Hi there! Welcome to my very miscellaneous blog. Here, I write about everything from mis-used words to gardening, to bad habits in society to going places and seeing things! Enjoy my ramblings.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Then and Now--That Was Then; This Is Now

Sometimes you get a smack in the rear from life.  The trigger can be most anything.  In my case, I have inherited my mother's "flatsurfacitis" gene. People with this affliction are subject to suddenly finding there is no room to eat on the table, piled as it is with assorted stacks of "very important papers." All flat surfaces are fair game, be it a table, kitchen counter or dresser.

These papers range in size from torn corners of napkins to post-it-notes to full size sheets of binder paper and anything in between.  The stacks may also include books or magazines not put away, (after all, I don't want to forget to actually read them). This "must have" information runs the gamut from phone numbers to old bills and recipes.  We flatsurfacitis sufferers don't want to lose any of it, so it's been carefully saved.

Eventually, the piles may migrate to other surfaces.  The ironing board is a favorite. Portable as it is, the unsightly mess can simply be shuffled about to various out-of-the-way spots around the house. (But at least the table is now clear.)  After all, who irons anymore anyway?  "Ironing"  is an obscene word in my house.  

Company's coming?  Put it in the bedroom.  Need to change the bedding and vacuum the carpet?  No problem.  Stick the thing into the office.  Ooops--that was a mistake--need to use the office.  Oh, well, put it in the guest room; no one ever comes to visit overnight anyway.  Uh-oh--can't sleep?  Disturbing hubby?  Need the guest room! 

Oh, great!  The thing is wedged against the door, and I can barely squeeze inside.  How on earth did that happen?  Make note to self:  must dig in (tomorrow!) and start sorting out this crud. And so tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...and many tomorrows later, I've arrived at to-day--as in to-do to-day!  No more putting it off.  Something must be done, for I can barely squeeze into the "guest" room; it's become more storage locker than anything else.

Mind you, I don't hoard all manner of junk until my whole house is full.  I'm not one of those people who collect so much crap that they can barely navigate through tiny pathways between all their "collections."  Not by a long shot.  I have books,  family memorabilia from the current generation, and heirlooms.  Oh, and my important papers.  

I don't shop at flea markets, raid dumpsters or go midnight shopping on trash day.  It's just that it's a bit too much to fit into what might be considered proper storage and display areas. I'm a family history buff, so many of my important papers are tidbits waiting to be entered into my genealogy program, or scrap-booked.

Some of my 'stuff' is clothing that is, what's the new catch-phrase?  "Gently worn."  I'm quite sure it will fit again--one of these days.  So there it sits. Ah, here's another pair of pants--full of paint stains. Well, I'm sure one day there will be another painting project, and I wouldn't want to ruin another pair of pants, so I'd better save these.  My original old Nintendo game is in there.  One of these days...real soon...(as soon as I can figure out all the cables and what goes where)...I'm going to hook it up to the TV next to hubby's X-Box, so I can play my old games I enjoyed.

No matter.  While sorting, I eventually get sidetracked.  I come by that honestly, as well.  After all, I grew up in a household facetiously nicknamed "Sidetrack Manor."  But I digress.  Today's smack in the rear came in the form of an old ledger accounting book that fell from a closet shelf and conked me on the noggin.  It was one of the many such books my mother used over the years to keep track of household finances.

Hubby and I sat down to read it.  Wow.  This was one I had saved for just such comparisons.  The rest, I tossed when we sold Mom's house.  The book covers the period from 2 years before I was born; 1946, through 1954 when I was 6 years old. Comparing what things cost back then to what we pay now was nothing short of shocking.  Keep in mind that our current home is only slightly larger in square footage than the house where I grew up. Our house is fully insulated with a new, efficient furnace. I grew up in a house with a humongous and not-so-efficient furnace and the building was totally uninsulated.

Here's a sampling of monthly costs:

Item or Service

Gas and Electric
Mortgage Payment (2011 adjusted to actual amount)

This bit of  sticker shock made me feel old, for it reminded me that I can recall bread being sold for twenty-five-cents a loaf, and a quart of milk the same.  A nickel candy bar was actually a nickel, and a dime bought a week's supply of bubble gum. (Oh--just remembered--I am old!)

It also reminded me of why I save such antiques:  it is possible fodder for an angry letter to The Powers That Be . I'll write that letter...someday.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ghosties and Ghoulies and Things That Go Bump In The Night

We have a spirit in our home.  A real-live ghost.  Well, not that a ghost is alive, but let's just say an actual presence.  And anyway--who's to say what the ultimate definition of "alive" is?  We are alive in our physical bodies, which when they wear out, and die, shed our energy, and release it into the universe.  Energy cannot be destroyed..who's to say that's not a form of life?

As a sensitive (one who is able to feel, or sense the presence of spirits and their energy) , my husband has been able to pick up that it is a little girl between about 8 and 12 years of age.

He has felt her often, and 3 times she's passed right through him.  He describes that as "an awful feeling."  Sort of all electric-tingly, and almost as if you can feel your innards being pulled upon--not painful, just unpleasant.  It's an experience I've not had.  The last time it happened, he yelled at her, "Don't do that!!"  Perhaps her feelings were hurt: all activity ceased for nearly a year.

She is mischeivous, though, and likes to hide things every now and then.  The most blatant episode was a perforated vegetable serving spoon.  It lives in the silverware drawer, in a section with the rest of the serving utensils, and right on top, as it is used most often.

On the day in question, I reached to get it, and it was not there.  I looked again, figuring it had migrated to the bottom of the pile.  Nope.  I searched among the few items in the sink.  No spoon.  I looked in the dishwasher--it was empty.  Next, I searched all the other drawers in the kitchen, thinking that if my husband had put away dishes, it might have gotten into the wrong spot.  Likewise if my daughters had been visiting.  No such luck.

Back to the original drawer I went, and this time, I removed the drawer, dumped the contents fully right down to naked empty drawer, and put everything back one item at a time.  No veggie spoon!  I looked elsewhere around the house, ready to (unrealistically) blame one of the cats for thinking it was a toy, and hiding it in some nook or cranny.  Nope! The cats didn't have it.  I gave up, figuring at last that it must have accidentally ended up in the trash and was simply gone.

Fast-forward about 3 months, and I opened the silverware drawer to set the table, and lo and behold, there was the stupid vegetable spoon, right on top, where it had always belonged and been in the past!!  Right where it had not been upon my initial search or in turning the house upside down!

Debunking checklist for this event: 
  • My husand and I are the only living human inhabitants of this house 
  • Although we have 4 cats, who can get into mischief, they are unable to open drawers and make off with silverware 
  • It was not during any holiday, so neither of my daughters had been here helping put things away, nor had other guests
  • This type of happening cannot be explained by drafts or 'settling of the house'  
Where the items go that they cannot be seen, is a matter far beyond the scope of this post.  At the moment, I am missing an antique doll.....

I've written 2 other articles in far more detail concerning the paranormal, and how to figure out whether you have a spirit in your home or not.  They can be found here: