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Aug. 20th, 2008

art is my therapy

Mom's progress, etc.

Mom is kicking ass in the hospital!  I was there from 5 to 7 pm last night.  Dad and Shell were there when I got there, then my supervisor, Rosey, and the other receptionist, Barb, showed up.  And then right before I left, Dr. Cho showed up to talk with Mom.  He's very pleased with her progress.  

She walked 75 feet twice yesterday.  And she can bend her knees 90 degrees, which Dr. Cho said not every patient who leaves the hospital can do.  :-)  They aim for 110 degrees.   And they like the patient to be able to walk 200 feet before they discharge.  The doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. meet every Wednesday to discuss each patient and he said they should have an estimated date of discharge after the meeting today.  He mentioned it could even be Monday or Tuesday.  She was also finally beginning to eat more.  She's been struggling so much with that.  Yesterday was the first day where even the thought of eating didn't make her sick.  Yes!  It used to take two people to help her get up out of bed, now she's only requiring a one person transfer.

They will be scheduling a family meeting to advise all of us on what we'll need to do and buy, her treatment, etc. for when she returns home.  Dad and I have to attend as we are the primary caregivers and the other sisters will be there since they will be our "relief staff".  :-)  Every day I see such improvement and progress in her.  I am so proud of her.  So very proud.  She is such a strong, awesome woman.  

After I left her room, I went shopping for the first time in a week.  Best Buy and Walmart.  Oof.  But I needed to pick up supplies for my laptop, so that I can set up my little workstation at the kitchen table.  Let's just say I had a little too much fun.  Bought stuff like a chill hub, cord to transfer info from my desktop to laptop, headset, etc.  Then I splurged and bought a couple of games for my new little baby, whom I think I will name Barton, after Clara Barton.  Fits the circumstances.  Heheheh!

Now all I have to do is wait for the postal service to deliver it to my work address.  Have I mentioned that for about 3-4 days last week, we had no mail services???  They damn well better show up with my computer this week!

Aug. 19th, 2008

all i need paintbrushes

Landscape Study

 I wanted to post a picture of the landscape study I did in an art class I took week before last.  The class was from 6:30 to 9:00 every night that week and I had a blast and learned a lot.  I'm dying to take another!  Anyway, the first picture is the photo I used as a reference and the second photo is the actual study.  For just a quick study, I'm really happy with it.  I've got it hanging at work, but I really must buy a frame for it soon!

all i need paintbrushes

GAAHHH!!!!

I think the past week is finally catching up with me.  I just bitched out a poor Sam's Club woman on the phone.  Oh!  Let me clarify, I called her re: an order I placed - it wasn't business related, so I can't get my ass fired over it.  :-)  But still... that's not like me.  And I'm so damn tired today.  I haven't been getting to bed until midnight or later every night.  And now gmail won't let me change my aunt's email address - well, it says it's changed, but it's showing the old one.  And f'ing Word 2007 won't let me put bullet points in the minutes.  I'm ready to SCREAM!

My mom moved up to the rehab floor yesterday, which is excellent progress for her.  I had to run home and pack some clothes for her to use up there, then I headed to the hospital.  When I got there, I found out that my dad had gone out to the cabin to grab the porta-potty and would be staying the night.  You know, he's been so good, staying at the hospital with her all day every day and even stayed the night the other night, so it was actually good that he got a break.  On the other hand, I had been hoping to leave a bit earlier last night and run a few errands.  Oh well.  I ended up staying with Mom until she fell asleep, which was about 9:30.  They also gave her a sleeping pill, so I'm praying that she was able to get some good, decent quality sleep.  She needs it.

Mom has a harder time at night.  She gets really spooked out and gets a tad on the loopy side, which I think is mostly due to meds and being so sleepy and exhausted by the end of the day.  She's mostly with it, but as she gets more and more tired, she starts coming up with some funny stuff.  And thinking she can do stuff that she clearly can't.  Last night she tried to tell me that she thought she could make it to the bathroom on her own.  I was like, "No, Mom, you need two nurses to help you do that."  *g*  She's doing good, but she's not that good yet!  (I have to admit, I'm glad they have bed alarms, just in case she does try to do something in the middle of the night while half asleep!)

