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Triumph Over Adversity Becomes a Book--and a Book Tour in the "Purple Magic Schoolbus"

Imagine moving over 2000 miles, from a nice comfy city to into a completely unfinished farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in rural Ontario--with no electricity, flooded basement, broken septic system, roof leaking, no running water, no heat in the house. And instead of fighting rush hour traffic, you're facing wolves, cougars and bears.

You have 7 children ages 2, 4, 5, 10, 13, 14 and 15 years old; baby #8 arrives shortly.

To make matters more interesting, , your husband suddenly dies a few weeks later--and his life insurance just barely covered the burial. Would you have thrown in the towel?

The Goats In The Kitchen gang didn't. We won, against all odds! We learned how to do everything from how to mud up a wall, lay carpet, rewire our house, build kitchen cupboards, --and how to keep a bear off the porch, how to deal with 150 baby chickens that arrive the same day we do, and what to do with 5 goats in the kitchen at 2 a. m.

And when I wrote "Goats in the Kitchen, " the story of that experience, I needed to come up with some new, bright and innovative marketing ideas to promote our story.

In typical "tribal" fashion, the whole "gang" got in on it. We saved pennies to make dimes, and dimes to make dollars. After a few months, we saved enough to buy an old schoolbus. A couple more months of scrounging around and we turned this bus into an unusual tour-bus--a home away from home. From the youngest to the oldest crew member, everybody had fun helping. For the final touch, we collected leftover cans of car paint, ranging from bright red, ivory to blue, which we stewed together into a lovely shade of purple.

Then we had a family council to name the bus "Mother Goose"--so if you happen to see a purple school bus with the writing "Mother Goose on wings and prayers--then yes indeed, it is us! The lively cheery bunch from "Goats In The Kitchen."

The color purple is awesome--especially on an old schoolbus. Everywhere we go, it turns heads. Usually, people ask me about it before I even have a chance to offer some information.

Mother Author and six of her nine children are traveling all across the USA and parts of Canada promoting the book. The unique marketing aspect is that the entire family is involved. We believe that getting our family's story out there will help a lot of other people to persevere and gain the courage to overcome their own problems. So we offer talks and book readings to churches, libraries, schools, colleges and other groups. I've also made contact with some book-reader clubs, which purchased the book. We've all been on radio and in newspapers; we've even participated in a parade--and afterwards, the bus was a much sought after attraction at the fair, which helped sell a number of books. Instead of candy along the parade route we passed out business cards. My kids told people, ' if you love our bus you'll love our story'. We had so many people come onto the bus during the fair afterwards that I completely lost track after a while. Unfortunately we had only 50 books on board; we probably could have easily quadrupled the sales number if not more.

Of course, I've given numerous talks about never throwing in the towel, never giving in and never giving up.

All this publicity has an incredible ripple effect, as I am seeing e-mails streaming in almost daily and my son (now 19), who is at home babysitting "the mansion," is getting a lot of curious visits.

Mother Goose and her crew are having a fabulous time, touring through the mid-western and western United States. We've seen some really neat places: Mount Rushmore, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon. Unfortunately, Yellowstone was "fired out"--two of the entrances were closed when we got there--so we simply bypassed it. So far, our favorite place was hiking the "narrows" in Zion's National Park.

Want the magic purple schoolbus to stop by? Just contact Dorie Mactino, author of "Goats In The Kitchen" via e-mail at Learn more about "Goats in the Kitchen" at or at

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