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The ceiling tile is up!


Dolly, my breast-cancer “Overcomer” friend is on her second to last treatment today! She was happy to see that my painted ceiling tile has taken up a place on the ceiling there for her and all those who cross the threshold to receive chemotherapy treatments to enjoy.  I am so honored to have been able to paint it for her and that it came out well enough to hang, viewable to those receiving cancer treatments.

I will now confess to the great deal of anxiety I had when working on this painted ceiling tile. First, because I was not sure what kind of uplifting message/image I could come up with to bring to these patients. What if what I painted was just ho-hum to them? Worse, what if it was unintentionally offensive to some? I stressed and delayed and finally talked to Dolly to find out what was important to her.  I figured if I at least did something that resonated with her, that would be enough.

I had only met her a short while before taking on this project, but knew from LaTarsha, our mutual friend, that she was a beautiful, uplifting soul. She takes on life with gusto and joy and shares that with all those around her. In fact, my first meeting with her was at a Zumbathon held to raise money to cover some of her medical expenses. She was right there in the midst of a crowd of 100 or more, dancing away! I loved her from the moment I met her and saw she was an absolutely adorable dynamo!

So, the image that came to me – and that’s really how it happened as I opened myself up to my “geni” – was of Dolly and others in their Zumba garb dancing in joy in the rain.  The words I found actually defined the image I decided on:

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

The second part of my anxiety was over the material I’d be working on.  An acoustic ceiling tile. Designed to absorb sound, I knew it would be difficult. But somehow, again, thanks to “my muse”, I instinctively knew how to lay the paint on.  I wanted bright colors but figured other works in the room would be the typical pink symbolizing breast cancer.

I’m so pleased with how the painting came out and hope it brings mounds of joy and happiness to all who enter that room. Especially Dolly. All along, she’s battled with very low white cell counts and has had to take on the insurer too, to convince them to cover a special injection to boost her count so she could receive the treatments. Well, she HAS overcome so much, and I cannot wait until next Wednesday.  It’s Dolly’s last treatment and I will be there with LaTarsha as Dolly “rings the bell” to symbolize the big occasion. She’s so inspiring and I am so excited!

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Well, this is good news!

Chocolate is found to be as good as exercise according to this Indian study.  I kid you not!  Here, read this excerpt:

“The researchers who focused on the mitochondria – the tiny powerhouses in cells that generate energy – discovered that a plant compound found in chocolate, called epicatechin, appeared to stimulate the same muscle response as vigorous activity, the Daily Telegraph reported. “

Color me happy!

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Busy times: Vacation, Group Show and acceptance in a juried show in SFO in June!

First off, if you’ve been reading my updates you will notice they are now at WordPress, moved over from Blogger.  Not sure how it’ll go but thinking it will make things run more smoothly.  We’ll see.

This painting will be showing at ARC Gallery and Studios, San Francisco in June

In the meantime, last time I wrote, I was going to the ENT specialist for my “wonky eye syndrome.”  The muscles in one eye would move independently, refuse to cooperate and never want to focus in the binocular manner eyes are supposed to.  The ENT specialist ruled out any sinus implications and, perhaps because I’ve been swearing off using the IPhone at night to read tweats and stuff, the situation seems to have resolved itself for the most part.  I have the name of a neuro-opthalmologist and will make an appointment if it flares up again but for now, things are going okay.
Next up, Vacation.  We drove down for a week to lovely Gulf County Florida where dogs have equal rights, more or less, and can meander on the beaches any time as long as they’re leashed.  It was wonderful there, we rented a great home for the week a block from the sand, and had our fill of fresh seafood.  And never saw any evidence of the BP oil spill whatsoever while we were there, thankfully.  Retiring there is a good possibility if we can hang on that long.

While on vacation, I got some wonderful news:  I submitted two abstract paintings into the “FLOW:  The Essence of Paint” show and one was accepted!  Looking forward to the exhibit although I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to the opening as we’re supposed to head to the Northeast at that time.  Still, quite an honor and it’s San Francisco location broadens my horizons.

After that great news, we returned home somewhat reluctantly.  Even the dog was moping miserably, looking at us like “I want to go to the beach!” Still, I had a group show to prepare for with my fellow CANN artists so that kept me too busy to miss anything.    We delivered our paintings – I had 17 to hang – and tomorrow night is the reception at the Venue – a converted elementary school with a very long main hallway where the paintings are hanging, outside a community theater where Thursday through Sunday nights, plays are performed.  Since I haven’t added many pics lately, I’m dropping a couple in here … enjoy!

"Rumi's Bridge"
Rumi’s Bridge
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Eye problems again, went to an ENT

And have set up a neuro-opthalmologist appointment for Wednesday which I may not need.

The ENT Specialist noted that my nasal cavity is very inflamed and eye problems as I’m describing can be caused by a deep sinus infection or absess in one of the sinuses so I’m going for a CAT scan to determine if one of those is the cause.  Until then, though, I’ll impart his recommendation to any nasal sinus sufferers that he recommended sinus flushes such as the Netti Pot.  I use a steroid spray and his recommendation is to separate the two treatments out and do one of those treatments in the morning and one at night (either or).  Makes sense to me and I told him that’s what I’ve been doing.

OK, so gotta get off the computer as eyes are going.  Oddly, making art isn’t usually a problem for me.  I think it’s to do with the angle of the eyes (i’m more likely to be looking downward while painting, etc., and looking ahead in computer work and driving — yes, they occasionally go wonky when I’m at the steering wheel too.)

I’ll be damn glad to get this friggin thing resolved, that’s all I know.

Later, gators.

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The eyes have it…

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you’ll know that last year I developed an eye problem – Convergence insufficiency – that basically means the eye muscles are weak and the eyeball (in my case, the left one) doesn’t want to cooperate and move to focus where it’s supposed to it times.  For me, it is distracting, frustrating, and disorienting at times.  I have eye muscle exercises to do and I do them, most of the time, but still have the eye muscle problem.

I broke down and made an eye doctor appointment again.  It’s not time for the annual exam but too bad.  If the insurance company has a problem, they can talk to me!

On another subject, the Harpeth Hall Green Art Show reception is coming up this Sunday and I’m pretty psyched about it.  And the group I paint with, Collaborative Artists Network, will be showing in April in Donelson at Fifty Forward, a community art center for Seniors.

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Thrown for a loop with allergies lately!

I’ve been battling them first alone, then with the help of the steroid shot (see most recent post) and a nasal steroid spray but I’m not much better, so broke down and got the doctor to prescribe an antibiotic to help move things along.  We’ll see.  One other thing I’ve been doing though is brewing this concoction each morning which really opens up my sinuses and gives me a kick in the clarity department.  I got the recipe from my dear Italian painter-friend Lucilla.  Here’s my version:

Lucilla’s Health Tea
Green Teabags (2 or 3)
2 -3 cups of water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 or so whole cloves or 1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon sliced fresh ginger or 1/2 teasp ground
2 anise pods or similar ground
1 or 2 crushed dried red peppers or comparable
a pinch of cumin
2 or 3 cardamom pods or comparable

Like Lucilla, I just boil it up and pour myself a cup now and again during the day.  Since I feel worst first thing in the morning BEFORE I have a shot, I figure it does do some serious good.

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Computer crashes and wonky eyes

So, it’s been a lovely holiday season so far and we’ve got an open house planned for New Year’s Day.  One nearly major problem last night turned out to be less traumatic than it could have been, thanks to my beloved GeekHusband, David.  We had a network crash, lost internet connection and then, when we got that up and running, it appears our primary network external hard drive lost everything.  I store all my artwork files – photos, communications, administrative records, etc. etc., as well as our family photo archive (thousands of photos going back a couple of generations at least).

Fortunately, I’d made a backup of the “Moesse” files last month when we went to England and we found another external archival hard drive (yeah, geekspouse has a few), had most of the family photos too.  And my Whitehall stuff is on another hard drive that didn’t die at all.  So, with the exception of a few things, I think we are ok.  Still, it was scary enough in the time it took us to locate lost files that we decided to set up a Carbonite account for mirroring ALL of our stuff off site. The $59 a year is well worth the peace of mind.  In addition, you can be damn sure we’ll be burning old school DVD’s of all the pics and other data files to store offline too — just in case a cyber attack crushes the internet someday…

On another subject, my eyes are going wonky again and I don’t think I’ve had time to breathe let along be on the IPhone or use my eyes for fine detail work lately and yet, the eyes are losing focus again.  Agh!  In addition, I feel a huge amount of pressure because of sinus problems and wonder if that could be the cause of some of the eye problems?

Well, if that’s the worst of my problems, I should / do consider myself lucky…

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Uh oh! Eye problem returned!

>I’ve been lax in doing the eye exercises and on top of that recently got a new IPhone 4, beckoning me to click, read, and explore until the wee hours of the morning sometimes, and yesterday, I noticed the eye problem has returned.  Bummer since I returned to the eye specialist a few weeks ago and told her everything was fine and dandy.  Well, I guess it’s just a two step process:

  1. reduce the Iphone viewing
  2. get back to exercising the muscles. 

Of course, right now I’m piled under with work, want to paint more, and have other needs for my eyes too.  Will update you next week on my progress.  Hopefully it’ll be as easy as 1,2.

Wish me luck!

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>Non-art Book Recommendation

>Running with the Tao by Greg Webb.  I’ve read segments of this truly inspirational book and await delivery at this time.

Editorial Review from Amazon:  Compelling commentary on health and spirituality. The author takes two lines from each stanza of the Tao te Ching and creates a stream of moving meditations as he runs around a magic path circling two pristine lakes outside beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. “By prioritizing how present I’m becoming instead of how far or how fast I may be traveling, I’ve ended up going farther and faster than I ever dreamed possible.”

Disclaimer:  Though there’s no monetary conflict of interest in my recommendation, I went to High School with this talented guy.  His blog is truly inspiring.  I can’t wait to get my copy of the full book and suspect it’ll be one of my go-to Christmas gifts for those who have (almost) everything.