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

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Because I am the Nana... and I can!




The absolute cutest bundle of energy and smiles I have ever known! Sweet enough to smile and charm the britches off of anyone, but just enough spice to keep you wondering what she is planning to do next....she is thinking all of the time! She is the reason I can brag all I want to!


"Bubbly" Colbie Caillat

Just live, make mistakes....

I have had a life full of those wonderful memories but I have also had more than my share of colossal mistakes!  I constantly second guess who I am and where I am going.  I try like hooey to accept them (the mistakes) as part of the life lessons that have made me who I am today….but I continue to beat myself up for each and every one of them. I wish that part of me that metabolizes hurt and pain into to real life; character building experiences would hurry up and kick in! "Just live, make mistakes....

"Photographs"  Ed Sheeran

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Time to Let Go






It was just an ah-ha, an instant “knowing”  that took root and flew….I knew that this was right!

Not quitting...it is just time to let go and make room for the next one to emerge...time to make certain that Artist's Way keeps going
....but I confess,  
there are tears between the singing.

"No Such Thing" John Mayer

Monday, March 13, 2017

It felt like the other way around....



Sometimes the universe sends you the perfect thing!  I was worried…just how much could I do?  Art shows are known to physically push you physically up to and sometimes over the line.  And it could have easily gone there, but Bobbie Deuell this year’s emerging artist was phenomenal.  Her work was amazing and she knew what to do!  She made it so easy for me, and I was the one that was to help and mentor her.  It felt like the other way around! (I think the hat worked...the oxygen "hickey"is barely seen.....woo-hoo!)


"Shine On"  Eric Bibb

Friday, March 10, 2017

Time for me to "Practice what I Preach!"

OK…today is the day….for something that I so enjoy doing…and I am scared!  Which is really kind of crazy.  I am the one that should be cool calm and collected for the artist I am mentoring who is also scared!  YIKES! The choice is …put on my big girl panties, go in there with a positive attitude, with the expectation that this heart is going to support me and that I am going to have a great time or just give up.  I am so NOT ready to quit….. It is really time for me to come to the plate and practice what I preach!


"All Star"  OrtoPilot

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Please, don't let me be misunderstood!

"Listen to understand not to say something in return."  I heard this quote or something close to it quite some time ago ….but yesterday I finally understood what it meant. I rarely post political stuff about my personal feelings, but every now and again I feel I need to take a stand.

My post yesterday was questioning the method used to create the recent health care bill presented by the Senate Republicans. It was seriously lacking research from the people that it would affect the most.  The politicians “selling” the bill touted the concepts and theories based on the opinions of state governors, insurance companies, and other political pundits.  They did not seem to have, or would reveal any research from doctors, hospitals and most of all patients that currently have ACA health care and would have the most relevant experience.

One of the posts  I received, in response was about how to apply for ACA/Florida Blue insurance for $6 a month, even if it was embarrassing.    WHAT? 

The advice was followed by rambling about how she “knows” this because she sat in on a health insurance consultation with a homeless woman and when she had a personal inquiry; her voice mail was full from all of the agents responding to her question.   AGAIN….WHAT?

"Don't Let Me be Misunderstood"  Yusuf/Cat Stevens

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I rise....

and again...it takes a few moments for the video to load...YouTube and Blogger are like two dogs meeting for the 57th time.  They still have to sniff each others rear ends to make sure it is ok.
...there are others that can say it so much better than I can... a young and wonderfully sassy Maya Angelou performs her poem...I Rise....

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My guiding culinary canon!

3 ingredients…my guiding culinary canon!  I have never made any bones about being a bad cook. And yes….I have tried to cook!  Some seem to think that a creative is naturally creative in all areas….WRONG!  Put me in the studio and I am happy as a clam…but dear Lord, please do not put me in the KITCHEN.  The only place I feel really comfortable in that room is standing in front of the coffee pot ….pouring!

I have held firm to the 3 ingredient rule through 40+ years of child rearing and marriage.  It seems I was to be responsible for the care AND of feeding for all of them.  My (and their) only survival was the 3 ingredient rule!
So…for most of you this is no big deal….but holy crap….for me it is HEEEEE-UGE!  I made a main dish tonight that had 15 (you bet…..I counted them) ingredients and that did not count the salt and pepper which technically would make it 17 ingredients.

Damn those Face Book recipes!  I just do not want anyone to think I am going to make a habit of this….I have a 3 ingredient reputation to maintain!
"You Might Die Trying"  Dave Matthews Band

superhero......





sometimes it is better just to sit down and shut up, because someone else says it so much better.
thank you Elizabeth Gilbert

"Bitch" (acoustic)  Meridith Brooks

Monday, March 6, 2017

It just makes sense!

WARNING…..if you are a offended easily, do not read this post!

I question everything and believe very little of what I am told.  I am one of those "got to figure it out myself based on what makes sense to me".  NudeNite held up a big mirror to me, with the “Confessional” art installation.  Looking at my own ending, I am considering all of the options, just in case I have missed one or there is a better one out there.  Raised as an Episcopalian earlier in life, every church service had a “blanket one size fits all” confession that was required.  The priest absolved us all in mass and then we marched to the alter for bread and wine….“poof”  forgiven....we were good for another week.  Never questioned…just did it…attempting to appear pious and penitent as I turned from the alter to face the congregation returning to the family pew. As I look at the religion that I perhaps have the most experience with, which would be the easiest to step back into, my common sense revolts!  A quick overview screams "WHAT"??? We humans were created by an omnipotent God that included sin, a.k.a. free will, as part of our “original programming”.  Then were kicked out of “the perfect garden of Eden” God created because they exercised the free will he gave them...WHAT?  Later when this entire free will thing just continues to go down hill, he…. that same omnipotent God, impregnates an innocent earth woman to give birth to himself so he can die a horrible death that somehow absolves us from that very same free will/sin and then rises from the dead to go back to where he came from.  All of this is to promote love, kindness, forgiveness?

The one thing most religions seem to have in common is they begin with the well-worn “once upon a time, long long ago, in a land far far away” and include many fairy tale-ish magic, mythical  demons, monsters, and of course an equal compliment of hero good guys. This particular religious story is unbelievably convoluted!  If you repeated a story like this, claiming it happened recently, I suspect they would give you free room and board in the nearest “rubber room”.

My personal dilemma is…why can’t we just love, be good and kind to each other because it is the loving thing to do, it is right and it just feels good? Why don’t religions just teach this? Are all of these complicated nonsense stories necessary to make such a simple point?  Where is the religion that celebrates living a best, most inquisitive,  creative,  exploring, loving, life you can while you can, because when you die…..life is over….that is it.    It's simple, needs no complicated magic, it just makes sense! Live now...live well...love! period.....
"No Sugar-Mother Nature"  Guess Who

magnificent mischief

So here is the tricky part… kindness is a no brainer, no risk, everybody is happy kind of thing, but mischief is a bit more complicated!  There is always some kind of chance that the risk of participating in amazing and magnificent mischief might run the risk of upsetting someone else.  Therefore, mischief is typically a covert operation!  So here is the question…..is getting caught part of that magnificent mischief???


"Bonfire Heart"  James Blount

Sunday, March 5, 2017

BUT…..I get to keep doing what I love!

This is a serious love-hate relationship!  Hate having to carry this thing around, Hate having tubes poked up my nose, Hate that for the first time since I have had heart failure that it is obvious ( I could pull off no one knowing before) and just Hate that it is an open obvious reminder that this is beginning to go downhill, and a constant reminder that this disease is marching on with or without my consent.  But I love that it gives me the ability to keep going, and I can still participate (albeit from a rather “edited” point of view).  In the past few weeks I have been able to deliver and participate in Nude Nite, went to St. Pete to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit, delivered art to the Osceloa Art Center for the “Creativa” Exhibit and screwed up my courage enough to continue mentoring at the Leesburg Art Festival next weekend. I love it and I hate it!  BUT…..I get to keep doing what I love!
"Save Myself"  Ed Sheeran

Friday, March 3, 2017

Road Trip!

