Family, kids, Home, art


Hey guys, it's June! How are you?

Top 5 things happening in my life right now:

1. We got a Camper Van!
... and have been camping and escaping to the country whenever we can.

Meet Lady Luck, our new camper van.

Meet Lady Luck, our new camper van.

2. New Studio!
I moved back to my old studio and the light and the company and separateness of work and life is so good for me.

Here is a drawing I did in Procreate!

Here is a drawing I did in Procreate!

3. The iPad Pro, particularly with Procreate.
I have been using the Apple pencil and the iPad pro, and just loving it so much. Above is a drawing I did of Indy who is......(read on!)


4. Indy! We got our dog guys. Our perfect dog. She is a rescue from India, has polkadots all over, and sleeps spooning with the kids.


5. (Best for last - ) The kids. Ages 5 and 7 are pure magic, and I can't wait to kick off the serious camping season with these Tigers.

art, Family, Home, maps, New Work, kids, parenthood, Parenting, stories

Map of my First Paper Route

My paper route delivering the Toronto Sun as a kid

Hey guys,

Lately I've been doing a lot of writing / thinking / reflecting on my childhood and the places I grew up. I mean, I always do that anyway but I've been working on a project that requires me to really dig down into all the details of it and while it's disturbing to revisit some stuff, it's been pretty delightful remembering some of the fun(ny) things that happen when you're a kid.

My very first job was delivering newspapers. The Toronto Sun. I had about 125 houses to deliver to on Saturday morning - I would wake up at 5am to assemble the papers - my mom, such a sport, would get up with me to help fold the entertainment section and the best part - the comics -  into the outer shell. I would hurriedly read the comics before heading out the door with my cart and my dog Sooner. 

I was about 10 years old - a hard worker, always happy to have more customers added to my route. I had a great memory and carried my chit book around with me, able to pop by and "collect" on my way to my best friend Priscilla's house, surprising my hard-to-catch houses that were always behind in payment. My boss, Mark, really thought I was great - he even gave me a bird at one point, a budgie. He seemed so old at the time but I wonder if he wasn't actually 20.

The pay was minimal, arriving in the form of a cheque every 2 weeks - that went straight into the bank. But it was the tips that I was working for. I gathered up to $200 a month in tips, splitting my earnings with my dog.

Things were different back then - kids were free. All of us from the neighbourhood went to the school nearby - Gordon Graydon. We all played together after school, in a huge gang, staying outside til dark, when our parents would start yelling in a chorus for us to come in. We played Hide and go Tag, hiding under parked cars and hopping fences to evade those who were "it." We played hockey in the middle of the street, moving the nets only when cars passed by. 

I wonder if my kids will remember their childhoods as so free when they are older. I hope so.

History of the route

Details of my paper route

kids, parenthood, Parenting, Home, Family

My new staff

Guys! I'm pleased to announce that I have a new help staff at home, 2 part-timers who do all the little niggly things around the house. AND - they only cost about $4 a week each. Not bad right?

I have officially doled out chores for the kids, making them accountable with a chart, and reviewing the chart each Sunday around the table - "Payday". 

I'm loving having the extra hands to help. I used this chart I found over on http://www.livingwellspendingless.com to decide which chores were appropriate for each kid - I then downloaded this template from their selection of blank charts. 

The kids' weekly chores. (Have to buy smaller brooms if the sweeping is really going to happen.)

I then pay them each about $4 or $5 depending on how much they helped in the week (Flo is expected to do more at 6.5 years old than Lenny at 4 years old - but I give him more daily jobs like watering plants and feeding the fish etc). I then use the SPEND, SAVE, GIVE method of teaching them to take care of their money. (a simple way of dividing up the $ into 3 envelopes titled - yup - SPEND, SAVE & GIVE. Choose how much goes into each envelope.)
We do 50% into Save, 25% each into Give and Spend, but that might change.

Save, Spend, Give envelopes and the charts which I hang in the kitchen.

The kids can spend their Spend money on whatever they want to except for candy (which is the first thing Flo wanted to spend on, obviously) and their Save will eventually go into a bank account, then one day turn into a whole lotta money, right? and Give can be to any cause they like, probably the SPCA or the library. Anyway, I keep coming across more and more chores they can do (Clean up my office! Make my bed! Fix my bike!) (kidding) - but in all seriousness,  it's so nice to delegate extra tasks. Should have done this years ago.

**sidenote - the other day, the kids wanted me to buy them an ice cream cone. I used my usual "I didn't bring my money" excuse and then Flo said she wanted to give me her Give money. So yeah, you should probably talk about the whole GIVE envelope thing. (Though I did let Len buy me a coffee last week with a toonie he found on the ground!)