Friday, October 28, 2011

My Very Own Ghost Story

(Side note: I'm very excited that I figured out how to repost a blog. All. By. Myself. You may not be a techo-idiot like I am, so instead of being impressed, you may be rolling your eyes while saying "Duh".)

Anyway. In the "spirit" of Halloween, I've decided to make this an annual post. I mean, I only have one ghost story. I originally made it a two-parter, but I've decided to just post it all at once, for your reading enjoyment. 

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

I am not a huge fan of Halloween, especially since I'm too old to go begging for candy! I don't have much use for the night. Gory, scarry movies? Gory, scarry costumes? Haunted houses? No, thank you, don't need 'em.

However, I do have a good Halloween story! I'll say right up front, that I don't believe in ghosts, however, that doesn't mean that I have not had a weird experience, or two.

My son, JT, won't let me discuss anything that even remotely hints of g-h-o-s-t-s. He's had his own freaky experiences. And, Awesome Daughter has had some weirdo things happen to her. As far as I know, son, BD, has not had any experiences.

So, here's what happened...We had not been in our house very long, probably less than a year. Now, as far as houses go, this one was not that old.  The house was built the year I was born, and this happened when I was in my early 30's. So, it was not a creepy old house. On this particular night, (actually, early in the morning) I was having a terrible time sleeping. I could not get comfortable for anything. Finally, I decided tht the only thing that sounded appealing was laying down on the floor. (For someone who likes a nice, soft, comfy bed, this was highly unusual!) There was not much floor space in our bedroom, so I grabbed my pillow, and extra blanket, and went out to lay down on the living room floor. I laid on my stomach, covered up, snuggled into my pillow, and instantly felt comfortable. I no sooner got situated and ready to doze off, when it happened. 

One of the kiddos was up. Are you kidding me? It was waaaay to early. I could hear whoever it was coming down the stairs, one stair at a time. No, no, no! Go back to sleep! I am not getting up. So, I decided that I would fake that I was alseep, and ignore them. Maybe then, they would go back to bed. 

One by one, I heard the footsteps come down the stairs. I heard, and felt them walking around me as I laid on the floor. I kept faking my sleep, and it worked. They must have got up on the couch and went to sleep. Good. 

When I woke up, a few hours later, I was surprised to see that I was alone in the living room. Whoever it was, must have gone back to bed. Good, hopefully, they will all sleep in on this Saturday morning.

Later, as each one came downstairs, I questioned them. "Did you wake up early and come downstairs?"  JT said, "No." BD said, "No." That left Jennee. Her answer was "no" as well.  "Well, one of you must have because I heard you come down."  They all looked at me like I was cuckoo (again!) 

Although, it was a little freaky, I probably would have forgotten about the incident, except for what happened next . . . . . 
(Sorry, I can't get the "you might also like" suggestions off. They only show up when I preview. And, if they are not showing up now, just assume the "ghost" is messing with me!)

What Happened Next Was...

Well, since you asked, here's what happened next!
But, first, a sidenote (I love my sidenotes!): Many years ago, I saw a  TV movie with Lindsay Wagner, "The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan". She found an old dress in the attic of the Victorian house she and her husband had just bought. Whenever she put it on, she found herself in a different era, but in the same house. When the glass on the hutch was broken in the older era, and she came back to her era, the glass was broken on her hutch for no apparent reason. I was intriqued at the feasiblity of  multiple dimensions existing at the same time, and traveling back and forth from one to the other. (How cool would THAT be?)

Anyway, that brings me to my experiences. After the initial freaky experience, I can tell you that I never left my bed to sleep on the floor again. EV-ER! But, then I started having weird experiences in bed. No, not THAT kind of weird!

Hubby had to get up at 3:00 in the morning for work. (No one should ever have to get up at that ungodly hour!)  After he had left--this never happened while he was at home--I would sense that there was someone standing by my bed. I can't say for sure if I was awake, asleep, dreaming, awake dreaming, or what, but I saw a transparent form of a man standing right beside me. Sometimes there would be a little boy standing with him.  Sometimes they would have a cat. Weird, I know. I decided that they were living in a parallel dimension, and they couldn't figure out who was sleeping in their bed.

Of course, the thing that made it even more freaky was that it seemed so real. I felt like I was awake, even though I kept my eyes closed, because I didn't want to see "them" standing there if my eyes were open.  One time, their cat jumped up in my face, and I jerked my head back to avoid it. It seemed so real.

Another time, I actually felt the bed give way. I was half asleep, and I thought one of the kiddos had come down and gotten in bed with me. I threw back the covers, felt whoever it was get in bed, then threw the covers back over them. In the morning, I woke up. No. One. Was. In. Bed. With. Me. 
CRRREEEEEEPPPYYYYYY! Yes, I was very feaked out! This stuff happened on a regular basis for several years. The getting in bed thing happened "only" a few times. Usually, I just saw or felt "them" standing around me.

