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 am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to grieve my losses, to laugh long and hard, and to learn how to live a full magnificent life with heart failure. I am honoring my creativity, and exploring all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say....."Don't talk like that!"



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Never a Reason

I live in a world where most people believe it is safest to follow the herd.  I see them everywhere. They will never step outside the norm or think on their own or express original thoughts. Worst of all they seem to go out of their way to bring me "back into the fold". Don't they see.... I celebrate and want nothing more than to keep the crazies in my life.  They make me think…They remind me to celebrate life…They show me there is always a different and maybe better way of doing it. 
Because that is how everyone else does it or I have always done it is never a reason.
"Nobody Ever Told You"  Carrie Underwood

Saturday, July 30, 2016

They'll keep doing it....

There are things you just know deep down are right and then promptly forget.  Or for some reason I think that for some people, like dear old friends, it will be different. 

In light of the current political climate, I have deleted FB posts that were rude, ugly, dumb and/or negative but this morning there were so many I was overwhelmed and posted some constitutional facts with respect and dignity even a little “School House Rock” humor, hoping to thwart some negativity or even inspire some critical thinking. That is not what I got back, a reply full of incorrect and irrelevant accusations that truly had no bearing on the conversation that was started.  I responded respectfully with relevant facts and received yet another post filled with even more extraneous and unsubstantiated claims.  Clearly my reaction regardless of what it is, only provokes.
              "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"  Jackie DeShannon

And just because it is another point of view and really funny....

I am Glorious with It!

Maybe it just is not necessary for anyone else to understand my wants, my loves, and my wishes.  Sometimes I feel like I am talking until I am blue in face, just trying to get them to understand why I am.  For now…all they need to know is that I am glorious with it and when no one is looking I will be dancing with the GrooGux king.

"Why I am"  Dave Matthews Band

Friday, July 29, 2016

Grey favorite!

And I have missed it....
for the first time in years....
I have missed it...
I am so hurt and angry at
my fucking body.

"Done is Better than Good" ~Elizabeth Gilbert

OK-OK…painting umbrellas may not be a good career move for me!  But maybe it will make some money at the umbrella auction. At the risk of trying hard not to get too complicated on a surface that is neither flat or stable…I may have gone a little too simple…it gave all of the negative monsters in my head an  easy opening and they ran in to make their appearances! 
Monster #1- REALLY????
Monster #2- A kid could have done that!
Monster #3-  You did something so simple and still there are mistakes!
Monster #4- And you are the teacher, leader?  
Monster #5 #6 #7 #8….oh believe me….they were running in!!
And then, out of self perservation I reach back to Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic” take in a deep breath and repeat after her “Done is better than good”…. just do it and it is done!
"What's New Pussy Cat/"  Tom Jones

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Emotional life saver....

4 trash cans
32 feet of PVC pipe
80 pounds of Plaster of Paris
Cut, lifted, tugged and been up to my elbows in plaster of paris , making ugly things that make no sense….until my creative friends begin adding their umbrellas.  Then….oh boy….. then it will all be worth it! These will come alive with color, creativity and purpose!

Yesterday I pushed harder, stood longer and lifted much more that I should have, and although physically pooped I am emotionally more alive than I can explain.  And then I realized…it is the act of creating!  It does not matter what I am creating as long as it makes me think, is new, different and challenging that is what jump starts my heart….every time!

While smiling and chipping hardened chunks of plaster of paris off of me…… I knew all of this worrying about my “style” of art drifting into new areas of exploration and abstraction will not be  “art sales suicide”,  it will be my “emotional life saver”!
"There She Goes"  OrtoPilot

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I am still waiting....

My todays often feel like reflections of the joy, the love, the energy that I used to have. There is so much still to learn about how this life, my love and this body works.  There are times I feel at odds with it, frustrated and angry when it refuses to cooperate with me. What happened to the life that I did not even have to think about these things?  There are days that  I do  wake up feeling magnificent, full of energy and ready to tackle my life but long before I am done, I find my body failing even though my head, my creativity, my excitement is still so strong and wanting. This level of exasperation is maddening. How do I find the elusive balance I need?  Does it even exist? Somewhere between not giving up and having a spectacular life there just has to be a sweet spot! What do I have to do to find it?  I want to be friends with my heart, my body….I am still waiting ...I am still waiting...How do I do this?
"Reflections"  Dianna Ross & The Supremes

Monday, July 25, 2016

When the hell did that happen?

Found out I could hide my heart surgery scar by simply tying the beach cover-up sarong in the front rather than the side.  A strategically placed knot was the secret cover!  But from another point of view….and take notes PLEASE….never ever ever take a selfie from the bottom looking  up!  Necks and noses take on a whole new level of “OMG” when the hell did that happen???? 

What I am is what I am....kind of weird when I think about it, Scars, noses and necks, is that really who I am?

  Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians

The Summer place

Each year I spend a week of peace, playing, resting and soul searching at our special summer place at Flagler Beach, One more summer come and gone. 

The beach and family are magnificent and painful at the same time.  I am learning that wanting the shape of the shore line, tides, and weather to be the same as years past is just as ridiculous as wanting me, family, children, and grands to be the same. It cannot.  I can however patiently stand back, observe, listen, love, admire and be more than wonderfully grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of the greatness they have created. These or any other days like it will never happen again, The only thing that stays the same is the love.  That is always the same and will always be.
"Theme from a Summer Place" Percy Faith

Friday, July 22, 2016

Something extra special....

In addition to just loving the hell out of being at the beach there is something extra special about the place we stay, other than the marvelous Peggy who runs the place! There is everything you could need within walking distance.  And I do not mean the typical beach town “touristy” crap.  Just very small Mom & Pop independently owned small shops and restaurants.  I have not noticed one chain store within a mile of us either way.  It is magnificent! The local 7-11-“ish” is not air conditioned, carries only the essentials that means 50% is dedicated to beer and wine, is less than ½ block away (no-gas) and is no bigger than an 8’ x 10’ bedroom. The owner and whoever is there hangs out just outside the door in beach chairs chatting about what was caught down at the pier yesterday or whatever else comes up as long as it is not politics!  Next door is “Beach Belly Bob’s” a breakfast/lunch kitchen, not enough room for tables and chairs inside, unless you want to sit in one of the 3 stools at the counter, otherwise  you sit outdoors under his tarp that he added this past year.  And yes...the only employee is indeed Beach Belly Bob himself, the name is appropriate. And then there is the “fancy” restaurant, that means there is a full bar and menus! You can sit inside in the AC…but my question is why the hell you would?  Everything tastes better outside on the beach with a beer!  The characters and the “flavors” here are spectacular!
"Good Vibrations"  The Beach Boys

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Come Go with Me!

The photographs do not begin to show how magnificent last night’s moon rise was!  Cell phone camera just cannot get the job done!  Rats!....
But it was the closest thing to a “Joe vs the Volcano” moon I have ever seen and even required the official Joe vs the Volcano raft dance!  Everything about being on the beach reminds me of how really small and insignificant I am.  It also reminds me how incredible it is to have the opportunity to be a part of all of this and I am dancing!

"Come Go with Me"  The Dell Vikings

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Atta' girl!

What a wonderful few moments of life!  To be on the beach walking in the early morning, watching the full moon set at the top of the stairs and then turn around and watch the sun rise at the same time.  I have never seen anything like it in my life and it truly was a unique and spectacular moment.  This time last year it was the week  before my open heart surgery….I was nervous, scared not sure what life was going to look like in the next few weeks.  Now, almost a year later….and here I am in the same place with my boys, their wives and all of the grands and the universe was telling me this morning…..Atta’ girl!
"Here Comes the Sun"  The Beatles

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


One of the greatest things about Flagler beach is there are no big high rises, very few hotels/motels.  That means my early morning sunrise walks really are spectacular!  There are not many times in my life, being a city girl that I get to be outdoors in this big of a space without one other person in sight!  The feeling of being this alone in the gray early morning watching the sunrise is breathtaking and in so many ways puts my world and my life in perspective!

"Beautiful World"  Colin Hay

Monday, July 18, 2016

That is where I am headed!

Wish I understood exactly what happens to my body and my mind at the beach, all I can say for sure is that there is a definite shift, and it is all good.  Maybe it is the constancy of the tides, and the waves the come in and go out regardless of the weather or my overall disposition.  Maybe it is the healing power of saltwater or maybe it is just as simple as sweat and tears.  But it is all there at the beach…. and that is where I am headed!

"Summer Breeze"  Jason Maraz

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Before it is too late....

I have waited all of my life for someone to tell me I was important enough.  I cannot wait anymore; I cannot.  What is the worst that can happen to me now if I speak up?

What will happen if I quit wearing the “masks” others want to see?  Not taking life so seriously !  How grateful I am to realize this and have the resources, before it is too late! Now I have to do something about it!

"King of Anything"  Sara Bareilles

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Let's Get Started....

…..but I am going to start my shit-kicking by taking a week off!  NO…Really…I will be building up my strength before I begin.  Just like last year around this time when I was in the gym building up my physical strength, getting ready to take on the biggest physical fight of my life this year I will be building  my emotional strength to take on this next part of my life.
I will be surrounded by the contagious energy created by playing with my grandsons, and the calm focus created by constant sea breezes and ocean waves. 
It will be a week of releasing the grief and pain of things I cannot change, a week of clearly assessing my talents, weaknesses, strengths and looking at how to make the most meaningful life possible with what I have.  

Of course there will also be lots of crab legs and beer, late nights, cheap grocery store wine and bad jokes.  I can hardly wait! Let’s get started!   
"In My Mind"  Amanda Palmer

Friday, July 15, 2016

and now Nice....

You might say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one...

"Imagine"    Playing for Change

I am Exposed!

Excited because I am about to begin a weeks’ vacation at the beach, scared because for the first time my chest and open heart surgery scar will be exposed.  I have gone to great lengths kept it covered, although recently I have worn shirts that are a bit open at the neck line that have revealed a little bit of this scar.  But now….at the beach…it will be unavoidably visible to family, friends, and strangers.  Are they going to stare, see that I have been broken, and feel sorry for me?  I hate all of those feelings!

After tears and fears...I am going, I am playing with my 4 grandsons, swimming in the ocean, volleyball in the pool, kites from the dunes and wine coolers (everywhere) and it is going to show.  I have been and still am so vulnerable, but I cannot let it keep me from living!  I am exposed!
"You and Your Heart"  Jack Johnson

A new Rain Dance!

Yes…. I know it is hot, I know it is Florida….but Holy crap!!!  The heat index has been in triple digits more often and not and there has been no rain …not a drop of rain here! It usually rains every afternoon this time of year….And that seems to be the case everywhere but here!   It rains and storms 5 miles down the road….BUT not here!  Clearly time for a new front yard “rain dance”, the neighbors are beginning to complain about the old one!

"It Never Rains in California"  Albert Hammond                     (or Casselberry FL!)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

It's Beginning to Feel a lot Like Creativity!

Twice a year I get to facilitate The Artist’s Way and watch the stunning artistic breakthroughs of the creatives that have been on a 12 week journey together.  There is nothing quite as tingly and exciting as watching the pieces and parts of the exhibit begin to come cohesively together.  The artists are furiously painting their umbrellas, the invitation cards were delivered today and it is really beginning to look like a creative celebration!

"Smile"  Uncle Kracker

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Risk takers

There are those that are perfectly happy being safe, not taking any risks and following all of the rules.  I do not begrudge them any of their happiness.  But there will always be a bunch that just has to stretch outside of the norm and take risks.  Thank goodness they do….where would we all be without Edison, Einstein, Da Vinci, and the list goes on and on.  

Life does serve risk takers, giving us the courage to move on when it feels like all hope is gone then rewarding us with the spectacular results of incredible self-satisfaction and enduring courage to risk even more!  I was never able to find any happiness in being safe, I need to take risks!

                        "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing"  Stevie Wonder

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What I should have said...

I am one of those, that is capable of coming up with wonderful witty responses, unfortunately they come about 30 minutes after the fact.  And so it was after an interview last week.

Apparently, there is to be an article in a local magazine about local arts groups and we (The Artist’s Way Group) were considered one of those groups, hence the interview. I must say, albeit a bit late…. that we are very very different kind of art group!

Most art groups are focused on the making and selling art and there is nothing wrong with that….but 
we are focused on making creative lives"   
Artists, musicians, performers and writers that are wholehearted, fully functioning, wildly creative and marvelously supportive of all of our creative intimates.Yes that might mean being financially successful, but if not, we are still artists and we will still create!  That is what I should have said!

"A Way With Your Words"  Imaginary Cities

Monday, July 11, 2016


Sometimes I wonder if being aware is one of the huge secrets of life!  It is another one of those magic life lessons that no one ever talks about!  I thought being aware and paying attention were the same thing. I can remember as a child teachers scolding me. “You do not pay attention”, but that was in school and for the most part it was boring and for the geeky kids...I wanted to so badly to be cool!  I do not think anyone ever told me exactly what being AWARE was and that it was not just about paying attention to facts, figures, rules or situations although that can be a big part of it. Mindful, alert, conscious, awake….all of those words are how I experienced aware, never joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely!  Now I am coming to understand it can be so much more!  According to the dictionary aware is “knowing that something exists because you notice it or realize that it is happening”.  I want to notice joy, and happiness, and compassion, and wonderful color, and amazing people and the list goes on and on.  I was never taught how to be aware of the things in life I wanted to be aware of.   I am learning that choosing what I want to be aware of (NOT what others think I should be aware of) can change me …change my life! I want to be aware of the magic, the secrets, the incredible gifts and the mysteries of my life!
"Shine"  Jason Mraz

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I choose to make some trouble....

Nora, you are my hero!  The only thing I have to figure out is how! 

When my body changes all I have to do is figure out other ways to make some trouble.  It cannot stop me, I just have to figure out another way!

"Evolve"  Ani DeFranco

Friday, July 8, 2016

Find me.....

Desperately looking for my wings today! 
Maybe it is time to hold still, slow down for a bit and let my beautiful and invincible strength have a chance to “find” me.
"Sunshine"  Johnathan Edwards

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fear Slips in....

Fear slips in!
I ignore it, I fight it, I discount it….I do everything I know how to do to keep it at bay.  I spend massive amounts of my own energy controlling it and hiding it.  Then just one day, a few scary episodes and the fucking fear floods in and takes over…..everything!

The idea of my most exciting dreams and my most gut wrenching fears existing in the same place somehow gives me a look at it from a little different perspective and please please please make it just a little more tolerable!  I can do this….I can do this….I can do this!

"We May never Pass this Way Again" Seals & Croft

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Something real is here....

I always knew I was stronger than “the average bear”.  Perhaps being a red head, I had a built in reputation of fiery, opinionated and being strong willed to live up to. Or maybe I deliberately put myself in a situation that the only way I could survive was to use and hone those skills.

 Regardless of the circumstances and who or why they were created what developed was a woman with strength.  Although I often wasted that strength trying to please and control others, I did develop it!  Never in a million years did I imagine that I would have to direct the strength I had created at myself.  And yes maybe I am a bit crazy, it would not be the first time I had been accused of that, but I have this nagging feeling there is something inside of me that is important, that someone or a lot of someones are looking for. Something that is going to take an unimaginable amount of strength to realize. I have no idea what it is, but I have this feeling there is something real here that the world needs.
"This Feeling"  Alabama Shakes

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Not allowing old expectations....

I am learning that all “calls” or experiences that fall into my lap are worth my attention.  I think it is the choices I make that define who I am.  I do not think all “calls” should be accepted and brought into my life, but they all should be explored and considered!

When I rely on my own or other people’s knowledge and experience I may be inadvertently rejecting spectacular life experiences.  There have been several times in my life I have moved outside the expected norm. (Keep in mind that my norm is already a little left of center already!)  Each time I welcomed an unexpected situation good or bad into my life and released my expectations I have grown! My lesson is not to allow my old expectations to keep me from any new experience that excites my spirit.

"The Skye Boat Song" Kathryn Jones_Raya Yarbrough

"Sing me a song of a lass that is gone   Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul she sailed on a day   Over the sea to Skye
Mull was astern, Rùm on the port, Eigg on the starboard bow
Glory of youth glowed in her soul Where is that glory now?
Give me again all that was there   Give me the sun that shone
Give me the eyes, give me the soul    Give me the lass that's gone
Sing me a song of a lass that is gone   Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul she sailed on a day  Over the sea to Skye
Billow and breeze, islands and seas    Mountains of rain and sun
All that was good, all that was fair   All that was me is gone."

Bear McCreary

Sunday, July 3, 2016

"The way it stops and starts."

Is my heart physically broken because I refused to acknowledge that hunger?  In an effort to be good, righteous, well mannered, and respectable did I kill off the passions in my heart?  Did I do this to myself?  Can I undo it? Or….is this way it is supposed to be?  Are most people afraid to acknowledge it?

I have known about the biological function of my heart from school lessons but no one ever taught me anything about my amazing passionate heart. How it loves, how it celebrates, how it hurts and how it heals. I am beginning to feel that it is a good thing that I figure this out by myself, the full effects of all of its power and all of the marvelous intentions of my heart! What my heart wants, what it gets, what it longs for.  Maybe my heart is supposed to start and stop! 
"Good Intent"  Kimba

Saturday, July 2, 2016

those parts of me can no longer exist......

I am not what I once was. I know that I need to release the past. The pain of my childhood prejudices, family complications, my marital dysfunction, and the thousands upon thousands of my own disappointments, failures and the little lies I tell myself. I have been looking to release events, people, and memories of my past. I am not saying that they do not need to be let go of, there is no doubt in my mind that hanging on to them would be horribly damaging…….but I need to let go of parts of me.  Embrace the idea that I have changed, I am not who I once was.

Who and what I am now is not what I used to be. For me to go on and face the life ahead of me, as the person I “was”, is a sure recipe for my own miserable demise.  I am not who I was in the past, I do not need to know how this turns out I just know I have to change. I have to let go of what I embodied in the past, those parts of me can no longer exist!
"So Beautiful or So What?"  Paul Simon

Friday, July 1, 2016

If you recognize yourself, take one step forward...

I have to confess that my “tea party” has been pretty safe, boring and by in large…..unoriginal.  It has been dotted here and there with some spectacular, new and inspiring experiences but for the most part….it has been a pretty boring!

I have spent far too much of my life worrying about what I think about myself through other people’s eyes….I know….I know….You have to think about that one for a while.  But time is running short and I am feeling like it is time to get “this” party started…So if you recognize yourself in the invitation, you are my kind of people!  Take one step forward and let’s go!

"Belly Belly Nice"  Dave Matthews