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...

Friday, September 29, 2017

Individualist...What the hell is that?

So according to this highly scientific (cough-cough) Facebook personality trait test….and of course, all of the “quizzes” on Facebook are totally true “take it to the bank” accurate. I am an “individualist”…So for just a few moments, indulge me, and allow me to live and revel in the fantasy!

Your Enneagram personality type is the Individualist. 

You're creative, very intelligent and fiercely independent. You're driven by the desire to live true to yourself and you're willing to stand out from everyone else in the process. When unbalanced you tend to be melancholy and envious of others, but if you trust your inner voice you have an impressive imagination that can change the world. You may feel like a rebel without a cause, but when you're in touch with your inner drive, your unique voice can take you far. Be yourself, never compromise on your vision, and find creative ways to express your reality. You have the potential to be one of history's  greatests!                         
"Good Girl" Julian Moon

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sometimes...someone else says it so much better!

Oh... how I love her words!!!



Experience. Dream. Risk.

Close your eyes and jump. Enjoy the freefall.

Choose exhilaration over comfort. Choose magic over predictability.

Choose potential over safety. Wake up to the magic of everyday life.

Make friends with your intuition. Trust your gut.

Discover the beauty of uncertainty. Know yourself fully before you make promises to another.

Make millions of mistakes so that you will know how to choose what you really need.

Know when to hold on and when to let go.

Love hard and often and without reservation. Seek knowledge.

Open yourself to possibility. Keep your heart open, your head high and your spirit free.

Embrace your darkness along with your light.

Be wrong everyday once in a while, and don't be afraid to admit it.

Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments.

Tell the truth about yourself no matter what the cost. Own your reality without apology.

See goodness in the world. Be Bold. Be Fierce. Be Grateful.

Be Wild, Crazy and Gloriously Free. Be You.

Go now, and live.
― Jeanette LeBlanc

"A Way With Your Words" Imaginary Cities

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

My sanctimonious righteous morality......does seem to have a price!


I will preface this rant with……
I am the absolute last person to sing the praises of Walmart. 

For the most part, I have detested them. A huge store, dangerous after-hours parking lot, with narrow aisles in the store that are always backed up, long check-out lines, and they contribute nothing to the local community or economy (except for the obligatory taxes).

I also have a moral problem with the owners that make so much money while they pay their employees so little forcing many of them to depend on federal aid and food stamps to make ends meet for their families. In short, it seems that we taxpayers are subsidizing the Walmart owner’s profits.

And if that was not enough….there was a period of time that I felt economically prostituted to the pharmacy, by my insurance company, however, in my own defense, the one prescription that I paid $76.00 at Walgreens was only $4.00 at Walmart. It quickly became a love-hate relationship when they rarely had anything ready even when I was notified via text that it was. They were consistently not ready for me or they were missing one of the prescriptions which had me wandering around the store waiting or making a return visit. Both typically resulted in me making additional purchases. I will admit it was a pretty ingenious marketing ploy and I was always angry with myself for literally buying into it. I suspect they more than made at least, if not more than the $72.00 from me buying additional items that I thought I was saving.

I find myself in the hands of the evil Walmart once more…but this time I am not grousing and complaining. My local Walmart has begun a grocery pick-up service. I go online, choose the products that I want and they have them there waiting for me. They have a covered area to wait, while they load the groceries into my van. Trips to the grocery store had become a 3 to 4-hour event pushing a cart through the store on my oxygen “leash”, loading, unloading in the heat and putting away was the perfect recipe for total exhaustion. It took me an entire day to shop, put away and recover. This Walmart shopping service costs nothing extra and reduced this chore to less than an hour and that includes putting the groceries away.

My lesson here is either “never say never” or my sanctimonious righteous morality does have a price! Whichever it is, I am owning it! ….. Thank you Walmart, you have made my life easier.
"I'm a Woman"  Koko Taylor

what I cannot do, yet...

It seems only right that this quote is attributed to both Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. It is deceptively complicated and simple at the same time.  I also wonder, given VVG’s obscurity and living arrangements through most of his life…who exactly was around to document this quote?  I think it sounds a bit more like PP’s ego…and, of course, his life was much more public.

“Doing what I cannot do yet”  takes time and I make a lot of mistakes.  I don’t want to chronically fail in public, who does?   Regardless of who said it, they are telling me it is ok to experiment, try new things, figure out what works for me and most of all it is ok to fail…but I want desperately to fail in the privacy of my own studio or home.  Doing what I cannot do yet, it is more than ok….it is a necessary part of creating and a very necessary part of living and it is a reminder that I am still learning.  I have to keep trying....I cannot give up.  My heart is not ready to give up.....
"You Get What You Give"  New Radicals

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

When will he ever learn?

Each time the president does or says something reprehensible….and that is on a regular basis…The “momma” in me along with all of those finger-wagging platitudes I preached rise to the surface….
”Do not call people names; even if they started it!”
“Tell the truth”                                                   
“When you are wrong….say so, apologize"
 "Accept the consequences of your actions with dignity” 
“Respect girls”
“Do not make fun of or bully people that are different from you”
“Do not call people names”
It all boils down to you cannot make yourself bigger, better or more important than someone else by tearing another person down. 

My heart breaks and I am truly frightened every time I realize that the president of this country has the mental capacity of a spoiled pre-pubescent boy that I would have sent to his room and made him write a paper on why what he has said or done was wrong and why it hurt people.  This, by the way, was one of my favorite punishments for the boys, and the length of the paper depended on how egregious the offense was.  A flagrant offense would get 5 or more pages!  I was often surprised and pleased when in their reflection and writing they would realize that the ones they hurt were themselves and/or ones they loved the most.  Will this grown man ever learn this lesson?
"Mama Told me Not to Come"  Three Dog Night

Monday, September 25, 2017

The right direction...





I do love seeing authenticity like this.  It seems to give me more control over how I want to feel.  And another nod to my core desire feelings….passionate, connected, fearless, excited! It is what I want to feel it is what I want to project into this world! Feels like life is beginning to fall into place. Lining up in a crooked line but headed in the right direction.

"59th Street Bridge" (Feeling Groovy)
Simon and Garfunkle

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Doing Time....


From time to time….no pun intended…timing rears its ugly head and reminds me that I have absolutely no control over it.  Time is exactly the same for the most wonderful giving persons as it is for the most heinous evil doers.  Time judges all of us the same.  So the “bad timing” that I argue is one of my ongoing claims to fame may be nothing more than my ability to diplomatically declare …I am not getting my way!  Looking back, some of the worst times I have experienced have turned out to be my greatest learning experiences. I can choose to see each hour, moment, or second any way I want to.  Good or bad timing, it is simply time and in the end, it is truly the greatest gift of being alive.  

And if this unknown quote has any validity what so ever…I may very well have this time thing under control!
"Any Time at All"  The Beatles

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Thank you....

And slowly, the house is getting put back together….the doorbells hung back up…my “happy guy” is back out, but after killing 2 sets of plants I decided he would be a better birdhouse holder….I cannot kill those! Yesterday the charity truck picked up oodles of grandchildren things (portable cribs, strollers, high chair, etc.) that they have long outgrown, making the storage room ceiling repair a little more “doable”, but there is so much more that still needs to be done.  More tree limbs went out to the street and the back porch is still under restoration.  The wind that seems to have literally “peeled” the paint in the front of the house, actually cleaned the porch screen  I was tickled that it did not get blown out and it is really really clean for the first time in years!  It is not all bad! All of the grief that Irma caused has also created a great deal of gratefulness....Thank you
"Thank You"  Alanis Morissette

Hope is overrated!

Hope is overrated! Hope is a concept that we throw around as if it were magic…but it is not.  Please know that I am not advocating that you or I not have any hope, but do so carefully!  Hope alone will not change anything and hope that someone else will do or be something different is futile too. Hope, for the most part, is an empty promise.  I have hoped for so much but more often than not, my hopes were not realized.  So, I do not hope anymore.  That may sound cynical to most, but the reality is I think I am a much happier person because I accept what “is” and build my life and my happiness around that.  I do not waste time hoping for something that will never be. I have learned to take what comes….and make the best of it.  That does not mean I do not receive miracles daily…because I do!  But it was not until I gave up wasting time on “hope” for the future that I could see the gifts and miracles that happen every day.  I live by celebrating today, rather than wasting time hoping for what might be tomorrow.
"Be Honest"  Jason Mraz

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Gift to self...I wish you could hear this!

 those of us that came up on 45 records and vinyl LP's this is
still about as close to music magic as it could possibly get
I sold 3 pieces of art at last month’s exhibition...woo-hoo!! I have splurged on a gift for me, my heart my soul... a new set of remarkable headphones. Every morning while I am writing I plug them in.  Oh... how they make my heart sing!  I might very well go deaf, but I will be writing, dancing, singing and smiling the whole way…The sound is magnificent!  Wish you could hear this!!!
"Thinking Out Loud"  Ed Sheeran

Leaving the door ajar!

I forget to do this all of the time….I think I let myself get old, hardened, and cynical (even more than usual).  I discount the magic and the miracles that happen every day and I miss them.  Please hear me when I say the miracles, the joy, and the ecstasy that is available to me every single day that does not need to be big “holy crap” healing of the sick or raising of the dead miracle…just the little ones are enough to fill my heart. After the hurricane last week….electricity, AC, phone service and clean running water have taken on near miracle status!  What that storm did do is remind me that I overlook and take for granted these and so many other little miracles that happen every day.  All I have to do to bring all of this ecstasy into my life is open my eyes…It is right here waiting for me to experience it.  Leaving the door ajar!

"Here Comes the Sun"  The Beatles

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I know this is corny…but I am so happy!

Norris has found this to be a great napping place, but that may come to an end for a while!  Yesterday the Dr. feels like I have officially plateaued.  With heart failure…that is as close to remission as you get.  Heart failure will never go away, or be cured but a plateau means my body has transitioned.  It is just how this disease works…periods of decline are followed by my heart and body adjusting and learning how to function with the lower amount of blood flow…it almost feels normal!  The ability to just function is a great thing….and functioning well enough for the Dr. to give me thumbs up to get back on my treadmill (on a limited basis)….AKA my Prozac!  Just walking does so much good for my head.  It helps the way I see and deal with the challenges of everyday life.  Better than any of the medicines they could give me for the crappy depression that crawls into my life under the guise of, just part of this disease. I know it is not my style to follow the rules and behave, but when it comes to this...my hospice team knows their stuff.  They lay all the cards on the table...face up...and we make choices together....no judgment from them about how I chose to do this, just total support!  They know how to make the best of this, and I am so lucky to have them!  This is my life Norris you are going to have to move over! I know this is corny…but I am so happy!
"Happy"  Pharrell Williams

Monday, September 18, 2017

Wonderfully lucky!



The porch that was completely dismantled is coming back to life....the backyard limbs are cut and ready to go out to the street (and NO the camera is straight....everything else is now leaning) and the biggest mess is the ceiling drywall collapse in the horrible embarrassing and disheveled storeroom. At least I do not have to look at that inside the "living" part of the house! It is going to take time, but we are getting there! I still count us all as wonderfully lucky....I have seen much much worse in our own neighborhood.
"It Don't Come Easy"  Ringo Starr







NOW.....

Well, I will admit there are many things that it may be too late for.  And I have grieved them, they are absolutely right, you will not regret what you did… but what you did not do.  But there are so many things that I can still do…want to do…and NOW is indeed the magic word…time to start now!  (right after I finish putting the house back together after Irma…..oooosh) And that explains it...the struggle between what needs and should be done vs what I want to do!
"Fumbling Towards Ecstacy" Sarah McLaughlan

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Being passionate is indeed the shit!

This past week was an absolute exercise in focusing on all that we have instead of what we do not!  For a few short days, I have been exposed to how many people in this world live every day. No power, no running water (and ours ran just not drinkable)…and as far as cable, internet and cell phones, all I can say is …I am truly spoiled.  I was so lucky, heart failure has taught me to have plenty of radical living and loving practice, focusing and celebrating everything I could do, rather than grieving what I cannot.  It translated well in this past week’s situation. I have so many amazing many people in my life, some I didn’t even know (electrical linemen) that came from all over the country to restore my power, friends that loaned us a generator and an air conditioner, and those that kept in contact, keeping me focused other wonderful parts of life that I had truly forgotten existed. It was an opportunity to truly experience giving and receiving. Being passionate about life and love is the shit! and it reminded me that I want to be this passionate every single day!!
"Crazy Love"  Van Morrison

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The only "normal" I want to admit to....



Farwell, Irma and good riddance!  We finally have power, but holy crap what a week it has been!  It is never just about the storm itself (like that is not bad enough) but the aftermath.  The downed trees, the mess, no power, no gas, no stores, no internet, no 4G phone service, the oppressive heat and I could go on and on and on.  But 6 days later, life is indeed getting closer to normal.  It has taken a whole lot of vodka, tonic and squeezed limes to work my way back to “normal”.  Getting electricity, AC, cell phone service and the internet back is an absolute delight…and let’s just say that is the only normal I want to admit to. 

          "Trying to Reason with a Hurricane"  Jimy Buffet

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The "me first" mentality...

Perhaps it has been functioning in the Irma hurricane frenzy that has really exacerbated the absolute lack of patience and kindness in people. I have witnessed more examples of the worst side of “me first” behavior I think I have ever seen in such a short amount of time.  It has also made me grossly aware of my own boundaries and shortcomings.  The lesson I have taken away from this is I have become grossly aware of how much rude and outrageous “me first” behavior we are all exposed to every day and I have learned to accept them as normal or am I so desperate for approval myself that I allow and accept it? I know I can never change or undo the behavior of others, but I can take care of my heart by avoiding the situations, or not allow myself to be caught up in the orbit of others approval.  I know some think I should speak out against the bad behavior, that ignoring it is just another way of approving of it.  But maybe this is my way of “me first” and I am not particularly proud of it.
"Got to Do Better"  Eric Bibb

Thursday, September 7, 2017

YES to new adventures...be brave…be kind…be curious

This showed up this morning…along with the full moon.  It seemed to be telling me everything I needed to hear.  For some unexplainable reason, I am more than normally attracted to the moon.  I seem to get some enigmatic energy that can be physically palpable at times and it is a most wonderful thing.

As we head into the weekend there is a great possibility of a hurricane.  I have to confess that all of the fears of past storms and the struggles in the aftermath are sneaking underneath my relax…”it is going to be just fine” emotional radar.  This is the first real hurricane (no, last year’s Matthew was truly a non-event) since the heart failure. In addition to the typical preparations and worries, there are a few new ones, not big ones…just new ones (oxygen concentrator, back up non-electric
O2 tanks and meds). I will be listening to the wind and remembering to be brave…be kind…be curious.

"Summer Breeze"  Jason Mraz

Monday, September 4, 2017

GRRRRRRRR.....

The site has been squirrelly all last week...Sure hope they have ALL of those glitches fixed now!

Cheeky but it works....

Each day I am reminded…whether I am looking in the mirror, swallowing a handful of pills, sucking up O2 to have enough breath to speak my mind or the hearing yet another news story of another one of my musical heroes from my youth is gone. I cannot escape the undeniable fact that my time is waning. My body is screaming “old woman” but my heart has so much more to feel, do, experience. Perhaps if I am bit “wilder” I could be “Reelin in the Years”…Yea…I know that was so cheeky but it worked!
Steely Dan, your music…your work is in my heart always…..

And the flipping cloud storage site is down again so here is the youtube version..

Sunday, September 3, 2017

but...if you try sometimes...


This may very well be the secret of life!  So many times what I “want” could very possibly be the ruination of me, then other times it just might be the difference between living and existing.  Making those decisions now has become even more difficult than it used to be.  In the past it was just plain fear that ruled my decision making, now the fear has somehow morphed to “can I physically” do it…and I am angry that I allowed fear so much power over me in the past.  So now I am embracing the Rolling Stones anthem, and learning that what I need will come, if I try sometimes, and I will be grateful!


"You Get What You Need"  Rolling Stones

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Burning Man 2017, Trust and Surrender...

Trust & Surrender….it is about letting go of everything I think I should be and accepting me exactly as I am.  

Surrender is trusting that I am right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I should be doing and accepting that my life has been a gift to me, and the world.
Behind "The Man" they will burn tonight (Saturday night). Now you get it….”Burning Man” there is this temple.  The Temple holds all the thoughts and wishes and the letting go that each person needs to leave there.  Some are notes, and photos or small mementos.  But I suspect each is a symbol of trust and surrender.  Sunday night the temple is burned. Just one other reason I love Burning Man! One day I will really be there.....     
"Forgiveness"  Matthew West

And then it burned....