Monday, June 29, 2015

images that tell a story...

One of the reasons I love fiction:

Look at these images:

I love this cottage...

and this cottage garden...

and this window looking out...

Don't these 3 pictures summon up a story in your head?   If I wasn't in the middle of another one right now, I would find my mind wondering into this place... imagining the characters...  and there would have to be cats... yes, definitely cats (or maybe kittens)! And possibly a fat white pony??

I know there are people out there who only read non-fiction, but I find this so hard to comprehend. I read non-fiction on occasion, but truth be told, most non-fiction is a bit depressing. Yes, many times the main character overcomes Herculean obstacles and is admired, but it's still depressing (although possibly uplifting at the end)

Whereas fiction makes use of the imagination and brings one into a world that he or she would love to be in...  to share... to enjoy. I love fiction!

country kittens?  These would do...

And what do you think about one of these ponies?

which pony do you think fits the bill?

(I took most of these pics off of Pinterest. This site gives me wonderful ideas... for all kinds of things.)


OK, it's Sunday noon and I've spent the morning cleaning out the refrigerator. It really wasn't bad at all, but since we'll be having company in the next 2 weeks, I thought it a good idea to get it done. I also cleaned out the pantry, but our pantry isn't large so it didn't take too long. Now I'm taking a short break before starting on my office desk. It tends to pile up quickly.

Does anyone else get so much junk mail that it takes a whole morning or afternoon to sit down and go through it?  I try to do this once a week... sometimes more... but never seem to be able to keep up with it.

While I work, my kitties are taking the day off... (actually I think they take every day off...)

Tux cuddling with Aoife's bear

Julie saying.... "what?"

Oh, and one other thing... the new box turtle that showed up last week came by again. I took the opportunity to mark him with a red x, so we would know the next time that he's been here before (he makes about 5 that I've marked so far that return to our yard).

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

pie and other inconsequential stuff...

Blueberry Custard Pie
Made DH a Blueberry Custard Pie yesterday afternoon. We had gone to walk at the Mall in the morning and stopped at the Apple Store to ask some questions about our iPhone 6. Usually we avoid this store as there's always so many people in it... but as it turned out, we didn't have to wait long and the man who helped us answered all our questions quite easily. 

This cup and saucer was given to me from a friend on my 50th Birthday!

Hard to believe that this was 50 years ago next month...

Went to my annual Oncologist appointment this week also. Had my exam, blood work, and chest x-ray taken.  All is well. Guess I'm good to go for another year. 

Don't remember if I mentioned it, but last month I saw my Eye Specialist and he informed me that I should start thinking about Cataract surgery. Apparently I have cataracts, but they aren't too bad. However, since I won't drive at night due to the glare from the streetlights, he felt that this 'affected my quality of life' and although there's no need to rush into it, I should start thinking about it. Since I also have narrow angles (which can lead to narrow angle glaucoma), cataract surgery would also take away this glaucoma threat. So-oo I am thinking about it.

Tux and me *thinking about it*

Rose isn't interested. Her "leave me out of it... face" 

Are any of you familiar with the Cashmire plant?

It's a bit invasive, but makes pretty colorful flowers. We took some cuttings home from DH's brother's house in Louisiana years ago. Now we are continuously cutting this plant down, but it comes back in droves.

Night blooming cereus
Now this is my all time favorite plant. It blooms at night and gives off the most wonderful aroma... even the cats will go lay by it when it gives off this fragrance. It's petals are soft like dove's feathers and the blossom only lives for a few hours... then closes and dies.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2 new toys...

Keurig 2.0

Guess what?  DH and I have 2 new toys (well, really 3)!  This past weekend (Father's Day) the kids were coming over Sunday for some White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake (and ice-cream of course)... so-oo I decided to unveil something we had bought a few months back. It was a Keurig 2.0 - the coffeemaker that can make a carafe as well as a cup. We had gotten it with online Keurig points back in March, but hadn't had a reason to use it. 

It took a little bit of playing around with to get it to work. Like everything else technical these days, it asks a bunch of questions... before actually getting it programmed to just make coffee. I mean... it has a *night light*, and asks what color light would you prefer.... blue, green, white, or yellow? Really? I WANT COFFEE! 

Anyway, once we got it figured out, it worked fine. But now since DH and I don't need to make a whole carafe for the 2 of us, I will put it away until it's needed again.

This one is mine. DH's is black.

Now... for the exciting toys!  As of today, DH and I are both the owners of iPhone 6's!  And we didn't plan this. It just happened. Being retired (and on that ominous limited income), we decided that we really weren't up to continuing to pay the almost $200/month for our 2 iPhone 4's. As much as I love my iPhone and use almost every app (except games), it was too expensive... and to be honest, we didn't use but 10% of all the minutes and data we had. So we decided to shop around starting today with Sprint. 

Now, we have been with Sprint before and the only reason we had left was because a few years back, the kids convinced us that we all needed iPhones... and at that time, Sprint didn't have iPhones... so we switched to AT&T.  But today Sprint was happy to give us 2 new iPhone 6's as well as cut our phone bill in half!  And the young man that assisted us was so helpful and knowledgeable that we were impressed. 

DH (who doesn't use half the apps) loves the "speak your text" part as his hands are large and texting with his fingers can be difficult. Personally I think I'm going to love the enhanced photography!!

Anyway, just thought I'd share this with you. I'll try to take some photos here and there and post them soon. There's supposed to be a slow motion video that should be fun....

Have a good week!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

books.... and cats

just needs a cat...

I ordered a book from Barnes and Noble yesterday. It's called, "What is Relativity?" by Jeffrey Bennet. I don't know if I will buy it, but a friend recommended it, and B&N didn't have any in stock. Since I prefer to at least look through a book before purchase, I gave them the OK to order it in to the bookstore... no obligation. My friend got hers from the library and really thought it something I would like. She knows my interest in Science and my ineptitude in math... apparently Mr. Bennet explains relativity without math. Sounds interesting. We'll see.

DH and I saw "Theory of Everything" this past week. Enjoyed it. Find it hard to believe that Stephen Hawkings is still alive at 73...

I also like mysteries... nothing too gory or graphic. I'm reading a series now called "The Molly Murphy Series" by Rhys Bowen about a young Irish girl fleeing Ireland to live in America. Since a lot of my reading is done at bedtime, I don't want anything too nerve-racking that would keep me awake, so cozy mysteries work just fine.

Came across this next cartoon on Pinterest. Had to laugh as the last 2 panels are exactly what happened to us 10 years ago.

Yep! That's us...

and here's another one that I thought was pretty great:

great way to keep your cats sorted...

and lastly:

Happy Father's Day!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

tea and snickerdoodles...

tea and snickerdoodles
Sitting here this morning (with my tea and snickerdoodle) making a list of things that need doing... today and if not today - soon

Father's Day is this weekend and although I've not been up to making any big family dinners these days, I thought I'd get some of DH's favorites from Central Market and see if the kids want to come over Sunday afternoon or evening. 

When I mentioned this to Ghost (who doesn't care for company), this was her opinion.

"oh god..."

She will make herself scarce. But that's OK. Molly will be glad to give anyone and everyone a chance to pet her. And if they don't *choose* to, she will climb in their lap anyway.

coming up...
Molly is going on 22, but she can still jump on the sofa - although sometimes she misses. She is alert and bright eyed, and although she sleeps a lot... she still gets around to her food and litterbox... and never has accidents. She loves her cream, and lately she's taken to sleeping on my bed close to the window where the sun (when there is sun) comes in. 

Now the next pics I took as DH and I headed out of the house 
to Braums to get a hot fudge sundae. We don't do this often, but since Father's Day is around the corner, we decided it was an excellent idea. 

See the sunflowers? Actually there are about 5 or 6... all *gifts* from the bird feeder overhead!
And if you look real close... you can see our squirrel's little butt in the feeder...
single hot fudge sundae made with peanut butter cup ice-cream!

Monday, June 15, 2015

3 minutes of fame?

Well, a few blogs back ("Sunday morning layabouts"), I posted a pic of my cousin's cat, Kuchi, laying on the cat quilt I made for her. Well, it's time for Titan, another cousin's Yorkie, to get his 3 minutes of fame...

Titan on his doggie quilt

My cousin just sent this top pic to me. Isn't he adorable?  He's very small. I think I have another pic of him that shows his size better.

According to both cousins and a dear friend whose old dog was the first to get one of my doggie quilts, these sweet animals do seem to really like their quilts. I would be concerned that they are all just telling me this to be nice if it weren't for our own Tux (whom I also made a quilt) and who refuses to share it with the other house-hold cats. To be completely honest (although this is definitely not for Tux's ears), I made the quilt for all the cats to use and also to cover the tears in an old ottoman we have in the den. However, from the moment I put it down, Tux lay claim to it. If another cat lays on it, Tux will stand on the side of the ottoman and stare at the offending party until they finally gets the hint and leave... and then he reclaims it. 


and a few outside pics:

male and female cardinal at birdfeeder

huge turtle (10-12") making itself at home on back patio

And we finally saw one of our regular box turtles in the yard Saturday! We have about 5 or 6 that usually start showing up in May, so it seems they are running late this year. Maybe with all the rain, they decided to stay put... or if they were in or near the creek when the heavy rains came, I guess they could have got washed a long way down.

Well, got to go. Promised DH I'd make Snickerdoodles this afternoon.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday update...

broccoli - cauliflower casserole

Made this broccoli-cauliflower casserole last week. It has become one of my favorite recipes... only it makes much more than DH and I can eat. So I give part of it away and freeze the rest for us later. I'm not a big fan of freezing things... usually forget they're in there or wait too long and then don't want to use it. But I do freeze this casserole... as well as red beans and rice when DH makes it.

I also made some Chocolate Lava Cakes last week. They were good... but didn't have the *flowing chocolate lava* as intended. Guess I left them in the oven a bit too long (16-18mins?) but we still ate them. They used unsweetened dark chocolate which we both love.

Also spent a little time cleaning and hosing down our back patio Friday morning. It has a wrought iron table and chairs on it as well as a Grill and a huge iron bird cage. The feral cats use the table and chairs, we use the grill (sometimes on 4th of July), and no one uses the metal bird cage. I bought it years ago when I was thinking of raising Budgies again. But with the feral population using our yard and patio, the Budgies Project never had a chance. It's a nice cage though. I bought it on sale at a Bird Specialty shop. My daughter may have a use for it at her place. I took a pic and sent it to her (unless we ever enclose the patio... then I could have a pottery wheel and a cage full of Budgies  - something to think about).

Nothing special going on here. The rain has stopped... thank goodness. And the heat has arrived. We are having 90 - 93 degree days. 

ducks on campus

My pottery classes on campus have resumed. I made a few cups and small vases Saturday... and left some of my pieces that weren't finished from last semester to be fired. The project for the summer is going to be building a *paper kiln*. At least that's what I think she said. But more will be explained next week.

pillowcase fabric

Found this fabric the other day and thought it was too pretty to ignore so I bought some and made a pillowcase for my *horse-lover* grand daughter. I'm not much of a seamstress, but I felt I could handle a pillowcase.

and lastly American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown!! DH and I watched the race and were thrilled that there was another triple crown winner after all these years! 

picture in the Winner's Circle taken from the TV with my iPhone

Monday, June 1, 2015

a concern...

Nothing important... not really, but a concern non-the-less. I like to write stories and for a while I would post them on my old web site. One was called "Whisperings" and I wrote it several years ago. It wasn't long... and a bit sci-fi or futuristic. Anyway, they announced on TV this week about a new series (I believe) that is starting soon called "The Whispers".... and it gave me pause. From the few little snippets they showed, it sounded oddly familiar. I'm sure that it won't be the same story, but perhaps the same story-line. This bothered me. Don't know why. Anyway, I just thought I'd mention it since it's on my mind.

I'm going to post my story here just so anyone who might watch the new series could see if there is any similarity.  I doubt if I could do much about it if there was. Please don't feel you need to read it. It's for my own peace of mind.

by Rian

* the watcher  (Part One)

Upon waking, Zoe stretched her long lean body and smiled.  She had slept well despite the concern she had felt upon leaving the theater the night before.  Thinking she was being followed, she had given in to fear and had run the last few feet to her car - heart thumping and mace in hand.  However, upon arriving home safe and sound, she had later berated herself for her actions.  All her life she had been plagued by a strange feeling of being watched and voices that whispered. Her adopted family had convinced her as a child that she simply had an overactive imagination that needed to be held in check.

'A brief moment of paranoia', she decided this morning and let the matter drop as she swung her long bare legs over the side of the bed and tottered off to the small kitchenette where she fumbled with coffee beans and a grinder.  She told herself that one day she would be in a position to buy one of those wonderful new coffee makers that not only grind your coffee, but brew it as well.  Wasn't technology wonderful -  just a mite too expensive for someone who was 'between jobs' at the moment.

Then slipping onto the small patio that nestled outside her one room apartment, Zoe settled into a canvas lounge chair holding her steaming cup and watching two other very early birds in the tree across the way.  It was barely light, but it looked to her that the larger bird was feeding the smaller.  'How sweet', she thought.  The cool breeze caught her bare feet and ran up the loose cotton t-shirt she slept in.  It felt fabulous. 

It was Sunday so no need to rush about. She could just 'be'.   It would be necessary to continue the search for new employment on Monday, but  for some mysterious reason, Zoe was unconcerned.  Something would turn up, and in the meantime she was feeling very mellow. She had long since given up on going to Sunday services.  She did go during the week when the congregation was small and the gathering more intimate.  But on Sundays, she sat alone with God in her small garden - or so she thought. 

Actually someone did sit with her there - but Zoe was not always aware of it.  Sometimes she felt a prickly sensation on the back of her neck when the watcher moved too close.  Generally he walked freely about the small garden, taking care not to venture within "her space" - unless it was necessary.  Zoe was his project, but more than that, she was "important", more important than anyone could imagine.

Out of nowhere an orange blur leaped out of the bushes and onto Zoe's lap.  On instinct the watcher moved closer as a cry of helplessness escaped his charge.

"Oh, Chester - look what you've done, you made me spill coffee everywhere!  And look at you, you've been rolling in the bushes again.  You're covered with leaves and dirt."

The Chester cat purred at the sound and touch of his mistress' ministries, but soon sensed something else close by.  Arching his back, hissing, and letting out a strange caterwauling sound, he bounded off  Zoe's lap and disappeared through the open kitchen door.

"You are one strange cat, Chester", Zoe said aloud at the retreating feline,  "Lucky for you that I love you so much."

Laughing at herself, she disengaged her long legs that she had tucked under her lotus fashion - a habit learned in Yoga class years ago - and proceeded to remove the coffee stained t-shirt as she re-entered her apartment.

Returning to the kitchen only moments later, this time in jeans and a blue loose-fitting sweater, she poured herself another cup, switched off the brewer, and headed for the front door.  Staring for a moment at the reflection in the hall mirror - pale delicate skin (almost translucent), light golden hair pulled back loosely with a rubber band, and large piercing blue-grey eyes that someone once called eerie - she wondered about her own biological mother. Did she resemble her? Would she ever know?

Unlocking the dead bolt, she opened the door carefully and glanced down the long corridor.
It was empty.  Sunday mornings people tended to sleep in, and no sign of her imaginary stalker from the night before.  Shaking her head as if to clear it form even venturing down that lane of thought, Zoe reached down and picked up the morning paper.

That's when she saw it.

Something moved in the shadows down the hall.  A flicker of "something", then gone.  My imagination again, she reflected, always working overtime.  Closing the front door behind her and replacing the dead bolt, she began to peruse the front page in silence. But - somewhere someone was whispering ...  Standing perfectly still, paper and coffee in hand, Zoe cocked her head and listened:

"We're waiting... we're waiting... we're waiting..."

"Who's waiting?", Zoe said aloud.  "Who are you?" she almost shouted, "Am I going crazy?"

"Listen with your heart... listen... listen...",  the whispers continued.

Zoe listened. She thought she heard a cry - a tiny far off cry. Putting down the coffee cup and newspaper, she hurried back to the door, unlocked it, and pulled it open again.  Now she heard it clearly.  It sounded almost like...  a kitten?

Moving slowly, cautiously down the darkened hallway, Zoe ventured towards the sound.  She was about to reach the corner where she had previously thought she had seen movement when the door she was passing suddenly burst open.

Zoe screamed.

"My god! You gave me a start", exclaimed the sparsely clad young man.  "It isn't every day I find a girl on my doorstep... and a screaming one at that.  Are you alright?"  His accent was British and his concern seemed real. "I'm Noah... ", he began.

But Zoe didn't respond.  She was staring at something in the shadows.  Staring and pointing...

"I say, what is that?" the tousled Englishman asked, seeing movement without shape in the corner. "I'm sorry, but without my glasses...", he began.

As Zoe moved nearer, she startled, then quickly ran forward and leaned down.

"What is it?" repeated the near-sighted stranger.

Reaching out a hand, she uncovered the quivering bundle. "Oh my god, she cried, it's a baby!"

The watcher smiled.

* the culmination (Part Two)

A week had passed since the mysterious but fortuitous event in the hallway.  Finding the baby and encountering Noah had thrown Zoe's life into a whirl.  After calling the police and spending the next few days in the company of her new friend, she was now contemplating finding a way to keep the child.

"But how can you keep her?", Noah's voice boomed. "They'll never let you.  An abandoned baby becomes a ward of the state.  They'll look for her parents, and all that takes time."

"Don't you see, she was put there for me to find.  I can't explain it, Noah.  I just know."

"Do you realize how irrational that sounds, Zoe?  The court will determine where she goes and more than likely, it won't be to an unmarried young woman with no visible means of support."

"I know... but -" Zoe began, then became distracted.  The whispers...

"Trust your instincts... trust your instincts... trust... the child is yours... the child is yours..."

"Zoe, are you alright?"

Grabbing her purse, Zoe turned and headed out the door.  "I'm sorry  - but I've got to go see her.  Please forgive me, but I really don't have a choice."

"Alright - but at least let me come with you.  It's after 9:00, visiting hours are probably over, and .... and... maybe I'd like to see her too", said Noah sheepishly.

This was the side of Noah that had become endearing to Zoe in the short time that she had known him.  One minute he was all logical and bookish, the next - a puppy dog.  Chester liked him too, and Chester could be very fickle.

It took some persuading at the hospital.  It was late, but the nurse on duty was familiar with the details of the case and the part that these two had played in finding the child.  Without their interaction, she knew that the infant might not be as healthy as she now seemed.  Who knows what could have happened?

Looking through the window at the little round pink face, Zoe's heart was swallowed up whole.  How could this baby affect her so?  A few of her friends had babies.  They were cute, but this was different. Why? she wondered.

"The child is yours... the child is yours..."

The reaction of Noah, while more subtle and without whispers, was non-the-less traumatic.  As he also took in the small pink bundle, the innocent eyes, the frail delicate structure, he too was mesmerized.  "She is something, isn't she? So perfect?"

"Yes, Zoe agreed, "so perfect".

Then a strange thing happened.  Noah and Zoe looked at each other and they both knew.  This baby would be theirs.

And the watcher agreed.

As the weeks went by, the baby was declared fit, and the case was to go to court soon.  The parents of the child had not been found, neither had a shred of evidence to link the infant to anyone in the building or neighborhood.  The only identifying clue was a small birthmark.  No one but the watcher knew that Zoe had the exact same birthmark - the delicate swirl of fine lines on the inner side of her left ankle.

The nurses at the hospital had been calling the child "Ada" since she was the first abandoned baby of the year at their hospital and since "Adam" certainly wasn't appropriate. And Ada was appropriate, thought the watcher, but not for the reason they thought.

Zoe and Noah visited Ada daily.  And their friendship blossomed into a full blown love affair.  Zoe, for the first time in her young life was enamored, frustrated, and totally buoyant in a sea of love.  While Noah, having been married and disenchanted by the complexities of the fairer sex at an earlier age, was totally baffled with the intensity of his new emotions.

But they were in love and they were in league.  They had challenged the courts to disprove their claim on this presumably abandoned child.  They laid out their plans to marry, and with Noah's respectable and well paying career as a Veterinarian and Zoe's unmistakable dedication to the well being of this tiny foundling, the deck seemed to be stacked in their favor. Since there were no other claims made on the child, the official judgement was that she would be adopted by Zoe and Noah as soon as they were married.  In the meantime, she would be released from the hospital and temporarily entrusted to their care.

Carrying Ada home that afternoon was an event to remember.  Zoe had never felt so blessed.  It was a turning point in her life.  She no longer felt watched, but protected.  She no longer felt crazy, but privileged.  And she quit fighting the inevitable.  She knew now that the whispers and the watcher were not a part of her imagination, but a part of her heritage, part of a vast network of knowledgeable beings.  This was a network that she was capable of tapping - she need only to listen.  So now when the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stand up, she's no longer afraid, but expectant and eager for the whisperings to start.

She, Zoe, was the first - their child raised by humankind.  Ada would be the second - their child raised by one of their own.  Zoe grew up in ignorance (even though she had heard the whispers all her life and had felt the presence of the watcher).  In time the barrier was broken and she came to understand.

But this child would have no barriers.  She would have access to the knowledge from a very early age.  Zoe would not tell her, as her own adopted parents had, that the whispers were only the workings of an overactive imagination.  She would tell Ada to be still and listen.  Then they would see what wonders could be worked.  These intellectual beings of light and shadow that coexisted with humans for so long now wanted to share their immortality and knowledge.  They wanted to share a greater love.

As the watcher leaned over the cradle and looked into the eyes of the tiny babe, Ada smiled.

* Ada - the early years (Part Three)

Noah laughed.  Ada was sitting under a tree not 10 feet away playing with a small yellow ball.  From where he was, it looked like she was tossing it up into the air and letting it fall back into the grass. This activity seemed to fascinate her as each time the ball rose and fell, she giggled.

The child was almost three now.   She was a wonder to him, not only because she was a delightful child, but because she so resembled Zoe; the same delicate almost translucent skin, the light gold hair, and those piercing blue-grey eyes.  Then of course, there was the birthmark.  Zoe had that same thin swirl of lines on inside of her left ankle.  It sometimes made him wonder.

But just then, as if reading his thoughts, Zoe appeared behind him and throwing her arms around his neck, kissed him lightly, and ran over to Ada.  Noah smiled.  Did it matter?  All that seemed important was that they were so happy.

"Hey, Pumpkin, are you hungry?", Zoe asked her giggling daughter.

Ada, totally engrossed in her play, didn't even acknowledge Zoe's presence.

"Oh, I see...", Zoe whispered, "you know, He never played with me..."

Seeing her mama now, Ada grabbed the yellow ball and toddled over with arms outstretched.

Picking her up and hugging her tight, the two of them spun around and around until finally falling in a heap to the grass giggling.

Noah, looking on, thought both his wife and daughter enchanting.  At first he was amazed at how quickly they had become a family.  He had had a wife once, but a family like the one he was raised in; a family to come home to , to laugh and share with - this he didn't find in his first marriage.  But he had found it now.  And the three of them seemed made for each other - which was odd since none of them had met until that fateful morning in the hall almost three years ago.

Sometimes he did question some of the things that Zoe encouraged, such as allowing Ada to have an 'imaginary' friend, teaching her Meditation and Yoga at such a young age, and never ever telling her that anything was 'just her imagination'.  If Ada cried as a baby, Zoe was there, soothing and comforting her by her closeness and touch.  If she was upset as a toddler, Zoe whispered words that seemed to put her at ease.  And to be honest, the child seemed remarkably well adjusted and happy. All seemed well.


Late one evening upon entering Ada's bedroom to kiss her goodnight, Noah froze.
Ada was laying on her back in her crib smiling and half asleep...

...and her yellow ball was jumping about in the air in front of her!

Noah snatched the ball out of the air and stared at the sleepy child.
"Da-da", she murmured drowsily,  and then closed her eyes and slept.

Noah, dazed and confused, stood looking at his little daughter, so innocent in sleep. Then hurried to find Zoe to confront her with this new dilemma.

Zoe was ready when the confrontation came.  She had long been expecting it.  Sooner or later he would have to notice some of Ada's 'powers'.  She herself was taken back when things first began to happen.

In the beginning, when Ada was still an infant,  she had explained it by telling herself that Ada was an 'old soul', one that had been around for a long time.  This was why when she looked into those piercing blue-grey eyes she felt that Ada knew way more than she herself ever would.

Then, as a baby, when Ada smiled and cooed at something close to her when nothing was there, Zoe realized that the watcher was more real to her daughter than he had ever been to her. Ada interacted with him.  But she didn't think that Ada saw him, just felt his presence.  This was when Zoe began calling him her 'imaginary' friend. 

And Zoe's own open receptiveness to the whispers after the arrival of the baby, had made acceptance of Ada's differences easier.  She had been told that she and Ada were different.

Just how different, they were all yet to see.

She explained as best she could to Noah speaking calmly and quietly, knowing how hard it would be for him to understand - when she didn't fully understand herself.  He might consider his wife crazy and their child a freak. But she was counting on the strength of their love.

She told him what she knew of her own past.  She was an orphan adopted by a good, but straight-laced family who gave her love and a good home.  They, however, considered all aberrant behavior totally unacceptable. Anything and everything that didn't fall into the category of the norm was frowned upon; especially the whisperings that Zoe heard all her life.

She had always felt like she was being watched or followed, and without the security of her parent's trust, this had been frightening to her.  She was told by her parents that it was her own fault for being receptive to an over active imagination... and she had often thought herself paranoid. 

This was truly what she believed - until Ada.  With the arrival of Ada, the baby whom the whisperings kept saying was hers, she realized that whatever the source, it was there to help, not hurt.  She realized that her own hesitancy to accept  had kept the bearers of the whispers at bay.

Now they told her a little of their Essence, things she didn't quite understand:  that they have been around for almost forever, that they were without form (although they could take on form if necessary - for brief periods), they consisted mostly of light and energy, they were immortal, and they existed solely on love.

Noah asked if Zoe ever thought that they might be 'angels'?

Zoe smiled and said, "I guess that's as good an explanation as any.  They do watch over us."

She continued.  "They explained to me that they wanted to share themselves more fully with humans by becoming more closely united in body and spirit.  They were doing this by using the new genetics techniques similar to test tube babies and cloning - and that I was one of the firsts of a new generation, a generation raised by humans. But that there are others."

Ada was the first of the 2nd generation, a generation being raised by their own kind..  They weren't allowed to interfere in the normal progression of mankind, but once man had developed the technology, they were allowed to use it.

Zoe told Noah that she didn't exactly know the extent of Ada's 'powers' or how they would develop, that her 'imaginary' friend was not imaginary, and that she felt that Ada and the watcher communicated freely - without words.  She also knew that Ada sensed things.  Perhaps she had access to a knowledge otherwise withheld or unknown to most people - and whether this was due to her own unique self or to the intervention of an outside source - Zoe really didn't know.

She did know that the whisperings came seldom now.  It was as if her purpose had been fulfilled and the project continued on with Ada as the principal Star.  But this was OK, because sharing her life with Noah and Ada was exactly what she wanted to do.  Each day was a blessing and a surprise.

Noah sat motionless, listening to his wife tell him this strange story.  That she heard something, whisperings as she called it, was not a total surprise. He knew that she was sometimes distracted, but had passed it off as too many things on her mind, first the baby, then the wedding, then dealing with home and family life. 

So, she heard 'whispers'... and was part of some 'alien' project?  His mind began to panic.  Was there something wrong with Zoe?

And his child had 'powers'...  ridiculous!

But he had seen the ball...

Time passed.  Noah routinely asked Zoe questions, questions she answered willingly and honestly to the best of her knowledge.

"Do you communicate with these beings?"

"... it's a form of communication that differs from what people think.  We don't speak to each other. And it's different for each of us.  I hear whisperings, but  I believe Ada senses what they tell her or perhaps what she needs to hear.  It's very one-on-one."

"What do they whisper?"

"Oh, I don't know... reassurance, trust, love... whatever I need at the moment."

"Have you asked them questions?"

"Sometimes... not often and not directly.  I was confused right after Ada arrived.  I realized then that they were a real part of my life and I didn't know how to integrate them into it - having thought the whisperings imagination for so long.  But after I accepted them, they seemed to know that I needed answers.  So answers were whispered to me without me asking... in quiet times when I was alone."

"Do you ever think that your mind is playing tricks on you?  That you need to see someone?"

"Oh, Noah, I used to think that all the time. That I was going insane. But not anymore.  I'm happy, Noah.  Ada's happy.  Aren't you happy?"

Noah looked at Zoe. He was happy. But... 

Each new year brought new surprises. Occasionally Ada would do something remarkable, but not so odd that it couldn't be explained somehow.  Once when she was happily dancing and twirling in the back yard, Zoe saw her feet leave the ground and hover in midair... As she watched, Ada laughed merrily and acted as if it was the most normal and fun thing in the world.  Zoe thought perhaps the watcher had lifted her...

What was noticed about Ada happened when she was five and had just started school on a regular basis. For some reason whenever a child was upset or injured, Ada would hug them and they would walk away smiling.  Teachers attributed it to Ada's calm loving nature that seemed to vibrate warm signals to all those around her.  Even angry parents or harassed teachers seemed to calm down and relax around her.

And music!  Music was an important part of Ada's world.  Zoe had always enjoyed it herself, but not to the extent that Ada did.  It made her smile, it made her sad, it made her dance... she was very receptive to the almost magical powers of music. 

Seeing this, Zoe and Noah encouraged it by taking her to concerts in the park, Symphonies that they thought a child might enjoy.  And were surprised at the types and broad array of musical themes that Zoe embraced.  She would clap her little hands with joy or cry real crocodile tears.  Zoe was sometimes afraid at the effect the music might have on her little daughter and held her tightly on her lap during performances - not wanting Ada to display anything unexpected or unusual that might be noticed in public.

But strangely enough, nothing really odd ever happened.  Ada was considered a bright precocious child that everyone took to almost immediately.  Not that she didn't have normal difficulties with some other children at school, but never anything that wasn't resolved fairly quickly. 

Once when a difficult young boy pushed Ada on the playground, Ada cried.  She wasn't hurt badly, but shocked and bruised by the fall.  The boy laughed and made some mean comment about girls to his friends.  A teacher, seeing the incident, rushed to Ada's aid and admonished the boy whose name was Chad..  But Ada, brushing away her tears, stood up and said that it was alright.

"My Special friend says that sometimes people do mean things because they're unhappy.  Looking into Chad's eyes, Ada said, "I hope you're not unhappy..."

The teacher stood there open-mouthed at this flicker of wisdom in one so young,  and Chad didn't know what to say, so said nothing as Ada brushed herself off and walked away. 

Thus, it seemed that people didn't stay mad at her for long as she had a way about her that deflected or dissolved any anger directed towards her.  Zoe considered this one of her that would definitely prove useful as she grew older and interacted more with the strange amalgamation of people in the world.

* the final chapter... (Part Four)
  25  years later

Looking out, Noah noticed the first shoots of green emerging from the bare soil beneath the bedroom window. Spring was struggling to give birth after the long hard months of winter. And Ada, their precious Ada,  was due to do the same at any time.

She had grown into a lovely young woman, tall and slender like her mother, with the same golden glow and loving disposition.  Only Ada was different than Zoe in many unseen ways. Growing up in an open atmosphere of love and acceptance, knowing her birthright as a child of both 'human' and (for want of a better word) 'celestial' beings, she had no fears or illusions of inadequacy.  She knew who she was and what she was - and was happy with it. 

Noah no longer worried about the strange birthright of his wife and daughter for as the years had passed, it became apparent that many claimed this odd beginning. Some still scoffed at such things.  Others accepted it.  But on the whole, the world was changing... and if the "new ones" were to be believed, it was changing for the better.

Ada, having found an equally confident and loving  young man, had married him about 18 months ago and  was almost at the end of her ninth month of pregnancy.  Carrying the baby to term has posed no problem and Zoe was as excited as Ada at the prospect of her new grandchild.  What made it even more exciting was the fact that Brad was also of the same biological background as Ada. Their child would be one of another generation of firsts. 

The Watchers were still about, but found the necessity for making direct contact less and less.  There were no rules regulating the choices in life available to their progeny.  Some married into the human world as Zoe had, while others chose to marry their own. Ada and Brad were examples of this. The results were always documented and noted and certainly there were those of the scientific persuasion that studied the results. But freedom of choice and free will were never infringed upon.

"Noah!" Zoe called from downstairs.

Apparently Zoe was already up and moving Noah realized as the aroma of fresh brewed coffee came floating up the stairs and sweetly assaulted his groggy senses.

"Noah, I'm taking Toby out with me for my morning walk.  The coffee is ready and if you're hungry, there are some home-made cinnamon rolls in the frig.  Just warm them up in the oven. OK?"

Taking his eyes and mind off the new Spring growth, Noah dragged his hands through his now slightly graying hair and looked at the clock.  It was barely 7AM. 

"OK, that's fine.  I'll be down in a minute." 

As the back door slammed, Noah's thoughts were sparring back and forth between climbing back under the sheets for a few more minutes of precious sleep and slipping downstairs for that first taste of fresh brew.  Since he had retired last year, he found that he was becoming less and less interested  in sleeping late, so he let the enticing aroma of the coffee beans lead him down the old wooden stairs and into the warm country kitchen.

Pouring and tasting and then taking his mug outside on the screened- in porch that ran across the length and depth of the old farmhouse, Noah leaned on the railing and smiled.  He and Zoe did good buying this place.  It was exactly what they had wanted - a quiet comfy place to spend the rest of their days together after years of working and raising a family.  Not too big, but big enough to house themselves and a few guests should they happen by - or grandkids when they began appearing - as this first one was want to do at any moment.

The house itself was large and rambling.  Three stories! although some might not consider the large cupola at the top as an actual story.  It was only about 10X10 and glassed in on four sides but  Zoe was enchanted with it the moment she saw it and it may have been the selling point of the house  for her.  She thought it the perfect place to paint or just retire to when the mood struck .

In the morning, the sun shone in through those windows encasing the entire room in early morning light.  In the evening, as the sun set, the shadows crept mysteriously round the small room. Late at night, the stars and planets twinkled through in heavenly abandon.  And during a storm!  Well, you had to be quite stout of heart to remain up there during a thunderstorm.

There were adequate bedrooms of various sizes and rooms with little extras like windowseats and stained glass windows. There was an under-stairs closet, and even a mudroom off the kitchen.  One of the bedrooms on the 2nd floor  had been converted to a sewing/quilting room of sorts by former owners and he and Zoe had kept it that way thinking it might even make a great playroom for grandchildren one day.  And dear to his own heart, there was a small library/study downstairs on the first floor which he used as his consulting Veterinary Office when needed.

Yes, thought Noah, sipping the last of his coffee, in this past year since his retirement and buying this farmhouse, life had been especially good. 
The house sat on 15 acres and bordered on the river - a criteria that Zoe had longed for - and was nicely covered with shade trees both around the house and by the water.  And to their delight it had an orchard - a lovely fruit orchard that they both considered lagniappe (a little something extra). For with the orchard, they were blessed not only with the available fruit for pies and produce, but with an abundance of bird and animal life that enjoyed it as well.  Sitting on the porch swing  in either morning or evening they were constantly being entertained by various species of bird and mammal.

