Ready, Set, Jump Into Summer! — The 2017 CURRENTLY Summer Blog Hop

Sun screen. Observing shore birds. Relaxing to the rhythm of the waves. Splashing in the surf. Kids playing “Marco Polo” in the pool. Family road trips. Picnics in the park. Watching spring’s wildlife babies taking first flight and learning from their parents.

Buzzing bees.  Kites in the breeze.  Birds singing in the trees.  —  Summer is in the air!

My blogger friends and I are sharing summer reflections and what we are up to at the moment.  Our thoughts, special memories, inspirations and what we are loving, listening to, anticipating, working on, writing, inspirations, and more in our “C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y Summer Blog Hop.”

Please have a read and enjoy. Then visit the other #Gr8Blogs listed at the end of this post for more summer insights and  inspirations.

Currently Loving . . . .

I am currently loving the change of seasons, now from spring moving into summer. Watching the bright freshness of spring’s newly-budded leaves transitioning into  the mature forest greens of summer. The hummingbirds have arrived and are visible darting, bobbing and weaving thru the air. Fireflies in the evening should be making an appearance soon. Parent birds busy all day gathering food for newly fledged young. The garden beginning to take form. Being a native of the Midwest and then having lived in Florida for several years and now having more recently returned to my home state of Missouri, as much as I loved the beauty and beaches of Florida I always missed the traditional flow of seasons here, one into another followed by another.

Loving . . . . Spring into Summer!

Currently Listening To . . . .

Taking a step back to Florida, it was during my year’s in the Sunshine State that I discovered the Smooth Jazz genre of music, listening to a smooth jazz station in Orlando.  So, while loving the change of seasons in my Midwest home, I miss family still living in Florida and times spent together with them there. Listening to smooth jazz music, especially that of Paul Hardcastle, Jazzmasters, Peter White and the like, reminds me of Florida’s bright sunny days and trips to the beach.

And, almost without saying, Jimmy Buffett passing the time in Margaritaville, of course.  I am a Parrot Head Pirate Over Forty, and it is always Five O’ Clock Somewhere listening to Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band with a steel drum serenade. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes — works fine here, too.

Listening to . . . . the music of summer!

Currently Making Me Happy . . . .

It seems as though it has taken forever, but finally getting settled back into a creative routine following three moves in three years, and having my workroom set up again where I create the teddy bears, old-fashioned raggedy dolls, jewelry pendants and other items for my online eBay Store and Etsy Shoppe. Unpacking boxes and rediscovering materials and supplies not seen in a few years is exciting, and has gotten the old creative juices flowing again.

Happy . . . . to be creating again!

Currently Anticipating . . . .

My online stores have been sadly neglected the past couple years with many things in limbo and in storage sheds, and together with getting the workroom going and working hard now to restock, I am eagerly anticipating the official ‘relaunch’ of my stores in mid-September in time for the holiday season, together with having some of my work and books displayed and available for the first time in local shops and boutiques on Main Street in Old Towne St. Charles, a local historic district. Old-fashioned teddy bears and raggedy dolls should feel right at home there.

Anticipating . . . . new opportunities!

Currently Working On . . . .

Summer is one of Santa and the elves’ busiest times preparing for the fall holiday season, and as one of Mr. C’s suppliers for many years, my summers are no exception. It’s busy times here!

On my worktable right now are an assortment of various sized mohair teddy bears and pandas for adult collectors, together with a growing small army of little, multi-colored mini bears which I refer to as ‘Fuzzie Cubbies’, made from vintage, 1950s plush upholstery fabric in a wide range of colors.

I am also staining fabrics, preparing to restart a line of small, old-fashioned raggedy dolls suitable for children, which I refer to as ‘Little Sidekicks’.   And making hats. And Steampunk attire.  And new wooden Adirondack Chairs and Rockers that I have designed and building. And decorative bonnets for dolls.  And more adult pendants. And, and . . . . .

Working on . . . . keeping busy!

Currently Writing . . . .

When not in the workroom, I am busy with Little Red Bear and his friends writing the second collection of short stories — ‘The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The Second Holler Over!’, for a fall release.  Following the warm reception of the standalone story for Little Red Bear, ‘Pine Holler Christmas: A Little Red Bear Story’, we are also hard at work on another standalone story — ‘Walking With Trees’ — focusing on the health benefits and well-being of spending time in nature, and the reasons why preserving the natural world is so important.  We are targeting a late summer release for this story, but as you can see, we’re pretty busy with a lot of things at the moment, but keeping good thoughts.

A lot of reading, study and research involved in my writing, of course, keeping Red and I even busier, as all of the Little Red Bear stories are meant to not only be Entertaining, but also Informative and Educational, as well. Red is very good with research. He has a special quiet place he retreats to for study, but will not share with me where it is.

Writing . . . . Little Red Bear Adventures!

Currently Grateful For . . . .

I am Currently and Always grateful for YOU!  Thank You to everyone who visits and follows my work here and on other social media sites.  Thank You for your kind comments, thoughts and encouragement.  Without YOU, I would merely being having conversations with a bear residing in my head.

It is followers, like YOU, who bring it all to life, hopefully for the benefit of many, making this blog, my writing, and works devoted to Children, Family, Positivity, Kindness, and Mother Nature possible.

Little Red Bear and I are grateful for . . . .  YOU!

Thanks as always for your time visiting with us.  That is what we (Little Red Bear and I) are currently up to, and as you can see, it is shaping up to be a very busy summer here!

I encourage you to please visit and follow my awesome and talented blogger friends below to see what they are CURRENTLY up to this summer, also.

And — be the reason someone smiles today!   — Jim (and Red!)

C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y Summer Blog Hop Pages To Visit!

Julie Gorges — “Baby Boomer Bliss”
Tracy Bryan — “Children’s Author”
Auden Johnson — “Dark Treasury”
Sandra Bennett — “author”
Carmela Dutra — “carmela Dutra blog”
Cat Michaels — “Cat’s Corner”

And hey y’all, if you’re pumped about writing your own “C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y” post now, simply add your family-friendly Currently blog link to your blog post in the comment section. We’ll visit and give you some blog love too!

“A Kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” – Steve Maraboli


Love Is A Four Letter Word That Children Spell — “T-I-M-E”

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” — Charles Schulz


14 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Jump Into Summer! — The 2017 CURRENTLY Summer Blog Hop

  1. Loved seeing your other creative side Jim. Those teddies are adorable. Have a wonderful summer keeping busy in your toy work shop. I will think of you as one of Santa’s amazing elves from now on. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting and for your kind comments, Sandra! I have a standing application for a Handcrafting Elf position in the teddy bear department at the North Pole, but it is a very lengthy recruitment process with few openings, so trying to maintain my position as an Independent Contractor until a position opens up. As you can imagine, with the free hot chocolate and candy cane benefits in Santa’s workshop, staff turnover is rare. 😉


  2. LOL! James, I cannot keep up with your moves and all the moving and shaking you are up to with your creative outlets. And Steampunk, too! Those Teddy Bears are precious.

    Thanks for sharing your woodland friends and nature’s beauty in your posts.

    btw… My first teaching job was in Missouri. Fond memories of your new home state-:D.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Cat! Yeah, I am having a hard time keeping up, too. Steampunk really does not fit the general vibe here, but for some reason it is interesting to me. I suppose it is our quirks that make us more interesting. And unpredictable, perhaps. LOL! Best wishes for a wonderful summer on Gull Island. 🙂


  3. Hi James,

    Loved the way you described the changing of seasons. I am a winter gal, but without Summer, I wouldn’t have my favorite Winter season. You certainly are keeping busy! I had no clue you were so crafty, and those bears you make!! Cannot wait to check out your online stores.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting with us, Carmela! A very busy summer shaping up this year, working to get both stores restocked for fall and complete the next collection of Little Red Bear stories with one (or two) additional standalone stories, as well. Good thing there’s not a beach nearby. LOL! Best wishes for a wonderful, fun summer! 🙂


  4. Pingback: Ready, Set, Jump into Summer 2017 C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y SUMMER BLOG HOP – Sandra Bennett – Author

  5. Hi James! What a great summer blog post!
    Yes, the midwest seasons are forever changing. Just about the time you adjust to one, it’s on to the next one. Love these blooming trees and flowers!
    The teddy bears, jewelry, dolls, and accessories are beautiful. If we ever are in Old Town St. Charles, I will be sure to look for your items.
    Your new story “Walking With Trees” sounds awesome and will be looking forward to it’s release.
    For your pick in music, you would enjoy a Jazz museum we have here in our city, and of course, it’s located at 18th and Vine. I look forward to visiting it sometime this summer, hopefully.
    We are grateful for you and Little Red Bear as you bring the “family hometown feeling” to all of us through your wisdom and support.
    Thanks for your post and wishing you and your family a wonderful summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank You for visiting, Rosie! We have the new Blues Museum here which looks wonderful and hope to visit sometime, too. Best wishes for a beautiful summer! 🙂


  6. So enjoyed your description of the changing of the seasons as we move into summer. Lovely! And LOVED the photo with the quote that followed.

    My, my, three moves in three years! Exciting but exhausting. Glad you are getting settled so you can concentrate on all your many creative talents. Congrats on all your success!

    Turns out we have Jimmy Buffett in common. My husband is a big fan and has converted me into one as well. We were privileged to see him in concert a couple of years ago at the Hollywood Bowl with our kids. My daughter-in-law looked a little appalled when I made her stand up and point her hands above her heads for the traditional – “fins to to left; fins to the right” moment. Lol! Recently, I saw the play, Margartaville based on Buffett’s music at the San Diego Playhouse – it is going to Broadway soon – and is so much fun!

    It’s so much fun learning about the lives of my fellow bloggers. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Julie! Yes, so many moves were exhausting, each in turn taking longer to recover from it seems. I probably never would have made it in a nomadic society, but then doubt I would have been lugging so much along on the journeys, either. LOL! I would love to see Jimmy Buffett in concert sometime! What an experience that must have been. Best wishes for a wonderful summer and sailing! 🙂


  7. Pingback: Ready, Set, Jump Into Summer | Baby Boomer Bliss

  8. Hi James! Oh my gosh, you’ve had so many moves in such few years. Didn’t realize we are both Floridans (well, you a former) but I totally relate to that feeling of needing to escape to the beach. Also didn’t realize your creativity isn’t just in your writing…now I see where your inspiration for Little Bear came from! I understand the healing of nature and appreciate your wonderful posts about it and animals-thank you for these and the great quotes you use in your posts. I look forward to these weekly! Have a nature filled and fantastic summer:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting with us, Tracy! The idea for Little Red Bear came about a few years ago when a newly finished mahogany-colored mohair bear that I had just finished starting talking to me in my head about his adventure trying to get honey from a beehive, and the first story started writing itself. Another mohair bear, a cinnamon one I named Cinnamon Charlie a short while later, inspired a sidekick for Little Red Bear in the stories, and away we all went on their writing adventures. Thanks for all your kind comments, and best wishes for a beautiful Florida summer and trips to the beach! 🙂


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