Monday, October 31, 2011

I Love Halloween!

It's Halloween!  And my kids aren't the only ones exploding with excitement.  I love Halloween and everything that has to do with Halloween.  Dress up?  Awesome.  Candy?  Yes, please.  Parties?  Always.  Scary Stories?  Oh yeah. 

Last week the kids' school threw a Halloween party and we all got to try out our costumes. 

We had a great time and liked our costumes, but I think we are all gonna try something else for trick or treating tonight.  We'll see what happens. 
Hope you all have a Happy Halloween!

And if you want to treat yourself to some scary stories you can read my stalker story here.  I also have some personal ghost stories here, here, and here.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Bump In The Night

Man, I'm jumpy tonight. 

I locked the door and all the windows.  I closed the curtains.  I'm safe now. 

I bet if I lived on the second floor I would never be this freaked out.  These gigantic windows don't help.  It's like having sliding doors all over my apartment.  You could practically walk through the freaking things.  But they're locked now.  I'm safe. 

I've already checked the only hiding spots my miniscule apartment has, the closets, behind the shower curtain, and under my bed.  Still, my eyes keep darting around my tiny bedroom.  Searching, searching.  I pull my blanket up to my ears and continue my vigil.

It's not like he's dangerous.  Maybe he is just going through a midlife crisis or something, I don't know.  But, he's not crazy.  Well, he is acting like he is, but he can't be.  He was so nice.  So normal.  But the letters have gotten increasingly worrisome.  I mean, they always freaked me out, but this last one was downright disgusting. 

I thought I was so clear.  I told him I wasn't interested.  Not only is he twice my age, but my God, he is married.  I would never, ever, allow a man to cheat on his wife with me.  I told him that.  Many times.    

At first I didn't want to hurt his feelings.  Maybe I should have been tougher right away. Clearly he didn't hear me.  He doesn't take hints well.  I had to be brutal.  Look, guy, I don't like you.   The end.   Still, it hasn't seemed to help.

Oh shit!  Oh God, that made me jump.  The phone again.  What is that, the sixth time?  No message.  Again.

I can't even answer the damn phone anymore.  I heard that just answering the phone is enough to keep someone calling, even if you are answering to tell them to stop calling.  I heard you should just stop taking their calls.  So I did. 

And then yesterday he shows up at my work.  Standing by my car holding flowers and chocolates.  How does he even know where I work?  Oh God, it gives me shivers.  I have to stop thinking about this. 

I did lock all the windows, right?

Yes.  I did.

I wonder who that was calling tonight.  Why didn't they just leave me a message so I could call back?  My friends and family know to leave messages.  Maybe I should get that caller ID thing. 

What was that? What was that noise?  Was that from one of the other apartments?  My body breaks out in hot prickles.

Okay, calm down.  It was probably just a car door or something.  A neighbor. I am getting myself all worked up for nothing. 

He is just obsessing.  He isn't crazy.  Well, obsessing kind of is crazy.  But, he isn't violent or anything.  Right?  Right.

I gotta get to sleep.  I have to be up so early tomorrow.  Think about something else. 

Think happy thoughts.  Okay.  *sigh*  Better.

I roll over onto my stomach and force myself to relax.  Calm.  Calm. Deep breaths.

Finally, exhaustion takes over.  Drifting.  Deeper, deeper I fall into sleep.

Suddenly I am jolted awake.  A noise.  My eyes fly open. 

Someone is here. 

In my room?  A shadow passes over my body. 

Oh God.

My eyes frantically search my bedroom.  I am alone.

Slowly, slowly I tilt my head to look behind my headboard at the window.  A scream catches in my throat.  It's him.

The light from the parking lot shines brightly behind him boldly outlining his shape against the other side of my window.  My curtains are so thin I can see his hair standing up in the breeze.  Can he see me? 

Oh God, Oh God, Oh God. 

Don't move.  Don't breath.  Don't make a sound.

Do I run for the phone?  Would they even get here in time? 

Sweat drips from the back of my neck, my eyes are watering.  I am frozen in my bed. 

I quickly list off possible weapons I have in my tiny apartment.  Baseball bat, knife, ... oh God is that it? 

He's still there.  What do I do?  If he hears me move maybe he'll try to get in.  What do I do? 

Minutes pass.  It feels like hours.  I look up again, and he's gone. 

