Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Baby

My 13 month old baby is sick.
It appears she is very sick and I am a mess. A puddle of a mess.
Rick and I both are.  This is not for the sqeamish so you have been warned do not read further if you are sqeamish..
The last couple of weeks she has been doing things that are very uncharacteristic for her.
She has been skittish around kids as well as some adults.  She is normally so dang friendly it's sickening.  The worse she would do is lick you to death.  If babies are crying in a stroller she wants to go over and calm them.  She did that to a woman at the corner of our block of what we all call the dog is not a dog park. It's an area of grass where all the neighborhood dogs gather to play, poo and pee.  Complete with the dog container for waste.
Anyway, this woman's baby was crying one afternoon and Izzy went over to her and licked her feet.  Then she put her face on the baby's leg and just looked at her and the baby stopped crying.  But as of 2 weeks ago she now retreats.

Then yesterday I could tell she wasn't feeling well.  She wasn't her normal self when out for a walk.  She didn't care to fetch or explore. 
She did her business and wanted to either sit on the stoop or come back inside. 
 She slept most of the day by my desk as she is sitting in the top photo. Then last night while Rick and I were eating dinner she didn't loiter around us hoping for food to drop as she is prone to do.  She was just laying by the coffee table and we began to discuss that something must be wrong with her.  As if on cue we heard the gagging reflex sound. But the time we got to her she had thrown up her whole dinner.  She went outside and laid in the sun on the patio. She then threw up again.

Because it was 7pm we called the vet before they left for the day to ask if there was anything we could give her to calm her stomach or perhaps stop the vomiting.  She said to bring her in immediately.  We did the mad dash to the vet's in grubby clothes and a baseball hat.
I'm sure we were a sight for sore eyes but our baby was sick and we both were in a panic.

As we are driving over Rick is reminded of when his little girl (who is 30) was sick and that hopeless feeling that is so overwhelming.  He said he feels the same right now.  I, never having had children could only imagine that feeling....until now!

They weighed Izzy and she had lost 1.5lbs. She had a full blood panel done all coming back as normal.  They did an X-ray and it didn't show anything. They gave her fluids via IV which makes a couple of humps on her upper back area that are strange looking. They also gave her some medication to stop the vomiting. There was some medication that really made her loopy and would make her sleepy. I don't recall now what that was for to be honest.
The vet gave us her cell phone number and said if she gets sick again to call her. Izzy may have to go to the 24hr hospital for monitoring.  I was scared beyond belief.  We were given some medications to administer if she kept food down beginning tomorrow.

We got home and Izzy just wanted to be loved and to lay down.  We laid on the floor with her and she fell asleep.  At bedtime we couldn't get her to go up the stairs to bed.  So I stayed downstairs.  Rick went upstairs and shortly thereafter came back down and said, "I can't sleep without my 2 girls with me."  So we all had a slumber party in the great room.

Then around midnight she got up and was actually walking like she was drunk to the door. We assumed she wanted to go out to go to the bathroom. But then she didn't seem to understand what to do once outside.  She finally peed and then just wanted to lay in the grass.   We got her back inside and she got as far as the first landing and just laid down.  We figured she just couldn't make it up the stairs. So we all settled into what was going to be our place to close our eyes for a few minutes.  We awoke about 20 minutes later to more vomiting. This time a bit pink which really scared the crap out of me because I assumed blood. She was sick twice.  We debated whether to call the doctor and while debating she fell back to sleep.  We decided to wait. She slept until 7:30a.m. which is unheard of around here. She is up at 5:30a every darn day.

This morning she seemed bright eyed and while a bit slow more normal than yesterday.  Her tail was waggling like crazy and when we went out to walk she was exploring. But she did have diarrhea now. We were told to call the doctor at 8am so we did.  She told us to feed her chicken and rice and not her normal food.  A very small amount. We were to see if it stays with her. Izzy was loving the food.  We thought everything was getting better.

Just a 1/2 hour later she came upstairs with me to work and she laid in her bed and fell asleep.  I was thinking, "Boy am I ever going to get a lot done today with her sleeping all day."
At just a little past 9am she began the gagging sound and as soon as I looked over at her she was vomiting again.  All just chicken and rice.  No blood and that was good. I happened to be on the phone with a customer at that  moment and wanted to just drop the phone and care for her.  This customer wouldn't stop talking for what seemed like forever.
I got her off the phone and took care of Izzy.  Off to the vet we went.

They kept her there - it's awfully quiet in this office today.
They are doing more tests.  They seem to think she has something lodged, a blockage. 
I don't know what it could be since I haven't seen her eat anything odd. 
But that doesn't mean anything I suppose.

I don't know how moms do this.  I think I know why I do not have children.  I would forever be a wreck.  I'm crying like an idiot and it's a chocolate Lab.  What the hell would I do with my children?

I did not want to leave her there. And when she turned around to look at me as if to say, "hey aren't you coming?" I about lost it right there. She ran back to me with her tail wagging and I hugged her and then got up and had to leave.

They didn't need to see what a big ole baby I am about my little baby.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Ramblings

I read a good deal of blogs that are written by some fabulous women in Australia.

What I find funny is I read an entry and can sometimes assume what a certain word means by the context but to be sure I am copying and pasting into Google to find the definition. The newest one was just a name of a pain reliever. That made me laugh.
I needed that pain reliever after all the back and forth searching and reading.

It’s funny that we all speak English but the differences sometimes are huge.
I read an entry one day and I began to laugh because I had no idea what she was talking about. No translation for that anywhere. Her children are adorable so I enjoyed the photos and I just assumed it was a good story. I felt so incredibly dumb but honestly I come by these “moments” frequently as you know.

It takes me a bit longer to read and I do feel like an idiot. But I have to remember I’m learning something. If I get to go to Australia I will understand more than most American’s arriving for the first I suppose but that too is debatable. At least that is my story and I am sticking to it. Delusional works for me you see.

On a more somber note my Dad is getting old.
You’re saying to yourself, “No kidding Peg”
The last couple of calls he told me he was tired. I took it as he was working too much, needed to nap more, that type of thing. But then he added, he was ready. So I knew what he meant. He was tired and he was ready to throw in the towel. He was ready to die. What does one say when someone tells you this? I asked him why he keeps works at Wal-Mart as a greeter then. Why don’t you take it easy? Enjoy your grandkids, take a walk, read, and enjoy life. His response was “Oh I would be bored.”
I told him he deserved to be bored. But he doesn’t see it the same way.

I didn’t nag him, this is his life, a lesson that I wish he could have learned. So I listened as he told me he was ready. I can’t talk him out of it so I didn’t try. And as awful as it sounds I don’t want to talk him out of it. This is his life. I know when and if I am in that situation I wouldn’t want anyone telling me what the hell to do. I would be defiant and say it’s my life I can do what I wish. I just wish sometimes he wouldn’t share. It’s a horrible feeling. But then I have to take my feelings out of it. It’s not about me, it’s about him and his feelings. So I try to be an adult while talking to him and just listen. He’s telling me to prepare me I guess. We talked about the family. I told him I loved him and he did his signature hearty laugh and told me he loved me too.

I have had a crazy relationship with my father. But I love him. He drives me crazy. He can be so closed minded. His inability to see gray makes my head explode.
He is difficult. He was extremely tough on me as his oldest girl. He is chauvinistic and from another time. But he’s my father. He’s also funny, loving and very warm. He roots for the under dog and does unselfish acts of kindness anonymously. He has always given me grief for just about everything I have ever done in my life. He has told me my life was selfish and self consumed because I chose not to have children. But through it all I have always known I was loved. That was never debated.

