Friday, January 24, 2014

Selfie High-Fives! It Could Be a "Thing"!

This "in your face" panorama was the sight tonight as we made our way home from the shop tonight. They definitely don't call Saskatchewan "The Land of the Living Skies" for no reason. Pretty incredible. There was also this weird pseudo- rainbow thing going on, by none of the shots that I took did it any kind of justice. I'm hoping maybe someone else in the area was able to get better ones and will share? Maybe?
So, I'm pretty sure you are aware of the phenomenon known as the "selfie."  The kind of self congratulatory self portrait of the digital age. The "selfie." I am by no means judging the selfie, they are, for the most part, pretty harmless, kinda cute, and almost always make me smile.
For those, however, who may not be comfortable sharing their "I am friggin' awesome" moments on Facebook, instagram, twitter, or tumblr, I would like to introduce......the "selfie high- five". Think it will catch on? You know, become a "thing?"
Instead of looking at pictures taken in bathrooms, and parking lots, clubs and restaurants of what seems to be the obligatory "duck face," we will witness first hand people jumping in the air, smacking their hands together, high above their heads accompanied by a resounding "WooHoo!"
Or maybe the selfie high-five should be reserved more for those times when you are happy there weren't any witnesses. Maybe we should reserve the selfie high-fives for those moments we do things that we can't believe we just did. You know what I mean. You know you do.
Those times like when you open a can or package dump the contents, throw away the container, and realize the cooking instructions were on the package, on which you just now dumped this mornings' coffee grounds.
Those times when, for a second, you panic because you can't find your phone, only to realize it's in your hand.
Those times you painstakingly go through your pantry/cabinets making a grocery list, only to get to the store and realize you left it on the dining room table.
Yes, maybe we should reserve the selfie high-five for these occasions.
If that is the plan, then I owe myself a huge one for an incident that took place earlier this week.
Early Wednesday morning, as is my usual routine,  I stepped outside in my bathrobe and my husband's shoes to start the truck, to warm it up a bit before we leave. On that particular morning, however, this usually harmless task took on a bit of a twist.
You see, we've been getting some pretty big swings in temperature, as of late, and when that happens in January, in this lovely Land of the Living Skies, this usually generates a bit of ice.
Well, one second, I was reaching for the door handle of the truck, the next, I was laying on my back looking at that living sky.
The only thing that stopped me from sliding completely under the truck was catching that bar/step thingy with my shins.
Thankfully, the only injuries were a scrape or two to the shins, a bit of a whack to the back of the shoulder blades and neck, and I now sport a right cheek that would make Kim Kardashian jealous!
The next day, as I was getting dressed to go do a reading at a school, imagine my surprise when I couldn't do up the jeans I had worn only days before?! I kid you not, the Kim K half of my booty just wouldn't let it happen! That's crazy!
Oh and in case you ever need to know? Climbing ladders etc. after a pratfall like that is not a lot of fun. at. all.
But, it was only a couple of scrapes and a swollen butt cheek, I think I'll survive.
Thankfully, there were no witnesses. Noone to see the lady in the blue chenille bathrobe,  wicked case of bedhead, and giant steel toed boots take up the new sport of butt skating.
Selfie high-five...............
The reading, by the way, went great. Another group of awesome kids in a wonderfully tiny K-6 school that houses three classrooms, a gym and an office. The teachers were very warm and friendly and made me feel right at home. Man, I love going to schools!
Also this week, I found out that Valerie, the lady who illustrated "Tags" for me, is willing to jump on board for the next adventure. Yay!
I was also invited to come to another small town, only this time, to come and do a reading for some munchkins during their community's centennial celebration, this summer. Yay again!
And I was also approached about doing a reading at a library a few hours Northwest of here, in the spring. Yay again.
As for the upcoming days?.....
Well, I'm sending these ramblings out a bit early because my friend is coming to visit for the weekend. Tomorrow evening will be spent attending  "somebody is coming to sell cool stuff" party at my daughter's house, quickly followed by coming back to my house, getting in comfy clothes, pouring a couple of adult beverages and getting caught up on things.
On Monday, I get to go visit another school. Yay, yet again! (I'm hoping the swelling is down by then), and in the same trip, pick up some parts.
The rest of the week will be busy with the hustle and bustle of the shop. Finishing projects, preparing for others, scheduling still others.
Then, next weekend, we will probably be helping our second daughter and her boyfriend move into their newly purchased condo. I'm so excited for them! Here's hoping the mild weather hangs on for a while more!
Well, my friends, that about does it for me this week......
Until next time......
May you begin every day, with a grateful thought, kind act, and a smile.
May you take on tasks, throughout your day, that you truly feel worthwhile.
May not one moment feel wasted, every precious breath spent bringing you closer to your joy.
May you know the only wasted moments, are those spent fretting, worrying, feeling annoyed.
May you hold on to all things positive, and let the negative fall away.
May you, as you work through your week, not forget to play.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

First Hair Cuts and Hurricane Winds!

Gotta love the face when asked to say "Cheeeeese"! This, my friends is our little Jakey getting his first ever official hair cut.  He was so good, but with his new "do" he looks so grown up.  (I'm not sure if any of us are ready for him to graduate into full-on toddlerdom just yet.) Thankfully, the hairdresser was lightning quick, and Mommy was there to help when it came to persuading  him to look in any specific direction. I got to be a spectator, snuggling miss Laney. A pretty fun way to spend some time!
Fun is not the way the week began, that is for sure.
When I left you last week, we were on our way to Regina for an RV service seminar.
Well, the mini-vacation portion of the trip was a blast! We went out, had a few cocktails, and more than a few laughs. It was great.
When Monday rolled around, it was time for the seminar (that went from one day to two) to begin.
Let me qualify the following by saying....... I am not being too hard on myself, or being falsely modest when I tell you about said seminar. I am not naturally, mechanically inclined. I am an excellent assistant in that department, make a damn fine RV Technician equivalent of a surgical nurse, and I am learning more an more all the time about putting symptoms and diagnoses together successfully.
Here comes the but........... a classroom setting, using terminology I'm not familiar with, for hours and hours and hours on end............talking endlessly about the very technical ins and outs of refrigerators, air conditioners, awnings and self levelling systems? I honestly have a much better shot at singing at Carnegie Hall than I do understanding almost anything coming out of the instructors' mouths.
Now, I do say "almost" because the odd English word would caress my starving ears, but, alas, they would again slip into "Techonese."
My hubby soaked up all the new info, taking it in stride. There is a reason he is the Tech part of this operation, and there is a reason I am not.
I will help troubleshoot, run for parts, order parts, figure out where they need to come from, how and when they need to get here. I will fight for a customer's warranty from manufacturers and help them walk through insurance claims. I will keep track of every penny coming in and going out, organize and orchestrate time as to make sure everything runs as efficiently as possible. I will always do everything I can to make sure every client leaves with a smile on their face. I am confident in my bookkeeping, accounting, and customer service skills.
But I, my friends,  will. Never. be. a. Tech.  
You know, it seems to me that there is equal value in finding out what you are absolutely not suited for or talented in or good at, as it is to discover where your talents do lie.
I think it's human nature to want to apologize for things we aren't able to do. I know I've done it myself on countless occasions. How many times have you began a sentence with "I'm sorry, but I......don't know how to/don't have a knack for/am not very good at.......I wonder why we feel the need to apologize? There isn't a person alive who is good at everything!
I'm going to try to stop that.
Just so you know?  I will write you a story, sing you a lullaby, prepare for you a delicious meal, or make sure your RV is ready for your holiday,  but don't call me to come and assemble ANYTHING from IKEA! ................or make a craft of any kind...............or knit you a sweater.
Soooooo... after completing the classes, we headed home.
Wednesday was the Nuts!
The wind was blowing up to 120km/hour for a good chunk of the day. I've never experienced a hurricane, but I think that has to be pretty close to the same kind of wind.
Yeah, you partner that wind with the icy conditions provided by our much needed reprieve from the deep freeze? It was crazy.
I kid you not, when I got out of my car at home, the driveway was so icy and the wind so strong, that I made it four feet without taking a single step. Crazy.
Thursday was spent catching up on paperwork and jobs around the shop.
Friday was more of the same with a dose of Grandbaby thrown in. (above haircut)
Then today, was a trip to the city for a much needed haircut of my own. We topped it off with a quick visit with my sister and her family, a nice meal, and a movie.
As for the upcoming week?............
Tomorrow will be housecleaning/laundry day.
The rest of the week will involve some assembly assist, measuring for new tin, making calls etc., a trip to D'arcy School, to do a reading, and a whole bunch of other shenanigans.
Until next time, I'll leave you with this wish.......
May you discover the contentment found in taking complete ownership of all of your untalents,
May you learn them, know them, own them, then understand they in no way, make you less.
May you wear this new discovery unapologetically, for you have not one thing to be sorry for.
May you feel the power this affords, for really getting to know yourself can only make you more.
May you see that dwelling on our untalents, stewing in them, is not for us to do.
May you just know them, acknowledge them, then most importantly, let them go.
May you see the danger in wrapping your untalents around you as a cloak to hide your light.
May you see them for what they are, a small part of you, not meant to overshadow your spirit, so bright.
Until next time..................

