Friday, July 13, 2018

We Don't Have To Know Every Next Step In The Minute...


It's been a busy week, crammed with all kinds unexpected turns.

I'm still unpacking, processing, and sorting out the details, but I think the basic lessons I will eventually walk away with, having either learned or relearned are these...

Crowds who lean toward being fans of Gordon Lightfoot are highly unlikely to be fans of metal rock bands.

Big problems can disguise themselves as little ones quite cleverly.

Regardless of our desire to do so, we can't cure a broken heart, especially if it's not our own.

I wish I could put together some incredible words of wisdom that would magically alleviate the pain, create some joy, lift, at least, the edge of a spirit.

Instead, both of us will have to settle for whatever pours from these fingertips.

Heartaches happen often, true heartbreak, if we are very lucky, but a few times throughout our lives. I think the trick is learning the difference.

The two will look and live differently within each of us. What might shatter my heart may only make yours ache a little. Whether shattered or battered and bruised, we have to ride it out until the shards quit cutting and the bruises heal.

Both carry with them some level of shock. We have to give ourselves permission to take a breath, let the tears escape, wash our wounds. We don't have to know every next step in the minute. But, we can't allow ourselves to give in to the tears completely. They can be seductive, if we are seduced, the tears go from being soul cleansing, to life draining.

We don't have to know every next step in the minute. But, as our tears subside and the healing begins, we do need to step, forgive ourselves for the odd misstep, then step again.

Moving forward and living well is ours. We just need to claim it.

Strength is not walking through like it's nothing.
Strength is knowing it's Hell and walking through anyway, even as it burns.


That about does it for now.......

May you see yourself, really see yourself, you are more than enough.
May you find your way through these waters, no matter how rough.

May you once again find the smile that was stripped at the hands of another.
May you know you got this, you are a warrior, a gift from your fore-mothers.


Friday, July 6, 2018

As Sunsets Kiss The Clouds Goodnight...


As the sunsets kiss the clouds goodnight, a night that, even in its deepest slumber, doesn't quite surrender to the darkness, we know summer is truly here. 

These skies carry with them the endless possibilities of every tomorrow. The distant horizon beckoning the free-spirited adventures that create the memories we cling to when we need to cling.

The weeks ahead of running through sprinklers, learning to ride bikes, skateboards, and paddle boards. Finding pop up carnivals in shopping mall parking lots, learning how far we can push our courage.

The eternal evenings spent around fire pits sharing stories, s'mores, and the search for the perpetually elusive spot devoid of smoke. Learning our capacity for mosquito bites, sticky fingers, and ghost tales

The choruses of boredom echoing through the house seemingly minutes after rising at the crack of noon. Learning quickly how these choruses can turn into verses of chores. 

The days of summer seem to stretch before us, yet they are so fleeting. Do your best not to miss one kiss of a sunset.


Last weekend we had the opportunity to participate in the end-of-the-day celebrations of Canada Day in Outlook. As folks gathered together around the ball diamonds behind the rink, waiting for it to get dark enough, kids were running around playing tag and other games. 

There were a bunch of families there, some celebrating their first Canada Day. I'm not sure who had a better time, the kids, or their parents. 

It was awesome. 


Tomorrow I'll be participating in an event in Bruno, Saskatchewan where I'll be doing a reading for munchkins shortly after 10am.

If you are in that part of the world tomorrow, be sure to stop by! There is going to be all kinds of activities and entertainment! A great way to spend a summer Saturday!


May every sunrise bring you tranquility, every sunset bring a smile.
May you take the time to be, let the sun kiss your face, just be still a while. 

May you savor this summer, for there will never be another like it during this ride around the sun.
May you bask in making every memory, they are treasures to be cherished, created one by one. 


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Precious Hearts.....


In our business, we not only do repairs at our shop, we often travel to different parks and farmyards to do mobile work.

These photos depict a few different places we've been this week.

To get to these places, as fate would have it, we had to travel Highway 4, heading south. On Friday, shortly after we got back to town, as we were finishing up for the weekend, running last minute errands, we saw emergency vehicles heading down that very same road. They were heading south, traveling the same exact miles we had just traveled a mere hour before.

This highway sees a lot of traffic, especially in the summer, as it leads directly to lakes in both directions. With the long weekend stretching ahead, it was busy, even by summer standards.

The news of the accident hit town fairly quickly. Six souls gone. a singular woman in one vehicle, a young family in the other. A young family in which neither parent had yet had the chance to celebrate their thirtieth birthday. A young family with babies, 6,4 and 2 years of age.

The powers that be have begun the struggle to figure out the hows and the whys, the truth sits in the fact that no matter what the cause, the end result, sadly doesn't change.

My heart breaks for the loved ones of these precious people.

