Survey Says!

Survey Says!


Shady Pines is a wonderful community filled with all sorts of story tellin’ characters. These human and animals of all ages and backgrounds help to inspire us to be our best selves.

They especially like to help kids discover how to make good choices in life.

But we know we need to bring that positive message to you in a way you can really use. As you guide your children through these complicated times, we want to be a trusted resource of love, laughter, and bedrock values.

Your kids deserve nothing but the best!

Will you please take a moment to answer this very simple survey? Just click on the SURVEY image. It’s very important that we deliver content that addresses the charactertraits you value most. It only takes a second.

We really appreciate your input and will let you know the results soon!



Martin Luther King Day – Just In Time!

Martin Luther King Day – Just In Time!

Honoring a New President and a Civil Rights Leader

There are some important days ahead for our country. A national holiday tomorrow and by mid week, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Normally, this is a really cool event. For a lot of reasons, it’s going to be different. On Wednesday when the swearing in ceremony takes place, President Elect Biden will take the oath of office on the same steps of the Capitol where an angry mob rioted just a short time ago.

Between the social distancing we’re all doing to stay safe from Covid, and National Guard troops in Washington DC to stop any new violence, this is not going to be like any inauguration of a President and Vice President we’ve seen before. Wait a minute. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves! 

Breaking NewsI’m Scoop the Cub Reporter with The Shady Pines Gazette news and I am here with an important reminder. Before we get to the inauguration of the next president, we will honor a Civil Rights hero who stood for peaceful protest. Monday is Martin Luther King Day.

Martin Luther King Day  

This national holiday lands on the third Monday in January every year. This year, maybe more than ever, it’s a great time to help children set a respectful and kind tone for the year ahead.  That’s why my editor has me writing about it now.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted to bring compassion, fairness and racial equality to all people throughout the 1950s and 1960s. As a Babtist minister, Dr. King believed that everyone in America has equal rights. But, back then, people were treated differently because of the color of their skin. Dr. King worked on behalf of equal rights for all of us under the law.

“I Have A Dream”

On August 28, 1963, a quarter of a million people gathered at the Mall in Washington, D.C. to support Dr. Kings ‘dream’ of equality. His “I Have A Dream” speech is still thought to be one of the most powerful in American history. He called on the people of our nation to come together and treat one another with fairness and mutual respect. Here is the one line that is often quoted:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The speech was effective. Two years later, The Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law allowing people of all races the right to vote. Three years after that, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Unfortunatey, Dr. King didn’t live long enough to see those changes happen.

Civil Rights Leader Gets National Holiday

Because of his lifelong mission to create opportunity for all Americans, on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed Martin Luther King Day, into law, making it a federal holiday. With Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King looking on, the ceremony was held at the White House. Here’s part of what President Reagan said about Dr. King: “He loved unconditionally. He was in constant pursuit of truth, and when he discovered it, he embraced it. His nonviolent campaigns brought about redemption, reconciliation, and justice. He taught us that only peaceful means can bring about peaceful ends, that our goal was to create a loving community.”

Just In The Nick of Time

With all the violent protests and angry political divide in our country right now, Martin Luther King Day comes just at the right time, don’t you think? His peaceful approach to intolerance was not only the right way to encourage change, it worked!

He made progress where others had failed. Dr. King remains a towering figure in American history. Maybe we should all pause on Monday, January 18th and think about our own dreams. Ask the children in your lives what they dream about when they look to the future.

Here in Shady Pines, we do our best to treat our neighbors with kindness and caring. What about you? What’s it like where you live?

A Sherlock Holmes Mystery in Shady Pines

A Sherlock Holmes Mystery in Shady Pines


The calendar reads January 6th. You know what that means? It’s Sherlock Holmes’ birthday! He may be a crime fighting character out of books from a long time ago. But, through movies and television dramas people all over the world still follow this famous detective as he travels around London, England solving mysteries. In fact, Sherlock Holmes has a real fan living in Shady Pines Story Town.

When Edna Sanders looks out her kitchen window, all see sees is thick fog blanketing her home on Dogwood Drive across from Copy Cat Lane. “It’s dense as pea soup outside. Looks like I could be living in England. They have nothing but fog over there,” she thinks to herself.

Edna sips her morning coffee and reads the latest edition of The Shady Pines Gazette newspaper. On the second page near the bottom there’s an image and it says, ‘Happy Birthday Sherlock.’


Edna stares at the page. “Oh, golly. Oh, boy. This is great!” She claps her hands for joy. Edna is really excited. She’d forgotten what day it is. Her favorite detective of all time was born on Januray 6, 1861. Everyone knows how much Edna loves these stories. Why, one of her best friends just sent her a book for Christmas called, The Adventures of Sherlcok Holmes.

I’ve got to tell Boomer and Halley. Just then, an Australian Shepherd dog wanders in followed by a silver streak of a cat. “Good. There you are. I have big news to share,”says Edna.

Boomerang cocks his head to one side and wags his bobbed tail while Halley rubs against Edna’s leg.

“What’s up with mom?” asks Halley’s Comet.

Boomer is trying to figure that out. “I have no idea. Hope we get treats.”

Halley looks up. “Is that a book?”

“I dunno,” says Boomer.

Edna sits at the kitchen table stroking their heads. “Kids, today is Sherlock Holmes’ birthday.” Boomer and Halley just stare at one another. “Huh?”


“Let me get your chew bone Boomer, and Halley I’ll get you some tuna. Then, I’ll tell you all about him and his famous partner, Dr. Watson. He was a retired army officer, don’t you know.”

With both animals happily chewing and snacking, Edna contines. “You see kids, Sherlock Holmes is a character from books written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His most famous story was The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

Edna pours herself another cup of coffee. Halley now snoozes on her window seat and Boomer and his bone are under the table. Edna is thinking of so many things. “Here’s the deal. Sherlock is a genius. He soves crimes no one else can figure out.  That’s what’s so fun! He’s also known for that tweed hat he wears, the pipe he smokes and the magnifying glass he uses to look for clues.”


Edna continues. “Sherlock lives and works out of his home at 221b Baker Street.” All of a sudden Edna stops talking.

“That’s it! In honor of his birthday I’m going to create a mystery right here in our house. I’ll leave clues all over the place and then when Harold gets home, you guys can help him solve the case.”

Edna is very pleased with herself. “I’d better call Harold and let him know what I have in mind.” The phone rings by the cash register at the check out desk.


“Nuts ‘N Bolts hardware. This is Harold, how may I help you?”

Edna clears her throat. “Hi honey. Are you having a good day?”

Harold know Edna very well. He can tell something’s up. “I everything all right, dear? Are the kids okay?”

“Yes. Everything’s fine. It’s well… you might want to be prepared to solve a mystery when you get home,” says Edna.

“EDNA!” says Harold.

“No, nothing bad,” says Edna quickly. “You’ll just need to use all your skills to figure things out. You know, like a really smart detective. Boomer and Halley will help.”

Harold shakes his head. “What? Oh, that makes it so much better.”

“Bye, honey. See ya later,” says Edna as she ends the call. She looks from Boomer to Halley then back again. “Kids, as first rate detectives, we’ve got a crime to create and solve. We must think like Sherlock Holmes. So, let’s get to it my dear, Watson!”