life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I write to expose and work through the ugly parts of this disease, open heart surgery that was less than successful and more recently an S-ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) implanted in my chest that will hopefully restore my heart beat in case of sudden cardiac death. I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to learn how to live a full life with heart failure, to honor my creativity, and to explore all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say
"Don't talk like that!"


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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thanks for the Memories!.

Damn Gregg…I was not ready for you to be gone…but, maybe you were ready.  I find myself aware of the possibility when it is time, if we are lucky, we are ready.  I wish I could count the evenings we spent together (or maybe not).  You were never really there, but your music, your feelings, your words were. Some of the most profound as well as the most ridiculous conversations I believe I ever had were sitting cross-legged on the floor in a circle with friends, passing a joint, surrounded by your music playing in the background. Your music, a doobie, and those friends are woven into some of the best memories of my life. Thank you for being a part of it. Thanks for the memories!

   
"Not My Cross to Bear"  Gregg Allman

Saturday, May 27, 2017

MORE energy...MORE energy

I see the doc, every other week now…perhaps it is a good thing that I really do like him…Unfortunately, like most everything I like, it is typically canceled, discontinued or moved to another location.  So it is with Dr. Nandra…I will truly miss him!  So….soon there will be a new man in my life!

The great news is I am doing much better!  The bumped up nitro has made such a difference in how I feel, however, the BP is cranky again.  It's an ongoing balancing act!   Now we work on controlling…water and air….More Lasix –less fluid.  More oxygen-more often, in theory, should help my vital organs and other muscles work more efficiently and maybe even more energy…Woo-Hoo!  I am all about this more energy thing!
"Overkill" Collin Hay

Sore Places

I found this amazing poet in my “online book pile”….which is much easier to take care of than my real book piles.  She touched so many parts of my heart the first read through, and even more the second time.  Her words, that seemed to have found some sore places in my life all of the sudden began screaming at me!  Perhaps this is what this blog is about….when I am afraid to speak…
"Things that Stop Your Dreaming"  Passenger

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I am perfectly capable of doing both!

Well, I try!  I have always been grossly aware of “other people’s” rules.  Clearly, some make a lot of sense, others not so much.  For example…. I will always stop at a red light, pay my IRS tax bill,  obey speeding signs, and seat belt laws.  Now, in all honesty, most of this rule following has nothing to do with my agreement with the rules but the punishment associated with NOT obeying.  In fact, I think that maybe why most of us follow rules. Getting rid of the “beliefs that keep me running around following the rules”  I suspect may be different than avoiding prosecution but if I am going to not “follow the rules others have set down” I am going to have to be very sneaky and/or prepared to face the consequences if I get caught! …and for the record…I am perfectly capable of doing both!
"I Should Have Known Better"  The Beatles

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Balancing Act

After spending weeks of adding and increasing meds, we now take one away.  Apparently, the time has come to stop the meds that prevent possible problems. That med might do more damage to my struggling organs than is worth the risk. Keeping everything working seems to continue to be quite a balancing act!  Now we only take care of actual problems rather than preventing them. And they say this may even help me feel better!  I am all about that! Woo-Hoo! 


"Who Says"  John Mayer

I am the only one with the key!

I spend great swaths of time building emotional prisons and then attempting to escape the confinements that I build for myself. The fact that I have actively participated in building them would lead most people to believe that getting out of them would be easy.

But NO!

 I build what I believe is the emotional “happy” place with absolutely no escape hatch! I catch myself time and time again choosing, to hand over my own ability to achieve happiness to others. Wanting desperately for someone else to do it for me, or at least help me build the high walls to keep the pain out. The reality is that it is me…it has to be only me….I am the only one with the key!


"You're the Only Thing in Your Way"  Cloud Cult

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Who would have ever thought????

It is rather peculiar…that this was a GREAT day! Kind of...they are few, far and in between!  Who would have ever thought that Monday and house chores would be considered a great day!
I felt good enough to clean the porch, (even though it was an abbreviated version of cleaning the porch, mopping the floor and doing the laundry.  Woo-Hoo!  About 7 PM every muscle and joint began to ache and hurt, so good, but that is what aspirin is for…Still… it felt soooo good to be tired…THIS kind of tired! 
"Never Too Late"  Michael Franti

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The latest "Cat Tales" from "NOT MY CAT"


CURSES....FOILED AGAIN! 

Several of you had the excellent suggestion that I take a sharpie and write on the collar..."Where am I coming from?" and he came back yesterday....NO COLLAR...I did not do that! Yesterday morning... taking over my bed....yesterday afternoon came back...I had my sharpie ready......and NO COLLAR!