A few days later I called to speak to my step mom. She told me how my father was standing in front of a frying pan on the stove just staring. She came into the room and asked him what he was doing and he laughed and made some flippant joke. She asked him if he was going to start the hamburgers and quietly he said, “I don’t remember how”
Aah, that broke my heart. It has begun.

You’ve heard me bitch a million times about how I hate getting old. This is reason number 1. Everyone you love and/or care about around you is getting older and dying. Now granted when I was only 13 my mom died. I wasn’t old then and that was the exception. But of late I’ve gone to so many family funerals and it just sucks.

After my dad’s brother died 3 yrs ago I knew he would start to deteriorate because my Uncle Angelo was my Dad’s best buddy in the whole world. Without him I knew it would be a struggle for my father. Sadly I was right. The first 2 yrs he was still mourning. He saw my Uncle daily. He was not dealing well and when we asked him about it he would get angry and walk away. Even my step mom could never fill in the gap for my father. So off to Wal-Mart he went so he could “keep busy” as he says.

So the next time you hear Oprah tell you the 50’s are the best decade of your life.
Bitch slap her for me will ya?
Dad and my sister Jennifer @ Dad's 80th birthday

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lake House

We wanted a home on water for as long as well....forever.
Rick loves to fish and I love to be on, in, near, or by water in any way I can.

We used to rent a house on a lake every year. The last 3 years of renting a home at this lake we began to rent the same house each year for 2 weeks. 2 straight weeks sounds so spoiled and wonderful. It took us almost the whole 1st week to get to what we called “on Lake Time”. Lake time was slower and naps were involved. 
The pace was not specific and there were no clocks.
We traveled so much for work and our lives were always moving so quickly.
We always felt we had to be somewhere at a certain time.
That life was very scheduled and fast vs. Lake Time.
We found to just stop was more difficult for us for the first few days.
By the end of that 1st week we had finally slowed down and were on Lake Time and it was glorious.
But then it was time to go home and that wasn’t so glorious.
Because of that we decided to add a second week of true relaxation. 
That is how we came to finally decide on vacationing for 2 straight weeks.
It was a blessing that we appreciated and loved.

We would call and make our reservations every February 1st. Then one year I called at the end of January and the house was rented for the whole season. WHAT? We scrambled. We picked out 2 other homes – rented. There was nothing for the weeks of vacation that we both had gotten approval for from work. We were in a panic. The last attempt the realtor suggested we come down to the lake and see some homes, maybe we could just buy a vacation home there.
Yea, right lady was my thought. We don’t have that kind of money.

I made the huge mistake of telling Rick that she said we should come down.
He immediately said, “Why not what the hell else do we have to do on a cold February weekend?” I mentioned all the reasons why, like MONEY, 2 mortgages, 2 sets of utilities things like that.  But he said it would be fun. We’ve never been there outside of the tourist season etc. Let's just go for the weekend he said.  Okay he wore me down. We went.
On the drive down he told me we had gotten approval for X amount of money for a house. AH HA! So he’s been doing home work and not sharing with me and he got us approval already. I realized that he is serious about this. Oh no was my only thought.

This crazy ass realtor (aren’t they all though?) drove us to homes that were horrible. And she drove us there on these winding narrow roads at break neck speed. Rick sat up front with her and I was in the back holding on for dear life.

It was a very inflated realty market there in 2004. A dump was even outrageously expensive. But honestly it hasn't changed all that much today even in this economic climate.

The first house she brought us to was very small. A 2 bedroom for teeny tiny people. Everything felt small and low and just off kilter. I am only 5’2” so for me to feel tall you know it was off a bit. It had the oh so beautiful avocado colored shag carpeting in the KITCHEN! Dreadful house really. No real dock to speak of. Not one with a boat lift etc. The realtor kept telling us it already had a rental base. So if we wanted to rent it out we could pay the mortgage for the whole year. That idea started to appeal to us. But this house did not. Because when not renting we would be there and this house was way too dark, awful and uncomfortable. Not the feeling you want in your vacation home.

When we drove to the 2nd house. This house was beyond a fixer upper. I opened the double doors onto the deck and I was afraid I would fall 2 stories straight down. Inside were dogs and dog poop everywhere, on the floor on furniture. It was disgusting. It was frightening how bad this was. The kitchen was the size of my powder room in my home today. It was teeny tiny and Rick and I could not be in that kitchen together – we did not go anything further than the 1st floor it was that bad and oh so expensive. How could people live like this let alone show their home like this I wondered.  And the asking price was high.  I guess extra for all that poop. I would love to know who buys this type of home.  The land wasn’t that great or large so I was feeling quite depressed about this and once again thinking my husband was crazy.

As we are getting in the car we notice another realtor and a couple that we saw at the first house as well. Our realtor mentioned that they were on our heels. As we arrived at the 3rd home the realtor told me I would LOVE this one but she didn’t want me to see the inside until after we looked at the waterfront. She said if I went inside she thought I would only see the "pretty" and not look at the whole package.

So we walked down to the waterfront at the end of their back yard and we saw the issue. It was shallow here. Here in winter it was only 5 feet deep which meant it could be too shallow for a boat there in summer. So she was correct and we did not go into the house even though I really wanted to. The curb appeal on this house was nice as well so I imagine the inside to be so much better than the last 2. As we got into the car to head to the 4th house that damn couple was there again. The realtor said, “Let’s hurry because I think this one is the one and we need to get there before them.”

When we pulled up I hated the color of this house. It was a horrible brown/orange that was like a hunting camp not a lake house. But as we walked onto the porch and wrap around deck/porch it was sturdy. This was the first house built well.
We hadn’t seen that before on any of these tours.
We walked inside and the owners were older and very nice.
Like your grandparents. The house was extremely outdated but the rooms were a good size and it was in very good shape. Good Bones as they say.  There was a daylight basement with beautiful French doors out to the backyard and water.
But the basement was not finished. Ooh that gave us ideas.
Just concrete walls and we knew we could make this a wonderful lower level.
Rick and I walked to the dock. Sturdy, smaller than we would have liked but okay. It had a roof over the boat and it had a lift so our boat could be lifted out of the water if we did rent this or for the winter months.

The couple chatted with Rick and of course loved him. That is how we got this house.  My charming husband.  They even admitted that to our realtor. They were from NJ but originally from this small coal mining town in central PA that Rick was from. They bonded over people they both knew and places they both visited. Rick complimented the older man on his workmanship on the house and that made the old man sit up straighter and just beam.

We left there and knew this was the house. We made an offer when we got back to the realtor’s office. We went back and forth a few times and then the house was ours. They were so happy with Rick and thought we would take such good care of "their" home we got this really for a steal.

So now we had a house on a lake and I went into panic mode. Yes we could afford it but what about the inside – all the updates, all the furniture needed. Oh brother I was feeling overwhelmed.

So this brown house became our new vacation home. Oh how I hated this color.
But we decided we would rent it out and we would need to get busy on the inside first so we could get some $$$$. We pretty much changed all we could in the short amount of time possible. We got it in March and began renting it by June 1.

