Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer, The Guest That Always Leaves Too Soon!


Well, another busy week has passed.................

This has been the last week of Summer vacation around here. School starts up on Tuesday.

Back to schedules, homework, and running to the practices of whatever sports or activities your children are involved in . It's time to get back in the routine of making lunches, getting up early, and, of course, time for "back to school" shopping.

On the upside, this also draws to a close the continual refrain of "I'm bored/hungry/bored/hot/bored/thirsty/bored............bored.

The days are getting a bit shorter, the nights a bit cooler, dusk bringing with it enough bite in the air to remind us that complaining about the heat a couple of weeks ago was, at the very least, misguided.

We went into the city today to do a bit of shopping, drop off copies of "Alfred" to be sold at McNally Robinson, and get the poster of "Alfred" completed.

Everywhere you looked there were elaborate debates taking place about types of backpacks, calculators, and pleas for the perfect pair of shoes. There were shell shocked parents obviously on their virgin voyage of this mission, and seasoned veterans who were going through those "must have" lists like the apparent pros they are. Stands were taken, and many an eye was rolled.

On one hand, it's kinda sad to see these long, warm days drawing to an end. On the other, the weeks ahead will be filled with explosions of colour, a reprieve from mowing, fewer mosquitoes, and even fewer sun burns.

Yup, it's been an awesome Summer, and I look very forward to what the Autumn months have in store.

In the upcoming days.....

Along with a busy week at the shop, I'm going to need to get in touch with the events coordinator at McNally about launching "Alfred".

I'll be looking into some Fall trade shows.

 A checklist for the "Word On The Street Festival" that is coming up in a few weeks should probably get jumped on, as well.

With any luck, maybe a few more surprise visitors will stop in like my Aunt Ellen and Uncle Mike did this past week!

With a business like ours, you never know who might come through the door. In the past few days alone, we've had an honest to goodness goldminer from the Yukon and a crop dusting pilot from Australia.

Ain't life Grand?!

Until next time, I'll leave you with this wish.............

May the sweet breezes of Summer carry you weightlessly in to the first days of Fall.
May their warmth stay with you, so the first hints of chill don't bother you at all.

May the memories you've made be great ones, filled with fun, sun, and lazy days.
May the ones in the months to come be equally as bright, even better, in many ways.

May you seize these last days of summer with both hands, getting as much out of them as you can.
May you enjoy them, absorb them, have a blast, because, my friends, that should always be the plan.

Check "Alfred" out, along with my other books @

Until next time, Thank You so much for taking the time to read these ramblings each week. Hi to new readers from Kenya and Turkey!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Alfred is Here! Alfred is Here!


Guess who showed up at the shop this week?!  It seemed like forever, but "Alfred Dinglewiggle" is finally ready to head out into the world and hopefully become fast friends with a ton of munchkins.

A few copies have already left the roost, and are making their way to their new homes in Alberta, Australia, and here in Saskatchewan. Here is where I cross my fingers and hope they like him.

It's kind of hard on the nerves, until you get the first bits of feedback. Silence is torture.....

Here's hopin'...................

If you'd like to purchase a copy, they will be available at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon as well as on my website  (shameless plug)

This week has been another one for the books.................

Along with the long awaited happy news of Alfred's arrival came the loss of a neighbour and friend.

A very kind and gentle soul that has lived across the street for 20 years lost an excruciating, cruel, lightning quick battle with cancer. He only had 6 weeks from the time of diagnosis.

I guess a person can take comfort in the fact that considering what he was dealing with, maybe a short battle wasn't the worst battle........ I guess.

In the meantime, his wife, children, grandchildren, and friends are left reeling.

Cancer is a murderous evil that needs to be stopped. I know there are researchers researching, I know there are countless medical and pharmaceutical personnel striving for answers, I know they are making headway, I know that a lot more people are surviving the ever shapeshifting varieties of this evil than ever before........ but it's not good enough. I wasn't good enough.

It can't be good enough until it stops killing us. I beg you, work faster, work harder, work better, whatever it takes. I, for one, am sick and tired of losing people I care about to this hateful thing and would love to never have to do it again.

As for the upcoming week................we keep going......because to do anything else would disrespect his memory................

It will be a busy week at the shop, once again. Thankfully and gratefully so.

The week will also include some errand running, taking some time out to donate blood, getting Alfred's poster made, dropping off copies of "Alfred" at McNally and getting the ball rolling on his official "launch."

I'm so excited and grateful! It all still feels pretty surreal at times.

Until next time......for those in it's wake...........

May I find some words where there are none, something... anything to even minutely ease this pain.
May you, as the shock dissipates, and numbness subsides, survive the shatter, withstand the strain.

May you, as the quiet surrounds you, grow peaceful, painful memories becoming sweet with time.
May you find rest, it helps heal the soul, to build strength, so out of the darkness you can climb.

May you see there are no rules for grieving, to time limits, no right and no wrong.
May you come through it as you see fit, as you choose, whether it be with tears, with anger, or a song.

May you know that when it gets so hard, you think it may break you completely apart.
May you know in that moment you're not alone, for nothing could ever make him leave your heart.

U|ntil next time...............................................

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sharing The Spotlight.........


What a week.

I know most, if not all of you are aware of the passing of Robin Williams. If any of you aren't familiar with the name, please look him up. You won't be sorry.

I'm not sure why, for, of course, I never met the man, but, it feels like I've lost a friend.  I know I'm not alone in this. The outpouring of grief that has washed over all forms of social and other media gives a glimpse into the impact this guy had on all of us.

I think one of the reasons his passing has hit such a nerve is the fact that he was such a source of joy to all of us and it's next to impossible to comprehend the unfathomable despair that lived within him.  It doesn't seem possible that the two extremes could co-exist within the same being.

Because of the way he left us, a spotlight, though I expect a very temporary one, has been thrown on depression. It needs more.

When this horrible disease steals any glimmer of joy from a soul and whispers the way out over and over again until it drowns out any words of love or hope, it's potential to be fatal is huge.

When it steals a well known, much loved celebrity, it makes the news. It becomes a "trending topic", it gets it's 15 minutes of fame. What about all of the undiagnosed, silent victims that disappear into it's black hole, leaving a trail of grief stricken loved ones full of questions, never knowing.

It needs more.

As I mentioned, I never met Mr. Williams, but from what I have gathered from the hints of his person found in his body of works, I would dare to guess that he would agree. He didn't come across as a man who thought himself more important than the next guy, I think he would be ok with sharing the spotlight until we, as a society, can get a better handle on this disease....... Until we can find better ways to help......Until we find a way to beat this malicious, joy destroying thing.....Until......Until........Until...............

We will miss him. Not only for the comedy, the laughter, but also for the talent that could both, bring us to poignant tears and make us catch our breath in fear as a villain. He made us "feel". Always. In everything he did.

On a happier note...................................

This week has been filled with visits with friends, waiting for "Alfred", staying very busy at the shop, waiting for "Alfred", working on a couple of little projects here at home, waiting for "Alfred", laundry, running a ton of errands,oh, and did I mention, waiting for "Alfred"? He should be here soon! Right?!

In the upcoming week, I need to start getting serious about getting "Alfred" ready to meet the world. I need to get busy prepping for the "Word On The Street" festival coming up in Saskatoon in September. I need to get the ball rolling with McNally Robinson, as I promised to keep them in the loop about any new books.

I'm going to have to try and do a better job of splitting my time and energy between working at the shop and writing. I would dearly love to find a way to have better balance between the two......

I'll figure it out.....................

Well, my friends that about does it for this week.....until next time I'll leave you with this wish...........

May every sadness be fleeting, and every joy take hold.
May every darkness be overpowered by light; bright, and bold.

May you, if ever engulfed in the complete absence of joy, gather the strength to reach out, even if your voice feels weak.
May you find a crack in the putrid blackness, peel it back, revealing everything that makes you incredibly, fantastically unique.

May you know within the deepest parts of you, you are not in this alone. Not then, not now, not ever.
May you see that the isolation is an illusion, perpetuated by the darkness, it's not real, just clever.

May the good days outnumber the bad, until the bad become a fading, unpleasant distant afterthought.
May you find yourself victorious, full of peace, joy and heartfelt laughter, winner of a war hard fought.

Until next time!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Perspective Is Everything, Just Ask The Unicorn


I know this image is a little out of focus, but that's not the point. I know it is yet another photo of the landscape in which I live. That is not the point. I know it is one in an endless parade of sunset photos that clutter the internet like Gramma's knick knacks in her too small apartment. That is not the point. The point, my friends, is that if you look at it just right, you will see a unicorn pulling a carriage.

He is majestic and strong, and even as the anonymous driver lashes his cruel whip a whisper from his ear, he continues to pull, he continues to strive forward, he continues. Where he came from, we don't know, where he is headed is a mystery, all we can know is what we see in the moment in which we live.

I choose to see a unicorn pulling a carriage.

Perspective is everything.

How we view the world drives how we live within it's parameters. It's hard to live a bright life when you've grown up in dark places. It's hard to live quietly when all you know is noise, yet it is equally hard to live allowing yourself to be seen and heard if you've known nothing but forced silence.

We love the cliche about walking in another's shoes, but what we fail to recognize is that even if we walk in their shoes, both the view and journey would be different. We would be viewing from a different height, walking with a different gait, still seeing through the eyes of our own souls, never theirs. 

The truth is that walking in another's shoes isn't possible. So all that is left is to walk beside, even if it's only for a while, matching the gait, listening to the view from which they see the world. 

They may never see your unicorn, nor you, theirs, but that's ok, you don't have to to know it's there.


This week was another filled with working at the shop, running errands, trying to get things caught up at home, baby snuggling, email checking (no Alfred news yet), and the basic living of our day to day lives.

We, gratefully, remain very busy at the shop, doing our small part in keeping those camping dreams alive! Lol

As I mentioned, I haven't received any word on the exact date that "Alfred" will be arriving. All I know is that it will be soon. Now, I need to get ready to send him out into the world. An extremely scary/exciting/hopeful/anxious time indeed.

As for the upcoming days.....................

I will have the great privilege of spending some quality time with my oldest and dearest friend. I'm looking so forward to it, and I can't thank my hubby enough for holding down the fort so I can go. He is truly my hero! 

I need to get my butt in gear, as far as getting ready to launch "Alfred". I need to make posters, get in touch with McNally about hosting an event etc...........

It will be another busy week at the shop, there have been a few bad storms, as of late, which have resulted in some damage for some. I guess Mother nature doesn't really give a tinker's damn about camping, when she wants to stomp, she stomps.

So until next time, take a peek at my website.....someone new is hanging out there........

May those who walk beside you sometimes meet your gait, not always expecting you to match their stride.
May you fearlessly count on them with a steady reliability akin to the moon's pull on oceans' tide.

May contentment and peace make up the entirety of your life, leaving stress and anxiety behind as unwanted and most definitely unrecyclable trash.
May you leave behind any embers of negativity that want to burn, turning them  into nothing but cold tinder and ash.

May you one day look back and know you were good to you, not allowing yourself be treated in a way you would never treat others.
May your reflection in the rear view witness your now self surrounding your then self with the protective light in which you would engulf your child, sisters or brothers.

May you share your unicorn freely, fearlessly, although some will laugh, and not even try to see what you see.
May you share, for you will find those who will listen to your unicorn tale, and though they don't see it, get it, completely.

Until next time, feel free to check it out! Pre-order if you wish!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer Half Gone.....Say It Isn't Sooooo!!!


Just in case you hadn't filled your cuteness quotient for the week, I thought I should give you a bit of a boost!

It's hard to believe that this wee one will be 10 months old pretty soon!

Time is going by waaaayyyy too fast again...............

This week has been filled with fast moving, busy days that seem to pass in the blink of an eye.

The summer is half over already! It's been really warm, but when I find myself even entertaining the thought of maybe complaining about it, I think about the winter that will inevitably rear it's nasty head................... and then I eat a popsicle. Popsicles are awesome.

To close out a very hectic week, we took a little road trip to Major,Saskatchewan, where I had the privilege of  doing a reading of my stories to a very polite, attentive group. The age range was from 18 months to about 80.  It's always so fun to be able to meet so many new people.

I had only a very small part in the grand scope of celebrations taking place to celebrate the community's centennial.

You know that look you sometimes get from a stranger that tells you that he thinks he knows you? Well, during a homecoming of this magnitude, even being a mere visitor to the community, you get that look....a lot. I couldn't even tell you how many times I had to explain that I wasn't from there and was just there to do a reading....and that was just on the way into the building!

I did actually run into a couple of people I knew and a couple more I am related to. Small world... always.

Having grown up in a small community and pretty much living in them my whole adult life, I can't help but wonder what these kinds of celebrations are like for people who grew up in huge cities.

I graduated high school with a class of 14. We had all known each other since we were 6 or earlier. I can't imagine what it must be like to graduate with a class the size of my entire town. I mean, you would kind of know who everybody is, by name, I suppose, but you wouldn't really know them, know them. You know?

I suppose there are pros and cons to both.

But, as I have only seen the coin from one side, I can't assume what the other side of the coin looks like.
I can only be certain it's a bit more crowded.

So tomorrow we will be catching up on some house and yard some helpers are coming to join in the festivities, we will also be sneaking in some grandbaby snuggles!

The rest of the week will consist of me obsessively checking my emails for news on the delivery of "Alfred", and trying to distract myself with keeping up with shop stuff.  I'm not gonna lie, that will be exactly what I'll be doing.

So folks, that about does it for me for another week, until next time, I'll leave you with this wish..................

May every walk down memory lane take you only to the places that were happy, sweet, and kind.
May you only trek down dark trails when there is an absolute need,when something lost, you must find.

May the eyes of all those you meet along the way, be filled with genuine joy to see you.
May the childish heart aches melt away, leaving only warmth for those who caused them, for they were children too.

May any nostalgic journey bring you closer to the core of who you are.
May you know this will be the best trip you will ever take, for sure, by far.

Until next time.............