But, then we started our own business, and Hubby was home every night until morning. And, then we started a major remodeling over-haul of our house, which was a cute "cape-cod", not a Victorian haunting-type house at all.  Then, the "visits" stopped.

I don't believe in ghosts, but I can't explain the hows or whys of my night visitors. I don't know why they started, but I'm glad they ended. Maybe I was asleep and dreamt the whole thing up. It seemed real--and I hope it never, EV-ER, happens again.

And, now you know the rest of the story!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickeled Peppers

I grew up saying the tongue twister:"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickeled peppers. How many pecks of pickeled peppers did Peter Piper pick?" Until recently, I had never thought about how one goes about picking pickeled peppers. 

My recent experience has been that peppers must first be picked and then they are pickeled. If you can stand yet another blog about produce, here goes.

It all started when I pickeled some banana peppers. I shared the recipe here. It's a secret family recipe, so "shhhhhhh". Anyway, Hubby and Amazing Daughter LOVE banana peppers. I like them, too, but not like they like them.

In case you haven't guessed by now, we like to do things in a big way. I'm from a big family, and Hubby is from a bigger family, so it might just be in our blood. I found myself up to my elbows in banana peppers.

You'd be out of focus, too, if you
had chopped all these peppers!
So, after being buried in veggies from the auction, Hubby had to leave for the week to do some work for his brother. But, while he was gone, he called me every evening, as he always does, when he has to be away.

Hubby: It's about time you answered your phone. Don't ya wanna talk to me?

Me: Yes, I do. You know I can never find that dumb phone anywhere. Just be glad I heard it ring this time.

Hubby: Yeah, whatever. I don't know why you can't hear it ring. Anyway, I was thinking about those peppers, and then I thought "I'll bet those carrots would taste good, pickeled", what do you think?

Me: That's a good idea, Sweetie. I'll work on those tomorrow. And, we have so many green beans, that I thought about trying to make "Dilly Beans".

Hubby: That's a brilliant idea. Good night, my love. You need to get a good night's sleep.

Hubby: Hello, my Love. You know, I got to thinking, remember when you made those pickled onions last year? Yum. Those were so good. And, I saw a recipe for pickeled asparagus. Oh, I'll bet those would be really good.

Me: So, my Precious, you want me to pickel some onions, huh. I can do that, we have plenty. Yeah, pickeled asparagus sounds good, too. I think I can manage it.

Hubby: That would be fantastic!

Hubby: Hello Sweetheart. How's the pickeling coming along? What about pickeling Brussels Sprouts and beets? I can't stop thinking about all the good things that we should try to pickel.

Me: Yes. Dear. Now, when you say "we", do you mean "me", because, I don't know how WE are going to get all this done when you aren't HERE!

Hubby: Of course I mean "you". Remember, 'your back, my brains'?

Me: Yeah, yeah, we're going places! Stop calling me.

So, I have discovered that nearly anything can be pickeled. However, I would not recommend pickeling Brussels sprouts, unless you enjoy chewing tennis balls.  

And, just for the record, Hubby did help me with chopping some of the veggies, in this case, Brussels sprouts, before he had to leave.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm a Little Ant...

Have you ever watched a little ant scurry around?


They don't go in a straight line to save their lives! I feel a lot like those ants. Scurrying around hither and yon. I can't seem to get focused long enough to write anything. 

It seems that it's either "feast" or "famine" when it comes to blog material. Maybe it is the same with you. Right now I have a lot of ideas, but can't seem to get focused enough to put it to "paper". There is a lot going on, and hopefully I'll have some good news to report in the near future.

My other problem, which I hate to admit, is that I have renewed my addiction to "Addiction Spider Solitaire". What a great name for that stupid game! I really need to take that little icon off my computer. It's way too easy to click that little button and waste several "minutes"! What I should be addicted to is Pinterest. I have exactly three pictures on that sight. If I ever get my Pinterest looking respectable, I'll put a button on my blog. But, right now, it's pretty pitiful.

I won't waste anymore of your precious time with my jibber jabber. I just wanted to let you know that I have plenty of stories to tell, but right now, I'm just wandering around in circles. I will get focused. Promise.

I hope that you are not having trouble staying focused!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Artichoke Imposter

Technically, my imposter has been identified as a Jerusalem Artichoke aka sunchokes. Now that I know what it is, I'll be sure not to plant it in my garden again. This is a plant that should be planted in its own space. If you need a privacy wall, this plant will do the trick!

Here's a few photos:
They shot up very quickly -
this is when they were "short"!

They grew taller than the house

A Parting of the Ways
Jack's beanstalk?
Nope. Jerusalem Artichokes.

They have pretty yellow flowers perched
on the top of the stalks
So, you may be wondering, how these are eaten. The roots of these plants are edible. They don't look too appetizing. Hubby has accused me of being closed-minded! The only reason I would want to eat these is if food was not plentiful. For me, this is more of a "survival" food than anything else.
One small root for mankind...
sorry, couldn't help myself   

Bowl full of roots
So, I went here and found a recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke Cheese Soup. I picked this recipe because the ingredients include butter, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. It's hard to go wrong with butter, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. I do realize that if food should become scarce, these ingredients would probably not be available. But, since I had all these ingredients in my fridge, that's what I tried.

Jerusalem artichokes are kind of like potatoes, but without the carbs. They also have lots of health benefits. The soup wasn't terrible, but it also didn't make me want to lick the bowl clean. It was better than I thought, and I'm sure I'll be searching out more recipes for Jerusalem artichoke.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Victoria is Not the Only One with a Secret!

I have a little secret. 

I also have issues. Or, maybe I just have a computer that hates me. I've been fighting with my computer since my last blog. Actually, it started with the blog you were not able to read, because I accidently deleted it! ARRRRGGGGGG. I was minutes away from finishing it. Just had to make one little adjustment. It was all because that dumb mouse was not cooperating. It didn't go where I wanted it to, it highlighted too much stuff. I suspected the little ball needed cleaning out, but I couldn't figure out how to get it out of the mouse. (I know I've just given you too much information about how my brain functions. Don't judge me too harshly!) Anyway, losing my blog made me lose my blogging mojo, and it has taken me all this time to get it back. At least, I hope it's back. Then, yesterday, as I sat down to check my email blog, the computer froze up. I pushed all the buttons I thought needing pushing. I pulled out wires I thought needed pulling, but to no avail. When Hubby called that night, I told him the problem. "Just unplug it. That should do the trick." Yep, that took care of the problem. Now why didn't I think of that?? 

Now, back to my secret. This past weekend, daughter Jennee, told me we would be going to a Victoria Secrets VIP after hours shopping trip. OK. That sounds like fun. I need a few things.

We walked in, showed them our invitations (that were printed off the computer), and our ID, so we could be entered into the raffle drawings.
My number was 40; Jennee's number was 41. 

We entered the store, and the sales girls were all decked out. (Hubby asked if they were modeling underwear. No. They were not.) The new color of lipstick must be fire engine/neon red, because they were all wearing the same color. Their lips came into the room five minutes before the rest of them. (I'm sorry to report that most of them looked ridiculous.) Some of the girls had a big trayful of cookies, which they begged us to eat. Others had trays of little water bottles, complete with a lovely photo of a model wearing a bra. The male MC was making announcements that free bra sizings were available (aren't they always free?), and reminding us that we should be measured every six months to be sure we are wearing the correct bra size. That was a little weird.

The drawings were to be every 15 minutes. The number for the first drawing was 42! Darn! So close! The number for the second drawing was 39! Darn, again! The numbers were dancing all around us.

We finished our shopping and decided to hang around for a few more drawings. As I was looking at the makeup, a lady came up to me and asked if I would be hanging around for a while. I answered, "Yes, probably."  "Well, then, here, you can have my ticket. I'm leaving."  (Yay! Thanks!)

I decided to put ticket #40 in my left pocket, and ticket #77 in my right pocket. I couldn't be seen fumbling around with two tickets in case I won. The trick was to remember which number was in which pocket. And, with my memory, that's asking a lot! 

Two more drawings came and went, with the numbers not being close at all to our numbers. Finally, we were getting bored. I mean, how long can you keep wandering around looking at the same underwear over and over? We decided to stay for one more drawing.
The time came. The number was called. "Seventy-seven". "Whoo hoo", I heard myself yell. Then immediately had to stop and think which pocket contained the correct ticket. Luckily, I guessed correctly and went over to claim my prize.

"You've won this lovely tote bag, which is a $50 value, and a makeup bag, a $10 value." 
"Great, thanks", I said as I started looking over the tote bag, and wondering where I would use it. The bag is nice, but it is covered with black and white photos of the models. Maybe it's just me, but the last thing I want to carry around is a bag covered with photos of scantily-clad perfect-bodied women. (I suspect my male readers may have a different perspective.)
But, a plan was forming in my mind.  Since the bag is black and white, I decided to dress the models myself, with my handy-dandy black marker. I felt like I was getting to know these girls pretty well. I finished with one photo, turned the bag around, and said, "Not you again!" , and colored some more. Luckily, I had a big supply of black markers. Jennee says I've ruined the bag. I don't think so, because now I can actually take it out in public.  

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