California Santa in Flip-Flops Decoration and More

My husband George saw this beach-bound Santa decoration at CVS, and he thought it was so cool.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

He’s thinking of wearing a similar outfit to the family Christmas get-together.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I think that would be a hoot! We do live in California, so the chance of snow is slim. Plus, there’s a slight similarity, don’t you think?

Here’s a short video with some other Santas at CVS.

Isn’t that St. Nick in PJs with reindeer slippers cute? Who thinks this stuff up?

You do believe in Santa, right? If not, my friend Maria Cisneros Toth might convince you in this post from 2011, Santa is very real.

Are you enjoying the hustle and bustle of the season? I have to confess I’m feeling rushed and overwhelmed, and I’m not even out and about doing a lot of shopping. I avoid crowds as much as possible.

Some people decorate every room in the house. I’m not one of those people. How about you? How do you handle the holiday season? Is this your favorite time of year?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you gong-ho with holiday decor and activities, or do you prefer quiet holidays? Which version of Santa do you like the best? 

Thanks for stopping by!

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Adult Sibling Rivalry in a Toy Store!

Does sibling rivalry ever end?

 

Apparently not! Here’s some evidence featuring my two younger sisters:

I got together with my sisters and our mom for a girls’ day. This was our  holiday get-together, and man oh man, did we have fun. We went out to lunch, then checked out some little shops. The above video was at The Wonder Emporium, a charming toy and book store.

Pam tried on one of the flashing Christmas necklaces. I told her she had to dance for my video. She was game, and, no, we weren’t even drinking.

Cindy put on a candy cane necklace, but it wasn’t lighting up. It turned out the label has to be removed first. She didn’t want to remove it and wear out the batteries since she wasn’t going to buy it.

We’re all grandmas now, and you can bet the grandkids will love seeing their grandmothers decked out in flashy jewelry. Especially a grandma who’s a dancing goofball!

I Love This Quote:

“To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” ~ Clara Ortega

Pam, the middle child, is the funniest member of the family, in my opinion.

 

Cindy’s not okay with that. LOL! She had to get in on the act.

They crack me up. Over and over and over.

Mom got a big kick out of their charades, too. So did the clerks. Hope you enjoy our silly antics, too.

If you were there, would you have joined in? I hope so.

What are your family dynamics like? Every family is unique. I’d love to hear about yours. What are your thoughts? Are you ready for the holidays? 

 

 

Posted in Dancing, family, Funny, Holidays, Uncategorized, YouTube Video | 2 Comments

Children’s Books Make Nice Christmas Gifts

Children’s books make wonderful gifts. Looking for books for those special children in your life?

While we’re on the subject, I have a brand new special child in my life:

Born November 4th, my new grandson weighed 5 pounds 15 ounces. For now, his nickname is Little Man.

With all the excitement of the birth of a new grand darling (our sixth), plus lots of company this month, it’s taken me longer than planned to write this post about two children’s books and the amazing authors who wrote them.

For the little ones, Vilayvanh Bender’s picture book, Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers, is delightful. She compares and contrasts two generations and cultures while also emphasizing the loving relationship between a mother and daughter. A perfect read aloud.

Vilayvanh Bender

“A story of generational and cultural differences between mother and daughter. Endearing illustrations show Mahlee learning how differently Mommy did things as a child in Laos than she does in America. Mahlee loves doing everything with Mommy, but will she eat fried grasshoppers? A great way to inspire a conversation about childhood, culture and family history.”

My BBH McChiller coauthor Kathryn Sant and I attended Vanh’s book signing at The Frugal Frigate children’s bookstore in Redlands, California on November 10th.

Vilayvanh Bender, Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Vanh read her picture book to an impressive crowd of children and parents.

Vilayvanh Bender, Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Also present at the book signing was illustrator, Nor Sanavongsay.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Kathryn Sant (aka BBH McChiller), Nor Sanavongsay, and Vilayvanh Bender

Below, Nor is signing a book, and some of Vanh’s relatives are wearing their beautiful silk Laos dresses.

Nor Sanavongsay, Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Everyone was welcome to eat a fried grasshopper. I was game. I love to try new foods.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Lynn Kelley (aka BBH McChiller)

Not bad. I ate two fried grasshoppers. Yay for getting a little extra protein, plus I got a sticker:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

There was a table displaying Ninja and rag dolls like the ones Vanh played with as a child in Laos.

Vanh’s illustrator, Nor Sanavongsay, demonstrated how he creates his illustrations on a tablet.

