Happy December and Happy Holidays! Free Christmas & Holiday Features!

Happy December and Happy Holidays!  The holiday season will be in full swing now that we have turned the calendar page to December.

Today, I wanted to simply take a few minutes to remind everyone about all of the holiday features available here on my Writing Pages. Freely shared, as always, because that is how we roll here.

I encourage you to Like and Follow my Writer’s Page on Facebook and on Twitter to be notified and enjoy all of the extra upcoming holiday postings not appearing here on my Writing Pages — New Christmas Coloring Pages for all ages, Holiday Recipes, Christmas-themed Videos, Images, Wallpapers, and more.

Holiday Features here may be accessed by either tapping on the individual links below, or at any time thru the dropdown menus at the top of the page. Please feel free to share with families, neighbors, and friends, because sharing and giving is what the holiday season is all about.


Christmas Holiday Writing Features & Gallery Summary Page

“Love’s Candle in the Night Poem”

“The General Store Christmas Poem”

“Fireside Questions for Santa Poem”

“Blue House on the Hill” — a Christmas Poem

“What To Do On A Christmas Week Night Poem?

“Christmas Thru The Window Glass” — a nostalgic look back at Christmases of my childhood

“Christmases Of My Childhood” by the award-winning author Kathleen Creighton

“Christmas – It’s in the Singing Of A Street Corner Choir . . .”  featuring The Muppets

“Haddon Sundblom, Coca-Cola, and Santa Claus” about how the well-known modern image of Santa Claus came to be

“Christmas Trains and Memories Beneath the Tree”

“That’s What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown . . . .”

“Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus . . . . . . And So Much More!”

“Susie’s Bear” — a Holiday Season Short Story

“Little Red Bear’s “Christmas & Holiday Season” Coloring Pages for All Ages”

And, the most visited holiday season page every year, a tongue-in-cheek, fun adaptation of “The Night Before Christmas” poem featuring the Little Red Bear story characters → “Little Red Bear’s ‘Happy Christmas Left/Right Gift Exchange Game”


For me, this year has raced past and here we are already beginning December. How has it been for you this year?

December can be a very hectic month with the holiday season in full swing and so much to do it seems. Holiday and event planning, holiday parties to attend, shopping for gifts, wrapping, decorating, and more. Not even to mention baking cookies, cakes, pies, fudge, and other holiday treats and goodies to share. It can all be overwhelming if we allow ourselves to get too caught up in it all. Let’s all resolve this year to pace ourselves, pause now and then, live in the moment, and truly enjoy the holidays and all of the joys and happiness they bring.

We hope you can take a few moments now and then to visit with us here and enjoy the free holiday features and activities listed above. And watch for a new feature on Clement C. Moore’s “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem coming soon! Actually, I invite you to Register today to be notified of every new upcoming post and feature because it is always an ever-expanding list!

Sending along best wishes and blessings for a wonderful, healthy, and joyous holiday season ahead! — Jim  (and Red!)  🤠🐻 🎅 ❄️ ⛄🎄


With children and grandchildren around (and for those of any age who like to color!), we invite you to visit “Little Red Bear’s “Christmas & Holiday Season” Coloring Pages for All Ages”  for hours of family coloring fun and time together this holiday season!


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and “Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day!” 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post! Because really, why in the world wouldn’t you?)


Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” – Peg Bracken

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” – W.T. Ellis

Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

“Christmas is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift-giving, and of families united.” – Norman Vincent Peale

This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


 “Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” – Ruth Carter Stapleton

Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help greatly to expand our reach and encourage new readers and visitors!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Simply a quick note to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Between morning parades, dinner, football games, the Puppy Bowl, and pumpkin pies, let’s all take a moment to remember the true meaning and purpose of the day — THANKS – GIVING — a special day to give THANKS for all of the blessings in our lives. Even in the complex and challenging times, in the long run, they most frequently serve to make us even stronger and better in the end.

We should truly take time each and every day to pause and reflect in gratitude, giving “Thanks” for all of the blessings and gifts in our lives. I consciously choose to live each day in gratitude and joy, as I find it impossible to be miserable and thankful at the same time.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless! — Jim (and Red!)  🤠 🐻 ❤️



“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that to express the highest appreciation  is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John F. Kennedy


 

Happy “National Good Neighbor Day!”

Happy “National Good Neighbor Day!”

Do you remember the days when someone new would move into the neighborhood and folks would bring them warm casseroles for dinners or a basket of things to welcome them into the neighborhood?

Or, the tradition of bringing a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine as a blessing to ensure everyone would have enough to eat in the home? Some would bring salt and a new broom along, too.

Good Neighbor Day celebrates the importance of both having and being a good neighbor, and provides an opportunity to go out and get to know our neighbors a little better.

It is a blessing to have a good neighbor, and even more important to BE one. Oftentimes, neighbors become friends and help to look out for each other, especially if one or the other happens to be elderly or somehow impaired or challenged in any way.

Being a good neighbor helps to make good neighbors. Like so many things in life, it is simply all about kindness, isn’t it? A kind word, gesture, and a helping hand. Being there for someone and them being there for you in times of need.

I encourage you to call or take the time to visit with a neighbor today. We never know where it may lead, perhaps to a wonderful new friendship.

If you love the Autumn season as much as we do, I invite you to check out our most recent post – “Sharing Autumn Joy & Free Wallpaper Images!” and register to be notified of every new post and feature!

Best Wishes and Blessings!  — Jim  (and Red!)  🤠 🐻


With children back in school now, we invite you to visit Little Red Bear’s “Back-To-School” Coloring Pages along with Little Red Bear’s “Happy Autumn Season!” Coloring Pages for hours of family coloring fun and time together!


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  “Judge Softly” or “Walk a Mile in His Moccasins”

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post! Because really, why in the world wouldn’t you?)


“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden

“Definition of a good neighbor: someone to be trusted; a courteous, friendly source of help when help is needed; someone you can count on; someone who cares.”    Edward B. Rust, Jr.

Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

“And good neighbors make a huge difference in the quality of life. I agree.”    Robert Fulghum

This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


“Being a good neighbor is an art which makes life richer.” — Gladys Taber

Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help greatly to expand our reach and encourage new readers and visitors!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

Sharing Autumn Joy & Free Wallpaper Images!

Little Red Bear’s best friend and neighbor, Bobo the Black Bear, stopped by a few minutes ago to inform Little Red Bear that the Rainbow Trout were biting this morning over at Little Piney Creek, and off they went, fishing poles in paws, right out the door in the middle of writing the next adventure story!

So, I figured now might be a good time to sit down to say —

HAPPY FALL, Y’ALL!

