life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

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


.

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

little bits and pieces of magic....


I know…I know…that is what I want to do, quite frankly it is what everyone expects us to do…but I am here to tell you it is not as easy as posting happy thoughts on a blog….if only!

Although I do have to admit from years of “morning pages” from the “Artist’s Way” I have learned and can attest to how amazing it is to get feelings down on paper (or in this case on a blog) it always does one of 2 and sometimes both things…It can get a destructive thought out of my heart, I can release the negativity, cleanse my soul…let it go! AND/OR I can emancipate my wishes, my happy thoughts into the world and allow the Universe the opportunity to respond…and who knows it may give me just what I am asking for.  It is simply waiting for me to ask.  So today I am asking to find and focus on the little bits and pieces of magic!

  "Bitch"  Meridith Brooks

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

By the way…none of this is covered in the handbook

And this is just what it feels like….a friggen’ monster connected to a can of gas (or machine when at home)!  It just sucks to have those “hickies” poked up my nose.  I know you see them…some will mention it and that makes me uncomfortable….others will not, but I see the disbelief (or repulsion) in your face and that makes me uncomfortable too! So it really does not matter, I am going to just have to get used to being uncomfortable if I want to go outside, or teach, or show my work, or go on vacation or do any of the things I want to keep doing….None of this is for sissies….physically or emotionally.  By the way…none of this is covered in the handbook.

"Beautiful" India Arie

…..especially the “no pants” part!

I just spent 3 days…in a row…in the house…NOT ALONE…grossly aware of another person in the house with me and am coming to the conclusion that I may very well be a budding recluse!  However, I truly do love being in the company of friends, family,
and other creatives…but for measured amounts of time!  It became rather confusing…and then this drifted across my FB page….AND I went “Ahhhhhh…..now I’ve got it!”…..especially the “no pants” part!


"Alone Again" Gilbert O'Sullivan

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