Thanksgiving Past
 

So Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was fairly uneventful here. I cooked for myself, John and his brother. This year I didn’t go overboard so there wasn’t an insane amount of leftovers. In fact almost everything is gone by now. Normally I make a turkey breast-in-a-bag (Target’s is fool proof and so good!), however I am not a huge turkey fan and what isn’t eaten normally gets tossed. I do like meatloaf though, so I made a turkey meatloaf using a Rachel Ray recipe. It was amazing and is just about gone as I type this. Next year, assuming the house is finally in good shape, I am contemplating hosting a dinner since I have so many friends in the area now. Well not that many, but enough that we could have them over and it would remain low-maintenence, except for John’s brother of course.

Thanksgiving night John wanted to watch “Godzilla,” so I put it in. However I had to tune it out as his brother wouldn’t shut up as usual. He had to talk about why the rocks were wrong, how the fins on Godzilla’s back were not to aid in swimming but for balance, so on and so forth. The irony is when I saw the film in the theater I ended up with an older couple behind me who wouldn’t shut the hell up either. “Oh it’s Juliette Binoche, I love her!” “Well that part didn’t last long at all.” “Oh what’s the name of that flower, I adore those flowers.” “Is that Godzilla? It doesn’t look like Godzilla.” Ahhhhhhhh! I remember leaving the theater at one point to breath and calm down. While outside a woman was heading back in from the bathroom, saw me and said “I wanna kill them too.” Seriously, people need to STFU sometimes.

So to wrap this post up, I realized I forgot to celebrate Thanksgiving with “Turkey Lurkey Time.” Unfortunately I’m running out of options to share. I guess I need to motivate to learn the dance and make my own video. Until then, enjoy last year’s “Glee” mash-up of “Let’s Have A Kiki” and “Turkey Lurkey Time.”

 

John
 

So this weekend, actually today, is when John’s brother comes down and stays with us for almost an entire month. Prepare yourselves! When I was still on Facebook this is the time of year I dreaded, yet those on my friends list loved it as I would share stories and bitch about what John’s brother had been up to. Since I don’t have Facebook anymore, I will use my blog as my outlet. Yes, I’m bringing John’s brother to a somewhat whole new audience!

For those who don’t know, John’s brother is his eldest sibling, he’s actually about 15 years older than him (maybe more). He lives in Albany, where he used to work for the state government. He recently this past year retired. He comes down on the weekends in October and early November to help with hayrides at the farm. The week before Thanksgiving he comes and stays until mid-December to help with Thanksgiving week and to make wreathes at the farm. While he’s here he drives everyone bonkers. He stays with us because like everyone else, he doesn’t get along with their brother-in-law. They actually loathe one another to the point that one will likely kill the other some day. Because John’s sister, her husband and their kids live most of the year across the street in their mother’s house, John’s brother stays with us. Also the same things that drive me nuts about John’s brother drive his mom nuts, so she doesn’t like him in her house for too long. So what does John’s brother do that’s just so insane? Here is a short list . . .

  • John’s brother walks around the house naked, or nearly naked, and its not something anyone wants to see.
  • He brushes his teeth in the kitchen sink, which is where I have to wash the dishes as we have no dishwasher. He does this because he can fit his head in there and drink straight from the faucet to rinse his mouth out. Why can’t he use a cup to do this? Because cups have germs that will get into his freshly brushed mouth. We’ll just ignore the fact that Jersey water is likely worse than the germs.
  • Last year he constantly left the microwave door open after using it.
  • He takes 45 minutes in the bathroom getting ready in the morning, and rather than make one trip in there, will walk up and down the steps from his bedroom to the bathroom several times.
  • He tells very long stories, usually about something that happened years ago, and sometimes stories nobody wants to hear about because of what they are about.
  • He will walk into the living room when I’m watching TV and stand in front of the TV, as if I am supposed to be able to see through him. John does this too, I’m convinced they must have had to compete for the TV at their house when little.
  • Not only will he insist on watching TV with me when he doesn’t know what is going on, he won’t shut up during the show or movie and will then ask “When does such-n-such show come on?” Those are hints that he wants to watch them and not what I’m watching.
  • He at some point became a vet, and constantly is giving advice on our animals. Last year he told me Nikko was going blind and clearly was developing cataracts. His eyes are fine, and as I had a dog that went fully blind from cataracts as a kid, I know what they look like.
  • Did I mention he walks around naked?

Oh yes, prepare for stories! You don’t want pictures though, trust me. However you may get some safe ones :)

 

Cold . . . So Cold!
 

So as usual, it seems we’ve almost entirely skipped Fall and headed straight into Winter. The cold weather and wind is here, and it sucks. I am however counting my lucky stars that we didn’t get the snow hitting north and west of us. Still, these are late December and January temps we have going on, not Mid-November! Brrrr! This winter is gunna suck. I should stock up on cocoa now.

Thankfully the work on outside of our house is almost all but finished. The only thing left is to re-seal our roof. But the new windows make it nice and toasty inside, and no wind is coming in through cracks anymore either. The garage is being revamped now. Unfortunately the back-yard fence hasn’t gone up because of issues that had to be tended to first out there. It likely won’t go up until the spring sadly. I really could have used that backyard on nights like these. I do like walking the dogs in the snow though, because they enjoy it so much.

I finally got Halloween down on the outside of the house. However I’ve left it up inside and I really don’t care! It’s the “Nightmare Before Christmas” village, and it can just stay up until I get Christmas out as far as I’m concerned. Thanksgiving is around the corner and I have no idea what our plans are yet. I need to find out if I have to cook. We have been invited to my friends, so we may just do that.

I’ve done a few more paranormal investigations, but haven’t really had a chance to go over anything yet. I hope to do a few more before years end as well. So expect some posts about those soon.

In other news, someone on the web host I’m on did some bad things, and a lot of major email servers have blacklisted mail coming from my server. I’m working to fix that, but that has resulted in the blog subscriptions bouncing back since around June for many. Oopsie! Yeah I just logged into that email and saw them all. After this post goes live I will have a new subscription service in place. So you can re-subscribe below under the comment form or from the link on the front page. I’m going to also port over the old subscriptions when I get a chance.

 

Happy Halloween 2014!
 

So it took me longer than normal this year, but I got Halloween out. I actually didn’t get everything that I have out believe it or not. I got to the point where I felt it was enough. I didn’t start until a week into October, and there was one point where I almost just said to hell with it all. However I did get enough of it out. Below is a movie I made tonight of the decor. The only thing I didn’t have going was the fog machines. I tried, but the wind was blowing too hard. Of course an hour later it died down and they were working full force.

 

Fort Mifflin Investigation
 

So last night my friend Kaitlyn and I did an investigation of Fort Mifflin in PA. This is known as “the fort that saved America” as it protected a major port city, Philadelphia, from the British during the Revolutionary War. Over the course of 24 hours some 1000 cannonballs hit the fort per hour. There is no record of how many casualties occurred. The fort was later used as a prison during the Civil War. Several fires also have occurred here, along with some women and children who were living there and victims of yellow fever around 1812. This was my second time at the fort, but the first time with actual equipment.

Unfortunately the investigation this night was a bit of a bust. It was very over sold, and while we were split up into groups, there was no controlling who you got put with. Our group was full of annoying talkers who hadn’t ever done an investigation before. Attempting to do anything with EVPs was out of the question. I mainly tried to take photos, and we tried the spirit box a few times with little to no results.

In casemate #5, which is where most of the activity occurs, we did get some good readings on a K2 meter in a back corner. A woman who was working there and claimed to be sensitive said she felt at least seven spirits tugging on her. As they investigated the corner and she “talked” to them, I was taking photos. Oddly it was one of the few times I seemed to have weird things happen on my camera. The photos are below, and I’ve animated (and color corrected them) in a youtube video as well. The first set of photos I took at about 3 seconds apart. The last photo has an odd blur or mist on it. I’m not discounting motion blur, and unfortunately this was the last photo I took at this viewpoint before I started a new set elsewhere. However it doesn’t look like the normal blur photos I get with my camera. I’ve included some of those for comparison.

Another interesting photo was of our tour guide Mike, who was in costume as he’s also a reenactor. Again an odd mist was attached to him here. The barracks in the background has also been the subject of several fires over the years. In the video above I’ve included another photo of him with normal motion blur.

I really would like to go back and do a longer investigation at some point and with far less people. This was just too many people sadly.

