Archive for October, 2009

Sometimes Just One Word Can Mean A Lot

Posted in Current Events, Everyday Life on October 29th, 2009 and tagged , , , ,

Like in a newspaper’s picture caption.  Many locals make fun of our county’s newspaper; pointing out miscellaneous typos, erroneous information and errors, but today’s typo in the following picture caption is kind of a big oopsie:

The line for the H1N1 virus snakes through the parking lot at the County Fairgrounds
Wednesday afternoon.

Obviously our county does not have people lining up to get the H1N1 virus; the replacement word here in case you’ve fallen asleep is vaccineThe line for the H1N1 vaccine snakes through…
Now that would be one nasty small-town rumor!

Quack Doctors – Take Two

Posted in Everyday Life on October 28th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , ,

Just a little update to let you know my mouth is finally feeling better and yesterday I was able to indulge in food and got to actually enjoy the feeling of being full for the first time in an entire week.  No thanks to our local doctors, though, my husband made me some sort of concoction from stuff we had around the house that I swished around in my mouth.  I don’t know if it was coincidence or if that’s what finally did the trick, but all I have to say to the doctor’s $300 mouthwash is HMPF! And it should be noted that we went to the doctor’s office again yesterday and sat there for an hour and half waiting for the doctor whom they said was out to lunch.  I didn’t want to pay to be seen again, but I wanted him to change my prescription to something that would help me and that I could afford.  Finally tired of waiting, we left with the nurse’s promise that she would call me as soon as he got back from lunch, but they never even bothered to call until this morning when I was finally feeling better.  Rude isn’t even the word for this, I was in agony!  And all that after 3 different nurses and Walmart told us like 5 different ways they could help me, none of which turned out to be true.  As my husband put it, it seems like at this medical  center, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing!  Kind of sounds like another local organization we’ve worked with, but that’s another blog…

I’m a bit concerned that this canker sore problem is something that I might have to deal with from now on in my old age.  Even though we think this latest canker sore outbreak was caused by hand, foot, and mouth disease, the doctor shrugged off our internet diagnosis since it’s so rare in adults.  So if he’s right and it was just canker sores, it might be something that I’ll have to deal with every once in a while, especially since it seems to be a hereditary problem!  Let’s hope not – my family can’t handle the stress of anyone else being sick!

On a side note, please pray for my little nephew who was admitted last night into the hospital with croup.  I’m praying that he gets well and that  it’s not H1N1 and that none of the other kids he was playing with (his brother and my kids!) last weekend get it.  I’m really really hoping we can dodge some bullets this flu season since there are six of us, thus six open doors for viruses to come into our household.  But for now, we’re hanging tough (groan!) and ready to party this Halloween weekend.  Don’t worry – I plan on getting the house scrubbed down for all of you coming to the Halloween party!  Can’t wait!

Freedom And Jeff

Posted in animals, Fun Forwards on October 26th, 2009 and tagged , , , , ,

I received another touching email forward, and I have to admit that I snopes-ed it because it sounded so fake.  It’s the story of Freedom the eagle and her friend Jeff – here is their story:

Freedom and I have been together 10 years this summer.
She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken
wings. Her left wing doesn’t open all the way
even after surgery, it was broken in 4
places.   She’s my
baby.
When Freedom came in she could not stand
and both wings were broken. She was
emaciated and covered in lice. We made the
decision to give her a chance at life, so I took
her to the vets office.   From then
on, I was always around her. We had her in a
huge dog carrier with the top off,  and it
was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to
lay in.  I used to sit and talk to her,
urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay
there looking at me with those big brown eyes.
We also had to tube feed her for
weeks.
This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still
couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the
decision was made to euthanize her if she
couldn’t stand in a week. You know you don’t
want to cross that line between torture and
rehab, and it looked like death was
winning.   She was going to be put
down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in
on that Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want to go
to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t
bear the thought of her being euthanized;
but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone
was grinning from ear to ear.  I went
immediately back to her cage; and there she was,
standing on her own, a big beautiful
eagle.  She was ready to live.  I was
just about in tears by then.   That
was a very good day.
We knew she could never fly,  so the director
asked me to glove train her. I got her used to
the glove, and then to jesses,  and we
started doing education programs for schools in
western  Washington.   We wound up in the newspapers,
radio (believe it or not) and some
TV.   Miracle Pets even did a show
about us.

