Monday, August 29, 2011

Stepping Out

I will be away from my computer for a few days. Which is not totally true. I will be away from an Internet connection. I will be working on my novel and reading a book for editing and review. Try not to miss me.

I am running away to my parents "country" home for a couple days. One of those I will spend with a friend who is camping about an hour from there. I am looking forward to that. Not seen her since before Christmas...way too long.

I like being at the "country" home. No cell service, no Internet. I get lots of writing done when I am there. It won't be as much as usual because I will be gone for a day, but it should be a big chunk. That is always good. Yes, I have a land line phone there in case of emergency and those who know me well, have the number and can reach me. I like the peacefulness there. The wildlife the lack of people, yep that's where I want to be. This is the first summer in a long time that I have not gone there for a week or at least part of a couple week-ends. Just too much to do this summer, getting the house ready for sale.

So while I am gone to unwind and relax you all stay out of trouble and I will try to have something witty to impart when I return.

TTFN

Sunday, August 28, 2011

YEAH!!!!

It took about 45 min. yesterday to get my laptop up and running. We put in a 2 gb memory card to boost the memory and speed up the machine. We talked about what I should be looking for in a new computer. To my chagrin, Dell is second only to Mac in the laptop division. I know that I need a pro or ultima when I buy so that too helps. Kudos to Diane for being an awesome computer person and down right nice lady. She fixed my computer on her day off. Looking for computer help in the West Branch, MI area be sure to check out the Computer Genie. She is that.

I am in the middle of reading the most delightful book I've ever come across. It was written by a man in the UK and the humor is just wonderful. I will give a full review when I have finished.

I am also working on my own novel. I am hoping to get a couple more chapters in this week. I am ready to get this moving. It needs a good thirty thousand words before it will be finished. Time to get busy.

It is so nice to be connected again. I am shopping for a new laptop, but am no longer in a hurry. I can wait for the sales.

TTFN

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sad Day

This morning the WiFi in my laptop stopped working. The tragedy here is that I did not realize how much I'd come to depend on my Internet access. I do my bill paying on-line for a lot of my bills, my blog, my sales at half.com, not to mention the games I play with friends and the fact that it helps me keep in touch with family and friends who are not local.

Of course I was waiting to hear on a writing contest I had entered and from a publisher who is considering my book. Total panic set in.

I fired up the PC, that has not been used for much of anything since 2008 and started deleting programs so that I could regain some speed. It has been made WiFi so that is no issue, but it is so slow I have stopped using it.

I have a call into a friend who does computer repair. I am not sure the laptop can be salvaged and that will break my heart as my new website that I had hoped to launch today is saved on the laptop. I do not know if it can be saved to a flash drive, but I will be finding that out later. The laptop has been acting up for a couple of weeks, freezing several times a day requiring a reboot of the system. I am afraid to run a systems check as I know it is going to tell me that the motherboard is going for the third time. I really hate the idea of putting a third motherboard into it. I need a new one, but not at this time. I need this one to hold out just a while longer.

Alas, I maybe hitting up the Geek Squad by the end of the week, or worse yet investing in a new one. Just glad I had a backup today.

TTFN

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Anticipation

Today I learned that Michael Palmer is hosting an opportunity to write with him. You get your shot by submitting 220 words that would come next in his short story. There is a daily chance to enter this week. I have submitted my first 220 words. I would be flattered to make it to the top five. I'd be honored to be the one chosen for the day to be included as part of his short story.

It is a chance to hone my writing skills. Two hundred twenty words is not much to work with. Keeping the tone of someone else's writing is also a trick. Every writer has their own style and the idea is that you match the style as best you can. I like a challenge.

In 220 words, you set the scene, tension, and tone for the whole thing. It's a short scene like an act in a play. It's also called flash fiction. Some people can write the whole story in that many words. As a novelist, it is a challenge to do all that.

It will be exciting to see who wins and who gets left behind. I was just thrilled for the chance to do it.

TTFN

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How Did I End Up Here? Day 7


“I will keep a patrol going by your place or you can continue staying with me. We have the District Attorney on board with all the information you and Anna dug up he has a lot to answer for. Anna’s name on it so that it won’t be considered tainted. You are just the victim. He will not be offered bail, because he has no ties to the community and is a flight risk,” he answered with confidence.
“I hope you are right.”
Our order came and we ate. Then we drove to the court house. The courtroom was filled with old wood that made you feel almost reverent when you entered. We sat in the courtroom and listened to the District Attorney give all the reasons that Bannister should be remanded to custody. His court appointed lawyer did not object. Bannister was fuming at the remand. He knew he’d have to wait awhile for his sister to arrive.
Dad and I left the courthouse in silence. He dropped me off at my house and we made plans to visit Mom tomorrow.
The trial went on for five days. Bannister’s slick sister, the lawyer, was defending him. The surprise was that Allen Bannister Sr. was there every day. The white haired man sat erectly as he heard every word that described his worthless son. On the day the case went to the jury he approached me.
“Miss Worth?”
“Yes.”
“I am Allan Bannister Senior. I’d like a moment of your time if I may,” he said softly.
Stunned I responded, “I’m not sure we have anything to talk about.”
“You may change your mind. I have a proposition for you,” he continued as if I’d said nothing.
Thinking it wouldn’t hurt to hear what he had to say I answered, “This way.”
We walked out of the courtroom. I led him to a conference room that was unoccupied. I sat and waited for him to speak.
“First, I want to say that I am sorry for what my son has done to you. He has always been a disappointment. Second, I would like to congratulate you for the thorough job you did investigating him. There are many things about him I did not know. Finally, I have a trust fund to dispense with.”
“I’m not sure how that affects me,” I said hesitantly.
“That’s what I want to talk to you about. You are way too intelligent to have been my son’s child. I understand that he has besmirched your mother’s reputation and caused untold hurt to you and your father. I’d like to take his half of the trust and put it into a fund that will care for your mother for the rest of her life. On her death, the remainder will go to your father. The rest I would like you to have.”
“You don’t need to give us money,” I responded hotly thinking this man was trying to buy me off.
“I know I don’t, but I have no other children and I’d like something good to come of it. For my part, I’d like to know that if I need an investigator in the future I could call on you. I would be honored if you would accept this.”
“May I have time to think about it?” I asked.
“You may have until the jury returns with a verdict,” he replied.
“Thank you.” I put out my hand and he shook it. Then he left the room.
I talked to Dad about this over dinner. He was adamant at first that he wanted no blood money from the Bannisters. I told him to sleep on it. We could talk in the morning.
At breakfast, Dad was quiet then said, “The money would come in handy for helping your mom.”
“I know, Dad. I thought about that too. It will also help if something should happen to you.”
“I don’t know what you have decided, but for my part, you can tell Bannister, it’s okay.”
“I’ve thought long and hard. If there is money left when you and Mom are both gone, I’ll use the money for two things; one will be to improve the local library and one will be to fund Alzheimer’s research.”
“I would like to add a third,” Dad said.
“What would that be?” I asked.
“I’d like a scholarship at the school in your Mom’s name,” he said quietly.
“That’s something that could be done. I’ll talk to Bannister today and have him draw up the papers,” I told him.
Bannister agreed and his daughter drew up the papers. I signed them and we went into the courtroom to hear the verdict.
Allen Bannister Jr. was found guilty of kidnapping and possession of a date rape drug. He
was sentenced to twenty-five to life. Life for Dad and I went back to normal. Me just hoping I would not awaken again in a jail cell.

If you enjoyed this story please let me know. I think there should be a second one so you know what happened when the trust fund money arrived. Had the thought that I might do a series of short stories on Sam Worth.

TTFN

Friday, August 19, 2011

How Did I End Up Here? Day 6

“Sam, they picked up Bannister. Would you like to be the one to tell him that he doesn’t have an heir?”
“You bet.” I turned to Doc and gave him a big hug. “Thanks so much.”
He handed me the file with the DNA report. Dad shook his hand and we walked out. The ride to the police department didn’t take long. They told Dad, Bannister was in an interrogation room. We walked in together.
“Mr. Bannister, imagine you here and under arrest,” I said sarcastically.
“What is she doing here? I’ve asked for a lawyer. I want her out of here,” he demanded.
“What you want doesn’t much matter. A public defender has been called until your lawyer can get here. I just thought I’d let Sam read the list of charges,” the Chief replied.
“She can’t do that. She’s a civilian. She has no right in this room,” he raged.
“Wrong, scumbag, I have every right to be here. You are first being charged with kidnapping, then there is the issue of the Rohypnol, finally there is the charge of impersonation.” I was enjoying this.
“You misled me. You advertized as a private investigator,” he complained.
“I am a private investigator. I’m also the daughter of the Chief of Police. That was your first mistake,” I informed him.
“You’re my daughter. I hired someone to find you,” he argued back.
“Taking photos of me does not make me your daughter. The DNA test in my hand says otherwise,” I was smirking now as I held up the folder Doc had given me.
“I didn’t have a DNA test done. Those results must be forged,” he defiantly.
“I had one done with my father. Those tests are correct. You aren’t my father. This is a good thing, because I have a file on you that will bury you in some stinking jail cell for a great number of years. You’ll probably be too old to father an heir when you see the outside again.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about. I want this woman out of here. I also want a private DNA test done. She is my daughter,” Bannister continued to insist looking at the Chief.
I turned and walked out, too angry with this spoiled rich man to care. I passed the public defender on his way to the conference room. I went to the other conference room. In a couple of minutes Anna joined me.
“So, how’s it going?” she asked care and concern filling her voice.
“I have the DNA test that says that scumbag in no relation to me. I should be happy. Instead I just want to bury him in a jail cell for a long long time.” Shrugging I tossed the file on the table.
“It will take time, Sam. This man wanted you to be someone you’re not. That’s hard to take.” Anna’s presence was comforting.
“I know in my head that you’re right, but my heart is angry.” I was having trouble letting go of my rage.
“Give it time. His arraignment is scheduled for one o’clock. Will you be there?” Anna asked.
“Yes, I need to talk to Dad then I’m going home.” I could feel the rage start to seep out, leaving me tire.
“Let me know if you need a lift.” She smiled and headed for the door.
“Thanks, Anna, for everything.” I returned her smile.
“No problem. It’s just a part of the ‘protect and serve’.” She left me and went back to her job. The Chief found me sitting at the table.
“Sam, are you okay?” he wanted to know.
“Yeah, Dad, I’m just angry.” I looked at him hoping to see my anger reflected there.
“Let’s get some lunch and then we’ll go to the arraignment together,” he suggested.
I nodded and we left. Lunch was a quiet affair at a little grill up the street from the police station.
After we had ordered Dad said, “I’m sorry we had to do the DNA test. Your mother is a good woman. She would never have wanted you to know there was a chance you were not mine.”
“It’s a dead issue. I am yours. That’s not what bothers me. I’m afraid he’ll make bail and I won’t be safe.” I looked at Dad rarely did I let him see my fear.

Big finish tomorrow, stay tuned.
TTFN

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Did I End Up Here? Day 5

Anna printed the photo. She wanted to have a hard copy when Dad got here. She also saved the photo to a disk. We shut down the computer and went to wait.
When Dad came in a few minutes later, I handed him the photo. He looked at it questioningly.
“Barstow wanted me to find his daughter. He sent me a ten year old photo of her. Dad, who is this guy and why does he think I’m his daughter?” I wanted to know.
Dad sat and just looked at me. I could see he was measuring what he wanted to say. I waited. Anna left the room presumably to give us some privacy.
“He may be your biological father. Your mother was pregnant when I married her. The guy had run off. I didn’t care. I loved your mother. Her child would be mine. We were never able to have children and I figured it was my fault. I am legally your father. This man Barstow, and that is not his real name, is looking for an heir. He is Allen Bannister Jr. and once he produces one he will inherit a trust worth millions. But the money is tied up awaiting an heir. The trust will be divided equally between the heir and Bannister.”
“Dad, I am not his heir. I am your daughter and Mom’s. Nothing will change that.” I was
Furious.
“He’s going to want a DNA test,” Dad stated.
“Let’s do one,” I demanded.
“Are you sure?” He raised his eyebrows.
“Yes, was Mom pregnant when you met her or just when you got married?” I asked.
“I never really thought about it,” he answered me honestly. “I knew she’d been thrown over by this guy and ours was a whirlwind romance. I wasn’t even sure she loved me at first.”
“Anna, we’re going to see the ME (medical examiner), care to come along?” I yelled.
Anna appeared nodding her head yes. The three of us left, Anna following in her car. It took no time to reach the medical examiner’s office.
Doc Watson was quick to take cheek swabs. He told us it would be a couple weeks but he’d put a rush on it. In the meantime, Anna and I were going back to the house. I wanted to know everything I could about the man I knew as Barstow.
We arrived at home, Anna threw some sandwiches together, grabbed a couple bottles of water and we booted up the computer. We started with a people search of Allen Bannister Jr. Once we got a photo of him we went on to search his family. A quick credit card to Intellus and we had a fountain of information. Bannister was the family bad boy. He had a sister who was a lawyer, a brother who was a doctor, and he seemed to be the wastrel. I couldn’t see where he’d finished college, but he’d attended four. He hadn’t held a job for more than a year. There were a couple of tickets for DUI-driving under the influence. He’d had some gambling debts and it would seem a couple of incidents with women that had been hushed up. Apparently he had no children. I didn’t want this man to be my father. I didn’t want his money or his name.
I left the room frustrated. Anna had printed off all the information we’d found. She also found an empty file folder and put it in there. She slowly followed me to the kitchen.
“Sam, what do you want to do with this?” she asked waving the folder.
“Frankly, I want to burn it. I want nothing to do with this man, especially after last night.
What kind of father gives his daughter Rohypnol and leaves her wandering along the side of the road?” I could feel the anger building inside me.
“I don’t know. Not a good one that’s for sure.” Anna agreed.
“He can’t be my dad, Anna, he just can’t. Why my mother didn’t even recognize him.”
“She has Alzheimer’s. She has days when she doesn’t recognize you, doesn’t she?” Anna probed.
“Not yet. She’s been pretty lucid when Dad and I go to see her.”
“This man would be a stranger. Not someone she has seen in recent years,” she reminded me.
“How’d he get that photograph of me? I remember that day at the beach. I was with a bunch of school friends. I don’t remember anyone taking pictures of me.” I was pacing like a caged lion now.
“Any good investigator can take photos from long distance. You know that. You’ve gotten some shots that have helped us when we couldn’t get close.”
“Yeah, I suppose. This is just so disturbing.” I don’t know what was more frustrating, that this man could be my father or that he thought so little of me that he’d drug me and leave alone and unprotected.
“The Chief will find him. Then we’ll get to the bottom of all this,” Anna tried to be reassuring.
“I suppose. Well, we’d better make a plan for the next couple of weeks. We are going to be together a lot.”
Anna laughed. “I guess you are right. What sounds like fun?”
Anna and I spent the next two weeks hacking into every file that held information on Allen Bannister Jr. We learned that he was broke and owed large amounts of money to some on-line gambling establishments. He appeared to live the high life and he treated people badly. His scrapes with the law always managed to go away. Either his lawyer sister got the charges dropped or his wealthy father must have put out large sums of money to make them go away. So, when Dad called to say Doc Watson had DNA results, I felt armed to battle this man who claimed to be my father. We had an appointment with Doc Watson in the morning.
I tossed and turned all night, was up early, showered, dressed, and making breakfast when Dad came down the stairs. I poured him coffee and he sat at the counter. When I had breakfast on plates we moved to the table.
“I heard you roaming around last night. Are you sure you want to go with me?” he asked concerned.
“Yes, Dad, I want this over one way or the other. With Anna’s help I have enough information on the man to make him go away. Not to mention he left ME on the side of the road drugged.”
We finished breakfast in silence and I did the dishes. Then we headed to the car and drove to the ME’s office. Doc was waiting for us and took us to his office.
“I don’t want to keep you in suspense, but I need to understand why you wanted this test,” his demeanor saying this shouldn’t be an issue.
“There is a man out there claiming to be my biological father and he wants to destroy my life and my family,” I retorted hotly.
“Well, I don’t know who this guy is, but he’s barking up the wrong tree. I won’t ask Chief, but I cannot imagine that you needed a test to know that this high spirited young woman is your daughter. I did run the DNA and voila the results are as I suspected Samantha is your daughter.”
I could hardly contain myself. I threw my arms around Dad. “Well, this has all paid off. We can now add kidnapping to the charges against him.” I beamed.
The Chief’s phone rang at that moment. “Excuse me,” he said as he stood to walk across the room. “This is the Chief. Uh-huh. Okay. I’ll tell her. Thanks.”