 

Bunny Poo Poo Has Issues
 

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 6.52.36 PM So Little Bunny Poo Poo has been the latest victim of our bad pet karma this year :( Since last summer he’s had bouts with GI stasis. This is when a rabbit’s gastrointestinal track gets messed up and they stop pooping and eating. Rabbits always have to eat, otherwise bad stuff happens. He went through another recently, but this one was worse than ever. He also started having pee pee issues. After many expensive tests, it turned out he had a bladder stone the size of a marble. No joke, I saw it on the x-ray. It wasn’t going to solve itself, and medicine wouldn’t help either. It was surgery or permanent sleep. He’s only five years old and rabbits, believe it or not, can live to bet ten years and older. So we opted for the very expensive surgery.

The first few days after I wondered what in the hell I had done to this poor thing. He was clearly not happy. AT ALL. He was a vegetable that just sat there. The vet never told me it would be better to put him down, so I began to think I made the wrong choice. Fortunately around day three he showed improvement. He’s still not 100% better mind you. He still is having damn poop issues. But he’s also on three medications twice a daily, and I’m still force feeding him even though he’s been eating very well on his own. I hope within the next week he’ll be fully back to himself, because let me tell you the corner where his cage is is stinky no matter how many times a day I clean it!

Meanwhile it seems our bad pet karma has ended up with my mom. She had to put down one of her cats this weekend. No more animals are allowed to get sick or die for several years at this point! I have decried it.

 

It
 

I am getting old. So old. But not as old as some of these peeps :) Most still rock.

Stacy Q . . . She’s so rad! That’s a “Full House” quote for the youngsters. Us old folks remember when she appeared on “Facts of Life.”

Shit, Shannon is still awesome, she probably should have not worn that. God bless she can still sing.

I only added this cause that’s Miss Bo Brady on lead vocals.

Lisa Lisa . . . luvs

This was minutes from me and two weeks ago. I didn’t know. I’m crying!

Someone who always comes so close, and I never have seen, but one day it shall happen!

 

Pennhurst Investigation
 

So as I said in my last post, this past weekend I grabbed an opportunity to visit and investigate Pennhurst State School in Springs City, PA. If you aren’t familiar with it, it was a pretty horrible place back in the day. It was a school for problem children, children who had mental or physical handicaps, as well as housed psychologically impaired adults. It was shut down in the early 70s when local reporters exposed the horrible abuse of patients, especially the kids, going on. It sat for years, abandoned, and reclaimed by the woods. Recently it has been reopened mainly as a halloween attraction, but now they are slowly securing and opening more buildings and letting paranormal investigators in. You can actually watch the original expose of Pennhurst on YouTube right here.

The ghost hunt took place from 7pm until 3am in the Mayflower building, one of the most active buildings for hauntings. There actually are a large number of buildings on site, and the people who have taken the place over said they are slowly working to open and make others safe. I know I definitely want to go back, and soon. It was quiet the experience! This building housed children and adults, nurses and staff lived on the top floor, and there was a “treatment room” in the basement along with medical/dental rooms.

As I said in may previous post, I went on my own to this. Normally I go with friends who do this thing regularly, but this was a unique opportunity that I grabbed. So I arrived just myself, and found out it was a self directed investigation, as opposed to following a team and participating. Oh boy, I was not too happy about going into Pennhurst on my own! Fortunately two women who had never done anything like this, but had an interest, were there and we bonded. I found them lost along the way, because we were all given the wrong address as to where to meet, but having been to the place before for Halloween I knew where to go. So we all teamed up, and it didn’t help I had a bit of equipment :)

The place is downright creepy, and honestly still fairly dangerous. We all had to sign wavers saying we wouldn’t sue if we died. The worst part was the darkness and seeing all the things that were just left behind. Strewn about were kids toys and clothing, the old hospital beds, one room had dental chairs where they supposedly pulled teeth from biters. There were also storage closets with shelves labeled “pajamas,” “towels,” “sheets” and so forth. We even found boxes labeled “Christmas” and an old plastic tree… or what was left of it. When the place shut down the patients were kicked out, the staff left, and so many things were just left in place. It was creepy.

The building had a very bad vibe to it. We walked through several cold spots, the hair stood on the back of your neck, and on one floor we heard footsteps when we were the only ones there. I have hours of audio to go through, which I only just started to listen to last night. If I find anything I’ll be sure to share, along with more of the photos I took.

