Manny's Blog

a blog for kids and kids at heart


Acrobatics On Land and Sea

Normally I would never jump off an eight story building. This beaver named Justin Beaver is one of my best friends, but sometimes… Justin Beaver always manages to get me in trouble. He reminds me of Eddie Haskell on Leave it to Beaver. Remember that show? Eddie always acted so innocent and the kid, Beaver, got in trouble. Mom and I like to watch old TV shows together. Of course, in this case, I AM always innocent. Justin looks so smart in his hat, and he’s always spouting off about learning how to do all kinds of jobs. Who wants to work? Especially when we’re on vacation in Maui Hawaii. Yep, even in Maui Justin insisted that we learn how to drive a whale watching cruise ship, but that’s another story.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

For me, Manny, I like to have fun. I hope I never have to grow up and work like Justin.



Our hotel is an old flamingo-pink Empress Hotel, built in the 1960s. It was one of the first hotels on this side, the west side, of the island of Maui. KBC stands for Ka’anapali Beach Club. Ka’anapali means rolling cliffs. I love cliffs. Back in the old days they used to run water down the front of the hotel.



One of my favorite things about KBC is riding to our room in the glass elevator. I can see the little birds that fly into the restaurant down there.  It’s cool. All the doors open out to the beach. I’m just waiting for the day when a whale swims into KBC. Is that girl checking her cell phone while she’s walking? Hawaii 2016 KBC20 2448x3264

Trust me, you don’t want to do that in this hotel. You might walk right into a bird or a statue, Oprah Winfrey, Woody Harrelson, Jim Neighbors, or one of the other famous person that lives here. Worse yet, she might walk off the bridge into a stream of koi. Dad fell into the pool once and wrecked his iPhone. He said Mom pushed him, but she says she didn’t. I don’t know, but Dad WAS NOT happy.

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Justin got dizzy the higher we got. Dad offered him a Dramamine, but Mr. ET had a better idea. Don’t get the wrong idea. Bears and beavers who are 12 are almost adults.

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This bottle kind of tipped over, and a bear’s gotta do what a bear’s gotta do. My tongue stuck to the can. Mr. ET forgot and left it in the freezer too long. Mom made me come home. She didn’t know about it until after Mr. ET posted it on Facebook and one of her friends worried her that the animal protection people were coming to get us. She made me lie low for a while and drink a bunch of coffee. Blah! Justin still felt dizzy. Mrs. ET held him on her lap.

Hawaii 2016 KBC Manny8 2157x1618For me hanging from a railing is as easy as sitting down in a chair. I’m twelve now. I know I told you that, but it IS important. Some people still think I look like a cub, but I have some pretty good moves. For years I’ve trained all over the world to be a world-famous acrobat bear.  Yeah, sometimes Justin makes me do things I love to do, too.  So I don’t know why my parents and other adults get so jittery when I start climbing. The railing was only eight stories up, and right on the ocean. At low tide, too.

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You can see how calm and beautiful it is – at least somewhere over the rainbow. It almost always rains here in places like Hana or in the mountains. It rained on Mom when she exercised. They can get 300 inches of rain a year. We only get ten inches during a wet year in Woodlake, CA where I live.

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So I climbed up to get a better look. Actually I had a bit more trouble climbing than normal. Mom wasn’t fussed about me climbing, but like I said, I’ve had lots of training. By the way, Mr. and Mrs. ET say really fun things. Mrs. ET is not fussed about POKE Ahi tuna. Mom hates it too.

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But really climbing is so easy a beaver could do it. But you don’t see Justin out here do you. No. I just use my lei as a rope, and up I go.

Woah, it's farther down there than I thought.

Woah, it’s farther down there than I thought.

Easy as… OK that looks a bit far down there. Those little chaise lounges look like they are for Barbie dolls. You have to admit the view is gorgeous. I don’t see any whales. Oh wait, there is one way out there.

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That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a real whale. IMG_5261

There’s two of them. Love is in the air. I wish I was on that boat.

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Summer Vacation Games

If it wasn’t for grandpas, I think summer vacations would be boring.  Grandpa Hal takes time to play games with me.  Did you know that in England the game of Checkers is called Draughts?  Boys like me started playing Draughts way back in the 1100s in France.  Just like then we call the big round pieces “men”  The darkest color gets to go first.  Darn, Grandpa Hal got to go before me.

