Shady Pines’ Favorite Father & Gifts for Dads

Shady Pines’ Favorite Father & Gifts for Dads

Let’s Hear It For Harold Sanders

It’s time to celebrate fathers. A father is so very important in the lives of his children – even if his children have four legs! A good father guides, encourages, supports and loves his kids unconditionally. That’s why in honor of Father’s Day, we want you to know Harold Sanders is that kind of dad. He’s also the most famous father here in Shady Pines Story Town.

Harold and his wife, Edna, never had children of their own. But the day Boomerang, an Australian Shepherd dog, and Halley’s Comet, a silver streak of a cat came into their lives, everything changed. When they adopted the two strays, Harold and Edna officially became parents.They had no idea the challenges they would face as the Sanders became a family of four.A happy family hugging their pets

Boomer and Halley weren’t all that excited about becoming an instant brother and sister act. Boomerang had grown up out west on a ranch where his herding instincts made him a natural for rounding up cattle. It was when he left the U.B. Good Ranch in a pickup truck with his favorite ranch hand that everything changed. Clint had stopped for gas. Boomer heard a squirrel in the nearby bushes and took off. He wound up lost in Shady Pines.

Meanwhile, Halley was living the good life with a family up north in a beautiful neighborhood. The little girl of the family spoiled her with gifts and all the tuna she could eat. The silver kitty was used to going on trips with the family. But the vacation down South turned everything around for Halley’s Comet.

The family left her in the car for just a minute to go inside a restaurant to get lunch. They left the windows down a bit so their favorite feline would have enough air. That’s when Halley heard the birds chirping. Instinct took over and the silver streak was out the window and gone. You guessed it. She found herself lost in Shady Pines.

We’ll pause here because the whole story of how Boomer and Halley were lost, then found, is the title of the second book in their honor. A local author, Mary Jane McKittrick, decided to write about the adventures and misadventures of this blended family of animals and humans. Lo and behold, the books started winning awards and that’s how Harold and his family became famous. In fact, the Sanders put little ‘ole Shady Pines on the map! Visitors are always coming to our small Southern town asking to meet them.You can get your own copy along with the other two books in the series by going Boomer and Halley Lost and Found

If you can believe it, the books for 4-8 year olds won the Mom’s Choice Gold Award for excellence and the Pinnacle Award for Independent Book publishers.

You know the best part? Even though the Sanders’ family gets so much attention, It never goes to their heads. They’re not stuck up at all. Oh, sure, Halley can be a little snooty at times, but she was like that from the beginning. And Boomer always puts her in her place.

Edna is so creative and fun. Harold is the steady one who sets such a good example. He is a decent, hard-working man who looks you right in the eye when he talks. He believes in doing a good job, loves to laugh, and doesn’t have to raise his voice to get attention. Harold walks with quiet confidence and leads by example.

It’s funny but Boomer and Halley seem to want to please him. They feel really badly when they disappoint him. Don’t get me wrong. they’re kids after all, so they can get into trouble. That look he gives them when they’ve done something wrong is enough to snap them back into good behavior.

Folks around Shady Pines admire the man who owns the town’s Nuts ‘N Bolts hardware store with its old-fashioned soda fountain slap dab in the middle of the store. That’s where locals enjoy listening to Harold spin a story. Harold Sanders is like a lot of our neighbors who love to tell stories filled with positive themes. Seems all they want to do is inspire young children to grow up and be good people.

That’s why we’re known as Shady Pines Story Town where  kindness and caring is a way of life. People here don’t just talk about being kind to one another, they actually try to live that way. Just another reason to celebrate the contributions of Harold Sanders and all the fathers making a difference in the lives of their children!

If you’d like to help your kids make their own Father’s Day gifts we found a site that could help GO HERE


Celebrate World Oceans Day 2021

Celebrate World Oceans Day 2021

The Importance of Oceans

World Oceans Day has been recognised since 2002 and is celebrated on June 8th. I’m Zulah Talmadge with The Shady Pines Gazette and this is a topic our readers really like.

It’s the perfect time to learn about the oceans and their importance in our lives, and to think about what we can do to protect them and keep them clean and healthy.

Of course it’s also a great excuse to dive into a sea creature topic – particularly if you think about all the endangered species or other creatures under threat.

Think about it. The ocean controls the climate, providing heat in winter and cool air in summer. It also provides us with food and medicines as well as a way to get from one place to another. No matter where you live on the planet, even if you’re home is far from the sea, your life is dependant on the ocean!
This is what some famous people say about oceans:

“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer

“We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? – a world without whales. It’s too terrible to imagine.”        Pierce Brosnan, actor

“We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.”
President Bill Clinton

For More on World Oceans Day along with other specials days and events in June, make sure you pick up a copy of this month’s Shady Pines Gazette.

It’s got fun stories, recipes for families on the go and a whole lot more!


Time to Celebrate Memorial Day

Time to Celebrate Memorial Day

Time To Celebrate!

It’s Memorial Day weekend! Now that most of the country is opening up, it will be more like business as usual for this 2021 holiday. Even though the pandemic is still a reality, and social distancing is still encouraged, we are slowly getting back to normal. The Shady Pines Gazette news editor, Zulah Talmadge, put out the word a week ago that she wants the people of Shady Pines Story Town to let her know how they plan to celebrate. Now, she’s having a hard time answering all the calls coming in!

“Yes, Sara, we’re doing a bunch of different stories about the holiday. What are you and Joe and the kids doing this year? You’re going to the picnic in Stonewall Park? You’re excited that it’s back on this year. You won’t have to wear a mask because you’ve been vaccinated? Uh-huh. I see. OK. We’ll see you there around 5:30.”

The Picnic Is Back

Zulah writes a few ideas in her reporter’s notebook. The annual Shady Pines Memorial Day Picnic is a big deal. The gathering this year will be larger than last year but folks will still be encouraged to stay in their own groups as much as possible.

To encourage some distancing, parking will be restricted to fewer cars than normal and areas will be roped off to prevent people gathering in large groups. Volunteers will be on hand to help anyone who’s confused about the new rules. Shady Pines is a small Southern town with a population of around 6,000 people. So, managing “crowds’ is easier here than in some places around the country.

Gathering Story Ideas

There’s a whole lot more to this story as well as another story about the importance of this day we honor every year. But to read more you’ll need to grab your copy of the June edition of The Shady Pines Gazette. You’ll find multiple pages of Stories, Recipes to Go and Features that are perfect to take on your holiday weekend getaway or wherever your plans take you.

You can get your



Mother’s Day with Boomer and Halley

Mother’s Day with Boomer and Halley

A Father’s Approach to Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is the time when we honor all the wonderful women who do so much for their families and their communities. It’s no different here in Shady Pines Story Town.

Edna Sanders is known far and wide for her cooking and the delicious recipes she generously shares with neighbors and friends. She’s the wife of Harold and a dutiful mom to a couple of lively four-legged “children.”

When Harold and Edna adopted Boomerang, an Australian Shepherd dog and Halley’s Comet, a silver streak of a cat, their quiet household turned upside down! Each year on Mother’s Day, Harold and the kids try to do something nice for Edna.

The word ‘try’ is important to remember. Because things, as usual, don’t go as planned. You’ve just got to read what happens in the Sanders’ house when Harold takes a father’s approach to his wife’s special day. This playful story is available now in this month’s edition of the Shady Pines Gazette. You’ll find other stories, Edna’s recipes and more.           

You can get it now!


   (Special price)

It’s Cinco De Mayo Y’all!

It’s Cinco De Mayo Y’all!

Time To Celebrate

Do you know what day it is? I’ll give you a hint. The folks in Shady Pines are gearing up and ready to party because it’s Cinco de Mayo. I’m Scoop the Cub Reporter with The Shady Pines Gazette and I have newsBreaking News for you.

The fifth of May is the day we celebrate Mexican heritage. Some people think that this is when Mexico got its independace. But that’s not true. It’s really all about the date of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. So May 5th is also known as Battle of Puebla Day.

How It Got Big Here

It’s kinda interesting that Cinco de Mayo is NOT a big deal in Mexico. Today, Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, mostly celebrated in Puebla, where the battle took place. Most of the country considers Mexican Independence Day, celebrated on September 16th, to be a more important day to express their patriotism.


Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the U.S., especially in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations. Here in Shady Pines we like to use this occaision to honor the diversity of our population. We believe that kindness and compassion begins with tolerance of one another’s different cutural backgrounds. So many residents have moved here from somewhere else. We like making everyone feel welcome. 

Rita Malena our Director of the Shady Pines Community Center likes to say, “Viva La Difference!” She is having a big outdoor party at the center later today. Everyone is encouraged to bring a traditional dish of their choice like guacamole, salsa or tacos. Rita says people can dress anyway they want and that mariachi music will be played. Around the country, people will mark this wonderful occaision with parties of their own with Mexican folk dancing and such. Some of the largest festivals are held in Los AngelesChicago and Houston.

To learn more about this month’s going on in our town check out the May edition of The Shady Pines Gazette!