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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Art Supplies and Asking for Support

Image result for art supplies

I still miss teaching. I can't pass up the back-to-school binds at the stores without reaching my hand in, even if I no longer need 100 dozen pencils, crayons, markers, glue, construction paper and an assortment of other craft items. I was given $300 for over 500 students so guess who paid to educate my children in art? I had a sweet deal with the custodian who gave me copier paper on the down-low. Otherwise, I would have been out of paper too. Once school got rolling and I ran out of my treasure of supplies that were cheaper in August, I was force to fill- in nearly every paycheck on more supplies.

Last Wednesday, the school buses started picking up students on my street. I actually like the sounds of buses stopping and going at each house- just not the smell of diesel. Okay, I am weird.

Do me a favor and ask if your art teacher needs anything.


Chances are they need a lot of things you would be able to provide. 


Newspaper

Toilet paper rolls

Paper towel rolls

Crafts: pipe cleaners, wire, ribbon, cord, thread, fabric, felt, craft glue, neon paper,
hole punchers, zig-zag scissors, rubber stamps, stencils, beads, rubber bands,
acrylic paint, artificial flowers and items for still life, left over plaster, jars, containers for
paint, paper not Styrofoam egg cartons, paper doilies, wood scraps, dowels, textured items,
paint shirts, jute, tape, roll paper, stencils and more.

I thank you!

_____________________________________________________________________________

#saveupforart   #wheretodonatecrafts  #artappreciation   #schoolsinneed  #helptheartroom  #art
 
#community  #helptheirimagination  #supportart   #listofartsupplies #moregreatminds  #support

#volunteer  #manythanks





Thursday, June 22, 2017

Medical Alert


It wasn't very long ago that I wrote about the next upcoming surgery I was scheduled for this week.

But this is right out of a MEDICAL JOURNAL:

Dear Journal,

Tomorrow, I will get up at 4:30 a.m. and go to the hospital.

I check in and I am told I need a blood test- 1.5 hours until surgery?

I then go to surgery and I am told do I need to use the bathroom?

Then the BIG question: Who is driving you home?

"My daughter is here now, but she is going home to sleep and then she flies home at 4:00 p.m.
I know it isn't for certain, but I was hoping to go to medical rehab like I discussed with his medical assistant." I said.

The nurse in charge comes in and we discuss the situation again. (Insert Medical History)
 "I don't know, the nurse says. "This is usually out patient."  "Well, my daughter could take me home, but she is flying home today, and then I would have to ask a neighbor to help me." I reply.

This wouldn't be so hard to understand except I had told my doctor's assistant at least three times.

The nurse stalls and talks to me but the doctor still hasn't spoken to me. She leaves and gets my IV equipment and places it in my arm.

Finally the doctor enters and says hello. I explain that I needed to talk to him about rehab. He is reluctant to listen. I remind him of talking to his medical assistant. I told her the name and phone number of the OT who said I was not able to care for my own medical needs on my own. (Let's just start with around the clock ICE PACK that is strapped to my shoulder.)
His response: "This is a bad day for surgery." and "This should have been decided a long time ago."
Tears run down my face. Defeated by medical care.

                                                         
The next day, the hospital called to ask me how my surgery went.

All of this as TrumpCare is being discussed.  I will be "one of those soon."


https://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/6/11/1392449/-Republican-congressman-People-with-disabilities-are-a-drain-on-society
_________________________________________________________________________

#people with disabilities  #medical needs   #victim   #doctor in charge  #Vote no on healthcare bill

#People-with-disabilities-are-a-drain-on-society

Friday, June 9, 2017

People Come and Go

I have a huge problem with letting go.

If it KILLS me- and I meet someone by chance and I develop a relationship with them at all - I think this should continue for the rest of my life. (Or at least I use to.)

But in reality People Come and Go.

I am old enough to remember the merry-go-rounds that were metal spinning circles at the neighbor playgrounds. It was bad enough that we wanted other kids to "push us" for our own good time, and we would take turns until we both got tired of pushing- but we understand that part. After a while, we laid on out bellies and pushed with our hands and spin around until the bumpy ride was no longer fun.

Sure we got dirty hands, but it was lots of fun. Unfortunately, these toy merry-go-rounds were removed because kids were breaking arms and legs.

What I should do is realize it's best to let things go for as long as they are fun. Friends need to take turns, and enjoy the ride while it's still fun and get off before we get tired of pushing to keep it going, or worse, before someone breaks an arm.




Image result for merry-go-round park

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Facing My Fibromyalgia








I have Fibromyalgia.

It is a word I associated with people
who complain a lot about their pain,
 but now, I am one of those people.

For anyone who may not know much about it, here are a few characteristics:

Chronic muscle pain or spasms, tightness, extreme fatigue, with decreased energy.  It also has the affects of causing insomnia and tiredness during the day. It can also cause stiffness, migraines, and/or a brain "fog." It can also cause abdominal issues, including alternating bowel problems. People with Fibromyalgia are likely to be sensitive to odors, (cat box*) noises, (yelling*) foods, (rotten chicken bones*) are common. My anxiety and depression are included along with pain or numbness.

YOU take medication for Fibromyalgia-- but after a while you know you are covering up the symptoms not really helping you that much. When your body is screaming "do something" you have to listen.

It was part social, part informational, and a "just say no" to certain foods and everyone's first love--
SUGAR.Image result for pancakes with maple syrup
Image result for chocolate images


Much to my surprise, the leader, Leah McCullough the "Fibro Lady" was anti-certain vegetables- tomatoes, green peppers, cabbage, and egg plant. SO you can be anti-vegetables? I have a lot to learn.
Time to detox, get on Probiotics, and collect all my broken pieces off the ground.

______________________________________________________________________
#fibromyalgia     #depression and pain    # detox    #no sugar    #pain    #fatigue   #get it together
#sick of medication   #living with chronic pain


* These are some of mine...



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In The Village

You know that saying, "It takes a VILLAGE?"


Well, I am thinking of moving out of my village. 

Since my abdomen surgery, I have SIX people taking care of me.

One PT, One OT, One aide and a nurse who are coming to my home.

I also have two doctors in on this too.
Thankfully.

My complaint is that I have too much advice to digest, too many people knocking on my door, and too many exercises to do. It is taking me much longer to recover from this surgery. Last night I tossed and turned in my bed with pain.

Recovery: Be patient with yourself.... I get it.
__________________________________________________________

#be patient with yourself    #depression and pain   #mental debris   #coming back from surgery








Friday, May 5, 2017

RAIN




I could never live in an area with constant rain.

My home town has weathered nine straight days of rain.
It's been so dark at times you didn't know if it was day or night.
No thunderstorms but a high wind that's very cold. Way pass just "chilly."

                                    My sweet tooth wants to kick in Soooo bad.

I can't let my dog out in the yard-- so she is getting into trouble indoors.

Napping feels like the best thing to do.

Only faith tells me this won't continue forever.

Threats of frost?

Sunshine?

Happiness?

_____________________________________________________________

#rain     #sunshine    #happiness




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

More Surgery and My Depression


I suffer from having too many conditions which require surgery. The last time I counted them up this next surgery will be my #15.


                                   

It is nothing I expected out of my life, but since 2000, surgery really has been one after another. To say my health is a mess is putting it mildly. My mom and dad had two or three surgeries, that I remember, but nothing like this.

It has caused me pain, obviously, but it has also worn me out, made me choose staying at home rather than going out, missed vacations, graduations, fun-get-togethers, gardening, walking my dog, and a feeling of "is this all there is?"

I have gotten to the point of predicting what the doctor may say before my appointment. The technology that allows you to see your test results prior to the visit helps-- but sometimes it is so obvious. I even look up my conditions on the internet - to console my fears. But that isn't good because the doctor's view is often less severe as the description I had just read.
I have two good friends who are doctors, but never ask them, because I know I am not their patient and this is unappropriated.

My family doctor who sends me to all these specialists for their opinion, then gets mad when they put me on more and more medicine or suggest surgery. He has become my non-supporter.

As I face my next surgery, I am not concerned about the procedure. I know I will manage, but this becomes harder each time.  Pain on top of pain is hard to explain.

I know of at least two more surgeries I will need. That sort of puts things in perspective. I may need to write more on this topic.

___________________________________________________________________________

#another surgery   #recovery   #health concerns   #perspectives of poor health  #medical specialists



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dog Love

My pet Labrador has been my constant pal for several years now.
She does the morning wake up nudge, barks insanely at the mailman, and then sweetly brings me my mail, socks, loose fabric from my quilting stash, just about everything. She thinks with her nose and the words "Treat" "Go Bye-Bye" and "No, you can't go." either make or break her day.

