This festive, tangy sangria will cool you off on a hot afternoon. Pass the pitcher around at your next barbecue and toast to family, friends and summer fun.
Yield: About 2 liters
Preparation: 1 hour 15 minutes
1 cup fresh lemon juice ½ cup fresh lime juice 1/3 cup sugar 2 lemons, sliced 1 white nectarine, pitted and chopped 1 red plum, pitted and chopped 1/3 cup blueberries 1 750 ml bottle white wine 1 liter club soda, cold 1/3 cup red raspberries for serving
Combine the lemon juice, lime juice and sugar in a pitcher. Stir until the sugar begins to dissolve. Add the lemons, nectarine, plum and blueberries. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
When ready to serve, pour in the wine and the club soda. Serve garnished with raspberries.
Calling all wallflowers… Up your cocktail-banter game with tips from Jeanne Martinet’s book, The Art of Mingling: Fun and Proven Techniques for Mastering Any Room (St. Martin’s Griffin), on Tory Daily here.
It’s been a couple days since I posted an update on Malia, and that’s because not a whole lot was changing when I first brought her to the specialty vet. She was staying mostly static. However, it appears that she is finally on the mend! When I visited her yesterday, she was much more alert, walking around a little, and showing some of her old personality.
As of this morning, she’s finally eating on her own again (yesterday, my best friend and I were able to get her to eat for us, but she wasn’t eating for the vets yet), and her bloodwork is getting better! While her platelets, RBC, and protein levels are still low and will require monitoring, they are finally starting to increase and her swelling has gone down. Also, since she is now taking food, they have switched her from injectable medication to oral medication. This switch means that she can now receive care at home, so I will be picking her up this afternoon!
Once home, she will still require heavy monitoring and lots of rest. Since I often work long hours during the week, my parents have generously offered to care for her at their house during her first week of recovery. That way she won’t have to be home alone or get carted around with me all day while she should be resting. It will be like a little vacation for her. The leg is under careful watch as well. There’s a chance the necrotic tissue might come off on its own, but it’s still likely that she’ll require some surgical debridement once her strength is back.
I want to say a huuuuge thank you to everyone who offered support during this time, especially those of you who so kindly donated to her GoFundMe account!!! I honestly can’t thank you all enough. It allowed me to provide her with the care she needed, including daily bloodwork, a cocktail of medications, multiple hyperbaric chamber and antivenin treatments, and 24 hour surveillance for a full week while she fought for her life. The love and support that I’ve felt throughout this whole ordeal has been incredible. It’s the one good thing that came out of it. So thank you all again!! I hope my next update will bring more good news. We aren’t completely out of the woods yet, but I think she is over the worst of it 🙏🏻
Second installment of the Demetri Volturi imagine “Seeker,” requested by a great many of you. Details supplied by fandoms4llife. “I was originally thinking something where he gets the venom out, she wakes up in a hospital or something and it’s like the scene where Bella wakes up in the hospital.” This request has been cut to keep future details secret. Hope you like it!
The air was stagnant and reeking of antiseptic, a harsh and biting scent that burned the insides of your nostrils like acid with every laboured inhale. You were only slightly aware of your body, of the leaden limbs that rested at your sides like a corpse on display in a funeral parlour, the needle piercing your skin at the crease of your elbow, and the smooth, icy weight of someone’s hand closed gently around your own. Your chest expanded and deflated with your breath, the noise hardly distilling the quiet of the room, a low beep monitoring your heart rate somewhere above you. Your focus immediately honed-in on his silken voice, his one-sided conversation filtering through the air like frost. Through the mist that veiled your consciousness, you found yourself straining to listen as Demetri spoke.
“No, Felix, they weren’t hunting. They’re hostile. One of the bastards bit Y/n because she was traveling with a Volturi guard. Of course I wasn’t with her, or I would have- yes, I’m with her now. The hospital. She was down to a quart of blood by the time she was clean. Yes. No, Felix. Bring thirty,” he paused, the marble perfection of his thumb tracing over the backside of your hand, caressing your skin as delicately as if you were spun from glass. “Hell, bring forty. Ask Renata if she can be spared. Someone needs to be with Y/n while we’re… yes. Tell Jane I will personally hand-deliver her meals for the next decade if she’s heavy-handed. No, they don’t deserve Alec. They need to suffer for what they’ve done. I want them burned by the end of the week and screaming for death until then.” His voice, which had raised a fraction in volume, returned to its careful hush, his breath rushing from his lungs as he collapsed in on himself, his steady exhales ghosting gently against your hand as he bowed his face over your body. “No, yes, she’s had a transfusion. She smells horrible- well, different. Wrong. This isn’t a joke, Felix. She could be dead.” Another pause, Demetri’s tension present in his baited breath, his next words darted from between clenched teeth like blades. “What was I supposed to do, let her turn? Watch his venom… his venom, Felix? Stop, I can’t do this now. Please, just… relay the information to Aro and get here as soon as you can. I can’t track them until Renata is guarding Y/n. Why would I leave her alone? Felix, she was just attacked. Just… be quick. Ciao.” The electronic end to his conversation was the last distinct sound to come from Demetri, his hand moving over yours in slow, soothing patterns, your dark world fading to colour as you dreamed. When next you woke, your eyes still closed to the world, Demetri’s hand had left yours in the care of a much smaller, slender hand, exiting with a simple “Renata,” and the near unintelligible disturbance in the air as he raced off to hunt the men who had nearly cost you your life.
Her voice was a gentle hum that lulled you easily to sleep, her hands never once departing from your body, her focus entirely absorbed in keeping you safe from any who might wish you harm. Her icy fingertips grazed lazily along the inside of your wrist, meandering along the thin line of your vein until she had reached the innermost part of your elbow. Again and again she made this simple, sensitive journey, humming along absentmindedly to near-ancient Italian lullabies you’d only ever heard from her lips. This was not the first time you had been locked in the steely embrace of her protective company, and her eerily quiet and wordless presence had grown almost comforting. As you faded in and out of consciousness, occasionally opening your eyes to glimpse the fair olive-toned complexion of the alarmingly beautiful woman by your bedside, your mind was wrapped around a single, disturbing thought. It racked your brain like steel over soil and tormented your mind, fizzled in your fingertips and tensed in the joints of your toes. You couldn’t help but notice the steady thrumming of your own heart within your chest, an electronic echo bouncing about the room from the monitor by your bed. The chill of Renata’s touch had not been altered since last you had seen her, and the constant dripping of fluids seeping into your all too vulnerable veins was as clear a sign as any; you were still human. Demetri had damn near bled you dry trying to remove the Romanians’ venom from your system, allowing your life to dangle on a weakened and frayed silk thread rather than listen to the words that had come shrieking from between your lips as your body burnt from within.
He had ignored your plea to change.
You faded in and out of consciousness over the course of many days, your eyelids occasionally fluttering open to drug-swirled images of half-familiar faces and a million mottled sounds filtering through the hospital room’s still air. As the days passed, Renata became more and more anxious to leave. She could never be far from Aro for very long without worrying about his safety. As if anyone would make an attempt on his life, regardless of her presence. The man was a god, and untouchable for countless other reasons. You assumed Alec’s company would be more than enough to ward off the reckless. The days and nights faded into one unsightly blur of intravenous needles pressed deep into veins and hospital bed sheets stirring stiffly as they were changed around your slumbering body. Immobile as your body was and slurred though your mind had become, you were aware of the shift in size as one pair of hands, so delicate and frail, were replaced by the wide, smooth expanse of Demetri’s palm. He spoke her name, a promise of returning to Volterra as soon as you were well dancing from his lips, and she was gone with a sliver of an almost inaudible sigh. Your eyes opened, your vision clearer now that the heavier medicines had run their course and been removed from your daily cocktail, Demetri’s violent crimson irises coming into view, his hand deftly clasping over your own. His gaze fell to meet your eye, his skin glowing strangely beneath the fluorescent lighting despite the obvious flush his recent hunts (both vampire and human) had caused to blossom in the swell of his lips and the apples of his cheeks. He parted his lips to speak, but your voice, uneven and crackling from lack of use, overthrew the silence that had stagnated within the room.
“What did you do?” you accused, your eyes burning with livid tears, watching Demetri’s expression fall to one of extreme guilt. He spoke your name, a beginning to a long-winded lecture, but you overpowered him once more, your hand retracting from beneath his hold, abandoning the company of his palm. “Why? Who gave you the right, and after you asked me! You can’t just take liberties with someone’s life like that, with my life, Demetri! It was my choice, you even said so yourself, and you deliberately-” His voice fluttered to an understandable volume, his tone working to hush his words from the possible intrusion of an eavesdropping nurse.
“I had to. You don’t understand, you couldn’t possibly understand… if you had seen yourself as I had seen you, writhing on the ground, your blood saturating the soil…” he paused briefly, aware of your desire to interrupt him, his jaw clenching with the painful extent of his memory. “I couldn’t watch you go through that, not in that way. I couldn’t bear it.” You scoffed, your throat scratching painfully. It had been quite some time since water had entered your body through any mode outside of a tube, and your throat was suffering for it.
“What, are you going to pretend it was because you couldn’t bear to see a human in pain? Did your diet change in the, what, ten minutes you were gone? And I thought you didn’t like the Cullens, Demetri. Count me surprised.” You hissed, watching your lover’s features twist and contort with frustration as you all but bit into him with your words. His eyes, which had lowered during your speech, snapped up to meet your own, his irises hardened into sinister garnets, though the emotion behind his eyes remained pained and broken. His lips pursed into a thin, aggravated line, his words seething through clenched teeth.
“It isn’t about that. You know it isn’t about that, it never was. It’s-” You jumped in, your volume raising by clicks as Demetri continued to refuse to admit his guilt and wrongdoing. If you had to work hours to milk an apology out of him, you would. You had considerably less time than you would have had if the venom had spread, but Hell, you had time.
“What is it, then? Did you not want me to turn? Did you forget that Aro is all but chomping through the bit to lock-down my immortality or turn me into a buffet, or were you too absorbed in the fact that you don’t want me around? Those are the signals you’re broadcasting, Demetri, so pick one out for me so I can think about something else.” You paused, watching his expression soften as the pain so potent within your chest leaked into the windows of your eyes. “I love you, Demetri. I won’t ever love anyone more than I love you. My heart is already full to bursting, so I can’t imagine there ever being someone else that makes me… why isn’t that enough for you? How am I not enough?” Demetri’s hand closed over your own. You retracted once, weakly, and relaxed into his hold when he refused to allow movement. He held your hand until you met his eye once more, his frigid fingertip extending to catch a falling tear cascading over the plane of your cheekbone, his voice soft and honeyed in your ear.
“It is enough. It’s more than enough. Yn, it’s-” You rolled your eyes as he fought to talk circles around your inquisition, his voice pained, his brow knotted with sympathetic heartbreak.
“It’s what?” you cried, your tear-bleary eyes struggling to focus on his face, his response voicing itself a mere second after your interruption.
“It’s the venom! I couldn’t have you… I… I wanted it to be my own. I needed it to be mine. It isn’t about immortality or Aro or seeing you burning on the ground with blood coursing from your skin like a running faucet. It has nothing to do with how much you love me or how ardently I adore you,” his hand, wet still from your tears, moved to cup your cheek, cradling your face as he spoke, his eyes as honest as you had ever witnessed them. “I couldn’t have your heart stop because of them. I couldn’t watch your skin harden from Romanian venom, feel your fingers freeze because they decided to attack you. There are a thousand reasons why it was wrong to allow it, but it’s not about that. Hell, it isn’t even about the practicality of my venom on you or the strength of your pull being amplified. I couldn’t care less. It’s about me, and it’s about you, and it’s about the bloody venom. It isn’t some everyday occurrence, biting someone. It’s… it’s intimate. It’s something you and I need to do, not anyone else.” Your teeth ground against each other wearily, your jaw clenching in muted anger.
“So it comes down to possession, then?” Demetri lowered his head in exhausted defeat, rising only after expelling the air from his lungs in an exasperated sigh.
“Y/n, if it was about possession, I would have bitten you when you first walked into the city. I could have wrapped a bow around your throat and offered you to Aro as a gift. I don’t want to possess you, and I don’t want Aro to possess you, and I certainly don’t want some fallen Romanian count thinking he’s got a claim over your immortal soul. It’s about us. It’s a bonding experience, darling. I don’t want someone else taking that from us.” You were quiet then, your heart hammering all too noticeably within your chest. His eyes begged for a response, his hand smoothing gently from your cheekbone down to your throat, running over the expanse of your collarbones.
“You’re telling me the truth?” You inquired, watching Demetri bob his head in agreement, his honesty scribed across his alabaster features, his crimson eyes burning brightly with the intensity of his oath.
“Absolutely. There’s nothing I would keep from you.” You weighed your words carefully, tipping scaled within your mind, hyper-aware of Demetri’s prying eyes watching the wheels turning in your head.
“That’s how you feel?” you pressed, his brow knotting in suspicious confusion, his voice shielded, but honest. He could read you like a book, as clever as he was, but he was drawing a blank as to what you were brewing behind your brow.
“Yes, Y/n, that’s how I feel.” He was asking a thousand questions without voicing a single one of them, his eyes straining to decipher exactly what you were concocting behind closed doors. You inhaled slowly, your words projected by your breath as it rushed from your lungs.
Could you do some meeting each others family head canons for coliver
Oliver meeting Connor’s family.I can only imagine Connor’s immediate family loves Oliver. How could they not? I’m assuming Connor’s father is out of the picture, but his mother and sister are ecstatic about Connor finally settling down with someone. The first time they meet, Oliver is bombarded with questions and pampered with compliments. Gemma even pulls Connor aside and says something like ‘you better treat him right and never let him go’. She clearly sees how much of a positive effect Oliver has had on her brother.
At some point in their relationship, Connor’s family finds out about Oliver’s HIV. I think Connor’s mother might freak out at first, because she remembers what it was like in the 80′s and 90′s. And she doesn’t mean to, but she says some not so nice things about the situation and about Oliver. Connor immediately defends him, and tries to educate his mother about what it’s really like living with HIV. Even Gemma jumps in to help because she understands easier than her mother how far modern medicine has come.
Maybe a couple years down the road, Connor brings Oliver to the annual Walsh’s holiday party with all the extended family. I bet there’s a rude, homophobic uncle that drinks too much and says horrible things not quite to himself about them. Everyone tells Connor to just let it go. It’s only once a year–better to suck it up and not cause a scene. And so he does, until he hears him insulting Oliver, and then he doesn’t keep his mouth shut anymore.
Connor meeting Oliver’s family.I already headcanoned an older brother who hates Connor when he first meets him. I kind of imagine Oliver’s parents the same way. Maybe they dislike Connor because they know he cheated once before? Either way, Connor has to prove himself to them before they accept that he’s good enough for their son.
Maybe Oliver had been so busy preparing for his parent’s visit that he forgot to take his daily medical cocktail. Connor of course flips out when he notices it’s midday and Oliver’s pills are still in the daily pill dispenser. Or maybe Oliver’s mother is causing a fuss in the kitchen trying to help with the cooking and she notices a bottle of Truvada with Connor’s name on it next to Oliver’s multiple medications. Or maybe they just see them being cute and domestic together. Like Connor can’t find his keys and Oliver tells him they’re on the dresser in bedroom, where they always are. Or Oliver notices and points out that Connor bought spreadable butter instead of the regular stick kind because Oliver hates the stick kind. Little things like that, that help change their opinion of Connor.