Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quote of the day

I simply believe that some part of the human self or soul is not subject to the laws of space or time.   
- Carl Jung

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


My workout at the gym was good, a strong performance. I sometimes see so clearly the connection between the strength of my intuition and my overall wellbeing. A healthy mind needs a healthy body -- or some such thing.

What was on my mind this day -- a major remodelling project in our home is about to start in the very early spring. While we're adding about 300 square feet, we're not destroying anything or altering the original structure in anyway. We're simply taking an enclosed, screened area and making it a year-round part of our home. We worked very closely with our contractors to ensure that the appearance is maintained in every respect. I wonder if our co-residents will get a bit restless.

Monday, January 25, 2010

They're often nicer . . .

I used to provide readings in an urban area. This type of setting -- people walking in from the street -- doesn't usually lend itself to much chatter between client and reader (and, from a client's point of view, that should be a good thing.)

Anyway, I could see that many people just looked so frightened when they came in, even if it wasn't their first time for a reading. I felt bad for them and wanted to put them at ease. Often, the exchange ended with me joking that we have more to fear from the living than from the dead.

I've had one of those days when this rings expecially true. Sometimes, people can say really nasty things in a PERSONAL context and it's far more draining than a day of readings can be. Which is what happened. Today. Someone said something -- unrelated to my vocation -- and I'm trying to shrug it off.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It has been a crazy week

Though there have been signs that a ghost is around, nobody has approached me in any way. So, maybe it's not about me.

Anyway, Mimi still won't go into the dining room without me because of the ghost with a tennis racket.  I'm not going to force her.  I think Gigi would really like to be able to see this sporty ghost.  I think I would, too. 

I have a bookswap (for moms) meeting to go to at the beginning of next week and I'm trying to decide if I should take some of my duplicate works of ghost fiction and non-fiction.  I keep meaning to sell them; some are quite valuable.  But the space on my shelves is becoming prime real estate these days as I have no more room anymore.   The basement is already filled to capacity with boxes of books.  Last year, we donated about 12 boxes of books to someone who takes the money she earns by selling them and donates it to Haiti.  The year before, we sold a few thousand.  So, the bookswap idea works very well for me: I'm not taking up any more space and I get to read something new.

The moms who usually attend are mostly interested in "chicklit" but I've picked up some fantastic literature on occasion.  I can't wait.  It's funny, though, because only the person who hosts the event actually knows what I do for a living.  So, I might raise a few eyebrows if I bring along my extra copy of Ghosts on 87th Lane or something!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I lay in bed resting before supper while Scully prepared the meal and the girls played in the bedroom beside mine.

The girls were chatting:
Gigi: I think there is a spirit in here.  (She always says she doesn't believe in them.)

Mimi: Gigi, there's no such thing as ghosts! (She actually sees them all the time.)

Gigi: Really, I just feel like there is one here with us.

Mimi: Oh.
I asked Gigi what she meant and who she thought it might be.  She shrugged: "I don't know.  I just feel like it's here."

Then, not much later, at the table, Gigi asked: "Mum, are ghosts real?"

"Well, some people believe they are and some don't."

"No, Mum! I need you to tell me if they are real or not."

"I'm sorry, I can't do that. You're going to have to decide for yourself."

She growled at me.  She knows I believe in ghosts but I don't want to tell her what to believe; I want to promote independence of thought.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I was really in the mood to watch a scary movie tonight but I won't usually do it without Scully -- and he decided to be responsible and do some work instead.

You know, back in the days of my youth, I had a rather dramatic ghost attached to me and to my family (because teenagers just aren't dramatic enough) and this is how it made its first appearance:

One night, my parents had decided finally that, at the age of 12 or so, I was old enough to be home alone and they availed themselves of the opportunity to have a free babysitter for my sister.

I, being home alone, decided that it would be a good idea to watch a movie on television that night. Clearly, I had no experience in this regard because I chose to watch, of all things, The Shining!

Well, as I sat tautly on the edge of my seat with my eyes glued to the TV, the metal garbage can in the kitchen became a drum for unseen hands and the kitchen fan suddenly started running without the benefit of the switch being turned on. I was shocked. I was terrified. But I believe I continued to watch the movie . . .

Anyway, I don't think memories of this early event have anything to do with my unwillingness to watch frightening movies alone. Strangely, the more comfortable I've become with the paranormal in my everyday life, the scarier the movies have seemed!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I could go insane . . .

A client wrote me, asking for a reading, and, while that's always appreciated, I can't help but shake my head:

Her: "Do you have anything available for Tuesday after 5pm?"

Me: "No, unfortunately, I'm only able to read on Saturdays right now."

Her: "OK. But do you have a slot for Tuesday at 5:15 or later?"

Me: "No, I don't because I'm only able to read on Saturdays."

I wish I could have said: "Yes, because, if you look closely, the following Saturday IS after 5:15 pm on Tuesday."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Walking thoughts . . .

This morning, Mimi and I were leaving the gym and, as I walked through the door and grabbed her hand, I said: "Oh, Daddy got a job!"

When we got to the end of the plaza, about one minute later, my phone rang. It was Scully:

"Hi, guess what? I got a job . . ."

He finds things like that so eerie.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

As soon as it gets quiet . . .

Tonight, we were watching, of all things, The Ghostwhisperer and, in the middle of the show, Scully and I decided to take a break for snacks, etc. So, I paused the show and, being the first back to the living room, waited very patiently.

Suddenly, there was a loud crash. I bolted up the stairs and over to the kids' room as Scully asked, "WHAT was that?"

They were both soundly asleep. I checked our bedroom, the hallway, etc. -- all over -- but there was no evidence of a crash. As I turned to go back downstairs, I looked over at my office: There didn't seem to be anything out of place. As I peeked around the door, I saw my laptop computer lying on the floor.

It had "fallen" from my desk. Either it jumped off or somebody helped it along the desktop to the floor.

O, would that I were omniscient. I didn't see or sense a ghost but, of course, that doesn't mean that a ghost isn't around. Hmmm. I wonder what's up . . .

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dining room

Yesterday, as I prepared for my date with Scully, Mimi came into the kitchen:

"I'm afraid of the dining room."

"The dining room? Why?"  There was no need for her to go into the dining room because dinner was done.

"Because of the ghost."

"Oh, what ghost? What does the ghost look like?"

"He has a tennis racket."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A sceptic's contribution

As I mentioned recently, Scully has grown so much throughout the years as far as the paranormal is concerned.

I think he has developed a sense of awe, too. Imagine what a sentence such as "I've just seen a ghost" has to go through in the machinations of a scientist's sceptical mind only to have it emerge completely intact again. He often just shakes his head when, for example, we see ghosts on the basement stairs and in the backyard, particularly right in front of the carriage house.

But he has always been very supportive, even back in the days when he wouldn't entertain the possibility that ghosts exist.

He speaks of me and what I do with his friends and colleagues.

He has accompanied me, if only at first for safety reasons, on investigations big and small. He's driven me to the locations and has tirelessly held many video cameras; he has also spared me for entire weekends as I travelled with others to remote locations for a documentary.

And when media attention has been at its most intense, he has been content to be Mr. Ghostiegurl.

While still a sceptic, his intelligence dictates that an unexplained experience does not necessarily have to be understood through the present scientific paradigm. That's pretty cool.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I woke up last night because I needed another blanket -- it's THAT cold. It's unsually cold even for Canada and these here parts.

But it's still not the kind of cold that I can feel when there's a ghost around. That particular kind of cold seems to be coming from my own body, freezing everything it touches around me. That's really difficult to articulate, actually.

As very young adults, my brother and I used to chat on the phone just about every night. He was dealing with an issue that he couldn't discuss with anyone: Our paternal grandmother would visit him quite regularly. He would be asleep in the dark and then a lamp would turn itself on and wake him up; he'd see my grandmother sitting on his bed or standing at the end of it.

(That wasn't really a problem for him; I think he was having trouble dealing with the fact that she had told him their visits would soon stop. But he wanted to know more about where she was, what she was doing and what she was able to do in her, uh, state.)

One night, he told me that she would come visit me and asked if I was ready because she would be there that night. As we were talking on the phone, my body grew colder and I could barely stand. I could hardly hold the phone.

