Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Truth Stranger Than Fiction


Living in Indiana, one doesn't often think about experiencing a Tropical Depression, but alas, Katrina has swung her way into the Ohio Valley and we are inundated with rain. Amazing. Hayes and I have spent much of the day curled up under the quilts watching movies. What better way is there to spend a rainy afternoon? Well, possibly making art.... They say Katrina will be out of here by tomorrow. Strange but true.

Monday, August 29, 2005

For the Record


I have been trying to get healthy by setting some exercise goals for myself. I am up to walking (with jogging interspersed) 2 miles a day, most days. I am hoping to get up to 3 miles by the time we leave for Germany (October 3). It seems to be doing nothing on the weight front, but at the very least I seem to be increasing my distance. We shall see what September brings....

Speedy and Public Trial (VI)

Amendment VI : In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, whick district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Quartering (III)

This is the latest in the series: Quartering -- Ammendment III: No soldier shall,in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Search & Seizure (IV)

From ammendment IV

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Bill Of Rights

I started a new series of collage yesterday. It rather surprized me, and yet it makes perfect sense. I was originally thinking about doing a series with birdcages: what it means to be caged and how we allow ourselves to be caged. So I began brainstorming about ways we end up in cages. The more I wrote, the more I realized that I was writing about our basic American rights. I also should mention that I just recieved my ACLU card in the mail and have been hearing all the news about how Iraq just can't get a Constitution drafted. It occured to me that it might be appropriate to express my understanding about our rights and freedoms through a series of collage on the Bill of Rights.

For those of you who were not paying attention in high school, the Bill of Rights are the first 10 Ammendments of the Constitution. You can find them here. The three I have posted are called: Freedom of Expression (I); Jury of Your Peers (VI); and Peaceably Assemble (I), respectively. Each is 5 x 7. The number in parenthesis is the number of the Ammendment in which these principles are found. I am in the process of working on Search & Seizure (IV) with a hand and some keys. I'll try to post it when it is done. This series has been thought provoking and enjoyable all at the same time. I could never have predicted it.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Over 53 years of Friendship

Tonight I had dinner with my favorite people. I know it's not nice to say that in front of other people, but the truth is, I love them most and best. They are the people I choose and I choose them consitently. They love me because I am me and never expect me to change for them, and yet they never seem to freak out if I do decide to change, as long as I do it for me. And I feel exactly the same about them.

We covered the gamut tonight in conversation too; all the things you are never supposed to talk about, we did: religion, politics, criminal histories, and some other things like moose, school and crushes. We figured out that among us we have 54 years of friendship, just with each other. I can only hope for more. The martinis were free (and free-flowing) and the food was out of this world. I think I am officially changing my Meyers-Briggs score to ENFP instead of my previous INFP -- I am so energized and high from being with friends that I can't possibly sleep right now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Some days a girl just feels like she's getting a hell of a lot done, you know? I've been having one of those weeks.

I currently have 23 pieces framed and ready for Penrod, have taken care of all pertinent school (for Hayes) business, have met the new baby, visited with family and long-lost friends, sold a collage, shopped for groceries, reserved a hotel and river cruise in Paris and it's only 4:30 on Tuesday!

And to top it all off, Wanda is back; she's my muse. I think she was on a world tour, because I have been on a journey kick ever since I got back into the studio. It has also come to my attention that my favorite art magazine is taking submissions with a Paris theme! Here's to hoping because I am definitely submitting something. And the ISABA is asking for submissions for altered books as travel journals -- those of you who have seen my Paris book know what I am thinking of submitting to them. Maybe I will actually be published this year. It was on the goal sheet, after all.

I'm off to do more art. Strike while the iron is hot, I always say. Cheers!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Coincidence? Perhaps...

About two weeks ago, Richard asked if Hayes and I would be interested in going with him to Baltimore. He has this interview and I actually fly free with him since he does so much travel. Of course I said yes, as we have a new little niece to meet, and we made all the necessary arrangements.

