Mary Ellen Carter Taster

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Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Ranger52899 on Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:48 pm

Ok. This is proof we are trying to kick Tom and Jake out of the pasture. We are. This is an early draft, chapter one will probably look quite different in the end when we post it properly, but here is a chunk to read while you're waiting. Wink  We felt it was time we proved we were at least doing something. Despite tax season and chest infections. One feels much like the other and has about the same impact on creativity.....

All suggestions, bright ideas to get this moving and kicks up the behind to T and J encouragement to the characters to get on with the flipping plot gratefully received.


*****************
 

“You do realise we can’t just lay around out here indefinitely?”

“Mmn.”

Jake didn’t sound much like someone who had plans to move any time soon. The sun was hot overhead, it was one of the first really hot May days, the beginning signs of summer, and the pasture spreading for miles ahead of them was rippling with colour. Violets with the same little painted faces as the English sweet violets that Tom had known in the hedgerows of his childhood but yellow instead of purple; blue-purple tall shoots of larkspur that waved in the breeze, yellow balsamroot and the delicate white and violet flower called spring beauty, all in amongst the grass that was a bright emerald green beneath a clean blue sky. It rolled away in every direction, endless space and openness that flowed out into the green aspen woods to the east and the mountains still white topped against the horizon.

It was so beautiful. It wasn’t actually difficult to lose hours simply laying here looking at it all, from the birds hunting insects in the grass and swooping across the pasture to the fence posts of the paddocks where the shire horses grazed and several new, slight saplings were growing tied to stakes for support against the wind.

Jake was shirtless, stretched out on the blanket beside Tom which displayed an already pretty sculpted and golden torso, one arm over his eyes against the sun which showed the livid healing incisions on his upper arm. Tom kept a fierce eye on them day to day and the last two weeks of eating properly and eating had already started to undo the damage to Jake’s body. His rate of healing was speeding up, he’d gained back several pounds and his body was losing the alarming skeleton gauntness of dehydration and muscle loss. And laying here admiring him wasted still more time. Tom rolled over and poked him.

“Look you oaf, I’m talking to you. Wake up.”

Jake lifted the arm from his eyes, hooked it around Tom’s neck and yanked, fairly gently, rolling Tom over the top of him and dumping him down in his arms where he held him too tightly for Tom to move.

“Shh.”

Tom wrestled him for a minute which raised a grin from Jake but didn’t break the grasp of Jake’s arms around him in the slightest, and unable to free a hand Tom resorted to lowering his mouth to a particularly sensitive point on Jake’s chest and nipping. That got a squirm, a laugh and Jake rolled over on top of him, pinning his hands. He was awake, his aqua blue eyes were amused.

“What?”

“Too much laying around.” Tom pointed out. Jake stooped his head to kiss him, returning the nip to his lip, but gently.

“Live with it.”

It wasn’t like they had a lot of choice. Tom tried not to let the thought show in his face but Jake saw it anyway and stooped to kiss him again, a demanding kiss that got and held his attention, pulling it away from anything grim, making him control his breathing and lay back, relaxing to let Jake work. Over in the yard an engine started and Tom broke away, lifting his head to look up. It was the sound he had been waiting for. Dale was bringing one of the jeeps out into the pasture through the open gate for them. Jake snatched a last kiss and sat up to find and shoulder into his t shirt, and Tom collected his crutches from where they lay in the grass. He didn’t go any further. His one attempt to get to his knees and stand up alone out here the day before yesterday had resulted in Jake not saying a word, just simply removing the crutches, turning him directly across his knee and applying a short but thorough enough spanking that Tom wasn’t about to try it again. Dale parked beside the blanket, getting out to open the door. The passenger seat was the easiest place to sit with his legs stretched out in a way that didn’t put weight on his feet or the microfractures in his shins. Jake got up, stretched until his shoulders cracked, then stooped for Tom to get an arm around his neck, picking him up off the blanket and carrying him the few feet across to the jeep. He waited the minute it took for Tom to get his splinted legs organised, then took the crutches to put in the trunk.

It was coming to something when your response to a physiotherapy appointment was Thank God, there’s something to do. Tom glanced back at Paul in the back seat who smiled at him as Jake got in the back beside him.

“Nice afternoon?”

“Yes thanks.” Tom said civilly, having been properly brought up, and Paul gave him one of his peculiarly acute looks that saw far too much.

 

 

 

 

 

Dale drove them into Jackson, taking them to the hospital door of St John’s nearest to the physiotherapy department where Jake went to get one of the wheelchairs kept near to the door and he and Tom disappeared together into the bowels of the hospital. Paul took the passenger seat beside Dale, looking after them with a rather wry expression.

“I hope the physio can burn some of that energy off him.”

Dale glanced at his mirror, pulling out onto East Broadway and heading in the direction of the supermarket Paul preferred.

“He said they’re not encouraging him to walk much at all, even with the splints. Minimal weight bearing.”

“Goodness knows we don’t want any of the fractures giving way on him, but I’m starting to get the feeling he’s going to explode.” Paul watched Dale expertly back the jeep into a parking space leaving a precisely equal distance on either side of them. “Neither of those two were made for sitting around but at least Jake can walk and get some exercise.”

Flynn was watching them both with a close eye. He hadn’t commented about it but Dale had seen him doing it and drawn his own conclusions; it wasn’t surprising to hear that Paul shared in them. He locked the car and went to get a cart, having learned this routine from Paul’s patient educating, since using a supermarket was not something he’d ever had to focus his attention on before he came to the ranch. At school and university meals had appeared in dining rooms where students were not permitted to have any involvement with their food prior to it landing on a plate, and in his working life it had been something that arrived on the table wherever he happened to be which was possibly why he had never been particularly interested in it. These so simple domestic routines, so mundane to Riley who was bored to death by supermarkets, were still slightly novel to Dale even now, and more than novel, he appreciated them for the simple fact that there was such real and immediately meaningful pleasure in doing this with Paul, for the purpose of running their home, feeding their people.

He and Paul had this down to a fairly fine art now, not least because Dale’s memory for the basics and store layout worked efficiently for this kind of shopping and he rather enjoyed the browsing and looking through the different sections with Paul. They usually did one large shop every couple of weeks and relied largely on the big chest freezer in the garage, but with the number of physio appointments they were needing to come into town for at the moment there wasn’t the need to pick up more than a few basics that Paul bought merely because he enjoyed the chance to pick up more perishable items that didn’t have to manage in storage for a couple of weeks. Once that was done, they drove back to the west of the town and found an on-street parking space where they could wander the shops for a while and fill the half hour remaining before they could pick up Jake and Tom.

There was a small, elderly second hand bookshop not far from the square with several battered racks outside the door with paperbacks, and Paul paused to glance through them, running his hand over the spines.

“I haven’t had time to browse here for years. Roger and Gerry used to haunt this place, they came home with armfuls of books every time they walked in the door and Philip egged them on, he was as bad as they were.”

“And you like to check and see if any of yours have ended up here.” Dale paused to look with him and Paul flashed him a quick smile.

“Yes, ok, you got me. That too. They used to have some good hardbacks inside. Unusual, not the standard bookshop range. Mind if I have a quick look?”

The interior was cave-like. The shop was elderly and in a block of elderly buildings that must have stood here well over a century, there were a few unexpected steps and changes of level in the dusty wooden floor and the shelves were so crowded with books that there was barely room for one person to squeeze past another and the shelves formed tiny rooms and corridors. Keeping pace with Paul, Dale found himself thinking abruptly of how easy this had become without his noticing. Just under a year ago he’d walked around a bookstore in Cheyenne with Paul and had no idea how to do this, what the correct and polite etiquette was – and now without conscious thought they always went from end to end of any bookshop together. Paul liked to do it as systematically as Dale did, and somehow they just kept pace, neither of them was ever hurried, they both took the time they wanted to look at whatever they wanted but without looking at each other or saying a word it was just something they did together. There was a rhythm to it that had come somewhere in the last few months. And it was easy and comfortable, effortless, and it was so good when he stopped to think of it that Dale’s throat tightened and for a moment he couldn’t see the book in his hand. Paul was right; there were some unusual sections here. Animal husbandry, with books so old they were falling apart and which must have once graced shelves in working ranches as emergency guidance. Herbalism. History. Medicine, Dale opened one of the medicine texts, gently turning brittle pages. The woman on duty at the ancient and dusty desk in the corner with an equally ancient looking till, was wearing an offensively hairy purple cardigan that swamped her, heavy black rimmed glasses and her black curly hair was twisted up some kind of knot at the back of her head, and she was reading too, her head bent over some heavy tome open on the desk. She took no notice whatsoever of them. Paul glanced at his watch and returned the book he was flicking through to the shelf.

“Anything you want to buy hon?”

“No.” Dale slotted the medical tome back and Paul slipped his hand through Dale’s arm, strolling with him back onto the sunlit street.

“Jake would probably appreciate a decent coffee. Let’s stop by Starbucks.”

They waited in the queue for three large Americanos and a latte, and Paul leaned on the counter glancing across to Dale.

“Which book was it you were you so interested in?”

“A medical one. First aid and home remedies 1892, it was interesting to compare to the most recent manuals I’ve read. The date has a different perspective when you know in David’s childhood that was cutting edge knowledge. A lot about home nursing, which before antibiotics must have been fairly essential, a lot about wound first aid management of a kind you don’t see in modern manuals, I suppose relative to a time when so many people were working heavy machinery, farming equipment, boats without the health and safety regulations in place.”

“You sold it to me at the point you mentioned home nursing, I’d love to read that too.” Paul handed change to the barista and gave Dale a nod at the door. “I’ve got the coffee covered, nip back and buy it love, we’ll both enjoy that.”



tbc

And sorted out. Properly. Soonish.


Last edited by Ranger52899 on Thu May 12, 2016 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Trisha Louise on Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:22 pm

Beau? Yes. Clara? Yes. Shem? Ahem, YES. Offensively hairy cardigan lady? No thank you. I itch just thinking about it.


Thank you both for this taster. Pretty lovely way to start the day, I must tell you. I'm looking forward to keeping pace with this one, and to see how Jake and Tom manage with all those keen eyes on their progress,, and how that book finds its way into the story.

Oh! And now we know how they are not all periodically left famished and fading by their cruel, cruel authors and the nuts and bolts of household food management are well in hand. Flynn can stop scanning the horizon for his juice. Huzzah! Wink

Cheers

Trisha


Last edited by Trisha Louise on Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : it was a cardigan, not sweater)
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by jefftd on Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:50 pm

Trisha, you should know that Flynn will never stop scanning the horizon for his squadron of juice bearing B-52 bombers that drop his requirement on their way back to base.

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Ranger52899 on Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:23 pm

Offensively hairy cardigan lady? No thank you. I itch just thinking about it.


Give her time, she may grow on you Wink
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by DeeDee on Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:32 am

Ranger and Rolf,


Thank you for posting another bit of the story.  I know you've both been busy with life and work so I want you to know the story is very much appreciated! 


Dale's saplings!  I'm glad to know they've taken hold and clearly he is making sure they have the structure necessary to continue growing.  He put a lot of thought into where they should be planted and it sounds like the horses aren't the only ones to get some enjoyment out of seeing them. 


And I see you found a way to get Jake and Tom out of the field.  I suppose it is all still all too new for Tom, but I was a little sad to see he is still keeping distance from Paul.  I was hoping at the close of SBE that we might see an understanding and beginnings of a relationship for these two, but I also get that changes don't happen overnight. 


I'm really glad these two are still here at the ranch.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the Everest story and all they went through.  I rather think I might have gone through a bit of withdrawal if they were gone.  It's hard to watch these two very active men be trapped in such inactivity, especially Tom.  Jake less so as he at least is mobile, but I some how don't see him abandoning Tom when Tom shares the same need to move and do.  So I have to wonder what fun you have in store for them (well for Tom anyway). 


I do enjoy the way you phrase things for Dale:  "At school and university meals had appeared in dining rooms where students were not permitted to have any involvement with their food prior to it landing on a plate..."  That definitely made me laugh.  Dale had minimal life experiences before coming to the ranch (not that I wish grocery shopping on anyone) but it is fun to listen to him describe his enjoyment in these newly learned activities.  And for Dale this is time spent with one of the men he is in love with and is being done for all the men he loves. 


Dale often appears to just absorb things because they come to his notice, but the stroll through the book store and then the conversation in Starbuck's gave hints that Dale is developing a real interest in things that appeal to him not just because he wants to understand (for instance) animal husbandry but because he finds them interesting.  He has so many faces and each one is truly him - not a mask or an act for the person he is with - and seeing him with Paul and showing a genuine interest in a subject equally appealing to Paul is really lovely.  Dale has a real thirst for knowing and learning as does Paul and I have to wonder what part this book will play in this story. 

Thanks to you both for making my evening more interesting. 

Dee
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by mc on Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:09 am

Oh, lovely, thank you!

I, too, noticed the saplings comment and sighed happily. My thoughts aren't well-organized, but off the top of my head.

This vantage point of a couple of weeks post Everest (JUST finished re-reading that) is quite interesting, physically and emotionally. I'm assuming Tom is wearing his medal, just as Jake is wearing his; they're dealing with each other the same, but somewhat differently, much like when Dale started to work through things in SBR.

Whether or not Mason is still there is interesting to me, because I can't imagine that it would be terribly comfortable for Tom to have him around, though I'm sure he'd be fine with Luath, especially given the end of SBE.

The bookstore was fascinating...I rather thought that Dale might pick "something" up with such elderly books. I loved used book stores - there's one in my neighborhood (still, which is remarkable) that I frequent, and I fancifully think that some of the energies of the other readers, as well as the writer, may be imbued in the pages. Probably crazy of me to mention this, but I don't think you'll mind.

Home nursing is quite the topic...as is shamanism? Maybe?

And finally, since YOU BROUGHT IT UP. When I last visited my store (last week) I went to the "originals" section (usually too expensive and tempting for me) and saw a copy of "Swallows and Amazons" which I hadn't heard of prior to reading your books! 

"The interior was cave-like. The shop was elderly and in a block of elderly buildings that must have stood here well over a century, there were a few unexpected steps and changes of level in the dusty wooden floor and the shelves were so crowded with books that there was barely room for one person to squeeze past another and the shelves formed tiny rooms and corridors."


This speaks of memories stacked upon memories to me, as well as the way David built the Ranch (little alcoves and crannies) - I was imagining that every time they'd go there, some new book would find its way into Dale's hands. 

Curious about one thing, though I wonder if I'm being clueless: if it's ok for Tom to use crutches (albeit briefly), why did Jake punish him (oooh, with the CRUTCH!) for doing so? Was it that he was getting to his knees without benefit of crutches? Or is it a rule that he's supposed not be on his feet at all much?

And finally, I was surprised that you noted a street name - East Broadway - am I wrong that you typically don't do this?

This is such a treat! Thank you so much! You definitely didn't have to, given your other personal responsibilities, and I realize my comments aren't necessarily helpful. but I am so appreciative, and my appetite is whetted.

Thanks!

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by DeeDee on Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:38 am

I suspect it had to do with this conversation between Dale and Paul and likely Jake is enforcing the rules pretty strictly: 

“He said they’re not encouraging him to walk much at all, even with the splints. Minimal weight bearing.”

“Goodness knows we don’t want any of the fractures giving way on him, but I’m starting to get the feeling he’s going to explode.”

Tom was in pretty raw shape when they got back from Everest and hid it all for quite some time.  And Jake is very protective of Tom's health.  If you remember up on Everest he was spanked then for not eating properly. 

Dee
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by friedabrieda on Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:45 am

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this segment! I dearly love reading Tom and Jake on the ranch, and I'm so curious now about the bookstore connection (and how the early ranch scene you posted before might end up connecting)!

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by KateM on Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:57 am

Thanks R&R
I am sorry that Tom and Jake are still being somewhat uncooperative!  I guess when you are recovering as they are then you have to give them some leeway.... either that or jump them forward a few months into their recovery and work backwards without letting on what you are up to!

I am kind of hoping that the hospital has a hydrotherapy pool that would help Tom get some non weight bearing exercise - when of course his feet have healed enough.

I love seeing Paul and Dale doing the everyday sort of things - like supermarket shopping.... though I wonder if this will result in "special offer shopping" and buying unusual ingredients for Paul to experiment with (and for Flynn and Riley to object to the results!)

As for the second hand bookshop..... one of my favourite things!  When I was at university there were a couple of second hand bookshops on the main road into town and I always used to browse - going straight past the trays of cheap paperbacks that were often outside and into the back of the shop where the interesting books were.  I picked up a lot of historical reference books and early 20th century children's books .... and I started what has become a rather large collection of books on kennel management and dog breeding with books going back to around the 1840's...

I wonder now though what the significance of this second hand book shop is - except for the obvious link to Gerry/Roger - and also what impact the medical book they are buying is going to have on the story .... I don't believe these things arrive at the Ranch by chance....


I hope that Tom and Jake start to behave soon!
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by reprehn on Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:53 pm

Wonderful taster! Man, I can so relate to the restlessness that can come with injury. My son (in my picture), who is almost 14, dislocated and deeply cut his pinkie last week -- it's just a finger, for goodness sake, and he's still almost crawling out of his skin to get back to it! (And since he can't play tennis, mountain bike, or play basketball for a bit, instead he practiced the piano for two hours, his metal brace clinking along.)  He said it's a good thing they're only doing golf in gym (he insists golf isn't really a sport, ha). We were thankful that the injury occurred on the last day of our vacation, so he got in plenty of mountain biking (in Moab, UT) before then...

I too am curious to see how the medical book might fit into things -- and how T & J are going to handle the healing process. Smile
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A nice little gift for the last day of March

Post by MizbehavinOne on Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:56 am

What a wonderful gift. I love watching Dale and Paul's relationship further unfold.

And it's no surprise Tom's 'itch' to go and do is back with a huge wave.

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Trisha Louise on Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:13 am

Following both this and Macenzietwin's MEC thread, I could see Emmett being fascinated by the book.  I have an old nursing manual that had been in my mother's possession for years (she would have been quite at home in that book store,  as would I) and it's interesting to see what was at the forefront of nursing, what's since been superseded,  and what holds true today. The photographs of very stern and starched matrons and a heavy emphasis on Proper Bed Corners and regularity were quite daunting. The images of patients suffering through what is now routinely prevented with vaccination is also enlightening. My father died as a result of complication from a relatively mild infection years earlier,  one still without a vaccine,  and I remember this manual being the one place I was able to look it up as a kid. Books are great silent teachers.

Someone with better memory, was there ever talk in the early books about epidemics in the area? In connection with a What Dale saw? Maybe am imaging that. Such a book could well have seen a family through some of their hardest nights.


Last edited by Trisha Louise on Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarifying)
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by jefftd on Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:20 am

Don't let Emmett know that Dale is reading a archaic medical text.  I am sure he already feels bad with an internet diagnosis against him, so what will he do if he loses out to what might be considered out of date knowledge?

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by CaemLyn on Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:30 am

cool just what i needed after this week thanks R&R

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by tinehildebrandt on Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:56 pm

Hi Rolf and Ranger!

Thank you very much for this taster! Smile

The first thing that came to my mind when I read the description of the bookstore was: "They've entered the L-Space! Where will they end up?"
The woman in the hairy cardigan would probably not bat an eye if "the librarian" from Pratchett's Unseen University paid her a visit, and exchanged some of her ancient dusty tomes for other ancient dusty tomes. Smile

I love that Jake is well enough again to carry Tom himself, that must be a huge relief to both of them. Tom has it worst, he hates lying around and not being able to run. Perhaps they could visit a swimming pool? I guess the river would be too wild, but perhaps in a calm pool Tom could get more exercise? His arms are all right, aren't they? I'm not sure if his microfractures in his legs are up to it, but perhpas it's worth a try.

Otherwise I'm still extremely grateful they made it off that mountain alive and without loosing any toes or arms.

Thank you again, and I wish you speedy recoveries / speedy tax handling.

Tine

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by orannia on Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:09 am

Thank you so much for the taster! I loved getting an update on Tom & Jake - Tom alongside Dale is one of my favourite family members (if one can have favourites Smile ) And an update on the saplings. Sorry to hear Tom & Jake aren't feeling like moving from the field...I must confess it sounds like a glorious way to spend time. Hm...and I wonder if Tom can't physically do anything then perhaps he needs a mental challenge...and I'm wondering if that's where the title of this story comes in Smile

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Maaliem on Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:33 am

Really nice! I love Jake and Tom so am thrilled their story continues along with Dale's. I hope your work smooths out, and health improves. Looking forward to reading this story when you are ready t share more.

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Houndnhorse1 on Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:09 pm

I like the image of Dale and Paul shopping together while they wait for Tom and Jake to finish with their appointments. I think on Paul's birthday Dale should take the shopping cart on the way out, give a big shove with his foot and ride that cart all the way to the car. What better gift for Paul then to see his too proper, former socially inhibited brat enjoying a good coast to the car on the back of a shopping cart?
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by DeeDee on Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:34 pm

Thank you!  That thought gave me a good laugh.

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Chris Dangerfield on Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:46 pm

Houndnhorse1 wrote:I like the image of Dale and Paul shopping together while they wait for Tom and Jake to finish with their appointments. I think on Paul's birthday Dale should take the shopping cart on the way out, give a big shove with his foot and ride that cart all the way to the car. What better gift for Paul then to see his too proper, former socially inhibited brat enjoying a good coast to the car on the back of a shopping cart?
I'm waiting for Dale to take Paul on some ANZ glamour trip. Gerry mentions it in the Pumpkin Patch that Paul needs a city-fix from time to time (and that Flynn and Riley don't see any purpose in cities, lol) and Dale realizes that it never occurred to him that Paul might like to go with him on one of his trips. So that would be a good one... Paul and Dale loose somewhere international.

I have travelled a bunch on business in the last few hundred years and my Dude would fly out and join me (or just come with, if he could), so I like the Paul/Dale travel idea... Very Happy a lot.
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Houndnhorse1 on Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:50 pm

Ohhhh yessss and sharing that bed in the luxury hotel that ANZ would surely supply. That would be an excellent first time for the two of them!
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Chris Dangerfield on Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:24 pm

Houndnhorse1 wrote:Ohhhh yessss and sharing that bed in the luxury hotel that ANZ would surely supply. That would be an excellent first time for the two of them!
Yessssss... I wonder what Paul's favorite champagne is?  Very Happy
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Houndnhorse1 on Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:59 pm

I would be happy to supply them with the champagne of their choice as well as chocolate, liquid or otherwise. Then they can lie in bed with The Mary Ellen Carter playing seductively in the background. Lol
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Houndnhorse1 on Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:09 pm


"They waited in the queue for three large Americanos and a latte, ..."

So, did Jake, Paul, Tom or Dale get the latte?

And, if you really want to see Flynn brat, take him to Starbucks and ask him to pay four dollars for a cup of coffee. That should do it!
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by DeeDee on Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:45 pm

Ok, that also made me laugh!  But maybe we should make Flynn go buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks, then the next time Paul wants to buy someone a coffee machine for Christmas Flynn will understand the value of that machine and not make a fuss about the price.

As for the latte - my guess is Tom.  When Jake bought them coffee in SBE he got an Americano.  Lattes are much richer in flavor and what we know of Tom and his food 'needs' I would definitely guess him. 

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Mackenzietwin on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:46 pm

That's interesting that you say Jake for the Latte.  I would have thought Paul.  Lattes have that added steamed milk while Americanos are espresso with extra hot water getting it close to just a black drip coffee.  I would think that Dale, Jake and Tom would all have coffee black while Paul might want to cut the flavor with steamed milk.
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Houndnhorse1 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:50 pm

I thought Paul as well. Although a close number two was Jake, he seems to enjoy some comforts and a latte is a more comforting drink lol. An Americano is a more no nonsense sort of drink!
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Mackenzietwin on Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:11 pm

I do have to admit, all of this talk about coffee is making me really want to blow off work and head to Starbucks!  Especially as it is a cooler, overcast, icky day outside!
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by DeeDee on Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:42 pm

Actually I said Tom for the latte and it was because of the steamed milk (another depth of flavor in the espresso) that I picked this for Tom.  Jake had the Americano in SBE, so I suspect he is one of the Americanos.  As you say it is espresso that has water added to take it to the strength and flavor of coffee.  

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Mackenzietwin on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:00 pm

I'm just an idiot and can't read.  Sorry Dee.  Apparently I need more coffee!  Starbucks run anyone?
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by DeeDee on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:05 pm

I'm enjoying Starbuck's right now (k-cups of course).

Dee
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by jkfan on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:20 pm

Houndnhorse1 wrote:Ohhhh yessss and sharing that bed in the luxury hotel that ANZ would surely supply. That would be an excellent first time for the two of them!
I second that, Julie.
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by simba5waldo5 on Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:54 am

I actually just found this snippet, thank goodness. I loved it. Thank you for sharing with us. I can't wait to read more.

Melissa

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by simba5waldo5 on Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:53 am

And I am personally waiting for Tom to push Jake enough for the lean to come out. Because you know Tom will get antsy enough to try to walk on his own, Jake will say nothing. And Flynn will suggest the lexan.


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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by nextsalley on Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:15 pm

In the absence of the next section I can definitely waste time imagining the Tom/Jake/Lexan scene. Smile

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by naac29 on Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:35 am

Am I the only one wondering if Jake might have recieved a reply to his letter to Tom's parents?
And how Tom would react if he found such a reply...

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by simba5waldo5 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:24 pm

Thats a thought to ponder. I would suspect tom would not be all that happy about it. But would they even reply back?

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by jefftd on Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:01 pm

From the glimpse of Tom's parents we have had, I think if climbing Everest will make a good impression socially, then his parents will acknowledge it, but if it can do nothing for them, I doubt it will even get a mention by them in passing.

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Houndnhorse1 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:05 pm


I hate to say it but I don't think we can write off Tom's parents as "bad people" just yet. They were damaging to Tom and didn't love him unconditionally as they should have. No excuses for that. But, I'm not sure that means that they are shallow and uncaring completely. People are so complicated! I think of Shem, if we saw her only from Emily's point of view later as an adult we would blame her. To a large extent she has abandoned Emily and I'm sure if we loved Emily and didn't know Shem we would condemn her out of hand. We don't really know Tom's parents. Maybe they have regrets. Do the mistakes they made with Tom slot them as "bad" and nothing else about them can count for anything? They may be terrible but just maybe they are weak and fallible when it comes to their son but with some redeeming qualities that we don't know of. We can see them in Shem because we know her, we don't really know Tom's parents.

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by jefftd on Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:35 am

Personally, I got the impression that Tom's parents wrote him off ages ago and he wasn't going to be bothered with changing their opinion.  Jake may know how if affects Tom, hence the postcard to the parents, but I think Tom and Dale both will be perfectly happy if they don't really need to interact with their parents at all.  I still think Tom's parents tend to be on the shallow side and will probably not mention the postcard unless something else happens that brings Tom into the spotlight in a positive fashion.

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by synystraal on Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:29 am

In SBE, Tom recalls his father's commitment to the stories and memories of the veterans of the war. This is not the sign of a shallow man. I think it's more likely that Tom's parents cannot relate to him on a level that supports Tom's wellbeing. As a Bishop who caters to the needs of his parish, his father would have felt profound shame in his inability to reach out to serve his own son. Distancing himself from Tom is a way to distance his failure and shame. A sensitive child like Tom would easily interpret his parents' attitude as rejection and responded by overdeveloping a mien of independence.

Regardless of their response to Jake's letter, Tom's parents would be extremely proud of him. I hope they reach out to Tom and eventually establish a relationship similar to that between Riley and his father. Sort of agreeing to disagree with love and affection and without judgement.

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Houndnhorse1 on Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:45 am

"Distancing himself from Tom is a way to distance his failure and shame."

That could very well be. To be in the position his father was, in that day and age, and have a son who is gossiped about as gay...well, that can be devastating. A man was suppose to be able to raise a stable family, it would be seen as his father's failure as well as Tom's. I remember that he and Tom shared a love of books, reading together the ancient books in the cathedral. I am going to hold out hope for some kind of reconciliation. Of course that may not be possible and even now his father may not be able to handle it. Tom's parents sure did everything wrong and seemingly with out considering Tom's devastation when he was twelve.
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Trisha Louise on Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:48 am

I feel for Tom in this situation. I have no doubt his assessment of his father as a very giving man to those in his parish, but Tom's statement that "he never brought it home" (paraphrased) makes me ache. In my personal experience with family, agreeing to disagree over something so personal and central as one's sexuality can really cut quite deeply and it does mar the relationship. It's that despicably patronising "love the sinner, hate the sin" nonsense that people think makes peace. It may, but only in one party, I have found. Their conscience is salved and it puts the work onto you to accept that less than equal status, and to keep the peace by being selectively silent. I am angry with myself for going along with it.

I agree with you, Synystraal, that being without judgement would be necessary for it the relationship to grow beyond where it stands now. More than that, though, it requires an embracing of the full qualities of the man that is their son. Hopefully one day they are as proud to proclaim their connection as is his loving partner.
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Houndnhorse1 on Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:57 am

"It's that despicably patronising "love the sinner, hate the sin" nonsense that people think makes peace. It may, but only in one party, I have found. Their conscience is salved and it puts the work onto you to accept that less than equal status, and to keep the peace by being selectively silent. I am angry with myself for going along with it."

No, that would be intolerable. No way. Tom deserves more. His parents would need to go more the sackcloth and ashes route.

I'm sorry and a little angry if you've had to deal with this attitude.
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by synystraal on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:53 am

I never got the impression Tom's parents had/have issue with his sexuality. I thought the conflict derived from their inability or unwillingness to support his 'diagnosis'... is there a consensus?

As for "love the sinner, hate the sin", because sexuality is integral to identity, it's not possible to love someone while hating their identity. It's possible to dislike or disapprove of a loved one but love itself is unconditional. Riley's father doesn't necessarily understand Riley's relationship(s) with his husbands but he loves Riley. And Riley's happiness is reason enough to not disagree over Riley's choices.

This may be the most likely positive resolution between Tom and his parents.

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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Trisha Louise on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:58 am

I thought they reacted very poorly to his youthful kiss of a male classmate and that barb stuck fast in his side. As for love being unconditional, that has not been my experience with the family member in question, I am afraid. Maybe one day...
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by synystraal on Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:05 am

'As for love being unconditional, that has not been my experience with the family member in question, I am afraid. Maybe one day...'

I'm sorry for that. I hope some day...

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MEC taster & Unconditional

Post by Chris Dangerfield on Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:49 pm

"Unconditional" is such a very very hard thing to achieve. For those giving and for those in hopes of receiving. We all have so many obstructions (baggage) in our lives, that it's hard work to keep "unconditional" at the top of our minds, even with those we love most... and what it really means to say that.

I love my dude, unconditionally.

However, he's changing jobs just now, which has turned him into a very lovable aggressive stinky cranky control freak. LOL. He does NOT like to be left with an undefined day. Actually, that's funny, because Dale likes structure... and so does my man, but two more different human beings you'll never meet.

I was rather wroth with him two days ago, until I realized what was causing this mood. Suddenly, everything for me shifted. I told him he was being stinky because he was stressed about the work issue. He immediately calmed down and actually agreed and said (upon reflection) that 'yes' that was completely true.

So, 'unconditional love' is a hard and complicated, but worth every moment of conscious effort we put into it. What we're hearing and what is happening isn't important (as Philip says), but that our loved ones are feeling loved, cherished and safe, IS!

I think Philip learned a lot from some pretty tough suffering with his ankle surgeries... Thus, when our loved ones are struggling/suffering, we take lots of small steps and remember that pain and anger aren't always what they look like.

FCR reminds me of a lot of things I value. It may take me some time to put the pieces together, but it really does. WWPD (what would Philip do) is always some of the best life advice I can ever come back to.

x, Chris
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Danny on Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:57 pm

I've always thought Tom's parents just didn't know what to do with him. There's always this belief that if you raise a child with your "values" they'll inherit them - and if their values were being quiet, contemplative, peaceful, and heterosexual - and Tom is none of those - they'd be questioning their parenting and their faith before they got to the recognition that their child is not an extension of themselves (some parents never get that far...)

I think if they did meet again, Tom would be heavily on the defensive - Jake would need to be there calming him down - but his parents would be trying quite hard to reconcile their view of their naughty / unmanageable child versus the man he has grown into who has conquered Everest, while trying not to mention the enormous rainbow coloured elephant dancing the cancan in the corner of the room.
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

Post by Chris Dangerfield on Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:08 pm

I do understand some of what you're saying. However, "Gay / gender preference, ADD or ? whatever Tom's diagnosis, temperament is, etc... are not "VALUES." They are not understandably inheritable (except in an unknown genetic code type of way). We get the children we get and then it's up to parents to model their best behaviors as well as they can.

As parents it's important to teach what you CAN. Those are values. Things such as the 'treatment of others', 'care', 'respect', 'patience', 'generosity', etc...

I agree that parents are often thrown when they breed children who don't behave the way they imagine they did and those children seem to defy their expectations. 

Tom's parents needed children from "central casting" that they could take to the royal wedding and have them behave as mini-bishops. When they didn't get that in Tom, all their plans were thrown for a loop and they melted down and -- they changed -- and became the worst type of parents. 

Tom did not change, not at all. There was NEVER anything wrong with him.

This is a very typical scenario for all types of people, particularly of gay men and women. We focus on men, but I have lesbian friends who talk viciously about not being the dainty little lady their mothers always longed for... It's sad and hard. Children are not dolls made to order.

One needs a license to drive a car... and, yet, nothing at all to have a child.
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Re: Mary Ellen Carter Taster

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