Friday, November 29, 2013

3 Part Thanksgiving

yesterday was broken up into 3 distinct parts.  the first i was able to spend my myself (with my sweet companion, of course). i haven’t had a lot of down time, with all the hospital frenzy, so it was lovely to have a bit of time to think, write in my journal, reflect on the many wonderful blessings in my life and even do a little bit of art.  there was also time for a lovely, long walk at the park with my girl.

the middle of the day was my hospital visit.  at this point, it’s a much more upbeat experience than just a week ago.  stu said the turkey dinner was the best hospital meal so far and, with the great progress he is currently making, the talk now is all about moving forward and the possibility of going home soon.  he is doing 3 hours of therapy a day and has a wonderful, positive attitude about the whole experience.  it’s impossible to visit a hospital and not come away extremely grateful for every strength and ability that we take for granted on a daily basis.  it has all been a bit of a crash course for me, since neither of us has ever spent the night in a hospital.  learning…

Day 10 and counting...
Happy Thanksgiving hospital style

progress - re-learning to walk


the latter part of the day was spent feasting with friends.  i’m so very, very grateful to have wonderful friends who put such variety and love into the dishes they create, not to mention deliciousness!  it was an amazing feast and just what i needed after spending the last few weeks immersed in conversations about medical issues.

Pomegranate martini

My nametag in English, Farsi and Greek

Toasting with pomegranate champagne

Our generous hosts, Abbas and Mary

Mary explaining the latest additions to her incredible mosaic wall

Center of the labyrinth

all in all, a perfect mix of a day.  i’m a grateful girl.


Saturday, November 23, 2013


i’ve started this post several times, but stopped, not knowing what direction to take it.  i know ‘tis the season to be grateful, but the fact is, things have become pretty challenging over here.  

my studio is torn apart.  what we thought was just a little mold on the baseboards turned out to be a completely rotten floor…. wet and riddled with subterranean termites.  this after just 3 years… everything is out, thrown in bins and stacked in my bedroom, the furniture in the living room, with a few supplies set up  so i can prepare lessons for my art journaling students.  just yesterday i found out it’s even worse than we thought.  the walls may have to come down too.  the guy that did the work is busy and not available right now....

 stu is in the hospital recovering from double knee replacement surgery.  he made the decision to do them both at once, an opening came up and he jumped on it.  no time to attend the information class.  what we thought would be about 3 days in the hospital is turning into more like 13.  he gets dizzy when he stands, can’t do the therapy and is dealing with the pain.  there are many frustrations associated with hospital life and we are both finding out as we go.  he just called me with a new list of problems…. it’s tough to see those that we love uncomfortable, struggling and in pain. 

apparently the hospital lost his 2 cell phones.  there when i left, they disappeared, possibly fell in with the dirty laundry.  contacts, info, etc. all gone.  not sure what is going to happen with this....

bailey is not used to being without her daddy.  nervous and confused, she clings to me and is not a happy camper being left home or in the car, so i feel torn.  yesterday was cold, blustery and rainy and it was difficult to even take her for a walk.

there’s more, but i’m thinking this is enough for one post.

 seriously, i do not like complaining and that is not my intention, but i’m committed to being honest and i'm feeling a little like i’ve lost my studio, my mate and my regular way of life in one fell swoop.  everything has changed.  it's hard to do the stuff i normally do.  i know it’s all temporary and i’m extremely grateful for that.  and i’m determined to be grateful for all the other wonderful things in my life as well.  i will get there.  i am making that promise to you and to myself.  thanks for listening.... that's a gift in itself.

pics from a happier time recently in the mountains...

Thursday, November 14, 2013


my brain seems to be bouncing around like a tennis ball.  i can’t concentrate and am having trouble getting things done.  it all began last week….. reeling with the disappointment of the retreat falling through, i decided to take myself up to the mountains for a few days, as i occasionally do.  

in the course of finding a place to stay, i ran across this 1928 hunting lodge with 7 bedrooms.  for sale.  clark gable stayed there.  looked like such an amazing place and setting that i could not get it out of my head.

when i got up there, i went to a real estate office.  i got permission to visit the property and walk around.  i pretty much fell in love.  later i was able to see the inside.  rustic, vintage, quaint, yet updated and homey.  perfect.

 i came back one more time and walked the grounds.  the possibilities started trickling into my consciousness and have not yet left.

there would be many, many hoops to jump through. it may be purchased by some rich investor and all fall through.  but i feel that i need to follow through with this energy i am feeling.  my dream would be to live in the lodge, sponsor my own retreats and classes and make it available for others to do the same (um, yes, i realize i said i wasn’t going to do it anymore…)

 in the meantime, while getting all of that set up, the lodge could be used as a vacation rental on weekends to generate some income.  piece of cake, right?  since i first wrote this, even more obstacles have materialized, so it’s not looking all that promising, but a girl can still dream, right?? 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Art Speaks

ok, so the good thing about not having the retreat is that i suddenly have some unexpected TIME!  and it turns out that i need it.  not only do i have this exciting show coming up at the gallery, but i am having to move temporarily out of my studio 8(

yikes – do you have any idea how much STUFF is in there?? (you probably do).  every day i am packing some things and piling it up in my bedroom.  the furniture will have to go in the garage while the floor is replaced.  that’s right – something to do with erosion on our back hill…. i noticed some mold on the baseboards and….. it turns out the (almost new) floor got wet and has to be removed and replaced.  ughh.

 so back to the show.  several years ago, a dear friend gave me Marry Your Muse by Jan Phillips.  i pretty much devoured it and went on to read God is at Eye Level, which has had a huge impact on my photography and the classes i teach.   through another connection, i signed up for jan’s museletter and ended up attending an event at her home last spring.  the outcome of that visit was an idea for a group art exhibit that would emphasize “hope and healing”.  jan is a great leader in this regard and i am honored to be included in this show with her and these other fine artists.  it's a theme that speaks deeply to me.... what better way to purpose our art than for hope and healing??

I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.  Hafiz

Everything that comes into our circle has come to teach us what we need to know.  Pema Chodron

so i have been scrambling to get my work done while i am still in the studio.  here is a little sneak peak of some of the pieces i will be showing. it's gonna be good!!