The “Haunted” Antique Chest


Antiques. A link to the past. I love to visit antique shops, flea markets, and estate sales. Finding the perfect piece of history. It is thrilling. It is always fun to imagine the stories behind an item you have purchased.

The first antique I ever purchased was with my husband at Anthropologie, of all places. We were young. We were struggling. It was my birthday. I loved to go down to Santa Monica and lay on the beach and then go and browse at Anthropologie. I say browse, because I had never made one purchase there. I was twenty two. It was much too expensive.

My husband and I walked into the store and there was this chest. It was love at first sight. There were two more around it. The other two trunks were smaller and five times its price. I have no idea why. We debated about it, but ultimately decided it was too expensive. The chest was $400.

We left. We came back a week later. It was the only one left. My husband bought it for me for my birthday. He also purchased me two light switch covers. I still have all three gifts. I use them everyday.

So, it was our first big purchase as newlyweds. And our first antique purchase. And what do you think we worried about? The cost? No. We had worked it out in the week leading up to its purchase. Where to put it? No. We lived in a two story condo all by ourselves and we had very minimal furniture. Then what?

Ghosts. We worried about the piece being haunted.

So, what did we do?

We carted the chest up to our bedroom and watched a scary movie.


We tried to get to sleep, but the chest kept us awake. So, we watched another scary movie.

We are… smart.

At this point, it was 1:00 in the morning. We turned off all of the lights. But we both lay awake in the dark debating our purchase. We would whisper to each other.

“Are you scared?”


“Are you scared?”


Followed by tears. I am not going to tell you whose answer is whose. I will leave it up to you.


And, then, and I am not making this part up. A long howl rose through our condo. Screeching again and again.

I think we both lay there stunned.

At this point we both were terrified.

My husband was brave enough to turn on the lights. I lay there staring at the chest. I expected a banshee to leap from it and attack us at any moment.

My husband made his way towards the chest. Another howl.

He looked at me, “It’s not coming from the chest. It’s coming from downstairs.”

“The banshee got out!” I screamed.

I am great in a crisis.

My husband made his way downstairs. I lay curled up in our bed. I knew what was coming. I had seen enough horror movies. My husband was doomed. I was next.

My husband returned. Our cat was in his hands. “Kitty was doing it!” He exclaimed.

We stared at our banshee. Our cat, who happened to go into heat on the very night we purchased our first antique.

We got her fixed the next day.

The night howls ceased. Our banshee was exorcised. And our chest now holds nothing but linens.

And our dignity.

The Prerequisite Pumpkin Patch Blogger Post


Happy Halloween! I actually have two posts scheduled for today. One is going up later. It is a spooky home decor story. ; )

This year is flying by and when I told my kids that I need to know what they want for Christmas, they laughed at me.

Mom! It’s two months away!”

Um, no, it’s not. It is less than two months away and I feel so unprepared.


What the heck does that have to do with a pumpkin patch?


Absolutely nothing, except to say that I am behind. We did not buy our pumpkins this year until the twenty eighth.

The pumpkin patch was incredibly crowded.

The drought caused the corn maze to be short this year.

This pumpkin patch is the best though. They do not charge anything for the maze. It is a sweet free fun family activity.


I would like to say that I am so cool that I sat on this hay stack and walked away unscathed.

I would like to say that.

But that would be a lie.

I was picking hay out from underneath that dress all night.

The pumpkin patch definitely had the last laugh.


Did I mention I am allergic to hay?


And pumpkins?

I know.

I was also so intelligent that day that when I went to cut the tags off of this plaid scarf from Target, I cut a hole right through it.

That is okay. It cannot be seen. I don’t think. Oh well, I love the two plaids mixed together. It made me unbelievably happy. I am wearing my plaid tunic that I purchased for $20 at Nordstrom Rack last year. So many stores have a similar dress this year (here -the yellow gives me butterflies and here).