We could only go there on weekends so this was a lot of work in a short period of time.
We painted everything. It was so dark in there and all the trim was a very dark brown. The ceiling was brown the floors were brown - brownapoolza. 
Paint and primer became my friend.
It was a summer lake home and I wanted it to be bright and light.

That daylight basement that was nothing was now made into a game room, bar area, tv area, 1 bedroom, 1 bath and a laundry room. We screened in the area off the master bedroom for a great place for naps in a summer rain storm.  We painted everything even the kitchen cabinets. They were very late 70’s(although built in the 80’s) like the Brady Bunch.
It was not done with the finest of furniture and accessories but it was to be rented and I knew that people would be throwing wet towels on dressers etc so why buy nice furniture? IKEA, Costco and Target became my 3 places for the lake house. It was bright,clean, fun, effecient home.  All one could ask for.

This is what it looked like from the lake.
Isn’t that color horrendous? More like a hunting camp vs. a lake home to me.

This is what it looks like now after we painted it.

Yep Rick and I painted this ourselves. We did all the work here ourselves. That is my only talent sadly enough.
We rented it for several years. It was difficult to say the least. Yes it paid the mortgage but I found it painful in oh so many ways.  People don’t treat your home well. People are pigs.  And they stole the darnest things.  People took bowls, measuring utensils, skewers for grilling, glasses games, puzzles etc. I couldn't believe it. Some I would attribute to being thrown out by accident.  Somethings were obviously stolen.

The last straw came in 2007. A family knew they could not check in on Saturday before 3pm yet they did. The cleaning people were still there and told them they couldn’t come in until 3p. They told the cleaning crew that they were told by Peggy that it would be okay.

Now the cleaning company knew that in order to arrive before check in time the family needed to have a letter from me stating they could come early. They had to show the cleaning crew this letter. I also would advise the cleaning company/property service in advance of anyone arriving early so they could make arrangements to have it cleaned by the time they got there. Neither was done. So these “lovely” people just committed lie number 1.

The cleaning crew called me when they left to tell me that they couldn’t clean well because the family came in and the little boy was a brat and climbing all over their vacuums and bothering them so they finally just left. I told them I would take care of this and that it was okay for them to just leave.

The following day, Sunday morning, Rick and I were enjoying our morning coffee and reading the Washington Post when the phone rang. Normally at that hour it’s someone who has read our ad in the Post to rent our home so we figured it was an inquiry.
Rick answered and the person on the other end said, My name is Attorney Dickhead (name changed so he doesn’t sue me) and my clients are at your home at Smith Mountain Lake. You better hope you have insurance.”

Rick asked, “What are you referring to sir?”

Attorney Dickhead said, “There has been an accident at your home. Do not call my clients we’ll be in touch” and Dickhead hung up.

So we were frantic. What kind of accident? Is everyone okay? We have insurance to pay for this type of thing why wouldn’t they call us? We leave them all that information in their welcome packet as well as being posted at our home. (all over I might add)
So we called our neighbors to ask if the house was still standing. They said yes.
Whew, okay check that off the list.

I called the property service next and asked if she would go over to the house because it states in the lease they signed that we have the right to come by the house whenever we like if they don’t respond. They were not answering our phone calls at this point. Another charge too for us because this is a Sunday.

Two hours later the owner of the property service went over to the house to find only the wife and children there. They had some luggage by the door. She asked to go in and the wife said, her husband would be very upset because she isn’t suppose to speak to anyone.
Our property service agent said the woman seem frightened but then let her in when she told her she had the right to be there. The woman at our home said that her son fell off our fireplace while hanging from the mantle and broke his leg. Mantle? He was hanging from the mantle?

The young boy of 5 was sitting on a chair with his leg up on an ottoman.
No cast but he looked upset like he had been crying.
The property service agent took photo’s of the damage to our home and then asked if they were leaving as she walked by their luggage.
The woman said. “We’re not sure yet. “

Property Service – “Well you do know that it states in your lease that if you have to leave to call the homeowners to let them know. If you don’t you will forfeit your weekly rental rate.”

“Well I am not sure what my husband will allow us to do”

Which is a strange statement to make don’t you think?

So now we didn’t know if they ever left or not.
We both took off work on the next Tuesday to meet with our insurance agent.
We got there and saw the damage to our fireplace, all items on the mantle, the floor etc. No big deal really. It was all just stuff.  I asked the agent if they had heard anything from their attorney and he said no. We didn’t know what had happened. As far as we can tell the kid climbed up the hearth (13 inches high) and jumped up to grab hold of the mantle. The mahogany mantle is just over 100lbs. It sits atop bricks. It is not secured down. 
According to the insurance company and the home inspection they said it wasn’t necessary due to its weight. It was something we looked into prior to renting.
Apparently this 5 year old jumped up and hung from it causing it to tip towards him like a see saw. All things on the mantle came tumbling down and the mantle fell onto the corner of the hearth and broke a couple of bricks as well as damaging the mantle.
Where the kid landed in all of this is anyone’s guess.

Our deductible was $4.00 more than the cost of replacement and repair. But we didn’t know what these people were going to do because they would not respond to us. In the mean time the insurance company took their photo’s, talked to us, the property management company, their cleaning crew etc. and we all waited for Attorney Dickhead or someone from this family to contact us.

Oh they sure did. They wanted tons of money. This went on for 1 year.
And during that time all I could think of was how simple this would be if their child had fallen on our property and they had just called us. We would have told them to not worry about the house, get him to the hospital. We have insurance for that and send us the bills. We would have worked with them. But to just call and say, “hope you have insurance” is pretty damn sleazy to me. Our insurance would have paid for his medical bills and we would have returned his money for the week even though legally we didn’t have to. Rick and I aren’t bad people. We would have felt horrible about them losing their vacation as well as the child being hurt. But now we were angry and honestly even hurt.

As this dragged on the insurance company would tell me they were thinking of just settling. I was so angry. These people did everything wrong and we had to settle and have our rates go up?  Their kid was hanging from a fireplace mantle. If this kid hung from the ceiling fan we would still be at fault? What the hell is wrong with this picture? They knew from their signature on the lease that they had to call us and they choose not to do what was right.
But the insurance company didn’t agree with me. They gave them $35,000 for the inconvenience, paid all his medical bills, surgeries and refunded him the weeks worth of rent.

After that we stopped renting.
We didn’t care if this was a financial stretch we couldn’t go through this crap again.
And now here we are having had such a bad year in business that we are contemplating renting out our home again. I so don’t want to. But I also don’t want to lose our home or have to sell either. Even in today's lower market we could never afford a home like this again.  The costs have gone through the roof down there and even during the down turn in the economy.  The cost of this home today would have been out of our reach back in 2004.

We have a few more weeks to discuss this and in 2 weeks we’ll be going down there for some spring cleanup and hopefully some relaxation. I know Rick will be doing some spring bass fishing and that will make him really not want to have to rent this to others.
But you have to do what you have to do. Here’s to winning the lottery right?

Our blood pressure lowers as soon as we get there. Oh the house isn’t ever going to be in architectural digest. Our Golden Pond so to speak.....It’s just a little slice of slower life on water that brings us both such joy. ….All 3 of us

Friday, March 26, 2010

Beautiful Story.

Enjoy this beautiful story.

I can barely type through the tears.  Yes, it's long but it is a beautiful family story.
Now go hug your loved ones!

Boring Can Be Good

I want to be bored.
I want to have nothing to do.
No where to go.