delete freedom
In the spring of 2000,  I was diagnosed with
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  I had stage 3,
which is not good (one major organ plus
everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of
chemo.   Lost the hair – the whole
bit.   I missed a lot of work. When I
felt good enough,   I would go to Sarvey
and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would
also come to me in my dreams and help me fight
the cancer. This happened time and time
again.
Fast forward to November 2000, the day after
Thanksgiving.   I went in for my last
checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not
all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last
option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they
did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for
the results.  I went in Monday, and I was
told that all the cancer was
gone.
So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and
take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty
and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her
up, and we went out front to the top of the
hill.   I hadn’t said a word to
Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me
and wrapped both her wings around me to where I
could feel them pressing in on my back
(I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she
touched my nose with her beak and stared into my
eyes, and we just stood there like
that for I don’t know how long.  That was a
magic moment.  We have been soul mates ever
since she came in.  This is a very special
bird.
On a side note:   I have had people who
were sick come up to us when we are out, and
Freedom has some kind of hold on
them.   I once had a guy who was
terminal come up to us and I let him hold
her.  His knees just about buckled and he
swore he could feel her power coarse through his
body. I have so many stories like
that.
I never forget the honor I have of being so close
to such a magnificent spirit as
Freedom.
Hope
you  enjoy this.
Jeff

Awww, that eagle sounds so sweet!  So how did we get stuck with this big red jerk?

Squawky begins bath

Quack Doctors

Posted in Everyday Life on October 26th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

I know I promised to stop whining about my sore mouth, but it’s amazing how little focus I have for other things when I’m not eating – all I can think about is pain and food, but sometimes I think about food and pain.  The good news is that today when I woke up, the pain was loads less than yesterday.  Today marks the first day of improvement since this thing began last Tuesday.  But there is also bad news.

Even though I was feeling better, I decided to go to the doctor because this is totally and completely interfering with my daily life.  I can’t really talk, and it’s really hard to chat with, guide, or discipline my kids throughout the day without being able to talk loudly.  I can’t eat, and I can’t drink without pain, so my energy level is very low.  So the bad news?  The doctor told me it was canker sores after only looking at my tongue.  He prescribed me “Meyer’s Magic Mouthwash”, a concoction listed on a piece of paper unlike any prescription I’ve ever seen.  It looked like a cooking recipe, and my name was scribbled on top and the doctor’s on the bottom.  I should have taken a picture of it, but I was so anxious to get it filled.  The pharmacist used a word that I can’t recall at the moment, but she basically meant that they were going to have to brew it up like a potion.  It was going to take a few hours, at least.

I got through the day, made it back over to pick up the medicine where I learned that it would be $308 and insurance wouldn’t cover it of course.  Needless to say, I am not going to buy $300 mouthwash!  I’m angry that the doctor shrugged off the internet diagnosis without so much as a look or a test for hand, foot, and mouth disease.  I’m mad that he didn’t give me anything for the pain and that the medicine he did give me costs so much.  What a waste of time and money.  I had better things to do today than to sit at the doctor’s office – and who knows what else I picked up.

That reminds me, when I was at Walmart today stocking up on my favorite meal as of late, Equate shakes, I saw a lady wearing a medical mask.  I wonder if she was trying to keep something to herself or trying to keep other viruses away?  I wonder if mask-wearing will become more common as this swine flu business becomes even more serious?

In The Eleventh Hour, Evil Intentions In The Basement Of The Dead

Posted in Travel on October 25th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As you may have read in my previous post, we took a trip to Illinois to visit with  family and also tour the area’s haunted houses.  Well, I’m done whining about my painful mouth, so  here’s a run-down of the fun parts:

Got to visit with lots of family in the short time we were there.  We had nice visits with one of my husband’s father’s only living blood relatives, his niece Lilly.  Lilly is a really sweet person who  has been going through a few tough life experiences lately.  We don’t get to see her often, so it was great to see her on  Saturday.  We hope to be able to get her out to Ohio for a visit soon!  We stopped by my mother-in-law’s house where we also got to see my husband’s sister and her family.  Our kids had a ball playing with each other; there are 7 of them altogether!  After that, we also got to see where my Grandpa moved; it’s a very nice place with a cute little main street area for visiting, complete with ice cream shop.  We discussed the Chicago Bears (no comment as of the game’s unfortunate status right now in the 2nd quarter – poor hubby!) with my grandpa and told my grandparents of things like the kids’ awesome grades at school.  Afterward, we had a really great 40th wedding anniversary for my parents at my sister’s house.  The kids had such a great time that they  refused to leave – literally.  My sister’s family had to literally lock out my kids, which was slightly embarrassing, but mostly just a humorous result of their incredible come down from their awesomely fun weekend – also known as a fun-down.

The family stuff was Saturday, so Friday night we were lucky enough to be joined by 4 friends (3 all the way from Ohio!) for some haunted house fun!  We went all over the ‘burbs, with a goal to complete a huge square if you plotted our stops on a map.  Because of an hour-long line in a cramped basement tunnel in Elgin, we did not make it to the Aurora stop, but we cajoled my mom (even though it was her anniversary party) into watching all 6 kids on Saturday so we (along with fellow tangenteer derek who made the drive south for the second consecutive night) could go to the haunted house with my sister and her husband, who hadn’t been to a haunted house in probably about a decade – FUN!  Here is a run-down / rating of the Illinois haunted houses –  haven’t made it to any Ohio ones this year, don’t know that there will be time for that!

Haunted Mansion and Asylum 13 – Bolingbrook IL – Saving the best for last would mean the worst is first, right?  This haunted house was definitely the worst of the lot.  It had lots of actors, not much else.  Average costumes, not much scenery, blasting music not relevant to the theme of the haunted house…  the only noteworthy and the most enjoyable part of the entire thing were the live chickens in the ‘crazy hicks’ scene.  Seeing Drew Peterson’s house in Bolingbrook might have been creepier.  Grade: C-

Eleventh Hour – Elk Grove Village IL – This haunted house is located at Berthold’s, a family-owned plant nursery and is actually  4 attractions in one.  The corn maze is small but succeeded in losing us, even if for a short time.  The haunted house was actually a string of 3, but it wasn’t really clear when one ended and another began.  Eleventh Hour had some really cool haunted house concepts, along with the obligatory chainsaw guy and spinning tunnel to walk through.  The scenery was REALLY cool, complete with (SPOILER ALERT!!!) moving staircase and refrigerator door that both actually became passages to walk through!  And, they had a live zombie band performing in a separate room while we viewed them through little windows –  now that is something I haven’t seen in a haunted house before.  A very cool haunted house, and without all the same old tiresome gore.  Prize moment when an extremely creepy little girl made my husband scream like a…  well, that seems like a mean thing to say about a guy who’s been doing nothing but wonderful things to help out during my illness.  It was hilarious, that’s all I’m going to say.  Grade: B+