Friday, January 10, 2014

Spring Teaser and Superheroes..Nuff Said.


Well, it looks like Mother Nature has shrugged off the cold shoulder treatment, at least for now. Hey, we'll take it! Even if it only lasts a few days, it's a welcome reprieve!

The days are starting to show the first small signs of yawning and stretching, warming up to the idea of lasting  more than 8 or 9 hours at a time. Yay!

Pretty soon it will be time to shed the heavy sweaters and fleece-lined leggings and begin the rituals that are the true signs of the warmth on the way. It will be time again to take up the ancient ritual of the shaving of the legs without waiting until it's braid worthy. Gone until next winter, will be the luxury of blaming bad hair days on the necessity of wearing a toque (wool hat to the non-Canucks).  Gone, for another year, will be the drippy goodness of the "rink burger." 

Although we may not be drenched in Spring's splendor quite yet,  I can almost taste it from here.

It never ceases to amaze me how the cliché of time speeding up as you get older rings so true. It seems like a blink ago our girls were just little. Now they are getting married, becoming parents, buying condos, and carving out pretty fantastic lives for themselves.


Now, because the majority of the years I've spent on this planet have been spent caring for children, my own, and ton of others, a few new and nervous parents have asked for a bit of advice now and again.

The common thread seems to be fear. They are scared they will be too lenient, afraid they will be too strict, too complimentary, too critical, too focused on their careers, too focused on the child, too, too too.........

They are afraid their child won't be the athlete/scholar/cheerleader/prom queen they hoped for them. Or they are afraid they will.

They are afraid their child will have no friends, or too many friends, or the wrong friends.

They are afraid their child won't be well rounded enough, so they have them running from school to gymnastics to hockey, to piano lessons and back again.

They are afraid their children will hate them if they set any kind of boundaries, so they set none.

When I am asked, this is my advice. Now, I am not, nor will I ever claim to be an expert. I have no doctorate, or degree. I am just someone who has spent a crazy amount of time with kids.

If you parent without ego or fear.... If you parent without the noise of what everyone else is doing or saying.....if you parent with the goal of raising a caring, loving adult who has the ability to empathize, sympathize and the desire to help others...... If you discipline out of love and never anger.....and realize very early on that nobody belongs in a neat little box with a label.....

If you allow them to accept the consequences of their decisions.. small when they are small, bigger when they are bigger...both the good and the bad......if you allow them to fall so they can discover the strength within themselves to get back up.......if you can be their soft, safe place without being their escape from adulthood....if you, everyday, strive to be the kind of person you would like your child to grow up to be.......

Perfect parents don't exist, nor do perfect kids. Parenting is messy.

If you parent without ego or can't. screw. it. up.

(Dismounting soapbox in my usual ninja style)

So this past week kind of sped by. Busy at the shop, service calls out of the shop, dealing with insurance people, accountant stuff, ordering stuff, and stuff and stuff........

Then, Bang! It's Friday!

The reason these ramblings are surfing the information highway a little earlier than normal is that we are taking off to Regina tomorrow. We are taking advantage of the fact we have an RV appliance seminar/class on Monday, and are gonna make a mini-vacation out of it. Hey, it ain't Mexico, but I'll take it! We'll have to wait and see what kind of shenanigans we can get into! (hehehehehehehe)

The rest of next week will be spent making up for the time lost going to the seminar, and getting a few more smaller jobs done.

I'm also hoping to steal some time to work on writing....

Well, folks that about does it, until next time..........

May you feel powerful, confident and strong in everything you do.
May you get ever closer to becoming your best you.

May you take the stance of a super hero, when in doubt, even if only in your mind's eye.
May you have your "phone booth" moment, close your eyes, in the wind, both you hair and cape fly.

May you tackle every challenge like it was the source of your arch enemy's strength.
May you remember the battle isn't won on the first page, sometimes it's the ninth or tenth.

May you engage in the battles, winning, sentencing bad guys to a life on the lam.
May you defeat every challenge, with your oversized, colourful thought bubbles full of POW and BAM!

My grandson is really getting into comic books....nuff said.

Until next time!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Holidays Over.....Now What?!


Now, I know I'm a bit biased, but is this a face, or is this a face?!?!??!

The expression of "What In Thee Heck Is Going On?!" is pretty priceless.

To be fair, in our house, at Christmas, there is enough stimuli to bring back a coma patient. A 21/2 month old baby is pretty much in a state of overload during every waking moment. She was a trooper, though. She was handed from Auntie to Auntie, Grandpa to Uncle, to Grandma to Mommy and back all day. Thank goodness she is a pretty easy-going baby!

With the holidays officially behind us, it's back to life as usual. All the wreaths are stowed,, the tree is back in the basement, and every one of my snowmen are back in their containers until next time. 

The house always seems a bit quiet after a big family get-together.

For a couple of days, anyway, the empty nest seems deafening. It takes a little bit for the quiet to become our "normal" again. But, then it does, and it's pretty nice too.

So, in the past week..............

Well, needless to say we rang the New Year! We did so with some neighbours, and had a pretty dang good time. It was kind of nice not hauling and setting up equipment in the bitter cold. Kind of nice, indeed.

Also on New Year's Day, our 3rd daughter turned 24. This, according to her baby sister, one year and 15 days her junior, makes her "old". She is now officially in her "mid-twenties".  Too funny!

Things at the shop are off to a good start for 2014. Plenty of projects, and more coming in. We are so grateful, and are looking forward to any new challenges this year might bring.

I've been able to put a bit of time into my next book, and should hopefully be able to have it done in time to have it on store shelves before the end of the school year.  To make that happen, I need to have it in the illustrator's hands by the beginning of March. I hope I can pull it off.

For the upcoming week?.........

Bunker down for tonight and tomorrow, as it's supposed to hit -47degrees with windchill. Luckily, we should be pretty much half way through winter. The light of Spring is faintly beginning to glow at the end of the tunnel. This kind of cold shouldn't hit more than a few more times before Jack Frost takes a vacation.

We'll have a busy week at the shop....paint protection, awnings, skylights, fenders, a fridge, another skylight, an antenna, and more!

I should be able to sneak in a few baby snuggles, and toddler tickles, as well.

Well that about does it for this time around....

Until next time......

May your week come and go, filled with good days, good news, and happy faces.
May every challenge be met with clarity and definitive decision, no need for hair tugs or floor paces.

May you, as you load your plate with "to do's", make sure to leave some room for dessert.
May you not fill up on seriousness, and work, and talks about the kids, make some time to flirt.

May, in the midst of your "day to day" be sure to throw in some fun.
May you simply keep in mind that life is short, and we only get one.

Until next time!