Art du Jour 85

imageA couple of days ago I made a coffee cup template and then spent half an afternoon going through my paper jumble cutting out the mug shapes with scissors and an exacto blade.  I also had these two little canvases started with cut up pages of print glued on to them and covered in inky dabs as an experiment with colour.  In a burst of maniacal creativity I decided to pair them up.

And thus we have the result of plan as you go.  Or don’t have any plan and then critique your colour choices after the fact.  These either go with anything, or (more likely) nothing at all.

The good news is, the next one will be better!  Because I have about a thousand paper cups needing a place to shine.  Yes, a thousand is a gross exaggeration.  I have maybe a dozen more, and an actual idea in my head.  And then I think I will be done with stacked coffee cups for a bit.

Art du Jour 84

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This is me attempting to be more disciplined and methodical. Let it never be said there was no method to my madness. Well not within my hearing at least. Sometimes it’s good to be less random and impulsive and end up with a piece that’s not bordering on crazy. Although I’m sure I’ll get back to those soon enough.

It’s terrible trying to finish these things in the cold and dark of January. They have to be sprayed with an acrylic sealer that smells toxic so I don’t like to use it inside. And outside it would rather freeze than dry these days so I bring sprayed things inside before the odor has dissipated and then the basement smells like insect repellant. My son said that long after the smell should have gone away. Or maybe our basement just generally smells weird. That’s also possible.

I have more coffee themed creations in the works. Stay tuned.  And have a happy Sunday.

A Spot of Busy

I was so excited to buy this coconut almond butter! It's yummy! Jury still out on the butternut squash until we see what I might do to the poor thing.

I was so excited to buy this coconut almond butter! It’s yummy! Jury still out on the butternut squash until we see what I might do to the poor thing.

My November Day Twenty Seven

Before this month gets away on me completely I will squish in a few more posts.  Well, this one, anyway, let’s not get overly optimistic just yet.  Believe what you may, but I’m here to tell you I have been BUSY!

Yes, I am shouting.  I so rarely get to say that word.

W is three weeks and three days post hip replacement surgery and although he still likes to be waited on, he really has become quite independent again.  He is able to sit for short periods in normal chairs, goes up and down the basement stairs with his crutches, gets himself in and out of the shower without help.  Yesterday I drove him in his truck to the bank and the gas station and at both places he was all self-serve.  I changed vehicles to do the grocery shopping and was SO ready to give him complete hell for using the snowblower while I was gone, but it turns out a friend came over to blow the big snow bank I shovelled along the edge of the driveway into the back yard.  Yes we have snow, and yep, I shovelled the whole damned driveway.  Hard on the shoulders but good for the glucose readings.  I could learn to use the snowblower but I’m sure I’d never do it right according to the snow blower king I’m living with, so for now we will just let ignorance be bliss.

Speaking of those pesky worrisome little blood sugar reading numbers, did you know stress can make them higher?  I finally went to have my pelvic ultrasound done on Wednesday so the lab could see what this “mass” above the uterus might be.  The first ultrasound had to be done with me having a full bladder.  You don’t know the true meaning of discomfort until someone presses hard on your full bladder.  Or the true meaning of weird until you’ve had an internal ultrasound.  I don’t even want to talk about that part.  I started to tell W about it and he looked a little ill.

These lab tests were done at 3:00 in the afternoon.  The doctor’s office called me at 9:00 the next morning to come in and discuss the results. I love my doctor, but she also scares the hell out of me, sending me for tests and finding things out and wanting to discuss it all with me immediately.  She and the radiologist believe what I have is a fibroid of some sort, but now I need to have MRI testing to see it properly.  I believe fibroid issues are about the least alarming thing one can have going on down there.

I used to wonder why old people talked so much about medical conditions and tests and operations and health concerns, but it is a mystery no more.

One of my favourite former coworkers dropped by for coffee this week!  It was lovely of her to take the time on her day off to come and see me. Somehow we let six months slip away from us without even saying hello.  Lots of catching up to do in one short morning.  If there’s one thing I miss about work, it’s the great friendships that are forged.

That same day I was visited by a nice lady named Ping from the faculty of nursing because I agreed to participate in a U of A study called “A Client-Driven Intervention to Support Self-Management Among Community-Living Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes and Multiple Chronic Conditions”.  I don’t know yet if I will be in the control group which basically does nothing, or the intervention group which has to attend group wellness sessions.  Guess which group I would most like to end up in.

