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!"



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

“effing” pile of pills

I know…I know….this was NOT the assignment!  But it is what happened…And the fact of the matter I thought if I am going to put my wishes into the universe…my real wishes would not be this “effing” pile of pills…it would be NO pills, no docs, no insurance companies….What I want to send into the universe and pull towards me, is not more of the crap I hate, but more of what I love.  Laughing, playing, creating, dancing, friends, family, wonderful new experiences, art, creativity…..there are a thousand more things I would rather have than this mess of meds!
"Closer to Fine"  Indigo Girls

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I almost kicked the cat!

And just about the time I was so frustrated and ready to kick the cat….everything changed!  

There are still a bazillion unanswered questions,doctors, relationships, and life but I was just reminded that maybe it is just time to let go of everything that happened in the past and start fresh with what I have and what I know now. Perhaps it really is time to celebrate, dance, smile,  in the now….I cannot undo the past and I have no control of the future after all it is only the “now” and how I feel,  that I have any control over!  ....and that is just wonderfully fine with me!  PS....the cat is safe!

"I'm a Woman"  Koko Taylor

Monday, November 28, 2016


….it is not difficult to see my grown children repeat the past. I was raised in a generation that women were expected to find all of their joy in producing and caring for children, husbands and home.  If you wanted to work (or God forbid….had too) there would be no help from husbands, physical or emotional.  Our parents came from the same warped set of values....we repeated it. Now, I clearly see the next generation doing the same, setting them up for inevitable failure. Unable to acknowledge how much damage living a life according to other people’s expectation created, the problem goes on unrecognized, and no steps are taken to repair the emotional damage, the misery and the hurt moves from generation to generation.

It has taken years for me to recognize that I did not need to feel guilty for not being the same kind of “good mother” or how difficult it was to parent the way everyone else did. But I did, And when I see them repeat the same behaviors… that I was afraid to speak up for myself for fear I would lose their love, I realize how much of a failure I was….and for that I am sorry.
"Reflections" Diana Ross

Saturday, November 26, 2016

What happened to Thanksgiving????

I went out last night….I know….I know it does not happen that often, but every now and again I will venture out ….daylight savings time is over, the time has changed, it was dark and the first thing I noticed is that at least one house per block (and sometimes more) already had their outdoor Christmas lights up.

Then….because I could, 
I peeked in windows as we passed by, 
more already had their trees up... WHAT????….REALLY????? 
Did I miss Thanksgiving?

"Bottle of Wine"  Fireballs

Our First Teenager.....grandson!

It is our first teenage grandson (and his new glasses)….Holy CRAP!  How did this happen???

Cupcake trees, with purple and green glow in the dark icing…booty for the B-day boys (his dad’s B-day was 2 days before) and booty for all of the boys….We will be packing it all up and heading for Gainesville this afternoon.  Woo-Hoo!

"Birthday"  The Beatles

We all live for....

Laughing….it is what we all need a whole lot more of!  Between the election, the frightening cabinet/staff appointments, the pipe line protests, Monsanto, Trump, PET scans, road construction with their chronic traffic snarls and to make it even more frustrating and aggravating…..the holidays are here (AUGHHH!!!!) with treacherous large family gatherings and heinous company parties!   There is a good chance that none of these things will kill you…but sometimes when I am in the thick of those monstrous moments…I have my doubts!

All of it is aggravating, all of us will probably go through it or something very similar and in the end….none of us get out of it alive.  So, as I (and all of us) face down some really big ugly life altering decisions, I need to remind myself (and you) to just love and laugh...again!  I will continue to make the best decision I know how to make, then I am going to just let them go and spend the rest of this loving and laughing! 

We might as well love and laugh, love and laugh long and hard…until our belly hurts…..they are after all, the times we all live for!
"Let it Go"  Michael Franti

Friday, November 25, 2016

I do not need to figure them out!

I did not really understand what it meant to make peace with myself, and now all of the sudden (well not all of the sudden like 2 days ago, but in the past few months) it has become very clear.  I am not saying that I have all of this figured out, but here is the huge difference….I do not need to figure it out! 

Those “demons” are of my own doing…I may not have created the situation that made the monsters or the original damaging feelings they caused, but I have kept the pain and beliefs alive in my heart and my head under the guise of needing to figure them out… I do not need to figure them out!

The chaos in my heart settles when I let go and accept the feelings as they were and as they are without needing to change them or understand them.  I accept the responsibility for making poor choices about people, situations and feelings that cause confusion and pain.  At the risk of sounding selfish or not being understood, I will do what I need to do for my love, my life, and my heart.  I am going to screw up, I am still going to get hurt, I will hurt the feelings of the people I love, but this time I can choose whether to hold on to that pain or release it and let it go. I do not need to understand, I do not need to figure them out.

