Publishing the true stories of fascinating Prairie People and Unsung Heroes

Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan, Canada.
We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by
Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also assist authors in self-publishing their work. Visit our website and buy our books at driverworks.ca.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Serving Our Audience

When I began freelance writing almost 30 years ago, I travelled to all corners of Saskatchewan to conduct interviews for my writing in various Canadian magazines and newspapers. I spoke with funeral directors, farmers, ambulance drivers, doctors, lawyers, housewives, miners, church ministers, business owners, ranchers, politicians, children and more.

It was a wonderful way to find out who lived in this province, what their interests were and what they were doing that I could share with others who might want to know.

Today, as a book author and publisher, I still believe in the need to know your audience. We can't effectively serve our readers unless we find out who they are, what they care about and what they think of our efforts to serve them.

Often, I am pleasantly surprised by the people we meet in our work as publishers. I am also pleased but not necessarily surprised by the personal connections we have that we did not know existed. In November, for example, I answered a telephone call from a woman in Alberta. We began chatting.

She lives in Olds - the town where the child's Canadian Army-style coat in our best-selling book The Little Coat by Alan J. Buick resided for many years (at the Olds Legion. In fact, we held our Alberta launch for The Little Coat at the Olds Legion on Remembrance Day 2009). She and I have another interesting connection regarding Olds, Alberta. My brother attended Olds College some years ago and she once worked at Olds College. Wild, isn't it?

So after chatting for a couple of minutes about our interconnections, she said she was calling to order our Prairie Pilot book. It's 100 true short stories written by a man in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan who was an unofficial air ambulance pilot and flying taxi service in the 1950s. She told me that her husband was a pilot and she was sure he would enjoy the stories of Walter Williams and his adventures. We chatted a bit longer, then I hung up and we sent her the book.

It was great to talk with her that day and be assured once again that the books we publish are being appreciated by readers on the Prairies and beyond.

So to our readers, again I say thank you for your support and making an effort to tell us of our connections and shared stories. Please keep those calls and comments coming, and we look forward to reconnecting and meeting more of you in 2013.

Happy holidays, everyone!




Friday, December 14, 2012

Writing with a Cold

Never write when you're sick. You'll come off sounding grumpy and annoying. Unless, of course, you have a deadline to beat and you really need to get a story done or a manuscript finished to please your editors or publisher. Then you have to write. So here's what you do...

(Note: Details apply best to those who work in a home office, are self-employed or have a great boss who understands that sick workers are not the best people to have around the office.)


 

- Write down (type) your thoughts in the order they come to you or, in the case of a newspaper or magazine article, the order in which you recorded them.
 
 

- Take a break to make a cup of hot tea. Blow your nose while you're waiting for the water to boil.



- Put some honey in your tea. It's good for what ails you - or so I've been told. If nothing else, it tastes good.


- Have a cookie. One won't hurt, right? You're sick. You deserve it.
 

- Go back to your computer and read what you've typed. Spend the next while moving the points around (as best you can, given your slightly compromised condition) to create what could most logically be a sensible story. Example - try to find the most important point(s) in your article/text/story and single those out as the beginning. Line up the other pieces from there.



- Take another break to go to the bathroom and get rid of some of the tea you've been drinking all day.


- Go back to your office and... blow your nose again - as if you haven't been doing this constantly for the last 15 hours anyway.

Stupid cold/flu/sinus infection/whatever.

Yes, take a moment to grumble. It's good for the soul. Just don't do it in your story. No one likes a whiner.


- Go for a short walk.

Not outside!

It's winter and you're sick. What were you thinking?



- Walk around your office/desk/bathroom/wherever. Just STAY INDOORS, silly.


- Okay, now that you have cleared your head a bit more, you can tackle a little more of your story.


- Re-read what you have typed and change the order of the phrases and points again if needed. (It's almost always needed.)


- Add some segues between the points and move another two or three things around. Before you know it, you'll be sooo into your work that the story will be writing itself and you'll have forgotten all about being sick and ...





and ...