I want to sit in my chaise with the sun on my face and read a book.  No one needs to go for a walk.  No one making me talk to customers or answer phones.  Nothing needs laundered, painted, swept, cleaned, or cooked.  Just a day of nothing.

When you're a kid being bored is the most horrible thought.
Now I long to be bored.  Although truth be told I can't imagine ever being bored.
I like doing nothing. I love to lay in my hammock at the lake and read, fall asleep or stare at the sky and tree tops. That isn't boring to me. To me that is just something to do.

I was talking to the spousal unit last night about how everything I hated as a kid I love now.  I never wanted to nap.  I long to be able to nap now.  I never wanted to bathe.  I love to have a long hot shower. I hated to be bored. I now long for a day of pure boredom if there is such a thing. I always wanted to talk on the phone, now I let it go to voicemail because after dealing with customers on the phone all day the last thing I want is to talk at night. I loved to go out all the time.  Today I would prefer to stay home with friends.  Is this a big sign of getting old or is it matruity?  Is there a difference?

The only thing that I loved as a child that I still love today is books.  I am so behind in my reading.  I am just getting to Eat, Pray, Love which everyone else in the world read a few years ago.  Hubby bought me a gift card for books for my birthday and I finally picked out my 3 and they arrived yesterday.  I am dreaming of being able to sit and read without interruption this weekend.  I don't think it will happen but I am sure going to try.

We are planning on getting to our lake home in 2 weeks.  It's been all closed up since Thanksgiving. And that too means work. Opening up the house that has been vacant for the winter. The cleaning inside.  The yard maintenance.  The deck needs restaining. The mulch.  You, work, work.  We made a pact last night that we would go down there for a couple of days and  1-1/2  days of work and the last 1 1/2 of enjoyment and whatever that means to us.  We decided that this year we weren't going to feel like we had to get it all done at once. After last years fiasco of company from hell all season long we are learning to say NO when people invite themselves and we are not inviting anyone other than those we look forward to coming....those standard yearly folks who come the same time each year.  No more entertaining all summer long and working instead of enjoying.  We are going to enjoy this place for as long as we have it.  With the business being slower this year, who knows we may have to sell our piece of nirvana. So we decided that we are going to seriously carve out the time we can to simply enjoy and all that means to us.

In the mean time I have to work today, grocery shop, mop floors, and do laundry to name a few.  But I'm going to be dreaming of boredom.  It's a land I so want to visit.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Why are people more upset about health reform than war? We went to Iraq, we lost thousands of innocent young men and women for no damn good reason. We knew Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction but we invaded and killed innocent Americans and Iraqi’s anyway. Do you even hear much about Iraq anymore? Where were the protestors then in droves? When a woman would protest they would say she was nuts. But health care for me and you is something to protest, harm or worth kill living people for and throwing rocks into windows? It makes no sense to me at all.  Why is the right always so violent? I don’t understand it.

If you want to find Saddam sign him up for AARP. AARP finds me no matter where I move and I don’t ever notify them of my moves.  I think they should be on the case.

I am gritting my teeth so badly that I am getting severe ear and neck pain. I have broken 2 of my mouth guards and they are so expensive. I bought a cheap one from the pharmacy and that one isn’t stopping anything. What next? Of course the dentist wants me to have another one made. I wish I could just stop grinding. I don’t know why it started and why it won’t go away. It’s painful as hell. Has anyone out there ever able to just stop this?

My husband has a thing about texting and driving. He feels the same about talking on the phone but texting makes his blood boil. Because he is on the road all day he has a lot more experience with this than me. He is always telling me how people come into his lane and he has to honk and “wake them up” He also is in a work van so he sits higher and can see what they are doing. He told me about this girl texting and “driving” with her knee. Amazing. He has been run off the road more times than he can count.

Last Thursday he was on a 5 lane highway and this young woman with an empty baby seat in the back was weaving all over the road. Before he was next to her he thought maybe she was drunk. Then when he was on the left of her he saw her on the phone texting. As they were going down the highway she came into his lane and he couldn’t go into the lane to the left of him because he would hit that person. He honked and she was oblivious. She was weaving all over the place. This continued into our development where she ran a stop sign. Now she was just using the phone as a phone. He was now behind her. He saw her pull into her driveway and he pulled up in front of her house and put his window down. When she got out of her car she had the phone attached to her ear. He said to her as she looked his way, “Ma’am you almost killed yourself and others on the highway you might consider not talking or texting on the phone while you are driving.” She gave him the finger and got back in her car and he noticed she was following him home. He got out of his van and came into the house as she drove by still on the phone and flipping him off. He came in and told me about this. I asked, “When you spoke to her were you yelling? And honestly do you think anyone is going to listen to a random guy?” Knowing that he isn’t like that but if he were really pissed off he may have yelled. He said, “No I was just trying to make her see that she shouldn’t be texting & talking on the damn phone. I don’t understand why people think they can multi task while driving. And honestly it’s a good thing that baby seat in her car was empty.”

I was making dinner and there was a knock on our door. Rick got it. It was the sheriff department. A man and a woman came into our home and asked Rick if he was harassing a young woman on such and such a street. She thought you were following her home. Stalking her per se. Rick explained what had happened and yes he was behind her when she turned into our development but that is because I live here too. She followed me here so she knows that. The sheriff stated that the woman didn’t know he lived here and told the sheriff that Rick had followed her to her house and when the sheriff asked about this man she told him the company name on the van. The sheriff said we found your home from the name on the van. So Rick explains what he believes happens which is the opposite of this woman’s version. She denied being on the phone or texting. Which of course Rick explains that he wouldn’t give a shit about this young woman if she hadn’t been on the phone and weaving in and out of traffic. The end result was the sheriffs leaving and nothing being done except making Rick angrier.

I told him to just leave people alone. They suck. This was partly his fault too and to let it go and leave people the hell alone. You can’t make them listen. They think they will never hurt anyone while texting or talking on the phone. You can’t change it and you talking to this woman in any way was just damn foolish. Then what happens yesterday? A woman on her phone texting rolled into Rick’s van at the gas pump at only 5 mph while he was standing there filling up his van. It was enough to move his van forward. She had kids in the car. Being the smart ass person he is when she gets out and asks if there was damage he says, “Oh yea” looking at her car. She stopped texting for a whole second to look. She said, “there doesn’t seem to be any” He said, “I know I just wanted to see if you’d stop texting for a minute.” He can be such an ass. I get why this frustrates him but I wouldn’t waste my time on these dumb asses. Nothing will make them stop. But he must stop this foolishness of trying to change them.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Traveling Work Fun

Yesterday’s entry got me thinking of some of the magical moments I have had while traveling for work. There were cities I would go to and think, Boy I wish Rick was here to see this. I would call and tell him what beautiful vista’s I was seeing or how great the locals were and wishing he were here with me sharing it all. That was the hardest part. Because as much fun as I had I always wished he was there to share in the fun with me.

I was in Manhattan to close on this contract I had been working on for months. I finally got the signatures & the hand shakes and it was a done deal. I was walking back to my hotel on cloud 9. This was a biggie and I did it. I was also thinking that instead of having room service and watching TV I would go out and have a nice meal to celebrate.

I wasn’t leaving until morning and I was giving myself permission to not sit in my room working on the laptop while eating another damn hotel chicken Caesar salad.
I went back to my hotel and got changed and began to walk to this restaurant I had seen earlier. When I got to the door I saw the sign that said they were closed for renovations.

