Saturday, February 26, 2011

March BJP 2011

March BJP 2011, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

March is done. Although I find myself wishing March was really done as in the month of March itself.

I don’t like the piece as much as my other pieces. It seems dull and drab in comparison. But then that is how March is for me. Dull and drab. At least here in Massachusetts. We want to believe that spring is coming but March usually comes in like a lion and goes out as one as well.

March is the month when I get out my black marker and start crossing the days off the calendar and obsessively looking at the thermometer in the hopes it will get above 40 degrees.

Gray, windy, cold. That sums up my piece I think.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Got Water?

Now that I am back, I am beginning to upload more photos from my trip to Tucson. I only just now realized that I can upload my photos directly from iPhoto. Who knew? All this time I have been making copies of them, putting them in a folder on my desktop, and then going to flickr to upload them.


I am always amazed at the things my Mac Book Pro can do that other systems cannot. Although now I am quite jealous of my husband’s brand spanking new Mac Book Pro. Mine is all of 3 or 4 years old. Computer lives are like dog years. 1 year equals 7!

Oh well, no new computer for me right now. Summer camp tuition is coming up.

So back to my photos:

It was more than a little bit odd to see this water in the midst of the desert but there it was. And it was cold water! Freezing cold water! And do you see that lovely rock wall damn on either side? That was built during the WPA back in the late 1930’s. Back when the government found jobs for people to do as opposed to being unemployed for 99 weeks. What happened?

I try to keep politics off my blog but hey, why can’t/don’t we do things like that anymore?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

After the Fall

Tubac, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts regarding my fall yesterday. I seem to have dodged a bullet. Nothing is broken or sprained. Just some black and blue marks forming. I consider myself very lucky, I really do. A friend of mine in California fell off her bike and broke her leg. She is still in rehab with 2 small children at home. So, yes, it could have been so much worse.

As far as the mental damage, that still lingers. It was bad enough to have to return to the freezing cold from Tucson. But then to fall on the ice...... It is hard to bear.

Both my husband and I want to retire to Tucson. Either for the winters or for the entire year. We are not sure yet. We would need to see how we do in the heat of the summer there. I know summers there are hot but I did live in Florida year round where it was both hot and humid. I never even had AC. Just ceiling fans. And I was fine. But of course I was much younger.

The thing for me is that retirement cannot come soon enough. Of course I don’t want to be that old. But as soon as I turned 60 last year, I noticed that I began to think about it more and more. It is weird to be at the end of a career. It is bittersweet. I am now the oldest person in my department. That doesn’t feel good at all. I remember how much I used to love coming to work and getting the chance to be so creative. Now I really have to force myself out of bed in the morning. And with many of my friends already retired or in the process of retiring, it gets even harder to keep working.

In China they make their citizens retire at age 55 in order to make room for the younger workers. In France they just raised the retirement age to 62.

Of course in this country they would rather see us work until we die.

I don’t know. I just feel very adrift right now. Neither here nor there so to speak. I even tried beading my March piece last night but couldn’t look at it. For me March is one of the worst months. It looks like spring on the calendar but between the wind and the cold it is anything but that. Maybe I’ll try working on a different month and come back to March later.

Monday, February 21, 2011

First day Back to Work

Well it didn't last long today. I waited for the T in the snow for what seemed to be an eternity. I finally decided to get a cab as i sometimes do in winter when it is just too cold to wait.

Getting out of the cab, I slipped on some well hidden ice and fell. I fell on my right leg and ankle. After hobbling into work, everything began to ache so I caught another cab and came home. I have ice on everything I can put ice on and the rest of me is resting on my bed.

I sound more upbeat in this post than I am. I don't think I broke anything but I hurt all over. Especially emotionally. I didn't want to come back here in the worst way. And now here I am staring at the snow and falling on the ice.

I do have some nice Kim Klassen textures to play around with so I'll try and do that in order to keep my mind off everything.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vacation is over. O-V-E-R.

I am back in Boston after a long, grueling travel day yesterday. I knew it would be bad because travel these days usually means delays, changes etc. But of course the fact that it was 18 degrees at my destination made it all that much harder to bear.

There was a really strong windstorm in Tucson yesterday. I have never seen anything quite like it. The mountains were almost totally obscured due to the intense dust blowing around. I know it is dusty there but to see it thick as fog was quite a revelation.

