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 raunchy disease. My words always help me understand that in this life there will be times that are crappy painful and unexpected but tucked in there are the amazingly wonderful, too. That is when I realized the only control I have over any of this is how I chose to experience them! I realized that I could understand, celebrate can survive even better when I could express these feelings with my own words of courage, humor, and grace. I am the Queen of my own life and the choice is mine!

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!"


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Monday, January 29, 2018

Where the hell were you when I was painting?

 I wonder if I can tattoo this one!  Do your own thing…it does not matter what they think.  I have submitted 2 artworks and they were both accepted, and now as I wait to deliver for the opening I stare at them and pick apart all of the things I did wrong or could be better. That low voice in the back of my mind that always haunts me, is getting a bit louder insisting… wanting to know…” who the hell do I think I am?” When I do not answer it immediately sees an opening to speak up and one by one clearly identify in detail everything wrong with the work.  I wonder why and in my mind,  scream back…where the hell were you when I was painting this…Why show up now?  Why did I think that was a good idea?  Who do you think you are?  That fear scares the bejesus out of me.  I so desperately want to keep moving forward, be relevant, and meaningful…I need this life to have meaning.  But when I am not strong enough, I just put the work in the back room and do not look at it!  That pisses off my critical voice and I do not have to hear it…at least not until delivery day!   Then I have to keep whispering to myself…no matter what, don’t stop doing what you love doing…
"Gone (Going)" Jack Johnson

Sunday, January 28, 2018

No Limits on Magical and Extraordinary

I used to have a gypsy life on the art festival circuit!  Now, staying in one place for such expansive swaths of time sometimes becomes detrimental to my wild gypsy heart, not to mention just plain depressing.  I did not really appreciate what I had until I did not.  But I think that is true for just about everyone.  I am still learning how to let my imagination take me to all of those places, experience all of the different creatives, their works, and locations.  I am so grateful for the technology we have today!  I can still see and keep up with old friends, far away family and even make new friends.  It really does let me explore way beyond the limits of normal and regular and I am grateful….so very very grateful!  I still have magical and extraordinary right at my fingertips!
"Black Bird" The Beatles

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I am seriously mobile again!

Well, this may not be too exciting for the rest of the world…but for me it is so big!  Before my mother died she was on oxygen and had this small portable oxygen concentrators (which would let you go much longer than the tanks).  Last year before the NY museum trip my sister, still had Mother’s portable O2 machine that sat unused for more than 2 years, which according to the manual needs to be run at least an hour a week.  Unfortunately, by the time it arrived here…it did not work, with lots of warnings not to open the case, only to be serviced by qualified technicians …but alas…the company had since been sold or gone out of business and there seemed to be no such thing as a functioning Inova Lab Lifechoice Portable O2 concentrator service provider…not on Google or the dozens of other O2 manufacturers that I spoke to on the phone.  So I rented one for the trip and this little hickey sat silently in the storage room until a few weeks ago.  Skip decided what have we got to lose? He broke the rule, opened up and dickered around with it including replacing the lifetime rechargeable battery.  A little more dickering and WA-LA it is working.  Yay….I am seriously mobile again!  Sometimes ya just got to break their rules!!


"Nobody Ever Told You" Carrie Underwood

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Going to play dress up!






Having so much fun and as ridiculous as it may sound a real challenge sewing these t-tiny things! Making dress up and imagination for a  2nd birthday!  So... we have a Baker, a train engineer, working on an alligator and Minnie Mouse is next (and last, for now anyway!)  How terrific it is to have a little one close by and be a part of her growing up and making things that make her smile!


"Details in the Fabric"  Jason Mraz

Hand-painted polka dots and train...little tiny everything...so much fun...

DONE!  B-day Party in the morning!

Monday, January 22, 2018

after a while...you learn...


This is one of my Mother’s favorite poems.  It mysteriously turned up today. The Universe has a sneaky way of making a point. The lesson is I need to be stronger, I can endure this and I do not need to wait for anyone else’s flowers. I have the grace of a woman and the creativity of an artist, my head held high. I am not proud of all I have done but I am certain now,  that even those things are an important part of my life, growth, and learning.  I no longer want to blame, regret or struggle to understand what I cannot change. I am not what others want me to be nor can I grieve that I have failed them.  I cannot build roads to the future or regret the paths I have already taken.  I am simply using the time and energy I have to celebrate life….where I am… right now.
"Galileo" Indigo Girls

Friday, January 19, 2018

How could he possibly be 40?


It is just beyond my comprehension that my baby could be 40!  Seems like just yesterday he was starting kindergarten, cub scouts, and little league…At the time I was not sure any of us were going to make it through and I look back and realize I truly missed some wonderful magic times of just enjoying him… He is now and always has been one of the greatest blessings of my life…I am so proud of him and so lucky to have been the woman that brought him into this world.  Happy birthday my baby boy!

  "Sunrise, Sunset"  Bette Midler ...Live

Thursday, January 18, 2018

while I can...


Sounds cold, but it is how I survive.  If I place too many expectations on others…failure is certain. It does not mean I do not need help from time to time. I do…but for now I want to, do it by myself, take care of me by myself, create for myself and when it is necessary succeed and/or fail by myself. When I begin depending on and expecting others to do for me, I loose.   If I fail, it is all on me…if I succeed it is also on me.  I cannot relinquish responsibility for my own accomplishments and happiness to anyone….and I am ok with that.  I am strong…but I know there will come a day when I am not…I need to do this while I can!
"Don't Let me be Misunderstood"  Cat Stevens-Yousuf

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

and the list goes on....

I am in…I am in!  Just got an email accepting both of my entries….Nude Nite 2018!    Seems hard to believe that that it was almost 6 years ago that I put this one on my bucket list…and this will officially be my 6th year of having work accepted into Nude Nite. It never gets old and I am so excited…For the last few years, it has been the most wonderful way to creatively launch into the New Year.  I emerge from the Holidays with a serious sense of panicked creativity…as so many of my friends and family point out I seem to thrive creatively when I am on a tight deadline…I think it is more than that. I do not have time to change my mind and work a piece to death.  Although I have to admit I still manage to work and rework the hooey out of everything, on a deadline I just do it faster.

For some time now I was really doing well ticking off the items on my bucket list, then I really slowed down…I could hear an ugly little whisper in my ear asking “You know what will happen when you finish this list.”  Perhaps it is time to update my list, maybe those things that have not been done, should not be done. Maybe others need to be done again….The list goes on…
"Naked"  Nakshimi Devi

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

supposed to be...



It is so easy to run back and hop into the “supposed to be” box…I will confess that there is comfort in there.  But it never lasts…and eventually I know that my life would be dull, have no meaning and certainly, it would not be very fun.  So I need to concentrate on getting that picture of how it is supposed to be out of my head, then be me.

"No Time"  Guess Who

Monday, January 15, 2018

Along the Way....MLK Day 2018




Along the way...we all need to make our own mark in life...and the biggest brightest marks I have seen in my life are always made in love.  If I accomplish nothing more, I hope it is love...
oh and a little giggle!

"Shed a Light"  James Taylor

Sunday, January 14, 2018

She and I have some "learning" to do!

Well not exactly…but the fear is real!
Alexa is a recent addition to my house…although to date she plays music but has not said much more than the time and temperature…remember when you could call the bank phone number and get that for free?  So today…I am exerting a rather significant amount of time and attention to “teach” Alexa some stuff.  I have been corrected Alexa does not have “stuff” she has skills…’Skills’ as far as I can tell seem to be like apps….Scrolling through the “skills” list I find incredibly helpful and necessary life skills such as:
Question of the day
Tell me a joke
How much weight have I lost this year….REALLY?????....
Holy Crap…how did I survive before these skills were available to me….NOT
Oh but here is one that might make Alexa worth it…
ALEXA…find my phone!  Now we are talking! ...that is a “skill” I desperately need on a daily basis!
Well, she and I have some “learning” to do!
"Any Time at All"  Beatles

Friday, January 12, 2018

"Cheryl" it up!

Let me make this perfectly clear.  I DO NOT need a walker…but I do need a place to sit down and hold my O2 tank (that buggar’ gets heavy after a while), purse and of course a nice glass of wine… if one is available (and that should be often)!  I have missed out on several things I wanted to do, simply because my endurance is shot and it is difficult to walk, drink, and talk….gossip at the same time.  Last year in NY I went to and enjoyed museum after museum after museum because I used a wheel chair…it was a temporary thing, but I realize that I would not have enjoyed that experience as much if I had worn myself out, was miserable, and too exhausted to go out the next day.  Now….I am NOT ready to concede to a friggen’ wheelchair…but maybe a nice small walker with wheels and a built-in seat would let me get out to more art openings carry all my stuff and live more fully!.  I am not ready to quit…but my body does not always agree. So a walker will be delivered soon and I am already figuring out how to paint it and “Cheryl” it up!
"Back to Life"  EnVogue
passionate:  I want to be passionate about my life...I do not want to miss one damn thing...what ever it takes be more passionate....sign me up!

Thank Goodness for Netflix....

no wisecracks please..... 

but I am watching NETFLIX at 7 AM...because if I hear one more report about what "he" said and how "he" said it, I might explode!
I found "My Next Guest" with David Letterman and President Obama on Netflix....as I was scrolling through ROKU searching for a diversion.
After this year and the chronic erosion of presidential eloquence, diplomacy, and honor...I am ashamed to say I have become accustomed to, accept and even expect the disgusting language, behavior, and dishonorable tactics of #45.
I needed to be reminded of what "presidential" looked like and oh my...was I reminded... Even if you did not like his politics you have to admire his dignity and commitment to country, family and the human condition. I promise your presidential expectations will be elevated and renewed.
https://www.netflix.com/title/80209096

"Got to do Better"  Eric Bibb

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Holy Crap…the Mother of all “Nap Attacks”!

There was a time in my life that I adored naps.  They were decadent mid-day mini vacations!  But now…they are horrendous sneaky thieves, stealing my time…taking away my ability to do the things I love doing and yesterday was the MOTHER of all non-medicine induced nap attacks!  I was exhausted beyond reason…I would sit in my chair convincing myself…just 10 min…and I will be fine…and hours later  I wake up and it is NOT fine… Still exhausted and I fall asleep again…all day yesterday stolen from me…I hate this!!  Today it will be better…it has to be better!
"Golden Slumbers-Carry that Weight" Beatles

excited:  please please please...I want to remain so excited that I could not possibly fall asleep!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

She'll do it twice....







I think that pretty much sums it up!  


"Why I Am"  Dave Matthews Band

Third time is a charm!

That is a big canvas (40” x 60”) why did you name it “No. 3”?
Oh, I see 3 abstracted squares on the upper left side.
I nodded and said...well yes, maybe.
3 squares and “No. 3” What does it mean?
That was the point that I felt I needed to make something up that was snobbishly artistically intellectual…
But then thought NAH…..the plain truth is
…the 3 squares are left over “scars” from #2
...big canvases are not cheap
…“Nude Nite” is coming
...it is the 3rd time I have painted over this particular canvas
It is just “No. 3”
Sometimes it just...is what it is!
"Three is a Magic Number"  School House Rock

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Out of my comfort zone....

"Leaning int Antiquity" 13 x 30                        "No. 3"  40 x 60
And the “girls” are done!  One clay sculpture…”Leaning into Antiquity” because she really is leaning and I just cannot seem to get her straight…and  “No. 3”  because it is the third time I have painted over another picture and the three squares…evidence of last year’s submission.  A 40 x 60 canvas…is giant for me… when my comfort zone is in the 16 x 20-ish zone.  But then that is what Nude Nite is all about for me…getting out of my comfort zone!  They are submitted….which means that the fingernail chewing has officially begun… Last year’s sculpture that I submitted last year was rejected, but since then it has sold, and another of my sculptures was juried into an exhibition at the Osceola Art Center…so I got a little brave built up and am going to give it another go.  Cross your fingers!

"Arms Around My Life"  Janis Ian

Monday, January 8, 2018

...that you cannot see!

“How are you feeling?” and “You look great.”  I get this question and “self” answer on a regular basis!
I saw a quote somewhere that said, “Health is a crown that the healthy wear, but only the sick can see.” It is such a simple quote, but it is the best way for me to describe how I feel when I hear the question.... and the answer…

When I get asked this there are only two answers: “fine” and “yes.” Fine and yes, fine and yes… catching on? These two answers are all I will ever give even when they are 95 percent of the time not true. The truth is, I don’t know if I am feeling better. But…if I try to describe to you how I am feeling you probably won’t understand because I “don’t look sick.” Even if you don’t say those words to me, I see it in your eyes and I see how uncomfortable the pain that you cannot see.... makes you feel.
"Bruised, Not Broken"  Joss Stone
fearless:  my book came...and I am recognizing my fear...so today I keep painting and drawing and it does not matter if anyone likes it, or that I think I will be judged ....just doing it!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Just starting to get it right!

This is the time of year, for the past 4 years that this Neil Gaiman quote shows up on my radar, on my FB posts and even here.  This is the time of year because I ALWAYS screw around until the last minute…. that I am pushing to finish work to submit for “Nude Nite”.  If ever there was a feeling of exposing too much…this may be it.  Like, when are nipples appropriate to the overall composition of the work, or do they become simply gratuitous…and then how can I incorporate a nude into an artistic composition without it becoming a tasteless focal point….and what if it should be the absolute focal point, after all the name of the exhibition IS “Nude Nite”.  And will I ever feel like I may be getting it right because I definitely feel like I am exposing too much!  Thanks, Neil…I hope it means I may be finally starting to get it right!
"Naked" Ladshami Devi
passionate:  It is time to just let go...let the art TELL ME where it wants to go...Let passion guide me


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Another Story...


I ordered myself a little gifty….A couple of years ago I had a major book-ectomy.  Going through and cleaning out a lifetime of books I had amassed promising myself that with the advent of Kindle I could read without taking up so much room in a little house.  But….every now and again I see one that I just think I need to hold in my hands…and this looks like one of them.  Fear has always been my biggest nemesis.  In art and now in life, so making fear my friend and finding magic in the unknown was screaming my name!  Just published last week and on its way to me….I am looking forward to taking one more step towards whooping this pesky fear!  Woo-Hoo! 

                  "The Story of Your Life"  Matthew West

I may be a solivagant curmedgeon!

Today's new word is…. solivagant.
noun  so·liv·a·gant  \ sōˈliv ə gənt \ 

And I am learning just how much I do truly love being solivagant!  No, really I think I do…I used to think it may be the worst thing that could happen was to spend hours and hours and hours all by myself….now I kind of like it…so does that make me a solivagant curmudgeon?
"Alone Again"  Gilbert O'Sullivan

excited:  maybe not full on excited...more like happy and anxious. Pleased with how this new piece is coming, but still not sure how I want it to turn out...I just want me and the paint to flow

Friday, January 5, 2018

Chapping my ass!




and she is coming alive…small thin lines… just an idea of who and what she wants to be…letting her tell me who she wants to be…..but right now…her ass .....is chapping my ass!  Struggling with how much angle…up and down innocent or hippy and sassy…you know which way I am leaning….
But….I want HER to tell me!


"All Alone with Something to Say"  Bonnie Raitt

connected:  trying so hard to connect to this girl so that she will connect with others...but I do not know what she needs to say yet...

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Waiting for a new life to begin....

…and last years girls are gone…and I am waiting for a new life to begin… re-configuring that easel to accommodate a large vertical was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated.  I was at my wit's end trying to support it from the bottom…when the light bulb came on…and I figured I could support it from the top by attaching an old stretcher bar leg, making a T at the apex of the easel and suspending the canvas from the stretcher bars….Woo-Hoo! ….but I have to confess my heart is truly being ugly today and it is contesting every move I make….both me and this painting are anxiously waiting for our new life to begin…. but for now I am going to call it a day…
"Waiting for My Real Life to Begin"  Colin Hay

This years goals, same as last years goals!



Phew!  That is as close as I am going to get to any New Year’s resolution and it is pretty much the same as every other year.  Clearly, I do not come close to accomplishing any of this or it would not continue to be on my ongoing goals in life…except...maybe that chocolate part and possibly there are some that will argue the sassy part.  Anyway….time to get on it!

"Shine On"  Eric Bibb


fearless:  pull last years "Nude Nite" piece...thank it for bringing me so much enjoyment and fun at last years exhibition, then be brave enough to take it apart and paint over it!


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I had to try.....

I am not one to throw in the towel, in fact, it might just be the opposite.  I do seem to have established the precedent, that if I have been advised not to...it is like waving a red flag in front of a bull! 

And here is the thing…I have never ever regretted it! ….well…there may have been one or 2 times, right after a spectacular failure, but then later on…after healing, apologizing, and/or figuring out a way to make my money back….they were all lessons that I learned...not easy ones, but really good ones. No one could have ever taught me that...I had to find out by myself…on my own.  I am certain that is how we learn best.  But in today's world, we are taught to be so afraid to fail..that we will not even try
...and that is why I am certain that my last words will be….Well, Shit….I had to try!

"Big Girls Don't Cry"  Fergie
connected:  modify easel to accommodate a large vertical piece


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Finally.....WARM...




YES.... it is a cheesy auto-log....but oh my it feels so good to sit next to a warm fireplace, sipping wine in red plaid flannel PJ's....all is right with the world....mmmm....


"Light My Fire"  Jose Feliciano

Holy Crap...I hate the cold

But I do really like the buttons and beads I sewed on my jacket...so maybe it evens out.....
NOPE...I still hate the cold!

"Baby it's Cold Outside"  Leon Redbone

And the sketching begins.....





And the sketching begins…. Nude Nite juries in 10 more days and I am just now beginning to sketch….Where the hell did the time go??? And all of the Christmas decorations are still up., the laundry is running, it is so damn cold I may have to paint inside…....I just need to keep telling myself...Keep it loose, don’t forget ENJOY and love the process., relax, play, do what I am here in this world to do and everything is gong to be fine. I will be painting over an existing piece, actually last years piece, so some of the stress and time management stress is relieved. It is going to be such fun!


"Strong"  One Direction

Good bye 2017 and Happy New Year!!