If nothing else, perhaps I will find out what my other multiple chronic conditions are, and get the promised $25.00 gift certificate for some as yet undisclosed grocery store.  Fun times.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been paid for doing something.  Or nothing.

The good habits I’ve been working on are not yet set in stone.  Notice the lack of daily November posts as an example.  It’s time to get back to the daily walks, since the weather is quite nice and the trampoline nonsense is proving to be a poor substitute.  My food journaling and blood sugar testing have also been hit and miss.

But we did manage to have our daughter and granddaughter over for a long promised fish dinner.  W brings back as much frozen fish (pickerel/walleye) from camp as he’s allowed.  It’s not as good as fresh, but still delicious.

Now that I’ve explained my busy-ness, it no longer sounds so busy in writing as it did in my head.  There was a lot of food prep and laundry in there.  And game playing and Netflix watching and sleeping.  And even a bit of house cleaning.  Okay, not a lot of that last one.

And now that yet another day in my life is half gone and there’s only about four hours of daylight left (I wish I was kidding, this time of year is so depressing when we hardly have time to notice the sun) I will now  attempt to make some sense of my cluttered disorganized multi tasking area formerly known as the art studio.  Or maybe I will walk first.  Or make W some lunch.  The possibilities, as usual, are not exactly endless even if I sometimes think otherwise.

To conclude this rambling mess of information, here are some comforting horoscope predictions.  I only ever record the good bits.

Material life will be without any concerns and even very comfortable, but risk of problems concerning inheritances and successions. (haha! Like we are royalty or something).

Don’t let your minor health problems worry you too much; take all the necessary precautions to put a halt to them, but don’t turn this issue into an obsession. You’ll be able to adapt yourself and make the most of the changes that will occur.

Be careful of overwork and its damaging consequences; certainly, you’ll want to do well, but your resistance will be declining, and you’d better slow down your pace temporarily; sleep more.

Your daily humdrum routine’s going to experience a small pleasant upheaval. 

May all your upheavals be small and pleasant ones.

Hurry Up and Wait

My November Day Six

I got up before the crack of dawn this morning.  These days it’s not that hard to do since dawn cracks ever later as winter closes in on us.  The plan was to be up and off to the surgery center to retrieve my husband by nine a.m.

As of whenever it was he started sending me texts this morning, I have been patiently waiting to leave.  Apparently they are in no great hurry to get rid of him.  He has to be cleared by the physio people who must be satisfied that he is sufficiently mobile to get in and out of things like the shower and a vehicle.  There are student nurses doing practicums using him as their patient.  Why does this not surprise me?

So, on the bright side, this gives him a chance to enjoy a couple more delicious hospital meals.

Drinking coffee.  Waiting for the phone to ring.  Imagining all kinds of disasters if we screw this up.

Meanwhile, this made me laugh out loud.

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When W is once again impressing people with his agility I will tell them that isn’t even his real hip.

Rainy Tuesday

From somewhere on Facebook; mom-isms made in to inspirational posters.

From somewhere on Facebook; mom-isms made in to inspirational posters.

Today is Tuesday and today it rained.  My dad used to answer our pestering-kid questions wanting to know WHEN something was going to happen by telling us “a week from the next rainy Tuesday”.  This answer always made me sigh and roll my eyes and stop asking, but it also made me promise myself that I would keep track of the days of the week and note when it rained and thus be way ahead of the game.  Of course I never did, and if that Tuesday from the last rainy one ever did roll around I would have long forgotten what the question was anyway.  Which was no doubt his intent.

So that’s what I was thinking about this morning when I got up early and went out in the rain and off to the lab for my 8:15 a.m. appointment with the doctors requisition slip for fasting blood work stuffed in my bag.  I had eaten nothing since about 7:00 p.m. the day before.  Unfortunately I had also had almost nothing to drink.  Perhaps somewhere in the back of my little pea sized dehydrated brain I got the prep rules for this mixed up with those for surgery where you can’t even have water.  And because it was earlier than I usually take my meds and I would probably be home in about twenty minutes, I did not take my diuretic.  And I had no coffee.  And the last thing I did before leaving the house was use the bathroom, because mom always made us do that when we were going somewhere, whether we needed to or not.  Obviously my parents were both very influential people.

Can you see where this is going?  I swear there were no check marks at all in the little urinalysis box on that paper, but after I happily gave up three vials of blood the nurse handed me the dreaded styrofoam cup with my name on it.  Saying I didn’t think I’d be able to do it just got me that mom look.  So I asked for some water and headed off to the bathroom.

