First a note to all of the politicians who have been politicizing the current pandemic, and the horrible effects of climate change that we can see in the fires that are consuming vast swaths of the West Coast, as well as the hurricanes that are starting to smash into gulf states.
I am so tired of all of the maneuverings, the lies, the posturing, the stalemates, and the unwillingness to compromise.Everyone in Washington, from the very top to the lowest rung on that governmental ladder, needs to get off their ass and do the work that they were sent to Washington for.
I don’t care what political party you belong to, and I don’t care what position you have. You are all letting the American people down.
Whew! I feel so much better for getting that off my chest. 🙂
Now, here’s the excerpt I promised. This picks up from the last one I posted back in July.
Back in the squad room, Angel went to her own desk and Sarah noticed a blue folder on top of hers. She slipped out of her blazer, hung it on the back of her chair and sat down, opening the folder to find a forensic report. Leafing through the pages, Sarah noted that yesterday’s crime scene had yielded lots of items. It was a public park after all, and Sarah wondered if any of the scraps of paper, cigarette butts, or fragments of fibers were going to mean anything to their case.
No shell casing had been found at the scene, which possibly meant the shooter cleaned up his brass, but a small bag that had contained dope was found close to where the victim had fallen. Some of that cheese that had been showing up for months all around the city and in the suburbs. It had become the drug of choice for young teens. “Hey, Angel.” Sarah waited a moment for her partner to look up. “CSI tech found a Baggie at the park. It had remnants of cheese in the corners.”
“For eating or sniffing?”
Sarah chuckled. “The dope. What if the girl was there to score and something went wrong?” After a beat, she added, “Or what if the dealer approached her, but she refused? Made him mad?”
“Possibly.” Angel paused for a moment. “But the way she was shot? That’s not a typical MO for dealers. They don’t usually use such precision when taking someone out.”
“True. But that scenario fits better than one that has some kind of hit man killing a girl that young.”
“Hit man? Where did that come from?”
“I’m not saying it was a hit. I’m just thinking out loud. Because of the close range of the shot.”
“I seem to recall some detective telling me how we work on facts, not scenarios.”
Angel smiled and Sarah couldn’t help but smile back. These brief moments of camaraderie always felt so good. Too bad it just took one moment of friction to wipe the smiles away.
Sarah sighed and turned her attention back to the report. She was much better off trying to solve a murder than fix the problems between her and Angel. After another half hour, she stood and stretched, then walked around to Angel’s desk. “You ready for lunch?”
Angel slapped a file closed. “Sure. You find anything else?”
Sarah walked back to her chair and grabbed her blazer. “Nothing that helped. Let’s see if we can prod a lead out of Santos after we eat.”
Before I go, I want to remind you about the giveaway at Goodreads. It’ll run until release date of October 1st, and you can enter for a chance to win one of the 50 copies of the e-book that will be given away for Kindle readers
If you’d rather secure a copy for yourself instead of taking the chance on the giveaway, you can pre-order the book for only $1.99 at Amazon. After the release date of October 2nd the book price will increase to $3.99, so this is a chance to get the book at a big discount.
That’s all from me for today, folks. I do hope you have a wonderful weekend and you are not in harm’s way from the fires, the storms, and the pandemic. Tough times for so many. Be safe. Be well. Be happy.
It’s always with great anticipation that I look forward to seeing what Slim Randles is going to write about Autumn. I think he does the season great justice.
So, without further ado, grab a piece of pie and help me welcome Slim as today’s Wednesday’s Guest.
Our month of change. Our month of happy change. Once more we can stand the thought of wearing a sweater as the summer sun burns itself down. Once again we can think about a new school year and the special challenges we face this fall. Once again, the house is quiet during the day.
In the forest, the animals are polishing antlers, sleeking muscles for the mating ruts to come, marking their territories. The deciduous trees are showing those awesome changes of color as the mountains become a splendid quilt of transient beauty.
A resting time for the older folks. They can sit on the patio now even in the afternoons. It’s a time for barbecued ribs and football, and picking fruit. On the farms, the canning pots are boiling with treasures for the coming winter.
Time for the Fall gather. Time to see what’s out in those far pastures. Time to brand and work any late calves. Time to sort those who will stay and those who will go to the sale. Time to make money for the ranch.
Time to sit and sip something hot and think about things past and yearn for certain future things and to plan … plan how we can finish this year in a better fashion than last year.
Brought to you to honor those masked folks who wait on us in the coffee shops and take our temperature at the doctor’s office. Thank you for your courage.
Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.
All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.
Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for ten years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than thirty years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.
That’s all from me for today. Please do leave a comment and let me know what you think of Slim’s essay, as well as what is special to you about Autumn. Until next time, be well, be safe, be happy.
One thing I don’t want to do in the midst of the current dismal state of our society is let the memory of that horrible day on September 11, 2001 get lost in the barrage of all the depressing news around us. Not that we need another bleak something to focus on, but it is so important that we never forget…
Never forget the day terrorists flew planes into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Towers, ultimately bringing them down, along with the lives of 2,977 people.
