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.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rabbit, Rabbit

A rabbit stopped by today to remind me that tomorrow is the first of the month and if I want a lucky May I better say, "Rabbit, Rabbit" the moment I wake up.

Bella asks, "Why Rabbit, Rabbit and no Puppy Puppy?"

Well, according to Wikipedia, and we all know that site is the most accurate one, ha!...

"Rabbit rabbit rabbit"is one variant of a common British Superstition" which states that a person should say or repeat the word "rabbit" or "rabbits", or "white rabbits", or some combination of these elements, out loud upon waking (or first moment) on the first day of the month, because doing so will ensure good luck for the duration of that month.

The exact origin of the superstition is unknown, though it was recorded in Notes and Queries as being said by children in 1909:
"My two daughters are in the habit of saying 'Rabbits!' on the first day of each month. The word must be spoken aloud, and be the first word said in the month. It brings luck for that month. Other children, I find, use the same formula."[1]
In response to this note another contributor said that his daughter believed that the outcome would be a present, and that the word must be spoken up the chimney to be most effective; another pointed out that the word rabbit was often used in expletives, and suggested that the superstition may be a survival of the ancient belief in swearing as a means of avoiding evil."
I tried this one month, don't remember which, but had I had extraordinary good luck I probably would have remembered. Maybe I didn't experience the full effect of good luck because I didn't speak up the chimney. I do have one, so if I awake tomorrow morning and remember, I will give it a go. Hey, I got nothing to lose!
The following two flower shots have nothing to do with superstitions, but I thought they were pretty so there ya go...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day Yard Blooms

For Earth Day, some yard blooms...

White azalea brightens up the path to the secret garden that I have been unable to enjoy

The cherry trees were less than spectacular this year

But the dogwoods, my favorite tree, are splendid!

Even though they tried, they couldn't kill my mini Japanese maple..she's resilient, just like me!

The pink and red azaleas have bloomed, still waiting on the coral ones.

Pine trees sprouting cones and seeds
The mighty oak causing all sorts of allergy problems

Friday, April 17, 2015

Cutting the Cord

Dear Verizon,

I know we have been going steady for twenty years, and I probably will miss my phone number, but I think the time has come for us to break up. You've served your purpose pretty well over the years. Whenever I picked up the receiver there was a dial tone, sometimes it was crackly, but you usually fixed that in a timely fashion. When my folks were alive they had my number on their speed dial, but since they're gone not many others call me on that number. Oh sure, Kroger will leave a message to tell me if I don't come right now to pick up my prescriptions they're going to go back on the shelf, and the library will let me know that I have four days to pick up a book I requested, but other than those two parties the rest of the time that phone rings I don't pick it up.

Why don't I show love for your line any more? Because most of the time it's telemarketers calling, and even though I'm on the supposed "do-not-call" list, every day I get at least a couple of recordings, hang-ups, automated calls telling me "DO NOT HANG UP!" and political messages. In fact, if I see an unavailable number, 800, 888, no name number, or one I don't recognize, I let the phone ring. I always say, "If it's important they'll leave a message." Nine times out of ten, they don't. And since your line allows anyone to call any time of the day or night, it's gotten to the point that I take the phone off the hook before going to bed, and sometimes I even remember to put it back on when I wake up. Sometimes I don't, and don't even notice.

Now, my husband is opposed to you and I breaking up. He keeps saying, "What if there's an emergency and we have to get in touch with our loved ones?" Well, if there is an emergency more than likely I will be calling them from my iPhone to their cellphone. Most of the people I speak with do not even have a landline. His response, "Well what if they have to call us?" Ummm, they can call my iPhone or your cellphone. He asks, "What if there's a disaster and all the cellphone towers are inoperable?" I say, "If that's the case then no one is talking to anyone!" He reminds me, "Remember 9/11?" Of course I do, but except for his mom, everyone else we know in the New York City area no longer has a landline. Besides, that means his mom could still call out and us not having a landline has little effect on that.

Whereas my husband doesn't want me to write you this Dear John letter because of practicality, my hesitance is because of nostalgia. I like my phone number and will probably feel bad losing it. If I do I'll have to remember my cellphone number, which I don't. There's also nothing more satisfying than slamming down the receiver on someone who I want to piss off. Luckily, since I no longer deal with people who get me to that point, I can just hit the "end" button on my iPhone.

We've had a good run Verizon, but you have taken advantage of me. I received your bill this morning and you raised my rates once again so that I now have to pay you $79.97 for the privilege of having an obsolete landline. I have no fancy services, other than caller ID, which is free on my iPhone, and call waiting, which is also free on my iPhone. Yet your bill has a bunch of other charges, like Freedom Essentials for $61.99, Taxes, Governmental Surcharges and Fees for $5.67, and Verizon Surcharges for $12.31. My iPhone costs me $46.27 and that includes unlimited talk, texting (something you can't do) internet (something you can't do) taxes and fees (something you charge me $17.98 for!)

Another great thing about my iPhone is I really never get any telemarketers calling. I did get some druggies, I believe, calling when I first got my Straight Talk number, but after two years they know Ms. Black no longer has that number. Besides, I have the ability to block a number I no longer want to get calls from. Can you do that Verizon, or would that cost me even additional fees??? About the only thing you can do that my cellphone cannot is send and receive a fax. But you know what, this isn't the 80's any longer and I barely fax anything. If I have to, I can go to the shop and use that one. I cannot get rid of you there because you have me over a barrel as I am a business. So although we are breaking up here, rest assured you will still get your $130 monthly ransom from me.