Some flights were delayed and others had to unload some passengers and move them to other planes since they had too much weight for the amount of wind. Our plane was delayed for mechanical reasons. We were stuck on the tarmac for almost an hour while the mechanic tried to determine what was wrong with the plane. He couldn’t figure it out and so had to call someone…HUH????? Now that is a little scary.

He did finally fix the plane, and we left after the paperwork was filled out. Some people missed their connecting flights but we just made our flight from Dallas to Boston. So on we went through some of the bumpiest flying I have ever been through. The wind, it seems,  had followed us to Boston. We landed a little after midnight and the cold hit me like a wall. I almost started to cry but I was too cold. We fell into bed and unpacked this morning.

The snow and ice are still here. Yes the snow banks are slightly smaller. But not enough. I won’t be happy until they are totally gone. And yes, all the problems I left here were still here waiting for me right where I left them.

Thank God for vacations. There just aren’t enough of them. Tomorrow I will know I am really back when I return to work.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunrise in Tucson

Sunrise in Tucson, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

Well, sadly it is here. My last morning in Tucson. End of the vacation. Finis. I woke up extra early today and caught this wonderful sunrise. It was an extraordinary send-off I think.

Yesterday was our last full day here and we did it up to the fullest. During the day we hiked a trail in the Saguaro National Park. That place is certainly one of the most wondrous places I have ever been to. It is so quiet there. For me quiet is something I never get. Between sirens, trolley noises, and all other manner of city noise. Well, there just isn't any. But this place is serene and magical and I plan to hike more when I return next year.

Last night we saw Winton Marsalis at U of A. It was a fabulous note to end on! Pun intended!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Sabino Canyon, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

We saw a fantastic glass exhibit today at the Tucson Museum of Art. called: Borderlandia: Cultural Topographies by Einar and Jamex de la Torre

If you ever have the opportunity to see these two brothers glass work, do it. They are so prolific and their work is just wonderful. It is smart, political, and funny all at the same time. The blown glass work has to be seen to be believed. All the people are anatomically correct right down to the blown glass penises.

Muppet Saguaro

Muppet Saguaro, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

I want to apologize to all my wonderful blog readers for not being able to comment on your blogs this week. The free wireless in the hotel is so bad that most blogs will not even load. It is very frustrating to say the least.

I am sorry I am missing some of my favorite blogs this week but there is nothing to be done about it....sigh.

Until I return......

Tucson: Day 4

Tubac, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

Today we visited a teeny tiny town south of Tucson called Tubac. It is a very cute town with a lot of history and so much art that it is hard to take it all in in one trip. I took so many pictures of colorful pottery and chotchkes, but these 4 guys really got me!

On the way back to Tucson we went through a border checkpoint where our car was sniffed by scary looking dogs and men with big guns. Honestly, tell me again what the problem is with Mexicans? They seem like perfectly nice people to me. I am sure they have bad people too as we do but really is all this necessary? I just don't get all the fuss....

Anyway, some time I'd love to go south of the border but they say not to go right now so perhaps another time....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 3 in Tucson

Sabino Canyon, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.
Today we hiked a trail with our good friend Bob in Sabino Canyon. Bob lives here with his wife for part of the year. The rest of the year they live near us in Brookline. Bob loves to hike and he knows many trails in the area. We hiked for over 2 hours. It was quite hot but we stopped and rested and snacked and that helped us keep going. i was a little worried about my husband because unlike me he never exercises. But he was a trooper and did very well.

When we returned to our hotel we showered and collapsed in a heap until dinner. The desert heat really takes it out of you! But it was wonderful. Now if only I could bottle up that heat and bring it back to Boston which was 23 degrees today!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 2 in Tucson

These hawks were amazing! We spent 5 hours today hiking in the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. This place is breath taking. It really is. There is so much to see and hear. The birds were, of course, my favorite. The hawks were almost more than I could bear. They are so majestic and beautiful, So far removed from the birds at my feeder.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 1 Tucson

Just spent the morning relaxing and taking some pictures. Not too much to say other than I feel too relaxed to write. And that is a very good thing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Trip to (Hopefully) Warmer Climes

Barrel Cactus, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.
In 3 days I leave for Tucson and I cannot wait. I can’t tell you how much I am in need of a break. A break from my job. A break from my family and most of all a break from the weather. I just can’t take all the cold and snow we have been having. I do so long to live someplace warm again. In the 70’s and 80’s I lived in the Florida Keys and only now am I realizing just how nice it was to have warm weather 98% of the time.

I am quite stressed right now about one thing in particular which I think that I can share with you. My company has decided to go to an open floor plan. I have to tell you that I am pretty devastated about it. I just don’t think I will be able to do it. Sitting in a huge space with no partitions at all between co-workers? Do they really think this is going to improve productivity. I have never had a real office. I gave up on getting that a long time ago. Well, once when they decided to double us all up and put two to an office. That was horrid and I ended up getting my own cubicle in the end. So I have always had at least a cubicle. It is true of course, that in a cubicle one really has no privacy. But it seems as though you do and perception is everything, is it not?

So I will go on vacation and see how I feel when I get back. If I could retire right now I would. But I am still helping some family members financially and cannot do it at this time.

So I will look forward to hiking Sabino Canyon, walking in Tohono Chul Park, visiting the Tucson Botanical Gardens and perhaps seeing some new sights and sounds. No gem show this year but that is OK. I am not in the mood for crowds or spending money on more beads.

But first I must get rid of this damn cold!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Trying Something New

I thought I would try a new project in between my BJP project and other things. So I am trying my first bracelet.

I am not sure exactly where this is going. I had originally decided it would be in the blue family, hence the blue bead backing. But I changed my mind after I had glued down the metal clay pieces. So I am kind of stuck with the blue and it is more than a little distracting.

I may just stick to white bead backing and color in where I need color. Bead embroidery is still new to me so I haven’t yet settled into one clear picture of how things work yet.

I am still sick with a bad cold. But today I simply had to come to work anyway. I know, I know. We hate it when people come to work sick and now I am one of those people. But next week I will be out all week on my planned trip to Tucson. So I need to finish up projects here at work before I leave.

I cannot wait to get out to the desert. I hope it is warmer than it has been. I am so glad I decided not to go last week! I can’t imagine going there for warmth and being hit with record cold temperatures.

Saturday is supposed to be clear for flying so I have my fingers crossed that good weather will hold. And I hope and pray my cold is gone by the time I have to fly.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mellow Mourning Dove

Mellow mourning dove, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

I don't have much to say today so I am just going to share the bird love!

These doves just slay me! They actually come right up to the balcony door and look as though they would have no problem just coming right in!

The cat can't deal with them at all. She doesn't seem to mind the sparrows and the cardinals but the doves make her go crazy! Leaping on the glass and just generally twitching and hunching!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Day of My Birth and Other Musings

Another nasty day today. First came the snow. Now comes the freezing rain. Thank goodness the office was closed so that I did not have to go out. Today is, after all, my birthday.

Yes folks, I am officially one year older. I thought it was traumatic last year when I turned 60 but turning 61 is no easier. I am starting to feel like I have to rush to finish things and get things done before I either go blind or forget who I am. It is kind of funny how when you are young you never think of these things. But as you get older, well......

Every single birthday as far back as I can remember, I get sick. I have old photos of me and a birthday cake sick in bed. So of course I have a bad cold today.

I did manage to organize some beads this morning. I can’t tell you how many times I have done this. I like to keep them in plastic bins so that I can carry them from room to room. Believe it or not,  there is simply no room in my studio for beading. Between the metal clay, the computer, the printer and the scanner, the exercise bike, jewelry tools. You name it! Plus all my paintings, of course, stuffed into every corner.

I tried leaving the beads in the small plastic bags they come in but they are really hard to see that way.
So then I bought these lovely Amac boxes at The Container Store. They work really well. I will have to get more though because I have way too many beads!

I may work a bit today on my March BJP. Then again, I may take a break. I really want to try my hand at Triz’s bracelet pattern. I don’t usually buy patterns but I really want to learn how to make a sturdy, bead embroidered bracelet. I haven’t given up totally on the jewelry making. I just need to try something besides making earrings all the time.

Then again maybe I’ll just sit and watch the birds today. It is, after all, my birthday isn't it?