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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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Here's to the Crazy Ones

Seems when I am tired or overwhelmed I easily slip back into old patterns, safe places and expected reactions.  Yesterday was a challenge and a huge lesson!  The exhibition venue was very different than anything I have done before.  Now, every art installation is a challenge but this one more so than most and at the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat diva, I was a bitch and half way through it I was going….”what am I doing?” 

But shame on me….shame on me!  If I was that concerned I would have done my homework and gone to see the venue FIRST!  AND I am always an advocate for doing something you have never done before, being open to wonderful new experiences.  Here is my opportunity to walk my talk, and I shrunk back into my old comfortable “holier than thou” attitude.  How can I possibly be a crazy misfit, a rebel or a troublemaker if I do not take these outrageous different chances and love every moment!
"Crazy" Seal

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Magic Wand




And….I really do have a magic wand, made to match my crown.  Both were made, worn and are still worn from time to time when I need some magic in my life.

Every now and again, I am overwhelmed by fear!  My imagination will run amuck and not in a good way!  My brain wants to conjure up every dooms day scenario I can come up with then wave it at me, seemingly saying, “see, see this could be you, if you don’t_________(fill in the blank).  There are at least a bazillion different variations on this theme!  This is the ugly censor that operated in my head, continues to create and hang fear over me, insuring that I do not move forward!

I think it is time to get my crown and magic wand down off of the shelf….again!

                         "Recently" DMB

Monday, March 28, 2016

Love Potions!






Here we go again!  It feels so good to be asked to exhibit this show again!  When you are in the midst of women artists that support and inspire each other it is the most amazing feeling.  I am so lucky that through out my creative life that these and so many many other amazing creative women.  How lucky I truly am!

The 5 second rule....






I have taught this for years, yet I am the one that forgets….I am my own worst enemy at times.

I do not have many rules but this one is I should never have let go…is the 5 second rule!  It is not what you think it is.

As soon as you have an idea....act on it, in some tangible way, in 5 seconds or it will get away from you!

I forget to reach for the magic and the cookies that are within my reach, if I just reach a little higher!

              "Me"  Paula Cole

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Choices




I hate making difficult choices, I hate conflict.  I am finally beginning to learn how to honor my own life.  I think I see the light!  At the risk of sounding horribly selfish, I want this part of my life to be full of love, life and creating.  I no longer have time for chaos and drama.  I have learned that enough of that will come into my life without an invitation from me.  I choose to honor my heart and my life.

                   "I Think I See the Light"  Yosuf (Cat Stevens)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My experience...

This one came across my Face Book and was just too good and too true for me to just let it pass through. The stages of grief.....REALLY??? I just had to post and throw in my 2 cents worth!

and...HELL YES...this is exactly what it is like!  I have just become used to the fact that there is no such thing as "Loss Acceptance"  Every once in a while I think I have got this whipped only to have it get all screwed up again.  I am not learning how to work the steps in the emotional curve, I am learning how to live in the chaos....

On some level...the chaos is working for me....Loss is never that organized!
        "Follow Me"  Uncle Kracker

"Deserve" is a loaded word.


“Deserve” is a loaded word.  I did not know that just being human meant I deserved love.  I did not get what I understood love to be, the kind of love most people experience without question as a child or a wife. The few times I screwed up enough courage to ask, even beg for it, I was told I was loved, I just did not know how to recognize the kind of love they gave me. I was selfish. I was self centered.  I needed to learn to quit expecting so much. I needed to learn to accept what I was given. It was my problem if I did not understand that.  I learned that love is not given freely; I had to perform to be good enough to earn and deserve love….. and I was never good enough. I was never good enough for the accepting, kind, patient, romantic and forgiving love.  Now, I find myself exploring the idea that perhaps I was good enough, that I am still good enough. It is OK for me to want to experience the kind of love and life my heart desires.  It may just be that I am not selfish…. that I do deserve.


"Better Off Now"  Trent Dabbs

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The 2 of me.....

How can my rule following fundamental good-girl and my unorthodox free spirited wild woman live in this one body?
It is one of my deepest unanswered questions.  And I am always struggling for answers. I get glimpses of the two identities in the same body when I carefully make a fresh bed, then light candles, cast off "the uniform" and lustily bounce in tucked sheets with the heretical wild woman!  I wonder if this is the powerful interplay of a duality within every woman....

The weaving of my two identities may be one of my most difficult accomplishments but I suspect it will be one of my greatest pleasures. I am so grateful for both!

         "Body Love Pt 1 and Pt 2"  Mary Lambert

Monday, March 21, 2016

Where is the fu(#!N@ instruction manual for this?

This body, my heart and even some errant cells keep hijacking my time, my thoughts, my energy, and my happiness!  Now,  I really understand that pitiful cliché “If you have your health, you have everything” although I am also certain that the ones that sling around this pathetic quote have never had a long term chronic disease.  I am caught somewhere between putting on a mask and acting like I am fine for others because they could never understand this or hiding away so no one sees the dismal down side of this body crapping out on me. Please believe me, wanting the people in my life that I love to understand this exasperation would be wonderful, but I know that it just cannot happen.  I know am totally capable of depressing a saint with my self pity! How do I make it stop?  Where is the fucking instruction manual for this?


"Fumbling Towards Ecstacy"  Sarah McLachlan

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cannot undo me

Why do I let them define me?  
Why do I deny my own needs so they are comfortable, happy, and not angry? 
Why do I allow them? 
It is the time to turn my own finger around and point back at me…
The more I love and need, the more power I give them… I was taught  that if I  loved hard enough, did everything they wanted me to, and did not question,....they would love me...It does not work; I am not loved in the way I understand...no….the way I want to be loved. I am not ungrateful for the love I have and  I am not blaming them,   I am blaming me, maybe I have to come undone first before I can put together the strength, love and life I want. One day soon...you will not be able to undo me.


"32 Flavors"  Ani DiFranco

Saturday, March 19, 2016

I do not give my permission!

And here is part of the problem…there are a whole lot people out there that want you to think you have more or less control over your life and what other people think than you really do!  All you have to do is watch the commercials on TV…..(I know….I know what a scary thought!)  Consume this “yogurt”, “chicken”, “medicine” or “______” (fill in the blank} and you will be happy and healthy.  Drive this car and you will be noticed and popular.  Watch this TV program if you want to be informed and smart….do not under any circumstances form your own opinion!  It goes on and on and on.  There are incredibly wealthy people and businesses whose chief concern is to separate me from my time or money or both by making me think that their services and/or products are going to give me control over my own thoughts and what other people think   The reality is the only thing I have control over and will ever have control over, is how I feel.  Even under the most horrendous conditions, I still have control over how I feel.  All of the money in the world cannot buy another’s respect and/or admiration.   No one can give that to me, No one can take that from me ……unless I give them permission.
"Make it Mine"  Jason Mraz

Friday, March 18, 2016

Well CRAP....a real pain in the ass!





Biopsy came back....it's not the normal slow growing, easy skin cancer but a much more aggressive kind. So instead of patting myself on the back for being so pro-active, I will be going through all of those things I was so hoping to avoid!  They will be removing as little tissue as possible sending it to the lab through out the procedure and will keep at it until it comes back "clean".  What a major pain in the ass! GRRRRRRRRRR


"I Should Have Known Better"  The Beatles

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

FINALLY...I learned a lesson!

Yes it is ugly now, much worse now than "BEFORE" they "fixed" it but it is over with and healing. I finally did it…I learned my lesson!   There have been at least ba-zillion times I have survived a really awful situation and have repeated the mantra “I have learned a valuable lesson” and from then on out....I simply avoided the people or situations that created the misery, sadness, and hurt.  

Monday I had to, not just avoid a situation but to “take action” to stay out of trouble.

Red hair, fair skin and a far cry from a spring chicken…skin cancer is just another ugly fact of life.  It is a common experience that I have had several times. Unfortunately in the past I have not recognized it until it was a real mess which only makes having it removed worse.  More tissue is excised, more stitches, multiple biopsies and it is in general a real pain in the butt.  But I caught this one early.

Yay me….I learned my lesson…I did not dismiss or avoid…..I took action and it t should heal completely with no eye tissue involvement,  no stitches, and minimal if any scarring!
"Doctor My Eyes"  Jackson Brown

Sunday, March 13, 2016

And another very successful art festival...












And another very successful art festival has come and gone!  How wonderfully lucky I am to be able to share my passion, knowledge, fun, creativity and my life with so many wonderful creatives and dear friends.  I am so grateful for friends and and an Art Center with an incredible vision!


"Sweet Inspiration"  The Yandell Sisters

Friday, March 11, 2016

Who decided that I only get 3 sides?

Every now and again I feel compelled by some ridiculous reason to play one of those quasi Face Book  quizzes…even though I have been warned (and have warned others) about the possibility of them being phishing scams.  Perhaps I have a need to tempt fate; it certainly would not be the first time! 
These are my 3 sides; of course my question is who decided I get 3 sides…why not 2 or 4 or 17?  I have to say harmonious, introverted is a bit of a stretch but I do have many days that I am known to hibernate and recover.   I guess that could be called introverted. Why do harmonious and introverted go together, can I be one without the other?  Creative and open minded I am totally good with!  Charming and self-confident….hmmmm…I think perhaps I may have short bursts of both of them, but goodness knows they never stay around as long as I wish they would! 

So according to Face Book these are my 3 sides….I guess 1 ½ out of 3 sides is somewhat correct are not bad odds?
"I Should Have Known Better"  The Beatles

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Back to celebrating creativity!

And the hunt is on for an October creative weekend!  It has been 5 years since I facilitated the last AW weekend and I have missed it!  The past 5 years have been the fight of my life! And the last year was the hardest, with open heart surgery and an S-ICD implant surgery and both ended up having complications. But for now, I am winning and want to take my amazing creative life back.  So many things I used to think important…I have learned were not, but the one thing that has never left and I am so amazed, is my need to create and inspire others to find and celebrate their own life giving creativity.  So….I am looking to bring the Artist Way Weekend back into my life and I am so excited!
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"  Supremes & Temptations

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Collecting but not quitting!

So this is it…..officially and legally retired next month.  First of all I really need to thank Marshall, the most amazing accountant in the world.  Who even through all of my bitching and belly-aching insisted on and taught me how and why I needed to pay all of those taxes.  His mantra was always, “you make money you pay taxes”.  Do not hide or not report income to get out of paying taxes, but he was clear about taking every single deductible and credit that was legally available.  Marshall taught me well, and I do appreciate it so!  This week I filed for me SS retirement benefits and was approved for my benefits to begin in June.  Not a horribly big amount of money…but something that will add to my quality of life.  Although I will be receiving my benefits I am taking the Bette Davis stance on retirement!


"Thank YoU"  Alanis Morissette

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Eating the Paste!

Yep…I was the one they told you about.  I do not know if the paste eating was entirely responsible for the creativity, but it certainly way showing the world that I had a longing to break rules.  I finally did learn the lessons and followed the rules, well most of them.  Now that I am old, and absolutely nothing to lose….I think it is time to eat some more paste!

"Chain of Fools"  Aretha

Monday, March 7, 2016

Never settle for the ordinary.....

I can remember, as a child being taught not to stand out, to strive to not be seen.  To conform, fit in, not make waves, don’t be difficult, and do not draw attention to yourself.  No one and I do mean no one ever asked me what I wanted to do with my life.  They never encouraged my talent.  I followed all of the rules, married, had children, went to church, volunteered, chaperoned, worked hard and waited almost an entire lifetime for someone to wave the magic wand that would make me happy and successful.  In the meantime I continued to not stand out, not be seen, conform, fit in before I finally realized it was a lie.  A lie not intended to specifically damage me, but to make me, my parents, siblings, spouse and children look better in the eyes of other people.  And in that horrible process, I did t exactly the same thing that was done to me to my own children.

I want them all to know how sorry I am, I wish I had known better!  Please please please….never settle for the ordinary…live your life, celebrate the unusual!

"Have a Little Faith"  Micheal Franti

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

It is worth it....

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that seems to be glorified on TV and in movies….is that when our world is turned upside down, that the rest of the world or at the very least our friends and family will stop and focus on our needs! 
That is not how it works in the real world, and what is more, it is not fair for us to expect that!
Their life is theirs.  They are not being selfish, inattentive, or selfish.  They are living their lives ….as they should the best way that they can.
My challenge, my lesson and the lesson for those of us with terminal illness, especially those of us with chronic, long term illness is we need to continue living our lives with unconditional love for ourselves and strength for  them.....when they are with us and when they are not.  It is not easy,
but, oh my... it is deliciously worth it.
 
"For What it's Worth" Buffalo Springfield