And Never Let Her Go

The difference between this and any other Ann Rule book, is that something made me pick this one up at the bookstore, take a quick look through it, buy it and read it.  Ann Rule has done important work in writing books about stalkers and murderers who outwardly appeared to be leading ordinary lives among us.  I find the books too haunting to read.  But something about this story made me want to know what happened.

And Never Let Her Go

As I read further into this book, I began wondering why I had never heard of this story on the news.  The Delaware Governor’s beautiful secretary goes missing and then the murderer turns out to be a well-connected, married lawyer from a wealthy family, well-known in the region.

The news story may not have reached me in real time in 1997, but in 2000, this book did a thorough, careful job of helping me get to know these people.  Anne Marie was tall, slender, kind, fun loving and beautiful.  Her doom was being at her desk when this man came to the Governor’s office for a meeting.  He pursued her the way an experienced man pursues a trusting young person.  He was practiced at cheating on his wife, and cheating on his girlfriends, one of whom was the wife of one of his law partners.  Before long Ann Marie was trying to figure out how to leave him.  That’s when he turned on the other type of manipulation, in which he made her think she owed him.  He stalked her as well.  When those tactics stopped working and he sensed she was getting away, he murdered her.  With the help of one of his brothers, he dumped her body at sea.

Anne Marie kept a diary, which would seem to make an open-and-shut case.  But no; it was anything but that.  When he was arrested and prosecuted, he manipulated family and friends from jail; trying to get them to lie for him.  He paid a thug to break into another girlfriend’s house to scare her into lying for him.  Meanwhile, he was setting her up to take the fall for his crime.

Maybe I was drawn to this book because I was close to Anne Marie’s age, and worked with some suits who thought they had perfected the double life.  I don’t know.  When I finish a book, I usually pass it on.  The ‘keepers’ that remain in my possession, take up less than a single shelf in my bookcase.  This is one of the keepers.

Read and watch more:  

Book:  There was another book written about Anne Marie’s murder, titled ‘Summer Wind‘.  It is a shorter book, but also did an excellent job telling the story.

Newspaper articles:  The Delaware News Journal recently did a story marking the 20-year anniversary of the murder of Anne Marie.

That newspaper story links to this in-depth report on the case and several key individuals.

Movie:  Ann Rule’s book was made into a TV movie, also titled ‘And Never Let Her Go‘.  It starred Mark Harmon.

The movie is available on DVD

I couldn’t find an official movie trailer, but here is a collection of scenes from the movie.

The movie contained a clip of this beautiful song, which made me search for the song and buy the album.

Twenty years before #metoo, and the outing of Matt Lauer and Bill Cosby (two of a growing list), we all knew there were people among us in our daily lives, shrouded in respectable suits and positions, underneath which they honored nothing but their desire at any given moment.  They thought they had somehow been endowed with an entitlement to take what they wanted, by criminal means if necessary, and have their colleagues and subordinates help keep it all in the closet.  They are still out there among us.  Don’t be their next target, and don’t be an enabler.  My wish is that Anne Marie never be forgotten.

I ran; I sewed; I read

I ran.  

This morning was my fave annual 10k trail run.  There were muddy creek crossings. STD creek crossing 2 2018

STD muddy hand

STD muddy legs

There was a dam to scale.  It was ‘dam’ high and steep.  STD dam wide shotSTD dam

And then came the descent.  STD dam top view

I stayed on my feet for the descent, but in my mind I was one misstep away from doing a spectacular tumble a la Gloucestershire Cheese Roll-style.

At the race finish, a little mud wasn’t going to stop me from savoring a delicious juicy orange.  STD orange

I sewed.  

When getting dressed for the race this morning, I noticed my HRM (heart rate monitor) was way too loose.  I cinched it down to its smallest, but it was still too loose.  The several-years-old elastic was giving out.  So, I quickly threaded the sewing machine with black, and cut a big 9-inch section of elastic out of the band.

Garmin strap repair 1

Then I sewed the shortened band pieces back together.  Garmin strap repair 2

I put the shortened HRM back on, and it was still too big, so I took it off, cut out another 6 inches.  And sewed it together again.  Then it fit, and I was off to the races…literally.  Garmin strap repair 3

I read.

Back home after the race, I plopped myself onto the couch and re-dedicated myself to reading A Confederacy of Dunces.  I’d started it long ago, and liked it, but then set it aside, forgotten.  Now it is one of the books in the Great American Read list, and it is my choice for the Read.

A Confederacy of Dunces


Can I do this?

