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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.

Reid's palms 8-17-2014My version of Charles Reid’s Palm Trees – 140# 1/2 sheet Arches Cold press

The Husband is almost retired from the NYPD.   Although we are both too young to retire permanently, he can always retire and get another job.  He says he wants to be a dog walker. That’s fine with me.  He loves animals and they love him.

But it got me to thinking.  What would we do if we were really retired and on a fixed income.  I recently told a friend that I liked the words “Trust Fund”. Unfortunately I doubt the words “trust fund” and “Carol King” will ever be uttered in the same sentence.  However, I have some sentence examples if anyone is interested in helping a girl out:

“Carol King, we like you so much we set up a zillion dollar trust fund for you.”

“Carol King, because you do some much for everyone else, I’d like you to take over my 20 million dollar trust fund and live in my townhouse on East 71st Street off 5th Ave which, by the way comes with a live-in house-keeper and chef.”

“Carol, you know I don’t like living in the City anymore, but why don’t you live in my 15 room apartment in the Dakota.  I’ve set up a Trust Fund for your living expenses.”

Other phrases I like:

  • Expense account
  • All inclusive
  • It’s on us
  • Rebate
  • Free

Another friend once told me that if she was at the point where she was eating cat food, she would make sure it was at least Fancy Feast.  I do wonder what life would be like after retirement.  Would I like it?  Would I be bored?  Would I do all the things I say I want to do and then never do.  (paint, draw, learn Spanish, read all those books, exercise, learn yoga?) I know when I’m off I have a tendency to start watching daytime TV and next thing you know BAM it’s 5 pm and I’ve lost the whole day.  Or I start to sleep later and later and then stay up all night.

The same friend who said she will eat fancy feast if it came down to her eating cat food also has a rule that she will not turn the TV on until 5 pm.  I think that’s a good rule.  I won’t follow it, but it’s a good rule.

Right now this is all just speculation.  I’m not retiring anytime soon.   So excuse me,  I have to go back to work filling out forms and dealing with red tape.

Not having any inspiration to paint I pulled out a Charles Reid book and decided to paint from one of his paintings. Palm trees and a beautiful beach.  Maybe that could be me and The Husband?  Hmmm, retirement wouldn’t be so bad.

Utah red rocks wip 1-13-13Red rocks of Utah – work in progress on 1/4 sheet of Arches 140 lb cold press

As much as I talk about it, retirement is no where in my near future.  But it may be in the Husband’s sooner rather than later.  He’s got 19 years with the NYPD and although not wanting to, he may retire at 20 years as a result of injuries incurred on the job.  We’ll see.  And boy did he like Utah when we visited 4 national parks in that state in September.  I recently told a friend that the Husband keeps telling me he wants to retire to Utah.  This friend looked at me with a straight face and said “you’ll be arrested”.  I’m not sure about that.  But I’m pretty sure they won’t get my jokes.  Or the fact that I prefer black as a color choice in most of my clothes.

Speaking of clothes…I remember the drive we took our last day in Utah from Moab to Salt Lake City so we could catch an evening flight to NYC.   On the way there I was fussing with the radio buttons trying to find something decent to listen to.   As we got closer to SLC, I finally found some music stations, but the commercials were the best.  I remember one commercial in particular.  It was for a clothing store.  Two teen-age girls were discussing the fashions sold at this store and how cool the clothes were.   And then came the hook…

1st girl:    I love the clothes, they are so cute!

2nd girl:  And modest too!

And that’s when I stared.  At the radio.  And then laughed.  I don’t know about you, but I do think teen and tween girls often dress quite inappropriately for their age.  16 year-olds look like they are 30.  (OMG, did I just say that?)  But I’ve never once heard a teen-age girl exclaim “THESE CLOTHES ARE SO MODEST!  I LOVE THEM!”

I’m still thinking about those beautiful hoodoos and rock formations though and sometimes when I come out of the subway I look up at the skyscrapers and imagine that they are the red-rocks of Utah.   Maybe we will go back someday.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to paint them like I did here and here. The above painting is still a work in progress.  I am going to add more detail to the rocks, some cracks, crevices and striations.   There is also an electrical cord in the picture.   I don’t know how that got there.  Clearly it speaks to my superb photographic abilities.

Central Park Duck 1-13-12I also worked on my Central Park Duck a little more to add some depth.   You can see the difference compared to my last post of the duck here.

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