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December 19, 2011

Unsolved Mysteries

By Harley


Holiday mysteries abound: how’d that holy oil last for 8 nights? What star was it calling to the Wise Men like a celestial GPS? Whence comes the sinister fruitcake?



This year, I have mysteries of my own.

First Holiday Mystery: Lately, when I use my cell phone to call certain friends, my name shows up on their caller i.d. as . . . Donald Jackson. This didn’t use to be the case. I used to be Jacksonknown as me, Harley. I don’t know anyone named Donald Jackson. I’ve Googled him, and there are many of him, including Jacksona British calligrapher, a Canadian figure skater, and a sports attorney. But which of these is my Donald Jackson and what is he trying to communicate through my cell phone?

Second Holiday Mystery: Two weeks ago, I was awakened at 2 a.m. by the sound of frantic thumping in the rabbit hutch outside my bedroom window. I went to investigate, accompanied by my dogs, and we discovered a raccoon the size of a moose trying to kidnap our bunny Dixie. 19-04-rabbit-3The dogs chased the raccoon into the pool, but he turned on them, ready to fight, so I, half naked in the moonlight, spent 20 minutes dragging my two large dogs back into the house so as to avoid carnage and a trip to the animal ER. For two hours I stayed awake until Mr. Raccoon climbed out of the pool and over the wall into my Raccoon[1]neighbor’s yard. Then I brought Dixie into the house, where she’s spent every night since. Three days later we discovered a dead rabbit—not Dixie!—lying headless on our diving board. Ewww. Now, I have my suspicions about whodunit. The question is: why? Why decapitate a wild rabbit? Why on the diving board? Why leave the corpse behind?

Third Holiday Mystery: I was sitting in my kitchen, when I heard a loud THUMP that sounded like a bowling ball being dropped onto the carpeted floor upstairs. Or perhaps a 200-pound man falling off a bunkbed. Thirty seconds later it happened again. I yelled to my kids, “What is going on up there?!” then realized my kids were downstairs with me. Uh-oh. The THUMPS continued, the walls were shaking, my 11-year old daughter burst into tears, and her best friend, who was over for dinner, burst into tears too, they screamed, “Let’s get out of here!” so we fled to the neighbors'—who could hear our THUMPS from their house. They came with us to investigate, but within minutes the thumps stopped, as suddenly as they’d begun, never to return. Wha—?

Fourth Holiday Mystery. I was hiking with the dogs in a nearby canyon Rosenkrantz30 at sunrise when I came around a bend and saw four white horses coming at me. Pure white, except for the manes and tails, which were subtle pastel shades of pink, blue, green and purple.  One horse had a rider, a middle-aged woman, who nodded at me and then rode on silently, the other three horses trailing her. A moment right out of Middle-earth.


The final mystery is how it was that what began as a marketing tool to sell books ended up creating a family. I’ve read other blogs that are as smart as ours, as funny, as poignant, but nowhere have I read comments that are as consistently sensitive, hilarious, insightful and bighearted as the comments that come from you. What made TLC special was its backbloggers. It has been my good fortune to be among you.

And you? Any holiday mysteries we can solve for you? Any theories about mine?

Happy Monday . . .




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About those mysteries, Harley...

1: Obviously, you either were Donald Jackson in a previous life or will be him in the next one. If the former, check to see if he left an unclaimed estate. If the latter, well, you get to see how the other half lives.

2: Good job with calling off the dogs, since raccoons are dangerous as all hell, especially in water. As for the headless bunny, I've got nothing except to say that if his name was Roland, he'll get his killer, once he finds a Tommy gun.

3: That's some strange stuff, those loud thumps. You don't have raccoons in your attic, do you? Of course, it could have just been ghosts or aliens or the living dead or something.

4: The four white horses with pastel manes is probably more of a sign that you live in SoCal than anything else, unless you live near some interdimensional nexus. If that turns out to be the case, you might want to keep your eye out for Aragorn or Legolas or Boromir.

