Sunday, September 18, 2016

NEW PLANS

I've written a few posts.
I just haven't published them.
They seemed dull and whiny.
I need to tweak them up a bit.

I actually have a lot to write about but
just can't seem to get it together.

I've been thinking about A LOT of things.
About the future,
about maybe moving someday.
Just lots of things but I won't go into that now.

Rather, I'm going to talk about my ART.
Things I've been working on.
Mistakes that I believe I have made
and some changes I'm going to make
and just Follow my heart.

So, let's start with my photography prints.
That's kinda backfired on me.
I'm selling them at the Art and Antiques place downtown.
Well, they are for sale
But none have sold.
Seriously.
Zero.
The last two months I had to PAY for my space and made ZERO cash.
Yep.
In the hole.
Materials and time spent have not been recouped.

But...
At my work place, the vet clinic, I've sold a couple
but mostly I've sold commissioned ones of people's pets.
I don't mind it too much at first.
I would take the photos
and alter them and everyone was happy.
But then people have wanted to supply me with THEIR photos....

It's not MY photography, and I felt like a glorified photo editing person who mounts prints on canvas.
Bleh.

While I do need the dollars, I have come to realize that -
I DON"T WANT TO DO THIS!
This very afternoon, I should be working on such a project and I'm dragging my feet.
Add to the fact that I'm charging such a small amount....
Yep, I'm kinda done with it.

But my illustrations...
I need to get back to THOSE.
I want to experiment more with layered papers and things.
AND I bought a book about doing watercolor!
I'm not sure how to do it but I like the look of it so much.
Right now I do everything in Inktense pencils
or else in acrylic paint.
I'm self-taught but I really like this how-to book.
So I'm excited about figuring out watercolors!

Then there's the Art & Antique place where I have my altered photography and also my illustrations.
My sister and I meet for breakfast once a month and after breakfast last weekend
she went with me to set up my new Halloween display.
I had made several prints of my illustrations and also of some vintage Halloween photos.

I was pretty happy with my display and as I was paying up front for my last months rent
my sister milled around the place.
I joined her after I was done and we walked around looking.
My sister is very honest and would never say something just to be polite
but as she looked at the antiques and then the various Halloween displays,
she turned to me and said -
"I don't think your Art fits in this place".
She waved her hand at a display with plastic dolls and their handmade clothes that were for sale.
Then she nodded over at a booth full of antique knicky knacks.
Then she walked over to a display of various Halloween items and said -
"And obviously these things were purchased from a store and then just retagged and put in the booth space"
and she shook her head and said she had not seen one thing she would want to buy.

I told her I was rethinking it all.
Then I told her I hadn't had any sales for 2 months.
I gathered up a few of my altered prints to take back to the clinic but I gave her two of them.
They were of her own cats.
She smiled.

Later that night, I was on Facebook and I noticed that the Art and Antiques place
had posted on their page a video montage of all the Halloween displays.
I watched the video and then I text my sister with a link to it and asked for her "opinion" of the video.
She watched it and then text back -
"So she's included everyone's Halloween items but yours?!
You need to pull your stuff!?"
I told her I intended too.

The next morning I gave my notice, unfortunately it's a 60 day notice per my "contract'
but at least I'll be done by the end of November.

Then I called the place where I used to have my big booth
and sold a lot of my items that I had here at home.
I had given that up when I felt like I didn't have the time for it
and also when I got rid of my van.
A couple of weeks ago I had been thinking about that place
and I just randomly called and had them put my name on their waiting list.

So I called them and clarified to the exact size space that I wanted.
I didn't want the BIG 8" x 8' space that I had before but rather the 4' x 8' space.
I asked if there were a million people ahead of me and he laughed and said -
"Not a million but a few"
(Last time I had to wait a whole year to get in but hopefully it won't be the same again.)

So that's the other mistake I made.
Letting my space go at the big Antiques and Collectibles place.

So I text my sister that night.
Usually when I tell her a current idea, she will answer back with a single word.
Like - "OK" or "Good" or "Uh Huh"
I suppose it's exhausting to know me,
what with all my ideas.
But that night I text her and said - that I had put my name on the list at the old place and she said that she thought it was a great idea.
I told her I should have stayed with that place even if I couldn't move big things with my car.
I said I had been thinking about things I could make besides also selling things I still had in my house.

