Saturday, March 31, 2012

And "Tags" Makes Three!

Hi Everybody!

You guessed it! It's the cover for the new book! Soooooo cute, right?

I really couldn't be happier, or more relieved that the illustrations for this book ended up getting finished up without any major hitches. When Hazel told me she wouldn't be able to do this with me anymore, I was thrown for a bit, I'm not gonna lie.

Who knew I'd find, in Valerie Bouthyette, yet another kindred spirit. Someone who understands my crazy notes, and shares my, sometimes, very silly sense of humour. I'm very happy to have worked with her, and look forward to future projects.

Aaaaaannnnndddd, I have even mooore good news! My daughter was able to come home from the hospital on Thursday! They still have no real clue as to why an otherwise healthy, 25 year old woman would develop blood clots in her lungs, but hopefully, they will be able to nail down the reason over time. After she is able to come off of the medication they currently have her taking, they will be able to investigate it more thoroughly. It will take months. I can honestly say, the hours following the phone call informing us of the problem, were, without a doubt, the absolutely most god awful terrifying  hours I have ever spent.  To think what might have happened...........

I guess it drives home a deep belief I have. We don't have the right to waste the life we are given, nor take for granted the lives of others.

The rest of the week consisted of going to work, running errands, hugging some kids.....lots of kids, big and small, and a trip to the doctor.

After our little run in with that deer a couple of weeks ago, most of the bumps and bruises have pretty much healed. The only things still really nagging me are my neck and left shoulder. Well, I guess I'm going to be getting up close and personal with both a physio therapist and a massage therapist  over the next little while. I sure hope it helps.

So, for the upcoming week:

I need to get "Tags" ready for the printer. This can be a bit of a task for me. My computer skills aren't completely horrible, but, well. let me put it this way, I wouldn't want to challenge your average 8 year old to a computer skills contest. Not even a little bit.

These are skills that need improving, and improving they are. Another "outside my comfort zone" thing I've had to dive in to, head first.

Also, this week, I need to set up appointments at said physio and massage therapists. I'm not sure how it works, going to both, but I'm sure they will let me know.

This week, I really need to get busy putting the final touches on the music for our first wedding of the season.

I'm almost 100% sure I will be moving ahead with a "side project" I've been thinking about doing. It's another book, but, this one is for grown ups! I'll be sure to keep you posted, once it's official.

With Easter hopping up next weekend, I need to get a move on about putting Easter dinner together. I'm not sure how many will be here, I had better get a head count!

Going to work, and this "to do" list should, or at least, almost should, keep me out of trouble for the next few days.

I'd love if you shared the link to these ramblings, and my facebook page, with anyone you think might be interested. Thanks!

So until next week, I'll leave you with this wish;

May you find it within your heart to love completely, with all your might.
May you let go of all transgressions, for grudges are heavy, forgiveness, light.

May you find the truth that forgiveness is not for those who have hurt you, or those, full of hate.
May you see it's really a lifeline that will pull you from beneath the comsuming weight.

May you not waste your life hanging on to hurts passed, for wasting life is not for us to do.
May you, instead, break loose from those binding pains, let your spirit fly with the freedom to let you become the true you.

May you see with crystal clarity that carrying past pain has no purpose, it will only hold you back.
May you let it all go, take a breath, and shine, and watch, as the world shines back.

See you next week!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Little "Boring" Wouldn't Be So Bad!

Hi Folks!

Here is one of the illustrations for "Tags Go In The Back"! All of them look great! There was only one glitch, and that was a typo on the cover. Hopefully Valerie will be able to fix it. The problem lies in the fact we didn't notice it right off,so, like I said, hopefully she can fix it. Otherwise, I'm not sure what to do, maybe they can do something at the printer? Positive thinking, she'll be able to fix it!

Also, this week, we received the payout for our very beat up, banged up, car. Apparently the amount of damage, money wise, was more than the car was worth brand new! Yep, not gonna fix that one! They were fair with the payout, at least it covered the down payment we had to make on our new one.

You may recall that last week I was going to a girl's night with my daughters and good friend. It was a great night, a lot of laughs, plenty of goofiness, and simply a lot of fun! Can't wait to do it again!

This week also brought with it some weird weather, yet again. Some snow, rain, thunder, and all at the same time! I was home Tuesday, and heard loud, sudden bangs coming from outside. I looked, and stood kind of stunned as massive chunks of ice fell off of the trees and the roof of our house and smashed down on the ground and anything else that happened to be in the way. We were able to move vehicles out of the way in time. I had visions of having to take the new car into the insurance place only a week after getting it. Even I would start looking at us sideways after that.

Another application for a Fall trade show came in, as well, this week. So, I'll be sending my paperwork for the Unity Agro Trade Show off in the next couple of days.

As I'm still feeling the effects of our accident, work, this week, was a bit tough. Two year olds really don't understand the concept of feeling sore. I kind of tried to explain that Margy wouldn't be able to maybe play all of the games we usually do (some of which can get pretty rowdy), that I had a bit of an owie. One little guy just looked at me and said "band aid?" Like" just stick a band aid on it and let's go!" In their world, a cartoon inspired band aid cures everything! They are so cute!

So that brings us to today. Randy worked today, so I awoke, pondering the puttering of housework and laundry that lay before me. Return some emails, start some prep for upcoming weddings. Then I received a text from our second oldest daughter that our oldest, was in hospital. She's been fighting a nasty bug all week and had been feeling pretty rough. Apparently during the night she began coughing so severely she actually thought she had cracked a rib or something.

After running tests and having a variety of scans, they discovered several blood clots in her lungs. Thankfully, they were able to get her on medication right away. So today, instead of dusting and laundry, has been spent worrying and fretting and waiting to hear news. Randy scooted over there from work, and my sister was able to get there as to give my daughter's hubby a chance to run home for a bit. My second daughter jumped in to care for Ethan for the day.

The time between hearing that there may be clots, to there are several, to they have her monitored, and on meds, seemed like a lifetime. I know I have no room to complain, as there are so many parents out there with much sicker children than my own. But, man, that was the scariest, most helpless feeling. Your mind can go to some pretty dark places, pretty quickly between bits of information. She is now in capable hands, and under good care. Thinking positive, she will be fine.

So, for the upcoming week:

Well, I guess that's kind of up in the air.
Hopefully, it will include: my daughter going home from the hospital; going to work; hug a grandbaby or two; boring, mundane dusting and laundry.

I gave very careful thought as to whether or not I should include these personal worries in my ramblings. As I debated with myself, I thought of when I first began writing this blog, and  my promise to take you on this crazy journey with me. It wouldn't be the real journey if the only things I shared were the good things, the happy things.

Thanks so much for taking the time to take the trip.

Until next week, I'll leave you with this wish;

May those you hold closest to your heart be safe and sound tonight.
May anything that threatens their wellbeing simply leave without a fight.

May their angels watch closely over them, keeping them from harm.
May you again, soon, hold your healthy baby in your arms.

May all the the young mothers even in the slightest of peril, come home to their children good as new.
May all come home safe and sound, this is my most heartfelt wish for you.

Until Then;

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Highway Collisions and Smurf Invasions!

Hi There!

Well, I have to tell you this week did not go as planned, at all!

Monday, we left for work at about 5:45am, as usual, stopped in Delisle for gas, as we do every morning. So far, a day like any other. Then about 6 miles down the road, after our gas fill, we are passing the turn-off to a mine, just off of the highway.

Now, they have widened this part of the road and added lights, as it is a very busy turn-off, especially at shift change. We pass it every morning, at shift change. This time of day, at this time of year, the sky is just beginning to lighten with the first peeks of sunlight. There is a heavy stream of traffic coming from the opposite direction, heading to the mine for shift change.

Well, Monday morning, sadly, a deer ventured out of the north ditch and began running, most certainly terrified, across the, what I'm sure seemed like endless lanes of traffic. She was almost successful.

From what we can piece together, what came between her and safety was running into our car. With the combination of a lightening sky, the newly installed man made lighting and the heavy, oncoming traffic we didn't even see her. My husband didn't even get a chance to get his foot off of the gas let alone make any attempt at stopping.

We feel so bad for the deer, but even after playing it over and over in our heads and talking about different scenarios, there really isn't anything we could have done differently.

So, the first picture of this week's ramblings, is one of what is left of our car. We are ok. A little whiplash and seatbelt bruising for me, some bruised ribs and general achiness for my hubby. It could have been a lot worse, and for that, we are definitely grateful. I shudder to think what might have happened if, on the narrower, old version of this same road, the deer had hit us, and bounced into other traffic. Thankfully there is now a meridian. Thankfully.

So, the rest of this week was spent dealing with insurance, finding and buying another car, and healing.

Now on to much brighter things! I received the rough sketches for my new book and they look awesome! She said I can expect the finished illustrations by the end of this week! I can't wait!

I also gave a send off to the application for the Sundog Trade Show which takes place at the beginning of December. Am I on the ball or what!

That, my friends, brings us to today. We decided to undertake our first road trip since the accident, and head out to my niece's skating carnival. Hence, the second photo. Sadly, she is much too old to be one of the smurfs, but she is one of their teachers. It was great, the kids are so cute scooting around in their costumes. It brings back a lot of memories of our girls when they were little.

Now, for the upcoming week.

Well, to start it off right. I will be celebrating St. Patty's Day with the girls' weekend I mentioned last week. My friend is coming into town, we are attending a get together at my daughter's house and then who knows where the evening may take us!

Sunday will be spent resting, doing laundry, and getting ready for the work week ahead.

Then, in the days to come, I look forward to hearing from insurance people about the car, getting back to a normal routine (whatever that is), and seeing the finished illustrations for "Tags Go In The Back".

Should be a good week!

Until next week, I'll leave you with this wish:

May you get through your week safe and sound, getting to that and this.
May happenstance intervene, and make any sure collision, nothing but an unnoticed miss.

May any close calls be not close at all, may there be plenty of room for error.
May not one of you experience that sharp,yet, shortlived terror.

May angels watch over those not so lucky, those fighting their way to well.
May those angels give them the strength of ten, to find their way back from hell.

Until next week!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hatched Egg Salad! What?!

I know, I know, I know......... I promise this will be the last one for a loooooong time.  I just couldn't resist this one.....Just look at that face!!!!!

This little guy turned a month old this week! It's crazy how fast the time is going! Before you know it he'll be running around wanting to make lunch for his Mom, just like his cousin Ethan did this week.

Yep, I received a call from my daughter, Ethan's Mom,  telling me how Ethan came into her room as she was folding laundry, and said he was going to make them some lunch. She, thinking this was one of many of his imaginary games said, "Sure , ok."

A couple of minutes later, she attempted to enter the kitchen under great protest from her young, chef, son. Entering against his pleas to please stay out, she found herself in a kitchen with a lavish carpet of raw eggs covering the floor, with Ethan, diligently trying to clean it up with clean dish towels.

She asked him what happened.

His reply," I tried to make us egg salad, Mommy,  but all of the eggs hatched all over the place all at once!"

Ahhhhhh, 4! I really did try not to laugh, I really did!

So......... this week.

Last week I told you about Telemiracle......well this year, we did it again. We broke another record! We are a province of barely a million people. In 20 hours we raised $5.9 million dollars! I say we... and it does feel like we. Truly incredible.

So, while the telethon was finishing up on Sunday afternoon, I thought I would send an email off to Hazel, my illustrator, to let her know "Tags" was ready to go. I was very surprised when she emailed me back with the news that she wouldn't be able to do the illustrations! She's booked up and until July and then has her own projects to work on.

I read her email and as the words sunk in, I began to panic a bit. Now, I have this book ready to be illustrated, and nobody to do it! I'm also under a deadline, self imposed, but very real. I need these books on the shelves by the end of August!

What do I do?!?!?!

After a few "Holy Crap, Now What?!" induced tears, I took a couple of deep breaths and dove deep into the Internet. That's how I found Hazel, I would just have to do it again. I need to look at it as an opportunity, not an obstacle.

So, after looking at a LOT of portfolios, I found one that looked like it could be a good fit. Someone who could maybe do illustrations for this new book without them looking completely disjointed from the other two books.

I contacted her through her website, found her email address and sent one directly to her, as well. Luckily, she responded quickly. By now, we've corresponded back and forth several times, and I should have some sketches by Monday!

She seemed to understand all of my crazy "notes"that I attach to the story for the illustrator. You see, I try to describe the way I see the story, as best as I can. Kind of a " if I had lick of artistic talent, this is what I would draw" type of thing.

Yay, Valerie! Valerie, from New York, I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful, and very long friendship!

 This week, the application for the Sundog Craft Show came! I have it filled out, and will get it sent away in the next few days.

And, as of today, I have finished and filed, 2 of our 4 daughters' income tax. Done and done!

Also this week, I turned 46! My husband made me a wonderful birthday cake, and a lovely supper. As it turned out, my birthday fell on one heck of a snowstormy day, so the day was ours, with no travelling! I highly recommend having your birthday on a snow day, it's awesome!

Driving in the days following the snow day, not quite so awesome. Although the crews try their best, the residential streets of the city of Saskatoon, completely suck! It's really melting this weekend, so hopefully they are a little better by Monday........ Hopefully.

Yeah, so after that bit of hectic craziness, I took today, and had a long soak in my wonderful tub, read my book, and enjoyed a very nice glass of wine.

So folks, for the upcoming week.........

Monday: "work", then in the afternoon meet with upcoming bride about music for their wedding.

Tuesday: Housework and laundry.......yipeeeee! Work on possible grown up book project...... check out some feasibility issues......

Wednesday: work, then run errands, hopefully squeeze in some baby snuggles, and 4 year old hugs.

Thursday: Start putting music for May wedding together, laundry.

Friday: Work, nail appointment, pick up hubby, then off to Unity for my niece's figure skating carnival!

Saturday: Girls' Weekend! Dana is coming to town, we are attending a get together at my eldest daughter's house, getting a hotel room and spending the night catching up.....looking so forward to it!

As a result, my blog will be posted a bit early next week. Probably Saturday morning.

So until then, my friends, I'll leave you with this wish.............

May you look back on what has been, with no regret, no guilt, only appreciation for experiences past.
May you see even that, which has been painful, hurtful and cruel as the, "not so pretty mortar" that holds your character fast.

May you see all of the battle scars of childhood handed out so generously by parents, siblings, or maybe "so called" friends, as the badges of honor they are.
May you understand how utterly strong that child was, to withstand those trying battles, and to  ultimately win the war.

May you strive to be the hero that child so desperately, longingly, hoped for.
May you be that hero for yourself, here and now, be your hero in your life, evermore.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Playing "Hide/Peek" and Hunting Fake Rabbits!


This week, an action shot depicting our eldest grandson "hunting" a battery operated hamster/rabbity looking thing with a  pvc pipe pop gun whose ammo consists of a cork on a string. He's 4, with some deeply running country roots, no further explanation necessary.

I was trying to think of some clever way to work this picture into some incredibly insightful metephor for life, but, you know what? Sometimes cute is just cute. There is something in the pic that brings to mind the old story.....what is it... oh yeah.... "Peter and the Wolf"! The version I'm familiar with was done by Disney, both the book and cartoon. If you have a chance, look it up, great story!

Alrighty then,

This week was a pretty busy one.

Monday, I went back to work. My munchkins are just too cute sometimes. One of the twins, about half way through the morning, looks at me all sad. MarMar bye bye, then grins, hugs me, and says, MarMar home!

Tuesday was full of baby snuggles and laundry.

Wednesday I booked off of work, and, after an appointment for baby, took Kerianne and Jakey home to her apartment to stay. I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. On one hand, I'm so proud of her for being ready to stand on her own two feet so soon. On the other, we are going to miss them around here! Definitely going through newborn baby snuggle withdrawals!

Thursday was spent vacuuming, dusting, moving furniture around, laundry, scrubbing down bathroom and kitchen, yeah, pretty much anything but being still. The house was toooooooooooooooooo quiet.

Friday was back to work, where I began the first hide and seek, (or hide/peek, as they call it), lesson for the twins. One caught on pretty quickly, staying in the kitchen and counting as only 2 year olds can, and then would come and find me. The other, would follow me as he "counted" then, instead of hiding quietly with me, jump up, wave, and call to his searching brother, "Hello, Jay!"
They are so funny! We rounded out the morning with some snacks, some songs, some stories, and making carwashes out of vegetable brushes. All in all, a good day at "work."

That, my friends, brings me to today.

You may have noticed I'm posting a bit earlier than normal this week. That's because it's Telemiracle Weekend! Now, non-Saskatchewanites.....Saskatchewanians....Saskatchewanists......those not of Saskatchewan, may not be familiar with Telemiracle. In a nut shell, this is what it is......

A local telethon that is in the Guinness book of world records for raising the most money per capita of all time. This will be the 36th edition. The funds remain in the province helping those facing medical and physical challenges. It really is quite incredible, it makes me so proud to be a Saskatchewanianiteist! Google it if you get a sec, you'll see what I mean!

Also today......... I finished the new book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it is now officially ready for Hazel! Now, as soon as I hear from Hazel that she is ready for it, off it will go! "Tags Go In The Back" will hopefully be ready for stores by mid- August. This means I need to have it ready for the printer by the beginning of May. Here's hoping all goes according to plan.

"Tags" copyright is now registered as well, another thing ticked off of my list.

So, now for the upcoming week!

Hopefully get "Tags" sent off to Hazel.

Start putting the fine tuning in to "Tags" for printer. (Font, Font size, layout,etc)

Hopefully, receive, fill out, and send back the application for the Sundog show which takes place in Dec. ( I might get lucky!)

Extract dirt and other unpleasantness from the garments in which we enrobe ourselves.

Remove unwanted particles, both from where we rest our buttocks and place our feet, from our dwelling.

Like my fancy talk?

Until next week, I leave you with this wish........

May you look into the mirror and see yourself as others, who love you, do.
May you accept their vision of you as the truth,  no matter how you see you.

May you see past the wrinkles, grey hair, and the softness that stubbornly lives around your waist.
May you see the beauty of the life lived, the children raised, the dreams chased.

May you see beyond the once high and perky parts that have decided to start their migration South.
May you see the vibrant beauty and confidence that comes with time and wisdom without which there is no true voice emanating from your mouth.

Until Then!