Friday, May 01, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 61

This is week 61 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. I think the words I pick get worse and worse every week, but maybe that's just my imagination. Looking forward to reading what all of you have come up with.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: translation, crunchy, cat’s paw, trunk, I love raspberry tarts, global warming, star struck, the midnight ride of Paul Revere, fragile, Spring fever Mini Challenge: pancakes and syrup, flat tire, mongoose, this place looks like a bordello, first dance

My 10 word offering for this week is:

Between Spring Fever, worrying about global warming, and feeling deeply star struck over the handsome Mark Harmon from NCIS, Samantha was feeling rather fragile at the moment. On top of all this she had spent the morning rummaging through her grandmother's trunk looking for the French translation Grandma had made of a favorite poem by Longfellow called "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." She didn't remember exactly the story behind her grandmother's effort, but besides being a unique in itself, it was a work of art. Grandma had written it out it in the wonderful calligraphy she was famous for and had illustrated it as well. Sam had always wanted to frame it and hang it on the wall and for some reason today she had become obsessed with the task. She was tired, shaky and ready to scream when she heard the voice of her friend Margaret calling at the back door. Margaret always made her feel better. Today she had come armed with two mocha frappachino's from Starbucks and a special treat. "Margaret, you are a life saver. I LOVE raspberry tarts, especially when they are crunchy like these are... and I REALLY needed company" Samantha gasped. "I'm crawling out of my skin today and ..." She paused in mid-sentence, thinking even as she did how amazing it was that thinking about someone else could make your own troubles seem so quickly meaningless. "What's wrong, Margaret? You look upset!" "My mother said that Martin is using me as a cat's paw to get to Carly,' her friend sobbed. "A what?" "Cat's paw... dupe... you know mother, never one to say things in words anyone would understand," Martha replied feeling better already. There was nothing like talking things through with a true friend.

And for the mini:

Mongoose Mills, Minnesota was holding it's annual wild rice festival, which consisted of three days of fairs, balls, rice centered dinners and the famous Sunday morning pancakes and syrup breakfast at the First Dance Cafe. The cafe was something of a joke in town, even though it was a popular gathering place. Most people on first entering muttered something along the lines of "this place looks like a bordello." Oddly despite the hideous decor, the owners were such warm, kind people and the food was so good, that people eventually not only got used to it but became fond of it. Let's face it, Mongoose Mills was a strange town with an odd name and a rather eccentic population, many of whom were artists and some psychics. It was the psychic who owned the First Dance Cafe who had come up with the idea for the festival. She had a vision of a car with a flat tire and then many other cars and had realized that the town was meant for greatness. Of course the festival was still very small. Only about 100 people came each year, but Madam Zelda knew that soon many more would come... that was why she had persuaded the town to build an annex to First Dance which would be called Last Dance. The town was on it's way up and so was Madam Zelda.

This week's Mega Challenge:

Harold loved watching Jeopardy more than almost any other show on TV, though he loved all kinds of games and word puzzles. Tonight's categories were Star Struck, Global Warming, Longfellow, Cat's Paws, Unusual Animals, and Translations. "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," he shouted happily in response to the first question. "I mean, what is..." he added. "What is a mongoose?" he shouted next. He'd made a non traditional dinner for himself... an evening breakfast of pancakes and syrup and crunchy bacon which he at off the old steamer trunk that he used as a coffee/dinner table. His was a true bachelor pad, nothing fragile or girly in his decorating, just a peculiar hodge-podge of odds and ends he had found at flea markets and second hand stores. He did love color though, especially reds. "This place looks like a bordello," his best friend had said the first time he visited. It still made Harold laugh. He guessed it was true, though he had never been to a bordello to check it out. Still, today - his 24th birthday - had been a good day on the whole, though a bit lonely. He missed his famiy back in Iowa on days like this, but he knew they would call shortly. He'd gotten their package this morning. His sister had sent a vintage album by his favorite rock group. It was called Lost Love. He liked the music, and the band, which was called The Buzz, had played at the first dance he had gone to in college, the dance where he met and fell in love with Francine. Thinking of her took him back in time. She was like Springtime and when he thought of her in any season his being was filled with a kind of Spring Fever that was part tenderness, part grief, but mostly the deep contented joy of one who has known true love, even if only for a short time. Francine had died too young, but in his heart she would never die. His family had been so good seeing him through his grief, but they had always been good. He was one of the lucky ones. His life had always been rich in love and affection. Just then the phone rang. "Hi, Mom! Thanks so much for the photos ... and for remembering how much I love raspberry tarts - especially yours! Except for a flat tire on the way to work this morning, it has been a splendid birthday! And actually, even the flat tire wasn't so bad. I met a really nice girl while I was changing it. Guess what! She loves Jeopardy and she's going to be a contestant in a few weeks. I may apply to go on the show too! How cool is that! Back in Iowa, his mother breathed a sigh of relief for her son. He was going to be fine.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: gentle spring rain, mammoth, soap opera, worry, bubble gum, garden gate, seizure, of Biblical proportions, paralysis, wrinkles

Mini Challenge: operatic, stuffed animals, anger management, biographical, paint splatters

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

Enjoy! See you next week.



Nessa said...

I can't decide which one I like best but I think it's got to be Mongoose Mills, MN and Madame Zelda.

Anonymous said...

Excellent yet again. I really like the Mega. :)

Jeff B said...

Sitting this week out, but had to come by and read your wonderful words.

See you next week.

Sandi McBride said...

My head is spinning! Yeah, Mega!

Richard said...

Oh, how I liked the sound of Mongoose Mills. Great story.

quilly said...

Mongoose Mills is a great name! And I am so glad that Harold is ready to cherish his memories yet set his grieving aside.

Akelamalu said...

LOL we both used Mongoose as a name and featured crunchy raspberry tarts!

Loved all three - excellent as always Raven. :)

Dr.John said...

These are outstanding stories given this set of words. You do make it look easy.
I guess if I had to choose I would say the last one is best because I really like happy endings.

Lu' said...

Those were all good. I liked the mega best a comforting story :)

bettygram said...

I liked your second one best. I just laughed at Mongoose,Min.

Batteson.Ind said...

wonderful stuff! you have such a readable style of writing that is engaging and full of wit, I always enjoy your wordzzles! I loved the one about mongoose town, I can see madamn zelda and her peers, lol!

Dianne said...

I like them all of course but I'm really fond of the first one because, thanks to you, I learned that NCIS is on all day long!! every single day LOL

I am deeply star struck by Mark Harmon and every time I watch an episode I think of you and smile.

gabrielle said...

Sitting this week out too. But had to stop by.

There is Midwest flavor infusing these storiesthat you capture so well.
And well, I can't say enough about jeaopardy! "What is a mongoose" he shouted next.

gabrielle said...

Category: spelling. What is the British spelling for jeopardy?

Stephen said...

I enjoyed reading your stories. I liked the mini story best, with Mongoose Mills and its wild rice festival. It reminded me a bit of the Hearts O' Gold Cantaloupe Festival that Fallon, Nevada holds each year.

I have my own stories up now.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA