Oh how I’ve missed you!

Hello my beautiful darling angels!  I’ve been away far to long and I’ve missed you so much!  So many things have happened since my last post.  So grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s settle in for a chat okay?

The last time I posted I was in the middle of the J a day for St. Jude’s project.  I was working at the flower shop and things were clicking right along.   Oh but how a moment can change your life.  I woke up the next day and my computer died.  I don’t mean kind of dead where you take it to the computer doctor for repair.   I mean dead like green and red data lines flowing in a vertical pattern when I booted her up.  She served me well for over six years but she was done.  I started saving my pennies for a new one and then my mom came for a visit.  She surprised me with a gift of computer cash and I was back in business!  Or so I thought.

She went home and two days later I got a phone call.  My precious mother had fallen getting out of bed and broken her neck.  Yes, that’s right.  She got up to get out of bed, fell and hit her head on the floor.  She broke her C1 & C2 vertebrae.  These are the two that control breathing and motor function.  It is nothing less than a miracle that she is not only alive but is having no motor skill or breathing issues.

They put her in a neck brace and she had to wear it day and night for about  2 months.  During this time we noticed that she was having difficulty remembering things and also some difficulty doing math.  Then she fell again.  No injury thank God but another fall.  Then one night she was out having dinner with her companion.  He had gone to get the car to pull around and pick her up.  He looked into his rear view mirror and she was laying face down on the grass.  He immediately took her to the ER and they kept her.

My mother is very independent and was anxious to get out of the hospital.  The doctors told her that she wasn’t going anywhere until they could surmise why she kept falling.  After a battery of tests they discovered that she had some very serious vascular issues with her heart.  The blood that is usually pumped to her brain was being rerouted into her chest wall because of a malformation in one of her main arteries.  This is what was causing the falls as well as her memory issues.

After a 5 1/2 hour surgery with two neurosurgeons working on her at the same time, one from the arm and the other through the groin, she was put in ICU.  We took turns going up to visit her and were both thrilled and relieved when she woke up and was doing well.  She was black and blue from the surgery but said she was feeling mostly okay other than the soreness.  The doctors had warned us that there was a risk of her brain swelling after the surgery because of the restored blood flow.   After a few days she was released and we got to bring her home on Thanksgiving day.  The day after Thanksgiving I had just finished taking a shower when I heard her screaming.  This was a scream like I’d never heard before and I hope I never hear again.  I knew something was wrong.  I ran into the kitchen where she was sitting and she just kept saying her arm was hurting.  We called 911 and back to the hospital we went.

They gave her some steroids to reduce the swelling in her arm and gave her a shot of morphine and after several hours, sent her back home.  We were all really surprised by this.  We figured they would keep her since the general consensus seemed to be that she had thrown a blood clot.

The following Monday she went to a follow-up with her doctor and he hears something unusual in her arm.  He admits her for more tests and they find out she’s got a tear in the artery in her arm.  That is what was causing all of the pain.  So they patched that up and now she is back home and recovering.

I have to tell you that I have always known that my mother was a very strong woman.  But seeing her go through all of this and watching her work so hard to get back to health has given me a new respect for her. We had a lovely Christmas together.  I made her a “No Worries Wanda” doll from paperclay.  (I’ll post about Wanda later.)  She loved her and that made me really happy.

Just before I left Florida we had a long talk.  We encouraged each other to keep moving forward and we made a promise to each other that we were both going to work to get healthy be the best we could be.  I feel closer to my mom than I’ve ever felt in my life and she says she feels the same way.  I gotta tell you, it’s pretty amazing.

So, true to my word to my mom and myself I came home and got busy painting.  I had prepped several canvases and then I went to lunch with a friend of mine.  We were talking about how life can really throw you a curve ball sometimes and she said, “That’s why they invented alcohol.”  We laughed and I said, “Some of us don’t drink!  It’s just life on the rocks.”  That got me to thinking about how prayer had been such a part of my mothers healing and how much it comforts me.  A lady that is part of a forum I belong too even asked her mom to go to the wall in Israel and say a prayer for my mother.  I can’t tell you how touched I was by this.  My mother had people praying for her all around the world!

All of these things gave me the idea to paint an angel.  I titled this piece “Prayer on the Rocks”.  I love the double meaning of the title.  Here are the pictures of the progress of the painting.  It’s now SOLD– Thank you!

First few layers for shading

Adding more detail and texturing her wings

Almost there but something still missing.

A flower halo and glaze and she's finished.

Well my sweet babies, that’s it for now.  If you read through the entire post you get a gold star!  LOL!  I’m home again and getting things back on track.  I will be posting daily again and I look forward to reconnecting with all of you.  I think it’s funny how we don’t realize just how much we need others until we don’t have them around for a time.  I’m so glad to be back and I hope to hear for you all soon.  Be kind to yourselves and remember you are loved beyond measure!

Published in: on January 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm  Comments (4)  
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You are more.

I heard a song while I was sitting in the drive through at my bank today.  The lyrics are beautiful and it touched me so deeply that I cried.  I didn’t even care who saw me.  The song is titled You are More by Tenth Avenue North.  If you haven’t heard it, I highly encourage you to toddle on over to You Tube and check it out.  Here are the lyrics. 

There’s a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she’s wandered
And the shame she can’t hide

She says, “How did I get here?
I’m not who I once was.
And I’m crippled by the fear
That I’ve fallen too far to love”

But don’t you know who you are,
What’s been done for you?
Yeah don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she’s been given new life
But she can’t shake the feeling
That it’s not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she’s rehearsed all the lines
And so she’ll try to do better
But then she’s too weak to try

But don’t you know who you are?
You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

‘Cause this is not about what you’ve done,
But what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you too

This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You’ve been remade
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.

God has really been showing me his love this week.  I’m so grateful for this.  I hope your day was most magnificent.  I hope you are feeling the love today too.  Sweet dreams you fantastic creature of love and life!

Beauty in light and laughter

Hello you dancing stars of awesomeness!  I hope you have had a wonderful day today.  My day was gloriously beautiful.  The sun was out, the flowers are blooming and the colors just seemed more vivid to me today.  It wasn’t too long ago that I prayed and asked God to put people in my life who could love me where I am while still helping me to get where I want to go.  I also ask Him daily to help me to be an instrument of His light and love. 

I got to spend some time today with my mentor.  I always enjoy this time because I am always reminded of my good qualities and then given suggestions on how to improve.  Today he told me that I have a responsibility to myself as well as other people in my life to be the absolute best I can be.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t fall down or make mistakes.  This means that I need to always put my best foot forward, even in the times I don’t feel like it.  He reminded me that when I do these things, the rewards are great and powerful in my life.  And you know what?  The really are. 

I was so aware of all the beauty around me today.  It’s kind of amazing to me sometimes how that happens.  We open our minds and our spirits and then our eyes are open to all sorts of things.  I put a new light in my light sculpture tonight and I wanted to share it with you.  This is a piece my mother gave me a few years back.  I absolutely love it. 

Light sculpture

Blue light beauty

She has one just like this except the colors in hers are a golden yellow.  Hers is beautiful too.  I have this on the floor instead of hanging because I think it looks groovy that way.  That’s the wonderdog’s toy basket right next to it.  Also a very important object in this house. 

And speaking of the wonderdog.  Tonight we were playing and she was just being a silly clown.  I was laughing at her and at one point she just plopped down in front of me and wagged her tail.  I had to snap a photog of her because it was like she was laughing with me.  Can you see the happy tail?  LOL  I love this picture of her.

Happy Tail

Laughing Wonderdog

So this is my post to you tonight.  There is beauty in everything if you will only see it.  It’s all around us.  It covers us like a warm blanket in the winter.  It comforts us like a cool breeze in the summer.   Beauty is everywhere and I can prove it.  Just go look in the mirror.  See!  I told you.  Much love coming your way tonight and always.  Thanks for coming by.  I have missed you!

Bottled Up Joy

Hello my fellow life joy seekers!  I got so caught up in my art tonight that I lost track of time!  I didn’t make my midnight deadline.  This makes me sad but I’m still posting the artwork because I made this committment and I’m keeping it.  I hope you will forgive me being 15 minutes late.

Today I have been doing a lot of thinking about all of the blessings in my life.  I have a wonderful family.  I have the most amazing friends on the face of the planet and I am surrounded by love and light.  What’s not to love?   Someone commented to me yesterday that I’m always happy and uplifting.  That made me laugh because I’m not always happy.  I’m a human being and I have bad days just like everyone else.  I think what people notice about me these days is that when I do have a bad day I don’t allow it to drag me down. 

I am a firm believer in positive thinking and positive actions.  Norman Vincent Peale used to say, “Change your thoughts and change your life.”   I heard that message over and over again before it finally sunk in.  Good thing God didn’t give up on me! 

Tonight as I was trying to decide what I was going to create as my J I knew I wanted to do something different.  I sat down at my table and just began letting my hands move over different things.  I painted a canvas different shades of brown and set it aside.  It wasn’t speaking to me tonight.  Then I painted a little metal washpan.  It’s going to be cute but it wasn’t the J for tonight either.  Finally I picked up one of the bottles that my friends have given me.  I just began to add things to it.  As I worked on it I began to think of all the joy I have in my life and how I don’t always express it.  That’s when I knew that this altered bottle would be tonight’s J.  I have a lot of joy that I keep bottled up and there it was.  J100 Bottled up Joy!  So here she is.

