Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rose - Gen 2 Ch 7

Mom and Daddy are back from China!
"It looks like we got back just in time!" Mom is so excited about another grandchild. They've been gone a long time. Mom looks a lot older. So much so that I decided not to mention the little altercation I had with Rayne. He still isn't speaking to me though, and I don't know what to do.

I had to put that little problem on the back burner though, as baby Mason has arrived! I'm so glad mom and daddy got back in time for his birth.

"So Rosie, what's going on between you and Rayne?" I guess she noticed we aren't speaking. I really didn't want to talk about my anger management issues, so I changed the subject.
"You haven't told me about your trip yet."

It worked.!
"Oh, Rosie, we had the best time! I spent most of my time painting."

"And your father competed in a seniors only martial arts tournament. It was so exciting! He has moves I have never seen before, and I guess neither had any of his opponents.

"He won every single match!"
I nodded. I think I know how he did it. "Sea research - I bet he used his sea research to learn those moves."
Mom eyes widened."That what he said, but I didn't know what in the world he was talking about."
I told her about Egypt, and what I has seen Daddy do there, and how he said it was his "sea research." We both wondered what it world it could be.

Life is flying by relatively uneventfully. Mason grew into a toddler.

I am not going to miss Mason learning to walk, like I did for Mari. He is so much like me! He never cries when he falls - such a brave little boy.

And Mari is a teenager. We had a small family party for her, as Mom has not been feeling well lately.

Later that night it happened. Mom called out to everyone in the middle of the night.

Gustave and Mari cried their eyes out, but I couldn't cry. I think the last time I cried was when I was a teenager, and my Grandpa Luke died. But tonight I was just really, really angry -  at Mom for leaving us, at Gustave and Mari for crying, and especially at Rayne for not even being here. I know he is at work, and didn't know, but still!

Mom wasn't ready to leave quite yet. Grim followed her as she went to find Daddy.
"Sunny, please don't leave me! What am I going to do without you?" Daddy begged her to stay.

Daddy looked like he was listening for a few minutes, then a quick smile crossed his face.
"I will, Sunny, I promise. I love you too."

Daddy placed Mom's gravestone back behind her pond, and planted more sunflowers. He's been sad, of course, but he did not freak out at all, like he did after Grandpa Luke died.

With Mom gone, things are going from bad to worse. First off, Rayne has moved out.
"I only stayed this long because Mom asked me too. I am moving in with Heath, and we are starting a rock band. His house is the perfect set up, it ever has a stage in back. I know you don't approve, and I don't really care. Just in case you are interested, Mom thought it is a great idea."
I tried to apologise for my temper, but he wasn't hearing it.

Worse yet, Gustave is upset with me too.
"I feel like I don't even know you anymore, Rosie. Where is the sweet girl I married? How could you alienate your brother like that? And how in the world could you not even cry at your mama's funeral?"
I didn't have an answer to anything.

I went to Daddy for advice. "How do you stay so calm now, Daddy? You didn't used to be this way. Can you teach me?"
He showed me how to center myself, and it finally seems I am learning to calm down a bit.
He talked a long time about his research, and about Grandpa, and finally about Mom. "Sunny gave me a message for you Rosie, the night she died. She said, 'Tell Rose to remember her pendant, remember what I told her.' I don't know what she told you, Rosie, but I think it's important." His expression suddenly changed. Daddy always gets this faraway look on his face whenever he starts up with his ghost stories. "Rosie, they need your help. They're trapped. You have to help them. They like you. I thought Sunny would do it, but it wasn't time. Don't forget, Rosie."
I think I'm finding my inner calm, since I just smiled at him. "I won't forget, Daddy." Even though I know it has to be all his imagination.

Where did I put my pendant? I haven't thought about it in years. Ah, here it is, wrapped in a handkerchief, in the back of my lingerie drawer. I slowly unwrapped it, and held it in my hand. I had forgotten how beautiful it is. "It will lead you to what you seek" That's what mom had said. As I looked at it, I saw it start to glow softly. As I fastened it around my neck, I felt an inner peace I hadn't felt in years.

Gustave noticed the change it me right away. He caught up with me in the kitchen. "It's so good to have my sweet Rosie back. And you are more beautiful than ever."
"And you are still the most handsome man I've ever met."
"So what do you think about growing our little family again, my sweet Rosie?"
I happily agreed.

It's Mason's birthday, and he is so excited about leaving his baby years behind. He wanted a big party, and the new me agreed to throw it for him.

I  invited Heath and Rayne, and spent the afternoon making amends. Heath actually is a really nice guy once I got to know him.

I even let him fell my tummy. He was totally impressed.

I didn't even lose it when I discovered Mari and her friend Jake making out in my office after the party. So all in all, things are looking up, and I just know it can only get better, right?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rose - Gen 2 Ch 6

It's Daddy's and Marigold's birthday! Mom, of course, is throwing a huge party. When Rayne asked her if he could invite his friend from the theatre, she totally freaked out when she found out who it was.
"Heath Lessen, as in Jon Lessen the rockstar's son? Oh my goodness, Rayne - Jon's band was my favorite when I was young! The family has kept to themselves for years now since Jon died - do they still live accross the street? I'll be so nervous if he comes to the party, do you think he'll give me an autograph?"
Rayne kind of rolled his eyes at this. "NO, please don't ask him. And please, please don't embarrass me, Mom."

Make a wish, Daddy! Aunt Doreen and Uncle Travis cheered him on.

Mom and Daddy are so cute together!
"Happy Birthday, my sweet Max. Look what I got us - tickets to China! We can have a second honeymoon."

"We'll leave right after the party, it's going to be so much fun! I can't wait."
"I love you so much, Sunny."
I hope Gustave and I are still in love like that when we are that age. Mom was so focused on Daddy she didn't even notice Heath Lessen standing behind her. I'm sure Rayne appreciates that.

Next it was Mari's turn. "Blow out your candles, Mari!" Mari wasn't to sure about the whole thing.

"Like this Mari!" Mari wasn't buying it. She just watched while I blew out her candles.

Mari is finally getting used to this party business. "Happy Birthday to Me," She clapped and sang.

Mari is growing into a lovely child, don't you think? She looks more and more like her grandpa every day.

Once the candles were blown and the cake was cut, Gustave went to our new nectar cellar to choose one of his best bottles of nectar. Our nectar business is slow getting off the ground; I didn't realize it took so long to make good nectar. Anyway, Gustave is hoping to get some good press, and show off our new blend, by serving it at the party.

Meanwhile, Daddy and Mari celebrated with giant pieces of cake.
"Happy Birthday, Mari!"
'Happy Birthday to you too, Grandpa!"
I see my niece Judy is wearing a pretty green sundress, and has decided that having wierd looking hair is not an asset.

It looks like Heath is enjoying himself. Mom needn't have worried about impressing him, I guess. He seems like a nice guy. Maybe Rayne's "making contacts in the music industry" is a viable strategy after all.

Gustave's nectar was a big hit. Everyone declared it was the best they had ever tasted. Of course, good nectar is extremely hard to come by in Riverview. But we hope to change that!
 For a long time after everyone left, Mom and Daddy sat outside and drank Gustave's nectar. Mom already had their bags packed, and they quietly left for the airport.

I hope Mom and Daddy are enjoying their trip. They are missing my big moment - the one I've been working toward since I was in highschool. This is it, I'm facing off against the Chess Tournament Champion. If I can beat her, I'll take her title! As you can see, I'm pregnant again, but that isn't going to stop me from kicking some serious chess butt. I stared her down before the match started.

I was at the top of my game, thinking farther ahead than I ever had before. Finally I saw my opening.
"Checkmate!" I was triumphant.

We are both excited about the new baby, but I think Gustave is more excited than I am. He has always wanted a big family, seeing as how he is an only child, himself.
"Hey, little one, your mama is the smartest person I know; she is the Chess Tournament Champion!" Gustave is so proud of me; he brags about my title to everyone he meets.

