Friday, October 29, 2010

Creative Mojo & Family

Just a quickie little post to say Hi and check in with everyone. It’s late and I need to get sleep so I can get up early and head to Mississippi to visit with Donne (my sister/mother, in case you haven’t been reading lately) for a while and pick up some furniture from her apartment. The furniture is for my oldest daughter since she’s moving into her own apartment in two weeks.

Whew!

Savannah and Noah (my oldest daughter and the grandboy) are going with me since I can’t travel alone anymore, and we’re going to spend the night with my wonderful little sister and her teenage boys, my precious nephews.

Family. Oh, how happy I am to have family that I love so dearly and that loves me. It just feels so very good. I don’t know why I went so long without having a relationship with my sister but now she is my best friend and I could not ask for a better one.

Text Tree in progress Anyway, my creative spirit has been on a hiatus during all of this turmoil with Donne. That usually happens with me; in times of stress, I seem to be incapable of creating anything of substance. YAY for feeling that tender rush of creative mojo that came washing over me this morning. I am proud of the piece started during that time. I can’t wait to play with it some more…but that will have to wait until Sunday, when we get back from Mississippi.

Y’all have a great weekend and be sure to find a little time for yourself…never forget to take care of you! (My workshop friends, I will check my emails while I”m gone but will otherwise be out of touch until Sunday afternoon…just keep on creating!)

Peace & Love Always,
Barb

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Truly an Update

If you read my last blog post, then you know basically what is going on with my sister/mother, Donne…or at least as much as I knew on Monday evening. Things have changed a little bit for the better but not greatly, not greatly at all.

I swear, I have cried buckets of tears this week. Big.huge.buckets.of.tears.

*sigh*

Tuesday evening she and I were talking, her speech still slurred but more understandable, and she told me that she was ready to go. Uh, do what? Yeah, that she was more than ready to go…in fact, she was tired and really wanted ‘to go.’

Time for yet another breakdown from me. I cried like crazy, tried to talk reason into her, blah, blah, blah. You know the drill of what you do when someone you love and care about starts doing the ‘I wanna die’ kind of talking.

Or do you?

Maybe not every family goes through these things. Maybe not everyone has had friends or family members who have been suicidal or have/are dealing with what could be a terminal illness. I dunno. I guess I assume that we all have been the basic same kinds of things but that is a silly assumption on my part.

Anyway, we got through her being ‘ready to go’ and she woke up in brighter spirits yesterday (Wednesday.) My sister Cindy arrived to stay with Donne for a few days, her BUN & Creatnin levels continued dropping, her speech improved a bit more, she was able to feed herself with one of those big handled spoons and even made it to the bathroom with help & was able to bathe.

Flash to today (Thursday)…I woke up to my daughter telling me that our electricity had been turned off (thanks to my own huge quantity of meds ingested daily and how goofy and forgetful they make me), I forgot to pay the bill. Yeah, in the middle of everything else, our electricity was turned off…just what I needed. So, I jump out of bed and rush to the electric company only to find out they wanted $610 to turn the electric back on.

Oh yeah, I had to quit working because of my own illnesses so we lost my income making our life very hard already, now my sister/mother is in the hospital barely able to feed herself and I wake up to find out that I have no electricity and have to give the electric company every penny we have (plus some borrowed cash) just to get it back on?!?!?

Dammit, what else can go wrong? And who turned on the flood gates of ‘crap week’ at my house? Sheesh!!!

Oh wait, it gets better…not only did I have to delay my workshop start because of being over stressed and unable to think straight, much less able to be productive (my workshop which, by the way, I am shooting to have up and running this coming Monday, October 25th for those of you that are signed up…no guarantees since I don’t know what tomorrow holds with Donne but I’m hopeful)…now we are facing having to put Donne into a full-fledged nursing home.

Not into a nursing home for a little while but, as it turns out, for what will probably be the rest of her lifetime.

Now, would someone tell me how you wrap your head around that kind of thing? How do you put your flesh and blood that gave birth to you (even though she might not have done everything right by you but she did the only things she knew how to do at the time)…how do you put them into some old folks home with a bunch of people they don’t know, depending on nurses who won’t care diddly crap about them?

How do you do this? How do you sleep at night knowing you’ve done this?

Yeah, the hospital won’t even think about releasing her until she has somewhere with full-time care to be released to…not that a release is scheduled yet but definitely not until she has somewhere approved to go.

OMG, this is just so very hard. My heart has ached continually. I can’t have a continuous stream of thought without bits of Donne breaking into my thoughts. She is my birth mother, the woman who carried me for nine months…and even though her parents adopted and raised me, I feel like I am failing her by allowing her to be “put away.”

Then I begin to think about how since she is my birth mother, genetically we share so very much…will this be me in 20 years? Will my children be facing this dilemma and this massive heartache?

Oh geez, I have way too much going on in my life and in my head to be any good to any one right now. But I did want to check in and let you all know how things were going with Donne and with me.

We’re both a mess.