I wanted to paint Folk Art signs too,
and weather them outside.
I wanted to make weird primitive dolls like I used to make for her girls
and just really folk arty stuff like things I want to make for my own yard.
I wish I had photos of the old stuff but here are a couple cat dolls I used to make. They aren't the same as the dolls but they were also made out of cloth and painted. -



I have ideas like making peace poles
and eclectic painted fence pickets
and I said to her that I wanted to make the booth space like a "scene"  or a window display.
Kinda magical and things for the seasons.
I wanted to make one of a kind things so people would feel like they must buy it before its gone.
I  also would paint some furniture but just little pieces.

I also want to make some papier-mâché things.
I've done papier-mâché items years ago and they didn't look like papier-mâché.
I wish I had photos but one looked like a ship's figurehead.
It was the head of a mermaid that was made to look like it had been under water for a very long time.
She had her eyes closed and her mouth was open and it was very eerie.
I entered it in a Halloween Art competition downtown that was sponsored by  Midcoast Arts
and I won a prize!

I also made a 3 foot old mermaid and then her nose was accidentally broken off in a "cat versus space on the table top" incident and I still sold her for $80 and that was more that was 20 years ago.

Another time I made a life-size snowman shaped like a cat.
It had a tree branch going through it for arms and I made a papier-mâché bird to perch on it.
It was very detailed with a scarf and mittens and a big crafted carrot nose.
My friend had it displayed in her restaurant window for the Winter season.
Lots of people commented on it.

Yep, I feel like creating just very folk art stuff and selling that and different things I've collected and some signs that I will paint.
And illustrations. So that I can sell them as prints, cards and things.
I told that to my sister and
she thought it sounded like a good idea and it would be cool stuff for me to make.

So yeah, that's where my head is at,
for now.











Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WHAT DOG?

Here's a funny thing I realized -
Someone asked me
"How's your dog doing?"
And I hesitated.
My dog?
I thought to myself.
What dog? Which dog? Oh wait! 
She meant how's BLUE doing!
Lol!
I forgot that he's a dog! 
And HE'S DOING GREAT!
He'll be getting his staples out this Friday.
It's like it never happened.
He's 100 % again.

And I can never thank everyone enough
For all the emotional support,
The positive thoughts, 
The healing energy sent his way
And the financial help for his major emergency surgery.
My heart is full
And my eyes flood with tears
Because of the help sent out to me and my Blue.
You are the best!
I'm truly blessed.
XOXOXOXO 


Monday, September 5, 2016

MY LABOR DAY so far....

This is the view from my backdoor yesterday morning-

And today is Labor Day!
Such a beautiful day! Great weather. I'm actually off work today!
I'm working on digging holes and sinking fence posts into the ground for the fence I'm crafting.
My "Folk Art" fence.
It's so peaceful.
Dogs snoozing on the chaise lounges on the patio.
The soft whiz of cars going done the street.
Birds chirping.
The neighborhood kids playing on their trampoline and the sounds of them jumping and chattering with one another.
Calling out to each other.
Neighborhood sounds.
Kids being kids and
suddenly I remember something my Dad yelled out to us kids so many years ago and
NOW I understand what he meant.
"Stop that! You sound like lunatics!"
Ahhhh, memories.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

HE POOPED!


After several days...
Things are finally "moving" as they should!
And all is right with the world.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

EMERGENCY SURGERY

Sorry that I'm so late on posting what happened with Blue.
And sorry for the length of this post.


It's been an exhausting few days. 
I brought Blue to work on Friday and he had finally pooped!
I was so happy but when they did another X-ray, while it showed that the barium had finally made its way into the intestines (It shows up white on X-ray ) there was also a big white blob still in his tummy.
The techs said to try to feed him and see if it would budge.
So he finally ate some canned food, the first food in a few days!

He went potty again, not much and it was runny.

Doc looked at the X-rays and there's definitely something that you could now see an outline of.
Maybe a wash rag or something is what he said.
He wanted to do another X-ray at noon, since Blue just had some canned food and then diarrhea.
To see if it moved any more.
He didn't want to do surgery quite yet since there's been a little bit of movement.

