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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Music is loading really slow lately...sorry...

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Important Things!

which ever one of the "old" friends shared this yesterday....
ThankYOU is a perfect way to start this weekend!


And this is a mouthful of truth!  Running (not walking) back “home” for a high school reunion… #43 to be precise, but it is not so much the reunion but 5 good high school friends getting the opportunity to spend a weekend together in Nanny Sander’s house, where we all did a good part of our growing up!  5 (maybe more) women/girls coming home to rediscover our “important things “and I suspect there will be a bit of party-ing, too!  Woo-Hoo!

"Moma Told Me Not to Come" 3 Dog Night

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cheryl's Excellent Adventure.....Part #1

"You Might Die Trying" Live

Dave Matthews Band Concert is Part #1 of 4 spectacular adventures that will change my life forever!  It could not gotten off to a better start…..well they could have played more of MY favorite songs, but that does not take away from the outstanding musicians they are and the incredible noise they can make!  Of course, if you mix in great people, huge gigantic beers, an amazing full moon (it was an outdoor venue) with that noise and there will be dancing in the aisles!  Great, great, great fun!
"to change the world...you start with one step"
 "if you give....you get the world"               
"You Might Die Trying"  Dave Matthews Band

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

chaos...chaos...chaos... BRING IT!

That is what they say anyway…and I am holding them to it, cause I have got some serious wonderful chaos in my near future!  My annual pilgrimage to see The Dave Matthews Band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK7AlQ3FNdQ , a high school reunion and a 2 day slumber party with old high school girl friends, at Nanny Sanders’ house.  A house all of us practically grew up in, and at last count I think there were somewhere between 4 and 6 bottles of vodka lined up and an uncountable number of full wine bottles…..
Ergo the CHAOS already mentioned!  
And all of this chaos does not even take into consideration the next few days at the beach with 4 grandsons ages 7 through 11.  Crazy chaos or absolute, unbelievable, kick-butt take names…FUN!
"Bad to the Bone"  George Thorogood

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

There she goes....again!

So….if you know anything about me….you know that I am a certified control freak (accept when it comes to house cleaning and cooking, always have better things to do).  You have to know how absolutely petrified I am about open heart surgery.  I mean the ultimate in lack of control.  Some people I do not not know (who’s only interest in me is a pay check) will literally sawing and hacking into my chest and stopping my heart.  Not that I want to be awake to choreograph this….but holy crap, it is the ultimate in letting go of control!
"There She Goes, Again"  Ortopilot

Monday, July 27, 2015

Creative rhythm, sensual ebb and flow...are you kidding me??? .... My fear is out of control dancing wildly!

i move to a creative rhythm, i am brave, open hearted, intuitive in my sway, i ebb and flow my way into this breathtaking dance, i am the sensual one.

This….This is the ultimate fear of the unknown! Not knowing if this surgery is going to work. How much is it going to hurt? How long before I get my life back? What will my body and my life look like when they are done? Will my heart be better? Underneath, my fear is dancing wildly, but all you can see is calm... It is taking everything I have to hold on to my creative rhythm, my brave open heart, my sensual controlled breathtaking dance?

"Honky Tonk Woman" The Rolling Stones

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Boobs, Pirates, Tequila and Tiaras....

Yes, I know you are watching….so you need to know there is not one day of my life that I have not said Thank you for being my best friend.
"Love is where this begins, Thank you for letting me in, I've never had to pretend, You’ve always known who I am And I know my life is better, Because you’re a part of it, I know without you by my side, That I would be different Thank you for all of your trust, Thank you for not giving up, Thank you for holding my hand. I've always known where you stand Yes, I feel my life is better, So is the world we’re living in, I’m thankful for the time I spent, With my best friend Thank you for calling me out, Thank you for waking me up, Thank you for breaking it down, Thank you for choosing us Thank you for all you’re about, Thank you for lifting me up, Thank you for keeping me grounded, And being here now, I’m thankful for the time I spent With my best friend." Jason Mraz

"Best Friend"  Jason Mraz

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I must do the thing...





