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  • Phyllis H. Moore

April 1 Opportunity, No Fooling

On April 1 it will be one year since I published Retirement, Now What?, a little book about emotionally embracing retirement. At the beginning of chapter seven there is a quote by Barbara Sher, “You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.” It’s true.

When I began writing and publishing I looked for courses to learn what I didn’t know, which turned out to be a lot. At first I thought I could take community college classes, but they didn’t exist, so I turned to online courses. The virtual universe is full of courses to teach anything you want to know and they are excellent.

I took an internet marketing course from Beth Hayden. She’s fabulous and she doesn’t disappear when the course is over. All I have to do is email her, or post in her Facebook group and she responds with more resources than I can use. She’s magic with technology and has written best sellers on the subject of Pinterest. So when Beth contacted me about helping some of her students with their online courses as a beta tester, I agreed to check out the prospects. The catch was I had to apply to be accepted to the course. I couldn’t believe the number of students she had—hundreds.

One of the courses that caught my eye was “Design Your Home Like a Pro” Kate Harrell’s home design school. My husband and I had just purchased a mid-century house that needed a complete renovation. I have never lived in a mid-century house or even wanted to, but it seemed like an adventure. I like to decorate, but I have no idea what the rules are or anything about color, etc. So, it seemed Kate’s course might be a good fit. I applied. About a month later, I received a notice that I had been accepted and it began. All I knew about decorating I learned from HGTV and looking at magazines.

The course was during the holidays and there were lots of distractions, but I found the pace comfortable and I had no problem completing the homework assignments. In fact, the assignments introduced me to web sites and tools that I could use in planning the rooms for our renovations. They were amazing and I’m still using them. The course gave me access to a Facebook group where I met with other students to look at their designs, share online shopping resources, and encouragement. Kate popped in to give suggestions and feedback.

One of my issues is seeing something at HomeGoods or Pottery Barn Outlet that is priced right and looks good and getting it home to find it doesn’t really fit. It usually ends up at Goodwill. The worksheets and inventories we completed help assure that won’t happen. I’m currently cleaning closets to prepare for a move. I wish I had done these inventories a long time ago. I would already be done with this chore. I wouldn’t have anything that didn’t fit. So, I learned a lot and am still in touch with Kate and some of the students. When the house is done, I’ll post photos in our Facebook group so they can see the end result and I’ll see theirs.

So every once and a while I come across something that I want to share. Kate’s course, Design Your Home Like a Pro is one of those things. She has reviewed the beta testing, redesigned some of the modules and is ready to launch the course. The course begins April 1 and the sign up starts March 21 and closes March 31, 2017. If you have any interest in learning a new thing or enhancing the skills you already have, I highly recommend Kate’s course. You can check it out here.

Kate’s from the UK, and I have to say I would rewind Downton Abbey to listen to the dialogue so I didn’t miss anything. My fellow students in the course were from around the world and we all agreed, we had no problem with Kate’s accent. Her presentation is clear and to the point. I think this course is worth it for the online resources alone, but now I have the skills to stage a bookcase or vignette, select paint colors with no unexpected undertones, zone a room with furnishings and rugs to define activities, choose accessories that will fit in my décor, and shop my own rooms before running out to buy something. Oh, and I also can stick to a budget (well maybe).

The best thing about online courses is the dress code—pajamas. After I’m done with this project, I’m going to be a beginner at something else. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, give Kate’s course a look if you’re interested. I highly recommend. If you want to read more of my little book on retirement. Check out

I just think it’s a cool coincidence that I published on April 1 and Kate's course begins April 1. Mrs. Emily says, “There are no coincidences, amen.”

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