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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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Creativa!







Always more than honored to be accepted into any exhibition!  It is like a wonderful validation that the work I do has value.  But I am even more honored to be a part of an exhibition that is chosen from all of the extremely talented women artists from Central Florida.  Osceola Arts has such a wonderful creative space, the exhibits are immaculately curated.  They also have one of the best community theaters that shares the space.  It truly is a creative gem in this area and again I am so very honored to be a part of it!

"Get Out of My Way"  Ruthie Foster

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Quality of life is where the healing magic lies...

At the risk of sounding morbid…and just a little demented….I have to say, hospice has been the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Nothing put it more succinctly than this slogan, which as it happens, is from the hospice organization that takes care of me.  After years of curative care that was full of chronic, invasive, and aggressive testing, treatments and surgeries, none of which have done anything that improved the quality of my heart or progress of the disease. In fact, I suspect it has compromised my health and it cost me a bloody fortune year after year after year literally eating up what little saving we had. 

They have without a doubt focused on the quality of my life.  The life of this disease has a certain path, but the quality of life is where the healing magic lies…I am so grateful for hospice…they know this!
"Arms Around My Life"  Janis Ian

Monday, February 26, 2018

no more....no more...

I try not to let my blog get too political; however, I will confess I have not been really that good recently.  It does slip in on a fairly regular basis and it is typically when I am so horribly frustrated that this is the only place I can share my feelings without being blasted like I get on Facebook.  I will say I had changed my strategy a bit and promised myself if I did extend my political view, it would be from a positive action point of view, not just bitching and complaining.  That went better but still drew really rude and ignorant responses.  It has occurred to me, no one wants to think…they want me to be wrong. 

I can no longer keep quiet and it was those amazing kids from the Parkland high school shooting that reminded me how loud and obnoxious I used to be about political issues…. 18-year-olds voting….stop the war…women’s abortions rights…  Then I got married, had children and turned into a big blob of milk toast.   I sincerely regret that.  But I will continue writing my congresspeople, Senators, State Reps…I will never ever ever give them a moment of silence, a meaningless prayer, any support or contributions.  They have cheated me, lied to me, and do nothing except line their own pockets with special interest contributions.  As long as you keep supporting them they will continue taking advantage of my complicit ignorance, they count on it…no more….no more.
"Got to do Better"  Eric Bibb

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Me and Jabba the Hutt

I suppose the character I like to be most is the strong, got my shit together, I can handle this woman.  The reality is I can pull it off most of the time but there are days that it takes all of my energy just to maintain an upright position.  The latest and often repetitive issue seems to be this fluid in my lungs and although it does not cause any pain, it really does keep me exhausted and tired…more so than the normal and holy crap that means all I do is sit around feeling like Star Wars “Jabba the Hutt”…Believe me…it is not pretty.  But in mine and Jabba’s defense…we are the ones in charge!
  
“…my kind of scum, fearless and inventive”  ~Jabba the Hutt
"In My Mind"  Amanda Palmer

Friday, February 23, 2018

I will do it again in a heartbeat!

Well crap…this is probably NOT the flu…more like an extremely heinous version of a raunchy cold!  It is also a stinking reminder that my immune system sucks and that just going out and being around people (Nude Nite, even though I was home by 10 every night) will kick my ass. But you and I both know that even though I am bitching now…I will do it again in a heartbeat!  bwa-ha-ha-ha!
"The Lazy Song" Bruno Mars
Update:  Well it looks like my lugs are swimming in fluid again...crap!  More meds...more take it easy...there comes a time when I just get sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I am with the kids, they have wicked social media and internet skills and they know how to use them!


There is nothing that could have prepared me for the amount of senseless carnage that Florida now claims: Pulse, Orlando and MSD High School, Parkland. But nothing has surprised me more than the kids that are speaking out, factually, eloquently and with such passion!

As a child of the 60’s and now an adult active voter, I understand the level of frustration in trying to make meaningful government changes. But the thought of having today’s kids bring forth their passions with such mature effective actions never occurred to me.

These young people have been able to speak above the NRA and the ridiculous politics that adults play to make a point!  They are not afraid to say “the lawmakers have failed us” or “no, we are not going to be quiet and pray, giving our lawmakers, again, permission to do nothing while they maintain their NRA ratings and contributions”.  These amazing kids have taken the tools at their disposal and used the passion of youth and the pain of the loss to shine the light on the NRA and GOP’s unholy pseudo-Christian alliance that produces nothing but profit at the cost of innocent lives. These amazing kids identified a problem, recognized the causes and most of all they have wicked social media and internet skills and they know how to use them!  I am with the kids!
"Masters of War"   Ed Sheeran

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

"...starting to get it right."


Neil Gaiman said “The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked... that's the moment you may be starting to get it right.”


2 of my sculptures were just juried into the Casselberry City Hall exhibition “Contemporary Experience” and my fears and weaknesses will be on display. (March-April I do not have the specific dates)

“They See Right Through Me”

“When Boundaries Become Barriers”

                                     "Heal the Pain" George Micheal

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

denial vs. acceptance

I associate acceptance with defeat. That is precisely why I do denial so well!  Fully acknowledging my illness was never an option for me. Throughout the years, I would find myself drifting in and out of hospitals, doctors offices and testing labs in a daze – my mind shutting down, allowing me to believe it wasn’t my body the doctors were cutting, poking and testing, it just could not be.  I was sure that once I accepted my condition, it would never change.... I could never get better. 

That is why when I finally began needing “equipment” to maintain the life I love, that I finally allowed myself to acknowledge its presence.  I never wanted anyone to know I was sick. It was not just because I did not want your stares and pity, but a way for me to keep up the disguise while I continued to search for how I felt. 

 There has been a gradual shift in my thoughts when I discovered how much more I can do with “equipment”…perhaps this is what has finally allowed me to acknowledge my heart failure is part of me….I do love my independence and will fight tooth and toenail to keep it as long as I can!  It is a difficult balancing act...denial vs. acceptance.
"Black Bird"  The Beatles

No "wrong" answers

I think I can attribute 99% of my mental health…and for those of you that just lifted a closed fist to your mouth and coughed “NOT” ….I know who you are!  But really…I mean really I have found nothing more profound to my day to day happiness and frame of mind as writing every day.  It all began with Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” and her daily creativity exercise of morning pages. I still do them almost every morning…there is something wonderfully cathartic about getting unseen, positive and/or negative feelings out of my body and onto a page.  First of all, it is wonderful to actually see a feeling become tangible in letters and words…I then have the choice of whether or not I want to pursue them, hang on to them, or let that feeling go.  When an emotion, a feeling, or desire it is on the page they take on a life of their own and I can look at it and make a conscious decision about what I want to do with it…deal with it, get rid of it, or save it for later…there are no wrong answers.
"The Way I Feel"  Gordon Lightfoot

Monday, February 19, 2018

it just means...I made a decision...

So this is what went out on FaceBook:

My new “SASE” Sit And Sip Equipment… it is a stay longer have more fun at gallery openings and art shows equipment! I can report that after 2 consecutive nights and tonight the 3rd tonight of “Nude Nite”...it is working great! Screw my vanity...I love a good glass of wine, hanging out with awesome art, friends, creatives and laughing! I will be doing a lot more of that from here on out!

What I did not say is that thing has been sitting at the house for well over a month…as I sat and starred and loathed its existence in my life.  I am vain…for the most part, I have been able to hide this disease and it is getting harder and harder and harder to keep my secret… I do not want to waste any more of my energy fighting the disease when that very same energy is what I need to live and celebrate my life.  So whatever I need now to keep celebrating is what I will do.  It doesn’t mean I have any less fear, it just means I made a decision.
"Breaking Silence"  Janis Ian

It's a Wrap! NN 2018 So much Fun!

....It is a video and takes it's time to load....Nude Nite 2018 was a great exhibition...these are just a few of the art, performances artists and dancers that I saw and liked...but just a fraction of what was there and unfortunately I took oodles of BAD pictures that did not make the video cut!  OOOOps!

Friday, February 16, 2018

I think it is absolutely necessary!

Nothing is as sweet as validation! 
To push beyond what I think is possible. 
To walk in a space that scares me. 
Then to put it out in front of strangers and risk humiliation may be one of the greatest act of trust that a creator does.  I trust the universe…It lets me know on a regular basis that being brave is what my life is about.   And sometimes…only sometimes does the universe literally scream back at me yes…yes…yes! 
And it did last night!  It is not about the money, although the money is nice…it is about following my heart.  It is about the universe screaming “Yes, Girl… keep doing that”.   If I get to choose to leave anything to the world…this is it….say yes…break the rules…do what your heart is telling you to do, it is ok to be scared, in fact, I think it is absolutely necessary!


