Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kiss A Horse


ME: Ahem...is this thing on? Hello. Attention. Attention.

Snow boots...packed...I guess I didn't think I would need them when I arrived. I was hoping to have made my grand entrance while the weather was marvelous. Poor planning. I also ran over my wonderful snow shovel with the tractor, then left my replacement at the river house.

Well, we made it here...finally. I didn't expect it to take so long nor be so painful emotionally, financially.  On the bright side, in the long run, we will be better off and I can be a normal mom. Just the short run of things have been costly and emotional up and down. Yet, despite all the setbacks, I'm not afraid of blazing a new trail.

*record scratch*

Let me back up to November 29 and go forward from there...

The weather had been so mild I didn't need a coat, nor my long underwear underneath my uniform. It was the last night of living on the river. It was the last time I would own my horses. The house was finally sold and the horses were staying with the new owners,  a very nice family. They would be well taken care of and they would stay in the home they had known for over 8 years. I still miss them today and often have tears when of think of them and the Old Man we had buried the day before. I hugged on them and gave them kisses while coating them in my pitiful sobs.

The days were rushed and the boys packed up my moving truck. Not only that...they accidentally packed up all my clothes I had set out for the next months and toiletries..oh, and some things got broken in the move. However, I was blessed to have those that showed up to help because it was way too much work for me. Two days later I was on the road several miles away to put my things in storage and look for a new place to live. My heart was heavy from leaving my horses, my place, and burying my dog.

In the midst of my bittersweet mood, there were rays of sunshine...70 degrees to be exact in the place I was looking for a new abode. It took months and I was down to the final 8 that I would finally choose from or go home empty. When I meant "go home", I meant a cardboard box. I really was homeless.

We named all of them and it was the longest 3 12 hour tour.

The Crackle House

The first one was built in 1899. The outside was promising with a quaint stone porch and a groomed front yard, a garage, and fenced backyard. As we entered the original leaded glass front door, I heard my realtor say, "This one needs a lot of work." My shoulders sadly fell as I looked inside to see the walls were in disrepair and in the middle of the old staircase, the 2nd floor had shifted two inches and a poor repair "hide the faults with plaster" job was evident. The paint was peeling off several walls indicating the previous owners had not taken care of the lead paint. Yikes. We all went through the house anyway because of the history. As I went upstairs, I noticed purple vampire paintings in one room with an alien head thingy next to it. Run, Forest, run. Creepy. I swear I had seen the house featured on "The Haunted" with the homeowners claiming demon visits. The house was a about a $100,000 remodel/rehab and probably seriously haunted.  It made me feel sad. Nope.

The Children of the Corn

The next one was one I had actually been calling on frequently, asking for more information from the homeowner. The yard was huge with big trees, the porch was wrap around and only needed minor TLC. The square footage was over 3100 feet with a screened porch "yippee". The staircase was something out of an old Fred Astaire movie and was spiral, about 5 feet wide and absolutely the most amazing thing, a grand staircase. The large foyer had inlaid wood flooring and the parlor fireplace was beautiful. The house boasted 3 fireplaces with original mantles and tiles. The kitchen needed a lot of work, all the floors needed to be refinished, and all the carpet needed to be ripped out. We had been told the house had served in the underground railroad during the Civil War. The tunnels were still all throughout the town and some leading to remote farms. The one in this house had just been sealed. Knob and tube wiring was still present even though the owners had told me they had rewired the whole house...uh, yeah, right. When I went upstairs, I met Glennifer running down. I asked him why he was in a hurry and he said, "Children of the corn." I laughed and went upstairs. It was in TERRIBLE, nasty condition and I was just appalled anyone could live as they did. When I went into what appeared to have been a child's room, I entered...and it lead to another room ...and another room inside that...and then the last one. It had drawings on the wall and gave me the heebie jeebies. I met my realtor downstairs and she said, "WAY overpriced. Too much work." I said, "Children of the corn." Well, it did have some amazing historical factors and at one time was probably a very grand home. Too much money would need to be sunk into that one.

The White Elephant

In another town, we looked at a large white regal home which towered in the spruce trees. It had a wonderful garage/shop, a pool, and a nice yard with more potential. I wasn't fond of the town. The house had had some rehab work, however, it needed another 100,000 dollars or more. It was a drive-by only because I knew the amount of work, but we went inside anyway. Someday, should it be completed, it would be a nice home. It was built in the early 1900s and had some wonderful woodwork, lots of character, leaded and stained glass, and good structure.

The Roller Coaster House

This house was totally remodeled. The front porch was divine. The yard was immaculate. The outside was freshly sided. As we looked up...we saw a spongy roof. Strange. Why not redo the roof? Crazy. Inside, the front room was nice with freshly refinished wood floors. It was two bedrooms but bragged three. The parlor had a closet in it so they disclosed it was a third bedroom. NOT. It was small. The garage was great. Well...the catcher was the kitchen. They stuck vinyl squares over a wood floor that humped (non sexual kind) in the middle like a freakin' grassy knoll. OMG. The vinyl was peeling up and I literally was in China while my realtor was in California. We could not figure out why they wouldn't have ripped up the floor, put new subfloor down and fixed the problem. Then we went to the crawl space and found there was a lot of moisture. However, the price was very, very low. I didn't care for the town either. Pass.

The Home and Garden Show

In yet another town, we looked at an 1867 brick at a wonderful price. The owners were contractors and had purchased the home as a flip. Katy bar the doors. This home was absolutely amazing. I stepped back in time with a large master with 12 foot ceilings, original leaded glass features, all new windows except for the stained glass and old leaded glass ones. The floors were perfect. All new wiring and plumbing, central air. The fireplace was HUGE and original in a nice sized living room. The office was cozy. The kitchen was out of Martha Stewart and they had retained the original brick features with top of the line appliances, new cabinets and 15 foot ceilings with a large dining area. I could have lived in it. Glennifer didn't leave it. He was clicking pictures and sharing them with his wife. She was wanting to move in. The upstairs had two large bedrooms and a balcony with a great view of the town. The yard was huge with a garage and two brick buildings. Wowser. Even though the price was right, I didn't want to live in the town. I could have commuted, but I don't know why I didn't jump on it. My realtor thought I was crazy.

The Drive-Ins

The next few were drive-ins. What I mean is, if they weren't going to restore them soon...someone needed to drive into them with a wrecker ball. I was really feeling defeated.

The Castle

Two acres. Immaculate yard. Large trees. Circle drive way. Built in 1888. Brick castle. Steeple. Turret. Iron fence. Perfect. I hugged this house. I wanted to move in right then. I couldn't leave. It was like a dream. Everything inside was original and had been kept in museum quality, pristine condition. Fireplaces, mantle. Woodwork. Butler's kitchen. Claw tub master in steeple overlooking the meadow. Three bathrooms. Carved mahogany staircase and hidden stairway also leading to the steeple and to the butler's kitchen. Large main kitchen. Martha Stewart show room kitchen. House all rewired. All re-plumbed. Stamped tin ceilings in three large rooms, including the steeple area. Caufered ceilings. Marble mantle in living room. Stained glass windows. Pocket doors. The list goes on. The house deserves to be featured in a magazine...with me as the owner. I can't say enough about this one. Oh and blue slate tile on the upper steeple outside of the house was original and in mint condition. Beat me. I didn't want to pay the price. The setting was perfect. The price was even cheap in today's market, but I didn't want to pay it with the economy the way it is. I thought I had to save back more money. Beat me. I still want to live there even as a mouse. I sobbed but left. Poo.

