Thursday, December 28, 2017

Baby, It's Cold Outside!!!!!!!!

Yup, it's that time of year! The time when parts of our province are actually colder than the North and South Poles! When boiling water turns instantly to mist, exposed skin freezes in a matter of a couple of minutes, and it hurts to breathe without using your scarf as a filtre.

Although this gives ample reason to stay indoors, play board games and watch movies, it's pretty hazardous to those who have to travel or work outside. 

It must also be a shock to those neighbours who are spending their first ever winter in this type of climate. I've never lived anywhere else, and it's tough, I can't imagine what it must feel like, if, last winter, you were residing in a much warmer part of the world.

Might be a good time to go through closets, put our hands on heavy winter coats we no longer wear, find an appropriate charity and make some room!

A New Year stretches before us, full of surprises, adventures awesome things, and, very likely, some, not so awesome things. I look forward to the ride!

Now, some New Year's Resolutions...........

Dear 2018 I hereby promise the following

1. I will absolutely not be opening for Kenye West in Madison Square Garden.

2. I, most definitely will be partaking in some grown-up beverages and some form of chocolate.

3. I will refrain from running marathons.......on my hands.

4. I will absolutely be attending book-related events, meeting new people, and having a blast.

5. I will not be participating in any conga lines in the South of France.

6. I will continue down an avenue that involves the Toronto Film School.

7. I will not be learning to parkour, using Manhattan rooftops as my playground.

8. I will most certainly be singing some karaoke somewhere, at some time, more than once.

9. I will not ride pajama wearing zebras in tornadoes or hurricanes.

10. I will be working on my next Children's book, and other projects.

I vow to do my very best to stick to these resolutions.


Well, Christmas was fast, furious, fantastic, and, of course, included at least one sicky. In this case two. One grandbaby and one Son-in-law were down for the count. It wouldn't be Christmas without at least one fever and a few chills! Once medication and some naps were added to the mix, a relatively good time was still able to be had.

Now, on to the New Year! I can't, nor would I want to, greet a New Year without a look back a few years. This year, it will be 28. New Year's Day, 1990 we welcomed our third daughter to our growing family. A firecracker, for sure, and the red hair to prove it, but, also a kind, generous, warm, loving, loyal person. But, never mistake her kindness for weakness. That, my friends, would be a mistake.

As you welcome the new year, take a moment to reflect, wish 2017 a fond farewell, then, turn and give 2018 a big ol' smooch!

Looking forward to see what 2018 has in store!


See you next year! Until then........

May you ring in the new year full of hope, full of laughter, toasting to all great things to come.
May your fond farewell to the past be filled with gratitude for what was, and wasn't, for need the bad with the good to create a complete sum.

May you walk into the new year a kinder, more patient, happier version of yourself.
May you do this, even without the snitching threat of that crazy elf on a shelf.

May this new year bring you everything that makes your heart sing and your soul smile.
May you greet this new chapter with grace, remembering all good things come, but sometimes, you just have to wait a while.


Happy New Year!     

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays!


Well, the waiting and prepping is drawing to a close as the Holidays are here!

For a lot of us, it's a time for family celebrations, get-togethers, fun, and laughter, as it should be.

For some, it's anything but a happy holiday.

It might be the first holiday after the loss of a loved one, a break-up, loss of a job or an illness. There is no getting around the fact that this isn't going to be a jolly time of year for some.

For those walking your way through this tough time, reach out, there is no need to walk alone, hold dear the memories, let the tears cleanse your soul, but know that, if you feel it, it's okay to smile.

Let's all take a beat amongst the hustle and bustle and use that minute to be kind, patient, and willing to do that little bit extra.

Maybe it's a leaving a bigger tip, handing out gift cards to strangers in the street, making the overworked staff at your local store smile, maybe it's simply reaching out to someone you know could use a friend.

Whatever it is for you, don't hesitate, kindness is never a mistake.


Well folks, the week of Christmas concerts has passed. The kids are so freakin' adorable!

The teachers take such care to come up with creative ways for the little ones to celebrate. Thank you, teachers! You do an incredible job!

A bit short and sweet this week, as I still have some cookies to make, bake and decorate, and other little things to do before everybody comes home. It will be awesome to have everybody under one roof again, even if only for a short while.


Happy Holidays!

May the spirit of the season run rich and deep through your home, steeping you in joy.
May you cherish the glowing faces of the little ones, let the magic in, enjoy.

May you, if this is the first without, reach out, take care, know you are not alone.
May you find the courage to do so, we are here, a heartbeat away, you needn't do this on your own.

May you be surrounded by laughter, good food, and those you hold most dear.
May you find you simply can't contain your joy, and share your Holiday cheer.

Until next time.......

Saturday, December 16, 2017

For Santa: Cookies, Milk and........Motrin?!


So, there is this challenge making its way around facebook. It involves taking, for 7 consecutive days, one black and white photo of your life that includes neither people nor explanations.

My sister was challenged, and, in turn, challenged me.

The above photos tell the story of my week.

