Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Poster Entry!

I didn't win but I had a blast doing this! Wouldn't these colors look great on a t-shirt?

Update - post Jazz Festival: The chairman said I was in the top three! Dozens of festival patrons came by my tent and said I should have won! That was worth the entry! I may try again next year!


I think I'm coming out of it though. Had a good laugh with Mike & Molly this afternoon while sharing Christmas gifts. Felt good. I needed it. They are good neighbors and friends too. What more could you ask for? We do have great neighbors and friends living nearby. Of course we all get busy living our lives but we know in a pinch we are there for each other. Either I dropped the ball or it bounced right past me this holiday. I missed seeing so many of you and I apologize for my part in not keeping in touch. I missed Christmas Eve Communion. My world has been hectic, expecially the last few months. I've spent an inordinant amount of time at the hospital sitting with my mom, and more recently also my aunt. Why does just sitting make you so tired? It's been physically and emotionally draining. It did cast a shadow over Christmas. But I'm shaking it off as hard as I can....I may have to see my chiropractor! It's December 28th. The Christmas decorations are in the garage. Really! The garage is a wreck. It can wait. My studio gets priority this week. Right behind getting my aunt busted out of the hospital and settled into re-hab. I have two more neighbor gifts to drop off and then I'm ready to greet the New Year with that bottle of Reisling Molly dropped off today! God Bless you all with a happy and prosperous and safe 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Perfect Cookies!

It's not too late to bake these! I tried to imitate the chocolate chip cookies we had during our stay at the Doubletree Hotel in New York last spring. They are complimentary upon arrival. Actually they were complimentary everytime we arrived back to the hotel from a day out in the city! Heavenly.

Anyway I saw some copycat recipes online but decided I didn't have time to do all that measuring and such. So, while I was measuring and such, making my dad's traditional Lanes Cake, I decided since I had the mixing bowl out I'd give the cookies a shot. I confess. I cheated.

I had three jumbo tubes of prepared Nestle Tollhouse cookie dough in the fridge. I brought it to room temperature and put it in the mixing bowl. Using the dough hook, I folded into the cookie dough 2 cups of chopped walnuts and two cups of Quaker Oats. Then dropped by small scoops onto cookie sheets and baked them for 9-10minutes. Seven dozen cookies later ... I may have nailed it! Prepared cookie dough is so versatile. Create something!


I've received several inquiries about my mom. Long story short. She has bone marrow failure. Long version: She was diagnosed with Myeloid Dysplasia 5q-, 7-. The doctors say possibly when she had chemo six years ago for breast cancer there was some chemical damage to her DNA chromosomes. Unfortunately it waited to rear its ugly head until this past summer after her six year "all clear/survivor" check-up. The jest of it is her body can no longer produce its own blood cells or platelets. While in the hospital this round, she has received, I'm guessing low, her 50th unit of blood and/or platelets. She's had three platelet infusions since being admitted Monday. Without platelets her blood would not clot. Because of her low white blood cell counts ... there is nothing there to fight infection of any kind. And, of course, with the low red blood cells, there is little oxygen circulating through her system and major organs. The Revlimid drug the oncologist put her on in September failed to work. He told us then it was her only hope and didn't offer a hopeful prognosis. Our hope doesn't lie in the medical profession. It is in God's hands. We pray for his guidance of her physicians and caregivers and for him to faithfully see her and my family through this trial. She has been in the hospital every other week or so since the beginning and has now become transfusion dependent with it's own possible complications, as well as a high risk for infection. Her doctor checks her bloodwork twice a week and has told us numerous times she could progress to leukemia. Chemo isn't an option. Anything would only be temporary as her body can't manufacture any blood as the old cells die off. She's a real trooper. Good days and bad. Tired and week. Strong spirit. Please keep her in your prayers. God made her body and he can heal it. Give blood! My mom needs it - a lot of it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What gift do you bring?

it came
to pass
in the
a saviour
was born . . .

HO HO HO!!! Hey ya'll! I hope each of you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! I'm looking forward to the new year and the adventures it has to offer. But this one's not over til the fat man gets back to the North Pole! I'm determined that the Christmas decoration boxes will not sit around til Mardi Gras this time! I think I'm gonna keep out my nativity piece of Santa kneeling at the manger. It's my all around favorite. Very humbling.

