Shady Pines Celebrates ‘Cause It’s Fall Y’all!

Shady Pines Celebrates ‘Cause It’s Fall Y’all!

How Do You Explain This New Season?

Hey, kids, do you want to learn some cool facts about Fall?   

I’m Zulah Talmadge. Here in The Shady Pines Gazette news headquarters we’ve been getting all sorts of questions from parents and teachers. They want to know how to explain this new season to children. So we did some research. Here are some fun facts:

Did you know that Fall and Autumn are the same seasons? Autumn is considered the formal word for Fall. Fall is when the weather starts getting cooler, leaves change color and some animals start searching for food to store for the winter.  

What Exactly is Fall?

Fall or Autumn is one of the four seasons.  The four seasons are Winter, SpringSummer, and Fall.  Fall is the season between Summer and Winter.  The first day of Autumn this year is Wednesday, September 22nd. 

The unofficial end of the summer season and the beginning of the Fall season is when the children go back to school. 

Colors associated with the season are red, yellow, orange, brown, and black.

When is Fall?

Fall begins on the Autumnal Equinox.  On the Equinox the sun spends almost the same amount of time above and below the horizon.  The sunrise and sunset are about 12 hours apart everywhere on Earth.  The daylight hours are a little longer.

In the Northern Hemisphere (where the United States is located) October is the first full month of Fall.

Fall ends on the Winter Solstice. Believe me, it can get cold here in Shady Pines!

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year.  The day has the least amount of sunlight.

The Winter Solstice usually occurs on December 21st or 22nd.

That’s right before Christmas. But let’s get back to the season at hand.

What Happens in Fall/Autumn?

In Fall you will notice that the leaves on the trees start to change color. Before you can say, “Quick Change Artist” they’re now red, yellow, orange, and brown. 

There are two types of trees – Deciduous and Evergreens.  Deciduous tree leaves change color but Evergreens do not. Christmas trees are evergreens.

So why do the leaves change color and drop from the trees?  Lack of food and water is the answer. Look around downtown Shady Pines and you’ll see the change of color in the plants and flowers.

During the Fall the days get shorter and the stuff in the leaves called, chlorophyl cannot get enough light from the sun needed to make food.  The leaf lives off the stored food and starts to lose chlorophyll and its green color.

As the chlorophyll leaves the leaf the yellow and orange colors start to show.  When all the stored food is used up the leaf dies, turns brown, and falls from the tree.

                         Fun Fall Things To Do

Do you want to know something else?

A lot of fun activities happen during Fall. For many Shady Pines families, it’s become a tradition to take the children out to pick pumpkins and apples during this time of year. Besides carving pumpkins, (sometimes for prizes) there are also good tasting recipes for pumpkin bread and apple cider.

We’ll have more on that later.

In the meantime, you might want to go shopping. The temperatures are getting cooler and it’s time to get ready for sweater weather. 

You might want to stock up on warm socks, hats, mittens, boots and galoshes. Yes, even those rubbery boots will come in handy. Kids can find so much to do even on those rainy, puddle-filled days.

With each new season there’s another chance to think about ways to be kind to our family members, neighbors, and friends.

And that’s not just a Fall thing. It’s and everyday thing in the small Southern town of Shady Pines.  Happy Fall to one and all!!!  – Zulah Talmadge

This Fourth of July – Safety First

This Fourth of July – Safety First

 Playing It Safe on The Fourth

The Fourth Of July will be here before you know it. Breaking NewsI’m Scoop the Cub Reporter with The Shady Pines Gazette news. My editor, Zulah Talmadge, has me covering this American holiday from all angels – including safety.

I can tell you one thing’s for sure. Planning for this special day has been going on for weeks. Most of the schedule is being put together by folks who work for our mayor, Beauregard P. Fibbs. As a result, there’s all kinds of commotion swirling around Town Hall in downtown Shady Pines Story Town.

The Show Will Go On

Instead of working from home like they had to last year, employees who are vaccinated are back in their offices. They’re dashing in and out of offices, having last minute metings and are always talking and texting on their cell phones. These employees have to let their neighbors know what they can and can’t do on the Fourth.

At the top of the list of safety is – no fireworks in your backyard. That includes sparklers or any other kind of fireworks. Too many children got hurt last year. So our public officials are telling everyone that they will pay a fine if they get caught using them.

But, the good news is the public fireworks display will go on just like before the pandemic. Everyone was sad that it had to be cancelled last year.

You can see them from a lot of areas, but you’re being encouraged to find a place to sit down by the lake if you can.  That’s the best place to be ’cause you can see the reflection of the fireworks in the water. The light show in the sky will start when it gets dark enough, probably around 8:30 pm or so.

More Events

I have more good news to share. There will be a parade down Main Street. You know that’s going to be a hoot with kids on bicycles, fun floats, the Fire Department engine, clowns, pets, and all the rest. We’ve heard that the marching band form nearby River City High School will be marching and playing as they go.

Around 5pm we’ll have the big ‘ole barbeque in Stonewall Park. A lot of businesses in town like Fred’s Corner Grocer, Maggie’s Diner and Cup ‘O Joes coffee shop are donating some of the food and drinks. But you’re encouraged to bring some dishes to share with others.That’s a kind thing to do, right?

Also, the Community Center is having an ice cream get together for the little kids and  some of the teenagers, like me, are going to have a sailboat race in the early afternoon.

The Mayor is Busy

Meanwhile, the way I hear it, Mayor Beauregard P. Fibbs is getting a bit hot under the collar. He sits at his big wooden desk in his office at City Hall and answers one phone call after another. He gets more frustrated by the minute. Finally, he calls for his assistant.

“Beth,” he shouts, “Will you come in here please!”

A moment later, a tall young woman appears in the mayor’s doorway. Beth Dowd has been the mayor’s assistant since graduating from college three years ago. “How can I help you?”

Mayor Fibbs gets up and starts to pace back and forth. “Beth, there’s not much time. We need to get our arms around this Independence Day safety situation.”

Beth can see that the mayor is really upset. “I completely agree. The planning committee is meeting downstairs right now. They’ll get the word out on events and do’s and don’ts this year.”

Pets and Veterans

As he paces with his hands clasped together behind his back, the mayor is nodding. “That’s good. I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve taken from animal rights groups. Don’t folks realize how much our pets get upset by the sound of fireworks? The poor animals don’t feel safe in their own homes for cryin’ out loud!”

Beth understands. “My dog, Scruffy, runs into the closet and hides at the sound of the first fireworks he hears. He just shakes. It’s really bad.”

Mayor Fibbs is getting worked up. “And another thing. What about our veterans? I just got a call from one of our retired generals. He reminded me these men and women have been to war. The sound of fireworks takes them right back to the battlefield. You talk about upsetting.”

Beth frowns. “Oh, my gosh. That makes sense. I’d never thought about that before.”

Get The Word Out

Mayor Fibbs has an idea. “Beth, call over to The Shady Pines Gazette office, will you? Ask Zulah and Scoop if they can come over here.”

Beth claps here hands. “That’s perfect. They can do a story and spread the word. I’m on it.”

As Beth leaves, the mayor returns to his desk. He jots down some thoughts about what he wants included in the interview he is about to give. Besides safety for pets and veterans on the Fourth of July, he wants safety for children included in the story as well.

“We all need to watch out for one another and be sure the most vulnerable among us are protected,” he says out loud. “Compassion should never take a holiday.”

Well, that’s our cue. Ms. Talmadge and I are on our way to see the mayor. All of us in Shady Pines hope you and your friends and family have a happy and safe Fouth of July.

– Scoop out!

