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!"



Saturday, December 30, 2017

the best of my spirit....

At the end of the year I try to take stock of what I have accomplished, was it important, did it matter. The answers always seem to be, not much, I don’t think so and I doubt it.  But are those my answers… or the answers I think other people would say.  When I look into my heart, I can say I have done so much and it mattered to me.  Perhaps that is all that should matter.  This year, one of my most important goals will be…only if it matters to me…I know that sounds selfish…but my art and my ideas and my feelings are the signs of my spirit, they will always be, even when I am gone.
"Where are You Going?"  Dave Matthews Band

Friday, December 29, 2017

Watching them grow!

Back row...Owen & Steven
Middle row… Stephanie, Jason & Oliver.
 & front and center the birthday boy, Cooper!

The Holidays are winding down,  but I love that we can stretch them out and yesterday the #1 son and family were out at Universal and we got to spend the evening with all of them…I am reminded what a lucky a woman I am, that I have such a wonderful family and am having the opportunity to watch them grow in love.  This may be one of the few times I say “phew” raising all of these boys is such work, but they manage that herd of boys like experts!   And, oh my how they grow so fast!  Oliver is as tall as I am now!  It was Cooper’s Birthday in addition to all of the Christmas unwrapping and celebrating, it was a party!  Dinner together at an I-drive buffet and watching them eat, they are all truly boys with hollow legs and there was a time that I thought having us there might put them out of business.  Look out Universal studios they are headed your way for the next couple of days!

"Its a Family Affair"  Sly and the Family Stone

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Me and Pillsbury are tight!

Ta-DUH….Birthday cupcakes for Cooper!  And yep…that is purple frosting!  So if you detect a hint of purple color on my lips, you will know that I was on “quality control” duty!  Wish I could take credit for all of this, but me and Pillsbury are tight! And I get excited when I get even a box cake mix to come out right and for those of you keeping track…it was precisely 3 ingredients!

"Birthday"  The Beatles

Moon Dancing!

Life spins and it looks like the universe is telling me it is going to be a most spectacular year.  A full moon on new years, and a blue moon later on with an eclipse!  How much louder could the universe be screaming at me?  So many wonderful possibilities happening to me and it is all wonderful!  Thank you, I am so very grateful! I will be moon dancing through this part of my life!!

"Moon Dance" Van Morrison

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ridiculous unrealistic expectations...

Ahhhh….this is the lesson I have yet to have gotten a full grasp on!  And it all flows back to my wretched expectations.  My expectations of what should happen and when….If I could let my expectations go…my patience would finally and completely expand.  Today’s mantra…..NO expectations…No expectations of what others should do,  feel, express…No expectations, No expectations. Do it for myself, do not expect help, do not expect anything but from myself and then everything that happens is always a wonderful surprise that I am grateful for…I want to live in gratitude, not hurt and anger because I had ridiculous unrealistic expectations!

"If it Makes You Happy"  Sheryl Crow

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

NO talking back!

Santa, Skip and Darren colluded on Christmas.  I was somewhat ignorant about hickeys that I unwrapped on Christmas morning were,  "Alexa" and echo and dots but I can see that they may be incredibly helpful for me now and down the road.  I am really excited to see and learn all they can do and how they work.  In the meantime,  while waiting for the installation to happen, and I may even take a shot at it myself if I really get bored and brave today I am truly excited, to be able to talk to my house…..just as long as it does not sarcastically “talk back”!

"Changes"  David Bowie

Monday, December 25, 2017

Could life possibly be any better than this?

Harper Christmas morning 2017

Enchilada Eve with my Dad & Trish, brothers, sisters, nieces nephews, wives, girlfriends was spectacular, it could not have been any more perfect!  Then Santa, toys and Christmas brunch with Jill, Darren and Harper this morning and Christmas Celebrating (and Cooper’s Birthday)  with Stephanie, Jason and all of the boys, Oliver, Owen, Steven and Cooper a little later this week when they come to go to Universal.  Now I ask you….Could life possibly be any better than this?

Morning Girl" The Neon Philharmonic

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Enchilada Eve! Woo-Hoo!!

Oh how I love Enchilada Eve….and I suspect this one will be more amazing than any of the ones in the past.  I cannot wait!

