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!"



Sunday, March 31, 2019

...nothing is a standard size or square

Old, and I do mean old sliding glass doors are being replaced with amazing huge French doors!  Sliders had a very decorative, but highly functional lime green pool noodle as insulation between “the spoiled” kitty door and the sliding door.  That left about a 16” opening for people to get in and out!  We had to turn sideways to squeeze through the door…and god help you if you are carrying something!  

Of course, nothing like rehab construction…it does not matter how long you have lived somewhere there will always be surprises when you tear into an older house.  Like…nothing is a standard size or square.  What we thought might take us a couple of days is now approaching day #4, but we are beginning to see the possible end!  Age and endurance are definitely rearing their ugly heads!

Only another cat owner will understand how much time and expense we are willing to go to so that the kitties can go outside to do their “business”! But to go from 16” door opening to a 48” opening is crazy good!
"Our House"  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young"

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

or....maybe just a hint

But wouldn’t it be nice if they came with a “note” that explains what we are supposed to learn up front…or maybe just a hint!  I think everyone is here in my life to accept me, love me, support me and so I get fooled a lot…you would think I would have learned by now.  But nope!  I am still working on it, but I do and always have understood that everyone that comes into my life will have something to teach me….from here on out can it just be really good and fun stuff…please?

"Help" Beatles

Monday, March 25, 2019

The “side effects” list...

All of these meds are a total pain in the ass!  Why don’t we have these or other magnificent side effects, that I am certain Big Pharma is capable of.  Why isn’t wrinkle reduction or spontaneous weight loss ever on the “side effects” list?  I would not be bitching so badly about the cost of drugs if we had some decent side effects!   Just add some amazing side effects and …Woo-hoo… most spectacular drug marketing strategy EVER.  I am waiting!!!!

"White Rabbit"  Jefferson Airplane

Sunday, March 24, 2019

“I just haven’t yet!”

I do not write anything here about death and dying until I think I have it somewhat figured out or figured out my own perspective on it.  But about the time I think I’ve got it… something or someone blows through my brain (probably riding a broom) and whacks me up side of the head and says “you know nothing, bitch!”  That happens a whole lot more than you might think.  I am not smarter or more experienced.

I suspect all of these years of writing this blog do nothing more than placate what is left of my insatiable artist’s ego or allow me to think “out loud”.  I have no idea what I am doing, or even how to do it… I just bumble through “doing it” and there is a shit ton of stuff I have not figured out… “I just haven’t yet!” I suspect I never will.

 "I am Light"  Indie Arie

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The new mantra has to be Whatever I am…It is enough.

And here is where things are really beginning to suck...Like there has not been enough already!  I am grossly aware of my body staging an out and out revolt, refusing to participate in some of the things, even some of the small things I want it to do.  And I swear, if I did not have Google on my phone, I might not have any memory at all!  I am not the Badass Warrior Queen I thought I was going to be, perfect was never a small part of the equation, but badass fearless was.  This is quite possibly the most difficult part I seem to have no choice and letting go is one of the most difficult things in life we all must do…I am not good at it!  The new mantra has to be Whatever I am…It is enough.
"Music in Me"  Paula Cole

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

In the words of Roseanne Roseannadana…”Never Mind”!

Or…it just is not a big deal!  I had a minor meltdown.  Heart failure has its share of crap and occasionally new symptoms will arrive, which I would like to mention with significant irritation, are NEVER mentioned in the standard Heart Failure Handbook.   When my body decides to do something really different or unusual it really does get my attention and immediately I go to the “Bad Place” in my head!

So, you can only imagine the dark thoughts I conjured up when I began having uncontrollable tremors in my right hand yesterday! 

AUGHHHHH!  The first instance lasted about a half an hour before it stopped… the second, third and fourth times were much shorter respectively.  When Skip got home, I told him about it…and his first question was….” Were you using your new electric vibrating orbital hand sander today? with your right hand?”   OOOOOOPS!  In the words of Roseanne Roseannadana…”Never Mind”!
"Hammer and Nail"  Indigo Girls

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

..maybe this is just part of it.

