Friday, April 29, 2011

Tea Time Tales - Be Careful What You Wish For

In Good Company gave us an interesting task this week! My quest was to discover what would happen if the fated shoe fit one of Cinderella's stepsisters.

The King is mad decided Drusilla. First he summons us to a last minute, poorly planned ball so that he can parade us like cattle before is spoilt son. Now he declares that the dufus must marry whichever maiden fits a found slipper! Simply mad! And if the King is mad, can the prince be much better? Drusilla knew better than to voice her thoughts aloud. To whom would she entrust them? Mother didn't care about the mental status of the royal family. That they were royal was all that mattered.

Marguerite followed her mother's opinion in all matters. Sometimes Drusilla wondered if her sister was capable of having an independent thought at all. She supposed that such mindlessness must be a desired trait for a crowned princess. Let the slipper fit her, prayed Drusilla. Her heart fell as the Duke lifted the velvet lined chest to reveal it's content. Even from the distance she peered, it was plain that the slipper was sized better for her own foot than that of her sister. Such a tiny footwear would never stretch enough to fit Marguerite. Of course that did not stop the girl from clapping her hands and gleefully squealing "That's MY lost slipper! It's been found!"

The Duke stood unconvinced. "Please be so kind as to remain seated whilst a fitting is attempted," he stiffly requested. As the Page tried in vain to force the slight slipper on Marguerite's foot, an idea flew swept over Drusilla. Cindy! The worthless ward had been caught often enough play acting in Drusilla's shoe keep. Their sizes were near enough. How just would it be for the King to find that his decree would force a union of monarchy successor to the orphaned servant girl!

"M'Lord must surely be parched. Mother, should I see to refreshments?" she offered.

The Countess looked positively stricken, but there was no acceptable way to object.

"A most excellent idea" exclaimed the Duke, reaching to steady the ornate medallion that had begun to swing as he leaned forward to inspect the fitting progress, or lack thereof. Not shoe, but bondage thought Drusilla as she quickly exited. After seeking out Cinderella and explaining the situation, she was surprised to hear the ungrateful brat exclaim "But I don't want to marry the Prince either!!! His palms were sticky and his breath, putrid!"

"Think of the elevation..." began Drusilla before the implication of the protest hit her. "Hold on. You've met the Prince?"

Cindy's hands flew to her mouth. "Oh no. I promised the old woman that I wouldn't speak of it."

"What old woman?"

"The one who sent me to the ball."

Drusilla appraised the figure before her. Yes. How could she not have seen it the night before? But then again, who would have? What clue would have allowed anyone to imagine that it was the
cinder girl in a ball gown! This is my avoidance - if only I can convince her to come forward.

"Oh Ella dear, what a compliment it is that his hands grew moist with anxiety as he drew close! Do not fear his palms will remain so always. Once he feels secure in your good opinion, his nerves will calm. As for the halitosis, one must blame the abundance of garlic in the menu. As princess you can command that the item be banished from the castle. Princess Ella! What a miracle is before you! Seize the chance."

Confusion clouded the girl's face as Drusilla's hopes faded. "I don't know." she whispered. "It seems too much."

"Then remain in our service if you haven't the courage to grasp opportunity when it throws itself at you. Bring out the wine and hurry about it. The Duke is waiting." Drusilla turned to storm out of the room when one final thought occurred to her. "Have you the remaining slipper?"

"In my pocket."

"Keep it hidden and when I am Crowned I shall rescue you from this servitude," she sneered. "I feel perhaps that you would fair better on a pig farm." Leaving the girl to mull the threat, she returned to the receiving room to find Marguerite in tears, her mother distraught and the Duke impatient.

"Forgive my delay your grace. The beverages should be just a moment more."

"That is all well enough, but let us get to the business at hand - or foot, I should say. If you would - " he gestured toward the seat. Obediently, Drusilla sat and extended her foot for the Page. A moment later, the slipper was in place. A whoop of elation that escaped the Page went unrebuked. The Duke rubbed his eyes and bent closer to confirm the fit. Just then, Cinderella brought in the service tray and, glaring at Drusilla, set it down loudly.

"I will not tend swine!" she declared, sticking out her foot to display the slipper's match.

"You stole that!" exclaimed the Countess. "How often must I punish you for
looting through my daughters belongings?"

The Duke sank into a chair, overcome. Drusilla almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

"Mother, it is true that our sweet Ella has a penchant for dressing up in the finery you have graciously afforded me, so your mistake is understandable. Nonetheless, I cannot pretend to claim that the slippers as my own. I fear that I would burn in hell eternally if I did not reveal that they do indeed belong to the late Count's daughter. Surely you would not wish such a fate for me?"

The coldness that shots out from her mother's eyes pierced deeply into Drusilla's core. "No, my child. I would not wish that fate for you."

To the Duke the Countess requested "Take this charge from me. She is gladly given over to the court."

Then leveling her gaze at her daughter once more she proclaimed. "It took great character to make such a choice, however, such character is wasted here. I feel perhaps that you would fair better in a nunnery."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - Jane Eyre

First let me promise that I'll hopefully get a more personal blog entry up soon. Now on to Teaser Tuesday.

MizB of Should Be Reading is our host. Anyone can play.

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my entry for this week:

"Besides, since happiness is irrevocably denied me, I have a right to get pleasure out of life: and I will get it, cost what it may."

"Then you will degenerate still more, sir."

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fun Monday - holed up

Yay, it's still Monday! I didn't miss it after all! My internet (and phone service) were down for a while, but hopefully that's all been fixed now.

As per A Screed in Time: This week's challenge is going to be about a post-apocalyptic world. Doesn't that sound like fun? Anyway, here is the deal... You knew that the end was coming and prepared yourself for it. In one scenario, you have fashioned a cave into a home for yourself, safe from all the bad stuff on the outside, and you have stocked enough supplies to last for a minimum of twenty years figuring that would be as long as it would take for the bad stuff to clear. In scenario number two, you have acquired a fifty foot boat, yacht if you'd like, and have prepared it in the same manner. The cave has a natural stream flowing through it, and the boat has a desalination device on board, so water will not be a problem. Your challenge is to pick one of the scenarios and explain why you chose one over the other. See how easy that is? By the way - you cannot bring the boat ashore and you are not able to come out of your cave.

My first thought upon reading this was "I wonder if the last part of the Earth Children series was ever finished?" Lo and behold...It IS! What does that have to do with my choice? Well, even though I wasn't very impressed the last few books in the series, there was a time when I was quite enamored with Ayla's tale and that feeling renewed itself in me when I considered whether I'd prefer to spend 20 years in a cave vs a yacht. So I was all prepared to pick the cave. Then I remembered that I currently have a vitamin D deficiency. Yeah, yeah, I know - that's just the latest fad that doctors are freaking out about. Still, the blood work said I was deficient so who am I to argue? Obviously I need sunlight. And I do love water. I guess I have to pick the yacht. Except that I don't want to! Yes, I love water, but I can't get past the constant motion that I would have to endure on the boat. Motion is good...but all the time??? No. I need my moments of still.

Now it's time for me to admit that I think that I cheated. You see, I've already read what Roger wrote. Maybe that's cheating. I don't know. Maybe not. I don't usually read the other posts before I write my own, but tonight I did. And I'm glad that I did because Roger reminded me that I could use the running stream in the cave to produce electricity! With electricity, I can run sun lamps. Whew! Back into the cave I go.

Somebody let me know when I can come back out, okay?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tea Time Tales - Hayley Black

Trying my hand at "Tea Time Tales."

On Tuesday, In Good Company gives out certain prompts to use in creating a short work to be posted by Friday.

This week's gossip:

Who: Hayley Black
What: camera, discovery, snoop, letter
Where: graveyard
First Line: This isn't where she wanted to be.

So here goes:

This isn't where she wanted to be. The discovery of newly begun construction at the cemetery near her apartment had driven Hayley Black to return to her hometown graveyard for the mausolea shot she needed to complete the client's wall collection.

