The "Dishing with Donna" Show is Atlanta's Only Celebrity Food, Wine and Restaurant Radio Program. Listen every Saturday @ 4:00pm on WGKA Talk 920am to hear Donna entertain listeners with celebrity interviews such as Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, or Ted Allen - as well as the exclusive inside scoop into Atlanta's very own restaurant scene.

Listen "Live" Every Saturday at 4:00pm on WGKA 920am

Email Donna Directly @

God Bless Each and Every One of You!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cooking With Energy!

Last Saturday,  I had a fantastic show.  It was upbeat, enjoyable, entertaining, and full of energy!   SCANA Energy, that is. 
My guests included local celebrities Ginny McCormack and Sam Huff -- 2 of the NICEST people you will ever meet in the culinary industry.  I am so happy I can now say that I know them personally.  Both Ginny and Sam are Marietta locals who were invited to showcase their talents at the Taste of Marietta on the Cooking Stage with all day long cooking demonstrations.  -- Scana Energy Cooking Stage, actually.

Along with Johnnie Gabriel  (a long time friend of "Dishing With Donna" and cousin of Paula Deen), all the action was taking place at our cooking stage!  I was honored to be the host/emcee and the entire event was a knockout success.

Both Sam and Ginny came on to the DwD Show the day before and Atlanta was able to see why they were specifically asked to take part in the Taste of Marietta.   With Sam's profound knowledge and Ginny's magnetic charisma . . . this radio show could have lasted for hours and hours.


Sam Huff and his restaurant, BBQ-1in Marietta, has been voted by Zagat Awards as the #2 BEST BARBECUE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!   --- Uh,  yeah.  Can you believe that?!?!?!  Every foodie in the south needs to come and meet Sam at his restaurant.  But that's not all folks ... he has also mastered many other culinary accomplishments as well.  As Sam likes to say,  "Men cook on grills.  Women cook in pots".   :-)   True to his statement, Sam demonstrated delicious mouthwatering grilling demonstrations such as, Scallops Wrapped in Brisket - Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels - Chargrilled Duck Breasts - and even Lamb Satay Shish-Kabobs.
MMmmmm,  I'm starting to salivate just thinking about it.  Don't even get me started on his 12 hour long cooking class, which he named 'College of Pig Knowledge' ... or more tenderly referred to as PORK U!   - I even got the apron.

Ginny McCormack is easily relatable to Martha Stewart ... except far more beautiful and charismatic and likeable and charming and outgoing and graceful.  (I could use many other words here.)  She is the kind of woman who can steal your heart.  (and your tastebuds!)  Author of the sophisticated "Sundays in the South" cookbook,  Ginny invites you into her world of culinary expertise, home decor, family, past times, and personal spirit.  Every page is inspired by a quote and something personally touching.  Included in this gorgeous cookbook are pictures of her 4 children, her home, her travels, tips, techniques, and it's all categorized by a themed Sunday Family Dinner.  I can't rave enough about it!   If you love food, family, and the traditional South .... then you need to make a mental note to go buy this book.  I highly recommend it.
Ginny is also a cooking instructor and speaker, editor of the online magazine - Food Lover, a regular on Family Net tv, and she just launched her new website:   
God is definitely blessing Ginny, and it's wonderful to see blessings happening to those who bless others.  - Open your heart, and your stomach  ;-)   to learning more about this inspirational woman today.

Hopefully I can have both of these talented people back on the Dishing With Donna Show in the near future.    July 4th is just around the corner!!  Sam ... I'm coming to get ya!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Food Surrounded by Art. - ARTISAN.