Oh, and at one point, she was drifting off while I was standing next her, when I heard her mutter, "Destroy it."  Then she opens her eyes and looks me right in the eye, saying with a sense of urgency, "Destroy it!"  I asked her what I needed to destroy.  "Destroy the stuff on your computer!"  So I told her I would.  "Do it now while you have the chance!"  So I told her I didn't have my computer here, but that I would when I got home.  LOL!  

Dad will be back home today, so I think he'll pull the late shift with her tonight.  I could stand to get out early and run a few errands, do the wash, maybe eat dinner before 11 pm.  :-)  She should be quite exhausted.  She starts what they call boot camp today.  She'll be worked hard, poor thing.

Okay, better sign off and get back to work.  I'm going to try to not think about the Sam's Club thing - my laptop, which STILL has not shipped yet!  Only an hour to go, then I can escape for 30 minutes for my lunch break.  Yay!

Aug. 18th, 2008

art is my therapy

Quick update...

I don’t want to be at work right now. 

So much has been going on the past two months.  I’m not big on the frenetic, fast paced life that seems to be the norm nowadays.  I don’t function well with that type of schedule, unless it's short term.  Usually I actively try to keep things quieter, slower, whenever possible.  But that’s been an impossible task the past couple of months.  What’s been going on?

On June 20th, Randy and Rae Ann got married.  I was the photographer for the event.  That was uber stressful, though once I got going, the stress disappeared.  But the last couple of days leading up to the event?  Horribly stressful!  I just psyched myself out!  Then there was Flag Day, then a couple of parties I helped put on to say good-bye to Randy and Rae Ann before they left for Texas.  Then the relatives invaded and then my sisters and I put on a 50th Anniversary party for my parents.  Then all the relatives left, taking my parent’s with them on a week long cruise.  I had that week free and clear, even took a couple of days off from work, but I was so spent and so burned out that I barely began to recover before I had an intensive painting class every single night the week after that.  Then Randy and Rae Ann left.  Then my parents got home and my mother went into the hospital to have a double knee replacement surgery. 

I think that’s the major stuff.  See, very busy!  And I’m not even going into the emotional and physical exhaustion from all this.  That’s taken quite a toll on me.

My mother had the surgery on Tuesday, so she’s been in the hospital about a week now.  Every night after work I’m up there and I spent all weekend there, too.  She had a hard time last night and my dad ended up spending the night at the hospital with her.  I thought I was going to have to do the same Saturday night.  It’s killing me to be stuck here at work, rather than staying with her at the hospital and giving my dad a break.  I want to be there, to be able to look after her, help care for her, support her and just hug her when she needs it.  It’s hard to be at this job on a normal day,  with her in the hospital, it’s been hell.  I no longer care about this job.  I will be taking several days off starting when she is discharged from the hospital, so that I can help get her settled at home.  But after being there all weekend, it’s hard to be away.

As for the job, I’m putting the job search on hold for now.  I’ve only managed to get 5 resumes out there in the past month or so and haven’t heard a thing.  I just don’t have the time and the mental, physical and emotional capability to pursue it right now.  Besides, even if I were to find a job and they approved me having 2.5 weeks off during Christmas, that’s still 2.5 weeks without pay.  So, taking a hint from my exhaustion and lack of response to what I have put out there, I’m not going to look for another job until January.  This decision, however, has brought about it’s own emotional toll on me.  I know the months will fly by, but it seems like such a long time right now.   The thought of staying here that longs depresses me, too.

