Spying – The Story about House Hunting While Being Watched

I recently wrote a post about protecting our privacy while using digital devices. And at the end of that post, I cautioned to be particularly careful when viewing properties while house hunting because I had encountered a weird situation with a spy camera in one of the properties we ‘almost’ purchased. A few people indicated to me they were curious to know what happened. So today, I’m going to share that incident.


We had just sold our big ranch bungalow and weren’t quite sure yet where we wanted to move – buy another single detached home, rent somewhere for awhile until we decided, or perhaps a townhouse bungalow not far from our home, which was part of a condo development, meaning there’d be monthly maintenance fees for care of the properties (also known as HOA fees in the U.S.).

We decided to take a look at the semi-detached bungalow development.

At the time our real estate agent was a friend of ours, her name was Ro. Ro was a go-getter agent, unabashed, and knew her business well. She never held back from what she wanted to say or ask of a client or a potential seller. Ro was a loud and boisterous person and when she spoke, there was no volume control.

Ro drove us over to have a look at the bungalow. It really was a beautiful development for the ‘over 50 crowd’ – a number I was soon approaching but still not comfortable with the idea of moving into a quiet lifestyle. Ro mentioned that many of the residents chose this development because the properties were looked after by the corporation, which left no worries for many of the snowbirds to fly away for the winter knowing their homes would be looked after on the outside. This was appealing to my husband who was getting ready for his first retirement.

Ro fumbled with the lockbox for a bit, then finally we were in. The first thing I noticed in that rather nice layout of a home was its untidyness as dishes were in the sink and lingerie was sprawled out, hanging to dry in the laundry room and beyond. I remarked to Ro how someone could have a showing in their home and keep it in disarray. Ro loved to talk and I’m no sloucher when it comes to conversation, so I shudder to think about all we talked and laughed about during that tour, besides what we later discovered we did talk about.

I know for sure, we freely discussed selling price, possible offer prices, definite changes needed to update to the house, and most likely, shared a couple of snarky comments about some of things we saw that were in bad taste. Then we went down to the games room and bar in the basement.

Ro and I were both thorough gals. We didn’t leave too much unturned when visiting homes. I was a seasoned house shopper and wasn’t shy about opening cupboards and such to check out all the space of nooks and crannies. Then Ro and I walked into the downstairs bathroom. It was fairly dark as we both had trouble finding the newfangled light switch. But we proceeded to walk into the bathroom, guided by the hallway light. Then Ro pulled back the shower curtain and we both screamed in terror.

In the dark, we both instantaneously screamed at the sight of a leg. Ro let go of the curtain and we bolted out still screaming. We were sure there was a dead body in the shower!

Hubby came down to the basement from wherever he was inspecting once he heard our primal screams. The three of us searched for the bathroom light, turned it on, and hubby braved us both and ripped back the shower curtain. It was a prosthetic full leg leaning against a corner of the shower wall. Holy crap!

Oh no!


My heart was still beating at what felt 100 times its pace from the initial horror we’d thought we’d encountered when I shouted “Who the #$#$ does that? Leaving a lone leg stashed in a shower in a dark basement when they’re showing their home? There was plenty more conversation, talk of asking price way too much, and a few nasty remarks made by all three of us before we’d left the home.

Despite the madness we encountered, and the disarray of the home, the house held potential for us and we’d gone back for another two looksees before we’d decided that we should really put an offer on that home. After lots of negotiating on price and terms, including – always, the escape clause – we had one week to get the house inspected, and if we’d found anything we didn’t like from the report, we could bail.

We had the house inspection done a day later, two days before we were scheduled to leave for a week to Las Vegas. We were relieved to know we could go away without worrying about where we were going to live. That was until I got a text message from my real estate lawyer to give her a call on our second day in Vegas.

Back then – ten years ago, a Canadian hardly used their cell phone to make calls while out of country because of the exorbitant phone bill, so I ran over to the pay phone section just adjacent to the casino floor in the Paris hotel to call my lawyer. She wanted to advise us about some of the condo corporation guidelines she’d gone through and wanted to point out some possible additional costs that would come with purchasing the property. Turns out, expensive lawyer did all the necessary homework.

Apparently, there was going to be more involved moving into that development. Besides the purchase price and the stated monthly maintenance fees, it was discovered that when something goes wrong outside any of the homes, the money came from the monthly fees, but if a project was bigger and there weren’t enough funds, every household would be dinged for extra money. That development was due for new roofs at the cost to each homeowner to pay an additional $20,000 as well as an agenda coming due for all new windows. I gulped.

Hub and I discussed the fact that it was impossible to budget for old age not knowing when the corporation would hit us up for more money, and ultimately, we decided to bail. I called Ro and we discussed the days we still had left to back out after the inspection. I told her to make up some excuse we didn’t like about the inspection findings and to break the deal.

Later, after Ro broke the news to the owners, she mentioned that the husband went a bit off the walls in anger about what kind of crazy people we all were, while making idle threats we should watch our backs if we didn’t follow through.

A few days later, we were back home and hubby was outside on the driveway standing on a ladder, replacing a surprisingly broken light bulb over the garage door. I was puttering in my flowerbeds when I noticed a black SUV driving slowly past our house, and driving around the cul de sac to pass by a few more times. After about the 3rd pass, the man stopped his car, rolled down his window and shouted, “You wouldn’t want to be falling off that ladder now, and you should keep your eye out for more broken lights to come.” He continued ranting on about our ‘dirty trick’, putting an offer on his house that we asked to visit three times before putting an offer on, wasting his time and repeated some of the comments I shared with Ro while in his house. He then laughed eerily and loud, and added the ‘leg’ shenanigans in the shower was priceless to him.

I darted into the house and called Ro to let her know what just transpired and asked her to call his agent and to let him know if there was to be one more threatening visit we’d be calling the police.

Nothing more ever came from the man, but needless to say, I remained leery for quite some time whenever a black SUV drove down our street. We ended up buying a single detached home a few weeks later.

The scary man and house adventure taught us a few things. First and foremost, we’d learned that with the advent of digital technology, to never lose our guard with future home purchases and to keep our house comments, questions and price conversations for once outside any home we viewed, and to never forego a house inspection because it affords us time for buyer’s remorse. Buyer beware!


Do you have any house hunting horror stories you’d like to share?



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Sunday Book Review – Pebbles to Poems by Frank Prem

Welcome to my Sunday book review. Today I’m reviewing Pebbles to Poems by Frank Prem. This book is a beautiful little prequel to some of Frank’s various works. If you aren’t familiar with Frank’s interesting styles of poetry and story-telling, this book is a perfect way to taste his work.




Pebbles to Poems is a sample pack of Frank Prem’s free-verse poetry and storytelling published between 2018 and 2020. Extracts from six collections, ranging through memoir, and wildfire though to contemporary love poetry.

Small Town Kid – growing up in a rural Australian town during the 1960s and 70s.

Devil In The Wind – the stories of victims and survivors of the 2009 Black Saturday wildfires in Australia.

The New Asylum – an experience of public psychiatry in Australia, from childhood roaming the mental hospital grounds, through student psychiatric nursing and on to managing acute wards and patients.

A Love Poetry Trilogy:

Walk Away Silver Heart – derived from the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’.

A Kiss for the Worthy – derived from the Walt Whitman poem ‘Leaves of Grass’.

Rescue and Redemption – derived from the T. S. Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’.

This is poetry that is meant to be read on the page and aloud, as well. Poetry the way you always wished it could be written.


My 5 Star Review:

This book is a delicious sampling of extracts from some of the works of Frank Prem. The first collections are written in personal memoir style, poetic reflections of growing up in rural Australia in the 1960s and 70s from his book – Small Town Kid. Prem shares in his poetic anthology about his personal experiences with the 2009 wildfires in Australia in his book – Devil in the Wind. And more experience shared from his background in working in a mental asylum, and then as a nurse in the public mental health system, offering a taste of his poetic telling from his book, The New Asylum. These stories are exposés of life through the eyes and experience of  Prem and the public psychiatric system, spanning five decades as Prem shares some of the shenanigans that went on, giving us a glimpse of life in the public psychiatric system, written in the style we’ve come to know from Prem, with his free-verse poetry.

In the last part of this book, Prem revisits some of his beautiful poetry from his love trilogy and shares snippets from the three-book collection – Walk Away Silver Heart, Rescue and Redemption, and A Kiss for the Worthy, a personal collection of love poems with lines taken from various reknowned authors, converted into Prem’s own self tellings with his unique form of poetry.

If you enjoy personal poetry and memoir written in poetic style, you are sure to get hooked on Prem’s writing as he breathes new life into both, old styled and new poetry.


Below are links to three reviews I previously wrote for Frank’s Love Trilogy:


A Kiss for the Worthyhttps://dgkayewriter.wordpress.com/sunday-book-review-a-kiss-for-the-worthy-by-frank-prem-poetry/


Rescue and Redemptionhttps://dgkayewriter.wordpress.com/sunday-book-review/


Walk Away Silver Hearthttps://dgkayewriter.wordpress.com/sunday-book-review-walk-away-silver-heart-poetry-frank-prem/



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#WATWB – Cheers for Team Toronto: Feeding the Hungry Goodnet

Welcome to September’s edition of #WATWB – We are the World Blogfest, where writers can hop on to this monthly, last Friday of the month effort, by sharing some of the good things going on in the world to deflect from the negative. This month I’m sharing how my city, Toronto, has been donating over half a million meals to those in need.


Cheers for Team Toronto: Local Stadium Donates 500,000 Meals


Toronto scores big with a food project that helped the needy.



Just over a year ago, Toronto fans celebrated the Raptors’ win of its first NBA championship. Over two million fans, about one third of the Greater Toronto Area residents, came out for the victory parade on June 17, 2019. Although the stands in the Scotiabank Arena have been empty, Toronto celebrated a recent win in their beloved stadium: the provision of over 500,000 meals for the needy.

It all started on March 12. The stadium’s 24 arena chefs, FoodService and Hospitality reported, were busy prepping in the kitchens. They were readying meals for thousands of hockey fans who were coming that night to watch the Maple Leafs play the Nashville Predators. With four restaurants, 88 concessions, plus 44 corporate suites, the kitchens were hopping. At noon, when a pandemic was declared by the WHO, management decided to suspend the game.

Chris Zielinksi, head chef for Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), was quick to respond, shipping out 27,000 pounds (12,247 kilos) of the prepared meals to food banks the very next day. . . Read the full article


Original Source: Cheers for Team Toronto: Local Stadium Donates 500,000 Meals – Goodnet


If you’d like to join in, visit the #WATWB Facebook group to leave your post link.


Hosts for this month are:
Eric Lahti, Peter Nena Shilpa Garg, Roshan Radhakrishnan, and Sylvia Stein



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Smorgasbord – 20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs by Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin is offering her book – Just an Odd Job GirlFREE! I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of Sally’s books, as she is a ‘smorgasbord’ author who writes in various genres. This book happens to be my favorite. Fall in love with Imogen and her jobs as she ventures on through life. And along with this promo, Sally is divulging, in a series, the true identity of those jobs as she shares about each of them – and some we never knew about, in this series.


Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – 20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs by Sally Cronin



It is 20 years since I put pen to paper.. of fingers to the keyboard and wrote my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. I am delighted that it still gets the odd recent review, but I thought to celebrate the anniversary I would offer it FREE for the next few weeks. Particularly as I am in the middle of editing my next collection due out in November.



As an indie author on Amazon I don’t get to do free giveaways, so I would ask you to email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and let me know if you would like a Mobi for Kindle or an Epub version of the book for other devices. I promise I won’t share your email with anyone else. You can find out more about the book and its most recent review at the end of the post.

To set the scene I am going to repeat my series from early 2018 which shared the background to the stories in the book that I elaborated on and fictionalised. As a bonus I will also be including some other jobs that were not in the book that might also be considered a bit different. For example, flogging bull semen at agricultural shows to selling ‘similar’ top end perfumes in the East End of London. I think you get the idea about how odd some of these jobs might have been. . . Please visit Sally’s blog and get your free copy!


Source: Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – 20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs by Sally Cronin | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine



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Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments – Creating my own Future by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Today I’m sharing my article I shared in Sally Cronin’s new series – Life Changing Moments, where writers share stories about pivotal moments in their lives. I share my story about my decision to go after a job I wanted that wasn’t advertised.


Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments – Creating my own Future by D.G. Kaye



Welcome to Cafe and Bookstore Author spotlight.  I am inviting authors in the Cafe to share what they consider to be a defining moment in their lives that resulted in a major positive change. If you would like to participate you can find all the details: Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments


The next author who is sharing one of her life changing moments is resident relationship columnist D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies…At age 23 Debby decided that she needed  to take control of the way her career was heading….


