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 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!"



Saturday, July 28, 2018

Every full moon...

Women and the moon share common cycles, maybe that is why I am so affected by the full moons.  I know more babies are born, more crimes are committed and there are in general more hospital admissions, there must be something to it, but I know of no scientific reason, as of right now.  So I have learned to embrace the change of and the intensity of my emotions on the full moon.  I have never been able to understand it, but I know in my heart how powerful the full moon is.  If nothing else, it is a reliable point 12 times a year, that I can examine the feelings I hold on to, why I believe them. I have the strength to let go of those things that no longer serve my life.  And every time I let go of the negative I make room for more positive.  That is my joy every full moon!

"Moon Dance"  Van Morrison

Friday, July 27, 2018

I am NOT for everyone....

I am slow…but I am learning.  Raised in the South and a good Episcopalian the concept of someone, anyone not liking me was not even discussed.  It was my job to make them like me.  I was to dress properly, speak properly (never about money,  religion or politics), use impeccable table manners, do not speak until spoken to first, never ask for anything, wait until someone offers it to you and there were many many more ridiculous “rules”.  The only good women are Christian, great mothers, good cooks, and superb homemakers. I am none of these!  This was the plan as it was taught to me. In short, if you did all of the right things, everyone would like me and I would attract the “proper” friends.   Not being liked was a sign of failure on my part.

It was a different generation and the concept of being “liked” appears to have been a major part of all women’s roles!  So when I see a post like this, it reaches into my heart and gives me permission to politely continue on my own path,  I do not need anyone else’s approval and the older I get the more I realize I never did.  I am not for everyone, and it is ok!

I only need to spend my love, life, energy and time with those that “get me” and like me just the way I am.
"Song for a Friend" Jason Mraz

Thursday, July 26, 2018

I am brave, I am bruised and I am still breaking the rules!

and it begins…..yep…I know the next venue has a history of censoring nudes…but I have felt quite obstinate lately and really really having such a great time experimenting with female proportion and scale.  Enjoying having my hands in wet and gooey clay…loving the tactile part of this.  I am thinking perhaps this may have been the next natural step all along…even my 2D work was tactile and very textural.  If I keep is very Roman classical relic-y…they would not dare censor it?…
Well, they might…we will see? 

Right now I just have a need to break some rules! I am brave, I am bruised, but this is who I am meant to be…. this is me….

                         "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Anything that vibrates is a GOOD thing!

Old faithful has sprung another leak, that is developing quickly into a major hole, which unfortunately matches the holes in the seat that I have managed to “mask” with a cheesy quilted seat cover over the past year or so. It looks like whether I am ready or not to give up my old faithful….it is time! As I was online looking at my chair replacement options I came across this chair (pic on right). It is the right style, and the right color…that is a plus-plus.  It was in my price range…big plus, but it is not leather…as my sister calls it….”pleather” or in another day and age “naugahide-ish” BIG MINUS….but then.....I read the description…it vibrates in certain places (lumbar, thighs, upper back) and has heat...all of the sudden it is SCREW the logical rational way of making good choices. Anything that vibrates is a good thing! is on the way to my house! Delivery date is 8-1!
"Good Girl"  Julian Moon

Gnats Ass Opinions

You may….or may not have noticed that I have been much more vocal about my political opinions (and other opinions too). The first few times I publically stated my political opinion on social media, I felt like I was summarily chastised for even having one. My feelings were hurt. I mean, in my world, shouldn’t everyone agree with me?…  My first, best, protect my ego option to avoid further public humiliation was to just be quiet, not speak up, just stop.  And I did.   That might be the end of this story, but then, you knew better!