I love restaurants that are off the beaten path.   Little hidden gems of the culinary scene!  One of my recent discoveries should be equated to that of a National Geographic discovery!   I cannot believe that this restaurant is tucked away and nestled right down the street from my house ... and I've never experienced its charm or its fabulous location!   I feel like I have stumbled upon a great discovery and now I want to share it with the world!    -- Yes,  it's THAT good!
This fabulous eatery is nearly hidden amongst the ecclectic art galleries of old Historic Roswell, off Canton Street.   It is called ARTISAN Foods and Bakery.  Opened for breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- this creative little artsy hot spot has captured my heart.   - - And my appetite!  Their over-sized generous servings of delicious baked treats is enough to have you coming back for seconds ... but then you have their full service menu dishes with meals that will have your taste buds dancing!
    As I mentioned,  ARTISAN is beautifully located between several art galleries and ecclectic shops.  It blends in so effortlessly that you could very easily miss it all together unless you are 'in the know'.   Perhaps only the locals could tell you where to find it,  like a hidden treasure,  -- but then again,  Southern Living Magazine did just feature Artisan Foods and Bakery in a recent issue to be devoured by all!

I'm sure that as the lazy days of summer arrive,  you can come find me soaking in the ambience and atmosphere of Artisan in Roswell.   I'll be the one sitting on the patio -  gazing at the art galleries, watching the passerby's, indulging in my new favorite dish - the Pear & Proscuitto salad, inhaling their intoxicating bakery aromas, and soaking in the gorgeous scenery.   Yep!!  Sounds so good,  I think I'll just stop typing right here and go visit my new favorite local spot.  I don't think my tummy can even handle the wait!

Treat yourself to a fabulous 50% OFF gift certificate from my dining program right now.  I will be shocked if you tell me your experience was anything less than awesome.   Ask for the owner, Hoyt.   He is always ready to greet with a smile!

 - - - - -  And no,  he's not the twin brother of Shaquille O'Neal. 


Saturday, April 24, 2010

UPDATE: Challenge: 30lbs in 3 Months

What woman wishes to share her body issues with the general public??  -- Um,  not me!   And yet somehow,  this is my third blog about it.  Go figure.   Ever heard of a plateau??  Well that's apparently where I have set up camp and had my body decide to hang out there for a while.  On a dang plateau! 
It's funny how the science of our bodies actually functions.  And how so many outside factors can truly affect the outcome of our overall success.  ( - or for some,  the failures)   For example, I've never been considered "small".  I have a big bone structure and have always been naturally athletic - and pretty strong for a girly girl.   But MAN did I use to eat garbage.  My sisters and I still laugh at our younger years when we could each eat 3 bowls of CoCo Pebbles cereal for breakfast,  one big hamburger - one McNuggets order- large fry - and ice cream sundaes for lunch (a piece!),  snacks of meal-size-proportions and usually containing lots of chocolate or grease,  then dinners of pizza or more hamburgers or Bbq or boiled hot dogs or even pancake dinners with bacon and biscuits and sausage and eggs, then followed by a rich decadent dessert and then usually a late night snack of another bowl of cereal or another bowl of ice cream or even a bag of potato chips.  Daily.  -- Yes my favorite foodies,  this was a standard day in the life of Donna's stomach.   (if you don't think I'm being accurate here .... sadly, ask any family member of mine.  We were not exactly raised to eat healthy)   --- Shocking,  I know.   Vegetables were never in my vocabulary.  Fruit came in the form of Strawberry Shortcake or Apple Pie.

However,  here's the odd point.  . . . . WE NEVER GAINED ANY WEIGHT!!  Me and all of my sisters still turned out to be star athletes and extraordinarily active -- and even kinda cute!  :-)   I look back and understand now that it was because our metabolism was the true champion.   We were "those kids" who could eat whatever we wanted because of how active and energetic our lifestyles were.  I may not have been the skinniest nor the model-type  --  but I never had to worry about 'gaining' weight.  No matter what I ate!   In fact .... I was the EXACT same weight on the scale from my 8th grade year,  all the way until I hit 30.   -- This is no joke.

Ahhhh.  30 years old.  The moment when everything suddenly changed.  The moment when my metabolism decided to stab me in the back.  (or should I say, my mid section!)  For the first time in my life,  I noticed the scale inching upwards.  I noticed my strong solid arms suddenly turning into motion.  (like when the wind blew, I could feel my former tricep flapping in the breeze!)  I would stare at myself naked in the mirror and ask out loud,  "What is going on with my body?!?!?!?!?"
Sure enough,   TIME had caught up with me.   AGE took on a new meaning.   - And the past 4 years of my life have been an eye-awakening lesson in science.   (and humility).     As I mentioned,  my poor mother endured a husband who never ate anything other than McDonalds and Pizza Hut,  and had her eldest child  (me)  following directly in his footsteps.  The most nutritious vegetable my father and I could swallow was a potato.  And even that was in the form of a french fry.  --  After the age of 30,  I was hit hard with the reality that sausage meatballs and pancake dinners could no longer be devoured without severe consequences to my love handles.    My gluteus maximus actually became a pancake!!
So here I am,  struggling to stay in shape at age 34.   And here I am,  actually talking about it to the general public.   ----  What????
Thankfully,  a gentleman named Scott Hornsby, General Manager of Gold's Gym in Roswell, is trying to help me understand where my body is at this moment in time.   I'm receiving personal training 4 days a week now and have lost a total of 11 pounds so far.   My goal,  as previously stated,  is 30 lbs.      (Yes,  that's how much my metabolism has let me down)   I wanted to lose 30 in 3 months,  but it's been 7 weeks already and I've plateau'ed around this 10lb mark.   My trainer Scott tells me its because I've gained back so much muscle (we weight lift like crazy!)   and muscle weighs alot more than fat.   Therefore,  this upcoming week -- instead of relying on a scale,  we are going to measure my success instead.   Literally.  With a measuring tape.  
Because he says I could have lost 20 pounds of fat,  but have earned 10 pounds of muscle!  (a "scale loss" of only 10 lbs)   He basically teaches to throw out the scale.  - Period.  He says it is all about body-fat percentage.  Not a scale. 
-- Good to know since I work my butt off in the gym and believe it or not ... have begun to like salads!   Two days in a row this week my lunch has been the same,   spinach salad with boiled egg whites, almonds, feta cheese, carrots, broccoli, and either salmon or chicken.     -- WooHoo!!!!  Go me!!

I know I'm not supposed to look at the scale,  but come on.   When a green salad is my meal instead of half a Pizza Hut pizza .....  aren't I allowed to get frustrated at my plateau???    But I'm not giving up.   11 pounds in 7 weeks may not be the number I was hoping for,  but I'm hanging in there until I atleast get to see my body-fat percentage loss.     ( then again,  I have selectively not told you about my cheating indulgences.  - I'm not a robot, people!!)
---- So this blog is just an update. 
Scott ......  you still have my committment and my perserverance.

Just please atleast make my pancake bootie into a muffin bootie! 
I promise,  I'll eat the apples without the pie.
 - MMmmmm.   Pie.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nino's in my Backyard

Remember the story of the Little Engine Who Could??
That's how I feel about the little restaurant right around the corner from my house.   It literally just keeps on truckin'.   The restaurant is called NINO'S ITALIAN KITCHEN, and it is most known for its long residence as Roswell's former hang out spot, Applebee's, off Alpharetta Hwy.   - Since Applebee's retired it's business there,  unfortunately the little independant building has suffered some major losses.  There have been new restaurants to try and fill its shoes,  but to no avail.  It's been failure after failure with wrong concepts.
However!!  I am supporting NINO's Italian Kitchen and cheering for their success ever since I went to eat there a few weeks back,  and I have to admit - as much as I was trying to be objective,  I confess to walking in with an already pre-conceived notion that I would not be impressed.  I can't help it,  it's practically in my backyard and I've personally watched the transitions, attempts, and changeovers for several years now.  But to my pleasant surprise,  I was wrong!  I left with a new hope that Nino's will be the triumphant caboose of the little engine that could!
The atmosphere could certainly be spruced up a bit, but do not let that influence you.  Because the real winner is the food.   YUM!!!!!  Nino's serves truly authentic italian food and is a family owned and operated business.  Many of the recipes on the menu are delicious old family recipes and I ate the special veal dish and ladies and gentlemen ... it was probably the #1 best veal meal I have ever eaten.  I couldn't stop shoveling it in mouth like candy!
Nino is the namesake to his own restaurant and he is charming, funny, talented, and ready to serve you personally.  I was able to chat with him continuously throughout the night and the entire dining experience was very enjoyable, and again -- delicious!   I have to also include that our waitress was so upbeat and adorable that we actually invited her to sit down with us and just chat!
Bottom line?