The Autumn Season is just beginning here in our neck of the woods. Most of the trees and lawns are still green, while a few trees are just beginning to change color, dropping a few odd leaves here and there. But not many yet. It’s still early. But at 94+ just the other day and back to mid-80s today, it can still feel like Summer despite my ‘internal calendar’ saying it is Fall.

Regardless of the thermometer reading, or maybe because of it, Little Red Bear and I thought we would do what we could to help ease everyone into a Fall mood.

As regular followers here know, we are all about freely sharing things here on the Writing Pages, so thought we would share some beautiful Autumn Wallpapers with everyone. Please feel free to download as many as you like.

The “Autumn Wallpapers Page” is provided for everyone thru the kind and generous help and support of our Patreon Community. If you are a member of our wonderful Patreon Community, please be sure to visit the Patreon pages to find a few extra Free Wallpapers, our way of saying “Thank You” for your ongoing support and all you do!

If you are not a member of our Patreon Community, please consider joining today. As little as a few dollars each month goes a long way in helping to keep this site and writing work going!


An meaningful quote from Ernest Hemingway recently came to my attention. It resonated because it describes what my story character Little Red Bear and I are all about here  —

“When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for.

You wish to serve.”      – Ernest Hemingway


That is what we are all about here.  Hope you enjoy the Autumn Wallpapers as much as we enjoy sharing them with you.

Best wishes for a wonderful day and a beautiful upcoming Autumn season!

Happy Autumn!

— Jim  (and Red!) 🤠 🐻 🍂  🍁 🎃 🍂 🍁 🍎 🍏 🍂


P.S. – With children back in school now, we invite you to visit Little Red Bear’s “Back-To-School” Coloring Pages along with Little Red Bear’s “Happy Autumn Season!” Coloring Pages for hours of family coloring fun and time together!


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  “Judge Softly” or “Walk a Mile in His Moccasins”

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post! Because really, why in the world wouldn’t you?)


          “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” – Oscar Wilde 

Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.” – Edwin Way Teale 

This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant

Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help greatly to expand our reach and encourage new readers and visitors!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

Happy Birthday to Smokey the Bear!

Happy Birthday to Smokey the Bear!  A robust 78 years old today, Smokey is still dutifully at it, still spreading the word about fire prevention and safety for everyone.

Smokey the Bear was born on August 9, 1944, when the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council both agreed that a fictional bear would be the symbol going forward for their efforts to promote forest fire prevention and safety. Smokey was named after a famously brave NYFD firefighter named  Joe Martin, nicknamed “Smokey”. The artist Albert Staehle, a popular cover artist for the ‘Saturday Evening Post’ magazine at the time, was commissioned to paint the very first poster of Smokey Bear.

Smokey the Bear’s image may have changed and been modernized a bit over the ensuing years, but his familiar phrase — “Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!” has remained unchanged and become even more meaningful in today’s warming world. The phrase was adopted as his official message a few years after Smokey began, in 1947, the year his slogan first appeared.

 

Smokey the Bear has been spreading the word about forest fire prevention and safety ever since. More recently, and sadly due to climate change, Smokey’s message has expanded to include the Prevention of Wildfires.

Smokey the Bear became more popular when, in the spring of 1950 in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico, a young bear cub was trapped as the forest burned around him. Taking refuge in a tree, the young bear was able to survive the blaze, although badly burned. Rescued by firefighters who were so moved by the cub’s survival, he was named “Smokey”.  News about the real Smokey soon spread nationwide. Later, the real-life Smokey was moved and given a new, permanent home in the National Zoo located in Washington, D. C. During his life, this bear survivor played an important role in helping to spread Smokey the Bear’s fire prevention and conservation messages. After his death in 1976, he was returned to Capitan, New Mexico, and buried in the State Historical Park.

Smokey the Bear’s forest and wildfire prevention messages remain vitally relevant and important today. According to the Earth Eclipse site —

“90% of all wildfires are caused by humans. Human acts of carelessness such as leaving campfires unattended and negligent discarding of cigarette butts result in wildfire disasters every year. Accidents, deliberate acts of arson, burning of debris, and fireworks are as well other substantial causes of wildfires.”


To help children and families to learn more about Smokey the Bear and his fire safety and awareness messages, Little Red Bear has created a separate page of Smokey the Bear Coloring Images for everyone!  We invite you to download and print as many copies as you like for hours of family coloring fun, all Free because that’s how we roll here.


Thanks always for visiting and spending part of your day with us! We hope you visit often to check out all of the free posts, features, puzzles, games, coloring pages, and other activities for the family!

My story character friend Little Red Bear and I both encourage you to visit and enjoy the great outdoors, spending healthy quality time with Mother Nature. When visiting outdoors, as Smokey the Bear would say today — Please Remember – Only YOU Can Prevent Forest and Wildfires!

So, wishing a very Happy Birthday and many more to Little Red Bear’s cousin Smokey the Bear! — Jim  (and Red!)

P.S. – with children heading off to school soon, we invite you to visit Little Red Bear’s “Back-To-School” Coloring Pages for even more hours of family coloring fun!


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  “Judge Softly” or “Walk a Mile in His Moccasins”

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post! Because really, why in the world wouldn’t you?)


          “Only YOU Can Prevent Forest and Wildfires!” — Smokey the Bear  

“The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.” – John Muir

Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

“The lack of power to take joy in outdoor nature is as real a misfortune as the lack of power to take joy in books.” – Theodore Roosevelt

This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


“I don’t know how to save the world. I don’t have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all of Earth’s inhabitants, none of us will survive – nor will we deserve to.” – Leonard Peltier

Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help greatly to expand our reach and encourage new readers and visitors!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

 

Happy National Root Beer Float Day!

Happy National Root Beer Float Day!

According to the National Day Calendar folks, whose version of history is provided below, the Root Beer Float was initially known as the “Black Cow.” But not in our home growing up. Although the perfect summer treat, my father loved and made Root Beer Floats for us year-round. But, a Root Beer Float was a Root Beer Float because he had another name for a Black Cow — that was a float made with Coca-Cola!

We also had “Purple Cows” made with Grape Soda, and “Red Cows” made with Vess Cream Soda. And the “Orange Cow” made with Orange Soda, of course.

Growing up, we had a herd of ice cream float cows of all different colors in our family growing up! And of course, I would have been remiss not sharing and passing along a special family tradition to my own kids along the way, right?


Returning to the Root Beer Float, though, here is the official version of the Root Beer Float story, from the National Day Calendar page —

“Also known as the “Black Cow,” the root beer float got its start in Colorado in a mining camp. Frank J. Wisner of Cripple Creek, Colorado, gets the credit for inventing the “Black Cow” way back in August of 1893.

