Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

A very happy Father's Day to everyone out there. I hope everyone has good weather, good food, and good company for a very nice day.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Free Fiction: Rose Gelato

"Let's go in here."

Jordan shrugged acquiescence, maintaining the imperative nonchalance and apathy required to be accepted into a new school, and a new social group. He followed Frederico, Sophie, and Raz into the gelato store.

"Hey, babe." Frederico's bad boy slouch and knowing wink earned them flirtatious giggles and four free scoops of gelato from the pair of counter girls.

Sophie picked pistachio, Raz chose raspberry, naturally, and Jordan couldn't resist the mysterious flavor of rose. With a raised eyebrow, Frederico followed suit.

Frederico winked at Jordan, and they hung back from the others.

"Why rose?" Frederico asked after they ducked into an alley to lick their confections. There were dried pink rose petals swirled into the gelato, intensifying the sweet, flowery flavor. It tasted like June, the newness of summer and sunshine, and reminded Jordan of his grandmother's garden.

"Never saw rose before. I've had vanilla, chocolate, and all the other ones they had. I like to try new things."

"That's good."

"Why'd you pick rose?" Jordan countered.

"Because you did." Frederico leaned in and touched his lips to Jordan's. Heady with rose fragrance, his lips were both cool and warm cool.

Jordan stared at him as they parted. Frederico winked again. "Let's catch up to the others." So, they balanced their gelatos, picked up their feet, and ran.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Free Fiction: In Love With Capsicum, Part III

"Tell me about the first time you realized you could eat spicy food."

Carl and Mike dawdled in bed on a lazy Sunday morning, sleeping and waking, curling around each other and then stretching free. Sunlight poured in through the cracks in the curtains, warning that afternoon was growing closer and morning about to become a memory. They lingered in bed, letting the day pass by.

"Only if you tell me about the first time you realized you couldn't," countered Mike.

Carl laughed. "You first."

"I was five," Mike said. "And the whole family had gathered at our house for a party, to watch a football game on tv. My uncle was in the kitchen. I adored him, so I was always trying to hang around him. He's a funny guy, and he likes to see how far he can push things. Sometimes he goes too far, but it's more because he's so enthusiastic, not because he's mean."

"Uh oh. I hear a warning in that statement," Carl said. He shifted in the bed and rubbed his foot against Mike's.

"Uncle Leslie. Which is an unfortunate name," Mike said, "of course. I think he tried to outgrow it."

"Makes sense."

"So, he was making hot wings for the game. There were containers of spices and melted butter and trays of chicken wings, and a big bowl he was mixing everything up in. He had a bottle of hot sauce that he was squirting into the bowl. Well, he saw me, and wanted to have a little fun. He said, dip your finger in the sauce and tell me what you think."

"Oh no."

"Oh yes. So I did. And I licked my finger and told him it was good. Which it was. I'd never had anything like it. So then, he pulls out an entire chicken wing and gives it to me, and tells me to eat it."

"Which you did."

"Of course. But by then, it was sort of getting a little hot. But it was really delicious, so I ate the whole thing." Mike sat up straighter. "Then, he gave me another one and told me to go eat it in front of my mom."

"Oh no!" Carl sat up straighter in the bed. "Tell me you didn't."

"I didn't realize it." Mike shrugged. A sly look came into his face. "Now, you have to understand. Uncle Leslie is my dad's brother, not my mom's."

Carl frowned a little, wondering why it would matter.

"I find my mom in the living room and I much on the chicken wing, but she isn't watching me, so I call out to her. Everyone looks my way. I've got wing sauce smeared all over my face and fingers, and I'm just a mess, but I do as I was told. I munch on the chicken wing. My grandmother gasps, but my mom just laughs a little. Then she comes over to me and takes what is left of it, and marches me back to the kitchen." Mike raised the pitch of his voice, "Is this your doing, Leslie?"

Carl laughed. "Your mom doesn't sound quite like that."

"No, her voice is way higher," Mike agreed. "My uncle admits it and starts to apologize. Then, my mom grabs the bottle of hot sauce and splashes a whole bunch on the chicken wing and takes a big bite out of it. Uncle Leslie's jaw practically drops to the ground. My mom finishes the chicken wing and throws out the bones. Then she pushes me toward my uncle." Mike spoke in his high voice again, "You started it, so you can clean him up. And next time, you should make the wings hotter. These ones are barely noticeable."

"Seriously?" Carl asked.

"Seriously. Then she turned and walked off, and didn't even look back."

"So, Uncle Leslie didn't know your mom could handle the heat."

"Nope. She's even tougher than my dad, and he's pretty resilient when it comes to spice."

"So, you were going to inherit the ability no matter what." Carl felt more than a little envious. His ability to handle heat was meager at best.

"Pretty much. Which is why my mom didn't freak out. She knew I was probably going to like it, rather than have a meltdown."

"That's awesome."

"My Uncle Leslie got his revenge, though."

"Oh?" Carl leaned against Mike's side. Sleepiness was growing on him and he thought closing his eyes for a few minutes would be nice.

Mike snorted. "He took me to the bathroom to clean up, just like he was supposed to. Those towels were ruined!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

results of the great closet clean out

The great closet clean out is over. I started work at about ten and finished at about four. Six full hours of wrestling and wrangling commenced. Almost all the stuff was pulled from its resting place, resorted, and then returned. I believe the organization to be much superior to the previous. Linens should be more accessible than ever before, and less frequently needed items are buried deeper than ever before. Some things are folded neatly and tucked away into boxes.

Also, some items were dragged out into the light of day, and actually discarded! A few of the items seemed appropriate to give away to others who could use them better than I (or actually use them, rather than their hoarded condition that I conferred upon them). All in all, it was a good day of organizing, although I am convinced my closet items were multiplying. I swear there was more stuff put back in than taken out. Worse...I did waylay some of the items into a different room. So now there's just a new pile of stuff waiting for me to sort it out.....

Monday, June 8, 2015

a rare day

I have most of today to myself (a very rare occurance, perhaps this happens twice in a year?) and I've got big plans.

First, I am going to attack the giant mess in my closet. This project has been languishing for months. Stuff has been pulled out, stuffed back in, and pulled out again. Because of other projects, chaos has reigned and it is to the point where I don't even know what is *in* the closet. So today, I do that overhaul.

If (when!) I get it done, whatever time is left, I will devote to editing or writing.

Now to the bigger question -- coffee or tea to keep me perked up and fiendishly organizing?