Friday, September 30, 2016

From There To Here In A Heartbeat.............


Another week has come and gone at the speed of light!

The photos, those goofy people who went from throwing kisses to flipping the bird? Yeah, those are our girls.

They went out together to get some sister tattoos. I asked for them, while they were all together, to get a nice picture for me.  For them to be in the same place at the same time, sadly doesn't happen as often as I'd like. I've been hinting heavily for a loooonnnngggg time that a nice photo of them together, outside of wedding photos, would be awesome.

That's what you get for encouraging smartassery during their childhood.

How did we get here so fast? We went from there to here in a heartbeat.

When we look at the incredible people they've become and are still becoming, we know we've done at least a few things right along the way.

They are strong, independent, kind, compassionate people who stand up for who and what they believe. They are capable, smart individuals who understand the value of working for your dreams.

They are so much more than a pretty smile, a size chart, or a scale. They are not, and have never been defined by their physical beauty. They know their value is not hinged on the opinion of others.

They know how to compromise, and how to stand their ground.

They know they are to be heard. Their opinion counts. Their voice has merit.

I say these things because I know our girls are not alone.

But, there are too many young people of this millennial generation who see themselves differently.

This is the generation who has grown up being bombarded by the Kim Kardashians of the world. Instagram, Facebook and snapchat. Their value measured by the number of  'likes' and 'shares' and 'followers' they can gather.

Their perceived value being generated and validated by strangers. These strangers, in turn, developing some misconceived notion of power over them.

We need to put humanity back into human interaction. Put the images of people aside, and look at the people. We are so much more than the sum total of our photos.


Well folks, sorry to write and run, but I have to go!  Gotta get ready for the Unity Fall Fair! A two day tradeshow!

After that, the week will be filled with writing, work and other shenanigans!

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

May you see you are more than what's reflected in the mirror, it's but an image in the glass.
May you see that you are phenomenal, unique, show your spark, let it shine, have some sass.

May you understand that the opinions of others carry no more weight than your own.
May you see that others opinions of you are completely weightless, worthless, whatever their tone.

May you allow yourself the freedom to be who you are meant to be.
May you untether what holds you back, have courage, set it free.

May the actions you put out into the world, truly reflect the truth within your soul.
May you understand how deeply your actions touch others, both good and bad, own your role.

Until next time...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

We're Better Than The News Bytes!!!!!


Well, Mother nature did not change her mind. She stuck to her guns and gave us a pretty blustery day for our Word On The Street Festival.

My, not so co-operative model in the first pic was, once again a great helper. Our posters and easels weren't up very long, neither were loose copies of the books. Banners, business cards, and tent dividers were becoming air-born, or close to it, for the entire day.

But, in spite of less than stellar conditions, it was still an incredible day. It takes more than rain and wind to keep book enthusiasts away from books!

The rest of the week was filled with the usual. Working the shop, running errands, laundry and, of course, writing.

I did manage to see bits and pieces of news bytes along the way.

Imagine if our only experience of the world was through television news. They paint it with such a dark brush, making it seem like we should be afraid to set foot outside our doors. They sometimes throw in a small tidbit of something just a shade lighter, but those stories are so fleeting, they leave you wondering if you even saw it at all.

The world they paint, isn't the world I've experienced.

In the world, as I've experienced it, the good far outweighs the bad. I've encountered so many incredibly kind and generous people. Yes, I have also encountered those venomous parasites that feed off of others joy, creating fear, completely apathetic to the pain they cause, often finding pleasure in it.

But, for every venomous parasite I come across, I meet at least 500 kind, generous souls.

I'm so glad that the world that news channels portray is not actually the real world. They catch snippets of the worst of it. They highlight the most heinous and hateful things humans are capable of doing to each other. They then show it continually, until it doesn't actually seem real anymore, in effect, dulling our sensitivity the level of its tragedy. Why is that only the worst of what we can be is considered newsworthy.

This is not the real world. The world is filled with people who, every day, send their children to school, having them come home safe, full of wonder and excitement. The world is filled with  people who open doors for others, adopt rescue pets, help strangers with dropped packages, give homeless people hot meals and the shirts off of their backs.

Our world is more than, and we, as a human race are much better than the sum total of the horror-filled news bytes they like to make us believe represent us, and the society in which we live.

I do believe it's important to know what is going on in the world, for evil grows so much faster in the dark, without witnesses. I simply believe with equal fervor that it sure wouldn't hurt to shed more light on the good things along the way, for hope grows best in full sun with plenty of people to watch.

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

I have to say, I'm pretty curious as to how the first American presidential debate will go, could be kind of interesting...............

Working the shop.....

Prep and participate in the Unity Fall Fair...........


Hopefully get a chance to squeeze a grandbaby or two or four..........

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

May you step out into this colourful world, enjoying every beauty it provides.
May you step away from the screens of darkness, step into the sunlight, spend real time outside.

May you greet the world with kindness, a ready smile, and embrace every adventure.
May each one take you to new, exciting places, every step becoming more sure.

May you stand strong through any hardship, any hiccup along the way.
May you see your strength, feel it, trust it, it's yours, it's forever here to stay.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Very. Odd. Indeed............


Well folks, another launching of a new book is in the books!

Thanks to all who came out!

After a great afternoon spent meeting new people, hanging out with good friends and family, and sending some copies of Flitflee Flanderfoodle to new homes, it was time to get back home for another week of working at the shop and writing.

As I write this, I'm making last minute mental notes, and prepping for the Word On The Street Festival in Saskatoon tomorrow. The above photos tell the story of the gathering of stuff that needs to go and the forecasted weather.

It's not looking like Mother Nature is looking to be incredibly cooperative. This is the fifth time I'm participating in the festival, and really, we've been pretty lucky, as far as weather goes, each year.

Hopefully, our luck will hold and whatever is brewing will be long gone by the time we start.

Rain and books don't exactly mix well.

Fifth festival. Holy Crap! Fifth festival, there, promoting my fifth children's book.

Sometimes with the hustle involved, the nuts and bolts of organizing signings, festivals, trade shows, school visits, working at the shop, working on my novel,  all of the glamorous laundry monster fights and dust bunny slayings, and making sure friends, kids, and grandbabies don't forget what I look like, it can be easy, at times, to forget how all of this is just so much more than I dared to dream.

It's important to let the good stuff soak in. Enjoy the rewards that hard work affords. I still have to remind myself of that every now and again.

Yes, the dust bunny wars will continue, and I'm okay with that. It means that I am lucky enough to live in a house in which to hunt them.

Before I leave you for the week, I can't help but make a quick observation.

I've been watching the news again. And, again, a LOT of it carries stories about the American presidential race.

There seemed to be a bunch of hoopla around the fact that Donald Trump decided to concede that President Obama was, indeed born in the United States.

This seems very odd.

I liken it to someone telling an entire community that one of their citizens is lost. Then, for five years, this citizen goes about his/her daily life, in plain sight of everyone. Of course, all citizens willing to accept the fact that they are indeed seeing this citizen, keeping in mind that there is absolutely no evidence to the contrary, they know perfectly well that he/she is not lost at all.

Then, suddenly, the original someone who told everyone that this citizen was lost to begin with, and continued to try and convince people of this consistently,  declares that they are now a hero for they have found said lost citizen. Oh, and then blame the whole thing on someone else.

Very. Odd. Indeed.

Well guys, thanks again for taking the time out of your lives to give these ramblings a read.

I better go get the rest of the things put together for tomorrow.  It'll be an early morning.

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

May you see that a hollow dream, one devoid of soul, has no choice but to remain a dream.
May you see that success without integrity, is not success, it is simply ego bursting at the seams.

May you see that empathy and kindness carry more value than every piece of gold.
May you see without acceptance, without generosity, humankind will crumble and fold.

May you choose to walk this life looking up, face to the sun, heart open, conscience clear.
May you see that this creates joy, friendships, allowing you to walk in freedom, not fear.

Until next time

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Be Happy. Be Goofy. Have Fun!


Well, another family wedding has come and gone. It was a beautiful day filled to the brim with new memories.

After the fun filled weekend, it was time to get back to the shop and back to work. Thankfully, there is no shortage of work to do.

Yup, is was another week of trailers in and trailers out, parts found and ordered, and stranded travelers helped out.

