life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I write to expose and work through the ugly parts of this disease, open heart surgery that was less than successful and more recently an S-ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) implanted in my chest that will hopefully restore my heart beat in case of sudden cardiac death. I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to learn how to live a full life with heart failure, to honor my creativity, and to explore all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say
"Don't talk like that!"


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Thursday, November 23, 2017

A "Used" Thanksgiving Post from 2013...but still valid (and I do not have to think up anything new!)

There are some women and most men that have been born and survive daily without the desirable “cooking gene”. Science has not yet unraveled the mysterious set of circumstances that prevent the cooking gene from developing in the normal human being. This DNA anomaly is a lifelong condition that literally millions of people live through daily! The most glaring evidence of this condition is an irrational fear of the kitchen, followed by panic outbreaks in grocery stores and an inability to follow recipes. For those of us living daily without the cooking gene…..Cooking is just another household chore, just one-step above cleaning the toilet.

You can only imagine how terrifying Thanksgiving is for women (and most men) that suffer with “NCG” (no cooking gene). The entire annual holiday that is dedicated to cooking. Yes, they tell you that it is about giving thanks and being grateful, but that is a clever ruse.

To alleviate the stress brought on by Thanksgiving and NCG our small family will not be celebrating Thanksgiving in the traditional way! I will indeed be giving thanks, but not by using every pot & pan in my tiny kitchen, cooking bad food all day, washing, soaking and scraping all night, then stuffing a refrigerator full of leftovers that will probably spoil before they are eaten and eventually be thrown out. And of course the worst part, the incredible guilt I feel because by the end of Thanksgiving Day I have truly hated the entire experience, and am anything but thankful.

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday evening, said grace irreverently over a bloomin onion with a very tall glass of really cold beer, a perfectly cooked steak with all the trimmings, all cooked and served by someone else! A perfect evening spent in the company of dear friends and family with good food and marvelous conversation, my perfect picture of Thanksgiving.

So today, I celebrate Thanksgiving Day by gloriously reveling in all of my incredible blessings with interesting conversations, funny stories, being creative, watching parades and football
…..But.... there will be no cooking!

For all of my loved ones, family, and friends, near and far, I am truly thankful, you are in my heart today and every day!

Update: This year we will be having a traditional T-day and the "official Thankful Blooming Onion" the day after....woo-hoo....bring it on...a 2 day Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Eve....NEVER EVER involves doing anything in the kitchen!


Hold on I am coming!  Wait...is there going to be beer?

I am about to have a traditional Thanksgiving!  I am not sure I will know how to …act!  The good news is it is a small dinner with just our immediate family, at their house…There will be NO cooking (maybe some heating up) I can do this! The official Turkey dinner has been cooked and ordered from "Gobble-Gobble" on the internet and "Four Rivers" restaurant…YUM...I adore my daughter-in-law; she has this program down pat!   No big production just enjoying being with each other and of course, playing with our first granddaughter!  I have to admit I am seriously mourning my semi-traditional Bloomin’ Onion and beer day before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving observance.  This always gave me all day Thursday to do anything I wanted to do, which I must confess NEVER EVER involved doing anything in that kitchen!


"Hold on" Same and Dave

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Because...THE god (or gods) said so!

I have no problem with people of faith practicing it.  I do have a problem with people that use faith as a justification for their (good and/or bad) behavior.  Why can’t people do the right thing for no other reason other than it is the right thing, that it will not hurt others, that it is respectful and honorable?  I am more shocked now than ever when horrendous behavior is revealed in our politicians and people that profess a faith still vote for them…Trump set the standard Moore is following in his footsteps...and the religious continue to support this heinous behavior.

Christianity as well as most other religions…past, present, ancient, foreign and domestic advocate doing good for 2 reasons…#1 The “Pay-off”…living forever…heaven…72 virgins…happily ever after…in the bosom of your loved ones….etc. etc.  Pick your religion and I can pretty much guarantee there will be a Pay-off. (Typically after you are dead so there is never any verifiable proof)   #2 And, if you do commit an offense intentionally or not ….you can bully, pay, sacrifice, ignore, deny, repent or in any way silence or appease those offenses you have committed you still get the Pay-off! Just make sure you can justify it.  Because…. clearly THE god (or gods) said so!

"One Tin Soldier" Coven

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Whatever Comes Next!

Each day is the promise of a new lesson…Yesterday’s lesson was a repeat…clearly, I need to work on it a bit more….why else would it keep showing up in my life.   It is the lesson that even my best-laid plans can be screwed up for absolutely no fu#@%ing  reason…  It is like every now and again the wicked heart failure monster reaches out and grabs me…saying “no way bitch…that is not happening” and the more I fight to move forward the tighter the grip until I have no choice but to give in to this disease.  Those are the days I just have to throw my hands up, with a promise to myself, that tomorrow will be better and I will be open, fearless, and excited about whatever comes
next…I am not quitting!
  "Bruised but not Broken" Joss Stone

Saturday, November 18, 2017

....or it is a sign....