So much happening lately.  I actually need to sign off as my lunch coverage will be here shortly, but I just wanted to post a little update, get some things off my shoulders and promise to write here more often, if only for my own mental health’s sake.  :-)

Edited to add:  

Oh, and another thing driving me crazy?  I ordered my laptop from Sam's Club and they are STILL processing my damned order.  Okay, so I only ordered it at midnight Friday morning, but come on!  What's killing me is that they have them here in town, but because the membership is in my parent's name, I didn't want to drag my dad away from the hospital and my mom to go with me to get it.  So I ordered online.  Crap.  However, once it FINALLY gets here, I think I will name it Barton.  Oh, and check out the skin I ordered for it:


Doesn't it just ROCK!  I love it!

Plus Princess, the director of the location I work at, is working at figuring out a way for me to get the timesheets up to our main location by 10 am on the day they are due.  Only problem is, he should have figured this out months ago when we first moved!!!   This place drives me crazy!!

 Edited once again to say:

Holy Schnockers!  I tried to order my laptop online and then pick it up in the store, but I thought it wouldn't let me do that, so I just ordered it for delivery.  Yeah, I just tried again and guess what?  It worked.  OMIGAWD.  I could have had my laptop this weekend.  *smacks self very hard*  This wait is unbearable...

Jul. 21st, 2008

all i need paintbrushes

Why is it...

When I finally feel like I'm mostly over the man I fell in love with several years ago and am beginning to open up to the possibility of meeting someone new, a man starts pursuing me?  

Sounds good, doesn't it?  You're wondering what I'm complaining about, aren't you?  Thinking I must be nuts... Well, here's the catch...

He's 22 years older than I am!!! 

You know that little "rule" about the youngest person you can date is half your age plus seven?  Yeah, turns out that comes out to 34 for a 57 year old.  I knew I should have told him I was 25!!!  He's a sweet, charming gentleman originally from Mexico and is now working where I do.  He was quite honest and made it very clear today that he is interested and wants me to consider it.  He was even asking if I believed in living together or just marriage, etc.  Oh my dog!  I am so not used to this.   I mean, the attention is actually quite flattering, but, um...  I think my limit is 10 - 12 years older.  I'm only 35, he's 57...  just a wee bit old!  Though he does acknowledge that.  :-)  

This has been quite a summer...  I still keep meaning to get on and post a few pictures.  I've got some great ones, both from Randy and Rae Ann's wedding and from his going away party.  Plus I have a couple of adorable ones of my youngest niece and nephew.  And I'm sure some excellent ones will be taken at my parent's 50th anniversary party this Saturday. 

Okay, I'd better get back to work.  When all the craziness is over, I do plan on getting caught up on my flist and writing some quality entries myself.  I hope that's soon!  Plus I'm thinking of doing a new version of the last portrait type painting I posted below.  I want to do a better version of her!  

Okay, signing off and getting back to my bizarro world now.  Hope everyone's life is going well!!!

Jul. 10th, 2008

all i need paintbrushes

Clarity vs Trust

 FYI:  Just posting this here for my own reference.    


In his book, Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning speaks of a man named John Kavanaugh who sought clarity about what to do with his life.

As part of his search, he volunteered to work for three months at "The House of the Dying" in Calcutta, India, a place founded by Mother Teresa. The very first morning he was there, Kavanaugh met Mother Teresa. She asked him, “What can I do for you?” He paused to think and then asked that she pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she wondered. “Pray," he said, "that I have clarity.” Her abrupt response took him aback. “No," she told him, "I will not do that.” When he asked why not, she told him, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Mr. Kavanaugh observed that she seemed to have the kind of clarity he wanted, she laughed out loud and told him, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”

Jul. 3rd, 2008

all i need paintbrushes

Not my turn...

I'm reading a few books and right now, I can't remember which one exactly said this, but this is something that really got to me:

It's not what God isn't giving me, but what he is giving me.

So, I'm trying to keep that in mind, because I've been very guilty about obsessing over what I'm not getting. But you know what? It's so flippin' hard to sit and listen to a friend who's been married a couple of weeks talk about how nice it is to just go home and hang out with his wife, to just be there with each other after so long being apart. I don't let on, because I am so incredibly happy for him, but I just want to cry.  I want someone to come home to every day, to just be with.  

