Fruit for lunch. 💜💜 I had a handful of cashews before heading out to the park with Smash, and then had blueberries and grapes with Kuba after. Blueberries are so good right now and they’re only going to improve! 😍 After lunch, I walked into town and picked up a 2nd pack of grapes for a snack. So good! 😋 I’ve walked so much this week in my new shoes with Smash here and I feel great! 🐶 I’m going to miss her when she goes home. 💕
Jon dripped the melted wax onto the dry parchment and
pressed one of the roses that he had picked from the castle godswood before
backing up and looking at his work. A wide piece of parchment bordered by rose
petals, orange autumn leaves, and flowers waxed to the sides. In the middle of
the page, a rough sketch was drawn by the stumbling hand of a six year old. A
tall boy with curly hair and a baby wrapped in a blanket, a hand peeking out to
join the elder boy’s, arrows pointed out of the figures stating ‘Jon’ and 'Aya’
and bellow the sketch in wide and yet shaky letters were written ‘I lov you’.
Jon was very proud of himself. He had even drawn little
hearts and stars all over the page in different colored inks- he had asked
father to borrow them from Measter Luwin as he still was too much frightened by
the strange elder man. He knew his baby sister liked colors. Especially bright
different ones like blue and green and purple. He also knew she liked flowers.
She liked stars in the night sky that she could see through her crib and out
the open window. And she liked crème pies as well, and lemons though she made
strange faces when she sucked at them which made father laugh, she liked
smashing blueberries and covering her face with them, and she loved taking
baths, especially the splashing part. He knew everything about her.
It wasn’t her name
day or anything. That didn’t come for months. But he made her a present anyway.
Because he loved her. Father often bought him presents just because he loved
him. Father had said that he did so so Jon could always remember that Father
loved him. He wanted his sister to remember he loved her as well. He had been
working on it for weeks, making sure it was pretty enough that she would like
it. That she liked it much better than the present Robb had gotten her.
A few weeks ago, Lady Catelyn and Septa Mordane had taken
Robb, and Theon and him and even little Sansa to Winter Town to get new cloths
and boots and coats as well. They took them every other month, though Jon didn’t
know why. He had a lot of coats and cloths that were nice and cozy and he had
still to wear his funny big red boots Lady Catelyn had allowed him to buy
alongside Robb on their last visit. But he liked going to Winter Town. It was
loud and noisy and had so many people, and they get to ride in the big carriage
and look out the window at the tiny shops. And afterwards, they got to eat
fire-roasted corn and warm almond milk with honey.
That day had been warmer than usual, and the mist that
usually hung above the crooked Winter Town streets had faded away during the
night. The usually frozen water fountain, that stood tall in the town center,
had defrosted and glittering waters sprinkled out of it into the pool bellow in
short bursts. Lady Catelyn had said it was because the fountain had been frozen
for such a long time, it had grown rusty. They had all been sitting by the
fountain side, him and Robb and Theon while Lady Catelyn, Sansa, and all her
handmaidens stood a few feet away, by a bench and where the carriage stood,
going through all the items they had bought.
Theon had told them that down in the Iron Islands, there
were a lot of fountains like these all over the place, tall and ancient, of
ironborn heroes of old, ships, krakens, sea monsters, and the drowned god and
storm god engaging in battle. And how his own mother had once told him that if
you make a wish and thrown a coin over your shoulder into the fountain, than
your wish would come true. Jon didn’t really believe that. He was older now.
Six years old, almost seven, he knew fountains didn’t make wishes come true,
stars did, or the old gods of godswood; father had said so but Robb thought it
will be fun anyway. So Lady Catelyn had given each three of them a handful of
coins, and they had spent the next few hours making a game out of it. You had
to stand three feet away from the fountain and throw the coin into the
fountain. If you made it, the other two had to give you two extra coins so you
get two extra wishes and if you didn’t, you had to give a coin to each of them.
Half-way through their game, while they were counting how
many coins they had gotten into the fountain in total, Robb had gasped beside
him. Jon stared at him confused as he clambered up and ran to Lady Catelyn.
Both he and Theon look after him as he tugged at his mother’s dress. ‘Mother,’
Robb said. ‘We forgot to buy something for the baby.’
Lady Catelyn smiled. ‘I bought her clothes already, dear.
She doesn’t need more yet.’
‘But wont she be upset, mother? We didn’t even bring her with
us. Shouldn’t we at least get her something, like a present?’
‘I am sure she won’t mind not coming. She doesn’t like noisy
places, and she is too small to be outside for too long.’
‘I want to get her something anyway.’ Robb argued. Lady
Catelyn ruffled his hair. She never ruffled Jon’s hair. Jon wished she did. He
loved it when father did it before putting him to sleep and kissing him
‘Of course.’ She kissed Robb’s forehead before opening her
pouch and handing him a few coins. ‘Go get her anything you like.’
Robb smiled and ran to some shop nearby, with two of Lady
Catelyn handmaiden’s following close behind. He had stared at Lady Catelyn
after Robb had skipped off and Lady Catelyn had glanced back at him for a
moment before turning away. He wished he had thought of that, getting the baby
a present. He knew if he went up to Lady Catelyn right now and asked permission
to buy the baby a present as well, she would have given him the money without
question. But he didn’t. He didn’t like the way she looked at him sometimes. It
wasn’t in a mean way, not really, not like how the Septa would sometimes look
at him. She would always just stare at him for a moment too long, her gaze hard
and cold, and slightly confused before turning her gaze away.
Robb had gotten her a rattle. It was wooden, and round with
flowers painted all over it, and there was a bow and flowers carved delicately
in the handle. Arya had loved when they gone back to the castle and Robb had
given it to her. She had gurgled at it as Robb had placed it beside her, inside
her crib. She had stared at for a moment, making noises and poking her tongue
out before grabbing the rattle into her little baby fist. She didn’t it let go for days afterward. She rang
it when she fed, and when she took her bath, she rang it awake, and sometimes
even in her sleep. Until a few days ago, that is.
She had been in her crib with Lady Catelyn cooing at her from
above, holding her rattle and swinging it around like a knight with a sword. She
had been holding it above her when her grip had loosened and the rattle landed
straight at her head. Jon remembered him and Robb and Lady Catelyn waiting for
a moment as she stopped gurgling for a moment, shocked into silence, before her
eyes teared up and for the next hour or so, all he could hear was her loud
screeches as Lady Catelyn walked her around her room in her arms, trying to
calm her down. She hadn’t stopped crying until Father had to be called, and she
had fallen asleep in his arms. She never touched the rattle again.
Jon thought it will be nice if she got a new present, a
nicer one that didn’t hurt. He could ask Lady Catelyn to hang it on the wall of
her room so she could always see as she lay in her crib. Than she would knew he
loved her best, and she would love him too, like how father did.
Jon quickly blew off the burner under the jar of candle wax
and put his ink and quills aside. He blew away the extra rose petals and
crumbled leaves off the chart and quickly ran out of his room, his present
clutched tight in his hand. He knew she won’t be in her nursery. Lady Catelyn
usually took her to the Small Hall at this time in the afternoon, so she could
play with Father and little Sansa while they had afternoon tea. He quickly ran
down the grand stair case and past the hallway on the left and turned at the second
right hallway that leads straight to the Small Hall.
As he neared the door, he slowed down and suddenly stopped a
few feet away from the doors. He grew nervous. He held the paper in front of
him, uncertain now. It wasn’t really nice. Not as nice as the rattle
anyway. Part of the parchment where he had held tightly was crumbled a bit, and
now that he looked at it, the drawing was pretty stupid. The blanket he had
drawn her in made her look like she was an egg and the hands he had drawn
looked more like claws than hands. Maybe they would frighten her too much, and
she would start crying like she did with the rattle.
Past the door, he could hear Fathers deep throat laughter
and Arya’s gurgling and loud squeaking noises she had learned to make whenever
she got excited. Jon hid the paper behind his back and peeked through the ajar
door. Arya was placed in Lady Catelyn lap and Father was standing above her,
holding Arya by the arms, trying to get her to stand up but Arya only squeaked
loudly and planted herself down harder into Lady Catelyn’s lap. Sansa was
beside them dressed in her night gown and her hair in pigtails with her dolly
clutched in her hand, jumping up and down and cheering Arya on.
Jon nudged himself closer to the door, eager to watch. Father
tried to lift her to her feet but every single time he did it, she dropped to a
crawl and cuddled back into Lady Catelyn’s lap, making her laugh. Father kept
trying anyway, cooing at her to stand up. The third time, she stood for a whole
ten seconds before dropping herself again, and crawling away.
Jon grinned, excited and poked his head through the opening.
Nobody noticed, with everyone’s eyes fixed on Arya as she shrieked and cuddled
away into her mothers dress, away from father’s outreaching arms. Arya shook
her head, her soft baby curls whipping in the air, and wrung out her hands that
she had fixed into fists as father tried to grab them. Father laughed again.
‘Come on, sweet girl. Come to father. Come on.’
Arya shook her head and gurgled, yapping her mouth as if she
was having an actual argument with father. Jon had by now stepped through the
door and stood beside it, paper still clutched in his hand, half-forgotten. Father
was nodding to Arya, playing along as if he understood a word she was saying.
Jon giggled and sat down on the floor by the door. Father
grabbed Arya by the fist and pulled so she would stand up. He than pulled her
forward, trying to make her move her feet. She did it this time, moving one
foot over the other, trembling and clumsy but determined. Sansa cheered and
clapped her hands.
Father slid back, trying to distance himself so she would walk
a little more. He still held her by the hand, helping her move along, slowly
and gently toward him. At the last two steps, she dived forward and into his
arms, shrieking once more. Father gave out another laugh and hugged her close.
‘Well done. Aren’t you a smart little girl?’
Father placed Arya back into her mother’s arms. Jon crawled
forward to get a better view. Father got back into place, a few feet away and
got her to stand up. She stood eagerly this time, clutching her tiny little
fingers around father’s own large ones. Father moved a bit farther away still, pulling
her forward towards him. Every time she got closer, he moved a bit farther
away, willing her to walk almost across the whole room. Halfway through the
third time when he shifted back, she caught on to his tricks and planted
herself down and gurgled, slapping her hands on to the carpeted floor. Father groaned. ‘Come on, Arya. You have
almost done it. Get up now. Go on.’
Lady Catelyn joined him on in the cooing but Arya had made
up her mind. She slapped her hands to the floor and began to crawl away. Just
then, she caught sight of Jon, and began to crawl towards him. Jon laid down
his drawing beside him, and opened up his arms towards her. Father turned
around, and smiled at him. Lady Catelyn’s laughter had quickly faded away and was
replaced with a weak smile.
Father got up from the floor, and dusted of his pants,
giving up on trying to make Arya walk anymore today. Arya crawled forward
quickly, and just then, tried to stumbled up clumsily onto her feet. She fell down
and landed on her behind. Jon was worried she would start crying but she only
tried to get up, slowly now, reaching out with her arms.
Father gave a chuckled gasped and moved quickly behind her
in case she fell down again. Arya stood for a moment, tried to find some
balance on her trembling feet. Then she moved one leg forward, Jon looking on excitedly,
and then another. Father cheered and said. ‘Quick Jon, crawl up a bit closer.
Jon did eagerly what father asked, giggling and still
reaching out his arms towards Arya. ‘Come here, Arya. Come to Jon, come on.’
Arya than placed another foot in front of the other, and
than another. Father kept pace with her baby steps. Sansa quickly raced towards
them, eager to look and clap her hands in excitement. Arya moved forward slowly
and slowly, one foot after another. On one step, she trembled slightly, and Jon
thought she would fall down but she kept moving forward. Before he knew it, she
got to him and dived into his arms, her tiny arms clutched around his neck. Jon
laughed and hugged her close.
Father laughed and picked Arya from his arms, planted a kiss
on her nose before handing her back to him. ‘Her first steps, at 8 months. This
one is a quick learner. ‘He said turning to Lady Catelyn, who still stood in
her spot. Sansa was hugging her father’s leg, begging to be kissed as well.
Jon turned back to Arya in his arms, and hugged her close.
He kissed her chubby cheeks as she grabbed at his curls, and turned behind to
pick up the drawing he had left on the floor. He placed her in his lap and
showed it to her. ‘Do you like it, Arya?’ He said, looking at her. She turned
toward him, looking up at him, with dark grey eyes, just like Father’s, just
Saliva dripped down her chin, as she poked out her tongue.
She patted her hand against his cheek and grabbed his hair in her fist and than
placed it in her mouth. Jon giggled and kissed her once more. ‘That’s me.’ He
said, pointing to the tall figure with his brown curly hair and big red boots
and then he pointed towards the baby he had drawn. ‘And that’s you. See.’
She slapped her hands on to the drawing, eager to touch it
and the bright flowers that were stacked on it. Father kneeled beside him, and
pulled Arya into his arms. He pointed to the drawing. ‘Now, what’s that?’
Jon pushed it towards him eagerly. ‘It’s a drawing. I made
it for Arya, as a present. Do you like it?’
Father picked up the drawing and held it before him, his
eyes serious as he glanced over it. He nodded. ‘This is fine work. A good
present for a little sister.’ He smiled towards Jon.
Jon grinned. ‘I made it so we could hang it her room, so she
could look at it all the time, when she is in her crib. Do you think we could?
Hang it on her wall, I mean.’
Father nodded. ‘I think we could. What do you think, Cat?’
He turned toward Lady Catelyn. Jon looked as well. Her smile had completely
faded away and she only gave a nod to father.
‘I will ask Measter Luwin to have it framed.’
Jon smiled widely. ‘Thank you, my lady.’
Lady Catelyn gave him a weak smile, though her eyes were
cold as usual. ‘Of course.’ She picked up Arya from father’s arms. ‘The baby
must be tired. That’s a lot of exercise for a day. I better put her to sleep.’
She walked out of the room, Sansa trailing beside her,
dragging her dolly at her feet. She had forgotten his drawing behind. His
father glanced at it, than at the place where Lady Catelyn had stood. He than
picked up the drawing and got up, pulling Jon up to his feet.
Father ruffled his hair. A strange smile was on his face,
sorry and sad. ‘Come on, we better go give it to Measter Luwin so he can have
it framed. I don’t think Arya would be able to go to sleep tonight without it.’
Jon nodded, and walked beside his father. He knew Lady
Catelyn wasn’t happy. He didn’t know how he knew, he just did. It sort of made
him sad, he supposed. It would have been nice if she had been happy and ruffled
his hair and kissed him like she did with Robb. But it was alright. He had
father. And besides, Arya had liked his present, and in return he had gotten
the best present in return. Something Robb won’t be able to have. Something
that was just for him. His sister’s first footsteps.
You don’t need to be a psychic to see this guy’s aura, he radiates it!
Lucario is a peculiar sort of fighter in the series as he trumps a particular rule of fighting games: Don’t let your opponent hit you. Bruising up Lucario not only makes him stronger, but makes the player using him try even harder to score one last K.O. on you.
On a different note, got my hands on a bottle of this this weekend. It had the smooth chocolaty taste of a Porter combined with the Blueberry deliciousness of Sea Dog’s Bluepaw. Not an everyday thing, but I definitely enjoyed it.
Shipyard’s Smashed Blueberry. A 3 of 4. A deep, rich color that seems to be a porter with a strong blueberry presence. All the tartness and sweetness out of the blueberries permeates the nose as well as your palate. A decent bit of bitterness up front as well - quite well balanced - you get some caramel notes alongside the tartness of the blueberries that makes this really interesting. I was a little surprised and displeased at the first sip, but this really grew on me as it warmed up. Great stuff.
I’m so proud of myself I outsmarted two animals tonight
First I made snail barriers because my horrible animal was getting into the filter
Then I tricked Kaiju into eating her veggies by rendering chicken fat, whisking it with some smashed blueberries and drizzling it over her parsley/kale mix, then garnishing the whole thing with mint and… wait, that’s not tricking, that’s fancy-ass salad prep oh no i’m the one who’s been tricked
"Can you tell me the last time you felt hopeful?" *SMASH CUT TO BLUEBERRY BEING ALL HOPEFUL* WELL. IF THAT AIN'T A KICK TO THE TEETH. AND BY TEETH I MEAN FEELS. Why do I look forward to this story again? Oh yeah. Because it's great. And you're great. Keep being awesome <3
XDD I’m glad the feels are being engaged! I freaking loved drawing Blue just popping his head into his nightmare panels and being like “GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE :D”
I’m glad you’re enjoying the comic so much :D Thank you! I’ll keep being awesome as long as you do too ;)
We finally conquered the blueberries and the raspberries for the season. As a parting farewell, I combined some of each into a scrumptious sauce that works beautifully over yogurt, pancakes, cheesecake (yum!) or ice cream.
Homemade granola is something we always have on hand. It’s as essential as bread, flour, and milk at our house. The recipe has shown up here a few times and I haven’t tweaked it too much as time has passed. We take out a cup or two to keep handy in a jar or plastic bag, the rest of it resides in the freezer, where I have found it stays perfectly fresh for weeks.
Blueberry raspberry sauce
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup cold water
Combine the raspberries, blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, smashing the blueberries with the back of a spoon. Stir the cornstarch into the water and pour into berry mixture. Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Take off heat and let cool.
Serve either warm or cool. Store in refrigerator.
Great with yogurt, on pancakes or waffles, over ice cream, and perfect spooned on cheesecake.