Out on the Water

The alarm was buzzing as Jangle sleepily tried to find the button to turn it off. Instead he ended up knocking the alarm clock onto the floor. He stumbled out of bed and grabbed the clock, finally managing to turn off the annoying sound.

He walked into the kitchen to scramble some eggs for himself.  He wondered where Jinx was, for he was typically an early riser. He didn’t need the alarm to wake him up. Most mornings Jangle would usually find him finishing up his breakfast or on the recliner reading, before it was time for them to go to the Toy Shop to work. This morning though he wasn’t in sight.

That’s when he remembered something, today was Jinx’s day off work. Jinx had said before about taking the boat out for a little ride on his day off. He really enjoyed being on the water. He often told Jangle that there was something very peaceful and soothing about it.

He would be gone for the day, but back in time for supper, he had said.  Chef Salvo was preparing a special meal for everyone, so he didn’t want to miss that. Jangle wondered what it would be, he was sure that Chef Salvo would not disappoint.

Ahh! What a lovely day it was, the skies were clear and the water sparkled. Jinx was enjoying just letting the boat drift. He hadn’t taken it out far, he didn’t want to get lost. He  let himself be lost in thought, and he thought of the special thing he wanted to do while out on the water.

Jangle and Snowball were hard at work and the toy that Snowball was working on was frustrating him to no end. No matter what he did to it, it just wouldn’t work.

“I think this toy is ready for the toy dungeon”, Snowball said to Jangle. “There is no fixing it.”

Candy Cane walked in to the toy room and overheard Snowball.

“Let me have a look”, said Candy Cane.

Snowball rolled his eyes, “I doubt you can fix it, I been working on it for the past couple hours. Jangle tried to help to, but neither one of us could figure it out.”

Candy Cane just smiled as she took it over to her work place.

It was about 30 minutes later when Jangle looked up and gave Snowball a nudge.

“Hey look,  Candy Cane is headed our way with the toy in her hand and she appears to have a smug expression on her face.”

She definitely was wearing a big smile as she walked up to them. “Allow me.” she said, and she proceeded to put the toy on the table. Pushed its button and laughed at the surprise on Jangle and Snowball’s faces.

“How did you fix it?”  Snowball asked.

“Easy! You just gotta have the smartz!” Candy Cane replied. “and reading the instructions, helps as well”, she said, holding up a paper in her hand.

“Hey, where did you get those instructions from? I didn’t have any  paper with instructions on it!”

Snowball’s question was only met with laughter as Candy Cane went out the door.

“Umm…I have a question Snowball, who gave you that toy to work on?” asked Jangle.

“Candy Cane did, she said it was a special order that….” Snowball stopped as a look came across his face.

Jangle laughed. “Yeah, that’s what I thought, I think you just got one pulled over on you!”

Meanwhile Jinx was still out on the water, but knew he needed to start heading back. He started rowing as he kept his eyes on the sky, watching the red balloon soar higher and higher.

Jinx made it back and docked the boat. He was glad for the time he had out on the water, but his stomach was starting to growl now and he was ready to see his friends again.

Everyone was enjoying Chef Salvo’s supper. He had outdone himself once again, everything was tasty.  Jinx chuckled as Jangle filled him  in about the “special” toy that Snowball had so much trouble with.

Later that night Jinx was reading by the light of  his red reading lamp as he sat in bed. Feeling drowsy he at last put down his book and turned off the lamp. He closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep with the vision of the red balloon still in his head.

 

 

 

The Special Surprise (Part 1)

It’s a rainy day here, so I thought it might be a fun day to visit the North Pole and see what our favorite elves are up too!

This is a little different Jinx and Jangle story today, as the idea for the story came from Ellen. She thought it would be fun for Jinx and Jangle to be surprised by finding out something very important. Sorry I can’t tell you what, for that would give it away!

I can’t refer you to Ellen’s blog, for she doesn’t have one, though I believe she easily could! She is always full of a wealth interesting information!  She has a warm heart, a fun spirit and I always appreciate reading comments from her and her adorable grandson Benjamin. I know other bloggers who have the same appreciation. Ellen and Benjamin bring a great light to the blogging community.

Thank you Ellen for the fun suggestion you gave, I hope you and Benjamin enjoy the story!

The Special Surprise

“Cuckoo Cuckoo!” The clock chimed in the living room. Jangle and Jinx were both sitting in their favorite recliners and reading. “Cuckoo Cuckoo!”  It chimed some more. “Cuckoo Cuckoo!”  Jinx looked up from his book and said,  ” I think Candy Cane was secretly laughing to herself when she gave us that clock.”  “Cuckoo Cuckoo!” it chimed again. 

Jangle agreed, “Hey I think Snowball’s birthday is coming soon. Maybe we should get him a cuckoo clock?”

Jinx chuckled, ” That may be a very good idea!”

“Talking about birthday’s reminds me of how I loved getting birthday cards from my Grandma. They were always specially made by her and what she wrote in them always made me smile. I didn’t get to see her very often, but I cherish the memories of when I did. She was the first one who taught me what Honey Milk was! “

“My grandma made honey milk too! Isn’t it yummy. We should make some!,” said Jangle. ” I remember many visits to my Grandma’s place and the fun adventures we had.  She could make a simple walk to the post office fun! My grandma was a true gem!” 

They sat quietly for a little, lost in memories of the past. Then they shared more stories of their childhood memories with each other.

Cuckoo Cuckoo!  Looking at the clock, Jinx jumped up from his recliner. “We need to go Jangle! Remember Santa wanted to see us about something important!”

“Oh my, that’s right! We can’t be late for Santa!”

They grabbed their coats and hats and ran out the door.

Soon they were at his house and Mrs. Clause had poured them all a cup of Chamomile tea. Mrs. Clause was always so sweet, she had tea and cookies always ready whenever they would drop by. She was like everyone’s favorite grandmother.

They were sitting around the cozy fireplace in rockers and chatting, when Santa cleared his throat and said, ” I have a special favor to ask of the 2 of you. There really is no one better for the job.”

Jinx and Jangle smiled and sat up a little straighter when hearing this from Santa.

“We would be glad to do a favor for you Santa. What would you like us to do?”

“It involves a trip to the airport, there is a special visitor coming to the North Pole,” said Santa with a twinkle in his eye.

“How exciting,” Jinx and Jangle said, ” We would be glad to go to the airport for you.”

Santa gave them the flight number and the time to be there.

“Thank you both very much, I knew I could count on you!”

“You can indeed!” said Jangle and he waved his mug in the air, forgetting it still had a little tea in it, which spilled on the floor.

“Oops!” said Jangle, as he looked a little red, but Mrs. Clause just laughed and told him not to worry about it. ” Santa has had his share of spills too!”They all laughed then.

They chatted a little more before Jinx and Jangle decided to go.

“We will make sure to be at the airport first thing Wednesday morning, and will give your guest our royal welcome! ”

Santa smiled, ” I have no doubt that you will! I will be eager for you all to get back from the airport. ”

They thanked Mrs. Clause for the tea and cookies and walked out the door.

Santa’s eyes danced as he looked at Mrs. Clause and she smiled back. Wednesday  was bound to be a fun day!

(to be continued…on Wednesday)

 

 

 

 

Christmas Countdown

It was the final countdown, Christmas was almost here! Everyone was busy at the North Pole, burning the midnight oil. The Egg Nog was flowing and the Christmas music was playing for all to hear. You could hear it in the toy room and in the stables, for the reindeer enjoyed the music as well.

“Hey Rudolph, your song is playing!”, said Jangle. Rudolph turned a little red as he danced a little jig. As much of a jig as reindeer are capable of that is.

“Jangle, Jangle, are you done yet? ”

Jinx called to him as he came walking into the stable.

“We really need you in the toy room. Snowflake was talking to Jack Frost and not watching the conveyor belt. A toy got stuck and jammed it. Then Candy Cane turned the belt speed up faster not knowing a toy was stuck and toys went flying everywhere!

Of course Santa happened to walk in at the moment that the toys were flying and he got hit in the head by Tommy the train. Sparky quick caught the plush cat flying through the air and gave that to Santa to hold. That cat is always good at helping people smile. Santa hugged it as he shook his head and walked out the door. Then Lollipop told me to get you, for we need all the help we can get to mend the toys that broke when they went flying!”