I have to.  Every so often I need to find a new strategy for moving out the old and unnecessary stuff.  Where does it all come from?  I swear, I accumulate stuff even while on a purging mission.  Figuring out a preventative strategy, that keeps the stuff from entering my house in the first place would be the ultimate accomplishment.  Until then, I’m stuck with regular purging missions.  This looks like the one to try.  [40 Bags in 40 Days]  According to the ’40 Bags’ plan, I have until March 1 to form my strategy of purging a bag of stuff for each day of Lent.  Should I really wait that long?

Clutter is everywhere in my life at the moment.  In every room of my house, in my email inbox(es), in my ‘social media life’, in my office, and in my car.  My yard needs more of a cleanout before spring. And then there is my sewing project pile that is massively out of control.

Even my donation box is out of control.


It is this book.  Which I realized is just more clutter.  Sigh.  I did read it and get inspired…that year.  Sadly, there are some more ‘decluttering’ books further down in the box from other years.  This year I resolved to purge the decluttering books, rather than adding another one to the stack.  This way, others can benefit from them now, as I no doubt did at the time.


Everything in the box will go to Goodwill or the DAV, except for two items that will each go to separate drop off sites.

This knitting machine that I’d wanted my whole life has been the source of several experimenting attempts, but made only one complete garment in the entire two decades I’ve owned it.  *embarrassed*  It is going to the local non-profit creative studio.


The warm boots will go straight to the homeless diner.  Someone needs a pair of warm boots.  Today.  boots-donation-rsr

Cleaning out is always a raw, unfiltered trip down memory lane.

“This shirt is the one I lent you,
And when you gave it back
It had a rip inside the sleeve
Where you rolled your cigarettes
It was the place I put my heart
Now look at where you put a tear
I forgave your thoughtlessness
But not the boy who put it there.”

It’s the start of the year, when a lot of purging goes on.  Very best wishes with your own projects.

Libraries, dresses, deer, rain and a rainbow.

This past weekend, I attended a meeting in the ‘Carnegie Building’, in the town where I grew up.  The building was the public library when I was a little girl.  I was sooo upset when they built the new, big modern library and closed this one.  That was years and years ago, when I had to ride my tricycle 10 miles uphill both ways, to get to the library.

(Image source.)Carnegie Library Lawrence

This was my first time in the building since it was the library.  These days, it is a meeting and reception venue.

After the meeting, I shopped the lovely downtown, just one street over from the library.  I stopped in a cool vintage clothing store, and came home with two great finds.  This madras dress will be excellent for bicycling.  I had to take up the hem about 3 inches so it won’t look dowdy with my proportions.

Before–with the new hemline marked with the ironMadras vintage dress-w

AfterMadras dress shortened-w

I wish I could wear the longer length.  But I’m not tall enough, and nothing will change that.

And then this totally awesome gem!    Vintage dress green & daisies

It needs no alteration…, as long as I don’t gain a single ounce.

On getting home that night, I did a run/walk on my 3.5 mile loop.

There was a rain shower in the distance.Rain cloud-w

Deer in my favorite cultivated field.Deer1-arrows
The six deer were hanging out at the edge of the field, but they headed into the trees when they saw me.Deer2

And then as I approached home, a rainbow.Rainbow

Some days are this good.

New year, new Janathon

How many emails did I get this week that said “New Year, New You”?  Each one offered a product:  makeup, exercise plan, clothing; a literal makeover inside and out.  No thanks.  I’m doing fine.  I resolve to be more organized this year, and to otherwise keep doing what I’m doing.  And blog more regularly.  It’s been awhile…no, okay, it’s been months.  But I’ve been busy while I was away.  I’ve missed blogging, though.


My first two days of Janathon were identical and routine for me:


I am finally reading On the Road, by Jack Kerouac.  I’m forming my own clear opinions on this book.  I’m not sure I will have the courage to write a review when I finish reading it.  But I’ll try to say something; knowing whatever I say about it has probably been said before.  It is quite a polarizing piece of literature.  I now see why.

New shoes and the camera on my Kindle

It was that time again–to get a new pair of running shoes.  Hooray!  I’ve stuck with ASICS the past 3-or-so years, because they’ve done well for me.   And yesterday was ASICS day at our locally-owned running store.  ASICS were 20% off.  So, I got a new pair of turquoise Gel Cumulus shoes.

Tonight I was messing around with my Kindle Fire HD and realized there was what looked like a little camera on the lower edge of the frame.  So I went in search of the camera function.  One would think I could just search through the apps until I found one called ‘Camera’.  Not so.  But I did learn that there are two camera apps on the device.  One of the apps is just a little button in the corner of the Photo app window.  The other camera app can’t even be located on the device unless you first download a file explorer app.  But thanks to this video:

and this one:

I located both apps and figured out how to use them.

So then, I took the Kindle on a mile run/walk, in which I begin breaking in my new shoes.  I had intended to listen to a book, but instead got caught up in experimenting with the two camera apps.  The camera is front-facing, such as for video Skype and selfies–neither of which I do.

But I did take this new-shoe-selfie!

(I’m not that tan; it just looks that way because it’s getting dark outside.)


And then I had fun trying to aim and shoot some sunset scenes.  Not easy.  The camera itself is low resolution.  Only the hidden camera app had zoom and adjustable settings for lighting and subject matter.  That app also has a video option.  The camera within the Photo app appears to be totally non-adjustable.





The book that I did not listen to, is True Sisters, by Sandra Dallas.  I’m not very far into the book yet, but so far it is a rather dark story about Mormon women who made the trek with their husbands and families to Utah in the 1850s.  Much of the journey was accomplished without horses or oxen.  Instead, they pushed their belongings in hand carts.  One of the couples in the story first made the voyage from Liverpool, England to the US, to then make the journey across the US.  I’ve loved every book I’ve ever read by Sandra Dallas, and I expect this one to be no different.  But the story has me bracing for a lot of heartache that appears to be looming ahead for these hard-working, loyal wives and mothers.

Juneathon, day 9

It was a very rainy morning, but we ended up with a delightful evening, in which I was able to do a 1.2 mile run in the early darkness.  June nights are magical.

I like this article sooo much.  It attributes children’s fidgety behavior in part on spending too much time sitting still in the classroom, and not enough physical activity.  I do believe kids need active recess periods every day.  I remember coming home from grade school with grass stains, mud and wood chips embedded in my tights.

An excerpt:  “Ironically, many children are walking around with an underdeveloped vestibular (balance) system today–due to restricted movement.  In order to develop a strong balance system, children need to move their body in all directions, for hours at a time.  Just like with exercising, they need to do this more than just once-a-week in order to reap the benefits.  Therefore, having soccer practice once or twice a week is likely not enough movement for the child to develop a strong sensory system.”

Juneathon, day 3

Did an early 1.2 mile run this morning.  As a consistent evening runner, it is a rare feeling to want to go out for a quick run in the morning.  Then a few steps into the run, when the heavy, sluggish feeling sets in, I remember why I am an evening runner.  But then I get warmed up and start feeling darn good about getting out there in the morning.

If you know you have to swallow a frog, do it first thing in the morning.  If there are two frogs, swallow the big one first.  

Mark Twain

Long Time Gone: the autobiography of David Crosby

By David Crosby and Carl Gottlieb.  First, a Crosby song to play while reading if you choose.

Man, I really disliked this book for the first 150 pages.  I’m not sure why I kept reading.  Those early pages covered his days growing up as a school boy, so it shouldn’t have bothered me so much.  Heck, nearly every memoir starts out with the childhood.  But I found him particularly cold and unlikeable as a youth, and that bothered me.  I felt the written account was either lacking something to make me see his human side, or that he had more problems than just the well-publicized addiction of his adult years.  I almost stopped and gave up on the book several times.  But then I started to get into it, and eventually it became a compelling read for me.

The book was co-written in a unique format.  It was a compilation of recollections from the people in David’s life, and then David’s take in his own words, on these same events.  This was often confusing, in that it required effort to keep track of who was telling the story at any given time.  But it was interesting, being able to read parallel versions of the same events; and sometimes hilarious, when two versions of the same story were wildly different.  There were many moments when I was reminded of this old SNL skit.

He wrote about his beloved boat and his love for sailing.  He wrote about the significant women in his life, the way he used them, and how they used each other, and the impact of a devastating personal loss.  He wrote about his guns, band mates, producers and managers.

This video opens with a taste of his stage persona in 1967.

The hardest parts of the book came in reading about all of the times David shafted his friends who reached out with their own personal resources and support, with staggering generosity, to save him from his addiction.  David has had some amazing, loyal friends in his life.

The most insightful parts of the book were his description of his progressing addiction from the addict’s point of view.  Those stark truths would give anyone cause to reflect.  The most fascinating aspects of the book were reading about all of the other famous rock and roll legends that David has worked with or hung out with in various settings throughout his career.  This book covered a mind-boggling who’s who of 1960s and 70s California rock music, and in David’s case the connections were real.

This book was published in 1988, not long after David’s release from prison.Long Time Gone cover

David has since written a second memoir that is still on my to-read list.