With Mom and Daddy still in China, and my due date getting closer, I've been sending Mari over to play with her cousin a lot.
"Now, Mari, remember, Leonard doesn't want to hear about all the minute details of your shaman's epic resto gear," I warned her. "And don't you dare bore him to death with all the math behind why its better to stack haste over spellpower." I don't have the least idea what any of that means, I just know it by heart because I hear it all day long.
Mari doesn't listen very well, however, especially when it comes to endless recitations of trivia.

My brother called to inform me of what happened next.
"I'm really sorry, Uncle Raven, I think I bored Lenny to death. Mommy told me not to, but I couldn't help it."

Raven sent them both outside to play tag, and Mari says they had a great time after that.
"Not as much fun as naming all the scientific names of all the insects in Riverview, but close." Mari has quite different ideas on what is fun.

Okay, I changed my mind about Heath; he is really starting to annoy me. It seems like he is over here all the time. He has that giant mansion across the street all to himself, I don't know why he is here every day. I think he is taking advantage of Rayne's good nature, and I mean to have words with him. 

I had worked myself up into a rage. "You are over at my house way to much, I think it's time you went home and left my little brother alone."
"Huh?" Heath was speechless.
"Just stay out of my business for once, Sis. Please?" Rayne was ever the calm one.

"Just ignore my witchy sister, she likes to blow off steam somtimes."
"Grrrr..." I threw up my hands. "Just wait til Mom and Daddy get back, I'm going to tell them about this."
"You do that - I can't wait!" he called after me as I went into the house. I don't think I've ever heard Rayne so angry. Am I really that witchy? Did I just make an enemy of my little brother?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rose - Gen 2 Ch 5

Grandma Sunny is so happy to have another granddaughter! It's a good thing Mari has her own nursery - she wakes at any sound - But Grandma is always happy to rock her back to sleep.

I've decided to buckle down  and work on my chess tournament. After my long break, I'm ready to butt heads again. Daddy taught me some new tricks back when we were in Egypt, and I'm really surprising some of the old timers.

Gustave is putting the final touches on his book, "Gustave's Guide to Nectar: A Handbook for Beginners". You remember, the one he came here to research? After he interviewed some of our friends, he had to completely change his premise when he discovered no one in Riverview knows even the first thing about nectar. But in the end he even quoted some of them. What with the new house and new baby, it's taken him a long time, but now all he needs is a publisher!

Mari is growing so fast! She has my green eyes. We can't tell what color her hair is yet - it just refuses to grow.

Mari's hair is finally starting to grow in - it looks like she got her Grandpa's hair, just like her big cousin Judy. Gustave looked so serious today while he was playing with Mari; he really wasn't even playing, just holding her and planting soft kisses on her head. Something is up, I need to talk to him I think.

But before I could confront him, he came to me.
"Rosie, I have to go back to France. I don't want to leave you and Mari, but I have some loose ends that I have to take care of. And I think I may have found a publisher for my book. The nectar merchant in Champs Les Sims is very interested, but I need to see her in person. I'll be gone maybe a month."
"Hold on, Sweetie." I patted his chest.  "You can't leave me behind. You know how much I love France, and my photo collection needs updating. Mari is old enough to stay with Mom and Daddy, and I'm sure they won't mind watching her."

Bye bye, Sweetie, you be good for Grandma, okay?" I gave Mari one last hug and kiss, then we were off.

We headed straight to the Nectary to meet with our publisher.  After sharing several bottles of excellent nectar, we reached an agreement. Gustave would be paid 2500 up front, with royalties to be paid weekly. We are both so excited! His first book looks like it will be a best seller!

"What do you think?" Gustave had brought me outside town along the road that passes by the abandoned nectary.
"Um, it's ... cute.. in a old, rundown, sort of way.." I was trying to be nice, but I'm not very good at lying.
"I know it doesn't look like much now, but it belonged to my grandfather. This is one of the loose ends I was telling you about. He left it to me in his will. It is all that is left  in my family of my great-grandfather's estate. I haven't been inside this cottage since I was a little boy."
"Your family used to own an estate?"
He pointed off to the nectary. "All the land from here to there. I don't know who owns the nectary anymore. It's been locked up tighter than a drum since before I was born. Shall we?" He motioned to the cottage door, obviously not wanting to dwell any more on his family's fortune, or lack thereof.

"It... needs some work.." The floors were filthy, and the wallpaper and paint was peeling.  Gustave pounded the door frame. "The structure is still sound - I think with a little work it could be livable. Do you want to help me fix it up, Rosie love?"

"The plumbing still works!" I'm trying to be positive. I wondered if the tile really is that color. After scraping my fingernail along the wall, I decided that it's not. The true color is a mystery, though.

"Ugh, Gustave, what are you doing?" He had plopped down on the old bed, the only piece of furniture left in the cottage. Clouds of dust billowed upward as he pulled out a book.
"I remember this bed! I wasn't allowed on it the last time I was here." He grinned at me. "Actually, its quite comfy. Just needs some new sheets, and a lot of furniture polish."

Gustave was right about the bed.  New sheets, a matching rug, so I wouldn't get splinters from the floor, and the wood polished down to a shine, and it was time to try it out.

The next morning I decided to be brave and try out the old stove. I hope I don't start a fire, I don't see a fire extinguisher anywhere. Fortunately the pancakes were served without incident, and we ate breakfast at the little table I had found at the antique shop in town.

While I shopped for paint and wallpaper, Gustave took a wire brush to the bathroom tile. Who'd have thought that under the layers of grime was pale pink and pearl white tile! Beautiful! I'm beginning to have a change of heart regarding this place. Gustave was glad to relax in the tub after all that work.

The kitchen was next - I'm so pleased. I love the old stone floor, and the cabinets painted up really nicely.

We arranged to have someone come in, to refinish the floors and woodwork, but in the mean time, Gustave decided to start another book. He named it after one of the quotes he picked up in his Riverview interviews - 'Green, Purple, and Brown'. He bought an antique desk at the shop in town, and started banging his head on his laptop.
"It helps me  think."
"Ooookay, sweetie. Just don't break it, we can't afford another one."

I wanted to check out the old abandoned nectary. I tried to get Gustave to come with me, but he refused. He was right, it was locked up tight. I wonder what it must have been like, for his great-grandfather, to have lived here. And I wonder how he lost it.

I peeked in the windows, but the place was totally empty. Someone obviously is taking care of it,, however - it is in great condition. I wonder who owns it?

There is a gorgeous fishing pond in the back. I spent the rest of the day there. It felt so peaceful, I had a hard time leaving when the sun went down.

Our little cottage is finally finished! The floor is refinished, the new wallpaper is up, and the pictures are hung.
"I wasn't sure about this all when we started, but I absolutely love it now," I pulled Gustave close and kissed him.
"I'm really glad you came with me Rosie," I couldn't have done it without you, I probably would have just sold it."

Our last night we talked about our plans again - Gustave had a nectar machine packed up and shipped home, so we can finally start our business.
"What shall we name our nectary?"
"How about 'Gustave's Great Grapes'? I suggested.
"That's silly, we need to think of something else," he laughed. "We'll think of something later, he murmured, kissing me gently.

It's so good to be home! We missed Mari so much.
"Oh my, she's walking! Look at you, sweetie, walking to your grandma."

"Gamma!" Mari called as Gustave picked her up.
"She was so good while you were gone, we had a great time together, didn't we Mari?"

Gustave is getting the nectar machine up and running. Daddy has already looked at it, and thinks he can make some adjustments to improve the flavor. After hearing his ideas, Gustave told him to go for it!

And I'm setting up the bookkeeping. I redecorated our home office, so there is a place for my work, and another desk for Gustave's laptop.

"We still need a name for our nectary," Gustave was asking for ideas again. I'm not sure why, so far he hasn't liked anything I've suggested.
"How about  'The Greenbow Nectary'!" I pointed dramatically.
He sighed. "Not ear-catching enough."
'You mean too boring?" I laughed. "I'm way too practical to come up with a fancy name, I think you should do it. I'll like whatever you pick, I promise."

He thought a few minutes, then pulled me close. "In that case, I will name it 'White Rose Estates', and our trademark, that will go on all the bottles, will be a white rose. What do you think of that, my sweet Rosie?"