As my heart continues to degrade and my own physical abilities show signs of significant failure, I find myself in a constant state of reinventing how I do things. It occurred to me that the one thing this disease has not affected nor had the ability to take away from me is my voice, actually my words.  If something as volatile and destructive as heart failure cannot take away my voice, why should I allow a bunch of small minded ignorant bullies on social media do it?  I mean compared to what I am dealing with now and will in the future, I cannot allow them or their opinions to be any more important or powerful to me than a gnats ass.  So stand back…I am just learning how powerful these words of mine can be!
"Me" Paula Cole

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

It is all about the "pan"...

Ok…ok…ok…I can be an asshole.  Not terribly proud of this “skill” but I have been told by many that my asshole talents are spectacular. is good to know that when an occasion arises I do have the skills!

In my own defense, I find that by leaving my emotions, anger, preconceived notions, childhood beliefs and negative connotations out of the listening process,  I have the opportunity to “hear” another’s point of view.  This does not mean I will agree with it, however, I will concede that every opinion that is different than mine has the opportunity to change or modify my own thoughts.  It is my opportunity to learn and grow.  My considerable asshole-ness arrives when others refuse to extend the same courtesy.

Different opinions push us all to think beyond, they press us into growth and force us to look at our beliefs from a different and perhaps more reasonable point of view.  At the very least we must truly consider how and why we formed and hold onto the beliefs we do have.  I have told this story many times in class.  When any new idea comes along and my negative knee-jerk reaction begins to surface…I pinch myself and remember this story.

A mother and daughter are preparing a big family meal, and the mother reminds the daughter to cut off the end of the ham before she puts it in the roasting pan and then into the oven.  The daughter asks why do we cut off the end of the ham and her mother replies that is how my mother taught me to do it.  The daughter unsatisfied with her mother’s answer calls her grandmother and asks why do we cut the end of the ham off before it goes into the oven.   The grandmother replies, my roasting pan is small, when I cut off the end it fits just right into my roasting pan.
"Moma Told Me Not to Come"  3 Dog Night

Friday, July 20, 2018

The only way to survive is laugh...

It is all giggles and grins until it happens to me….Holy Crap!!  After a week of wicked muscle cramps, and I am not talking about “charlie horses” I am talking about full on there is some kind of demon inside of me twisting, squeezing, stabbing, cussing, crying and physically contorting every muscle from my toes right up to my armpits MUSCLE CRAMPs!  Those lower leg calf cramps I have had in the past, where I hopped out of bed and limped around my bedroom cussing in the dark trying to stretch that calf muscle until it let go and relaxed…… were NOTHING…those calf cramps were the piss ants of muscle cramps compared to these “mothers”!

So, Ed (my hospice nurse and after this week, aka as my personal hero) knew just what it was and how to make it stop.  I was sure that the only reasonable answer to stop this mess would be a lifetime supply of free-flowing muscle relaxers …surprisingly that was not the answer.  Clearly, the reason I am not in the medical profession!  The cure was as simple as doubling up on the potassium and orange juice!  Last night I stayed down until 3:30 am, which before this past week would be completely unacceptable, but last night it was a little bit of heaven to sleep uninterrupted and cramp free for that many hours!

There is a full on medical explanation for this crappy new set of circumstances that unfortunately make perfect sense… but I will not bore you with that, quite frankly it bores me…all I need to know is “make it stop”.  I am now at the point of this lousy situation that the “fix” for one set of problems is often responsible for setting off a whole other set of equally vicious problems. It is a variation of that old saying “damned if you do….damned if you don’t”  And I am here to tell you… the only way to survive is to laugh.
"Heal Yourself"  Ruthie Foster

Thursday, July 19, 2018

There is some good news....

I have always been a rather political animal and that may surprise most people.  But it began more than 40 years ago in Miami.  We the younger generation (aka the hippie generation) staged “sit-ins” to get the 18-year-old vote. Up until 1972, you had to be 21 to vote. The 18-year-old young men were being drafted to fight and die in Viet Nam but could not vote in the country they were protecting and supporting.  I love seeing the activism rise again, I suspect those that participate now will also be “bitten” with a lifelong interest in politics like I have been or I can hope so!  When I look at the 2016 election statistics and see that 46% + of registered voters did not vote my heart breaks but my anger rages too!