Evil Intentions – Elgin IL – This one also had a few very unique fright concepts, but they really need to work on the wait time –  we waiting in a dingy narrow basement hallway for over an hour!  After that, they separated our group of 3 guys and 3 girls into individuals and put us each into a casket!  Mary and I  lucked out and got to share one since there were 6 in our group and only 5 caskets, but it was still terrifying knowing that they were probably going to do something sudden and scary to us in the casket.  SPOILER ALERT!  They pretended to show us a movie on a screen in the casket, but the screen went to colored bars and made the high-pitched beeping noise, which was creepy, but that’s all that happened.  They really should have lengthened the movie or banged on the casket or something, anything.  This, like a few of the other concepts in this haunted house, really needs to be better developed in order to heighten the fear factor.    You take a bunch of people and put them in a haunted house with only 5 caskets for them to queue thru, and of course you’re going to have a huge long wait to get in.  The makeup in here was average, there seemed to be a relatively low number of actors (all of whom seemed to have the same mannerism of getting right up in your face – how many times can that be scary?), and I would consider the scenery downright bare – they definitely could have highlighted the building’s casket company history in the scenery as well as they did in their marketing.  The guide ghouls are particularly fond of separating the groups of patrons, especially isolating the women from their men, a concept I sort of hated and also really enjoyed at the same time – it was weird.  If I factor in the wait time for this one, you don’t want to know the rating, so we’ll just pretend I’m rating this as if I walked right in like I did in the previous two rated houses.  Grade (not including wait time): C+/B- (hard to forget that awful wait time!)

Basement of the Dead – Aurora IL – Because we had to wait an hour for Elgin on Friday night, this one had closed and we didn’t make it.  But as I said earlier, my mom, dad, and uncle graciously agreed to watch the little ones so  that us sisters, hubbies, and a friend could venture to downtown Aurora – a frightening experience in itself, haha.  Seeing the line outside was daunting, and one character said the wait would be at least an hour.  We were about to leave since my brother-in-law had just come off a double work shift and hadn’t slept in 36 hours, when intrigued by the totally awesome looking makeup on the characters wandering outside, my husband inquired about the wait time at the ticket window.  We took the gamble, and it paid off when we were admitted after only about 15 minutes.  During our stay in line, we were entertained by a few of the haunted house escapees; including a super-tall, slow moving dude who had a habit of very creepily and slowly inhaling the scents of patrons of his choosing.  The guy’s build kind of reminded me of an Ohio friend, but I won’t mention who, even though I know he’s not a reader of my blog.  There was a KISS rocker meets clown guy who succeeded at making his makeup and mannerisms really creepy also, and a blank face guy (a nylon stocking on his face, I would guess?), and a guy who moved quickly through the bushes on all fours, kind of like an ape.  When it was our turn to go in, the scary clown slob manning the door burped and blew it in my face which was not scary, just stupid and rude, and if I get his H1N1, I will consider a lawsuit.  Kidding, but it was still gross.  He made me go first into the haunted house.  Whatever, I would just let my husband ahead of me when we got in the door anyway, except that when I got in the haunted house, they shut the door on me and someone came running up and told me to go through it alone.  I flat out refused – I’m not going to PAY to do something I don’t want to do, and they reluctantly let in the rest of our group.  Sorry I foiled their plan, but I would not enjoy the experience alone; that’s not really my thing.  It was fun to see my sister and her husband in the haunted house since they hadn’t been in one in years, but we quickly lost them in the dark mazes and didn’t bother trying to find them.  We figured they wanted to hang back and enjoy the startles they would get if they weren’t so close to us.  When  we got back outside, we waited and waited, but two groups emerged before the rest of our group, and when they came out, my sister was white as a ghost.  Hilarious, and I  think they had fun – most people can benefit from venturing into a haunted house once in awhile, especially parents who can go without their kids – it’s nice to just have only yourself to worry about for a little bit 🙂  The makeup in this one was stellar, best I’ve ever seen.  Scenery was good, if a little dark for my taste since it was difficult to see some of the blood and guts.  Also a few good animatronics and lots of blood and gore, which was actually a a change of pace from the others we’ve seen this year.  Grade: A

Outbreak

Posted in Everyday Life, Travel on October 25th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The flu season is upon us, and it’s obvious.  In our family, we are teetering between two outbreaks of illness.  Last week, it was hand, foot, and mouth disease (not to be confused with its fear-provoking counterpart, foot and mouth disease, which is only found in animals).  The kids had little bumps on their hands, and a general feeling of being unwell, known as malaise as I learned on the internet.  This is an extremely common (in children anyway) viral illness that usually runs its course in most kids.  When my mouth erupted in sores last week (it’s like having 10-20 large canker sores at the same time), I was shocked because it’s supposed to be very rare in adults.  We contacted 3 different health professionals to make sure that our trip to Illinois could go on as scheduled, and they all assured us that if there was no fever, we were not contagious.  We ventured across the state of Indiana, and I don’t know if I was more fearful of what we were bringing with us or what we were going to take home, what with the many recent flus reported in Illinois and elsewhere, H1N1 and otherwise.

More on the really great parts of the trip in the next blog post – I need to get this out of my system so to speak, haha – a sick post and a fun post.  So for the sick part…

My husband woke up today feeling awful – the flu.  My morning started pretty much like the past 2 or 3 mornings now  – tremendous pain in my mouth, worse than the day before.  One of my favorite things about visiting the Chicago area is the food – despite the city’s drawbacks: the aggravating traffic, the inflated prices, CROWDS; Chicagoans do have a talent for their intolerance of crappy Sysco food – ie, Chicago food is fantastic!  Last week, anticipating our upcoming trip, I remember thinking that it was only Wednesday, surely my mouth would heal by Friday so I could indulge in some of my favorite Chicago treats.  But alas, Thursday’s pain was worse than Wednesday’s, and Friday’s was worse than Thursday’s.  Actually, as I said before, it’s gotten worse every day since it started.  Somehow, I was miraculously able to enjoy my Italian beef sandwich Friday night, but pain-wise things just went downhill from there.  We had a wonderful  breakfast at the Uptown Cafe in Arlington Heights, quite possibly the best breakfast restaurant in the country.  They have the best eggs benedict I’ve ever had, but unfortunately I came very close to sinfully wasting my eggs benedict when I  could not eat them (let alone carry on a conversation with relatives) without my eyes watering from  the pain in my mouth.  My little boy saved me from wasting half my order ( I knew I should have gotten soup or at least a half order of eggs benedict, but I literally could not resist – we get to this place less than once a year!) – but my toddler ate half my eggs benedict – he is his father’s son!

The weekend ended with my sister making us wonderful homemade lasagna, of which I had about 5 small very painful bites.  I did not try any of the appetizers, the steamed vegetables, the salad, the garlic bread, or any of the desserts 🙁
I also did not get my usual crave case of White Castle cheeseburgers to bring back to Ohio, although generous relatives supplied us with some Chicago beef for sandwiches, homemade soup and Grammy’s out-of-this-world homemade spaghetti sauce, all frozen and ready to be thawed as soon  as I’m better!  Talk about something to look forward to!!!

We ventured home at 2 am this morning, and arrived safely, however painful (and tiresome for my husband) the ride home.  And a special thank you to Officer Friendly of the Ohio State Patrol, who did not issue even a warning for my husband’s “hovering around 60 in a 55.”  I’m glad he seemed to take the 4 sleeping kids and the grumpy wife in the passenger seat into consideration – this police stop was completed very quickly and only blocks from our house.

This morning I awoke in a lot of pain, and it’s gotten worse throughout the day.  I think if it continues its trend and gets even worse tomorrow, I’m going to have my husband call the doctor to make an appointment.  I am so thankful that my kids seem to be over it, and as horrible as it’s been for me, I’m still happy I got the most of it in the family.  I  pray for my husband, and I’m really nervous about swine flu, but he seems to be feeling better, unless he’s just putting on a braver face than I.  This illness for me has been characterized by bouts of severe pain sandwiched between constant regular pain.  In the past hour, twice that I’ve talked brought on  the most severe bouts of pain and was enough to make me start typing on the computer and making my husband read it in order to communicate.  Whatever works, it’s amazing how easily the threat of tremendous pain can train a person to keep her mouth closed (like Pavlov’s dog).  My husband joked that it’s the “shut-up disease”.  That brought a smile; it doesn’t hurt to smile – just the talking, eating, drinking, and sleeping.  And that reminds me, being in constant pain has made me an insomniac.  I couldn’t sleep in Illinois at our hotel and ended up listening to an hour-long Larry King interview with Suzanne Somers – even that did not put me to sleep.  Did you know that Suzanne Somers never actually had cancer even though 4 different doctors told her to get her affairs in order because they had mis-diagnosed her?  That’s a tangent that doesn’t need to be taken…

