February 5. Another Saturday morning watercolour class. It’s cloudy and warmer than yesterday though I don’t know what the temperature was in the morning. I do know that I am not feeling as spunky. I left for class a little earlier so I didn’t have to rush to get there on time. The streets were icy. I hit mostly green lights. We’re at the halfway mark at lesson 4. I was happy to hear that we were going to get a 2 week rest. The instructor was going on vacation – that is if things work out for her. I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest.

My painting of the little monk had a better reception from the instructor than me. She quite liked and praised it with none of the criticism of it that I did. We are indeed our own harsher critic. It does make me happy. It’s good to start the class of show and tell from each of us 5 students. We get to see each others’ efforts, the good and not so good. Our class today was on texture, how to make those marks – tree trunks, leaves, feathers, hair, etc. We had a practice on painting rocks and how the light hit them. Surprising how much pleasure I can get from a small exercise. I can’t say the same for mixing paint though. I heaved many a sigh over it but the exercise is invaluable.

It is now 5 pm. The temperature is-17℃ outside and -8.4℃ in the greenhouse. How fast the day goes. I did not ski today. It is good to have a day of rest, to let my body unwind.

February 6, 9:45 am – sunny, -14℃ outside, -11.5℃ in the greenhouse. It’s our sourdough pancake Sunday. Unfortunately or fortunately, we’re all out of bacon depending on how you look at it. At one time we were foolish enough to have bacon with our breakfast every morning for a whole year. I am sure we paid for it in one way or another – financially and health wise. Now we indulge only on Sundays until our supply from Farm 140 runs out. It ran out today. We got our pork in the fall. We are heading out there this afternoon for our beef supply. It will be a nice drive.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night but once I did, I got up only once. It works not to have my evening cuppa after 8 pm. Perhaps I should not take my calcium/magnesium till I’m going to bed. I kept falling asleep last night while watching the movie Munich, The Edge of War on Netflix. I enjoy movies on WW11. It’s a way of learning history. The movies show the worst and best of humans in those times.

It’s 3 pm. The sun’s disappeared pretty darn quick this morning. We’ve been out to Farm 140. We’ve had our ski. I can’t say it was pleasurable. It was work. We got to enjoy the set tracks in the park for only 3-4 days. Then it’s been snowing every few days. Today was one of those days. We had to reset the tracks ourselves. Not an easy task to dig them out under the blown snow. We hope to get the city groomer to come again soon. Meanwhile – we smile the while and ski the best we can.

City groomer setting ski tracks – January 28th.


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.


January 15, day 15 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. The half way mark. Do I have it in me to do the second half? Today is just as hard as yesterday. I woke up at 3 am. My nose was as dry as all get up, my tongue thick and furry. I could hardly swallow. I’m thinking allergies. Damn that snow mold! We’re having melting temperatures after some very frigid days. Then I wonder if it could be the coronavirus. I got up to wet my mouth and squirt some salinex nasal spray and went back to bed.

Luckily I got back to sleep. In the morning, just to be sure I did a rapid test. I was pretty sure I am negative but I have an in-person watercolour art class today. I want to be responsible and be sure and not risk other people’s health. I tested negative. It was still a relief even though I am triple vaccinated. I could relax and go to my class without worry.

Being in the classroom again is one of the things I missed in 2021. Before Covid I had an aerobic class Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I had swimming on Saturdays. I attended an adult learning class once a week at the University of Saskatchewan. Yes, I missed them, the exercises, the in-person learning and the people. I am happy that I had signed up for the art class way back in December. Of course, I had morning jitters, wishing that I hadn’t. It was signer’s regret but I got quickly over it once I arrived at the studio. Today there was 5 of us plus the instructor, all masked.

I didn’t pull off any master pieces. I was learning the basics of watercolours. What’s good, what’s not. What to cheap on and what not to. Definitely get good paints and paper but you can cheap on brushes. We practiced a few brush techniques and how to mix colours. I like the instructor. She’s a good teacher. I learned that I missed talking in 2021. I found myself talking quite a bit in class -asking questions. Maybe it was just an excuse to talk. It surprised me. It felt good.