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weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, it would have to be decaf for most of us as it’s after 7:30 pm. We’ve just stopped for the night on our way home from a week of traveling. This will be the last night before we get home as we are half way home.  Yay!

If we were having coffee, I would probably bore you with a lot of stuff you don’t want to hear about the grand kids.  I’ll try not to.

It has been tough with the two little ones. Spencer has trouble being in the car for more than about two hours so a two day trip home becomes three! If we can get him to nap then we hustle and get as far as we can before he wakes up. Anderson, on the contrary is and always has been a good traveler. No stops for him although he is in the “How many more minutes?” phase…every two minutes he asks!

Tough as it has been, I’m glad we made the trip. I needed to be at the funeral for me as much as for them. As I sat in that church, in the last pew by the exit (that’s where I put myself even though there was lots of room), I realized that some of what I was feeling was because there was no religious kind of observance of my father’s passing last May. I felt like the mass was as much for Abuela as for my dad. And no, she wasn’t my grandmother but she was grandmother to everyone that came her way. Everyone at the mass knew her as Abuela! I’m glad it’s over and we’re almost home…and I’m glad we got to go.

I’ll cut it short. I’m way behind on NaNoWriMo and even though I may not make it to 50k this year, I’m not giving up. I’m going to try. If I can get a little time tonight after everyone goes to sleep, I can write a couple of thousand words which is not much in the scheme of things but it keeps me from getting one more day behind. Then I should be able to write at least 5k Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I head for Seattle but might try to get some words in before I leave. With luck I can get maybe another 3 to 5 thousand done in Seattle. That still leaves me behind but I’ll be in catch up range.  It might get right down to midnight this year!

I hope everyone has a great weekend, a wonderful week, and for those who celebrate Thanksgiving, a very peaceful and inspiring holiday. I should be home late Sunday and with luck, I’ll get back to normal posting.

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog hop hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Go take a peek and maybe join us!

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I’ve been tagged in the NanoPoblano Blog Hop Story, which means it’s my turn to add a few words to a story that some of the other Peppers have already added to and I have to choose one person to carry on the story.

First, The Rules:

  • Wait until you are tagged, then add a new post on your blog with these rules, the story so far, and who’s been tagged.
  • Title and tag the post as Nano Poblano Blog Hop Story 2015.
  • Add at least one sentence to the story.
  • Pick another Pepper from the blogroll to tag (preferably one who hasn’t already been tagged).
  • Add a link to your chosen Pepper’s about page (so they get a notification that they’ve been tagged) to the tagged list below.
  • Pass the story along within two days of getting tagged.

And here’s The Story So Far:

Eli stumbled into the compartment, flush and out of breath, and took the only available seat next to an old woman and a child. After months of planning, he suddenly had a bad feeling about this and stood right back up again, but at the same time, the train started moving.

There was no going back. As if to accentuate the point, the jerk of the train starting thrust Eli into his seat. Was he doing the right thing? Was he doing the wrong thing for the right reasons? Eli didn’t really know. What he did know was that the old lady had fake teeth that hadn’t been cleaned in a while, and the child reminded him of all the scary movies he’d seen about children. But that was besides the point. Eli was on a mission. Kind of.

He cringed, wishing he had planned this trip differently. The train ride lasted a full hour, plenty of time for things to go wrong when split-second timing was needed.

A droplet of sweat beaded at the end of Eli’s reddened face as he tried to catch his breath. Luckily, the old woman seemed to be busy telling the child a long and rambling fairy story. She hadn’t even noticed her fellow passenger.

Eli meant to keep it that way.

The child Eli had noticed was Rory, who was on a “real-life Thomas the Train trip” with his Gramma. Eli was right to note that Rory looked a little scary. The poor child did look a lot like Chucky from the classic horror movie Child’s Play…but then maybe that could be said of any three-year-old with red hair and freckles.

