Friday, June 23, 2017

Who I Am.....


Well folks, it's been another crazy week full of all kinds of excitement!

First, our grandson graduated from pre-k, now ready to begin his journey in the 'big kid' school.

The ceremony was priceless. These little faces took full advantage of the occasion to showcase their impressive new skills in sign language, learning to write their names without assistance, and tackling new songs, performing all of it with a level of adorability that was almost intolerable.

Toward the end, one of the teachers shared with the gathered family and friends, the littles answers to some questions they were given at the end of the year. A couple of which were as follows....

1) What did you like most about preschool?

The answers to this one were fairly unanimous..."playing with my friends/blocks/toys"

2) What to you want to be when you grow up?

The answer to this, on the other hand, varied significantly. Some want to be firefighters and police officers, others fairies, one, wants to be the red power ranger.

The answer, though, that struck a cord, resounding in a universal reaction of "awwwwwww" was the one uttered by our very own grandbaby, Jakey.

His answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?"........"Who I am."

The majority of what we need to learn in this life can be learned from those under 6 years old. Truth.

Another bit of excitement came in a message via Facebook.

I'm tickled to pieces to be able to tell you that 'Once Broken' has been selected as part of a 10 book summer reading list for one of, if not the biggest, book clubs in Saskatchewan, and, has become part of a big contest on the radio station that sponsors said book club.

Pretty crazy.....

Another bit of excitement.....

Through the course of the last few weeks, it has been brought to my attention that there were some people that want a copy of 'Once Broken', who have been unable to attend any of the events, so far. So, on July 1st, which happens to be Canada Day, my hubby and I are embarking on the "#OnceBroken Canada Day Turbo Tour Road Trip"!

We will be making quick stops in 9 towns that day, meeting as many people as possible.

It's a kind of 'out of the box' approach, but, I'm kinda allergic to fitting into boxes. It's who I am.

 Besides, the absolute worst case scenario is that we cruise the countryside, stopping 9 times, in great communities, for pee breaks and snacks! I can live with that!


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

Working the shop. prepping for the turbo tour, some accounting, some laundry, some errands....

Who knows what kind of surprises will come to pass?


Well, 'tis the season for graduations, pre-k, middle school, high school, university and probably others I'm not aware of. Wth these in mind, I'll leave you with wish....

May you see the road ahead as one filled with adventure, it's yours, be fierce, be brave.
May you always make choices that bring you closer to becoming the person you crave.

May you see that not all future steps are predictable, there are hazards, detours, potholes, and storms.
May you know that you are strong enough to weather any of it, all of it, regardless of its form.

May you know there will be days filled with doubt, feeling like you don't know what you're doing, which turn to take, which path to follow, what decision to make.
May you also know, that doesn't go away, it's all any of us do, figuring it out as we go, along the way gaining skills and tools, yet still having times we feel like a fake.

May you just remember what's important, be kind, do no harm, listen more than you speak.
May you just remember, power doesn't make you strong, tears don't make you weak.

May you carry with you always, compassion, empathy, gratitude, humour, and the ability to dream big, dream far.
May you carry with you always, a piece of where you come from, good or bad, it's helped shape who you are.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Happy Daddy Day!


Life around here is never dull, but the past few weeks have been particularly exciting.

"Once Broken" has had a pretty great start. It's been two full weeks since the release date and copies, hardcopy, and ebook, have found their way to a bunch of different homes in four different provinces, in three different countries, on two different continents.

Another moment in time that, when I was elbow-deep in dirty diapers living on love and caffeine, seemed impossible.

There was a time when sleep was a luxury and making pennies stretch was my only hobby. When even allowing myself to entertain any kind of dream that remotely resembled what I am living today seemed a waste of time I simply didn't have. It seemed too far, too big, too much, I couldn't see a road from there to here.

That road has been a long one, with plenty of bumps, curves, detours, potholes, thrilling hills and sharp turns. I look forward to whatever is around the next bend, nothing seems too far anymore.

Do you see the guy in the top photo? The one at the head of the table, by the window? None of any of this happens without him.

He gave me our girls, this life, this adventure.

He is the guy our girls get to call daddy. He's the guy that would walk to the ends of the earth for his girls, pulling cars out of snowbanks, holding purses and coats during countless shopping expeditions, fixing bikes, cars, boyfriends attitudes, always willing to answer the call for a ride, no matter the time.

He is the guy that was their jungle gym, self-defense coach, teacher of changing oil and flat tires. He is the guy who will never let them forget that they are loved, he is proud, and they are worth everything because they are here, selling themselves short is not an option.

He is the guy that has been, and always will be, their protector, their biggest fan, their soft place to fall, always there with a hand up and a hug when they do.

He is the guy.


The past week has been pretty great, a tradeshow in Kindersley, time with some great people, working the shop. Pretty Great.

The upcoming days will be filled with another trade show, Father's Day, working on some book promoting, and working the shop. Just keep swimming....................


Now to my Dad..............

May you know that even though some time has passed since last we spoke, I haven't forgotten how you sound.
May you know that even though you've been gone a while, at the most important times, I know you're still around.

May you know we see you, feel you, every time a prank is pulled, a joke is skillfully told, or when "nin-nins" come out to play.
May you know you left the best of yourself behind, I see it in my own eyes,  those of my kids, and my grandbabies, in sooo many ways.