Life Changing Moments – Creating my own Future


When I first decided I wanted to work in the hospitality industry, my intentions were to get into the Sales department end of the hotel business. Sales were my natural talent and how I made my living, selling clothes in both retail and wholesale, in between doing secretarial temp jobs in the first few years I moved away from home. I could never decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, despite my childhood wishes of thinking I wanted to become a lawyer or a journalist. With nobody inspiring me, I let the chips fall where they may many times in my life. When I got bored or more ambitious, I’d change jobs, and sometimes careers. Never being fired, I always left good bridges behind wherever I’d worked. But, as I was approaching my mid-20s, I decided it was time for a serious change of career at something that offered a better future. I checked the want ads in the newspapers back then, daily, and nothing appealed to me. So, I gave myself a week to sort myself out without pressure and focused on what would I like to do for a career besides just searching the ads for what was available. And then I took an old-fashioned approach and chased after a job I wanted to have and not just settling for any old job, and I landed myself in a serendipitous place.

What did I want to do next in my young and exciting life? At 23 years of age, I’d already had a busy resume. The eternal question stuck with me since childhood and through high school, when most kids had already mapped out a plan for their futures. What did I want to be when I grew up?

By this time, after working both retail and wholesale, I bounced around a few stores, always leaving on my own free will or businesses closing. My high school typing skills came in handy for the many temp office jobs I took on to get by in between my longer retail stunts. But after my last job in women’s clothing retail sales, I’d had enough. It was time to assert myself and get into something I’d really enjoy and possibly start a long-time career in something more challenging.

So, how does a girl get the job she’s after with such a busy resume? I had great recommendations and referrals, always left on good terms, good typing skills, good people skills, good organizational skills, all I needed was to choose something I’d be happy getting up for each morning and inspiring enough to go to work every day. I just needed a chance to get my foot in the door somewhere. I knew if I could just get the chance to present myself, my skills and willingness to work, matched with my outgoing personality, it would land me a job in a place where there was room to grow.

Despite my sorrow for leaving the clothing business, I knew that I’d be better off leaving it than having to face the constant daily temptations every time a new shipment of stock came in that had me calculating just how I could financially manage to purchase yet another article of clothing I probably didn’t need, but my passion for fashion just couldn’t do without. Those wholesale employee discounts were too tempting. And my finagling of finances on the ‘I’ll pay you for that out of my next paycheck’ was never-ending. I’d amassed enough clothes to last me till the next fashion trend change ten times over.

I took some time to myself and put some good thought into where I’d want to work next. I knew I wanted to work with lots of people, as opposed to the lonely life of salesgirl awaiting the next customer, so I could mingle more with people. Back in the early to mid-80s, there were quite a few shows on TV focused on hotels. One popular show fascinated me, titled Hotel. The show focused on the upper management and what goes on behind the scenes with all the fun events and people the hotels hosted, and something struck me after watching another episode. I thought working in the hospitality business would be the perfect job for me. But how was I to get such a job without prerequisites?

I stewed over my idea for a few days before finally sitting down and writing out the dreaded resume. I put every job I’d had on that baby, starting from my first job at 14 working Saturdays as a cashier at my uncle’s pharmacy. It was a gruel as I knew I’d only have one chance to make a good impression, so my resume had to appear professional, and until that time, I’d never needed one. All the retail jobs I snagged hired me on the spot with only asking for a reference or two. The typing/secretarial temp jobs I’d done, I’d gone through a headhunter who was basically just looking for good typing skills, which I’d passed with flying colors, thanks to my 90 words per minute typing speed I gained in high school.

I was a crafty girl, full of bright ideas and solutions. I knew for this big change I was going to have to come up with something clever to get myself in a hotel—somewhere.

My brain worked overtime as I continued to look through the newspaper want ads daily. Nothing struck my fancy, and there was nothing listed for hotels and hospitality except mostly food and beverage jobs and front desk staff. So, I decided I was going to try my approach. I couldn’t wait anymore days or weeks for a job as funds were running low, and I had rent to pay. I decided I wouldn’t wait for the perfect ad and planned to make up my own list of hotels I’d like to work at. I pulled out the old Yellow Pages Phone book and picked out a handful of hotels that appealed to me. I copied their addresses and phone numbers and planned to call each hotel that appealed to me and ask to speak to Human Resources, chat them up a bit and then ask if they were looking for any sales help. I was going to sell myself. At the time I’d called there were no vacancies for positions, but I always ended the call with asking if they’d mind if I sent forth my resume for them to keep on file should something open up. They all indulged me.

I completed my resume, drove over to my dad’s office and typed it up, calling attention to the HR folks’ names I’d spoken with and adding a little reminder for each of them about our prior conversations. It never hurt to refresh their memories!

Within two weeks, I received a few calls asking if I could come in for an interview. One of my top-choice prospects calls came from Robert in HR at the Carlton Inn Hotel in downtown Toronto—exactly where I was hoping to get a position. Robert informed me he was impressed with my resume and our chat, and mentioned that although I was hoping for a position in sales, he thought I’d fit the bill as a fill in for the position of Executive secretary to the General Manager, as the current secretary would soon be taking a year’s maternity leave.

Those good old temp jobs on my resume had paid off!

Best job ever! Within weeks I’d mastered the so called ‘computer/word processor’ typewriter. I was efficient, friendly, happy and complimented by my handsome boss and General Manager, Mr. V., for my speed and efficiency and handling disgruntled calls and letters from patrons. And my already large social life was about to grow bigger with all the new friendships (and sometimes unwanted attention) I made. It was the roaring 80s and staff parties, outings and game nights in the hotel lounge bar offered good fun and entertainment.

And did I mention my tall, fair, single, and handsome boss?

Me and my two bosses – J. Vaskas, General Manager and Ursala Fernandez, Executive Assistant Manager, office party


I was in the prime-time of my happiness in those days. A young woman living on her own with a prestigious job she looked forward to going to daily and a bonus of having the privilege of looking at and conversing with a handsome boss. It was just like the old movies I used to love to watch back then in the ‘Madmen-esque’ style of working environment. I’d met some exciting people, some longtime clients and patrons of the hotel—sports figures and some movie stars too. It didn’t hurt that the hotel was located directly next door to my city, Toronto’s, famed Maple Leaf Gardens arena where concerts and sporting events were held. Plus, I had a free permanent parking spot in the hotel which came in handy many times over when not working and having a golden free spot to park in downtown Toronto. Good times, great fun, great learning experience—and the money was pretty darn good for a girl who wormed her way in. . . Continue reading at Sally’s Smorgasbord


Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments – Creating my own Future by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine



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Sunday Book Review – The Violin Maker’s Daughter by Sharon Maas

My Sunday Book Review is for Sharon Maas’s – The Violin Maker’s Daughter. This book takes us to Colmar, France 1940, when Germany is about to take over France during WWII. A hard to put down book as we follow the life of Sarah Mayer, a 17 year old girl, the eldest of five sisters who will be the first of them to be sent away from her home, arranged by her parents and the French Resistance with the ultimate journey and goal for Sarah to reach Switzerland or Spain.





When the Nazis march onto the cobbled streets of Colmar on November 1st 1940, Josef, a Jewish violin maker, gathers his wife and daughters closely to him and tells them everything will be alright.

But one year later, three sharp knocks on the door at midnight turn his seventeen year old daughter Sarah’s world upside down. As the oldest child, Sarah must be the first to leave her family, to make her escape in a perilous journey across France via Paris to Poitiers. And she must hide who she is and take a new name for her own safety. For now, bilingual Sarah is no longer a French Jew but a German girl.

As she bids farewell to her beloved father and family, Sarah has hope, against all odds, that she will see them again when the war is over. But, travelling through the mountains she finds herself in terrible danger and meets Ralf, a German deserter, who risks his own life to save her.

Ralf and Sarah continue their journey together, keeping their identities secret at all cost. But when Ralf is captured, will Sarah pay the ultimate price for sharing who she really is?

A gripping and heart-breaking account of love, bravery and sacrifice during the terror of war. A story of standing up for what you believe in; even if it’s going to break your heart. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Ragged Edge of Night.


My 5 Star Review:

Josef Mayer is the violin maker in Colmar, France. As Germany’s takeover of France nears, Josef makes arrangements with the French Resistance for his five daughters to be escorted to Switzerland. His eldest daughter Sarah will leave first, despite her own resistance for not wanting to leave her home and family, as the severity of what was to come to France couldn’t be realized. Sarah’s papers are all ready, stating she’s a German from Colmar, France with no yellow star stamped on the paper. Josef is an agnostic Jew and his wife Leah is a converted Jew, although the family are not practicing Jews, to the Nazis, they are still Jews. The children don’t understand why plans are being made for them all to eventually flee Colmar and quick plans are made with a nearby neighbor, Yves, to hook the family up with the resistance to get them all to safety – first Sarah, then her sisters to follow, and eventually her parents. That was the plan, but during war, plans can change in a moment’s notice.

Sarah is picked up in the middle of the night and taken to first stop – the winery where Rebecca who’s in charge of an old farmhouse, prepares the routes and missions with Eric to guide runaway Jews through the mountains from this underground safehouse pitstop along the way of Sarah’s journey. But when Rebecca falls and twists her ankle, early into the journey, the three must turn back as she cannot walk, and Eric and Sarah help to carry her back to the safehouse. New plans are made as Rebecca is housebound and will now await the next two sisters to come to the safehouse while she heals and Eric and Sarah set out again.

Eric and Sarah encounter two young German soldiers in the forest. One of them apparently relishes his job to kill Jews and the other, Raif Sommer, stood in mortification as he watched the struggle between Eric and the other soldier as Eric tried to protect Sarah and foil his attempt to rape Sarah, until Eric was shot in the leg. In this stunning commotion, Raif shoots and kills the other soldier and becomes a deserter and helps carry injured Eric with Sarah’s help, back to the safehouse once again. We soon learn, once Sarah and Eric and a German soldier return, that Raif was drafted in a war he wanted no part of as he was supposed to be studying in university to be a doctor. And now with Rebecca and Eric out of commission, the plans have changed. Raif is given civilian clothes from Rebecca’s son’s wardrobe and he will lead Sarah once again on the journey.

Before leaving, Rebecca has a chat with Raif, informing him how Sarah is young and naive and has no experience with relationships, warning him not to start any romance business. They set out for the journey to Metz, only Sarah will take a train and Raif will have to walk for three days because he has no papers. Those three days of traveling Sarah realizes she has feelings stirring for Raif who has been kind and chivalrous to her and has ultimately saved her and Eric’s life. Once they meet up again and have made it to the next farmer’s safehouse, they are to wait with the resistance members until Raif’s new papers are made for them to carry on together – only the safehouse is ambushed one night with mass murder going on upstairs. Once again, Sarah’s life is spared by Raif’s quick thinking, as they were sleeping in their respective rooms in the basement when the kerfuffle began and Raif grabs Sarah and squashes them both into a bathroom hole  with a secret crawlspace as they await the Nazis to finish inspecting the basement and leave. Later Raif walks around outside to make sure the coast is clear and with the help of a neighbor who saw the whole invasion, they are directed to the next safehouse where they will then get on a train to Paris where they will connect to the next town, Poitiers.

The train ride is nerve-racking as gestapo go around checking for papers and Raif – now Karl, and Sarah sit separately as not to attract undue attention. Sarah’s weakness is learning to keep her mouth shut as she loves to talk and still doesn’t grasp the peril of her journey. Great tension as we follow Sarah on the multiple journeys, almost squirming with hope she doesn’t make any mistakes.

They stop at a cafe and watch Jews being berated and ultimately beaten by Nazis. Sarah wants to shout out at them and Raif shuts her up by kissing her, and so the romance begins. Although Sarah is confused after because Raif backs off. He is also attracted to Sarah, but tries to honor his promise to Rebecca, not to tangle up Sarah’s young heart when she is dealing with so much more.

When they finally arrive at the last safehouse in Poitiers, a town south of Paris, the two must be separated. Raif has joined the French Resistance, and Sarah who speaks fluent French and German is sent to apply for a job as a nanny who is to teach the four young children, German, and give them violin lessons at the Limoin residence where this upper class French family have become collaborators with the Nazis. Sarah rests comfortably there as she pines away for Raif/Karl awaiting message from him so they can meet up. In the meantime, Madam Limoin’s boisterous and socialite younger sister, Monique, befriends Sarah and gets a little too close for comfort, especially when Monique  snoops and finds a letter Sarah stupidly, left on her bed. Sarah gets a message from her safehouse keeper, Regine, in Poitiers, and she’s told to get moving before she is discovered by the Limoins.

At that point, Sarah decides not to continue her journey to now Spain, but to also join the resistance. Her mission is to gather intelligence by traveling to Germany to visit various train stations to learn which towns in France the troops were being sent to next. Sarah also takes the opportunity to spread fake news to anyone she makes small talk with, in hopes they will spread her rumors that the allies have landed in some small towns in France and are killing the Germans. This mission offers great tension taking us all the way to the end of the book with a nice twist surprise ending I didn’t see coming.

This book was a fantastic read, well written, lots of suspense to keep the pages turning, a bit of romance, and, love, endurance, sadness and triumph. If you enjoy stories about courage and survival, espionage, mixed in with love, hatred and redemption during the perilous WWII era, you will love this book!



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Rant – Twenty Minutes – The ‘Un’ -Kindness of Strangers

I went out for a measly twenty minutes. This is what ensued.


Hub and I were just about ready to venture out north to our old neighborhood pharmacy where our prescriptions still remain because of the most helpful pharmacy girls and pharmacist whose advice is invaluable. Anyhoo, I digress. When I was finally ready, hubby wasn’t having a good day physically, so I told him I’ll go north and pick up his pills and do whatever else was on the list. He insisted we’ll go together tomorrow. But in the meantime, I was dressed and masked and ready to go so I thought I’d take the opportunity to run out myself to the fancy supermarket a few blocks away, to pick up some nice steaks I’d noticed on sale when we were there only three days prior, but walked by them because we don’t typically eat a lot of meat. But we were having company on the weekend. And it was a special occasion since our good friends were coming for dinner – the friends we usually always got together with once a month pre-Covid, and now haven’t seen for 8 months.

So, I crossed that stopover off my list of stops for the next day and drove to the fancy supermarket. I didn’t take a shopping cart on the way in, because of course, I only went in for one thing – the steaks. The rest of my grocery shopping would be done the next day at the big grocery chain store.

I headed straight for the meat department and was grateful to find the lovely steaks still on sale. Then I remembered hubby asked for some nectarines, which were located at the complete opposite end to the meat department. This of course meant I was to pass many other aisles on my way to the nectarines. Did I mention I had no cart?

I doubled back when I realized I’d passed, first, a beautiful shrimp ring also on sale and a package of turkey bacon. I picked up one of each and piled them onto the four-pack of steaks.

As I was scrolling over a mental list in my head thinking about my menu for my gathering, I was nearing the butternut squash, just the soup I had in mind to make for an appetizer. So I picked up two boxes of already peeled and cut cubes (yes, I cheat, I hate dealing with whole butternut squash) and placed them on top of the shrimp ring. And while I was at it, right in front of me were some beautiful vine tomatoes. I managed to be able to pick up a cluster of four.

Last, and certainly not least, I made it to the nectarines. By this time, my two forearms were balancing my Jenga pile of food. My right hand cupped, shielding the pile from falling, which left my left hand free to grab a plastic bag, then transfer it to my right hand to hold while I leaned over to pick out some nectarines and placed them in the bag.

I put in however many my two fingers grasping the bag could hold and just as my mission was complete, I turned to leave and my purse hanging over my shoulder, knocked over one lone nectarine onto the floor. I stood there looking at it on the ground for a moment, all the while calculating how I could pick it up and restack my tower of food again. A woman standing barely three feet away from me had been watching me, as though she was waiting for something to fall. I stood there and sighed after the fallen nectarine, locked eyes with the woman looking at me as though I was mentally signaling her to offer a hand, but she made zero effort to offer to pick it up. I glanced again at the fruit on the floor then once more at the woman, shook my head at her and walked away.

The woman called to me as though she was the store warden, “Aren’t you going to pick that up?” .

I turned to her, now two aisles past her and shouted, “I can’t believe you’re such an uncourteous bitch!”

I was stunned. I’m the kind of gal who puts myself in other’s shoes. I could not have stood and watched a woman with her arms overflowing holding a stack of groceries, right beside me dropping a fruit and me not automatically reaching down to grab it for someone as a human kindness. You know, kind of like someone holding a door open for the person immediately behind them?

After checkout, I spotted the lottery booth had no lineup and thought it was a good opportunity to buy a ticket for the big pot. I approached the plexi-glassed desk and stood for about a minute to see how long it would take for the girl to lift her head from her cell phone and acknowledge the presence of a customer. But she didn’t. So I left.

I was pulling out of the small plaza up the last row of a dozen, closest to the exit. I braked to check for cars coming in and out before making my right turn onto the exit, then was about to proceed with my turn when a car booted up the drive , didn’t stop or care that I’d not yet completed my turn yet, but she proceeded to attempt to complete her turn into my lane with nowhere for her to fit her car and blocking me from being able to complete my turn because clearly, there was nowhere for her to go until I turned. That was it for me.

I opened my window and screamed out to the woman and let her know how #$#$@#@ ignorant she was, and told her to back up and let me get out before she could turn in. I also added there were a dozen other rows she could have turned into but had to try and fit in the lane by cutting someone off. I’m tired of these lawless people on the roads and parking lots any and everytime I go somewhere in the car. There are scary drivers on our roads, and I don’t know how many of them ever got their license.

I was going to run a return parcel over to the post office but I’d had enough for one day. One half hour.

I reminded myself just how comfortable I am living in my bubble at home. Maybe too much.

How was your day?



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The Eyes Have It – How Many Eyes are Watching Us?

Scary Alexa – Digital Footprints – All eyes on us


Lord knows with the amount of time I spend on the computer, I’m enabling my digital footprints to stretch far and beyond.  We’re caught in a web of  our personal lives, living somewhere in the digital library of bits and pieces of everyone, somewhere. We are losing that ability to remain anonymous as digitalization progresses. Privacy is quickly becoming obsolete in today’s digital world.


 Do you ever think about the fact that anytime we go out in public we are susceptible to being videoed and/or recorded?  Anyone, anywhere can take our picture and use it however they deem. Nary a public place is without a camera for their ‘security’ purposes, but nonetheless, we’re recorded. Personally, I feel there’s wayyyyyy too much information for strangers to have access to and then to do what they please with it. I don’t like it!

Maybe we’re just getting too complacent and don’t pay enough attention to it anymore, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.  There is nowhere safe anymore it seems. And this isn’t just about once we step into the outside world, but we invite the same into our own homes – some unknowingly and others quite willingly. Just think about all the digital gadgets we all have in our homes. From computers with webcams and microphones to our phones tracking our every move, and Smart TVs – there are potentially eyes on us if we  don’t remain cognizant about smart digital use such as turning off mics and covering up webcams when not in use.

And as if we don’t have enough technological spyware following us, enter Alexa.  I refuse to have one in my home. I feel there’s enough ‘big brother’ going on in our personal lives and I’m doing my best to keep from being spied on as best I can in the cyberworld, but let’s face it, if we work on computers daily, the best we can do is help minimize the invasions.  All these digital methods come with way too much convenience in exchange for our digital footprints being sold to third parties to be shared, often exploited, and lord knows who else, so they can follow us around on our digital apparatus and flash advertising at us.

The way I see it is, if I have a computer, Ipad and cell phone  within reach, do I really need to purchase an Alexa bot to move into my home so I can ask it to do things for me? Am I too lazy to Google something myself? Am I too lazy to press a button myself to turn on music or turn off a light? Do I really need to place an order on Amazon with a bot? The answer to all above are no. Besides, I’d much rather log onto Amazon and search around for things myself, and do price comparisons, and of course, read reviews before purchasing anything – not just a book.  I personally don’t enjoy a bot living in my home listening to everything that transpires in my life, my phone calls and personal discussions, because you can be sure it’s being stored in someone’s archives. No thanks. I’m not interested in living under surveillance more than I already must. And if the day comes that I’m too lazy to get off a couch to press a button, then there’s something really wrong.

Everything we can imagine is at our fingertips – literally.  Who would imagine with so many newfangled freedoms of technology we’d have to give up more of our privacy with everything we order, signup up for or merely browse. It’s the price we pay to be part of the digital movement. And if I can find ways to eliminate digital footprints I will.

So how do we attempt to keep the exposure down? Notice I said down, and not off, because in today’s world, if you have a digital gadget there’s never going to be a way to remain completely anonymous. But there are some things we can do to keep the invasion at bay:


  • Cover your webcams with a post-it-note
  • Turn off the mic on computer/tablets when there’s no need to use it
  • Turn off the location on your cell phones so Big Brother doesn’t follow you everywhere and only turn on when using maps for navigation
  • Sign out of your TV apps when not watching them
  • Use browsers that don’t track you like Opera or Duck Duck Go
  • Don’t leave your Alexa on all the time (if you must use one)


Another note of caution when house hunting – Beware when viewing properties. Many homeowners have their webcams or apps on their phones set up to view inside their homes while away, similar to Nanny cams. We don’t often think about these things when we’re in the moment and focused on the task of checking out a property, while it’s very likely the current owner has their cameras set up so they can listen to feedback from potential buyers. The days are gone where we can freely check a property and voice our concerns or comments without them being listened to. Pay attention to what you talk about while viewing, particularly, snarky comments and conversations about potentially placing an offer on the property. Save all that for once outside the home. Trust me, I have first-hand experience at this!

Do you have something you’d like to add to this conversation?



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