Never forget the day that terrorists flew planes into the Pentagon, causing the partial collapse of the buildings west side and killing 175 people.
Never forget the day that brave passengers aboard the fourth plane that had been hijacked by terrorists, stood up to the hijackers and forced the plane to crash in a field in Pennsylvania. The plane had been headed to Washington D.C.
Those facts just barely scratch the surface of the extent of the devastation and ramifications of that horrible day. Thousands and thousands of people were affected by the immediate carnage. Wives lost husbands. Husbands lost wives. Children lost mothers, fathers. Mothers and fathers lost children.
And on and on into extended families, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, sisters, brothers, cousins. Like circles in the water of a pond when a stone is dropped in.
The long term effects include health problems experienced by first-responders because of the toxins in the debris left by the collapse of the buildings, as well as those lost and injured in the wars that followed the attack. Latest statistics I could find state that 7,000 U.S. troops have been killed in war from 2001 through the end of 2018: 2,298 in Afghanistan and 4,572 U.S. troops in Iraq. Over 250,000 service men and women have been wounded in those wars.
Again, think of the ripples in that pond.
The history of atrocities that mankind inflicts upon mankind should never be forgotten. At least until maybe it never happens again. Do we dare hope?
No more wars
No more holocausts
No more genocide
No more Trail of Tears
No more slavery
Sadly, that list could go on and on.
I didn’t write this to make people sad. I wrote it in the vain hope that it might stir some hearts to do one kind thing and see how far that particular ripple could go in our world.
Go ahead. Drop your pebble.
That’s all from me for today, folks. I do hope you have a safe and happy weekend. Whatever you have planned, I hope it brings you joy.
As always, I welcome comments. If you’d like to add to my list of things we shouldn’t forget, please do. Maybe even some bright moments in history that give us hope.
Even though the Labor Day Weekend is winding down, I do want to take a moment to wish all my U.S. readers a happy holiday. I especially want to send a “job well done” message to first responders, hospital workers, and essential workers. You are doing tremendous work during this uncertain time of the COVID19 pandemic, putting yourselves at greater risk to make sure others are taken care of.
|And I fully intend to as soon as I finish this post. LOL|
For many people this is a special holiday to wrap up the summer and start looking ahead to fall. Families gather for picnics and cookouts, and when I was growing up, this holiday was almost as big as the Fourth of July.
After I married, I was inducted into the Miller family tradition which was to picnic at a local park with the whole Miller clan. The primary celebration was for Mom Miller’s birthday, which was September 5th, but it was also a challenge for the kids to cram all the last of the summer fun they could into one day. They played hard until we ran out of daylight, and slept through their baths. Moms and dads were tempted to just fall into bed fully clothed.
Yesterday one of my sons reminded me during a texting visit about how we would have those end-of-the-summer picnics with some friends in Texas. Those friends had become like family to us and we shared many a holiday together when we were not able to go to Michigan to be with our biological families.
It was good to remember all the ways those special friends were a part of our lives. It made me smile.
The Labor Day holiday was started to honor the American workers, and every year I think of the song, “40-Hour Week” by Alabama. My roots run deep in blue collar America, so this song speaks to me and my family. Enjoy!
It’s been seven years since my husband died on this date. It was a Thursday in 2013, and after a lingering breakfast during which we had one of the best talks we’d had in some time, he left to do his volunteer stint at the Winnsboro Center For the Arts. There, he had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital after friends found him.
Even after all these years, some details are still clear in my mind. What I was doing when my friend called to tell me that Carl was at the hospital. What I said to her. Calling a neighbor to come over and take care of my horse who was tied out in the yard for mowing duty. Calling one of my daughters. Telling her I couldn’t call the other kids. Would she?
My friend coming to drive me to the hospital.
Being slammed with the news.
I don’t remember coming home. I think my friend drove me. None of my kids were there yet, so I was alone. This “alone” was so different from the alone when Carl was at the store. Or at the art center. Or at church for a meeting with other clergy. This “alone” was going to be forever.
As I write this today, I realize that I never actually put those words to the situation before. I never fully accepted the reality that I was singular now. Not a half of a couple. Just one person.
Wow! Why did it take so long for me to acknowledge that? Perhaps because denial is an ongoing part of dealing with loss. Not the denial that he was gone, but not looking at that horrible reality of “alone” with open eyes and an open heart.
Sometimes we take giant steps through the grieving process and other times baby steps. Thank goodness there is no timeline for any of this.
As a hospital chaplain in charge of grief support groups, I learned that it is imperative to keep taking those steps. It’s also important, as part of a healthy grieving process, to work toward not focusing so much on what is lost, but looking at what we have. No matter how long that takes.
So I try to look at all the good things we had together for all those years.
