Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Is there a Ghost in my house?

Have you ever seen anything you just can't explain. Heard something you can't explain either. I have!

I'm not one to believe in ghost, as a matter of fact I can usually think of ways that those ding dongs on those ghost hunting shows could be misinterpreting their findings.

Here are a few funny things that have happened in the past few years. One night in our old cabin in the mountains, the cute girlfriend and I had just gone to sleep. It was her birthday that day and we were pretty tired.

It is funny I just mentioned this little incident to the cute girlfriend

Anyways, we had been asleep maybe 10 min, when something weird woke us up. It was very weird and something I had never experienced before. The best way I can describe it is that a huge charge of static flew over us and then hit the TV. It was an older tube type TV. It crackled like it was going to turn on but it never did. Here is the best part...the TV wasn't even plugged into the wall.

I asked the cute girlfriend what the hell that was. In a half asleep voice she said it was probably her mother coming by to say hi. I can not tell you how interesting it was to feel a charge go through a room like that. The TV crackling only confirmed that I wasn't dreaming. The thing with cute girlfriend saying it was her mom while she was almost asleep was also interesting.

That old cabin was a funny place anyways. Cold drafts running through the place, the feeling of something moving the hairs on your body.

The economy was crap back then and I had to let the cabin go back to the bank and we moved to an apartment closer to the cute girlfriends work. This place was brand new and we were the first people in this unit.

We were there a couple of months when a new something happened. I was in the bathroom shaving and I hear this heavy sigh. It was like it was someone was standing right next to me. I asked the cute girlfriend who was reading way up in the front bedroom if she had just sighed...she said no.

I spent several weeks looking for things in the apartment that could make that noise. I checked the toilet, it made weird noises when you flushed it...not that. I stood next to the made a weird hushing noise when it shut off but it was very quiet. I checked the drawers, the doors, the blinds, anything that moved. I could not replicate that noise.

Not long after that I started to feel that someone was sitting on the edge of my bed as I was just about to go to sleep. I kind of put this off as just me being at the edge of sleep and I was dreaming it. My cat would go sit in that spot after it would happen.

Cute girlfriend and I would trade off sleeping in the front bedroom there because the bed up there was a little uncomfortable. One nite I had this dream that something like a face was pushing in and out of my vision and it was trying to get inside. I had it happen a second night up there and started sleeping on the couch instead...dream stopped. I'm not saying it wasn't a dream. Just a disturbing dream but it is what I experienced.

A couple of months after this I saw something. This was the first shadow not attached to a person I have ever seen. We were walking in with groceries one nite and I was carrying most of them in my hands and was going to the counter in the middle of the room to set them down. I was looking at the wall across the room. I saw the shadow of a little round head move across the wall.

It had only been a brief view because cute girlfriend was right behind me and had turned on the lights in the room. I turned the lights off and moved over by the couch, and recreate the shadow with my hands with the light from the streetlights and the digital clocks and LED's that lit up the room. I spooked her a little when I told her I just saw the shadow of like a little boy.

I spent several nights trying to recreate the shadow. It didn't have pointy ears so it wasn't the cat although the cat came from over near there to greet us when we came in. the size of the shadow from my recreations could only be made by something passing in front of the couch. My shadow at the kitchen and front door area where huge on that wall.

I went round and round on the next thing. I started having a tapping noise on the hardwood floors. there would be two taps on the floor on the other side of my computer desk. I would get up and look, nothing was there. I thought it was just me then the cute girlfriend mentioned she had heard some weird tapping behind her sometimes.

I got lucky one day and I was on the other side of the room sweeping and I heard the tap. From where I was standing I could hear the kids in the adjoining apartment bouncing a ball. It was making the right noise.
My guess was that the sound traveled under that floating hardwood floor and stopped at where there was weight on it and that is where our desks were.

Those neighbor kids were rambunctious and would slam closet door and shake the house. They were good kids though and always said hi and yes ma'am and no sir to everyone. So we never mentioned how the house would shake at night as the kids slid those closet doors closed....grin

It was nice when I lived in the 100 year old American Four Square, in North Dakota, that nothing happened while I was there. It was kind of eerie when we first got the house. The down stairs was completely gutted and down to the studs.

One interesting thing did happen while at the Four Square. When you walked down the stairs as you hit the bottom it would sound like someone was right behind you coming down the stairs. It was easy to debunk though. The cladding on the stairs would creak back into place after you stepped on it. It made sense, that poor old oak cladding had been under water for weeks and was probably warped and putting weight on it would make it flex. It was just funny that it would be creaking two or three steps after you took your weight off it.

In September of 2012 we moved into this old house next to a river here in the Longview/Kelso area of Washington State. This house was built in 1928 or so. A couple of years ago the river in the back yard backed up do to a log jam against a bridge south of here. the basement was flooded. It has been rebuilt and the place remodeled.

I was still working in North Dakota when we moved up here. I would hear from the cute girlfriend and she would say that this house makes a lot of noises. It wasn't until I got here and stayed in the house for a while that I started noticing things.

This is a good time to talk about debunking. I'm a curious type of fellow and want to know how things work. If I see something or hear something I want to know what it is. The world does plenty of things that we can't see, and interacts with thing in weird ways. Just air movement alone is a very funny thing.

Warm air rises and cold air sinks, this is the general rule of things but air in a room can be a very complex. small things can change the flow in a room. Wind pushing into a room from a leaky window can push little bubbles of cool or warm air into a room and it may take a while for that bubble to dissipate and sink or rise. I was sitting near a window at our old cabin one time. I had the wood burning stove heating the house, but it was kind of wet and blustery outside. A big gust happened outside and I felt this little bubble of cold air near my arm. I felt it come in next to me and linger there.

This was one of those "Cold Spots" those ghost ding dongs talk about. I could define it. I gently felt around it with my hands and could feel this bubble of air, cold in the middle and warm all around it. It wasn't a ghost I felt it get blown in through those nasty old aluminum windows that were on my cabin. It was just a bubble of air and it just hovered there next to me and after a time the room warmed it up and it disappeared. Not that the damned wind didn't blow some more cold air in.

Have you ever seen a mist appear out of nowhere. I have. I walked down the stairs in that North Dakota Four Square one morning and saw three of them. It was as cold as hell outside that morning, like -20 cold. Right in the center of the three windows I could see cold coming in through the glass and slowly start to sink into the room and form a mist.

Now picture the bubble of air described above and picture a bubble of cold air moving into a warm humid room. The moisture in the room would condense in that cool bubble and form a mist. I felt cold air coming off the wall last night as a matter of fact and a cold bubble of air was near my face. If the wall is cold it will cool the air near it and start to sink. Once you know this I can usually say a cold spot is just that a cold spot.

Debunking noises. Just like the "sigh/breath" I heard down in our apartment in California I will look for a noise that happens in the house. I never could find anything that could replicate that noise. Now this old house has a lot of noises.

There is this gentle knock that happens from time to time, right under the my feet at the desk I'm typing at this very minute. The first time it happened I actually went to the door to see if someone was there. What makes that noise?

In this house we have two sump pumps that go off a lot. We have a lot of ground water under this house and they go off many times a day, and as they clunk on and off the pipes that carry the water bang against the walls they are attached to. Alas that noise is not the knock. I kept that knock in my memory for a long time, and was at the right place at the right time down in the TV room. I had just used the down stairs restroom and when the tank got done filling it shut off and I heard the knock.

Water flowing through a pipe doesn't like being blocked all of the sudden, just like shutting off a valve fast the water has momentum and pressure is built up and bang you have some water hammering. No ghost communicating with you in Morse Code on the walls.

