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


 

Monday Musings — Useful and Proven Advice From An Old Farmer

Happy Monday! 

Some folks do not look forward to Mondays, and that’s putting it mildly. In fact, a good number of otherwise sensible folks even dread them, starting to get sad and depressed already on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Why spoil an otherwise perfectly good Sunday? That just seems silly.

In general terms, why get all upset and stressed about anything that hasn’t and may yet never happen?  If things do take a turn for the worse later, there will likely be plenty of time and opportunity to stew and fuss about it. Not that I really recommend that approach either, because worry and anger never help or accomplish anything.

Speaking only for myself, I look forward to every Monday morning as a fresh start on a new week, and a chance to fix all the things I messed up in the last one.

So – Happy Monday! Saddle her up and here we go again!

Going thru our stack of accumulated writing notes the other day with my story friend Little Red Bear as we are back to work on his next collection of stories again, I came across a wonderful piece that I had forgotten about with all of the Coronavirus COVID19 things grabbing my attention lately.

It is entitled “Advice From An Old Farmer”, and although it can be found in many different versions on many different websites, it appears that the credit for the original piece goes to the former Judge and Texas State Legislator Roy English, author of several books featuring his wit and no-nonsense humor.

You just know when someone offers the sound advice of “Don’t skinny-dip with snapping turtles” that they likely may have a good bit of insight on other important life matters, as well.

Regular readers will recall that I started a new feature a few weeks ago entitled “Monday Musings” based upon the Monday thoughts I share with residents of the seniors’ community where I am Resident Manager. You can find the first ones here — Stay At Home,  Wearing A Face Mask To Protect Others, and Never Ask For a Second Opinion!

Register today to be notified of every new post and feature to stay in touch! Never any spam and all the material here is shared free of charge. Now, I know that sounds like an election year campaign promise, but the difference is I truly mean it. Scout’s honor.

Here is today’s message, sharing the “Advice From An Old Farmer” by Roy English. Little Red Bear and I think it generally applies to a lot more than farming today  . . . . .


Advice From An Old Farmer

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight, and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumblebee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered . . . not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
     Live a good, honorable life.  Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
               If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

Most times, it just gets down to common sense.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.


It is my sincere hope and wishes for you that this message found you and your loved ones well and in good health today and that everything continues the very best.

I encourage everyone to keep practicing good hygiene with regular handwashing and faithfully observe the recommended practices of Social Distancing, Sheltering At Home as much as possible to avoid unnecessary exposure, and wearing Facial Protection Masks to stop the spread of the COVID19 virus, especially as some areas begin to open things back up again soon.

In one way or another, every one of us is feeling the effects of the COVID19 virus these days. It can be challenging, but focusing to stay present in the moment and not worry about future things, which are unlikely to occur at all, is particularly important to lessen stress levels and maintain our health. Please be gentle with yourself and others. A kind word or simple gesture can be life-altering and may go a very long way right now in helping someone to cope with it all.

In a world where we can choose to be anything, please choose to be kind.  And together, we will get thru this! — Jim  (and Red!)


PS — As a friendly reminder, Little Red Bear and I have changed some Amazon marketing structures and eliminated all royalties on his “Adventures of Little Red Bear” stories to make them as affordable as possible for leisurely and relaxing reading during this time for everyone. They are always Free with Kindle Unlimited. 

And if you have already read and enjoyed Red’s adventures, we would sincerely appreciate if you could take a minute to leave a review to help others find their way to the books.

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 single rose can be my garden . . .  a single friend, my world.” – Leo Buscaglia

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


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!


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


 

Monday Musings — Never Ask For A Second Opinion!

Happy Monday! 

It has been my experience that Mondays generally get a bad rap. Many grumble and moan about the weekend being over and back to the old grindstone at work or school, etc., etc.

It goes without saying that many are truly suffering in these times, either physically ill with the Coronavirus COVID19, concerned about loved ones who are ill, and those who are financially struggling with it all. There certainly is a lot going on in the world right now, without a doubt.

But here is my bottom line on it all, and maybe it is somewhat influenced by my advanced age perspective — Any day that I wake up on the green side of the grass is better than the alternative, Mondays notwithstanding. Enjoy the ride while it lasts, even the bumpy parts. There is always something to learn and be gained from every experience to grow stronger and better.  So, again — Happy Monday!

Regular readers will recall that I started a new feature a couple of weeks ago entitled “Monday Musings” based upon the Monday thoughts I share with residents of the seniors’ community where I am Resident Manager. You can find the first ones here — Stay At Home and Wearing A Face Mask To Protect Others.

Here is today’s message, keeping in mind that we can’t or shouldn’t be solemnly serious all of the time . . . . .


First, a Public Service Announcement – In the interest of public safety for visitors and to minimize recurring bloody, bruised, and battered knuckles from rapping on my door in an attempt to get my attention when I am otherwise occupied with earphones listening to music or bothering my guitars, I have recently installed a wireless doorbell. It is the small pad on the right side of the door frame. Simply press the little pushbutton thingy with the cute little bell image on it. And then make yourself comfortable.

