Monday Musings — Spring Wildlife, Babies, and What To Do If You Find One!

Happy Spring and Baby Wildlife Season!

It finally seems the warmer weather is here to stay after more than a few false starts this year. Reaching 91 one day and then freezing the next. What’s up with that? For a while, it seemed as though Mother Nature herself had contracted the COVID-19 virus and wasn’t quite herself in how the weather bounced up and down for weeks on end early on. One of the strangest Spring seasons I recall in quite a while. But then again, this whole year of 2020 has been something to behold so far, hasn’t it?

I would not want to be in the shoes of whoever Mother Nature ultimately tracks down thru contact tracing as to who gave her the virus, if that is the case. How many remember the old adage — “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature?”



Personally, I have been looking forward to the arrival of Spring since the last Christmas present wrapping hit the floor. And I am not alone. Mother Nature’s critters, huddled in winter dens, have all been awaiting the first warming rays of sunshine, too.

So, let’s talk about Wildlife. The four-legged, feathered, and furry sort mostly, and save Las Vegas, Party Barges, and Weekend Bingo Binges for another discussion and time.


Where I live, we have had a Skunk lurking around the trash cans and smoking area in the rear of the buildings for a while. A Possum, too. It crossed in front of me walking the dog a few weeks ago. Mid-morning, no rush at all crossing the street as if it owned the crosswalk. And it has been sighted again around the area more recently.

Given the old-growth trees around the neighborhood, I would expect to see Raccoons and hear some Owls anytime, as well. I stop and listen when out at night trying to hear or see one. No luck so far, but I have seen bats zipping around overhead from time to time.

And we have countless Squirrels scampering about gathering acorns and other food treats. And a very special little tailless squirrel. It lives nearabout the twin fir trees at the end in the side yard area.  I saw him on two occasions last fall scurrying along the curbside of the rear parking lot.

I first became aware of the presence of the tailless squirrel after noticing a scribbled “Reward Note” posted on a Sweetgum tree out front –

“25 Acorns Reward For Information Leading To The Whereabouts And Speedy  Recovery Of My Missing Tail.”

The note was signed by “Stubby the Grey Squirrel”.

Assuming the tailless little guy is still anywhere around to be seen now, of course. Being somewhat of an oddity, he may have run off already to join the circus, hit the talk show circuit, or to pursue a movie career with the Muppets in Hollywood. What some see as misfortune, others see as a blessing and opportunity! It just depends on your mindset, I suppose.


As I have advised my friends here in the seniors’ community, there is no reason to be alarmed by any of the little neighborhood critters because they generally do not want to have anything to do with you. But please do not rush out to change your deodorant or take that personally. It is not about “You”.

By nature, wildlife does not want to have anything to do with any other human, either. It’s a survival thing. It seems humans have unfortunately established themselves as a threat in the eyes of most wildlife. Accordingly, practicing the original form of social distancing,  they will avoid you at all costs if they can, just as we are the COVID-19 virus at present.

The best thing whenever you see any of Mother Nature’s friends is to simply ignore them and go about your business while they go about there’s. Or simply turn around and go back the way you came. Chances are that once the little guys see you, they will be hightailing it out of there to the safety of a nearby tree or hidey-hole, anyway. Again, they really do not want to have anything to do with you. Trust me, you are not on the menu or in any of our local critters’ food groups, so you can feel pretty safe about that.

The odds of you being chased down and eaten by a chipmunk in the backyard are pretty slim. Actually, the first, last, and only recorded chipmunk attack on a human being was when an exasperated Alvin the Chipmunk allegedly attacked a record producer for not giving him a hula hoop at Christmas. And there are some doubts as to the neutrality and impartiality of the witnesses, Simon and Theodore. In the end, Mr. Seville was not actually eaten and consumed by Alvin anyway, merely bashed and battered around a bit by the disgruntled chipmunk crooner. Just do not promise a hula hoop and then fail to deliver on it, and you should be fine. Chipmunks and other small critters do not eat people. Really, I’ve studied this stuff.

Except, possibly for coyotes. But probably not them, either. Coyotes do not typically attack humans, but as they increasingly spread into urban areas, pets may be at risk. Coyotes may view large dogs as rivals and seek to eliminate them and see small dogs and cats as prey (i.e. lunch snacks). I have neither seen nor am I aware of any coyotes in our neighborhood here, but putting the word out anyway for our dog walker friends to be aware going forward and to keep little Spot and Fido safe, because that is not to say they may not be in your neighborhood. As well as bears, wolves, and mountain lions depending on where you may live.  So while not purposefully ignoring those larger guys today, we are mostly just talking about the smaller, everyday, urban critters we encounter more frequently in our neighborhoods.


