How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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#BlogBattle 5-Prompt: Adore

Find the Rules at Rachael Ritchie’s blog: http://wp.me/p7rsge-cB

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Prompt:  Adore

Words: 780

Oh, Henry!

Love of learning amused and absorbed him. A good-natured boy, Henry hid a quick and vicious temper but when he played, he played to win. “Giving up already, lads?”

His cousins William and Charles slid from their horses. Fair-haired Charles, the more outspoken of the two, pursed his lips. “Henry, give it a rest. My backside is raw as a side of mutton. We can hunt again another day.”

Brow furled, William curled his lip. “The hounds need water and a rest as do I. The early spring sun is hot and burns, does it not?”

Henry sized up his companions beneath dripping lashes. Perspiration slid from his ginger hair to his flushed cheeks. He swiped a sleeve over his face. On the cusp of his eighteenth birthday, his energy and stamina exceeded theirs though they were of similar age. The hounds yelped and clustered around. “All right, men. Point taken. Methinks I need a tankard of beer to cool off. Follow me.”

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The horses dispensed to the care of the stable grooms, the young men joked and jostled each other like schoolboys up the dusty path to the main building. Large-boned but lean, Henry, the tallest, strut with a confident swagger, kicking up dirt behind him. Long strides thrust him a fair distance ahead of his cousins. Inside the palace, he raised his voice. “Cook. We have need to quench our thirst and meat to fill our bellies. Hurry, else I expire.”

Hearing the commotion in the dining room, Henry’s grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, hastened to his side. “The physicians say your father is weak and may not last the night. Eat your fill but hurry.”

Henry’s father, the king, had been ill for some time but his imminent death chilled him. Arthur, the first-born, had died. His mother had, too within a year. Henry had not been the favored son though his father strove to protect him from harm as second choice of heir to the throne. Now he might die within hours. He had never considered anything in life but continued study and the eventual rise to the role of Archbishop of Canterbury. His mother and grandmother had groomed him since birth.

Lady Beaufort hurried away.

Charles and William gaped at the news. “You’ve been heir to the throne since Arthur died. You knew your father wouldn’t live forever and as the only son left…” Charles patted Henry’s forearm.

Over-heated staff scurried in and out of the kitchen. They placed tankards of beer before the young men. Steaming platters of fragrant meats and pies and fish arrived in a flurry of countless hands.

Henry slumped in his chair. “Alas, I did—and did not. These seven years since Arthur’s death, I considered this often, but I am not for ruling. I prefer my books and music, jousting and wrestling. King? I do not want it.

“Father and I had a terrible row about a year ago. I told him I couldn’t do it. I had never seen him so angry. “‘You must carry on the Tudor line,’” he said. “‘This will be your responsibility after I am gone, like it or not.’” He laid hands on me as if to kill me. Wish he had, then I would not have this terrible weight on me.” He dropped his head in his hands as if to crush his face.

William grabbed a drumstick and sank his teeth in to the bone. He ripped off an enormous bite; juice dripped down his golden chin stubble. Mouth too full to speak, he chomped and nodded.

Charles surveyed the offerings but held back. He punched William’s upper arm instead. “Listen, Henry. It will be fine. You are smart and have a fair face. Who doesn’t adore you? Think of all the wenches and ladies-in-waiting at your disposal. King by day and seducer by night…”

“How can you speak thus or even entertain such depraved thoughts? I am not the sort to partake in the pleasure of the flesh before marriage. This is a sin. Stop right now.” He raised a sweaty palm.

Face pale as goat’s milk, Lady Beaufort reappeared wringing her hands. Henry jumped up before she covered half the distance between them. He slogged after her, chin to his chest. His cousins avoided eye contact and bent to the task at hand: the agreeable indulgence of mouth-watering food.

* * *

crown-759296_960_720-pixabay

Henry’s coronation occurred two months after his father’s burial. Lady Beaufort enjoyed herself at the banquet but died one day later on his eighteenth birthday.

Henry took to politics after all. A new era began in part due to his intelligence and forward thinking: some changes good; others less so.

 

The End

 

© 2017 Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles

Images courtesy of Pixabay

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New Year’s Eve Day and Evening

Michael’s mother lives on Thetis_Island, her house off the water. New Year’s Eve morning began with breakfast and a visit to his mother’s for a dip in freezing water. Less than ten showed up for the swim. Not me. No way. Mary and Michael did the deed along with a couple other ladies, but not their men.

 

Afterwards, Michael organized a walk for a dozen visiting guests who stayed in various cottages on Thetis. Our closest neighbors:

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Another set of guests stayed in a fabulous yellow cottage. Jean has sticky fingers when it comes to pianos. She has a need to try them out and to our benefit, she played a couple uplifting tunes.

Along the way, we passed

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One of the guys picked up a branch, which appeared foaming. No one knew what it might be (it’s called hair ice).

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150722091530.htm

Pictures attribution: Jon Nightingale, Vancouver

Energized from the walk, Jean and I filled petite choux with the cream concoction I’d made in Jean’s kitchen. She called her mother-in-law about parsley for these savoury bites. Sure, she had some in the garden. Remember, this is New Year’s Eve and yes, she’d bring it to the hall washed and ready to use.

Michael, Jean’s husband had left earlier for the community in jeans and a blue and white checkered shirt—and tails. Yes, tails. He looked cool. Another guest and close friend of Jean’s from Nanaimo picked us up. Her contribution to the evening eats were smoked salmon and oysters—the fresh kind, not canned. She had no plastic wrap to cover the dishes. The car smelled like a smokehouse. I salivated as I balanced the plates on my lap.

Attribution: Jon Nightingales, Vancouver

Attribution: Jon Nightingale, Vancouver

Bronwyn, our driver, didn’t know the way, especially in the inky dark. Lucky we had Jean with us. The temperature had turned frigid, a surprise to all of us after the sunny afternoon stroll we’d taken. The dead grass was spongy with frost.

The hall was packed, the tables laid out with white linens and the men prepared the food. Tiny Christmas lights hung around the room brightened  lent a fe.stive. And balloons. It’s a party for grownups, but who doesn’t like balloons?

Midnight arrived as did the cake. Here’s to sister Jean on her 60th birthday.

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The party’s over, but it had another interesting turn. I had mentioned to Michael’s brother, who is in real estate about a locked door  at Overbury farm and how it was killing me. He smiled and promised there was a way to satisfy my curiosity.

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Next on November 25th – New Year’s Day

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Abbreviated Vancouver


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Penelakut to Thetis Island

An announcement reminded foot passengers to leave the ferry first when we docked because the ferry could not dock at the exact entry due to high tide (global warming). Then vehicle passengers were announced. A city bus awaited within walking distance to transport passengers to their jobs or other destinations. Instead of a streetcar, subway, train or their own car, people actually traveled this way every day. What a way to get to work and back. I wouldn’t want to do it every day.

Mary took the elevator since we were on the second floor. Jean and I raced down the stairs and waited for the elevator door to open. A couple girls pushed the button on the deck level. Nothing. Did this mean the elevator was stuck? We waited and waited. Michael scooted to the first level looking for her. The vehicles hadn’t begun moving off yet so we had a little time. It turns out Mary hadn’t been clear which level to get off. We had a good laugh, but the important thing was we were in the van and ready to move when our turn came to exit the ferry.

No time for sightseeing. We did last minute grocery shopping in Nanaimo before stopping in Chemainus for ice cream on our way to Penelakut Island and our second ferry to Thetis Island, our destination. We waited about 20 minutes—not a long line—hoping we’d make the cut and not have to wait for another one. This time the ferry was smaller and open. The deck wasn’t full even behind us. We’d started out at 6:10 a.m. and finally arrived at our lodgings for a late lunch. A long day already.

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I had no concept how large Thetis was but it didn’t feel like an island. We passed a fenced off Bible School and a cattle farm. The houses painted in lilac, green, and butter yellow had neat and pretty yards. Around bends and curves, we wound, the muddy gravel road neither straight nor boring.

Michael, Jean’s husband, entered Overberry Resort first to register our arrival at the office and pic up a key. This is the entrance.

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The building is divided into thirds. Our side offered three bedrooms, a kitchen and a bath (our lodgings). The entrance way and foyer were in the middle, and the owners lived in the last third.

We had a quick lunch of assorted cheeses, crackers, pate and squash soup Jean had brought from home. Scrumptious. Afterwards, a nap seemed in order, but Jean realized the late hour and called out she and Michael had to go to the Community Center to setup for the meet-and-greet later in the evening. Whoever was available would come from the Center to pick us up for dinner.

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By 5:00 p.m. it was pitch black outside, but I spied a hydro pole as the light came on at the top of the driveway.

~ * ~

Here are older Images for overbury Resort. Much reconstruction and renovations have occurred to present day.

Next on November 18th – New Year’s Eve Day and Evening

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Abbreviated Vancouver


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An Abbreviated Vancouver Adventure

Last December, sister Mary and I flew to Vancouver for sister Jean’s 60th birthday. The direct flight took four hours and forty minutes. The snack and refreshment cart rattled down the narrow isle after the first class passengers had been served—just three or four rows behind the cockpit ending the seat before us. No curtain of separation divided first class and the rest of the passengers. We ordered coffee. I received mine first and made a face. Mary noticed and tugged on the airline steward’s sleeve to change her order to mint tea.

“No, you cannot,” he said. “You’ve already had a turn.”

Of course, we thought him serious and therefore rude, until he grinned and giggled, laughter reaching his eyes. He was a rosy-cheeked, round fellow, with a belly which hung over his belt. The tousled-hair blonde female flight attendant was a larger woman than hired in years gone by. How refreshing life is becoming more realistic these days.

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I cannot believe I passed up a free, like-new book left on a brown refuse box inside the airport. My fingers itched for the thick Nora Roberts hardcover novel, but I was already weighed down enough.

After experiencing the Camino-like trek through Toronto airport, we loved Vancouver’s. The baggage claim located close to ground transportation, Jean and her husband met us as soon as Mary texted our arrival. The first rain clouds in a month hung mean and leaden, keen to greet us. This was to be a family get-together with no time for sightseeing.

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Jean served a lovely snack at the house and later a late supper. The time to catch up turned to night. Weary from travel and excitement of seeing family again, we fell into bed midnight Vancouver time (9:00 p.m. in Ontario). The next morning, Mary and I slept in as Jean slipped out to a Yoga class and Michael dawdled in the kitchen assembling breakfast.

A day of eating, drinking, and talking till we were hoarse (necessitating more drinking) followed. After supper, Michael prepared a cauldron of chili (maybe it was a large pot). I threw together a filling for Jean’s petit choux (like one-bite cream puffs): artichokes, softened sun-dried tomatoes, cream cheese, and feta into a food processor for a coarse blend. These were in preparation for the festivities New Year’s Eve.

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A day of accomplishing little, we finally called it a night around 11:30 p.m. I tossed and turned, bolting upright at a thunderous crack. I reacted by checking the shelves of books around us in the great room were intact. For a split second, I thought they’d exploded around us. The report sounded once and no more. My heart hammered on. Mary said it must be the wind.

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/overnight-quake-the-strongest-felt-in-14-years-on-b-c-s-south-coast-1.2717808

The household was awake at 6:10 a.m.—ten minutes later than planned—to catch the ferry to Nanaimo. Seniors get a discount but only if they are residents. Michael paid for the tickets. No one mentioned half of us were from Ontario.

The early morning proved knuckle bleeding and foot stomping cold. We ran across and down the road to use the facilities due to our early arrival. Hurry up and wait, but that’s the unwritten rule. If you want to get on, arrive as close to the front of the line as you can before space runs out on board for your car.

The mountains striking and the water calm, we enjoyed breakfast on board at around $10.00 each for eggs, home fries, toast, and choice of ham, sausages, or bacon. Our crossing across the Georgia Straits on the Coastal Renaissance transpired without incidence.

 

Next on November 11th – Penelakut to Thetis Islands

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Abbreviated Vancouver


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Blog Friends, Neighbors and Countrymen

Due to extenuating circumstances (unexpected family and social obligations: i.e. life in the fast lane), I haven’t had enough time to visit you all more often.

November, I spent writing with furious diligence, while  life around me came to a standstill. Still appointments and family visits continue to take much of my time this month. Off and on holiday entertaining and a visit to the west coast for a sister’s 60th birthday also loom large.

When time permits, I shall flit in and out and can’t wait till my schedule isn’t hampered by all these commitments. You’re always on the edge of my mind. I have not forgotten you and miss you and our daily banter.

MH900434403


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100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week 151

To find out more about this challenge, click below:

https://jfb57.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week151-3/

The prompt this week is: …Pink…  + 100 words

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The Pink One

“I don’t like this dress!” Like liquid diamonds, huge tears slid down Susanna’s plump cheeks.

“Do you like the Cinderella dress?”

“Yes. Is bootiful”

“Is it the same color as the dress you don’t like?”

“Y-es? I wear it to party?”

“No. This is a birthday party not a princess party.”

The five-year-old’s mouth puckered. “I wanna wear the pink one. It’s girlie-girl. It make circles when I go round and round.”

“Honey, it’s too small now.

“I not going.”

“And miss cake and ice-cream with your friends?”

Her eyes lit up. “Maybe princess dress?”

“No.”

Sigh. “Okay. I wear it.”

 

© 2015 Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


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Flash in the Pan – Motorcycle

“Happy fortieth, Mom.”

“Thanks, Bobby. Roses—my favorites.”

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Cindy’s husband squirmed as if he needed the restroom. Face flushed and eyes ablaze, he grabbed her hand. “Remember your motorcycle lessons?” He cleared his throat.

“Y-e-s?”

“You passed, and I bought you a Cruiser too—”

“What?” She bounced up and down and flung her arms around Tom’s neck. “Where is it?”

His eyebrows twitched like poodle tails. “Don’t stand there. Hustle, hustle.”

“Bobby, come on.

~ * ~

The Winter Quarter of Flash in the Pan is here. The theme: Boys and Their Toys. For the rules and how to join, click: http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/

The word limit for Motorcycle is 75 words. I used every last one.


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Flash in the Pan – Sommelier

“Our best twelve-year old Beaujolais. I will open and decant it for you.”

“Nothing’s too good for my baby’s birthday, right Doll?”

Simone stabbed her pouty lips with blood red lipstick, white teeth perfect as Chiclets, and fluttered her spidery eyelashes.

“Try it, sir?”

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“Tastes… this is corked. Yech.”

“Sir, this wine tastes fine—”

“Anybody know anything about wine here?”

I’m the sommelier…”

“This is crap.”

“Might I suggest something else?”

“Let’s go!”

“Jack?”

The word limit for Sommelier is 75 words. I used all 75. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for the rules and join us.


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NaNoWriMo – Day 1

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month, and, my birthday. To celebrate my lucky birth (it was a touch questionable), I’ve decided to take up this daunting challenge.

What kind of present is that?

Some years I didn’t bother; other years I’d treat myself to something special I wouldn’t or couldn’t afford at any other time. This is the first time I’ve gone on a limb. Buying a new television or a piece of furniture is worlds apart from this crazy idea, I admit.

I’ve managed to put 1722 words on the page, but it’s only my first day. Now I’m going to start sweating—yes—sweating and it ain’t going to be lady-like, but I don’t care. I’m going to stick it out as long as my fingers can suck the words out of my brain.

I’ll be around now and again, but most likely in an hap-hazard fashion. I could use some positive energy to keep this party going.

See you all, when I see you. I’ll be back and forth when I can. I’m green and new, but here goes nothing.

Tess


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Waste Not; Want Not

I can’t help thinking about a recent birthday celebration I attended at a Chinese buffet-syle restaurant. It had been a glorious day and a happy time spent with family members. No cooking or cleaning or washing up afterwards. Perfect.

Some things bother me about what I saw. I watched well-dressed, intelligent-looking people act like children. They piled up their plates and then left good food to be picked up and discarded by the servers. There’s so much food (at buffets and weddings), customers go for seconds and waste again. One young man filled up his plate to a cone-shaped disgusting pile twice. I’m surprised he made it safely to his table without an ugly spill—more waste. Twice more he piled a plate but ate only half.

Maybe I’m too conservative. Why not take small portions of something you’re not sure of and go back if you love it. Stuff yourself if you must but don’t waste. I’m not going to mention all the starving people in the world our mothers used to warn us about.

I overheard someone say at a table behind me, “Can you imagine, there’s a buffet restaurant in (fill in a name here) which charges their customers an addition set amount per plate if  they leave food on their plate. Good way to lose customers,” she said.

 To my way of thinking it’s not a bad idea. Just because you pay for the buffet doesn’t mean you should thoughtlessly waste it. Does it? Yet, that’s what customers do without a second thought. It’s not free but they seem to believe because they ‘paid’ for it, anything goes: at the hot buffet, the salad bar, the sweet table and the fruit bar.

And then we have free food at weddings. Call me old-fashioned or a fuddy-duddy. I just don’t get it. Isn’t that considered waste too? Shouldn’t food be respected? Aren’t we lucky in North America to have as much as we do?

One more thing. I have seen people order in restaurants, eat half and complain they didn’t like it and expect a free replacement. The goal is the rip-off. Come on; who is getting ripped off in the end do you suppose?  

Maybe I should confess that I’m not allowed out much.