Well, anyway, that’s enough from me for now.  Sorry about the rambling, but this really sucks, and typing is my voice right now.  Hubby is watching the Bears game, so it’d just be rude of me to constantly interrupt by making him read my ramblings.  I wish I could take care of my husband while he’s sick, but for now we’re helping each other.  Let’s really hope this gets better – if I have to go to the doctor, I can’t tell them what’s wrong with me because I can’t talk, and I don’t really want to bring my family with me to the doctor’s – who knows what else we could get?!?  I guess I’d have to write a note, but I feel kind of silly…

A real Halloween horror treat tonight would be for us to watch the movie Outbreak –  now that’s just TOO scary!!!

At least we have a good part of a week to whip these things and get ready for fun Halloween activities abound next weekend!  Super-fun blog post about the awesome parts of the  Illinois trip – including haunted house ratings! –  to follow this depressing post, I promise!

Switching Planets

Posted in hobbies on October 21st, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This year, I’ve decided to join my local  MOPs group (Mothers Of Preschoolers).  We’ve only had two meetings, but so far, I really like it.  At this last meeting, we had a video speaker who discussed the move between “Planet Me” and “Planet Mom”.  It was discussed how important it is for moms to maintain some of their personality traits and hobbies, even though time might be lacking.  After all, as the video pointed out, the word “Mommy” sounds like “Mom” and “me” put together.  After the video, one of the discussion questions was “What are some of the activities you gave up when you moved from Planet Me to Planet Mom?”  Most of the women at my table agreed that we can no longer do our crafts, but we didn’t really have time to be more specific.  The crafts I used to enjoy before I really lost the time for them were oil painting and Legos.  True, I don’t really have a natural artistic knack, but I would get those paint-by-number kits (back when they were a little bit higher quality than they seem to be nowadays); I would complete them and they’d turn out so pretty that I’d hate to have to tell people that I painted-by-number.

Another thing I enjoyed before I had kids was sorting and building with my extensive Lego collection I amassed over the years.  It took just one curious toddler to make me abort that hobby, and the Legos got packed away years ago when my oldest began to toddle.  Little pieces are the most fun part of the collection, and we couldn’t risk her putting those little pieces into her mouth or who-knows-where-else.  So I packed away the Legos, and somehow the entire collection followed me  throughout our moves around the midwest and resides with me today, albeit packed away in the basement.  There hasn’t been a shortage (blessfully) of little ones in our house for the past 10 years, so the Legos probably won’t see the light of day for at least a few more years – gotta wait until the little dude is old enough to play rather than destroy or get hurt with them.  So let it be known that I miss my Legos, but I am thankful to still have them and even to be adding to the collection whenever I can catch a cool set on a great sale – usually after Christmas.  Many empty-nesters turn their kids’ bedrooms into something of their choosing when the kids grow up and move away, like a gym, an office, or a rec room, but I already have plans for a Lego studio, where I hope to one day be able to build super-cool things like this:

delete lego house

I’d also like to build a replica of my house as well as a local historic building:

delete courthouse

Now that would be cool, but very difficult.  But if I had more time, the sky is the limit!  My favorite sets are house or city-themed sets, and I also really like vintage Lego sets.  Does anyone remember Fabuland?  It was a series of more colorful Lego sets that featured animals as characters rather than the popular and better known Lego “mini-figs”.

Just because I don’t have the room now to be able to spread out and work with my Lego collection, doesn’t mean that I can’t look at cool things other people have built online, especially now that I’ve officially and publicly declared myself a dork on my blog!

Help Me Find…

Posted in animals on October 19th, 2009 and tagged , , ,

A while ago, I came across an extremely cool website – it was an alphabetical list of animals and which zoos in the world had the species on display.  My computer since crashed, launching my previous list of bookmarked sites into a cyberspace void.  I’ve been trying to find this site again lately, but to no avail.  I know some fellow tangenteers are good at doing research and also like a good challenging hunt.  The prize?  Getting to use the list to locate the zoo of any animal species you wish 😉

Oh yeah – and you win my thank you.

That’s A WHAT?

Posted in animals on October 19th, 2009 and tagged , , ,

We visited our local zoo this weekend (to feed my zoo addiction, it had been awhile), and when I  got home, as usual, I decided to research some of the animals we observed.  As I was researching these animals on the internet, I came across some ultra-cute baby animal pics, and I thought I might make a fun game on my blog of having people guess which animal is what type of baby – HAVE FUN!  Don’t worry about posting your guesses – other people can just ignore them or use them as hints if they get stuck.

delete baby p

delete baby_liger

delete baby beaver

delete baby parakeetHere is an added picture of the same type of animal, a little older – per a request in the comments for a better picture:delete baby keet

delete baby tort

delete peachick

The Halloween Haunting Of Munger Road

Posted in holidays on October 18th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

Ok, so who had a haunted house in their neighborhood when they were a kid?  For us, it was a haunted road located in a Chicago suburb about 15 minutes away from ours.  Actually, my group of friends were from a few different area high schools, and we  had all heard of Munger Road from kids at our schools.  Back in the ’90’s when such haunted tales were spun that made us actually want to visit, the road was a deceptively secluded partial dirt side street that ran through a forest preserve and connected two main thoroughfares.  At night, the road was dark, isolated, and spooky.  There were many rumors about the incidents that took place on Munger, but here is the basic story:  There was a little house right next to the railroad tracks.  The ghost story said that the man who lived in the house was mowing his lawn when he was hit by a train.  I can’t remember if the train supposedly derailed or if the man got too close or what happened, but his ghost was said to haunt this area, along with ghost trains.

It was a fun place for our group to check out while we were in high school, and we did note some strange happenings.  We would see mysterious headlights that would disappear (there was no place for a car to turn off the road!).  My friends had a police scanner in their car, aka, a fuzzbuster, and the thing would go berserk down Munger.  Because it was a dirt road, our cars would come out very dusty, but once there were distinct handprints on the trunk.  Now as an adult, I can think of scientific explanations for this, but at the time, it was scary!  There was also the time a cop came out of nowhere (we had been up and down the road several times and didn’t see him), pulled us over, but he was really nice about it and sent us on our way.  I found it odd at the time because we had about seven teenagers stuffed into my friend’s teeny little hatchback car, and the police officer didn’t even say anything about it, much less write us seatbelt tickets.  For months afterward, we would tell the story and call him ‘the Scooby Doo cop’.

In recent years, I’ve heard that the house has been torn down, and I wonder if kids still go there.  Unfortunately, there has been at least one homicide around the area of Munger Road, which adds a whole new element to the fright.  During our haunted house tour in Illinois the other weekend, we drove within yards of Munger, but we didn’t stop – we wanted to see haunted house attractions!  Besides, I don’t even know if the area has the same sort of spooky appeal it had over a decade ago now…

I’ve found a little bit about Munger on the internet, including these stories, but I have yet to add my own.  Maybe next time we’re in town we’ll drive by, just to see how the area has changed and what has become of Munger…

So it’s finally Halloween, time to share your own ghost story, or tales of rumored haunts near where you grew up.  Add them to the comments section below, and have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!