I feel like I have just been told the secret of the ruby red slippers, and all I need to do now is click 3 times.  I am so ready to smile and be smiled at, ready to be welcomed home and I do not need to figure anything else out!
"Change"  Tracy Chapman

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I get to see them all! grateful weekend has begun!
gifgifs.comLast nights Blooming Onion Thanksgiving was our first Thanksgiving with our beautiful new granddaughter....Miss Harper Molly Evans! It was the most perfect beginning of the holiday weekend!

Today I will celebrate quietly at home, while invoking the full wrath of the "Mother's Curse" (Bwa-ha-ha-ha) that I put upon both of my boys at the birth of their own children, I have been there for each of thier arrivals to properly cast the curse! It is, after all, only fair!  Our first grandson turns into a teenager today!  But wait a minute......HOLY CRAP! that means I am the Nanna of a teenager too!  Wait....I am not sure it was supposed to happen like that?

Saturday we will head up to see the rest of the grandchildren.  It is in deed  a most wonderful and exciting holiday weekend. I will have the amazing chance to spend time with all of my grandchildren. I know more than anything how truly blessed I am I am happy dancing!
"I Believe in Love" Lily Collins

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Annual Thanksgiving Rant....a day early!

Thanksgiving is a day set aside for each of us to acknowledge and appreciate all of the wonderful things in our lives!  But how the hell can a card carrying member of the “I hate to cook” club possibly be thankful for a holiday that seems to do that by celebrating cooking! I have always felt like a colossal Turkey Day failure! Who came up with this lousy plan?   Yes, I know the Pilgrim story, and to borrow a phrase from Ebenezer Scrooge ….Bah-hum-bug!

Most of my Thanksgivings were absolutely “Norman Rockwell” traditionally correct….you know the one where I furiously performed the prescribed Thanksgiving kitchen rituals, all the while knowing that the men and boys would be much happier with a McDonalds Happy Meal, a beer, a bag of chips and non-stop football.  They would courteously sit and eat for the minimum time required to be Thanksgiving correct, straining to hear the football scores between awkward conversations.  No one was happy or thankful!  

Finally, the past few years we have had the courage to break tradition, step away from convention, re-define our celebration while still embracing the true spirit of the holiday….which is to be thankful with family, to eat and drink until you can barely walk, be creative anywhere but the kitchen and watch football. 

We now say an irreverent but authentic grace that celebrates our gratitude with a beer over a blooming onion, followed by a steak (or anything else on the menu), as someone else performs (and might I say…. wonderfully well) all of the cooking, serving and cleaning duties. We have the most amazing celebration and enjoyable conversations …..on the day before Thanksgiving!…..I now spend Thanksgiving Day in the studio celebrating in creative bliss, while there is uninterrupted beer, football and snacks in the family room…Could Thanksgiving possibly get any better than this?

This is our delightfully cheeky Thanksgiving and I am in deed…. truly truly thankful!
"Living in the Moment"  Jason Mraz

Monday, November 21, 2016

Remove all doubt ....from who?

Why not?  I am kind of tired of withholding my opinion when rude minions on TV and the internet that are spewing theirs all over me. I am exhausted. I know this is very childish, but it is Monday morning and holy crap I am overwhelmed…and I just need to inappropriately vent!

#1  I will never respect Trump as a man, much less as a president.  There is nothing in my being that can excuse any man for speaking so cruelly about women, immigrants, gays, and blacks. There is no excuse for the juvenile school yard bully name calling.  And never has he cared about anyone else enough to offer so much as a simple apology.  OH…. I forget he was apologetic for “grabbing pussy”, that must be what qualified him for president.

#2  Why do I or any of us….continue to allow the medical industry to make us pay outrageous rates for goods and services that they will not divulge the price of before we have them done.  Or do such a poor job of providing those services in a timely manner. Would I or anyone else put up with this kind of service from any other industry?  Would I even buy a cheap TV without knowing the cost, what kind it was (who made it), the quality of the picture and what if any warranty is there?

#3  There are at least 42 more ways I could open my mouth and remove all doubt, but again, it is only Monday!
"I Believe in Love" Indigo Girls

Sunday, November 20, 2016

invisible confessions....

being uncommon...

It kind of feels like, that most attempts to make me feel common….for example religion, politics, social/business associations and most medical offices appeal to my need to be well, part of a tribe, to be liked by others, or to “fit in” socially.  But when I stand back and honestly compare my needs with “their” needs…. there always seems to be an underlying reason for them to want me to fit in and it never has anything to do with what is good for me.  My need to be a part of something, my need to be loved and liked and my need to be well has given them access to my inherent weakness for them to exploit and take control of how I feel about myself.  Need is the four letter word that destroys me. I want to feel good about being uncommon!
"32 Flavors"  Ani DiFranco

Saturday, November 19, 2016


This sounds rather easy, unless you are working with the medical industry,  Whether intentionally or not, the medical industry has gone out of their way to de-personalize every aspect of what is the most personal aspect of our lives.
So caught up with the business of generating income, they have managed to reduce health care to the most economical risk free way of creating large profit margins.  Specific patient input, feeling, life style, economic resources or final wishes are no longer a part of the general health care equation. 

They force me to regularly stand outside my story and hustle for my worthiness, and there are times that I am just so tired.

"Think"  Aretha

Friday, November 18, 2016

Control is where my power is....

This needs to be today’s mantra….well hell!  This needs to the mantra every day!  The further I get down this path the more I realize how very little control I have over anything!  I  used to replace the word control with the word choice or choose, feeling totally willing and able to take responsibility for myself and the choices I made., knowing I made them by considering all of information and resources available to me.  In today’s world, with the current medical industry, they make all of the choices and if you do not agree with the choices they make for you,  and then “pay for their choices” you are less of a person and unworthy of their attention or their medical care, which I am paying for.  I do have control over my own life, how I chose to live, and where I spend my limited resources.
"Funny the Way it is"  Dave Matthews Band

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I have, am and still going through a period of my life that is full of profound physical and emotional change.  There are times I attempt to “plug” my emotions into Elizabeth Kebler Ross’s stages of dying but it just never seemed to really work for me.  All I was able to correctly identify was that her stages denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance were recognizable, but they rarely came to me in that order and the damn things repeat!  Each and every time I get to acceptance and sigh….whew….I made it….The acceptance gets depressing, I revert to denial to relieve the depression and then become angry that I cannot get the doctors on board with my denial program.  The only bargaining I ever experienced was with the hospital bills and the insurance companies which was and continues to be a total loss from my point of view, so I just gave it up. In other words this model of dying may work for the short term diagnosis, but for the long term, in my opinion it has been a bust.  So having done this the way the academics and all of those who are not dying have told me it should be done….it is time for me to do this my way, without a model or advice but from my heart. An entire set of uncontrollable circumstances a.k.a. blessings have appeared in my life. It is time for my breakthrough, and I will not doubt it.  I am claiming them with strength and grace.
"You Live, You Lear" Alanis Morisette

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

a new capacity....

Yep…this one popped up again…. clearly I need more work….
Transformations are hard!  Different is incredibly uncomfortable! And the capacity to find a new comfortable is emotionally wrenching!  The first inclination is always to run back to the place where it was comfortable, happy, and heart filling, but the unforgiving reality is that those are the exact set of circumstances that created or they were critical in hiding the real problems.  Now,  I think I can go back, but I cannot go back with the same set of “eyes” that refused to see.  I cannot discount my own heart and emotions in an effort to be the good agreeable one.  This time I have to see all sides of the relationships I am considering, beginning, ending, keeping, or continuing.

I am falling, nope I am being shoved into something different and I hope it will bring me a wonderful new capacity to be beautiful.
"Some People's Lives" Janis Ian

Monday, November 14, 2016

Healing myself....

I know there are no answers to be found in hiding, in removing myself from difficult situations but I am finding there are times that it has become the only choice.  I run out of strength both emotionally and physically. When that happens I can’t figure out how I feel.  I cannot see where I need to go or how to get there. When eyes swell shut, the universe and my body are screaming at me…In hiding from the world I find the peace to figure out what they are saying to me. Healing myself....
"Heal Yourself"  Ruthie Foster

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Good thoughts....

The only way we will survive is if good, 
love and positivity rise.

"For What It Is Worth"  Buffalo Springfield

Friday, November 11, 2016

Seriously.... erupts from chaos and pain then soothes and makes us think....

Symbolic Resurrection....

It is now 3 days after the election,  a day of symbolic resurrection.  If we can agree that history and the human condition teach us anything then we must agree that historically every war, every revolution.... at its root has one of two things as the cause, if not both. They are religion and greed.  The human condition both personally and collectively seems to only move forward after periods of great pain and grief. I feel we are moving into a period of history that is indeed a repeat of what we already know will come to pass.  We can personally elect how we want to move through this age.

I choose for my life to have a positive impact in this world, I choose to be a safe place for every life that touches mine, an encourager of love.
"Defying Gravity"  Lea Michelle

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Beast Feast 2016

Actually....this happened a couple of weeks ago, but I desperately needed a shot of "happy" and how lucky I am that I did not have to look far!
Lots of fun with the real Beasts of the Feast!    Once a year the art center holds an outdoor evening fundraising dinner that features all kinds of “wild game”  boar, venison, elk, caribou, zebra, wild turkey, frog legs, rabbit, etc, etc. etc….Old Friends from high school help me support the cause!  Mary Rigdon Clark, Terry Felty Nickerl and “our collective date” Ernie Prevedel!  
"Honky Tonk Women"  Rolling Stones

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

a new chance to be brave.....

