Archives for category: Adventures

Here’s the official version:


Hello Friends and Family,

This June, I will be on a team with New City Church heading to Haiti.  We’re partnering with Help One Now and local Haitian leaders to love and serve the people of Haiti.

As most of you know, Haiti suffered a severe earthquake in January of 2010.  Haiti is considered a 4th world country, or what’s called a “least developed country.”  Extreme poverty has created a massive orphan crisis.  The sex-trafficking industry is exploding, hunger and disease runs rampant and many people are suffering!  However, there’s also much hope and God is moving in Haiti through local Haitian churches and leaders.  We want to come along side of these brave men and women and help serve Haiti together.  We want to co-partner in the work God is already doing!

Part of Help One Now’s mission is to build 100 homes and drill 25 water wells.  On this trip, we will actually help fulfill part of this vision.  Every team member has to raise an additional $500 that goes towards a key project, which will help our Haitian friends long-term.  It will also help create jobs for our Haitian friends.  So by going to Haiti, we will help a family move into a new home or help a community receive clean water, and we will also create jobs in the process. Our ultimate goal is to help restore Haiti while Haitians lead the way!

Here’s where we need your help:

1. We need you to pray for us.

2. We need your help financially.  The trip cost is $2100, which includes $500 for the project.

Would you be willing be to support me financially? If so, you can go here and donate.  You will get an automatic receipt emailed to you as soon as you donate.

Or, you can send a check made out to: Help One Now – in the memo please put Laura Hattaway and “Haiti June Trip”.   Help One Now will send you a receipt for your end of the year taxes, via mail.

Help One Now
PO Box 26716
Raleigh, NC 27611

To learn more about Help One Now, please visit their site: Help One Now

To learn more about New City Church please visit their site: New City Church

If you have any questions, please let me know.


Here’s my personal version:

We’re going to Haiti to meet orphans, to experience their culture, and to help build a house for someone who needs it.

My heart has been for short-term missions for years, but there was never a window of opportunity I was able to take until now. It would bless me incredibly to be able to take part in this thing, and I consider it an honor to be able to do anything at all for the people of Haiti.

I said I’d go on this trip knowing that there’s no way I can afford it. I firmly believe that if I’m supposed to go, the funds will show up. If you can help me, in any way, I’ll be extremely grateful.

And you really can ask me any questions you might have! 🙂 Thanks!



spamalot-wallpaper-grailYesterday, James, Daphne, and I drove down to San Antonio to see Monty Python’s Spamalot.

It’s pretty much what you’d expect, but it was fun to see how they keep the silliness relevant, including a reference to a recently-popular Korean dance song (no more details because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has yet to see it).

I’m wondering, too, how long Eponine has been in the show, since that musical has been around a lot longer than Spamalot. Anyone?

One of the highlights of the show for me was actually the Playbill and the extremely thorough liner notes for the barely-existent Finland musical.

MajesticTheatreI MajestictheaterOh, also… for a moment, allow me to say that the Majestic Theater is gorgeous. It’s such an interesting venue, and the seats are practically stacked, so except for when the kid in front of Daphne was leaning way forward, none of us had a view obscured by much next-row-hair.

Also, the seats were rather firm, which is definitely a recommendation from someone with sciatica who has just spent an hour and a half sitting in the car.

The only complaint I have is that the sound system was focused somewhere slightly lower than we were seated, so I lost some of the lyrics in the volume. I’m someone who desperately needs to understand the words.

Speaking of the words. To borrow some from Al Yankovic: “I’ve memorized ‘Holy Grail’ really well; I can recite right now and have you ROTFLOL.”

Guess what, fellow geeks/nerds/dorks? Most of us have.

And, you know what? When you engage in a self-appointed quote-along, you know for whom that is fun? You. ONLY you. We’re not impressed by your thorough knowledge of clever (and notoriously memorable) scripting that you did not write.

When I paid for our tickets, and you might not believe this, but when I paid for tickets to the show, when I spent money on food and gas to drive to another town to see a show, I actually was not laying out my time and cash to hear another audience member amuse herself by creating a stereo effect behind my head. Or over there in the corner.

Riding a coconut “horse” up the stairs during intermission? Acceptable.

Talking during the show? Not okay. Have some respect for the rest of us.

As an actor, I wonder if it’s fun or a lot of pressure to deliver lines that most of your audience knows. Most of the performers delivered the lines in pretty much the same cadence and even with the same “voices” as in the movie.

I adored that the French guard made the taunting his own by blowing raspberries along the outline of the top of the castle. It was  a great physical bit.

A final observation: The women in the show aren’t funny. They’re stage dressing. Even the Lady of the Lake, who has the only substantial, non-company female role, was only amusing as she was being a diva. And making fun of female pop singers’ butchering of songs with their obnoxious riffs.

Pretty much every character in the show is stupid, so it’s no big insult, I suppose, that the women don’t get to act like idiots. I’d almost rather not have had women in it at all, though. But maybe women are like Jews: you can’t do a Broadway show without them. (Do we scantily clad the Jews, though? I’m guessing only if they’re women.)

I did really enjoy the performance. There were a few surprises that tickled me, and then beyond that, it was what I’d imagined, which is silly fun. Pretty much signature Monty Python.

Yesterday, I had taken a mystery shopping job just off of the University of Texas campus. I have avoided this shop for the majority of the year, but because the Nuthaus is so close, I knew we could park there and walk.

Before we left the house, Daphne was doing school and working on a Minecraft skin and was still wearing what she’d worn to bed: a t-shirt and a pair of mismatched shorts left over from her gymnastics days.

When it was time to go, she asked if she could wear what she had on, and I told her yes. She asked where we were going, and I said that we were going to walk to dinner, then go to the grocery store. She seemed to vacillate between changing clothes and being comfortable.

At one point, she asked what she should wear. I told her to wear whatever she wanted.

As we left, I asked one last time, “Do you want to change clothes?” She said, “Nah, it’s Austin. Why should I?”

Confident with that, we took off.

We drove downtown, parked at the Nuthaus, and started walking up to Guadalupe. Pretty soon, we were passing very hipster-looking coeds, and I saw something in my daughter that I’ve never seen before. She was twirling her hair (which is normal) and appeared to be shrinking inside of herself.

“I wish you’d told me we were going to walk like this. I would have changed clothes,” she told me.

I let this slide, though I usually call her on blaming me for her decisions, because I knew exactly what she was experiencing.

My child had no reason to feel ashamed. She looked fine. She did not, however, look as shiny and put-together as a bunch of young adults, and I could read that she felt “less,” that she compared herself to them and found herself lacking.

For what it’s worth, I was wearing sweats in layers, and it was really too warm for it, but I have (hopefully) gotten past the days of comparing myself to “cool” people.

I hope that Daphne gets past that a lot sooner than I did. I still remember sitting around in BSF, looking down and realizing that everyone had nicer shoes (and toenail polish) than I did.

There’s this juxtaposition in me that I think I see in Daphne: I am pretty low-maintenance. I don’t spend three or four hours getting ready, and I don’t particularly enjoy shopping for clothes, and I don’t have my hair professionally colored or cut unless it’s a mystery shop. I like that.

At the same time, I’d love it if every picture of me looked like it could have been in a magazine.

And I understand looking around and seeing person after person (women) you recognize as being somehow a lot more conventionally one of the “beautiful people” than yourself.

If that’s important to you, if you allow it to resonate in your brain, it can really mess you up. I desperately want my daughter to be able to avoid that.

And she was right: This *is* Austin. If we’d gone farther up Lamar, or farther down Lamar, or almost anywhere else, how she was dressed wouldn’t have been an issue for her. I don’t think any of those kids cared how she was dressed, but it was obvious that she did.

So next time, I’ll be the meanie who forces her to spruce up a little bit.

Adolescence, here we come…

Acu_woman_smiling_dreamstime_4554584_2See that lady right there? Just naked and smiling as Thing inserts a tiny acupuncture needle into her back? Just so you know, in case you ever actually go have an acupuncture treatment, my experience was NOTHING like this. I’d post a picture of what I looked like this morning, except that I have dignity. But suffice it to say that I didn’t remove my sweats or my sweatshirt or anything beyond my shoes and socks. And the dude didn’t touch my back at all. Also, I am pretty sure that he had a staple gun and that was how he inserted the needles. But more on that in a minute.

First of all, one thing I’ve heard about acupuncture is this: The needles are so small, you can’t even feel them! Um, yeah. You can. That’s kind of the point. You’re stimulating different parts of your body to open up channels for energy and whatnot, and I don’t totally understand it and maybe it sounds like hooey, but I do not want someone to slice into my vertebral column just yet so I’m going to try some treatment that has been used for thousands of years before we get to that, mmkay?

Basically, the acupuncture practitioner told me what to expect, and how it works (on an elementary level, because I’m dumb and whatnot), and then these three supplements he’d recommend that I take while I’m pursuing this course of treatment.

He sent me home with Boswellia Complex for inflammation, Gotu Kola Complex for soft tissue healing, and Circulation (SJ) for “the sharp pain.” When he said those words and explained that I’d be taking 4-6 pills three times a day, I didn’t flinch. I was ready to down a whole vial of those puppies, if they’d alleviate the “sharp” pain. That’s the *worst.* However, he said, “That might sound like a lot of pills,” (which it didn’t, since I’ve been taking 6 Aleve and 6 ibuprofen per day, as well as the occasional allergy med) “but it’s herbs, so if you think of rosemary… how much of that would you have to eat before your body responded?”

Next, he invited me to take off my shoes and socks and lie down on my back. I was able to do with easily, mentally noting that I need to buy a hard chiropractic/acupuncture table to sleep on at night. There was a firm wedge pillow under my lower legs, too. I laid there for nearly an hour before my body started begging me to move.

The practitioner pushed up my sleeves and the bottoms of my sweats a bit (would have shaved if I’d thought of that… whoopsie) and said that he was trying to open up the energy in the complementary meridians to my back, where the pain is. By stimulating this channel to “open,” the body starts healing itself. Or something like that.

He warned me that it would be like a “dull ache,” and I assured him that I’d just had a tattoo touched up on Saturday, on top of my finger, just so he’d know I am pretty bad-ass.

Well, I still have to say “ow.” The needle insertion didn’t hurt as much as the tattoo, but they were certainly more than slightly uncomfortable. He put needles into my right hand, my left arm at the elbow crease and in that area, my right foot, my left ankle, and he put three on top of my head! What does it say that I felt the skull needles least?

After he’d put those in, he talked to me a bit before leaving the room. He mentioned that I should feel the “dull ache” and not a sharpness or itching. But the one needle inside of my left elbow was pretty itchy. He said he might have pierced a vessel through which some blood escaped, creating a “histamine” reaction. He took out the original needle and put another one in, and then left me to relax.

Twenty minutes later, he came back and asked me if I could still feel the needles. I could really only feel the one in my left elbow crease, so he “stimulated” them all again. My body had stopped paying attention, but it took notice again quickly! Yikes! I said, “I didn’t but I do feel them when you do that!”

He said, “You’re supposed to feel it. That’s how we get these passages to open up.”

By the time that my hour was up, I was starting to get fidgety and my tail was getting exhausted. It wasn’t pain exactly, but I needed to move. Also, at one point, my left leg felt weirdly empty.

When he came back and took out the needles, he massaged my arms quickly, and both of my wrists popped, which I don’t know that they’ve ever done before.

I felt no different when I left, but I scheduled 10 sessions because I want to attack this thing aggressively. I need to be FINISHED with my pain before my Haiti trip. I need to be finished with this *now*. I’ll keep you updated.

Now we’re going back to the beginning of the MRI story. Spoiler alert, I suppose… You know how it turns out.

A couple of weeks ago, I’d priced MRIs. They’re a couple thousand dollars. X-rays are less expensive, but I don’t feel like that is something I need, and it’s still not cheap.

I had posted the question to my Facebook friends about affordable imagining, and a friend mentioned Volunteer Healthcare Clinic. I looked it up and found that they see patients on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and that their requirements are that you have no form of healthcare whatsoever, make 200% the federal poverty guidelines or below, present a photo ID, and have proof of county residence.


From what I read, the doors opened at 5 and they started seeing patients at six, after which time no new patients were admitted. I left my sister’s at around 5 and see, with hindsight, that showing up at 5 would be a good idea if you were actually sick. I look pretty healthy, so probably would have been shoved to the back in triage, anyway.

I got to the facility at 5:15ish and had to park two blocks away. When I walked in, a gentleman was conducting an orientation of sorts. He directed me to a place where I could grab a ticket, then he continued explaining, in both English and Spanish, that all services were being provided by volunteers: the administrators, pharmacy, doctors, intake, nurses, etc. They would treat the client with respect and expected the same in return. He talked through what would happen and what wouldn’t happen there at the clinic.

He mentioned, for instance, that they do not have care for expectant mothers. They had a dermatologist there for that night. He said that they had vouchers for an eye exam and free glasses, but specified that you had to ask for the voucher when you were being checked in. Then he asked if anyone there had used an eyewear voucher before, and three people had. He asked them to hold up their glasses. He asked them, “Did you have to pay for them?” Everyone indicated no, they were complementary. “So you got them for free? It worked?” They all confirmed it. You could tell that some people might be nervous about whether they’d be baited-and-switched. That others had already blazed this trail and not been “taken” seemed to soothe them. The same spiel happened when they talked about orders for x-rays and flu shots.

A bit before six, we all lined up outside, in order of our ticket numbers, to be checked in. A cold front had blown in, and we all stood shivering in the beautiful, flaming Austin sunset, as rain begin to pelt us. We were allowed to queue up near the building to avoid getting wet, but the whole check-in took fewer than fifteen minutes.

A gentleman asked to see my photo ID, and asked why I was there. When I explained, he seemed a little put out. “Are you experiencing pain NOW?” he asked. It was with extreme self-restraint that I answered calmly, “All of the time. Yes.”

I was given a number and went back in the big room to sit down… or, in my case, stand up.

The clinic asks for a donation of $5, but most of the people I saw were giving $10-20.

Those with children were allowed to go first, regardless of when they arrived. One boy apparently had whooping cough (something I’m sure I shouldn’t have heard, but which I will explain later), and it was a school night, after all.

Everyone was called back to get paperwork handled in order of our numbers. My number had been assigned as 27/adult (this was after 11 or so kids), so after an hour, when we were only on 9/adult, I knew I’d be there a while.

As I watched, though, I noticed that people were being processed and seen and sent to the lab and pharmacy as they could. Finally, after over an hour, I went to the back to start my paperwork. I was asked questions about my income, and where I would have gone for heath care if the clinic hadn’t been available.

When that was finished, I was sent back out to wait for the next step.

At just before 8:00 PM, or more than two and a half hours after I’d gotten there, I was sent in to be weighed (I closed my eyes and asked her not to say it out loud) and measured… and decided to ignore that I’ve apparently shrunk one inch since I was measured for my high school senior cap and gown.

Then I was sent back out to wait for triage.

I went back to be interviewed by a nursing student from UT. She was very attentive and pleasant, nearly three hours in, even though I did chuckle when she asked me how to spell “sciatica.”

She took my temperature (which was “normal,” which is high for me) and my blood pressure (which was “low,” which is normal for me), then, you guessed it: sent me back out to wait.

There was a line of five seats along a narrow hall in the back of the building, and I’d learned that this was the waiting area for seeing the doctor.

Gradually, everyone else was called back, even people who’d been assigned numbers behind me. I got it by then: I had no overt illness, and could wait. No problem. I had taken, “The Real History of Chocolate” to read (again) and was engaged in any number of fascinating text conversations to pass the time.

I watched clients hanging out at the lab in back of the room. When the lab techs weren’t working, they would talk with the patients. When the admin who was taking “donations” was not busy, she just sat and talked with whomever might come to share a bench with her.

The idea of mutual respect in my head from the orientation leader’s explanation, I saw it. I especially saw it when, shortly after 9:00 PM, I was finally called back to the “the doctor will see you now… almost” chair line.

While I waited, a group (made up largely of UT med students) of volunteers was standing around the corner chatting. That’s when I heard about the sick kid’s diagnosis. They were also talking about putting together a 20,000-piece puzzle. They were enjoying each other, and had nothing else to do for the night. They were basically waiting for me to leave. And they sounded a lot less tired than I was, making plans to go out afterward.

Dr. Gonzales called me into his office, the last patient of the evening. What I’m about to tell you might cause you a great deal of shock, but it’s the honest truth: This man, this doctor, this gentleman who could have been at home but had chosen to donate his time and experience to help me and people like me… He LISTENED to me. He asked what was wrong, and before he tried to tell me what he thought, he LISTENED to the words coming out of my mouth. He was positive about my chiropractor. He agreed with everything she’d told me, and was surprised himself that the month of adjustments hadn’t helped yet.

He felt my back and said it did seem uneven (not surprising since he had me bend over and I can only do that if I bend my left knee significantly), but that he didn’t feel anything that concerned him. He thinks the wonky sacrum is the most likely reason my nerves are shot and I’m in so much pain. He agreed that a bulged disc might be the cause, also, but that the odd thing there is that typically, if that happens, it hurts for six weeks or so and then scars over and the pain subsides. He said that sometimes it will last as long as eight weeks, which is around how long I’ve been in this extremely severe pain.

The doctor said he was not at all concerned that I might have a tumor or anything more serious, but that, to rule it out, he’d be glad to order blood work (to check for infections and cell count) and an MRI.

I almost cried.

The nurse who’d triaged me had suggested an x-ray, and I didn’t want to be a choosy beggar, so I wasn’t going to say anything if that’s how the visit went.

But do you know what?

The doctor listened to me. I think he could tell what I wanted and he met that need. I was extremely grateful.

After he sent me off, I went into the lab to have blood drawn. Another volunteer was turning off the lights in the main room. I literally closed the place down.

I left at a bit before 10:00, thanking everyone who was still hanging out.

Fortunately, the rain had quickly visited and moved on, because that two blocks was much more nicely traversed in the cool, still evening than it would have been in a cold soaking-to-the-bone rain.

As I processed this visit on my drive, I realized that I’d basically been paid (or granted?) $500 an hour to sit in that clinic. No imaging centers use a sliding scale. Having now gone through the MRI, I can more appreciate why it’s so expensive, and would not want to save money by finding a cut-rate operation.

Another friend here in town said that this is one thing he loves about Austin: That there are people here who have the means to make a difference, and they do. They’re not just bleeding-hearts, they are actual do-gooders.

Adding up all of the donations from that night doesn’t come close to making a dent in the free service I received. I’m grateful to the benefactors who support Volunteer Healthcare Clinic, and to every single person who works hard to make the services available.

I am going to tell the second part of this story first, but that’s because this part is fresh on my brain so I wanted to get it “on paper” before I lose my delightful afterglow.

Yesterday at 2:00 PM, I called ARA Diagnostic Imaging to make an appointment to be magnetically resonance-imaged. The nice lady at scheduling asked me if I could be at a place about 45 minutes away in an hour and a half. I was both mentally unprepared and (embarrassingly) not as freshly-scrubbed as I might like to be when engaging in activities that require people to evaluate my body.

I told her the nearest center to me and asked for the earliest appointment they had. I was surprised when the answer was two hours earlier than I’d expected: six o’clock! “But they ask that you be there half an hour early to check in.”

Whatever. Let’s get this over with. So I made the appointment.

There are no dietary restrictions or anything else pre-MRI, so I just went to bed at 11, hoping to get a good 6 hours of sleep. By midnight, I was still awake and saw that James had just posted on Facebook, so I called him and we talked for an hour.

Then I still just lay in my bed for who knows how long. My sleep skipped across the night like a smooth wide stone on the surface of a pond, which is a pretty poetic way of stating something sort of obnoxious, except that at least when my alarm went off at 5:00 AM, I was able to turn it of when it was still vibrating and before the annoying sounds started.

Since I had my clothes laid out and did not plan much in the way of daily beautification rituals, I was ready to leave by 5:15. I walked out the door at exactly 5:15. I pulled into the radiology center at exactly 5:30.

I got checked in and invited to have a seat to fill out my paperwork, but asked for permission to move away from the guy at the front desk but still stand. I’m not accustomed to sitting this early, and the drive over was an unpleasant one.

There were a lot of questions I had to answer about former surgeries, metal implants (which my dad has, but I do not). I noted about the tattoo on my left ring finger. I noted that I have asthma but had taken 2 hits off of my inhaler already today (raise that to three by the time I got in there). I marked that I did not have motion/spacial issues, although this is not entirely true.

Here’s the thing: I used to be a rather compulsive liar when I was younger. I lied about everything and usually for no reason. As I got older, though, I lied to my parents about what I was doing sometimes because of this stupid rationalization that would happen in my brain.

For instance, I knew that they did not want me to get drunk or to have sex, but I did want to go to parties where my friends did those things. The thing is, I didn’t want to engage in any dangerous activities, anyway; I just wanted to hang out with my people and, frankly, laugh at them when they were idiots. So I wouldn’t tell my parents I was going to a party because I knew they’d say “no,” but I told myself that this was okay, because I understood that their underlying spirit was that I not do anything stupid, and I knew I wouldn’t do that.

Which, now that I look at it, is pretty funny. I’ve heard that the definition of “sin” is when we tell God “I got this. Don’t worry yourself.” I believed in my own self-governance, above the will of my parents… which pretty much means I sinned against them, even though I did an awesome job of self-denial in that respect.

I digress slightly.

Allow me to do so again:

About a year and a half ago, I got a day at the spa for my birthday. During the facial, the lady asked me if I were claustrophobic. I said, “No.” The truth is that I *am* claustrophobic, but I’d read about the electric shock therapy to the face (which is overstating it; they *do* run a current through your facial skin, though) and I really wanted to try it.

So I interpreted her question as, “Are you going to freak out when I put all of these layers of wet cotton on your face and then it gets really hot and you have electricity running through your epidermis?”

I tailored my answer to get what I wanted, so I said, “No.” And it was fine. It was a very cool thing, and I’m glad I didn’t miss out on it by saying, “Yep. I will probably punch you in the stomach, so you might want to stand back and lean way in.”

My claustrophobia comes into play only when I perceive that I am not in control. For example: huge crowds. Ugh. It’s overwhelming. Get me out. An elevator that’s taking too long to go up three floors. Ugh. Stuff like that. I could fold up and hide in a cabinet with D when she was little, because I knew that I could open the door and get out whenever I wanted.


When asked if I had any motion/spacial issues, I said, “No.”

I went back and was given a sumptuous new wardrobe for the occasion.

"I lost 230 pounds with the MRI-wear life plan! It's like Photoshop for your body!"

“I lost 230 pounds with the MRI-wear life plan! It’s like Photoshop for your body!”

When I exited the room, I was asked if I needed to use the restroom, which I didn’t, but then I remembered what I always used to tell D about going, anyway, and I went.

Next, the guy asked me most of the questions I’d already answered out loud, including two separate times whether or not I’d been diagnosed with cancer, which, I’m not going to lie, freaked me out a little bit.

Then we went in the room with the pulsating noise tube and he put small vial of target fluid (these are the medical terms; try to keep up) on the small of my back.

I had purposefully left my contacts out because I didn’t want to be able to see very well. He asked me if I’d taken off my bra, which I took as a compliment, even in the loose clothing, because, as a woman, I think it’s obvious when I’m packing and when I’m not.

He showed me where to put my head (which I couldn’t see, but I understood) and asked me to lie on my back. I begged patience and got into position. He said, “Don’t take any deep breaths or shift your hips.”

Got it.

Then he put these germ-shielding-cloth-lined noise-cancelling earphones on my head and asked me what radio station I’d like to listen to. Oh, yea! Comedy channel! But that doesn’t come in at the center. Boo. Whatever. Except country. No country.

Finally, he snapped my head enclosure shut (I’d closed my eyes by this point) and put a bulb into my hand.

“Squeeze this if, at any time, you need to stop the exam.”

I’m all, “Dude! Please!” but I just said, “Got it.”

And I kind of wanted to squeeze it right then.

If you’ve never had an MRI,you’ve still seen them at some point, so I don’t need to set the scene too specifically. The thing I was not anticipating was the sound. There is a constant, ambient, rather loud pulsating.

Thus, I was lying on my back, head snapped into place, about to be pneumatically tubed. (Not really, but that’s kind of how it looks.)

The bed started sliding up, and my head was surrounded by the machine. I realized that the pulsating was actually a lot like what I’d be hearing if I was over-exerted or scared, and my heart was pounding in my ears.

At which realization, my heart DID start pounding to match the sound of the machine. I was overwhelmed by panic, which was only kept at bay by the knowledge that all I had to do was squeeze the bulb. Just squeeze the bulb. I have control.

I had been told that the process would take half an hour. I was thinking total, not just for the scan itself. But the scanning took a full half hour. In a tube. With lots of loud noises.

Without further ado, I will now allow my brain to narrate the procedure:

I thought he was going to turn on the radio. Okay. Just close your eyes. Calm. Breathe. But not too much! He said don’t take a deep breath! Ah! Radio. “Good Life.” Nice choice… Moving again!

And stopped. Relax. Breathe. Okay, I can’t keep your eyes closed any longer. Oh! Nice. There’s a picture of, where? Greece? Some pretty city. Not here. That was nice of them. I’ll just look into the sky. Breathe. Stupid heart, stop trying to outdo that noise. Just do your own thing.

This will– WHOA! That’s… well, it’s loud but not too loud. I can see why this freaks people out. It’s on one side, and the other side, and back to the first side, and then over to the other side.

Wow. Actually, NOW I do need to use the restroom. I wonder if the MRI signal is doing something to my digestive system.

Hmm… Think about what that guy’s seeing right now. Wonder if he has an opinion.

What if Daphne’s awake and something’s wrong and she’s texting me, but we’re just getting started and it’s still a half hour before I can answer her?

STOP IT! You’re making it worse. Redirect.

Today, I’m going to Ladybird Wildflower Center. The radio just said it’s 38 but the highs will be in the 70s. What am I going to wear? I don’t want to wear the sweats I wore here, so I will wear… Hmm. I need to throw that red shirt out that I wore at Christmas. I don’t look good in that straight collar. I’ll wear my striped shirt and my grey jeans. That way, I can wear my Sketcher dress sneakers so I won’t get any more blisters.

There. That’s a nice distraction. But I’m done with that. What else?

What if I totally freaked out and started flailing my arms and yelling and trying to get out? COULD I get out of here in an emergency? The sound just stopped. What if there WAS an emergency, just now? Like the clinic is on fire, and the tech’s self-preservation kicked in and he just ran out. How long should I give it?

STOP IT! Oh my gosh, you psycho. That doesn’t help. Redirect.

The house. James is moving. He is moving into a house that needs a lot of work to deal with storage. That’ll be fun. It’s on Nueces, which, according to Google Translate, means “nuts,” and therefore should be named “The Nut House.” We’ll have so much fun making that place a home. Yea!

Ladybird Wildflower Center. What else? I should drive down to the Buda Wal-Mart to see if they have those carts my friend posted about on Facebook yesterday.

And that’s it.

I don’t have anything else to think about… Oh. Moving again.

My legs are really stiff. I think I’m tensing them. I should relax them. Except that he said don’t move. Oh, great. Now they’re trembling? This is too much pressure. I have to relax them.

Ahh. There. OH NO! I just sighed! Is he having to start over?

WOW. That’s REALLY LOUD. It’s like really REALLY loud… I wonder if those first sounds were all just to make me less frightened when THIS sound came on. I can see why people don’t like MRIs.

Interesting. They used that clear medical tape to put this Grecian travel poster up here. Cute. Did someone have to crawl up in here to affix it?

That vent feels nice on my face. Except something about the breeze is making the right side of my forehead itch.

NO ITCHING, dang it! STOP!

Is it better to visualize myself scratching it or to try to divert my thoughts toward something else? I don’t–

WHOA! Loud! And… is it heating up, or am I imagining that? That’s actually okay.

What’s even playing on this radio station? Between the noises, I can’t hear it, but I’m “hearing” Liberace-style piano.

Oh. The sound stopped. It’s an annoyingly-voiced commercial. Interesting. I’ll take the piano back, please.

YIKES! And it’s back. That’s really, REALLY loud.

I’m bored.

God, this is overwhelming, and I ask that you let this NOT be cancer, because I cannot imagine a life full of these kinds of appointments.

What if I had to have surgery on my back and I woke up in the middle of it because they hadn’t given me enough anesthesia?

That guy had better not come back in here and grab my toes as a joke. I’d probably kick him in the face and pass out.

STOP thinking about that. He’s not going to do it. He’s a professional.

If it IS cancer, maybe the resonance will break it up into tiny bits and that will be it?

OH MY GOSH! I *do* have “metal in my body that I was not born with”! Fillings! Duh! I wonder if that’s important. I’ll be sure to tell him when I’m finished.

I wonder when that will be.


Dang it! Hope that wasn’t too much.

Ah! The radio just went off! Does that mean… yep. Heading out. My first words will be, “I don’t think I’d like another.”


Except that, when I got out, I just thanked the guy and went back to change clothes. I was pretty wobbly, but I don’t know how much of that was from release of whatever hormones were playing with me and how much of it was just lying still for so long.

When I was in the dressing room, the guy came by and told me, through the door, that I could throw the sticker from my back in the garbage.

I wondered what it’s like to have his job. I wondered if he could see things and watched people walk out of his lair knowing that their lives were about to change, but it’s not his job to talk to anyone about it.

I’m going to spoil part of this story by telling you that the doctor I saw Tuesday night said he is not worried at all about tumors or anything; he thinks my back problems are due either to a wonky sacrum or bulging disc (which he didn’t feel, so he leans toward the sacrum). He just authorized this and bloodwork for my and my family’s peace of mind.

Now I’m VERY glad that’s over with, because I’m ready to be outside, in the wide open, with some nature sounds!



Peace out!

Picture it: July 2012. James and I had just gotten together, Facebook-officially, and there was no moniker for the team that is now Team Dave’s. What there was, however, was a celebration of the birth of our country.

For that auspicious occasion, I went with James to spend the 4th of July with some of his dad’s family just outside of Muskogee. We had a great afternoon and evening, and one of the things that stuck with us, and that we vowed to try, was James’s uncle’s favorite snack: Doritos with buttermilk.

He thought we might be cynical, and admitted that even his kids had been, but that once they tried it, they loved it. His adult children agreed, and said that they still enjoyed it.


Time has a way of slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ on into the future. Here it is a bright, shiny 2013 and we have only just gotten around to trying this family delicacy.

Here are some pictures, along with some things we learned.

James pours buttermilk into his bowl of chips.

James pours buttermilk into his bowl of chips.

And then onto mine.

And then onto mine.

Here is the first thing we learned, filed under “things that make you go ‘duh'”:

1) Crumble up the chips first. Just like you crumble up your crackers before they fall into the soup. Much more manageable with the spoon.

Doritos and Buttermilk 003

Flavorwise, it was pretty good! Consistency-wise, there was a bit of a comfort curve, but I think that that could have been avoided by the second thing we learned:

2) Get lots of chips and then just moisten them with the buttermilk.

You want enough milk to coat every surface, but you don’t want the chips swimming like cereal does in regular milk. James solved this by adding chips three times during the snack-eating, and I dealt with it because I don’t use a bunch of milk in my cereal, anyway, so I was closer to the ideal ratio (though still a little buttermilk-heavy).

Yeah, I'd eat that!

Yeah, I’d eat that!

Doritos and Buttermilk 007

Similarly to how chocolate cereal turns milk brown, this turned the milk orange! Also, this ratio of chips to milk was just about perfect.

Doritos and Buttermilk 008

Done! And it wasn’t even a chore. Tasty, different, kind of like super easy nachos. Try some! You might be surprised how addictive it is!

Remember our fabulous experience with Gourdough’s Doughnuts a while ago? Well, since then, Gourdough’s has opened a pub!

Of course, as soon as we could get there, we got there.

If you look at their menu, you will notice that most of their dishes feature or include a doughnut!

Daphne’s cousin got a salad, and it came… with. a. doughnut.

Daphne asked if she could solely get a dessert doughnut, and given that their entire menu is basically pre-diabetes, I wasn’t about to insist that she select a savory artery-clogger.

She got the Sin-a-Bomb: melted cinnamon butter and sugar “poured’ (piped, in her case) over cream cheese. On a doughnut.

Daphne's Sin-a-Bon cinnamon cream cheese doughnut.


James ordered the Drunken Hunk: bacon-wrapped meatloaf, potato pancake, fried egg, and house-made candied jalapenos. On a doughnut.

Military Museum and Gourdoughs 031


I got the Count Gourdough Cristo: turkey, ham, Swiss cheese, roasted red peppers, basil, red onions, deep-fried in doughnut dough with an avocado lime sauce. Best plate of the night, I think. 🙂

Military Museum and Gourdoughs 032


The food was, of course, filling. The sandwiches were served with freshly-fried potato chips, which were thick and crispy… they did need salt, in my opinion, and I used my sauce as a dip. It pushed them over the top. Otherwise, they were completely overshadowed by the incredible entrees.

I would like to go back about 4 more times to try all of the stuff that I want to try. In the meantime I’m going to stock up on vegetables and then thank goodness that my chiropractor doesn’t read my blog.


tomtomSomething irritating happened on my way home from Port Aransas in November: the fuse that powers my cigarette lighter in my car blew. Unlike my uber-fancy 1997 Chevy Astro, which had 6 such outlets, this is my car’s only power source available to technological products.

Granted, on the way down, we’d been using it to charge Daphne’s MacBook while she wrote, which might not be the intended usage, so I can see why it might have happened.

Regardless, my GPS ran out of battery juice (yuck) just about the time I got to where I knew where I was, and I haven’t thought about or bothered to replace the fuse yet.

Something interesting has happened during this time: I’ve gotten to know Austin a lot better. Without having that little bossy box to tell me where to turn, I’ve spent more time looking online at my route before I leave the house.

Did I mention that I’m also out of printer ink?

Yeah. So either I write out directions longhand, or I just try to remember how to get there.

Before, the whole system of highways that stemmed off of my most-traveled Ben White did not make sense to me. I didn’t understand where they went, or what they crossed, or really even that Texas North Loop 1 IS Mopac Expressway, even though none of the directional signs tell you that (the frontage street signs do, but that’s not a lot of help when you’re trying to get onto Mopac from another highway and it is all but invisible.

I don’t even have to look up directions for some places now. If I see a street number, I’ll often just “get” where it might be.

There have been some mishaps, for sure. There have been a lot of second-guesses, u-turns, and over-driving. But I’m learning. I’m getting it.

And when I ever get around to replacing that fuse, I won’t have to use GPS so much around here. It’ll practically be “my city” by then.

James plans eventually to move to Austin, so I’ve been house-hunting on his behalf. There have been a couple of rentals we’ve found that have been perfect, and when we contact the property manager, find out that the home has just been leased.

While looking, I came across this duplex. Half of it was for rent. It is charming, right?


The rent was set at $1400, which is really low for a property this nice, but it is a bit out of the city, so I supposed that it was doable, especially if the people had owned the property for a long time and just wanted someone in it. I sent the owner an interest message through Zillow, then I went to work.

You can learn a lot through public records. What I found out was interesting and a little bit confusing. First of all, half of the property is owned by a family whose mailing address is the property itself, which indicates that that half is owner-occupied. The other half is owned by a family trust based in California (they also seem to own rental properties out there), so that part checked out. What was weird is that the pictures seemed to be of the half of the property that is owner-occupied. I did find pictures of the half that is owned by the California trust, but in finding those, it looked like there was a sale pending for that half of the home.

The next morning, I woke to a text from the “owner.” He asked me to email him (which seemed dumb since I’d put my e-mail address in the original correspondence). I did so, and explained that I was confused because it looked like there was a sale pending on the property.

His response clued me in that this was a scam, and I notified Zillow, who took down the property immediately. It showed back up a few hours later, though, this time, being offered to rent for $1000. Well, this doesn’t sit well with me. I reported both accounts to the government’s Internet Crimes Divison, but unfortunately, because I haven’t experienced any actual loss, a lot of times, authorities are wont to try to track these people down. I’m sorely tempted to send them $10 just so I can actually claim victimization.

In the meantime, I decided to waste as much of this guy’s time as possible. I am “courting” him from two separate email addresses, which is super fun. And I keep adding more bull, to which he responds with increasing verbosity.

I’ll try to keep these straight for you, and in the correct timeline, in case you’re interested. One of the e-mails I’m getting is from a Yahoo address with the name of the gentleman who actually owns the other half of the building. I’m deleting the name because he’s a real person and not involved (I found him on Facebook; sad part is that his son’s name is on the nursery wall in some of the publicly-available pictures from when the house was actually for sale at one point, and there’s a picture on this guy’s wall that everyone can see, so now that I know his address and his kid’s name and what the kid looks like, I could go over there and pretend to know the young ‘un. People need to be more careful about what they put online!). The other set of e-mails is coming from a Treasure Island address.

Sent: Mon 1/07/13 6:58 AM
To: Laura Hattaway (
Thanks for the email. Yes the House is still available and will only be given out to the right person that will take very good care of the place and the facilities. The house has a lot of facilities like:
Interior Features
Living Room/Dining Room Combo, Concrete Flooring, Ceiling-High, Fire Alarm System, Smoke Detector, Walk-in Closet, Window Treatments, Breakfast Bar in Kitchen, Granite/Marble Counters in the Kitchen, Open to Family Room, Washer Connection, Storage, Utility Room.
Exterior Features
Wood Fence.
I have really decided to give out the house as a result of my transfer to Malaysia for missionary work.
I will be giving out the house for $1400 with a security deposit of $1000 and pet deposit of $500. I need to inform you as well that money is not the major reason why I am renting it out but want someone who can take care of it as if he/she owns it. So let me know as soon as possible if you can take good care of it, so that we can discuss the rent further. Pets are allowed.
We initially wanted to sell the house but we changed our minds and decided to rent it out because the economy is bad and it has also affected the housing market. We might decide to sell in the future but for now we are just renting it out.
 If you are interested you can go by and view it but you will not be able to go inside because the keys are here with me in Malaysia.Here is the address of the house (4601 Depew Ave # B Austin, Texas 78751).
Rental Application Form
 1) Your Full Name………………………..?
2) Your Current Address…………..?
3) Your State and Zip code……………?
4) Phone Number………………… ?
5) How old are you…………………..?
6) How many people will be living in the house………………………..?
7) Do you have a pet…………………………?
8) Do you have a car………………………….?
9) Occupation………………………..?
10) Marital Status………………………?
11) Do you have Kids, and how many………..?
12) How long do you intend to stay…………?
13) Will anyone staying in the house smoke…………………?
14) When do you intend to move in…………………….?
15) Reason for moving………………………?
16) Your current rent……………………………….?
17) Your current land lord’s address and phone number………………..?
18) How many month rent you intend to pay apart from security and pet deposit……………….?
19) Your Personal references
 Get back to us with the application answer,so that we can further the rent and prepare how the package containing the keys and other necessary document will get to you.
Love to take you as our new tenant.
You can get in touch with me via my mobile number +60169584869.
I await your reply.
From: Laura Hattaway (
Sent: Mon 1/07/13 9:50 AM
Cc: James
Mr. XXX:
Thanks for your prompt response. I am going to fill out as much of your application form as I feel comfortable doing right now, and will complete it in full after we have established a few things. I have a few questions first:
1) Given your current location, how do you anticipate conducting the leasing transaction? I was a private property manager and REALTOR in Las Vegas, Nevada, for several years and understand that home rental management is challenging even when the property manager and/or owner are in the vicinity. I would like to know how also you would intend to handle maintenance issues and other concerns. When you say you want someone to take care of it as though they own it, are you speaking also in terms of repair/replacement of maintenance items, including absorbing those costs in whole?
2) How much is the rent? This doesn’t seem like a question for further down the road. We need to know in advance in order to determine whether this is a property we should pursue without wasting our time or yours.
3) What kind of lease term do you desire/expect? (month-to-month, 6 month? 12? more?)
As I mentioned, I have been a property manager and I have rented my own personal house out, as well. I have seen the disrespect with which tenants can treat a property, and was very discouraged when it happened to me, as well. My personal tenants brought in dogs I did not know they had, one dog was a “known” aggressive breed and bit a child, which resulted in my being (unsuccessfully) sued; the dogs dug up my back yard entirely and they tore up the doors they were closed behind; the tenants stole a dining set I’d left in the house for storage; etc. It is my intention always to treat others’ property as though it is my own; I want to be proud of where I live regardless of whose name is on the title.
Thank you,
Sent: Tue 1/08/13 2:53 AM
To: Laura Hattaway (

      We got your application filled and everything is OK with us. You said that you would be ready to move in soon in the application.We are happy to take you as our new tenant. We will be giving you our home with trust that you will take good care of it so please do not disappoint us.

We would like you verify your current address(20 La Posada Street, Austin Texas 78744).Because this is where we will be sending the keys and documentation of the house to.The package will be addressed to Laura K. Hattaway.

The Package containing the keys/documentations of the house will be sent to you within 24hrs via DHL next day delivery air to your current address as soon as the payment of the security deposit ($1000) and rent of ($1400) with pet deposit of ($500) is made so that you can occupy the house now.

Monthly Payment of rent ($1400) will be on or before 5th of every month and late payment is not allowed. Rent includes all utilities as soon as the payment is made so you can move in.I have attached the Lease Agreement for you to sign and date and get back to me ASAP that will be an agreement and contract between you and i (Landlord and tenant).

We are happy to take you as our new tenant.I have sent you the address verification and the lease agreement of the house to sign,date and get it back to me because that will be an agreement between you and i.Sowe will have to talk now is how you will make the payment so that i can pay for the DHL fee out of it and you can receive the keys and the necessary document of the house in your present home address so that you can be able to move in and make your living there.And soon when i am through here i will come to you for a visit so that you can see your landlord but all i am doing is to be a good landlord to you and please i will want you to be a good tenant to me as well and please dont forget to take good care of my house because that is the most important thing in renting out my house.Sodo get back to me so that i can go to the DHL office to make the arrangement for the posting of the keys.God bless you.
Sent: Tue 1/08/13 3:08 PM
To: Laura Hattaway (
 Okay i got your email.Below is my personal information in which you will be needing to make the payment.So you can go ahead and make the payment.As soon as i confirm the Payment i will be sending the package via DHL services to your present home address.(20 La Posada Street, Austin Texas 78744).
You will be making payments via Western Union Money Transfer so I can easily confirm the payment near my office because its the fastest and easiest way to receive money here.
Receiver Name……………… Dillon Gussis
State…………………….. Kuala Lumpur
Country…………………… Malaysia
Zipcode…………………… 50754
Amount……………………. $2900As soon as you make the payment do get back to me with the MTCN number given to you by the Western Union officials and the senders name so that i can easily confirm the payment.As soon as i confirm the payment i will give the package to the DHL officials so you can receive the package in your present address as stated above and make sure you sign the lease agreement and get back to me ASAP.God bless you.Regards.
From: Laura Hattaway (
Sent: Tue 1/08/13 7:39 PM
 I will need a couple of days to get that sum together. I’ll let you know when I have the transfer. I’ve never done one before, so do I just go into the store and give them the information you gave me?
Sent: Wed 1/09/13 2:07 AM
To: Laura Hattaway (
Okay,Yes you will just need to go to the western union channel to make the payment and you will give them the information i sent to you because thats the information you will use in sending the money to me so that i can cash it and go to the DHL office to send you the keys and the document of the house to your home address.Get back to me ASAP.God bless you.
*****Meanwhile, as I’m being so blessed by God thanks to this dude, I notice the second listing and respond with a fake phone number and only an e-mail address so that he can only get in touch with me that way at a different account. This is the second response, offering me the exact same house that has already been promised to the first me.
Sent: Wed 1/09/13 9:00 AM
To: (
God bless you for your interest about my House and  thanks for getting back with me.It is still available for rent,the house is in good order and shape.We are honest and God- fearing family and we are seeking the same from any interested applicant.We love our property to be kept clean and safe. Our home is located at 4601 Depew Ave # B Austin, TX its a 3 bedroom, 3 full bathroom single family home..Kitchen already comes with appliances and the average utility bill is about $100.The rent is $1050 with a refundable security deposit of 800,pets are acceptable with $100 deposit. Kindly get back to me with your interest in renting our home and perhaps your experience in renting and references. Thanks and God bless you  We await your reply
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Wed 1/09/13 11:41 AM
Thanks. I’ve driven by and it’s a great neighborhood, and a beautiful property. When might I see it?

Treasure Island (

Wed 1/09/13 1:50 PM

greytgrey ebay (

Sent: To:
 We are currently not in Austin but in Dayton for our son’s
graduation ceremony  and
we are okay with you bringing your pet,we won’t have any problem with
you installing your own security system we just hope the house will be
well taken care off and always in good condition also both washer and

Treasure Island (

Wed 1/09/13 7:34 PM

greytgrey ebay (

Sent: To:
I am still yet to hear from you.I Need to know if you are still interested
in renting my house and when you intend to go and view it.

Sent: Thu 1/10/13 8:22 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Good morning. I’m yet to read from you. I need to know your stand in renting my house.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Thu 1/10/13 4:58 PM
Okay. That sounds good. When will you be back so we can get into the house?
****** I didn’t correspond with the other guy at all during this time. I heard from him two days after our last communication.
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 1:12 AM
To: Laura Hattaway (
Are you still interested in the house or not? because i didnt see any response from you and since you have been the first person to make inquiry on the house i will not like to disappoint you,so get back to me ASAP with your opinion.God bless you.
***** At this point, I decided that it would be fun to mess with him by throwing a wrench in the works...
From: Laura Hattaway (
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:15 AM
Well, I drove by this morning to take one last look at it, and there was a fire. It looks like most of that half of the house was destroyed? Are you aware of that?
****** And then, just to be fair, I sent a slightly different message to the other guy.
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 6:56 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
You can drive down and take a look at the house. And get back to me with your interest in renting my house.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 8:05 AM
I already drove by and looked at it. I like it.
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 8:23 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
When would you like to move in?
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:33 AM
I need a place in two weeks, but I saw on the news that there had been a really big fire over there. Is the house okay?
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:37 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
The house was not affected by the fire outbreak. The house is in a move in condition. I need to know your stand on my house so that I can take it off the rental ad. Can you make the down payment today so as to keep the house from other applicants
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:40 AM
Whew! That’s a good thing. I can come up with the money today. Let me know how to get it to you. May I ask why the rent is so low?
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:43 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
We need someone that can take proper care of our house and maintain it like its thiers. Its not really about the money. The rent is low so our new tenant can actually be able to maintain our house for the time being. You will send the money through money gram at any walmart branch close to you. Ill work on removing the house from the rental ad. Can you make the payment before 4pm.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
*****Bearing in mind that the ad was already down, because I’d reported it as a fraud. Oh, and there *was* no fire! I fabricated that in its entirety!
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:52 AM
Yes. There is a Wal-Mart right down the highway. What is the total again, and where do I send it?
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:57 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
The Rent is $1050 with a refundable security deposit of 800,pets are acceptable with $100 you will be required to put down the deposit. Ill send you the infomation to which you will be required to send the money to. You will send me the pick up information as soon as you make the payment
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 11:52 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
The Rent is $1050 with a refundable security deposit of 800,pets are acceptable with $100 you will be required to put down the deposit. Ill send you the infomation to which you will be required to send the money to. You will send me the pick up information as soon as you make the payment
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 11:57 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
This is the information that you will be required to use in sending the money at walmart. Send it through money gram. Receivers name- Darla Webb. Address-1999 sawmill R. Dayton. TX. 77535
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 12:32 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Have you been getting my messages.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 2:37 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Have you been getting my messages.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 3:29 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (

Hello. Did you get the information I sent to you

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 4:54 PM
Yes, I actually got them twice. Thanks. I”m on my way out the door now.
****** Over at the first place, the guy finally gets a story together about the “fire.”
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 1:11 PM
To: Laura Hattaway (
Okay i have been aware of it,its just an electricity damages and i have talked with the maintenance company to come around to do the renovation and that is why i emailed you today to make the payment so that the keys and the document can be shipped to you and the security company can be able to renovate and clean the inside of the house for you because the house is under insurance so thats why i am not just disturbed because i dont know what lead to the fire in the house and it wont take much time to renovate it.Although i was unhappy to hear the story but i just need to take heart with my wife and thats why i want you to move in very fast when they are done with the renovation so that you can take very good care of the house as you can read in the email i sent to you earlier that thats the main reason why i am renting out the house.Do get back to me ASAP.God bless you.
***** I am AMAZED by this incredible story, and decide to go one further and see what he says.
From: Laura Hattaway (
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 8:05 PM
That is all a relief. I’ll be glad to cooperate with the renovations. I have the money, and if you want, I can have the house rekeyed, anyway, since we can get into it because that one wall is totally out. That way you don’t even need to send the keys. Let me know if this works for you.
***** The second guy is a lot more antsy.
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 3:29 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Hello. Did you get the information I sent to you
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:18 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Did you get to send it.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:22 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Where you able to make the payment.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Fri 1/11/13 10:48 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Hello grey
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 5:52 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Good morning grey. How are you doing this morning
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 7:57 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Have you been getting my messages.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 10:41 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Have you been getting my messages.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 3:22 PM
I am fine, thank you. Your messages are getting to me, usually more than once. Are you getting my messages?
***** This jumpy guy is boring and tiresome. I like the one who sends infrequent but super long and rambling messages better.
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 12:01 AM
To: Laura Hattaway (
Hello Laura,
           I got your email and i understand what you sent,but as you know the house catch fire by electricity and for security purpose i dont allow anyone to enter into the house without having the keys to move in although there maybe a space for you to check in but for security purpose even if the people in the area see you getting in they maybe thinking of something else and since you dont have document and the keys that back it up for you to move in it will just be a query and offence for you so i want us to follow the right protocol to avoid embarrassment.But all i want you to do is that you should make the payment and immediately you make the payment i will cash the money and go to the DHL office directly to send you the keys and the document of the house that will back it up for moving in and checking of the house even when you receive the keys and the document you may not use the keys to get in but pass in through where space is but all i know is that you will have the document that will back you up for moving in just to avoid embarrassment and you know part of the house got burnt they maybe thinking of something else and call police,but lets try to avoid embarrassment and as a man of God i must follow the right way and i will have to pay the maintenance company out of the money so that they will do the renovation fast.So do make the payment today so that i can do all the necessary things for your moving in.Sorry for the inconvenience.Get back to me ASAP.God bless you.
From: Laura Hattaway (
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 3:21 PM
I have the payment receipt. What do I do with it?
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 11:30 PM

 Okay since you have the payment receipt with you all you have to do is to check on the receipt you will see MTCN control number just email it to me with the senders name you use in sending the money and after you email me this just scan the receipt and attach it to me via email•So when I receive this I will confirm it and go to the DHL office to send you the keys and the document of the house to be deliver to you the following day without any disappointment so that you can have the prove document to move in with you.Do get back to me ASAP.God bless you.


***** Back to twitchy…
From: Treasure Island (
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 7:01 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
 i just got your email now.what is the situation of things?
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 10:19 PM
My phone rebooted and I seem to have lost some of my saved messages. Can you please tell me the address where to send the Money Gram and I will get it on my way to church in the morning.
From: Treasure Island (
Sent: Sat 1/12/13 11:45 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
  Name-Darla Webb
Address-1999 Sawmill R
Dayton, TX 77535
   You will send me the reference number,senders name and addres.
  Take care and have a great day ahead..I attend assemblies of God. What
  church do you worship??
Sent: Sun 1/13/13 5:32 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Good morning. I’ve sent you the information. I hope you received it.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Sun 1/13/13 7:30 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
I’ve been waiting to read from you.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Sun 1/13/13 9:26 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Grey. I need to know if you are still interested in my house or not. Please reply me asap
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Sun 1/13/13 3:50 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Sun 1/13/13 6:46 PM
***** If you’re not giggling right now, that just means you’re not as big of a dork as I am.
Back to the guy who acknowledges the fire. He is starting to get cheeky with me.
Sent: Sun 1/13/13 10:50 PM
To: Laura Hattaway (

Why is it that you didnt send what i asked you to send? because i have sent you an email yesterday that you should check on the payment receipt that you will find MTCN control number there that you should email it to me and the name you use in making the payment.So you will now scan the payment receipt and attach it to me via email so that i can easily confirm and cash it and immediately i will go to the DHL office to send you the keys and the document because today is Monday and it will be very easy today to make the posting of the package to you without any disappointment but i havent see anything from you.And make sure you sign the lease agreement and get back to me as well because that will be a contract between you and i.Do get back to me ASAP.God bless you.

From: Laura Hattaway (
Sent: Mon 1/14/13 7:21 AM

I am trying to scan it; it’s too light for me to read, but I think if I scan it and darken it, it will be better.

Sent: Mon 1/14/13 12:40 PM
To: Laura Hattaway (
Okay,just check on the payment receipt and and you will see MTCN control number there,just email it to me with the senders name you use in sending the money so that i can easily confirm it and i will go directly to the DHL office to send you the keys and the document of the house without any disappointment because i spoke with the DHL official and he said its good to do Monday and Tuesday posting to that it can be deliver fast and so that there wont be any delay or disappointment and it can be deliver to your home address the following day and later when you are done with the scanning of the receipt you can later attach it for me.Get back to me ASAP.God bless you.
***** Now I just need to figure out how to respond to that. Over at the other e-mail, the guy is starting to get huffy, too. That lady isn’t taking any of his garbage, though.
Sent: Sun 1/13/13 11:50 PM
To: greytgrey ebay (
 Are you still interested in renting my house
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Mon 1/14/13 6:28 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Good morning
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Mon 1/14/13 9:16 AM
Very much so. I went to the MoneyGram place and their system was down. I’m getting ready to head to the doctor and will stop back by on my way home. I called and they said it was working today.
Sent: Mon 1/14/13 9:34 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
Okay. Please ensure you get to reply my emails on time. Get back to me as soon as you make the payment. God bless you
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Sent: Mon 1/14/13 11:14 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
I’m waiting to read from you. How is going
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
From: greytgrey ebay (
Sent: Mon 1/14/13 11:14 AM
“Please ensure you get to reply my emails on time.” Really? Please, if you have someone else in line, go with them. This sounds a lot like my ex-boyfriend and, frankly, I don’t think that I want to be any any kind of relationship, professional or otherwise, with someone who is passive-aggressive/potentially abusive. Life’s too short, mate.
Sent: Mon 1/14/13 11:27 AM
To: greytgrey ebay (
I hardly read from you and I want to be sure that you are still interested.  What’s the situation of things now.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
***** So, yes. I am about to open a new level of crazy on this person. I have a lot of strategizing to do. If they’re goingto get money, I want them to *earn* it, darn it…