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!"



Tuesday, October 30, 2018


So I apologize....this is a re-run from 2013...and I just really needed some fucking fearlessness to fight another round of pneumonia.  Fought like a crazy woman to keep it at bay...and I I have to depend on this spectacular body and another round of antibiotics to prove to me and the world I am stronger and better than this...and I am still laughing, living, loving, creating, dancing (well that may be questionable) and still incredibly, wonderfully, magically grateful for this life...I am not done yet!

The world does not expect me to be happy, powerful and loved.

I take away the power of unrealistic and false expectations,
every time I smile, giggle 
and do something I am not supposed to do!

Laughing, living, loving, creating, dancing
and incredibly grateful every day!

fucking  fEaRLeSs…..
"All Star"  Cover by OrtoPilot

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Time for my sacred pause...

Have no idea who the author is, it just arrived on my FB page.  It was just the message that I needed today.  Sometimes struggles sneak up on me when least expected.  It was detected yesterday and today it is a whopper.  There are pieces and parts of me that my heart just struggles to support and it just takes one little blip in the program to throw everything off!  So today I have got some wonky lungs and the nebulizer is on double duty, the hopes of cutting down the prednisone are nixed and we are back on the heinous lockdown program….Damn, I hate when this happens…It just must be time for my sacred pause…
"When Angels Cry"  Janis Ian

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

and it sold! 
It has been so exciting to be a part of this charity art auction!  One local artist wanted to “do something” to help some of the incredible devastations of Hurricane Michael…and so he invited 173 artists to join him and we began a week-long online auction with the hopes of raising $20,000….As of this afternoon 3 days in…we just hit $80,000.00.  It is just amazing how wonderful people can be even in the midst of the political stink we all seem to be stewing in.  And on top of that, my art ego was in dire need of a little kick in the ass.  I have spent the best part of my life creating and selling art.  I loved it! As that part of my life has come to an end, …so have my own feelings of self-worth.  This was so nice to have my work sell again…to feel validated again as an artist, to be who and what I love.  This did so much good in ways that I did not expect…and it is truly wonderful!
"Belly Belly Nice"  Dave Matthews Band

Monday, October 22, 2018

I have created something!

I do not know how to say it any better. It does not matter what happens now,  I have been given the amazing gift of knowing that I created something…I created a whole bunch of somethings and every single one of those somethings was nothing more than my heart singing how happy it was… that is why I am here!
"Shaking the Tree"  Peter Gabriel

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Any day now…you could be in my shoes!

I will not vote for one single Republican, because every single Republican voted against me (except one, and unfortunately he died).

When some of you ask why am I so involved in this election? It is because the quality of my life literally depends on it.  I have a pre-existing
health problem and am an ACHA (Obama Care) Insurance participant.  It is the only insurance that will cover me, and I pay dearly for it, well over $400 per month that is estimated to go up to over $500 a month if it stays the way it is.  I am not complaining about the cost, although I would love for it to not cost so much.

I rarely share publically that I am in end-stage heart failure, in hospice care and my insurance pays for their amazing, loving, supportive palliative care!  If the Republicans win…and impose their current health care proposals it means I will have a much more painful difficult medically unsupported and harder death…it is that simple.  It is that ugly.  The quality of my life depends on my insurance and hospice...and every living Republican Senator voted against me.

Any day now…you could be in my shoes!  So I vote with and for my heart! I hope you will, too!
"Heart of a Hero" Cathy Heller

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Not While I am the Queen!

I have recycled this one from my FB page...but thought it was worth posting again....

So….I am thinking there may be some that still do not understand how my Facebook page works. In the real world, I have very little control over what happens to me now.  But Facebook is NOT the real world…This page is “Facebook Cheryl Land” and I am the absolute queen and ruler of all that I and others post here! I am not a newspaper or TV network required by law to give equal time to all sides.  If you choose to be negative, combative, pessimistic, caustic or just plain disagreeable on my page… I will delete… I choose for my page to be positive, constructive, encouraging, peacefully active and just a little deliciously witty wicked anytime I think I can get away with it.  The one thing I have learned… above all, is that I have never solved one problem in my life with fear, hate and/or negativity and will not allow it to begin here or now!  Not while I am the queen!
"Think"  Aretha

Sunday, October 14, 2018

So Damn Easy

Most of the time carrying their expectations and their beliefs had become such a habit; I did not even realize how much crap I was carrying around. Nor did I realize how important it was for some of them to convince me that their way was the right way or the only way.  I know now…  I do not have to defend me, I do not have to convince them. I do not need a team or a congregation.  I just have to be me….why do we make it so hard….when really …It is just so damn easy.
"Wonderful Unknown" Ingrid Michealson

Friday, October 12, 2018

I am peaceful but I am NOT powerless!