Each day it just creeps closer and closer and the fear  can be overwhelming.  I wish with all my heart (no pun intended) that I could just blink my eyes and it would be all over with.  I wish it would be done, that it is a grand success, and I will have bought myself more time and a better quality of life.  I must do the THING….


               "Heals Me"  India Arie

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

and do it anyway....




I wish I could tell you how many times I have said this to others.  In 20 years of facilitating creativity classes, it is one of my go to catch phrases.  There is even a book by this tittle that I have highly recommended to classes.  And now I sit, drenched in fear and this phrase seems to be preposterous.  But....I am going to do it any way.  The next time I tell a class full of creatives to feel the fear and do it anyway, it will mean something very different!

           "Fear"   Jazmine Sullivan

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Art Fairy Godmother



I have just been called an art fairy godmother, and it literally brought tears to my eyes I am so touched, honored, overwhelmed, proud, encouraged (I can go on and on) and cannot think of anything in this whole world that I would like to be known as more than this.
And if that was not the greatest thing in the whole wild world....
there is a magic wand and tiara!

Thank you my dear amazing creative friend!  I am so touched!


"When You Wish Upon a Star"   Rod Stewart

Religion and Politics



In the course of many interesting and wonderful conversations I have felt the pressure to produce a solid belief in something.  I really do feel some connection to this quote!  I love a discourse with those that can passionately embrace their beliefs, without becoming angry if I question why or do not embrace the same viewpoints.  I have had friends and family that literally sever ties with me simply because I cannot embrace and practice their beliefs, or that I openly question or doubt the popular faiths. I would not ever want anyone to believe as I do, to simply belong and/or agree.  Why is it so difficult for them to offer me the same courtesy?   Is religious and political “belief’ the death of questioning and intelligence?

"Abraham, Martin & John"   Dion

Ting-Tang-Walla-Walla-Bing-Bang

Having a truly "what the hell are you doing?" moment. The truth is the doctors do not know me from Adam's house cat.  I am not a person with a life, I am a big ass paycheck....I know, I know I am sounding horribly cynical but.....the reality is...if this surgery does not work.... they go home have dinner with the family and still collect a pay check....they risk nothing!!!

Doctors are whippersnappers in ironed white coats
Who spy up your rectums and look down your throats
And press you and poke you with sterilized tools
And stab at solutions that pacify fools.
I used to revere them and do what they said
Till I learned what they learned on was already dead.
                                                                       Gilda Radner


"Witch Doctor" David Seville & the Chipmunks

Monday, July 20, 2015

Well CRAP.....

Well CRAP!  Timing never has been my strong suit!  I have been in the gym for a couple of months now adding strength training to my walking with the hopes of being absolutely totally and completely ready for this open heart surgery and the gym decides to remodel and will be closed for a while!  Another couple of week’s strength training will be missed!

However, beach week is the 3 thru 11 so my last week’s works outs was already scheduled to be solitary sunrise walks along the beach anyway, a much better way to prepare than that stinky gym. 
Maybe it will be ok….


"Push it"  Salt n Pepa

3/4's of the way there....



It looks like I am going to get a stutter in my life.  A distinct time where I can clearly mark the ending of one part of my life, and to a certain degree begin again.  I should have more energy and life and the question becomes what do I want to do with it.   Then I ran across this small chart, and it really did make some decisions seem clearer.  I just have to work harder on “You are paid for it”.  The other 3 things have already been answered, I am ¾’s of the way there!


"You Live, You Learn"  Alanis  Morisette

Sunday, July 19, 2015

from the "Class of 72...."

1972 Leesburg High School Year Book voted “Best Sense of Humor” 
Holy crap!  That was a nice rack....even if I do say so myself!  Not so much NOW!
A reunion coming up, and my nose is smashed into the yearbook boning up on who is who. I cannot remember who I saw last week and now somehow I think looking at 40 something year old pictures might help. And yes for a few moments….. I really did think we would all look like we were still 18 years old. Why is it, regardless how much time has passed, or what I have accomplished in life, I go back home to a class reunion and every single one of those, high school feelings of insecurity and "not good enough" erupt like I am still 18 years old! There is no doubt that I have survived the wear & tear of life, I look like I am 60 something, but fortunately I am still loud, outrageously inappropriate, overly expressive, I chronically break the rules, I will never be the proper Leesburg lady and I dance really badly (but still love to). I just figured out how to make a living and a life from all of my 1972 un-lady-like qualities as a Fine Artist (never in the art club, in fact I got caught skipping art class) Creativity Facilitator (never a leader or queen of anything, although I wear my tiara regularly now), However I am, I am indeed still laughing! That part I got right!
"The Sun Screen Song"  Buz Luhman

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Making my mark....









Maybe this is just the way
my art, my love and my life 
is supposed to be.  
This is the whole the point!


"How can you mend a Broken Heart"
Al Green & Joss Stone

yes....I am whining....


None of it falls into place easily, it never just “flows”…It is all a mess, but I have had years to learn how to convince myself and others to ignore and cover up the hurt and the pain and move forward anyway. I am and have been an expert performer, but this disease is taking its toll and I am so tired, I just cannot do it very well any more.  Years of hurt and pain have eaten my heart and now it is showing through and falling apart. This is when I feel the most vulnerable and clean out more closets.
and yes I am whining....

"Family of Strangers"   Ann Reed

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

and...Today's Lessons

Be strong

Doesn’t matter what others think

Use all of your body and soul

Do not be afraid to be smart

They cannot hurt me

And always always always express yourself!

"Good Girls"     Julian Moon

Always the Lady ?????





There is this FB app that shows past posts, and this one turned up today from one of my old High School friends…“Ummm....Yea....what do you  think?”
Always the prim and proper lady!
"She's a Lady"    Tom Jones    

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Next!




If this surgery works.....I think I may be coming to an amazing new beginning!  I can start all over again, a chance to leave this consuming fear and pain behind me, to choose the energy I want to embrace.  I cannot even begin to imagine how life will change when I do not have to spend so much of my precious energy on the pain and being tired all of the time.  I need to get busy planning what I need to do next!

             "Shine" Jason Mraz

Monday, July 13, 2015

10 Rules for being a Human Being

Last night at the Art Journal Group this quote came up and I loved it!  
by Cr. Cherie Carter-Scott, it is great!
"Wide Awake"   Kay Perry

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Get out of the way and let the girl dance!

Still very excited and hopeful, but also walking through the scared shitless part,  desperately looking to think positively! I know this kind of surgery is done every day, but the thought that my heart will be stopped and machine breathing and pushing blood through me, literally takes my breath away.  I need to dance, laugh and celebrate! NOW"
"She Just Wants to Dance"  Keb Mo

Friday, July 10, 2015

"Watch me"

For over 5 years they (doctors-nurses) have said, we can’t, you can’t. Take your pills and behave. I accepted their opinions, I believed them, sometimes I behaved, but more often I didn’t, a small part of me, never ever gave up.  As it turns out, that small part of me was hibernating in my heart! Never ever ever give up….never ever give someone all of your power, I do not care what kind of expert they are.  No one understands the magic we have in each of us!
"Magic Carpet Ride"  Steppenwolf

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My CDF's

Core Desire Feelings!  They are an interesting and wonderful alternative to long term goal setting!  Instead of setting long term goals, struggling day in and day out.  I was taught by Danielle LaPort’s Desire Mapping, to soul search and discover the feelings that I want to have every day.  These are mine…..  Every decision I make should be done with the goal of having one or all of these feelings……every day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

This is my FIGHT SONG!

Yes...