The Fargo House

As we drove toward the town, my realtor told me I would love the town as it was perfect out of a Kincade painting or Norman Rockwell series. My mouth dropped at the restoration the town had done. Artisans shops lined main street. All the outside facades were restored with iron lamp posts and immaculate sidewalks, storefronts, historical signs. Pleasantville. When I got out of the car to look at the home, I thought the porch was quaint and loved the original screen door and front leaded glass. It creaked just as I like it as we swung the screen door and entered the heavy wood door. One foot inside and I knew the house was ME. Carved wood staircase with a landing. Refinished hard wood floors. New brushed berber carpet in the living area. Parlor with a half octogon seated area surrounded in windows. Stained glass window leading upstairs. The kitchen was nice sized and fresh. I would change it a little but it was nice. Two mud rooms...one large, one small. The downstairs bedroom had a hard wood floor and a high ceiling. The laundry room was large and the downstairs bathroom was a nice size and new sink and toilet. I even liked a lot of the paint colors. Upstairs, it was not hard wood as I hoped, but new carpet. The landing was large enough for an office and the rooms were nice sized. I knew it was the ONE. The price was super cheap and I asked the realtor why it hadn't sold. She showed me the paint outside. It was chipped on one side and she said several banks, FHA, and WCDA would not loan on it. Weird. The front yard was perfectly groomed and the grass, yes -GRASS in December was freshly mown. The back yard was a good size, perfectly groomed and lead up to the stone barn. YES, stone. The red barn, 3 floors, YES, with a hay mow, not loft as my Ohio friend says, was beautiful. It also had a one car garage. Inside...immaculate. I am sure someone shop vacced everything before we came for the showing. The cement floors were in great shape and they had a bathroom in there and wiring throughout the rest of the structures.  It was ME. How many times can I say it? We spent 3 days in the town and I went to every shop. None of them sell anything like my ideas and I could bring something fresh to the town...besides my snarky attitude. The Christmas tree lighting in the town square was fun. I learned that a lot of the shop owners were like me...from other areas. The townsfolk were very accepting of outsiders as long as they keep up the historical restoration and festivals the town was proud to host. Yes, it is ME. My daughter squeeled with joy when I sent her pictures and said I had better get it. No, it doesn't have a lot of acreage for the dogs, but they will be OK. The school is new and wonderful and I have high hopes my daughter will thrive there. After a long journey of financial quirks in the sale of my river house...this house is mine. Yes, it was built at or before 1900. It's in the historical district. I have big dreams. Details to follow.

The days went by slow and then all at once, December 16th arrived.

Again, no coat required. Uniform...no long underwear. Cop heaven weather for December.

ME: 96

DISPATCH: 96 go ahead.

ME: I am in service, unit 79, roving the city-no assigned area. This is my last night on duty as a peace officer. Good morning.

DISPATCH: Good morning.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Farewell Magnum Force

It doesn't really become final until you hear the gunshot. I flinched.

It wasn't the first time I had to say goodbye to an animal that was part of my life for so long.

How does the guilt and sadness pass when you put down one of your pets of 17 years? The tears come and go at inopportune moments. Guilt passes, then floods back.

Somehow I don't feel like it was his time, that maybe I pushed the issue.

My friend was kind enough to do it for me and he had hunted with Magnum in the past years, so it was hard for him as well. His wife hugged me as I cried.

It was a warm night, the moon shined bright, and I hugged on Magnum until I had no choice but to let him go and make myself leave. Deputy Bart buried him facing the river as that was his favorite place to adventure out and I often found him snooping around by the river when he stayed out past his bedtime. He acted like a teenager the last few days, but I knew it was the last "hoorah" before he really crashed. Had it not been for his incontinent senior moments and grey face, no one would have known his age. He outlived his expiration date for sure.

Magnum used the river like a lap pool and was a great hunting dog. In fact, the year before his last, he swam against the river and then floated down, swam back up, floated down, and eventually got out on the road and waddled back to me. It was the happiest I had seen him.


Always happy, always faithful. His registered name was Magnum Force but I called him Old Man the last few years...120 pounds of pure muscle, and the oldest black lab in the family. He was a good companion.

Rest in peace, buddy.

Geez, it's easier to get hit in the head with a baseball bat. Beat me.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

That's Pretty Neat!