Quite frankly, it took about all I had to screw up my courage and unfriend then post like yesterday. I really do want to be the one that everybody likes! 

Yesterday’s unfriendings included a family member and  Artist Way tribe members. They know me and deliberately posted very negative remarks anyway. It would have been one thing if they publically posted “I disagree with you” and here is why… but that was absolutely NOT what was done.  My space was used to spread their (or in this case others) fear and negativity. It was an unbelievable display of how powerful and ugly negative can be, as I really do not think this is how these people really are, but then maybe I am wrong. But they were negative words in my space...My heart was squealing…standup …do not let them use me and my space to spread this!

I do not expect nor do I want everyone to agree with me.  Dear god what a boring world that would be!  But I do not expect anyone to deliberately be ugly or rude because they do not agree with me either.  It boils down to simple honor and respect for another’s ideas, especially when they do not harm. I am not tidy, predictable, or holier than thou but I am not powerless either.   
"Take Me As I Am"  Mary J Blige

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The marvelous UNFRIEND tool....

AHHHHH! another “Trumpian” election season!… and I just unfriended 3 more…

I truly have no time or life to waste on the people that choose to spew political negativity. If you do not like what I have to say, you are not required to respond. Please feel free to ignore me, delete me, unfriend me, snooze me for 30 days…to be honest I have done that many times to many of you…

However, please note, that I have always respected your opinion and have never ever posted anything negative on your page…

If you cannot value or respect my opinions with dignity, Facebook has given me a marvelous tool, UNFRIEND. I have learned how to value myself, my life, my time, and my glorious happiness by using it. 

I prefer to fill this little corner of my life with intelligent dignified people, that can respectfully share real difficulties and ideas. They are filled with positive energy, life-affirming, problem-solving discussions, and unbelievable open-mindedness mixed with a little outrageous wicked humor whenever we think we can get away with it! I am so very grateful that there are more of you in my life….Thank you!

"Reach Out in the Darkness" Freinds & Lovers

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

More than just regular old undiagnosed bipolar....It's friggen' Multi-polar!

At least once a year, I feel the need to pay homage to what I feel must be my 432nd round of undiagnosed multi-polar-ness. It is so much more than just BI-polar, it is the full round of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief!  The book does not explain that you will go through these steps again and again and again if you have a long terminal illness. Successfully working through all of the steps once, only offers temporary quasi-nirvana… it never ever sticks!  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance run their way through my life on an almost routine recognizable basis.  I will celebrate and revel in acceptance each time I get to that point, only to find that after a while “acceptance” is friggen’ depressing, at which point I choose denial to pull me through the depression….and there you go…I am off on another round of the Kubler-Ross stages of grief!  I guess as an artist, I see no particular value in doing these steps in the prescribed order, so the bargaining and anger, are dealt with as they arrive but I do recognize them and I do have to work through those damn buggars again and again too!
"On a Carousel" The Hollies

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

That hits me the hardest....

The things, whatever the hell they are, fly into my life, out of left field, kick my feet out from under me and while I am still laying on the floor wondering what the hell just happened, those damn things disappear and I am left in a rumpled mess of fear and pain.  And believe it or not…it is not the mess, the fear or the pain that makes it so bad, it is the least expected feeling of overwhelming exhaustion that it leaves behind that hits me the hardest. 

"Death With Dignity"  Sufjan Stevens

Monday, October 8, 2018

Holy Crap!

I have no idea about what that specific magic shit is…I just know somewhere in my heart I am supposed to do it. And to make it worse I do not know magic!  All I know is that I am compelled to keep writing about this.  I always thought it was more about me, getting things out of my head and seeing my thoughts become tangible in written words.  Almost makes it easier to figure out really difficult thoughts and problems!  It used to be, that I did not share this blog with anyone, I mean it was on the internet but I did not announce it….and a lot of people found it anyway.  It is much easier now.

