Saturday, April 30, 2016

So Little Time, So Far To Grow.....................


Well folks, it's been another pretty incredible week.

Not only are we busy as heck at the shop, but I was able to sneak a day away to hang out with some pretty fantastic kids.

I was honoured to be invited to read to, then do a workshop with the kids, as part of Lucky Lake School's Writing Slam event.

My helper/photographer for the day, AKA my eldest offspring, did a great job. It is out of respect for munchkin safety that the photos have been strategically blurred, not photographer faux pas.

During the workshop, I gave students the task of writing a story. They were given some sketches to inspire them, with no rules. They could use as many or as few as they desired, in whatever order they so chose. They had the option to colour the sketches, leave them as is, or do something in between.

At the end of the session, we had stories that varied from Evolutionary  Princesses, to  Continually Concussed, Chronically Klutzy, not skate-talented, Olympic hopeful skaters from Iceland, who suffered from Hallucination- filled Mush-brain Dreams. 

Kids are awesome.

While keeping up with current events on tv news shows, through the internet, reading newspapers, however you choose to receive information, we see children put in terrible situations. They are thrust into chaotic violence and otherwise perilous circumstances, none of which are of their own making or in their control. 

Too many children are faced, every day, with very adult problems. It's nice to see a group of kids just be kids. When their imaginations kick in, they tend to forget to be "cool" and bored with everything. It's pretty fun to watch.

It's at this tender age, in these first few years of school, in this PG social microcosm of adult life, that they first start to care how other perceive them. They lose the freedom they had as toddlers to be unicorns, princes and fairies without fear of judgement. This is the first place they get a glimpse of the boxes society has in store. They will soon begin to feel the pressure figure out in which box they fit. If they don't fit, they will soon begin to conform to the size and shape of the box the majority of their peers believe they are best suited. The Brain Box, The Jock Box, The Cool Box, The Social Butterfly Box, The Shy Box, The Badass get my drift.

One of my greatest hopes is that, someday soon, we, as a society, figure out that each of these boxes are suffocating traps. Traps from which we can escape, if we choose to be brave enough to do so. 

I believe that trying to fit kids into these "boxes," these categories, is like catching lightning bugs in a jar. Yes, if you poke holes in the lid, they will survive, but they will lose their ability and desire to shine.

The final days of this week were spent adding some wordage to the novel I'm working on, doing laundry, vacuuming, scrubbing toilets, and taking a bit of a road trip to visit my Mom.

As for the following few days...........

Another mini road trip to visit my sister and her hubby.............

Working at the shop...............

Be a witness in a court case...(I'll let you know how that goes).......


Take yet another mini road trip to visit a friend..............

Squeeze some grandbabies!

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

May we all become the very best of everything we know ourselves to be.
May we shatter the boxes to which we've contorted ourselves to fit, setting our best selves free.

May we simply stop trying to compartmentalize those around us, at home, at work, or at school.
May we realize living life craving approval, driven by the opinions of others, is the life of a miserable fool.

May we live a life that's full, one of kindness and adventure, pushing our talents as far as they can possibly go.
May we waste no time getting started, our time here is brief, so little time, so far to grow. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

If Only Predators Wore A Uniform.....................

I know, I know, but they are cute aren't they?!

Other than blatant Grandma bragging, I chose these photos to help broach a subject that, as it seems, some find very controversial and, by judging reactions to the whole situation, even a bit scary.

We all start out in this world just like these little ones, untouched, open, unscathed, oblivious of the boxes society likes to assign.

I have to say I am a bit confused by all of the hype surrounding the whole transgender/public bathroom thing.

It seems very strange that this, all of a sudden, has become yet another petri dish that serves no purpose, as far as I can see, than to further try to develop a culture of fear and mistrust toward our fellow humans.. Do we really think that this is somehow something that has magically developed in the last year or two?

Are we really to believe that transgender people simply didn't exist until lawmakers and politicians decided to notice them?

Where have they been going to the bathroom up until now? Is it possible they have been using the bathrooms of their choosing all along and nobody has noticed? Nobody noticing. So why do we choose for it to become some kind of problem, now, out of the blue?

I must be missing a very fundamental piece of information, because from what I have gathered, so far, I can't really pinpoint who gains anything by making this into yet another "thing."

It's most definitely not the transgender community. It's definitely not anyone else, either.

Like public bathrooms aren't awkward enough places. Be honest, we all avoid them, if we can. Now what? We will all have prove to, I don't know, some kind of potty police, what type of genitalia we were born with? What the hell kind of ID are we gonna need for that one?! I, for one, do not look forward to posing for that photo!

I just think that lawmakers must have much better things to do with their time than worry about who pees where. I mean, they must, right?

I guess I just can't imagine anything much worse than growing up feeling like you don't fit in your own body. Where living the lie of being who you are not becomes so impossible you are willing to endure every societal judgment and all of the torment that provokes.

One of the arguments is that predators will now take advantage of the situation, and pretend to be transgender to gain access to the public bathroom of their choice. Predators are an evil breed. Do we really think they need to dress up and go into public washrooms to get at their prey? Again, if some creep wants to dress up for the sole purpose of harassing and assaulting people, I have to assume they already are doing so. I don't think people intent on sexual assault are too worried about laws that will allow them into bathrooms. Something tells me they aren't  real sticklers for rules.

I don't know, maybe I have it all wrong, but, if  society wants me to suddenly become fearful of yet another entire group of people, I think I'm going to need a better reason than......whatever the hell this is.

We have so many, much more real problems. Too many of our kids go to bed hungry every single night. Way too many kids don't have a bed at all. Our shelters and prisons are dangerously overcrowded, Too many kids aren't finishing school. Women and children are being assaulted at an alarming rate, oddly enough, in my research, I couldn't find one incident in which the assailant was transgender.

I fear we are grossly misplacing our resources.

I guess I just feel we should focus on stuff that really matters and let people pee in peace.

A little closer to home..............

The shop is hopping....this week marks our third anniversary. It's awesome!

I was able to all but finish prepping for the Word Slam workshop ................

Made another dent in the novel I'm working on............

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

Like I mentioned, the shop is hopping...............

Put the last touches on preparations and then attend Lucky Lake's Word Slam.

Kick another dent in my novel.............

Squeeze some grandbabies!!!!!!

Well that about does it for another week...............

May we come to understand that no matter how hard we wish, predators don't have a uniform.
May we understand they walk with us, look like us,work with us, yet want only to cause harm.

May we see that they are our husbands, boyfriends, bosses, first dates, strangers in the night.
May we know they troll our children online, promising ultimate rebellion, a way out of their parents' sight.

May we look for evil where evil lives, teaching our children to trust the little hairs on the back of their neck.
May we teach not to paint with a broad brush, evil lives in every walk of life, not one is exempt,

May we, in the same breath, show them the good throughout the world, show that most people are good and kind.
May we show them that although the darkness exists, we can still choose to live in the light.

May we teach them to be aware, but not live their lives in fear. Be courageous, yet cautious, at your job, while you dance, in your dorm.
May we truly understand that no matter how hard we wish, predators don't have a uniform.

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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Frankly, My Dear, I Don't Give A Crap!

Spring has sprung and summer is on it's way!

Long, warm days and short, starry nights are just around the corner.

Do you know how I know this? I know it by the seasonal change in advertising! Yup, the ads for allergy medicine and ways to get the "perfect summer bod" have been officially cranked into overkill!

The allergy stuff I get, this actually is the season that allergy sufferers suffer most. But the perfect body thing...... I mean it's always there, the ads don't ever stop. The cover of any magazine, the countless ads on tv for diet supplements, body contouring surgery (whatever the hell that is), the endless barrage of before and after pictures, they all get turned up 10 fold this time of year.

Thankfully I'm passed giving much of a crap. I'm still here, and the body I have, although far from "perfect", has allowed that to happen. Although, I do look forward to the "post hot flash" segment of this journey.

Now, please don't misconstrue the not giving a crap thing. I most definitely give a crap about my health and my ability to function the way I need to to enjoy my life. I do give a crap about how I represent myself in the world. This is not because I seek the approval of others. No, it's because I respect myself and want to sincerely represent all of the facets of the person I have become. I don't fit in a category.  I don't fit in a box. I don't think any of us should. I'm a firm believer that the way we take care of ourselves physically has a direct effect on how our emotional health, and vice versa.

Summer body? Sure! A 50 year old body that has been on quite an incredible ride, thus far. A body that has a lot of roads trips left in her. A body that can snuggle a baby like nobody's business. A body that can give airplane rides, kiss owies, solve problems, form and voice an opinion, ride a bike, walk, run if a bear is chasing me, and still has the ability to knock my hubby's socks off, flaws and all.

Will you see me out there wearing sleeveless tops? Sundresses? Shorts? A bathing suit? You bet your sweet patootie you will! It's summer, it's hot! If my body isn't "summer ready" enough for you, Frankly, my dear, I don't give a crap!

As for the past week?

Busy, busy, at the shop. It's Awesome!

Made some real headway on my novel!

Did some prep for the upcoming "Word Slam"

Worked on layout for "Flitflee"

Went to see "Batman/Superman" movie. (Not fantastic but have absolutely seen much worse)

Got to squeeze all four grandbabies in one day!

As for the following days...........

Work the shop.........

Do more prep for "Word Slam"


And with that, I will bid you adieu.

Until next time......

May you have a blast, catch the giggles, dance to the music in the grocery store.
May you end each day with a smile, feeling fulfilled, looking forward to more.

May the new season inspire new experiences, new ideas, new choices.
May the new season give your deepest dreams the loudest voices.

May you see that happiness is not circumstantial, it's present always, but sometimes is shy.
May you bring it out of the corner,through the troubled crowd, give it sparkle, give it wings, let it fly.

Until next time!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Ways To Avoid Hypnosis..........


Okay, I pretty much have no relevant excuse for the top picture. Well, no excuse other than she's pretty freakin' adorable. One week old already...let the race against time begin!

Speaking of adorable, the other pic is the artwork for the cover of my up and coming new children's book, "Flitflee Flanderfoodle". A little story about how we should never let fear drive our decisions. I have several people in my life, big and small, young and old, who suffer with anxiety. My hope is that, just maybe, this silly little story might strike a cord, either by the one it's being read to, or the one who's reading it.  It's a long shot, but you never know.

So, this week has been another busy, fun one.

The shop is hopping right along, thankfully, as busy as ever.

I received the final artwork for "Flitflee" and was able to get a start on the layout.

Another word or two made it's way to the pages of the novel I'm working on............

Then, last night, my hubby and I attended a fundraiser for a community school group wherein the entertainment was a hypnotist....

We've gone to several shows like this in the past, and, apparently I am one of the lucky few who are very susceptible to hypnosis. Every time we've attended I've gone under, whether I was consciously trying to or not. This time, I really just wanted to stay in the audience and watch, so I took a few precautionary measures to ensure a non-hypnotic state. When the lights dimmed and the spa music kicked in, I high-tailed it for the washroom, which was a decent distance from the auditorium.  I hung out there for as long as I comfortably could with a lady I had never previously met, then, made my way back to my seat. Unfortunately, he hadn't completed the "watch the watch" talk, so I took out my phone and concentrated on a very dry article about the American electoral process. When I found my focus being drawn in by the hypno guy, I switched to playing a trivia game. This seemed to do the trick, requiring my mind to focus.

It was so fun to watch as others became butt models, piano players and back-up dancers for LMFAO.

Then today, we were able to attend our nephews' play in their regional drama festival. There were five plays put on by five different schools. There are some very talented young people in our neck of the woods. Pretty impressive.

As for this evening, we will go and watch Tina Fey play a journalist in Afghanistan. Should be pretty entertaining!

It's never lost on me, how absolutely lucky I am.

Dreams are built on a foundation of solid decisions. Not-so solid decisions don't have to have the power to demolish the dream. These stumbling blocks simply make the dream take a little longer to achieve, because we need to spend  the time to repair the damage. Once the problem is recognized and a solution found, you let go and move on. Hanging on to the mistakes will make the climb so much harder, and the extra burden serves no purpose other than to hold you down.

When you are standing at the pinnacle of a particular dream, (as I believe everyone should have way more than a few) you can look back and see the not-so-solid decisions weren't really mistakes. The repairs they required added character and strength to the build, making the dream just that much more beautiful.

It's never lost on me just how lucky I am.

As for the upcoming days.....

Work in the shop..............................

Capture some baby snuggles............

Do some glamorous spring cleaning type things..........


And that, my friends, about does it for another week..........

Thank you all for taking the time to read these ramblings each week, it means so much............

May the joy of spring find it's way into your life, painting it widely with the colours of a new start.
May it's gentle breezes bring you serenity, clarity and peace, lighting every corner of your heart.

May you, no matter who, or where, or how old you are, begin to build your next dream, say it out loud, give it a voice.
May you give, even the tiniest piece of yourself permission to believe you can make it happen through opportunity and choice.

May you find the courage to explore and push your talents, find out how deep they can go.
May you then find the courage to let them shine in whatever way allows your soul to glow.

Until next time.....

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Our Newest Addition Has Arrived!!!!!!!

Well folks, it's no April fool's joke! On April 1st at approximately 2:10 am, our newest grandbaby finally decided to join us in the loud, bright world!

Yup, all 21 1/2 in, 9lb 9oz of her! ( I know 4 pics might be a bit much, but you can't say I didn't warn you!)

Mom and baby are fine, home with hubby and other two munchkins, settling in and snuggling, as we speak.

Then, mid afternoon, April 2nd, received word that we are Great Auntie and Uncle once again! Mom and baby are doing fine there as well! (Sorry no pics of this one yet)

Two healthy babies born to two healthy Mommas, into families who will love and cherish them. What more can you ask for?

You might say that this week has been pretty full, and you'd be right!

Had a bit of an exciting ride home when, the other day, I was going along on the highway, a semi close behind, when the clutch in the car went kaflooey! All of a sudden the tachometer started freakin' out, and I was slowing down...... alot!

Travelling the same road can hold some advantages...I knew there was an approach just over the hill, and thankfully was able to get to it before the semi reached my back bumper.

We were able to limp the car back to town, and a few days later, to a mechanic's shop. To have these kinds of services, basically at your finger tips is pretty awesome. The repair bill won't exactly be tiny, but it will be absolutely less than a new car.

Luckily, having the old truck around made it so we didn't have to miss the new baby's trip into the world!

Now that the little bundle has arrived, the constant state if  stand-by has been lifted.  We no longer need to live at the edge of our seats. The leisurely snuggling of the newest grandbaby can commence!

Once again, I had the privilege of being there, in the room, to witness my daughter become a Mom, in this instance, for the third time.

It is, at once, the hardest and most beautiful thing I'm certain I will ever experience. To watch your child go through the pain of childbirth, wishing with everything you had that you could do it for her, is tough. But then, to be there when this little life cries her first cries, to see her placed on your daughter, and at the bedside, her loving daddy...... it's pretty amazing.

When the nurse asked if I had been there for all of my grandbabies' births, I was honoured to be able to say yes.

Now, as for the following week, I don't imagine it will quite as eventful. At least, that's not the plan....but you just never know......

As far as the plan? Well.........

Vote! (Our local election is Monday)

Work at the shop...month end and then some...........

Squeeze in some new grandbaby and not-so-new grandbaby snuggles.........

Start working on layout etc. for Flitflee Flanderfoodle............

Start prepping for a workshop I'll be participating in toward the end of April......

Attend a fundraiser that will include some dancing!

Make some headway on my Novel!!!!!!

That about does it for another week......

With these new babies in mind, I'll leave you with this wish..............

May you feel the joy that surrounds you, know you are so wanted, know you are so loved by everyone your brand new eyes can see.
May you know that you are precious, you are worthy, you are already everything you'll ever need to be.

May you feel the strength and protection in the arms that hold you close, for this, dearest one, will never fade.
May you, as you gain awareness of us all, know we will always be there, for every fallen tear, every game played.

May you know your very presence fills our hearts entirely to the brim.
May you know your light will only grow ever brighter, never will it dim.

Until next time, check it out.........