Monday, June 30, 2008

a digression from the plan.....

We had great plans for yesterday -- a bit of working in the garden, reading the paper at a leisurely pace, a bit of sketching and graphic work on a new quilt design and the web site then a nice dinner of chicken and fresh veggies from the farmers market

Alas, it was not to be

Instead we spent the entire afternoon and well into the evening sitting in the emergency room of our nearest hospital -- and it was far longer than we needed to be there

Shortly after breakfast the DH said he was having pain under his left arm that sort of wrapped around to his shoulder blade and a bit toward the front. He had taken Tylenol (the only over the counter pain killer he can handle), and it hadn't helped much.

So I called his doctor's office and had a chat with the urgent care nurse who suggested (after asking a lot of questions) that I should take him to the nearest emergency room to be checked out.

Off we go to the ER

The intake nurses were great -- no sooner had I started writing the information on the card at the desk when the nurse came with a wheel chair and whisked him into the room to take readings, put him on oxygen and quiz us about his medications (he carries a laminated card in his wallet -- thank goodness!), his symptoms and especially his allergies -- they gave him the usual id bracelet and TWO red bracelets with his allergies on them

The nurses on the emergency ward were great too -- checking his vital signs, the lab testing done promptly, the x-ray department taking a chest x-ray with their cute little portable unit -- all with normal results, except for one blood test that indicated that he MIGHT have a blood clot somewhere.

So the doctor in charge in the ER tells us that they need to call in a technician to do the special scan to see if there is a clot (usually this is done with a CAT scan, but that involves using a dye that he's allergic to), and they are calling him in. That was at 1:30.

Then began the waiting --- and WAITING --- and WAITING!

Around 2:30 we asked for the doctor to come back in because the pain level had gone back up

Around 4:15 I was back out wanting to know just how long he was going to have to wait for this test, and voicing concerns about the fact that it had been such a long time since he had eaten

By 6:00 he was at the "mad as hell" stage and ready to just sign himself out when they FINALLY came and took him for the test.

While the technicians were doing the test (a wonderfully pleasant husband and wife team), we found out from them that even though we were told at 1:30 that they had been called, they weren't actually called until 4:30!

After the test, they came in and asked him if he wanted something to eat, but they didn't offer to get him his medication (for diabetics that are treated with medication, meal time means the right little pills too)

Finally at about 7:30 the nurse came in and told us that all of the tests were normal and probably he had just strained a muscle in his side. The nurse brought in the doctor's follow up orders (note: from the time the doctor told us at 1:30 that the test needed to be run we never saw him again!)

There on the follow up sheet it said: "Ibuprofen 600-800mg every 6-8hrs as needed for pain"

HELLO! what part of anaphylactic shock didn't this bird brain get? This is why all the RED allergy bracelets -- he's allergic to this stuff, as in, he stops breathing!! We obviously will NOT be following those orders.

and I will be writing a letter to the hospital's administrator about the very poor way this was handled (I'm off now to mix up a batch of "poison" to load my pen with)


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Writer? Blogger? Both?

I have a "favorites" list that includes a pretty diverse group of blogs that I try to get to at least a couple of times a week.

The subject matter on these is fun, serious, artful and personal. Some of them make me laugh, some make me cry, some make be cheer and occasionally one will make me angry, but they are all interesting.

Over at Travelin Oma's Library and marta writes (a delightful mother/daughter pair of blogs if ever I saw one!) there has been some thought provoking discussion about why folks blog.

There were a couple of things they said that really got me to thinking about my blogs.

1. In Marta's post she says: "my main blogging goal is to write it out, find my voice, being true to myself, to whatever is whirling in my mind and just write. yet, i also want to make you love me."

2. Oma has this to say: "I blog the way I used to write in my journal. ... I kept my journal, imagining the people who would someday read it. It wasn't ever meant to be totally private. I'm an audience kind of writer. For me, writing doesn't feel complete unless someone reads it."

To each of them I want to say a loud, resounding YES!

I actually write several blogs, and each of them has its own purpose. The first one I started was because I wanted to keep in touch with people that had purchased a piece of my artwork, and to let them know what I was working on next.

This blog has always been intended to be a much more personal one, but like Oma, my writing doesn't feel complete unless someone reads it.

Maybe its the little kid in me that ALWAYS wants your attention, I get so excited when I get a comment on anything I've written.

This is the place that the whining and ranting goes on. It is the place that I feel safe in saying things that are difficult for me to say to myself and I am always touched and humbled when someone out there in the big wide world "hears" it and reaches back to touch my hand and my heart.

Oma asks in her post if we journal too -- I don't.

My blogging is my journal.

I have a friend in California that fills several 2 inch binder notebooks every year (I always see to it that she has the first one to start in as a Christmas gift). She carefully writes about what she has done and where she has been, she keeps letters and cards and children's art work. She is building a treasure for her children and her grandchildren in the future -- I hope they will appreciate it.

So, I don't hand write -- I blog and I put in lots of pictures -- and I have folders where I have printed out each entry.

And then there is the question of "is this writing"? It's sort of like asking "is it art"? Could we say that writing, like art, is in the eye of the beholder? Is what we write in our blogs more or less likely to be "writing"? Is it only writing if it gets published?

I don't know.

I only know that most days I feel better for the experience. And better still if someone reads it and comments -- yes, its the exhibitionist side of me -- because someone has "heard" what I had to say

If we didn't want someone to read it, we wouldn't put it out on the web

if there is no one to hear it, does the falling tree make a sound? yes, but no one cares

we blog because we want to be heard

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is our wedding anniversary.

We got a card in the mail from our daughter earlier in the week, which was cute and really sweet.

And this afternoon we'll be off setting up a booth for the art show we'll be doing tomorrow and Sunday.

No fancy dinner for us -- just working together on displaying the art jewelry we both work on.

Frankly, after the past few months, its a marvel that he hasn't "done me in" -- as I've been negotiating a roller coaster of emotional upheaval, trying hard to figure out the "now what" of being the mother of an adult child that is now married and really doesn't need my constant attention.

We're adjusting to the health concerns as well, and I'm trying to stop being so self centered as I make myself do things that are "good" for me (even when I don't want to!)

And so, we've survived another year --- and hope for the next one to be better!

Monday, June 16, 2008

the way into print.....

appears to be through letters to the editor!

Early last week the Denver paper ran an article about the people that live in an area that has been called The Hayman Fire -- a massive fire that happened 6 years ago and was accidently set by a woman that was burning a distressing letter from her husband.

I was so struck by the hate that seemed to flow out of the page that I wrote a letter to the editor about it.

Mid week I got a call from the editor's office to get my permission to print it.

It will be interesting to watch the on-line forum to see if there are any responses to it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

one of life's random experiences.......

This morning's usual routine was interrupted by a a trip to the local DMV that was not planned until yesterday morning.

It seems when my husband went in to have some blood work done yesterday, they asked him for his photo id. When they handed it back to him, he looked at it (who knows why) and realized that it had expired LAST AUGUST!!

Needless to say, he forked over the keys and we decided that a trip to take care of the issue would be in order post haste!

(we were used to living in a state that sent out reminders in the mail -- I guess they don't do that here)

Anyway, this morning, we went over to the DMV, and as we're standing in line we were talking to a lady that was there with her son who was taking his test for his first driver's license.

As we talked, she revealed that she moved to our state from New Orleans after Katrina -- they lost their home and every thing in it, having lived in the St Bernard Parish (right next door to the 9th Ward, which has gotten a lot of press).

The only thing they were able to later retrieve was a gold ring set with little diamonds that she had left sitting in the window sill of the kitchen that Sunday morning before the hurricane. When they were finally able to get back into their home, it was still sitting there -- a real strange twist considering that everything else in the house was so turned upside down.

She also told me that in the last 6 months as they were on a family vacation back to that area, her husband died while they were on the road.

I was stunned. I would never have guessed she'd seen all that trouble.

A true testament to the strength of the human spirit.

My grandmother used to have a little frame above her desk that had this saying in it:

I used to complain because I had no shoes, until I met a man that had no feet.

Ok, I get the message -- time to quit whining --

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Looking back another way.....

Over at Traveling Oma, Marty was talking about having credentials to do things.

Now days, folks are pretty hung up in this idea. You practically have to have a degree in everything.

I never did get that college degree -- got busy with living instead I guess, and then there was the whole "what do you want to major in?" issue. If I had it to do again, I'd go major in art and writing.

But I also believe that what you learn along the way as you're living is worth while too (remember: life is what happens while you're making other plans)

So I've been thinking about all the things I have developed the ability to do, and figured it would help me to recognize those things.

Here then is my list:

* I know enough about remodeling to be the General Contractor on a major project -- I have personally done these things: paint a room (and clean up!); lay ceramic tile on a floor, a counter and in a shower; install an electrical outlet, an exhaust fan and a ceiling fixture; replace a washer in a faucet; hang a drapery rod; hang, tape and seal dry wall; install kitchen cabinets

* I can pack a whole household of stuff and have everything arrive at its destination intact (oh yeah, I drove the truck and towed the car too)

* I can organize a large event involving many other people

* I can bake and decorate a wedding cake

* I can create a teddy bear, a doll and a quilt from idea to finished item

* I can sew clothing (every formal my daughter wore in high school had my designer label in it)

* I can create a web site (taught myself HTML code when I had a back injury)

* I can cook a meal reasonably well, and I make a mean pot of apple butter

* I can supervise an accounts payable department in a large corporation

* I'm a good listener for an adult daughter (guess I did a good job listening from the time she was real little!)

* I can change a tire, check the fluids and know enough about auto mechanics to keep the repair shop from ripping me off with stuff that isn't true

* I can knit a sweater, a scarf, a vest, an afghan, a pair of mittens, and a variety of animal toys (just don't ask me to do socks!)

* I can write a reasonably clear business letter

I'm thinking there are probably a lot of other things I haven't thought of to put on this list -- I may add them as they come to me

So, what can you do?

Monday, June 02, 2008

on becoming art educated

its funny how one acquires knowledge

not long ago a friend sent me this card

The picture is titled "water heater walking" and its one of Dada's works

Now the fellow in question is an artist in his own right, but he was just struck by the humor of this particular piece and it made him think of us after all of our water heater issues last fall

To be honest, I had heard the name Dada, but I really had no clear idea of who he was (other than an artist) or when and where he worked or what his vision was

I've been getting educated --- just plug the word "dada" into Google and you'll get an eye full (so to speak!)

In a way some of what I'm seeing in some new publications, like Art Doll Quarterly reminds me of the dadaists -- assemblage, collage and lots of statements being made about life and politics --

and I find that the more I see and think about those pieces, the better I understand them -- and might be interested in creating some of my own "assemblage" pieces

something to think on anyway