May you continue to watch over us with that glint in your eye and tongue planted firmly in your cheek
May you know we miss you, really miss you, always miss you, but it hits hardest, this day, this week.

******************************************************************** on Twitter : @mugwatt

Friday, June 9, 2017

Some Beautiful Faces..............

Just a few of the beautiful faces that have taken home a copy of 'Once Broken.'  !!!

Well, it's been about a week and a half since the release of 'Once Broken', and it's been kind of a surreal experience. I work hard not to attach any kind of expectation to a project, although I always hope that at least a few people get some sort of entertainment out of what I do. I have had to get comfortable promoting and marketing my books, but, after I've put everything I can into a book, the rest is out of my hands, so there's really no point worrying about it.

The amount of support and positive feedback since the release day has been pretty amazing. At some point, in the near future, I plan on taking a minute, a few deep breaths, and let it all soak in. Maybe then, it will feel a little more real.

For right now, I want to say thank you. Thank you to those who have sent notes of congratulations, purchased books, and have been so supportive throughout this project, the ones that preceded it, and, I'm hoping, the ones that follow.

I know how lucky I am, how privileged I have been, and continue to be. Living in a country where,  growing up, I never knew real hunger, in a place in which I could actually complain about having to go to school to get an education, a community where if someone needed help, there was never a question of 'if' neighbours will pitch in, it was understood. Living in a country where we drink the water without worry, breathe clean air without exception, where the skies are bigger and bluer than anything you can imagine, where we are more likely to run into by a moose than a mugger, where we have parks bigger than some countries, the freedom to enjoy every inch of the playground in which we live, and where medical care is a right.

There are too many places in the world where there are way too many people that would view what I just described as a lavish fairy tale. Farfetched, unreachable, complete fantasy.

Maybe, just maybe, someday, we will figure out a way so that every single person, can have a happily ever after.........



In the past week....

Worked at the shop, signed and sent some books off to some people with really good taste in books, made a run into the city to replenish McNally Robinson with copies of 'Once Broken'. (Was so excited when they called and said they were sold out!), played hooky with a good friend and went to a the afternoon.....on a Thursday......shhhhh don't tell anybody..............

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

I will be selling and signing books at an event at Kindersley Mall tomorrow from 10-4

More working at the shop........

Prepping for Art in the Park....


Well, that about does it for now.....


The world lost a very special lady yesterday,  with her in mind.......

For Cathy...

May you know how special you were, your kindness, your heart, your grace.
May you know how amazing you were, the warmth and beauty of fine French lace.

May you know that without you, the world has lost a gentle point of light.
May you know how much you will be missed, our world simply won't be as bright.

May those you held closest, those who feel this loss the most, be given strength, given hope.
May you stand by their sides, letting them know that they will be okay, they will cope.

May the world understand, although not many knew your name, you were an absolute star.
May the world understand, the absence of your loving soul will leave a vivid, permanent scar.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Once Broken.....A Novel.....What?!?!?!?!?


Well, it's been a whirlwind kind of week!

Copies of 'Once Broken' were safely delivered allowing me to get it in the hands of readers!

Yup, the release date was June 1st, then, today we had the official launch in my home town at their Spring Fling event.  Kinda crazy, and a bit surreal.

Along with the release comes a bit of the running around that comes with it, getting it, physically, into McNally Robinson, filling out all of the appropriate paperwork that goes with it. Getting a poster made for upcoming events, getting the first copies shipped off to different parts of the continent, getting the word out on social media, etc.

Thankfully, my hubby is always supportive and pretty dang forgiving about me having to play hooky at the shop through it all.

It's been exciting, a bit nerve-wracking, and, in the best possible way, exhausting. Please forgive me if these ramblings are a bit short and maybe, lack a bit of luster.

The upcoming week will include some shop time, (month end and such) working on the next steps of marketing  "Once Broken", which will include an event in the Kindersley Mall on the 10th.

For those on different continents, that are so kindly interested in purchasing a copy, I would encourage the ebook version available on Amazon and Kobo if at all possible, as the cost of shipping to some of these places is pretty crazy.

I hate to write and run, but I'm functioning on fumes and if I keep writing, the gibberish will be unbearable.

Thank you all so much for your ongoing support. It means more than I can express.

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

May to find it within, to take the steps you need to take, to hold a dream in your hand.
May you see it through, bring it to fruition, eliminate the 'what ifs', put your footprints in the sand.

May you enter the adventure without expectation of outcome, it will be what it should be, without your consent.
May you see that the greatest part of the reward lives within the journey, leave your guts on the floor, every effort spent.

May you see that there is power in the vulnerability required in the baring of your soul.
May you see that, even under the microscopic eyes of those who don't approve, you remain completely whole.

May you find it within, to take the steps you need to take to hold a dream in your hand.
My you see it through, bring it to fruition, eliminate the 'what ifs', put your footprints in the sand.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Life...Not A Competition


Since the last time I sat to write these ramblings, our world was witness, yet again, to unimaginable horror. Horror, this time, targeting kids. Kids.

In Manchester, at a Pop Star concert, where the majority of fans are too young to attend without an adult, another suicide bomber senselessly subjected others to his violence.