What I really did not need was another reason to be brave.  My “brave meter” has been pegged on empty the last couple of weeks.  I  find myself sweeping the corners of my soul for past "braves" I have left over from and to celebrate the gifts of friendship, love and support that fall into my life when I need them the most!  I just have to take a deep breath and remember that all of the “magic” that resides around me and inside of me is indeed stronger than anything the outside world can throw at me.  Maybe “he” can negatively impact the world I live in or the health care I  will have but maybe that is exactly what the past few weeks have been preparing me for! Life has given me a new chance to be brave.

"Let it be Me"  Indigo Girls

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

brilliance emanates....

For a while I allowed myself to believe that if I was strong enough, smart enough, positive enough and focused enough that I could beat this.  If I did everything they told me to do,  focused all of my resources, had all of the invasive tests, took the meds (even the ones that make me tired and lethargic), had open heart surgery, survived the unplanned TIA and kidney shut down, let them implant an S-ICD in my body to prevent sudden cardiac death I could fight the good fight and with all of these medical procedures, resources and my determination I could win. I could win!  I have fought tooth and toe-nail, and spent the better part of this past year devoting all of the financial, emotional, physical and medical resources at my disposal and the reality is….I am not winning.  I am asking myself now… how much more of my precious life am I going to spend in the negative mind set of fighting an unwinnable war. This is my time…time to refocus all of my beautiful energy and my available finances into loving, playing, creating, learning, teaching…..Not more destructive fighting!  This is not giving up….This is empowering … is claiming life…. the best life I can have ….. every single amazing love filled moment of it! From the voice in my heart brilliance emanates...I know it is time for me to live!
"Connected"  Eric Bibb

Sunday, November 6, 2016

At the end of my battery....

The proverbial rock and hard place does not even come close to describing the trouble I am in now!  I am a current user of American Health Care Act and I am grateful beyond belief for the coverage I have had.  But this will be the 3rd year in a row that the company that carried my policy has pulled out of the state of Florida.  This year selecting another company and policy is a bit different, this year I have an S-ICD (Subcutaneous Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator) in my chest that requires periodic monitoring and re-calibration.   None of the 3 insurance companies available to me have an electrophysiologist in their network, much less one that has the hardware/software to “talk” to this piece of machinery hard wired into my heart. After 45 min. on the phone with their official answer is….we are sorry….there is nothing we can do.  This energizer bunny is frustrated and running out of energy and battery!
"I won't Give up"  Jason Mraz


Even if it is not going to be alright!  I know I spend a great deal of time alone, and to be perfectly honest it is easier to be alone than to be around others that are uncomfortable with the situation I am in.  I want you to know, I understand why you are uncomfortable, hell….I am too.  I bounce unpredictably between needing to talk about it and wanting to ignore it.  I am not certain from day to day if I want empathetic understanding or a swift kick in the pants and a full glass….(or bottle)  of chilled wine. It is a horrible see-saw of ups and downs!  
Sometimes I just want to know I am alright.
"Distance"  Christina Perri

Saturday, November 5, 2016

the choice is mine....and I will be wearing my crown more!

Whew…..I needed this!  The last few weeks have filled with unexpected things.  Some I had control of and tickled that I participated fully in the opportunity to chat with a Dr. that knows so much more about what I am going through than even I did.  The other I have no control of, as the insurance companies that I have access to will no longer cover some of the doctors I need to maintain the machine implanted in me.  The universe is giving me gentle nudges, telling me is time to begin the process of letting go of what I cannot control and holding on, loving and living the life that I can still control….my courage, humor, grace, friends, art the life I have now.  This choice this control is still mine and I will be wearing my crown a lot more!

"All We Are"  Matt Nathanson

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pardon me...

Pardon me, while I be a proud Nana…I know…I know…I am sure you are all subjected to other people’s pictures of their grandchildren…And I know,   we smile, and say how darling and cute with little real interest to the pictures.  THAT is horrible….but I know I am not the only one that does this!  Anyway even knowing all of that…There are times that grandparents can absolutely not help themselves.  So you will have to pardon me while I share my new granddaughters first Halloween as a strawberry!

"Isn't She Lovely"  Stevie Wonder

A new capacity to be beautiful...

Need to keep pinching myself and reminding me…this is just something different!  Not worse and quite possibly better!  And here is the easy part…there has been nothing good about the past several years, so being better than, should be extremely easy!

"Beautiful"  India Arie