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!"



Tuesday, February 28, 2017


As a constant recovering Christian/Episcopalian (and quasi-Catholic by proximity) I do remember Fat Tuesday as a child but as a young adult I realized I got ripped off.  It was never referred to as Mardi-Gras. It was just Fat Tuesday, where we would have a pancake supper in the Parrish Hall then get “ashed” the following day on Ash Wednesday.  It was very solemn, the beginning of Lent, the 40 days Jesus was in the desert, the 40 days before the crucifixion, we were to “give up” something dear to us and of course put extra money in the Lent box for the church, kind of an extra buy out for the  Lenten cheating you knew you would be doing.  In recent years Mardi-Gras has undergone a serious secularization!  I bet if you asked 10 people “what is Mardi-Gras?” they could not tell you that it is the out and out “party hardy” before you had to do the 40 day penance.  One year I opted to give up pantyhose for Lent and found that, it did not seem to make any difference what I gave up and since I did not transgress the pantyhose ban, I was good! No forgiveness or Lenten money box, required. I think they (religion) missed the major component of forgiveness, it comes from within us. You cannot give up something or buy forgiveness.  It is our own willingness to forgive ourselves and ask forgiveness from the ones we hurt. 

I Sin…Repent…Repeat, but I do not need to pay for it, or give anything up.  I forgive, am forgiven and continue to celebrate life and dance with the GrooGrux King (New Orleans slang for something happening, that is cool and amazing)!
"Why I Am"  Dave Matthews Band

Monday, February 27, 2017

In desperate need of connecting....

Frida had not been one of my favorite artists over the years, but when there was an exhibit of her work this close to me, I was compelled to go.  I can say with all honesty that it is not her art that I am most attracted to.  In fact as far as most surrealism goes, I am just not a big fan.  It is a personal taste I suspect.  But what I do admire and covet about Frida, is her “not quitting”.  Through polio, a life altering bus accident that sent a metal bar completely through her body, and multiple miscarriages as a result of those injuries…..she kept painting, kept living, smoking, drinking, dancing, and making love.  She kept on with her life, ALL of her life and made it mean something.  She never let the calamities of her body alter her life’s purpose.  I think, and she actually said as much, that she was able to live two Frida’s.  The first Frida “creative” was an artist that had no boundaries. The second Frida  lived a life that most would find outrageous, irreverent, reckless, immoral and the list goes on and on if you look at her behavior from a religious and political point of view. But from life's point of view it was always full and passionate. I suspect when she died at 47 the only thing she really wanted was to have a child, but I felt after seeing her work that, even  though childless, she died without regret. 

To spend the day with some of her work and drink in her story was inspiring to me on so many levels! To finish that day by sitting on a 2nd floor balcony with beer in hand, overlooking the Tampa Bay and the skyline bridge way off in the distance, and all of the life happening on the water was amazing.  It was perhaps one of the most inspirational weekends of my life!  I still dearly miss that gypsy part of me that loves to travel to strange places (the art festivals) only to be surrounded by incredible art and the bohemian life of an artist.  Thank you Frida, I owe you a big one! Life and my heart have physically and emotionally drained me.  I was in desperate need of connecting back to my spirit, my artist.  Your painful creations, your fearless and passionate life are truly my inspiration!
"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay"  Otis Redding

Saturday, February 25, 2017

You might want to stand back, just a little bit....

I do not think there is a person alive that has not been through incredible amounts of hell. Some came through it and beat the odds while others are defeated. We have all had both of these situations. I suspect some have been through hell and have learned how to metabolize that pain and loss as fuel can keep living life to the very fullest. They do not give in to the grief, anger or sorrow. They do not expect “soap opera” drama nor do they engage with the negativity. We just keep moving forward with life, one small step at a time….celebrating all of the joy I can get my hands on! So maybe you do not need to “fear” me but if you see me look into a fire and smile, you might want to stand back, just a little bit!

"Arms Around my Life"  Janis Ian

Friday, February 24, 2017

Yay!!!! the music & video links are back up and working! Thank You "OPEN DRIVE" cloud storage techs!

Expletives are going to fly!

It sure can’t hurt!  Running up on more things than I thought I would ever have at one time that I feel like I have no power over.  And yes, yes, yes I know….I cannot control anything or anyone else….I can only control how I feel. That all sounds so beautifully calm and sappy, but the reality is sometimes I have NO control!  PERIOD!  I do not want to control how I feel I just want to cuss like a sailor and kick something!  I am pretty sure it will not help one damn thing….but I am just as sure that I will feel better!

Just draw a thought bubble over my head then stand back, the expletives are going to fly!

"F#*k it"  Chris Trapper

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Wanded" is a verb....

Had my first official run in with a metal detector!   Last night was an honest to goodness, airport-ish metal detector at the Colin Hay Concert at the Plaza Live theater.  The metal detectors must have been an addition since the shooting there last year! Yikes….when it was  my  turn, I quietly leaned over and explained the “purse-checking” lady that
I have an SICD and she called over to the “wand” lady.  She had me to put my hand over the defibrillator and she wanded the rest of me….It was easy, no big deal!  No questions asked, and much less dramatic than I had imagined.  I feel like I am ready for the airport next month!

"Overkill" Colin Hay

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wonderful places...

This used to be a difficult concept for me, but for the first time I am really getting it!  There is truly no reason to try to manage the future, and to be quite frank, all of my past attempts have been miserable failures! Why did I keep trying to do it? It feels so good to stop thinking, it feels so good to just go where my heart takes me….and oh my…… I am going wonderful places!

"This Time"  Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Monday, February 20, 2017

...and that scares a lot of people....

Yep…we know what the expectations are!

Sometimes being called overly sensitive, or thinking too much may have nothing to do with any of this.  I suspect highly sensitive people feel the same feelings that everyone has but most are just afraid to have. And then on top of having the feelings, we work to understand them and then we often have the need to tell you about them.  And that scares a lot of people!

"Who Says"  John Mayer

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The thing about annual events....

Hanging up another lanyard and thinking about how honored and how much “holy crap” fun it has been to be a part of Nude Nite  this year and for the past 5 years. It was one of my early on “Bucket List” wishes. The thing about “annual” events (birthdays, holidays, etc…) is that when they are over, I begin asking myself….is this my last one. This year’s events seem to be a bit more emotionally charged…

"Save Me"  Goyte

Friday, February 17, 2017

This "NORMAL" you speak of

And every attempt I have ever made to be that way has ended in me feeling really awful about myself.  So I just need to quit doing it.  Every now and again, when I have the opportunity to step out of expectations and just revel in the moment it is amazing.  When I truly embrace the NOW, forgetting what happened yesterday, not worrying about what will happen tomorrow, just being in the joy of the art and creating I feel terrific, unstoppable, free and not sick.  When you get entrenched in the medical world of measuring, where there is a clear and defined normal, being in a place and around people that defy normal…..That is when I feel so good! 

That is the MAGIC and it is anything BUT normal!

"Can't Stop the Feeling"  Justin Timerlake

Thursday, February 16, 2017

She is not Afraid!

I LOVE Nude nites!
The art is always amazing, and it is again this year….and maybe even more this time.  It is absolutely incredible to see one subject interpreted in so many different, talented, awe inspiring ways!  So fun and so honored to be a part of it again this year!

And yes….that is oxygen on my face.  The first time I have worn it in public.  Had a great sweater wrap so the portable tank could not be seen,,,but the crap on my face, is kind of just there. I was there for an hour and half, drank wine, admired ALL of the work and of course talked, giggled and gossiped all the way ….never coughed once or ran out of air.  Its ugly…it feels funny, I don’t like it…but I think it works. .  As much as I hate….hate….hated it…It really made me feel great, like the old me.  
"She is Not Afraid"  One Direction

But...when I turn on the TV...

I know I promised I would be better, but when I turn on the TV and find out....

#1  If you are mentally impaired so severely that you are receiving social security and deemed unable to manage your own finances…GOOD NEWS…you can now legally purchase guns. Did Sandy Hook or Pulse mean anything?  

#2  "Leaking” the truth is illegal and will be prosecuted, but the National Security Adviser lying to White House is SAD, caused by FAKE media.

I just cannot be silent.  I do not want anyone anywhere to ever think that my being silent, well behaved, lady like, polite means I am OK with this.

What the hell is wrong with this GOVERNMENT?  #45 is a self-serving narcissist!


Running out of socks to throw at him on the TV may have to go dig out the dirty ones... damn.... I should have thrown those first!

"Liar Liar"  The Castaways

If you ask me…(and I assure you, no one has)

...this passion is the secret to life!
Looking back I can say with all certainty, if I did not love what I did I cannot imagine how my life would have looked.  For most of my life….I have worked like a crazy person, always more than 40 hours a week, rarely getting paid enough (if at all) no paid holidays, no weekends off,  no health insurance or 401K benefits.  And still I did it, reveled in it and would not have considered trading one minute, to work for something/anything I was not passionate about.  I am not grieving about the lack of commercial, financial success I have not had, I am celebrating and grateful for the people and the circumstances that have allowed me to follow a life that has and continues to be full of passion! And even now, with all that is going on, I can still do what I love doing!  Thank you I am so very grateful!

"You have Lived"  Don McLean

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Really going to happen!

Docs have given me the "OK to GO", getting me a portable O2 concentrator! Flight itinerary set, tickets purchased, hotel reservations made….this is really going to happen! A full week of drinking in and celebrating art created by some of the world’s masters.  Tickled to be staying in the upper West Side 2 blocks from Central Park close to some of the greatest museums….out of the hub-bub and in the neighborhoods! Picasso…here I come!

"59th St. Bridge, Feeling Groovy"  Simon & Garfunkle

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Say What You Need to Say"

The “girls” are on their own, now!  They are officially delivered, and are among some of the most spectacular works!  I am always overwhelmed to have the opportunity to be in the company of so many incredibly talented artists. 
I love that after I had chosen to do a piece honoring all of the women that marched in Washington and around the country that they titled the show “Revolution”  I really like how it fits together.
"Say What You Need to Say"  John Mayer

Delivery day.....

Delivery days are heinous!  I suspect  most of the world thinks that artist’s delivering their work for an exhibition should be a wonderful exciting thing….and yes there is an element of exciting but….holy crap…most of all it is just plain scary as hell!  When it comes to delivery days….every single bit of  “I got my shit together” attitude goes right down the toilet… a single flush.

The best way to describe it, is like being a 13 year old girl again on the first day of a new school. The only difference is, it is about the art I created rather than the dress I chose to wear!  As a 13 year old I am hoping that dress will help me feel like I fit in and am good enough. It feels like the room is “judging” me by the image I am delivering.  All of the sudden that image that felt really good in the studio is now triggering a zillion  “who do you think you are” nerve endings!  And opening night…it will only get worse!

"Fear"  Jazmine Sullivan

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Is it live...

or is it memorex….…..or is it just fear. 

It is hard to know sometimes what this body is or is not going to do. It does not seem to be my body anymore. It operates totally independent of my wants, needs and wishes…. and that is the one of most difficult parts of this!  It is the question I ask myself each time I want to do something and I am not so sure (or am afraid) that I will not be able to.  So rather than risk failure or worse “pay” for it with absolute inability to do anything for the next day or so. I find myself “conserving energy” or at least that seems to be the acceptable medical explanation for giving up, making tradeoffs and deciding what are the things that I really want to accomplish.  Is it giving up…giving in...or is it just fear?

"You Can't Rush....."  Trevor Hall

Friday, February 10, 2017


I need to remember this and read it to myself....every day!
"Who Cares"  John Mayer


When I finally decided to let go, I find that I am at more peace than I thought would be possible, and life seems to be moving at such a fast pace.  It could be that it is just a short period that things happen quickly like they do in all of our lives, but I thought it was worth paying attention to, especially since I am fairly used to things going “not so great” and I am in constant “stamp out the fires” mode.  I have had so many amazing and spectacular things happen in the last couple of months, that it is really hard to get used to.  I know that most people think that this is the part of our lives that we should be the LEAST ok, On some level I think that is what I expected, too.  But that is not how it seems to be happening, at least for now.  So it is definitely worth paying attention to.  Just being OK is really a wonderful thing!

"Details in the Fabric"  Jason Mraz

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Just in case....

You had not already noticed....         
"More o' That"  Eric Bibb

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Burning bridges....

I have to confess, that I have felt guilty for “unfriending” and burning bridges" with many politically militant FB friends.  The rhetoric kept getting more frequent, more combative, less factual and just plain hateful. At a certain point I would AX them and then feel guilty that perhaps I was editing my friends to only include those that agree with me.  And now,  I have decided it is ok, even more than ok!  There is a huge difference between an open honest discussion, sharing ideas and a blatant, often unfounded, confrontational or untruthful name calling that does nothing more than facilitate rude negativity. I prefer to form my own opinions, based on positivity, fruitful discussions and facts.  So yes….I have burned a few bridges, and will continue to do so.

"They Know"  Eric Bibb

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Hard decisions....

Hard decisions that I never ever wanted to make have reared their ugly heads and I have had to face them. The Artist’s Way has been such a part of me and who I am for so long, letting go of any part of it feels like what I imagine losing a dear friend might be.  Instead of being delightfully grateful for the time and energy to facilitate the Leesburg Artist’s Way for the past 4 years, I find myself spending more time mourning the loss. But you all have to know that my time in Leesburg was more than just the Artist's Way, it was and will always be a magical healing time for me, that I desperately needed, and for that I am incredibly grateful!

