Manny’s In Heaven

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the “life” Manny has been leading this past month.  I just got word today that he has gone to teddy bear heaven.

Manny in heaven

I’m sure we will all miss him greatly, but he has definitely moved to a better place.

Manny's heaven#2

Of course, if you have been reading Manny’s emails, then you know that Ute took him from Ralph’s house in Spain home to England with her.  If you look out the window, you can see he no longer can see the mountains of southern Spain.


Now his life is totally different.  He is no longer the spoiled nearly-only bear.  Cowboy Manny is trying to ride a herd of lemurs.

Manny rides herd

During the day he goes to school.  Life is busy in heaven.

Manny's seat at school

Manny, you love to color.  I’m sure you stayed quietly coloring all morning long.  Can you find all the places you’ve been in the Atlas?

in school (3)

I can see that you are much the same in heaven as you are at home on earth.  Do you pray in heaven as you do on earth?

Give us today1

Give us today day our daily bread,

our daily bread1

On earth as it is in heaven.

lead us not into temptation1

And lead us not into temptation,

Manny, Mommy's name is Marsha.  Are you trying to tell Mommy something?
Manny, Mommy’s name is Marsha. Are you trying to tell Mommy something? You look a little wistful.

But deliver us from evil.

figuring out heavenly school

So have you got everything all figured out up there in heaven, Manny?  Is heavenly life starting to fall into a pattern?

Manny & Danny & special friend

Have you made any special friends in heaven?  WAIT A MINUTE, young man.  I thought I hadn’t received an email because you were in heaven, but there’s Danny.  hmmmm  I think you’d better get typing, Manny T. Bear.


“Dear Mom,  I still love Ute, but she is making me work really hard.  And she took the donuts away from me before I could even eat a bite.  Ralph let me have donuts every day.  Ralph gave me wine, and had parties every day.  I have to go to school in England.  Gotta go, Mom.  Teddy McFluff wants me to do something with him.  Bye!  Love, Manny”

What have your teddy bears been up to these days?

Thursday: News From Manny

Dear Mom,

Ralph’s letting me use his computer.  He has Dragon, so I’m just talking.  Ralph checks my spelling, too.  Are you proud of me?

This is Ariadne.   Her mom is Toni.
This is Ariadne. Her mom is Toni.

I have some new friends here in Spain.

I think Ariadne like me.  she made me a hat and a necklace and a flag.  Do you think she does, Mom?
I think Ariadne like me. she made me a hat and a necklace and a flag. Do you think she does, Mom?

 Everybody is so nice.    I got a new hat.  Do you like it?  I might be in love with Ariadne.


I don’t remember the boy’s name.  Do you know it, Mom?


He finally held me.  He’s nice too.


Love, Manny xoxox

Dear Manny,

Mommy and Daddy miss you so much!  It is good to get a letter from you.  Your friends look really nice.  I’m not sure the little boy wanted to hold a teddy bear, but you won him over, just like you do everyone!  I’m sorry, I don’t know his name either.  You have to tell me things before I know them!


Manny, I want to ask you about the pictures Ralph sent last week.  Do you want to tell Mommy about the vacuum cleaner?

Love, Mom  xoxox

Dear Mommy,

It was too scary.  I don’t want to talk about it.  I have been a good boy ever since then.  Star and Fanny taught me safe places to go in the house when Ralph’s vacuum cleaner is on.

Love, Manny xoxox

Dear Manny,

Vacuum cleaners are scary, and that one is different from Mom and Dad’s vacuum which you already knew about staying away from.

Ralph sent me some pictures of you at the party on Saturday night.  


Things are different in Spain, honey, and I know that you had a bit of alcohol.  You be sure to tell Ralph that you need lots of water in your drink.  I noticed that you got a little carried away.  


Remember that you are a big boy now.  You are old enough to travel without Mom and Dad.  


There are some things that you can’t do any more like you did when you were a baby.  Ralph can teach you about those things.

OK, big boy.  Remember Mom and Dad love you.

Love, Mom xoxox


Manny, “Can You Hear Me Now?”

Manny has never been away from home without us, and it feels so weird to think of him being in someone else’s house – without us!  He’s never gone anywhere without us.  I got a short email from Ralph telling us what’s going on over there in Spain.

Dad, what's in this box.  It smells good!  Can I open it?
Dad, what’s in this box. It smells good! Can I open it?

Hi Marsha,

Manny arrived safely here in Spain. I think Fanny smelled the honey in Manny’s suitcase right away.  This is sort of how the conversation went when I brought in Manny’s box.  She wanted to open the box herself, and you can imagine how that went.

“Fanny, I think this box is for you!”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Really Dad!  Really, REALLY!  REALLY!  I’m so excited!  I can’t get this tape off!  Ooooh, it’s getting stuck in my fur.  Help, por favor.  Don’t cut my fur, Dad!  I want to look pretty!”  Fanny is picking up a few Spanish words.  Don’t be surprised if Manny comes home speaking Spanish.

“Ouch, Fanny.  That IS sticky stuff.  Hold on.  I’ll try not to mess your fur, Fanny.  Ok, let me cut the tape, and open the box for you.”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Oh boy!  Is this a toy, Dad?  Look how cute he is.  How silly, too.  It wasn’t sunny in there.  He’s got on his glasses!  Is he dead?”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“I am NOT silly.  AND I AM CERTAINLY NOT DEAD!  It was sunny when I left California.  Where am I?  Can you help me get out of here?  I feel stiff.  Thanks, By the way, I’m Manny.”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Hi, I’m Fanny, and this is my Dad, Ralph.”

“Hi Fanny!  You’re soft.  Can I sit on your lap?  You look pretty, and you smell good, too! Hi Ralph, You look just like the Ralph that didn’t want me playing teddy bear music at Renee’s birthday party.  Fanny, do you want to see my teddy bear video?  Ralph, do you have a computer?  Mommy lets me use her computer A LOT!”

“Sure Manny, right here.  This is my new office.  How do you like it.”

Ralph's remodel003

“It’s beary nice, Ralph.  Can you help me reach the computer.  Mom lets me sit on the keys.”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Wait a minute!  There’s my mom.  Mom!  What are you doing here in Spain?  I thought you were in California!  Talk to me Mommy!  MOMMY!  I see you Mommy!  Can you hear me?  Can you hear me, Mommy?  Turn this volume up, Ralph.  I don’t think Mommy can hear me.  Can you hear me now?”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Manny, Manny!”

“Fanny don’t tease Manny.  He misses his mommy.  Go get your teddy bear video.  I’ll put it in for Manny.”


Oh no, what have I gotten myself into?  Maaaaaaarrrshaaaaaaa…!!!

Lots of love,

Ralph xox

So now what’s in store for Manny next?  Ralph sounded a little franticized.  Did Fanny like her present that Manny worked so hard to make?  Has Manny met any Spanish people yet?  Has he really been a good boy?  Will he get in trouble at Ralph’s house?  hmmm?  What do you think?  I guess we will know more next week!

Manny’s text just said,

“Hi Mom,  LOL havng fun.  Fany is cut.  Ralf is nise to.  Luv Manny”

Manny’s Almost Spring Bath

V thinks Manny should have his own site.  I don’t know.  I tried to get him his own email, but Google didn’t want to give it to him for two reasons.  1)  He was underage, and 2) He didn’t look human.  go figure

So I lied about his age, and got one anyway, but I couldn’t complete his profile because he still didn’t look human.  So he wanted to clean up a bit and look a little more human. He saw Ute’s teddies having a bath, and that gave him courage.   His bath was a riot, and I thought you might agree.

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The instructions for Manny’s bath were as follows: Mild suds, cold water, air dry, brush gently.  Manny didn’t want cold water, so he got a nice warm bath.  It’s still cool here.  He also hasn’t allowed me to brush him,  Gently or otherwise.  Kalev hid out all during Manny’s bath.

Manny was made by Gund Toy Manufacturers in Edison, New Jersey, but you can buy Manny at Amazon.

“The leading soft toy manufacturer in the U.S., and also the oldest, GUND was founded by German immigrant Adolph Gund in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1898. GUND was one of the first companies to design and produce teddy bears in the early 1900’s.”  Since Tulare County is the size of Connecticut, Manny is glad he came to live here.

Developed apparently simultaneously by toymakers Morris Michtom in the US and Richard Steiff in Germany in the early years of the 20th century, and named after Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, (who wouldn’t shoot the bear cub after a hunt during which time it had been mistreated), the teddy bear became an iconic children’s toy…

“Teddies” have greatly varied in form, style and material. They have become collector’s items, with older and rarer “teddies” appearing at public auctions.[2] Teddy bears are among the most popular gifts for children and are often given to adults to signify love, congratulations or sympathy.”  Wikipedia

Manny was a Valentine’s gift several years ago after V had given me families and families of bears.  Somehow Manny rose to the top of the heap.  He has made both of us laugh when laughing wasn’t the highest priority on our list.   If we had had a fight, and I had gone to bed angry, often V would come in with Manny and put him in my face and make Manny talk, or turn his head.  I couldn’t stay mad with Manny all over me.  It worked just as well with V when he was mad.

I had heard that teddy bears were often used in therapy for young children, but they are also used with adults as well.  The year I got Manny my boss told me that she had a bear, and it went everywhere.  I figured if Dr. Baake and her husband could take a bear places, so could I.  I took Manny to the next retreat that consultants and administrators from all over California County Offices attend each year.  One the other consultants in our office brought the doll her husband had given her for Valentine’s day as well.  Manny has been going places with us ever since.

V told me again today, Manny needs his own blog.  I guess we will have to travel more and take him places – like Justin Beaver, Eternal Traveler’s travel partner.  Or fight!

What have teddy bears done for you?  Do you have a favorite one?

Here are some articles about teddy bears used in therapy.

Teddy Bear Therapy