J100 Bottled Up Joy

As I thought about my bottled up joy, it dawned on me that I often keep things inside because I am scared of overwhelming people.  I’m afraid of appearing too happy or too joyful.  Isn’t that crazy?  I’m not really sure where that comes from but I’m making a promise to myself to try not to do that anymore.  Joy and love are good things and I’m going to try to give even more of them.  I believe that we can’t be uplifting to others without lifting ourselves up in the process.  Pretty cool system don’t ya think?  I know I’m on board for it! 
I know you always bring  joy and happiness into my world with your visits.  I love the comments and the uplifting emails y’all send me.  I love the different treasures that y’all share with me.  In fact, this little bottle is wearing a part of a necklace that I bought from my friend Andrea at Rose Tree Originals on Etsy.  I think it’s the perfect match for this piece!  Thank you all for being the rays of sunshine that you are.  Thank you for making my world brighter and much much warmer.  Thank you for not keeping your joy bottled up. 

Just because is enough of a reason.

Hi groovy peeps!  Tonight as I created a Just Because handmade card for the J a day.  As I was working on this card I thought of all the different reasons we send cards to people.  Sometimes it’s a get well, or a sympathy card.  More often it’s birthday or valentines or some other milestone in someone’s life.  I always enjoy getting cards, but the ones that I love the most are the ones that I get just because.  I realized that there are several people in my life who I need to send a card too just because.  I’m going to change that this week.  Are there people in your life who need to hear how special they are?  Are YOU one of those people?  If so, I highly recommend doing something that makes you happy JUST BECAUSE! 

J81 Just Because Card J

This little card is made out of an altered piece of file folder.  I gesso’d it then painted it a creamy brown color.  Next I added the strips of paper.  I also added some lace, a glittered button and the little lace flowers with beads.  I think it’s kinda cute. 

Now just one more thing I want to tell you.  You are FABULOUS, STUPENDOUS and MAGNIFICENT!  And I’m telling you that….Just Because.

Starlight Starbright Supermoon tonight!

Hello lovelies!  Tonight’s post is going to be short and sweet.  I’m heading out to a supermoon party.  Tonight’s J  is “J71 Starlight J”.  I got new copic markers today.  Blue, yellow and the blender pen.  I just had to do something with color.

J71 Starlight J

If you get a chance take a peek outside tonight.  It’s going to be beautiful!  Take a moment to notice how lovely everyone looks under full moonlight.  Take a moment to notice your own beauty under moonlight.  Check out the stars too!  Feel groovy and dance!  I dare ya!  🙂  Much love to you all.

Jabberwocky and the winner is……

Hello you delicious lil sugar snaps!  I hope everyone has had a good day today.  It’s funny but I have had you all on my mind all day today.  First off I want to thank all of you who participated in the giveaway this month!  You all made me smile.  Secondly I would like to thank those of you who have emailed me or sent me messages and prayers.  You are all such loving and giving and wonderful people.  I am truly blessed by you.  *BIG HUGE HUGS*

Let’s do the fun part first tonight want too?  Sure you do!  LOL  These are the pics of the process of picking a winner for the giveaway today.

Giveaway List

First all the names of the commenters this week were typed onto a list. 

Giveaway Names

All the names were then cut into strips. 

Giveaway Names in Hat

Then all the little strips were folded and put into a hat.  It was all very high tech, cause that’s how I roll.  hehe  I closed my eyes and swirled my fingers around and picked a name.  And without further delay…the winner is…..

Giveaway Winner

Amanda Makepeace is the lucky winner this month!  Congratulations Amanda and thank you so much for visiting my blog.  🙂

Now I have a little surprise for the rest of you who participated but didn’t win.  Any of you who would like a free bar of handmade soap, made with my very own loving hands, email me a mailing address and I’ll send you a bar free.  It’s just my way of saying thank you and I appreciate you. 

Now onto the J for today.  As I said earlier, I was thinking about all of you today.  I said some prayers for those of you who are hurting and gave thanks for all of you.  As I pondered about the J for today I kept hearing the word Jabberwocky.  Websters defines jabberwocky as an example of writing or speech consisting of or containing meaningless words. Meaningless or senseless.

As I thought more about this, I thought of all the different things that are said to us or that we say to others, or worse to ourselves, that truly make no sense when you stop and think about what they mean.  Here are a few examples;

You’re not smart enough.  You think you’re so smart.  You’re not talented.  You’re too old.  You’re too young.  You’re too skinny.  You’re too fat.  You’ll never succeed.  You’re too short.  You’re too tall.  You’re not pretty enough.  You’re too pretty.  Seeing a pattern here?

If you are loading up your mind and your spirit with a bunch of jabberwocky please realize that it has no place in your life.  If other people are speaking jabberwocky to you or over you feel free to just look at them and say “JABBERWOCKY!”  Then just smile and walk away.  They can look it up for themselves.  *grins*  One of my favorite quotes is from the book Poohs Grand Adventure.  It is something that Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh.  And I quote,

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  Let that really sink in and feel the joy that is you.   When you get a chance, speak these words into someone elses spirit.  I guarantee you it will make you both smile.  Tonights J is titled “J70 Jabberwocky J”

J70 Jabberwocky J