Taking Safety Seriously

I came across this article on Pinterest. You can check out the article here: Ten Self Defense Tips For Women. I’m not going to talk about all ten, and if you do check out the article there may be some points you agree with, some you may not. For example, I have a huge issue with No. 9. Some of you may not. That’s fine. But there is one I want to talk about.

So…let’s talk about No. 7, shall we.

7. ANSWER THE DOOR

Typically, we’ve been told, “If you’re home alone and someone knocks, don’t answer – they’ll go away.” Recent events, though, are showing that more and more, burglars are doing home invasions assuming that if no one answers, it’s safe to go in. Locally, we’ve been told by our police department to answer with a call for who it is, and let them know you’re on the phone or won’t be answering the door or other ways to let the person know you aren’t going to be opening the door. Never actually answer the door even for a service person you are expecting until you’ve been able to confirm that they are actually who they say they are.

Do not invite a predator in.

I have a little bit of personal experience with this one. One day the doorbell rang. I was a little slow to answer it. The door knob rattled but didn’t open because for once it was locked (which didn’t happen a lot). Weird, I thought. You have to know at this point that at the time I lived in a reasonably safe neighborhood of my city. I wasn’t thinking anything bad. I was just thinking strange. Possibly, I’d watched too much television. Because, hello, don’t criminals case a joint before they rob it. Make sure it’s empty? And who would rob our house. We had nothing worth stealing. This was in the days before huge televisions that weighed next to nothing, computers, cell phones, iPads, etc. We were young, had a young family; all our money went to food and shelter. We had one small 15 inch television.

And it was the middle of the day.

But I digress, so what did I do. I OPENED THE DOOR. Wide open without a ‘Who’s there?” or “Who is it?” And there stood a young man in a track suit over six feet tall, looking quite presentable, and clean cut if a little shocked. He eventually smiled when I looked him in the eye and said, “Hi there, can I help you?”

That’s me. Still not having a clue. Did I mention that I’m a very trusting person?

He fumbled around for something to say. And finally settled on, “I’m looking for Broad Street.”

So…Broad Street is a VERY major street in my city. And it’s nowhere near my house.

Now I’m starting to get suspicious. But I still explain to him where Broad Street is just in case he’s actually lost. I know! Polite to the bitter end. Which thankfully it wasn’t.

And he said, “Okay, thanks for your help.”

Because he was polite too. This is Canada after all. Those rumors are true.

I shut the door. They drove off. Yes, there were more men in the car outside. It’s okay to think what you’re thinking. I have more sense now.

By then I’m thinking maybe I should call the police. Because that was really, really weird and obviously he wasn’t looking for Broad Street and they were scouting out empty houses. The police took my call very seriously. They took down my information and checked to see if a car similar to my description had been stolen recently. Probably not a good idea to go about robbing houses with your own vehichle.

They called back not fifteen minutes later asking more specific questions and looking for more details because apparently they just drove further down the street and found a house where someone wasn’t home and broke in. A neighbor spotted them.

Now, I didn’t invite him in. But, if he’d have wanted to come in without an invitation, he could have pushed his way in. Easily.

And that was a humbling thought.

I like to think I’m more careful now. Better at keeping the door locked and asking who it is if they’re unexpected. But I did get a scolding in the grocery store the other day for leaving my purse unattended in my cart. By a well meaning guy who said I really shouldn’t walk away and leave my purse, wide open, for anyone to snoop through or steal.

I thanked him. What he said was true.

So…just remember, stay safe.

Monday, June 1st we’re hosting a Facebook Party (my first one): Romance: Past, Present and Future from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm MST.

facebook party banner

The Grand Prize is a $30 gift certificate. There will be prizes, trivia, games, snippets and lots of laughs. There’s a little bit of something for everyone, romance and some stories with romantic elements. Everything from historical (1940s), to contemporary, suspense, paranormal/urban fantasy, and science fiction. Join us!

Backlash PC 1

BACKLASH

When dedicated teacher Lily Wheeler interrupts a vicious gang attack on one of her students, she vows it won’t happen again. But her rash interference puts her in the path of a cold-blooded killer and the constable tracking him — a man she has little reason to trust, but can never forget.

Constable Chase Porter returned to Aspen Lake to see justice done, not renew old acquaintances. But when he rescues the woman he once loved from a volatile situation, he realizes his feelings for Lily haven’t lessened over the years.

Now, the dangerous killer Chase has sworn to capture has Lily in his sights. Can Chase and Lilly learn to trust each other again before it’s too late — or will old insecurities jeopardize their future?

Available Now

Available Now

Do you have any safety tips you’d like to share?

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My Efforts to Declutter My Office and My Life

Sexy Suspense

I’m this close to getting a release day for EXPOSED, the second book in my Aspen Lake series. I can’t wait. I love this story.

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Kate Logan needs a safe haven. A place to start over after her modeling career disintegrates in scandal. But her hometown of Aspen Lake isn’t the sanctuary she hoped. Her vow of a low-key life is disrupted by a break-in and other strange happenings at her boutique. As the chair of Aspen Lake’s Gothic Revival Festival, she’s also drawn the ire of a religious fanatic. Kate is up to her stilettos in drama and intrigue including one sexy carpenter who’s determined to get in her way.

New to town, Seth Stone is seeking inspiration and solitude to concentrate on his art. Short on funds, he agrees to take on a second job restoring the damage to Kate’s Closet. Trouble erupts along with the desire to get to know Kate better. When he’s used as a pawn in a smear campaign against his gorgeous boss Seth fights back. But now the whole town is watching. Including the man determined to further his own agenda. Time is running out with nowhere to hide.

While that’s happeing, I’ve been on a mission to declutter my office. It’s working. Things are looking good in here. I even dusted. Threw more stuff out. I seem to need to do this in stages. I can’t do it in one big surge of elimination. It’s too traumatic. Especially with the amount of things I still have in here of which of my kids had a hand in creating. But as they grow older, and I grow more mindful of being in the moment, it’s easier to celebrate the people they are right now. Even if it means they are seperating from our nest and that makes me want to hang onto their childhood memories harder.

The other part has been deciding what works for me in terms of organizing my very day life. I tried desperately to use my iPhone to organize appointments and make lists. That doesn’t work for me. I need to use a paper and pen to do these things. Old school, I know. But something about writing it down versus typing it in helps me to remember.

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Important papers have been filed. Systems created to keep track of stuff. Now to remember to use them!

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But there’s still work to be done. I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret. In my basement are two GIANT bins of my kids’ art, schoolwork, and various projects. HUGE. I’m going to go out on a limb and say they don’t want to keep their math worksheets from elementary school. And most of this stuff is elementary school age. In high school at the end of the year, my son took all his papers out to the firepit and burned them in celebration of the year being over. Yeah, that’s my kid. My daughter’s high school story is a whole different book I’ll write someday.

But I found a blog post that address this in a simple, clear, reasonable way. How To Decide What School Papers to Keep from 365 Organize. It also doesn’t involve spending a lot of money.

Another little gem of advice I found –  Keep it if…It’s sentimental gold. “The more memorabilia you have, the less emotionally valuable each individual item becomes,” says Emily Wilska, an organization consultant in San Francisco. Instead of saving every card your beloved uncle ever sent, pick the one that captures his spirit best.

And the cutest decluttering advice: Toss: Yarn and string scraps in your yard. Bits of leftover twine and yarn are perfect liners for a bird’s nest or robin roost. Place these bird goodies on bushes in your yard as the weather begins to warm, and odds are that you’ll be keeping a feathered friend and her brood a bit toastier this season.

 

What are your decluttering tips? What is one of your favourite momentos?

 

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