Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ghost Story Tuesday


After a week full of chicken pox, roseola, a double ear infection, fevers, an abscessed tooth, dramatic reactions to insect bites, and arguably a severe case of the worst-looking hair EVER, things seem to be settling down.

I probably just jinxed myself.

In any case, it is Ghost Story Tuesday, and I just so happen to have a story for you.

Rachel, a dear friend, has recently returned to work after a long absence, and having her around is a blessing. She and I have much in common, and the fact that she’s a sensitive as well made us fast friends. Most visits with her turned naturally into sessions – we ended up talking to her dead relatives as much as we talked to each other. She’s given me permission to talk about one such time.

It was July, and Rachel had been visiting my house. I offered to drive her home, and it was on that drive that I had the pleasure of meeting her Aunt Kelly. It was dark, and swelteringly hot. We blasted the Cranberries and sung at the top of our lungs. After a while, though, we became quiet. Both of us sensed a change in the car. Rachel said that she felt like someone was with us, and I readily agreed. I began to see flashes of an accident…a truck on a road very similar to the one we were driving on…and the death of a relative of Rachel’s; a woman.

The car windows fogged up.

Rachel instantly knew it was her Aunt Kelly, who had died tragically in a truck accident. She talked about her for a bit. I felt there was something else about the accident, something that affected her family. She said that, sadly, her uncle Terry had been the one to find the accident, and his sister.

When a ghost is trying to tell you something, and you get it, you get a feeling…an affirmation. When she told me about her uncle finding her aunt, I got that feeling. How horrible. How incredibly tragic. Rachel went on to say that her uncle had told the family, and then disappeared for days.

He’s never been the same since.

We both felt that Aunt Kelly had a message, and that it was for Rachel’s Mom. I encouraged her to talk to her Mom and report to me later, we hugged goodbye and we parted then…I to drive home in silence and she to continue the journey home to talk to her mother.

Today, Rachel retold the rest of the story to refresh my memory (I talk to lots o’ ghosts, y’all) – the rest of the story is hers.

When she arrived home, she stood in the kitchen with her mother and told her what had happened on the way home. Her mother was amazed. Rachel said, “You’ll know when she’s with you because you’ll feel tingles, or chills.” Instantly, her mother doubled over with the force of what she was feeling. She said that she felt it in overpowering waves. The kitchen windows fogged up instantly, and the room went very cold. Despite this, both Rachel and her mother broke out in a sweat.

Something beautiful happened then. Rachel was able to communicate with her Aunt for her mother. The messages to her mother were clear:

Be strong.

Don’t worry about Mom; Dad and I are taking care of her.

I love you both.

And then, she was gone.

I know I’ve told you this before, but when you’ve done something like this for someone who’s passed on, they give you something in return: an amazing, overwhelming feeling of peace and gratitude. Rachel felt this gift as her Aunt said goodbye.

Things like this happen all the time. BUT do you know what else happens? It’s not always like on TV…sometimes, ghosts are just there. For no reason, really. Sometimes, they’re just hanging out. Stopping in to say “Hi. I’m still here.” But those times when something meaningful happens…those times are why I’m thankful for this gift.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

It's Good To Be Able To Laugh At Oneself

"...the serum coats the hair fiber and tames frizz for long lasting, silky smooth and super shiny hair."

This is me after 45 minutes with a straightening iron and increasingly shocking amounts of frizz-free hair serum:

I don't think I have to tell you the valuable lesson I have learned here today.


Either that bottle of hair serum is broken, or my hair is...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Wow I'm All Over The Place In This One. It's The Fever. Or The Attunement. Or The Fatigue...

Darling Liam has added a double ear infection to the fun around here. Woo! And I had a slight fever this morning, but it seems to have been taken care of with some tylenol. I'm home with the ill ones today, and am pleased to report that Aidan hasn't had any new pox since Wednesday.

Let me tell you what I did last night. Last night, two dear friends gave me a priceless gift: they did my level 1 and level 2 attunement in Reiki. It was...well, I can't really describe it. It was a gift. And I'm so excited to be able to practice now, and enhance my remote reading and healing skills.


I am excited.

I haven't quite come to grips with this different type of energy work, but as I do, I'll write more about it. In the meantime, THANK YOU, Kelly and Kathy. You are wonderful souls, and I'm so blessed to know you! You are also excellent teachers. Didn't last night just feel...right? Again, thank you. I love you both!

I hope you all have wonderful Fridays and fun weekends, too.