The Frugal Frigate is the perfect setting to hold children’s book signings. Lots of interesting books and decorations.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Nor Sanavongsay, Vilayvanh Bender, and Marilyn Cram Donahue.

Aspiring Writer Meets Mentor

A few years ago, Vilayvanh Bender met Marilyn Cram Donahue, leader of a group called The Saturday Morning Schmoozers. It’s for folks interested in the craft of children’s books. The Schmoozers are part of the SoCal Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

“I was so nervous,” Vanh said regarding the first meeting she attended.  She wasn’t sure what kind of impression the draft of her picture book would make on the group.

Marilyn said she knew right away it was a winning manuscript and that it was bound to be picked up for publication.

Get it at Amazon:

Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers

Here’s a video of Vanh’s book launch, which was on October 6th. It was jam-packed with authentic Lao food and activities such as the Lao traditional dance, natasinh, how to make flip-flop shoes out of banana tree trunks, making Ninja and rag dolls, and more.

Marilyn attended Vanh’s book signing: a joyful reunion.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Vilayvanh Bender and mentor Marilyn Cram Donahue.

For older children, I recommend Marilyn Cram Donahue’s When the Crickets Stopped Singing. 

 “Set in the summer of 1939, this historical novel for readers aged 10-14 tells the story of a young girl who finds the strength to defy the social norms of her community when a dangerous man poses a threat to a friend. Twelve-year-old Angie Wallace and her friends embark on a quest to ‘love thy neighbor,’ which includes newcomer Jefferson Clement. But soon the girls begin to suspect that he’s a dangerous man, even if the adults refuse to see it. Like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, the characters in this book must explore the nature of truth and justice as Angie struggles to stand up for what she knows is right.

“It’s the calm before the storm of World War II in 1939 in small-town Messina, California. Angie Wallace and her friends have set out on a mission to “love thy neighbor”–even if that means inviting weird Dodie Crumper to join in their summer plans. But as they move through their neighborly to-do list, the girls can’t help but notice that there’s something strange about the sudden return of Jefferson Clement. He might be well-dressed and respected, yet with each interaction they become more aware of his dark intentions, especially when it comes to young girls.

The adults in town either don’t notice or ignore the danger he poses, but when Angie is the only witness to a terrible accident, she must make a choice that calls into question everything she understands about truth and justice. With a setting that blossoms to life from the first page, When the Crickets Stopped Singing is the story of a transformative summer in a young girl’s life, when the idylls of childhood collide with the perils of the world beyond.”

Marilyn Cram Donahue and Vilayvanh Bender

School Library Journal Review of When the Crickets Stopped Singing:

“Donahue creates a memorable pair of antagonists…(t)he novel’s climax and its aftermath further underscores a recurring theme of the dangers of false appearances. A leisurely pace, careful language, and a nostalgic tone…mak(e) it appropriate for younger readers or classroom discussion….(a)nd align with the novel’s gentle handling of a serious topic. A thoughtful historical fiction and coming-of-age story.”

Get it at Amazon:

When the Crickets Stopped Singing

“I love this book. Loved getting to know the characters, especially Angie and Dodie. The writing is lovely and the story, compelling.

It’s June 1939, and the small town of Messina is full of gossip and rumors, wholesome fun, good folks and bad. Angie and her best friend Geraldine make friends with the new neighbor girl, Reba Lu. An article in Calling All Girls magazine titled “What It Takes to be Popular” intrigues them. The first helpful hint, “Be nice to everyone” gets them brainstorming on a plan of action. Angie is reluctant to go along with the other girls’ idea to create a list of sinners they can be kind to.

Problems crop up despite their good intentions. I don’t want to add any spoilers, but I’ll just say the story pulls you in until you become a part of Messina and all the happenings, sweet moments, fragile relationships, and frightening trouble brewing.

I know it’s cliché, but I was literally on the edge of my seat. I became so invested in the story, I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend this book. It’s one that stays with you and even becomes a part of you.”

Don’t you agree both of these books would make wonderful Christmas gifts for the young readers in your life?

Little Man is still the size of a baby doll, but soon enough he’ll become a reader, too, like my other grandchildren. They love children’s books.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Grammy and Little Man

Kids grow up so fast, don’t they?

About The Authors

Vilayvanh Bender immigrated to America at the age of seven as a Vietnam War refugee, along with her family. Without knowing the language, her first goal in the United States was to become fluent in English. She believes in the importance of cultural preservation and acceptance. Vilayvanh enjoys volunteering at her daughters’ school and sharing her Lao culture with students through stories, activities and play which have ultimately became the inspiration for her first children’s book. Vilayvanh lives in Corona, California with her husband and two daughters. She is a private practice Registered Dietitian working with children and families. Vilayvanh is passionate about the health and wellness of all children. You will find her outdoors in her spare time, gardening, walking or playing tennis. Sharing dishes and trying new foods are two of her favorite things. Most of all, she enjoys laughing and making memories with her family.

