Archive for October, 2012

Don’t forget – the Red Cross helps us and we need to help the Red Cross.  They will need donations to deliver care and shelter people and animals.  They do this every day, but on this day, we are particularly aware of the devastation being caused by Hurricane Sandy, and every resource the Red Cross has is activated and will remain so indefinitely.  To make a donation, go to www.redcross.org

Additionally, prior to Hurricane Sandy, they were low on blood supplies across the country.  Please consider donating blood.

Check the link below for information specific to Hurricane Sandy and also for ways to protect you and your family from disasters.


Stay safe…


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Lethargy, love it

now just need a good excuse

for being a sloth


Purring comforts me

the vibration a soft hum



I was a goddess

long ago when youth graced me

and all things were mine


My diamonds and pearls

not as beautiful as you

dear child of my heart


Beer, wine, whiskey too

fuels the fire within my brain

and makes me stupid


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I friend of mine asked me if my story about selling the haunted house was true, and I answered…Every Word!   I know some people don’t believe in ghosts, but I do and I have my reasons – many of them.

Speaking of ghosts, I saw the most amazing video last week.  It was a jaw-dropper – stunning.  I would love to get a copy to share with all of you, but it doesn’t belong to me and was shown to me by a third party…a friend of mine.  We were having drinks at a Realtor function last Wednesday night.  She pulled out her phone to show me what another friend had emailed to her.  Said friend had been out on the battlefield with her young son.  It appeared to be evening.  They were at the site of Pickett’s Charge, and she had her video camera.  Her son started asking her to take pictures of the men there.  She didn’t see anyone in the area, but her son was very excited and begged her to videotape the men.  To keep him happy, she just started filming and scanned back and forth over the area he was pointing to.  She saw nothing – until she played the video back.

This is what was on the video – what I saw and replayed several times because it was just so amazing, amazing and unbelievable.  She had been panning the camera across open ground with a treeline in the background.  In front of and along the treeline, I would estimate at about 75 to 100 yards, there were several figures moving leisurely about.  They were totally white, not as in amorphous blobs, but seen on the video as complete and crystalline forms.  They were men with heads, bodies, arms, hands, legs, feet  – and they were moving…walking.   I saw this video a week ago, and the memory of it will not leave me.  I’m well aware its existence defies logic…but, what is logic?  According to the dictionary, logic is the science of correct or reliable reasoning.  So who has dictated what is correct?  What is reliable reasoning?  We used to think the world was flat…that was once thought correct and reliable.

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If you sell real estate, you do not have to disclose the fact that you have other-worldly residents that go with.  Living and working in Gettysburg, people often ask me about this…either because they do want to buy a haunted house or they really don’t.  They are dismayed to learn sellers don’t have to give buyers this information.  What sellers are required to disclose is if something so infamous happened in the house that it would be common knowledge in the community…think of the Manson murders or the Amityville Horror.  In the latter case, do you know the new owners changed those upper windows in the home so curiosity seekers would be less likely to identify the house?

Anyway, on at least one occasion, I did sell a haunted house.  This one was a large pre-Civil War home with five fireplaces, deep window sills, original woodwork and floors, and a gorgeous open, turned staircase  in the center hall.  The buyers were a nice couple  from the south…rebels, you could say.  The day of settlement, they were unable to meet me in time to do a final walk-through of the house.  They asked if I would do it for them and we would meet afterward at the settlement office.  This was a little unusual, but I agreed.  It was a beautiful, warm sunny day, and it was the first time I had been in the house alone and with all the furnishings removed.

I checked out the basement, then the downstairs, appliances, sinks, toilet, doors, windows, etc.  Everything was perfect.  I started up the wide staircase.  Halfway to the landing between floors, I stepped on a particular riser and was hit with almost a wall of body odor – it was that strong.  I’m in a very clean, empty house, and I’m alone.  Whatever was on that step with me reeked.  I said out loud, “Oh (expletive), this is not good.  This is not good at all!”  I took one more step up…no smell.  I stepped back down…overwhelming body odor.  Stepped down another…nothing.  Up…body odor.  You see the problem?  I was tasked with having to inspect the second floor, so I hurried on and sniffed my way through all the second story rooms.  I swear I smelled flowers in the front room, but it could have been my now highly stimulated imagination.  Coming down the stairs, I smelled nothing, and I debated whether I should mention this to the buyers.  Knowing them, I didn’t think it would make a difference, except for the fact they might think I was insane.

Two days after settlement, I had a voice mail message…all cheery and excited…”Hi Kathy, we have a ghost.  Call me back.”  I said, “Oh (another expletive).”

Yes, indeed, they did have a ghost, and he turned out to be a sinister fellow.   The dogs were terrified of him.  The buyer’s husband was freaked out of his mind when the guy touched him in bed.  His wife, often there alone when her husband was traveling on business, was tormented by this entity.  He spoke to her, touched her, called to the dogs, pretended to be her husband and threatened her in various ways.   They couldn’t get rid of him and he became bolder and bolder.  They did some research and contacted the prior owners and the woman who owned the house years before those folks.  The older woman said she had experiences with this fellow.  The couple who sold my people the house had two teenage daughters.  They told my buyers they never had a problem except their daughters, when they were young, always told their parents that a lumberjack would come and watch them sleep.  I could only think “Oh, dear Lord, did these little girls think this person was a lumberjack because he had an axe?”  For the love of God, didn’t these parents think this was something to concern themselves with?

Well, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  One night before bed  I prayed fervently that this entity would leave the house and never bother my friends again.  He came to me!  I woke up in the middle of the night and had experienced a visit from this nasty person.  It was so real.  I was terrified and remembered every detail about him and how he was reaching out and threatening me in my own bed.  He apparently thought it was worth his time to travel almost thirty miles to basically scare me into butting out of his business.

I’m ashamed to say I was actually afraid to pray about him again for a few days.  I went to see my buyer.  I described this entity in detail to her.  When I finished, she said, “Kathy, that’s the guy.”  She had never told me anything about his physical appearance, but I had described him from his visit to me.  He was young, maybe twenties, very wiry but strong and muscular.  He had curly dirty blonde hair.  He wore tan woolen pants, suspenders and a checked gingham shirt with sleeves rolled to the elbow and boots.  (I suspected the girls thought him a lumberjack because of his clothing.)  I decided to tempt fate and prayed again for him to leave.  He didn’t return to threaten me, but he didn’t leave their house either.  I wondered if he might have been a union soldier and objected to southerners living in the house.  Who knows?  It was the only explanation I could think of which would cause him to be so much viler than he had been with previous owners.

My friends were finally given holy water, which they sprinkled in every room of the house.  That’s when he seemed to depart.

They resold the house.  The new buyers knew about this “thing” and I hope he has not returned.

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More Haikus

my television

takes me round the whole big world

I am couch tourist


withering away

old people, not useful now

remember their youth


Annie’s hunting mice

in the basement she’s silent

her claws sheathed but sharp


waiting for someone

a challenging endeavor

when in a hurry

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Late last night I was reading my August issue of The Writer and happened upon an article on haikus.  I had never written a haiku, but I must warn you, I have discovered they are highly addictive.  It’s like potato chips – you can’t write just one.  I wrote haikus until the wee hours of the morning and had great fun doing it.

A haiku is composed of three, unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables.  However, they can’t just be three lines about anything at all.  The article says the best haikus are “allusive and evocative”.  They are correct.  Marilyn L. Taylor who wrote the article had good and bad examples.  She included one by the late Rachel Wetzsteon, which I deem to be pure genius:

In fat armchairs sat

indolence and impatience

plotting my downfall

My efforts were not so stellar, but I am still just a novice at this form and aspire to create one day as Ms. Wetzsteon did.  My shabbier attempts last night:

Bleak and dismal day

bends to dark, glorious night

and owls call to me


When I’m not looking

deer trounce my garden and eat

I’d share if they asked.


I prayed I would live,

and so I did…thank you God.

Nothing is grander.


The picture hangs high

on the wall above my head,

reminder…Key West


Cat on a diet

not happy by a long shot,

waddles and complains


My mother is dead

I hear her voice call to me

but I’m not coming

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Elan Mudrow


Fred Colton

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