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!"


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

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 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!

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

Saturday, November 11, 2017

I am most alive when....

I am in....It is official…the push is on!  New works in the studio…color separations and calibrations for S/N prints, shameless self-promotion and then there is framing to be done not to mention the resurrection of the tent…that magnificent old tent that has seen more miles and art shows than is imaginable!  If that tent could talk, it would tell you the story of my life and love of art and creating. It covered me and my art through some of my most frustrating struggles and my greatest accomplishments.  Even with all of the physical work…I am ready to be whole again. I am most alive in that tent surrounded by art and artists!

"All Star" OrtoPinot

Friday, November 10, 2017

Choose the Mess!!!

Mess and magic are my mantras!  Not the typical ohm and peace! Tried the ohm and peace…it works…kind of.  But "Oh My" the magic and mess come so easy, I can conjure them up in a heartbeat!  Although I confess I am still working on "brave". Chicken shit is my natural fall back position!  The studio is a mess, there are old prints strewn through the living room (choosing the best of the worst unsold) and a basket of rolled vellum paper, scissors and glue in a basket on the dining room table.  That is my mess and my magic!

"Awaken Me"

Thursday, November 9, 2017


It really is all about the perspective!  I have no idea what I was thinking when I took this on!  It is like figuring out the one point perspective on a spiral was not hard enough….now try dealing with the light…It will either turn out great…or be the world’s biggest mess…it has yet to be determined.

However even I will admit that I am loving being “challenged”!

                     "You Might Die Trying"  Dave Matthews

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


It is not about the “fuck no” it is about the “practice”, but the “fuck no” got your attention, didn’t it? 

I thought several months ago all I had to do was declare it is now time for me, to fulfill what I need to do creatively.  I needed to spend some time with who and what I am by practicing my art.  I thought all I had to do is holler “fuck no” it is now time for me and it would happen.  But here is the ugly truth…Not only have I had to make time for me but I have to go into the studio, kitchen, porch (where ever I am… creating) and do it.  Just because I made time…does not make the desire “to do” return.  I have used “no time”, “not well” and “too busy” as an excuse not to do.

The muse is not magically returning because I have walked away from of any of these or the tons of other reasons I concocted…it only arrives when I go in the studio and work!  Making the time is just one of the parts of my creative life I knew this already…I have to take back my life by actually going into the studio and practice, practice, practice my art!

"Got to Get You into My Life"  The Beatles

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

faking perfection....

and…..I do it so well! 
It would even be more fun if those magnificent mistakes made me money rather than consistently costing me money, time and friends…
to-date I have not figured out how to do that…
but if you have any suggestions….
bring them on! 
I am the queen of "faking perfection"!

"Where are You Going"  Dave Matthews

Monday, November 6, 2017

The choice IS MINE...

…. I love this, grabbing my crown. This has been an up and down battle, just about the time I really I do have control…the whole thing disappears and I feel like I am back at the mercy of the crazymakers, the doctors, the government health care again. 

Perhaps that is the “unexpected”! And possibly it is not so unexpected; every year when it is time to renew my health insurance through AHCA, it is certain to rear its ugly head.  So I suspect what I have to do is to be more aware of when the shift begins to happen…..from me dealing from a place of weakness to a place of strength.  I need to make the choices from a place of gratitude and strength and not allow others to choose for me.  I cannot let it get to the point that I feel so helpless again.  Putting my crown back on…getting myself back in control!
"Angry Eyes"  Loggins an Messina

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Full Moon VoG Women!

It began almost 7 years ago, the most amazing group of women artists got together every week, with wine, goodies and chocolate and the Julia Cameron book “Veins of Gold” (VoG).  We worked through major life-changing events, cried, shared, supported, hugged, laughed and oh yes…drank a little wine!  We finished the book and still gather from time to time to slog through life, sharing creative challenges and accomplishments.  Full moons and fire always seem to be an occasion for us to celebrate!  An amazing group of women that more than once have literally saved my emotional life!  When we are together…I am free, I am safe and I am spiritually raised! I do not think I could survive without them.  Filled with wine and goodies, bathed in moonlight and the warmth of the fire...that instant bond returns and all of the sudden I am filled with strength and energy! VoG women, you are the creative loves of my life! Thank you!
"Shine On"  Eric Bibb

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Picking up my big girl panties and moving on!

