Scary Campfire Story: The Crying Bride

This story and 15 others will appear in the eGuide “Campfire Stories: From the Chill to the Giggle” Volume 2 coming soon to the EatStayPlay.com store and to Amazon.com Kindle.

The Crying Bride

Crying Bride

Many years ago a wealthy man named Jacob married a beautiful woman. They lived happily for many years until his wife, Helen, began to age. Even though she was still considered a great beauty, crows feet formed at the corners of Helen’s eyes and strands of silver appeared in her long black hair.

Jacob started spending more and more time away from home and he stopped taking Helen out to dinner and to the opera since he was embarrassed to be seen with her. Eventually, Jacob met a beautiful woman, nearly fifteen years younger than his wife. Soon, he was spending all his time with his beautiful young lover, admiring how her face was unlined and there was no grey in her hair.

One day, Helen demanded to know where Jacob was spending all his time. He lied and said that he was working late nearly every day. But Jacob knew that he couldn’t keep lying to his wife for very long because Helen was bound to find out that he had another lover.

Jacob convinced his friend, who worked in a apothecary, to help poison Helen. One evening, Jacob invited his friend over for dinner, knowing that he was bringing the poison. When Helen wasn’t looking, Jacob poisoned her dinner. As they were sitting at the table, finishing their meal, Helen fell face-forward onto her plate. Dead.

Knowing that he couldn’t leave any witnesses alive, Jacob quickly killed his friend as well. Jacob took the two corpses and nailed them to opposite sides of a door. He then threw the door into the river.

Jacob was then free to start a new life with his young lover.

Before long, Helen’s ghost was haunting Jacob day and night. She would wander through the house, crying after her unfaithful husband. Helen’s ghost would slam doors, open windows and move papers.

Finally, in desperation, Jacob seized his sword and struck at Helen’s ghost. Only to discover that he had actually beheaded his young lover!

To this day, Helen’s ghost appears as a dark-haired woman dressed in white, like a bride. She has been known to follow unfaithful husbands home from their trysts and haunt them the way she haunted her unfaithful husband Jacob.

Best Camping Blanket Ever

I hate getting cold when I’m camping. Hate it, hate it, hate it! That’s why I always use a fleece liner inside (and sometimes on top of) my sleeping bag. Of course, picking the right sleeping bag helps too!

Finished blanket

Finished blanket and Lily the EatStayPlay.com mascot!

So when I ran across this fleece blanket I knew I had to add it to my camping collection. This is a basic, no sew fleece blanket that’s warm and simple to make.

The best part about fleece? It won’t unravel! Ever. And some fleece is made from recycled plastic. How cool is that!

1. You start with two pieces of fleece. Each should be two or two and half yards (72 inches) and 60 inches wide. Now, do yourself a favor and get thick, heavy fleece! Yes, you can buy it at a discount store but it isn’t as nice. And if you go to one of the better fabric stores you can get it in all different colors and patterns.

Or you can buy a no sew blanket kit. (Amazon affiliate link)

2. Make your bed. No seriously, a queen size bed is the PERFECT place to lay out this blanket since it is a large and elevated surface. I think it would slip around too much on a table.

3. Place the fleece layers wrong sides together. That’s the side that is less fuzzy OR the side where the pattern isn’t as pretty. The fleece will “stick” to itself so make sure that it’s nice and flat.

4. Line up the edges as best you can. I can guarantee one piece will be wider than the other AND one piece will be longer. Trim the excess so both pieces are about the same size. Don’t worry about cutting straight or if the pieces aren’t exactly square. You’ll never see it on the finished project!

5. Make a line of pins around each side 7 inches in from the edge. Don’t worry if you drift a bit! I use a regular school ruler to help me measure in 7 inches.

6. Cut 7″ squares out of each corner. The blanket will now look like this:

corners cut out7. Cut 7 inches into fleece at one-inch intervals around all four sides. Be sure to cut through BOTH layers. And you want to make your strips about and inch. Again, don’t worry if they’re not perfectly straight or perfectly seven inches long. However, if you go much wider than and 1.5 inches it WILL make it hard to tie!

Fringe

You can see the fringe and the pins. These are a bit wider than an inch but an inch wide strips are MUCH easier to tie!

8. Using a double knot, tie the fringe pieces together. Make sure you get one from the top and one from the bottom AND that you don’t jump ahead on one layer. You want the knots to be firm but not too tight or it will pull the fabric.

Knot step 1

Knot step 1

Knot step 2

Knot step 2

Knot step 3 (Finished knot)

Knot step 3 (Finished knot)

You can use a shorter length of material for a child’s blanket. Launder according to fleece directions. I just throw mine in the washing machine on cold, regular cycle and then into the drier. I DO try to empty the lint trap halfway through the drying cycle.

Polite Camping

I really like camping out in the sticks — dispersed, dry camping where I have to haul in all my own stuff (including water), use my porta-potty, and haul out all my trash. But, on holiday weekends, all the traffic from ATVs and trucks can make me nutsy, so I head to a campground. There’s nothing worse than camping in a developed campground than inconsiderate neighbors!

1. Respect other’s rights.

BathroomDon’t walk through another camper’s site — walk around it. Most public campgrounds in have paths between sites to the bathrooms, trash, etc. Use these paths and enjoy the stroll!