Life gifts, chances, opportunities, breaks, typically will not arrive gift wrapped with a bow and a gift card explaining exactly what they are and how they will change lives.  It has taken me some time to realize after 5 years of doctors telling me no, that I have been given the gift of a choice, the choice to say "yes" or "no".  My immediate gut feeling, was no.  I had heard it so many times before and learned how to take "no" with grace (kind of) and acceptance.  I know how to do “NO”.
"Yes" is foreign, yes is scary, Yes is full of risk and pain.  But me saying yes, is the only possible way I have to build the new.
I am saying yes….yes... to open heart surgery, yes.... to the gift, the chance, the opportunity to hold onto to my life and build new!

"Pata Pata"    Miriam

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Is this the miracle I have been hoping for?



Fear and disbelief are setting in as I begin to let yesterday sink in…..I mean truly sink in.  Sink in to my head and into my heart.  For years I have been told that there was a great deal of damage to my heart from the heart attack that was irreparable. It was dead heart muscle.  I was officially diagnosed with heart failure and 5 years ago began the process of living a long chronic and terminal condition.  I struggled in the beginning unwilling to believe that the heart muscle was the only tissue that could not heal.  How can that be?  Every other cell in our body can regenerate itself and heal, what makes my heart different?

Recent downgrades in my heart have forced me back into the doctors for more intervention and a series of NEW tests. A test that was to detect the location of healthy functioning tissue for ICD leads found that there is a part of my heart that is hibernating, not dead. I was turned down for the ICD for lack of viable functioning heart muscle.  But the test showed a moderate amount of tissue in my heart that they previously thought was dead is indeed still alive, hibernating, but not functioning.  Yesterday I saw a big time fancy thoracic surgeon that feels confident about being able to get blood flow back to that hibernating area. It means open heart surgery and that scares the hooey out of me.  Is this the miracle I have been hoping for??


"Don't Give Up"  Herbie Hancock, John Legend, Pink

Monday, July 6, 2015

Grace and Strength


I can do this….This is part of my life!  To back down, need someone to do this with me, diminishes my courage.  I am going to need to be much much stronger than I am now, to face what lies ahead of me.  To move through it with grace and strength, I need to practice at being brave, fearless and not afraid.  I am going to do this….whatever this ends up being.  I will do it with grace and strength.

"She is not Afraid"  One Direction

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A beautiful disaster....



Well….that is the official PR anyway!  It would be great if it were so, but the reality is….it is not! However, I think there are times that each of us get little tastes of it.  It happens every now and again,  in the middle of an experience, with someone or something, that I totally forget my own brokenness. I become so much a part of something else that I am less me, less of my imperfections, flaws and disasters.  None of them are really beautiful but the situations and the people that can make me forget are! 


"On and On" Stephen Bishop

Friday, July 3, 2015

Finally... There is SCIENCE behind my messy studio!


Just need a copy of this on hand every time I start beating myself up over how messy my studio is.
Yes....I am just fine!




I never wanted to blend in....

I was brought up  to blend in, never ever be remarkable, do not attract attention, do nothing to make anyone look at you, ladies do not ask for anything, they wait for someone to offer it. 
Yep….want to know how well that has worked for me?
I tried to blend in, not be remarkable, not attract attention, do nothing to have people look at me and wait for them to offer…..they never do.…..not great career moves when you are an artist. 

I am not supposed to blend in, no one is supposed to blend in!,,,,and I am still working on that.....it is ok.
"Breaking Silence" Janis Ian

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Welcoming madness! It is not just me!

“Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life.”                                                — Carl Jung, The Red Book
"I Don't Want to Wait"  Paula Cole

i am the sensual one....



Or at least I think I am, but then that is all that really matters, isn’t?  What I think…. At the risk of sounding selfish….for the next few days and most especially on Monday it will be all about what I think.  I am finally coming into my own sensual, creative life of self-discovery.  What I think does matter.  I will listen, I will use good decision making skills, but I will follow my heart into this next breathtaking dance!


 "I Wanna Dance with Somebody"  Boostraps