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She Wasn’t Prepared For The Scribblings Inside Her Husband’s Journal

Grab your phone and overnight bag Claire screamed into her daughters room, as she frantically starting packing her toddler son’s things. It was nearing midnight and they had been sound asleep, but Claire needed to get herself and the kids out of the house quickly.

Claire had found something of her husbands that truly shook her to the core. Well, found isn’t exactly the right word. Claire had known about Steve’s journal for a long time. Olive green, the canvas cover raw at the edges and the odd lock that kept Steve’s ramblings private.

When Steve and Claire first met, the journal had added to Steve’s charm. A hipster-like throwback style that meshed well with his thick rimmed black glasses and affinity for jazz music. She found it quite endearing, even though he kept an unusually close eye on it and it seemed to always be with him.

Claire had inquired many times about the contents of the journal, but was always given a vague answer such as “just random thoughts, nothing important” and then the subject was always quickly changed. If she tried to swerve the conversation back to the journal she usually received a curt dismissal along with Steve leaving the room in a huff, thereby ruining the day or night. So she had quickly learned to avoid the topic.

Mysterious journal aside, Steve and Claire got along quite well and settled down into a nice dating routine. They both enjoyed quiet nights at home cooking, walking around the lake, and old classic movies. Eventually they moved in together and the transition was pretty smooth.

Claire found living with Steve to be pretty easy, but Steve had some frustrations about Claire’s disorganization. Steve was very neat, everything was organized and in it’s right place. He remembered everything – anniversaries, first time they said I love you, favorite restaurants, etc. Claire use to tease that if you looked up Type A in the dictionary, you would see Steve’s face perfectly aligned next to the word. Sometimes she would complain to her friends about Steve’s rigid neatness, but they showed no sympathy. “You are complaining about your husband cleaning too much,” they would say with disbelief.

Despite Claire’s books not always being put away and sometimes putting the toilet paper on “over” instead of “under” (apparently under looks tidier), Steve did propose. It was a beautiful proposal – lakeside, hidden photographer, star-gazing canoe ride after with champagne – everything planned perfectly.

They were about 3 weeks out from their wedding date when Claire and Steve hosted Steve’s parents for dinner. Everyone was having fun laughing, eating and drinking. Steve’s parents were strict, but they also knew how to let loose when appropriate. They were proud of the life their son had made for himself. He had a good job as an accountant, we had a nice home, he was getting married and we had made plans for kids in the future. These were the steps for a successful life his father often proclaimed.

Claire admits that she probably should have switched to beer after her first martini, but when spirits are high that energy sometimes impairs her judgement. She was feeling high and loose and maybe a little mischievous when that damn ratty journal caught her eye. The third wheel she sometimes called it — as it was always around, pulling some of the attention.

Steve was engrossed in a conversation with his parents, when Claire sauntered over to the journal and started to crack it open. She was opening it to the middle and could see neatly written dates when suddenly the cover slammed down on her hand with force.

She looked up at Steve who had a fiery scorn in his eyes like she had never seen. “We talked about this” he said through gritted teeth “my journal is private.” “I know” Claire winced, “but I figured since we are getting married, we will be sharing everything.” “Not know, not ever” he growled, the fiery look in his eyes became even more intense.

The next day is when Claire noticed the odd looking lock had been adhered to the journal. “Well, damn”, she thought, “I guess that’s for the best, If I can’t be access it then maybe I won’t ruminate on it.” Life moved on and they were happy. Marriage followed by a daughter and a son. All that was missing was the white picket fence.

Steve had received a promotion and it required a little more travel to visit clients. Claire didn’t mind, it was actually a little more fun when Steve wasn’t around. Everything seemed so sterile and routine with him there, like they were following a charted path. Sometimes Claire longed for spontaneity and would binge on shows that showed women leading wild or quirky lives. 

On his last business trip, the last one where he would be a happily married man, Steve FORGOT his precious journal. This was huge for Steve and he almost flew back home the moment he realized it. He was only a 90 minute flight away, but he had a very important meeting in the morning. He was torn and the worry was consuming him. The only reassurance he had is that Claire didn’t know that he had left the journal and he had installed a lock on it. He needed to attend this meeting because if he secured this client for his accounting firm, he was guaranteed another promotion… and a promotion was in the plans.

Claire was at home tucking the kids in, oblivious to the anxiety that was causing her husband to lay awake in a hotel room, rigid with fear and anticipation. There is no way she could get the lock off he kept reminding himself. It will be fine, he repeated to himself incessantly. 

Claire curled up on the couch with a hard seltzer and turned on Desperate Housewives. “Basic b*tch” she always thought when she observed her surroundings. “Routines aren’t so bad though “, she thought as we started in on her “husband away” routine. Which always started with hard seltzer and a show and ended with a usually unfruitful search for a forgotten journal.

But not this time…

There is was. There it is. Claire couldn’t believe it. He forgot it. Does he know he forgot it. Claire ran her fingers over the cover. 

The lock had a keypad on it and held the pages tightly shut. Knowing Steve, the code would not be random. Claire leaned back in the bedroom recliner and closed her eyes – think, think, think – what would a systematic man like Steve make as his passcode? Claire decided on their wedding anniversary – month, day, year. The lock buzzed – incorrect. This is silly Claire thought, I should give Steve his privacy. Claire lay down and tried to forget about the journal.

Meanwhile Steve has broken into a cold sweat. The lock he installed on the journal after Claire had brazenly attempted to read his inner thoughts was a smart lock. His phone had buzzed to alert him of a failed attempt to open it. He thought of ringing Claire, but then she would know it’s a smart lock and be all the more intrigued and their was no way to guaranteed she wouldn’t make another attempt. He started looking at the soonest flights home.

Claire had been laying down for ten minutes trying in vain to sleep when it came to her. Steve took birthdays very seriously, always a big celebration, maybe the code was the birth month of her, their son, and their daughter. Worth a try she thought, if not, I will take a melatonin and fall asleep. 04-07-11 she typed in, click, the lock slid open….

Claire was filled with all kinds of emotions – anticipation, fear, excitement. She opened the first page, Steve’s full name, vitals at birth, and then in bold: MY LIFE, ACCORDING TO ME.

Ok, Claire thought, just a regular journal. Steve’s thoughts and life memories as he remembers them.

Claire started flipping through the pages, plans for his job (came true), dreams on where his first apartment would be (came true), dates on when he hoped to be promoted – very through, very precise, very boring.

Claire kept flipping until she saw her name along with facts. Height, weight, political associations, high school she attended, sports played, family tree. Kind of weird she thought and then she noticed the date — These were posted 3 weeks before they even met. They were set up by a friend. He did a thorough background check on her and knew tons about her before they even went on the first date. She was creeped out.

Everything from that page forward were notes of how their life would play out according to Steve’s ultimate plan. Most of the notes were written weeks or years before the life event happened and most happened exactly how he wanted them too. Daughter was named what Steve had picked out for her 3 years before she was born — he insisted on that name and said it was his great grandmothers and very important.

Claire had thought she had choices, that life was coming at her spontaneously. She was finding out that it was all meticulously planned.

So far nothing criminal though, so besides feeling violated and somehow that her life was a sham, Claire could not go to the police. But when she got to the page with her kids’ careers picked out, she knew she had to end her marriage. She wanted them to have choices.

She was up to the current date in readings and quickly flipped the pages to make sure she didn’t miss anything. That’s when she say the sloppier handwriting towards the back of the notebook. The neatness of Steve’s writing seemed to really derail and it looked like he was pressing hard with a pen.

What If statements lined the page.

What if Claire divorces you…

What if Claire cheats on you..

What if Claire opens your journal and reads it…

Both divorce and cheating ended in Claire being slowly poisoned in a very thought out way. Steve didn’t mind the title of widower. He noted that it wasn’t in the ultimate “plans”, but the sympathy he received from others might not be so bad.

After what if Claire finds the journal, it was noted that he would be alerted due to the smart lock (sh*t Claire thought – so like Steve to note that too, everything noted) and would end in a house fire that Claire sadly doesn’t make it out of. Claire panicked, it had been 2 hours since she first opened the journal. Steve could easily be on a flight home. That’s when she started throwing things into a bag and told her children to do the same.

Claire and her kids made it out of the house and into hiding. She alerted the police, but since no crime had been committed, the police did not go out to the house until after Steve had arrived home. Claire’s big mistake? Leaving the journal in their bedroom as she raced frantically to get out of the house and somewhere safe. 

No physical crime committed, and his word against hers puts Claire in a very tricky spot. She is currently in hiding and there is a warrant for her arrest since she has technically “kidnapped her children”. 

Claire often wonders if she should have looked at the journal at all. She wasn’t super happy with her life, but she was blissfully unaware of the strings that were pulling it. Now she constantly thinks about how every move she made in the past was not done with free-will, but with carefully orchestrated manipulation.

What do you think? Would you have read Steve’s journal? Would you care if your life was orchestrated this way (Claire notes that her life was mundane, but not really bad). Would you have ran?

Claire will remind in hiding with her children for now – she has created her own form of witness protection and is currently safe. This story was written from Claire’s perspective. She agreed to a private phone call. All bits about what Steve was doing when not with Claire have been pieced together the best she could. Claire shared this story to bring awareness to the manipulation that can happen in relationships. 

*Names and locations have been changed to protect the family



Daughter Overwhelms Parents Restaurant With Customers By Posting On TikTok

Renee Yates



A seven-second video posted on TikTok by Jennifer Le has saved her parents’ Vietnamese pho restaurant from going out of business. In the video, Le showed the empty restaurant and her dad looking sad at the register. She then asked for social media’s help to keep the restaurant in business. The restaurant is in California and was doing ok before the pandemic, but has since had trouble getting customers to dine in.

The video went viral, and within hours, it had garnered millions of views and shares. People all over the world were touched by Le’s message and began sharing the video on their social media accounts. The response was overwhelming, with people expressing their support for the restaurant and their willingness to help.

As a result of the video, the restaurant was flooded with customers, many of whom had never heard of the place before. The increased business allowed Le’s parents to keep the restaurant open and the phones are ringing off the hook. The family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and expressed their gratitude to everyone who had shared the video and visited the restaurant.

Le’s video is a perfect example of the power of social media to effect change. In just seven seconds, she was able to capture the attention of millions of people and inspire them to take action. The video also highlights the struggles faced by small businesses during the pandemic and the importance of community support in keeping these businesses afloat.

Le’s video has since become a source of inspiration for many people who are struggling with similar issues. It serves as a reminder that even the smallest actions can have a significant impact, and that we all have the power to make a difference in our communities.

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Massive Sandcastle Built by Auckland Brothers Impresses Scores of Beachgoers

Kevin Wells



When you have run out of Christmas ideas, nothing beats going to the beach and letting your creative juices flow. That’s what two brothers in New Zealand did this past Boxing Day and ended up with an amazing and eye-catching sandcastle.

After building a massive sandcastle on Boxing Day, two Auckland boys gained praise from other people around Mt Maunganui’s beach area that day.

Jared and Paul Brandon spent 10 hours that day building a two-meter-high sandcastle, beginning with a sketch of the structure “on a piece of A4 paper” and beginning at high tide. The pair plans to turn this into a Boxing Day ritual.

On Christmas Eve, the brothers started strategizing on how to top last year’s one-meter-high tower on Boxing Day 2021.

Because Jared and Paul are “very competitive,” they wanted to outdo their performance from the previous year. Before beginning their construction, the two searched online for sandcastle designs after visiting Bunnings to get tools, buckets, as well as a footrest.

Both residents and visitors have expressed admiration and astonishment at the beautiful creation.

Jared chuckles, “A guy is assessing how tall it is currently with his beach umbrella.

Jared informed the media, “This one is 2 meters, so we needed a few footstools to climb up tall enough and also used a builder’s level so it didn’t topple over.

The 150-liter pail was the biggest we were able to use, and the traditional household bucket was a fairly small one. We purchased them both from Bunnings.

Paul explains, “There are a few techniques, such as two portions of water to one portion of sand.”

Then came the spatulas to shape the windows, then toothpicks for creating the roof piles, as well as the straws for blowing off the “extra sand.”

The previous night, the two worked on it until 8 p.m., and unlike last year, it is still standing.

“Time went by incredibly quickly; it seemed like we were only at the beach for five hours, instead of ten.” “Paul spoke to the press.

He claims that while working for a California hotel plus learning how to construct sandcastles as a kid-friendly activity, he acquired the skill there about eight years ago.

“Now that he’s used that knowledge and developed it, he taught me. Therefore, for the previous four to five years, whenever we had the time, we would construct a sandcastle once a year ” says Jared.

The two, who are both camera operators, intend to go much further next year and are hoping to enlist the aid of a larger family.

We will attempt to teach my sister as well as my brother-in-law to assist us as they appear interested this year. “We are striving to dredge up more relatives to get involved in creating a village in 2023.”

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Man Finds $47,000 Historic Ring

Renee Yates



England is very much metal detector country. The land outside the big cities is stuffed full of artifacts and leftovers from ancient times, ranging from before the Romans’ arrival to the Middle Ages and more. So, it’s not surprising, with the blessing of local farmers, that many a fellow with a metal detector is out there spending a Saturday or Sunday scanning through a fallow farm field to see what might be found. As it turned out, David Board was one of those hunters, and he just happened to come across a very small gold ring in one of his ventures.

Located outside of Dorset, Board was busy scanning a pasture field and had been doing so for hours. The sun was late in the sky, and Board was about to wrap up when his machine pinged a definite metallic substance under the soil he was waving the sensor over. Sure enough, pinpointing the location and then digging specifically into that spot, Board unearthed a very small gold ring.

It was in the farm soil, the ground typically tilled for planting, but this particular field had been used for cattle instead. So, five inches underground, the ring remained until Board found it and pulled it back into the daylight. At first, he chalked up the discovery to just another piece of metal from old times, he cleared off the dirt, pocketed the ring and kept going. Then, at the end of the day, Board went home and washed off his finds in the sink. It was only then that he realized what that ring actually was.