With even more gratitude, I will facilitate the Artist’s Way in Casselberry for another summer, and for that I am wholly and wonderfully grateful for the opportunity and the energy!

"Hold on My Heart"  Phil Collins

Monday, February 6, 2017

Just one more thing….

Then I promise (well... kind of) 
no more politics

This came across my Face Book page from a fellow artist FB friend, Barbara Verchot and I felt like it was worth repeating.
This is her advice…..and I am going to take it!

1. Don't use his name. (I refer to him as #45.)
2. Remember this is a regime and he's not acting alone.
3. Do not argue with those who support him--it doesn't work.
4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state.
5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow.
6. No more helpless/hopeless talk.
7. Support artists and the arts - especially the ones speaking for all of us.
8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it before you share it.
9. Take care of yourselves.
10. Resist!

"Peace be Upon us" Sheryl Crow

Worth it.....

This weekend was yet another glaring example of the now president’s complete and incredible lack of experience, diplomacy, taste, and respect for the law of this country and it’s people.  It is clear this man has NEVER been a public servant. The only person he has ever served is himself and I have seen nothing in his behavior that suggests any indication of this changing….

But we have to do more than complain on FB or, my personal favorite, throw rolled up socks at the TV when he is on it.  We need to make phone calls, write post cards or letters….sign petitions (although it is generally known they are the least persuasive of political things to do).  Join a peaceful resistance movement, demonstrate, or support those that are demonstrating.  Do anything and everything you can lawfully do to express your beliefs.

My best advice is to know and understand how, what and why you feel the way you do.  Be sure they are your feelings, not the feelings of your friends, family, TV networks or reporter/journalist.  Know and believe wholeheartedly in your convictions because it is almost guaranteed those beliefs will draw actual anger from some and risk the loss of passionate acquaintances friends and family.

shine your heart, your life like a is worth it……
and for me, my heart, my beliefs, my feelings and my voice…. they are worth it!
"Let it Be Me"  Indigo Girls

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Perfect Sense....

Wish I could explain why art makes my life so much better, it just does!  I got official clearance (with a little additional equipment) from the hospice Doc to go to New York and soak in all the art my heart can handle.  And so we are!  Part of me is scared to death, I have been so “tied” down to this area because they had access to my medical records,  they accepted my insurance, had the facilities to attend to an S-ICD and quite frankly and honestly I was just afraid.  The original attack happened out of town and it was horrible, not for me, well I take that back it was pretty raunchy for me, but for friends and family that wanted to be there with me.  But letting go has brought me such a sense of freedom!  So yes, my pragmatic logical mind is scared to death, there is a little voice screaming in the back of my head “what are you thinking?”, “you might NEED that money later on!”, “do you really think this is a smart thing for you to be doing?”  And then my heart answers, how can you not go, and be surrounded with amazing art in spectacular museums and galleries and  if not now…..when?  I do not much care for the typical touristy things.  I am taking my heart to revel in the art and all of the sudden that goofy saying marketing slogan…I HEART NY makes perfect sense.

"Doing the Things that We Want To"  Lou Reed

Friday, February 3, 2017

NOT my president.....

All politics aside, there is still much to be said about, manners, diplomacy, common decency and just plain basic respect for one another.  Clearly, by his own actions, these are qualities our current president does not possess.  I suspect when history looks back on this time, they will shake their heads in disgust.  He should be a shining example of what our country and people stand
for, not a chronic embarrassment.
He is not my president, and I will continue to "Shake the Tree"!

"Shaking the Tree"  Peter Gabriel

Thursday, February 2, 2017

more naps mean more dreams!

I am particularly fond of Winnie the Pooh and the Beatles!  So this might work...for the next few days or maybe a few more I suspect there will be more naps, not because I am particularly fond of naps, although naps were a lot more attractive when I was working full time, but because there is a medicine change.  Medicine changes always seem to come with “naps” attached until my body can adjust.  I will be starting a lot of things in the coming days with a “small-ish nap” or two
but….more naps mean more wonderful dreams!

"Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight"  The Beatles

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Evoke a genuine smile.....

Life has been about a vicious cycle in the last few years.  You can see how it somewhat follows the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross model of death and dying, but I am certain when this was written it was not about chronic terminal disease.  The frustrating part is that you do work through the “steps” of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.  But then you find that acceptance sucks and denial feels so much better.  I am going to be better to my precious life and chase some dreams, I may not be able to break this cycle but just recognizing that it exists and where I am in it I am hoping will make a good change in my own day to day expectations! I want an exciting, unique and precious life and I need chase some more amazing dreams!
"Run Around"  Blues Traveler