Hal and Manny checkers 2rht

I love Grandpas because they make me think.  Grandpa Hal is really smart.  He would not let me beat him, but his man was on top of mine, so I told him, “I won!”  He was not happy with me.  In 1532 someone added the rule that if your man CAN jump, he MUST jump.  That’s not fair because then the opponent sometimes can do a double or triple jump and capture lots of your men.

Hal and Manny checkers1rt

Grandpas make Mom pay attention to me, and take my picture.  I don’t mind posing.  Grandpa Hal winked at me.

Manny at CB 1rt

We played Hide-N-Seek.  I hid in the tulips.  They couldn’t find me!  They kept calling and calling for 100 minutes.  I laughed and laughed, then they heard me.

Manny at CB2rt

Summer is for eating.  When Mom and I travel back east we love to go to Cracker Barrel.  Grandpa Hal took Mom and me to Cracker Barrel.  

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If you go to Cracker Barrel, games are everywhere.  I found a friend, Mr. Toucan.  He repeats everything you say.  Mom played with his brother at Grandpa Hal’s house, so she had to buy one.  I hate that we stuffeds are “bought.”  Anyway Mr. Toucan still sits in his box on the floor in my room.  We never play with him now that we are not on vacation.  I’m ready to take another vacation!

Manny at CB3rt

Vacations are fun because even Mom stops to play games with me.  What do you do on vacations.  Write and tell me.  You can even send stories with pictures, if you want!  My friends would love to hear your vacation stories, too.  



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Manny’s Writing Challenge: When Best Friends Fight

BV Bears Fight

Most of the time the Bears at Bellavista get along with each other and everyone else.  Sometimes they fight.  Yellow and Green fuss.  Yellow says Green started it.  Green says it wasn’t his fault.  He didn’t do anything wrong.  The rest of us  Stuffeds get tired of their constant bickering.

Today’s challenge is to write a story about a fight.  Maybe you can help Yellow and Green settle their differences and make up.  We want peace again at Bellavista.  Maybe you have another fight in mind.

Story requirements:

  • 500 words or less
  • use at least one picture
  • Title:   Manny’s Writing Challenge:  When Best Friends Fight
  • Theme ideas:  families, friendship, sibling rivalry, arguments, separation, respect, sharing, living together
  • Topic ideas:  Stuffed toys, Teddies, toys, dolls, real animals
  • Plot:  You decide.
  • Genre:  You might write an animal story, cautionary tale, humor, fractured fairy tale, poetry, story of noises, naughty behavior, or even non-fiction, or something else if you like

Manny's Writing Challenge Widget


Friends in Frankfurt Short Story

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“Finally, no kids are here.  Let’s go on the slide, Justin.” Manny begged.

“I’m scared! It’s too high.  It’s too shiny.  We might get hurt.”

“Let’s just go to the top and see if it’s high.”

Justin and Manny climbed all the way to the top of the slide and sat down.

“I’m still scared.  It’s too high.  It’s too shiny.  We might get hurt.”

Justin climbed back down the stairs.  Manny followed him.  They played on some different toys.”

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They played on the teeter totter.   It went way up and way down.  Justin hung on tight.  Manny fell off.

“Did it hurt, Manny?”

Manny laughed.  “Sand is soft, Justin.  It’s fun.  Try it.”

They went way up and way down.  Justin went up and let go.  He fell off.

“Did it hurt, Justin?”

Justin laughed.  “Sand is soft, Manny.  It’s fun.  I tried it.”

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Next they climbed n a ship and tried to sail around the park.  the ship didn’t move.  They sat high in the front of the ship.    They turned wheels.  They climbed on the head of the ship and slid down holding on carefully back down to the ship.  They shouted in the loud speakers.

“Land ahoy!”

“I’m going to jump overboard, and swim back to the beach,” called Manny.

“Aren’t you scared?” asked Justin.

Manny laughed.  “Sand is soft, Justin.  It’s meant for falling.  Try it.  Wheeeeee.”

Manny jumped and landed face down in the sand.  He pretended to swim to the beach and played in the waves.

Justin saw Manny jump.  He heard Manny laugh.  He remembered the cool sand when he fell off the teeter totter.  Justin jumped off the front of the boat and landed face down in the soft sand.  He pretended to swim to the beach and played in the waves, too.

SFW Manny in Frankfurt110

Justin looked at the slide again.

“I think I’m ready to go down the slide now, Manny.”

They climbed to the very top of the slide, but did not climb back down the stairs.  They sat for a long time at the top of the slide looking down.

“I’m scared, Manny.”

“Me too.  Remember the teeter totter? asked Manny.

“Yes.  That was fun falling off.”

“Remember the ship?” asked Manny.

“Yes.  That was fun jumping off.  I’ll go first.  Don’t push me.”

“Ok.  I’ll just watch.”

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“Wheeeee!”  Justin slid down the slide all by himself.

Justin landed in the sand, face down.  He laughed so hard he couldn’t move.

“Come on down, Manny.  It’s so fun!”

Manny slid down the slide after Justin.


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Manny landed face down next to Justin.  They held hands and laughed and laughed.

“Let’s do it again, Manny!”

So Manny and Justin went up the stairs and down the slide until dark.

“I will not so afraid after this,” said Justin.

“We both are braver.  We took little jumps, then bigger, then the slide was the biggest of them all.”

“Maybe we will sky dive tomorrow,” said Justin.

“Maybe,” Manny answered.



How Manny Conquers Fear

Not much scares a Stuffed.  I am very brave.  Today I didn’t feel so brave.  This creature was not friendly and fuzzy like me.  I thought he might bite me and poison me so he could eat me.  Fortunately Justin came along to help me out of there just in time.

Step One:  Sometimes you just have to sit still and wait.  The enemy will be thrown off, and your friends will try to save you.


This was another time I hung onto my heart for dear life.  I don’t have great balance.  I knew if I fell from this height I would never see my mom and dad agin.  I kept leaning forward so I would not fall off.

Step Two:  Stay balanced.  Don’t go jump into or off of everything you see. 


Would you like to write stories about me?  Just look at my pictures, and write your own story or poem.  If they are very long, you can email them to my mom at  Otherwise you can write them in the comment section or link to your website.

What would you write about these pictures of me in Toowoomba?


Stuffeds Around the World

Have you seen the movie “her?”  I went with Mom and Dad to see it last night, and it made me think about all the Stuffeds I’ve met around the world. We love humans more than they love each other.  We cuddle when they want to cuddle, and don’t get offended if they don’t want to spend every minute with us.  We can entertain ourselves, especially when they aren’t looking.  🙂

Belavista Bears031r

One of the nice things about being  a Stuffed is that it is easy to travel.  Mom and Dad couldn’t go with me so they packed me in a box and sent me off to visit with Fanny in Cañada del Real Tesoro, Spain.

She had a little bear named Stanley.   Danny came from London to visit as well.  When humans were busy, we sat on the couch and watched TV.  I was sleepy after the long trip.

The nearest city to Cañada del Real Tesoro is Málaga.  With a population of 568,507, I am sure there are many Stuffeds living there. Fanny and Stanley live in Cañada del Real Tesoro, Spain, a tiny town in the mountains.  They live around 80 miles from the continent of Africa.

Danny lives in London, England, and I live in California in the United States.  We have come a very long way to get here.   Málaga, Spain is one of the oldest cities in the world.  Phoenicians lived here before anyone, including Stuffeds.  That means they founded the city.  They didn’t find it because it wasn’t there yet back in 770 B.C.

Danny and I met Blue in Spain.  He’s rather worldly.   He knows a lot about the world.

“Saturated Stuffeds Apartment”

After a few weeks with Fanny and Stanley, I went to London with my friend, Danny.  London is densely populated with Stuffeds.  In 607 square miles with a human population of over eight million, can you imagine what the Stuffeds’ population would be if every home housed this many Stuffeds?

Danny’s mom held me up so you could see me standing in front of this huge house.  Danny told me it was the House of Commons.  Buzz 1, the oldest lamb, argued that it was the house of Lords.  Benny, the donkey insisted that it was the Palace of Westminster.   Sally, the elephant said it was the House of Parliament.  I’m confused.  How many Stuffeds do you think might live in this house?  I don’t know why Ute laughed when I sad that.


My friend Justin Beaver, from Australia, just happened to be vacationing in London.  He picked me up at Danny’s house.  We went all over Europe.   One afternoon we attended a play in Bruges, the capital of Belgium.  We estimated that if there is a Stuffed for every person in the metro area, we would have 255,844 more Stuffeds to meet.  Clown was one of them.  He worked very hard to make kids laugh.  We couldn’t understand everything he said when he spoke French.  sometimes he spoke Dutch.



We met Snoopy Dog in Brussels.  I’ll tell you more about that place later.  I’m getting tired of sitting.  I need to go play.

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I have a great idea about us Stuffeds.  I’ll tell you more about it later.  Sweetie Pie is calling me.

Love, Manny