Low and behold I get an e-mail from a longtime friend that she will be visiting a second longtime friend in DC this weekend. I must say here that there have been many attempts to meet in the last several years and none, I repeat none, have actually worked out. That, however, is about to change. We have scheduled a meet-up with all but one of our family members present for this very weekend. I can't believe it is actually working out! I love the way this has all fallen into place. Grace, definitely has a hand in it. So not only will we get to visit with the family, we will also get to see these people we haven't seen for ages. I can't wait!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Post Show Euphoria


Spent the day at Ellenberger Park in Irvington and met some amazing people! This was the 4th Irvington Guild of Artists show and I had a fabulous time. I met altered book makers, ATC makers, found out about a collage exhibit in the Murphy building in Fountain Square, met wonderful artists and patrons alike. I even sold a few things. I can't believe I was so pumped up and energized by this show. Can it be that I am becoming an. . . say it isn't so. . . extrovert?! Only time will tell. I can't wait to do this show again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dad Update

Quick update to say that Dad came home Sunday. He's been in a lot of pain, but yesterday seemed to turn a corner. He's been walking around the cul-de-sac 3-5 times a day. He announced yesterday that he was on the scales and has lost 30 lbs. since Friday (the day of surgery)! I think that's a bit unusual, but I'm very excited for him.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The 7:30 Bedtime


I'm totally sold. This 7:30 bedtime is marvelous. When the witching (was that bitching?) hour arrives, we are safely on our way to bed. I, on the other hand, was able to watch a movie and have a conversation on the phone without being interrupted once. I'm a believer; big, big believer. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a sleepover in Hayes' room I must be off to.

Travel Bug


I admit it: I want to see the world, and yes, first I'd like to see Europe. I taught Western Civ for 7 years and studied it unceasingly prior to teaching; I want to see and touch and smell the places that were so frequently part of my life if only in the realm of thought. So imagine my elation when Richard came home and said that we had the opportunity to visit Heidelburg, Germany with a work related convention that he will be attending! True, Germany was not exactly on the top ten list -- I had ideas about Italy and Greece and Trukey and Spain and Slovakia... but to travel to Europe at all seems like a gift from the gods. And it so happens that this is a boarder town with France and I absolutely know how to take a train.

We'll be getting 6 whole days to enjoy life without Bush, life immersed in a different language, life with exquisite beer and wine. I will be free to explore on my own for three entire days. This seems like a fairy tale. I get to see Castles and Cathedrals and little shops and squares and ... ephemera! I have noticed that my collage takes off after traveling. I'm not sure if it's the freshness of a new place or the relaxed atmosphere without the pressures of home. It doesn't matter. I'm looking forward to this with great anticipation. And if it includes a weekend in Paris I may have actually died and gone to heaven. But we are still working on that.

Sunday, August 07, 2005



Dad called this morning and reported that they are releasing him at noon today! I'm so glad he'll be home. I think that he is ready to be out of the hospital. Mom and Richard will be going up to get him. I'll be going to the grocery for a few odds and ends we still need. We are about to embark on a whole new journey together. You know how traveling with family can be...ugly, joyful, angry and exciting all at the same time. I am almost more anxious about this new life than I was about the surgery itself.

Saturday, August 06, 2005



The last four days have been a whirlwind! Today is Hayes' 4th birthday. We had a Thomas the Tank Engine Party Thursday with 7 kids and their respective adults. I was simultaneously enjoying their antics and extremely thankful that this only happens once a year! If you've never watched the kids you love gather around an elephant that shoots butterflies out of his trunk, well my friend, you have never lived. I love my nieces, and it goes without saying that I think my own child is brilliant and entertaining, but when the 3 of them get together, there is this synergy that sort of explodes into peals of laughter and very noisy feet. It's wonderful to watch, but you have to be up for it. Little sleep and anxiety are not the right combination for it. Thankfully, I think they were rather oblivious to any adult irritation with them. I love having them here, I really, really do.

