Thursday, November 16, 2017

Happy Birthday Lefty!

5 years ago I took a test that saved my ovary!
I celebrate that day as a new birthday for my ovary ever since.

Today is my left ovaries birthday.
I have had several new cycles with her and she has not decided to grow anything new!
I am thankful for that 

Here is to lefty
formally Quasimodo

I am looking to celebrate many more healthy birthdays with you ⭐

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Recap of a moment in time

I made it past so many milestones these last few weeks...
I am amazed at myself.
I am still standing...and I really believe that I can say I am firmly planted.

my view of the crowd and cameras and newspaper people

I survived the speaking engagement, turns out it was me and two museum directors!
No other artists on the panel, so I indeed offered a unique perspective.
It was an extra credit kind of thing, so the people who were not looking at their phones the whole time were kind of listening. I had super prepared and was quoted in the school paper complete with some unflattering photos:

The Barreness, a photographer and printmaker shared her experience with rejection, but she describes having her work accepted as magical and validating “Rejection is a massive part of the career, “Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.”She advises to learn how to do everything— to understand what’s being made in the community, to go to art galleries and read books."
So that happened and is past me. The Barren surprised me and came to the event, and sat across the hall opposite of me, so he could give me ques about speaking up and cheer me on. I was beyond touched and felt so very loved and supported and surprised. 
Next was my miscarriage anniversary, and I was quiet most of the day, but I felt stronger than years past, although it might not of appeared that way from the outside. A few people mentioned just how exhausted I looked. The Barren checked in with me a couple of times, and made a suggestion that to better live with the day, maybe I should consider treating it differently; think of it differently. Instead of mourning the loss, think of it more like a journey, or the start of one. Our little star child was released to be whomever they were meant to be with us and it created the magic that allows them to whisper in our ears when our heart is heavy or come to us in our dreams when I need to imagine what they might have looked like... As a reassurance of them always being with us. 
I am working on that....but I can see the long-term benefit of it. 
A healthier heart and lighter soul, for us all.
Then there was Halloween and a chance to dress up as a longtime hero:
                   Considering I am allergic to latex this was an act of bravery and admiration!                                                   I loved slipping into this persona and feeling strong and smarter than normal and ready to take on the world!
We made dinner and turned off the porch lights and binged watched Stranger Things season was the perfect Halloween, there was even rowdy teenagers outside looking for trouble and candy and tummy-aches.
Then our wedding anniversary! 
Whew...25years together and 15 married...crazy crazy and ooooh so thankful and grateful and wonderful. My heart is beyond full when I think of the The Barren. He is truly a match made in heaven for me. He got me a crystal ball, so I could see our long and happy lives 💖 I mean REALLY!!
Now I am left to wonder what the rest of the year holds...I am beyond most of the timelines and really in a free-fall again to make any kind of art I want. I am also scrambling to make some cash, I have made crafty things, placed affordable art in some gallery spaces...hoping hard that someone wants to shop and become an art collector.  I can say that although things are dry it is not from lack of trying.  I am firmly planted now...Just fine tuning and growing.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Can you speak up please....

So I am about to do something WAY OUTSIDE my wheelhouse.

I have been asked to be a panel member to speak to artists in college.
It is part of the career services department and they asked me over a month ago.
I said yes thinking that I would freak out less as time passed and it would all be ok.
I sent an email last week confirming that it was still a go (half thinking it would be canceled)
but instead I go the response that yes it is still happening and in fact I was on a panel of four people addressing something like 60+ students!
who are the other artists on the panel I wondered as I read the email...
oh, you are the only artist.
the other 3 people are two gallery directors and a Whitney Biannual recipient.
When I read this, I began to cry and then proceeded to spiral into a full blown panic attack!
They couldn't find anyone else!!!

Thankfully, even though The Barren was on the other side of the country for work, after he stopped laughing after learning the news, he was able to walk me off the ledge and get me to laugh too.

I am speaking about my everyday as an artist sitting next to the very people who judge and jury my work. I offer a unique perspective to the scenario....
I am crazy scared that my words will be hard to find, and fumbled when spoken.
I want to sound cool and collected and honest.

I then freaked out about the mop that is growing out of the top of my head-vanity
...I will be attending this event after morning yoga, then a full day of work!

I am getting a haircut tomorrow in hopes to shock it into submission for at least 48 hours.
The Barren will not be able to be there, and I have not told anyone that I am doing this.
Mostly because I am not sure knowingly having someone there, might not calm me down.

My freak flag is about to fly....
I am nervous but in my heart of hearts I know I can put on a mask of calm 
and ideally speak clearly and in a helpful manner. 

It is real
I am an artist
I can not not support myself on my art alone, but not from lack of trying
but that doesn't stop me from making art...
as it is the only way I know how to connect and understand the world around me.

Okay, haircut, clean clothes
tic tacs, deep breathing and don't trip!

Mantra: speak slowly, honestly and gracefully
and laugh, because really this is a first world problem and although it is scary it will not kill you!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Beer and Cowgirl boots

It is that time of year again.
Check in on my uterus and ovaries, 
make sure they don't have any new hitchhikers.

I travel to a nearby town to check into the local hospital to 
have my pelvic ultrasounds.
I have found a great tech, that tells me what she sees before I get my results.
I take her observations as a no need to panic foreshadowing.
I spent too many years worrying after the exam whilst waiting for results.
So I found a person who will tell me if she see changes or give me a heads up.
She is awesome that way and has a similar fibroid and cyst situation.
We are in a sisterhood like that.
She offers respect and compassion that I seek on this crazy reproductive journey.

Today she told me a story of a client that came in last week for a pelvic ultrasound:

A woman came in kind of drunk she said....
she was wearing a skirt and cowgirl boots.
She told the tech that she was a little drunk that she choose to drink some beers 
for her 30oz of clear fluid to prep for the pelvic ultrasound.
(I giggled and wondered why I never had thought of that, that makes for a personal party out of a sucky medical exam.)
After the external ultrasound, she emptied her bladder and hoped back onto the exam table in a hospital gown and her boots.
The tech thought, OK I guess this is how she rolls.
As she was performing the internal portion of the exam she proclaims to the tech:
"you know my husband always wants me to keep my boots on, and I always say no....
 But for you I kept them on! "

Ahhhh the clarity of alcohol
and a vaginal probe

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The ugly bathroom

fancy wear
The Barren and I attended a wedding recently. It was for one of his coworkers and it was one of those events where you know no one but the groom and have met the bride once or twice before and when you did you were slightly drunk....
and distracted.

The groom comes from a wealthy family...the kind that lives in those houses that you drive by and think what does it look like in that house?!
We dressed in our best fancy clothes and attended the backyard (of an ESTATE) wedding.
Guests were gathering in the living room before the backyard was opened and I was looking at family photos when I noticed the grooms parents had photos with people
like MARGRET THATCHER and BARBARA BUSH and stuff....

We were the country mice in the big city.
I complimented, who I thought was the father of the groom, on the beautiful etchings that were on display and was told that was the uncle of the groom....
so I didn't feel awkward or anything. 

I headed to the toilet before the backyard was opened and could not stop laughing....

the fancy house had an ugly bathroom!
Padded fabric walls in green fleur toile!!
This is what made these very fancy people real...
this made me feel relieved, reassured and entertained.

I am wearing my grandmothers belt, yes that is a HUGE lion buckle
The Barren calls it my big pussy belt.
I can do that

We were so freaked out to be on our best behavior and proper but after we saw this bathroom our guards came down and we relaxed a little.
We sat in the backyard before the ceremony and drank a drink or two and played corn-hole 
(where that name comes from I don't know....)
then the very sweet ceremony and we were off to catered reception.
The bride and groom are SERIOUS dance floor party animals and The Barren and I left for home before the cake was cut...I hadn't had anything but a couple carrots and celery (nothing else was vegan friendly) and The Barren had earned passenger status and was fed....
We felt like outsiders, invited outsiders, but it made us feel old and strange.

We were honored to attend and witness a sweet vow exchange and when the talk all turned to babies
as it does at weddings...we looked at each other and said "I hope their home is filled with babies"
then kissed each other and drank another drink.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


" I can not imagine what these people are going through. 
It is mostly the packers on the floor, almost all women"

A dear friend has organized a shipment to her company's packing plant just outside Houston.
She put a call out for supplies and she would ship them tomorrow.
So a bunch of us have gathered things and
 have been dropping them off at her door, since last night.

I went out this morning and got two huge bags of supplies.
Soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, pads, baby wipes, dog leashes and harnesses, and socks.

I felt a deep trigger when I grabbed multiple packs of little kid and baby socks.
I almost didn't include them but then let the sorrow wash over me and went deeper and 
thought of the parents that just want dry socks on their kids feet.

Natural disasters like the ones we are experiencing are hard to process.
They leave us feeling so fragile and helpless.
I made a donation to a local animal shelter many animals have been impacted too!

Then there is the flooding in India and Nepal and I am lost again.
I sent a text to The Barren:
" I feel so emotionally spent, I need to calm down and focus "
So, I came here.

I feel like a puddle of myself.
How do you process so much grief around you and inside yourself as well?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pride in the journey

So The Barren is growing in his grief...he is learning to identify his triggers.
That is HUGE

He was at work learning some new stuff for his current role and a new parent was talking about how thankful they were to have some time off work and it was supported by the employer.

I got a text message saying:
" HR was talking about paid family leave and out of nowhere I find myself about to break down...doing OK now, but it was touch and go for a moment"

After work he met with him mom and they were chatting and she started to ask about all our friends with kids and how we must hang out with them and play with their kids...
He spoke up and said, you know we often need to protect ourselves from our triggers and make sure we are alright with going to an event or party. We often skip them so that we can relax and enjoy our afternoon too. He told her about the event earlier in the day.
She was flustered, and out of no where asked if we were thinking about adoption.
to which The Barren said NO

He thinks she was not sure how to deal with suddenly witnessing his grief 
...I think she just needed to get a question off her chest.

Regardless, I am beyond proud of him and his new ability to speak up about things that trigger his sorrow and memories. He is making progress and that is to be applauded.