Rory, normally the sweetest of all kids despite his devilish appearance, loved his Gramma. Today though, her lack of a smart phone and insistence that “banana you glad” was the punchline to that knock-knock joke about fruit didn’t play well with his preschool-aged attention span. Especially on this long trip. Instead, he turned his attention elsewhere…

“GRAMMA, WHO’S DAT MAN?” Rory exclaimed, using his “outside voice”, pointing directly at Eli.

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THAT MAN RIGHT THERE GRAMMA! SEE? SEE THAT MAN?!
DAT MAN DARE, GRAMMA! SEE? SEE DAT MAN?!

That man was the conductor of the train and he had an announcement to make. The passengers gave him the solemnity and respect fairly due to any person wearing such an official uniform.

He coughed sternly and spoke rapidly: “There has been a minor delay and we’re going to disembark a little early while necessary repairs are made. We apologize for the inconvenience. Accommodations have been made for all passengers in the nearest town. We think you’ll find the quaint, quiet rhythm of Bubbleville to be your liking. The town is rich with, well– let’s call it history.”

Eli jumped when the conductor started to speak right behind him. At first he thought the kid had been pointing at him, which made him sweat, but the kid instead had pointed at the conductor.

The passengers started to leave the train, Eli followed reluctantly. He had no choice. He had heard of Bubbleville and its ‘rich history’. It was supposedly haunted with the ghosts of its founder Mr. Bubbles, a mean and miserly man and some of the people Mr. Bubbles had done wrong. Eli wondered if the legend was true. He hoped not. What he needed was a new plan, as his was not panning out.

Eli followed the rest of the passengers into the only hotel in Bubbleville. A dark, brooding place that looked more suited for nightmares than restful slumber.

A giant chandelier crashed into a thousand tiny pieces, sparkling with fire and mischief, and Eli, along with his fellow travelers, jumped and cried out in fear. It hadn’t landed on any one but had come close to squishing the little boy he had shared train compartments with. The child, for his part, had weathered the proximity of the disaster better than the rest.

Laughing, a rotund man dressed in a too-tight suit came forward from an alcove behind the reception desk. “Forgive our little pranks. Our guests, you see, often come with such trepidation that Mr. Bubbles is haunting around that we decided to play into their fears a bit. Just a bit of fun. See, look, feel, your tension is already easing, and now you’ll be able to relax more thoroughly than you would have otherwise.”

Eli was not more relaxed. He was, however, considering all of his potential exits from Bubbleville that might afford him the opportunity to play a trick on the manager before making his full departure. A rueful smile played across his face as he was shown to his room.

His smile vanished as the door to his room opened and a small ghost swooped down from the ceiling. It was too much. The train’s stop had completely ruined his plan, even if he were to rush out of town now he’d be too late. Here he was, worse off than before and in a fake haunted hotel to boot! Eli sighed and stomped off toward the shower. So long as he had a complimentary room he might as well make the most of it.

By the time he was ready for bed, a giant spider had been found in the bathroom, (sitting on top of the pink soap with the frighteningly cheerful face), growls echoed out from under the bed and he noticed a strange green glow outside his window. Eli collapsed on top of the bedspread (black, of course) as the events of the last days caught up to him. He lay too exhausted to even give an appropriate eye roll when the ghost floated down to sit on the bed next to him.

Eli thought of his ruined plans and groaned.

The ghost waved.

He tried to come up with a way forward and flung a pillow over his face.

The ghost moved closer.

“Now what?” He asked the room at large, and though it was muffled from the pillow on his face he heard someone say, “Eli?”

He flung the pillow off of his face and found the ghost staring at him.

The ghost smiled and gave him a thumbs up.

Eli stared.

The ghost smiled again and said, “Can I help?”

Eli blinked. When the ghost failed to disappear, he blinked again, but slower this time.

Nope, still there. Apparently his day wasn’t planning on getting any easier as the hours rolled by.

The ghost on his part seemed quite unperturbed by the strangely blinking man before him and gave Eli an encouraging smile, like a patient teacher trying to coax a socially awkward preschooler into joining in on his first day of school.

“They sent me to help you,” the ghost offered helpfully after Eli failed to respond to his initial query. “They said you might need someone with my, um, special abilities to carry out your plan.”

“How thoughtful of them,” Eli managed to mumble before collapsing in a dead faint.

“Oh, thank goodness. It’s so much easier to maintain this form in here.”

“Hmmm? What? In where?” Eli muttered.

“In your mind, your subconscious, your dream-state…whatever you’d like to call it, of course. You passed out, and you’ve not yet returned to consciousness. Let’s take advantage of this time, shall we?”

Eli’s thoughts, obscured by thick veils of slow confusion, were struggling to untangle, but it seemed to him that the ghost had solidified into a more human-like configuration. After dragging his hand across his eyes in an attempt to clear his muddled vision, Eli peered at the ghost again. Curves and shadows collided, creating features that definitely belonged to a human face. Recognition crawled into Eli’s thoughts.

Eli blinked his eyes several times and shook his head in disbelief. “Surely it’s not…” he murmured. “Clay, is that you?” Eli asked, reaching out towards his army buddy.

“It’s me, Eli.”

“But you…how did you…I can’t believe this…” Eli said in a voice so quiet that he could barely hear it himself. He felt a tear slide down his cheek. “After all this time. And all you did. How?”

Clay held up a hand to quiet Eli. “Now’s not the time for reminiscing, old friend. There’ll be plenty of time for that soon enough. What I need you to do now is listen very carefully, as I’ll only be able to tell you this once.”

Eli tried to force away the dozens of thoughts flooding his brain so he could process what Clay was telling him. He pushed away thoughts of their training together, thoughts of holding Clay’s baby girl, thoughts of Clay pushing him out of enemy fire only to take three shots to his chest in the process.

“I know you think that this stop has ruined your plan–it hasn’t. This was necessary,” Clay said. “You’ll still make it in time, but that alone won’t be enough to carry it out. When you wake up, you’ll find what you need in a box under your bed. You’ll understand what to do with it when the time is right.”

Eli opened his mouth. “But what–”

Clay shook his head. “Take it and make your way to Rockford. If you get there before the week’s end, you just might be able to stop this. You’re the only one who can give them a chance.”

Eli watched as his friend’s face began contorting back to that of the ghost’s. With a jerk, he sat up on the bed, wide-eyed.

Immediately, of course, he thought of the box that Clay had mentioned. Still unsure whether what he’d seen was dream or fantasy, a distraction from the Others or a Helping Hand, he climbed out of the four-poster bed and knelt on the ground. He took a deep breath before pulling back the bed-skirt.

There was not just one box underneath the bed—there were three. The thought crossed his mind again that Clay’s appearance might be just a distraction, a Nightmare in disguise. But somehow he didn’t think so—and that meant he had to decide which of the boxes Clay meant for him to take.

On the outside, all the boxes were the same—about the size of a small notebook, and though they were covered with a thick layer of dust he could tell that they were ornately carved. As he dusted off the tops and sides, he realized the carvings were runes, crowded close together and marked with inlays of gold.

The only thing to do would be to open them up.

But which should he open first? The runes, if he remembered the symbols accurately, spelled out “Then” on one box, “Now” on another and the last one spelled out “Clay.” Which was he supposed to open first? He decided to open the one marked “Now” first. Maybe that would help him decide which box to open next.

He gently picked up the box, surprised by the almost weightlessness of the contents. He held his breath as he pulled the top off the box.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, here are The Contributors So Far:

Fish of Gold

A Disquieted Mind

SVM & TB Stories

Excerpts From Nonexistent Books

NotAPunkRocker

Rarasaur

To Breathe is to Write

The Matticus Kingdom

Behind the Willows

Never Trust a Jellyfish

Nerd in the Brain

Strong Enough To Break

Part-Time Monster

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

And I choose The Window of the Soul to carry on. Have fun with this!