... AH CHOO!




Oh, well. At least the story's done.


Now go back to bed.

Tomorrow's a new day... and hopefully you'll feel better.


Monday, December 10, 2012

The amazing Children's Wish Foundation

We meet some of the most wonderful people through our work with various charities. And we always learn something we didn't know - that we are happy to share with others.

Today, The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada - Saskatchewan Chapter invited author Dave Driver (who happens to be our son as well) to speak to a luncheon of health care workers at the Regina General Hospital. Dave is the author of SuperMom and the Big Baby ... and DriverWorks Ink is donating a portion of the proceeds of each SuperMom book sold to Children's Wish Saskatchewan.



 
The audience members were folks who care for pediatric patients, including those children who have life-threatening conditions and can be referred to Children's Wish to make a wish of theirs come true.
 
It's a pretty noble profession and a pretty amazing charity.


Wishes have included trips to Disney World, special vacations, meeting a favourite celebrity or sports hero, purchasing snowboards or hockey equipment or the latest in stereo and video games technology. Families are included in the wishes and that has to make everyone feel a lot better!
 
 
Saskatchewan Chapter Director Gay Oldhaver (above right) spoke to the group about some of the fundraisers held by the Foundation, including a golf tournament and the fun-based Exile Island, a new adventure/venture for Regina-area folks but one that has happened in Saskatoon for a few years and raised $203,000 in 2012! Good job, Saskatoon!
(Here's a story by the Regina Leader-Post's Emma Graney about her involvement o-n the media team in Regina this year.)
 
 
Wish Co-ordinator Stacey Driedger (left) and Chapter Director Gay Oldhaver (seated centre) spoke to the group about the details of granting wishes. They also thanked them for their referrals of sick children and answered questions about the Children's Wish Foundation in general.
 
DID YOU KNOW?
- The average wish costs $10,000.
- The Saskatchewan Chapter is granting about 50 wishes a year but could double that amount if the funding was there. (Sadly, that's a lot of very sick children in a province of one million, isn't it?) Funding comes from corporate donations and fundraisers.
 
 
We watched a video produced by Children's Wish Foundation. In it, a physician who works with sick children said: "I can treat these children but I want to heal them ... take them beyond the pain to hope." Another health care worker in the video said she loves what she does for a living. "It gives you a perspective of what a bad day is."
 
Here's an inspiring music video that I learned about today. It's the Saskatchewan group Foxx Worthee singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah - raising money to help a little boy named Nixon get the health care help he needs. You'll be hearing more about their connection to Children's Wish Foundation in the coming months.
 
And now back to our particular involvement with Children's Wish Foundation....
 
As mentioned, DriverWorks Ink donates to various charities from the sale of many of our books. When we asked Dave Driver, our son, if there was a particular charity that he would like us to consider with the publishing of his children's story SuperMom and the Big Baby, Dave chose The Children's Wish Foundation.
 
Dave and his wife (SuperMom - the woman whose sleep-talking phrases appear in Dave's funny children's book) have a niece who has received a wish from the Foundation. This niece is a very special person. Dave and his wife have seen the joy she experiences every time she gets into the swimming pool that Children's Wish provided for her. Thank you, Children's Wish Foundation. We will do our best to repay the gift.
 
 
 
So Dave shared his book and the story of his niece with the health care workers at Regina General Hospital.
 
And then, after Dave was finished speaking, one of the workers came over and introduced herself to him.


She told us that she is the person who referred Dave's niece to Children's Wish Foundation.

We were speechless - which doesn't happen often.

She told us, 'You came here today for a reason. It was meant to be."

That happens a lot to us in what we do.

Pretty amazing.



Thanks again, Gay, for inviting Dave and me to the event today. It made our week... and more.
 
 

 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Need a Christmas gift for Grandpa? Grandma? Baby?

