Door of Opportunity

 

Antique Lunenburg door (02)

Doors.  An opening to opportunity.  A sign of a welcome home. 

Unless a  door is vivid and obvious, most don’t regard a door as much beyond just that; a door.  Oh but bold, bright doors call to us.  Make us notice the possibilities.  Red doors scream, “Look at me!  Come in.  Se what is exciting beyond me.”
 

I am always curious what is beyond a bright door.

Doors with a window to see in are calling for us to glance in and take a peek into the lives of whoever resides within.  They are welcoming.

Dark, solid doors worry me.  They are grim and foreboding. I avoid dark doors.

 Doors with a knocker call to my mind the image of either a grand old lady or a household of affluence and elegance.  You don’t see many doors with a knocker, but they are so elegant.   They make that solid door less foreboding because they are calling for you to approach to see who’s inside.  They are welcoming in their elegance.

Signing off

~Kate

 

When To Hold, When To Fold

A pair of aces is arguably the best hand to be...

Image via Wikipedia

Ah, I couldn’t resist this topic from The Daily Post.  It seemed apropos that this week on Castle, Richard Castle and Javier Espisito had a little stint on “Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.  Know when to walk away, know when to run.”  Clearly, the guy didn’t know any of those things on Castle, because like always, he died.

Aerial photo: Santa Barbara, California

Have you noticed that on certain shows, someone is always dying?  For instance, I don’t think I ever want to go to New York City.  There is a murder each week on Castle!  I might die!  Same for Santa Barbara.  The gang from Psych is always dealing with murder.  Even last week’s episode of Psych, with the comic heroes ended up having a death. 

Those towns are dangerous!

However, I think it’s nice to have predictability.  Though I have to say, I don’t want to solve the murder in the first few minutes.  Let me be surprised.  Usually I can see how it was the murderer by the end, and I wonder why I didn’t get it before, but I like that mystery.  What is the point of watching a show if you can solve it all in the first fifteen minutes?  I do like always saying who it isn’t.  I’m fabulous for that.  I’m usually right on too.  Which you would think after ruling out all the ones that didn’t do it, I could solve who did….  I was spot on with Psych last week.  (I have not seen this week’s baseball one)

And though I like predictability, I like when shows mix it up. I  love that there is always something different on White Collar.  It’s always something new.  (has nothing to do with the fact that I love Tim DeKay….) 

And this doesn’t relate to anything but the title of this post, but I’ve been singing Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler” off and on all day and part of yesterday, and I’ll probably keep doing it.  Catchy song.  I’ve got Kenny on right now, and all of his music is pretty catchy.  I love ‘Lucille’ and “Ruby’.  I love catchy music.

So, this post, well it meets weekly requirements, but I’ll post something a little better this weekend hopefully.

Signing off

~Kate

The Witch Lady’s House

 

 “I’m going up to the vampire’s house!” the boy on the bike shrieked.

“She’s a witch, not a vampire!” the holler came back from another boy.

“Then I’m going up to the witch’s house!” the first boy yelled back.

The pack of boys hollered and raced their bikes up the street, riding in a maniacal fashion.  In their shorts and bright T-shirts, they defied common sense, for the air was crisp and cold.  Shrieking and yelling insults at each other, like all boys do, they dashed and crashed their bikes about.  Disregarding the laws of the road, they would jump off their bikes, leaving the wheels still spinning in the middle of the road. Dashing across or just standing there throwing jabs they would dart out of the way when cars would drive by slowly, swerving so as to not  hit the bikes and little hellions.

Eventually the bikes were collected by their owners, and the shrieking continued up the street.  The day after Halloween was always interesting.

 

I actually heard this conversation when I was in town the other day, and the picture is of the boys yelling and shouting it.  I burst out laughing and was so glad I had my camera to capture some of the madness.  Oh are kids fascinating.

Signing off

~Kate

Young Men

1015654620e817a22a_largeMost of the men of the town, if not married  with two point five children, were young.  That age when they flaunt their virility, waving it about like a finely feathered bird.  The way they walked, with that little swagger in their hips and butts, or the naughty twinkle in their eyes; a lazy smile that could melt any girl’s heart.  Confidence, or possibly arrogance, oozed off their entire being.  They dripped with sex appeal.

Mia would watch them from her storefront as they drove their pickup trucks, jacked up on higher shocks, or revving their engines, a little sigh of longing fluttering through her breast.  A hint of missed youth causing a twinge.  She had never dated when she was at the age where those young men would have been acceptable.   When she was that age, the men hadn’t looked at her.

 Now it was too late.  Now she was past the time of partying and messing around.  Now she looked at men who were more sophisticated and mature.  A man who was interested in taking care of her, not needing his vanity stroked.

  Even though she was seeing Phil, a small part of her longed for a chance to experience the passions of youth; of letting go and just being in the moment.  Of course it would never happen.  She would never allow herself to ever contemplate it seriously.  But still, a part of her dreamed and wished for a chance.

Flash fiction!  I had a moment and as I watched a host of men in their early twenties drive by today, this thought came to my head. Mia is a gal from a novel I’ve been writing for about six years, but it’s never come to fruition.  Ah, well, it made for a nice bit of flash fiction.  Enjoy.

Signing off

~Kate

Two Degrees From Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon at the groundbreaking ceremony for...

Image via Wikipedia

Yep, you read that right.  Two Degrees from Kevin Bacon.  Would you believe that I am?  It’s true.  My parents and I used to know Gerald Molen (okay, I was two, but still) and Gerald Molen was in Rain Man with Tom Cruise, who was in A Few Good Men, with….. Da Da Da Da! Kevin Bacon.  Yep, it’s true.  I always thought the whole 6 Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon was pretty cool.  Whoever came up with it was brilliant.  I mean, wasn’t that thing huge in the late 90’s?

It just brings to mind how much of a small world we live in.  My mother went to college with people who grew up on my father’s street.  They lived in different states, and the college was in a completely different state as well.  The odds are so great it is amazing.

My mother ended up renting a house with a girl my father went to highschool with.  Granted, they were all living in the same area, but still, the odds weren’t that great.

You can be connected to people you don’t even realize you are connected to.  We are all much closer than one realizes.  My family and I were at Costco last year and overheard this guy talking about how he had just talked to Keith and Nicole had just had the baby.  As in Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman.  This guy knew him and talked to him on the phone!  There is a guy who lives around here where I do, in the middle of nowhere, that used to drive the tour bus for George Strait (at least i think that’s who it was.)

Small world.  You can be next to someone who knows someone, and not even realize it.  Granted, these someone’s are not any more important than you or I, but it is exciting.  I know two actors.  Met them a couple of years ago, and still occasionally drop them a hello.  And one of these actor’s knows and worked with Christian Kane.  So, see, small world.  I got to see Patrick Swayzee’s brother, Don, on a movie set up here.  (this is where I met the other two actors).  I also got to see Gwendolyn Yeo as well on the same set.  What are the odds?

Signing off

~Kate

Where Was My Camera When I Needed It

So there I was in town last week, or was it on Tuesday….  Anyways, I had left my camera home, which is normal, as I’m forever forgetting to take it along with me, even though half the time I wish I had.  I was people watching, which is always fun, especially if you are not seriously people watching.  Kind of that vague sort of, you notice them, but don’t focus solely on them.

Well, a couple of situations came across that I wish I would have had my camera to capture the moment.

First off was a teacher, or teacher’s aide with a gaggle of girls.  The girls were all around five to six, with their backpacks, and bows in hair, and such.  I’d say about ten to fifteen little girls.  The thing that stuck out was all the pink.  If it wasn’t pink shoes, it was bows in hair, or pink shirts, shorts, necklaces, and about three or four pink backpacks of the same style and design.  Every girl had some sort of pink on.  Even the girls that were wearing blue or black or purple, had some pink on them.  It was so cute.  And they were laughing and giggling like all little girls do.  Asking each other how old they were, and just generally having a happy-go-lucky attitude.

The second situation was two older men sitting on the concrete planter box out in front of the post office. One was in his 60’s, the other in his 80’s.  They were having a friendly conversation and it was just so idyllic. It reminded me of the song “Old Friends” by Simon and Garfunkle.  “Old friends, old friends, sat on a park bench like bookends….”.  I wished I could have taken a picture.  I will use the image somewhere to write either some flash fiction or to put in a book. Not sure what.  Same with the little girls.

The last example was about three weeks ago, when I saw a husband and wife walking hand in hand, home from the grocery store, the husband holding the wicker basket full, and both of them chatting with each other.  The wife giggling and laughing at something her husband had said.  It was one of those moments you see in a commercial where it’s this adorable couple. 

I think couples at any age are adorable in certain settings.  And older couple in their 80’s taking a quiet stroll through the park is so cute.  I saw it once on a Debeers add.  Or a young couple that is happily spending time with each other.  It fascinates me.

So, there I was, wishing for my camera.  You would think I would remember it from time to time….

Signing off

~Kate

Mullioned Windows

Time Spent Outdoors by BuddaRocks

Criss-cross patterns on my heart

Slashes that once were you

These mullioned windows to the soul

Pieces of me you see

All me but parts you don’t own

You thought you once did

I let you hold me tight

I gave up my right to be me

You took and took and stole

Years and time from my life

Leaving me wondering why

I’d ever wanted you with me

But here I am now

Stronger and bolder and true

Living what I need to be

 

I’m not even sure this all makes sense.  A metaphor most definitely.  I’ve been in relationships where I lost myself because I was so much the relationship.  I stopped writing.  I stopped imagining.  I stopped my whole life for these other people.  Now I  know I can’t and won’t do that.

Signing off

~Kate

©2011 by Kate’s Bookshelf and Katie Lyn Branson. All rights reserved.

The Magic Of Bells In The Autumn

Taken just a few minutes ago as they made their way down the road, bells jangling...

There are things in life that are so magical to one, but to others it might be just an ordinary part of life.  For me, one of those things is cowbells in the autumn.  Now, that might seem like a very random thing, especially if you live in the city, but one, it isn’t random, and two, I don’t live in the city.

 

I happen to live in a very rural valley in NorCal that is very rancher-esque.  Cowbells this time of year signal that it’s truly fall, and they also are the sign of something that I think is truly amazing.

Every year when the nights get cold, and frosts or freezes become the norm, one family’s herd of cows comes down from the mountain pastures.  All on their own, they walk down, leading their calves and heading for home.  They go the same path every year, and they can do it all on their own without someone leading them.  You will be out working one day and there will be five or so cows plodding along, quite sedately, down the pavement, towards the highway, across the highway and down the road to their farm.  They know right where to go, oh, and they always walk on the right side of the road.  They may stop to graze a bit.  Check out the lavender plants outside our gate, or meander into our neighbor’s open yard.  But they continue on, crossing the highway at their own leisurely pace.  Yep, leisurely is generally the speed.  Maybe if it’s late afternoon they might speed it up a bit, but generally not. 

Most of them are wearing gloriously pealing bells around their neck.  Jangling as they walk, they are a melodious tune to the fall air.  Their calves, who are not small, as they were born in the early summer, follow along behind, sometimes braying.

As the season gets later, the majority of the herd comes down and you will fall  asleep to quite a lot of bells jingling in the night.  Sometimes waking in the morn to a field of cows waiting.  Depending on whether or not they were locked.  Sometimes the rancher knows they are coming  and there is one large ‘drive’ with the rancher’s wife up on a horse calling out ‘Hiyah’s’ and other cowboy sounds herding them down the road to where a makeshift blockade is set up by two trucks or SUV’s and the ranch hands.  Following behind, guiding the herd will be the wife, and sometimes the daughter, not really hurrying them, but making sure they stay on the road.  It’s common to see the herd decide to take a side trek into our neighbor’s ‘yard’ (more of a small field) for some inopportune grazing.

Every year my family rushes out with camera’s in hand to watch this magnificent display of western life.

The real magic though is this.  Years and years ago, the rancher’s ancestors, (parents or grandparents, I’m not sure which)  took the cows to the mountains  that first time, and that fall guided them down again.  The next year, they put bells on the necks of the calves from the first year, and those calves, now cows, remembered the way home, so they guided their own calves down.  Every year the calves come cows guide the next generation down, without any help from us humans.    They teach their children how to go, the bells a sound system to ‘call’ the rest as a guide.

Every year I see the magic in this small display of animal intelligence.  One could look at it as a guide to parents on raising up your children right, because they will raise their own children right as well.  I guess anyone could look at it that way.  I just look at the magic of it, and the essence of everything about this time of year.

Tonight there are bells jangling in the field just up the road.  The moon is full and the night is crisp pure fall.  There’s magic in the air.

Signing off
~Kate

Who Is Luke Greyson?

And yes, my Luke wears this outfit. How could he not?

This is a character profile I did a year ago after seeing this gorgeous picture of ‘Eric Northman’.  I just had to create a character for something of mine and I honestly have fallen in love with Luke Greyson, even though  he’s not even fully written. Nor is his story.  But someday.  Who knows.  At least I know his heroine.  Though her story isn’t really written either.  Least she has a name.  Regina Black.

So here is his profile.

Who is Luke Greyson?

Luke Greyson, age thrity-five is the son of Peter and Marjory Greyson of New York.  Grandson to Franklin Greyson, a small hotel owner.  Luke, an only child, was raised going to private schools and living a somewhat pampered life.  Went to New York University, majoring in business and hotel management as he was expected to take over the family business of running hotels.  His grandfather passed away while he was in college, so Luke was left one of the five hotels Franklin owned along the Atlantic coast.  The rest passed on to Peter who was already managing three of them.

His mother, Marjory, passed away when Luke was 30, and it crushed him as they were close.  Luke was never close with his father, who  was always focused on his hotels.  Luke needed a change and a new start, so he moved west and purchased the small hotel in Ashland.  He has been improving the hotel for the past four years.

His employees respect and admire him as he is an honest, hardworking boss.

Luke can be a bit selfish at times since he was an only child.  He thinks things should go his way and gets impatient and annoyed when they don’t.  Sometimes he tries to manage people  getting them to doing what he wants, but he’s never cruel about it.  He just likes things his way.

In his spare time he enjoys good food and wine.  He has branched out and is part ownership in a small vineyard and winery in the hills outside Ashland.  He enjoys the plays that are at the OSF(Oregon Shakespeare Festival).  He has a taste for jazz music, but enjoys all forms, though he’s not one to have it playing in his office even when he’s on his own.

His tastes in books run to murder mystery, but on the occasion he does read some biographies and non fiction type books.  He always reads the Wall Street Journal at 4 in the afternoon when sits in the hotel restaurant for his afternoon cup of coffee.

 His quarters are in one of the two suites of the hotel, on the top floor.  A suite that is stylish and classically decorated in muted shades of tans and browns.  The one difference is the large flat screen television over the gas fire place.  He enjoys watching tennis, golf, and the occasional basketball game.  Though he’s not huge on sports.

He works out in the private gym of the hotel.  He also runs occasionally through Lithia Park.  He’s not bulky, but he does have a nice physique.  Defined muscles and form.  He’s in good shape.

He appreciates a good woman, and has dated some throughout the years, but due to the schedule of running a hotel doesn’t leave much time for going out.  And he hates golddigging women, which many are when they find out he owns  a hotel.   Women find him attractive and occasionally he finds himself with women throwing themselves at him.  He likes a strong woman, but not one that isn’t a lady.  His ideal is someone like his mother who managed the house and sometimes the hotels with an ease that spoke of her strength while never sacrificing her femininity.  Smart feminine women intrigue him.  He appreciates a woman in a nice pair of heels.

He drives a BMW convertible in slate blue.  He also owns an Audi A8.

His business plans are to possibly purchase another hotel in a smaller area like Ashland, but he’s still not sure.  He is enjoying being on his own and running the small hotel and getting to know his guests that return.

 

So, you all think this is something good?  Well, I’m partial to it.

Signing off

~Kate

In The Stacks

I know, this is a guy, not a girl...

She sat on the floor, knees bent.  Sheltered in the back stacks of the library, in the unpopular sections, like poetry, biographies, and various literature, the scent of musty books, aged paper and ink, and time gone by, she let the atmosphere float around her.  An irregular square of light reflected on the wall above her head, its shape constantly moving from the wind tossing around the Norway maple shading the skylight that was the square.

Sounds of rustling paper, the tapping of keyboard keys, and murmured discussions sent a prickle of delight up her spine.  Goose-flesh broke out on her skin and she could feel every hair on her head tense.  She loved this feeling.  It relaxed her like nothing else.  Sometimes she would get the same tingle when someone brushed her hair.

There was a tranquility being in the library.  No one bothered her while she flipped through a book of Emily Dickinson’s poetry.  She read random lines, not really focusing on the words, but letting them roll off her form like water rolls off a duck’s back.  Noticeable, but not.  She floated in mind as she read but still consciously listened to the movement of other patrons. 

A printer  turned on and the warm, whirring motor sound made her feel like she was in a warm blanket.  Keys clicked on a keyboard and she pictured an office with secretaries typing away.  A newspaper crackled as someone shook out the pages.  She pictured an old man with white hair, his glasses sitting low on the bridge of his nose.

A couple of school girls came in, giggling and joking with each other, more loudly then they should have been.  The sound jarred her for a moment before she heard the librarian shush them.  They scurried off towards some other deep recess of the library, still giggling.  The heating system turned on and she felt the warm air blow up behind her back.  She was practically sitting on the vent in the floor.

She sat there just being a part of the library.  Hiding in the stacks.

 Okay, flash fiction time!  I think this is my new favorite thing, now that I know that I’m actually doing it.  I love the library.  I used to be a substitute librarian for two years and it was my thing.  I still go to my local library on a weekly basis, more if I have time, and I can be found sitting on the floor in the poetry section, many times.  So if you happen to see me there, ‘shush’, I’m reading and taking it all in.  Probably with the relaxed gooseflesh hair raised thing going on.

Signing off

~Kate