Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Everybody(at least, those in the US) ready for the happy day of thankfulness and eating? Yeah, neither am I. Yesterday was my second daughter's birthday, I had a bit of editing to do for another author, Some of my own edits, and characters for a book that's been simmering on the back burner of my mind started screaming out their story in my head. Any author can tell you that you can't ignore that kind of thing, especially at the delicate beginning of a book, or you risk losing everything. Then my kids had a program to attend at the church last night... Madness. I got nothing done at all.

So. That leaves today for cleaning, last minute shopping, and did I mention that I intended on painting the bathroom? I need a break already! Story peeps are still yakking away, but they wil have to wait.
 The only thing that's been keeping me from a stress-plosion this morning is thinking about this scene from Cocktails & Dreams. The whole episode (well, until the end, anyway) makes me smile. Hope it gives you a smile, too! 

After losing a brief tussle at the bathroom door, Jena stepped in the kitchen to find Sharon standing in the middle of the room with a potato in one hand, a paring knife in the other, and a calculating look on her face. “I’ll bet I can rig something up to make this process faster,” she muttered.
Jena plucked the items from her mother’s hands “It’s called a vegetable peeler, Mom.” She opened the second drawer and dug around for a minute before tossing Sharon an ancient peeler and pointing her toward the sack of potatoes. “You try that and I’ll handle these.”
Sharon raised her eyebrows and chuckled, sitting down on a kitchen stool. “Good morning and happy Thanksgiving to you, too.”
Jena kissed her mother’s forehead before snagging another stool, setting the garbage can between them, and returning her greeting.
“Sleep well?” Sharon asked nonchalantly, smiling as Jena flushed.
“Shut up,” Jena muttered.
Sharon belly laughed and started on her potato. They peeled in companionable silence, tossing the finished potatoes in a bowl on the counter. “So, how long have you and Nicholas been living together?” Sharon finally asked with an air of practicality, shaking her head at Jena’s guilty face. “I may be silly, but I’m not stupid, Jena. There’s a certain…comfortableness that comes with familiarity, and you’ve got it, my girl.”
Jena grimaced. “Sorry. I wanted to tell you in person. Does Dad know? Is he mad?”
“Nicholas’s still alive, right? Dad’s not dumb either. He knows there’s no putting the horse back in the barn once it’s out,” she finished philosophically.
Jena smiled at her mother’s mixed metaphor. “Whatever. As long as Dad isn’t going to kill Nicholas, I’m good. How many are we expecting today?”
“Keep peeling.”
Jena grumbled and grabbed another potato. After a minute, Sharon began again. “What do Nick’s parents think of the move, sweetie? I only ask because he’s here, not there.”
“I wouldn’t have any idea, Mom,” Jena said quietly, pausing and looking at the dots on her pajama pants. “Nicholas doesn’t talk to them much.” She felt tears behind her eyes and willed them back. “They don’t like me for some reason.”
Sharon was quiet for a minute, and Jena heard another potato plop in the bowl. “I wouldn’t say that, Jena…” Her voice was considering. “Laura was a dear when I talked to her, and I just think—”
You called her?” Jena screeched, dropping her potato on the floor.
“Of course I did. I needed to know what to make for Nicholas, didn’t I? If I’m going to cook turken for Leisa and cow balls for Travis, Nick certainly deserves a dish of his own.” She glanced up and giggled at Jena’s open mouth. “For heaven’s sake, Jena, the Internet is your friend. My friend, anyway, since you wouldn’t give me her number.”
“Nicholas thought—”
Sharon looked serious. “Nicholas needs to talk to his parents and stop ‘thinking’, Twinkie. Laura didn’t go into detail, but apparently there’s some kind of major misunderstanding going on between him and his folks.” She hesitated, her normal exuberance dimmed in a very un-Sharon like way. “Jena, this is none of my business, but can I give you some advice?”
Jena nodded.
“Do whatever it takes to get them talking. You’ll never forgive yourself if you think you’ve put a wedge in his family.”
Jena nodded again, taking a minute to think as her mom resumed her energetic peeling. When Sharon’s potato was approximately the size of a large pearl onion, she held up the skinned potato, studied it, and tossed it toward the counter. “Wouldn’t it be faster to just throw the marshmallows in with these while they’re boiling?”
Jena sighed and tossed her own potato toward the counter. “Marshmallows go with the sweet potatoes, Mom, and no, you can’t add them to the water. They’re baked on top.”
Sharon shrugged. “If you want to do it that way. Can we put brown sugar in these?”
“Not if you want anyone to eat them.”
“Chili powder?”
“Fine.” Crossing to the sink, Jena filled a pan with water to boil the potatoes and then started cutting up the first one.
“Are you and Nick using raincoats, or are you on the pill?”
Happy Thanksgiving, Americans, and happy Tuesday to everyone else :)

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