Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence

Everyone on the east coast is making ready. Stay safe.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Yep I skipped an entire month...

I fell on my driveway and hurt both my hands and my knees on May 1st.  I am healing in my own way, in my own time.

I'll be back with news and such when I feel so inclined. Until then, I hope you are healthy, happy and having a great year.

We'll talk soon.

Friday, April 13, 2018

April is autism month...

As a boomer (1953) with no children or grandchildren, the subject of autism doesn't come up often. In fact I never thought about it until I gradually began noticing behaviors in adults that would make me think "what the hell is that about".  My late husband had several tendencies that were unusual, one being that he would say something that was inappropriate or unnecessary to someone, while out in public, that he would later realize was not socially acceptable and would then agonize over it until he was able to apologize. 

On social media, he had a friend of a friend (musician) that was supposedly dealing with Asperger's Syndrome.  This person was what is considered highly functioning, but really didn't understand the give and take of conversation and never had a romantic type relationship due to the inability to "get" the social aspects of it.

Looking back on things in my own childhood, I am remembering behaviors of my own and other kids.  My brother had a friend that walked on his tip toes, a regularly recognized symptom of autism.  I sat on the floor to watch television and I would rock gently back and forth while watching my shows, another classic symptom of autism.

I was always happier by myself, either playing with dolls or doing art projects. I had a neighbor that loved to run and play and ride her bicycle and swing on a swing set.  I just didn't want to go outside and I really didn't like exercise.  I did eventually learn to ride a bike, but it was never something I anxiously awaited to do. Since I didn't like to exercise or "play outside" I gained weight and by the time I was twelve I was put on  a diet with diet pills by a pediatrician and I did lose 35 pounds. (My hands shook for several years after that)  I gradually regained that weight and lost it literally a dozen times over the following forty or so years.  Yo Yo was more than a toy for me...

It may seem that I am digressing a bit, but my point is that I am wondering if a lot of people, myself included, would now be diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum/asperger's syndrome.  Back in the 50's and 60's a diagnosis like that would have probably caused labels like "retarded" or something even worse.  The 60's were not as hip as we want to remember them.

So, say that perhaps, a large number of boomers are actually now adults with autism and asperger's. What do they do?  Do they concern themselves with a diagnosis? There are no cures and very few treatments, outside of medications for anxiety that these conditions may bring.

Do these conditions classically worsen as we/they age, or is it strictly an individual thing?  I still find much comfort in watching television for hours at a time (it is now called binge-watching, so I'm obviously not alone), I no longer rock on the floor while watching telly, but sit  me in a rocking chair and I will rock until my butt gets numb.

I have problems with what I will call spacial situations. Not knowing where I am when riding/or driving.  Large expanse of land, as well as the ocean, seem to sometimes want to swallow me. I prefer the coziness of a small area, but feel claustrophobic if it gets too dark.  I laugh and say it isn't easy being me, but I do wonder if others my age experience these same things.

I don't like animals, or insects or birds, for that matter.  I do like to sit outside, but if there are no screens, I need a quick get-away route back into the safety of my house.

I do a lot of art and find comfort in it.  Comfort may not be the correct word, but sometimes I just simply think too much and have to have something to do that only requires color and lines and shapes.

Actually, I could go on and on in this vein, but today I'll just post these few thoughts that I'm having.  I have laughingly said that I'm an introvert, but I wonder if that is where it ends. Were I a child of today would I be diagnosed as something and labeled and treated and handled differently than a child of the sixties?

Does it matter?  No, not really, as I have a loving family close by and we all look out for each other. 

No one's life is always easy, and now that I have reached the time in my life where I am often subjected to calls about medicare supplement plans, I can let the machine take those calls, as I sit back smiling... knowing that everything will be OK.

I mean, after all, my life is A Walk In The Park.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

You will have to help me up...

"You will have to help me up"...I can remember when we were teenagers and my mom would say this if we tried to get her to sit in the floor.  I always laughed and agreed to.  I just thought it was because she was "old". Looking back on it, she was in her 50's when I was a teenager and already couldn't get up from the floor. As I say, I knew this, but it never occurred to me to question why.  It didn't dawn on me that it hurt her to get up, and it certainly was beyond my comprehension that possibly, she could not actually get up by herself. I just thought she wanted help because she was, as I mentioned above, old.

I will turn 65 next month and for at least the past five years, I haven't been able to get up from the floor.  For instance, when I went to Williamsburg the spring of 2013, I couldn't get out of the soaking tub in the hotel and finally desperation and adrenaline kicked in and I was able to get out.  It felt like thirty minutes, but it was probably no more than three.  Last year I sat in the floor to work on my computer cables and had to crawl over to my treadmill and painfully pull myself up. In fact just last month, my sister and I had a wager and she bet me I couldn't get out of the tub at her house, I was in clothes and shoes and thought, I'm healthier now, this will be a cinch.  It was not.  It hurt quite a lot to flip over, from a bathing position, onto my knee and push myself up, but I did it, and shook it off.

All of this is leading up to just now when I decided to get in the bathroom floor to look under the sink.  I thought I was prepared, I had my glasses on and my phone near by and I said to myself (actually I said it out loud) that all I had to do was roll over onto my knee and push myself up and I would be fine.  When finished, I went to roll over on my knee (on the extremely hard and unyielding) bathroom tile floor to push myself up and I quickly had two thoughts...first was, wow, this hurts like Hades and the second was "why am I wearing only socks and no shoes on this tile floor"?  It did hurt, apparently enough that my sense of self preservation kicked in and didn't want to let me push off on the other leg. Was this a temporary battle of wills with myself? Would I soon be able to push myself up? No I would not. Nope said my body.  Nope not today. So, enter plan B...I had to then balance on one knee and awkwardly pull/claw myself up on the edge of the wall/shower stall.  Hindsight, being 20/20, now laughingly reminds me that it would probably have been easier to sit back down and skooch myself two feet into the bedroom and get up from the carpet, but no I didn't do that. Damn you Hindsight, you really deserve your name.

