Imagine Simon's shock when he gets a call from the medical side of his workplace that his wife has been brought in for observation because she fainted and fell and bumped her head!
The doctor said she'd be fine, just a slight concussion and she needed to take it easy for a day or two.
|"It's just a bump Simon, I'm going to live, let me sleep!"|
Once his neurotic fit is over, and he's feeling calm again, Simon decides to keep himself busy all evening while he anxiously checks on her every 10 minutes.
He hangs up the wash Emma had started ...
|"Do we even have insurance?"|
And waters Emma's garden ...
|"Wow these little buggers are sprouting already!"|
And checks the sink a half dozen times ...
|"Nope, still not leaking ... what is this gunk in the drain? eww ... "|
And ponders over the mysteries of the wood burning fireplace ...
|"Will it catch the house on fire? Should we have it boarded up? Can someone actually fit inside there?!"|
Finally Emma wakes up from a long nap, feeling pretty woozy and out of it ...
|"uuugh, wha ... what happened?"|
But she manages to get up and go downstairs on her own. Simon hugs her fiercely and is so happy she's ok and coherent again!
|"That was really scary Emma, I'm so glad you're going to be okay..."|
|(Not a great look for you Emma, maybe you should go back to bed)|
Over dinner, Simon suddenly gets very serious and informs Emma she's not to over exert herself tomorrow at all, and to spend the day resting!
|"And that includes no gardening! I'll water the plants when I get home, ok?"|
Emma thinks Simon's overreacting just a tad bit, but he won't listen to her arguments and stays stubborn that she's to stay home and rest quietly, and NO visitors!
This has been a sore point for awhile. Simon hates strangers in the house, not even pizza delivery men can be trusted - so he uses Emma's injury as another reason to point this issue out - even though its just more of his paranoia in Emma's opinion!
|"Ok ok Simon, you don't have to be the social police, I get it!"|
The next morning, Emma oversleeps because she's still exhausted. When she wakes up, Simon has already gone to work.
She slowly gets up and around, examining her bruised cheek and the goose egg bump on her head where she fell on the sidewalk at the park when she fainted.
|"I look like I got hit in the face with a bat!" (There's actually hardly any mark at all below her hairline!)|
Emma wanders outside. The garden looks great. Simon must have watered everything for her, so there wasn't anything to do right now.
|The dinky little garden is growing great already!|
She contemplates clearing away the weeds from the old pottery wheel on the other side of the house, but honestly doesn't feel up to the task.
|"Nope, not gonna happen today ..."|
So she loads up the battered old washing machine instead.
|"And he was too cheap for a cooking class? *grumbling* "|
But the banging noise the old washer does as it spins makes Emma's injured head feel like someone's hitting her with a shovel over and over!
|"aargh, I have to get out of here and do something ... I can't sit around all day!"|
Just then a vaguely familiar looking man rides up on a handsome looking horse and saves the boring day for her ...
He introduces himself as Ruben Reid. He had helped her get to the hospital after she had passed out while talking to his brother Damon. Emma remembers him, but its foggy.
She's so happy to talk to someone, anyone, that she spends quite awhile standing at the fence chatting it up with Ruben and his horse "Jake."
|"Just wanted to make sure you were gonna be ok, little lady!"|
She would have talked longer, but a call came in on her cell phone. It was Jazlyn, and she needed Emma to come and pick her up at a friend's house because she couldn't go home ... something bad had happened between her and Kanoa and would Emma please come help her out?
Emma's even happier to have an excuse to leave the house against Simon's wishes. One cannot simply let a friend down when they've had a fight with their husband, right?
She arrives at the Lanson household, where Jazlyn has been hiding out for the day.
|"I told him we're OVER Emma ... he's been cheating on me my whole pregnancy!!"|
Emma's not sure what to say. She just met Jazlyn, but she really feels bad for her. She asks her what she wants to do now, with the baby coming soon.
Jazlyn starts to yell about how she's going to kick his ass (who knew she had the brave trait?!) ...
|"Woah... Jazlyn, CALM DOWN! It's not healthy for the baby for you to get so upset!"|
Jazlyn does calm down after that but goes instantly from angry to crying ...
Finally Emma does what she knows best - socialize. She greets Jacqueline Lanson, the friend whose house Jazlyn has been staying at all day.
She learns that the Lansons have moved here from Grey Meadow Island recently, so they are just as new and culture shocked as Emma.
|Jacqueline seems a bit pale and run down. Grey Meadow must not be a very sunny place ...|
Jacqueline is very enthusiastic about their hopeful new life here, as she and her husband just got married.
|(Blissful newlywed joy is probably a somewhat awkward topic right now, all things considered Jacqueline...)|
But Emma's a pro at this, and deftly changes the topic to cooking, since its one area she and Jacqueline have in common when she learned Jacqueline just started a job as a cook at the local steak house.
|"Trademark recipes are definitely key to a great cook's personal arsenal in a new type of cuisine environment... totally!"|
Jacqueline seems blown away by Emma's knowledge of fine cuisine. Perhaps Grey Meadow isn't quite up to speed with St. Claire when it comes to five star dining?
But when Jazlyn and Jacqueline start to commiserate on housecleaning drudgery - Emma feels her headache suddenly return ...
|(Emma you're wearing a handkerchief on your head for cripes sake, forget the snobbery!)|
|"Some sun and lounging by the pool with a bubbly nectar is what you need!"|
She's such a pro, it isn't long before Emma has Jazlyn's mind off her broken heart and considers her a close friend and actually smiles for once!
|"You're so sweet Emma, thanks for cheering me up"|
Emma gives her a big hug and assures her this will all work itself out somehow and to think happy thoughts for the baby's sake.
|"I'll help you out any way I can through this whatever you decide to do about it"|
Meanwhile, Simon is holding his very first free animal clinic at the dog park in town. He's trying to get some willing clients to let him examine their pets for his intern experience. There's no shortage of willing volunteers here in Appaloosa Plains!
|Oriole Bird would like some advice on how to keep her cat from attacking their feathered pets ...|
Simon's happy to give out animal behavior advice and soon has quite a few interested clients. Well, mostly interested anyways ...
|Gracie Loveland does not appear to be paying attention as Simon attempts to explain the heat cycles of her ... cat.|
Plenty of ladies seem to have cats here, and cats definitely come with lots of challenges for pet owners!
|"Hello, nice to meet you, what seems to be wrong with your puss* ...err cat?"|
This one clearly has a hairball problem ...
(THE CAT.... THE CAT has a hairball problem!!!)
|"No more eating yetis, ok??"|
Ok, just nevermind about the hairy yeti jokes!
Lets move on to something easier, shall we?
A little boy wants Simon to tell him why his pet rat won't play anymore...
|"Awww... this poor little guy can't seem to breathe very well"|
Simon listens carefully and decides the rat has allergies, and instructs the boy to use special bedding without dust in it for his rat's sensitive little nose ...
|"It's ok little fella" (Simon appears to be The Rodent Whisperer!) - he perked right up!|
Just as he was about to leave and head home, Simon notices a very large and absolutely stunning looking dog wander into the park, looking somewhat lost, confused and very scared.
He calms her down and reads the name and address on her collar. Her name is quite elegant. She's "Blanca Snow Pamona" and apparently belongs to a fancy dog breeder down in the valley.
|"Wow, you are the most beautiful Lady ever!" Blanca really warms up to Simon right away and no longer seems frantic.|
While brushing out her coat and calming her some more, Simon realizes Blanca is very heavily pregnant. In fact, she's in labor, which may be why she was so agitated and scared when she wandered in!
|"We better get you home girl, you're about to have puppies!"|
Simon changes into some clothes he's got on hand for the messy jobs ... but when Simon arrives at the address indicated on Blanca's collar, he's surprised to find the front door wide open and inside the kennel area, there's already a bunch of puppies running around!
|Puppies everywhere, yapping and dragging laundry around!|
Simon goes to the dog runs out back and finds a very stressed out man trying to fix the gate to one of the kennels. He introduces himself as Henry Vigo, owner of Pamona Pampered Pooch Kennel and breeder of exotic "Plains Wolf" hybrid dogs.
|"Thank you so much for bringing Blanca home, she's been missing all day. Could you please help me with her delivery??"|
Apparently Henry's two best females, Blanca and Ebony, both got pregnant at the same time by his best male Ember Flare. Then one of his mixed dogs in the boarding kennel had gotten knocked up by a stray and he was completely overrun with puppies!
The rivalry between the two wolf females had gotten quite heated, and he had to keep them separated when Ebony gave birth to her litter before Blanca. Blanca had broken the latch on the gate and gotten out when her own time had come, and Henry was frantic with worry while trying to deal with the situation.
|Blanca is clearly the Alpha Female, but Ebony (behind her) thinks she has seniority since she had her puppies first!|
Poor Ember has his paws full with these two "Ladies" that's for sure! He stood guard over the food dish, which was just about the only thing that didn't bite back right now.
|Ember Flare Pamona - an absolutely gorgeous Plains Wolf Hybrid Dog. (Isn't he just to die for!)|
Simon decides its important to make friends with the big male first. These are intelligent, majestic animals, and somewhat intimidating too!
|"It's ok boy, I'm here to help your mate give birth to her puppies safely ..."|
Blanca tries to take off again, but Henry finally gets her inside where she can calm down in the safety of her own kennel and have her pups in private.
|Blanca Snow Pamona, a Silver Plains Wolf Hybrid dog.|
Simon also meets Ebony, the female Blanca is competing with who already had her litter. She's a gorgeous smokey colored girl, smaller than Blanca and a lot more mellow in personality.
Ebony seems to trust Simon immediately and lets him put her in her kennel where she won't make Blanca nervous while she labors.
|"C'mon pretty girl, I'll give you a treat if you'll get in your kennel!"|
Simon goes inside and checks on Blanca who is doing great so far. He puts the other pups away except for two very stubborn ones that keep getting away. Henry explains those two are Ebony's while the rest were the stray mutt's pups that just happened to get mixed in with the rest during the confusion.
|Henry says: "That lighter one looks like his Dad and is called Comet, and the mischievous little dark one is Cupid"|
Then Henry surprises Simon by insisting he pick one of the two out and take it home with him. He's completely overwhelmed with too many puppies needing homes and its the least he can do as way of thanks for Simon finding and returning Blanca, his prize female when she was distressed and in labor.
Simon's wanted a dog for many years, but living in a tiny studio apartment in the city, while going to college just wasn't the right time or place. Now he's being offered a pup from a beautiful pair of wolf hybrids. He cannot say no!
|"Lets visit your Mom and see what she thinks you little rascal..."|
Comet snuggles up with his Mama and goes to sleep, but little Cupid crawls in Simon's lap and playfully nips his nose and licks his face. Apparently Cupid has chosen Simon!
|(Aww, I think he really likes you Simon!)|
After some waiting, Blanca finally gives birth to her own litter of three beautiful pups and Simon snuggles Cupid under his arm and heads home. He wants to surprise Emma with the little fuzzy bundle of love..
But she's not home when he gets there.
|"Cupid, try to remember women will drive you insane ... "|
Read Chapter 5 - "Puppy Power!" HERE
My apologies for how HUGE this chapter was, but soooo many fun things happened today I just had to cram it all in!
Things for Jazlyn and Kanoa are about to get more exciting as well. Stay tuned!
The title is in reference to an old favorite song of mine which has become my theme song for Simon and Emma ... especially today. Smile for poor Emma, and Jazlyn, for Blanca and Ebony too when you listen to it as I dedicate it to the girls today!
The incident with the puppies happened purely by chance, and I'm so thrilled! You see, I long ago downloaded the three wolves from the Exchange. Someone had spent a lot of time (I don't even know if I can remember the creator now) making very realistic looking wolf dogs. I never really had a fitting place to play them other than a very brief stint in my medieval world. I had saved them at one point, not realizing one of the females were pregnant by the male. Many moons later, I placed them in my brand new AP thinking they'd make great additions to the otherwise somewhat boring EA dogs already there. When the message popped up that Ebony had given birth (I have prompt me for renaming on) ... I was absolutely stunned and over the moon with excitement! Then to my shock at the moment Simon was brushing Blanca, she ran off rapidly for home and also gave birth hahaha! Blanca's first litter was actually with a neighborhood dog in my other world (hence the stray dog reference) which I didn't realize until I examined their family tree. She's now properly mated to Ember and the pups adopted out, so we'll see what kind of wolf pups she throws! (I've always wanted to breed dogs)