So the sight of a growth on her side, a fatty tumor was of concern. The local vet told me $800.00 which was way more that I was able to do. Fortunately, I found a volunteer organization with vets who do surgery for less in Cincinnati called Pets In Need.
The surgery went well. But, there was an opening in the stitches and she was bleeding, so I didn't know what to do. 

I finally went to an Emergency Vet Care. The hospital is open 24/7 and I left her there for care at 9:30 a.m. and because of triage, the vet called me at 8:30 p.m. to say she was waking up and ready to go home.

I didn't spend the whole day at the hospital, I did go to dinner and cleaned my house with nervous energy I somehow found. But the call from the vet, explaining what she had to do, made a lot of sense and I was grateful.

My final bill between the two vets was nearly $800.00 anyhow, but I have my pal back. She is still in a neck cone and scoots lost crumbs all over using it much like a vacuum cleaner.




I was especially touched hearing the stories of all the other pet owners and the worry they were gong through. So many tears for so many pets that meant the world to them.

This is my quilt in the honor of my pet and the all the others who have canine or feline qualities and much needed people skills-- to love unconditionally.


                             Art Quilt by CBJ  "Cooper"

___________________________________________________________________________

#dogs    #love my pet   #caring for pets  #art    #quilts   #veterinary care 
#cathyjeffers art quilts and mixed media



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Healing My Head

UPs and Downs...

In the last few weeks, I have had plenty of ups and downs. But what makes these ups and downs interesting, is that they all seem connected.

It all started a few weeks ago when the therapist session was so REAL and insightful... my head was swimming. I mean "Nailed it!" was what I told him.

"How can you be ____________ years old and still hold on to all this?"

"Gee, I don't know, but I've done a good job of it."

I can see clearly that INTELLECTUALLY, letting GO, finding the positive and moving on are part of the path I need to follow.
                                                        

So here are my Road Blocks:     Health    Money    Support    "Can Do" Spirit   Limitations

My ENERGY is based on doing small tasks. If I get chores and a meal done in one day, AND some art work done. SOOOO Good!!!

So Pick   3 (nice) things to do each day for you.
          You will feel better --I Promise!
_______________________________________

#be good to yourself     #art    #mental illness  #pain management  #positive steps  #coping
#ups and downs   #medication and mental illness   #letting go  #artist    #101 ideas on coping
#healing my head  #energy level  





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Isolation Vs. The People Out There


I never really knew how important isolation was to me. After all, by choosing isolation, I don't have to discuss all the pain I am feeling. My silence is by choice, even if it does cause a longer road to recovery. When I do share, I want to share my feelings with my therapist who is 1) trained in mental health or 2) people who have experience depression first hand, or read a lot and understand the devastation of depression.

For me, complaining about my mental and physical health does me little good. I want to shut up to people with whom I share the table.

But, here is the truth. I use to be fearful that others would judge me because of my mental illness and now, my constant physical problems. I felt I would be stigmatized.

  How could anyone understand that I was once active and funny and danced around a classroom, serving up crayons, paints and paper and stretched hundreds of young peoples imaginations as an art teacher?

  Last weekend I met a woman who had no fear being the Snarkiest person I have ever met.

When the subject came up about my health, and I started to explain, she actually said: 

"excuse me while I get a tissue to wipe my tears."   


 That was wrong, just plain wrong, on so many levels.


I think my biggest fear is that I will never get well again.

But, my second biggest fear is that I will meet others who want to pass me up, make me their victim and laugh about it.

NO. I have grown stronger than that. I will not let you and your narrow vision judge me.



                                            Sunset   By CBJ

_________________________________________________________________________________
#art  #isolation  #insults  #speak up   #don't judge  #get well    #not a victim  #community #depression  #joy  #mental health











Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dog Therapy

Today, I had two appointments I wasn't looking forward to because I knew they would be difficult.

In my first appointment, the foot doctor told me there was NOTHING MORE he could do. We were done and I would just be seeing him occasionally when needed. I have been with this doctor for almost two years preparing for surgery, him responding to my phone calls, complaints, and tears. Nearly more tears today, but mixed with reality and acceptance, I left.