So there you have it. I took you out to dinner one last time. When my husband comes home I will talk into seeing things my way. If only you hadn't gotten so damn greedy maybe we could have still dated, or at least be friends...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tulips, Dogwoods & a Pine Cone

Tulips in full bloom...

Dogwoods beginning to bloom...

And the last reminder of winter...

Friday, April 3, 2015

Noah Thomas Didn't Have to Die to Be in a Better Place

"So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world."  -Isadora Duncan

The parents of Noah Thomas, the five year old boy from Dublin, VA who was found dead in a septic tank near his parents' rented trailer, were arraigned this Good Friday afternoon. Ashley White, 30, and Paul Thomas, 32, were charged Thursday with two felony counts of abuse and neglect of children.

From this WDBJ package - "Media members were allowed to attend the hearing, but cameras were not allowed inside. White said she did not want media inside of the hearing because this is the worst thing that has ever happened to her and she doesn’t want her life to be the topic of everyone’s dinner conversation."

Excuse me? This is the worst thing that has ever happened to her??? Not her son? Not her boy? Not her child? Not Noah?

And from this Roanoke Times article came this statement by Noah's father, Paul, who also objected to the media present -- “I don’t want my life to be their news story.”

Again, his life? What about his son, his boy,  his child? What about Noah's life? More than likely, it is thanks to the selfish likes of you two, that he no longer has one.

From the same Roanoke Times article, as of today, the parents are charged as follows:

"Thomas was charged under a subsection of the law that relates to “reckless disregard for human life.” His charges are a Class 6 felony and carry with them a minimum of a one-year prison sentence and up to five years for each charge.

White was charged under two different subsections of the law. One charge, like Thomas’, relates to “reckless disregard for human life” and carries with it the same punishment. However, she is also being charged under a more serious subsection that is a Class 4 felony which is punishable by no less than two years and no more than 10 years.

That subsection involves “serious injuries” to a child that were received under an adult’s care. Those injuries, as defined by state code include: “disfigurement, a fracture, a severe burn or laceration, mutilation, maiming, forced ingestion of dangerous substances, or life threatening internal injuries.”

I bet after toxicology reports are completed, additional charges will most likely follow. For this 5 year old boy did not accidentally fall into a shit-filled septic tank. Some sociopath placed him inside. We could only hope Noah met his demise before he wound up inside the tank, and didn't drown in it. Hopefully that, and many other questions, will be answered. Was Noah's little body submerged for all five days as hundreds of concerned folks, traipsed nearby and searched for him? So close, and beyond, yet still in hearing distance of the tank, he never heard his name being called.

And who, or what, could be so evil as to place a 5 year old child in a septic tank? Certainly not a parent! That is what the community hopes. Surely, it had to be an accident. It's hard to admit it wasn't, because to most everyone with a heart, it's an unthinkable situation. But other than falling into in a terrible immediate family, it certainly looks as if Noah did not accidentally fall into anything else. Well, all the evidence is not presented, so we don't know yet if the child fell into someone's stash. If you watch "Shameless," you'll remember that happened to their dysfunctional family. As soon it was realized the child had ingested cocaine, he was brought to the emergency room. He survived, and the older sister went to jail. To their "credit," they didn't wait for him to die and then hide him. We don't know if that happened to Noah. All the public knows is that, according to the mother, he wandered off when she was napping. Let's see how long that story sticks.

These two parents, and I really hate using that word parent, didn't go the Susan Smith route, wailing in public, pointing fingers to fictitious folks. No, these two were silent from the start. What mother, what father, wouldn't be out in the media, begging for help for the return of their son? Probably only ones who knew he wasn't coming back. Every time I heard the sheriff say Noah's parents were cooperating fully I thought of Smith. So did she. Thankfully, the young infant who also lived in the home, was taken to a safer place the night Noah was reported missing. Clearly something was not right in that household.

Was it drugs? Ummmm, again, I don't know for sure, but damn, I'd sure bet it is. Take a look at their mug shots.

Look into those vacant eyes. Those are the eyes of self-absorbed addicts who don't give a shit about anything but themselves. Their drug of choice is more important to them than anything else, even their children.

I am so angry that this beautiful boy was snatched away, even if it was from a hopeless life. To all those people who say over and over again, "He's in a better place now" I say, he didn't have to die to be in a better place. He could have been placed with another family who would have loved him more than anything else. I know of too many parents who have lost a child, and would do anything, anything, to have that child back. I know of too many couples who want a child, more than anything, anything, yet they are unable to conceive. I'm sure they would have welcomed this little boy, yet they, many other loving couples, and especially, young Noah, were never given the opportunity. Tragic.

If any "good" could come from this heart-breaking case, I hope it will help open the eyes of men and women to recognize an abused child, or one living in a dangerous household. Know the signs, and rather than turn a blind eye, make that call to get that child safe before something tragic happens to them too. Never underestimate the power of drugs, and the damage done by them, and poor parenting.

Rest in peace, Noah Thomas...Gone, but you will never be forgotten.

"It's the greatest poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."
- Mother Theresa