FOUND: One tombstone. (Part 2)

So a week ago I found a used tombstone in a resale shop and started searching to see who it belonged to and after a lot of research I’ve solved nothing.  Well, not nothing because I now know that this is her and she looks like she’s judging me:

“My *what* is at a thrift shop?”

No response from all the people I’ve contacted through find-a-grave or ancestry or genealogy places or anything else, but I did have a break in the case when I found a funeral home that recently buried someone in the same cemetery a few years ago and so I contacted them (because there isn’t a way to contact the cemetery) and they put me in touch with the caretaker of the cemetery.  But the caretaker didn’t have email so I had to actually call him on the phone but my anxiety disorder makes it incredibly difficult to call people, to the point where if Victor tells me to call and order a pizza I’m like, “No thanks.  I’ll just starved to death instead”.  But now I had to call and ask a stranger about a different dead stranger whose gravestone I found. But I needed an answer so I took a xanax and called and the caretaker was very confused at first and there were a lot of awkward pauses  but then he was very sweet when I explained it properly.  He’s been the caretaker for over 30 years and he wasn’t aware of her tombstone being vandalized or stolen but he said he’d look into the records and see what he could find.  So, closer.  Although now I’m worried that someone will buy the tombstone while we’re waiting to hear back so I’m thinking I should buy it but Victor is glaring at me as I’m typing this because he already thinks I’m a hoarder of weird stuff even before I start bringing home used tombstones.

To be continued…


And now…time for the weekly wrap-up!


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):


This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by StoryWorth Books, which is a pretty awesome Father’s Day gift that you get to enjoy too.  From them: “Give Dad a StoryWorth Book to preserve his stories. Each week, we’ll email him a question about his life – asking him about his favorite memory of his grandparents, or whether he’s ever pulled any great pranks. All he has to do is reply with a story, which is forwarded to you and any other family members you invite. At the end of the year, his stories are bound in a beautiful keepsake book your family will cherish!”  You can check it out here.


108 thoughts on “FOUND: One tombstone. (Part 2)

Read comments below or add one.

  1. If someone tries to kill you while you do this it will make a great Lifetime movie.

    ps, No one is going to try to kill you so don’t worry about that.

  2. I love this blog and I’m 84 yrs old!
    anyway, how are you going to write another book for us to read, if you keep
    up these weird habits (like researching tombstones) that take up all
    your time?
    I love you!
    another animal lover

  3. I have to wonder at the legality of the thrift shop offering a tombstone that may be stolen up for sale. There are laws against grave desecration.

  4. I feel like “made it worse” should be on the back of the other three shirts. Especially the “pretending to be normal” one!

  5. Please read the following, out loud, to Victor:
    Victor, you seem like a really nice guy most of the time. Which is why I’m really confused at your unwillingness to support this totally rational headstone-buying plan. I mean, it’s not like it’s going to mess on your carpets or start to smell or anything. And it’s totally functional: your wife, the writer is getting great stories out of this thing already, and if you own it and it turns out that you get to keep it? Halloween decoration the neighbors will literally never stop talking about! There is NO downside here! Get on board, please.

  6. She does look annoyed, doesn’t she.
    She must have had a premonition that she was going to be featured here over a used headstone and was just marvelously undone by how unproper it all was going to be. Remember, you bring her headstone into the house, you’re kind of inviting her to stop by and visit (and she looks like she will criticize your dusting skills.)

  7. I know how you feel about taking on the responsibility of stuff! I do this all the time! The husband glares & says “leave it!” The same way he yells at the dogs when they would grab a dead squirrel. I say go buy the tombstone! I’ll go halfsies with you!

  8. Thank you for being you, if you need that headstone to be safe and protected, you buy it, so that it will be.

  9. I can almost see the dramatic fade-away. Determined tombstone detective stops at nothing in her quest to unravel the Stoney identity crisis.
    Inspiring to see u break through ppling barriers here, even if I really want a pizza now (which I can order online without talking to ANYONE!)

  10. Regardless of what happens in the end if you buy it YOU will give it the respect it deserves. You don’t know if someone else will buy it for target practice or pour fake blood on it as a Halloween decoration or worse.

  11. Have you tried contacting the police in the town the thrift shop is in? THey might be able to advise you on the legality of this rogue head stone.