Because it should be noted that “hearing” you at the door will not make me any speedier in actually “getting” to the door to answer. Most often, I have my writing laptop, a guitar, dinner, or dog in my lap, any of which must be carefully set aside before I can even begin to think about getting up. And I am painfully slow. So there’s that too, the effects of which should not be understated. The immediacy of results in the new digital age has ill-prepared us for the time it takes a decrepit old-timer to answer a doorbell, it’s sad to say.

As always, I strongly encourage everyone to bring a flavorful and nutritious little snack along to enjoy while waiting for me to come to the door. Moreover, in the event that I am not at home or am out walking the dog at the time, hopefully the snack will still help to make the overall experience enjoyable for you so as not be considered a totally wasted trip. Never underestimate the power of a tasty tidbit to improve the general mood, I say. In the event you arrive unprepared, a snack machine is located nearby, just around the corner by the elevators. You will most likely have plenty of time to go, come back, and enjoy your treats before I answer the door. It is written that “Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet.” And potentially high in calories depending on the type of nibbles you nosh.

Sharing news of a more personal nature, I had an office visit via telephone with my neurosurgeon the other day, following up on my spinal fusion surgery from last October. That is how doctor visits are being done now in the Coronavirus Age it seems – over the telephone. Though still subject to out-of-pocket health insurance co-pays, of course.

I indicated to my doctor that many of the old problems had gone away after the surgery, but that I was experiencing some new and increasingly limiting issues. He responded that based on what I described, my symptoms are likely mechanical once again, and I should get some x-rays and possible other tests performed in early June, when we are all hopefully “socializing” again, and that in his opinion another later surgery might not be out of the question. I told him that I would like a second opinion.

“Okay,” he said, “you’re dreadfully slow and slothlike, too.”



It is my sincere hope and wishes for you that this message found you and your loved ones well and in good health today, and that everything continues the very best.

I encourage everyone to keep practicing good hygiene with regular handwashing, and faithfully observe the recommended practices of Social Distancing, Sheltering At Home, and wearing Facial Protection Masks to stop the spread of the COVID19 virus.

Even the best of us may be stressed and struggling with current events and the virus these days. A kind word or simple gesture may go a very long way right now in helping someone cope with it all. In a world where we can choose to be anything, please choose to be kind.  And together, we will get thru this! — Jim  (and Red!)


PS — As a friendly reminder, Little Red Bear and I have changed some Amazon marketing structures and eliminated all royalties on his “Adventures of Little Red Bear” stories to make them as affordable as possible for leisurely and relaxing reading during this time for everyone. They are always Free with Kindle Unlimited.  And if you have already read and enjoyed Red’s adventures, we would sincerely appreciate if you could take a minute to leave a review to help others find their way to the books.

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.

           “Monday, Monday, so good to me; Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be.”       – John Phillips (“Monday, Monday” by The Mamas & The Papas)


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!


“Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier and healthier life.” –  Germany Kent


 

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


 

Monday Musings — Wearing A Face Mask To Protect Others

“To Mask or “Not To Mask?” 

Well, folks — it’s really not a question anymore, is it? But after having been told a few weeks ago that healthy people should not wear a mask, possible confusion is understandable.

With this virus being so new and unknown, as we learn more about it, guidelines and recommendations change. And that’s a good thing.

We now have learned that the COVID19 virus can be spread by people carrying the virus who display no symptoms at all. So, wearing a mask will not necessarily prevent us from getting sick if there are viruses in the air around us, as they may still enter in the air we breathe coming in from around the edges of the mask. That’s just the way it is. But, wearing a mask is much better in preventing viruses from getting out as we exhale, protecting those others around us — family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow shoppers at the grocery store.  And that is why we are all being urged to wear a face mask when out in public now. To keep each of us from unknowingly spreading the virus to others.

As frequent visitors may recall, last Monday’s post featured a poll in which readers could vote on whether to continue with a new “Monday Musings” feature. (If you missed it, here is a link. Just tap here to see it.)

The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of continuing the Monday Musings feature, so here we go with another. The subject of today’s piece here at our seniors’ community was Masks.  Here in the St. Louis area, masks are now required for essential visitors to gain admittance to our resident buildings in order to visit or do work. The wearing of masks is required for all staff working here and strongly urged for residents. In fact, we cannot enter our local grocery store to shop without wearing a mask now, in order to protect the workers.

Thankfully, most residents are heeding the advice and wearing masks now, in a wide assortment of colors and styles as volunteers have been making homemade masks for those in need of one in a wide assortment of styles and colors.

That one made from discarded brassieres could have maybe taken a little more thought and planning, though.  Some bra masks here look more like a catcher’s mask and throat protector hanging down in front than a ‘surgical type’ mask but do seem to serve the function, so regardless of what any mask looks like that is the important part, after all.

Here then, expanding on a brief afterthought from last week’s post, was today’s Musing to address a misconception about why we have been asked to wear a mask, and to encourage those stubborn holdouts to start using one  . . . .


We have all been asked to wear a mask when out and about. A simple enough request, not aimed at protecting ourselves so much, as more to protect others from US in the possibility that we may be infected by the Coronavirus, displaying no outward symptoms, being unaware that we are even infected. That is happening a lot, it seems.

