Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Grace, Illness, What Lies Behind, and What Lies Ahead

I'm bringing in the new year quite ill, but thankful to be in a warm room surrounded by blankets and pillows made by family and friends. This has been a tough year, and I have to believe that the next will be better. Even if I'm not feeling it at the moment (I'm not), I know happier days lie ahead.

I've been talking to God all day. He's heard everything from "thank you, I know how lucky I am" to "I can't believe this is my life, thanks for nothing". The grace of God is that he loves me no less in my waves of grief and self-loathing than he does when I'm delightful (which isn't often). I'm glad to also have people in my life who accept me in the bad times and believe in me even when I don't believe in myself. You would be surprised how many have walked away - people who by definition of who they were should have never given up on me. I'm crushed, but I don't accept defeat, and when someday I do fall down for the last time, you know it won't be without a fight. I'm a stubborn woman, and nobody, not even those who abandon me, will ever be able to say I didn't try.

2014 brought many changes, and 2015 will bring even more. I have been blogging for over a dozen years now, and I have always written a long entry dedicated to reviewing my goals for the year and making new goals for the year ahead. I haven't given it a single thought today. As of right now, I just don't care. Right now, my only wish for myself is to survive 2015 with my sanity intact. Right now, I simply want to see tomorrow. Right now, that's enough.

Know that I love and appreciate all who have stuck with me. I am thankful to have such thoughtful people in my life. You are truly a treasure, and I hope 2015 gives you everything you hope for and more.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas, Courage, & A New Year

I want to thank my family and friends for the cards, gifts, thoughts, prayers, and simply your presence (which is much more important than your presents) this Christmas. I apologize for my inadequacy where returning the favor is concerned. This is not my favorite holiday nor my favorite time of year - everybody who knows me well knows this - but I always hope to make the best of it or at least get through it in one piece. It is usually a relief when it's over, because that means the new year is coming up and my silly brain usually registers New Year's Day as a clean slate and a new start. I'm not sure how I will be feeling about it this time. 2014 has been a year of grief and many changes, but one thing is certain - I will try.

I'm a chronic trier to the point of my own detriment at times with no intention of giving up even when my mind and body and circumstances and people insist that I do so. I would like to believe I have purpose in the world in spite of my brokenness...perhaps even because of it. So even though I never wanted to be a fighter, I put on my mask and I fight. Anyone you talk to who is faced with serious illness and/or deep loss will tell you that they carry on not because they are doing well or because they are feeling better or because they want to, but because they have to. Because it's the only reasonable option. Because they know the alternative. Because even in the darkest of times, it is the right thing to do.

I've read that courage is not the absence of fear - it is choosing to rise to the challenge in the midst of that fear. So I pray for courage as I end this year and begin a new one. I am a realist and I know this stubborn illness, the frustration, the difficult pain, the grief, and the seemingly impossible circumstances will still be there. But I also know I'm equally impossible, difficult, and stubborn, therefore I will strive to face it all with my heart, mind, and stupid sense of humor intact.

Because I have to.

May 2014 end as well as possible, and 2015 be better.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bessie Mac is down again, but Merry Christmas anyhow.

My poor Macbook Pro. She's quite sick again. A college purchase from years ago, the 'ol girl has tried to hang in there. Sadly, the screen won't even come on at the moment. My files are safe, thankfully, as a friend is going to retrieve them for me and put them on my external drive. For now, I'm back on the borrowed Acer tablet. Grateful to have it.

I have so much to share, but I doubt I'll have time to do so before Christmas so I wanted to just say hello for now. I'm currently waiting for a phone call about my niece who is expected to arrive this week. She will be early, like Zoey was, and we're hoping and praying she won't end up in NICU. I'm getting laundry and last minute Christmas stuff done so I can pack and be ready for the carpool to Louisiana when the time comes, which could very well be tomorrow.

I will catch up on everything, and I have a TON of photos to share. Loads of them. Talk to you as soon as possible, and I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Sometimes, I manage to kick Muscular Dystrophy's butt.

But sometimes, it kicks mine.

I'm not worried about the brown dish since I bought it, but I would like to replace my late MawMaw's 1980s turquoise clear-bottomed nesting bowl if anyone happens to run across vintage Pyrex online. Email with "MawMaw's bowl" in the subject line.

Thanks...  :(

Edit Note 12/23: Someone has graciously replaced the bowl. It's the exact same one, which makes me very happy. I have such thoughtful friends...thanks so much.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Christmas Rant

I spontaneously recorded my first podcast.
It's the worst possible quality you can imagine.
I've never done it before, and I wasn't shown how.
I didn't prepare at all. I winged it...completely.
It didn't start out bad, but the end is a wreck.
That said, it was sort of fun even though I ranted a bit.
And I do mean RANT. Listen at your own risk.

I have an exciting weekend coming up.
Talk to you then.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

One Thing

If I could only have one purpose on this Earth, one life goal, one daily motto, one publication, one website banner, one profile picture, or one piece of advice to anyone, everywhere, it is this.

What I do with the dash between my date of birth and date of death will never be enough, but the question I know I will ask in my last breath is "did I make a difference". I hope and pray the answer will be a humble affirmative. I'd even settle for a "probably" if it would mean my existence isn't in vain.

I may not have much or be much, but may God help me, in spite of myself, to give it my all.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Local Sleep Consultation

I finally finally (did I mention FINALLY) met with a pulmonary sleep physician a few days ago. He was great. We discussed my history and my condition (he knew it had to do with potassium, but didn't realize the primary form involved a myopathy or that the MDA was involved). He said he'll read up on it, and I offered to give him more information when I see him again.

A bit of back history on me: I had two sleep studies at age 20. I was found to have restless legs and borderline sleep apnea. It wasn't enough to officially diagnose me with sleep apnea, but they said I was holding my breath for no reason and asked me why. It annoyed me because it's not like I do it on purpose or something...hello. At any rate, they were sleep psychiatrists and wanted to talk psychiatry and give me klonopin, both of which I declined. The hospital eventually shut down, and my records were lost (probably in Hurricane Katrina, if nothing else).

I would have been willing to see a sleep psychiatrist again, but I'm happy that he ended up being a sleep pulmonologist instead. With my breathing issues and muscle disease, that is the right place to be in my opinion.

The doctor was very confident that my condition has worsened since age 20, and diagnosed me with obstructive sleep apnea. He wants to confirm it via sleep studies, of course, which is what I was expecting. Their schedule is incredibly backed up, so I'll return for study one on January 30th. The second will take place a week later.

He said he has no doubt I am not breathing well at night, considering that I choke and occasionally snore. He also diagnosed me with sleep deprivation (glad that's finally documented) and said he hopes he'll be able to help me with that via oxygen. The studies will tell him what kind I need. I already have a CPAP machine at home in the closet that was donated to me, I just couldn't get it calibrated without the studies, so here I am. He is hoping that the CPAP will be the right thing for me so I don't run into any trouble with getting other equipment (financially speaking).

Overall, it was a solid consultation. He was very nice, eager to answer any questions, and seemed positive and helpful. We'll see what happens come January. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm a busy bee!

...or is that a butterfly?

A friend and I had a craft booth at a local church fundraiser. It was a blast. She painted faces, and I sold a few goodies:

My sketch journals were a conversation starter. Loved meeting a few Whovians on the Mississippi Coast! I also made my chocolates, as I often do during the holidays. They turned out pretty darn wonderful.


I was on my walker and could have never done any of this without assistance from friends. We didn't make a ton of money, but we sure laughed a lot, as we usually do. I went straight home afterwards and crashed. I've pretty much been down with muscle weakness ever since. I'll hopefully see some improvement in spite of the extreme weather fluctuations we're getting at the moment:

It was 73 at 2:00 this morning. It will be 27 tonight.
Small fluctuations are noticeable. Large ones are detrimental.
May God have mercy on all of us with systemic disease.

Last week, a friend and former Bob Ross student invited me to The Melting Pot for dinner. Folks, it was one of the most incredible dinners I have ever experienced:

Everything was amazing. I loved every minute.

