Thursday, June 21, 2012

Birthday Bliss Before Hospital Assignment

This was a day filled to the brim with extreme feelings ... I mean to the brim and running over. To start with, a couple of years ago a lovely young woman asked me to mentor her as an emerging artist for an assigned school project. Of course, I took the job, I was so honored. The more time I spent with my sweet young friend, the more I admired her. Smart, kind, dedicated, sensitive and very talented ... not just in watercolor. But that just sets today's stage ... her mom had secretly gotten in touch with me hoping I could attend a surprise birthday gathering for her. OH - what fun!

We met at a charming and earthy local haunt (Kiri's favorite spot) and then her mom was to chauffeur her from school for what was to be a mom 'n daughter lunch. Then, "SURPRISE!!" It was a table of six adults - I mean, how many high school student's have six adults who so respect and connect with her that they show up to spend quality time with? Eh? Well, we were all there and she was surprised! We ended up telling what times in our relationship with dear Kiri had touched us most. The endearing, heartfelt stories I heard from this family and friends furthered my awareness of what a close, supportive and lovingly creative nest this dear girl had grown up in. My heart was bursting to jump up and tell her to be aware and not take for granted what she has woven around her in love and what an atmosphere of wisdom and unity this nest afforded her. I was envious and thrilled at the same time ... and yes, for those of you who know me ... know how tears rolled down my cheeks without explanation. I did excuse myself first, because I did have an appointment. Really. But I had to let my emotions settle. Whew - and you thought it was just a luncheon.

My appointment was with my hubby. With the continuing pain in breathing and growing weakness, we found a new doctor and met with him. After listening to the saga and then, to his lungs, he told me to take him across the street to the hospital emergency room and get him admitted. Extreme pneumonia! And within a day he was scheduled for surgery. It went so fast it was like I was watching a movie. I won't go into all the mis-communications and mixed up litany with the day of the surgery ... let's just say I spent almost eight hours in the Waiting Room. Where I got to do this lovely sketch.

During the ensuing days, I attempted to care for home, Cody, keep my art commitments and spend time with the slow healing Roland. The surgery they'd hoped to perform orthoscopically had turned into a eight inch incision plus more you don't wanna hear about. For nine days I visited and watched him gather some sense of health back. When he came home he was so weak, it was unbelievable.

But life continued ... Valentine's Day came and went. I made Ro a card but the day seemed to just disappear by ... I commemorated it with the lil' dance of hearts across the bottom of the journal page. Just adjacent to my image of Ro in the hospital bed. Then to kinda add icing to the cake ... one of my favorite lil' ceramic critters (a colorful fish, with mouth wide open) where I daily put my vitamins - - yep, you guessed it - - it flew to the floor crashing into teeny lil pieces. I saved his eye and ... to end with a bit of humor ... "here's looking at you"!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Traveling Through Christmas into the Waiting Room

These two pages in my journal carry me thru the Christmas Holiday. Our sweet Jacksonville, which yearly dresses up with sparkling lil' Victorian lights that frame all our main street buildings along with cedar boughs tied with jolly red ribbons, always makes me smile.

This year my hubby requested that we not exchange gifts (it did make a sad "hole" in the gift of lil' burro I'd wanted to make him out of PaperClay) but instead, gave a donation to our favorite local charity. I selected the Maslow Project, a project that cares for the homeless teenagers in our community. They often fall between the cracks of shelters (not being 18 years of age) and have NO place to turn. So, that felt good! Another dream that's danced around in my brain was to work with the Maslow Project to have the teenagers do journaling as a healing/creative outlet ... but, I have gotten there yet.

The additional "holiday objects" are oddly matched. The fun Ginger Snaps label came from a big canister that a friend gifted us with for the holidays ~ I enjoyed how the gold thread dangles across the page. And then, there's the top item: the EKG tag (those swell things they paste all over you to get your heart rate reading) from my first EKG. Yep, I did say the first. Because I ended up spending a night in the hospital for observation to get this heart thing finalized. I was relieved they found nothing ~ save that it must be stress. Ok. Breathe, breathe, breathe and focus on the now. Another reminder. Us humans, will we ever get it?

As the new year trundles in I aim at watching life from a distance, trying to see and learn from lessons. Seems like lots of things are breaking. I've preserved a chunk of tooth that chipped off (I get to get a crown now) and then, later another whole tooth breaks off. To aid in my calming and centering for my whole body, I take the recommendation of a friend, who raves about her acupuncturist. I set up weekly appointments to relieve what she suspects is Adrenal burnout. So of course, I've included her business card and views from my reclining position on the table. I loved the soothing Chinese fan and soothing music too ~ ~ now if my body will absorb it. Often I feel more at peace after the sessions. This is a good thing.

Still in the midst of all this ... it's a difficult time. My hubby has been persistently sick since mid-December. He's having difficulty breathing and his doctor isn't finding anything wrong that he can validate. I continue on with my days, grateful for being a creative and having my studio to go to, to keep me stimulated and sane. It's an odd and disconcerting year, this 2012, I'm listening for lessons and growing more patience. I think.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Christmas Continued

Let's continue with Christmas, heck, why not in May, ok? Again the fun PaperClay Christmas Tree I created and stitched in is visible thru the continuing pages and you get to see the interesting cut-out design created in the following pages. You'll notice, I cut out further, the heart-space (remember, I was having issues with my heart). So it stretches further into my life experience ahead.

We had the joy of a friend gifting us with tickets to a Holiday music concert with Tingstad and Rumbel, This was a fabulous master guitarist, Eric Tingstad, and, precision musician at oboe, English horn and ocarina, Nancy Rumbel. It was a cascade of lovely holiday music, old favorites and samplings of various cultures. Not to mention the playful humor both of them displayed. I'm lovin' saving paper things by slicing them diagonally and arranging the so as not to take too much room on the page ~ here's the ticket stub! It was one occasion that was saturated in the perfect holiday meaning. And I needed that!

On the right side of my journal resides memories from a one person show I did at the charming South Stage Cellars Tasting Room ( just down the street from us in Jacksonville. I adore this venue with it's rustic barn wood walls and friendly owners and employees. The fabulous Cheryl Garcia, of Great Metal Works (, curates and shares the venue with me. Even with metal as her media, her open heart and gentleness show in her works. It's an honor to show beside Cheryl! The reception was gregarious and several of my dear friends came to populate the cozy place and, of course, nibble on yummy offerings. Sweet cards from them I love keeping and have overlapped into my journal entry.

And here, presents the total two page entry, joined together, hopefully with the colorful "illuminated" letters that start each separate entry. I'm lovin' how it looks ... how about you?