Monthly Archives

June 2014

Turns Out I Married Superman!

By | Personal Her-story

My apologies for my absence this week. I have a really good excuse though…turns out I married Superman!

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Yep. That’s Mike in his Cookie Monster pjs in the St. Al’s ICU. Looks pretty good for a guy who had A STROKE just 42 hours before I took this picture doesn’t he? I told you…Superman!

Now that you know this story has a happy ending (and you know how I feel about happy endings!) you probably want to know what happened. And, because Mike’s really NOT into reliving the experience, but he is fine with you knowing all about it, I’m going to tell you as much as I’m able from my perspective — with apologies to our nearest and dearest who have already read what I’m going to share with you now:

We had been working in the yard, putting up some reed fencing along the last portion of chain link fence beside the garage — it was hot and he kept greying out but he didn’t want to stop (of course). After that was done he mowed the lawn including portions of our “meadow” which had gotten too long and started to yellow. When he finished he was bending over to pick up a clump of grass and felt (and heard inside his head) a “pop” like when you pop your knuckle. That pop was his carotid artery dissecting spontaneously (you can google “carotid artery dissection”). He put the lawn mower away and came inside to take a shower, but he was seeing a weird visual affect over his right eye like a dandelion puff or sometimes a mesh-like waffle pattern. He was acting sort of strangely so I kept asking him what he needed and he was getting less and less coherent. He took his shower and had a sandwich and got out his computer and then things happened really fast. First he couldn’t get his left hand to type his password. Then he couldn’t feel his left foot. By now I’m saying “do you need to go to the hospital? Are you having a heart attack? Can you walk?….We ARE going to the hospital!” and somehow I got him into the car — his whole left side was going numb but he was mentally slowing down and sort of observing himself (he told me later) while I was going into hyperdrive. I got him to St. Al’s in 7 minutes.

Once we were at St. Al’s and two men got him out of the car and into the emergency room the ER doc told me he was having a stroke. About 10 people were working on him at once, and after they shaved his chest and wired him up and shot him full of something and whisked him off for a CT scan and I’d been advised of all the probable next steps — major clot busting drugs, possible surgery, etc. — they wheeled him back in — and he was back to his old self. The paralysis in his left side was gone, the slurred speech was gone. It was like nothing had happened.

At this point everybody started shaking their heads and saying things like “fluke” and “lucky” and “never seen this before” and “you’ll be very interesting to the doctors on their rounds” and nobody actually said “miracle,” but that’s what I’m thinking.

Mike spent 48 hours in ICU, then they moved him to the medical ward on the third day and he was released because he’s willing to administer his own blood thinner injections until he can rely on the Coumadin alone to keep his blood at the proper thickness that will not form clots. Besides taking the meds he is not allowed to lift anything heavier than 5 lbs. for the next 3 months. Everything, except for Lula, weighs more than 5 lbs.

He’s going to rest through the weekend and then play it by ear next week, but probably not ride his bike in until the week after. He’s mostly tired now, and a little paranoid — when your body does something spontaneously like split an artery and the doctors can find no reason why it happened you wonder when the next bizarre thing is going to happen.

As I write this it is “the weekend” and Mike is feeling better and better. His energy is coming back and with it the desire to lift heavy things and leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Not going to happen.

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Lucky for him, his choice of mates was equally…super!

The Grass is Greener

By | Everything Else

The last time I wrote, Lula was doing the hula on her quilt in the garden and I was admiring the weeds and feeling lazy, when what should appear in my mailbox but an invitation to the Idaho Humane Society’s 24th Annual Lawn Party — with a collage I made on the cover:

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I love a good segue.

It’s a really fun invitation created by Will Spearman with art donated by several of us local, animal loving, artists…

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and is of course for the benefit of the Idaho Humane Society, the organization which brought us Lula, and Snug, and before them Redfish, Pomme, Dillon, and Scoresby. Our family, to say nothing of our hearts, would have been so much smaller without those furry girls and boys.