Marilyn Cram Donahue

Marilyn Cram Donahue is a fourth generation Californian who lives in East Highlands, California, not far from where her great-grandfather planted the first orange trees in that area. She says, “I had a wonderful childhood and grew up thinking that everyone had grandparents with big, soft beds and great stories to tell.”
She graduated from Pomona College, married the boy next door, and had four children, about whose misadventures she has often written. She has eight grandchildren, who keep her up to date about what’s going on in teen life today. To date, she has published 30 books, over 500 articles and short stories, and seven juvenile plays.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any special children in your life? If so, do they like to read? Did you love to read when you were a child? Are you enjoying the hustle and bustle of the holidays?

 

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Riding an Electric Skateboard – Coolest Grammy on the Block!

Would you ride an electric skateboard, or have you?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

A couple of weeks ago, my nephew brought his home-built electric skateboard to a family get-together. You hold a remote control to make it go or to brake. This one works with an index finger trigger.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Apparently I’m a goofy footer. Makes sense considering I’m an A-1 goofball. Actually, the term “goofy foot” means you lead with your right foot and your left foot is in the back near the tail of the board. Regular stance is when you lead with your left foot.

Yes, I know I’m a bit extreme with bending the knees. Seems to help me balance better.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

This was an amazing feat for me since my balance isn’t the greatest, due to low-grade vertigo. I can’t even play Ring Around the Rosie with the grandkids anymore because I get too dizzy, but riding an e-board required no spinning.

Malfunction? Say What?

Must have been my lucky day because the brakes worked! Nephew’s girlfriend rode the board last. She rides fast and went all the way down the hill, and apparently the remote control malfunctioned because the brakes wouldn’t work as she neared an intersection.

Smart girl that she is, rather than risk facing a possible oncoming car, she bailed. Took a good tumble, scratching up both knees, and bruising her hipbone, but she’s athletic and used to minor injuries. I guess her ribs were tender, too, but thank God she was fine.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I can thank my lucky stars the remote worked when I took my turn. Face plant on asphalt? Ouch! Would I ever ride an electric skateboard again? Not likely, unless I lose my mind.

I can relive the thrill anytime I want by watching the one-minute video:

Here’s  a link that explains more about this little “people mover.”

The history blows my mind. The article states, “Back in 1975 the first motor based board ‘electric skateboard’ was actually non-electric!” Check out the picture in that link. Pretty funny. It has a gas motor rigged to the back of the skateboard, with a cable and remote attached to it.

Who Woulda Thunk?

I never would have guessed they had something like that back then. I graduated high school in ’74. However, electric skateboards didn’t take off until the late 1990’s “when Louie Finkle introduced the world to a new type of skateboard which was the new wireless form of electric skateboards.”

Very interesting. I’m still waiting for hover boards like the ones in Back to the Future, not the kind that catch fire and blow up, but that’s a whole other blog post.

What are your thoughts? Are you familiar with electric skateboards? Would you give it a shot? What’s the latest daring activity you took part in? I’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Grammy Gets It, Lynn Kelley, Toys, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What Are Your Fears?

What are your biggest fears?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I’m afraid of horror movies.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Ma Cobb, Grammy Gets It

My three-year-old granddaughter Chatty Girl is afraid of some of her toys. These are the ones that are banished to the closet:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Are you surprised a cute baby doll is scary to a child? That adorable doll and all dolls creep out my son-in-law Bryan and probably a lot of other people, too.

My oldest daughter, April, will sometimes prank Bryan by hiding a similar doll in conspicuous places, like on top of the shower head so that when Bryan tries to take his morning shower, he endures a heart-stopping moment to kickstart his day.

This doll below, Charlotte, is my mom’s. She keeps it for her great-grandchildren to play with when they come to visit:

Chatty Girl isn’t afraid of this doll and loves to play with it, but my sister Cindy thinks the doll looks like Chucky.

Image on Amazon

Mom isn’t amused. “Charlotte is an expensive doll,” she says, “from Germany, 1962, a limited edition.”

Still, people who have a fear of dolls don’t care how valuable they might be. Gives them the heebie jeebies, regardless. If the doll wasn’t a collector’s item, I’d ask Mom if I could have it to wrap it up as a gag gift for my son-in-law. Gee, I wonder where April got her jokester genes?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Bryan and April

Bryan gets annoyed at such antics, but overall he’s a good sport.