I was bummed because once I saw that place all I could do was think about having a steak and a glass of wine. So I began to walk and now I am really hungry. I came to this corner where there was a diner so I figured what the hell. A diner was still better than room service. I went inside the diner and there was this small fragile looking woman standing in front of me like she was the hostess. She was a stereotype with a cigarette hanging out of the side of her mouth and it went up and down as she spoke, “You with the AFL CIO party?” Her voice was so raspy and harsh.

“No, I’m not” I answered.
She said, “Okay then just sit ova there.”
She pointed to this booth towards the back but along side the windows.
I took a seat and thought well this is great for people watching. I was right on the corner of Broadway so I had a great view. Someone came over and took my drink order. I was shocked I could get a cocktail in a diner but I was thrilled as well. Then a woman walks in that was tall and blonde. I noticed that the Raspy One asks her the same question and the blonde answers the same as me. Raspy One tells her to sit down in the booth in front of me.

The blonde keeps turning around and talking to me.
“How does she keep that cigarette from falling when she’s talking?”
“I know, I couldn’t stop starring at that. It’s like, Look Ma no hands.”
“Do you think there is actually a AFL- CIO party here?”
“They probably just don’t want a law suit because who knows what is going on here!"
Finally I say, “Are you eating alone or meeting someone?”
She says she is eating alone so I suggest she join me.

We introduce one another and blonde one’s name is Sue.
Sue tells me that she just moved to town.
“Where did you come from?”

“I lived in Northern Virginia”

I say, “Hey I live there now”

“Why are you in NY?”

“I’m a lawyer and I worked in (insert name of famous Politian) and when he left his position in D.C. I no longer had a job.”

“So what made you move here?”

“I got a GREAT job and my fiancĂ© is working in Connecticut so this is closer. Today is my birthday and I was sitting in my new apartment surrounded by boxes and I just kept thinking, I’m in the greatest city in the world and I’m unpacking on my birthday. So I decided to go see a show and get out even if I was celebrating alone. Hey, why don’t you join me?”

“Well I don’t know that I can get a ticket let alone sit with you.”

“Let’s go give it a shot after we eat.”

“Sure why not!”

“What show are you seeing?”


Okay I don’t love musicals but what the heck.
We ate our dinner, shared a piece of cheesecake to celebrate her birthday and off to the theatre we went. I don’t recall the name of the theatre but it was just across the street.
We went up to the box office and she told them she wanted to see if I could be seated near if not next to her. The man looked at her ticket and said he would check. In the meantime I am paying for my ticket and I said, “Hey it’s Sue’s birthday and you can’t let her not have what she wants on her birthday now can you?”

“You’re in the balcony and it’s not a full house tonight so you both can sit next to one another. Happy Birthday Sue!”

Everyone that was behind him in that window was saying happy birthday and all were being so nice, fun and friendly. Pictures taken etc.  So we head up to the balcony for our seats. We get seated and realize we should probably use the restroom before the show starts. When we come back we decide since it’s not full up here why not sit down in front here in the balcony. So we moved down front. Then a young man who we saw earlier who was standing behind the man at the ticket window came up to us. He said, “Hey you guys moved….”

He went on and on. Finally I said, “Were you looking for us just to yell at us?”
He laughed and said, “Oh no I wanted Sue to have this.” And he handed her a CD of the musical we were about to see and it was signed by the cast for her birthday.

He said, “Now don’t you two dare move again okay?”

“Okay” we said in unison. What was that about we wondered?

This was the late 90’s when the lead was played by Bebe Neuwirth (who you may know from Fraiser/Cheers) The show was GREAT. I was hooked. (ok still prefer non musicals but this was very very good)

After the show the theatre lights came on because it was Broadway Theatre Aids Week or something along those lines.
They were auctioning off things from the show. The first bid was on a hat and the starting bid was $400.00. I looked at Sue and said, “This is so out of my league” and we laughed. Although we couldn’t bid it sure was fun to watch.

Just as we were thinking it was all over the cast all lined up and said they had one more thing to do and they asked the audience to join them. The house lights went down and then a spot light came on Sue. YES, Sue sitting next to me as Bebe says, “It’s Sue’s birthday today everybody, let’s sing her a tune.” And the cast and audience sang Happy Birthday to Sue while the spot light was on her. She was scarlet red. She looked at me and said, “Did you do this?”

“Yea, Sue me and Bebe are old friends. C’mon!”

After we all sang she got applause and the lights came on.
Now as we grab our coats and begin to leave the theatre we are chatting about how we can’t believe that just happened. People are all crowding around us to say happy birthday to Sue. As we get downstairs more well wishers and pats on the back. It really was fun.

We get out to the street and she says, “Can you believe a few hours ago I was feeling sorry for myself all alone in my apartment and then I meet you and then this show and all this fuss? Wow I don’t think I’ll forget this birthday for awhile.”

“You? I will never have a birthday to compare!”

We each had to get up early the next day. She had meetings and I had a train to catch at 6am. So we gave each other a hug and said our goodbyes.

I got back to my hotel and called Rick. I woke him up. I was so excited about what a great night I had but he asked if I could be as excited later tomorrow. I understood it was around midnight after all.

So there is another one of those things that just would happen when I would be on the road and met great people and the fun that would ensue. I had so many great nights in NYC while working. Even during a black out and having to climb 27 flights of stairs in a hotel stairwell with luggage in heels in humid August heat ended up being a helluva good 24 hrs. Started out scary and ended up fun.

Sadly there were days that weren’t such fun for me and hundreds of others like 9/11. Thankfully I am here to tell you all the good ones.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Me & Ziggy

I had just moved to a new city for my new job and the year was early 1987.
I was so excited about this step in my career.
First and foremost I was out of my hometown. A dream I had since the age of 8.
Second, I was now doing what I had worked my butt off to do.
This was the next step I was working towards for a few years and in all honesty I gave myself 3 years to achieve it and it took me 5 years. 
But that did made me appreciate it all even more.
I was doing work I loved and I was getting paid handsomely for it.

I was told of my territory for my job. I rented a new apartment smack dab in the middle of this territory. I had to report to an office on the west side every Monday. The rest of the time I was in my territory. I made my own hours and I knew what had to be accomplished and went out and did it. My boss was in Chicago and I lived in Ohio. For a person who loves to work alone this was great.

I was given a box of customers that was my territory. I was not even given a map.
So the first thing I did was get a few maps.
This was before GPS’s , mapquest., laptops, cell phones and all other of today’s technology that would have helped me so much.
Those that had those big bulky car phones were rich people in my eyes.
Thinking about that now is rather funny. Everyone has a cell these days and it’s hard to imagine life without cells, laptops, GPS’s, the internet etc. 

I met my new co-worker at the office on my first Monday. She had the west side and SW side of the city and I had everything east and SE of the city. We split downtown. So on Monday’s at the office it was great to have a friend who I could discuss issues encountered with the travel or the clients etc. It was someone to bounce idea’s off of since both of us worked alone. And the other great thing about Monday’s was that after work we went over to a neighborhood bar and would have some drinks and nacho’s or a real dinner and just hang out. We were both new to this city so it was great fun for us both.

One evening the place we normally went to was being remodeled so we went somewhere else near Joan’s home. We had a ball. We sat at the bar and had a few drinks and then we had some appetizers. The bartender was a chatty guy and before you know it we were all laughing and telling stories and having a great time. There was a man a few stools down who smiled at me and then asked the bartender for piece of paper. He began to draw but something made me look away and conversations continued to flow with everyone.

The Drawing Man walked down the bar to me and introduced himself as Tom Wilson. He handed me the paper and said, “I’ve been watching you talk and you are very animated I had to do this.” I looked down and it was Ziggy talking to me, THAT TOM WILSON. I thanked him and gave him a hug and bought him a drink. He moved on down the bar to chat with Joanie and me and the bartender. We had a wonderful night. We ended up closing that bar and we 4 stayed. There was a piano there and someone played and people sang. It really was a great night that I didn't forget.

I found that paper  in a frame when going through those old photo’s and I am not sure you can read it all here but this is what he gave me. (scanning this made a big sheet with this is the corner - sorry)

I had so many great evening, moments, and experiences when I traveled with total strangers. I miss it so much. I hate to travel these days because as we all know it’s so much more stressful and different. But I love it when I get there.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday

I'm having so much fun looking through these old pictures.
I've had every hair color and style. Some photo's have faded so badly.  I don't know that I can regain their original look.  I tried with one but it just made it fuzzy. Any ideas?

So here's to the 1960's....My Grandmother is about my age here. Scary isn't it?  Why did they look so old back then?  Makes me whining about my eyes drooping in perspective I guess.  I am 7-8 here and my sister is 4-5.  Why did my mom put me in shorts and then slap on knee socks?  Or was I that kid who dressed herself and my mom let me express myself?  I don't know but it certainly is a look.  Not a good one but it's "a look" 
This is me in 1970 at a party. I am 14. I guess I thought I looked great.  The hat, the pants, oh my. I think this is where Slash got the idea for his hat. (ha ha)
I'm not smiling and that is out of character for me as well.  Maybe I was going for the brooding angst ridden teenager look. It worked. This was 1 yr after my mom died maybe that was it.  I am not sure. I remember the party though...all girls. Her parents wouldn't allow boys to attend.
This picture below I really remember being taken.  I am grumpy when I get up....not a morning person as I have mentioned before.  This was before I drank coffee obviously. 
The sad thing is this wasn't even morning.  I had a friend stop by and wake me up from a nap.  We were exchanging Christmas presents.  I still look sleepy to me. And normally I'm always smiling so this is so obvious to me that I just got up and not really very happy about it. Why did I nap/sleep all the time?  I was 16 why was I so tired? Aah, youth. This is December 1972.  I was 16 and just a few months shy of 17. You can't tell here but that shirt has a peace sign on it and the pants are jeans but with blue and white strips and a good size bell bottom.  Oh yea, I was "stylin' man, groovy"

This below was July 1973. We are in a tent and 3 of us went camping. We are in our T-shirts and underwear. Yessir I am wearing aviator glasses here. Although I think they are back in style now. My T-shirt has a hand making the peace sign. There is a theme here in the 70's you see. I'm going to be honest here - we were laughing because we had just had some wacky weed. We met some boys at the beach area and they were smoking pot and well we did it with them. They drove home and we went back to our tent and ate a bag of cookies. I remember it began to rain and I mean really rain and the tent was leaking and we just laughed all night in our tent as it rained buckets outside. What can I say, I'm not proud but I turned out okay. Not like it was my lifestyle.  But if my kid did that.....

And below the more recent but faded and fuzzy....

This is  December 2002. All of us squishing ourselves to get in this photo.  This was a holiday party at my sisters.  It was she and her husbands friends. These are 3 of my 4 sisters. The blonde is my sister that was in the above photo at ages 4-ish.  My sister on the left with her hair pulled back has the great daughters I talk about often that I just adore. (My parents raised her children). My sister on the right is pure sunshine.  She is the most kind, loving person you will ever meet. She deserves all good things and yet life is tough on her. Love her to pieces. And well you know me in the middle.

So there you have it - Flashback Friday.
Hope you got a kick of it .


My Goodness this has been a long week for me.

We  are cleaning out a large walk in closet in a spare bedroom.  Now everything is out in the bedroom and it looks like the show hoarders in there. My hubby is a bit of a hoarder and every now and then I must reign him in.  He has 1970's stereo speakers in this closet. We keep moving from state to state with these things and I have had it.  We need the room.  I mean seriously these suckers are the size of  a small car.  He says, "maybe I'll put them on Craig's List and sell them."  I laughed so hard at that one.  Who the hell is going to buy these?  Maybe the televison production company of that 70's show when it was on TV but he lost that window of opportunity now that it is off the air.
He has a computer monitor in there that was from the early 90's that is big and bulky and really who wants that?  He says, "But it works." 
"Yes dear but no one wants to go back in time while working.  Please let it go."
It truly pains him to throw things away so I have to do this slowly. 
I have been working on getting him upstairs to this room to help me out. 
Finally I said if you don't participate I will be throwing everything away. 
That put the fear and a fire under his hoarding ass.
But when I say we are doing this slowly I mean slowly going through things. 

We are sitting on the floor in this closet last night and came across a box of photo's. 
That really slowed us down. And I was just as bad as him when the pictures showed up.
We would make fun of one anothers hair styles and clothes.  We would reminise. 
It was fun and a lot of laughs.

Check this 1987 photo out....that Flock of Seagulls mullet thing I have happenin' and Rick and his porn 'stache. What the hell were we thinking? At least he looks 80's handsome in a porn star Miami vice way. I look ridiculous!  We had some good laughs and he dared me to post it.

So I figured why not post it.  Everyone needs to feel good about themselves and me showing you this picture ought to make you all feel very good about yourself!  I may even do more  so everyone can laugh.  Laughter is good medicine.  Wait to you see some of these 1970's peace shirts and my striped bellbottom jeans.  Oh my.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just enjoy the great voice


Dignity and Class.....Where are you?

I read the GQ article that my friend sent me about Reille, the whore mistress, of John Edwards. (former presidental candidate)
Then I saw an interview by the woman who interviewed her.

First why are we giving this tramp her 15 minutes on covers of magazines?
Why must the media seek her out to speak?
Am I saying she should wear a scarlet letter?
No.  But have some class and dignity and shut the hell up.
Live your life and be quiet.

Won't this child be proud when she grows up and sees mommy in her underpants and shirt posing with her legs spread on her little bed with all her stuffed animals.
I know I would be proud of my mom.

Look no one is telling her a mom can't be sexy. 
Mom's are sexy.  It's not like mom was 19 on spring break and her kids see that side of mom when they grow up and everyone has a chuckle.
This is being done in real time with her kid in some of the photo's.
On her kids bed....really on your kids bed? What were you thinking?

Then I read in the newspaper this morning that she called "Babs" Barbara Walters to sob about the pictures that went with the article. She had no idea they were going to be like that.
So not only a tramp but stupid? Oh my that's a difficult combination.
She wore barely anything, she exposed herself while they were taking the photo's and she didn't even know it was happening?  C'mon! The interview with the reporter stated that she not only knew what the photo's were but that during the photo shoot the videographer asked Reille, "You want to take a look at this?" She did.

The rest of the GQ article reads like a high school girl in lust.
She is the victim she believes and the wife is a mean old scary woman who doesn't understand her husband.  It's okay that the 1st day they met she yelled to him, "oh you are so hot" and then he came over to her and they fell into bed. (although she says that isn't coming on to him.) 
 It's okay that they immediately fell into bed within hours because this man's wife is mean and scary. This man can't talk to her because he is afraid of her.
Let's say for this argument that the wife is a mean old scary woman who doesn't understand her husband.  Then shouldn't the husband grow a set and confront her and deal with it?  Shouldn't the husband leave before he fools around? 

All marriages have highs and lows and hopefully a couple can work through them.  If you can't after all the talking you seperate and move on the best you can.  Blaming someone else for all things is childish at best.

But back to my point.
What ever happened to a mistress who quietly had an affair, a baby out of wedlock and just lived her life.  Quietly. Not making the wife the bad guy and herself the poor vicitim?

I miss Classy Dames and people living with Dignity.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What you can't see won't hurt you.......or will it?

I lived in a haunted house. There I said it.

My Aunt owned this home. It was a flat. Which where I grew up meant a house with another on top. Think duplex but instead of side by side on top of one another.

My Aunt lived in the bottom apartment. I rented out the top floor. I lived alone.
I had 2 bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, sunroom, a room off the living room that went up stairs to an attic type room. I used that room to store my bike, holiday things, etc. There was also a back deck and a real attic off the kitchen for the entire house.

I would go to work and come home and sometimes find things in different places or positions of how I left them. As I have said before I am anal retentive. I like everything in it’s place and I notice everything when it’s moved.

I came home one day and the photo’s on the top of my buffet were all as I had left them except my one sister’s photo. It was faced down. I picked it up. This happened several times and I figured I just needed a new frame because of the thingy in the back not being able to prop the frame up. I bought a new frame and inserted my sister’s picture. A week or so later it was faced down again. None of the others were ever moved.

I came home to find the flowers in the middle of my dining room table moved a bit to the left. It felt creepy. I shouted something fearing someone was in my house. I called my Aunt and asked if she had been in the house. I told her I didn’t mind but I would prefer she left me know because I was scared. She laughed and said she would never go in without telling me and I probably moved the flowers and didn’t even realize it or forgot. I wanted to believe her so I let it go. But I knew I had not moved them.

In my small hall bathroom the sink was very close to the hall door. I could brush my teeth and stick my left foot into the hall. That close. While brushing my teeth it always felt like someone was either behind me or walking down the hall. I felt it.
When it felt like someone was behind me I would lift my head up quickly and look in the mirror above me thinking I would see someone there. Never saw anyone. One day while my head was down in the sink brushing I felt like someone had walked by me in the hall. I felt that a lot too when showering. I lifted my head again quickly to look into the hall and of course there was no one. But I felt it all the time.

I didn’t live there long before I was transferred out of town for a career move. Rick was my friend who I had just met 2 weeks prior. He loved my apartment and since his lease was running out he asked if my place was rented out yet. I told him no and my Aunt would be thrilled to have a man above her since she was a single lady. She would tell him it made her feel safer. I never once told him any of the things that I felt in my apartment. I didn’t know him well yet and I really didn’t want him to think I was crazy.
He could figure that out on his own later.

He moved in as I moved out and a month or so later he called me in Ohio and said, “What the hell is with this apartment?”

"What do you mean?"

"I mean there are some strange things that go on here. Did any of this stuff happen to you?"
He began to share some stories – all of which I had experienced. We ended with the bathroom feeling of someone either walking down the hall or being behind you.
He worked a lot and he wasn’t there much. While it was weird it didn’t make him want to leave. He had just wished I had told him before I left. How do you tell someone you’ve just met – Hey I think I live in a house with a few others….ya just can’t seem ‘em. He would have run for the hills.

If you’ve been reading for awhile you know that I ended up back there with him a few years later. By this time my Aunt below never stayed at her own home. I think that she was from an era where she had to be in the closet and she sure was so to speak. She was always at her friend Mary’s house. I have known Mary since I was a wee little thing. Mary cooked and my Aunt didn’t. My Aunt said she didn’t like being alone in the house so she just stayed at Mary’s. wink wink.
But the point was I no longer had anyone to blame for things missing, moved, or hearing footsteps etc. If she wasn’t here who the hell was making this noise? Or moving stuff?

The house was old but full of great charm. Big moldings and wood floors. Since I had been downsized at this point Rick and I had decided to stay to save some money before we moved on to buy something. So we stayed and so did our “guests”
Here are a few of things that have happened while we lived there.

**My youngest sister had had a fight with my parents. She was still in high school. She asked if she could come stay with us for a few days. I talked to my mom and dad unbeknownst to her and asked them if it would be okay. Of course it was and I kept them informed of what was going on. One day while in the shower she swore she heard someone walking down the hall (yep I know that one!) and she yelled out for either Rick or I. She thought we were both at work. When she got out of the shower she called me at work and asked if I was there and left. I said No why? She said I will call Rick then. She asked Rick if he had come home and he said No why did you hear something? She called me back and begged me to come get her to go home. She was completed freaked out. So she ran home and apologized to my parents and couldn’t wait to get to her room and be ALONE.

**On night I woke up and saw these 2 people at the foot of the bed. I could see them, describe their clothes yet see through them and not really see a face. I screamed at them to leave me alone and go towards the light. (someone told me to do that) They dissipated. But I woke Rick up who was saying, “I’m not touching you!” Which is pretty funny now.

** We would get these horrific pockets of a smell. To me it was like rotting fish. It was so gross. It would be between the hall by the bathroom and into that entrance to the dining room. You could put your head in it and out of it. The smell was just foul. We were having a bunch of people over for dinner and the smell arrived. We never knew when it was going to be there. I was setting the table and bitching, “Oh yea now you show up when company is coming. Please give us a break and go away.” It would remain and then just before they arrived viola it was gone. This happened a lot. This would show up and be gone just like it arrived with no notice. It always varied in length but always smelled just horrible.

** One night I had a girlfriend visiting while Rick was out with his buddies. We were in the living talking and having a couple of cocktails when all of a sudden there was so much noise coming from above. (There was that room that was like a mini attic off the living room with our bike and a few other boxes and Rick’s fishing equipment.) I laughed it off thinking she knew it was nothing. Then it got really loud. It sounded like someone throwing the boxes down the steps. She looked at me and said, “your upstairs neighbors are really noisey doesn’t that bother you?” I looked at her like how much did you drink? I replied, “I have no upstairs neighbors Connie I am on the top floor remember?” Well it hit her and she freaked out. She would never come to my apartment again.

**One day when my niece was about 3 -4 years old I was taking her to the beach. It was cooler than I thought so after I picked her up I went back to my place to grab a jacket. I picked her up from her car seat and said we were going to go inside to get a jacket so I didn’t get cold. She said, I don’t want to go in your house. By this time we are inside the door and about to walk up the stairs. She grabbed me and asked to be held. She grabbed my face in her little hands and said, “Aunt Peggy I do not like those people who live with you.”
I got shivers. I told her no one lived me but Rick. She said no those other people. I told her I would not let her down she could stay in my arms. So we went inside and grabbed my coat. She said, “I can get down now because they are not here.” She continued to look around corners and I never said a thing. Wow. Out of the mouths of babes huh? That really creeped me out though. She had no prejudice on the topic. She had no preconceived notion of the topic. She floored me that day.