Yea…you have read this before… the absolute worst part of heart failure is the exhaustion, the frustration of not being able to do what I used to do and I am not talking about aerobics!  Just normal life stuff!
What I am learning is the only person this truly bothers is me.  They are right…the world goes on.  I am not sure if that is a comfort or not.  I would like to think I am extraordinarily important and life as we all know it will come to a grinding halt if I am not there.  The reality is exactly the opposite.  The world will go on, it has too.

So, if I do not finish until tomorrow or the next day or even the next week, I just need to focus on finishing.  But there are some things I just cannot forget or let go of… there are some deadlines that are still incredibly important to me! …and so the frustration continues, maybe this is just part of it.  Just like a head cold has a runny nose, heart failure is full of arrant frustration.
"You Had Time"  Annie DiFranco

Saturday, March 16, 2019

I just want to fall in love with life again, every day!

I need to remember this every day, and I wonder why did not just make myself do it every day in my past!  Ego, stupidity, arrogance may explain some of it.  How could I know these days could be much more frustrating than anything I could have possibly imagined?  All of those times I fussed and fumed, for the most part, just were not that important and the sad reality is that it really did not change a damn thing.

I look back and wonder why.  What was I thinking? 

I just want to fall in love with life again, every day.

       "Every Day"  Dave Matthews

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

…and it still ain’t right…

"From the Broken Places"
48" x 10"

Still horribly new at this, I am trying so hard to keep my “sculptures” easy and simple…and what I am finding is that the “engineering” sculpture is a whole new animal!  And that animal is NOT in my barn!

This one just seemed like such a clever minimal assemblage of wood, clay, wire, glass, and sticks.  The idea should have been effortless, but getting everything drilled to be centered, stand up and hang straight was as frustrating as hell…and it still ain’t right…but it is in the ballpark….Going to Casselberry City Hall’s “Experience Contemporary” Exhibition.

"Satisfaction"  Rolling Stones

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

....whatever you do.

Toxic people, crazy-makers, chaos creators….the ones that control through confusion and turmoil.  This felt like a variation on the theme, but I recognized the situations in my own life as soon as I read this.  I do not remember now what hurt worst…whether it was the original unfair misinformation, or that others I cared about and trusted believed it.  But I have to admit, if you can stay disconnected emotionally, or as it was said….stay above it… they will come around and see the truth.  The part that sucks is that it will hurt like hell for a while, whatever you do.
"Wonderwall"  Ryan Adams

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Not from my Pain....

What a great way and reason to put sadness and pain to good work!
I love the statement ….” from my heart, not my pain”!  And it is so simple to understand and do.  No long-winded psycho-babble explaining the rhyme and the reason. Just the very simple idea…
not from my pain!

"Faith of the Heart"  Rod Stewart

Saturday, March 9, 2019

without guilt....

I am beginning to sound so very selfish, but I am learning….I am learning…I do get frustrated that this kind of learning is coming so late in my life…but grateful that I may be finally getting it.  I am no longer required to like/love because of who or what they are, based on the labels that associate them to me.  I have a choice! I read a NY Times article about how divided we are now…that families and friends have stopped talking to one another because of the current attitude of divisiveness.  I was feeling rather guilty and ashamed of myself…but then I remembered that I do have many family and friends that I have serious religious and political differences with…We either have wonderful open sharing discussions about our differences or we do not talk about them at all. It does not affect our relationship, we respect each other.  It is only the ones that do not honor or respect my feelings and continue to disperse negative “my way” “you are wrong” only messages that I have to learn to put aside without guilt.
"A World Without Love"  Peter & Gordon

Friday, March 8, 2019

The "move on" part of the program!

And after all of this time, all of the personal introspection, all of the “come to Jesus” revelations….yea, I still want to be liked and loved by everyone!  How sick is that?  Every time I stand up for me, defend my right to have personal and different opinions there is a voice in the back of my head that is jumping up and down screaming….stop that!.....shhhhh!....people are going to talk….what if you are wrong?.... You are wrong a lot…if you want to be liked you have to be like them…don't make waves…sure you can have a different opinion but just keep it to yourself…Are you beginning to get the picture?  I am a whiny wishy-washy peacemaker when I really want to be a strong opinionated woman! 

And for the record, I do have a “fuck it bucket” at the bottom of this page, but maybe it is time for me to work on the “move on” part of the program
"My Grace is Gone"  Dave Matthews

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Doctrine and Dogma not needed!

I do not want to offend—but….
Yesterday was another run-in with a self-professed, holier than thou Christian on Facebook.  It is like Facebook is the place that they can do and be everything their religion preaches against.  I wonder if Facebook has become the  Christian equivalent of making it to “Home Plate” SAFE…Anything can be said or done… SAFE….they are not responsible for upholding any of their religious doctrines… SAFE. 
I received a negative political cartoon, asking me to like and share…a negative post about political figures that I happen to admire and respect. I reacted by asking them to please not post this type of negativity on my page and deleted that post.  (I do that a lot these days) A couple of hours later another sarcastic remark….” so this is your page…?”

Yes, I know you cannot judge everyone that professes Christian values by the bad behavior of the few…but it feels like the “the few” are growing in numbers and their job appears to be browbeating, making fun of, chastising, belittling, and berating others with different opinions in public (or at least on Facebook).  The only explanation I can come up with is, they are showing all of their Christian friends that they are “upholding” the faith with these crude remarks.

It does not change my mind and it does just the opposite for me. 

#1 Unfriend, I do not need the negativity in my life! 

#2 I am even more secure in my own Agnosticism, I neither believe nor disbelieve in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it’s impossible at this point in history, for human beings to know all there is about how the universe was created and if divine beings exist. And as a recovering Christian, I am more certain than ever that they truly have no idea what the basic tenets of Christianity are.

#3 I am reminded that we all are allowed to practice our own spiritual beliefs as long as it does not hurt another, and in my world, that means physically and emotionally.  (This is the part that a goodly number of Christians have missed out on…some how they feel it is their duty to point out everyone else’s faults as they are perceived by their religion)

#4 I appreciate my Christian friends that accept me as I am without needing to point out my faults or judging!
I do not need the doctrine or dogma to be a good person. I am who and what I am.
"Imagine" John Lennon

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

In some ways more exciting....

So, I get this great idea…it starts to percolate in my dreams and I know just what it should look like.  In my waking hours, I take that vision and try to figure out what “materials” might “do” what I want them to do. And so now there is this pile of stuff that has been mashed, fired, sanded and still waiting for painting and assembling.  I am so hoping it will come close to what was in my head …this process is very very different from the 2D work but in some ways,
it is more exciting or maybe it is because I am still so new to this medium!
"Catch the Wind"  Donovan

But sometimes I just need to scream at the top of my lungs….stop it!

I have no idea why I think I need to maintain quasi-family relationships with those I really do not know and have opposing political opinions. When I get frustrated and angry with them… some sideline “do-gooder” pleads, “but they are family”.  Because they are family, I should relinquish all of my feelings and be subjected to their insulting political memes?  I appreciate everyone’s opinion, in fact, I love hearing/reading them even if I do not agree, but reposting asinine memes takes no time, or thought which and is exactly how I feel when I get sent another negative Republican meme.  If it is not worth your time or thought to develop your own opinion, it lets me know right away, it is not worth my time to read, “click like” and “share”!  I have a delete button, and I use it aggressively!  But sometimes I just need to scream at the top of my lungs….stop it!
"No No No" Paolo Nutini

Monday, March 4, 2019

...sober without Sisters...what was I thinking?

Dying is not for sissies!  And I am not talking about the being sick part, the legal part is just as, if not more overwhelming at times than the illness itself.  I guess the good news is once it is done, it is done, unlike the illness. It is another one of those things, filing things like a Power of Attorney and a Quit Claim Deed at the county courthouse make perfect business sense. I understand these are the responsible things to do.  It will protect my assets (such that they are) and make the business of death so much easier for those that will be left with the actual business.  Every book I have read even the Hospice social worker recommended these things be done, they even said I would feel much better knowing my "affairs were in order". Bullshit, not one of them gave me any indication that there would be an unexpected emotional kick in the ass in the process.  The last time I had to do ugly stuff like this I had my sisters and a good bottle of wine.  What in the world made me think I was tough enough to do this on my own, sober without sisters???  And then there was the “Gimp” pass and my ability to drive. I had to go to another Doctor to evaluate and authenticate…by the way…I will still be driving for a little while and short distances anyway.  (Hospice will not sign for these kinds of things…who knew?) This has all come on the heels of a huge Medicare snafu on Friday… and that is a whole other, I want to hit someone, story! 
"Drive My Car"  The Beatles

Sunday, March 3, 2019

...and then there is this....again... DAMN

And as quickly as it goes away…it comes again and the ugly continues…

".....with dignity"  Sufjan Steven

A smoking hot body....

Yes…I know how tacky this is…but sometimes ya’ just got to laugh.  After spending the day preparing legal papers to be filed on Monday.  I am just “over” it.  The business of death and dying is full of files and forms and contracts and certificates and downloads and a shit load of other things I don’t even know exist yet, but I am sure I will be smacked up side of the head with a few more….they do not teach this in school!  This is truly “seat of the pants” life experience!  A smoking hot body would sure make me feel better about all of it!
"Strip Me" Natasha Bedingfield

Friday, March 1, 2019

Confessions of an Instant Gratification Junkie...

As an artist, I  proudly strutted my instant gratification.  How many people in this world really have the joy of seeing and experiencing the tangible proof of their labor?   

As an art business owner, it was not just the instant gratification of creating, it was a necessity if you want to get paid! I was doing what I loved, seeing it come to fruition, having others admire it AND getting paid for it!  How amazing is that?  However, as a mother, wife, and homeowner, it was a different story. I tried but it was hard, every time I cleaned, folded, vacuumed, scrubbed, cooked, mowed, pulled weeds, took out the garbage etc., etc. it was undone by the end of the week (or the day), no one admired (they expected and never said thank you) and I did not get paid either! …So, I focused on my art and business…I liked the instant gratification and it was so much more lucrative and personally rewarding. It is where my own damaged ability to have a sense of value and self-worth was finally born.

I bring all of these beliefs to my current compromised life which is not exactly what I had planned on. I am at home 24/7 with all of the same mother, wife, homeowner chores that have to be done week after week but one big change, no more little people to immediately undo all I have done. But I still crave the tangible accomplishments from my old life. I have and overwhelming need to hang on to my self-worth and that amazing instant gratification junkie high is how I did it all of this time!  I think this may be one huge component of my current “energy management”/"self-worth"  frustration.  

This body no longer allows me to set schedules or finish “my projects” (art, home, yard) in a manner that I get my instant gratification…in fact it robs me of any joy of my achievements.   I end up berating myself for having such simple little things take me such a friggen’ long time all while I am advised by hospice and family to slow down, I am doing too much!  I feel like I rarely finish anything in a reasonable amount of time, how the hell do I slow down from that without literally sitting down and doing nothing?  I rattle off to Skip (and myself) every evening when he gets home, the list of everything I did that day trying to convince him... and me... that I still have value. 

This overwhelming struggle I am having with “energy management” I now suspect is irrefutably connected to my instant gratification junkie addiction!  If you are waiting for my big ah-ha moment…here it is…I have a horrible instant gratification addiction...and I like it!   After all of this time and overwhelming frustration with my personal energy management I am just now beginning to identify some of the problem..But, I have absolutely no idea what the answer will be!     
"I'm Here, I'm Not Here"  Julia Stone