Seeing things out of the corner of your eyes and shadows. These thing happen a lot here in this house. I discredit most of them. My bifocals cause weird effects and bend light and distort things near the lens edges. Also our brains are kind of wired to see things out of the corners of our eyes anyways as a protective mechanism. Also according to my eye doctor those things that are floating in our eyes are proteins and they can confuse the eye at times. I analyze what I see in this house a lot. We already think we have a ghost in the house but I'm not going to let my imagination run wild with this and think everything out of the corner of my eye to be our wayward spirit.

Shadows. Car lights going by cause shadows to move, and as mentioned above our brains are hard wired to see things like this and try to identify it as a threat or not. I have seen a few unidentifiable shadows here in this old house. One night I saw one almost head on and not out of the corner of my eye. I started to ask the cute girlfriend if she had seen it and she told me to stop because the kids where in the room. I guess she saw it too. From time to time I see shadows in the bedroom at night. It is interesting to say the least.

We had the cute girlfriend's daughter and her three kids with us here for almost a year. She told us that on a few occasions she had seen a shadow looking in on her from her bedroom door. She had thought it was me at first, but it wasn't. She said it creeped her out.

I have seen a shadow pass in front of the TV in the TV room. It was dark at the time, and light from the electronic equipment was the only light source in the room. Something moved from one side of the room to the other. Can't explain that one.

I try to debunk before I go straight for "The Ghost Did It!" One day I was here at the computer when there was this loud squeekie/thunk type noise outside the computer room. I spent 20 minutes wiggling things and swinging doors to see if hinges made that noise. I think it was like Christmas day that I discovered what it was that made the noise. It was a door, a door I had checked on. We had stored presents in there and when I went in to get them the door was stuck and it made that noise when I opened it. This just made the mystery a new problem. How did this door open. It wasn't windy the day the door made the noise and all the windows had been closed. the air flow from the heater/AC flows out of the room not it. What the hell opened that door.

We save our aluminum cans here and store them in trash bags in a corner. From time to time you will hear one of them fall inside the bag. This is probably gravity doing its job and making thing move to the ground, but those bags are normally closed tight. I'm going to give gravity the benefit of the doubt here. Its just that in that corner a lot of thing happen up stairs and down stairs.

Why does the flat screen in our bedroom make noises, When it is OFF!
Ok those thing can make noise when they are cooling down. The screens get pretty warm when you run them, touch on sometime you will see. I can see it making contracting noises as it cools. Fine, then why is it at 2 AM that it makes crackle noises? It took me a while to figure out how to replicate the noise but that just made it more mysterious.

This bedroom is actually in the basement and the TV sits in the corner right under where those cans are stored. Now you would figure that a basement would have concrete floors but this bedroom doesn't. I'm not sure how this wood floor is secured under the carpet but it has a lot of give to it. I walked by the TV once and put my foot right next to its stand, a electric fireplace, and it crackled just like it does most nights. It crackles like someone is standing there next to the TV.

Cute girlfriend says she hears someone walking on the carpet at night. This carpet is rather noisy. You can hear carpet backing rubbing against the foam pad underneath it. In the quiet of the night it is rather loud. She looks up to see if I'm coming and no one is there. This might be dismissed because she might be half asleep when she hears this but it is hard to say. She says she hears it. I know that TV makes noise every night after it has cooled and I'm wide awake looking at it when it happens...grin

This was kind of weird for a short time we had a cat here and it use to play with me as I would come up the stairs. One morning I was playing with the beast and I was trying to get a picture of him to post on Facebook. All of the sudden the cat who had been intently looking at me was now looking over my head at something. The Cat was sitting on the main floor of the house and I was on the stairway landing almost into the basement, so the cat and I were eye to eye. I looked up at what he could be looking at and nothing was there. It had his full attention and his eyes were locked on it. It was like he was looking at something that was peeking around the corner from the kitchen. It was very weird. Here is the pic I took he is looking up at something