One of my images was chosen for a calendar…the right is the image I sent…the left is what was printed in the calendar. I was prepared for some variations in the color, I mean I was pretty sure that a calendar printer may not have a well-trained person at color separations like you would find in a fine art publisher…but…I was not prepared for this!  I was so frustrated, embarrassed and yes angry!  But not angry with the promoter or the printer…I was angry with me!  I was angry and broken hearted that I had signed over my copyrights for someone else to use my image without maintaining some control over the finished product.

There was a great full moon as I drove home last night …when I realized this was a very inexpensive (did not cost me any money) lesson from the Universe to never let control of my images go to someone else (unless they pay me and pay me a lot, a whole lot, my embarrassment is worth something!!) Lesson learned!!! Picking up my big girl panties and moving on!
"Shaking the Tree"  Peter Gabriel

Friday, November 3, 2017

Don't need to make a bad decision right away!

It is that time of year.  For 5 years this time of year arrives after weeks of nail-biting worry, I am hoping above all hopes that my AHC (Obamacare) will remain the same. Every single year the Insurance company I chose left the state of FL…and not little no-name insurances either….Humana, Aetna, Humana (they came back after a year), Blue Cross, and Florida Blue.  

Yesterday I worked up the nerve to open the Market Place website…and yes Florida Blue is still with them….but they have dropped hospice coverage! Oh, did I mention I love hospice and palliative care.  No relentless doctors visits...they come to me! They are wonderful...I do not want to lose this medical support.  When it comes to health care (under 65) I just cannot catch a break with insurance coverage. However, do not misunderstand my insurance rant…I am still incredibly grateful that something has been and hopefully still is available to one that is uninsurable.  I will figure out something…but for now, my brain needs a short break to digest all of the insurance jargon I have already consumed…I know I know.... the deadline is much shorter this year, thanks to malicious politics I have until Dec. 15th ...... I do not need to make a bad decision right away!
"No" Meghan Trainor

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Yes....I am scared shitless!

Maybe I am crazy….maybe I shouldn’t…but you know I will!  I have not told anyone really because I do not want anyone talking me out of it.  A huge part of my life has been missing and I need to get it back!  I have spent the last few years doing everything I was supposed to do…well, kind of…and watching my life and my art fading.  It has been miserable and I want it back!  I know I am pushing, I know it is probably not a smart thing to do, but I would so much rather be sick doing this than sitting in the house with the TV playing, wasting this amazing life….I was accepted…The Lakeridge Winery Wine, Chocolate, Jazz and Art festival Dec 8-9-10 and I am doing it!  So I am back in the studio, covered in chalk pastel and smiling from ear to ear…..but just in case you were wondering…yes…I am scared shitless!

"Bruised but not Broken"  Joss Stone

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

and.... I am August! WHAT ?

Several months ago I entered a contest to have one of my images in a calendar.  Never heard anything back, not even a rejection letter…I am used to those!  So life moved on and I forgot about it.  But the day before yesterday I got an Email reminder about when and where to deliver my art for the Calendar Art Reception.  When I returned the email, thinking perhaps a mistake had been made, my inquiry was returned with a copy of the acceptance email sent last month that I had never received…maybe during the hurricane power and internet outage.  I deliver this morning and the opening is this Friday, where I will sign copies of my image along with 11 other artists.   The image was accepted and has already been printed as the August calendar image.   Oh by the way…I win 5 free copies of the calendar, but the future sales are for a good community cause. There was something maybe.... prophetic or just cathartic about associating my art, my life to the future...even if it is only a calendar.
"Wonderful Unknown"  Ingrid Michaelson

Monday, October 30, 2017

Not the "perfect girl"

I was broken long before the heart attack…but no one including me recognized broken.  The best way to explain it….is spending every moment of my own life living up to other people’s ideas of what a good person does, judging my own self-worth by the amount of money I could generate.  It wasn't that anyone forced me to think this way, but I did choose not to think for myself...I just plain did not know how.  What I did figure out how to do was own my own business,  chronically volunteer at the kid's schools, Jaycees, City Advisory boards, multiple Arts Organizations executive positions and Arts boards to increase my own pathetic ideas of other peoples ideas of success.  Between this I did a horrible job at keeping my house, raising my children and taking care of me.  It wasn’t until just recently as I have resigned from boards, most other volunteering and facilitating that I have had the time to figure out what makes me.  I am recognizing how much I needed to be put back together…most people never knew how broken I have been or how hard I was working to make myself whole again.  I no longer need the critical world, I know better than anyone exactly where my cracks are.

"Perfect Girl" Sarah McLachlan

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Harper calls this her “pump-pee-doo”  the pumpkin tutu Halloween costume!  These are the times I do not ever want to miss!  Making a pumpkin tutu and being a happy part of this is the most amazing heart filling time!  This is what I will miss the most!  But.... not now….not now….Now I am reveling in the smiles!

"Isn't She Lovely"  Stevie Wonder

Friday, October 27, 2017

Halloween Time Warp

The pumpkins are out and the spookies will be spending the weekend preparing for Halloween!  I say it every year…and I will say it again this year.  There is some weird time warp that happens at Halloween. I will blow out the candles and turn off the lights Halloween night, then go to bed.  When I wake up it will be Christmas Eve!  It is crazy how I loose time!  Maybe it is being busy; there is always so much to do.  Maybe it is because it is such a happy time of year spending time with friends and family.  I have no idea but I am celebrating the beginning of the season and preparing for the time warp to begin!
"Spooky"  Dusty Springfield

Thursday, October 26, 2017

There is no such thing as AA…(Artists Anonymous)

When you are an artist in your heart, it is an addiction.  The addiction is not what I am creating…it is the actual act of creating.  

In the act of creation…there is an “altered state of consciousness” if you have ever really gotten into your work….you know what I am talking about. I will be working on a piece and “lose time” I could not tell you if it has been 5 minutes or 5 hours!  And then there are those magic times when in that altered state, art literally falls out of me!  Things I have never done before easily develop on the canvas/paper as if they were just waiting to materialize. All they needed was my attention….talent, sketching, studies, planning are unnecessary.

I am hopelessly addicted; it is my drug of preference. There is no such thing as AA…(Artists Anonymous).
"I'm Here, I'm Not Here"  Julia Stone

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My time is precious...

The hard part has always been determining what was important.  For years and years and years, unfortunately, I had trouble figuring that out.  I put my job, the house and what other people thought above everything.

I never even got close to mediocrity and as I struggled for the impossible. The people and things I loved that were truly the most important were often left to fend for themselves.

It is time to love….time is precious.

"Never too Late"  Micheal Franti

Monday, October 23, 2017

I am fine...I can do this...This is why I am here!

 I had a bad day this weekend and all of the sudden I began questioning EVERYTHING!   The “What were you thinking?”, “It’s not too late to back out.”, “Have you gone completely NUTS!”voice started in on me... And I froze, I gave in, I grieved and ...I quit. Then I wondered who am I without this? The answer is I am a nothing... not Cheryl. My art is how I connect to the world, my life, my feelings...I have to do it. I stopped for a moment…took a deep breath and remembered….I can do this…I am fine..This is why I am alive!

"Ain't No Mountain" Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell

Pumpkin Princess Progress....... Report #3

And...we are done...ready for Halloween!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Maybe this is the magic we are all looking for!