For even though Noah no longer worked at  his own Veterinary Practice, he still loved being around animals. Besides their Setter, Toby,  2 cats, and a stray parrot that they just flown into the yard one day and stayed,  neighbors were always bringing over or calling about sick or injured pets.  It didn't bother Noah.  In fact, he enjoyed it. Now retired at 50, he refused  to  take money for his advice or care - but was glad to accept a home-made pie or fresh chicken eggs when they were pressed upon him.

As he headed for the kitchen to refill his mug, he could hear the phone ringing in the hall. Too early for most callers, it was more than likely a neighbor with a sick critter.

"Hello, Noah Holmes here, " he answered.

"Dad!", the voice coming through sounded strained and anxious, "Dad, ... it's Ada.  She went into labor just a few minutes ago.  We're at the hospital..."

Brad, still hesitant and new about calling his wife's father, "Dad", sounded fumbling and unsure.

"Brad, is everything OK?  Has the doctor seen her yet?"

"Yes, she's been taken to a 'birthing' room and is being made comfortable.  I just came down the hall to phone you as I know she wanted you both to be here when the time came."

"We're on our way, lad.  Don't you worry.  Everything's going to be fine."

Hanging up the phone, Noah turned to see Zoe had returned from her walk and was standing in the doorway, her face pale.  She and Ada were very close and something had told her to cut her walk short.

"What's wrong?", she asked. 

"Nothing's wrong, darling.  Our baby is having a baby.  So get a move on.  We need to get to the hospital".

Hours later Ada lay moaning in pain as her contractions increased in ferocity, but nothing more. 

"It's been such an easy 9 months", Brad was saying, "that we're just surprised that she's having such a hard time."

"The doctor says it's normal for the first birth to be difficult.  She says that everything is progressing normally", Zoe said soothingly.  She was worried, but didn't want it to show.  Never having had a child  herself, she felt foolish giving advice, but did it non-the- less to calm Brad's fear.  The two of them were standing in the hall drinking coffee while Noah remained in the birthing room with Ada. 

Zoe and Noah had tried over the years for a second child but it was not to be.  Both had been examined and declared fit, but had come to the conclusion that Ada was their blessing and were content to let it go at that.

Now Ada's child meant more to them than they had realized possible and they prayed that all would be well.  And secretly, in Zoe's heart, she wondered what miracle could be wrought with the coming together of Ada and Brad - both children of light and shadow, of 'human' and 'celestial' backgrounds. Would this child bring more "blessings" to pass...? 

"Zoe!  Brad!  You'd both better get in here.  Ada needs you."  Noah's strained voice boomed at them.
Rushing to her side, they both intuitively grabbed her hands... with Zoe on one side, Brad on the other. 

"Oh, Mom!"... Ada cried. " The pains are getting so-oo bad...  I.."..  Then she stopped.

They all looked at her questioningly, and then Zoe said, "Baby, what's wrong?  Shall I call the doctor?"

Looking rather puzzled and amazed, a slow smile formed on Ada's lips.
"No.. no, I'm fine.  The funniest thing just happened.  I was in such pain... then you both came in, and the minute you touched me - it was gone."

Silence filled the room as the four of them gazed fixedly on their tightly 'joined hands'. 

Within the next hour, the child was born, hail and hearty and without a doubt the most beautiful baby girl that Ada and Zoe had ever seen.  The nurses whisked her off to be bathed and weighed and were in the process of doing so, when one turned to the other and said, "Do you notice anything about this child?"

"What do you mean?, asked the other nurse hesitantly... "She's a beautiful little girl... with all those dark golden curls."

"No, not her looks.  Can't you feel it?  When you touch her, here hold her...   Can't you feel the warmth, the strength, the .... I don't know... something powerful?"

As she handed the wet slippery child over to the other nurse, the doctor that had just delivered the baby walked in. 

"Here, let me have her, ladies.  I want to check a few things before the Pediatrician gets here."

"You feel it too, don't you?"

Looking slightly furtive, the doctor answered, "... Not sure what you mean... but yes, I felt something when this child was momentarily in my hands.  But I can't explain what.  I wanted to hold her again and see if it was my imagination."

"It's not your imagination. It's too strong.  Can I ask something personal, Doctor?"

Holding the small new life close to her heart, and knowing with certainty now that this child was special, the doctor looked up, smiled, and said, "What do you want to know?"

"Is this child one of the "new ones"?

Feeling as if  the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders, the doctor  answered, "Yes... she is."

"... then maybe the Myth is true?"

The Myth she spoke of was that one day the eventual result of the integration of the two life forms, human and celestial would result in children who had special powers - powers produced by pure love... powers that would bring the world back to the way it was meant to be.

The doctor answered slowly   "...Possibly... I guess we shall see."  Serenely she laid the child back in the incubator. 

The two nurses and the doctor stood looking at the tiny babe.

and the Watcher's whisper  echoed their words...

"Oh yes, we shall see..."