Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Like a Dumb Animal...


I've been thinking about it for a while. I'm in pain. Of course, so is everyone else. Pain happens to everyone all the time. I'm not really worried about being in pain, though. I'm starting to think I have a high tolerance for the stuff.

Case in point:
About 20 years ago I had a very sharp pain in my lower back. It was constant. I couldn't do anything without it grabbing and sending sharp shooting sensation down my leg. My leg also went numb quite often. I went to a chiropracter a few times and the pain went away for about a day. Bad backs kind of run in my family. My dad and my brother both had 2 back surgeries. I read all about the surgery and wanted no part of it. So I just suffered. For about 2 years I suffered. Finally I couldn't stand it anymore and went to a regular doctor. He sent me to a physical therapist who worked on me daily for 2 weeks. No more pain. I couldn't believe it and kicked myself for not going sooner. I had to kick pretty hard though because, remember, I have a high tolerance for pain.

Case in point 2:
From about 20 years ago to 4 years ago I would have extreme uterine pain monthly at mid-cycle. The pain was so severe that it was worse than labor. I went to my gyno about it a couple of times. He was baffled, even did an ultrasound during one bout and found nothing. I told him "I just want to know if it's dangerous to my health. I can put up with a lot of pain." He never did really find out what the problem was, but when I had my hysterectomy 4 years ago the problem was solved.

And speaking of my hysterectomy, when I woke up from the surgery I thought, "Wow, they cured my back! It doesn't hurt anymore!" (yes, the back pain has returned, and no, I haven't been back to the physical therapist) 5 days later I ran out of Percocet and realized they hadn't cured anything.

Case in point numero 3:
I have had five children. Count them. FIVE! And I had one shot of deadening with only one of them. ONE! It was a thing called a "paracervical block". I don't even think they do those anymore. That was my first labor and delivery. The rest of my children I bore without ANYTHING. I didn't even have an IV. And one of my kids was born posterior. I was wondering about how I handled the pain. I know on TV you see women screaming and yelling and carrying on. I asked my husband if I was like that, cause I really don't remember being a noisy yeller. He said no. He said I just did a lot of panting and focusing, kind of like a birthing mama dog.

The reason I've been thinking about all this lately is because I have a friend who goes to the doctor for everything. If she gets a pain, she's in there getting checked out. Why don't I do that?

Just too dumb, I guess.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cause for Rejoicing and Mourning

Having a friend who is suffering from overwhelming health problems is a difficult place to be. Do you offer sympathy, do you hover, visit, visit with an upbeat attitude, visit with somber serious eyes? Do you stay away, send messages, write, email, call, ask relatives about them, just worry and wonder? Always you pray, but what else?

For some, knowing what to say and do is natural. Some people just do and say the right things. I've always struggled to be one of those people.

I think its difficult because I project myself into the sufferer's shoes. I think I would want some space. I think I would not want a lot of attention. I don't know, but I think I would feel smothered by all the attention and so I hesitate to push myself on anyone. I'm probably wrong. I would probably welcome the support with open arms.

I've been pondering these things because of my friend, Scott. He has a liver transplant last May and has been doing so well. Then about 2 weeks ago they discovered a major problem. The hepatic artery collapsed. He had to have surgery. It was a scary time. And he's been miserable. Today, though, I heard he was released from the hospital. He's doing well and his liver function seems to be normal. It's such good news.

But it seems you can't have good without something bad to balance life out a little. This morning, as Scott is being released from the hospital, there was a terrible accident. A 17 year old boy, a neighbor of Scott's, was driving to school on icy, slick roads. He didn't make it to school.

There will be a funeral in a few days.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Take it or leave it, just don't complain

We have a candy dish in our office which we try to keep full. I usually buy the candy and try to get a variety. Students are always popping in to take one. Usually its a positive experience and we love to see how one little bite-sized laffy-taffy can brighten a student's day. In the last couple of weeks, though, I noticed this one student coming in very regularly. He usually takes a bunch of candy. He's not one of our majors, so we don't really know him, but haven't really minded him coming and making a pig out of himself until today.

He breezes in and paws through the bowl.
"Don't you have any good candy? This is all gross"

Excuse me? We don't even know you, and you are complaining about free goodies?

I think we may have to just stock the "gross" candy for a while until he gets out of the habit of coming in.

Prayers Needed

My friend, Scott, is not out of the woods. He survived the surgery. For my anonymous buddy, here's the link to his wife's blog.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Not Expected

I was given the blog address today of the wife of my friend who is back in the hospital with liver transplant complications. She is actually a cousin of mine, although I know her husband better than I know her. I decided to start at the beginning of her blog so that I could really see what was going on with him.

And suddenly I came across one of her entries that talked about my dad.

Wow. I wasn't expecting that. It gave me kind of an odd feeling to read about him through someone elses eyes. Then I found another entry again mentioning dad. Then there was another talking about coming to my dad's funeral.

I have to admit I had a few little cries.


Many many years agoI took Spanish. 2 years in high school and 1 year in college. I just never really got it, though. The professor once said that you will know you're getting fluent when you start dreaming in Spanish. That never happened to me.

An interesting thing HAS started happening to me in the last week, though. I'm dreaming in art.
Yes, you read that right. I have a dream and whatever I look at in the dream I begin to see in terms of how it's drawn.

My closet:
The angle of the door that sits part way open. The heaviness of that line in comparison with the more delicate lines of the hangers and clothes inside.

My dinner:
The ellipses of the plate in perspective. The way it sits up off the table.

My toothbrush:
When held this way how large the head of the brush would be in the drawing with the far end diminishing down to nothing.

I think I'm becoming fluent in art.

Either that or I've been spending way to much time doing it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Highs and Lows

This day was a roller coaster of emotions. This morning I was able to see, hug, and visit with one of my very best friends from high school. What an awesome thing it is to meet up with old friends. I gave her my blog address, so if you're reading this, Barb, I'm happy we reconnected.

I've seen her maybe 4 or 5 times since we both got married. I haven't communicated with her for the last 10 or 12 years. Then a few weeks ago I found her on facebook. I found out she was coming to town on Tuesday and today we caught up a little. I hope we stay in touch this time.

This afternoon I went to class. We had a substitute. That is not a good thing. Not that the substitute isn't great, he is. It's because our regular teacher is back in Salt Lake City in the hospital he received his liver transplant in last May. Things are kind of scary right now. He's having surgery tomorrow. I hope everything goes okay. Not only would I really be sad about him not coming back to teach us, but he is my friend and an awesome gentle person. I'm worried about him and his family.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Full Day

Today I:


Finished my "Fantasy Forest" drawing to turn in on Wednesday morning.

Did 6 thumbnail sketches of the next assignment..... a villan's lair. I think I'm doing a mediaval torture chamber.

Sewed up a dress.

Bought fabric to make curtains in our rec room. I'm tired of bare windows.

Went to my office.

Made a very yummy ham and rice casserole.

Took a nap.

Played some games.

Watched a movie.

Cleaned my house and did laundry.

Put away the winter decorations. Maybe the snow isn't melting because I had snowmen all over the house. I think I'm going to break out the birdhouses.

I think I'll take the rest of the night off.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


It's still winter here. Snow depth varies from a few inches to hip high, depending on where you walk. I went to the grocery store this morning and saw some friends. They were in line ahead of me, so I happen to notice what they were buying.


Green beans, hollyhocks, allysum.

These people are master gardeners. If they are buying seeds, then spring must be just around the corner.

Either that, or they're making a seed mosaic to hang on their kitchen wall.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Still Brrrrrrrr

I’m getting ready for some warmer weather.

This morning was 12 degrees, below zero.
When I went to work at 10 it was still 3 below.

I think it would be nice to have a heat wave.
Upper 30 temps would be great.
Mid 40’s would warrant a barbecue.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Did I Just See That?

As I was driving home I tried to turn into the store. There was a car coming up fast behind me and a car coming towards me. I was trying to gauge it so that I could pull across the road into the store's lot after the car past. Suddenly the car that I was waiting for pulled into the lot in front of me. I tried to pull in behind him but he just stopped. He was barely off the road and I was stopped in the oncoming traffic lane, my headlights aimed right at his driver's door. He looked up at me and I waved my hand to indicate that I would like him to move forward so I could get off the road. He started gesturing very angrily and rudely and pulled faces at me. I couldn't believe a middle-aged man was acting like a 2 year old. I couldn't help it. I started to laugh. I think that just set him off more cause he pulled faces at me the whole time he walked inside. I didn't think it a wise move to follow him as I seemed to rub him the wrong way, so I turned around and just went home. I'll stop by the store later.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Plight of the Procrastinator

It was during the first week or so of December that the tv in my art studio stopped working. I work in my studio a lot.


I don't normally watch tv a lot, though.

When David and Emily came for Christmas my boys (David and Andy) camped out in my studio. They love taking it over because it has nice big tables, chairs, and a tv......usually.
It wasn't so fun for them without the tv, but they made do.

I kept trying to figure out what was wrong. The tv worked with dvds. All the other tv's worked with the satellite. It was just mine that wouldn't pick up the satellite signal. We kind of haphazardly tried to find someone to look at the receiver for my tv, but it's very difficult to find a Dish repair shop and everytime we called them we got someone in Taiwan or Indonesia or somewhere like that. We were just too cheap to have them come out and do a $29 service call to "fix the problem".

Finally Mike took matters into his own hands and made the arrangements to have them come.

This morning 2 very nice guys showed up, took one look at the problem, fixed the remote (that I probably messed up because I don't know what the heck I'm doing with all those buttons on the Dish Network remote and I could probably launch a nuclear weapon if I push the buttons in the right (wrong) sequence), and had me watching tv

in my studio

in 10 minutes flat.

Monday, February 2, 2009

January's Blessings

I haven't done this for quite a while and kind of miss it. Here is my month's calendar for January.
January's Blessings
~A new Grandbaby - number 2 for me, both very precious. Grandchildren are so fun!
~The ability to take 2 art classes. My favorite perk of working for a University. I am repeating Digital Illustration, and can't believe it's the same class. So far there hasn't been anything the same. I feel like I'm going to have to take a year off to really learn everything that's being thrown at me, but it's all so fun! The other class is Creative Perspectives. You just can't go wrong in a class where the teacher keeps saying " just have fun with it."
~Mike quit working for the City. Normally losing a job would be a bad thing, but in this case I consider it a blessing.
~Finding a Great Deal! I went into a bookstore on Saturday and saw a table of Christmas stuff marked down 90%. There was a set of 3 Wise Men. Very cool lines. I loved them. I asked the clerk how much they were since they had no tag. He went to the computer and looked them up. Regularly $36.95 marked down to $3.70. I told him I thought I'd better take them then. He said, "Dang, I wish I'd looked them up before you got here." I love a good deal.
~A Co-Primary Chorister. I admit it. I was getting burned out doing 2 hours of Primary music every week, not to mention all the hours on Saturday getting ready for it. I felt blessed beyond measure when they called a second Chorister. We are taking every other month. I can't believe how much lighter my stress level was this past weekend because of not having to worry about the music.
~Good kids, warm house, food to eat, a job to work at. Life.

Subconscious Rebellion

The alarm clock in the kitchen was going off. I tried to turn it off and it just wouldn't shut up. Then I noticed that there was another alarm clock in the kitchen. I thought maybe that was the one that was going off. Then I saw 4 alarm clocks I was trying to turn them off but they just kept beeping. That's when I realized I was dreaming. I reached out to shake Mike so he would turn off his alarm clock. After I shook him a couple of times I realized it was MY alarm clock that was sounding. I guess I really didn't want to get up this morning.