Conquering the Challenge!

Jeff was flying his plane in the clear, azure blue sky, feeling free. He was so glad that he had got his pilot’s license. The joy he felt when flying high in the sky couldn’t be compared.

Katelyn had been unsure at first about him flying, but after he took her up in a few times in his plane, she agreed, that it was wonderful. They were eager about going on trips together. Thinking about her made him eager to get home. His heart smiled as he thought about her, remembering their last night together, before he had left.

They had went on a short camping trip the weekend before he left. Being out in nature was something they both enjoyed. It had a been a fun day of hiking in a beautiful wooded trail that led to a rushing waterfall. It had been a very hot day, and it didn’t take him long to decide to jump into the cool water. Katelyn was laughing, as his big splash had sprayed on her, while she was sitting on the big rock. She soon had jumped in as well. They had spent a hour swimming in the water, just the 2 of them, in their own little paradise.  He remembered the feel of her wet body wrapped against his, as they stood underneath the spray of the waterfall. The taste of her lips ….  Oh he had to clear his mind now and focus on flying, so that he made it back home!

Oh No! That couldn’t be right. His fuel gauge was saying that he was just about empty. He must be leaking fuel, for he knew that he had made sure to fill completely up before leaving! Now what? He nervously stared at the flashing light on the fuel gauge.

Was there a good place to do an emergency landing? He knew he was too far away from the nearest airport, where else could he go? He flew on, feeling more scared the longer he flew, and then he saw it. Yes, there was land! He wasn’t sure exactly where he was, but he really didn’t have the choice to be picky. He prepared to land.

It wasn’t the smoothest landing that he had ever done, but he was on the ground, and alive, and for that he was very thankful. Before he had landed, he had radioed for help explaining his situation. Help was on the way, he just had to sit and wait now.

He was sitting and munching on an apple, when he realized he had a visitor.

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Jeff couldn’t believe his eyes, he was looking at a Sunda Colugo! He and his other fellow animal biologists had been looking for one of these, but in all their explorations they hadn’t found one. Now here one was staring right at Jeff. Jeff could only stare in shock for awhile, it was a cute little thing.

He quickly grabbed his camera, his co-workers would love this, and probably be a bit jealous. Jeff couldn’t help but smile with a glint in his eye. They all had been challenged to find the rarest animal for the last entry in the book that they had been working on for awhile now. This was an exploration trip he had been on, and he had found some unique animals, but this one was perfect. Jeff was feeling pretty smug, thinking he may have won!

The Colugo seemed just as interested in Jeff, as he was in him. It wasn’t shy, as it had no problem hanging around and posing for pictures. Jeff was thrilled! Sometimes the greatest surprises came in the most unexpected way!

Katelyn was coming down the stairs and Jeff caught his breath. She looked stunning in her tangerine colored dress. It was a little off her shoulders and it went great with her tan. They had gone on a vacation to the ocean when he arrived home. A week of sun, water and relaxation. It had been the perfect getaway.

Now his boss was taking everyone out to dinner to celebrate the completion of their book. Jeff’s picture of the Sunda Culogo had won for the last entry in the book. What could he say, he had a feeling about the Culogo and his feeling had proven right!

Life was good!

His heart was warm, and he couldn’t stop smiling, as he took Katelyn’s hand and walked out the door.

 

 

 

Reunited

Celia woke up, and for a moment she had forgotten about the excitement from the night before, and then it all came back to her. She had a talking kitten!

“Wake up Muffin! Wake up! Today is the day!” Celia said as she rubbed Muffin. Muffin opened one eye looking at her, not feeling very happy about having been awakened.

“Must you be so cheery in the morning!” Muffin replied stretching  out her body and yawning.

“I just so excited, Tulag is going to meet us by the sandbox, right?”

“Yes, but do you have any plan figured out of just how you are going to help him find Myrtle?”

Celia pulled her knees up to her chin as she sat on her bed thinking. “Hmmm….not sure. I can’t cross the street by myself, so I can’t go very far. What do you suggest?”

“You are asking me? I am just a simple, innocent, cat, how am I supposed to be able to help you.”

“But you TALK!” said Celia.

“That doesn’t mean anything. Lots of animals talk. I have heard of a talking cow before and a gnu. They  got in to all kinds of trouble. I also heard of a talking chicken, and … well his story is pretty sad.”

Celia got serious for a moment, “What happened to the chicken?” she asked.

“We really should go meet Tulag, he probably is waiting for us.” replied Muffin, purposely changing the subject, he didn’t want to make Celia sad.

Celia looked at Muffin for a moment, then shrugged her shoulders and said, “Well what are we waiting for, lets go!”

