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Entries in halloween (9)


A Ghost of a Post {repost for Halloween!}

This post was originally posted December 13, 2005 as "The Ghost of Xmas Past" But since it's Halloween week, I thought it was a good story to resurrect from the blog grave yard to give you a little shiver... Enjoy!

Last week, the cold that had been desperately trying to take over my body since my return from the Orient finally won the battle over the Airborne vitamin fizzy things. My voice went, my throat was swollen and I had a hack that you wouldn't believe. I actually burned a sick day last week and stayed home and just laid around all day. I think it was just what the Dr. ordered, because by the weekend I felt much better.

Saturday morning about 3 AM I was hit with a coughing fit that forced me out of my warm cocoon of blankets into the kitchen to find some robotussin. As I walked into the living room, half asleep and without my glasses on, I noticed that the TV was on, no sound ‚ just picture. It was playing some black and white program, which cast an eerie glow over the living room.

In my half awake state, I thought I saw Jason sitting on the couch, but when I called his name and walked closer I realized there wasn't anyone there. I also remembered that Jason and I went to bed at the same time the night before. And we had turned the TV off.

It was at that point that I freaked out and ran back into the bedroom, woke-up Jason to go into the living room, turn off the TV and fetch me my Robo as I hid in bed with the covers over my head. You see, I believe in ghosts 100%. We used to live with one, and it freaked the shit out of me every night, and I vowed to never live in a haunted house again.

Yes, this is the point where you start laughing at me. But I'm telling the truth. When Jason and I were first engaged (and for the first 2 years of being married) we lived in this adorable duplex in Solana Beach. This house was owned by a very creative and handy couple that bought the place for about half of what it was worth. It was salmon pink with teal trim on the outside and had the best blue tile counters and a bathroom floor of beach rocks accented with little blue tiles that looked like an ocean wave. We loved this house and we loved our landlords. They even built us a front yard so we could get a dog... But after a few months in the house we started noticing things..

On more than one occasion I would be asleep in bed in the morning while Jason went out surfing. Laying there in that morning deep sleep, I would feel Jay's side of the bed dip and creek like someone looking for a warm cuddle after a chilly dip in the ocean. Only I would roll over, and Jason wouldn't be there. No one would be ther. Other times I would get up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, and standing in the kitchen I would SWEAR TO GOD that someone was standing behind me. Little things that I would brush off as being half asleep or plain paranoia. Only Jason and I were both experiencing these situations - without telling each other about them.

I was also having these vivid dreams about things happening to me and having detailed conversations with people. Then one night my dead great grandmother came to me in my dream with a message.. and that was enough to prompt me to finally 'fess up to Jason. And you can imagine my shock and horror when he admitted that he felt the same strange sensations and was having similar experiences. We took a deep breath and uttered the word "ghost."

As time went on, we slept with a light on but accepted our spirit friend. The ghost became our "party story" you know, the story that gets retold to new people and rehashed by old friends at every get together. It became our "thing." We were the couple that was living with the ghost! How cool! We had a fun story and everyone loved to hear it over and over.

One night we had a bunch of people over for a party at our little place. At the end of the night someone brought up the ghost and we started to tell the story when one of our friends interrupted us...

"I didn't know if I should say anything to you guys. But yea, you have a ghost and her name is Julie."

We all just stared at him as went on to explain how he has this 6th sense type thing. It's not something he really talks about because, lets face it, people wont always believe you. But ghosts try to talk to him, and ours had a message for us. She wanted us to know that she wasn't going to hurt us, she was more there to help us and protect us. Apparently the ghost understood she freaked the shit out of us, and she was sorry about that, but she liked us. She wasn't going to interfere with our day-to-day lives, but she would send us messages if she felt they were important.


The next day we finally built up the nerve to say something to our landlord. He was out watering the cacti in the succulent garden out front when after a conversation about the trashcans we casually asked him if anyone has ever died in the house. Our landlord stopped gardening and turned to us and said, " Oh. Yea, didn't we tell you guys that before? So, huh. You guys felt the ghost?"

At this point Jason and I simultaneously got the chills even though it was the middle of the summer.

So the story was that they got the house very cheap because yes, someone had committed suicide in the back unit (their unit, we lived in the front unit) and the house was on the market for about 5 years because NO ONE wanted a house where someone hung themselves in their front closet. The seller was SO motivated to get rid of the property in the legal binding mortgage documents it states that at any time during the duration of them owning the home they deemed necessary, the mortgage co. will pay for an exorcism in the house. But our landlords never really deemed it necessary.

We actually ended up living there for about 2 more years. And in the end it was the lack of space and new drunken neighbors that backed into Jason's car when it was PARKED ACROSS THE STREET that prompted us to move. Julie was true to her "word" (??) and really stopped bugging us. But I never did feel 100% comfortable being alone in that house. Jason and I have often had the argument about what would we do if we came across this great house, great location and great price, but SURPRISE! Someone died here! I said that there is NO WAY IN HELL I would pay a dime for a house that might possibly be haunted spirits that refuse to admit they are dead. Personally, I think this is a fantastic reason to buy a brand new house. No one else has ever shit in the toilets and you know no one ever kicked the bucket while watching TV in the living room. Perfect! Jason, on the other hand, thinks "distressed realty" is a great way to score a great deal on a house.


Looking back, I can't believe we lived in that house as long as we did. Thankfully, neither of our two THREE houses since have had skeletons in the closet...

Happy Halloween!


I LOVE Halloween...Decor. 

I wasn't going to go crazy this year. I'm not having anyone over and I don't even have my kids 2 weekends this month. I was just going to be chill about Halloween decor... maybe put out a few bowls of candy corn and a spider web or two? 

HAHAHAHA. Who was I kidding? 

Seriously. I LOVE Halloween and nothing makes me happier than decorating. And a total bonus? This year since Lucas and Zoe are a little older, I can finally move away from "cutesie" decor and into a more macabre theme.

Vanilla Moose got creepy this year as I went for more spiders, bats and skulls inside the house. 

One of my favorite parts of decorating is pulling out the boxes from the garage and re-discovering all the goodies I have! I had forgotten about my headless horseman and sparkly pumpkin from last year, and pulling them out actually physically, made me happy. 

Then there is the outside...

My inspiration this year? Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds

I had been obsessing about birds for a few weeks. So imagine my delight when I walked into Michaels and they were 60% off! I think I bought them out of birds. Sorry Encinitas/Carlsbad - you can not steal my idea because there are NO MORE BIRDS TO BE HAD. And if there were, I may have bought those as well. 




{Almost} Wordless Wednesday: Disneyland at Halloween 2009 - 2013

This past weekend we were thrilled to be able to visit Disneyland for one of our favorite times of the year... Halloween. Visiting Disneyland in the fall has become a bit of a tradition, as we've been doing it now every year since 2009. 

Obviously I'm going to capture many of the same moments... and this year I was feeling a bit nostalgic and wanted to compare just much my almost 6 year old has grown. 

*believe it or not, those are the exact same pair of ears. We've managed to keep them in good shape for 5 years!

*disclosure: Disneyland provided me with 4 park hopper tickets to experience #Halloweentime at Disneyland 2013, opinions are my own. 


Halloween Time at Disneyland 

For us the leaves don't change colors and the weather actually gets hotter during October. So how do we know it's Fall in Southern California? By going to Disneyland

Once again, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure got us in the Halloween spirit with all of our favorite rides, decor and villains. You all know how much I love Disneyland this time of year, and our latest visit to the park marked yet another passing year.

As with every trip to Disneyland, there were the special moments that made this trip unique.

It was our first "stroller free" trip

My baby is turning 5 in just a few weeks. FIVE. This trip we actually, in all honesty, forgot the stroller. It doesn't live in the car anymore and in the rush out of the house it didn't make it with us. This is a BIG moment in parenthood, and it took us a bit to figure out how to transport all the crap. But we survived. And Zoe rocked walking the park all day. 

My Favorite Goats Had on Halloween Bandanas

We discovered the Happiest Petting Zoo on Earth last June, and it was one of the first spots we visited this trip. And yes, it did make my day that the happy little goats were dressed in their Halloween finery. 

The Art of Frankenweenie

While I will admit that we have yet to see the movie, Disney California Adventure currently has an exhibit showcasing the dolls from the movie Frankenweenie. The models on display were amazing to look at. The details, the size - all of it just fascinating to take in. The exhibit runs through November 5th at Disney California Adventure. 

Zoe Adorableness

I love her age right now. She still wants to wear her princess dresses, she waves at dolls in It's a Small World, but she enjoys totally rocking out at the MadTParty.

As we were walking out from watching the live Alice in Wonderland theme band, Zoe looks at me:

Zoe: "Mom, Alice looks like me."

Me: "Oh really, how?"

Zoe: "Well, we're both pretty!"

I love 5. 


Halloween Time at Disneyland runs through October 31st


*disclosure: Disneyland Parks provided me with four tickets to enjoy Disneyland Halloween Time. Opinions and experiences are my own. 


And I asked myself - How did I get here? or Contemplating existentialism at Knott's Berry Farm

I have not been to Knott's Berry Farm in about 18 years. Growing up in LA, we did go there a lot as "older younger kids", tweens and teens. Fast roller coasters, scary Halloween parties - all the things beloved by the 8-20 year old range. 

This weekend we had the chance to visit Knott's and their child-friendly Halloween-themed "Camp Spooky" (normally Camp Snoopy). My kids were thrilled to try a new amusement park and I was curious to see how the park has changed over the years. You know, the whole "seeing things through your adult eyes" experience. 

Being 8 1/2, Lucas is just now entering the roller coaster phase of life. Being a whole 52 inches tall, his world is now open to the amazing world of being strapped in and propelled down metal tracks at high speeds. He had his first taste of a pure coaster-induced adrenaline rush after his first loopy-loop earlier this year, and the boy is addicted. A few years back we realized that Jason can no longer do roller coasters. While I think in his early 20s he attributed the post-ride migraines and vomiting to the Jagermeister they were drinking in the parking lot, in his late 20's it became clear that wasn't the case. He just can't handle the speed and loops. Which leaves me to ride with Lucas…

Sunday found us staring at coasters with drops of up to 109 feet and loops that just keep going. Talking about going on a coaster is nothing compared to standing next to it and seeing how it spins, drops and flips you over in real life, and I think Lucas was a little relieved to learn he was still too short for a few of the bigger ones. But the one that I {kinda} forced him onto was the classic Montezooma's Revenge. One of the oldest coasters at Knott's, this ride holds a special place in my heart. Walking through the waiting area (lines were nonexistent since we were there so early) I was flooded with memories of my 12 year old self waiting in line with my friends for that same ride. I remember we were there for my BFF's birthday, flushed with hormones and wearing a neon yellow and lace sweatshirt with a scrunchy around my wrist as we waited in these hot long line with our "boyfriends" at the time ('cause you know it was serious at 12…) excited to maybe hold hands on the ride. I remember feeling SO GROWN UP because Debbie's mom had let us go off by ourselves at the park - that taste of controlled freedom craved by all tweens. 


That was the feeling that stopped me in my tracks as I was now, at 37, going on the same ride, walking though the same area with my 8 1/2 year old child. Standing there, I felt the urge to yell "This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful car!" Because, really? How did I get here? And while we are contemplating these heavy, existential questions - why are neon yellow lace sweat shirts back in style?? 


My kids had a fabulous time at Knott's Berry Farm on Sunday. Camp "Spooky" was perfect for Zoe - the rides and decorations were perfectly fitted to her (almost) 5 year Halloween sensibilities. Being that we were lucky to be there bright and early before the park even opened to the public, we were able to go on almost every ride we wanted to. We hadn't even left the parking lot before the questions of "when can we go again?" started from the backseat. 

*disclosure: Knott's Berry Farm was nice enough to host us, and other bloggers, for a fun day at the park to promote their kid-friendly Halloween activities. Opinions and memories are my own.