Fortunately, my dog was waiting for me in my car.  I could have complained to her about my pain... but it didn't come. She was just happy to see me and who can resist that face?

In my second appointment, my mental health check-up,I was going to admit to him that I had obsessed for a week over a comment made three weeks ago.
(Goal: Let things go!)


We talked,discussed and made plans for my future appointments,
 all in an effort to improve myself and learn to be more positive.
There were more tears... some were tears from my past, others were tears for what is happening now.
PLUS

The elevator was out of order, and I had to take the freight elevator since I couldn't take the stairs.

But I had my dog in the car when I got out and I talked dog talk all the way home.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Anything is Possible



Today I attended an art conference in my home town. It is held annually and I go every few years.
The best part of going is connecting with people I know.

This year, I wasn't sure I could make it because I am walking now, but I am still limping due to the foot surgery. On the last day to register, I called asked if it wasn't too late and asked for two scholarships for myself and my friend.

That evening the art coordinator called to tell me she had the two scholarships for me. I was excited.
After a long sigh, I then asked if it was possible to get a wheelchair to make things easier on me. My friend had already agreed to push me. The next day I was told they had a wheelchair for me.

My friend and I were to meet in the underground parking garage. She got there before me so she went to get the wheelchair for me. I called to see if she was on her way, and she said she was there. After a long run of "I can see this... can you?" I got out of the car and said loudly, "Marco... Polo..." A lady stopped and asked if I was looking for someone? "I think she is in there." She pointed to the elevator wall. (We couldn't see each other because we were on opposite sides of the same wall.)

I came into the conference area and got my place for a continental breakfast, and my friend went to get me something to eat. I ran into an artist friend and we hugged and kissed and my friend, my companion for the day, smiled. This happened about four more times throughout the day. Each time it was so nice. I had an opportunity to speak to some strangers and acted confident. It felt good to carry on a conversation. At home I am alone so much of the time, the only one I speak to is the dog and four walls.

At one session I made two strangers --laugh, who over-heard a conversation between my friend and I.
It was certainly a surprise!

The highlight of the day was attending a workshop with a former art teacher. He was wrapped up in his presentation, so he didn't see me at first.  I didn't expect him to acknowledge me. But as he circled the room, he came up to me and spoke into his microphone and said- "Wow, Cathy, you could have taught this class." I have known him for close to 50 years and attend his workshop whenever I can. Later in the day, he came up and hugged ME and pointed out to several people that I had been one of his students. By now, I am sure he has had hundreds of students. "I have known you since I was twelve." I said.

Today was a gift. Thank you. (The Secret)
___________________________________________________________________

#the secret      #art     #art teacher     #feels good     #friendship     #hugs  #former student


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mosaic Madness & Mental Illness


I have been in recovery for some time. But I know I have to keep my eyes open and always watch for those things that set my anxiety high and my depression low.

I had to send out a SOS recently to my friends to stop posting about politics, specifically anti-Trump.
I don't regret their posts. They were just coming at just a fast furry in the first two weeks I was on edge. I literally felt like Humpty Dumpty sitting on the edge of the wall... with just a small breeze about to send me off the wall. President TRUMPY DUMPTY has me really, really scared.

I am a MOSAIC.  All of my pieces fit together to make my "WHOLE."

My Pieces are   * The Artist  * The Parent   * The Friend
                         * The Person who has HEALTH PROBLEMS
                         * The Person who removed people who were BAD for me.
                         * The Hopeful One  *The Dreamer  * The Optimist
                         * The Romantic  * The Peacekeeper   * The One Afraid of Chaos
                         *  One Who Dreams of Success
                         *  11:11 Connected
                         *  The person who knows my ISSUES
                         *  Grateful that I understand how I got HERE
                         *  Spiritual and Striving for more INSIGHT

Trump Pieces are?
________________________________________________________________________

#my life   #mosaic   #mental health   #president Trumpy Dumpty  #my issues  #11:11


                            

Monday, February 6, 2017

Silenced

Communication use to mean calling someone on the phone and getting caught up, talking about something until you both understood the other's view point, or sharing common ideas and it was fun to imagine how to make a big idea bigger.

Now, communication has become much more strained between my friends and I. Seems like many of them are too busy, stressed, over committed, working too much, or dealing with family issues.

When things get really tough in my life, I do a lot of things.
I sleep, isolate and want to be left alone. I miss my friends, but I assume they are okay, and I don't want to bother them.

