Jun 29, 2018

Behind the Scars

His thumb brushed gently over her scar. "You had a lot of pain."
"Yes." She kept watching the butterflies, the cheerful, colorful mobile. "A lot of pain."
"You mentioned phantom pain."
"I feel it sometimes, during a nightmare or just after one. During a panic attack. I know it's not real."
"But it feels real."
"Very real." 

Angels Fall


By The original uploader was Tirin at English Wikipedia. [GFDL 
(http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Beautiful photo series documents people’s scars and the stories behind them


“You can take a nap in my bed if you want,” she invited, then pressed a curious
finger on the edge of the scar she saw beneath his hitched-up T-shirt. “You have a
hurt on your back.”
Alex was already scrambling to look. “Can I see?”
Holt tensed automatically, then forced himself to relax. “Sure.”
As Alex pushed up the shirt, both children's eyes widened. It wasn't like the neat
little scar they had both admired on his leg. This was long and jagged and mean,
slashing from the waist so high up on his back they couldn't push the shirt up
enough to see the end of it.
“Gee,” was all Alex could think to say. He swallowed, then gamely touched a finger
to the scar. “Did you get in a big fight?”
“Not exactly.” He remembered the pain, the incredible flash of white heat. “One of
the bad guys got me,” he said, and hoped it would satisfy. When he felt Jenny's little
mouth lower to his back, he went very still.
“Does it feel better now?” she asked.
“Yeah.” He had to let out a long breath to steady his voice. “Thanks.”

Suzanna's Surrender

Jun 28, 2018

4th Of July Party Ideas

"Hey, it's the Fourth of July. Ball games, beer, parades and fireworks. Some
things are sacred."

Captive Star


By Tom Walsh - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

You can't skip on America's birthday. And if you're going to it up, you might as well go all out with a star-spangled Independence Day Celebration.

31 Star-Spangled 4th of July Party Decorations


When the last boom echoed, she went down to make a fresh batch of drinks. It pleased
her, a great deal, to know her guests had a good holiday experience, and were even now
talking about the show, the feel, the local color.
It pleased her, too, to realize Lizzy wanted her companionship.
She fixed more chips and salsa, plated the pretty mini cupcakes topped with American
flags she’d gotten from the bakery. She left some on the counter for those who came
down, trayed the rest to carry up for those who wanted more time out in the summer night.

The Perfect Hope

Jun 27, 2018

Find your passion? If only it were that simple

She was creative and
competent. The problem had been, as it always had been, that
once the first rush of excitement was over something else had
caught her interest.

Loving Jack

This was different.
Jackie cradled her chin in her hand. How many times had she said that before? The  photography studio, the dance classes, the potter's wheel. But this was different. She'd been fascinated by each field she'd tampered in, and in each had shown a nice ability to apply what she'd learned, but she was beginning to see, or hope, that all those experiments, all those false starts, had been leading up to this.
She had to be right about the story. This time she had to carry it through from start to finish. Nothing else she'd tried had been so important or seemed so right. It didn't matter that her family and friends saw her as eccentric and fickle. She was eccentric and fickle. But there had to be something, something strong and meaningful, in her life. 


CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11979

New study challenges the idea that your lifelong pursuit is just buried inside you somewhere — but a new mindset can help.

Sounds great, doesn't it? 
In fact, finding your passion has become a big business, with colleges, self-help books and courses, and experts lined up to help people discover their one true path. 
But for many people, that specific passion can be awfully elusive. 
That's because, contrary to how the idea is popularly understood, most people don't just magically find their passion one morning. That truth can be frustrating and discouraging. 


But that wasn't the point, she reminded herself as she stared at the pendant. She'd lost that job and all the others, and now Margaret was giving her a chance to prove she wasn't a complete moron.
Which, Allena feared, she probably was.
"You need to find your place."
Blinking, Allena managed to tear her gaze away from the pendant and look back into the old woman's eyes. They seemed so kind and wise. "Maybe I don't have one."
"Oh, there now, each of us has one, but there are those who don't fit so easily into the world the way others see it. And us. You've only been looking in the wrong places."

Ever After

Jun 26, 2018

“I want to do some hiking and camping in the backcountry.”

