Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 9

Thistledown Girl

Friday, September 8, 2017

About This Episode

We’re privileged to have another recipe for this episode.  When “agave” fluttered into my imagination I asked Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen if she had a drink recipe using it. (Right now, I have no idea how agave managed to get into my twisting mind. However, I had just finished Episode 8, and was already working on this one, when there it was — agave.)  

The creative wheels in Suzanne’s mind whirred into action!  She imagined things Peaches Dragonfly might gather to make a refreshing beverage, then she sweetened it with agave nectar.  Suzanne let me use the recipe and her beautiful photos for this post. Here’s the recipe.    

Sun n Moon Tea in jars Suzanne DeBrango

Sun and Moon Tea, by Suzanne DeBrango

Recipe:  Sun and Moon Tea

https://apuginthekitchen.com/2017/08/21/murder-at-the-bijou-teagans-book-launch/

1 tbs chamomile flowers

1 tbs rose hips

1 tbs red clover flowers

2 sprigs fresh mint

Place all of the ingredients in a 64 oz. glass jar, or two 32 oz. jars.  Pour in fresh filtered or spring water to fill.  Place lid on jar, and set outside in the morning.  Leave the jar(s) all day and night soaking up the rays of the sun and moon. Add agave syrup to desired sweetness, starting with 1/4 cup.  Stir until combined. Strain into a serving container or bottle and chill.

Thanks for the refreshments, Suzanne!  And now today’s episode…

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 9

Sun n Moon Tea w Agave Served apples

Sun and Moon Tea Table, by Suzanne DeBrango

Gone to the Dogs

Bright yellow flowers of the trumpet vine swayed in a warm breeze.  The vine ran throughout Thistledown.  It bore the local news.  River Mindshadow touched a petal awakening the vine.

Extra!  Extra!  Get the Thistledown Trumpet here!” the flower cried.  “Dull haze reported in random parts of Thistledown!  Take a leaflet,” the blossom added shifting to an encouraging voice.

“It says the haze leaves quickly, and that there’s no cause for concern,” River said as she uncurled the leaf to read the news.  “Considering your visions of a dull, colorless place, I find that haze worrisome,” she added with a shudder.

Monticristi_Straw_Hat_Optimo

“Well bless my eyes, Bedlam and River,” Pick Dragonfly said tipping his wide brimmed hat as he walked up.  “Bedlam, it’s nice to see you up and about.  “You know,” he began as if telling a secret.  “Your grand-uncle has been worried about you, even if he doesn’t let on.”

I smiled at the comment, but I doubted it was actually true.  River and I exchanged a glance.  My friend spared me by changing the subject before that conversation could get started.  She motioned to the unusual hat Pick wore.  It was white and made of fine, tightly woven straw, with a brim that was about a finger-length wide.  Pick traveled more and farther than anyone in Thistledown, so I assumed he got the hat in some exotic locale.

River darted up with just a thrust of her wings and grabbed the hat off Pick’s head.  She placed it on her own head and asked how she looked.  River shrugged at our surprised expressions and put the hat back on Pick’s head before settling back to the ground.

“These are popular way down in the southern lands where the sun is hot,” Pick explained, adjusting the hat.  “It’s not the only thing I brought back with me,” he added with a motion to the cart in front of him.

The little cart was hitched to two large dogs.  They wagged stubby tails when River and I walked over to them.  The short tails moved even faster when we paid attention to the dogs.

It was not unexpected to see dogs pulling small carts in Thistledown.  Most creatures enjoyed having a job to do, especially if they were rewarded for it.  I saw Pick hand the dogs treats.  However, what was unusual was the dogs themselves.  Most canines weren’t larger than knee-high.  These dogs were much taller and I had never seen such stubby tails.

“Yes, I got the dogs on my way back.  They needed a home.  I also brought back these agave plants,” he told us motioning to the spikey looking blue plants.

Agave_plant.jpg

I remembered the healer mentioning the tiny drop of nectar she gave me was from a plant related to agave, and described it to Pick.  He nodded.

“Agave is mostly used in making grownup drinks.  You two aren’t old enough for those yet,” he said to our protests.  “The potent kind of drink uses the heart of the plant.  But the nectar from agave is very, very sweet.  So I brought some to Peaches, and now I’m taking some nectar and plants to Belle Stargazer for the Starlight Saloon.  With Belle’s talent in hospitality, I know she’ll put them to good use.”

“Are you ladies ready to go?”  Pick spoke to the two dogs in an encouraging tone.

River and I chuckled when he called the dogs ladies.  But their stubby little tails wagged faster and faster until they seemed to spin in a circle.  Their bottoms lifted into the air.  The back feet of the dogs were barely on the ground.  The dogs shot ahead, pulling the little cart along.

“Hey!  Wait a minute!” Pick called after the dogs.  “You’ll bounce the plants off the cart.”

Pick unfurled his wings, but shook his head.  Apparently he had a leisurely walk in mind, not flying as fast as his wings could carry him.

“I’ll get them,” River said and zipped ahead, quickly catching the excited dogs.

Pick followed, only a heartbeat shower.

I was still grounded from my injured wing.  Even if it had been fully healed, Lavender Cozy had laid out firm instructions for me to rest after the shock of my most recent vision.  I saw Pick look back in my direction.  A moment later, River flew back with a bottle for each of us of the sweet agave nectar.

“He still wouldn’t give us any of the grownup stuff,” River complained as she touched down.

***

Sprig Yellow ben-moore-8884

Unsplash.com

My grand-uncle’s home was nestled in the branches of an impossibly broad and towering redwood tree.  My bedroom was in the attic, the loftiest room of all.  The healer and Uncle insisted that I get a lot of rest.  Let’s be honest ― they’d rather I was confined to my bed and completely unable to get myself into another mishap.

Ironically, I had never been fond of heights.  With my injured wing, I couldn’t glide down from my room, and the view from the top of the stairs was dizzying.  So, I was disinclined to leave.  Fate had conspired to force me to rest.

Fate must be a fiend, I thought.  I was wretchedly bored.  My only “entertainment” was the school books Uncle brought up, so that I’d have a chance of not having to repeat the last term.  You see, just before the end of the term, River and I had been suspended because of the uproar surrounding my vision.

Trying to read one of the books, I nodded off.  A light tapping awakened me.

Psst, Bedlam are you awake?” a quiet voice asked.  “Interrupting your rest isn’t a mistake I’d want to make.”

I could only see one eye and a fragment of the face that peeped at me from the side of my window.  However, the extraordinary long mane that lifted on the breeze was easily recognizable.  It graduated from blond, to blue, to green, to purple.  Only Rhymer Rainbow had such a head of hair.

“Rhymer?  There’s no need to hover outside.  Come on in.  I’d love to have company.”

“I know you’re supposed to rest, so I didn’t want to be a pest,” Rhymer began.  “But I came upon a lost bluebird.  Peaches uses them for messages, or so I’ve heard.  Then on its beak I smelled something odd, and I thought maybe it’s lost because it’s drunk.  So, I brought it up to your bunk.”

“Did it carry a peach blossom?” I asked and Rhymer nodded emphatically.

I took a close look at the bluebird as it clung woozily to Rhymer’s hair.  It did look like one of Peaches’ birds.

“That’s strange and worrisome.  I should go to the orchard.  Do you want to come along?” I asked.  “I’ll have to take the stairs, but I’ll be down in a moment.”

“Don’t worry,” Rhymer assured me.  “I’m in no hurry.”

Peaches Pond nitish-kadam-43351

Unsplash.com

The cottage belonging to Peaches Dragonfly was in the middle of a beautiful orchard of fruit trees and other delicious things.  No matter what the time of year, smoke curled from the twin chimneys of the cottage, because Peaches was nearly always baking something.

When Rhymer and I reached the cottage, we looked from the vine-covered roof, dotted with colorful berries, to the chimneys.  Peaches was still cooking treats in preparation for her Midsummer party.  She started baking well in advance of the holiday, but considering how much she planned to cook, she had to start early.  Our mouths watered as we breathed in the aromas.

I heard Peaches giggle.  Her head of fluffy pink hair bobbed into and out of view from the other side of the low stone wall that surrounded the cottage.  She was outside, apparently playing with something that she had to bend down to reach.  I heard a yip and knew it was the strange gray colored dog she found at the pond.  She had called him Pucker because a suckerfish was attached to his face when we found him.

The little dog was gray from his twisty tail to his squished black face.  Even his tongue was gray.

Rhymer called out, “Peaches!  We brought your bluebird.  I think his eyes were blurred.  I found him before he reached Bedlam.  So, we both came, in case you were in a jam.”

“Hi Rhymer.  Bedlam, I’m sorry I sent for you.  I didn’t know you were supposed to stay in bed until Lavender Cozy told me a moment ago,” Peaches apologized.  “Come inside.  You can try my new recipe!  It’s for sun and moon tea Isn’t that perfect for my Midsummer party?  I’ve been gathering chamomile flowers, red clover, and mint.  I’ll sweeten it with Pick’s agave nectar.”

Peaches was always enthusiastic when she thought of a new food or drink creation.  The tea sounded refreshing and delicious.  A different thought occurred to me.

“Erm… Did Pick leave you some of the grownup kind of agave?” I asked.

“Yes, for the solstice party,” she answered.  “But we aren’t to have any of it.”

Mountain_Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird, Fort Rock, Oregon

“That’s not why I asked.  But I think your bluebird may have had a nip,” I commented and pointed to the little bird that still clung to Rhymer’s multicolored tresses.  “She’s too tipsy to fly right.”

“Oh!” Peaches exclaimed with wide eyes as she fluttered up so Rhymer could hand her the bird across the wall.  “You silly thing,” she told it.  “I was experimenting with making some ice pops with the potent kind.  I splashed some onto the windowsill.  I remember seeing her investigating it.  She must have drunk some!”

“Luckily Pick had left an agave plant here for the healer.  Lavender stopped on her morning rounds to pick it up, so I asked her to take a look at Pucker.”

Rhymer seemed confused when she started to speak, “Look at pucker?  Your mouth couldn’t… pucker?”

Remembering that I couldn’t use my wings, even for a bounce, Peaches invited us to come in at the gate.  Two brick columns were topped by arched white latticework.  Flowers of every color climbed the columns and wove across the arch.

As we walked, from her side of the wall, Peaches told Rhymer about the day we found the dog.  We came to the gate and I heard another yip.  When Rhymer and I set foot inside the blossom filled garden Pucker barreled into me, knocking me onto my bottom.  It was so sudden that all I saw was his squished black face and the pink tongue that licked my face.

“Hey!  His tongue is pink, not gray!”

“Yes, that started yesterday,” Peaches began.  “his tongue turned pink.  It was so different form the gray that it scared me.  Then his gray fur…  That’s why I wanted Lavender Cozy to look at him.”

“If he’s gray that’s all in your head.  That dog is red,” Rhymer tried to insert when pucker jumped over to her.

“He’s not gray!” I exclaimed finally seeing more than Pucker’s face.

The dog’s curly tail wagged as he bounced around at Rhymer’s feet.  As his tail moved, Pucker’s fur changed from red to a sky color.

Pug Yello

“A dog that changes hue!” Rhymer enthused.  “How wonderful ― now he’s blue.”

Indeed, Pucker was suddenly blue, and then yellow, and then green.  Though his face stayed black, the rest of his fur continued to change color as his tail kept wiggling.

“That is what I was so worried about, when I sent the bluebird to you,” Peaches replied.  “But the healer said he was fine.  Lavender said it might be from a change in his environment.”

Peaches and I exchanged a significant look.  I was sure she was remembering the thicket that had developed at the pond, the shadows, the brown suckerfish, and the eerie feeling of the place.  It reminded both of us of the colorless world of my vision. 

Had the little, formerly gray dog come from that other world?

***

The End

New mystery folk revealed this time are Belle Stargazer — Marjorie Mallon and Rhymer Rainbow — Christy Birmingham.  I hope you’ll visit all their blogs and say hello.

Toasting you with a refreshing cup of tea.  Hugs on the wing!

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

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78 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 9

  1. Where do I start, to say how much I enjoyed this episode.. Sitting here with a yogurt for my lunchtime desert, lol reading your excellently described tale ‘
    Loved that description of her grand-uncle’s home nestled in the redwood tree..
    And ironically not fond of heights.. Lol.. Which made me smile.
    So happy Rhymer Rainbow kept your company too.. Christy is a wonderful lady and aptly named in this post..

    Thank you for my lunch time treat as I settled in to read..
    So enjoyed your choice of photos to accompany your story.. And that Mountain Bluebird magnificent..
    I do hope Pucker.. ( So well named by the way ) finds his aura colour he can settle with

    And I know I am behind by another chapter again.. But savouring it for another lunch time treat..

    Love and Hugs dear Teagan. I do not know how you do it.. For your stories are enthralling and so entertainingly good .. I love them..

    Have a beautiful day my friend..
    And take care..
    Hugs Sue ❤ 💙💜💛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sue, I can’t tell you how much this comment means to me! It’s my morning break (a meeting was happily cancelled), but your encouragement has made my day.
      You picked all the things I enjoyed most in writing this.
      Look for some theatrics at the bonfire next time. 😉

      As for the bluebird — oh yes, isn’t he glorious. Then I had to go and make him/her tipsy! LOL. And yes, I couldn’t resist giving Bedlam a fear (or at least a nervousness) of heights.
      There is no such thing as late here. I’m delighted whenever you can visit.
      Hugs on the wing, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. Pucker kinda reminded me of Joseph and his coat of many colours, Teagan. I wonder if they tell his mood or reveal what is about to happen? I hope the Bluebird does not wake up with a sore head. That magical nectar sounds powerful stuff. I’m sure the party will go with a swing with some it being served. Now you got me wondering just where Pucker did come from.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzanne’s photos make everything look delicious.
      It took some open mindedness for me to try those types of teas, Teri. Now I find that I like them cold, maybe even better than hot. But I have a “chronic condition” that prevents me enjoying anything acidic… which is nearly everything. So I like this sort of thing.
      Thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is nice to finally catch up.
    Love your fairy world, Teagan. Even though you remind that your characters are fictional, it is good to think they are hanging around, somewhere.
    As the adult drink recipe was not available, I will make a cup of Sun and Moon. I really love this idea 🙂 Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! I’m stunned. Thanks for letting me know, Pete. After a noise-filled (and anxious because of the noise) night, that is music to my tired ears. I’m honored to have been featured at your fantastic blog! Have a sensational Sunday. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love that serene image, Mary. I’m happy you enjoyed this chapter. Dogs, particularly little dogs, can wag their tails so hard, sometimes I’d wonder how they didn’t shake their tails all the way off. So I thought, why wouldn’t all that wagging change his color? 😀
      It’s nice to see you. I hope you are having a lovely weekend. Huge hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed this episode, Teagan. I continue to be impressed with how seamlessly you manage to introduce the cast of characters and remind us of where we’ve been. I have to point out ” “You know,” he began as if telling a secret. ” is my “description of the week” take-away from Teagan.

    On a humorous note, I often imagine dogs flying with the aid of their over-excited tails. Maddie’s is more likely to cause damage, knocking things over as she goes.

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    The second world that I visit every Saturday is the one created by the fantastically talented Teagan Geneviene. Teagan has been delighting us all summer with tales from Thistledown and the misadventures of Bedlam a fairy who is now supposed to be resting up after damaging her wing. However, there is more mischief afoot with the arrival of Pick Dragonfly with some potent Agave… head over and enjoy the resulting fun and games. #recommended

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Woot! Thank you kindly for including me here ~ with a rhyming spirit and a smile 🙂 I delight in the quirky character ❤ Also great is the changing color of the fur. Your imagination soars and we all love it. I'm honored to be a part of it all, Teagan. Happy Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Christy, thank you for this delightful comment. This early Saturday it’s as good as a second cup of caffeine to lift me up so I can take on the day! 😉
      I’m happy that you enjoyed this episode, and the serial as a whole. You have the spirit of Thistledown. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dog gone it I think you have gone and done another great post. I really like the photos you have been including in this series. It’s another dog day down as we look forward to Caturday and the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Thank you Tim. I actually took leave Thurs and Fri, so I could catch up blogging and maybe even try to write. But the 4 day weekend is going by awfully fast. But always looking forward to Caturday. 🐱 But… what day would be for parrots? I guess Beaker’s answer would be “Everyday!” I appreciate you taking time to visit.
      Oh, re the photos, most come from Unsplash. But I get some from the public domain via Wiki Commons (can’t always tell who the photographer was with those…).
      Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Should I start with the dog days of summer joke or who let the dogs out…nope, I’ll go right for the drinks, er, tea that is. This is certainly not gone to the dogs except in an amazing, adorable way.
    This is awesome, dear Teagan, you sure know how to kick off a weekend.
    Visited all the lovelies included and shared everyone all over the place so others can share the magic!
    Thank you for letting us come along on this journey, you’re too kind (I love it!).
    Mega my sun and moon tea (little GOT going there) and yes, fate very well might be a fiend…or sometimes a friend hugs xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donna, you gave me such a lift. Thank you. I’ve been blogging and commenting non-stop (except for work) since the book release and I’m worn out. Thanks for lifting me up. And thanks too for visiting the links. The journey wouldn’t be worth it without you. Yes, I’m really intrigued by Suzanne’s sun and moon tea…. maybe mixed with blue agave… 😉 Have a wonder-filled weekend. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

    • Hi Jacquie, it’s lovely to see you. Thank you, now I’m blushing. ^^’
      About agave, I’m not sure. It would likely depend on where you got it. Something from a health food line would probably be less processed… I gather that it is pretty highly concentrated sweetness though. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Olga. Well, the plot might not be pea soup yet, but I’m trying to take it there! 😀
      I hope you are having fun with the Labradoodles. I appreciate you taking time out to visit here. Wishing you a relaxing weekend. Hugs!

      Like

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