I slither out of bed onto the floor, grab my baseball bat from under my bed, and crawl to the phone.  I grab the receiver off the wall and sit on the floor, my eyes darting from window to window to window searching for his shadow again.

An hour passes and I am still sitting on the floor clutching the receiver to my chest with my left hand, the baseball bat in my right.  He's gone.  He's got to be.  But I'm too scared to get up and peek out the curtains.  Terrified I'll be seen.  I'll just wait a little longer.

In honor of Halloween weekend I thought I'd post the whole story to my text post from earlier in the week.  If you want to read some scary GHOST stories you can read my personal experiences here, here, and here.  They are all true stories as is today's post.  Have a spooooookey weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WW- The Last Of The Season

Bye-bye 'matos.  We'll miss you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Comes First

I joined in last year and I am joining in this year as well. It is a cause I believe in. I am reposting the post I wrote last year because, believe it or not, the same exact thing happened to me this year when I went shopping for Halloween goodies for my kiddos. It really does get earlier and earlier every year. Last year I posted this in November, now I can't even make it to the end of October. Crazy.

And so it begins. Earlier this year than I can remember any other year. But that is how it goes. It gets earlier and earlier every year. My mailbox is already transitioning from being jammed with political flyers to Christmas advertisements.

Even my kids notice the difference. "Why do they have Christmas trees up already mom? Isn't that crazy? It's not even Halloween yet!" my boys said to me as we walked through Menards. Even my young children know the order of things. First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and THEN Christmas. That's the order.

A few days before Halloween I walked into Target (although it could have been any store) to get face paint for my kiddos and found the Halloween items being put on clearance to make room for all the Christmas items. Christmas trees were already up. Lawn ornaments with penguins holding presents, Santas popping out of chimneys, and candy canes that lit up were already on display. It wasn't even Halloween. Never mind the fact that we were still almost a month away from Thanksgiving.

And here is the thing, I love Thanksgiving. It is one of my most favorite holidays. It is the one holiday when family comes from miles around to be together with the sole purpose of enjoying each others company and giving thanks for the many blessings we have. It is a peaceful holiday. A warm, cozy holiday unencumbered by the piles of presents one is expected to receive and give. There is no worry about someone unexpectedly giving you a gift that you do not have a gift for. No worry of giving a gift to someone that doesn't have one for you, therefore making that person feel badly. No wondering if you spent enough or too much on the gifts. No pressure to find the perfect gift that they will love. The children are not constantly asking "Can we open gifts now?" throughout dinner. Massive piles of multicolored paper will not be plugging up every surface of the house. Thanksgiving is a reflective time to give thanks for all that we have before the season of "gimme, gimme, gimme" starts in.

Except now it seems society just skips right over being thankful. It is all about what you don't have and what you "must" have. Not about what you do have. And that makes me sad. What happened to being thankful?

Being thankful doesn't make money. And it is all about the almighty dollar these days. Christmas has turned into a business. The money business. It has been commercialized and stripped of what it is really about. And with that it has gobbled up one of the purest of holidays.

Well, not on my watch. And not on Suldog's watch either. Suldog is calling us to action. If you would like to help stop the cheapening of the holidays stop at Suldog's and read his post.  Support businesses, like Nordstrom's, that refuses to commercialize Christmas for the almighty dollar. Write a post of your own! Let's take back Christmas as the holy day that it is and not the two month long circus it is made out to be. Let everyone know that Thanksgiving comes first.

Friday, October 21, 2011


He's here. He's watching me. I just woke up n glanced up at the window above my bed. He was there just beyond the glass. Call the police.

The challenge this week was to compose a text in 160 characters that elicits or expresses fear.  My text is inspired by something that actually happened to me when I was younger.  Perhaps I will write about it in more depth as it makes for a pretty good scary story, perfect for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Secret In The Woods

There's a place we like to go to think, and play, and imagine.  It's a bit of a trek to get there but we don't mind.

Through the woods,
into the tall grass,
past the river,
and back into the woods again.
Finally we reach our destination.   Our teepee in the woods.
 Years ago we stumbled upon this teepee that someone (the kids are sure the Indians built it) lovingly built. 
It is large enough and sturdy enough for our whole family to enjoy.  A place to pretend.  A place to wonder.  A place where imaginations run wild.  Our teepee in the woods.

parenting BY dummies

Monday, October 17, 2011


I love fall.  Every year I look forward to fall with childlike anticipation.  Though summer will always be my favorite season fall has always been a close second.  The colors, the smells, the feeling in the air, the decor, the prep for Halloween festivities, I love every second of it.  It gives me such energy.  Light.  Warmth.

