February 1. Chinese New Year and it’s day one post the Ultimate Blog Challenge. What have I learn? I am an old retired nurse. It goes to reason that old medical terminology would pop up in my mind. I’ve never worked in ICU, so never been on the Code team. I do know that they do a post mortem after each Code Blue whether it was successful or not. They analyze the chain of events, what happened, what went right, what went wrong, what they could have tried but didn’t, etc. It all adds to their experience and knowledge and hopeful better outcomes in future Codes.

I thought that it would be a good idea to do that periodically in our lives. It would be most helpful in or after a project, a class, a challenge. What a better time than today, a new year opening in front of me. My observation that I couldn’t write a post every day for the UBC was I didn’t have a plan for those hard days when I didn’t have time or energy. I will work out a plan for the next time. My plan today was to pay bills on the first of each month. That way I will not be late for any of them and be penalized. It’s a good plan. It’s do-able and I’ve done it.

Now on to the post mortem for last Saturday’s watercolour art class. I was totally bummed out, discouraged and fed up with myself. Yes, I am rather harsh with myself. I am impatient as well. I want to be a master painter in one class. And I am not after 3 classes. Damn! I’ve had 3 days to think and analyze things and I am pretty ok with making a mess of things. I wouldn’t have learned a bunch of important things if I hadn’t. What did I learn?

  • how to get a grid on my reference photos
  • edit the photo for composition and optimum light and shadow before printing
  • draw my composition completely before painting
  • brush boldly, not afraid of making mistakes. It’s how I can earn.

February 2. It seems forever since yesterday. Chinese New Year has come and gone. Someone asked me how I was going to celebrate. To tell the truth, I am not a fan of celebrating any occasion. I guess it comes with getting on in years and cynicism. It’s what is called a bad attitude. In my mind with what is going on in our country with the freedom fighter convoy and our premier stating that Covid-19 vaccines are not reducing the risk or the spread of Omicron, it is difficult to be in a celebratory mood. Perhaps it is just an excuse for me. I do have a bad attitude. I am too tired now to do a post mortem on that. I am going to fake it (good attitude) till I make it. I will order some Chinese take-out tomorrow to celebrate.

GONG HEE FAT CHOY – Year of the Dog

I am struggling for energy in the late afternoon, for most of the day actually. I envy those ever cheery, Eveready bunnies. Their spirits and energy never seem to diminish. I like to slap them sometimes. I’m joking, of course. Sometimes I wonder if I have chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. I’ve been like this for most of my life. My mother says as a child I complain of being tired and my head heavy. I’m still here so I guess I’ll just carry on. It’s the first day of a new year. I will jolly well march forward ho.

First, wishing everyone Gong Hee Fat Choy! happy new year in Chinese. Literally it means “greetings of riches”. Chinese New Year is not till February 16th. Lucky me, I get to celebrate New Year twice. It is the year of the Dog. Don’t ask me what it means. All I know is that the year of the Dog is most unlucky for people born in previous years of the Dog. Good thing I was born in the year of the Tiger.

I am not an expert on Chinese culture but I am Chinese. That makes me qualified enough to speak on some subjects. We are very superstitous. We clean house for the new year so we have space to receive. But we clean before and not on New Year’s Day. No sweeping because you might sweep out good fortune. No washing hair either for the same reason. You might wash fortunes away. I did vacuum today. Too much dog hair. But I will mark February 16th as a no clean day. Red symbolizes good fortune and joy. Money gifts are given in red packets. I like this idea of gifting. It does away with the shopping frenzy and the wrapping. Energy and joy are retained.

Like all cultures, we celebrate the new year with food. We wear new clothes, something red for females. I remembered that and wore my almost good as new red sweater today. We took my parents for dim sim at a new Chinese restaurant, the Asian Garden. My mother is always keen on trying new places and menus. It was perfect.  Only a stone’s throw away and the dining room surrounded by windows on the second floor. There was only one problem.  The dim sim menu was on an iPad in Chinese and English. It was new to us. We didn’t know to use it to order. They usually bring carts loaded with dim sims around to the tables. We could see what we get. The waiter helped us with the iPad but he spoke very fast. We let my mother order since she knows best. She is hard of hearing so there was a little mix up. But it was all good.

My blood sugar is running low. I am really struggling now. It feels like torture. I best go put some fuel in my tank. I think supper is going to be late.


I feel guilty sitting here, tap tap tapping on this 24th day of December – Christmas Eve. By all accounts aren’t I suppose to be busy cooking up a storm, celebrating and partying? At the same time, aren’t we supposed to observe the reverence of Jesus’ birth? To confuse the issue more for myself, I am Chinese. I was not born a Christian but to a culture of ancestor worship. Sometime and somewhere in my life, I saw Jesus on the cross. I followed that vision and was baptised in the Catholic Church. But I heard Buddha calling me also. I listened and liked what I heard.

I am confused but I don’t feel too bad about it. I’ve been listening to too many voices. I heard all their sayings and beliefs. Now, I know the best voice is my own. I’ve bathed in too many’s experiences and feelings. They are not my own. It’s time to shed them. Time to step into my own waters, my experiences and feelings. It is time to don my fineries and see how they fit. Will they wear well?

O Holy Night has been my favourite Christmas Carol since I was a little immigrant girl in Maidstone. It was before I was Catholic. I heard it sung by Susan, an older neighbour girl. She lived in the railroad station house across the highway from us. I thought her voice was heavenly. It was so pure and clear like that night. It is still my favourite. I love the beauty of the music and the lyrics. Whether or not I believe, it does not matter. How I celebrate or not does not matter as long as I am true to myself, as long as I am enjoying what I am doing and not hurting another.




What a better day to celebrate and rejuvenate oneself than on April 1st, the beginning of a new month?  Spring should be just around the corner, little green things should be shooting up from the ground.  But Nature is having a laugh at us, playing  an April Fool trick.  The sky is grey.  The ground cold, frozen and hard as a scorned woman’s heart.  This is more reason to kick up one’s feet, raise some dust and maybe hell and shout:  I AM ALIVE.  CELEBRATE!

I can do it.  I can be committed.  I can be joyful and fun.  I can still carry on.  I can still do the cheerleader thing…hip, hip, hipooray!  I can!  I can!  I can do The Ultimate Blog Challenge.  Today is the first day of re-challenging myself – again.  So what, if I stumble and fall again?  I can get up and dust myself off and start again.  Never give up!