Before I go, I must say Happy Birthday to my Dad.

I love you, Dad.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

I hope you're not mad that I...uh...swore at you. Haha. It's funny! Humorous! I did it because I love you. I wanted to get your attention. Did it work?

I love you.

Happy weekend, all.

ps: Caleb's dentist thought I was Caleb's SISTER! Sister! I felt quite giddy for a while after that.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Weather Report

Good morning!

My name is Tree and I'll be your friendly weather reporter today!

Today I am on location in Eakinsville, Quebec to bring you an exclusive report. It seems the weather in this area has gone from calm and sunny to, well, nasty, in record time!

Let's first take a look at the big news, here. There is a medium-sized weather system wreaking havoc all over Eakinsville. We've named this storm "Aidan." Beware! Aidan can be deceivingly quiet one minute, and then reigning terror the next. Aidan is easily identifiable - it's what we call a "Spotty Storm." That's right, this storm is covered from top to bottom in red spots, and if it comes in contact with you, you may be, too! Here's a recent photo of this dangerous weather system:

Ooooh, frightening! Observe the crazy pyjama-top hat! Clearly, this storm is not only covered in spots, but verging on the insane! Do not despair, though, weather-watchers! This spotty system should be back to regular, calm breezes in less than a week, according to local forecasts.

Now let's take a look at what we're calling the "Viral Pressure System." While this smaller system was developing, it was widely accepted that it was simply a smaller version of Aidan, our "Spotty Storm," however we have since learned that appearances can be deceiving. It seems that the few small red spots in this particular system are, in fact, insect-bite related. Why, then, does this system, affectionately referred to as "Liam", continue to exhibit temperatures up to 104.1 degrees? Upon examination by the local Pediatric Weather Expert, it was determined that this is, indeed, a different system entirely from Aidan. As you can imagine, weather-watchers, this creates a potentially dangerous situation. This means that, should these systems collide, there could be cross-contamination, and a whole new type of storm, with both itchy spots, and extremely high temperatures could be created.

Don't let this recent photo of the "Viral Pressure System" fool is beautiful, but can be destructive!

Lastly, let's take a look at the largest storm, characterized by it's excessive loudness and speed. This storm, dubbed "Hurricane Caleb," may be the loudest, but it is the least threatening as far as infecting the weather around it. "Caleb" is currently displaying a swollen area in the upper left quadrant, thought to be caused by an abscess, which the local Hurricane Dental Expert will attempt to conquer this afternoon. This should be an exciting event, considering the loudness abilities of this particular storm! Earplug employment is highly recommended!

This just in! The most recent sightings of "Caleb" are consistently reporting a new swelling! This time, it is located in the extreme upper right quadrant and is an angry shade of red! The loudness! It is intensifying! Consultations with the same Pediatric Weather Expert who diagnosed tiny "Liam" have resulted in the following diagnosis: "extreme reaction to insect infiltration." Again, non-threatening to local weather systems. Impressive to view, however! Just take a look, weather-watchers!

Impressive, no? The sheer size of it!

The other two local weather systems, dubbed "Jim" and "Tree" are non-threatening, however the three systems discussed today are indeed causing some worry regarding their ability to continue the work that they do to support Eakinsville. In fact, if the more destructive systems continue to wreak havoc, "Jim" and "Tree" will probably lose their jobs as the overseeing systems and become pathetic and weak and unable to sustain the smaller systems.

Well! Let's take a look at the long-range forecast!

Based on past events, we are predicting that "Aidan" will become infected with "Liam's" high temperatures, at which point it will become a more volatile type of system, erupting at various intervals. This should take place over the next week. Simultaneously, "Liam" is predicted to become detrimentally affected by "Aidan's" itchy spots, which is predicted to happen sometime within the next month.

The overseeing systems will be required to quit their current jobs and move into a hut where they will grow their own vegetables and make their own clothes out of potato sacks.

"Caleb" will have to have extensive weather-dental work and will be fine.

But still very loud.

Have a fantastic day, weather-watchers! And just to ensure that you do, take my advice, and DON'T visit Eakinsville!

This is Tree, signing off.

Monday, May 22, 2006


A pox is upon us.

Chicken, that is. Aidan, he's got the pox. And frankly, this one more thing has made everything just a bit...too much.
So! The experiment, as it were, is officially on hold.
I'm sorry.


Oh! But just so you know, it was anxiety today. Thought it'd be easier to transmit something I was feeling strongly. Ha ha!

Incidentally, can anyone tell my why the heck Caleb's cheek is swollen up? And him gums are all red? Could a cavity do that? No worries, Jim'll bring him to the dentist tomorrow, whilst I tend to the ill one...and the baby, who has two small, red spots on his face and neck tonight.

Send love, ok? Hey! Now you're sending emotions! Funny how the world works, n'est ce pas?

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Okay here's the dealio.

Remote group members:


I'll be sending you all an email tonight. Tomorrow's our first day, and I'll be projecting an emotion between 1:00pm and 1:30pm EASTERN. I'm nervous about this; I've been practicing with Jim and WOW, does it take a lot of effort. Projecting to five different people is going to be a challenge!

Thanks to everyone who wanted to participate! I was so pleased at the response!

So, to those I've listed above: I don't expect you to do anything during the "projection period" except be vigilant about what you're feeling. I'll ask that you record your answers to the following questions, and send them to me:

1) Am I experiencing any emotions that I wasn't before?
2) Am I experiencing any unusual sensations? Am I seeing images or colors, hearing any sounds...anything out of the ordinary?

That's it! So, while you don't have to do much, there are a couple of things I'll ask you NOT to do: if you try to project anything to me, I'll have a really hard time getting through to you. Yep, speaking from experience. Also, if you try to hard, even if you're trying to help, you may miss the emotion. Just be observant, and record what you feel. Shazam.

The in-person group consists of my husband, Jim, sister Jen, brother Jeff, freind Kelly and freind Jodi, and I'll be projecting emotions in person, if possible. Jodi and Kelly, I won't see you tomorrow, so I'll project remotely. Jodi, please email me (I don't have your home email). Kels, I'll email you tomorrow to let you know when I'll be projecting. Oh, and can you let your Mom know about the time tomorrow?

I think that's it...

How's your weekend so far? Hmmm?

Next Time, I'll Just Offer One Thing

Me: Aidan, would you like apple sauce or cheese for your snack?

Aidan: Both!

Me: No, it's too close to lunch; you'd get too full.

Aidan: But I like to get too full...

Me: (giggling) Well I think for now you can just choose one or the other, okay?

Aidan: Okay...I'll have one, then!

Me: One? Uh, the apple sauce?

Aidan: No! I'll have the other!

Me: Cheese?

Aidan: NO! The apple sauce! One, Mom!

Hoo boy.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thank God For Love

Her name is Elaine, and she is beautiful.

When I was a little girl, life at home was…challenging. That, coupled with the fact that I seemed to be seeing things that others weren’t made me anxious most of the time. My grandmother knew how to take it all away. When we’d visit her, she’d take my face in her hands and look into my eyes. Those few moments were just for me. My aunts and uncle, brother and sister, parents, and cousins would be everywhere – talking, laughing, whatever – but for me, all that existed were Grammy’s eyes. And her soft hands, warm on my cheeks. I know sometimes she’d say something; I love you, How are you, Look how much you’ve grown…but she didn’t really have to.

My Grammy’s eyes.

My Grammy’s hands.

I watched her do that to my cousins, too. To my aunts, to my father. Each time was just for them, and each time, she poured love into those few moments. And you could see how much it meant to every person she touched.

When I was twelve, I still couldn’t swim. I was terrified…just part of my anxiety. Of my catastrophic thinking. One night in Maine, she and I lazily drifted around my cousin’s pool. I was chattering on to her about everything and nothing, and remarked that she could swim really well. Somehow, some way, she took all my fear away that night. Somehow, I came out of that pool able to do a clumsy breaststroke. Able to dunk my entire self underwater. Like it was no big deal. She didn’t coerce, or bribe, or force. She smiled. She encouraged. She laughed. She made me WANT to do it. For her. And somehow, I ended up doing it for me. She is magic that way.

My Grammy.

When she was very young, she got sick. Scarlet fever, I think. But the strength in her…that amazing, visible strength carried her through. Her heart, ravaged by the illness, has suffered over the years. She’s needed operations and valve replacements. I remember visiting the family in P.E.I. one summer, watching her swim, being in awe of her strength. In awe of that constant smile on her face. The last time I had seen her, she had been in a hospital bed after a heart operation.

I cannot say in words just how this woman has inspired me in my life. I love her as her granddaughter. I admire her as a human. Every person has a hero. My Grammy is mine.

She is 82. Her name is Elaine. She is beautiful.

She has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She’s going to be okay. No matter what, she’s going to be okay.

And if she has anything to say about it, the rest of us will be, too.

She is so, so beautiful.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Experiment Details (WOO!)

For those of you interested in my little experiment, here are the details! If you’re not interested (huh? Seriously, this is just too cool. And interesting! How could you NOT be interested? The mind boggles), just skip this one.

Okay! This is exciting. Here’s how it’ll work:
There will be two control groups: a remote group and an in-person group, each consisting of five people. The third group will be random strangers, and the results will be observed only. I’ll observe both physical reaction and reaction in the energy field.

I decided to go with three groups to see if there is a difference in the intensity of the perceived emotions. As I’ve changed things up a bit, would those of you who said in the comments that you’d like to be part of the group please let me know if you still want to participate! A couple of you have indicated that you’d like only good emotions projected. While I’ll concentrate on positive emotions, I will be mixing in a bit of negative, too. However, I am going to be keeping the projection period very short each time, and I’ll make sure to clear you afterwards. Remember, I want to be able to post your comments and/or reactions, but I’ll certainly change your name online if you wish. If you’d still like to participate, just email me. And if you weren’t one of the original five who volunteered, feel free to email me anyway; I may need some backups!

I’ll run the experiment over five days, beginning Monday, May 22, 2006. Before that day, I will write down my intended projected emotions for the week. Every day during the experiment, I will announce the time frame for the volunteers to expect me to send them something the next day. The volunteers are expected to do nothing during this time period except to document how they are feeling, and to note anything out of the ordinary that happens (like seeing certain colors or images, or feeling any physical sensations). I’m going to vary the amount of time that I’ll be projecting the emotion, as well, just to see if that has an effect.

After the five days are up, I’ll send out a questionnaire to each of the participants, and then document the results here. This is so cool.

There are challenges:
Will my emotions affect the outcome?
Will the emotions already present in each of the volunteers hinder their ability to receive the projected emotion?
What if the emotion I send out is only felt later in the day? What if it takes longer to “process” remotely? What if they don’t feel it until the next day?
What if the perceived emotion is interpreted as something differently than how I’ve labelled it?

I think this is an imperfect experiment, to say the least. But it’s a good start! And fun!

Now here are my questions for you:

1) Should I, before the experiment begins, announce here the intended emotions to be projected? I wouldn’t specify the day, of course.
2) If so, I’d like to hear what YOU’D like me to project. Nothing too negative (though I think anger or fear would be ok, as I’ll use one of the shorter time-periods for those).

As soon as my control groups are finalized, I’ll post names and the final details.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ghost Story Tuesday

Energy is everywhere. In everything, in everyone. We are energy.

Energies meld together and flow, or get stuck and stagnant. When I’m bored, I look at people. I observe their energy and how it interacts with energies around me, and that tells me about the person.

The bus was an excellent time to observe. When people get on the bus, they are often closed off; they are surrounded by energy, but don’t let it in. They don’t look at their fellow travellers in the eye. They are quiet. Then someone gets on the bus. A homeless man, or a teenager listening to headphones. Someone free and uninhibited…and they affect all of the energies around them. You wouldn’t know it to look at the faces of the people, but they are affected. The flow changes. Mostly, people are annoyed at being disturbed. Sometimes, I see that someone is excited about the change, and watching to see what will happen next…reaching out. I feel connected to these people.

Do you feel that change? When you’re on the bus, or in a crowded room…and someone comes in…the feel of the place changes. The energy changes. Have you ever been on an elevator, staring diligently at the floor, and someone comes on and you know you know that person before you even look up? Have you been at a party , waiting for someone to arrive, and you know exactly when they enter the house?

Do you know someone who is incredibly charismatic? Who is persuasive, outgoing, and has great gut instincts? These people are most likely connecting with the energies around them very well. They have the power to manipulate and to change, and can use it for their own purposes or to help others. They can smooth a situation, or they can make it blow up.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about energy a lot, and how people use it every day in ways they don’t even realize. I’ve been thinking about how amazing it would be to train myself to manipulate energy to affect people positively, without even having to look at them or talk to them. But what’s crossing the line? Is it bad to change the energy of an argument so it goes my way? People do it all the time, just not purposefully. What if I want to get a deal on something I’m buying. Can I use energy to persuade? Can I use it to change thinking? To teach?