*** Please leave us a comment and let us know if you liked the story***

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


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)

Confusion Around the Super Bowl

Confusion Around the Super Bowl

Kicking Off  a Super Bowl Dilemma 

In Shady Pines Story Town, and all over the country, people are buzzing about the upcoming Super Bowl. The famous football game with be played this Sunday in Tampa Bay, Florida. The Tampa Bay Bucaneers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the national championship. Both teams want to take home the shiny Lombardi trophy.

But in a house on Dogwood Drive across from Copy Cat Lane, there is some confusion about this big-deal event. Let’s find out why.

Edna Sanders looks over her recipe book and makes a grocery list. Everyone knows that snacks are one of the main ingredients for a successful Super Bowl experience. Even if it’s a boring football game, the food can make up for it. “Goodness me,” says Edna. “What have I served in the past that was a real winner? Oh, chicken wings, of course!”

PIcking A Winning – Recipe

Edna’s husband, Harold, has been working in the garage. He comes into the kitchen to wash his hands. “Hi,”  says Edna. “Did you fix the cabinent doors?”

“Yep. Good as new. I don’t think they’ll creak anymore when you open them,” says Harold. What are you doing?”

“I’m figuring out what to make for Super Bowl Sunday. Since we can’t invite anyone over because of Covid, I’ve made a plan with some of our friends,” says Edna.

“Really? What’s the plan?” asks Harold as he sits down at the kitchen table.

“We’re going to swap recipes so that we’re all eating the same thing. Then, when we do our screen to screen call and watch the game together from our own homes, it’ll be a party. Well, at least a 2021 – style party!” Harold nods his approval. “What a good idea. Which one are you going to share?”

“I’m going with my super-duper chili,” says Edna.

“That’s a winner!” says Harold. Hearing the sound of paws scampering in his direction, Harold looks up.

“I did it Boomer. I beat you to the kitchen, ” says Halley, a bit out of breath.

“You did not,” gasps Boomer. “I gave you a head start.”

“Did not!”
“Did, too!” Boomer turns his back on the silver streak of a cat and plops down next to Harold.

“Hey, boy,” says Harold stroking the handsome dog’s head. “Is Halley messing with you again?”

Boomer pants. “At least someone understands.”

Oh, puh-leeze,” says Halley as she jumps into Edna’s lap.

“Oh, my goodness Halley,” says Edna. “You startled me!”

Harold chuckles. “What are we going to do with these two?”

Edna shakes her head. “I’m not sure. Why don’t you take the kids outside and I’ll go to the store?”

Harold gets up ftrom the table. “Good idea. C’mon you guys. What do you say we do some yard work?”

Boomer barks with joy.

Getting Super Bowl Snacks

Halley shakes her head. “Did he say work?”

Edna has her list and picks up her purse. “Harold, maybe I should take Halley with me. You know how she likes to help me shop.”

“Okay,” says Harold. “Just don’t let her pick out the most expensive tuna again!”

Edna kisses him on the cheek. “I won’t. See you boys soon!”

“All right Boomer. It’s just you and me boy. Let’s go!”

Boomer barks and wags his bobbed tail.

Chillin’ With Chilli

Now back at the house, Edna prepares to chill and make her chilli. She places all the ingredients together on the kitchen counter. Halley watches from her window seat before drifting off to sleep. Boomer crunches down on his favorite chewy bone. Harold is in the den watching sports on TV.

“All right you guys. This game on Sunday is special so that means just one thing. I’m using my Super Bowl,” says Edna.

Boomer looks up and cocks his head. “Huh? Psssst. Hey, Halley. She’s using what?”

Halley opens one eye. “I dunno. Who cares?”

Boomer gets up and looks right at the sleepy cat. “I heard Dad talking on his cell phone to one of his friends,” saays Boomer. They were arguing about who is going to win the Super Bowl.”

Halley sits up.  Now she’s bothered. “Why would anyone want to win Mom’s mixing bowl?”

The dog and cat stare at one another. Boomer shakes his head back and forth.

“I don’t get it. Did Mom ever use that big ‘ole bowl to make something for us?” asks Boomer.

Super Sized Confusion

Halley scruches up her face. “Don’t think so.  So, it can’t be that great. Why would anyone want it?”

“I have a better question,” says Boomer. “Why does she call it her Super Bowl?”

Now Halley is really confused. “What will Dad’s friends do if they win it? They don’t cook!”

Meanwhile Edna is humming. She loves to create delicious meals. “I think I’ll make enough chilli to pack individual servings. That way I can share some with our neighbors.”

Edna looks down and sees Boomer and Halley staring up at her. “What in the world is going on with you guys?”

You probably can’t clear up the confusion for Boomer and Halley by game time Sunday evening.

But you can join in on some Shady Pines fun by clicking on this link to: EDNA’S SUPER DUPER CHILI RECIPE


Boomer is Jealous of Biden’s Rescue Dog!

Boomer is Jealous of Biden’s Rescue Dog!

A Doggone First

A new resident at 1600 Pennsyvania Avenue is in the spotlight and a famous resident of Shady Pines has a problem with that. Boomerang, the Australian Shepherd who lives with his adopted parents, Harold and Edna Sanders, is all fussed up. Boomer watches the television screen in his home on Dogwood Drive. He hears that a couple of German shepherds will be living with the new President of the United States!

“I don’t believe it,” he says.

But that’s not what’s got Boomer all hot under the collar. One of those dogs is getting a bunch of publicity for being adopted from an animal shelter. “Come on!” says Boomer. “I’m a rescue, too. What’s so great about him?”

Don’t Be Jealous!

Halley’s Comet can’t believe what she’s hearing. “What is wrong with you, you overgrown fur ball?  “You sound like you’re jealous.” Boomer whirls around and stares at her.

“Halley, you’re such a pain,” says Boomer. 

“Well, then, tell me why you’re acting this way,” she demands.

“I just don’t understand why everyone is making such a big deal out of this guy. I mean he even gets his very own ‘InDoguration’ ceremony! Look. See for yourself. It’s On TV Right Now.” CLICK HERE

Halley watches the screen as the story flickers in front of them. She is only mildly interested. The story is about dogs after all. “How come the First Family doesn’t have a cat?” she wonders.

The TV story says when Joe Biden and his wife Jill, move into the White House they’re bringing along Major, a rescue dog. The German shepherd is the first shelter dog ever adopted by a first family. He’s brother to another German shepherd named, Champ. The Biden’s adopted Champ as a puppy from a breeder in 2008 while Joe Biden was serving as vice president in the Obama administration. 

Not An Inauguration. An InDOGuration

The InDoguration is a virtual, zoom event to raise money for the Delaware Humane Society. That’s where Major was living when Joe Biden found him.

“Look at all those people in those little squares on TV showing off their pets. Why didn’t we get in on this Zoom thing?” asks Boomer.Adults reading a book

Halley shakes her head. “I dunno. Maybe mom and dad didn’t know about it.”

“This is unbelieveable,” says Boomer.

Halley walks around Boomer and stares him right in the face. “Will you cut it out? They want people to adopt pets from shelters. That’s a good thing, right?”

Boomer tilts his head down to one side. “I guess so.”

Living In A Blended Family

“Besides,” says Halley. “That author lady wrote a whole book about how WE were adopted. Did you forget that?” BOOMER AND HALLEY – LOST AND FOUND

Boomer looks up. “That’s true. We’re on the cover and everything.”

“So stop being jealous,” says Halley. “We wound up with great parents and a nice place to live.”

Boomer nods his head. “Yea. But do you remember what we were like in the beginning?”

Halley closes her eyes. “I have no idea what you mean.”

Boomer rocks back on his haunches. “Well, let me remind you!”

“Oh, No! Boomer!”

And with that, Boomer chases Halley out of the room and around the house on a beautiful day in the small Southern town of Shady Pines.