Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Day Early and A Dollar Ahead?!

Well, hello everybody!

I would like to say a special hi to the new readers in Saudi Arabia, thanks so much for taking an interest!

You know the saying "A day late and a dollar short"?, well I'm putting this up a full 24 hours early this week,  so do you think the opposite is true? "A day early and a dollar ahead"? Wouldn't that be awesome!

The reason I am posting this a day early is because I won't be home until later tomorrow, and most likely will be fairly tired. So, if I wanted these ramblings to make any kind of sense at all, I thought this was the better option.

Yep, tonight I'm going to be meeting up with a couple of friends from high school, we're going to basically have a pajama party! Only this time in a nice hotel instead of our parents' basement! It's going to be a blast!

So, this past week.

I've been emailing back and forth with the puppet lady I told you about in last week's blog, and it's sounding great. She is tracking down materials as we speak, and then will put a Lexi puppet together for me to have a look. My idea is to then find someone who can sew the clothes for her from the story. I  want to incorporate buttons and zippers and ties, so it helps little ones with accomplishing these milestones. Hopefully, we can keep the cost down so they can be really affordable for young families.

Also this week, I've been working on something musical to do with the kids on my trip to Prince Albert, Shoal Lake, and Red Earth on April 19-20. One idea I had was to do a simultaneous version of "itsy bitsy spider" and "Head and shoulders knees and toes." I tested it out with my daughter and baby sis, and it did work, well, it worked with two adults who knew the songs before hand, so we'll see. I'm trying to put together a couple of different things, as I'm not sure of how much time I will get with the kids, or what their level of interest might be in this sort of thing. I guess I only can get as prepared as I can and then wing it from there. Well, that strategy has served me well my whole adult life, why stop now?!

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed thus far to the "care package" I'm putting together for the kids in the residential school I told yo about in my ramblings a couple of weeks ago. It's going to be great! I plan on including a card, and putting all the different contributors on it, so these kids can see and know that people care, and that it's way more than just me.

Now for the upcoming week.

This week I will be contacting the Kindersley library and hopefully setting up a reading/signing date there. I also plan on setting something up at the Outlook elementary school. Maybe Dinsmore and Rosetown too.

Other than the above phone calls, my normal work week and continuing to try to come up with some sort of genius musical thingy for the northern schools, it should be a fairly mellow week. And maybe, just maybe, there won't be a snowstorm! It's possible!

Where you can get "Crazy"
Our Drug Store in Unity
as always online at

Until next week!

May you hug the soul of a stranger with a kind smile, a friendly word and gesture that expects no return.
May your heart be touched deeply by unexpected beauty, and icicle prism, a child's laughter, someone dancing without concern.

May you feel the freedom of a child who knows not of earthquakes, radiation, elections, global warming, or war.
May you hold that freedom, so in spite of these adult things, you live, you laugh, you love, you share your soul and more.

May your week be filled with the bluest skies, the warmest smiles, and the happiest moments in the history of your days.
May your many talents shine so brightly, this week, that even you will be amazed!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Love My Life!

Hi all!

In my recent ramblings, I have mentioned how much I appreciate all of your support in reading my blog and books. I woke up this morning and, after throwing in a load of laundry, sat down and signed in to start this week's bits. When I did, it caught my attention that some people from another country have become readers.
So in addition to those in Canada, US, South Korea, Russia, China, UK, Malaysia, India and Denmark, I would like to welcome and thank the newest readers in Iran.

So, I have to say this week was pretty fun. Even if there was another day, Thursday, where we couldn't get into the city for work. I'm tellin' you it's nuts! And to top it off, when I tried to text the lady I nanny for that I couldn't get there, the texts didn't work! I didn't want to call that early and wake anyone, but wanted to give her as much notice as I could. I thought all was fine until she called worried because she hadn't heard from me and I was due there a half hour earlier! I'm not sure what the glitch was, but am pretty confident it has something to do with the fact that I have a new "smart phone", and I'm not exactly proficient with the use of it. Just a guess.

Anyway other than that, the week was pretty great. I had a blast reading "A Crazy Day" for the preschool kids on Friday, and was even invited to share in play dough time afterward! What can I say, I Love What I Do!
Saturday's trade show was great, sold some books, made a couple of interesting contacts, one being much more fun than the other. One had to do with networking, possible elbow rubbing opportunities and whatnot. The other was this very talented puppet maker. We are going to work on coming up with a Lexi puppet! Guess which one is more fun!

All in all, another great experience. Because of this trade show, a few more munchkins will be at the reading/signing at McNally on April 30 11am.(not so subliminal advertising).

Now, for this week.

I have no bookings this week, as I will be working on putting together some kind of a musical thingy for the kids up north. It's a little tricky, as one group, maybe more, have pretty big age ranges. I'm trying to come up with ways to make traditional little kid songs fun for the older kids. I am pretty much reliant on recorded tracks, as playing guitar is beyond my uncoordinated capacity. Beat boxing is also pretty much out of the question. Somehow I just can't see a fifteen year old, streetwise boy taking a 45 year old grandma of eastern European descent seriously, when she, in trying to make cool rap type noises using only her mouth, would inevitably have spit or some such nonsense flying out of her face. Nope, just can't see it.

I'm sure something will come to me. I hope.

Places you can go get "Crazy"

McNally Robinson in Saskatoon and Winnipeg
Our Drug Store in Unity
As always online

Until next week.

May Spring beginning to spring put a bit of a spring in your step.
May the Holy saint of travel hold you wholly to help with holes that will eat a whole corvette.

May the damn dam your needing to dam the inevitable damn snow melt flood work like a dam, and then some.
May you bank on your brake shop to give you a break when your brakes break, as not to brake your bank sum.

May the morning coffee you've brewed help to lessen your broody mood as your brood scrambles for food, with their own moods brewed.
May your week not be weak, but see you at your peak, you can peek at your weak, but strive to peak for most of your week, or let's face it, you're screwed.

Have a Great Week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Journey Into The Unknown

