“So,” Rachel says abruptly into Cas’s ear on a dreary Monday morning, making him jump, “what is Dean planning for Valentine’s day?”
“Jesus, Rachel!” Cas grumbles, turning away from his screen to glare at his best friend. “Is this really the best time?”
“Probably not, but I don’t have anything to do right now. So spill, what’s he planning?”
“I don’t know. Nothing. I can’t take the day off and Dean’s due back at the hospital that evening so we just agreed we’d celebrate later.”
“Why can’t you take the day off?”
“I have a meeting with Adler in the morning.”
“So take the afternoon off. Come on, Cas. Don’t you want to do something to surprise Dean for a change?”
Cas opens his mouth to dismiss the suggestion, then thinks the better of it. Dean was the romantic in their relationship — he was the one who planned most of the dates, picked out fantastic presents for special occasions, left little notes in Cas’s lunch at least twice a week, sent flowers to Cas’s workplace. Cas, by contrast, did not really shine in the spontaneous fun department.
“I suppose I can take the afternoon off, maybe take him out to lunch…” he murmurs, turning to his computer.
“Where what?” Cas says irritably, mulling over his calendar.
“It’s three days away, Cas, every place will be booked full. Unless you want to take him to Taco Bell.”
“I… Maybe we could go on a picnic? I could arrange for a gourmet meal.”
Rachel stares at him. “That’s actually not a bad idea. You should cook. And make some Valentine’s Day chocolate - ”
“I’m not that confident - ”
“It’s the thought that counts. And how lucky for you, the forecast says it’s going to be sunny and nearly twenty degrees,” Rachel shows him her phone. “Where do you want to go anyway?”
“The KU field station, maybe?” Cas muses. “We can’t go anywhere too far, and Dean loves the place. It has a lovely view of town from the overlook.”
“There you go! Simple, easy to implement and romantic. You can watch the sunset and then maybe get down on one knee and finally give him that ring in your desk.”
Cas gawps at her.
“Rachel! That’s - How did you even get into - ”
“I didn’t,” she clarifies, looking bored. “The whole damn office knows, Cas. You keep fidgeting with it all the time and staring moonily at it - ”
“I do not!”
“Oh?” She arches a brow. “Hey, Alfie, come here a sec will you?”
“Rachel, what are you - ”
“Hey, Rachel, Castiel,” Alfie’s voice is soft and hesitant, and his arms are loaded with files. “I can’t stop, I need to get these photocopied and on Mr. Adler’s desk by two p.m and-”
“This won’t take too long, I just wanted to let you know Cas here is planning to propose on Valentine’s Day.”
“Rachel!” Cas hisses, but no one pays any attention to him.
“Oh?” Alfie’s smile is shy as he turns to Cas. “That’s such a romantic thing to do. Is that why you were practicing your speech the other night?”
Rachel starts snorting inelegantly, breaking off with a squeak when Cas kicks her on the shin.
“Yes, Alfie,” Cas says wearily. “Well I don’t want to keep you from your photocopying any longer.”
“I hope he says yes,” Alfie says before scampering off.
“Don’t you dare say anything,” Cas snarls at Rachel after he’s gone.
Rachel gives him a look of faux innocence before dissolving into giggles.
The idea, however, sticks in his mind.
Dean’s certainly dropped enough hints in the past few months that at least indicated he was interested in marriage, so Cas knows his proposal will probably be accepted. The only thing that had held him back all these months was the fear of not making the proposal special enough. He knows Dean doesn’t particularly care, and would probably be overjoyed if Cas got down on his knees at their regular burger place, but Dean deserves more. And the ring had stayed, waiting in his desk.
Dean is working a late shift when he gets home, so he makes himself a cup of tea and sits with his laptop and book, ready to research picnic ideas.
Four hours and countless Pinterest pages later, he has a somewhat workable plan.
He dispenses with the rose petals, dainty hor d'oeuvres, posh champagne and $400 vintage picnic baskets, choosing hearty and easy recipes that Dean won’t be able to inhale in less than a minute.
Dean’s not due back for at least another six hours, so he decides to go grocery shopping and start on some of the cooking. He’ll need to hide the results at Rachel’s though, because Dean is a bloodhound when it comes to food.
This would be the perfect opportunity to show Dean how much he cares, how special Dean is, how much Cas is anticipating their life together.
Some information for those of you who may be considering changing your birds diet to pellets!
WHY PELLETS ARE BETTER FOR YOUR BIRDS!
-Formulated to be nutritionally complete, pellets provide balanced protein, fat, amino acid, vitamins and minerals.
-Pellets reduce mess and waste. Being 100% Edible, you get what you pay for!
-Pellets contain essential amino acids that assist with the development of optimum feather growth and healthy immune systems.
-Birds eating pellets look vibrant & healthy! (because they are!)
-Pellets are ideal for breeding birds and growing young with fortified calcium & D3
-Seed mixes contain very high amounts of fat and carbohydrates and severely lack key nutrients. 30%+ fat content leads to obesity, fatty cysts and general poor health
-seed mixes contain filler seeds and even edible seeds still require de-hulling. These two wastes can equate to up to 60% of a seed mix, which ends up scattered about the cage, on the floor and ultimately in the bin!
-Seed lacks amino acids, lysine and methionine. Plumage is poorer and birds fall ill more easily without adequate nutrition.
-Seeds lack both calcium & vitamin D3. Cuttlefish do not provide a fraction of the calcium required for the bones, reproduction or development.
-seed requires monitoring, supplementation and modifying- very costly and still almost impossible to balance nutrients!
Emilia twisted in her seat uncomfortably as she waited for Faith to join her for a casual dinner before they both headed to Serenity for the night. The two had been texting each other back and forth since their meeting outside the church a couple of weeks ago and thought it’d make sense to properly hang out outside of the gross club atmosphere. It still felt odd to Emilia, the whole friendship thing. The only other ‘friend’ she’d had for a while was Jack, and she wouldn’t even call them friends. He was someone to have banter with on drunk nights. Faith was more than that.
The place they had chosen for dinner had a cosy vibe. It wasn’t anything fancy, but good enough for two friends grabbing something to eat. There were vibrant coloured walls, the bar/kitchen area was the centre piece of the establishment with wooden tables and chairs surrounding it. Emilia had chosen one of the tables that looked out onto the street so she could people watch whilst she waited.
Emilia swayed her head slowly from side to side and tapped her fingers on the table as she listened to the soft tones of the music filling the cafe. It was the first time she had been to the place and already knew she’d be back again soon. The atmosphere there was so peaceful. Not even a minute later, her eyes snapped to the chimes of the door opening and saw Faith arrive, which caused a small smile to come across her face and she gave the girl a small wave.
A bunch of friendly vegetables wear colorful underwear of all varieties—big, small, clean, dirty, serious, and funny—demonstrating for young ones the silliness and necessity of this item of clothing. The unexpectedness of vegetables in their unmentionables is enough to draw giggles, but the pride with which the “big kid” attire is flaunted in front of the baby carrots in diapers will tickle readers of all ages. With rhyming text that begs to be chanted aloud and art that looks good enough to eat, this vibrant story will encourage preschoolers to celebrate having left those diapers behind! Jared Chapman was born in Louisiana, grew up in Texas, went to college in Georgia, lived in Austin, and now calls the piney woods of northeast Texas his home. He and his young brood prefer silly underwear to serious, and broccoli to celery.