Monthly Archives: March 2012

Blogging from A to Z in April

So…  I know it’s rather last minute.  But I’m thinking about taking part in the A2Z blog challenge.  I already post on a almost-daily basis, so I’ve got that part down.  And I think it could be fun coming up with a title/subject matter based on a different letter every day.  What do you think?  I have until tomorrow to decide.

From A to Z April Blog Challenge

Chihuahua with a Mustache

Today there was a book fair at the girl’s school.  She and I spent a great deal of time checking out all the titles on the tables.  Very honestly, there wasn’t much there that was even worth a second glance.  It was highly disappointing.  I knew we had to find something though.  The fair helps support the school, and a portion of the proceeds goes towards getting new books for their classrooms.  That, and the kid knew she was allowed to get a book.

Back and forth between the chapter book tables.  One mundane sounding description after another.  Then we wandered back to where we started – with the picture books.  We don’t read that many of them any more.  We read for a half hour (sometimes more) a day, but that’s almost all devoted to novels.  That’s when I saw it!

It was hidden beneath scores of boring paperback children’s stories…  a hard cover, only one letter of the title peeking out – but I recognized the font instantly.  “Lily-Ann!  What’s this???”  I slide the book out just a titch, so that two letters are now revealed.

“SKIPPYJON JONES!!!!”

I’m sure her animated shout could be heard throughout the main floor of the school.

Yep.  We found a copy of Skippyjon Jones; Class Action.

We love Skippyjon.  We read a lot about him at wegivebooks.org.  I remember the first time she saw the cover of the original Skippyjon Jones, she said “Momma, that cat looks like a Chihuahua.”  This sticks with me because I poo poohed her, assuming it was just the illustrators style… but very quickly found out I was wrong.  And yes, I made sure to apologize for it.

We’re Chihuahua nuts around here (as I’m sure you’ve guessed).  So these absolutely adorable books, with their smart stories, and rich characters?  We ❤ them in a big way.

So yay!  The kid now has her very own Skippyjon Jones book…  and we popped the CD in to listen to it being read while we drove to get her Daddy from work (it was interesting to hear someone else’s take on the characters voices and the songs – her mom voice and my mom voice are VASTLY different, and curiously enough we were pretty dead on for every other character and the songs).  We’ve now heard it six times.  And it’s no less charming on it’s sixth than on it’s first, though I’m not sure her Daddy would agree.  LMAO

Anyway…  instead of sharing a book cover as I often do when I’m writing about a book we enjoy, I’m going to share a picture the girl did up yesterday.  She took a photo (using the iPad) of Deedee, and then proceeded to edit it.  So here’s Deedee, or as the girlie put it – giggling hysterically:  “She’s a Chihuahua with a Mustache!”

A Chihuahua with a mustache

Wanted: “pretty” bathroom in Saskatoon

I’m looking for a pretty bathroom.  And no, it’s not some weird fetishistic behaviour.  It’s for a photo shoot…  one that’s very important to me.  One that I desperately need your help to complete.

There is a particular shot I have in mind for my Power of SHe project…  and a rather vital shot at that, quite important to my vision of the exhibition this project is to become.  I require this pretty, serene space to capture that calm quiet feminine feeling.  It is essential to the project.

So, if you live in Saskatoon and you have a pretty, delicate, lovely, feminine powder room, please consider allowing me use of the space for just a little while.  I’ll do my best to be in and out as quickly as possible, and with as little disruption to your life as possible.  I promise to be respectful, and will treat your space with the utmost care.  Nothing will be damaged or ruined, and I’ll leave everything just as I found it.  I will do my best to honor any requests by the home owner, and will be very thankful and appreciative.

The counter, in particular, is of special importance.  White.  It must be white.  White with delicate pastel accents.  Perhaps pink, lavender, blue, green, or yellow.  Maybe an accent of lace here or there.  Flowers.  Delicate and lovely.  The ultimate girlie powder room.

Here are a couple of reference photos I’ve found online (each photograph is set to link to the original location of the image).  None of the following images are mine, all were found through a simple Bing image search, all are shared simply to help you (my reader) create a mental image of the type of space I am searching for for this project.

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I am desperate to find this perfect, pretty space.  And like I said, the counter space, around the sink is the most important element.  And it’s the over-all feel of the space that really matters….  please, if you have a bathroom that might just work – even if you think there’s only a small possibility that it might be what I’m looking for – please drop me a line.  It could be exactly the space I need.

photographer at tobi-dawne dot com

Domestic Goddess I Ain’t

My brain is swimming tonight, and I’ll admit, that makes it hard to decide what to write about.  I’ve just got so much on the go right now that it’s difficult to focus on one thing.  I spent the day on the phone with several different people.  I also spent a little while at the girl’s school – putting feathers in the hair of her teachers.  I worked on one of the scrapbooking kits I’ll be selling when my design studio launches at Polka Dot Plum.  And I thought my way through a couple things I’ll be needing to make decisions on soon.