“Wow! Sounds crazy. I will be right there!”

Jinx and Jangle walked out into the cold again as they headed for the toy room. When they walked in there were no more toys flying, but there was a stack of broken toys in the middle of the room. Sally the dolly was missing a arm and the handle was broken off of Jack in the Box. Dudley the walking dog was having trouble walking, for his back leg had been broken off when he fell off the conveyor belt.

“Well looks like we have quite our work cut out for us, we better get busy!” said Jangle.

“I have a roll of duck tape, too bad we just can’t use that!”, said Jinx.

“OH the weather outside is frightful, but …OH the weather outside is frightful, but….OH the weather outside is..”

“Oh great, the CD is skipping! This is going to be a loooong night!” said Jangle.

“Yes.” replied Jinx.

And they both picked up a toy from the big pile and looked at the huge countdown clock on the wall. Time was ticking away, would they get finished in time?

Suddenly there was a yell from  Candy Cane who opened the door letting a blast of cold air in.

“Quick! Santa fell in the snow and we think he might have broken his ankle because of the way he landed. We need some help transporting him to Dr.Frosty.”

Jangle’s mouth dropped open, “Can anything else go wrong tonight?” he said as he put the toy down that he was working on.

“Yes!” said Jinx.

Jangle looked at him, “What do you mean by that?”

“Well, for one thing you just put that porcelain doll down in a puddle of wet paint.”

Jangle quickly grabbed the toy and laid it aside.

“We will worry about that later, lets go help Santa. Christmas is just a day away!”

“Yes” replied Jinx.

Jangle opened his mouth, and then just shut it again. “….mmm…!”

(Part 2 tomorrow…. Will Santa be OK? What is he isn’t, what do you think will happen?)

 

 

 

 

A Pancake Morning at the North Pole

Jinx and Jangle were up early this morning, for Jinx had breakfast to prepare.  It was nice this time of year at the North Pole. A slower pace, before things got crazy in a couple months with all the preparations for  Christmas.

Jinx was cooking up his special omelets and making pancakes. He had just tried to flip one in the air like those fancy chefs do, but it didn’t exactly work out too well. Santa’s special chef was really good at that, but he had the day off . Every week Santa would give him the day off and one of the other elves would be picked to make breakfast for everyone. This week Jinx’s name was drawn. He didn’t mind, he was just relieved like everyone else that Coal’s name hadn’t come up. He tended to burn the food a lot!

Jangle had come over to the kitchen with him but he wasn’t exactly helping. Instead his nose was buried in a book.

“Hey Jinx, this book is really good, you will have to read it when I’m done.”

Jangle loved this part of his job. He had the task of reading the new books that came to the North Pole.  He was the one that decided whether they were worthy of being put on the list for new Christmas gifts.  Being an avid reader, he couldn’t think of a better job.

Jinx heard Jangle laughing as he was finishing up with his cooking.

“Wow Jinx, these characters sure do get themselves into some crazy predicaments! I thought crazy things happened to us, like when we were at The North Pole Olympics

I do believe these characters may have us beat though, as far as wild adventures go! They rode in a Hot Air Balloon! Have you ever done that Jinx? Jinx? Are you there, you are being awfully quiet! Jinx?”

“Yes.”  replied Jinx.

Jangle looked up and saw Jinx coming out of the kitchen carrying a plate with a heaping stack of pancakes on it. The pancakes at the top were shaking and Jangle was afraid of what may happen, so he rushed towards Jinx to help him carry the plate and CRASH!

The plate fell and the pancakes scattered all over the floor!

“Oh Jinx, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to bump you! I guess you may like my help to make more pancakes?”

“Yes” replied Jinx, as he started to pick up the pancakes.

Jangle looked over at his book, but it would have to wait. He was really curious though as to what happened to them all on their Hot Air Balloon ride.  He started to chuckle as he remembered the dialogue that he had just read between 2 of the characters.

As Jinx and him walked back to the kitchen Jangle said, “Take a seat Jinx, I will mix the pancake batter together and tell you about what I just read, it is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Does that sound good?”

“Yes” answered Jinx and he took a seat wearing a smile already as he watched Jangle being the one to do the work now.

*Jinx and Jangle may be fictional characters who I have fun writing about, but the book Jangle was reading is very real! “The Odessa Chronicles” is available now directly from Friesen Press and and other online book retailers. As Jangle said, the characters have many crazy adventures. I believe the characters will warm your heart and bring a smile. If you would like to know more about The Hot Air Balloon adventure that Jangle was talking about feel free to visit Colin’s blog and read his excerpt about it at  https://meandray.com/2018/07/30/the-balloon-adventure/

The Woods of Whispering Lake

“What a lovely day it is for a walk in the woods!”  said Jinx, as they were walking through the woods and watching the squirrels scamper and hearing the birds call to each other.

Jangle agreed, this was a nice break from being at the North Pole.  They were on vacation for 2 weeks and decided to go somewhere that they hadn’t been before.  They decided to go to a place called , “The Town of Whispering Lake”,  It had a magical feel to it and today they were exploring the woods.

“Hey Jinx, did you feel that?”

“Feel what … oh that….yes, I believe it may be starting to rain.”

“You are a genius Jinx, so what do you suggest? We are quite a far way from our car.”

Jinx and Jangle stood there for a little as the drops started to fall more rapidly. They were looking around when Jangle spotted it.

“Look! Over there, by those cluster of trees, there is a little house. Perhaps whoever lives there would be nice enough to invite us in until the rain stops.”

Jinx decided it really was there only option as the rain started falling harder. He didn’t mind walking in the rain, but the sky was growing darker and it appeared that a storm was on its way.

They ran to the house and knocked on the door but there was no response. They knocked again and still there was silence. As Jangle went to knock one more time the door opened slightly, it hadn’t been latched securely.  They timidly walked in calling out “Hellloo! Anyone home?”

They looked around the nice home.  There was quite large furniture in the room and there were some small pieces too. Their feet sank into the plush chocolate brown carpet. The kitchen table was a sunny yellow color with matching chairs.

There was a big pot sitting in the middle of the table.

“I wonder what is in that pot, it smells so good” said Jinx

Jinx took the lid off the pot and saw that the pot was full of chili.

“Do you think it would be okay if we had some. Just a morsel or 2. My stomach is really growling.” said Jinx.

Jangle thought it would be okay, as long as they washed up after themselves. Nobody liked dirty dishes left in the sink.

They found 2 bowls and spoons and dipped just a little bit out of the pot.

It had been a long time since breakfast and Jangle dug into his. Oh it tasted so good!

Jinx took a big bite and his eyes got wide! His cheeks started getting red as he put his spoon down and frantically looked for a cup so that he could pour himself some water!

Jangle started laughing. “A little too spicy of a morsel, eh!  Gee, your cheeks are red! Spicy morsels do have a way of flushing your cheeks don’t they.”

Jinx decided that his stomach could wait for more food. Food that perhaps wouldn’t be quite as hot, his eyes were still watering!

Jangle finished his bowl, claiming how warm and full he felt now. He washed out his bowl and Jinx’s and dried them and put them back in the cupboard.  Afterwards he went to sit down on one of their chairs in the living room and he suddenly found himself sitting on the floor!

Now it was Jinx’s turn to laugh as he was reclining in the huge, very comfy recliner.

“Oh No, you broke their chair!  It was a pretty chair too, a lovely shade of blue. We are going to have to buy this family a new one. Perhaps you better cut back on all the delicious morsels of candy that you been eating lately. ”

They suddenly turned serious for neither of them knew what kind of family lived in this house. Were they nice? What would they think of 2 strange elves taking shelter in their home and breaking their chair!

“Perhaps we will leave them a note”, said Jangle as he was starting to sweat and it wasn’t due to the hot, spicy chili that he had.

They didn’t have time to look for paper for they heard the door opening as they both were  still standing in the middle of the living room floor.

Jinx grabbed Jangle’s arm as they looked at the family that came through the door. A family of bears! Jinx and Jangle’s faces were as beet red as they had ever been before.

“Mama, Mama, look! Who are they?”

Mama could only stare in surprise, it was Papa Bear who spoke.  ” Well, well, what do we have here?  You guys are quite small, I think I could pick up both of you with my one paw.”

