Sunday, March 27, 2016

Catch Every Beam Of Sunlight!!!!!!

Good Morning!

Happy Easter to all out there who celebrate!

Okay, so first off. No new grandbaby yet.  She is now officially late. Her expected arrival date was March 23rd. She, thus far, shows no sign of being in a hurry to come and meet her not-so-patiently waiting-to-squeeze-you family.

This has been yet another week that, when you look at the world stage, you become witness to the tragedies our human race seems determined to create. It's utterly amazing how misplaced fear becomes anger, becomes irrational retaliation, becomes terror, becomes fear, becomes anger, becomes irrational retaliation, becomes fear, becomes terror...............

This cycle sadly seems to live on many scales. From our school yards, to gangs, to organized crime, to racism, to politics, to international trade, to those who call themselves ISIS.

The players change the game remains the same.

Mother Nature and happenstance are more than capable of providing enough tragedy to give our joy the balance of heartache that seems necessary for a truly full life. Why do we, as humans, seem so determined to make our time here on earth as difficult as possible?

On the upside of this week,

I received the first full set of preliminary sketches for Flitflee Flanderfoodle! After a couple of minor changes, they are being completed, as we speak! I should have final ones in hand within the next 10 days or so. So excited to see them!

Then, it's just a matter of putting the rest of the puzzle pieces in place to get this project completed. So far, it's looking good to have it on store shelves before the end of the school year! Whoot!

The shop remains, gratefully, busy as ever..............

All four kids and one brother were able to come and visit for Easter, although not all at the same time, but I'll take it!

We were able to have a lovely meal, surrounding a table with chairs, in a room that serves no further purpose other than to provide a spot for us to gather, eat and visit. This room leads to other rooms that hold places to store endless streams of food, appliances on and in which to cook said food using several different methods. Rooms that house comfortable furniture on which to sit or sleep. Rooms containing ways in which to entertain ourselves. Yet other rooms that provide what many would consider luxurious ways in which to do things as simple as keep our bodies clean. All of this under a roof that provides shelter, surrounded by walls and windows that keep the heat in.

We were able to do all of this together, without threat of violence, without fear.

We are a lucky few.

As for the upcoming week............

Baby watch continues..............

Work at the shop will be hoppin'............

I will be keeping an eye out for completed sketches...............


Well that about does it for this week!

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

May you grab hold of life's sails, and release it's anchors.
May the difference be as obvious, as obvious as cowboy vs. banker.

May you catch every beam of sunlight as it filtres through the grey.
May you capture the twinkles, like a toddler through a window, every... single... day.

May everything that once seemed impossible, become more than a what if, or, if only.
May you come to see the difference between being alone and being lonely.

May each day become less of a struggle and more of a stroll with incredible horizons.
May you gather strength from the successes of each day, everything in good time, for what once were simple rocks, are now brilliant diamonds.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Too Much Light Can Disguise The Details..............................


Throwing too much light on any circumstance can disguise details. Too much light, too much press, too much...period.

We are having a local election here on the next few weeks and our neighbours to the south are having a marathon election season themselves.

Being bombarded with non-information becomes white noise. Meaningless rhetoric becomes even more meaningless, if that's possible.

Dim the lights a little and let us see the details. Stop trying to distract us from the important issues by making us unwilling referees in your schoolyard stupidity.

Thankfully we only have weeks until our election. The USA doesn't vote until November. Hell, they haven't yet narrowed down the field enough to know who actually is going to be running. They are still possibly months away from simply doing that!

I feel for the voters there. How do you even begin to sift through the mountains of bull crap to find bits of substance you can base a vote on? 

If I were an American voter, I think I would keep these things in mind.....

The USA is not an island. They rely heavily on foreign trade to make the country function, day to day. Who, in the running, will assist in keeping the good deals that are already in place and have the most capability to make maybe even better ones, down the road?

Cool headed. Personally I would want someone at the helm who can make solid, rational decisions. You need an even temper, patience and an innate talent for compromise to be a good leader.

Watching international news. I think it's important to get information on how the world sees the country. Watching only news from your home point of view, can give a bit of a distorted view. It's like asking your Grandma if she loves you every day. No matter what you do, she'll find a way to make you come out smelling like a rose, and then, feed you a cookie.

I would look at who has the best chance of creating the fewest enemies. Every animal has enough natural predators, no point in intentionally creating more.

Who, out of the ones running, would I most like my children and grandchildren to emulate? 

Who, as the road to the Whitehouse shortens, is looking through binoculars trying to bring the future into focus and who is spending the entire time looking in an ever-growing mirror, because they are only capable of seeing themselves?

What purpose drives their actions? Not what they tell the press, but what really drives them? If you watch long enough and take a bit of a trip into history, it's not hard to find out.

Maybe, instead of debates, they should create a giant maze wherein they have to reason and compromise their way past obstacles to get out. Who ever can do it with the least  noise, the least damage to their environment, and any they encounter along the way, wins.

Just a thought.


Still no grandbaby. I'm pretty sure the only one more anxious than I to have this wee one enter the world is my very pregnant, uncomfortable, stretched to the limit, daughter. Hopefully, by next week's ramblings I will have adorable pictures to share......whether you like it or not.  I'm apologizing ahead of time for the onslaught that is bound to happen for, at least, the first couple of weeks. 

The rest of this past week went by without a hitch.

I was able to put some time into my novel project.  I'm coming to a place where some decisions have to be made that will have a huge impact on the rest of the story. It's a very strange feeling. The more I write, the more I get to know the characters, the more I become invested in them, in some weird way, I feel responsible for what happens to them. 

It's a very strange feeling indeed.

As for the next while.............

Hopefully, welcoming our new grand daughter into the clan.............

Assisting in the repairs of a few trailers...............


And with that folks, I will leave you for another week.

With my daughter in mind, and all those about to bring a new life into this world, I leave you this wish..........

May the urge to fight the inevitable pain give way to surrender, for fighting it only creates more.
May the time pass swiftly, may all go well, placing on your heart, the tiny miracle you'll adore.

May you, as you struggle through the first weeks, be it your first child or your third, remember this hell is temporary, you'll look back and see how fleeting.
May you, while your in the thick of it, reach out if you need to, you are not alone, and you are human, do what you need to keep happy sane, to keep your soul from depleting.

May you share the joy with those you love, the joy of laundry, the joy of poop, the joy of dishes in the sink.
May you also share the snuggles, as they are a great currency, baby snuggles can buy more than you think!

Until next time......

check out 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

You Start With One Bowl.......................


What a week!

If you read last week's ramblings, you are aware that I turned 50 last weekend. What you didn't know, because neither did I, was that the lady standing to my right in the top photo, was going to show up as a surprise! She is one of the best humans that I have had the honour to know, and has had the dubious distinction of being my best friend since Amy Poehler was a baby.

Through some covert texting operations, she and my hubby were able to pull it off. I had a great birthday and I completely blame them!

The rest of the week included, working at our awesomely busy shop and taking my very pregnant daughter to what will hopefully be her last prenatal doc appointment. (her hubby couldn't get the time off of work) This was followed by a nice long mall crawl, accompanied by the two goofy adorable faces you see in the next two photos. The ice and the mud we are experiencing in the great outdoors at the moment, doesn't provide much of a background for safe pregnant lady walks.

Then it was time to take a day to write.

Now that I have Flitflee's story and endless illustration notes sitting in the very capable hands of the lovely illustrator Valerie Bouthyette, it frees up my writing time to concentrate on the novel I'm working on. It's simultaneously fun and intimidating. I can easily get lost in it, figuring out what the different characters should do or say, what scenes should look like, where the story should go, and how it should get there. I can just as easily get a bit stuck, and in that stuckness lies the intimidation. A novel?! Really?!

Did you know the average novel is approximately 60,000 - 65,000 words? Too short, it can fall short of being taken seriously as a novel, too long? Well, unless your writing War & Peace, you better make sure it isn't too long. Am I even capable of stringing 60000 some odd words together in a way that makes sense? In a way that will make people want to read it? I write childrens' stories, for cryin' in the sink! Who am I to think I can write a novel!


Bottom line, I'm just me, telling a story. People might like it, people might not. When it comes right down to it, the only thing I can control are the words I choose to put on the page, what happens after that isn't up to me.

When intimidation rears it's ugly head I try to remind myself...........

Write a story you would like to read. Write what you know. Write what makes you feel....anything, everything and all that may fall in between.  Write what wants to flow from your fingers. Write what touches you, and you can't go wrong. Keep putting words to the page, the ones that are meant to be there will come.

In the words of the great philosopher, Dory.......just keep swimming...just keep swimming.....

Then today.....well, sometimes I like to bake, I enjoy coming up with new recipes. A little of this, a bit of that, even if it's not perfect, it generally doesn't go to waste. So, the can of pumpkin I had in the pantry, the few raisins, and partial bag of cranberries that were living in my freezer, along with some spices, eggs and some other stuff, became some pretty tasty
pumpkin/oatmeal/cranberry/raisin cookies. About 12 dozen of them...what can I say, it was a big can of start with one bowl and end up with a much bigger bowl. It happens more often than one would think............  Oh well, they freeze....

As for the next little while..............

Work at the shop will fill most of the week..........

We are on baby watch......could be any time....we are all getting pretty excited to meet this new addition.........

Write, write and write some more...........

That about does it for me for now.....until next time, I'll leave you with this wish......

May you be you, unapologetically so, for your essence need not be explained.
May you in doing so, find contentment, from others' opinions become unchained.

May the contentment become peace, a knowing, that you're living your life as you should.
May the peace evolve into a deep tranquility, surpassing any need to be completely understood.

May the tranquility filter in, no matter what's going on, no matter the chaos life's hardships can bring.
May you be you, unapologetically so, doing what you need to, to make you heart smile and soul sing.

See you next week!!!

Until then.....

Friday, March 4, 2016

Like A Fine Wine......With A Body Shot!


Well folks, these two photos have something in common. Can you guess what it might be?

Well, other than the fact that they both have their purpose in life deeply defined by babies, and can both be full of crap at any given moment, they both are turning 50 years old!

The first photo is pretty self explanatory, the second is me, at about 2 or 3 years old.

50. So what does 50 look like? What does 50 feel like? I can only speak for myself, so here it goes.

For me, fifty is first and foremost, a privilege. Too many leave before they reach this threshold of time.  Too many.

I've made it to fifty. It's absolutely a privilege, but it is not without it's challenges. At fifty, the body is not necessarily as cooperative as it was a few years ago.  Sitting too long, reading small print, peri-menopausal crap, all of a sudden being very aware of where every single one of your joints are located, these are some new things a person has to become accustomed to.

On the up side.....

As the years pass, I'm finding my skin to be a better and better fit, even if it's a bit looser and has a few wrinkles. Every passing year brings me closer to who I am supposed to be. Life's experiences have made me a better navigator. The paths to where I am to go become clearer more quickly than they used to.

I've learned to care deeply and help those that I can. I've learned to care deeply, but let go of those who can't reciprocate.  I've learned to recognize poison and be fine with cutting it from my life.

I've learned that growing older isn't scary, it's empowering.  I've learned that confidence and intelligence are ageless.

I've learned how important it is to stay curious. Listen to new music, read....everything, talk to people....lots of them, do things....always. Purposefully experience things that make you uncomfortable, it's the only way to grow.

 I've learned that "comfort zones" are a myth invented by fear, and nurtured by insecurities. Obliterating the terminology frees you to do what you are meant to do. Life is infinitely better when fear makes no decisions.

I've learned that drama serves no purpose but to entertain. I have found that those who like to create drama are generally bored people who have to manufacture excitement because they have seized to create any kind of real joy in their own lives. If even half the energy put into creating drama was put into creating joy, imagine the world we could live in.

I've learned the importance of a really good bra, foot rubs, and laughing til you either cry, pee, snort or experience some combination of the three.

I've learned the importance of healthy relationships in whatever form they take. We all need people in our lives from whom we don't need to protect ourselves in any way.

I've learned that we will always regret more the things we don't do.

I've learned a lot of things,the most important of which is that I have an infinite amount left to learn. I've only barely scratched the surface.

I'm excited to find out what is yet to come...............................

In the immediate future..................

My hubby is taking me out for a night on the town tomorrow night. He asked what I'd like to do for my reply.....As long as I don't have to plan it, cook it, or clean it up, I'm good!  My honey is awesome, looking forward to whatever he has up his sleeve!

I will be awaiting the first Flitflee Flanderfoodle sketches from my illustrator, excited !

Start prep for doing a writing workshop coming up, a workshop for kids about writing for kids. Going to be a blast!

We are on standby for the new grandbaby- have a bag with yoga pants,t shirt and runners on me at all times!

Until next week I'll leave you with this wish for all my fellow quinquagenarians.

May the smoke from blowing out the candles on your cake not set off any alarms.
May you ride out all the smart ass jokes, menopausal or not, do no harm.

May you celebrate this milestone with dignity befitting your age.
May you interpret that as you will, it could mean doing body shots and dancing on stage.

May you have a healthy view of what today's 50 looks like, as it really does vary.
May you see we are in good company with Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Halle Berry!

Until next time!