Next installment tomorrow. Happy reading.
TTFN

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How Did I End Up Here? Day 4

I poured a second cup of coffee and offered a cup to Anna. We sat in the living room.
“So, what big plans do we have for the day? I brought my own car so we’d be less conspicuous if we go out.” She was always eager to help.
“I don’t know, maybe web surf on Dad’s computer. I may be able to remote access my files. I need to know what Barstow wanted to hire me for. Maybe then I’ll know what it is I cannot remember.”
“Need any help? I’m pretty good at hacking systems,” she volunteered.
I looked at her wide eyed. “You’re not serious.”
“Yeah, I took training at Quantico on how to hack into systems. I have a computer background.”
“Well, come on let’s have at it.” I was eager to see what I could learn.
We went to Dad’s office I booted up the computer, typed in the link to my website,
and logged in. I went to the section I kept on potential customers. Then I opened the file
on Barstow. Anna and I quickly read through my notes. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He wanted me to find his missing daughter. He’d lost track of her after he divorced her mother. We agreed to meet.
“Did he e-mail you a photo?” she asked.
“I don’t remember.”
Excitedly she said, “Here let me look.”
I slid off the chair and let Anna sit down. Then pulled another chair alongside her. She typed quickly and accessed all my photos. Sure enough there was a file that said Barstow. I was almost afraid to look. When the picture came up I was floored. It was a picture of me, taken at the beach about ten years ago. How did he come to have this photo? Who was this man?
Anna looked at me speechless. I think my expression mirrored hers. I reached for the phone and called the police department.
“Applewood Police Department, how may I direct you?”
“Agnes, this is Sam is my dad in yet?”
“He’s just walking through the door. Hold on a minute.”
The next voice I heard was Dad’s, “What’s up?”
“I need you to come home. Anna and I found something on the computer you need to see.” The seriousness of my voice had him on alert.
“Want to tell me about it?” he asked.
“No, Dad I need you here,” I told him.
“Okay, I’ll be there in ten minutes.” The next thing I heard was a dial tone.
Anna printed the photo. She wanted to have a hard copy when Dad got here. She also saved the photo to a disk. We shut down the computer and went to wait.
When Dad came in a few minutes later, I handed him the photo. He looked at it questioningly.
“Barstow wanted me to find his daughter. He sent me a ten year old photo of her. Dad, who is this guy and why does he think I’m his daughter?” I wanted to know.
Dad sat and just looked at me. I could see he was measuring what he wanted to say. I waited. Anna left the room presumably to give us some privacy.
“He may be your biological father. Your mother was pregnant when I married her. The guy had run off. I didn’t care. I loved your mother. Her child would be mine. We were never able to have children and I figured it was my fault. I am legally your father. This man Barstow, and that is not his real name, is looking for an heir. He is Allen Bannister Jr. and once he produces one he will inherit a trust worth millions. But the money is tied up awaiting an heir. The trust will be divided equally between the heir and Bannister.”


Tune in tomorrow for more.
TTFN

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How Did I End Up Here? Day 3

“I’m going with you.” I looked him in the eye letting him know I was ready to argue.
“You bet you are. You have power of attorney for this box,” he said simply gaining the upper hand.
“Oh, Dad, no, you don’t think he stole from the box do you?” My brows drew together indicating I was worried.
“I think because you still have the key that things are okay,” was his reassuring response.
We drove to the bank, talked to the manager, and went to get the safety deposit box. It was as it had always been. It held my grandmother’s jewelry and some savings bonds my mother had for me.
With help from the bank manager, the box was changed and a new key was issued. The Chief drove me to my apartment where I got some clothing and then he took me home. I went up stairs took a long shower and changed. When I came down, there were two officers in the living room. I knew them both. Anna Wilkins, a petite good-natured officer, was assigned inside the house and Jack Adams, tall and lanky with a desire to please, was going to be in the car outside.


I went up to my old room, crawled between the sheets, and was asleep in minutes.
The Chief went back to the office to find out the status of the BOLO and finish up his day. He called the administrator of the nursing home. He wanted no one in his wife’s room that was not personally known to the staff. A man claiming to be from the church had shown up today. He was not from the church. That taken care of he needed to find the man Barstow and find out what he wanted.
Later in the day when, I awoke, I felt refreshed. I dressed and wandered downstairs to find something to eat. I found Anna in the kitchen and wonderful aromas wafting out.
“Afternoon, Sam, hope you don’t mind my taking over the kitchen. The Chief will be home in about half an hour. If you can wait that long, I’ll have dinner ready for you.”
“Anna, that’s great! I can wait. But I need a bottle of water,” I told her.
Anna reached into the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water. She handed it to me. I took it and sat at the counter.
“So did you get drafted to go to ER with me last night?” I asked.
“I volunteered,” she replied with a smile.
“Thanks for that. I wish I could remember. I don’t even recall seeing Molly,” I said morosely.

“I talked to Molly today. She came to see you when her set was done. She had trouble getting you away from the man you were with. When she did you weren’t too coherent. You gave her the key and told her what it was for. She said you weren’t too steady on your feet,” Molly told me.
I shrugged and drank some water. Something was niggling at the back of my brain. Something I knew would be important. Try as I might, I couldn’t grab onto it.
The Chief arrived Anna and I put dinner on the table. I asked Anna to stay but she said she needed to get home to her husband. She left and we sat down to dinner.
“Dad, there is something in the back of my mind about last night. I can’t seem to hang on to it long enough to remember.”
“It’ll come to you. Don’t think about it now,” he said calmly.
“Do we have night coverage, too? Maybe we should take them some of this delicious pork.” I said trying to figure out how serious this situation was.
“No one is assigned to watch the house tonight. They are driving by on the hour and half hour.”
“Thanks, Dad.” I meant it and smiled.
“Just a precaution I also took care of your mother, too,” he told me.
I nodded and continued to eat my dinner. After dinner Dad and I took coffee into the den. We watched some TV together then I turned in for the night.
I slept a very restless sleep, filled with images running into each other. Jesse Barstow kept running through my head. What had he wanted me to do? Why had he hired me? Why had he drugged me? How did my mother fit in? I awoke tired and still drawing a blank.
Dad had coffee on when I came down the stairs. He had just put bacon in the pan. He looked up and said, “Couldn’t sleep either?”
“Nope, still cannot get to that niggling little thing in my head.”
“It’ll come to you. What have you got that you need to be working on?” he questioned.
“I’d just finished up for Molly, so the job offer by Barstow would have been the next thing. I’m going to call and see if I have any messages.” I went to the phone called my office and checked my voice mail. There was a cryptic message from the voice of Barstow.
“So, you are a hot shot PI? I really don’t think so. You fell for the oldest con in the book. It was so easy to get you where I wanted you.”
I replayed it so Dad could listen. He sent Anna over to get the tape and take it in to be analyzed.
I called my home to check the voice mail there. There was none. At least he hasn’t got my home number. I was careful not to give that out to clients. My office and cell phones were for business.
Dad and I ate in silence. I cleaned up after breakfast and Dad went to get ready for work.
Anna showed up as Dad came down the stairs. He nodded to me and said to both of us. “You
girls keep out of trouble.” Then he left.


Hope you are enjoying the story.
TTFN

Monday, August 15, 2011

How Did I End Up Here? Day 2

The Chief came back as I was finishing the second donut. He shook his head, “Beats me how you can eat that stuff and still be thin as a rail. I ran a check on this Jesse Barstow. Seems he has a yellow sheet longer than your arm. He’s quite the confidence man. I can’t believe you fell for him.”
“I’m not sure I did. I think he could’ve been the person who drugged me. I went to the Escape looking for Molly Marshfield. The key belongs to her. It was for her mother’s safe deposit box. I just can’t seem to remember the numbers and what they were about.”
“Barstow just approached you?”
“No, he’d called earlier in the day. He’d wanted me to find someone. Since I had to go see Molly, I told him to meet me at the Escape.”
“He identified himself by giving you his card? Had you already talked to Molly?”
“She was finishing up a set. I must not have talked to her, I still have the key.”
“Were you writing on the napkin?”
“I don’t remember. I don’t know how I got it or what it was about.” I shook my head hoping to bring the memory back.
“Well, you seem to be okay now. I didn’t want to send you home last night if you were facing some kind of danger. I’ve put out a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for Barstow. I have some questions for him. Want a lift to your place?” the Chief asked.
“Thanks, Dad, but if it’s all the same to you, I’d like to go see Mom.”
“We should both do that, Kiddo. Give me a minute and we’ll be off.”
Yeah, my dad is the Chief of Police. We try to see Mom two or three times a week. She has Alzheimer’s and is confined to the local nursing home. Sometimes it is easier if we both go together. I was ready when Dad came back.
We drove to the home in silence. I knew he did not like my choice of career. He hadn’t liked it when I was on the police force either. He didn’t think it was a job for a girl….especially not his little girl.
‘Dad, the napkin, it’s an address,” I said out of the blue.
“An address to what?” he asked.
“An address to the home, one that includes Mom’s room number,” I urgently replied.
In an instant the lights and siren were on. We flew through town. I was out of the car and running before Dad came to a complete stop. Nurses and administrators were coming out the front door to see what the commotion was. I bowled past them headed for Mom’s room. She looked up as I entered.
“Samantha, dear, have you been running again? You know it’s not lady like,” she admonished like a thousand other times in my life.
“I know Mom.” I took a minute to take in her surroundings. Nothing seemed out of place.
Dad came in a moment later. He smiled at Mom and asked, “How are you, Helen?”
“I’m fine. What is all the commotion about?” she asked with a puzzled expression on her
face.
“Mom, have you had any visitors?” I was in full interrogation mode.
“Why yes, that new young man from the church came in. He left his card.” She handed me the card. Sure enough the name was Jesse Barstow. I handed it to Dad.
“We were just worried about you, Mom,” I told her my hand going to her snow white hair in a caress.
“I’m fine. These people take good care of me,” she said a serene smile on her face.
Dad stepped over to her. “Helen, we were just concerned. We have to leave now, but we’ll be back later.” He kissed her and walked out of the room.
“I’m so glad you and your dad are getting along again.”
“Bye, Mom, love you.” I kissed her cheek and followed Dad.
When we got into the car, he said, “Sam, will you stay with me until we find this guy?”
“Normally, I’d say no, but this guy found Mom.”
“Good girl, I think I know what the key is to. This is not Molly’s key,” he said seriously.
“How do you know that?” It was my turn to be puzzled.
“I got a call after you got out of the car. Molly got her key last night. She said you left with some guy.”
“This is the key to your mother’s safe deposit box. I had them check the bank and find out who the key belonged to. I want to go and see if he got into it.”

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How Did I End Up Here?


