Happy Birthday, Daniel


I was sitting at my desk at work on September 11, 2001, planning my son’s fourth birthday celebration. When he woke up that morning, he wanted Chinese food for his celebration dinner. Why, you ask? Because the local Chinese buffet had pizza.

No, I’m not kidding.

I was on AOL IM (does anyone actually use that program any longer?) with my buddy Mike Williamson, and we were chatting about the usual stuff when he wrote that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

At that time, I replied that it must have been one drunk pilot, because my assumption was that it was a little plane with a very confused (and expired) pilot. We didn’t know any better at the time.

A few minutes later Mike wrote, “Holy shit! We’re under attack!” as we learned of a second plane and the Pentagon.

I desperately tired to reach my NCOIC (I was in the Army Reserves at the time, doing my drills in Crystal City), but all phone service had gone to shit.

I tried to reach my then-husband, but it was a no-go. He was in some kind of class, and he hadn’t heard the news. When he finally called me, I told him to call his work. He worked in the national security field.

I finally left work early and drove home to be with my son. I hugged him tight and told him daddy wouldn’t be home tonight, because something bad happened, and he had to work. The Redhead looked at me with these big, wide eyes and asked what happened. I told him bad men flew planes into buildings and killed a whole lot of people. The Redhead didn’t cry or throw a fit. He was understanding and a little scared. We had a nice little birthday together – me, him, and my daughters. Dad joined us later in the week, once things settled down a little.

Today marks 14 years since that fateful day. And The Redhead™ whose identity I protected for so many years because he was a minor, today is officially a man. Daniel is 18 years old, and he’s just as kind, understanding, gentle, and considerate as he was on that fateful day when his fourth birthday was ruined by “bad men” who flew planes into buildings and killed a whole lot of people.

The Daniel of today is generous. He is courageous. He’s stubborn – as redheads are wont to be. He has a huge heart. He’s dedicated and happy in his new college career. He’s rushing a fraternity. He’s running for elected office for the College Republicans. He works to pay for his car and his auto insurance. He’s doing ROTC, and he’s carrying a full course load.

Daniel has surpassed my expectations in every way, and I couldn’t be prouder of him!

On September 11, 2008, I advised him on this blog to live life to its fullest, despite the tragedy that marred his fourth birthday.

But I don’t ever want you to turn away, Redhead.  I never want you to forget.  I never want you to get distracted.  I want you to remember, examine, question and learn.  I want you to gain an understanding of the world around you, so that you can face it fully informed and fully aware.  I want you to live your life to the fullest, knowledgeable, observant and vigilant.  I want you to have no fear, because to know and understand something – even something horrible and evil – is to gain power over it.  And to gain power over it makes it possible to face it and overcome it.

And I think he’s doing it. He’s achieving everything I wanted for him and more, and he’s a happy, well-adjusted, intelligent, respectful young man.

Today, as on all Septembers 11, I honor the fallen of that day and thereafter, and I proudly show my son as proof that the future looks bright despite the horrors of the past.

Happy birthday, Danny.



A Friend Needs Just a Little More to Put Him Over the Finish Line

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So, y’all know I like to help worthy causes when I can. Many times, I just contribute money to various causes – animal charities, veterans groups, cancer research, etc. Other times, like these days, I don’t have a penny to spare (child molesting squatters destroying my house, insurance company messing with me, etc., but that’s a different story), so I like to either share worthy causes on social media, or blog about them.

A friend of mine – a vet, a writer, a husband, a dad, and an all-around good guy has decided to open a business. He’s worked five different jobs to support his family, but has been damn miserable. This is his dream. He wants to sell barbeque plate lunches from a food truck and also do catering. From what I gather (never actually had his ribs) from folks who have, his barbecue recipes are like a little bit of pork heaven!

The name? Aloha Snack Bar!

Jon is a good guy. He’s an aspiring author, a passionate friend of the sci-fi community, and an ardent Sad Puppy. He’s bright, talented, and motivated. And really… he only needs like $5,000 more to put him over the top to start his business.

So I figured since I’m broke, I’d help the only other way I know how: by spreading the word.

Please help. Go to Jon’s Kickstarter campaign page, and read about his plans. And if you can pitch in a few sheckels, or encourage others to do so – both in the military community and elsewhere, please do!

House Update


I recently was invited to do an interview on Dan Lane’s Rental Income Podcast. Dan had read my saga with the Coopers after they squatted in my house and subsequently destroyed it, and he invited me on his show to tell my story.

Every landlord’s nightmare. That’s what it’s called.You can listen to it here.

My basic message to anyone considering renting their property is this: treat it as a business. Do not be nice. Do not allow your tenants to consistently pay you late without imposing penalties, because you’re a nice person and you feel sorry for them. Do not allow them leeway. Your house is your business, and you are a landlord, not their pal and not their mommy. Treat it as such.

In retrospect, I should have charged them penalties for being consistently late with the rent.

In retrospect, I should have demanded they get rid of their animal menagerie, which they kept in my house in violation of the lease.

In retrospect, I should have treated them as the cockroaches they are.

But my story is a cautionary tale, so feel free to listen to the podcast.

In the meantime my house is back on the market. The repairs from the thieving squatters David and Pamela Cooper are now finished, and the house looks great!

101 Maryland Dr, Stephens City, VA 22655

It’s clean, it’s freshly painted, all the Coopers’ crap has been taken to the dump. The carpets in the room they allowed their animals to use as a bathroom have been replaced along with the padding, and the sub floor has been fixed. Not a trace of these destructive vermin has been left!

There are more photos in the actual listing. Thirty of them, in fact, so check it out, and please spread the word to anyone thinking about moving to Northern Virginia!

David Scott Cooper: Child Molester, Liar, Thief, Destroyer of Lives


I apologize for the lack of writing lately. It’s been an incredibly trying time. My lawyer and I had requested that the trial to evict the “tenants” that were occupying my house be moved up due to the financial hardship the squatting thieves David Scott Cooper and Pamela Ayers Cooper were causing me and my family. The original trial was scheduled for 09 July, but we were granted a 19 June court date, where I finally received possession of my property.

scummy hag

This is Pamela Ayers Cooper in the middle – one of the people who stole my property and ultimately caused so much damage to the place. 

child fucker 2 child fuker

This is registered sex offender David Scott Cooper. His official sex offender registry information is here. As you can see, he screwed a child age 13-15 and went to prison for his crimes.

The Coopers never showed up for the hearing. As a matter of fact, they were seen by several friends of mine packing frantically and moving out the day of the trial. The cowards left rather than face a judge to answer for stealing my property. And the mess they left for me to clean up was EPIC!

They left a ton of garbage in my home, ruined the carpets, messed up the hardwood floors on the main floor with water damage, and left rotten food in the refrigerator, as well as disgusting clothes and shoes upstairs in the bedrooms. They had a clause in their lease for four small dogs. They kept four dogs, two cats, two flying squirrels, and a parrot. The cats pissed in the house and saturated the carpets in one of the rooms upstairs so badly, it soaked through to the padding, and warped the flooring underneath. The carpet in that room had to be torn up and the flooring had to be cleaned and resealed. Now, I have to pay to get new carpets installed in there.

There’s so much junk left in that house, the contractor rented a dumpster, and it took two days to dispose of all the crap. They left a ton of junk in the garage, including some materials that the contractor initially thought was homemade explosives! I’m not kidding. I had to have the police come out there last week with bomb sniffing dogs to ensure it was nothing dangerous. Luckily it wasn’t. It was some really nasty crap in a slow cooker. But it was bad.

They had the electricity turned off, so when storms came through the area, the sump pump did not come on. There is an inch of water in the basement. Now, I’ll take partial responsibility for this. I got so busy at work, it took me a couple of days to get the electricity turned back on. But in my defense, I work two jobs without which it would be impossible for me to survive – in part thanks to the financial hardship these thieves caused.

They violated their lease in so many ways, I’ve lost count. They’ve destroyed my house. They haven’t paid rent and they’ve skipped out without leaving a forwarding address. This is AFTER stealing my house for three months.

This has been an absolute nightmare, and it’s not over yet. If I have any hope of selling this property, it needs to get repaired. The contractors have done a good job so far, and the painters are out there now as well.


Here is the junk they left in my driveway.

floor damage 2 floor damage

Here is the water damage they cased to the hardwood floors.

broken light

They busted a porch light.

basement basement 3 basement 2

And they left all sorts of junk in the basement.

As you can imagine, I’m floored by all this! They still owe back rent, and the damages… Just wow.

So we’re going to court again for a hearing for damages. The assessment isn’t done yet. Not even close.

This ordeal just keeps on going and going, and I keep wondering if this will ever be over. Right now it feels like forever.

I have some amazing friends


The saga of the child-raping, thieving squatters continues. David and Pamela Cooper continue to infest my house without paying rent, as if somehow they’re entitled to my property – and apparently with the judge’s blessing.

This has been a tremendously difficult time – both financially and emotionally. The stress has been unreal. The thieving, lying child rapist and his wife don’t care about any kind of grief they cause others. They’ve stolen my house, and continue to refuse to leave.

As I mentioned before, my friends have been an incredible source of support! I have a network of beautiful, talented, passionate, supportive friends and acquaintances, who have picked up this cause to help me fight this horrid injustice. They’ve restored my hope, and that’s pretty difficult to do, given the fact that I’m paying 80 percent of my takehome pay for housing (my rent, two mortgages, etc.) and have to rely on the kindness of others to ensure I don’t lose my credit rating and my career.

Between my friend Amanda who started this incredible fundraiser to help me with any legal bills, and all the incredibly kind people who have offered not only financial, but also emotional support, and the enormous outpouring of good wishes, and my buddy Dennis, of Dragon Leatherworks, who auctioned off a pair of truly incredible “Sad Puppy” holsters to help me, and the numerous friends who have blogged this issue, the Internet truly restored my faith in humanity.

For those of you who don’t know Oleg Volk, he’s an amazing photographer and artist. Oleg and I have been friends for close to 15 years now. He’s an incredible talent! Oleg decided to help by doing a fundraiser for me, and if you know anything about his work, this is a huge deal! Oleg is offering a poster print of your choice to the highest contributor between now and June 1, inclusive. Just donate to the cause and let him know when you have, and your choice of photo in print form is yours.

Not even kidding!

Check out Oleg’s blog for details. It’s pretty amazing!

Thank you, Oleg, for being an incredible friend. And thank you to all of you again for your help and support!

Things that make you proud


Normally, not a lot of things make me cry… well, maybe lately, because of the unreal stress of having thieves steal my house, but generally no. But this week has been different and emotional.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you’ve heard of the riots in Baltimore this week that resulted in attacks on police and destruction of property, as well as school cancellations. The violence is personal for me, because I lived in Baltimore for several years. I graduated from the Johns Hopkins University. I had a house there. I worked there. I have friends there. For several years, it was my city too, and to watch it turn to chaos was jarring.

But among all the negatives – the looting, the burning, the pillaging and destruction, there were some rays of sunshine.

Baltimore residents cleaning up the CVS that was damaged and looted.


The Baltimore mom who yanked her errant offspring from the streets around after she saw him among the rioting crowds. Kudos to her, despite the douchey, hanky-wringing, and pants soiling by the “everything is racism” crowd about people applauding the “beating of a black child.” It’s called parents taking responsibility for their children, you idiots. Learn from her!

The folks who helped and supported the police as they worked to control the unrest.


All of this fills me with SO much hope!

While this story fills me with tears of joy, because I’m a veteran… because I’m a woman… because…

A patio chair smashed the sandwich shop window.

Glass fell around Midshipman Brad Kadlubowski, seated before a window, at the Subway shop in Baltimore.

Inside, a father steered his wife and two children to the back of the shop on Saturday. His son has asthma; the father worried about tear gas.

Another chair smashed another window.

Everyone to the back, the midshipmen instructed.

There’s this commercial for the Navy on TV nowadays that I see sometimes. It features a bunch of Navy folks in all types of different jobs standing in defense of civilians. It’s beautifully done, and it’s a brilliant campaign. These Midshipmen embody everything in that great ad. They embody everything a character in “A Few Good Men” said about the Marines in that particular case, but it really applies to all of our military. “Because they stand on a wall and say, ‘Nothing’s going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch.‘”

Beautifully said, and beautifully expressed. My special feelings of warmth go to Midshipman Madisen Grinnell. When caught in the protests, these Midshipmen directed families and  to the back of the Subway shop, with women and children furthest back for safety. But not Midshipman Grinnell. “You’re in the military and a midshipmen — you should be in the front,” she insisted.

In the midst of all the drama and tears, Midshipman Grinnell, her male friends, and the folks in Baltimore who stood shoulder to shoulder united for peace, have been bright spots in an otherwise horrid week.

Hope in humanity a bit more restored than it was a few days ago.

Thank you.



Heartache is watching everything you have worked for stolen by unscrupulous, morally offensive, thieving, self serving jerks.

Heartache is having your son come to you and say, “Mom, I know you would have never accepted my money, but I was going to put money in your wallet from my every pay check to help you and just leave a little for myself.”

Heartache is watching the justice system in which you had so much faith screw you.

That is heartache.

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