Hello! Our experiences selling directly to customers at craft and trade shows have given us an excellent insight into which of our books are purchased for and appreciated by specific audiences. So with that in mind, let us help you make some gift choices for the people on your Christmas list:
 
For Grandpa or Dad (& adults in general):
Prairie Pilot: Lady Luck Was On My Side
by Walter D. Williams; Compiled and Edited by Deana J. Driver
Yes, this is definitely a man's book - although women like it, too. We can't count how many times we've been told that Grandpa or Dad or some other man really enjoyed this book of  100 short stories written by the late Walter Williams about his adventures as an unofficial air ambulance pilot in the 1950s in west central Saskatchewan and into Alberta. Walter landed in farmers' fields and picked up pregnant women and injured children and took them to the hospital. He also transported corpses, criminals, doctors, RCMP officers, wedding cakes, Sask Tel and Sask Power employees, shot coyotes from the air, etc. I tease men that they love Prairie Pilot because they live vicariously through Walter's fascinating, daring adventures. But we love this book, too. Walter was an unsung Prairie hero who helped a lot of people, and we are pleased to share this piece of Saskatchewan history.
     
We at DriverWorks Ink have donated $1,500 from sales of Prairie Pilot to the KLD Wellness Foundation in Kerrobert, SK
 
Men also particularly enjoy our books The Little Coat (below) and Ron Petrie's Running of the Buffalo humour columns (making light of everything from learning to drive on a Prairie farm to enjoying Grey Cup to raising 'triplets and one more on the bonus round').

 
 
For Grandma or Mom (& anyone else ages 10 and up):
The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliott Story
by Alan J. Buick
This book is a beauty. It's a national bestseller that received an Honourable Mention in the Hollywood Book Festival for stories that should be made into movies or films.
Bob Elliott was a young soldier in the Second World War, fighting the Nazis in the Netherlands when he met 10-year-old Sussie Cretier and her family. Sussie became a good-luck charm and sort of a little sister to the Canadians. They wanted to give her a Christmas present in December 1944, so they asked a seamstress in that little town to make a wool Army blanket into a coat for Sussie. It was the most precious gift Sue had ever received. Almost 40 years later, Bob and Sue reconnected as adults and fell in love. Sue still had her little coat. She brought it to Canada when she married Bob.
       
DriverWorks Ink has donated $4,000 from sales of The Little Coat to the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command's Poppy Trust Fund. A donation from future sales will go to the  Canadian War Museum, where Sussie Cretier's little coat is now preserved - displayed on special occasions.
 
 
For Women and Men (& all who enjoy inspiring true stories):
Never Leave Your Wingman: Dionne and Graham Warner's Story of Hope
by Deana J. Driver
I'm kinda partial to this story - because I wrote it and I have special memories of using Dionne's story to help myself and my family through the difficult time of my mother's cancer diagnosis, which occurred while I was finishing the writing of this book.
This book chronicles the inspiring true story of Dionne Warner, a seven-time cancer survivor from Ontario, and her fun-loving husband Graham, who wooed Dionne to Saskatchewan from Ontario with the statement that it never gets below minus 10 degrees in Saskatchewan. (He was joking, right?) Dionne was diagnosed with liver cancer shortly after arriving in Regina, SK. She told Graham he did not have to marry her - she would return to Ontario. A businessman and pilot, Graham replied, "You never leave your wingman." He and Dionne have dressed in costume and danced into her chemo treatments, bringing hope and laughter to everyone they meet. This is a love story full of laughter, hope and courage. As Dionne would say, "Live your life to the fullest. No regrets!"

DriverWorks Ink is donating $1 from every Never Leave Your Wingman book sold to various cancer programs.


Here are some proven perfect gifts for children - from Toddlers to Teens 
(Click on the book cover images & go to our web page for more details.)

 
Perfect for children ages 2 and up:
SuperMom and the Big Baby by Dave Driver; Illustrated by Guy Laird
When an 18-month-old becomes a giant baby, only SuperMom can save him!
 
