Not long ago at a family gathering, one of my nieces mentioned that she thought it would be fun to have a painting of doughnuts after seeing my card for John And Mohammed.  So I did this:

doughnuts

After I painted it I thought hey,  I’ll add a graphic element and add some names of the doughnuts.

So then I did this:

Oops Doughnuts

Note to self:  Before writing on a painting make sure you know how to correctly spell out what you are identifying.

I guess I’ll cut this up and make 3 cards out of them.  I’ll have to eat the cruller!

The above painting scrap paper is watercolor on 9″ x 12″ 140 # Arches coldpress.  I used a wax birthday candle to save some whites on the jelly doughnut and the strawberry frosted.

NYC Lovebirds 5-3-2015Lovebirds 15″ x 11″ watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress – based on a photo from Paint My Photo

I am over my retirement guilt.  One morning I woke up and decided hey, this isn’t half bad! Now its a whole new normal.

One new thing is that The Husband and I are home together all day, every day. He and I have both worked our entire adult lives.  We’ve had varying incomes…sometimes he made more, sometimes I did. But now that I’ve stopped working to get ready for the move out of NYC I have no income.  He has a pension.  I do not like this.  And what I like less is that he has now taken to calling himself “Big Daddy”. In the 3rd person.

Conversation regarding the big purge of the apartment:

Me:  ” We got rid of so much stuff, but I hate to give away those old fashioned china dishes we have.”

The Husband:  “Big Daddy is ok with you keeping them.”

Me:  Huge eyeroll.

We have been going out out together for the morning dog walk.  Then we pick up coffee and something to eat and sit on our stoop and dine “al fresco”.

Today on the stoop as an old man with a cane walks by:

The Husband to the old man:   “How are you?  Have a good walk.”

Me:  (after the old man passes)  “Who’s that?”

The Husband:  “He is the father of the couple that live across the street.”

Me:  Oh

The Husband:  “You don’t know anyone on the block, so why are you so upset about leaving?  Big Daddy says ‘bye-bye’ NY.”

Me:  Huge eyeroll again.   “Big Daddy will not be happy with Little Mama’s foot up his a$$.”

And so it goes.

Wish us luck.

The above painting is from a reference photo from Paint my Photo.  I want to give the photographer credit but I can’t find it on the website anymore.  :(    If anyone sees it would you please let me know.  I want to credit him or her for the photo.

And for no reason here’s a picture of the NYC skyline at sunset taken by moi on the always exciting BQE:

Manhattan sunset skyline 5-2-2015

 

It’s been about 4 weeks since I stopped working.  I still miss my office and my friends. I miss the routine.  I miss the problem solving of work, but not the red tape and bureaucracy.  And I certainly don’t miss the daily commute on the subways during rush hour.

New Mexico landscape

New Mexico landscape, WIP – watercolor on 1/2 sheet of 140# Arches coldpress

Charlie our friend and my late night dog walking buddy thinks I’m crazy.  As does practically everyone I know.  I’m sure I’ll get the hang of this soon enough.

Charlie came in for the weekend to visit his son. We also got a chance to visit. He’s been living up in Maine for 3 years now.   It was like he never left the City. One night while out at dinner we were talking about shows we’ve been watching.  I told him we now have Netflix.  Streaming, not the disks. Charlie said in Maine they don’t have streaming internet, just screaming internet.  He spends most of his time screaming at the computer waiting for things to load.  Then he gives up and goes to the library because they have internet access.

My retirement reWirement continues and so far I just feel like instead of having a rewired brain I have a lot of disconnected and frayed wires.   My ever so thoughtful niece Caroline gave me this book:

1001 ways to relaxI’m not relaxed yet.

At least my Netflix streams.

The above painting is from a reference photo I took when The Husband and I visited New Mexico in October of 2014.  I know….it doesn’t look like New Mexico. But it is.  I swear.  While painting this I tried to keep it loose like the beautiful beach-scapes Stephen does.  I may work on it a little bit more, but not much.  Off to see what the #476 way to relax is.

 

 

IMG_5338

Daffodils in a Fiestaware pitcher – watercolor on 140# Arches cold press

I was so excited that spring had finally arrived that I ran out and bought some daffodils and put them in my green fiestaware pitcher.  I love this pitcher.  It was given to me by my long-time friend Jim who had boatloads of the stuff.  He has since curated his collection to a few select pieces and sold the rest.  I was lucky to get this item and I always have it on my mantle, with or without flowers.

Thank you all for your comments on the previous post.  My retirement or “re-wirement” as my friend Joan calls it is a work in progress.   I have not relaxed one day since being home. I have anxiety dreams each night and still think on Sunday nights, like tonight, that I have to get up and go to work tomorrow. I’m sure this will pass and my rewirement will begin.  I am looking forward to being rewired.

The Husband and I have been purging, packing and painting so we can move. Where to?  That’s the million dollar question. I heard about this book by Marie Kondo, a former Shinto shrine maiden:  “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:  The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” I haven’t gotten it yet, but read enough and heard enough about it to get the gist. I will get it one of these days after I’ve tidied up my bookshelves. I’ve also seen some videos she has of organizing an underwear drawer.  Now, Miss Kondo is a very petite woman.  And not an American.  After I watched her fold her teeny tiny underpants and teeny tiny bras and put them neatly in a teeny, tiny drawer, I realized I would have to modify her methods.  I have bigger drawers.  In both senses of the word.

I am continuing to purge, but my green fiestaware pitcher will be with me wherever I end up.

On another note,  I recently discovered I have a severe case of this:CarcolepsySo in case I’m ever in a car with you as a passenger, don’t be offended if I doze off.

coffeedoughnut

 Watercolor cards of coffee and a doughnut – 140 #arches coldpress scraps glued to a pre-made card 

Every morning I stop by my local coffee cart run by John and Mohammed, immigrants from Afghanistan who run this cart like a well oiled machine.  John sees me coming down the street from the subway and if there are no other customers he immediately prepares my coffee.  I told him once what I wanted and I never had to tell him again.

Sometimes Mohammed has to sit in the van until alternate-side-of-the-street parking goes off at 8:00 am.  But if he’s in the cart too then the coffee and doughnut serving ballet really begins.  John gets the coffee, Mohammed bags it with the requisite baked good that the person ordered, takes the money and makes change while John is on to the next customer.   If only the City could run that smoothly.

For a while I tried not to get a doughnut with my coffee, but either John or Mohammed would put it in the bag anyway.  One day they ran out of chocolate frosted so they gave me a whole wheat.  I eventually gave up fighting with them and just accepted the whole wheat doughnut with my coffee.  Hey, it’s whole wheat. Ergo, it must be healthy.

Tomorrow, April 1st will be my last day of work.  I will have retired. And it’s not an April Fool’s joke even though some people in my office may think it is.  It’s a very strange feeling.  Clearly, I’m happy about it, but my daily routine, starting with John and Mohammed will now be over.  I’ll have to create new routines.  Unless of course I decide to take the subway every morning to get coffee from John and Mohammed’s cart, chat with them, and then come home.  Yes, I will miss these guys.  But that would just be silly.

 

Trade winds Feb. 2015Tradewinds – watercolor on 140# coldpress  Approx. 9 x 12 SOLD

You know how now with email or Facebook if you look anything up THE NEXT SECOND ads begin to appear in the sidebar for what you just looked up.  Write an email that your roof leaks to your friend and next thing you know roofing ads start appearing in the sidebar of your email.   I wrote about it here.   Today I received an email from my sister and Google asked me if I wanted to translate it into Afrikaans.  Huh?  Afrikaans?  What’s up with that? It was an email she sent me with pictures of her neighbor’s two dogs “Tucker” and “Glacier”.  Maybe Tucker and Glacier mean something in Afrikaans and Google wanted to know if it should translate? Big Brother is always watching…and listening…and translating into Afrikaans!

I was inspired by Rhonda Carpenter to do an abstract piece.  This is what came from my brush.  I was pleased.  My sister said she liked it too.  Although she texted it to me.  She didn’t email it. Otherwise Google would then be showing me ads for boats or sea food restaurants.

birch trees 3-1-15Birch Trees – 1/2 sheet of Arches 140# cold press

All cars look alike to me.

Someone:   “What kind of car do you have?”

The Husband:  “A 2014  four-door Ford Taurus”

My brother who does not read my blog: “The V-8 engine in my car has fluid and sporty handling, while allowing me to maintain control….suspension…curb weight…transmission…powertrain….”  He could go on and on.

Me: “A gray one”

If The Husband, the doggie and I are walking down the street and our dog stops and sniffs at a car and then keeps going, the Husband will say to me, “do you know whose car that was?”  I will say “no” and he will say “OURS” (subtext: dimwit).

