Dr. Death

I wrote some blogs on my iPad and will be posting them today as I can only handle wifi for a short amount of time.


Let me introduce you to my newest Dr., Dr Death, from the palliative care team. He, as far as I can tell, wants to make REALLY SURE you understand that you are going to DIE, and it’s going to be soon. Get your affairs in order, and decide what you want to do about the “Do Not Resuscitate” orders because it’s not fair for your family to have to decide to pull your plug. “Well,” I told him, “I want to discuss that with my husband.” I already told him not to keep me on life support if I was a vegetable. My parents/sisters would keep me like this forever I’m afraid, but he would have to do the right thing. What would be the point waking up from something like that to be in more pain? If anyone one tried CPR on my bones right now, they’d crush me.

We talked about chemo. He said it probably would not be in my best interest to do that right now because it would probably kill me faster. Finally someone agrees with me.

I spoke to my oncologist and asked him 3 questions. Here were his responses.

1. If I take this chemo, what is the probability that it will help me? (20-30%)
2. How much longer will it extend my life? (An extra 1-2 months).
3. What is the probability that this chemo is going to harm me? (High given the fact I’m not walking around independently for more than 1/2 day).

So really folks, what’s the point in becoming bald from chemo, not getting out of bed because you’re too sick, and spending an extra one or two months alive feeling like shit? Forget it. Besides, this chemo (cousin) was the one that stopped my heart dead. It’s like being offered a ticket to death row to be executed right now and I’m not that nuts to do it. Chances are I’ll live longer doing nothing.

So that’s what I’m doing. I really can’t complain. I superseded the expectations of the medical system for 8 years. I should have been dead a long time ago. But God gave me extra time on this earth to do the stuff that made me really happy which was to teach, coach, do art, be with my family and travel. And I live with no regrets because even if my life is cut short, I had a really truly amazing and satisfying life. I had a career I loved. Going to work and getting paid for having a great time being with kids was immensely satisfying. I have two wonderful children and a husband who loves me. I have great friends, relatives, my mom and dad and sisters. What can be better than that? Life has been grand and I’m grateful.



6aa682676568f4872e102e97c14d17a6So I had a very weird premonition a couple of times when I was getting into my car this week.  I thought I was going to get hit from behind by a car.  And so what happened on Wednesday?

My car got rear ended.

Not sure how or why I get this feeling, but my sixth sense is pretty good.  For example, I know when I’m going to win something (T.V., Bingo, sunglasses, slot machines).  And once I even knew that my house was going to blow up soon after I bought it (I had visions when I backed up my car that my house was going to explode). That happened after my crazy father decided to bang on my furnace “to see if the pipe was metal?”.  Its a long story and involved 3 foot flames emancipating from my furnace.

Anyhow I called a real furnace man to inspect it soon after getting repeated premonitions that my house was going to explode and you know what he said to me as he was shaking his head?  You are one lucky lady.  The pipe was dislodged and gas was leaking.  “What does that mean?”, I asked.   “Just that your house would have blown up and so would your neighbours.”  Lovely.  Thanks dad for tinkering with my furnace.

Maybe I shouldn’t have driven when I had that sensation that I was going to get into an accident.  Sigh.

I was attempting to make a turn right and BANG I got hit by a white car.  I put on my hazard signals and got out of my car.  I asked the woman if she was alright.  She seemed distraught.  She told me she was awfully sorry and that her mother was in the hospital and she was going there right now to see her.  My bumper didn’t seem too bad and the trunk had a dent in it.  I went to see if the trunk still opened and closed.  It did.  So I told the woman not to worry about it.  My car was old and I needed a new one anyway.  She insisted I take down her drivers license and information.  I told her I wasn’t going to do anything with it anyway and she gave me a hug.  Hope she pays it forward.

I took my car to my mechanic today.  He told me that I’d need $400 to fix the trunk and another $400 for the bumper.  My car is only worth about $2000 so I said forget it. Wasn’t worth it.  As long as it still drives me to my next adventure, I was okay with it!

And my next adventure begins TOMORROW!  Hurray!



Sand Dunes, I Luv My Bobo


After we went to Frankenmuth, we decided to keep driving to Lake Michigan to see the Sand Dunes.  They were awesome. Now my kids have been to all the Great Lakes too.   Didn’t know mountains of sand like this even existed.


First we went to Sleeping Bears Dunes National Park. It was very steep.  Sign warned people not to go down the steep slope without hats and water.  It read that it would take 2 1/2 to get down to the beach and climb back up and if you needed help to get rescued, you would have to foot the bill for a rescue.  Needless to say, I did not attempt it.


IMG_0666Then we stayed overnight at a hotel close to Silver Lake Sand Dunes where we spent the next day walking on the dunes (dared not try it although it looked like fun), go karting and a really cool mini-putt with a waterfall.  Great place to visit.

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Took plenty of painkillers on this trip, let me tell you.  Hard to walk in the sand with a freshly radiated back. Sigh.




Good news!  My husband Bobo recently won an award at work….best mortgage underwriter (nominated by some brokers).  So he gets a free all expense trip to Whistler, British Columbia.  And guess what I told him?  He ain’t leaving without me in tow!  No way!

We are going to be staying at the luxurious Fairmont Whistler Hotel.  Ba Bing!!!  Bobo is none too happy about this event as he says he will have to go to meetings for 3 days.  Not me however!  I will be galavanting outdoors.

Damn back, however.  You’d better believe that I’d be downhill skiing on those mountains if I didn’t run the risk of fracturing some more vertebrates.  Oh well, heard there is a gondola I could go on.  And I could always use the Fairmont’s spa services if I overdo it or the weather is yucky.  Afternoon High tea perhaps?  Hahaha!  Love them scones, fancy little sandwiches and glorious tea!  Getting excited!  Wish I could invite some friends, though.

After the conference, Bobo is coming back to reality, but not me!  I’m going to fulfill an item on my bucket list!  Ever since I was in grade 5 and my friend Leanne Murray showed me a picture of her family’s trip to Lake Louise, I have had it in my head to go there.

I missed an opportunity to go there with my cousin from Australia because I was getting married and couldn’t afford it.   In 2012, when I was out of commission after surgery to cement my fractured vertebrae and put two titanium metal rods in my back, I vowed if I ever could walk again I would go to Lake Louise (and Italy) and not have any regrets.  When my hubby told me he won a trip to BC, I took it as a sign from the almighty Lord above who just gave me the perfect opportunity to fulfill my West Coast quest!

So I have booked a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer, Gold Service, so some poor sucker who isn’t me, can deal with my baggage everywhere I go.  Get my own damn chef too.  And I’ll be asking for some champagne as soon as I get on board.  This is gonna be fun!  I’m going to Kamloops, Banff, Lake Louise and Calgary.  And there is some crazy ride on a helicopter (if I don’t chicken out) too.

Like my husband says, “You can’t take it with you”.

I love my husband.

Frankenmuth, Michigan

September 12, 2015

Sorry I haven’t been blogging all summer, but it’s hard to do when you have kids! Life has been a bit of a roller coaster ride.

Road tripI had planned on going to New York in July/August and on a driving trip to PEI and Cape Breton, but my plans were kiboshed because of 2 new tumours growing on T8 and T9. I knew something was up in June…just didn’t feel right. There is also something going on in my lung/diaphram and pancreas but I’m not sure what it is because I haven’t seen my oncologist to find out what he thinks….that’s a whole other story.

Wasn’t sure how I was going to make out doing the drive by myself. So I took the kids to Science North in Sudbury (4 hours away) to see how I would fair. Did okay, but sure was glad to get back and get on my biomat. My back really hurt.


IMG_0266IMG_0279Then I underwent a week of radiation.  Bobo had the last week in August off, so we went to a niffty little German Bavarian Christmas town in the States called “Frankenmuth”. It houses the largest Christmas Store in the world….the size of a football field. And it really is that big.

IMG_0283Of course, we had to go there and check it out. Here are some of the pics! If you get a chance, you really must drive out there and check this place out, especially if you love Christmas! Took us about 4 1/2 hours to get there (via Sarnia border crossing).  Oh, and if you have kids there are 2 indoor water parks (The Bavarian Inn for smaller children and The Zehnders for older kids) which I am sure they will love.

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Now if water parks and Christmas Stores aren’t your thing, the little town is quite adorable and you can go for long picturesque walks and look around, shop at the quaint little boutiques or even go on an old fashion boat.  Something for everyone…even your cats and dogs.


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IMG_0412And if you are tired, and need a little push around the Christmas Store, they even have a wheelchair available to pick up!  Could have used a self-serve motorized one for myself though; Frack decided to take me for a quick ride, here, there, and everywhere!  He got a kick wheeling me around!

My Big “50” Birthday Bash in Niagara Falls

IMG_9500IMG_9419Decided to go to Niagara Falls for my 50th birthday and really had a great time with hubby and the kids.  We started out at the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark.  I went water tubing down the slides too.  My back is still good, really, despite the radiation treatments. Ha ha ha!

IMG_9246IMG_9252My cousin Boo from Australia knew I was staying at this hotel and on arrival surprised us with a huge tray of chocolate strawberries and other chocolate delights to gorge on.  It was so yummy and just hit the spot after over 2 hours on the road.  I was a little disappointed at the hotel room we got.  It was suppose to be with a “Fallsview” and all we really got was a good view of the U.S. Canada Border Crossing!   It was a bit of a stretch to the left to see Niagara Falls.

IMG_9261 IMG_9262Had a fabulous meal in the Rainbow Room at the Crowne Plaza hotel.  I remember seeing the chef, Massimo Capra on T.V. making all these delicious looking dishes and now I can say I actually tried some.  Really good food.  Lobster bruschetta, the best calamari ever and yukon gold/sweet potatoe cannelloni with lots of different veggies.  Delicious.  Had a glass of wine with my dinner so I couldn’t take any pain meds for a while…but that was okay ’cause I felt fine.

We went out for a bit of night life and this is what we did….


High five with the Hersheys Kisses Guy!


Met a Dinosaur and rode the Giant Ferris Wheel (climate controlled).




Spent some time mini-golfing at “Wizard Golf”.  That was so cool.  The artwork in that place was gorgeous!  I love “Black Light” glow in the dark “magic”.

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IMG_9373Sat for a minute and chatted with the Obama’s and Forest Gump.

A birthday well-spent.


On Sunday I decided to treat myself to a facial and massage.  My skin has been really terribly dry and I’ve been drinking water like there is no tomorrow.  I have never experienced such thirst before in my life.  I was downing about a litre of water every hour.  So I told Bobo and the kids to go to the water park while I went to the Christianne Spa at the Sheraton next door.  My appointment was for 10:00, but when I got there I found out that there really was no room for me.  You don’t know how disappointed I was.  I finally was able to do something for myself without thinking about the children and what they wanted to do and now when I thought I was going to get some peace and quiet and time for me.  Wham.  No can do.

“Sorry we tried to phone you at your room after you called.  We only have a spot available at 1:00 if you’d like”.  “That’s it”, I thought.  They are getting the “Cancer Card”.   What?  This is my 50th birthday.  My kids are at the water park this morning so I could have this time to myself.  “I’ll let you speak to the manager.”  This is going to be good, I thought.  She got an earful…including how my face is all dried out from my radiation treatments etc. etc. “I’m really sorry, there is nothing we can do for you until 1:00”, I heard.  Can’t you phone someone and make them switch because my husband is stuck with my kids even longer if my treatment doesn’t finish until 2:30.  And my room is only available until 1:00 (for them to shower/change).  She promised I would get a really good room at the spa if I waited until 1:00.

Went to tell Bobo the news.  He was good about it and told me to keep the new appointments and he would entertain the crew.  I didn’t feel like going to the water park so I went to our room and went through my emails.  Terri-Lynn told me to go to the casino and bet on #5.  So I thought, “This is my chance.”  Go to the casino and find yourself a roulette wheel.  Off I went.

I bet $5 on #5 and #19 (my friend Liz’s birthday number) and $10 on red.  Lost on 5 and 19 but won on red.  Tried those numbers again and lost.  Decided to call it quits and check out the slots.  Cased out both floors and came to a machine where I got that “happy go lucky” feeling.  I don’t get that often, but when I do, I act.  Sat down and 3 spins later…Cha Ching….ding ding ding.

IMG_9427Holy shit!  Lucky 7’s.  I wonder how much I won!  Well, it turned out to be around $100 bucks.  Just enough for the cost of my facial (and my benefits would pay the cost of my massage!)

Run while you have money in your pockets”, I thought.  And that is exactly what I did!

When I went to the spa at 1:00, they apologized for the inconvenience and I said, “Oh no, that earlier appointment…it was not meant to be.  I’m glad you sent me away because I went over to the casino and won $100 bucks!” They all laughed and said that was great.

I had a wonderful gooey facial with lots of essential oils, but I swear my face still dried out by the time I got home. I’m seriously not kidding when I say there is no water in me and I’m drinking constantly.  Frack got mad at me because we had to stop a couple of times on the way home to buy more water and for me to get to a washroom.  I told Bobo I needed those adult diapers “Depends” because this has been happening to me all week. What can you do?

By the way, the manager at the spa gave me a complimentary body cream as a gift for my birthday.  And I also got a free keychain.  But that’s another story.  I’ll write about it now, but if you don’t have time to read this much, I understand.

This story has to do with my cheeky husband who doesn’t say much, but when he does, it’s a hum-dinger.  I saw this neat booth that sold crystal blocks with your photos engraved on them.  I thought that it would be a nice momento of our trip to Niagara Falls.  So me and the kids got a 3D photo made (minus the husband who made me swear that after our Wedding photos, he was never, ever, going to have to pose for pictures again (because your spirit is taken from you… blah, blah, blah).  I’ve upheld my end of the bargain…well…most of the time…occasionally I get a picture of his hand when I try.  Anyway, while I was contemplating what to write on this block of crystal (ie:  Happy 50th Birthday or something like that), that ding dong husband of mine pipes in with something like, why don’t you write “Remember Me” since you are going to croak tomorrow anyway.  He had that cheshire cat look on his face like he just got a mouse. The man at the shop looked horrified and thus I felt obligated to explain…yeah I have cancer blah, blah, blah.  Now tell me what I should write on this thing without being morbid.

The funny thing is that not only did this guy want to know what kind of cancer I had, but he really believed what my husband said about dying tomorrow.  He even pretty much said, ” Please don’t die here right now”.  I’m looking at him thinking, “Are you kidding me?  You actually believe my stupid husband?”  I’m telling you, there is a whole lot of weird in-breeding going on in Niagara Falls.  I honestly wanted tell him not to worry about me because I wasn’t going to go anywhere right now, but I was going to kill my husband very soon and that was going to be the body he’d have to worry about.


We came up with “Love You Forever” and the date.  When we went to pick up the item, he gave us a free LED crystal keychain with our photo too.  Now we have one key chain each….minus the husband.  He was not included.

“Wasn’t that nice of the man to give us a free key chain” I told my husband.  “Yeah”, he said, “What did you expect?” and he grinned with that cheshire look in his eyes once again.

Back to Germany

Dear Readers,

I recently went back to Germany for another two week cancer treatment. Three days before I left, my latest MRI showed that I had two new tumours on C2 (neck) and T6 (spine).

I figured something was going on anyway because my back was hurting every morning when I woke up. I think I messed around too much with my medication from Germany which I stopped taking in August/September when my doctors here told me that I had extensive metastatic disease in my bone marrow. I started taking chemo again for a month, then discovered there really wasn’t anything in my bone marrow. The artesunat medication that I got from Germany made my hemoglobin very low and I was told here that I would need blood transfusions if it didn’t improve. So I stopped taking it.

I phoned my doctor in Germany, who sent me some liquid form of iron called Gelum. Within 3 weeks, my hemoglobin was normal again. Better yet, I also asked him to send me something for my heart because I was getting a lot of irregular heartbeats when my heart doctor put me on two medications. He sent me a liquid form of CoEnzyme Q10 called Sanomit. Shortly thereafter I had an echo done and guess what? My heart is now normal…it hasn’t been normal for 5 years…ever since I had chemo. I was thrilled.

So off I went back to Germany. I had a fabulous time there with my husband and two kids as we travelled to visit many of the Christmas Markets while we were there (my husband always wanted to do this).

I will blog about my adventures soon. Gotta get ready for Christmas first!


Martha’s Vineyard

Excerpts from my diary of our New England Coast, Sunday, August 19, 2013

IMG_3508Apparently President Obama has been vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard over the last two weeks at a 7.6 million dollar home.  We passed the driveway today…couldn’t see the house, just the dirt road.  Our tour guide told us he wasn’t allowed to do his normal route because of all the security around.  We had heard about the presidents visit when we were on Cape Cod and decided to wait until he was gone to visit the island.

IMG_3458The thing the kids liked the best was going on the oldest carousel in the world from Coney Island called “The Flying Horse”.  It didn’t look like much and the horses stayed glued on the ground, but the big attraction was catching the  “Brass Ring”.  Positioned on the inside and outside of the carousel was a lever that spewed out IMG_3436metal rings.  So as you are going around and around, you needed to reach over and grabbed one of the rings.  Then you catch any of the rings, you place them on the rod on your horse’s head.  If you managed to be in the right place at the right time and you get the Brass Ring (colour is different), your prize is a free ride on the carousel.  My kids loved it.  It cost $2.50, but the line up wasn’t too bad and they seemed to be on it a long time.  Neither of them got the brass ring, but that was a memorable experience.  I’ve never seen a carousel like that before.

Our Tour Bus

Our Tour Bus

We took a tour bus in the morning and went around the whole island, minus Edgartown because the roads were too small for our big bus.  The set up was kind of weird.  Three bus companies.  One was down in the wharf area; the other two, you had to call them.  We didn’t have a cell phone and there were no pay phones on the island.  Fortunately there was a lady there who was called the company that was ranked the highest on trip advisor, so we asked her to get us some tickets too.  They wanted $50 bucks per person and they weren’t going to come and get us unless we had 15 people.  We were six.  The lady told them she thought it was too expensive and she didn’t want her two tickets anymore.  I wasn’t about to waste my vacation time looking for 11 more people to book a tour with them, and we didn’t have a phone to call them back to arrange for them to come get us, so what the heck?  We went with the tour company that was there. I actually thought our tour guide was quite good.  There really wasn’t a lot to see, yet he had us laughing.  Around the corner is a boulder.  And here is our tiny post office.  We don’t have a lot of crime at Martha’s Vineyards.  This is our police station with all the flowers around it.  There are only 4 policemen here.  A few years ago, one of them was out of commission for a while because he put 4 bullets in a turkey. It was big news around here…a quarter of the police force wasn’t working.  Drove on the bridge where they filmed the movie Jaws.IMG_3459

Bridge where they filmed "JAWS"

Bridge where they filmed “JAWS”

We went by some dirt driveways of people who lived there, but you couldn’t see anything but an open wooden fence.  Jackie O., Kennedy’s wife, had lived on around 374 acres of land there…couldn’t see the place.  The tour guide said when people buy property at Martha’s Vineyards, there are many regulations.  You can only build on a small section of your land, the rest has to be left to grow wild..no cutting down trees.  The parcels of land are gigantic too and when you sell it, you can’t sub-divide and sell pieces of it.  Thirty-three percent of the island is natural.

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The kids were tired from getting up early this morning and fell asleep on the tour…until we got to a place called the Gayhead Lighthouse.  It was named that because of the colourful rocks around the place.  We had 30 minutes to roam around and we actually got to go up  in the lighthouse for $5.  That was really neat….’crept it was rather hot when the light went whizzing by our heads. After the tour we ate and walked around.  We saw the cutest gingerbread houses.  I think that’s why everyone likes Martha’s Vineyards so much.  The houses are really unique.

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Cape Cod, Provincetown

Excerpts from my diary of our East Coast/New England Coast Trip; Sunday, August 18, 2013


IMG_3211Drove up the coast of Cape Cod today.  The houses are gorgeous and the shops are so quaint.  I found a place where they sold shells and was able to get a seahorse and a blowfish…new additions for my art lesson on underwater sea creatures.


IMG_3265IMG_3261We drove all the way to Provincetown, where one of the Tourism operators told us to be aware that alternative people and families lived there. It was fun.  I wish I had a camera ready when I was driving by two large men in pink and white tights and tutus.  Frick did  get a good shot of a guy in a gold dress.


Beach Shot in Provinceton (northern point of Cape Code)

Beach Shot in Provinceton (northern point of Cape Code)

T-Shirt Hey Bob?  How's the water? Bob?  Bob?

Hey Bob? How’s the water?
Bob? Bob?

Tank of Lobsters Who Farted?

Tank of Lobsters
Who Farted?

Should have bought one of these Lobster           T-shirts for my husband!

Tomorrow we’re off to Martha’s Vineyard.

By the way, I found Dedo (remember him… He’s the gargoyle I was looking for in France with his fingers crossed…a nun put him high on the roof top of Notre Dame cathedral so that any angels coming down to earth wouldn’t be afraid of the scary gargoyles).  Well, I found Dedo in a quaint little shop in Cape Cod and brought him home.  So now he sits in our garden amidst the other gargoyles we have (Spike…who picks his bum, our chained gargoyle on a coffin, and the wacky one hanging on the wall of our house).









Spike busy scratching his butt

Spike busy scratching his butt



Boston, Harvard/Cambridge University, Cheers Bar & Plymouth Rock

This gallery contains 18 photos.

Didn’t get a chance to write much in my diary on August 16/17….so todays excerpt is some of the photos we took as we travelled through the Boston area.  We went on a bus tour of the area which encompassed … Continue reading

New England Coast, Salem, Massachusatts

Excerpt from my diary of the East Coast/New England Coast Trip, Aug. 15, 2013

IMG_2742IMG_2771Boo decided to go to the Art museum in town while me and the kids went to check out the Witches  Dungeon, The Witch Museum, and the Pirate museum. My favourite one was the witches dungeon where some actors/actresses did a reenactment of one of the witches trials.

What happened in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 is really fascinating stuff.  A Puritan Minister had two daughters named Abigail and Betty who started acting crazy one day.  They screamed and threw their Bibles on the wall in church, crawled on the floor, barked like dogs, crawled into the fireplace, and had episodes of being in a catatonic state.  Their parents didn’t know what was wrong IMG_2805with them and  called for a doctor to examine them.  He told the parents that there was nothing wrong with them physically, but someone had “Bewitched” them.  (The children had a nanny named Tituba, from the West Indies,who often told the girls and their friends stories about voodoo and witchcraft and they would sometimes “act” it out which was a a real no no in those days).  The parents asked the girls to point out who was a witch, and so they did.  They started accusing the townspeople of witchcraft.

Innocent people were sent to jail even though they did nothing wrong.  During the witch trials, the judge would ask the accused if they were innocent or guilty of witchcraft.  If they pleaded innocent, they would lose their property and be hung.  If they pleaded guilty, they would lose their property, but were allowed to live because they “confessed”.  Tituba was asked if she was a witch.  She said, “Yes”; but she got off scott free because she didn’t have a property to lose and wasn’t sent to the dungeon because she “confessed”.

IMG_2744Some of the adults began directing Abigail and Betty to accuse certain people in town of witchcraft.  When the accused people were hung, their property and livestock would be sold cheaply at auctions. Entire families were sent to the dungeon simply because of greed. Prisoners were asked to pay for their own cells, hand-cuffs, food and drink, and even their own hanging.  If they couldn’t afford the cost of being in jail, family members were asked to pay.  If they were unable to pay, IMG_2762the prisoner would be sent to a special cell that looked like a vertical stone coffin in which they were forced to stand all day, hand-cuffed to the wall.  Not a nice place.  Constantly dark and dingy, and sometimes the nearby river overflowed into the dungeon making their lives even more miserable as they had to live in waist high water until low tide.

One day, a police officer openly stated that the girls who were accusing others in the town of witchcraft should be hung.  Unfortunately, he was then accused of witchcraft and they hung the police officer instead.  Two dogs were also hung on Gallows Hill because the girls said that the dogs were possessed by the devil and they gave them the “evil eye”.

IMG_2761The hysteria didn’t stop there.  Leaders of neighbouring villages would often hire the girls to point out the witches in their towns too.  At one point, there was over 150 people in jail (and they only had about 600 people in town).  The madness came to an end in May, 1693 when the girls pointed to the wife of the Governor of Massachusetts of being a witch.  No more putting people in jail just because someone said so.  The witches trials happened over a 1 1/2 year period.  Sixteen people were hung, three died in prison, and one person was “pressed to death”.

Here are some quick pics of other interesting things we found in Salem.



My favourite pirate wasRachel Wall.  She would lure boats towards her pretending to be “In Distress” and once people came to her rescue, they were ambushed.



There are some great stores to pick out wonderful stuff for Halloween.

Our newest acquisition was Ugh and Lee (photo on right).  Wish I bought the ghoul too. but we didn’t have much space in the car!