KN, p. 187 “On the Road – Get Ready for the Blizzard”



“Blizzard? What blizzard? It’s 70 degrees outside!” That’s Sheila talking as she looks over my shoulder.


I’ll have you know that there has been snow falling in the northwestern part of the USA already. In 2018, the northwest received over 400 inches of the white stuff, with the midwest getting pounded often enough that there were cars and trucks stuck on the roads for a while.

I never think about being prepared to get stuck for hours because I live in one of the most densely populated areas of the country. If traffic stops for any length of time, people have been known to get out of their cars, leave them on the highway and walk to the houses close by. That can cause a LOT of headaches when snow plows come through during the blizzards.


But, it’s not an option to leave the car in the middle of no place during a blizzard when you might be miles away from help. It’s usually warmer inside the car, plus it’s a shelter until help does arrive.


What do you do when you get caught traveling to a vacation spot or a storm moves in more quickly than the weatherman predicted? It is possible to die if help is a long time coming or your car gets buried in snow, so how do you avoid that?


To borrow a phrase from the Boy Scouts, Be Prepared.


If the weatherman isn’t sure about the path of the storm and you need to get somewhere a couple of hours away, follow these tips:


  1. Make sure you have a full gas tank.
  2. Let someone at your destination know your predicted arrival time.
  3. Charge your cell phone.
  4. Travel with snacks and several bottles of water for each passenger.
  5. Toss a couple of blankets in the car, just in case.
  6. Always travel with flashlights, but before the trip, check the battery power.
  7. Keep kitty litter in the trunk, in case you get stuck and need traction to get out of the slick spot.
  8. Buy a short shovel (available in auto supply stores) and leave it in the trunk. (thanks, Sue Harrison)


If the storm hits unexpectedly while you are on the road and you can no longer see to drive (or the roads are hazardous) stop the car and pull over if you can.


  1. Stay inside the car.
  2. Run the motor for ten minutes every hour.
  3. Open the windows just a crack to avoid carbon monoxide buildup inside the car.
  4. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked
  5. Tie a colorful scarf to the door. During a white-out, this will help the road crews find you more quickly.
  6. Make sure to stay hydrated.
  7. Exercise to keep warm – swing arms and legs as much as possible for a few minutes out of every 30.



Be smart about it and travel safely this winter. Better yet – stay off the roads until they are clear.


*Photo by Patti Phillips






KN, p. 229 “The Twelve Days of Christmas”


Many years ago, mom ran behind on organizing our family Christmas preparations. Dad helped whenever he could after his seasonal twelve hour shifts and the kids pitched in when asked to fetch and carry and clean up, but somehow with evening meetings and community outreach volunteering, our own celebrations got away from us. At the last minute, shopping hadn’t been finished, wrapping was far from done, and about the only thing we had nailed down were the cookies, the tree, and the Christmas music in the background.


So Mom invented her own version of the twelve days of Christmas. Mom proposed that we stop going crazy and instead of exchanging all the gifts, big and little, on Christmas Day, we would spread them out over twelve days. After a little grumbling about the break from our normal routine, we kids got on board when we realized that 12 gifts were more than 2 or 3.


The rules: We all had to contribute the ideas and some of the presents. We had to be creative about the gifts, since we didn’t have any more cash than usual. We also had to decide as a group what the theme would be for each of the twelve days.


Mom and Dad and three children working in unison, with varying levels of skills and commitment, could have meant chaos, but Mom kept us on track with the word, “Twelve.” That’s all she had to say. Lolol So many secrets, so many mini-projects, such a busy house, but instead of crammed into three days beforehand, with everyone scattering to friends’ houses during the evenings after Christmas Day, we had a blast. Our friends joined us some nights. Dad’s hours slowed down to a normal 9 to 5 and Mom had the whole week off from her day job. Take a look at some of what we gave. Not always individual presents, and a few were gifts from one of us for the whole group.


  1. Cookie Day: A batch of cookies, split five ways – and hot chocolate came with the cookies.
  2. Book Day: A book for each person, already purchased by Mom – each of us read the first page to the family.
  3. Drawings Day: My brother created drawings for each person.
  4. Photo Day: I picked out a photo of each person and placed it on a handmade ornament for the tree.
  5. Poetry Day: Each of us had to write a poem and share it.
  6. Joke Day: We made up jokes – mostly knock-knock jokes – and shared. Silly fun.
  7. What I Like About You: One thing about each family member was shared by each of us.
  8. Favor Day: A bowl contained papers telling something we each needed help with (yard work, trading chores, etc) We chose from it to see what favor we would do.
  9. Game Day: Dad had this one covered beforehand and we played the games he had picked up for us.
  10. Performance Day: My brother told a scary ghost story, Sis and I sang an off-key duet, Mom played the piano, and dad played the kazoo.
  11. Present for Mom: We cleaned our rooms. Even the closets.
  12. Present for Dad: We helped him straighten up and sweep the garage.


If you’re keeping track, no, we didn’t receive twelve wrapped gifts, but that Christmas stands out in my memory bank. Could it be replicated in this day of internet and streaming technology? Maybe not all of it, but the basic concept still works.


Give the gifts of time and love for each other.  🙂


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!


KN, p. 153 “Where are the bodies buried?”


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I was thumbing through the Kerrian’s Notebook file cabinet, checking for the articles written about bodies – where and how to hide them and various problems with methods used on TV and in the movies. I was a Homicide Detective for a good many years and saw my share of cases that made my jaw drop. I can’t go into detail about my own cases, but the links to real world cases within the Kerrian’s Notebook articles are authentic. Stranger than fiction? Perhaps. But then, criminals often defy logic.


Take a look at ten of the most frequently read posts about how people wind up dead, and where some criminals attempt to hide the bodies. (Click on the titles)


100 ways to die an unnatural death”  


Death by Elevator”   


50 more ways to die an unnatural death”   


Cemetery at the Golf Course


Underwater Evidence and Body Recovery: Lakes and Bodies of Water


Is that a body in the rug?


Crime Scene at the Beach”  


What does a Texas Ranger do?”  


Is that a body under the deck?” 


Murder in the Cathedral”  



Keep checking back at Kerrian’s Notebook for more places to hide the bodies – you know there will be more. 😉




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