Retirement Learning – I Can Take Off Your Head!

The other day my girlfriend called me with a special request.  “Don’t you have that program where you can put someone else’s head into a picture?” she asked.  Ummmm…yeah, I have Photoshop, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I know how to USE IT!

She wanted to include some friends, who had been absent from an event, into a group Christmas photo – a tongue in cheek joke that said, “We’re thinking of you, and we missed you.”

Well on the Encore Voyage I have learned a couple of very, very important rules…

I can figure out ANYTHING with YouTube


Google is my friend

With digital photographs in hand, along with a couple of YouTube tutorials, I was off and running on a search and destroy mission to learn some new skills.  And before you know it, our friends, Donna, Sandra, and Deb, were poking their absent little heads right outta that Christmas Tree!

I can move your head

Because I didn’t want to post a picture of all those folks without their permission, I thought I’d show you that I really can remove your head from your body!  Fun, huh?!

I am certain that a professional photographer would have done it differently, and would have done a much better job.  But for me the exercise had several benefits:

  • It barely scratched the surface of the things I could learn about Photoshop, and it piqued my interest to do so (along with a desire to get much better at it!)
  • It made me want to take and edit better photos (that, and looking at Terri Webster Schrandt’s pictures!)
  • It reminded me that there are so many other fascinating things to learn about, which require only some time and focus – all of the information in the world is available at my fingertips.  Web design, desktop publishing, even playing my saxophone – Yep, I can learn all of those things, too.

This Photoshop exercise made me realize that retirement doesn’t mean that a person stops learning and exploring new things.  In fact, I would never have had the time to play around like this during my pre-Voyage career!  So how about it – What new skills are you learning to make your Voyage an adventure?


18 thoughts on “Retirement Learning – I Can Take Off Your Head!


    I wholeheartedly agree, Lynn. Retirement is definitely a time for learning. Google and You-Tube are good friends to have (when used wisely)! Yesterday, my husband could not figure out how to change the water filter for our new coffeepot….despite having a very lengthy written manual. YouTube led to instant success! As I am currently in the midst of deep Spring cleaning, I woke up this morning wondering how long dried spices last. Google’s answer: Whole spices = 4 years, ground spices = 2 or 3 years, and dried herbs =1 to 3 years. In the pros and cons of internet, this convenience gets a shining star from me!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. patwdoyle11

    The phrase that clicked with me was “time & focus”. On what do I want to place my time & focus? Unfortunately, google can’t answer that first, most important question!

    But after that, there is no limit. Hubby & I learned how to put in a paver patio this past fall. Except for the 8 trips to the hardware store (my estimates on bags of base and sand were not the best, even with the Internet calculation), it went in smoothly. Of course time will tell on the execution quality. It’s not a skill I am that interested at mastering though! Good luck with mastering Photoshop….I’m sure that doesn’t lead to an achy back.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Terri Webster Schrandt

    Thanks for the shout out, Lynn! Learning even the basics of photoshop is a skill I would LOVE to learn. Nice job on the edit of you own head, LOL! Next semester I am teaching a new management course (new to me), so I’ve had to read a textbook and re-familiarize myself with the seemingly endless management theories and techniques that would be of interest to my student. Plus I have to create the whole course mostly from scratch because I didn’t like the way it’s been taught the last couple of year (professor has little mgmt experience). Yes, my brain is full.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suzanne [globalhousesitterX2]

    I hope we never stop learning; life would be boring if we did!! Every housesit we have to work out how each household works, which is always fun and a learning curve 🙂 Plus we do other things, for me, it’s words and the Squire with numbers/figures. Lynn, your post is a good reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Natalie

    I have a long and evolving list of things I want to learn, Lynn. This year I’ve been learning Spanish 15 minutes a day, online, on my own. It was very useful when I visited Costa Rica and Spain. Not long ago, I started playing with Blogger and created my blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kate Crimmins

    I spent some time with Photoshop a few years back to do some unusual stuff. Unfortunately if I try it again, I’ll have to revisit the manual or google it. I love to learn new stuff. I just wish it would stick longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. snakesinthegrass2014

    In my last years on the job, I was given a software to learn that ostensibly was supposed to help me design a newsletter (it was Microsoft Publisher). Management offered no training, not even a book. The software was loaded to my computer and there it was — learn it! So I too discovered the magic of YouTube videos. Some were even subscription-based, but I got just enough from the introductory free moments that I learned how to use the software. My newsletters were at least acceptable looking and not embarrassing to send out. Since retirement I’ve used them mainly for maintenance tips such as leaky toilets, waxing a car, etc. My favorite one still is the use of toothpaste on scratched DVDs to make them work better. I use them every time when I borrow a movie or TV show from the public library. 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person


    Some friends and I were having a similar discussion about YouTube recently. I often forget that it’s such a great resource, but, when I remember, I’m amazed at the quality and quantity of videos people post. It’s important to sift through all the offerings because some aren’t worth much, but the ones that are well done are golden.

    Photoshop is good for a lot of things (including removing someone’s head), but I think Lightroom is a better photo editing tool. It’s also more user-friendly. But, I’m also amazed at how many free, or nearly free, quality editing tools are out there. Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      I agree! Some YouTube posts are just awful! I will have to check out Lightroom, because you are certainly right – Photoshop is not user friendly for a hobbyist. I used to use PicMonkey (free site)…until they decided that it wasn’t free any more! What other free editing sites do you like? ~ Lynn



    I just paid for the PicMonkey upgrade, but I’m not sure it’s what I want. It has a lot of fun features, but for a serious photographer/editor, it’s a bit lacking. I guess it depends on what you are looking for. If you want serious editing software, there is a great comparison review on the Digital Photo Mentor website ( Search for “Raw Photo Editing Software Review & Comparison for 2018” (it’s a great website in general too). Based on that article, I may switch from Lightroom to Luminar. It’s not free, but it is a lot cheaper than the monthly Lightroom subscription and has a lot of the features I’m looking for.

    Liked by 1 person


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