Fractured Facade

"A fathers death...a daughter's life...a sociopath's vendetta...FRACTURED FACADE ...a novel written as memoir. Only $4.99 and available exclusively on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited members read for free! Click here for direct link.


THE VALENTINE'S DAY CURSE -- A Short Story, Free everywhere...except on Amazon (boo! hiss!) where it's $.99 to buy! Click here for direct link! Let them know it's free at these stores and they may price match it! Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books...more to come.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Love Boots

This year I'm being shmart with my Christmas shopping. I made a list, am sticking to it, cutting coupons and going out when no one else is. I went the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when all the shops were deserted, and then I went Sunday after Thanksgiving when all the shops were deserted. If I hadn't gotten thrown out of stores because they were closing at 6:00pm I probably would have gotten even more shopping done.

The best part about yesterday's shopping spree was that the quest to find the perfect winter boot has come to an end. So I deviated a wee bit from the list to put myself on it. Normally I wouldn't spend $135 on a pair of boots, but these boots are Bare Traps which are waterproof, soft leather and have faux fur lining all the way inside them.

They're also extremely comfortable and I can wear them three different ways. So I splurged. But I didn't spend $135. Belk's was running a 40% off all boots sale and I had an additional 20% off coupon so I spent $65.00 with tax.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a different pair of boots from Marshall's for only $19.99 -- yes, my kids' mother wears combat boots.

But those boots did not keep my footsies warm so I decided I needed something more practical. I love boots. I have about a dozen different boots -- cowboy boots, ankle high boots, knee high boots, clodhoppers, Frye boots, leopard skin cockroach killers, you name it, but none of them are comfortable enough to wear for traipsing through the streets of Manhattan for hours on end. Some of them are just too heavy or just too stylish. I tried about a hundred different pairs during the last couple of weeks and nothing but the cheap prices had appealed to me. I almost bought a gorgeous pair at TJ Maxx's that were "discounted" to $235.00 but I just couldn't justify the price, although I really, really wanted them.

At this stage of my life I realize that comfort is more important than money (only if the final price is under three digits) so that's why I treated myself to an early Christmas present. One thing I've found is that no matter how much weight one gains, or how lousy a hair style one gets, one's feet can always look good, but more importantly one's feet must be happy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Lights - Phase II

Christmas Lights - Phase II - a section of the front of the house. It's a little blurry, because I have a crappy camera (hint, hint!) but you get the idea. We could sharpen knives on our electric meter.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Thankful...

I'm thankful I live in the Roanoke Valley, in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia where my fruit trees are able to still feed the critters, and the flowers still feed my soul even though it's the last week of November...

I'm thankful I still have a foot firmly planted in Brooklyn, New York where the most exciting city in the world will always feed my mind...

Happy Thanksgiving from both of my homes to all of yours...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Living With a Thankful Heart

As usually happens every year around this time life gets extremely's a good busy though. Well, it would be a better busy if there weren't so many darn doctor appointments filling the upcoming days. With my absurdly high deductible I gotta get 'em in before the end of the year.

I saw my rheumotologist today. I really like him. He is so personable. As soon as he saw me he said, "I was just thinking about you last night." He wasn't thinking about my health he was thinking about our last conversation regarding his teen aged daughter starting to learn how to drive. "I signed her up at the driving school, she really likes it. After the holidays I'll probably start looking at cars for her so I will call you so you can check it out for me. How's your daughter doing with the Saturn?" Wow, he remembered our conversation from over two months ago. I was impressed. Quite a difference from Dr. DoNothing who doesn't even remember me the next day!

Anyway, Dr. DoNothing's office never sent over the blood results as they were supposed to. I knew they would be incompetent so I went in person yesterday and walked out with them in hand. Naturally they assured me they would fax them right over to my rheumy and naturally I knew they wouldn't so took matters into my own hands. I will never use their lab again.

When I saw my numbers I was quite pleased. My cholesterol numbers have nothing to do with my rheumy but they were on the same sheet. I was supposed to see Dr. DoNothing yesterday before the rheumy but he had cancelled last week -- do I get a no-show fee? My triglycerides dropped from 575 to 155. My cholesterol level dropped from 249 to 183, and my good cholesterol level increased from 35 to 37. This happened over an eight week period. I've been on one cholesterol pill and the no/low sugar diet. I thought I was doing great weight-wise until I stepped on the scale at the rheumy's office. It wasn't as great as my scale showed -- I felt like I went to the butcher who keeps his thumb on the scale.

The real numbers my rheumy wanted to see were from the complete blood count and liver profile. Everything was normal. In fact I increased my red blood count so that I'm no longer anemic. I attribute it to the Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin B Complex with C regimen I added. I needed something to give me energy and those pills along with the folic acid seems to be a good mix.

Unfortunately the RA has not decreased and when the doctor poked and prodded me I jumped a wee bit. He amped up the MTX to 15mg from 10mg. I told him how I felt wiped out on the day and day after I took them. He said that was to be expected and I could double the folic acid on those days if needed. I could handle it, I just wanted to make sure it was "normal." Same with the pain -- I can handle it as long as it's "normal." He said I could take Tylenol and thought my wine cheat nights on Thursday and Friday were well thought out. As long as the liver keeps functioning I can keep it up.

I don't have to go back until twelve weeks and hope my next dosage doesn't do me in too much. Because of the RA I've adjusted my writing schedule so that as soon as I finish breakfast I jump right on the computer. I strive to get as much done as possible before my bones hurt too much or I become too weak. Once I have lunch I'm done with writing. So the blog has been and will continue to be taking a back seat for a while. The goal is to have revision # 3 of my book completed before Christmas. Then I can put it aside and enjoy the holidays and start the new year with a final fresh look. I'm so thrilled to be so near the finish line. With all the recent progress I've made I really think RA has been a blessing. I am living with a thankful heart...

primitive thankful heart Pictures, Images and Photos

Have a happy Thanksgiving and I'll see ya when I see ya...

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Smell of Pine

I know it's ridiculously early to put up a Christmas tree, but in reality we haven't technically put up a Christmas tree yet, as it isn't decorated. I like to think we've saved a tree. The trees have already been delivered to the supermarkets and that's where we usually wind up getting one.

When we first moved to Roanoke the Griswolds, I mean my family, went on a trek to "chop down our own tree." The first year we did it successfully and had a blast (even though it flew off the top of the Jeep onto Main Street in Salem) but then every following year we never had luck. We, I mean I, would get carsick driving along winding roads, we'd traipse over icy mud-laden mountains, end up in someone's long forgotten family cemetery, get pricked with briars, freeze our butts off and always come back empty-handed. We finally decided it would be more convenient and cheaper to just buy one that's already been harvested.

They're already squished together under the awning out by Food Lion, not getting any water, so we realized it didn't make sense to leave them there to dry out. Why wait for the slim pickin's that are left in December? Why not have the house begin to smell like fresh pine as soon as possible? It's not like they bring in new trees each week. What ever selection is there today (minus the ones who have found a home) will be there in a month from now. So yesterday we had our pick of the litter for $29.95.

It's a beautiful tree. It smells marvelous, and I have extra branches that I can place throughout the house. I won't decorate it until after the house undergoes the Christmas cleaning which can take at least a week, but I like it looking over my shoulder. Now when I jump because I think someone's behind me, or looking at me through the mirrior, I can be relieved it's just my Christmas tree.

Mmmmmmm...I love the smell of pine in the morning...

Friday, November 19, 2010


And on the 18th day, all the workers were gone and serenity was returned to the woman...

It took a while to get all 19 windows installed but they kept their word and were done by Thanksgiving. Had it not been for the EPA's Draconian and absurd lead rules it would have been done much quicker. The company we used is not one you'll find on a coupon in a blue envelope claiming to install windows for $189, that's for sure. They weren't cheap but we didn't want cheap...we wanted good. Assuming we would have structural work needed besides just ripping out and popping in a framed window we decided to go with F & S Sunrooms.

They checked the frames on every window and if there was a speckle of damage done by water or insects they replaced the wood before placing in the new windows. They grounded down the metal to the brick on my antiquated casement basement windows.

Old one...

New one...

My neighbor had the same windows done and the company he used skipped that step and instead made the windows smaller by just covering the old metal. Not good enough. Yesterday the last two workers finished up by installing hand cut custom stained inside trim to frame out the basement windows. Another detail the other company didn't perform.