Another twisted being took it upon himself to forever alter lives. Bringing some to an abrupt and tragic end, while shattering the lives of those who loved them. The trauma, the shock, the utter terror inflicted on innocent people is completely heartbreaking.

In the face of this despicable evil, heroes arose. The homeless ran to the aid of the injured. Children were gathered and kept safe until they could be reunited with their parents. Just as quickly as the bomb inflicted its destruction, kindness made its presence known.

The heroes will always rise. Kindness will always overtake the darkness. Our instinct to care for each, look out for one another, help one another, will always outweigh any hate.

Those that hate try to make us fear one another. Fear one another's culture, faith, race, belief system, sexual identity. Hate is simply fear in disguise. They try to create fear as a way of perpetuating hate. Attempting to create an environment that will justify their actions.

What can we do? Us, the regular people, walking through life, what can we do? I believe the best way is to accept each other, respect each other, care for each other. Don't wait for a tragedy to let your inner hero surface. Let it shine at every opportunity.The opposite of violence is kindness. The opposite of terror is peace. It stands to reason, at least to this ever-idealistic heart, that the best counter-terrorism isn't more terror, but peace.

I am ever hopeful for a time in which our differences are celebrated, our abundance shared. A time when, as the human race, we finally realize that life isn't a competition. There is no "race."

I believe we honor those who go before us by living the best life we can, capturing joy whenever possible, embracing the good moments. Overtaking the darkness, at every turn.

In that spirit,...... I am happy to say that I'm now a mere 5 sleeps away from holding in my hands, a tangible version of one of my long-time, hard-fought-for dreams. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited. I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.

All I can do now is hope a few people will like it. Time will tell.......


So the past week was spent spending some time with family, working at the shop, and doing the glamorous things it takes to run a house......

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

Tradeshow tomorrow in Saskatoon at the Travelodge..................

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

Receive my books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get a poster made for the new book.................

Get 'Once Broken' on the shelves at McNally Robinson.............

Get 'Once Broken' added to my website..........................


Well, that about does it for now.........

With the people of Manchester in mind.........................

May you find the strength to breathe, to speak, to walk through each day.
May you know we are with you, all of us, we just don't know what to say.

May your shattered souls, someday, begin to heal, someday, for grief, time does not exist.
May the heaviness, someday, begin to lift, allowing the sun to give your uplifted face an angel's kiss.

May you once again find yourself smiling without having to try.
May memories of those you lost, someday, no longer bring tears, but a smile, and a sigh.

May you find the strength to breathe, to speak, to walk through each day.
May you know we are with you, all of us, we just don't know what to say.

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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Only A Boat Needs An Anchor..............


Holy Cow!

"Once Broken" will be out on June 1st! Ebooks are available now for pre-sale on both the Amazon and Kobo websites. I will have hardcopies available on the release day. They will be available through my website, at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon, and I will have them at various tradeshows, the debut of which will be in my home town of Denzil on June 3rd.

When the idea for this story started to formulate in the back of my mind, I really had no idea where it would go, or what the end product would be.

As time went on, it evolved and revealed itself to be the beginnings of a novel.

Taking on any project that resides in the vicinity of the unknown can be daunting, scary and sometimes, straight-up overwhelming. This project was no exception.

I am under no grand delusion that I have put forth the next great piece of literature that will change the course of humanity, but, the fact that it's not War and Peace doesn't mean it didn't present its own challenges. Simple things that, as a reader, I take for granted, like character names, back stories, settings, technical terms. They are all things that, prior to this endeavor, I never gave a second thought as to how it all made its way to the page.

Will I do it again? Absolutely! But first, I need to get a couple of kids books that are kicking around out of my system before I can embark on the next novel project.


Ten years ago, I never in a million years would have thought I'd be where I am.

Time is a funny thing. It carries us, at times, unwillingly through the different chapters of our lives. It's both a blessing and a curse. Its passing gifts us incredible people and experiences while simultaneously bringing our existence on this earth ever closer to its inevitable end.

When you look at your life and realize more years are behind than ahead, time gains value. Every tick of the clock signifies a moment impossible to relive.

A couple of things that have made themselves known to me......

Finding joy every day is important. It doesn't have to be big, but it needs to be there. Allow yourself to get excited about things. Roll with change, don't fear it, its inevitable. Worrying doesn't actually change one iota of a circumstance. If there is an aspect of your life that drags you down, find a way to cut it loose.

Only a boat needs an anchor.

None of us were put on this earth to be miserable. If we breathe, we deserve every happiness. We are born filled with it, made of it. Through the course of our lives, people are put in our path, some add to our happiness, some rob us of it.

Those that add to our happiness are the ones that encourage you to shine. The ones that, by their mere presence, lift you. The thought of them makes you smile, the sight of them makes you calm. These are the keepers.

The thieves usually start with small pieces, so small we barely notice. The pieces get gradually bigger until we barely recognize what our happiness looked like. We simply need to decide how much of our happiness we are willing to part with, where we draw the line. These are the anchors.

Only a boat needs an anchor.


Well folks, from the pics at the top of the page, you get a pretty good idea what I've been up to for the past few days.......Sooooooo excited!!!!

Some ticks of the clock were also spent working at the shop....

Annnnnd had a great time with a fantastic group of ladies at a fundraiser for Lend-a-Paw, an animal rescue group in North Battleford.

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

Attend the wedding of our nephew and his lovely fiance..................

Work on promotions for "Once Broken"

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

And that about does it for now......

With weddings on the mind.......................

May you remember always, the overwhelming love that enveloped you as you said your vows.
May it see you through any hardships, any disagreements, any anger a thermostat might arouse.

May you protect your marriage with every breath, building each other up with each passing day.
May you look for the humour in the dark, rolling with the unknowns that are bound to come your way.

May you never take for granted just how lucky you are to share your life with your best friend.
May you see that with them you can make it through anything, no matter what might be around the bend.

Friday, May 12, 2017

For Those Who Answer To "Mooooooom"!!!!!!

Happy Mothers' Day to all of you out there who turn your heads at the sound of "Moooooom!"

It happens at home, for sure, but also, pretty much, wherever there's a crowd. It doesn't go away once your kids all grow up and leave home, either. I still find myself whipping around to this precious moniker.

It's a title of honour, one of which I have never taken lightly, have cherished and for which I will continue to be forever grateful.

Speaking of titles........................................

I'm so excited/scared/nervous/excited that my first novel "Once Broken" is sooooooo close to being ready. It's hard to believe that I am now only weeks away from having it in hand and ready to share.

It's in the sharing that the trepidation lives.

This is the threshold.

This is the part where I let people hold my imagination in their hands and hope they like it. At least some of them. I have no delusions that every single person who reads it will think its great, I just hope that at least a few think it's good.

If it makes a couple of people lose track of time, laugh, cringe and/or cry, I will be beyond thrilled.

Whenever you pour yourself into something, your hope of hopes is that it will be well received.


So this week was a tornado of decisions concerning the cover design, page layout, "about the author" photo. It involved writing the synopsis for the back cover and a more detailed one for the person designing the cover.

It also included working at the shop where things, gratefully, continue to be very busy.......

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

Attending a fundraiser with some great people and spending time with an amazing friend.............

Pouring over the proof of "Once Broken" and hopefully soon thereafter, mark it "approved" .....

Receive a release date for "Once Broken"

Begin the scramble of everything that needs to be done between now and that release date!!!!!


For those who answer to "Mom"

May you cherish the breakfast in bed, eggshells, cold coffee, burnt toast and all.
May you, in receiving your macaroni necklace, memorize the tiny face, for more in love you'll fall.

May you allow yourself, at least for this day, to see yourself through their eyes.
May you see that to them, you are the one who holds the keys to everything, you hold up the skies.

May you know the sacrifice, scars, and heartache all mean you're doing it right.
May you know none of us are perfect, but we never quit, our babies, forever worth the fight.

May you understand you will feel every echo of every single heartbeat long after they are grown.
May you recognize these echoes for what they are, pieces of your soul, standing strong on their own.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Whatever Blows Your Skirt Up.....Just Because

The world is a pretty crazy place right now.

So, basically, it's in the same shape it's been for generations.

Granted, it's a very different type of crazy compared to the days before seat belts, but every generation has grown up in some type of uncertainty and/or unrest.

Civil wars, world wars, trade wars, cold wars, we apparently can't live without some kind of war.

Racial discrimination, gender discrimination, sexual identity discrimination, age discrimination, weight discrimination, religious discrimination, more racial discrimination, cultural discrimination, discrimination against those who are differently abled. Basically, if there is any possible way to put down a segment of society, other than the one we exist in, we, as humans, will find a way to do so. If only we spent as much energy on celebrating what makes us alike as we do on what differentiates us. I'm all for a segment free world.

Crises have crept across time, Cuban missile, environmental, economic, refugee, famine, drought. Natural disasters have and continue to make their mark on history.

Technological advances have always been a part of our human fabric, from the discovery of fire to the contemplation and planning of humans actually living somewhere other than this planet.

Noble and evil leaders have had, and continue to have their days in the sun, spreading their unique brands of good and evil as deep and as far as they individually are able.

Even if the new crazy carries a smartphone and has better hygiene, it's still crazy.

When the worldwide chaos that surrounds us gets to be a bit much, it helps to remember that we are, by far, not the first to deal with it. Ours is but the umpteenth generation to feel this profound uncertainty, and we too will get through.

I think it's so important to keep from getting bogged down in all of it, getting weighed down by the enormity. One advantage/disadvantage we smartphone carriers have is the amount of information available to us. We are inundated with it, that it can quickly begin to feel like riding a bike in quicksand. Neverending, getting heavier with every push of a metal.

The answer?

For me, it's to remember to do things just because. It's keeping in mind that although it's important to live life on purpose, not every second of every day has to have one.

Just because.

A board game, an impromptu coffee date, a night at the movies, a bike ride without a particular destination, a day doing nothing but read a book.

Everyone's just because will look a little different, what blows my skirt up might not do the same for you.

So, remember that every once in a while, it's important to do whatever blows your skirt up for no reason other than....just because.


So this week was spent working at the shop, working on the marketing plan for "Once Broken", hangin' out with a grandboy, baking some buns, and a big  'ol pumpkin raisin cake.....just because.

In the upcoming week......

A trade show tomorrow, in Outlook

A visit with my baby bro......

Work at the shop.....

Work on having "Once Broken" available by Canada Day!


Well folks, that about does it for me.....until next time

May you do things 'just because', blowing your skirt up at every turn.
May you squeeze every ounce of joy from every single day, light your fire, let it burn.

May you dance like everyone is watching, and you're absolutely killing it.
May you sing like you do in traffic with the radio, talent overflow, spilling it.

May you see we live in but a minuscule window of time, many came before us, and many more will follow.
May you release the worries of the world, for they aren't yours alone, we share, deep waters become shallow.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Live Life On Purpose...

Life has a way of happening. We make lists, make plans, set goals. All great things, but then life happens.

Curve balls of every kind come at us from all directions.

Loss of loved ones, illness, accidents. We meet new friends, reconnect with old ones. We meet people whose sole purpose for entering our lives is to teach us valuable lessons, some hurtful, some hard, some beautiful, all necessary, and eventually, appreciated.

There are surprise babies, and surprise career changes that lead you to discover new things about yourself and what you are capable of.

Some things knock the wind out of us to the point that we aren't sure if we will ever really breathe again. Some things lift us up to the point that we aren't sure if we will ever again touch the ground.

One thing, all of these things, good and bad, nudge us in the direction in which we are meant to go.

We can control very little when it comes to the really big things in our lives, the life and death things.

All we can do in between the curve balls is learn from them, use every ounce of them,  and live life on purpose.

Don't live life out of habit, doing things just because you've always done them. Do things you've never done. Help someone you've never met. Eat something you've never tried. Go somewhere you've never been.

Do it all because you meant to...on purpose.


So folks, Once Broken should be available by the end of June! There will more news on this front very soon!

The past few days have been spent proofreading, yet again, making contact with some book clubs, and creating a marketing strategy.

We also had the privilege of attending our oldest grandson's first basketball tournament! We are so lucky to live close enough to them to be able to take in their events!


In the upcoming week......

Month at the shop... more marketing.....

Well folks, that about does it for now......until next time...

May all you do be on purpose, not done just because it's what you always do.
May you catch yourself when you dip into habit, change it up, try something new.

May the curveballs that make you smile well outnumber those that make you cry.
May you embrace all of them, they are yours, their lessons will teach you to fly.

May light, love, and laughter become the biggest parts of your days.
May any dark clouds be obliterated by the sun's most brilliant rays.

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

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Filters, Perspectives, and Plot Twists...............................

Same view through different filters.  Same situations from different perspectives.

Filters and perspectives can, and sometimes do, change in a heartbeat, the shoes we walk in, and the path on which they take us, detour with every challenge met, every heartache suffered.

If we allow each detour to soak in, our filters become clearer, our perspectives, sharper.


Well, folks, my novel is complete! It's been poured over, changes have been made and remade. It's been polished, proofread, reread, and read, yet again. Now I am officially on to the next step.

Along with having paperback copies, I will be working to have it available as ebooks on Amazon, as well as on Apple books.

I've been hanging out with these characters for a while now, it's a little tough to say goodbye.

It's been quite a ride. The plot, subplot, plot twists, characters you love and some you love to hate. Deciding fates, fights and family relationships. Yup, a bit of a roller coaster.


I'm afraid I've been on a bit of a writing overload over the last few days, I apologize if these ramblings are a bit more rambly than usual.


Sorry to write and run, but some of the grandpeeps are having a sleepover. Gotta run.....

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

May the story of your life bring enough twists to make it interesting, but not so many, as to make you weary.
May you write your story as a happy one, full of light, love, and laughter, never dreary.

May each detour bring you closer to where you want to be.
May every path taken, strip a filter, making your future easier to see.



Saturday, April 15, 2017

It's Chocolate Time Once Again!!!!

Ahhhhh Easter, Passover, or just a long weekend with an excuse to eat stupid amounts of chocolate, whatever it means for you, I'm hoping it's a happy one.

Hopefully, it's a few days that gets you together with the ones who mean the most to you, or at least most of them.

For me, having most of the kids under one roof, sharing a meal, some giggles, games, and a few chocolate bunnies is always fun.

Makes me forever grateful for the fact that we can.


So, is it just me, or does it seem like there is some pretty crazy crap going on in the world right now? There are 'missiles on parade' in North Korea, huge bombs being dropped in Afghanistan, air strikes in Syria and God knows what else.

From where I sit, the outside looking in, it smells a lot like a pissing contest. Mine's bigger than yours, mine's more powerful than yours, mine can beat up yours. We've all seen some form of this before, if not in our personal lives, in history books. It never ends well.  I don't know of one single time where it concludes without anyone getting hurt, and everyone as friends.

There are grudges, broken relationships, and both unfortunately and inevitably, a ton of collateral damage. Those caught in the crossfire, both figuratively and literally. We see endless images of those affected by all of...this. Whatever this is or becomes.

From one concerned citizen of this planet to the leaders we rely on, please get your crap together, we are counting on you.

Oh, and United Airlines, I know I'm not alone when I ask, What the HELL?!  How does that even happen? Beating the crap out of, and dragging a 69-year-old paying customer off an airplane to make room for crew?!

I, personally, can't think of another customer service related industry where something like this is possible.

I worked in restaurants for years, and never once, did a paying patron get beat up and thrown out because some of the staff needed a table.

I've never been in line at the grocery store or Walmart or any other store and been roughed up, removed, or witnessed anyone else being assaulted and dragged out because a staff member needed to buy some eggs.

I've never been yanked out of bed in a hotel because the front desk clerk needed a nap.

I've never been beaten up and pulled off of a bus or out of a cab because another driver needed a ride.

Flippin' ridiculous. Well, on the upside, through the lawsuit that is bound to happen, this particular gentleman and his wife will be able to pay all of the medical bills incurred by this insanity, oh, and buy a private island in the Bahamas.


Sooooooooooooo, this week was spent, mostly, working on another pass through of "Once Broken." Adding things, removing things, rearranging things, working to make sure the continuity is seamless.  I doubt it will be perfect, by any stretch, but I'd like to end up with something that I can be proud of and will, at the very least, be something that brings a few people a bit of enjoyment.

I will be working to get have it ready for proofreading by the end of the upcoming week.

Then, it will be time to get the wheels in motion toward production.

Another step closer.......


Well, that about does it for now.

Until next time.....

May you travel without harassment, without harm, without humiliation, without disrespect.
May you receive courtesy, humanity, and everything else you should reasonably expect.

May the people with their fingers on the triggers take some time off, God knows we could all use the break.
May we all get some peace, a hiatus from the turmoil, a respite from the drama, our very sanity could be at stake.

May we embrace the power of humour, for without it every decision seems to become life or death.
May we slow the moment, take a beat, find the funny, catch our breath.


Saturday, April 8, 2017


Soooo, this was our sky for about 20 minutes yesterday evening. No, there was no fire, there was barely a thunderstorm. I don't know if it was just the timing of when the storm hit and when it cleared relative to the sunset, but it was pretty incredible.

Once again earning our title of "Land of the Living Skies."

If you've been watching the news at all this week, you bore witness, yet again, to the atrocities we are capable of inflicting upon one another. The sickening sights of lifeless, tiny bodies, people, again being plowed into like the pins of some twisted, demented bowling game.

It seems that the ones making the decisions about pulling the triggers, both metaphoric and literal, are never, themselves, in harm's way. I can't help but believe that if it was the decision makers, or their actual families on the wrong side of their violence, things would be very different.

What is the end game? What, exactly, is the brass ring they are so easily willing to kill for? Whatever it is, how can it possibly be worth all of the lives that striving toward it continues to obliterate? The ones who lose their lives, the ones left behind to grieve, all of those swept up in the hatred, where is their brass ring?

They just wanted to go to school, go to work, drop off their children at daycare, kiss their wives and husbands, tuck their babies in at night, complain about bills, worry about money, argue, love, laugh, Live.

Wiped out for some proverbial prize deemed precious by a precious few. Maybe, someday, we will find a way to value what is truly valuable.


This week..................

First draft of my first novel,  "Once Broken" is complete! I'm not gonna lie, the process is pretty challenging, but completing this first step helps a lot.

Ran errands, did Mom stuff, Grandma stuff, wife stuff, housekeeper stuff, chef stuff, and lots of other stuff.

As for the upcoming week...... Begin the polish and tweak portion of the book writing process...

Run more errands, spend some time at the shop,  do more things and stuff.


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

May the hopelessness radiated by the hatred be brought home to roost with those who chase the ring.
May they suffer each agony they inflict, for then maybe they will understand the torment they bring.

May those already suffering find peace, find comfort, find some way to walk on.
May those able to help them do so, be warm, be welcoming, prove every darkness has a dawn.

May we get to the other side of this dark, tumultuous time in history, taking stalk, and learning from our mistakes.
May we learn, to not repeat the creation of false fear, for that falsehood becomes distrust, then hate, then we are simply burning new witches at the stake.


Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Your Last First? You Never Know!

Today we celebrated our youngest grandbaby's first birthday!

Will it be the last time we celebrate a grandbaby's first birthday? We hope not, but who knows! That, my friends, is not even close to being our call, anor would we ever want it to be.

But, it did get me thinking about last firsts.

As we go through life, we experience a lot of firsts. First breath, first hug, first fall, first kiss, and the list goes on. We then get to witness those same firsts in younger siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, babies, grandbabies and the list goes on.

I find, as I get older the firsts are a little more sporadic. Sure, there are things that happen in and around the world that we've never seen before, the list is continuous. Personal firsts, on the other hand, become a bit more rare.

I think it's important to keep seeking personal firsts. No, I will never again experience that first breath, that first fall, that first kiss. There are also those firsts that, although I don't regret, I am glad not to repeat. If we quit looking for firsts, all we end up accomplishing is hiking the same path over and over. If we do that long enough, all we will end up doing is pounding out a nice deep rut in which to live. And who wants to live in a rut?

So, some firsts are behind us, let's look back at them fondly, then use what those experiences gave us on the journey to discover new ones. First time eating sushi, first roller coaster, first cruise, first skydive, balloon ride, tattoo, and the list goes on

We never know when it will be our last first. Never willingly give them up.


Well, my friends, the light is getting brighter at the end of the tunnel, as far as the novel writing goes.

I'm in the home stretch, tying up the loose ends of plots and sub-plots, bringing it all to a natural end.

Once the first draft is done, then I can move on to the next step. The editing process. Another first.


So, this past week was another busy one.

Spent some time celebrating my sister's birthday....

Spring has sprung at the shop. Let the games begin!

I was able to get quite a bit of writing in. Like I said, the light is getting brighter!

There was some grandbaby squeezin', some birthday cake eatin', and even some time on my deck!

The next few days will consist of....

Month end shenanigans are once again upon us.............

Finish the first draft!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Until next time.....

May your next first be your best.
May you hunt more, never rest.

May it create a flurry of butterflies, a quickened heart, make you catch your breath.
May it require courage, push your limits, breathe life back into the parts of your soul you thought were near death.

May you live rutless, continually creating new paths, forever breaking ground.
May you unceasingly find new ways to make your heart sing, for it's the most beautifully joyous sound.


Thank you for taking the time to read these ramblings, it means more than you know.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cutting Loose The Concrete Shoes........................

Soon, my deck, sooooon!

I'm looking forward to this, and appreciate every moment times like these are possible.  Too many people don't get the opportunity for these simple pleasures, we can't take them for granted.

For now, I'm working hard on completing the first draft of this novel. I'm learning a lot through the process. Whenever you dive into something new, there is always so much to learn, and most of it, it seems, is not what you expected to learn.

When I first dipped my toe into the author pool, it felt very foreign. I had no idea how deep it was, if it was swimmable, if there lurked anything within its depths that could do real harm. It was truly a journey into the absolute unknown.

Up to this point, I have learned that "comfort zones" are prisons in disguise. The sense of security felt within them only serves to hinder us in the discovery of everything we are truly capable of.

I've learned that fear should never be allowed to be in charge of big decisions. I'm not saying that common sense caution should be thrown to the wind, but in being brutally honest with yourself, stripping away the noise, if, when boiled down to the core, you discover that fear is the real reason you don't do something, the zone becomes a prison cell.

I've learned that no matter what pool you dive into, there is the possibility if being bitten. There are those who will jump on any opportunity to try and take advantage of someone else's work. The trick is to learn to identify the snakes, figure out which ones are lethal, and which are harmless. It's okay to be proud of what you build, take appropriate measures to protect it. If you don't think it's worth protecting, who will?

I've learned that going from writing children's books to writing a novel is, for me, a little like going from paddling a canoe to being the captain of a cruise ship. When writing a children's story, you don't want to make it too complicated. You want to keep it light, bright, fast-paced, include some humour, using language that will draw them in, keep them engaged, and hopefully, in the end,  make them, at the very least, smile. In writing a contemporary novel, there are a lot more moving parts. Although what I'm writing is complete fiction, there is a certain amount of research that is needed for authenticity. The book is equal parts story and character. I find myself actually caring about these imaginary people, which can, in some cases, make it difficult to decide their fates.

As I am getting ever closer to completing the first draft, my mind wants to jump ahead, starting to contemplate book size, paper quality, font, margins, cover design, marketing, and all of the other million and one decisions that will need to be made once the story has come to its conclusion. If a person isn't careful, that storm can threaten to drown you, a set of concrete shoes. When I see this coming, I have to cut the shoes loose and grab the lifeline of now. Right now. What do I need to do today? What do I need to do right now, this minute? Breaking it down. A simple thing that calms the storm.

I've learned that the list of things I've learned and have yet to learn is infinite. As always, I'm sure I'm not alone.


Ths week...........

A busy one, still working from home, writing, and trying to stay on top of all things domestic.

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

Some time with the eldest grandbaby, some time with family, work, writing, and more writing (so close to completing that first draft!)

That about does it for now..................

May you cast aside the threat of concrete shoes, never feeling pulled under by decisions yet to be.
May you cut them loose, floating luxuriously on the surface, where your imagination runs free.

May you venture outside of your comfort zone, and any other box that seeks to hide your shine.
May you discover that once you do, you are limitless, everything is infinitely possible when dreams and effort entwine.

May you live in the 'why not' way more often than in the 'why,' for regrets tend to reside in the latter.
May you strive to live in whatever way brings you the most peace, unfettered, serenity and happiness matter.

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

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Week Everyone's A Wee Bit Irish..................


The time change, clock setting craziness is now behind us. It's no longer completely dark when I get up in the morning, and the snow is sort of, almost, kind of, looking like it might be on its way to being gone. Is it now safe to say that Spring is close?

It seems like every time a person entertains the mere thought of spring, Mother Nature's henchmen, AKA weather forecasters, start talking about yet another snow storm lurking, stealthily deciding where to dump its wares.

The earth still turns, and circles the sun, so it really is only a matter of time.......patience.
For those who are new to this part of the world, hang in there, for you, it's got to be particularly rough.

So, last week we went to see the movie, "Hidden Figures", a movie I would highly recommend. It was such an important piece of history that, up to this point was untold. Why did this story take fifty plus years to tell?

There have been different movies and books that have highlighted segregation and other blatantly racist behaviors in the past, but, for me, this movie, somehow, made it more personal. Maybe it was the fact that they focused on this small group, bringing forth the very personal stories of these three women.

I'm a fairly curious person with a pretty healthy thirst for knowledge, especially about this time period. Why had I never heard of these women? This story? This chunk of history?

I can't help but wonder how many stories, similar to this one, are out there, disappearing as the ones who were there, walking through it, have their memories stripped by old age.