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Tooth Fairy

We knew it would happen soon. Anderson’s teeth have been getting more and more loose. Yesterday one was almost dangling so we prepared him for when it came out. He seemed a little apprehensive about it but we told him it would be fine. I told him about how his mom lost her tooth when she took a bite of a cheeseburger once and another tooth stayed in the pizza when she took a bite of it.  If I recall correctly, she also swallowed one of her teeth!

He asked about the tooth fairy. It seems there are four or five others in his class that have already lost teeth so they told him about the tooth fairy. So we said yes, the tooth fairy will visit after his tooth comes out.

He was all set for magic. Then I stayed behind at the motel while my daughter took the boys to see her dad and step mother for dinner. About a half hour later I got a text picture of the tooth in the palm of Anderson’s hand.  So I missed being there. So did his dad. His grandpa got this one but that’s okay. I have had the pleasure of sharing so many firsts with Anderson that I don’t mind him having one!

When they got back to the hotel, Anderson jumped out of the car and ran to me showing me his missing tooth (the hole in his mouth).  He was so cute, he asked where he was sleeping and when he was told he could sleep with me or with his mom, he said he’d sleep with mom. Then he took his tooth out of his mom’s purse and ran to put it under the pillow.  He was soooo excited. It made me happy to know that at least for a while he’ll believe in magic and the tooth fairy

and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

That’s all part of growing up and we can all use a little bit of magic once in awhile. We’ll let Anderson have his!

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weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, I’m sure none of us would be able to keep from discussing yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. It is heartbreaking to think of innocent people being caught up in political terrorism. I can only imagine the shock, anger, sorrow, and frustration in France right now. Things like this should never happen and instead, we hear of it more and more. I don’t know what the answer is but there has to be a way for people to live in peace, without fear of being attacked by terrorists. I pray that one day soon, we will find a way.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my heart just isn’t in it today. It has been a sad week, although I’ve tried to concentrate on my grandsons and on writing and visiting blogs. I’ve tried. The boys bring me great joy and I truly enjoy visiting blogs and getting to know other bloggers. That part of the week has been good. Busy but good.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I don’t have a lot of time today. I’m way behind in my NaNoWriMo word count and I have been asked to host one of the official write-ins today. The person that was supposed to host has to work so I will be doing it. I’ve spent the evening on Friday, putting together little prizes and sticker grab bags, plot bunnies, and a bag of candy for the participants and winners of our word sprints. I have a list of prizes…most words, least words, longest sentence, most characters, most dialog, etc. It’s a long write-in (4.5 hours) and I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done, even though I’ll be in charge of the word sprints and other fun. It has given me something to focus on as it just came up Friday morning. Hopefully it will be productive AND fun!

I also noticed a couple of days ago that I am really close to hitting my 1000th blog post. I’m kind of wanting to get to it by the end of December so you might see me posting more than once a day on some days so I can get to that milestone and move on to the next one right when the new year starts. So if you see me increase my posting schedule, that’s why!

Well, it’s now 2:15 am and I have the alarm set for 7 am so I should try to sleep. I still have some prep work for the write-in and I also have Anderson here overnight. He’ll want me to sit with him in the morning so I can’t doze while he is up.

I hope you all have a good day and a productive week.

And if you find it in your heart to do so, please say a little prayer for our friends in Paris. Send them some virtual hugs and shoulders to lean on.

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#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog hop hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Go take a look then grab a cup of coffee and join us!

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Popocatepetl, a great Aztec warrior, was in love with a beautiful maiden named Iztaccihuatl. Iztaccihuatl was the daughter of the tribal king. The two lovers went to the king to ask for permission to be married. The king told them he would allow the marriage only if Popocatepetl was successful in battle with an enemy tribe. Popocatepetl went off to battle and stayed away for many, many long days.

Another soldier who had secretly loved Iztaccihuatl came to the home of Iztaccihuatl and told the king that Popocatepetl had been killed in battle. Hearing this terrible news, the king called his daughter and told her of her lover’s death. Iztaccihuatl was so saddened by this news that she was unable to do anything but cry. She could not eat. She could not sleep. All she was able to do was cry, for her heart had broken.Unable to console his grieving daughter, the king blamed himself for making Popocatepetl prove himself in battle.

