Spooky ghost story…the tale of the missing body

Admittedly, I am notthebravest chick in the coop. In fact, I’m kind of a full-on weinie when it comes to anything paranormal. Need proof? Read this. I kind of have this syndrome, if you will, that stems from watching “ghosty” storiescausing me to imagine hearing all kinds of spooky sounds at nightresulting in me forcing my hubby to sleep on top of me (and not in the good kind of way) in bed. I figure, if he’s on top of me than any “ghosty/ghoul” type will have to get through his body to get to mine, possibly buying me some time to plan an escape. Trust me. It all makes sense…in my head.

All that being said, I wanted to take a stab at telling a real-life ghost story. How do I know it’s real life? Because…it happened to me about 13 years ago. What I experienced was so terrifying I can say with the utmost of certainty that it changed my life. Here it goes…

My friend Sara(who now happens to be my sister-in-law) and her family lived outside of town on a little spread tucked inside a small grove of trees. There was one main road to get out to their place and as a young, single girl always looking for something to occupy my time I traveled that road often. One late eveninganother friend, Amy, and I decided to make the trip out to Sara’s to do some visiting.

That particular night there was a slight fog whichhad settled onto the road, making it a little difficult tonavigate.We both were concentrating on the road aheadof us watching out for deer or any other animal brave enough to attempt crossing in front of us.

I looked at Amy and said, “This is a crazy night. I’ve never seen it so foggy out here before.”

She answered, “I know. It’s like something out of a horror movie.”

We both laughed, albeit a little nervously.

Amy said, “Maybe we should turn down the radio a little bit. I don’t want you getting distracted at all.”

“Good idea, Amy,” I said as I looked down and reached for the knob.

Suddenly I heard, “MINDY!” screamed into my ear. I looked over at Amy who was pointing at the road ahead of us.

I peered out the windshield and screamed, quickly slamming on my breaks. There was a figure crossing the road right in front of us and I was about to hit it!

We screeched to a halt and quickly collected ourselves, staring out the windows to survey any damage.

“Where is it?” Amy asked, looking out the front, back and sides of the car.

“I-I-I don’t know. What happened?” I asked.

“Mindy, it’s gone. There’s nobody out there.”

“But there was. I saw it. We almost hit it. It was there, wasn’t it? You saw it, didn’t you?” I asked.

“Yeah, I definitely saw something. It was a person. They were right in front of us. Where’d they go?” She continued to search around all sides of the car, her confusion growing.

At this point in time we were stillsitting in the car, parked in the middle of the road.

“Amy, I think we should get going. There’s nobody out there. What if someone drives up behind us?”

She agreed and I quickly accelerated, anxious to be away from the spooky scene. Neither of us attempted to speak for the rest of the trip, both deep in our thoughts of what we swore we had seen.

After that night I purposed to never travel that road again after dark. Even in broad daylight I rarely passed that section of road without feeling shivers down my spine. And I stuck true to my word for about a year. One night I decided enough time had passed and agreed to drive with Sara out to her family’s house. As we approached that dreaded section I couldn’t help but remember that fateful night. I started to say something to Sara when all of a sudden my headlights shut off. I quickly worked at the knob, attempting to revive the lights so we wouldn’t careen into a ditch. Fortunately, Sara had traveled that road so often she knew that there was a driveway just up the road and was able to guide me to it, all the while engulfed in total darkness.

I slowly pulled off the road and parked working out a plan in my head.

“What happened?” Sara asked.

“I’m not sure. The lights just turned off on their own. I wonder if we blew a fuse or something?” I said. And then, for some reason, I decided to try the lights again.

They worked. The headlights worked.They had darkened out as soon as we crossed that section of road but now they worked.

We took off and quickly made our way to Sara’s house in case the lights decided to fail again. They didn’t. In fact, after that night I never had a problem with my headlights again.

So, there it is, folks. My real-life ghost story. Spooks me out all over again. I can say I have traveled that road many, many times after these incidents happened and I haven’t seen the figure or experienced failed headlights again. I choose to believe that whatever was haunting that section of road has sinced moved on.

Nevertheless, that was a terrifying experience and one that I’m sure has shaped the way I feel about the “paranormal”. I imagine it also has something to do with my preferred position of sleep…directly underneath the hubby (again, not in thatway.) Gosh, get your head out of the gutter, people!