As we all travel these roads this summer, let's take extra care. Let's look out for one another. Let's be patient, attentive, careful and kind. These aren't just other vehicles on the road, these are vessels filled with loved ones held precious in the hearts of those who would be devastated at their loss.

Let's each do our part to save as many people as we can from the ravages of grief.


May we come to understand just how precious and fragile this life can be.
May we deeply comprehend that for a prolonged journey, there is no guarantee.

May we come to truly appreciate each and every time we get a chance to greet another sunrise.
May we find a way to be grateful, even under the turbulence of life's most stormy skies.

May we just say the "I love you's" without hesitation, give the hugs without a second thought.
May we spend the time, have the laughs, enjoy the moments, we only get one trip around, one shot.


Have a happy and safe long weekend.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

What If It Had Been You.......


Let me tell you a story.

There was this woman. A wife, a mother of three small children. She existed within four walls, paralyzed by fear. Her husband ruled with a heavy and abusive hand. At one point, he raises one of those booze-fuelled, hatred-filled hands to one of the children, they had made the mistake of walking in front of the tv while he tried to watch the game.

She knew she had to get out.

In the dead of night, she gathers her children, facing the cold dark dangers of the unknown, filled with hope, and faith that where they are going can only be better than what they were leaving behind.

After blurred days and nights spent hiding from headlights, deflecting, protecting, going without sleep, without food, battered, weary, they reach the shelter.

The light beckoning through the windows promises warmth and safety. They made it.

As they cross the threshold a horrible reality awaits. The tear-stained, terror-filled faces that depended on her for everything growing smaller in the distance. Their destination not considered pertinent information for the person who birthed them by those who wrenched them from her arms.


Of course, I write this as I can't seem to escape the gut-twisting, grotesqueness that has been taking place at the United States' Southernmost border, as of late.

I make this analogy because the justifications for any of this are irrelevant to me.

I have been the caretaker of children for most of my life. I've had to love countless toddlers through the anxiety they feel when their parent drops them off for the day, to go to work. For the day. Over time, they come to understand that they always come back, and they are fine.

This was in a situation where they were being cared for in my home, they had warm hugs, lots of snacks, songs to sing, games to play, naps in soft, safe places. Loved as though they were my own.

My heart breaks for the torture these poor littles are going through in a place where they are stripped from the arms of their parents after a perilous trek to escape a situation dangerous enough that those who love them most were willing to risk it. The life that led them to the border carries enough trauma for 6 lifetimes.

Then, to be taken away, to an unknown place, not understanding the language, by strangers, put into cages, pens, structures confined by wire, whatever you want to call them.

I think of my grandbabies. None of us decide where we are born, nor do we decide the situation we are born into. What if these were my grandbabies disappearing into the mist. My kids.

What if I had had to, as a young mom of four little girls, what if I had had to leave to save us. What if I had had to run. What if the very place that was to be our refuge, became a whole new nightmare.

What if it had been you...

I've heard the calls to "fix this."

It's too late for that. There is no "fix" for this. These kids are permanently scarred by this, there is nothing that will "fix" that. You might be able to help them deal with the scars, give them tools to deal with the monsters that will now follow them throughout their lives, but please don't kid yourself.

If your goal is to foster future criminals, just go ahead and keep stripping kids from those who love and support them. Take away their safety nets, their kisses goodnight, the only people on the planet that make them feel safe. Do that. That will help create the criminals you so desperately want everyone to believe these people already are.

If that's the "win" you're aiming for, looking for, longing for, congratulations.

There is plenty of room for everyone, we have enough to share, I promise.

Now, before you begin to stroke your keys in hopes of informing me of how naive I am and how not all of these people are legitimate asylum seekers, how bad guys are trying to use kids as tickets tof entry, and so on, let me preemptively answer your messages.

I don't care. Kids are kids are kids. It is up to the adults of the world to care for them, ensure they have the love and support they need to thrive. I don't care if they are white, black, brown, pink, purple, yellow or green. I don't care if they speak 7 languages or none at all. I don't care if they come from halfway around the world or next door. I don't care what brings them to my doorstep. All I know is this. They are human beings who need their loved ones and help, that should be enough.


That about does it for now.......

May we get to the other side of this hatred and fear with some of our conscience intact.
May we get to the place where we, once again, have each others' backs.

May we work toward a place where trust replaces fear, wherein there is an absence of intentional pain.
May we truly understand that by doing this, we really have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

May we allow ourselves to love beyond our borders, beyond our race, beyond our beliefs.
May we see this can only expand our joys, and share the burden of our griefs.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Happy Daddy Day!


It takes precious little to become a biological father.

Only an inherent, boundless inferno of love, patience, and understanding can forge something so precious as a Daddy.

