It’s day 4 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. 24 more days to go. I’m counting the days already. It shows that I’m not a planner. I haven’t laid out all the steps. I am a wing-it kind of a girl. I feel overwhelmed every day. You think that would prompt me to change. I hate change but it’s not too late to do it. Like the saying goes, it’s never too late until it’s over. I’ve always been a late bloomer.

I was 8 years old when I came to Canada. I had to start school all over from grade 1. I already had my grade 2 in Hong Kong but I didn’t know any English. The teacher had me stay in at recess to get me started. Her name was Miss Woodall. She had chin length reddish hair which she wore in a page boy. I remember she favoured wearing sweater sets and dirdle skirts. I think that was the style of the day. She used a picture book to teach me English words. I had trouble pronoucing words like roof and detour.

I did catch up one grade, taking grade 2 and 3 the next year. They thought I was smart and had a talent for drawing. When I graduated from high school, I was encouraged to go to university instead of secretarial school. I majored in fine arts and literature. I dropped out after 2 years and went to secretarial school. I worked as a steno for a few years, got bored and went into nursing. Through all my working years I talked about my big dream of being an artist. I had some great art teachers. I basked in the light of being in their classes. Meanwhile I did nothing else to realize my dreams.

I can understand the psychology of it now. It is much safer to talk about it. I can’t fail something I didn’t work on. But after many decades, I realized it was ridiculous to keep up that stupid chatter. In 2016 I finally stopped talking about it. I started making a little art each day for the100dayproject. And the rest is history. And I’m learning from my own history that it is never too late to change or to start something. The clock is ticking for all of us. I do not need it to overwhelm me. I will/can continue to block and blog away for another day.


Another morning coming down. Thank goodness I’m back to sleeping again. One sleepless night and I feel like hell in a handbasket. I’m still in recovery mode even though I’ve had 2 good night’s sleep. It makes me wonder if damage from sleep deprivation is irreversible. No point in crying over lost sleep. I best mosey along as best as I can. Good thing I’ve developed some good habits this past year. They come in handy on days like these. You know my rote my now. I’m probably boring you to tears if you’re still reading.

Life is a repetitive action – taking one breath after another, putting one foot in front of the another. You get up, dress up and show up no matter what. There’s no other way of doing it. So that’s what I’m doing. Sometimes I don’t know what to do after showing up. I get up, pace around, maybe make another cup of tea. This morning I cleaned the bathroom before another cup of tea. Has to be done. I saw the need. And I did it. That is one of my operatives this year. If I see the need I do it if I have the time. Otherwise it will be …later babe. We know later never comes.

I feel sleepiness tugging at my eyes. I will get up in a little while and do my qigong. No matter how tired, wired or wretched I feel, there is something I can do to help myself to feel better. Sometimes it takes more effort than others. You just have to give yourself a little/big push. That’s life. See what I can do when I pushed through my fatigue and distress. I could have just wasted all that negative energy fretting over my inability to sleep. Instead I channelled it into  making art.

I have gotten up and stretched and breathed through my qigong routine. Amazing how stiff I was. No doubt much of it due to tension from fatigue. Enough. Tomorrow is another day.


Day 240 -March 25, 2017 @11:02 am

It’s Saturday, my favourite day. It was sunny but the clouds have come. I am enveloped in grey – perfect for having regrets and disappointments. How do I draw or paint it though? These days I am caught up in a whirlwind of emotions of excitement of discovery and melancholia of vulnerability and impermance. There are things I have absolutely no control of. We talk of acceptance but it is no easy to come by.

I am regretting that I did not go for my Saturday morning swim. It’s the only time that I am most guaranteed a lane of my own. It’s my zen moment of the week. Why didn’t I go? My body cried for not-going- anywhere time. It yearned for time to laze in the morning sun, perhaps to read a few pages, to sketch at leisure. I had to choose. Sometimes my mind is in a frenzy of choices. So. I. Just. Stayed. Put.

Regret and disappointments are human traits. We have that ability to cast our eyes and minds back, regretting and feeling disappointed with ourselves, others and choices. It’s hard to stop yourself. My different today is recognizing that and accepting. It’s okay to regret and feel disappointed but Don’t. Just. Stay. There. Go forth. What was it that I wanted the time for instead of swimming?

My morning sketch at leisure. Reading a few pages. Being here in this moment, tap, tapping out a few words. It’s been difficult to show up. The game is if I fall, wander off the path, to come back again and again to this – my life, words, and loves.

MAKING DIFFERENT – Day 229 in a year of….

Day 229, March 14, 2017@2:09 pm

DASU4902These days, it’s hard to bring out the paint and the words. Things do not flow but I still stutter, dab and poke along. A sentence is strung. A picture evolves. Some seeds are planted and some are ordered. I have learned to love this process of eking, drip dropping. I am not at a standstill. I am making progress like the tortoise. There is no need to rush. The finish line will come soon enough.

I am learning to reframe, review and widen my lens in this year of doing different. It’s so easy to fall back into easy and same olds. It’s equally easy to do a different thing. It’s easy to do the same in a different way. The hard part is being mindful and staying the course. The thing to remember is we are all the same. We all struggle. No one is perfect. We all fall off the path. It’s the falling that wakes us. It’s an opportunity to learn and change.

day 1I’ve been obsessed with making art this past year, starting with a 100 day challenge of making art every day. Here’s my day 1. I went the whole 100 days, making little arts and then bigger ones. A year later, I’m taking some online classes. They have helped immensely. Now I can talk the talk and walk the walk. I’ve been just talking about my passion for 30 years or so.

Whatever I learn from making art, gardening and whatever…all help to make a better me. Making, doing different keeps us from falling asleep at the wheel. It energizes and motivates me. I learn to see with different eyes, listen with different ears and speak with different softer words. Here’s some of my wonky creations with left hand and sometimes with eyes closed.


From doing different, I am different – capable of making wonky art.

NOTHING IS EASY – Day 189-193 in a year of…

Day 189 – 193, February 4 @1:42 pm

img_9114Nothing is easy – even drawing simple palm trees. I’m working with pastels and charcoal, trying to bring out the natural and free flowing stuff in me. It’s not working. Nothing comes ‘naturally’ – for me. I will have to practice and practice some more. Isn’t there a rule stating it takes 10,000 deliberate efforts to perfect something? I still have 9,999 tries.

I gave up art after my 2nd year of university because it didn’t come at all like I though it would. I didn’t get as far as throwing any paint on a canvas. I loved my drawing class and my teacher, Dorothy Knowles. I loved the feel of charcoal on paper, trying to capture the human form. We had live nude models, male and female. It was quite something for a small town girl like myself. Not having confidence in myself, that was the only art class I took the first year. It was wonderful. Dorothy invited us to her home for wine and cheese after the last class. We met her artist husband, William Perehudoff and their young daughter, Catherine. Many years later I took an introductory watercolour class from her. I had a great introduction, telling her that I met her when she was just a toddler.

I never realized and appreciated the gifted teachers I had. Bill Epp taught my summer session sculpture class. I never understood nor made great scuplture that summer. But Bill was memorable to me as a very kind and personable teacher. He invited us to his farm after the end of the class. It was socializing and eating. I don’t remember him showing us his work. Of course, it’s been quite a few years.

I dropped out after my second year of university. The years since then have been mostly talking about my dream of being an artist but no mark on canvas or paper. What I have accumulated over the years was art supplies for some day. That some day started last spring. It’s handy that I have material at hand when I finally saw the light. I am practicing and practicing. It isn’t easy but I’m doing it anyways – one day at a time.