"I'll be Home for Christmas"  Michael Buble'

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The "Not My Cat" Doppelganger!

Not My Cat #2….???? Caught him in the act! “Not My Cat” has a doppelganger! Several months ago a gray kitty figured out how to use the official Evan’s cat (Norris) cat door. He began letting himself in and eventually inserted himself into our family. He was a bit on the goofy side and fit into the family perfectly but his name never changed and his official name became “Not My Cat” by default. This morning I caught proof that his weirdness continues because there is now officially a “Not My Cat” Doppelganger that is coming in through the cat doors! I wonder if they know they look alike?

"Do it Again"  Doobie  Brothers

I am so excited…I made a hat!

I just finished the official Enchilada Eve hat!  Enchilada Eve has never had it’s own hat…But maybe it was time!  It might help if you understood Enchilada Eve a little better.  It is not an official holiday anywhere but the Evan’s.  It began one day the week before x-mas when making out that week’s grocery list.  The Holiday season, to this point, had been heavy with ham and turkey and all of the traditional foods. The thought of making one more holiday meal of turkey and ham was more than I could stand!  My sister reminded me that she had promised to make Skip enchiladas (his favorite) for a birthday meal back in May…but we were never able to settle on a day where everyone was available.  And Enchilada Eve was born from a belated birthday dinner and a seasonal revulsion of traditional holiday food.  The irreverent underside of Enchilada Eve has always been about including our family and anyone that might find themselves alone or lonely on Christmas Eve. After 17 years it is going viral and has infiltrated the Jones-Bouis-Scott Families.  I am so excited…I made an Enchilada Eve hat!
"Feliz Navidad"  Jose Feliciano

Friday, December 22, 2017

touch the heart to move the mind....

or vice versa….
I have to continue to keep my mind in a good place and I know that my heart follows closely behind.  Some how...some way the heart and the brain are closely connected.  They can and do influence each other....but do not ask anyone in the medical profession how it is done.  They will not know.   Just give it a try. However, you make it happen, however, you bring that joy into your life...just do it! 

Nothing, no pills, no friends, no family makes life any better than what we can do for ourselves.  Whether it is family, singing, dancing, loving, enjoying, or wildly celebrating life any way you dare to...Make it happen for yourself!   I ask you….With all of this in life....How much more fun could it possibly be?

"Counting Stars"  Gardnier Sisters

Thursday, December 21, 2017

These are the days......

Today is one of the days I have dreaded for a long time.  For me, it has been the red flag that I am loosing.  Tomorrow I begin taking medication to control pain.  I have fought so hard not to start, but the kidneys and the back pressure have gotten so difficult to deal with.  Starting with the lowest available …I have been promised after a day or two, my body adjusts that my life can go on as before but without the pain and oh how I do want those days back…The one thing I have been so grateful for is the very small amounts of pain that come with heart failure.  I wanted that to go on forever, but I am grateful that I have the machines and the meds that are making this as easy as it is.  These are the days I need more than ever to hang on to gratefulness.
"Jagged Little Pills"  Alanis Morrisette

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Recognizing Naughty!

I really should get paid for this and several other amazing talents I have that are truly underappreciated, things like feeling sorry for myself, making a mess, saying inappropriate things.  If I were paid for any of these things I would quite likely be a millionaire by now!  I guess the serious point of this post is who decides what is naughty?  Is it like breaking one of the big 10…or is it more like breaking the law, you know speeding or making an
illegal turn…and who knew that naughty has a whole new meaning in the “adult” stores!   Actually, I do not think it really matters…I suspect we are ALL... already on the naughty list!  You cannot fool me! 

"Born to be Wild"  Steppenwolf

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cuss Words & Courage

And still… I think I need to be sugar make everyone happy, do not rock the boat, smile even when you don’t feel like it and for heaven’s sake stand up straight and suck in your tummy!  I am always thrilled that generations after me will not have so much of this crap stuffed into their lives. Each subsequent generation appears ti lets go of more and more but there seems to still be a long way to go. It has definitely begun and it is a good thing!  I do not mind one little bit if someone thinks I am full of cuss words as long as I have the courage to back them up!

"She's a Lady"  Tom Jones

Monday, December 18, 2017

Damn Garbage Bags!

I would like to explain something before I begin.  First of all, I have a tiny galley kitchen (aka as the one ass kitchen)  and what I call a pantry is nothing more than a 10 inch deep closet with shelves and I have 2 of them in this kitchen…one for food one for garbage, cleaning supplies, brooms, and mops.  I call them both pantries although technically they barely qualify!

So Monday’s are garbage day.  Every Monday and Thursday Skip takes the garbage out and I put a fresh bag in the can…in the “garbage pantry”.  I have had my coffee, am fully awake and I walk into the kitchen to do what I do EVERY Monday and Thursday…I then proceed to walk back to the food pantry and stare at the contents for a good 5 minutes and frustratingly ask myself what the hell am I doing here?  It took 5 full minutes for me to realize I was standing in front of the wrong pantry…. Damn Garbage bags!
     "In My Mind" Amanda Palmer

Saturday, December 16, 2017


The tree is up...the lights are hung (thank you, Lindsay Lynch, you are the bomb) and the reindeer is ready for the presents to arrive... "tis the season"....

"Chrismas Time is Here"  Daniela  Andrade

Friday, December 15, 2017

I may need to re-think....

I may need to re-think my X-mas gift making when they require not only instructions on how to use them, but an explanation to as to what the damn thing is!


"It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas"  Micheal Buble'

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Just last week or forever ago...

It is so hard to imagine how this much time has literally slipped away.  Seems like this was just last week or forever ago.
"Coming Around Again"  Carly Simon

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

I still can be!

What a spectacular honor this was! To be nominated and recognized as one of the top 20 Art Mentors in the US by Professional Artist magazine.  And how marvelous to have the opportunity to relive the experience again today.  It is a great reminder of what I was and what I still can be!
And I am dancing while no one is watching!

"A Beautiful Day"  Indie Arie

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What I think it should be vs…what it is…

So I had grand plans!  I would get home from the art show not even try to unload the van, until Monday eve...Giving myself some down time before tackling that job. But on Monday I could unload some of the smaller things, then I would get out all of the Christmas decorations and get the tree up, make a quick run to the corner store….out of cat food and toilet paper (yikes) and be back before the oxygen delivery, figure out how to plug in and start up the replacement set-top box from the cable company.  This, I thought….was reasonable…
Oh hell NO…

What really happened is I was in PJ’s until 2 PM…got the Christmas stuff out of storage (nothing is up), ran to the store and managed to miss my O2 delivery and it took 45 minutes on the phone with the cable company to get this crappy cable box to work.  Century Link is so on my shit list! .....Then I gave up...went back to bed….Tuesday is another day!

"Chain of Fools"  Aretha

Monday, December 11, 2017

I have the evidence!

"I did it!!!"  After years of doctors telling me, I really "shouldn't" do any more art shows for fear that all of the packing, unpacking, lifting, tent building, art hanging and other physical parts of it would be too much for me to do.  Hospice/palliative care is different...if it is important for me to do something...they encourage me and make certain I  have the right things to do it.  So, although this past weekend it would have been nice to sell more, it was not about was about me reclaiming a part of myself that I loved and I have truly missed.  To be around other creatives, artists, and music, to see my work all together hanging in one place, not just stacked and packed away and to have people see, admire and even purchase what I have feels so good, it is like magic! Although I will confess, I was and am still exhausted, have horrible aching muscles and a plethora of minor gripes and groans,  I am so gloriously happy that I do!They are all wonderful evidence of...I did it!  

"I Just Want to be Brave"  Sarah Bareilles

Friday, December 8, 2017

I need a lot more of this...

Slow and steady gets it done! It has been such a long time since we have been "on the streets" or in this case in the vineyard that our brains and our backs were challenged....but the tent is up...the art is in on the cart, still to be hung...but...WE ARE DOING IT!...and I have never been so happy to be this "good" tired!

"More o That"  Eric Bibb

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Good to go! Good to go!

Ed (the nurse) just checked me out and I have been pronounced good to go...with some finger wagging and warnings...but BP has responded to additional meds....lungs clear enough (just a little fluid), heart is strong and consistent, all systems are go....I am so excited! 


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I may be addicted....

