My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ABC Wednesday: The Wizardry of W :-)

After a devastatingly wrenching week (whose emotional wounds have not yet begun to heal), perhaps some whimsy, and for many a visit to a bit of wonder from our childhoods, will offer a bit of welcome diversion. At least, that's my wish!

Today's ABC Wednesday post is made possible by our neighbors, Doug and Carol, who invited us to dinner on December 1st. Not only was the evening was filled with a wide range of music, conversation, and delicious vegan food, it was also filled with W's!

First, the wine was poured from an unusual "world" decanter...
(Wish I'd photographed it while full, but it went too fast!) :-)

Vintage music from the 50s and 60s wove its way through the house from the genuine Wurltizer juke box (which plays CDs)...

But most of the Ws were on one of their several themed Christmas trees, their wackily wonderful 12-foot tall "Pop Culture" tree, which had several Wizard of Oz ornaments - all with animation and/or sound. Here are a few of my favorites, in photos and video...

The wretchedly malicious "Miss Gulch," who becomes the Wicked Witch of the West when in Oz (and later Cora, the Maxwell House Coffee lady!) The video I'm linking to just cracks me up - what a wistfully amusing blast from the past! (I was 14 that year!) :-)

Dorothy about to embark on her Yellow Brick Road adventure
This ornament has a whoops, can you detect what it is?
(Dorothy should be wearing the ruby slippers as she sets out!)

The warm-hearted Dorothy works oil into the Tin Woodsman's rusty joints

"The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken!" 

The intrepid friends start to get woozy in the poppy field...

...while the Wicked Witch and one of her Winged Monkeys watch

After Dorothy's been whisked away to the tower cell, her three friends disguise themselves as Winkies (the Wicked Witch's guards) to rescue her. According to the abundant Wizard of Oz trivia shared on IMDb, "There are many alleged lyrics to the "Winkie Chant" performed by the Witch's guards, including "All we own, we owe her," "Oh we love the old one," and "Oh we loathe the old one." However, the correct version, seen in the film's screenplay, is "O-Ee-Yah! Eoh-Ah!" and any other interpretations are simply the result of the listener's mind treating the chant as an audio ink blot." :-) 

"What a world, what a world!" wails the wilting Wicked Witch of the West!
This is my favorite of the Oz ornaments, and I wish the video weren't so wee. I recommend you click on it to watch it in a larger version or watch it in full screen on YouTube.

And near the end, the Great and Powerful Oz is exposed, the gifts bestowed (or, more accurately, acknowledged), and the erstwhile Wizard of Oz sets sail for Kansas and home. :-)

And just in case you haven't yet gotten enough of the Wizard of Oz, here was another of Doug and Carol's Christmas trees...
Wow, check out those wild ruby slipper tree lights! 

Click here to see some of the non-Wizard ornaments from their Pop Culture tree!

And it goes without saying, your visit to ABC Wednesday is always welcome! 

Wishing everyone a peaceful holiday season filled with love!


  1. That is one unique decanter and it's really beautiful.
    Visiting from ABC Wednesday.
    Twin Churches

  2. Beautiful decorations. I just love that decanter.

  3. I think you get the prize on the W's. What a Wickedly Wonderful collection.

    I love the wine decanter. How do you clean it?

  4. I seriously am coveting that Wurlitzer!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  5. I love your friends, vegans. And the grand dream of the wizard of Oz, nice.

  6. Your friends have a wicked sense of humour - wonderful whimsical wacky tree ornaments! Wish I had some! :D

    abcw team

  7. Love that decanter - even if it is devoid of wine!!! That tree is totally surreal - I've never seen ornaments like those before. I have to admit to detesting the Wizard of Oz film but kudos to your neighbours for being so wacky :O)))

  8. What delightful post and wonderful Xmas photos ~

    (A Creative Harbor) aka ~ ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^

    Happy Holidays and Thanks for coming by ^_^

  9. Okay, you were right, I do like yesterday's post better. However, I still really love this one! The Wizard of Oz was a movie I looked forward to watching every year (when they would only play it on TV once a year, and before VHS!). I just adored that movie and still do. Such fun ornaments, too, with all of the sounds!

    The decanter is really cool, too, as is the juke box. A friend of ours has a 50's diner style basement, which I must get pictures of next time we visit him. He also has a juke box in it. So cool!

    My aunt and uncle used to put a tree in every room of their house, which had a lot of rooms! They didn't have specific themes on them, but it was still pretty fun to see them all.

    Another fun post all around! :)

  10. Wow. The Weird and the Wonderful captured a Whacky and Whimsical post. Thank you.

  11. Everyone ~ I wasn't sure how many Wizard of Oz fans there might be out there who would really enjoy the ornaments, and figured the Wurlitzer is what would garner the most comments. Who knew it would be that wine decanter that to most of the attention - even without wine in it? :-) Anyway, I'm glad you all found something to enjoy, and thank you as always for your fun comments!