There was some damage to two ceilings from the tape they used when they needed to "secure the house" from the dreaded deadly lead. They matched the paint perfectly and repainted the areas, and even left behind the cans of excess paint. They stained all the wooden frames inside the basement covering any nicks they inadvertently caused. They cleaned all their mess. They removed the old windows carefully and handed them back to me so I can create some art with them. I have ideas, just no time to implement them.

One plus about being stuck home for the last two weeks is that I got a lot of writing done. Another plus is that my son's windows, and he, are no longer crying during a cold snap. This picture was taken the first of November before the new windows. Notice Jack frost nipping at the window...

He hasn't been around since the new ones were put in. And my heat has hardly been running at all. I am amazed at the difference. Did I mention how wonderful it is that they tilt in to clean? By the way I did rip off the labels, just haven't taken any new pictures.

This was my old front window. Doesn't look like there's anything wrong with it, but the putrid smell of wet wood from rain dripping inside the frame made me nauseous. Not only were those cute little triangles a bitch to clean but they blocked my view as well...

The new and improved window is in place. Egads! Is that a mountain in the background?

Can't wait to decorate it for Christmas. Wait, we may have to skip Christmas this year...ain't got no money left after spending it all on windows!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rustling Leaves

What's that rustling I hear under the leaves?

It's my puppy Max...

"Mom I'm ten years old...I'm not a puppy anymore!"

You'll always be my puppy. C'mon inside and warm's too cold out there for those old man bones...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Crowded Blueberry Shindig

My biggest regret about last night's Blueberry Shindig was that I didn't make it back home in time to see my daughter get inducted into the Beta Club. I've never missed any of her ceremonies and felt terrible that I missed this one. The rest of the family went to support her. She was understanding as to my previous commitment and truthfully I think I missed her presence more than she missed mine.

I was truly appreciative of the handful of friends who had no idea who Jim Minick was but showed up anyway. I was gladdened and surprised to see one member of the Roanoke Valley Pen Women, Ethel Born, author of "From Horse 'n Buggy to Hi-Tech" take the time to show up with her daughter and son-in-law. "I saw your e-mail and I'm here to support you." Thank you Ethel, I won't forget that.

I learned a couple of thing's from last night's events besides the obvious that River Laker is a great promoter -- even though the weather was lousy there was a nice sized crowd --...Roanoke has quite a diverse pool of talent...Author reading events can be fun...After the first laugh from the audience any stage fright one had will be gone...If I was younger and didn't have a book to finish I think I might have liked to become a stand-up comedian...Never, never, never enter a blueberry pie eating contest if they don't allow utensils.

A good time was had by all although Jim Minick might be thinking, "Well, River said it was going to be an over-the-top event..."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Blueberry Shindig Tomorrow

blueberry Pictures, Images and Photos

Crazy couple of upcoming days so no time to blog but wanted to remind you all of the Blueberry Shindig. Jim's book is wonderful and I look forward to hearing him speak.

My biggest dilemma is not stage fright, but finding something blue to wear from my closet of black!

1 1/4 hours to fit in all this??? It's definitely going to be over-the-top! Hope to see ya there!

Roanoke, VA - A blueberry extravaganza! Perhaps Roanoke Public
Libraries has gone a little over-the-top with this one! How are we
going to fit all of the following into a 1 ¼ hours? We're certainly
gonna give it a shot, though things could get a little chaotic!

The Over-The-Top Blueberry Shindig
Tuesday Nov. 16 6:30 pm
Howery Mezzanine
Roanoke Main Library
Information: 540-853-1057

For all ages, and free for everyone.
But, wear something blue for entry!

- THE BLUEBERRY YEARS: A Memoir of Farm and Family. Jim Minick (St.
Martin's Press; Sep. 2010). Minick will read an excerpt & talk a bit
about organic blueberry farming.
- Blueberry crafts for pre-school children
- Blueberry pie-eating contest (aprons provided)
- Blueberry book critic, Elena DeRosa -
Live blueberry music, Paula "Sunny" Smith.
- Blueberry art, Scott ToObz Noel
- Hand-crafted blueberry themed door prizes
- Film excerpt: Original Violet Beauregarde; Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory 1971
- Film excerpt: Violet Beauregarde; Charlie & the Chocolate Factory 2005
- Blueberry refreshments
- Film excerpt: The Mighty Humble Blueberry film - the story of the origins of the versatile, delicious American blueberry

Plus! A special extra, for the sake of diversity!:
- VENISON: A Poem. Thorpe Moeckel (Etruscan Press; May 2010). Moeckel
will read an excerpt & talk a bit about this, his latest publication.
(Minick - "Native American's used to mix dried berries with venison
regularly…a staple of sorts…so we're extending our historical roots

- Ram's Head Book Shop, selling signed copies of THE BLUEBERRY YEARS
& VENISON. (Please contact them directly re payment options: 2137
Colonial Avenue
(540) 344-1237)

- Copies of THE BLUEBERRY YEARS & VENISON will be available for loan.

What possessed two schoolteachers to buy 90 acres of woodland and
sink all of their capital, and a lot of the bank's, into digging
dirt? You might think Jim Minick and his wife Sarah were in over
their heads, but the dream of owning an organic farm and growing
their own food was worth everything to them. THE BLUEBERRY YEARS: A
Memoir of Farm and Family is a story of a young couples' dream,
success, and ultimate contribution to United States' agriculture.

In 1995, Jim and Sarah Minick received a delivery of 1,000 blueberry
bushes of six different varieties to plant in a farm that wasn't yet
ready. Then, in 1997, after years of dreaming and sweating and
watching, the first berries were born. For the next several years,
Jim and his wife planted, pruned, and picked while also opening the
field to hundreds of people who came from all over the world to
harvest berries. These pickers shared blueberry-flavored moonshine
and sober religion, warm hugs and cool hats, and bushels of stories.

THE BLUEBERRY YEARS is a mouth-watering and delightful memoir based
on Jim Minick's trials and tribulations as an organic blueberry
farmer. This story of one couple and one farm shows how our country's
appetite for cheap food affects how that food is grown, who grows it,
and what happens to the land. But this memoir also calls attention to
the fragile nature of our global food system and our nation's
ambivalence about what we eat and where it comes from.

Minick wrote THE BLUEBERRY YEARS in an effort to "capture [his and
Sarah's] story of following the dream. Also, we had hundreds of
pickers visit our farm and they all had many great stories."

"A truly inspiring story, in gorgeous prose, about one family's
journey into blueberry farming. Delicious reading." -Naomi Wolf,
author of The End of America and The Beauty Myth.

"This charming, homespun memoir of organic blueberry farming, written
with lyrical grace by a poet-scholar, is a modern georgic,
contemplating one local facet of our global food system."-Sharyn
McCrumb, New York Times bestselling author.

He is the real thing -- a man of humility and grace who writes
beautifully about the struggles of ordinary life." -Robert Hicks,
author of Widow of the South.

"There is so much to praise in this beautifully written memoir, but
what I admire most is Jim Minick's utter lack of self-righteousness.
In these pages we are given a wisdom that has, at its center, a quiet
and abiding humility. What a fine, fine book THE BLUEBERRY YEARS
is." -Ron Rash, author of Serena.

THE BLUEBERRY YEARS was picked by Southern Independent Booksellers
Alliance as one of the best new books for 2010.

Jim Minick grew up loving and eating blueberries, and for more than a
decade he and his wife owned and operated Minick Berry Farm, a
certified-organic, pick-your-own blueberry farm in Floyd County, VA.
He is the author of two books of poetry, HER SECRET SONG and BURNING
HEAVEN, and a collection of essays, FINDING A CLEAR PATH. Minick
teaches at Radford University and lives in mountains of Virginia with
his wife and four dogs.

Food doesn't get any more local, cosmic, primitive, tasty, or
disturbing than in this book-length, lyrical-meditative poem. At
stake are no less than the origins and mysteries of flesh and touch.
"Thorpe Moeckel's VENISON is civilized and wild, like a life lived
well, a barbaric yawp of pain and joy and true wonder at the
brilliant ordinariness of a life lived close to the earth and close
to the bone. Moeckel's fine poetic is whetted on the visceral and
cannily transcendental. Read it." - Christopher Camuto.

Thorpe Moeckel is the author of three books, most recently a long
poem entitled VENISON. He teaches at Hollins University and lives and
farms with his wife and children just north of Buchanan, VA.

Click the following link or copy and paste it into the address line
of your browser:$FILE/blueberry+shindig+poster.pdf

Friday, November 12, 2010

Got Sugar?

