Friday, May 31, 2024

15 Acres, a cotton gin, and two bodies.

 Two years ago, a beautiful life came to a violent end because she dared to walk away from a toxic relationship. This is the story of the last hours of Adilene Adame.

It was the end of my first year back in school. It was Adilene’s last day. Period. She was a beautiful 27-year-old, full of life. A track star in high school and college, Addy returned home to take the position of high school special education teacher, coach, and cheerleader sponsor. She loved her students and they returned that love. In the heart of her hometown, she was still a super star. Bright, shining.

May 20th was “check out day” for both of our districts. Clean your room, turn in grades, check in tech, teacher appreciation luncheon, go home and start recovery. I crashed that night knowing we were going out to the gin to start clearing 30 years worth of trash and weeds. We had one month to get it ready for the delivery of our container cabins. I whined, I begged, just one hour more of sleep. Instead of getting there at 7, we rolled in at 10. 30 minutes too late, or just right depending on your perspective.

We drove up to the entry and saw an unfamiliar truck parked on our land. We’d only owned it for a couple of months; not long enough to establish our presence in the neighborhood, so the locals still treated it as theirs. I inched the van closer, close enough to see a pair of bare male legs sticking out of the weeds.

“Probably some drunk, I’ll go, you stay here.” Spouse was out before I could say anything. And really, am I the type to “stay here?” Previous day was hot and sunny, 94 for the high. That morning was cold and misty, overcast and nasty. Who would be dressed like that? I was about five seconds behind, cleared the overgrowth, and there they were. They. I didn’t make a sound because I stopped breathing.

Law enforcement pieced her last day together. Some fact, some speculation. The week before, Addy had broken off her engagement after finding out the truth about her fiancĂ©. He was 10 years older than her, had a wife and son back in Mexico, and was still involved in drugs. He was jealous of the time she spent away from him with her coaching duties, and wanted her to quit and stay home to take care of him and any kids they had. Addy hadn’t worked so hard to get a job she loved just to quit. Not for any man. Especially not for him. Needless to say, he didn’t take it well. Her last hours were spent celebrating the kids she loved, many of whom had just graduated. She got home around 11. Her murderer was waiting for her garage door to open. He rushed in. From the damage and amount of blood, the main attack happened throughout the living room and kitchen. There were bullet holes, but no gunshot wounds. She had a gun for self defense, but hadn’t had time to train. Addy fought for her life and lost. Next piece of evidence was our trail cameras recording a truck pulling in at 3 am on the 21st and leaving minutes later. It was too far away to identify the truck or driver.

I don’t know how long I stood there, but I will never forget what I saw. I must have made a noise because my husband whipped around, picked me up, and carried me back to the van. He put me in and told me to go to the gin and call it in. I called the county sheriff directly. It seems they had been looking all morning for what we found, because as soon as I described them, the dispatcher was on the radio calling all units. Two bodies, one male, short stocky Hispanic, on his face wearing shorts, polo, flip flops. One female, face up, short, athletic, long dark hair, shorts and blouse. Barefoot. Then we waited for the sheriff.

He destroyed her. I close my eyes and still see the wounds. All on her left: poke wounds-jabs- on her left thigh and abdomen. 8 inch long gash on her left forearm through the muscle. Slash down through her left eye, opening her cheek. Gash from mid throat to under her ear. Deep puncture just above her collarbone. She had bled out somewhere else. He was face down in a pool of bright red, liquid blood, untouched except for the knife jabbed into the left side of his neck. He had fallen across her arm, outstretched from where he dumped her, and died. Probably 30 minutes before we got there. I think that’s what pissed me off the most. That final act of dominance, intimacy, when she couldn’t refuse.

The common wisdom is that he dumped her, went to his granddad’s house up the road, took a shower, napped, had breakfast with the family, and then went back and committed suicide. I have questions, but around here, it’s best to keep your mouth shut. 

Two years later, I’m still pissed. Every time I drive up or down the driveway, I pass the crime scene. I walk into class, and I have a couple of his nieces and nephews. It took six months before I stopped having a panic attack every time I approached the driveway. When I go to Region 16 training, I sit with her coworkers. Her position is still open. And still, I’m not as affected as Addy. Beautiful, talented, loving. Gone at 27 because she loved the wrong man.

Rest in peace, Adilene.

The 2024 Campaign Patch is here!


Thank you so very much!

 I woke up this morning and realized that sometime during the night my fundraising goal was met. So many people, some who knew me from days gone by and some who only knew me from Wirecutter or other bloggers (please let me know who you are so I can link your blogs), reached out to help. I have always said that this community is special. This is what America used to be. There are still pockets of us, diehard Americans who refuse to quit and refuse to let each other quit. 

This gets me out of the hole and back on solid ground, and I can’t thank you enough for your care and generosity. I’m reminded of a line from Firefly:

Thank you for carrying me.


Thursday, May 30, 2024

Last seen riding West


It’s still teaching the TEKS


Pancho rides again!

 Seeing the pic Wirecutter posted of the Aussie puppy, I had to share my Pancho.

Baby pic:

Feeding him cheeseburgers:

Telling him there are no more cheeseburgers:

Thank you for attending my motivational TED talk


A walk through the gin

 It was called Bruegel Brothers Cotton Gin, founded in 1958, closed in 1992. But it was a bustling hub of cotton commerce back in the day. Some time in the 70s, a grain elevator was added. The pad for the scale house and CAT scales is still at the front of the land by the driveway.

The gin itself looks like they just turned out the lights and walked away. All the equipment is still in place, some of it still has belts. Tweakers stripped most of the wiring they could get to, but almost all of the motors are in place. Let’s do a walkthrough.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

What have I done?

 I just finished my second year as a middle school teacher. Not just middle school, but English. Not just middle school English, but Special Education. I have a Masters degree, but the State of Texas requires certification. I have taken and passed three exams (90 questions plus a 750-word essay), have three left. Then they’ll start my observation in the fall. I’m so tired, God help me.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Geez Louise, I missed you guys!


Damn. It’s been five years?

Hey, yeah, it’s me. WiserAngel. Older, fatter, grayer, tireder. Still snarky.

So, let’s get caught up, shall we? Moved my folks to be closer to us in 2020. Three months later, mom had a stroke. Six months later, she died of cancer, January 16, 2021. We inherited Poppy who had started showing signs of dementia. He was still able to live somewhat alone in a retirement community, but without mom, he started losing ground quickly. We moved him in with us last year, but soon had to place him in a nursing home with memory care services. Wait, I’m missing some stuff. 

Okay, after Sarah’s death, spouse turned over a new leaf. We’re working through stuff and he’s been really great. So far. He had a work injury that required extensive surgery in 2021. He retired and I went back to work as a middle school SpEd teacher at tiny town on the south plains. I just finished my third year and still moderately sane. It was a two-hour drive from Borger, which I did for a year before we decided to move. Sold the giant house in Borger and bought 15 acres with an old abandoned cotton gin.

We moved from 4500 sq ft to an 8x40 shipping container cabin. I’m loving every minute of it. I’ll get more pics up later.

Where was I? Oh yeah, last year, we built a 16x30 cabin for Poppy. We were able to keep him with us for 8 months before we moved him. His nursing home is less than a quarter mile from my school and we eat lunch together every day. He enjoys his new home and has made friends. All of the nurses adore him. This is good, but expensive. He saved for the future, which is good and bad. He covered everything for a while, we applied for Medicaid for nursing home, and we waited. Dad’s money ran out, and we took over. Our money ran out, and Medicaid hadn’t even started reviewing his case. Wirecutter asked you guys to help, and your amazing support kept us going for a couple of months. Still no response from Medicaid. January of this year through April were me hiding my desperation from everyone and taking out 11 payday loans. Last month the house of cards fell. We did get notice that dad got Medicaid going back to January. However, they were penalizing him for giving my brother $32,000 last year. I realized that I had $3900/month in loan payments and a $2700/month paycheck. In desperation, I sold mom and dad’s wedding rings and the rest of her jewelry. I was able to pay off all but two, a $424 a month and $480 a month. I’m down, but not out.

I’m going to start selling pics of my feet on FeetFinder. GingerToes. Don’t laugh, it might work. Keep our fingers (and toes) crossed. And there’s another fundraising attempt. I am mortified by asking. I know everyone has been killed by the last four years. And honestly, I don’t expect anything. I would rather raise money than ask for it.

But hey! It gave me an opportunity to drop in and say hi! We need to do this more often and I can’t wait to show you around the new place. Check back in, I plan to stay around awhile.