Saturday, August 1, 2015


I recently have gone through an experience where I realize I definitely had a communication problem.  It involved having work done in my backyard.  It did not end well at all.  There were clues at the beginning which I failed to recognize or recognized but continued on.  Anyway the result has been that six weeks later I don't have what I had hoped to have accomplished,  and the business relationship ended on a rather sour note.

A friend and I were having a discussion yesterday about how you seem to need to continue to learn lessons even though you think you should have learned them long ago.

And having spent four years as a consultant and many years on the executive of a volunteer organization I had to be very careful in my communication.  And as a teacher, one obviously has to be very clear in ones expectations.  In personal relationships, in the past I have had a tendency to  pretend a series of things didn't bother me when they really did, and then let my frustrations boil up and then tell someone off.   And this really is not that effective.  It is a pattern that I have worked hard to change.  I have also learned that we seldom know someone else's whole story so to perhaps give people a bit more slack at times as well.

But then with this project I saw myself end up back in that pattern, where I waited patiently outside but not inside for someone to continue a project which he did not I think ever really want to do it. His son needed some summer money so I think that is why he did quickly take my garage down but then nothing else basically happened for six weeks as he went on holiday etc.

Sometimes I realize I  also look for an easy way out.  "You know a good carpenter, great!"  And honestly that has sometimes worked out perfectly, but this time it did not.

So that is life, live and learn…or at least try!  And regarding my backyard, this is a first world problem-at least I have a backyard, and lesson learned is to be clear in your communication and expectations, and try to sense a communication problem right at the beginning!  And deal with it then!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


A friend phoned the other day, who hadn't recently talked to, and he asked me what I had been doing. I said I have been taking art lessons. Of course I do other things, but that was the first thing I could think of.

It started when I went on a cruise from Brazil to Miami and I took watercolour classes on board ship. I hadn't done anything like that in years and I found myself really enjoying it.

Next, back home, I signed up for a water colour plain air workshop, which other than having a friend for company, was a total disaster. I felt way over my head.

But I don't give up easily. I decided to take a watercolour course drawing flowers. I loved it so much that I signed up for a second class and convinced a friend to do so as well. Each week we got to go to the nearby botanical gardens and paint and learn about painting with a lovely group of people. I wasn't so good at practicing when I wasn't there but I tried.

A friend saw a one day workshop on botanical drawing at the other botanical gardens. I heard the instructor was knowledgeable and nice, so I decided to do it as well. One good thing is I didn't even have to supply a pencil.

It was interesting and much more exact but I really found I learned more about what is involved in drawing a flower. I also not sure I really like six hour classes!!! Notice I seem to confine myself to drawing flowers. Small steps...

There are always brilliant people in these classes who really draw well but they are usually quite self critical. I am not a brilliant artist but I think I am improving and my friends on Facebook are always very encouraging. That really helps!

I bought some very small note cards and wonder if I will ever have a completed card I can actually give some one. Photography is certainly easier though I did take lessons many years ago but now I just use an iPhone, no need for different lenses etc. I just have to look carefully as you do as well when you paint and draw.

I am still not good at practicing. I took piano lessons for seven years and didn't much like that part. Of course, I actually wanted art lessons, and so here I am many years later doing just that.

I keep wondering if I will end up back in piano lessons or try to learn to play the ukulele or something. Maybe I will take paddle boarding lessons. Anything is possible. I am currently considering a Mayan cooking class...Sometimes people say I should give courses on how to be retired. I could teach you how to stretch a half hour walk into a couple of hours...But I taught a long time and learned lots along the way but right now I kind of am focused on just learning, and stretching just a bit.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

An invitation

I have always lots of ideas for this blog but not usually when I am on my computer!  I also have been quite diligent lately on my other blogs, My Beautiful Vancouver Blog and My Travel Blog.  I really love taking pictures and like to take people along on my travels virtually, far or near.  I plan to get back to work on this blog but meanwhile please feel free to check out my other blogs.