Flat Stanley and his Suspenders

Nana was sitting out on the back porch with an iced tea in her hand this afternoon.  It was a hot day.  She was pondering Flat Stanley and all they’ve done since he was sent here by her granddaughter Alexa.

When Flat Stanley first moved to the farm with Nana and Papa in Massachusetts, he was slim and trim and had no idea what a chicken ate, or how to care for them.  He was a wide eyed boy full of wonder, with that beautiful smile.  He learned quickly.

He never lost this wide eyed sense of wonder.  He loves everyone and appreciates all of the kindness Nana and Papa give him.  He likes to return the favor by helping out on the farm in any way he can.

When Nana saw how well Flat Stanley did on the farm, to show her appreciation; she awarded him with a brand new pair of red suspenders.  He loved his red suspenders, and he loves helping Nana, still.

Yesterday it was gardening, today it was feeding the chickens and helping her gather and cook the eggs for Papa.  He made sure the chickens had plenty of water.  Today it was over 90 degrees and very humid.  Chickens can handle the heat, but they do need extra water; just like humans.

Nana likes to repay kindness and help around the house and farm, in any way she can.  With Flat Stanley, it was easy.  He loves her chicken fried steak, macaroni and cheese and dill potatoes with sour cream.

With the added calories in his diet, Flat Stanley soon found he didn’t need the suspenders to keep his pants up.  With all the work he was doing to help Nana and Papa, he wasn’t getting fat, but he was filling out and growing.

So the red suspenders ended up in his drawer upstairs in the bureau.  Nana calls it a bureau, but Flat Stanley knows that’s just a fancy word for “dresser.”  He still calls it a dresser, and has his red suspenders rolled up in a nice round circle in the corner of  his top drawer.  It’s a daily reminder of when he was awarded the label of “farmer,” a label he wears proudly.

Just looking at those suspenders makes him smile.  I hope this finds you smiling too!  If so, please subscribe so that Nana can send you an email whenever a new Flat Stanley adventure is posted.

 

Flat Stanley The Gardener

Nana and Papa had a garden party.  Flat Stanley was excited about everyone coming over to help Nana and Papa plant their garden this year.

“This is going to be a fun day!” Flat Stanley said with great excitement in his voice.

“Yes it is!” Nana smiled as they browsed the rows and rows of plants in the nursery.  She had to decide what vegetables she wanted in the garden.  It was hard to choose.  Who knew they had so many different varieties of tomatoes.  Nana finally settled on the little cherry tomatoes, the Better Boy tomatoes and Roma’s for the tomato sauce she likes to can in the fall.

Flat Stanley chose the banana peppers.  When Nana told him that they don’t grow bananas, he put them back.  But Nana likes banana peppers, so she put them back in the basket and added bell peppers, spinach, different kinds of lettuce and all kinds of herbs.  Nana’s favorite herb is basil.  What’s your favorite thing to grow in the garden?

Friends came over and the party got started!

Flat Stanley enjoyed playing in the pool with the kids.

But he also liked getting his hands dirty and planting the vegetables.

These are the “better boy” tomatoes.

“You can plant me right here,” Flat Stanley said, “cause I’m the BEST Boy!”

“You are the best boy in town sonny!” Nana told him with a smile.

Turning the soil was fun.  Flat Stanley loved getting his hands all dirty!

“Here you go Nana!  Here’s your favorite Basil.” Flat Stanley shouted as she left her pots boiling with corn and potatoes on the stove, to come out to see how the garden was coming along.

After all that hard work it was time to feast!

Nana had a dozen lobsters for everyone and fried chicken for any crazy soul that doesn’t like lobster.  She boiled corn on the cob and potatoes.  Flat Stanley’s favorite part of the meal was the fruit bowl!  It had fresh strawberries, blueberries and grapes.  His mouth looked like a rainbow of colors when he smiled.

I hope this finds you smiling too!  Enjoy a beautiful day!

Two Parties in Two Days? Flat Stanley is LOVING Life!

Auntie Terri came over with a surprise for Flat Stanley today.

“We’re having a party!” It’s Shay’s birthday and we’re going to have a BBQ today!”

“Two parties in two days?” Flat Stanley couldn’t contain his excitement.  You know how he does it; he tucks his hands up under his arms like a chicken?  Well he was doing that and flapping his wings.

“Cluck Cluck little hens, I’m the one at the party again!” His smile was so big as he went to feed the chickens today!

When everyone arrived, Flat Stanley got the drinks.  The kids loved the Hi C as blue as the sea.

Flat Stanley was showing off his basketball skills, Joseph and Blain were showing him how it’s really done.  SLAM DUNK!  Joseph was 20 feet from the hoop, and in it went.  This boy has skills.

After shooting some hoops, they sat on the log pile beside the barn and found a little ant.  Joseph named the aunt Adrien.  Blain explained to Nana that the ant was a boy ant and that’s why the ant wouldn’t climb on Nana’s finger.  The ant then went to play hide and seek and snuck inside the crevice, hiding from everyone.

Then Nana came out with BUBBLES!  You know how Nana loves her bubbles.  Flat Stanley was playing with Promise and Blain.  Promise would blow the bubbles and Blain would chase and POP them.  POP POP POP.

Flat Stanley had a lot of fun blowing bubbles with Joseph and Blain too.  This was a fun party!

Promise found the peony flowers on the property and her eyes lit up as bright as her smile.  Nana let Flat Stanley pick one when he asked.  The blooms are so delicate and pretty, just like Promise!  Flat Stanley’s face was just a little red, can you see it.  He was a little embarrassed, but loved the smile this flower brought to Promise’s face when he gave it to her.

But today was all about Shay.  It’s Shay’s birthday!  Shay is Briana’s friend.  Flat Stanley LOVED hanging out with the birthday girl and the “teenagers” that were so cool on the log pile.

Look at their beautiful smiles!  I hope this finds you smiling too!  Please subscribe, so Nana can send you an email whenever a new Flat Stanley Adventure is posted.

Flat Stanley and the BIG ol’ Egg

Flat Stanley woke up with one thing on his mind today.  That big ol’ egg was waiting to be cracked and he wanted to surprise Nana and Papa with breakfast!

Remember that big ol’ egg that Flat Stanley collected from the coop yesterday?

Flat Stanley carefully retrieved the egg from the refrigerator and got a little dish to crack it into.  He wanted to make breakfast!

He was surprised to see not one, but two yolks fall from the cracked shell of that huge egg.

When Flat Stanley heard Nana coming down the stairs he showed her the one shell and the two yolks.

“Look Nana!  Twin yolks!  That big ol’ ostrich looking egg had two yolks in it!”

“Good, because I’m double hungry this morning,” Nana said with a smile.

Nana helped Flat Stanley turn the stove on and stand with him for safety.  He gingerly dropped the eggs in the pan, and then she smiled when he ever so carefully flipped them without breaking the yolk.  That’s very hard to do!

Nana looked at the fruit basket and noticed a big orange that was ripe and ready to eat.  She sliced that juicy orange as Flat Stanley buttered the bread.  The butter was a bit hard, so he just had to leave it to sit and melt on the warm toast.

Papa was one happy man when he came downstairs.  A nice breakfast was waiting for him.  His smile was huge when he heard about that big plate of two eggs coming from one eggshell!  I hope your smile is big right now too.  Please subscribe so that Nana can send you a note when a new Flat Stanley Adventure is posted.  Everyone needs a free smile a day!  Share the smiles.

Flat Stanley on the Farm

Flat Stanley woke up to his usual routine of feeding the chickens their favorite treats and grains and then giving them plenty of water.  But when he went to collect the eggs, it was anything but routine today!

Flat Stanley had to hold the JUMBO egg with two hands as he brought it in to show Nana and Papa.

“I think an ostrich snuck in the chicken coop last night and laid a BIG egg,” Flat Stanley exclaimed in his high pitched voice, full of excitement.

“WOWZA!!  That IS a BIG egg!” Nana replied with equally as large eyes showing her surprise.

We couldn’t close the top of the egg container when we put it away and cannot wait to crack it open tomorrow to see if there are two yolks inside.

Today, they enjoyed the fresh fruit, BACON and fried potatoes that Nana made.

Nana and Papa had an appointment to pick out the carpet, tile and other flooring for their new house.  Flat Stanley had fun hiding between the carpet rugs that hung from the high ceiling.

He squeezed his flat body between the tiles and scared Nana as she walked by.

When it was time to go, Flat Stanley found his favorite seat in the cup holder and his stomach growled really loud.  Nana and Papa were hungry too and this made everyone in the car laugh.

Nana looked in the car computer “GPS” for restaurants in the area because we were in a place called Upton, MA.  It’s not as far up the road as a ton, but close. So Papa didn’t know what restaurants were nearby.

The GPS mentioned The Red Rock Grill and we were on our way!

While browsing through the menu, Papa started laughing and asked Flat Stanley if he wanted what they called “Jeb’s Burger.”

Flat Stanley looked at the menu and both agreed that Jeb’s Burger sounded pretty gross.  It has Peanut Butter, Bacon, Pickles and Cheddar Cheese, ON a BURGER with a bun! Would you try it?

Although, noone decided to get that burger, the food was absolutely delicious!  Papa was so happy with his Arctic Char fish that he was literally moaning.  Nana had a salad and Flat Stanley chose the ginger carrot soup.  It was all delicious.

“We’re coming back again, VERY soon,” Nana told the nice waitor as she handed him the payment.

We left and drove by a farm on our way home.

Flat Stanley loved tickling the little hairs on the chinny chin chin of the horse.  He was a handsome fellow and loved eating the fresh hay from Flat Stanley’s hand.

The pig was BIG!  Her name was Ezzie, short for Ezmerelda.  What a beautiful creature with her curious eyes, monstrous snout and cute ears.  Flat Stanley was talking to Ezzie for quite a while.

“What do you like to eat for breakfast?” Flat Stanley asked Ezzie; he continued with “I won’t tell you what I had,” sporting an evil grin.  He’s a crazy boy that loves his bacon, and making Nana smile.  I hope this finds you smiling too.  Please subscribe so that Nana can send you an email whenever a new Adventure with Flat Stanley in Massachusetts is posted.

Flat Stanley Explores Spring Flowers in Massachusetts

Flat Stanley awoke very early this morning.  He tossed and turned in his bed a bit, tried to get his pillow fluffed up just so, hoping to get back to sleep; but sleep wouldn’t come.

So, he trotted downstairs and poured a bowl of his favorite cereal, Cheerios! He likes the little circles and the crunchy chrunch as you munch.

After breakfast, Flat Stanley decided to go out and see what was going on in the yard.  There were no workermen working on Nana and Papa’s house, so he strolled out back.  He was surprised to see how many plants that were just bushes yesterday, had beautiful flowers blooming.

The hotter days really do sprout pretty flowers, he was thinking as he took a selfie with a few of them.

The rhododendron stands nearly as tall as the old farmhouse.  It’s covered in pretty purple blossoms that had yet to open, but there were a few starting to sprout their beauty.

The dogwood is one of Grandma Teresa’s favorite flowers.  Whenever Nana and Papa go for a ride in the car, she points them out and admires their beauty.  The Dogwood Tree is the state tree of Virginia…or is it the state flower?  Maybe someone in Virginia will tell Flat Stanley in the comments below.

Nana loves her pretty pink lilacs!  This bush is huge too, but you can’t stay close to it for too long.  The bees really like it and they need a safe place to buzz around.  So Flat Stanley left them to gather their nectar and do the pollination thing they do so well to help grow a lot of the food we eat.  They don’t call them worker bees for nothing, we really rely on them.

When Flat Stanley got near the chicken coop, they were very loud this morning.  They were squawking for extra treats!  So Flat Stanley ran into the barn and grabbed a few handfuls of treats.  Did you know that chickens like to eat grit?  It’s like gravel and it helps their food digest through their gullet.  They like to eat hard oyster shells that are crushed into small pieces too.

The chickens were happy to have Flat Stanley bring them extra treats today.

Flat Stanley walked back to the house and Nana was outside.  She was pulling weeds and admiring the Iris that bloomed this week.

“Oh there you are Flat Stanley,” Nana said with a smile as he trotted up.  Look at how pretty this Iris looks today!  Did you know this was my sister Valerie’s favorite flower?  I planted them all in a row here beside my porch the year she died.  I think of her and her beautiful soul when they bloom.

Nana’s smile was shadowed a bit…she seemed happy and sad at the same time.  But when she leaned down to smell the flower, it was all smiles.

I hope this finds you smiling too, hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight.  Our world needs more hugs, and of course smiles!  Please subscribe and Nana will send you an email whenever a new Flat Stanley adventure is posted.

Flat Stanley Meets a New Friend

Papa made his really good scrambled eggs and ham steak for breakfast this morning.

“MmmmMmm, thank you Papa, you make the best scrambled eggs EVER!!  They’re so buttery and yummy.” Flat Stanley said as he cleared the dirty dishes from the table.

The chickens were really happy to see Flat Stanley when he went out to give them fresh water and snacks.  Nana had some fruit that was going bad, so he brought it outside and the chickens LOVED the special treats.

After his morning chores, Flat Stanley decided to go for a little walk.  He saw a big truck backed up to the house a couple of doors down so he went to check it out.  He saw “Monstrous Movers” written on the side of the truck and the two men were struggling with a large couch.  Flat Stanley offered his help to get the couch into the house.  The movers asked him to open the door for them, and he did.  He was a big help and got out of their way as they moved the couch inside.

As he was leaving, he heard fast footsteps stomping down the stairs and turned to see a young boy about his age!

“Are you moving in here?” Flat Stanley asked.

“Yes.  My nayyyme is Kyle, and we moooved heeere from Ayylabama!” Kyle replied.

Kyle had a funny way of talking.  His drawl really drawled!

“Do you want to come over and see our chickens?” Flat Stanley asked him.

Kyle’s smile grew really wide and he asked his mom.  She was busy unloading boxes and was quick to answer.

“Yeah, just make sure that you’re back before dark, ok?” She said with an equally drawly drawl.

Nana looked out of the window and was surprised to see Flat Stanley and his new friend playing king of the mountain on the rocks and climbing on the pile of trees.

The chickens were squawking pretty loud.  They obviously wanted to meet Flat Stanley’s new friend.  Flat Stanley brought Kyle over to the chicken coop and then he wanted to go inside the coop.  They did, and Kyle liked the way they came to him and let him pick them up.  The chickens had eaten all of the cantaloupe and strawberries.

“You shuuuure are a pretty little hen aren’t youuuu” Kyle said as he held Ms. Lacy, the loudest chicken of the bunch.

After spending a little time with the chickens Kyle heard a woman hollering from the porch and watched as Nana brought a soda out for them and a beach ball they had bought for Flat Stanley in Maine.

“Thank you Ma’am,” Kyle said as Nana handed him a soda.

“What nice manners you have,” Nana replied. “Did you just move here?”

“Yes, I’m Kyle McCallister and my family just moved into the house up the road.”

“Oh is that wonderful news! I’m Nana and I have this big tomato I need to use today.  I think I’ll make BLT’s, do you like BLT’s Kyle?”

Kyle shook his head yes, who doesn’t LOVE Bacon!

The tomato was really special!  It was yellow and HUGE.

After they finished a nice lunch, the boys were back outside with the beach ball. Bouncing to a tune.

“Keep it in the air, don’t let it fall, keep it in the air, come one come all.”

Tossing the ball made them tired.  They sat on the grass to rest for a bit.

Today was a fun day for both of them and as they sipped their cold sodas, they were smiling.  I hope this finds you smiling too!  Please subscribe, so Nana can send you an email whenever a new Flat Stanley Adventure is posted.

Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend!

 

 

 

 

Flat Stanley Sings with the Birds

Nana woke up to her favorite sound.  Birds were singing in the air outside.  When she stepped carefully down the stairs they got louder and louder.  She soon realized it wasn’t a bird, but Flat Stanley doing a perfect cardinal whistle.

He’s been practicing his whistle for a long time and has really gotten good at it.  Can you whistle like a bird?

“Flat Stanley, your whistle fooled me today, I thought we had a flock of cardinals in the yard.” Nana said to him.

Flat Stanley smiled up at Nana and told her about his morning.  He got up early and went  wandering around the yard.  The storm last night left wet grass, big mud puddles and a lot of happy birds in it’s wake.

When Flat Stanley saw the big puddles of mud, you know what he wanted to do, you know he had to; you know he did!

Jump splash boom, splasha splasha splasha GOOOOOON!!!! Who’s the goon, who’s the goon?  Not me not you, SPLASHHHH!!

Nana was giggling when she told Flat Stanley to get his muddy feet back outside and go play!  It’s a nice day!

Flat Stanley was having a blast outside!  He heard the birds in the bushes and went out to say hello.  They like Nana’s sweet lilacs.

The birds flew away when he climbed up into the bush with them, so he stayed really still and quiet until they came back and he could listen to their chirps and special calls.

Did you know that you can tell what kind of bird it is just by their unique call?

The cardinal is his favorite, viiviiiiiiiw, viiviiiiiiiw, peep peep peep peep peep peep peep.

As he was chirping in the lilacs, he saw it!  The big groundhog that lives under Papa’s old shed came out to say hello!  Can you see him there ready to crawl back into his holey home under the shed?

Nana named him “Gary the Groundhog,” she came out just in time to see him scuttle back into this home.

This is what he looks like up close.

As Nana came to join Flat Stanley on the garden bench, Nana told Flat Stanley about all of the wildlife they’ve seen here on this beautiful plot of land they call home.

Flat Stanley was surprised to hear that Nana spotted a coyote, a fox and one time a mama deer and her baby doe came trotting across the backyard.

But of course Flat Stanley’s favorite critter will always be his feathered friends in the coop!  The chickens were squawking, awaiting their morning treats, so Nana and Flat Stanley brought them fresh water and food.

Do chickens smile?  If they could, they’d be smiling now.  I hope this finds you smiling too!  Enjoy your day and please subscribe so that Nana can send you an email when a new Flat Stanley Adventure is posted.  Everyone needs a free smile delivered daily!

 

 

Flat Stanley Goes to the Petting Zoo

Flat Stanley’s eyes were sparkling with excitement when Nana told him that we were taking him and Briana to the petting zoo.

“I don’t know what kind of animals will be at a petting zoo,” Flat Stanley said, “but I love all animals!  So this is going to be a fun day!”

We piled in the car and drove out of town to where the special petting zoo was being held by Klem’s in Spencer, MA.

*** If you’re local, check it out!  They’re there all weekend. ***

When we got out of the car, we were greeted with the smell of fresh hay and cotton candy!

“This is what I’m talking about!” Flat Stanley said as he smiled up at Nana.

Briana took Flat Stanley’s hand and they ran ahead of Nana and Papa to see the baby goats.  Oh she knows how badly Nana wants goats.

“I want screaming goats and fainting goats,” Nana said, as she and Papa caught up with them.  “When the screamers blat out their screams, the fainters faint like they’re playing dead!”

Flat Stanley and Briana decided they wanted to see that too!

There were food receptacles set up near every stall with the animal’s favorite treats.  They loved being fed.  Briana was a little skittish at first, but the goats showed her how it’s done.  They’re not shy!

Papa’s favorite was the baby emu.  She was so cute with her little feathers and long legs the same length as her neck!

“It looks like a walking squash,” Papa said.

“Imagine what they’ll look like when they’re fully grown.” Nana pondered to herself thinking of their long legs and neck rising much higher than her own.

Flat Stanley liked the Llamas, and as you can see, the llamas LOVED him!

Briana posed for a picture with the big Australian Cow.  It was tame and let Papa grab his horn.

Nana said she took this picture for Auntie Shana, Alexa’s mommy.  She said she was waiting for them to dance like the ones in Barbados!  But they were very still.  Flat Stanley thought they were two large rocks in the corner, until Nana pointed out their little legs protruding from under their tortoise shells.

The sheep were very hungry with their calls for food.

Can you make a sound like hungry sheep?

We kept returning to the Llama pen.  They were so friendly, and they loved being scratched and talked to.

Papa was having a nice little chat with Eliandra the Llama, when Flat Stanley came up to do a little photo shoot.  They all smiled for the camera, even Eliandra.  Can you see her smile?

Wait, here’s a close up.

Flat Stanley saw the ponies and wanted to ride!  Unfortunately, Briana said she didn’t want to, so we had to just watch the other kids.  After a bit, Flat Stanley agreed that going in a circle being held on to, was more for babies.

He wanted a lasso, and to be let loose in an arena. As he imagined this he accidentally shouted out “Giddy up and RIDE!” The toddlers on the ponies loved it! One boy raised an arm in the air playing along with him.

After a lot of fun with the animals, Briana was drawn to the smell of cotton candy.  Flat Stanley, Nana and Papa followed her to watch the man spin the sugar on a stick round and around, until it was bigger than her head!

Flat Stanley enjoyed the fun adventure and skipped to the car smiling.  I hope this finds you smiling too!  Enjoy a beautiful day and please subscribe so that Nana can send you a smile tomorrow!  Who doesn’t need smiles delivered every day?

 

 

 

 

Flat Stanley is Missing Briana and Auntie Terri

As Flat Stanley and Alexa were eating their cheesy eggs that Nana made, Flat Stanley’s mind began to wander.

He was thinking about all of the fun he’s had this week with Alexa, Jake, Jaida and all of the cousins, but at the same time had a nagging tinge of sadness.  He was missing Briana and Auntie Terri.

He knew he wasn’t alone in these feelings.  Alexa is having fun with Nana and Papa here, and loves the adventures with Flat Stanley; but she also misses her mommy and daddy who are on vacation.

Auntie Shana, Alexa’s mom and Don, her dad are enjoying an anniversary trip in paradise island; but Flat Stanley could even hear a tinge of sadness in their voices when they called home to check on everyone.

So Flat Stanley didn’t feel alone in his mixed emotions of overwhelming joy and excitement, and missing someone.

Auntie Shana recorded a fun good night video where she sings her special “good night sweetheart” song to Alexa.  Nana plays it for her at bedtime and although she smiles while she does the “tickle tickle” part back to her mom in the recording, Flat Stanley could see the sadness behind her eyes.

Flat Stanley’s happy heart strings are super excited about spending such a fun time on adventures with Alexa, but at the same time those other heart strings are pulled because it’s hard when you’re missing those you love. I wish we could all live on the same street!

It was nice to hear Auntie Terri’s voice when she called, but the pictures Briana sent, made Flat Stanley really miss home.

Briana was playing in the basement of the barn.  Briana likes to bring her friends to the creepiest places, but her friend Claudia didn’t seem to mind. She found a caterpillar!

And they finally have springtime in Massachusetts!  Look at those spring smiles in front of Nana’s forsythia bush!

And Flat Stanley loved the picture of Claudia holding Penelope the chicken!

Their BBQ looked fun too!  Flat Stanley can eat three hot dogs!  He likes his with extra extra ketsup, which usually makes a big mess, but that’s what outside BBQs are made for!

That and lots of laughter!

“You know what keeps me happy Flat Stanley?” Nana asked.  “I focus on the good heart strings, the ones that make me laugh out loud.  Like a chicken dance in my chicken pants, and the laughter of my grandloves!”

“Another thing that helps us through a sad moment is to think about tomorrow and something you have to look forward to.”

“Yes, Flat Stanley!” Alexa exclaimed. “Think about all of the hugs and kisses and tickles to come when we’re all reunited again!”

Alexa was smiling as she went on to cheer Flat Stanley up by mentioning the Cinco De Mayo party this weekend! On THE day her Mom and Dad return!  Something to look forward to brought a smile to all of our faces.

I hope this finds you smiling too!  Please subscribe and Nana will send you a daily smile!