I tried to be calm but inside I was freaking out!
The night before I kept waking up and then I'd have to make sure he was ok.
In the morning, driving him to work, I totally lost it when he suddenly leaned his head over from the passenger seat and rested it in my shoulder.
I was having a really hard time being strong and thinking positive.

(Blue, resting between X-rays)

So after the X-Ray at noon, where they could see something in his belly but entering into his intestines, the 
tech said if Blue would eat, then see if maybe I could get him to eat enough to push it through.
So I gave him canned food and squirted cheese whiz on it and he ate quite a bit.
He seemed to be in good spirits and Doc thought we could give him the weekend to see if it would work it's way through.

It was really busy at work because on Fridays there are only two vets so Doc was double booked while the other vet, was doing an emergency exploratory surgery on someone else's dog. She started surgery at 1:30 and it wasn't finished until 4:30. They weren't sure what was inside the dog and it took quite a long while.


SO, about 3:30 or so I took Blue outside again to see if he'd poop.


He was walking slower and getting into the position to poop but nothing.
I could see his stomach ripple and kinda tremble.
But no poop.


I went in and told Doc and he was frowning and thinking and then said to take another X-ray.
So we did and it was obvious that Blue was in distress now.
He was breathing heavy and quivering.
The X-ray showed no change and Doc said Blue needed surgery.
We agreed to do it and not wait. 

Doc finished his appointments and the other vet finished up her surgery.
I helped the girls as they prepped him and when Doc came in, I left.
I've been in surgeries before but I couldn't handle seeing Blue cut into.
Lily came in to help.
So in 40 minutes. Start to finish, Doc cut him open, cut out some fat, cut his belly and pulled out a huge woolen thermal winter sock.
It was so big that it would never had gone through his intestines.
I was shocked.

Some of the other techs and the other vet started to make jokes about how socks disappear in the laundry and that's when it hit me.
I'd been so confused as to how he got socks when I haven't worn any since it was cold out.
But when my washer quit and I pulled it away from the wall, a lot of stuff had fallen behind it and there was some old dog food under there so I had run and got a dust pan as I shoo'd the dogs away.
I didn't want anyone eating that icky stuff.
I remember rags, wash cloths, and stuff and I bet there were socks!!!
He must gave gobbled them up as I shoved the washer out the door and down the steps!!!!
So I think that solves the mystery!

I must say that Doc can upset me at times, but he knows his stuff. I don't think Blue could have lasted 3 hours on the table.
Lily said it was the quickest surgery she's ever seen.
She said Doc just went in there and got it, double checked that there was nothing else, flushed it out and closed him up!


I couldn't take Blue home that night because he was out cold (and too big to carry although he's 
down to 140lbs) but I would get him in the morning.

My friend Katie, the vet tech, went in that night  to give him his injection, pain medication.
And to check on him.
She lives minutes away and I'm across the river in Illinois.

So she sent me photos while she tended to him.


Here's where he's just awake


and then another where he's turned around and he has an e-collar on.


I asked if he hated the collar and she replied that he was already snoring and the walls were rattling!
That's my boy!
So I went to bed and slept very restlessly.
In the morning I hurried downstairs to let the dogs outside to potty.
My cat Harry was in the kitchen.
I don't write as often about my cats but I have so many stories about Harry.
I have had him longer than any pet ever.
He is so special and I've tried to explain to people that he's not really a cat at all but a person trapped in a cat's body.
People always give me that "you are crazy" look but then they meet Harry and fall instantly in love.
You'd just have to meet him in person to understand but he's super important to me and I've had him for 17 years.

So this morning he was crying loudly and walking wobbly.
I ran to the basement for a cat carrier and scooped him up and rushed to the clinic.
I sent a message to the tech that was working that I was on the way with Harry.

I have to drive over a bridge to go from Illinois to Iowa.
I got to the Government Bridge and it was blocked off so I had to turn around and head for the Centinnenial Bridge.
Traffic was lined up because of a big tractor going across.
Apparently they were having a Tractor Show in the East Village.
So as I drove behind this tractor going 20 miles an hour, I lost it.
I was just sobbing.

Finally I arrived at the clinic.
We did several X-rays of Harry.
Luckily we found nothing.
Nothing broken.
No mass inside of him.
He wasn't blocked.