*sigh*

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Heart is Cracked

I don’t deserve it but I am asking for you each to bear with me…those of you that signed up for my workshop, bear with me, I promise that it is coming to you. Just not on schedule. I am sorry.

I wanted to have everything up and ready today but nothing has gone right. I am sorry.

I have put hours and hours of my soul, my thoughts, my experience and my hope into making a workshop that would not only give information, guidance and knowledge but that would also awaken a creative yearning in my dear friends that have decided to take the journey with me.

This morning as I worked on finishing details, a text message cracked my heart open…my oldest sister (who is really my birth mother, but that is a really long story for another time) was believed to have had a stroke. She was slurring her speech badly, unable to stand without out falling or sinking to the ground and she was confused and a bit angry. She was on her way to the VA Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi where, hopefully, answers would come.

Those of you that know me, know that nothing like this is easy for me. I wear my heart on my sleeve and tears well up in my eyes quite easily. They were overflowing my eyes for most of the day today while I stared at the phone, unable to concentrate or to be productive in any way whatsoever.

I took my meds and ate little meals and stared at the phone some more, waiting for word on my blood, my sister, my mother.

It finally came near bedtime this evening with word that it was not a stroke after all but, in fact, she is in renal failure…her kidneys have stopped working. Toxins have built up in her blood and are making her so very ill in ways that mimic a stroke.

I have a medical background so I know full well how serious kidney failure really is…it is deadly. Best case scenario means dialysis every other day for the rest of her life. But we don’t even know how bad things truly are, yet.

My heart is cracked and, as it fills with worry and fear, it is on the verge of breaking. I can not focus on anything as my body aches with pain that is near equal to that of my worried heart tonight, not even my art.

I can only hope that you will all bear with me and give me a day or two to get my self together, to cry the tears that I have to cry, to fear all that I need to fear, and to hear the news, good or bad, that will be coming sooner or later.

I am not bailing on you…my hard work and all of my heart and soul that have been poured into this workshop journey will be there for you, I just need a little time for some unexpected life that needs to be tended to before I can unleash my work out into the world.

Please keep my dear Donne in your thoughts.

Thank you. I love you all.

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

A Quick Hello.

I know I’ve been a bit quiet over here but trust me, I have been a busy bee working on my workshop and when I’d get stuck or bogged down, I’ve been doing a little doodling to wind down. I even listed two of my favorite “doodles” in my Etsy, including this one:

Confession time: I read over my class handout this afternoon and it seemed a little too stiff and boring to me. Hubby said it looked great but it just didn’t sit well with me…so what began as me tweaking it turned into me completely rewriting the entire thing.

Seriously.

It’s after 12:30am and I have most all of it redone and will get up in the morning and finish the rest. Is that crazy or what?

Yeah, serious stage fright here at the 13th hour, I suppose.

Anyway, I’m brain dead for tonight and need to lay my head on the pillow and catch some Zzzz’s since 5:45am with the hubby’s alarm will come mighty early.

Take care and for those of you that signed up for ‘Into the Groove’…we’ll be getting our groove on tomorrow (well, technically today but you know what I mean) so be sure to check your email box around 5pm CST for info!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, October 8, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Literally!

I have Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas in the oven cooking for dinner and *BING*, the lightbulb that used to be my brain went off, reminding me that I needed to “draw” a winner for the giveaway into my Micro-Workshop, Into the Groove, this evening. YAY!!!

Hence, the title of this post. LOL Yeah, I’m corny but gimme a break…I’m on new meds that make me quite loopy so we’ll chalk my silliness up to that, okay?

Anyway, let’s get this giveaway underway, why don’t we?

Okay, there were 11 comments on the Giveaway post so I put the numbers into the online random number generator and…..

ScreenHunter_02 Oct. 08 18.38Comment number 8 was from the wonderful Anita who said:

Anita said...

I absolutely love everything about the whole idea of a Micro-Workshop!
First off, as a stay-at-home homeschooling mom the cost factor is huge. The price of a Micro-Workshop is much more do-able than a full workshop.
I also like that it's broken down in a more manageable session.
Thank you so much for an amazing opportunity!
Hugs & Blessings,
Anita ♥
http://aseknc.blogspot.com/
http://asesaj.blogspot.com/
aseknc(at)gmail(dot)com

Thank you so much to everyone for entering and Anita, I will be sending you an email to confirm your entry into the Micro-Workshop. Don’t forget that winning gives you TWO entries into the class, one for you and one to giveaway on your own blog! YAY!!!  I’ll email you with the details.

I’m glad to know we have some great folks joining us in the class. It’s going to be great!

If you didn’t win, signups are still open so jump in now. I’m going to send out the Class Description and Supply List on Monday evening and the workshop goes live in a mere 10 days! YAY (or is it YIKES? lol)

Thanks to everyone.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Unusual Uses for Ordinary Stuff

Wondering why I’ve been so quiet? I’ve been working busy, busy on last minute stuff for my upcoming Micro-Workshop, Into the Groove. Setting up the class blog, reading over and refining the Intro & Supply List as well as the workshop handouts.