Domestic Goddess

Domestic Goddess Image by MinxGrafix

When I look around the house, it doesn’t really look like I did much today.  And that’s the one curse of the work-at-home mom.  My day was incredibly full and busy, and I spent it almost all at home…  but looking around me?  You’d think I’d been eating bon bons watching stories on the tele.  😉  You know what though?  I’m okay with it.

I had a full day.  I have a full life.  And one day, when things are not so busy, when I’m not focused on being a mom, a professional, and an activist all at once?  Then maybe my house will look like a sanctuary of cleanliness…  probably not then either though.  ‘Cause I’m sure I’ll be busy just having fun with my man.

Review – The Squatty Potty

From time to time I get the chance to try a new product.  I love doing reviews, in fact, that’s how I got my start writing professionally way back when.  I wrote reviews for the Chihuahua News, a publication that catered to Chihuahua fanciers.  I don’t do them very often these days – but I do still enjoy them…  Firstly because I get to check out some cool new products, but also for the nostalgia.

So onto today’s blog post – which fittingly, is a review (wouldn’t you have been shocked if it hadn’t been?).  LOL  Now…  another bit of info before I get right into it.  This post may be considered TMI for some folk.  But you know me, I don’t have much of a filter.  I’m generally happy to share about almost anything.  And, well…  if you chose to read on, be prepared for the potential of an over-share or two.  😉

About a month or so ago I was sent something called the “Squatty Potty“.  It claims it can help with bowel disease, hemorrhoids, and just generally make “going” a faster, easier experience.  I’ll admit.  It piqued my interest.

The Squatty Potty toilet stool.Now, why wait for so long before writing my review?  Well, to be honest I wasn’t sure what I was going to write.  My daughter likes it because it makes it easier for her child-sized self to use an adult-sized toilet.  My husband doesn’t like it because he’s too tall for the model we have (he’s over a foot taller than I am, and in a product like this that makes a big difference).  I thought it was okay, but didn’t really notice a big difference.  So what to say…  right?  Well.  All that changed the weekend of the Breaking the Silence conference.

Oh my goodness!

Going back to using a toilet WITHOUT the Squatty Potty???  It was miserable!  It felt weird, it was messy, and I couldn’t wait to get home to my toilet – with my wonderful, comfortable, ingenious Squatty Potty tucked around the bowl.

Seriously, I figured at first I’d just write about the fact that it’s cleaner going to the bathroom (for a one or a two) when using the Squatty.  Because that’s something I noticed pretty early on – and it gets better the more you go into an actual squat vs. a sit.  But I didn’t even notice how great the Squatty Potty was until I had to go back to using a toilet without one.

Bet you didn’t think you’d log onto my blog to find me raving about something designed to make taking a deuce a better experience, did ya!?!  Yet here you are, and here I am – doing just that.  Seriously.  My daughter and I love our Squatty Potty, and I think my husband would too if we had a shorter model that accommodated his long legs.

My advice?  Even if you aren’t interested in it for yourself, get one for the little ones in your life.  The fact that it just wraps around the toilet bowl – tucked out of the way – when it’s not in use is worth the price.  The kid feels so much more secure on the toilet using the Squatty vs. our old bathroom stool…  and truly, if there is one place we should feel secure and safe, it’s when we’re doing our business.  😉  All the extra added benefits are just gravy (okay, just realized that could be seen as a really NASTY pun).  Ooops.  LMAO

So yeah, whenever my husband passes me and glances into the bathroom where I’m comfortably squatting (yes, we have an open door policy) he giggles a little over how silly it looks…  but it’s worth it.  It really is.  😉

Photograph, Design, Organize.

Today my head has been filled with design.  I’m preparing to open my shop, and I’m frantically working to get everything ready.  Yesterday I finished up a Spring themed mini-kit.  Today I started a full sized kit all about the chicken pox…  I really do enjoy designing.  Well…  the designing part of it anyway.

I’m sure it’s a sentiment felt by many creative types who also run a business.  The creative side of things fuels us, keeps us going in so many ways.  The business side of things is simply a necessary evil.  That’s how I feel about the organizational side of design.

Creating elements, creating papers, designing overlays, and custom products…  it’s all a fabulously zen thing for me.  Photography gets me revved up, designing relaxes me – two sides of the creative coin.  But organizing my product so it’s ready to sell?  Ugh.  I wish I could hand that end of it over to someone else.  It takes me far longer than it should simply because I don’t enjoy it – and I end up putting it off and then have several products that all need work at the same time.  LOL  I won’t complain too loudly though.  I’m pretty blessed to be able to do what I do.

Strawberry Scraps - my design business

So watch for me soon.  I’ll be setting up shop at the Plum.  Opening day will soon be upon us.  🙂

“Mommy loves all of our parts.”

