Friday, October 24, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 36

This is week 36 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Thanks to Chatty, Melli and my friend Shannon for this week's words. I still have some left over from all of you, but I was too lazy to dig them out so I just made up a bunch of my own for next week. I don't know if I'm just weary from thinking about politics, but I'm having a harder and harder time every week squeezing these things out of my brain. As always, I look forward to the many brilliant things that the rest of you have come up with. Oh... I'm going to add a picture this week. My friend Shannon's build-a-bear critter, Kia. I posted Kia small, but if you click on her picture, you can see her full glory. She's really cute.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: build-a-bear workshop, man bites dog, opulent, disparaging, lipstick stain, preponderance, smoky quartz, clothes pin, meticulous, falling leaves

Mini Challenge: moisturizing, pickles, seat belt, flip-flop, Chicago

Here's my ten-word offering for this week:

Margaret Louise Horowitz, who was an extremely meticulous child, looked in horror at Kia, her build-a-bear workshop cheetah and was mortified to see her stuffed friend’s opulently decorated blouse smeared with a hideous lipstick stain. “Mother,” she exclaimed, with a disparaging look in her mother’s direction, “you have been kissing Kia again and you have ruined her beautiful smoky quartz colored shirt with the falling leaves made out of rhinestones. How could you?” “Margaret, beloved child,” Mrs. Horowitz, replied, rolling her eyes, “the idea of me kissing your stuffed toys is about as likely as a man bites dog scenario. That lipstick is your grandmother’s shade, not mine. Now stop fussing and find me some clothes pins, so I can hang this silly shirt up after it runs though the washing machine and we can restore Kia to her former sartorial splendor.”

And here's my mini challenge:

Ella Sanderson buckled her seat belt and checked her map. Though she was not looking forward to the drive to Chicago, where she hoped that the new moisturizing lotion she had invented using pickles and sour cream would put her on the road to riches. This, she thought, is so much better than my inflatable flip flops. They won’t laugh at me this time.

And the mega challenge:

With the onset of autumn’s falling leaves, Martha thought sadly that it was time to put her flip-flops away and begin to prepare for the chilly days of winter which lay ahead. Much as she loved the opulent colors of the season, she did not look forward to Chicago’s bitter winter, a season during which no amount of moisturizing lotion kept her skin from becoming a ravaged dry desert and no amount of layers kept her warm. If she had her druthers, she and Sam would return to the warmer climes and memories of her beloved North Carolina where it got neither too cold or too hot. She smiled thinking of how, despite the mock disparaging looks of his father, as a child, Kevin, had called the sharp mountain curves clothes pin turns instead of hair pin. It actually made just about as much sense. Buckle your seat belt she would say and he would laugh uproariously. Kevin had been such a happy child, who would laugh at just about anything, from a silly man bite’s dog joke Sam had played with Pickles, their dog, to the delights of creating his own meticulously dressed build-a-bear workshop teddy bear. When he had left for college, he had insisted that she put a big lipstick stain on Freddie Teddy’s worn collar so he would always have his mother’s kiss to comfort him on darker days. Quickly touching the smoky quartz heart at her throat, the last gift Kevin had given her, it seemed impossible to her that he was gone. He had been so vital, so full of life. She was grateful that the preponderance of her memories were of Kevin laughing, grateful that he had had a happy life. Remembering her lost son, she longed more deeply for happier times and for days when her husband’s smile was as bright as his son’s. She thought a trip home might heal her husband’s broken heart as she knew it would her own. Perhaps the coming of winter would persuade Sam too, that they were meant for warmer climes.

This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: sortie, moonstruck, dandelion, sprinkler system, broccoli, birds feeder, tuxedo, Montana, midnight

Broccoli, the handsome tuxedo cat who shared Martina Montez’ home stared hungrily at the bird feeder which was swarming with tasty morsels just outside his reach. Martina, for her part, was trying to figure out the instructions so she could set the elaborate new underground sprinkler system which she had just had installed to run for two hours starting at midnight. The instructions made no sense to her and she wondered what had possessed her to invest in a sprinkler system for a lawn which was mostly dandelions, anyway. Nothing was going right today. She was a failure at everything. Love, motherhood, and now even painting. She had been trying for hours - no, for days and weeks - to capture the memory of her first sortie into the Montana wilderness and the moonstruck feeling of being under that big dark sky with the wind and the wild flowers and the wild creatures lurking, almost, but not quite, visible in the moonlight. There had been one magical moment when she had felt totally connected to the universe and she wanted desperately to get it on canvas. But how was she to do that with an absent husband, angry children and a sprinkler system that made no sense. Life stunk. But then, like a gift from heaven, sweet, wicked old Broccoli sidled up to her, and after rubbing himself gently against her leg a few times, looked her straight in the eye made her a speech full of such passionate intensity, that she knew it would all be ok. The children would still love her, Harry would probably return home with flowers and a sheepish grin, and the painting, the painting too would find its way from her heart to the canvas. Thanks Brocc. You’re a gift from God.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: squeaky toy, perpendicular, olives, shanty, howling at the moon, soul, bow and arrow, uniform, statistics, praying mantis

Mini Challenge: glamour, rocking chair, cormorant, objective, symbolism

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.



Richard said...

I found your mega very touching. Nice job. My story will post at 7 in the morning; I used the scheduled publishing feature.


Chatty said...

I loved the first two - a cheetah in a rhinestone shirt (nice accompanying picture, too!) and inflatable flip flops - personally, I think those sound very comfortable - but your mega made me cry.
All were lovely!
Mine are posted, too.

Clarence said...

There's that pickles-moisturizing lotion again. Great minds think alike! :)

Lu' said...

So sweet, asking her to kiss the bears collar to remember her by :)

Melli said...

I love Kia! She's adorable! She and Ella would get along so well!

Chicago seems to be FULL of moisturizing product this week! LOL!

Your mega was very verrrrrrry touching... I loved it! I had the hardest time with these words this week. I just couldn't come up with ANYTHING that wasn't just preposterous! Soooo... nothing serious from me this week!

Your vanity was great - as usual - too! Why WOULD she spend so much to water the dandelions? LOL!

Carletta said...

Loved Shannon's Cheetah in the rose colored glasses to accompany your ten word.
Pickles and sour cream moisturizer - uh, gotta think about that.
Your mega was sad but so well done - the lipstick stain was so AH!
No matter how many times you say you have problems they are always well done.

SMM said...

Inflatable they'd be great :)

Added my name to Mr. Linky. This is the concluding par of Sam Singh's story - as of now conluding. Not sure yet if I'l take it forward or write short paragraphs like you do every time now though.

Akelamalu said...

Ooooer fancy - a moisturising cream made from pickles ! LOL

Pickles is a great name for a dog, I wish I'd thought of that!

Oh your mega was sad :( but brilliantly written.

bettygram said...

Is it possible that Kia or Kevin's bear made it to the future in my story. Your mega was sad and touching.

Dr.John said...

Boy , today you have it all , humor, pathos, and a loving cat.
I laughed at the inflatable flip flops . Nancy's uncle used to invent stuff like that.
My glasses fogged on the mega challenge.
I could just see the God given cat in the Vaniety word story.
You write so well.

Dianne said...

I want inflatable flip-flops!! They would help immensely at the moment LOL

I love the bear photo - so perfect for the story.

and it appears to be unanimous - the mega is sad but beautifully touching.

Travis said...

The two minis had me smiling with mirth, and the mega turn my smile bittersweet.

Well done.