This may be one of the best things I have ever done!  If I had always lived like I was dying, I would have been so much happier!  Knowing that you will not live forever brings an incredible ability to re-focus on what is important and what is not.  It forces me to filter out the meaningless “noise” that I let into my life.  It is the emotional “noise” that sucks up my time, my energy and causes an emotional spinning in place, never moving forward.  It is important to me that I continue to move forward until it is physically impossible to do so anymore
. So I really do not want to seem to be anti-social I am just learning how to move forward by figuring out what and what not my specific time and energy can change.  I am discovering where I fit in this world and how I can best serve the world and myself at the same time… Maybe this is the magic we are all looking for!
"Maybe There's a World" Cat Stevens

Friday, October 20, 2017

A POLYMATH...who knew???

I can waste time better than anyone I know!  So taking FaceBook quizzes is always a good time waster and every now and again I get a giggle or I learn something. I had never heard the word POLYMATH and now I find out that I am one.  Who knew!!

"Hello, there you modern Leonardo Da Vinci! 
You were not confused, not even for a second! 
You easily passed this double tricky test. We tried to confuse your brain by mixing up the colors and their names - but you didn't fall for it! You probably think it was rather easy, but no no, the "average brain" will find this test extremely difficult (just share it with someone and ask them :)
This means that just like Da Vinci and other polymaths, you have a wide range of interests. You are smart and logical, but also creative and artistic. You love your "alone time", when you can gather all your thoughts and ideas, but you also flourish around people and get inspired by them. You project a strong and positive energy of intelligence, calmness, honesty and generosity - and this is exactly what makes so unique."

"Belly Belly Nice"  Dave Matthews

Pumpkin Princess Progress....Report #2

Day one
I had to do math…I was in shock…can you imagine?  Somehow I had to figure out the circumferences of a circle for a gathered waistband and hem.  Then I measured made a pattern and began cutting fabric, although I will tell you right here and now tulle does not qualify as fabric, I am not absolutely certain it is thick enough to even be considered  Kleenex.  There is very little actual sewing compared to the amount of tulle “herding” but after several hours at the sewing machine gathering and gathering and gathering it is beginning to look like a pumpkin princess!
Day two
Waistband and elastic is in and all of the satin hand sewing for the bows at the shoulder (bows not ties on shoulders yet)  and back are done!  It is really beginning to look like a little pumpkin princess!
"There She Goes" OrtoPiolt

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Happy Heart Day!

It is my Happy Heart Day…The anniversary of my heart attack…Since then I have had open heart surgery, which brought on a TIA and a bout of kidney failure, then a defibrillator implanted in my chest and am now with hospice….but if you think I am dying…NOT!  I have been through A LOT….but through it all my big strong beautiful wonderful heart keeps beating, keeps me alive and keeps me loving! 

So later today I will paint happy messages on my chest, give my myself presents (2 used Nora Ehron Books, her last 2) and there will be laughing and dancing and celebrating because it is happy heart day!
"Shine On"  Eric Bibb

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pumpkin Princess Progress....Report #1

The “Pumpkin Princess” officially begins today!  There are yards and yards and yards of orange and green tu-tu tulle, you just cannot have a limp or droopy tu-tu. And here is the confession…I have never made a tu-tu.  I have waited all of my life to make ruffled things for a daughter or a granddaughter and finally…finally…finally….here is my chance….and I am a bit nervous.  Stay tuned for more “Pumpkin Princess Progress”  or how to survive 40 yards of orange tulle. BUT please do not think for one moment that this is going to be one of those “How to” tu-tu!
"Spooky"  Classics IV

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Modified adventure is better than no adventure!

Been there….done that…both of them!  I will pick adventure every time.  However,  that adventure thing has to have a few modifications…and it almost becomes a just bit less than an adventure …is there such a thing??? I guess modified adventure is better than no adventure.  Because I am here to say the routine thing…it is definitely lethal!

"Boogie Shoes"  KC and the Sunshine Band

Monday, October 16, 2017

So....Why does it still scare me?

Because I am afraid.  Duh!!