Wearing a mask then, the message we are conveying is not “I am selfishly protecting myself from your germ-infested body”, but rather is – “I care enough about YOU and protecting YOUR health to wear this mask in order to Protect YOU From ME.”

Wearing a mask is a way of actively demonstrating kindness and compassion for others. Actually walking the walk, so to speak. Most major religions of note are big on that kind of thing.

“Typhoid Mary” (real name Mary Mallon) is still remembered to this day for her unlimited sharing, and not in a particularly good sort of way. None of us want that.

Accordingly, in the interest of public safety during the current Coronavirus situation and with my friends’ and neighbors’ best interests at heart, I have decided to wear a mask.

I will be going with the traditional Bandit Bandana style, ala Jesse James. It covers my nose and mouth while allowing me to breathe freely, does not fog my eyeglasses, and most importantly, does not force moustache hairs into my mouth all day long. I believe these were pretty much the same reasons Jesse chose a Bandit Bandana mask too, back in the day.

For those questioning the effectiveness of such a mask, I believe the historical record will bear me out on this. No one was ever found to have caught a virus of any kind from Jesse James during a bank holdup or train robbery while he was wearing his Bandit Bandana mask. Not one documented instance. A few unlucky souls may have regrettably caught a bullet or two from time to time perhaps, but there have been no documented cases of anyone ever having caught a virus. So, if Bandit Bandanas worked for Jesse James and the boys, I figure they will work just fine for me.

And, who knows? It may open up new career opportunities along the way. “Always be open to possibilities when they present themselves,” my enterprising father would say.

(In case you are wondering – I am going with the basic “Red Robber” model for starters. When in doubt about fashion, always stick with the classics, I say. And, they are running an Introductory Special over at “Bad Bob’s Bandit Bandanas” shop over in Round Corners. Get yours today at Bad Bob’s and tell ‘em I sent ya.)

 

Whatever style you choose, please wear a mask in public.

It’s for the best    —     For you   —   For everyone!


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

Please remember, Bandit Mask kidding aside, in order to be effective a mask must adequately cover both the nose and mouth if you are thinking about making one at home. In this case, your favorite Lone Ranger mask will no longer meet the needs, sadly.

Here are some easy-to-follow instructions for making your own bandana mask at home, using only a bandana and rubber bands (or hair ties).



Hopefully, with each of us doing our part, even if it is as simple as wearing a face mask when out in public, we can slow and eventually stop the spread of this COVID19 virus altogether and get back to a sense of normalcy in our lives.

Although I have the growing sense that as each day passes, a return to “normalcy” gets further and further pushed down the line, making it even more important that we all work together thru this.  And eventually, whenever that time comes, be it May, June, or December, we will have gotten thru this.

And please remember, wearing a mask does NOT replace Social Distancing. Along with dutifully washing our hands and wearing a mask in public, Social Distancing is one of the most important things we can do right now to slow the spread of the COVID19 virus.

Thanks always for visiting!  Best wishes and health! — Jim  (and Red!)   🤠 🐻


PS — As a friendly reminder, Little Red Bear and I have changed some Amazon marketing structures and eliminated all royalties on his “Adventures of Little Red Bear” stories to make them as affordable as possible for leisurely and relaxing reading during this time for everyone. They are always Free with Kindle Unlimited.  And if you have already read and enjoyed Red’s adventures, we would sincerely appreciate if you could take a minute to leave a review to help others find their way to the books.

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.

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


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!


“Whenever we see something which could be done to bring benefit to others, no matter how small, then we should do it.” – Tai Situ Rinpoche


 

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


 

Monday Musings — Stay At Home!

Still growing into my new role as Resident Manager of a Senior Living Community here on the outskirts of St. Louis, a month ago I began sharing short writing pieces with everyone in a little weekly feature I call “Monday Musings” distributed door-to-door each Monday morning.

Topics vary, but if you know me by now at all, you also know that the messages include a good number of thoughts about kindness, positivity, helping others, and such. Usually with a little humor tossed in, because it is always good for the soul. In a spoonful of sugar, sort of way.

Here is the little piece I prepared for everyone today in case you might be interested, dealing with a very serious topic in the news, the Coronavirus.  Being in a senior living community, our residents are among the most vulnerable, so taking it all very seriously here. As should we all.


MONDAY MUSINGS

We have been asked to Shelter-In-Place.  Many ignored it.  Now we have a Stay-At-Home order, issued by the City, the County, and now the State.

States are increasingly calling out the National Guard to assist state police in enforcing Shelter-At-Home orders. In Pennsylvania, a motorist taking a scenic car ride was stopped by police and given a $200 ticket for violating stay-at-home orders in that state.

Stores are beginning to limit the number of shoppers allowed inside at one time for social distancing. Many stores are now requiring masks to be worn. Some are no longer allowing shoppers to bring their own bags. Some are not allowing children in stores. Some are limiting one shopper/one cart per family.  If anyone has been in doubt until now, this is serious.

For the sake of not only yourself, but also for friends, neighbors, and family, please Stay Home unless absolutely necessary to go out for the foreseeable future and allow only Truly Essential Visitors. It will not last forever, but for right now this is what we need to do for us ALL to get thru the Coronavirus Pandemic together. Please.

It really is fairly simple –


The above is what I shared with our residents today.

If you would like to see my Monday Musings as a weekly feature here, please Vote In The Poll and feel free to leave a note in the comments.  I would be happy to freely share them here with you as well because sharing is what it is all about, isn’t it?


Thanks always for visiting with us because YOU are why we do this, to begin with.

These are not fun times, unlike anything we have ever seen. At least in my seventy years here in this go-round. There were those bedeviling plagues long ago, but we’ll leave those stories for another day.

To imagine that as little as a month or so ago life was going on as usual here, and now in just the span of a few weeks, we have been ordered to remain at home for our own health and safety and urged to wear a protective face wrap when out. We now practice Social Distancing.  The economy has been turned on its head, and travel has become greatly restricted. Sports and entertainment venues have been shuttered for the foreseeable future, and so many summer vacation plans tossed into the wind.

Yet, despite it all, you and I are still here. Together.

And ‘together’ is how we have always gotten thru times like these in the past, and ‘together’ is how we will all get thru it this time. Helping and being there for each other — neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, stranger to stranger. That is how we do it.

It is not the “American” way. It is the “Human” way.  It is all-embracing Kindness and Compassion at work for everyone’s mutual survival and benefit.


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 to you and yours for continued health and well-being.

My story friend Little Red Bear and I will be regularly sharing a variety of things here in the coming weeks to keep in touch. Some topical, as this one was, some not so much, and others free reading just for fun and to take a break from it all, like “The Three-legged Chicken” story. I invite you to follow along and stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, God Bless and Stay Well.  — Jim (and Red!)


P.S. — In the interest of public safety during the current Coronavirus situation, I have decided to wear a mask, albeit in traditional Bandit Bandana style, ala Jesse James. 

For those questioning the effectiveness of such a mask, I believe the historical record will bear me out on this. No one was ever found to have caught a virus of any kind from Jesse James during a bank or train robbery while he was wearing his Bandit Bandana mask. A few bullets, perhaps, but there have been no documented cases of anyone ever having caught a virus from Jesse, that I am aware of. So, if it worked for Jesse and the boys, I figure it will work for me.

And, who knows? It may open up some new career opportunities along the way. Always be open to possibilities, as my father used to say. 

(In case you are wondering — I’m going with the basic “Red Robber” model for starters.)  


           “Be the morning in everyone’s eyes and make their day turn into a thing of beauty.”          – Anthony T. Hincks


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!


“The person who is willing to say ‘YES’ to experience is the person who discovers new frontiers.” –  John Templeton


 

An Astonishing New Free Short Story — “The Three-legged Chicken”

This little writing site of mine has always been about freely sharing materials for everyone’s enjoyment and (hopeful) benefits, and will continue to do so.

With so many of us confined-to-quarters with the Coronavirus Shut-In situation for the foreseeable future, I will be posting and sharing a few more pieces from time to time for folks to enjoy reading while helping the time pass.

The following is a short story I just finished for the enjoyment of residents here at the senior living facility where I am the resident manager. The story was inspired by old folk tales and a joke told by the comedian Buddy Hackett years ago.

Again, hopefully bringing a smile and helping the time pass for everyone.


THE THREE-LEGGED CHICKEN

Years ago, when I was very young, six or seven at the time, my family all got into the car one early summer Saturday morning to take a “drive to the country.” That’s how my father would always put it – taking a “drive to the country.”

“The country”, as he referred to it, was the old homestead and farm where my mother had been raised, near McKittrick, Missouri just outside of Hermann, off Highway 19. If you crossed over the Missouri River and landed in Hermann, you probably blinked and missed McKittrick and went too far. Nowadays, McKittrick is home to the world-famous “Joey’s Bird House B&B” on Main Street. But you probably knew that already, being so renowned as it is, so I shouldn’t have wasted your time telling you again.

My father never said the words “drive to the country” in a happy, “let’s hurry up and get there” tone. That’s how I felt, but he did not share my youthful exuberance. A “drive to the country” always ended up being work for him, as my two aged uncles who lived on the farm at the time, Coley and Ellis, two old bachelor brothers who had never been married, always had a list of chores that needed to be done. “We could surely use your help with (insert the chore for the day here) before y’all head back to town, Rudy.”

Rudy was my father’s name, of course, being short for Rudolph, spelled the old German way with a “P” as he would always point out, just like the legendary reindeer. But no relation, my father being of Alsatian heritage as he was and the famous reindeer being from somewhere in the Yukon territory, having hung out with Yukon Cornelius in the day, as I recall.

My father, a city boy with no love for the country or outdoors, would dutifully help out with whatever chores they requested. He came to realize over time that it was best if he just agreed, did the tasks, and remained on speaking terms with my mother. She would visit with family and he would work. Did I mention that he never really liked going to “the country?” His least favorite chore was cleaning out the chicken coop, and after having helped him on one occasion when I was older, I can’t say I disagreed with him. After that, I realized why our family seemed to invariably have fried chicken at Sunday dinners. It wasn’t about cuisine; it was about revenge, pure and simple.

And that brings me to the point of all this. On that one Saturday morning, as we were going on along Highway 19 on the way to my uncles’ farm, a chicken suddenly appeared running alongside the car down the center stripe of the road. Which it actually was at that time, a narrow two-lane, winding blacktop road, as I recall. The term “Highway” can be a misnomer in our state when driving thru the backcountry and Ozarks areas. “Highway” looked good on the fold-out gas station maps and sounded alluring and enticing to tourists thinking about venturing into the state, but in reality, most of the side and back roads at the time were straight-as-a-snake curvy and just plain old “shake your false teeth loose” rough. Another of dad’s expressions.

Anyway, back to that chicken, the one we left running alongside the car as you may recall from a minute ago. My father was driving along at a brisk forty mile an hour clip, a good speed for a winding country road in the early ‘50s. He looked out his side window and exclaimed to us all – “Look at that. A chicken is running alongside the car!” I will never forget his exact words. He said – “Look at that. A chicken is running alongside the car!”

Perhaps feeling challenged by the fleet fowl, my father sped up to 45 mph. So did the chicken, keeping pace right alongside.

From my backseat observation window, I noticed that the chicken was running alongside in an atypical manner, although I didn’t know the word ‘atypical’ or what it meant at the time, of course. Just using it here for you now to indicate that something didn’t appear normal in the way the chicken was moving, in a rather unconventional manner, you see. After a minute or so, thru further study and examination, I then determined that the chicken had three legs. Really, count ‘em – One, Two, Three Legs!

My father sped up to fifty. So did the chicken.

We accelerated up to 60. My mother was about to come unglued, as frequently doing 60 on a hilly and winding country road could result in a quicker-than-planned trip to the cemetery back in the day before life-saving seat belts were invented.

My father floored it and zoomed up to 65, and at this point, apparently having reached its own destination, the chicken sped up even more, dashed ahead of us and cut right in front of our car to sprint up a gravel side road leading to a nearby farmhouse.

My father slammed on the brakes, having passed the gravel road at such speed, immediately threw the car into reverse, and then sped up the road in pursuit of the chicken, gravel and road dust flying everywhere.

Standing in the nearby barnyard was the farmer, dressed in dusty blue overalls and wearing a straw hat that looked like it may have been original Civil War issue. My father leapt out of the car and headed towards the farmer, with my mother and me hurrying behind to catch up.

“Did you see that chicken that just ran past?” my father blurted out, half out of breath.

“Yep,” replied the farmer, calmly.

“That chicken had three legs!” my father exclaimed. He was nearly frantic about what had just transpired on the road, as even being an over-the-road trucker most of his life he had never been in a chicken race of that sort before.

“Yep,” responded the farmer. “Three legs.”

My father was incredulous at the farmer’s indifference. “Well, don’t you find that unusual?” my father pursued.

“Nope,” deadpanned the farmer again. “We breed and raise ‘em here. Lots of ‘em.”

“You raise three-legged chickens?!?” my father came back. “How?!?”

“That’s simple,” the Farmer explained. “We crossed a regular ol’ two-legged chicken with a one-legged Road Runner to get three longer legs and more meat for folks.”

My father, totally bewildered, pressed on. “But why on Earth would anyone want a three-legged chicken?!?”

“Welp,” the farmer began again, a confused look on his face as to why he would have to explain something so obvious, even to a city dweller, “do you like drumsticks?”

“Yes,” replied my father.

“How about your wife?”

“She likes them, too,” my father answered.

“And the little boy there?” the farmer asked, waving a crooked bony finger and then pointing directly at me. “Does he like drumsticks?”

“He loves them,” my Father replied. “They are his favorite part.”

And they were. My father always knew me well when it came to food. Drumsticks were my favorite. Dad was spot on with that one.

“Well then,” the farmer explained, “there you have it. Three people in your family, three drumsticks. No need to cook up an extra chicken and then have that extra leg and a lot of other chicken parts left over. What sense would that make? None at all, I say.”

“That may be fine and good,” my father agreed. “But what do they taste like?”

“Don’t rightly know,” the farmer replied sheepishly, hat in hand.

“Crossing ‘em with Road Runners as we did, we ain’t never caught one yet to find out!”

© Story James R. Milson, 2020


Thank You for visiting with us and I hope you enjoyed our little chicken race adventure. This was an original story, all of which is true and factual. Mostly.

You can find more Free Reads like this thru the Short Works & Free Reads tab at the top of the page. And that is a true fact, sure enough. If you enjoyed this piece, please feel free to share it with family and friends,  along with other site resources available.

And something I do not do often enough, sending a heartfelt “Thank You!” to both new and established patrons of this site, whose generosity, encouragement, and on-going support help keep this all going and making posts like this possible for everyone!  To find out what it’s all about, visit my Patreon Page to learn more.

Wishing the very best continued Health and Happiness for you and yours! Helping each other, we will get thru this challenging period. Together!  — Jim (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “How The Teddy Bear Got Its Name”

(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!)


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.

“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.” – W. Clement Stone


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


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


 

It’s Here — Coping With The Coronavirus Challenge Now

Good Golly, Miss Molly! – What can one say about the news the past week?

The world as we know it seems to be progressively shutting down around us as each new day gets crazier than the last. It’s hard to keep up, just with all the new words and phrases alone – Coronavirus – Pandemic – COVID-19 – Flatten the Curve – Shelter In Place – Social Distancing – Self-quarantine.

And how about “R-naught or RO” – a virus’s basic reproductive number and the metric used to describe the contagiousness of infectious agents? We aren’t even going to talk about that one.

Some of my writer friends and I are sharing our thoughts in our “Coping in Coronaville Blog Hop.”  I invite you to visit their amazing blogs, listed at the end of this post, to discover their ways of coping and surviving in such times.


Our daily routines and patterns have been totally upended, almost overnight. That is stressful enough for most, without the added concerns of a nasty virus lurking around every corner. And now we are under a “Stay-At-Home” order in our area, as well.

It’s all enough to scare the pants off Superman! And wouldn’t that have been a sight. Likely not ‘G’ rated, but perhaps interesting and entertaining, nonetheless.

Imagine Superman soaring pantless thru the stratosphere as he did, frost and icicles forming on suddenly exposed tender bits and what-nots where they shouldn’t. Was that a wrap-around cape he wore, to bundle for warmth perhaps? And were phone booths ever heated? Has any super guy ever survived a severe case of frostbite on the Willie? Or, even wanted to? What would Lois Lane think?  So many questions . . . .

Sorry, my mind wandered there for a moment, but being old I get a pass on stuff like that now. Is that a fair trade-off for being in the higher risk grouping with the coronavirus nowadays? I don’t know, but it does have its tactical advantages when used prudently, or just wanting to annoy and wind up the kids from time to time. Just for fun. And payback. Yeah, some of that, too. Parents –  you know what I’m talking about, don’t deny it.


But, back to the virus which may have folks feeling jittery and on edge. The projected numbers and newscasts can be worrisome, no doubt. Scary stuff.  But there are really only two types of problems in life – those you can do something about, and those you cannot. Honestly, it really is that simple.

If you can do something about a situation, why worry? Do what is needed to be done and take care of it. If there is nothing you can do about a situation, then why worry? Like an asteroid falling from outer space, if there truly is nothing you can do about it, whatever “It” is will happen or not, all on its own with or without us agonizing, losing sleep, and worrying over it.  Worrying never solved anything.  Ever.

The only thing worrying ever does is to heighten our stress levels, thereby lowering our natural resistance and immunity,  making whatever we are worried about in the first place — such as a virus —  even more likely to occur, like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We truly do become what we focus on and think about most, so for goodness’ sake please do not obsess about or dwell on thoughts of catching the coronavirus or being sick! Nothing good at all will come of that.

Be mindful, stay positive, laugh, enjoy life and time with loved ones and those around you, live in the moment, be happy, focus on the good things and what truly is in your control, and then let the devil take the hindmost.


Accordingly, then – we do what we can.

We wash, wash, wash, wash our hands thru the day, and then wash them again just for good measure. That is vitally important, and we can do that.

We also no longer touch our eyes, mouth, nose, or facial area in general. We can surely do that.

And if for some reason you can’t resist the urge to rub and scratch, order a beekeepers mask. Or a Halloween mask.  Order a frightfully scary Jason Halloween goalie mask and terrify the little virus buggers. They might even run away. I would.

Masks could be fun all on their own, anyway, and if they help keep you from touching your face, it’s a win-win all around.

And we can also stay as isolated as possible, practicing social-distancing by maintaining a good six (6!) feet of space between ourselves and others when we do legitimately need to be out and about on occasion. Honestly, for the sake of our own health, our families and the community at large, less frequent and only truly necessary outings are for the better right now.

Smile while thinking of all the time and gas money saved!


So, simply do what you can do, and after that – take a deep breath, treat yourself to a cookie, beverage of choice, and relax. Whatever it is will run its course without our needlessly having helped it along or added to our worry wrinkles.

These are all simple things we can do, and certainly worth the relatively small price when considering the alternative of being exposed to and spreading the virus and its consequences for everyone. Even with the cost of the beekeeper and Halloween mask.

This is the period we live in right now. Change can be challenging, and our lives seem to be rapidly changing in ten-minute increments the past week. Nevertheless, it is time for us all to accept the new reality, adjust to it by each creating our own “new normal” to make the best of the situation, develop new daily routines, and carry on.

As my Mother always reminded whenever I was troubled –

“This too shall pass.”


Hopefully, we can all work together to “flatten the curve” as they say, and things will all get back to normal soon. But for the foreseeable future, diligently practicing good hygiene, being positive and mindful, social distancing, and being a bit isolated is the new normal.

And again – we can do all that. Together.

We are a community here, blessed with amazing and wonderful folks, and “Together” we will get thru this if we each act responsibly and do our part.

