So we are in the process of yet more fun home renovations. Our downstairs bathroom ceiling finally caved in under a slow water leak during the one big snowstorm we got this year. Now the downstairs bathroom has been torn out and we are having it expanded and redone. So we are sadly back to only one bathroom again.
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So I’m not gunna lie, my holiday spirit is dead this year. I did not decorate for Halloween, and I’m not feeling that bad about it. Well I am a little, but it wasn’t enough to pull decorations out. I didn’t decorate outside or inside. I think this is the first time since 2008 I didn’t decorate. It’s a lot of work to do, and as it turns out I’m not going to even be home on Halloween this year, so I decided to say “Eff it!” I have been in a piss poor mood and didn’t feel like decorating, so there. I think I’m also skipping Christmas decorations this year too. Actually I know I am, they are even more work. The holidays can suck it this year as far as I’m concerned.
On a brighter note, I finally got my fence for the backyard and the dogs. They are so happy to be able to run around finally. Princess still doesn’t often know what to do and insists I be out there with her and not leave her alone most of the time. Ebbie turned black in a day for rolling in the dirt, the brat.
I can’t believe how fast time has flown. I turned the big Four Oh, and now it’s almost October. Slow down universe!
I didn’t get nearly enough of my house and the two rooms I wanted to clean out done this summer. I made a good dent though! Threw out a lot of junk (still more to throw out) and packed up a bunch of old stuff. I plan on finishing those this fall. I definitely have to get one fairly cleaned up because of company coming for Halloween, so that’s motivation.
Over the summer I did do a few paranormal investigations, and I have several big ones coming up next month. The one I’m most excited is spending Halloween night at a local Revolutionary War fort (Ft. Mifflin). My friends and I are leading a public investigation there, and it’s an over night event. Fun fun fun! I’ve been there twice before and something always happens.
I am working on motivating to start getting my Halloween decorations up, though John planted so many flowers all over the front yard that I pretty much have to wait for a cold frost to kill them at this point.
Anyways, below are two fun things I got over the summer at various investigations . . .
This was at Elaine’s Bed and Breakfast in Cape May, NJ. I have to investigate this more when we return there in two weeks. We spend the weekend there a few times a year doing a public ghost hunt with people who book the hotel just for that. On the doorway was a weird form of some kind. I joked it was a vagina ghost.
This is a quick movie from the David Stewart Farm out near Gettysburg, PA. It served as a hospital for the wounded, and in this room they actually did surgeries. We had all sorts of gadgets set out, and almost immediately something went around the room from gadget to gadget lighting them up.
For some reason I’ve been on a kick to find healthy pizza recipes. Pizza is my Achille’s heel, it’s the one thing above all else I hate to give up. I’ve resorted to tortilla pizzas and english muffin pizzas in the past when I’m trying to cut calories, but it’s never the same thing. Recently I Facebooked my many attempts at cauliflower pizza crust, which while not terrible, is a lot of damn work for a pizza. A lot more than using the internet to order a delicious one. Recently a friend posted a recipe for Quinoa pizza crust on my wall. Me, being the pizza lover I am, decided I had to try it. This blog post is a public service announcement to the world . . . DO NOT MAKE THIS!
Reason number one I should have been skeptical this would be good . . . quinoa is gross. I know it’s one of these new fad superfoods, but it is gross. Every way I have ever tried it, it sucks. Why did I think a pizza crust made of this crap would taste good?
Reason number two I should have known to stop . . . the smell. The recipe calls for you to not cook the quinoa, but soak it for eight hours in water. It smells like spunk. I am not even kidding. It smelled like someone masturbated all over my kitchen. Why did I think this would be good? If any lesbians are reading this and don’t know what this smells like, it smells like bleach.
Reason number three . . . after I made it, and seasoned the fuck out of it, it still stank to hell . . . and it looked like vomit. Okay it also looked like oatmeal, or porridge, maybe cream of wheat, all which look like vomit. They at least smell and don’t taste terrible, this did. I think this might be one of the only things that if you threw up, would taste better coming back up.
When it cooked it was heavy, really heavy, like a brick heavy. That was reason number four I should have known this wasn’t going to be good. The density of this crust is less than the amount of poop it’s going to produce, that is a scientific fact. I still continued and tried to make the best of this disaster.
Unfortunately no amount of sauce, cheese, pepperoni, or whatever toppings you pick will be able to mask the fact that this is not pizza. Pizza should not taste like this. The nasty spunk crust still overpowers everything. This is worse than the time I tried flaxseed crust, and I never tried that again. If I want healthy pizza in the future I’ll either use a tortilla, or slap myself to remember that healthy pizza is like Santa Clause, it doesn’t exist.