Then, Friday was a day set aside for writing. I'm making some real progress with my novel and am so grateful to my hubby and daughter for making it possible for me to dedicate some real time toward it's completion.

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

Tomorrow is the day I get to officially introduce Flitflee Flanderfoodle to the world.

By tomorrow evening, there could very well be some freshly scrubbed little faces, snuggled in their beds, either reading or are having read to them, the words I've put to the page.

My biggest hope, as it is with each new book, is that the story brings a smile to at least one tiny face.

Yes tomorrow, I will be at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon from 1-3ish, signing copies of Flitflee and the other titles, as well.

Then it will be another week of working and writing, writing and working, and then participating in the Word On The Street festival in Saskatoon! It's always so much fun!

When I look back and think of what our life might have been like if fear had had a vote in our major decisions, it makes me incredibly grateful that we haven't allowed our life to be driven by negative anticipation. If we had, we wouldn't be together, we wouldn't have our 4 beautiful daughters and awesome grandbabies, we wouldn't have raced cars, or started a DJ/Karaoke business. We wouldn't have our RV shop, and I most definitely wouldn't be attending the signing of my 5th children's book tomorrow.

There have been countless crossroads, and the choices we've made were not always the easiest, by any means. Some created struggle, many created sacrifice, but ultimately, every single one was what was best for us.

Be resilient, be resourceful, be bold. Know that a "comfort zone" will do nothing but limit you. Be willing to compromise, but never sacrifice your light. Think outside all of the boxes, striving to never fit in a single one. Don't make decisions to appease the expectations of others, the opinion of your conscience is the only one that carries any weight, in the end.

Be happy. Be goofy. Have fun.

Well folks, that about does it for another week,

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

May your week be filled with easy joy, simple gratitude, and beauty at every turn.
May it provide ample opportunities for fun new skills to be learned.

May the time bring with it hours to just relax, just chill, just be.
May you sit, curled with some popcorn, a movie, and your favourite cup of tea.

May you feel the benefits of the quiet, of the still, let yourself soak, let it completely seep in.
May you see this time is necessary to recharge, to refresh, to reignite the spark within.

Until next time....

Friday, September 2, 2016

Yeah Baby! September is Here!

I know, I know, I know......but I really like Fall. We tend to cover a bit of ground within our little province, and sometimes, I get a little snap happy. And besides, many of you live in places where this doesn't happen, I thought it might be fun to see some shots of where it does.

Well folks, September is here!

I'm not sure what it is about the beginning of a new season, (although Autumn doesn't officially arrive for a few weeks) but I always feel a deep-seeded excitement when they come around. It feels as though I know a surprise is coming, and I know, without a doubt, it's going to be completely fantastic. I just don't know what it will be, or when, exactly, it will take place. So, I just go along, giving my best effort to put the most positive things I can out into the universe, then, hang tight and wait for the awesomeness to reveal itself.

I know it sounds naive, and maybe, slightly nuts, but, I've learned, over time, that living, always waiting for the other proverbial boot to drop, isn't living. Not everything that comes down the pike is going to be flowers and sunshine, sometimes it will be thistles and poop storms. But, it will never only be thistles and poop storms.

The trick is to make a raft out of the thistles to ride out the poop storm floods, then grab on to the rainbow when it inevitably shows up.

Yup, September is here, and it's going to be awesome!

Speaking of which, I need to go get ready to attend our nephew's wedding, this weekend. (second nephew this year! Gotta love a big family! Lol)

With them in mind, I'll leave you with this wish,

May you make each day better than the last, your love growing deeper than you ever knew it could.
May you hold tight to each other in hard times, for you will need each other more than you ever knew you would.

May you celebrate the good things, even if they're small, for small, good things, build a life.
May you never take for granted what it means to be a husband, what it means to be a wife.

May you create your marriage joyfully, gently, kindly, continually building upon it's strength.
May you cherish and protect it, and each other, at times you may need to go to extraordinary length.

May you, as time passes, as wrinkles show and grey hairs sprout, appreciate your story, keep adding chapters to your tale.
May you, as the authors of your own adventure, know nothing is off limits, together, it's impossible to fail.

Until next time!