"What's New Pussy Cat"  Tom Jones

I am just gonna' do it!

Weeks like this do not come often! So it seems even more important that I breathe it all in and truly truly appreciate how amazing and lucky I am!  Although from the moment we began planning this evening at Bubba Gump’s out at Universal with the kids I started dreading what and how I was going to make this happen. What the hell is the body going to do…what it is going to feel like negotiating a Theme Park (Universal Studio’s City Walk), the heat, the parking garages and oh crap, another security check with this implant!  We did and it was sooooo worth it!  Not only did I breathe it in…I loved every minute of spending time with the kids and the grands!  And thank you Universal for the chair and amazing security screeners, it was really not worth all of the worrying I did! I will not think twice the next time.I am just gonna' to do it!


  "I'm a Woman"  Koko Taylor

Remnants of Magnificent Inspiration!

I have run out of room on the bookshelves…..again…
And the stacks begin popping up here and there.  This stack is the most recent stack and all of the sudden I realize it is the story of the magnificent places and art I have seen this year….and I am so grateful!  MOMA…Guggenheim…The Dali…The Met and the Frick!  It has indeed been a year filled with inspiration! 


I have seen and have the most spectacular memories!


"Times of Your Life"  OrtoPilot

Friday, May 19, 2017

Newton's Law....

Adrianne and Larry's Wedding Day on Dad's Dock. 5/17/17
Time, people, events, things come and go and life goes on.  From the worst shattering event you could possibly imagine, to the most joyful occasions...to have the most amazing full life…. it is absolutely necessary that I show up and participate.  If those things become out of balance…so does my life. I need to remember and believe it is just that simple…show up and participate in whatever life presents me.  Newton’s law of energy promises me ”For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” …There have to be both kinds of life events, the celebrations, and the difficult situations.  I just need to show up and be open to participating in the lessons and gifts.  Yesterday was the proof.  The magic and truth of life and Newton’s  Law became wonderfully obvious on this happy happy day!

  "Jagged Little Pill" (You Live You Learn) Alanis Morrisette

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What's New Pussy Cat?.....FLEA COLLAR is NEW






hmmmm?

"NOT MY CAT" came home for dinner last night 
wearing a flea collar....
I did not do that...
I suspect "NOT MY CAT" is several people's cat!



"What's New Pussy Cat" Tom Jones

It's working!!!!

For the past 6 weeks, it has been a constant battle, kind of like nailing jello to a tree. BP up….Lungs full of fluid…weight up, retaining fluids….AUGHHHHH! Each week for the past 6 weeks there has been an ongoing change and addition of meds, it goes something like this….new pill-BP down, fluid in lungs, more pills now Pneumonia, more pills Pneumonia under control, fluid building in ankles another pill fluid, chest pains new pills, BP back up double chest pain pills! And finally… WAH-LA…. All numbers in the good range, most fluid in lungs gone, swelling manageable…We have by a series of out and out experiments found the “RX cocktail” that is working….for now, anyway….Crossing my fingers, doing the happy dance. It has been a frustrating struggle to get here…but the symptoms are managed and I did not think I would ever celebrate the day that I am managed and under control! Holy Crap!

"Feeling All Right"  Jone Cocker

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

You are "safe" with me....

My Safety Pin shows I will stand with and protect all people regardless of gender, sexuality, race, disability, religion, etc. It quite simply means “You are safe with me.”

I am enamored with the idea behind the UK & US peaceful protest of wearing a safety pin. Although prompted by the current president’s stance against minorities of all kinds, It is my personal non-threatening way to show respect for all people. I don’t go out like I used too, but I have great exposure on Face book, so I add a safety pin to each one of my daily posts.

Over the weekend, I was approached at an art opening by a wonderful woman I have known for some time that has recently begun following my posts on Face Book. She came over to greet me and immediately began telling me how much she likes my daily “Thought for the Day-ish” posts and looks forward to them every morning….then she said “I like them so much I will even forgive you for the safety pin on each of them”. But love…
"Put a Little Love in Your Heart"  Jackie DeShannon

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Leesburg Art Center Memories

You know the drill...it's a video and takes a  bit to load!  AUGHHHHH!

Last night was the opening of "Creative Journeys" A retrospective of past Artist's Way Alumni of the past 4 years and a retrospective of my own art journey.  It is the last exhibition I will be a part of at the Leesburg Center for the arts that has given me so many amazing memories!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Everything Changes...

Everything changes…if I could put a name on this past week or so…Everything changes would have to be it. As much as I want to label each change as GOOD or BAD the reality is that it is just change.  Some feel bad, others good, but in the end, life is about change.  Without it, there would be no life.  This week I am saying goodbye to some dearly loved parts of my life, but I am saying hello again to some to some dearly loved parts of my life.  It is a delicate balance.  I am so grateful that there is amazing GOOD to offset the nasty BAD….and life goes on. It goes on...just the way it supposed to.
"Change"  Tracy Chapman

Monday, May 8, 2017

I should be....


New work heading out for an exhibition!  It is always rather nerve racking to send out work in my well-worn style that I know is well liked and accepted by most....it is another thing altogether to expose myself and new works that may not be seen as acceptable.  But finally, finally after so many years of painting and drawing the things I thought (and were) good marketing sales pieces, I get to do whatever moves me.  I have worked long and hard to get here, I should not be nervous, I should be proud!

"I Don't Want to Wait"  Paula Cole

Sunday, May 7, 2017

"Not My Cat"....



This is “NOT MY CAT”…that is what I have told people for the past few months when this stray began hanging out in the yard. It only took him a couple of days to figure out the cat door used by the official Evan’s cat. For months I have told him he could eat and hang out…but that he was “NOT MY CAT”. Yesterday he was napping on the sofa…(no... the picture is not upside down…he is!) I think “NOT MY CAT” may indeed be my cat…he is beginning to display some Evans’s characteristics…but his name is still officially “NOT MY CAT”!


"What's New Pussy Cat"  Tom Jones

Friday, May 5, 2017

and then I wonder...what did they die for?

This was the day,  I was 16 and for the first time, I truly realized how young, ignorant and naive' I was.  It was 47 years ago today,  students not much older than I, were shot at and killed for expressing their opinion. There are days they have been the motivation for me to speak up and other days they have become part of the reason I keep quiet...and then I wonder...what did they die for...



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Taking my power back!

"TP People"
Created from wet toilet paper rolls and the little paint I had left.
They now hang by the door of my studio as a reminder.
One of the greatest things about my art is that it is always with me!  It only takes me deciding that I want it and in today’s language, it is the ultimate renewable resource.  As an artist, that sells her work, I want my buyers to think any piece I do is a once in a lifetime original, but the reality is…I did it once…I can do it again! (and again and again).   If you think that is great, wait for it…… the greatest part is I choose not to!  It is in the creation of new work that I get to explore my own unique and ever-changing feelings! 

I have learned that when everything in my world feels as though it is out of control, I have my work and it is always in my control (until the work is finished), and it does not seem to matter what if any art supplies I have, sometimes working with little or very few things bring about my most surprising pieces.

My ART always gives me back the power I need to get through another day!
"Closer to Fine"  Indigo Girls

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Running of of spaces in the pill box....

That is what they are calling me now…of course, I have been called many other things and I understood immediately what they meant…none of them flattering….I have not been so sure about what brittle means technically since clearly, I am not about to break!

Yesterday…I got an official definition for an unofficial medical term.  That in itself makes it already less scary…I love “unofficial” anything.  Simply it means that we are having problems getting medications balanced so that they work correctly, in the past month we doubled one med  amount that I already take, added another one that does something similar to the one they just doubled and now yesterday we are adding another med altogether…I am running out of spaces in the pill box…
"Body Love"  Mary Lambert

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

End of the Line...

This time last year, I thought it was the end of the line…not sure much more could possibly be going wrong, bad, lousy, hopeless…I can go on… all I seemed to be able to do right, was keep breathing….As it turned out, that was all I really needed to…Without really thinking that one little thing began other little things, getting dressed, creating, wanting etc…etc….  Those little things seem so hard in the beginning.  But, it is those same little things, the little everyday things and places where life exists at its best. They are where the magic lives and grows!  Sometimes the end of the line is nothing more than a change of direction!


"End of the Line"  The Traveling Wilburys

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Conformity...

Isn’t conformity what we were
taught to strive for if we wanted to fit in…be happy, successful?  Aren’t we taught even now,  not to think for ourselves in schools and our jobs?  We even elected a president that publically declared that he loved the poorly educated!  I suspect most of our politicians would prefer the uninformed and the poorly educated.  When we don’t understand, we don’t ask questions, which leave them free to serve themselves instead of me/us.

