Saturday, October 31, 2020

Green Holidays - Gift Idea

 --  Gift Idea --

The holidays are fast approaching and now that people are spending a lot of time indoors it is, perhaps, a good time to consider giving books for Christmas and upcoming holidays over the winter season. As such I'd like to suggest this book below for several reasons. First of course, book purchases support our work. Second, this book will make a real and measurable difference for the recipient. 

This book was written after nearly 3 decades of business experience, blogging, writing and managing 2 talk radio shows - sharing the best of what we learned in a step-by-step guide. 

This book will be useful for anyone with a product or service as they just have to substitute the word "book" with "product" or "service" and follow the guide from there. Purple Snowflake will save the recipient a great deal of time and money as we have already taken numerous business-related courses from marketing to office management. Followed by studying writing-related books, courses, seminars, interviews and online research. In our career we have been business owners, members of the media, freelance and staff writers and authors of 6 books (with a 7th on the way). You get to benefit from this experience simply by picking up a copy of this book:

The amount of books that are available on the market at any time is a virtual snowstorm of competition for you to rise above. Like a purple snowflake you can stand out from this flurry with some simple but effective marketing methods.

Purples Snowflake Marketing has been recommended as a valuable tool by more than 10 writing courses since this book was written

Discover free, or frugal, promotional tools and learn how to customize promotional activities to suite your unique situation.

But don't take our word for it... check out readers' Reviews

Get a paperback:

 Get an ebook:

And ... Thank you, for supporting our work :)

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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Alternative Gift Ideas

Alternative Gift Ideas

Looking for the perfect gift for an upcoming holiday? 

Something useful, that will help reduce waste? 

Consider purchasing a set of sturdy, square bottomed, reusable, washable shopping bags. There are a lot of varieties to choose from, including those that are created from recycled plastic bottles, coffee sack material, renewable crops such as bamboo or hemp, and many other environmentally friendly options. 

Go a step further and purchase a set of smaller, fine-mesh produce bags – this gift will reduce, or eliminate, the need to use the clear bags offered in the grocery store’s fresh produce department. These are washable, see-through and made of a very fine mesh material, weighing next to nothing, so they will not affect the cost when scaled at the checkout.

Just how many bags per recipient? Typically 12 bags will likely cover most of the shopping activities for a family of 2-3, while 6-8 bags is appropriate for an individual.

Want another option for reducing plastic waste? 

Consider giving a set of stainless-steel straws. These are dishwasher friendly and will eliminate the need for plastic straws. 

Sick of all the wrapping?

Gifts certificates that offer an experience or an activity are a fantastic way to support your local community and encourage sustainable, service-oriented businesses. 

The bonus here is that the gift certificate is usually printed on recyclable paper, whereas gift cards from larger chain stores often contain plastics that are not readily recyclable. 

Look for gift certificates for wildlife areas, canoe tours, bike rentals, car maintenance services, music or dance lessons, gym memberships, yoga or art classes, specialty stores, bakeries and deli outlets, cleaning organizations and lawn services.

 Of course it depends on the recipients tastes; don’t give a zip line tour to someone that can’t appreciate it! Be conscious of what they would want to do.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

From this year's garden

-- Oh the Garden -- 

Earlier this month I promised some photos of our garden harvests. It was a very productive year and we've filled our pantry, freezers, and cold room with processed and stored foods. I've shared a few processing-day photos too.

I didn't take pictures every day - I simply just took a photo spontaneously when ever the feeling came up, and no - I don't take the best pictures - lol - but here they are for you to enjoy - as promised. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Green Holiday - Gift Idea

 --  Gift Idea --

The holidays are fast approaching and now that people are spending a lot of time indoors it is, perhaps, a good time to consider giving books for Christmas and upcoming holidays over the winter season. As such I'd like to suggest this book below for several reasons. First of course, book purchases support our work. Second, this book will make a real and measurable difference for the recipient.

Imagine if one could see all the trash generated in your lifetime trailing behind you like a jet-stream. All the baby food containers, diapers, packaging, food waste, bottles, cans – all of it. Now imagine that we all have a jet-stream that we left behind somewhere and you get an idea why it is so important to re-think our thinking.

If everyone could simply cut back a small percentage of their contribution to the landfills it would make a huge difference! Trash Talk will give you the knowledge to do that and better!

But don't take our word for it... check out readers' Reviews

- What to look for when purchasing product.
- How to get manufacturers to listen to you as a consumer.
- Reducing the amount of packaging you are stuck with.
- Shopping with reuse in mind.
- Inventing useful gadgets from items formally destined for the trash.
- Keeping your home and office as eco-efficient as possible.
- How to get yourself off the junk mail lists for good.
Imagine having a practical use for items you have formally thrown away all your life - from a plastic bag or a styrofoam cup or even a broken swing-set. Discover hundreds of useful ways to make a difference in your community and abroad, save money, and more - simply by treating trash as a resource.

Get a paperback:

 Get an ebook:

And ... Thank you, for supporting our work :)

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Kudo's !!

Kudo's !!

Regular blog readers will have noticed over the years that we take every opportunity to celebrate green/sustainable business initiatives  whenever we hear of them.

today I'd like to feature KIND Healthy Snacks. I'd not heard of them until recently but their media release states that all of the almonds for their products will now be sourced from certified bee-friendly farms by 2025. This one company's commitment will support the long term health for pollinators. They also have other inhouse programs helping out local communities, connecting diverse classrooms, rethinking packaging, becoming powered by wind, and inspiring everyday acts of kindness.

Apparently this company buys a  LOT of almonds... as one of the largest almond purchasers in the world, their impact with this commitment is huge. 

Farms that become certified have shown that they have increased pollinator diversity and populations through integrated pest management, changes to landscapes re: water retention, hedge rows, increased soil health and habitat creation - among other things. 

To learn more check out:

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Recommended Resources

Recommended Resources

This beautiful video put out by the University of British Columbia shows us how trees are the most efficient air conditioners, pollution and water erosion controls we have and how to make a difference in your own neighbourhood:

* Note of appreciation to Patricia Zurita (CEO of Birdlife International) for sending this info our way: A report put out by the Birdlife Partnership covers 2019 and has numerous stories of tangible progress and numerous interviews and more. check it out via this link (download pdf):

And here is another link from the same outfit via Stuart Butchart (Chief Scientist) who kindly sent this information to me: Click here to download a digital copy of Birds and Biodiversity which analises data relating to birds, targets, projects, and more.

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day 

"Never change your originality for the sake of others.

Because no one can play your role better than you.

So - be yourself.

You are the best." 

~ Author Unknown


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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Pollinators and Fire Smoke


With the recent fire epidemic in the US a lot of smoke was produced for everyone. You may have been in one of the communities affected where air quality warnings were issued. Perhaps you had to shut your windows because the smell bothered you, or it was bad enough to avoid being outside at all. If you were in the epicentre you probably had breathing gear on. 

Have you ever stopped to wonder what happens to bees and other wildlife? They are my first thought. The innocents. The animals, the precious flora and fauna, the delicate butterflies, the eggs in nests, the young ones, the ones that can't run or fly away.... Tragic. Just tragic. Not to mention the forests themselves. The diversity. The environmental impacts to come. 

Thankfully there are thousands of organizations out there that work for pollinators, bee and butterfly organizations, bird and wildlife rehabilitation centres, tree planting and native seed supply organizations. Numerous organizations also support fire fighting efforts and the first responders. If you can, please do get involved in this in anyway you can. Donate to support their efforts. Drop by their "shops" to see what might be a nice gift come holiday season. Any and all of our collective efforts can help, including changing your own yard or balcony or front step area to become a little green oasis that produces food and flowers too. Doing this can help local bee keepers a great deal, ensuring a local food and honey production.

I'd love to pass on this article on how smoke in the air affects bees, some great advice on what to do in this situation, and a few linked resources at the end of the article:

We've personally attained bee, wildlife and butterfly certification for our yard due to the efforts we put in over the last 10 years converting this property, including the balcony, to a little green oasis. Every season has us increasing or improving the plantings. For instance we built a bed for our blueberry plants and also for an asparagus planting (10 plants).

The bees absolutely love their flowers. We did try planting some sedum around the blueberries but the sedum just took over the surface and so we removed it from that spot. Sedums produce flowers that all kinds of pollinators enjoy. We also doubled the size of the wildlfower zone we started on the street side, under a large evergreen tree - where some of the sedum was transplanted. Dave built us 9 flower boxes that were filled with flowers and herbs for the outdoor sitting area we created out of a former parking spot. We do the best we can with what we have... and hope it inspires others. That's all we can do. 


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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Adopting new furry family members

Adopting New Fur-Family Members !!

Today we celebrate the adoption of two new fur-kids. It is a very interesting story how this all came about. After the loss of our Skyla, Duchess fell right into senior mode more than ever. Duchess began showing more signs that the 10 years she's lived is getting her a bit tired. She wants to sleep more, do less, and keep to herself... except for food and cuddles. 

So when it came to looking for new dogs we determined we should get two, so that Duchess will not be bothered by the young energy as much - the young ones would play together rather than bother her. Sadly for weeks we scoured local shelters, then broadening our research to up to out of Province (Alberta and NwT). Only the northern shelters had dogs coming up and so transport logistics were going to be an issue. The other shelters had older or aggressive dogs - not what we were looking for.

Then, all of a sudden, two dogs came available locally - within days of each other. These were re-home dogs, as opposed to shelter adoption. Their families just could not keep them anymore. 

One was from a nearby community and she is a 1 year old Kelpie-Shepherd cross. Beautiful, golden angel, but major high energy and the strength of an ox. We decided to name her Nimway (which means " Lady of the lake "). We learned that as she is a year old, we could transition her to adult food. Just a few days later we adopted another 6 month old puppy that ended up being a Kelpie-Collie cross. We thought that was neat - them both being young, re-home cases, available within an couple hour drive and Kelpie crosses. Interesting, yes?

We decided that since the original name of the 6 month old had a native Indian name that meant peaceful water... we renamed her Sabrina which translates roughly to "peaceful river P

Some time passed before we learned that the word 'Kelpie' comes from the celtic language and means: water spirit. 

So the two dogs are water themed from every direction! - "But do they like water?" we wondered. Yes. Nimway is fascinated with the garden hose, spray nozzles, shower time... lol And Sabrina is very playful around water too. About 10 days after adopting them, they got their first bath here... and they loved it!

But the interesting connections don't stop there... Interestingly all three of our dogs are royalty. Duchess, the Lady and the Princess :)  

Kinda cool how that all ties together, hey? 

They have settled in, had their vet check ups and one was spade and had a small hernia repaired at the same time. The transition and vet related anxiety - energy is still high but that will fade in time. Right now we are just trying to keep them from playing so the little one can heal. Then we can get back to some structural training around the house, a little more introduction to the leash and threshold training. 

Its a lot of energy here. Some stressful and sleepless times too. And expensive month :). The vet visits, the operation, the medications, the new toys and 3 different bags of quality food (puppy, adult, senior). However they've brought laughter back in the house. Dave mentioned to me that he was so glad to see me happy again and I realized then how much the impending loss of our Skyla weighed so heavily for more than a year. Yes, I'm finding joy again and feeling a little of the weight ease off my chest. These little bundles of squiggly kisses are bringing me into a new frame of mind for sure :)


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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day 

"Grief never ends...

But it changes.

It's a passage, 

not a place to stay.

Grief is not a sign of weakness.

Nor a lack of faith...

It is the price

of love."

Author Unknown

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Recommended Resources

Recommended Resources

As many of our loyal readers are already aware, this genre of blog posts offers recommended resources, typically 3 at a time, that may benefit or at least interest our readers. 

Today I'd like to start by thanking Jessica Baker (Junior Content Marketing Specialist with who queried us about sharing this amazing resource designed to help people with natural disasters, in particular during the hurricane season. It lists what you should do before, during and after a major storm like a hurricane and is a valuable resource. 


National Wildlife Federation offers this interesting piece on how to attract birds to your back yard: 


And here's an amazing grant for attaining seeds for flowers that will support bees!

The Pollinator Partnership organization and Flow Co. are proud to partner in support of Bee Friendly Farming Certification. Using funds generated from sales of the Flow Pollinator Bee House to develop a Native Seed Grant for current and new Bee Friendly Farming Certified members. The grant will provide up to 3 pounds of region-specific native seeds sourced from the Applewood Seed Co. The application period will be open for the month of October, closing on Saturday, October 31, 2020. 

* Awardees must agree to plant the seeds by the end of the year 2021. Along with this, P2 and Flow require that applicants submit photos and a short write up about their operations, thoughts on BFF, how the seeds will be used, etc. This will be shared with both Flow and P2 communities via newsletters, website features, and social media.

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Author Interview

Author Interview

One of my favourite activities here on this blog is to host author interviews, and today I have the pleasure of featuring Karin Thompson ( who has recently published a somewhat religious memoir that she hopes will help victims of abuse begin healing, take back their life, and overcome negative habits they've developed - often as a defence mechanism.

Q: It is really nice to have you here today Karen! I know you've recently released a christian-themed inspirational aide book but what I'd really like to learn today is more about your journey as a writer. Tell us, who inspired you to pursue a career in writing?

I wanted to share my life story and to encourage others. This inspired me to write and help others. I had no idea where to start and even how to go about it. But God placed people across my path that we can help me. It is utterly amazing. I write about what I know and subjects that will help others. I wrote mostly on the weekends and over time the book was done.

Q: You mentioned the desire to help others and make a difference; how does writing help you make a difference in the world?

I like to encourage and motivate people. I would like to think that my books help people to cope with their lives better and to also get answers to form questions they have. I offer Christian advice and prayers of comfort to those in need. In my book My Journey To Enjoying My Life, I shared how I overcame an abusive past and I hope that this will help others to see that they too can learn to live a normal healthy life. That their past does not have to keep them back from a bright future. In my book Encouragement for the Weary Soul, I write to the person who is struggling with problems and needs help and advice. I read a lot myself and have found books are truly a wonderful source of answers and help. I wanted to add mine to that list.

Q: What do you do when you are not writing?

I do a fortnightly blog post which goes out on my newsletter. I offer short motivations on FB and Instagram during the week. 

I also love to read, take walks and be with my family. Family is especially important to me and I love spending time with my three grandchildren.

Q: What gave you the idea for this latest book?

I saw that so many people were depressed over their past and were stuck in a time warp in their lives. I know how hard it is to break free from tormenting thoughts and patterns that have been learnt. I wanted to reach out and mother each person with help and advice how to overcome this and raised above it all and become the best you that you can be. I wanted to offer hope and encouragement to hurting people. We live in such a complicated world and people get so hurt by others, I want my books to be able to help others find peace and joy in their lives.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your non-fiction books?

I have found that most people read novels – fictions. The non-fiction market seems smaller. I have had to do lots of marketing to advertise my books as no one knows who I am. This can prove to be expensive and challenging. There is a lot to learn and the journey only starts once you have published. It is a giant learning curve. Learning what journey is best for your book sales and what is not.

Q: How do your friends and family feel about your writing venture in general? 

I have been so blessed my family and friends support my work. They have brought my books and have encouraged me. It seems so strange to see my books at my friends’ houses. They often contact me and let me know how much it is blessing them as they read it. The support is so encouraging, and I am so blessed to have it.

Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?

I love a good movie. I enjoy the outdoors – a nice walk always makes me feel great. Relaxing with a coffee and a good book is also one of my favourite things to do. 
Q: What is the best advice you were given about writing?

Do not hurry, let it flow. 

When no thoughts come just pause and leave it, walk away from it. 

Take a pause break, the work always comes back in time.

Get a great editor to check your work. Pay the money needed for a great editor it will be worth it in the end.

Q: What is your most embarrassing writer moment?

Having to redo my book because spelling mistakes were found. This was so hard and embarrassing. I had check it repeatedly and never saw the spelling errors. Now I have an editor that does this for me.

Q: What business challenges have you faced as a writer? 

Selling my book. Learning how to market and get my name known.
I have had to create a website. It was hard at first to put myself “out there”. I am normally a private person but with my book, I had to join different avenues to market my book and sell it.   The book needs to continually be promoted. Writing it seems the easy path but getting it out into the  world seems harder to me

We invite our readers to check out Karin's Facebook and Instagram pages to connect with her and learn more. Thanks for dropping in for this interview, Karin!

...For those of you reading this, wondering if we might consider interviewing you... we just might. Send a query our way. :)

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

The weight of grief

-- Pet Grief Poem --

Today I'd like to share with you a poem that Dave's dad Frank Nick Brummet wrote when we were grieving our first dog Skylo. Yesterday's post shared the journey we underwent with our grandma dog Skyla. Yes the names are similar. After Skylo passed on nearly 13 years ago, we found Skyla in the paper a few months later - listed as available through the local SPCA. It felt like a sign - the similarity in names... and so she joined our home 12 years ago. This poem, however, is about the previous dog. Weirdly, since poetry has always been my emotional outlet,  I've never been able to write one about the heavy grief from pet loss as it hits me far to deeply. I can tell you it sits on your chest like an elephant's foot, each breath burns deep in the chest and the world becomes fuzzy and grey while your focus is on grief. It fades somewhat with time, but the pain resurfaces at the most unexpected times. Skylo's passing was shocking - as he darted after a cat just before his leash could be attached and a speeding driver hit him causing irreparable damage. I'll never forget the look he gave me; Skylo looked at me with compassion and love, "don't be mad" he asked, and then tried to comfort me. After Skylo's passing, I couldn't even look at his picture for many years. His ashes lay on a hill we used to hike with him on, his favourite. ...Onyx, the abused child I tried to fix, his ashes are spread on the lake we loved to camp at and around our home... Skyla's ashes have joined him around our home. Now we have a collage of photos of all our pets hanging in our house and I celebrate them all.  So because I couldn't write about it, and because Dad could... he presented us with this gift - expressing the grief in a way we could not, and this aids us still.   I share this today because, once again - I cannot write about the heavy grief I feel over the loss of Skyla... and so, Dad, (who is no longer with us) - your words behind comfort us still. Love you Dad. 

Skylo - Stay!

He was only a dog, people will say:
Why are you grieving all of the day?

Ask the woman who sits and cries
Never again to see those adoring eyes,
Eyes that could sense her every mood,
Silently reminding her to serve the food.
He was her protector, would give up his life,
Her solace, her comfort in times of strife.

Ask the man on the hiking trail 
How much he will miss that curled-up tail
That beckoned him on around each bend,
Never thinking it could suddenly end.

They said they owned him, but he owned them.
Trained them to cater to his every whim,
Yet he loved them as only a dog can love:
Completely, as constant as the stars above.

Then a speeding driver cut short his days,
Struck him and killed him and drove away.

Now he lies in peace on a quietly hill
Where Dave and Lillian visit him still,
Where grasses sway as the evening breeze
Whispers softly among the trees.
The non-believers could never know
How it pains to lose a friend like Skylo.

