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Friday, October 29, 2010

Haunted House

This time of year, the words haunted house conjure up a vision of horror and evil. However, not all haunted houses are ominous and not all spirits are evil and scary. Jordan and I live with my father in the home in which I grew up. Our home has an extra resident who is neither related, nor alive.

From the time I was quite young, my bed would shake at night. This is not the feeling you get when you feel like you are falling out of bed and it was never violent. I would liken it to someone shaking you in order to awaken you. I never said anything until I was in my early 20s and I told my mother. She said she’d experienced the same thing, but never said anything either.

Our resident apparition is mischievous and playful. She will move things just to let you know she is there. Now I don’t mean I see things move. Things come up missing and when they reappear, they are in their rightful spot. Once, I had an item missing for weeks. Where did I find it? ON THE FLOOR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LIVING ROOM!

We had a shih tzu, named Peanut, who would walk over to the steps and watch her come down the stairway (backing away as she reached the bottom step), cross the living room and sit in a chair by the front window. Mom and I would just look at one another.

One day our neighbor Orlo was over for a visit. Orlo and Elvira built their home as newlyweds and had lived in the neighborhood for nearly 40 years. They were both very much interested in Marion history and had great stories of years past. As we visited with Orlo, he was telling us about past residents of our home. He said, You know Emmy B. died sitting in a chair in front of that window… WOW! Mom and I just looked at one another with wide eyes. We now had a name for our mischievous friend.

Now before you discount my story and think that my mother and I were crazy, listen to this…

My friend and neighbor, Babe (of Babe's Cake fame), took her children to the pediatrician one day. The doctor saw her address and told her he used to live on our street. She said yes that her friends now lived in the same house. He said, You know that house is haunted. He said his housekeeper refused to go in the basement because of the ghost. Personally, I’ve never had any issues in our basement aside from the creepy crawlies who call it home, but it could be Emmy didn’t like the housekeeper.

I hadn’t heard from Emmy since my mother died and some suggested Mom may have helped her pass over. However, a couple months back-- in the middle of the night-- my bed shook. I rolled over and said, Emmy, I’m trying to sleep here!

How ‘bout you? Have you ever lived in a haunted house? Ever experienced unusual activity?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

F is for Frankenstein

Hello Miss Jenny. Here’s my homework. I promise no spiders this week.

F is for FRANKENSTEIN! “That’s Frankensteen!”

We're all familiar with the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his laboratory creature. After all, it is a Halloween and horror-picture-fan favorite.

The story of the Frankenstein monster was first published anonymously in 1818 in London. The author, Mary Shelley, was only 19 at the time. Although the first edition was published anonymously, her name appears on the second edition, which was published in France in 1823.

Mary Shelley

Shelley's creature was described as being 8 foot tall and hideously ugly. (I think I dated him in my early 20s) He had yellow translucent skin pulled tautly over the body, barely hiding the vessels and muscles underneath. His watery eyes glowed and he had flowing black hair, black lips and prominent white teeth.

Although he was scary and grotesque, he had a sensitive soul. It's only after he witnessed Dr. Frankenstein destroying the unfinished female creature (his future companion) that he turns violent and vows to make Dr. Frankenstein pay for his actions.

The Frankstein Creature has been portrayed in movies by many notable actors in both horrorific and comedic renditions.

Boris Karloff, 1931

Herman Munster
Fred Gwynne, 1964-1966

Peter Boyle, 1974

Who was your favorite?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cemetery Haunting?

Halloween is the perfect time of year to share the story of Marion Cemetery’s strange phenomenon; one of the monuments moves! I’m not making this up. It was first documented in the 1929 edition of Ripley’s Believe it or Not and is also acknowledged in Ohio Oddities, by Neil Zurcher.

For more than 100 years, this 5,200 pound granite ball has slowly rotated on its pedestal. It’s movement in not detectable by the naked eye. How then, do we know it moves? When the monument was first set in 1896, the bottom of the sphere was not polished. Within two years, this unpolished spot was visible. The family had the stone reset, but again it rotated and the unpolished spot is visible. It moves approximately 2 inches a year.

Although there are many speculations, there is no definitive theory as to why the ball moves. It weighs too much for a person to move, and there are no scrapes on the ball indicating a group of people have moved it.

Some theorize there is an air or water pocket below the sphere, allowing it to move freely. Others believe the movement is the result of seismic activity, and still others think the ball is heated unevenly causing it to expand and contract unevenly as well. There are also those who believe the movement is due to paranormal activity.*

Many believe touching the ball will bring you luck.

What do you think? Is the movement the result of seismic activity, construction defect, or is it haunted?


I'm linking to Story Tellers and Outdoor Wednesdays.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkins on Parade

I'm joining Beth's Pumpkin Party.

Nothing says fall like pumpkins. We use them to bring warm autumnal color to our homes, we carve funny or scary faces in them for Halloween, and we use them as ingredients for sweet and savory dishes.

A basket of pumpkins and gourds
adds warm color to the living room decor.

The Dollar Tree is a great source for pumpkins.

Pumpkin Cloche

Giant Pumpkin Float in the
Marion Popcorn Festival Parade

My Mumkins are finally blooming.

Jack -O'Lantern*

The jack -o'lantern chuckled
Then winked his funny eye,
"I would rather be a pumpkin-face
Than be inside a pie!"

Jolly wolly pumpkin face
You're happy tell us why.
I'd rather be a pumpkin face
And not a pumpkin pie!


Happy Autumnal Sunday!

Hello Friends!

I hope you are having a lovely weekend and are taking the time to enjoy Mother Nature's beautiful artwork.

I will be linking to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fort Pierce Farmers Market

One of my favorite things to do when I go to Florida, is going to the Fort Pierce Farmers Market at the marina. They have a wonderful variety of artisans, food vendors and produce. The market is held every Saturday morning, rain or shine.

My last day in Florida, this trip, was a Saturday. My cousin Melanie and her husband, Kurt; my Aunt Cheryl and I set out for the market early.

Check out these beautifully fresh fruits and vegetables.

We purchased a lot of vegetables, breads,
and dip mixes to make for dinner. YUM!

Let's look at some of the handmade wares being offered.

I bought a small purse to use while flying or going to auctions.

Hoola Hoop anyone?

Don't you love all the color?!

There is also a large tent where local authors sell autographed copies of their books. Cheryl, Melanie, and Kurt introduced me to an author they'd spoken to before.

Bob Morrissey is a retired police officer from Toledo, Ohio. He writes humorous books telling actual funny police stories from his years on the police force. As you know, my nephew is a police lieutenant so I asked Bob to sign a copy of 2nd Humorous Beat for him.

Bob has written several other books with a police theme, including A Cop's Gotta Laugh (fiction) and Humorous Beat. Korean Conflict War: Don't Take My Name, and Vagabonds are other non-police books by Bob. His books are available on Amazon and on shelves in your local bookstore.

I was getting hungry so I set out for something to eat. I found a vendor making crepes and boy did he make it look easy.

I'd like some strawberries on mine...

...and Nutella, please.

It was delicious!

A Four Man Trio (that's their name)
provided musical entertainment,
but the hit of the market was this little guy.

He was adorable, but he was
too busy to pose for a picture.

I'm linking to Inspiration Friday at Southern in my Heart.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mediterranean Veggie Pizza

If you are like me, you know you should eat more fresh vegetables, but you get tired of salads. My cousin, Melanie, made these delicious grilled Mediterranean Veggie Pizzas for us one night while I was in Florida. I tried my hand at it one night this week and Jordan loved it.

This is more of a technique than a recipe so have fun with it!

Here's what you need.

Naan Flatbread
Balsamic Glaze
Feta Cheese
DiGiorno Three-cheese Blend
Salami, thinly sliced
Chopped Fresh Vegetables (I used broccoli, snap peas, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, scallions)

Heat your grill to medium heat. Grill one side of the flatbread and flip. As soon as you flip the flatbread, squirt some balsamic glaze onto the toasted side and sprinkle with feta. Add veggies, salami and three-cheese blend. Close the lid to heat through. Please note: the veggies will remain crisp. Once the other side is toasted, remove from grill. Cut into manageable pieces and serve.


I will be linking up to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum. Come on over for dinner! La

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alphabe Thursday: Letter E (EEK!)

E is for Eek! As Halloween approaches, our homes and neighborhoods are transformed into scary, creepy places that make little ones want to scream, Eek!

However, other things make us say Eek, too. Snakes make many people shiver, shake, and break out in a sweat.
Others suffer from arachnophobia, a fear of spiders. I'm not a fan of spiders; however, in the past weeks I've had multiple Encounters that are actually helping me be less afraid of them.

Remember a couple weeks back, I told you HERE about my Encounter with a spider who wanted to sleep with me? That didn't turn out too well for him.

When I was in Florida, I had another Encounter with an arachnid. This Encounter was less violent.

My cousin's family is pet-sitting this tarantula. Don't be afraid; he is in his terrarium. He looks fairly large in his terrarium, but when you take him out....

He takes up the K and E
on Keanan's Nike shirt!

I brought myself to touch him and he was kinda bristly. Because I will do just about anything for you, my friends and readers, I did something I never thought I would OR could bring myself to do.

E is for Extraordinary Experience

Please visit Miss Jenny's classroom (click on the button at the top of the page) to read more E Essays.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mystery of the Missing Neighborhood Watch Commander

Please don’t think my Florida trip was all about fun in the sun and relaxation. I was a woman on a mission. Shortly before my trip, I received disturbing news; the neighborhood watch commander at my Aunts’ apartment complex (I told you about him HERE) was missing. He hadn't been seen in weeks.

Upon hearing this disheartening bulletin, my mind spun out of control with questions. How could this be? Is his abrupt departure the result of the nefarious deeds of an underworld society? Did he fall prey to gangland activity, an alligator’s jaws, OR had he simply run off to South Beach with some hot chick?

Determined to get answers to these burning questions, I set off for Florida. The neighborhood was eerily quiet when I arrived. There was an underlying tension that can only be attributed to a strictly enforced, through fear of retribution, code of silence. It was too dark for me to see much, but I could feel eyes upon me. First thing in the morning, I would start my investigation.

Grabbing all my investigative tools, I set out to hunt for clues. I looked high and low for the Commander.

He wasn’t by the air conditioning unit.

He wasn’t in the brush,

and he wasn’t at the pond.

While at the pond, I asked a few bystanders if they'd seen the Commander...

Just as I was turning away from the pond, I spied some gang activity. I knew it! One of these thugs did something to the Commander. Look at them hiding behind their red masks.

But wait! The last day I was in town we heard a faint cock-a-doodle-doo coming from down the street. I looked, but I didn't see anything. Is this a trick? I had to leave Florida without answers to this mystery; however, I've received these Facebook messages from my Aunts.

Cheryl said:
Hey guess who was here this morning & I think he was looking for you since he was right outside looking at the door. That's right the rooster was here, I think he was on a trip & heard you were coming to visit but, did not get back in time to see you. That is very sad for both of you...:(

Auntie Mare said:
I just saw a rooster go by the window. Didn't really look like the "neighborhood watch commander" but maybe this one took over. He looked a little smaller and had shorter tail feathers. Maybe he's just been ill.

What do you think? Is the Commander back or is this an impostor? Because I am dedicated to you, my readers, I am willing to sacrifice and return to Florida to get to the bottom of this mystery.