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 — 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


 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to cover sites fees, registrations and operating costs while continuing this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone.

We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


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


“Tex-Mex and Rex”

On a walk, I met two dinosaurs,

Their names were Tex and Mex.

They cautioned me about their menacing cousin,

The one they all call Rex.

 

Tex and Mex love salads,

And nibble leafy, tree-top greens.

But I have a distinct impression,

Rex goes about snatching his meals by other means.

 

They say their cousin is rather surly,

Ill-tempered, cranky, and aloof.

And advise hiding in holes beneath the ground,

Rex can reach you anywhere else –  even up on your roof.

 

They noted his arms are puny,

But his bite is something fierce.

The force of eleven-teen crocodiles,

Even the toughest, thickest hide his teeth can pierce!

 

Tex and Mex gravely recommend avoiding cousin Rex,

As he is testy and short-tempered, and rather easily annoyed.

And should you see or hear him coming,

By all means — try to avoid!

 

I am happy to have met them,

It was nice conversing with Tex and Mex.

But left them hurriedly by the road that day,

When suddenly both exclaimed –  “Goodness gracious! Here comes Rex!”


Thank you for stopping by to visit! We hope you enjoyed this fun little piece, inspired by a visiting three-year-old’s two favorite dinosaur toys named ‘Tex’ and ‘Mex’. Wonderful inspiration and opportunities are all around us if we pay attention, are aware, and truly listen.

Little Red Bear and I are still trying to determine “Who or What is Mickey McJibbers???” for Red’s second collection of stories coming soon. If you missed the post, please tap on the link to help us out! So far, readers have suggested that Mickey (or Mickie) McJibbers is a Squirrel, a Mouse, an Elephant, or a Flea. An interesting and wide variety of shapes and personalities to be sure!

Who or what do you think Mickey McJibbers is?  We are still searching for suggestions, so please add yours in the Comments!

Please feel free to share the “Tex-Mex and Rex” poem and this site with your little ones and others, and register to be notified of every new post.

The world can be a scary place sometimes. A cheerful and friendly smile lifts our own spirits while brightening someone else’s life. Will you join us by sharing your smile with the world today? — Jim  (and Red!)


“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.” – William James

 

“The Earth without ‘Art’ is simply ‘EH’.” 


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.

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


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!


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


 

“Reflections — On a Rather ‘Moving’ Summer Experience”

It has been a while since I posted a new piece on the Writing Blog here with Little Red Bear, but with the completion of a long-drawn-out relocation over the summer and now past Labor Day, we are ready to get back in the writing saddle again. There are still boxes waiting to be unpacked, mostly bear making, jewelry, and other art supplies, but my Writing Muse has returned from her summer break, will wait no longer, and is waking me daily at 5:00 a.m. with more Little Red Bear characters and stories again, along with other fun new ideas, so it is time to crank up the laptop and get busy.

But first, a question – Are you or someone you care about possibly considering a move and relocation in the future? If so, I urge you to please read on before embarking on such a torment venture.

Because we thought perhaps it might be best to start back by bringing you up to date with some observations about –  ‘The Move’ – a “Moving Postmortem”, if you will. It should be noted that this is move number three in the past six years and number four in fourteen for Little Red Bear and me, some local and some cross-country, two self-moved and two with so-called ‘professional’ movers, so we do feel a bit qualified to address the subject, hoping others may benefit from our misfortunes experiences.


With this somewhat broken-down, cane-in-hand (and some days two) baby boomer pushing into the shadow of seventy soon, this most recent move stopped just short of overwhelming. Aside from an improbable winning lottery ticket and penthouse condo dream in Fort Walton Beach, if forced by unavoidable calamity or circumstance to move yet again in the near future, the only box I will order will be made of pine and be done with it. Let others do the heavy loading, lifting, and lugging next time. “Waiter – check, please.”

As physically and mentally stressful and taxing as it was, not to mention severely strained family relationships on the actual moving day and apparent ongoing communications blackout since, I am happy to report that I have once again somehow managed to survive a relocation and lived to tell the tale. Or, at least to pass along some hopefully helpful insights garnered from the experience to perhaps ease the moving journey for the next intrepid soul contemplating a change in address. And beneficiaries, perhaps.

They say that moving is right up there with the death of a loved one, job change, and divorce as life’s biggest stressors. Having experienced all firsthand, they will get no argument from me.