If you would have tried to tell me, in December of 2007, that in December 2017, I would have a week in which I would do some work on my 8th book, do a "bit" of laundry, wrap up gifts without stress, tape an interview for a talk show, road trip, visit my sister, do a presentation for some fantastic grade 10,11,and 12 students for career day, and end the week with the 15th tradeshow of the year selling and signing the 7 books I had written.... I would have told you that you were completely delusional and should likely seek medical attention.

What I've learned.... That turning challenges into opportunities, refusing to fit in any box and obliterating the existence of comfort zones leads to some pretty great places, as long as your willingness to work hard matches your willingness to dream.

It's been another "pinch myself" kind of week.


So with Christmas only a little over a week away, inevitably, if you have little ones, discussions about Santa become fairly frequent.

One such discussion that I know of went a little something like this.....

Mom:  So what do you think we should leave out for Santa this year?

4-year-old:  Milk and Cookies!

5-year-old: And carrots for the reindeer!

Mom: That sounds pretty good.

5-year-old: And maybe some coffee....

Mom: Coffee? Why do you think he would like coffee?

5-year-old: He might need the caffeine to keep him from getting sleepy, so yeah, coffee.

Mom: Okay, I guess we can do coffee.

After a bit of thought.....

5-year-old: aaaand maybe some Motrin.

Mom: Motrin?! Why Motrin?

5-year-old: In case he's not feeling good. The medicine will make him feel better so he can finish taking the gifts to everybody.

Mom: You know you just might be right. Motrin it is.


Even though the past week has been pretty amazing, I look forward to what is coming up......

Christmas concerts starring grandbabies aplenty...........

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

A day of errands........................

Finish off the #ChristmasBaking.......


Have a cookie decorating day with said grandbabies!!!!!!!


Well, that about does it for now...

With some bright-eyed students in mind, I'll leave you with this wish.....

May you see your dreams as tangible things, they are not made of mist.
May you see that the more you put into them, the more solid they become, persist.

May you understand that the only thing that stands between where you are and where you want to be is your willingness to work.
May you understand that curves, hardships, and setbacks are simply part of the journey, making you stronger, making you wiser, a priceless, prickly perk.

May you find yourself, someday, living a dream far beyond what your imagination is able to now, today, even recognize.
May you see that with passion, determination, persistence, adaptability, your limits live on the other side of the universal skies.


Until next time.....

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Heartbeat's Length.......


Whenever I hear the eerie shrill of an ambulance's siren scream through the air, I can't help but think of the lives that will change because of it.

Lives change in a heartbeat. Any time of year, under any circumstance it can be heartbreaking. During this time of year, when there is such a focus on family get-togethers, Christmas magic, and fun, that heartbreak is multiplied. When it involves a child, it's impossible to fathom the depths of the sorrow reached.

Growing up in a rural community you know everyone, attend school with everyone from miles around. This creates a great sense of extended family. People look out for and care for each other.

When tragedy strikes, the wagons circle, and the flow of love and support begins.

Such a tragedy struck my hometown this past week when the young son of a former schoolmate passed away.

The soul-eviscerating, heart-crushing grief that must strike when this happens is unfathomable. The question does not become, How does a person heal from this? The immediate question has to be, How do I keep breathing? How do I survive this? How do we survive this?

To the family, my heart aches for you, my heart breaks for you.

Although the gift of your son was given to you for but a heartbeat's length, his shine will remain with you in every heartbeat to come.


Let's not take for granted that tomorrow is guaranteed, that we have all the time in the world to patch up relationships, straighten out misunderstandings, heal old wounds.

Say the 'I love you', the 'I forgive you' the 'I'm sorry', or just silently let crap go, if that's what you need to do.

The words left unsaid can often be the loudest and hardest to shake.


With a certain family in mind, I'll leave you with this wish.....

May you, as the noise settles, and silence echoes where his voice once rang, find strength, find courage.
May you find your breath, a way to put one foot in front of the other, to fight the invincible cocooning urge.

May you, in time, once again find peace, and some semblance joy, for other littles need to feel you smile, even though you may feel like a liar.
May you see that they are learning from you what it means to grieve, how to survive the pain, how to walk through this fire.

May you lean on those who surround you, and know the rest of us carry you in our prayers.
May you, as time inevitably passes, when the edges of grief are less cutting, find that smiles come more readily than tears.

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

Friday, December 1, 2017

May Your Goodbyes Be Sweet......


It is, once again, with a heavy heart that I am writing this week's ramblings.

When you come from a large family, as I do, there are a ton of things to celebrate. Lots of milestones, weddings, pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, lots of reasons to send each other congratulations. Unfortunately, the flipside of that is losing people. A lot of people. 

Luckily, because of the sheer volume of people involved, none of us go through these losses alone. 

Not so long ago, we lost Uncle Mike the junior "Bookend" of the 14 siblings created by my Mom's Mom and Dad. Yesterday evening, we lost the senior "Bookend", Uncle Norbert. 

This was an uncle who fathered a string of 7 daughters, was the first to tear up listening to a beautiful choir, was always ready for a laugh and was one of the best huggers I have ever known.

The bookends. More than twenty years separated their births, their departures, but a blink between them. 

Five brothers now keeping a watchful eye, and no doubt sharing a rum or two in the process. 