Happy Halloween!

Love to all, Mindy

Kids and technology give me the heebies.

Halloween is upon us which brings all things”spooky” to mind.I was trying to think of something to write about in keeping with that theme. I racked my brain conjuring up images of blood and guts. Nope. Not spooky enough. I’ve had two babies. Once you’ve seen your insides taken out and placed on a table next to you…blood and guts don’t cut it anymore.But then something happened yesterdaywhich got me thinking…you know what really freaks me out? Kids and technology. Major heebie-jeebies.

Avery likes to play games on the computer. She visits a couple of sites regularly, and in fact wehave been strongly encouraged by her first grade teacher to support this habit, within reason. Her dad and I monitor her activity and, quite honestly, she tends to play the more educational sites more often than not.

Here’s how it usually goes down…Avery asks me if she can play, I set her up on my computer, open the web browser, type in the address and let her go. I’ve signed her up on all kinds of sites and she’s sat back, quietly observing, as I do all the initial work. She knows which tabs to click to get to her favorites and with me looking over her shoulder, it’s all relatively safe.

Or so I thought.

So, here’s the thing. I signed on to my email yesterday and was surprised to see a “Welcome to Digital Dollhouse” message awaiting me. I immediately suspected that Jer had signed up for something less-than-genteel.

I ask him, “So what’s up with digital dollhouse, Jer? Hmm?”

He has the nerve to look at me with complete confusion written all over his face. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Oh, right. “Hmmm…digital dollhouse sounds a teensy bitnaught. Anything you want to tell me? Anything you need to confess for the salvation of your soul?”

“Um, no. Except for one thing…I think you’re mental.” With that he turns on his heel and heads back to his own computer (where I’m sure he’s got all kinds of “digital dollhouse” memberships…although I can’t prove it and really haveno reason to accuse him otherthan to keep him on his toes.) Anyway.

So I open up digitaldollhouse.com with one eye closed and the other half-open, anticipating the worst. “Welcome to DigitalDollhouse.com Avery!”is scrawled across the screen. Where I thought there would be a naked lady there was a cute little puppy wagging it’s tail. In place of the stripper polethere was a virtual dollhouse waiting to be decorated. A digital dollhouse.

What?!? I check the email out in further detail and read that she has set up an account, chosen her password, her secret question/answer and her level of computer knowledge. She even entered my email address for confirmation.

I’m dumbfounded. She accomplished all ofthis 1) without me knowing, and 2) all by herself.

Now, you might be sitting there reading this and thinking, “Wake up, Mindy. Times, they are a’changin’.” But, seriously, “a’changin’ times” give me the creeps. If I sit and try to think about how the telephone works it trips me out and sends me into a minor panic attack. This is my baby…making technology her bi-atch.

Now, of course we had the required, “DO NOT VISIT ANY NEW WEBSITES and DO NOT SIGN UP for anything on the computer without asking your dad or I” speech. I’m hoping we’re not too late. Avery has got some considerable knowledge of how this whole computer thing works and the world is at her fingertips. FREAKS me out. I’m expecting to receive our first “Beanie Baby of the Month Club” installment any day now.

Our kids are growing up in a vastly different environment than we did. The expectation for immediate satisfaction, information and entertainment is now part of their DNA and it is up to us, as parents, to have as much control over it as possible. It’s our responsibility to take them down a peg and reintroduce a more innocent life of play and imagination and outdoor fun. (I put Jer on the outdoor stuff because, well frankly, I’m not really into it. I used to be. In fact, I specifically remember spending many a summer riding my “horse” up and down my childhood street, the wind whipping through my hair without a care in the world…that is until my “horse” blew a tire and threwme sans helmet head-first into the concrete. Ah…those were the days.)

So, obviously, the moral of the story is this: Pay close attention to your children.They are MUCH smarter than you think and need your help infinding the safest route between the world and their fingertips. Times they are a’changin’. Dangit.

Love to all, Mindy

Recipe of the Week – Bikini Martini

Hello…my name is Mindy…and I’m addicted to anything with a girly, cutesyname. I tend toseek out and gravitate towardthings like Hello Kitty, pink passion fingernail polish, Bonnebelle and Lipsmackers…Bikini Martinis. Okay, I’ll admit, I do like to imbibe a teensy bit. Not enough to fall on the ground in a drunken stupor, drooling all over myself in shame and misery. Just shy of that.

A couple of years ago I was invited to joina book club. I didn’t really know any of the women involvedbut we allhad kids and husbands,and therefore a common interest.We decided to meet monthly and each signed up to host drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts at our homes. Book club began as a forum in which to discuss our chosen novel but has quickly evolved to”drinkingquite a bitwhile complaining about our husbands and kids”. All in good fun, of course. Our standingmonthly date hasactually become more a form ofgroup therapy that happens to have a slight literary focus. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I’m pretty sure my compadres feel the same way.

Which leads me to this little piece of paradise. I discovered this martini while researching my menulast year. I’ve had my fair share of these little babies so I feel I can confidently say that you will love this drink if you’re into things with a tropical twist and an alcoholic vibe…which I am.

To get you in the mood…a beautiful beach picture taken during our family trip to Mexico in December, 2008.

Recipe - Bikini Martini 3

Bikini Martini
personalized to…Slightly More Modest Tankini Martini

  • 1 fluid ounce coconut rum
  • 3/4 fluid ounce vodka
  • 1 fluid ounce **pineapple juice
  • a dash of grenadine syrup

Combine rum, vodka and juice in a martini shaker and shake until well blended (I shake with ice for a really chilly drink). Pour into chilled martini glass andadd adash of grenadine syrup.

**also super delightful with an orange/pineapple blend.

Serves 1

Yummmm…I think I’ll go make one. Right now. Pray for me.

Don’t ya just love the pumpkin patch?

So I’ve already expressed my love for all things Halloween. And, naturally, visiting the pumpkin patch falls right in line with that particular holiday spirit. Since we’ve had kids we’ve tried to make it a priority to hit a local patch and support our farmers. Before we hadkids we would hit the local Safeway and support big business. But times they are a’changing and so are our traditions. So it was off to the pumpkin patch for this bunch.

I should add, we had another reason to go the route of the pumpkin patch this year. Jer, in his wholesome attempt at organic gardening attempted to grow our pumpkins this year. He was out at his little raised garden day after day watering and pampering the little patch.

Pumpkin Patch  - small pumpkins

And…here’s the result. Hmmm. Jer presented the pumpkins to the kids and there was a lot of silence. Jack looked at them and said, “Where’s da punkins?” We knew then that we would need to leave it to the professionals. Poor Jer and his tiny little pumpkins.

So, this past weekend we drove out to the farm. All of us. The whole fam-damily. And it wasn’t raining.Thank God. My hair does not do well in rain.

Pumpkin Patch - farm animals

There were farm animals.

Pumpkin Patch - pie eating

Pumpkin Patch - pie eating 2

There was a pumpkin pie eating contest.

Pumpkin Patch - hayride

There was a hay ride…and Jer learned the insider secret to growing mondo pumpkins…warm water. I have little doubt Jer will be instilling this new step into his pumpkin-pampering next year.

Pumpkin Patch - pumpkins

And of course, there were pumpkins. All in all, it was a beautiful day.

When we got home the kids helped Jer “gut out” the pumpkin to ready it for Jack o’ Lantern status.

Pumpkin Patch - Jack o' Lantern

Ta-da! The lighting of the pumpkin…the “official” start to Halloween. A little late. Jer’s manlyresolve to provide pumpkins for his family threw us off schedule a tiny bit. I think he was hoping they might catch elephantitis of the gourd or something. They didn’t.You saw the pictures.

So, what have we learned today? We learned that it’s important to support your local farmers. We learned that “traditions” are an important part in raising a healthy family.

And most importantly, we learned that Jer has small pumpkins. Hehe.

Love to all, Mindy

The Natural Giveaway ~ Check it out at theprovidentwoman.com

Anyone in the mood for a giveaway? I know I always am! Who doesn’t love free stuff…and moreover, who doesn’t love free bath and body stuff?!

The Provident Woman, in all her honey wisdom, is hosting a giveaway of some pretty awesome products. Check her out and enter the giveaway!

http://www.theprovidentwoman.com/?p=1379

Love to all, Mindy