I was unsure about wearing this tunic with just tights. I asked my husband over and over, “Honey, are you sure this isn’t too short?”
And he assured me it wasn’t. He lied.


I made it through the whole corn maze without flashing anyone. I knew it was too good to be true. I went back to the car and I bent over to grab my gnome from the car, as one does.

I was being entirely unladylike, but there was a car right next to me and I figured the odds of the people coming back to that car whilst I was bending over were nil.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I stood up, turned around and a husband and wife were directly behind me. The wife’s lips were pursed and the husband was red.

You would think that would be the most embarrassing thing.


But then this happened.

My husband was so happy that I wanted to give this little guy a ride.

By the way, those guys in the parking lot are high-fiving each other because they chose to wore pants that day. Showoffs.


It was all worth it to see how happy the gnome was swimming in the squash.

With his little purple pointy hat, bright blue shirt and black… Pants.


Well, at least one of us left the pumpkin patch with a little dignity.

Although if you really stop to think about it, swimming in gourds isn’t exactly hospitable.

You can’t take us anywhere.

Ruffle Me This


I was aching to wear Free People’s Mia Ruffle Dress (sold out, but this one is similar) on a date night. And the other night I finally did.


We are creatures of habit. We went to the same restaurant as our last date night.


This is because the restaurant we had decided to go to in town did not start their live music until 9:00 at night.

How young do they think we are?

That is past my bed time.


This restaurant we ended up going to closed at 8:00. We are early birds. And not zombies, even though this picture would make you believe otherwise.


And the musician here was great. He played until 8:10. I just realized that he probably went to go play at the other restaurant after he was done with this engagement.

You might think that that is stretching it.

Why would I assume he was playing at the other restaurant? There are a ton of talented performers in our town.

Well, because he mentioned he plays there right before he left.

I am quick.


It was not a great date night.

It was fine.

But not great.


It happens. Both of us were not really into it that night. He had burned his arm pretty badly right before we left on the date and would not let on that he was in pain and I was in the middle of my September funk. It was a rare quiet meal.

We are going on a huge date this weekend and I am hoping we have a great time. I bought some sexy pink shoes that I plan on wearing with the dress from this post. But I need to practice walking in the shoes in the house. If I can’t do that, they have to go back.

In the meantime, I will be wearing all of the ruffles I can muster. I am so looking forward to the dinner this weekend. And spending time with my husband.

Have you gone on a date night recently? Do you wear your most impractical shoes? I will hopefully show my shoes on Instagram soon (if I keep them). I just hope I can walk in them. This time, there will be no ruffles to cushion my fall.

*I shared this on The Pleated Poppy and Reasons To Dress.

How The Jenni Got Her Gripes


When I was eight years old, I entered a writing contest. I somehow found the time to do this in between writing a certain young movie star love letters and looking for rusty nails around the property. The demands on my time were vast.

My grandmother had given me a subscription to a now defunct magazine that catered to precocious children. I believe she was trying to improve my literature considerations, because all I would read back then was Teen Bop Magazine.

But the magazine issue I received from my grandmother’s gifted subscription was different the month in which this story takes place.

Different, as in, I actually read it.

And different, as in, in this issue, the magazine was holding a contest.

It was for ages up to ten years old.

The prize was a platypus.

Yes. A platypus.

It did not say a stuffed platypus. It did not say a toy platypus.

Believe me, I could not believe my eyes. I checked.

The prize was a platypus.

Now maybe because this magazine was supposed to be for “gifted” children, they assumed that such children would know that they would never actually give away a real platypus. But I was no such child.

I wanted that platypus.

That real, lovely, flippered little darling.

All I had to do was write a short story about how an animal got a certain characteristic.

Like how a dog got its fur. Or how a tiger got its stripes.

And a gifted child… A brilliant child… Well, we all know what they would have chosen to write about.

A platypus.

But, again, I wasn’t really reading the magazine. It did not have posed pictures of teenage boys I could stalk, in its pages.

So, I picked the animal I was obsessed with at the time.

A toad.

Don’t ask.

I spent all day writing, “How the toad got its warts.” I would tell you how, but I sent my only copy to that magazine twenty nine years ago. I would like to say it was ground breaking. But it probably went something like this:

One day in a far away land, there lived a little girl. The little girl loved a boy. She wrote him all of the time. He never wrote her back. His name was Sean. One day a witch came to Sean and said, “If you do not write Jenni, I will curse you.”

But Sean did not write Jenni.

So, the witch cursed him with warts all over his… (remember, I wrote this as a child) face.

And Sean cried.

The witch said, “Until you write Jenni, you will always have these warts.”

But Sean did not want to write Jenni. So, he searched the land for a cure.

He asked a monkey if he knew how to cure his warts. But the monkey just scratched his head.

He asked a zebra how to get rid of his warts, but the zebra just stomped his hooves.

He asked a snake how to get rid of his warts but the snake hissed and Sean ran.

He ran until he came to a pond. Then he sat on the edge of the pond and he began to cry.


Sean looked up.

A shiny toad was sitting in front of him. It was sunning its dry skin on a leaf.

“Do you know how to cure my warts?” Sean asked the toad.

The toad turned its head and looked sideways at him. “Croak!” is all it answered.

Being entirely fed up and having no tissue or handkerchief on hand, Sean grabbed the toad and wiped his wet warty face all over the toad’s body.

When he pulled away, something miraculous had happened. All of his warts had been transferred to the toad.

And that is why the toad has its warts. And that is why Jenni never got a letter back from Sean.

The End.

I do remember it said, “The End,” because I used every color in my multi-colored pen to flourish the giant cursive letters in which that sentence was proclaimed. I knew that artistic gesture was my winning token. I was sure no one else had thought to use more than one color of ink. Let alone all of them.

I know.

The other kids didn’t stand a chance.




I waited with bated breath for my platypus to arrive.

Of course, I did not know what I was going to tell my parents, but I was sure they would be fine with it.

And you will never guess what happened.

A package. From that magazine. Came the next month.


It was very small.

Being not the type of girl who discourages easily, I assumed it was simply food for my platypus that would arrive shortly.

But when I opened the package, I did not find any food.

Or a flattened platypus.

In the package was a letter. And a book.

The letter said something like, “Congratulations! You have won second place in our writing contest.”

I was not amused.

I looked at the book. It was not a book on how to care for a platypus. It was not even a book about platypuses.

It was ,”The Little Prince.”

I put it somewhere on my bookshelf. And I never read it. Not ever.

It was a far cry from the sweet little platypus who would have loved me forever.

The next month, I waited for the magazine to come in the mail to see what the winning story had on mine. The story was good. Now, I’m not sayin’ she had help from her parents. Heck, maybe she really read that magazine every month. And maybe she was one of the truly gifted children.

I don’t know.

I don’t care.

All I cared about was the picture beside the story. It was a picture of a little girl. And she was hugging… A stuffed platypus.

You would think that this would have made me feel better.

But it didn’t.

Because a stuffed platypus had not been something I had considered. A stuffed platypus suddenly seemed very desirable. A stuffed platypus would haunt my dreams.

I never read that magazine again. I never received my letter from Sean. And I have avoided the word, “platypus,” for twenty nine years.

That book. Well, that book still sits on my bookcase. Unopened. A true reminder of a child’s dream never realized.

The funny thing is, as an adult, I recognize that the book was actually the better prize. A stuffed platypus gets worn. A real platypus lives only seventeen years. But that book still looks brand new twenty nine years after that contest has concluded.

I have thought recently that I might read the book.

I heard it was good.

But I’m not ready.

Maybe in another twenty nine years.

In the meantime, I’ve got some more stories to write.

I didn’t catch these gripes for nothin’.