Whisps, Ghosts and the young Ninja Padawan

My young padawan Chatterbox has been on a mission to sneak up on me to scare the living daylights out of. So far it has been a total fail.

I don’t scare easily. I use to be a school bus driver…I have nerves of steel.

This mission started a few weeks back when I came home from running errands. Chatterbox was just home from school and assumed I was upstairs studying. She heard a noise from the back door and immediately became scared. I walked into the hall and said “Hey! How was your day?”

She was making a run for the front door because she thought I was a burglar. Chatterbox flipped around and fell on the floor in a heap, gasping for breath. I had given her the fright of her life. I love that feeling. Apparently, she does not.

When I was young and regularly skipped school with my brother (Hi Mom!!!) we were deciding if this one particular day if we were going to skip school. The house was empty because my parents had already left for work, and ME being the responsible child, was to make sure my brother and I left for school on time. We were standing at the front door without our shoes on when we heard my dad cough.

The hair on the back of my neck to up and I tentatively asked my brother if he heard that. His eyes were the size of saucers. I called out nervously, “Dad???” The house was silent. My heart started racing. If it wasn’t dad then who was it? Sounded like the perfect day for me to go to school. So my brother and I grabbed our shoes and ran in sock feet all the way to school (we lived 3 house away). I can tell you that was one of the most frightening moments of my life. My heart was in my throat.

The next time I recall being that scared I was travelling through Europe with the ex, who I lovingly refer to as Idiot Stick. We were camping in York. Earlier in the evening, we had gone on a ghost walk through the streets and back alleys of Olde York. Creepy doesn’t even begin to describe our host. The end of the 3 hour tour lead us to a dark back alley that smelled dank. Our host thanked us and warned us to be careful finding our way back because the streets were not safe at night for tourists. HA! – Creepy host, you can’t scare me. I know this is a line you always use. I am WISE to your tactics!

Well… It was dark and I was thinking about some of the stories he told. I am a big believer in ghosts, spirits and the supernatural. My mind was racing by the time we made it back to the campsite..in the little pup tent…in the dark… with no camp light… and wind… and stupid owls…

Idiot Stick went for a shower and I was getting some gear out of the boot of the car (trunk for those of you who are not as international as me). Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted what I thought to be a blue bag rolling towards me. When I looked at it head on, I realized it was not a bag because it was transparent. Then I figured it was a reflection so I waved my hand trying to refract the light. It kept coming towards me. It then stopped, turned and rolled through my tent.

HOLY HELL! What was that thing? (I have since learned they are common sightings called Whisps) Whisps are known to lead travelers to a save place. IT WENT IN MY TENT! I went in my car. I was too scared to go anywhere near my tent. Idiot Stick returned, I told him the story and he proceeded to laugh at me. I crawled into the tent and laid there WIDE AWAKE until sunrise. I promptly sat up and packed up the tent – which is shocking for anyone who knows me. I enjoy a long lie in when camping. Something about the warm sun on the tent making me feel all cozy until it is too hot and I seek the cooler air outside. Well, I didn’t even wait for breakfast. I packed the car and said I was leaving with or without him. I drove far away from York as fast as I possibly could. I have NEVER been that scared since.

Not even when I saw a Blue Lady standing at the end of my bed in Scotland – yes I was scared. Yes I felt her touch my feet. Yes I slept in the car that night. But by then, I was use to Great Britan scaring the crap out of me and I started to like having the scared heart pounding feelings.

Chatterbox needs to work on her scaring skills if she thinks I will get a fright from her. Now that Halloween is coming, maybe I will go on a ghost walk in Old Strathcona or come upon another Whisp that will scare the living daylights out of me. But until then…she has work to do.

On the Playground with Scarecrow

Every Monday I write for the Scarecrow Festival in support of ABC Head Start. Today’s post can be seen here .

Come take a peak and visit often! Maybe learn a thing or two about preschoolers and yourself! Today’s offering is about the games I played as a child on the playground and how you can thank a Teacher for knowing how to do it!

Think about your life and all the teacher’s you have had. From Grandparents and parents to neighbors and actual teachers. You are able to accomplish so many wonderful things because a Teacher taught you how.

Scarecrow Festival http://edmontonscarecrowfestival.wordpress.com/






I am a big believer in giving of your time for social justice causes. Especially if you have a talent of knowelege that will help someone out. This year my time and effort is going towards the Scarecrow Festival. The Festival raises money in  support of ABC Head Start. A Charity very near and dear to my heart. ABC Head Start works with low-income families and their preschool children to achieve success in learning and life.

I am now blog writer for the Scarecrow Festival. I invite you to come and read my weekly post here. I will be there every Monday morning bright and early. Please feel free to like and comment. Then head over to Facebook and like Scarecrow there. You will learn lots about weird scarecrow trivia like this one: In Kojiki, the oldest surviving book in Japan (compiled in the year 712), a scarecrow known as Kuebiko appears as a deity who cannot walk, yet knows everything about the world.

I bet you had no idea scarecrows were that old, did you? Then come to the festival and bring your kids, or come to the Gala and leave your kids at home. Either way, you will have funa nd support a great cause. Changing the world starts with one person…you.


@edmscarecrow  on twitter

That is a Great Costume! What are you?

Children dressed up in Halloween costumes.
Who dresses like this for Halloween?

I use to spend hours flipping through catalogs and patterns looking for adorable Halloween costumes for the Offspring to wear. Some costumes were incredibly cute! I was particularly fond of a ladybug outfit that I had wanted one of my kids to wear, but the sad reality was, Ladybug costumes just aren’t warm enough.

As I write today the current temperature is -2C or 28F. Winter has arrived here in Edmonton and brought a dusting of snow along with it. Typical Halloween Costume criteria for Canadian kids is 1> does it fit OVER a snow suit? 2> is it made of FUR? 3> Are the mittens able to hold on to the bag of candy?

It sounds so complicated here. Last August I was at Walt Disney World, Florida with my family. It was hotter than walking on the sun. The bottom of my flip-flops stuck to the sidewalk because they were melting to the pavement. That isn’t normally a problem here in the Great White North! All the shops were filled with tiny costumes the required bare legs or arms. Sizing meant the ACTUAL size of the child, not snowsuit size. Nothing was made of fur! Buying costumes in the United States was never really an option for us. Simply not warm enough.

When I was a kid, costumes were never that fancy.You either dressed like an Eskimo Inuit or you went digging in your Dad’s closet to dress as a Hobo, and when I say hobo – I mean my dad was not really a Hobo. Sure Mom thought he dressed like one, but his clothes were large enough to fit OVER all my winter gear. It was very warm and it needed to be. We would head out in the DARK, because sunset was 4:00pm. Thanks to Daylight Savings later now, the sunsets after dinner. One thing was always constant, there was snow and lots of it. A colleague and I were talking about the year there was a blizzard for Halloween. It was so cold most kids stayed home. Snow drifts were thigh high and the temperature had to be -25C. We would trudge ( because you can’t just walk in a snow drift) up to the house, people would be so impressed that you braved the cold, they would dump candy by the handfuls into your pillowcase. 10 houses and you had enough candy to last until Christmas!

In the past 10 years, Halloween has been warmer. My Offspring really doesn’t know what it is like to be out in a blizzard for Halloween, but they still wore snowsuits under their Minnie Mouse, or Darth Vader costumes. It looks like this year will be a bit colder in years past. Only one Offspring is braving the cold this year. Obviously I have failed as a Mom raising a true “Canadian” trick or treater. Braving cold is no longer a badge of honor. Kids rather eat food in the pantry then go door to door and beg for it.

I don’t have anyone to take door to door this year. I faked being really happy about it. But the truth of the matter is I am kind of sad. No dressing warm, no walking around in the dark, no laughing with other moms and the outrageous costume ideas. But mostly I will miss visiting one special house down the street from me. They gave candy to the kids but “special” treats for the adults  – and when I say “special” I mean Kahlua. That is what made walking around the neighborhood really fun.

I wonder if I can “borrow” the neighbor’s kids this year?