Still praying for my mom's recovery. Praying God will see her through it and make her stronger in body and spirit. Also for Jennifer's pregnancy that there will be no complications. For Lindsay's safety as she will be driving on her own more and more. For my husband: blessings and safety and continued wisdom. For our aunt to be done with the cancer and my cousin to get good reports on some serious health issues. And for my dad to find the job he's looking for. I trust God for wisdom and discernment in my artventure (a little play on art and adventure - it has certainly been one!); trusting him to lead me in a direction that will be full of blessings and joy and the stamina and courage to do it all! I offer prayers for family and friends and neighbors to be blessed and healthy. Our Country and the incoming presidency is on my heart as well. We may be in for a ride, but I know my God is in control of all these things. It's that "free will" thingy that concerns me!!!!!! Don't miss Christmas Eve Communion! And don't forget those reconciliations! Hugs and joy to all and to all a good night! What I need is a good night's sleep!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"le vin et le fromage"

I took a realism workshop with Chris Hartsfield this past week. I'm excited about how this piece turned out! Thousands of ideas bouncing around in my head! I am gonna try to complete a series in time for the outdoor spring shows. First I need to take some still life photos and get the drawings completed. This may take me into a different direction for 2009! Watch for new doodles!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm too pooped to paint!

I need the following: A couple of ibuprofen. The blown out bulbs in my studio replaced. Sandbag weights for my tinsel tree. Sleep. A cute name for my soon-to-arrive grandchild to call me. To take the cat to the vet. To plant the maple that's been sitting in my yard for the last three weeks. My checkbook balanced. A vacation. To clean my garage. And my studio. And my closet. And the back porch. And my car. My poor car. A good printer. A scanner. Upper body strength. Lunch. Maybe that's why I need the ibuprofen. Did I just create another to do list??!

Monday, December 1, 2008


We have a due date of July 18, 2009!

Update:  Born July 13, 2009!  Day after my birthday!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Real Big News !

How was your turkey? We had it fried and smoked. I prefer fried or oven roasted. Still full! Visits with family far away are always fun! We traveled seven hours to Corinth, Mississippi. We met up with cousins from Little Rock and Houston for four days. Welchin' is what we call it! Lot's of pickin' when the boys get together with their guitars and banjos. A Thanksgiving tradition is Chicken Train. It's hilarious! Always a surprise twist! Family, food, fun and shopping! We took everyone tuna steaks for Christmas and Tony grilled some of them with filet mignon Friday evening. Yum! Aunt Jenny had tamales and chili and cornbread salad for mid-day Friday - also a Thanksgiving tradition. And of course, upon arrival Wednesday evening, we devoured a platter of Annabelle's fried chicken and biscuits. Awesome!

Now we are home. I spent the morning doing laundry and mopping. I got the Christmas tree up and the mantel decorated. When everyone returns we will decorate the tree. Tony is hunting. Lindsay and Ryan went to dinner. Brianne is coming over to spend the night. I just returned from the kennel picking up Bo and Sammy. They were as excited to be home as I was to get them! I missed my boys!

Oh yeah! The Big News! I'm gonna be a gramma!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Leap!

Status report! When we arrived home this evening Lindsay took the car and went to Walmart to pick up a CD for a friend's birthday. It started raining before she returned. But she returned! Safely! This driving thing has tried to shake me up to say the least! But I'm chillin a little more each day!

Status Report: Heading out to meet my mom at her oncologist's office. She's been off Revlimid since her last hospitalization for pneumonia. She says she's felt better the last week than she has the last three months on the medication. It's not working anyway - toxic side effects are aweful. Since they don't offer anything else, she's willing to try some alternative measures I discussed with a naturopath. We'll see.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Leap of Faith!

OMG! I can't believe I did it. Just spoke it. Had to be an out-of-body experience! Backpeddle: My 16 y/o daughter just got her license two weeks ago. No car yet. Yes! Still driving with me in the car. I know. I know. Anyway... I have this ... thing with fear-based "no" responses. Bite me! I'm a mom. Okay. So. She's asked to drive (by herself) a couple of times. Of course, I've had "reasons" not to let her. Fear based reasons. I know. I have already done that. I keep picking it up again and again and again. So, I just told Him.....just protect her....make her wise beyond her years...calm my anxious spirit. Now. Back to the present. Well technically, last nite is the past. Okay, I'm getting there. Her dad (my husband) took her to a hunting safety class last night - of course she forgot her form she printed from online and I have to run across town to take it to her. So I ran a couple of errands waiting for them. We met at Carabba's for dinner. Afterwards, I gave her the keys and said "I'm too full to drive." Then walking outside I told her I was gonna ride with dad. She was so casual about it. Of course instead of hanging close by like I told him to ... he jumped off onto Airport Boulevard and left her on the service road. She went down Montlimar and we took the interstate. I was breathing really shallow all the way home. Her first solo drive - IN THE DARK. She did good. No dents! No tickets! Probably talked on her cell phone all the way. Bottom line: God kept her safe. I had indigestion/reflux. But, God kept her safe. She told me later she was surprised! She probably didn't want to give me time to think about it. I think my husband was as surprised as she and I were that I actually did that. Just outta the blue. My small child is growing up. But I'm having the growing pains!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dusting off the TO-DO list and moving forward!

I am beside myself! I found the Doubletree Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe! Guess what you're getting for Christmas?!!! Or, wine. Or, gift cards. Hmmmmm. I still say the cookie trumps all others!

This past weekend was the Shop Under the Oaks event. What a beautiful setting! I did some serious bartering at the end of the show! Fun! Met a lot of people. Made some new friends. Life's good!

I accomplished much today! Finally removed all signs that an artist lives here from my dining room. It has been housing art paraphanalia for nearly a year. Of course, in my guest room there are about a dozen canvases in various states of readiness or unreadiness lining the walls. Fortunately (depending on how you look at it) we won't have guests before Christmas Eve so I have time to clean the garage and arrange living quarters there for the canvases until time to sell. All my framed watercolors are in their own frame boxes, labeled accordingly, and lined up like soldiers in my foyer closet. : )

Next task: the foyer. No small feat. Includes the computer desk area, the piano, cookbook shelf and several baskets of newspapers and magazines and a box of miscellany to take to the island next trip down. And then there is the to-do list in my studio. Another reason the garage needs to be cleaned. There are multi-media projects that need to move out there.

Only one show left this year - first weekend in December - the Christmas Festival on Dauphin Island. The night before that is a book signing event at the ESAC for A Painter's Paradise. The night before that is open house at the Warehouse Market. The day before that is the deadline to get my JazzFest poster to P'Cola. But first, I have to have sample illustrations ready for Prayer & Bed before Thanksgiving! Whew! Are we having fun yet?!

Father, give me the stamina to enjoy my blessings!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh, the aches, pains and bruises the morning after!

Shop Under the Oaks! That was fun. Met a lot of artists. Did some bartering and came home with some cool artwork! Not too many people in the Christmas buying mode yet. The cold wind was howling! Thanks to all those who came by. Means a lot to see your smiling face knowing you made the effort to come. The event was in a beautiful setting. Very relaxed but elegant in set-up and vendors. Thank you Anita for all the hard work you put into making this event a success. Look forward to next year!

My mom was released from the hospital today. She is feeling better as far as the pneumonia is concerned and she's supposed to talk with her doctor next week about continuing the Revlimid. I'm learning a lot about the condition she has. Very concerned. Taking it a day at a time right now.

Moving on to the next project. Holidays around the corner! This week will make seven months in this artistic venture of showing publicly. April will make a year. No regrets! I'm shivering. Gotta turn on the heater! Later!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mid November - already!

My Blog - My Journal - My Thoughts

The First Post -

My mom's back in the hospital. Pneumonia. She's on her 7th transfusion in less than three months. Recently diagnosed with Myeloid Dysplasia. If I understand it correctly, during chemo five years ago for breast cancer, her d-chromosome (dna) was deleted/damaged (among other things that have developed from that poisoning). I believe this particular chromosome is around to manufacture red blood cells and perhaps platelets. She's taking Revlimid, which doesn't appear to be working, hence the continuing transfusions. This drug is like a cytotoxin. Her body is reacting as if receiving chemo again. I visited her today. She was in good spirits and her appetite is returning. She wanted buttermilk. Eccgggk! I talked to a couple of naturopathic doctors yesterday. They weren't very encouraging.

Lindsay Lou got her driver's license last week. Sweet 16!

I've been burning the midnight oil getting ready for this weekend's event. Gotta draw the line somewhere. Tired.

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