Otherwise, it is springtime, and springtime in the animal community means “Babies” and the beginning of Baby Wildlife Season.

Wildlife babies of all varieties are either emerging from nests and dens about now or very soon will be. Lots of them. And we all know that a Mother will always stand her ground to protect her Babies.

In the event you happen across a Mother and Babies, the best thing to do is to give them plenty of space no matter how cute they seem, and by all means, do not appear threatening to them. It is best to just calmly and quietly leave the area.

Mother and Babies will move along soon enough so that you can get back to whatever you may have been doing, and everyone can go safely on about their business.


But what to do (or not do) if you come across a wildlife baby and there is no mother around?  It depends.  The best advice from the National Wildlife Federation is to simply leave it alone.

For most of us, our first instinct may be to “rescue” it. But before intervening and quite possibly interfering, we really need to make sure that the baby truly needs our assistance in the first place. In many instances, it is totally normal for wildlife babies to be on their own.  Mother deer and rabbits leave their young alone for most of the day to avoid attracting predators, for example.

If a baby bird is fully feathered, it is called a “fledgling” and it is normal for it to be out of the nest. Fledglings spend several days on the ground hiding in the vegetation until they can fully fly. It is a dangerous time for them to be sure, but the mother bird is usually close by keeping a watchful eye. If you get too close or interfere, you may get divebombed by one or both parents.

On the other hand, if a baby bird is featherless or covered in fluffy down, it is called a “nestling” and should be returned to the nest if possible. Contrary to popular belief, touching a nestling or baby animal will NOT make the parents reject it.

Regarding reptiles – baby snakes, turtles, and lizards hatch from eggs (or are born live in the case of some snakes) and are completely equipped to care for themselves right from the get-go. Simply leave them right where they are and they will be fine without any help.

So again, before intervening in the “rescue” of any wildlife baby, make sure it actually needs help, to begin with. Again, in many situations, it is totally normal for wildlife babies to be on their own. “Rescuing” an animal that does not need rescuing actually decreases its chance of survival, and of course that is the last thing we want.

Though it might seem harsh, the fact of the matter is that it is normal and natural for wildlife babies to be on their own and that in the grand scheme of things, not all wild animals survive to adulthood. A wildlife baby sadly may not make it, but in many instances may end up being the food that allows other wildlife babies to survive. That is the natural way of things. Stepping away and letting nature take its course is usually the best thing to do.

The exception to all this is if an animal is injured as a direct result of human activity –  getting hit by a car, attacked by a pet, striking a window, falling from a nest during tree work, or if you have witnessed its parent being killed and know without a doubt that the baby has been orphaned.

At those times, the ethical thing is trying to help, but not necessarily by intervening directly. Contacting a local wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife rescue group should be our first step to provide help because they are trained, properly equipped, and know what to do to provide the best treatment, care, and chances for the animal’s recovery and survival.


And a word about Snakes. Snakes are beneficial because they prey on and keep down the number of real pests and possible disease carriers – Mice and Rats – the most common urban animals whether we like to admit it or not. Yes, mice and rats are likely in the backyard and around the trash cans and dumpsters, too. Snakes help keep mice and rats under control. That is a good thing.

The scary thing would be if there were no snakes at all. For example, snakes play a major role in controlling the spread of Lyme Disease by preying on the mice and rats who play host to the ticks that spread the disease. If snakes all disappeared, Lyme Disease would rapidly become much more prevalent and more widespread. And that is merely one example of the importance of snakes.

With the rising temperatures, you may see a snake basking and warming itself in the sunshine. Again, not to panic. If you see or unwittingly disturb a snake – simply move away quietly and let it be. Snakes, like all critters, do not consider humans a food source so have no reason to bother you unless you give it one and they feel cornered or threatened with the need to defend themselves. They merely go about doing their jobs as Mother Nature and God intended.

But, a necessary word of caution. Being reptiles, with warmer weather upon us snakes will be more active, and it must be said that a few are venomous. Again, they do not want to eat you and should not bother you unless you provoke or give them a reason to. Or, startle them and catch them by surprise.

So when working in the garden or out and about, it is best to be aware and alert to their possible presence.

Snakes and all of the other wildlife have every much of a right to be here as we do. Maybe more. They were here first, after all.

“Live and Let Live” is the best policy for snakes and all wildlife.


So, as you are out and about enjoying the beautiful Spring and Summer weather to come, please be aware of the miracles and wonders of nature surrounding you where you live. Simply stop, listen, and be aware of the moment.

And, please do not leave food out for or feed local wildlife. They have a natural role to play in nature and must be allowed to do that. Foods that we leave out or unsecured garbage in trash cans is not their natural food or healthy, and it frequently ends badly for the animals as they suddenly become classified as “pests” to be eliminated.

It is best for all not to do it. Wildlife will do much better on its own being allowed to simply function as Mother Nature intended.


Possums, Raccoons, Skunks, Groundhogs, Squirrels, Chipmunks, Rabbits, Snakes, Turtles, Moles, and Deer (and Mice and Rats, too), not to mention the wondrous varieties of birds, all call our neighborhoods home and raise their families right alongside us. They are out there. And if we are mindful, we can enjoy all of the local wildlife and live together in Peace. I encourage you to venture outdoors, take a walk, and breathe the fresh air. Take a  break from the daily news and avail yourself of the beautiful World and  Wildlife surrounding us.

If you would like to learn more about what to do if you do find baby wildlife, please visit The National Wildlife Federation for more information, specific to each species.

When outdoors, please keep your eyes and ears open and listen for your local wildlife neighbors because they are all around you whether you see them or not!

And for Bigfoot. Always Bigfoots. Because like UFO’s and ghosts, we never really quite know for certain, do we?

Please remember that wearing a mask when in public right now is not solely about protecting ourselves, but moreover a showing of respect and concern for those around us, a way of protecting them.  And that is a very simple and kind thing we all can surely do for each other.

Because we truly are all in this together.

Thanks for visiting with us today! 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.

“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.” –  Steve Irwin

“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!


“A simple act of kindness and compassion towards a single animal may not mean anything to all creatures, but will mean everything to one.” –  Paul Oxton


 

Monday Musings — What Reopening The Economy Means To Me

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 OthersNever Ask For a Second Opinion and Useful and Proven Advice From An Old Farmer.

Here was Monday’s message shared with friends and neighbors in my community, regarding the reopening of businesses and the economy in our area and elsewhere this week . . . . .


Gradually, in baby steps, the economy and businesses are starting to reopen this week after being shuttered for the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.  And the Memorial Day Weekend and Holiday is just ahead.

But what does “reopen” mean, really?  For me?   For you, personally?

At the risk of perhaps offending some or raining on other people’s parades, please allow me to speak bluntly, friend to friend, as the stakes going forward remain exceptionally high despite what some might have us believe. As some may know, my daughter is a paramedic who has just returned from emergency deployment after spending the last thirty-four days responding to coronavirus calls in New Jersey and New York City, so my personal frontline perspective from her reports may be a little different than others. What follows is solely my personal opinion, speaking only for myself and from the heart here out of concern for friends and neighbors, and it should strictly be viewed as such.

For some folks, reopening may mean celebrating a joyful return to the happy-go-lucky, carefree lifestyle they enjoyed before the pandemic suddenly surfaced to interrupt and change life as we knew it. Going about their days again as if nothing had changed. If that is the case, I wish them all the best and good luck. I truly hope everyone stays well.

Because the COVID-19 virus has not gone anywhere. Please do not be misled. At this very moment, it is lurking on shopping cart handles, ATM’s, payment swipe screens, tabletops, countertops, gas pump handles, elevator buttons, door handles, railings, and anywhere else someone has touched, sneezed, or coughed on. Wherever the virus has been the past few months – it is still there waiting for us. Waiting for me. Waiting for you. Just because the number of new cases and deaths has lessened recently does NOT mean the virus has gone away and it is safe to go back to business as usual.

In fact, “business as usual” may be a thing of the past, or at least until an effective and available vaccine is developed. And despite what some would have us believe, that may not happen soon. The number of cases has gone down simply because the virus has had less “targets” to hit while we all stayed at home. Now, the number of targets will be increasing again as businesses and activities resume operations and more people are out and about. Please be aware. Do not make yourself a target and become a victim by being careless.

For me, the reopening of the economy and businesses means carrying on and doing everything exactly as I have been to protect both myself and others.

I will continue wearing a mask whenever I am outside of my apartment, even though it fogs my glasses, pushes beard and moustache hairs into my mouth, is hot while walking my dog outdoors, and is quite honestly a general pain in the butt. Nevertheless, I can accept that and will continue to wear the mask not to protect myself, because they admittedly do not do that, but to protect you and others from whatever I may be unknowingly carrying. Same as before.  Wearing a mask means that you are placing the welfare of others before your own personal comfort. It should go without saying that choosing not to wear one can be seen as just the opposite, placing your own comfort and feelings above your concern for others. And others will notice. So, speaking only for myself, I will continue to wear a mask for the foreseeable future, required or not, for your protection, not mine. Because I care about YOUR health and well-being enough to be uncomfortable for a few minutes each day myself.

Please do not think me rude if I do not stand right beside you now when talking, for I will also continue to practice Social Distancing. Again, for your protection, as well as mine. And I will not be running around everywhere just because society’s door has been reopened. I will still spend most of the time in my own apartment in more or less self-isolation, leaving only when truly necessary.

Do I think it is all fun? No.   Do I think it is all still necessary? Absolutely.

And I will keep washing and disinfecting my hands every time I go out and come back. Still doing all of this because – Nothing Has Changed.

I strongly feel that to relax and stop being mindful of what we are doing now is to invite the virus in. If we know a wolf is at the door, we all have the common sense to keep the door closed and locked. Let’s all just think of the Coronavirus as the “Wolf At The Door” and keep it closed by being smart.  Shall we?

We have all made it safely and uneventfully thru the pandemic thus far by cooperating and acting together to be safe. Now is NOT the time to relax and let our guard down. My friends, for the sake of everyone, let’s continue to be smart, stay alert, and keep our guard up during the reopening and coming weeks ahead as we go forward to stay safe and well – Together.


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

As stated before, 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 open more and more in the days and weeks ahead.

And please continue to be gentle with both yourself and others. Kind words and simple gestures can go a long way right now to help us all get thru these times. A lot of families are out of work or have had to shut down their businesses in the past few months. If you are in a position to help someone, please do. We never need to look very far. Simply help the person nearest you. That would be a good start. — 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.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re Braver than you believe, and Stronger than you seem, and Smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne

“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!


 “For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi


 

Monday Musings — Happy National Limerick Day!

Happy National Limerick Day!

Welcome to a special Tuesday edition of “Monday Musings” in celebration of National Limerick Day.

Celebrated each year on May 12th, National Limerick Day observes the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author, and poet Edward Lear (1812 – 1888).

Edward Lear is known mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry, prose, and limericks, so the day also observes the Limerick Poem, popularized by Edward Lear’s “Book of Nonsense” published in 1846. While Lear is credited with popularizing the Limerick, the poetry style existed long before the publication of his book.

As you may (or may not) recall from high school English classes, a limerick is a short, humorous, nonsense poem. Within a limerick, there are five lines, the first two lines of which must rhyme with the fifth, and the third and fourth lines rhyme together in the middle. The proper Limerick poem should also have a particular rhythm which is officially described as ‘Anapestic Trimeter.’

The Limerick Poem celebrates amusing turns of phrase, rhythm, and humor in a short, prescribed format. It also plays with words and peoples’ expectations.

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 OthersNever Ask For a Second Opinion and Useful and Proven Advice From An Old Farmer.

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.

In honor of National Limerick Day, I have penned my own Limerick of sorts which I would be honored to share with you now. (Hope you like it!)  . . . . .


There once was a lady named Spicer,

Who when outside with others just couldn’t be nicer.

But at home, she was spiteful, nasty, and mean,

To her gentle, kind, and loving husband named Gene.

Until, alas, he tossed her into a woodchipper and diced her.


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

As restrictions loosen and many areas begin to open up again soon, even in a limited fashion to start, I encourage everyone to wear a Facial Protection Mask to stop the spread of the COVID19 virus, keeping in mind that wearing a mask is not really about protecting ourselves, but others. Wouldn’t you like others to wear a mask to protect you?

After sheltering in place for some weeks now, and with many suffering enormous budget and financial difficulties being out of work or with businesses shut down, stress levels are running high for everyone. Gentle words of kindness and compassion during these times help us all to get thru it. And that is what it has always been about — getting thru this together.

In a world where we can choose to be anything, please choose to be kind.  It can be life-changing for someone and will come back to you in kind. Because that is how it works.

Best wishes for continued health and wellness!  — 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.

                 “Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.”                –  Leo Buscaglia

“An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.” – Agatha Christie


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!


                  “What can you do to promote world peace?  Go home and love your family.”                  – Mother Teresa


 

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


 

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


 

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


 

“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



 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Peanuts & Linus’s Inspirational Message For Us All

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Holiday Season to everyone!

Some writer friends and I are taking a few minutes this month, some to recall treasured holiday memories and traditions, and others to take a look back at the writing year soon coming to a close. I invite you to check out their thoughts later, listed at the end of this post.


For me, the morning of December 9th, 1965 found me one week away from my 16th birthday, approaching nearly not fast enough at the time, as you may well imagine — The Big 16!

That evening featured the debut of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on the CBS television network, based on my favorite comic strip “Peanuts” by creator Charles Schulz. The show remains a much-anticipated classic and delight each holiday season for millions of viewers to this day and an annual highlight of my family’s Christmastime.

I honestly do not believe that Charles Shulz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip, ever envisioned the impact this simply created little show would have over time. Nevertheless, over fifty years of continuous broadcasts and changing times have not diluted or diminished the show’s impactful messages.

While there are many discussion themes running thru the story, the most poignant for me has always been Linus’s speech on stage, responding to a frustrated Charlie Brown’s question of — “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!?”

At this time of year, trying to keep our wits about us while navigating thru and around all the hustle and bustle of crowded malls, traffic, grocery shopping, cookie exchanges, decorating, children’s school plays and activities, holiday parties, family pictures and greeting cards, boxes, packages, wrappings, and bows, all while trying to out-maneuver porch pirates from swiping online deliveries, do you ever find yourself wondering the same question — “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

Sometimes we simply need to pause, taking a moment to catch our breath, and reflect.


“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought,                doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”            — Dr. Seuss


As one of my sometimes forgetful uncles used to say years ago — “I don’t need to be told, but I do occasionally need to be reminded.”

In reply to his friend Charlie Brown, Linus took the stage to remind us all —

“Lights, please . . . .”


“And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid.

“And the angel said unto them — “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

“And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and goodwill toward men.”


And that is what Christmas is all about. For Charlie Brown. For Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy. For us all. The reason for the season, as they say.

Not to be found in a store, Christmas it turns out, does indeed mean a goodly bit more.



Linus is famously noted for carrying around his trusted security blanket with him wherever he goes. Held tightly fast and never let go lest panic ensues. Have you ever noticed that at the point when Linus repeats the words of the angel “Fear not!” that the blanket is suddenly on the floor beside him, confidently lain aside until he once again retrieves it at the end of the presentation?

There are subtle messages and lessons to be found in Linus’ simple action and demonstration of faith for us all this Christmas Season.


As Ebenezer Scrooge even came to realize in the end — “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year!”

Peace, Good Will, Kindness, Generosity, Charity, Compassion, Empathy, Love — none of these are or should be exclusive or seasonal things, as each of us should truly keep them in our hearts throughout the year.

The Christmas Season is an annual reminder of how we should be always, for everyone and all things in this miraculous and beautiful world we all share and call home. Sometimes we do not need to be told, but occasionally do need to be reminded.

Thru the inspiration of Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown and Linus remind us of the real meaning of the Christmas Season each year.


Thank You for visiting with us! In a period when it seems so much and so many seek to divide us, perhaps the Christmas Season is a time when we can all set aside differences for a while, come together in the spirit of the season, and just perhaps, realize that in coming together, like Charlie Brown’s little Christmas tree, that those things are really not so divisive and bad, after all.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and Holiday Season!

A simple act of kindness or encouraging word can change someone’s entire life around. Will you do that for someone today?

In the Spirit of Christmas.  — Jim  (and Red!)  🤠 🐻


If you grew up with the Coca-Cola Santa image as I did as a baby boomer in the ’50s, you may also enjoy my piece on  → “Haddon Sundblom, Coca-Cola and Santa Claus” 

(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”

(Then sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


I invite you to please visit with my other writer friends to discover more about their writing year and holiday season thoughts!

Cat Michaels — “My Ups, Downs, and In-Betweens on the 2019 Writing Road”

Rebecca Lyndsey — “December Dreamin’ – Holiday Traditions that Ring in My Season”

Julie Gorges — “Baby Boomer Writer’s Ups, Downs & In-Betweens in 2019”

Rosie Russell — “My Ups, Downs, and In-Betweens on the 2019 Writing Road”

Julie Schooler — “3 Writing Wins and Lessons in 2019”

Sandra Bennett — “December Dreaming – 5 Ways Looking Back Can Help You Look Forward”


            “Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.” – Eric Sevareid

“Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.” – Helen Steiner Rice


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


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

“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” – Washington Irving


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 site 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!


“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” – Dale Evans Rogers