One thing we did was a few ghost box sessions. If you’ve ever watched “Ghost Adventures,” then you know what it is. It’s basically a modified radio that sweeps channels quickly. For those old enough to remember static and snow channels on the TV, it’s like just flicking between them. The theory is that ghosts can communicate through these white noise signals, much like the old film “Poltergeist.” We got a lot of answers that were hard to hear. These I have to listen back to and hope something is there. Two answers however were very clear. I made a little youtube of these two, with text to explain what was heard and the context. Sadly the most clear answer didn’t record well. I was recording on my phone, which in this case I placed too far away from me. I was sitting on the floor and I put it up high on a table. Lesson learned! The room we were in was also fairly large and had an echo. This answer was so clear to us, which you can tell because in this video we all immediately know exactly what was said. I also edited the audio to lessen the spirit box noise/static and repeat the answers, which were only said once to us.


 

Life Goes On
 

It’s been over a week since we said goodbye to Galahad. The first few days were sad and especially hard for Grim. He walked around constantly looking for his friend. He even let out a few meows, which he almost never does. Since the first few days he has come out of his cave behind the sofa where he tends to hide. He’s been walking around more, even sitting under the table while I’m working. This morning he was sleeping in the window seat, which he has never done. He’s been open to being petted a lot more too, which normally makes him recoil or run. The next hopeful step is getting him to jump up on the couch with us. Oddly enough he wasn’t such a recluse as a kitten. I’m not sure what happened to change him.

In other news, my garden has finally bloomed, and as usual all at once. I sadly lost a lot of early tomatoes thanks to blossom end rot. John got me some spray that has pretty much corrected that. I also lost some segments of the plants to wind damage in a storm or two. Two of the plants grew too big and started toppling believe it or not. I’ve had to do a lot of bracing and tying of the branched. For once I kept the pests away from my garden only to have my plants succumbed to other things. However I should be good to go for the next month or two with tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. I’ve already got a plan for next summer to put raised garden beds down in the area and have a nice looking garden.

Anyways, I’ll be posting again real soon. If you followed my tumblr or instagram this weekend, you’ll notice I posted some spooky photos. I went to Pennhurst State School (and asylum) for a paranormal investigation. It was a much different investigation than I’ve done in the past with my friends, who normally lead the investigations. For this one we were basically just set lose to do our own thing. I went all on my own, not knowing anyone there, so fortunately two women who had never done an investigation were there and they were happy to tag along with me. I would not have wanted to explore that place on my own at all!

Pennhurst State School

 

RIP Galahad
 

Well today is almost over, and that is a good thing, because it was a shitty ass day. We had to put our oldest cat down this morning. Galahad was 17 and lived a long life, but it was still sad. He was the last of the original three cats that John had when we met (pictured below). Uther went first, followed by Lance, and then in January we lost Moo Kitty. Galahad outlived them all. Most of the pictures below are from when he was younger and healthy. Over the past year or two he went from a plump kitty to a skinny one. He was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last year and had been on medication ever since. He lost so much weight because of it.

So about a month ago we noticed his equilibrium was off whack. He was also ticking his head a lot. The vet worried with his age and hyperthyroidism that it was a brain issue, perhaps a lesion had formed. The only way to tell would be an expensive CT scan, and even if we found out it was a lesion he was 17 years old, what would we do with the knowledge? Surgery wasn’t really an option because of his age and other issues. We tried some antibiotics first to rule out some kind of infection in the inner ear or maybe a tooth that was bothering him. The meds seemed to work. His equilibrium got better and he wasn’t falling off things anymore. However he still had a bit of a tick in his head, and every now and then he got wobbly. This week he just all but stopped eating. He did that a month ago too, before we put him on the meds. But he seemed to get better after the meds. This time though he just wouldn’t eat no matter what. He would lick gravy or drink broth, but he didn’t want to eat. Then yesterday he had a few vomiting incidents. I think he also had more now that I think about it. I found dried vomit around the house in the AM too. However with cats, it’s not that odd to find puke somewhere. Last night though he basically laid down by the water dish, rested his head on it, and didn’t want to move. That was when we knew it was the end. Many of our other cats acted the same way when it was their time. They found a place in the house they liked, laid down and sort of became catatonic. We honestly didn’t think he would make it through the night, but he was still there this AM. I made the call to the vet and took him in and said goodbye.

We are down to just three cats now. I’m worried about Grimm. He has never been social and affectionate with us humans like Mew Mew and Percy are. He rarely jumps up on the couch to be petted or cuddle. He likes just being by himself. He even runs off when you approach him or reach out. Galahad was his cuddle buddy. They slept together and played together all the time. I don’t know what he’s going to do without him. Right now he’s just wandering the house, I think he’s wondering where his buddy is.