Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Proof Of The Landing.....


So, there are some out there who doubt the schizophrenic weather we get in this part of the world. Here, there are the standing jokes of hoping summer falls on a weekend, and about how if you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes.... they are standing jokes for a reason.

Well, the first and third photos were Tuesday, the second and last, Wednesday. 

Enough said.


Ya know, this whole writing thing takes me places I would never have gone otherwise, leads me to people that I would have never had the occasion to meet, and presents opportunities I would have never imagined even existed.

Whenever someone walks up to my table at a tradeshow, or approaches me in a mall, or restaurant etc, it always blows me away. Sometimes it's someone who has found a connection to these ramblings, sometimes it's people who have related in a personal way to "Everyday Wishes For Your Extraordinary Life," sometimes it's heart-touching anecdotal stories involving one of my kids' books, sometimes it's about "Once Broken," and sometimes it's because they themselves have a story they would love to tell, and are looking for help in how to make it happen.

No matter the context, it floors me every single time. 

When you write, you never know where anything will land, how it will land, or if it will land anywhere at all. 

To have the proof of landing greet you with a hug is everything. 


Funny thing about dreams...

Dreams come in different shapes and sizes, not a 'one size fits all' kind of thing.
Dreams evolve, shift, melding to coincide with the journey brought forth by our choices.
Dreams can sneak up on you, disguised, unrecognized, revealing their truth only when ready.
Dreams for one can be nightmares of another, it's all in the perception, the perspective.
Dreams tend to colour outside the lines, live outside the norm, and have an allergy to comfort zones.
This is why we have to seek them out, chase them down, capture them, own them, polish them, and make them shine. 


These ramblings are hitting a bit early this week for a reason!

Thanks to a generous friend. who extended an incredibly generous invitation, I will be in beautiful Kelowna, BC this weekend! We will be celebrating, and welcoming an awesome woman into the "50" club. There will be wine, food, some sightseeing, and, in all honesty, there is a fairly high likelihood of some shenanigans. 

Definitely something outside of my norm, outside the lines, who knows what might be discovered....


May you find some time to spend, wisely, with whom, and on whatever you treasure.
May you see that time "wasted" catching up, laughing, resting, is precious beyond measure.

May you let the birds sing you awake, the sun kiss your face, the breeze brush your hair.
May you take a few moments to look up, hungrily breathe the incredible Spring air.

May the vibrancy of the season engulf you, infusing you with renewed vitality.
May you embrace all of who you are, this confidence, this strength, let it be your reality.


Friday, April 13, 2018

For Most Of Us It's Difficult To Imagine A World In Which....

I took these photos a couple of days shy of a year ago. Although not actual flames, this living sky phenomenon must be what it may look like if your actual world were on fire.

Maybe this is a breathtakingly beautiful, metaphoric representation of what stress would look like if it had a physical presence. A physical presence other than wrinkles, high blood pressure, grey hair...

Life has been especially heavy lately, tragedies here at home and all over the world have taken place, lives taken, connected lives no longer recognizable through no fault of their own.

Through no fault of their own.

When life gets this heavy, the need for some form of comic relief is almost palpable. We have to remind ourselves that the heavy isn't all that there is. Give ourselves permission to smile.

I could probably blame my upbringing, or just myself, but regardless of from where it stems, comic relief, for me, tends to lean toward the satirical. It can tend to hand out in the shadows... on the dark side.

Case in point.....

It tickles me to no end to witness unkind people stew in the putrid juices of their own making. The shit disturbers licking the proverbial spoon, so to speak.

I would entertain the thought that this makes me a bad person if the turmoil weren't completely self- inflicted. If the consequences that are now being enjoyed, at least by me, weren't completely and absolutely avoidable if said spoon licker had ever made it a practice to live a life filled with slightly less douchebaggery.

For most of us, it's difficult to imagine a world in which we need a "fixer"/lawyer, where our lawyers need lawyers, and where there may or may not be evidence of participation in some sort of Russian hooker pee party.

For most of us, it's difficult to imagine a world in which the least of our problems for this week, and I reiterate, this week, is being forced to make a now hurried decision on whether or not to drop some actual bombs on actual people. A decision not only created, but then exacerbated, by our own inability to keep our fingers off of the keys of our twitter feeds.

For most of us, it's difficult to imagine a world in which we flick our fingers and set into motion the tumble of a complex, intricate pattern of dominoes, a pattern we had a close hand in designing, then proceed to throw a monumental tantrum because they actually fall.

For most of us, it's difficult to imagine a world in which we feel slighted because our accomplishments are not being celebrated, unable to recognize the reason we can't hear the songs of our praises is because of the choir of screaming monkeys fleeing from our circus on fire.

For most of us, it's difficult to imagine a world in which we spend our entire time on this earth eating caviar on our K-fry with a golden spoon, then tell the entertainer who, starving, ate leftovers from our plate, working years to become an "overnight succes," that they are the disengaged "elite."

For most of us, it's difficult to imagine a world in which no matter how often we say things that are proven over and over again to be untrue, an army of Rumbullshitskins take their positions to defend us, spewing enough verbal diarrhea to choke to death any shit-eating grin.

Even if I could imagine such a world, I wouldn't want to live there.

I know I likely should leave this type of subject matter alone, leave it to the experts, but, as a writer, a life observer, and a smart-ass, it's pretty impossible to continually see a parade of open doors and never walk through. 

I guess it comes to this. If you don't want us to laugh, quit being funny.


Road-trippin' tomorrow, heading to Craik, Saskatchewan for some selling and signing of some books! Looking very forward to meeting all the new faces!


For all those who could use a breath.......

May you find a reprieve from this news heavy world, find some laughter, find a smile.
May you find a reason to giggle, a way to de-stress, let your heart relax for a while.

May you find a way to see the funny, even if rooted in things that can steal your grin.
May you find a way to catch a chuckle, in a world so sober, any heehaw-snort is a win.

May you find  a way to seize the snicker, reach for the "laugh til you cry."
May you trap a tickle that leaves no choice but to cackle and slap a thigh.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Enormity Of The Nightmare.....


Yesterday, in the late afternoon, a group of young men boarded a bus. They were likely excited, a bit rowdy, and maybe a little nervous, as they were on their way to a must-win playoff game in their hockey league.

Before they could reach their destination, tragedy, in the shape of a semi truck and trailer, hit hard.

A collision that claimed 15 lives thus far, and put 14 more in hospital. Some are injured worse than others, but all will forever carry the scars of the trauma.

Our hearts ache for your loss, so we send our thoughts and prayers.

All of the thoughts, prayers and deafening moments of silence, no matter how many, no matter how poignant, no matter how heartfelt, no matter how far-reaching, can never bring back the echoes of their laughter.

Thoughts and prayers and moments seem too small, but please know they are sent sincerely.

We send our thoughts and prayers, in hopes that you feel our support. In hopes you know you needn't go through this alone. We, as a human community stand beside you, ready to help in any way we can.

We, in those deafening moments, honour the memories of your sons. The hopes and dreams that will never come to be. The unlived what ifs. Although we may not have personally known them, we grieve for you and what could have been.

The thoughts, prayers, and moments seem small, but, I fear any response could only be dwarfed by the sheer enormity of this nightmare.

May some semblance of comfort find you when you are able to feel it.


Life shows us all too often how quickly it can be upended.

Hug often, hug hard, and mean it.


May every soul touched by this tragedy find what they need to greet each tomorrow.
May they, at some point, feel they aren't being completely consumed by their sorrow.

May you forgive any wrong words spoken, for no right ones really exist.
May you find a way through, through the fog of shock, the grief-ridden mist.

May you, one day, once again, smile without pain, without thought, feeling genuine joy.
May this day come sooner than you ever thought possible, when it does, embrace and enjoy.


Friday, March 30, 2018

I know, I know, Just More Of...Continuously... Not... Spring....

What do you when it continues to be "Not Spring"?

Hang out with awesome people and repeat after me....

The frost on the trees is still pretty..the frost on the trees is still pretty... the frost on the trees is still pretty...repeat until the snow melts...

Yup, you guessed it, the final days of March and tonight, overnight, we will have a windchill of -30C.

It's really kinda sucky, but spring can't be too far off, right? Right?!

Moving on.......

The March for Our lives.....

The more information I gather from news sources here in Canada, the US, the UK and other parts of the world, the more impressed I am with the young people of this planet.

Maybe this will be the generation that will actually forge a path to some semblance of peace. Maybe this will be the generation that finds solutions. They are fearless, they are fierce, they are tireless, they are savvy, they are intelligent, they are articulate, they are still in their teens.

I'm not really surprised by these impressive young humans as I think kids tend to be underestimated all of the time.

What I do find surprising, however, is the visceral, venomous reactions from some full-fledged adults. Some adults seem to be making it their mission to villainize these kids. If they aren't villainizing, they are attempting to make them seem smaller, less important.They could give classes on classic bullying.

I just can't seem to wrap my head around how, as an adult, you can go after kids like.

Some have gone so far as to call the survivors of the school shooting in Florida, "actors."

These kids are pleading for the right to attend school safely, begging the adults that run things to find a way to make that happen. They are grieving the loss of their friends and schoolmates. They are standing up for past victims and survivors, trying desperately to do what they can to ensure they are the last. They already aren't the last.

Why are these "adults" so terrified of these kids? What are they saying or doing that is so sinister? They just want to go to school without fear. That doesn't seem so outrageous to me.

Your biggest worries in school should be about your grades, your friends, and who likes who. It doesn't sound like it should be that complicated, or that they are asking for all that much.


Well, that about does it for now,

May you win this battle that shouldn't be, for you should not have to fight to learn without threat.
May those that have somehow found an opposite side to this, CHILDREN are dead, don't allow yourself to forget.

May you, little one, once again wear your light up shoes, with no fear of being seen by the gunman's keen eye.
May you, those afraid to stand up, wipe this terror from the thoughts of those too young to understand the why.

May kids, once again just be allowed to go to school, growing up is already really rough.
May you see they shouldn't have to fight for the privilege, the time is now, Enough is Enough.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Walk With The Confidence To Fail.....


Okay just a reminder to my fellow snow dwellers, this is what the world looks like when it isn't covered with that seemingly endless white stuff. You know, the time that usually shows up weeks after Calendar Spring, Actual Spring.

In case you no longer recognize the objects captured in these images, allow me to refresh your memory.

The top two feature something referred to as flowers. They are usually quite colourful with some known to emit a pleasant fragrance. Different variations of these wonderful blossoms seem to be enhanced with mystifying powers. They have been known to brighten rooms, cheer a foul mood and encourage early releases from dog houses. Their clipped counterparts also have been utilized in decorating the hands, wrists, and lapels of countless brides, grooms, and prom dates. Their spent pedals, then, sometimes dehydrated and pressed between the pages of a heavy book,  tiny, fragile whispers of the blooms they once were, still with the strength to carry the grandest of memories.

The third photo features what is generally known as a deck with deck type furniture. In the snowless weeks between winter and the next winter, this is where we generally scorch/cook and share our food and drink with family, friends and an exciting assortment of flying, crawling and biting creatures looking for their share. This space also contains mystical powers of a sort. This table and surrounding chairs have the ability to turn frowns into smiles, then, into laughter. This assemblage of glass and metal have the ability to soak up stress, create silliness, and inspire water fights.

The star of the final photo is what we like to call, a leaf. The most basic, precious symbol of hope. The delicate beginnings of its tiniest sprouts signal the promise of long, warm days filled with bike rides, bonfires, and trips to the lake. Upon reaching maturity, the leaf becomes the provider of shade and shelter, the musical plaything for every summer breeze, the seasonal predictor, and indicator of the beginning of the end of our hiatus from winter.

These photos represent what awaits us on the other side of the snowbank. Hang in there. We're close.


So, because I have an amazing friend who is kind enough to think of me when good fortune comes her way, I had the honour of spending an evening with some pretty incredible women one of which was Michelle Obama.

It was interesting to hear about her time in the Whitehouse and some of the challenges of raising their young girls in the fishbowl that comes with it. The struggles of trying to provide some sense of normalcy while simultaneously taking the obligations that go along with being the First Lady very seriously.

My take away from the evening?

As women, we need to give ourselves permission to not be perfect. We need to give ourselves permission to ask for help. We need to give ourselves permission to say no. We need to give ourselves permission to not internalize other people's opinions,

We need to walk this earth with the confidence to fail like a man. Fail, and not attach it to our worth, but rather just treat it as something that didn't work, learn from it, and move on.

It's always awesome to hear the perspective of someone who lives a life so different from our own. Although we can only ever see life through our own lens, live it through our own filtres, it's invaluable to walk alongside someone else's shoes, even if it's only for a short while.


Thank you all for your overwhelming response to last week's ramblings. You never know where your words will land, you simply hope they land softly. Thank you for finding and holding on to the light.


Until next time...

May the thoughts of the Spring to come, carry you over the snow.
May the increased warmth of the sun follow you wherever you go.

May you soon be occupying the blue-skied space beyond your walls without the need of a coat.
May you soon find the swift-moving aftermath of a melted bank on which to race your paper boat.

May you trade in your ski pants for splash pants, and your mukluks for rubber boots.
May you trade in the slowcooker soups, for things with dirt still clinging to their roots.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

If We Don't Hear The Whisper...Scream


 I try to approach life with positivity.

Yes, bad things happen, at times, life can be a huge stress-filled ball of anxiety weighing in at at least 3 tonnes.

Within the past seven days, the world lost another light at the hands of mental illness. I know he was far from the only one, and that is why I feel the need to write this.

This young man was part of a family I used to babysit for in high school. They lived a heartbeat away, our families intertwined in a hundred different ways.

I know there are those out there that still attach some sort of shame to suicide, as though it is an act of cowardice, or selfishness. The whispers of shame need to stop. Suicide is simply the form death takes in way too many cases of mental illness, just as a heart attack claims the majority of those with heart disease. But, like we have learned to save more with heart impairments, we need to put more resources toward giving those that struggle with mental illness an equal chance at a good life.

People who live with depression, bipolar disorders, and a myriad of other mental illnesses, are some of the most courageous people I have the honour of knowing. They fight every day to see the world in a way most of us take for granted.

Although I can never really stand in your shoes to see the world from your perspective, there are some things I want you to know,

For those who find themselves swallowed by darkness, unable to feel any light, please hear me.

We are NOT better off without you.

You are NOT a burden.

We care. Even when, especially when you can't see it. We love you and care for you.

We make mistakes. We don't always, or maybe ever, have the right words. If you only knew how much we wish we did.

We would NEVER get over it and move on. We love you too much for that to ever happen.

Reach for us. If we don't hear the whisper, scream. Before the darkness completely encompasses, scream, with the thunderous agony from the depths of your aching soul, scream. Someone will hear.

Given time, although it seems completely impossible, things WILL get better, not perfect, but better. Sometimes better is pretty good.

Know that you are a precious part of who we are. You are worth all of it, everything. Always. We love you.

Oh, how I wish there were an implant, like, say, a pacemaker, that would help the mind correct itself whenever it speeds up or slows down to a dangerous level. How I wish there was a one size fits all medication that would adapt to any one person's situation. How I wish for some kind of medical miracle in the field of mental illness.

How I wish for you to see you as we do, our precious, unique, incredible, brave, strong light.


That's about all I have for today.

For those who struggle........

May you find a glimmer, a pinpoint, a reflection of light, and let us help it to grow.
May you see that you're value isn't defined by your disease, please understand this, please know.

May you find a way to forgive us for our words, our actions, our so completely imperfect echoes.
May you see beyond our misguided turns of phrase, and see the eyes that care, the arms that enclose.

May you find it within you to battle, if not for you, do it for us, find a way to reach a new dawn.
May you find the strength to weather the storms, for it would break us if you were gone.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Women, We Are Enough.....


The last few days have been a bit significant for me. There were a few things to celebrate.

I have so many people to thank, please indulge me.

First, this week, I turned 52. I was overwhelmed, in the best sense of the word, by messages, phone calls, texts, and face to face well wishes. Each passing birthday reminds me of how lucky I am to be here, how privileged I am to walk this earth, even if it's with the accompaniment of aches and pains that weren't there last year. There are far too many, younger than I, from whom this privilege has been taken. There are far too many who are desperately fighting for the chance to stay. For me to even entertain the thought of complaining would be a slap in the face of their memories and fortitude.
Yes, I'm 52. I've earned every year, and would trade none, for each has had a hand in bringing me to where I am. Worth every wrinkle.

Then, because of all of you, these ramblings have hit a bit of a milestone. It's a milestone that probably will mean little, or nothing, to anyone other than myself, but it's a milestone, all the same. The powers that be keep a tally of how many times these ramblings are read and the countries from which the perusers reside. They track how many in a day, a week, a month and a running total of readers. Thanks to all of you, the 65000 mark is now history. It's important to me that you understand how it truly honours and humbles me every single week, that you take the time to read the words I put to the page. Please know that is never lost on me. Thank you.

Last, but, by no means, least, this week included the celebration of International Women's Day.
It's a great time to celebrate women, both in history and in the present day who have made, and continue to make huge strides toward where we need to be.

It's also a great time to celebrate the women who have influenced, and continue to influence our lives more directly. Those who have never made and likely never will make the headlines.

For me, the women from whom I descend were and are examples of strength and fortitude. They had to overcome more by the time they turned 30 than a lot of us will in a lifetime. Were they perfect? Of course not, but that simply makes their lives that much more extraordinary.

The women with whom I am contemporaries. They demonstrate the vast varieties of lives there are to live. That each has its ups and downs. That each has merit and value. That living your life according to the opinion of others is a waste of time. That we still carry the strength and fortitude of our foremothers.

The women of future generations. You fill me with hope of what is yet to be. You are finding your voice in a way that history has never seen. The world and workplaces of freedom and equality are within your grasp. You now carry the torch with us, feed the flame, and keep it burning bright. Strength and fortitude run in your veins.

Women. We are warriors. There is nothing beyond our abilities. We deserve every success and every happiness. We are strong enough to show our tears. We are brave enough to show our fears. We are fierce enough to fight. We are enough.


Well, that about does it for now.....

May you celebrate the fact that you are here.
May you celebrate, without hesitation or fear.

May you celebrate your choices, for they have put you where you are.
May you celebrate your voices, in all of their tones, for they will carry you far.

May you celebrate that you are equal parts gentle and tough.
May you celebrate always, every day, that you are enough.

Until next week.....