I saw my dad this morning and he is doing well. We actually walked a mile together; I am so impressed with his determination to make this work. We also found out that he can have one of his pain meds (he's on 2) every hour. I think this will be helpful. It appears that the pain is the worst thing for him right now. We are hoping that he will get to come home tomorrow, although they still weren't sure this morning. In fact, while we were walking the halls this morning, we ran into another patient who had surgery yesterday morning (the same time as dad). She was excited that she is going home today. My dad said, "Not me; I think I'll stay a little longer." And you know, I think he should. It is my personal theory that one should never be anxious to leave the place where they will wait on you hand and foot.

I think Hayes and I will be off to see him in another hour or so. He said he's like to see the kids if they'll come. I think he's a bit lonely without someone there. Mom has been there for several hours today and Jody will have been by with the kids; Richard is going up to watch "the game" (that would be the Colts) with him tonight. At least they have an open-ended visiting policy on the Bariatric floor -- the hours for visiting are unlimited.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Waiting... is over

So, everything looks good! No complications and he is in his own room. When Mom and I left around 2 p.m., Dad was up and walking. They said this was critical and I knew he would have to, but I was still amazed at how brave and strong he was to do even half a lap (about 75 ft.) before he had to go back to his room for more pain meds. Let the easy breathing begin. (for us, at least)


So in the last two days I have become more and more nervous for Dad. In fact, this morning I thought I might have to swallow the entire pregnancy-sized bottle of Tums, my stomach was so nervous. I finished Anne Lamott's new book Plan B, and love her writing style, but now I feel lonely without her and the aunties. I have however found an internet terminal here at the hospital and think I might be able to kill a couple of hours. I no longer need the Tums, now I just need to find patience. Why don't they have treadmills in here so I can burn off this excess energy? Will keep you posted....

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Pre-Op Class

Went to Pre-Op Class yesterday for the Bariatric Surgery my dad is having Friday. It was long! It was amazing to understand what the Drs. will be doing to his body. And further still, what he will be able to ingest and won't be able to ingest. I am so glad I went. Mom is in Michigan and comes home Thursday, so it was good to have another person there to hear what the nutritionist and the nurse were saying. There is a complete binder with instructions for preparing your body for surgery and what to do upon your arrival at home. They also took him down to only 5 medications and not all of them are daily. This is perhaps the most remarkable part of the entire day.

The thing is, I am really happy for my dad to be doing this. I know that the rest of the family is feeling uptight, nervous, anxious and with good reason. They usually don't do this for people over 60, but he is a good candidate and otherwise pretty healthy. It will be a huge lifestyle change for him. It's exactly the kind of thing that he has needed. Already he is taking better care of his body, exercising regularly, taking care of ailments that I think he may have let go in the past.

I know that many people believe (my mother included) that if you just have enough will-power and stick-to-it-iveness that you shouldn't have to go to such drastic measures. But I am witness to a man's (at least) 30 year battle with weight loss and gain. I have seen my dad at 180 lbs. and I have seen him at well over 300 lbs. I know that he needs something drastic and different to believe that he really has a fighting chance to keep this weight off. If this surgery is the mental edge he needs, so be it. If it is the physical edge he needs, all the better.

My hope is that he will be able to live a long and healthy life. I really look forward to his prolonged health, having him on the sidelines of Hayes' future sports, having him there to watch Hayes graduate from high school, having him around to ask about business decisions and family life. And if he no longer has to be discriminated against as a fat person, halleluia. I can't imagine what this will do for him. It will be so amazing for him to not have to worry about stairs, booths, theme parks and airplane seats and a host of other things that are simply hurdles in everyday life. Never mind what this could do to his chance of getting a new job, being seen as capable. I think it can open doors that nothing else could, and because it has worked for so many people, he is dedicated to it's outcome.

But I guess we'll have to wait until Friday for all this to really begin.