As we are lucky enough to still have some of these important people among us, we should be taking advantage of their memories, soaking in their experiences, documenting them to pass on to future generations. We can't leave our history, as humans, to be solely told by those who compose analytical textbooks. If stories like the one told in "Hidden Figures" are being ignored, skipped over, deemed unimportant, or tilted in some way to downplay the significance of contributions made by certain genders, races, or cultures, it becomes increasingly important to dig deeper. History should put forth unfettered by politics, agenda, or even the slightest leanings toward any inequality.

We can't allow our children to digest a history full of "alternative facts."

We need to be more diligent about presenting a more accurate and complete picture of our human journey, both when studying what has already come to pass, and as we strive forward.

There is a lot of ugliness in our history that makes it hard to look at, but there is a lot of beauty too. We have the responsibility of uncovering the entirety of both so we don't continue to perpetuate a filtred truth, in turn, crippling future generations searching to learn from, and improve upon their past.


So, the past week has proven to be, thankfully another busy one at the shop. Hopefully, I won't have to work remotely much longer.

I managed to get quite a few words added to my novel.............

Laundry happened, meals were made, toilets were cleaned, cookies were baked, and a grandbaby came for a sleepover.

All in all a good week.

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

Hoping to get very close to finishing the first draft of this novel.................

Working from home.........

Run much needed errands.................


Well, that about does it for now, until next time.............

In honour of St. Paddy's Day....................

May you enjoy the day when everyone's at least a wee bit Irish, indulging in everything green.
May you find the fortitude to pace yourself, be kind to yourself, for hangovers can be awfully mean.

May you find your pot of gold, your four leaf clover, your leprechaun, or whatever charm you deem brings you luck.
May that luck stay with you, sending good things your way, bringing you joy, lifting you when feeling stuck.

May the music, humour and heart of our Celtic friends carry you over and through any difficult days that may take their toll.
May the lilt of the language, the whimsical tales of Faeries, the fathoms deep pool of poetry, stay with you, a warm embrace for a weary soul.

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fly Without Fear, Soar Without Guilt.......................................

This week marks the passing of a day to internationally celebrate women.  It's hard to fathom that it's only within the last couple of centuries we went to being deemed as property to leaders of nations.

We have come so far, but you don't have to do a lot of research to discover just how far we have yet to go.

For my part, I would like to do what I can to take some of the stink off of the word "feminism."

As a feminist........

I don't dislike nor do I have any disdain toward men. I like men, in fact, so much so, I married one.

I want to, in the society in which I live, carry the same value as my male counterparts.

I have freedom. I have the freedom to get married, or not. Have children, or not and wear whatever I choose to wear.

I want to be able to walk this earth without fear.  Without unwanted sexual attention, without being harassed, grabbed, groped, receiving unsolicited pictures of genitalia, or having some stranger's pelvis pushed up against me in a crowd. I want this for me, my daughters, my granddaughters and all those that will follow. I want our boys and men to absolutely absorb the fact that these actions are in no way okay, and trying to convince themselves that we should take it as a compliment is nothing more than a sick delusion put in place to make them feel better about being predators.

I want our upcoming generations of men to look at women as human beings that hold equal value to them, as an extension of their grandmothers, mothers, sisters, nieces, wives and daughters.

If I have the same experience, skill set, passion and seniority level as a man I work with, I should receive equal pay. If a specific position pays a specific salary, I fail to see what gender has to do with it. There should be merit based, not gender based pay.

I want anti-feminists to understand that feminism isn't about women wanting to be men, diminish men, or emasculate men. It is simply about affording the same freedoms and opportunities that men enjoy and take for granted, to women, eliminating double standards.

I want rape, even the very idea of rape, in all of its forms to become a distant, horrifying memory in the history book of humanity. No more drugging, dragging, threatening, demeaning, forcing or refusal in hearing the word no. No more blaming her for what she was wearing, or the fact that she was drinking, or walking alone, or the way she was dancing, or the fact that she agreed to be alone in a room with you..or....or....or....... no more blaming her..period.

This is why, to me, feminism is important, and not just for women.

We are a gender of survivors, not victims. We are not whining when we dare to speak up to give a voice to those who are silenced.

I want my granddaughters to be as free and safe as my grandsons, walking this world without gender imposed limits. That's all.


What a week!

I turned 51, which was celebrated, much to my surprise, by my dearest friend and all my kids (minus a few sons-in-law) showing up at the house! This, all being orchestrated by my amazing hubby! It was awesome!

I was able to get a few words on the page of my novel...

Working for the shop is still happening from our dining room table...........

Had a great time participating in my first spring trade show of the year!

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

Writing, work, a movie night (depending on whether Mother Nature has another tantrum), and the usual glamorous array of duties.


Well, that about does it for another week, until next time...........

May you fly without hindrance, soar without guilt, high above every glass ceiling.
May you walk with confidence, without fear, doing whatever you find appealing.

May you live your life free of the threat of unwanted touch, the uninvited infringement of your space.
May you never feel the need to silently manifest an escape route or change the cadence of your pace.

May "no" be heard loud and clear, especially and always if you've been rendered unable to speak.
May it echo in the ears of those refusing to listen, haunting their every breath, whisper becoming shriek.

May you fly without hindrance, soar without guilt, high above every glass ceiling.
May you walk with confidence, without fear, doing everything you find appealing.

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