It was also hard to listen to the gal I was training earlier this week.  So many stories about her 30 year marriage - the good, the bad, and the funny as hell - and I loved hearing them, but not long after, that ache finds it's way back to my heart.  I want that kind of shared history, a shared life with someone.  I want stories to tell.  The good, the bad and the funny as hell. 

I try not to let the feelings so overwhelm me that I become this selfish little thing who thinks only of her own sadness over unfulfilled dreams instead of rejoicing over the happiness in the lives of her friends.   I refuse to become that.  I love seeing that happy, cheesy grin on his face.  I loved hearing her stories.  I keep dreaming that one day, I'll have that happy, cheesy grin, and many stories to tell.  

But there are days when I feel like the ache will never subside.  Days when I just keep wondering when my turn will come...

Jun. 23rd, 2008

all i need paintbrushes

Such a blonde...

I totally spaced that I needed to add blonde highlights in her hair!!! I knew she didn't look quite right and it wasn't until 30 minutes ago that it finally hit me, so of course, I drag out the paint and end up with Naples Yellow all over my bathrobe. LOL! Thank God for Ugly Dog brush soap. That stuff is awesome. Anyway, here's an even more updated photo of her...




Wonder what I'll call her?
all i need paintbrushes

Further progress is made...

Just a quick post... I started painting as soon as I got home and just finished up not that long ago. Now I have to go eat, then order my parent's outfits for their 50th anniversary party, then start designing their freaking invites. *sigh* I'd much rather paint some more, this time on the landscape. I have so been neglecting that. I seem to be tackling it one small itsy bit at a time. But I'm mapping things out in my head and I think I'm almost ready to tackle the next itsy bit. :-) I'm such a nutcase!

I have a possible new portrait idea brewing in my head. And I am eagerly awaiting the photos from Randy and Rae Ann's wedding Friday. (Yes, the two are related...) Still can't believe I survived being a wedding photographer. This was just a super small casual celebration which I agreed to photograph for a close friend and the stress nearly killed me. All I kept thinking was that 20 years from now, my photos would be (mostly) how she remembered her wedding. Oh no, that's not stress, NOT AT ALL... *snort* How the hell do actual photographers do it?? Especially at the larger, more formal ceremonies?? I'd be snorting valium just to make it through.

Okay... anyway, here's the latest progress pic of the painting for the office. I am pleased to say she no longer resembles a woman from work - that was freaking me out. Did not intend that AT ALL.



Okay, dinner beckons. Ciao!

Jun. 15th, 2008

all i need paintbrushes

Painting progress...

The end of a long weekend... WAH!!! I seriously don't want to go back to work, but at least I'm getting closer to having a piece of my own artwork to hang there. :-) I share my little workspace with the Records Dept - they're only there on a part-time basis. Anyway, one of the gals, Jaige, was asking me about what I like to do and I brought up painting. She asked me if I was going to bring some of my artwork to hang on the walls. I've been having fun personalizing my space. I don't really have anything done that I would hang up - I refuse to hang a self-portrait at work!

So I got to thinking and decided to work on a smaller piece to hang up. I started it on Thursday by doing the underpainting and sketch. Anyway, here's the progress I've made this weekend:





While decorating my work space, I've been putting little touches to remind me of my artistic bent, such as a couple small wooden artist models, one human, one cat, and a card that I bought at B&N's that says "Dreams take time", reminding me of my dreams regarding art. I wanted this piece to sort of ... I want her to be dreaming, head in the clouds - well, clear turquoise sky, anyway! - looking forward to her future type thing.

Yes, she's got the creepy green void eye! Still not sure what her eye color will be, but that creepy eye thing will go away during my next session of painting. Still have a lot of work left to do on her, including getting the darker values in there. Gotta say I'm thrilled with the progress so far, especially after the "Portrait of the Artist as a Native American" disaster that I've put aside for a while. *g* I'm eager to continue working on her and can hardly wait until I can hang her in my office!

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