Chapter 30. How Was Last Night For You: Explanations and More Trouble.

Please read Chapter 29 here:

Chapter 30: Explanations and More Trouble

Nina and Rianne stood in the kitchen preparing a mid-afternoon supper for John’s family.

“What are you cooking?” Rianne asked

” Marinated vegetables and baby potatoes. I’ve got a couple salads I’m working on, a Kale salad and a Chinese Noodle Salad.What kind of chicken did you decide to make?”

“Oh, uh spinach and goat cheese. The goat cheese hides the spinach. It’s tasty, and Sam and Eric don’t notice the spinach in it.”

Nina and Rianne heard Edith gasp in the living room and they turned to observe John from the kitchen island, explaining to Edith, Robert, and his brothers, where he had been the  last four-months.

Nina had decided John needed to be alone with his family when he told them what occurred. She wasn’t entirely sure what parts of his experiences, John wanted to share  and which parts he was keeping to himself. She would ask him tomorrow when they were alone.

Nina filled Rianne in on John’s experiences, speaking quietly, her voice not much above a whisper as they chopped fruit for dessert. She knew Rianne would hear about what John said from Jasper on the ride home.

Jasper had brought his two small sons with him and Rianne. Sam and Eric excitedly, hugged their Uncle John when they arrived, nearly catching Uncle John and Aunt Nina half-naked. Nina and John had been quick to adjust their clothes and appear decent. It had been difficult given the time they had been apart.


“We thought you was never coming back.” Sam told John. “Grandma said you went to heaven but Rianne said Grandma didn’t know. She said you were coming back soon. Right Rianne?”

“Yes, Sam. And I was right wasn’t I? Uncle John is home.” Sam nodded enthusiastically unwilling to let go of his Uncle. His little arms clung to John’s neck and played with the silver chain John wore.

“How come you were gone?” Eric asked. He was the younger brother.

“I was sleeping Eric. I was so so tired. When I woke up I was on a beach and I met a man who helped me come home. Then, this morning I saw your Auntie Nina and she was so pretty and happy to see me. I’ve never seen her so pleased.” John said trying to keep his story simple.

“Did you get the witch?” Sam asked John. John looked at Jasper wondering what he should say.

Jasper chimed in: “She wasn’t a witch, only a bad woman. But she’s gone right?” Jasper asked staring at John who nodded encouragingly.

“Let’s go play in the living room with your trucks. While you play, I can tell the grown-ups what happened in detail.” John said cheerfully, he glanced back at Nina tiredly. She knew from his expression he wanted to relax and be alone with her.

Nina, however,knew John’s family needed an explanation. They needed to know why it seemed he had come back to life after dying. They needed to see John was alive and touch him for themselves.

Jasper coaxed Sam to let go of his Uncle John and play with a new construction truck with Eric on the living room floor. Edith hugged John hard and kissed both his cheeks. Hear head barely reached the middle of John’s chest.

“Nina and Jordan kept saying you’d be back. I didn’t believe them. I thought they’d only a wing and a prayer. But you’re here and you look amazing. You’ve a healthy tan and you appear more rested than I have seen you in years. Does this mean your curse is broken and you can be together with Nina now? Will your curse ever effect our family again?” Edith asked, hope in her voice.

“Please Mom, everyone, sit down.” John’s family surrounded him as he sat on a couch. Nina heard John say, “Yes, the curse is broken. It’s why I’m back. As in fairy tales, well almost, Nina and I get to be together now and they’ll be more horrible events occurring in my life or yours.” Edith squealed and John’s Dad, Robert patted him on the back cheerfully.

“Good news son. Very good news. We need to hear the whole story. Everything from the night you left on Jordan’s motor boat to go find the dagger in Talise’s cave. We’ve heard what happened from Nina and Jordan. We need to hear your version now and why you let us think you were dead.”

John appeared shocked: “I didn’t have much choice in the matter, Dad . . .”

Nina returned to chopping fruit in the kitchen. Pulling out an ice cream cake to sit and thaw a bit for dessert. She tuned out John and his family, having heard and talked about that awful night with Talise in the Sirene too often in the last few months.