** We had this sticky stuff that would ooze from the bathroom walls and ceiling. It was sticky. It looked like honey. I asked my Aunt if there were bees in the attic and could an exterminator come and take a look. The exterminator found nothing. Rick and I decided to gut that bathroom. We were living there dirt cheap. (she only charged us $200/mo) and it was helping us save for a house so we decided as long as we were there let’s make it nice. So we had that bathroom down to the studs. We put in new lights and new drywall, fixtures etc and painted. We thought for sure that would stop whatever it was that oozed now. I mean we were down to studs, nothing was there. Some told us it was lead paint and that was the cause. If it were with all that was done it wouldn’t be an issue now. Within the first week of using our new bathroom it was like that again. We just gave up. There was no explaining it. So I just was forever cleaning it up – even off the ceiling.

** When we got to the dining and living room portion of the updating we ripped up the carpeting and found beautiful hardwoods that we refinished. The paint was always buckling and blistering. We decided to pay a professional painter to redo the paint in the dining room and the living room.
Within a couple of days it started to blister and there were again big areas the size of a dinner plate all over where it was happening. We called him back 3 times to fix and he would do it again. Finally he asked us quietly as though he didn’t want to say this too loud, “do you have poltergeists?” We said, “We think so” which was the first time we admitted this out loud to anyone. He said that is the only time I have ever seen this happen. I can’t come back and fix this again for free. So when it blistered and buckled we left it.

** One glorious early summer evening Rick and I were sitting in our sun room. We had finished a bottle of wine and as sometimes would happen my hands began to swell. I took off my wedding band and threw it to on the coffee table. It spun around and fell onto the area rug. I didn’t grab it just then because Rick was making me an offer I couldn’t refuse. So he grabbed my hand and as got up I went from the sofa to get my ring and he said, “It’ll be there later” and off to our room we went.
First thing the next morning I went to get my ring. My ring was not there. I went nuts looking for it. He and I tore apart this room. We took out the area rug and shook it in the living room. We moved all the furniture and we removed all cushions and put our hands down all the corners and crevices of the chairs and sofa. No Ring. I was sick about this.
A year later Rick had to fix the chair in that room because a spring was popping through it seat. He took it apart and repaired the springs and put it back together again. Then when one of my sisters was moving out they were looking for hand me downs and I told her she could have Rick’s old furniture that we kept in the sunroom. I, of course, wanted to vacuum under the cushions and give it to her in the best way I could. As I went to lift the cushion there it was, my gold wedding band sitting right smack at the tip of the front of the chair.
Do you know how many times we looked there? For how many years? When Rick took off the fabric and fixed the chair it wasn’t there. How did it get there? Rhetorical because there is no logic to this.

** One day at work someone had dropped off a copy of a book they wanted to be added to a gift basket for their friend. Their friends mom had just died and while she had sent flowers etc. She wanted this basket of goodies along with the book to arrive a few weeks later while she would be out of town. To show her friend she was still thinking of her. She wanted something not depressing and a cookie basket with coffees etc was exactly what she had in mind.
I looked at the books after she left and thought it sounded fascinating. I really wanted to read it and yet I knew I couldn’t open and bend the binding and make it look like it had been read. But one afternoon I did it anyway. I barely opened it and I read it ever so carefully. It was about a cardiologist who didn’t believe in God. He also didn’t believe in an afterlife or a near death experience. Then as time went on so did the number of stories that he couldn’t explain. He had a blind patient who died on the table who they brought back to life. She would retell him the story of what was said and what she SAW. Yes a blind woman who laughed that they were all teasing the doctor about his blue and brown socks. How could she possibly know the color of the socks? It was only mentioned that he must have gotten dressed in the dark. Then it began with children. All spoke about a peace and such a warm feeling of immense love. Whatever you believe this book was a fascinating read. I finished it and told Rick I really want to read his 1st book. He came from a different point than most because he was such a non believer and I found it so interesting.
Fastforward 2 days. I wanted to make a quiche. But since moving in with Rick I put all my boxes at the very edge of the steps of the attic. The real attic. The attic was off the back of the house. You went up the stairs and it opened on your right. There were nothing in there but a big chest at the end against the wall. I never went too far into this attic because like the basement I got the creeps. Unlike the basement this was not scary in the traditional sense like cobwebs and wires etc. It was a clean empty room. I put my boxes right on the edge by the steps so I wouldn’t have to go all the way. I faced the boxes with the contents written on it toward the step so I could grab things and run. And I mean RUN. So this day I went up to get my quiche dish in one of my boxes. I had just been up there a week or so ago and saw that box right at the top so it was going to be easy to get. As I got up there I found a book sitting on top of the box with the quiche dish. I picked it up and it was the 1st book of that cardiologist that I had wanted to read. It was from a library from a city I had never been. I ran so fast down the steps I twisted my ankle. I was screaming so Rick came running. I just threw the book at him because I couldn’t even speak. He looked at me and we both had no explanation. I wouldn’t go back up there to get my quiche dish or ever again for that matter.
I called everyone I knew. I asked my Aunt had she been to this city’s library and she laughed at me. I still have that book by the way. A little girls photo is in the book. It looks like it was taken in the 60’s or 70’s. I have no explanation for this at all.

** This one I’ll close with. We had an L shaped sofa. It was a snowy Saturday and Rick was taking a nap at one end of the sofa. I was knitting and watching TV way on the opposite end. I was sitting on the edge of the seat to be near the TV to hear it. I didn’t want it too loud due to him napping. He woke up and was stretching and I said, “Hey sleepyhead did you have a good nap?” He coiled his legs up to his chest and he began to point at me and gasp for air. I didn’t know what the hell was happening. I thought he was having a heart attack. And then all of a sudden he said, “She was sitting right next to you! Didn’t you see her?” Now I was thinking he was dreaming or still sleeping. I went over to him and sat by him and asked if he was awake. Later he told me he saw an old woman bent over sitting smack dab next to me and she was also looking at the TV. He said when he looked at her she looked at him, smiled and then poof was gone.
That’s a tough one because that could have been him half asleep. But if you ask him he’ll swear to you he was not sleeping and everything he saw was real.

So there ya go. I was never scared when living there except one time which I didn't outline here but trust me I was frightened and was ready to move.  I just found them sometimes annoying. They didn’t harm us. They didn’t bug us every day. One day when leaving I yelled, “Hey clean up the kitchen while I’m gone would ya?” And Rick laughed.
I never used to believe in any of this shit until I lived it.

Fast forward 10 years and we had just moved back east to the general area I am in now.
We decided to rent a place for a year before we bought to be sure of where we really wanted to settle down. We came home one Saturday afternoon after a day of errands and I ran into the house directly to the powder room. As I sat there I noticed the towels were askew. I came out of the powder room and said to my husband – “the towels are askewlet’s call the landlord and see if he was here.” Of course Rick laughs at me. “I’m sure they were like that” he says.
“Hello Rick? Have you just met me?  They were not uneven when we left, trust me on this.  Or something weird is happening again and I can't take that."  

So we called the landlord and sure enough he and his kids did a walk through without our permission.
So it wasn’t anything I couldn't explain, it was just a dufus of a landlord that I had to set straight  that like our lease states he can’t just come in willy nilly or at the very least leave us a note that he came by so I am not so freaked out!
He couldn’t believe I noticed something so "minor" as he put it.
Being me I had to tell him the other things too like the kids hand prints on the front of the fridge, how someone sat on our bed, and how papers were moved on our desk.
All of which he said did happen and then he was silent. I know he thought I was certifiable!

I should use this skill set to work for the FBI because I truly notice everything. It’s a sickness unless of course if I got paid for it.