dry bay


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Beauty @inkawilliams #balibody

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Rouladen mit Rotkohl, Kartoffeln und brauner Sauce. Rouladen usually consist of thinly sliced beef that is stuffed with bacon, onions, mustard, and pickles, then rolled up and cooked. Any meat can be used but the most traditional is beef and appropriately sliced meat for it can be found at butcher shops or even supermarkets. What exactly goes inside can vary between regions. The sauce contains red wine and the dish is usually served for lunch, often on Sundays, as it takes some time to make. Sides are potatoes in all forms (dumplings, mashed, regular) or Spätzle, and red cabbage (often with apples in it) or other vegetables. As in most German meat dishes, the sauce is the MOST. IMPORTANT. THING. This dish was considered a dish of the common people - today, it’s enjoyed by many as a festive or traditional meal.


2 lb. brisket or rump, beef, sliced thin - 2 Tablespoons mustard - 1 - 2 gherkin (sour pickles) or 1 dill pickle - 1 onion - 2 slices bacon (about 40 grams Speck) - 1/2 Tablespoon. butter (or Butterschmalz, ghee) - 1/2 Tablespoon oil (or Butterschmalz) - 1 carrot - 1-2 stalks celery - 1/2 cup dry red wine - Bay leaf - Salt and pepper - Fresh parsley for garnish

Slice the beef across the large surface. This can be done with a slicing machine by the butcher or by hand with a very sharp knife. Lay beef out flat. Cut pickle lengthwise into strips, dice onion and bacon very fine. Spread each slice with plenty of mustard, fill one end with chopped onion, 2 slices of pickle and some diced bacon. Roll up from the filled end and tie with string, toothpicks or turkey lacers (Rouladennadeln in Germany) to keep them closed. Melt butter and oil in a saucepan or pot and brown the outside of the roulade. Meanwhile, dice the carrot and celery. Remove roulades to a plate, add “Suppengrün” or mirepoix and sauté for a few minutes, until soft. Place beef rolls back on top of the vegetables, add a half cup of red wine and a little water. Add the bay leaf, some salt (depends on how salty the bacon is) and some grinds of pepper, cover and braise over low heat for 2 hours, or until beef is tender. Remove roulades and keep warm. Puree sauce and thicken with a little cream, sour cream or “Wondra” (like Sossenbinder) flour. Season to taste with more salt and pepper as needed. Place roulades back in sauce until serving time and serve as described above.

Spell for Banishing Nightmares

Originally posted by welcometoyouredoom


A small pouch

Dried lavender

Dried chamomile

A bay leaf

Dry rose petals

A small crystal (amethyst or smoky quartz)

Slowly fill the pouch with all the gathered items as you say:

Demons of the night,

Go away,

Don’t come my way,

I bid you light and love,

Go back to the cosmos above


Then seal the pouch and place under your pillow to protect yourself from nightmares.

I bid you all a soothing rest my witchy loves. My ask box is always open and feel free to message me as you please for questions or even just to chat.

-Nora Wolf

Giant squid hanging over Rev. Moses Harvey’s bathtub

The squid that “attacked” the reverend and his companion in their dory was on the smaller end of how large adult giant squids (Architeuthis dux) can be, but was still massive. The mantle (body) of the squid is largely removed in this photograph; only the beak and tentacles remain.

In the late 1800s, an unusually large number of giant squid strandings occurred in Newfoundland and New Zealand. This may have been due to a change in the abyssal waters in those areas, or an increased population simply showing up more often, since sperm whales (their primary predators) were nearly hunted to extinction.

After this “attack” (more likely the flailing tentacles of a dying squid happening to hook onto a boat), Rev. Harvey, already keenly studying the natural history of St. John’s, Newfoundland, found ways to discern some of the habits and behaviors of giant squid, despite not being able to directly observe live specimens. It was through his published accounts that many naturalists in Britain and North America became acquainted with one of the giants of the deep sea.

Logy bay giant squid - 1873” from Wikipedia.en.

Protection Bottle Charm

You’ll need:

  • 1 glass jar
  • ½ to 1 cup salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 9 dry bay leaves (crumbled)
  • 7 tsp. dried Basil
  • 4 tsp. dill seeds
  • 1tsp sage
  • 1tsp anise
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 1tsp fennel
  • 1 bowl

In the morning ideally on a bright sunny day assemble the items.
Place in the bowl and say: “Salt that protects, protect my home and all within.”
Add the cloves of garlic: “Garlic that protects, protect my home and all within.”
Add the bay leaves:“Bay that protects, protect my home and all within.”
Add the basil and say: “Basil that protects, protect my home and all within.”
Add the dill and say: “Dill that protects, protect my home and all within.”
Add the sage and say: “Sage that protects, protect my home and all within.”
Add the anise and say: “Anise that protects, protect my home and all within.”
Add the fennel and say: “Fennel that protects, protect my home and all within.”

Mix together the salt and the herbs with your hands, throughout the movement
of your hands and fingers lend energy to the potent protective items, visualize
your home safe and as a shining secure place. Pour the mixture in the jar and cap tightly.

 Place it in your home with these words:

 “Salt and herbs, nine times nine
Guard now this home of mine”


Back to Bottle and Jar Magic Masterpost


So, lately I’ve been trying to jump into the whole sheet mask craze; I love the idea of sheet masks: they’re fast, easy, you get to look like a serial killer for twenty minutes, plus they offer a hell of a moisture boost for your skin. I moisturize regularly with natural plant oils, so my skin is really well-balanced and I rarely have problems with dry skin, but now that I’m heading into my next decade, I’d like to add an intense moisture treatment into my skincare routine a few times a week. However, it’s really difficult to find sheet masks without alcohols and all the various sorts of chemicals I avoid in my skincare (I’m a crunchy hippy like that). I finally tracked down some organic ones with just a few ingredients, all plant extracts…only they were $45 for six single use masks. I make $12.50 an hour, so that’s not fucking happening, especially since I want to use these masks a few times a week. 

I finally settled on making my own. You can buy dry sheet masks (e-bay is your friend here) and then just soak them in whatever solution you want; that way you can control every ingredient that goes into them. I stumbled across a recipe online that I’ve used several times now and really like, so I thought I’d share it here. There are only three ingredients, but you can of course add essential oils or other ingredients if you like: 

1 tbs. rosewater

1tbs. vegetable glycerin

1 tsp. aloe vera gel*

Just whisk everything together in a bowl for a couple of seconds to make sure it’s blended, soak your mask in it, spread it on your face, then sit back and relax for 20 minutes.

If you’ve never used vegetable glycerin before, be aware that when you take off the mask, you might feel somewhat sticky. You can either wash off the extra solution on your face or massage it in. I massage it in a little, and then just spread my moisturizer on top of it and I really don’t feel the stickiness anymore. Glycerin is a humectant that will help to actually draw moisture into your skin, which is why you put a moisturizer on over the top of it, to lock in all that dewiness so you can wake up in the morning with fresh, glowing skin. I find that my moisturizer absorbs better when I use this sheet mask beforehand. 

*Do NOT use the ‘aloe vera’ you buy at your grocery store that’s bright blue/green; this is more chemical than aloe vera. I use Lily of the Desert, which comes in both a plastic squeeze bottle as a clear gel or in a big brown bottle that has even fewer additives (and cost me like $8 for 32 ounces, so it will last forever). If you have an aloe plant, even better, but if not, just buy a brand that’s 99% aloe and has few additives. 

As always, especially if your skin is sensitive, remember to spot test. Also, because this is very moisturizing and consequently kind of heavy, ease your skin into it to make sure you don’t break out; start out using it just once a week, and then increase frequency if you like/feel you need to.  


Slow Cooker White Bean & Spinach Soup

Serves 6-8 (Makes 9 cups)
Original credit goes to Budget Bytes

4 cloves garlic
1 onion
1/2lb (~4) carrots
4 stalks celery
1lb dry navy beans
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp paprika
freshly cracked black pepper (15-20 cranks of a mill)
1-½ tsp (or less) of salt, to taste
5 oz spinach (frozen chopped, thawed)

Mince garlic and chop veggies. Add to slow cooker. Rinse beans and add to slow cooker along with the bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, paprika, and pepper. Add 6 cups of water to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, stir and mash beans slightly. Add spinach and salt, tasting after each ½ tsp is added. Allow spinach to cool and serve. (Preferably with a crusty bread.)


It’s so delicious! @authenticpandas, this is the soup I was telling you about it. It will make your home smell better than it ever has. Guaranteed.

Chapter 127: Making you completely LOSE all HOPE

Note: Read the notes at the bottom for clarification on certain things, if anything, leave a comment or message me if something still doesn’t make sense. Remember, NO SPOILERS PLEASE. No copy/paste and all that other shenanigans either. Vote/likes are highly appreciated. :)

I’m going to listen to some sad yet beautiful music now and let the pain consumed me. *cries in dark corner*

As always, thank you for reading and enjoying the journey with our ever so heartless duo:

Gu Hai & Bai Luo Yin


( つ᷄.̯σ̣̥᷅ )(╥︣﹏᷅╥᷅)

Chapter 127: Making you completely LOSE all HOPE

From the second to the fifth day of the first lunar month, Jiang Yuan busied herself with visiting families and friends. Hence, preparations for Bai Luo Yin to go abroad was temporarily placed to the side.

Finally, on the sixth day, after much difficulty, she finally found some free time. But without warning, she bumped into one of her old classmates, who had just returned from abroad. Unable to refuse her friend’s warm and enthusiastic invitation, she complied and accompanied her for dinner.

As she listened to her old classmate account on how great life was abroad, Jiang Yuan was convinced. This had not only confirmed Jiang Yuan’s conviction but it strengthened and made her even more determined. She must send Bai Luo Yin abroad, and once he has settled down over there, she will go and stay with her son once she reached her old age.

Jiang Yuan painted an extraordinarily beautiful and meticulous illusion with her imagination. She never once thought that it was a strenuous or tough task to accomplish. Her belief is that, there is nothing that she cannot attain if she set her mind and put effort into doing it.

Just take for example when she decided to sever her relationship with Bai Han Qi and planned to marry a rich and powerful man. Everyone around her had thought that she was delusional, practically crazy. That it was just her own wishful thinking. But, in the end, reality favored her and stood by her side.

No women are born under an unlucky star and has to endure hardship. There are only women who does not seek nor have the ambition to progress.

This is what Jiang Yuan often told herself.

It was already dark outside when she arrived at her villa in the military base. Jiang Yuan quickly made food and waited. Just as Gu Wei Ting and Gu Hai took their seats at the table, Jiang Yuan picked up her bags and made way toward the front door to change her shoes. While she was changing her shoes, she said, “I have some matters to tend to, you guys take your time eating.”

Gu Wei Ting remained unperturbed as he glanced at Jiang Yuan, “Where do you want to go this late at night?”

“I want to go and handle Luo Yin’s going abroad plans. I have to go and take a look.”

“That fast?” Gu Wei Ting slightly narrowed his eyes toward her.

Jiang Yuan smiled, “Fast? I been complaining that it’s too slow.”

“Why don’t you just go tomorrow? How do you know if the person will be available to see you or not this late?”

“I’m afraid something else will come up tomorrow and this matter will be delayed even longer. Don’t worry, I already made an appointment in advance.”

Jiang Yuan had already put on her shoes and was about to open the door when Gu Wei Ting said, “You could have just hired someone to handle these kind of matters for you.”

“Even then, I would still have to go and take a look, if not, I won’t be at ease.”

Afterwards, she bid Gu Wei Ting and Gu Hai farewell and happily made her way out of the door.

In reality, she has yet to make any contacts with Bai Han Qi with regards to this matter. To make matters worse, neither has she heard any information at all from Bai Luo Yin. But, in Jiang Yuan’s mind, those were only minute details. When everything is finally prepared, there will be more than enough time for her to deal with those two.

On this day, Gu Hai sat in his mother’s room the entire night.

Bai Han Qi had woken up extremely early in the morning. He pushed opened the door to Bai Luo Yin’s bedroom and said to him, “Today, I have to go out to Tong Tian’s older aunt’s place. Lunch is already made. It’s in the kitchen’s cabinet so heat it up in the afternoon and eat it.”

After he finished speaking, he headed out of the house with Aunt Zou and Meng Tian Ting. Big and small packages of gifts were bagged and held tightly between his fingers.

It was already the seventh day of the first lunar month, Bai Luo Yin picked up his cellphone and saw another text message from Shi Hui.

Bai Luo Yin didn’t even bother to look at the message as he replied back.

“I want to meet with you today about something.”

After a few second, Shi Hui responded.


Bai Luo Yin had already gone into the bathroom by that time.

He faced the mirror as he brushed his teeth. Every time he picked up his head, his gaze met with the mirror, he could clearly see the school uniform that hung neatly behind him.

On the night of the thirtieth, before the Lunar New Year, having known for sure that Gu Hai would not be at his residential, Bai Luo Yin returned there. Actually, he didn’t have anything in mind when he went there, he just wanted to take look around. Since, after all, it was once half his home; his second home

Everything in there remained as it was the time that he had left. The only different was that, the bedroom wardrobe was opened.

On the floor next to his feet, was a school uniform jacket. It was evident that it had been trampled on. And it was made even more apparent from the dirt and wrinkles that adorned it.

Bai Luo Yin had only picked it up, took it home, and washed it.

Even until now, to this moment, it has yet to dry up completely.


Bai Luo Yin began to wash his face, but then, his skinned tingled and he could sense that the door was opened by someone. But, owing to the fact that there was still foam on his face, he didn’t dare open his eyes. All he could simply do was quickened his pace and splashed more water on his face.

But suddenly, a very powerful force grasped the back of his head and pressed it directly into the water that filled the sink. He choked several times. By the time his head was pulled out of the water, without even a chance to open his eyes, those obsidian orbs were wrapped in darkness.

He was blindfolded.

The sequence of event afterwards, was exactly the same, as the first time he was kidnapped and taken to Gu Hai’s place. It was only that, this time, the person, himself was doing it.

A familiar scent assailed Bai Luo Yin’s nasal. When he was taken into the car and had just sat down, he faced the person and repeatedly asked the person beside him, “Is it Gu Hai?”

The person beside him did not respond. Coldness remained intact on his face as he continued to drive the car.

“Speak up!” said Bai Luo Yin in a stiff yet harsh tone.

If it was really Gu Hai, Bai Luo Yin felt that this was absolutely and utterly unnecessary. At this very moment, he could calm and collectively talk with Gu Hai, but…it was just that, he was afraid, it wasn’t Gu Hai.

“Are you Gu Hai or not?”

“Gu Hai, is it you?”

Since Bai Luo Yin had been placed in the car, until he was taken out, he had asked the same questions, over and over again no less than ten times. Each time, each question was repeated, a sense of urgency and anxiousness danced between the words.

Several times, after Gu Hai heard his name being called out and saw said boy’s facial expression, he couldn’t help but want to open his mouth to respond. But, in the end, he held his tongue back, gritted his teeth and forced himself to remain silent.

Bai Luo Yin was thrown onto the person’s shoulder and carried upstairs.

At that exact moment, there were no doubts in Bai Luo Yin’s mind, who the person was.

But it was precisely because this person was Gu Hai, that a wave of fear conjured in the pit of Bai Luo Yin’s stomach and unfurled throughout his body.

Due to the temperature in the room being rather warm, in the minute that he entered, beads of sweats immediately perspired freely down his face. One by one, each article of clothing on his body was striped off. Some of which were just completely torn apart. Even though he was covered by sweats, he still felt the chill of the wind once it settled on his body.

His pant was torn off. His underwear was torn off.

Bai Luo Yin finally spoke.

“Gu Hai, I know it’s you. You don’t have to be like this!”

Gu Hai didn’t hear anything at all. Not a single word entered his ears as he pulled out his own member and stroked it. He stroked it until it became enlarged, hot and thick. It looked as though, it could conquer anything and everything.

Then, he fiercely and forcefully pressed down on Bai Luo Yin’s upper body, and raised his waist upward.

“Gu Hai, I’m telling you……mmmm……”

Gu Hai stuffed a towel into Bai Luo Yin’s mouth, blocking it. He untied and removed his blindfold, so that he can clearly see everything that followed.

Without any lubricate, without any foreplay, or even the slightest signal, he brutally thrust in.

In a split second, the extreme pain and anguish circulated at full force throughout Bai Luo Yin’s entire being. As if being torn apart, piece by piece, from the sudden attack, his whole body spasm.

Both of his hands have been handcuffed to the back of his body. Gu Hai could see the veins that protruded from the back of Bai Luo Yin’s hands. Every single string of vein, tightened like knots and cried out in unison, pain.

Pain, yes. Today I want you to feel the pain and make you remember it for the rest of your life.

Gu Hai moved without any hesitations. After every thrust, after every withdrawal, all he could see was red.

Before he left, he had stolen Bai Luo Yin’s cellphone. Now, he proceeded to replied back to Shi Hui’s message. He sent her the address and then instructed her to arrive within ten minutes.

Although Gu Hai slowed down, the intensity in his movements did not lessen.

Pain! Pain! Pain! The pain ripped apart all his internal organs.

It was so painful that the loud sound of Bai Luo Yin’s teeth grinding together floated throughout the room.

It was so painful that both his legs continued to tremble.

It was so painful that his head became dizzy.

Since he was young, he had faced and endured many hardships, sustained many wounds. But, compared to the pain that he felt now, those hardships and wounds were nothing. It felt more like feathers that had landed on him.

Gu Hai struggled through sessions of extremely powerful physical arousals and an enormously tortuous guilt that welled up in his heart.

He felt as though, he had traveled to and reached heaven in one moment, then kicked down to hell in the next moment. The taste of it were both pleasurable and extremely uncomfortable.

Bai Luo Yin’s back submerged in a layer of cold sweat. Gu Hai could faintly hear Bai Luo Yin say, ‘it hurts’ even as he bit down on the towel.

He used his hands to gently wipe the beads of sweats off of Bai Luo Yin’s forehead. And in low voice, he whispered, “Baby, it won’t hurt in a moment.”

Not soon after he finished saying those words, he suddenly thrust forward with full force. The gap that had once separated him and Bai Luo Yin, was no longer there, as they connected together completely. Not even a centimeter dared to come in between them.

Bai Luo Yin felt as if his intestines were about to explode.

Gu Hai started to speed up. His member, that was about the same thickness as his wrist, charged wildly and tussled inside of Bai Luo Yin’s narrow passage.

Bai Luo Yin could feel the top of his head spinning.

It’s so fucking painful.

It was so painful that every single strand of vein in his entire body tightened like a rope.

It was so painful that his facial features distorted into different directions.

It was so painful that he wishes, he could take a stick and beat himself to death.


Finally, a scream interrupted Gu Hai’s movements.

Someone was standing at the doorway. She had stood there, shaking violently, for almost three minutes already.

She had witnessed many horrifying scenes before but nothing…nothing had struck more terror and caused her be consumed with fear, than the one before her eyes now. Those horrible scenes before, merely attacked her visual sensations. But this one, was purely psychological. It completely destroyed her willpower.

Shi Hui drew back her feet and had every intention to run, but she was clasped two men.

“Bring her in!”

Shi Hui cried, screamed and struggled as she was forced into the room.

Gu Hai smiled cruelly; an air of coldness encased and sunk deep into his expression, “Take a good look, pretty girl.”

Shi Hui struggled and squirmed as she cried out, “No……I don’t want to……”

Gu Hai started to move, right in front of Shi Hui’s eyes. He violently and fiercely…devoured and conquered the person that she loves.

“Do you see it? He is mine. Me, Gu Hai’s alone!”

The towel that was stuffed in Bai Luo Yin’s mouth was taken out. But he didn’t struggle nor did he yell out. He tightly bit down his teeth and didn’t even utter a single sound. Bean sized perspirations crawled down his forehead and dripped. He turned his face to the other side.

Gu Hai turned Bai Luo Yin’s head back again.

The scene that followed afterwards, became nightmares. Ones that etched itself into Shu Hui’s skin in the next few years to come. Every single time she thought of it, she would break out in cold sweats.

She was carried away by one of the men. Her face was now just a ghastly color, no blood remained on it. Her eyes lost all focus as her body continued to shake. She was left abandoned in an alley. It was only after a long while did a man found and took her to the hospital.

Gu Hai crazily thrust for a while. Then, he abruptly pulled out, stroked is member for a bit and ejaculated.

Bai Luo Yin laid on the bed, motionless.

After a long while, Gu Hai opened his mouth. All the fierceness that had consumed him had dispersed. Only pain and remorse remained.

“I know that you will hate me for the rest of your life for what I did.”

“But I would rather let you hate me…I would still have to do it. That girl doesn’t have any good intention, she’s too manipulative. You can’t be with her. I have to wipe her out no matter what. If I don’t, she won’t admit defeat that easily. I can’t just stand here and watch as she destroys you! I would rather you hurt and suffer this one time. But I am not willing to let you regret those years later.”

“I know…we are over now. I, Gu Hai, don’t have anymore unreasonable request. Only that, you can’t be with her. And if you choose to be together with someone else, I would never interfere.”

Gu Hai slowly released the handcuffs on Bai Luo Yin’s wrist. His eyes became red when he saw the trail of blood stains that remained.

“Bai Luo Yin, I, Gu Hai, can shed tears for you. I admit, I’m a bastard in front of you! I never kept my words. I told you that I trust you, but I ordered people to keep an eye you. I told you I wanted to break off our relationship, but instead, I kidnapped and brought you here. I said I respect you, but I raped you………I’m not human! But, I really truly love you.”

Bai Luo Yin does not respond at all. He doesn’t even turn his head.

“Bai Luo Yin, after such a long time, have you ever thought about me at all?”

Bai Luo Yin remained silent.

Gu Hai’s trembling hands caressed Bai Luo Yin’s hair. And with a hoarse voice, he asked, “Just now, did it hurt you really badly?”

Neither of Bai Luo Yin’s eyelids moved even the slightest.

Gu Hai’s movements suddenly became rigid as he froze in place. Then, he abruptly straightened out Bai Luo Yin’s body. Realization struck him hard when he noticed that there were no responses at all from the body in front of him.

He held Bai Luo Yin’s face in between his hands and called out to him several times, “Yin Zi, Yin Zi, wake up.”

No matter how many times he tried to keep Bai Luo Yin’s head up, it continued to hang loosely downward.

Gu Hai roared out in a fit of rage, “Hurry up and bring a doctor over here to me!!”

It was only then, did the two men that were standing nearby understood what had happened. They immediately paced backward and jetted out the door.

Without wasting even another second, Gu Hai wrapped a thick blanket around Bai Luo Yin’s body. He firmly secured him against his chest, hugging him. Pain and devastation engulfed his heart.  

I do not condone such behavior whatsoever *so disappointed*

The original novel is written by Chai Jidan

I do not own any of its’ content

I am merely an amateur translator/editor

Anemia [1/?]

Prompt: That tumblr post about the vampire coming across a person with anemia and becoming very protective of them. Anemic Ivan just wants to be left alone, but a certain golden-haired, blue-eyed (usually) vampire has other ideas.(RusAme)

Warnings: Violence, language, a hint at depression, Google-Translate Russian

Rating: T (for now)


Ivan was the one who knocked.

The 6’4 Russian man had never been to jump at shadows. If anything, his height and odd appearance had made him more often the subject of caution than the bearer.

However walking home in the dark that particular early morning had him on edge. The orange light of the street lamps only added to how alien the streets of the new city were to him. Ivan sighed into the humid summer air, adjusting his grip on the bags he was carrying from the corner store.

At least that is one nice thing about America. They favor convenience here.

It was about all he could say for the city though. Back home in Russia he’d grown up in a more rural area. He wasn’t used to loud, crowded places. Even so, he glanced over his shoulder as he walked, wishing to hear a cat yowl or a siren in the distance.

It was too quiet.

Ivan started at the loud clank of metal hitting concrete. One of his bags was suddenly much lighter.

“Der'mo,” Ivan growled, looking down to see several of his food cans on the ground now, one of them rolling away. He bent down to pick them up, cursing himself for being so jumpy.

There is no good reason to be—

“Hey there!”

Ivan started again, looking up to see a young man smiling brightly down at him. He was shorter than Ivan but still tall, wearing blue jeans and what looked like a vintage bomber jacket over a white tee-shirt.

Ivan froze for a moment, mystified at the sudden appearance. He hadn’t seen anyone approach. And there was something odd about the kid. Ivan stared stupidly, trying to figure why the boy seemed so… out of place. Maybe it was those impossibly blue eyes. They gleamed brightly in the dim orange light.

The young man held out the can of soup that had rolled away. “Looks like your food was trying to get away! Can’t have that, can we?”

Ivan slowly stood, accepting the can back. “Spasi—… ah, thank you.”

The young man tilted his head, his grin turning curious. “Say, that’s an interesting accent you got there. Where ya from, big guy?”

Ivan felt a slight heat reach his cheeks. He wasn’t one to be bashful, but living in a new place was hard enough without being obviously foreign. He hated when it showed.

“Russia,” Ivan admitted.

“Oh cool!” The young man’s face lit up. “Shoulda’ known. Man, I haven’t been to Russia in a while. It still as cold as balls there?” He gave a disarmingly warm smile.

“Da,” Ivan replied despite himself. Something about the strange young man was amusing.

The boy ran a hand through his bangs, “Cool! I love meeting new people, especially people from not-here. They have the coolest stories!”

Ivan felt his face heat again, though maybe not for the same reason. He smiled a bit tightly. “Then maybe you are meeting wrong person. I am not having anything interesting to tell.”

“Nah, that’s what they all say. No one realizes how interesting they are, I think, until they share stories with someone else. So I always ask!”

Ivan regarded the young man a long moment. An odd person yet something about him just kind of… drew him in. He found himself walking down the street alongside the kid.

“I’m headed for Beech Street,” the young adult announced. “You live this way too?”

“Oak Street,” Ivan admitted.

“Cool! You live with your family?”

Ivan felt his amusement fade. The personal question turned his mood immediately. “Nyet,” he answered a touch darkly.

“I used to live with my brother,” the boy continued obliviously. “He was awesome. Made the best pancakes ever!” He sighed a bit sadly. “I miss him.”  

Ivan found himself at a loss. He didn’t want to pry into the young man’s past. Especially since he himself was not one for sharing histories. He struggled to come up with a change of topic.

“Um, that is… an interesting jacket,” Ivan stumbled.

“Huh? Oh, thanks!” The older teenager grinned. “Yeah, I like it a lot. Pretty badass, right?”

Ivan let a small smile escape him. “Where did you get it?”

The boy’s smile faded slightly. “Earned it,” he said, still smiling but without the enthusiasm Ivan might have expected.

The boy slowed to a stop, rubbing the back of his neck and looking sheepish. He let out a heavy sigh. “Look, you seem like a really cool dude, but I… God, I hate this.” The boy’s good mood fell drastically.

The sudden change made Ivan’s jumpiness return.

The young man glanced up at Ivan out of the corner of his eye, fixing him with intense blue. Ivan felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise.

The street was too quiet.

The young man looked down at the sidewalk, chuckling to himself with no happiness. “I’m really sorry about this. Just…”

Ivan took a small step back.

There was a rush of air in Ivan’s ears. His vision blurred, and his back slammed into something, sending a shock through him. The street light was gone, and he found himself swallowed by a dark alley. The young man pressed against him, one hand crushing Ivan’s shoulder back into the brick wall and the other clamped over Ivan’s mouth.

“…try not to move much. It’ll hurt less.”

Ivan froze. Fear locked his joints as the impossibly strong boy removed his hand from Ivan’s mouth and carefully began pulling away at Ivan’s scarf. The scarf that hid his…

The young man hesitated, concern flickering across his face.

“…Dude, what happened to your neck?!”

A cool breeze brushed the sensitive scarred skin and snapped Ivan back to reality.

He jerked away, driving all his strength into a shove that hurled the boy into the opposite alley wall. Ivan launched himself away from the brick and started sprinting back towards the alley mouth; he could see a street lamp, his spilled grocery bags underneath. His heart pounded in his ears as he drove himself forward as hard as he could.

He didn’t even get close.

Something smashed into him from behind, sending him sprawling. He slammed into the dirty asphalt, something pinning him down between his shoulder blades. One of his arms were wrenched behind him and he growled in pain and frustration.

“That was actually pretty sweet!” he young man on his back said much too happily. “Don’t think anyone’s ever thrown me like that before. You work out?”

“Poluchit’ yebut ot menya!” Ivan snarled as best he could with a face full of concrete.

“Yeah, ok, you’re pissed, I get it. I don’t like this either. And hey, I’ll leave your neck alone; I can just use your arm.”

Through his anger, a pang of fear cut through Ivan. He was helpless. Useless. Unable to stop him… Unable to help even himself.

Ivan swore, hot tears stinging his eyes. He was useless.

“Hey, hey,” the young creature cut in, sensing his distress, “Don’t worry, I won’t kill ya. This’ll all be a hazy dream in the morning.”

Ivan tried to turn his head, barely managing to look over his shoulder…

Just in time to see wicked fangs extending from the roof of the young boy’s mouth, glinting in the dim light.

Ivan’s heart shuddered to a stop.

The large Russian man cried out in pain as something pierced into his wrist and forearm. He tried to struggle away but the iron grip held him fast. He gasped for breath, his heart picking up at double time. Tears ran down his face.

This is actually happening!

A pathetic sob escaped Ivan. He pressed himself into the ground, willing it to swallow him.

He barely noticed when the creature on top of him became very still. Suddenly the piercing pain in his arm disappeared, leaving only a numb tingling.

“Dude, are you sick?”

Ivan hesitated a long moment, blinking away tears in surprise.

The pressure left his back and the vampire kneeled down beside him, holding his shoulder gently.

“…Cuz you blood tastes weird. Like, it’s watered down or something.”

Ivan’s fogged mind swirled a moment. Then slowly a realization crept up on him. He snorted, suddenly realizing what was happening. It was funny. No, hilarious.

Rather child-like giggles escaped the large man as the irony of the situation got the better of him.

The vampire seemed to grow a little uneasy. “Um… you ok man?”  

Ivan sat himself up a bit on his good arm, unable to keep his dry smile at bay. “Nyet. I am having Anemiya.”

The vampire’s now slightly off-blue eyes grew wide. “Wait, you’re anemic!? Dude, why the hell didn’t you say something!?”

“Oh, I am sorry, I was busy being crushed into a wall and then the ground,” Ivan growled, his emotions quickly morphing into anger. His light head dampened the feeling a bit, though.

“Still you should’ve… Damn, dude, I could have killed you!”

Ivan glared at the strikingly troubled expression on the young man’s face. Particularly the touch of red at the corner of the boy’s mouth. Of all the places to find sympathy…

Darkly amused, Ivan let another giggle slip. “I am being very sorry to have worried you so.”

The young man huffed in response, his expression remarkably close to a parent rebuking their child. “Alright, well…” He suddenly grabbed up Ivan’s injured arm. Ivan froze as he felt a cool tongue run up his arm, catching the blood that had been steadily escaping the punctures.

“Chto?! Otpustit’—!” Ivan tried to pull away but the grip wouldn’t yield.

The tongue lingered a moment on the new wounds, the young vampire pulling away with a sight grimace.

Ivan’s lips curled back to hiss a curse, but the words caught in his throat. He watched in wonder as his skin slowly drew together, pink and angry, but closed. Slightly stunned, he felt himself being raised to his feet.

“Let’s get you home, the venom will kick in soon. Where do you live?”

Ivan’s mind was swimming. “V-venom?” He manage to spit out. He felt himself moving forward.

“Look dude, I really hate poking around in other people’s heads. Just give me an address.”

Ivan’s eves wouldn’t focus anymore. He felt his resistance sap away with his energy. It almost felt… pleasant.

“2437 Oak Street,” he slurred, his accent coming through thicker than ever. “Apart-… 41.”

Ivan felt like he was floating. He was pretty sure his feet weren’t on the ground anymore. Everything faded away to an agreeable haze, only a few words echoing after him.

“Don’t worry, big guy. I got ya.”


Ivan had only been hungover one other time in his life, and he honestly couldn’t remember it being this bad.

The Russian blinked slowly, squinting at the light filtering through his bedroom window. Dust motes floated above and he watched them, unable to move since his body had been replaced with lead.

Shadowy memories danced behind his eyes. He remembered that… something had happened. But all that emerged from the smog of motion and dim light was…

Blue. Impossibly blue eyes.

Ivan latched onto that one shard of a memory, unwilling to let it go. He wasn’t sure why.

With a growl the large man forced himself out of bed. He shuffled over to the bathroom, splashing water in his face and trying to get the chalk taste out of his mouth. He looked up in the mirror, skin looking sallow and sick in the light. His family had always been particularly pale, it suiting his lovely sisters but looking downright deathly on him.

The brief thought of his sisters sent another stab of pain through him, though of a different sort. He pushed them from his mind.

Ivan shambled back through his room, glancing at the clock. It was already afternoon. He’d need to leave for work in a few hours. He sighed, running a hand through his shaggy silver hair while he debated calling in sick. But no, it was a new job and he couldn’t risk losing it. He cursed under his breath and headed for his kitchenette.

His feet hit the tile as his eyes came to rest on the kitchen table; particularly the grocery bags sitting innocently on it. He stared a long moment trying to remember… That’s right, he’d gone for groceries last night, and…

Everything came back in one horrible rush. Ivan staggered, grabbing the wall for support.

He’d…he’d been attacked. Attacked by…

Ivan gasped, his eyes jumping to his forearm. He brought it close to his face, scrutinizing it for any marks but found nothing. His eyes narrowed, an uncomfortable churning in his stomach.

I remember it… I couldn’t have imagined that… right?

Ivan approached the table like it might be a feral creature. He scanned over the contents of the bags. Everything seemed to be present. It was exactly what he had purchased last night, with one exception.

Sitting among the plastic bags was a very large bottle of iron supplements.


Der'mo – shit

Spasibo – thank you

Nyet – no

Poluchit’ yebut ot menya – Get the fuck off me

Chto?! Otpustit’… – What?! Let go…

Herb of the Week-Bay Laurel

Common names

Bay Laurel
Sweet Bay

The herb known as the bay laurel or the sweet bay is native to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region in general - it is a small evergreen shrub or tree. The early Greeks and Romans admired the bay laurel for its beauty and used the aromatic leaves in many different ways. Bay laurel possesses leathery leaves that are lanceolate and pointed in shape. The leaves also have the maximum oil content during early and mid-summer and this oil content tends to decreases in other seasons. The name “bay” is used to refer to several botanicals - for example the West Indian bay - botanical name Pimenta racemosa, and the California bay - botanical name Umbellularia californica. Therefore, any of these plants can be called by the name “bay” in the existing herb literature; what is more, some other plants are also called ‘Bay’.

The solution made from the bay laurel is a very potent anti-dandruff rinse and can help a person suffering from excess dandruff in the hair. To prepare this herbal rinse, bring a quart of water to boil, to the boiled water add about three level teaspoons of crumpled bay leaves and let the leaves steep in the covered pot for about twenty five minutes. The herbal tea can be strained and then refrigerated for later use. This herbal tea can be used to wash the hair, when doing this, it is necessary to first rinse all the soap out of the hair using plain water. Once hair has been washed with water and soap, some of the liquid bay laurel tea can be poured on to the head and can be used to massage the scalp thoroughly. This initial massage with the herbal tea can be followed with similar rinses using few more ounces of the herbal tea; the tea must be worked well on to the scalp using the fingertips. The hair so treated can be left as such for about an hour; it must then be rinse thoroughly using plain water. This treatment will be sufficient to keep dandruff from recurring if it is used faithfully every day on a long term basis.

Disorders such as bronchitis and a hacking cough or other related chest complaints can be relieved by applications of a poultice made from the boiled bay leaves; the poultice must be rubbed into the chest and covered with a cloth.

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2007 Vignobles Brunier Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe La Crau

Keeping an eye on my Vieux Télégraphe, in case anyone tries to steal it. Red cherries, currants, black cherries, and blackberry preserves. Green and black olives. Black pepper dusting. Anise and bay leaf. Dry earth. All on the nose. Lots of warmth from the alcohol and great acidity on the palate. Starts with tart red cherries and juicy black cherries. Licorice notes throughout the palate. Tastes almost like a not-too-sweet black cherry pie. Fuller and darker as the wine opens - more preserves and leather with a peppery finish. 

3/5 bones


Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre

14.5% abv

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, FRANCE

Flame for one [2]

Part One Part three

Thanks for your feedback guys! And thank you to the very best and friendly @sebbytrash for being a cool human being. Here we go

taglist @thewinterher0 @lbouvet   

Still, gifs are not mine.

I feel like I do not stress this enough, so here: my English might be bad because it is not my native language, so I apologize.

Warnings: LANGUAGE, violence, more violence, also, the story is set in… you’ll see, the events of the Winter Soldier (2014) are completely screwed. 

word count: 1774

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The dusty decimation of California’s drought

California’s longstanding drought has escalated in recent months, with 62.7% of the state now in what the Department of Agriculture deems “extreme” conditions.

But in few places is it as easily visualized as in the area surrounding the vanishing Cachuma Lake, which has become one of the most prominent victims of the lack of rain.

In years past, the spot where Bozarth was standing was under 30, 40, even 50 feet of water. It wasn’t all that long ago that Cachuma “spilled” — filled to the brim, to the point where millions of gallons of clean, fresh water was released through the dam’s gates and cast into the sea, a display of surplus that is laughable today.

That was only three years ago. Now, said Tom Fayram, Santa Barbara County’s deputy public works director, “it’s just empty.”

External image

Read reporter Scott Gold’s full story here.

Photos: Brian van der Brug, Lorena Iñiguez Elebee / Los Angeles Times