2. Be noise aware.

I have no problem with shouting children having fun during the day — I love to see families out camping! However, noise like radios, generators, yelling for no reason, and fighting is really rude. You should also obey the campground’s quiet hours. Voices, radios and other noises carry further than you might think on a quiet evening. (A good rule is to tone down the noise as the sun sets.) Most of the time, when you’re camping you get up with the sun, which means getting up early. Respect the wishes of those rare people who want to sleep in and keep morning noise to a minimum as well.

A few summers ago, my folks went camping in Arizona’s White Mountains. For the last three days of their trip, a HUGE RV pulled in beside them and ran the generator non-stop! My folks ended up leaving a day early because of the noise and smell.

If you’re going camping, CAMP! Get out of the RV and enjoy nature. If you’re going to use your generator (we’ve got one, so you know I approve of them) be sure to be considerate of others.

3. Pack out what you pack in.

You should leave your campsite cleaner than you found it. If the campground has campground hosts, they are responsible to keep the campground tidy — NOT to clean up after wild parties! Many campgrounds have trash service that you should use, making sure to close the lids tightly to keep animals out. Recycle when possible — many campgrounds have recycling programs.

4. Keep your pets under control.

Lily goes campingIf you camp with your dog (or cat!), keep Fido contained and clean up after him, just like you do in a city park. Before tying him to a tree, make sure it’s permitted. (I prefer collapsible pens.) If your dog likes to bark, like Lily does, then make sure you keep it under control. Lily barks when somebody walks by and then stops — if she continues, I put her in the trailer.

5. Don’t cut living trees for firewood.

In Arizona, most of the time, any downed (dead) wood is good to use, but not necessarily the dead wood on a living tree. California has completely different rules so know the campground’s rule on finding your own wood or buying it.

6. Clean up after yourself.

trashcan

These are placed in campgrounds for a reason! Use them. And yes, for your pet's droppings as well!

Campground facilities exist for the benefit of all campers. Help keep them clean!

7. Be water respectful.

Do not clean fish or wash dishes in lakes or streams. Waste water (grey or black) should not be dumped in a lake, stream, or on the ground. If the campground offers potable water (drinking water from a faucet), know the rules of what you can and can’t do at the spigot. Most of the time, this means no washing ANYTHING at the spigot, including hands.

8. Know and respect the campground’s rules, even if you don’t understand the reasons for them.

The rules have been established to protect and respect the rights of campers, the campground, and the environment.

Readers Weigh In

 

  • If you know of any campground etiquette issues I’ve missed or that particularly make you mad, post it in the comments.

Reporting A Wildfire

What should I do if my fire gets away?
It could happen. No matter how careful you are, you can start a wildfire. Here’s what you do:

1. Don’t panic! If you can extinguish the fire in less than 5 minutes, do so. If the fire is spreading too quickly, get out of there and call for help. Quick action is important, however, there is no reason to panic.

2. Think about your location. You will need to relay exactly where you are, including the county. If you have a GPS, take coordinates and write them down. If you don’t, use a map and have a description ready. Use landmarks and distances from known points. For example: 5 miles north of Tum Tum Mountain; or on SR-503 about a mile east of Jack’s Store.

3. Get to the nearest phone and Call 9-1-1. If you’re using a cell phone, make sure that you have reached a dispatcher in the county that you’re in or ask them to transfer you to that county. If you can’t find a phone, or don’t have cell signal, find someone with a radio or CB and ask them to call for help.

4. If no one is around, walk or drive to the nearest phone. Remember not to panic. Drive or walk safely. You won’t be able to report the fire if you don’t make it to help in one piece.

5. Tell the dispatcher that you need to report a wildfire and give the description of your location. If you can, tell them how big the fire is (for example: “Its about 20 feet by 20 feet and growing.”) how quickly the fire is spreading, wind direction and speed and what type of fuel the fire is burning (grass, logging slash, forest floor etc.). You may be asked to help lead fire fighters to the fire.

The Magic of Ziplock Bags®

This “extra” and 3 others PLUS 26 recipes are available in the eGuide: “Camp Cooking with Joanne Fitterer”

Camp Cooking with Joanne Fitterer

Every camping trip should include a selection of sizes of Ziplock Bags®. These great plastic inventions are great for storage, make for easy cleanup, and are always useful.

Tip #1: Dry Ingredients
Most of the time, you’ll be able to combine all your dry ingredients into a Ziplock Bag® at home, before the trip. Just measure into the bag like you would a mixing bowl, remove the air when you seal the bag and ta-da! Your dry ingredients are ready – pre-measured, pre-mixed and already contained.

Tip #2: Disposable Mixing Bowl
Ziplock Bags® make great mixing bowls because you can just drop everything in, seal the bag and mix with your hands through the plastic. When you’re done, just throw it away! This isn’t recommended for warm or hot ingredients. But, for things like pancake batter, coating potatoes in oil, or dips, it’s perfect!

Tip #3: Directional Pouring
Okay, you’ve made pancake batter and you need to get the batter onto the griddle. Pour the batter into a large Ziplock Bag®, cut off a corner and squeeze the batter through the hole onto the griddle.

You don’t need to take entire boxes of Ziplock Bags® with you- a handful of each size: sandwich, quart, and gallon should be fine. I don’t find a lot of use for the snack or 2-gallon sizes in the kitchen, so I don’t recommend them.

Readers Weigh In:

  • What camp-cooking tips make your life easier?
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