 
 
 Perfect for children ages 7 and up, adults & seniors:
The Sailor and the Christmas Trees by Deana Driver; Illustrated by Catherine Folnovic
This is the true story of how a Canadian sailor surprised his fellow crewmates and some small children while at sea on Christmas Day 1944.
 
 
 Perfect for children ages 10 and up, adults & seniors:
Letters to Jennifer From Maudie & Oliver by Sharon Gray
These are funny, tender and clever letters written by two lovable Siamese cats.
 


Happy Shopping!
 
 



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Self-Publishers - Easy Doesn't Make It Right

Argh!

As a trained professional who has been writing, editing and publishing for many years, my stomach ties in knots when I see some of the self-published books being printed these days. Don't get me wrong. There are some great self-published books out there - and we have helped add to the pile of great ones - but there are some that could have used a lot more 'fixing' before they were printed. And that's being polite.

With advances in technology and ever-expanding options for printing books (and thus self-publishing any old thing or just printing whatever is written or compiled), it is now easier than ever for anyone to self-publish - often without any idea of what's right and what's wrong, what's legal and not, what's better and what should never be done.

It concerns me.

Without even going into the dos and don'ts of actual content and storylines, I sometimes see these errors in self-published books: incorrect spelling; improper capitalizations; incorrect use of hyphens; quotes and excerpts and photos and maps that are not accredited to their originators; inconsistent layout styles throughout a book; the use of unreadable fonts; images with no identification at all or the names in the wrong order for the photo. Sadly, the list goes on.

While it is wonderful that you are so passionate about your story that you are taking steps to self-publish it - which I have been doing as well, by the way - this is my plea to aspiring self-publishers:

Please, please, PLEASE hire a trained, knowledgeable, experienced editor (like us at  DriverWorks Ink, of course) who can advise you on the rules, help you fix your mistakes (we all make them) and polish your book so it imparts your message in the best way.

There are ever-changing rules and ideas on: grammar and spelling, attribution and copyright, libel (written work) and slander (spoken about your work), fonts, text, photograph resolution and placement, use of colour, layout strategies and more. Some of these apply to an editor. Some are for the layout designer. If you're a self-publisher, you need to know it all.

Find an editor who keeps up with the industry, sits with a dictionary at her or his side, and can work closely with you to make sure your message gets out there in the most positive way possible.

Just because you love to write doesn't make you a writer ready to be published. It's not that simple. It can take years to hone writing skills and it's not wise to self-publish without a trained editor examining your work. A good editor can make suggestions on how to improve your writing both in general and in the piece you are intending to self-publish. An editor can also help you avoid legal pitfalls with your work - which should be an item on the agenda for every writer of every genre. Do it right the first time.

Now I'm not saying all editors are perfect. We know that's not possible. But we try. And we editors would really like to help you as best we can. Please find one of us and get our help before you self-publish.

You'll be glad you did.

Okay. Now get back to your project.

We're wishing you well in putting out a great book!




Monday, November 26, 2012

Lovin' the Connections

In our work as book publishers (and my work as a writer), we meet or talk to some great people. We hear the most fascinating stories and there are often strange, wonderful connections between us.

On the last day of Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan, a woman came to our booth and accepted one of our leaflets containing information about all our Prairie books. She said she was travelling and didn't want to take too much home with her, so she probably would not buy a book, but she was interested in what we had on our table.

We chatted more and I asked her where she lived.

In Ontario, she said.

"Where in Ontario?" I asked.

She said, "Near London and Stratford."

I replied that when I was a teenager, I was part of a youth exchange and I spent 10 days on a farm near a little town named....

Her reply? "I live in that town."

WHAT?

That's just bizarre.

Of all the communities in Ontario, she lives in the small town that I stayed in 40 years ago? Come on. That's a crazy coincidence.

We chatted further. I tried to recall the name of my host family and we exchanged email addresses to keep in touch.

Cool, huh?

Oh, yeah. She ended up buying a book after all.

What can we say? Our stories are irrestible.

Here's Al, chatting with one of our many wonderful customers at Agribition.
(I'm the photographer most of the time, so that's why you seldom see me chatting with customers, unless you're there in person.)








Friday, November 23, 2012

Awesomeness at Agribition

I first attended Canadian Western Agribition - the premiere agricultural show for producers - in Regina, Saskatchewan, in the 1980s when I was doing interviews for World of Beef magazine. That's right, World of Beef - for and about people who raise purebred cattle. Now that was a learning experience for me!

For the past three years, Al and I have had a trade show booth at Agribition, sharing information about and selling our Prairie books. Come take a walk with me and see what I saw earlier this week at...


Arriving Sunday evening to set up - the sun was setting on a parking lot that had only a touch of snow that was melting.
 

We're ready to welcome customers and random passersby to our booth (#141 in the Agribition Building).
 
Apples seemed to be the fruit of choice for the show this year. They were being sold at one booth (with samples available for everyone) . Other apples were being given away at another booth just around the corner from the first one.
Yummy either way!
 
I was intrigued by this bull that was just hanging around as I walked to another area of the show. After I took this picture, the man in the photo informed me that this was the bull that Heath Ledger rode in the movie Brokeback Mountain. I seriously considered climbing up on that air-filled platform to touch the place where Heath Ledger's back side had been. Sigh. I decided against it, valuing my front teeth more than the chance to touch great(behinded)ness. Curse you, klutzy body!
 
Around the corner from the fake bull was this real live animal - a horse named.....
 
Get it? Winn Dixie - the U.S. store?
Pretty punny.
 
 
 
And this was the reason for my early-morning travels to another area of the show - an interview with CKRM Radio's Colin Lundquist (on the right & below with me).
 
 
As an aside, I worked at CKRM in 1978, writing radio commercials for a year or so. (How many ways can you advertise a tractor? Turns out there are many.)
Thanks, Colin, for the great interview. Deja vu all over again.
 
 
You have to have saddles at Agribition.
 
And cowboy hats.
 
 
And huge belt buckles. (This one's attached to a winning bull-rider.)
 
Cool, huh?
 
 
And now to the business at hand.
Here, Al is chatting with some customers about our books.
 
A young lady is checking out Dave Driver's book SuperMom and the Big Baby.
 
This Aussie who now lives in Alberta bought some books and wondered aloud if it was politically correct for him to own The Little Coat, written by Alan Buick, a Kiwi. After much consideration and some guffawing, he decided it would be okay and assured us that he would likely enjoy this bestselling true Christmas story as much as others have.

Here I am (on the left) with seven-(no, wait!)eight-time-cancer-survivor Dionne Warner (the 'bald chick' in the centre) and Eleanor Sinclair (on the right). Dionne came by to sign Never Leave Your Wingman books and laugh with us for a few hours. Eleanor stopped by for a few minutes to sign some of her fast-selling book Our Lamps Were Heavy before checking out the rest of Agribition. I am holding a copy of my newest book The Sailor and the Christmas Trees. It's a Christmas story (did the title give you a hint?) about an event that actually happened during the Second World War. I wrote the book for children ages 7 and up, but it's being enjoyed by adults and seniors as well.
 
 
By the time we left Agribition on Wednesday night, the melting snow had turned to ice and was covered with fresh snow... which continued to come down for the next day, making travel all over the province quite treacherous.
Still, these are hearty Prairie people, so we're sure they'll shovel out or wait for a bit for the snowplows and gravel trucks to make the roads safe again. Then they'll come take in the last two days of Agribition.
 
If you're planning to attend Agribition on Friday or Saturday, November 23 and 24, be sure to stop by our booth (#141) in the Agribition Building. We'd love to see ya.
 
Drive safe, everyone! And Yee Haw!
 
