Monday

Art inspiration

February 5, 2017
We went to the Mt Dora art festival, juried fine art show.  There was some good work there.  There were some artists I haven’t seen before.  I was very inspired.
I was inspired by the mixed media and digital art the most.  I want to try doing some mixed media on canvas.  I also say the lady whose work I would like to collect .  Her work makes me think of things I would like to do.  She works with cement and makes it look like reliquaries and holy art?  I don’t know if that’s what you would call it.  Her art also looks like southwest architecture and I think the mix of that and the religious feel from the old churches we went to is what inspires me.  Her website is: https://www.mysterystonesculpture.com/new-works/
I would buy all of her southwest sculptures.  To me they are gorgeous and what I would like to be doing!

I also liked the lady who did the poster for the festival.  She did animals in different than normal situations and there were small animals within the large animals and small people within the large people.  Her name is Michelle McDowell Smith and
she’s from Florida.  Her website is:  http://www.michellemcdowellsmith.com

This artist did the paintings about technology and some of his work were animated.  He’s only been doing this for five years.  He was a designer and something else before he started doing the fine art.  His name is Ed Meyers and his website is:  http://www.lionoptic.com 

Chuck really liked Jennifer Ivory’s work.  She did paper painted insects that look real and they are 3D.  Her website is:  www.Insectworks.com. 

Another artist we both liked was William Alburger:  http://www.williamalburger.com.
He did really interesting things with wood, very beautiful and artistic.

There was another guy from the country of Georgia who painted on wood and made them 3D.  I really liked the depth and the fact he painted on rustic wood.  His website:  http://eastwestfineart.com/artist/nodar-khokhobashvili/



There was a pen and ink artist Tai Taeoalii: http://www.artbytai.com.  His work was good and interesting and I mention him because in high school I did a pen and ink drawing that won me 2nd place as best artist in school.  I wish I had at least a photograph of it because I worked on it for weeks.  It was a cow skull and some other bones.  It was really good, which is weird for me to say because I’m extremely picky about my work and don’t always like it.  Some things I like - some not so much.
 You would think that by now I would know what my specialty is and I would have some direction but I struggle with it every time I go in my “studio” and try to work.  What do I want to do?  What should I do?  What am I best at?  What should I do to try to get into the first Thursday about a life well lived?  Should I use acrylics?  Watercolors?  Should I do a drawing?  What should I use and what should I do for the subject matter?  
I should have had this figured out years ago!

Sunday

more memories

The last couple of visits to my Mom's house
we've gone through old photos.  This is a photo
of me in 11th grade.  I wish I'd left my hair like this.
It wasn't any work and I think it was pretty.

Then I decided to get it cut and permed and
tried to go with the style back then.

I think I was younger in this photo, probably right after
we moved to Florida, the middle of 10th grade.  Not a fun year.

This is me with my favorite aunt, Aunt Peachie.
She was my dad's sister.  She had a lot of different
cancers too.  I'd forgotten about that.

This is my oldest brother.  He is a year
and 4 days younger than me.  He was quite the cowboy.
We lived in Texas when this was taken.

I've been going through the book The Artist's Way.
Corey told me it would bring up a lot of stuff from my
past.  She wasn't kidding.  I've remembered things I'd 
completely forgotten.  A big thing was how devastated I 
was when we left Alaska.  I loved it there and moving 
back to the lower 48 was not fun to me.  It also made
me remember teachers who were really good and 
teachers who were really awful.  Thankfully, the good
outweighed the bad and I got a lot of encouragement
when it comes to my art.  My Mom told me my third grade
teacher thought I was way beyond my grade level and
there wasn't anything she could teach me.  I don't remember that
at all.  I do remember the pet mouse we had in the class and how
much I liked it.  I liked getting to take it home over the weekend
and taking care of it.  I remember trying out for basketball that year 
and totally stinking at it and not making it.  It was only third grade so
no big life altering issue there.
I did race the fastest girl in school on the ice skating rink.
The problem was she had speed skates and I had figure skates.
You can guess who won.  
Enough memories for now.






Saturday

Memories


Jesse sent me this link on Facebook to see if I have ADHD.  I watched it and was amazed at things that I thought were normal – well they are if you have ADHD – exactly that - they are if you have ADHD.  It does help explain a lot.  One of the things that finally I understand, whenever I ask Chuck, “What are you thinking?” And he says, “Nothing.”  And I say, “You can’t possibly be thinking, nothing that’s not possible.  Let me give you an example of how my brain works.”  I then proceed to tell him how one small thing, I might see or think, leads me on many rabbit trails like the guy in the video.  It’s crazy.  If I ever thought nothing – I would think I was dying or something was seriously wrong. 

For some reason this video, and a book I'm reading, brought back a memory from 2nd grade:

I can’t remember my teacher’s name but I do remember what she looked like.  She always wore a long black skirt and a crisp long sleeved white shirt.  She had a bouffant, or teased really high, black hair.  She had black eyes that always looked extremely angry.  I don’t ever remember her smiling.  I thought she looked like a witch and called her that but never out loud.  I was too afraid of her.
I really struggled with math and making sense of numbers.  They always seemed confusing and the more the numbers the more confusing.  She would write several problems on the chalkboard similar to the one below:

3270
4298
 320
   18
5903
3682
 567
+45

Remember, this is 2nd grade.  She would write about 6 – 7 different problems and then she would call kids up to the board at the same time.  I kept hoping I wouldn’t be one of them - but no such luck.  I was the last name she called.  We stepped up to the board and started working on the problems.  I would start adding and then get confused and have to start over.  I don’t know what it was but the numbers seemed to run together.  It was like they were laughing at me. 

I bit my lip as one by one the other students sat down and I continued to work.  I finally made it through the first row of adding but got lost in the 2nd and had to start over with that one.  The teacher kept saying, “Aren’t you finished yet?” Which would make me lose my place - yet again.  I don’t know how many times she asked but I started silently crying and just gave up.  She made me stand there and told me I couldn’t sit down until I finished.  I laid the chalk in the metal tray and just stood with my back to the class.

I refused to try to finish because my brain just was overloaded with fear, confusion, and frustration.  She left me there while the rest of the class went onto other subjects.  I don’t remember how long I stood there but it seemed like forever. Finally, she let me return to my desk.  Red faced, tear stained, and humiliated I walked back to my seat with my fists clenched, and sat down. 

The only other memory I have of her class was our next math test.
Our desks in our class were big enough for two people to share.  I sat next to a girl in the class who was supposed to be the smartest in the subject of math.  I will call her Cindy, though I don’t remember her name.  I decided that I was not going to be humiliated by the teacher again.  I thought if I copied Cindy’s paper I would get 100% and the teacher would leave me alone.  I was really not thinking too clearly but I did learn a lot from that experience.

After the teacher graded our papers and was handing them back out she waited to give ours to us last.  She said with great emphasis and dramatics, “It seems someone in the class decided to cheat and copy off of someone else’s paper.  The only problem was - if the other person missed something – so would the person copying because no two people will miss the same thing and have the same exact wrong answer.”  I was petrified.  I looked at the Cindy who also looked terrified and I knew I couldn’t let her be blamed for my stupidity.   I admitted I cheated but I wasn’t going to let the teacher see me cry.   I know my face was bright red.  

Mrs. Wicked Witch of the West berated me in front of the class and then made me go sit on the stool in the corner.  I sat there until the class went to recess. She made me stay inside but I was allowed to go back to my desk.  It’s weird because I do not remember anything after that experience about that class or that teacher.  I do remember that I felt a great deal of anger and the emotion of hate comes to mind, which is sad for a seven year old.  I never cheated again and was terrified of even thinking about it.  Writing this, I finally understand my dislike of math.  I also think it might be assoiciated with my fear of public speaking too.

 I asked my Mom if she had any photos from my
2nd grade class.  She only had this from my first grade 
class.  My first grade teacher I really loved.  She 
made learning fun and she always had a smile on her
face.  I think she loved her job and her kids.



Update



I haven’t been keeping up with my cancer updates.  Sometimes I try to live as if I don’t have cancer by not thinking about it, or writing, or taking my medicine like I’m supposed to. 

I know I wrote that my cancer has spread to my liver.  Spreading to my liver seemed to make the doctor panic a little.  He put me on Ibrance and Faslodex?  Ibrance is a 125mg pill.  Faslodex is the 2 shots in the hip thing.  They are what I call “horse shots” because the needles are huge though I’ve never seen them - but I have felt them.  I saw them through Chuck’s eyes.  The first time I was going to get the shots I looked at him and he looked horrified.  I decided when I saw "that look" on his face I wasn't going to look.  I told him that and he said you don't want to see them because the needles are huge.

The first time I got the shots they hit a nerve in my left leg and I was in a great deal of pain for 2 days.  I pretty much stayed in bed because my pain pills did nothing to help.  The next time I got them - I’m not sure what happened but my right hip hurt for a month.  Thankfully, it wasn’t like the pain from the first shot but I was super sore and I couldn’t touch my hip or sit certain ways.  

The other issue with the Ibrance was my white blood cell count got really low and I got neutropenia, or low baby white blood cell count.  That meant I could get sick really easily - and I did.  I got so sick it was horrible.  I’ve never been that sick.  I lost my lunch every ½ hour starting at 8:30 at night until 4:30 a.m.  I thought I was feeling a little better and decided to try taking a shower in the afternoon and got sick in the shower.  Chuck called the oncologist’s office and they gave me a prescription for an anti nausea pill.  I was able to get one down and felt a little better.  The next day I had a doctor’s appointment and apparently I scared the lady I saw.  She wanted me to get an MRI of my brain because of the migraine I had.  I think I scared her because I looked so bad.  I had lost about 10 lbs too.  I don’t think I’ve looked that sick since I was diagnosed with cancer. 

Getting so sick made me want to go off all the new medications.  I told her this and I told her I wanted to stay off until my white count went back to normal and I no longer felt sick.  I also told her I wanted to go off the shots because of all the extra pain from them.  She said - before I had a chance - you want “quality of life.”  Quality of Life was my original Oncologist's goal for me.  That is my goal.  I didn’t realize how forceful I must have come across because when I went back 2 weeks later she took me off the new shots completely and put me on a pill instead.  I just wonder why they couldn’t have done that in the first place.  She also wanted me back on Ibrance and said she would lower it to 100mg.  I asked if she would please lower it to 75mg and see what happens with that.  She agreed but said she wanted to ask Dr. Reynolds and make sure he was on board with it.  She came back and told me he was ok with it.  I was supposed to start taking it Monday before Christmas.   I told Chuck I wasn’t going to start it until until after Christmas. Chuck asked if I wanted to go to St. Augustine to see the Christmas lights - so I'm putting off starting the medicines until the day after New Years.  I wanted a break through the holidays.  

After getting so sick I’ve gotten nauseous once a week and had to take the anti nausea medication.  When I feel like that and take the meds I also have to go to bed.  I don’t seem to be able to do anything else.  Since I haven’t been taking the new medication I can’t blame that.  I wonder if it’s because the cancer’s spread to my liver.  I guess that could make me nauseous and super tired.  

That's my update for now.  I don't know how long I'll be on these new medications if I have issues with them again.  You just don't understand "quality of life" until you feel bad and stay sick all the time.






Thursday

December 1, 2016

Thursday, wow, I lost 3 days.  At least I feel like I lost them.  
Sunday night Jesse came over to watch The Walking Dead with us but before it came on - I apologized and said I was going to take a nap.  About 5 minutes after I lay down I jumped up to “lose my dinner”.  I stayed in bed the rest of the night only to jump up to “lose my dinner” about every ½ hour until 4:30 in the morning.  I have never felt so sick.  I was finally able to get up and try to take a shower, which I “lost my dinner” in yet again, around 1:00pm Monday afternoon. I didn’t even finish rinsing off.  I just got out of the shower and went back to bed. I do not know where all of that was coming from.  There definitely should not have been anything left in me.  I couldn’t keep medication down or anything - so I was in a boat-load of pain.  Thankfully, that was the last of the “loosing” at least from that end.   Chuck called the Oncologist and they wanted me to go to the emergency room but I refused.  Have you ever been so sick you just could not go anywhere?  Thank you, no.  I knew I had an appointment Tuesday and decided I would wait until then.
I pretty much stayed in bed until I had to get ready for my doctor appointment on Tuesday.  I told the nurse practitioner that I wanted to go off all the new medications until my white count came back up to normal and I felt better.  She said, “quality of life” and that we’d try it for 2 weeks and see what happens.   
I wanted to go off the new meds because I thought it was totally responsible for all the “dinner losing”.  Unfortunately, last night we found out it was something contagious because Chuck covered the bathroom (and I mean covered it) with his “dinner”.  He’s not good at aiming with that stuff.   He was just able to finally get up about an hour ago.  This has been a rough few days.
I did have a couple of nice things happen during all this that made me feel like God was saying, “It’s going to be ok.”  Jesse came yesterday and cleaned the kitchen and organized all my storage ware for me before we found out Chuck was sick. Once we realized he was sick I told her to go home before she caught it.  The other nice things that happened were my friend Karen brought me a huge cactus plant that reminds me of out west - that’s awesome.  And, my friend Debbie brought me a beautiful prayer shawl, hand made,  in some of my favorite colors, and a gift card.  It is such a huge blessing when friends surprise me and make me feel very loved!  So some awesome things still happened during some of the not so fun days! Even though I’m still not feeling all that great it did make my day!  Even though I've been so sick I feel very blessed this day and I truly appreciate everyone who is  kind to me and makes me feel loved.  I hope God blesses all of you!  Thank you so very much!

Sunday

Mt. Dora art and craft fair

We got up super early to try to go to the Mt. Dora festival.  
It's my favorite - but the most ridiculously crowded art/craft show
of the year.  The last time we tried to go, a couple of years ago, we
just turned around and came back home.  There wasn't anywhere to
park and it was more crowded than Disney on their worst day.  Not
my idea of fun.  Today we got there a few minutes after they opened
and it wasn't too bad plus the weather was the nicest it's been in a very
long time.  We also saw things we hadn't seen at other shows.  
I always like new ideas!  And did I say how much I like Mt. Dora?
It's one of my favorite places in Florida. It seems more like North Carolina
than Florida.  There are actually hills, and old trains, and architecture - 
 an older style that I like, buildings and homes.






 I can't believe this purple building is ok with 
the zoning or building department of Mt. Dora.
It's so very PURPLE.

 I like the entrance to this house.

 and the front porch of this style

  

These guys were in our front yard.