Kissimmee Road Trip!

Not a big one, but a good one!  Needed to deliver my sculpture that was accepted to the Osceola Arts Center “Creativa” Exhibition today.  I had no idea where I was going, but I had Google Maps talking to me the whole way!  Marilyn (the center visual arts director) took me on a great tour of the center!  I am so so so impressed and so honored to have my work included in this exhibition!  They have a very active performing arts group and theater, 2 wonderful visual arts galleries, class rooms and a children’s performing group with their own theater! It is such an amazing place!  If you ever have the chance to do a road trip and would like to experience live community theater AND fine arts exhibition….this is the place!
"On the Road Again"  Canned Heat

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Oviedo-Winter Springs Life Magazine" Article by Jill Duff- Hoppes

Oh My!  What a wonderful honor.  I am truly overwhelmed!  And I still love "The Artist's Way"!

and quite possibly the worst picture...EVER...taken last August at the end of the Artist's Way Celebration of Creativity!  It was a great night! But it was Aug....FL...I had worked like a crazy woman...danced....drank a little too much champagne...and every stitch of make up I might have been wearing had long since literally dripped off  my face....but oh my it was a very fun night!

Critical Thinking....

That is what they keep telling us and there are days that I think I almost believe it. For the most part I think we are all more alike than any of us want to admit.  I suspect that pretty much the same things scare the crap out of us, but that goes for what makes us happy, also.  There are lots and lots of people that study this, and figure out how to use this information for their benefit.  
Other people (some we do not know or have ever met) begin telling us what we need to be happy, and what situations will make us sad, unproductive, unloved, not cool, losers and in general unsuccessful and we believe them.  They cleverly and covertly convince us that we are not brave enough or smart enough to know what we want or need, or the needs of the many or the poor are so much more important and for the common good. They want me to believe that we do not want the responsibilities, it is too complicated or difficult to make these decisions ourselves….and we trust others to do that pesky thinking for us. This is where we give up our own critical thinking.

There is a huge difference between wants and needs.  I often think that it is the job of big business, and government, to blur that difference.  Make no mistake, the only thing they are interested in is how to separate us from our dollars and/or give them more control and power. I am often accused of being cynical; I like to think of it as critical thinking.  Measuring possible outcomes and recognizing who possibly derives the greatest benefits from them.  Are those outcomes plausible, what will they cost, in the current situation, can they be realistically accomplished and what are the odds?  We all need to put on our critical thinking hats and take our power back!

"Brave" Sara Bareilles

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This is it.....

This is the advice I give others on a regular basis….perhaps it is time for me to take another gulp of it myself.  

I seem to wave back and forth from conservative, behaved, do exactly what I am supposed to do (which kind of comes with taking a shit load of medicine at prescribed times) and longing for the bohemian life I used to have (and by the way, never really appreciated). I seem to be living on the edge of fear, rules, and expected behavior always afraid I am going to slip into it.  I do not mean actually fighting the disease, it is pretty amazing all of the machines and medicines I have available to me for that.  The real struggle is to keep my head out of the “I am sick” mentality.  I see others dealing with terminal disease and they seem to be willingly drowning in it.  They let their illness take over their lives.  It is easy to focus on what is wrong, spending precious time, energy and financial resources to try to stop something that is going to happen to every single one of us.  There are absolutely no exceptions.

I am listening to every little whisper; celebrating life…it takes the same amount of energy as fighting the disease, but is so much more fun and I do not want to waste any of it!  This is the magic of life…I am listening…this is it!
"She Just Wants to Dance"  Keb Mo