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! 

 

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


 

One Moment Please — Laughing On The Corner #3

OVERHEARD ON THE STREET CORNER

Taking the dog for a walk the other day, I overheard two men talking at the street corner. As we approached, I noticed that one fellow seemed uncomfortable and a bit confused. He said to the other fellow –

“I have to tell you, Alex. I seem to have developed a memory problem. It just seems that I can’t remember a single thing anymore.”

“How long have you had this problem, Max?” the second man inquired.

Looking back at him with a puzzled look on his face, Max scratched his head and said – “What problem, Larry?”


These are stressful times for us all right now and for so many reasons. Whether out of work or preparing to return to work with some locales getting ready to open for business and activities again, we still need to be mindful and smart. “Opening Up” is not a signal to return to the carefree lives we led as recently as a couple months ago despite what some may say or wish.

The COVID19 virus has not magically gone away. The “curve” has flattened because everyone was sheltering-in-place at home. As folks come back out and begin to mingle again, it is inevitable that cases will spike again. If we are not careful, it may turn out that the end of the lockdown may be merely the beginning of the pandemic crisis overall.

Being mindful, eating healthy,  and still following the recommended guidelines of Handwashing, Wearing A Mask to protect others, and Social Distancing are still effective and smart strategies to protect ourselves,  families, and loved ones in these times.

Along with staying positive, finding something to smile about, and taking a minute to laugh now and then, for laughter truly is still the best medicine!

Stay positive, Be Well, and We Will All Get Thru This Together! — Jim (and Red!)

PS – If you missed the last “Overheard On The Street Corner” simply tap the link and register to be notified of every new post and never miss out.


“A nice warm shower, a cup of tea, and a caring ear may be all you need to warm your heart.” – Charles F. Glassman


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!


“There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle” – Robert Alden


 

One Moment Please — Laughing On The Corner #2

OVERHEARD ON THE STREET CORNER

Taking the dog for a walk the other day, I overheard two men talking at the street corner. As we approached, I noticed that one fellow looked rather upset. The other asked him –

“Well, Bob – why did you leave your job if you are so upset about not being there any longer?”

“It was something my boss said that made me leave.”

“What could your boss have possibly said that was so bad it would make you leave your job right on the spot like that?”

“He said – ‘YOU’RE FIRED!’”


These are stressful times for us all right now and for so many reasons.

Please remember to take some personal moments thru the day to simply stop, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders and muscles, and simply be.

Being mindful, eating healthy,  following the recommended guidelines of handwashing, social distancing, and sheltering in place to take care of ourselves, our families, and loved ones, staying positive, being kind and helping each other — these are things we all can do now. And keep doing.

And finding something to smile about and taking a minute to laugh now and then, for laughter truly is the best medicine!

Stay positive, Be Well, and We Will All Get Thru This Together! — Jim (and Red!)

PS – If you missed the first “Overheard On The Street Corner” simply tap the link and register to be notified of every new post and never miss out.


“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – 14th Dalai Lama


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!


“Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.” – Benjamin Franklin


 

Feeling Uneasy or Frightened? – BANISH THE BOGGARTS!

Perhaps like so many these days, you find yourself suffering from a case of the “Nightly News Blues.”  The daily news hasn’t exactly been cheery of late, has it?

Have you read the ‘Harry Potter’ books or seen the movies? Do you recall the ‘Boggart’ scene in Professor Lupin’s class?

For those who may not be familiar with the books or movies, or who simply may have forgotten, please allow me to recap.

The scene takes place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the class, Professor Lupin is instructing the witch and wizard students on the subject of Boggarts.


Traditionally, boggarts appear in English folklore as either household spirits who have been wronged and then turn to mischief, causing such things as milk to sour, things to disappear, dishes to break, the family dog or horse to go lame, and so forth. Or, they could be malevolent spirits inhabiting marshes or holes in the ground and responsible for much more evil doings, like missing children, misguided and lost travelers, etc.

