Fall Concerts

Sir Elton John has always been on my must-see list and I'm so glad I got to share the experience with my mom, who's been a fan since his very beginning. This tour is to support the 40th anniversary of his album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, but he covered nearly thirty of his greatest hits when I saw him back in September. I only recognized half the songs, but they were all the good ones (like Tiny Dancer, Your Song, Candle in the Wind, Benny and the Jets, Rocket Man, Crocodile Rock, and even Circle of Life). That just tells you how big his songbook is! He played his piano and sang his heart out the entire time. There were lights, fun images on the screen, and a pretty chandelier, but that's it. The legend didn't really need a lot of bells and whistles. We were all in awe.

I don't think I could name more than five Jason Mraz songs, but Carrie is a huge fan and it was my turn to attend a concert I wasn't excited about. That's what friends are for! But really, I love all live music and was intrigued by this particular tour because it was an acoustic set, backed by the super talented girl group Raining Jane. It was more like a performance than a concert. The audience only sang along when Jason asked us to. He was funny, thoughtful, and positive and really has an amazing voice. I loved the footage of his trip to Antarctica he shared and I appreciated his message about being kind to yourself, others and the earth. I still only knew four songs, but he threw in a lot of covers that I loved, like songs by PM Dawn, Spandua Ballet, Guns N' Roses, Eurythmics, and even Mr. Rogers, who he said inspired him to get into music as a kid. Raining Jane played a variety of instruments from pianos, guitars, and drums to cellos, slide guitars, and citars, and had amazing harmonies. It was pretty awesome! I still may not be into his music, but I'm definitely a fan of his.

Next up? Nothing. I'm so disappointed I don't have a concert on the horizon. I have hockey games, comedians and musicals coming up, but no concerts. This has never happened to me before! It's kind of depressing.

UPDATE: One Direction just announced their summer 2015 tour so Leeann and I are making plans! Yay!

Haunted Washington - Starvation Heights

Wilderness Heights Sanitarium (known as Starvation Heights by locals) is so close to my house, there is no reason why I didn't go snoop around. Especially after my friend's mom read the book and told us all about it nearly ten years ago. Linda Burfield Hazzard was named the first "fasting specialist" in the country, had a cult following, and turned her Olalla, WA cottage into Wilderness Heights in the early 1900s. She rented out her attic to patients who had come to experience her revolutionary treatment, which she claimed would cure almost anything by ridding the body of toxins. 

The treatment, outlined in her book, was a strict diet of one bowl of tomato or asparagus soup per day for about forty days. Occasionally, a spoonful of orange juice was allowed. The treatment also included long walks, hour-long enemas, and massage, which was really just beatings to the foreheads and backs of her patients while Hazzard shouted, "Eliminate! Eliminate!" Local farmers watched patients walk from the sanitarium to the store and back, but noted that the walks soon became daily crawls, as the patients lost energy and weight.

Hazzard had many rich patients, including Daisey Maud Haglund, whose parents owned Alki Point in Seattle. She died after a 50-day fast. (Side note: Daisy's toddler, Ivar, grew up and opened the iconic Ivar's seafood restaurant chain). While some people survived this starvation diet and raved about the cure, about forty patients died. Hazzard performed autopsies in her bathroom and rarely filed death certificates. She had an arrangement with a funeral home in Seattle for burials. And while her patients were weak and sick, she convinced them to sign over their estates or give her a prominent place in their wills. 

Police had a hard time making an arrest because Hazzard's patients came and stayed at her sanitarium willingly. In 1912, she was finally convicted of manslaughter. Claire Williamson, a British heiress, died at age 33 weighing only 50 pounds. Claire's sister, Dorothea, survived because her family came in time to remove her. She weighed just 60 pounds and was too weak to leave on her own. Dorothea paid for the trial by the British Consulate and testified against Hazzard.

Hazzard spent two years in prison then moved to New Zealand, where she continued her practice and raked in the dough. In 1920, she came back to Olalla and built a larger sanitarium/nursing home, which was known as the School of Health. However, her reputation was ruined and she only had about ten patients in her 100-bed facility. This sanitarium burned to the ground in 1935 and was never rebuilt. Hazzard died in 1938 while (surprise, surprise) fasting. 

There was some reported paranormal activity in Hazzard's house. The woman who lived there was busy cooking, going back and forth between her stove and counter. When she finally turned around, all of the kitchen chairs and a few from a nearby room were stacked against the bathroom door (where the autopsies were performed). The attic had many low ledges and a psychic from the Discovery Channel said she saw the spirits of Hazzard's victims sitting on the ledges, still afraid to move. When Washington State Paranormal Investigations and Research visited, they picked up voices saying, "Help me," and, "Dig us up." Historic preservationists looked at the house a few times, but deemed that it could not be saved. The current owners tore down the house in 2011, 100 years after the mass murders, to build a new one elsewhere on the property.

 Starvation Heights

 School of Health

Halloween Sluts: Part 2

Remember a few years ago when I wrote about Halloween costumes that take the slut factor up a notch? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for women dressing any way they like, any day of the year, including Halloween. And I'm trying to use "slut" in descriptive way, not a derogatory one. Like Cady Heron says, "In girl world, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it." 

But let's be real, some of the costumes offered this year are totally out of control! 

There are new options for sexy food.

carrot, pizza, fortune cookie, Twizzlers, Ring Pop

You can pick a variety of costumes from the McDonalds line.

hamburger, Ronald, fries, Hamburglar, Coke

You can dress up as your favorite ridiculous pop star.

Gaga, Miley, and three kinds of Katy

If you're around my age, you can be something from our childhood!

Mr(s). Peanut, Gumby, Cabbage Patch Kid, Waldo, Sock Money

Or you can choose a character your kids are into and make it sexy, which is kinda creepy.

Buzz Lightyear, Minion, Cat in the Hat, Powerpuff Girl, Mickey Mouse

And there are a wide variety of sea creatures available.

jellyfish, lobster, shark, clown fish, dolphin

But you know what? I don't hate all of it.
Although I'm sparing you the super slutty costumes, there are quite a few this year that I really love.

Spice Girls!

Ginger, Baby, Sporty (check out those abs!), Scary, Posh

Characters from Tim Burton movies!

Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Sally

Pink Ladies from Grease!

Good Sandy, Rizzo, Frenchie, Bad Sandy

Characters from favorite '80s movies, TV shows and video games!

Pretty Woman, Ghostbusters, Jem, Zelda, Rainbow Brite

And these are the ones I'd definitely buy...if I had the body.

Day of the Dead doll, Rockford Peach, Ringleader, Litchfield inmate, Skeleton

Oh Yandy, you entertain me for hours.
Did I give you any costume ideas?

Slowing Down

I'm in desperate need for a slow down. I thought that since the boys are in school, I'd have all this new time to just sit and catch my breath, but it's not quite working out that way. After volunteering, late start Wednesdays, and transportation, I really only get four hours to myself each week. I've filled that time with pedi, hair and doctor appointments or grocery shopping and housework. I seriously have not had any "me" time.

Oh, except for five weeks in a row, when I had plans both days every single weekend. And while everything I've been up to has been a ton of fun (Seahawks and Mariners games, concerts, comedians, movies, girls nights, etc), I've also been recovering from surgery and fighting off a nasty sinus infection. I went to the doctor twice and got an increased dose of antibiotics to finally get rid of it. 

I'm not at all trying to say that I'm unhappy or ungrateful. I've been having a blast and I don't take for granted all the fun things I do. I have a wonderful husband who encourages it and steps up to take care of the kids, make dinner, and do chores when I'm slacking. Contrary to what it sounds like, I haven't been neglecting my family either. We've been busier than every now that school started and Nolan's in soccer.

I've just stretched myself too thin. I haven't been sleeping enough. I flat out haven't been taking care of myself. I need to chill so I started saying no to things. And I'm talking FUN things, like Dave Chappelle and Nick Swardson stand-up, a Sounders game, a Walk The Moon concert, and Oprah's Live The Life You Want weekend. I hate saying no to awesome stuff! Just writing it all out makes me a little sad.

But I have to take a break from "fun" to feel better and recharge. Besides a concert next week, the only things I have on the agenda are Fall and Halloween activities with the kids and an awesome all-day date with Jacob. Other than that you'll find me in pjs watching TV and reading for the next few weeks. And that sounds just about perfect to me.

What do you do when life feels overwhelming?

Haunted Washington - Manresa Castle

Manresa Castle in Port Townsend, WA was featured on a 2010 episode of Travel Channel's Most Terrifying Places in America. The building has served many purposes over the years, but is now a hotel and restaurant.

In the mid-1800s, Charles Eisenbeis emigrated from Prussia to Washington to open a bakery. Since the area was flourishing as a shipping port, he expanded his business to construction, real estate, brewing, and banking and made a ton of money. He got married, became the first mayor of Port Townsend, and built his dream home, Eisenbeis Castle, in 1982. The thirty room home featured artisan woodwork, tiled fireplaces, a slate roof, and brick walls twelve inches thick.

Eisenbeis died in 1902 of kidney disease, five years after his son committed suicide. His widow, Kate, continued to live in the castle until 1905, then remarried and left the empty castle with a local caretaker for nearly twenty years. In 1927 Eisenbeis Castle was sold to a group of Jesuit priests, who used it as a training college. The priests renamed it Manresa Hall, added a chapel, more rooms, and an elevator to house monks in their final year of study. The Jesuits left in 1968 and the building was converted into a hotel and renamed Manresa Castle. 

Two ghosts haunt the castle. The first is a monk who hanged himself in the castle’s attic. Guests in room 302 claim to hear footsteps coming from the ceiling and the occasional sound of a stretched rope. The other ghost is a young woman who had been waiting for her love to return from war. When he didn't, she jumped out of the window of room 306 and fell to her death. Guests of this room say their items are moved around when they're away, the TV and lights flicker on and off, and the sheets are pulled at night. Other hotel guests have noted that glasses would spontaneously break and empty glasses would turn upside down on their own in the cafe, which was once the chapel.

The hotel had ghost logs in some of rooms for guests to share their supernatural experiences, but were removed after a few patrons complained. I've always wanted to stay in the castle, but don't know if I could handle the creepiness. I'm not even talking about the ghosts. Its just a really old, outdated hotel and I'm a germaphobe. Ew. But people say it's a lovely romantic getaway and weddings happen there all the time. I should definitely check it out at some point.