I’m very “body positive”.  I think bodies are beautiful.  All sorts of bodies. I didn’t always though.  Sometimes that’s the sort of wisdom that comes from living (not from age, but from experience, and making conscious decisions about the way we live).

I want my daughter to be body positive.  I love how my post baby belly feels all warm and squishy, and I want her to love all her parts too – however they turn out.  I tell her all the time how much I love her parts, every single part, because they are hers, and that makes them perfect.

I fear for our girls.  The messages they receive from almost everywhere are that they aren’t good enough.  They can always be more SOMETHING.  More thin, more curvy, more youthful, more, more, more…  But the fact of the matter is that they are PERFECT.  They are perfect as they are.  And that’s another reason for my Power of SHe project.

Hilda, the world's most awesome pin-up woman.

Not familiar with "Hilda", I suggest a Bing search.

Now I’m rambling.  I tend to do that when I get on topics of importance.  Okay.  Back to my story.

You never know if what you try to teach your children really gets through – until you KNOW it’s gotten through.  One of those wonderful little moments happened tonight, and it made me grin a wonderfully large self-satisfied grin.

Lily-Ann was in the bathroom with her Daddy.  I don’t remember specifically what they were doing, or the context of their discussion…  but I do remember hearing Damon laugh before they made their way into the bedroom where I was doing some work on the computer – waiting to put the girl to bed.

“Do you know what Lily told me?”

I looked up from my work and gave my husband my attention, “What?”

“She said you love my parts.”

I laughed and the story spilled forth.  Apparently the girl was educating her father, telling him that his parts are beautiful too.  “Mommy loves ALL of our parts.”  And she even made sure to let him know that I even love the stinky parts, because they’re perfect too.

😀

Yep.

It’s nice to know that sometimes you really do get through to them.

Family is Magic!

I’ve got lots that I could be sharing tonight.  My mind is abuzz with possibilities and current happenings.  LOL  But, instead… mostly because along with that busy, busy brain comes a tired, tired body …I’ll share another piece of art I commissioned from a fellow artisan at Deviant Art.

I know I’ve talked about sharing a love of My Little Pony with my daughter, and I know I’ve done so on at least a few occasions.  There really is nothing better than sharing something you love with someone you love – and MLPs?  That’s our thing, the kids and mine.  🙂  So, when I saw this individuals work, I just knew I had to commission her to do a family portrait of us as ponies.  So the girlie is Fairy Berry (the pony is completely her creation, her name, her colours, the kid’s creation totally and completely) and I’m Prairie Lily.

Now…  Damon?  He’s not so into the ponies.  LOL  He watches Thundercats and He-man with us, and he will watch Friendship is Magic.  But it’s really not his thing.  Thankfully?  The kid took care of that.

Months ago now, she nick named her Daddy “Big Macintosh”.  And, well…  it just kinda fits.  LOL  He’s a Mac computer guy, he manages a produce department, he’s not a big talker with those who don’t know him well, and his favourite colour is red.  So I started calling him our “Big Macintosh” too.

Anyway, onto the family portrait.  It’s of us, as ponies.  Fairy Berry, Prairie Lily, and Big Macintosh:

Our Family Portrait...  a la My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic

My thanks to Lady Yumika, for this lovely, true to the G4 FiM line, pony family portrait.  I think it’s absolutely adorable, and the kid couldn’t be more thrilled – and that’s really what it’s all about for me.  😀

LGBTT2QIA Winter Camp?

Would you be interested in a Winter camp aimed at Sexual Minority and Gender Variant individuals in Saskatchewan?  I, and two of my colleagues, would be very keen to hear from you – especially if you answered yes.  We are currently in the process of putting together our proposal, and your input would be invaluable.

I have created a short (seven question) survey, which I will share below.  It will only take a couple of minutes to fill it out, many of the questions are multiple choice.  Please do take a moment to share your thoughts, as it will go a long way to helping us create what could be a life changing experience for those who attend.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TF7N2ZQ

Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your time and consideration.  It really is appreciated.

Dear Lady in the Women’s Bathroom – Ivan Coyote

Some of you may already be familiar with this piece.  It was something Ivan E Coyote wrote for her column in Xtra.  I remember reading it, and applauding it at the time.

For those of you who have never had to stop before going into a public washroom and consciously make a choice which door to walk into, be thankful.  It’s not an easy choice to make.  A person takes their safety into their own hands every time they walk into a public washroom, especially when the individuals on the other side of the door may not agree with their choice.  We don’t all fit neatly into one gender box or another – nor should we have to.  So here is Ivan, on being shrieked at, on life in the gender variant spectrum, on discrimination, and on compassion:

It’s well worth the watch folks, whether or not you’ve read the personal essay that ran in Xtra.

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