Sunday, January 31, 2016

A look back at January



 Last year, I went on a cleaning campaign.  Ridding myself of things
 "that don't spark joy" according to Marie Kondo's book, The Magic Art of Tidying Up.
I'm finding the balance now.  I  like things and my collections make me happy. :)
And Matisse's words got me to thinking. . .
I escape into nature and it's a mess!  To include dust, dirt, thorns and well, chaos everywhere. 
 There's nothing sparse or simple.  There are layers of complexity.
Rocks are a jumbled mess and leaves are scattered everywhere.
Yet there's an order.  Maybe it's because the space is bigger?  lol


My happiest times have been outdoors this month!!!
We've had the good fortune of a mild winter in SW Oklahoma, 
so I walked often in the sun and wind.  


The ocular problem eased up!  I do a vision test every morning.
I look across the street at the neighbor's giant house number 118.
When my right eye was affected by uveitis, that number was a blur -
The 55 sign on the highway was a blur and headlights were painful to look into.  
BUT,,,  the light sensitivity has eased up and I'm seeing so much better again!!!
 I still experience slight pain and weird sensations, BUT progress has prevailed.  

Digestive issues flare up my eyes!!! What a weird connection.
I read that horses have inefficient digestive systems - 
I also found out they are prone to suffer from uveitis.  Interesting, huh?

Anyway 118 is a special number!

"The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; 
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly." - Psalm 118:15


Some other January's I enjoyed:

Star Wars
The Martian
Downton Abbey
Mozart in the Jungle

A piano concert

Reading poetry

A Japanese restaurant (3x)

London Fog (black tea, steamed milk, honey, vanilla)
Seaweed
Started a new batch of sauerkraut
Cooked some new dishes - plantains are magic
Lots of bone broths

Several new eye glasses 

Worked on Medicine Bags and Earrings
Art Journaling

A Catholic Church Service (lovely but could not handle scented candles)

I learned lessons, received precious gifts 
and treasure time spent with my mom and
my peaceful times with Greg and Zody.


Favorite quotes:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
-The Serenity Prayer

Look at your life in terms of a journey.
Where is the transformation?  Real healing doesn't 
occur unless there is transformation.
It's not saying "I want to be healthy so I can
go back to normal."  If you go back to normal,
you have not transformed, you have the
opportunity to grow spiritually.
-Health Blog


I think I'm ready for February.  How about you?

Friday, January 29, 2016

I'm ok; I've been better





So many days of pain
Multiplied into two years and counting

Sometimes I can understand how Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven
And Virginia Woolf walked into a river

Wishing for an end to pain, this is my weakness
Fearing, this may not be the worst thing I ever go through, I’m a Coward too

Darkness swallows my hope, dims my light
Yet I still have a fight in me

A spark, a seed
A smidgen mustard seed that's

Capable of resurrecting a barren field
Capable of turning the oven on to cook

Capable of walking beside a river
And enjoying the beauty of another day


(There are times when a chronic [medical] condition can get the best of you; there are hurdles, battles and difficult days.  You tell yourself that everything will be ok.)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Faith Seed


I've been in a trial for the past two months.  My struggle has been with uveitis,
which can cause blindness.  In horses, it's called Moon Blindness. 
The very good news is that my fifth opthalmologist exam on Friday showed
the inflammation gone - however I still don't have my 20/20 vision back.
I'm hyper-vigilant with my eyes lately.  Taking care to rest, and wearing
sunglasses, blue-light filtering glasses on the computer, amber glasses at night. lol.
No make-up, even careful with creams.  Trying hard to eat non-inflammatory foods. 
 It's been very unnerving as an artist - heck, just driving was scary at times.
It only affected my right eye - which for several years now is the one I get headaches behind.

Boy, do I know eye anatomy now and quite a bit about uveitis. 
Also, I've been hiding deep inside my Heavenly Father's love - relying on his tender care.
My Shepherd has never failed to lead me out of dark valleys.
I literally was not able to look into the light…. often my head was cast down.
  Some days I felt strong in faith and other days I wallowed in self-pity, 
but I feel like Jesus took my mustard seed faith and multiplied it.

Spiritual growth came from this.
This tiny seed I had,,,
I even told the doctor the last time, that I walk by faith and not by sight.
It was after bad news for the fourth time and seeing the letter chart
as a big blur.   I'm still healing and transforming.

Milagros
Faith knows that a tiny mustard seed can grow into a field
far as the eye can see!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Puerto Rico III

Helen & Chris ~ 12/28/15
Shrimp Mofongo 
El Morro Lighthouse
El Morro by night...
My first Puerto Rican Cafe con Leche and I'd say it was perfect!

I wore my wedding dress (dyed yellow) to the wedding. 

These are the final pictures of Puerto Rico.  We've been catching up at home -
the adjustment to snow, ice and cold has been crazy to say the least.

Happy New Year!!





Wednesday, December 30, 2015

El Yunque National Forest (Puerto Rico II)




This was my first visit to a tropical rain forest.
My shoes and legs were covered in mud
after this trek.  El Yunque receives around
200" of rainfall per year and stays at 80
degrees by day and 70 at night.   
I could hear the coqui (frogs) and birds
but did not see them. However, I did spot
the giant snails.
The forest was lush, green and refreshing!