Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sadly, Magic Crap Umbrellas Don't Exist! Happy New Year!


Although this photo is missing a few important faces, it still pretty much sums up my reason for putting one foot in front of the other every single day.

For in this photo are the faces that have absolutely brought me the most joy, the most worry, the most self-doubt, the most confidence, the most frustration, the most pride, the most laughter and the most tears.

In this photo lies my life.

As we sit on the threshold of another new year, looking forward to any and all new adventure it may have in store, I think it's also important to reflect on the past year, and appreciate all it had to offer.

If we choose to, we can dwell on everything bad that may have happened, wondering how and why it could possibly have happened to us. We can, if we so choose, drive ourselves a bit crazy trying to figure out the "why me?".

Personally, I find it helps to ask "why not me?" instead.  Let's face it, crap happens. To everybody. Different crap, at different times, at different intensities, but crap happens to everybody. Nobody is immune. Nobody carries a magic crap umbrella that keeps it from touching their lives.

At any given time of any given day you most likely will come in contact with people, both ones you know, and ones you don't, that are in the middle of their own personal crap storm as you speak. Some will let you know, others, not so much.

Some like to spread their crap and get a little on everyone they meet, spewing it, throwing it, launching it in every direction at every opportunity.

Others like to work through their crap on their own. Shovelling, sifting, sorting, until they can figure it out and put it behind them.

Some need to get a little assistance getting to the other side of their crap. A hand to anchor them, steady them, and sometimes help pull them up and over their crap.

Then there are those who tend to sit on their crap. Hoarding it, letting it pile up, rot and fester to the point where it has no choice but to spill and gush all over whoever is in it's path. Sadly, it's usually the ones closest that get hit the hardest.

As for myself, I find it best to just accept the crap. Why not me? I have no magic crap umbrella. Why should I get through life without my share of crap storms? I'm no better or different than anybody else. I find that it's a lot less stressful to just accept the crap for what it is.....fertilizer. Fertilizer to help us grow stronger, create more, live more, be more.

We can choose to focus on all of the crap, ooooorrrrrrr.........................

We can choose to shine the spotlight on the highlight reel of our year!

The events of the highlight reel, are like rainbows. The rewards after the crap storms.

As rainbows tend to be more subtle than the storms they follow, you may need to look a bit closer to find them.

They tend to take the form of smiles and hugs, giggles and guffaws.

They are found in sharing goofy inside jokes, good morning kisses, and time snuggling on a couch.

They resemble time with friends and family, good books, accomplishments, milestones and those moments of kicking butt at life in general!

They are the moments of BooYa! You know what I mean..............................

Crap is fertilizer...rainbows, the reward.


Life at the shop remains, thankfully, very busy.

We actually ended up working until late Christmas Eve to ensure we would be able to close the doors for a few days to spend time with our kids and grandbabies.

So worth it!

As for the upcoming week.... we will be putting in a bit of a shorter week so we can take minute to ring in the new year!

It's been an incredible year!

Busy shop, new book, daughter engaged, hubby turned 50......amazing!

I'm excited to see what 2015 will have in store!!!!

Happy New Year to you all, and thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support, and taking time out from your busy lives to read these ramblings each week.

I love receiving your messages and emails, and look forward to reading more in 2015!

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

May every day bring you moments you can put proudly on your highlight reel.
May every day see bright smiles, touch hearts, taste zest for life, and hear laughter peel.

May every resolution be peeled back to reveal the reason behind it.
May that reason become your revolution, your evolution, write it, bind it.

May every day bring you that much closer to the person you are meant to be.
May you see and become that you, authentically, allowing your soul to run free.

Happy New Year!

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

However, Whatever, Wherever, Do It Up!


These shots were taken about 100 metres from my house. I am, and always will be forever grateful for the peaceful, wide open spaces in which we live, and for the incredible childhood such a setting provided for our girls.

I am forever grateful...........

I went grocery shopping the other day, filling my cart with things I would need to make Christmas dinner and all the treats that go along with it. In the middle of one of the aisles, I was hit with a memory as heavy and hard as a brick.  The memory of tracking and adding up every single thing I was putting in the cart, debating the level of need for each item, calculating the taxes and running total as I went along. The memory of getting to the till and praying I hadn't missed anything in my calculations that would mean returning items under the watchful eyes of the long line up behind me at the check out. The sweaty-hand moment when I would hope like hell I didn't miscalculate any automatic payments at the bank, or any cheques that may not have gone through the bank yet, anything at all that may mean the debit machine at the store coming back with that dreaded response..."insufficient funds".

For those of you out there who are living this struggle right now, just know that if you can just hang in there, just keep going, keep trying, it gets better.  You just can't quit. You can never quit.

I am forever grateful that now, I am able to not only get what we need, but have the privilege of adding things, here and there, to the sadly, ever necessary food bank bins in the corner of every store.

I am forever grateful.

Our girls grew up in a place where they could play outside until dark, knock on any door for help if they needed it, really know everybody they went to school with and suffer loss without losing themselves. They're childhoods weren't perfect, but never did they have to fear violence, abandonment, or neglect. Never did they have to live with uncertainty, or insecurity.

This should be every child's right. Not a privilege.

I am forever grateful..........

As winter settles in, let's keep in mind those who struggle to find a warm place to sleep at night, or enough food on any given day. Maybe take a few minutes and go through your closets, and maybe donate that old winter coat you don't wear any more, boots, scarves, mitts, toys, blankets....I think you get where I'm going with this. Something that is sitting, unused, in the corner of your closet could make a huge difference to somebody else.

As I cozy up with my hubby on our nice soft couch, in our warm house, sipping hot tea.....

I am forever grateful.......

Soooooooo, Christmas is just around the corner, the gifts are wrapped, most of the baking is done and the house is looking very Christmassy.  I am so looking forward to having everybody home under one roof again. Even if it is for a short while.  There will be a lot of laughter, game playing, little ones running around, Christmas music, and a bunch of good food. Who could ask for anything better. Not me.

I am forever grateful.........

So that about does it for this week,

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

May your holidays be filled joy and laughter, family, good food, great friends.
May the happiness this special time brings, stay with you, may it never end.

May you witness unbridled excitement as the wee ones open their gifts.
May you truly soak it in, for nothing else in this life will give your soul such a lift.

May you take a moment in all of the din, to breathe in the contentment so sweet.
May you see all that matters is right in front of you, they are your life, your very heart beat.

However you celebrate, whatever you celebrate, wherever you celebrate, make sure you Do it up! Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Beautifully Flawed and Delicious!


Another busy week!

The tradeshow in Battleford last weekend was great, with another healthy handful of books finding new homes. 

It was so fun spending time with some good friends! My daughter included! 

Whenever I get to hang out with my grown daughters, I'm at once, taken aback by the amazing, incredible people they have become, and thrown back in time to the munchkins they used to be.

I remember watching them when they were little, just watching and wondering what life might have in store for them. Hoping for them only happiness, love and contentment, doing my level best every day to give them the tools they would need along the way. 

I know I made mistakes, but as I look at them now, I know must have gotten at least a few things right. 

They are pretty fantastic. 

I guess that's all any of us can ask for, really. To at least get a few things right.  Or, at least not screw them up, altogether. "Right" is relative, anyway, don't you think? It all depends on you, your life, your circumstance. 

So I guess I should say that at least I must have gotten at least a few things right for our girls. Doing my best to match each one with the tool set that best suited them. 

Please don't get the impression that I, in any way, believe our daughters are perfect. I know they aren't. They are beautifully flawed individuals. Our flaws are what make us awesome. All of us.

So, today, two of our beautifully flawed daughters brought their munchkins out to the house to bake some Christmas cookies.

As you can see from the photos, our cookies are beautifully flawed as well. Perfection is never the goal. It would only be exhausting and impossible. We do our best, and even flawed, the end result is nothing short of delicious!

As for the upcoming week?

Well, it will be another busy one at the shop, as we are feverishly trying to get a bit ahead of the game so we can take a few days off at Christmas. 

We will be spending one evening attending our grandson's Christmas concert at his school. Adorable doesn't seem to be a big enough word for how cute those little ones are!

Now that the snowmen have been unleashed, it is time to focus any spare time on getting more baking done. Pies are done, the "fancy" cookies complete, now, for the rest...........

Well folks, that about does it for me this time around........

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

May your every effort see some level of success, always enough to draw you forward.
May perfection never be the goal, there are always more important things to strive toward.

May acts of kindness come across your path in delightfully, unexpected ways.
May you remember to pay forward each and every one..... always.

May you keep in mind that with your every imperfection, and in every way you are beautifully flawed.
May you know this is what makes you awesome, you are delicious, for you, for this, the world will stand and applaud. 

Until next week............

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Hip Hip Tag, You're It!


Wow, what a crazy week!

Ramblings are hitting a bit early this week. I'm home just long enough to unpack, do a quick bit of laundry, kiss my hubby hello and goodbye, repack and head off to the Battleford 2000 Christmas Bazaar at the Alex Dillabough Centre! It starts tomorrow at 10am and runs until 4 pm.

If you are in that neck of the woods tomorrow, I'd love if you'd stop by and say hi!

Yeah, this week has been a bit of a ride............

Monday was the usual stuff, month end, bill paying and the like........

Tuesday, I met my Mom in the city to help walk her through her hip replacement surgery that was happening the following day.

After a night of restlessness on both our parts, we made it to the hospital and the day then truly began. I'm glad to say that the surgery went beautifully, and as of yesterday about 1pm she was sparky, looking great, and joking around with the nurses.

At that point I had to hit the road back to the shop, tagging in my younger sister.

Another reason to be grateful. Because I come from a big family, it's all I've known. When things like surgery come up, sometimes it just doesn't work out that one of us can take Mom from the ride in, through surgery, the ride home and care for her at home until she can get back on her feet. Sometimes the tag team effect comes into play. How does the tag team work, you may ask? Well............

Sis-in-law drives Mom half the distance into the city-

Her daughter (granddaughter) picks her up from there and drives her the rest of the way - *tag*

The granddaughter brings her to the hotel where I am ready and waiting...*tag*

Mom and I make our way to the hospital the next day for the surgery. After she comes through with flying colours,  she gets settled in her room. The next day I come back to check on Mom, making sure she is still doing ok and has everything she needs. I have to hit the road...texting my younger sister to let her know I'm leaving...*tag*

My younger sister will then take over, keeping tabs on how Mom is doing and finding out when she will be released. On release day, she will text sis-in-law and she will come to pick her up..*tag*

At the other end (Mom's house) my eldest sister will be ready and waiting for her, staying for about a week to get her on her feet. *tag*

Then, if she needs a few more days, my eldest brother will come and help out...*tag*

That, my friends, is how a tag team works, at least for us.

Now that I have bored you with the schematics of our family tag teaming abilities, I will further invade your brain space with what will be coming down the pike in the next few days...........

Participate in the Lions Bazaar in Battleford tomorrow........................

Get caught up on some shop chores, hopefully getting ahead a bit so we can take a couple of days off for the holidays.....................

Get some writing done!...................

Sneak some grandbaby snuggles........................

Get some Christmas baking done!

Unleash the snowmen!!!!!!!!

With the holidays coming up, in whatever form they may take for you and yours, the importance of family really comes to the forefront. Family, in all it's glory, blood or not, big or not, it's all family.

No family gets through life without it's hurts, without it's scars, without it's heartaches, without it's fights. Acceptance and forgiveness play a huge part in family harmony. It's not always accepting and forgiving others that's the hardest part. Most times it's accepting and forgiving ourselves. When we are busy beating ourselves up, we end up keeping at arms length the very people that can love us through our troubles.

Hanging on to past, perceived transgressions with consuming fury can only weigh us down. How can we move onward and upward while tethering ourselves feverishly to the very things that hold us back?

The past has no place in our futures. Draw from it, learn from it, reflect on it and let it go. None of us are perfect. We all do the best we can with what we know and from where we are. It's all any of us can expect from each other, and ourselves.

Life is short, and in the end, family is everything.

*Dismounting from soapbox in my Santa suit, landing in a snowbank,...................... head first*

Well that about does it for me, for now. Until next time................

May your holidays be filled with boisterous laughter, great food, and delightful conversation.
May every gift bought or made hit their mark and be an incredible sensation.

May every event be a great time, filled with music and light.
May everything about them be completely merry and bright.

May you be in arms reach of those who need a hug, and administer it with feeling.
May you be immersed in the warmth of giving, for it is extremely appealing.

May you see the reasons for gratitude that lay before you every day.
May you recite them endlessly, for gratitude lights up everything, in every possible way.


Take a peek! Some great gift ideas!