“One night Wisner, owner of the Cripple Creek Cow Mountain Gold Mining Company, was staring out the window and thinking about the line of soda waters he was producing for the citizens of Cripple Creek when he came upon an idea. The full moon that night shined on the snow-capped Cow Mountain and reminded him of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. He hurried back to his bar and scooped a spoonful of ice cream into the children’s favorite flavor of soda, Myers Avenue Red Root Beer. After trying, he liked it and served it the very next day. It was an immediate hit.

“Wisner named the new creation, “Black Cow Mountain” but the local children shortened the name to “Black Cow”.”


If you have little ones heading off and excited (or possibly not?) to start the new school year soon, I invite you to visit Little Red Bear’s “Back-to-School” Coloring Pages for Free downloads and coloring fun with the family here!

Thank you always for stopping by to visit!

Who can resist the combination of creamy, vanilla ice cream and ice-cold, frothy root beer on a hot summer day? I encourage you to set some time aside to make and enjoy a Root Beer Float (or another colorful float if you choose!) with your family and friends this weekend. Life is short. Enjoy the little things and make special memories with loved ones!

I was raised on A&W, but now also really enjoy ice-cold Barq’s, as well. What is your favorite brand of Root Beer? Please share and let us know in the comments about other special brands to try!

Take care, best wishes, and God bless! ‘Til next time  — Jim  (and Red!)  🤠 🐻


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post! Because really, why in the world wouldn’t you?)


          “Our greatest national resource is the minds of our children.” – Walt Disney 

“Every ounce of effort we put into our children today will someday be measured and accounted for in our children’s futures.” – Robert John Meehan 

Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

“A good laugh is sunshine in the house.” – William Thackeray

This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.” – Richard L. Evans

Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help expand our reach and encourage new readers to visit!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

Small Little Unexpected Acts of Kindness (And a Teabag Squeezer Thingy)

Winter paid us a visit with 7″ of snow over the past few days here outside of St. Louis.  Had I known the storm would take so long in passing I would have installed a ‘Take-A-Number’ system at the bird feeders. What crowds we have had!  I trudged out to top off each feeder at sunset each evening to be ready for the next morning’s rush.

In a recently-moved-into new apartment, I now live on the third floor overlooking my feeders at ground level, below. At one point late in the afternoon one day, two purple finches perched on my windowsill and began tapping on my window. I wasn’t sure if they had sought me out to express their gratitude for the feeders or to possibly convey the message — “Hey Jim, we need the Safflower Seeds refilled again. Right now!”

As it turned out, the little finches were right about the Safflower Seeds. Thru the combined efforts of Purple Finches, House Finches, Cardinals,  Juncos, Titmice, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Assorted Woodpeckers, and more, they had emptied the entire Safflower Feeder in one day! Surrounding trees were filled with chattering birds waiting their turn at the feeder. Safflower Seeds are an excellent choice for feeding the wild birds in winter because so many different backyard birds love these seeds, while squirrels, at least right here, do not bother with them at all.


Before the “Snowpocalypse” began, a friend unexpectedly stopped by simply to deliver a gift, totally out of the blue. Knowing that I am an inveterate tea drinker, she dropped off a Stainless Steel Tea Bag Squeezer. A simple little thing made for squeezing out the last drops of brewed tea from a teabag (or in my case and how I will use it since “squeezing out the last few drops” is not really the best thing to do) for reaching in and grabbing those bothersome teabags that come with no strings attached.

(Yes, I am looking at you, Celestial Seasonings. I love your herbal teas and truly appreciate and respect your environmental protection stance, eschewing the paper or foil bag covers and tags used by so many other companies as you do, but is a thin little string attached to pull the bags out with really too much to ask?)

A life-long tea drinker and frequent sufferer of scalded fingers from reaching into hot teacups of boiling liquid to retrieve the bags, I was not aware that such a clever device even existed, and immediately wondered why in the world I hadn’t invented one years ago myself.

Later, I researched the little squeezer on Amazon and found one listed for only $2.67. I tend to think that my friend more than likely just picked it up on a recent visit to the Dollar Store, though.

(As an aside — are things still really a dollar at the Dollar Store, or more costly now perhaps with the pandemic? I have heard rumors about things that were previously a dollar not necessarily being only a dollar any longer. If so, should they change the name to “Slightly-Or-Somewhat-More-Than-A-Dollar Store,” perhaps? That would make for a much larger sign in front though, wouldn’t it?)


But the Tea Bag Squeezer is not really the most important thing here, and to be honest, unless rushed I have usually used a spoon to fetch out hot teabags over the years, having learned to avoid scalded fingers over time. So I may have exaggerated a bit about the scalded fingers, above. (But c’mon — Celestial Seasonings — really, a simple little string, no tags attached. Think of all those dedicated tea sippers who are not yet blessed with a nifty little teabag grabber. Please?)

As they say, it is really not the gift but the thought that counts. I was blown away by the unexpected gift, regardless of what it may have been or not.

Being unexpected as it was, associated with no predictable holiday or event, made being remembered and someone going out of their way to deliver such a simple little thing even that more special. It was a kindhearted way to show that someone was thinking about me and cared. And that in itself is the really cool and nice part of it all, yes? Simply to know you are on someone’s mind now and again.

And that is the way with Kindness. It really doesn’t take that much effort or cost to spread it around. A telephone call, text message, greeting card, or a short note sent along. Simply to let someone know that they are important enough in your life that you are thinking about them and took a few minutes to let them know it.

The benefit, both to the receiver and sender, is enormous.


Will you give Kindness a try today, reaching out to someone you know? A lot of folks find themselves shut-in, confined, and feeling isolated from the world during these COVID days for one reason or another.

Merely being a little more patient and friendly with the stranger checking out your groceries at the market goes a long way in spreading Kindness, as well. Along with our invaluable Healthcare Workers, Service Workers have had a rough go the past few years, too.

The past couple of years during the pandemic have been tough on everyone. We can all do our share to make a simple effort to brighten someone’s day.

And at some point, I can guarantee that you will quite unexpectedly find yourself on the receiving end of a kind gesture made by someone else, just for you.

It might even be a little Tea Bag Squeezer/Grabber/Thingy.


Thanks for stopping by today for this short message from my story character friend Little Red Bear and me to simply let you know that we have been thinking about YOU today. Go out, spread a little Kindness, and make it a great one!

Take care, best wishes, and God bless! ‘Til next time  — Jim  (and Red!)  🤠 🐻


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post! Because really, why in the world wouldn’t you?)


            “Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for Courtesy.”           –  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” – Scott Adams

Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

“Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows.” — Robert Green Ingersoll

This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


“It seems to be from my own personal experience that there is kindness everywhere.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help expand our reach and encourage new readers to visit!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

The Wondrous and Wonderful Week That Was!

Hey, y’all — how is your new year going so far? Wait ’til you hear about the week I had…

My new year started off with a Bang the past week! I’d be surprised if you hadn’t heard it. (Not a literal but rather a figurative “Bang!”, of course.)

What a fantastic week and auspicious start to the new year here! Hope yours went as well, and as always, please don’t be shy and feel free to share in the Comments. We would all love to hear about it!

Here is a quick recap of my past week  . . . . .

Monday — 

I have always been an avid bird lover and watcher. One of my most favorite little birds is the Black-capped Chickadee. Despite recognizing all of their various songs and “dee-dee-dee-dee-dee” alarm calls, I had never actually seen one live and in person.

Until Monday! Walking my little chihuahua, Allie, I paused at a spot to let her do her ritual sniffing of the fallen leaves and grass routine when all of a sudden I heard two Chickadees.

I looked up and there they were, a pair of Black-capped Chickadees no more than four feet away in a small tree above my head. I was able to watch them go about their business for several minutes.

Then, walking a little further ahead, I again paused near a friend’s bird feeders to let Allie roam about on the lawn. Within two minutes, I saw a pair of Bluebirds, more Black-capped Chickadees, a pair of Cardinals, and numerous Purple and House Finches, capped off by a White-breasted Nuthatch going up and down the tree beside me, again mere feet away. What an amazing winter walk we had that morning!

Tuesday —

The most amazing, red-letter day —

I became a “Grandpa” for the first time!

Having had four children of my own including a set of twins, I have always joked and kidded around that I have been training all of my life to be a “Grandpa.” And now, looky here — I am one!!

Tuesday saw the birth of my first grandchild! Little Pendleton Robert Milson was welcomed into the family, firstborn of my son Matthew and his delightful wife Samantha. Marvelous kids who will make outstanding parents! I could not imagine a baby being blessed with more wonderful parents.

(Of course, I am biased! But please grant a proud Grandpa a little leeway and license to brag, yeah?)

Way to go and most sincere, heartfelt congratulations to Matthew, Samantha, and baby Pendleton!!

Wednesday —

On Wednesday morning, I received a lovely note from a “Little Red Bear” stories reader, enjoying “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” and apparently not even finished yet, (Wait ’til she gets to the story about the Woodboogers!) —

“Dear Jim — I just wanted to sit a spell and tell you how much I am enjoying “The Adventures of Little Red Bear”. Although I am a city slicker, my husband grew up around the Ozarks areas of the stories and is well acquainted with hollers and criks. Reading your book is such a delight, as I become engrossed in Little Bear’s adventures. I just had to smile as I leaned back and fell into Little Red Bear’s world. The stories and voice of Little Red Bear are so needed for kids and adults and I am so appreciative that you share these stories!! Thank you so much!” — L.H.

Thank you, L.H., for your kind and generous note! Little Red Bear even put down the honey jar and broke into a Happy Dance across the kitchen floor. Wish you could have seen it! When Red breaks into a dance, it rattles the cabin floors in such a way as to rival a small earthquake. And he rattled them for quite a spell after reading your kindhearted and thoughtful note!

Having eliminated all royalties on my Little Red Bear books at the beginning of the COVID Pandemic to make the books and stories as affordable as possible for everyone, reader notes such as this touch my heart. If you would like to see what others have had to say about the stories, check out “Little Red Bear Book Reviews & Reader Comments!”

Thursday —

Thursday saw the publication of a new blog post, the first official piece of the new year here —Guided By The Golden Rule — Living Happily with Kindness and Compassion”.

With my primary mission this year to get back to regular writing, the new post got the ball rolling right on schedule.

Friday —

On Friday morning, I had another follow-up visit with the doctor for the recent Rotator Cuff Surgery on my right shoulder. Thanks to the amazing work of Dr. Spitzfaden, the orthopedic surgeon, and the efforts of Marla B., my physical therapist, I passed all movement and strength examinations with flying colors. All of the therapy work and at-home exercises paid off in grand fashion and I was granted an early release.

So, I am most happy to report that while continued healing and strength training work will continue for the next year (and maybe two, the doctor said), my right shoulder is now functioning amazingly well, with it being only eleven weeks, less than three months out from surgery.

And, not to overlook, the feeling has returned to around 90% in all of my fingers, following the bilateral carpal tunnel and trigger finger surgeries on both hands in June. So, though still nursing along an irreparably damaged left shoulder which may result in a future shoulder replacement at some point, other areas are definitely trending up.

Saturday —

Living on the outskirts of St. Louis and the nearby Ozarks Mountains region, we received our first measurable snowfall of the winter season on Saturday morning. It was only about a little less than an inch, but so beautiful.

With snow on the ground and gorgeous pink sunsets framed by bare tree branches out my windows in early evenings, winter always holds its own very special beauty for me.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home.” –  Edith Sitwell

What do you enjoy most about the Winter Season? Please share in the Comments.

Sunday —

It is early on Sunday morning as I write this, so who knows what special event or happenstance later today may cap this amazing week?

Maybe it is simply the fact that I am once again typing away at nearly full-speed on the laptop with my newly rehabbed shoulder and hand surgeries, working on new Little Red Bear adventure stories, and getting ready to share yet another new writing piece with you already in the new year!

And that in itself is pretty special all on its own, isn’t it?


So, what an amazing week, don’t you think?!?  Feeling truly blessed in so many ways, not the least of which is having you reading along to share it.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  I hope your upcoming week is very special for you, too. And the coming new year for us all, as well.

Sometimes we can pick up on the dark clouds hanging over someone and the struggles they may be going thru, but oftentimes not.  That is when a simple kind word or gesture may serve to turn someone’s entire day or life around, a kindness freely shared and shining thru the darkness.

We all go thru turmoil and issues in our lives that are frequently not visible to others, and perhaps that is when an unexpected kindness counts the most.

Will you shine your special light and help to brighten someone’s day today? And again tomorrow? I invite you to join “The Smile & Compliment Club” and allow kindness to become a regular practice in your life. It will make a world of difference for others, and for yourself, as well.

‘Til next time! — Jim  (and Red!)  🤠 🐻


“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

“In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness . . . I see what people call God in all these things.” – Pablo Casals 


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.”

– Maya Angelou


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” – Gandalf, “The Hobbit” by J. R. R. Tolkien


Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help expand our reach and encouraGE new readers to visit!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

 

Guided By The Golden Rule — Living Happily with Kindness and Compassion

Welcome to my Writing Pages and the first official entry for the new year — 2022!