In the Harry Potter stories, the boggarts are shapeshifters who hide in wardrobes, closets, and other places, and who feed on negative human emotions, then emerge to take the shape and form to become whatever it is that someone fears most, which is why they are so terrifying – your greatest fear realized and standing right in front of you! Think spiders, snakes, your fifth-grade math teacher, and your crazy Aunt Martha. Boggarts would know and feed on someone’s negativity and deepest fears.

But, as it turns out, boggarts are rather easy to get rid of. At Hogwarts, the magic spell to make a boggart go away was to loudly and in a bold voice direct the magical charm word “Ridiculous!” at the boggart, combined with a proper flip of the wand while at the same time imagining the boggart in some way one found amusing. Then burst into unrestrained laughter. Imagine crazy Aunt Martha in a bright purple, polka-dot clown costume with a pink cotton candy hairdo, and then burst into side-splitting laughter!



Laughing at the imagined image was most important, leaving no negative or fearful emotions in your mind for the boggart to feed upon. Stripped of all power then, the harmless boggart would simply disappear, embarrassed and humiliated in retreat.

Even with non-magical folk like us (i.e. ‘Muggles’ in the stories), it can seem as though we are bothered by Boggarts from time to time in our lives, as well.

Negative feelings and fears come into our minds, increasingly occupying our daily thoughts and nightmares until they become living obsessions; for all intents and purposes our own personal boggart feeding on our greatest negative emotions, anxieties, and fears, making our lives miserable as they grow ever more powerful and in control.


Please don’t let the Coronavirus and news transform into your personal boggart. The Daily News, Sheltering-In-Place, and Social-Distancing can be stressful, but do not let it all generate negative emotions and fears to feed a boggart, enabling it to put dark clouds over your days or cause anxiety and sleepless nights. Don’t feed the boggarts with negative thoughts.

Follow the example of the Hogwarts students and send your fears and boggarts packing. Recognize negative emotions and fears as the ridiculously agonizing tormentors they are, and banish them with positive thoughts and laughter.

We all need to stay informed with the news but do we need to hear the same thing repeated six, twelve, or more times a day, the same dire reports and doomsday predictions over and over and over again drummed into our minds? No, we don’t.

Because that is when it becomes a negative obsession driving our thoughts and emotions, pulling us down, and transforming into a boggart before our very eyes and stripping us of all our happiness.

We may not have a magic wand, but we do each have a remote control with a quite magical “OFF” button. Please, don’t be afraid to use it to preserve your peace of mind and happiness. Twenty-four-hour news access is not necessarily a good thing. Certainly not for happiness and peace of mind. So, switch off. We are much better served enjoying Mickey Mouse and Road Runner cartoons!

The times are trying and challenging enough on their own, without dwelling on negativity and imagined fears every moment of the day, adding bothersome boggarts to the mix, pulling us into an ever-darkening misty fog while also diminishing our resistance, hopes, well-being, and immunities. Our thoughts can indeed make us sick.

Whenever uncomfortable thoughts enter your mind, bust out with a resounding – “Ridiculous!”  Then laugh out loud at it all. Laugh at yourself and at the pure silliness of you blurting out “Ridiculous!” for all to hear. Laugh about the thought of others hearing you. Then laugh about them laughing. And then laugh some more. Laugh, smile, enjoy it, and feel better.

Laughter, together with a positive attitude, truly is the best medicine!


If we didn’t like a song playing on the radio back in the day, we simply changed the channel. Same thing! Simply change your thoughts and switch the channel.

Happiness is always only ever one thought away.

Laugh, Smile, Laugh Again –  and you will feel instantly better – 99¾% guaranteed!

For information on How to Protect Yourself & Others from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), simply tap the link.

Our very best wishes and health to you and yours!

Take Care, Stay Well, Laugh, and by all means — Live In The Moment and Be Happy!  –-  Jim (and Red!)

Stay Positive and Be Happy!  Banish the Boggarts!


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  

(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!)


“The person who was holding me back from my happiness was me.” – Keanu Reeves

“Pain results from a judgement you have made about a thing. Remove the judgement and the pain disappears.” –  Neale Donald Walsch


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 matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”     – Sheryl Crow  


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!


                        “Remember, what you “feel” and what is “real” are often very different.”                      –  Eddie Capparucci


 

One Moment Please — Laughing On The Corner #1

OVERHEARD ON THE STREET CORNER

Taking the dog for a walk the other day, I overheard two little boys talking at the street

corner.

As we approached, they were chatting about being out of school with the Coronavirus thing going on.

I overheard one say to the other –

“Nah, I don’t miss school and homework, Billy. But I’ll sure be glad when all these ‘Don’t Touch Your Face’ rules go away so I can pick my nose again!”


These are stressful times for us all right now and for so many reasons.

Please remember to take some personal moments thru the day to simply stop, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders and muscles, and simply be.

Being mindful, eating healthy,  following the recommended guidelines of handwashing, social distancing, and sheltering in place to take care of ourselves, our families, and loved ones, staying positive, being kind and helping each other — these are things we all can do now.

And finding something to smile about and taking a minute to laugh now and then, for laughter truly is the best medicine!

For information on How to Protect Yourself & Others from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), simply tap the link.

Stay positive, Be Well, and We Will All Get Thru This Together! — Jim (and Red!)


“You inspire, you put a smile on someone’s face, you make someone laugh or deeply touch a          person’s heart. We all have that in ourselves no matter how tough our journeys are.”       – Shellie Palmer


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!


“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.” –  Thomas Carlyle


 

Simple Thoughts and Reflections on a Rainy Day

“Here comes the rain again . . . .”

So began the song of the same name by the Eurythmics back in 1983. I always loved that song and still do. There was just something mesmerizing about the voice and style of Annie Lennox that set the song apart at the time.

What brought it to mind is that we are expected to receive a good bit of rain over the next few days, three to four inches in our neck of the woods they are saying. That can be a lot all at one time here in the Midwest. The last time it rained on a Saturday night a few weeks ago we had a two-and-a-half-hour power outage that started before the rain even arrived. I think the power lines grew overly anxious just hearing about it, somewhat highly strung as they are.

Supposedly, the baseline for converting inches of rain to snow is that one inch of rain equals about ten inches of snow, subject to vary with the amount of moisture, temperature, etc.

Simply using the general baseline as our guide though, that means that if it were cold enough to support snow, it being early January after all, that we could receive up to forty inches of snow instead. Yikes! That would certainly shut things down for a while. Personally, with apologies to the snow bunnies in the crowd, I will take the rain at this point.

Back in the day and maybe before many readers were born, Karen Carpenter sang about how “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down!”  A beautiful song, as so many were by The Carpenters.

B. J. Thomas sang a different, more upbeat tune than the others. Butch Cassidy fans please feel free to sing along  —

“Raindrops keep falling on my head,
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red,
Crying’s not for me,
‘Cause, I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining,
Because I’m free,
Nothing’s worrying me.”

So then, how do you feel about rainy days?  Love ’em? Or not so much, perhaps? Please take a moment to share your thoughts about rainy days!


Here in the backwoods with my story friend Little Red Bear, we always try to look for the good to be found in any situation, rainy days notwithstanding. Excluding torrential downpours, floods, and hurricanes, of course, of which I have seen my share over the years.  We are merely talking about your run-of-the-mill, overcast, grey skies, rainy days here today.

You know the sort. The cozy by the fireplace, pull-up-a-blanket and take a nap on the couch kind of days.

For me, everything just seems to go at a more relaxed pace when the clouds darken and heaven’s sprinkler is turned on for gentle and refreshing rains.  The pit-pat-pit on the windowsill. The “splack” sound of raindrops falling on dry autumn leaves still lingering on the ground. (Little Red Bear is a master with a fishing pole in his paws, but just try to get him to stand still long enough to put a leaf rake into them.)  A cup of tea or hot cocoa and a good book.  Conversations with friends and family. Many folks seem to be more at ease and open on a rainy day, like the rain sort of smooths out the wrinkles and sharp edges.  Have you noticed that, too?

