Posted in His Days (about the husband), Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction

Sam The Wonder Dog ~~~ An Update on the Husband

Hello Folks!

You’re probably wondering about the title of this post, eh? I know it’s kind of strange but all will become clear soon.

 

As many of you know, my husband had a stroke about three weeks ago. After battling cancer and a bad back, now this. He’s had a rough five or six years. He’s one tough man. Although I think he’s met his match this time.

The stroke left his right arm and hand almost useless. Which for him is very frustrating as it’s, of course, his prominent hand. At the best of times, this is a man with very little patience. Now, oh boy, he’s frustrated as hell.

We learned when he was in the hospital that this is actually his third stroke. He has had two prior ones we didn’t know about. This last one also occurred in the exact same some spot of the brain as the last one. I don’t know how that works on the brain with strokes but it was my understanding this one on top of the other is not that common.

Leave it to him to be different.

It’s also usual to have a stroke and then have the opposite side of your body affected. Again, the husband has to be different. The strokes all happened to his right side of the brain and affected the RIGHT side of his body. Most unusual.

I’ve noticed some changes in his personality since the stroke. I would guess this is normal. They are a bit subtle but there nonetheless. After his stroke, the doctors changed his pain meds. He was taking oxycodone. Now he’s on Hydromorphone which is derivative of morphine. It actually seems to work better for him.

When I brought him home last Friday I thought I could handle it. I figured it wasn’t going to be much different from what it normally is. I had to do pretty much everything then, I figured how much can it change? Oh, how naive I was!

I have to dress him, help him eat (usually just cut up big pieces for him) and other, personal things. I won’t go into detail. Just let’s say his personal space is no more. Sigh.

It’s damn hard. On me, mostly. Especially when he falls, which he has done three times last week. The most recent one was this morning. At 3 am, I finally broke down and called 911 as I knew there was no way I could get him up off the floor by myself. He fell outside the bathroom which is a narrow hallway. He is too weak to help much. His legs don’t want to work right and without his one hand and arm, well forget it. He wasn’t getting up.

The other times he was in the living room and I could maneuver his walker to him so between the walker and me we got him up. That was not going to work this morning.

This is where Sam, the wonder dog comes in. Now, Sam is just a little guy. Weighing in at about nine pounds, ten at the most. He sleeps with me in my bedroom, always has. My bedroom is on one end of the house. I keep my door closed as I can’t sleep if I hear the tv. Which for the husband has to be on 24/7. I also have to sleep in a cold room with a fan going.

Sam, the art of a loyal buddy (c) JLPhillips 2013

The husband has a bed in the living room. Which is right next to my bedroom. Unfortunately, I still cannot hear him if he falls. Sam lets me know when the husband falls. Which is strange because the husband has fallen before he had the stroke and Sam never let me know. But now, he wakes me up. I think he realizes it’s more important now then it was before. As before the husband could usually get back up himself and him falling happened rarely.

Even when he fell in the hallway this morning, Sam woke me up. He is my little hero. I walked out to the living room and noticed that the husband’s bed was empty. Sam took off to the hallway so I knew to follow and that’s where I found the husband. Poor man, he’s kind of banged up on this one. He has a cut over one eye and bruises.

He managed to take his walker to the bathroom but for some reason decided to try to get back to bed without it. Didn’t work well. Down he went. He doesn’t remember how long he was on the floor, just knew it had been a while.

There is, however, a tiny little ray of hope in all this. I believe I have found the main reason he has been falling. It only happens in the middle of the night. And only when he takes two sleeping pills. So……I did a little experiment this past week. For a couple of nights, I only gave him one sleeping pill. (Much to his disgust). Those nights he DIDN’T fall. He managed to get up, go the bathroom and get back to bed in one piece. Last night he insisted I give him two sleeping pills. He fell.

No more two sleeping pills a night. I even talked to the home nurse yesterday and she agreed with me, that it was possibly the sleeping pills that are making him fall. As far as I’m concerned, last night proved my theory.

My gut told me this was the case, I always listen to my gut.

So this has been our life lately.

As for me, personally. I’m tired. I’m more than tired. I’m exhausted. But, I will go on and do what I must because no one else is going to do it for me. The husband is a good man, whose had a bad run of luck on his health. I will be there for him.

That’s the least I can do.

As for Sam, he got an extra treat today. Good boy, Sam!

 

 

 

 

Posted in nonfiction, postaday, Word Fun

Word Fun ~~~ Phobia Words

Today I thought I’d have some word fun. I love words, as most of you know, and I wondered where do we get those strange words for phobias? Yeah, my mind is a strange place….

Anyway, phobias, which are just basically fears, seemed like an interesting topic of conversation. We all have them. If someone says they aren’t afraid of something…they lie.

Now me, I have arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and claustrophobia (fear of closed in spaces), I also have achluophobia (fear of darkness).

What about you? What are you terrified of?

Here’s a list I came up with for words that mean some strange fears. Ok, maybe to those that have these fears they aren’t strange. So I should say, strange to ME fears.

