Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spooky Places

Halloween Town-Bound

I am a HUGE fan of Halloween and all things that are spooky. OK, maybe I am not as gung-ho as I would have been, eh, let's say seven years ago, but I still love the Halloween stories, the spooky places, hayrides, pumpkin patches and the smell of cinnamon surrounding me.  That is why I love watching scary shows, movies too, if I am not home alone in this creepy, noises all through the night, house! 

What is it about Fall that makes the world a little more creepy?  A little more scary at night?  Why are we drawn to the abandoned, neglected places?  Is it because of fear?  How about those places that have been sitting for an extremely long time?  Or those where horrible things happened or stories have been told? 

I remember when I was in high school, my best friend and I loved Halloween and every year we would do something that would scare the crap out of us. One year we walked through a cemetery late at night and swear we saw shadows.  Another year we drove back by an old insane asylum that had been abandoned for years and we swear that someone was trying to chase us.  The fear was so real that I don't, to this day, know if there actually was anyone, but it was terrifying.  Then, our Senior year, we drove way out, into the country and there was a state park on one side of the road and a really old cemetery on the other and we saw Witches in the cemetery with a huge fire and cauldron dancing around.  It was well after midnight and we had to drive by twice to even believe our eyes.  To this day, we have no idea what was going on but it was crazy!

I have been looking around the internet for scary places, the kinds of places you see people obliviously waltzing into in horror movies, knowing full well that most or all of them will never make it out alive!  The only thing is, these places are not from the movies at all. 

1) Six Flags New Orleans

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The New Orleans amusement park, Jazzland, opened in 2000 and Six Flags purchased it in 2002.  The park had a makeover to a Mardi Gras theme.  But, in 2005 a storm struck the area and this is what is left.  It sat deserted for years since Katrina.  Now it is owned by the City with tentative plans to put a mall in it's place. Now, it sits vacant and just plain creepy!  Enter if you dare, as an arrest for trespassing might be served...that is, if you make it out alive.

2) Danvers State Insane Asylum
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Danvers State Hospital is located in Massachusetts and is old enough to have been known as the State Lunatic Hospital and other lovely monikers.  It was crowded during the 1920s and 30s and is rumored to have used shock therapy, drugs and frontal lobotomies on it's patients.  It is believed that this is the birthplace of those frontal lobotomies.
It closed in 1992 and has fallen into a state of creepy!  It was used in the 2001 horror film, "Session 9" and despite efforts to renovate the area, the spirits have not been very kind.  In 2006, some of the structures were demolished and apartments put in their place and in April 2007, ALL of the buildings and several of the construction trailers went up in flames.  All efforts to renovate have been stalled!


3) The Domes
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It is unknown who or why these giant, concrete, saucer-shaped domes were built out in the middle of Arizona's desert.  There is an oddity with the structure, the extreme neglect and when the sun goes down, you are served with a strong case of uneasiness.

They look like 50s era flying saucer replicas, but they were built in 1982 by an Electronics company.  They failed in 1983 and contaminated ground water was found at the site shortly after.  The cleanup was obviously, not a priority as the property went to a bank-owned property.  New owners took over in 2006 and yet, here these crazy building still sit.  So, would you pay money for these?  (I wouldn't - creepy!)

4) Holy Land, USA  

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This place was once an 18 acre theme park in Waterbury, Connecticut.  It has it's peak in the 1960's and 70's and had upwards of 40,000 visitors per year.  In 1984, it closed for renovations, but it's owner, John Greco, passed away in 1986 and no one was sure what to do with it since.  
Nuns have watched the property over the years, as it sits and deteriorates and get's creepier and creepier.
From the crumbling statues, dark and still structures and vandalism don't make you want to run far, far away, there is fact that a teenager was murdered on these grounds in 2010.  Police reports show instances of trespassing, there are few people around the area, leaving it completely isolated.