"Heart of a Hero"  Cathy Heller

Enough to be different....

They told me and I listened….
I listened to my church.
I listened to the laws of the land.
I listened to “good” people that “loved” me.

So much pain and grief I have felt because they told me what was good and bad….

I believed them and I quit looking for who I was.  It was never right…it never made sense and every time I mentioned it, I was told I was wrong.

No one can tell me who I should be any more…I no longer give permission for anyone to condemn me for choosing a different path and I give myself permission to quit acting like I want or need your approval.
I am not a Christian 
the only doctrine I follow is love.
The laws are not always right,
people that break them and walk free every day.  
I will only defend love.
Good people, the loudest ones, 
chose what is best for them, 
they want me to be more like them.

I love myself enough to be different.

"If I could Change the World"  Eric Clapton

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A naked exposed heart is so disgustingly poetic!

It never gets old…the excitement of delivery day came with some new crappy stuff.  I woke up at 4 AM  yesterday… have no idea why…just did…so I am going to chalk some of this to being excited about delivery day mixed with just plain lack of sleep tired.  Excitement and exhaustion stirred together with muscle pulls caused by pulling myself up and down in and out of the van and perhaps last nights chest pains have a simple explanation. These pains were different than I have ever had before.  I will confess for the first time I was kind of scared.  I have had two weeks of unexplained elevated BP, and when I ask why…The nurse looks at me over his glasses, with that “really, you are asking me that" look and answers with a hint of sarcasm…you have a cardiac condition.   It is the day before Nude Nite opens and Valentine’s Day after all...if my heart is going to act up… today would be the day.  A naked exposed heart on Valentine's Day is so disgustingly poetic!
"All About Your Heart"  Mindy Gledhill

Monday, February 12, 2018

The gift...

Delivery day is creeping up on me and I can feel the fear slipping in.  It is like all of the bubble gum I have stuffed in the cracks of my life are beginning to give way!

Every single year….The delivery drive to the “Nude Nite” venue feels like a slow walk to the gallows. A litany of questions unravels inside my head, as I get closer and closer.
“Do I belong here?
"They must have made a mistake."
"My work is not good enough!"
"Why did they select this piece?"
"If I turn around now and run, they will never know it was me.” 

As I pull into the parking lot, I wonder if the other artists are panicking too. Do they have the same list of ugly thoughts playing in their heads…or is it just me? 
 
After I arrive, climb down out of the van and walk toward the line of artists checking in, I keep my image turned in and clutched to my chest, I do not want anyone to see it. Somewhere in my ridiculous thought process, I still think I am keeping my option open and can turn and run the other way. Finally, it is my turn, the commitment is about to be made. Without emotion or approval, they ask my name, have me sign the legal documents, and hand me a brown manila envelope with my name on it, it contains a lanyard and comp. tickets.  I gather up the paperwork and artwork and walk into the gallery area where no one notices me, it is a simple matter of fact business transaction of dropping off art.  The curators will make the decisions later where and how all of this artwork hangs and the Installers will set about the job of hanging over 200 pieces of art.

I go to the empty spot I was directed to and stand long enough to take a deep breath, before setting my work down.  I feel everyone in the room is watching and knows that I am just plain not good enough to be here! After I set my work down and unwrap it, I finally feel brave enough to lift my eyes and look around.  All of the sudden it is not about me anymore! I am surrounded by the energy of incredible artists, artwork, massive amounts of glorious unimaginable talent, images that take my breath away and a feeling of incredible satisfaction and belonging envelopes me. I am surrounded by magnificent creatives and their work and energy.  Like storm clouds clearing, my breathing slows and my heart calms. At that precise moment, I know this is exactly what I am meant to do.  This moment is what makes all of the fear worth it…It is that fleeting but so very real moment that I feel the universe wrap its arms around me and lovingly tell me…this is who and what you are. I am embraced in the "knowing" like a big warm hug. This is why I am alive.


This horrible paralyzing fear is always going to be a part of the journey.  I do not think I will ever get used to it. I just have to know it will be there every time I deliver artwork for an exhibition.  I have to do the work, show up and move through the fear.  For this, I am rewarded with the unquestionable understanding that this is who and what I am in the world.  This is the amazing gift of being an artist that I do not think most people will ever have the opportunity to understand….
"It's Don't Come Easy"  George Harrison

Sunday, February 11, 2018

wasted time....