She picked Muffin up in her arms and ran down the steps and out the door before anyone saw her.

Running to the sandbox she made sure to keep an eye out for Tulag so she wouldn’t accidentally step on him again. No worries, he was sitting right at the edge of the sandbox.

“Good Morning! I am feeling happy today, looking forward to finding my Myrtle. So where are we going to go?”

“Lets go in the woods, Mommy and Daddy let me play in the woods, as long as I don’t go too far. Maybe Myrtle is hiding in there. Perhaps she got lost and can’t find her way out.”

Muffin and Tulag agreed that it seemed a good place to start, so they entered the woods in Celia’s backyard.

Walking through the woods it was full of noises of chipmunks and squirrels scampering around. Muffin wanted to give chase, but knew Celia wouldn’t want her catching them, so she behaved. Maybe she would sneak out tonight and have some fun while Celia was sleeping.

A Magpie was singing from high up in a tree and watching the little trio walk through the woods.

They came to a little stream and Celia said that was as far as she could go. Celia sat down on a rock, as they watched the water flow. “Hey I see a turtle in the middle of the stream! Is that Myrtle?”

Tulag’s heart started to race as he inched his way closer to the stream to see. Then he called out “Myrtle!” Myrtle! Is that you?”

Myrtle lifted her head, “Tulag! I didn’t think I would ever see you again! That day Patrick took me from the pet shop, I thought was our last day together.”

Myrtle splashed through the water to get to land as fast as she could, which was still pretty slow.

Finally she made it and Tulag gave her a little kiss. “I can’t believe it, I actually found you! I escaped from the pet shop a few days after you left and have been looking for you ever since!”

Celia was jumping up and down, not believing what she was hearing and seeing. Tulag has found his mate. Her heart was bursting, she wanted to share the news, but who would believe her. It was a secret that she would just have to keep to herself. She smiled, feeling pretty special. She didn’t know of anyone else that had a talking kitten and helped reunite 2 turtles who were in love. She picked up Muffin and hugged her tight against her.

“isn’t this the bestest day ever Muffin?” she exclaimed!

“Well if you let me breathe, it just may be!” Muffin grunted.

Celia laughed and put her down on the ground. “We better get back Muffin, Mommy will soon be calling me for breakfast.  Are you coming Tulag and Myrtle?”

Tulag and Myrtle looked at Celia, with her eyes brimming with excitement. “Sorry dear, but we got to head back to my owner Patrick’s house. He is probably going crazy looking for me.” said Myrtle. “I am sure he will be surprised to see Tulag!”

“Will he let us stay together?” asked Tulag

“Oh yes, not a problem, he is a nice guy and he knows all about love. He found his girl and they are very happy together. On our way back to his place I will fill you in on all the craziness that has happened since leaving the Pet Shop. You will never believe everything I witnessed from living with Patrick. It was really cool, I helped him catch this girl named Tanya and…”

Celia and Muffin watched as the two turtles walked off talking, unaware of anything else around them.

“So sweet, I do hope they come visit me again,”  said Celia.

“Yeah, yeah… but can we get home, I am hungry for some tuna!” and the two of them ran through the woods towards home.

 

 

Excitement at Midnight

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Little Celia heard the noise again. She was determined to find out the source of it this time. Her baby kitten Muffin was her shadow, as she followed Celia down the stairs.

The rest of the house was asleep, Celia was sure no one would hear her. Her Dad was snoring loudly when she passed his room. Celia’s Mom wore earplugs to sleep and her big brother, Hans, was a sound sleeper. Thunderstorms didn’t even wake him up. They made Celia bolt upright in bed and then she would pull the covers over her head until the thunder stopped.

For 2 nights now she had awakened to the faint sound of what sounded like someone saying “Help me!”  Muffin, slept on her bed with her, but no one else was n her room. She would rub her eyes making sure she wasn’t dreaming and she still would hear the little cry.  Typically she would just go back to sleep, but tonight she was going to investigate.

Celia heard the cry as she walked down the hallway and it seemed to follow her down the stairs. She kept walking. It seemed to get louder as she got near the back door. Dare she open the door? She wasn’t supposed to go outside by herself, but who was saying “Help me!”, she had to find out!

With a deep breath, she opened the door. Muffin was right behind her. She stepped out and jumped, her foot had touched something strange and she heard a strange kind of yelp. Looking down she was shocked to see a turtle!

“About time you came, thanks for not stepping too hard on me!”

Little Celia couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Was this turtle really talking to her?

“Thanks Muffin, for leading her here.”

“You are welcome. Always glad to help a friend.”  Muffin replied.

