Happy October — The Gateway To Autumn & The Holiday Season!

Not being a “Summer Person” at heart and with this past summer being without a doubt the oddest in memory with the COVID-19 virus on the loose, it is finally time to utter one of my favorite phrases of all —

Happy Fall, Y’all!!

Happy October!  Happy Autumn!  October is the perennial gateway to my very favorite time of the year — Autumn and the Holiday Season!

What are your favorite things about Autumn? Do you have any special Autumn memories?

Here in our neck of the woods, besides getting back into boots and blue jeans these are a few of our favorite things — Sweaters, Changing Fall Leaves, Crisp Mornings, Chilly Evenings with Woodsmoke in the air, Listening to the honking of Migrating Geese overhead, Raking Leaves and Hot Chocolate, Apple Butter, Cider, Pies, Warm Muffins with Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!


While not having posted regularly here for a spell attending to some health issues (not COVID related) the past few months, my story character Little Red Bear and I have nonetheless kept very busy preparing several new blog features and items you will be seeing very soon. Some things we have been working on —

We are especially proud of a new page created — “Nature Speaks About Environmental Conservation, Climate Change, and Mother Earth.” A series of short “Nature Speaks” videos covering major conservation and environmental topics, it is perfectly suitable for children, as they more than we will determine the future. We invite you to visit and share the page with others!

“The Ozarks Ostrich Crisis” was a serialized story originally shared on Facebook in 2014. The story received such a positive reception that encouragement from readers actually led me to shortly thereafter create this Writing Blog, where it has been shared as a Free Read. Serving as the Resident Manager in a seniors community shut down by the COVID-19 virus, Little Red Bear and I dusted the story off and began sharing it once again with residents on a weekly basis, with the intention to provide some light reading and mental diversion to folks confined to their apartments thru the initial virus surge. As the weeks went by the story was edited and revised, with several new characters and storylines added. By the end, the Ostrich story had more than doubled in length. The weekly story ran for 17 weeks, during and after which I was encouraged by readers to publish it as a book to be available for everyone in a single volume. So Little Red Bear and I will be back to work on the editing and review process to make sure the weekly installments flow seamlessly from beginning to end, targeting the spring of next year for the “Ozarks Ostrich Crisis” book release.

With the ongoing support of Patrons to the site, Little Red Bear and I have been working over the past couple of months to develop a “Learn The Alphabet” section for young visitors. We are calling it “Little Red Bear’s Animal Alphabet Coloring Pages.” Each letter will have its own page and feature artwork showcasing the particular letter, with two additional letter coloring images available for download, one easy for the very youngest and the other a bit more detailed and challenging. With part of this site’s focus on Wildlife, Mother Nature, Conservation, and the Environment, each letter will be nature-oriented, featuring different animals, marine life, etc. as illustrated in the summary image alongside, along with information about that particular creature. The images are being secured thru a paid Shutterstock subscription to ensure that there are no licensing, copyright, or sharing issues down the road. New letter pages will be added as funds are available to acquire more images. Would you like to help support the project or perhaps sponsor a page?  The cost of the three images for each page is $10.00.  Anyone can lend a helping hand merely by joining our Patreon Community for as little as $1.00 a month,  or choose to Sponsor a Letter Page(s) directly, in which case the sponsor’s name will be included on the page unless they wish to remain anonymous. Here is a sample of what is to come — Little Red Bear’s Animal Alphabet Coloring Pages — “A” is for “Ant”. 

Little Red Bear is hard at work gathering new recipes for Halloween treats and goodies for the next “Happy Halloween Spooktacularly Good Recipes Special III”. In the meantime, you are invited to check out our previous Halloween Recipe Specials — #1 and #2. Some frightfully delicious treats in those!

The next collection of Little Red Bear adventure stories, “The Second Holler Over!” is more than halfway finished now with a release planned for the late spring of next year. The next book will feature a different and exciting new format.

At the same time, we are working to make Red’s first stories, “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” available in a large print format soon, and are working to make Red’s holiday story, “Pine Holler Christmas”, available in both regular and large print formats for the coming holiday season.


We are so excited about the remainder of the year! Here is a sample of just a few of the things and what is ahead for you here in the coming weeks . . . .

  • 101 Things To Do In The Fall
  • Time To Clean Out Bird Nest Boxes In October
  • Autumn Activities & Nature Scavenger Hunt
  • Happy Halloween Spooktacularly Good Recipes Special III
  • How To Preserve Autumn Leaves and Clean Pinecones for Holiday Displays
  • The Impact of Climate Change on Bird Migrations
  • Creating An Autumn Nature Leaf and Other Family Art Projects
  • And  Many More!

This month I am sharing my original “Haystack Harry” short story with various senior communities in the area. “Haystack Harry” is available on the blog as a Free Read.

I invite you to check it out for the Autumn Season and share it with your family and friends.

Little Red Bear has agreed to once again make himself available to respond to readers’ questions and comments in his “Ask Little Red Bear” segment, a very popular feature in the past. If you or a youngster have a question about something dealing with Nature or the Environment, please just drop him a note here. We aren’t so big on relationship questions, but if you don’t have anywhere else to turn please feel free to send them in and we will do our best to try and help you out. In any event, Red promises to provide honest and factual information in response to all questions, and lacking the same will do his very best to make up something fun and interesting for you.


In addition, something Little Red Bear and I are a little proud of, Red’s first collection of stories “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” was submitted to the Kirkwood Public Library for review — and Was Accepted!

The book passed all review steps, procedures, and readings, and is available now thru the Kirkwood Library and connected library system. While not on the level of Ernest Hemingway perhaps, the reviewers determined it wasn’t on the level of Joe Btfsplk either and approved the book for display on their shelves and in their catalogue. Request your local library to carry it, too!

I do not enter contests or competitions, not seeking that kind of recognition, but must admit passing muster with the library was kind of cool. Sort of like an official “Okey-Dokey!” from people whose opinions we respect and value. Maybe you should give “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” a look, too.

So, that is just a few of the many things we have been working on and have on the way while sequestered and quarantined by the COVID-19 virus the past several months.


In the seniors’ community where I reside, no one is allowed out of their apartment without a mask. Since the beginning. So totally understand “mask fatigue”.

Nevertheless, it is what we must continue to do to protect not only ourselves but also our families and loved ones.

Wearing a mask is simply the necessary and right thing to do at this moment in time, along with social distancing, diligent handwashing, and avoiding crowded places, especially as we all head back indoors with cold weather on the horizon.

Your encouragement and visits here mean a lot to Little Red Bear and me, so please — be vigilant and careful in the coming months. Experts across the board are predicting that the COVID-19 crisis will get a whole lot worse this fall and winter before it gets better.

We will do our very best to continue providing a positive-themed site of encouragement, education, information, and entertainment for you, and hope that you will join us as we enter our most favorite time of the year in the months ahead — Autumn and all the fun and joys of the Holiday Season!


Thank you always for stopping in to visit with us!  Little Red Bear and I are pleased as raspberry punch to share the upcoming Autumn and Holiday Season with you!

So until the next time, we wish you and yours a delightful fall season with pumpkin spice and everything nice.

Happy Autumn! — Jim   (and Red!)

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

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.” – Edwin Way Teale 

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”  – Delia Owens, “Where the Crawdads Sing”


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.

    “And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” – Oscar Wilde 


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 the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!” — Winnie the Pooh


 

 

 

 

 

Family Sunday — “The Falling Leaves of Autumn”

Happy Autumn – Sunday – Family Day!

I  grew up raking leaves and jumping over and into leaf piles on Sunday afternoons. Then later raking them all into a pile over to where the summer vegetable garden had been and setting the pile on fire to burn them. Wonderful for improving the following season’s garden soil.  One of the most delightful scents of the year — burning leaves.  Crisp chilly days and the scent of burning leaves filling the air, an annual fall tradition and harbinger of the rapidly approaching holiday season and winter to follow.

"Falling Leaves" by John Sloane

“Falling Leaves” by John Sloane

I miss that. Many probably do not know the soul-comforting smell of burning leaves in the autumn air anymore. Nowadays the distinctive scents of autumn are gone, replaced by the endless droning of leaf blowers. Not the same to be sure, but as long as there are leaf piles to bury someone in, and to jump in and over until the legs call for a stop,  the back yards and front yards on a crisp autumn day can still be loads of family fun.

"Autumn Mood" by John Sloane

“Autumn Mood” by John Sloane

Autumn is a magical time of year. Shorter days. Chilly nights just right for a warming fire and sitting by the hearth. A refreshing cider or hot chocolate in hand.  Healthy exercise. Tossing a football and Frisbee, ultimately falling into the leaf pile with each catch.   A marvelous fall day to gather up all the family and head outdoors for a fun day of leaf raking – jumping – burying – leaping – collecting. Fresh air and exercise! And quality family time together, learning about the seasons and cycles of Mother Nature.

"Autumn Leaves" by John Sloane

“Autumn Leaves” by John Sloane

There are many old superstitions and beliefs about catching leaves in the fall.   Some folk believe it is good luck to catch a falling leaf.   Some even say that if you catch a falling leaf in autumn that you  will have a whole month of good luck. Others say that you should make a wish if you catch a falling leaf. There’s another school of thought that says if you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter!

Pagan Europeans and some native North American cultures revered the oak tree and its leaves as sacred. Opinions differ on the professed benefits that accrue from catching falling leaves, whether on the actual first day of autumn or anytime during the autumn season.   Personally, I just think it’s fun, and made even more so on a windy day. “There it goes!”, and the chase is on.

Autumn Painting by John Sloane

Autumn Painting by John Sloane

Yet another tradition holds that you must keep the captured leaves until new green buds appear on the trees in the spring.  Only then can you safely dispose of them without the risk of ruining your fortunes.   As for me, I like to press them in heavy books with weights on top, and then coat them in Modge Podge, a clear coating to preserve and enjoy them all thru the year.  If you do that, be sure to catch them sooner than later, as newly-fallen leaves, more soft and supple to the touch, preserve and hold onto their colors much better than do the dried up, crinkly ones.

Here are some neat leaf projects to do with the little ones — Helping to teach them how to sew with Sewing Patterns on Leaves, Making Leaf Foxes, Leaf Chalk Art, and Making Fall Leaf Prints . And here is information on How To Preserve Fall Leaves. Check out and follow my Pinterest Boards for more ways to preserve autumn leaves, fun projects and information.  And more things “Autumn.”

"Autumn Shadows" by John Sloane

“Autumn Shadows” by John Sloane

So round up the family and head outdoors for a day of leaf-themed play.  Rake leaves. Gather and collect the most beautifully colored leaves and save them to press.  Catch a Frisbee and fall into a leaf pile.  See who can jump the biggest pile. Make some Leaf Art.  And most of all —  have fun!  The glorious season of autumn only comes once each year and is soon gone, giving way to winter.  So let’s enjoy it while we can.

Today’s Family Sunday writing featured the artwork of one of my favorite country artists, John Sloane. Visit his John Sloane Art Page for upcoming calendars and more information.

Thanks as always for visiting! And have a wonderful Family Day!  — Jim (and Red!)

ps — work on a special Christmas holiday short story featuring Little Red Bear and some of his friends is coming right along. Watch for it in December!

"Country Life" by John Sloane

“Country Life” by John Sloane

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