Happy Labor Day Weekend!

“Oh, look, Red. It’s Labor Day! The annual day set aside to honor human mothers for the nine strenuous months of pregnancy and arduous hours of Labor to finally deliver a newborn baby,” Cinnamon Charlie observed, reading the headline in the ‘Squirrelly World’ morning newspaper.

“I don’t think that’s the meaning behind this day, Charlie,” Little Red Bear corrected. “They have a whole different day to celebrate human mothers. It’s called ‘Mother’s Day’, in the month of May each year.”

“It says so right here in the newspaper, Red — Labor Day. What else could it be if not to honor human mothers in the Labor and Delivery rooms today?”

“Well, Charlie. This Labor Day honors the labor movement as a whole and the contributions that Workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.”

“What about mothers? Aren’t they workers, too?”

“It honors mothers in a way too, I suppose,” Little Red Bear added, thinking more about it. “Part of Labor Day honors those mothers like Rosie the Riveter who left their homes to work in factories and helped save the country during one of the most difficult periods in history, the Second World War. The American labor force and the role of mothers in the homes were never the same after that, as women had joined the labor force permanently, helping to make the country even stronger going forward.”

“So Labor Day is about Mothers then, Red,” Cinnamon Charlie chimed in, beaming and reveling in having made a point.

“I suppose it is, Charlie. I suppose it is. And rightfully so,” Little Red Bear agreed.

Little Red’s Bears Handpicked Recipes, a regular Sunday morning feature, is taking a break in honor of Labor Day while remembering those still displaced and suffering the effects of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, and will return next week.

In the meantime, we wish everyone a Safe and Happy Labor Day! —  Jim   (and Red!)


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 Patron Community today. Patrons help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as an ad-free site,  to keep improving, and expanding our writing to others. 


“I was a Rosie the Riveter. I’m really proud of that.” – Ruth Duccini

Holiday- Labor Day 3

“Genius begins with great works; labor alone finishes them.” – Joseph Joubert


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

                                                 “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men.                                              No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” — Elbert Hubbard   


Finding Beauty and Joy in the Simple Things

One of my Mother’s favorite old sayings was — “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Children, so freshly arrived in the world, seem to infallibly retain and demonstrate that ancient wisdom and knowledge for us over and over, as they rejoice and find merriment in the very simplest of things.  Those things which we so often overlook as we grow older.

What parent hasn’t had the experience of giving something we thought wonderfully awesome and shiny in our eyes, only to have our child toss it aside and be deliriously happy playing with the box for hours upon hours instead? That is a strong message if we think about it.

One of my favorite country artists, John Sloane, has captured this adage of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” perfectly and in a fun way, in his painting “To Each Her Own.” The Mother, having stepped unaware over bothersome ‘weeds’, is picking beautiful, delicate and exquisite lilac flowers; while her daughter is delightfully filling her basket with the ignored, bright and cheerful little dandelion treasures in bloom behind her.

“Someone who finds joy in a simple pebble will be surrounded by beauty wherever they go.” — Little Red Bear

The world is filled with beauty and wonder all around us, if we aware to its presence. But when we become so focused with tunnel-like vision on our goals and that which we are so stridently seeking in life, we miss out on all the simply beautiful joys and moments as we rush past. Many of which may never come again. Especially with those box-playing children. The most simple things most often bring the most happiness.

Joining with the little girl in John Sloane’s painting, I am a big fan of the commonly simple dandelion. If you would like to learn more about dandelions and the important role they play in nature for the survival of bees and other pollinators, please check out —  “Please Don’t Pull The Dandelions — They’re Nature’s Gift!”

Thanks as always for your time and visiting.  A kind gesture can reach a wound we cannot see — so be kind — and the reason someone smiles today!  — Jim  (and Red!)


Family Times — Together Times — The Best Times!

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” — Vincent van Gogh


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

“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa


 

 

Wishing a Very Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend, celebrating Mothers and Motherhood!

Being a Mother is more than having given birth to a child. It is also the loving and caring for a little life completely dependent. Sleepless hours.  Healing, treating wounds and comforting. Worrying.  Nurturing. Teaching, reading, and guiding. Watching falls and helping back up to fall again. Reassuring. Laughter, tears, heartache and joy.  Holidays, birthdays, celebrations. Cheering, building up, and supporting. Encouraging. Letting go.

Mothering — it’s all of that — and more. 

Looking back now, my own Mother has been and continues to be a great influence on my life all these years later, with her Irish, Native American and homespun pearls of wisdom and advice still guiding and informing my thoughts; influencing choices and decisions in my life, writing and creative work every day.

“A Mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.” — Cardinal Gaspard Mermillod

“It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his Mother more beautiful?” — Mahatma Gandhi

“Happy Mudders Day, Mommy!”

           “Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.”                             ― Robert A. Heinlein

Abraham Lincoln may have expressed it best — “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”

Or maybe it was Rudyard Kipling — “God could not be everywhere, and therefore, he made Mothers.”

Or perhaps, it was William Makepeace Thackeray, who said — “Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.”

Adding my own wishes . . . . . .

Surely I am not the first,

and hopefully (poetically) not the worst,

to say it now — truer than true —

Wishing a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend to you!

Wishing a beautiful Mother’s Day Weekend to all the Mothers! Where would we all be without you?  Be the reason your Mother smiles today!  —  Jim  (and Red!)


“A Mother understands what a child does not say.” — Jewish Proverb

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” — Oprah Winfrey


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

When hugging a child, always be the last to let go. You never know how long they need it.


 

Counting to Ten — Watching Our Words and Actions

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Everything we do in life — each action, spoken word, message, gesture, eye roll, sideways glance, or even thought, has the potential to do either great harm or great good for not only ourselves, but also for everyone around us.

Always true, it is amplified even more living in our modern social media world today, having the capability to influence the lives of people the world over.

So we need to be careful, take a moment to catch our breath, and reflect before speaking, acting or responding.  I was never aware that my Mother was quoting Thomas Jefferson when she frequently admonished “Count to ten” when I was upset or angry about something.

“When angry count ten before you speak. If very angry, one hundred.”

— Thomas Jefferson

It is especially important with young and sensitive children, whose self-images, attitudes and behaviors may be influenced, molded and shaped by our next words and actions.

Children who are always, always watching and listening — and learning by observing. It’s what they do.  It is a lot of responsibility, but no one ever said parenting or acting like a mature adult was going to be easy.

As the old carpenter saw goes — “measure twice, cut once.”   So we need to think twice, count to ten (or a hundred, or even one hundred, ninety-eight and three-quarters) and only then speak or act –  prudently, thoughtfully, compassionately.  Thereby serving as the very best influence and guide for children and everyone else in our lives.

Children learn from the examples we set, intended or not.  If we cannot control our own emotions and behaviors, how can we reasonably expect our children, or our neighbors, co-workers, employees, or anyone else to do so?

“… every single act we do has the potential of causing pain, and every single thing we do has consequences that echo way beyond what we can imagine. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t act. It means we should act carefully. Everything matters.” ― Sylvia Boorstein

“Words are like toothpaste, Charlie.  Once out, there’s just no putting ’em back.  They can land with the gentleness of a feather or the force of a sledgehammer.  And the effects go out like ripples across a pond, for good or bad.” — Little Red Bear

Thanks always for dropping by, and we hope you enjoy your visits here.  Please act gently and kindly with not only fragile young minds and spirits, but with everyone; and be the reason someone smiles today! — Jim  (and Red!)


Family Times — Together Times — The Best Times!

 Peace  —  Compassion  —  Kindness  —  Love


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

~ Think Globally — Act Locally ~


Family Sundays Together –Celebrate National Mom and Dad’s Day!

Happy Family Sunday!  Three cheers for ‘Team Mom and Dad’!  Today on November 13th, we celebrate National Mom and Dad’s Day!

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are set aside to recognize and honor each individually with their own special day, but Mom and Dad’s Day has been established to spotlight the “Mom & Dad Team”, the combined unit together. And in an increasingly fractured society, isn’t that what we need more of — Moms and Dads working together —  to restore family values and home life for our children and the future?

What better way to observe the day in honor of Team Mom and Dad than celebrating it together with the family?  Spending time together with our parents, and with our own children that make us Moms and Dads ourselves.

Image Credit -- Grandparents.com

Image Credit — Grandparents.com

And who hasn’t been tag-teamed by their Mom and Dad at one time or another?

“Mom, can I do this?” — “Go ask your Father.”

“Dad, can I do this?” — “Go ask your Mother.”

