Monday, April 25, 2011

Mmmmmmmmmmmm Chocolate!

Ahhhh, the poster child of the sugar crash that is Easter!

I wish I could say that I'm not feeling a bit of a sugar hangover myself right now, but, truthfully, I can't.
It was a good time. It was good to see all my kids, and as a bonus, my baby brother and his crew! The day of chocolate bunnies, candy eggs, ham, scalloped potatoes, chocolate cheesecake, strawberries and cream angel cake, park playing, wii playing, and just general playing around went by all to quickly as usual.

The days of this past week, preparing for Easter, well, let's face it, there is nothing glamorous about standing in line at a checkout for 1/2 an hour. I had a couple of days where that was unavoidable a few times each day.

You do meet some interesting people standing in line,though. For instance, in one particular line up, I met a 4 year old boy who was convinced I just had entirely too much stuff in my cart. It apparently contained an offensive amount of junk food, and didn't I know that all that chocolate would make the sugar bugs go crazy on my teeth! He did let me off the hook a little when I explained how many people this all was for and that I don't buy stuff like this all the time, just for Easter. 

And people have to ask why I like spending time with pre-schoolers! They are the most honest people on the planet!

Needless to say, he was personally invited to my reading at McNally on Saturday. Hope to see him there!

Now for the upcoming week.

I will continue to build onto our music library for the upcoming grad party. I generally look for songs that make the girl in the back scream "I Love That Song!", which is immediately followed by her grabbing every person with her on her way to the dance floor. I love that girl, she may have a different name in every place, but she is always there.

Then, I need to make sure I have all my ducks in a row for the weekend. Yep, the reading at McNally, 11am, Saturday, April 30th. I'm not sure why this reading makes me so much more nervous then other ones. Maybe, because this is the one I played over and over in my head for years, when I never thought it would ever actually happen.
The things that go through my mind don't help. What if nobody shows up? What if the kids there don't like the book? What if I screw up telling the story? All in all, it's the negative niggling that likes to whisper, then scream in my ear. It may make me a little more nervous, but it hasn't made me quit.

Oh, I thought I would post the readings and whatnots I have coming up. If any are in your neck of the woods, come by and say hi!

April 30 -  Reading/signing McNally Robinson, Saskatoon. 11am signing to follow.
May 4th -  Reading at Dinsmore Hutterite colony school.
May 14-    Dinsmore Grad Party
May 21st - Reading/signing Kindersley Library 2pm
May 28th- Home based Business Trade show- Elks hall, Kindersley. 10am-4pm.
July 1st/2nd- Reading/signing at Denzil Centennial Celebrations- time and location not finalized.

Until next week,

May every Easter treat consumed roll off of your hips/tummy/thighs, like water from a duck.
May the chocolate/sugar/general treat withdrawals not hit you like a loaded semi truck.

May the laughter that loved ones injected into your home, echo there for weeks.
May you keep fresh in your mind the sweet smudge of chocolate on your baby's cheeks.

May we cherish the silly, goofy, happiness that we sometimes take for granted.
May we try to pass the roots of it to others, who may not be so firmly planted.

Until Next Week!

You can currently find "Lexi" and "Crazy":

McNally Robinson - Saskatoon and Winnipeg
Our Drug Store- Unity

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ahhhhhhh, Spring!


A special hello and welcome to my new readers from the Emerald Isle, thanks to you and everyone for taking time to read these ramblings.

Well, this week was pretty great. Other than coming very close to having yet another day when we couldn't get to work because of icy roads, all was well. After talking to my sister-in-law in Oklahoma and seeing pics of the tornado that tore through their home and yard, I feel very lucky to live where I live. I'm very glad to say that no one was seriously injured. There were Christmas trees hanging out in fences and mattresses perched in trees, brick walls which crumbled, and teddy bears swimming in mud puddles. We are very grateful that those we love weren't tossed around like so many other things.

On a happier note, as you can see by the picture I've posted this week, "Lexi" the puppet is complete! She would get arrested for indecent exposure, but she is finished! Next, the genius seamstress and I will have to get together to get the clothes part of the project moving forward. I can't wait!

The trade show in Outlook yesterday went pretty well. My baby sister and my hubby were great help. We met lots of people and sold a fair amount of books. One little girl came by and, after taking a peek through 'Lexi," hung on to the book as if it were a favourite doll. Her older brother came up and proceeded to read "A Crazy Day" to me. It was so rewarding to see them enjoy the books so much. I was glad to see the parents buy the copies for them.

Throughout the day, there were several occasions in which 'Lexi" and "Crazy" were compared to Robert Munsch books. The best compliment, EVER!

As for the upcoming week.

With Easter coming up, I need to get my butt in gear with some meal planning and prep for the weekend. I've concocted a treasure hunt of sorts for the kids to find their baskets ever since they were little, and, even as grown ups, they still seem to get a kick out of it. It'll be so nice to have everybody under the same roof again.

Also this week, I hope to solidify a few more dates for readings. I need to start working on the music for the Grad party we are DJing in a few weeks. I need to pay some attention to the dust bunnies that have taken up squatting rights under my fridge and stove. It is also imperative that I sharpen up my Wii skills for the weekend, as I am certain there will be some sort of tournament of something at some point.

Also this week I will be working feverishly to squelch the worry that has cropped up from the fact that my second eldest daughter has decided that owning and driving a motorcycle is somehow a good idea. More grey hair, here I come!

Due to the holiday and the delightful distractions that will be occupying my home next weekend, my next blog will be going up on Monday, the 25th.

Take Care and Happy Easter!

Until then;

May Mother nature smile upon you and those you love, this Spring.
May you experience the sunshine and rainbows, and not the tantrums in which she throws things.

May she show her nurturing side, the warm, the dewy, soft breezes and showers, oh so sweet.
May she not rear her PMSing head in which she shakes the ground and stomps her feet.

May flooding waters subside, the earth beneath you become still, and any storms become but a scary story to be shared for a campfire delight.
May Mother nature bring for you days described in fairytales, and many sweetly dreamed nights.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who Could Ask For More?

Hi Everybody!

First off, I'd like to welcome new blog readers from Japan.Thank you, and all of you, so much for taking the time to read these ramblings!

Ok, so this week was pretty incredible. 

On Tuesday, I did a reading at an elementary school in Saskatoon. I read to the kindergarten kids, grades 1 and 2. Other than one little grade one guy, who was trying so desperately to act all cool and jaded in front of the older grade 2 kids, at least for the first few minutes, it went very well. Afterward, the kids and teachers had great questions and the principal said she would put a bit of a blurb about my McNally reading/ signing on the 30th, in the school newsletter. Who could ask for more?

After my reading that day, I went and did some shopping to add some things to the goodies I was taking up to that school in Prince Albert I was telling you about.  It was a very fun shopping spree. But, more about that later.

When we arrived at home on Tuesday evening, we found a message on our voicemail that our half a beef was ready to pick up. So after some conversation with the butcher guy, made a date to pick it up the next afternoon. Side note: butcher is an hour and a half north of us. As it turned out, Butcher guy's wife teaches grade one in Biggar, so I left him my card. Who knows, right?

As I was planning on spending my Wednesday sorting and making ready the supplies for Prince Albert, things got bumped up a little. With my hubby's help we ended up getting everything sorted and figured out that evening. Thanks, Honey!

So, after Thursday went by pretty much without a hitch, other than my road trip partner changed from baby sis to baby daughter, and a few anxious moments loading the car, Friday was very quickly upon us.

Friday was AWESOME!  I left work a wee bit early, picked up my youngest daughter, and off we went to PA! The traffic was pretty heavy, and the road itself isn't in the best shape, but it was great spending time with my baby girl.
Now, I know I've mentioned in the past, these little niggling voices of doubt that live in my consciousness. Well, they started yelling at me again on the way there. What if this is too much stuff, what if it's not the stuff they really need, what if I completely missed the mark in what I felt and saw in my first visit? What if I offended the school?

By the time we actually got to the school, I was pretty nervous.

We entered the school, and went to the gym, where some of the 8 and 9 year old children were. It took them about a half a second to recognize me and then my nerves were completely drowned out by the chorus of "Hi! You're back! We missed you!" It's hard to feel anxious hearing those words as your being tackle/hugged by about 15 kids! I stopped second guessing myself right there.

It was incredible. They had no idea why I was there, they didn't know I had brought anything for them.

After a bit of  a conversation with the Principal, it was decided that the staff should maybe go through everything first and decide how it all should work. Thanks to everyone who contributed, there was......
Board games, 3 big boxes of story books for all ages, musical instruments, puzzles, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, pens, pencils, funky erasers, scrap books, flash cards, a whole learning system, toys, glitter, construction paper, computer paper, and I'm sure more that I'm not thinking of at this moment.
Thanks everyone!

It was priceless. After my daughter and I brought in the first armloads, the principal started saying her thank yous, I just looked at her and grinned. "Oh, but we're not done."

As we brought armload after armload, the staff was like a bunch of kids at Christmas! One of the teachers was talking aloud to himself as he moved each box from the entryway, "Oh, this will be awesome for this kid, that one is going to go crazy for all of these books!"  He became more animated with every box. The tired soldier, not so tired anymore.

Yep all in all, a very good trip! Who could ask for more?

There was a little sad news to be brought back from this trip, though. I found out why my tour further north has been postponed. Apparently the reserves where Cheryl wants to take me are having a lot of flooding right now, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. I guess, sometimes these schools have to close for up to six weeks! I guess I better quit complaining about the mud puddle in my driveway!

So, now she is looking at putting together a tour in the Fall. It will probably be for about a week and include several schools.

This kind of works out pretty well. This way, I can take time to hopefully put together something really fun, musically for the kids. I'm thinking I might just learn as many basic chords on the guitar as I can, and just write some stuff around them! Just might work! Who could ask for more?

Oh before I go, I have to tell you about the email I received from McNally Robinson. Apparently, they have pretty much sold out of  "A Crazy Day" in both Saskatoon and Winnipeg and need more books, pronto!
How cool is that!? Who could ask for more?

For the upcoming week.

This week, I'll be working, and getting organized and prepared for the trade show in Outlook on Saturday, April 16th. Come check it out if you are in the neighbourhood!

Other than that, the week should be pretty tame. Who could ask for more?

Where to get "Crazy"
Our Drug Store, Unity
McNally Robinson, Saskatoon and Winnipeg
as always online

Until next week,

May you have the chance to hug those with mouths that smile, but eyes that tell a deeply different tale.
May you know that there are those with cherib faces and adult souls who, as grown ups, we have failed.

May you have the joy that comes with bringing even a glimmer of lightness and laughter to these eyes that have seen too much.
May your soul be filled to the brim, by holding them with what, though distant, they recognize as a mother's touch.

May you all feel the satisfaction, peace and gratitude, that comes from the chance to spread a giggle.
May you not allow the doubting voices to deter you, no matter how they nag or how they niggle.

Take Care!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Day Late and a Dollar Short? I Hope Not!


I'm so sorry I'm late with this week's blog. The hubby and I were away for the weekend, but I had every intention of writing up these ramblings when we got home. I didn't, however, intend to feel like a wrung out dishrag and have the energy of a sloth on sleeping pills.

So, I made an executive decision, and took my first sick day off work in a year and a half. I'm already feeling a little more myself, so I'm sure whatever it is, will be gone by tomorrow.

Well now, for this past week. let me start by saying that our "pajama party" last weekend was awesome! It was so good to get caught up with old friends. I was going to post a pic on my blog this week, but our photographer ( my youngest daughter) had a bit of trouble with my new camera, and there wasn't a shot that would have got a passing grade for the promise of "only using a good one."

As for the rest of the week, it went pretty well. I was able to shoot off some emails about upcoming readings. My puppet lady is making progress with the "Lexi" puppet, and the most talented, lovely seamstress in the world has agreed to giving a try on making the clothes once the puppet is ready for measurements! Yay, Lori! Ok, she maybe didn't 100% completely agree yet, but, because she is so awesome, I'm sure she will!

I did receive an email this week postponing my Red Earth, Shoal Lake trip for a bit. So, instead of waiting for that tour, and so the kids can get good use of the stuff before the end of school, my sister and I are going to make a run up to the residential school I've been telling you about on Friday, with their "care package."

Yes, about the care package. Because of the incredible generosity of the people who were kind enough to respond to the bug I placed in their ears, my hope of taking a full car load of books, markers, construction paper, colouring books, glitter, glue,etc. is coming true. Thank you all so much! I know it's going to mean the world to these kids!

On the musical front, I don't feel I've been struck by any genius inspiration yet. Other than the head and shoulders/bitsy spider idea, nothing has really jumped at me. I'm sure something will come to me, and it will work perfectly with whatever time frame/ age group/ musical ability/ willingness to participate I come across. Right?

Now, for the upcoming week. Tomorrow, I'm doing a reading at St. Phillips elementary school in Saskatoon. It should be pretty fun, it's a very happy, warm atmosphere. It was a great experience when I read "Lexi" there last year.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I'll be sorting and packing all the wonderful things that we'll be taking to Prince Albert on Friday afternoon. I'm looking so forward to seeing the looks on the kids faces when they see everything! Will definitely have my camera!

Also this week, I'm hoping to hear back from some different places regarding readings etc. It would be nice to get my calendar sorted out.

Oh, I almost forgot. On the karaoke/dj side of things, we've been booked to do a grad party for a nearby high school. It'll be a good time. Hmmmm...for those of you who are reading this from anywhere other than Saskatchewan, a definition of "grad party" may be in order.

You see, this is an occasion where, after the high school graduating class has finished with all the pomp and circumstance of the ceremonies, fancy dinners, and pictures, they get to let off some steam.
Yep, there's a bar-b-que humming along all night, and a giant tent gets rented and erected in one of the graduates farm yards. Then they hire someone like my hubby and I, and they proceed to dance their little faces off until about 5am. Now, keep in mind this will be taking place here, in Saskatchewan, in the middle of May. So, it's a given that the temperature will dip very close to freezing, if not freezing, for a good portion of the evening. I know to some of you that doesn't sound like a good time, but watching those kids have such a good time, and being a part of helping that happen is soooo fun!

Have a Great Week All!

Until Then,

May your week be strong, and the time that passes within it, not be lost in auto pilot.
May you be aware and present for every minute, not to smell only the roses, but too the daisies and violets.

May you catch every smile and nod, and really feel every kindness given you.
May all that's hurtful go unnoticed instead, as usually the opposite is true.

May you keep close those who treat you well, and bring joy to the life that surrounds you.
May you have the fortitude and strength to weed out the ones who don't, for their toxic weight could drown you.

Thanks So Much!