On a particularly good day, maybe even a batch of cookies or brownies baking in the oven.  I can almost smell the chocolate chips now, just thinking about it!


For those who would enjoy a nostalgic break while munching on a cookie at this point, or for those maybe new to Annie Lennox and the song mentioned above, here ya go. Newbies can have a cookie, too. We’re all-inclusive here.


A rainy day inspired this fun little piece whilst reading about Harry Potter and his friends a few years ago . . . .

“The Muggle in a Puddle”

Walking home I encountered a Muggle.

The wee Muggle seemed stuck in a Puddle.

Working quickly I soon had him outed.

Then running on he turned back and shouted-

“Thanks, mate, for the break but I am rather late.

So sorry for the bother and trouble!”


“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”

Having nothing to do with rainy days directly, but still sort of in a  “Saving For A Rainy Day” kind of way, this wonderful quote has been variously attributed to Abraham Lincoln, James Dobson, Danny Thomas, and others. My feeling is that if any of them did not actually say it, each certainly could have.

Such a lovely sentiment and meaning, applying not only to children but also the spirit of bending over and lending a helping hand to anyone struggling or in need. Stuck in one of life’s puddles, perhaps.

And isn’t that what we are all truly here for, to help each other?

        “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”         — Philippians 2:4


Thank you always for visiting and spending part of your day with us here! What can you do today to reach out and help ease another’s burden?

Lend an umbrella, perhaps?  — Jim (and Red!)   🤠 🐻


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “Mitakuye Oyasin — We Are All Related” 

(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!)


         “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”         – John Holmes    

The Muggle in a Puddle

“The only thing I shall want for a rainy day will be my umbrella.” –  Agatha Christie


Like and Follow My Writer’s Page on Facebook For Daily Inspirations & More!


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 rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods.” – Rachel Carson


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!


                                                          “Into each life, some rain must fall.                                                         The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


 

“A Sudden Awakening – Enjoying Life’s Startling Surprises”

I always maintain that we are never too old to stop learning, having adventures, and experiencing new things. And to have fun while doing it, if for no other reason than it sure beats sitting home on the couch eating popcorn and grumbling about being bored.

For example, the other day I shared on my Facebook Page that right now I am at one of my children’s homes for two weeks dog and pet-sitting while they are away cavorting around Disney World with Mickey Mouse and the gang.

Sitting for two families, watching over four dogs altogether, ranging in size from a very large and heavy German Shepherd to a lighter-than-a-feather long-haired Chihuahua, with a medium-sized mixed breed and five-month-old pug puppy completing the pack.


Back to experiencing new things then, just this morning, for example, I was awoken at 4:19 a.m. by the little black pug puppy standing on my pillow, urgently licking the bald spot on top of my head. We tend to take note and remember the exact time of such unique and momentous occurrences in our lives, don’t we?

Having written about a wide variety of animals and critters over the years with Little Red Bear in his adventure stories and being fluent to passable now in a number of animal languages and dialects, I immediately understood the message from the puppy to be —

“I need to go outside and pee right now and if I don’t you will be sleeping in a wet bed and it will not be my fault because I told you first hurry up I gotta go!”

As you can probably tell, especially in the middle of the night, puppies are more focused on delivering the message and not really yet into dramatic or purposeful pauses in their speech and dialogue at that stage.

Grasping the urgency of the message, I jumped out of bed, stepped into shorts, and moments later three adult dogs and I were standing in the backyard batting away mosquitos and staring up at the moon and stars while the puppy watered the grass in the beam of my flashlight.

Despite the risk of a nervous neighbor reporting a half-dressed old stranger leaning on his cane with a  flashlight in the backyard, a little black dog is hard to spot and keep track of in the dark of night, and we’ll just leave it at that. This fact attested to by movie ninjas dressing all in black, opting not to go on martial combat missions dressed as circus clowns. Although, clowns might actually be more terrifying for some, but that is perhaps a topic and post better suited for Halloween at a later time.


With a high degree of confidence, I can honestly state that the occurrence of having the bald spot on the top of my head frantically licked in the middle of the night was a new experience for me, as I have no recollection whatsoever of it ever having happened to me before.

Well, with the possible exception of that toothless Florida swamp zombie a few years ago, but his intent was so different I really don’t count that encounter the same.

And must admit that as far as the puppy licking my bald spot this morning is concerned, overall it was an unexpectedly energizing experience, not unlike the lemon juice thinking cap of Zaphod Beeblebrox in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. (Something to definitely check out.)

Despite suddenly waking from a very pleasant dream about a chocolate sundae in the park, I understood the importance and immediacy of the situation right off the bat and am proud to say I responded accordingly, as any responsible dog sitter would be expected to do. And also as someone very averse to sleeping on a soggy bed.


Ramblings aside, the message here is that it is important to remain open to new experiences, broaden our horizons and try new things in life. At every age. There is just too much of life going on around us to throw up personal isolationist barriers and walls to keep it out.  Thru experience is how we learn and grow, after all, so we should always be open to an adventure and trying something new.  It never gets old and helps to keep one from getting old in the process.

Who knows? A new experience may come disguised as an anxious and impatient puppy licking the top of your head in the middle of the night. We don’t always get to pick and choose our adventure experiences, so I have found over the years that it’s just best to roll with them, trusting that the Universe has it all under control. And if it doesn’t, well then, we’re kind of doomed like a dead duck so it won’t make any difference in the end, anyway.

As my story friend Little Red Bear observed and commented on life — “You might as well enjoy the show. There ain’t no refunds.”

So while rolling along thru life, we all need to remember to simply leave our cranky pants in the closet and look on the bright side when surprised, or when things don’t go our way or as imagined.

For several folks I have come across, I can imagine that suddenly being woken by frantic head-licking at four in the morning might have had a sour impact on them that no amount of morning coffee could have changed, perhaps even ruining their entire day. What fun is that? For anyone?

Call me crazy if you like, but I laughed about it. Personally, I had never been awakened by anyone of any species licking the top of my head before so just chalked it up to a new experience, another added to the list.  Even with the zombie fellow, I was already wide awake and active that day when the slobbering licking incident occurred so like I said, not really the same.

Life is much more enjoyable when we are able to look beyond the discomfort, inconvenience, or self-imposed misery of the moment and to find the humor in a situation.

Be happy. It is a choice, you know. I think the puppy was laughing about it, himself.


Thanks always for reading and visiting with us!  We hope you enjoy your visits here and return often, if for no other reason than to check out the number of Short Works & Free Reads available whenever the reading urge strikes. A lot of cold and dark winter days await shortly over the horizon. Good reading time.

In my own reading the other day I came across a message from Dr. Wayne Dyer, not to seek peace, but rather to Be The Peace.

Please remember to be kind and live your life as though all of your children are watching. Because they are.  And always choose to be happy.  The folks around you will appreciate it.  — Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also enjoy → “Opting for Millstones or Milestones — “The Desiderata” 

(If a new visitor — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“Choose being kind over being right and you’ll be right every time.” –  Richard Carlson

                “A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.”                 – A. A. Milne (‘Winnie the Pooh’)


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 person who was holding me back from my happiness was me.” – Keanu Reeves


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,  Schools,  Classrooms, and Local Libraries,  and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy. 

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to cover sites fees, registrations and operating costs while continuing 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!


“All the peace and happiness of the whole globe,
The peace and happiness of societies,
The peace and happiness of family,
The peace and happiness in the individual persons’ life,
And the peace and happiness of even the animals and so forth,
All depends on having loving kindness toward each other.” – Lama Zopa Rinpoche


We Don’t Do It For Money, But New Shoes Might Be Nice

Good dawning and day to thee, friends!

For lo and behold, we have already reached mid-April, or as Shakespeare may have kindly noted for us — the midst of National Poetry Month.

Accordingly then, here is one for the creators among us. Those who add the color, rhythm, and inspiration to our lives — the poets, writers, artists, musicians, designers, and such.

Tongue firmly in cheek, of course.  Somewhat.


We Don’t Do It For Money, But New Shoes Might Be Nice

*

Writers and artists don’t make much, sadly true.

Can’t even afford to buy shoe repair glue.

Yet, before this day is over and done,

I’d like to go out and have some great fun.

*

But what things to do with these holes in my shoe?

While ideas are many, options seem few.

I’d like to dress up in style,

And dance around for a while.

*

To Karaoke, carouse, laugh, and make merry,

Purposefully jaywalk and do something contrary!

And then to have a nice dinner, dessert, and stiff drinks,

All rather unlikely with these holey shoes, methinks.

*

So, here all alone tonight writing more poetry and prose,

Staring down in despair at holey shoes and old toes.


As mentioned in the beginning, this fun little piece is intended as a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, but when you truly find your passion and purpose in life, whatever the calling may be, then money becomes secondary if even a consideration at all.

I write because that is me, who I am, and give as many or more books away for enjoyment than sell. And why this blog is non-monetized and will remain so, to avoid bothersome buffering and distractions for visitors.

Writing for fame and fortune was never a thought, and why I have never been motivated to “write to a market” or “write what is trending.” I write what comes into my head and feel moved to write, hoping that someday in some way it may help to make a positive difference in the world.

Of course, money is a necessary thing, for purchasing new shoes if nothing else. And anyone who has gone thru life with constantly growing little ones trailing behind them is sure to know all about that!

But it cannot be the end all, be all.  There must be something more, or we will be destined to spend our lives in the shallow end of the pool. Because certainly, life must be deeper and hold greater meaning than what can be expressed on a balance sheet or portfolio.

Have you found your true purpose and calling? Life becomes much simpler and more enjoyable when you have.  Sometimes it is best to stop chasing, simply sit quietly, and let your purpose and passion come to you, as they always will.

Thanks so much for visiting and spending part of your day with us! A smile and small acts of kindness and love hold great power to change another’s life. Will you brighten someone’s life today?  — Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also enjoy → “Finding A Purpose Driven Life — What Would You Do If . . . . . . ?” 

(And if a new visitor — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


To Live A Creative Life One Needs To Set Aside Their Fear Of Being Wrong And Simply Do It, Regardless Of The Opinions Of Others

          “I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty.”          –  Edgar Allan Poe  


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.

“To live is not enough; we must take part.” – Pablo Casals


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 not enough to have lived.
We should be determined to live for something.
May I suggest that it be creating joy for others,
sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind,
bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
― 
Leo Buscaglia


 

How To Be Mindfully Aware Of Positive Thoughts and Actions

Imagine yourself, if you will, in a cafeteria for lunch. Tantalizing food choices pass by in front of you on a conveyor belt, emerging from a window opening from the kitchen on the left side and then passing on out of sight thru another window at the other end to the right. A continuous stream of moving menu offerings to handpick from as they stream past.

No one expects everything offered in a cafeteria to necessarily be to their liking, so of course, you select and place on your tray for lunch only those items which appear appetizing and most greatly appeal to you.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?


What if we approached the random thoughts and ideas streaming thru our mind every day in the same way, selecting to note and act only upon those thoughts which most greatly appealed to and benefited us? Those thoughts congruent with our most basic nature of universal kindness, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, and love?

That is the nature we were born with, after all, before being indoctrinated into our disparate ‘tribes’, society’s conditioning and various belief systems.

Merely allow any thoughts of intolerance, prejudice, bigotry, judgments, hate, jealousy, greed, resentments, ill will, and others to pass by and out of sight unacted upon in the same way as you would your most disliked and distasteful food items on the cafeteria belt.

In other words — Take No Notice, Disregard, and Ignore Them.

Thoughts and ideas come in a never-ending stream throughout the day. Even in our dreams. Scientists say the average human has 60,000 separate thoughts a day. But we maintain the power and control to choose those which we deem worthy enough to act upon while allowing the disagreeable ones to merely ‘Exit Stage Right’ and pass on away and out of sight.

It really is that simple and the positive results can be life-altering. But it does require being mindful.


It becomes more onerous though when we realize that we must accept responsibility for our selections, the ones we choose to take from the passing thought stream and act upon, and then living under a dark cloud of gloom if we have not selected wisely with our highest and best interests in mind.

Reflexively making unhealthy choices at the cafeteria selection belt by consuming a steady diet of super-sized fatty burgers, fries, cakes, cookies, candy bars, and milkshakes every day will have no less of a detrimental impact on our overall health, happiness, and wellbeing than selecting negative, unfavorable, hurtful, and unwholesome thoughts as they enter into our minds each day, inevitably followed by the oppressively gloomy dark clouds.

But we have the right and ability to allow those undesirable thoughts to continue on the conveyor belt and pass right on out of our mind again without acting upon them. Merely let them pass by untouched in the same way you might that unwanted passing dish of brussels sprouts and oysters.

Do not feel ashamed or guilty, nor judge yourself harshly for unhealthy and destructive thoughts entering your mind. Everyone has them, for with so many media and social stimuli and inputs each day we have as little control over where they come from or the randomness of thoughts passing thru our brains as we do menu offerings appearing on the conveyor belt in the cafeteria.

There are ways that we can help to influence our thoughts, but that’s a topic for another day.

The key point is that just as in the cafeteria — We Get To Choose Which Thoughts We Pick Up — while letting the others pass by and away untouched or acted on.


Spend today mindfully, being mentally aware and noticing, without judging, which thoughts are passing thru your mind today. Then choose to select and act only upon those which can bring the greatest good to both yourself and those around you.

Acknowledge being aware of the undesirable thoughts, just as you would notice the dish of brussels sprouts perhaps, but allow them to pass.  And then do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

Small steps — one hour, one day at a time — gradually but steadily raising your level of awareness and mindfulness in life-changing ways.  Positive thoughts are uplifting!

Much sooner than later, you may notice the air around you is lighter, people around you are friendlier, your food tastes better, unsolicited help begins appearing without asking, and your life as a whole has changed for the better as you spend more time and energy on the positive thoughts and ideas in line with your loving, basic, God-like nature.

I urge you to give it a try. After all, what do you have to lose — another grumpy, bummed-out day of judgment, negativity, and gloominess?


Because here’s the thing — when we become aware of our thoughts and persist in consciously and repetitively acting upon the negative and hurtful ones, then we are as responsible for the damage and pain they inflict on ourselves, our family, and others around us, as we would be for our 60-inch waistline from snatching all the poor food choices at the cafeteria.

Whatever we get out of life is the result of our own independent, conscious choices. And that begins with our thoughts. It’s not our background, upbringing, family, where we were born, financial situation, or anything else we might wish to point a finger at. It’s on us.  It is easier and better for everyone to accept responsibility for our thoughts and subsequent actions, and to follow our better natures.


Please imagine again, if you will, not only you and I acting upon our best kind and loving thoughts, but also together with us a whole bunch of folks the world over. Do you think it would take very long for the world to become a kinder and gentler home for us all?

Thanks always for visiting and reading with us. A single kind word or action has the power to positively change someone’s day or whole life. It’s all about sending out positive ripples.

Will you splash some kindness and brighten someone’s day today? —  Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like —  “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” 

(And if a new visitor — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl

                “Guard well your thoughts when alone and your words when accompanied.”                 – Roy T. Bennett


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.

                                                                   “We are addicted to our thoughts.                                                 We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.” – Santosh Kalwar


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 soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius