Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween- Happy Anniversary

I got married on Halloween in 1987. So today I wanted to share a wedding picture....yes I wore black.

When we lived in Ohio we had a fabulous bunch of friends that we had great Halloween parties with every year. The USS Lagrange...a local star trek club was filled with great people with fun and crazy ideas.

Mike and I and Lynn Miller...The Skipper, Casper and Joan "no wire hangers Crawford...

We were Mortitia and Gomez one year and Steve Stein, (the guy with Mike when he went as The Skipper )was probably an astronaut.

Oh and one of the shots for us for our infamous "We're the staff of LagrangeCon! How May we help You" photo shoot.

Our anniversary will be pretty quiet this year. Just a dinner out.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Season of the Ghost- A White Ball of Fluff

In one of my Earlier stories I told you about Great Grandpa Albert. He wasn't the only ghost in MJ's Grandmother's house.

His Grandmother kept several cats and I'd see their ghosts on occasion. A cat ghost is just a delicate wisp and just flutters by you like a cool breeze.

One little wisp used to hang around with me when I was sharing MJ's studio in one of the upstairs bedrooms. She was a quick little ball of fluff and my impression of her was that she had been a little white cat with dark patches. I'd often catch a glimpse of her zipping ahead of me on the stairs as I headed for the studio.

Quite often I'd feel a cool patch next to my paint palette. She liked sitting on the work table next to me and watching me work.

I only saw little Fluff completely motionless once. I entered the studio and there she was sitting on the table waiting for me. The house was converted into offices when it was sold and I often wonder if anyone there has a little wisp of a companion who sits beside them and watches them work.

This photo is one MJ took of one of our rescues, Kirby. Unfortunately Kirby became ill and couldn't be saved. I haven't seen him around the house yet, but who knows? :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Season of the Ghost- Ghosts of Infinite Sweetness

The gentlest ghosts I've ever run into have to be the animal spirits I've dealt with over the years.

The woods behind the house I lived in as a little girl was magical. In the summer it was densely green with moss, fat old leafy trees, may flowers and lush patches of purple violets. I used to go and pick bunches of violets almost every day.

On these little forays, I would often see these tiny little white wisps of something. When they'd zip past me barely touching my skin, I'd think of running up a tree and the roughness of bark; digging in the earth or curling up with a bunch of other tiny warm bodies and going to sleep. Sometimes I'd be a hunter stalking my food and eating it. Those violent images scared me at first, but I did know not everything could live by just eating berries and I came to understand the hunter spirits.

When I was around 7, I felt I was going to be so much braver than last summer start going further into the woods than the area just behind our house. Well, I picked my usual bunch of violets and started back in the direction I thought would take me back home. I was so wrong.

The trees and plants got more tangled and dense and the sun was barely visible through the canopy of trees. I panicked and started to cry. Suddenly I felt a light touch on my arm. I turned and saw one of my little wisps. It was one of my hunter sprits. I followed it over a fallen tree trunk, through a dense area of tall grass and May flowers. The trees started to thin and I could see the sun again. Looking carefully I could see a few wisps floating near an opening that lead to the edge of the wood. I had come out on the opposite side of the woods near my friend Vicky's house. I just had to go up the street in front of her house, cut through the high school's football practice field and I was just a short ways from a road that would take me to my street.

I ran all the way thanking my little wispy friends as I headed home.

The photos are ones MJ took of 2 of my rescue cats. Spats is the black cat and the other is Max Perkins.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Season of the Ghost- The Man in the Window

When I started dating MJ way back in 1983, he was living in his Grandma's house. She had died recently, so he and his brother were acting as caretakers.

This was an interesting old place. Albert, MJ's Great Grandfather, had built this house and the one next to it. It was 2 stories and huge. It had a big kitchen that opened up to a room with a fire place and from there, that room led to a short breezeway with small paned windows that looked
out onto the front yard. At the end of this breezeway was a shop where MJ's Grandfather had had his saw saw sharpening business.

One late afternoon MJ and I arrived at the house and parked in front of the breezeway windows. As we got out I looked up and saw an elderly man peering out at me. Since I knew MJ and his brother were the only ones living there, I was a bit startled for a second. I paused and MJ asked me what was wrong. I replied that I was fine...we'd only been dating a week or 2 and wasn't ready to have the I see ghosts regularly talk yet.

Well, I kept my eyes open, got closer to MJ and as we were getting more serious I told him about some of my ghostly encounters. I decided to wait on discussing the elderly ghost until I had done a little more investigating. In the old saw shop area, all kinds of family papers and pictures had been stored. There was a beautiful old velvet covered photo album with a lovely photo of MJ's Paternal Great Grandma and a bunch of pictures no one in the family could identify. So, my quiet search for the id of the man in the window continued.

One night we parked in our usual spot and the elderly man appeared in his window. He started like fog and solidified. I casually asked MJ if there was a white haired man that worked with his Grandfather in the saw shop. MJ replied that his Granddad worked alone. "Well then who is the old white haired guy peering out the middle window?" Before I could tell him that I was just seeing a ghost, MJ rushed in through the breezeway door and found no one.

We had a long talk and I described the ghost's white hair, large nose and red and brown plaid flannel shirt. MJ went upstairs and rummaged around forever. Finally he came down with a small stretched canvas. "I painted this when I was a kid, " he said and turned the canvas so I could see it.... a Jr high art style portrait of a white haired man with a large nose wearing a brown and red plaid flannel shirt. "He was my Great Grandfather Albert. He's the guy who built this house. When he was alive, what is now the old saw shop was his apartment."

MJ never saw Grandpa Albert, but felt cold spots in the shop when I would see him looking out of the window. He never responded to me when I tried to speak to him and no one else ever saw him. Even after Mike's Dad sold the house, sometimes I'd see Albert looking out his window when we'd drive by the house. To this day, I wonder if he's still watching and who he's waiting for.

Here's another spooky MJ illustration to dress up my post.:)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Season of the Ghost- Dead Babies in a Burning Car

Yeah, I know weird, nasty title. The phrase is one I learned from an old boyfriend who was a photojournalist. He had a professor who felt this was one of the ultimate photo ops for a photojournalist. I use the phrase when I see something really horrific happen. And sometimes I can just be a w/bitch.

Well, today I have a sad little story. And yes, this one deals with another Ouija board. MJ and I were at a friend's house for pizza and a video. Maggie, Bob and their roommate, Alex were all telling gruesome stories. Bob always seemed to like to try to upset me or gross me out the point of nausea. Maggie seemed to like to pick at me and make feel less than human. But I put up with the crap cause MJ was friends with Alex and Bob. The negativity of the house's energy didn't help either. Negative people seem to collect negative spirits.

We got talking about ghosts, psychics etc and I related the Flaming Gary story. Maggie insisted on us trying out her Ouija board. I was in no mood, but I was annoyed enough with the whole miserable evening to agree....the environment had some bad vibes and the idea of scaring Bob and Maggie was appealing. .....Hey, I'm human, okay?

So the board came out and we started off. It wouldn't work unless I had a fingertip on the planchette. We had a few spirits that answered a few yes or no questions, but one kept showing up and it had a message for Shelly.

Maggie wanted to stop then, but the ghost or whatever was determined. It wanted to talk to Bob...well Bob was not happy and Maggie was pissed. Apparently Bob had had a relationship with this chick, Shelly, before he met Maggie and fathered a kid. Supposedly this ghost was the baby. Bob and Maggie were the only 2 people present who knew bout the abortion. Needless to say I got what I wanted.... Neither of them picked at me for quite sometime.

As to the entity being an aborted baby, I don't believe it, but entities/energies already in the house playing with 2 nasty people....yes. I think one of them took pity on me or I just finally used my own psychic abilities to protect myself.

Yep, this is another of MJ's illustrations. After this incident, Witchy Woman was my nickname. :)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Season of the Ghost- The Ouija Board and Flaming Gary

When I was around 11, one of the neighbor kids, Susan, showed up with a Ouija board instead of the Monopoly game she said she was getting. She explained how we all needed to put a finger on the planchette and ask questions.

Well, you could tell Sue was moving the planchette. So we weren't impressed. Everybody took a turn and the planchette never moved a millimeter.

Now, I had been seeing ghosts since my Grandma Bartlett died when I was 7, so this doodad board wasn't impressing me too much. It couldn't compare with getting a last hug from Grandma or the little white floating spirits I saw in the woods behind our house.

I took my turn and wouldn't you know that planchette zipped around like it was electrified. The man who wanted to talk to me was named Gary and he was really excited to talk to me and wanted me to do him a favor. I was supposed to go get some matches and bring them out to the yard where we were all sitting.

He explained that he and his brother were killed in a house fire in a house that once stood near we were playing .....

Suddenly the planchette jumped and slid violently off the board. We all freaked and got up off the blanket we'd been sitting on. Everybody dared me to try the board again. I figured a ghost couldn't really hurt me and I did get dared.... so I plopped back down.

The planchette started moving again and this time I was talking to Ian. According to him, Gary started the fire that killed just him. I got this uneasy feeling that someone was behind me and jumped up. After that I lost interest in the ouija board, but Gary still seemed to be following me around. I thought I saw him a few times in the woods behind our house. I had a couple of dreams where I saw a man running from a burning house and through the windows.....saw a man fall into the fire.

From that experience, I learned not all spirits were good and that needed to not listen to the bad ones. Also, being dead doesn't always give the ghost any more knowledge than when he or she was alive.

As an adult I've thought about when this fire could have taken place, what were Gary's motives in wanting me to get matches and if he affected any other kids? I probably still wonder about this ghost because during that year a couple of kids I knew died in house fires.

The house had tiny little paned windows and seemed to be in wooded area. The men seemed to be in old fashioned shirts and suspenders with knee high boots.
My guess is that the fire took place during the 19th century because the area seemed so undeveloped and the style of house and the tiny panes of glass reminded me of windows I'd seen in the historic homes at Hale Farm and Village. I've always thought about contacting the Tallmadge Historical Society to see if there were any records that might tell me about those 2 brothers.

Here's Andy Corn to make you laugh after my creepy story.:)

These illustrations are also done by my husband, MJBivouac

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Season of the Ghost- Ghost Manager Walking

My oddest ghost story is from when I worked as the store manager of the Simi Valley Salvation Army thrift store.

The store was made up of 2 sections. One was the main floor with a back room and loading dock. The main floor connected with a small room we used for the used books, records and vintage clothing. This room originally had 3 steps down from the main floor.

Just before I took over the floor of this little specialty room was raised to match the level of the main floor. It was interesting that the new floor had an odd bounce to it.

Anyway, one night after closing I was doing a walk through on the main floor. I was making a to do list for the next day and as I approached the middle of the main floor I could hear hangers being slid in the specialty room.
I thought...oops a record guy or a retro chick didn't hear me call closing. I called out,"Excuse me, but we're closed." As I watched,a woman in a floral dress with her dark hair pulled back in a bun started walking towards me through the doorway.

The only thing was...she was walking knee deep in the floor. As she got closer to me she faded away. Obviously she only knew the original floor with the 3 steps down in that back room.

Now, I've seen ghosts since I was little so I wasn't scared, but I was curious to find out who this lady was.

My asst. manager at the time was a long time Simi resident and was a regular shopper at the thrift store even before she got hired to work in the store. So I went to Betty the next day and asked her.

I found out the ghost was probably a previous manager named Juanita who worked there 10-12 yrs before I became manager. I described her right down to the flowered dresses she always wore.

After that first meeting, I never saw her again, but if I heard hangers moving around on the racks when I was alone in the store, I just called out a greeting to Juanita and the noise would stop.

The beautiful Halloween illustrations were created by my husband MJ Bivouac. Thanks, Mike.:)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halloween is coming...

Halloween is my favorite holiday. This year we're adding a line of custom aceos to our shop . Whether you want a cute little alien or maybe a sexy bride of Frankenstein or a mummy or even old Franky himself.... just stop on by Le Chat Noir and order a card and MJ will create a wonderful little work of Halloween art just for you.