What do you think?

evil-clowns-1759563_640

 

For all you Vampires out there…. alliumphobia (fear of garlic)

Here’s one of Trump’s fears….allodoxaphobia (fear of other people’s opinions)

Now this one is not one I understand at all…. bibliophobia (fear of books)

My cats have this one…..brontophobia (fear of thunderstorms)

Now, I wouldn’t say I have this fear, I just like to avoid them…..  catoptrophobia (fear of mirrors)

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I wonder how people with this fear go the bathroom?….. coprophobia (fear of excrement)

Another one of Trump’s………criticophobia (fear of critics or criticism)

I know someone who has this….ergasiophobia (fear of work)

I’m not sure what to say for this one….. eosophobia (fear of dawn)

I only have this when I gain too much weight….. geniophobia (fear of chins)

And I know I don’t have this one! ……graphophobia (fear of writing)

I swear there are some people who have this that I know…..hedonophobia (fear of pleasure)

I don’t think anyone who is in the world’s oldest profession has problems with this one…… ithyphallophobia (fear of erect penises)

Ok, I have to admit, I have a bit of this one…… koinoniphobia (fear of rooms full of people)

Know anyone with this one?……  linonophobia (fear of string)

My ex-mother-in-law had this one to the point she would faint if she saw one…..musophobia (fear of mice)

Wonder what someone does if they have to go out in a storm if they have this one?…… nephophobia (fear of clouds)

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Hearing about some….I have no doubt a few people have this one…… novercaphobia (fear of mother-in-laws)

Lot’s of people have this one!……ophidiophobia (fear of snakes)

Do you have this one?……phasmophobia (fear of ghosts)

I know too many people who seem to have this one!……phronemophobia (fear of thinking)

This is one for all those old men in politics who seem to have this one about women! …… prosophobia (fear of progress)

 

 

Hope you enjoyed my little list of fears.

 

 

 

Posted in Mi Vida Loca, Monday Meeting

Monday Meeting ~~~ Dec. 19, 2016

Hello, People! Hope your weekend went well and you are all ready for the holidays.

It’s been a long time since I did a Monday Meeting. I also needed a venue to whine a bit today. Ha!

 

Monday Meeting

I think this is the first time I was glad to see a weekend pass. Whew.

Saturday I wasn’t feeling well. Nothing serious, just blah and humbug. Early evening I felt a bit off after dinner. Then it dawned on me, I could feel my blood sugars plummeting. Which was weird as I just ate!

Yet, when my blood sugars get low there is a feeling I get, part nausea and part something else which is hard to describe. I kept feeling worse. I walked from one end of the house to the other to my bedroom to do a blood glucose reading. By the time I got the glucose strip into the reader with my drop of blood I was shaking like a snowflake being blown with that wind outside.

The reader only takes seconds to read and crap……I was dangerously low and still dropping. By the time I got back to the main part of the house I could barely walk. I tried to tell the husband to get me some juice….fast! But he didn’t understand me as I guess my speech was slurred.

He finally figured out what I needed and rushed to get me my juice. I was able to sit in the kitchen chair but he had to feed me my juice as I couldn’t hold it, I was shaking too much. Scared the crap out of both of us, I can tell you. I have never had my blood sugar drop so low so fast in the eight or nine years I’ve been a diabetic.

My body ached for hours afterward. It takes much more out of a person than you would think.

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Then, by bedtime the house was getting cool so before I went to bed, I decided to turn up the thermostat. The furnace wouldn’t come on! I knew the house had been getting cool. So I fiddle with the thermostat and the furnace and can’t get the thing to come on. Well dammit.

It’s below zero outside with the wind blowing like a banshee……and the furnace decides to stop working. Great…….

It’s too late to phone anyone and the husband is fast asleep and he knows nothing about furnaces even if he was physically able to do anything. So I decide to just go to bed and try to phone someone first thing in the morning. Sunday morning. Oh hell, it’s going to cost a bloody fortune to get someone on a Sunday to come over even if I can find someone.

So I go to bed worried about how I’m going to find someone in the morning and how I’m going to pay for it. Thank goodness for heating blankets is all I can say. Sam and I managed to snuggle close and stay warm through the night.

I get up Sunday morning to a cold house and a husband I could barely see under all his blankets. He asked me if I knew how to fix the furnace. Nope…..I tried everything I could think of the night before.

It’s 12c (53F) in the house and dropping. The wind outside is vicious. Snow blowing around. And Sunday morning. What do I do?

First I get dressed because it’s too cold to stay in a nightgown. Then I think…….and think…..and worry. Then I have an idea. Our previous Angel from last year who fixed our furnace. Loche (pronounced Lock)………

I hate to call him early Sunday morning but I had run out of ideas. So I find his number and give his cell a ring. He picks up and I tell him who I am and he of course, remembers me right off. I tell him the problem with the furnace after apologizing to him for calling. He says ‘no problem’ and walks me through a couple of things to check. Nothing…..the furnace just won’t come on.

In the meantime, he is also telling me he didn’t get home until 3 am as he was on call with his work on Saturday. Well, hell. I apologize again. I feel terrible that I’m troubling this kind man but I also tell him I didn’t know what else to do.

He decides he needs to come over and look at the furnace to find out why it quit working. He tells me he will be over soon. I thank him and hang up and tell the husband the good news.

Loche shows up less than an hour later after getting out of his warm, barely slept in bed. He takes a look at the furnace and after trying a few things he concludes the problem is the thermocouple. Without that piece, it won’t keep the pilot light lit. He looks in his bags of parts and says he didn’t bring one. No problem, he will go to Home Hardware and pick one up.

So off he goes into the cold, blowing wind to find the part.

About twenty minutes later he comes back with the part and in less than five minutes he has the part installed and the furnace running! I could have hugged him! Except well, I don’t really do hugs and he’s a very shy man and would probably die of bashfulness if I did. But I was tempted!

christmas-1062207_640

This is about the third Christmas in a row that we have had a Christmas angel help us with vital home repairs close to the holidays.

He only charged me 30 dollars for fixing the furnace! Can you believe it?? Now if that’s not a Christmas miracle I don’t know what is. I gave him 40 dollars that I had saved and stashed in my room. I told him to go have a hot cup of coffee on us! He wanted to give me my 10 dollar change back but I wouldn’t take it.

We shook hands and he left to go help someone else because he was still on call for work. He took precious sleeping hours to come help us out…..again.

I felt humbled as I had been in a foul mood and not really into Christmas. Loche helped with lifting that mood. I am so very fortunate in my friends. They are so good to me.

Thank you. And damn it…..

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

 

 

Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, writing

The Talons Reach (A New Halloween Story)

I don’t put disclaimers on my stories. Until today. This story has some things in it that relate to domestic violence that might trigger some people. Do be warned. Thank you.

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The Talons Reach

I remember a night like this one, many years ago. The skeletal limbs of the trees were brushing the dark sky in a maniacal dance as the wind blew in small bursts of rage. The gray clouds scuttling in the night as everything was covered in a cold drizzle of rain.

A perfect night for Halloween that was, just like tonight. Exactly like tonight. I was married back then. Married…What a joke. More like imprisoned with a jailer who was both cruel and unrelenting. Cruel in words and deeds and unrelenting in heaping them upon my person.

I still hear his mocking words as he walked out the front door that last night. That Halloween that will be forever remembered as my night of freedom.

“Clean yourself up and straighten the house before I get back. I swear you can do nothing right. My dinner was five minutes late! And it was not hot enough. Why I married such a slovenly, slow, dim-witted and ugly woman as you I will never know. I will be back in a couple of hours and this house better be spotless.”

In silence I watched him as he left, slamming the front door. I heard the lock being turned and a few seconds later his car leaves the driveway. I remember the pain of the punches he left on my body before he left that night. The dinner plate upside down on the floor with the food splattered against the dining room wall. The slow drip of the spilled wine glass laying on its side on the table.

Just another night in my nightmare of a life. If you could call it a life. It was more a slow and agonizing death. As I knew he would kill me one day. He would kill me and somehow blame my death on myself and get away with it.

How I hated him. I hated him with a passion I thought he had beaten out of me. That passion burned bright and fierce that Halloween night as I got up off the floor and slowly walked to the bathroom. I turned on the light and took a good look in the mirror and my hate burned brighter.

As I wiped the drying blood off my face I didn’t shed a tear. Not a one. As the water in the sink turned pink I vowed that it would stop this night. The pain would stop. I would not, could not, take it anymore.

As I made that vow the lights flickered rapidly. I closed my eyes for a moment and then opened them as I heard a screech. It was a long spine-chilling screech like fingernails on a chalkboard in slow motion.

I don’t remember being scared. More curious than scared. I poked my head out the doorway, my pains nearly forgotten for the moment. The lights flickered again. Once. Twice. Thrice. Then I heard scrabbling coming from the living room. Like bird talons against the marble floor.

I walked into the room, not even hesitating. Looking back, I should have been terrified. Yet, I wasn’t. I had been living a life a terror for years, nothing much could compare to that.

I stopped inside the room and watched as an enormous black raven lifted its wings as it took a step towards me. I stood still, letting it approach. How did it get in? Then I felt a breeze and looked to my left and saw the patio doors open with the wind and rain blowing the curtains aside.

I heard that godawful screech again and jerked towards the raven. Its talon had left a long deep groove in the floor in front of it. It’s dark round eyes peered at me as it’s head tilted a bit to the side. I had never seen a raven that big before with eyes that were almost….human. Almost.

Do you know I never said a word? I saw that human-like bird and never said a thing. I just stared at it as it stared back at me. Then I could have sworn it smiled. Indeed, it wasn’t a pleasant smile but it did smile and then it slowly walked to the patio doors and left.

I closed the doors behind it and turned and walked away. I cleaned up the dining room and calmly got myself ready for bed. Then I waited. I waited for my jailer to arrive and I waited for something else. I waited for retribution.

***********************************************

I heard the car arrive in the driveway and I knew he was home. I sat up in bed and my heart began to pound. I listened for the key in the door but the wind decided to pick up just then and all I heard was it howling through the trees.

Then I heard another sound. That scrabbling noise like I heard earlier that night. Even through the wind and the trees, I could hear it. Maybe I was looking for it. That noise of the raven. Maybe that’s why I heard it and not his key.

I knew he would stop in the living room and pour himself a Scotch. He always did. He was a monster but a monster who was a creature of habit.

The small lamp on the nightstand flickered just as I heard the crash of the patio doors opening. I thought I heard an oath quickly cut off just as a loud screeching noise made the hair on my arms stand on end. I knew that sound. The sound of a giant talon against the marble floor of the living room.

Then I heard him scream. A long scream that slowly dwindled down to a low moan. I heard something I never thought I would hear. I heard crying. I heard my jailer crying like a lost child.

I walked to my bedroom door and opened it. I looked down the hallway and listened. Nothing but the crying was heard. The wind had suddenly stopped and so did the rain. I put one slippered foot in front of another and walked to the living room. I was afraid.

I was afraid that my monster would be there and I would be his victim once more. I stepped inside the room and at first saw nothing but the open patio doors. My body stiffened as it heard a now familiar scrabbling noise. As I turned I was able to see him on the floor, sobbing with his hands over his head and curled in a fetal position.

The raven was next to him and staring at me. It’s head tilted once more in that questioning stance, his talons still and silent. His large black eyes watched me as I glanced from it to the man blubbering on the floor. The words coming out of his slobbering mouth not making any sense at all. Just mindless gibberish.

I smiled. I shouldn’t have I know but I did. I smiled at the raven and nodded once. The huge black soulless, almost human eyes just blinked once, twice, thrice and then it lifted it’s wings in one grand gesture and walked out the patio doors.

********************************************

That was years ago, of course. My jailer is now jailed. Not in prison, oh no, but jailed none the less. I had to commit him to the hospital for the mentally insane in the next town. The poor man thought he was being followed by a giant man-eating raven. He had to be medically institutionalized for his own good.

I visit him every now and then, especially on All Hallows Eve. He seems quite…restless that day.

