Saturday, August 11, 2012

How to Keep Cool When You Are Hot!

Here is a question for you Miss Molly!  How do you stay so cool (calm and peaceful) when it is really hot? I am just crabby! ~ Jennifer (age 9)

Hello Jennifer!

Yes, there is something about being too hot that makes you crabby! I can just see you--you are quietly reading and your little brother comes crashing onto the couch and takes your book. You hit him and take it back and yell at him to go away and stop pestering you. He cries as loudly as he can and calls, “Mom, he hit me!” Then you yell at mom, “He took my book!” For some crazy reason the hotter it gets, the more he pesters. The more he pesters, the madder you get! You just want to hit and scream. It is hot and nearly everyone is crabby! There is more than one way you can be hot. You can be hot from the heat which has its own type of problems. And you can be hot with anger, which creates another set of problems. But there are things you can do to help cool and calm.

Heat makes your brain turn off! You forget to think. You forget who you are and how you want to act. And you forget your manners and do and say things that hurt.

Our barnyard solution is to scatter and give each other more space. For example: The geese leave the barnyard and stay on the pond. The pigs soak in the mud. The cows, sheep and other “grass eaters” try to not move and find shade and give each other lots of space. The birds and chickens fluff their feathers so the air can cool them down. You can do something similar.

You might try these ideas:

·       Turn on the sprinkler or play in a pool if you have one

·       Ask your mom if she has stuff for lemonade

·       Suck on ice cubes

·      Stay away from the kids who fight – fighting makes you even hotter, both kinds of hot!

·       Find more good books and a quiet place to read. If you have to share the space, find some masking tape and tape off the area for each kid.

·       Do you forget manners when you are hot or angry? Think about the kind of person you want to be. Write down how you want to act so when you forget, you can read it and remember!

·        Make a list of ideas for activities that will distract from the heat
Can you help us with this list? If you have an idea that works to calm or make you cool, please share it in the comment box! Let’s see how big we can make the list!

See you down by the gate! Carol Brown

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sassy Pants here today working with Ms. Molly. I have been down over the hill in the oak grove routing around for tasty morsals. Squirrels are wonderful little critters. They hide their nuts and then forget where they put them. After a long time those nuts start to sprout--oh, they are good! But routing doesn't take a whole lot of your brain, you know, so you can think about things. Digging in the roots I remembered a story I shared with Molly and she thought I should tell the story in case it helps.

A brother and sister were outside playing; they had turned on the water faucet and were playing with the hose. Mom sent the older brother out to turn the water off because Dad said not to play in the water. Little brother and sister paid no attention and kept right on playing in the water. Older brother turned off the water before they all got in trouble. At the very moment he had his hand on the faucet Dad came around the corner. Older brother was in trouble. He loudly declared, "I was shutting it off! they turned it on and I was shutting it off because you said we should not play in the water."

Dad did not listen. He punished older brother. Later Mom told Dad that Older Brother was innocent. All Dad said was, "Guess the joke's on me!" There never was an apology. Dad never admitted that he was wrong. Young brother and sister were never punished. It was not fair and Older Brother was angry...angry at Dad for punishing him when it was not his fault and for not listening, and then for not apologizing, and then forlaughing and thinking it was funny! But it wasn't funny and it wasn't safe to be angry with Dad!

What do you do? You try to forget about it. Days and years go by and it becomes buried like those roots I was digging in, and twisted and entangled with other memories and feelings. After a while the brain has a difficult task figuring out which root goes with what memory. Everyone sort of forgot about what happened and the years went by. Years later Older Brother began to have a real problem with anger. He would blow up like a volcano and no one knew what would cause him to blow. Even he could see that he was much more angry than he should have been when his kid left her bike in the wrong place. He could see it wasn't right to be hugely angry over a little thing.

He began to dig. Like me looking for buried acorns, he had to dig through a lot of other stuff that had nothing to do with it before he found that acorn of anger at his dad. When he forgave his dad (even though his dad never apologized) then all he had was a bad habit. Forgiving Dad in his heart took the steam out of his anger. Now all he had was a habit of yelling when he was angry. He could break a habit! At first he could feel himself becoming angry but he could not stop--he still yelled. Then he would become angry but he could stop before he yelled. Then he would feel the anger rise and go back down. Finally he got so he didn't even become angry; he could talk about a problem when it was happening and sort it out! But as long as that anger was buried inside with no apology and no forgiveness he could not control his anger.

