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.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Captain Underpants Dinner Party...Why Not?!


Well, this is what crafty type posters look like when a not-so-crafty type person and her hubby put them together. I have to say, I'm actually fairly impressed with us. There are those of you out there that have witnessed my ineptitude with the likes of a hot glue gun, a paint brush, or crayons, for that matter. Craft and fabric stores are on a very short list of places that can make me break out in a cold flop sweat, and it has nothing to do with the whole menopause thing.

It's like going to some exotic foreign land where you don't speak the language, and the landscape, although beautifully colourful, is filled with silken traps, pieces of glamorous puzzles without the completed pictures to use as a guide.

There are patterns, I suppose. Treasure maps written in some strange hieroglyphics, a code only to be deciphered by the magical people employed in these mystical, yet terrifying places. The magical people who know the actual names of all of the different thingamadoies, whatsamabobs and doomaflickies.

All of that being said, I think these posters will do the trick, their only job, attracting attention at trade shows. The beautiful faces of the #OnceBroken selfies, a sure-fire way to do just that.


I've been giving myself a bit of a news break for the past few days, feeling a little bogged down by the bad news overload as of late. I do feel it's important to keep abreast with what is going on in the world, but I find if I don't give myself permission to step away from all of it now and again, it can get to be a bit much.

So, for these few days, I tried to focus on happy things.

One guaranteed way to bring a smile to your face is to listen to an adorable three-year-old little girl sing "Let it Go" pausing, of course, to go through the painstaking motions of creating, in her mind's eye, the ice fortress that she has seen come to life on screen countless times.

Another is to host a "Captain Underpants" dinner party...I highly recommend it, especially if the guest list includes people the ages of 9,5,3 and 1.

Yet another, is to watch a tiny person, with barely a five-word vocabulary walk the room telling stories with the elaborate hand gestures and passionate inflection worthy of only the finest stage actors.

In a day or two, I'll be ready to, once again, face the news the world has to offer. but for now, Captain Underpants it is!


Well the past few days, along with Captain Underpants, came time spent at our nephew's wedding, doing our best to make sure everybody went home with their feet tired from dancing.

The shop is, as always, and gratefully, very busy.....

Rehearsal for the Park Concert tomorrow..........

Crafting posters.............

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

Concert in the park tomorrow.....................

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

Prepping for Wor On The Street..............


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

With happy news in mind.......

May you be serenaded by a toddler, building imaginary castles in the sky.
May you listen to nonsensical stories never questioning why.

May you suspend belief long enough to let superheroes save the world.
May you find the magic in a romantic dance, perfectly swayed, perfectly twirled.

May you find something silly to watch, allow it to make you giggle like you did when you were small.
May you give yourself permission to step back from the fray, take a beat, have a ball.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Taking Steps......

Ahhhhhh, back to school.........

From the tearful first days of preschool, to the last first days of high school, and every stage of school in between, it's important to mark it. All of it.

Whether you choose to do so with photos, a special breakfast, or by simply taking a beat, a breath, a moment, to let it sink in. Don't let these days pass as 'just another day.'

Every grade represents a new chapter, a new adventure, a new challenge.

The first day of preschool is a big one. This is your child's first taste of the structure and discipline of a school atmosphere. This first experience plays a big part in setting the tone for how your little one feels about school for the long haul. Making it positive is pretty important. For the little ones, it may be a bit overwhelming, but mostly, incredibly exciting! Taking steps.

Allow them to begin to make little decisions, accepting the consequences, good and bad.

For the parents, especially if it's your first one, it can be tough. It's a big milestone. Your baby is taking their first real step into the world where you can't fully protect them. It's scary, rough, but necessary.

Listen to the stories about their day, every day.

For kids in the younger grades, the challenges, and adventures can feel a bit intimidating. They are no longer the little cute kids in school, teachers begin to expect more. More independence, more responsibility, more maturity. The material gets more challenging, requiring more thought, more depth, more time. With every success their confidence grows, with every setback, so does their character. They are getting better at navigating the world, learning how to handle different personalities and situations. Taking steps.

Allow them to make more meaningful decisions, accepting the consequences, good and bad.

For the parents, this can be difficult, as they have to begin looking at their little one through a different lens. It can be a tough thing, to not over-help.

Listen to the stories about their day, every day.

Junior high school. A tumultuous time of peer influences, pubescent drama, growth spurts, both physical and emotional. They feel a greater need for independence but can be intimidated by that same independence. Other than when they are toddlers, I believe this to be the time wherein children have to absorb the most information. Everything, including their own bodies, becomes weird and foreign. Their relationships with their parents, siblings, and friends are shifting gears at, what feels like, the speed of light. They can feel overwhelmed by what they can perceive to be an ever growing list of expectations. They are beginning to have to make real choices about how they want to be in the world, what kind of adult they want to become. Taking steps.

Allow them to make bigger, more important decisions, accepting the consequences, good and bad.

For the parents, it can be tricky waters to navigate. They need you, but, basically, don't want to admit it. They generally aren't as eager to share with you everything that is going on in their lives. You will have to listen harder. Nurture the independence in the most positive way possible, but don't forget you are the parent. They still need parents. Yes, they will mutter nasty things about you under their breath and to their friends. That's okay, it just means you're doing your job.

Make sure they know you want to listen to the stories about their day. Be sure to ask, every day.

The last first. This is the beginning of the bridge year. The bridge between childhood and adulthood. They, at this point, should be making the majority of the decisions affecting their life, taking your input into consideration in making those decisions. They've had practice, they've been making choices and decisions all along with increasing importance, accepting whatever consequence their decision lead to. They feel they are ready to be a grown up, that they know everything they need to know, often feeling that they know way more than their parents do. They still need you. Taking steps.

For the parents, the teaching of life skills during this year becomes much more important. The little chores and responsibilities they've had and done, the cleaning of their rooms, putting away toys, cutting grass, making their own lunches, doing dishes, having a bank account, have all lead to things they need to learn during their bridge year. They need to learn how to cook at least one full, nutritious meal, how to, and the importance of, paying your bills on time, how to do their laundry, and do it well. They need to learn the importance of being a good roommate, chances are they will need one at some point after they leave home. They still need you.

Listen to the stories about their day, every day, for this is the final year that you are likely to have that opportunity. You will miss it.


Well folks, it has been another crazy busy week at the shop, with some mobile jobs and grandbaby snuggles thrown into the mix. It's awesome!

It's been so busy, in fact, that I haven't had a chance to get the posters made for the upcoming trade shows!

Hopefully in the upcoming week.

Speaking of which....

We are off to play a for our nephew's wedding this weekend!!!!!!

It will be another busy one at the shop.....


Rehearse for the concert at the park we are doing on the 17th!


With back to school in mind, I'll leave you with this wish......

May you get through these hectic first days, finding your new routine, your new groove.
May nothing get forgotten, books, lunches, jackets, backpacks, may it all make it to the school.

May the excitement of a new year be carried throughout, never losing its shine.
May you know this is highly unlikely, that's why there are school breaks....and wine.

May you keep in mind that there is no such thing as perfect, no matter how perfect others' lives may seem.
May you find your own 'perfect' with your perfectly flawed crew, your perfectly amazing team.


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

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Little things...Precious Memories...

The heartache that has literally flooded many parts of the world over the past week has been gut-wrenching. The loss of life, the loss of ways of life, the loss of livelihoods, all of the utterly complete devastation has been horrible.

The people lucky enough to escape with their lives now live in limbo, unsure if they will have homes to go to when the worst is over. Some live in countries where governmental help is highly unlikely and will be on their own to rebuild.

It will be a long, tedious, back breaking, heart-heavy road to anything that remotely resembles recovery. My heart goes out to them.

When Mother Nature throws this kind of a temper tantrum, it is definitely humbling.

As humans, we get complacent. We consider ourselves the top of the food chain, believing we "own" parcels of the planet, enforcing borders that we invent. One swift kick in the butt from Mama Nature shows us just how powerless we are.

In the wake of all of the destruction, I, for one, felt the need for grandbaby time. A couple of phone calls later, a grandbaby sleepover did commence!

Some pizza, a visit to our local theatre to see the Emoji movie, a living room nest, some sleep, a bacon, egg and pancake brunch, some skateboard skill demonstrations, and bit of ladybug snuggling rounded out a pretty fun time. Little things. Precious memories.

My hopes of hopes is that on the other side of this devastation, those touched by these terrible storms can someday, in the to too distant future, get back to their own little things.


The past week has been another very busy one at the missed fishing trips!!!

As for the upcoming days.....

Tomorrow.... a day of laundry and football

A fast and furious week at the shop....

Put the finishing touches on music for a wedding on the weekend.....


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

May the subsiding waters allow the healing to begin.
May you find a moment to take a breath to celebrate your incredible strength within.

May you celebrate your heroes, a title each soul has truly earned.
May you continue to reach out and watch out for your neighbour, stay concerned.

May we all remember the images of strength, generosity, and bravery as the nightmares fade.
May we continue to shine a light on the best of humanity, no need for tragedy as contrast, no need to keep kindness in the shade.

Until next time......