Monday, November 17, 2014

Cleaning Out the Closet

When my family combined two households into one five years ago we rented a large storage unit. We weren't ready to part with our "prized" possessions. As the years passed our trips to the storage unit became more infrequent and this summer I got an idea to change a spider infested room under our backyard deck into a usable storage space.

Finally I was ready to tackle what seemed like an impossible task. I dragged out 2 dusty truckloads of lumber, wire, tubing, old inner tubes, rusted camping gear, re-bar, etc. before I could see the room's potential. Luckily I have a hardworking husband and 3 strong sons who did the next phase--removing the stored coal and spreading an inch of gravel on the floor before a cement floor was poured. After spending a few afternoons sweeping cobwebs from the rafters I was ready for the cement contractor. Our little job was not a priority so the weeks turned into months before the cement truck arrived. 

In the mean time I had plenty to do at the storage unit. Every other day I would load up the back of our pickup truck with boxes and take them home to sort through. Since I hadn't seen most of the contents of each box in five years, it wasn't hard to throw or give most of them away. When the last boxes were place in our new storage space and there was room to spare, I felt a sense of accomplishment. No more monthly bill and everything I own at my fingertips. My only regret was wondering why I hadn't done it sooner! Hopefully I have learned from this and won't put off getting rid of the "stuff" in my personal closet. Change isn't easy--but it is worth it!  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Doing What I Love and Being a Grandparent is the Best!

Since September I have been working on animations for the WantsToBe apps which are now available in the iTunes app store. It has been a very enjoyable project as I get to bring life to my illustrations. My husband describes it as an obsession but I prefer it to be the result of finding something I love to do. However, it pales in comparison to the joy that comes from watching my new grandson as he sleeps in my arms. First he tricks me into picking him up when he fusses during a nap so that I'll hold him while he sleeps for 2 more hours. If you have ever watched a newborn baby sleep you will understand what I mean when I say that it is fascinating. His list of facial animations include; half smiles, sighs, eyes half open, crinkled nose, pursed lips, etc. And that is just in the first 5 minutes. Usually he starts waking up about the time his mom and dad return so I get to give him back before the real fussing starts. Being a grandparent is the best!

Friday, January 24, 2014


I am at a stage in life where a month without a major event is not the norm. December was no exception. My son chose that month to be married. Both he and his fiance were working and going to school so it was a crazy time. We decided to switch responsibilities for a variety of reasons and I was in charge of the reception. With the wedding a week before, I figured I had time to pull it together at the last minute.

After a beautiful ceremony and as soon as they left for their honeymoon, I was scrambling to get ready. One morning I woke up at 4 am to start making 600 cookies and by evening that was checked off my list. When the ingredients for our hot chocolate bar were not available, I was saved by the in-laws who had the foresight to purchase the needed supplies before the holidays. All my time, between work and doing things with the family, was taken up with getting through the list.

What really made it possible was the people around me who pitched in and helped. My sister came to the rescue as usual. On the day of the reception she showed up early and we started hauling stuff to the cultural hall to pull it all together. Not long afterwards my friend and her husband came and started decorating the ceiling. Another friend provided trees and lights. My husband was in charge of the sound system and a variety of other duties. My daughter put together an amazing video and she and her husband did the centerpieces. My sons moved tables and chairs and helped where needed. At the start of this process my friend (who once had a wedding business) asked me what my vision was and since I didn't have a clue, she directed the transformation. The result was magical.

As we waited for people to arrive I had a feeling of anticipation, wondering if anyone would show up during the busy holiday season. Would all our work be rewarded with others to share it with? That answer turned out to be YES--the evening was full of many joyful moments with family and friends. As we took down everything, that just hours before we had put up, I was grateful for the memories of that day.

It is now another month with another major event. Valerie Harmon and I have just published our sixth Kindle book, The T-Rex Who Wanted to Be a Long Neck. And as with other milestones, we couldn't have done it without the help of others. I am once again in that moment of anticipation--hopeful that our work will be shared with many. It is about a T-Rex with a terrible temper who realizes that he needs to change. We have a free promotion on Amazon this Saturday, so take the opportunity to get the book and share it with your child. As always, we love to get reviews!

My next big event in February--the coming of my first grandchild!