Great food.  Great staff.  Great potential.  And worth a definite visit!   Treat yourself with a gift certificate from my 50% Off Program in order to go try them out.   If you love italian food .... you will love the food of Nino's!                               

Bon Appetito!   And pass the wine --

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Heart is Overflowing .....

For those of you who don't know .... I am honored to be a national spokesperson for a non-profit organization called CHILDREN WITHOUT A VOICE, USA.   This charity organization passionately serves to prevent child abuse.  It tirelessly fights to prevent and bring awareness to the violence upon innocent children who suffer daily from unspeakable crimes.  My heart melts not only for the children .... but with admiration for the president of this foundation, LIN SEAHORN, who has a testimonial story of her own of severe abuse, neglect, and bouncing from one institution to another throughout her entire childhood of brutality and heartbreak.
Lin Seahorn is one of the few survivors who take their story of suffering,  and turn it into a future of hope and lifelong efforts to save children who are in the same nightmare situations that she was subjected to herself.   -- Lin's heart is enormous.  I have never met anyone like her.   And she has selflessly dedicated her life to saving children of all ages from the horrific abuse that she once endured, witnessed, and by absolutely no fault of her own .... became a victim to.

Here is a picture of Lin   (a champion survivor!)  with some of the children she is blessed to be interactive with.  All three of these little girls, (from left to right:  McKenna, Katie, and Michelle) were severely abused and  have been taken from their parents to be adopted by amazing women and families who love them and support them in ways that I can't even begin to describe.

Don't let this adorable picture fool you.   2 of these 3 girls cannot function in "normal" society.  They will never be able to live alone, and they will never have the mental capacity to be married or know what it means to even have independance.   --- These beautiful girls  were shaken. 

Shaken Baby Syndrome.
SBS = a severe form of head injury that occurs when an infant or small child is shaken forcibly enough to cause the brain to bounce against the skull causing lifelong brain damage and abnormal defects.  Common result is death.

Ladies and gentleman ....  I cannot warn you enough.  This is sadly a reality in our world that is becoming more and more evident.  I just recently found myself in a personal situation with someone I actually know who exhausted all means of trying to get her teething baby to relax and quit crying.  After long periods of time of becoming more and more impatient and helpless towards her baby's needs .....  she, in desperation and confusion and frustration .... lost her temper for a split second,  shook her baby in a moment of emotion .... and is now serving time in jail for child abuse ----  her baby now suffers from devastating siezures and permanent brain damage.   The baby was born 'normal',  and will now live a life of special needs & mental retardation because of a moment of motherly impatience.


I know I am a foodie show.   -- But can you understand now why I have such a heart for this organization???   Lin Seahorn is a hero of mine,  and like I said before -- I am honored to be a spokesperson for her cause.   Please help me in helping her.  She needs volunteers .... more media coverage .... more $$ donations .... more people to CARE.
Here are a few more pictures of our volunteer get-together last night as well as some more of the adopted children who will be future survivors.

There is more information on my website under the tab entitled:  My Cause.
Help me in helping our future by protecting the innocent children who were never asked to be born into an abusive home.   Their pain does not have to continue!!!  We can help Lin Seahorn and help CHILDREN WITHOUT A VOICE, USA  by preventing child abuse before it ever occurs.

Learn how.   Open your hearts and visit:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Alone with Science

This past Saturday was a little milestone for me.  Probably not a big deal to anybody else,  but it certainly put a smile on my face.  Do me a favor,  just real quick - think about your job and what it is that you do.  Be it a promotion or just great work on a specific project ... I'm sure there's been times where you're proud of yourself for accomplishing a certain something.  Right?  Well this past weekend was one of those little accomplishments for myself.  In fact, I did a little giddy dance after my radio show finished.
This past show was the first time ever that I did it all by myself!   (Lol,  that sounds funny.)  What I mean is,  I didn't have any guests.  No interviews.   It was a full hour of just MOI.   :-)   A full LIVE hour nonetheless!   While other people in the company were nervously unsure how that would sound ... I,  on the other hand,  was hungry for it.  I was confident, over prepared, and ready to rock-n-roll!   I didn't have a nervous bone in my body.  Quite the contrary, Bring it on!
I entitled the show  "Healthy Lifestyle" and spent a lot of time researching the science behind nutrition and different blood types.  I have become fascinated by a book called  "EAT RIGHT 4 YOUR BLOOD TYPE"  by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo.   (Thank you Marcy for introducing me to this book!!)   I spent countless hours devouring the education of this book and preparing a show around it.  (with my own twists of course)  I included the science of other in-depth nutrition books and culinary research as well.   And I have to say --- I was quite OVER prepared which is a great thing, and actually filled the whole hour with fascinating uninterrupted information.

I am so used to conducting an entertainment show with upbeat guests, exciting giveaways, and laughs around every corner ... that the challenge of hosting my first solo-show was already intense enough --- but then to knock it out of the ballpark with serious, informative, and educational content which I had to work hard just to understand it myself ....... well Hallelujah, Amen, and Praise God all at once!!!   I did it!   And I didn't suck.  I started receiving emails immediately from listeners detailing their intrigue in that show!  Yeah,  I had my happy dance in full swing as we left the studios.
So.  Like I said,  sometimes when you accomplish something challenging,  it's just nice to be able to chat about it.  So thanks for listening.   (- twice, now)

And by the way -- something every human being needs to know ..... your Blood Type. 

And  "RED"  doesn't count.    ;-)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mexican Surprise

I love surprises!!  Who doesn't?  Especially when they are surprise gifts.  Right?  Well I had a little surprise come to me this past weekend while I was broadcasting my radio show Live from Golds Gym in Roswell for my "Healthy Lifestyle" episode.  I was rambling on and on about certain foods being UNhealthy for certain blood types,  when all of the sudden,  a familiar woman comes up to me  (as I'm live on air)  puts a huge bag in front of my face,  waves, and just walks away.  
I knew immediately it was food because I could smell the lime and cilantro from within ... taunting me to open it and scarf down whatever was inside!   - Ofcourse,  I had to wait for a commercial break to satisfy my curiosity ...but sure enough,  it was delicious mexican food from one of the BEST mexican joints around!!   The Bridge Mexican Gourmet restaurant in Roswell just proved to everyone that you can still eat hearty,  still eat at a restaurant,  still even eat mexican .... and still stay slim and healthy!   It's true!  It CAN be done.  You just have to understand what you can and can't order.
Teresa, from The Bridge, was so sweet to be listening to the show  (on healthiness)   (- is that a word?)   and suprised me by showing up to the broadcast with a huge helping of Ceviche and also Scabeche.   YUM!!   
- For those of you who may not know,  Scebeche is Shrimp & scallops marinated with lemon, mixed with onions, tomatoes, jalapeƱo, oregano,
cilantro and topped with avocado slices. Served on a bed of lettuce.   Kind of like a big brother to Ceviche.
Thank you Teresa for your yummy generosity .... surprises are the best! .... and you will definitely see me again soon at The Bridge!   :-)
The Bridge Mexican Gourmet is located at 10479 Alpharetta St. (Highway 9) in the Old Lake Place shopping center, just southwest of Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell.