Soon, Iztaccihuatl, unable to be consoled, died of her broken heart. The king, greatly saddened by the death of his only daughter, had her taken up high into the mountains where he could always look up and see her.

On the very day that she was taken to the mountains, Popocatepetl returned, victorious, and went to Iztaccihuatl’s father to claim his bride. Upon hearing of her death, Popocatepetl was so shocked and saddened that he went up into the mountains to look for Iztaccihuatl. Upon finding her, he knelt down and picked her up, placing her on his raised knee. Popocatepetl lit a torch so that Iztaccihuatl’s spirit might find its way back to her body and she might come back to life.

To this day, Popocatepetl still stands guard over his lovely bride and the torch still smokes. They can both be seen for hundreds of miles.
_______________

High above Mexico City are two volcanoes, the larger one named Popocatepetl and the smaller, Iztaccihuatl.

Painting by Jesus Helguera

Painting by Jesus Helguera

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Iztaccihuatl (l) and Popocatepetl (r). Photo by reuters.net

Popocatepetl's latest eruption was in October of 2015. Photo from foxnews

Popocatepetl’s latest eruption was in October of 2015. Photo from foxnews

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Today I have nothing to write about.

I have a cup of coffee and a warm bed. I have writing to do but I don’t seem to be able to do any writing until the evening these days. I used to get up and put in the first couple of hours of the day to NaNoWriMo during November but this year it seems like I don’t have my writer’s cap on until the evening.

I have a meowing cat that wants attention. She has been fed and watered and her box has been cleaned but she is still meowing at me from down the hall so it must be attention that she wants. I’m not sure if I want to give it.

I have a cold and gray sky outside, not very inviting. No long walks today. No hikes. Not an outside day. And they say we’re in for about five days of rain…heavy rain. So I guess I need to get myself to the store before it starts on Saturday so I can stock up on any food or drink I might need when it begins to pour.

I have one big thing to look forward to. I’m taking Spencer to eat today. Just the two of us. We’re going when he’s fresh from sleep so he should be fine and we’re going to a café that has a kids’ play area and is usually not too busy. I think he’ll enjoy that and I’m not taking any electronics with me. It’s a Nana and Spencer outing. It may only last an hour but that’s okay. It will be just the two of us. Usually it’s Anderson with me but Spencer is getting to the age where I can take him out, just the two of us. He’s 2 1/2.

So although it seems like I have a lot of nothing, I actually have a gold mine in Spencer time and then when Anderson comes home from school he may come over. He likes to come over after school. So I have a gold mine in those two.  I’ll worry about the writing later.

What do you have? Do you have a lot of nothing too? Do you have a gold mine? What’s your gold mine?

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Memory Orbs

I keep coming back to this idea ever since I saw the animated movie Inside Out last August. It’s a really, really good movie for the kiddos and I enjoyed it, too. It talks about memories and emotions and what to do with the emotions that make you act unlike yourself.

One of the neat visuals for me in the movie was the first time we see memory orbs. They are in a big room and there are all these little balls of varying color on a type of conveyor belt moving through and being cycled back around. We are told that they are memory orbs. Each one holds a memory from our past that we can recall at any time. The different colors are for different emotions associated with the specific memory. When we are feeling down, we can recall a happy memory to lift us up a bit and remind us that not all is bad or negative.

I kind of feel this would be great for blogging. So I think over the next few weeks I will be posting my own memory orbs. They’ll be little, tiny pieces of my past…59 years worth. I often get flashes of memory even from as long ago as when I was only one year old. And they are just that…a flash.

So, watch for those memory orbs and in the meantime, if you get a few free minutes, give a visit to some of the blogs on NanoPoblano which I haven’t been able to visit often. Here are a couple:

https://psychobabblepants.wordpress.com/

http://nonexistentbooks.com/

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That day when

it rained

and the wind

was blowing hard…

That day when

I missed

the bus and

had to run…

That day when

you walked

right past me

we didn’t know…

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