Now Celia was wide-eyed as she looked back and forth from Muffin to the turtle.

Muffin could talk! Wow! She was the luckiest girl ever!

“Mommy and Daddy will be so shocked to hear this!” she yelled. “I want to wake them up  now!”

“Oh, I wouldn’t be too hasty Celia! This probably should be our little secret, you know how adults are. They can be too logical at times, no imagination.”

Celia was a little disappointed, but she understood, adults could be strange at times.

“Okay, I will pinky swear not to tell!” Then she looked at the turtle wondered how she was supposed to  pinky swear with him.

“I believe you.” said the turtle. ” Now where are my manners, let me introduce myself. My name is Tulag and I really hope you can help me. I am looking for my mate, her name is Myrtle and we got separated! Will you help me find her?”

“Yes!” said Celia, without even thinking. She loved animals, she had to help.

Muffin smiled, ” Told you she would help!” she said proudly to Tulag.

“Now we better get back to bed before anyone notices that she is gone. We will meet you tomorrow afternoon and begin our hunt for Myrtle.”

Celia was speechless, as Tulag thanked them and slowly crawled away. She quietly followed Muffin up the steps and into her bedroom. She climbed in her bed and Muffin nestled down beside her. “You can talk!” said Celia.

“Yes, I am aware of that!” replied Muffin, “Now get some sleep.”

Celia closed her eyes with a big smile on her face, her kitten could talk and she was going to help a talking turtle find his mate. She laughed to herself, here her brother thought he was big stuff because he could throw a ball into a hoop! OH what he didn’t know!

The Animals Save the Day

Tamara was in the grocery store, and she once again had the strange feeling that she was being followed. She glanced behind her but saw no one. What was going on with her, more and more she felt herself feeling nervous when she was out. Was that mysterious lady really following her and if so, why?

She quickly gathered up what was on her list, checked out and headed out of the store. All she wanted was to get home and relax in her pool. It had been a long day at work, and then she made a few stops on the way home. The grocery store was her last one. She needed to get her Banana fudge ice cream and Coffee ice cream home before they melted.

Who was that standing by her car? It was her! The mysterious lady must have been following her, she was standing by her car! Tamara picked up her pace, she was determined to get to the bottom of what this lady wanted with her.

“Excuse me Ma’am, why are you standing by my car?”  Tamara asked as she walked up to her car.

“HI! I am Tanya” , and she put out her hand.  ” I am new to the area and now my car has a flat tire.  Sorry, to bother you, but I have seen you in the neighborhood and you looked like a nice person so I was hoping you could help me.”

Tamara’s heart was pulled. She did have a kind heart and was always quick to offer a helping hand. She didn’t know a lot about cars but she did know how to change a flat tire. Her Dad had taught her well.

“Sure, I can help you, where is your car?”

Tanya smiled, as she led the way to the next row of cars. Her car was parked away from the other cars in the far corner. They got to her car and Tanya popped the trunk.”I think everything you need to change it is in here.”

Tamara looked in and suddenly she felt something hard hit her in the head. She screamed as everything went black.

Tanya slammed the trunk shut. Well that was easy enough, she thought. Patrick’s girlfriend is pretty gullible. Now to pay Patrick a surprise visit, she had some unfinished business with him to take care of!

They were almost to his house when…. Tonya slammed on her brakes! What was that blasted cow doing straight ahead of her in the middle of the road and…!

She pounded the steering wheel. Patrick and Luke were standing on either side of Betsy!

There was no room for her to turn around, plus Luke and Patrick were walking to her car now. Tanya smacked her head on the steering wheel as she heard Patrick’s voice.

“Well, well, well, I see we meet again! Didn’t expect to meet up so soon again, guess you just couldn’t resist wanting to see my handsome face again?” Tanya made a face! “I don’t understand, how did you know?”

Luke said, “We will explain, but first I think you have a trunk to open!”

Tanya pulled the lever to pop the trunk and Patrick pulled out Tamara who had a throbbing headache, and was shook up, but found comfort in Patrick’s strong arms.

It didn’t take long to arrest Tanya and send her off to prison once more. This time there would be tighter security, Luke would see to it! He took Tanya,  while Patrick took Tamara back to his place to help her recover from her frightening experience.

Tamara laid on the couch with her head in Patrick’s lap, as he gently rubbed it.

“Explain to me again how everything unfolded.”

“Luke had called me about Anna escaping from prison. It seems that Betsy had come back to his farm one day and told him everything. She had thought she wanted to escape the farm but then started feeling guilty for Luke had always been really good to her. Apparently Luke has some very special animals, for they all helped put this plan into motion.