Got sugar? No, not in your cupboard but in your blood! Suspect you may be a diabetic, or pre-diabetic but don't want to go to the doctor, spend mega bucks on a test and then flag your insurance company that you've got a new medical condition that they can use to increase your rates? Then get thee to a Walgreen's pronto!

Today and tomorrow from 10:00am to 6:00pm local Walgreens are offering free diabetic testing. And yup, there isn't any catch. They won't share the info with anyone but you. They're offering two tests...A Blood Glucose test which takes one prick of the finger and ten seconds to reveal the results. And a new test I just read about called the Hemoglobin A1C test which takes one prick of your finger, a little more squeezing to fill a larger vial, and then five minutes to reveal the results. The A1C test measures your average blood glucose over the previous 2 to 3 months.

Since I come from a long line of diabetics -- all my grandparents, and both of my parents -- and have some symptoms -- I'm very cognizant of the possibility of become diabetic. After I was diagnosed with RA and high cholesterol and high tri-glycerides I put myself on the Sugar Busters diet. The first two weeks I followed it to a tee but then got bored and made my own diet up. I try to not eat anything that has sugar or high fructose corn syrup, although sometimes that's just impossible. Even the crappiest cardboard-tasting "healthy" cereal has some sugar in it. So when there is I limit my intake to under 3 - 5 grams of sugar. Once in a while I will treat myself to a square of 85% dark chocolate. Two months since I've started I have lost 15 pounds, but it's not nearly my goal. Exercise is a vital component of keeping diabetes in check and I do strive to walk as much as possible. Weight lifting and aerobics have become more of a challenge since the RA and sometimes even walking hurts. To take care of that I bought walking sticks which helps my knees.

Even though I have lab work scheduled for next week, it's not to measure my sugar, only for liver (thank you Methrotrexate) and a CBC (thank you RA) and for cholesterol (thank you fatty foods) I figured I could save some bucks and go to Walgreen's to get tested. I did have breakfast so it wasn't a fasting test. The normal range for the Blood Glucose non fast should be less than 140 mg/dl. My level was 92 mg/dl. It took a struggle to get enough blood out of my finger (being anemic and all) to complete the A1C test but the tech finally got it. A normal level is under 7%. I registered 5.2%. Needless to say I am thrilled with these numbers. Looks like my lifestyle changes are working.

Diabetes is a very dangerous disease...what you don't know can kill you. A little sugar in your cupboard or coffee is okay,

L's cup of coffee Pictures, Images and Photos

a lot of sugar in your blood is dangerous, and could result in this...

fat chick Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Over-The-Top Blueberry Shindig

It's amazing how a sentence could look fantastic on paper, stupendous when read in one's mind, but sound like crap when spoken aloud. I discovered this last night as I gathered my family together and read them my critique of Jim Minick's, "The Blueberry Years" for the Over-The-Top Blueberry Shindig being held next Tuesday night at 6:30pm at the Roanoke Library.

Ack! Some words put together just do not roll off the tongue naturally. Say "rural reader" aloud and tell me you don't sound like Scooby Doo. Now say it three times in a row out loud. Here's your Scooby snack.

Not only do some of the words not sound pleasant to my ear, but there are just too darn many of them. Heck, if I don't edit this piece down my presentation will be longer than Minick's!

Anyway, I hope you can come to the event where you can...Watch me shake in fear of speaking in front of a crowd! Watch me mangle the English language! Watch me embarrass myself! And then enjoy the rest of the festivities.

No, Lady Gaga won't be there singing "Blueberry Kisses"...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Caution! Renovation Work!

Don't even think about crossing this Caution tape that surrounds my property...

And if you happen to make it across the barrier you'd better not even think about eating, drinking or smoking because as you can clearly see Renovation Work is in progress...

And if you happen to make it across the barrier and through the door you're sure to face the plastic tombs...

And if you make it across the barrier, through the door, survive the plastic tombs and think you're going to install a window outdoors you damn well better be wearing a Hazmat suit!

All this because my 1957 home had lead paint, not even on the windows or frames, but on the window sill interior. Thank you EPA. If you didn't mandate this treatment God knows my teenagers would have picked up the speckle of paint that fell on the floor and sucked it down and then suffered irreversible brain damage.

