This has been a hard week for me. Seeing what has happened to the beautiful Florida Keys. I am heartbroken to see the devastation of my old home. Seeing the pictures coming out is so heartbreaking. There are so many people who are now homeless. Where will they go? What will they do? It is very sad.
If you look in my profile you will see where I mention how I once lived in the tropics. Well those tropics I speak of were the Florida Keys.
In the mid 1970's we moved down to Key West. We were tired of winters in upstate NY and wanted to be warm. A friend told us we should go to Key West. So we did. Just. Like. That.
It was an amazing place in those days. And so cheap. Our first apartment cost $60 a month. We met so many people who were there for a variety of reasons. Mostly to be warm and have a laid back life.
During the day we would go to the beach. Our kids would play with all the other kids. It was idyllic. It really was, At night we would go down to the pier and watch the sunset. Some of us would bring our artwork down to sell to the tourists. After sunset we would often go to someones house for a feast. We all brought food and there was music and feasting. No one had a car. We rode our bikes everywhere.
Many of the friends I made back then I am still in contact with today largely due to Facebook. I also have a few friends who either never left or have gone back there to retire. As you can imagine I have been very worried about a few of them who did not evacuate. As it turns out they are OK but without power, water and the basic necessities.
It appears that Key West did not suffer too much damage. Mostly downed trees and some flooding, The Upper Keys are a very different story. Especially Big Pine Key. It looks like a bomb went off in multiple places. Tornados hit many of the upper keys.
In the early 80's we moved from Key West up to Big Pine. In those days there wasn't even a grocery store. It was very isolated, very hot, and very buggy. We built a house there but we had no electricity as there were no electric poles out where we lived. So the house was built entirely with hand tools. We had a lovely garden where I grew papayas, coconuts, mangoes and bananas. We never really liked Big Pine as much as Key West as we were so isolated and so it wasn't long before we moved on. Up north as they say down there.
The thing about Key West, for me anyway, is that although you can leave the keys, the keys never really leave you. And so all these years I have carried it with me like a lost lover. And even though I have found a new place to live/love, my love of the Keys will always be in my heart. My sorrow is overwhelming.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Saturday, September 9, 2017
No, I am not really in a gallery. I just thought it would be fun to see how these look all together! And since I don't have the wall space here at home for all my paintings, and since they just get piled on top of one another, I never know how they will look together. Fun anyway!
So yes, we are back from Tucson. Of course I am freezing. It is nearly 40 degrees colder here than out there when we left. I truly hate the cold. But soon now. I just have to get through One. More. Winter. I am not sure how I will do that but do it I must. The first thing I will do is toss out my boots and winter coat.
Ethan started senior year yesterday. Whoopee. Hard to believe. I am happy about it. Very happy. Can you tell? Also, my husband gave his official retirement notice this week. He is really happy about that!
Anyway, even though I do not like being back I am glad to have all my art supplies again. It is hard to be without every little thing, from brayers, to dot making tools, color wheels etc. I have been doing a 30 day challenge with Amira Rahim called Passion, Color, Joy 30 in 30. On Instagram of course!
Check it out if you haven't already! Here
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Today is our last day here in the enveloping warmth that is Tucson in the summer. I tell people that being here in summer is like being wrapped in a warm blanket. It feels good to me since I am always cold back east.
It has been truly lovely to actually spend extra time here and get to really live in our house. When we are here for only a week, it is hard to buy food or cook or anything like that. This time we shopped for food twice, we cooked some lovely meals and ate out as well. I still don't have the proper pans here though. I need to bring my All Clad set with me since they are now twice the price they were when I bought them. It will be cheaper to ship them.
The best part was going to the art supply store and setting up a real painting space here. I managed to complete a couple of pieces and that was exciting. Normally I can only sketch or work in pens and markers. This time I was able to work in acrylics as well. I can't post them since the scanner I bought for out here is horrible. It is one of those printer/scanner things and the color control is awful. I will have to bring my real dedicated Epson scanner out in June.
When we go back to Boston tomorrow we will seriously begin to downsize, give away, toss etc.
I am sad to always have to leave here. But the good news is that we are down to 9 more months of living in Boston. I am going to try and stay focused on the move and getting ready for the move even though I know that there are going to be multiple stressful issues to deal with when I get back that do not include the move.
Enjoy your long weekend.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
We are finally here again! The desert is so green I hardly recognize it! And it smells wonderful. It is a different kind of smell. I have been told I am smelling the creosote trees.