 
 
 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

More fave phrases from our Prairie books

These are more of my favourite phrases/lines from our great Prairie books:


Running of the Buffalo by Ron Petrie:
      On the kitchen wall is a large pattern of brown splatters. In the centre is our triplets' school calendar of helpful daily kindergarten reminders, which I saunter over to read every morning with my first sips of coffee. Some days are library days, in which case I rustle up the books Spencer, Stuart and Hayley must return to school; sometimes the higher grades have popcorn sales, for which I make sure every child has 25 cents, and sometimes --
     PLLBLBLBLBBLLT!
     -- sometimes the stain on the wall is enhanced by yet another 534-p.s.i. spray of coffee from my startled face. Sometimes, moments before the bus arrives, the calendar says the day's big kindergarten event is the monthly show-and-tell. Every child is to have an object beginning with the specific letter of the alphabet -- and there I am, with not one, but three students, and not foresight, but only three minutes left on the scavenger hunt clock.


My Zayde and Other Memories of Growing Up Jewish by Ricki Segal:
     Every time my mother offered you something to eat, it was as if she was getting a commission from the sale. If it was apple cake, she’d say, “Have a piece of apple cake. It’s only fruit.” She’d also say, “Oh, you know you like it,” even if I had never seen the dish before.


The Inquiring Reporter by Clay Stacey:
     I worked two more weeks in Killarney. I finished work at The Guide on Friday afternoon and quickly loaded an old suitcase with my meagre belongings for my trip west the following morning. It would not have been possible without a $100 loan from my nursing sister.
     Before leaving, I was asked by editor Tom what I would ultimately like to accomplish in the newspaper business.
     “I want to be a full-time reporter – and break an exclusive story that will be printed in newspapers all over the world,” I said, serious as all get-out.
     “Good grief. You certainly have your sights set high. Good luck to you.”


Moving Forward: The Journey of Paralympian Colette Bourgonje by Mary Harelkin Bishop:
     She had big plans and things she wanted to do with her life. Those plans didn't include an accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. After all, she was an incredibly talented athlete. She was only 18 years old and she was on the threshold of her adult life.
     Stunned and shocked, Colette couldn't quite get her head around the fact that she would never walk again, let alone never run. Within a short time, though, her tears and fears dried up on the outside and she quietly begain considering how she could move forward from the tragic event.


Egg Money: A Tribute to Saskatchewan Pioneer Women; Edited by Deana Driver:
     In the late 1920s, Saskatchewan farm women sold eggs for about three cents a dozen to buy essentials or, in some cases, extras for their families. One Saskatchewan woman recalls as a child being sent into town by her mother to sell a dozen eggs for three cents and purchasing a one-cent stamp to mail a letter to family in Ontario. Anyone purchasing eggs from a store in those days paid about 36 cents a dozen.
     At the unveiling of the Egg Money statue in Saskatoon on the afternoon of September 20, 2009, Ellen Remai commented on her own family’s heritage. “I feel extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to sponsor this meaningful and loving tribute to the pioneer women who gave so much and asked for so little in return. When I first heard of the Egg Money sculpture, I thought, ‘What a great idea. What a wonderful way to honour and celebrate the pioneer women of Saskatchewan!’ I knew instantly that I wanted to be part of this project."


Seeds of Hope: A Prairie Story by Mary Harelkin Bishop:
     Mama bent and kissed his cheek. “Prairie farmers, especially the Camerons, are survivors, Danny. That’s how we’re made; tough and strong and stubborn. It’ll take a lot to chase us away.” She turned out the light and closed the door, leaving him alone with his thoughts.
      “Then why is Papa thinking of selling out?” Danny whispered after her in the darkness.
Lying flat on his back, Danny stared up at the ceiling. Faint light seeped into the window from the yardlight across the way. A gentle breeze blew through the branches of the cottonwood tree, rustling the leaves. Patterns of light danced across his ceiling. He felt as if he carried a huge burden of worry on his shoulders. He felt 100 years old, stooped and bent.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Favourite phrases from our great Prairie books

I am privileged to spend my days doing three things that I love: (1) writing and (2) sharing stories about fascinating, inspiring people (3) written by Prairie authors including myself.