So they drew blood and while they ran his blood work I went back to Blue.
He had an accident over night and they had cleaned him up.
He wouldn't eat breakfast but that's not a surprise. 
I took him outside and he moved very slow and his back was hunched.
He was really sore.
I cleaned his bottom up and his tail.
Then I took him back to his run and gave him his pills.
Because of his size, he's got a handful of them.

Then I went back to check on Harry.
His bloodwork was fine.
The vet couldn't find any bruises or wounds and she checked him over thoroughly.
Doc stopped in and we asked him to give Harry an adjustment while he was there.
He said Harry's neck was really out bad.
He said it would be sore for a while after the adjustment.
The other vet had the tech give Harry a time released pain injection and then they gave me more pain medicine for him to have at home.

So....
I loaded up Harry in the car
And lined the passenger seat with bedding and went and got Blue.
He got into the car like an old person and I buckled him in.


When we got home, Blue took the 5 steps up to the house very slow and gingerly.
I guess we will be sleeping in the living room for a while.
He's not ready for all those steps to upstairs.
When he got inside the house, he just went and laid down in front of the fan.


I brought Harry in and he hid for a while but then came out and I held him as we all took a nap.

I must say, this has been an exhausting few days.
Usually I feel physically exhausted! LOL!
But now it's more mentally and emotionally.

Sorry for such a long post.
I just wanted to share what happened and get it all out of my head.

And finally,
a BIG HUGE THANK YOU
to everyone who sent positive healing thoughts and energy out for Blue.
And thank you for so much more than that too. The emails and the support and the HELP.
Truly, I'm blessed. 
XOXOXOXOXO 


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blue is sick.

Blue is sick.

He'd been kinda weird about his food,
meaning he'd smell it and not eat it all.
So I thought it was his food and then
He threw up a sock at lunch time yesterday
and then another at dinner.
Both socks were completely intact.
Not chewed, just swallowed.
Another odd thing is,
I haven't worn socks for months.
I gave him a while for his tummy to settle and then I gave him special canned food
and he threw that up.
Then he threw up 2 times before bed
And once during night
And twice in morning.
Once in my car and another time here at work.
They gave him an injection for vomiting etc. he won't eat canned, dry or treats. Now they are doing a barium series,
Which involves lots of X-rays.
They are also doing blood tests.
He might be a senior
But he's still a puppy to me
 I know it will all be OK.
Still, Blue and I would appreciate any good healing thoughts and energy that you could send his way.
Xoxo

UPDATE:
The last X-ray of the day showed that the barium had not moved past his stomach.
It should have gone through to his intestines hours before.
Therefore they say it must be a blockage of some sort
or an issue with his intestines not functioning as they should
and squeezing it through.
They are pretty sure there's a blockage.
If it hasn't passed through by the morning
they will do exploratory surgery.

I suppose that some might hesitate doing surgery on a Great Dane who's
almost 11.
But... I have no choice, I must have it done.
So PLEASE, everyone visualize whatever it is
passing through BLue's intestines.
Or him vomiting it up.
Whichever.
It just needs to get out of there!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Choosing Happiness and Joy

So what's new with you?
Nothing much happening here except -
It's busier than Christmas time!
I'm guessing everyone is trying to fit in one last vacation before school starts.
So it's been pretty crazy.
And Very HOT.
In fact, in the last 3 weeks I have eaten a whole cherry cheesecake (save for one piece, it was a birthday gift) and several pizzas, a few hot fudge sundaes and/or ice cream bars and poptarts for breakfast and I've lost 13 lbs!
So yeah, I've been working hard.
Anyway...
Then this happened -

Last Friday, someone at work was talking about being upset that their dishwasher had broken down

(I'm the dishwasher at my house)
so I made the statement that I would feel upset if my washing machine ever broke down as I use it every single day.
I wash dog bedding and potty pads.
I said if I didn't use it daily, I'd probably save a lot of $$$ but what else could I do?
So I went home that night and the washer wouldn't work.
Saturday morning
(I won't bore you with all the horrible details)
but after a nightmare of a morning, the washer ended up dead.
Broken forever.
Beyond repair.
It had a good run.
Years and years of daily washing.
So there was that.

After I calmed down and cleaned up, I ran downtown to the place I have my Art prints for sale.
I had done a "July Special" and I hoped I had made some good sales.
The woman who owned the place said several people liked them
and commented how they might want their own pets done but....
Nothing sold.
Zero.
Nada.