Knowing Uncle Norbert's love of life, I feel he would want us not to dwell too long in sorrow, but raise a glass in his honour, and smile, holding the best of memories dear.

Sadly, Uncle Norbert's passing was not the only one felt by our family, this week. Earlier in the week, the father of three of our nephews lost his battle with a very serious illness. A hardworking man, not yet 65, left behind the broken hearts of many loved ones. 

Losing loved ones is likely the toughest thing we have to live through, as humans. The love and connection that lifts us and makes us thrive, is also what makes saying goodbye so difficult. 

So worth it.


Besides receiving hard news, the past few days were filled with a bit of work at the shop, some gift wrapping, Christmas baking, marking calendars for grandbaby Christmas concerts and the completion of Snowmanpalooza!

The upcoming week will include a bum around day with my hubby, working shop, more baking, more wrapping, and doing my best to fix up a 4year-old"s self-inflicted haircut. (before Christmas concert), and spend some time with a fabulously big family sharing memories 


Until next time, with loved ones in mind........

May your goodbyes be sweet, filled only with the most beautiful memories to help you through.
May you carry each other beyond the grief, lifting, consoling, lightening the load with all you do.

May you understand that although time may not heal all wounds, it does help them change, even fade.
May you give yourself permission to take that time, then, once again walk in the sun, away from the shade. 


Until next week..... 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Imagine The Magic!!!


The Holiday Season has officially hit it the Reid household.  With tradeshows every weekend I started the decorating a bit earlier than usual because I have to do it a bit at a time.

Between this hip not being completely back up to par and fighting some weird cold/laryngitis type thing, a bit at a time is what it needs to be. Hardly the biggest problem in the world.

One of the upsides of early decorating is getting to steep in this little munchkin's reaction to everything. The snow globes, dancing snowmen, and Christmas tree, Oh My!

How incredible it must all seem to these young eyes. Last year she was a bit young to take it all in, this year you can see the magic of it all reflected in her eyes.

The lights that are beginning to appear all over town as you go for car rides. Everywhere you go and everywhere you look, magic, magic, and more magic.

To have the opportunity to experience this time of year through the beautiful eyes of this little face, once again, is priceless. We got the chance through our kids, and now through our grandbabies.

When our kids were small, things were so hectic, and stressful. If I could give my younger self some advice, it would be to relax more and just enjoy it. I would tell my "young mom me" to accept the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas, and give myself permission to just let it not be perfect. I would tell my "young mom me" to not stress so much over that perfect gift from the wish list, just give them the magic, it's what they will remember. Trendy toys come and go, but the magic lives forever.


Over the past several days...........

A great tradeshow in Swift Current where a bunch more books found new homes despite the fact that when I tried to chat with people it came out more like a drunken cat gargling peanut butter.

This was followed by days unable to be of much use on a phone etc at the shop.

I was able, however,  to get a bit of a jump on a presentation for the upcoming career day in which I need to say something brilliant to inspire some teenagers. Inspire might be overshooting, I'd settle for not bored.

I also had a nice chat with a new acquaintance about a possible new writing adventure.....

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

Tradeshow tomorrow in Kindersley at the mall.

Working the shop

Running errands

Prep for tradeshow next weekend in Cupar



Until next week....

May you allow yourself to see the magic of the season, and let it soak in.
May you celebrate the imperfections, real joy lives in games played and words spoken.

May you enjoy the giggles, the wide-eyed wonder, the lights, the endless verses of jingle bells.
May you never tire of "Twas The Night Before Christmas" and other stories of Santa and his pals.

May you celebrate this time with family and friends, cherish every minute, tomorrow is a gift but not a promise.
May you give yourself permission to relax, watch some "Grinch," pour some wine, eat chocolate in your pajamas.

May you allow yourself to experience the magic, let it make you smile.
May you give yourself permission to enjoy, it's really okay, at least every once in a while.


Friday, November 17, 2017

The 2017 Snowman Migration Begins!

Well folks, before now, I imagine you were unaware of the fact that snowmen migrate. Well, they have officially begun their annual journey from the basement. It seems, every day, a few more make their presence known.

My family loves to tease me about my fascination with these little guys, but, honestly, how can you look at them and not feel at least a little bit of holiday spirit seep in. Though, what is featured in the photos is a thin representation of the whole, it is more than worth the teasing when tiny people visit my home, and after taking it all in, with wide eyes and huge smiles, inform me with conspiratorial whispers that "Christmas lives in your house."

I'll take the teasing, gladly.

With office parties revving up, the constant stream of what to buy for that perfect gift, the wishlists to Santa taking shape and 'Elf on a Shelf ' back on facebook, there is no denying that the holiday season is here.

Inevitably this triggers the narrative that there is some conspiracy to stop people from saying "Merry Christmas."

Over the years, I have put forth a few of my own experiments on this very subject. In a variety of different crowds, in several different places in the presence of people from multiple cultures I have, in rotation wished people either Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and Happy Quanza. The only reason I didn't include more, is that I'm not completely confident in the specific names of the twenty plus other observances that happen during the month of December.

This is what I came away with........

I never came across one single person who was offended by any greeting. Neither did any person correct me or try and stop me.

What I think?

"Happy Holidays" seems to be the most inclusive greeting. It's not because "Merry Christmas" or other greetings offend or anger anyone, it's the simple fact that "Happy Holidays" excludes no one, and personally that, as far as I can tell, best aligns with the spirit of the season.

No one will be offended by you sincerely wishing them well. Happy greetings cost nothing, feel free to be generous with them.


The past week included some grandbaby snuggles, a superhero movie marathon, giving my hubby a haircut, some prep for future book promotions, dust bunny hunting, laundry, Christmas shopping, and fighting with some weird cold/laryngitis thing that, in turn, had me helping out with the shop as best as I could from home.

 Life is running at its usual crazy pace. Trying to take time, make time, to let the bits of downtime soak in.

The upcoming week....

Tradeshow in Swift Current on the 18th......

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

prep for tradeshow on the 25th.....

Assist in the snowman immigration........


Until next time......

May you revel in the beautiful chaos that this season of giving provides.
May you sustain your sanity, take a beat, let it be fun, let any anxiety subside.

May you release the vision of perfection that can overtake the joy.
May you realize the magic, for your little one, does not live in any toy.

May you see the real magic comes from the fun, the laughter, making a decoration, nibbling a special treat.
May you see wish lists change from year to year, toy trends fade, enchanted memories remain forever sweet.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Let's Honour Their Sacrifice...All Of It

Remembrance Day

Her heart stopped as the dark car pulled up and halted feet from where she and her three young children were raking and playing in the freshly fallen leaves.

She knew what was to come even before the first car door closed. Her initial instinct was to shield the kids from the horror that was about to assault them, the pain about to ooze from this heavily decorated man.

Someone was distracting the kids, the person in front of her was speaking. "I'm so sorry to have to inform you...."


The young boy broke away from the grip of his Grandma's hand to be closer to the flag-draped casket as it was slowly lowered into the ground, the 21 gun salute still ringing in his ears. He had blissfully little understanding as to how much his life tragically changed in that moment, what it would be like to grow up without his Mom.


The haunting images of the blood, the loss, the chaos, the gut-wrenching smell of death, it all followed him home. How could he pretend that he was the same when that was impossible. It was there every time he closed his eyes, in every firework, in every car backfire. It was in the eyes of every other vet he met. How would he ever find normal again.......


We should honour those who fight for our freedoms by honouring our freedoms. Let's stop wielding said freedoms as daggers, twisting them to suit our prejudices, contorting them to fit our agendas. Let's honour them in the spirit in which they were won. Our flags are not meant to be raised as a weapon against our fellow citizens, they were not created to divide us, they, indeed, were created to give a sense of belonging, of unity, a proud symbol of that unity.

Let's take a beat to truly think about the sacrifices made by our military and their families. All of it. The uncertainty, the missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, births, deaths, school plays, basketball games, swim meets, first steps, first words, first girlfriends, first dates, all of it. And those are the lucky ones.

The lucky ones who get to come home and try to make their old "normal" fit once again, try to make sense of what they've been through, trying to transition to their somehow familiar, yet very strangely, new reality. Trying to once again embrace the life that once was, the exact kind of life that they enlisted to protect in the first place.

Then there are the unlucky. The ones who are forever missed and mourned by those they left behind.

All of it.


In deep appreciation to those who fought and continue to fight the fight that allows me and mine to live the pretty fantastic life we live, thank you.


The past days have been spent goofing off with some longtime friends, bookkeeping, story writing, presentation prep, doing laundry and other domestic engineering.

In the upcoming days.....

A weekend spent at home, watching movies, puttering, and sneaking some grandbaby snuggles....

Taking part in a trade show here in Milden on Wednesday.......

Working the shop.......

Prep for tradeshow in Swift Current.......



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

May you know we appreciate your sacrifice, your time, everything you give.
May you know we understand it's because of you, we live the lives we live.

May you recognize that "thank you" is all we have, knowing full well it's too small.
May you see there are not enough words to express our gratitude, even in giving them all.

May you make your way home, and be able to put your head to pillow in peace.
May your soul become quiet, your surroundings serene, may every turmoil cease.

May you know we see you are not always treated as the heroes you are, or with the respect that you deserve.
May you, I hope, still see us as a people, an ideal, a community representative of what prompted you to serve.

Until next time......

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Don't Let The Frenzy Get You!


Well. Halloween has come and gone, treats and a few frights were handed out, now come the tummy aches that inevitably follow an overindulgence in sweets. Conversations ensue,  explaining why Twizzlers are not a good idea for breakfast each and every day, and how the peanuts in a Snickers bar don't count as vegetables.

It was awesome seeing all of the costumes on social media, kids and parents alike. It was a well-needed respite from the seriousness the world carries these days.

As the evening wore on, the weather took a decidedly wintery turn. It began innocently enough as rain, which quite quickly became sleet, then, just as quickly, snow. As of November 1st, we have snow, and if you listen to the forecast, it's pretty much here to stay. If it does, it's going to make for a very long winter. Very. Long.

But, there's absolutely nothing we can do about the weather, so we might as well make the best of it.

Heck, a bunch of people I know were chomping at the bit waiting for this, snowmobiles and skis at the ready.

Just goes to show you, the same news can be perceived as good to some, not so good to others, but that doesn't change the fact it's the same news. Snow is still snow.

And now, if you are paying attention to ads and storefronts, we flip the switch from skeletons to Santa. I literally saw a display that had an inflatable spider and an inflatable snowman occupying the same shelf.

I sometimes get the feeling that retailers are scared to let us, the consumers, breathe. As though allowing us to take a beat between feeding frenzies will somehow grind the free world to a complete halt.

It's all of the December Gift Giving Holidays, then the "after holidays sales", then Valentine's Day, Then St. Patty's, Easter, Then all the "have tos" for Summer, then comes "back to school", then Halloween, and then we are right back to Christmas.

Don't let the frenzy get you. There is time. Breathe.


So the past days included doing a Karaoke Halloween Bash, which was a blast, catching up on some dust bunny hunting, laundry, and some much-needed housework.

The upcoming days will include more of the same, working the shop, and spending some time with some people near and dear to my heart.


Until next time.......

May you find joy in the changing of the gears, stepping to the beat of your own drum.
May you give yourself permission to breathe, you write the rhythm, determine the outcome.

May you create and embrace your own traditions, or not, there are no rules it's your holiday season.
May you have Turkey or Tacos, Pies or Pizza, Rum, Hot Chocolate or both, it's your rhyme or reason.

May you allow yourself to enjoy, there are no criteria, just loved ones and fun.
May the holidays bring you the joy they are meant to, breathe, your rhythm, your drum.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Happy Halloween! Time To Let Your Goofy Loose!


Well, that time of year is upon us!

Yup, that time when we dress up our kids, let them knock on strangers' doors and beg for candy. When you stop to think about it, it's kinda crazy, but, it's also a ton of fun!

For adults, I think it's a great stress reliever. Although our logical minds understand we are basically playing a grown-up version of dress-up, the simple act of putting on a costume brings with it a sort of freedom.

It gives permission to, for a few hours, be silly and goofy, and blame it on whatever character we are dressed as. Some of us don't necessarily need a costume to let our goofy loose, but some do. I think it's an awesome way let go of those day-to-day stresses, and blow off some steam.

Over the years, including and especially those that have involved karaoke shows, we've tapped into all kinds of themes for costumes, a few of which are sampled above. We've angel/devil,  Las Vegas lounge singers, cop/robber, Gomez and Morticia Addams, and so on, and so on......

This year, well, our show is tomorrow night, so I'll have to let you know.

With all the negativity hanging so think thick and heavy in the news these days, it's important to let our goofy loose, now and again.


So, these past few days have been awesome. I had the honour and pleasure of visiting a great school and a fabulous library.

The school was in Watrous, where I had the privilege of hanging out with an incredible group of Kindergarten to Grade 4 munchkins. The kids were enthusiastic, fully engaged and had fantastic questions.

The next day, we paid a visit to the library in my hometown. It was great to see familiar adult faces surrounding the new faces of their children and grandchildren. This reading was also followed up by some great questions.

When it happens that my life, as it is now, rubs up against my past, it becomes a bit surreal. It, at once, feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago. There I was, reading books I have written to the kids and grandkids of the people I went to school with.

The pinch me moments never stop. It's pretty incredible.


The upcoming days will be spent participating in a tradeshow tomorrow from 10-3, followed by putting on a karaoke show tomorrow night.

The rest of the week will be spent working the shop, running errands, prepping for, and handing out candy to various ghouls, goblins, Disney princesses, and superheroes.

Until next time........

May you receive your neighborhood masked munchkins kindly, handing out treats with a smile.
May you be spared the toilet-papered trees, and other tricks, for to clean up, always takes a while.

May you let your goofy loose, let it fly, even if it's just for a night.
May you find the perfect costume for your mood, be it for a laugh or a fright.

May you find the willpower to step away from your munchkins' tempting, sweet loot.
May you, if you can't, find a reasonable, believable explanation, for their reaction won't be cute.

Take Care..........

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Small Town Bar And Sushi!


Gotta love life's little adventures.

We went on a bit of a road trip last weekend to go to Gravelbourg, Sk. for a trade show.

On the way there, we came across what looks like the beginnings of a wind farm. There are about 9 or so of these huge turbines out in the field. One thing is certain, Saskatchewan will never run out of wind. The sheer size of these giant twirlygigs is a bit deceiving, as it's not until you are up close and personal that their towering stature is put into perspective. They look like they could be the playthings of the guy who resides at the top of the beanstalk.

The show itself was a blast. As it was held in an arena, and we had a corner spot, we had all kinds of room for easels and posters, which was pretty awesome. The Grandpa instincts of my hubby are never far from the surface, so I had to share playtime with our new little friend whose Mom (a fellow vendor) needed a break now and then over the course of the 13 hour/2day show.

There were times when the crowd would thin for a bit. During one of these times, my hubby got a bit bored and decided to take advantage of the glitter tattoo talents of the vendor next to us. He promptly thereafter, texted our freshly four-year-old grandbaby to get a critique. She, of course, loved it. I think Grandpa's cool factor jumped a bit.

After the show was all said and done, it was time to wind down with a  nightcap and a snack. Who would have ever thought that the bar in Gravelbourg Saskatchewan would make incredible sushi?!!
The snack turned into a full-on sushifest!  It was delicious!

Sooo, some interesting roads, a great weekend of sending books to new homes, some new landscape, and a couple of ferry rides later, we were home.

I am continually grateful for the opportunities that have become part of my life since this writing journey began.

When you take aim at a dream, it's impossible to predict the fantastic bits that will attach themselves to the quest. When obstacles are thrown in your path, when there are days where more is going wrong than right, these little gems go a long way to help you through.

The rest of the past week was spent working the shop, doing laundry, running errands.

Over the next week, I'll be heading to Watrous Elementary School to hang out with some munchkins. Saturday, we'll be heading out to Denzil Library to take part in their Fall Festival events. During the rest of the week, we'll be working shop, prepping for the tradeshow in Rosetown on the 28th and rehearsing for the Halloween Bash Karaoke show we are doing that same night at the Milden Hotel.

As for now, I have to write and run, until next time....

May your every dream bring with it a bounty of beautiful barnacles.
May you take the time to notice each and every one, enough to fill deep chronicles.

May you take advantage of every unpredicted adventure along the way, allow many paths to intertwine.
May you find joy in every side trip you take, even if they are not part of your original design.

May you embrace the tidbits of chaos that tend to litter the path, as they are rarely, simply, coincidence.
May you hold on every lesson the chaos brings, for they tend to teach flexibility, strength, and diligence.

See you next week!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

You Don't Have To Put Up With It!

This is typically what happens when I try to get a photo of my four grandmunchkins. They immediately prove their pedigree, providing endless goofiness, and general smartassery. Although this means the likelihood of me ever having a formal, serious photo of them is slim to none, at least in the foreseeable future, if their moms and aunties are any indication, I will take it. Gladly.

They are happy, healthy, and live without a care in the world. I'll live with goofy pictures.

Sooooo I had hopes that we could make it through a week without a news story that made my skin crawl. I was wrong.

Harvey. Not just a hurricane, but a movie mogul. A guy using his power, both physical and professional, to bully women into sexually vulnerable situations. Forcing them or attempting to force them into doing things they didn't want to do. Some were able to escape physically, others weren't so lucky. None escaped emotionally.

I wish we could chalk this up to being a "Hollywood" thing. But we all know we can't. I doubt if there is anyone reading this who hasn't been sexually harassed or assaulted, or that at least, doesn't know someone who has been sexually harassed or assaulted.

The grabbing, the groping, the inappropriate words, the intimidation. We've all had to deal with it at some point. Why? Because some of the males of our species were never taught respect. They've been taught to treat us as a sum of our parts, not people.

We need to teach our sons, brothers, grandsons how a real man behaves and speaks toward and to and about women and girls. How do we do that? By example.

As men, it's your responsibility to be that example. Be the man we need future men to be.

As women, stand up, speak up, hold each other up. You don't have to put up with it. Say something, throw the lights on, evil can only hide if you let it. Don't give them permission to make you feel like a victim, or hold you responsible for their lack of impulse control. No matter what you wear, where and how you walk, if you like to party, don't like to party, are a smartass, or are timid, if you like to have sex with a different guy every night, or are a virgin waiting for perfection, you get to decide. Not one iota of any of this gives them any right to your body in any way shape or form.

If it's your boss, get a lawyer. Most only get paid if you do. You can afford it.

If it's a co-worker, tell. You don't have to put up with it.

If it's a stranger in a crowd, call them on it. You don't have to put up with it.

If it's catcalling in the street, ignore it. They are idiots.

If, God forbid you are raped. Tell. Report it. No matter what the rapist said or did, this was NOT your fault. It will be hard, it will be terrifying, you may never be able to prove it. But, to stay silent will eat at you for the rest of your life. Talking about it, bringing it out in the open, fighting for justice, is what helps a victim become a survivor. It allows the scars to fade. The shame is not yours to carry, it's his. You're not allowed to keep it, it's not yours. It's NOT yours.

I'll never forget one work situation I had where I was warned ahead of time about a co-worker. "He likes to grab butts, but he's harmless." My answer "Well, that's bullshit."

Sure enough, before the day was done he decided to give it a try. Right in front of my female boss. He had the audacity to be indignant, as he picked himself up off the floor. I explained to him in short little words that if he tried that again, I would be more than happy to knock his ass out.

Imagine my surprise when the admonishment from the boss was aimed toward me instead of him. I explained my position once again, making sure she clearly understood as well. I worked there for three years after that, with only one other incident with this co-worker, after which, long story short, he needed a new pair of glasses. Just to be clear, I quit that job for unrelated reasons, it had nothing to do with him.

Everyone is wired differently and, therefore, handle situations differently. Just know, no matter what, you deserve to be treated with respect. You don't have to put up with it!


This past week was filled with time with family, a trip to the menopause circus, prep for the tradeshow this weekend.