In addition to having an aversion to certain dolls, Cindy also has a fear of clowns. Our mom is a bit of a prankster, or at least she used to be. She once wrapped up a clown doll for Cindy’s birthday when she was maybe 14 years old.

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

Cindy flipped. Mad, mad, mad! That didn’t stop Mom, though. Another time, she put the clown doll on Cindy’s bed under the blanket. She freaked out again.

Did these pranks damage Cindy for life? You betcha.

She turned into a bigger prankster than our mother. Read my post from 2012, Mom Pulls Scary Prank or watch my YouTube video where I tell the story:

I showed the clown below to Cindy at a family get-together a few years ago. It’s probably the scariest, ugliest toy clown in the world and has an evil laugh when you squeeze it:

Her reaction? In a stern voice, “Put it away.”

I myself am a clown lover. I collect clowns, plus I was a clown at my son’s birthday party when he turned four.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

None of my kids are afraid of clowns, but all of them are part prankster. I’ll save those stories for another post.

I have a friend, Annie, who’s afraid of sock monkeys. Every time I see one in a store, I’m tempted to buy it for her. So far, I’ve restrained myself for fear of ruining the friendship.

HomeMaker - Pixabay

For those who love scary stuff, especially spooky dolls, my friend Maria Cisneros Toth made a video of 13 scary dolls:

Not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

What are your thoughts? Do you like jokes and pranks? Do you have a lot of fears, or do you like spooky stuff? I’d love to hear from you.

Photo credits: Clown doll – Alexas Fotos; sock monkey – HomeMaker – Pixabay

 

Posted in Creepy, family, Funny, Holidays, Jokes and Pranks, Lynn Kelley, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Bargain Alert! Cute Fairy and Bug Wings at the Dollar Tree

Do you love a bargain?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I stopped in at the Dollar Tree yesterday to buy a simple Thanksgiving decoration. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any pilgrim stuff, but they’re well stocked with Halloween decorations and novelties. Some look cheap, but others are amaze-balls.

So, I grabbed my cell phone and shot some videos. Here’s just a sampling of what’s on the shelves:

We don’t get many trick-or-treaters anymore, so I don’t decorate for Halloween, but if I did, the Dollar Tree is where I’d go. I don’t like the super scary stuff, but the funny-spooky decorations are cool, and they have plenty of fun stuff that won’t frighten the little ones.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

These solar-powered skulls and jack-o-lanterns have flashing eyes. They’re as heavy as rocks, so perfect to line a walkway to light up a path.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

For hanging decorations, the paper lanterns would look festive dangling from a tree:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I don’t like spiders, but these paper spider-decor lanterns are neat looking:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

This Dracula is creepy cool, and apparently it’s a mirror clinger:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Best find of the day by far:  ladybug wings, bumble bee wings, matching skirts, and matching wands. Watch this video to see how cute they are:

They also have the same fairy wings I bought last year for my granddaughters to play dress up in.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

The fairy wings and skirts were a huge hit. They didn’t have the green wings last year, so I got a pair this time.

A pair of fairy wings: one dollar. Hours of playtime: priceless!

Do you have a Dollar Tree or dollar store near you? If you’re like me, you need  to stay out of the store so you don’t spend too much money. If you like to do arts and crafts projects, dollar stores are full of treasures.

Hope these tips are helpful to you or someone you know who might want to grab some bargain deals.

What are your thoughts? Is Halloween one of your favorite holidays? Do you like to decorate? Do you like good bargains? I’d love to hear from you. 

Posted in Holidays, Lynn Kelley, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rats! I Hate Rats!

Rats!

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Ma Cobb, Grammy Gets It

She’s back!

“Who?” you ask. Why, the Queen of Macabre, Ma Cobb, who else? If you missed her the other day (sharing some wild Edgar Allan Poe quotes), go here.

Today, Ma Cobb has a fun chant for you. Are you familiar with “I Hate Rats”?

When my youngest daughter Suzee was a kid, she taught me the rat chant. We’d say it together, saying it faster and faster each time it was repeated. It’s great for grins and giggles. Lots of giggles.

Definitely an activity for kids, but I’ve had fun saying it with some of my kid-like writer friends, too.

Here’s how the rat chant goes:

Rats!

I hate rats!

They drive me crazy.

I was crazy once.

They put me in a room,

a rubber room with rubber rats.

Repeat, but say it faster and faster each time. See if you can keep from cracking up once you reach your limit!