In addition to the wonderful family that Carl and I had; all the kids and grand-kids who filled our home and our lives with joy, I had that one last good morning with him. It still makes me smile to think about it, despite how the day ended.
We’d just celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks prior, and were so hoping we would make it to 50. Since his health had been so fragile for a year or more, we both knew that was a real long-shot, but we hoped nonetheless. That’s what people do, right? You don’t just stop and wait for that final moment.
Ironically, Carl had had a heart attack at the art center early in August on his Thursday volunteer day. He survived that one and came home from the hospital on August 19, the day before our anniversary. We had two weeks of really good days from the time he came home from the hospital until the day he died. He felt better than he had in months, and that dark mood that had made him so depressed had lifted. He had more energy. We talked often. He smiled more. It was like the sun coming out from a dark cloud.
That dazzling brightness that almost takes your breath away.
Today, I can smile through my tears, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss him. Or I’m “over it.” We never get over losing a partner, or anyone in our lives for that matter. It’s just that the pain of missing him isn’t with me 24/7 anymore. Slowly, as months and years march on, we adjust to the shift in our lives and have more days of no pain of grief. And, slowly, those days start to string together to form… maybe a whole week.
That’s all for me for today folks. I extend condolences to any of you who have lost people close to you. This grief stuff is hard. And in this current state of the pandemic, we’re grieving the loss of so much in addition to people we love – jobs, income, health insurance, socialization, and emotional stability.
Whatever you are dealing with, stay safe and stay strong. And if you’d like to share your story here, please do.
I’m going to do something different this Friday for my blog post. Partially because Mr Ramsay Hunt is kicking my butt big time this week, and the meds I take to control the pain from trigeminal neuralgia make my brain really foggy.
Also, I can’t even begin to describe my feelings about current events. The shooting of another black man, Jacob Blake, by a police officer. The protesters who were shot by a vigilante. The continuing climb of the COVID 19. The devastation that hurricane Laura created as the storm swept across parts of our country.
All of this happens, yet people in high places still deny that systemic racism exists. People deny, or try to play down, the extremes of the pandemic. And those same people in high places still ignore the reality of climate change and what it is doing to our world.
When I am this weighed down with sadness, it’s very hard to put words together to express how I feel. Kinda weird that a writer can’t find words, but that’s my reality right now. So today I’m
stealing, er borrowing some things.
First is some advice that’s circulated around via email an other social media for some time, but every time I read it, I can’t help but smile and nod. I wish I knew who wrote this, I’d love to give them credit.
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away…never to return.. So… while we have it ….. it’s best we love it…. and care for it.. and fix it when it’s broken……… and heal it when it’s sick.
This is true. for marriage……. and old cars…. and children with bad report cards….. and dogs with bad hips…. and aging parents…… and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Now some fun facts about cats. I found this information about tortoiseshell cats on the pretty litter blog, and the picture that showed up reminded me of a sweet little kitty that we had for a while as a barn cat when I lived out in the country.
That kitty who was named TOC showed up one day very hungry and scared, and I found her hiding high up on the stack of hay bales. I took some food out for her, and she decided that maybe she would like to continue living in my barn.
She got her name because we kept referring to her as “that other cat.” I’d tell my husband I was going out to feed her, or ask him to go out, and wanted him to know that I didn’t mean any of our other cats, who all had names. “That other cat in the barn,” I’d say, and her name was born.
We were delighted that she decided to continue living in the barn. First of all we came to love her, as we do all cats. But also because for the time that she called that place home, there were no little critters in the hay to leave presents that were not good for my horse or my goats.
Long before we had TOC, I knew that the tortoiseshell was not a specific breed but some people do think they are. My belief was validated in the blog post at Pretty Litter which pointed out that it is not a breed, just a color pattern, although people do breed them to continue some coloring. Because tortoiseshell cats are 99.9% female cats, they are bred with other colors hoping that the tortoiseshell gene will dominate, and a few female torties will be born.
Some people describe the tortoiseshell cat as sassy, fiercely independent, and strong-willed, but that could be applied to a lot of other cats. I have one black cat that fits that description to a tea.
I found this list of cultural lore that applies to the tortie fun and interesting:
- In the U.S., both calicos and torties are good luck cats that bring money into the home.
- They’re thought to have psychic abilities and see into the future—plus, they chase off ghosts!
- If you dream of a tortoiseshell cat, you’ll soon be in love.
- A bride hearing a tortie sneeze on her wedding day means good luck.
- Ancient Celts believed it was good luck if a male tortie stayed in their home.
- A legend from Southeast Asia says that tortoiseshell cats were created from the blood of a goddess born from a lotus flower.
Before I go, I want to remind you of the pre-order sale of Desperate Season. You can order your copy for only $1.99, now through October 2. That is when the price will go up to $3.99.
That’s all for me for today folks. Whatever you have on your calendar for the weekend, I hope it is something fun, but also something safe. We’re all chomping at the bit to be out and about, but it’s still not a good time for that. Take care.