Lenny and Rodney are really NEAT! Love these, had to share. Check out more on YouTube.
Apparently they didn't make enough episodes, or got too old to be neat. Anyneatness, good, clean humor. That's my style. Yes. They are on my level.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Women Warriors

Today is the day! I guess I will hold my breath and hope readers enjoy our stories and can see an insight to the job we uphold everyday. I guess it's not just a job, it's who we are. Enjoy!

Here is a link for a recent review of the book...Women Warriors: Stories from The Thin Blue Line.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bug Sex ...The Sequel

BUG: Mom, you know, I wanted a little black baby so bad.

ME: Yeah, honey. Me, too.

BUG: Mom, it's OK. The doctor said you could try again after you heal.

ME: Yeah.

BUG: So it's OK. You can. Just make sure when you guys have sex you do it when I'm not home.

ME: What?

BUG: [waves me off] Do it when I'm not there. I don't want to hear and I definitely don't want to see it. Go somewhere else.

ME: *blink*blink*

BUG: Mom, can I have a drink of your lemonade?

ME: Yeah. I don't care.

BUG: Ok. Hey, Mom?

ME: Yes?

BUG: Is it OK to drink this? Will I get pregnant if I share your drink?

ME: No, honey. Only if you share a drink with a boy.

BUG: Really? Well, I am NEVER doing that.

ME: Ok [big cheesy smile] Good idea.

Bug Sex

Being stuck at home to recover and reinvent yourself for the first day of work is enough to drive yourself crazy. Too much thinking goes on. Too many daily activities are observed. It's amazing what things go on when you are there to watch every minute of the day go by...it's so cool that I discovered history.

I'm not sure very many people know the purpose for which June bugs stick to our window and door screens. I have found the answer so many of us I am sure ponder for the nasty things absolutely gross me out.  Now...even more so.

I mean they just stick there...in all their grossness.

Toward the evening, just as the 100s turned to 90s...about 11:00 pm, I heard a noise. It was a distinct noise. Every cop has intense hearing senses. The noise was unmistakable and was a dog licking a screen. Every cop knows the noise like the sound of a racking gun. Why we know this noise is because we deal with window lickers all the time at work.

In fact, not only was it A dog, but it was Moose..my Moose... licking the screen on the sliding glass door which was open to hear the night sounds.

Disgusted, I turned to look. My mistake. What I saw was so appalling, that I may be traumatized for life. Yes, Moose was licking the screen...but not JUST licking the screen.

You see at night, the June bugs stick to the screens.

Moose was licking the screen, giving the June bugs fellatio.

In horror, I watched as he licked, licked, licked, then moved onto another bug. Then I thought about it after I yelled at him and I looked at the bugs underside. Maybe it wasn't fellatio. I mean how do you tell? I will just say he was giving the June bugs oral sex, whatever sex they were and I learned my dog is bisexual since I don't know if the bugs were boys or girls.

I yelled at him several times but the lust kept drawing him back to the nasty things to do the nasty.

I will never be the same.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Flower Power


What. In. The. Hell. Do. You. Do. With. Them?

They take up space. They sass. They yell. They stomp. They wear tiaras. They eat all the food.

Fuck.Me.In.The.Ass. Seriously.

ME: Quit that fake smile crap.

BUG: What! You don't love me? [stomp, pout]

ME: Don't be ridiculous. I just want a nice picture, not that fake smile you always do.

BUG: [stomping off]Nice, Mom! You don't like my pictures. Moms are supposed to like everything of a kid.  Maybe you can solve that by not taking any pictures of me for the rest of my life. [slams bedroom door]

ME: Nice.

I can do better with a meth addict who is running around in the street naked, frothing at the mouth, yelling, "Tebow for President!"

Bug's hair looked so cute so I wanted a nice picture. All she could do was that fake smile crap. We all hate it. She grits her teeth and smiles gargantuan and looks like a nitwit. Good thing we have digital cameras now days. She certainly would waste the expensive 35 mm just to get one good pic. And not only was she fake posing to be uncooperative, she had words to back up her body language sass afterwards.