My holiday mystery is all about how Santa can eat all those cookies & milk and still fit down a chimney. I'm pretty Santa shaped myself (and the long hair and grey beard get plenty of stares from kids this time of year) and I'll be damned (oops, too late) if I could fit down a friggin' chimney. If I ate all those cookies and milk, I'd be one of those people trapped in their house! If Santa really wants to bring a great gift, how about he gives us all some of his calorie burning magic?

And although it's not holiday related, can anybody explain how all of those wizards and witches can play Quidditch for hours astride a broom and not come off walking all funny? Also, you'd think it would pretty much shut down their sex lives, having chronic broom crotch and all.

I don't have any Holiday mysteries or answers, pithy or not, about yours.

But I did chuckle reading them.

About the headless bunny, have you seen The Godfather?

Oh no, wait, that was a horse. And the head was left behind, not the body.

Never mind.

Obviously, this is all a message to you to spend more time staring at photos of Blond Bond.

The thumps were obviously Donald Jackson trying to get his cellphone number back.

Harley, when my brother moved to the island of Vieques, his name changed on his caller ID, too----------to Ingrid Bergman.

I am not kidding.

I dream in TLC. I really do. So my mystery is how did I let that happen.

Ah, sweet mystery of life... So many mysterious disappearances of objects and unexplained happenings in my household over the years. We blame it all on the poltergeist or when the wind is blowing from the northwest. the evil vapors wafting from the cursed house next door.

Holiday mysteries, hmm?

Nothing so far, but we've got two more weeks to go in the season. That's plenty of time for mystery to develop. I know I'll be in mourning, black clothing, armband and black veil come January 2, 2012.

Peach . . . perfect!

Here's what happened to the rest of the rabbit. It was imported to Milwaukee and left on my sidewalk:


okay - here's the difference between California and Boone, NC summed up quite neatly, I think.

You go for a walk and see gorgeous white horses with pastel manes.

I go for a walk and see two small dogs escorting a big ol' fat pig down our road. A week later I see two sheep and a goat walking down our road.

I live in the city of Pittsburgh I just saw two cops escorting a young man in handcuffs.

I am not kidding.

Just caught up with the news of the past few days and was horrified to read that the blog is closing. I am so tired of everyone jumping to facebook and "twittering" - neither of which that I do. Can't understand why people want to connect to people they haven't heard from in 30 years - I just don't get it! Any how, have enjoyed all of the topics and the glimpse into each author's lives and will miss it.
Have to say that I think the raccoon definitely left you the headless bunny on the diving board. I really believe that animals are a lot smarter than we think they are and he was showing you that since he couldn't get your bunny he found another one. Also showing his superiority.
Thanks again to everyone for making this such an interesting and fun read.

Harley, that Donald Jackson thing is great for a future book. Smart phones have GPS. What if someone is trying to find Donald Jackson and the phone leads them to your heroine? What if that someone is villainous? Oh, but there's a seemingly nice guy who also shows up appearing all heroice, but your heroine's no idiot so she's suspicious.

Those thumps? What kind of heat do you have? In our old family home we had an oil-fueled furnace that pumped hot water up to the old radiators. Sometimes air bubbles formed and the radiators groaned and thumped.

Was there a message scrawled in blood on the diving board? Something like, "I will not be ignored"?

When I was 7 or 8 and totally nuts over horses, I had a recurring dream of driving with my parents in the country and seeing a black horse running free down the road. Nobody was able to catch the horse but me in my dream.

When I was 9 and we lived in France, I was driving with my Mom and a neighbor. The traffic on the country road got backed up because of a black horse running free. It was exactly like my dream. Unfortunately, Mom refused to let me out of the car even though I insisted I was the only one who would be able to catch it.

Now my challenge of the day: Try to use the phrase "chronic broom crotch" as often as possible.