Most people actually do hate rats, but there’s one rat who’s quite popular, especially with kids. He’s a talking pirate rat named Vlad, and he’s a main character in BBH McChiller’s Monster Moon adventure series.

Meet Vlad:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

You can learn all about him in my post, Interview With a Pirate Rat.

Get to know him even better by reading Book 1, Curse at Zala Manor.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

It’s almost Halloween, and twelve-year-old AJ Zantony’s world is threatened by an ancient curse that releases wicked pirates who had been trapped for centuries in his Aunt Zsofia’s creepy mansion, Zala Manor.

The pirates–a vampire count, a pegleg skeleton, and a zombie–have three goals: to find a lost treasure, unleash the restless dead from their graves, and to settle a very old score by destroying the Zantony bloodline.

AJ has to stop them before midnight during Aunt Zsofia’s annual Halloween party. Except he has a big problem–monster phobia! He’s scared to death of monsters. But if he doesn’t act fast, the streets of Craggy Cove will be crawling with zombies. Who will be alive when midnight tolls?

Perfect read for Halloween, and the ebook is only 99 cents on Amazon.

Do you like spooky stuff? The Monster Moon series is spooky fun. I’m a big chicken, so I had to add some humor to the stories in order to be able to sleep at night, so no worries about it being too scary.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Ma Cobb should go on a date with Uncle Fester from The Addams Family? Or Lurch?

Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester) and Ted Cassidy (Lurch)

Uncle Fester and Lurch from The Addams Family

Had you ever heard the rat chant before? Do you like rats? (Couldn’t keep a straight face asking that question.) Would you try the rat chant on a dare? I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

Posted in BBH McChiller, Creepy, Grammy Gets It, Kids, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Disappearing Body Trick

My son cracked us up with his disappearing body trick at a family get-together. The video is only 13 seconds long:

I grew up in a funny family. Likewise, our four kids also turned out a bit quirky. For instance:

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, BBH McChiller

The grandkids don’t stand a chance, considering they’ve likely inherited the goofball gene, too. I mean, look at this:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Our ancestors were quite a wild bunch:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

In the video below, more disappearing-body fun. The whole family had to get in on the act. Yes, we’re easily amused, and that’s a good thing. Listen to all that laughter. Let those endorphins do their glorious healing.

What are your thoughts? Are you easily amused, too? Do you know any similar nifty tricks? Do you like quirky people? I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in family, Funny, Grammy Gets It, Jokes and Pranks, Lynn Kelley, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes Shared by Ma Cobb

Ma Cobb is at it again. In this video, she shares some of her favorite quotes by the King of Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

Before you faint-hearted folks freak, this is just spookylicious fun. So, grab a mug of hot cider, light a jack-o-lantern, and chillax.

For fans of Poe’s most famous poem, here it is again for nostalgia’s sake. If any of you aren’t familiar with this piece, enjoy!

The Raven

by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

            Only this and nothing more.”

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow

    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

            Nameless here for evermore.

 

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—

            This it is and nothing more.”

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

            Darkness there and nothing more.

 

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—

            Merely this and nothing more.

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

 

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—

            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;

    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

            With such name as “Nevermore.”

LoggaWiggler</a> / Pixabay

 

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—

    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

 

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

 

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

            She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee

    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

StarGlade</a> / Pixabay

 

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—

    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Ma Cobb

For a fun, spooky short story told by Ma Cobb, go here.

What are your thoughts? Are you an Edgar Allan Poe fan? Do you like this poem? Do you think Ma Cobb is cute? Or spooky? I’d love to hear from you!

Photos courtesy of Alexas Fotos, LoggaWiggler, and StarGlade – Pixabay

Posted in Creepy, Funny, Holidays, Lynn Kelley, Poetry, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Dancing Skeleton Limber Jack

Limber Jack is ready for Halloween.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton

Do you like the fun music I found for the skeleton dance? The song is “Tiptoe Out the Back” by Dan Lebowitz.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton

This Limber Jack is the best toy ever! I get the biggest kick out of it.

So, he shed his pirate costume from Talk Like a Pirate Day and is now dressed as a skeleton.

I seem to have a thing for dancing skeletons. Check out my other dancing skeleton post. Can you figure out how I did that special x-ray effect?

What are your thoughts? Had you ever heard of or seen a Limber Jack toy before? Do you think it’s cool that it’s a toy and also a musical instrument? And can dance, too? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Posted in Dancing, Grammy Gets It, Holidays, Lynn Kelley, Toys, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments