Going on a Ghost Hunt
I am not a paranormal enthusiast. For those that are, I support your hobby. I do , however , enjoy a historic ghost tour or pub crawl while visiting a city with a rich history. I love the stories. I am Southern afterall. We love to tell stories and listen to them. A gifted tour guide can weave a tale that transports you to another time. I have gone on many of those historic ghost tours. I have paid my admission to ride in a convertible hearse and freeze in Savannah. I swore I saw something move in that cemetery. I am sure it was part of the tour. I have walked the streets of the historic district with a girl that needed to eat a sandwich in a hoop skirt. I listen, make smart comments, and laugh. The hubs and I even stayed in the Foley House on our last trip to Savannah . It is on all the ghost tours. The power went out several times that day in a storm, but I did not see the ghost. Of course, I suppose the ghost could have started the summer thunderstorm. Hmmm
I have had the pleasure of taking a tour of the French Quarter with Tour Guide Thomas. The lull of his southern drawl and dramatic flair make his tours a pleasure. Plus, they start on Bourbon Street across the street from where they sell Hand Grenades. If you are ever in NOLA, take a tour with Master Thomas at Lord Chaz Tours .
Several years ago-(four I think), my hubs and I had just started dating. For our second date, I suggested we go on a ghost walk that was taking place in Jacksonville , AL. What I expected was some grown folks out for a few ghost stories and exercise on a mild October night. Boy, I was mistaken. We were out for a walk and some ghost stories. The rest of the group were the for real paranormal kind with cameras. I can not prove this, but I think the tour guide was making it up as she went. Either that or the tiny square is the most haunted place in history. We walked two blocks maybe and heard a dozen vague stories. Most of the tour was pointing out spots of possible paranormal sightings and enthusiast ghost hunters looking for ghost orbs. One guy stood in the middle of a busy road with an oncoming car taking a picture. Amongst the ghost hunters were two smart ass middle age people on an awkward date.
Guy standing in the middle of the road taking a picture of ghost orbs – I mean headlights.
Me: What an idiot?
Date (Hubs): I bet he gets a picture of two ghost orbs.
As we round the block, we hear a story of how a brothel once stood on a now empty lot and people still smell roses from time to time.
Ghost Hunters: A chorus of I smell it.
Date (Hubs): While leaning in real close, I think it is your perfume or I farted. I tell my kids my farts smell like roses.
Me: Please don’t try to prove it.
Date (Hubs): But it was funny.
Me: Why are there no Hand Grenades ?
The only eerie thing I felt or saw was two middle aged smart asses on a date.
Four years later
Hubs: What are you writing about?
Me: It is called Ghost Hunt.
Hubs: That ghost walk we went on where the idiot almost got hit by the car?
Hubs: You know if he had been hit that car it would have been natural selection.
Yep, we still got that smart ass vibe going on. I also still want a Hand Grenade.
Hand Grenade Recipe Link
I unintentionally run a home for misfit felines. There are five- yes, I said five felines that reside on my property. I did not set out to be the crazy cat lady. Only one of the furry family members did I initially seek out and bring home. The others just found their way to my home. Before the PETA people start sending me hate mail, they are all spayed or neutered except the one that is too young. My family is plotting against me, or the cats are just very savvy and manipulative. I am fairly sure the movie Gremlins was written by someone that accidently got a collection of cats.
If you wish to start your own collection, here are the steps to follow:
Step 1- Give birth to two sons that quickly develop a love for animals and particularly the hostile feline kind. It might be considered an obsession.
Step 2- Let one of the sons become old enough to drive and provide him with a mode of transportation.
Step 3- Marry a man that saves animals and does not tell his daughters no when it comes to animals.
Step 4- Live next to a small wooded area where humans drop off cats or cats escape humans to live in the wild.
Step 5- Sit back and wait. The cats are coming.
My feline hoarding started with an ex-husband ( the big guy), two sons, and the intention to pull one over on me. The big guy returns the kiddos home with a cat carrier that contains the ugliest little skinny kitten that has ever walked the earth. The big guy tells me the kids already love him. Sneaky children beg me to let it stay. I relent. I force the kids to compromise on a name. The tall one says Bruce Wayne. The short one says Lightning McQueen. The cat is named Bruce Lightening. Little Bruce did not stay long. I suspect he ran away due to his horrible name.
Now, I have sad children. I adopt a cat from the shelter. Little kitty has a name, Maxwell. I convinced the children to keep the name to prevent a repeat of the Bruce Lightening incident. Though not the brightest bulb in the box, Max is a sweet cat . He is a little strange , and I am not entirely sure he knows he is a cat, but a weird cat fits into a weird family- right?
The dog raises the confused cat. Life goes on. One dog, one cat – that is normal.
My oldest son ( the tall one) takes the girlfriend on a date. They go to the pet store. There is not much to do in Oxford, Al. The tall one decides to adopt a cat that came with a sob story. She has been adopted and returned to the shelter more than once. No red flags there. Her name is Bonnie like Bonnie and Clyde. It suits her. There are many promises that he will feed, care for, and vet said crazy cat. I am still waiting on those promises to be fulfilled.
Only a few months later, the tall one calls me after going out with the same girl. He says, “ Mom, I got you something.” I respond, “ It better not need to be fed and watered.” The tall one responds, “ It was on the side of the road. It needs our help. It looks like that cat we used to have named Snickers.” My response, “ You mean it is a calico. Shit, it is a girl.” Tall one, “ Mom, you are on speaker phone. “ The tall one named her Caramel.
As if the tall one needed help rescuing every homeless cat on the planet , my then finance’ and now husband decided to get in on the act. He let his daughters talk him into not one but two homely kittens. When I questioned why two, the hubs responded , “ I have two daughers.” They are kittens not toothbrushes they could have shared. The fur balls lived with him a few short weeks until they ended up with me because we were getting married and they would end up here anyway. If these kittens were human children, they would be in the special class. They are skitties.
Since apparently the universe thinks five felines is not enough for one family, the feral cats that live in the woods by my house take turns coming to dine at Casa De Crazy Cats. There is a one eyed tom that frequents the fine faire on the screened in porch. There is a scruffy looking earless orange tom that also is a frequent visitor. Apparently, the cats invite house guests. There are many more random strange cats that visit like it is a feline fiesta up in here. They refuse to listen to me telling them that they don’t live here. On the plus side, we don’t have mice. We also do not have chipmunks, birds in the yard, or squirrels.
Some days after the completion of this entry, I received a text from the tall one to let me know that a kitten showed up and decided to keep us. That makes 6. No one claims responsibility for the new addition. I guess there are invisible hobo cat marks on our house. Anyone need or want a cat or maybe 5?
Picture it Alabama 2019 , the sweltering 90 degree days of summer. Oh wait, it is October. Early October granted, but it is still October. Once again autumn is late. The sweat glistens on our foreheads as we walk to our cars in shorts and tank tops. In other places, people are breaking out their thin long sleeves and scarves in fall colors. They are sipping a pumpkin spice latte while taking a walk in the crisp autumn air to view the golds, reds, and oranges of the leaves that flutter to the ground. Not in Alabama. The leaves that fell in September died of a heat stroke. They had one color the brown of dead plant life. On the plus side, it has been so hot and dry the grass died.
Well ,it has been bake cookies in the mailbox hot until one day about mid October. It was October 12 to be exact. Autumn made a rushed appearance. Autumn must have had car trouble or hair trouble. She was late . She also apparently had several more stops to make in other places. Autumn graced us with her presence approximately two days. Winter was right on her heels. All of a sudden, it started to rain. It rained little bitty rain drops, big fat raindrops, and sideways rain drops. The more it rained the cooler it got. Where is thin long sleeve weather? I had to find my sweatshirts and boots. What the heck Mother Nature? Are you having fever and chills? It was 90 last week.
Maybe Autumn’s ugly stepsister , winter, will let her come back and visit again soon.
To the ladies at work who were afraid they would die of a heat stroke in October while teaching because your air went out , fear not. It looks like you will need a jacket and mittens on Monday.
In less than 24 hours , I will have to choose a different category on surveys. When choosing on the rolling button , I will go from 35-44 to 45-54. The survey puppet masters have decided what our age milestones are. In the modern culture, I can decline to answer my race or gender. Why can’t I opt out of age? I much prefer the surveys that simply have a are you over 18 button. Heck, I don’t even mind giving my date of birth. I am aware it is the same. I just assume everyone is like me and doesn’t want to be bothered to do the math.
I do lie about my age if asked in person for a number, but I do it with a wink, wink, nod, nod. I am aware that no one believes that I am 27. That ship sailed a long time ago. My oldest son just turned 20. Even if I was a whore in high school or middle school and got him really early, that math doesn’t add up. I was a mother at 7. That would be Guiness Book of World Records stuff. Until I can get that stubborn man to claim to be a 6’2 ten year old, I doubt anyone would believe I am 27. They probably wouldn’t then. My Cruella Deville streak that I am not always on top of gives me away. Nevertheless, I claim 27. I was never good at math. We live in a world of self identification. I identify as a 27 year old that is thin, has great boobs , a firm ass, and perfect skin. It is the mirror and my birth certificate that lie.
Every day of my adult life my phone rang at the time I was to be leaving work. On the other end of the phone, a gruff male voice said, “ I was just calling to check on you and the boys.” The conversation was never long and always ended with “ Talk to your mother now.” Insert voice here yelling Nita over and over until mom found the phone. Those brief conversations before he handed me off to mom went something like this: “ How was work?”, “Do you need money?”, “What are you feeding the boys?” , “ How are my boys’ grades”, and “Have you started shopping for (fill in the nearest holiday/birthday here?” One of the very last things he ever said to me was have you started Christmas shopping? I need you to do mine too.” I responded, “ Dad, it is October.” I can’t remember what was said next, but I am sure it was here talk to your mother. It has been one year today since I have gotten that dependable phone call. No one has reminded me to call people on their birthdays, to shop for occasions, and questioned my finances in one long year. I miss that call every day.
Life Naive by Oliver Phipps
3 out of 4 Stars
Phipp’s novella tells a delightful tale of a young man and his accidental companion’s journey down Route 66. The protagonist, Hershel Lawson, begins the story as a young man in his twenties that has spent most of his life taking care of the grandmother that raised him. Hershel is a man that thrives on consistency and routine. Hershel’s grandmother, Me’ma, has plans to expand her sheltered grandson’s horizons. After her death, Hershel is instructed to take her ashes to California. Thus, Hershel sets off on the journey of misadventures. Throughout the novella, Hershel meets many interesting characters along Route 66 including the cheeky Sally that becomes his travel companion on his misadventures.
Phipp’s novella was an enjoyable read. Many of the characters are unforgettable. The story has a nice blend of realism, historical details of 1960s Americana, and comedy. It was nice to read a modern work written for adults that was free from foul language and sexually explicit scenes. It is just a nice , enjoyable read. The only negative note that I have is that I would like to see some more detailed descriptions of Route 66 and the sites that Hershel and Sally come across. I want to be able to see Route 66 in my head despite the fact that I have never been there. On this element, Phipp’s could take some notes from some of the great fantasy writers on description of setting. Despite that, it was a very enjoyable read. I give Life Naive 3 out of 4 stars.
A not so long time ago, in this galaxy, there was a woman who was sleeping restlessly in a small, crowded house. When in the wee hours of the morning, came the distinct opening song to Star Wars- followed by the voice of none other than the one of the greatest movie villains of all time, Darth Vader.
Yes, the woman is me. No, I am not a Star Wars geek that has finally went over the deep end. Darth Vader did speak to me with James Earl Jones voice in the middle of the night. He said, “Impressive- most impressive, but you are not a jedi yet.” I said, “Why the hell is my child’s Darth Vader bank talking to me in the middle of the night?”
I stumbled out of bed to investigate. My husband and son were still sleeping soundly. I assumed that the cat had somehow aroused Mr. Jones to speak. I returned to bed, and drifted into a light sleep. My slumber once again was interrupted by the dum, dum, dee, dum of the Star Wars theme. Vader/ Jones was speaking to me again.
At this point, I stumbled out of bed to address the cat for her misbehavior. Only I found that she, too, was sleeping soundly. That left me and Vader/ Jones the only ones awake. So, I once again investigated the bank for an explanation for Vader’s insistence that I am not a jedi yet. It took only a light touch to provoke Vader to speak this time. His words then stirred my seven year old son. He looked up at me and said, “Mommy, stop playing with that. I am trying to sleep.”
I removed Vader to another room, so as not to get in anymore trouble for playing in the middle of the night. He had now started a continuous loop of the song, message, slash of a light saber, and then would start all over with the song. I stopped -almost to the door- remembering myself. I almost threw him in the yard. I shook him hard. He decided to shut up.
Vader/ James only spoke to me once more that faithful night. He did not rouse again till morning. He spoke to my husband this time. He replied by removing his batteries. Why didn’t I think of that?
Poor Vader, he just wanted to make sure that I knew that I was not a jedi yet, or maybe he just had a short.
Herbicidal Hair Ball
Despite my history of murdering innocent green life, I have always wanted an herb garden, or I wanted one in theory. I kept my herb garden on Pinterest where it was safe and healthy for years. My garden on Pinterest thrives. The hubs decided for Mother’s Day that my herb garden should be a reality. He did not believe that plantlife dies a freakish death in my presence. The hubs felt that my hectic lifestyle caused me to neglect the green babies, and that’s why I have been a tragic gardener in the past. Sweet hubs declared that he would help me tend the herbs. He went out and bought a beautiful three tiered planter and garden soil. We went to pick the plants together. I carefully chose two healthy looking lavender plants to ward of snakes and mosquitos because Pinterest told me they did. Cilantro, oregano, dill, rosemary, and thyme were also chosen.
I got out my gardening gloves and went to work. The sweet hubs even gave me a tutorial on how to plant the green babies despite the fact that I told him that know how was not the problem. Hubs doubted my bad plant juju. At first, it seemed he was right. My luck had turned around. We took turns watering the plants. We watched in excitement as they grew. I even got a few clippings of each to use in cooking before the inevitable happened. This time I was innocent of plant murder.
Enter my oldest son’s psychotic cat, Bonnie. Bonnie is a Siamese mix with one blue eye and one green eye. She is 10lbs heavier than her height and weight scale says she should be. She is also the type of cat that started the myths that cats are evil. I have been psycho kitty’s nemesis from day one. She loves all the males in the house. Me, the female, she despises. For no reason might I add. I buy the food, feed the cat, and take care of her. In return, she would break out of her human’s room when he went to work, drink my coffee, and sharpen her claws on the rug. She would then look at me like what cha gonna do about it. By the time her boy returned, she would be sweetly lying on his bed like an angel. Bonnie and I came to a mutual agreement a few months after she came to live with us that we liked each other better when she was a porch cat. We had less run ins that way.
Psycho kitty must have sensed a disturbance in the force. I was happy with my garden. It lived! All of a sudden plants started to die. One at a time. The obese fur ball would sit on a plant until it died. She would then sit on another one. Bonnie was determined to kill the poor defenseless plants. I swear the evil kitty would smirk at me before she before she climbed up and sat on a plant.
I tried spraying her with the water bottle, shooing her away, and even watering the garden with her in it to no avail. The robust white fur ball murdered the herbs. Now that her mission is accomplished, she has a new sleeping spot. Though, she keeps looking at me like I am next on the hit list. If turn up dead or go missing, question the lard butt white cat.