Weekly Update: #AtoZChallenge

Happy Monday!! Hope your day is awesome! Updating for the #AtoZChallenge . Keep up-to-date and more blogs are coming up soon.
How do you like your coffee?



A Letter to My Father’s Murderer



In November, 1994, I was married and about to celebrate my first Christmas with my husband and our new baby. Instead, that year became a flurry of media interviews, police questioning, and a funeral. Every Christmas season, and my life  since, has been influenced by what happened on that date: Monday, 28 November, 1994.
My daddy, John Magoch, was a driver for Wells Fargo. The day was the Monday after Black Friday; the biggest pick up day of the year. He drove to Arrowhead Mall, parked outside of Dillard’s, and that was the last anyone saw him alive.  When his messenger, David Mauss, returned, the van and my father was gone.
What followed over the years was a drama that I would have enjoyed writing, had it not been way too real. It is material with enough twists and turns that it sounds like the plot of any late night crime drama.

The 1994 Wells Fargo Heist  made headlines for months. Today, most people have only a vague recollection and my father’s name is now part of every first year law student’s text book on Criminal Justice cases brought before the United States Supreme Court. Three months after the heist and murder, the arrests were made. These three names that would forever be remembered as creatures (I dare not call them men) who changed my life: Timothy Ring, James Greenham, and William Ferguson.
Timothy Ring was the main shooter. In 2002, he filed a case that went before the United Supreme Court.  Janet Napolitano, who was the Arizona Attorney General, at the time, represented this case herself. In truth, I felt a bit used, since she was just about to start her run for governor. Especially when she did not have time to speak with me, herself, about the case that was about to be presented.

A Letter to My Fathers MurdererWritten in 2000 to Timothy Ring  Letter to my Father’s Murderer



In a 7-2 decision, the USSC decided in favor of  Ring and  Ring v. AZ changed the court system in nine states. Originally, judges, not jurors, decided the final sentencing in Capital Murder cases. Ring v. AZ upheaveled every death penalty case in those nine states and required a jury re-sentencing.  Many of these were high profile cases. Some involved the deaths of children. The guilt I felt over knowing these had a chance of a reduced sentence (thankfully many remained the same) was astounding. Even knowing I had nothing to do with the outcome. The feeling was still there. When I saw the juror sentencing issues with the Jodi Arias trial,two summers ago, all I could do was put my face in my hands and shake my head, knowing Ring v. AZ was the cause of this extra drama.

When Tim Ring’s re-sentencing came up, I was asked my preference. The decision was a choice of going through what resembled a retrial or there was a plea agreement option. The plea agreement would take him off of death row, but would keep him in prison for the rest of his natural life. (Personally, I preferred the original sentencing of death + 99 years, but that’s, obviously, emotionally charged.) By the time I had the chance to speak my piece, I was tired. I was once told by a woman,whose sister’s murderers still sit on death row, that there is a point where you wish they would just disappear into the system and never be heard from again. Because, every time the death penalty debate comes up, these same voices are heard over and over. The victim’s family gets to relive their loved one’s death every–single–time.

I prayed and pondered about the decision. After all of the emotional turmoil and anguish caused by this, what was the best course of action?  My response back was, “As long as you can guarantee he can never be released to hurt anyone else ever again.” The court couldn’t make that exact promise, but they pacified me enough that there would not be a re-sentencing by jury.

No matter which side of the death penalty debate you are on, the most important thing to remember is those who were murdered weren’t just a story. They had real lives and real love. They were not just an ideology.

Sadly, I am one of the fortunate ones. Only because I know what happened. It’s not exactly closure, but there isn’t the constant wonder of who, why, and wondering if “those people” might do it, again. This is the case with another security guard, Jeffrey Bellemare ‘s family and thousands of others with open cases. It is a hell I do not wish on anyone. No matter what happens in life, there is always that small reminder of what could have been. If only….

While the world focuses so much on the lives of those who commit the murders (I admit the psychology behind it is fascinating) the victims are so often forgotten. What I want to see are the stories behind the people whose lives were stolen. These real and beautiful lives that were taken too soon from their families and friends. They aren’t just “the victim”. They were your family, friends, and fellow human beings. While the justice system gives chance after chance to those behind its walls through hearings and parole, those lives lost never got that second chance.

Name Your Price


In Celebration of getting Magic Quill Inc. off the ground, I am offering a Name Your Price special.  If you need help with your blog, web page content, brochures, social media posts, public relations, etc. you can name your price for my services.
This doesn’t mean you can expect to hire me for $5 (although, that would get you a decent status update). All reasonable offers will be considered and accepted.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Hand Knitting For Sale

Today’s Fashion Friday is a Promotion Day. My daughter and I have been knitting for about five years now. Of course, she outdoes me every time and here is the proof.

I could say more about these, but they speak well for themselves.




Slouch Beanie $15

       Hand Knit Bag $25

Want your own?  Leave a message on the Contact page, so you can pre-order. Or, leave a comment here and we’ll let you know when our Etsy store is back up and running. 

Garlic Shrimp Delight

When you are single it’s hard to keep up on cooking. There is always the image of the busy single person eating over a kitchen sink. Now, I do not personally know anyone who eats over a sink (least, not so that they have shared the knowledge of this practice), but I do know people who would prefer take-away or just opening a can of pork n beans.

Last week, I picked up some shrimp, thinking while my children were visiting for the weekend, I would make some scampi.

Here it is, two days after they went back home and I still had shrimp. Scampi required white wine, while I only have red wine. Avocado and shrimp looked delish. Only it is January, not June, so it wasn’t the taste I wanted.

Enter the Garlic Shrimp. Shrimp is something that is made a bigger deal of than it should be. I say this only because it is so easy to make.

It is a matter of minutes. Cook shrimp and let it think about what terrible sin it has committed (1 minute), jostle it around, until it turns pink (1 minute), throw in 6 minced garlic cloves, or the more the merrier (1 minute), add 3 tablespoons of lemon and half a handful of Italian Parsley (note:I have small hands), 1- 1/2 Tablespoons of cold butter, then realize it was supposed to be 1/2 teaspoon. So, add 1/2 teaspoon of butter to the 1 -1/2 Tablespoons (1 minute). Add more butter, because it’s butter. Turn to low (2-3 minutes). Realize low isn’t doing anything. Turn knob to medium-lo. Add leftover mozzarella. Let cook another minute or two. Take out shrimp, then pour everything in the pan on top of shrimp.

Take photos and post to Instagram, so you can brag to everyone about your dinner, because that is what Instagram is for

Bon Apetit.





Stinky Cheese and Other Niblets


Good luck foods. For generations people have had the tradition of eating specialized foods for good luck in the New Year. This includes lentils, black eyed peas, and pork.

Although Hungarian by origin, my family that came into the U.S. was from Poland/Germany (that border moved all over the place in the 19th century) so it only makes sense the every New Year my father’s tradition was herring. Where the limburger cheese and Ritz crackers came from, I don’t know. Maybe that was just the tradition of being from Wisconsin and trying every kind of cheese imaginable.

Limburger cheese, one of the nastiest, yet tastiest of cheeses. It works out well as long as you have no intention of kissing anyone within the next 24 hours and have bought stock in mouth wash. One slice of limburger=one bottle of mouthwash.

Daddy also loved sugar on his tomatoes. Since that time, I have talked to many people who have said their parents or grandparents also liked sugar on their tomatoes. For years, I rebelled against it. Mostly because I wasn’t a fan of tomatoes. When I finally tried it I found out the sugar brings out the juices of the tomato in the most tantalizing manner. It is sweet and like nectar. I never believed I would wish to write a sonnet to a tomato until that moment.
Just as my father taught about the beauty of music, he also taught me about the deliciousness of foods. There was nothing he would not try, at least once. He spoke of a wonderful dinner he was at in which the guests greatly enjoyed their dinner. That was, until the host told them they had been eating opposum.

The only thing my father tried to disguise on my dinner plate was rabbit. Rabbit wasn’t my favorite of meats. Any time the little pieces of meat would show up on my plate, it would be wearing barbecue sauce and a Groucho Marx mustache. Least, it may as well have. It wasn’t rabbit I disliked. It was the barbecue sauce.

My biggest adventure in taste are the basics. Things like raw dough or pickles and ice cream. The latter I tried in the cafeteria in school. If you enjoy the dill flavor, the vanilla ice cream only enhances it and makes it even more crisp.

What foods do you love to prepare that others consider unusual? If you have any recipes for them, I would be happy to give them a try and post about them here.