Sep 5, 2014

Beauty and Wisdom

"I can't believe how fast he's growing." 
Feeling very grandmotherly but sporting a sleek new hairstyle, Amanda sat in the bentwood rocker in Michael's new nursery and cuddled the baby.
...
"Does he?" Delighted Laura moved to stand over them. 
The baby smelled of talc -- Amanda of Paris.

Gabriel's Angel

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Culturally speaking, youth has a near-monopoly on our definition of beauty. But for photographer Robbie Kaye, the opposite is true. Her photo essay and book, Beauty and Wisdom, aims to combat ageism by documenting older women...

“Initially I was going to make these photos fun and frivolous, but in looking at the women, I realized how much dignity they had and how amazing they were,” 



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And she’d had enough, Eli judged, and looked a little pale again. “What’s for lunch?”
“We should go down and find out.”
He helped her up, but when he started to lift her, she brushed him back. “I don’t need to be carried. I manage well enough with the cane.”
“Maybe, but I like playing Rhett Butler.”
“He wasn’t carrying his grandmother downstairs to lunch,” she said when Eli scooped her into his arms.
“But he would have.”

Whiskey Beach

Jul 30, 2014

A fry-up DOES cure a hangover







Some swear by hair of the dog, others by a strong black coffee. 

But the best way to cure a hangover is to tuck into a fried breakfast, a leading researcher has claimed.  




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Spence made his bleary-eyed way downstairs. He and the gray dog exchanged glances of sympathy.
Yuri had been generous with the vodka the night before, to guests and pets. At the moment, Spence felt as though a chain gang were chipping rock in his head. Operating on automatic, he found the kitchen, following the scents of baking, and blissfully, coffee.
Nadia took one look, laughed broadly and gestured to the table. "Sit." She poured a cup of coffee, strong and black. "Drink. I fix you breakfast."
Like a dying man, Spence clutched the cup in both hands. "Thanks. I don't want to put you out."
Nadia merely waved a hand as she reached for a cast-iron skillet. "I know a man with a hangover. Yuri poured you too much vodka."
"No. I took care of that all on my own." He opened the aspirin bottle she set on the table. "Bless you, Mrs. Stanislaski."
"Nadia. You call me Nadia when you get drunk in my house."
"I don't remember feeling like this since college." So saying he downed three aspirins. "I can't imagine why I thought it was fun at the time." He managed a weak smile. "Something smells wonderful."
"You will like my pies." She pushed fat sausages around in the skillet. "You met Alex last night."
"Yes." Spence didn't object when she filled his cup a second time. "That was cause enough for one more drink. You have a beautiful family, Nadia."
"They make me proud." She laughed as the sausage sizzled. "They make me worry. You know, you have daughter."
"Yes." He smiled at her, picturing what Natasha would look like in a quarter of a century.
"Natasha is the only one who moves far away. I worry most for her."
"She's very strong."
Nadia only nodded as she added eggs to the pan. "Are you patient, Spence?"
"I think so."
Nadia glanced over her shoulder. "Don't be too patient."
"Funny. Natasha once told me the same thing."
Pleased, Nadia popped bread into the toaster. "Smart girl."


The kitchen door swung open. Alex, dark, rumpled and heavy-eyed, grinned. "I smelled breakfast."



Taming Natasha



Jul 7, 2014

when your dog is a smartypants

She’d seen to the security herself, and she trusted no one else.
Well, she thought, as she stopped the car. Except Bert.
The big dog sat on the covered front porch of the two-story cabin. Body alert, eyes bright. When she got out of the car, she signaled release. He bounded to her, all hundred and thirty pounds of him wriggling in joy.
“There’s my good boy. Best dog in the world. So smart. Just so smart.”

The Witness


(The Witness' Bert is a Bullmastiff) 



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The 10 Smartest Dog Breeds

 

 

Sure your dog's clever … but is he or she one of the smartest dog breeds out there? 

"While all dogs are smart, certain breeds are more intelligent at specific tasks than others," said Lisa Peterson, spokesperson with the American Kennel Club






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“Now that we’ve got a second coming along, I’m talking Seline into a Lab.”
“Poodle.”
“Girlie dog.”
“We’re girls.” She gave her daughter a kiss on the cheek. “You’re outnumbered.”
“This one might even things up.” He tapped her belly with his finger. “A guy needs a dog, not a little French toy.”
“Poodles are smart.”
“They are a highly intelligent breed,” Abigail agreed. “Only the border collie is thought to be more intelligent. They’re agile and, if properly trained, very skilled and obedient.”
“See?”
“A Lab’s a dog. They’re smart,” Russ added, appealing to Abigail.
“Yes, of course. They’re the most popular breed in this country, and in Great Britain. They make excellent assistance dogs. They’re loyal, and most have a well-developed play drive. They’re excellent with young children.”
“Young children.” He snagged CeeCee, made the girl laugh as he tossed her in the air. “We’ve got one of those, getting another.”
“Poodles are good with kids.”
When Seline turned to Abigail, Sunny laughed. “Now you’ve done it. These two will tag you as referee in this battle. I’m going to save you, show you the gardens. Food’s going to be ready in a few minutes.”
“Maybe they should consider a Labradoodle,” Abigail murmured

The Witness