Friday, February 16, 2018

What's The Harm?


It's happened again. Another automatic weapon. Another shooting. Another school. More dead. More children and those willing to give their lives to protect them.... dead.

If you ask why, you get a plethora of varying answers, depending largely on who you ask. One side, in particular, believes vehemently that restricting guns of any kind won't do anthing to stop mass killings. Killers will find a way to kill. Period. 

What would be the harm in proving that theory? 

What would be the harm. Let's entertain the thought for just a second. What if assault rifles were taken out of the mix? What is the downside of trying it? If you truly believe it would make no difference in the number of mass killings, then you'd think you would be chomping at the bit to prove it once and for all.

On the flipside, let's say, for argument's sake that it does make a difference, and over the next few years, the number of mass killings is reduced by 50%. Even if it's only 50%, or  25%, or 10% wouldn't that be worth it? Fewer parents having to bury their babies. I just don't see the downside.

I've chosen to rely on a bunch of international stats and studies put forth by universities and statisticians who don't have a dog in this particular fight.  

Every single one I found shows that Countries who enforce forms of gun restrictions, albeit in varying degrees, not only pretty much eradicate mass shootings, but violent crime, as a whole, decreases significantly. Just ask Australia, they had a mass shooting in 1996, immediately imposed gun laws and they haven't had one since. That's not a coincidence.

I've heard the argument more than once that it's a cultural thing. America has a strong "gun culture." that runs historically deep.


Again, try the experiment. If you're proved correct, shoot on. If not, maybe it's just time to let your culture evolve. Cultures evolve and change all the time. If they didn't, I would still be considered the property of my husband and get arrested for showing my ankles in public. Change is good.

Besides, you can't assume any theory is correct without testing it. 
In the meantime, our dearest neighbours to the south, as you watch the body count of your innocent citizens rise, you need to find a way to explain to your scared and traumatized kids why you're not willing to at least give it a chance. Why you're not willing to entertain the thought. 

No country is without its problems, without its blemishes, its darkness. No country can claim a perfect history. But, when we have the chance, shouldn't we do whatever we can to ensure that our grandkids can look back at this particular stretch in time and be proud of the fact that we did everything we could?


Well, now that that's off my chest, I can breathe again.


With those touched by this latest tragedy in mind.........

May you receive more than words, more than empty thoughts and prayers, more than cards of sympathy from strangers.
May you receive the action you crave, the answers you need, the conduct required to obstruct future dangers.

May you find a way through this fire, a way to retrieve the pieces of your tortured, tattered souls.
May the anger, pain, and trauma someday morph into strength and purpose, propelling you toward new goals.


Until next time..... 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Best Of Who We Are.................


Just look at that face! 

That is the face of our grandbaby, Jake. He is now, officially, 6 years old.

Eyes that barely contain the mischief, giggles powerful enough to bring a smile to the saddest heart, and a sense of humour wicked enough to make you choke on your coffee. 

It's impossible to look at this face and not have hope for the future.

We are continually bombarded with images and stories of people abusing power, perpetuating racist ideals, and generally being horrible to each other. It can be easy to lose sight of the fact that the majority of us just aren't built that way. We really aren't.

The Olympics, for instance, prove that we still have the capability to come together at least once every few years and play games. All of us. All sizes, shapes, cultures, colours, genders, and sexual orientations standing side by side, and toe to toe to do nothing more than compete for prizes. 

We temporarily suspend the differences that create conflict, allowing ourselves to simply enjoy the incredible, athletic talents of our fellow humans. 

To me, it begs the question as to why we aren't celebrating this part of humanity on a much more regular basis. It's the best of what and who we are, we should show it off more often.


I often receive messages and notes from young couples, parents, and aspiring dream chasers. they have questions about achieving dreams, balancing family and work, surviving parenthood, and the emotional, financial, and physical struggles that are attached to all of the above. 

I can't speak from a place of formal education, as I have no letters trailing my name. I can only speak from an education gathered through living a life that, statistically at least, shouldn't exist. 

Those that read these ramblings know our history. We married young, were parents younger, and had to fight to be together. Our fourth and youngest daughter was born a whopping 5 1/2 years into the relationship, just a touch before my 25th birthday.

