Da Munks.

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I love chipmunks. Really what’s not to love?  To start, they’re part of the squirrel family – so duh I love them. They are ridiculously cute, tiny, furry, have pudgy cheeks, large glossy eyes, striped bums and bushy tails. And as if that’s not enough, they let you love them, pet them, hug them and squeeze them.  Here are my top 11 fascinating facts on why a Chipmunk deserves a place on the cover of my book.

  1. Chipmunks are the smallest members of the squirrel family. The smallest species weighs in at 1 ounce and reaches 7inches in length, while the largest can reach 4.4 ounces and 11 inches in length.
  2. A Chipmunk’s tail can reach 3 to 5 inches in length. I also find it the easiest way to identify individual chippers. For instant, Zordock’s tail is flat and wiry, Terry’s is long and slim, Stub’s is, well a stub and Veronica’s is like a Geisha’s fan.
  3. Fastidious, friendly and forward-thinking – one little chipmunk can gather up to 165 acorns in a day.
  4. Chipmunks enjoy fruits, nuts, seeds, mushrooms and worms. I’ve also found them to also love, coffee, potato chips and red wine.
  5. Chipmunks live in underground burrows. The entrance tunnel is up to 30 feet in length, leading to several chambers, including a nesting chamber, two food storage chambers, wine cellar and party room.
  6. Chipmunk’s front feet have four toes; the back ones have five…which make them particularly good dancers and prancers.
  7. Unlike squirrels that have no idea where they hid their nuts, chipmunks will stockpile up to 8 lbs of food to keep their family going throughout the winter.
  8. Chipmunk cheeks are made of stretchy skin and can expand to three times the size of its head in order to be able to stuff them with food. Standing peanut stuffing record held by Zordock Lowry – 4 double peanuts in his mouth – 1 held in his paw while scurrying away.
  9. A group of chipmunks is referred to as a “scurry”. Male munks are called Bucks, female are called Does and babies are known as Pups, Kits or Kittens.
  10. Chipmunks are loners except when they’re lovers. The male will embarrass himself to attract a female by high pitch chirps, croaks and bum wiggling. (sounds familiar)
  11. The chipmunk totem means that magic is afoot!  They bring gifts of creativity, honed intuition and trust. They embody the spirit of fearless exploration and play.
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Bunny Power

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There’s the power of positive thinking, the power of words, the power of three and the Power of love. But there is no greater power in this universe galaxy than that of the Power of Bunny; also known as Bunny Power.

Now be warned – this is not child’s play. This isn’t your average hop, skip and jump through fields of daisies on a sunny afternoon that barfs rainbows. We’re not talking Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail or Peter. No run-of-the-mill Thumper, Bugs, Harvey or Trix. Not even close to Alice’s White Rabbit, Monty’s Killer Bunny or Aesop’s Hare.  Even Roger, Fiver, Mr. Energizer and Heff’s bunnies don’t make the grade. We’re talking hardcore Bunny here. A Bunny, who laughs at lucky key chains, defiantly wiggles his whiskers at fur collars, and a Bunny whose middle name is Stu.

Bigger than Santa and better than Stupid Cupid. Hanging out long before JC did, our little furry friend is not only a symbol of fertility, but thanks to his prolific, inexhaustible regenerating prose, has also become the impetus behind the bump and grind rebirth of our earth at the Spring Equinox.  Never resting on the laurels of such paltry deeds, Pagan legend has it, that the goddess Eostre found a wounded bird in the snow, and to help the little bird survive the winter, she transformed it into a rabbit… magically the transformation was incomplete and the rabbit retained the ability to lay eggs. In thanks for its life being saved, the rabbit took the eggs and left them as gifts for Eostre.  And so TEB got his celebrity name.

I think the Easter Bunny rocks. He’s a Lagomorph among Rodentia. The trickster archetype, one of the twelve celestial animals in the Chinese Zodiac, and in Native American Ojibwa mythology – the Great Rabbit, is an important deity related to the creation of the world…hmm interesting. To me, he’s a snappy dresser with a generous nature for giving. A notorious lover with big feet, and of course those big ears. Which when you think of it form a peace sign, and that’s pretty powerful. But his power goes far beyond the miraculous task of turning eggs into chocolate. A divine symbol of good and giving, the power of Bunny is a gift he gives us all, just for believing in him. He is ever everlasting and omnipresent and once invited into your life, you too will experience a new beginning. Unlike other famous big wigs…The Bunny doesn’t ask anything of you – no rules or regulations to abide by, no bunny book to follow, no bunny place of worship. His dogma – hop if you’re happy, your prayers – to the Goddesses of chocolate, and The Bunny loves everyone – toad, orangutan, weasel and worm the same.  He is supreme and embodies quintessential magic. So I ask, do you believe in The Easter Bunny? I believe. And just like every spring, I am born again.

My Lifelong Love Affair with Rodentia.

 

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Well what can I say – I have a thing for bushy tails.

It all began quite innocently; in fact I was just a wee babe of 4 months old when my Mom set me out in the backyard in my stroller to catch some freckles in the summer sun.  Mom would tell me this story a thousand times.  “I left you for just 5 minutes to top up my G&T, to return and find three squirrels nuzzled up beside you in your carriage. I screamed fearing for your safety…but those three little squirrels just yawned in their sleepy bliss and tucked themselves further under your Yogi Bear blanket.”  Mom knew from that moment I would be a special creature.

Apparently it didn’t stop there.  When I was 5 years old, Mom was walking me to school and suddenly a feisty little red squirrel ran out from the bush and bolted up my tiny knee-socked leg, over my happy-face hot pants and stole a saucy kiss on my cheek.  Honest.  Like my Mom would lie?   And so began the legend of the squirrel whisperer child.

I didn’t share my secret relationship with squirrels, until much later in life; people already considered me an odd little waif. As a child I found great solace and camaraderie in my squirrel friends, they were so much chattier than my imaginary friends.  As a teen, it became harder and harder to hide, I mean I couldn’t sit on a park bench without a flurry of furry tails vying for my attention. There was Pablo who had a thing for my red patent shoes, Norman who like to rummage through my pockets and Russel who had the most melodic shrill of any squirrel I’ve ever sung with.  It was quite the scene and the bushes were a bustle with covert squirrel rendezvous – I honestly didn’t have time for a real boyfriend.

Years passed; pounds of peanuts and many ankle scratches later I found great fortune in acquiring my own little piece of magic land in the northern woods of Ontario. It was there that my fetish for fur ball kinship would develop into an other worldly realm. It was there where I encountered Crackhead Betty. Betty was a pigeon- toed, puffy-lipped red squirrel from the back woods ghetto. Known to the forest folk as a chest pounding, bushy tailed menace who would lie, cheat and steal your man for a cheap nut.  But I took to Betty and her wild woodsy ways. I had heard from my other forest friends (yea they speak to me as well) that she was left by her loser Mom at birth and spent most of her life alone without any love; so I made it my mission to tame that dame. It took time, trust and a few fisticuffs with a kamikaze fireball but one day we were just sitting on the step, chortling for hours, cracking peanuts by the pound, and low and behold she crawled up on my lap and took a squirrel snooze… the rest is history.  Betty became famous in those northern woods and a part of the Lowry family.  She even took residence inside the cottage one winter and often slept at the bottom of my bed only to wake me up with a brush of her scarlet tail in the morning before breaknutfast.

I could go on and on about stories that would curl your hair, but that’s enough revealing for now…us squirrel whisperers need to keep some things secret. I’ll just leave you with a little moral to this furry tale:  Always look far beyond the shell, for the hardest nuts to crack is where the sweetest love may dwell.

My Lust for Lists

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Hello my name is Patty and I am a list lover. I’m also a speed bunny who can run circles around Mr. Energizer. I’ll make this snappy because time is of the essence and I have ten million things to do…on my “TO DO LIST”!

The concept of patience is a mystery to me. I believe in the power of now…or better yet…yesterday…and quite often question what took you so long? My desires are imminent, immediate and my personality is such that I just want to know how to do, what I want to do, to get where I want to be NOW. Just give me the dirt, the 101, the short and sweet to the point ammo so I can get busy and make shit happen! I don’t have the luxury to leisurely contemplate the 50 possibilities of what I want to accomplish today. Time is a ticking and I want things done lickety-split. I’m a busy girl with a big bucket list, who takes multi-tasking, multi-manifesting and multi-managing to a whole other level. We’re talking triplicate of tiers to the power of 3, echelons of hierarchy, decoratively arranged in a fanfare of rainbow colour-coded post it notes.

I’m not completely sure why I feel this need to masterfully manipulate and maximize my time so to fit as much as possible in – other than I’ve witnessed how suddenly short life can be and I don’t want to waste a second

So a while back, during a time of “therapeutic healing” (aka total major meltdown), I found myself on a quest for answers. I desperately wanted to know how to get from point A to point B in the quickest, most painless and productive way. My coach suggested volumes of really excellent books averaging on 200 pages each, which would provide me with possible insights and inspiration. They made nice doorstops. I’d pile them high; neatly coloured coordinated of course and kick them from time to time. Who I ask has the time to read that much blabbity blab blab bla? No offense great minds and gurus but I needed help now. And it’s not because I am lazy, or I didn’t think they had value, it was simply my impatience and intolerance of the time I felt I would be wasting. I know… I know… it’s about the journey. So I shared my disdain for this laborious Herculean endeavor with my coach, begging her to provide me with something simpler, more immediate, more like Coles Notes and she replied quite simply – then you write it.   And so my journey began. A challenge to take one topic and simplify it into a meaningful and manageable list. That task has since snowballed into over 80 arenas of emotions; happy stuff and stressy stuff which now make up my book!

So to illustrate my point…I present you with the top 11 favourite expressions of an impetuous energizer bunny:

  1. KISS (Keep it simple stupid)
  2. Make a long story short.
  3. Just the facts Ma’am.
  4. Less is more.
  5. There’s no time to lose!
  6. What are you waiting for?
  7. So what’s your point?
  8. Hurry scurry little furry.
  9. Jump to it.
  10. Chop Chop Buttercup.
  11. Give it to me in a nutshell.

Let’s pretend I’m famous (cause duh one day I will be)

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Ever since I was little I wanted to be famous. Not the Kim Kardashian kind of famous or even Steve Jobs kind of famous. OK who am I kidding? I wanted full on Meryl Streep Oscar nominated fame.   For years, as a chronic insomniac I’d lie at night and daydream about being on Dave Letterman talking about everything and anything (I was his favourite guest). Talking to Dave helped me fall asleep, as well as gave me a sense that someone cared about what I thought. Yea I know I was daydreaming. And yes I also know it’s a little pathetic but it comes from a place of wanting to feel important, wanting to matter. I wanted to be acknowledged for doing something awesome. As time went by and producers weren’t knocking down my door, I decided that if fame wasn’t going to find me I would choose to create my own in the smallest of gestures every day.

So I am famous in my own mind. I walk the red carpet every day, given my winning Oscar speech numerous times and I’ve won Survivor Muskoka with the most blindsides ever in Survivor history. Oh and did I tell you about my island. You know my island, where once I’m famous I bring every single person I love who has helped me along the way to live in absolute nirvana. We’ll all get to be and do whatever we want! There will be a surf shop, beach bar, petting zoo, crafts room, organic farm, disco and a barn filled with handsome lumberjacks or ladyjacks or whatever it is you fancy! I talk about my island every day and my peeps can’t wait to come. Somehow I believe they believe it will happen…and it probably will. I go on rants and raves about topics that can change the world or simply shift the mood of a single moment and just because it isn’t captured on Entertainment Tonight doesn’t make it any less valuable or real. I declare random holidays like Love your Co-Workers Day and Red Wine Friday (well it’s every Friday). I’m famous for my dramatic interpretive dancing, my passion for potato chips, wild weekends at my cottage, scaring the bleep out of people, sipping whisky, squirrel whispering, animal costumes and my junk food smorgasbords…to name just a few.

Being famous isn’t about getting a star on Hollywood Blvd – it’s about reaching on your tippy-toes for your own star and owning it. It’s also not about needing someone else to award it to you – you just need to claim it. So shine a spotlight on what makes you unique, quirky, talented or especially goofy, geeky or great and claim your fame.

Patty Lowry – Brownie of the Year, 1969.

Confessions of a Warrior Princess

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Be prepared – the following is your official warning!

I am not delusional.  People who have known me for years can vouch for that. I just choose to skip to the beat of my own drum. I think “they” refer to it as eccentric – I just think it’s an exciting way to live!  I feel things really big. I see sparkles in light, animals speak to me, the wind whispers secrets and I can feel the vibration of energy like tsunamis. It’s just my nature, my connection with the universe and I am very grateful for it.

I believe in magic. Heck I believe in unicorns!  When I was little, my Dad would gather my sister and I every night under the chandelier (it was a cheap knock off from Woolco) and we would talk to the faeries. We’d tell them our wishes, happy thoughts for our friends and family; we‘d tell them our fears and then go to sleep knowing they were there to watch over us.  I still talk to the faeries; I just don’t have a chandelier, now they live in my squirrel lamp.

I was born into a really weird family. But then who isn’t? Thankfully I too was born weird. As a kid I struggled with language and learning. Happily my magical Dad told me to just make believe and make it up. And so I created a lot of fantastical things in my imagination; people, places and otherworldly and wordily possibilities.  Throughout this blog and most definitely throughout my book you will encounter words that I made up. Dad always said if you say them enough, people will start to use them. There is a glossary at the back of my book to help you unveil my Pattisms.

I suck at spelling. In fact I have no real affection for punctuation, periods or proper prose for that matter. Picture Jack Kerouac meets Dr. Seuss meets Alice in Wonderland and they get drunk. It’s a free-for-all wildly flowing and frolicsome joy ride infused with uninhibited artful expression of verbulation.  The lack of punctuation brings me peace.   So don’t expect it.

I am a life lover.  No, not a saccharine, fluffy Pollyanna-do- gooder type, more of a hard core Heidi marching up the mountain with some friendly goats to keep her company kinda gal.  Point is – I will always choose light over darkness – even when I’m stuck up to my neck in mud. So if positivity, hope and happy thoughts aren’t your cup of sugar beware – because you’re gonna get a big tablespoon of it.

And last but certainly not least because you’re crazy if you think I’m sharing all my secrets (like how to speak snerny berny) – but this much I know is true…everyone is scared, nothing is perfect or should be, and love really does conquer all.  Own you own light.

 

What’s it all about Elfa?

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Well gather around and I’ll tell you a little story!  For those who don’t know me well yet…Elfa is one of my nick names. It was born from my love of faeries, pixies and elfin folk in combination with my somewhat alfa female like prowess…..or what I prefer to call my “Warrior Princess” persona.

Anyhow without giving everything away…in a nutshell, my soon to be famous book  “How to Live like a Chipmunk and Other Tips on Living an Awesome Sauce Life” is a handy-dandy, cut to the chase, tell it to me simple, real life “how-to” guide for all the different situations that life throws at you.

I’ve created over eighty instructional lists for both happy and stressy life scenarios – everything from how to be vulnerable, brave, joyful, confident, and love yourself to coping with grief, anxiety and online dating!   Each and every experience being one I have tackled and gotten my badge for.

Each life situation is jam-packed with smart, sincere, sarcastic and saucy – awesome saucy, that is – sensibilities that are true to the core and straight to the point. Eleven points to be exact. Eleven because 10 steps are doable and one for good luck.

Inspired by the practical and productive panache of a chipmunk and driven by my lust for lists, my intention is to provide you sure-fire ways to tap into possibilities and choices on this adventure called life.

I’m crossing my fingers, toes, arms, legs and eyes that it will spark a smile, debunk the ordinary, amp up the extraordinary and offer up options to live your most Awesome Sauce life.

There’s tons more to share, and I promise I will, but for now I just wanted to give you the 101 on what to expect – but if you know me you should expect the unexpected!  I’ll go into more detail and even let you in on some of my secrets and tricks, trip-ups and happy endings as we wait together for this dream to come true.

I started writing this book 4 years ago, but in truth it’s my lifetimes’ worth of living and learning that I’ve put to paper.  The manuscript has been handed off to the Publishing Gawds and will be “loved & petted” for a month or so before we’re able to hold it in our hot little hands!  So until then, let’s have some awesome sauce fun and celebrate all the good things to come!