In my mind....I expect the worse. 

Image result for the secret 

Hoping to find peace by practicing the secret.


2-6-17
So here we are, a world in CHAOS---- and I feel all alone.
_____________________________________________________________________________

#feeling alone  #my opinions   #politics   #USA   #speechless  #what happens next


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Melania Trump



Well... Here we are...You can't really say poor Melania.
But really
Poor Melania...

Is it me, or have others HAD the same thought?

For someone so confident to KNOW they had to leave their home town of
Sevnica, SLOVENIA, she is really in the camera's eye now.

Be careful of your wishes. Did anyone else see that huge sigh she gave at the inaugural dance?

What step-mother would want to be sharing the stage with Trump's grown children?

Rumor has it you plan to be like a Jackie Kennedy. Good Luck dear.



Image result for melania trump

___________________________________________________________________________

#melania trump    #anxiety    #the big sigh    #politics    #side kick    #his wife 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lessons


Here's a lesson in NOT expecting the worse.

I have been facing a lot of changes. One was that my former psychiatrist has retired. They were generous to give me an appointment with the new incoming doctor fairly quickly.

        I have been worried that the new doctor would be cold and
        short with me. I really dreaded that I would have to explain 
        everything to him/her and that I would have to re-establish 
        myself in some level of "recovery."

       It was a big worry for me
       that he would have that "doctor tone" with me.
     
      SURPRISE>>> His concern was overwhelming.

Image result for high five
 
    
      I told him just a few things and he asked me if I had a DOG.
      He said a dog is a great companion.

      That's all I needed to hear. We will do fine together.
_______________________________________________
#dog lover   #meeting your new psychiatrist  #anxiety  #medical check  #doctor tone  #all I needed  #mental health  #recovery.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Flirting with Someone New

2017 Begins with a New Me and Possibly a New You

(a happy poem about meeting someone new)


Surprise, surprise. I might just might be a prize.
If you are warm and kind, and not out of your mind.
I will allure you with my wit and be certain to show you I am fit.
Well, minus the bum foot, that has a black boot, dang it!
I will get a shoe soon and I'll be sing my happy tune.
My talents are far and wide.
Just don't judge me because my body's not normal size.
My doctor told me today he is going to send me to yet another MD to
figure out why my problems are so many.
I wish I had this eval earlier than January.
So if we meet, be rosy and sweet.
Don't look at me odd because of my feet.


Image result for heart images

_________________________________________________________________________________

      #new you     #love     #new relationship   #romance   # first date

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Weak Yet Suviving

Weakness
we are all familiar with it. It begins as an infant that we all realize needs help.

But, as children grow, they go in many different directions. Some struggle to meet basic developmental and cognitive skills, others are average or above, and some go on to excel.

The part that I wonder about of these four groups, which one group is the first to ridicule all of the others? I mean, we would assume the highest achievers would be the first to blast all the rest, but maybe they know it's not proper.

Or is it? I say it depends on their circumstances. Their family and teachers may encourage this too. So let's say they got in the first "mouthy" comment, and they turn on the next group. Pretty wild eh? That "dodge ball" is hitting most of the time. Of course there aren't any real groups this defined, but let's face it-- some will take action with a "judgement board" and some will take action because of being "bored."

Now, let's say one day the highest achievers fails at something or just because of  REVENGE the other groups are able to give it all back. It catches the group dynamics off guard. People start to realize we can all have weaknesses. Some weaknesses are visible, some are not.

Now, let's add in that everyone seems to be in their own world.
Most people are consumed by thinking about what happens next.
"Am I late, what will she say?," "Do I have everything I need?,"
"Will this shirt be okay?," "Did I pay the electric bill?," "Who was that jerk?," "I forgot to call mom for her birthday." These thoughts go on and on.

So imagine my NON-Surprise when I have been in need of extra help lately and I had to ask strangers. I have found that genuine  kindness runs about 30% willing to 70% non-willing for real help.
People who approach me and ask if I need a hand.  BIG THANK YOU!

My favorite:  "What do you want? You are going to make me late for my appointment."



Image result for cathy jeffers quilts
 "Lexis at 13"  by CBJ J
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#think people  #give a hand   #judgmental  #extra help needed  #depression  #why am I depressed  #conversations  #kindness  #don't judge  #be present  #weakness