Monday, January 26, 2009

Act II

At sixty-five years of age, I am seriously considering how I want to configure the rest of my life. I come from a line of long-lived individuals and both my parents lived into their ninety-sixth year. Considering that I will probably live another twenty to thirty years, I would like to craft my life into one of independence that extends well beyond the norm. In other words, I want to be on my own for as long as possible.

Having moved my parents against their will in order to better care for them, I do not want that for myself. I would like to be an active participant in the process of shedding possessions and distilling my life into meaningful minutes, hours, and days. I do not want to live out my life in an isolated environment where I am dependent upon others for something as simple as going to the post office to mail a letter or going to the grocery for a loaf of bread.

I currently live in the country in a wonderful home that was built to mirror a farm house/beach house. It is small, yet efficient, with skylights and glass doors that let in lots of light. I have a garden and bird feeders and wildlife. This should be fine for the next five to ten years. After that, however, I think I need to be in a city where I can live near stores and shopping, have access to efficient public transportation, and be able to walk almost everywhere. I do not want to own a car when I am old; I want to walk to find what I need.

I am blogging about this because I would like ideas about places to live that will provide me with what I need. I don't need a big place or an expensive place. but I need a space for two people with at least a small bit of the outdoors so I can have a few plants, one or two bird feeders, a little space for a dog. some good light, and walking access to almost everything.

The picture I have in my head is a place like San Miguel de Allende in Mexico where you can walk out the front door and walk into town. Or you can hail a $2 taxi that will take you anywhere. If the ride is particularly long, the ride costs $3. You can walk or ride to the Centro (Center of town) where you can buy a newspaper and sit in the park to read it. You can shop for fresh vegetables at the public market or buy a coffee at a local stand. You can stay at home and watch the birds or go to the Biblioteca Publica (public library) to check out a book or watch a movie, play, or musical performance. Why don't I just move to San Miguel? Well, my health insurance is no good in Mexico and they don't take MediCare. That scares me right now. Although I am currently healthy, I don't know that I always will be. Maybe I should take a chance, live on the edge, take a risk. I could always go into Texas for health care, I suppose. That's what other ex-Patriots do.

I would appreciate it if you would tell me where you live; what you like about your city and what you don't. I feel as if I am involving myself in a great research project and I can't wait to get started. Let the games begin!!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I won't be doing any art for the next couple of days because I am glued to CNN watching the pre-inauguration events and will be watching everything that is available on January 20. I have not witnessed, in my lifetime, the excitement that is currently being exhibited for this new president. I remember listening to John F. Kennedy's inauguration speech when I was in college but have not really had any interest in any presidents since that time. I took a vacation day from work because I didn't want to risk not being able to see the entire ceremony along with the pre and post coverage. I wish you an inspiring day filled with hope and wonderment. Yes, we can!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm Thinking of a Warmer Place

In this cold weather, I can't help but think about our time in Mexico with the sun, the birds, and the walks down hilly streets. These stairs lead to a warm terrace where we sat for hours listening to myriad hummingbirds drinking nectar from the flowers on the trees nearby. We could see the entire city of San Miguel while we drank coffee in the morning and wine throughout the afternoon. It is memories such as these that will get us through the winter. In the meantime, there's the terrace, the hummingbirds, and San Miguel. (Photograph available on Etsy)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Week in Art

Esperanza's lament: "Sometimes I Just Want To Be Left Alone..." Give me a single ticket for a single seat and I'll wear my tangerine flower for a respite from the chaos of the day. Don't get me wrong. I only want to be left alone for brief periods so that I can re-energize myself. Do you think Esperanza could become my alter-ego?

My newest creation for Valentine's original collage card that can be framed..available on Etsy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Word For The Year

I am reading many blogs wherein bloggers select a word for the year instead of making a New Year's resolution. Rather than make a resolution that is often difficult to keep, the selection of a word can guide our course throughout the year in many areas of life.

This year, my word is Gratitude: the state of being grateful; thankfulness.

In times like these, it is easy to concentrate on the negativity around me as I listen to people complain or wish away their lives. I am determined not to be that kind of person. I feel great gratitude for all that blesses my life and want to remember everyday how fortunate I am.

I want to remember the lesson of Eckhart Tolle in his book, The New Earth; that all we have is this moment-- today. We must not live in the regrets of yesterday or in the anxieties of tomorrow. We have today and for today, with gratitude, I have all that I need.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Vivien's Magic

Vivien's Magic (©2009) is the latest addition to the Sisterhood of the Studio Muses. She is a keeper of butterflies and releases them at night so they will bring creativity back to her in the morning. She was born of Spanish parents who were cigar-makers in the early 1900's and is adorned with an authentic Anise pod for good fortune.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Some Days Are Like That

Esperanza (©2009) is not to be contained. She wants to be the voice for all of us in each of her collage comments. As with most women, she is beautiful on the surface with many unexpressed needs that eventually must come forth. "Sometimes, I Just Want A Little Time To Myself" is to remember those days when the kids won't leave you alone, the dog wants to go out AGAIN, your husband can't find his keys, and you can't take a bath in peace. You know, a normal day in the life of each and every woman. (Available today on Etsy)