A Daddy is a fierce protector, a life skills teacher, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen.

He is the chaser of monsters that hide under the bed, and those that don't.

He teaches you to change a tire, change your mind, but never change who you are for anyone.

He is the shoulder you come to when your world caves in.

He is the ear that listens, and hears everything, especially what lives between your words.

He is your unconditional biggest fan, whose only wish is your greatest happiness.

These are the gifts a Daddy gives each and every day, and I am forever grateful that the universe saw fit to have such a man walk beside me, the love of my life, my partner in crime, the Daddy to our girls.


Over the years of writing these ramblings, I've received many messages from Dads, some are humorous, filled with sweet anecdotes about precious moments. Some are from those struggling with the responsibilities and pressures of being a Dad.

There are those to feel the pressure of providing material things, the coolest bike, the best toys, the brand name clothes.

The most precious gift you will ever give your child is your time. They need to know there is nothing that you would rather be doing than spending time with them.

There are those who struggle with discipline, on both ends of the spectrum.

Discipline is for teaching, not punishment. Use it to teach kindness, empathy, responsibility, not fear.

There are those who are struggling as single parents.

Hang on. When it gets the hardest, when your patience is threadbare, when you feel you can no longer take a full breath, reach out. If you feel you have no one to reach out to, dig deeper. Giving up is not an option. Today may have felt impossible, but tomorrow is another day. The love you have for your children has no bounds, has no limits, has no expiry date. You are capable of so much more than you could ever think possible. You got this. You have to.

You are not alone. If there is no one within your immediate reach, reach further. A friendly hand is likely closer than you think.


That about does it for now,

For My Dad......

May you, as you watch over us, tongue in cheek, and goofy grin, be proud of what you see.
May you witness the lengthening of your legacy, as yet another generation of smart asses comes to be.

May you find that although you were not perfect, you were what it would look like if integrity had a face.
May you know we learned resilience from how you came through some of life's hardest challenges with grace.

May you know the memories you helped create, indelibly shaped who we've become.
May it help those who get to know us, to understand where our brand of humour comes from.

Love and miss you Dad.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Depression And The Rest Of The Dysfunctional Family......


In this twisted world, it is easy to feel alone.

It's easy to feel that the world we are walking through is getting darker by the day. It can be easy to feel like you're being swallowed by quicksand.

Suicide touched the world of celebrity twice in the last seven days. Though no one life carries any more value than another, when the horrible result of mental illness touches those in the spotlight, it throws one on the subject, at least for a while.

When this happens to those who seem to live charmed lives, have success in their careers, have families, travel the world, have stacks of money and beautiful homes. When this happens to the people that have limitless accessibility to every kind of help. When this happens to those who seemingly have everything.....

Depression. It doesn't care how much money you have, how many fans you have, how many homes you have, or how many times you have lapped the globe. It's a cancer of the soul.

Although, in the eyes of the world of medicine, this is a relatively new disease, the medical community seems to to be getting further and further behind in finding any kind of real answers. It seems they just keep throwing drugs at it in hopes it will go away,.They don't seem to know what else to do.

Don't get me wrong, in a lot of cases, probably most, medications are very necessary, and can help a lot. but, I don't think that is the whole answer. The side effects of these medications can be pretty horrible.

Those who have been prescribed anti-depressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, etc. should never adjust or ditch meds without serious discussions with their health care providers. Better answers aren't available......yet. But that doesn't mean they won't be.

You often hear about strides and breakthroughs made in research about cancer, MS, heart health, diabetes, as we should. I don't remember the last, or maybe any, news story about strides or breakthroughs made in regards to depression, or Bipolar disorder, or Bipolar 2 disorder or, or, or...

There is certainly no shortage of commercials on tv touting a multitude of new medications with side effects that seem almost worse than the symptoms they are supposed to help. Gratefully, there are also spots for suicide hotlines, and mental illness awareness, which, I think, are helping as far as alleviating some of the stigma that has been traditionally associated with mental health, or unhealth.

Maybe it's because there are some that are still of the mind that you should be able to pull yourself out of it, shake it off. Some that simply don't understand that the disease takes possession of your every thought, filters the way you see the world, buries you.

Medications can help you cope, but they are not a cure.

Maybe there are real cures for schizophrenia, bipolar, and all of the members of their very dysfunctional family. Maybe the cures are out there just waiting to be discovered, maybe we simply need to look harder, further and deeper to find them.

Maybe someday, we will get there. But, the only way to there from here is through dogged research by the capable minds that will push enough, fight hard enough, care enough to do so.

In the meantime, let's do what we can as the non-scientific medical researchers that we are. Let's remember to be kind with our words, with our actions. Let's smile at passersby instead of stare at the screens in our hands. Let's connect with those we know are struggling. Let's pay attention to each other. Let's ask each other how we are, mean it, and really listen to the answer.

Let's do our part in untwisting the world, even if it's just a little.


Tears of fire scorch my cheeks as I bury yet another friend.
Answers are vapour, life-smothering darkness, a thief of souls.
We push on, treading water, chasing reprieve, hoping for brilliance.
And then there is another........


Until next time...

May your kindness pierce the dark armour forcibly thrust upon gutted souls.
May you realize yours may be the only kindness they experience, spirits filled with holes.

May you see that the power of a simple kindness can change the course of a life that's tenuous.
May you see it as the lifeline it can be, use it often, use it always, it's free, be generous.


Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Privilege Of Freedom Of Speech...Use It Wisely


So, Roseanne Barr took it upon herself to spew garbage, and it came back to bite her in the ass.

When, as recently as 1906. the United States tolerated a black man, namely Ota Benga, being kept in a cage in the Bronx Zoo alongside exhibits of monkeys. When as late as the 1960's, black citizens had to jump through ridiculous hoops to exercise their right to vote. When, in present day, police are being called because people of colour are doing mundane things like sleeping, having picnics, or hanging out at a Starbucks. When the scars are this fresh, with new abrasions still being inflicted, wounds tend to bleed at the slightest provocation.

Let's be clear, words dripping in racist slurs are not slight provocation. They crack open a wormhole that takes society back to a time filled with twisted misconceptions, hate, and abhorrent actions that prove the evil that can thrive in humanity if those that know better don't stand up.

As a person of Anglo European descent, with the translucent skin tone of an anaemic, albino unicorn, I know that is impossible for me to truly understand what it must feel like to be on the ugly end of the "N" word. That does not mean that I can't empathize. It doesn't mean I'm not sickened by it. It doesn't mean I can't recognize racism. It doesn't mean I should turn a blind eye and pretend it doesn't exist.

We are but one race. The human race. As the world gets smaller, with travel becoming more prevalent, the lines of black, white, and the countless tones in between become more and more blurred.

The intermingling of cultures, bringing the best from all worlds, will, someday,  bring forth a humanity devoid of the ability or desire to differentiate.

Borders are imaginary lines that were drawn in the sand by greed to divide the planet into yours, mine, and theirs. I can't help but think that isn't how the universe initially intended the world to be.

There has always been the need, by some, to make others feel "less than." The need, for some, to have others put in positions of servitude. The need to build themselves up by stepping on the backs of others. As these ideals have filtered through history, the colour, shape, and pedigree of the positions have shifted, but the basics are the same.

Push a segment of society down, for if you don't, it becomes impossible to feel superior.

The intermingling of cultures, bringing the best from all worlds, will, someday, bring forth a humanity devoid of the ability or desire to differentiate.

But I don't know if I am willing to wait. Don't spew racism and try to call it societal commentary or a joke. Have the courage to call it what it is. Don't tolerate it within your life. You don't have to. It's not impolite to call a racist remark racist. It's necessary.

Then, there are those that immediately tried to equate a misguided insult by Samantha Bee, aimed at Ivanka Trump to the Roseanne garbage.

There are two very distinct differences. One was racist, that other, was, at the most, distasteful.

One referred to a human being as an animal. The other, a human being, as part of a human being.

They are simply not even close to the same thing. If you can't see that, you are actively trying not to.

Just keep this in mind the next time you are cut off in traffic, or somebody rams a shopping cart into your car. I'm sure there are a few choice parts located on the lower half of the human anatomy,  that, even if they don't leave your mouth, come to mind.

If anything resembling the racist garbage that came from Roseanne is threatening to form in your mind or take shape in your mouth, under any circumstance, well, then you know, don't you? Time to rethink which human body part you would like to resemble. Heart and soul? Or are you aiming lower?

We live in a society where we have the privilege of freedom of speech. Use it wisely. Use it with care.


This week I had the privilege to hang out with some people who took the time to read 'Once Broken" and then invited me to participate in the discussion, thereafter. Thanks to the "Bookies!" for inviting me!


Well, that about does it for another week.....

May we all come to see that race is not a race at all, there is no prize for who gets to the end on top.
May we see that it's only by ripping off the blindfold, being willing to see, that we can make it stop.

May we be willing to truly learn from the mistakes of the past, fix ourselves, forge forward, creating a path clear of thorns.
May we be better, do better, for a history ignored is one repeated, the past has proved it, we've been warned.

May we learn to look at one another absent the lens of misconception.
May we learn to truly look at our treatment of others absent the lens of self-deception.

May we find the courage to call a lie a lie, racism, racism, the truth, the truth, be upfront.
May we always be able to see the difference between being called an ape and a ..........

Until next time....