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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Just this Side of Tomorrow - Part 5

This was posted on the forum a few days ago. SG was reluctant to push the other stuff down here, so I am posting it here where it rightfully belongs. Thanks SG for another great chapter!

Just This Side of Tomorrow – Part Five

Livy stands in the kitchen, carefully ironing lace bordered dinner napkins.

“I can’t believe your sister. She’s only met me the one time, at Danny’s christening - but she’s gone to so much trouble for me.” Ruth shakes her head, folding each warm square neatly as Livy passes them to her.

“Abby loves a fuss. She always has. She wasn’t at my wedding so she knows this is the next best thing. And anyway, you’ve given her a reason to peruse the shops on Wynkoop Street. She’s yours forever, for that reason alone.” Livy chuckles.

Ruth sits suddenly, gripping the arms of the brown leather chair. The colour has drained from her face.

“Are you alright?” Livy asks.

Ruth nods, putting on a weak smile. “Just tired.”

Livy rests the iron back in the rack and goes to the kitchen. Pouring a cold glass of water from the tap, she brings it to Ruth. Livy sits for a moment on the armrest, looking down at her niece.

“Thanks” Ruth says, before taking a few big gulps.

“Drink it slowly, it’s pretty cold.” Livy answers, concerned.

“I’ve just been so thirsty.” Ruth frowns, shaking her head. She takes small sips.

“It’s a good thing my dress goes to the floor, have you seen my ankles?”

Ruth tugs on one of her pant legs. Her ankle is twice the size of normal and the skin is white, pulled tight. Alarmed, Livy tries to disguise her shock.

“You’re really holding your water.” Ruth nods her head, taking more sips. “I know. Did you ever have it like this?” Livy pretends to think for a moment, knowing the answer full well.

“Have you been to see Dr. McCutcheon?”

“I have an appointment the day after tomorrow - last one before the wedding.”

“Good.” Livy’s relieved, but makes a mental note to discuss it with Martha later just to be sure.

“Aunt Livy, were you scared when you had Danny?”

Livy smiles at her, returning to her ironing.

“My circumstance was a pretty unusual one. There was so much going on in my own life at that time; I had barely allowed myself to consider it. I think that bodes well for some women. There was no time to get all worked up about things.”

Realizing she may have spoken out of turn, she continues:

“Of course, being prepared is always better. The more advice you get, the less likely you are to be caught off guard. I didn’t really have that, with Mama gone and all.”

Ruth nods, sympathetic now. “I just hope my labour’s as short as yours was.”

“Yes, I’ve had many great blessings in my life and it might be selfish but that one’s near the top of the list.”

Ruth and Livy laugh together.

“Was Uncle Ray scared?”

Livy raises her head for a moment, squinting in thought.

“Do you know, if I think about it now, I’d have to say no. Not at all.”

Ruth looks surprised.

“I mean, he was worried about the big concepts. You know, would he be a good father, providing for us, and whether or not Danny would take to him.”

Ruth takes another sip of water.

“But I have to say, when the time came, Ray handled himself as thought he’s been preparing for that day all his life.”

Ruth raises her eyebrows. “You’re lucky, I’m not sure Stewie will be able to handle it.”

“He won’t be in the room, will he?”

“Gosh no, but even just the waiting part makes me nervous for him.”

Livy and Ruth laugh again together. The telephone rings. Livy enters the hall and answers.

“Mama, can I eat supper here at Robbie’s tonight?’

“Did Robbie’s mother say it was okay?”

“Sure, she’s the one who invited me.”

“Put her on the line please, Danny.”

A female voice laughs on the other end. “Hi Livy, be a pal and let him stay would you? We’ve had such lovely day painting the front fence. It’s be a shame to break up the fun now.”

Livy smiles at this. “Of course. Thanks for inviting him, Wanda.”

Livy walks back into the living room.

“I swear, those boys are like two – RUTH, what’s the MATTER?”

Ruth is looking down at her pants, her eyes huge and round. Livy runs over. Her lap is entirely soaked. She looks up at Livy, unable to speak. Suddenly, her face crumbles as she winces in pain, doubling over.

Livy runs to the back door. Almost ripping it off the hinges, she roars outside and stands in the middle of the yard. Her head whips around in every direction, looking for some sign as to what to do.

“RAYYYYYYYYYYY!” She screams at the top of her lungs.

A metal clank is heard as Ray drops what he’s doing and comes running from the barn. He makes it to her in seconds. He grips her extended forearms. She sobs as he grabs her face, panicked because there appears to be nothing wrong with her.

“Wh-wh- what’s wrong? Where is it? Wha?”

Livy’s sobbing so hard now she can barely speak.

“It’s Ruth – the baby – I think she’s losing the baby.”

Ray looks confused.

“She’s in the livingroom – THE BABY!”

Rays runs inside the house and to the living room. He drops to his knees on the floor in front of Ruth. She looks at him, her eyes brimming with terror.

Ray turns to Livy in a calmer voice now.

“Get a blanket.”

Livy runs upstairs grabbing the store bought coverlet they keep folded over the end of their bed.

Sprinting back downstairs, she hands it to Ray.

“Call Martha. Tell her to phone Dr. McCutcheon and have him on his way to their place. We’ll leave right away, here.”

As Livy runs for the phone, she hears Ray speaking gently to his niece.

“Okay Ruthie, That’s it. Put your arm around my neck. Okay good now I’m going to pull but don’t you pull. Don’t pull. That’s it. That’s good.”

Livy’s thoughts are yanked back to the telephone call as Martha answers.


“Martha – Ray and I are on our way over with Ruth. Ray says you need to call Dr. McCutcheon right away and tell him to get there as soon as he can.”

“WHAT - What’s happened? Oh my Lord what’s wrong?”

“It’s Ruth - she’s lost some fluid.” There’s silence on the other end, for just a beat.

“Livy, please, get her here as soon as you can.” She hears a click as Martha hangs up.

“LIVY, LET’S GO.” Ray shouts from the doorway.

Livy turns. Ray’s carrying Ruth, her midsection wrapped in the coverlet. Livy runs to get the doors for them. As Ray slides Ruth into the passenger seat, Livy closes the door. He looks at Livy. There’s no room for her on the cab.

“Oh, Ray, don’t be silly, now.” She runs to the back of the truck. “Give me a boost” she says. He lifts her over in one motion. Wedging herself into a corner, she sits on a piece of canvas, her arms up over the sides to brace her when the turns come. Ray burns out of the yard as they frantically make their way to Martha’s.


Hank stands outside the bedroom door, wringing his hands. Ray and Livy huddle together on the opposite wall. Martha speaks softly to Ruth on the other side of the door.

A vehicle screeches up out front. Ray and Livy sprint down the stairs, meeting Stewie and Dr. McCutcheon, already at the landing. Each takes a side as the men run up the middle of the staircase.

They walk into the living room and sit on the davenport, side by side. Livy leans her head back, looking up at the ceiling. Ray tugs on one of her arms so she’ll move forward slightly. Putting an arm around her, he pulls her back, tucking her head in under his chin. Neither speaks for a few moments.

“Ray, I’m – I’m so sorry.”

Ray’s taken aback.

“For what?”

“I was no help to you at all.. I was completely useless; as dumb as a stump.”

She brings her hand up to her forehead, looking worried. “What have happened if you hadn’t been there?”

Ray kisses the top of her head, rubbing her hair with his hand.

“It’s different, growing up on a farm. A mother only has to look at you once with those life or death eyes, and I don’t care what species she is, you hop to.”

Martha comes downstairs. Entering the living room she sits on the chair across from them. She picks up the edge of her seersucker apron and uses it to mop her forehead. Ray and Livy are sitting forward in their seats now, waiting to hear.

“There was some bleeding but it’s stopped. It’s just the baby now. We’re waiting to hear on the little one.”

Livy moves over to the chair and wraps her arms around Martha’s shoulders. Martha takes several deep breaths, exhaling like an athlete, trying to keep it all together. She gets up and moves towards the kitchen. Hesitating, she turns to the stairs.

“I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Martha, can I – how about I get everyone something to drink?” Livy stands.

“Just the thing.” Martha nods at her kindly. She turns and goes up the stairs.


Livy rubs her eyes, turning her face into Ray’s shirt to shade them from the lamp light. Waking slowly, she sits up. Ray rubs her hair out of her eyes. The sky is pitch black outside.

“Ug. How long have I been sleeping?”

“A couple of hours or so. It’s about 9:30.”

“How’s the baby? How’s Ruth?”

“Ruth’s fine, she’s resting. There’s a heart beat but it’s faint yet.”

Livy sits up, taking a drink of the lukewarm lemonade still sitting in her glass on the table.

“You want me to grab some more from the ice box?”

“No, this is good. Thanks.”

Ray goes back to the pocketbook in his hand. Livy moves the book forward so she can see the cover. He’s reading A Time to Be Born by Dawn Powell. Livy raises her eyebrows at him, bemused.

“Did you think it was a book about childbirth?”

“I did. It was the only thing I could find.” He says matter-of-factly.

“But it’s not about childbirth.”

“I know, it’s about – Ray open the front and reads from the book jacket

- Amanda Keeler Evans, a recently arrived Manhattan-ite achieves monumental success as a romance novelist after her new husband’s paper prints rave reviews, only to find –“

“Yes, all right, I get it. I get it.”

“Have you read it?” Ray asks in a comically studious way.

“Yes, I have.” She answers with mock impatience.

“Well then, what happens to Vicky?”

“She –

“No don’t tell me, you’ll spoil it.” He says with mock dramatics as he reaches over, pulling her close to him.

They sit, hugging for a moment. Ray relaxes his arms, letting her go. She turns, facing him.

“Liv, I don’t remember it being like this when Danny was born.”

“It’s wasn’t. It was so quick and perfect. I was just telling Ruth this afternoon how blessed we were.”

Ray takes her face in his hands and looks her in the eyes.

“It makes me wonder if things didn’t turn out for the best, it being just the three of us and all. Going through something like tonight, but you being the one, I’m not sure I could…”

He allows his thoughts to trail off. They both sit and stare straight ahead, but for very different reasons.

Hanks comes down the stairs slowly, the depletion of adrenaline filling his limbs with lead.

“The heartbeat’s come back full bore. Doc says she’s on bed rest for awhile, but they’re okay.”

Hank jumps to his feet, shaking Ray’s hand happily, grabbing his forearm with his left hand also. Livy wraps him up in a warm hug.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

NEW Forum Home

If you have not been to the forum lately, there had been an announcement posted there regarding moving to a new forum address. We have started to migrate the posts over to the new forum this weekend.

I've locked some of the threads in the old forum in order to control the migration of posted items to the new one. If you are interested in discussing a thread that had been locked, please go to the new forum here:



1) Register, Register, Register! Sorry, but it has to be done. It is recommended you use the same screen name from this forum for continuity.

2) Your rank will follow you only after you have registered. This is the only time we can credit you with the number of posts from this old forum.

The features are almost the same. It will still go through some kind transformation in the next few weeks, so please be patient.


I'd like to thank Kelly for her valuable help and insight on her recommendations and assistance for our new forum home. She's an angel and the energy behind all the speed in this otherwise long transition. I hope you all agree and thank her as well.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Skeet Speaks on Jericho Forum

This was posted on the Jericho forum from Skeet!!

To the most incredible fans ANY show has ever known:

From Skeet Ulrich

I am overwhelmed and quite honestly rendered speechless at the good will created by this show and its fans! By you, by us!
I think it speaks volumes regardless of the outcome.

A week ago our show was cancelled and it feels like time has stood still ever since. We loved bringing you this story. We loved waking up at 2:30 in the morning to drive an hour and a half and work 16 hours then drive home, eager and willing to do it all again the next day. Truly we did. Because when we got there we felt like a family. I miss that the most. Lennie constantly sang as he cooked up the mystery that is Robert Hawkins. Brad's incredible comic ability! The almost constant laughter and smiles. The kindness and generosity of spirit of everyone and I mean everyone (with the exception of one extra). I could go on and on.... trust me you don't want to hear it all! And as a family we never wanted to disappoint you. We tried desperately to stay one step ahead of you and you are a clever lot! Thanks for being there for us. I will never forget this experience and it is very hard to walk away from.

I have been fortunate to tell many different stories in my career but none has created the kind of discussions that this story has. Whether it was us in the lunchroom or people we would meet at events or people at the grocery store, invariably the discussion would turn to things much larger than the show, much more pertinent. And to me that is a success!

More to the point, however, is your generosity of spirit. I really don't know what to say....thank you doesn't suffice and my deck would collapse if we had a party so I am left somewhere in between. Your support is incredible and means more to all of us than you will ever know!

Be well. If we can all be as good to each other as you have been to us, what an incredible world we would have.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CBS Watch June 2007

Just another example of how "nuts" CBS is, the June 2007 issue of CBS Watch features an article entitled: Jericho's 5 Biggest Secrets and quotes such as:

"It's the unlikeliest of hit shows..."

"Jericho, one of the riskiest dramas to come to TV in years, has emerged as one of the season's strongest new shows, thanks to a shocking premise that surprised even the critics."

CBS do you read your OWN magazine? I think it's time you woke up and realized the mistake you made and fix it. Bring back our Jericho!

The entire article can be seen Here. Thanks so much Kay for the scan!!

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Just This Side of Tomorrow - Part 4

Hi All,
This is my first time posting on my own so please be patient with me. I'm going to click Publish Post now and I don't even know where this will show up - hope I did this right.
Here goes! AHHH

Just This Side of Tomorrow – Part Four
By Script Girl

Livy stands in the queue, waiting for her turn at the counter. The man in front of her is taking forever. Squinting slightly, she tries to read the postmark on the corner of the large package sitting directly behind the Postmaster. That’s got to be it.

Finally, it’s her turn.

“Hello, can I help you?”

“Yes, I’m Livy Singleton. I believe you have a package for me.” She points at the only large box on the back table.

The postmaster grabs hold of the arm of his glasses and squints at her, his face moving in closer.

“Ah, yes yes yes Mrs. Singleton.” Wagging his finger, he lifts envelopes, bends down below his counter and starts heading towards the back room.

“Um – Sir – I..”

“Singelton, Singleton, Singleton…let’s see, now I know I…”

Livy points again at the box right behind him. He turns and spots it on the table. Bending over, he reads the label, enunciating loudly to the room at large.

“O-LIV-ia? Olivia Singleton?”

Livy nods. “Yes, that’s me.”

“From Denver?”

“Yes, it’s from Denver.”

The postmaster holds out a clipboard. “Please sign here.”

He winks at the lady in the line behind Livy. “First Class.” he half-whispers, feeling the need to elaborate to all. Livy signs and picks up the box.

Stepping out onto the sidewalk, she sees Ray coming down the street towards the truck. He jogs over.

“I got it,” He takes the box from her. “Why didn’t you wait?” He puts it in the back.

“It’s not heavy.”

Livy lets herself into the passenger door, closing it behind her. A thought suddenly occurs to her.

“Oh, Ray, should have it up front? Don’t you think - just encase?”

Picking it back up, he jogs around to her side again. He passes it through her open window, placing it squarely on her lap.

He crosses his arms on the inside edge of the window, one on top of the other. Resting his chin on his wrist, his face is about six inches from hers.

“Hi.” He says, smiling.

“Hi.” She giggles.

Her hand squeezes his. After a moment he walks back around the truck and gets in.

“Did you get the order in before the deadline?”

Ray shakes his head no. Livy looks alarmed.

“I’m not sure what they’re up to over there.”

“What do you mean?”

“See, they don’t have the actual packets. They have a seed catalogue. You have to order the seeds and they come all the way from California. It’s not like planting cabbage or beets. I guess they keep that stuff on hand all the time.”

“Oh.” Livy answers, disappointed.

Ruth has chosen shades of purple as her accent colour for the wedding. Giving out party favours is all the rage with young brides nowadays, but finding something purple makes it challenging. Handing out a bag of magenta jelly beans to each guest just wouldn’t do, after all. Ruth’s in a tizzy over it. Livy came up with the idea of giving packets of French lavender seeds and wanted it to be a surprise.

“Sorry. I didn’t know.” Ray’s chin flinches.

“Thank you for trying. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be,” She stares straight ahead, her eyebrows pinched in thought. “Oh well, we’ll think of something.”

Ray glances over, confident that she will.


Danny clears the supper plates as Livy brings a pan of blondies to the table. Ray cuts them into squares. Dishing out a plate for Danny, he raises his eyebrows at Livy. She shakes her head no.

“I’m not feeling well. I might just excuse myself if no one minds.”

“Are you okay, Mama?”

She smiles at Danny “Yes, baby, of course. Just a bit tired is all.”

“You sure?” Ray asks. Livy nods at him.

“We’ll take care of the clean-up tonight, right Sport?”

Danny wags his head, his mouth already full of golden goop.

Livy heads upstairs to the bathroom. She stands with her hands on the edge of the sink, supporting herself. Taking a few deep breaths, she runs the cold water and splashes it on her face.

There hadn’t been any nausea with Daniel at all. Maybe she wasn’t pregnant; could it be that she’s just ill? Her heart sinks at the thought. They had been trying since Danny was two, figuring it was smart to space things out like that. Two years wasted, as it turned out. Splashing her face again, Livy dries off with a towel.

She’s been living with this for almost seven weeks, afraid to go and have her hopes dashed yet again. After so many trips to the doctor, Ray waiting patiently, his face falling when he could see in her eyes that it was no - this time she’d made the appointment without telling him.


Ray slips into bed beside her. She opens her eyes, turning towards the window. The sky outside is dark. Slices of moonlight beam through the partially closed shutters.

“It’s late. You’re going to be exhausted tomorrow.”

“I was reading downstairs. I fell asleep.”

“You could have read up here.”

“I wanted you to doze off first. (Sighing) A lot of good that did.”

“I can’t really sleep without you, Ray. You know that.”

Ray puts his arm around her, pulling her close to him. He scratches his chin on the top of her head. Pulling the covers up to his shoulder, her face is almost completely covered.

“Sorry.” He scooches down in the bed, kissing the base of her neck.

“Mmmmm.” Her voice is gravelly, far away.

“You’ve been working so hard on this wedding.”

“Mm, hum.”

“Are you overdoing it?”

She lifts her head, worried.

“You think I’m trying to take over?”

“No, gosh no - nothing like that. You seem tired is all. You’re doing so much. The fancy handwriting on the invitations, the tablecloths… I’m worried.”

“I’m fine. I’m enjoying myself.”

Ray snuggles back down. After a moment Livy’s breathing deepens again.



“Sorry, I just…”

“It’s okay.”

“I was just wondering. Do you ever wish we’d, you know, we were normal?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean our story. Us. Do you wish you’d had a big ol’ regular wedding?”

Livy chuckles at the thought. “Nope”

“You sure?”

“I’m sure.”

“How come?”

Livy sighs, turning onto her back. He leans up on his elbow, supporting his head in his hand. He waits for her to answer. Pale moonlight illuminates her face.

“Mama, Denver, Abby. So many things, really.”

She turns her face towards him.

“I wasn’t ready. I could never have...”


“I always pictured it... Father’s church – flowers in my hair – and a tea social after in Mama’s garden - with Tommy Dorsey on the gramophone.” Livy laughs.

Ray lies back on the pillow, his fist on his forehead.

“But, you had none of that.”

“Thank goodness. Can you see the Reverend and Mrs. Case cutting a rug to Tangerine?”

She laughs but Ray stays quiet. He stares at the ceiling, unconvinced. Livy props her head on her elbow now, her face just inches from his.

“I think you’re forgetting something.”

Ray looks over at her, waiting.

“It wasn’t the wedding I’d dreamed of, but the marriage is so much more than I would ever have let myself hope for.”

Ray wraps his arms around her back, pulling her over, on top of him.

“I thank God every day for bringing me here, to you, Ray.”

She looks down into his eyes, kissing his lips.

Rolling over, he’s on top of her now. He lifts her arms up over her head, gently taking hold of her wrists with one hand. Lowering his other arm, he wipes her hair from her face with his thumb. Looking into her eyes, he presses his mouth down onto hers.


Livy sits in the office, her feet dangling from the gurney. Dr. McCutcheon enters. He slides the stool on wheels over, sitting in front of her.

“Livy, what can I say? It’s good news this time.”

Livy’s face crumbles as she bows her head. It’s bittersweet without Ray here to share it.

Dr. McCutcheon looks alarmed for a second.

“Oh, no. I’m thrilled. It’s just, I wish… Ray, you know.”

He nods his head at her, fully comprehending. It hits her suddenly and she laughs. Excited, she realized this gives her time to tell him herself, in her own special way.

“You won’t say anything until I have?”

“Of course not.” His trustworthy eyebrows reassure her.

“Come back in two weeks for a check up,” He gives his desk calendar a quick once over.
“How about Friday the 23rd?”

Livy laughs. “This is going to sound crazy, after all this time, but the next day is our neice’s wedding. I’d like to wait until after.”

“I understand.” He answers.

They bid each other goodbye and Livy heads back out to the beet box. Starting the engine, she taps on the gas gauge. There’s almost a full tank - lots for the ride home. She checks her wristwatch. Even with the one stop she has to make, she still has plenty of daylight left.


Livy pulls the truck in on a slant, parking in front of the Dry Goods Mercantile. Picking up her pocketbook from the seat beside her, she steps out and walks into the shop.

“Livy, how are you my dear?”

“I’m well, Kitty, and you?”

“Right as rain. What can I get you today?”

“I’d like to try making candles. Have you got what I need?”

“Sure do.” Kitty begins assembling all the necessities on the counter. Blocks of paraffin, bee’s wax, a jug of lye, and a spool of string.

“Have you got a cauldron?”

“I do - a copper one - will that work?”

“Let’s find out.” Kitty picks a book off the spinning rack; Candle Making for Beginners. Flipping to the index, she turns to the page on pots.

“There’s nothing about the type of pot. It does say, though, to be sure you do this outside. The paraffin is flammable.”

“Will do.” Livy nods, taking her change purse from her pocketbook. “I guess I’d better have the book too.”

“Of course.” Kitty smiles, bagging her items for her.


Ray enters through the kitchen door. Looking around the room, he sees cookie sheets laid out everywhere with small, interesting looking blobs on them. Rubbing his hands together excitedly, he bends down to pick up a cookie or whatever sweet confection lies there. Sighing, he realizes the trays are covered in flowers.

Livy enters from the living room, carrying the candle book. “Hi.”

“Hi.” Ray answers, his eyebrows raised as his flips his hand up, his palm facing the ceiling, in question.

“They’re Johnny Jump-Ups.”

“I can see that. So, I take it they’re not for eating?”

Livy laughs, a small frown between her eyebrows.

“Oh, no, sorry Ray. I’m drying them. Oh, I didn’t tell you - it’s my solution to the party favour problem. I’m making candles with dried flowers in them. See, they’re purple.”

Ray nods his head, suitably impressed.

“Where’s Danny?”

“In the barn. Did Ruth come get her dress?”

“I’m running it over there tomorrow morning. That’s why I was in a hurry to get these candles going - see if she likes them.” Livy’s hand goes up to her mouth in concern.

Ray laughs, shaking his head in disbelief. “Livy, how could she not?”

Danny comes in from outside. Glancing around at the trays, he looks confused.

“So, is this what vegetarian means?”


Ray stirs the soup as Livy carries the trays gingerly outside, one at a time.

Bending over the fire she looks inside the cauldron. The sticky mixture burbles away inside. She gives it all a stir with the giant wooden ladel and jogs back inside.

“I need some kind of table, near the fire, where I can work.”

Looking up, Ray chews his cheek as he thinks what they can use. Snapping his fingers, he turns the gas off under the soup.

Ray heads out the kitchen door to the barn, Livy following. Prying the giant door slightly, he gets in behind and pulls out a sawhorse that’s standing up against the wall. He leans it against the stable and goes back for the other one. Livy picks the first one up and starts walking out towards the fire pit. He picks up the back end of Livy’s with one hand, so she’s not carrying it alone, and brings the other under his arm.

He sets them up about ten feet from the cauldron, right beside a tree stump where Livy can sit for a break. Going back to the barn, he comes out again with an old door, which he rests on top.

“There.” Satisfied, he rubs his hands on his dungarees. Livy shoots him an appreciate grin.

“Are you eating with us?”

“No, I have to get this done in one batch before I start losing light. They say the wax changes colour if you try reheating it. I want them all to match.”

Ray frowns. “You should eat something.”

“I’ll have some tea and toast, later. Really.”

“I’m going to head back in.”

“I’m right behind you. I have one more thing to get.”

Ray holds out his hand to her. They walk back to the house together. Inside, Ray gets the flame going under the soup again. Livy takes the flashlight from on top of the icebox and heads down to the cellar. Pointing the light around, she looks in the tops of boxes.

The cellar has always been a place of wonder for her - so much to take in. At first she had tried to savour it slowly, only peeking through one shelf at a time, the way you stretch out a favourite book because you don’t want it to end. Of course after six years and many long winter days, she had eventually learned every nook and cranny. Now she visits it as you would a favourite museum, moving and re-arranging things occasionally; Curator to the Singleton Family History.

The beam of light falls upon small wooden crate full of evaporated milk cans. “Eureka,” she smiles to herself.

Carrying the box upstairs, she lays it down on the kitchen counter. She turns on the hot water and starts rinsing them out.

“Where’d you find those?”

“In the cellar.”

“What for?”

“For the candles. They’ll make the perfect sized moulds.”

Ray nods his head, impressed.

“Ray, did you always have a dairy cow on the farm?”

“No, but even when we didn’t there was usually one nearby.”

“I was just wondering why a family with access to fresh milk would buy it in a can?”

Ray chuckles.

“Anything in a can seemed like a treat when we were kids. Funny, isn’t it? Mama liked it in her tea.” He glances over at the crate. “That’s probably five years worth.” Livy smiles, charmed at the thought.

Shaking the water droplets off each can, she loads them back in the crate and takes them outside. Arranging them in rows on the makeshift table, she gives the hot mixture a stir - another ten minutes or so, according to the book. She sits on the tree stump. Extending her legs out in front of her she leans back on one hand, tipping her face up to the sun.

Hearing a slight rustling sound, she spots a white mouse scurrying by. Pulling her legs up under her, she shudders. Her eyes follow it until she sees it disappear in the tall grass. A glint of shiny metal on the ground catches her eye. She gets up, walking over. Its half buried under some scrub. Bending down, she picks up a small black lump with a gold edge. She rubs her thumb over the surface, knowing it instantly. It’s her old locket. She tries forcing the melted clasp. It creaks open.

The photo inside is gone, swallowed by flames years earlier. But she can still see the picture of him in her mind, as though it were just yesterday. She closes her eyes and remembers the pain of a young girl, broken hearted and alone. Her arms wrap themselves protectively across her midsection. She tosses the locket into the fire.

The kitchen door closes behind Ray and he comes out with a plate of toast and a mug of tea for her.

“Oh, Ray, thank you. That’s so sweet.”

Ray lowers his eyes, nodding his head and walks back into the house, smiling.


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Friday, May 18, 2007

This Side of Tomorrow - Part Three

Just This Side of Tomorrow – Part Three
By ScriptGirl

As Ray grips the steering wheel, his white knuckles catch the light of an oncoming car. He’s had a lot of time to think on the drive. Deep down he knows his feelings haven’t changed and they never will. It’s the way he was raised, like his father before him. We all know the difference between right and wrong. Livy refers to it as the Social Compact. Ray calls it simple common sense.

“Potatoes, potawtoes,” he murmurs to himself.

Entering the town of Wilson, he hangs a left at the four way stop. Coming to the corner he recognizes the white gabled home instantly. It’s a large house. It looks pleasant enough from the road, but up close you can tell it’s seen better days. The trim needs paint and the eaves trough dangles precariously over the garden path. Jim Knox passed away just over two years ago, leaving his wife with a mortgage, no savings and a son who’s never worked a day in his life.

He parks the truck on the road instead of pulling into the driveway. No sense in disturbing Alice, it’s already after ten. He’s got no beef with her anyhow. It’s Stewie who needs waking up at this point in time. Stewie - suddenly the name strikes him as odd. For a man of twenty one, it sounds an awful lot like something you'd call a five-year old. Ray shakes his head in disgust.

Walking up the long driveway, he glances at the second floor window. His mind suddenly forms the image of Stewie outside Ruth’s bedroom, throwing rocks to rouse her late at night. He picks up a stone and lobs it up at the glass. Missing, he hits the tin window box. A plonk sounds echoes down the quiet street.

Ray is suddenly lit up from behind as a truck pulls into the driveway. He turns, using his hand to shadow his eyes from the blast of brightness.

“Uncle Ray?”

Ruth slams the truck door shut and runs up the driveway.

“What are you doing here?”

Ray drops the rock he was holding in his other hand. Sighing, he waits for her to walk up closer to him. No need to broadcast their family business to the whole of Wilson, for crying out loud.

“I came to set things right.”

“You’re as bad as Mama!”

“Hey, you could have done a lot worse.”

Ruth shrugs, conceding.

“What about you?”

“I thought about what Aunt Livy said. I should tell him”

She juts her chin out suddenly, a defensive move she picked up from her father.

“And what he does with this information is his business.”

Ray stuffs his hands in his pockets.

“He does the right thing or it becomes my business.”

Ruth rolls her eyes at her uncle. Picking up a rock, she approaches the house and swings her pitching arm back. It’s not the first time she’s done this. Lamp light illuminates Stewie’s outline in the upstairs window.

“Ruth? Is that you?”

Ray scoffs loudly.

“Who else is it going to be, Stewie?”

Stewie’s confused now. “Mr. Singelton? What the…?”

Ruth turns to Ray desperately, her eyes begging him.

“Uncle Ray, please.”

Ray tugs on his suspenders and turns his back to the house. Just then, another vehicle approaches, lights blaring. Ray recognizes the truck. It’s Hank’s small hauler. As Ray walks up to greet him, Hank veers slightly, running over his foot.

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” Ray shouts out, folding over in half.

Hank shuts of the engine and leaps from the truck.

“Oh Ray, I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you there. Are you all right?”

As Ray tries to walk, he loses his balance. Toppling over, he dings his face on the edge of Hank’s open door. His nose gushes blood. He slumps over and sits on the ground, groaning. Ray squats beside him, awkwardly.

“Cad I get a clod?”

Ray grabs a piece of cloth from Martha’s sewing basket in the middle of the front seat.

Stewie comes out the front door. Ruth is standing on the front porch, waiting for him. He gives her a long hug and short kiss. They sit down beside each other on the top step, obvlivious to what's going on in the yard.

“Why are you here?” Hank’s eyebrows are raised.

After mopping his nose a bit, Ray leans his head back, pinching the bridge.

“The same reason you are, I suspect. To make sure it’s put right.”

Hank nods his head. “Thanks.” Ray lets a small growl escape his throat. Hank swings Ray’s arm up and over his shoulder.

“With that foot, I’ll drive you home. We can come back for the beet box tomorrow.”

Ray’s not fighting it. He holds his flattened foot out to the front as Hank boosts him up into the truck. Ray can’t help but wonder if three vehicles may be the most action this driveway’s seen in awhile.

“Should you tell her we’re going?”

The two men look up at the porch. The young couple’s deep in the middle of it now. They’re sitting so close their foreheads are almost touching. This was going to take awhile.

“I doubt she’d even hear me, Ray.”

Ray nods his head as they drive off.


Livy sits on the porch. Seeing a set of lights curl its way up the road, she stands and runs down their front path. Hank pulls the truck up as close as possible. Running around, he helps Ray out the passenger side door. Livy runs over to them. Ray's shirt is covered in blood.

“Oh my God, Ray, you’re hurt?”

Panic stricken, she puts his free arm over her shoulder and helps Hank to get him in the house. They plop him down as gently as possible into the brown leather chair.

“He’s a real sport, this guy - always there when you need him.” Hank winks at Ray.

Livy fusses over her husband. Her voice is two octaves higher than normal.

“Well, well my goodness, I mean what happened? You had a fight? Was there a fight?”

Hank bids them both good night. Livy’s too worried to notice. She runs into the kitchen, grabbing a chunk of ice from the icebox and wrapping it in a tea towel. She applies it gently to Ray’s face, picking up his hand and pressing it there so he’ll support it himself. Stepping back her foot grazes his.

“OW, oh.” Ray groans.

“Your foot? You hurt your foot too?

Bending down, she rolls up his pant leg. She peels off his sock gingerly and rests his foot down on his heel, frowning at what she sees.
She stands up, putting her two hands on either side of his face. A purple half moon is making its way across his left cheek, right under the eye. It’s going to be a real shiner.

“I’m okay. I’ll be okay.”

She continues holdings his face. He wraps his hands around her middle, letting them slide down over her backside. His hands stop there.

“Ray, what happened? Where’s Stewie?”

“Still sitting on his front porch, taking with Ruthie, I’m guessing.”

“Ruth was there? Was she hurt?”

“No, of course not. Livy, she’s fine.”

“Raymond Singleton, for the love of all that is good, tell me what happened.”

Ray starts to chuckle, stopping himself as the pain in his nose brings stream of tears to his eyes.

“We all showed up around the same time. It was dark. I had a little run in with Hank’s truck is all. They were talking it out when we left. ”

Livy stands back. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”

She helps him up the stairs to the bathroom. She sits him on the commode, and runs a facecloth under cold water. Laying it slightly over Ray’s nose, he pulls the soiled piece of cloth Hank gave him away from underneath.

“Ow. Ug.

“Do you think it’s broken? Should we call the doctor?”

“No, it’s just a bad blow. I’ll have to sleep sitting up tonight.”

He rinses the facecloth with one hand as Livy runs downstairs. She grabs the cushions off the chesterfield and jogs back up again. Pulling back the bedcovers, she props the cushions up at the head of the bed. She fetches a clean sheet from the closet and drapes it over the mountain of padding.

Returning to the bathroom, she helps Ray up. They stumble towards the bed. She’s calmer now.

“What about your foot?”

“Hank ran over it.”

Livy rolls her eyes, stifling a laugh.

“Must have been some night.”

Ray laughs too, his eyes welling up again. “Ug, oh, ow.”

“Shhhh. Tell me tomorrow. I want to hear the whole thing tomorrow.”

Lifting Ray’s feet for him, she props him back. His eyes close as soon his head hits the pillows. Kissing him on the mouth, she shuts out the light.


Ray sits at the table, his foot propped up on the blue hassock from the living room.

“Ray, you are not going to run a combine with that foot. I can’t even get a bedroom slipper over it. Look how it’s swelled since last night.”

“I’ve had worse.” Ray answers nonchalantly.


“Okay, I’ve seen worse.” Ray laughs, sheepishly.

Livy laughs, shaking her head. Finishing up the breakfast dishes, she glances out the window. Dark grey cloud rolls by, low and heavy.

“It’s going to rain anyway. “

Ray sighs, beckoning her to come to him. She puts down the dishcloth and goes over. He puts his arms around her waist and pulls her onto his lap. She slings her arms around his neck.

“Livy, the work doesn’t just do itself.”

Livy lowers her eyes. “I know. I just hate the though of you out there in pain all day.”

Ray kisses her. Pulling back he holds her face in his hands. His eyes dart around, checking out all her features as if for the first time again.

“Can we at least give Hank a call - see what he says? He might not even want to work today.”

Ray smacks her on the backside.

“Yes, that we can do. He’s got to take me back to Wilson anyway for the truck.”

Livy picks up the telephone, putting her ear to the receiver.

“Uh, hello?” Ruth’s voice on the other end of the phone booms out at her.

“Aunt Livy?”

“Oh that’s so funny, it didn’t even ring. I was just going to call over there.”

“Aunt Livy? I have something to tell you. I’M GETTING MARRIED.”

“Ruth! That’s wonderful. What good news!”

Livy covers the received with her hand and whispers the news to Ray. Ruth’s voice rambles on excitedly on the other end of the line as Livy listens, nodding her head. Ray grins.


Livy sips on her noon-time coffee as Ray munches a sandwich. Outside its pouring so hard the raindrops are bouncing off the ground and making their way back up to the sky. Thunder roars loudly in the not-so-far-off distance.

They each read their own section of the Denver Times newspaper. It took Ray awhile to get into it as crop reports and weather takes a backseat to the goings on in the capital. It wasn’t until a six part series called “Soldiers – Life In Peace Time” caught his interest that he was willing to give this newspaper a shot. Now it was a part of their routine, although usually they read in the evenings as he would be long gone by now.

Livy’s getting her way. No one’s going anywhere today.

Ray’s right eyebrow goes up slightly as he tips the top corner of his paper down, glancing over at her. She reads intently, brushing the same curl off her face three times. Her eyes freeze suddenly as she senses she’s being watched. She looks up. Her cheeks flush slightly as she smiles back at him.

The door opens and Danny bursts in wearing an oilskin coat and his Dad’s hat. The hat is too large, bobbling on his head and almost covering his eyes.

“Everyone’s fed.” Danny’s looking satisfied with himself. He gets to be the man of the house on this fine Saturday morning. Livy and Ray can barely contain themselves; their son’s genuine lust for life is one of their greatest joys.

“How about a sandwich?” Livy asks, helping him remove the coat and hanging it on the hook.

“Yah. Yes, thank you.” Livy cuts him two slices of bread and removes the bowl of egg salad from the icebox. She pours him a glass of milk and brings his plate to him at the table, across from his father.

“Supper’s getting bigger. She was up walking around last night.”

Ray nods his head. “Better double her feed come Monday.”

Danny nods back.

Their peaceful lull is interrupted by the sound of a vehicle outside. Livy’s a little disappointed. After Danny started school she had trouble re-adjusting to the quiet of being in the house alone. It’s a real treat for her to spend the day with just her boys.

She goes to the front door. Hank pulls up in his truck. Chester comes up behind him, driving the beet box. Chester gets out, running to the porch, holding his hat down against the wind and rain. He hands Livy the keys.

“Dad figured Uncle Ray’s in no shape to drive.”

Livy waves at Hank in the truck, shouting over the tumultuous weather.

“I hear congratulations are in order!”

Hank gives her the thumbs up, a huge grin on his face. Chester gets in the passenger side.

“Tell Martha I’ll call her tonight.”

Hank nods. Livy waves frantically as they pull out, waving back.

Entering the house she takes a stab at the fire with the brass poker. Throwing on another log, she walks back to the kitchen. She hangs the truck keys on the hook.

“Chester and Hank just dropped off the beet box.”

“Great.” Ray answers, his eyes still focused on the paper.

Danny sits at the table, looking up at her in anticipation. The Scrabble board has been unpacked and is all set up, ready to go. Livy shakes her head, laughing.


“Yessss.” Danny answers, already arranging his tiles.


Martha hands Livy a mug of tea. The weather hasn’t let up yet and anything warm will really hit the spot right now. Ruth sits at the dining room table with paper and a pencil in her hand. A sewing pattern book is spread open for all to see.

“You could always just wear my dress, you know?” Martha winks at Livy, knowing what Ruth’s reaction will be.

“MAMA, please - your dress has leg-of-mutton sleeves. That’s just….” She continues flipping through the pages of the pattern book, distracted.

“Ruth, have you got a certain style in mind?” Livy asks.

“Sort of - there are two I really like.”

Livy gets up and walks towards the table. Ruth shows her what she has marked. Livy puts her hand on the book and stands over Ruth. Turning to address Martha also, she smiles.

“Your Uncle Ray and I would like to make your dress a gift from us. If you find the style you like, I’ll tell Abby. She’s going to find it in the City.”

Ruth gasps in total awe.

“My goodness, that’s very generous Livy. Ruth, what a lucky girl you are.”

Martha wears a slight frown but her smile indicates it’s nothing beyond concern for a possibly over-indulged daughter.

Ruth gets up, throwing her arms around Livy.

“Oh, thank you. Thank you so much.”

“Six years ago I gave you my wedding dress, so it seems fitting now that I be a part of finding the one you wear on your special day.”

Ruth raises her eyebrows. “The lilacs? That was your wedding dress?”

“It sure was. And it made me happy every time I saw you in it.”

Of course styles are changing, skirts becoming fuller now. But the dress still hangs in Ruth’s closet, neatly pressed and clean.

Martha starts turning the pages of the pattern book.

“Well, you’d better get a move on picking. If we’re waiting for a package to come from Denver and then a fitting I’m sure, that means we have to set the date for at least three weeks from now -”

Ruth’s face radiates joy and excitement. She claps her hands together.

“- and we all know a baby can’t stay a secret for that long.”

Livy takes a second cupcake off the plate. Looking down at the floor, she smiles to herself.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Just This Side of Tomorrow – Part Two

Just This Side of Tomorrow – Part Two
By ScriptGirl

Ray rolls over, searching for Livy. Not finding her at first he opens his eyes. She’s curled up in a ball at the far edge of the bed. He scoots over to her, wrapping her up in his arms. She sighs. Her eyes are closed but he senses that she’s awake and has been that way for awhile. She just wants to hold onto these few moments of quiet before the day begins. Resting his chin in the spot where her neck and shoulder meet, he whispers in her ear.

“Don’t worry. It’ll get sorted. Things always do, somehow.”

Livy turns to face him, about to say something. She changes her mind.

Ray thought about this long into the night. It would be an awkward day for his wife. There would be talk of compromised morals, poor judgment and regret.

She had found herself in trouble also, not that long ago. While the players were different, elements would ring true for any woman, he supposed.

“It could turn out for the better. Just take a look at us, now.”

Livy scoffs. Ray looks hurt for a moment.

“No, Ray, I meant, what are the chances?”

Ray waits for her to continue.

“…that she’d be as fortunate as me.”

Standing now, Ray pretends it’s an effort to drag her out of bed by her arm.

“Come on. We’ve got a whole day ahead of us. When are we going over there, anyway?

Livy looks slightly relieved. He’s taking it all pretty well, considering Ruth’s his only God daughter - and he is, after all, a God fearing man.

“After supper. Ruth’s baking pies today.” She shakes her head at the sheer determination of her sister-in-law. Food seems to solve everything in these parts.

“Sounds good.”

Ray hugs his wife, twirling her once and slaps her on the behind.

“Want me to start the coffee?”

“I’m up.” Ruth groans, tying her bathrobe sash and walking towards the bathroom.
Standing at the sink, she splashes cool water on her face. She wipes off with a hand towel and dabs some cold cream around her eyes.

Ray appears in the mirror behind her, putting his hands on her hips and pulling her back so she’s resting against his chest. His chin sits on top of her head. They look at their image reflecting back in the mirror.

“See, you’re not the only who hit the jackpot around here.”


Ray watches the road steadily, steering the beet box along in silence.

“Looks like rain,” he mutters to no one in particular.

“Did you close your bedroom window, Danny?”

His son nods in response.

“You’re sure? I’d rather turn back then have the floor all soaked again.”

“I’m sure.”

Livy sits by the window, her long, wavy hair catching small puffs of breeze from the window being open just a crack. She’s deep in thought.

Danny sits in between them, his short legs sticking out in front of him. Ray glances over at her a few times, assessing.

“Why are we going to Uncle Hank’s?”

Livy’s eyes dart over to Ray.

“Aunt Martha baked pies.”

“Well, hot dog!” Danny slaps his knee.

Ray and Livy laugh at his enthusiasm.


Martha ushers everyone into the front room. Ray and Danny join Hank at the table.

“Where are the boys?” Livy asks, trying to fill the void.

Hank clears his throat.

“They’re up on the back eight. Broccoli’s looking good.”

Ray nods at Hank.

This is just the segway Martha was looking for. She plunks some forks down on the table beside a stack of plates, purposefully.

“Hank, why don’t you get some milk?”

Turning to Livy, she indicates it’s time to go upstairs.


Martha taps on Ruth’s bedroom door with her fingertips. Silence.

“Ruth, honey, Aunt Livy’s here to see you.”

Without waiting for an invitation, Martha opens the door. Ruth is sitting on the edge of her precisely made bed. She looks up at Livy, relieved for a moment to find an ally there. Then she sees her mother, standing back tentatively.

“Hi Ruth.”

Ruth looks down at the ground.

“It sounds like things… like you’ve had a bit of a shock.”

Ruth nodds her head.

“How far along?”

“About two months,” Martha cuts in. Ruth looks at her mother with a combination of amazement and frustration.

“Well, that’s the last time you did a hand washing.” Martha says, almost defensively.

Ruth rolls her eyes.

“I guess when you’re trying to hide something big, you tend to let smaller things slide.”

Martha’s voice is angry now. Ruth starts to cry softly.

“What were you thinking? Anyone with half a brain knows that a decent woman doesn’t just...”

Catching herself before finishing, Martha chokes her words back bitterly.

“I’m sorry.”

Livy averts her eyes, nodding her head in understanding.

It’s obvious they’ve been dealing with the shroud of all for a few days. There have been long stretches of silence. They’re sad, exhausted and scared, each in their own way.

Martha sighs; she’s reached an impasse with her daughter.

“At this point I’m just doing more harm than good.” Martha raises her eyebrows at Livy, who nodds her head. Martha exits, leaving the two of them alone.

Livy sits on the bed beside her niece. She puts her hand on top of Ruth’s.


Ruth nods.

“What does he say?”

Ruth shakes her head vehemently.

“I haven’t told him.”

“Why not?”

Ruth looks up, her eyes flashing anger as though the answer should be obvious.

“He’s two years into that scholarship. They don’t just let people take time off like that. He could lose everything. (whispering to herself) I’m not going to ruin it for him.”

“Ruth, the University of Denver has married student housing.”

Ruth looks up at Livy absolutely wide eyed.

“How do you know?”

Livy sighs. She stands and picks up the desk chair, placing it right in front of Ruth. She sits on it, grasping Ruth’s knees.

“Because I know.”

Ruth waits.

“Did your mother ever tell you how I met Ray?”

Ruth shakes her head no. Not only is she fascinated but there’s also a relief in not having to deal with her own acute situation for a few moments. Her face is youthful; eager.

“After my Mama passed away, I was somewhat lost. I had left school to take care of her and now suddenly I had to decide what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I started seeing friends again, getting out. (pause) I met an airman who was in town on furlough.

Ruth looks puzzled.

“Only there for a week.”

Ruth nodds, willing her to continue.

“I thought I was in love – I just knew it. When the week was over, he was gone. It’s a common story - except for the fact that a month later I found myself pregnant and alone.”

Ruth’s eyes bulge out of her head.

“But I thought - ”

“- your mother told you what we thought you needed to know.”

Ruth sits still, waiting for more.

“My father knew Reverend Case from a way back.

Livy smiles now.

“And I was married to Ray on the day we first met.”

Ruth gasps, not being able to fathom such a circumstance. She’s been dating Stewie Knox for almost four years. Livy laughs at Ruth’s reaction.

“I know, it sounds archaic doesn’t it? Like something right out of The Alrich Family Radio Hour.”

Ruth smiles humbly.

“The things is, I have to believe that while I came upon a fork in what was supposed to be my road, it led me in a better direction. It was kismet.”

Ruth looks puzzled.

“It’s a Turkish word. It…it means something that was meant to be.”

“So, how come you know about married student housing at the University?”

Livy winces, but it’s too late turn back now.

“After Daniel was born, I went through a real rough patch. I had gone very far in my own education only to have it cut short. That winter was a tedious one and I found myself longing for my city life again.

“So, what happened?”

“I decided to wait and see what the spring would bring. (pause) The farm is Ray’s whole life, and I realized how selfish it would be to drag everyone along on my little flight of fancy.”

Ruth shrugs.

“I got over it.”

“So, what you’re saying is you sacrificed your education.”

Livy could see where she was going with this.

“Different situation, my girl. Stewie is on a geological scholarship with the promise of a job the second he graduates. My degree would be respected, but I would need a different life to actually take it anywhere. And I have lots of time if I ever wanted to get back to that.”

“You mean, on your own?”

“No, Ruth. If I wanted it badly enough, I could go and do that and your uncle would be with me. He would be a part of it. When you’re in love, you want what’s best for the other person. You make decisions based on more than just yourself.”

“But that’s all I’m trying to do.”

“Let me ask you something - what about Stewie?”

“What about him?”

“Does he love you?”

“He tells me so all the time.”

“Then, don’t you think he’d want what’s best for you, too?”


Livy enters the front room. All eyes are on her. Martha’s eyebrows are furrowed but she looks hopeful. Hank puts his hand over his wife’s. Ray stares down at the table.

“I gave her a lot to think about. Let her sit with it for awhile.”

Martha nods gratefully; her eyes are still shell shocked.

“Ray, let’s go.”

Ray gets up without saying a word and tips his hat as they head out the front door. Danny lounges lazily on the porch swing. Ray wags his arm at him. Danny gets up, jogging towards the beet box.

They ride home in silence.


“Danny, go upstairs and get ready for bed please.”

“Dad, can I just - ?”

“We’ll be tilling the north field with Hank tomorrow. I need you at your best.”

“Yes, sir.” Dan answers solemnly, aware that something transpired this evening which he would not be made a part of.

Livy runs her fingers through her son’s mop top.

“I’ll be up in a minute for one chapter, okay?”

His spirits picking up a bit, Danny heads upstairs.

Ray stands, leaning against the wall. Livy takes off his hat, hanging it on the hook. She wraps her arms around him. She can see that his optimism from this morning has been chipped away. Sitting with Hank all that time forced reality to slowly set in. Livy sits at the table. Still too wired, he continues standing. She looks up at him.

“So. What’s the story?”

“It’s Stewie.”

Ray lowers his head in relief. At least there’s no surprise there.

“What’s he got to say?”

“She won’t tell him. She’s worried he’ll leave school.”

Ray chews the inside of his cheek for moment.

“Is that really what she’s worried about?”

Livy knows what Ray means. She wonders if he’s tapped into something; if there could be a chance Stewie wouldn’t step and up do what’s right.

“He ought to know.” He says, decidedly.

Danny calls out from upstairs.

“Mama, I’m ready with my book up here.”

Livy points to the stairs. Ray nodds his head. She goes up to see to her son.

Standing at in the hall, Ray watches until she’s no longer visible on the landing. Yanking his hat off the hook, he stomps quickly out the front door.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

An Ode to Skeet

Hysterical Hair
An Ode to Skeet
By ScriptGirl

The network execs, with their graphs and their charts
Have no idea what lurks in our hearts
They seem to reduce you to some kind of stat
I might not know much, but I do know that

For those of us who derive great pleasure
From watching you in our times of leisure
This whole thing screams of a major mistake
Do they realize what’s at stake?

The network whose last big success was MASH
Is looking for someone to bring in some cash
A ghost talking, pageant winning, nasal voiced twig?
A mathematician who can be a prig?

What about this cast full of talent and heart?
Good luck CBS with another new start
We want to see Jake and Eric and Stanley
Guys who are real, men who are manly.

Cop shows and Cop shows and Cop shows more
The fans should TUNE OUT and even the score
Skeet you should know that this fansite’s for you
In good times and rough, you can always turn to

The people here who’ve taken the ride
As you journey'd from Takedown to Miracles, in stride
Don’t let those execs with their cohebas and smarm
Try to tell you how to keep warm

Keep your eye on the ball and the wind in your sails
We’re here for you, through all your travails
Keep on rocking that hysterical hair
As long as you do, your fans will be there.

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Jericho Discussion: Episode 1 - Pilot

You’ve both been born on third base, quit pretending you’d get
a triple….” Spoken by Jake to his father and brother.

Before the bombs…

Denver, Colorado

It seems just like yesterday it was September and we were at the edge of our seats waiting in sweet anticipation of this show’s first episode. We were rewarded with our first shot of Jake Green (Johnston Jake Green Jr., 32) enjoying the passing scenery from the window of the train car. Dressed handsomely in his khaki jacket and a sling bag, he also sports short curly hair and his face looks less gaunt than in future episodes. He heads to the garage to uncover his vintage car and heads to his hometown Jericho.

Jericho, Kansas

The prodigal son apparently had missed his grandfather’s funeral and is home for a day to collect his inheritance. He brings with him a sketchy past that baffled everyone he meets in town. At the home front the family is divided, our Jake is obviously a mama’s boy. Intelligently conveyed to us by their seating arrangements and on opposite sides of the coffee table. His father and brother (Johnston, Eric) were unconvinced that he’s been reformed. They both feel threatened by his presence especially because Daddy’s running for re-election. His mother (Gail) seems to be the only person who knows what he’s been up to and who holds the key to his enigmatic life. He leaves town on a sour note after visiting grandpa’s grave.

Characters introduced to us:

Stanley, Bonnie and Mimi - Jake’s apparent best childhood friend and his deaf sister Bonnie. They own the Richmond farm. Also we get a glimpse of Mimi, the high-nosed IRS agent auditing the farm. Jake claims he was in the Army when asked where he’s been the last five years.

Gracie the owner of the general store in town. Then there is the brooding and frail looking Dale who is her right handy person and who is tormented by the rich spoiled girl in town. To Gracie, Jake tells her he’s been playing minor league baseball since he left town.

Jake finds Emily, the newly engaged teacher to Roger and who had a past with Jake. She knows when not to believe Jake especially after he tells her he’s been in the Navy.

Then there are the Sheriff’s deputies watching the President’s state of the union address on TV.

Last but not least, sweet and strong Heather with a bus full of kids. They are on their way back from a field trip.

The residents of Jericho are living their normal lives no matter how complicated and simple they may be. It’s an ideal town to follow through this catastrophic event. Let’s see how they cope, adjust and survive the times ahead.
1) Gracie imparted some local gossip when Jake visited her at the store, who were these people she was talking about?
2) What was the name of that rich girl we all love to hate. Her family, we later find out, owns the salt mines
3) What does the quote by Jake above mean?
We’ve got 22 full episodes – 22! That’s almost double of what we had with Miracles. So we did get a treat even if we now see an end to this promising series. We’ll get by and we’ll find our own closure. By now we are so good at filling in the blanks, this should be painless compared to the cancellation that CBS had tactlessly gifted its devoted viewers.

We will rehash the story and keep our senses delighted with Skeet scenes, memorable quotes, find hidden or missed innuendos from each episode and yes – of course – Skeet close ups and screen captures. Forget CBS.

Coming up--- The bombings and aftermath….

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Just This Side of Tomorrow – Part One

We have a wonderful new member in the forum, ScriptGirl, who has given me permission to post her TMoOD fanfic on the blog. Thanks ScriptGirl, you are a great addition to the group! Welcome home! :)


Just This Side of Tomorrow – Part One (by: ScriptGirl)

Livy sits in her rocking chair, the creak of each push lulling her further into a state of relaxation. There was a time when this house filled her with such a crippling idleness that it seemed there was nothing to do but relax. Now, here she is, grabbing a few minutes while her sweet dough rises to do just that. It’s been six years, and yet she still chuckles at the thought of it.

Ray enters through the kitchen door, hollering:

“Liv! Livy, Honey. We need you!”

Livy shuffles into the kitchen and spots her two men, covered in blood and slime, grinning from ear to ear. Both Ray and Danny hold their arms out like scarecrows. Livy laughs at the sight of them.

“Outside, Boys. Come on. Let’s rinse you down outside.”

They step out to the lean-to where Livy pumps water into the bucket. Ray holds out his hands as she rinses off the thick rubber gloves. Removing them, he hangs the soiled apron on the hook and splashes it off as well. Then he turns, helping with his son, whose happy being administered to by both his parents.

“I did it, Mama. Dad had to hold her still but I did it.”

Livy glances at Ray for confirmation. Ray nods back in response.

“He did real fine. That calf was born without a care in the world. I tell ya, Liv - it was a sight to see.

Ray shakes his head, almost in disbelief. His face beams.

“I had my arm in there right up to my elbow, right Dad?”

Livy sticks her tongue out a little in disgust. Danny laughs at this. Even from a very young age he’s always been aware that his mother’s part city girl.

“Do you want to come and see her Mama? She’s so small…”

Livy nods her head at him, playfully tugging his cap down over his eyebrows. Danny leads the way towards the barn. Climbing the two posts, he rests his knees on the top if the gate.

“See, there she is. Isn’t she a beaut?”

Livy gazes at the soft, brown lump that moves up and down with each new breath.

“She sure is.”

They stand silently for a bit, taking in the presence of a brand new life in the room. Ray, unable to help himself, starts mucking out the stall next door.

“What should we call her, Mama?”

“Supper.” Ray answers.

Livy frowns playfully at him. He’s acutely aware of the dangers of growing attached. That whole thing with Martha and the horses had been enough to sour anyone on the idea of keeping animals. And she had been eleven at the time, still five years older than Danny is now.

This is the third calf born to their farm so far. Ray hadn’t wanted to take this on with the crops as busy as they are. But Hank had been persuasive enough that in the end he’d decided to give it a try. With the world slowly getting back to normal now, the government money and workers they’ve grown accustomed to have petered off. Time to try something new.

Of course, he's seen animals born in his time but now he’s starting to enjoy the idea of learning things alongside of his son. It made the idea of passing the farm down to Danny just that much more meaningful - and important.

Livy takes Danny by the shoulder and guides him towards the house. She turns back to Ray.

“There’s fresh coffee. Want some?”

Ray wipes his brow with his shirtsleeve. Leaning the rake against the post, he catches up to them. He takes hold of her hand.

“You bet.”

Stepping onto the threshold of the kitchen doorway, they hear telephone’s three rings echoing from the hall. Livy turns to Ray, excitedly.

“That’ll be Martha. She was going to call me about the four of us going to the pictures on Saturday. The new Lana Turner show’s playing in La Junta!”

Ray shakes his head, grinning in mock disapproval.

Danny runs past them.

“I’ll get it. Hello?”

Saying nothing into the phone, he holds the phone out to Livy.

“I think its Aunt Martha.”

“You think?”

Livy chuckles as she speaks into the receiver.

“Hi, I - ”

Ray stands next to her, waiting to hear what was in store for this weekend.

“Martha, what’s the matter? Are you all right?”

Martha’s voice, different from her usual gentle self, comes through the phone in strident, high-pitched tones. Ray clutches his hands behind his back and leans against the wall. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees that Danny’s taking in every word.

“Go water your mother’s garden.”

Danny sighs, his shoulders slouching in disappointment. He lingers a little longer.

“Now.” Ray speaks more sternly.

Danny runs outside.

“Of course you do. I know. Yes, it is. I know she’s not. Yes, I will. All right. I’ll speak with you tomorrow.”

Ray, panicked at first, can now read from Livy that this is not a life or death situation. He takes a deep breath, almost afraid to ask. He raises his eyebrows at Livy, waiting. Livy sighs and tightens the apron around her waist.

“It’s Ruth.”

Ray hesitates, never one to appreciate high drama. Livy takes his hands. He switches it up, and grasps hers inside his own. Her fingers are small and cold. He can see she’s concerned, but traces of something more linger in the small lines pinching a frown between her eyebrows.

“Well then, what is it?”

“She’s expecting.”

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


This day brings anticipation and dread for most of us. I think we'd enjoy this season finale episode if we only knew what will become of it after the summer. I think we all are having attachment issues, it's hard to fall in love with a series (and character --you-know-who!) and let the network execs pull the rug under us after one season.

Message to the CBS execs: The plot thickens, the story can grow in so many ways. Unlike some of the other series that sprouted this season along with Jericho, the episodes do not drag because it had to stretch to its final week with a grand finale. Case in point, Heroes, it suffers the same fate as Lost, the story is showing signs of being stretched to its full capability as a story line. As the story in Heroes would like to end with the prevention of a catastrophic explosion, Jericho has gone through that and from the start has shown promise. We see all types of real human personalities, good or bad, come out of a desperate attempt for survival and inspite of the adversity the audience still get to see lighter moments/scenes that are bordering on comedic at times. What more can you expect from a quality series than Jericho?

I know everyone's crossing their fingers and praying for a positive outcome. Let's keep our hopes up and give good vibes now. For the summer, we will entertain ourselves with the Jericho episodes this season. And for those of you who basically drooled and got distracted on Jake and neglected the other parts -- er- I mean, other characters -- what say you? Watch out next week...

Outstanding performance by Skeet in this scene.



Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Inside the Walls of Jericho

I encoded the clip from E! Daily 10 for those who do not get the channel. Skeet was absolutely adorable as usual.

The show tonight was amazing! I will have caps in the gallery tomorrow! Kay also scanned in her copy of the TV Guide article for the gallery and you can see that here >>!

SF once again it is sooooo good to have you back! Thanks again for bringing everyone together! *hugs*

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