 I truly hate what is happening in our current government, but I am thrilled to see the level of public involvement and civil disobedience erupting.  But I still see so many just agree, keep the peace,  or not speak out for the purpose of being liked or to conform with friends and family!  It is one thing to speak your truth, fight for what you believe and still loose…it happens to all of us from time to time.  But to be silent risks that I will not like myself when it is all done.  I am honorable, I pay attention and I speak up…I still believe what Lincoln said….. "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."  I may not discuss it publicly or blast it on FB but I continue to have discussions with those I share common views with.  I continue to write my senators and congressmen and women.   I believe we the people can truly make a difference and advance good government.  
"Hand in My Pocket"  Alanis Morissette

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Well Damn…and I pretend so well!



Well Damn…and I pretend so well!

In fact, if I had to choose some of my better qualities, pretending would be way up there on the top ten charts.  

My reality gets really hard sometimes.  I can see absolutely nothing wrong with stepping out every now and again into a wonderful and perhaps fairy tale world of my own making.  I suspect the real secret is knowing when to step back into my real life.  In the midst of really crappy stuff, the only way to survive often comes with the ability to ignore the shit for a while!

Old Socrates was right, pretending will not alter the reality, but it makes it bearable from time to time.


"What a Fool Believes" Doobie Brothers

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Not linear is a miraculous thing!

Not linear…..This is great news!  For such a HUGE part of my life…healing was taken for granted.  I expected and trusted healing as much as I did the sun to rise.  Fall down skin your knee, no worries, it will heal.  Twist an ankle, yee-ouch...it is going to hurt like hell but it will heal….catch a cold, pick up a stomach virus, cut your finger, even something as traumatic as surgery…Not to worry… my body knows what to do….it is going to heal… that is what it does, and it does it in a trackable, expected way with and sometimes without medication ….My physical body is a healing machine!  But all of that has changed and each time I have a “glitch” I wonder…. will it heal the way I expect it to this time?  The last go-round was “iffy” and we are still working on it…but I think this body is coming through for me again….It is truly a miraculous thing!

"Heal Yourself"  Ruthie Foster

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tickled it is Tuesday!

Mondays are their own kind of weird, which is why it is really great to be Tuesday.  It has been years since I was a  M thru F,  9 to 5-er and still, Mondays bring on a feeling of unreasonable panic. I cannot shake all of the years of harrowing dread of going back to work on Monday mornings. Getting 2 highly unorganized boys whose only true talent in life has been negotiating reasons why they should not have to go to school was followed by spending the better part of the day "stamping out the proverbial fires" that began over the weekend at my job.  Mondays were always truly traumatic! I loved the actual work I did and my family but the out and out drama of Monday mornings would do me in every time. To this day.....there is still a lingering irrational feeling of Monday dread, which is precisely why I am so tickled it is Tuesday!

"Monday Monday"  The Mammas and Papas

Monday, April 24, 2017

There will never be another Horsefeathers....

This one may have been here before, but it was such a great week, it is worth repeating! 

This was one of the day sails from St. Thomas and that is either St. John or one of the BVI’s behind us.  My parents were perfect Virgin Island guides, they had lived there a couple of years by the time we visited and were running day sailing charters from Red Hook to Leinster Bay.  After sailing all day, we were always welcomed back to the marina by all of the patrons at the thatch-roofed bar named “Horsefeathers” where we would spend the rest of the evening “sipping” with the other boat people. It was truly like every tv sit-com bar complete with all of the appropriate characters. The perfect tv bar except for the part where "everyone knows your name" and I suspect that is exactly how they liked it!  We had such a good time sailing in the islands that we were enticed into buying our first sailboat, a 22 ft South Coast and we named it after that magic Red Hook Marina bar….Horsefeathers…Several years later we moved up to a larger boat and it was Horsefeathers II…all good memories and such great times.  This is where it all began.  There will never be another real Horsefeathers whether it is under a thatched roof in the Virgin Islands or under sail!
"Summer Place" Percy Faith

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dragon Slayer: Wanted.

I no sooner posted this before I was looking around myself like there might be someone else in the room I could blame for what I had done! 

Yes, I am ready, yes I want to, yes I am excited, but for the first time in my life, it is not that I am just fighting the emotional battle of feeling like I am qualified to do this. It is so much more than my typical risk of facilitating something that is emotionally charged as creativity vs. the joy of being in the company of such marvelous unbridled creativity.  There is a brand new dragon is this battle.  His name is “Will this body let me do it?” I have to face this dragon head on!
You can be amazing, 
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast, 
Or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love
Or you can start speaking up, 
Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle 'neath your skin,
 Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you wanna say, And let the words fall out…Honestly I wanna see you be brave.
"Brave" Sara Bareilles

Friday, April 21, 2017

Strangeness!

