Tuesday Tidbit: Haunted Pasts

The need monster returns . . .

André came home a little before six. Lelia heard the rattle of the garage door just before Art called, “I see Dad’s truck!” The house shields lowered as André pulled into the garage. Then the defenses solidified once more.

Hiram hurried past the kitchen door, headed for the bedroom. Lelia could guess why, but didn’t go fuss. Instead she watched Deborah put the finishing touches on cookie-sheet pizza. Deborah scowled with concentration as she laid the last few strips of lunchmeat just so on the pizza. Then she relaxed and grinned up at her mother. “All ready.” Continue reading

Overheard in the Halls Part 24: Generational Divides

Due to changes in personnel and the need for space, some of the band equipment has been relocated to a space closer to the classrooms. Namely, the percussion instruments. One might almost, almost, suspect that the orchestra teacher, Miss Strings, disliked trying to do Hayden over drum solos.

Thus, as I made my way to the workroom to fetch something caffeinated, enthusiastic percussion erupted from the now-band-room. Sister Scholastica [aka The Dean] and Mrs. Noun were coming from the other direction. We paused, carefully not congregating.

Me [glancing toward source of percussive eminations]: I have this strange urge to throw the door open and yell “More Cowbell.”

Mrs. Noun: [much muffled laughter]

Sr. Scholastica [eyes gleaming over her mask]: I fear you would then have to explain the reference.

Me: Alas, yes, Sister.


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Feral Helianthus

The wild sunflowers are creeping farther and farther from their point of origin. They started in a bar-ditch on the county black top. They’ve now crossed the road, easing into the edge of the playa plants. A few more grace the low spot at the bend in the road, and one determined plant is standing proudly in a low spot near access to the wheat field near the school.

No Fair!

Literally, there is no fair in Texas this year. Not the Tri-State Fair, not the State Fair, nada. They are having the livestock shows up here, for the 4-H and other kids, but that’s it. No rodeo, no midway, no concerts, no deep-fried-thing-on-a-stick. No inspecting home-canned goods, or Produce of Unusual Size, or quilts. No chocolate-covered-strawberries-on-a-stick (oh, those were gooooood.)

I am having uncharitable thoughts. No German-style nuts. No bacon-wrapped-whatever with funnel-cake as a chaser. No hitting the Tupperware™ clearance booth. No watching kids getting run over by their show pigs, no team roping or tractor pulls. Grrrrrr. Continue reading

Signs of the Times

Some of the trees have started turning yellow. That’s a hint, along with the brilliant orange hawthorn berries. The robins are hanging around, watching the hawthorn tree. Then they’ll strip it clean – while ignoring equally ripe trees in other yards. I have no idea why.

It’s now in the mid to lower 50s in the mornings, although afternoons can still poke into the 90s. I actually needed a jacket the other morning. We’ve gone over a week without running the air conditioner at RedQuarters.

At least two dozen buzzards were circling as I headed to work on Tuesday. They all headed south. They over-summer here in one of the old, very high-rent districts, much to the chagrin of the home owners. Apparently having a vulture rookery in your yard does not improve property values, or help neighborhood morale.

Sign on a local café: “I had my patience tested the other day. It came back negative.” I know that feeling.

Sign on a local church: “Remember the black-eyed peas we ate for luck at New Years? When are those supposed to kick in?” AMEN!

Wednesday Filler

Revisions and Day Job have overloaded my brain. This is a snippet from L-Familiar. It takes place eleven years after J-Familiar.

Lelia Chan Lestrang intercepted her Familiar’s hind foot just before it touched fur. “Awww, but I like scratching!” Tay protested. The white hooded, white tailed ring-tailed lemur grumped, sticking his tongue out at his mage.

“And I do not like cleaning clumps of lemur fur off of everything in the shop, Master Tay.” She scratched the spot he’d been aiming for, and the area around it too, just for good measure. He sighed a little, relaxed, then leaned so that a different spot came under her close-clipped nails. She scratched that bit of him as well, then stroked his back before rubbing the fur off her fingers and into the garbage. Familiar tended to, she returned to entering sales into the big leather-bound ledger book.

As she’d guessed, the more tailored clothing style had replaced the folk-loric trend among Belle, Book, and Blacklight’s customers. Eastern-European things still sold, but not the way they used to. Slimmer cuts, patterned waistcoats for the ladies, and simpler skirts moved much faster. The return of tailoring suited Lelia quite well, since that described almost her entire wardrobe. So did black, grey, and navy, besides the two dark green “can’t wear black to the event” dresses and her green and grey wedding outfit. Being a Goth means never worrying about the latest color trends, she chuckled to herself once again. So we spend hours worrying if this black and that black go together! Because there really was a difference, when black dominated one’s closet! Maybe that’s why André and Arthur wear colors on occasion. Movement in the workroom doorway caught her attention and she turned a little so she could see that direction more easily. Speaking of whom . . . Someday, that shirt and waistcoat are coming home with me. Continue reading

A Refreshing Change

There are two activities where regulators assume that participants are responsible adults and issue rules accordingly: aviation, and Texas firearms laws. In both cases, the laws are comparatively clear, in plain English more often than not, and the regulating agencies treat people like grown-ups. How nice! The federal regulations are actually clearer, because they are older, and came from a time when the legal philosophy was, “What is the minimum needed for safety, because we don’t know enough to make lots of specific rules?” Both sets of laws were also “written in blood.”

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