Ready, Set, Jump Into Summer! — The 2017 CURRENTLY Summer Blog Hop

Sun screen. Observing shore birds. Relaxing to the rhythm of the waves. Splashing in the surf. Kids playing “Marco Polo” in the pool. Family road trips. Picnics in the park. Watching spring’s wildlife babies taking first flight and learning from their parents.

Buzzing bees.  Kites in the breeze.  Birds singing in the trees.  —  Summer is in the air!

My blogger friends and I are sharing summer reflections and what we are up to at the moment.  Our thoughts, special memories, inspirations and what we are loving, listening to, anticipating, working on, writing, inspirations, and more in our “C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y Summer Blog Hop.”

Please have a read and enjoy. Then visit the other #Gr8Blogs listed at the end of this post for more summer insights and  inspirations.


Currently Loving . . . .

I am currently loving the change of seasons, now from spring moving into summer. Watching the bright freshness of spring’s newly-budded leaves transitioning into  the mature forest greens of summer. The hummingbirds have arrived and are visible darting, bobbing and weaving thru the air. Fireflies in the evening should be making an appearance soon. Parent birds busy all day gathering food for newly fledged young. The garden beginning to take form. Being a native of the Midwest and then having lived in Florida for several years and now having more recently returned to my home state of Missouri, as much as I loved the beauty and beaches of Florida I always missed the traditional flow of seasons here, one into another followed by another.

Loving . . . . Spring into Summer!

Currently Listening To . . . .

Taking a step back to Florida, it was during my year’s in the Sunshine State that I discovered the Smooth Jazz genre of music, listening to a smooth jazz station in Orlando.  So, while loving the change of seasons in my Midwest home, I miss family still living in Florida and times spent together with them there. Listening to smooth jazz music, especially that of Paul Hardcastle, Jazzmasters, Peter White and the like, reminds me of Florida’s bright sunny days and trips to the beach.

And, almost without saying, Jimmy Buffett passing the time in Margaritaville, of course.  I am a Parrot Head Pirate Over Forty, and it is always Five O’ Clock Somewhere listening to Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band with a steel drum serenade. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes — works fine here, too.

Listening to . . . . the music of summer!

Currently Making Me Happy . . . .

It seems as though it has taken forever, but finally getting settled back into a creative routine following three moves in three years, and having my workroom set up again where I create the teddy bears, old-fashioned raggedy dolls, jewelry pendants and other items for my online eBay Store and Etsy Shoppe. Unpacking boxes and rediscovering materials and supplies not seen in a few years is exciting, and has gotten the old creative juices flowing again.

Happy . . . . to be creating again!

Currently Anticipating . . . .

My online stores have been sadly neglected the past couple years with many things in limbo and in storage sheds, and together with getting the workroom going and working hard now to restock, I am eagerly anticipating the official ‘relaunch’ of my stores in mid-September in time for the holiday season, together with having some of my work and books displayed and available for the first time in local shops and boutiques on Main Street in Old Towne St. Charles, a local historic district. Old-fashioned teddy bears and raggedy dolls should feel right at home there.

Anticipating . . . . new opportunities!

Currently Working On . . . .

Summer is one of Santa and the elves’ busiest times preparing for the fall holiday season, and as one of Mr. C’s suppliers for many years, my summers are no exception. It’s busy times here!

On my worktable right now are an assortment of various sized mohair teddy bears and pandas for adult collectors, together with a growing small army of little, multi-colored mini bears which I refer to as ‘Fuzzie Cubbies’, made from vintage, 1950s plush upholstery fabric in a wide range of colors.

I am also staining fabrics, preparing to restart a line of small, old-fashioned raggedy dolls suitable for children, which I refer to as ‘Little Sidekicks’.   And making hats. And Steampunk attire.  And new wooden Adirondack Chairs and Rockers that I have designed and building. And decorative bonnets for dolls.  And more adult pendants. And, and . . . . .

Working on . . . . keeping busy!

Currently Writing . . . .

When not in the workroom, I am busy with Little Red Bear and his friends writing the second collection of short stories — ‘The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The Second Holler Over!’, for a fall release.  Following the warm reception of the standalone story for Little Red Bear, ‘Pine Holler Christmas: A Little Red Bear Story’, we are also hard at work on another standalone story — ‘Walking With Trees’ — focusing on the health benefits and well-being of spending time in nature, and the reasons why preserving the natural world is so important.  We are targeting a late summer release for this story, but as you can see, we’re pretty busy with a lot of things at the moment, but keeping good thoughts.

A lot of reading, study and research involved in my writing, of course, keeping Red and I even busier, as all of the Little Red Bear stories are meant to not only be Entertaining, but also Informative and Educational, as well. Red is very good with research. He has a special quiet place he retreats to for study, but will not share with me where it is.

Writing . . . . Little Red Bear Adventures!