John’s return from the in-between place of life and death had been Nina’s and John’s conversation topic all day and Nina was sure John’s family wouldn’t be able to stop talking about what happened to John for many months to come.

Rianne put her chicken into cook in a second oven in John and Nina’s kitchen.

“John’s place is beautiful Nina. Right on the beach. I have to say it was no hardship visiting you here when you feared John wouldn’t come back. Even though I had to do the grocery shopping and the cooking to make sure you ate at first, it was worth it to walk down the beach and watch movies on a giant cinema-like room downstairs.”

Nina put her hand on Rianne’s arm and squeezed it gently,”I’m sorry I was such a pain. I know I was miserable to be around for months on end. Something inside me always told me to keep having faith and believing. I’m still shocked to be able to say this, but I was right; John came home.”

“It sounded like he had to learn a few vital lessons first,” Rianne remarked. “From what you told me, it was John who didn’t have faith the curse would be broken. He couldn’t come home to you  unless he believed their was benevolent magic working to break the curse so you too could be a couple and live a normal life.”

“Yeah, it’s exactly what John told me Norman said to him. I can’t believe Norman was the homeless guy who saved you.”

“Me neither,” said Rianne. “But I think we had God looking out for us. Or He had someone keeping watch over us all in Norman. It’s nice to know someone up there cares what goes on in our lives.”

“So, what’s new with you and Jasper?” Nina remarked changing the subject. Rianne sighed gazing at Nina with sad chocolate brown eyes. They reminded Nina of the eyes of a lab dog begging.

“It’s, it’s okay – only, when John was missing, it was hard on us. Especially with Sam and Eric. You know how all three Eric brothers are close and have always been. When Jasper thought John was dead, it was as if a piece of himself died with John.”

“I don’t know how to explain it well, but Jasper’s been cold. Really cold. He didn’t want me to come over often. Partly, why I ended up staying with you so much was because Jasper didn’t want me there. And I would go home and there would be this yawning emptiness in my condo. I couldn’t bear it.” Rianne said softly. She wasn’t a crier but Nina knew her friend was near the point of tears..

“I loved it when you came over Ri. I wish you would’ve said something about was happening between you and Jasper. I love you and care about you and I want you to tell me what’s wrong even when I’m not in the best of places myself.” Nina said quietly.

“I know you didn’t want to burden me, but it would’ve helped me keep my mind off John, listening to you and finding a way to help Jasper open-up to you. And I think you would’ve felt much better too, not keeping this trapped inside.”

“Shhhh” Rianne said suddenly. Jasper was staring at Rianne while her and Nina talked and the chicken baked.

“He can’t hear us,” Nina said.

“I think he knows what I’m talking to you about.”

” How could he know. Besides, John’s back now. Things will become better between Jasper and you too because he won’t be mourning his brother’s death.” Nina remarked confidently.

“Maybe,” Rianne said unconvinced.” Death is a tricky subject with Jasper. His first wife, Sam and Eric’s mom, died of cancer a few years ago. I don’t know if he’s ready for a serious relationship with another woman yet. I thought so but now, I’m not so sure.”

“But it’s been five-years or so hasn’t it?”

“I don’t know he won’t talk about his wife, not at all. I know his boys come first and before that night with Talise, we were practically living together. We were seeing how the boys liked it if I lived with them.” Rianne said, tears starting to fall without her being aware of them.

“Now, I wouldn’t even consider sleeping over at Jasper’s house. It feels as if there’s this big angry river between Jasper and I and I don’t know how to jump over it or swim through it. I miss playing with Sam and Eric so much.”

“It will work out Rianne. It will get better, I know it will.” Nina said encouragingly. Rianne sighed, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand and checking the chicken in the oven cooking.

Nina sighed. John and her might have at last found happiness together. But it seemed those closest to them, weren’t happy at all. Nina felt awful Rianne hadn’t thought she could share her problems with Jasper with her, the past few months. She had been too consumed with thoughts of  John and too selfish to be a reliable friend to Rianne.

Nina hugged Rianne after she had taken the chicken out of the oven to let it cool a few moments.

“I’ll help you get through this Rianne. You’re my best friend and I’d do anything for you. You’ve helped me so much since I’ve met John and suffered too much for it. You can stay with John and I as long as you want.” Rianne smiled.

“Won’t John mind?”

Nina laughed, “he doesn’t have a choice, but he doesn’t know that yet.”

Rianne smiled but Nina could tell her smile was forced. She studied Rianne for a moment as she transferred the chicken into a serving dish. Rianne wasn’t saying a great deal of what was going on between her and Jasper, and Nina knew it.

Please Read Chapter 31 here.

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.




A Grocery List 

Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat for hosting this week’s list prompt entitled, grocery list.


Grocery List:

1. Spinach: Truthfully, I used to hate spinach and I’m not a huge fan of it cooked, unless you hide it inside lasagna or in chicken with goat cheese. Otherwise, I’ll take fresh spinach over lettuce any day.

2. Dark Green Lettuce: The darker, the green of the lettuce, the better it is for you. I think I buy Italian blend or something like that. I prefer it to romain lettuce.

3. Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing: My go-to salad dressing and it’s good for you because it’s a Vinaigrette not a cream dressing, the same goes with Italian dressing. 

4. Italian Dressing: (See Above).

5. Whole-Grain Bakery Bread: I don’t eat much bread honestly. But I freeze it and unthaw a couple of pieces when I eat it for toast or with becel and a bit of strawberry jam on the toast. Bakery bread is a must, you can’t compare it with the stuff which is full of preservatives.

6.  Large Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein. I have them about once a day in an omelette, scrambled, or boiled.

7. Almonds (unsalted): A fantastic source of protein and the good kind of fat to eat for your body. 1/4 cup is a good serving size for me.

8. Pecans (unsalted): More expensive, but an awesome protein and wonderful to put in salads. They taste so good, I love them.

9. Milk  1%: I have adored milk since I was small. My parents used to call me their ‘calf’ but now I don’t drink too much of it. Maybe, an 8 ounce glass every couple of days or 1/2 cup in my cereal. Some people say milk makes you fat, after all it’s what causes calves to grow large and round. On the otherside, there are many studies showing how vital milk is for your bones and teeth because it has Calcium in it. Plus, the added vitamin A and D is beneficial, especially in winter when it becomes dark early. I hate almond or coconut milk, so I won’t be giving milk up. I should add, I am sensitive to whey as an adult so I have to be aware of of how much milk I drink and what brand.I couldn’t have to much milk and feel well anyways.

10. Greek Yogurt: They whey is removed from Greek Yogurt and it is one of my go-to’s for protein. It keeps you satisfied and is healthy for you. I like it with granola and fruit sometimes, mostly with fruit.

11. Chicken breasts: My meat go-to I like chicken breasts in salads, with little potatoes and roasted vegetables, (etc.) About 4 or 5 ounces is a good portion size of chicken for me.

12. Turkey bacon: Well, as many of us, I love bacon. Turkey bacon is healthier for you and still yummy! 

13. Boneless Chicken Thighs: (See number 11, basically the same but tend to BBQ these).

14. Ground Beef: Not my favourite but a good meat to have at times in taco salad or to make into meatballs or hamburgers.

15. Marble Cheese: Just to have in my omelette or on a burger.

16. Green Tea: Every day I have two or three cups. I like the Starbucks brand, Spearmint and lemon by Tazeo.

17. Strawberries: For fruit salad in the morning with other fruit.

18. Oranges: (See 17)

19. Pineapple: (See 17)

20. Nectarines: Love them on their own actually. My favourite fruit! 

21. Cherries: Good on their own as well. Delicious! 

22. Red Wine: Have to go to the liquor store to buy it, but it’s always good to have a bottle on hand for company or a Friday night.

23. Asparagus: Steemed with becel.

24. Baby carrots: Raw about 1/2 cup. 

25. Cauliflower or Broccoli: Steamed with becel, about 1 cups worth per person.

26. Dark chocolate: It’s a necessity! 

27. Mini Pepsi’s: Also a necessity. Every once and a while I like one.

28. Raisin Bran: Sometimes I have for breakfast or a midnight snack 1/2 cup.

29. Becel: Less fat then butter.

30. Strawberry Jam: For toast, a jar lasts a long time.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Good Food and Good Times

Well, it’s been a little while since I wrote something that wasn’t poetry or flash fiction. I love writing both but I felt a bit burnt out on poetry ideas after NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) despite the fact that we were given prompts in April. I don’t know how people do the challenge where you write so many thousands of words for a novel in a month. For me my writing of a novel is coming slowly.

I am just finishing up my last course on Fiction and we were able to submit some of our own novels or pieces of writing to the class and one of my projects is going to be to really work on that first chapter again according to some of the feedback I got from the class and instructor on How Was Last Night For You? and I do have a chapter four and five coming along the ideas are there it’s just a matter of putting them to the computer then reworking the chapters until I come up with something acceptable. I am planning to do that this summer and get a few more chapters down and get into the plot a little more but that will be mid June when i have time to do that. So, you are stuck with the usual until that point. I am planning to do a ton of reading this summer to and I find that always inspires me in my writing.

The Copy Editing course ended. Thank goodness I enjoyed it, unlike the proofreading course. Even the exam didn’t seem so bad because I printed out all the material for the open book exam, which took about a week, and there were so many more exercises to do in this course. Another thing that helped was that the material was somewhat familiar from Proofreading and Introduction to Copyediting. I am hoping to speed the process of this Editing program up a bit now that I am three courses into it. I’m hoping to do three courses a year. Although, I was planning to do that this year that didn’t become possible until it was too late and I was half way through my Fiction course.

I wasn’t able to go to the OneRepublic concert I had tickets for, which seems to be an alright situation to occur because they didn’t play for long anyways. My mom managed to give the tickets away at work day of as a friend I was going with didn’t go and my boyfriend has sciatica or something similar in his leg. He’s on pain medication now at work and seems to be doing fine until doctors can do an MRI on A. Although, he was in pain that didn’t stop A and I from doing a few things, mostly food related, in the two weeks he was off this round.Usually he only has one week off but because of doctors visits etc. he took an extra week.

First of all, I wanted to take him for an early Birthday dinner to split of up the cost of his present and dinner. We walked into Red Lobster and I was like I am okay I can do this, they serve chicken here but the fishy smell just made me nauseous. I hate seafood by the way, as Dori on Finding Nemo says ‘ Fish are friends, not food.’ So, A and I left Red Lobster and walked over to Olive Garden which he loves anyways and we both got some chicken dish to go with our salad and soft hot garlicy bread sticks. A said it was delicious and somehow the following week we found ourselves going into Earls around the supper hour. I had just wanted dessert that was it but I quickly re-evaluated when my stomach began to grumble. A got some spicy chicken dish with coleslaw and mashed potatoes and and I a thin crust pizza with cheese and some delicious spice — a Margarhetti Pizza I think it was called/ Then we dug into dessert and that topped everything we had eaten. Chocolate lava brownie piping hot and oozing with chocolate with toffee sauce and vanilla gelato. A said, ” I could eat like eleven of these.” And he rarely is so complimentary about something that isn’t his own cooking. But we enjoyed dessert immensely.

A is back in a week and May 21 is his birthday. I need to get to the store next week and get him a watch at Fossil. I pretty much know exactly what I am looking for but I don’t think I will get to that mall where Fossil is until the day of his birthday. I have to pick up some cupcakes too so I’m crossing my fingers that they still have a cupcake place at Kingsway.

Then, there is all the preparation for going on a trip: getting American money, buying travel size products because I’m only bring a small suit case on a 5 day trip, and the usual purchases I have to make when I first get paid. Basically, I am going to Las Vegas to Shop but I have to shop to go there.

That’s all for now.

It’s a Wonderful Life

I am taking the cab over to see A and to take him out for an early birthday supper. When I show up at his apartment a little old lady lets me in in a unit adjacent to A’s unit and A is stretched out on the couch in a favorite t-shirt and dirty white sweat pants. The sweat pants bother me but I would never say anything such as haven’t you got some dish soap to put on those pesky stains but it’s okay because A always changes to look good in public: another name brand t-shirt and expensive ripped jeans and new black shoes. 

He wants to go to Red Lobster for his dinner but I go inside and can hardly stand the seafood smell and know even if I order chicken it will taste like it smells. So, we head to Olive Garden which is delicious: soft warm bread, salad chicken Marsala and chicken something else for A. Also, he orders some big drink non-alcoholic because he doesn’t drink and I get to try real sangria which is less fizzy or sweet then my favorite sangria at Joeys. But a glass of red wine with fruit in it is good too.

 We are there till 6:45 pm and arrive home by 7ish and just my luck one of my favorite movies is on Jurassic Park but the second movie The Lost World and I watch that until 11 pm and then the news. A went to work out and briefly debate leaving my makeup on to go out later. I really should have but I’m so tired and when A leaves around midnight I snuggle into his brand new duvet and fall asleep having brought an extra sleeping pill because it’s hard to sleep in someone else’s bed. But I fall asleep quickly and A is such a gentlemen and sleeps until late morning in the living room as not to wake me.

I get up around noon and shower and start making latkes for breakfast when A sneaks up behind me. I make two for me and one for him as he is having eggs. They are a treat, he offers to buy me some but I insist he doesn’t because latkes are so many calories plus we put jam and the laughing cow cream cheese on them. I am full but A is always trying to feed me, pop, cookies, and whatever else. I am big enough, I insist. 

We watch Simpsons and a movie then go for a nap where I get to be nice and close to A. He drives me home and we increase our cholesterol with a stop at McDonalds then A actually comes into talk with my parents both my Mom and Dad. I am a happy girl and have enjoyed the weekend. If only I’d been able to stay up to go out. Oh well. . . 

Photography 101 – Day 4 – Scrumptious Blissday

Bliss can mean so many things. I couldn’t pick one actual meaning of Bliss so I chose 2. The first meaning of Bliss is the feeling you get when you are eating delicious food. Two springs ago I went to Montreal with my brother and every day we went to one fancy delicious restaurant for 6 days. At this one restaurant I had this wonderful chicken and goat cheese salad.  There are few things in this world that are better than goat cheese and since I limit my dairy, I don’t get to eat cheese very often. Goat cheese is just wonderful and gooey as it melts in your mouth the softest of foods that makes any salad divine. My brother rolled his eyes at me as I ordered goat cheese dishes from different restaurants almost every single time. It must be a big thing in Montreal, Quebec.


Delicious Goat Cheese and Chicken Salad in Montreal restaurant.
Delicious Goat Cheese and Chicken Salad in Montreal restaurant.

My second, third, and fourth pictures are blurred but it’s the idea I want you to get more than just the pictures alone. These are my pictures of doggy bliss. My dog was going to eat. Her name was Nikki and she and I were 2 of a kind. In these pictures she is cuddling  as she goes to eat and you get this progression of feelings of bliss as she goes from being petted to eating.

Nikki playing before eating.,
Nikki playing before eating.,
Doggy Bliss 2
Nikki cuddling.
Nikki happily eating with her ears back. She is feeling relaxed!
Nikki happily eating with her ears back. She is feeling relaxed!

A Week In Time

20140109-144018.jpgI began this past week recovering from an antidepressant called Elavil, and ended the week back on my feet and busy. I woke up early on Thursday to meet with my nurse who I meet with in addition to my psychiatrist. After 5 years I feel we have become friends but she works with EPIC (Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic) and although I began my mood disorder with a psychotic episode, since then I have been fine. I did testing with EPIC and all through the past 5 years my nurse has been there to help me and ease procedures, such as major medication changes that haven’t worked, between my Psychiatrist and I. Goodbye’s are always bittersweet but I am confident I can deal with my Psychiatrist well alone.

But I am seeking someone to talk to and just to help me weather the illness I am experiencing and perhaps suggest ways that I can

do that. My friend who is doing her Master’s in Psychology had suggested before I go see a psychologist but I found that going to see one was quite expensive and beyond my budget. But if I can see a psychologist through the clinic I see my psychiatrist at I think that would work better and it would be free. I just think it would be extra support having learned my Occupational Therapy was ended abruptly last May and now that I no longer have a nurse to talk to, it is something to take into consideration.

But about the good part of the week, A came back after a week of working due to stress. I feel bad that he is having trouble at work but I always miss him so it was great that I could spend almost 2 days with him. I was particularly spoiled when it came to meals. I am trying to diet but dinner at Chianti’s Thursday didn’t lend to me keeping a diet so well. I did the best I could and went for chicken with a mushroom cream sauce with zucchini, carrots, and potatoes. I didn’t eat the potatoes and the chicken was just the right size (about 5 oz) but the sauce was delicious. ( I also managed to catch Scandal, one of my favorite TV shows by Shawnda Rhimes, last night too. I love that show there are always so many twists and turns. Someone important got shot last night and I wonder who, Sirius’ husband or David?)

Anyways, I was spoiled again today when my boyfriend made this yummy chicken dinner. It was sliced chicken on spinach with this vinaigrette (I think) of some kind and the way he spiced the chicken was so tasty. Then he stir fried up some vegetables — zucchini, onions, peppers — and I loved it. It has been my favorite meal he has cooked but he told me not to ask him to make it all the time. But I just might a time or two. I wish I could cook that good. It’s very sexy.

But I was anxious to get home and see how my Nikki dog is doing? She is almost done her 15 days of being on 2 pills of steroids and her paws and legs still have not gone back to normal size. I am worried for her. She is old but not that old and there is not a way to deal with rheumatoid arthritis beyond steroids. She is still not back to her old happy self. I think too because my Dad is away and because I was away 2 days, she gets depressed. She is not used to being alone since I have been home these past few years. She hasn’t been alone since the last year I worked.

In any case, a good week and I will be resting tomorrow, I think, and doing something the other weekend day. Take Care


Wasting Away Waiting

Does waiting tire you out? Have you had enough waiting for a particular person for a lifetime? Or are you too busy moving from one event in your life to the next that you’re never waiting? Or are you the one making people do the waiting for you?

Lately, I find myself impatient and upset when I have to wait for certain people. If you are the person who is often on time, who can only do so much in a day, and so you have to choose which activities that you do or do not do because of that, waiting can be difficult. I only have so many hours in a day I can concentrate and do certain activities, my time is limited. If I do reading for school and some homework then try to go out and be wide awake for an evening with a friend, this is too much for me. I’m not quite sure why but since becoming ill 5-years ago I can only handle so many hours of mental and/or physical activity a day.

For this reason I am a consummate planner. I like to know what I’m doing ahead of time so I can plan when I can do school work and exercise etc. Think about it like this: you have a soup bowl full of chicken soup that represents your energy supply and that is all the energy you have in a day. When you eat a couple noodles and some broth, that is eating up energy that you now no longer have. It cannot be replaced until the next day. When you plan to use all your noodles to visit somebody and be a considerate listener with them and they cancel or tell you they can’t do something until later, it is as if your soup has gone cold and your exothermic energy becomes used up. Earlier in the day the bowl of soup is hot and bubbling with potential but by night the soup has developed this icky soup skin and that’s how you feel after having to wait all day, icky and used up. You feel as if you’ve spent your day doing nothing.

I find that when people make me wait all day I can’t fulfill being the person I know they are going to expect me to like. I feel that I’m used up but from what? Simply the act of waiting itself. This makes me frustrated with people who constantly break commitments or want to do something late all the time at a time they know I’m at my worst. It does not matter for them, what time they do something but it makes a great deal of difference to me, especially when you’re not working or are doing other things you could do later first.

Now sometimes I wake up a little at night. I experience a second wind, but my best time is in the day and I wish sometimes friends and loved ones would expect less of me when I don’t have energy at night. I like to see my friends when I’m at my best. I like to be alert and able to catch all their jokes, to be sharp. But I can’t always be like this. I wish it wasn’t this way but it’s the reality of being me. And although I appreciate that other people work and have their own difficulties too, I hope that those people who always make others wait consider that their time is not only theirs. It is my time and other peoples time too and you are taking advantage of us. Everybody has stuff going on in their lives and the activities happening in your life are not exclusively important. Your activities are to other people what you consider other people’s activities to you. So maybe you should place more value on other people’s time and the difficulties in their lives if you would like the same courtesy, think about that.