Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Squirrel!

A squirrel came to the suet pellet feeder today.  I was so excited to see it and its trail through the snow.  It didn't stay long but that's okay.  Maybe it'll tell its little friends and they'll come back.  Or maybe the birds will hear the news and come too.  I feel like I've done something to offend them and don't know how to fix it.

The next art assignment is called Never Seen, Never Will.  You are to think of something, some place, or someone in the world that you have never seen and probably never will and make it somehow.  Write it or draw it or construct it.  Since I am sure that I won't be going diving again there's no chance that I'll ever see a whale shark in the wild so I googled pictures and printed off a few.  Then I got out a sketch pad and started working on it.  I could write about seeing one but that seems like cheating, writing doesn't feel like art to me.  I don't draw very well but I can try my hand at it and then work out how to paint it with watercolors which are the only paints I have.  I also have a couple how-to books about watercolors so I can get some tips before jumping in.

This morning I went over to Zambaldi Beer to watch DS fill a couple kegs from a half barrel of Brown Ale.  Every time I go visit he's doing something different.  I'm always impressed at how he figures out how to do things with hoses and valves.  Creative.  (He gets that from me)

After supper I sat down with yarn and needles and cast on a mitten cuff.  I knew I had some100% wool that isn't fuzzy and I even knew where it was (once I searched and found it on Ravelry).  I'm going to make the cuffs in this light gray and the hand in a darker gray.  Just because I can.  Maybe I'll even have a pair of mittens for the next time I have to blow or shovel the snow.




31 December--Barbara Malcolm, The Seaview. 

            He sat there, still like he always sat, as if he had all the patience in the world.

            "I want to rush into a physical relationship with you, Iggy, and yet I'm afraid."

            "Afraid of what?"

            Suddenly I could not meet his eyes.  "I'm afraid that it's too soon since Jim died and people will talk."

            "But Jim has not been on this island for, what, four years?  When you arrived word went around that you are a widow of not many years but people do know that you are widow.  They will not judge you for that.  What else?"

            I shook my head at my thoughts.

            "What?" he asked again, smiling in the dark.

            My words came out in a rush.  "I love working with you, Iggy.  I love talking to you and teasing you and being teased by you.  You are my first real friend on Anguilla.  What if we start a relationship again and it doesn't work out?  Will I lose my electrician, my friend, and my lover all at once if we fight again?"  I could hear the tears in my voice and took another drink to wash them away.

            He reached out his hand and gently took mine.  "Oh Rose, my Rosie, do not think that you will lose me so quickly.  We can stop right now and I will not be angry."  He chuckled.

            "What?" I asked.  "What's funny?"

            He shook his head.  "I have been trying so hard for two weeks now not to rush into this with you.  I have been holding myself in, not touching your face, not kissing those sassy lips, not putting my hand on you some way every day.  I can wait a while longer, I think, if you need me to."

            Suddenly I realized that I was not willing to wait.  I could not wait for some nebulous day in the misty future when I stopped feeling married to Jim and able to move on into a new relationship.

            Another drop of perspiration slide down my spine making me shiver, but this time it was not a shiver of trepidation but a shiver of anticipation.  I tipped back my head and drained my glass.  Then I took Iggy's glass from his hand and set it beside my empty one on the counter.

            "I don't think there will be any more waiting tonight," I said as my hands gripped his shoulders and pulled him to me.  My nipples felt hard when his chest crushed mine as his strong, long arms engulfed me in his embrace.  Our mouths came together as if they had been meeting for years and we drank in each other like we had been thirsty for days.

            Finally being in Iggy's arms, finally giving in to the desire that had been building in me since almost the first time I saw him lounging against the front porch steps made my muscles tense and shiver with the strength of my feelings.  When we took a breath and leaned away from each other, I took his hand and tugged him upright.

            "I want to take a shower," I said in a low voice, "and I want you to wash my back.

            His low chuckle pushed my desire to another level.  I dropped his hand and went around the room quickly lighting jarred candles, carrying the last into the spacious bathroom with the shower stall for two at the end.  Putting the candle jar below the mirror doubled the light in the room without the need to turn on the glaring ceiling light.  I turned and found Iggy had not moved from his place in the kitchen.  I went back to him and tugged him to get his feet moving.  "Come on, Iggy," I said, "you probably want to clean up too."

            Dear god, I thought, please let him help me through this.  Make him wake up to the fact that I'm running right now on desire and fear in equal parts.  I need him to do some of this.