The weirdest of all. There is something that I have seen that I can not explain. I have seen it three times here in the house. The first time it was something out of the corner of my eye near the basement backdoor. I dismissed it as some light play in my glasses. Then one evening we were watching something in the TV room and right next to me I saw the phenomena again. I think I had a John Wayne movie on. Right off the edge of my glasses I see what best can be describes as a scintillating distorted wavy line standing next to me. I didn't want to move fast so I turned my head slowly to get it in focus with my lenses. I didn't turn my head to far, more my eyes. There was something there. I looked back to the TV and then turned my head to look in the direction of the distortion, but it was gone.

I saw this type of distortion again a couple of weeks ago. I was hear at the computer typing a story and I felt something moving some arm hairs near my wrist. This type of crap happens all the time and I usually dismiss it as standard body hair movement. Like if you have been laying on it and you get up you can sometimes feel it moving and standing up no longer compressed against your body.

Down and just slightly to the right I saw that distortion again. It was about the size of a finger tip. I looked down to it and it disappeared. Very weird seeing something like that and you can't explain it.

This is a very active house. Even as I type this there is a noise over by the upstairs bedrooms.

It wasn't too long after I got back to Washington state that the cute girlfriend said that one of her employees lived right across the street and had told her that an older gentleman had died in this house. That can make your spook level go up a little.

It was kind of funny when we told our landlord about her other renter. She looked a little weird and kept saying "Don't tell me this, don't tell me this". We told her we weren't concerned so she shouldn't be.

Is there a ghost in our house. I have no idea! Is there weird things that happen in this house absolutely! Do I want to make contact with any spirits that might reside here at this old house, no I do not! I don't think getting into the world of the dead is a good idea anyways. My closest interaction with the weirdness in the house is to yell down stairs to say not to make so much noise down there.

Is it spooky? I'm not so far. Cute girlfriend can be a little jumpy at times, but she hasn't said "we have to move now!" just yet. If we do have a spirit in this house it has been pretty benign as far as haunting might go. If some poor middle aged heart attack victim is here with us and doesn't know that he is dead or is afraid to move on well there might not be to much I can do about that.

If the activity gets out of hand we have plenty of options. I'm just curious for now. I will watch and debunk and learn. I'm going down to the basement to check on a noise typo at everyone later.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Too Much Christmas?

It is January now and I have 95% of Christmas put away. There are still some lights on the roof that I need to take down, but I need a tall later that I don't have to get at them. I would keep them lit until March but since I put them up way early this last season I unplugged them.

I love Christmas. I love the light displays, and the joy of the season. Right after Thanksgiving I can't wait to hear my first Christmas song, and always hope it is one of the instrumental versions of "Sleigh Ride". The Christmas shopping I'm not all that fond of, but the togetherness of Family is important to me and I want to gather with as many of them as I can at this time of year.

The Cute Girlfriend has Grand Children that I love dearly and have earned the title "Papa" from them, which warms my heart wonderfully. I'm blessed with a loving significant other that is totally a Christmas Light Addiction Enabler. She will come home with new stuff for me to put in the yard or on the house. Our light displays are more than some people would want but less than some of the more fanatical enthusiasts.

I kid people that I want enough lights on the house that the Astronauts on the International Space Station can see it as they pass over, but I know that might turn our nice neighbors against us.

This year was my first year decorating this house we are in. Last year I was in North Dakota working so I couldn't put up lights. I started early this year. It has not been a year of good fortune for us, and my feelings on the economy and our political climate prompted to start spreading the Christmas cheer early. My work had been so slow during October, November, and December for that matter I had plenty of time to put up lights.

I usually put up lights the week before we went up north for Turkeyday to visit my folks. This year I wanted to get a real early start. I really needed some Christmas cheer in 2013. On November 10th I started to put up lights.

I posted this on Facebook and got a few..."Already?"..from some of my friends. I was on a mission though. I just felt that I needed to spread the Holiday cheer, now! We went shopping and found some more displays and lights.
It was about this time that I started to notice from my window here at my computer desk that all the cars that normally race by were slowing down to take a look. Local parents with their kids would stand at our fence and look a the lights. I was starting to think my mission was accomplished.

One night I noticed the UPS man slow as he passed the house. We have a very low bridge up the street so trucks like a UPS truck have to turn around and go out the way they came in. I saw him slow like he was looking for addresses. I went to the front door to see if he had something for us. He turned around and stopped down the street for a few seconds then came up and stopped at our gate. He stepped out and said he didn't have anything for us but he was enjoying our lights and thanked us. This was still before Thanksgiving, mission accomplished.

Alas I wasn't done yet. The cute girlfriend bought something huge for the front yard.
This is not a great pic of this Frosted Ferris Wheel, the lights blink and twinkle which made it so the poor camera on my phone could not focus. This thing is 6' tall and boy does the wind catch it!

We had a few more lights to put up, and I got the cool Ferris Wheel up in the yard.

The cool thing or maybe not so cool thing privacy wise, is that the back yard can be seen from across the river. This worked out well because we bought this funny little inflatable Santa in a boat which would fit in well on the River side of the house.

I strung lights on the gazebo too. I could have done the windows on the back of the house but I think I was taxing this poor old houses electrical system as it was.

Here is a huge warning. For those of us who like putting up Christmas lights, after you have them all plugged in and lit. Feel the cords coming out of the socket. If that cord is at all warm to the touch you need to pull some lights off and reroute power from some other source.

This house was originally built in 1928 and although most of the electrical has been updated it is still limited.
I had to run power from the back of the house to the front. If you do this you need thicker gauge electrical cords because of the distance. Distance can equal electrical resistance with small electrical cords so be careful.

We found out one night that one of the circuits in the basement was running a lot more that we thought. Poor cute girlfriend wanted to take the chill off of the TV room and turned on her electric fireplace and POP. I unplugged the lights so she could run her heater.

Timers can be important, I found some that have a photovoltaic switch that turns the lights on at dusk and then will stay on for a few hours and turn off.

The lights were having there affect more and more cars were driving by would slow down to a crawl and view our display. It warms the heart when you can spread the Holiday cheer like that.

We had found these cute Christmas cartoon character sidewalk lights at Big Lots. I had this idea of making a cute little display with them. It was the Peanuts characters skating. I wanted to make it look like they were skating on a frozen pond. So I mixed some old decorations with some new and this is what I came up with.

I thought it turned out pretty good.

Christmas lights can be a crazy affair down in California, with whole neighborhoods decked out in lights. Not so much here in the Pacific Northwest as far as I can tell. There is one house here in our town that was not to be out done. There is a Sheriff's vehicle normally parked in the driveway of this home so I commend this officer for his Christmas spirit. His display is a computerized light extravaganza. Complete with musical accompaniment. There is a sign in his yard telling you to tune your radio to a certain FM radio frequency and then you will hear what the light display is timed to. It is pretty cool. I don't think I would go that far but it is very cool.

One of the things that is popular in this area during the Christmas season is at the Portland Zoo. Known around here as Zoo Lights and is usually done on the Zoo's train that is in the park. This year the train was out of order so it was a walk through display. The lights of course are animal based but it is pretty cool.
It is very popular in this part of Oregon and Washington and can be very crowded at times. This night it was not as busy. We went twice during the Holidays, each time taking a different group of Grand Kids. The displays can be very elaborate. This dragon one puffs rings down over someone standing below it.
I loved this Lighthouse one.

The Animated displays are very nice. Down by the Elephants there is a display with birds of pray swooping down , Hippos popping up out of the water, Lions chasing Gazelles, even Alligators opening and closing their mouths.


Made a YouTube video of our trip to the Portland Zoo Lights above showing the Animation.

We had all the Grand Kids over for Christmas and a large Christmas, Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. As always the Twice Baked Potatoes were the hit.

One of the hard things about the Holidays, especially if you are counting your carbs, is the sweets. We bought a whole bunch of pies. Pumpkin, Dutch Apple, Chocolate Cream, Key Lime pies all stacked up on the counter calling out the amount of carbs they contain and then our names. I had a huge hunk of Key Lime Pie Christmas night and had a sugar rush that knocked my socks off. I was sparing on the amount of pie I ate and kept the carb intake as low as possible this season and didn't gain any pounds. It took me most of a week to finish off the last of those pies. One hard sugar rush a day...grin

I didn't get to see my children this Christmas. Work has been horribly slow so there was no money in the wallet for that...sniff

New Years was just like the 4th of July here. Cute girlfriend had to work early New Years Day so we went to bed at 9pm and were waken by the firing of canons and fireworks at Midnight. It sounded like the shelling of Fort Sumter. It is funny how the people in the crappy trailer park down the street can't afford to put paint on their homes but can afford hundreds of dollars of fireworks...sigh

I'm ready for 2014 maybe a better job will come my way. I have a lot of applications out right now.

One last thing. In October of 2012 on a joke I started a story for the cute girlfriend. It was suppose to be a couple of pages and be ready for the 2012 Christmas season. It took me well over a year and 84,000 words but I finished what now can be called a Novel for my girlfriend on January 5th 2014. Seeing as I haven't written anything like this before and never did well in college composition I have a lot of correcting to do now on my story to get rid of the bad grammar and run on sentences. For those of you that have read my posts here I'm sure understand what I'm talking

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thanksgiving in Placerville California

I started this posting the day after Thanksgiving it is about time I finish it!

My Father lives in California near Placerville. We have been going there for Thanksgiving for a while now. We were all from Southern California originally, but back in the 90's they moved way up there into the hills above Sacramento. For the Past few years we have been enjoying the Christmas Festivities in Placerville's old town section.

The sad part of this is that my dad lives alone now. My mom passed away a year and a half ago which makes this all a little hard. Mom had everything ready for us when we got there so we could get a nice family Thanksgiving dinner ready to be made. The last few years she would let me help make the meal. Momma didn't always let other people in her kitchen. I was still working in North Dakota last year and we had just moved up to Washington State so only I could make it down there to be with dad on his first Thanksgiving without my mom.  It couldn't have been sadder going to the restaurants that Mom and Dad use to go to and the wait staff asking him where his wife was.

Placerville Ca. is the county seat of Eldorado County California, and is one of the epicenters of the 1849 Gold Rush. It is about 15 miles from Sutter's Mill where the California Gold Rush got started. There are tons of old towns and gold mine camps around with names on the map for places like, Fiddletown, Whiskytown, Pokertown and one of my favorites Volcano. I blogged about that town a couple of years ago.

If you are into Antiques Placerville has quite a few shop to look at. Being the nostalgia junkies we are the cute girlfriend and I love this place.

Our trip here was a little rough. Left our home in Southern Washington about 5pm and got stuck in horrible traffic in Portland Oregon. That set us behind and we had to spend the night in Grants Pass Oregon. I have not had a lot of luck with Motel 6 and from this point on Tom Bodet can turn off the light for me because I won't be going back to them for a while. We get a room at the Grants Pass Motel six and it is like grand central station there. When we got in the room the heater was on and the room was around 90 Deg. and the place took for ever to cool down. You could also hear ever bit of noise passing by our door, and at 4am when the toilet in the room backed up causing a nightmare we had had enough of them and left.

We did get to have Breakfast at one of our favorite diners.  We try to stop at any Black Bear Diners that we see in our travels. They have them all up and down the west coast. Kind of a rustic Americana set up inside these diners that we get a kick out of.

Our poor truck does not sit well for the cute girlfriend so we had to stop a few times to let her stretch her legs. At one stop we walked out with an extra 6 bucks from the Casino we stopped at. We made it to Placerville around 1pm Turkeyday and had lunch with my dad. Later about dusk we went down to a local restaurant and had a Turkey dinner.

The Day after Thanksgiving is fun time up there in those hills. After the gold miners left someone started planting apple orchards up on all the hills. Later some other Entrepreneurs started growing pine trees and vineyards. The pine trees of course are Christmas trees. This area is Known as Apple Hill and it seams that the people of the Sacramento area have the tradition of coming up the day after Thanksgiving and getting a fresh cut Christmas Tree and stopping at these Apple Orchards. Some of the large Apple Orchards have Crafts sellers in tents around their apple shops and it looks like a big fair.

A couple years back we started counting the Christmas Trees on top of cars (some have 2 or 3 trees on their car roofs), we hadn't clued in on all the Christmas Tree Farms up there on Apple Hill yet.  It started out as a gag of sorts and turned into a fun game. My son use to go up there with us, so I texted him with the word "one" to see if he got the joke. He didn', he got it when I told him about the Christmas Trees up by my dads.

I found this shingle at one of the shops on Apple Hill.

On the day after Thanksgiving the town of Placerville closes down Main Street and has a huge tree lighting ceremony. They have a large pine tree across from the Court House and main street is filled with people to watch the lighting of the tree. It is not really a spectacular tree like some of the gaudy things that you see in the malls, but it is very Christmasy.

The old part of Placerville has some very old buildings in it. They really play up the old west for Christmas.  They have this old horse drawn stage coach that they decorate for the Holidays with two pine trees strapped on top destined for some old west homes parlor for their Christmas Tree and usually some modern Christmas lights twinkling on the back of the luggage cover. There are a few people that get into the spirit of the old west and come to town all Cowboy'd up. There are caramel corn booths and face painting booths.
All the shops are packed with people. The old General Store/Hardware Store is a very cool place and we spend almost an hour in there alone.

We were going to bring my dad along with us but he bowed out. It was packed full of people so he probably wouldn't have liked that. Just going from shop to shop was like a salmon going up stream.

Look what showed up in Dad's yard the day after Thanksgiving, I'm telling you they know when to hide!

If you are ever in the Placerville area during Thanksgiving do go to the town and get some old time Christmas spirit in you. If you are a Thomas Kincaid fan they have a huge shop there. He lived there in his youth and some of his paintings are of some of the old Victorian Homes in Placerville during the Christmas time. Some of Kincaid's most treasured Christmas paintings are set in Placerville.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we have gone exploring to some of the cool old gold mining towns there in Gold Country. One of those places is Sutter Creek Ca. The buildings on Main Street are from right out of the 1800's.

In the past the cute girlfriend and I would go our by ourselves, or maybe with my son or daughter on these explorations. My mom couldn't get around to well in her later years so they always stayed home, not that we didn't invite them.

This time I talked my dad into going with us to Sutter Creek. It was a good ride and outing for him. We walked through some of the shops. He is not really a nostalgia junky like the cute girlfriend and I, so he was not getting why we were in some of these antique shops. Some of these antiques he had used when he was a kid so big whoop, been there done that right?

It was good to get him out of the house and into the fresh air but all the walking and stair climbing was taking it's toll on him so he bowed out towards the end and went back to our truck to wait for us. We speed browsed through the last two antique shops and met him back at the truck. I'm happy we got to have him with us, he needs to get out more. We took home a few things from a craft fair that was at the town auditorium, but that was all. Not to many, "Oh you have to have" Antiques in the shops right now.

It was a good visit with dad, but sadly we had to leave early Sunday morning to head back to Washington. The drive home was uneventful, except when we stopped at a casino in Oregon called the Seven Feathers and I walked away from one game with a couple hundred extra bucks.

Christmas was now in full swing!