In this day and age, it appears that a good part of our population did not have a civics class in school or if they did have forgotten!  This all began with Trump campaigning on promises that he did not have the authority or power to implement.  But a good amount of voters were apparently unaware of the constitutional powers of a president and believed those false promises.  He is still spewing lies to the country via Twitter  (and an occasional press briefing).  There is still a major part of our population that does not understand what is and what is not in the presidential scope of powers.

I thank our founding fathers on a daily basis for devising a system of checks and balances.  They seemed to have known eventually somewhere in history a Trump would arise and we would need the legal tools to control power out of control.  And they not only placed a “backup" system in but devised a triple check just in case more than one branch of our government fails us.  Executive, Legislative, Judiciary

We are watching the absolute failure of the executive branch, with cabinet member after cabinet member being fired and or quitting for gross miss use of taxpayer money or just plain incompetence on an almost weekly basis. There are secret negotiations and defending the policies of known US enemies, the berating and public bashing of known allies and a constant barrage of embarrassing presidential statements that arrive daily via twitter proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he does not understand how our government works. And I can safely claim enough doubt in this administration without having to dip into the personal behavior of the president with Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, etc… The Executive Branch is unquestionably incompetent and at the very worst maybe downright corrupt.

Our first line of back up to prevent this kind of malfeasants is our legislative branch of Senators and Representatives.  Clearly, a vast amount of our Republican legislators have put their own political careers and re-elections behind the numerical popularity of the current administration.  They are ignoring the voices of their constituents and pandering to the president's whims and the corporate lobbyist campaign donations to hold on to the votes of the Republican base.  They have chosen money, party, and reelection over patriotism and what is good for the country.

Our last vestige of common sense is the Judiciary branch.  Against an onslaught of attempts to thwart their findings and shut down their investigations, they continue on.  I am now and will be forever indebted to their dedication to their jobs.  They seem to be our last line of finding the truth and restoring our honor.

However, there is one more check on this administration.  It is the biggest and best tool we have to make a change.  It is our voice and our vote!  only hope that they along with the 46% + that did not vote in the last presidential election I have to turn my finger around and point it at us.  We are ultimately responsible for this mess, but the good news is we also still hold the power to turn this around.   Mid-terms are around the corner ….Vote….

"Got to do Better"  Eric Bibb

Friday, July 13, 2018

Such an honor!

Overwhelmed and probably one of the luckiest people in the world!  I knew the City was doing an article about the summer AW exhibition but this is such an honor!  This great creative life has not only allowed me to generate an income (not millions but an income) I have met so many great amazing creatives and could not possibly get any better than this.....Such an honor!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Practice, balance and focus...optimism...I hope

I am trying…I am trying but it is not that easy anymore.  Not that it was ever that easy….but holy crap…today’s political climate makes practicing reckless optimism more difficult than ever!   The wholesale negativity that is constantly slathered over our country adds a whole new layer of crap to cut through on a daily basis. The only way I can balance this out, keep the negativity of it from swallowing me whole is to create more… I need to provide some balance in my world.  Practicing reckless optimism, for me, means practicing more, different, challenging creativity.  It is the only way I have to keep from suffering through some of the horrific politics and human rights atrocities in this country. I have to keep some kind of perspective these days.  I am certain I would be in a constant state of depression or would have “checked out” completely if I did not have the creativity to fall back on to keep me balanced and focused.  Who would have thought balance and focus would be the words I would use to describe creativity?  But in today’s politically volatile environment, it is.  Now I understand from a whole new perspective, how and why the Renaissance happened.  History does repeat itself, the only question is which period of history is repeating and has anyone been paying attention?
"No Other Way"  Jack Johnson"

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

We might all learn...

