Friday, October 13, 2023

Fear and sadness

***trigger warning-FEAR HATE****

Stream of consciousness writing

I am trying really hard to keep my shit together. I feel like it is harder than normal.

I am shocked and terrified, these are the closest words to wrap around the unthinkable... by what has happened in Israel...and the response that will continue to punish the innocent people of Palestine.

I ingested too much news, a thing I haven't done since the election.

I can't read accounts, I am dizzy and sick to my stomach and scared...I haven't been scared in a long time about being Jewish. The anti-Semitic chants, and behavior and actions and silence in the face of it all is a lot to try and process.  

I used to have nightmares on the regular as a teenager of SS soldiers busting down my bedroom door while I slept, while I hid, while I shook...I'd awake in a sweat and was too afraid to share what haunted me. Maybe it was generational trauma...but it changed me. 

I have that same fear today, I read something about a day of death to all Jews tomorrow. I told The Barren that I am frightened and that our door is marked so we are extra easy to find. I sound insane, but it is a real fear...

I have my first real artist talk in a major city Saturday, and I am trying to prepare for it, but I am frightened...I want to be professional and brush aside fear, so I am writing here in hopes to unload some thoughts and clear my mind to think more clearly.

I feel lost, and confused and scared and unsettled.

I went through my jewelry this morning and found my childhood star of David, I used to wear it a lot when I was younger until I got comments and questions about my Jewishness. I am far from a practicing Jew, but have always been proud and aware of my Jewishness and how complex that was.

Today while making a medical appointment, the person asked where I was from to have such an unusual name...I said Eastern Europe. It hit hard.

Today I am simply a human, a person trying to make sense of the upcoming senseless killing, the senseless hate, the senseless pain for so many people.

I have woken up multiple times this week and looked at the outside of my building fearing there would be hate graffiti on makes me feel is like all my hairs are on end...

Wednesday, September 13, 2023



Many years ago I had some work in an art of infertility exhibition, it was far from me so I sent my work and got to see photos of it on display with other artists work about the same theme.

A couple of years ago I was approached by a research group about my art project and my experience with infertility. I answered some research questions and thought that was that. 

Then last year I was approached by that same group and asked if I could share some art and a statement from my show. 

I did that as well, seems that their research, PHD paper was going to be published and created into a book and would I like to be part of that.

Thinking about my mark in the world I was cautious but open to the idea and wanted to hear more. Then about 8 months ago, I got paperwork from a university publisher, it had some bad wording in it, and I told the project I needed to decline on the opportunity. Turns out standing up for my self and my work had a positive effect, as other people in the project objected too and so the contract was rewritten and there was a green light.

Well, here I am sharing with you that the book has come to reality and has been made and is releasing later this month! All the artists/contributors involved retained their copyright and were "paid" in a single copy of the publication. 

The book is a beautiful collection of stories of infertility from a myriad of perspectives and it is heartbreaking and beautiful, and my artwork and words are collected in it.

It is quite surreal, and a deep wonderful thing from so much loss.

There will be publicity events all across the US, and I have agreed to be available if there is something that sits okay with me.

You can read more about the book: HERE

Book name: Infertilities: a curation

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Memory of loss, and a little growth

**trigger warning: miscarriage** 

Today marks the anniversary of my final miscarriage.

I wrote about it HERE when it was happening.

I was alone, and one of my old-man cats sat on me or sat with me the whole time. It was unlike him, and now I am thankful he sensed that I was very alone, and losing my final attempt of motherhood. He is woven into the memory of the days.

Since then, when this day arrives I remember that final loss as the end of the pavement. A path I was familiar with that was now suddenly, unpaved and new and unknown. I took a self portrait that day, strangely I had a slight smirk. Maybe it was reflex to smile, and then at the same moment, I realized it was not happy or sad...but just was. That is the lingering feeling now.

It just was

I think of my star child often; sometimes they come to me in visions or dreams....other times I suddenly feel like I have forgotten to pick someone up or that the person I want to turn to has walked away, and I am left standing alone, staring into the ether.

They never got big enough to ever know completely. 

Now several years later, it is a day like others, except there are pauses along the way that I take to reflect and send love out. Much like days of loss for my grandparents and friends and companions that have left this plane of existence.

I think that is growth...I have learned how to carry the sorrow in a manageable way. Does that mean I have forgotten it or moved on....not really. The Barren has been pointing out and gazing at small humans much more often these days and I think that has been a revisited heartbreak for me and him. We are emotional and empathic people, so this is natural for us...but with a bitter twist of our own loss folded in.

So I send extra gentle hugs out to you all, as you remember your losses after reading this.

We are the broken but not lost

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Bread was my life

I was reading posts this last week, well I read them on almost a daily basis and read this one by Mel of Stirrup Queens during her weekly Roundup, and it seemed to trigger me. 

The question was: Which favorite food would you never eat again if you were told you had to give it up? You couldn’t cheat and name something you didn’t really love. You had to take one of your favorites and say goodbye forever.

Sadly, this isn't a hypothetical question for me anymore.

For me it is Bread: toast, sandwiches...there are many others, but this one seems to always float back to the top of the puddle of tears.

In fact even reading the question brought back memories from the schoolyard of who you'd rescue from a sinking ship, your mom, dad or brother...and I could never answer the question, as it always sent me into a spiral of sadness and despair trying to figure out how I could save them all...

I have found my list to be extensive and at times VERY HEAVY. Laden with sadness and restrictions and constant thinking how to make situations work.
This is not a foreign landscape for me, but as of the last almost year, my trek has become almost vertical in its scale. Becoming vegetarian at 16 was new territory, then vegan at 42, then, vegan, gluten-free and anti-inflammatory/no nightshades at 52 has definitely been the hardest.

I have always been a person who isn't comfortable at ALL with people making a fuss over MY food choices. I will agree to go anywhere when dining with family or friends. Always navigating the menu to not make it a big deal and remind myself that I am there for the company not the food.

The Barren and I have worked hard on finding something in many of our favorite locations, so that he can on a whim bring home something or we can have a date out out. He is BEYOND graceful at always trying to find someplace new when we go on adventures to make sure I can fill my belly with something.

But I miss many foods: I miss summer tomatoes and grilled eggplant and bell peppers. I miss not being afraid of being in pain over a simple food choice. I miss the culture that is food...
*I am having a small pity party*

At my last infusion my nurse asked me if I would like any snacks while I sat and waited for my IV to finish, and I smiled and said no thank you. She then realized that I couldn't, and said I was so strong.
This made me feel uncomfortable, it seemed like she picked the wrong words.
I am a rule follower, my doctor laughed at the idea that my vice is a meal with white rice or a white potato in a soup.

Sometimes I feel the weight of having to make all these choices every day.
So my pick to the question is bread....I have tried A LOT of the varieties available.
I have even been known to go to other cities to find a loaf of vegan gluten free bread, 
so see if it tastes okay.
Only one bakery (about an hour away) made one I liked, but sadly, they just shuttered their store because of increasing costs.
Most of the commercially produced bread has eggs or leaves a bitter after taste from sorghum maybe?

So I am left without cinnamon toast as a comfort food.
Mind you, I am a creative woman, and 
I have started making a stack of new recipes...but frankly it is becoming exhausting.
I think I foreshadowed this happening when my Mama needed to find soy milk when I stopped breastfeeding and it was nearly impossible. So they just gave me regular milk and I had a constant stuffy nose and tummy aches pretty much until I went vegan! 
So I am creating a new lifestyle, a new fussy way of eating/living.
I don't have to like it, I just have to eventually accept it.

In many ways this question is very much like infertility. What would you give up even though you loved the idea of it....sigh

What would you pick?

Wednesday, July 26, 2023


Talking about process in gallery
So the Exhibition opened and I attended the artist reception
(Typically, the reception that the artists attend, so people can ask questions directly of the artists)

The gallery was full, much more full than I was really mentally prepared for.
It felt like I had entered a speed dating event. I was immediately greeted with hellos and questions, and as the night wore on I had explained the process and meaning and motivation for making the work more that 25 times, but really I lost count. At one point I got a real kick out of my father commanding an audience, and doing his best to explain what I made to onlookers; he made stuff up and explained a totally different kind of art, but it made my heart flutter before I stepped in with the actual information.

It was also the first artist reception I attended without a mask, which made it quite easy to see that I had quite the gigglemug*

My work was well received, and before I left I was informed that it had sold.
The Curator was kind enough to share the news in front of my parents and in-laws, so I got a gold star from everyone that evening.
I am very thankful that my parents attended and that my MIL and FIL make a night of it too.
It is a real gift of time and validation.


“An habitually smiling face.”

Since the exhibition I have been floating in a sea of "I don't know what to dos"

I have found that tasks around, and in the home, seem to fill my mind; maybe it is my ADHD or my fear of failure or just a true and complete sense of not knowing what to do next. I have built quite an arsenal of tools and taken so many classes on new and different techniques, 
I am paralyzed with choices...
so many choices.
I have taken to my cameras, yet have not formed a project.
I have prepared to the make a couple baby gifts and have left the washed pile of onesies on my work table for weeks. I have gone to a ballet, art exhibitions, live music concerts, adventures to nearby cities, and made phone calls to friends. I have cooked and baked and gardened and cleaned and ironed and done everything all around artmaking thinking it would land me smack in the middle of a new idea...but so far no dice.
I have been taking yoga and meditation classes four to five times a week, I have delivered meals to my parents, and cookies to neighbors, had tea with a friend, watched movies and horrible TV shows...
I have tried so so many things and still I sit here wondering what do I do now!?

I have made all my doctors appointments and the appointments for The Barren, I have gotten myself a new pair of cross trainer shoes for walking in nature, but we have no plans for a trip yet. I have helped organize The Barrens closet yet mine remains like an overstuffed closet of hopes...I did give four of my dresses to a friend, as although they are beautiful they no longer fit me.
I have been the playmate for the three kitties and then find myself lost in a daze holding a fuzzy mouse toy. I am lost in a sea of unknows and quiet.
I don't mind the quiet, but after all this time it is starting to scare me a little.

When visiting with my parents yesterday, I found them older and more fragile, more forgetful, nothing dangerous, but just this side of vulnerable.
My brother is managing our parents rental unit, and I am his backup, but this morning my bestie asked if I would consider managing her moms two properties (as I live closer to them) as her mother was thinking of moving to a senior living situation, as she missed having people around her.
I am gonna talk to The Barren about that, bounce ideas off of him.

I am thankful for choices and options, as I know that comes from my privilege. 

My question is this: how do you chose which way to travel when at a crossroad?

Have you ever been unable to choose because you have so many choices?

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

ALOT- yep I meant it like that

TW **pregnancy talk towards the end**

I have begun taking HRT (hormone replacement therapy), to me this is another milestone in life...

I went to a second doctor to get a second opinion about an ultrasound result and was given the all clear for treatment. It was a 1 hour wait to see him, also my first male GYN doctor. He came into the room with a resident in tow also a man, and sat down, apologized for the wait and asked why I had come in. I said, get ready for an earful, and then I recounted the history with my uterus & ovaries, why I get yearly pelvic ultrasounds, recent tests and results and my concern about the most recent ultrasound results*. Once I was done, he asked if I was in gynecology, as my descriptions and knowledge was similar to his...I said, well I've had to be my own advocate for a  long time and this is the result.  He said he only had one question, and it was a simple yes or no. My assumption about the current situation was true and he agreed with the prior midwife and the result was that I did not need the procedure the ultrasound tech suggested.

After that was cleared up, I asked if he could recommend a menopause care doctor in town, to which he explained that we could take care of it there....I could get onto HRT, as my breast lump is benign, and I am early into menopause. I told him I had been reading about all the benefits of starting early into menopause and that I was tired of feeling like a zombie. I wasn't sleeping, I was having a hard time focusing, I was more and more concerned about my overall health, my libido had dropped, and although my hot flashes are mild, my night sweats for the last 10 years were getting REALLY old. 

He reassured me of the benefits, and after suggesting that I start a patch. I told him that although that was a great option, I have an allergy to adhesives and so we needed to find another mechanism for delivery. I asked my questions and voiced concerns about my endo, and fibroids and cysts; which he answered and then I left with a prescription and knowledge in what I was choosing.

I sat in the car and felt..........SEEN, HEARD, and scared but EXCITED. A new milestone.

When I picked up the drugs from the pharmacy, I asked the pharmacist what to expect and was given another pep talk and left feeling good about my choices.

My bestie and I have had conversations about HRT and when she went into the doc to have her IUD removed and to ask about HRT the doctor was far from helpful, instead delivered the phrase " it is just something we need to deal with" She is now on the hunt for a doctor that specializes in menopausal care too.

This is not something we should have to "deal with" she is miserable, I am feeling less miserable (even after a week, even if it is psychosomatic at this point) and we deserve better care.

All this after a span of two months of constant stress trying to make something for the newest exhibition that the gallery invited me for. After too many sleepless nights, failed attempts and tears I turned in four options, that I had created with the theme, knowing that I had literally tried everything I could to make the art. Thankfully, and with a kind nod from the universe, I was invited to submit a selected work. So I am in the exhibition. It is a fundraiser, but 50% of the sale goes to me, and the rest is split between the gallery and the garden.  I am quite proud that all the work manifested into a positive reality.

I have been "resting" my creative self since the submission. I had tea with some longtime friends who are painters and preparing for their solo exhibitions. I told them that I was flattened creatively from what seems like a constant sprint. They told me about the post exhibition breakdown, I was still running on my treadmill in an effort to make something else, capture that spark...grab for the everything and everyone! 

It was reassuring to hear it is real and needed. We are all feeling and looking haggard, wanting to make beautiful, meaningful work while still being everything to everyone and trying to take care of ourselves is alot, a big furry, alot,  just there waiting to see what we step in next.

Does the world seem to be spinning strangely? Is time whipping by like a top?

It is graduation time again, maybe that is why the alot appeared, time markers, reminders of how old my star child is...

Why are all of my yoga classes filled with visibly pregnant women, so so many of them and so many more that are newly pregnant women talking about how newly pregnant they are...

I thought all the dudes got vasectomies' when Roe was overturned...I guess not.

I guess it is another alot.

*my ultrasound result said that I should get an endometrial biopsy, as my endometrium is too thick for a woman my age. I got two opinions from two doctors who looked at my past ultrasound results and agreed it was not needed. Plus, with my closed cervix, I would require a D&C just to access my uterus...

Friday, April 28, 2023

Birthday day


I made myself a cake and took it to my parents place the night before my birthday.

The four of us shared slices and I left most of it with them, so they could continue to enjoy it for the next couple days. It was a nice quiet time, but it highlighted my parents changes in cognition and socialization. I focused on being present as best I could, but when we left I was clearly overwhelmed and overstimulated from the visit. The following day The Barren and I went to a museum and ate some ramen...then we came home. He is still fighting a cold and was tired, so I made myself birthday tacos, got in my PJs and watched Indian Matchmaker on Netflix while he played video games.

I think it has become clear that birthdays are not going to be big deals anymore. For The Barrens birthday I planned a whole week of things he loved...we went on an overnight and to his favorite breweries and places. For my birthday, it felt like he kinda got overwhelmed with work and chose to not do anything. So that was that.
Part of me wants to let it ride, another part of me felt disappointed.
If I am going to be honest, and it is my blog, so I can say that.
I felt kind of forgotten, and it didn't feel celebratory.
Lesson: no one is going to celebrate your birthday like you celebrate other people

The art exhibition ended the day before my birthday and was a personal success in many ways, there were a lot of bumps with it as well, and I learned a lot about the experimental process along the way. Four of the six pieces exhibited sold and that is a big personal record for me.
That exhibition has folded over into the next opportunity that I am currently working on...and stressing about.

I am not sleeping well, and I need cannabis gummies most nights to help me stay asleep, but I am eating clean, and exercising and taking my vitamins. I am being a responsible adult, and that seems to be taking more and more effort.
The number on the cake is not phasing me, at least not yet...
so that is a plus 😀

I made a list of things I wanted to do for my bday:
Take annual nude selfie ✔
buy myself flowers ✔
make a yummy cake ✔**
enjoy a cuppa tea and a sweet ✔
paint nails
shoot some film 
wear something that makes me feel good about myself 

I have also decided to break form this year and attend a baby shower. I have not gone to any in a looooooooooonnnng time, but a darling woman who I used to nanny for is expecting and has invited me to attend, and I without much thought, said yes. I was shocked at how easy it was to plan to go. I guess I am growing in many ways.

So here is to 53, a total shock, a real leap of growth, a change from the norm...
it was my birthday Tuesday and I survived.