I do not care what people think of me anymore…
Holy Crap!….. You know what? ……..
That might be MY MAGIC!

"Magic Bus" Hollies

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Being me...

I will not be what anyone else thinks I should be.  I will not allow anyone or anything to take my power from me.  My power exists in my heart and my soul, not what other people think of me!  I do not have to agree with anyone if I do not feel it is right. That is the only explanation needed.  And if I happen to be wrong, which it might very well be, then that is my choice, I am responsible for my thoughts, opinions, and actions and I am willing to suffer the consequences. I no longer need to listen to others points of view unless I deem it necessary for my own knowledge and growth.  So I will continue to allow or delete people, comments, statements, posts into my life that are positive, factual, truthful and uphold not only my power.  I am taking my power back! Oh...and I got on that Orlando Eye...rode it to the top and I win!  I am not afraid!
"Living in the Moment" Jason Mraz

Saturday, October 6, 2018

...a box of Depends before I go!

The first thing you all need to know is that I am scared to death of heights!  Not long ago I spent a very scary few days on one of the top floors of a downtown hospital recovering from open heart surgery.  It was definitely not a “stress-free” environment as far as I was concerned and my entire focus was to get out of there.   Out of my very high and very huge picture window, I could see most of Orlando and way out to I-Drive.  A great view…unless you are afraid of heights, which meant I stayed on my side of the room, never getting close to that damn window!  From my safe side of the room, I spent quite a bit of time watching this thing turning slowly and muttering to myself….who the hell in their right mind would pay to get on that thing? 

Well today, the answer is me.  In the last few weeks (and I suspect from now on) a good part of this life is going to be about battling fear.  I was coached by my amazing hospice nurse Ed, to not waste my energy fighting the disease (which seems to be what everyone wants me to do) and I will admit, it is frustrating to fight day in and day out and still watch my body losing the war. But I need to live and learn how to make the most of what I have!  This week I decided that fighting this disease is a futile battle, but fighting the fear that surrounds it may not be!  My focus, my battle is to take control of the fear!  And I am beginning by conquering this fear of heights!  

At 7PM this evening I will be in one of those gondolas, just Skip and I, at sunset, medically approved aides, champagne and chocolate, facing down this fear!  Although, I have to admit I may need to pick up a box of Depends...before I go!
"Higher Ground" Stevie Wonder

Friday, October 5, 2018

On this anniversary...

This is my favorite picture of my mother, not just because in my eyes she is so beautiful, but because for years of my life it was the only image of her I got to see.  Every summer I looked forward to spending a week with my grandmother and my Pierce family but what I really looked forward to most of all, was seeing this picture of my mother that sat on the top of the corner bookshelf in her living room.  It was always in the same place. 

There were years I was not allowed to see her ask about her or know whether she was even alive.  I was just a little girl. I was told I should not want to know about her, my other siblings did not want to know about their biological parents, why did I?  I was told she left me; she did not want me, she did not care for or love me, why should I want to know, see or even love her? I was made to feel bad and ungrateful because I wanted to know and love her.  I was reprimanded for asking and eventually was afraid to ask, and that fear quickly turned into guilt that I was not strong enough to ask.   Somehow, the sins and the mistakes of my parents became my own shame, for just wanting to know. 

This picture at grandmother’s house could take that fear and guilt away, if even for just a little while. I was always more than a happy little girl to see my grandmother but even more so,
to see my own mother’s beautiful image and not feel the shame and guilt of wanting to see and know about her even if just for a little while in the summers. This is that very picture…the picture that could melt my guilt and shame …And on this anniversary I just needed to say….I miss you so much.
"There are Places I Remember"  The Beatles

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

no longer doing what I have always done...

This was another one of those statements that would come up regularly in class and I find that even though I am not teaching now, I feel like I still need to remind myself!

In the past, I would bend over backward to hear everyone, even when we did not see eye to eye.  It has always been my practice to treat everyone with dignity.  Dignity did not need to be earned, it was something that I felt should be afforded to everyone.  I always received dignity back from those I offered it to.  That is not the case anymore and it is heartbreaking.  I have watched political discourse move from educated open-minded discussions to out and out mudslinging, rude name calling, overt lying, with fist pounding anger.  I have watched the Christian religion hijacked by partisan politics. I have witnessed human decency deteriorate and my heart is breaking.

Although in the past I have “unfriended” fanatical 45 supporters, I have always tried to see both sides of the story. But no more…I am settling into my tribe, of like-minded people. Negative, ugly speakers, that mimic the rude self-serving behavior of bullying, I am immediately “unfriending”. I do not need to be exposed to their spiritual venom.  It is damaging to me, it is damaging to this country.

What I always did was, be kind ….I will not stoop to the current level of human bashing, but I will not expose myself to it either.  What I am doing different, is walking away, ignoring, unfriending, unfollowing the ugly speak and wrapping my spiritual heart around others that see and uphold fairness, kindness, honor, and respect.  There is a very strange but unexpected and wonderful empowerment that I feel pouring over me…no longer doing what I have always done.  
"Strip Me"  Natasha Bedenfield

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Where the cracks are....

Put your feet up…it’s going to be a long one! I have been consistently sidetracked with all of the political crap going on.  First of all, even I will admit it is easy to get caught up in the drama, and second, it is a great way to focus on anything other than my life, my heart and my art…and quite frankly they all kind of suck right now!

The “Sunday Morning” program day before yesterday had a segment on Gilda Radner’s documentary “Love, Gilda” and I was intrigued.  I always loved her on SNL roared at her characters Roseanne Roseannadana, Lisa Lubner, Emily Lutella , Judy and more.  She always stole the show!  I was overwhelmed by her death from ovarian cancer in the 80s and admired Gene Wilder’s tribute to her life and death by establishing Gilda’s Club but I never worked up the courage to read her book figuring it would just be too depressing…I cannot explain why the documentary was less threatening and depressing….but that is how I felt, so I rented it and watched. I realized quite by accident or design, I had used a Roseanne Roseannadana quote as part of my daily writing a few days ago. Sometimes the Universe just dumps lessons in my lap, and all I am required to do is listen and participate. It does not take much to recognize the big ones...all of the sudden it felt like "Gilda" was jumping up and down, wildly flailing her arms in the air screaming look at me...look at me!

Gilda journaled, recorded, photographed and left notes as she worked through her disease…and all of the sudden I loved her even more, not because she was funny but because she summoned up the courage to figure out why she was funny and how she protected herself with the humor.  She even used it to protect herself from cancer. Yes, I have written my way through most of this disease, but there was no way I would post all of the gory details she was brave enough to, and forget photos….although as I look back there are a few, and they are every bit as disgusting as I recalled they were or wonderfully edited so you only see what I want you to see.  Digging that deep, being that vulnerable takes more strength and courage than I think I will ever have.  I am afraid to look at my own steroid induced “moon face” in the mirror…as if I was not round enough as it was.  (Please do not think I am fishing for an “it’s not that bad” argument” …I am not) but I have through Gilda, figured out how and why I handle things the way I do.

Most people think I am so brave….I am ready to admit that I am not.  I am scared shitless!  But I am really good at getting out in front of it…in in front of you, the people I know and love…as well as strangers before anyone has a chance to criticize or assume I am less than, feel sorry for me or even think that I am any different from…. Then I realized I have done that my entire life. If I can stay ahead of the criticisms and can point out my failures and imperfections, laugh at myself first then no one else has a chance to.  I have been so desperate to protect myself that it has just become automatic, I did not even think about it.  It was the unconscious response to all difficult life situations and it has worked my entire life.  For the most part, it has been a wonderful way to move through life, but it is getting harder now…a lot harder.  It takes much more effort and energy and I am often frightened I will not be able to do it for much longer.  I am not ready to be this vulnerable…and so I will continue to maintain my “wall” the best way I know how…but now you know where the cracks are.

"Breaking Silence"  Janis Ian

Monday, October 1, 2018

...the little bit I might still have

Yea…and it gets even worse…I get excited about new dishwasher soap pods, staying awake past 10 PM or any delivery from Amazon.  I see a recital of TV commercials that promise to erase wrinkles, improve memory, and increase joint strength…and yet… there is nothing for maintaining my cool.  However, even I will confess, I am not entirely sure how much “cool” I had in the first place or that it can be enlarged, augmented, boosted or amplified …but my “cool” is desperately drooping and I am absolutely certain I do not want to give up
the little bit I might still have.
                                                                                        "No Such Thing" (as the real world)  John Mayer