Well, this week, "Lexi" and "Crazy" took me to places that again, I never would have had the opportunity to visit had I not written them.
As I had never been to Prince Albert, my hubby was so kind as to drive, so I could navigate addresses. I have a bit of a phobia about heading into places, not knowing exactly where to go ( I blame my mom for that one), so it's always helpful for, on the first trip somewhere, there is a helper person.
Upon arrival, we discovered that the hotel had lost the reservation. After a little tail chasing we had everything set straight away. The real adventure didn't start until the next morning anyway.
So, in the morning we went to the coordinator lady's office to begin our tour.
The first school was on a reserve about an hour or so northwest of Prince Albert. According to the coordinator, one of the more well run schools in the country side. The school felt very warm and inviting, the staff and kids were great.
They have a pretty decent library, although the whole two computers available for the kids to use in the library looked like they came over on the arc. It definitely makes you think about what our kids took completely for granted in our school division. I've been to schools where a bank of computers in the kindergarten room is the norm. Same province......makes you ponder.
The reading went better than I ever could have hoped! Little ones and teachers alike giggling in all of the right spots. The kids were quiet and attentive for both books, which is always a good sign. One little girl was a little concerned that the family in the book might eat the foot juggled ice cream, she was so cute.
The other school we went to was right in town. It's a boarding school of sorts. The kids attending this non-graded school are to me, the lost kids. These kids range in age from about 5 - 15. They are children with learning disabilities brought on by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the children that have been abused and damaged by adults along the way. These are the children that the foster system can't handle and the parents can't deal with, the lost kids.
Somehow, in our society, our very affluent society, these kids are discarded. They have suffered some sort of mistreatment, alot of them since before they were born, and as a reward for surviving their lives so far, they are sent to this place.
Don't get me wrong, the staff there is incredible, doing the best they can with the tools they are given to help these kids. Earlier I talked about how the first school was very warm and welcoming, it had a very positive energy. When I walked into this school, I instantly could feel a heaviness in my chest. The building itself seems to be just this side of condemned, the staff has a look and feel of war weary soldiers who are not seeing an end to the fight.
They have very minimal materials to work with. The kids have no art or music and very few books. I was the very first visitor of any kind to come and see them, as they are considered difficult and unpredictable. There is no way I could just leave that place and not have it impact me in a big way.
When it came time to do the readings, we had all ages at once. So we had about 35 kids, 5 year olds straight up to about 15. Considering the kind of books I write, I wasn't at all surprised to see a less than impressed teen aged boy sitting in front of me with arms crossed and eyes rolling.
The kids were great, they were incredibly attentive, fully participating in both stories. Even arm-crossed boy found himself leaning forward with a silly grin on his face by the time we were done. They were sitting in a kind of horseshoe shape, so to insure that all the kids could see, my hubby held a book to my left and the coordinator lady stood to my right with another one. The little ones especially wanted to touch the pages throughout.
As I said, it's not possible to walk out of their unaffected. So, this is my plan. I'm going to be going back up north on April 19th. I'm going to be taking a bit of a care package to the kids at the boarding school. Craft supplies, story books, notebooks, pens, pencils, puzzles, board games, etc. If anyone out there would like to contribute, that would be great.
If you live in Saskatoon and have something you can donate, please send me an email and I will find a way to pick it up before the trip.
I will also be doing a pick up in Unity before then, so anyone in that neck of the woods can let me know if they have anything I could take along.
Now for the upcoming week.
Should be a regular work week, other than I will be taking Friday to read to the munchkins at a preschool in Saskatoon. Then, Saturday I'll be participating in a trade show at George Vanier elementary school. It's being held in the gym and starts at 9am. Should be a blast!
Also, I must say, I'm pretty excited about the on-line sales of "A Crazy Day" so far. It's been a pretty steady run to the post office! Thanks!
Thank you so much for your ongoing support, I want you to know that I never take it for granted.
Until Next Week!
May you give the munchkins in your life a hug, and maybe just an extra little squeeze.
May they know without doubt, that they are loved and cherished just for their ability to breathe.
May you look passed the hurt and anger that lives behind the eyes of those that have been broken by the adults entrusted with their care.
May you see the fear underneath it all, the damaged, delicate spirit that with enough love and laughter can maybe begin to repair.
May you experience the joy of putting a smile on the face of an angel that deep down thinks it's not really an angel at all.
May you do this, feel this, so in love with these angels you can fall.
Take Care, Have a great Week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I hope my weekly ramblings find everyone fat and sassy, happy and healthy, bright eyed and bushy- tailed, and in the wise words of my Dad, sufficiently suffancified. You'll have to just trust me on the spelling of that last one.
Well things are moving along pretty nicely on the book front. I have a couple more tentative dates for more readings. I'm looking forward to and am having a little anxiety about beginning the reading circuit with "A Crazy Day." I have to work on chasing away that "what if they don't like it" thingy that whispers in my ear.
In the meantime, in the past week, my day of speed errands was postponed due to weather. yeah, you guessed it. Another flippin' SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!!
So now, tomorrow, I need to do all the errands I was going to do last Tuesday. Then, after I'm done running around like a chicken with my head cut off, it will be time to pick up the hubby at work and head off to Prince Albert. Then, bright and early Tuesday morning we will begin the readings. Keep your fingers crossed! I hope they like it!
It's back to work this week, as well. I miss my munchkins anyway, it's time they get home. Then, as a bonus, at the end of the week we will be heading to Unity, Saskatchewan. There, we will watch our two nieces take part in the skating carnival there. It's the last one for my one niece as she is off to University in the fall.
On a personal note, today is a day of a bit of pondering. You see, it's my birthday. Yep, I'm 45 today! Now, I know some people who tend to freak out about getting older, they hate birthdays, don't celebrate them, etc.
For me, I firmly believe in celebrating every year we get to be here. As I have mentioned in past ramblings, my sister passed away shortly before her 46th birthday a couple of years ago. I believe in the deepest parts of who I am, that taking for granted our time on this earth let alone cursing the passing of years because of simple vanity is an insult to her life that was cut so short and all those who leave us so young. How do we dare be so arrogant as to complain about a wrinkled this or a sagging that, when they or their loved ones would love to have them around to see that happen.
Don't get me wrong, I'm doing what I can (within reason) to counteract gravity. I look in the mirror and see lines that weren't there a year ago. I have more grey hair under the coloring than I feel I'm ready for.
But I look after myself not to try to fight getting older, but simply to make the journey more enjoyable. I want to be around to help plan my daughters' weddings, chase grandkids at the park, wipe their bums an noses, help them with homework, attend their graduations, weddings, bounce their babies on my knee.
If being around for these incredible events means I put up with some wrinkles, stretchmarks and age spots, so be it. They are the marks of a life well spent.
So, wish me luck this week. I'll be taking my now officially middle-aged self on the road to dangle my new baby "A Crazy Day" in front of the "masses." Here's hoping I don't get booed out of the room!
Until next week. For those approaching the half-time show.
May those drugstore glasses help you read the label of the pain killer that will aid your aching body.
May the lovely surprise that happens when you sneeze or laugh too hard not take place at a crowded party.
May all the magical creams advertised on tv, work as well as they would lead us to believe, eliminating lines from a laugh or a frown.
May you exercise caution when applying them, for when used together they may tighten your skin so much your lips new home will be above your eye brows!
Take Care!
Remember tell all your friends. !