As if it was not horrible enough to be regular afraid of things like…they will laugh at me, my art is not good enough, I am not good enough, I am too short, too fat, too old, not pretty enough….you understand this list could quite easily fill this page!  Oh, but these were just frivolous fears compared to the “Mother of all Fears” that took hold in the last few months.  It is the fear we all have and just will not talk about!  There are all kinds of different variations on this topic but they all dwell down to a similar theme “it might kill me”.  I remember in classes I facilitated, every now and again a creative would confess they were afraid they would die with all of their art, music, words still inside them.  And although it made great sense then, it makes even more sense now for me.  Unfortunately, that reason to move forward ran into another impermeable wall of my own building…just doing it will kill me.   That by merely participating in what I love will somehow impact my health and hasten my demise.  And so…what if it does? Live being who I am or a phony.  Thinking that being a quiet, still, do nothing person will prolong a life that I am not enjoying I will live longer….and the question I have been asking is...why?  I knew early on that I would not exchange quantity for the quality of my life.  So why…having embraced quality of life does it still scare me?
"Black Bird"  The Beatles

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Taking firm hold on what I can control...

yes…. it does make perfect sense….. for normal people but if you are a certified “control freak” THIS is a big ass deal!  I am not sure exactly how I got this way.  I think it may be a little DNA, it may be that for most of my life I felt like I have had no control or so little that it made no difference to anyone. As I found little bits and pieces of things I can control...I tend to REALLY take control of it…and I do enjoy it!  I learned early on that creating my art was not much more than me taking control and I do mean total control. I decided what the image was and I could manipulate it with line and color and feeling at my own whim.  What a wonderful way to cut my “control freak” teeth on!  So for a while now…I have truly been out of control of my own life.  This heart has taken over my life, I realized it has taken control over all of me.  And now I feel like I have to fight my way back…the best way I know, the way that is comfortable for me, the way I have complete control of…through my art.  Yes, I am letting go of what I can’t control but I am living fully now by taking a firm hold of what I can control….my art.
"Vincent" Don McLean

Saturday, October 14, 2017

I am doing it ...if they let me in!

And so…I think I have the opportunity to do one more art show…close to home…3 days…maybe not a lot of sales…but then again I really do not care.  It is all about me doing it one more time.  I can sit here and wish and grieve or I can get up and do. My heart is going to get worse anyway…The fact is, it will not get better by doing nothing.  I would much rather be doing something I love.  It is going to kill me doing nothing or doing what I love.  I want to be in love with my life!  I want to do and be surrounded with who and what I am. 

The local winery is having a 3-day jazz, wine, and chocolate festival, it has my name written all over it! 

I do not want to be stupid either, it will not be like in years past when it was week after week of pounding pavement, turning the work around, reloading and loading.  I have time…it is a one-time thing.  So the first move is to make sure all of the tent canvas is totally dry after the “flood”.  Yep…I am doing it…(if they let me in, that is). 
"Do it Again" Steely Day

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Irregular Reminder

Friday the 13th is extremely superstitious for me, but not the way most think!  Friday the 13th comes at odd sporadic times through the year…you cannot count on them in any certain month and you really don’t expect or look forward to them.  They just arrive!

Amazing, wonderful, inspiring events arrive in my life the same way.  I cannot plan on it, but when I least expect them, they show up.  All I have to do to participate in these little miracles is keep my heart and my mind open enough to recognize these incredible gifts, and be willing to cooperate, move, interact and participate with them.  Allow them to ignite me!  That is what Friday the 13th is for me…The irregular reminder that these gifts are coming and they will surprise and shock me.  I have the power to magnify the miracle of my gifts by simply recognizing, accepting,  and celebrating them!  Friday the 13th is my irregular reminder!

"Superstition" Stevie Wonder

Thursday, October 12, 2017

And they are STILL working on the music links....stand by...may be this time it will be repaired forever!!!....One can only hope!

Enter....the AIRY FAIRY!

This business about “that little voice in my head that comes out of me sounding like my parents or doctors, my husband, etc…….”, my “inner child” and the opposite my inner “critic” is still weird to me.  I am not sure I want all of these people in here with me!  

I really did need to get a grip on anything that had this much power over my decision-making process.  One word caught my attention!  POWER!  Through every situation, I found I did not have the power to control how I reacted, or how I felt, that those negative feelings seemed to come automatically without any input from me and I hated it. I continue to spend time understanding how these things influence me and my decisions on a daily basis.  I find by sitting still…taking a breath and observing a situation from the outside, I can separate from all of those pre-programmed things in my head.  I give whatever you want to call it God, Energy, the Universe, Light, Vibes a chance to enter the situation and give me the power to make the choice that is right for me, regardless of what those others think.
Enter my POWER…..the Airy Fairy!  I love her!
"I Wonder What She is Doing Tonight"  Boyce and Hart

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

it does seem to help....

Here is the good news-bad news…The good news is I rarely have much physical pain.  I mean there is the pain but not the horrible got to have pain meds kind of pain. I am so so incredibly grateful I do not have that kind of pain.

The kind of pain that invades my life is emotional pain.  That is the pain that doctors do not want to see and they never want to talk about, although they know it occurs and are happy to prescribe Prozac the moment you mention it.  I knew early on…medicated and emotionally handcuffed was not how I wanted to do this. Believe me, this is definitely not the easy way, but for me, it is the best way. I want to do this bare-fisted, celebrating fully in my accomplishments, the people and things I love dearly and grieving, too!  I do grieve the life I will not have.  I am learning that, I have to grieve that alone, it is very difficult to find someone that really understands that, and until you have your own future compromised by a terminal disease I think it is a very hard thing to do.  Friends and family that want so badly to help often get caught up in their own pending grief.  It is not their fault, it is just how it is.

I have learned when I focus on today and celebrate the life I have had…. I can just about beat the pain, but I have to accept it too! So, I like spending time alone, I take each day as it comes, push my limits, celebrate my accomplishments, and remind myself daily that I cannot change the past…. and the future cannot hurt me, not right now, anyway…I have things to do.  I think I will always have to acknowledge and accept the pain, it does seem to help.
"If You Could Read My Mind"  Gordon Lightfoot

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

But #3...I've got that one!

This all sounds so good and although I have made really good attempts at numbers 1 thru 6, the only one I can truly check off as done it….is  #7…Question Everything.

Here is the rub….questioning does not get me any closer to the answers. Although I will confess that it does separate me from “herd mentality” thinking.  1 thru 6  are all good. I appreciate the good advice, and I agree with every one of them…but other than #6 reading…I would appreciate some specific actions to help me accomplish them. 

But #3…I’ve got that one!

"Hammer & Nails" Indigo Girls

Monday, October 9, 2017

Yes, yes and yes....

Yes, yes and yes….
I choose! 

I could not have said it better so I am not even going to try!

"Fight Song"  Rachel Patten

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Oh…this explains it!  I am a selenophile!  I have always had what I feel like is more than a normal relationship with the moon, especially when it is full.  I feel stronger, in tune with my own body, more energy, more creative, more assertive, more in touch with whatever that little voice is inside of me is.  I am not sure I can explain it any better.  It is not an overwhelming feeling…I am not going crazy and heading out and howl at the moon, but it is a definite shift in positive energy and I like it.  I am kind of sad this month, it has been overcast and cloudy for the past few days and although I can feel it, I have not been able to see the October Harvest full moon but I will be dancing anyway!

"Dancing in the Moonlight"  King Harvest

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Time just does not make it go away/...

I miss you more than words can begin to express.
You made me crazy at times, you made me laugh, you showed me the world and the most incredible art I have ever seen. A day does not go by that I do not think of you...or an evening at about 8 after your evening wine....I still wait for for the phone to ring.

I thought that as time went by it would not hurt as much and then this day comes around and I am overwhelmed with love and grief...I still miss you so very much!

                   "By Your Side"   Ben Taylor

Keep Breathing......

We owned a sailboat for over 25 years, it was always equipped with a bilge pump…it was a just in case thing…just in case the boat started taking on water we would not sink.  We never had to use it…but I wish I still had it….This morning at 5 AM I woke up to Skip screeching…..CHERYL !!!!….a pipe burst in the laundry room sometime in the night, and probably early in the evening, judging by the 4” of standing water in the studio, laundry room, and front storage room he was standing in.  It has been a day but I will win…..eventually! Just Keep Breathing!

"Keep Breathing"  Ingrid Michaelson

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

It is time for a "First Time"!

I suspect this may be one of the big secrets of life!  Not always doing the same thing over and over until it is perfected, but having the guts to unapologetically go out and try new things with the knowledge that failing miserably is a distinct possibility!  It is time for “a first time”!

"The Secret of Life"  James Taylor

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

But I Get What I Need...

Sometimes the same themes tend to arise and repeat themselves,  as silly as it might seem….I see that as the universe trying to get my attention.  It always works! In the last few weeks, I have had several great things happen to me.  Some I had wanted and had totally given up on, others I was hoping and hoping but fairly certain would never happen.  I am learning that putting my intentions into the world does not always give me just what I want, but in these cases, it was not just what I wanted but what I needed!  Thank you, Universe!

     "You Can't Always Get What You Want"  Ituana
Roling Stones Cover

not protecting your rights....

The NRA is not protecting your rights ! They are nothing more than a money-grubbing gun manufacturer lobby that is using fear that you might lose your gun.  Is your gun worth the innocent lives? Is it worth it? Are you going to bow your head one more time and do nothing?

"For What it's Worth"  Buffalo Springfield

Monday, October 2, 2017

"do it with a heart wide open"

Just seems appropriate for a Monday morning….whatever it is….”do it with a heart wide open”!  When I heard this the first time I thought I knew what it meant…then I was not sure. For me, I think it physically took a broken heart before my heart could open.  It becomes a little clearer as I move forward. I think a “heart wide open” is one that accepts failures not as catastrophes but as lessons to move forward. Even the most amazing successes are nothing more than lessons…life is the lessons we learn...the goal is not to have the most money, stuff, kids, friends, or love…but how much you gave of yourself to the world.  If I give what I love the most...even if it is just a little at a time, I will be fulfilling my purpose in this life.  It is what we contribute to the world the thing that brings us the most joy when we give ourselves, our gifts back to the world.  Art, music, building, taking care of others, teaching, and the list of life’s gifts goes on and on.  It is truly unlimited, and each of us, every single one of us has a gift.  How we use it (or not)…. is based on what we think or what we were taught to think by those, even though they love us dearly,  did not understand this concept.  If we are lucky our soul, our source, the universe, the higher power or whatever you believe is the source of that little voice in each of us will insist that we each search for it on our own and find it…We have to find it……and then give it away.  Searching is part of the journey. Most organized religions want to be responsible for your searching and your journey and have a preprogrammed destination.  But in my opinion they got it backward; they said we should give to receive. That feels like it sets up the giving with the expectation of getting something in return. True gifts are given without expectation. The reality is until we have searched and received…we have nothing to give. From this inside out thinking a fulfilled happy life becomes as simple as the balance and experience of searching, finding and then giving away “with our hearts wide open”. 
"Say"  John Mayer

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Waters Rise....

On the way home from St. Augustine we came down A1A…it was a stormy day and there was no hurry. It is always such a nice drive along the beach even on a rainy day.  I expected to see some of the areas of A1A that had been repaired after last year’s Hurricane Matthew washed it away.  I was anxious to ride by and see if my favorite Flagler Beach “haunts” are still there.  There had been no reports of  A1A damage from Irma although I was sure there might be some but not like Matthew, which was not that surprising since that storm came from another direction. But there was damage and unbelievable beach erosion south of Flagler. All of the seawall and all of the dunes have been flattened….This was high tide, and the water was so close to the road A1A!  In all of the years of driving this road…I have never seen anything like this. It was heartbreaking. The waters rise....everything changes, I just did not expect this much….
"Waters of Babylon" Don McLean

Friday, September 29, 2017

Individualist...What the hell is that?