I also started a group for people who have been abused mentally and physically by their spouses. It’s been active for years now. It’s very successful, although the members insist on staying anonymous. This Halloween I will be helping a very nice woman down the block who moved into the neighborhood a few months ago.

I wonder how her monster feels about ravens?

 

 

 

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Humor, nonfiction, postaday, Sunday Smiles

Silly Sunday ~~~ Funny Pinterest Fails

Now we all have probably been sucked into the great Pinterest time suck machine a time or two! Admit it…..you have! I have gathered a few Pinterest fails that I thought were funny. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

 

This is just scary! Scar a kid for life!
This is just scary! Scar a kid for life!

 

I think it needs braces! Stat!
I think it needs braces! Stat!

 

Big epic NO!
Big epic NO!

 

Not the peeps!!
Not the peeps!!

 

Now this is a way to get kids NOT to eat their vegetables!
Now this is a way to get kids NOT to eat their vegetables!

 

Have any of YOU tried something from Pinterest? How did it go?

 

 

Posted in His Days (about the husband), Mi Vida Loca, Monday Meeting, nonfiction, postaday

Monday Meeting

Hello, People!

I do hope you all had a great weekend. Come join me for some beverages, snacks, and a good old-fashioned chat session.

 

Monday Meeting

 

Are we comfortable? Settled? Need a refill? Please, help yourself to all the virtual goodies you want! I’m having my ever-present cup of coffee.

Let’s start this meeting with an update on the husband. He’s home from the hospital. As most of you know he was admitted to the hospital via Emergency because he was in a lot of pain and couldn’t keep anything in his stomach last Monday morning. He finally came home Thursday evening.

After a lot of blood tests, x-rays and CT scans it was determined he had what is called a ‘mechanical obstruction’ in his lower intestine. Because of his previous colon operation for colon cancer and his high doses of pain meds he became so constipated that it was obstructing his intestines. This was a serious situation as people can die from this. So they kept him in the hospital with a tube through his nose to his stomach, IV drips and various other things. He wasn’t able to eat anything and for the first couple of days, he wasn’t even allowed to drink water. They wanted to keep his stomach empty until they could do something about the obstruction.

It was a very long week for the both of us. He finally started to feel better about Wednesday. I think talk about a possible operation scared him well. 😉 I’m half kidding. It was a scary time.

Bottom line….he needs to drink tons of water, have a high fiber diet or take Metamucil. He needs to exercise more. Get out of bed and walk. He needs to keep himself regular or next time he might die. I hope they scared him enough that he will do these things. I did get him the Metamucil and make sure he takes it every day. Oh boy, that stuff is expensive! But it’s worth the cost to keep him out of the hospital.

I have him drinking lots of water too. I refused to buy him his pop/soda water and bought extra water. So far he is ok with it. The exercise part…..well that’s a struggle. He just refuses to do it. Not much I can do about it. Nagging him would just frustrate the both of us. I certainly don’t need that and neither does he. Anyone with any suggestions?

In other news….not sure there is any other news. ha!

My mind has been so tired and fuzzy I can’t remember what I’ve told everyone before. I’m just so tired. I’ve been going to bed before 10 p.m every night….that’s how tired I am. So far it hasn’t helped because I’ve been having some really vivid and tiring dreams lately. I think it’s the stress. Eh, I’ll be ok.

How have YOU been doing? I’m trying to catch up on everyone’s blogs. It’s hard once you fall behind. I do what I can. I’m trying to get back to my writing again but I’ve been so tired I have a hard time concentrating. I think that’s the most frustrating about being this tired. The lack of concentration. I find it difficult to write when I’m this way. I did go to my doctor the other week and told her how tired I am all the time. She had me do a bunch of blood tests to see if I lack in vitamin B12 and K. I haven’t heard back, so I suppose I better call her. Sigh. One more thing on my very long list of things to do.

Sorry for being so whiny today.

Again….How are YOU?

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Mi Vida Loca, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

Update and a Reminder!

Hello, People.

It’s been a very busy and stressful last couple of days for me. Whew! Yesterday morning the husband had his colon operation. They started at 9 am and he didn’t get into his hospital room until 3 pm. It was a long day of waiting. I went to see him yesterday afternoon and he was still pretty groggy and out of it. I wasn’t able to talk to the doctor, but the nurses said he was doing well. His son and I only stayed for a short while. Just to assure us he was ok, then we left and let him have his rest.

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I was there again bright and early this morning. He looked good but was in pain (of course). He told me the doctor had been in to see him around 5 am this morning. That’s when I found out the reason for the surgery taking so long yesterday. Seems they closed him up after the surgery but couldn’t stop the bleeding. His blood pressure went down to 50/30. They had to give him a transfusion and get him stable before he could go to the recovery room.

Last night and this morning he was still bleeding internally. They are monitoring him and if it keeps up through today the doctor told him they will take him back to surgery, reopen  him up and try to repair it so he stops bleeding. Seems sometimes the body will stop it itself but if not he goes back in. Always seems to be another road block for him.

He was in good spirits this morning. His color was good and he was joking around, so that helps. I think he was just relieved it was over with, or almost. As for the cancerous tumor, it’s all gone along with 1/3 of his colon. They didn’t find any more masses or tumors when they operated, so there is good news too.

As for me. I’m tired but less stressed knowing he will be ok. At least I’m pretty sure he will be ok.

Thanks for all the warm thoughts. It does help. I do hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving tomorrow will have a wonderful day!

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Don’t forget that both my books are on sale on Amazon!

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, nonfiction, postaday

Nano Poblano ~ NaBloPoMo ~~ Day 14

Yesterday was a tragic day in Paris and my heart goes out to the people there. Many others are posting about it and so I leave it in their capable hands. My heart aches for all the needless, senseless violence in the world today. I send light and love to them all.

So that being said, I’m going to do something that is a bit strange. I do a lot of research for my books and sometimes it takes me to strange places on the internet. If anyone ever reads my browsing history they would shake their heads and wonder if they should be worried about me. Sometimes in that research I get sidetracked by things that interest me personally. Like haunted places. Many of you know I do believe in spirits, ghosts, things that go bump in the night.

I was raised in a haunted house. I’ve lived in several other haunted houses. They fascinate me. So I’m going to take you on a tour of haunted places…..yeah, I know you are probably saying “Jackie, you should have done this for Halloween!” I was a bit busy at that time doing the final edits on my book, A Case of Deceit, so I’m a bit late. I think you may still find this post interesting. At least I hope so.

Let’s start the tour…….

 

Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada

Banff Springs Hotel

The Banff Springs hotel in Alberta Canada, was built over 125 years ago by the Canadian Pacific Railway, as a luxury stop off point for train travelers. Don’t let its picturesque surroundings fool you though, it’s rumoured to be one of the most haunted in the country.

Terrifying reports include the sighting of a bride who fell down the staircase breaking her neck after panicking when her dress caught fire. Her apparition has been seen on the staircase and in the ballroom dancing, with many reporting the flames from the back of her dress.

The main story that is told by locals is that of the family that was murdered in room 873. The door to this room has since been bricked up, but the family that lost their life in this room are still seen to this day, often in the hallway outside the room.

Perhaps the most popular of all the reports is the former bellman, Sam Macauley. He served at the hotel during the 60’s and 70’s, and is still seen to this day. He likes to help guests up to their rooms, dressed in his 60’s uniform, often turning on lights and opening locked doors. If you try and make conversation or tip Sam, he vanishes.

(via http://www.hauntedrooms.co.uk/21-most-haunted-places-in-the-world)

 

Island of the Dolls, Mexico

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the Island of the Dolls is downright creepy. Image by Esparta Palma/CC-BY-2.0Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the Island of the Dolls is downright creepy. Image by Esparta Palma/CC-BY-2.0

Just south of Mexico City, the uninhabited Island of the Dolls (isladelasmunecas.com) has a sad history mixed with creepy phenomena. The legend is that a girl drowned in a canal surrounding the island and sometime later, dolls began to wash ashore on the island. Julian, the island’s only inhabitant and caretaker for some 50 years, hung the dolls from the trees to please her spirit but was later found drowned in the same spot as the girl. The island is now a tourist attraction with people bringing dolls to hang in order to appease the spirits. The creepiness of the island no doubt adds to the hyperbole of reports claiming the dolls sometimes move their heads and arms, open their eyes or whisper to each other.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/off-the-beaten-track/best-of-off-the-beaten-track/content/travel-tips-and-articles/ten-lesser-known-haunted-places-of-the-world#ixzz3rV5ar7AH

 

Pioneer Park

 

 henry-webber-house

Colorado’s most famous spooky spot is the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, which inspired the Stephen King novel “The Shining.” But the snowy ski town of Aspen has its share of things that go bump in the night.

Pioneer Park, or the Henry Webber House, is one of the few old structures left in Aspen. It was built in the 1880s and is supposedly haunted by the wife of the builder, Henry Webber. According to theAspen Times, Harriet Webber died suddenly in 1881, only a year after the couple arrived in the then-mining town and set up a shoe business. Harriet’s last words were allegedly, “Henry will know,” spurring rumors that her death was a murder or a suicide. In fact, she died of strychnine overdose, which doesn’t rule out the possibility of an accident: The poison was sold as an over-the-counter anxiety cure at the time. Henry Webber went on to marry his wife’s niece — with whom he may have been having an affair — a mere four months later. (Photo Credit: National Park Service)

(via http://www.livescience.com/52629-10-spooky-haunted-houses.html)

 

Bourbon Orleans Hotel (New Orleans, LA)

10 of the WorldΓÇÖs Most Haunted Hotels-7a

New Orleans is home to voodoo and mystery, and this is the hotel you’ll want to stay in if you’ve got a yen for the Creole paranormal.

10 of the WorldΓÇÖs Most Haunted Hotels-7b

The hotel itself features beautiful period pieces, as well as a number of different ghosts, from a confederate soldier to a little girl chasing a red ball.

(via http://www.placesyoullsee.com/10-of-the-worlds-most-haunted-hotels/3/)

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Humor, Mi Vida Loca, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, nonfiction, poetry, postaday

Nano Poblano ~ NaBloPoMo ~ Day 11

A Silly Little Poem

This is just a silly little poem

to keep the fears away

I hope you don’t mind

when I write silly little rhymes

handwriting

 

I don’t know what else to do

except write and wish

that life was easier

or at least a bit more cheerier

smilelaughuy0

 

 

Instead of darkness looming

there should be sunshine

The stars should shine at night

instead of me facing all these frights

scared

 

 

I’m getting too old, you know

to have all these worries

I should be resting and enjoying life

Not dealing with all this strife

stock-photo-funny-cartoon-of-a-crotchety-old-woman-looking-sideways-62010205-copy2

 

 

I wanted to write something deeper

with much more meaning and hope

Maybe I can after tomorrow

As I still have three weeks of Nano Poblano!

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Posted in Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

Another Scary Story….and It’s True!

We only have a few more days before Halloween. I saved this repost for last because it’s probably the scariest. I wrote about it last year and I’m bringing it back for your reading…pleasure?

I wrote it in two parts. I’ll put a link on for the second part. I do hope you enjoy…and remember to stay away from things that give you a feeling of ‘not quite right’.  Some of you may remember it from last year, some of you may not have read it. Be prepared to be scared!

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Something happened to me years ago when I was still married to the ex. Now, most who visit and read my blog know that I do believe in ghosts, spirits and things that go bump in the night. I have told you about Abe, the ghost that has lived with me since I was about 4 and who has stayed with me through countless moves, including several across the country and  with my move to Canada.

I’ve had a lot of strange things happen around me all my life. I’ve seen my fair share of strange things.  The story that I am about to tell you is probably one of the creepiest, scariest things that I’ve experienced. Now, I’ve been almost killed 2 or 3 times in my life. I’ve had a ghost that loves to follow me around. I’ve lived through my abusive ex. The true story that I’m going to share with you is something that scared me more than any of that other stuff combined.

 

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My ex decided we should move from Texas, where he was from and where we were living at the time, to Wisconsin where I was from. I had family in upper Wisconsin. Looking back, my ex  probably found  living in Texas a bit uncomfortable after having schemed and conned his way through most of Texas. Me, being the naïve woman I was back then, took him at his word that he just wanted to move so I could be closer to family and our rocky marriage could have a fresh start.

Anyway, my ex and his schemes are for another day. I called my sister and told her of our plans and asked her if she could find us a small place to rent so we could have somewhere to live once we got up there. She was all for it and said she would ask around.  She was sure she could find us something.

True to her word, she called me back a few days later and said she found a place, the rent was cheap and well within our budget, so I told her to tell the people we would take it and that we should be up there at the first of the month, which was only a few weeks away. I packed up our belongings in record time, the ex managed to get hold of a U-Haul and off we went cross-country for a new beginning.

We moved in the beginning of winter. Winter in Texas is usually pretty mild, winter in upper Wisconsin is a whole new experience, if you’ve never lived through one. We managed to get there in one piece, just a day late of our schedule due to the U-Haul breaking down in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night our second day out. The ex managed to get it going again though, and we traveled on. We made it the third day out,  traveling almost none stop. We met my sister at her place and she was going to have us follow her, first to the realtor who was renting the house, to pick up the key, then to the house we were going to call home.

We drove up to the house which was on a quiet country road. It looked nice, not too big and it had a basement that was heated so the ex could work down there. I was pleasantly surprised. We started to unpack the truck right away, as it was cold and it had started to snow. The dogs (we had 4 dogs then) were put in the basement while we unloaded and set the house up. The house we were told was hand-built by the former owners, it only had one bedroom, a living room, kitchen and one bath. It was plenty big enough for us. I thought it looked cute, but I remember from the very beginning I had these feelings of foreboding. I put it down as just being very tired.

We got the truck unloaded and I let the dogs come out of the basement and see their new home. They went sniffing around as animals will do, but I noticed they wouldn’t enter the bedroom. They would just stop in the doorway, look inside with their tails down and then back out and never go in. I was too tired and too busy to give it much more notice than that at the time.

By nightfall I was more than ready for a hot shower and bed. One of the smaller dogs always slept in the same room as I did. He was my little shadow, they all were, but he was my baby. I finished my shower said good night to the ex who was watching TV and headed for the bedroom.

I crawled into bed and waited for my dog to jump into bed with me. He didn’t. So I sat up and he was lying in the doorway. I called to him, he stood up and whined at me, but wouldn’t set foot into the bedroom. I was too tired to try to convince him so I just laid back down and drifted off to sleep. I remember briefly waking up when the ex crawled into bed.  I was having weird dreams that night. Nothing new for me as I was always having weird dreams, but these dreams turned into scary dreams rather quickly. I dreamed that I was lying in bed, in that same room and was looking toward the dark doorway. I saw someone standing there. I turned my head toward the other side of the bed and saw the ex laying there sleeping. My heart was thumping hard, I was scared, but I couldn’t seem to move.  The shadow moved into the bedroom, to my side of the bed. I couldn’t see a face or clothing or anything really, it was just a dark shadow moving toward me as if in slow motion.

I vaguely recall a couple of the dogs growling from the hallway, but my eyes were on the shadow as if something compelled me to watch. I wanted to yell, but couldn’t get my voice to work. As the deep shadow reached my side of the bed, I saw it raise its arm and I saw the distinct outline of an ax. I was terrified, but couldn’t scream! I don’t know what happened after that, as the next thing I know I feel the ex getting out of bed and turn and see the clock on the dresser saying 7am. I still felt residual fear, but finally shrugged it off as me just having a nightmare.

I got out of bed, feeling tired and a bit shaky, but again thinking I had just had a nightmare. Though that morning I did try again to coax the dogs into the bedroom and not a one would step foot in it. Later that day one of the dogs stood in the hallway and barked at the open bedroom door. I told it to hush and looked inside and didn’t see anything that he would be barking at. The room wasn’t big, it just had enough room for our bed, dresser and a nightstand. On the wall on my side of the bed was a big old mirror that came with the house. It was kind of ornate, looked old and helped make the room look bigger so I left it there.

About that time the phone rang and I went to answer it. It was my sister and during our conversation it was brought up that the previous owners of the house had both died in the bedroom. The son had it up for sale, but since house sales were really slow at that time of the year, he had been more than willing to rent it out for a time. His parents had built it themselves out of a lot of found materials. The father had worked for the town for many years and if you went down into the basement and looked up you could see the discarded road signs that made up the subflooring. Strange, but I thought kind of interesting. The man apparently  died of old age in the bedroom while being cared for by the wife. The wife later died   a few years after the husband passed, but there were rumors she didn’t die of natural causes. I just laughed it off as I knew that small towns always were full of such rumors. The son lived in the big city and didn’t want the place, even as a summer home so it was up for sale.

I finished my conversation with my sister and put more things away in the house. In the back of my mind was a niggling thought about the nightmare I had. I wondered if the house was haunted. Why wouldn’t the dogs go in the bedroom? I knew the man in the bedroom wasn’t Abe, as the shadow didn’t look like Abe. Also, the shadow with the ax felt ominous, dark and scary. That wasn’t Abe at all!

The night came and I got ready for bed. I was a bit anxious and hoped I didn’t have another nightmare. When I went into the bedroom, my dog again refused to follow me in and just lay in the doorway and watched me. I was more aware of my surroundings this night and noticed something really weird about the big mirror on the wall. There were red dots in it! I at first thought I was seeing a reflection of something, so I turned on the light and looked around. There was nothing that would cast red dots in the mirror. I looked at the mirror with the lights on and didn’t see any red dots, so I turned the light off and looked again. Sure enough, red dots! And they were moving! I yelled for the ex to come see and he came into the bedroom and saw them too. He just laughed at me and told me I was silly. That they were obviously a reflection of something and it was late and he was tired and just wanted to sleep.

So I crawled into bed, tired, anxious and just a bit scared. Something didn’t feel right to me, but the ex wasn’t listening. So I closed my eyes and tried to close my mind off too. What happened that night scared the crap out of me and convinced me that the mirror was haunted.

 

 

 

Here’s the link to part 2……The Haunted Mirror

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Fiction, Flash Back Friday, Humor, postaday, stories, writing

Flashback Friday

Hello, people!

I hope the start of your weekend is fantastic! I’m taking a small break from my edits to bring you this flash from the past.

Here’s a short story I wrote way back in October of 2012. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

 

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Yeah, I’m borrowing the title from Snoopy.  He said I could. We’re  close friends. Snoopy borrowed it from Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, and now there is a contest every year called

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

The contest uses the infamous phrase to showcase the worst extremes of this “purple prose”. It only uses one sentence, where I  thought it would be fun to write a story with that title. I kind of doubt it will be scary, but in honor of Halloween,  one of my favorite holidays, I thought I would borrow the phrase and see what happens.

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I was home alone with my little dog Sam. The wind was howling through the trees, it almost sounded like moaning. Of course, that was just my imagination. Usually, storms don’t bother me. In fact, I love them. But this one seemed different. There was a feeling in the air, it was heavy, like a smelly wet blanket covering the whole house. We had lost the electricity an hour ago. But I had plenty of candles lit. I hate the dark, things happen in the dark that doesn’t happen in the light.

It wasn’t raining, not yet anyway. But the wind was blowing and the trees outside were hitting the side of the house. A steady bang, bang, bang. It was driving me crazy. I made a mental note to have the trees next to the house trimmed… soon.

The thunder could be heard rumbling over the wind. Every now and then the lightning would light up the house. Because of that and the candles, there were odd shadows flickering on the walls and ceilings. It would be a great night for Halloween. But that holiday was still a few weeks away.

I sat on the couch with Sam as close to my side as he could get. I liked the company, even if it was in the shape of a small dog. At least we had each other, and I wasn’t completely alone. I felt foolish. A grown woman afraid of the dark, but I couldn’t help myself. It was just that kind of night.

I heard a soft creak, like a footstep when the wind and thunder were silent for a few seconds.  It sounded like it was in the house! Sam and I just froze for a second, I felt the poor little guy shiver in fright. I have to admit it scared me too!

I gathered my courage together, picked up one of the candles and decided to take a look around the house. Yeah, stupid I know. I mean, in all the scary movies one sees, the girl always goes looking around the dark house on her own and meets up with the boogie man!

This wasn’t a movie. I would rather meet up with the boogie man on my terms then sit on the couch and await my doom. So off we went to search the house. Sam was close on my heels, I guess he wasn’t willing to be alone either.

We did a quick survey of the main floor and saw nothing unusual. So I decided to take a look upstairs. I slowly started to climb the stairs as the candle flickered at each step. I tried to listen to anything beyond the wind but heard nothing strange.

So step by slow step I continued upwards. We got to the landing and I stopped to give another listen. Nothing. I took a step forward and immediately heard a creak and I knew it wasn’t me that made it.

I decided to keep moving forward. I had to find out if someone else was in the house with me. It was either that or go hide somewhere and wait for the boogie man to find me! Neither option was the greatest. So taking my courage in hand once more I continued forward. I slowly walked down the hall. The first room I came to was the bathroom. Taking a quick look inside I knew no one was there, and yes, I looked in the shower too!

Poor little Sam was with me every step of the way. I made myself a promise that I would give Sam some extra special dog cookies once we were over this night! He deserved them for keeping me company on this scary night.

Taking a deep breath, I continued to the next room. My bedroom door was closed like usual.  I grabbed the door handle and slowly turned it. As I opened the bedroom door I heard it give a small screech, I never noticed that it needed oiling until now.

As I opened the door all the way and stepped inside the wind picked up in force and pushed the outside tree against the side of the house. The bang that followed made my heart jump and my hand holding the candle shake.

I walked into the room and took a quick look around as Sam stayed in the doorway.  I saw nothing out of the ordinary and even got enough courage to throw the closet door open and take a look. Nothing. Whew!

My heart slowed down just a bit and I left to check the last room. An extra bedroom. That door too is usually closed, but I noticed soon enough that it was open a crack. My heart started to beat fast once more.  I stood just outside the door wondering if I shouldn’t just turn and run. I took a deep silent breath as I put my hand against the door to push it open.

I gave it a slow push and took a quick look. I didn’t see anything so I took a step inside…then all hell broke loose!

There was an awful howl as two gray and white bodies streaked past me out the door. Sam gave a loud bark and took after them. Sam was yapping excitedly as I ran into the hallway just in time to see my two devil cats running hell-bent down the hall with Sam nipping at their tails!

Both cats raced toward the stairs and when the first one hit the curve before the stairs the second one almost ran him over. As their paws scrambled for footing they bounded down the stairs with the now brave Sam close on their butts!

I started running after Sam as fast as I could without putting out my candle. I heard a loud crash downstairs and wondered what piece of furniture was a victim of their flight.  Then I heard yapping and hissing and thought I better get down there quick!

Managing to get down the stairs without tripping in my haste, I entered the living room just as the lights came back on.

I stood in the middle of the room and surveyed the damage. I blew out my candle and yelled at Sam to hush! He had the two devil cats Notwen and Pouncer cornered on top of the TV stand. I just had to laugh. One, because I felt so relieved that there wasn’t a boogie man in the house! Two, because Sam was so much smaller than either cat and he acted so proud that he got them hissing and cornered!

It took me a few minutes to get the animals calmed. Afterward, I just sat on my couch and laughed at myself. But, after that day, I make sure I always have plenty of candles in every room in the house. You know, just in case.

 

 

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Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

Something I’ve Never Talked About

Hello people! Hope your day is going great. Ready for Thanksgiving? Those that are celebrating it tomorrow, I hope it’s stress free and fun-filled!

Today, I’m going in a different direction with my blog. First, let me state, I am NOT looking for sympathy. I talk about my past sometimes, about abuse, about my ex the narc, about family and some issues I have with them. I very rarely talk about my life in the here and now.

I do talk about ME, but not about my life here, or my husband or anything that is going on at home. Some know my story, most don’t. I’m actually a pretty private person. So why have I decided to let some of my story known? Because I need help. I need to hear from some other people who might be going through some of what I am going through and how to cope during the hard times.

Let me explain.

caregiver stress

I’m from the states. I came to Canada close to 14 years ago when I struck up a friendship with my now husband online at a gaming site. We talked for hours on the phone and online. So I decided to take holidays from my job for a couple of weeks and go to Canada to meet him in person. To make that long story short, I came, I met, things happened, I stayed, we got married.

My husband’s health had always been good, except for his back. At odd times and it seemed for no good reason his back would go out and he’d be in terrible pain and could hardly stand up straight. He’d take a few days off work and lay on the couch and his back would get better. Till one time it didn’t get better.

That was a little more than 2 years ago. He bent over to lift an empty bucket and his back went out. We thought it would be like the last number of times, he would rest on the couch for a few days and his back would be better. Didn’t happen. It ended up he was off work for 8 months while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong. Good thing we had insurance from his work place to help us make it through.

After months and months of doctors visits and tests and x-rays, they came back with his prognosis. Spurs at several places on the spine and arthritis of the spine. Inoperable because of the spurs being so many along the spine, of course, for the arthritis there is no cure. Double whammy.

So we talked things through and he decided he would try to go back to work as he had 5 more years before he could retire with full benefits. He tried to go back to work, but between fighting the insurance company and his workplace for the right to go back to work he developed anxiety attacks that would land him in the emergency room.

Finally, he was able to go back to work full-time doing the job he had been doing for 35 years. He lasted 3 months. His back and the pain that came with it just wouldn’t let him do it. So he opted to take early retirement, even though we couldn’t afford it. We had no choice. There was no way he could work. So I became his caretaker.

Our marriage was rocky years before he had to quit his job. In fact, it was so rocky I had thought seriously of leaving and going back to the states. Again, let me stress I am not saying this for sympathy, it’s just bare, cold facts. Period.

Suddenly our roles were reversed. I was his caretaker, I became the leaning post. Things financially became difficult. More than difficult. He lost the house we were living in, his house for the past 20 years. He loved that house. The mortgage was something we just couldn’t handle anymore. We were behind in everything, barely hanging on. We lost it all. The house, his credit, everything. He had to file bankruptcy as the house and bills were in his name and were his before we got married.

We had barely enough money left to buy a 30-year-old mobile home. He fought me every step of the way too. But he had to face reality. We needed a roof over our heads and this was the only way. We bought the mobile home, at least we had a home that no one could take from us. But it seemed to be the last straw for him so to speak, he pretty much gave up. Also, right after we moved he fell down some steps outside and injured his back even more.

Now, he is on 2 super strong pain medications, plus sleeping pills. He can barely walk or function. He is almost bedridden. In two short years things went from him working every day to him being disabled with no chance of it getting better. In fact, the doctors have told us it will just get worse.

Here is where I need help. It’s humbling to admit to it. I’ve always been strong when I needed it. Now, I’m not so sure.

How does one cope? How does a person find that strength? That patience?

It is down to me doing almost everything now. We have a friend that comes over and helps with things I can’t do, thank goodness for friends. But, I find myself losing patience sometimes with my husband. Maybe it’s because he’s given up. I don’t know. There is no way I would leave him now, he needs me and I just couldn’t leave knowing he is in the shape he is. We have a relationship most wouldn’t understand, but we do, that’s all that counts.

I know a lot of what he does is because of the medications. And that he drinks. He does weird things. I have to watch him all the time. He leaves the water running in the bathroom, he leaves the portable heater going, he does other strange things.

Yesterday I lost my temper. It’s not something I’m proud of. It happened.

So my questions are…...Are there readers who are caregivers? How do you cope? How to you keep your patience with trying days? Is there a trick to this? What am I doing wrong? Am I doing anything right?

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, my husband is completely disabled, on strong meds, drinks. I’m doing the best I can, I think, with what we have. We are trying to find help, but we fall into that middle ground, too young to qualify for a lot of government help, too old for other things that might help. I can’t go to work, as I can’t leave him alone. Plus, I have a few health issues of my own.

I am not too proud to ask for help, nor too stupid to do so. Anyone with any suggestions? Thanks from the bottom of my heart.