Currently Grateful For . . . .

I am Currently and Always grateful for YOU!  Thank You to everyone who visits and follows my work here and on other social media sites.  Thank You for your kind comments, thoughts and encouragement.  Without YOU, I would merely being having conversations with a bear residing in my head.

It is followers, like YOU, who bring it all to life, hopefully for the benefit of many, making this blog, my writing, and works devoted to Children, Family, Positivity, Kindness, and Mother Nature possible.

Little Red Bear and I are grateful for . . . .  YOU!


Thanks as always for your time visiting with us.  That is what we (Little Red Bear and I) are currently up to, and as you can see, it is shaping up to be a very busy summer here!

I encourage you to please visit and follow my awesome and talented blogger friends below to see what they are CURRENTLY up to this summer, also.

And — be the reason someone smiles today!   — Jim (and Red!)


C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y Summer Blog Hop Pages To Visit!

Julie Gorges — “Baby Boomer Bliss”
Tracy Bryan — “Children’s Author”
Auden Johnson — “Dark Treasury”
Sandra Bennett — “author”
Carmela Dutra — “carmela Dutra blog”
Cat Michaels — “Cat’s Corner”

And hey y’all, if you’re pumped about writing your own “C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y” post now, simply add your family-friendly Currently blog link to your blog post in the comment section. We’ll visit and give you some blog love too!


“A Kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” – Steve Maraboli

 

Love Is A Four Letter Word That Children Spell — “T-I-M-E”


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

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


 

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A Look Back — “Ode to Summer”

“Ode to Summer”

Vacation trips, adventures, off-roading and more,

Fun with friends and family, summer’s never a bore.

Splashing dog washes and sudsy car washes,

Out in the backyards with our gardens and squashes.

We went to the beach (with kites!) and combed the seashore,

Searching for shells and pirates and treasures of yore.

Snorkeled and swam and played in the ocean,

Slathered with sunscreen and all sorts of lotion.

Towering castles we built entirely of sand,

And it was so much fun to step off dry land.

Barbeques, grilling, picnics, cookouts and parties,

Tossing candy to kids— to each a sweet roll of Smarties!

Jumping in puddles with muddy galoshes,

Searching for Bigfoot and hairy Sasquatches.

Trips to the park and we stayed out after dark,

Watching fireflies and cheering each July firework’s spark.

Fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and parasailing,

We did it all until the wallet was wailing.

We sat in the porch swing, relaxing with tea.

Oh! What a summer we had, you next to me.

Too soon summer has ended and its now the fall season,

But it’s fun to look back, as if we needed a reason.

Artwork by John Sloane -- "Good Old Summertime"

Artwork by John Sloane — “Good Old Summertime”

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

“Hello August, My Old Friend . . .”

Happy August!  I think.  Truth be told, the month of August is a slog thru, survival test month for me.

Heat, Humidity and afternoon Headaches are a losing trifecta.  Waking up clear-headed this morning, I realized that trying to work thru a headache is like trying to drive your car with the emergency brake on. You can eventually, slowly get there, but aware of something grinding, dragging, holding you back and burning all the way.

Had another nagging, summer humidity headache yesterday afternoon and the result was, oddly enough –  a poem.    More or less.  Hard to see thru the haze, but it might be.

With deepest and heartfelt apologies to Simon and Garfunkel then . . . . . .

Hello August, my old friend.
I’ve come to sweat with you again.
Because my skin is quickly burning,
Feeling like I’m on a spit turning.
And the pain that was seared into my brain,
Still remains . . . . within the sound . . . . of agony.

“Friends,” said I, “you may not know,
Summer’s sultry heat wave grows.
Hear the forecast that it might teach you.
Use some sunscreen so it won’t scorch you.”
Hope my words, will be heeded by one and all,
As sweating . . . . we await the cooling breezes . . . . of Fall.

So here we are in  August.  That sweltering, grass-turned-brown, kids-back-to-school, muggy, hot and shriveled month that stands like the Great Wall of China between summer and the glorious season of Autumn.   Kind of like surmounting the final obstacle on the course, fighting off exhaustion to doggedly climb over the Warped Wall to finish the race and survive to reach the other side, where sweet and spicy Pumpkin Pies, Candied Apples, Cider, Cookies and the open Highway to the Holiday Season await!

Hang in there and stay cool.  Take frequent cooling breaks if working outdoors, limit physical exertion, wear loose fitting, light-colored clothing and stay hydrated with cool, clear liquids.   And please remember to bring the pets indoors with you during extreme summer heat.  They are wearing a fur coat and overheat, too.  And just like children, they overheat as quickly as we do, if not more so.  And check the backseats of cars, no one left behind.

We’re off for some iced tea and aspirins.  And a big bucket of ice.  Thanks as always for visiting with us!   —  Jim (and Red!)

Dog- Funny- Bulldog On Ice Cubes
Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.