Wow, where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday that the Christmas and Holiday Seasons were just beginning. And now we are already in the second week of January!

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? How is it going? Please don’t be shy. Feel free to share your resolutions and progress in the Comments!

I have read that about 40% of Americans make resolutions for the new year and that roughly 75% of people who actually do make resolutions are still successful in sticking with them after the first week. After that, the sticktoitiveness seems to taper off.

Sadly, only about 8% actually succeed in keeping to their New Year’s Resolutions in the end. But, that is 8% of us who are hopefully all the better for the experience! So you go, all you little resolutors out there! We’re rootin’ for you to follow thru to the end and succeed!

The only resolution that I made for the new year is to get back to writing consistently. That involves sharing more new materials on the Writing Pages and lighting a fire under my story character friend Little Red Bear’s furry butt to get some new stories and at least one more book assembled and published by the end of the year. So far, so good, as evidenced by this new post today. But enough about that.


Getting to the subject then, as the new year was just beginning a week ago someone asked me what quotes most influence me regarding how I live my life, guiding principles, etc. I had to think about that. But not for long, really. The answer was quite obvious once I put my mind to it.

As followers here know, I tend to share a number of relevant quotes at the end of each writing piece. Writing topics thru the year here range in subject matter from Positivity, Kindness, Compassion, Children, Family, Environment, Conservation, Wildlife, Writing Topics, and Holiday Features, to plain old silly and humorous pieces now and then just for fun. And the list of my quote influencers is long, from Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin to the Dalai Lama and Dr. Seuss. So, that is quite a range of accompanying quotes from which to be asked to pick out a few favorites.

How about this one perhaps, from “The Simpsons” TV show —

“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man!” – Jebediah Springfield

 

Of course, despite the fine, emboldening quote, it turns out little Lisa Simpson, dutifully doing her due diligence researching more into the town hero’s background, later discovered that Jebediah Smith had previously been known as ‘Hans Sprungfeld’, a murderous pirate. The local town hero was, in fact, a fraud.

And that is always the risk in quickly grabbing any “quote to suit occasion” without researching if it is really true and factual, or not. Abraham Lincoln nailed it right on the head. Or did he really say that?!?  Random quoting can be a tricky business if one is not careful.


Seriously though, ol’ Jebediah and Abraham Lincoln aside, there is no question about my most favorite quote, the guiding principle which governs and influences everything I do in my life and always has — “The Golden Rule”.

      “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”     

Luke 6:31

Growing up, The Golden Rule was always prominently displayed on a kitchen plaque on the wall, placed right above the kitchen table where we could not help but see it. This verse was my Mother’s favorite Bible passage and she never wasted an opportunity to apply it in any situation. I grew up with it, and do my very best to live up to it every day.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”Short and simply stated, but it seems to encompass it all, doesn’t it?


In the same vein and going right along with The Golden Rule is another guiding quote and principle in my daily life and the way I go about things —

“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple Kindness.”

– Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV


Simple kindness and going about treating others as you would like to be treated yourself. They both tend to get a lot of lip service it seems, but the world would be a lot kinder and gentler place for us all if more folks put those few simple words into true practice, don’t you think?

So, those are the principal guiding quotes in my life, influencing my approach to writing, my Little Red Bear stories, how I conduct myself, my relationships with others and the world around me.  Guiding everything I do in my life.


I invite you to visit with some of my writing friends to see the quotes which most influence their lives going into the new year —

Sandra Bennett → “A Few Favourite Quotes to Live by in the New Year”

Rosie Russell’s ‘Books By Rose’ → “Four Special Quotes To Consider For 2022”

Carmela Dutra → “Favorite Quotes to Live By in the New Year”

Rebecca Lyndsey → “A Whole New Year”

Julie Gorges → “Favorite Quotes to Live By in the New Year”


A simple kind word or gesture costs nothing and yet has the power to possibly help turn someone’s challenging day or entire life around.  Another of my Mother’s favorite sayings was —

“You Reap What You Sow”

I choose to sow Kindness. How about you?

Thank you for visiting today!  I hope everything is going well for you and yours as we step further into the new year now.

Little Red Bear joins with me in sending along very best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy year ahead!

‘Til next time  — Jim (and Red!)   🤠 🐻


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim, & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post and feature!)


“What lies behind us, and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

   “Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances for new beginnings.”

–  Maya Angelou


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


 “Here is the secret of happiness: Forget yourself and think of others.” –  Paramananda


Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help expand our reach and encouraGE new readers to visit!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

A Post-surgery Return Piece About Nothing In Particular (But I’d Appreciate If You’d Visit Anyway)

Lacking an impactful and attention-grabbing opening sentence or two today, I am admittedly in a bit of a quandary as to how to begin this particular piece.

After coming off the Writer’s LTIR (Long Term Injured Reserve) list, maybe I should have spent a bit longer stint in the Junior Writer’s Training League before rushing back to active duty following surgery.  Undecided as I am then, how about we change pace and begin with a question of sorts . . . .

Is it appropriate for me to begin this by saying “Welcome Back!” to readers, since everyone has really been here all along I would imagine, and I am in fact the one who left for a while to have yet another surgery, this time a rotator cuff repair on my right shoulder? Or, rather, should I perhaps begin by saying “I’m Baaaack!”, instead?

In the end, the more I think about it, the latter might be the more appropriate opening to employ since it was, in fact, me who went away for a spell. So let’s do that, shall we? Thank you for your patience while I cleared away the writing cobwebs and worked thru a momentary bit of senior befuddlement. Here goes then, as we truly begin . . . .

I’m Baaaack!

Returned from recent surgery no worse and measurably better for the experience, my story friend Little Red Bear and I are raring to get back to it! The feeling has largely returned to my hands following the dual carpal tunnel surgeries in June with both hands and fingers still improving each month. And despite six more weeks of therapy to rehab my right shoulder and arm that lay ahead,  I decided that they are both functioning well enough right now to be put back to work.

Little Red Bear and I simply cannot wait any longer to get back into the writing process once again, so let’s get to it then, shall we?

Thank you to everyone for your good wishes, patience, and kindness during the quiet period here over the past few months! We have actually added several new followers during that time, and that’s pretty cool.

Getting to it then, the following are some unassociated topics concerning the recent surgery, the coming Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the ongoing pandemic, and more . . . .


As tends to happen every year around this time, the Holiday Season is upon us! “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Time to grab the jingle bells and mistletoe!

Trudging thru our third COVID Winter, it looks like this will be the second year in a row where holiday plans are limited or altered due to the pandemic. As I write this, Broadway Shows are shutting down, NHL hockey games are being canceled, ICUs are overflowing, and more. Nevertheless, it is still a time when we can celebrate and find joy in the true spirit of the season despite how altered previous plans and traditions may be.

