The Music in the Woods

Its that time again. Time to give your brain cells a little workout. I will write an opening to a story and you can feel free to add to the story in the comments below.

I hope some take up the challenge, for if not this is going to be a very short story!

“She was out on a walk and decided to take a short cut through the woods. She watched a russet brown striped chipmunk scamper up a tree and then she stopped in her tracks. Where was the music coming from?

Her Heart Danced

Rachel was sitting in her overstuffed chair with a heart full of joy. Her brown and white Burnese Mountain dog was lying at her feet snoring away.

She stared into the fireplace watching the flames dance, as she reflected on her blessings.

Life was good. “I hope you dance” by LeeAnn Rhimes was playing on the radio and her heart danced along with the flames.

She danced with gratitude for a roof over her head and for heat as the cold wind blew outside dropping below freezing.

Thankful for the food that would be on her table in the morning and for the hands that had prepared it.

She danced with joy for her family and friends that she could trust would always be by her side.

For the beauty of the snow that would eventually fall and for the summer days when she could sit and soak up the sun.

Her heart danced as memory after memory came to her mind, bringing a smile upon her face.

Her life was rich indeed.

“Rachel are you ready to go to bed for the night?”

Rachel smiled at Tracey, “Yes, I am.”

Tracey lifted her into her wheelchair to roll her back the hallway to the bathroom.

The bedtime ritual they had down to a T. It had been 5 years now since the accident that had left her paralyzed from neck down.

Rachel laughed over a joke as Tracey lifted her into bed.

“Don’t you love the gift of laughter Tracey? It refreshes the soul.”

“It sure does my friend, it sure does. Happy Thanksgiving.”

Tracey started walking out of the door as Rachel started coughing. Soon she was back in the bedroom with Rachel’s glass with a straw and she held it up to her lips for her to take a drink.

“Thank you Tracey for all you do. I am so blessed. Happy Thanksgiving to you.”

Later that night Tracey tossed and turned, wishing she could fall asleep. Then she thought about how she could toss and turn herself. No one needed to lay her on her stomach or her side and a lump rose in her throat.

Her heart whispered. “Thank You Rachel for the inspiration you are.” and she smiled, knowing that Rachel knew the secret of gratitude. It was all about the attitude of your heart!


This is a fictional story. Just one that came to me last night as I was thinking about having a thankful heart. May all of you have your hearts dance today!

Thanksgiving in the Emerald City Part 2!

If you missed Part One of this story, here is the link. Thanksgiving in the Emerald City


The next morning the Emerald City woke up to a wonderland of snow. The snow had stopped falling though, so no blizzard this time.

Glenda had a package to take to the post office so she bundled up for the short walk there. She loved walking through the freshly fallen snow, it sparkled like a thousand little diamonds.

There was a long line at the post office, people were already starting to mail Christmas packages. Finally she was able to mail her package, and the bell jangled as she walked out the door into the cool air.

She was surprised to see Frank and George walking on the sidewalk.

“Good Morning! You guys are out and about early this morning.”

“We thought we would get some exercise in to start the day.” said George.

“Walking is always good, Perhaps I can walk with you and learn a little bit more about what brings you to our magical city.”

George raised his head a little, ‘Ahh, a little curious, are we?” he said with a smile, as they started to walk down the street.

“Perhaps. Are you by chance subbing for the 2 English Professors that are sick?”

Frank and George laughed. “English Professors? Oh No! We ain’t that! We have enough trouble with “then and than” and “their and there”, Nope, couldn’t teach English. Plus we get confused with big words like “agoraphobia”.”

Glenda smiled, for that was one word that she had learned the meaning of fairly recently.

“Maybe you can help us with our mission.” said Frank.

“You see, we are detectives, and we were asked by your kind wizard if we would come to try and find 3 golden arrows. They apparently have the ability to grant anyone a wonderful wish who is struck with the arrow, but they can also put a spell on someone if the Wicked Witch would happen to find them.”

Glenda gasped. “You mean the wicked witch is looking for them too. She is here!”

“That is what we have been told. She hopes to find the arrows and disappear.”

“Well good luck! I think I may return home where its safer, but do keep me posted please and be careful”

Frank and George promised they would let her know what they find out later that day. She gave them her address, and they said they would stop by that evening to let her know if they had been successful,

Glenda turned left to go back home and they turned right to head out into the wooded area where they hoped to find the golden arrows.

They had been searching for awhile, and their hands were starting to get numb. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. They had no clues as to where the 3 arrows could be. Suddenly they both looked at each other.

“Did you hear that?”

“Yes! What do you think it was?”

“I don’t know, go look.”

“Why me! You go look.”

They were going to flip a coin, but then realized they didn’t have any, so they both crept forward slowly following the sound. It was a very faint clicking sound.

They breathed a sigh of relief as they saw that it was just someone taking pictures.

“Excuse me sir, what are you taking a picture of?” Frank asked the gentleman who was clicking away.

“There are some beautiful gold colors showing from that tree over there, see it?”

Frank and George looked closer and they noticed the shine coming from the branches. It was like something was lying on the branches.

George said, “I bet they are the arrows!” while running towards the tree. Just as he went to grab the arrows, he bumped into some branches, causing a huge clump of snow to fall on top of him.

He stood there snow covered, as Frank tried not to laugh too hard. The camera guy was smirking as well, as he kept clicking his camera.

Then they heard some cackling behind them and they jumped as the wicked witch came out from behind the trees.

“Thank you so much for finding my golden arrows!” and she grabbed them from the branches. Her smile was big with a glint in her eye. “Perhaps I should try them out, to make sure they work, ” she cackled.

Before they had a chance to run, she had struck all 3 with the arrows.

Glenda heard the doorbell ring and wondered if it was Frank and George. When she opened the door, she was startled to see 3 monkeys on her porch! Then she gasped when they started talking.

Once she got over the shock, she couldn’t help but laugh, she tried to stop, but every time she would look at them, she would lose it again. They sat there rolling their eyes at her, not much else they could do.

She finally got herself together and took them to see the wizard. He was upset that they didn’t get the arrows, but he assured them that he had an antidote for the spell. He was 99% sure that it would work. Well maybe 90%.

The wizard asked them if they minded swinging from the trees and eating bananas. They groaned, as the wizard and Glenda chuckled.

Glenda told them that they had a talking scarecrow, lion and tin man, but no talking monkeys. That would be a new thing for the city she said, with merriment dancing in her eyes.”Though monkeys are known to be mischievous, so perhaps we should watch out.”

The wizard gave them the antidote, but told them it may take 24 hours for it to work, so they all went back to her house.

She patted Frank and George on the back and grinned at the camera man. “Would you like me to take a picture of you 3? You all could hang by your tail from my Oak tree. Just be careful not to fall in the hole by the tree.”

She was still laughing as she opened her door to let them in her house. Oh what a surprising Thanksgiving this had turned out to be.

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Thanksgiving is almost here! Well at least for us in the US. I know in Canada, its already been celebrated. They are a step ahead. No matter when we celebrate Thanksgiving or even if we don’t, it is always good to have a grateful heart, every day of the year.  For no matter the circumstances there is always something to be thankful for, some days it might be harder to see, but we can find it if we look.  It doesn’t cost anything to have a thankful heart!

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Thanksgiving in the Emerald City

Glenda was feeling festive as she was decorating her house. The holidays were in the air, and her parents were coming to Emerald City for the holidays. She couldn’t wait to show them around the magical place that had become her home. She rubbed Oscar’s stomach as he laid on his back in his little cradle bed.  How she loved her cat with its bright, emerald green eyes!

An hour later, after she had finished vaccuming, she decided she should go into town and run her errands. She needed to pick up pumpkin to make her sweet Pumpkin bread and needed to pick up ingredients for Sweet Potato pudding and her corn casserole.

Her first stop was at the Forever Flowers shop. She wanted to get a nice centerpiece for her table. It didn’t take her long to decide on a lovely deep purple floral arrangement with some canary yellow flowers mixed in with them.

On her way to the grocery store she saw the Tin Man walking towards her.

“Hi Glenda, How are you?”

“I am feeling great, my parents are coming soon. How are you?”

He patted his chest and smiled. ” My heart is still beating so I am doing mighty fine.”

They chatted as they walked and then he said goodbye when they got to the grocery store. He was meeting the Scarecrow for lunch.

Glenda hadn’t been in the store for long, when a man knocked her down as he sped by her and out the door.

“Stop the thief!” Ed the grocer yelled.

Two men dropped the shiny red delicious apples that they held in their hands and they ran after the man. Unfortunately when they got out of the store they saw him jump into a car and drive away!

They shook their heads as they turned to Ed who had come out after them. “Sorry sir! Looks like he got away.”

Ed put out his hand, ” Yes, unfortunately it does, but I thank you guys for your quick action and for trying.”

The guys shook Ed’s hand and George spoke, “No problem! We are here on business, but have had time to look around and we really are fascinated with your magical city. My name is George and this is Frank. A pleasure to meet you.”

Meanwhile Glenda had walked out and caught their conversation. She turned to Frank and George and introduced herself.

“How long will you be in town? Will you be here over Thanksgiving?”  she asked.

“It depends, we aren’t sure. We may be, but that’s OK, that will give us more time to explore around here.”

“Well if you are here for Thanksgiving, you are welcome to join my parents and I for a Thanksgiving dinner. My Mom is making her famous Lemon meringue  pie and there will be Pumpkin pie too.”

“That is very kind of you, if we find ourselves still here, we will gladly take you up on your offer. Thank you!” they both said, as they shook her hand.

“Well we better get back to work, sorry again that we couldn’t catch that guy for you.”

“Its OK, hope to see you around again.” Ed said.

George tipped his hat and they walked towards their car.

“What polite gentleman they are, ” said Ed.

“Yes, they were, wonder what their business is?” Glenda replied.

“Well, I did hear that there were two English Professors from the college here that  were out sick, perhaps they are subbing for them?” said Ed.

“Hmm…that could be, but I am thinking not, they don’t seem to be the Professor type.” said Glenda. I get the sense of something more mysterious.”

Ed nodded his head. ” Mysterious? Like perhaps they are detectives, here to solve a mystery.”

They both laughed. “A mystery? Here in Emerald City? That would bring some excitement for sure.

Snow started to fall as they watched Frank and George drive away.

“If this snow turns out to be one of our typical blizzards, you may very well have them as guests on Thanksgiving Glenda, and perhaps solve the mystery.”

Glenda smiled, it could be a surprising Thanksgiving for sure!

(Part 2…to come)










The Legend of the Peach Tree

Octavia the Ostrich was being her typical self. Her head was buried in the sand, not paying heed to what others were saying around her. They were talking about grim stuff and she didn’t want to hear that. She did what she always did when she didn’t want to hear, she buried her head in the sand. In her mind if she didn’t hear it, it wasn’t real news, it was fake.

One day while feasting on some roots, leaves and seeds, Sir Oliver, the head of the flock, called Octavia over to him.

“Octavia, I am concerned that you are not paying attention to our serious warnings about the leopard some have seen lurking around.”  he said.

“I haven’t seen any leopard.” she replied.

“Have you been looking for one? We all take turns you know at guard duty and watching out for leopards. When its your turn on guard duty,  you are watching right? ”

Octavia stammered around for a bit and her gaze went down to the ground.

“Octavia! Are you not watching? Do you have your head in the sand, putting others and yourself at risk?”

She raised her head and looked at Sir Oliver defiantly, “Never, I am always watching, I mean I attempt to watch, but I think the talk about spotting a leopard has been greatly exaggerated. I don’t like leopards, so why should I watch for them, I would rather believe they aren’t around.”

Sir Oliver shook his head, “They are true warnings Octavia, and it would be good for you to take them seriously.”

Octavia looked him straight in the eyes as she said, “Okay, if you say so, but I think things are quite fine here. That’s what I keep telling myself.”

Sighing Sir Oliver walked away. He worried about Octavia. She lived in a fantasy world of her own creation. If she didn’t like what she saw or heard, she just wouldn’t believe it.

About a week later the flock was all abuzz about what had happened down by the old Peach Tree.

Legend told that years ago a leopard had been seen stealthily creeping up onto the sleeping ostriches. He had stopped by the peach tree and suddenly he disappeared. The ostrich that had been on guard duty said that it looked like the peach tree just swallowed him up.

Well that story had been passed around  for years in the ostriches history lessons and now it had happened again. The ostrich on guard duty had seen it with his own eyes. The leopard fell and the peach tree swallowed him up!

The Peach Tree still stands, as the ostriches go on with their lives. Some keeping their eyes wide open and others like Octavia who bury their heads in the sand.





Short Short Sunday Story

Glimpse into the future.

“Helmet”? Check!

” Bullet proof vest”? Check!

Mom hugs her son and gives him a kiss. “Be careful!”

She watches him get on the bus …. praying he will come back home.

Home from school ….

**In memory of Grace and Dominic. A 15 year old and a 14 year old who never came back home.**

Santa Clarita, California joined the list of school shootings on Friday, November 15th.