As I was looking through my documents on my computer tonight I found a list I’ve had for quite a while. It’s an ongoing list of different ways to use ordinary, everyday items that I add to here and there, as I come across new ideas. Anyway, I thought that my little list might be of use to others so I thought I’d share. Some of these ideas are artsy or crafty and some are just good ways to use things that are probably just sitting around the house. Maybe you can find a few that are useful for you.

  • Eyeglass Case – Since I wear my glasses all.the.time, I have a few eyeglass cases that come with every new pair laying around so why not make use of them? They are the perfect size to fit in some pens, pencils, a little ruler and voila, add a little journal and you have a journaling kit that fits in your purse and is ready to go at a moments notice. If you’re not into journaling, put in some nail clippers, a file, your favorite lip balm or lip color and some mascara and you have a little beauty kit to go.
  • Rubbing Alcohol – I learned from the fabulous Wyanne about the use of alcohol with acrylic paints and I’ve been hooked ever since. While your paint is still wet, little (or big) droplets of alcohol causes the color to disperse giving it a watercolor look. Gorgeous look…give it a try!
  • Contact Lens Cases – Another thing that we have lots of around  the house…I use them to store small amounts of acrylic paints to use when I travel. With only three cases (6 pots), I have my 3 primary colors (red, yellow & blue), a bit of gesso, plus black and white, to go.  Not into art, put some Vaseline in one side and lip balm in the other…or what about salt & pepper to go? Or you could really be cool and make an earbud case out of yours like this dude on Instructables did with his.
  • Six-Pack Holder (the cardboard kind with the handle, not the plastic rings)– I use one in my studio to house different sizes of paint brushes…think of the other art supplies you can store in them (no pens or markers, though, Kelly Kilmer’s advice is that you store those flat to keep them from drying out!) like pencils, tubes of paint, etc. If you’re looking for an everyday use, how about putting plastic silverware, napkins rolled a bit in one slot, salt & pepper and use it to easily tote those supplies to the picnic or to the coffee table for pizza & movie night.
  • Coffee Pot – The old Mr. Coffee died but the glass carafe was still in good shape so that’s what I use in my studio as my brush water bucket…the handle makes it easy to carry to the kitchen to wash & clean the water and brushes. Not artsy? Use that extra carafe to mix up pancake mix and have not only a handle for pouring but a built in spout, too.

Just some little tips and hints I have jotted down over time…what kind of unusual uses do you have to share?

If you haven’t signed up to win a spot in Into the Groove, don’t forget to go back to the Giveaway Entry and comment…the giveaway is coming up on Friday (at 7pm CST instead of that morning, like I originally said) so be sure to get your entries in now and any help you can give me in spreading the word (Twitter, blog posts, Facebook) is mucho appreciated, too. (Thanks to all of you who’ve already been spreading the word out there…you guys are the best!)

See y’all Friday evening!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, October 1, 2010

Honesty…

I know you’re not really supposed to do this kinda thing on your blog…being all honest and out there and everything but hey, I have no problem breaking the rules…I’m all about being a groundbreaking rebel.

So what’s the big deal?  I am scared to death! Yeah, seriously petrified.

Why?

The Workshop I’m giving is:

a. The first class I’ve ever given…and that scares the bejebbers out of me!

b. Not selling nearly as well as I had hoped!!

c. Not many have even registering for the giveaway…don’t people flock to freebies???

d. Scaring the bejebbers out of me! Oh, wait…I already said that part. Well, it bears saying twice.

I don’t even know why it’s bothering me so much but it is, right down to my core. I know that sounds all whiny and everything but it’s tough, going out on a limb and putting yourself out there and seeing little response. It just freaks me out a little bit.

Don’t get me wrong; I am still excited about giving the workshop and I still believe, with all my heart, that this relatively new idea of giving Micro-Workshops is a really fantastic idea. I think it fills a niche that the online art workshop world that has been sorely lacking…affordable and compact workshops. I don’t just think it’s a good idea, I KNOW it’s a good idea.

I’m just worried that maybe I chose a bad time to schedule it, with so many other classes starting around this same time.

Isn’t that what we do when we’re facing a fear…we start second thinking our choices or doubting ourselves. Yeah, that’s all I’m doing…just fighting off a bit of stage fright. I’m sure I’ll be fine in a day or two.

In the meantime, keep spreading the word…and if you haven’t registered to win a free spot in the workshop, be sure to go and do it now, HERE.

Thanks for all the encouragement and to those of you that have signed up already…I appreciate it more than you know! (And thanks for letting me put my fears out there for all of you to see.)

I leave you with this great quote from Dina Wakley (I just came across it on her blog), “I don't fuss over pages that aren't working. I just say, "eh" and turn the page. They'll make more paper...there's always another fresh, blank sheet to work on. It's okay to fail, they can't all be masterpieces. From the failures come artistic growth...and I love that.”

Peace & Love,
Barb

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