If your family, and your heart, are bigger because of the Idaho Humane Society you know exactly what I’m talking about, and if you don’t yet — run, really fast like you have four feet, to 4775 Dorman Street and change all that. It is the best feeling in the world.

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You can also make a donation any time, which feels almost as good. The grass really does seem a little greener when it’s your happy pup or comfy cat enjoying it on a lazy afternoon.

Dancing in the Weeds

By | Everything Else

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I’ve felt kind of lazy lately. It’s almost summer, the weather is getting warmer and the weeds just keep getting taller.

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I know I’m supposed to be out there pulling those bad bad weeds, but luckily there are poppies which make it look like there’s method to my…complete lack of method.

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I really have been working though. We launched the TVAA exhibition on collaboration, I’ve got designs in the works for some upcoming events, and I finished Kantha stitching the latest quilt.

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I wish I could tell you I marathoned “Weeds” while I stitched, but once again, that would imply some sort of method on my part.

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In fact, I marathoned “Scandal,” “One Tree Hill,” and “White Collar” — which can best be summed up as basically madness.

This is why I have 3 dogs. Dogs do not judge, neither my choice of Netflix marathons nor my secret delight in weeds.

On that note, I think it’s time for a little break….

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Lula can hula, and I will just enjoy the weeds.

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Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion

By | Exhibitions

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I’ve been busy for the past couple of days getting ready for the next exhibition — Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion, An Exhibition of Collaboration.

That’s meant literally dusting off older collaborations TVAA did for the Modern Art in 2010 and for Tour de Fat, as well as receiving, arranging, and yesterday hanging — with Sue Latta’s usual expertise and a very cool laser level — the whole show including the new work.

I framed the mock-up of the wall of panels which we hung on the outside of the stairwell of the Modern Hotel for our first collaboration. There were 60 panels in all, either T’s, V’s, A’s or self-portraits.

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These are some of the actual self-portrait panels:

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And these are some of the actual T’s, V’s and A’s in a grid format just like our TVAA logo:

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The other 16 pieces are hung in the atrium…

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and the open hall.

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Here’s my collaboration with Barbara Bowling, “The Abdication of the Sylvan Beauty Queen on the Occasion of Her Epiphany” right next to Mike’s collaboration with Lauren T. Kistner, their acrylic painting “Getaway Bike.”

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The Opening Reception is tonight from 5:00 to 8:00pm at the offices of Boise State Public Radio at 220 E Parkcenter in Boise. I hope I see you there!

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Guilty as Charged

By | Exhibitions

Last night’s Art Journaling panel went really well. I found it fascinating and inspiring to see the variety of approaches we each take with our journals and how they reflect so accurately our unique personalities and talents. I even have renewed appreciation for my own journals and am excited to dust off some old friends that could use some new chapters.

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Before I can get to that adventure however, I have a more pressing assignment for this week. We are mounting TVAA’s 13th exhibition Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion, An Exhibition of Collaboration which opens this Friday, June 6, 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the offices of Boise State Public Radio.

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Collaboration is at the heart of the mission of the Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance. When we founded the organization four years ago we envisioned artists working together with each other, with the public, and as an organization with other arts organizations. You’re familiar with the aphorism “Whatever… is like herding cats“?

Meow.

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Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion will be a comparatively small exhibition. We have 16 pieces which are original collaborations created for this show and, in the spirit of our original vision, I am bringing back elements from two of TVAA’s previous collaborations with the public.

One of those is the bicycle painting which Terry Burkes painted for our second collaboration with Tour de Fat. I painted the bike for the first collaboration and it hangs in the Boise Bicycle Project shop.

The finished piece is 7′ x 4′ framed and she and I hauled it over to the radio station this morning in her pickup because it doesn’t fit in my Forester. Actually, Terry and I have each had a hand in 8 of the pieces in this exhibition, including “Confluence” which is one we worked on together.

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I guess that makes us collaborators. Or really manageable cats.