Last week, the whole family was in the car, driving to breakfast. I was lost thoughts like the ones I’ve described above. Thinking I should test it. Wondering if I could make someone feel love. I changed my energy, worked on it until I felt it radiating off me. Jim grabbed my hand and I came out of the trance-like state I was in.


He gazed at me, a dopey smile on his face.


I don’t know. I just…love you…so much!


I told him later on about why that made me smile for so long afterward. He said that he had just had such an overwhelming wave of love for me that he had had to tell me. Then I told him I was wondering if I could give off sexual energy like that, too.

He asked me to kindly not experiment with that one while I was at work. And quite astutely pointed out that there’d be no point in testing it on him, either, considering his constant state of horniness.

I’m sorry. How brash. But I’ve got to report honestly, here!

But it’s made me think. Did Jim have that reaction because he already has love for me? Would this work on a stranger? Is it dangerous to try?

Maybe I’ll stick to something more benign. I could try making people feel giddily happy. Yes. The experiment will commence today!

Hypothesis: That I can use my energy to affect the mood of people. Specifically, that I can make them happier during a specified time period.

Yeesh. How will I know that? Maybe I’ll have to work with a control group. One that gives me ongoing feedback. Then I could have another group of random strangers, whose reactions I would simply observe. Oooh this is going to be fun.

Any suggestions? Any volunteers for the control group? Hey, everybody wants to be happy, right?

Monday, May 15, 2006

All Good Things...

Life is crazy. Wonderful. Crazy.

Several years ago, my brother came to me and told me that something had been bothering him. Something…someone…not of this world. My sister, Jen, and I had always been very open about our gifts. We had always shared a room, so often our experiences merged and ran together. We always talked about it. But Jeff was quiet. When he came to me and told be about this problem that was bothering him so, I was thrilled. Finally, finally, Jeff speaks!

So Jen, Jeff and I gathered in their crowded apartment kitchen, lit some candles, and for the first time, used our gifts together. It was a life-changing experience. We confronted Jeff’s tormentors (who really just wanted to tell their story), and met some other spirits that night. We discovered that Jeff had some other entities with him, who remain a mystery to this day. We just felt that they believe he owes them something.

After that first night, we began an online forum, where people could write about their experiences or ask us for help. We called ourselves Trinity, and we were very good together. We never charged people; we just got together, opened up, and had fun. We helped people find lost items, contacted loved ones who had passed on, and did readings both remotely and in person. Our gifts complimented each other…we were similar, but different.

We got the occasional donation, or were treated to dinner, but for the most part, were in it to learn. Then, things changed. I had two young children (Aidan was just a baby) and full-time work to keep me very busy, and Jen became pregnant with Gage. Trinity slowed down and eventually fizzled out…but the contacts I made are a blessing to this day, and the things we all learned are priceless. Once in a while, we talk about resurrecting our little group. Someday.

I kept doing energy work and readings on my own, and a dear friend of mine convinced me that I needed to realize the value of the work that I do, and start charging. She was right. The time and effort it took was proof alone. I began making money doing what I loved. It was amazing. It was gratifying! I taught energy classes and did readings several times a week.

When I became pregnant with Liam, I knew bed rest wasn’t far behind. For the most part, I stopped using my gifts except to concentrate inward – on my baby and my self. Once Liam was born, I was very quickly ready to continue working with my gifts but no longer had the outlet I had enjoyed before. So, when I started blogging about my family, and these talents that I have became a part of that, I was thrilled at the interest!

These past months have been wonderful for me. I’ve been able to meet so many people, and help so many, too. I learned so much. I’ve gained confidence. I’ve become better at what I do. So, to all of you who’ve read my words on Ghost Story Tuesdays and commented, or emailed…to all of you who’ve asked for readings and given me feedback…and to all of you who remain sceptical but still ask questions…thank you.

Thank you!

I’m going to keep doing readings and energy work. But now I’m also working full-time, and life has consequentially become incredibly full. I do readings nearly every night, and on weekends. For that reason, I cannot keep doing this work free of charge. I will not put a price on what I do. I’ll accept payment according to how you feel the reading went. If you can’t pay me with money, I’ll gladly accept something else that has value to you – maybe you’re crafty. Or maybe you have your own business and want to exchange something that you do…we’ll work it out. And to those of you having ongoing sessions with me right now, don’t worry, you’re still going to get your sessions free of charge. To those of you who simply cannot pay: we'll work that out, too.