Sun Dial Delight

This past Friday night,  I had a very special night dining at the Sun Dial - which I think is one of the most romantic and impressive restaurants in all of Atlanta.  My experience there this past weekend was, however, the most incredible experience I have ever had there before.   As most Atlantans,  I have eaten at the Sun Dial a small handful of times throughout my life.  I even went through a phase in my early 20's where my best friend and I would go there almost every other weekend to sip wine and listen to the jazz band.  (while all the other people my age were out partying like rock stars in nightclubs and bars ... I couldn't wait to get all dressed up and go be a part of the "mature" crowd).  -- And I loved it!

But here I am now,  almost 15 years later, and I just fell in love with the restaurant all over again.  The Sun Dial has had its fair share of ups and downs.  Especially with the tornado a couple years ago and having to undergo reconstruction and temporary closing,  but the Sun Dial is back - and better than ever.   For Valentines Day,  I had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Russell Sleight who is the Executive Chef of the entire Westin Peachtree Hotel,  obviously including the Sun Dial.   I learned that this restaurant is famous for marriage proposals ... often getting as much as 40 proposals on one Valentines Day evening alone!  It was a fabulous interview, and I was blessed enough to be invited back by Chef Russell for an evening of pampering and foodie bliss.  - Boy,  he wasn't lying!
I had a special romantic evening of my own already in progress, and this incredible dinner experience was just the icing on the cake.   Chef Christian Messier personally came out to chat with us several different times, as we were continuously presented with the most beautiful dishes.

I would be happy to share and describe all the delicious food we were given, which were all personal choices by Chef Christian,  but he pampered us with SO MANY dishes,  I wouldn't even know where to begin!!  THANK YOU CHEF.   I will say that his contemporary version of Paella was divine.  When serving Paella to a Puerto Rican foodie,  that's already risk enough.  And then when you take the tradition out of traditional paella ... uh oh ... it better be something out of this world!  I was already skeptical upon its arrival.  -- You know,  sometimes its okay to be proven wrong though!  Because let me tell you,  His paella was modern and artsy -- but absolutely mouthwatering!  Fabulous.  Here are some other highlights we were treated with:
(and still so much more....)

I am personally recommending that you go re-visit the Sun Dial.   Perfect for any occasion.  And no need to fear the elevator .....  it's still not working.  (which my date was thankful for)   ;-)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools!

Every year I tell myself,  "this is going to be the year I become a practical jokester!"   And as every April 1st comes and goes -- I always forget to do anything.  It's a consistent pattern every year.  You know,  George Clooney is well known in his Hollywood circle of friends as being the best practical joke man.  I'm sure you've already heard that before.  And then there's Ashton Kutcher of course with his previous show, Punk'd.  Even the WORST jokes that are nearly nightmares for these people actually turn into a funny relief when they find out its just a joke.   -- Today, on April Fool's, - I wish I could say the same for what happened to me.  I would have given ANYTHING if it had been a joke.  Almost too crazy to even believe.   I'm STILL shaking.

I was eating at a fabulous restaurant today,  doing a formal 'review' for my show --- and something happened to me.   Something so out of this world strange,  that it would fit perfectly for April Fools Day.   Unfortuantely,  it was actually very scary.  And it was so bizarro that I had to come home and blog about it.  -- If only a tv crew had been around to capture this on film.

So I'm sitting by myself reviewing an impressive meal  (the restaurant will remain nameless due to the sensitivity of what I'm about to share) and throughout almost all of it,  I keep noticing this woman staring at me.  Blatantly.  I even smiled a couple times at her,just because it was so obvious!  She was eating by herself too from across the room.  I eventually concluded that maybe she was one of my radio listeners who perhaps had met me before at an event or something.  I mean, I don't know - I couldn't fathom why this lady was so uncomfortably staring at me.   I had to force myself to ignore it.
   -- So as I finished my meal and after speaking to the owner for a bit,  I left the restaurant and was walking towards my car.  All the sudden I heard a woman's voice calling out,  "Excuse me!  Excuse me!"   -- I turned around and sure enough,  it was the staring lady -- chasing me down the parking lot.   She looked nice and 'normal' enough,  so I stopped and was curious to know how we knew each other.   She was very sweet and polite and said she was sorry for staring at me if I noticed  (yeah, how could I not?!?)  but that she was 'in awe' because I looked just like her daughter .... and how I could be confused for her twin!  She said the resemblance was striking,  if not eerie. 
Ahhhh, now I get it.  Seemed simple enough.  Right?
So when I asked if she happened to have a picture of her daughter so I could see for myself .... she looked down at the ground and then began to get choked up.   What she told me next could have changed my entire world.
This lady (a total stranger)  began to WEEP in front of me, and told me her daughter had died overseas in the war about 7 years ago. 
I didn't know what to do!  Stunned and in shock,  I just held out my arms and began hugging this poor woman.  After she calmed down,  I finally started to say my goodbyes  (-pretty freaked out by this experience already).   As I said my peace and with another couple of hugs .... I finally started walking back to my car.   So sad.  I was moved.
All the sudden -- I hear her running up behind me.  Again.  She says to me,  "Wait!  Please don't go!"   She literally came right up to me as I was opening my car door.  She wanted me to go back into the restaurant with her and keep chatting.  She said she would pay for anything I wanted,  if I would just let her 'look at me' some more.   (freaky!!)   I declined, of course.  I felt really bad for her - but honestly,  I had work to do.  I was already running late for my next appointment.   -- But she wouldn't take no for an answer!  It actually became quite uncomfortable with me continuing to tell her,  "I'm sorry, I can't".  
Then.  Here comes the crazy.
This woman grabbed my hand and literally said  "No I'M sorry.  I can't let you leave".    (uh,  help me,  Twilight Zone!)  She started crying.  Again!  And before I knew it,  she was shouting in desperation!  -- Things like  "MY DAUGHTER SENT YOU TO ME"  -  "WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER"  - "YOU CAN'T LEAVE!  I'LL NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN".

Uh -- folks -- at this point,  people in the parking lot are all staring!!  I am officially scared and FREAKED OUT!!!!   She kept hanging onto my arm for dear life!!!!   Hanging on to my arm and shouting in tears!   What was I supposed to do???????   What would YOU have done?????   I'm panicking myself now at this point!!
I politely try to pry her off of me,  even telling her that she's scaring me.   And then,  the worst of it came.   This crazy broken woman started crying out her daughters name.  Calling ME her daughter's name!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT THE - ????????????????
Uh .....  HELP!!!!!!!!!!

She was obviously unconsoleable,  and now I am truly scared for my own safety.   So I yank my arm out of her grip ... jump in my car ....  (all the while,  I'm saying I'm sorry,  I'm sorry,  I'm sorry,  over and over again as I try to squeal away!)   This lady is screaming in the parking lot for me to not go  (there is now a small crowd watching!!)  and right as I was about to slam my car door shut ......  she makes one last leap  .... calls me by her daughters name again .... and has managed to grab hold of my left leg,  as she stumbles to the ground!
Well I can't very well hit the gas and move my car!!  I'd kill her!!    So here I am,  stuck with a crazy lady holding onto my leg in a tantrum .... I am now officially yelling for anyone to come and help me  .... while she's just there on the ground crying and pulling on my leg!!!!!!   She's just pulling and pulling .....     ......  kinda like I'm here pulling yours.