We miss you forever Skylo, my handsome prince.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

celebrating Skyla

Celebrating Skyla

Skyla came to us as a puppy 12 years ago - rescued by the BC SPCA from a puppy mill in Prince George... sadly during that rescue only a few puppies and dogs were in a state that the SPCA could save, a lot were put down. Skyla was emancipated, had a heart murmur, worms, and a sensitive-afraid-needy nature... she survived by eating other dogs' poops and any dropped snacks she could find. She was just 4 months old and barely filled in a tile on our kitchen floor.  She was my baby, my fur-child. ...Always at my feet in the office. ...When she was young I was still running the radio show and you could hear her chewing her squeaky toy and doing her best to keep my attention. Talk about me learning multitasking skills, lol. 

She joined us camping, hiking, mountain biking on the old railway beds, snowshoeing in the winter, pacing by the lake edge while we played in the water... she never did like getting wet or dirty or messy and always avoided puddles when we walked. She was by my side in the garden always playfully wanting to see what is ripe. She loved to play, watch and chase butterflies and brightened up our neighbourhood with her crazy vocal greetings to those she knew. She helped poor Onyx - a dog we once had that was considered "unadoptable", but she helped him become a somewhat normal dog. He learned to play, what to do with toys, how to greet people - all because of her. 

She was always so sensitive about being left alone and her big brother Onyx, and later her little sister Duchess helped her with that. Her little tummy was so sensitive that, well, we've owned a carpet cleaner since her adoption. 

She loved her little kitty, looked after her toy lamb like a baby and yodelled her conversation to us regularly. Yodelled her "Where were you?" when Dave came home from work or a gig... followed by (if he was gone a long time): "You were gone soooooo looong!" She always yodelled this same way every time and seemed to know when Dave was on his way home even though this varied. 

Despite all the best care, medication, getting a ramp for the car and special beds... it was time. At the end she was losing weight, became unbalanced, weak, and fell on the stairs... and we knew it was time to let her go. The most difficult phone call to make is that one. Her last days were spent mainly sleeping and getting all the treats and favourite meals and lots of cuddles. The local vet office came to our home and Skyla was calm and sleepy on her bed while they gave her the shot. She just fell asleep in Dave's arms. And I folded into grief. Her loss, like all our previous fur kids, will never be forgotten. 

Peace be with you my little baby. 

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Blog starts up again :)

--- Blog Starts Again -- 

Thank you everyone for continuing to visit the blog during the fall break I took for myself.

It has been one heck of a busy year for us, and the epidemic has - like most of us - affected our business greatly. We completely shut down in April and will now open Nov. 1st. At one time we were planning for Sept, then Oct 1 but we kept hearing that there were problems with the spread and so, to play a positive role, we remained closed.

This year we spent a great deal of time on home projects, business plan review, manuscript work and media appearances. On the home front, it involved: installing a living room and new bathroom fan, creating a privacy screen area for the hot tub, created a new sitting area where the (sold) camping trailer once sat. We built an asparagus bed, extended and organized the garden shed and built a few more support trellises for the gardens. After replacing the entrance gates and repairing the front steps, the long chore of painting the siding began.

I don't know if you noticed but we've had a lot of media coverage January - March... it's been great! You can see them via the Media page of our blog. In fact we updated all the blog pages and as you can on my FaceBook, if you're interested, I've posted quite a few resources for distance and online learning, kid-friendly activities, and tips for passing the time proactively. Use the "search" box located on the right hand side bar and check out articles posted on this topic this year if you are interested.

All the while, this year, we dealt with the impending grief and misery of watching our old grandma dog fade fast. We chose to let her go in the late summer and it wasn't until now that we realized how much grief was in our hearts all year; how heavily that grief weighed on us. Sadly our other dog has transitioned to being a senior and we are seeing all the signs of it now. Hopefully she will be with us another year or two. In October we lucked out and were able to adopt 2 puppies... and we found ourselves dealing with an abundance of garden harvests to process... all of which I'll talk about later this week. Also watch for author interviews and so much more coming up in the next few weeks :)

Anyway - as you can see... our lives have been somewhat hectic this year and taking time off from the office and the blog was an essential change for our mental health. I'm back on the blog as of today! So do send in your interview queries, article and poetry submissions, announcements... or just reach out to me and comment on the blog. I'm now available :)

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