Hearing this sent shivers down Jinx and Jangle’s spine.

“We…we …we are Santa’s elves kind sir … we wanted to get out of the rain…and…”

Jangle couldn’t hold it back any longer, he interrupted Jinx.

“i am so….so…so…sorry! I didn’t mean to break your chair, honest, I didn’t! I can have Santa Clause build you a new one. I can make it a super deluxe….”

Papa Bear and baby bear were laughing so loudly that Jangle could no longer hear himself.  “Oh the look on your faces was priceless! It’s okay, you don’t need to be scared! We love Santa Clause, so we obviously could never hurt any of his elves!”

With this Papa Bear gave Jangle a pat on the back which almost sent him sprawling face first on the floor.  Jinx was standing there remembering how to breathe again as he let out a big sigh of relief!

“We are happy to have you here! You all must be hungry for its after lunch. We were getting ready to sit down and have some of Mama’s best chili ever. Please won’t you join us. ”

“Sure we would love to” replied Jangle.

“Thank you for being so kind!”

Jinx felt his stomach sink, what was he supposed to do.  They set bowls on the table for them and they all sat down.

Baby bear was starting to scoop some  more fresh chili out of the pot when Mama Bear told him to wait. “Guests always get served first, here Jinx hand me your bowl.”

Jinx handed it to her and watched as she filled his bowl to the very top and then handed it back saying, ” I hope you like it, it is my secret recipe.”

Jangle couldn’t look at Jinx, as he tried to keep the smirk off his face.

“So tell us, what is it like working for old Santa Clause?” asked Papa Bear

“Me and him go a long way back! It was one Christmas Eve many years ago that I will never forget.”

Papa Bear proceeded to tell them a wonderful tale about Santa and how he helped him one Christmas Eve when he really had needed it.  It had made Papa Bear realize the importance of helping others.

They had a fun time of swapping stories, they were quite a nice family, and they made plans to have a picnic at Whispering Lake the next day.

“Mama, Mama, can you make more chili for the picnic please!”

“I think I will make sandwiches for the picnic dear.”

Hearing those words make Jinx smile. Anything had to be better than the chili, he thought.  Now if only he could finish his bowl.

 

Sparkling in the North Pole

It was a beautiful day at the North Pole. Everyone seemed to be feeling sparkly today. Smiles were on their faces and there was a extra bounce in their step. Jangle was whistling as he worked at repairing their sled.

The little birthday adventure that he and Jinx and their friends had gone on had been fun,  in spite of the little mishap with the sleigh. It was nothing too serious that couldn’t be fixed. Santa just shook his head when he heard the story.  Jangle chuckled to himself as he wondered what Santa’s reaction would have been if he had known about the other mishap that had happened,  Jinx’s little mishap. Oh you could always count on an adventure when Jinx was around.

One of the best things about their birthday adventure was the food. The Cinnamon Roll cake had been so delicious. It was so moist and sweet. Jangle’s tongue still tingled when he thought of it. Chef Salvo had outdone himself! Its no wonder he was Santa’s personal chef.

Jangle wasn’t sure what Jinx was getting into today. He had said that he wanted to challenge his mind with something new. It could be interesting to see what he came up with as  a way to exercise his mind.

Later today they were going to go get some physical exercise by taking a hike. Jinx may run some but Jangle preferred to walk, he wasn’t as much of a runner as Jinx was.

Jangle had finally finished fixing the sleigh. Had reattached the part and repainted it. Now it just had to dry. He stood up and started putting everything away when he heard Jinx yelling.

“Look out Jangle!”

Jangle turned to look and couldn’t believe what he saw.  Jinx was on ice skates! He had never seen Jinx ice skate before and why was he out here and not on the pond ice skating?

“I can’t stop!” yelled Jinx

Crash! He hit the sleigh and crack went the new part that Jangle had just put on.

Jinx was muttering to himself as he sat up and took his skates off.

“Well I guess skating may not be for me.  Those Olympic skaters make it look so easy! Sorry about breaking off a piece of the sleigh that you had just fixed.”

Jangle started to say that Jinx could fix it this time and then he busted out laughing when he looked at Jinx’s face. It was all red! All red from the fresh coat of paint that Jangle had just put on the sleigh.