Last week we arrived at the Sister’s home after a 2 and a half hour drive from my office. I was inside with the dogs and The Husband pulled the car into the empty spot in the garage.

Shortly after playing with the dogs, we decide to head out for groceries. I pressed the button for the garage door opener and began to walk past OUR car. As I stood between the Sister’s car and ours I look out to the open area where we normally park.  “Where’s our car?” I scream.  The Husband just stares as I realize I’m standing next to it.

We both laughed and laughed.

 

Flowers for a friendFlowers for a friend

No you’re not seeing the same painting as the previous post.  I needed a get well card or gift for a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  (She’s doing great.)   And after I painted the last bouquet I decided I would paint some flowers for her.  On a card. With the breast cancer ribbon on the vase.

I hope she likes her flowers.  I hope you do too.

Pink Flowers 3-8-15Vase of pink flowers based on an image from a Janet Walsh watercolor book – on 1/4 sheet of Arches cold press

The Sister and I were very excited to attend The Metropolitan Opera’s Production of Rigoletto a while back.  This production was set in 1960’s Las Vegas and who wouldn’t like that?  Maybe there would be an Elvis impersonator?

I hadn’t been feeling great on the subway from my office to Lincoln Center.  I met my sister for dinner, but couldn’t eat.   As we sat there my nausea and pains got worse, but hey, just like the show must go on, the audience must attend.  (and we paid a boatload of money for the tickets.)   I was determined to go.   The chimes rang indicating the performance was about to start.  The chandeliers went up, the orchestra bowed and started to play, the curtains opened and there was what looked to me to be an amazingly fun and tacky stage filled with neon lights, roulette wheels and dancing-girls.  And then it happened.  I won’t go into detail, suffice to say I had a bout of food poisoning.   But guess what!  Lincoln Center has a doctor on call who sits in the audience and is there just for sick audience members.  He was a cardiologist and really wonderful.  Apparently there is a cadre of doctors (mostly urologists I was told, what’s up with that?) that rotate seeing performances for free in return for emergencies in the audience. I told my friend what happened and she said based on the average age of the Met’s audience she wasn’t surprised.

I was escorted to the small medical office and examining room by the doctor, the Sister and two lovely Firemen who moonlight as EMS techs at the Met.  They were both wearing tuxes.  When my sister asked why they responded “It’s the Opera!” (Like Duh!)  As I’m being examined by the doctor and curled up in pain, I could hear The Sister talking to the fireman in Tuxes…turned out we were all from the “old neighborhood” and a good time was had by all (except me).

To add to the night, when we first sat down I was happy that we were on the aisle and there were two empty seats next to us. Just before the opera started two people showed up to sit in those seats.  And wouldn’t you know, out of everyone in the universe is was a co-worker and her mother. After I got up because of the illness, my sister left her seat to check on me.  (This was before they called the doctor.)   We never returned to our seats.  The next morning I saw the co-worker and explained what happened.  She told me her mother thought I was so upset that Rigoletto was set in 1960’s Las Vegas that I got up and left!

Pears revised 2-8-15

Besides the pink flowers above, I also decided to rework the pears from the previous post.  I thought I’d spice them up a bit.  But not too spicy.  Don’t want to have to call the doctor.

 

It’s Superbowl Sunday and unlike most people I couldn’t care less. I just asked the Husband how many points did one team get when they scored a touchdown. (I knew, really, I was just checking.) He stared at me and asked me what country I was born in. I’d rather be watching the puppy bowl. I have been switching back and forth.  The Husband doesn’t mind.  A puppy just got a penalty of five yards for tail biting.  How cute is that?Birch trees 1-31-15

It’s cold and they are predicting more snow tonight just in time to make tomorrow’s commute a joy. At least they are not talking about another snowpocalypse.

I did some tree practice.  Above are some birch trees.   Below a really fun spatter tree.

Splatter Tree 1-31-15

Trees 1-31-15

Another tree style using a flat brush, working wet in wet on damp paper.  And some pears below because everyone loves painting pears.

Pears 2-1-15

Kaiya snow

And here’s a picture of my doggie in the snow.  For those of you who’ve asked, she’s wearing what’s called “a gentle leader” or a “haltie” and not a muzzle. The gentle leader allows someone like me to walk a 90+ lb dog and control her.  I’m giving her a five yard penalty for laying in the snow and not wanting to walk!

 

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