This one really bites.  I have to admit my level of frustration has hit an all-time high in these divisive times.  But at the risk of undoing this lovely sentiment…it is really not any of the #1  issues, although that is what we want to blame, that truly drives me crazy.  It is the sheer amount of ignorance or the unwillingness to listen that is truly the reason for this discord.  It is the use of “holier than thou” religion to justify misogyny, ignorance, and prejudice.  If you study carefully, you will come to understand that the true root of all of this world’s hate, evil,  and every single war throughout history always, always boils down to one or both of these two reasons, and typically they are found working together…GREED and RELIGION!  I suspect greed is an ugly part of human nature and will be a dark part of each of us, a part that we all need to recognize and understand how harmful it can be.  But I believe that religion (almost every religion) is the tool that fans the conflict and convinces us it is ok to politically control others through fear...  Religion is the vehicle that spreads greed and fear.  The intelligent examination of the issue and thorough consideration of love, peace, fairness, and human feelings will point you to the right thing for all people…not just you or your group of common believers.  Joining a tribe of “like minds” because it feels better just to be accepted and liked is never the right thing to do. This is the same mentality, the need to belong, that encourages the hate and violence of street gangs.  Trust the “good” that dwells in all of us, that recognize our differences and celebrate, uphold love and appreciate another's point of view.  That is when we might all listen and learn something loving.
"I believe in Love" Indigo Girls

Monday, July 9, 2018

no stopping this time....

I seem to be in this heinous stop…start…stop…start pattern.  Frustrating as hell!  I get some energy up (often chemically induced, but I really do not care where it comes from or how I get it) and have this tremendous need to begin…something!  House cleaning, sewing projects, creating in the studio anything!  There is so much I want to do and so little energy to do it.  I have tried the slowdown…”little bits at a time” program, it really is not my style but it may be the last and only choice I have if I want to keep being active and productive!  The “spoonie” program (refer to a few weeks back) helps with this but it does not come easy.  So I am just going to start…again…and not stop this time.
"Don't Stop Till You Get Enough"  M Jackson

Friday, July 6, 2018

What else can I do?

I do not think there is anyone that has had a big ugly life change that has not looked around and said “what did I do wrong?” or “what did I do to deserve this?”.  It is not fair…and if you believe in karma… well, there you go!  I deserved this.  Then there is a part of me that races back through my entire life to figure out what I did wrong.  Every bad judgment,  poor decision,  mistake, blunder, miscalculation and/or misstep roars into my head screaming at my heart…” you did this and now you will pay for it”!

Sadly the one thing I have learned through this process is there is nothing I can do now …to undo what I have done.  The only thing I get to do now is forgive myself and I do not think that will bring me much peace, but I will forgive myself anyway…..what else can I do?
"Same Mistake" James Blount

Thursday, July 5, 2018

And...the lesson is...

Once upon a time…on social media, Facebook specifically, I posted a political opinion, not profane, not a particularly unprecedented idea but a political idea that I felt was worth repeating and expanding on.  The “trump trolls” (my personal and yes I know childlike name for the Trump supporters) arrived in mass and began verbally bullying, tormenting and haranguing …just like Trump himself.  My responses were respectful, clear and, founded in fact, their replies to me were negative, rude and wholly disrespectful of my opinion on my own Facebook feed. 

For a time,  I publically defended myself but to no avail, some of them are like rabid dogs and just do not let go or give up.  My solution was to just “unfriend” them.  The experience was really unpleasant and I decided to just not participate negatively or politically on Facebook anymore. The anti-democratic memes and unsubstantiated theories began to increase on my feed and I realized this may have been their original objective.  Perhaps that was the intent, to keep me and others from having free or opposing opinions and sharing them with others.  

I began to feel a little guilty, I mean am I being fair to myself if I only allow myself to participate,  hear and/or experience one side of an issue. I tiptoed back into political posts on Facebook and a whole new pack of  “trump trolls” began.  Again I tried to have a rational fact-based discussion, but this is not how they operate, they want to talk about the Clintons!  Really…with today’s volatile policies on immigration, foreign policy, and tariffs, they still want to talk about the 2016 election.  

And the lesson is: I will not withhold my opinions, they are as valid as anyone else’s.  If you care to have an open, thoughtful, positive dialog (even if it differs from mine), I am anxious to post,  listen and respond. However, if your purpose is only to bring up unrelated past issues, belittle and berate others that have differing points of view, I have an unfriend button and I am using it copiously.
"For What it's Worth"  Buffalo Springfield

Monday, July 2, 2018

On days like these...

Woke up this morning and really looked at me….saw the effects of the steroids are having on my physical body that was already way off the charts of normal…I do not need any help in the abnormal department.  I noticed all of the wrinkles and the gray hair (which I promptly took care of…thank you Loreal!) but the wrinkles and the round lumps and bumps I need to learn how to accept and maybe even love.  This video crossed my page, and it did make me feel a little better and I thought I should save it so I can easily look back at it on days like these.

When do we quit pointing fingers?

I may need my steroids adjusted …lol… feels like I am picking fights...all I can say is maybe it is better to grouse on the internet than at my family…All of that being said I would like to share a recent (yesterday) experience. 

At the end of last week, there was a Senate hearing with Chris Wray and Rod Rosenstein.  I confess I did not watch it all, only the highlights, but was absolutely amazed at how heated and non-statesmanlike the exchanges became…embarrassing even.  The bone of contention was about stopping the Mueller investigation and on some level impugning the investigative process and the Justice Departments work.  It was to that end, that I posted a meme on FB.  It was a picture of past politicians comparing the length of time they had been investigated and the number of indictments and convictions with the current Mueller investigations.  I thought it was an excellent way to compare and visually state the case that the current investigation has taken much less time, produced many many more indictments, and guilty pleas already and if nothing else that must clearly signify that continuing this investigation is important.  After all, if he is innocent there is nothing to worry about.

But NO…it brought out another hornet's nest of “Trump Trolls” whose only argument to anything that is happening politically is to march out the past administration actions as if that should excuse, explain and justify the abominable behavior that is going on in this administration. 

When do we quit pointing fingers and begin to work together towards positive solutions for real-life current political problems?  Open hearts and minds that confine discussions to current problems and solutions must prevail!
"Got to do Better"  Eric Bibb

Sunday, July 1, 2018

But for now I have internet and I am crossing my fingers!

GROUSING AHEAD!                      I am back!  After being told it would be 4 days before CenturyLink technician, and this is the 7th time in 6 months we have had to wait for days to have a repairman tend to a problem that could not be corrected by them “refreshing” our system from their office and that has worked on occasion. We decided it was time to change companies.  In this past year, I have taken advantage of “smart home technology with uses the internet.  We have Alexa placed in several locations throughout the house and I call (phone) via Alexa if I need help and cannot reach my phone.  And after passing out, (which has now become a part of this disease) we decided that a camera and a coded door lock would allow “Help” to get to me, even if I could not get to the door.  I also use it to turn lights on and off so I do not have to walk in the dark to get to the bedroom.  Yes, it is extravagant, but it gives me such peace of mind and allows me to stay as independent as possible for as long as possible. With such unreliable service, I explained that I  wanted to cancel them after 11 years (actually we have been with this company since 1978, but it has been bought out many times) CenturyLink replied I could not cancel them, I had a contract with them until 2019.  When I asked for a copy of that contract, I was transferred 3 times to a man that said it was a verbal contract and I had to have a court order to get a copy of it.  WHAT???? So I have opted to just not pay next month’s bill and return the equipment.  If necessary go to small claims court. That’s all!  And now I hope our new service provider has more consistent service.  But for now I have internet and I am crossing my fingers!
"All Right Now"  Free