Luke brought Betsy and a goose along with him about a week ago now. We had the goose trail Tanya, and she would report back to Betsy who told Luke. The goose was in the parking lot at the grocery store, she saw everything that happened and we flew into action when we heard the news.

Tamara sighed, “I have never been so grateful for animals before as I am right now!”

Patrick leaned down and gave her a kiss.

“I can’t imagine what I would have done if something would have happened to you. Betsy the cow and the awesome Goose are our heroes! I heard that Luke has a Gnu on his farm now too. Oh and an extra cow named Bessie. Anna loves them all!

They all have brought Luke comfort, as he was sorry to lose his pig and Charlie the Chicken. He still has never found out what happened to them, they disappeared the same day as Betsy did and they never came back!

Yes, Luke has his extra special animals and I have Myrtle the turtle, who just eats earthworms and….”

Patrick stood up quickly, letting Tamara’s head drop on the couch.

“Myrtle, Where is Myrtle? How did her lid get knocked off?”

 

 

The Moments of Beauty

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Marissa was mesmerized by the sight. Right now she felt like there was no other place that she would rather be. This safari ride had turned out to be amazing and as she watched the sun set her breath was taken away. She watched the elephants as they walked by the water. What majestic animals  they were.

She had always loved animals and seeing wild animals up close like this filled her heart and  made her at a loss for words.

A day like today had made all other thoughts leave her head. Today all she could focus on were the amazing animals that were roaming around, right in front of her eyes.

The lion and its lioness that she saw resting in the long grass, and the giraffe eating leaves from a tree. The baby elephant playing in the water and the zebras looking straight at her trying to figure her out.

She had come to Africa on business, but her stay had got extended due to flights being cancelled.  At first she was upset about being stuck here, but once she started exploring, she found herself slowly being enraptured by this place.  After today, she wondered if she wanted to go back to her hectic business life in the city.  How could she get tired of seeing scenes like this play out right in front of her eyes? Perhaps she should quit her job and become a safari guide.

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Marissa knew she was just dreaming. She did enjoy her life in the city, but she was thankful for this unexpected break in her schedule. She was finding time to breathe again and to open her eyes to the wonders around her.

She had no control of the events that caused flights to be cancelled. There was nothing she could do. Wasn’t like she could rent a car and drive to the US.  Sometimes there were things totally out of our control, but there were some things she could control. One of them was what she was doing right now. Taking the time to soak in the moment, letting time stand still and opening her eyes to the beauty right in front of her.

 

Smiles for You!

Animals have a way of making us smile and these animals are doing a great job of it!

My husband sent me some pictures of some of the cheeriest animals. He is good at keeping me smiling in many ways!

I thought I would pass on the smiles and share the link with you, along with some of my favorite pictures from the article. ENJOY and Keep Smiling, A new decade has just begun! A brand new slate! What will be on it?

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Power of Words

Words can mean so much and I am not talking about the big, elaborate ones. I am referring to simple words .. words from the heart. They really are powerful and we all walk around with that power in our grasp every second of the day. Who will be touched by your words today?

Writing words for a story is fun, to see the story come more and more alive right in front of you. Working on “The Odessa Chronicles” was quite the adventure, as Colin and I saw the personalities of the characters emerge.  We didn’t expect them to grab hold of our hearts the way they did, stirring our hearts with emotion.  The power of words is strong.

My Mom shared words with me this past weekend that stirred my heart and I wanted to pass it on. A friend of hers that she hadn’t seen in a while stopped her in the grocery store. Her face was shining and she was all excited. She proceeded to tell my Mom about how much she loved “The Odessa Chronicles” , how fun the characters are and how she so wants Colin and I to write a sequel. That she has enjoyed the book so much that she read it the whole way through twice now!

Those words didn’t take long for her to say, but oh the the power that was in them. They made my heart soar! We have said that “The Odessa Chronicles” is for children of all ages, and she has proved the truth behind that.

When I shared about the “little giant” in my blog post yesterday, I was talking about one of our youngest fans of “The Odessa Chronicles.” He may be little, but his words have  touched the hearts of Colin and I over and over again! Jaxon is his favorite character and he has excitedly told us about his love for our book many times. His sincerity comes through and he is just so sweet as he has thanked us for writing. Words have power.

Now we have heard from one of our oldest fans. She may be 80 years old, but my Mom said how her eyes just danced when sharing about her love for the book.

“For children of all ages”, it definitely is! You are never too old to let your imagination go and to take a visit to Moonbeam Farm!

Don’t take my word for it, take it from the the lady with the dancing eyes!