On Monday the window cleaner came and switched the screens for me. Here in Arizona many windows have sunscreens on them which blocks much of the light. The screen in my studio had one of these sunscreens as well as a regular screen. Having both screens made a moire pattern which was impossible to see out of. I was missing all the action! It is a lovely side yard as you can see in the photo above and there is always some activity going on. There are roadrunners on the lookout for lizards to eat, there are hummingbirds and tons of cardinals! Once there was even a falcon in one of the trees.
As you can see this is a much nicer view than back east where all I see is traffic, trucks, and people.
I bought myself a new bike to have out here. So I won't need to bring my old one. I will have plenty of people to take all the things I no longer need or want. My move is beginning to feel more real to me although I still have one more winter to endure.
The pool here has been a delight in the evenings with no other people in it! Most of the people who live in my complex are snowbirds and so they are not here in summer. It is very quiet and peaceful now. Just lovely.
This cactus is also in my studio view but I couldn't capture it in one photo. It is a lovely and stately old saguaro. I think that was one of the reasons I bought this place! For the saguaro in the yard!
Well, enjoy your week. I know I will!
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
We are now in Week 7 of our summer. This is the next to last week for camp. We leave for Arizona in 10 days. I am really looking forward to getting out to my house of course. It has been 6 months.
When we return we will have a lot on our plate. Too much really. Between it being my grandson's senior year, and our preoccupation with getting the house ready to sell for spring and our move in June. Well, I am not looking forward to all of it. Especially the senior year stuff. I don't know what to expect and it is seriously stressing me out. I don't want to have to think about things like SATs and senior essays, etc. I hope that my grandson steps up to the plate for all these things but I am not counting on it. So far he has not.
I am currently taking a class on selling art on Instagram with Amira Rahim. It is a very interesting class and I hope that I can somehow begin to do something as far as the selling of my work. Instagram seems to be where my art is being seen by the most people.
I have had a few requests via Instagram for doing art fairs and shows out in Tucson which I have had to decline since I am not living there yet. I think that is the hardest thing for me now. My life has felt like it has been on hold for too long now and I am beginning to lose steam.
Have a good week. I probably won't blog again until I get out to Arizona. I should have plenty of things to photograph out there since it is summer and monsoon season. Everything is out and about.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
My grandson is heading into his senior year. I am not sure what to expect really. Especially since he has no plans that I can tell for his post high school days. It is worrisome but there is only so much that we can do. He has to motivate himself. We cannot do it for him. Hopefully once he sees all his friends making their plans he will step up to the plate. I won't lie. It is concerning.
In a few weeks we will head out to Arizona for 17 days. My grandson does not want to come with us and so we are leaving him here where he will take care of the cat as well as himself. We have plenty of places to walk to to get food and takeout so I know he won't starve. I have been walking around all week picking up menus. Chinese, Vietnamese, sushi, pizza, deli, Mexican, Indian, etc. Many more. In fact, that is all we have here. There are no stores to speak of. Just eateries. That is what city life is like these days. Also, Trader Joe's is less than a block away. So he should be fine. I will leave an extra set of keys with my son who has also agreed to check in from time to time. My grandson will be 18 in just a few months and we feel this will be good practice for him when he finally, hopefully fledges.
I am looking forward to going out there, however, the trips back and forth are truly getting old. I will be glad not to have to do too many more of these. They are wearing me out both physically and financially. I am not a big traveler. We have August, December and then we are not sure about February and April. We will be getting the condo here ready to sell and may not be able to get out there. We will have to see.
I am still trying to paint every day. Lately trying my hand at a variety of under painting techniques. I seem to like the reds or rusts under the greens the best. I think that is because they are complimentary colors and the red makes the greens really richer. I am going to go to the art store in Tucson and buy some supplies so I can paint out there. I haven't really done that since I am usually only out there for short periods. But 17 days is too long to be without some paint. I wish I could bring them on the plane but paints are just not allowed.
That is it for today. Have a good week!
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Social media can get somewhat exhausting. Does anyone else feel this way? I know I follow many blogs and some have been active for as long or longer than mine. I also know how disappointed I get when a fellow blogger stops posting. I wouldn't want to disappoint people.
Anyway. Just thinking out loud. I'll see. We are going out to Tucson in August. Maybe I will refresh my blogging ideas out there!