She glances up from her sketchpad, pencil freezes as her eyes follow Robert’s progress down the stairs and into the room. She takes in the jacket and gray slacks, his hair styled messily and hides a small smile. He pauses by the mirror, makes a slight face before brushing his hair back and closes his eyes at his own ridiculous behavior.
“You look alright.”
Robert looks at her reflection in the mirror, smiling slightly as he says, “Yeah?”
“For a middle aged prat, yeah.”
His laugh is short and loud and it makes her grin. It’s taken him a long time to be able to do that again. “Oi, cheeky.” He fidgets, brushes imaginary lint off his shoulders and turns. “Thanks again for sitting. I know you could be doing a million other things.”
Liv waves his words away. “I’m his aunt-slash-big sister, ain’t I? I got to study anyway. And anyway what’s the point of having kids if you can’t get them to do stuff for you every once in awhile?”
Robert shrugs. “Thought you all were only good for headaches and ulcers to be honest.”
Liv smirks, points her finger at him. “I never gave you ulcers, mate. That was all the in-laws.”
“Which you technically are.”
Robert eyes her carefully as he moves toward his wallet. “Aaron is stopping by to tuck Jacob in so…be nice.” At her glare, he sighs and gives her a pointed look. “Fine. Try not to be too much of – just don’t do or say anything in front of Jacob, ok?
Liv nods her agreement. Her anger at Aaron has calmed in the eight months since the separation. Mostly in the beginning it had been because she’d seen what Aaron leaving had done to Robert, how he’d not gotten out of bed for nearly a week after it was over. The fact that she’d had to hide it from people so he wouldn’t be at risk of losing Jacob. He’d managed to pull himself out of it for her and Jacob thanks to his sisters and Diane. But her anger had doubled in that time. Then later it was because she could not understand how you could love someone one day and just…not the next.
(She knows in her head that it was more complicated than that. Robert had even told her that it was years of issues coming to a head. He still didn’t blame Aaron and that makes something ache inside her chest that she has to ignore or she would probably go next door and punch her brother in the face.)
“Where is Will taking you?”
Robert shrugs. “Not sure. Into town, though.”
Liv nods, doesn’t say anything because the pub was out of the question (she finds it ironic that the Dingles are set against Robert dating anyone and keep trying to force the issue of a reconciliation when they’d been the first to take sides before they’d realized Robert had actually done nothing wrong) and going to the B&B would just produce awkwardness what with Diane being…Diane.
She likes Will fine. He was nice and seemed to like her and Jacob. He was funny in this weirdly quiet way that was different from Aaron. It still takes her a minute to comprehend that her loud, obnoxious big brother Robert Sugden is dating a librarian. A librarian.
(She can still hear Aaron’s soft “Robert’s mum was a librarian” when Charity has commented on the strangeness of Robert’s choice of rebound.)
She doesn’t like Flynn much but she figures she probably never will so she isn’t sussed about it because he doesn’t like her right back. Aaron is having to deal with that idiot and part of her enjoys watching him get more and more frustrated.
No one can ever claim that Olivia Flaherty hasn’t learned a thing or two about being petty from the Sugdens and the Dingles.
Also, I have found Aloe Juice to be very successful in treating acid reflux. Aloe Vera stimulates the immune system and heals inflammation in the body. Aloe is also good for treating Peptic Ulcers, Diabetes, and Irritable Bowl Syndrome. We use George’s Aloeat home. Take 1oz as needed. Aloe is also a mild laxative and good to take when constipated.
Spice-Ghoul’s Ghost Story Corner: Official Meet & Greet!!!
I’m just going to start off by stressing to you all how just incredibly nervous I was about the Meet & Greet. Just…so beyond nervous you guys. There were so many layers to it too! Not only were we going to get to interact and finally get a photo with them (while they’re IN THEIR COSTUMES NO LESS) but as everyone knows, it’s a lot of freaking money for the M&G tickets. So if you make a dumb face, you just wasted a TON of money. And on top of everything else this was the last chance we’re going to have to get a picture with Papa III and the Meliora Ghouls, which it’s been our favorite era! So there’s so much at stake to make this photo count! And when things are at stake…I get crazy.
Spiritual Attributes: Image magick, money, luck, and healing. Can be carved into poppets for sympathetic magick. In kitchen magick it represents stability and the basic necessities of life.Blue potatoes can be added to a magical meal to bring in the energy of the color blue.
Medical Uses: Potato juice, especially from redskin potatoes is said to be good for ulcers and other issues related to stomach acidity as well as gallstones. It is also said to be a good liver tonic.Slices of raw potato can be placed on skin inflammations and burns for quick relief. Mix shredded raw potato with olive oil to relieve dry, chapped skin.
About: The desert marigold is an annual or short-lived perennial, generally 10 to 30 inches tall with a basal rosette of one- to four-inch long, pinnate wooly, or hairy, leaves. Hairs are an important desert plant adaptation because they both increase light reflection, resulting in lower leaf temperatures, and they block ultraviolet light. Desert marigold either fresh or dried, are poisonous to goats and sheep, but not to cattle or horses.
Where to Find: Arizona, Nevada, Utah, the Mojave Desert, the Chihuahuan Desert, and Texas.
How to Grow: Naturally found growing on sandy or gravelly soils of roadsides, plains, washes, mesas, and pinyon-juniper communities. These plants need well-drained soil, full light, and little water. They are a perennial, and they tend to die if it gets below freezing.
Medicinal Properties: Marigold is good for treating ulcers, stomach cramps, and diarrhea when given orally or as a tea. Applied to the skin as a salve, it can be used to treat bruises, sprains, pulled muscles, and boils.
Magical Properties: All UPG, but, Strength, Healing, Balance.
DISCLAIMER! I am not a trained herbologist, or a doctor. Plants, herbs, and natural remedies do not negate the need to see a doctor for chronic, ongoing conditions, sudden illnesses, or modern medication. This is just stuff I’ve read, or picked up over the years. Be sure to let your doctor know if you plan on starting any kind of herbal treatment, as it may interfere with your regular medications. If you explain to your doctor that you really want to try naturals, they’ll usually work with you to see what they can do.
a flaw in my development, too much of this, not enough of that, a hormone imbalance that caused me to differ from the biologically correct.
it crept up on me slowly,
a sweet pubescent malignancy,
filling my insides,
a patient lover,
showing me everything I wanted to see,
crippling me in the best way,
making me sick to my stomach in love with everything I wasn’t supposed to be.
everything that was forbade from me
was what made me feel good;
she made me feel good,
while things like home and church and family slowly made me feel trapped in something I couldn’t understand the reasons for.
a foreign God I could never reach told you to love your child so much that you would do anything to help them fit in and finally be normal, pay thousands for therapy to make them straight if you needed to, to make them happy. you called this a disease and said you would do anything for me not to be sick anymore so I told you it’s benign and drowned the key to the closet.
but the closet is more of a heavy holy water-soaked costume than a place I can stay, and it’s weight breaks me down, even on good days.
I had ulcers on my knees from kneeling to pray for changes and miracles but all I got were girls like sunlight; the warmest, sweetest, most comforting carcinogens. all I got were concrete sweet nothings that meant more than all the abstracted bitter somethings that defined my existence.
a flaw in my development, too much of this, not enough of that, a hormone imbalance that caused me to differ from the biologically…. correct? God didn’t want me this way. God didn’t want me this gay. in the eyes of all that’s good and holy I am sick.
When Oliver awoke, the apartment was dark and the other side of the bed was empty. He ran a hand over the unrumpled sheets and found them cool.
Apparently, Connor had left their bed a while ago.
Rubbing a hand over his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose to ward off the headache building, Oliver threw off the covers, sat up, and made for the bathroom. He rinsed out his mouth with some mouthwash before digging a few ibuprofen out of the medicine cabinet and swallowing them dry. He stared at his reflection and sighed. He needed to stop drinking like he was still in his twenties.
For a moment he debated taking a shower but figured that was a coward’s way out. He’d have to face Connor eventually.
Slowly, Oliver headed into the kitchen and inwardly groaned when he spotted Connor set up at the counter. Laptop open. Papers scattered around. Steaming cup of coffee at his elbow.
“You drink too much of that,” Oliver said by way of greeting. “It’ll give you an ulcer.”
“Good morning to you too, Ollie.” Picking up the mug, Connor eyed Oliver over the rim and took a deliberate sip.
“Did you sleep at all?” Oliver asked as he poured himself a cup of coffee and got the cream out of the fridge.
Connor shook his head. “Couldn’t.”
Oliver nodded and took a sip of his coffee. It tasted bitter and burnt but he drank it anyway. “What is all this?” he asked, gesturing with the mug to the work Connor’d scattered around.
“Oh. It’s…” Connor bit his lip before looking up. “It’s our budget. Well, our new budget.”