So at this time, in mostly random order as they occurred to me between nightmares and hallucinatory flashbacks of moving day, here are a few nuggets I consider worth mentioning. I say “I” and not “we” here, because for the majority of the time Little Red Bear was in a dazed state of nervous, glassy-eyed distress, obsessing over the safe transport of his honey stash, and not the most aware or observant to offer meaningful commentary on other matters.


My first thought, superseding all others, is to simply take a match and set fire to everything right at the start. Don’t stress over downsizing, what to take, what not to take, what is an heirloom somebody three generations down the line may treasure, who might benefit the most from giving whatever away? Simply torch it all in the name of Righteous Downsizing and be done with it. Nobody really cares. Save the pile of money spent on boxes, packing materials, dish padding, bubble wrap, packing tape, box labels, a moving truck, dollies, furniture pads, movers, Band-Aids, and aspirin.

Simply purchase a cheap brand of kitchen matches instead, together with a box of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. Light up the night, make S’mores and set off some fireworks. Collect the insurance money, replace needed items with brand spanking new, thumb your nose at future generations who most likely won’t give a hoot about your grandmother’s vintage teapot anyway, and take a vacation trip to the beach to celebrate letting go and outwitting the moving gremlins.

(Side note — It should be noted that I am still researching and waiting for our esteemed attorney, Brooks the Badger — Attorney at Lawlessness, to get back to me on any possibly relative arson, insurance fraud, and other niggling details which may interfere with this plan, so you may wish to hold off on the matches and taking action on this one until I confirm the “Match Plan’s” viability, despite the clearly obvious appeal.)

Bonfires notwithstanding, feel free to go ahead with the S’mores, though. S’mores are always a good part of any plan. And, you may want to consider doubling or tripling the recipe, depending on how neighbors may feel about your moving away from the neighborhood and possibly wanting to celebrate your departure, as well. Certainly not that any neighbors would be celebrating in your case of course, but thought it worth mentioning for others, perhaps. Just in case.

Here is a tantalizing recipe for Campfire Waffle Cone S’mores from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen to help get you started! These look amazing and provide a cleaner handle for the little ones in the crowd at the same time. Moving is hard enough. Why add chocolate-covered little hands to the mix?


‘Moving’ on, in case “The Match Plan” does not interest, I have always been a collector of books, still preferring to read a book in hand vs one on my Kindle. For me, something still just doesn’t feel quite right holding a Kindle in my hands compared to a good old-fashioned, page-turning, ink-scented, hard-bound print book. And since the print version of the “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler” short story collection has outsold the Kindle version by over two to one since its publication despite the necessarily higher price, I tend to think I am not alone in this view.

That being said, after packing, stacking, moving, re-moving, sorting, re-stacking, and then unpacking ten heavy boxes of collected books (treasured, each and every one!), someday I want to track down the inventor of Kindle and eBooks and give them a big bear hug and jar of honey!  Moving the stacks of books nearly killed my back, while my Kindle made the move nestled comfortably in my backpack as it always does. I have clearly not given eBooks the credit they deserve in that regard. The ability to carry your bookshelves in your backpack is a strong selling point for eReaders.

And where do you strike the balance between “overly-heavy boxes” and “too many boxes” for a move? Heavy items (like ‘books’) are supposed to be packed in small boxes, avoiding overly-heavy large boxes weighing the same as a baby elephant and too weighty to carry. So, you end up instead with stacks and stacks and stacks of small boxes if you have a moderate-sized book collection, and moving helpers suffer immediate panic attacks at the site of all the stacks. Likewise, the old vintage vinyl record albums. I will always keep my books and albums, but moving them seems a no-win situation.


If at some point during all the moving work, I say –  “Hold on for a minute, I need to take a sit,” – please listen closely. That should not be confused with something else. It merely means that my back and legs are aching very badly and I need to sit down and rest for a few minutes before passing out and risk dropping a 50-pound box on your foot. There is no need to dash about opening windows and searching for spray cans or push me out the door towards the little shack in the back, especially on a 95-degree day. Perhaps I should try to be more clear.


Over the course of the move – organizing, packing, stacking, reshuffling, reorganizing, re-stacking, and schlepping about – all of the boxes and I became very well acquainted, especially those whose handles tore and gave way while carrying to customarily crash on my foot. Familiar to the point where I often felt obliged to give names to my cardboard companions. None of which are suitable for printing in a family-friendly blog it must be noted, so that’s about all I can say about that. Nevertheless, you should feel free to name your boxes beyond the requisite Room/Content information label, too. It makes it all a bit less stressful to be on a first name basis when your foot gets pancaked. Even if the names aren’t printable.


With regards to the Room/Content labels for boxes –  use them or don’t, being aware that they are solely for your personal comfort and use and nobody else will notice. In my experience, movers could care less, if they even bother to look at them at all. You politely request –  “Please put the boxes in the correct rooms as indicated by the labels, with like boxes (as in “Books –  #1 of 10) in stacks with the labels facing outwards so I can see them.”  You actually get – Box Chop Suey –  with boxes randomly placed helter-skelter anywhere in your home, most often closest to the entrance where a spot was available at the time they were carried in.

One possible solution to this, instead of labeling merely the box top and front as I have naively done in the past, is to next time label every side, top, and bottom, so that no matter which direction a box is placed in a towering stack, you will be able to read its contents at a later time and locate things. Bearing in mind, they will still in all likelihood, not be sorted by rooms. Half a win, possibly.

Marking boxes as “Fragile” is also at your discretion, as inevitably light boxes labeled “Fragile” most often could be found at the very bottom of stacks, with heavy boxes on top of them. I caught one mover actually kicking a “Fragile” box into place at the bottom of a stack. If it makes you feel more comfortable and helps you sleep at night by labeling glassware and the like as “Fragile”, by all means, do it. Just bearing in mind again that it will probably make no difference whatsoever.


Every small accomplishment is a positive step forwards in the sometimes seemingly endless treadmill march in relocation and should be celebrated. I think this helps to keep spirits up and maintain momentum going forward. And that’s important. Seal up a box or unpack one at the new destination? Find a box that you have been searching for an hour amongst the mish-mashed stacks? Stop for a few minutes and have a piece of cake to mark the accomplishment!

No need to worry about extra calories or packing on unwanted pounds, because there will likely be much more packing, unpacking, and hefting ahead to burn them off anyway, if not simply to avoid abject deprivation and starvation in the process altogether.

So have the Cupcake. Or a Twinkie. Or a Snickers bar. If destined to pass over to the light during the ordeal, I would much rather go out with my last thought on Earth being the fond remembrance and aroma of a Brownie or Butterfinger bar, than being mired in packing tape with the smell of cardboard in my nose. I think it will make for a much more enhanced next life, Karmic experience.


One can never have too many boxes at hand, or too much packing tape, bubble wrap, and wrapping paper. It is very unsettling to discover that you are out of any of these items the night before a move and the stores have all closed.  The importance of peace of mind and normal blood pressure at 2 a.m. when the movers are scheduled to arrive mere hours later cannot be overemphasized and greatly outweighs the minor hassle of what to do with a few leftover boxes at the end. (Tip – U-Haul buys back any unused boxes, so save your receipts.)

It is my observation that the normal life expectancy of many life forms on this planet is sadly not long enough to pack a kitchen and dining room. However long you think it will take, add six months. Unloading cabinets while individually wrapping each glass, cup, mug, shot glass, dish, bowl, plate, serving platter, cutting board, trivet, cooking pot, skillet, griddle, wok, spatula, serving spoon, knife set, pancake turner, ladle, potato masher, salad spinner and bowls, cookie sheet, muffin tin, pie plate, cake pan, loaf pan, bread pan, measuring cups and spoons, cake and serving platter, utensil drawers, and more, seemed (like this sentence) truly never-ending. Not to mention cookbooks, recipe boxes, and innumerable spice and storage containers.

Every time I turned around thinking I was nearly finished, another cabinet awaited. Packing the kitchen cabinets, pantry, and dining room hutch seemed truly never-ending. Add the six months to your schedule to be safe. Minimum.

If there is any outside chance that you may possibly even consider moving in the next three years or so, regardless of how remote the possibility, start packing the kitchen now to be safe and avoid heartache.


Are you like me and have a nice inventory of cast-iron cooking utensils? Skillets of various sizes, grills, griddles, and Dutch ovens?  God bless you.  And have mercy on your back and movers. I absolutely love all of my cast-iron cookware. But moving them –  not so much. If we could fit a battleship onto a scale, I believe that we could balance it with the counterweight of a Dutch oven and three assorted cast-iron skillets.

My one little 9” specialized cast-iron wedge pan for making cornbread and scones is approximately the weight of a St. Bernard all on its own. And despite how often used as that pan is, I stand a reasonably better chance of the lumbering St. Bernard coming to me when I call it, especially if I am holding a slice of bacon. And there’s an outside chance he may arrive with a little barrel of brandy, to boot.

The ponderous skillet? Bacon treats or not, indifferent at best, just sitting there waiting to be carried like a whining baby Titanosaur.


And then there are the kitchen appliances, each seeming to only want to fit into its own individual box, with every one larger and heavier than I remembered having merely observed them serenely sitting on the countertop over the years. I confess to never really having appreciated just how heavy and cumbersome a stand mixer, toaster oven, and microwave truly are. Were these things this heavy when I purchased them and set them on the counter in the first place? Or was I simply so excited over the new acquisition that I was running on adrenaline at the time and did not notice? In all likelihood, I imagine that, like me, they seem to have gained weight with age, to be honest. I’m sure all of those calories that they processed must have had some cumulative, weight-enhancing effects over the years, wouldn’t you think?


And have I mentioned yet that one can never have too many boxes at hand? The coffee maker, smoothie machine, iced tea maker, and toaster all sat comfortably in peace side by side by side by side in a small area on my kitchen counter. Like children in the backseat of a car, will any ride peacefully along in the same box with another? Of course not.

And while on the topic of appliances, the oh-so-carefully set toaster settings which we labored so hard to perfect over time will inevitably be reset during any move. Box gremlins apparently can’t wait to dive in and twist the blazes out of the light-to-dark toast setting dial. I was reminded of this little moving reality by a perfectly cremated breakfast bagel yesterday morning.

May its little cranberry/walnut-filled soul rest in peace.

Here lies my bagel,

‘Twas just a wee little wisp,

Done in by my toaster,

Woefully burnt to a crisp.

 


If you can avoid it, never seek the help of a bear when preparing and packing for a move. Little Red Bear occupied the time leading up to the move either worriedly pacing back and forth in the kitchen, or on my laptop researching the safest and most recommended ways on YouTube to move his honey stash. And then he spent the entire packing time sitting ill at ease in a corner fretting over the possibility of a pending honey calamity, nervously wrapping, unwrapping, rewrapping, re-unwrapping, and re-rewrapping a dozen honey jars over and over and over again, night after night.

By the time moving day dawned, the poor fellow’s ample-sized bear claws had been anxiously nibbled to nubbins. In the end, each jar of honey occupied its own medium-sized box, securely wrapped in half a roll of bubble wrap, with packing paper firmly stuffed into the corners so there would be no jostling of the cherished honey jar. Treasured works of antiquity have not been transported by museums with such care and concern.

Our Bear Cookie Jar was wrapped the same way. In a predictably even bigger box.

Needless to say, Little Red Bear grew ever more relieved, excited, and happy as each box was unpacked later in our new home to find a safely-transported jar of honey inside.  Spare yourself the trouble and the tranquilizers (not to mention a small fortune in bubble wrap) by packing any honey jars yourself. Give the bears your new address to meet back up at a later date and send them off fishing somewhere. It’s best for all concerned in the end. Trust me.


If you haven’t guessed yet at this point, stock up ahead of time on aspirin and antacids.

Aside from nervous bears, cranky family members, and inept movers though, some trusted friends can truly be of assistance surviving the relocation turmoil and stress.

Overall, the two most dependable and helpful companions that I relied upon the most during the transition, move, and subsequent resettling were named Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan.


This information has been offered in the hopes that it may help ease someone else’s moving day experience, should anyone be forced or so misguided as to voluntarily embark on such an undertaking of their own in the future.

Speaking of undertaking — I may have forgotten to mention that while an ominous flock of buzzards circled patiently above my apartment during the weeks of moving preparation, it was really the three black hearses and undertakers following along on moving day, incessantly jockeying to be first in line behind the car en route, who were undeniably the most unsettling and worrisome.


In the end, when all was done and dusted, nothing of major consequence was damaged or broken aside from a few more nicks, scratches, and battle scars acquired on furniture pieces and my legs. A carelessly self-inflicted cut has healed, and black and blue marks have at last begun to fade. Yet another successfully completed move in the history books.

Unexpected at this time as it was, the strenuous move aside, Little Red Bear and I are delighted to be in our new home. Still settling in, finding forgotten about treasures from the past while unpacking, meeting wonderful folks and making new friends every day.

Any major life change is stressful at the time, and frequently a very bumpy road to travel sometimes littered with potholes and challenges. But from my experience — in the end — each and every one has been for the better in the long run and have no doubts at all about this one being the same.  Every new location and each new person we meet is an opportunity to learn more, expand our horizons and awareness, and to become a better person ourself. And that is what we are all really here for, is it not?


So, once again, Little Red Bear and I are delighted to announce –

WE’RE BAAAAACK!

Thank you as always for visiting,  kindly spending part of your day with us here, and for patiently following along as we seemed to take way too long to get thru this latest move. Little Red Bear and I are very anxious to be sharing new information, stories, and adventures with you again, along with new features and tidbits about Red’s coming new adventures in the works now.

We look forward to your visits with us and hope that you drop by often for new posts and features as we now enter our favorite time of year here in the backwoods – Autumn and the approaching Holiday Season!

The rest of the boxes will just have to wait,

Because now we have Muffins and Pies to bake!

Very best wishes and bring on all the pumpkin and fall recipes! Watch for a new Autumn Recipes feature coming soon, and a reminder to register and follow my writing blog to be notified of every new post. – Jim (and Red!)


“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” — Maya Angelou

“Some trails are happy ones, others are blue. It’s the way you ride the trail that counts. Here’s a happy one for you.” — Dale Evans


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

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place. We stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” — Pascal Mercier


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!

Patrons help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as an ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes.


                 “It is amazing how nice people are to you when they know you’re going away.”           — Michael Arlen

“The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there.” — Ellie Rodriguez  

Happy National Oreo Cookie Day!


Did you wake up feeling a little happier and bouncier than usual this morning and perhaps wondering why?  Chances are it’s not your birthday.  Or Christmas.  Or anniversary. So, what is it then?

It’s March 6th —  National Oreo Cookie Day, of course!

Oreos — That little creme-filled bundle of crispy, chocolaty goodness we have come to love over the years. Since its introduction years ago, the Oreo Cookie has become the best-selling cookie in the United States. No surprise there. A mere glance at my cupboard would confirm that fact.

Nabisco (originally The National Biscuit Company) first developed and produced the “Oreo Biscuit” in 1912 at its Chelsea factory in New York City. The block on which the factory was originally located is now known as “Oreo Way”.  Wouldn’t you like to go to work each morning to a place called “Oreo Way?”

Here are some other fun facts about Oreos from the National Day Calendar folks —

  • The name “Oreo” was first trademarked on March 14, 1912.
  • The first Oreo cookies in the United States sold for 25 cents a pound in clear, glass-topped novelty cans.
  • In 1912, the Oreo Biscuit was renamed to “Oreo Sandwich”.
  • In 1948, the Oreo Sandwich was renamed to “Oreo Creme Sandwich”.
  • William A. Turnier developed the modern-day Oreo design in 1952 to include the Nabisco logo.
  • Nabisco’s principal food scientist, Sam Procello, developed the modern Oreo cookie filling.

Oreos now come in a wide variety of flavors, including Banana Split, Berry Burst Ice Cream, Birthday Cake, Candy Cane, Candy Corn, Cool Mint, Creamsicle, Pumpkin Spice, and many others. And of course, not to leave out Golden Oreos, and maybe my personal favorite, the Double Stuf Oreos!

What is your favorite way to enjoy an Oreo Cookie?  Do you dunk it?  Bite into and crunch it?  Or are you a twister, like me?  My favorite way is to carefully twist the two cookie halves apart, crunch and enjoy the plain half first, and then slowly savor the creamy goodness of the other half.  Mmmm — creamy goodness.

Thanks for visiting and spending part of your day with us.  Now, go treat yourself — it’s National Oreo Cookie Day! — Jim  (and Red!)


“Happiness is a tall glass of milk and Oreo Cookie in each paw.” — Little Red Bear

         “Health food may be good for the conscience, but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.”          — Robert Redford


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. Patrons help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as an ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes.