Small Little Unexpected Acts of Kindness (And a Teabag Squeezer Thingy)

Winter paid us a visit with 7″ of snow over the past few days here outside of St. Louis.  Had I known the storm would take so long in passing I would have installed a ‘Take-A-Number’ system at the bird feeders. What crowds we have had!  I trudged out to top off each feeder at sunset each evening to be ready for the next morning’s rush.

In a recently-moved-into new apartment, I now live on the third floor overlooking my feeders at ground level, below. At one point late in the afternoon one day, two purple finches perched on my windowsill and began tapping on my window. I wasn’t sure if they had sought me out to express their gratitude for the feeders or to possibly convey the message — “Hey Jim, we need the Safflower Seeds refilled again. Right now!”

As it turned out, the little finches were right about the Safflower Seeds. Thru the combined efforts of Purple Finches, House Finches, Cardinals,  Juncos, Titmice, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Assorted Woodpeckers, and more, they had emptied the entire Safflower Feeder in one day! Surrounding trees were filled with chattering birds waiting their turn at the feeder. Safflower Seeds are an excellent choice for feeding the wild birds in winter because so many different backyard birds love these seeds, while squirrels, at least right here, do not bother with them at all.


Before the “Snowpocalypse” began, a friend unexpectedly stopped by simply to deliver a gift, totally out of the blue. Knowing that I am an inveterate tea drinker, she dropped off a Stainless Steel Tea Bag Squeezer. A simple little thing made for squeezing out the last drops of brewed tea from a teabag (or in my case and how I will use it since “squeezing out the last few drops” is not really the best thing to do) for reaching in and grabbing those bothersome teabags that come with no strings attached.

(Yes, I am looking at you, Celestial Seasonings. I love your herbal teas and truly appreciate and respect your environmental protection stance, eschewing the paper or foil bag covers and tags used by so many other companies as you do, but is a thin little string attached to pull the bags out with really too much to ask?)

A life-long tea drinker and frequent sufferer of scalded fingers from reaching into hot teacups of boiling liquid to retrieve the bags, I was not aware that such a clever device even existed, and immediately wondered why in the world I hadn’t invented one years ago myself.

Later, I researched the little squeezer on Amazon and found one listed for only $2.67. I tend to think that my friend more than likely just picked it up on a recent visit to the Dollar Store, though.

(As an aside — are things still really a dollar at the Dollar Store, or more costly now perhaps with the pandemic? I have heard rumors about things that were previously a dollar not necessarily being only a dollar any longer. If so, should they change the name to “Slightly-Or-Somewhat-More-Than-A-Dollar Store,” perhaps? That would make for a much larger sign in front though, wouldn’t it?)


But the Tea Bag Squeezer is not really the most important thing here, and to be honest, unless rushed I have usually used a spoon to fetch out hot teabags over the years, having learned to avoid scalded fingers over time. So I may have exaggerated a bit about the scalded fingers, above. (But c’mon — Celestial Seasonings — really, a simple little string, no tags attached. Think of all those dedicated tea sippers who are not yet blessed with a nifty little teabag grabber. Please?)

As they say, it is really not the gift but the thought that counts. I was blown away by the unexpected gift, regardless of what it may have been or not.

Being unexpected as it was, associated with no predictable holiday or event, made being remembered and someone going out of their way to deliver such a simple little thing even that more special. It was a kindhearted way to show that someone was thinking about me and cared. And that in itself is the really cool and nice part of it all, yes? Simply to know you are on someone’s mind now and again.

And that is the way with Kindness. It really doesn’t take that much effort or cost to spread it around. A telephone call, text message, greeting card, or a short note sent along. Simply to let someone know that they are important enough in your life that you are thinking about them and took a few minutes to let them know it.

The benefit, both to the receiver and sender, is enormous.


Will you give Kindness a try today, reaching out to someone you know? A lot of folks find themselves shut-in, confined, and feeling isolated from the world during these COVID days for one reason or another.

Merely being a little more patient and friendly with the stranger checking out your groceries at the market goes a long way in spreading Kindness, as well. Along with our invaluable Healthcare Workers, Service Workers have had a rough go the past few years, too.

The past couple of years during the pandemic have been tough on everyone. We can all do our share to make a simple effort to brighten someone’s day.

And at some point, I can guarantee that you will quite unexpectedly find yourself on the receiving end of a kind gesture made by someone else, just for you.

It might even be a little Tea Bag Squeezer/Grabber/Thingy.


Thanks for stopping by today for this short message from my story character friend Little Red Bear and me to simply let you know that we have been thinking about YOU today. Go out, spread a little Kindness, and make it a great one!

Take care, best wishes, and God bless! ‘Til next time  — Jim  (and Red!)  🤠 🐻


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about, 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! Because really, why in the world wouldn’t you?)


            “Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for Courtesy.”           –  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” – Scott Adams

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.

“Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows.” — Robert Green Ingersoll

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, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, 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 site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


“It seems to be from my own personal experience that there is kindness everywhere.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help expand our reach and encouraGE new readers to visit!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

The Wondrous and Wonderful Week That Was!

Hey, y’all — how is your new year going so far? Wait ’til you hear about the week I had…

My new year started off with a Bang the past week! I’d be surprised if you hadn’t heard it. (Not a literal but rather a figurative “Bang!”, of course.)

What a fantastic week and auspicious start to the new year here! Hope yours went as well, and as always, please don’t be shy and feel free to share in the Comments. We would all love to hear about it!

Here is a quick recap of my past week  . . . . .

Monday — 

I have always been an avid bird lover and watcher. One of my most favorite little birds is the Black-capped Chickadee. Despite recognizing all of their various songs and “dee-dee-dee-dee-dee” alarm calls, I had never actually seen one live and in person.

Until Monday! Walking my little chihuahua, Allie, I paused at a spot to let her do her ritual sniffing of the fallen leaves and grass routine when all of a sudden I heard two Chickadees.

I looked up and there they were, a pair of Black-capped Chickadees no more than four feet away in a small tree above my head. I was able to watch them go about their business for several minutes.

Then, walking a little further ahead, I again paused near a friend’s bird feeders to let Allie roam about on the lawn. Within two minutes, I saw a pair of Bluebirds, more Black-capped Chickadees, a pair of Cardinals, and numerous Purple and House Finches, capped off by a White-breasted Nuthatch going up and down the tree beside me, again mere feet away. What an amazing winter walk we had that morning!

Tuesday —

The most amazing, red-letter day —

I became a “Grandpa” for the first time!

Having had four children of my own including a set of twins, I have always joked and kidded around that I have been training all of my life to be a “Grandpa.” And now, looky here — I am one!!

Tuesday saw the birth of my first grandchild! Little Pendleton Robert Milson was welcomed into the family, firstborn of my son Matthew and his delightful wife Samantha. Marvelous kids who will make outstanding parents! I could not imagine a baby being blessed with more wonderful parents.

(Of course, I am biased! But please grant a proud Grandpa a little leeway and license to brag, yeah?)

Way to go and most sincere, heartfelt congratulations to Matthew, Samantha, and baby Pendleton!!

Wednesday —

On Wednesday morning, I received a lovely note from a “Little Red Bear” stories reader, enjoying “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” and apparently not even finished yet, (Wait ’til she gets to the story about the Woodboogers!) —

“Dear Jim — I just wanted to sit a spell and tell you how much I am enjoying “The Adventures of Little Red Bear”. Although I am a city slicker, my husband grew up around the Ozarks areas of the stories and is well acquainted with hollers and criks. Reading your book is such a delight, as I become engrossed in Little Bear’s adventures. I just had to smile as I leaned back and fell into Little Red Bear’s world. The stories and voice of Little Red Bear are so needed for kids and adults and I am so appreciative that you share these stories!! Thank you so much!” — L.H.

Thank you, L.H., for your kind and generous note! Little Red Bear even put down the honey jar and broke into a Happy Dance across the kitchen floor. Wish you could have seen it! When Red breaks into a dance, it rattles the cabin floors in such a way as to rival a small earthquake. And he rattled them for quite a spell after reading your kindhearted and thoughtful note!

Having eliminated all royalties on my Little Red Bear books at the beginning of the COVID Pandemic to make the books and stories as affordable as possible for everyone, reader notes such as this touch my heart. If you would like to see what others have had to say about the stories, check out “Little Red Bear Book Reviews & Reader Comments!”

Thursday —

Thursday saw the publication of a new blog post, the first official piece of the new year here —Guided By The Golden Rule — Living Happily with Kindness and Compassion”.

With my primary mission this year to get back to regular writing, the new post got the ball rolling right on schedule.

Friday —

On Friday morning, I had another follow-up visit with the doctor for the recent Rotator Cuff Surgery on my right shoulder. Thanks to the amazing work of Dr. Spitzfaden, the orthopedic surgeon, and the efforts of Marla B., my physical therapist, I passed all movement and strength examinations with flying colors. All of the therapy work and at-home exercises paid off in grand fashion and I was granted an early release.

So, I am most happy to report that while continued healing and strength training work will continue for the next year (and maybe two, the doctor said), my right shoulder is now functioning amazingly well, with it being only eleven weeks, less than three months out from surgery.

And, not to overlook, the feeling has returned to around 90% in all of my fingers, following the bilateral carpal tunnel and trigger finger surgeries on both hands in June. So, though still nursing along an irreparably damaged left shoulder which may result in a future shoulder replacement at some point, other areas are definitely trending up.

Saturday —

Living on the outskirts of St. Louis and the nearby Ozarks Mountains region, we received our first measurable snowfall of the winter season on Saturday morning. It was only about a little less than an inch, but so beautiful.

With snow on the ground and gorgeous pink sunsets framed by bare tree branches out my windows in early evenings, winter always holds its own very special beauty for me.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home.” –  Edith Sitwell

What do you enjoy most about the Winter Season? Please share in the Comments.

Sunday —

It is early on Sunday morning as I write this, so who knows what special event or happenstance later today may cap this amazing week?

Maybe it is simply the fact that I am once again typing away at nearly full-speed on the laptop with my newly rehabbed shoulder and hand surgeries, working on new Little Red Bear adventure stories, and getting ready to share yet another new writing piece with you already in the new year!

And that in itself is pretty special all on its own, isn’t it?


So, what an amazing week, don’t you think?!?  Feeling truly blessed in so many ways, not the least of which is having you reading along to share it.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  I hope your upcoming week is very special for you, too. And the coming new year for us all, as well.

Sometimes we can pick up on the dark clouds hanging over someone and the struggles they may be going thru, but oftentimes not.  That is when a simple kind word or gesture may serve to turn someone’s entire day or life around, a kindness freely shared and shining thru the darkness.

We all go thru turmoil and issues in our lives that are frequently not visible to others, and perhaps that is when an unexpected kindness counts the most.

Will you shine your special light and help to brighten someone’s day today? And again tomorrow? I invite you to join “The Smile & Compliment Club” and allow kindness to become a regular practice in your life. It will make a world of difference for others, and for yourself, as well.

‘Til next time! — Jim  (and Red!)  🤠 🐻


“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

“In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness . . . I see what people call God in all these things.” – Pablo Casals 


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.

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

– Maya Angelou


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, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, 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 site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” – Gandalf, “The Hobbit” by J. R. R. Tolkien


Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help expand our reach and encouraGE new readers to visit!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

 

Guided By The Golden Rule — Living Happily with Kindness and Compassion

Welcome to my Writing Pages and the first official entry for the new year — 2022!

Wow, where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday that the Christmas and Holiday Seasons were just beginning. And now we are already in the second week of January!

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? How is it going? Please don’t be shy. Feel free to share your resolutions and progress in the Comments!

I have read that about 40% of Americans make resolutions for the new year and that roughly 75% of people who actually do make resolutions are still successful in sticking with them after the first week. After that, the sticktoitiveness seems to taper off.

Sadly, only about 8% actually succeed in keeping to their New Year’s Resolutions in the end. But, that is 8% of us who are hopefully all the better for the experience! So you go, all you little resolutors out there! We’re rootin’ for you to follow thru to the end and succeed!

The only resolution that I made for the new year is to get back to writing consistently. That involves sharing more new materials on the Writing Pages and lighting a fire under my story character friend Little Red Bear’s furry butt to get some new stories and at least one more book assembled and published by the end of the year. So far, so good, as evidenced by this new post today. But enough about that.


Getting to the subject then, as the new year was just beginning a week ago someone asked me what quotes most influence me regarding how I live my life, guiding principles, etc. I had to think about that. But not for long, really. The answer was quite obvious once I put my mind to it.

As followers here know, I tend to share a number of relevant quotes at the end of each writing piece. Writing topics thru the year here range in subject matter from Positivity, Kindness, Compassion, Children, Family, Environment, Conservation, Wildlife, Writing Topics, and Holiday Features, to plain old silly and humorous pieces now and then just for fun. And the list of my quote influencers is long, from Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin to the Dalai Lama and Dr. Seuss. So, that is quite a range of accompanying quotes from which to be asked to pick out a few favorites.

How about this one perhaps, from “The Simpsons” TV show —

“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man!” – Jebediah Springfield

 

Of course, despite the fine, emboldening quote, it turns out little Lisa Simpson, dutifully doing her due diligence researching more into the town hero’s background, later discovered that Jebediah Smith had previously been known as ‘Hans Sprungfeld’, a murderous pirate. The local town hero was, in fact, a fraud.

And that is always the risk in quickly grabbing any “quote to suit occasion” without researching if it is really true and factual, or not. Abraham Lincoln nailed it right on the head. Or did he really say that?!?  Random quoting can be a tricky business if one is not careful.


Seriously though, ol’ Jebediah and Abraham Lincoln aside, there is no question about my most favorite quote, the guiding principle which governs and influences everything I do in my life and always has — “The Golden Rule”.

      “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”     

Luke 6:31

Growing up, The Golden Rule was always prominently displayed on a kitchen plaque on the wall, placed right above the kitchen table where we could not help but see it. This verse was my Mother’s favorite Bible passage and she never wasted an opportunity to apply it in any situation. I grew up with it, and do my very best to live up to it every day.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”Short and simply stated, but it seems to encompass it all, doesn’t it?


In the same vein and going right along with The Golden Rule is another guiding quote and principle in my daily life and the way I go about things —

“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple Kindness.”

– Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV


Simple kindness and going about treating others as you would like to be treated yourself. They both tend to get a lot of lip service it seems, but the world would be a lot kinder and gentler place for us all if more folks put those few simple words into true practice, don’t you think?

So, those are the principal guiding quotes in my life, influencing my approach to writing, my Little Red Bear stories, how I conduct myself, my relationships with others and the world around me.  Guiding everything I do in my life.


I invite you to visit with some of my writing friends to see the quotes which most influence their lives going into the new year —

Sandra Bennett → “A Few Favourite Quotes to Live by in the New Year”

Rosie Russell’s ‘Books By Rose’ → “Four Special Quotes To Consider For 2022”

Carmela Dutra → “Favorite Quotes to Live By in the New Year”

Rebecca Lyndsey → “A Whole New Year”

Julie Gorges → “Favorite Quotes to Live By in the New Year”


A simple kind word or gesture costs nothing and yet has the power to possibly help turn someone’s challenging day or entire life around.  Another of my Mother’s favorite sayings was —

“You Reap What You Sow”

I choose to sow Kindness. How about you?

Thank you for visiting today!  I hope everything is going well for you and yours as we step further into the new year now.

Little Red Bear joins with me in sending along very best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy year ahead!

‘Til next time  — Jim (and Red!)   🤠 🐻


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

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


“What lies behind us, and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.


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.

   “Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances for new beginnings.”

–  Maya Angelou


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, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, 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 site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


 “Here is the secret of happiness: Forget yourself and think of others.” –  Paramananda


Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help expand our reach and encouraGE new readers to visit!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

A Post-surgery Return Piece About Nothing In Particular (But I’d Appreciate If You’d Visit Anyway)

Lacking an impactful and attention-grabbing opening sentence or two today, I am admittedly in a bit of a quandary as to how to begin this particular piece.

After coming off the Writer’s LTIR (Long Term Injured Reserve) list, maybe I should have spent a bit longer stint in the Junior Writer’s Training League before rushing back to active duty following surgery.  Undecided as I am then, how about we change pace and begin with a question of sorts . . . .

Is it appropriate for me to begin this by saying “Welcome Back!” to readers, since everyone has really been here all along I would imagine, and I am in fact the one who left for a while to have yet another surgery, this time a rotator cuff repair on my right shoulder? Or, rather, should I perhaps begin by saying “I’m Baaaack!”, instead?

In the end, the more I think about it, the latter might be the more appropriate opening to employ since it was, in fact, me who went away for a spell. So let’s do that, shall we? Thank you for your patience while I cleared away the writing cobwebs and worked thru a momentary bit of senior befuddlement. Here goes then, as we truly begin . . . .

I’m Baaaack!

Returned from recent surgery no worse and measurably better for the experience, my story friend Little Red Bear and I are raring to get back to it! The feeling has largely returned to my hands following the dual carpal tunnel surgeries in June with both hands and fingers still improving each month. And despite six more weeks of therapy to rehab my right shoulder and arm that lay ahead,  I decided that they are both functioning well enough right now to be put back to work.

Little Red Bear and I simply cannot wait any longer to get back into the writing process once again, so let’s get to it then, shall we?

Thank you to everyone for your good wishes, patience, and kindness during the quiet period here over the past few months! We have actually added several new followers during that time, and that’s pretty cool.

Getting to it then, the following are some unassociated topics concerning the recent surgery, the coming Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the ongoing pandemic, and more . . . .


As tends to happen every year around this time, the Holiday Season is upon us! “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Time to grab the jingle bells and mistletoe!

Trudging thru our third COVID Winter, it looks like this will be the second year in a row where holiday plans are limited or altered due to the pandemic. As I write this, Broadway Shows are shutting down, NHL hockey games are being canceled, ICUs are overflowing, and more. Nevertheless, it is still a time when we can celebrate and find joy in the true spirit of the season despite how altered previous plans and traditions may be.

In that regard, I invite you to visit the many Christmas Holiday Features available here on my writing pages.

Please feel free to enjoy and share with family and friends, because sharing and spreading good cheer is what the Christmas spirit is all about. Here are just a few to get you started (hint — Little Red Bear’s “Happy Christmas” Left/Right Gift Exchange Game is always the most popular each year) . . . . .

And not to forget — Little Red Bear’s “Christmas & Holiday Season” Coloring Pages for all ages. Again, please feel free to download the images and share!


If you know someone or perhaps have a family member (or for yourself) on your gift list who, like me, has difficulty putting on their own socks in the morning due to stiffness or other issues, I can highly recommend the Sock Aid from my own personal experience the past several weeks.

I looked at these a couple years ago following another spinal fusion surgery but dismissed them as gimmicky. They are not, and are rather worth every penny and more. A real game-changer for someone with limited flexibility.

Tired of working to put socks on with a reacher and knowing that I would be doing everything solely with my left (non-dominant) hand for possibly several weeks after the rotator cuff surgery, I decided to finally try the Sock Aid.

Being unable to pull a sock on over the device with only one hand though, I actually ended up ordering two of these. A friend would pull the socks onto each Sock Aid the night before, and then I would slip each on the following morning, able to do the pulling with only one hand.

The Sock Aids are easy to use and work perfectly. You can possibly find the Sock Aid available at local retail outlets, or on Amazon complete with a demonstration video of how they work. I am not affiliated with this product at all, merely passing the information and personal recommendation along for anyone who may benefit from it. This simple device made a positive difference in my life.


Dealing with the supply chain shortages at present, just a friendly “nudge and wink” reminder that if the hi-tech stuff is unavailable for holiday giving this year, please remember that old-fashioned books make excellent gifts. And most are available for Kindle and other e-reader devices, too.

“The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!”, a collection of six short stories introducing Little Red Bear and many of his friends, is available in both print and for Kindle.

“Pine Holler Christmas”, a standalone Christmas-themed short story, is available for e-readers only at this time. Both books are available Free with Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.  A week ago, we received a heartwarming note from one of our followers concerning the “Pine Holler Christmas” story . . . .

“I’m re-reading ‘Pine Holler Christmas’ as I do every year, it really gets me in the festive mood.” 

Suitable for all ages, even for non-readers as “read-to-me” stories, I invite you to check the books out. You can check out Little Red Bear Book Reviews & Comments here to find out what others have had to say about the books.

When the pandemic began and we were all sheltered in place, I lowered the price of both books to Amazon’s minimum, eliminating any royalties so that folks would hopefully be able to afford and enjoy them while confined in their homes with family during the shutdown. The books still remain at ‘pandemic pricing’ until the end of the year!


Although not sharing new material live recently, my story friend Little Red Bear and I have been hard at work in the background preparing several new feature pages about Conservation, the Environment, and Our Children’s Future in a warming world.

Things today are clearly not the same as when I was growing up in the ’50s and ’60s. The seasons have changed with summer seemingly becoming longer each year, storms are more severe, and other impacts of climate change are being felt all over the world. Folks may still debate the cause (although I have no idea why) but the effects are all-too-real. and need to be addressed. The time to seriously confront the issue has already passed, and now we are forced to make hard choices and play catch up.

Mother Nature is a frequent mention and topic in the Little Red Bear stories, so we will be adding a good deal of material here on the writing pages after the first of the year which will be suitable for all age groups. I encourage everyone to share the pages, information, and activities with young people because they will be the ultimate ones to have to continue dealing with the issues of climate change in their lives. The Animal Alphabet Pages will continue to grow thru the year now that we are back and active again, as well.

So, just a heads-up to please watch for the new Environmental Feature Pages and posts coming in the new year!


At this point, it is understandable that so many people are worn out by the topic and feeling “so over with” the pandemic. They’re tired of wearing masks, travel hassles, standing in line for vaccine injections and tests, hearing about it every night on the news, dealing with bothersome restaurant and store restrictions, and on and on.

Believe me, I get it. But dismissing COVID because it is an inconvenience to the life we enjoyed before does not change the fact that we are still being affected by it and forced to deal with both it and the consequences.

Until the whole world is suitably vaccinated, I do not foresee this ending any time soon as new variants continue to emerge and spread. I hope I’m wrong, but am proceeding with caution accordingly.

This pandemic has been tragically life-altering and deadly for so many thousands so far, individuals and families, with over 804,000 deaths in the U.S. at this time, while adding over 17,000 new cases each day at the time of this writing as the new Omicron variant doubles every three days with the holiday season continuing and we near Christmas.

With two competing variants, Delta and the new Omicron, raging right now and hospitals’ staffs exhausted and progressively depleted, now is not the time to throw caution to the wind simply because we are tired of dealing with it all. Sometimes, as grownups, we have to make uncomfortable and hard choices. When confronted by any problem or crisis, it is best to view it realistically for what it is and deal with it. Wishing, hoping, and complaining about it will not make this pandemic go away. If things continue unabated as they are and with the grim possibility of reaching One Million deaths at some point in the U.S. alone, in my book that counts as a Crisis we can not turn our backs on in the hope it magically disappears.

I pray every day for the safety, health, and protection of my family, friends, and loved ones. And for everyone, everywhere. I hope that everyone who is able to benefit from the vaccines and boosters is able to do so. And quickly. I encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions and steps to stay safe and protect not only themselves but also their families and loved ones in the holiday season and coming months.

Taking advantage of the vaccines and boosters (which were not yet available at this time last year), wearing a mask, social distancing, and simply being smart about things are still the best ways to protect both yourself and others. It’s a bummer, but that’s the way it is right now. And we all need to do it. For ourselves and for each other.


The holiday season is always a bit stressful for many, and these COVID times are especially so. A simple kind word or gesture costs nothing and can go a very long way towards easing the stress and burdens for someone else. It may even change their day or entire life around!  I invite you to join our “Smile & Compliment” club and to share a ray of light in another’s life. The neat thing is, you will feel better about yourself, too.

As always, Thank You for taking time out of your busy day to visit with us. If you made it all the way to the end here, please Like and Comment and I will ask Santa to leave an extra Sugar Plum or two in your dreams on Christmas Eve! And if new to the site and visiting with us for the first time, please register to join our growing community and be notified of every new post and feature, as there is much more to come soon.

It’s good to be back with you!  Very best wishes for a safe, healthy, and happy Holiday Season! I am off now in search of a Snickerdoodle. ‘Til next time. – Jim  (and Red!)

(p.s. — Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help immensely in expanding our reach and encouraging new readers to visit! Because together we can do so much!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

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


“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” – Mary Ellen Chase

             “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”         – Peg Bracken


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


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

    “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” — Charles Dickens


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!


                   “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – Burton Hillis


Thank You for visiting with us! Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help immensely in expanding our reach and encouraging new readers to visit! Because together, we can do so much! 


 

Discovering the Super Hero Within and Lending A Helping Hand To Others

Happy “Whatever-Day-You-May-Be-Reading-This” and Welcome Back!

A friend stopped by to visit yesterday. That in itself is not so unusual given the ‘usually’ cordial fella that I am. But as so often happens, caught up in the moment and merriment as I was, my unstoppable sense of hospitality outpaced my brain. Not thinking, I invited my friend to stay for dinner.

Normally, that would not be an issue at all, but right now my cupboard and supply of readily-at-hand food items with which to prepare a bonafide dinner are very low, having not grocery shopped in quite a while.

A Chicken Little-Esque and embarrassing feeling of panic set in when my rational thinking left brain caught up with what my good-intentioned right brain had proffered, the dinner invitation still hanging in the air as it was. I had painted myself into the proverbial corner, as the old saying goes. Now, what to do? I was suddenly caught up in a crisis (admittedly a small one) of my own making.

But, not to fear, however, for in a moment my unquenchable spirit of adventure and determination to rise to any challenge kicked in. I began to look about and survey those items which were on hand, determined to rise to the occasion.

Spying a baguette sitting on the counter, I went in search of ingredients to whip up some French Bread Pizza halves on the spot. Knowing my friend as I do, I also knew that pizza of any kind would be received as an acceptable offering at any time of day.

I also knew for a fact though, that I did not have any true pizza sauce or ingredients with which to make a real pizza, but did find a jar of Prego Sausage & Garlic pasta sauce to use in place of a traditional pizza sauce. The pasta sauce was not exactly hiding in the back of a mostly empty cupboard and was easy to spot.

In the refrigerator, I spied what was left of an open bag of Shredded Italian Six Cheese Blend, and then found the remains of a length of Hickory Smoked Summer Sausage. Fetching a Red Onion, Butter, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes, and Parmesan, I formulated a plan.

I set to work simmering the pasta sauce for a few minutes in order to reduce it just a bit.  Slicing the baguettes in half lengthwise, I proceeded to slice the onion into thin slices and then separate into individual rings. Taking the summer sausage in hand next, I was able to slice a dozen thin rounds from the bit that was left and set them aside. I then spread butter on each of the four opened baguette halves. Sprinkling each half with a good dash of garlic powder and just a smidgeon of kosher salt for flavor, I placed them in the toaster oven for 2 ½ minutes to give the baguette halves a head start, firming and crisping them up a bit before spreading the sauce over them so they would not be so “bready”.

Removing the lightly-toasted baguette halves from the toaster oven, I covered each with the reduced pasta sauce and a layer of sprinkled parmesan cheese, followed in turn with the shredded cheese, onions, sausage slices, and a dash of sprinkled oregano and red pepper flakes. Back into the toaster oven they went. The smell of baking onions mixed with the sausage and spices filled my apartment.

What emerged from the oven five minutes later was so amazing I was unable to snap any photos before they disappeared. “Hold on for a minute while I snap a few photos,” I asked. My friend would have none of that and dove right in. An impromptu Pizza Party dinner success!


Admittedly, the combination of ingredients on the pizza loaf halves would not be attractive to everyone. In truth, I was fortunate my friend also liked onions and summer sausage, the items I did have on hand. But that’s not really the point.

Oftentimes in life, we are presented with challenges or situations for which we do not feel prepared. Small and large. The outcome and what happens next is in good part determined by how we then proceed – whether we choose to react in a negative manner, feeling depressed, fearful, bitter, or angry; or to respond with confidence and a sense of self-reliance in a positive way.

Do we crumble under the sudden pressure like an empty soda can underfoot, or do we rise to the challenge and do the best we can with it? Whatever “it” might be.

In my case, it was simply a premature dinner invitation offered without anything on hand with which to prepare a real dinner. Not a real “biggie” in terms of many of the challenges we face in life, but still somewhat of a  “react, panic, and risk embarrassment” or a “respond and figure it out” type situation. For me, I live in what I refer to as the “Magical Land of Make Do, Figure It Out, and Get By.”

What challenges might you be faced with today? Situations occur for which we feel we are unprepared or not yet ready in the moment. Certainly, not everything always goes according to plan or as we have scripted it. That’s just part of life, isn’t it?

Last week I learned of yet another, unexpected surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in my dominant right shoulder in a few weeks. Torn just about clear-thru the MRI said. Surgery number “Eleven” for those who keep count. To borrow a trite expression – “It is what it is.”

My feeling anxious or bitter about going thru yet another surgery and extended one-handed rehab period following recent surgery on both hands this past June would do nothing to change the fact that I have a severe, perforated rotator cuff tear in my dominant right arm and shoulder, and that I may need a complete left shoulder replacement at some point in the future, as well. I am looking at this as more motivation to finish getting my new apartment in order beforehand, followed by an opportunity for a few weeks of quiet reading, study, and research while rehabbing to benefit my writing and work both here on my Writing Pages and in my Little Red Bear adventure stories.

The next time you may feel caught off-guard or confronted with an unexpected challenge, I urge you to set fear, doubts, and worries to the wayside, and instead gather your courage and respond in a positive way. Look at it as a challenge. Maybe take a cue from the approach of Mr. Hyde –

“Trouble? I call it sport.”

 – Mr. Hyde, “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”

Do not give in to anger, bitterness, worries, doubts, and fears. However bothersome or distressing, try to view the situation as an opportunity to be creative, stretch your abilities, and grow. Have fun with it if you can.

However the issue may resolve in the end, you will have emerged stronger and more confident on the other side for having done so, and more prepared to deal with the next surprise life may have in store. Have faith in yourself and you will be surprised just how much you can do and accomplish when you set worries to the side, put your mind to it, take action, and put your best, positive foot forward.

You may even tap into some inner, previously undiscovered Super Powers you weren’t even aware of in the process. I have faith in you. Do you?


Along the same lines, if you see a friend perhaps suddenly confronted with an unexpected challenge or calamity in their life, what words of encouragement or support could you offer to help them thru it?

Perhaps, just maybe, what your friend is going thru could also be a call and another opportunity for you to step up. Putting your hands on a friend’s problems can remove the focus on yours for a while. At those times when we reach out to help another with their problems, it seems that our own issues and challenges frequently diminish in size. When we help another, we end up helping ourselves, as well.

We are all in this together, and none of us are prepared or has all of the answers all of the time. Everyone can benefit from a friendly helping hand and words of encouragement now and then. The beastly thing that may loom very large and intimidating when finding oneself standing all alone in front of it, is not quite so menacing when standing side by side with a friend.

Sometimes we all could use a helping hand and are in need of a friend. Sometimes, we ourselves can be that helping hand and friend for another.


Thanks always for stopping by to visit. A smile and kind words have the power to better someone’s day and maybe even turn a whole life around. Will you share your smile and a kind word or gesture with someone today?

Until next time — Best Wishes and Blessings!  – Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

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


“You open your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” — Psalm 145:16

                “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”                 — Albert Camus 


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


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

    “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” — Charles Dickens


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!


                      No matter what kind of challenges or difficulties or painful situations you go through in your life, we all have something deep within us that we can reach down and find the inner strength to get through them.” — Alana Stewart


 

Growing My Hair Out To Support Children With Hair Loss

Happy December!  Happy Holiday Season!

But before we get into holiday season topics and features, taking a few minutes today to talk about another issue dear to my heart – Children With Hair Loss.

Seeing sick and ailing children in hospitals has always torn at my heartstrings. While having actively supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital thru the years, I have always sought out ways to do more, and have recently discovered another way to help the children. And it costs nothing, really.

In recent days, some folks here have approached and asked me about my increasingly long hair. “What’s up with the ponytail, Jim?” Here is the inside scoop for everyone.

What began as more of a lark when the COVID shutdown occurred last spring, growing out a ponytail just for fun because I could not get to a barber anyway, continued afterward when restrictions eased just to see what it would do, aided by my lifelong disdain for barbers and costly haircuts in general.

I had always wanted to grow a ponytail just for fun and had made more than a few aborted attempts along the way, always grabbing the scissors when my hair reached five inches or so, not having the nerve to really go thru with it. But always in the back of my mind were the mental images of some of my heroes, all sporting ponytails (or “queues” as they were called in the early days) at one point or another in their lives – George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Willie Nelson, George Carlin, and others. Admittedly, some may have been wigs in colonial times, but still a simply smashing good look!

So, with a beginning boost from the COVID shutdown in spring, my personal “Ponytail Project” has now evolved into purposely growing my hair out with a reason.

I am supporting and joining in the efforts of a large (and growing) number of men who are growing their hair out to support the organization “Children With Hair Loss”, a non-profit organization that provides human hair replacements at No Cost to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss due to Cancer treatments, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, Burns, etc. Beginning in the year 2,000 and helping children and young adults across the nation, Children With Hair Loss has assisted over 5,000 nationwide thru 2019.

A 2019 event sponsored by ‘The Longhairs’ organization I am participating with set a Guinness World Record, generating 339 pounds of hair donations and $50,000 in support of the Children With Hair Loss efforts.  The next big donation event – “The Great Cut 2024” is scheduled for some time in 2024 (exact date to be determined later), at which time they are working to do even more and set another Guinness World Record. At that point, I will donate my hair to be part of it all.

So, that is why I am growing my hair out – to help the kids. Because the painful effects of the treatments these children have to endure are far more than physical, and deeper than merely cosmetic.  Self-image is a very important thing when one is a youngster, teen, or young adult. Emotional scars are just as or more painful than the physical, with emotional damage perhaps everlasting.

If you would like to join with me in the cause and save a bundle of cash in barber and hair salon expenses over the next four years, I would be honored to grow along with you. There will be opportunities to donate and/or participate from anywhere in the world.

Donated hair must be at least 8” long, with the strongly preferred length 12” and longer. It can be grey or any color, dyed, or treated, but cannot be bleached. On average, human hair grows approximately ½” per month, so now is the time to start.

In the meantime and as time goes on, your support and encouragement are greatly appreciated while I simply Keep on Growing!

I will update with progress reports here from time to time as we go along and eagerly look forward to hearing from others who may be growing their hair out for the children, as well.

Right now, with the early head start last spring, my hair is already 9” long. With the kids in mind and along with the other men, I am shooting for a length of 24” to 30” by 2024. Please wish me luck and just call me “Hippie Jim” if you like.

Will you grow along with me to help the Children With Hair Loss efforts? It is for a very good cause and is yet another opportunity to help make a positive difference in someone’s life.

Thanks always for visiting and reading along! Very best wishes for a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season!  Keep on Growing!  – ‘Hippie’ Jim


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “How To Be Mindfully Aware Of Positive Thoughts and Actions”  

(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!)


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

“The charities closest to my heart have always involved helping children in some way.”           — Oscar de la Renta


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.

Find out what readers have to say about Little Red Bear and His Friends!

(Royalties from the sale of Little Red Bear’s books go directly to supporting this site.)


“Helping someone because you want to is much more appreciated than helping someone because you have to.” — Unknown


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!



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Great Cut 2024” info → https://thegreatcut.us/

Children With Hair Loss → https://childrenwithhairloss.us/

What I Believe and Where I Stand


We interrupt our regularly scheduled Autumn and Family-themed programming for a special public service announcement . . . . 


This site and my writing normally focus on positive and happy things. My “Little Red Bear” books are light reading for enjoyment, with lessons for children and all ages where Little Red Bear and his friends happily live side-by-side with humans, interacting and cooperating as equals. But sometimes, circumstances demand something different. This is one of those times where I am writing for the adults.

The Presidential Election in this country is rapidly approaching. For each of us, for our families, for future generations, for the environment, and for the world at large — what is at stake and the importance of this election cannot be overstated. And the whole world is watching to see what we do, hoping the United States can regain its sanity.


“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor                               popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”                            — Martin Luther King, Jr.


I generally steer clear and do not get into politics, and will not waste my time or energy engaging anyone in a debate. But at such an extraordinary time as this to remain silent may be construed to imply consent, and that would not be accurate.  The “official” election day is approaching very soon. Many are already voting around the country in record numbers.  As is customary here, I have avoided getting into the election year melee, not to add to the noise level.

But, at a juncture so critical to the future of this country and the world, in case there is any doubt about where I stand on the issues confronting us individually and collectively at this time, for the record —

  • I believe in Science, and that Climate Change and Global Warming are real, and that our actions and decisions and lack thereof are the greatest and determining drivers in climate change. And I do not think the dedicated scientists working to save the environment and to save us from a rampaging pandemic are “idiots.”
  • I believe that the lives of future generations and the natural world depend on our actions right now because we are rapidly approaching a tipping point in the climate from which there will be no return.
  • I believe that denying climate change and indisputable science is to condemn countless species to extinction and to leave future generations to live in an unrecognizable world. I believe that what we do in the next twenty years will determine the future for all life on Earth.
  • I believe that wearing a mask to protect others and to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, in no way constitutes an infringement on my freedom or individual rights, any more so than obeying speed limits, wearing seatbelts, stopping at stoplights, not driving on sidewalks, not running around naked, or having to refrain from urinating in public. Some things are simply common sense, folks.
  • I believe that purposefully misleading the public about a deadly health crisis and world pandemic, the public that one is sworn to protect, for purposes of personal and political gain is criminally negligent. Over 222,000 deaths and charges against so far, and counting. Over 222,000 lives lost. Over 222,000 families whose lives are changed forever.  Over 222,000 whose loved ones were not allowed to be at bedside to say goodbye. Over 100,000 small businesses closed and gone forever. It was not “a Democratic hoax” and it did not “miraculously disappear.” It was a clear dereliction of duty and shameful failure to fulfill the sworn duties of the office of President.
  • I believe that leaders should lead by and set a positive example not only for children but also for everyone, as they set the course and tone of our country.
  • I believe that to encourage and empower hate groups is detestable, and to directly share in the blame and consequences of whatever actions result.
  • I believe there needs to much more kindness, compassion, and forgiveness in the world, with much less judgment, prejudice,  and exclusion.
  • I believe in inclusion and acceptance, and that diversity makes us stronger. I believe in Unity over Division.
  • I believe that “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”, and denounce those who seek to divide us for personal or political gain, for in doing so they weaken the fabric of the nation and imperil us all.
  • I believe in the importance of family, regardless of how it may be configured. Love is Love and the world needs more of it.
  • I believe that everyone, without exception, is “created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Everyone.
  • I believe in the Constitution, Three Branches of Government, and the Seperation of Powers as established by the Founding Fathers of this country. No one branch is or should be above the others.
  • I believe it is way past time to do away with the antiquated Electoral College which disenfranchises all but battleground state voters, and am tired of witnessing presidential candidates win elections for the highest office who are incapable of winning the overall popular vote.
  • I believe that respect is earned, not bestowed by title.
  • I believe that anyone in public office who puts their own interest above the general good and betrays the public trust has forfeited their right to hold office. At any level of government.
  • I believe that true leaders lead from the front, accept responsibility and not seek to blame others, carry water for their people, and eat last.
  • I believe in honoring those who have gone before, sacrificed, and continue to place themselves in harm’s way today while serving to protect and insure the safety of others and our country. They are heroes, not “suckers.”
  • I believe in civility, fundamental decency, truth, honesty, character, and integrity.
  • I believe in respecting the rights of others, including immigrants seeking a better life and opportunity. Just like it says on the Statue of Liberty.
  • I believe that separating immigrant families is unjustified, indefensible, and reprehensible. As of this date, after three years the parents of 545 migrant children still cannot be located to reunite families, with many parents having been deported without their children. To help visualize, 545 children is about eight (8!) school bus loads!  What kind of person does this, and what does this say about our country and us?  Tap here for more information.
  • I believe in the “American Spirit” and our ability to handle the hard truths, come together to make the difficult choices, to do the right thing, overcome any challenge, and to Build Back Better.
  • I believe in working together to make positive changes to make the world a better place — for Everyone and Everthing Everywhere.
  • I believe everyone and everything is connected, and that it is time for the United States of America to become United once again, to resume our role as leader and shining example of the Free World, and not turn a blind eye to oppression, injustice, or suffering, nor to abandon allies.
  • I believe the world is full of goodhearted people who all share the same basic common desires for happiness, good health, an opportunity to prosper and do well for their families, avoid suffering, and for Peace.
  • I believe that basically, from the aspect of shared human values, we are all the same the world over, regardless of boundaries, history, continents, culture, or beliefs.
  • I believe we are all one and that whatever happens to or for one of us anywhere affects us all.
  • I believe in Hope.
  • I believe in placing the needs of Country over Party.
  • I believe it is time for us all to take personal responsibility for what is going on in this country.
  • I believe it is past time to set provincialism aside and become citizens of the World.
  • I believe it is time to Live and Be the Change we wish to see in the World.

Do you notice any country and “leader” notably missing from the “Leaders’ Pledge for Nature” list in this video? How have we gone so quickly from being a world leader for positive change to being totally Missing In Action on the global scene?

 

If not obvious from the above, I believe in and have already voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the coming election. I strongly urge others to consider doing likewise for the safety and sake of us all. And for the survival of nature and the planet to which we are all so intimately connected and dependent upon. It is a question about our very survival. Nature does not need humans. Humans need Nature in order to survive.

I urge you to visit my new page “Nature Speaks About Environmental Conservation, Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Mother Earth” to learn more!


Voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is less about policy, politics, or ideology.  It is first and foremost about Leadership and my belief that they are best suitable and able to make and bring about a significant and immediate change of direction in the country for the future betterment of both our nation and the world.

 

I believe that as a nation we have suffered thru a despicable and almost inconceivable failure of leadership the past four years on both the Presidential and Congressional levels. We deserve and must demand better, and then hold those who we put in office accountable in the future.

You may disagree and that is perfectly fine as it is your right to do so. We have freedom of choice and it is a free country. For the time being.

I have never formally aligned myself directly with any political party, but tended to lean more Republican than Democrat in the past, until 2008. The Republican party of “Compassionate Conservatism” is long gone, and I no longer recognize the party I once knew, nor will I allow myself to be a part of the divisiveness, selfishness, abuse of power, and hate-mongering that is going on now. George H. W. Bush’s hopeful “Thousand Points of Light” have been replaced by this president’s thousand glittering rifle barrels of the Proud Boys, KKK, and other emboldened hate groups.

Republican “leaders” at every level who have marched in lockstep and empowered this President are as complicit and as much to blame for the current situation and lack of leadership as he is, and must be held accountable to the people they represent.


“In long intervals, I have expressed an opinion on public issues whenever they appeared to         me so bad and unfortunate that silence would have made me feel guilty of complicity.”         — Albert Einstein



I encourage everyone to exercise their right to VOTE no matter how cumbersome the process, how deceiving the disinformation, or difficult the circumstance.

Voting is not only our guaranteed constitutional right, it is also an obligation and our duty in a free society. Too many have sacrificed too much over the years to protect that right. And those who sacrificed and gave all were not” losers.”

The choice could not be more clear and I truly believe the outcome of this Presidential Election will determine the future course of our country, the environment, and the world, for better or worse, and that the results will be far-reaching and echo thru time.

We must set aside personal ideologies and political party affiliations. We must come together now to do what is necessary in order to change the world to come in a positive way, securing the environment and future for generations to follow.

This Presidential Election must be an overwhelming repudiation of what we have witnessed and lived thru the last four years. We must speak with one unified and very loud voice for everyone in the world to hear — We Are Better Than This!

Future generations will look back on the past four years and on this administration and pandemic and wonder what in the world the people back then were thinking.

We will be judged by either our courage and determination to confront the issues and make the necessary changes now, or by our unfathomable failure to do so, mindlessly following along like lemmings over the cliff.  Our generation will be held responsible for the consequences of this election, one way or the other.

We were preceeded by “The Greatest Generation.”  How will our generation choose to be remembered?



I urge everyone to “Vote As If Your Life And The Future Depended On It.” Because this time and most clearly — they do. And there are over 222,000 reasons why. Tragically, there will be even more tomorrow.

All elections are important. But some seem to be more impactful and consequential than others. I firmly believe this to be the most consequential election in my lifetime. And being seventy years old, I have seen more than a few.

Please make no mistake — this Presidential Election is about the very soul of our nation. It is about Who We Are as Americans — you, me, the guy next door, and every one of us. It is about what we believe our country should be and stand for. It is a stark choice between the darkness of bigotry, oppression, and hatred; or the light of hope, kindness, and compassion. You know where I stand now.

Writing this today — I Still Believe In A Bright Future.

But We Must Resolve To Make The Right Choices Now in order to secure that future. And then work together, hand-in-hand, to bring it about.

Let your voice be heard. Please Vote to make a difference. Please vote to reaffirm a belief in science and logic. Please vote to save the planet. Please vote to save the future. Please vote to show the world that the people of America are not what has been on display the past four years. Please Vote.

I believe that we are on the brink of a great awakening in the world. Can you feel it? The groundswell is building. It is time to close the chapter on the dark times, and step into the light of a bright and enlightened new tomorrow. Will you join us?



Together . . We . . Can . .  Do . . This!

The time to ACT — to VOTE — for the FUTURE — is NOW


“Life presents you with so many decisions. A lot of times, they’re right in front of your face and they’re really difficult, but we must make them.” – Brittany Murphy

            “Whatever you decide, don’t let it be because you don’t think you have a choice.”             –  Hannah Harrington


 

Monday Musings — What Reopening The Economy Means To Me

Regular readers will recall that I started a new feature a few weeks ago entitled “Monday Musings” based upon the Monday thoughts I share with residents of the seniors’ community where I am Resident Manager.

You can find the first ones here — Stay At Home,  Wearing A Face Mask To Protect OthersNever Ask For a Second Opinion and Useful and Proven Advice From An Old Farmer.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

As stated before, I encourage everyone to keep practicing good hygiene with regular handwashing and faithfully observe the recommended practices of Social Distancing, Sheltering At Home as much as possible to avoid unnecessary exposure, and wearing Facial Protection Masks to stop the spread of the COVID19 virus, especially as some areas open more and more in the days and weeks ahead.

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


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

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

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


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

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

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.  And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – 14th Dalai Lama


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


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


 

Monday Musings — Happy National Limerick Day!

Happy National Limerick Day!

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

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

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

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

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

Regular readers will recall that I started a new feature a few weeks ago entitled “Monday Musings” based upon the Monday thoughts I share with residents of the seniors’ community where I am Resident Manager. You can find the first ones here — Stay At Home,  Wearing A Face Mask To Protect OthersNever Ask For a Second Opinion and Useful and Proven Advice From An Old Farmer.

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

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


There once was a lady named Spicer,

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Best wishes for continued health and wellness!  — Jim  (and Red!)


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


 

One Moment Please — Laughing On The Corner #3

OVERHEARD ON THE STREET CORNER

Taking the dog for a walk the other day, I overheard two men talking at the street corner. As we approached, I noticed that one fellow seemed uncomfortable and a bit confused. He said to the other fellow –

“I have to tell you, Alex. I seem to have developed a memory problem. It just seems that I can’t remember a single thing anymore.”

“How long have you had this problem, Max?” the second man inquired.

Looking back at him with a puzzled look on his face, Max scratched his head and said – “What problem, Larry?”


These are stressful times for us all right now and for so many reasons. Whether out of work or preparing to return to work with some locales getting ready to open for business and activities again, we still need to be mindful and smart. “Opening Up” is not a signal to return to the carefree lives we led as recently as a couple months ago despite what some may say or wish.

The COVID19 virus has not magically gone away. The “curve” has flattened because everyone was sheltering-in-place at home. As folks come back out and begin to mingle again, it is inevitable that cases will spike again. If we are not careful, it may turn out that the end of the lockdown may be merely the beginning of the pandemic crisis overall.

Being mindful, eating healthy,  and still following the recommended guidelines of Handwashing, Wearing A Mask to protect others, and Social Distancing are still effective and smart strategies to protect ourselves,  families, and loved ones in these times.

Along with staying positive, finding something to smile about, and taking a minute to laugh now and then, for laughter truly is still the best medicine!

Stay positive, Be Well, and We Will All Get Thru This Together! — Jim (and Red!)

PS – If you missed the last “Overheard On The Street Corner” simply tap the link and register to be notified of every new post and never miss out.


“A nice warm shower, a cup of tea, and a caring ear may be all you need to warm your heart.” – Charles F. Glassman


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


“There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle” – Robert Alden


 

Monday Musings — Useful and Proven Advice From An Old Farmer

Happy Monday! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Advice From An Old Farmer

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


 

Monday Musings — Never Ask For A Second Opinion!

Happy Monday! 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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