Adventures come wrapped differently.  I am loving working again in the studio, spending time with a part of me that I thought I had lost and I am looking forward to showing my art at the winery!  But tucked in this adventure it seems like another one might be brewing. And YES I know I should not look up medical things on the internet…but after the second night of excruciating leg cramps I was desperate.  Leg cramps are one of those frustrating things…you know it is not going to kill you…but good god they are painful!  I have blamed them on needing more potassium (and taking another potassium pill night before last did seem to help) then I accused myself of being on my feet too much in the studio standing on concrete floors, I was even a bit suspicious of the hot bath I took that night to relieve the aching lower back.  All of them possible causes and combined a very likely cause of leg cramps.  Yesterday my legs felt like I had run a marathon, tired, achy and wobbly…so Tylenol and lots of quiet computer work, I stayed out of the studio, but last night the damn cramps woke me up again it! This morning in a frantic attempt to figure out how to stop this…I went to the Mayo site on the internet….I know…I know…bad move! Mayo lists muscle fatigue as a common cause- that fits…It also mentions other causes as pregnancy,  definitely not  (not unless there is a really really big star in the east)…age, well crap that figures, age factors in every stinking diagnosis….diabetes, that is a negative…and then kidney failure and my heart sinks.  Is this the culprit? Ed (the nurse has been carefully monitoring kidney issues lately). I think I will make this a combo self-internet driven prognosis and just see it as another adventure….maybe it will not work out…but it can be an adventure, if that is what I want it to be!  That or it is a sign to stay off of self-diagnosing internet sites!! 
"I Saw the Sign"  Ace of Base

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The "business of dying" is NOT for sissies!

My last meeting with my dearly loved hospice social worker was this week…She is being transferred to another district….even in hospice/palliative care…business often comes before patients….not often, but it does rear its ugly head from time to time.  Patrice’s last visit came with a “checklist of business stuff” I have not done yet….ughhhh….Did you know in the state of Florida, I need to make a statement of where I want to die, home vs medical facility (or hospice facility)…well, I need to do that and fill out and file a quit claim deed to the house, and of course arrangements for my removal.  All of this in addition to keeping up with bills and medical insurance!  And although my ACHA “Florida Blue” policy is still available this year…they have discontinued Hospice as part of their covered service! I do not have any time left for being sick and I still have a bunch of stuff that I WANT TO DO!  The "business of dying" is NOT for sissies.  One more for the "who knew" column....there really does need to be a class on this somewhere!
"You Had Time" Ani DiFranco

Leaving my light on ....love what I do!

It is so very exciting to watch new editions of my work being born!  After this month’s humiliation with copyrights I gave to a calendar publisher, I am determined to get it right and as absolutely as close to the colors in the original as possible.  Giclee’ prints are wonderful in that the control of the color can be so precise!  Because of the texture of the originals, the typical printing technique of producing prints from a high-quality photograph just did not reproduce well.  The flat photography lost the feeling of texture the originals.  We discovered that developing reproductions from direct high resolutions scans capture the depth and shadows of each of the wrinkles and cracks caused by the process of the paper movement as well as colors and shapes to create and bring the most realistic feeling of the texture in a reproduction.  I am leaving my light on...oh how I love what I do! 

"Light On"  Mark Ballas

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Making more!


Pulling prints…. actually pulling some out of the storage boxes as well as color balancing and “pulling” new prints of some of the new images.  There are so many of the older print images that are getting close to the end of the edition.  When I first printed “Blue Nude” and the single fruit series I could not begin to imagine that in my lifetime I would ever sell 200 of any one image!  There is such a warm place in my heart when I think of how many of my images are “out there” in the world and I am only inspired to make more!

"There She Goes"  OrtoPilot

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Home is where EVERYTHING is!

Well I know that should make me feel all warm and fuzzy….but there is art everywhere! It means that I either need to sell some of this stuff, give it away, cannibalize some of the unsold pieces or god forbid…throw it away. I got militant yesterday! Frustrated by the lack of space…I decided to pull apart 2 of my giant “MONOLITHS”. 6’ x 12” x 12”…yep those are the right numbers…big tall square painted columns. They were at “Nude Nite” a couple of years ago. Regardless of how great they were, I needed the space...I was going to just pitch the whole mess once it was broken down…you know the old saying…” get rid of the old, to make space physically and emotionally for the new exciting ideas to arrive”? Well, it kind did not work exactly like that. Once the canvas was removed… I folded them up (who knows maybe I can reuse it someday)…then knocked the wood 3D stretcher apart…you know they could be built into something else too! So maybe it should be about recycling…yea that’s it! Recycling! Home is where my heart and art are! Home is where everything is!

"Don't Let Me be Misunderstood" Cat Stevens (Yusuf)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thought provoking conversations!

Second Sunday Artist Salon! I do not think there is anything more powerful or spiritually uplifting than like minds having a wonderful thought-provoking conversation!  And so it was, tucked among some of the bravest, creative people I know.  Two hours flew by, and we probably could have gone another 2 hours without blinking an eye!  It was a great evening…I am so lucky to have so many wonderfully talented people in my life…There is nothing more magic than a group of intelligent people that read the same information, can add their own opinions and “spit” an idea or a concept back out into the group in the form of marvelous conversation.  How lucky I am to have such amazing creative friends!  Thank you for such an inspiring evening!
"Something to Talk About"  Bonnie Rait

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Big Magic Ideas....

I enjoy reading other people’s ideas and how they handle the challenges of living a creative life.  I want to be perfectly clear…I do not always agree with everything they have to say, but I typically find at least one “jewel of wisdom” that applies to me in some way.  I found my common ground with Elizabeth Gilbert in the first chapter!  Unlike most self-help gurus that advise us to feel the fear and do it anyway or just ignore it, I loved her thoughts about it.  She believes that fear is an inseparable part of creativity!  Instead of bullying it or ignoring it, her idea of inviting it along and expecting it to come along on this journey makes more sense to me.  Perhaps because I am tired of being at war with my fears and what feels like the 50-50 split of wins and losses I have had.  As this disease progresses, I continue to feel that my “losses” to my fear continue to grow and dictate conditions of my creativity.  This time I am inviting the fear to join me, acknowledge it is here and respect the lessons it may have to teach me.  But…this is my road trip…I am driving this creativity/life vehicle and fear may not touch the roadmap or the radio! 
"Fast Car"  Tracy Chapman