Modernism Week – No Sitting On The Bed

Daylight Savings began this morning. I stayed up past my bedtime and woke up too early. Now I’m stupefied. Here is another good reason for procrastinating on my writing goals. Several interviews done and zero drafts completed this year. I must remind myself of how and why I  write.  There is no deadline and I’m not getting paid. This blog is about my crazy retirement adventures, not just promoting art. In honor of that philosophy and not getting enough sleep, take a look at these fantastic “keep you up all night” bedrooms from Modernism Week in the Palm Springs area last month.

The first few photos are from a tour of homes in Tamarisk West, Rancho Mirage, CA. Tamarisk West is a mid-century modern residential community designed by architect S. Charles Lee and built in the mid 1960’s.

This teal blue and gold bedroom is one of my favorites. The owner, also named Tracey, was so gracious welcoming us to the community and sharing her home. I’d be able to sleep in a bedroom like this, as long as I didn’t have to pee in the middle of the night. The bed is so low to the ground, the engagement of my quads would wake me right up.

IMG_7942 (1) Blue Bedroom

Everything in the following house was visually stunning. Designer/owner Jaeger Stoltz used a lot of color and pattern, which I love, but he also used a lot of glass and leucite. It was kind of hard to tell where the night stand ended and the bed began. I imagined myself on the floor or being sucked into the vortex of palms. Seriously, a gorgeous home, but I can’t sleep here.

IMG_7953 (1) Black Gold and Yellow bedroom

Speaking of palms, I think my grandmother slept here. Shades of pink and green, and very vintage. It was a nice recreation of the mid-century vibe, except for the “twin” king beds. It also had a lovely garden view. I think I could sleep here.

IMG_7950 (1) pink and green close up

20190217_palm_springs_0252 (1) Pink and Green bedroom

Leaving Tamarisk West, we toured several properties in Palm Desert. The crowds were pretty thick at this point, making it hard to get photos without people in the shot. This bedroom got my attention for a few reasons. The Rothko orange and yellow 1956 painting (reproduction?) reminded me of the sun shinning through a bedroom window. I wanted to check for authenticity, but didn’t want to get caught touching the art work. I think I might lay awake under a painting like this. Or maybe, I would lay there wondering what happened to the other lamp, or why the throw pillows aren’t perfectly fluffed centered. I later realized that messy pillows was the home stager’s “shtick.” Every bedroom had carefully mussed up pillows. I don’t think I could sleep here, but I do like the colors.

IMG_7991 (1) orange rothko bedroom

Lastly, we visited Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palm’s Estate. Sticking with the palm theme, I selected this guest room as my favorite from that tour. It was cozy and done in peaceful greens. I think I could sleep here, but apparently one is not allowed to even sit on the bed!

IMG_8037 (1) Sinatra guest room

Thanks for joining me. I’ll get back to serious writing another morning. Now, I need a nap.

20190217_palm_springs_0237 (1) Tamarisk and me


Disrupting the Darkness


This is me, enjoying my sun-room and dreading the end of day light savings. Wearing my brightest colored outfit, in denial,  and shifting through conflicting feelings. I love the fall and I hate the fall. I love the cooling temperatures and the approaching holiday season. I hate the “falling back an hour” and losing the early evening day light. Continue reading

Grieving is Unfinished Work

IMG_5395 (1) Man and baby

Water color portrait by Jacqueline Stubbs

Sometimes I have to write something for myself – about my Mom. I’ve been thinking a lot about her lately. Not that I don’t think about her throughout each day, because I do. I’m talking about the thoughts and questions that bring me to tears. The kind of boiling tears that make you walk around the house carrying tissues and not daring to put on mascara or go out because you’ll look like hell and start crying all over again when anyone asks how your day is going. Continue reading

The Hole View – Retirement Pressures


The guy who cuts my grass broke a window on May 17th. Two weeks later, I still don’t have a firm schedule for its repair – although I did finally get a price quoted. In my retirement transition, I’ve been focused on this hole and angry. It’s a symbol of everything that is broken and that I’ve been waiting to get fixed. Now that I am retired, that which used to be a nuisance, sometimes becomes an obsession. I retired from a  career in power where I worried about the scope of outages, when the next hurricane might come, and a myriad of daily decisions and administrative matters. Now, my decisions are like this: Continue reading

Finding Purpose After Retirement

iris fieldIMG_0987Early retirement has been like walking this zig-zagged iris garden boardwalk. Lots of fun travel over here. Golf and art lessons over there. Short term volunteer assignments along the way. Thoughts of marketing some of Mom’s artwork (she loved painting irises). Blogging a lot, then not. Walking around enjoying the beauty, like these travelers, but not jumping off into any particular field. I’ve written about my retirement identity crisis recently. However, I’m turning the corner into some things that are motivating me like I haven’t been for a while. Continue reading

Retirement – Identity Struggles and Feelings

flying high solo (2)

The above was from an article written in 2013 when the thought of early retirement didn’t exist. I was fully immersed in a career that I loved, working for a company and with people I respected, and really doing well….until my Father died shortly after it was published and I became the primary caregiver for my Mother. I spent the next four years immersed in elder care, my job and nothing else….until I started considering early retirement. There is lots of advice on the financial aspects of retirement and how to spend your time,  but not that much about one’s shifting identity and the emotions involved. I think of retirement planning in terms of three F’s:  Finances, Fun and Feelings (MOSTLY feelings.) Continue reading

Writing From The Heart



Painting by Judy Mackey

Creative Pension Payment:  Being able to write about anything

I’ve always been a writer. When I was 12, I wrote a short story.  I even typed up the manuscript, but my Dad got transferred to Japan that summer and it was misplaced in the packing.  In middle school and high school I filled journals with poetry and teenaged revelations.  In college I wrote all the time (my BA is in Communications.) At work I wrote contracts, white papers and occasional articles for company publications. And then I went to graduate school…. It was exhausting after a while. Continue reading