The last 24 hours have been eye-opening.   No internet/cable service…  I am not new to this dilemma, and I thought I was better at negotiating their “system” ...NOT SO MUCH!  After 1 hour and 37 minutes…I know because my phone said so….The light finally came on…they …the suspiciously non-English speaking tech support people are reading a  script word for word and have no idea what I have asked or what they are saying.  Finally, it was officially determined that my internet was down…please do not forget I had told them that 1 hour and 37 minutes before and I now officially qualified for the supreme honor of having the holiest of all…the repairman come out to repair THEIR broken equipment…..GRRRRRR…. This morning at 10:30 AM there was a wonderful repairman that found my problem was in a broken line at the end of the street!  The last 24 hours without internet or TV or access to my printer have been harrowing but it was significantly compounded by having to deal with tech support.  But after it is all said and done….I have to confess that  I may be addicted to my internet/cable if I am willing to stay on the phone for 1 hour and 37 minutes talking to someone that does not speak English just to get my service back! 
"Help"  The Beatles

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Celebrating my Life!

So here is the thing…This is not the kind of “art show” that  I have done in the past but yes I will be surrounded by amazingly creative people.  It is (I am sure) going to be focused on wine, music then chocolate, then art…and I am not even sure about using the word art…I suspect it is going to be more about the Christmas gift craft… and that will be quite different for me.  But the most important thing for me is to just “do it”!  I am looking forward to spending the time outdoors, sipping wine, listening to music, surrounded by my art overlooking a vineyard!  I have pushed my body, groused and sworn more the past few weeks than I have in 5 years and I have loved and celebrated every single moment of creating, framing, packing and I am certain the rest of this experience will be just as fun!  I spent so many years in this lifestyle, but sometimes I forgot to have fun enjoying the challenges as much as the successes.  I always enjoyed it, but I am not certain I really celebrated and appreciated how wonderful this life really was….is!
"I Just Want to Celebrate"  Rare Earth

Monday, December 4, 2017

Not now...Not now...

Packing up my art for an art show!  What I used to be able to do in a matter of hours, now takes me days…but I can still do it! The hardest parts of heart failure are not the symptoms or the drug side effects.  The hardest parts are the internal battles between wanting help but thinking I shouldn’t need it, between knowing it’s out of my control and shaming myself for not controlling it.

The worst symptom of heart failure is guilt.

I know I overdo it and “tough it out” to avoid being that burden. It is the choice I make. To a certain extent. I am learning how to schedule and arrange life so I can continue to keep doing it by myself. I understand that the only person I’m burdening is me but I would like everyone to understand that I want and need to do this alone.  When I do have good days…and I do have them…I want to accomplish as much as I can because I do not know when I will get another one! I need to do it by myself while I can. I like doing it alone and I will know when I cannot do it anymore....but not now....not now!
"The Life I Know"  India Arie

Sunday, December 3, 2017

never ever never quit!

I have to keep doing what I was put here to do.  Yes… I am scared but I am also excited.  This is who and what I am and if and when I have to quit, then it will be time for me to go. I will never ever never quit!

"Heart of a Hero"  Cathy Heller

Saturday, December 2, 2017


Confused, broken, frustrated and sad is hard to do…. but there are some good things that come from them.  I am not saying that I am brave or authentic from these experiences but I am learning to be what I am right now, not hiding and trying so hard to be worthy!

"Candles in the Rain" (Lay Down) Melanie

Friday, December 1, 2017

Creativity slips out....

Packing and transporting art is one of the many old/new challenges I have faced the last few weeks!  Down to one stack of cardboard corners and the last roll of stretch wrap meant I would have to order more.  It was worth the investment but neither of these 2 things comes in anything other than FULL CASES and that investment would be significant.  It was never a problem, back in the day, with all of the packing, traveling and selling I did. In addition to the packing protection of the corners and stretch wrap,  I would always wrap a sold piece for buyers to get the piece home safely.  But now…not sure if this Lakeridge Winery is a beginning or an end and it is hard to justify that kind of expense without knowing. So cutting dollar pool noodles (6 filled a bag) into short lengths and splitting them so they will clamp on the frame has become an awesome way to solve this problem!  