Anyhoo, I'm up and no worse for wear, but determined to get some strength back in my legs. I have been doing some water exercises, and my flexibility is really good, but I'm obviously not building much muscle.  But Ahaa!!! I do have a hallway that is over sixty feet long and it's the perfect place for some traveling squats and eventually maybe even some modified lunges.  I am fairly stable when wearing my stabilizing athletic shoes, so for now I'm thinking about adding squats to my current routine of marching in the hall.

So that's what happened to me this morning. I went in the bedroom to get socks because my legs were cold, got distracted (Squirrel!!!) and ended up flopping around on the floor like some sort of a nut. 

I hope you all have a fun day and if you are shoveling out from the latest winter storm, be careful and don't fall!

Happy Spring from California, by the way!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Well, she did it...

I told you cats that I was moving to California, and I did it.  I've been here about three weeks and I'm getting in a groove a bit. I am driving some by myself, but not very far from home so far.  I am lucky to have a sister that loves to drive and offers to come and pick me up and run me around.

I have gotten a p.o. box (a requirement for my neighborhood) and I have gotten a new dentist and am trying out the local nail salon. All the nail techs are from Vietnam and it's really difficult for me to understand their English.  (they probably feel the same way about me, but that's another story).

I have gotten the house pretty much set up, I am still missing some things that I think are in boxes in the garage.  It will all sort itself out soon. If I can't find something that I absolutely need, I'll buy a replacement.  It's all good. We got this.

The house itself is fabulous...

The sunsets are marvelous...
The ocean is where it should be...
When I'm not unpacking boxes...
I'm "cooking with gas"...
If I'm not in the studio...
I'm soaking up the sun...

I possibly may have burned some bridges when I moved, but they were not vital to my journey at all. 

What is paramount is that I'm with my dear sisters and that, my friends, is the main thing.

I think the studio is just about ready and I hope to have some new art to show soon...

So until then, enjoy life. Try to stay safe and warm and dry and keep your priorities straight.

Friday, December 22, 2017

California Dreaming

Is becoming a reality.  Yeppers, in January 2018 I am packing up my house and moving to San Diego. It seems to some like a quick decision, but those that really know me, know that it is not. I have tried to justify staying here in Virginia, but truth is, other than a brother that I see less than once every two years or so, there is no one here that I care about or can really count on in case of emergency.  I have several people/friends who would beg to differ, but it is because they don't want to see themselves for what they truly are. (i.e. the way I seem them, anyway)

I would have to say that in addition to an enlightening personal experience this summer, my passive/aggressive and somewhat nosy neighbors were the final push I needed to sell my properties and move to California ...where I will be with close family and where I will still be me, but won't have people making me feel that I have to prove myself or come out of my comfort zone because THEY are social, (insert nosy and gossipy)  and want ME to be less private.

I have recently learned that one neighbor hates for people to keep their blinds closed. I have another neighbor who cautions me because I sometimes leave my blinds open. I have one neighbor who is just a bee-aytch and two neighbors that are the street police and report everyone and everything. Another neighbor called me colorful, years ago when pressured to discuss/gossip about someone that they really didn't know and had nothing in common with.

I have let some of the neighbors know that I am moving and putting my house on the market, and while I am getting well wishes, as is expected, one of them surprisingly said "if you donate anything I want me and my family to have first choice".  Until she said that, I may have, but now that will not be the case. This neighbor who pointedly told me that "she knows me better than anyone"  will be surprised to realize that I have made arrangements for someone to come in and remove all items from my house that I don't ship cross country and I have made certain that no nosy neighbors get to view my house just for fun, it will be viewed by serious buyers and appointment only.

Thinking about something my sister said, there will under no circumstances be any yard sales or estate sales on my property and no nosy people just trooping through my home...I have a great realtor and he is pretty savvy, so I know I don't have to worry about that, but still.

I really am ready to start anew in Cali and am excited about the change. I just get peeved about comments that my crazy neighbors make. It's always about them.  Sheesh.

Well, that's it for now. Wish me luck and stay tuned for more rants and raves.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What's up Home Fries?

I have been busy doing art and getting a house ready to put on the market and doing all the things that go with being a responsible, conscientious adult.

It's too dark here today to do much art, even though my studio lights are more than adequate, on rainy days I prefer to read.

My Christmas decorations are up and I am just hanging around doing my thing. Other than a know it all resident of my subdivision reporting me for leaf removal, all has been as it should be.

I've rearranged my studio, getting rid of the sitting area and replacing it with a drafting table that is in front of the television, so I can draw and watch television in the studio without hunching over a coffee table and totally screwing up my back.

I've ordered a heater for the studio which should be here soon and I'm pretty much tucked in for the winter.

Here are a few of the art projects that I have done recently...

All of the above are done with alcohol inks on plastic type paper...

These two are done in pastels on a paper called Pastelmat.  It is covered with a fine emery type substance that makes the paper feel like 1000 grit wet dry sand paper. Very smooth, yet it holds multiple layers of pastel or color's not that great for blending. 

Well, that's it for a while. Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy, both physically and emotionally. 

Take care and keep coming back!