Trying to Settle Down

Oh wow … I skipped through all of July without blogging !

I think I’m getting old … I can’t keep up with all the activities any more … I tried quick posts on Facebook and Instagram – the new technology for the year, and that worked for a while but I think even that is falling behind now …

Anyway, in a nutshell … 

We had an unexpected trip to Trinidad at the beginning of summer, and then three weeks later flew across to San Diego, California for a soccer tournament.  We stayed an extra couple of days so the boys could see more of California … 

  So our routines have sort of flown out the door, and we’re not quite ready to settle back down yet … 

Tin will be starting his senior year in high school … aaarrghhh!! really???  senior already?  Maybe I’m the one who’s not ready for it.  He doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, which drives me crazy, because there’s so much to put in place before the school year starts!  And .. he’s finally got his license!  No, that’s not his car – he’s just sitting in it! 😂my stress level and blood pressure has been up these past few months, and now that he can drive out on his own, it’s double-double pressure … and no, he’s not bothered by it, because of course, this euphoria of being able to drive around on his own, with friends, anywhere, is ultimate freedom … *sigh* what to do?


So, I’m going to make myself settle back in a routine … and we’ll start that with working on the blog again, if for no other reason is that it makes me sit and write – or I should say, type.  There’s something about the fingers on the keys and the clicking of the keyboard, isn’t there?  Sometimes, I just want to re-type a page or two of documents just to type and exercise my fingers. Yeah, weird … 

I’ll work on a photo recap of the summer up till now .. That will also give me a chance to sort through the thousand and more photos that I took these past few months …

Have a good weekend, all !




Finally! Hot weather! 

Well, here in Trinidad and Tobago, it’s hot … reellll hot, as they would say. 

We had an unexpected and unplanned trip … Tin was asked to come down and try out for the national soccer u-17 team, so here we are. So far, it’s been a lot of hard work and practice in the heat and humidity, but he’s holding up. 

They had a break from the training over the weekend, so of course, that means … beach! 

And of course … a little game of beach soccer! Can’t get away from it 😏

And where was I? Under the umbrella of course … yarning! 😁

Oh yes … time to relax … 

Have a good summer, everyone! 

Looking for Inspiration

During my last trip to the DRC, I had been inspired by the traditional masks and arts and crafts to work on a big piece, which I usually don’t do.  But since that turned out so well, I decided that I was going to do another one, and came prepared with all the pens that I thought I would be using.

As you probably know, you can’t force inspiration.

I knew that I would be doodling or scribbling at some point during the trip.  But as I looked around for inspiration, I couldn’t find anything that I liked.

I started working on this, with a plan that I would just fold the poster paper again, and work on a panel with whatever designs I come up with.  Except that my OCD brain kicked in, and said that it had to be the same on all four panels.  Oh well …

Freehand, out of proportion, and a little off-center.  Maybe it won’t look so bad once it’s all filled in.

Meanwhile, in my little sketchbook, I had also started some doodles, and putting some ideas to paper to see how it would look.

And that’s when inspiration hit … 

See those flowers?  I got them from the bed runner … and came up with the squiggly lines for the leaves … and realized that I could draw these up on the poster paper too …

So I flipped the paper over, and started drawing …

And there it is … the inspiration for my next DRC masterpiece …

Can’t wait to see how this one ends up …


That Crazy Lady with the Camera 

That’s what they seem to be saying, as I take some quick shots. 


‘Yeah, remember her? She’s back again and taking endless snapshots of us. ‘

‘Let’s glare at her … Maybe she’ll go away. ‘

‘Nope, she’s still there.  Let’s just turn our backs and walk away. ‘

One of a Pair

Before I arrived in the Congo, my colleagues came across a table in the office cafeteria selling arts and crafts, and liked a pair of handmade slippers. None available was in their size and so the seller took their foot measurements to make them each a pair. They paid their $20  and left. 

Coming back a week later, we went to pick up their slippers. 


There was a long moment of silence as my colleagues looked at the slippers. 

“What’s wrong with it?,” I asked. 

“It’s not the same colour,” they said. 


“I wanted the yellow one that they had the first time. ”

Oh ok. Guess she didn’t specify that she wanted the same yellow ones. 

“Ok. So what about these? You don’t like them?” I asked. 

“No! They don’t even match!”

Oh. Not seeing the original pair, I thought that was how they were sold and worn … Green for the left foot, red for the right foot.  Oohkkaaayy. 

I looked at the rest of the items on the table.  Yes, they do make slippers that match. 

Note to self: when ordering something custom-made, be very specific as to what you want. The same yellow pair, if you have them. If not, a pair in the same colour.  Got it. 

They asked to make another pair for them, this time in the same colours. They haven’t got it yet, so we’ll see if the colours match this time. 

Stay tuned …. 

Beads in Her Hair

In Kinshasa, Congo, DRC, we were taken to a little restaurant that was also an art gallery. Didn’t quite understand if the artist was also the owner of the restaurant, or was using the restaurant as his art gallery. 

Here’s a few of the paintings and art work that caught my eye.  Apologies that I did not get the name of the artist (or artists). But here’s their wonderful work … 

This painting really charmed me. A beautiful girl and a beautiful smile, with heads in her hair … 

And I liked this because it was in  black and white. I love colour, but there’s just something about the simplicity of black and white that calls to me. 


And of course … The masks. I found this a little different from the traditional … 


Maybe because it was in colour? 

Back in the Congo 

A crazy hectic November was followed by a trip back to Congo, DRC for work. I sit here in the hotel room trying to settle down and relax so I can get to sleep.  I’ve surfed through all the tv channels twice and twice over … Local stations, French tv, soccer matches, a channel that shows really old shows from the 80’s.  Maybe they like the 80’s, or maybe a new generation has discovered them. 

Anyway … I’ve picked up pen and paper to try to doodle myself to sleep… Ha! Right?  This will probably make me stay up late into the night as I think of  something else to try … 


Not quite what I wanted to do … I had folded the poster sheet in quarters and wanted to do something different on each quarter, to make a whole. Guess OCD kicked in and it had to follow the sequence instead.

Maybe the other half of the sheet will be different … We’ll see what happens tomorrow …