            Almost as soon as the thought left my mind he moved.  His hand came to life in mine and he gently turned me into his embrace.  "You are sure that this is what you want?" he said against my lips.

            I couldn't think straight with that kind of sensation dancing along my veins.  "I'm sure.  You're what I want, right now."  My prayers had never been answered so quickly and so enjoyably.

I went to Pick 'n Save this afternoon on my way home from the brewery to pick up the three items that I forgot to put on the Meijer shopping list yesterday.  Arrgh.  Here I'm trying to be so cautious and then go and forget something.  I had to go get the stuff because it isn't worth paying $5 for pickup or $10 for delivery of $6 worth of groceries but I was extra careful, wore my mask, and used hand sanitizer when I got into the car and washed my hands first thing when I got home.  I think I'll make the first recipe tomorrow.  Investment Cooking begins!

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Blindfold Art

The next art assignment was to get some paper, a pencil, and a blindfold, then draw your home.  I don't draw very well but Lala thought it would be fun so I tried.  I had a big pad of paper for the grandkids so I got that out and dug out some charcoal pencils I bought when I was going to follow a different art challenge.  I found a bandana and I was ready.  This first attempt is the front of my house, believe it or not.  You can see the three living room windows and the landscaping.  There's the rows of bricks but they're floating off to the side.  The roof is too low and the doorknob is stuck in the roof angle.  It reminds me of some cubist art.  Hey, maybe this is how Picasso got started.

My second attempt is the table where I sit all the time, another version of home.  It isn't good, but it isn't too bad.  It was fun to do.

Since the birds and squirrels have abandoned me I had to take matters into my own hands (feet?) and made tracks in the snow this morning when I went out to fill the birdbath.

I made my Investment Cooking order at Meijer today and it was a big one.  Big enough that I took the tosses to Goodwill so that I could open the garage door and the back hatch of the car for her to put the shopping into when she delivered it because there were too many bags for the porch.  It's very handy but I miss shopping.

Tonight I finished Cast Sock #10 while I watched Museum Secrets on PBS.  It's a series about things in big museums, different artifacts, their histories, and provenance.  It's about 10 years old and I'm enjoying it.



30 December--Barbara Malcolm, The Seaview. 

Chapter 30

            It was just about seven o'clock when I walked back down the road to Sydan's.  We hadn't talked more about tonight's menu but we'd eaten together enough that I figured we wouldn't starve.

            I hung my swimsuit and towel to dry over a rack Anne had put along the back of her house out of sight of passersby and went in to put on a clean shirt and shorts, and get the lobsters ready for grilling.  A look through the food in the fridge showed me that I had more fruit than vegetables so I hoped Iggy brought some.  While the lobster tails soaked in a bowl of water to remove some of the salt, I chopped the lettuce, cut up a piece of red onion, and then sliced and chopped the bits of mango, orange, banana, and melon to top it.  A splash of white wine with a little salt, pepper, and sugar whisked with olive oil made the dressing.  I'd hold off on tossing the salad until Iggy arrived.  Poking around in the fridge again the only bread I found was an almost petrified end of a baguette.  "Croutons," I said.

            A voice behind me said, "I am in favor of them."

            I turned to smile at Iggy.  "Me too. This bread is too dry for anything else.  I'll cube it, then toast it in a skillet with a little butter."  He set a carrier on the kitchen breakfast bar.  "What did you find in your larder?"

            He smiled at me.  "Nothing special.  Just some corn and carrots, and a bit of lime custard pie."

            "Perfect," I said. "I'm out of vegetables except for this bit of lettuce and onion at the bottom of the salad.  I'm glad you have pie. Did you know that I love pie?"

            "I did not.  I will remember."

            "Will you start the grill, please?  Swimming makes me hungry."

He touched the tip of my nose.  "My employer is such a task mistress that I am hungry most of the time."

            I growled and grabbed the front of his shirt.  "Go light the grill, if you know what's good for you."

            He half-bowed.  "Yes, ma'am."

            Soon the lobsters were grilled, the salad tossed, the carrots and corn sautéed in the skillet I'd used to toast the croutons.  We set a table in the courtyard and for once there were no other guests around and Anne's house was dark.

            We lingered over the last of the wine watching the palm trees sway over the salt pond and the moon rise to draw a shining path across the shallow water

            Iggy made sure the charcoal wasn't going to tip over and burn the place down while I stacked the dishes on a tray.  He carried the tray; I carried the empty wine bottle and our glasses.  He set the tray on the breakfast bar and I ran hot soapy water into the dishpan.  I'd learned long ago not to leave food-covered dishes lying around in the tropics.  I had begun to wash the dishes when Iggy set down his glass.  He took the plate out of my hand, and then he drew me around to his side of the counter.

            "Now," he said when I was standing right in front of him, "where were we?"  He lowered his lips to mine.  "Oh yes, now I remember."

            For the second time that evening my mouth became the center of my universe.  Iggy's warm lips tickled mine and slid to my neck where he kissed and nibbled his way down to my shoulder.

            I shivered with the sensations and my hands raised on their own to caress his broad, strong back and work their way up to hold his head, to keep his lips where I could reach them.

            He backed up and sat down on one of the stools so that our heads were on the same level.  Our mouths explored each other, our tongues played tag, teasing and flicking, until we were both gasping.

            In the dim light coming in through the transom over the sliding glass doors, I saw desire flaming in his deep chocolate brown as eyes as I am sure he could in mine.  His strong, work-roughened hands caressed my face and neck, roamed over my shoulders, and hesitated as they slid down my upper arms.

            My breasts ached with wanting his touch.  I slid my hands down from his shoulders, down his arms to his hands, and led them to my breasts.  Our groans mingled as our lips came back together, Iggy's thumbs teasing my nipples into firm nubs.

            I returned the favor, finding his small nipples under his shirt.  His hand dropped to slide up under my shirt, feeling warm on my midriff.  My breath caught in my throat when he touched my bare skin.

            He lifted his lips from mine and said, "We can stop if you want."

            In response I lifted the hem of his shirt and pulled it over his head.  His hairless chest gleamed in the pale light.  He tugged up the hem of my shirt and hesitated, cocking his eyebrows at me as if asking for permission.  I took a deep breath and nodded.

            Not quickly the way I had done with his, but slowly, teasingly he pulled up my shirt.  I raised my arms over my head and felt the damp cotton slide up and off my hands.  He tossed my shirt aside, keeping one hand on my hands.  Then he slid his hands back down my up-stretched arms until they reached my shoulders, down across my shoulder blades, and then under my arms to finally reach my breasts, still covered by my cotton sports bra.  Even in the dim light I could see my nipples harden, poking the fabric, rising to a man's touch for the first time in years.

            Iggy's nipples were peeking at me from his dark brown chest, little coins of even darker flesh standing up asking for attention.  I leaned forward and caught one on the tip of my tongue.  I lapped at it and felt him shiver.  I pushed my face closer to his chest and nipped at his nipple making it even harder as my hand teased its twin.  I felt as much as heard his breath stop, his hands touching my back as I pressed myself to him.

            Our mouths found each other again as our hands smoothed over skin we had not seen before.  I began to feel cheated that my breasts were still captive in my bra but Iggy's fingers slid under the tight elastic bottom band and stretched the sweat-moist fabric up and over my head so that we were both bare from the waist up.  He held me away from him to allow his eyes to roam over my flesh.  I felt that look as if it had substance.  I could feel a blush rising from my chest, up my neck, to flush my pale cheeks with color.

            The contrast of our skin excited me.  His strong dark fingers wrapped around my no longer perky breast, cupping it, and nudging the nipple to new heights.  Breath hissed between my teeth as he leaned down to nibble at the pale brown areola pushing itself out as if asking for his attention.  I have always wished that my nipples and areolas were darker brown instead of the pale fawn color that they are but that night, that first time Iggy murmured "so beautiful" against my soft flesh, I liked them, liked the way they looked because he did.  Iggy teased my nipples and lapped at my breasts, not favoring one over the other, until they were aching with desire.

            I pulled him up and kissed his lips, then I steered him back to the stool and sat him down.  I caught my breath as a droplet of perspiration rolled down my spine and I wondered if I was ready, really ready, to do this.

            My sudden doubt must have shown on my face because Iggy tipped my chin up with one finger.  "What?"

            I took a deep breath and reached for our glasses of juice on the counter beside him.  "I am, um, feeling a bit afraid."  I took a big sip of juice to give me a moment to gather what I wanted to say.

I didn't toss anything when I got home from Goodwill so that there would be room for groceries.  Writing went okay today.  I veered away from the prompt but managed a page of scribbling.  Ahh.

Tomorrow I'm going to see if I can find some wool, 100% wool, to knit some more mittens for me.  The ones I wore this morning are fuzzy enough that the fuzz gets caught on the handle of the snowblower.  So I need unfuzzy wool.  I wonder if I have any of that left or did I get rid of it all.  Time will tell.