Lately, a lot of the young folks I'm hearing from are just starting out, have one or two kids, and are struggling with the division of responsibilities both at home and when it comes to bringing home the bacon.

Here is what I've learned.

If you and your kids are getting three square meals a day, you have a secure and safe roof over your head, have heat, power, clean water and a phone, you're doing pretty well already. If not, somebody needs to get a job, or another job, whichever the case may be. If you can't find one, make one. As parents, it's up to you to make sure they have these, most simple basics of life. As long as it's this side of legal, there should be nothing you wouldn't be willing to do to make sure they have what they need, every single day. Everyone has skills and talents that people are willing to employ, find yours and capitalize on them.... Now 

Household chores. The root of many an argument. Someone always feels like they do more than the other, and in all likelihood, that's probably true. If you are honest with yourself, you know which one you are in this scenario. If you are the slacker, step up. Period. Nobody likes cleaning toilets, doing dishes or scrubbing floors. You're a grown ass human who can't afford a personal maid, get over it. They're your kids too, do a load of laundry or two, I promise you won't die. Oh, and don't be afraid to get your kids to help, even little ones can do little things. Life skills are important things to learn. If your kid is old enough to have a cell phone, and is tech savvy enough to snapchat, instagram, and facebook every aspect of their life, they can run a washing machine, a vacuum cleaner, and are more than capable of finding their way around the kitchen with a mop. I promise. 

If you are sitting on a dream, you don't have to toss it. It just means, for the moment, it may need to work alongside what you need to do now. Sometimes a dream permitted to linger becomes that much more full and rich for having been allowed to ripen on the vine. 

As for the emotional and physical struggles that come with being the parents of young children, or children of any age, really, I will say this. 

Emotionally, remain a couple. Have date nights. Even if it means falling asleep watching a movie, cuddling on the couch after the kids are in bed. It counts. Have them. They are necessary for your sanity...and your relationship.

As for the sleep deprivation of the newborn and toddler days, try to remember that this aversion to their beds and bedrooms only lasts a short while, in the grand scheme of things. Before you know it, you'll need to coax them from their rooms with the smell of pizza and the jingling of car keys. You'll also need a  crane equipped with a foghorn to pry them out of bed. Oh, and the sleepless nights? Wait til they start


Well, that about does it for now, time to go watch some more fabulous humans compete for prizes.....


For Fabulous Humans Everywhere..........

May you know that you are fabulous, exquisite, whatever the purpose of your wings.
May you see that they are made for distance, strong, to carry you through any storms life may bring.

May you know our colours, though different, are equally beautiful, they go much deeper than our skin.
May you understand some are shiny, bold and bright, a silent command for attention stemming from deep within.

May you see that some colours, although more subtle, run deep and quiet, with a stellar beauty of their own,
May you know they are gems of equal value, without the desire or need to always be shown.

May we learn to celebrate every colour, for, without the compliment and contrast of each one, we would live a monotone existence.
May we learn to celebrate every colour, each shade, every hue, treasuring each and every measure of brilliance.


Until next time.... 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Adorable Little Stars........#NotThemToo


Eight years ago, when I was writing my first book for munchkins, "Lexi's Magic Clothes," the very thought that moments like this were ever likely to happen seemed an impossible dream.

The idea that parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings could, someday, sit alongside their little ones with one of my books at hand, reading the words I put to page brought tears to my eyes.

Over the years, I've received messages and emails with stories of giggles, and bedtimes, and have had the privilege to hear some of these stories in person at different events.

When I received this video message and hit play, this adorable little star reading "Tags Go In The Back" completely melted my heart. The tears that once came at the idea, fell freely.

After 8 years of hearing and reading the sweet giggle stories, watching it, somehow, made it real. Really real.

To a tiny star's parents, thank you for allowing me to share this. Thank you to all of the parents and caretakers of every tiny star who take the time to share their giggle moments with me. I absolutely love and cherish them all.



This is a subject that hits home for me, as it does for almost every female. As a Mom of four grown daughters, who have each, in their own lives, had their own experiences, I'm finding myself becoming increasingly frustrated and disappointed at the utter lack of progress reached in the past 30 some odd years.

It's sad and, sadly ridiculous.

I realize evolution, even societal evolution is slow, but come on!

There are some, and I do emphasize some, men out there who seem confused and nervous about what the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements mean.

To them, I say this.....

This isn't scary. This isn't confusing.

In the workplace, treat and talk to your female co-workers, employees, and/or bosses like people. In other words, don't be an ass, and for God's sake, remember the rules from preschool, and keep your hands to yourself. Oh, and your smarmy looks and comments, keep those little voices to yourself. Oh, and your lips, keep your lips to yourself. Oh, and your penis, yeah, keep your penis to yourself. Yeah, other than a handshake or to perform the Heimlich maneuver, there's really no real reason to touch a co-worker. It's pretty simple, and not at all frightening.

In social situations, treat females like people. In other words, don't be an ass. Don't rape us, drug us, rub up against us, rub yourself in front of us, or show us your junk, photographically or in person, without a clear invitation to do so. And no, it makes no difference if we are wearing a low cut shirt and a miniskirt, or a bathing suit, or whatever the hell else we might be wearing.

If you're relying on your skills as a mind reader for consent, use actual words. Remember, every female is somebody's daughter/sister/daughter/niece. Don't be the guy that you would want to protect your sister from. Not confusing, not frightening.

Let's get to the place where we, as females, can quit inventing counterfeit boyfriends or pretending to be gay because you can't handle the fact that we aren't romantically interested in you/don't want to dance/don't want you to buy us a drink.

Let's get to a place where we, as females don't need to cover our drinks in every public place for fear of being drugged.

Let's get to a place where we can walk around, alone, when it's dark.

Let's get to a place where we don't have be on guard...all...the...damn...time.

Let's get to a place where adorable little stars will be allowed to shine without fear.

And......let's hurry it up. Before my granddaughters have to deal with this crap would be nice. #NotThemToo


With adorable little stars in mind........

May you, tiny star, shine gloriously, your mother's fears, ancient history.
May you find the reasons behind her concern an absurd and crazy mystery.

May you never feel the heated, menacing breath of unwanted attention.
May you soar without hindrance, without ceilings, without oppressive tension.

May you dance with utter abandon, as leering eyes no longer exist.
May you never be robbed of your consent, for anything, not a touch, not a kiss.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Soooooooo, Let's Talk About The Boobs Squish, Shall We?


Sooooooo, let's talk about the boob squish that some call a mammogram, shall we?

First, I want to make it abundantly clear how grateful I am to live where I live. I live in a place where, shortly after you turn 50, your boobs receive a letter from the health department to remind you that it's time for a mammogram. I live in a place where this is free. I live in a place where the only thing I need to be concerned about are the results. I know how lucky I am to be living where I do. I only wish this kind of medical care was available globally. Maybe someday.

Free, however, does not necessarily put in on the top ten list of fun ways to spend your time. 

For instance, I would bet my firstborn that the machine involved was invented by a male. You know that if it were guys having to put their testicles in a vice, there would absolutely, without a doubt, at the very least, be a chair. 

Just sayin'.

For instance, the design of said machine is such, that awkward, yogaesque poses are required to assure a good test. This means leaning, turning, and performing a couple of unrefined twists, positioning your arms and body just so. This, sometimes, requires some "adjusting" executed by the tech. In my experience, she was very professional, and kind, and, thankfully, had warm hands. The powers that be have figured out extraordinary things. Space travel, smartphones, Skype, but, a way to scan your boobs without having to have a total stranger go to second base as you impersonate an audition for the world's worst contortionist, somehow, eludes them. Just sayin'. 

All in all, a boob squish is just another one of those things that we, as women, have to put up with in order to look after ourselves. A small part of what makes us warriors. And, never kid yourself, warriors, we are. 


So, other than the little adventure with the boob squish, I also had a short meeting with Cheryl, the manager of a fine bookstore.

As a result, I'm happy to announce that Once Broken and Everyday Wishes For Your Extraordinary Life are now available at Cole's in Lawson Height's Mall in Saskatoon!

The rest of the week was filled with paperwork for the shop, laundry, slaying a few dust bunnies, writing and spending some time with some pretty fantastic people.


I'd like to take a second to welcome and thank new readers of these ramblings. It never ceases to amaze and thrill me when I see new countries on the top ten list. 

THANK YOU!!!!!!!


Until next time........

May we take a breath to recognize the fact that we are, all of us, survivors of our scarred, unique and imperfect circumstance.
May we remember, because of this we need to be kind, adjust perception, for people are rarely what they seem at first glance.

May we remember to embrace without judgment, for the impossibility of walking in another's shoes lies within the fact that each pair fits only one.
May we remember to support each other, lift each other, carry each other when needed, to lighten each other's burden, as many as we can before we're done.

May we remember to simply be mindful, considerate and kind, it costs us nothing.
May we remember, if done without expectation, the dividends are absolutely stunning. 


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Let Me Menisplain It To You.........


I'm writing this in the haze that generally follows a string of perimenopause-fueled bedtime hours laden with night sweats and insomnia.

I know there are many of you out there that understand completely what I'm talking about. The frustration and inability to talk your body into slumber can be mind-numbing. When a few of these nights string themselves together, it can start to feel like your body secretly hates you and is deliberately trying to drive you over the edge.

For those of you who are either too young, or too male to have experienced this fun little phenomenon, let me do you the solid of menisplaining it to you.

Imagine, if you will, a tiny, invisible tormentor who specializes in interrupting relaxation. This is typically accomplished through volleying from flooding your exhausted mind with worries, some real, some irrational, all stress-invoking, to cranking your inner boiler to the brink of detonation. Each and every time you begin to feel yourself relax, on the edge of drifting off, your minuscule menace hits again, each time, ramping it up a notch. This is repeated until you either give up and get up, or settle for laying in bed, fans going full blast, eyes held stubbornly shut, assisted by tears of stressed frustration.

When I asked Siri to take a selfie for these ramblings this morning, the Australian dude who does the voice-over work for her replied, "You've got to be kidding, are you sure?" Then he laughed.......Siri is an ass.

The other photo demonstrates why, without a doubt, I should never ever give up my day jobs to become a fish filleter! In case you don't recognize it, that's salmon. I swear I watched the youtube videos, and followed along like a good kid. Thank God the Queen canceled her plans to come for dinner! On the upside, it was very tasty, regardless of the hatchet job.

Filleting fish is just another one of those things that I have discovered, through the course of time, do not belong under the ol' strengths column on my resume.

Other things on that list?

* assembling things..... shelves, kinder surprise toys, display boxes, yeah, pretty much anything.
*sewing...... including patching, as I've been known to sew pockets shut, or sew things to the clothes I happen to be wearing.
*crafting.......this includes all types of painting, gluing, cutting, playdoughing,  sketching, hell, even etch-a-sketching and spirographing are a big ol' nope.

I'm sure more things belonging to this list lay in wait, yet to be discovered, and that I'm very likely forgetting a few things, but who could blame me after last night's hot date with my translucent, tormenting troll!


Before I go, I would like to thank everyone from all corners of the world who have purchased "Once Broken" for their Kindle and Kobo devices. This is my first digital experience, thanks for making it awesome!

Until next time........

May your sleepless nights be non-existent, or, at the very least, few and far between.
May your tormenting troll leave you alone, or, at the very least, not be so mean.

May your inner boiler break down, take a break, before it breaks your every will to smile.
May you, instead feel a constant cool breeze, blowing perfectly, for the next conceivable while.

May relaxing, restful sleep dominate your darkness, allowing you to awaken refreshed and rested.
May your frustration subside, your stress dissipate, evaporating, leaving you free, unfettered, untested.


Feel free to check out my children's titles and Once Broken on my website, Once Broken is also available on Kindle and Kobo!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

I Didn't Get Here By Accident!!!!!


On several different occasions, here, in midst of my ramblings, at schools, in responses to emails and notes, I've put forth my belief in the importance of obliterating comfort zones. I truly believe they are prisons existing under the pretense of safety.

Comfort zones are just that, comfortable. If we don't deviate, if we live within what makes us comfortable, within the convenient boxes that are all too welcoming, effortless, painless and uncomplicated, I believe we rob ourselves of what can be.

It's not easy. In fact, it's anything but easy.

It's been my experience that when you dare to step beyond the comfort, welcome the uneasiness, embrace the sweaty palms, and work through your disquieted heart, fantastic things await you on the other side.

In the spirit of destroying comfort zones, not only did I do a tv interview, but, now I'm sharing it on here. Both of these remain difficult for me, both make my palms sweat. To do the interview on camera is tough, bringing up all kinds of old ghost insecurities. To share it is another animal, altogether. To share it equals self-promotion, which is something that remains a real challenge. It requires squelching all of those little negative voices that like to creep in, telling you you aren't good enough, that you don't belong, that you have no business doing what you're doing.

I wish I could tell you that those negative little voices no longer exist, but, they do. However, I am, with time and practice, getting much better at telling them to shut the hell up, and bugger off.

I have to continue to remind myself that I deserve where I am. It didn't happen by accident. I am where I'm supposed to be, so of course I belong here.

I couldn't be here if I stayed within my comfort zone, not a chance.

Step outside, the elegant uneasiness and contorted self-perception are simply growing pains leading you to where you are supposed to go from here.


I would like to take a second and thank you all for your continued support, here, in buying my books and in person.

I'm so grateful for all of the incredible feedback, and look so forward to what the future holds.

Thank you for reading these ramblings each week. Readership has surpassed the 60000 mark, coming from 5 continents and a ton of different countries, some of which are unfamiliar, requiring a google search to find out exactly where they are. It continues to amaze me.

Thank you.


Until next time......

May you break free of your veiled cocoon, discover the strength of your uniquely beautiful wings, and fly.
May you find the courage to conquer the phantom whispers, snide and untrue, impeding access to your unfettered sky.

May you discover the freedom found in leaving the familiar, straying from your normal, walking in unfamiliar shoes.
May you uncover talents, unearth new favourites, pull the blanket back on what comes next, collide with your muse.

May you embrace the discomfort of living where new paths are commonly trodden, without a compass, without a map, without a concrete destination.
May you accept that you are the author of your story, write it, revel in it, for living by the opinions of others is but existing in pale imitation.


Until next week

Friday, January 5, 2018

Through The Sh*t And The Sunshine

Well, 2018 is underway, one week in and it's looking like it's going to be another busy, incredible year filled with new milestones, new undertakings, and new adventures.

We rang the new year in in style this year! We attended an event that included a delicious meal, (that I didn't have to cook) listening to a couple of talented comedians who made me laugh until my face hurt, and some dancing! The seating was intimate, and by that, I mean they had us crammed in pretty tight. Long tables, a lot of bodies. The kind of situation where you put off going to the bathroom because the path from seat to loo would involve about 200 choruses of  "excuse me."

But, because of the close seating situation, an opportunity presented itself to meet the people on either side of us. (They had couples seated facing each other)) On one side, it was party central, loud, excited, definitely ready to have a very good time. On the other, a young couple looking to bring in the new year in a more subdued manner, as they are a few months away from welcoming their first baby into the world.

Luckily we are equally comfortable with either approach, All in all, a fun night!

The days of 2018 are numbered, the first few have already flown by. How will you embrace each sunrise, each sunset? How will you weather the inevitable storms that are bound to be woven into the tapestry?

For me, I am going to do my best be open to every opportunity and welcome adventures as they present themselves. And also, to be equally as diligent in finding the upsides of the less than optimal situations that, no doubt, will come along. Sometimes it takes a bit of time and persistence to find them, but they're always there.

Now is the time to cut loose any anchors that are holding you back. Let go of past hurts, take the lessons from past mistakes, but let go of the shame. If you hurt anyone, sincerely apologize, truly do your best to make it right, then let go of the guilt.

Unfettered, there is nothing stopping you from taking flight. Take it.


Until next time, I'll leave you with this wish..................

May you reach for the brass ring, only to find it's but a link in a chain of good fortune.
May every opportunity bear fruit, ripe and juicy, sweet and satisfying, each brought to a fulfilling fruition.

May you readily find the upsides, no matter how deeply they seem to be buried.
May you reach out for help if needed, the more the shoulders, less the weight carried.

May you look at the days ahead with excited anticipation, embracing the beautiful unknown.
May you look back, accept what was, both the shit and the sunshine, feeling blessed in how you've grown.