So according to this highly scientific (cough-cough) Facebook personality trait test….and of course, all of the “quizzes” on Facebook are totally true “take it to the bank” accurate. I am an “individualist”…So for just a few moments, indulge me, and allow me to live and revel in the fantasy!

Your Enneagram personality type is the Individualist. 

You're creative, very intelligent and fiercely independent. You're driven by the desire to live true to yourself and you're willing to stand out from everyone else in the process. When unbalanced you tend to be melancholy and envious of others, but if you trust your inner voice you have an impressive imagination that can change the world. You may feel like a rebel without a cause, but when you're in touch with your inner drive, your unique voice can take you far. Be yourself, never compromise on your vision, and find creative ways to express your reality. You have the potential to be one of history's  greatests!                         
"Good Girl" Julian Moon

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sometimes...someone else says it so much better!

Oh... how I love her words!!!

Experience. Dream. Risk.

Close your eyes and jump. Enjoy the freefall.

Choose exhilaration over comfort. Choose magic over predictability.

Choose potential over safety. Wake up to the magic of everyday life.

Make friends with your intuition. Trust your gut.

Discover the beauty of uncertainty. Know yourself fully before you make promises to another.

Make millions of mistakes so that you will know how to choose what you really need.

Know when to hold on and when to let go.

Love hard and often and without reservation. Seek knowledge.

Open yourself to possibility. Keep your heart open, your head high and your spirit free.

Embrace your darkness along with your light.

Be wrong everyday once in a while, and don't be afraid to admit it.

Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments.

Tell the truth about yourself no matter what the cost. Own your reality without apology.

See goodness in the world. Be Bold. Be Fierce. Be Grateful.

Be Wild, Crazy and Gloriously Free. Be You.

Go now, and live.
― Jeanette LeBlanc

"A Way With Your Words" Imaginary Cities

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

My sanctimonious righteous morality......does seem to have a price!

I will preface this rant with……
I am the absolute last person to sing the praises of Walmart. 

For the most part, I have detested them. A huge store, dangerous after-hours parking lot, with narrow aisles in the store that are always backed up, long check-out lines, and they contribute nothing to the local community or economy (except for the obligatory taxes).

I also have a moral problem with the owners that make so much money while they pay their employees so little forcing many of them to depend on federal aid and food stamps to make ends meet for their families. In short, it seems that we taxpayers are subsidizing the Walmart owner’s profits.

And if that was not enough….there was a period of time that I felt economically prostituted to the pharmacy, by my insurance company, however, in my own defense, the one prescription that I paid $76.00 at Walgreens was only $4.00 at Walmart. It quickly became a love-hate relationship when they rarely had anything ready even when I was notified via text that it was. They were consistently not ready for me or they were missing one of the prescriptions which had me wandering around the store waiting or making a return visit. Both typically resulted in me making additional purchases. I will admit it was a pretty ingenious marketing ploy and I was always angry with myself for literally buying into it. I suspect they more than made at least, if not more than the $72.00 from me buying additional items that I thought I was saving.

I find myself in the hands of the evil Walmart once more…but this time I am not grousing and complaining. My local Walmart has begun a grocery pick-up service. I go online, choose the products that I want and they have them there waiting for me. They have a covered area to wait, while they load the groceries into my van. Trips to the grocery store had become a 3 to 4-hour event pushing a cart through the store on my oxygen “leash”, loading, unloading in the heat and putting away was the perfect recipe for total exhaustion. It took me an entire day to shop, put away and recover. This Walmart shopping service costs nothing extra and reduced this chore to less than an hour and that includes putting the groceries away.

My lesson here is either “never say never” or my sanctimonious righteous morality does have a price! Whichever it is, I am owning it! ….. Thank you Walmart, you have made my life easier.
"I'm a Woman"  Koko Taylor