YEEEEE-OUCH! I do not think anyone ever taught me how to determine what is worth my time…I mean clearly, there was do a good job, take care of your children, clean your house and yard oh yes and go to church!  Sounded reasonable to me….everyone else was doing it…You know what else they were doing? They were talking about, criticizing, making fun of, and getting angry about anyone that did not do it just like they did.  I look back and I wonder…why did I ever care if they did it the same way I did?  After choosing not to do it “their” way, and yes a good part of that is a natural outcrop of age, I realize and grieve about how much time and life I lost…I am not wasting any more time!  Living, loving, laughing, nothing else seems important anymore.
"Light on"  Mark Ballas

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Speaking Volumes!

"Double Crossed" is a recent remake of an earlier version after a long sabbatical from layered paper pastel work.  It is a simple composition and a study of the theory presented by Dan Brown in his novels that featured the fictional character Robert Langdon, an ancient “symbologist”.  The author speculates that in the 15th -17th century and beyond, secret societies that were exploring mathematics and science were threatened as heretics by the Catholic Church. It became necessary for them to communicate publically through simple secret symbols.  This theory is more than just fiction and does have some examples and support of existence. Evidence suggests that the symbol for a female was the chalice and the male was the blade, both were physically iconic of the male and female sexual organs. Simply interpreted the “\/” became the female symbol of the chalice and the “/\” became the male symbol of the blade.  In exploring the theory,  I found it was much easier than I imagined incorporating those symbols in a piece of work.  I can easily see how if the symbols were kept simple in concept, that any piece of art could be speaking volumes and revealing secrets that the world is oblivious to!
"Who Says"  John Myer

Thursday, February 8, 2018

...do that

My soul often cries out for life and experiences that this world and all of its rules and regulations claim are irregular, immoral or just plain wrong.  I am learning to do them anyway.  The growth of my soul depends on me having the strength to move beyond what others think!  Sometimes it is so easy….other times it is quite a struggle…..but I believe, in the end, it is necessary and it will be so worth it!
"Never Going Back Again"  Lindsey Buckingham

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Things that make me smile....


There are times that I question everything!  And most things I have denied, done, pushed away have been done based on what I was taught or what others have expected...It is time for me to break those rules without regret and smile much more!  Perhaps it is time for me to question more what I think I believe to be true and learn for myself those things that make me smile!

"Smile"  Uncle Cracker

Saturday, February 3, 2018

This might work for me!

So there we are trying something different.  I am a self-confessed medicine weenie…and the last round of pain meds and all current available narcotic pain meds seem to make me sick to my stomach….not nice at all! So we are going to try to control the inflammation around my kidneys with steroids…YIKES…we are at the “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” portion of this program.  There are not going to be any good long-term answers, just temporary ways to control the symptoms.  Steroids scare the hooey out of me and when I looked up the side effects, I got even more frightened.  One of the common effects is a swollen or puffy face and neck…like I need that!  As tears welled up in my eyes at the thought of how my face might change.  I realized…this might not be a bad thing…if it stretches all of the wrinkles out of my face.  I mean don’t women pay big money to have collagen injections to “fill up” wrinkles?  This might work for me in several different ways!  Woo-hoo!
"Ob la di ob la da"  The Beatles

Friday, February 2, 2018

Thursday, February 1, 2018

On a Carousel...

One of the best days....
That day comes fairly regularly!  I get all of those things, amazing journey, responsibility, life quality and every Jan.1 I proclaim to myself this new sense of renewal and by Feb.1 it is over.  So the question is,  am I a big failure?  Do I just continue to set my goals way out of my reach?  Or (and here is the scary one) on some really sadistic way do I enjoy beating myself up by constantly failing?  And then the next big ass question is, if I recognize this failure merry-go-round, why the hell am I having such a hard time getting off of it?
"On a Carousel" Hollies

Daddy's Girls






Happy Birthday, Daddy!  How lucky we are to spend Dad’s 89th birthday with him.  And how can it be?  When it seems like just last week I was tiptoeing into the house past curfew!  Daughters…Sisters and most of all friends!  We are so very very lucky!


"Daughters"  John Mayer