If you had asked me two weeks ago if I had ever owned a red raincoat — or indeed, if I had ever worn a red anything, anytime in my life — I would have laughed and said no. Red is not my color. I never wear red, I’ve never worn red.

I would have been wrong. Apparently sometime in my long-forgotten past, I DID own a red raincoat, and I was super cute in it, if I do say so myself.

The picture is part of a collection that my brother sent me — several hundred incredibly small jpgs, most about 150K, that my mom had probably scanned sometime decades ago. The vast majority of the images were what you’d expect: snapshots, blurry, unposed, with scattered artifacts like dust and even the occasional hair from the scanning process, often too dark or too bright. But they were also the record of a childhood I mostly don’t remember — picnics, pony rides, petting zoos. Swimming in Lake George, visiting Niagara Falls, Easters at my grandparents. I had fun browsing them, and then I spent a probably ridiculous amount of time trying to enhance some of them to make my dad a Father’s Day movie with highlights of the past.

Along the way, I discovered the fun of using apps inside Canva to turn photographs into drawings. Of course I’d done that before, many years ago. Wow, that technology has come a long way.

Behold, anime me:

And sketched me, looking far more solemn than original me, with the addition of a city backdrop quite unlikely in my own childhood:

And another sketched me, this time with people and cars in the background, and honestly, just crying out to become a kids picture book somehow. There is clearly a story that goes with that cute little pudgy-faced girl in the rain. I suspect a puppy should be involved.

girl with red umbrella

I justified all that playing with Canva as learning, of course — figuring out how to make presentations and graphics so that I can use them as I work on developing my Choosing Happiness site and course and other products. I keep reminding myself that it’s okay to be in a building/learning stage, as long as someday I move on to a creating/sharing stage, and I will. Soon. Someday. Eventually. Really.

Meanwhile, I have far too many goals for this week. Update this, work on that, finish the library books I’m reading, organize my notes, create a link tree, write the damn content for the landing page on the other site so that I can start blogging over there, design a pretty infographic, decide on the image style…

But the actual goal on my to-do list for the day? Have fun with Sophie. She was alone for a big chunk of the past two days, on Sunday while I had a lovely Father’s Day brunch with my dad and stepmom, and yesterday while I had an entertaining summer day at Epcot with friends. While I don’t feel like I’ve neglected her — believe me, my dog is not neglected! — I do want to make sure she gets some entertainment in her days, too. Does she care? Probably less than I do, tbh — more than once recently, when we’ve been playing ball in the backyard, she has let me know that hanging out in the air-conditioning would be fine by her — but still. Goal for the day: do many useful things AND have fun with Sophie.