I’m “fresh” from a brief vacation to the mountains and I’ll be spinning up some things about Summer here on the site for the next few weeks.

In Florida, meteorological Summer started on June 1st. Really, we only have a few weeks out of the year it isn’t summerlike, but that’s why a lot of people live here. But officially, our Summer begins our rainy season and is when everything gets that lush and tropical feeling.

Cocoa Beach awaits later this month and I can’t wait to stick my toes in the sand and relax. Now that we’re coming out of the pandemic and our crew are all vaccinated, a weekend out at the space coast is just what I need!

Summer may not have arrived wherever you are yet, but I wish you sunny days ahead.

What are some of your favorite summertime activities?


Cloud Watch

Some silliness to get me through the day. Inspired by the clouds outside my window.

Sweet puffy clouds drift high above my head. I pause a moment, watching them float by. Relaxing, I want to let my imagination flow.

I see Mickey, headed over to Orlando. Oops, he’s late for work!

There’s a dolphin coming into view, splashing about. I hope he catches his fish over there.

More puffy clouds, indistinct, but they shield the sun from my eyes.

Look, it’s Abraham Lincoln missing his classic stovepipe hat. He looks serious, doesn’t he?

Off in the distance, the clouds are turning dark. My imagination evaporates as work calls me back.

That was a nice break.


Running on Empty

Her frozen stare sees nothing but space. No focus, no confusion, only emptiness. Her chest hurts, but she doesn’t know why.

She’s drained, although she’s freshly back from vacation. A week away should have left her rested, ready to dive back in.

The chest pain fades by the day as she busies herself, consumed by work, but returns at night. No scars, no trauma. Just pain, as if someone has ripped it out.

Her creativity is hindered; she finds it hard to work on photos, or crafts, or even write these days. Nothing good comes when it is forced.

She looks inward. No tragedy, no heartbreak of which she knows. Her husband holds her hand after they climb into bed. Her cats climb up and cuddle.

Finally she succumbs to sleep. Hopefully, tomorrow will be different.


The Spiral Staircase

Slowly she ascends, dressed in white, spiraling up, towards the light.

Her wings glisten in the rays. From her eyes, she no longer sees a haze. Her vision is clear for miles and her heart is full.

But the skies above darken, the wolves below begin barking. She loses her footing and plummets down through the spiral, her wings slamming into the rails, falling nonstop. She no longer has control, spinning and spinning until she hits the marble floor.

Her blood spills, turning her pure white dress to red. She reaches up, betrayed, but surviving the fall.

Grabbing the rail, she begins to climb again. Her broken wings scrape the walls, becoming dirty and grayed as she climbs.

The wolves ascend, starting their chase. She knows she cannot stop their advance. But she tries. They tear at her hem as she continues to move. Snarling, vicious teeth clamoring at her.

Suddenly a whistle rings out, stops them cold. The staircase shakes, throwing them off. They land on all fours and run away.

She stops and breathes. Her dress ruined. Her wings broken and tarnished. The darkness envelopes her.

She stands up, and begins to descend back to the depths. Time to heal in the dark for she doesn’t believe she is worthy of the light.

She closes her eyes so she no longer sees the glow of above. Tormented by not reaching the goal. If she’d just look, she’d see. It waits for her.


Active Shooter

Another active shooter situation.

I can’t help but wonder, were there any signs? What drives someone to such levels of violence? Anger, desperation, depression? These alone cannot explain the ramping up of frequency of these events. There has to be something more, doesn’t there?

Is there really a ramp up, or an increased focus on reporting every work place, public areas, and school shooting in every location country and even world wide? I don’t know the answer.

Now, employers set up and employees have to go through Active Shooter training, so we can save our own lives, and perhaps others, as if these situations are now common place. No wonder so many people are scared and frightened these days.

We detach from others so they may not end up a victim by someone they know. Maybe this is the wrong approach, but I don’t know.

Some ramp up owning guns “for self defense” while others refuse to have guns in their home. I’m not sure if either option is a viable answer.

All of this just makes me sad and wonder…will it ever get better? Will we ever find real answers? I just don’t know.


Sappy Love Movies

Runaway Bride plays in the background. It’s one of my favorites, it makes me laugh. Grammy just shared the story of being scared of the one-eyed snake.

We know how it’s going to end, before it even starts, but the twists and turns are what makes it compelling to watch.

Why is it that some people together just click? You know it’s going to be Julia and Richard in the end.

How do writers, producers, directors, and actors find the way to cut to the heart of the matter, and make us feel complex emotions from happiness and love, to heartache and pain?

Maybe it’s just my own state of mind… But I hope I can find a way to write this way one day.


Acushla Bound – Part Twelve

The snow started falling outside the window as Mikaela and Kester lay wrapped in each other’s arms. They enjoyed the silence with each other. They spent most of the rest of the day, and night, in bed.

In the morning, Mikaela snuck out of bed. Kester stayed soundly asleep. Rex climbed up into the bed and snuggled with his master.

Mikaela made her way outside to the chicken coop and gathered the eggs. The snow had stopped falling overnight and the skies were a brilliant blue with white cirrus clouds. She loved mornings like this.

Mikaela did a few more things then returned to the cottage. She mixed up some biscuits and set them to bake over the fire, hoping they didn’t get too dark being over the heat of the fire. She then whipped up the eggs and found some ham to slice. She hoped she would surprise Kester with a nice breakfast.

As she worked in the kitchen area, Kester couldn’t help but hear the commotion. Mikaela tried to be quiet, but was unsuccessful. Kester quietly walked in to the kitchen and behind Mikaela, kissing her on the neck. “Everything okay, here?” He whispered into her ear.

She giggled and smiled. “It’s not like cooking There.” She was trying to loosen up an egg she had cooked.

“Here, you will need to use more butter. It will stop it from sticking. You’ll get the hang of it.” With that he pecked her on the cheek and stepped back, leaning on the chair by the fireplace, watching Mikaela work on breakfast. He smiled to himself.

“Sit down. I will have breakfast ready in a minute.” Mikaela used more butter and cooked up two more eggs. She grinned when she pulled out the biscuits; at least one thing cooked up right. She plated everything up and served breakfast.

Kester looked over the meal. He picked up a biscuit and took a bite. Mikaela anxiously looked at him, wondering if she cooked them as well as back There.

“Best biscuit I’ve had outside of Oklahoma!”

Oklahoma? Mikaela thought to herself, Well, at least they came out edible. She took a biscuit and built a breakfast sandwich, drizzled a little honey on it, and joined him to eat.

“So, it’s a beautiful day. Could you show me around some?” Mikaela asked as they ate.

Kester looked outside. “Wow, it actually is. We probably shouldn’t go too far should the weather turn, but definitely. Let’s get out for a bit.”

They finished up breakfast and cleaned up. Kester found another coat, more suitable for Mikaela than a blanket, to wear. “Here, try this on. It may be a little long.”

The leather coat was lined with wool and was warm. “It’s perfect.” It actually hung down to Mikaela’s calves, but she didn’t mind.

“If the weather holds out for a few days, we can go onto town and get you some warmer clothes. How’s that sound?”

Mikaela smiled and nodded. “Right now, show me around, okay?”

They headed outside and walked along the stream which ran along the edge of Kester’s property. The sun had melted some of the snow, and the water babbled over the iced areas and rocks.

A small flower popped up in the snow. Mikaela kneeled down and admired it. It’s bright color was striking against the white snow.

Kester looked back. “Those only grow Here. I never saw one like it back There.”

“It’s beautiful!” Mikaela stood back up and caught up with Kester, slipping her hand into his as they walked on. Kester just smiled.


Acushla Bound – Part Eleven

Mikaela curled up with the book as Rex climbed into her lap. She gave him a pet and started reading Kester’s writings. She became lost in his journeys through Somewhere and Nowhere, which had some similarities to hers but also stark differences.

He wrote of being Here and shared his story of how Pepper brought him almost everything he needed. Pepper was almost like a fairy godfather in horse form.

Pepper was even responsible for Dorian’s presence. ‘I recall the morning after I dreamt of riding a dark horse across a meadow that Pepper was hyper and broke out of the paddock. Later that evening, he and a dark stallion walked up and back into the field, enjoying some hay. Dorian never ran off, although it took a few times to get him used to a saddle. I don’t know how Pepper did it…can he read minds?’

Mikaela paused and looked out the window toward the barn. Kester was working with Dorian, who was in a playful mood, knocking over the bucket near by and prancing about.

