Thursday, September 30, 2010

Would You Like a Cup O' Tea?

Maybe you're not a tea drinker.... Yet! Either way you totally need to check out Octavia Tea. It's amazing. A little on the pricey side, but it's top quality and the flavors are fabulous. (Don't names like "Raspberry Champagne", "Jasmine Citrus", "Vanilla Coconut", and "Spiced Apple Pie" just make your mouth water?)

I'm going to order some for myself and maybe for some Christmas presents. MMM yummy. :)

What flavors or tea brands are YOUR favorites? I want to know.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Charlie Eldermun

Truth be told, the top item on my do-before-death list is to write a full length novel and actually attempt to publish it. This will probably take some time and I will regularly have to fight off the demons of self-doubt, incompetence, sloth, and general lack of time.

However, I WILL NOT DIE before seriously pursuing my goal (shhh, don't tell Death). I will do my part and I will write.

My dear husband has been doing his part by encouraging me endlessly and giving me random writing assignments. The following is my answer to a writing challenge he gave me: Write a short story, beginning, middle, and end, that is only two pages long. I wrote it in about an hour, so it's far from perfect. But I had fun doing it. :)

Enjoy. And let me know what you think!


 © S.E. Fowler; August 17, 2010

Charlie Eldermun woke up to the sound of his mother’s voice.

”Good morning, Charlie!” She had a sweet and melodic voice. Like caramel covered apples.

”Mom, I don’t feel like going to school today. I think I’d rather talk to Benny about the plans and we really don’t have time for school today” said Charlie as he pushed himself up into a sitting position and scooted to the edge of his white metal bed.

“That’s just fine, Charlie. You don’t have to go to school today. Benny’s already in the sitting room. Why don’t you have some breakfast and you can go over the plans with him then?”

Blue eyes smiled down at Charlie and gentle hands helped to lift him off of the bed.

“Do we have pancakes today?” asked Charlie. He yawned and slowly scratched the back of his head.

“Yes, we have pancakes. Today’s Wednesday! We always have pancakes on Wednesday.” cooed the caramel-apple voice.

After breakfast Charlie’s mother helped him into his automatic go-kart and he set off for the sitting room.

Charlie liked to ride his automatic go-kart around the house. It was a very big house and it was much more fun to ride in an automatic go-kart than to walk everywhere. Besides, there were so many people that came to Charlie’s house that he quite preferred being able to zoom away in his go-kart if he didn’t feel like talking to them. Charlie’s father was always having consultants over and Charlie’s mother was always trying to get Charlie to make friends with all sorts of visitors. Some visitors stayed for long periods of time and others stayed for only short periods of time. The only visitor that Charlie liked being friends with was Benny. Benny had been visiting for a long time.

Charlie rode into the sitting room and grinned. Only Benny was there. Charlie liked it best when only Benny was in the sitting room.

Charlie scooted his go-kart over to Benny, who was sitting on the edge of the maroon couch.

“Charlie!” Benny’s face broke into a huge grin and he reached out his long arm and slapped Charlie on the back. It wasn’t a very hard slap since Benny wasn’t really that strong.

”Benny!” whispered Charlie. “We really need to decide when we’re going to go to Australia. I got out of school today and we should decide when we’re going.”

Benny crinkled his nose and his eyebrows pushed together and he pursed his lips. This was Benny’s thinking face.

”Well, Charlie, we better figure out HOW we’re going to get there before we figure out WHEN we’re going to get there.”

So Charlie and Benny spent the morning and afternoon deciding both how and when they would go to Australia. They were interrupted by some of Charlie’s mother’s visitors in the morning and by Charlie’s mother when it was time for lunch. Charlie’s father’s consultants interrupted their conversation in the afternoon and they finally had to break off their planning when it was time for dinner.

”Okay Benny,” grinned Charlie as he turned his automatic go-kart towards the hallway entrance.

”You got it, Charlie!” Benny waved.

Charlie winked at his friend and rode off with his mother, who laughed, a light tinkling laugh.

“Charlie,” she said, “you been making plans with Benny, again?”

”Maybe…. Do we have mashed potatoes tonight?” asked Charlie.

She winked a hazel eye at Charlie and whispered “You bet!” and squeezed his shoulder.

The next morning Charlie woke up to the sound of his mother’s voice. It was deep and silky sounding, like honey molasses.

”I don’t think I want to go to school today. Benny and I have to make plans and there’s no time for school today” said Charlie.

“That’s alright Charlie, you don’t have to go to school today” said the molasses voice.

”I can make plans with Benny instead?” Charlie’s face lit up and he pushed himself up into a sitting position.

”Well, no, I don’t think you can see Benny today, Charlie…”

”But we have to work on the plans today! We’re leaving on Saturday.” Charlie frowned.

”I’m sorry, Charlie, you can’t see Benny… Benny….. passed away last night, Charlie. It was time for him to go. I’m so sorry, Charlie…” The honey-molasses voice faltered and her green eyes blinked several times.

”But he can’t… he can’t have passed away… Benny had lots of time left!” cried Charlie.

”Oh, Charlie, Benny was 96. That’s only 5 years older than you! He lived a good life, Charlie. It will be okay. Do you want some breakfast, Charlie? Today’s Thursday. We have waffles today.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Bro

 Dear Brother,

You were born twenty-two years ago on this day. You share a birthday with Brigitte Bardot, Dita Von Teese, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Hilary Duff.  And twenty-two years ago today residents of the D.C. area dealt with any overwhelming infestation of large black field crickets.

Lovely women and lucky (or annoying) crickets aside, September 28th, 1988 forever changed my life. I went from sole possessor of parental attention to having to share. It was bitter, but it was sweet.

So today I decided to help you celebrate by breaking into your car (er... inherited minivan). It's okay, I didn't actually break in - I had a key. I gave you a Mr. Roger's themed card, munchies (you're student-teaching and you are definitely wasting away), and a Mickey Mouse balloon.

Here's to the next twenty-two years.


Yer Big Sis

Monday, September 27, 2010

The 3 Month Mark

Three months ago I woke up with an additional ring on my left ring finger and an additional body in my bed. My world has been forever and eternally changed.

Many have warned us that the first year of marriage is the most difficult. Or that three months marks the start of domestic unbliss. Truthfully, our relationship is far from perfect and we are both incredibly imperfect beings. But we knew that when we married each other. And we have yet to encounter any strong cases of relationship struggle. Call us naive, lucky, or just plain stupid, but I think we're off to a good start.

Communicate. With yourself AND with your spouse. What's the REAL reason that you feel like wringing a neck? Know thyself and know thy mate. And never consider them fully known.

What do you think? Comment to share your tips, tricks, or general warnings against naiveté.