Harley, unless there really were raccoons in the attic (a distinct possibility), could there have been a minor, extremely localized tremor? Otherwise, seriously weird.

Love your last mystery. So very true.

Others beat me to it. I was going to say that obviously the raccoon left the rabbit body on the diving board. You're lucky he didn't succeed in getting into your house to leave the head in your bed.

Why does everyone see things in threes on their walks? That's a mystery as well. I have three dogs, so my walks are already in threes.

That was my thought too, Harley. This wasn't (well, I guess I can still say isn't) just a blog. Not by a long shot.

It was nice to get to know you, Donald Jackson. :)

Here's the answer to that last mystery, by the way:

Welcoming author hosts. Period. The authors always ask for the readers' opinions, and then engage with them in a friendly way. So few blogs do this. I've commented and been ignored on so many other blogs. It does not make one feel welcomed, especially when the READER's comment is ignored, but fellow authors' comments are replied to.

Also, most of the blog posts are about interesting, fun, entertaining, or thought-provoking topics that thinking people want to comment on. To have the encouragement to do so, and then feedback thereto, is priceless, and the secret to your success.


I have a similar THUMP THUMP THUMP mystery but it goes on all year long. For the 22 years that I have been in my condo, I have had the same upstairs neighbor. Long ago I became convinced that he's juggling bowling balls and dropping them. Repeatedly. Either that, or he's making unsuccessful attempts to lift weights. One evening when the THUMPING was particularly annoying (actually, that time he might have been bouncing off of his recliner, and then pouncing across the room, which is another thing that seems to happen regularly) the vibration, or whatever, caused part of the light fixture over my dining table to crash down on top of one of the chairs! Whenever I have guests and they hear the THUMP THUMP THUMPING going on, they're startled, and I just roll my eyes and say "yeah, that's Twinkle Toes, my upstairs neighbor."

The night before last the quality of the THUMPING changed; I think he dropped a cast iron skillet onto the kitchen floor a few times. It may have fallen from a cabinet, over and over and over and over.

I would love to know just what exactly is going on, but I prefer my OWN explanations!

See, I knew if I turned this topic over to the mystery community, I'd get some hard answers. First, why can't I be Ingrid Bergman instead of Donald Jackson?

Second, I have accepted that the THUMPS were the work of a poltergeist. A dozen thumps, and then -- The End. So, more of a practice haunting than a real haunting. Or maybe the poltergeist realized after ten minutes that it was at the wrong house. My neighbors thought it was some kind of sonic boom. Way too big for a raccoon.

Gold Digger, that first photo is EXACTLY what the headless rabbit looked like.

Doc in CA, I have to call a halt to the cookie action myself or I'm gonna be looking like Mrs. Claus. Is anyone with me? Anyone willing to do a Cookie Moratorium from now 'til Christmas? Or is that just wrong?

Deb, have you ever asked? It might help to know what it is. When the builders across the street were particularly noisy, I'd go see what they were doing. The furnace guy showed me why my furnace makes banging noises (the metal expands and contracts). Once the noise makes sense, it's a little less annoying.
The raccoon story reminded me of the Twilight Zone, and you were smart to protect your dogs. Why eating just the head? That's a stumper . . . brain sandwich, Elaine? http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/TheTwilightZoneS3E84TheHunt
I love the horse dreams -- sometimes dreams do contain predictions, so be ready.

I'm still hoping for a reprieve to save my favorite place that doesn't exist in the real world. I just realized from Ramona's post that there are postings from the past -- will those stay archived? I could start reading backwards . . . of course, I'd miss the "live" conversation, but it would be something.

We used to leave a carrot for Rudolf. You mean we were supposed to leave something for Santa?

We used to have loud booms that shook the house. It was the plumbing. Although I don't know what was wrong that caused the pipes to do that. We moved. That fixed it.

Karen's challenge: Huh? Karen? Am I no longer the craziest one here? Even I can't say that. What you said. That. That thing you said. Did I miss something? What? What? I love you, Karen. Am I nuts here? Or is this getting to you?

The flies. I mean, there are A MILLION flies in my house. Not all at once. They come one at a time ,and they are all drunk, slow, and you can whap them instantly.

I cringed about killing them, at first. Why kill something? Now I'm so angry at the invasion, I just WHAM them with no remorse.

But WHY are they even there?

Reine, I loved that you moved. That's a solution I hadn't considered.

SIGH SIGH - I'm really sad that the blog is shutting down. I really have enjoyed the collective consciousness of all the bloggers and the back-bloggers. Oh RATS! I understand, but OH RATS!!!!!

Harley, I live in Fort Lauderdale and I saw a man turn into a bar.

Harley, the move solution works every time, except when it backfires.

Once we moved so the kids could play outside in a bigger space and leave their bikes by the back door. We bought a little ranch with a quarter section of woods and field, a big rocky hill, and a beautiful creek.

The next spring we had a flood. The creek washed out the road to the house, and the kids couldn't get to school for three months. The cattle trampled their bikes. A mountain lion took refuge on our roof top. The rocks slid down the hill.

We moved.

You have happened onto the Great Headless Animal Corpse Mystery, Don. One day, after my cats had brought in one too many headless squirrels, I googled the phenomenon, and it turns out that many, many people wonder why some animals jerk other animals' heads off and then don't eat the, er, rest of the body. The last straw for me was the headless squirrel one of the cats left BESIDE ME ON THE COUCH. I don't think science has solved this mystery yet. After they get the Hicks-Boson particle thingee figured out, maybe.

I think the thumps were the ghost of the headless rabbit.

Karen of Ohio, that's what I think, too. And I can say that, because I didn't originate the welcoming tone here--the Original Flavor Tarts did that, bless 'em.

I did just find this on another blog:

"Maybe the rabbit was attacked by zombie rabbits, hungry for rabbit brains. Maybe the rabbit was a zombie rabbit and decapitation was the only certain means of killing it. Perhaps this was a rare Highlander Hare, lepus immortalus, and it was killed in single combat with another of its kind. I dunno."


Karen and Nancy P . . . God yes on the friendly welcoming thing.

But now I'll have time for my Auntie-Mom book. And the other one I started with WriMo. Maybe I won't comment anymore. Just write.

Karen, that's a terrific insight--readers ignored, but fellow authors noticed. Hmm.

I believe I know the cause of the bumps. Nancy Pickard's comment gave me the idea. I'm speculating that the distance between CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Geneva and your house in California is in exact resonance with the Higgs Bosons being generated there. They can't detect them because they are looking for them in Geneva. The noise is caused by the explosion of micro-miniature black holes. Just don't walk into one. This is possibly an outcome from the practice of including string theory in mystery novels.

Karen and Ramona, some of the guest bloggers did that, too.

Now if you lived in a colder climate like I don in New Hampshire I could explain those thumps. We hear them most evenings in early and late winter. They are the usually the attic joists shifting due expansion and contraction from fast temperature changes. The temps can go from the mid 40s late afternoon down to the teens when the sun sets and the house thumps as it adjusts to the sudden drop. Well, that or ghosts which I chose to believe are friendly.
I will miss this blog with such intensity that I am still living in denial. I will be mourning when all of you are gone from daily life. Where else will I find such a friendly, intelligent, diverse group of folks to visit with every day?

Al, yes, yes, yes. I should've figured that one out myself! Another possibility is Cold Fusion -- is it noise-making? And how do I know if I'm about to walk into the Black Hole and if I do, will I find the missing socks there?

Hank, I too have flies, but mine are fruit flies-- even when there is NO FRUIT ANYWHERE.

Also, yes, Nancy P. it could well be some bunny version of The Highlander: "in the end, there can be only one." Not a raccoon at all, but a fellow bunny immortal taking the head of its rival in battle.

DAMMIT! I posted a great comment earlier but forgot to wait for that DUMBASS CODE thing - now that thing? I will NOT miss.

I have been warning people about raccoons and squirrels for years. They have those little hands and they are plotting to overtake the humans. Don't make eye contact with them. Of COURSE the raccoon put the rabbit there as a warning. Now you are going to have to find Carl the Greenskeeper to blow up half the neighborhood just to chase them out.

As for the noises, no kidding - have an engineer check your house. It could be settling or the foundation/roof timbers/joists could be shifting. It could be dangerous and if you don't catch it early, expensive as hell.

On the other hand, I suspect what they will find is that the Raccoon-Squirrel Coalition of Domination is using your attic as their HQ of Evil. In that case, you must be brave and wait until they are assembled for a meeting - then blow the house up and kill them all. It's the only real solution.

And you wonder why we're upset? As to your house, It really could be the temperature change, if the nights are cold and the days are warm. Reine, if you want to write, great, but don't you dare stop commenting. Now all I can see in my mind are the quidditch players hobbling around. I wish raccoons didn't look cute; they do all kinds of nasty things, and will eat anything. Harley, I will look out for you on Facebook, since I have mastered today's version.

The main reason to keep your dogs away from racoons....rabies! Racoons are carriers and one little scratch...

Last night laying in bed, I could hear a critter running back and forth . . . on my roof? the next door neighbour? It stopped, I went to sleep, the End.

Back in the non-PC '70's when anything mysterious happened, my mom would say the Chinaman did it . . . Salt shaker disappeared (Chinaman). Glass got broken (Chinaman). Washing machine quit (yep, him again).

Now of course, we are all PC and the Chinaman has left the building.

Hmm, so Pam, maybe I shouldn't have chased the raccoon off my deck? If it happens again, I'll at least arm myself with a broom (but I won't be riding that broom).
See how much we need the education provided by this blog?
IOCHFTK (knowledge)

Can't solve the mystery of the headless rabbit but I agree with Karen about the success of TLC. No mystery there. I was a lurker for a long time before I posted. This has been such a welcoming community and something I checked out every day. I will miss it and those who post on a regular basis. Even though I don't always comment I always enjoyed the blog.

Harley do you have an actual Facebook page or is the HJK page created by fans? I know you don't have a link to Facebook on your web site (or didn't the last time I checked). Let us know if that is a sanctioned HJK page.

I will really miss notices of new books by the Tarts and others. It would be nice if a Facebook TLC page could remain in existence with updated information on new books but I realize that might be difficult to maintain.

As for the noise upstairs if it continues you really should check for critters. They will do lots of damage if left to roam. They like to eat things such as wiring which can lead to serious problems.

I'm going to check and see if I can get to my Facebook page via my Kindle. If so, then I don't have to wait for weekends or for visiting people who let me use their computers! On Saturday I did as many Facebook friend "requests" as I could manage while I was on the library's computer. Once again, I thank all the people here who helped me on Saturday!

I'm starting to leak tears again...

Gaylin, my grandmother always said it was the nunnehi. They are the Cherokee "little people" and will help but also play tricks and do minor mischief.

Raccoons are evil. They are the big brains behind the raccoon-possum-squirrel Axis of Evil. (You missed the possums, Kathy, and they're a major component.) They do plan to take over the world. The headless rabbit on your diving board, Harley, was a warning and a threat.

Enough fun and games. I'm playing hookey from writing this scene, which is kicking my butt. Better hold my nose and dive back in.

Harley, we had a headless bird left on our porch this morning. I do know who was responsible: the adored black cat who lives here, but I don't adore him killing birds. Can't he just stick to the rodents?

Lil, I'll be around. You sweetie. Thank you.

Listen, the THUMPS were bowling balls dropped on the floor, not little skittery noises. Not even a raccoon convention, unless dribbling bowling balls was part of the entertainment. That said, it's now clear to me that moving out of the house is a perfectly good solution, but that blowing up the house is the truly heroic solution, if one is interested in saving mankind.

Deb, that is a perfectly good question about FB but I need to call in the professionals to answer it. Anyone? Ramona? I know I have passwords around here somewhere, but God knows where I put them. Maybe Facebook will be my New Year's Resolution.

One of my Blog Sisters must do a New Year's Resolution blog because I need the group energy to come up with mine. Unless we want to start now.

"...other blogs that are as smart as ours, as funny, as poignant"?

Sorry, HJ, not buying that one. TLC is one of a kind.... as are all the friends I've made here!

I'm gonna miss da jernt....:)

I'd like to add armadillos and feral pigs who invade our property at night to the growing list of Axis-of-Evil!

Oh, and the voles who dig up flower bulbs, making tunnels and wreaking havoc in the yard, damn varmints! Nearly broke a leg walking in the yard the other day.

Harley, just request a new password.

Seriously, people, fear of FB is not an acceptable excuse. If you are worried about privacy, don't tell it anything you don't want it to know. I have no personal stuff on mine (birthday, high school, hometown--nada) so unwanted people can't find me.

Don't accept as a Friend anyone you don't know. If you take a chance and/or make a mistake, and they ask for your PIN number, you can unfriend them.

It's easy. You need proof? I CAN DO IT. If I can, you can.

Storyteller Mary, I am convinved that the upstairs neighbor is just plain clumsy. There is NO noise from upstairs when he's not home. I'm clumsy, too, but being a quiet person I am clumsy in a Quiet Way -I spill things. I do it so often at work that whenever anyone else spills something, they exclaim "I 'pulled a Deb!' " I am threatening to charge them for the use of my name. Back to the neighbor: he was kind enough to hose debris from Hurricane Irene off my car a couple of days after the storm. (He was probably afraid to let me near the communal hose.)

Reine, it IS possible for you to talk to us and to write, too. I KNOW you can do it! Now that we are Facebook friends, I am expecting to run across you there! I will respond as often as I can manage to get myself to a "connected" computer. (I have GOT to get my home internet connection up and running again. This typing with thumbs on a teeny Kindle keyboard is so...darn...slow, not mention frustrating.) And I have been enjoying reading your comments on Jungle Red. Don't stop talking!

My New Year's resolution is to stop interrupting people. It's a bad habit, and very rude. I think it comes from emailing and online communication where I can blather on without anybody offering a differing opinion. Just saying.

I am sure going to miss TLC.
Thanks Harley for making it such a fun place to visit.
It has been so great!!

Harley, I forgot to mention earlier that I don't have a Donald Jackson mystery, but I do have a Dave mystery. A few years ago, I reached inside my purse towards the end of the workday and noticed that my cell phone was not in the little pocket where I kept it. I thought maybe it had fallen out somewhere in the office. I decided to call my cell phone from my desk phone, in the hope that I'd hear it ringing off in a corner somewhere. Well, the call was answered by the recording of a man's voice, saying "This is Dave's voicemail. Leave a message,and I'll get back to you as soon as I can." Huh. Interesting and a little alarming. I waited until I was home before I tried again. When I got home, I remembered that when I had gone for a walk the night before I had slipped my cell phone into the pocket of the jacket I wore when I left for my walk. I checked that jacket, and I found the cell phone. But this thing with Dave was puzzling. I picked up my land line and I called my cell phone. I got Dave's voice mail again. It happened a couple more times. I then called the customer service number for my cell phone company, told the representative my story,and that I kept getting the voice mail of a man named Dave. The representative was very sympathetic. Her first response was to say, very slowly: "the voice mail of a man named Dave. Wow. That sounds like the title of a mystery". Then she got to work on my problem. She did some computer "stuff" a few times and would then try calling my cell phone. She kept getting the voice mail of that man named Dave. She had to finally get a technical supervisor to help, and they discovered some sort of switching problem among the equipment that controlled their voicemail system, and they fixed it.

But that was not the first time i had a Dave mystery. Several years earlier,people kept leaving messages on my home answering machine for -- a man named Dave. One of the people who was looking for Dave was his own brother. The brother kept leaving messages along the lines of "if you make a delivery for me tonight I'll pay you a hundred bucks. Cash." There would be sounds of traffic in the background. The calls stopped after a few months. This was in my pre- TLC days. Now I am wondering if that Dave might be related to Me, Margie...

Thanks to everyone who has friended me or let me friend them so far on Facebook. I'm adding more as I find people's names. I'll apologize now for being more of a consumer than a producer of content, though I'm great at commenting on other people's posts. :-)

Deb, on your Kindle, try going to m.facebook.com, not www.facebook.com. This is the mobile website, which has a much simpler interface than the regular one. It's what I use on my smart phone. It doesn't have all the functionality, but it has most of it, and it might work with your ereader.

Doc, your response was just perfect!

Harley, what a wonderful post, as always. Have I told you lately how very much I miss Wollie?

The racoon sounds terrifying, and I'm so glad you kept your dogs safe, but watch out for yourself as well, because up here in New England, racoons acting oddly are nearly always rabid.

The thumps? You'd be amazed how loud air bubbles in the pipes can be.

I once got a phone call at work, with no one on the line. I said "Hello? Hello?' then hung up. When I got home that night, my voice saying "Hello? Hello" was on my answering machine. That gave me a cold chill down my spine. Finally figured out that a friend had called me at work, and thought I wasn't there but I had actually picked up my phone as he was hanging up. He pressed the hang-up button and dialed my home phone, and hung up, so he thought, before my answering machine picked up... except it had actually connected, turning us into a three-way call for a crucial moment. He hung up, leaving me talking to my own answering machine.

Still very sad about this place ending. Please do leave the archives up if you can.

Water hammer. That is what it is called when water pipes are not properly secured or vented.

And yes, it can sound like a big hammer.

Harley, Saturday evening I was at a friend's apartment in Manhattan--we were both just draped over the furniture watching great old black and white movies, when all of a sudden, BLAM! A huge noise that sounded like something very heavy had fallen from high in the bathroom, onto the tub or floor. We jumped up to investigate, and found: nothing. Not a clue. But, in the process of jumping up, I broke a beautiful champagne flute. Sigh. My friend has lived in that building for 20 years, so we knew it wasn't air in the pipes or anything--all those noises are familiar by now.

I'm going to miss TLC a great deal, and reading the comments makes it clear to me that it's not just the Tarts I'll miss . . . not just Holly's fantastic graphics . . . not just Me, Margie, but it is the wonderful comments from William, from Karen in Ohio, from Peach, Ramona, Marie, Al S., Rod, Gaylin in Vancouver, from the Tarts themselves,Rocco, etc., etc., etc., not to mention that TLC has been the genesis for great friendships such as the HMOH group that started two years ago from a TLC post (and now, quite a few of us have met one another).

Not least, I either have to read a LOT more Facebook, or add all of your individual websites to my Reader scan list, or be three places at once at the Festival of Books, in order to keep up with y'all. Otherwise, it's just called stalking . . . and that takes waaaay too much energy.

Sigh. Thanks for the lovely posts. Now: get back to writing. I know I can at least keep track of your new titles as they come out. I hope.

Water hammer sounds like a good possibility. You can test this. Turn on a faucet full blast and then turn it off a quick as you can. You'll hear it if you have the problem. Don't do this too often because you can break the pipe.

I'll add to the pleas to keep the archives up as long as possible.

I second Karen and Laraine's comments on the commenters, with the Tarts they make a fabulous combination.

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