Sunday morning I met my sister for our monthly breakfast.
As I left my house I looked around and realized I would need to cut the grass.
So after breakfast I came home and cut it.
I have a small front yard and I mostly just weed whack the back yard.
I was thinking how I could almost weed whack the front, since it's so small but then decided it wouldn't look nice.
Along the flowerbeds, next to the driveway, the grass had grown high and I decided to just run the mower along the edge of the rock border.
I didn't see the rock in the weeds but the mower hit it hard and it stopped.
I flipped the mower over, the blade was bent at a very sharp angle and was gouged up into the plastic in the top of the mower. It was embedded deep....

Monday I got my pay stub.
I had overtime on it.
I ordered a push mower off of Amazon.


I also ordered disposable Doggy potty pads.
I can easily hand wash my clothes.
If I have something big, like a comforter, I can take it to work and wash it until I figure out what I want to do.



While I was at it, I ordered 200 ft of cotton clothesline.
Then I went and dug up my old clothesline post and moved over to a more convenient spot.
I figured that I might as well start line-drying too, while the weather is good for it.

And about my Art,
I decided to go back to making illustrations.
Maybe some with quotes, something more general.
I talked to the woman at the place about how I plan on doing Halloween illustrations too


and seasonal stuff


she was excited.
She said Halloween is BIG!
but it only sells from now and until through September.
So I'll be doing that.

OK, now we are to Monday.
I fell.
I was wearing different shoes because my other ones had created a huge blister on the back of my foot and then I accidentally ripped that skin off.
Since it hurt like Hell to put on any regular shoe, I was wearing my old Crocs.
I was on the wet floor in the kennel area and just sort of wiped out and landed on my knee.
Luckily I came down straight on it and didn't twist it.

Tuesday, a dog pooped as he came in the door of boarding and the owner walked in it and smooshed it everywhere. After he had left I dragged the hose out and was cleaning it off and as I walked back in, there must have been water on the floor because I wiped out AGAIN and came down on the same knee and then fell backwards. I could feel the muscles on the top of my thigh pull. I had the hose in my hand and it went off and sprayed the ceiling and then down on me and got me all wet.

I gathered the hose up and tossed it into the laundry room and then I gave the old lab that had pooped a bath.
That's why he was there, for me to give him his monthly bath.
I'm washing the big dogs now.
The groomer has decided she's too old to do them any longer, so I'm doing them.
Fun fact: I'm 5 years older than her.

After that was done, the old blind diabetic Schnauzer that was boarding had to go potty so I carried him across the room. The hose was still on the floor so I kicked it out of the way and it went off again.
I turned quickly to shield the old guy and it sprayed the entire back of me and got me soaking wet.
I took the old dog out to the grassy area and stood in the sun, wishing it would dry me as he wobbled around the yard.

Later on I sat down to look at the boarding schedule.
I'm back to working 6 days because I have to double up the workers for some shifts.
I was studying the schedule when someone called who just needed to board his dog overnight. Luckily it's for NEXT week when most of the dogs are going home.

So I set up the boarding appointment for his little dog.
We coordinated it so the little dog could be groomed too.
The owner was this very cheerful man who unfortunately had to get his home "bombed" for bedbugs. He was so pleasant and laughed about the situation and said he'd bring the dog over before picking up his disabled son from school. Then afterwards he said he'd run his elderly mom to the hotel that they are staying at.
He said that it "sounded like a plan!
He was so happy that it all was falling into place nicely. I hung up and thought WOW!
If I was in his situation I'd be all grumbly and bitchy.
In fact most people I know would be too.

There's definitely a lesson to be learned here.
We have the power to choose how we go through life. To focus on the good things rather than dwell on the bad.
I felt bad for him but at the same time felt in awe.
How amazing with so much on his plate, he was able to find joy.

And that made me think again about Jean's daughter and son-in-law and their tragic loss of Montana.
They too, are amazing people who were able to rise above it all and find Joy!

Life is full of crappy little details and we can let those things drag us down.
At least I know I do.
And yet people with BIG issues are able to find Happiness and Joy.

Once again, I'm gonna quit my belly-aching and
CHOOSE to be HAPPY!