Ms. Molly thought I should say that if any of you get hugely angry about things that just need a little anger she could listen if you want to try to figure out which twisty root is connected. But mostly, kids, just work at solving the problem right then and there! If the problem is big enough maybe get an adult to help you sort things out. So if you have questions...just ask Molly!

Sassy Pants, signing off here!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Well, good morning, or afternoon, or whatever it is, it is me, Miss Molly back in blogger land! Whew, that blog hop put my wool in such a knot I thought I'd never get it combed out! If any of you readers have curly hair, you know what I'm talking about. Gracious!

Now then, our barnyard lessons are back in full swing! The new little ones are learning the lessons of the barnyard. Some lessons take a few tries before they are learned. Here is a story that I overheard as I walked by the pig pen.

Piggy #1 had a big knot on his head and came squealing to his big sister for comfort.

Big Sister: "What happened?"
#1: "I was routing for acorns and fell into the creek. I hit my head on a rock!"
Big Sister: "What were you thinking?"
#1:  "Thinking? I was trying to get acorns!"
Big Sister: "Ooooh, you were not thinking! You know choices have consequences; Miss Molly told you the story! If you choose to lean too far over the edge of the bank, you will always have consequences--you will fall on your head! Well, it is not bleeding. Better go soak in the cool mud! And next time, think before you do that!"

I could not help but chuckle. Now I think this next Sassy Pants story is about "Some learn the easy way and some learn the hard way!" I suspect that Leo Lamb and his daddy are having some differences of opinion! I have noticed that Leo has a serious case of the wiggles. I suspect that he is one of those children who need to have a way to use up some extra energy. How much of those wiggles are from his energy level and how much is because of some problem at home--well, I just don't know. There is nothing wrong with such a child. Some bodies have these extra loads of energy; those children need to have a way of learning that will burn up some of that energy at the same time they are learning. Their bodies are just different than many other folks' bodies. I am going to poke around to find a way he can be busy, yet not distracting others, while he listens to our stories.

Have any of you children who read this have a story to tell about the lessons from the Sassy Pants stories? How did you learn your lesson?  Drop us a note right below in the comment box and I will read it and we will see how we can help each other learn!

Meet you at the gate!
Miss Molly

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Where Is Everyone?

Whew! Now that the blog hop is over the barnyard is rather quiet. Poor Miss Molly is so tired from being up and at attention all day, every day for a week that she has been sleeping and gave herself a severe case of "bed head!" She refuses to be seen until she gets her wool under control!

Sassy Pants took off over the hill. I think she is routing for acorns down in the far corner of the pig pen--where hardly anyone goes. She needs her quiet. I laughed right out loud when I found Gerald and Goosie Goose. She saw me and promptly put her head under water! Bless her heart, she talked to so many people even Goosie is out of words! I never thought I would see the day! So I just waved and kept on going. (smile) Saw Old Clyde out in the clover patch by the walnut trees.

Grey Tommie is out hunting somewhere and Kitty and the kittens are under the corn crib. I didn't even hear any chickens. Oh, I know they are out and about, but usually they are singing away all happy like or someone is letting the world know that they laid an egg. Not today. The pig herd is spread out over the entire pen; the cows and sheep are also scattered about their pastures. The barnyard is quiet, even the Listening Post is still.

Well, kids, it is time for a good book. How about I make us a snack, you find a book (if your mom says it is okay, have her order it here) and we will meet down by the pond for a lazy afternoon read! Let me know what book you chose!

AND if you are in the Grand Rapids area, come see me this Saturday at the Java Gym, 2211 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. I will be there signing books!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. Brown--otherwise known as Mrs. B.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sassy Pants

Welcome Blog-hop readers! Today's Listening Post Interviews is Sassy Pants
Reported by Sis White

From the Editor: The barnyard is in quite a stir is as the second book in the Sassy Pants series is now in bookstores and online outlets everywhere good books are sold! You can find it on AmazonSassy Pants Makes Amends was just released on April 17th! That means it is now available in all the major bookstores and online sites.

We at The Listening Post thought it would be an opportune time to interview some of the main characters in the ongoing saga! Agila, one of our barnyard reporters, was first suggested to do the interviews, but she declined, preferring to remain the eyes and ears of the barnyard. She said when it came to talking she was nothing to squawk about! What a sense of humor! She suggested Farmer White’s daughter would be the perfect reporter since she seemed to know and get along with everyone, even grumpy old Billy Goat! You have already read some of her reports.

Some background on Sis: We’re calling her Sis since everyone in her family does, the only exception is that Farmer White sometimes calls her “George—his right hand man!” In the line-up of all those boys, she comes right after the biggest boy, Denny.

Sis: Hey, Sassy Pants! I’m wondering if it would be okay to just get some candid reactions to your story that’s out for the whole world to see. Are you excited? One of our own—in a book! How cool is that?!
SP: Well, I wouldn’t exactly say I am excited—a bit more like embarrassed!

Sis: Embarrassed? Why would you be embarrassed? You have really turned out well!
SP: Uhhh, ya, you said, “turned out” and that is important. That lets everyone know that I was not always the responsible barnyard resident that I am now. That time of being the barnyard bully is a time I would rather forget! So, ya, it’s embarrassing to have my past right out there in the story in black and white for the whole world to see! The only reason I consented to having my story written up was, if at all possible, I want to warn all kids to not follow my early example! That’s the only reason!

Sis: But Sassy Pants, you have such a message for the kids these days! I am really proud of you! Tell us in your own words, what would you like the kids to get out of reading your story?
SP: Two things from these two stories: The first is that choices have consequences—any choice you make will have a consequence. That’s the way it is. Some consequences you will like and some you won’t. So, kids, make wise choices. Think about the possible consequences. Really think about it—are those consequences something you can live with? Will you like it/them? If not, seriously think about a different choice!

The second thing: If you mess up like I did, ask for forgiveness. I did not like the consequences of my behavior. Apologizing and asking forgiveness is hard, no doubt about it. Making amends is even harder, but the results are worth all the hard work! It was quite a process to get to the place I am today.

Sis: So tell us Sassy Pants, just what is amends?
SP: I think Old Clyde said it best. “Amends is a way to fix a friendship when you are the one who broke it.” He was right on. Amends is just studying the friend whose friendship you broke until you find something that is really important to him or her. Then you make that become important to you too. You try to do something that will give your friend reason to trust you again. And you keep trying until trust is there!

Sis: Well that sounds simple enough!
SP: Simple, yes. Easy? No. Worth it? Yes! And, now you must excuse me, I hear the grain scoop calling! Farmer White is serving his famous Pig Soup and I don’t want to miss it!

Miss Molly's Note: When Sassy Pants was a bully she turned her sensitivity off, or tried to. She made her heart grow cold and it started turning to stone because of what she believed about what happened to her. Sassy Pants thought she had to get what she thought was hers whether or not it was! She didn’t notice or care how what she did affected others—until she was shocked out of the notion! That shock was a hard way to learn, but she learned! When we don’t understand the things that happen to us and around us we can believe things that aren’t true. We can come to a wrong conclusion. Now she is well loved and valued by everyone in the barnyard. Hers is a story of a misbehaving pig who worked hard to reform! It's a story of second chances, that should encourage us all!

You can share your story of having a second chance in the comment box below! I hope you do.
Also, be sure to hop over to the other site, click here, to leave your name and email address to enter the Giveaway drawing for a set of the Sassy Pants books or a set of the burden bearing books. The drawing will take place on the 15th after the blog-hop! We will contact the lucky winner to find out which set they want and ship them off. Then we will announce the winner! Some lucky duck will have something to squawk about!

Blessings, Miss you at the gate!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Goosie Goose

Welcome Blog-hop readers! Today's Listening Post Interviews is Goosie Goose
Reported by Sis White

Sis: Goosie Goose, thank you for agreeing to speak with us at the Listening Post about the your role in Sassy Pants' story! Our readers appreciate hearing from eye witnesses! Would you tell us what happened when Sassy Pants approached you and Gerald with this idea of making amends?
Goosie: Well, when the two of them found us our first reaction was to fluff and hiss! But then I thought better of it. That little pig was not worth ruffling my feathers over, so I put them down and Gerald followed suit. And then . . .

Editors Note: Goosie's response to the question was so extensive it would make another book! We encourage readers to get a copy of Sassy Pants Makes Amends and read the first hand account of what took place.

Sis: Tell us Goosie, do you think making amends is a good idea?
Goosie: Good idea? Oh, I think it is a wonderful way to repair broken relationships! Wonderful. It has more then repaired Sassy Pants friendship with Gerald. It has made it possible for Gerald to be the leader I always knew he could be, but I did not know how to help him over that rough spot! Sassy Pants amends has made it possible for Gerald to be a goose of destiny! One day Old Gander will be gone and Gerald will now be able to take his place as leader of the flock--thanks to Sassy Pants making amends!

Sis: Sounds to me like you have had a real change of heart toward Sassy Pants!
Goosie: Yes, I have. When Sassy Pants and Little Molly came that day, all I could think was: Why in the world was a sweet little lamb like her hanging around with that rebellious, rambunkous, ne'er-do- well, trouble making pig?! No good would come of it! But when I saw the results and realized how Gerald benefitted, I could just kiss that little pig, but geese don't seem to have lips so I guess that'll never happen. : )

Sis: Do you think Sassy Pants will be able to hold up? I mean, she hurt a lot of animals, do you think she will be able to continue making amends to everyone she offended?
Goosie: I think Sassy Pants is one spunky little pig. I think she made up her mind that this is the right thing to do and regardless of how hard it might be, I think she will do it. I'm cheering for her, that's for sure. She is a sterling pig as far as I am concerned!

Sis: So would you recommend others try to apologize, ask forgiveness and make amends?
Goosie: Yes, that is my recommendation. And my opinion is that it's the only way for lasting repair! The only way. It goes beyond "I'm sorry" and builds trust again. It's the best way!

Listening Post Editor: Our thanks to Goosie, and Sis White for this candid from the barnyard!

If readers have a question you would like to ask Goosie, Sis, Sassy Pants or Molly or any other story character, just put your question in the comment box and we will ask your question! Hop on over to my other blog, click here, to leave your name and email address to enter the Giveaway drawing for a set of the Sassy Pants books or a set of the burden bearing books. Someone is going to be a happy camper!

See you down by the gate....
Miss Molly

Friday, May 11, 2012

Old Bitty

Welcome Blog-hop readers! Today's Character Sketch is of Old Bitty, the one old hen who was a hold out as everyone else in the barnyard was willing to forgive Sassy Pants and give her a second chance. She is an example for us that sometimes people also choose to not forgive. They hold on to what they think about you and will not change their mind, no matter what. Let's see what Old Bitty has to say!

Sis:  Good morning Old Bitty; a fine day wouldn't you say?
Old Bitty: No, I wouldn't say. It's just another day of scratching for a living. That's all I'd say.

Sis: But Old Bitty! It is such a lovely spring day! It's perfect for follicking and fun! How can you be so serious?
OB:  Life is serious business, that's how. A hen has to scratch for a living you know regardless of the weather--and drop an egg a day or "The Mrs." will wonder about you. Next thing you know, she will think you are broody and get a box and expect you to sit in it all day. Like that silly Maude. She's one nervous nelly, that broody hen. Sets there all day. Gets off that nest to get a drink and a little bite and back she goes! I have more to do than set on eggs all day.

Sis: Would you explain what it is that you do in the barnyard? What exactly is your job?
OB: My job? Well, this is a job that I designed myself. There really wasn't anything that fit my personality in the barnyard so I designed it and wrote my own job description.

Sis: That's wonderful that you could do that--that way the job really fits!
OB: Wonderful? I don't think in those terms. I don't do "wonderful."
Sis: Then tell us what you do, Old Bitty.
OB: Well, I guess you could say that I am the humor police-hen. In that capacity I patrol the barnyard and put out excessive humor sort of like a fireman. I dump cold water on silliness.

Sis: Um, I see that you are very fit, very athletic. Do you get lots of exercise with this job?
OB: I should say! It's a good thing I have long legs. Whenever I hear cackeling going on outside the hen house I have to investigate immediately. I run from one end of the barnyard to the other several times a day. These young hens do not know protecal. They get to laughing and it sounds like cackeling. They have to stop the laughing. Life is serious and the only proper place for cackeling is in the hen house when you have laid an egg--it's only proper! I'm constantly putting out outbursts of laughter. You bet I am fit! And here dear readers, Old Bitty strutted her stuff! (smile)

Sis: Old Bitty, I understand that you have a definite opinion about Sassy Pants. Could you share with our readers?
OB: Humph, pigs is pigs! I do not like them. I do not talk to them. I have nothing to do with them.
Sis: But I understand that Sassy Pants has made a real change, that she is a considerate, responsible pig--and that she is a lot of fun!
OB:  Humph! Pigs is pigs. That's all I have to say!

And dear readers, she put her beak in the air and fluffed up her feathers and walked off in a huff! I wish you could have seen it. Sis stood there with her mouth open and her eyes as big as saucers! What would you call it when someone refuses to change their mind? Have any of you met someone who did not want to laugh, be friendly and nice? How did you react? Or, do you know someone who has an opinion that they will not change not matter what--just like Old Bitty? You can leave your story in the comment box. 

Don't forget to hop on over to my other blog, click here, and leave your name and email address to enter the Giveaway drawing on May 15. Some happy camper will win a set of the Sassy Pants books or a set of the burden bearing books--you choose! Until next time when I...

Meet you by the gate...
Miss Molly