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a ghost.. a real ghost.. has no need to die.. what is she except a being without access to the universe that she has not yet managed to forget? ~ randall jarrell
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AWWWWW........Merry Christmas Bren! And congratulations to the new addition to your family! Alice is adorable! I love all of your photos of her! One favorite is her looking out the window with the Christmas lights and butterflies, the last one too and the one of her on the cat tree! And the one with the hummingbird decal too! Love them all though! You are an amazing photographer, so don't sell yourself short on that talent of your many artistic talents! Thank you for making me smile! Love her name! =)


PS Love her album too and the Alice in Wonderland song for it. A good sign for me today. I'll tell you about it later. <3


now i'm curious :)


Hi Bren, Ok, it's now time to satisfy your curiosity :D......The past week has been a rough one for me. I had to let my mom go, because I wore myself out to the point of exhaustion and knew that my body was shutting down and I was dying literally. She had wanted to stay in her apartment and I have done everything I could to try to let her stay there (here-I'm still at her place) until I broke physically. I was so exhausted I didn't hear her get out of her lift chair and go into the bathroom and while trying to get back to her chair she fell and then called my name and I heard her. It was 3:15 in the morning last Sunday the 19th. She wasn't hurt, just wanted me to get her up and I can't lift her, so had to call 911 and have the fire dept. get her up. I had them take her to the hospital to make sure she was ok and she was, but I was too exhausted to pick her up, so they (Kaiser) called non-stop and then threatened and harassed me when I told them I was not able to drive due to exhaustion and asked if they could keep her awhile so I could sleep and get her or find a way to have someone pick her up, but they refused (told me they're an insurance company, not a board and care, filed a report with Adult Protective services and abandonment charges against me, etc.). I will have to deal with them this week more. They were even going to drop my mom off at her apt. Anyway, they called other relatives too, because I was unable to get her. My cousin who we had put on her Advance Care Directive as her agent as well said she couldn't help when the hospital called and my sister refused to answer the phone, so I had to call my moms granddaughter and she flew out on an emergency flight to help pack up my mom and they flew out on Christmas Eve Day. This is a granddaughter that loves my mom, but we tolerate each other and so in order to be able to talk to my mom again, I would have to play her mind games which are cruel. I know she loves my mom and it was better for my mom than a custodial facility in some other county. I had to choose between 2 options and my mom never wanted to go live with her or go into a nursing facility and wanted to stay in her apt. and have me care for her, but I could no longer do the job of 3 people and provide 24/7 care on my own..... Anyway, to get to the sign part that you're curious about. Both my mom and sister that passed away are named Alice. When Alice passed away, I had all of those powerful signs that I told you about before and wrote about and posted about on my Flickr page here:
Well last year, I had several more powerful signs around Christmas and haven't been able to post pictures or write about it due to caring for my mom and not having the time. Well, they started again this year too around Christmas, not as many, but your post is one of them. You don't write to me on Instagram and I was online when the notification from Instagram popped up while I was typing on another site and when you told me to make sure to check your blog in the morning for a surprise, I did. And there was my sign. Alice in Wonderland, a sign from my sister that she was with me and here for me. We used to spend Christmas Eve with my mom at her apt before she moved away and had our falling out. I was all alone at my mom's apt. Christmas Eve and Day and it was hard for me. Your post was one way that I knew she was with me. I also found a frog toy by my mom's chair that was a sign from her and saw something that I needed to see and read in a magazine yesterday. Before that it was a comment on my post about my mom to find peace and some peace cards and messages on Christmas cards before I exhausted myself out as much as I did. I will have to write about it and tell you more, but last year this time it was all about peace signs and crosses, all signs about finding peace in my soul, even a peace sign embedded in the sole of my shoe that I hadn't noticed! Very powerful and strong signs like the ones from 7 years ago that I wrote about in the link above. I have had others over the years, but not a series of them that were strong like those first ones and the ones last Christmas. So I believe that what most people would consider a series of coincidences, they were not. You contacted me on Instagram which you don't normally do, I was online to see the notification pop up which doesn't happen all the time, if you wouldn't have told me that I needed to check your blog in the morning, Christmas morning to see a surprise, I wouldn't have. And then when I saw Little Alice, it was a sign from my sister and about my mom, they both share the name Alice, that I made the best choice that I could have and that my sister Alice was here with me. And you wrote that your little Alice was in Wonderland now with you in your post above and then when I clicked on your album and heard the Alice in Wonderland song start up, I knew it was a good sign, (see the part about the card in my post on Flickr) so that's why I told you that. I know this all sounds crazy, but somehow I needed that and you gave me a distraction talking to me and asking me advice about cameras and my photography, which was also a sign. You know I haven't been able to get out in nature to places to take photos because of caring for my mom. I have always felt connected to you through your blog here as I told you and I feel that my sister and angels or something in the spirit world went through you to reach me. Check out my Flickr post and the post on my facebook page from Christmas Eve and the day before (the 23rd). You should be able to see it even though you're not on facebook since it's set to public right now:
I did not want to tell you what was going on and ruin your Christmas weekend, so since it's now a little after 2:30 am on Monday the 27th, I thought it safe to let you know and hopefully it will make you feel good to know that you helped me without even being aware of it. Your blog has really helped me these past couple of years and I don't think it's an accident that I found you through Gumby, which you know has been saving me. I was guided here and as we talked about before, I think not only by my sister, but by Art. It all seems so crazy, and I don't always even believe it and so try to make everything a coincidence, but inside my heart and soul, I know all of this is not a coincidence. My mind tries to be logical, but my gut knows otherwise. I have even won auctions or found items that I think I was supposed to have. My Gumby obsession has been saving me and nurturing my inner child and helping me get through these last couple of years. The last 3-5 have been especially hard with my mom's care and then this pandemic on top of it. Even your Christmas card with the bookmarks and Mork from Ork keychain came at a time when I really needed them. Especially that Mork from Ork keychain to remind me about mental health and dementia and not to give up and to keep fighting. My mom's dementia has been horrible to see and deal with and I have been in denial about a lot of it. Anyway, Bren, thank you again. I am so grateful that I found your blog and it has truly been a happy place for me to visit and hang out when I have needed a safe place to be. Hanging out in Toxics library and reading about the books there has helped me even more than our shared love of Gumby. So those bookmarks were perfect. I have really been connecting to my 6-8 year old inner child and have felt a connection to Toxic as well as to you.... Anyway, here is to a better week for both of us and a much better 2022 ahead. I look forward to hanging out here more next year. Thank you again, Bren for being you. I appreciate your friendship more than you know and I hope that you understand a bit more by this very long, rambling, crazy-sounding comment how much it has meant to me! :D =)


oh my gosh! i had no idea your sister & mom were named alice! i have collected alice in wonderland for years too of course, & they call the pacific northwest 'wonderland' so it was a perfect name for our very curious new little sister :)
sally, just so you know, i don't believe these things are coincidence either, i mentioned before about being infj (meyer briggs type) it helped me so much that now there's so much more info available about being this type, which is the rarest of all personality types, because i had finally found confirmation of what they call introverted intuition (ni) something that i and my son have, that my dad had, that always made us seem a little oddball, but that intuition has led me always through this often overwhelming life i've led, i trust it, and you should too, it sounds like you do. no one is 'gone' energy doesn't work that way, it just changes form. i still feel my folks, my sister & my girls with me. listen to those signs. i have stories i should tell you about signs i have asked for & received :) let people think it's crazy, whatever, most people are just not sensitive enough to things, the way i see it we have senses for a reason, sight, hearing, taste, feeling etc.. why would we have this extra 'sense' if there were nothing to sense?
i'm so glad for anything that helps you take care of yourself right now, you know you have given your all & done your best, that's all we can expect of ourselves. it's like the parent on an airplane when the emergency light goes on, you put the oxygen mask on first or you can't help anyone else, you know? you mentioned before you're an 'adult kid' like i am, we learn we have to take care of everyone else first for our survival, well, we need to learn healthier lifestyle choices that give ourselves the care we need too.. i'm amazed how you've been able to see your mom to her 100th bday & beyond, what she wanted most? it sounds like your decision is right, maybe not ideal, but when is life ideal? it's always messy.. the beautiful & the terrible all tangled together.. it wouldn't let me see facebook, but i saw the alice hallmark pics on insta..
i'm so glad you enjoy the toyroom like i do, it has been my happy place, when we first moved up here we didn't even know that extra room existed! it was a surprise & just naturally became the room for gumbyland & all our collectibles, we always have been collectors & always said we wished we had a vintage lost & found collectible shop one day, well we do, it's the toyroom.. & it's there for my son if he ever needs it, you know? like an e-store all set up with my ebay 20+ year history & all.. (i hate selling.. haha, but if he ever needs to, my son has my blessing..)
these times have been so hard for so many of us, i know there is a silent mental health 'pandemic' that is not even being talked about, the anxiety, stress, depression, suicide & economic troubles, family issues are heightened & taking its toll on all of us.. i had a collapse back awhile & had to reach out to my therapist i mentioned, right before the migraine i mentioned also, thought i'd post about it at my other blog 'the ghost blog' (i have 2 sides, the lost & found is where my inner kid has all the fun & the ghost blog is where i grapple with all my 'terrors & visions' ;) come on over anytime, you are welcome either place, ok?
take care sally, you're not alone! <3


Thank you, Bren <3 And I know that you didn't know that my mom and sister were named Alice and that made me know that info. had no part in you telling me to make sure to check your blog the next morning, which happened to be Christmas Day! And I do remember you mentioning about Meyer Briggs types of personalities and I wasn't familiar with infj (meyer briggs type), but know you're very intuitive. I like that you understand and believe that no one is 'gone' and that energy doesn't work that way, and that it just changes form. After I typed the comment above, and I read my long Flickr post with those photos, the frog toy that I found by my mom's chair and was the strongest jolt of a sign from my sister Alice when I found it did a back flip! I had him sitting on this computer desk now. He had enough wind left in him for one more flip and it was perfect! I had been playing with him before and most of his flips didn't complete and he did a flip by himself, so I knew it was her. I also had found a steelie when all this stuff got bad a few years ago, which I felt was from my dad. It's been sitting by my chair at my apt on a coaster ever since, for at least a couple of years now, and I always make sure to look at it. I found it at my apartment complex. It's a metal ball bearing, marble size and when I saw it in a crack between the sidewalk, I walked over it and something told me to stop, go back and pick it up. My mom was bad at that time. I don't often get signs from my dad and when I do, it's usually pennies. He used to leave pennies on the top of the refrigerator for my sister that is 3 years older and I to find and divide between us. He was a mechanic and gave us steelie ball bearings to play with as marbles when we were kids. The weird thing is that when my niece got here (and I had already had Kaiser drop my mom back off here at home, they/Kaiser were going to do it with no one here!) When I went outside that night to check on my vehicle, my niece told me later that my mom asked where dad was at and she didn't know if she meant my dad or her husband, so she didn't say he was gone/dead and she told my mom that he was outside. I wondered if he had been there in presence with my mom. Then when we took the photos on the 23rd that I wanted, so I could have a Christmas with her, she called me the baby and that's why I started to cry in them. I will send the pics and copy what I wrote and send to you through Instagram after I send this. I started thinking about the disconnect I mentioned. I had to let her go and felt that when I did, her memory started getting worse. When she got bad, I could always bring her back, but now I won't be able to. I knew as sick as I was that I was losing her and would never see her again. If the state put her in a custodial facility and in another county far away, she would not last long. If her granddaughter took her, I knew that I would soon not have any contact, especially after I was used for whatever she/my niece needs and then she would cut me off completely. I know she loves my mom, but she is dysfunctional like the rest of us and she has a very cruel side to her. She plays mind games with people and builds you up and puts you down. It's like she derives a lot of pleasure out of it. She had told me to f* off the last conversation that we had before I had to call her to see if she still would take my mom. She was waiting for me to break like my other family and continue to let me kill myself in the process until she could take my mom. I had told her I would let her take my mom and have no contact, but I wanted to be told when she passed away. Now instead of being the first to know, I will be the last or maybe not told at all. She said she wants my mom to not forget me, but I don't believe her, because I know her too well now and the cruel mind games she plays with people. For example, she was going to do a zoom call with me with my mom so we can see each other and kept pushing it and let me wait around all day yesterday and then said they were eating dinner and would call me and then she never did the zoom call and sent photos of my mom to me from xmas there to try to hurt me, which actually made me feel better, so didn't have the effect she wanted. Then instead of doing the zoom call after they ate , she made sure to call and tell me that she asked her if she wanted to play dice or watch tv, etc., so I knew that 3 hrs later, they were not still eating. I have her blocked on facebook, which we have never talked about, but she knows, so she sent me what I'm sure she posted on facebook that I can't see on there, a photo and what she wrote. The zoom call was never going to happen, she likes to try to dangle something in front of someone and then pull it back. It's all about control and power and is very sick. I still love her though in spite of this and I know that part of her loves me too, but we don't trust each other. I know she was my moms best option though and she does love my mom and will care for her because she wants to make herself look good to everyone and make me feel like a failure. She knows I spend Christmas with my mom and that the rain (I have SADD) and the holidays depress me and I would be all alone, but I had no choice and felt I was dying or my mom would not be there. If I die her, I still think my mom is in a better place than the custodial nursing facility and even though I'm not dead, I still think she's in better care than I can currently give her. We had a strong bond that I worked on getting my entire life, since she didn't really love me or want me that my sisters and niece were and are jealous of. I'm willing to let my mom go and let them lie to her to save her if this makes sense. I know you will understand this. I know I'm a co-dependent and was told years ago, when I was 18, to get away from my mom. I didn't though and never got away. I was told I have too much empathy by my counselor I had years ago and recently a doctor at Kaiser told me to read a book called women who love too much. I know if I wasn't doing this with my mom, it would be/would've been with a man/men. I know it's time to try to take care of myself, finally. I will still do what I can for my mom. I'm currently still her POA, which she can't change and they can't change due to her mental condition. So they need me still right now. It's just cruel if they're telling my mom that I didn't come visit, etc. They have told her that's her apartment. They are my niece, her husband and her sister. There are 3 people doing for her what I was doing for her. I pushed myself to my limit and almost died, so I had to let her go. Not just physically, but break that tie we had to each other. I am still very weak and dizzy, but my heart isn't beating like it was. I know I messed myself up, especially since I have other health conditions like my CFS and blood issues, etc., but I'm going to fight to survive..... Thank you again Bren (and Toxic too) <3


you know i guess we (me & my guys) have always sorta been 'holiday orphans' by ourselves up here each xmas, i understand that & so much of what you say, i posted today over at the other blog about my own latest struggles -
check it out sometime & when you're feeling a bit better & need some humor try the link at the bottom ;) to our abstractions album.. it helped me :)


Oh Bren, I didn't realize how bad this time of year is for you too and why. I didn't make the connection when I read your book awhile back. I've been so wrapped up in my mom.....Little Alice was definitely a much needed bright spot! Thank you so much for being here for me when you're struggling so much with your own pain. You're such a special soul!..... Xoxoxo <3<3<3<3<3


thank you sally! <3
now you see why i had to have 2 blogs.. lol
one for toxic & one for 'ghost'
yes, little alice is perfectly sweet & a blessing, but it would be alot to ask of one little kitty to cure me of all my issues, huh? it's a wonderful happy distraction to play with her & have that focus, you know? just like the toyroom is.. i need it :)


Yes, I see and understand! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 =)


i don't know if you saw but i posted those tiny stickers yesterday & up at gumbyland, i used some on my new 2022 journal so i'll get to see them all the time :)
thanks again!


Awww....I just now went and found the post. <3 =) Makes me feel happy that they made you happy, just like your bookmarks and keychain made me happy. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

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