If I have not yet convinced you that you do not want to eat this, well the recipe is below. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. This is pizza crust is probably the closest experience most of us will have as to what it’s like to be a starving Ethiopian child eating dirt and waiting for Sally Struthers to drop off some Chef Boyardee cans to the village. And those only cost pennies a day, quinoa is really fucking expensive. I could have ordered a pizza for cheaper than this.
So depending on where in the country you live, you may have heard our little region almost got taken to the Wonderful Land of Oz last night. Several funnel clouds touched down in the region, though as of yet none of them have been authenticated by the national weather service.
On the left is a shopping center about 5 miles down the road. On the right is what happened at a mall about 20 minutes from me. Cars were flipped, the siding ripped off the mall, and some damage to the roof. Both of these are from Twitter/newspapers.
We got lucky, no damage to our house or the farm. My plants got some damage sadly, it wouldn’t be summer without some insane storm damaging my tomatoes! The above photos are of clouds I took after the storm calmed. The sky went from yellow to pink, it was really odd.
This was a panorama I took in front of the farm.
So the work on our upstairs bathroom is coming along, though it’s taking longer than I’d like. That however seems to be the norm in regards to this housework. We got the floors redone, and the walls painted, and now the baseboards are going back up. We are leaving the brick chimney exposed, rather than plaster it back up, as it adds to the rustic charm. The bathroom has been wired and the plumbing is in, so now all we need is the fixtures installed. Unfortunately the upstairs won’t be done in time for John’s brother, who returns in about two weeks. I’m not sure how long he will be here, I believe it’s only for a weekend, but I’m sure it will result in a story or two. Right now all the furniture upstairs is actually in the guest room where his brother stays. If we don’t get things done and out in time then he will have to stay with his mother, which will lead to major drama. Grab your popcorn kiddies!
In other news, I just went back to Pennhurst with a friend for another investigation there. I haven’t had time to review all my recordings, but it was a fun night. It was also a freezing night, as it was the weekend of the freak cool down and the tempts dropped into the twenties and started to snow on us. We did hear a kid crying at one point during the night, and a lot of our little electronic gadgets went off in a few places. We plan on going back this summer when it’s much warmer. This weekend however we have an investigation in at a B&B that we are staying in. It should be fun!
In the meantime, check out the photos of the house, and some blurry photos of some of our gadgets going off at Pennhurst below.
So February is over, and I’m very glad. I decided to use “the month of love” to basically be about getting healthier. I converted to being a vegetarian again, which I was for 7 years once. It was only supposed to be a month long challenge, and believe it or not I succeeded!
Truth be told, I don’t know if I really feel any different, and I didn’t lose much weight at all. That’s likely due to the sodium in some vegetarian products, along with me eating too many carbs. Half way through the month I did my best to alter my carbs by changing to mainly flatbreads, flax breads and other hearty high fiber breads by Udi. Udi is best known as gluten free, but I wanted them for the flax/chia/hearty grains more than anything. I did try and make my own flax bread, which was gross. I will say the overload of fiber did not play well with my tummy for a large part of the month. I’m sure though it helped with my blood pressure and cholesterol issues.
I’m not sure I’m sticking with the veggie thing. In fact given the amount of frozen chicken and other non-veggie things in my freezer, I’m pretty sure I’m at least going to eat that up rather than throw money out the window. John won’t eat it, and it’s mainly small high protein portion controlled sizes from Personal Trainer Food, which is amazing by the way One thing I also did that I am going to try and stick to is I completely cut out soda, diet and non-diet. I have to say that was hard, and I noticed that I’ve never craved sweets as much as I do right now. John has this bowl of chocolates which I normally don’t care about at all, but I went to town on it a little too much this month. I definitely have to curb that for sure.
So in other news, the upstairs is coming along. I’ve thrown some more photos for updates in. A lot of insulation has been put in upstairs, and with access to all the walls elsewhere it’s been piped down to the manifold as well. Our house was from the age where they didn’t insulate, and it was noticeable in the dead cold of winter and the insane heat of the summer. It’s a lot nicer now. It will be nicer when the bathroom is done though. Then they will start the renovations on the main floor bathroom though . . .
The current joke is our contractor is basically Eldin from “Murphy Brown.” He will be here for nine seasons working on this house
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.
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.
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.