Oh, Thank Goodness!
On some level as artists, we already know this.  Rarely are we drawn to images that are photographically perfect!  I mean what is the point of excessively admiring what can be seen in life or something a camera can do already, cheaper and faster? 
As an art facilitator…of sorts…often the question of what is the difference between an “illustrator” and a “fine artist” comes up.  The question often arrives as “why do I like this “weirdness” so much?’  I will confess that both well-done illustration and fine art must have equal amounts of technical art skills and can be equally appealing.  But in my opinion, the important difference is the courage of a fine artist.  An illustrator will present a very photographic life like image.  The subject, color (if any), proportions, and surroundings, are realistic. The best examples I can think of are early portrait paintings or Norman Rockwell’s magazine cover images.  Our rational mind tends to judge this art by how realistic or lifelike it appears. But a fine artist consumes the same information, takes it into themselves, ingests it and for lack of a better way to describe this process,  spits it back out on the canvas, paper, sculpture, fabric, etc.…infused with their own style, feelings, and opinions.  It takes a huge amount of courage to present to the world our version of life, with all of its strangeness. 

The next time you are in front of a piece of non-conventional art, or a person or anything eccentric and find yourself unexplainably drawn to it, congratulations!  Your soul, not your logical rational mind has just recognized and responded to the “strangeness”.

"Not Other Way" Jack Johnson

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Medical code words....

For lack of serious medical training (and quite frankly I really do not need to understand every single micro medical reason) this is basically what is happening now, according to yesterday’s nurse visit, I have pulmonary edema, which is the medical code word for fluid in my lungs. Not sure if this pic is an accurate representation of the quantity of fluid, but I am a “show me a picture” kind of gal….however, I DO NOT want to have the medical school gross pictures….this one works just fine for me and my imagination!  There is a fine line between understanding and just plain knowing too much.  The good news is that with the nebulizer and by doubling (again) the lasix we ought to be able to manage this, feel better and have more energy pretty soon!
That and pee more than I already do now…and that really sucks!
"Doctor My Eyes"  Jackson Browne

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

how much I get away with....

My idea of right and wrong is an ongoing topic for me!  Maybe because I want or need to justify some things I have done or will do that might be seen as wrong…but wrong by what measure?  Is it legal, scientific, moral (and is moral the same as religious?) and who specifically decides?  I suspect in the end, being a good “right” person will be judged by those I knew, it will depend on how closely my life decisions match up with theirs…but I think the most important thing I really need to wrap my heart and mind around is I have absolutely no control over what they think. But still, I (and you) will have to wonder….how much of my life was good and right and how much I just got away with?.........Bwa-ha-ha……..


"No Such Thing"  John Mayer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Never really appreciated my metabolism....




And like this list is not enough….now it seems I need to add “because it makes me sick” to it!   I am still recovering from a big ugly sick from my NY trip, which BTW I really really really liked.  Now I have to add in the Birthday/Easter debauchery that among other things includes chocolate, beer, crab legs dripping in lemon/butter (and other things I will not mention, in an attempt to maintain my unsullied reputation) and I have one big ugly mess.  Dear god…. I miss my youth, and never really appreciated my metabolism!


"In My Dreams"  Amanda Palmer

Monday, April 17, 2017

It's all in the gloves....

On my recent trip to NY I had some “special” security concerns.  Now that I have the SICD implant I cannot go through the typical magnetic screener, then there was the battery powered oxygen
concentrator that I carried with me.  There are 3 other popular options.  #1 Go through the full body scanner,  #2 Have them “wand” me all over while avoiding the implant site and  #3 the full body pat down.  I might point out that both coming and going I was in the TSA pre-check line….I have yet to determine how or why I was chosen for that dubious honor or exactly what the difference was except I did not have to take off my shoes or sweater. 

Leaving Orlando I was walked through the full body scanner…no muss, no fuss, no magnetic screening!  The LaGuardia airport in NY was not so simple.  Even though I was again in the TSA pre-check list, I was chosen for the full body pat down.  My New York TSA screener was methodical, professional and she explained the entire procedure before she began.  It was over in a matter of 2 minutes, if that long.    I think the uncomfortable parts were that everyone was staring at me throughout the pat down, assuming I must be suspected of something horrible, and the other part, was when she snapped on those latex gloves.  Most of us have a limited experience with latex gloves, and those are typically in the doctor’s office.  As soon as the latex gloves are snapped on, we all brace for "what comes next" and it is never a good thing.  I bet if the TSA opted for happy colored knitted mittens, the fear and memories of the last unpleasant glove infiltration would reduce the ruckus about TSA pat downs being an invasion of privacy... 

TSA pat downs are truly quite benign…comparatively.  
It’s all in the gloves!


"Strip Me"  Natasha Bedenfield

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter mornings & Birthdays....





Easter Morning & Birthdays….Not as bad as having to share your birthday with Santa Claus, at least this is not an every year thing for me. Then when you get to my age, quite frankly perhaps it is time to quit acknowledging birthdays altogether!  But today it is about me and the bunny and I am pleased to say….he is indeed much older than me!


"Oh bla di oh bla da"   The Beatles

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Loved Big....

That I am a little all over the place…is an understatement! But (and you knew that was coming) I am feeling a little more “pointed in the right direction”. For the last few years, well since the heart attack and the heart failure diagnosis I feel like I had been running a race of sorts. Doing some things wrong and incredibly expensive inevitably damaging things that did not seem to work or stave off the progress of this disease and I have done some pretty stupid foolish things just because I want to or it feels good at the moment. I do not suspect either has done much to change how this goes. What I would truly like to do is to stop beating myself up for any or either of the things I have done in my life….good and/or bad. There is only one bit of good news. In my life.... There is one thing I feel I can claim I have done well…not all of the time, but over the long haul….I have loved big.

"No Such Thing"  John Mayer

Friday, April 14, 2017

Celebrating my "Aries-ness" today!



There are some excellent things in my life, and of course some not so great things.  I will be 63 on Easter Sunday and I beat my NY parting gift of pneumonia with the help of Z-pac magic!  My life is full of good things and bad and I would not give up any of them….(well maybe a couple of bad ones!)


"Walk the Walk"  Eric Bibb

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What I'm talking about....


Because quite frankly I have no idea what I am talking about, but it has occurred to me that…I talk (or write) an awful lot, for someone that has no idea!  I am only one of millions of human beings, not less than… not more than… just another one of them. 

I am reminded again that everything changes, not always in ways that I think are the best, but they do indeed change.
I am reminded that I do not need to convince anyone else,
I just have to convince myself.


"Something to Talk About" Bonnie Rait

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Yes...but



Yes but….
every once in a while I am just sad.  
Not end of the world sad…. but not such a good day sad.  
And I suspect being sad is ok…
well maybe more than ok…
perhaps it is a necessary thing. 

How would I or could I recognize the happy great days if I had not experienced the sad days?  So my sad days do not need company or someone here to hold my hand, or someone to hug my neck and pat my back saying “there-there”.  Sometimes I just need to have sad days so I can really recognize, revel and celebrate the good days!


"From Me to You"  Janis Ian

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Outsmarting the sprinkler police....

It has been terribly dry recently….and the new crotons planted up under the living room window have really been struggling.  I have been going out with the hose and hand watering each of them every day.  That does seem to be a reasonable reaction, since we are indeed under a water ban, and not allowed to use our water sprinklers…. accept on my days….Thursday and Sunday and not  between the hours of 10 AM and 4PM but I am lazy and it was taking too long.  I carefully developed a plan, lined up the sprinkler head, which took some serious engineering skills so that it watered  just my crotons.  I figured it would be best to turn it on only after dark for a half hour, so I would not get caught by the sprinkler police.

I was so proud of myself and the plan was excellent, working perfectly, the crotons have perked up and are no longer drooping or loosing leaves….. until last night.  It was a wonderful evening with the windows open and a rare perfect spring night breeze blowing.  I tip toed out the front door, turned on the outlawed sprinkler at precisely the correct water flow. But…before I could get back in the house the water pressure changed, I suspect from typical neighborhood use. It is really difficult to actually see the water trajectory in the dark but after a few seconds it was clear that it was shooting in through my open window….and onto my laptop keyboard.  Panic set in and I could not decide if it would be better to dash in and grab the computer out of the way…..or dash out and turn off the water. Either way, I could not move fast enough to stop the computer carnage…and my key board was soaked!

So much for outsmarting the sprinkler police….
Damn it...I never get away with anything!!!
"Evil Ways"  Santana

Monday, April 10, 2017

Healing myself.....

Came home from my NY museum trip with oodles of inspiration and lungs full of fluid!  I sound like I should be in a TB ward but so far there are no signs of infection.  That is the good news; the frustrating news is to be so full of creative ideas and so low on energy!  The level of frustration is as close to maddening as I can imagine possible!   However as it turns out, I can sit quietly (low energy) and play with clay and paint and it is giving way to some interesting expression.  I was truly “turned on” by the simplicity and the meaning of the works in the Oceania section of The Met.  Some of those works dug up some unresolved battle grounds in my heart that are insisting on being explored visually.   The tall one is “Sees Right Through Me” the other is “When My Boundaries Turn into Prisons”.  There are more feelings stirring around in my heart looking for a way to get out into the real world.  I know they are kind of dark, they are the things no one wants to talk about, but they are here…in my thoughts and feelings anyway.  Pulling them out and making them real I think may help me be more aware of the negativity that haunts me. I may be unable to heal my body, but…I can heal my spirit.