As for the next week.....

Tradeshow in Gravelbourg.....

Work the shop........

Prep for school visit on Friday the 20th....


Prep for library visit on Sat the 21st....

Rehearse for karaoke show booked for the 28th......


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

For the Harvey's of the world.............

May you be given the opportunity to truly understand the consequences of your actions.
May you experience each and every indignity you apparently felt compelled to bequeath, with no exception.

May the power you wield, that poisonous sword, be stripped, may you know what it is to be helpless.
May you change your core beliefs to include that women are actual people, not faceless playthings, somehow, less.

May you understand true restitution is impossible, for dignity carries no price, but every value.
May you know, none of this should be news, if you had decency, there would be no need to tell you.


Friday, October 6, 2017

It Honours No One To Live In The Dark......


This week humanity was, once again, shaken by the absolute horror unleashed by someone broken so entirely, it's inconceivable to the rest of us.

I feel like these acts of inhumanity are kind of a trap. The number of people who suffer first hand from these tragedies is multiplied and amplified by all of us who care. The family and friends of 58 more people are swallowed by grief, our hearts breaking for them.

These horrors trap us into a perpetual state of shock and grief. It seems like we barely have time to process and digest one terror when we are hit by another.

It's like any sense of peace and happiness we are able to settle into is constantly being hijacked.

Although my heart cries for everyone affected by this latest hijack, for my own sanity, I have to step away for a little bit and dive into some happy things. And by dive, I mean cannonball.

Tomorrow, my house will be loud and rowdy, filled to the brim with kids and grandbabies. There will be lots of laughs, some football watching and plenty of food, including a pastry encrusted favourite involving the granny smith delights depicted in the above photo.

We cherish these times, maybe now more than ever before. We need to.


Last weekend we took part in a tradeshow in Unity, Sk. It was a great show. I think a lot of people underestimate the amount of work it takes to organize these things. I applaud all these fabulous people in a big way.

I was delighted to find out "Once Broken" was the subject of their local book club. I'm so grateful for the awesome feedback this book is getting.

The shop, thankfully, remains very busy so days fly by there.

I had to drop off more copies of my children's books at McNally Robinson, as they were sold out of a few titles. (That is something that never gets old!)

As for the upcoming days,

Tomorrow will be awesome.

The rest of the week will be too, just in a different way.

There will be a ton to do at the shop, and the week will conclude with a trip to Gravelbourg, Sk. for a tradeshow! I've never attended one there before, new place, new people, it's gonna be a blast!


With Family in mind, I'll leave you with this........

May you hug a little tighter, maybe a little longer, make sure they feel your heart.
May you find the courage to say it, all of it, never assume they know, they need the echo when you're apart.

May you give yourself deep permission to feel joy, for it honours no one to live in the dark.
May you see it's essential to shine, even now, especially now, add to the light, be a spark.

May this be the last hijack of our peace, the last broken act, the last, let us catch our breath.
May this be the last evidence of the worst of humanity, the last malicious, senseless death.

May you hug a little tighter, maybe a little longer, make sure they feel your heart.
May you find the courage to say it, all of it, never assume they know, they need the echo when you're apart.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

With The Autumn Comes The Fall......


With the Autumn comes the fall, the fall in temperatures, the fall of leaves, and the descending length of daytime hours.

The familiar, early morning chill hits as you make your way across the newly fallen golden floor.

One season comes to an end, another begins, bringing with it, all kinds of possibilities.

A new season, a new chapter. Blank pages waiting to be filled with whatever adventures you deem worthy of the exercise.

With all that is happening around the world, both self-inflicted and at the hands of Mother Nature, it becomes even more blatantly clear that wasting time and energy on things that drain our joy is simply that, a waste.

Does that mean we never have to do things we don't like or make us feel uncomfortable? Of course not. Nobody loves scrubbing toilets or vacuuming juice soaked cheerios out the nooks and crannies of a car seat.

The joy sucking things to which I am referring are poisonous relationships, jobs that are a daily dread, toxic people who soak in negativity and create drama continually trying to pull you into the tub.

We all have rough patches in our relationships, that in and of itself does not make the relationship poisonous, I believe when there is poison, it eats away at who you really are, it can be subtle at first, go undetected, but, eventually will tear you down. A poisonous relationship will steal your shine, a healthy one will polish your star.

We all have bad days at work. But, if you are having to drag yourself to your job every single day, if the thought of going to work creates anxiety, headaches, and/or stomach issues on a continual basis, your job has officially qualified as a joy sucker. There is always another way to make a living. Life is way too short to do what you hate every day. Time to create a change.

We all have down days, but if you regularly hang out with a person or people who are constantly wrapped up in some kind of world-ending drama, where the word "hate" is used more than "the", that person may be toxic for you. Do you feel better or worse after spending time with them? On the flipside, be careful not to become a joy sucker, none of us want to be toxic.

Next chapter, new adventures, endless possibilities. Joy-sucker free, there is nothing to hold us back!


The past week included the Word on the Street Festival, an event dear to my heart. Not only does it lend an important voice to the literacy issues in our communities, it provides a great opportunity to meet people you may never otherwise meet. One such person, who particularly stands out, was a young man who moved to Canada about a month ago. He happened across the festival quite by accident, stopping by my booth. He's an aspiring writer who is frustrated by the hurdles his dyslexia puts in his path. When you are new to the country and English isn't your first language, trying to read and understand it would be challenging on its own, let alone when you throw dyslexia into the mix, adding in the desire to write, well, he's awesome. After answering a few questions, bouncing around a few ideas that might help him out, and some encouragement to do some exploring outside of the city limits, he bought a copy of "Once Broken" for "inspiration", shook my hand, and moved on.

Had I not been at the festival, I'd have missed meeting him.

A huge thanks to the countless volunteers, organizers, fellow participants, and all those who stopped by my booth to buy books, take photos, or just to say hi.

After a day working at the shop, the rest of the week was spent largely snotting, sweating, coughing, and generally phlegming up the place.

I think I've kicked it though, at least enough to be able to enjoy the upcoming days.....

Heading off to a two-day tradeshow in Unity tomorrow.....

Working shop.....

Get ready for Thanksgiving......



With this new season in mind, I'll leave you with this....

May the crispness in the breeze breathe life into your soul, renew your will, energize your spirit.
May you embrace the newness, the unknown, it's yours to do with what you will, don't fear it.

May you strip yourself down to your shine, then gather only what will boost the luster.
May any and all echoes of doubt dissipate, a fog lifting, the blue sky after a storm's bluster.

May you dance freely across the newly golden floor, bathe in the beauty, inhale the promise.
May you open yourself up, the pages are there for only you to fill, the future is flawless.


Until next time.......

Friday, September 22, 2017

Magic Baby Dragons.......

Over the past few weeks, Mother Nature has been on some sort of rampage. Hurricanes, record-breaking winds, rain, and earthquakes. The viciousness claiming lives, homes, and businesses, displaying her complete lack of mercy, exhibiting no discretion, making no exceptions for race, age, religion, or social status. An equal opportunity assassin.

When repeated momentous tragedies occur on such a huge scale it can be easy to get caught up in the statistics. How many billions of dollars in damage, the percentages of populations without power, infrastructure capabilities, or lack thereof, blah blah blah...

The people living in the thick of it must feel so lost.

Most of the problems the rest of us think we have seem like nothing, in comparison.

Our power was off the other day for about 5 hours.  Big Deal.

Had a couple of pretty challenging days at the shop. Big Deal.

Caught a nasty cold just in time for Word On The Street. Big Deal.

It makes it easier to put things into perspective when you allow yourself to take into consideration, all of the souls lost in the storm. When you think about it, most of our problems are not really actual problems, they are simply annoyances, inconveniences, nuisances, and disruptions.

As horrible as Mother Nature has been, she has now presented humankind with an opportunity.

World events have shown the devastation that we tend to inflict upon each other without hesitation. We rob, scam, bully, kill, finding new and more gruesome ways to terrorize each other each and every day. We are not shy about showing what we are capable of.

Now we have the opportunity to prove we are capable of so much more. Tragedy tends to breathe life into heroes of all shapes and sizes. Heroes aren't only the ones pulling people from twisted wreckage, they are organizing food drives, raising money, sending money, sending water, driving the trucks carrying the water, volunteering in shelters.....

Be a hero....

Maybe it's because there has been so much loss in recent weeks that the utter joy that emanates from our grandbabies seems to shine just that much brighter. They are oblivious to Hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. The only monsters are those created by Disney, their only tragedy, being made to eat their vegetables.

Laney, in the photos above, lives in a world where unicorns aren't only real, but it's completely logical that she could have one as a pet. She lives in a world where grasshoppers are really magic baby dragons. She lives where stuffed turtles can talk, goldfish can bite, and cutting her own hair is simply a fashion choice that made her look more beautiful.
When her Daddy can't seem to decide what he should take to work for lunch and asks her to decide, her world dictates the menu should consist of talkaroni, which, in laymen's terms, is Mac & Cheese, cheerios, and pudding.

My heart breaks at the innocence stolen by Mother Nature's wrath. I hope that someday, they can, once again, find their magic baby dragons.


Well folks, the past few days included a concert in the park, working the shop, putting finishing touches on posters, and doing my best to stave off a stupid cold.

The concert was fun, the shop was super-busy, the posters are complete, and the cold... well it kinda sucks, but it's nothing some doses of dayquil can't fix, or at least tamp down.

As for the upcoming days...

We will be at the Word On The Street Festival.......

Working the shop.....

Prep for the two day tradeshow coming up next weekend.........



That about does it for now...

Until next week....

May you never lose the ability to find magic in the simplest of things.
May you forever hold the courage to give even your boldest dreams wings.

May you always walk through life being true to who you genuinely are.
May you see the beauty and power in doing so, it will carry you far.

May you cultivate your kindness, nurture it, let it shine, let it lead you on your way.
May you celebrate every milestone, create beautiful memories to lift you when the dark comes to play.

May you never lose the ability to find magic in the simplest of things.
May you forever hold the courage to give even your boldest dreams wings.