I woke slowly aware this was not my own bed, nor my room. My head ached, and as I took in my surroundings, I noticed the bars. How did I end up in jail? I sat up slowly holding my head, unable to remember what had happened last night.
I stood and reached into my pocket hoping for a stick of gum, anything that would take this horrible taste out of my mouth. Pulling out my hand I found five things.
The first was the book of matches. I turned them over slowly and read the name on the package, Escape Gentleman’s Club. What on earth was I doing with these? I’m not a smoker. Why had I been there?
The next item was a napkin. It too had the emblem of Escape on it and a number. It wasn’t a phone number as there weren't enough numbers. This was becoming a puzzle.
There was also a key. It was not a car key. Motels use key cards so that was out. When I turned it over it had “Bank of Michigan” imprinted on it. This might be a safe deposit box key, but I didn’t have a safety deposit box.
Item number four looked like a worm. Oh heavens, the worm from a tequila bottle. I never ate those. How did it get in my pocket? Disgusting, I shivered.
The last item was a business card. It belonged to someone named Jesse Barstow. Who was this person? Why did I have the card?
I sat on the bunk and tried to put my thoughts in order. That’s when the officer showed up.
“Come with me, we’re serving breakfast before we turn you loose.”
I followed quietly still pondering the items in my pocket. I was put in a small conference room. Coffee and donuts were on a counter along one wall.
“Go ahead, help yourself. The Chief will be here in a minute.”
I took a cup of coffee added a ton of sugar and a bit of milk. Then I took a jelly donut from the box. I’d just started on the donut when the Chief walked in.
“Well, Sam, you got yourself into it this time didn’t you?”
“I’d like to agree with you, Chief, but I’m not sure what happened last night.”
“Let me see if I can fill in some of the blanks. One of my officers found you wandering down the street at about one o'clock this morning. He recognized you and brought you here. You seemed to be in some kind of state and were non-responsive to questions. I had them take a blood sample and run it for toxins. Someone slipped you Rohypnol, the date rape drug. I immediately had them take you to ER. They ran a rape kit, but it came back negative. Someone was trying to put you out of business, Sam. What do you remember?
I reached into my pocket and pulled out the five items. Slowly things started to fall into place. I’d been hired by Jesse Barstow to find someone. He’d met me to Escape where I’d picked up the matchbook. The key and the napkin were still a bit of a mystery.
I explained what I could to the Chief. We looked at the key and the number on the napkin. He also took the business card.
As I sat there finishing my coffee I went for another donut. There was still a big blank. Why didn’t they keep me at the hospital? I’d have to ask the Chief about that one. As a private investigator, the police department held me in as much esteem as they would a pile of dung. I’d paid my dues in the department and that counted for something.


This is the beginning of a short story I've written. Stay tuned to find out what happened to Sam.

TTFN

Ideas???

I am often asked where I get the ideas for my novels. Honestly, they come from my warped mind. They come from life or the possibilities in life. I people watch. I create backgrounds for some of the people I see. They become characters. I read, read, and read more.

I knew for my first book that my main character was going to be a librarian. I have two handwritten starts that went nowhere. As it turned out my librarian died in the first few pages. Not at all where I was starting. Sometimes you have to let the story tell itself.

In my second book I was given three words to use in the first sentence. I started with my arsonist watching his handiwork from a place above the fire. My lead investigator was on the ground. Many people who read the book thought for a while that they were one in the same.

In my third book it was the setting that was the start for the story. Imagine that I would write about a school. With a few minor adjustments, the school in my story was my elementary school. You would have to know me well to have known that.

For my current novel. I have used a family name for my main character. Since this character is the hero I don't think there will be any objections. The idea was to introduce a town and some characters and make it a three book series. I started with a cold case that went places even I never dreamed. I also started by taking a room description I wrote as an undergrad and making it better.

Characters become real to a writer. Yes, I have conversations with them. We even argue. My characters have to stay true to who they are. Sometimes they take me in directions I never even consider. If it works, all the better.

I try to take on subjects that could happen, that might happen, that have happened in some way. I have murder, arson, stalking and and cold case. In the second book in my series I am taking on bullying when it gets to the stage where things are illegal. I have no idea yet where the third book will take me.

I went to Texas for inspiration. I don't know if I found it but time will tell. I've been to Arizona and New Mexico. I've traveled in Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. So far none have made it into my books, but that doesn't mean they won't. I take photos of every place I go so I can refresh my memory if I choose to write about them. My hotel room in Scottsdale, Az. I even took photos of the beamed ceiling and the stocked fridge. I took photos in my Aunt and Uncle's bed and breakfast. Places need to be authentic. I will use the photos if this is the type of room or place I need.

Write your ideas down. I have journals full of ideas. Some might even make it into stories. Some may not. The more you have the more chance you have of using them.

Happy writing.

TTFN

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm Behind

I've missed a couple days of blogging. So, let me catch you up. Got a phone call on Thursday about my house. The house that is for sale. The couple was going to come on Saturday. So, I cancelled my Friday plans...thank you, Sally for letting me reschedule...and went into marathon house cleaning.

As I have been tearing the place apart for two years trying to get rid of stuff and have my spare bedroom ready for paint and new flooring, the place was a wreck. I've also just finished a garage sale and have some of that stuff around. I will admit the upstairs bedroom is still a wreck but at least it's a neat wreck.

I am still working on some small things. I'm hoping to get my dad up here soon to put in the back splash and range hood. Then I'm done with anything I'm doing in this room. The major thing is the spare bathroom needing to be replumbed. Grr.... but that is the last of the major things.

I ache all over but I feel better for having done it. The couple came about 1 pm today. They brought her dad with them. They are looking for acreage because they have two dogs. I have 2.81 acres. There is also a built in dog house in my garage, completely insulated. I did not get a read on whether or not they were interested. I guess I wait to see if they call with an offer.

I have a few things I can do, yet to make it look better and I will do those things. I am getting rid of my library slow but sure. All the stuff I hung onto for whatever stupid reason is going. Sentiment only goes so far.

Today has stormed off and on, so I thought I get this in during a lull. I have been working on yet another baby layette. I am going to have another one to do soon, too. I cannot keep up with the demand. These two will make a dozen since January. The current one is for a girl. Waiting to hear what the next baby will be.

I am hoping to get back to my novel. I want to get a couple more chapters done. I think since things are getting back to normal that I might be able to do that. Wait, is there such a thing as "normal?" Probably not in my life.

Anyway that should bring you up-to-date on my current happenings.

TTFN

Thursday, August 11, 2011

House

Many of you know I live in a remodeled farmhouse. I use the term remodeled in it's loosest sense. I have spent 24 years fixing the mistakes made by the guy who did this remodel. He was at best clueless. That however is another story.

We put insulation under the living room kitchen the first year and added a garage. It has been painted on the outside. I had heat runs put in the living room/kitchen and upstairs about 12 years ago.It got a new furnace 10 yrs ago, the first one burned itself up. Then 8 yrs ago it need a new pump. The downstairs bedrooms all have wood floors. There was a new roof put on 2 years ago. Just the things you do while living in a house.

The house is now too big and I am looking to move to a warmer year round climate. Not sure where that is yet, still looking. The house went up for sale a month ago. I put my for sale sign out front and no one has called. What a surprise!

Then I learned that there is a ground hog in the neighborhood. Okay, I am not an animal person. With the help of my Dad we put out two live traps. Lo and behold caught a ground hog today. Now what the heck do I do with it???? I called a pest control guy and he suggested that I get a 30 gallon garbage bag put the trap in that and fill it with water and drown the critter. Not going to happen. I called a friend who's husband is a taxidermist to see what should happen. He came out, dispensed with the ground hog, buried it cleaned the trap and helped put rocks in the hole. YEAH!!!

Now for the good news. I got my first phone call on the house today. Which means I need to get off the computer and get busy making it look presentable. People are coming on Saturday. Please let them make an offer. Please let it be an offer I can live with.

Where the heck am I going to live??? Not worried. I'll figure that out in good time. Keep reading and I'll keep you posted.

TTFN

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This is a Good Question

What makes a blog good? Why would people want to follow it? What is the purpose of a blog? Wow they were coming at me today like I couldn't believe.

I'm not sure is the answer to each one of those. I have read plenty of blogs. Some I choose to follow because I personally know the person writing the blog, and others because of their content. There is no set reason for why I follow a blog. I think it depends on what I am looking for.

I write a blog for several reasons. One I try to blog daily, it keeps me writing. Another is that it sometimes serves as a reference for where my brain is. My brain tends to travel in several directions at a time. Thirdly, I sometimes do what I call public service writing. I also use my blog for book reviews.  Finally, it's just another outlet for my writing. I enjoy doing it.

I'd like to have a big following. I'm happy that I have a following at all. I don't compare my following to the following on other blogs. I don't write like other blogs. My sister's nephew and his wife started blogging when they learned they were having quadruplets. That's something totally different. Others write to vent. People follow blogs for as many reasons as we write them.

Blogging is writing. I love writing. The two go hand-in-hand for me. If you find a blog you like follow it, let the blogger know someone is interested.

Happy reading all.
TTFN

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Something for Sunday

I've been back at the family history research again. The list of my ancestors is amazing. I am running down my Plantagenet side from Henry I of England. Henry is the fourth son of William the Conqueror and as such should never have reached the throne. Amazing what perseverance will get you. Funny thing is that he died from a fall off his horse in Normandy. He was able to reunite Normandy and England for a time. I also find it amazing that his daughter Matilda is his only legitimate heir and she was a great grandmother 21 times removed. It is through her that I am a Plantagenet.

Henry however lost his wife at an early age and had several mistresses who bore him children. So I find him on my family tree as a great grandfather with at least one of his mistresses, Sybil Corbet. King Henry I had at least 18 illegitimate children. He had three legitimate heirs. His son William died young in a fire as did his first daughter. Queen Matilda was his third child. She eventually lost her bid for the throne to her cousin Stephen.

British history is as amazing as it is twisted. Do not think there was not intrigue. There was plenty. They intermarried and had affairs which produced children. The least amount of scandal probably came under Queen Victoria, but I highly doubt the intrigue stopped.

I have no desire to get into a tug-of-war with anyone for any throne. I don't need the headaches. It is amazing to me that I  share ancestors with the current royal family who are Windsors. It amazes me that Lady Margaret Beaufort Countess of Richmond and Derby and believed to be a pious and giving woman was one of the biggest plotters of intrigue and literally stole the throne for her own son, Henry VII. Yet, Lady Margaret shows up in my family tree because of the intermarriages of the royal children.

I don't think Court life was as wonderful as we have been led to believe. I think you had to be very careful what you said and did so that you kept your head. If someone with power over you told you to marry you married. Love never entered into it. Most were marriages of family and fortune. I'd have been the rebellious one. I'd have found my love and made a run for Gretna Green and asked forgiveness later. Wonder if I'd have lost my head??? It's possible.

TTFN

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ponderings on a Friday

So I'm reading a book that is supposed to tell me how to become a millionaire. I am all for something that will help me supplement retirement. Following the book I surveyed friends and former co-workers (thank you to those who responded) on my strengths and skills. I know the flaws. I needed to see what others saw. I made a spread sheet listing the skills, strengths, and ideas I had. I shared the spread sheet.

Imagine my surprise when that person said, "Are you looking at non-profits?" I went back to my spread sheet and sure enough, my ideas are better for non-profits than money making. Guess that's where I am in my life. The stage where you give back.

Yesterday I got something in the mail and glanced through it. A job was posted there. It's only 24 hrs a week and is along the lines of one of my ideas. It would give me a little extra cash, but would not make me millions. I have some issues with one of their requirements. However they are church funded so, I don't think I can argue it. I will let it pass. Something else will come along.

I have pretty much accomplished nothing today unless you count thinking. I am looking for direction. My novels are going well. Life is good. I just need direction. I hate days when I get all philosophical. I question what my purpose is and why I am here. Only God has those answers.

Before I become morose, I am going to end this post.

TTFN

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Review

Woo Hoo....two postings today. I am on a roll. Here is the review of a book I just finished.

Edward
By Mike Voyce
Published by Booklocker.com.Inc, 2011
ISBN# 978-1-60910-719-2
Reviewed by Rebecka Vigus, author: Secrets, Out of the Flames, and Target of Vengeance
August 4, 2011

I mistakenly believed when I sat down to read this book that I was just going to read historical fiction. Imagine my surprise and delight to find so much more.
Edward de Stafford rightful heir to the throne of England was cheated out of his birth right, money, love, and family.  Edward’s father Duke Henry was beheaded for treason, when Edward was but a child. He is forced from his mother by edict of the most devious woman in British history, Lady Margaret Beaufort Countess of Richmond and Derby.
Edward is sent to live with Lady Margaret as her ward. She is determined that Edward be kept from the throne in favor of her own son Henry. Edward is drawn to Eadie the daughter of one of Lady Margaret’s ladies-in-waiting.  As they frolic in the woods Edward and Eadie become inseparable playmates and best friends. That friendship grows into a deep and abiding love. However, Edward’s station and servitude to Lady Margaret keeps him from making Eadie anything more than his mistress. 
Lady Margaret is the foundress of St. John’s and Christ’s colleges at Cambridge. She sends Edward there to separate him from Eadie and their daughter Abigail. Edward is forced to attend Cambridge under strict rules from Lady Margaret. While seen as a devout and pious woman, Lady Margaret is evil and bends people to her will.
She robs Edward’s properties of their rents and arranges a marriage for him. Neither Edward nor his betrothed are eager for the wedding to take place. In fact, Alianore plots with her cousin to have Edward killed on two occasions. While neither attempt is successful the relationship between them does not improve.
Edward the dutiful subject goes into service for his King (Henry VII). When the fighting is over he heads for home, but is detained in celebration. Eadie finds her life in peril. She is being persecuted as a witch. Edward returns to his home to find his love, daughter, and mentor dead. It is with heart-wrenching sadness he bears them home.
While the book is the life of Edward as seen through the eyes of the author, it is much more. It is the truth behind the Tudor Monarchy. How the machinations of one woman led to stealing the throne from the rightful heirs.  History treats Lady Margaret as a kind and giving woman, truth is she was devious and underhanded. She used people for her own gain and to further the career of her son.
How much of Edward’s life was preordained? How much was the result of others using their influence? How much was Edward’s own naivety? That we will never know. Mike Voyce spins a wonderful tale while setting the record straight. Kudos for the novel way in which he approached the writing of Edward. This is a story that will stay with me for a long time.
Edward was of the house of Plantagenet. What Mike Voyce did not know when he sent me his book is Hamelin Plantagenet Earl of Surrrey  deAnjou is my 21st great grandfather, making Edward part of my extended family. It was a wonderful read. I found myself there watching the scenes from the sidelines. I wanted to shout at my ancestor that he needed to pay attention there was evil working against him.  I wanted to help find the truths.
If you are looking for a book that will make you think, make you question history, this is the one you want. Edward was a tragic hero. This book is filled with love, intrigue, lies, and deceit. The layers of lies and deceit changed the course of a nation. Thank you, Mike for trying to set things right.

Just Another Sleepless Night in Paradise

It's been ages since I've done a middle of the night blog. It's 3 am and I am wide awake. I don't get it. I turned off all electronics... computer and TV at 10pm. I finished a book I was reading by 11:30pm. Should have gone to sleep as soon as the lights were out. I was tired.

Ah, someone forgot to tell my mind it was time to shut down. JJ Heller and Mark Lowry lyrics alternately ran through my head. When those exhausted themselves, my mind went to all the things I need to do. Let's see write a review, post the review, work on the novel, housework, make a run to the Fish Store with dishes, run ISBN numbers off my books through half.com and see which ones they will buy, the list is endless. Finally at 1:30 am I decided to get up. Have I accomplished anything? No.

Am I tired? Yes. Have I tried endless things to fall asleep? Yes. I tried deep breathing and envisioning myself on the beach. Did it work? Well, I'm writing a blog, so I'd guess not.

Lack of sleep does not just leave me tired the next day it has health ramifications. My blood pressure will rise as will my blood sugars. No, I'm not eating or drinking caffeine. When my body does not get the sleep it needs my whole system is off kilter. I hate days like this. Napping will not work as then I'd be up another night.

I'm going to try again. Ya'll have a great day.

TTFN

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ok, I'm In the Saddle Again

Waiting for Habitat for Humanity to come pick up my furniture. Was hoping they would be here earlier. Oh, well.

The rain last night was needed, I only wish the temps had gone down a bit with it. I am getting used to the heat, but have put air-conditioner on my list of wants for a new house.

The neighborhood ground hog is still on the loose. I'd like him to be out of the neighborhood. Little varmint is destructive.

I have packed away the everyday dinner dishes. I will be giving them away. Probably to the Fish Store. I am eating off china from now on. No sense for it to just take up space in my cupboard. I have my push mower back in the garage along with my car. When the furniture goes then the rider will go back in there. Slow and steady accomplishments.

I am currently in the process of getting my kitchen counters completely cleaned off. As soon as I do that, I can get my Dad up here to put in a range hood and back splash.  There have been range hoods here over the years, but there is not one currently. There has never been a back splash, just a wall that has been well washed. I am excited about that. This gives me a chance to clean out pans and cookware I don't use. time for it to go.

I have a couple of ideas on my way to becoming a millionaire. I'm not sure how to get them started. I am working out a plan of action on both later today. We will see which one I can pull off. I am excited to have a challenge put in front of me. Keep watching for which one I start on first.

Duty calls.

TTFN

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The damaging effects of a broken home



This must be the hardest lesson in life I thought, how could anyone be made to go through such a painful thing as having to watch mummy and Dad go their separate ways without the slightest consideration for me, I thought. That was my very first lesson in life, and even am over 30 years of age now it is still as painful as it was back when it happened, for I was just a boy of five.

I couldn’t understand how two people could make a decision when there are 3 people involved, I think to rudest thing that could happen to anyone in life was to be disrespected, to be ‘unheard, totally ignored and unvalued. Those weren’t the exact word I would have used to describe my feelings at the time, but in my own little way I yearned to be heard.

To make matters worse, I was an only child and having no brothers and sisters meant I had to play on my own, fight my own battles and make my own entertainment. Looking back at my life today and how my one-parent upbringing has affected my relationships, I have come to understand how hard it must been for my parents to have to split just 6 years after they tied the knot.

As a child you were scared with the psychological damaging effects of being brought up in a broken home for the rest of your life, and subconsciously it would affect a lot of the decisions you make later on in life, relationship-wise and otherwise and I was no exception to that rule, judging by the history of my relationships.

Although I seemed to be settled in one now coming up to three years even though I still get the tendency to do a ‘Tiger Woods’, or maybe that is every man’s thing as my present partner would say, “bloody men, they can’t keep it in their pants”. I have read about people from a broken home committing gruesome atrocities and it kinds of make me wonder whether they are just using as a cover up for their atrocities, because the only thing I feel, being from a broken home myself is lack of maternal love and I don’t think I am doing bad at making up for that with the number of relationships and flings that I have had in the past.

