Saturday, January 28, 2017
Well, we have hit a relative midpoint of winter. So far, not so bad. We've actually had more freakishly warm temperatures than freakishly cold. It actually rained today, for cryin' out loud!
The days are getting noticeably longer, which, at least for me, is awesome. I find the long stretches of darkness the toughest thing about winter.
When the weather is decent like this, it makes traveling to schools a lot more pleasant. I haven't had to miss or reschedule a visit yet!
This week, I had the pleasure of visiting another great school filled with the gorgeous little faces of awesome munchkins. After reading my stories to the kids, the floor was opened, as usual, for a predictably unpredictable question and answer session.
This is my absolute favorite part of any visit.
Now, keep in mind the people asking the questions generally range from the ages of 5 to about 10, so the term "question" can take on a bit of a broader definition. Sometimes, the questions take the form of stories, stories that can begin with something as simple as they know someone with the same name as one of the characters in my books, but then, can quickly develop into an adventure that could rival any star wars movie. Some stories begin with something as simple as what they may have received for their birthday, which, in turn, become fantastic tales of giant, shape-shifting, magical flying machines with great powers.
Sometimes, though, the questions remain questions. They range from what kind of car I drive, how old I am, and if I have a bed, to fairly intricate questions pertaining to the nuts and bolts of writing and publishing books. The final question of this visit? Can I give you a hug? Something I will never turn down. The most endearing question in recent memory? Why can't you be my babysitter? This one required a gentle, simple explanation about how far apart we live and how if I was, then I probably wouldn't have time to visit schools anymore. He thankfully understood.
During this particular visit, a theme seemed to develop. It seems several children from this school received mysteriously faulty remote control helicopters and mini-drones for Christmas. I say faulty because there seemed to be a recurring problem. The problem shared by many was the fact that these toys, (which can also be used as a redecorating tool, proficient in being the reason for which a ton of light fixtures, wall hangings, and vases are often changed regularly,) according to the kids, can take weeks to recharge.
One poor 5 year old has had his toy on the charger since the day after Christmas, and it still isn't ready to fly. He knows this because his parents have told him as much....hmmmmmmm.
The things we are willing to tell our kids to try to hang on to our sanity.
The upcoming days are going to involve month-end bookkeeping shenanigans, writing, and continue to work on getting this hip back to normal. It's making progress, but not there yet. Patience.
That about does it for another week.
Until bext time..........
May you, as your children's toys graduate from push to fly, be patient, be kind, and stay sane.
May your most precious knick knacks survive, may your furniture repel every sticky stain.
May you, as your children's toys graduate from those that are remote to those they drive, be brave.
May you come to understand that the sleeplessness of infancy, was nothing, for now you fear an early grave.
May you as your children's toys graduate from a new license to the endless dangers to someone brand new at adulting, be strong.
May you know that this was the end goal, a good person, making their own way, the wide world now where they live, but in your heart, they'll always belong.
Until next time,
Saturday, January 21, 2017
First, photo credits go to the Washington post, the New York Times, and CNN.
Marching on Washington, marching on Boston, marching on Atlanta, marching on. These marches echoed around the world.
To me, these are no longer protests against Trump, they represent the people that feel vulnerable to the ideals he has promised to bring forth. They fear not being heard. They are not the elite, they have never occupied the proverbial swamp. They are simply citizens of the planet wanting the powers that be to hear them. They march for a multitude of causes, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, healthcare in general, immigration, and the list goes on.
The new president has made promises to give the country back to the people. My hope of hopes is that he means all people, and not just the ones he deems important.
I hope he turns out to be everything he promised his voters he will be, and I hope he can do so without hurting those who didn't. I hope he can get past crowd sizes and tv ratings. I hope he represents and leads our neighbours to the South to greater heights than even his staunchest supporters can imagine.
I hope he becomes adept at seeing past tweets, headlines and ratings, no longer giving in to the distractions that seem to, up to this point, so easily command his attention, in turn, keeping him from what he has promised to do.
No leader of any country is perfect, but, and maybe this is the eternal optimist in me, I believe the majority of them run for the office with the intent to do their best to improve the lives of their fellow citizens. Not everyone will agree on the path that takes and what the landscape may look like along the way, and that is exactly as it should be. We should not be sheep.
On his first full day, the actions of this new president kind of make me shake my head a bit. Again, I'm puzzled by the subjects on which he chose to focus his attention. It will be very interesting to observe how the next four years play out down there.
March for, march on, march through, march beyond the anger, and let's get to the good stuff. The inclusive acceptance of all people, making sure all people have the fundamental right to be in charge of their own bodies, and everything that encompasses. The fundamental right of consenting adults to be married. The fundamental right to not be judged by the colour of our skin, our beliefs, our different abilities, the size of our dress or amount of money in our bank account.
These rights should know no borders. I look forward to the day when all of these become so commonplace that they are simply accepted as a worldwide given.
This week was busy with phone calls, emails and all things that help keep our business organized. Still from home, but still doing everything I can to be some kind of help to my hubby.
I also had the honour and privilege of visiting yet another great school. I know I have said it a million times, but kids are awesome. I was blown away by the effort put forth by an incredible grade 2 class who wrote and read to me their own version of "A Crazy Day," illustrations and all! They, then, gave me a copy as a gift!
Like I said, awesome!
As for the upcoming days, work, some writing, and another school visit!
That about does it for another week, until next time............
May all need for protests and marches seize to exist, leaving all with nothing to do but cheer.
May all those who are vulnerable feel safe, those who feel any threat, no longer carry fear.
May the important things take precedence, education, poverty, healthcare, not who or how many people see.
May lifting up every citizen become the only goal, not allowing distractions, lessening the "I", encompassing the "we."
May the gravity of the office you now hold help ground you, giving you empathy for those with whom you have little to nothing in common.
May you become the leader your voters believe you to be, speaking fact, letting logic dictate decisions, leading above any and all drama.
Until next time..............
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Years ago, life made it possible for me to have coffee and a visit with a fun-loving, fantastic group of ladies on a regular basis. This group included women of various ages wherein I was among the younger.
During our almost daily sessions, the conversation would occasionally, and inevitably touch on the subject of getting older, menopause and all of the lovely things that entails.
One of the things......insomnia. Of all of the things that attach themselves to this whole menopause business, the hot flashes etc, this one, so far, at least for me, is the sneakiest.
This week has been particularly rough in that department. Although a few nights of little to no sleep isn't exactly my idea of a good time, I have come to the conclusion, that there is an upside.
The upside of insomnia.............
After a few nights filled with nothing but ambitious blinks you begin to feel like you are a couple of shots of tequila into a party.
After a few nights of counting ticks of the clock, sitting still long enough to binge watch pretty much anything on netflix becomes much easier.
After a few nights, you earn a Phd in all things sold on infomercials at 2,3, and 4 am. Pretty amazing stuff.
After a few nights, your impersonation of a sloth becomes good enough to earn an oscar....minus the hair.
After a few nights, your funny bone kicks into overdrive. Who knew Shawshank Redemption was a comedy!
Yup, the upside of insomnia.
The past few days have been busy, cold and, because of above-mentioned insomnia, a bit foggy.
The upcomng days will include those where the air won't be cold enough to hurt, a school visit, and, with any luck, a date night.
That about does it for another week... until next time, I'll leave you with this wish......
May sleep come swiftly, deeply, and be filled with dreams of blissful peace.
May you awaken completely rested, ready to make each day a masterpiece.
May you sleep each night, not like a baby, for that means waking every few hours.
May you, rather, sleep like a teenager on a weekend, only waking for food and showers.
Until next time.........
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Ahhhh, winter. In this part of the world, you can't really officially call it winter, regardless of what the calendar may tell you, until you have a few days strung together wherein in hurts to breathe when you step outside.
It takes your body a second or two to adjust, and remember....... what the?! oh yeah......well, crap.
Thankfully we haven't hit the extreme -50 degree business, at least not yet. but windchills have been sitting around the -25 to -35 range for a bit and, according to the forecast, it sounds like it's going to be that way for a while.
It's hardly the end of the world. It's not exactly our first Saskatchewan winter, and it is January, after all. Thankfully, we are fairly well equipped to handle the cold. We have block heaters in our vehicles, furnaces, space heaters and outdoor gear that can take the harsh temperatures.
Most carry an emergency kit in their vehicles. Blankets, candles, a few granola bars, emergency lights and a shovel, just in case. Nonetheless, traveling can still be a bit of a perilous adventure. If your car breaks down 80kms from the middle of nowhere, and you're in a cell service black hole, at a temperature where any exposed skin can freeze within a few minutes, things can get pretty scary pretty quickly. If you add in a snowstorm/blizzard element, you suddenly have iall the makings of a Hollywood disaster movie.
Yup, it's cold. This too shall pass.............eventually.
Well, the new year is off and running. Time to put my new year's resolutions list to work.
For the year 2017, I resolve to do the following............
1. Make at least one person smile every day, even if it's just me.
2. Do my level best not to fall off of or down anything.
3. Worry less, as it carries no power anyway.
4. Be less if a time-keeper and more of a time-spender.
Well, in the last few days.......................
Work is busy, as always, although I'm still having to do most of my share from home, as this injured hip does not take kindly to the cement floors of the shop for any length of time. As a result, our dining room table is currently buried in client clipboards and various insurance paperwork.
I'm still not able to sit and write for any decent stretches of time either, so this novel is going to take longer to complete.
This literal pain in the butt is improving all the time, it's just not completely healed, as of yet. It is getting there, slowly but surely. Patience. After all, it's just a pain in the ass, I'm sure I'll survive.
Well, that about does it for now, until next time..............
May you create for the sake of creating, without thought or fear of outcome nor consequence.
May you build what needs building, relationships, lego houses, castles in the sand, favourable happenstance.
May you colour like a toddler, outside the lines, allowing the grass to be purple and pink.
May you sing and dance with sweet abandon, feel everything, not caring what others might think.
May you own your right to shine, for none of us were put here to be but an unlit candle.
May you allow yourself to always be more, more kind, more generous, more than some can handle.
May you embrace whatever comes, for it will come, whether embraced or met with dread.
May you see that, sometimes, what is best for your soul can be intercepted by traps laid in your head.
Until next time.................................