

But I shan't. Can't. And I apologize if I have just put you on the edge of your cushion on a count of the "Great~Aunt Driven's Hair as White as the Driven Snow" story untold, as it will have to keep, for I have another yarn I'm anxious to unravel! *caving out of necessity to inform, steals a bit from the Tick~Tock in order give a history that is brief* This much about her I will spew, though: Dear Auntie Driven is answerable when it comes to the whosit, whysit, and howsit of me greatly being interested in the first place in what I'm about to share with you. Read on, then, before you read on!

Whereas some people delight in their ongoing accumulation of salt and peppers
(As in shakers, that is. My other great aunt, Tu, rather finds this a "jolly good sport!"); "books of major significance" *low~tones voice* ~~but then again, mostly NOT, a~hem. (That would be you, Gemmama!); or "decades and decades of spent saliva," as my philatelist Great Uncle Ned refers to his agglomeration of stamps and assorted posted envelopes from around the globe, I, on the other hand, collect ghost stories (and other assorted frightful narratives) ~~a knack, if you will, that I "inherited" from dear Driven, who is likewise a fancier of the same and has treasured me with a many taken from her personal anthology. (Please know that I am till~my~dying~day everso appreciative, Auntie Driven!)

Still comfy? Being sitty before fireplace crackles hasn't become too hot for you? (Please, smooth your upper furrows, because not to worry: stray cinders rarely escape Our Fires, that I promise you.) *sets fun~fussy chin~wags aside* Ready~steady~go, then, for a "bump in the night" taken from my Ghoul~den Oldies file (my collection of ghost and scary stories that always bear repeating) and one certain to give you that goblins~blowing~cold~breath~on~you feel?! This Tale Worthy of a Tell begins:

Way ago back, there was a man
who went out hunting in the woods.

Just as suddenly as night fell, he found himself lost in the forest. It was when more aimless walking and even more aimless walking proved to be circles that did not take him home, that he happened upon a small clearing

where an old, ramshackle cabin stood with its door ajar. Poking his tired and weary head inside and about, he could see a bed with nobody in it, and a fire burning in the fireplace with nobody tending it. As big big yawns did spill from that same head, he shrugged and flung himself on the bed for the night, having decided to explain himself, come morning, if the owner came back.

But before sleep fully took him, he looked around and was surprised to see the walls were largely hung with paintings. By all appearances, they were family portraits, all framed and painted in remarkable detail. They seemed very life~like and, without exception, each subject was uglier than the next. The hideous faces in the paintings made him strangely uneasy. The artist's technique made it seem as if the eyes were staring directly at him! It was quite unnerving. So much so that the exhausted man had to pull the blanket over his head in order to drift off to sleep.

In the morning, the hunter woke up to find the cabin bathed in sunlight. When he looked up, he discovered there were no family portraits on the walls of the cabin,


. . . . . . .

*cups ear and leans in for a listen*

Just as I thought!
No worries.
I never tell this tale without
baking ahead a remedy:

Rubies and Racēmi Nut~Maple Pie
A wonderfully~different delicious cranberry and raisin baked~plate with a woodland filling mixture, whose receipt I shall share with you just as soon as I locate the presently "hidden" card it's written on. (Oh, do I love the absentminded Magic that is me! Lol!) Do look for it listed in my Comment section, hopefully later this day.

Might I interest you in a lovely slice of pie to help settle those rattled bones of yours?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Witches Tea Party Under a Halloween Moon 2011

[PRELUDE: This All Hallows weekend, Miss Anna,
who hangs her

pointy hat
at Frosted Petunias, is hosting a gathering of witches for a a tea party under a Halloween moon to celebrate and to remember!

Frosted Petunias

"I invite you (The Witches Tea Party Under a Halloween Moon is open to all active bloggers, because the more the merrier the make merry!) to create a tea party to express and honor the witch in all of you. Whether you are an artful witch, a whimsical witch or a magickal witch (and yes you can be all). Your tea party can be fun and playful, sacred and soulful, hauntingly spooky or simply beautiful," she joyfully offered. Without a moment's hesitation, I accepted!]

It was a dark and stormy night...

But first and nextly comes right out from me a teensy tinsy gust of outloud merriment, because a thrill that starts at my topnot travels to the toe~tippies of

Can you be anything but happy when you're wearing striped socks?
my striped sockinged feet,
then back again and twice more,
as I remember

a dear Funny Papers friend
typewriting on his rooftop

and me realizing his passion for launching yet another of many novels with this, canonical phrase "borrowed" from Victorian purple proser, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, opening his story in such an intriguing way. Eversincely, I have entertained the thought of some day making temporary use of Snoopy's eternal opener to unfold a tale of my own. Today be that dream come true!

It was a dark and stormy night... sort of.

*nervously struggling with a Truth~Be~Told on the verge of being confessed out of avoidability (as I will not sleep ever again if I do not spill!)*

Gemmama says, "To cut bread in an uneven manner is a sign that you have have been telling a lie." At this moment I am glad my grandmother is not present to hand me the serrated knife. For it is true: a fib I cannot tell (and get away with it). White deceits do not become me, and dark BIG lies neither do I wear well. They, inparticular, are oversize garments on me, whose disacorded darts are liked to misguided "shoots" of firework.

Thus, the Truth~Be~Told: even though this story's unfurl found its beginning late, late yesterday, it happened beneath showy, twinkling stars that brightly down~watched overly and throughout. Expressly, then, it was NOWISE a dark and stormy night...

Because it being Hallowe'en, I took advantage of the situation merely to be able to finally put this opening to my special good use, is all. Having that said, I am feeling better already! On with the party? LET'S SHALL!

At the stroke of midnight, sounded by Gemmama's parlored Great Clock, a very early brewed and very black cup of party tea was poured into a middlish~size bowl, where raisins, sultanas (golden rasisins), currants, and lemon peelings~made~candied would sleep~soak until plumped. Sametimely, Sun's up would interrupt their spelt~upon slumber, and I then did collander the entire lot, because there is an All~Hallows~Even tradition, Barmbrack, an edible~y divining tool that next I would bake from a special formula, that of witch which I merrily share~ily! (Later this day, featured in the blog section tagged "Comments," below, I promise you my family's holiday receipt!)

Forever to our clan known as

Speckle Bread
(The word "brack" comes from the Irish "breac," meaning "speckled.")

because it is, quite frankly, "spotty" to the eye. Speckle Bread speaks of itself perfectly, and Celtically called Báirín Breac, this Irish fruited tea bread, that is nearly cake, is best served toasted with a smear of Witch's Frosting (softened butter) and washed with a cup of Irish Tea, typically on the day that is Halloween!

Most front forwardly, though, and of what I did make hints at priorly, Barmbrack is a delicious

fortune telling game, whose baker hidingly dough~deeps destiny trinkets and charms symbolic in their slice for those breaking this sweet treat on Samhain, and thus divines their future!

Once upon a time and waaay way back in the day, secretly planted bakery bits of silver and gold would customarily include a coin
(wealth), a matchstick (to beat your spouse with --?!), a rag (poverty), a thimble (spinsterhood), a button (bachelorhood), a gold ring (marriage), and a pea or bean (once again with the poverty).

But whiles and whiles ago, Gemmama and her flock decided these antiquaited, if not downright nasty, predictors had to go. Replacing them would be a fun~wonderful slew of new charms with exceptional meanings:

[PLEASE NOTE: Pictured replicas only. Precisely posted images would adversely change the positive charge belonging to them.]

Peanut Charm
Forecast: You will join the circus!

Best be having a Litter Box Charm handy if this be your find, as this silvery morsel is really a bell: it actually tinkles!
Cat Charm
Forecast: Furry or t'otherwise, you will make a new friend.

The Coffin Charm
stands for a Wealth of Health: "If this trinket be in your slice, keep it hidden more than twice." (Meaning, if the the charm is hidden all year long, then there is no coffin. Or in other words, "No coughin'," which is to say, "Good Health!")

Fancy Spectacles Charm
Forecast: You shall find something or someone that you thought you'd lost.

The Pickle or Craving Charm
Forecast: Someone very close to you--Mayhaps even you!--will become round with child.

Satchels be packed!
Because, not unlike an Eensy Weensy up the water spout, ye, too, shall travel.

The Love Beannie Charm
Gemmama added the Nesmith cap to the mix the year then tweenager Momsie longed to be on the arm of a particular Monkee. These days, it signifies a new or a renewed romance is just around the corner.

Purse Charm
Forecast: The money tree growing in your backyard will finally sprout "leave$e$"!

Enchanted Slipper Charm
Forecast: Come Black Friday, all of your tracks will be fast, taking you to the head of the cash register line each and every time!

. . . . . . .

Now, then, care to join me in

a spot and a cut of the spotty?
Please and thank~you to tell me of the charm you made discovery of, encrusted in your slathered slice!

A Forget~Me~Not Reminder:

Mud be thy name if you do not find yourself finding

Mini Teacup Ring / LittlePinkBox
an especially special way
to keep this day's memories!

Credit where credit is do:
Snoopy / Charles M. Schulz
Charms: Amanda
Tea set / Hannah Stockham
Forget~Me~Nots / Glitter Your World
Mini Teacup Ring /

Saturday, October 22, 2011

All Dressed Up and Someplace to Go!

(replication of the original)

"Tah-ruly one of Betsy's mother's finest!" declared Gemmama, shiny with a proudness that spoke as if indeed she closely knew the McCall family (perhaps was even invited to Thanksgiving dinner at their house on occasion, because, "Is that so very hard to believe?!?") to her then little girl, who would next grow up to someday be my Momsie♥, gently hand~cradling before her the sewing pattern envelope, whose delicate inner tissues would soon hurry to be received by a specially~selected and magically flowy black fabric, afterwitch afterwhich and in short order (My grandmother's stitches have always been quick and light of motion!) it would become the "Mommy and Me" matching outfit (a look that always found time to tug at Gemmama's heartstrings) that she and her daughter would together share-wear, come a Tricks or Treats evening, decades ago, AND whose scrumptuously artworked packaging had instantly turned Momsie's eyes into platters! (BY•the•BY: Happy Almost Halloween greetings to you, Gemmama, if indeed I have caught you sneak peeking "taking in the sights," even though over and again you insist that something you would never in a million black cats' years busy yourself with is the reading of a blog, the reason for choosing not to mostly being: "The word 'blog' is a silly sound!")

"Push the worry from your stomach," I confidented my littlest witchy~pal, Natalie, who much rathers "Natty," and is my cookie Thomas' sweet niece, days ago when she "I spied" the annual All~Hallows~Even

holiday party invite, joyfully issued to all by Vanessa, who hangs her pointy hat at A Fanciful Twist. Reminding her of my No Witch Left Behind Policy, because the more the merrier indeed, I then did boost the invitation: "In concert you and I shall enter 'through the secret keyhole' (Please to "click" and you shall come, too!) to celebrate this day of days!

From out of my grandmother's second attic, farback
~and~to~the~right~and~left~of~Great~Uncle~Ned's~boxed~wishbone~collection trunk, amore~sprinkled, look~alikey witch garb in sizes BIG (Gemmama's!) and small (Momsie's!) have been borrowed and freshened! But lo and behold a bold fashion statement change, though, for beneath out pointies, Natty and I will lovingly plop old~fashioned, tribute bonnets up top our topnots, only to again plop, this time, ourselves in

(Most sincerely, its flavor is that of pumpkin orange
--and gold-threaded to boot!)

the parlor's favorite overstuffed. There we will herald in this festival day's frolic with a cozy reading of delicately penned in her own hand and likewise dotted with her soft~colored and charming teeny tiny drawings

National Treasure Tasha Tudor's
very first published story

Pumpkin Moonshine!

Its breviary tells: Pumpkin Moonshine is a short little tale of Tudor's niece Sylvie Ann as she goes out to select a big pumpkin for Halloween. Sylvie Ann and her little dog, Wiggy, climb a hill to the cornfield where the pumpkins are growing.

They find a big one and start to roll it home as if it were a big snow-ball. As they head back down the hill the pumpkin gets away from them and speeds into the farmyard scaring some goats, chickens, and geese and finally, bumps into the hired hand causing him to spill a bucket of whitewash. Finally, Sylvie Ann's grandfather, who you can tell by his style of dress is a New England gentleman farmer, helps her carve the pumpkin into

a "Pumpkin Moonshine",
otherwise known as a Jack-o-Lantern.

They put a candle inside and enjoy the grinning face. Sylvie Ann saves the seeds and plants them in the cornfield in the spring.

Orangely primed,
we will most certainly then

be ready for our own
Pumpkin Moonshining!

Shame on forgetful me, because I did not make a mention of the wand~making, did I? Three cheers! because the treating continues, when Natty and I create

fabulous Hallowe'en wands!

Then, no doubt and quite honestly, because I can never avoid not to, we will "bake"

a pie!