This after I chased my garbage all over Timbuktu and struggled with a large piece of cardboard. Word. Don't get dog kennels for Christmas...in boxes. Thanks, Santa.

There I was trudging up the driveway after tugging the box out of the sagebrush. Did you know sagebrush has fingers and it wants everything. Instead of Swamp Thing around here, it's Prairie Thing. It's almost as bad as tumble weeds. They are like venus fly traps only different.  Do you know how temped I was to let it blow into the river and float to Nebraska? Yeah.

Although if I had done that, some hobo would have tried to fish it out of the river thinking it would have made a good addition to his house and then he would have fallen in the river and drowned. Then I would have been a murderer. Orange is not my color. And it wouldn't even have made a good book because it was too short of a story. Maybe a Law & Order episode.

So...how did I get from Tweens to Murder? Simple. They go together. Don't tell me you haven't thought about it.

She decided to come out of her room...

BUG: Mom, tomorrow is nerd day.

ME: Well, then you won't have to dress up.

BUG: [stomp, yell] Mom, I am not a nerd. I don't have any glasses![stomp, run to room, slam door]

ME: Sweet.

Really. Walking across fire to bring 100 pounds of food to starving African children would be easier.

Apparently, I am learning tweens run to their room, slam the door, have some revelation and come out with more mouth or a new con game.

BUG: You don't even love me, do you?

ME: Of course I do.

BUG: Well you don't like my smile and now I'm a nerd.

ME: Nerds with fake smiles need love too.

BUG: Mom! I shouldn't have to put up with this in my life! [stomp, run to room, slam door shut]

ME: [big cheesy grin]

BUG: [yelling from room with closed door] I know you are smiling out there! God still loves me!

ME: Yes. God still loves Tebow, too.

BUG: Mom! I'm not Tebow!

ME: I know. Otherwise I would be saying these things to you with diamonds on and drinking a large bottle of the best red wine..naked.

BUG: Ew. You are so gross! Why do I have to have such a gross mother?!!??! [opens and slams door for effect]

So...I have come to find how you save the world from countless murders. You torture your tweens any chance you get. You get even. Because right now old and wit beats young and sass any day....no matter how cute they are. And after all that...I got one sorta good pic...with a fake smile.

After opening the door and dragging her feet, she came out one more time.

BUG: Do you even still love me?

ME: Of course I do.

BUG: You better not put any of those dumb pictures on the blog, only the good ones.

ME: Ok, honey.

BUG: I'm serious.

ME: [big cheesy smile]

Someday, I will pay for all this when she wheels me right into the river and inherits my riches. Perhaps I will invest in a Chia Pet farm. Just sayin'. It would be like bonsai therapy for her only different.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Confessions of a Suicidal Policewoman

When they call my name in the airport it usually isn't to tell me that I got a free flight and moved to first class. It's a bump, cancellation, or standby.

When I went to the counter with my book in hand, I smiled apprehensively at the airline employee. She looked at my book, looked up at me, looked at my book...then smiled weakly and asked, "Officer Fargo, you aren't carrying today on the flight, are you?"

I'm forever plagued since 2004 when I carried my bullet proof vest and firearm on the plane for a homicide case I was working which took me across the United States and back. Of course, I had been screened and approved. That one day...made me flagged forever. My luggage gets torn apart and tagged. I get body searched.

I politely told her I was not carrying on the plane this day. Relief spread across her face. If you can't trust a cop, who can you trust? What was the big deal? Was it the book?

It was the same look I got when I whipped out my book to read while guarding a prisoner at the hospital while he lay there after surgery not long ago. Officer Friday gave me a double take. The nurses asked me if I needed to check myself in for an evaluation and commented my job must be getting the best of me after 15 years. We all chuckled. Then, I held up the book and told them it was a great read and they should pick one up on Amazon. Curiosity killed them, of course, and they perused the book. I share like that. That's what good books are for...sharing and enjoying. This book was a page turner.

I think I'm developing a crush on Michael Beckett.

It's true.

Thomas Fitzsimmon's Confessions of a Suicidal Policewoman is jam packed with action, twists and turns, and mystery. Michael Beckett is back for another drama to unfold and someone has to wear his handcuffs. Murder. Drugs. Not only is it a dynamic police investigation which keeps your attention, it's better than the first in the series. Fitzsimmon's takes you on a gamutt of police work leading to an ending which will surprise you.

Not your typical finish.

Beckett continues his fight against evil, tangled with his affection for women, and being taunted with offers of police corruption.Yet, Beckett is good. It's like being at the kegger parties in high school and the joint gets passed to you, but you pass because you don't do drugs. Do you turn in your friends, or do you ignore the illegal activity? Or something like that. Beckett's ethics prevail against temptations as he continues to follow the leads to solving high crimes.

His partner was deceased. Perhaps there was a new girl in town.

Not only is it a great police story, it parallels reality. Ethics. Professionalism. Investigation. Mystery. His cop attitude. His attraction to the wrong women-because it isn't me. The bond of the brotherhood. Corruption. Affection for your partner. Putting the bad guys in jail.  Basically, it's good old-fashioned cop work with the insides turned out.

Thomas Fitzsimmons gets better and better. His colorful descriptions take you to the moment to experience the smells, the sites, the road to fighting crime and getting the bad guy.

You can't put it down.

Even if you are in a blue uniform with a shiny brooch pin in a hospital holding a book titled, Confessions of a Suicidal Policewoman, or at the airport getting ready to board your flight engrossed in the pages.

I like Michael Beckett best on my sofa with a class of red wine next to my fireplace.

The more I know about Thomas Fitzsimmons, the more I like him. Plus, he wears a "white hat" and rides a great horse into the sunset. He's just like that only more fantastic. Maybe you would be surprised to know he also drinks 6 cups of coffee in the morning which is almost equal to my pot of coffee, gets on the computer, writes, and answers emails. He has an identical twin brother, (a retired cop) which he says they are very close. I wonder if he ever switches his brother for himself on his jobs to get a vacation? Nah, he's too professional for that.

He answered my questions this morning...

MF:  Your life has gone from cop to celebrity status over the years. Were there times you ever missed being a cop or wanted to go back into the uniform and why or why not?

TF:  No. I’ve never missed being “in the bag.” The reasons: I still do police work of sorts. When I’m not writing, I’m a private investigator and bodyguard. Plus I still socialize almost exclusively with cops; they’re the only people who understand me and who I trust. (If I get drunk I’ll even hang out with a firefighter or two J) Also, I hire many of the guys I worked with on the NYPD, as well as many young, active duty cops. So I feel like I’m still in the mix.

MF:   What's sitting on your coffee table right now?

TF:    The New York Times Book Review. Although, since they’ve conned me several times with great reviews of lousy, unreadable books, why I continue to read it is beyond me. 

MF:   Out of all the accomplishments in your life, what are you most proud of and why?

TF:  For obvious reasons, staying sober on St. Patrick’s Day—well, sort of.  

MF: Do you believe in the age old belief that good will prevail over evil, or will it be a battle that continues but never won? What do you see in law enforcement now that has changed for the good and what has declined?

TF: I believe in the old adage: All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Which is why I became a cop; to do something. And there was no greater pleasure then catching some SOB in the act of committing an armed robbery, or felonious assault on a female or child, and being in the position to “take care of business.”

However evil will always be with us. And so the battle will continue. I don’t think much has changed systemically, in the NYPD over the years, although the young cops would most probably dispute that. They idolized the “gun slingers” I worked with in the old days and think we operated unsupervised; which we didn’t. But cops will always be cops. And the powers that be will always cut slack to the guys like me who worked the really high crime areas.

The only thing I think has a negative effect is the film and TV industries insistence on showing the bad guys disrespecting the police. In real life you disrespect a cop and, well, your day will most probably take a turn for the worse.  

MF: What do you do for fun? 

TF:  My work is my fun. How cool is that? There’s nothing in the world I’d rather do then work on a book, or pick up a juicy criminal investigation, or spend time with my bosses, Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta Jones.