Posts tagged ‘family’

Do you do this…?

Charlie Bear 1

Charlie Bear here.

Mom Peep does something kinda cool. She flies to Wisconsin for a family reunion every year where she gets to see her Great-Granddaughter, Aubree:

Aubree and frosting

and all the gang.

Dells May 2014 (56)

She comes back filled up with love and hugs and laughter and even sometimes tears. They have a close-knit family and they rely upon each other. Me? I’m a roamer and a rover and a free spirit. I was found running around the streets of Los Angeles.

I envy the love Mom Peep has with family. Oh, sure, as dogs you wouldn’t think we’d crave family ties, and since I never knew my “parents” I can’t really miss them. What I have now is good, really good. Dad Peep loves me. Mom Peep loves me. I have all I need right here. Maybe you’ve had to turn away from something not so good and now you’ve found something great?

I understand what Mom Peep goes after when she goes away. Do you? Do you have a place where you prepare meals together, sit around and chat, play card games or hide ‘n seek?

Share where you might be going this year, or whether those loved ones are right around the corner and you see them all the time.

Tell us what makes you happy deep down inside.

Wiggles and Woofs,
Charlie Bear

February 24, 2015 at 8:31 am 6 comments

Being “in the moment”…

Charlie Bear here. Mom Peep went to Wisconsin the first weekend in December for Great-Grandbaby Aubree’s first birthday.

Aubree and Christmas 2014 (2)

She even went along to see Santa.

Aubree and Christmas 2014 (71)

Mom Peep knows that spending time with family is precious. And she knows the importance of being “in the moment.” Like when Grandson Nick said on Sunday, “You only have two more nights and then you’ll be going home already.”

Mom Peep replied, “I’m not even thinking about that. We have lots more fun stuff to do yet.”

But she wasn’t always that way. Years past, she would stress out, have a sad face, and even cry BEFORE she was at the airport and on a plane back to California.

Now, she makes the most of every moment. Even watching two movies that weekend Colton picked out: Purge: Anarchy (which was really good from a novel-writer’s perspective), and Divergent (again, mom analyzed it from a writer’s perspective and just knew there would be a sequel…and there is! It’s coming out in March she thinks).

There was the rare alone time with Colton where they enjoyed root beer floats (yum…Mom Peep LOVES those), and the at-home tailgate party where the gang watched the Monday night football game all cozy in their home. They ate loaded nachos and chili cheese dogs and opened Christmas gifts during halftime.

Aubree and Christmas 2014 (123)

Mom Peep says: Love the ones you’re with and ENJOY EVERY MOMENT.

Some of you have to be here, there, and everywhere for Christmas. That’s the hard part of having lots of family, but isn’t it also the good part? When you walk in the door of one house, leave all the traffic problems and sour pusses behind. Enjoy being with your loved ones. And when you have to move on to the next location, do the same thing: Enjoy those loved ones too.

Mom and Dad Peep and me, one lucky dog, want to wish you the happiest, safest, most memory-filled Christmas ever!

Merry Christmas.2

Snowmen three

Woofs and wiggles,
Charlie Bear, Mom and Dad Peep


December 23, 2014 at 10:25 am 8 comments

Do You Know This Guy?

Charlie Bear here with a Taylor’s Tips Newsletter post from Mom Peep. I like this one, cause the little guy is kind of like me.

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

I have a friend who sits in my bookcase in my office. He’s green with bright red eyes, and he’s made out of rubber.


His name is GUMBY and the reason I love him so much is because he reminds me to bend, to go with the flow, to look at things in a happy way.

Like now, with the holidays approaching, it is definitely a time when we really need to be flexible, open, receptive to changes and upheaval. For instance, who is coming to dinner, who is not? How many places should I set? Will there be in-laws? Outlaws? Barely-know-you new family members?

Will they arrive on time or be late? Will dinner burn or dry out? Will I have enough gifts for everyone? Did I spend enough? Will it look like I’m cheap if I don’t overspend? What if I want to craft a gift for family instead of spending lots of money, will that go over okay? What will others think of me?

Will I get everything done? The shopping, the wrapping, the shipping, the baking, the cleaning, the ho-ho-ho-ing. Can I keep a happy attitude this holiday season or fall into a funk of not enough time and too much to do?

Gumby is all about being flexible.


Just look at him. How could you not be relaxed? Look how happy he is. Can we be like that (at least part of the time) this holiday season? I’m going to try, how about you? Who knows where changes will take us. I plan on welcoming them all, friends, family, in-laws and outlaws. The future will take us where we are meant to go and as the days, weeks, months, and years fly by, I’m going to be a Gumby and relax and go with the flow.

Oh, and while we’re at it, what about our writing? Gumby has a friend. His name is Pokey.


When it comes to our writing career, isn’t Pokey appropriate? Things move slowly (especially during the holiday season), so my expectations have to be pokey too. And can’t we say that we also don’t know where the publishing industry is going, who is at what publishing house, who is acquiring, who is buying, what is selling, what should we be doing in all this? We’re surrounded by changes, and that’s again where Gumby comes in.

Let’s embrace the unknown instead of fear it. Let’s welcome changes. We could waste precious time railing at the injustices in the publishing world, but instead, how about accepting it and going with the flow?

Gumby and Pokey Christmas

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…

What’s Going On:

Has your family asked you, “Mom/Honey/Darling, what do you want for Christmas?” And have you rehearsed your answer? “A contribution to my conference fees would be fantastic!” Start an envelope and drop in those donations (aka Christmas gifts of cash) and you’ll have the funds when you need it. See you at one (or maybe both?) of these wonderful events.

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle). I’ll be teaching Writing for the Guideposts Contest and Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. There will be lots to learn, editors to meet, agents to talk to. Don’t miss it.

Orange County Christian Writers Conference  Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. A great conference with a fabulous staff devoted to giving you the best opportunity to learn your craft.

P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell My self-imposed deadline is almost here. I’ll be sending the manuscript off to the wonderful people who volunteered to be beta readers. If you are on the list, watch for an email from me soon. And know that I appreciate you!

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5.0 out of 5 stars I just want to say I really loved the Book, November 23, 2014
This review is from: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances (Paperback)
I just want to say I really loved the Book!!!! I did not want it to end. I love books that you pick up and start to read and by the first page you are into it, and don’t want to put it down. I could vision everything that B.J. Taylor was writing about. She has a really neat way of explaining things happening. I loved Charlie Bear’s messages too!
This book is a must have for any animal lover out there. Will make great Christmas gifts, I have it on my list.

* * * * * *

For Charlie Bear’s dog blog:

To see his photo shoot for the Guideposts story:

He’s also on Facebook: 
and on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

P.S. Have a friend who might like to receive Taylor’s Tips? It’s easy…all they have to do is send me an email that simply says, “sign me up.” Sweet as cherry pie.  lol

B.J. Taylor

November 25, 2014 at 11:29 am 4 comments

She’s Back…

Charlie Bear here.

Mom Peep is home. She’s happy, sorta healthy (she has a bit of a cold or something), and hungry for more time with loved ones when she can get it (maybe later this year).

Charlie Bear August 2013 (3)

I watched for her the entire time she was gone (well, when I wasn’t in Dad Peep’s lap getting snuggled).

She’s got lots to tell you about her precious Great-Grandbaby Aubree but she’s getting caught up. So let me just say on her behalf:

seeing family is THE BEST!

But I’m glad you’re home, Mom.

Wiggles and Woofs to you all,
Charlie Bear


May 30, 2014 at 11:18 am 10 comments

Ever Feel that Pre-Trip….?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Do you ever feel that “pre-trip rush” that happens when you get so excited about where you are going, who you are going to see, what you are going to do?

MH2013 002

Marilyn, Lisa, Rick, Marci, B.J., Wanda at 2013 Mount Hermon Writers Conference

That happens to me when I go on vacation, travel to Wisconsin to our family reunion, or journey to a writers conference. The weeks before are filled with packing, planning, preparing workshops and outlines. I’m giddy and thrilled to be visiting with loved ones, having special one-on-one time with my agent, or meeting with writers whom I enjoy supporting and encouraging.

MH 2013 Night Owl on Chicken Soup with B.J. Taylor
Mount Hermon 2013 Class on Writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul

Then what happens? I come home. And the “post-trip blues” hit. I miss the long days and longer nights of talking and sharing. I miss my arms wrapped around my loved ones and writers who need a hug. I miss it all.

What I don’t miss are the frantic runs through airports when flights have been cancelled. Or when the plane needs to be de-iced before takeoff or I get the middle seats all the way from point A to point B. Ahhh….but I can handle all those things, when I know the treat, the reward, is right on the other side.

Family Fun Dells Aug 2013 (158)
Family Time at Wisconsin Dells 2013

When the “pre-trip rush” gets your adrenaline going, enjoy every moment of the preparation, planning and being there. And when the “post-trip blues” threaten to rain on your joyful memories, remember the thrill of happiness, and then get right into preparation and planning for the next trip. It helps me every time!

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…

What’s Going On:

What Just Happened? I had the BEST time at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. It was so laid back, so much fun (even a karaoke night! You would not find me singing…but I loved hearing others!), wonderful support staff, fabulous conference directors (thank you, Eva and Mark), fabulous writers who shared their passions. It was a joy to be there. Keep it in mind for 2015. If you put away say $25 a month between now and then in a special envelope in your desk drawer marked “For My Writing Passion”…you’d save up a nice chunk to pay your way. As Nike says: Just Do It! You’ll be glad you did.

What’s Coming? The Orange County Christian Writers Conference, that’s what. It will be held April 25-26, 2014 with new directors, new staff, a well-thought-out website, and a great team of people (count me in). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. Are you ready to learn?

* * * * *

A recent review from: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances

5 out of 5 stars – January 26, 2014 by “vincerine1987” (Pinelands of New Jersey)

Get a box of Tissues …

Then plan on an all night read through …
I love animal stories to begin with …
This little pup will pull @ your heart strings …
& just maybe teach a thing or two …

* * * * * *

Sign up here to get free posts of Charlie Bear’s blog musings:

He’s a little munchkin, and a bit of a ham, too. Here’s the furry monkey in his magazine photo shoot and the story in Guideposts.

Not one to slight his fans, Charlie Bear is on Facebook:
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

Without shame, Charlie says: Check me out! I have a H A R D C O V E R book! You can find it here:

B.J. Taylor

March 4, 2014 at 9:06 am 6 comments

Do You Have One?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…(from B.J. and not Charlie Bear)

Dear Friend,

Do you have annual gatherings? Traditions? Things you like to do all the time?

Maybe you always make a turkey for Thanksgiving and a roast for Christmas. Maybe you gather at a beach house in the summer with friends or family. Maybe you play board games or sing songs when together with loved ones.

There’s something special our family does. We call it our annual family reunion (not very original, but it works). It started out at a hotel when my Mom was still here. We’d rent rooms at this cool place that gave us free breakfast and chocolate chip cookies at night. It had a pool for the kids and it was all enclosed inside so we always knew where everyone was and we could gather at the many tables or in the pool area for loads of fun.

Family Fun 2010 (136)

My brother with his grandchild Gianna (now she’s four!)

Then we branched out to a water park with a condo. We put everyone inside a place where we could make meals together (what fun that is!) and the water park admission was included in the price. We had a blast at the many slippery slides and drop-off tube rides (one time was enough for me on that one).

Christmas 2012 (75) Christmas 2012 (74)
Kaitlyn and Paul making breakfast for the gang.

There’s also something that has become a tradition: Christmas cut-out cookies. The first time we did them it was 2002 and the kids were really little.

Colton and Amanda in 2002

Now, there are new little ones like 4-year-old Gianna and Nathaniel and Jadin. And we’re doing it a bit different because it isn’t Christmas this time. I made cut-outs of stars and moons and girlie figures in honor of upcoming baby-under-construction Aubree. I’m bringing the frosting and colored sugars and we’ll spread them all out on the dining room table and everyone will pitch in and decorate.

Whether it’s summertime, wintertime, Christmastime, or any time…family is the best. What traditions, gatherings, or things do you like to do with loved ones?

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…

What’s Happening:

A recent review from: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances 

5.0 out of 5 stars The blessings of pets, June 20, 2013

By Tammy D Ditmore

“Living with animals is not always easy. They can create problems, cost us money, take up our time, and ultimately break our heart. But I’ve come to believe that pets are a blessing from God because they can teach us so much about the world and about ourselves. B.J. Taylor does a magnificent job of describing the difficulties, the frustrations, the pain — and the blessings. Anyone who has ever willingly given their heart to–or had it unexpectedly stolen by–an animal will appreciate this lovely little book.”

The CHARLIE BEAR book is now available in H A R D C O V E R…can you believe it? Charlie Bear thinks it’s gorgeous (I have to agree). You can find it here on Amazon:


Working on my writing a bit this summer. Just submitted a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game. Hope they like it. What have you been doing as far as your writing?

Coming up in October: Antelope Valley Christian Writers’ Conference October 10-12, 2013 will be a fun event. This conference has been around awhile, but this year it will be in a new location at The Oaks Camp and Conference Center. Join me?

* * * * * *


Charlie Bear posts on a blog at He’d love it if you signed up  to get the free posts.
Woofs and Wiggles to you, says Charlie Bear

Charlie Bear’s story is in Guideposts magazine! There’s also a cool picture of him with his Dad and Mom Peep:

Charlie Bear is also on Facebook: and on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K
He loves “likes” and “follows.”

August 6, 2013 at 9:35 am 6 comments

Ever Feel Like a Horrible Cook?

Charlie Bear here with a sad Mom Peep. Actually, let’s call it what it is: an embarrassed Mom Peep. She had the family over for a Sunday BBQ. It went horribly wrong.

Now, let me set the stage and tell you Mom Peep’s history. First, she is not a good entertainer. She never seems to get it right…the setting, the dishes, the cutlery, the atmosphere. Second, she is not a good cook. She admits it (and I have to agree that most of the time she’s right). She makes a great salad, passable meatloaf, chicken tenders, spaghetti. But culinary skills are not in her repertoire (and that’s a really big word for a pooch like me).

corn on cob

Anyway, she made the ultimate mistake of having too little time to prepare and then second-guessing Dad at the BBQ. They made roasted corn-on-the-cob by soaking them husk-on in water and then putting them on the grill. Those did turn out really good. Mom says it reminds her of going to the State Fair back in Wisconsin with some of the kernels a bit blackened and the corn nice and soft.

dad grilling

But then Dad did the steaks (it was Father’s Day) and Mom came out and made a big faux pas. She told him they were done and made him take them off…and it turned out bad. They were too rare, they had to be put under the broiler in the kitchen ’cause the grill was already off, and half the family ate before the other half. Not fun.

So Mom feels bad. I do too ’cause no one even gave me a small piece of meat.

Charlie in Backyard

Any suggestions for how to help Mom Peep the next time she has family over?

Wiggles and Woofs for a happy grilling summer (though probably not at our house…lol),
Charlie Bear

July 2, 2013 at 8:40 am 14 comments

Is there a better present?

Charlie Bear here with a special Christmas greeting.

Charlie Bear the Present 2012

May you have a wonderful, fulfilling, merry and joyous couple of days with your family, friends, and loved ones. Sometimes things are not always the way we want them to be. Sometimes we have to make adjustments in our expectations. Sometimes we have to have acceptance in abundance.

Mom and Dad Peep say that I’m a great present to them. I say, nope, that’s not the case. They’re the best present to me. See, without them I’d be on the streets in LA, starving for attention, foraging for food, cold and alone. I have LOTS to be grateful for.

Mom Peep tries to always be positive, but there’s something that’s bothering her a lot. This joyous time of year can also be filled with sadness. Mom Peep’s Mom went to heaven on Dec. 20 just two years ago, and that’s sad for her, but losing a mom is a lot different from losing a child. Mom’s heart is heavy with tears for those who have lost special little loved ones this holiday season. So it is in many households that sadness rocks their Christmas world. There are no words to say to make it better. May God comfort each and every Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, and family who have lost someone special.

the little shepherd

And may you have a special Christmas.
Love to ALL.

Wiggles and Woofs,
Charlie Bear (and Mom and Dad Peep too!)

December 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm 12 comments

What Does an Early Christmas Bring?

Baby Hailey

Charlie Bear here with some exciting news. Christmas is coming early for Mom Peep this year. She leaves today to fly all the way across the United States (well, from California to Wisconsin is almost all the way across) to see the new Great-Grandbaby Hailey. Mom was all wiggly today, kind of like me when I’m super excited and can’t stop wagging my tail. At least she didn’t get down on the floor and turn over for a belly rub!

Mom Peep says that anytime you are with family and loved ones it is Christmas. Doesn’t matter if the date is not exactly the 25th (the most joyous day of all). She says she’s perfectly fine with it being ten days ahead. Oh, and another thing she says she doesn’t mind: the cold up there. A friend said to Mom, “Aren’t you kind of nuts, going to Wisconsin in the winter?” To which Mom told me she chuckled inside and then replied, “The weather doesn’t matter one bit. I’ll warm my arms around each child, grandchild, great-grandchild, and loved one. My heart will burn bright red embers from the inside out.”

I have a feeling Mom would do anything to spend time with her loved ones. She even wants it to snow. Yes, snow! Can you imagine? White fluffy stuff on the ground, stuck to the rooftops and mailboxes, outlining the bare branches of the trees, stacked up on the high electrical wires. Pristine, newly-fallen, virgin snow. Kind of like a special family who brought a special someone into the world on Christmas morning.

What does Christmas bring? Love. Even an early Christmas.

Love photo

So Dad and I will hunker down while Mom is gone. He’ll eat too much bad stuff and feed me too many treats. But when Mom comes home we’ll celebrate Christmas together. We’re a family, after all. And that’s what families do.

Wiggles and Woofs to you,
Charlie Bear

December 13, 2012 at 9:30 am 8 comments

What’s precious to you?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

What is precious to you? What comes to mind when you think of the word?

In the dictionary, precious means of great value, highly esteemed. Synonyms include: dear, expensive, extravagant, high-end, costly, premium, priceless, valuable.

God considers all of His children precious. Here on earth, there’s something precious to me…can you tell what it is?

This year’s Social Directors at our Wisconsin Family Reunion (grandson Nick and pregnant Kaitlyn — yes, that will be my GREAT-grandchild!) did a fabulous job.

Mini golf teams were picked by blind draw.



We celebrated birthdays.

And we did our traditional group photo.


Tonight, as I write this, the California side of the family will get together to go to the Fair. We’ll play games (I love throwing darts at the balloons and winning a little stuffed animal — more fun stuff to send to the great-grandbaby!), eat big turkey legs and corn on the cob (if we were back in Wisconsin it would be cream puffs and cotton candy), and we’ll attend a concert of The Guess Who and Three Dog Night (and stay up WAY past my bedtime).

Precious. All of it.

There are material things that matter in life, like having a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. There is the need to work to make money to live. And there is our health to be concerned about as well as day-to-day activities.

But there is something extra special, something precious, about being with family. Do you agree?

I hope your summer is turning into everything you want it to be, and that you’ll take the next month to make precious memories.

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…


What’s Happening…

The Dog Days of Summer are here! And Charlie Bear has an announcement to make.

First, he wants to know:
Are you a dog lover?
Do you like getting cool things for your dog?
Want to win a free $25 PetSmart Gift Card?

Charlie Bear is putting on a contest just for you and your pets. Go to to see details on how to enter. It’s easy and fun, and it could be YOU and your doggie who wins! And remember…the more times you mention @CharlieBearY2K on twitter, or go to Charlie’s Facebook page and make a comment, the more chances you have of winning!

And don’t forget to post a cute photo of your pet. We really want to see those!

Latest review: 
I truly enjoyed this book. It was straight from the heart. It makes a great case for giving rescue dogs a chance and the emotions that we work through. I had to giggle at several parts and love Ms. Taylor’s style of writing. Not only did it take me on the emotional ride but kept me guessing if Charlie Bear would stay with her family. Thank you for sharing your story Charlie Bear & B.J.!
From Petmamma…Corrales, New Mexico

Available on Amazon:
Available on Publisher’s site, Inspiring Voices:
Available on Barnes & Noble: 

August 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm 11 comments

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Where’s B.J.?

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