In that regard, I invite you to visit the many Christmas Holiday Features available here on my writing pages.

Please feel free to enjoy and share with family and friends, because sharing and spreading good cheer is what the Christmas spirit is all about. Here are just a few to get you started (hint — Little Red Bear’s “Happy Christmas” Left/Right Gift Exchange Game is always the most popular each year) . . . . .

And not to forget — Little Red Bear’s “Christmas & Holiday Season” Coloring Pages for all ages. Again, please feel free to download the images and share!


If you know someone or perhaps have a family member (or for yourself) on your gift list who, like me, has difficulty putting on their own socks in the morning due to stiffness or other issues, I can highly recommend the Sock Aid from my own personal experience the past several weeks.

I looked at these a couple years ago following another spinal fusion surgery but dismissed them as gimmicky. They are not, and are rather worth every penny and more. A real game-changer for someone with limited flexibility.

Tired of working to put socks on with a reacher and knowing that I would be doing everything solely with my left (non-dominant) hand for possibly several weeks after the rotator cuff surgery, I decided to finally try the Sock Aid.

Being unable to pull a sock on over the device with only one hand though, I actually ended up ordering two of these. A friend would pull the socks onto each Sock Aid the night before, and then I would slip each on the following morning, able to do the pulling with only one hand.

The Sock Aids are easy to use and work perfectly. You can possibly find the Sock Aid available at local retail outlets, or on Amazon complete with a demonstration video of how they work. I am not affiliated with this product at all, merely passing the information and personal recommendation along for anyone who may benefit from it. This simple device made a positive difference in my life.


Dealing with the supply chain shortages at present, just a friendly “nudge and wink” reminder that if the hi-tech stuff is unavailable for holiday giving this year, please remember that old-fashioned books make excellent gifts. And most are available for Kindle and other e-reader devices, too.

“The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!”, a collection of six short stories introducing Little Red Bear and many of his friends, is available in both print and for Kindle.

“Pine Holler Christmas”, a standalone Christmas-themed short story, is available for e-readers only at this time. Both books are available Free with Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.  A week ago, we received a heartwarming note from one of our followers concerning the “Pine Holler Christmas” story . . . .

“I’m re-reading ‘Pine Holler Christmas’ as I do every year, it really gets me in the festive mood.” 

Suitable for all ages, even for non-readers as “read-to-me” stories, I invite you to check the books out. You can check out Little Red Bear Book Reviews & Comments here to find out what others have had to say about the books.

When the pandemic began and we were all sheltered in place, I lowered the price of both books to Amazon’s minimum, eliminating any royalties so that folks would hopefully be able to afford and enjoy them while confined in their homes with family during the shutdown. The books still remain at ‘pandemic pricing’ until the end of the year!


Although not sharing new material live recently, my story friend Little Red Bear and I have been hard at work in the background preparing several new feature pages about Conservation, the Environment, and Our Children’s Future in a warming world.

Things today are clearly not the same as when I was growing up in the ’50s and ’60s. The seasons have changed with summer seemingly becoming longer each year, storms are more severe, and other impacts of climate change are being felt all over the world. Folks may still debate the cause (although I have no idea why) but the effects are all-too-real. and need to be addressed. The time to seriously confront the issue has already passed, and now we are forced to make hard choices and play catch up.

Mother Nature is a frequent mention and topic in the Little Red Bear stories, so we will be adding a good deal of material here on the writing pages after the first of the year which will be suitable for all age groups. I encourage everyone to share the pages, information, and activities with young people because they will be the ultimate ones to have to continue dealing with the issues of climate change in their lives. The Animal Alphabet Pages will continue to grow thru the year now that we are back and active again, as well.

So, just a heads-up to please watch for the new Environmental Feature Pages and posts coming in the new year!


At this point, it is understandable that so many people are worn out by the topic and feeling “so over with” the pandemic. They’re tired of wearing masks, travel hassles, standing in line for vaccine injections and tests, hearing about it every night on the news, dealing with bothersome restaurant and store restrictions, and on and on.

Believe me, I get it. But dismissing COVID because it is an inconvenience to the life we enjoyed before does not change the fact that we are still being affected by it and forced to deal with both it and the consequences.

Until the whole world is suitably vaccinated, I do not foresee this ending any time soon as new variants continue to emerge and spread. I hope I’m wrong, but am proceeding with caution accordingly.

This pandemic has been tragically life-altering and deadly for so many thousands so far, individuals and families, with over 804,000 deaths in the U.S. at this time, while adding over 17,000 new cases each day at the time of this writing as the new Omicron variant doubles every three days with the holiday season continuing and we near Christmas.

With two competing variants, Delta and the new Omicron, raging right now and hospitals’ staffs exhausted and progressively depleted, now is not the time to throw caution to the wind simply because we are tired of dealing with it all. Sometimes, as grownups, we have to make uncomfortable and hard choices. When confronted by any problem or crisis, it is best to view it realistically for what it is and deal with it. Wishing, hoping, and complaining about it will not make this pandemic go away. If things continue unabated as they are and with the grim possibility of reaching One Million deaths at some point in the U.S. alone, in my book that counts as a Crisis we can not turn our backs on in the hope it magically disappears.

I pray every day for the safety, health, and protection of my family, friends, and loved ones. And for everyone, everywhere. I hope that everyone who is able to benefit from the vaccines and boosters is able to do so. And quickly. I encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions and steps to stay safe and protect not only themselves but also their families and loved ones in the holiday season and coming months.

Taking advantage of the vaccines and boosters (which were not yet available at this time last year), wearing a mask, social distancing, and simply being smart about things are still the best ways to protect both yourself and others. It’s a bummer, but that’s the way it is right now. And we all need to do it. For ourselves and for each other.


The holiday season is always a bit stressful for many, and these COVID times are especially so. A simple kind word or gesture costs nothing and can go a very long way towards easing the stress and burdens for someone else. It may even change their day or entire life around!  I invite you to join our “Smile & Compliment” club and to share a ray of light in another’s life. The neat thing is, you will feel better about yourself, too.

As always, Thank You for taking time out of your busy day to visit with us. If you made it all the way to the end here, please Like and Comment and I will ask Santa to leave an extra Sugar Plum or two in your dreams on Christmas Eve! And if new to the site and visiting with us for the first time, please register to join our growing community and be notified of every new post and feature, as there is much more to come soon.

It’s good to be back with you!  Very best wishes for a safe, healthy, and happy Holiday Season! I am off now in search of a Snickerdoodle. ‘Til next time. – Jim  (and Red!)

(p.s. — Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help immensely in expanding our reach and encouraging new readers to visit! Because together we can do so much!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” – Mary Ellen Chase

             “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”         – Peg Bracken


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

    “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” — Charles Dickens


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


                   “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – Burton Hillis


Thank You for visiting with us! Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help immensely in expanding our reach and encouraging new readers to visit! Because together, we can do so much! 


 

Discovering the Super Hero Within and Lending A Helping Hand To Others

Happy “Whatever-Day-You-May-Be-Reading-This” and Welcome Back!

A friend stopped by to visit yesterday. That in itself is not so unusual given the ‘usually’ cordial fella that I am. But as so often happens, caught up in the moment and merriment as I was, my unstoppable sense of hospitality outpaced my brain. Not thinking, I invited my friend to stay for dinner.

Normally, that would not be an issue at all, but right now my cupboard and supply of readily-at-hand food items with which to prepare a bonafide dinner are very low, having not grocery shopped in quite a while.

A Chicken Little-Esque and embarrassing feeling of panic set in when my rational thinking left brain caught up with what my good-intentioned right brain had proffered, the dinner invitation still hanging in the air as it was. I had painted myself into the proverbial corner, as the old saying goes. Now, what to do? I was suddenly caught up in a crisis (admittedly a small one) of my own making.

But, not to fear, however, for in a moment my unquenchable spirit of adventure and determination to rise to any challenge kicked in. I began to look about and survey those items which were on hand, determined to rise to the occasion.

Spying a baguette sitting on the counter, I went in search of ingredients to whip up some French Bread Pizza halves on the spot. Knowing my friend as I do, I also knew that pizza of any kind would be received as an acceptable offering at any time of day.

I also knew for a fact though, that I did not have any true pizza sauce or ingredients with which to make a real pizza, but did find a jar of Prego Sausage & Garlic pasta sauce to use in place of a traditional pizza sauce. The pasta sauce was not exactly hiding in the back of a mostly empty cupboard and was easy to spot.

In the refrigerator, I spied what was left of an open bag of Shredded Italian Six Cheese Blend, and then found the remains of a length of Hickory Smoked Summer Sausage. Fetching a Red Onion, Butter, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes, and Parmesan, I formulated a plan.

I set to work simmering the pasta sauce for a few minutes in order to reduce it just a bit.  Slicing the baguettes in half lengthwise, I proceeded to slice the onion into thin slices and then separate into individual rings. Taking the summer sausage in hand next, I was able to slice a dozen thin rounds from the bit that was left and set them aside. I then spread butter on each of the four opened baguette halves. Sprinkling each half with a good dash of garlic powder and just a smidgeon of kosher salt for flavor, I placed them in the toaster oven for 2 ½ minutes to give the baguette halves a head start, firming and crisping them up a bit before spreading the sauce over them so they would not be so “bready”.

Removing the lightly-toasted baguette halves from the toaster oven, I covered each with the reduced pasta sauce and a layer of sprinkled parmesan cheese, followed in turn with the shredded cheese, onions, sausage slices, and a dash of sprinkled oregano and red pepper flakes. Back into the toaster oven they went. The smell of baking onions mixed with the sausage and spices filled my apartment.

What emerged from the oven five minutes later was so amazing I was unable to snap any photos before they disappeared. “Hold on for a minute while I snap a few photos,” I asked. My friend would have none of that and dove right in. An impromptu Pizza Party dinner success!


Admittedly, the combination of ingredients on the pizza loaf halves would not be attractive to everyone. In truth, I was fortunate my friend also liked onions and summer sausage, the items I did have on hand. But that’s not really the point.

Oftentimes in life, we are presented with challenges or situations for which we do not feel prepared. Small and large. The outcome and what happens next is in good part determined by how we then proceed – whether we choose to react in a negative manner, feeling depressed, fearful, bitter, or angry; or to respond with confidence and a sense of self-reliance in a positive way.

Do we crumble under the sudden pressure like an empty soda can underfoot, or do we rise to the challenge and do the best we can with it? Whatever “it” might be.

In my case, it was simply a premature dinner invitation offered without anything on hand with which to prepare a real dinner. Not a real “biggie” in terms of many of the challenges we face in life, but still somewhat of a  “react, panic, and risk embarrassment” or a “respond and figure it out” type situation. For me, I live in what I refer to as the “Magical Land of Make Do, Figure It Out, and Get By.”

What challenges might you be faced with today? Situations occur for which we feel we are unprepared or not yet ready in the moment. Certainly, not everything always goes according to plan or as we have scripted it. That’s just part of life, isn’t it?

Last week I learned of yet another, unexpected surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in my dominant right shoulder in a few weeks. Torn just about clear-thru the MRI said. Surgery number “Eleven” for those who keep count. To borrow a trite expression – “It is what it is.”

My feeling anxious or bitter about going thru yet another surgery and extended one-handed rehab period following recent surgery on both hands this past June would do nothing to change the fact that I have a severe, perforated rotator cuff tear in my dominant right arm and shoulder, and that I may need a complete left shoulder replacement at some point in the future, as well. I am looking at this as more motivation to finish getting my new apartment in order beforehand, followed by an opportunity for a few weeks of quiet reading, study, and research while rehabbing to benefit my writing and work both here on my Writing Pages and in my Little Red Bear adventure stories.

The next time you may feel caught off-guard or confronted with an unexpected challenge, I urge you to set fear, doubts, and worries to the wayside, and instead gather your courage and respond in a positive way. Look at it as a challenge. Maybe take a cue from the approach of Mr. Hyde –

“Trouble? I call it sport.”

 – Mr. Hyde, “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”

Do not give in to anger, bitterness, worries, doubts, and fears. However bothersome or distressing, try to view the situation as an opportunity to be creative, stretch your abilities, and grow. Have fun with it if you can.

However the issue may resolve in the end, you will have emerged stronger and more confident on the other side for having done so, and more prepared to deal with the next surprise life may have in store. Have faith in yourself and you will be surprised just how much you can do and accomplish when you set worries to the side, put your mind to it, take action, and put your best, positive foot forward.

You may even tap into some inner, previously undiscovered Super Powers you weren’t even aware of in the process. I have faith in you. Do you?


Along the same lines, if you see a friend perhaps suddenly confronted with an unexpected challenge or calamity in their life, what words of encouragement or support could you offer to help them thru it?

Perhaps, just maybe, what your friend is going thru could also be a call and another opportunity for you to step up. Putting your hands on a friend’s problems can remove the focus on yours for a while. At those times when we reach out to help another with their problems, it seems that our own issues and challenges frequently diminish in size. When we help another, we end up helping ourselves, as well.

