The Special Gift

Gina is a wonderful blogger from https://alifelesslivedblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/writing-challenge-the-gift-you-share/  and she has posted a fun challenge. Her challenge has been to spread joy by sharing in 100 words or less about a time that you made someone happy.  Feel free to join in with the challenge.  Spreading joy is always a good thing!

I am blessed often by others in making my heart smile. In fact examples kept coming to my mind of how others have made me happy, so I am going to divert a little from the rules and spread the joy by sharing an example that came to my mind.

The Special Gift

 I was in the hospital, back in 2012.  The  Doctor’s all agreed that something was wrong, but no one knew what it was. It was a scary, frustrating time.  It was also the week before Christmas. I wanted to be home!

One night I was especially upset after I had said goodbye to my family.  I so badly wanted to go home with them. I belonged with them. I broke down as soon as they walked out of my room.  My spirit was worn, the tears were flowing.  The phone rang.  It was my sister. She knew it was late but she felt the urge to call. We talked through my tears and my heart was lifted. She gave the gift of her time.

The gift of your time is a priceless gift that I  have treasured from many. That night, it was from my sister, and a night I won’t forget.

 

 

The Castle in the Sky

Belle was sitting in her favorite spot, in a field of Sunflowers. She had to be careful, for she could get herself lost among the sunflowers  if she wasn’t paying attention. The field was so big and the sunflowers so tall.

Reading and daydreaming among the sunflowers was so relaxing for her. It was her way of escape from that pesky Gaston.  He was so annoying. She would rather stay single for the rest of her life then to be with a guy like him.

Belle looked at her watch and she knew she had to get going.  She took one more look around and breathed in the fresh air making herself stand up.  Now which way did she turn again to get out of the field?

Belle was singing to herself as she baked pies.  The smells of the fresh pies baking made her smile. She would never get tired of the smell of a fresh apple or strawberry pie. She enjoyed making savory pies .

The door chimed as a customer entered the store. Belle heard the chime and came out holding a pie.

“Gaston, what are you doing here?”

“I wanted to have some of your delicious pies my little rosebud!”

Belle’s cheeks got red and Gaston said, ” Your eyes shine even brighter when your cheeks are red my lovely rosebud.”

Splat!

“Your face looks much more charming with pie splattered on it!” laughed Belle.

Gaston took his finger and wiped some off and tasted it. “As delicious as always my sweet little rosebud!”  Then he turned and walked out the door.

Belle shook her head, wondering if he would ever understand and give up on trying to win her affections.

The next day Belle packed a picnic lunch and grabbed her favorite book to take with her. It was the beginning of her vacation and she  was headed back to the Sunflower field. The place that made her heart happy!

As she drew closer to the field she couldn’t believe her eyes! What had happened! There was a sunflower that was enormous! It stretched the whole way to the sky!

She walked up closer to it and dropped her books staring at it with her mouth wide open.  How did it grow so tall overnight? All the other sunflowers looked normal size but this one was giant sized.

Belle was always curious and when an idea popped in her brain she usually went with it. She wondered for a few minutes if she should do what she was thinking of, but her curiosity got the best of her and she decided to act on her idea.

She started climbing up the giant sunflower and climbing and climbing! When she got pretty far up, she wondered if this had really been a good idea. The top of the sunflower disappeared into the clouds. What was at the top?  She paused to catch her breath and rest a little and she contemplated going back down, but she had come so far.  She couldn’t turn back now, or she would always be left wondering about what was hiding in the clouds.

Belle climbed and climbed some more, it was good that she had strong arms to keep pulling herself up.  Excitement and nervousness were building up inside of her. Her heart was starting to beat pretty fast the closer she got to the top.

She did it! She broke through the clouds and what a sight there was to greet her!

It was the most beautiful castle she had ever seen. A castle in the clouds, who would have ever thought?  A boldness took over as she opened the door, she just had to see what was inside.

She gasped as her mouth dropped open once again. There were beautiful golden fountains  all around, they resembled mini waterfalls. There were beautiful poppies, lupines, lilies and roses. It was like she had walked into an enchanted garden.

As she was trying to grasp it all she heard quacking and saw a goose come running towards her! It wasn’t your ordinary goose! It was golden!  Belle’s eyes got bigger as she stared at it with fascination.

“Lucy, Lucy, get back here!”

Belle looked past the goose and saw the most handsome guy she had ever seen! Was she sure she wasn’t dreaming?  His hair was golden like the sun and his eyes were a dazzling blue. Their eyes connected and Jack instantly forgot about Lucy the goose.

He opened his mouth to say speak, but no words would come out.

Then they both started talking at once.

Splash! Belle felt the spray of water hit her.

“Lucy!”

Jack grabbed her out of the fountain and apologized, but Belle couldn’t stop laughing.

” I can’t believe this! I climbed a giant sunflower and I am standing in an enchanted garden in a castle in the clouds getting sprayed by a golden goose! This is so crazy and wonderful at the same time!”

Jack smiled as he put Lucy down. He took Belle’s hand and said, ” Would you care to see more of my castle?”

“OH YES! Please, I would love to!”

They walked and they talked and walked some more. Belle had never seen something so exquisite, she never wanted to leave!

That night as she laid on a marshmallow cloud, she knew where she would be spending her vacation. She would be staying at the Castle in the Sky.

 

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Good Morning! I thought I would share a comic this morning, that my husband sent me. Yes, it totally describes us! Hopefully all of you can see it, I know some other times comics that I shared haven’t shown up.

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If you can’t see it, there is a couple in bed. The husband wakes up with arms in the air saying “Chirp Chirp” and the wife is saying “Hoot Hoot”. As the husband walks away and lets his wife sleep he is thinking, “The Early Bird and the Night Owl have short conversations in the morning.”

That pretty much sums it up on how the mornings are here. Brad leaves at 5:30am for work. There are rare occasions that I am actually awake and alert to say some words to him, but for the majority of the time if he wants intelligent conversation he has to wait until later in the day!

Whether you are a early bird or night owl, I hope you have a great day and that you can enjoy the following quotes.

 

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An Interview with a Barn Owl!

As many of you know,  Colin and I released a book of stories for children of all ages, “The Odessa Chronicles” recently.  Colin has been sharing excerpts from the book on his blog and I am happy to share them with my followers as well.

The stories center around the adventures of an amazing group of friends. A Barn owl, a cat, a jackalope and a man-servant. Characters that are so much more than just characters in a book. They developed their own minds and attitude and we really learned a lot from them!

Being that they are real, it made sense for Colin to have the great idea to interview Odessa, the delightful and witty Barn Owl. The following excerpt is taken from “The Odessa Chronicles”, of an interview that Colin had with Odessa after a rather dramatic adventure that she had. I hope you enjoy it, for how many times do you get to read an interview with an Owl?

Odessa Interview No.1

Colin: Welcome, Odessa, and thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me to chat about the epic story “Odessa’s Journey”.

Odessa: No problem, Colin. I had a great time, and I totally trusted that you would ensure no harm came to me.

Colin: Once you knew that I was having you leave the farm, what did you think?

Odessa: Well, I had no idea what to think, because I had not seen the later parts of the story. In fact, I don’t think that you had even written the ending at that time.

Colin: I thought it was a nice idea to have Hermione bid you farewell before you took flight over the Big Water.

Odessa: Yes, that was nice. I really like Hermione and her mom, but then … they are also Barn Owls!

Colin: How did you feel about being written into a flight over the Big Water, when nobody knew how big it was?

Odessa: Well, it was a scary thought at first, but again, I had to trust that you would keep me safe.

Colin: Towards the end of your first flight over the Big Water, things were getting pretty desperate. What were you thinking then?

Odessa: At the time that I was struggling to stay in the air, I was a little worried as to how you were going to keep me from hitting the water, but I had to trust you. Of course I knew that you would not want my story to end that quickly as it had so much potential didn’t it.

Colin: What did you think about the idea of bringing your mom into the story to save you from crashing into the water?

Odessa: Oh, that was lovely. As I never knew my mom in the traditional sense, it was so nice to meet her, if only in spirit. I was rather surprised, when I read the story, that my dad had no place in it. What happened there?

Colin: Good point, Odessa, and it was a simple oversight. When the story was finished, and most of it had been posted in Carolyn’s Blog, I realized that I had missed an opportunity to expand on the story. However, perhaps I can write your dad into a future story. Any thoughts about your return journey that you would like to share?

Odessa: Well, yes … you could have gone into a lot more detail. You could have included me seeing Florence coming towards me and taking my weight as she tried to fly me home. You could have described us falling into the water from my perspective, and then how I saw little Hermione coming up, and how she tried to keep us afloat. You could have covered me seeing the boat getting ever closer, and then hearing Dewey and Jaxon, and finally, how the man-servant pulled me and Florence out of the water. You really did miss out on lots of points of interest, and after all, you did call this “Odessa’s Journey” so I think that I should have been the focus throughout the story!

Colin: You make some good points, Odessa, but the thing is, Carolyn was being a bit of a pain, always wanting to know when it was going to end, so I tried to compromise between writing a good story and keeping it as condensed as possible. Perhaps next time I won’t say anything until it is completely done. How about the reunion at the farm, Odessa? Did you like it?

Odessa: I was so relieved when I saw what you had written in those last two parts. Anything was possible, of course, but I really wanted to be back in the farmhouse, and later go back to the barn with Jaxon. Oh … before I forget … thanks so much for letting me challenge the man-servant again. I love doing that. I love giving him a hard time!

Colin: Well, Odessa, it was a pleasure, and a little unusual, to be talking to a character in a book … and a Barn Owl at that, but I enjoyed hearing your views on the story.

Odessa: No problem, Colin. It was a little unusual for me too, given that you not only orchestrated my whole journey, but also wrote this complete interview. It was my pleasure to be your Barn Owl in the story.

 

Do You Identify with a Tiger?

Happy Sunday! My mind has turned to animals again today. There are just so many wonderful ones out there, so hopefully you aren’t tired of me sharing pictures of them from Pinterest in my posts.  Today my mind was on tigers. They can be very dangerous but they do have a majestic beauty to them as well.

Do you identify with any of these tigers today?

3013a413762bf4d299eb643cee9fc7de Is there something new and daring that you are trying? Bravely taking the leap!

9691a69f4b1c6f77e0c22765fd4d00cf Perhaps you are in a reflective type of mood. Just taking the time to connect with yourself, which is very important!!

c884056f2cdc09d0168c7ec995ef2128 Are you just plumb worn out and taking the time to rest?

49eecd462dcde7f4c75cd7ef699cb2de Feeling playful?

679af99b7b54c91fad6d149fc4f90c52 You are poised and confident, ready to take on the world!

Or maybe the last one is the Tiger that perfectly fits you???

 

 

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No Words Needed!

be62e8f519e693b1b4bd06a31384548e  Oil painting by Jan Kasparac (pinterest)

Today would be my brother’s 58th birthday if he was still living. He was 10 years older than me, which makes me about 30. I never was good at math!  I was thinking about him and how he a friend to people of all ages and always had a smile to share. The following is a fictional story, but I could easily see Nelson doing everything in this story. He modeled kindness and definitely had the gift of humor.  I was so blessed to have had him as a dear brother!  There are some true parts to this story. He did live in Costa Rica for 3 months, he learned how to open coconuts, though I don’t think he ever got hit on the head by one, he did own a ferret, he loved music and he did have a lot of trouble with the Spanish language! But sometimes you really don’t need to know the language.

 

Nelson was walking through the jungle of Costa Rica amazed by the beauty of the wildlife and just soaking in the moment as he enjoyed a leisurely stroll. He was lost in thought when “Klunk!” he was hit by a coconut in the head.  It stunned him for a little and he looked up to see where it had came from, but all he saw were the leaves of the tree.  Then another one landed right beside him. He looked up again and saw the tail of a monkey jumping to another branch of the tree.  This time he saw the coconut coming and he quickly moved out of the way.  He looked up again and this time saw 3 monkey faces peering down at him and sounding like they were laughing at him as they chattered away.

52202ff637623d7659b5f15b9f8e09ab1Photo credit to Richard Heathcote from Pinterest

He laughed as he walked along, animals could be funny indeed. Perhaps it would be fun to have a pet monkey, he had a ferret before, why not have another unusual pet.

Hearing the sound of rushing water distracted him from his thoughts about monkeys as he quickened his pace.  He was feeling hot and was hoping to be able to cool off in the water.

Oh this really was a tropical paradise! The waterfall was beautiful! He didn’t waste any time at all of taking off his shoes and wading into the river. The water was cool, but it felt so refreshing.  He heard the sound of boys laughing and he saw 2 little boys running towards the river. They stopped at the edge when they saw Nelson. He smiled at them and motioned them to come in.  It wasn’t long until they joined him and soon they were engaged in a big splash battle.

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After being soaked Nelson decided he would take a break and lie down in the grass, letting the sun beat down on him.  He waved  goodbye to his 2 young friends and stepped out of the water.

Nelson dug into his backpack for the food he packed. He pulled out 2 big cookies and he walked back  down to the water waving at the boys. They came over to him and soon big smiles spread across their faces when they saw the big cookies in his hand. He gave them each one and they all sat down on the grass as they ate. After eating the boys waved bye and headed back into the jungle.

Nelson stretched out in the sun feeling drowsy. It didn’t take long before he dozed off. He slept so soundly that he never noticed the monkey that jumped from the tree right next to him and helped himself to a little present,  as he scurried back into the tree.

Nelson woke up and stretched, feeling good and ready to walk again. He looked beside him and got a curious look on his face as he looked on the other side of him. Well that is strange, where did his hat go? He was sure he had laid it right beside him before he dozed off. He stood up and walked around in a big circle, the hat was nowhere in sight! Then he heard some chattering coming from the trees above him causing him to look up.

Well the missing hat mystery was solved! The monkeys were fighting over it! Nelson shook his head, the monkeys sure were having a fun time with him today.  Monkeys – 2 (coconuts and hat) Nelson-0! Perhaps he should rethink about having a monkey as a pet.

He heard drumbeats in the distance and he followed the sound to a old temple. There was a small group gathered inside the temple and when they saw him they motioned him to come in. There were other instruments too and Nelson  soon was caught up in the rhythm of the lively beat.

He couldn’t speak their language very well, but smiles and music was a language understood by all. After spending awhile there listening to different songs and even taking a try at the drums he realized that he needed to leave soon, for one didn’t want to to be in the jungle after dark. He shook their hands and bid them farewell. The sound of the drums slowly grew fainter as he walked away but he carried the music in his heart.

As he was walking he thought about his day. He realized again the power behind smiles and handshakes.  How hearts can be warmed through shared laughter and how no matter the language you speak, the appreciation of music can be enjoyed by all.

In this world of so many different languages, there is a language that can be spoken with no words at all. The language of kindness.

 

 

 

 

 

“Hush Little Baby….”

Laura Bailey from https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-5/  gave another writing challenge for the week. The word is “Hush”.  I saw the word and immediately something came to my mind. I dismissed it though for I wanted to write about something more pleasant. That resulted in no post yesterday. I realized this morning that there are times when you need to just go with the first thought that comes to your mind and not fight it.Thank you Laura for the challenge, even if this one may have been a little harder to write.

The following piece is fiction, but unfortunately for too many children this post hits too close to home! Please let the special children/teens in your life know that they can confide in you, and that you will believe them, even when what they have to say may be the hardest thing you ever had to hear!  You never know, you may be the one that some child really needs right now.

“Hush, Little Baby…”

 

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird.”

Holly cradled her dolly in her arms as she softly sang.

“Sally Jane I love you so much, please don’t cry, maybe this time it will be okay.”

Holly sniffed and rubbed her little fist below her eye to wipe away her tears.

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird.”

“I’m sorry Sally, I don’t remember all the words, but hush now okay, we can’t let my Mommy hear.”

Holly choked back her sobs, “We don’t want to make Mommy cry, remember what Uncle Joe said, he said we would make Mommy sad. I love Mommy, I don’t want her to be sad.”

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird.”

Again Holly wiped at the tears running down her face, ” I like games Sally, but not the kind of games that Uncle Joe plays, they make me feel strange. Maybe I’m just too young to understand his kind of fun.”

Holly silently rocked Sally Jane back and forth.

“I am scared Sally, are you ever scared? Uncle Joe’s eyes gleamed as he said that the games would get better. Last night I almost asked Mommy if she ever played Uncle Joe’s kind of games, but then I remembered another thing he had said. He told me to “Hush” said that its our little secret. So Sally now you are in on the secret too.”

Holly heard her Mommy’s voice calling from downstairs.

“Holly, are you ready to go?  Uncle john is here.”

Holly gave Sally Jane one more squeeze and then laid her on her bed. She put her finger to her lips and said, “Remember Sally, Hush!”

She wiped away her last tear as she walked out her bedroom door with her tummy feeling funny.

Her Mom gave her a big hug when she came down the stairs. “I hope you have a really fun day today with Uncle Joe. “

Holly hugged her tightly back, not wanting to let go.

“I love you sweetie, but you need to go now, Uncle Joe is waiting.”

Holly’s heart pounded and her hands got sweaty, she wanted so badly to tell her Mommy, but yet she really didn’t know what to say. She didn’t understand, why did she feel so strange?  Maybe it was just that something was wrong with her. Maybe Mommy would be mad at her if she said something.

She sighed while breathing in her Mommy’s sweet perfume, she always smelled so pretty.  Holly gave her one more tight squeeze and then she let go.

Smiling she looked up at her Mommy.

“I love you Mommy, your the best Mommy in the whole world!”  and with that Holly walked out the front  door.

Her  Mom waved goodbye as the car pulled out of the driveway. She then went into Holly’s room to put her clean clothes away. She spotted Sally Jane lying on her bed. She picked her up knowing how much Holly loved her dolly.

“Why Sally, your face is all wet! If I didn’t know better, I would say you were cry…” Holly’s Mom remembered Sally’s tight hug and the way she buried her face in her dress, not letting go. She looked at Sally again and Sally’s big emerald green eyes looked back at her. The sun streamed in the bedroom window, shining on the eyes and making them glisten. As Holly’s Mom looked at them it was almost like the eyes were looking back at her trying to say something.

What was she thinking, this was Sally Jane, just a doll!

She became lost in her thoughts, Holly had been acting kind of strange lately. Carrying Sally over to the rocking chair she sat down and started to sing Holly’s favorite lullaby.

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word….”