Some excitement lately and more coming up

It’s been a parade of surprises lately, so I’ll start in no particular order. I was gobsmacked as they say to be nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards and attended the nominees’ reception last night at the Sheraton Top of the Inn. Thirty-four women have been nominated in ten categories and the achievements and contributions they’ve made makes one’s head spin. This is the 32nd annual awards and the YWCA has been recognizing women for “contributions to enhancing the status of women in our community.” I am very honoured and mystified to be part of this group. The Awards Dinner will be held at TCU Place May 23rd. If you’d like more details and/or tickets, visit the YWCA. There will be an announcement of the nominees in the May 2nd issue of the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, and a 2-page feature where you can read about all this year’s nominees on May 10.

But before then, other exciting news! If you can stay up late, catch Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC TV Wednesday, May 1. Our youngest son Ben and his partners Derek and Josh in The Park are backing up UK singer Alice Russell (we think she’s even better than Adele, but we’re biased 🙂 The live performance on the show kicks off a US tour; Ben and the boys will travel with Alice to various west and east coast gigs so if you’re close to any, get your tickets now! Have a little listen to Alice and the boys here.

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A little more Flourish talk

PLAN Toronto (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) publishes a great new online magazine called PLAN Today.

Image If you go to the site (click on the link above), they will help get you to the magazine, which is loaded with good information for families of people with disabilities, and feature stories that will inspire you. In this issue, Executive Director and all around good guy Jeff Dobbin (who is also PLAN Today’s editor and creative director) was kind enough to include a great piece about my book. We also did an interview via Skype that you can check out by simply clicking on each question. Thanks Jeff and PLAN!

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Some kid, a tiger and a boat

Grandson Alexander, 6, lives in San Diego. He sent us, with much excitement and many instructions, a Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley supposedly got flattened by a falling bookcase or something, but the upside is that he can be mailed all over the world to collect interesting experiences visiting new people and new lands. Flat Stanley arrived in our mailbox and we set about to help him collect photos during his Saskatchewan mid-winter visit. Aside from a ride on the snowblower with Bobo and sledding with Uncle Jim, he also had an afternoon with neighbours (well, they still technically live in the neighbourhood, just no longer across the street). Flat Stanley had a suppertime visit with Yann and Alice and the kids. The next day, Uncle Jim took him over for a private reading (from some book Yann wrote, perhaps you’ve heard of it?) Sneaky Stanley did not make it back into the car, so we received a cryptic note from “Uncle Yann” later in the day, describing all the fun they were getting up to in Yann’s studio. Stanley has since gone back to San Diego, and we are waiting to hear how Alexander’s class enjoyed the snow blower.

Isn’t Saskatoon great?

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The artist’s eye

Heather Fritz is a fantastic Saskatoon-based photographer with a background in journalism who’s developed an ever-expanding portfolio full of big names, families, weddings, big bellies, babies, and commercial projects. Our work is often paired on magazine pieces and I’m always flabbergasted at how fresh and different her images are, whether the subject is a celebrity, a newborn, or even a kitchen reno. She’s become, I’m proud to say, a friend.

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We recently spent a fun afternoon together at Caffe Sola (the light is great in there!) I’m updating my website (well, my son Ben is, to be more accurate) and I needed more current photos for book promotion. I have a collection now that turned out so well I hardly recognize myself! She’s just so easy to be with that you forget about posing. She has an artist’s eye and a storyteller’s knack for capturing the essence of her subjects.

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Heather also offers a basic photography class now and then, and if you want to get a better grip on your SLR, take this workshop! If your big fancy digital camera has been relegated to automatic settings, Heather will gently guide you to the “a ha!” revelation that puts you in control. For all she is, 5 stars.