Sock it to me

Since I’m pretty much a homebody these days, I’m trying to set small projects for myself, things that stretch me a bit but that I can handle without lifting much or bending or whatever, like folding laundry, reviewing piles of saved mail for the shredder, or trying to get a brush through Sunny’ s hair.

Call it Occupational Therapy and also a way to combat the boredom/guilt over the household chores I can’t do yet.

And even though my usual ensemble on most days is one of my tres chic  (read, old, comfortable, and slightly worn) cotton nightgowns and a mismatched robe,* I’ve set myself the job of cleaning out my dresser drawers, one at a time, top to bottom, with a little assistance from whichever kid I can snag/nag/bribe.

Today, I tackled my underwear drawer.

With Sunny’s one-armed help,** I pulled out the things that don’t fit any more, the uncomfortable and/or ugly what-was-I-thinking items, and the aged/worn stuff my mother warned me not to wear in case a random bus might be feeling homicidal.

The rest was folded/matched, and put neatly back in the drawer.***

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Fuzzies on the left, trouser coutre in the center, white athletics on the right.^

I’m left with a mountain of mismatched socks (including five distinctly different red fuzzy socks… five) that I don’t dare pitch, in case their mates escaped down into the lower drawer (or underneath)  and other, say, foundation garments that I already pitched because donating them is impossible…and a little gross.

I honestly can’t believe the discard piles actually fit into that drawer in the first place–I mean, it barely closes now.

But it’s done.  And now, all I have left is the bottom drawer of nightmar–I mean, nightwear, which I hope will yield at least some of the matches to the denizens of Sock Mountain.

Because I have no idea how to dispose of perfectly good single socks… we don’t need any more dusters or silver polishers, the craft closet is full, and no one I know wants to make sock puppets…

Any ideas?  Heck, I’ll mail them to anyone who wants ’em–and I might toss in a basketful of single baby socks^^ to sweeten the deal…

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*Best thing about having a stomach wound: being legitimately excused from wearing pants, at least at home.

True story: I was in Physical Therapy a while back with an older man who was wheeled in once a week.  A therapist mentioned that she’d thought he was homebound, since he hadn’t been around lately. He said, “I’m not homebound–I just hate wearing pants!” He was a hoot.

**Sunny’s bike pedal fell off a few weeks ago, just as she stood up to get some power.  She nobly cushioned her bike’s fall and was rewarded with several nasty contusions and a broken arm. She’s fine now–in fact, she didn’t even need a cast, just a sling, and she’s all but forgotten to take her OTC pain reliever. So she and I are palling around this summer, until she’s deemed well enough to go back to day camp. Her only real side effect is being seriously bored.

*** That last bit really took it out of me–no one person should own that many socks. Especially that many nearly identical white ankle socks, all of which had somehow been separated from their solemates.

^ I’m usually anti-segregation, but they’ll re-sort themselves by tomorrow, anyway.  And probably start partner-swapping as well, darn their round heels.

^^Yes, my younger kid is ten. I told you I have no idea.

Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Mooon)

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Moon

“I won’t have our child superseded by a brother or sister simply because he or she can’t shift. And my bloodline,” he said, with razor-sharp scorn, “never brought me anything but trouble. If I didn’t love you so much, I never would have wanted children at all. But if I don’t have an acceptable replacement, there will be a Challenge Moon.”

“What’s a Challenge Moon?” I asked.

“Just what it sounds like,” he said. “If enough of the pack supports a different packleader, a challenge is held on the full moon. The . . . candidates try to maim their opponents beyond the ability to fight—and the winner decides whether the loser is worthy to remain in the pack. These days, they’re usually given letters of introduction to other leaders and their portion of the pack’s assets. But sometimes they’re considered too dangerous to the pack—or the packleader.”

Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Puppies)

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Two weeks ago, Rhombeck, the leader of the Talbot City wolfpack and CEO of the pack’s corporation, said that he wanted to give up his position because Susan, his human administrative assistant, is pregnant.

Rhombeck thinks his cousin (and our wereduck hero Tom’s adopted brother) Bryan would make a good choice to take over.

Susan and Tom still think he’s being hasty about quitting:

Red_wolf_pups_-_captive_breeding

“If I don’t step down, they’ll put me down—it’s possible they won’t wait for an official challenge,” Rhombeck told her,   “and there’s no question that they’ll come after you to get to me; I can’t risk that.”

“Who’re they?” I asked.

Rhombeck held up fingers, one by one. “People who hate my family, or humans, or the corporation, or me.”

“Disgruntled ex-girlfriends,” Susan said.

Opportunists,  specieists, rabble rousers, traditionalists, competitors,” Rhombeck said, ignoring her. “Take your choice.”

“I don’t suppose artificial insemination would be an acceptable solution?” I asked. “I can think of eight or nine ladies who would love to be your purebred puppymama.”

Susan snorted and raised her eyebrow at Rhombeck.

____________________

Maybe I went too far.  Did I go too far?

Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Majors)

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I’m back from vacation and already saving for the next cruise, because whoa.

It was nice to unplug for a while—I left my laptop at home and took notebooks and pens, instead—but I’ve had some serious withdrawal pangs the last two Sundays.  I have a lot of reading to do to catch up!

If I remember correctly—and I do, ’cause I checked—the last shared bit of Odd Duck revealed that Lowell Rhombeck, the leader of the Talbot City werewolf pack and CEO of the pack corporation, and his human assistant Susan are pregnant.

Or Susan is, because this isn’t that kind of story.

For various reasons, Rhombeck has reacted by asking Our Wereduck Hero Tom to convince Tom’s werewolf brother Bryan (who is also Rhombeck’s cousin) to take over his position in the pack.

For different reasons, Susan and Tom think this is a dumb idea.

Doctoral-cap

“So you’re abdicating?” I asked.

“No,” Susan said.

“Yes,” he said. “You know what it will be like,” he told her. “I can’t put you and our child through that.”

Throwing Bryan to the wolves didn’t seem fair, either. “You don’t have anyone else to take over?” I asked.

“It’s not that simple,” he said. “I wouldn’t put any of the other possible candidates in charge of both the corporation and the pack.”

“Bryan has a PhD in environmental studies,” I said, “not an MBA.”

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Rhombeck’s motivations are next—if I can shared them in ten sentences next week, I will.

Meanwhile, does anyone know why four suitcases produced eight full loads of laundry, when all we bought were three tee-shirts and I accidentally left half my underwear on the ship?  Travel physics is weird . . .

Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Changes)

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Last week, Lowell Rhombeck, the leader of the Talbot City werewolf pack, asked Tom (our fearless wereduck hero) to talk Bryan (Tom’s AWOL werewolf brother) into taking over as packleader.

When Tom asked why, Susan, Lowell’s human PA, told him it was because Rhombeck was being stupid.  Okay, she said, “Because he’s being stupid”, but the next few sentences make it clear that she’s referring to Rhombeck.

Rhombeck thinks he’s being perfectly reasonable.

Susan, who is the voice of reason and therefore isn’t buying it, speaks first this week:

Wolf_cub

 “Lowell, nothing needs to change.”

“Everything has changed,” he said, his eyes intent on her face. He snagged her wrist and pulled her to the couch to sit next to him. “I won’t pretend that it hasn’t; I’m glad it has.” He rubbed the side of his head against the top of hers.

I hadn’t figured Rhombeck for a PDA guy, but it wasn’t much of a stretch to see them as a couple outside of the office—unless you factored in his other job.

“Is this a secret marriage kind of thing?” I asked.

“No,” Susan said, patiently waiting for Rhombeck to finish. “it’s an unplanned pregnancy kind of thing.”

“Congratulations?” I said.

“Yes,” Rhombeck said, “thank you.”

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Just in case it’s not clear from this selection, Rhombeck’s “other job” is being packleader (you could say, he’s moonlighting–hey?  Anyone?  Crickets?).

In this book, there’s still some Old Skool were-human miscegenation bigotry to deal with, stemming from Rhombeck’s position as pack leader.   The fact that any children he has with Susan wouldn’t be able to shift* is also an issue.

In other news:  My family and I are leaving on a Disney cruise in a few days, and while I love you guys, I don’t know if I can swing the WiFi and/or roaming rates—or operate my phone with sufficient competency while battling sunburn and carsickness on the way home—to participate over the next two Sundays.

If I can, I will. If I can’t, I’ll see you next month!

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* If Susan had any werewolf ancestors—she doesn’t because I say so—there’s a fifty percent chance the child couldn’t shift.  Depending on how recent those ancestors were, there’s also a chance the child could be a full werewolf . . . or a genetic mess. Luckily, this is set in our time, and were-geneticists are totally a thing (Yes, they can shift into scientists whenever they want . . . though most of ’em don’t bother turning back).

This kind of thing happens when you’re describing your idea for a wereduck character and someone says, “Cool.  But how does he make more of himself?”  And you say, “Oh, $#!%, he doesn’t have any teeth, does he . . .”  And then you stare at that picture of Mendel’s peapods for way too long.