“Mom, Dad said to ask you again. Can I do this?”  — “Well, if your Father says it is okay.”

“Dad, Mom said I could do it if it’s okay with you.” — “Well, it’s really up to your Mother.”

“Mom, Dad said it was up to you.” — “Well, I don’t know, dear. Check back with your Father.”

A time-tested routine that works almost every time. Because sooner or later, most kids just give up somewhere between the family room and the kitchen and just say “never mind.”  Another victory for “Team Mom and Dad”. The ability to say “No” without actually saying so. Kind of like a Pocket Veto.

Image Credit -- TodaysParent.com

Image Credit — TodaysParent.com

Of course, the strategy for overcoming the tag team defense was to do an end-around and catch Mom and Dad together in the same room.  Sometimes it would result in a score.  But risking a numbers game, other times the end-around strategy could backfire and result in a brutal rejection, like a guarded basketball net,  when they had you outnumbered two to one in the same room.

But since it was the only play in the kid playbook with any chance of success, after the third or fourth round trip to the kitchen it was the only option available other than giving up entirely, which is what the tag team defense was designed to achieve in the first place. Of course, I suppose the object of the game on both sides was to wear the opponent down until they submitted.  But in a single contest, parents most always have the numbers on their side.

Image Credit -- FamilyShare.org

Image Credit — FamilyShare.org

I speak of this now after having raised four children of my own and having experienced the game from both sides of the field.  My parents were accomplished masters at the tag team game.  We never quite achieved their level of success in establishing the impenetrable tag team defense with our children, which my parents seemed so easily adept at and able to pull off each time.  But then again, they always had me outnumbered, dealing with only one opponent because my sister was much older and already enlisted on their side.

Our four children had the distinct advantage of being able to work in tag teams of their own, applying relentless pressure on the defense. We seemed to invariably get trapped by the vaunted end-arounds by our kids, cornered on the couch and surrounded on all four sides. When the question before the court was not a life or death issue, relenting frequently seemed the only reasonable chance of emerging from the encounter with our sanity and scalps still intact.  So maybe it is a numbers game, after all.

“One of the most important things we adults can do for young children is to model the kind of person we would like them to be.”                              — Carol B. Hillman

So let’s celebrate the dedication and love of Moms and Dads together, and hats off and huzzahs for the Mom and Dad Team! And to single parents who lovingly and determinedly wear the hats of both roles. Parenting is not an easy job and doesn’t come with an instruction book. And no child seems to arrive complete with an operator’s manual. But the rewards are priceless.

Today is a special day to do something nice for Mom and Dad, or to treat yourself and children to a celebration day of ‘Team Family’.

Image Credit -- DeeperWaters.us

Image Credit — DeeperWaters.us

November 13th is also World Kindness Day.  Practicing and Teaching kindness and compassion right in your home is a great place to start. Children live what they learn, and learn by what they see. Moms and Dads — do a random act of kindness for someone, and show the kids how it’s done! And you don’t need to go far. Mother Teresa put it well — ” Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” Start right in your own family — today.

Image Credit -- TheDailyQuotes.com

Image Credit — TheDailyQuotes.com

Happy Moms and Dads Day!  Happy Kindness Day!  Happy Family Day!  

Wishing everyone a beautiful autumn and family Sunday celebrating Moms and Dads and Kindness — together!

Family Times — Together Times — The Best Times 

Thanks as always for visiting! The special Christmas Story for Little Red Bear and the crew has passed thru the editing stage and coming right along.  Please stay tuned for updates soon, and have a wonderful upcoming week!  —  Jim (and Red!)

Image Credit -- THINKSTOCK

Image Credit — THINKSTOCK

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

 

Happy Labor Day!

“Oh, look, Red. It’s Labor Day! The annual day set aside to honor human mothers for the nine strenuous months of pregnancy and arduous hours of Labor to finally deliver a newborn baby,” Cinnamon Charlie observed, reading the headline in the ‘Squirrelly World’ morning newspaper.

“I don’t think that’s the meaning behind this day, Charlie,” Little Red Bear corrected. “They have a whole different day to celebrate human mothers. It’s called ‘Mother’s Day’, in the month of May each year.”

“It says so right here in the newspaper, Red — Labor Day. What else could it be if not to honor human mothers in the Labor and Delivery rooms today?”

“Well, Charlie. This Labor Day honors the labor movement as a whole, and the contributions that Workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.”

“What about mothers? Aren’t they workers, too?”

“It honors mothers in a way too, I suppose,” Little Red Bear added, thinking more about it. “Part of Labor Day honors those mothers like Rosie the Riveter who left their homes to work in factories and helped save the country during one of the most difficult periods in history. The American labor force and the role of mothers in the homes was never the same, as women had joined the labor force permanently after that, helping to make the country even stronger.”

“So Labor Day is about Mothers then, Red,” Cinnamon Charlie chimed in, beaming and reveling in having made a point.

“I suppose it is, Charlie. I suppose it is. And rightfully so,” Little Red Bear agreed.

HAPPY LABOR DAY from Little Red Bear and his friends! —  Jim   (and Red!)

Holiday- Labor Day 3

 

To read more about Little Red Bear, Cinnamon Charlie and all their other friends, check out “The Adventures of Little Red Bear” short story collections on Amazon.

 

A Guest Post — “Chasing the Fae . . . . .”

The internet is a wonderful and strange new place where we get to form real and significant friendships with people across the globe that, rather unfortunately, we will probably never get to meet in person.  Such a treasured ‘net friend is Sylva Fae, and her thoroughly charming and delightful family.  Living in a magical woodland in the UK, Sylva shares adventures in parenting, along with stories of childhood wonderment, discoveries and fascinations in her blog entries.  I invite you to Visit and Follow Sylva Fae’s Blog, and you too will be charmed by the woodland, the fairy gardens and inhabitants.   I am honored to be able to share her most recent uplifting post with you here.  Enjoy.

“Chasing the Fae…”

25efbfcb-c190-41d5-b5b3-30dea2c96ac9This is a time of year for reflection, for pondering and for weighing up the good and the bad of the last year. For me it was a year of great change. I’ve escaped a job I’d grown weary of and tumbled into a new career. I’ve seen my baby grow up to become a school girl, I’ve watched my middle daughter blossom in confidence and my eldest little diva is now dancing through junior school. The school terms mark the passing of time as my girls learn faster than I can keep up with.

As a parent I am constantly trying to keep the balance between boundaries and rules, and allowing children to just be children. I worry about whether I’m doing enough, being strict enough or too strict. I relentlessly remind them of their pleases and thank yous and hope that they use them with others. I read with them, sing, dance and play with them, we run through the fields, scramble through bushes and climb the trees together but I don’t take them to the clubs other children their age go to. Our weekends have no structure, no plan, we just check the weather and choose an adventure. I often worry if it’s enough.

PhotoLab_app_Charcoal_Drawing

The previous month brought happy tears as I watched each of my little ones sing in their school plays. It also brought proud mummy moments as I crouched, knees up to ears on a tiny school chair listening while their teachers reported on their year in class. It seems my three are known for their manners (phew!), are effortlessly coasting through their lessons and are kind to others. Good to know but what made me smile most, was each teacher commented on their vivid imaginations, their aptitude for story telling and the amazing illustrations they create to go with their stories. One teacher said with a giggle, that she always looked forward to what she’d write about her weekend adventures. She showed me a few and laughed about how she tried to make her describe her weekend but she always insisted on telling a story instead. I read a few. They told of leaving the woodland path and wading through thick forest to discover secret lands, of hunting dragons and making houses for the fairies, they described chasing mermaids across the sky and climbing to the tops of the tallest trees to capture the sunbeams. I smiled back at the teacher and assured her it was all actually true. I’m not sure whether the teacher believed me or made a mental note that their mother was quite loopy. She smiled in a knowing way and moved swiftly onto her maths progress.

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In those moments of self doubt, I remember that I have fuelled that imagination, fed it and encouraged it to run wild. I have provided the playground and focused their minds to see beyond what the eye can capture. I may not be a conventional mum but then I did not have a very conventional childhood. I blame my mum! My girls share our family trait, we’re deemed by others to be bizarre but I am secretly proud my girls have inherited my weirdness. I can’t blame all my quirks on my mum but she was the one who taught me to read and I have passed on that love of books to my daughters. Giving them the gift of literacy is something I can be proud of.

561f7fb5-040a-4f6a-a01e-ed4b073b5690

b99f9029-8769-453a-9765-448280b85477This new year blew in with the weather. Here in England, we’ve had a wet and gloomy start to 2016 with many flooded out by heavy rains.This weather has kept us from going out as much as we’d like and I’m missing my little woodland. My girls have been wishing for snow for weeks and finally their wishes were granted. We awoke today to a white garden and sparkling trees; they couldn’t wait to build their first snowman. I happily dodged snowballs and helped give our snowman a smile, but I’m secretly wishing for sunshine, for lazy, carefree days to run through the fields. Whatever the weather, I know this year will bring many more adventures out in the woods, making memories and writing stories to baffle teachers and keep my little faeries entertained. One thing I know for sure, I’ll be spending my days chasing the fae.

Happy Mother’s Day! Exclusive Offer!

Happy Mother’s Day weekend!

Testing a new tool designed for use as “Codeless Coupons” made available by eBay for my store, I thought what better test than to make the first offer available only for those who have followed and supported my work in the past. So as a special Mother’s Day event, I have created an initial limited time test offer in my eBay store exclusively for my followers.  Those who follow me on the Blog, Facebook and Twitter will be the only ones notified or eligible to participate.

In recognition of Mothers and all they do, the featured items are handmade, wire-wrapped Sea Glass and Stone pendants, each unique and One of a Kind. An opportunity for moms (or fellas) to pick up a little something special for themselves or a loved one at a good savings. I have set the minimum required purchase below the lowest price pendant so that all would be included, no exclusions and no multiple items purchase requirements.

The offer is for a 30% savings on a purchase of $15.00 or more, and as always—shipping is FREE within the U.S., with a gift box and cord or silver-toned necklace to display the pendant included. If you purchase more than one, the discount applies to all. Simple, straightforward.  But hurry, this initial test only goes thru Mother’s Day weekend, and ends Monday night.  After that, the special link will not work.

Because I am offering it only to my followers, the exclusive offer is only available by accessing this link to my store. Other shoppers do not see or benefit from this. If you want to share the link with a friend or family, that’s fine. It’s a way to thank you, however you wish to use it. Here is your link → http://ebay.us/8Ajj5P.

Either click the link here in the blog, or enter the link into your browser to access the promotion within my store, and the system will make sure the proper discount is applied for you. But again, you will only be able to receive the discount if you use this link. That’s what makes it exclusive.  It is only set up for you as a follower.

So—thanks for following along!  Hope you find something you like. If folks like this and the new Codeless Coupon and special link tools work as advertised, maybe we can do some more of these from time to time. — Jim

“The Rubbly Bubbly Bath”

A hungry little bear sat alone on a hill.

Honey jar in paws, ever careful not to spill.

He spoke not a word while opening the jar,

gazing over the meadows and fields afar.

Sticking in his tongue, slurping and lapping up the sweet honey,

he enjoyed the beauty of the day, so warm bright and sunny.

Honey drizzled down his chin and all over his front,

“Ugh! I’m all sticky! Egads!” he exclaimed with a grunt!

“What will my Mother say,

when she sees me this way?”

“She will want me to bathe and then toss me in the river.”

And with this worrisome thought, his lip started to quiver.

Though his dire hunger was now sated,

new bath concerns went unabated.

The sweet honey nearly gone,

he then leaned back with a yawn.

And remaining honey now out of reach with his tongue,

The bear remembered a tune which his mother had sung.

“Joshua Giraffe was born in a zoo,

he lived there, too.

For two years and a half,

he hasn’t had a bath . . .”    *

He sang the verse boldly as he wandered back home,

Still hoping not to be drowned in wretched soap foam.

With icky sticky honey all over his fur,

he crept beside Mother, to hide, snuggle and purr.

But a bear is not a cat,

so shouldn’t try to do that.

Bath time was on as he wriggled and squirmed,

dunked in the river, his bath fears confirmed.

But since the bears don’t use soap,

There were no reasons to mope.

With no shampoo in his eyes to cause any tears,

he had no real worries to support all his fears.

Wee bear shouldn’t have tried to conceal his icky sticky self.

Not when there’s a jar of honey noticed missing from the shelf.

Mothers always seem to know when something is amiss.

Besides, all bath times end with a motherly bear kiss.

Bear and Cub bath time- Pinterest, uncredited

Note *– Song lyric excerpt from “Joshua Giraffe” lyrics by Raffi Cavoukian