Saturday, July 30, 2016

Fighting Zombies And Other Big Kid Accomplishments!


It's been another pretty crazy, but also pretty amazing week!

We spent a couple of days during the past week working at different campgrounds, doing some mobile repairs. It's a nice change of pace, but it can be a challenge working those trips into the work week.

The week came to a pretty fantastic close, though, with a movie night/sleepover with the oldest three grandbabies.

As you can see in the photos, there was major zombie something or other fight/war, and some big kid accomplishments placed squarely under one little girl's belt.

It's not lost on me how blessed we are to get to spend so much time with our grandbabies. We are very lucky to have them living so close.

Make sure to mark it on your calendars!  The official date for the "Flitflee Flanderfoodle" event has been set! Sept. 11/2016! From 1pm to 3pm, at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon, I will be there promoting and signing copies of "Flitflee" along with Lexi's Magic Clothes, A Crazy Day, Tags Go In The Back, and Alfred Dinglewiggle.

Yup, the signing/launch, then the Word On The Street Festival, then some trade shows and  school visits. It's looking like it's going to be a full fall! Time to get posters and stuff put together!

But first, there are 2 days left in this long weekend and I fully plan on taking advantage of them.

In fact, I think I might just go ahead and start now. Have a great week!

May you let yourself rest without guilt, put your feet up, have a cold one, maybe two.
May the things you juggle be put aside for a bit, giving your hands a break, maybe your soul too.

May some of the to do list be picked up by others without you having to ask, without so much as a mention.
May they be done without fail, without drama,without delay, without the smallest of details lacking attention.

May you get an honest to goodness break, and not just face double the work load tomorrow.
May you, if you found that these wishes were likely to happen, take advantage of the pink flying unicorn I'll let you borrow!

May you see that your loved ones simply don't know all that happens behind the scenes to make life run as smoothly as it does.
May you see, it doesn't mean they don't love you, or don't care, they seem to see it as a kind of magic, not the non stop balancing act it really was.

May you get that what you do is important, even if it's invisible to most.
May you, yeah you, really  kick back with that cold one for real. and, hell, give yourself a toast!

Until next time!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Be A Good Speck.............


What a week!

I know in the grand scheme of things, this doesn't qualify as a huge natural disaster or anything, but many of our customers and friends were directly and heftily impacted by a couple of storms that came through our area.

There were hail stones big enough, and hitting the ground hard enough, to make it look like some fairy tale giant had been staggering around on stilts. They were big enough to be spotted with the naked eye, hundreds of feet in the air, coming out of the sky like missiles, coming straight down, too heavy to do anything else.

Many of the fields, like the ones featured in the photos above, simply don't look like that anymore. That's a lot of flax and canola that won't make into the bin and subsequently to our tables, not to mention the countless acres of lentils, peas, and wheat.

When it storms like this, it's not just the fields that get hit. It hits the farmyards with just as much vengeance. Houses, farm equipment, vehicles, barns and bins, they all take a beating.

Weather is so completely unpredictable. Few livelihoods depend on Mother nature's moods as much as farming. Not just grain farming, but all. Most of everything we put on our tables relies on what Mother Nature sees fit to provide.

For the most part, we are a modern world, maybe too much so, sometimes. But, when it really comes down to it, we are still but one link in a vast food chain. Every once in a while, Mother Nature likes to send us a reminder.

For all of the bravado, politics, religion, celebrity, and every other noise with which we choose to fill our egos, trying to satisfy that endless need to feel important, we are but a speck on a planet, a small part of a solar system which is even a smaller part of a universe that is likely part of many more.

All we can do is be the best speck we can while we have the opportunity to do so.

Be a good speck.


It's been another, gratefully, very busy week, providing some challenges along the way.

Still standing.

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

We will have the honour of providing the music for a lovely couple and their guests for a wedding tonight.........

If all goes well.............................

Tomorrow will include a visit with some family and a few  hours at the lake.......(not work related!)

Monday is writing day!!!!!!!!

Tuesday..........also at a lake, but this time, for work....there are worse things.............. work day(different lake)

Thursday.....Taking care of my newest grandbaby for the day!!!!!!!

Friday..........Work/pizza/popcorn/movie night/sleepover with 3 oldest grandbabies!!!!!!!!

Saturday........... Who knows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

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

May your speck sparkle like a diamond, a sun breaking through the darkest of stormy clouds.
May you remember every speck is as important as the next, even when not as big or as loud.

May you recover from every hit, every challenge, every missile, feet solid on the other side.
May you remember that every challenge brings with it opportunity, find it, take it for a ride.

May you find your new stride, your new cadence, as every challenge forces a change in step.
May you find your new rhythm, own it, rock it, for you're soul's intact, even better, safely kept.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Introducing......... Flitflee Flanderfoodle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My heart is shredded with the tragedies that have taken place in the past week. France, Turkey, here, on our own shores. Lives changed in a heartbeat. Their time between the sunsets never to be the same again. If we aren't careful, we will be swallowed by this darkness, grasping for light, a drowning child gasping for air.

Recently, my tears have flooded my keyboard more often than not. The counter activity to all of this hatred and violence is joy and laughter. We need to perpetuate happiness, if for no other reason, then to prove we still can. Following sorrow with joy and heartbreak with laughter are not only necessary to keep our sanity, but our humanity. We don't honour those we've lost by getting engulfed by fear and hatred, we honour them by filling the world they were forced to leave with enough laughter to over-stuff the void their absence brings.

So, it is with the utmost respect that, this week, I am choosing to perpetuate happiness, silliness and pretty much anything that might bring a smile to the faces of those who may need it most.


Flitflee is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Valerie Bouthyette for making sense of my crazy notes for illustrations, Artbookbinery for helping me stay close to my self-imposed deadlines, and all the fantastic support from family and friends whom are always full of encouragement.

Now, the planning begins for signings, trade shows and school visits to introduce her to some new friends. I've kept her to myself long enough, it's time to let her fly!

Flitflee Flanderfoodle will be available for sale at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon and on my website very soon!

I simply can't explain the excitement that takes place inside my soul when I open a box, and unpack that first copy of a new book. She is already in the hands of a few special people, and I so look forward to, hopefully, seeing Flitflee bring a smile to many little, and maybe not-so-little faces in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Other than Flitflee arriving, this week has been another busy one, filled with fixing trailers, a visit to the dentist (yippee), a multitude of other errands, laundry and trying to turn the jungle we call a back yard, back into a backyard, once again.

I guess, if there is a downside of being so busy is that it does not leave a lot of daylight hours for yard work. I think we should be ahead of the game by the end of the weekend, though.

As for the next few days.............


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

Put the final touches on the first Flitflee event.......(details to come)

Oh, and as promised.....................a little dose of silly. Remember my menopausal super hero from a while back? This just might be her sidekick............................

I'm still working on a name................................................

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

May uncontrollable laughter change your tears of sadness into joyously weeping fits.
May a case of the giggles overtake you, engross you, taking control of every single one of your bits.

May good news find it's way to you, overpowering, obliterating, annihilating any bad.
May you belly laugh until your stomach aches, your cheeks hurt and you begin to question whether you're mad.

May you know it's okay to laugh, even, if not especially, in the midst of all that goes wrong with humanity.
May you know it's okay, even necessary, we need the laughter to keep our souls and our sanity.

Until next time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Everything and Nothing, All At Once...........


I know, I know, more photos of, well, everything and nothing all at once, I guess.

I guess I never get tired of the wide open space in which I feel very privileged to live. I am acutely aware if how lucky I am.

As you recall, I took a bit of a news vacation. Well, that came to an ugly and abrupt end this morning with news of yet another person dying at the hands of police compounded by more killings of police officers by snipers.

Violence creates violence. It just gets bigger and more vicious. The very worst of what we can be as humans, seems to be at the forefront, taking charge of the direction we are going, as a society. It's starting to feel like the bad guys are winning.

We can't let that happen.

We can choose to not allow these acts of violence to perpetuate hate and vomit misconstrued, misconceptions and hate-filled rhetoric all over social media.

We can choose not to jump to conclusions about everything. The actual, factual information we are given is extremely limited, we end up knowing very little about very little.

The loss felt by the families and friends touched directly by these horrible acts, though, is all too real. Before "sharing", plant yourself, your children, your parents or your friends firmly in their shoes. What you not want to see when you look at your phone?

We can choose to be kind. Always.

As long as there is one kind person doing one kind deed, there is hope. Let's be that person.

These photos are of everything. Everything is possible.
These photos are of nothing. Nothing in the way.


After taking a few days off for the long weekend, it's been anther busy week! Busy, busy at the shop, month end, installing doors, air conditioners, awnings etc. Pretty fantastic!

Was able to get in a bit of a hello with the grandbabies...........

Had a quick drop in visit with our niece and nephew.................

As for the days ahead..............

More fixing trailers............

Countdown to Flitflee is on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Squeeze some munchkins...


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

May kindness flow from your lips as you speak, your fingers, as you type, your heart, as you view others.
May we see beyond the anger, beyond the blame, beyond the hatred, beyond the moment, these children, fathers and mothers.

May we begin to create a place of peace, plant a seed of hope, we need to start to rebuild humanity.
May we begin before we fall so far back, to long before we knew better, for that would be insanity.

May we begin from here, a place of understanding, where information availability makes ignorance an obsolete excuse.
May we begin now, for there has been more than enough bombarding our children's souls with this violent abuse.

Until next time

Saturday, July 2, 2016



This weekend, we Canucks celebrate the birthday of the fantastic country we have the privilege of calling home.

We have so much to be thankful for. So much to celebrate. So much yet to do.

We are such a young country, barely into toddlerdom, as countries go, really. So much to learn, so much we can learn from both the successes and mistakes of our older siblings around the world.

As any younger sibling, we watch, we learn, but need to forge our own path, one that best suits us. We aren't perfect, and will have to make our own mistakes Heck, even in our young life, we've already made quite a few. But, we will grow from these mistakes, ever becoming a better home for generations to come.

Let's never become the obnoxious sibling selfishly sitting on an incredulous wealth of resources which existed long before we got here, and will continue to exist long after we are gone. The only credit we can claim is that we found it.

Let's not pretend that our country just happened. The path that leads to where we are today is paved with pain, horrible injustices, unforgettable heartache, courage, back breaking hard work, ingenuity, and a belief in what could be.

Sadly, some of the heartache and injustices live on. We are still young, full of courage, ingenuity, and are more than capable of the back breaking hard work it will take to make the future something we can all be proud of. We can't rewrite history, undoing the mistakes, but we can move forward, creating a better one for those that will follow.

Happy Canada Day!

It's been, thankfully, very busy at the shop, We rolled up our sleeves and managed to get to the long weekend without anyone missing their camping trip!

I received, and was able to approve the proof for Flitflee Flanderfoodle! I'll have copies of the actual book in my hands very soon!!!!! So excited!

Some of the kids and all of the grandbabies were able to come by to partake in a belated birthday surprise for my hubby!

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

We will be taking advantage of the long weekend, hanging out with family an having some fun.....

We will then be jumping right back in at the shop.......

I should be getting a date of delivery for Flitflee....................

WR|ITE!!!!!!!! and I mean it this time!!!!

And that about does it for this week until next time...........

May the weather be too perfect for any kind of toque, and your two-fours be perfectly chilled.
May your double doubles be hot and your timbits fresh, and your poutine, never spilled.

May you have toonies and loonies aplenty, to play music all night on the juke, at the bar.
May there be no kerfuffles, at least none that end the fun, none that go too far.

May you have lots of serviettes in hand, in case of any celebratory mess.
May you have enough pop to mix with your mickey, for not enough can lead to various stages of unintentional undress.

May you, as you sit and enjoy the fireworks, in person, or on your chesterfield, in your housecoat, watching on tv.
May you appreciate what it means to be Canadian, for it is incredible to be able to live so freely.

May those who need this translated, be assured, I did not write it intending any kind of exclusion.
May those who need this translated, show it to the first Canadian you meet, they will be happy to settle any confusion.

Until next week.....