Sunday, January 29, 2012

the Fatou Storysack...

I love these storysacks. And I loved illustrating this story. to preorder one now. There are also lots of teacher/parent resources on the website for downloading!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

As luck would have it...

I am here today.

I very nearly wasn't. It was a bad, bad day on the roads on Thursday and I had to drive home on the 401. I hit a patch of black ice and spun off the road. I totally lost control. I was terrified. I chanted, 'please don't flip, please don't flip' as I headed toward a ditch. There were cars all around me, it was 4:30 pm and snowing. I was paying attention. I was driving what I thought was a safe speed, people were passing me. I have snow tires. I have never had an accident in my whole life. My backside started to sway and I was in trouble. I saw the cars around me avoid me, nearly sliding out themselves. I steered myself off the road - there was no traction to be had on the road. I spun once, twice, three times before stopping. I had the images of my kids faces running though my head. But, I stopped. No airbag, no impact. Soft, fluffy snow. Less than one foot behind me - a deep ditch, and a giant concrete casing for the culvert. I could not see anything but the ditch on the other side of my car.

I was insanely lucky.

I have a theory, and I don't wish to test it anymore really - but I do know I have a guardian angel.

My Opa, who never got the chance to meet my kids or my husband, has done this before. In college I spun out (3x) after a sneeze on an icy road on the QEW and nothing happened. It's like I was picked up and carried to safety. I often wish he could meet Mo, who would think he was amazing, and I am sure he'd get a kick out of Zaley too. But I just know he's watching me, and he wanted me to get home.

Enter OnStar. The dispatcher stayed with me until the police arrived. They called a tow truck. I was out of the ditch in under an hour and for $250 I had a ride - with my car to Napanee. Our friends picke dup Zaley at the daycare and the garage where I dropped my car at happened to be open and gave me a loaner car. That drive from the dealership to my house - though only 9kms was terrifying.

But, I made it home for dinner (late). I got to put my kids to bed that night.

For that, and all the other blessings in my life - I am grateful.

Drive safely.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Letter to the Mayor and Napanee Town Council and local papers

I have been seething with anger for a couple weeks now. I felt the need to write - even though I  know it won't make one bit of a difference. This is what I just sent to town council and our local papers.

Dear Mayor Gordon Schermerhorn and Napanee Town Council,

Your decision to close our indoor pool is a very disappointing one.

Part of the reason we moved to your district 7 years ago was because of this amenity. We value an activity we can do as a family, no matter what our age or skill level. This is an important element a pool (unlike ANY other sports facility) provides to all ages.

In this age of the obesity epidemic and the recent drowning deaths of children in our own community I find it foolhardy and disrespectful of the family unit, of people's health and to our community as a whole.

FACT: There were 89 drownings in eastern Ontario of children under 19 in 2010. 13 were under age 5. TOPPING the list of recommendations to prevent these tragedies - LEARNING to SWIM.

You continue to degrade those in our society now that may not have the means or transportation to get to another pool even more, leaving them and their children out in the cold. This is not acceptable. We live near many bodies of water - all our children need to know how to swim.

We now have to drive 1 hour and 20 minutes for a round trip to the nearest pool. This is not something easily accomplished during a full time work week, children in daycare and school and the need to spend less money. If you add in the increased risk of driving, the cost of gas and the time it takes to do anything with children - you might realize how much your decision has impacted your average pool-using resident. 

Yet, our taxes have gone up by 71% since we moved here seven years ago. As a rural citizen I find that increasingly hard to swallow - especially when something is taken away that is so vital.

It has been a necessary part of my children's fitness, safety and development to swim, at least once a week throughout the year. It was a necessary thing for me when I could not do much else but swim when pregnant. It is a necessity to those suffering from arthritis and other diseases that alter their mobility. Being in a pool provides relief from gravity.

This was a very shortsighted move. Now - when I take my children to swim on the weekends - we will shop elsewhere. We will stop to eat elsewhere. Unfortunately - we will join another community.

One more tie broken to where we actually live = less money spent in our town.

We will miss the people we have gotten to know so well over the years and that feeling of a lovely, little community we had at the pool.

In closing -
I thank you, for the consideration you gave the 'pool people' as you so eloquently called us at your meetings.
I thank you for making our family time more about driving than doing.
I thank you for how politely and respectfully you turned down every proposal that could have kept a pool open in our community while a new option was created.

Peggy Collins

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dear Blogger - it has been way too long since my last post...

I've been busy - it seems to be my mantra these days. Every day. But it is true.

I've been writing (LOTS)
Moved into my new studio (pictures to come)
I've been making Tutu's,
Fatou's storysack journey,
Doll clothes,

I've been enjoying time with family and friends, and well, I haven't much news right now.

Life is ever-changing and sometimes people enter for a reason, and that has been happening a lot lately. I am trying to be open to this, and to embrace the change I need, we need, for our family. I am searching for the lifestyle I want to live - and a way to make a regular paycheck as well. We'll see where this is all going. In the meantime, here are some random shots of creations that have come about in the last month or so.