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


And one more thing. An early observation. This week already I have seen more families together — Moms, Dads, Kids, Dogs, Cats — all out taking walks, kicking balls around the yard, stomping with galoshes in rain puddles, and just having fun — Together.

Others too, finding their way back outdoors to walk around the block and spend time with Mother Nature in the fresh air again. Reconnecting — with the outdoors, family, and neighbors. And that’s a very good thing.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we see a return to old-fashioned family times and activities after we have been so individually busy and increasingly separated over the past few decades? Is it going to take a disaster to bring us back together? Hopefully not, but perhaps it will be a positive ultimately realized from such a potentially devastating pandemic. We’ll see and maybe talk more about that another time.

In the meantime, let’s all focus on and reconnect with those people and things that are truly most important in our lives, keep good thoughts, and hope while expecting the very best outcomes for us all. And we will get thru all this — Together.


Thank you always for taking the time from your day to visit with us!

If you learned anything, laughed for a moment and escaped the weight of the daily news breaks, or simply enjoyed your visit, we hope you may consider subscribing and following the blog here. It’s free, and never any spam.

Little Red Bear and I also hope that you will extend a kind word and helping hand to others during these trying times. We all could use a little mutual support and comforting reassurance right now.


With so many working from home, schools dismissed or being “confined to quarters” at present, I invite and encourage you to take advantage of all the “Short Works & Free Reads” offered here on the blog. Enjoy a selection of feature articles, inspirational pages, posts, poetry, videos, and short stories, along with a growing list of Children’s Activities, Puzzles, and More! Find them all thru the tabs at the top of the page. It’s all Free because that’s just how we roll here.

In addition, at Little Red’s Bear’s urging, we have lowered the price of his print book, “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to the lowest price we can offer thru Amazon — from $12.95 to $7.50.

We changed the distribution for the time being to lower the cost, and have eliminated all royalties so that we make nothing on any sale. The price of the Kindle Version for eReaders has also been lowered to only $2.99, and it is still Free with Kindle Unlimited.

Discover what others have had to say about Little Red Bear and his friends in some of our Reviews & Reader Comments.

We are doing this as our small part to help out, encouraging home reading both “to” and “for” children, as well as providing a light entertainment alternative for adults and seniors just to mentally escape for a while when needed during these stressful times. It is always a good day in Little Red Bear’s neck of the woods, and we invite you to drop in for a visit, prop your feet up and ‘set’ for a spell.

Very best wishes and good health to you and yours, stay well, and we will be back soon, with clean hands (and paws!) while maintaining an appropriately safe distance, of course. We’ll meet you at the intersection of Positivity and Hope! — Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “Wishing You Happiness, Peace, 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!)


I invite you to visit my writing friends to discover their thoughts on “Coping in Coronaville”, and to follow their blogs for wonderful new posts throughout the year!

Julie Gorges — “Ten Things Baby Boomers Can Do if Self-Quarantined”

Cat Michaels — “I Refuse To Be Wasting Away in Coronaville”

Rosie Russell — “Ideas on How to Cope in a Coronavirus World”

Rebecca Lyndsey — “Coping In Coronaville”

Carmela Dutra — “How to Stay Positive in a Coronavirus World”

Chris Gorges — “7 Ways to Cope with Coronavirus Fatigue”

Sandra Bennett — “Staying Grateful In A Coronavirus World”

Auden Johnson — “Quarantine Life: Ways To Cope In A Coronavirus World”


          “Be the morning in everyone’s eyes and make their day turn into a thing of beauty.”        – Anthony T. Hincks

“In the darkest time, I have always believed, the light will shine.” – Lailah Gifty Akita


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.

    “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
– Leo F. Buscaglia
    


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!


“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day,
And no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.”                   – Ralph Waldo Emerson



 

 

“Happy Leap Year Day! What Will You Do With Your Extra Time?”

Happy Leap Year Day!

As you undoubtedly recall from earlier school days, Leap Years happen only once every four years, pinning an extra day onto the end of the month of February, with the year’s shortest month magically becoming one day longer.

This small change works to keep the calendar year in sync with the solar year so that the calendar’s seasons and holidays do not shift thru the solar year over time. Think Christmas during the heat of July and watching Fourth of July fireworks in a snowstorm someday in the future. Like that. The added leap day every four years serves to keep it all in balance.

So, the February 29th extra day every four years is kind of special. Like on that one of four times you actually receive a hot and fresh pizza delivery order. A time to celebrate and open up the box right away and enjoy it before the specialness is gone!

How are you going to spend your extra day and twenty-four gifted hours of time this Leap Year?  Have you thought about it yet?


Just for fun, I did some random, unscientifically based sampling of friends and neighbors to see what they had in mind for their extra day and time.

Results varied from “Excited” to “Not-So-Much” . . . . .

  • “Take in a basketball game!”
  • “I am going to sleep all day!”
  • “Probably forget about it and then feel guilty later about having wasted my extra day.”
  • “Reflect on the new year so far and my plans for the next ten months.”
  • “Play Bingo all day until my money runs out.”
  • “Pray to make it to the next Leap Year Day.”
  • “I am going to go shopping, have lunch out, and treat myself to a new pair of shoes!”
  • “Play video games all day!”
  • “Will probably just do some blood sacrifices and other pagan rituals as a tradition to honor the day.”  (There’s always that ‘one guy’ in every group, isn’t there?)

The above plans notwithstanding, by far and perhaps rather sadly, the most frequent response was — “Nothing special, just another day.”


For me personally, after falling so far behind on things with recent health issues (read about it all here, if you dare — “Old Age Ain’t No Place For Sissies!” ), I plan to take advantage of my special Leap Day by spending the greatest part of the time with my story friend Little Red Bear catching up on all the writing work we are so far behind with.  There just hasn’t been enough time in the past few months.

And in saying that just now, how often do we find ourselves saying the exact same thing  — “There just hasn’t been enough time”? Or, perhaps expressing its variant — “I just don’t have the time”?


In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, Douglas Adams is famously quoted for observing that — “Time is an illusion.”  And he has noted physicists backing him up on it. According to the experts, our naive perception of time’s flow does not correspond to physical reality. Wow, heavy stuff.


But this piece today is not intended to be a dissertation on the subject or history of “Time” itself; there are many readily available sources that discuss the topics in detail if you care to learn more.

My interest rather is in how we choose to use “Time”.

 — “Nothing special, just another day.”  —

As mentioned earlier, this is a leap year with a bright and shiny, extra new day added this month on February 29th. Twenty-four golden hours of opportunity.

We all receive the same amount of “Time” each and every day. Some accomplish much with it. Many allow it to pass by relatively untouched and unused, adding to an ever-growing discard pile of “Just another days”.

Some use Time for good purposes; others not. Some enjoy its passing, aware and savoring every moment. Some seem to sleepwalk thru the day. Some are motivated by time’s passage, while others crumble under the pressure and weight of deadlines, both outwardly and self-imposed.

So maybe the question is — Do we control Time, mindfully utilizing what we are given to best suit our needs and wishes, or do we allow Time to control us?

We always seem to have, make, or create the necessary time in our schedules for what we truly want to do, while responding “I don’t have the time” for those things we would rather not do if given a choice. So, maybe it all merely boils down to a matter of priorities in the end. We do what we want to do and that which personally serves us best, and let the devil take the hindmost.  And that’s the reality, simple enough.

When we ask someone to do something or other and they respond that they would love to but do not have the time, it really just means that we or our request are simply not high enough on their priority list.  No one receives more, and certainly not less time than anyone else each day. It’s just all in how we choose to use it.

Getting back to the subject at hand, due to the idiosyncrasies and vagaries of its measurement, we each will receive an extra twenty-four hours of special Leap Year Time this month, free of charge. Gifted.

What will YOU do with it?


Some of my writer friends are sharing their thoughts about “Leap Day”, also.

I invite you to Visit and Follow their pages listed below for wonderfully varied content throughout the year!

Julie Gorges – “How Baby Boomers Can Make Leap Day Count!”

Rebecca Lyndsey – “Very Superstitious . . .”

Rosie Russell  – ” We’re Leaping and Hopping for Leap Year 2020″

Sandra Bennett – “What Will You Do With an Extra Day?”

Carmela Dutra – “How to Take a Leap on Leap Day”

Cat Michaels – “Five Easy Things You Can Do with Your Extra 24 Hours on Leap Day”

Auden Johnson – “How Will You Spend Your Extra Day This Leap Year?’

Chris Gorges – “A Rare Gift”

Julie Schooler – “3 Easy Ways to Make February 29th Your Best Leap Day Ever”


Thank you always for visiting and spending part of your day with us here!

In addition to our writing work, Little Red Bear and I will be heading outside on Leap Day next weekend, trash bags in hand (paws?) to pick up litter and trash along our nearby walkways.

It’s called “Trashercize”, a growing, environmentally conscious activity combining healthy outdoor walking and exercise with trash removal to beautify our neighborhoods, waterways, and landscapes.

Watch for more about Trashercize and Plogging in a coming post here as we all prepare to head back outdoors with the arrival of Spring soon! 

In closing, if each person in the world helped just one other person or did one simple thing to help Mother Nature and the environment, wouldn’t the world be a much better and more enjoyable place? A lot of simple little acts can add up to something really big if we all pitch in and take the Time to do our part by putting someone or something else’s needs before our own wants.

So then, what can you do with your extra Leap Year Day to reach out and help someone?  How about doing something today? And if not today — when?

Could you possibly offer a kind word or pick up and properly dispose of a piece of litter, perhaps? Little things. They add up. Please join us today in making a positive difference in the world!  — Jim (and Red!)   🤠 🐻


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “Finding A Purpose Driven Life — What Would You Do If . . . . . . ?”  and “Opting for Millstones or Milestones — The Desiderata” 

(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!)


       Think Globally – Act Locally! Tomorrow Begins With YOU Today!    

“Lost time is never found again.”  – Benjamin Franklin


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.

         “There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.”       –  Leo Christopher


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!


“Time and tide wait for no man.” – Geoffrey Chaucer



 

 

 

 

 

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