Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One Man's Perspective of Love and Creating Work Balance

One Man's Perspective of Love and Creating Work Balance
By Dennis Twitchell aka The Big Bear

Do you ever experience pressure from work and home at the same time?
If you're like most working men you know when things are out of balance at home work tends to be more stressful.

For years I was a partner in a law firm. It never failed, when there were pressures at home, performance on the job suffered. When things were good at home there was more balance between team members at the office.

Over the years I have had numerous conversations with friends and associates regarding work/life balance. There seems to be a common thread of agreement - when our wives and girlfriends feel loved we tend to have more balance not only at home, but at work.

Fact is, men need to feel loved as much as our life partners do. However, love to a man usually means something very different than what it means to a woman. If you are married and have been with your wife for any length of time you know of what I speak.

Having been happily married for many years now, I fully understand that my wife needs, wants and deserves special attention. Yes, that's right…deserves.

Your wife is probably no different. And lest I be misunderstood by any single men and women who are reading this, if you are in a long-term committed relationship, this applies to you as well.

Your loving partner needs, wants, and deserves special attention, maybe more often than you may think to give it to her. You are busy, pre-occupied with work, aggravated with things at work that occupy your time and most likely, stressed out. You're probably tired much of the time.

Who has the time or the energy to even think about romance? Fact is, many marriages are going through tough times because people forget the reasons they fell in love in the first place. Romance has taken a back seat to everything else. Often, a woman can be heard saying, "He just isn't paying enough attention to me."

If your wife or girlfriend has said that to you, it is time to definitely pay attention to the warning signs of a relationship on the edge.

Think about it. When's the last time you showered your wife with attention and a special gift? When did you let the worries of your day slip away in order to let your wife or partner know how much you love her and how special she is to you? What may seem like a little while to you may be an eternity to her.

Well, I have a solution for you. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, you can do something really extraordinary for that special someone. Take time to make this year the most memorable ever. I promise you it will be well worth it.

Think about what you can do to show your sweetheart how much you care for her. Think about what she would enjoy receiving from you. And no, in most cases, tickets to a sports event is not the answer here. Sure she may enjoy that on occasion, but truth be told, for this Valentine Day you probably want to make it really special.

Try this. Go shopping for seven romance cards. Starting on February 5th, send the first of the seven cards. Repeat this each day until all seven cards are sent. And yes, do send them. This will keep you focused on her every day.

In each card, write a message about a unique gift she will receive. Maybe it's a foot massage, or you will run her a bubble bath and give her a shoulder massage. What about a walk in the park or an afternoon matinee movie? The gifts don't have to be financially costly, but they should require some time on your part. For most women your time will mean much more than an expensive gift. And yet, the expensive gift can work well too.

You know, and I know, women love to be pampered. Imagine your wife's surprise when you treat her to such a memorable valentine. Of course, you never know what might happen during the course of you showing her with your love, affection and appreciation.

With our daily experiences life can change on a dime. With the pressure of work and personal demands, a huge challenge we have is to make sure those people we love know it, day in and day out. Imagine what it would be like to not have the opportunity to let our loved ones know we care.

Doesn't your wife, partner, lover, friend and confidant deserve to know how much you care. I think so and you do too.

Dennis Twitchell is the husband of Patricia Twitchell. Patricia Twitchell is a PowerSellers on eBay. With well over 1,000 items available for immediate purchase, Patricia Twitchell aka The Teddy Bear Lady of Myrtle Creek, has one of the largest selections of Boyd’s Bears on eBay. Also available are Bearington, Cottage Collectibles, Deb Canham, Fairie Glens, Pooh, Steiff and much, much more.
To visit the store and view the full selection go to or go to eBay and search with the words “bearwatch aka Just Bears and Stuff”.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spruce Your Environment, Spruce Your Spirit

By Patricia Twitchell aka The Teddy Bear Lady of Myrtle Creek

After a long winter, this is the time of year to spruce up your environment with a good Spring Cleaning. For some of my bear loving friends it could be autumn, but this can still work for you. It’s amazing what a good cleaning and clearing can do for one’s state of mind.

Not only does a good cleaning seem to lift our spirits, it has actually been proven to preserve our home and office environment.

Although the inclination is to want to be outside as soon as the great weather begins, by doing a good spring cleaning you are actually creating the feeling of spring inside your home. It is also a great way to get the entire family involved in doing something together. To do this though, it has to be viewed as a fun experience rather than drudgery.

To make it enjoyable your attitude will set the tone. If you view the experience as fun, those around you are more likely to do the same. Something that is sure to help is to start from a place of gratitude. Yes, gratitude.

Look around your home and realize you have a home to clean. What a gift this is. It doesn’t matter the size of your home. What matters is what your home gives you. It gives you a place to enjoy time with family and friends. It gives you shelter from the elements. It gives you a space to relax in. That is of course if you have created it to offer these things.

Before you begin, find some good music you can enjoy while you clean. It’s amazing what lively music can do for the spirit.

You will be most effective if you have all your cleaning materials available before you begin. Gather what you need ahead of time so that you don’t have to stop midstream to run to the store for a bottle of window cleaner or furniture polish. Also make sure you have plenty of garbage bags, storage boxes and anything else that will make your job easier.

Give yourself a break from the phones, especially if you are making this a family experience.

As you clean each room, organizing what you have, be willing to let go of what you no longer need. There are plenty of people who would find incredible use from something you haven’t touched in years.

You can either give the items to a family you know, a charity or you can have a garage sale. When you release what you no longer need or want you create the space for something new in its place.

You may want to focus on one room at a time cleaning and rearranging from top to bottom. One of the most exciting parts of spring cleaning is the joy you feel as you remember how special items came into your life.

I often hear stories from people who have gotten a teddy bear from my shop and relived the original feeling they had when they first got the item. I have been told what an incredible feeling they get when they spring clean and carefully rearrange their bear collection. They have a renewed feeling of pride over their collection because of the care they are taking in preserving the precious gifts.

In each room it is recommended to begin from the top and work down. This is true for cabinets, dusting, and washing.

When you are done, enjoy what you have just accomplished. Sit back and look around, take in the fresh fragrances and appreciate a job well done. Reward yourself with a good meal and quiet time. Acknowledge the gift of a fresh, inviting home you are blessed to enjoy. You will be glad you did.

Patricia Twitchell aka The Teddy Bear Lady of Myrtle Creek is the proprietor of Just Bears and Stuff Gift Shop in Myrtle Creek Oregon. She also has an eBay Store with one of the largest selections of specialty teddy bears, gifts, figurines, and more. Visit

Friday, February 22, 2008

Comfort Comes from Unexpected Places

Autumn of ’89 began like any other. Summer was quickly coming to a close as winter crept in. Like most years, the family was anxiously anticipating sharing the holidays together.

Although each year became a bit more difficult due to the miles that kept us physically apart, in our hearts we remained close. What I have always cherished most about time with my family is the laughter and the enjoyment of simple things.

Amazingly, even that which we appreciate we often take for granted. Without realizing it, I took for granted that my mother and father, in their early sixties in ‘89, would be around for years to come. Years that in a moment seemed to be ripped from my reality.

It was late on a Monday night in September of that year when I got the dreaded call. “If you want to see your father alive, you must come quickly.” Those words rang in my head as I carelessly tossed cloths into a bag. My reasoning was such that a tattered grocery bag would suffice as my luggage.

My reasoning was also such that rather than immediately get on the road, I felt compelled to bake my father his favorite cookies. Although I had been told he was in a coma as a result of a massive cardiac arrest, I was convinced my cookies would be the magic formula to bring him around.

As I drove late into the night, memories of long ago danced in my head. Memories of times shared with my father who, although a pillar in my life, now lay lifeless in a hospital bed. Glancing frequently at the plate of cookies that were placed carefully on the seat behind me, I tearfully wondered if I would ever see my father alive again.

The shock of seeing my father hooked up to countless monitors and machines was almost beyond belief. And yet, what my sisters and I quickly realized was the devastation my mother was experiencing. The three of us wondered if our parents would have the opportunity to celebrate their 40th anniversary together.

With no obvious change over the next few days, my sisters, mother and I found comfort in each others arms. Strangely, we also found comfort by bringing each other cuddly stuffed animals. Within days, my mother’s collection of teddy bears grew and grew.

It was as if each bear held a special meaning to her and brought what little comfort could be experienced as she diligently watched her husband lay in his own world of a coma.

After weeks of praying for the near impossible, my father slowly began to regain consciousness. Knowing a miracle had taken place, for the next few months we were thrilled at each baby step my father took in his recovery.

Having to undergo massive heart surgery to repair some of the damage, my father kept a few close companions near his bedside as he recouped from his wounds. The very teddy bears my mother found comfort in while my father was on his “vacation” were the bears he now found comfort in.

As I prepare for the holiday season this year, I wonder how much of an impact my father’s heart attack and all the experiences that went with it had on my decision to fulfill a lifelong dream.

For years, I had a secret desire to open a teddy bear store so I could share the feelings teddy bears had given me when I went through a very painful divorce. A feeling of comfort that somehow only the “right” bear can bring. The same type of comfort teddy bears brought to my mother, my father, my sisters and me in the autumn of ’89. The same type of comfort I now have the opportunity to share with others on a daily basis.

With my father’s experience now years behind, I am once again anticipating sharing a holiday season with my mother and father who are soon going to be celebrating 57 years of marriage. Often my folks come to visit me during the holidays, as it is a very busy time of year. What with all the gift wrapping for the many people who come from all over the country to experience the unique teddy bear store that was once only a dream.

I have learned life is about having the courage to live our dreams. It is in the willingness to do what we are destined to do we have the opportunity to bring comfort, joy, laughter and love to the lives of others.

If the only lesson I learned during the autumn of ’89 is how precious life is, I will forever be grateful. It is because of that lesson I am gifted with the opportunity to often help select just the right teddy bear for someone who is in need of comfort. Other times, it is to select a bear that is meant to bring joy, or express love, or gratitude, or just because…. because teddy bears make the world a little better one bear at a time.

About the author
Patricia Twitchell is designated eBay PowerSeller with well over 1,000 items available for immediate purchase. She has one of the largest selections of Boyd’s Bears on eBay. Also available are Bearington, Cottage Collectibles, Deb Canham, Fairie Glens, Pooh, Steiff and much, much more. To view the full selection go to or go to eBay and search with the words “bearwatch aka Just Bears and Stuff”.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Teddy Bears of Every Description Now Available at the Just Bears and Stuff eBay Store

Our most recent media release.

February 12, 2008 – Myrtle Creek, Oregon – Addressing the growing interest of casual and serious teddy bear collectors, Patricia Twitchell announced the opening of the Just Bears and Stuff eBay store.

With well over 1,000 items available for immediate purchase, Patricia Twitchell aka The Teddy Bear Lady of Myrtle Creek, has one of the largest selections of Boyd’s Bears on eBay. Also available are Bearington, Cottage Collectibles, Deb Canham, Fairie Glens, Pooh, Steiff and much, much more.

To visit the store and view the full selection go to or go to eBay and search with the words “bearwatch aka Just Bears and Stuff”.

“I am not new to selling teddy bears. I opened Just Bears and Stuff Gift Shop, located in Myrtle Creek, Oregon in 1993. As the market needs changed and the Internet became a huge part of our market reach we saw the need to open our eBay store,” says the Teddy Bear Lady of Myrtle Creek.

The response to the eBay store has exceeded all expectations. With new items being posted daily, shoppers will find an incredible selection for virtually any taste.