This year has been a bit different, and I've yet to figure out why.  If you look at my past posts from October you can see the difference.  I had 15-20 posts in Octobers past.  I'd blab on about the glory of fall, and tell ghost stories, show off my decorations, and prepare for Halloween.  This October I can barely manage to eek out two posts. 

The weather was warm and beautiful.  The trees were gorgeous.  The smells were still the lovely fall smells I remembered from falls past.  And yet I have this weird "lost" feeling.  Missing something.  Searching for something.

I don't know if it is because of how busy we've been or if I am just feeling fickle.  Oh, I've had my moments of fall glory. 
It is hard not to feel giddy when you see stuff like this. 
And I've had my warm, golden, fall moments too.
I've felt cheery and happy and have been able to embrace parts of this wonderful season with walks in the woods, apple orchards, and leaf piles.
But soon enough I am back to my funk.  Feeling heavy and drained.  Thinking, thinking, thinking.  Wistful. Searching.
It happens every year.  Fall always makes me so melancholy.  But this year I am not just melancholy, I am moody, and sad, and just off.  I just don't know why.

We were supposed to have a wonderful extended weekend up north.  The boys had off of school on Friday and Monday and we were all looking forward to getting away.   Though the weather was cold (about 45 degrees the whole weekend) and extremely windy (about 30 mph everyday) we still spent all of our time outside. 
The beautiful colors of fall had gone.  We were left with grays and browns. 
It was too cold for fishing so we made forts in the woods to try and escape the winds.  It was a tough weekend.  Grace and  I ended up coming home yesterday, leaving the boys to happily tough it out for one more day.
Like I said, I don't know what my problem is.  Maybe I'm just really bad at transitions.  I am just feeling so...  sigh...  I don't know.  Lost?  Pitiful?  Drained?  Empty?  Blah.  Woe is me.

Anyone else feeling it? 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Taking It In

Fall is all around us.  Take one step outside and you smell bonfires burning, fresh cut grass mixed with fallen leaves, and apples from the trees across the street.  Everywhere you look gold is in the air filtering through the trees.  All my favorite colors are covering every surface in reds, oranges, greens, yellows, and soft browns.  It is a beautiful time of year.  A time I love.  And a very good reason for my absence from bloggyland, and my computer in general.

It is not the only reason for my absence.  The transition from lazy, summer days to busy, fall schedules has been much more difficult to adjust to then I had anticipated.  Even Tommy, who was thrilled to finally be going to school all day, has had a hard time getting used to the long days and has called home from school "sick" a number of times simply because he is tired.  The combination of school, homework, sports (which are thankfully ending soon), meetings, clubs, and everything else has been a lot for everyone to take in.  But we are getting there, and I comfort myself knowing things will calm down soon.

This past week and weekend the weather was absolutely perfect.  We took as many opportunities to decompress as we possibly could.  We spent every waking minute outside (except when we were watching our amazing Wisconsin teams- Go Brewers! Go Packers! Go Badgers!  Woot woot!).  We took walks.  We chopped wood.  We went to the pumpkin farm.  We played football and baseball and soccer.  We drank cider and ate apples fresh off the trees.  We visited the farmer's market and our favorite parks.  We did whatever we felt like doing.  It was just the way I like to spend my fall days.  We drank it all in.  At the end of each day we were all completely exhausted, but in a good way. 
The boys have a four day weekend coming up, and you can bet that we are going to take full advantage of that as well.  I don't want a minute of this gorgeous fall to go by unnoticed.  There will be fishing and hiking and four wheeler rides.  Heck, I may even bake a pie.  With weather and nature at it's best the sky is the limit.

For now, my only agenda (other than the usual weekday crazy) is deciding which family picture I like best to put in my annual "Fall Family Picture" frame.  

1-  A nice shot, but a little further back than I usually have it.  When I zoom in more all you see is the hay bales and the background doesn't look so hot.  Still, a nice pic.
2- I like this background better, but Grace isn't looking, Ben looks ticked off, and Joey is holding an apple up in the air for some strange reason.  Hmmm.  Decisions, decisions.
So tell me, friends, how has fall been treating you?  Are you soaking it in or still trying to get the hang of schedules and school and craziness?  Let me have it. What makes fall special to you? 

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson