Even when it’s expected it’s still difficult. We lost dad in November. He had come home from the hospital on hospice and was only on it for 2 days. He went peacefully in his sleep though. Mom is getting used to the new normal and Jim and I are doing what we can. Her Church is helping too. We decided to have his memorial this month, after the holidays and when all of the kids were available. The video I made is finished but I still have to burn several copies and the image on the top. Power was out for 10 days and we‘ve been without water now for about 6 days. Now that power is back I’m hoping we have water by tomorrow. Cell service has been out and now that it’s back it’s been sketchy at best. And through all of this work has been unbearable. My little office is being ignored. I’m doing everything I can to keep this office functioning under extreme circumstances and they keep throwing road blocks in my way. Isn’t Human Resources supposed to be… I don’t know… human? Well they’re beyond less than helpful. No communication, no explanation and nothing but a major headache. Even one of my bosses had nothing good to say about them. “A real piece of work” is what they had to say about the one I’m having a problem with.
On top of everything I don’t need the work stress they’re throwing at me. My stress is through the roof. Tonight, after I burn the dvds I’m going to lose myself in some artwork.
“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
With everything that went on this year, so close to the holidays, I really didn't have the time to come up with something more than a generic Christmas scene. Last year I reused a scene I had created a few years ago with Santa in a bar only for the 2020 card I added a couple of his elves, alcohol, hand sanitizer and a mask to mark the type of year we'd had. This year I altered another image I had already rendered but changed quite a few things. I changed the Christmas Tree, got rid of the flask and whisky glass and added hot chocolate and holiday treats to show Santa taking a break. I had been watching youtube videos on lighting tutorials in Daz Studio so I applied some of what I had learned to add more of a firelight to the scene. I also added last years photo of the kids to the wall and one of my favorite pics of Jim and I, taken at Kaitlyn's wedding. Just as I was about to render it out print size I noticed that I only had 4 stockings. Well that just wouldn't do as I needed one for the son-in-law and when I originally created the image he wasn't in the picture (and now I thank God he is) If I'd had time to adjust the image further I would have changed out the room itself. The room I used is designed to look not quite modern. In fact, I use this room for my "Jacob Marley Ghost" image. (which for some reason is not in the gallery, once I find it I'll add it here)
Kid #1 will be here tomorrow for a few days. (Yay!) He's here in the state at a friends house currently. I really should warn him just how thin the fridge and pantry are right now. With just Jim and I we aren't stocked up like we used to be when the kids were home. I only make one meal a day for myself and it's just a protein and a vegetable. Jim usually has more interesting food but we really need to hit up Sams Club. I finally found a meal program that works with my arthritis and auto-immune issues and I've lost 22 lbs on it so far. (It's slow going for me what with the evacuation and then f'ing off to Disneyland recently but I don't care, it's working, slow or not) I was worried the bars and shakes were causing a flare up but then I realized that I had been taking my immune booster almost daily. Well, when your immune system attacks your body that means that boosting it doesn't always work to your favor. I had been around a lot more people during the evacuation so I had been taking more than usual and realized that was what was causing my flare up. Apparently I can't boost my immune system against C0v!d without my auto-immune disease turning on me. Welcome to my life.
I think we're having the family Christmas party at our house this year so I'm getting ready. If Jim remembers to grab some butter from the store on the way home from his golf dinner I'll even make Ken the first loaf of pumpkin bread tomorrow. I found a pattern for Christmas stockings that is super simple and a great way to use up yarn stash if you have the right colors. Hell, even if you don't have the right colors I mean, not everyone is traditional. I may even work up a rainbow stocking. :) Last year I gave my daughter the Christmas Tree skirt that I had made but I definitely do not have time to work up another one. It was beautiful though. I used a white, super bulky yarn, the type you could "arm knit" with. Her Christmas designs lean towards blue and silver and she misses the snow so it when we went out there to her house last year I brought it. It fit perfectly. I'll make a new one for next year.
This may be the longest blog post I've written in ages but I'm in the mood to share so... it is what it is. Even though it's been cold and rainy and I'm in pain it's actually been a productive day despite having a hard time keeping the house warm. Everything is ready for tax deduction #1 tomorrow including new sheets and comforter in the guest room. He's a food safety specialist so I always re-organize the fridge before he comes home. (did you know certain types of food belong on certain shelves? I do now. :) )
So, today was my day to relax. I got a few chores done but largely I was just chill… with the house to myself & no reason to even get out of my pajamas so I worked on a crochet cardigan for a friend and watched Mr. Ballen on YouTube. No artwork today, the upstairs was just too hot to spend any time up there.
So I’m watching the ghost stories on Mr Ballen’s YouTube channel & I’m reminded of my weird experience. Now I am not a believer in ghosts. Even now. But I know there are incidents that just can’t be explained. In the mid 90’s my parents managed a motel in South Lake Tahoe. We had just had our son & had just bought a business nearby that needed a lot of work so we often spent nights at their apartment at the motel & helped out as we worked on our building & while mom babysat. The building, while no longer standing, was not an old building so we ruled out the ‘old building electro magnetic’ theory & while the managers apartment was two story, we rarely put anyone in the room close to the apartment unless the place was booked (which was rare, maybe 6 to 8 times a year). Four bedrooms & two bathrooms were upstairs, accessible by two staircases while the living room, kitchen, dining room & back office were downstairs adjacent to the lobby.
It started with hearing someone walking upstairs. It didn’t take long to realize it was happening when no one was upstairs and no one was in an upstairs room anywhere near the apartment. Not only did we all hear it when we were downstairs, we also heard the footsteps when we were sleeping upstairs. We would hear the footsteps in the hallway & they would start from the furthest point of the upstairs hallway & then stop outside the bedroom door. Ok, at the time it was a strange anomaly that we couldn’t explain but nothing more than that. It kept happening about every other day/night. Then one night we were all in the living room watching something on tv. It was around the time of the OJ Simpson trial so it may have been that. We’re all facing the tv next to the fireplace & behind the couch was the back stairs which included a landing. Moms dog would smile at people when he saw them for the first time and he suddenly he sat up from where he was sitting, stared at the stairway, wagged his tail and smiled while looking at the staircase landing. We all turned… nothing was there. It was beyond creepy considering the footsteps.
All of that continued & we all began to get the feeling that whatever was there was not friendly. I, personally, felt something that just felt evil any time I heard the footsteps. Things didn’t move, nothing was missing it just felt like a “presence“.
One night my husband & I were sleeping upstairs when, in the middle of the night, I happened to be awake & I heard it walking in the hallway. I was facing the wall where the door was & I heard the footsteps walk from the hall … to the bedroom door & into the bedroom. It walked from the door, past the foot of the bed and right behind me. The sounds were unmistakable as was that feeling you get when someone walks up behind you. I quickly roll over to face the sound/feeling/whatever it was & everything just stopped. The footsteps ended, the feeling of someone else in the room… everything stopped. That was the moment that challenged my belief system.
It never got better or worse. Eventually the owner, our friend, sold the property to one of the large corporations for the room rights. They demolished the motel & added the number of rooms to an existing property. (Welcome to more of the ‘Keep Tahoe Blue’ movement than just the bumper sticker) I would love to have brought a paranormal team there to explain or disprove anything but it wasn’t to be. Now there was something else that was odd. Back then small motels would put room rates on their signs. Mom & Dad had no control over the owners decision on room rates but that didn’t stop a privately owned property across & up the road from them from complaining directly to them about advertising a lower rate than them, or something like that. They explained that they were simply doing what the owner asked & they were welcome to contact him. Next thing they knew a bucket of fish heads appeared at the back door. Frankly, we all laughed about it & the idiots never did it again.
I still don’t believe in ghosts. The house I spent more time in than any other was built using bricks reclaimed from the death row area of San Quentin. We’ve found interesting markings on some of the bricks & neither we, the original owner or the new owner has ever experienced anything in that house. The closest I’ve ever come, since that motel, is this photo I took in the ghost town of Bodie. It was over a year after I had rendered the image to sepia… that’s all I did to it in photoshop, when I used it as my Facebook profile picture & my daughter asked if I had photoshopped in the ghost. I asked her what the hell she was talking about and when it was pointed out to me… I couldn’t unsee it. 😳 You tell me if you can spot what my daughter finally saw.