Her laugh came fast and was none too flattering. “The hell you do.”
“Three days. You and me.” He held up a finger before she could laugh again. “We get away for a while. You do what you do best. And so do I. You’d agreed to interviews, so we’ll talk. This place is something you love, and I want you to show it to me. I want to see what you see when you look at it.”

River's End


By Jason Pratt from Pittsburgh, PA - Trees and light, CC BY 2.0, 

America's Best National Parks for Camping

The United States has dozens of gorgeous national parks spread around this big country. Most of them are incredible places to camp out, and here are our favorites.

Jun 25, 2018

Beers of Summer

He moved to the bar, elbowed in and ordered a Bitter Root beer—in a bottle. 
Dobie squeezed beside him, punched him in the arm. “Why do you wanna drink that foreign shit?”
  “Brewed in Montana.” He passed the bottle to Dobie, ordered another.
  “Pretty good beer,” Dobie decided after a pull. “But it ain’t no Budweiser.”
  “You’re not wrong.” Amused, Gull tapped his bottle to Dobie’s, drank. 
“Beer. The answer to so many questions.”

Chasing Fire


By Benreis - Own work, CC BY 3.0, 

500 beers for those hot summer days ahead.


He'd have killed for a beer. A big, frosty mug filled with some dark import that
would go down smoother than a woman's first kiss. A beer in some nice, dim, cool
bar, with a ball game on the tube and a few other stool-sitters who had an
interest in the game gathered around. 

Captive Star

Jun 22, 2018

Domino's Is Fixing Potholes

By http://www.dominos.uk.com/media_centre/pictures.aspx - 
http://www.dominos.uk.com/media_centre/pictures.aspx, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Because They're Ruining Pizza

"Paving for pizza" is a good advertising gimmick, and the sign of a sad state of infrastructural affairs.


“I didn’t grow up in the city. My family’s in construction.”
“Okay, but doesn’t that mean planting buildings?”
His lips quirked. “You could say. But my dad’s policy was to buy a tree or a shrub for any new house he built. So I plugged in a few.”
“That’s nice. Your dad’s policy, that’s nice.”
“Yeah. Nice gesture, and good business.”

The Search

Jun 21, 2018

Health and Beauty benefits of oats

He looked down at the bowl she put in front of him. "Oatmeal?"
"It'll stick to you, coat your stomach."
"Mrs. Patch used to make me eat oatmeal," he said, thinking of the sharp stick of a woman who'd cooked for them when he was a boy.
"Every day before school, fall, winter, and spring."
"Mrs. Patch knew what was good for you."
"She used to put a little maple syrup in it."
Feeling her lips twitch, Annie reached into a cupboard.



By Slick - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20185810

This whole-grain food known scientifically as Avena sativa has become very popular and is known for its high fiber and healthy cholesterol-lowering properties.

Having oats in your breakfast is one of the healthiest ways you can possibly start your day. While they are generally disliked by children, this shouldn’t be much of a problem if you are an adult.


"Then I'll have the oatmeal."
"You eat oatmeal?" She wrinkled her sexily crooked nose. 
"Without somebody holding a knife to
your throat?"
"It sticks with you."
"Yeah, for weeks."

Northern Lights

Jun 19, 2018

Ryan Reynolds posts hilarious tweets

The e-mail from his father made him grin.

The aliens, having performed hideous medical experiments -of an embarrassingly
sexual nature - on us, have returned your mother and me to Earth. You can hear all
about it on Larry King. Now that I have your attention, maybe you could spare five
minutes to get in touch. Your mother sends her love. I don’t: I like your sister better. Always
did. Guess who.

With a laugh, Jack sat down at the keyboard. "Okay, okay."

Sorry to hear about the alien experience. Typically, they insert tracking devices in their
abductees. You may want to chew on tinfoil while having any personal conversations,
as this is known to jam their frequencies. Just FYI. Recently back in NY. Am keeping
gorgeous Irish redhead prisoner in my apartment. Possibility of exotic sexual favors
from same may keep me busy for the next couple weeks. Love back to Mom. None to
you. I’m not even sure you are my father. You guess who.

Knowing his father would crack himself up reading the post, Jack hit send. 

Three Fates


Father’s Day gave Ryan Reynolds an opportunity to continue what has been a recurring theme since welcoming the first of his two children with wife Blake Lively in 2014.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday, the American actor, 41, shared another wise-cracking post about parenthood with his 11.3 million followers.

Jun 18, 2018

Enchanted By Fairytale Castle As A Child Buys It 20 Years Later

"Where one goddess walks, another waits, and dreams are only memories yet to come."

Key of Knowledge


By HARTLEPOOLMARINA2014 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, 

Everyone remembers somewhere they hung out as a kid, whether a favourite park or a cafe where you'd all lounge about all day, pretending to be the cast of Friends.
Well, it seems that this doctor had a retreat of his own - as a schoolboy, he would play around this fairytale castle's six-mile walls and ultimately fell under its spell.


And he saw the woman standing on the parapet under a gleaming moon with her dark cloak billowing in the wind.
"It was you. All those years ago, I saw you."
"I saw you." She touched a hand, very gently, to his cheek. "A young, handsome boy, so troubled, so full of thoughts. I wondered when you'd remember me."
"Why did I see you? Why didn't they?"
"They didn't need to." 

Key of Knowledge

Jun 15, 2018

Things Your Neighbors Want You to Stop Doing

"Nobody saw anything, nobody heard anything." Ben leaned against the side of his car and
drew out a cigarette. They'd been doing a house-to-house all morning with the same result.
Nothing. Now he took a moment to study the neighborhood with its tired houses and
postage-stamp yards.
Where were the busybodies? he wondered. Where were the people who stood by the windows peering through openings in the drapes at all the comings and goings? He'd grown
up in a neighborhood not so different from this. And, as he remembered, if a new lamp was
delivered, news of it ran up and down the street before the proud owners could plug it in.

Brazen Virtue


By Caspar David Friedrich - Photograph Own work User:Szilas, 
Taken in 28 April 2007, Public Domain, 

It's not big deal to you, but your neighbors are rolling their eyes!


The harsh sound of his buzzer made him swear as he felt himself sucked back into that empty room. He considered snarling and waiting it out, then weighed in human nature and decided the intruder would probably keep coming back until he dispatched them once and for all.
Probably the eagle-eyed old woman from the ground floor, Preston decided as he started down. She'd already tried to snag him twice when he'd headed out to the club in the evening. He was good at evading, but it was becoming a nuisance. Smarter to hit her face-on with a few rude remarks and let her huff away to gossip about him.
But when he checked the peephole, he didn't see the tidy woman with her bright bird's eyes, but a pretty brunette with hair short as a boy's and big green eyes.
From across the hall, he realized, and wondered what the hell she could want. He'd figured since she'd left him alone for nearly a week, she intended to keep right on doing so. Which made her, in his mind, the perfect neighbor. 

The Perfect Neighbor

Jun 14, 2018

Magic spring in Prague

Here he was in one of the most beautiful, most cultured cities in Eastern Europe, and he couldn’t risk the time to see anything.
He wanted to drop in on the Mucha exhibit, to study the Art Nouveau foyer of the Main Station, to wander among the artists on the Charles bridge.

Three Fates


By Jay8085 [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], 
via Wikimedia Commons

The vibrant capital of the Czech Republic on a walk through its parks, squares, bridges, breweries and literary corners


She walked steadily, down sidewalks, over the cobbled bricks of squares and gave her shadow little time to admire the domes, the baroque architecture or the Gothic towers.
She stopped once at a sidewalk kiosk and bought a large bottle of water, which she stuffed in the oversized purse on her shoulder.
Gideon regretted, when she kept up the clipped pace and the sweat began to run down his back, that he hadn’t followed her lead.
He cheered a bit when he realized she was heading toward the river. Maybe he’d get a look at the Charles after all.
They passed pretty, painted shops thronged with tourists, restaurants where people sat under umbrella tables and cooled off with chilled drinks or ice cream, and still those long legs of hers climbed steadily up the steep slope to the bridge.
The breeze off the water did little to bring relief, and the view, while spectacular, didn’t explain what the hell she was doing. She didn’t so much as glance at the grandeur of  Prague Castle or the cathedral, never paused to lean on the rail and contemplate the water and the boats that plied it. She certainly didn’t stop to haggle with the artists.
She crossed the bridge and kept going.
He was trying to decide if she was heading to the castle, and if so why the hell she hadn’t taken a bloody bus, when she veered off and walked breezily downhill to the street of tiny cottages where the king’s goldsmiths and alchemists had once lived.
They were shops now, naturally, but that didn’t detract from the charm of low doorways, narrow windows and faded colors. She cut through the tourists and tour groups as the uneven stone street climbed again.
She turned again, walked onto the patio of a little restaurant and plopped down at a table.

Three Fates

Jun 12, 2018

"The way she moves"

He squinted over at Trent. "Have you seen the way her skirt jiggles when she walks—especially when she's in a hurry, like she always is." 

A Man for Amanda


By Biel Morro bielmb - https://unsplash.com/photos/HbcwP2Y1GFY, CC0, 

A sexy walk is as important to a woman's attractiveness as her body shape


“Mnuu...” Sloan gave a satisfied sigh as he watched his wife stride off. “I do love the way that woman eats up the floor.”

Megan's Mate

Jun 11, 2018

Knowing someone is attracted to you really DOES make them more desirable

“Not to me. You were bright, vivid, confident.” Still are, he thought. Just look at you. “I feel like an idiot telling you this, but I keep tripping over it. I’m clumsy enough without putting up my own stumbling blocks. So, well. There.”
“Would the kiss the other night be the result of that old crush?”
“I’d have to say it played a part. It was all so surreal.”
She scooted forward again to pick up her coffee. “Neither one of us are who we were in high school.”
“God, I hope not. I was a mess back then.”
“Who wasn’t? You know, Carter, most guys would’ve used that high-school crush bit as a pickup ploy, or kept it locked away. It interests me, you interest me, because you did neither. Are you always so forthright over coffee dates?”
“I don’t know. You’re the only one I ever had a crush on.”
“Oh boy.”
“And that was stupid.” Flustered again, he raked his fingers through his hair. “Now I’ve scared you. That sounded scary and obsessive, like I have an altar somewhere with your pictures over it where I light candles and chant your name. Jesus, that’s even scarier. Run now. I won’t hold it against you.”
She burst out laughing, had to set her coffee back down before she sloshed it over the rim. “I’ll stay if you swear you don’t have the altar.”
“I don’t.” He swiped his finger in an X over his heart. “If you’re staying because you pity me, or because you really like the coffee, it works.”
“It is really good coffee.” She drank again. “It’s not pity, but I’m not sure what it is. You’re an interesting man, and you helped me out when I needed it. You give really good kiss. Why not have coffee?” 

Vision in White


By Yeshi Kangrang omgitsyeshi - https://unsplash.com/photos/lrg2KrRiNbo, CC0, 

People feel more sexual desire when they feel confident about partner's interest


“He had a crush on me in high school. What kind of man tells
you that? Puts the power in your hands that way?”

Vision in White 

Jun 8, 2018

What having a pet does to your brain and body

With the cat warming his feet and the music in low, Carter stretched out on the living
room sofa with a book and a short glass of Jameson.
He’d spent winter evenings like this before, he mused, with the cat and a book for company after work was
done. It contented him.
He wished he had a fire. Of course, he’d need a fireplace first. But a fire would add a nice civilized evening-at home
touch. A kind of Masterpiece Theatre touch.

The professor and his cat by the fire, reading on a snowy evening.

Visions in White


By Maria Shanina mariashanina (https://unsplash.com/photos/_la-c2zrDlg) [CC0], 
via Wikimedia Commons

Your pets have a larger effect on your body and brain than you might think. 
They have the ability to increase levels of oxytocin in the brain, 
bringing you a state of calm. 


He climbed in himself, decided on a book rather than TV to 
ease him toward sleep.
By the time Fin turned off the light, Bugs was quietly snoring. 
Fin found the sound of it a small comfort, and wondered how pathetic it was 
when a snoring dog eased the lonely.

Blood Magick