And, yes, yes, a thousand times yes, there will be presents!-- Oh! Oh! OH! I MUST SCAMPER! Suddenly and follwing a knock~knock~knockity~knocking at my door, little footsteps are coming up to me! Natalie has arrrived! And if she does over~my~shoulder read this, much too soon she will get wind of the surprises: a paint box whose chips are chock full of Tasha Tudor~y inspired


Natty has yet to have put to parchment, waits wrapped for her in pumpkin print paper, as does, too, a bewitching perfumer of Miss Taylor Swift's

a charming gourmand named after the lyrics her song titled, "Enchanted"!

I'd best be closing!

A Happy Halloween Party to all,
and to all,

A Pumpkin Moonshiny Night!

A Most Important Postscript: Dear Miss Vanessa, I send to you this from~the~bottom~of~my~heartly thank you!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lady Luck's Color: Orange!

It is wise not to burn a sweet Gurley orange such as this, because watching that would make me very sad!

And so begins day twenty~five, leading up to the biggest 31st of the year: All~Hallows~Even! Yes, amazed I am, as, likely, you are too, at how extraordinarily Hallowe'en~magickal the clock's tick~tocks now do make their sounds!

Going mere days back, the door on The Whimsical Cottage opened and from its threshold Miss Danni made pre~holiday mentions: "Time we got out our broomsticks and candlesticks and tell each other spooky stories around the fire. And, because so many of you played along and I had so much fun last year, I'm throwing another Countdown to Hallowe'en blog party this year! If you missed it last year, here's what you need to know to play along:

Do something Autumny or Halloweeny every day throughout the month of October, ending with the big event on the 31st. It need not be anything difficult or eleborate, just a little something to get you in the spirit. Share what you've been up to on your blogs either daily, every few days, weekly... whenever you're able! All I ask is you have a maniacally good time!"

You'll join us then? Please say you will? (If your schedule nods in approval, give "click" to the Halloween countdown invitation, pictured, above.) Grand! I'm simply delighted, and I am certain that is what Miss Danni will be, too, soonly after you favorably RSVP!

My 8 October Countdown contribution

To make luck come bountifully into your life (Or, mayhapsly, it be all about replenishing your suddenly dwindling stash? Because, "How did I let it get away on me?" you're asking yourself.), take a freshly owned orange~colored candle that has yet to have a glowing match put to it, and anoint it thricely with three driplets of cinnamon oil, three driplets of clove oil, and three driplets of lotus oil, because it is rumored that belonging to each of these integrals are vibrations of the luck~attracting kind.

Dancing Bear is one of Momsy's favorite people!

Whilst Grandfather busies himself with counting out loud to twelve, thus turning the world into midnight, three times impart the following incantation:


Gaze into the flame of the candle, same
~timing with thinks and thoughts good lucky. Give pulse to a lucky feel that is real, as if indeed it was you who had just won a prize!

As mind~pictures paint a Wheel of Fortune especially spinning for you, remember, too, this reminder: To achieve an outcome that is at its best, cup
~runneth~overly magnify this newly conjured euphoria. But, oh, I do ask begs of thee: BE WATCHFUL! NEVER, ever (and dotted with a plentiful sprinkling of whatsoever) doubt the power of the spell! Even the smallest crumb of skeptical will recklessly upside down its effectiveness.

And for certain and most importantly, do NOT stop the candle's "burn
~brightly," until 1 November becomes the day, because as Grandfather's speaks of Wee Morning, so shall the spell be fixed. (Take heed, please, witches in need of beauty sleep: a bathtub safely holds a lit taper all night long unattended.) And, if Sunrise finds the candle NOT "out," put to use a moistened two~finger wick~pinch, as it is the only acceptible snuff. Because NEVER LET HUMAN BREATH CEASE THE FLAME OR ALL OF YOUR GOOD LUCK WILL BLOW AWAY.

And if a past
~annointed orange candle be at your fingertips, enjoy prediction:

To peer into the future (or visit Realms Unknown), before a mirror at the stroke of Halloween midnight, middle yourself betwix a midnight~complected candle placed leftmost and the spelled orange candle on your right. "Match" each hand to light the candles at a moment that is the same to both of them, whilst you give a gaze to your own eyes in the mirror. Concentrate upon that which you desire to know, until an often times misty vision looks back at you from the glass. Within this vision your answer will be found!