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, July 31, 2011

J U I C I N G ! ! !

You know that song "There's Always Tomorrow"?
Tomorrow is here!  Well, tomorrow it is anyway!

I've been reading about juicing for quite awhile.
I amateurly tried it several years ago (one meal a day)
 and loved the way I felt.   
At the time I borrowed my mom's juicer.  It was great!
Today I bought myself a Jack LaLanne Juicer...
and a fridge full of fruits and veggies.
It was costly .... but so is junk food and medication, right?!

I was hesitant at first, because you lose all the fiber bonus when you juice but the micronutrients benefits are enormous!  After doing a lot of research I found that you can save/freeze the pulp (fiber) to use in muffins, soup stock, etc.  Glad there is little waste!   I will continue my morning smoothie making with my blender because I lose no fiber there, but there isn't enough power to breakdown celery and other tough produce.

Why am I doing this?  I have experienced many autoimmune disorders over the last 30 years.  I am hoping to nip that in the boo-hiney.  We'll see.

What's an auto-immune disorder?  Well, to put it simply:  say you catch a bad cold or injure yourself somehow -- your immune system goes into overdrive and doesn't know when to quit after it has knocked out the bad guys and continues to attack good, healthy parts of your body.  I have already been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (not bad considering the initial diagnosis leaned towards lupus or scleroderma), Reynaud's Syndrome, Pernicious Anemia and possibly my iron deficient anemia as well.  Toss in gallbladder disease and an elevated inflammatory process and you have my "soup" so to speak!   Considering the fact that processed foods and preservatives aggravate and play a part in causing every disease known to man, I don't see how I could go wrong with juicing.  Besides becoming healthier and kicking the AI issues, a side benefit is sure to be weight loss.  Who doesn't need that?   My more recently diagnosed back/neck/shoulder issues can only benefit from less stress weight.

I'm not looking forward to the side effects of the detox phase (the first three days).  This is why I'm considering a slower go.  But I'll make up my mind this evening whether to jump on board 100% for the ten day start or to modify it.  I'm not sure I need the irritability and exhaustion expected during the start-up .... especially while caring for a two year old!  I'll just have to take it as it comes .... like I have learned to do other obstacles.  I know I've started and failed countless times when just jump starting with gusto.  I have a reminder sitting on my countertop! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

image from

Sooooo, to get myself outta this
'can't get away from the computer' itch,
I'm gonna challenge myself. 
A thirty day challenge beginning August 1st. 

Complete an art project!  
Start a new one or dust one off from the shelf! 
I have plenty of those!

My studio .... when it's clean!

 I hope to accomplish two things!

1) Break an addiction!
2) Prepare for an upcoming art show!

I need to spend August doing this so I can spend September
to have prints made and package them and tackle the rest of
the art show prep to-do list!  I will be Shrimp Festival ready!!! 

Stay tuned!

Update:  Am I kidding myself?  Yeah!
This challenge is not feasible with my current commitments, health and to-do list!
Get Real!
I am not Super Woman (not right now!)!
I don't need this self-imposed pressure!
It sucks the joy out of creativity!

There's No Space like ...

There's no space like myspace, er, uhm, (fill in the blank)!

Pinterest! Facebook! Email! Oh my! 
(as well as blogging and googling and surfing) 
It's an addiction!  I log on and suddenly ...
We're not in Kansas anymore!

Seriously, forget AA and Drug Rehab and
Overeater's Anonymous. 
This is serious stuff.  No! Really!

Latest post: "Yay me! I walked away from the computer!
For seven minutes!"

The last time it was this bad I had my daughter
take away my keyboard and mouse. 
I think I'm gonna have her change my password! LOL!

I have my other daughter to thank for introducing me to 
It's like a magazine-aholic on crack!  Extreme Vision Boards!

I know it's a self-discipline issue.  That's something I've always lacked in!
My studio is filled with more potential projects
than I could complete in a year if I did one everyday!
I can feel dust bunnies lurking in the shadows around me! 
I can hear weeds growing!
But, the sound of a clicking keyboard and the
"you've got a message" chime are music to my ears!
I'm sitting here now with my arm in a sling blogging. 
Something is wrong with this picture!
I need intervention!!   Am I alone out there?  

I told a friend this morning "See ya later on Facebook".  
It's not like I sit here for hours.  I really don't! 
Now, when I played Farmville, I did.  I confess! 
 Rearranging a farm takes a lot of time!  And the artist in me ...
well, let's just say I carefully
coordinated colors and crops to get a visually pleasing palette .. OMG! 
 And now, there's Pinterest!  Also known by me, as the dream network!
(or, someday I'll do this!).

I keep house (within reasonable expectations), tend a small garden,
play with my granbaby most of the day and keep an art biz going. 
It's not like I have all the time in the world to google. 
But it's the lure of the screen.  The voices that pull me in. 
Anybody else out there?  Let's see a show of hands!!! Anyone?

Monday, July 25, 2011

How Great Thou Art ..... indeed.

It's terribly difficult to admit your shortcomings and failures.  Over the last six to nine months, I've come to terms with too much on my plate and eliminated commitments, declined invitations, and dropped a good portion of the to-do list.  Ahhh.  Breathe.  Just breathe.

I have grieved over a serious shortcoming.  Perhaps more of a conviction.  Over the last year I have been advised by my doctors to have shoulder surgery, have a hysterectomy/begin HRT, consider pain management for my back, and a host of other suggestions.  I have made excuses, rescheduled, and justified my way around the issues .... to avoid the risks of invasive procedures. 

More than once I've been told by girlfriends "I take hormones because I'd rather live a quality life for a short period of time than live a long life miserably".   I've come to realize that my putting these things off isn't simply fear of complications or, the worst case scenario, not waking up from anesthesia.  It's a lack of trust.  A lack of trust. I'm pretty sure God sees thru my prayers when I tell Him 'Lord, I trust you to protect my family' and I trust you to keep us safe'.  I've come to realize that this particular prayer is fear based.  It used to bring me comfort, but of late I feel anxious.

I heard an old gospel hymn this morning.  How Great Thou Art.  I've trusted Him for years to lead to me to the most skilled, conscientious physicians to fix the ills of this earthly body.  Yet, I haven't trusted Him when it comes to my reaching the end of what I can do and allowing those physicians to do what needs to be done. 

Perhaps this fear is rooted deeply in my experience as a paralegal.  I was constantly involved in medical cases, research, records and trials.  Issues involving patient care.  Perhaps it's rooted in (seemingly) unanswered prayer.  I've prayed many, many times for healing of loved ones, only to see them leave this earth.  I've prayed for strength, come what may.  I've declared that 'My God doesn't take babies, nor is it His plan for His children to die at the hands of evil ... that free will happens,  good or bad and brings bad things along with the good in our life'. 

Last night a friend reminded me that we cannot understand these things and as long as we are here on earth we won't understand why bad things happen.  We don't see the big picture.  That's where faith comes in.  That's where trust comes in.  That's also where fear comes in.  The faith of my childhood is still my faith.  I suppose as we get older and experience more, we question more.  We fear more.

I know to some my fear of simple surgical procedures may seem silly.  Fear is fear.  Regardless.  These are small issues compared to what others are facing.  I know that.  There's always someone facing greater obstacles.  The point is my fear has shown me that my trust .... my faith .... has been more in favor of my own decisions, my own capabilities, and not in that of my Creator.  When I stop to 'consider all the world Thy hands have made' it does seem rather silly that I haven't been able to turn these things and their outcomes over to Him.  It really is trust issue.

And then there's the other side.  The side that doesn't want to inconvenience anyone with my recovery.  I so just need to get over myself.  That's another post entirely!

Put me on that prayer list of  yours, please. 

Isaiah 40:31 
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Another one Bites the Dust!

Yep!  I dropped something else from my to-do plate.  I deleted my Art Page on Facebook.  1,183 fans were notified.  Almost 1200!  But, sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  It is easier having only one Facebook page to deal with at this chapter of my life.  And, it is My Life, afterall!  No telling what's next!  Stay Tuned!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Rodeo, Come and Gone!

We had a grand time on the island the last four days!  Beautiful sunsets!  Great food!  Chillin and relaxing!  Started out literally with a bang!  The cannon sounded bright and early Friday morning signaling the beginning of the 2011 Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo on the Dauphin Island. 

Tony loaded up the grill Thursday evening and we visited with friends at The Dock while the Liars' Contest was held next door at the Rodeo site. 

Friday found us continuing my week-long birthday celebration with Jaron Kucera entertaining the crowded dock with his talented guitar and vocals!  Lots of friends dropped by and together we thoroughly enjoyed the evening!  Ribs from the grill.  Walter manned the fish fryer!  Todd dropped by with prime rib and monster shrimp!  An over-abundance of food, beverage, laughter and sing-alongs!

Saturday started off wet but the overcast clouds kept things cooled down and some blue sky peeked thru by late afternoon while we sat on the dock watching boats of all sizes come into the rodeo site to weigh in, having their catch lifted off by the crane.  Another afternoon of long-time friends dropping by for a visit!  I love Rodeo weekend ..... more so for the reunion of friends than anything else!

We awoke Sunday to massive rain.  All day (give or take twenty minutes here and there).  The parking lot flooded and the crowds were thin until the end of day when all the big boats came in with tired, wet anglers who had weathered the storms.  We finally made it to the rodeo site after 6pm!  I caught up with Larry Rackley for a hug and an autographed rodeo poster!  Larry's art was featured on the tee-shirts and rodeo memorabilia this year! 

We had just returned to the condos and were visiting with some friends when our youngest daughter, Lindsay came back from the rodeo site visiting with friends telling us the Jaycees were only 12 tickets away from breaking the Guiness Book of World Records for the largest saltwater fishing tournament.  With only 15 minutes left til the deadline, we all scrambled.  Lindsay took off down the boardwalk shouting at everyone to bring out their rodeo tickets.  Since many anglers didn't fish Sunday because of the torrential rains, many tickets didn't get turn up during weigh-ins.  She returned with a friend of ours to the rodeo site with only a couple of minutes to spare waving the tickets in her hand. She was ushered right to the official tent where they checked and counted them and reached the total needed to break the record!  Rodeo officials took her picture and gave her an armload of tee-shirts!  It was an exhilarating end to a long four days of fun!!

I have to give a shout out to Team Byrd Dog for winning (again!) #1 place in the King Mackeral Division!!  Congrats Ritchie!!!  Way to go!!

We were so tired we decided to stay the night!  I was ready to be home and was shortly greeted at the front door by my two year old grandbaby (we almost share a birthday - both were this past week)!  It's good to be home!!!