Monday, October 31, 2011

Being Scary 2011

(by M. Schram)


It's hard being witchy these days

Acting scary is tough.

It isn't enough

To hang out with bats

And favor black cats

In this decade those things don't amaze.


It's difficult keeping tradition.

Big warts and green skin

Are now hipper than sin

The wearing of black

Is chic off the rack

And hardly a sign of perdition


So what's a gal do to be scary?

Puttin' toads in the soup

Don't throw kids for a loop,

A cauldron that bubbles

Will only cause troubles,

Black robe, pointy hat -

Who's impressed seein' that?

A graveyard? A ghost?

Gets a yawn at the most.

Have a broomstick to ride

Kids think Potter's astride!

Use the wickedest curse,

Or ride home in a hearse,

Shake some skeleton bones,

Folks just stare at iPhones.

Bring a werewolf to lunch?

(Or even a bunch)

Who would find it extraordinary?


In times such as these don't use screeches.

What citizens fear,

Makes them choke on their beer,

What brings shivers and groans

And terrified moans,

What makes the brows damp

And causes a cramp

Is the threat of political speeches!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Being a post-menopausal woman can make sleep a major obstacle and a supreme topic for thought and discussion. Where women of this category gather the subject of warmth at night comes up. There is either usually either too much or not enough and the attempt to find a balance and thereby gain a full night of rest is a science in itself.


If you are not a post-menopausal woman you are not allowed an opinion. It is too complex an issue and one too close to our tenderest feelings to permit non-expert testimony. No, you have to have sweltered and soaked in sweat one moment only to shiver and grab for blankets the next. and then done it again. And again. And again during a single night. We will swear that a nasty little demon with a grim sense of humor is whirling the thermostat while cackling with unholy glee.


Sleep? Whatever happened to a full eight hours of unbroken sleep? Hot flashes are only one of the sleep-killers. How about the fact that a once capacious bladder has become a vessel of multiple refills? And of course, once awake for the blanket re-selection or the trek to and from the lavatory, there is the thunderous roar of spousal snoring. And a pet who sleeps nearby (or on/with you) and suddenly needs to leave the premises. I'm sure my friends can add their personal rest reducers to my list.


Tonight I plan a campaign of sleep inducement. Multiple blankets within arm's reach. (check!) No after 6pm coffee or tea. (check!) Earplugs? (check!) Trying to convince kitty to sleep next to instead on on top of me? (check! though I doubt I'll win that one) Anybody want to lay odds on my chance for success?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spring and Fall often bring on an urge to clean. It must be some sort of obscure virus that passes through since house-cleaning isn't something that would normally preoccupy my thoughts. I don't let it get away with me. The urge gets channeled into some basic "toss debris and dust shelves" and after a day or two it fades away.


Every once in a while that clean-it-up compulsion turns into a major sorting and scouring. I take stock of my life and use the knowledge gleaned to reassess what I possess. Life changes us and what we valued during one decade is no longer so important in another. Projects started are no longer projects that will be finished. It is time to shake out the dust and make room for whatever the future will bring. As I've aged I find "things" no longer have as firm a hold on me as they once did and items once precious or having meaning have turned into just things, as likely to hold me down as to support me with memories.


This Fall is one of those once in a whiles. Boxes of books and stacks of jigsaw puzzles have been donated to the local library. Files and papers have gone to the trash. Knick-knacks and other flotsam will be boxed for future rummage sale. I've taken bits and pieces off shelves and walls. It is a slow process as I sit and ponder: "Am I ready to let this go?" But each box that goes out the door leaves me feeling just a bit lighter, just a little more free.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some of us must be biologically predisposed toward guilt. Yes, today's blog will reveal another of my forays into that particular king, no, queendom.


I have a major problem with houseplants. I've always had a few. Well, for the decade I was into miniature orchids "a few" meant several hundred, but that is another subject altogether. My houseplants have never been the lush and tenderly tended kind. They are the tough, hang on despite continual neglect, refuse to die kind. Philodendrons. Pothos. Never-give-up, live-on-no-food and damned-little-water varieties. They droop and let go some leaves to get my attention. I pour them a glass of water, feeling somewhat like the evil matron at a prison in a B- movie.


Every once in a while I face the truth about my plant torture and decide it is time to go non-green around the house. But what does a person do with a barely surviving plant Have you ever tried to pass one to a friend? A roomful of chatting pals will empty in a heartbeat if you perkily ask "Would anybody here be willing to adopt a …" The ones remaining will share with you their own sad tales of houseplant history.


Today I got tough. Okay, I got as tough as I ever manage. The 8-foot tall whatever-it-was that began its life with me as a 6-inch terrarium plant on my desk 20 years ago went to the big greenhouse in the sky. I was almost in tears condemning it to death. It had been transplanted into ever bigger pots and become a ceiling scraper. It had been chopped down several times and each time had revived and regrown until it again bent at ceiling height and started growing horizontally toward the window. It was always dusty, always dropping leaves. Tiny, nearly invisible silken strands tied it to the surrounding furniture, compliments of the seldom seen (thank goodness!) spider population. I've wanted to retire it a number of times in the past and always chickened out. Even today I was unable to do the foul deed unaided. I cowered and covered my eyes as Himself volunteered to bear the burden. Or should I say he was begged to cart said plant out of the house while I wallowed in guilt and knew I was a craven murderer.


How long before I can bring the same fate to the Pothos hanging in the bathroom? Oh, the guilt!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm feeling really guilty today. Why? Because I didn't brave the torrential rain and go to the Monday morning writers group meeting this morning.


The weekly workshop has been tottering along in barely-surviving mode since our resident poet moved away, and our venue was changed, several moths ago. The attendance has always varied from week to week, being from 4 or 5 to as many as a dozen plus. We share what we have written and give each other advice, from criticism to encouragement. Knowing Monday was on the way often pushed me to flex my fingers and attend to my keyboard. With the changes aforementioned the sessions were reduced to our Fearless Leader and just a couple of the old troops with the addition of a newbie. I was determined to hang tight and hoped the group could find new life.


Then… the saga with the non-healing sore on my leg began. I managed to stagger along and get to meetings until the weather turned colder - and wetter - but have missed the past three weeks. Conscience stricken? You betchaI. I feel traitorous. Stand me up against the citadel wall and summon the firing squad! Publish my name in the paper under the title: Defector! Brand me deserter.


(There is nothing quite like that inner voice of conscience, deserved or un, is there?)