The weekend prior, I carpooled with my family to Louisiana. You'll never guess why. In fact, I cannot believe I haven't blogged about this yet. I've been living in a fog since Mom died and I've forgotten to share so much here. At any rate, here is the good news:

My little Zoey Boo Boo is going to be a BIG SISTER!

We are so excited to have another princess in the family! And what a special honor that they're naming her after me. It makes me cry if I think about it too much. I can't wait to meet her!!!

The baby shower was nice, and I was glad to see my nieces.

I'm thankful that I could go to Louisiana to spend time with everyone, and I hope and pray I am able to return when the new baby arrives in less than two months! Squeeeeee!

I haven't forgotten about National Novel Writing Month. In fact, I have been a writing fool and I'm on track to reach 50K at the end of the month. I've met with nearly 20 other writers around the gulf coast over the last 2.5 weeks, which has been great. I hope we can keep in touch after NaNoWriMo ends.

I've answered over 500 questions on It's been a fun distraction. Thanks (and feel free to keep throwing questions at me)!

I ranted and raved over the Doctor Who finale. Wow, what a ride Season 8 was! I'm planning a long recap on the blog, so heads up on that. I hope to post it in December before the Christmas special airs.

As I said earlier, my body is pretty fed up with me being so active, so I'm down for the count at the moment. I had to bring out the emergency potassium and magnesium in an attempt to get my condition under some sort of control. It's been a rocky couple of days, but I'm doing my best.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, readers. I hope everybody is doing great.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

June Hospital Stay

I realize how far behind I am on things. This has been a tough year, and blogging took a bit of a back burner. Thanks for bearing with me on this. I want to talk about my experience in the hospital back in June. It was different from the usual hospital stay. I often leave a hospital feeling the same or worse than when I went in, and regret it. Surprisingly, I left feeling so much better than when I went in this time, in spite of several medication errors. The reason for that boils down to compassion and understanding. Here's the rundown:

I went to the emergency room in meltdown mode. I was in tears from the pain in my head and lack of sleep. I've had a headache, sometimes to the point of migraine, for over a year and I couldn't take it anymore. I was also afraid, very stressed out, and upset, as I felt my independence was being threatened. I told them if things were going to stay this way, I wanted off this planet. The nurse knew I didn't really mean it, and said they would try to figure out how to get my pain under control. I asked for a medical doctor, but also asked to speak to a psychiatrist and a social worker. I wanted a medical doctor, social worker, and a psychiatrist to collaborate and come up with a plan to deal with my pain, stress, and help me to achieve as much independence as possible. I told them I didn't care how this had to happen - I was willing to be admitted to any floor to be taken seriously. They were reluctant, but ultimately did exactly what I asked. I was admitted to the geriatric wing of the psychiatric floor, as that is where the three doctors I requested reside. I was more than fine with that.

I went through the usual motions that every patient on the floor goes through: they checked my body for injuries to ensure that I wasn't abusing myself or being abused. They asked me a lot of questions. I gave them my medical history and told them everything I could possibly think of concerning my emotional state. I brought up how differently I am acting since my condition declined and my medications were heavily increased. I ranted about acetazolamide, mostly, but we all agreed that I can't stop taking it because of how well it's working to prevent paralytic attacks (which I still have, certainly, but I'm not staying in a near-constant state of paralysis like I once was). I even mentioned my long marathons of lamenting on Twitter when I'm upset or stressed. I told every doctor who entered the room how unhappy I was with the fact that I've started cursing. I didn't curse growing up, even as a teen, or even when I was married to a sociopath. But now, the words come out of my mouth before I can even think about it, and it disturbs me. The head psychiatrist actually chuckled a bit, and then he said "You are acting completely normal. You're living with a no-win situation, and any normal person would be reacting like this." In total, I met with a medical doctor, three psychiatrists, one group therapist, and one social worker. The diagnosis was the same across the board: Muscular Dystrophy, and anxiety and depression that is based on my current circumstances. My problem is, I quote, "medical, not mental". I'm being too hard on myself, and perhaps others have been too hard on me as well, my social worker suggested. I'm paraphrasing, because she was surprisingly blunt about it, if not harsh. I was told that I was "very intelligent with no psychosis", and that my story is somehow "intriguing and inspiring". Okay, if you say so. Thank you very much.

Because I showed up on a Friday, I spent a lot longer in there than I would have. The weekend is kind of a dead zone, so I chilled with three doctor consults and nothing else. Monday was the busy therapy and the official consult by the head psychiatrists. The docs wanted me out of there asap, because there was "no reason to be inpatient" and they decided all the medication errors made me "safer at home". I couldn't have agreed more. I was set up with an outpatient follow-up, recommended grief counseling, and assigned an outpatient social worker to address basic personal needs at home and a transition to more independent living. That's it. They had no solution to my pain or my ailments, and I didn't expect them to. But I was relieved that they cared.

For the most part, I was bored out of my mind. No phone, no TV, no music, just the sounds of nurses and geriatric patients shuffling down the hallway, sometimes yelling at each other, sometimes knock-down-drag-out fighting. It was an eye-opening experience. I looked at those patients, down and out and at the mercy of others, wondering what their lives used to be like verses where they are now, and my heart went out to them. Being surrounded by the 50+ crowd, I stuck out like a sore thumb and was often asked what in the world I was doing there. The staff said repeatedly that I belonged on a medical floor, but they said they were happy I chose to come there if I needed a place to feel safe and get some rest. I really appreciated hearing that, especially from a psychiatrist. My room door remained open the entire time. I was allowed to come and go as I wanted (as long as I didn't leave the floor), and I was allowed to use the phone (which I only did once). I eventually asked for a pencil and paper, and it was given to me. I worked on my novel in between meals and naps. I attended one group therapy session, which I quite enjoyed and everybody knew it. At one point, I found myself advocating for a young lady who was nearly catatonic and was trying to ask for a blanket because she was shivering, but the staff yelled at her to stay in the room. I put on my former hospital administration hat and flat out told them as nicely and professionally as I could to get up and go get her a blanket. They said they would. Apparently, I was considered lively and animated during group therapy (who, little 'ol me? No way! Just kidding. I'm practically a cartoon character, folks). The therapist said she loved talking to me, and she tried to get me transferred to her wing (she was in charge of the addicted, suicidal, anxious, violent patients of various ages...they were all lovely, by the way). However, I was discharged before that happened.

The medication errors...good Lord. I have no doubt my case took up an entire MERT meeting that month (that's Medication Error Report Team, for you non-hospital-admin folks). I used to do those meetings. I was a medical administrator at one time, so I am all too familiar. The staff would not get their crap together and continue my home medications. When they finally did, they got them wrong. It was a constant source of debate, and one nurse finally came to my defense. I am so grateful to her...she was wonderful and I wish she had been my nurse every day. She couldn't have done a better job. Her off day was Tuesday, the day I was discharged, and my nurse that day (who was new) got my meds wrong again. I ended up paralyzed as a result. They took it seriously, handled it with as much grace as they could, and I was able to leave about 8 hours later the same day.

I was a happy camper when I left (as you may have already read if you've been following my blog). I was exhausted, but feeling so much better emotionally. It did me a world of good to be told that I was "completely normal" and that it was okay to be acting and reacting the way I was in regard to what was happening to me. I am thankful that I found the courage to "call for backup", so to speak, and I definitely don't regret it. A social worker checks on me 2 to 3 times a month, and I am eventually going to start grief counseling if the counseling center that was recommended to me will ever add me to their schedule. I'll keep you posted, I guess.

I'm glad I finally shared this. I hope it helps someone to not be afraid of asking for help when you feel overwhelmed, whether medically or otherwise. Those of us who have been through the nightmare of medical abuse have valid concerns about seeking care, especially emergency care, but remember that not every experience will be the same. My best advice is to keep your cool, but stand your ground. Arrived prepared with solid information about your medical condition, medical history, and home medications. If someone mistreats you, speak out. If you are treated well, don't take it for granted. You and I have a right to live the best, most independent life possible for as long as possible. Be kind to others and give them the benefit of the doubt, but don't forget to do the same for yourself.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

HKPP Medications Update

Just letting medical-related readers know that I've updated my HKPP blog with a new list of medications and supplements, as well as a humorous post with TMI, a rant about emergency care, and other ramblings. If you have HKPP or are following my medical posts, feel free to subscribe over there. (You're welcome to stay here, too. I didn't mean it like that.)

I appreciate all of my readers, both new and long-suffering. I've had over 100,000 hits now, and some of you have been with me for 5 + years. Sometimes I wonder if you genuinely care about me or if you simply enjoy being a fly on the wall of someone else's train wreck life (ha), but either way it's pretty amazing that you're still here.

Thanks for riding the roller coaster with me.

National Novel Writing Month 2014 Is Upon Us







Okay, I'll stop with the shouting. :)
50,000 words. Let's do this.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday 10/30/14

For the record, sleep is still my favorite thing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

4 Reasons Not To Settle In A Relationship

I have so much love for this article. <


I'll be back to give my two cents, but for now I just wanted to post the link [to the article. That I love SO MUCH].

Be back later!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Local Clinic Update 10/20/14

I woke up feeling pretty horrible. Trouble breathing, felt like something was sitting on my chest, and the usual HKPP weakness, but a little worse. I ended up dozing for as long as possible, then forced myself to get up and get rolling to my local doc office. Lots of blood taken, and over a two hour wait, but as usual it was worth it. My doc is great. My strange condition is interesting to him and he seems to enjoy talking to me, to the point that he picks on me like we're friends and we have a laugh. Today in reference to low Vitamin D, he joked that I need to be thrown out into the parking lot with no clothes on to soak up the sun. That produced a belly laugh in me that I've yet to completely shake two hours later. Sometimes, a friendly and upbeat bedside manner can make a huge difference, even in the face of a no-win medical case. Everywhere I turned, I used to deal with skeptics treating me like a lowly idiot who couldn't possibly know what she's talking about. Now I finally feel like I have a collaborative team - listening, learning, and striving to keep me going. Thank God.

I had a lot of labs, and should have the results tomorrow or Wednesday. We're checking vitamins, magnesium, and doing the usual basic metabolic panel. My stat potassium was 4.4, which was an improvement from renal clinic in Jackson. I had taken 200mg Inspra prior to the appointment, so I believe I have that to thank for it. The potassium level goal is still somewhere in the low fives, as that is where I functioned best years ago. Hoping I'll get there again someday, and somehow keep it there.

I spoke with him about the possibility of sleep apnea. He said there is a new clinic in a nearby city, and he believes they take Medicaid. Touchdown! I'm being referred.

I've been having significant issues with my bladder since beginning diuretic therapy, and my doctor sympathizes because he has the same issue (he gave me all the TMI, bless him). He has been trying to get this under control for me since the day I met him. I have samples of a drug called Vesicare to try. So far, anti-spasmatics have resulted in paralysis, but maybe I'll get lucky with this one. I'll give a report in a few days.

I'll return to the clinic next Monday and the following Monday for potassium labs. Otherwise, I guess my next appointment will be with a sleep specialist in a few months.

I'm Way Ahead of You, Fortune Cookie

New Location For My Periodic Paralysis Article

A random stranger uploaded my Yahoo article on a PDF site a while back, which turns out to be a good thing since Yahoo shut down Voices and erased all freelance work. I've been wanting to find a new place to submit it for publishing, but this will do for now.

Those who have shared my article over the last 2.5 years, please feel free to replace the bad Yahoo URL with this one. It has been corrected in my sidebar as well. Thanks so much.

The Battle Against Periodic Paralysis

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A blog rant, humanity, and the state of medical care

I wanted to share this blog post from a lady who had an unfortunate and very familiar experience with emergency care. Language alert for the easily offended.

I've been there. I've been in an emergency situation at the mercy of people around me, only to be mocked, mistreated, and misunderstood. It happened for years. I have been told of so many nightmares of people going through this kind of shame in medical care, and while it's nice to know I'm not alone in my battles, it's sad and unacceptable that this is still so common. I'm glad Ilana is telling her story. More patients need to put the truth out there, no matter how ugly that truth may be. Sometimes, shouting is the only way to be heard.

Doctors and Nurses: if you want to do the world a tremendous injustice, go ahead and assume every young person who rolls through your door is a drug seeker. Go ahead and assume they're being overdramatic and that their symptoms are exaggerated. Go ahead and assume that just because you haven't heard of it, or have never treated it, it must not be valid. Go ahead and do harm, if you dare. Just remember this: your paranoid and uninformed assumptions don't make you smarter or more superior. They only make you a closed-minded jackass.

I struggle greatly with the state of the world. I've learned that where there is good, there is bound to be bad. It is inevitable in all of us, as humanity is deeply flawed. The way I see it, if people want to screw up their own existence, that's their business. But when someone else's well-being is at hand, humility and willingness to accept education, ideas, and possibilities go a very long way. It can save lives and livelihoods. I believe it has saved mine.

My heart goes out to every patient who has lived through these scary and frustrating moments. It took a life-threatening decline in my condition for people to finally listen to me and take me seriously, and I can't help but wonder what my life would be like had I received the care I sought unsuccessfully for 20+ years. At any rate, I am very thankful that I have now found a team of physicians who are in my corner and are doing what they can to help. I wouldn't trade them for anything. I only wish to God I had found them sooner.

(cross-posted to my HKPP blog)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Few Page Updates

Just a few mentions from the sidebar:

National Novel Writing Month is coming up fast! I've joined and will be a NaNo Rebel again this year, as I will be continuing last year's projects. I'm about half finished with The Children of Mossy Hollow (formerly called The Lost Children), and I intend to finish the first draft during NaNoWriMo. Feel free to be my buddy over there!

I'm still on, although sporadically. I've answered a little over 300 400 questions, so you can get to know me pretty well just by following along. Feel free to ask me anything (it's anonymous), but be aware that I block trolls and ignore questions of a sexual nature (I'm sure that's not a surprise).

I've finally started updating my Etsy Shop again! Much more coming soon, including some of my drawings and paintings. All sales support my fight against systemic disease. Stay tuned!

Introverts Are Awesome

Loved this article on the misconceptions about introverts.
I couldn't have written it better.
Whether you're an introvert or extrovert
or somewhere in between,
I urge you to give it a read.

There's a great community called Introverts Are Awesome.
You'll find me and thousands of other introverts there.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This week, a medical recap. I know, it's been a while.

So sorry for my delay in updating blogs. My laptop (lovingly/frustratingly named "Bessie Mac") had to be wiped out and resurrected. I'm just now getting it up and running again as of tonight.

I've been in Jackson this week doing the clinic thing. I figured I would go ahead and share here what I posted on Facebook. I'll be back soon to catch up on things. Thanks!


Huge financial dispute that made me so frustrated this morning, my blood pressure was up for the first time in a long time. I don't know what's going to become of it, but I am trying not to worry about it right now.

Met a new doc at MDA. Very nice. He documented my updates: Mom's death, my hospital stay in June (more on my blog later), and my loss of strength and proximal muscle tone. My arms were very weak, but leg reflexes were slightly more responsive than usual. He reminded me to eat low-carb, recommended vitamin B2 for my migraine, told me to surround myself with all things happy and try to stay distracted from my circumstances. He's one of several docs who have said this over the last 6 months. I hope that explains a little about my behavior on social media and life in general. I'm a realist, but escapism is important when you're trapped in a broken body and stuck with a life and future you cannot control.

Was over an hour late to renal clinic, but thankfully Dr. F waited for me. He noted my potassium level, weight gain, breathing and sleeping problems, chronic pain, and Mom's death. He wants me to find a sleep specialist anywhere in Alabama who will take me. He believes I have sleep apnea. We reviewed test results and we're both still pretty baffled by the general wackiness of my kidneys. We had a chat about the latest meds and symptoms, and the fact that I am needing to move back to Mississippi. He made a note that I'm looking for government housing in the area, and said he will always do whatever he can to accommodate my schedule because he knows how far I'm having to travel. This situation is a nightmare, but I always leave feeling a lot better emotionally after talking to him. He has so much patience with my moodiness and awkwardness, bless him. Best doctor ever. His nurse is a lot like I am. We talked about Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Comic Con. Geeks unite! :-)

New meds added to the pile: spironolactone 25mg titration, vitamin B2.
Orders: potassium test in a few weeks (to be done in Bayou La Batre).
Appointments: Back to back clinics April 14th - and may God bless them in advance as that is the 1st anniversary of Mom's death. Might be a hell of a day.

My docs at UMMC have sustained my life, and I need to continue to see them for as long as possible. I could have never done this without a two-night stay in a nearby hotel. Very grateful to the Bradley family for making this happen.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Painted Bra Art Project Auction

So sorry. I am horribly late in posting the auction information. I've updated it on the original post here.

It needs bids. Every dollar goes to help breast cancer patients.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The New Doctor Who

I have to be honest. I was concerned that I would be disappointed with the new season of Doctor Who. With another actor replacing Matt Smith, I didn't know what to expect. I read a lot of articles that said Peter Capaldi was much darker, and had a turbulent relationship with his lovely young companion, Clara Oswald (who is played by Jenna Coleman, of whom I am a fan). So I was a little worried that my adoration for this show would fizzle.

Boy, was I wrong. Holy epic win, Batman, it is OUTSTANDING.

So much, in fact, I actually like Season 8 more than Season 7. Both actors are great individually, but Peter and Jenna are absolute perfection as a team. They are now in my top three favorite Doctors/Companions of the entire canon, and that's really saying something.

So gorgeous.

We're headed toward episode six in the season, and every character has been strong and memorable so far. That's not always the case, but I honestly like every character at the moment. I am hoping the last half of the season will maintain its momentum and keep us on the edge of our seats. There is a rumor of Jenna leaving the series in a huge way at Christmas, which will rip my Whovian heart out, but I can't wait to see what happens.

Don't leave me, Clara. Don't do it girl.

I'm a member of several local Doctor Who groups on the gulf coast, and I've had a blast analyzing each episode and throwing theories out there to the fandom. I even made the trip to Gautier and watched the premiere at a gaming shop that was showing it on their big screen TV. The best part about that night was my first photo in a BBC officially licensed TARDIS!

I was in full-blown geek mode. I'd say forgive me for the bad pic, but I'm not sorry.

Indy 500, my rolling walker, was a couple of steps outside camera range. Glad I didn't break my neck getting in and out of the police box. That would have been a heck of a way to go.

Two days later, Indy and I drove to Gulfport and went to the theater to watch it again with other Whovians. It was a sold out event!

Doctor Who is a wonderful, positive force in the entertainment world. I'm glad I get to share a planet with it. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sweet Retreat Art Exhibition Pics

(Photos were taken prior to the opening.)

Bio and FAQ

Oils and Acrylics

Charcoal, Ink, Acrylics, and Colored Pencil

Lovely sandwiches, cookies, and punch were offered to the guests. Sorry I didn't a pic of it, but it was all on that table on the far right.

A surprising favorite was my Graphic Autobiography. This was a Typography project from college.

About 40 people signed the guestbook, which is a perfectly fine number for someone who is unknown and having their first showing. It was wonderful to see family, friends, and former students come together. I was on my walker, but I handled it pretty well. The exhibit is up through the end of the month, so I look forward to reading my guestbook to see who else stopped by for a visit.

I'm grateful to Ina Thompson Moss Point Library for hosting my art, and for all of the support.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'm here, sort of!

I swear I'll catch up on my blogs. The last month has been a whirlwind. Plenty to talk about, and I will soon. There may even be pictures.

The art reception was nice. Small crowds are the best kind of crowds. It was great to see old faces and new. Certainly a memorable experience, and I appreciate the library for hosting my work through the remainder of the month.

The Mac (whose name is now Bessie) is still down for the count. I'm using a hand-me-down Acer tablet, of which I am extremely grateful. I have such thoughtful friends who come to my rescue often, bless them. It's a relief to not be disconnected from the world, in fact, I can do quite a lot on this thing. It's just taking some getting used to. Bessie Mac is headed to a service center next month, hopefully.

Hard to believe Autumn is nearly here. My muscles are already showing tremendous opposition to the weather changes. MDA and Renal clinics are coming up in 3 weeks.

I promise I'll be back asap.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My computer is down...