"Heal Yourself"  Ruthie Foster

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Love wildly, passionately and fearlessly....

Yea….but think of all of the fun I will have first!  For me…..to love wildly, passionately and fearlessly means to put myself first but as a woman, mother, wife, and daughter. To put me first was a bad selfish thing.  I do not recall ever being presented variations, “shades of gray” or any set of circumstances that taking care of my needs or wants was ever going to be an ok thing to do.  Anything other than complete compliance with motherhood, proper wife and compliant daughter was self-centered and not deserving love.

I plan to be following my heart much more….

"All About Your Heart" Mindy Gledhill

Friday, April 7, 2017

Cultivating faith.....

I think most feel like I have no faith at all because I do not subscribe or believe in any specific religion. I think they are wrong.  I feel like I have more faith than most, the only difference is my faith does not require rules, buildings, books, payrolls or tithing.  My faith is simple…. do no harm, do the best you can and love.  That is my faith….plain and simple. No need for magic gods, services or sacrifices…only love.  I am the first to admit that simple does not always mean easy, I screw up regularly and that is where the ceaseless questioning comes in. 

"For What it is Worth" Buffalo Springfield


Thursday, April 6, 2017

I am the whole fu(#!~@ fire!

Every now and again, I find myself sinking…sinking physically and emotionally...it sucks! But I am learning that my source of strength cannot come from outside of me.  Although, I recognize that the things outside of me are totally capable of taking my strength away and that truly seems so unfair!  Even if strength could be magically delivered from one person to another, it would never be the right size, never the correct amount; actually it might never be enough.  I imagine that I could literally suck the life out of the very people I love without really meaning to.  My strength has to come from me and only me. We all know that no one can do this for us but there is a part of me that wishes they could.  

Art holds my lesson.  The work that proves to me that something of worth, something that can fill my heart with value can come from unrelated stuff and nothingness. I am the ingredient, the strength that causes that to happen.  The times that I cannot whip up the feelings of strength and value of just being here is when it is the most important time for me to get back in to my studio….that is the one place where I am the whole fucking fire!

"Me" Paula Cole

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Equipment


I have a new piece of equipment….ughhhhh!  Enough already!  According to the Doc and I guess the nurse too,  since they both came to see me yesterday and I never get both of them on the same day, I think they must have suspected I would be coming home with issues. Seems my heart and lungs got a bit backed up while I was in NY, so now I need to suck on a nebulizer to get the meds in me quicker 4 times a day.  Quite frankly this “more equipment” program is getting a bit out of hand!  But whatever happens next, believe me….it was so worth it and I would go to NY again in a heartbeat, the museums and the art was worth it.  I
am hoping that is all of the equipment I will need from here on out
…so bring it on.... I can do it!
"Keep Breathing" Ingrid Michaelson

Monday, April 3, 2017

The New York Museum Trip!

and again.....it may take a moment for the video  to load...                                              

Monday, March 27, 2017

The “awesome-ness” is in the details!

We are staying in a 1903 historic hotel on the Upper West Side designed by noted architect Emery Roth in 1903.  Described as one of the flashiest of its day, the Hotel Belleclaire was once referred to as a skyscraper on Broadway and was first amid the most luxurious buildings in the city. Roth combined Beaux Arts principles with Art Nouveau style that make it worthy of landmark status.

Famous past guests include Mark Twain and Babe Ruth Skip & Cheryl Evans with Cathye Bouis, how much more fantastic could it be?


"Beauty in the World"  Macy Gray

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Too good to be true.....

Every now and again I see something that just seems too good to be true, but in moments of sheer desperation I am willing to try anything!  As I continued to monitor the weather for the upcoming NY City Museum trip it became clear that the lovely early spring weather I was hoping for has degraded to a lingering ugly sloppy wet winter.  I am a FL girl….really..I mean really!  I do not nor have I ever owned boots, or any other “serious” winter clothes, but what I realized this week is that winter clothes regardless of how serious they are, take a hell of a lot more room in a suitcase…AUGHHHHH!!!!! I found these packing bags on Amazon.  Bags that seemed to be inspired by the “seal-a-meal” or (because I cannot remember the official name) the “suck-and-store” bags for blankets and pillows that suck all of the air out and shrink them up!  I thought “OMG…please let this work”.  Halleluiah-Halleluiah…it works!  A puffy jacket that would normally take up half the suitcase now only takes up a fraction of the space!  The packed bags with the air sucked put look slightly disgusting, and I am sure the wrinkles may be seriously smashed in there, but that is a problem for another time!  For right now…I will call it “creatively organized” and do the happy dance.  I can get on the plane without paying more for baggage!
"Time of Your Life"  OrtoPilot

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WANT to do

This has been going on so long I am not sure what normal is anymore.  I do not remember a time (other than recovering from illness or surgery) that I could not physically do anything I wanted to do.  Now I will confess there were many that laughed when I could not do it as good or as long as I wanted to, but there was no question that I could do it. As I recall…those were the times I was typically accused of being “hard headed”.  That name never bothered me, in fact I kind of wore it like a badge of honor, and it went well with the red hair.  Now I find myself questioning everything I want to do.  Am I strong enough?  Will my passion be enough to keep me going? No doctor ever explained the frustration that would happen between what I want to do and what my heart will allow my body to do…Somewhere in the back of my mind I felt like the more I could do the more I would be liked….


"Try" Colbie Caillat

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Scared Shitless....


Nothing used to scare me….well, almost nothing.  I find little fears slipping in between the cracks.  The big “holy crap” health stuff that should scare me are kind of “meh”.  But the little things had me in an out and out panic yesterday!  I had to sit down and have a talk with myself several times. They all started out the same way….What the fuck is wrong with me?  I used to do things like this without a second thought, now I am scared and second guessing myself.  So according to this quote, I am fixing to have a HUGE adventure!

"No Such Thing" John Mayer

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Damn.....I Missed it

Damn….my own opening…
well not just my opening, but an opening with my work there.  Not just any work, but the first time a piece of my sculpture was accepted into a juried show.  Although I know it is not a sure thing or a verifiable thing, I am taking this as validation that I am headed in the right direction and this new medium can have some real artistic value… I friggen’ missed it!
Somedays heart failure raises its ugly head and aggressively marches into my life.  It reminds me of a demanding toddler having a tantrum, screaming, stamping its feet and demanding my attention.  For the most part, the best thing I can do is ignore it, knowing that it (the temper tantrum and heart failure symptom) will go away sooner.  But then there are those days,  regardless of how hard I try….it is bigger than I can ignore….and I lose important days of my life.
(barely evident in this pic, my piece is way back there, to the left of the portrait)
"Mad World" Gary Jules

Saturday, March 18, 2017

inspiration is waiting for me in the art....

I have the heart and the intuition but I seem to be losing courage and I am definitely short on stamina
….damn….!

I am desperately trying to figure out how to stay busy, how to keep growing, how to be relevant and continue to be a viable contributing human being artist.  That all sounds so ridiculous, which is exactly why it becomes so frustrating especially when I have an idea about what I think I want to do, but my body is chronically saying….no way bitch!  I am really looking forward to teaching again this summer in Casselberry.  Maybe I can figure out some other things I can do…successfully…But in the mean time I am so very excited about seeing all of the museums while on the art and the NY City trip!  Perhaps inspiration is waiting for me, in all of the art I am going to see!
"Don't Give Up"  Herbie Hancock, Pink, John Ledger

Friday, March 17, 2017

....but I just cannot sit back and do nothing....

How do we get to the place where we raise big money, business above people?  How can anyone consider doing away with the arts, humanities, children’s free school lunches, meals on wheels and then reconfigure health care to the point where the ones that really really need it, will not be able to afford it.  How can this be the country I loved and respected all of my life?  How was a president elected that lies, bullies and berates anyone that does not agree with him.  How can senators and congressmen  kowtow and look away from the idea of common sense and common good to “buy” favor and money from big business lobbies. How did we get to this place?  And I wonder if my pathetic resistance does any good at all....but I just cannot sit back and do nothing....


"Put a Little Love in Your Heart"  Jackie DeShannon

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Cheetos are gone....


When I have so so much to be incredibly grateful for, I still continue to feel a sense of loss that will in the least expected moments over take me….and I find myself quietly and embarrassingly crying to myself.  Fear and finances kept me from so much that I really wanted to do with my life and now there is a whole other layer of fear.  Experiencing a body that does not physically support me makes fear and finances seem so silly and small.  I really have not appreciated the gifts I have been given. I should have done so much more!


"Details in the Fabric"  Jason Mraz