This was a needed victory…this week there was a wicked angina episode and the BP is back up in ugly ranges…meds have been added to handle the new/old problem.  I suspect …. Creativity slipped out of my studio.  But I also think that there is magic in my creativity that can slip into my heart, too!

"Chumbawamba" I Get Knocked Down, but I get up again!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

and....I do love what I do!

Each day, as I go into the studio…this,
is my mantra!  It is always so much easier to fall back into my old habits and feelings.  Grind out the work, make sure it is perfect and ready and flawlessly framed while forget to enjoy how much I truly love this life, the talents I have been given and the ability to do them.  When my time comes, I want to say without reservation or regret that I used up every moment every talent I was given!  and…I do love what I do!

"The Secret of Life"  James Taylor

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

In the studio...I still sparkle!

It is a great time of year for gold gilding!.  That probably will not make sense to very many but trying to gold leaf anything is dicey at best when at any moment the AC might click on blowing that incredibly light fragile sheet of gold leaf will be blown into oblivion.  That is all it takes!  In the summertime…the AC goes off and I guild as long as I can stand it before the heat and perspiration overwhelm me.  It has been perfect weather for no AC and a good thing too,  every single original as well as every print ….each one of them,  has hand applied gold leafing.  

It has been awesome “no AC” gilding weather and I am having a  blast  “sparkling” in the studio! I may not "sparkle anywhere else, and that is ok...but in the studio....I still sparkle!

                        "Silence is Golden"  Tremeloes

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Simply fighting to keep doing what I love....

I have on several occasions tried to explain the difference between sick/emotionally exhausted and physically exhausted.  Make no mistake…they are both equally debilitating.  One of the most aggravating parts of heart failure is that it literally robs you of all of your energy and eventually it wants to take away your ability to do what you love, too.  I do not have to do anything as dramatic as fighting a disease that I will not win….I am simply
fighting to keep doing what I love doing!

"More o' that"  Eric Bibb

Monday, November 27, 2017 the hardest part

I used to be able to flop and cut glass like it was second I had to have help. I am learning to find ways to do what I used to be able to do by myself, but still, I need help. I have such a hard time asking. It reminds me that I am not the woman I used to be. And...this THIS is the hardest part of this!

But there ARE some things I can still do and I am very grateful!  Two in their frames and 2 more frames built!  I can....

"Ave Maria" Guy Farley
 (from the movie "Modigliani"

What if....

I know what they want to hear….
I know because it is what I want to hear. 
I know you are afraid…
I know because I am afraid.

So...let’s pretend, even if I am lying…

"Changes"  David Bowie

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Number 5!

Number 5 is off to the publisher…it has become my personal…woo-hoo …I have made it another year!
Here is the link 
it will be a week or so before the box arrives.

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"  The Beatles

Saturday, November 25, 2017

I would rather say what I am than explain what I am not.

I imagine there are oodles of people that think being “not-a-Christian “ is deliberately choosing to be evil and go to hell.  But, I suspect those same people might automatically assume I am Christian if I claimed I was “not-a-Jew”,  “not-a-Muslim” “not-a-Buddhist” or “not-a-Hindu”. There are some parts of each of those practices that I embrace wholeheartedly. There are other parts of those same religious tenets and doctrines that I cannot wrap my reasonable head and/or emotional heart around.  With an open heart and an open mind, I have yet to find any one thing that makes a particular religion more holy, believable or evil than the other.  The most frequent common denominator for religious belief is how we were raised and what we were taught as children, rarely is it our own mindful intelligent investigations. I am always astounded when a religion validates its relevancy with the fantastic, magic, unbelievable, fairy tale myths and fables.  Perfectly intelligent, rational and matter of fact people will embrace these stories as fact without question.
I will admit, for the most part, claiming what I am not, almost always makes others see me as evil or at the very least damned.  I am quite simply a spiritual person, that thinks (which is much different from knowing) that there is something that we do not yet understand that is bigger more powerful than our humanness. I admit to not knowing what it is but I am intelligent enough to come to a rational decision about what it is not.  I truly enjoy embracing the mystery of not knowing and I have no problem respecting another’s  beliefs as long as they can honor mine as well.  I am open to all rational possibilities but this is my only bottom line….. science and religion cannot be at odds with each other…they must function in accord.  In my own rational opinion, when the 2 exist in harmony…. we will all find grace and peace as humans.
 I would rather say what I am than explain what I am not.  I am conscious, aware and spiritual.