This is a re-run


On-Line Dating a Scam

I have attempted on-line dating this year. A friend met her new husband on-line and she highly recommends it. Let me tell you it is a scam. She is one of the lucky few who actually met a real man with values. I will list the sites I used and the first name only of the men I “met.”
The first site was singlesnet.com. The site is free. I met David there. He was an architect with a big plan he was working on. He was supposedly in Florida, but I can find no architects there with his name. He was a widow with a 20 year old daughter. His daughter lived with his Mom in Ohio. He had good mid-western values. After two weeks he loved me and sent me a dozen red roses and a teddy bear. Since I was wintering in Texas they arrived at my landlady’s home. Two days later he wanted $2500 and was willing to help me find a bank or credit union so that I could get a loan. No, I did not get one. Nor did I try.
I changed sites to mate1.com. It is a free site for women. Joel was the first guy. His profile said he was in San Antonio, Texas. Gee, there might be a chance I could meet him. Keep laughing. Joel was a widower with a 14 year old son. He owned a company importing and exporting cars and car parts. Did I mention he lived in Liverpool, England? The profile was a lie. After three weeks, and we did get to see each other on a webcam…no sound his computer sound was broken. (Most likely not). He flew to Accara, Ghana where he was going to be for three months opening a branch of his business. Imagine his taxi driver took off with all his luggage, including working permits, money, laptop, and clothing. Could I send him a laptop. To a third world country and get on a national watch list???? You are kidding right? His conversations became one word or were non-existent until the end of April…he was due home in May and wanted to be sure he could come see me. I don’t think so.
Also on mate1 was Author Morgen. He turned out to be a gentleman from Ghana looking to marry a white woman and come to the US. He had pirated photos from a man on Facebook. End of story here.
The last one I met on mate1.com was Brian. This one broke my heart. He spent two months talking to me about family, his work as a robotics professor and the invention he’d spent six years on. He’d lost his wife and daughter in a horrific accident. We talked about literature and my writing. He was ready to fly here. We talked about a future together. Then he needed some rare metals for his robot. Yikes!!!! They were going to cost him $80,000 US dollars. He could not raise that. He could not raise half of that. Could I please send him some money, any amount. That’s when he called me. Who calls from a restricted number? Guys in prison. He even tried for a couple of weeks after that saying he was wrong and he should not have asked me to support his project. He just thought we were one.
I went to Match.com. They are supposed to be the best. George was from Detroit. Or not. He was born in Germany and had a 16 yr old son. They traveled for his job. They were currently in South Africa. After about five conversations, George ended up in the ER with his son. The son had supposedly gotten an egg roll filled with glass. He was going to need surgery costing $15,000 US dollars to stop the bleeding. George could come up with $12,000 but his son would bleed to death if I didn’t send him $3,000. Not going to happen. I will pray for the son. He didn’t need prayers, he needed money. He was back on Match the next day with a new profile. Yes, I reported him.
Charles was the last man I met on Match. He was supposedly in Tucson, AZ. He was half-American and half-Australian. He was born in Dallas and his mother and daughter lived in Brisbane, Australia. To my surprise he was supposed to be living in Ypsilanti, MI. I’d spent four years there as an undergrad. He was just too good to be real. It never amounted to much. He was flying off to take care of some business in China and stopping to see his mother and daughter. I never heard from him again.
From Match a friend told me about Tagged. It is a free site. Okay it is the creepiest site I have ever had the misfortune to be on. Hollis was not at all who he claimed to be. He was supposedly Spanish with a gold mine operated by his mother and son. Funny he didn’t have the money to go home to Spain. He called from a restricted number at all hours of the night. His Facebook page has him at a different age and a widow. He claimed to be divorced. The phone number he gave me was a Sunoco gas station/Dunkin’ Donuts in a suburb of Philly. He did not last long.
Kevin was supposed to be in Pittsburg. He was not. He was in Waco, TX. He tried after two conversations to sell my house on Craig’s list. He wanted me to send him all the papers and he would sell it for me. NOT. He would sell it and leave me with nothing. Where do they come from?
I must be a glutton for punishment. I signed up for a month at SeniorPeopleMeet.com. Can you say more cons? I was looking only at men in Michigan. Dennis first showed up as MichiganFred in Holt, MI. He sent me a flirt so I responded and he disappeared. A couple weeks later he showed up as Strengthenedman in Detroit, MI. He was born in Germany, lost his wife to a drunk driver. Has two sons 22 and 20 who are in college in Germany. He also has a younger sister in Germany. He is currently in the Philippines working on the sixth of six buildings he had designed. He sold everything here two years ago and is winding up this job and will be home soon. We have talked briefly on the phone. He is soft spoken and polite. The e-mail came on Sat. night. He needs $97,000 US dollars to pay his taxes before he can get his last payment on the job. Something about having to pay the taxes first in that country. He had $75,000. His sister and her husband were able to wire him $10,000 and his friends and workers had come up with another $7,000. He is $5,000 short. He will understand if I don’t want to communicate with him anymore. So, glad he will understand.
First and foremost get all the information you can about the person. Pay the money to run a background check. If they are foreign born or are out of the country, end all communications. Do not give ANYONE your information. Be mysterious. Don’t share names of your family members or photos. Some say they are not good with names. It’s a scam to learn more about you. Second, always have someone who knows what you are doing. Third, NEVER EVER meet this person alone. Take a friend, have them sit somewhere else if you want him to think you are alone, but don’t be alone. NEVER let this person in your car. That means, do not offer to pick them up at an airport. You are most vulnerable when you are alone.
The number of people who truly connect for meaningful relationships on dating sites is few. It is no way one in ten. And I will not be trying for a tenth to see if he is the one. Be safe when you are dating. You are the one who is vulnerable. These men know exactly what they are doing. They have a plan and will carry it out. Take no chances.
I am Rebecka Vigus, author of Only a Start and Beyond, So You Think You Want to be a Mommy?, Secrets, Out of the Flames, and Target of Vengeance. These are real instances of what happened to me. I am no longer in the on-line dating circuit. I will meet my dates in person first. I suggest all women be careful. You are NOT desperate even if you think you are.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Manic Monday Rolls to an End

Glad today is almost over. Thurs. picked up my granddaughter who helped me set up for a garage sale. It took us four hours to get things set up and priced. Then we went to my sister's to swim and cool off.  Friday morning we opened the garage door at 8:30 am. Sale started at 9 am. First people arrived 8:45 am. I never turn down potential customers. We were steady until noon.

Megan proved herself to be a good sales person. She knew enough to take offers made if they sounded reasonable. By 4:30pm she was bored and ready to be done. So she took it up on herself to go out by the road and wave the garage sale sign around. While she did get people to honk at her, no sales materialized. We closed up shop and again went to the lake. She learned to drive the jet ski so was very happy and very exhausted.

Saturday we awoke early and went to breakfast. Please let me tell you about breakfast. It said 'Please Wait for Hostess to Seat You.' So Megan sat on a wooden bench then almost fell asleep. We had waited over five minutes and I was just about to leave when a Troll came to seat us. The woman had long grey hair, slightly unkempt. She was short and round. I think if she had smiled her face would have cracked. She seated us then walked away. Another five minutes passed and Megan was almost asleep again, when she arrived to take drink orders. We were ready to give our order, but she did not wait to hear that. In the meantime, several people have grown impatient at waiting to be seated and seated themselves. Most of them had the misfortune to seat themselves in the Troll's section and she became even grumpier.  She returned with our drinks and reluctantly took our order. Then she disappeared. She delivered drinks and took orders, but ours did not come. I was just about to ask about it when she came. Set Megan's down and then mine and walked away. I said,'Wait,' but was ignored. The next thing I know Troll woman is back. She has given me the wrong order (which I knew because I said 'Wait.'). She then proceeds to take the plate in front of me and set down my order. I am again not pleased as my food is cold. I set it on the edge of the table. She came by and said I'll take that for you. To which I responded, "Good, I'm not eating cold food and don't have the time for them to make me something hot." She left returned with my bill, she had removed my charges. Megan had hardly eaten hers either.
    You need to know that the summer after my freshman year of college I waited tables. I know what it's like to be a waitress. This lady did not even come close. We paid the bill and left. No, I did not leave a tip. Not even the penny that is usually left for awful waitresses. The Lumber Jack has lost a customer. What she did was not legal. Once you have set a meal on a table, you cannot pick it up and serve it to someone else. She should have known that.
    Megan chose to go back to sleep once we got home. No problem for me I am reading a book for review. So my first customers showed up at 8:50am. It was busy until 11 am. Then nothing. Megan is still sound asleep. I checked on her a couple of times.
    My parents showed up just after noon. Dad had come to fix my kitchen error. I 'd purchased a new refrigerator...mine had died...and it was 1/4 inch too tall. He just raised the kitchen cupboards and it was good as new. Yeah!!!! The drill woke Megan. Sales were off and on the rest of the day. All in all it was a good sale.
    We went with my parents to the lake, had dinner with my sister and her family. Dad and I rode as spotters in the speed boat as Megan and Lisa took to the tubes.  Again Megan was worn out. I returned her to her Mom on Sunday. I was too tired to deal with the garage.
    I should also add that I discovered a new neighbor on Saturday. A very unwelcome ground hog is trying to tunnel under my foundation. Live traps have been set to get the little bugger.
   Today I awoke rested and ready to go. Habitat for Humanity is coming on Wed. to get the furniture for their resale store. I bagged up and delivered six bags of clothing to the Fish Store...a resale shop and outreach center. I still have books to get rid of. I hear that half.com will take some of them. So, I'll be checking that tomorrow. I have some dishes to find a home for. The car can now be parked in the garage. Things are looking up.
   I also learned today that I will be guest blogging on www.readersparadiso.com/blog. You will have to watch for me there. I am glad today is almost over. Tomorrow will be equally as busy.

TTFN

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