"Shouldn't there be a representation of death to balance the life shown here?" It was more directive than query. He didn't give specifics. He didn't have to. She would get the shot today and have it on his wall before the weekend. The detour was nothing more than a few extra dollars of fuel cost.

Or was it? This was her first visit to the site since Victoria's funeral. The memory of her childhood neighbor brought a soft smile to her face as she slipped through the line of oaks and made her way to the rows of family vault tombs. Victoria was more than just the elderly next door neighbor who kept an eye on her after school. Victoria had been her confidant and comforter. She was the person Hayley turned to when she needed advice. They'd sit for hours on the back porch swing, sipping freshly squeezed lemonade and talking about anything that popped into their heads. When Hayley was younger, Victoria would let her snoop around the spare room in the attic, searching through boxes of yesteryear's toys. As a teen, Hayley borrowed book after book from her neighbor's impressive home library. When her high school boyfriend left for an out of state university, Victoria listened patiently to the whining and then, with an air of sympathy, showed her a letter that her husband sent while he was off fighting in the war. The treasure box that held the letter was stuffed tightly with many more just like it. "Wherever I am, my heart is with you" was that line that touched Hayley the most that day. Victoria's husband had not returned from the war. After Victoria's death, Hayley comforted herself with the idea that her dear friend was finally back in her beloved's embrace.

The view she sought through her camera grew blurry, but there wasn't anything wrong with the lens. Wiping her wet eyes, she tried again. After capturing the shot, she packed away her equipment then began walking slowly back to her car, stopping to kneel briefly at the the grave of her friend.

No, this wasn't where she wanted to be, but part of her was glad that she'd returned.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun Monday - Bible Favorite

For this week's Fun Monday, Roger from A Screed in Time asked: "...with us going through Holy week, why not go with a little religion, makes sense, right? So this week, I am looking for one of three answers (gotta give you choices). Please share with the group one of the following; your favorite book in the Bible, your favorite character in the Bible, or your favorite biblically based movie."

Now you might think that with me being a lover of the written word, I would automatically pick the book category. Not so fast! I'm not sure that I can pick a "favorite" book in the Bible. I'll admit that I will turn to the New Testament more often than I do to the Old. In the NT, I prefer reading the Gospels. Of the Gospels...well, there I'm stuck. How do I choose between the accounts?

Favorite character? Again that's a toughie, but this time it's not because I can't make a choice. It's because my choice is more than a "character" to me. He is my Creator.

Moving on to movies. The first one that came to my mind was the one I saw most recently.

One Night with the King

Then there is the one I grew up watching year after year.

The Ten Commandments

But if I have to pick a very favorite, it's going to have to be the one that not only has an all star cast, including Patrick Stewart (Oh Captain, My Captain!), but is also chock full of amazing songs that I enjoy listening to over and over.

So, :::drum roll please::: here a clip of my favorite song in my favorite Biblically based movie.

The Prince of Egypt

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

"He watches milk pool in tiny droplets where the straw disappears through her puckered lips until he can't watch anymore, and he has to watch her eyes again. She watches him watch her, no expression at all, until the carton begins to gurgle."

~pg. 26, "Light Always Changes" by Levi Montgomery

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fun Monday

Roger from A Screed in Time is hosting Fun Monday this month. What is Fun Monday? To be honest, I'm not exactly sure, but it looks interesting. Last week Roger gave us this challenge: "For this week I would like you to answer one of the following questions (yes, I am giving you a choice); If you could pick any ten years over again, without changing them, which ten years would you choose and why? These years do not have to be consecutive years, but there should be ten, okay? Your second choice is, explain the wonders of living in orbit over the moon, or any planet of your choosing (not Earth) for ten years, describe what you think life would be like and if so inclined, describe the planet."