"All that We Let In"  Indigo Girls

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A "Used" Thanksgiving Post from 2013...but still valid (and I do not have to think up anything new!)

There are some women and most men that have been born and survive daily without the desirable “cooking gene”. Science has not yet unraveled the mysterious set of circumstances that prevent the cooking gene from developing in the normal human being. This DNA anomaly is a lifelong condition that literally millions of people live through daily! The most glaring evidence of this condition is an irrational fear of the kitchen, followed by panic outbreaks in grocery stores and an inability to follow recipes. For those of us living daily without the cooking gene…..Cooking is just another household chore, just one-step above cleaning the toilet.

You can only imagine how terrifying Thanksgiving is for women (and most men) that suffer with “NCG” (no cooking gene). The entire annual holiday that is dedicated to cooking. Yes, they tell you that it is about giving thanks and being grateful, but that is a clever ruse.

To alleviate the stress brought on by Thanksgiving and NCG our small family will not be celebrating Thanksgiving in the traditional way! I will indeed be giving thanks, but not by using every pot & pan in my tiny kitchen, cooking bad food all day, washing, soaking and scraping all night, then stuffing a refrigerator full of leftovers that will probably spoil before they are eaten and eventually be thrown out. And of course the worst part, the incredible guilt I feel because by the end of Thanksgiving Day I have truly hated the entire experience, and am anything but thankful.

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday evening, said grace irreverently over a bloomin onion with a very tall glass of really cold beer, a perfectly cooked steak with all the trimmings, all cooked and served by someone else! A perfect evening spent in the company of dear friends and family with good food and marvelous conversation, my perfect picture of Thanksgiving.

So today, I celebrate Thanksgiving Day by gloriously reveling in all of my incredible blessings with interesting conversations, funny stories, being creative, watching parades and football
…..But.... there will be no cooking!

For all of my loved ones, family, and friends, near and far, I am truly thankful, you are in my heart today and every day!

Update: This year we will be having a traditional T-day and the "official Thankful Blooming Onion" the day after....woo-hoo....bring it on...a 2 day Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Eve....NEVER EVER involves doing anything in the kitchen!

Hold on I am coming! there going to be beer?

I am about to have a traditional Thanksgiving!  I am not sure I will know how to …act!  The good news is it is a small dinner with just our immediate family, at their house…There will be NO cooking (maybe some heating up) I can do this! The official Turkey dinner has been cooked and ordered from "Gobble-Gobble" on the internet and "Four Rivers" restaurant…YUM...I adore my daughter-in-law; she has this program down pat!   No big production just enjoying being with each other and of course, playing with our first granddaughter!  I have to admit I am seriously mourning my semi-traditional Bloomin’ Onion and beer day before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving observance.  This always gave me all day Thursday to do anything I wanted to do, which I must confess NEVER EVER involved doing anything in that kitchen!

"Hold on" Same and Dave

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Because...THE god (or gods) said so!

I have no problem with people of faith practicing it.  I do have a problem with people that use faith as a justification for their (good and/or bad) behavior.  Why can’t people do the right thing for no other reason other than it is the right thing, that it will not hurt others, that it is respectful and honorable?  I am more shocked now than ever when horrendous behavior is revealed in our politicians and people that profess a faith still vote for them…Trump set the standard Moore is following in his footsteps...and the religious continue to support this heinous behavior.

Christianity as well as most other religions…past, present, ancient, foreign and domestic advocate doing good for 2 reasons…#1 The “Pay-off”…living forever…heaven…72 virgins…happily ever after…in the bosom of your loved ones….etc. etc.  Pick your religion and I can pretty much guarantee there will be a Pay-off. (Typically after you are dead so there is never any verifiable proof)   #2 And, if you do commit an offense intentionally or not ….you can bully, pay, sacrifice, ignore, deny, repent or in any way silence or appease those offenses you have committed you still get the Pay-off! Just make sure you can justify it.  Because…. clearly THE god (or gods) said so!

"One Tin Soldier" Coven

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!

Second Sunday Artist Salon! 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"