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What would you do with...

What would you do with 125 Gillette Sensor razor blades? We put them away to use for 2 years in Africa! Mike just called me from Costco to find out how many blades I use per week. Crickets... I don't know, less than one. Crickets... I'm thinking, I'm thinking... One every other week? I really have no idea and I wasn't prepared to answer that question. When I asked him to buy razors in bulk because he was at Costco, I was only thinking of one box for the near future. At least they don't really spoil, so if we have some leftover when we get back home we can keep using them.

But it's exciting! This is our first major grocery purchase to put away for a rainy (African) day. Every few days something happens that makes the move seem more real and more imminent. We brought the 4Runner home today and then Mike bought the razors. I guess the preparations are becoming more concrete and much less abstract than reading bullet points on a website.

The last two days I've been at a seminar sponsored by Mike's employer on safety and security overseas. After two days' worth of lectures that induced various degrees of boredom, I'm confident that... maybe I should stay home.

No, I'm kidding! I'm still excited to go. But I can't help feeling extra-aware and maybe a little paranoid. Anything that could harm you at home seems even more dangerous and scary in a foreign country. We learned about random street crime, carjackings, hostage crises, sexual assault, kids drowning in swimming pools (because apparently no swimming pool outside the U.S. has a fence around it), espionage, surveillance, natural disasters, bombings, and chemical and biological attacks. Basically, Americans overseas are targets, especially for spies and hostage-takers. So if we see someone coming toward us with either a camera or a gun, we should run in a different direction.


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I'm walking down the hallway toward my door. I nod "Hello" in a neighborly way to a man also walking down the hall. I enter my apartment (having had my key ready since I first got into the elevator because women are conditioned from an early age not to be fumbling for their keys in an area where the distraction of doing so might make them vulnerable to an attack) and close the door. I put my hand on the deadbolt but I don't turn it right away.

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Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

After you've read something, please consider leaving a line or two on Goodreads and Amazon. The authors appreciate it!

Here's my review as it appears on Goodreads.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book in the beginning. I grew up in an old haunted house in New England, yet I'm always a skeptic. (99% of supernatural activity ends up being the wind or a cat — and cats are creepy as hell.) I liked reading the stories behind the stories, whether they debunked the legends or gave credence to them. I’ve always been interested in history and nonfiction and ghost stories are the old “fake news.” Entertaining but you shouldn’t necessarily take them at face value. As the book went on, I found the stories themselves no less interesting but the format became tedious.

A couple of the stories really stood out to me. There are many cases of ghost stories being used to control a narrative that makes people feel sa…