She smiled and turned back to the book. ‘I dreamt of her last night. Macushla, that’s what I called her. Her eyes blazed into my soul, those dark eyes.’ Mikaela paused. Who was this mystery woman of his dreams? Could it be…no, probably not.

Kester’s story continued to wind and turn through growing his homestead, taking up writing, and finding his way Here. She came to another passage. ‘I saw her in my dreams again. She was sleeping under the willow where I came here originally.

Could he have willed her here? Mikaela dismissed it. They didn’t know each other outside of Here. I’m reading too much into this she thought to herself. She continued to read on.

I keep having dreams of her. I need to find some answers.’ Mikaela flipped another page, but nothing more was written on the next few pages. She flipped through the remaining pages and realized the back side of the book also contained writing in a separate smaller insert.

She wondered a moment if she should read it. Did Kester realize he gave it to her? However, she was looking for answers and he did give it to her.

‘When I dream of her, it is like I have known her my whole life. Her dark brown hair and eyes are so familiar now. I long to hold her in my arms and kiss her lips.

When I see her in my dreams, she’s a bit of a klutz, but I like that about her. It gives me a reason to hold her hand and catch her when she trips.

‘Last night, she was in my bed in my dream. Her sheer gown showed off her breasts in the firelight. I fought hard to control myself, although it is just a dream. Maybe I should just let myself go.

Mikaela paused, wondering if she should read on. She found herself already attracted to Kester, and her mind began to wander, wondering how it would feel to be with him in that way. Sleeping in his arms last night was comforting. But, she’d only known him a day.

She put the insert back into the book, then set the book back on the table. She donned her boots and layered two blouses and grabbed a blanket to head out to where Kester was. Rex followed on along.

She stepped up to a fence post and rested her chin on her arm, watching the horses and Kester in the field. The cold air had blushed up Kester’s cheeks. Mikaela found herself lost in watching them.

Kester looked up and saw her standing there. The wind was blowing Mikaela’s hair and her cheeks and nose were starting to turn red as well. He walked over to her.

She straightened up as he walked up. She smiled and tilted her head. Her eyes looked down then back up into his eyes. He wrapped his hand behind her neck as he went in for a sweet, long, tender kiss; a kiss that warmed both of them up from their toes.

Kester stepped back, jumped over the fence and pulled Mikaela toward the house. She paused only a moment, then thought, this is only a dream. She kept up with Kester as they entered the cottage.

Once inside, they quickly undressed each other and then paused. Mikaela was as nervous as a virgin. Kester stepped closer to her, taking her hand and kissing her as he walked her to the bed.

He was gentle with her, loving, and also strong. As they joined together they moved as one. Mikaela bit her lip from the pleasures Kester delivered time and time again.

Mikaela wrapped her legs around Kester, pulling him in closer. With this, he groaned in ecstasy. Her legs held him tightly against her as he collapsed onto her.

Together they rolled to one side, facing each other. “I didn’t expect..” Kester was stopped with Mikaela’s finger on his lips.


Acushla Bound – Part Ten

Kester played with Mikaela’s curly brown hair as she slept. Quietly, he whispered, “Macushla, I have dreamt of you. I cannot believe you’re Here.” Softly she stirred in his arms. He quickly closed his eyes so she wouldn’t see he was awake if she woke.

Mikaela was a heavy sleeper however; her stirring was just a passing dream. She curled into Kester’s chest, her arms wrapped around his torso and her feet entangled with his. She was not quite a foot shorter than him, so her face was buried into his chest.

Slowly, the winter sun started to glow and filled the cottage with light. Kester got out of bed carefully, letting his guest sleep some more. She had a harrowing journey here and he wanted to make her feel welcome. He prepared tea and breakfast for both of them. Mikaela smelled his cooking and woke up.

She slid out of bed and made her way over to the living area where Kester had put a pot on the fire. “Thank you for taking me in yesterday.”

Kester turned and smiled, handing her a tea. “Of course! It’s good to have a guest. I hope you’ll stay a while.”

Mikaela frowned, but then smiled. “I don’t understand why I’m here. It’s an amazing journey, but can I really just leave reality, er, There, behind so easily?”

Kester understood what Mikaela meant. “Have a seat, we should talk. First, I want you to know you are welcome Here. Second, I, too, am from There.”

Mikaela looked up at him with little confusion. “Yes, I understand. Hank from Nowhere told me how we all are from Thaer as he called it. It sounded like people decide to stay in this world or go back however. I just don’t know how I can let everything There go. Family, commitments, vows.” Mikaela looked down. “Part of me wants to stay here. Learn all there is to know about Here and you. Build a new life. But, is it real?”

Kester looked down. “I come here often, but I too have obligations. There, some of the very same concerns. Here, I am free. Here, however, is magical. We can do as we dream, but we can also do no harm, to ourselves or others, in the real world.”

Mikaela continued to listen as Kester explained how he visits Here while maintaining his life There. “Doesn’t it get, well, confusing?”

Kester laughed. “Yes, especially when people you meet Here, Nowhere, or Somewhere, decide to go back and you meet them There. More than once, I’ve had the sense of Deja Vu with others.”

Mikaela smiled, and then looked at Kester. “Did you ever dream of people you met Here before you actually met them?”

Kester blushed. “Just one.” He wasn’t willing to explain at that point that it was Mikaela however. He thought it might make him sound a little crazy.

Mikaela didn’t push, but instead switched subjects. “Would it be possible for me to see Pepper?”

Kester obliged immediately. “Oh definitely. He should be in the barn. Hold on, let me get you something warm to wear.” He handed her a heavy blanket to wrap around her shoulders. She found her riding boots.

“I’ll be right back.” She waved as she headed out the front door.

Kester watched her walk out to the barn from the window, then turned to finish up breakfast.

“Pepper, how are you?” Mikaela greeted her friend. He nodded at her. She had snuck a couple remaining apples out to treat Pepper. A beautiful dark stallion danced in the neighboring stall. After Pepper chomped down on the first apple, she stepped over to the steed’s stall. “Would you like an apple, too?” The dark horse lowered his head regally, then gently took the apple from her hand. “Good boy!” Mikaela petted his face. She didn’t see a name for him on any of the reigns or stall. I’ll have to ask Kester I guess, she thought to herself.

She walked over and picked up a grooming brush, then took care of Pepper’s coat, brushing it out. She talked to Pepper, thanking him for taking care of her and bringing her here. He softly whinnied and shook his head to the door. “I know, breakfast is almost ready. Would your friend like to be groomed too?” She walked over to the other stall. The dark horse backed up, unsteadily. Mikaela stepped back, she knew he wasn’t yet comfortable with her. “Okay, maybe later?” He stepped back forward and let her pet his face.

She put the brush back and headed back to the house to enjoy some breakfast.

“How’s Pepper?” Kester asked.

“Okay, I gave him a brushing. You’re other horse, what’s his name?”

“That’s Dorian. He’s a little stand-offish at first. Once he gets to know you, he won’t leave you alone.” Kester chuckled.

“Ahh. That’s why he didn’t want a brushing then. Okay.”

They both took a seat and ate breakfast. They talked more about their lives both Here and There. The more they talked, the more they connected with each other.

Mikaela finally asked, “How do you go back and forth between Here and There? You mentioned you still go back.”

He smiled, “Really simple, I just tell myself I’m going There before I go to bed, and I wake up there. It is almost as if no time passes in either place as I go back and forth, except for a dream cycle.”

Mikaela’s mouth opened in shock. “That’s it?” She could not believe the simplicity of it. “Is it that way for everyone?”

Kester laughed a moment. “No, it isn’t that way for most people, only people who actually come here in their first dream of this place seem to have this ability. It’s kind of rare.” Kester scratched the back of his neck.

Mikaela looked at him again. “Wait, you mean if you actually have a journey here, interacting with others, not just dream of the place, your first time, you can just dream your way home?”

He nodded his head, then asked, “How many times did you dream of being here before this visit?”

Mikaela blushed. “I’m kind of rare, I guess.”

With that Kester smiled a large smile, one Mikaela had not yet seen. “You are her.”

Mikaela looked at him, confused. “What do you mean?”

Kester stood up and took the breakfast plates from the table, setting them aside, then pulled out a book with a double love knot on it. He set the book down in front of her. “This is a serch bythol.” He traced the symbol which appeared to be two touching trinity knots. “Inside are my writings of this place; I want you to read it. I hope it makes sense to you. If you are who I believe you are, you will understand.” Mikaela looked up at him. He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek gently. “Still Do. Always Will.” With that, he walked out to the barn to check on the animals and left her to read.


Acushla Bound – Part Nine

Pepper took Mikaela deeper into the mountains, following a well worn trail. Snow was piled in clumps and slowly filled in the trail until it was fully covered.

The trees became iced over the further they traveled. Mikaela could see her breath. She started to become concerned as she did not have anything with her to keep her warm. She whispered to Pepper, “I am cold. We need shelter.”

Pepper shook his head in acknowledgment. They came to a fork in the trail and he chose to go right, following a semi-frozen stream. The trail continued on with no shelter in sight.

Mikaela bent forward, trying to keep warm against Pepper’s back. She had already pulled out her other top and the nightgown and dress she had in her pack and layered them on, but nothing would stop the chill in the air.

The cold made Mikaela numb. Eventually she faded and passed out against Pepper’s back. Pepper continued on, knowing exactly where he needed to bring her. Pepper rounded a curve in the trail and in the distance stood a small cottage with a barn to its side. Pepper’s steps picked up when he spotted smoke coming out of the chimney. He knew he was home, and he knew he would help.

Pepper walked up to the cottage and with his front hooves, pounded on the step, hoping someone inside heard him.

Mikaela woke up to find she was in another dream. She found herself covered in homemade blankets on a makeshift wood-framed bed. She was still chilled to the bone, but warmth radiated from the fireplace in the center of the cottage which was right next to her. She stirred and started to sit up.

A kind male voice called out from the other side of the fire. “Would you like something warm to drink?”

Mikaela first shook her head, but realized he couldn’t see her. “Yes, please.”

When he came around the corner, he had a small mug in his hand, and bent down to hand it to her. The light from the fire danced in his eyes. She remembered those eyes from her dreams. She believed this to be another dream about him.

She took the mug and slowly sipped. Tea! She thanked her companion for his hospitality. “May I ask, what is your name?”

The man smiled at her, “I am known as Kester. And you?”

“I’m Mikaela.” Finally I know your name, she thought to herself. She smiled. “How did I get here?”

Kester looked at her, “About that, I’m really sorry. Pepper dragged you all the way out here.”

“Pepper?” Mikaela realized this wasn’t a dream in a dream….Kester was, well, still a dream but not a dream inside of a dream. “He’s been a real help actually. He saved me more than once. But, where am I, Kester?”

Kester smiled and waved his hands around. “Well, you are Here. This is my home. It’s not much, but it works for me.”

Mikaela looked around. It was cozy, missing a woman’s touch, but nice. “Thanks for bringing me in and warming me up. But why did Pepper bring me here? And how do you know the horse?”

Kester ran his hands across his short hair and looked down, slightly embarrassed. “Well, Pepper is one of my horses. He likes to go off and find things for me for some reason. Last time he brought home this cute little guy.” Kester petted a blue merle Australian shepherd sitting at his feet. “His name is Rex.” Rex wandered over to Mikaela for a pet, which she happily obliged including some scratches right behind his ears. “But you are a first, the first woman he’s ever brought here.”

Mikaela was touched, smiled, and blushed a bit. She wondered what Pepper had up his sleeve by bringing her here. “So, what do you do Here Kester?”

Kester’s eyes lit up. “During the warmer months, oh, it is glorious to live here. Plenty of room to explore, and I have a small garden I get going for fruits and vegetables. During the winter, I try to stock up plenty to make it through the lean months. I work on wood projects as well as write a bit.”

“Wow, that’s amazing. I want to hear more,” Mikaela’s mind spun, could life get back to being so simple yet full away from There?

Kester and Mikaela talked with each other over the next few hours, then the fire started dying down. Kester spoke up, “It’s getting late. Why don’t you sleep there tonight and we’ll figure out what to do in the morning. I’ll lay out some blankets over here and get some rest.”

Mikaela looked back at the bed, “There’s room for two, no need for you to sleep on the floor. Besides, we’ll both be warmer this way.”

Kester blushed a little bit, but accepted and crawled into bed next to her. They both started to giggle as they tried to get situated. “Are you sure this is okay?” he asked.

“Yes, I think so.” She smiled sweetly as he rested his arm on her waist. She settled her head on his other arm. Soon they both drifted off to sleep.