Here are a few of my favourite quotes/lines from some of our great Prairie books:

 
 
The Sailor and the Christmas Trees by Deana Driver:
     "As long as I live, I will always remember those wee children standing at the railing on that ship. They must have been only four to six years old and some were wearing adult lifebelts. Those life jackets were way too big for them, but they were wearing them to be safe in case of trouble on the crossing."
                  - John Hanlon about his December 1944 crossing from England to Canada



The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliott Story by Alan J. Buick:
     Bob Elliot was at the controls of his Sexton SP as the 19th Field Regiment and the 55th Infantry Battalion of the Canadian Army moved into Alphen that day. Bob was worried he might run over the local people as they swarmed around the monster machine he was driving and climbed onto the tank to hug their liberators. He had to stop the machine on many occasions to avoid crushing some of the people who welcomed the Canadian soldiers so warmly.
     As Bob looked at the crowd of happy faces, he knew that all the pain and suffering he had endured since landing in Normandy had been worth every moment. Tears came to his eyes as he saw the joy and gratitude on the faces of these people who had endured five years of oppression. Being a member of the Army that had freed them was a humbling experience. He knew he would never forget these moments.


SuperMom and the Big Baby by Dave Driver:
     “Nice outfit, Mom…” said Dad, “Or should I say… SuperMom! Now let’s go get our son back!”


 Never Leave Your Wingman: Dionne and Graham Warner's Story of Hope by Deana J. Driver:    
      Suddenly, there is a commotion around the corner in front of the admissions desk. A song is playing very loudly – a country song – and into view comes a strikingly beautiful woman in a cowboy outfit, riding on a man’s back, shouting “Woo Hoo! Yee Ha!” at the top of her lungs.
     She’s swinging a lasso and yelling, “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy!”
     What the heck is going on? This is a cancer clinic. The patients who come here are very ill. They seldom smile and they NEVER cheer.
     Obviously, no one told that to Dionne Warner.


Letters to Jennifer From Maudie & Oliver by Sharon Gray:
  
     This is Maudie speaking.
     I also help Oliver with his grooming, in particular his ears. Have you ever noticed how big his ears are? Don’t know why, he never listens. He is having problems with his pee-pee works again. He was whisked off to see Dr. Peter the other day – they didn’t even tell me that they were leaving me ALL ALONE. Sometimes they are so inconsiderate about me and my feelings.
     Oliver has to take pills for his condition. YOW! Is he ever funny! He staggers around after he has his pills and he has a glassy haze to his eyes – he is cross-eyed, so it looks even more funny. (I’m not cross-eyed. I’m beautiful and lovely. But you know that.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Winter wonderland

Most days, these are my tools of choice:


But not this past weekend. These were the items I used the most:
 
 
We had a huge snowfall - and I mean HUGE! It started snowing on Friday morning and really didn't stop until Sunday afternoon. The previous one-day record for snowfall in Regina, Saskatchewan was in 1941 - at 23.6 centimetres (about 9 inches for you non-metric types). By Sunday evening, November 11, we'd received at least 14 inches of snow.



We shovelled our walkway and driveway five different times - to keep the snow shovel loads down to a manageable level.
 
This is one of the benefits of living on a major street in the city - your street is cleaned after a snowstorm well before other residential areas get cleared.
 
 
I find it interesting how the snow sticks to the evergreens....
 

 

... but not to other trees, like this mountain ash. I guess those leaves are too wimpy to hold the snow.

 
 
Well, this isn't the first time we've seen snow so we'll all just get adjusted to it for the next few months and enjoy the beauty that comes with this time of year. We'll definitely have a white Christmas ... and we are enjoying these gorgeous cactus flowers.
 

 
Have a safe and happy winter, everyone!