While the method of metal detecting in England gives archaeologists utter heart attacks every time they hear a similar story, the finds are generally split between the metal detector and the farm owner, unless the farm owner just waives off the matter and lets the hunters keep whatever they find. Whichever the case in this instance, the ring was no small trinket. It turned out to be an exceedingly well-crafted and rare gold wedding ring from the Medieval period and in very good condition. To be auctioned off later this year, the find is expected to net between 30,000 to 47,000 British Pounds.

The only surprise to anyone hearing the story in England these days is why the local farmers still allow detectors to scan their fields without any stake in the finds.

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Gold Miners Dig Up a Lot More than Ancient Gold

Kevin Wells



Gold miners are used to finding all sorts of things from ancient times. It’s not uncommon to find relics of prior miners, old habitats, animal remains and even dinosaur fossils as they dig deep into the earth or excavate large areas. However, it’s not an everyday occurrence to find a practically intact mummy of a baby mammoth.

Based on the estimates possible on first evaluation of the mummified baby mammoth found on June 21 by operations at the Klondike gold deposit, way up in the northern part of Canada, miners discovered a baby female mammoth assumed to be probably 30,000 years old. An occasional dinosaur or mammoth bone is uncommon but a regular occurrence. However, finding a complete set of remains of a baby mammoth is extremely rare and a big news in the world of paleontology and biology. Even better, the specimen is practically complete. Most times the remains have been tampered with by other animals or hunting and scavenging. Then nature moves things around even further and separates parts. In this case, however, the baby mammoth was complete, intact and well-preserved.

Named Nun cho ga but the local tribes, the find essentially means big baby animal, no surprise. All the skin and hair is intact, which makes the find extremely valuable in terms of understanding exactly how junvenile mammoths looked and probably behaved mechanically as well as physically. In terms of scientific information, the find is huge. It’s similar to finding an entire painting by a famous artist versus just having a brush he or she might have used.

Locked away in permafrost for centuries, the baby mammoth was literally preserved in the earth’s freezer, untouched by bacteria or the elements for an amazing amount of time. Scientists evaluating the specimen guess that the juvenile likely passed away earlier, maybe from sickness, as its pack was moving since there were no predatory marks on it or scattering of remains. Or, also likely, the animal may have gotten stuck in a deep mud pit or quicksand and was quickly buried, protecting it from rot or degradation.

The last time anyone found a North American baby mammoth in good condition was in 1948, some 70 plus years ago. That one was named Effie, and was located inside a gold mine in Alaska. Additionally, another more recent find was in 2007 in Siberia. That find was estimated to be much older, at 42,000 years of age. It was comparative to the same size as Nun cho ga, which means the two together will provide some interesting comparative notes and years of study going forward. It’s enough to make a dinosaur scientist get giggly.

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Pennsylvania Nurses Get a COVID Booster for Student Loan Debt

Shannon Jackson



Becoming a nurse is no easy day in the park. Aside from all the clinical hours required and bookwork in classes, a candidate still has to pass their state license exams as well as figure out how to pay for the education costs. It’s quite common for a graduating nurse, whether an LN or RN, to have thousands of dollars in student loan debt. That was already a significant barrier to recruitment before COVID-19 arrived. Things only got worse as experienced nurses left the field in droves after the pandemic’s burnout.

However, Pennsylvania is hitting the problem head on. The state decided that it was going to provide a pot totaling $55 million to help reduce or eliminate student loan debt for eligible nurses. Funded by a combination of state dollars matched to federal American Rescue Plan funds for overall economic stimulus, Pennsylvania directed its internal share to help boost nursing in-state again as well as keep nurses in their careers with financial stability.

Essentially, any nurse who worked during the pandemic, was licensed by the state, and cared for COVID-19 patients will be eligible to get a $7,500 payment for student loan relief. The funds are one-time, non-recurring, but they still represent a huge wave of debt relief for affected nurses. 24,000 plus nurses responded with applications before the deadline ended, which has exceeded the estimated fund allocation available, no surprise. To deal with this surge in eligibility, the state administrators will split the funds on a prorata basis between the impacted state areas and regions, based on the number of nurses who applied. Then, within each regional pot, nurses will be selected by random on who will get the one-time payment.

Those who are selected won’t see the funds themselves. To ensure the payment is used correctly, the money goes directly to the student loan servicer provided by that nurse in their application. The first recipients will see their student loans lowered this month, in August 2022. To help deal with the demand, an additional $15 million in federal dollars was redirected to the fund as well. The allocation for an awardee is $2,500 each year for three years. This allows an easier outflow of funds versus a demand surge all at once. Which will be a considerable amount of accounting work on the state side.

The hope is that with the eventual success of the program expected in nurse retention, the same model can be used again to bolster sagging industries seeing a brain drain in Pennsylvania, as well as stabilize people being crushed by student loan debt.

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