Just letting everyone know what is happening. I'm typing this from my phone but I'm not terribly good at blogging from it. I hope to be back very soon. I have been so busy, but will be able to take a bit of a breather after my show on the 2nd. I promise I'll share some pics from the event.

Wow, this is really happening. 

Hope to see some of you there.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Sadder Place

Three days ago, I was doing silly voice impressions at my one year old niece. My sister in law laughed, and I told her I should have been Robin Williams' kid. Little did I know, this warm, funny, talented man would end his life only hours later.

When I was young and stupid, I called people who committed suicide "selfish". Instead of kind words, I turned their very real medical condition into a violation of my feelings. How very pathetic - and selfish - I was for that. I'm so sorry to those I unknowingly disrespected when I didn't "get" it.

I eventually began to experience close encounters with suicide: a friend's husband, another friend's ex-boyfriend, and an uncle, to name a few. I am the type of person who wants understanding. I demand reasonable explanations, not speculation, blaming, or hyper-religious BS. So I sought education, and it made me realize how very wrong I was about this thing called suicide. It is a fatal symptom of a psychological and often physiological condition that the victim wouldn't wish on anyone. We've all had an ailment that required medical attention, haven't we? They didn't choose their illness anymore than we have chosen ours. This is not make-believe. People can't just "be positive" or do charity work or simply think of those they love in order to "snap out of it". They're not making up their problems, nor can they wish them away. We will never fully know the pain someone else lives with, but for the love of God, can we look past ourselves long enough to have a thread of respect for the patient? Only a scumbag would insult someone who is sick and desperate for relief. Don't be that person. Don't be the person I was when I was young and dumb.

Mental illness is just that - an illness. Sometimes, and in the case of Robin Williams, people who are sick seek help. He was in the hospital not even three weeks ago. He wasn't a coward, he wasn't in denial, and he wasn't prideful. He asked for help. But sometimes, just like a physical illness, the treatment doesn't work. That is reality.

May God have mercy on our ignorance.

I pray you rest in peace, dear Robin. The world is a sadder place without you.

(Cross-posted to Thoughts & Theories)

Monday, July 28, 2014

So, so, so so busy.

Good Heavens, where do I begin?

I released my first short story, "Four", on and received a five-star rating. That was nice. Some people are too weirded out by it to give me a review, understandably, but I am so happy that I wrote the story. The feedback I've received has been incredible, and even a small impact is an impact nonetheless. That's good enough for me. Totally worth it.

I'm still in Camp NaNoWriMo, and it's going okay. I have made a good bit of progress on my novella, The Children of Mossy Hollow, and I have every intention of completing the manuscript by the end of NaNoWriMo in November. I met with a couple of local writers today and we have agreed to meet several times a year for the purpose of progress and motivation.

I've gotten quite a bit done around the house. It's still not sold, but I'm packing up what I can and getting things sorted. I'm selling things that I'm not using and using the money to get some of my artwork framed.

That leads me to the big news. I am being given an art show.

I asked the library if I could put a few paintings on display. They visited my newly renovated webpage, and told me it will be an exhibition complete with local press, advertising, and a reception with refreshments, etc. I told the manager that I wasn't wanting all of that, but it's their policy. So here I am, having my own solo art show. I am both excited and terrified.

As long as a hurricane doesn't blow through, here's the scoop:

"Sweet Retreat"
Tuesday, September 2nd
5:00PM to 7:00PM
Ina Thompson Library
Moss Point, Mississippi

I've been running around like a headless chicken trying to get work framed and presentable. Much of my art was boxed up in the storage room, but now it's sitting out all over the house.

I'm also working on new pieces for the show.

I am planning to display something in the neighborhood of 16 pieces, but it may end up being more or less. I am actually going to have about 23 on standby, but I am almost sure all of them won't fit on the walls. We'll see what happens. There is absolutely no way I could do this on my own, so thank goodness, my wonderful stepdad is going to help carry and hang the stuff. The man is a saint, God bless him. I hate that Mom isn't here to see this. My art was really the one big thing I did that made her proud. So this is for her too, in a way.

It has been years since I've been in a spotlight, and I don't care for it much. I am looking forward to the show, though. It would be awesome to see some of you there. I'll keep you posted, friends.