    Yogi ~ There were an amazing amount of Ws for one party, weren't there? And they have so many collections, I probably could have easily found more but didn't want to go poking about their house with my camera. :-) As for how you clean that decanter, good question! I have no idea - but I'd guess with a bottle brush?

    Roger ~ Me too!

    Leslie ~ Oh, they do indeed - they're both retired but they've got childlike outlook. Their front and back yards are filled with Christmas decorations, lights and even music that plays, they have other Christmas trees decorated with toys (Star Trek, Barbie, toy cars, planes and trains), and you should have seen their place at Halloween! Doug also has a collection of over 60 tennis shoes, and at the party he wore a peppermint pair - red and white stripes with green laces. :-)

    Barbara ~ I figured their would likely be at least one Oz hater in the bunch. :-) If I were a psychologist, I'd say you detest it because the one and only cat in it is a coward (and a dog is one of the stars!) LOL! :-)~ I have scenes I like to FF through, and then there are my favorites. I always enjoyed Scarecrow, and of course the Wicked Witch. And you are so right that these neighbors are whacky indeed - they're the ones who go on cruises all the time, and love to attend all the dress-up events (like "buccaneer night"). They bought their Halloween costumes for next year the first week of November! They are seriously into this stuff.

  12. Molly ~ I must say, I had more fun putting the earlier post together, I enjoyed all the variety of it. But this one was fun too, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    An old school chum of my mom's used to have a 1950s style basement den with a jukebox, too! I was captivated by it. (He also collected 1950s and early 60s Chevy Corvairs, which he would fix up. And they always had to be maroon ones, for some reason!) The only other person I've ever known to have a juke box till now was a neighbor in Virginia when I was 13. Down in their basement den, they had both a working jukebox AND an old, working player piano! As much as I loved the jukebox, I could not get enough of that player piano. They had a huge collection of music rolls, too - how I loved to play that thing when I was over there!

    Your aunt and uncle's place must have looked very festive with a tree in every room! Were they all different sizes and decorated differently? Mom and I once counted how many Christmas trees we had in our house and came up with something like a dozen, but other than the full size, a 3' and a 2' tree, they were all miniatures in her various dollhouses. :-) She had one tiny room whose Christmas tree couldn't have been more than 1/2" tall. (Mom was always so into Christmas that she decorated most of her miniature rooms in that theme, so we had Christmas decorations up year round, at least on a very tiny scale!) :-)

  13. Whoohoo! And Happy Holidays to you.

  14. well, that's certainly an interactive Christmas tree! looks like your neighbors really enjoy having fun -

  15. Good stuff...I especially liked the formally dressed bunny on the jukebox. :-)

  16. so much to see and hear and read I have scant time for a comment but wanted you to know I enjoyed it.

    I really enjoyed them all and it was fun to hear what some of them sounded like!

  17. Wow, what a collection! How fun! When I was a kid, I had the Wizard of Oz soundtrack on an LP and I listened to it so much, I literally wore the record out.

  18. Yup, each tree was decorated differently and they did vary in size. They cut them all down from their property, which included quite a bit of woods (in upper Michigan). :)

  19. Mama Pajama ~ Yes, they do seem to! They've certainly surrounded themselves with lots of toys, they host a lot of parties, and are about to embark on a 4-month long cruise (they do those a lot, too!) Not my idea of fun, but they seem to enjoy themselves! :-)

    veganelder ~ Could you see enough detail to notice it's a Playboy bunny?? LOL

    Jo ~ Glad you had time to enjoy it all (audio as well as visual) :-)

    Rose ~ Wow, you were a fan!

    Molly ~ Fresh, live trees, no less! That was a lot of work! We always had the one live tree, which - once we moved to Maine - we would cut from either our own 14-acres of woods several miles away or my grandparents' 200 acres, which it abutted.

  20. In my defence I did enjoy the books as a child, it's just the film I can't stand, it's just so schmaltzy. Then again there's not many musicals I can stand - but that one has to be pretty near the top of the list (or bottom depending which way you look at it).

  21. Barbara ~ No need to defend yourself on my account, since I, too, detest most musicals ("Singin' in the Rain" is one exception). But since "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Sound of Music" are such icons from my childhood (and "Oz" is just iconic in general), I'm mellower in my attitude toward those two. The Wizard of Oz is not, nor has it ever been, a favorite of mine ("The Sound of Music" is the one I begged my mother to take me to repeatedly as a tot, which I actually find a bit odd - not really a small child movie!), but I do have some favorite scenes, and I thought the ornaments were definitely blog-worthy! Besides, I think a little schmaltz now and then can be fun. :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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