5) Ordour

Oradour1  Oradour031


Let's  go acrossed the pond, shall we.  Just down the road from a village called Oradour-sur-Glane, France, there is an original village called Oradour-sur-Glane- or what once was.  One June 10th 1944, the village was confused with nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres by a Nazi Panzer unit, where it was believed that a Waffen SS officer was being held by the villagers.  The Nazis massacred 642 men, women and children with incendiary devices and machine gun fire before the mistake was cleared up. This was pretty much the whole population of the town. 
The French President, Charles DeGaulle, ordered the town to be rebuilt, but he also ordered that the ruins of the old town should stay as a reminder to all.  


6. Beelitz Heilstatten Military Hospital
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The former sanatorium southwest of Berlin, was built to deal with an explosion of tuberculosis in the late 1800s, and expanded twice throughout the next few decades.  It was put to use as a military hospital during both World Wars. Adolf Hilter recuperated from a leg wound here, as a young soldier in 1915.  It has seen death and crazy within it's walls.  The hospital was under the control of the Soviet Union until the country ceased to exist in the early 90s, and has stoop empty since.
There have been attempts at restoration and thoughts of demolishing the site have been toyed with as well.  But still, it stands, creepier than ever.  Urban explorers love this place and has been used as a set for films like, The Pianist.


7. Bhangarh, India
Img 00101      Bhangarh

Bhangarh is an abandoned town in the state of Rajasthan, India.  It has become a tourist attraction.  There are no pictures of the place at night, because setting foot in the place at night is strictly forbidden, and Indian Government is very serious about that fact.  
The government lets people in to view but grudgingly. The legend that goes with the place is about a Heartbroken Magician who cursed the place in the 16th century after being rejected by the kingdom's princess, and all who lived within it with death- without the possibility of rebirth, which is kind of part and parcel of the Hindu religion.  So people living here are cursed not just with death, but with serious, permanent death. 

A sign outside of the small town reads, "Entering the borders of Bhangarh after sunset is strictly prohibited,"  and they do not promise paranormal activity, it is probably a good chance that that contributes to the sign.

8)  Suburbs of Lehigh Acres, Florida

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Lehigh Acres is a sad place.  In the 1950s, Businessmen Gerald Gould and Lee Ratner (who earned his wealth by selling D-Con rat poison) divided up a huge stretch of land in southern Florida, owned by Ratner and made tiny half-acre parcels that we then sold to Northerners for a low price.  At ten bucks down and ten a month, it seemed like a bargain.  The down side was that there was no schools, roads, or running water.  A very few houses were built.  Many of the lots were resold when checks stopped coming in, and the place was barren by the 1980s.
When the real estate started to boom again in the late 1990's, hundreds of cheap, quick houses started flying up on those old lots that the baby boomers inherited from their parents.  To many houses went up than what could met the demand to live there.  When the real estate bubble popped, the suburbs of Lehigh Acres became a ghost town.
There are blocks with only one or two occupied homes and more without even that.  Plants, flowers and alligators rule over the empty lands. 


9. Discover Hut

800Px-Scotts Hut Antarctica
Inside Discovery Hut
Discovery Hut is located in Antarctica built by the party of explorer Robert Falcon Scott during the Discovery Expedition of 1901 to 1904. This was the second time anyone had ever tried to explore the region, and the first time in sixty years.  The hut is frozen solid, which is why it has been preserved so well.

This is a drafty little hut that sits in one of the coldest regions on the planet.  Inside you will find seal carcasses, meat and blubber, snow, ice and despair. The hut is sat, vacant for decades upon decades but stands as it does due to being in the middle of a deep freeze.

10. Anderlecht Veterinary School

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This building is the last un-renovated building out of nineteen in a complex located in Anderlecht, Brussels.  This building was a veterinary complex and has stood deserted since the 1990s. 

The crumbling halls lead to rooms that are each full of more horrifying stuff than the last.  Old, hand-blown bottles of questionable fluids, syringes and other old, rusty medical equipment still stand in their given places. The main attractions are the animal heads and brains as well as assorted parts that have been stuffed into jars throughout the building.  It has appropriately been given the nickname, "Horror Labs", as some of the parts are still recognizable. 

This is fairly popular urban exploration destination, as it is not for the weak stomach fellows.

Hope you are not too spooked!  It's all in good fun, after all!

Until next time...if there is one... (ha ha ha ha ha)

I am working on OHIO spooky spots...should I add Gray Gables? 



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Information Overload...Some baby wipes are doing what?

I had to stop buying baby wipes...
and it was not because my kiddo's have outgrown them...

The world is seriously messed up!  I mean, I can't even buy baby wipes without a recall.  Good lord, they are baby wipes, people.  They are made to use on our little babies.  What the heck is going on in the baby wipe making factory that has put these baby wipes that we use on our precious little babies at risk?  

Our brand was the Sam's Club special, Simply Right.

Certain brands of baby wipes have been pulled from shelves at Walgreens, Sam's Club, and other stores. (WPVI)

I have been buying them, through all the package changes, for well over five years now.  I was shocked, to say the least.  And the media's twist by saying that "They Might be contaminated with Bacteria" does not help my "I am a MOM" panic, as I gather the nearly two packets that I had sitting around the house or left in the car up and tossed them, in a fit of rage, into the recycling bin. (they are paper...products, right!)

So, what gives? 

Apparently, the company that goes by 10 different brand names, Nutek Disposables, located in Pennsylvania had complaints coming in about the wipes having a strange odor or discoloration.  This lead to an investigation which revealed that the packaging contained a type of bacteria that is often antibiotic- resistant. (Awesome, right!)  So, they did some Microbial testing to find Burkholderia cepacia, a bacteria that I quote: "poses little risk to healthy people, but may cause infection in those with weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases (like cystic fibrosis)"  which is supposed to make us all feel better, right. 

The reports do lack information, such as, how long has this been an issue; what stores were carrying this product in which states and how many children have been found sick by such bacteria?  

I understand that the company is trying to do right by setting the voluntary recall, and while I appreciate this, I still feel that they should have followed through with testing on the packaging material to ensure this bacteria was not even ever an issue!  

Now, I am questioning everything because, although we have backed off of the wipes in the past few months, we were prominent users last winter and my youngest ended up with breathing problems that escalated to the point where she had to have the nebulizer for regular breathing treatments.  I am concerned because this bacteria could be a cause. 

But, for now, this Momma is not buying ANY more wipes.  Which is funny  because my Husband and I used to joke that we were ALWAYS going to have wipes on hand, no matter how old our kids are.  I will pack up my damp paper towel in the baggie for my road trip clean up and I will also be sporting my anti-bac bottle swinging off my bag!  

Thanks Nutek for stepping up and pulling your brands off the shelves when you discovered the issue.  I will stand by your company for your quick actions, but I am still super disappointed that this was even an issue.  I mean, how many of us Moms will pull out the wipe after our kids use the bathroom?  How many of us grab the wipes to clean our kids up from playing outside in the mud? (OK, maybe it is JUST me)  I know my kids are tall enough to use the sink and have been diligent in hand washing with soap and water, but those first years, it is all about the wipes...

Hang in there Moms.  Find a brand that you can trust and hold on tight!

Affected Brands: 

Recalled brands include:  Cuties,, Femtex, Fred's, Kidgets, Member's Mark, Simply Right, Sunny Smiles, Tender Touch, and Well Beginnings.  The information they are giving is these wipes were distributed BEFORE October 21st, 2014 to Walgreen's, Sam's Club, Family Dollar, Fred's and, among other retailers.  Nutek has stopped distribution of any and all wipes at the facility. 

If you purchased a pack of recalled wipes, you may return them to the place of purchase for a FULL refund.  To contact Nutek, call 1-855-646-4351, Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

Options:  (from


  • 1 roll of heavy duty paper towels (Note: I use Bounty for wipes. I don’t use them in my kitchen, but cheap paper towels do not work for wipes… I’ve tried)
  • Rubbermaid #6 or #8 container- (Old wipes containers,  plastic shoe box containers, old plastic coffee containers or empty gallon plastic ice cream buckets also work. )
  • 1 3/4 cups boiled water (or distilled)-cooled but still warm – (can just use regular water if you use them in less than a week like we do)
  • 1 Tablespoon of pure aloe vera- check the ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon of pure Witch Hazel Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of Liquid Castille Soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s)
  • 10 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract or 2 capsules of Vitamin E (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive or Almond Oil (optional)
  • Essential Oils of choice (optional- I use 6 drops each of orange and lavender)
Homemade paper towel baby wipes 300x225 Natural Homemade Baby Wipes
How to make: 
  1. Cut the roll of paper towels in half using a sharp knife
  2. If using a plastic shoe box or old wipe container, accordion fold the wipes into the container. If using a Rubbermaid #6 container (I highly recommend), place the wipes, cut side down in container.
  3. In bowl or quart size jar mix the water, aloe, witch hazel, castille soap, GSE/Vitamin E and oil and stir.
  4. Add essential oils if desired and stir.
  5. Pour over paper towels in container and let absorb- this takes about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Flip the container over to make sure wipes are well soaked.
  7. If using Rubbermaid container, pull the cardboard roll out from the inside This should also pull the innermost wipe out and start them for you. Depending on the brand of paper towels you use, you might have to experiment with the amount of water to get the right amount.
  8. Use as you would regular wipes, and smile, knowing you are not causing your beautiful child any future health problems!
  9. Note: If your child has extremely sensitive skin, you may need to leave out the essential oils or use calendula or chamomile.
Easy Homemade baby wipes recipe Natural Homemade Baby Wipes

That's all from this slightly betrayed Momma, who will be making her own wipes in the very, very near future, thanks to


Monday, October 27, 2014

S I S T E R S...enough said

My Kids..My Life..

It was over three years now that we added to our little family.  It was terrifying, if I remember correctly.  I mean, to think of having a two year old and then think about adding a newborn to that already craziness, I don't think I had nails!  But, it was that whole Now or Never thought that crossed my mind. 

So, we rolled the dice...Ended up with a disappointed Daddy and a beautiful, healthy baby girl, again!   So, why was I happy it was another girl?  I want to say that I was not pulling for one sex or the other, just hoping for a healthy baby, no matter what. But...when the Ultrasound tech said Girl..secretly I was stoked, even if my Hubby was less than.  I mean, I had a baby brother as my other sibling and sure, we have our few moments of closeness, but not like I feel it could be with a sister.  You can share clothes, makeup, stories with you sister.  She can help you shop, do hair and just be a built in bff.  Boys can not do that!  Plus, there is only two years as a gap, so they are kind of stuck with each other. 

Over the past three years it has hit me hard at how awesome it is that I have been blessed with two girls. Daddy is coming around still! (lol)  And I have watched these two girls grow so close that it causes tears when one goes off to school each day, as the other can't stop saying how much she misses her sissy. 

Epiphanies has been had here.  I wonder if Mom's of all boys feel the same?  That bond that is between siblings of the same sex?  I have to say that I could not ever imagine my life with out girls and without both of them at that.  There is a sense of complete that goes with my family and it was not sad when we decided that two was enough, but instead a feeling of getting aboard an adventure that was just about to begin, now that everyone had finally arrived.

So, to my daughters, my best-est of friends, my kiddo's and the sunshine to my days, I am blessed to have you both, to be able to watch you grow and care for you- even if you get super mad at me when I won't let you jump down 5 stairs to the landing, please know, as I tell you, there is always a reason why you "can't" do something and it is not for my benefit, but for your own.  I love you little bugs with all I have and although your listening ears both seem to be broken on a regular basis, I hope that somewhere you hear it or know just how much!

To sisters!

Sister Gift Teen Room Decor, Girl Room, Teenager Room Decor, Gifts for Teenagers, Girl Art, Quotes Print Wall Art, Tiffany Blue Artwork

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I'm Late, I'm Late...for an important date...

Another year is winding down...and, although I feel that I am a little late in thinking about this, I must be honest and tell all that I feel that I should have created some kind of "Bucket List" for 2014. 

The older we get, the older our children get, it seems like the faster these years fly right on by and this year has been NO different!

I am sure that at the beginning of year, when all was well and kisses were made for the new year, everyone (or most everyone) set goals of what they were going to do this year, what they wanted to accomplish and go about their lives.  Did you?  I remember say to myself that I wanted to be less stressed out and enjoy my family.  Well, here we are in October (nearly November) and a lot has happened in my life to not only alleviate stress, but also to put my mind in a better place and allow me the opportunity to spend time with my family.  So, I think I can say that those goals have been accomplished, right! But now, the problem still lies with me that here we are getting ready for these holidays that sign us off of 2014 and move us into 2015 and I feel like, while those are great accomplishments, I want to hold so much more to 2014. 

So, grab a pencil, some paper and your thinking cap (do they even say that is school anymore...gosh, that makes me OLD!)  and let's put words to paper and make an END OF THE YEAR Bucketlist!

I have 40 different things to list that are fun, creative and something to make the end of the year one that you surely will always remember.

1. Get into the holiday spirit by making a holiday playlist on your ipod/mp3 player. Don't forget some of the all time favorites! (Mariah Carey, of course!)

2. Bundle up and head outside for a walk or perhaps a snowball fight! (we enjoy the Lights Before Christmas at our Local Zoo)

3. Decorate a Gingerbread House with icing, gundrops, candy galore! You can even buy kits fairly cheap and would be so much fun for the kids!

4. Make a homemade gift for a friend or family member! (I love to knit, and everyone is about due for a new scarf!

5. Cozy up with a blanket, some tea and a good book. 

6. Break out some glittery nailpolish and give yourself the manicure you keep talking about doing! (my girls would love this too!)

7. When the rain is pouring, plan a fun day inside!

8. Buy some red lipstick and ... wear it!

9. Hot Cocoa time! Here is a great recipe: 

 1.5 cups heavy cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
2 cups milk chocolate chips
6 cups of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add to your Crockpot on Low and enjoy!

10. Light your favorite candle (or scentsy warmer) and let it burn!  Your house will smell amazing and you will feel the holiday spirit all around you!

11. Find a great hostess gift and bring it with you for your next party. 

12. Find an Ice Skating rink and grab the whole family. 

13. Send a kind note to a friend, don't forget to let them know how much they mean to you!

14. Enjoy a picnic, indoors!  (my girls would go bananas over this!)

15. Build a snowman with scarf, hat, button eyes and a carrot nose! (I think we will be building Olaf this year!)

16. Tie your scarf in a new way! (c'mon all- there are tons of awesome ways to tie a scarf now-a-days!)

17. Host a holiday cookie baking party in YOUR kitchen! (we do this every year as part of our holiday tradition)

18. While baking, don't forget to sample!!!

19. Give back to the community. Volunteer, buy gifts for a cause/shelter or donate!

20. Go for an evening drive to see the twinkling Christmas lights around your neighborhood!

21. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for New Years this year. (Specific, Mesaurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timley)

22. Get started on a new exercise/fitness goal now?  Take a yoga class, start running, or spend some time with that elliptical that is currently being used as an extension to your closet!

23. Invite the neighbors over for wine and cheese to catch up and get to know each other better.

24. Twist your hair into a vintage inspired ponytail for your next holiday party. 

25. Get tickets to see the Nutcracker Ballet.

26. Print your favorite photos from the past year and find a fun way to display them!

27. Pop some popcorn and have a Christmas Movie marathon! (Santa Clause!)

28. Host an Ugly Sweater party!!

29. Try a new recipe at your Holiday Meal this year.

30. If you don't know how to knit, you should learn! 

31. Plan a fun winter weekend, perhaps at a ski lodge or a water park, to get away! 

32. Bring the outdoors in by making snow!! (ice cream)

33. Scrabble...anyone?

34. Read a poem or sonnet each day (broaden your horizons)

35.  Get creative with eggnog. (I am going to try to make it myself this year!)

36. Go for a winter adventure- perhaps an overnight at a Bed and Breakfast?

37. Treat yourself to a new cozy scarf. (if you learn to knit- you can even make it!)

38. Document all your favorite moments from the holiday season on Social Media. (Instragram is awesome!)

39. Don't forget to grab a holiday coffee/drink from Starbucks! (Splurge a little!)

40. Last, but definitely not least, kiss someone special under the mistletoe!!!

Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:
*Who:      Who is involved?
*What:     What do I want to accomplish?
*Where:    Identify a location.
*When:     Establish a time frame.
*Which:    Identify requirements and constraints.
*Why:      Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
EXAMPLE:  A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week.”

Measurable - Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.
When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as……
How much? How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic- To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.
A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.

Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
T can also stand for Tangible – A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing.
When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Has anyone seen this picture before? In/Around Toledo, Ohio Area found @ Gray Gables...

So, we found this picture in our rafters, here at Old Gray Gables.  It is in really good condition (well, the picture itself). But it has no writing on it.  It kind of looks like Frannie Cleveland- which is weird because our home is called "Gray Gables" - as was the Summer Home of her and Grover Cleveland.  I also know that Norvel Bacon, who build the Cleveland's original Gray Gables lived in Toledo, Ohio.  I know that Aaron Chesbrough, who built our home, was of one of the Wealthiest families in Toledo in the 1890's.  That should be mentioned because it is possible that Frannie was friends with the late Chesbrough's.  But, if anyone recognizes this picture, please comment or better yet, email me!


1892 Farmhouse given new life...

An oldie- but a goodie!  Just found this "pop" up in my search. Wow, we were YOUNG! LOL

Monday, October 20, 2014

Waking up is hard to do? When you're 5...

I started my day with a jump as the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was my beautiful five year old daughter, in my face, nose to nose! I think I literally made a sound of startle, which is funny because she does this all the time.  

"Mom, I can't sleep."  I guess in k i d - that means that if she can't sleep, I can't either...

So, I walked with her to her room. She asked for her TV to be turned on, which I fumbled my way through the remote and tucked her in before going back to my warm bed to catch the twenty more minutes that I had before my "other" alarm went off!

Finally, I hit the snooze as much as I could and knew I had to get up.  I walked past my five year old's room to find her still wide awake.  Luckily, she did not seem to notice me going by her room and I went to get ready for the day.

Twenty minutes later, I go into her room and she is passed out! Mom Call...I let her sleep for fifteen minutes longer.  When that time elapsed, it was a battle that made me question whether I should have let her sleep in.  I turned on her light, pulled her covers back and she fought tooth and nail to stay in bed. (She can be a big crab!)

Finally, up she went and to the bathroom to brush teeth and get dressed.  She started crying on the potty, alligator tears!  We got her situated and she was still bawling her eyes out, muttering something about her friend on the bus wouldn't let her sit by the window seat.  I was confused because she is the first one to be picked up in the mornings and always waves while sitting next to the window.  Then it got ugly and confusing!  She said that she did not want to sit by the window, but wanted to sit by the isle.  Oh brother!  I hugged her and told her that it didn't matter the seat, but for bus safety she just had to sit.  I mean, I wasn't really sure where she wanted to sit, after all!

She brushed her teeth, through tears; got dressed, through tears; and went down to have breakfast, crying the whole way... I asked her to stop crying and in return got more tears!  Finally, after a half and hour of tears, in between bites of chocolate chip pancakes, I managed to ask her if she was hurt and she said no, so I switched gears and told her it was a new week and it was going to be a great day and somehow, her mood flipped and she was happy. 

As a Mom, I am thinking... EEK!  Is this seriously what I have to look forward to when hormones come into the picture and if so, can I run away!

Any-whoo, I am uncertain of what changed for her, I mean maybe she just woke up, but she got on the bus with a smile on her face- hopefully forgetting her worries about which seat her little booty would sit in!

 As for little Miss Three-Year-Old, she got up, brought her bare feet down stairs with her Minnie Nightgown on with a big smile on her face, as she does everyday!

Complete opposites!

#lovemyfamily #momofgirls #girlproblems


Oh no you DIDN'T...did you.... Gray Gables Farm

I know that I am not alone. Every New Year's Eve I sit down and think about what I want to accomplish for the New Year.  Most of the time it is silly little goals, like eat better, help a charity or exercise.  Last year, however, it revolved around a book that I had wrote a few years ago and the goal was to get it/or one of them, published.  Yes, there are a few that I would be honored to see in print.

I spend the year trying to tweak my book, get a final copy and then I set off to find a Literary Agent.  Well, that was one huge hurdle and I was met by rejection, rejection and more rejection.  So, I did what any person who loves to write does...I wrote another book, and another and another. (duh!)

Well, I really did not go anywhere with any of them.  I just kind of started them, got to the plot and my ADD got in the way of my train of thought, so I would start another.  After that, life just got in the way.

Fast Forward...  In mid-September I headed up to the attic of this big old house and was met with the mess of moving in a hurry and throwing everything in the attic, if it was not necessity.  It was time to tackle the disaster.  I pitched so much stuff and what I did not throw out, I drug it downstairs and put it in the "Garage Sale" pile or the "pass it on" pile.  The end result is a half cleaned out attic with shelves put up and somewhat organized holiday fun.

It was sometime after I had finally finished with one side of the gables that I decided to put my fingers to the keys and what happened was amazing for me.

October had begun and I had opened the file that I named "Gray Gables Farm" and I was rereading the twelve whole pages that I had typed.  I pulled out the binder that I had pulled from the attic with ALL my research about this house.  At the time that I pulled it, I did question myself.  I really was not sure why I pulled it in the first place but soon enough the answer was before me.

Two ten hour days later I had my story.  I spent a few more days tweaking here and there, but it was as it should be and I knew that much.  It is not a long story.  It is somewhat true to the dates, people and places that are the characters.  I can only say that while writing it, I truly did not feel myself.  It was as if I were writing through someone else and it was smooth, seamless and intoxicating.

It is the story of Gray Gables and of days before that are so long ago.   So, what is it about.... I know some are dying to know!  I self published.  I was so skeptical about self publishing but honestly, it was as if it were meant to be put in print.  I followed the signs, as I feel I have been throughout my entire Gray Gables journey.  Fate stepped in on my life and I am listening, the best that I can and following the path that is guiding me along.

So, please read, please support and please enjoy!  I would greatly appreciate it and be forever grateful!

Gray Gables Farms

A Synopsis

Sometimes you can’t see how your life should be until you find something that speaks to your heart.
Mattie lives a good life, and feels content until the summer home is built.  The first summer proves that her heart sings in the country and grieves when she is away.  How can she show her Husband her true happiness lies at Gray Gables?

I have put to paper my Realistic Fiction novel in 23,342 words.  The names and dates within my work at factual, but the story that is told is compiled from different stories that have been told around town.  Gray Gables is my historic home and holds a lot of history, which I have researched to find Aaron and Mattie’s story.

Life was unknowingly missing something until Gray Gables broke ground.  The house spoke to her in a way she could not explain to her Husband.  She had found her place and while she never wanted to leave, her husband was quick to remind her that the home was for summer holiday, not to keep as their main residence.  

About me:
I have the pleasure of residing in Gray Gables.  My personal story starts with an abandoned house that my Husband and I rolled the dice on.  It has been three years and although we are still rebuilding, the history that the walls have told have been anything but dull. 

I graduated from the University of Toledo in 2003 with an Interdisciplinary degree with a minor in English Literature and History.  I have loved to write since I was able to and have books and books of poetry that I have created over the vast years.

I started this idea on a whim. I was researching my one hundred and twenty two year old house, trying to unlock some of the mystery and unravel the countless stories that have been told to us throughout our possession.  I had gathered tons of information about Aaron Chesbrough and Gray Gables but could not figure out why the house was not showing on any of the census reports until our local Historic Society pointed out that when a home is a “Summer Home” it did not show up on the report.  Then, as if a light bulb went off, it all made sense. 

While the characters are real and the dates are factual, the story is elaborated.  I have a lot of coincidences that I feel coincide with this home and I feel that for me, this is where I was supposed to land, much like I feel Mattie felt throughout the novel. 

I feel relief as I put my pen to paper and started writing.  I was able to get a story that I have dreamed about for the past three years.  



To all who read my blog- THANK YOU!  To those who buy my book- A HUGE THANK YOU!  I hope you enjoy it, I hope you make suggestions as to how I can make it better, possibly expand also!  I love to write and can accept positive and negative criticism, that is what will make me a better writer!  Thank you so much for your support! I finally did it!


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