It’s Tummy Up Tuesday!

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We’ve all seen pictures of dogs lying upside down, bellies exposed, legs sticking straight up in the air, often times heads turned to the side.  Jellybean is no exception to this tummy up phenomena.  But what is it all about?  Apparently, if you go all the way back and channel their inner wolf, a dog rolling onto its back is a sign of deference.  What is deference you ask?   Meriam-Webster defines it as “respect and esteem due a superior or elder” and other sources define it as “respectful submission or yielding to the will of another” and “submission,” “condescension,” “reverence,” and “docility.”  In the world of wolves, deference to the alpha pack can be displayed by going tummy up.

It goes without saying that Jellybean and our furry friends are far removed from wolves.  So, when they go tummy up it could simply mean that they are exposing their most vulnerable, soft underbelly because they are confident, secure in their environment, and well-fed.  That’s a good thing!  Having a pup physically demonstrate such a high level of comfort lets us know we are providing them with a loving and secure home.  In that case, judging by my collage of tummy up pictures, Jellybean must be one happy, confident and well-fed pup!

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Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a flying squirrel! No…It’s Jellybean?

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So….. she thought she could fool me.  She thought by modifying the deck I could be out there lollygagging around with no way out.  No more slipping through the railings.  Well, I fooled her, didn’t I?

Perhaps I should explain…..  Last week it was a beautiful day and we were out on the deck with our little buddy, Jay.  It was a cars and trucks kind of day.  Everywhere I looked there were trucks; big trucks, little trucks, red trucks, blue trucks.  There were cars galore.  There were so many cars I had to watch that I didn’t step on them with my dainty little paws.  Apparently you are supposed to put rocks in the trucks because Jay pointed to some on the other side of the deck and wanted them for his big dump truck.  Out they went to do some rock gathering, only they left me behind!  I couldn’t believe it!  I’m always right by my Mama’s side.  I mean I know they were only on the other side of the fence, but come on.  What’s a puppy to do?  I had to try to help them find some rocks for Jay.

First I tried sticking my head through the squares, but my Mama asked me to put it back inside.  I tried it at a few different spots, but she said that was enough. Then, I started to throw a fit – you know, whining and crying and stuff, but they just kept picking up rocks.  Then I got a great idea!  I jumped up on the Adirondack chair, up on the table, and took a great big leap!  Just as I was flying through the air, my Mama turned and can you believe it?  I landed right in her arms!  I love you Mama!  Thanks for catching me!

I couldn’t tell if my Mama was happy or upset at first.  Maybe she was just surprised.  Eventually we all had a good laugh about it and went back to playing with the cars and rock-filled trucks on the deck.  I did notice though, that later that day, my Mama got busy moving things around.  Now the tables and chairs are on the inside part of the deck.  Hmmm….Time to start working on plan B!

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

One Lucky Lady

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What an exciting time!  Back in July, I blogged about my latest children’s picture book endeavor as I prepared for the initial meeting with my illustrator in which we were to discuss my vision for the story.  A week ago I met again with the wonderfully talented Shana Morrow for a sneak peek at the sketches for the book, appropriately titled Jellybean’s Closet.  This simple little story finds Jellybean sitting by her closet every morning with a big decision to make.  “What to wear, what to wear!”  Being an avid weather watcher, Jellybean makes good use of the window in the front door to determine a suitable outfit for the day.  Days of the week, weather and appropriate clothing choices make this a great concept book for young children.  The repetitive pattern promotes immediate engagement in the story.  (Hmmm, perhaps I learned a little something along the way as a kindergarten teacher for twenty years!)  As Shana pulled sketch after sketch out of her folder and shared her thoughts on perspective and placement of items on the page, I could hardly contain myself.  Actually, if you know me, I do most of my dancing on the inside, and let me tell you there was some jitterbug, a little tap, and perhaps a tad of cha-cha going on! I am humbled by Shana’s talent and the way in which she is able to make my vision come to life.  Over the next two months Shana will work her magic with her watercolor pencils to make each illustration jump off the page.  Oh, what a lucky lady I am to have this opportunity to share my stories inspired by the little pup that I love so much.  I am looking forward to a late fall release of Jellybean’s Closet.  I can’t wait to share it with you!

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Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here!