Jun 24, 2014

ground rules for dating a single dad

Freddie played with the edge of her blanket. "Will you come and see me when I'm not sick?"
"I think I might." She leaned over to make a grab and came up with a mewing kitten. "And to see Lucy and Desi."
"And Daddy."
Cautious, Natasha scratched the kitten's ears. "Yes, I suppose."
"You like him, don't you?"
"Yes. He's a very good teacher."
"He likes you, too." Freddie didn't add that she had seen her father kiss Natasha at the foot of her bed just the night before, when they'd thought she was asleep. Watching them had given her a funny feeling in her stomach. But after a minute it had been a good funny feeling. "Will you marry him and come and live with us?"
"Well, is that a proposal?" Natasha managed to smile. "I think it's nice that you'd want me to, but I'm only friends with your daddy. Like I'm friends with you."
"If you came to live with us, we'd still be friends."
The child, Natasha reflected, was as clever as her father.

Taming Natasha




Great news: You just met a wonderful guy! ... Yes, you’re dating a divorced dad, and he’s a tricky species, indeed. Whatever rules you’ve applied to dating in the past, just throw them out the window. Because when it comes to having a relationship with a man who has kids, you’ll need to follow a whole new set of guidelines.




"And you've done everything you can to give him a happy and normal life. Don't you see how much I admire that? How much I respect it?"
Flustered, he stared at her. He'd never thought of parenting as admirable. "It's what I'm supposed to do.
Thinking of him first, that's how it has to be. It's not just you and me, Kate. If it were… but it's not. A change like this—a life-altering one—he has to be in on it."
"And who's saying differently?" she demanded.
"Well, damn it. I can't just go tell him I'm getting married, just like that. I need to talk to him about it, prepare him. So do you. That's the kind of thing you'd be taking on. He needs to be as sure of you as he is of me."
"For heaven's sake, O'Connell, don't you think I've taken all of that into account? You've known me for months now. You ought to be able to give me more credit."
"It's not a matter of—"
"It was Jack who asked me to marry you in the first place."
Brody stared into her flushed and furious face, then held up his hands. "I have to sit down." He backed up, dropped down on a flattened stump. Because the dog was shoving the rope into his lap, Brody tossed it. "What did you just say?"
"Am I speaking English?" she demanded. "Jack proposed to me yesterday. Apparently he doesn't have as much trouble making up his mind as his father. He asked me to marry you, both of you. And I've never had a lovelier offer."


Considering Kate

Jun 22, 2014

Coming Home

A lot had stayed the same over a decade. But a lot had changed. 

He was well aware that news of his arrival was even now singing over telephone wires. 

It pleased him. He wanted the town to know he was back— and not with his tail between his legs, as many had predicted.

He had money in his pocket now, and plans for the future.The Barlow place was the heart of his plans. 

He didn't subscribe to ghosts, under most circumstances, but the house had certainly haunted him. Now it belonged to him, every old stone and bramble—and whatever else it held. He was going to rebuild it, as he had rebuilt himself.

One day he would stand at the top window and look down on the town. He would prove to everyone—even to Rafe MacKade—that he was somebody.

The Return of Rafe MacKade


tell the world 
I'm coming home
let the rain wash away
all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits
and they've forgiven my mistakes
I'm coming home
I'm coming home
tell the world I'm coming...



Later, when they were curled together in the deep feather bed, she laid her hand on his heart and smiled.
"I'm awfully glad you came back to town, MacKade. Welcome home."

The Return of Rafe MacKade

Jun 19, 2014

What's in a Name?

“What's his name?”
She looked up from the puppy's adoring eyes. “Dog? That's it?”
“He likes it. Hey, Dog.” At the sound of his master's voice, Dog immediately cocked
his head at Nathaniel and barked. “See?”
“Yes.” She laughed and nuzzled. “It seems a bit unimaginative.”
“On the contrary. How many dogs do you know named Dog?”

Megan's Mate


Your pet is an important part of your family. So when you bring a new furry friend into your life, you should show the same careful consideration when choosing his or her name as you would when deciding what to call your newborn son or daughter. 

"People see their pets as companions," says Frank Nuessel, Ph.D., a linguistics professor at the University of Louisville and editor of NAMES: A Journal of Omnastics. "So it makes sense that there's a link between how we name children and how we name animals. The act of naming is such a symbolic thing," he says. 


“A bird?”
“A parrot I picked up in the Caribbean about five years ago. That's another reason I
bring Dog along with me. Bird might eat him.”

Megan's Mate

Jun 18, 2014

why voice mails are so horribly awkward?

“Damn it,” she said under her breath as Carter’s voice hit her straight in the belly.
“Ah, hi. It’s Carter. I wonder if you might want to go out to dinner, or maybe the movies. Maybe you like plays better than movies. I should’ve looked up what might be available before I called. I didn’t think of it. Or we could just have coffee again if you want to do that. Or . . . I’m not articulate on these things. I can’t use a tape recorder either. And why would you care? If you’re at all interested in any of the above, please feel free to call me. Thanks. Um. Good-bye.”

“Damn you, Carter Maguire, for your insanely cute quotient. You should be annoying. Why aren’t I annoyed? Oh God, I’m going to call you back. I know I’m going to call you back. I’m in such trouble.”
Calculating, she decided the odds were strong in her favor that he’d already left for work. She preferred the idea of talking to his answering machine in turn.  When his clicked on she relaxed. Unlike Carter, she was articulate on answering machines. 
“Carter, Mac. I might like to go out to dinner, or the movies, possibly a play. I have no objection to coffee. How about Friday, as it’s not a school night? Pick the activity and let me know.
“Tag, you’re it.”

See, it doesn’t have to be serious, she reminded herself. I can set the tone.

Vision in White


Over the weekend, the New York Times published a story announcing the demise of voice mail, quoting a Vonage spokesperson who said that voicemail use had decreased 8 percent from last October to April of this year.

The story positions millennials as being primarily responsible, as the text-preferring generation has little patience for sitting through a long, droning message.

But there’s another element here: awkwardness. The piece also quotes four-time Moth StorySLAM–winner Kate Greathead, who said, “I’m fine telling a story in front of 400 strangers, but get dry-mouthed when leaving a voice mail.” But it doesn’t delve much into the why factor; what exactly is it that makes leaving a message at the beep so deeply uncomfortable?


“Mac!” Emma called when the phone rang. “Should I get that?”
“No!” Mac rushed out, carrying a low stool. “It might be . . . I’ve got this game going on.” 
She set her stool on the mark, began to drape it with another ivory sheet as Carter’s voice came on.
“I imagine you can guess who this is. Saturday, starting with dinner and then, well . . . hmm. Seven o’clock. So that’s good. That’s great. I, ah, don’t know if there’s anything you particularly like to eat—or really hate, for that matter. You’d have mentioned if you were a vegan, right? I think you’d have brought that up. And I’m overthinking this again. So, I guess this concludes our game of tag. I’ll see you Saturday. Unless you need to call me about . . . I’m shutting up now. Bye.”
“He sounds so cute.”

Vision in White