Thursday, October 28, 2010


When I was eight years old, my family moved to the small town of Ely, Nevada when my dad was transferred with his job.  We had rented this odd little house that as an eight year old seemed enormous.  It was a two level house with all of the bedrooms upstairs and the main living and eating downstairs.  A long steep stairway connected the two levels, with my parent’s room to the left of the stairs and mine to the right.  Down the hall was my little sister’s room.  

Whoever owned this home was obviously frightened by something, as every door leading to the outside had at least three locks; the regular lock on the handle, a bolt lock and a chain lock.  All of these extra locks only added to the ridiculous amount of keys my mom stored on her keychain, making it unmistakable that she was around every time she took those keys out.

One night, in the middle of the night, I was awakened by the sound of someone fussing with the locks on one of the doors downstairs.  I immediately sat up in bed.  I remember looking at the clock and it saying 2:00.  My blankets were pushed down off of my legs.  These details were important to me because I distinctly remember thinking to myself “am I dreaming?”  

As I assessed whether I was awake or not, I continued to hear noise downstairs.  After the locks, I heard my mom’s key chain rattling, then cupboards slamming.  I remained still in my bed, trying to be as quiet as possible as fear took over.  Soon I began to hear heavy footsteps walking slowly up the staircase.  I remember counting each footstep as it neared the top, “one, two, three…”when I got to six I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.  I jumped out of bed as quiet as I could and bolted for my sister’s room, careful to slip through the doorway without anyone having the chance to see me from the stairs.  As soon as I left my room, the sound disappeared.  I sat in my sister’s bed as she slept soundly, barely able to move, listening until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. 

To this day, I have no idea whether I was awake or asleep but it seemed so real.  From time to time I’ve had other paranormal type of experiences but nothing quite like that one, and all of my experiences have been centered on hearing things.  I’ve never actually seen a ghost to my knowledge.   

As I moved into my teen years I stopped hearing things altogether, and didn’t begin hearing things again until my husband and I moved into our home here in Corona.  There was an entire year where my husband was kicked out of bed by me to check out a noise downstairs that distinctly sounded like someone in our home.  Sometimes I would hear windows opening, or cupboards slamming, or just movement.   There was definitely something dark about that house for me.   I never felt comfortable living there.  I couldn’t go downstairs alone at night because I always felt a presence.  

We moved from that house almost a year ago, into one across the street.  Although this house doesn’t have the feel of a dark presence, I have definitely had some interesting experiences since we moved in.  There is a place near the staircase (what is it with me and stairs?) where on occasion it will feel several degrees colder than any other location of the house.  I would think it was the air conditioning, but the vent isn’t near and it happens even when the air conditioning isn’t running.  

The most noteworthy event, however, was a couple of months ago.  I had woken up to my husband kissing me goodbye as he headed out to work.  All of the kids were sleeping sound, with my two-year-old asleep next to me in our bed.  I decided to take advantage of the quiet and hop in the shower.  As I was washing the shampoo out of my hair someone knocked on the shower door.  My eyes were closed so thinking my two-year-old had woken, I said “hellloooo?” in a tone meant for my son.  I hurried and finished up when he didn’t respond, and got out of the shower.  I looked in the room and he was sound asleep still sleeping just the way I left him.  I got dressed and walked into my older son’s room and then my daughter’s, but both were still sleeping soundly in their beds.   I don’t know what it was, but it was a distinct knock on the glass shower door.  

While I definitely believe in ghosts, I still question what it is I’ve actually experienced.  Is it in my head, or is there actually something following me around?  I’m always trying to make sense of things, but I have yet to come up with a good explanation for what I have experienced.  So is it in my head, or is it real?  

So what about you?  Do you have a good ghost story that you want to share?  Maybe it wasn’t something that happened to you, but someone you know.  We’d love to hear your stories as well.  Just head over to Patty’s at Simplicity in Volumes or Quinn’s at seeing, dreaming….writing and sign up for their BOO-FEST to share your creepy ghost tale as well, or just enjoy reading everyone else’s by clicking on their blog link.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dogwood's Fourth Annual Haunted House

Over the weekend, my sister and her husband, with the help of at least twelve families, put on the fourth annual Dogwood Court Haunted House.  It started the year after we moved out her when my sister and brother-in-law came to my husband and I and said that they wanted to build a haunted house in the middle of their cul-de-sac, and asked if we were in.  Ever since, it's been an event we all look forward to each year, especially the kids!

The first three years were great, but the majority of it was built by my sister, her husband, my husband and myself, which was exhausting.  Of course, I can't forget to mention the mounds of conflict that built up each year, coming to a head last year when we debated whether or not we should even go forward with the haunted house (of course we did, and it was awesome.) 

This year, however, was by far the best year yet!  Every year it gets a little bigger and a little scarier, but this year everyone out did themselves.  We started at 10 AM on Friday and finished after 8 PM putting up the frame, wrapping it with paper and starting on the decorating on the inside.  On Saturday we picked up where we left off at 9 AM to add the props and finish up the decorating.  This didn't conclude until 3 PM.  This gave us all just enough time to head home, put on our costumes and get back to begin the haunting. 

When we all met back up at 6 PM people were already showing up.  We let the families of the construction crew be the first to experience the haunt.  From then on we had a a steady flow of people that didn't stop until after 9 PM.  We estimated that all in all there were around 150 people, not a bad turn out at all! 

I think the best part of it all was the team work that went into building this year's haunted house.  Even though we were all working our butt's off, we laughed and joked and genuinely had a great time!  The team work exhibited reminded me so much of the Ragnar Relay Race I ran last year with a team of 12 people (which, if you are a runner, I highly recommend participating in but I digress.)  When everyone works toward a common goal that they are all so heavily vested in, it makes the end result that much more satisfying! 

Now that the haunted house is done, I'm looking forward to participating in BOO-FEST ON OCTOBER 28TH put on by Patty at Simplicity in Volumes and Quinn at seeing, dreaming...writing.  If you haven't signed up for this, don't miss it.  Go HERE to sign up and share your favorite ghost story! 

After BOO-FEST, I am eager for the kick off of NaNoWriMo.  I still can not believe that I have agreed to participate in this crazy contest, but honestly I can't wait to start pumping out those 50,000 words in 30 days.  Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the November 1st kick off. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What a Day!

It's 12:15 in the morning, and already my birthday is off to an amazing start, despite some detours along the way.  Okay, the detours started yesterday, but yesterday was the start to all my celebrating!  The day started off relatively uneventful.  Got the kids up for school, made their lunches, rushed them out of the house to cash Grandma's check for the jog-a-thon, dropped them off at school and came home to get the house cleaned and laundry finished (so I wouldn't have to think about it on my actual birthday, of course.) 

It all took a detour when I misheard my sister when she asked me to pick up her son from kindergarten.  I didn't hear her say that "they" had errands to run and I assumed (you know what they say about that) that someone was home when I dropped him off.   I then went on a ten minute drive with my daughter (also in kinder) and my two year old son to trick him into falling asleep.

Long story short, no one was home in his house or mine (I live around the corner,) and he was extremely scared.  I can't imagine how scared he felt, but thankfully my sister got home shortly after I dropped him off, and I followed not too long after.  However, this does not change the fact that my awesome little man of a nephew was scared out of his mind, my sister was scared and frustrated, and I felt HORRIBLE!   Thankfully, this conflict had a happy ending, and I for one, learned a valuable lesson!  To my sister and nephew...I'm still so, so, sorry!

Despite this horrific event, the rest of the day/night was amazing.  My sister and her husband made the best birthday dinner EVER!  And my BFF threw me the best cocktail party.  Great people, great stories, great times!  The only down sides?  Not obtaining my writing goal for the day, and eating and drinking too much great food and tasty beverages!  Now I'm going to have to kick my running up a notch and write twice as much tomorrow in between soccer games and the neighborhood Halloween party.  Looking forward to every minute of it all, thanks everyone involved in making my prebirthday amazing and awesome!

All in all, great start to a great birthday!  Thank everyone!

Monday, October 11, 2010

From Runner to Writer

When I started this blog I was focused primarily on running.  Shortly after my brother-in-law completed his first full Iron Man Triathlon, my sister told me about a writing contest coming up in November called NaNoWriMo.  It stands for National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to pump out a 50,000 page book in just 30 days.  The best part is the only thing that matters is output, you're supposed to write as much as you can from November 1st to November 30th without editing.  In other words, quantity not quality here!

Although I am still running and trying to get back into training for my first full marathon (Surf City 2010), I couldn't pass up this challenge.  After all, I am always up for a good challenge.  I don't really consider myself a writer; sure I've written in journals all of my life and did plenty of business writing while I worked in Corporate America, but I never really tried to write creatively.  This was something my extremely talented little sister did, not me!  (Be sure to check out her blog  it's totally worth it!)  As it turns out, I really enjoy writing.  I may not have the greatest stories, but it allows me to escape into a world of my creation, where anything can happen at anytime, and I control it...for the most part! ;)

Now with that being said, Middle Distance Runners has transformed into a blog that encompasses my running challenges, my writing challenges, and any other challenge that come my way.  Now I'm a Middle Distance Runner who would like to share all of my life's little challenges and stories.  Hope you enjoy!