I remember standing in the upstairs hallway and looking at my parents' room -- they were asleep, stretched out trying to stay cool in a heat wave. The outdoor temperature was in the 90s but I was shivering and feeling weak. My brother asked if she was there and I had to say, "Yeh, she's here."

I had been in the presence of ghosts many times before but this was the first -- and not the last -- time that I had been in this way affected.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How things change!

Years ago, when I first started reading professionally, I noticed a trend:  The number of television shows concerning the paranormal was increasing.  I couldn't think of anything I'd rather be doing less -- after all, I spent all day dealing with the paranormal and didn't want to spend my spare time doing so as well.

So, the irony has not escaped me that, as I sit here wondering if I'm going to watch Ghost Lab, Extreme Ghost Stories, or Paranormal State, things have changed.  I've changed. 

It's not surprising, really. I only do readings on the weekends now.  I also accept who I am and what I do much more readily than I used to; I'm comfortable in my own skin. 

But all of this self-reflection has not helped me decide what I'm going to watch tonight.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Gigi learns about ghosts . . . Again

Because she's becoming more curious about what I do and why -- being almost seven -- I decided to try something I've never done: I allowed Gigi to watch Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal with me.

Regular readers will know that Gigi used to see ghosts until about the age of five. Starting around the summer last year, she began to be more curious about what I do. Until then, she had just referred to my readings as my "appointments" or my "ladies".

In the past few months, many times, I tried to have a conversation with her only to get stuck on the concept of intuition. (I worked on that by asking her, "What FEELs true?" in this or that conversation.)

Today was the day that I said, "Would you like to watch this show with me?"

It was fascinating to watch as she began to understand what I meant by "ghost", that some people believe while others do not and, through the show's participants, she also grasped that it wasn't something that she could talk about with everyone. Throuhout the show, this is what she said:

"I don't have a ghost. Do you?"

"I don't want to turn into a ghost. I don't want to scare people and make them run away."

"When I was little, I felt a chill and I think I heard a 'meow'. I think it was a cat ghost." In 2006, I posted about Gigi and a ghost cat.

Wow! Again with the cat ghosts. Scully -- the bewildered scientist -- has spoken increasingly of our resident ghostly pets.

Most interestingly, when she learned that she didn't have to be afraid of ghosts and that this was a decision she could make on her own, she provided commentary to the story of a girl who was very afraid, she said,

"I think she should just get used to it."

Ta-da! There. It wasn't easy but it wasn't as difficult as I feared. But what about my vocation?

Well, she learned that I believe in ghosts, that part of what I do involves interracting with ghosts in some way.
She learned, too, that there are elements of the stories we tell ourselves culturally about ghosts (folklore) that make stories exciting but which aren't necessarily true. One child during the episode was about to see what information (s)he could sense about a ghost, (s)he said: "How come we always have to wait until night to do this?" I looked at Gigi and told her that neither darkness nor night hours were not necessary in order to sense or communicate with ghosts.
I think that's enough for now.

Friday, January 08, 2010

So, what do people of my vocation do when they're not working?

We tool around changing our blog -- I had to do this tonight because the company I've used for years for commenting decided to go all professional on me.

So, don't mind the dust, I'm just changing things around and my sidebar contents will be up again soon.

Celebrity and Ghosts

The title of a show caught my eye around Hallowe'en, so I set up a series recording and just kind of forgot about it until the other night.

I'm really enjoying catching up with Celebrity Ghost Stories. The stories of Justine Bateman, Sammy Hagar, Ernie Hudson, etc. are really great and very well told. I think, as well as preserving the 'spooky tales' tradition, it hearkens back to the oral tradition of which I've spoken. I like the stories told around a campfire because, whether believable or not, they 're fun.

But this isn't to say that I confuse the lore with the actual account of paranormal experiences. There are telltale signs that a story belongs to the realm of folklore -- and I'll address them in another post.

Anyway, what have I been up to since I last posted?

I've given readings, one per week to keep a balance between home and work, and I've convalesced. I've been sick since the beginning of November. Tomorrow, I will start my 2nd course of antibiotics.