I was in there for a good twenty minutes.  I drank enough water to drown a horse, until it made me gag.  Then I started to sweat because it was damned hot in that tiny room with my hoodie on, but why take it off when I’m going straight home, right?  Who the hell ever thought peeing in a cup was a good idea?  I couldn’t do it.  I came out with the empty cup in my hand and told them I was going to sit in the waiting room for a bit.  They said they were wondering what happened to my sample, and would I like some water?  Double gag.

Alternately reading emails on my phone and watching the clock from 9:00 to 9:30 with still no urge whatsoever to urinate, I felt like a complete failure.  Asked to do ONE SIMPLE THING and unable to get it done.  Not knowing if giving up was an option.  Would they let me come back later?  Would I have to get another requisition?  What would happen if I smashed the damned cup and told them all they were ridiculous?  I was definitely not living in the moment, and fervently wishing to be somewhere else.

Finally after another fifteen or so minutes of extreme discomfort from all that water and embarrassment for being there so long and senseless frustration with myself I had some small degree of success.  I wonder if that might have been the most minute urine sample ever submitted for testing, but opted not to stick around to find out.

I drove home in the pouring rain, took my medication, drank two cups of coffee and then headed off to the pharmacy to fill my prescriptions and do some shopping and pick up the mail and guess what?  Could not wait to rush back into my house to use the bathroom.

The moral of this story is to always be prepared for whatever is happening being the opposite of what you thought you wanted to happen and have faith that everything will work out exactly right a week from the next rainy Tuesday.  And this Tuesday, even though it is indeed a rainy one,  doesn’t count because the rule is it has to be the NEXT one.

Glad I got that all sorted out.  And you wonder why I don’t like to leave home.

Ritualistic Showering

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Where the ritual occurs.

Think about your day. Select one of your daily rituals and explain it to us: why do you do what you do? How did you come to adopt this ritual? What happens on days when you can’t perform it?

Thank you Daily Post for this intriguing set of questions.  In a couple of weeks I will have been retired from the work force for a year.  Since cleaning my fridge in August I have not done anything worth blogging about.  Yes, I guess that is kind of sad, but it also makes me extremely happy to have such an uneventful life.

Unstructured, seemingly limitless free alone-time probably sounds boring to a lot of you.  But to my fellow introverts I know it sounds like heaven.  Imagine being asked what you did all day and “nothing” pretty much sums it up.  Bliss.

Okay, I may be exaggerating slightly.  But this got me thinking about my day (please refer to the part where it says ‘think about your day’).  My daily rituals include

  1. drinking coffee
  2. taking a shower
  3. getting dressed
  4. filling or emptying the dishwasher but usually not both on the same day because it’s just me here at the moment, which means no one cares
  5. feeding myself
  6. wondering what stage I left the laundry at
  7. doing important things on my iPad
  8. thinking about art, checking art supplies, staring at blank canvases and that thing I started and don’t like and can’t motivate myself to finish
  9. doing totally unimportant things on my iPad
  10. wondering how it got to be so far past midnight and going to bed.

So the one I am selecting from this list and explaining to you is the ritualistic shower.  Because my Gawd this will be beyond interesting and exciting, won’t it?  No matter what my plans for excursions beyond the front door for appointments or shopping trips for the day may be, this is the one ritual I must perform every day.  Even if I’m not going anywhere except maybe to the basement.

Why do I do what I do?  How did I come to adopt this ritual?  I was born in 1949.  (Don’t panic, I’m only going to hit the shower related high points of my life.). The first farm-house we lived in did not have a bathtub.  The second one had a bathtub but no shower.  My brother thought it was hilarious to hold my face underwater at the beach, instilling in me a lifelong fear of getting water on my face and being unable to breathe.  For years after I moved away to places which had showers I would wash my face and hair in some place other than the shower, and then shower myself from the neck down.

Yeah, strange phobia, but something that was easy enough to live with.  Then I got married and had kids and none of these people I was living with were afraid of water so I slowly made myself get over it.  I passed the tadpole swimming level and the rest is history.

I don’t LOVE the water on my head part, but I can do it now and it certainly saves time.  Because I need a lot of that to get all my nothing done, right?  Anyway, now I can’t imagine a day without showering.

Oh, wait, yes I can.  There is no shower on the island where our summer camp is.  I am going there next week for about seven shower-less days.  Which brings us to the final question – what happens on days when you can’t perform it?

I cry a lot.  Just on the inside.  Outwardly I sigh and begrudgingly use the bathtub and the sink and the river.  And many wet wipes.  This is called roughing it in the wilderness.

The other day I showered and dressed and left the house and went to see my doctor for my yearly physical (and mental state I guess).  One of the questions she asked me was, on a scale of one to ten, how happy would you say you are?  I said seven or eight.  Because, let’s face it, nobody wants to claim they’re a ten.  People would be pestering you all the time for your secret, which would probably drop you down to five in a big hurry.  On days I don’t shower my answer would be two.

However, not drinking my morning coffee would immediately put me at a minus one.  So there are worse things in life I guess.  Showering is just one of my privileged life luxuries. Going without it is simply a kick in the butt reminding me to appreciate it.

Sharing My World 32

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My gorgeous Tiger Lilies which continue to grow and bloom year after year despite this summers bone dry heat and my constant sad neglect.

Share Your World – 2015 Week #28

But first….(because I have also sadly neglected to share my world for several weeks…)

Questions from week 26
In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

The only car accident I ever was in happened when someone else was driving, so I don’t like the feeling of having no control in a vehicle.  But when I’m driving I also don’t like to have my attention divided by conversation and radio noise and signs and scenery, especially if I’m not familiar with my route.  Although in that case I suppose the signs might be useful.  Lately I seem to never know exactly where I’m going.  My plans could change en route.  There’s a reason why old people should just bow out gracefully and let someone else take the wheel.  As long as it’s not by someone else who is just as old and confused.  And before you leave it might be a good idea to write down where you’re headed just in case.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

I would go!  I’ve never been to a live opera performance.  I think it would be amazing.

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less. (NOTE: does not necessarily have to be a sentence.)

We make our own heaven or hell.  I would also like to add “right here on earth” but that’s too many words. So just think it in your head.

Which would you prefer: a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

No wild swinging turbulence for me thanks.  My heart can’t take it.  I would opt for contented and secure.  Yes, I am exactly that boring.

Questions from week 27

What is your favorite month of the year?

There are things I like and dislike about all of them.  The dislike mostly has to do with taxes and insurance premiums coming due and nasty bad weather.  The good things are birthdays and anniversaries and holidays and pleasantly good weather.  January is generally a pain in the ass.  I can’t think of anything bad to say about September.

Do you drink coffee at all?

Yes I do.  Every day.  This summer I am probably going to single-handedly wear out my Tasimo coffee maker.  In which case I will invest in a Keurig.  I hear they’re better.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I worked as a waitress at a beach café.  Everyone should work as wait staff at least once in their lives.  This would make for more polite patrons and much more generous tipping.

List:  If you play video/computer games list 5 games you like.

Hay Day, Candy Crush, Words With Friends, Unblock Me and Spider Solitaire.  Wow.  Clearly I have no life.

Questions from week 28

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

This is probably where you’re supposed to say chocolate and not something weird like dill pickles.  Yesterday I ate tuna salad with tortilla chips.  I really don’t have a favorite.  It depends on the month and the weather.  This month there’s a lot less frozen fudge bars in the universe thanks to me.

If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single store but could remove nothing, which store would you pick? (except food or beverage)

Good gawd, an entire weekend?  My first thought was to pick a furniture store with beds in it.  However, I reconsidered and came up with Michael’s where I would create many works of art and leave them lying around with price tags on them.

What was the largest city you have been to?  What is the one thing you remember most?

After googling a list of the worlds largest cities I decided to choose London mostly because I have never been anywhere else on the list.  I thought Athens was really big, but apparently geography is not one of my life skills.  What I remember most about London is travelling around on the top deck of a tourist-y red bus snapping photos like a mad woman.  I saw it all through a camera lens!  The Tower of London, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, Big Ben – how in the world do you pick just one out of all those amazing things?  I remember being there with my sister.  That was the best part.

Finish this sentence:  It has recently come to my attention that ….

…..there are already almost 800 words in this post.  It’s time to do something else.  But before I shut up, I would like to tell you how wonderful the weather is today!  It is cloudy and overcast and the hot blazing sun is nowhere to be seen.  This is such a relief after the crazy heat wave and smoky air from all the wildfires in our province.  There was a lovely thunder-storm last night complete with pouring rain.  So it’s official, July 13th is my favourite weather day of the year so far.  My grass still looks dead, but now at least it is dead and wet and not looking so much like it might suddenly burst into flames. 

Hope you’re having an amazing start to an unbelievable week in this incredibly marvelous month!

Whew.  Might also be time to cut back on the coffee and sugary snacks for a bit.

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