The job is still going on because my 1957 home had some water damaged wooden sills which had to be cut by hand and replaced.

The job is still going on because my 1957 home does not have a straight edge anywhere so each of the 19 window frames are being hand cut on site and installed one section at a time.

The job is still going on because my 1957 home's basement windows were steel framed embedded into brick and had to be cut out with a grinder.

It's no wonder one window company didn't even want to take the job.

While navigating around the plastic tombs, holding my breath, not smoking, drinking or eating, I asked aloud for the thirtieth time, "Can someone please tell me why I decided to get new windows?" my son answered, "Because I was dying a slow death in my frigid room. Oh, and just so you know, I can now feel my fingers and toes and it's about ten degrees warmer in there already and they haven't even put the frame around it yet!"

Oh, it's always for the kids, isn't it? So you're welcome and Merry Christmas!

Hopefully, soon, like this week, my new best friends will be gone I can get back to my routine. And after that, the next horrible experience for curtains.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Under Pressure

This is what I feel like after three days of having renovations done at my home. All the banging, drilling, sawing and everything else has caused my brain to stop functioning. I can't even blog. Gasp! I will return when the work is done and my brain ceases being under pressure...

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Not the Dead That Scares Me

East Hill Cemetery in Salem looks a lot different in the daytime than it does at night.

A couple of days ago a friend and I started our walk at Longwood Park in Salem, covered the perimeter of the small cemetery behind the Salem Museum and eventually found our way across the street to the larger portion of East Hill Cemetery. It was a nice stroll in the daylight that afforded us a better view of some of the interesting headstones. There were a couple of odd ones such as this one which looks like it was carved from a tree trunk but really is stone.

I counted three of them and noticed that all the buried persons were Woodmen of the World. What was odd about this monument is that even though it is carved from stone all three of the them had moss growing on them as if they were trees. I still found Board's resting place to be the most intriguing. If you look closely it almost looks like tears have stained the woman's, who I think is Mary, cheeks.

We hiked almost an hour and headed back to our cars across the street which we had parked near the Chamber of Commerce. That's when I got scared. It wasn't the dead that scared me, but the living. As we approached our vehicles some guy called out to us from where he was standing near his pick up truck. He asked us if he could walk around the cemetery. My friend said yes. As soon as I looked at this guy my New York went up. He had his arm in a sling, but I immediately had the feeling it was a fake sling. Images of Ted Bundy flashed through my mind. The passenger door of his truck was opened. He started to walk towards us.

He had grey hair tied back in a pony tail and front teeth missing. He started to ask us more questions like what is the name of the cemetery. As he stepped closer I was mentally telling my friend to get in her car and lock the doors. She was answering him but I was giving him the death stare. He said he was rehabbing and I thought he meant from drugs or alcohol but apparently he meant from an injury. He said his doctor said he shouldn't climb hills, so I was wondering why he would want to climb the hills of the cemetery. Then he came closer still and said he was waiting for a large disability check that should be coming any day. Did we look like the type that would say, "Hey, cool, let's go party!?" Now it was getting too weird so I jumped into my car and gave my friend the stare and she went into hers. I locked the doors and looked into my rearview mirror.

He headed back to his pickup and I noticed he put his good hand in the back of his waistband where one might keep a gun or a knife. I got the creeps. I pulled out quickly making sure my friend was on my tail and noticed that the redneck Bundy pulled out as well. Shit, I hoped he wouldn't follow us. Luckily for us cars got between my friend's car and his so we pulled into Mac and Bob's lot. I parked and waited for my friend to come. As I was standing there I noticed redneck Bundy came onto Main Street and made a left turn. I guess he didn't want to go for a walk after all. My friend and I made it safely into the restaurant where we spoke about the encounter. She felt he could have been a pedophile. I didn't think so as it was during the day and no kids were out. I felt he could have been a serial killer.

It was disturbing to realize that if he was and we had met him in the cemetery we would have been in trouble. It was deserted and no one except the dead would hear us scream. We both agreed that even if he had a gun neither one of us would have gotten into his pick-up as that's a death sentence for sure. The odd thing is both of us had mace sitting at home that we thought about taking for a minute but didn't. No more. I will now carry what the New York Police Department carries...

I'm not afraid to use it. Yup, it's not the dead that scares me, it's the living.