  12. Jenny, get that tombstone! What if some weirdo pops into the resale shop and is all like, “Oh cool, a stolen tombstone. I should buy it and put it in my backyard for my dog to bark at, and birds to poop on,”? And then the caretaker will call shudders you back and be like, “Yeah, the family is gonna want that back. If you could go grab it, that’d be greattttt.” But you can’t because the stranger with the dog and the bird poop unknowingly snatched it from beneath your nose. And it will be all Victor’s fault!

  13. I think you should buy it. If Victor objects, you can keep it outside, because it is weatherproof.
    It would be quite a shame to finally track down whether it was purposely missing, and then have them say, “oh! thank goodness! It’s where?” only to find someone bought it for a Halloween decoration.
    If you buy it, and don’t find the person who needs it for her, and Victor says no to Halloween, you can always go find one of those ghost towns and leave it there, in case a restless ghost is willing to use a thrift store tombstone.
    I’m an avid thrifter. If I didn’t have a tombstone I would totally be cool with using that.
    Presuming I was a ghost.
    Which I’m not.
    Pretty sure of that point anyway.

  14. Can you have the store hold it for you…. o.g… LAYAWAY!!+ Putting a tombstone on layaway is poetic. Please do that!- Betty

  15. The plot thickens. Maybe you can turn this into a book–The Quest for The Judge-y Lady’s Tombstone. Kind of Nancy Drew-ish.

  16. I don’t think she’s judging you — she’s judging Victor for not letting you rescue her tombstone. Why, Victor? Why?

    I do have a bone to pick with you, though. You needed to include a warning that there would be Ninja onion cutters at work during the videmeow. 😉

  17. It looks as though that brooch she is wearing could be hair jewelry, which is a thing! The hair of departed loved ones was frequently woven into intricate designs and incorporated into jewelry, or if hair growing was an especial talent, pictures for the wall! You need to know this!

  18. Oh god. I hate talking on the phone too, especially if strangers are involved. I would totally starve before ordering a pizza by any means that requires actual conversation.

    Solidarity, sister!

  19. I love that you are concerned about a possible stolen tombstone. My sister has doggie tombstones as garden art. My father had a pet cemetary behind his animal hospital. After he died, she claimed the tombstones, all of which were well over 50 years old at the time, as part of her inheritance.

  20. Yay! A break! Glad my info helped at least a little. When you’re ready, email me back and we can talk options about how to put it back since there’s a replacement stone and it’s missing it’s tongue and base.

  21. You need to buy it. It would be horrible if you finally find out all this stuff and it was really stolen and now, just when finally its returned to its rightful grave… its sold! If it turns out you never get any farther with it, you need to put it in your backyard somewhere and then everyone that comes by (or when you sell the property) will be really confused and it will be an awesome story!

  22. You are doing exceptional detective work in solving this mystery! Finding a tombstone in a thrift store is beyond bizarre in this day and age, and rather unsettling. I ran across an even more macabre offering in an antique/second hand store in the Freemont neighborhood in Seattle many years ago: they had a turn-of-the-century coffin WITH A REAL WOMAN’S SKELETON in it! At first I thought it was a child’s skeleton but the tag identified it as an adult; she was just over four feet tall. I wondered how on earth her remains had ended up there, who had never claimed her. They were asking $200. It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.

  23. Speaking as someone who has worked for a cemetery, you may not hear an answer. Unless you’re related to the individual, they aren’t legally allowed to discuss mattress pertaining to the grave site or reveal information about the deceased and their family. There are some exceptions, but you need to go through the right channels to make that happen. That being said, letting the caretaker know was the exact right thing to do, just in case the headstone was stolen.

  24. I am officially addicted to this blog! I came to that conclusion yesterday when I realized I was thinking about the damned tombstone! Jenny, if I may quote General Patton, “you magnificent bastard, I’d follow you anywhere”! Thanks for all the smiles, you’re a national treasure! I see a Nobel Prize for weirdness in you’re future!

  25. She looks like one of those photographs you see staring down at you in Cracker Barrel, judging you for having pecan pancakes.

  26. Something similar happened around here a few years ago, whereupon during some kind of renovation, a large stone used as a step to a porch was turned over and found to be a tombstone. After much angst and hand-wringing and much-ado-about-nothing, involving police and investigators and lots of research and harassing-of-the-old-timers , it turned out to have a rather mundane explanation. A monument company made a big, big boo-boo (wait for it…. a grave error! #Boo #Groan #Hiss) when carving a headstone and had to start over. And not wanting to waste a perfectly good piece of cut granite that couldn’t be used otherwise, it was re-purposed as construction material. Perhaps they should have carved the word “Oops!” into it first.

  27. It is so awesome that you found her as quickly as you did and no, I don’t think she’s judging you – she’s judging the person who took her photograph! I think she is happy to be remembered and for your concern about her headstone’s wellbeing.

    Go purchase it – keep it safe – since you have all this documented, you shouldn’t have any legal issues to worry about as you can always give it to the proper authorities – or offer to have it put back on her grave (I can’t believe I just wrote that – cemetaries freak me out) – that way, they will be together.

  28. I think she looks as if she’s thinking, “You have my fucking headstone?” Only to find out that you don’t have it. Really, now she looks like she’s mad at Victor for not letting you rescue her headstone. Jerk.

  29. The lady modeling the THROWS BEARS t-shirt doesn’t look like she’s ever thrown a bear. I expect my throwing bear models to have an air of a bear grappler. Unless she’s a ninja or an undercover serial killer, in which case – well played Zazzle and touché.

  30. Definitely purchase it. Return it to the cemetery if they discover that it DOES belong there. Offer it to the family (SOMEONE has to still be around) if it was replaced by a different stone for whatever reason. And if nobody wants it, absolutely put it in the backyard – make yourself a meditation garden and put the stone in one corner.

  31. p.s. went back and looked at the original post – so it was likely replaced when her husband died, except there’s no date of death which is kind of creepy… maybe her husband is a Vampire and figures NOBODY would look for him there?

    Still think you need to buy the stone though…

  32. I thought you did a shirt that said “Pretending To Be Normal Made It Worse” and now I am disappoint.

  33. oh you definitely have to buy the tombstone either way !1heck im suprised you hadnt already LOL

  34. If the tombstone does turn out to be stolen, the thrift store should not be making money on it, so I’m not sure that Jenny should be buying it, even to preserve it. If someone else buys it in the meantime, the thrift store should have a record of the purchase, so it could still be tracked down.

  35. I’m not sure about the stolen tombstone theory. It’s quite reasonable to assume that the decaying stone was replaced with a modern plaque, and the resulting stone was acquired by the thrift store at an estate sale, yard sale, abandoned storage unit auction, or salvage yard. Did you ask the thrift store how they acquired the stone? When I moved my household years ago, my father hired a junk collector to remove quite a lot of my furniture and dust collectors to my dismay. They later on opened up a thrift store to sell my stuff instead of taking it to the dump. My stuff singlehandedly started a new business.

  36. I think you could buy the tombstone to use as the cover of your next book and write it off as a “business expense”! And I think the woman who’s stone it is would be grateful that someone cared that she was being sold at a thrift store and bought it and she would never haunt you.
    What is it with talking on the phone? I HATE it and yet I have no problem standing up in a room full of people and speaking? To be mean because he thought it was stupid not to be able to call a pizza (my favorite food of all time) in, hubs would say we could have pizza if I would call but if I didn’t, no pizza. I am eternally grateful to the Internet now that I can just order them online (but I live out in a “no delivery zone” so he still has to go get it!!! I also hate leaving the house!)

  37. I had an epiphany when you shared how you avoid calling people. I’ve never thought of myself as an anxious person, but I will avoid calling people (even people I love) for some reason. Listening to phone messages is really hard too for some reason.
    I’m proud of you for calling and for taking such an interest in this weird thrift store item. I don’t think she’s judging you, she probably just had anxiety about getting her photo taken and was angry with someone (herself?) about the whole situation.
    You make my life better. Thanks for being you.

  38. You really are amazing to go through this much to find out about that tombstone. I think I might have thought about it a lot, but certainly not to this extent – you are taking remarkable steps to follow through. (My guess is that when it was broken and replaced, the person who took away the broken one just kept it instead of having it destroyed, and after a while it ended up in a thrift store…)

  39. I hate to be a spoiler here but my grandfather was a tombstone engraver from the early 1900’s thru the 60’s and it was very common for middle class family members to replace old marble tombstones with ‘better’ granite ones. AND, they didn’t want the old ones so he would take them home and turn them over face down and use them for steps or other random crap. When we sold their homestead many years ago the buyers dug them up and sold the marble pieces—so there’s always that possibility…

  40. I’m with Victor on this. By the time you post your next piece, how many tombstones will you have purchase and have delivered? Where will they be in relation to all the taxidermy animals as well as Beyonce?

  41. The DIY for the pigeon shoes (on last week’s wrap-up, sorry I’m late to the party) is not particularly helpful, instructionally-wise, so now I know why you’ve invited us all over to your house. You’re hoping one of us knows the lady who did it, and will bring her with, amirite? 😉

    LOVE Mason’s story. WANT to get a StoryWorth Book, “written” by my Daddy, but he’s 73 and grumpy and alcoholic and a hermit, and I’m afraid I’d have to chide him too often to get the stories written. Anybody done this with an “elder”? With a man who claims to have an expiration date stamped (at birth) on the bottom of his foot, that he has exceeded by 3 years? With a hardcore Marine/retired cop/firefighter/paramedic/ER RN? Yeah, that’s my Daddy… now you know why I want his stories.

  42. I feel like the picture is less about judging you and more resignation. She’s probably thinking, “Of COURSE my no-good, good-for-nothing, so-and-so ancestors sold my headstone. Probably needed money for cheese. I blame their father…”

  43. Thank you for this. I’m having kind of a terrible day. As in, just found out my mother died unexpectedly and I’m all the way across the country from her. This was a nice distraction from trying to figure out ‘bereavement fares’ and family members who already want to go through her stuff and coming to terms with the fact that I don’t have a mother anymore.

    Sorry that I turned into such a bummer there. I’ll show myself out now.

    (I’m so sorry. Sending you so much love. ~ Jenny)

  44. This is just such a wonderful story! I think you should buy it now – someone may really be upset that it’s missing. AND if no one wants it… have an awesome, authentic Hallowe’en decoration. :o)

  45. I know why she looked like that. Think about it: No feminine hygiene products, no birth control pills. They were pregnant and/or nursing until their uterus fell out. Women of that era generally look pissed off in their photos. I don’t blame them a bit. I NEVER would have made the grade.

  46. Instead of “bitchface,” Sahra’s got “Get my Tombsone Back, Bitch” face.

  47. I really want to write a fiction book about this now! I hope the mystery gets solved soon!!!

  48. Hi Jenny! This doesn’t have to do anything with the tombstone (though I am very intrigued by it and excited to know what happens next!). I just wanted to tell you that I graduated from high school yesterday and I’m not sure it could have been done without you. I’ve struggled with severe depression for the last 2-3 years and anxiety (heavy on the social anxiety) all my life. I discovered Furiously Happy during my junior year, when I was re-integrating into school after a semester of homeschooling. It was a lifesaver, as I felt alone in a sea of people who were trying their best to understand but just didn’t, but then I read Furiously Happy and discovered there were in fact people who got it. And not only got it, but tackled it with humor. You inspired to me to keep on fighting for what I wanted despite everything that my brain threw my way. I will always be grateful to you and your books and your blog, because you helped me keep going even when the road was rough. And I just graduated from high school on time and with the rest of my classmates and friends, and I’ll be attending college in the fall.

    So thank you, thank you, thank you Jenny.

    (This made me so happy. Thank you! ~ Jenny)

  49. You came home with a GIANT metal chicken, and Victor didn’t even comment.
    So what’s one slightly used tombstone??
    If I didn’t live too far away I’d go buy it myself and give it to you.

  50. Please buy it! That woman looks so sad I think she deserves her headstone back. Tell Victor to stop staring at you that your a humanitarian and when you accept your Nobel peace prize he’s doesn’t want you saying how he tried to stop you.

  51. She looks tired to me, not judgemental. I would buy the stone, maybe, depending on the price and where in my yard it would fit in. If it doesn’t make sense anywhere, don’t buy it. But I would imagine that you have someplace that it would fit nicely.

  52. I think the Weird Ship sailed with you a while ago, and that’s okay. (read that in Stuart Smalley’s voice. It’s better that way.) Buy the tombstone if you want it (and if you don’t, I want it).

    Of course the lady is judgmental. She’s been tied to the same man her whole life who offered two horses and sack of corn for her hand in marriage. She’s not just judgey, she’s bitter. And probably has hemorrhoids to boot. I’m cutting her some slack.

  53. You should TOTALLY buy the headstone. She is not judging you, she is pleading with you to get it. And she is curious about your taxidermy.

  54. I agree with other comments. Buy the tombstone! At least it’s not three young puppies or kittens. After I watched the video of the older cat with the young kittens, I had an urge to go out and get LOTS of kittens. Not sure if my current cat would approve.

    me far more than you know!

  56. First, I have an issue talking in general unless it’s about nothing or just funny things, even my therapist sometimes gets things in writing because I can’t talk. Talking on the phone is worse and I feel your pain because I’m trying to get a Rape Defense course re-started at the local police station (specifically the one where they dress up in special gear so you can really kick the police officer without hurting them, but to learn the moves properly), and it requires multiple phone calls to the grants officer and each time I think “is this really worth it?” but my therapist wants me to take a self defense course and I don’t want to pay and the local class that is a paid class, the guy strikes me as creepy… so, Ativan and multiple calls….

    Second, you should foster the tombstone, like fostering animals from the shelter. They don’t get adopted while they are being fostered and you can totally give them back at any time, but if you really fall in love, you can adopt. That’s how most of my coworkers at the vet clinic ended up with their large number of pets. Don’t tell Victor that part though when explaining the foster idea… It works better to convince spouses if they think the foster is temporary, then they can have a chance to fall in love or at least get used to it and SURPRISE! WE ADOPTED THE TOMBSTONE!

  57. Jen (at # 47), my heart breaks for you. You will get through this; just take it one minute at a time. Breathe in; breathe out; repeat. I was in your place twenty years ago and I still feel the shock of it at times. Take care, Jen.

  58. You must really be intrigued by this to actually ring and talk to someone. Well done for making the phone call.

  59. They put a new gravestone out at the cemetery for my great-grandmother, and took the old one back to the homestead. So who knows, that may be what happened!

  60. I needed a gravesite number and also found I couldn’t contact anyone directly employed by a cemetery. But I did find that someone with the City Parks Dept seemed to oversee the old burial ground I needed the gravesite number of. This Parks guy was one who’d worked for them for decades, like your guy. There was crazy small-town stuff to navigate in the call, like, yes, there’s a master map; oh, it’s hand drawn and hangs on the wall; no, no one has copies of this map, so no, you (me) can’t have a copy of the map.
    I was able to get the grave plot number from him and the description of how to get to it. What you may get a new appreciation for, was that my guy was also really glad to have someone to talk to that was interested in the site. It was, pardon the reference, his baby.
    He was really kindhearted and lovely. He said if I would like his help, I could call him and he would go with me to make sure I found it. I didn’t mention I’m several thousand miles away.
    Anyway, almost two years later, I called again to talk to him about getting a photo, and the younger guy that answered said the older man wasn’t there anymore, which I finally deduced from the long silences meant- he’s departed this mortal coil -kind of not there anymore.
    But I had enough info of the Walk to the Hilltop and Turn Right variety to have this younger guy drive all the way out there, find the grave, take a cell photo of it and send it to me. Which was pretty darn great of him, too. Nice town.
    -The moral of this story is, when you find the storyteller, be sure you get all the info. Also, you may make his day just by talking to him.

  61. I love her face. To me she looks American Indian, with her strong nose and curve of her eyelids. I’d love to her her stories…
    Also with these old photos the subject had to hold still Forever which would explain her set lips. Fun fact, many people of this era only had one portrait taken of them within their lifetime. Making Duck Lips was far in the future.

  62. Who calls to order a pizza anymore? The best thing that ever happened (for social anxiety) was the invention of online ordering. Besides, I like to see my virtual toppings appear on the pizza so I know the order is right.

  63. Come on, Victor. You know she’s a collector of weird stuff, hence you.
    Buy it ASAP. Do it for us, please. We’re depending on you. Love.

  64. I am so glad I’m not the only one who would starve to death before calling for a take-out pizza! (I will so eat it if someone else makes the call; I’ll even pay for it.)

  65. Buy the tombstone. Otherwise it will bug you forever that maybe someone else took it who didn’t appreciate it as much as you and now it is being used as a stepping stone in the garden or something ridiculous.

  66. Not sure if you saw, but the website for grave markers now says “Note: Original grave marker for Sahra McMinn has been located for sale in a Texas antiques market”

  67. I can’t read a lot of the stone from the picture you posted the other day but I will tell you what I can. That style of arched top stone was used widely, I have seen a number of them here in Canada, usually dating from the 1860s. There was quite an industry in the eastern seaboard that produced such stones and sold them all over the continent- the quality of the carving of the hand is very good and is typical of Vermont and Connecticut producers. I cannot see from the pic but often the cuff of the sleeve will be plain for a man or ruffled for a woman. Hands are often depicted pointing upwards or two hands clasped. Some think clasped hands indicate a couple, others say it indicates the pain of letting go. In the case of your stone the hand is pointing upwards indicating that she’s heaven bound on Judgement Day. The stone would have been ordered, often from a catalogue, and her details added locally. I cannot see for sure what the flowers are, but the flowers would have had a meaning of their own.
    There can be quite a time lag between when someone dies and when their stone is erected, so a later stone does not always mean that the person lived a really long time. Sometimes stones are commissioned to replace wooden markers or earlier stones that have been damaged. Marble stones like the one you saw lose detail over time because marble is a soft stone; winter is hard on it and so is pollution.

    If you are looking for more specific information about your lady there are a number of avenues you could search. You could check the census records. The local parish may have records that can be looked at- she’s been dead a long time so there should be no problem with privacy concerns. Some churches have published their records, these may be available in the local history section of the public library. Local historical societies often have hanging files with newspaper clippings etc. Some of these are available on line, most are not, so it may mean a trip to a nice, quiet library and a chat with the usually very friendly volunteer or librarian that has access to these resources.

    Good luck with your hunt

  68. I think we’re bosom buddies! My mom and dad used to MAKE me order pizza, because they knew I had such a hard time talking to strangers on the phone. I STILL cringe making those kind of calls. (I honestly never knew it was an anxiety disorder thing………I just thought I was weird.)

  69. To Jenny, Marty (#56) and Nancy (#62),

    I appreciate your kindness more than you know. It’s rough, as something like this always is, and I’m not much of a crier. I feel like family are judging me for my lack of tears, but it’s just not my way. Right now, my way is freaking out over the cost to travel (I’d better get a gold-plated plane seat! Spoiler alert: it’s not gold plated), and trying to make sure I don’t forget anything else that’s important in the meantime.

    On a happier note, this post really does help. I imagine my mother would be pissed and would haunt the hell out of anyone who tried to sell her tombstone, whether it was a second hand, replaced tombstone or not.

  70. But…. I NEED answers. This mystery is too great to go unsolved. I am glad you are going to keep digging. Well, maybe “dig” is a bad choice of words in this situation.

  71. She really does have a “really, this is what is happening… really?” look about her!!!

  72. Received confirmation from a cousin that the original headstones were replaced because one had been broken in half. Someone must have salvaged the old stone and it found its way to the thrift shop over the course of time.

  73. For many years, my son has fought anxiety, anger, and episodes of rage. His father and I have tried to teach self-soothing techniques. More recently, he started hitting himself in the legs or pulling his hair during these episodes. He saw a therapist and hated it. He felt awkward and unnatural in a setting talking about himself and feelings he did not understand on his own. Recently, we started listening to Furiously Happy during longer car trips. This brand of humor encouraged my children to name their new dog The President Nox. It also encouraged something more profound. My son listened to you talk about how your mental illness played into your life. How seeking help may not always be easy, but it was best. My stoic, stubborn teenager was wiping tears from his face in an attempt to not be seen. As soon as we got out of the car to our destination, he told me he would be willing to see a psychiatrist but he did not want to see a therapist. His first appointment is in a few weeks. Thank you Jenny for getting through when no one else could!

  74. I, too, have the phone thing. People are so weird about it. They try to tell me that it won’t kill me to make a fucking phone call.
    They might be wrong.

  75. I’ll bet when she sat for that picture, she had no idea it would be viewed by thousands of people on a blog about her headstone. Or maybe she did and that’s why she looks annoyed.

  76. That woman looks scary! I’m not sure I’d want to buy her tombstone it might have some negative energy! Just sayin’ 😉

  77. The stone in the picture is damaged, or broken off, I suspect (and hope) it was replaced by a newer one, and the thrift store got the broken headstone. Love the photo of her, she looks sweet, and weary, and sad.

    I get what you say about telephones, I love getting calls but hate making them. No idea why.

  78. I just finished reading a short story by Tanith Lee about a grave Stone that suddenly appears in a person’s room. If you have time, I recommend it. (Here’s the beginning of the story if you like. It’s from the book Colder Graber Stones. There’s also a story about anot artists monstrous statue that comes to life called the Clockatrice that is surreal and fun)

    A headstone has appeared in my room. It is of a pale slaty shade, and smooth, perhaps marble. There is a certain wet slickness to its surface. Engraved, it carries only two words, a name: Edward Grey. Not mine. Just as a fire would warm the area, so the headstone makes the room very cold – more like an open refrigerator, probably. This is a horrible room, anyway – all I can afford after I lost, sequentially, my job, my home, my wife.

    The ceiling sags and sometimes bits of it sprinkle the worn disgusting carpet like sugar. The bed is both too hard and too soft, in separate pockets. I get backache already and I’ve only been here six months. And I’m only forty-two for God’s sake. The walls are – what is it – whitewashed, I suppose. Down the hall the shared bathroom is somewhere generally to avoid. After all, serving seven to ten people as it does, it’s a public toilet, and like several of those, occasionally full of unsavoury things, such as spent needles. Enough of this description.

    The headstone, incidentally, does not carry the name of any of my enemies – my useless brother, or the man who told me I was redundant. Not even the bloody PM, or the damnable chancellor. Not even my erstwhile so-called bank manager. I don’t know the name. I’ve puzzled over it. No answer.

    Am I freaked out by the headstone? Well, I should be, probably. But there’s been so much rubbish. So much Kafka-esque surreality. I think maybe I merely have weirdness-fatigue.

     So I only accept the stone in the corner. I even greet it, when I come in from a walk round the park, or my visit to the benefits office. When I say greet, perhaps I mean salute. The way you’re meant to with magpies, to avoid disaster. And it sits there, and then I switch on the tiny TV, and it and I watch the news.

    The landlord dropped in today. This doesn’t often happen, but anyhow I think he does it less to catch us out in something – let alone help with anything – than to gloat. Glancing about, he saw the headstone. “Oh, that back then?” he asked. I said nothing. He said, “Thought the previous bloke took it with him. Must’ve,” he informed himself, “hidden it, but then you finds it and lugs it out again.” “It just appeared,” I told him. “That’s what he says,” the landlord said.

  79. I feel like you could turn this adventure into a “Detective Jenny” children’s book. Minus the presumably stolen tombstone because that might give kids nightmares. And probably take out the picture of the deceased woman because I think her eyes are following me. So maybe this is a terrible idea.

  80. I am a researcher and I found her on She is Sahra Kuyendall McMinn 1797 to 1882. She has a new stone placed at her grave along with her husband Robert. They replaced the old one, so they might have just tossed it. I can give you the whole thing if you want it

  81. StoryWorth is an awesome gift. My Ma actually cried when she received the email about it on Mother’s Day. She looks forward to each new email from them with great anticipation.

    FYI, this is not a paid endorsement. Nobody’s giving me nothing. I just think good stuff should be shouted about from the rooftops. And, yes, that’s exactly how I met the nice people from the fire department that one time.

  82. I just wanted to say I discovered your blog back when you I read your “knock, knock, mofo” chicken story (stories). I’ve just ordered both of your books from Amazon to add to my summer reading pile. I’m super bummed I missed your book signing/tour stop in the Barnes & Nobles in Philly. I think you’re kind of weird, but weird in a good way, in a way that seems more normal to me. 🙂 I also think you’re incredibly talented, strong, honest, and funny. I’d love to be friends (does that sound creepy??) but I don’t do internet social media stuffs, so I’ll just enjoy reading your blog and look forward to reading your books! Keep being you! Because you are witty and wonderful.

  83. I have absolutely gone hungry before because I didn’t want to call the pizza guy. My logical brain (and my stomach) knows how strange that is. The rest of my brain doesn’t give a sh*t.

  84. You know at this point, this is begging for a photo of the tombstone standing at your front door, captioned, “Boo, motherfucker.”

  85. I found a tombstone in my backyard. No, it wasn’t marking a grave. The previous owner had put it – engraving side down – under the air conditioner outlet. We found it when we cleaned that area up. But in this case, we only have the bottom half. We have a complete death date, a partial birth date, and an inscription that references a female pronoun. I haven’t been able to find the “owner”, so it is still on my porch. I feel somewhat torn about it, but I can’t figure what else to do. Internet searches by death date for the local area have led me nowhere.

  86. I totally think you need this headstone! Also, I’m terrified of making phone calls to the point that I’d rather starve than order a pizza too. Does anyone in your area use the Grub Hub app? Life got so much easier when I could order from my local family run pizza shop on an app.

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