We are all in this together, and none of us are prepared or has all of the answers all of the time. Everyone can benefit from a friendly helping hand and words of encouragement now and then. The beastly thing that may loom very large and intimidating when finding oneself standing all alone in front of it, is not quite so menacing when standing side by side with a friend.

Sometimes we all could use a helping hand and are in need of a friend. Sometimes, we ourselves can be that helping hand and friend for another.


Thanks always for stopping by to visit. A smile and kind words have the power to better someone’s day and maybe even turn a whole life around. Will you share your smile and a kind word or gesture with someone today?

Until next time — Best Wishes and Blessings!  – Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“You open your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” — Psalm 145:16

                “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”                 — Albert Camus 


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

    “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” — Charles Dickens


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


                      No matter what kind of challenges or difficulties or painful situations you go through in your life, we all have something deep within us that we can reach down and find the inner strength to get through them.” — Alana Stewart


 

Happy Autumn, Pumpkin Spice, and Everything Nice about Fall!

Happy Autumn, Pumpkin Spice, and Everything Nice about Fall!

Living on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri, September can oftentimes feel more like Summer than Autumn, despite what any calendar says.  We do, however, usually receive a tempting tease or two of cooler Autumn temperatures during the month, and such was the case last week when daytime highs dipped into the mid-70s with nighttime lows in the mid-50s. (Temperatures given in the Fahrenheit temperature scale, of course, because living in the U.S. that is what we do it seems, the rest of the world and the scientific community with all their Celsius stuff be hanged.)

The air was cool and brisk. Morning walks were delightful. During evening walks, the faint scent of heavenly woodsmoke from a neighbor’s backyard firepit drifted thru the air. As anyone who has followed my pages here for a while is well aware, Autumn is far and away my favorite season of the year.

And now, as we are about to turn the calendar page to October, there is only one thing left to say —

Happy Fall, Y’all!!

Happy October!  Happy Autumn!  October is the perennial gateway to my very favorite time of the year — Autumn and the Holiday Season!

Here in our neck of the woods, besides getting back into Boots and Blue Jeans these are a few of our favorite things — Sweaters, Changing Fall Leaves, Crisp Mornings, Chilly Evenings with Woodsmoke in the air, Listening to the honking of Migrating Geese overhead, Raking Leaves followed by Hot Chocolate, Apple Butter, Cider, Pies, Warm Muffins with Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!

With Summer my least favorite time of the year due to various health issues it presents for me personally, I always view the advent of Autumn and its promise of the coming holiday season as my personal reward for having survived yet another summer’s onslaught of midwest heat and humidity.  Having survived once again now it’s time to run outside, do my “Falling Happy Leaves Dance” on the front lawn, and PARTY!

I don’t feel alone in this view, because I believe even the most casual observer would agree that Mother Nature must certainly agree with me as she decorates all the trees and hills in a riot of colors each fall. Mother Nature is partying right along with me!


To help little ones and others to get into the spirit of the Autumn season, we have added a new collection of coloring images to the site — Little Red Bear’s “Happy Autumn Season” Coloring Pages!  Gather the little ones around and feel free to download, color, and share as many as you like.  Free of charge, of course. Little Red Bear is adamant about that. As he has stated so many times —

“It’s just not right to charge people for having fun, learning something, and having a good time. Gettin’ it free is most of the fun, anyhow!”

We hope you enjoy this new section, along with our collection of other fun and educational features here on the site.

So, what do you look most forward to in the coming Autumn period? Please do not be shy. Little Red Bear loves to hear what folks have to say, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section.


While not having posted regularly here for a spell attending to some personal health issues (not COVID related) the past few months, my story character Little Red Bear and I have nonetheless kept very busy preparing several new blog features and items you will be seeing very soon. Some new features we have recently added for the little ones include —


Here is a sample of just a few of the things we are working on for you to enjoy here in the coming weeks ahead . . . .

  • 101 Things To Do In The Fall
  • Time To Clean Out Bird Nest Boxes In October
  • Autumn Activities & Nature Scavenger Hunt
  • Happy Halloween Spooktacularly Good Recipes Special III
  • How To Preserve Autumn Leaves and Clean Pinecones for Holiday Displays
  • The Impact of Climate Change on Bird Migrations
  • Creating An Autumn Nature Leaf and Other Family Art Projects
  • Squirrel Proofing Your Bird Feeders
  • All About “Pie Birds” and Holiday Pie Recipes
  • And  Many More!

As the topics of Global Warming and Climate Change seem to dominate the news ever more each month as one disaster follows another, watch for more Nature, Conservation, and Environmentally-themed posts coming soon, as well.  As evidenced by the wildfires ravaging not only the west but also the world, the fuse is literally burning down on these issues.


I invite you to check out my original short story “Haystack Harry” during the Autumn season. Please feel free to share it with family and friends, because that is simply how we roll here.

Also, Little Red Bear has agreed to once again make himself available to respond to readers’ questions and comments in his “Ask Little Red Bear” segment, a very popular feature in the past. If you or a youngster have a question about something dealing with Nature or the Environment, please just drop him a note here.

Little Red Bear and I aren’t so big on relationship questions, but if you find yourself up a creek with no one else to turn to with something of that sort,  please feel free to go ahead and send those tricky questions in too, and we will do our best to try and help you out.

Little Red Bear promises to provide honest and factual information in response to all questions, and lacking the same will do his very best to make up something fun and interesting for you. Bearing in mind, of course, that we are both unabashed storytellers, after all.


I invite and encourage you to also visit with some of my wonderful writer friends to check out their pages and views on the coming Autumn season!

Cat Michaels — “What’s Not to Love? – Six Things to Make You Fall for Fall”

Rebecca Lyndsey  “Fall Favorites”

Julie Schooler 3 Harmful Habits to Cast Aside in the New Season”

Julie Gorges — “A Fall Self-Care Bucket List to Make the Most Out of Autumn” 

Sandra Bennett  — “Spring Into The Season”

Rosie Russell — “Jumping Into Fall With Big News At Books By Rose”

Auden Johnson — “What’s On Your Fall Bucket List?”


Thank you always for stopping in to visit with us!  Little Red Bear and I are pleased as blackberry punch to share the upcoming Autumn and Holiday Season with you!

So until the next time, we wish you and yours a delightful fall season filled with pumpkin spice and everything nice.

Best Wishes for a Beautiful, Healthy, and Happy Autumn Season! — Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.” – Edwin Way Teale 

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”  – Delia Owens, “Where the Crawdads Sing”


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


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

    “And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” – Oscar Wilde 


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


                      “It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!” — Winnie the Pooh