The problem with picking out years to relive is that I don’t think I am strong enough to resist trying to change things. The fact that I love my life now and feel extraordinary loved and blessed should be pull enough to help me resist the urge, but I know myself and well, I just don’t think I could handle the temptation. So going back in time just isn’t an option for me! Right about now you are thinking, “Wait, you wouldn’t really be going back in time silly. You are just supposed to write about it.” My response to that is “Apparently you are still unaware of how powerful my writing can really be!”

Yeah. Right.

Um...anyway. Since I decided against writing about my past, I was left with the task of writing about 10 years of orbiting around another planet. At first I relished the idea of writing about ten Rhonia years. It’s been weeks (months?) since I’ve allowed myself to become immersed in my fictional world and I am missing it. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that I am simply not ready to share MY Rhonia with the rest of this world quite yet. In fact, I may need another 10 years before I am ready for that. So since I couldn’t complete either parts of the challenge there is nothing left for me but to apologize for skipping the first week. Forgive me?

The topic for this week's Fun Monday is Bugs Bunny vs Mikey Mouse. This is an easy one. I grew up watching Bugs Bunny, but it wasn’t because I really LIKED Bugs. He was pretty much the only game in town back then. If there were weekly Mickey Mouse cartoons, I didn’t know about them. To me, Mickey wasn’t a TV character. Mickey was the host of Disney World! Is there a more magical place on earth? I think not.

My Anna disagrees. Oh, don't let this smiling face fool you.

Or this one.

She did have tons of fun at parks, but apparently the awful trip home was enough to tarnish the whole Disney experience for her. So much so that around the midway point in the drive she declared that "next time we want to go to Disney World, we should just stay at the beach hotel instead!" <-referring to our previous vacations at Orange Beach, AL, a mere four hour drive from our home. The rest of the gang readily agreed and I have to admit that my heart sank a little hearing them voice their preference for the beach over Disney.

When I was growing up, my family did not take vacation trips. I am the oldest of seven children and while my parents both worked hard to feed, clothe and educate us, luxuries like family vacations just weren't an option. At least not all together. My grandparents, OTOH, did travel often and nearly every summer, they would bring along several grandchildren with them. When I was 13 or 14, I was lucky enough to accompany them to Disney World the year Epcot first opened. The wonder of that trip will never leave me.

Even if you take theme parks out of the equation, I'm still going to have to choose Mickey over Bugs. The Bugs Bunny cartoons are filled with wisecracks, tricks and insults. I've never been a big fan of that. Yeah, yeah, it's funny...but it's also kinda mean. Tune in to an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and you'll find interactive education! Come on...I'm a preschool teacher. Of COURSE I'm going to prefer that over "What's up doc?"

Sorry Bugs, while I total respect your rap abilities, I'm sticking with the Mouse.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gotta get a new idea

I'm sorry that I've been away. There was just so much procrastination to do that it overwhelmed me. Thankfully I seem to be caught up with it...for now anyway. Maybe. Actually my past week was fairly full. I've been subbing for a wonderful teacher who is on maternity leave. Getting back into "teacher" mood was an easy gear switch, but that's probably only because I know that this is a temporary position.

Life at home has had a few bumps...and bruises...and swelling. Most of it in hubby's knee. Doesn't this look fun?

The same day my husband received that lovely accessory, my son received two shots for a horrid ear infection. Of my four children, only one of them doesn't really mind shots. Derek isn't that one. To lessen the sting (read:bribe) we promised him ice cream. I think that was when hubby realized that if getting a couple of measly shots warranted a treat as wonderful as ice cream, then having to wear a leg immobilizer for an indefinite period time should be worth an even bigger indulgence. So he ordered an iPad 2.

I'm not upset that he made that purchase. After all, he is the main provider for this family. And besides it was paid for with the money that Uncle Sam just recently gave back to us after so kindly holding it, interest free, throughout last year. The thing is, after 20 years of never knowing what to give my guy for birthdays or Christmas, I FINALLY had a great birthday gift lined up for him. I knew what he wanted and I had set the funds aside to get it.

:::sigh::: Although his birthday isn't until September, it may take another 20 years for me to come up with another idea as awesome as that was.