I hope that makes sense. I really, really hope it’s fair. And hey, if you don’t want to pay for a reading, you can always read about them for free!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

For Cancerbaby

Some would say I did not know you

I read your words
Profound, inspirational, beautiful
I laughed

There were tears, too
Couldn’t help but feel your pain

You were dying
From the first time I found you

Sometimes you felt better
Stopped dying for a little while

Before it all
You so much wanted a baby
Wanted your own little life to raise
Ached for a small being to share with
To love, to live for
Would have given anything for it.
Oh, that child who never was
The one you dreamed of and loved so fiercely
Would have been the luckiest child
On earth

But cancer ate that dream
Stole it all away from you and from the man you loved

Still, you dreamed
You fought and raged against it
True hero

Your friend
Started writing in your stead

The silence
Ominous, telling, undeniable
We knew

We prayed
Thought, meditated, cried
For you

You died
Somehow, you’re gone forever from us
And I never saw your face

But I know
You were beautiful
And I love you

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Day In The Life

5am. The youngest member of the household, the fair and hungry Liam, greets the thin bands of sunlight just beginning to filter through his blinds with a perfectly executed high "C". Simultaneously impressed with her son's perfect pitch and disgruntled at being so shockingly aroused from a deep, dreamless sleep, Tree jabs her husband (who is either deaf or pretending to be deaf) in the ribs.

The day starts the same each morning, and unfailingly accelerates with impressive vigour as the six members of the household shower, dress, eat breakfast, and prepare for school, daycare, and/or work. By the time 7am hits, the cacophony of noise has achieved ear-splitting proportions.

In those two hours between wakening and piling unceremoniously into the car, this family barely has a moment to breathe. Somehow, though...somehow they manage to sneak in a few hugs and kisses, several I love you's and a generous helping of laughter.

Faces may not be spotless, homework may be forgotten on the kitchen table, and milk may remain puddled on the floor, but these people leave with something more important than those small details: they leave with security. With love. With connection.

Until they pile through the door again, each person's day is separate from the other's. But somehow, they remain connected.

Evenings are just as crazy. Dinner is prepared and consumed, messes are cleaned up (or, more often, swept to the side), homework is tackled, visiting friends of the children's are entertained or turned away with the promise of a future playdate. Baths are given, stories are read, teeth are brushed...and if all goes well, the adults of the household are treated to a couple of hours of time to themselves. Time which is often occupied with the preparation of lunches, the folding of laundry, and the loading of the dishwasher.

If this daily routine isn't enough, imagine the unexpected events which further exacerbate an already very busy existence for this family. The daycare worker complains of chest pains and spends a day in the hospital. The car threatens to break down. The guy from Weed Man shows up for an appointment which has been completely forgotten by Jim and Tree. Caleb needs to go to baseball practice. Jeff and Jim have a baseball game. Tree, who moonlights as a psychic medium, has a reading to do.

And somebody is always sick...or needs to go to the dentist...or needs new shoes.

And every night after supper, Tree picks up her flute and plays every song she knows. Liam sits at her feet, swaying to the music, his face upturned, smiling.

Caleb constructs nonsensical jokes, and coincidentally makes everyone laugh.

Aidan dances for the baby to get him to stop crying. If his efforts are unsuccessful, he offers him his soother, or gives him crackers, or kisses him lightly on the cheek, patting his head gently.

Jim grabs Tree and holds her tightly, saying "I love you so much" so many times a day, but it always feels like the first time.

Jeff sits down with Caleb and helps him with his homework. Then he teaches him something that isn't in his books. About the universe. About stars. About how wonderful it feels to learn.

And at the end of the day, when exhausted heads meet welcoming pillows, and quiet fills the house, the chaos is all so, so worth it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ghost Story Tuesday

I love going up into attics. They’re like forgotten memory containers. Dark, quiet secret-keepers. They hold stories of people’s lives. When you spend a lot of time talking to the dead, attics are an excellent accessory to confirming information because of what they hold.
They hold things that belonged to those who left us years ago. They hold forgotten things. And, they hold mystery.

I love mystery.

Jenn was an excellent person to read for. She was open, unfailingly excited, and her house had ghosts. Doing a remote read was fun. She’s written about it a few times, and being the information-seeking sponge that she is, she did a whole bunch of research on the people that lived in her house before her, and her findings have been amazing. It’s very rare for me to get such detailed feedback on a reading, and so exciting to have so much of what I said make sense. It’s almost – magical – to be able to match those I’ve described to the history of people.

So you can imagine what it was like to be able to visit the house I had read remotely. It was mind-blowingly cool. Jenn, an excellent hostess (and ravishingly beautiful to boot!), took me through the house, and I was able to feel presences both familiar and new to me. I was overwhelmed with the energy in her upstairs bathroom, and showed here where there was a presence. The next day, Jenn told me that she had remembered that that was where she and David had found a breathing apparatus shut inside the wall.

By the time Jenn and I reached the entrance to her attic, we were nearly giddy with the excitement of it all. Together, we climbed up the ladder, and entered the small, dark room that sat atop her happy house, and, in whispered exclamations, began to respectfully delve into memories left behind.

There were five boxes stuffed full of puzzles. On the back of each box were records – lists, really. There were dates (1970s), records of whether any pieces were missing, and a mathematical formula on each puzzle. We figured that the puzzle-doer (puzzler?) was keeping track of each time he did the puzzle, and how long it took him.

There was a box of wallpaper, and we discovered that the large plank of wood we were sitting on (in order to prevent falling through the floor, Money-Pit fashion) was an ancient door, probably from the original building of the house.

We gently passed an old megaphone back and forth, wondering aloud about its’ owner. Still, I felt we were missing something…that we hadn’t found what we were meant to find.
Crouching there, balanced on that old door, I peered beneath the makeshift table that held old boxes and other various attic accoutrements…and there saw…a trunk.

“There’s a trunk!” I exclaimed in excited whispery tones.

“A what?” Jenn’s whispers were equally excited.

Together, we pulled the trunk out and marvelled over it. It was obviously very old, and hand-made.

“Is it okay to open it?” Jenn asked.

Touching the trunk, I knew that this was what we were supposed to find.

“Yes,” I said.

Together, we lifted the lid, and in the darkness, peered inside while our eyes fought to adjust.
“Looks empty,” I said, but I knew I was looking at something. With trepidation, I reached inside. Fleeting visions of dead animals and ancient, rotting body parts filled my mind. It was awesome.

What I pulled out was a jacket, some hand-knit, fingerless mittens (what the heck do you call those, anyway?), and newspaper dating from 1927. We were thrilled. As we examined our finds and theorized about who they could have belonged to, a feeling began to take over me, and I remembered the reading I’d done for Jenn.

We were quiet for a minute.

Then Jenn began to tell me about a trip she had made to a local graveyard. She had been searching for Mr. Pipe and Mrs. Kitchen, and beside them she found a young boy, who had died of pneumonia. That feeling I was getting got stronger. Somebody needed us to tell the story of that boy. As I held that jacket, I knew that somebody needed us to tell it. out loud. So, together, we did. I told her what I had seen about the boy during that first read, and what I was seeing then, and she filled it in with what she had learned.

When I do medium work, and an entity wants something from me, and I fulfill that need, they give me a reward. Those who have felt it know that it’s the most wonderful feeling…I get such a rush of gratitude and release. It fills me up.

When we were done talking about that boy, that feeling washed over me.

“We’ve done something really good,” I said, and brushed a tear away.

Jenn just smiled.

You know what? I still don’t know who it was. I don’t know who that jacket belonged to, and I don’t know how he was related to that boy who died. He didn’t need me to know. He wanted us to know the story of the boy. I did feel that in life, this man was sort of an outcast. His presence was gone from the house after our trip to the attic. He’s happy.

After all of that adventure, all of that exploration and discovery…after everything that happened that day with those magnificent, welcoming spirits, I realized something. Yes, that was all incredible stuff. But the best part? The best part was returning downstairs to our husbands and children - being with Jenn and her family – those beautiful earthly beings with whom I (and my family) shared apple cottage cheese pancakes and laughter.

The dead can teach us so much…

…about life.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Kids Are Funny

We're at Pizza Hut for family night and Caleb is drawing feverishly on the back of his placemat.

Caleb: Look, Mom! It's Electricity Man!

Me: Wow, that's awesome! I like all the little lightening bolts.

Caleb draws again, pursing his lips together ferociously.

Caleb: Look, Mom! It's Lava Man!

Me: Good job!

He smiles proudly.

Me: Hey! Why don't you draw a woman?

Caleb: Huh? No way!

Me: Why? Woman can have cool powers, too!

Caleb: (rolling his eyes) Okaaay.

He draws again, with noticeably less fervour.

Caleb: Look, Mom, it's WOMAN MAN!

Why do I try?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ah, The Things You See At Work...

Strange stranger
Sits alone
In a government building walkway
Gazing at the passers-by

He’s there most days

Not to notice
The hunger of the man
Each time he’s there, he eats

And invites you to comment

Carefully displayed
Are his choices of food du jour
A two-litre bottle of cheap soda
And a large bag of chips

Those are always there

Some days
There is a box of snack cakes
A club pack of puddings
Mega pack of rosettes

He works his way through them

Across from him
A convenience store
Whose workers report that he desires

He’s told them so

So hungry
He eats and eats
Desperately trying to meet the eyes of onlookers
Who smirk and giggle

And miss the hunger in his eyes

I wonder
Where he is
When he’s not here
Trying to stuff food into that emptiness

Who does he eat with at home?

He hopes
Someone will talk to him
Acknowledge him
Ask him why he does it


Strange stranger
So well known
Clogging his arteries for our viewing pleasure

Drinking soda from champagne flutes

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ghost Story...Wednesday?

Oh my gawd. Today is Wednesday. That means yesterday was Tuesday. And I didn’t do a ghost story.
Uh, oops?
And now I’m at work and feeling completely un-ghost-story-like. So what shall I do for you?
I can tell you I love you for all the sweet words yesterday. Oh, the comfort you bring me! So, thanks for that.
Oh! I can tell you that Liam had a much-improved day yesterday. Relief. I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest as we approached the daycare, but when I saw that Liam was swinging quite merrily in the baby swing and not flopped lethargically in the caregiver’s arms, I felt such enormous relief that I could have happily ended my day right there. I truly felt like lying down in the sand and just going to sleep.
What? You want a ghost story, you say?
Yes. I suppose I do owe you a ghost story. Let me think.
Something short.
Oh! When we were in Massachusetts, I woke up in the middle of our first night at the hotel and instantly knew there was someone standing at the foot of the bed. Sort of to the right. A man. A large, curious man. So I acknowledged him and told him I was incredibly tired and needed sleep. Then I went back to sleep.
The end.

ps: I love you!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Back At Work

Five Good Things About Returning To Work:
-Adult conversation is nice!
-You pretty much have to look half-decent, so shopping is a must!
-You get scheduled breaks.
-You get to eat lunch, like, EVERY DAY!
-If you have to pee, you can go to the bathroom without a young child or two (or three) accompanying you.

Five Not-So-Good Things About Returning To Work:
-The thing about having to look half-decent.
-Being too exhausted at the end of the day to play with your kids.
-Picking your kids up from daycare and learning that the baby has had a fever all day and has been sleeping all day and puked all over the caregiver just before you got there.
-Taking your baby to daycare the next morning because you have to go to work. And he still has a fever. And doesn’t feel good. And needs his Mommy.
And cries piteously as you hand him over and walk out the door.
Arms outstretched, tears streaming down his cheeks.
-The whole thing where your heart breaks into a billion pieces as you get into the car and drive away.


Monday, May 01, 2006


On Friday night, I had the pleasure of attending the opening performance of Like Home, written by the beautiful and talented Jennifer Mattern, and expertly directed by her charming husband, David Lane. Having read much of Jenn’s work, I expected it to be good. My expectations were far exceeded.

It is impossible not to connect with each of the characters in the play – sometimes they’re obnoxious, sometimes they’re enlightening…they made me laugh and touched my heart. And it’s no wonder that the audience can relate to each of these characters. They are skilfully portrayed by the Main Street Stage company, many of whom are blood-related, and all of whom are friends.

The six characters in the story are all searching for something, and the audience is taken on the journey which is sometimes heartbreaking, often beautiful, and always real.

Jenn’s fabulous sense of humour is blatantly apparent throughout the play, and the hilarious parts of the story (just try not to laugh when Jose recites his first poem. I challenge you!) perfectly balance out the emotional parts. In my book, it takes pure talent to simultaneously make someone pee their pants laughing and make them think deep thoughts. Similarly, Jenn has somehow managed the daunting task of capturing the beauty in tragedy. The subtle messages this story teaches don’t feel like lessons…they feel like personal discoveries.
Even those who aren’t looking for the deeper meanings of this story will come away thoroughly satisfied. The frequent laughs and seamless storyline put the audience at ease and make them hungry for more.

For me, the greatest part of the night (besides being able to meet the playwright and director in person) was being able to walk away with the feeling that, though the characters in this play lost so much, they did end up each finding “home.” It just wasn’t where they thought it would be.
If you can get to North Adams, Massachusetts, get to this play. It’s so worth it.