Friday, February 27, 2015

I actually wrote this post one month ago and forgot about it. But life goes on and so much is happening that I really need to post this and then fill everyone in with what else is happening. Boy, am I busy. Anyway, here it is: It's been six months since I lost my husband and life will not be the same again. This morning I had an early appointment and whilst driving there, I suddenly started crying. He never liked listening to music in the car and here I was driving along playing one of my CDs, but then I realized that I would rather have my husband sitting next to me in the car and not listen to music instead...Anyway, somehow life goes on in spite of what you initially think and even resent people telling you - continiously. LIFE GOES ON.....yeah.....sure. Actually, four days after my husband's death I was forced to go on with life battling my own health issues and it somewhat blunted the actual grieving. It makes me wonder if I am just starting to realize it because I am just getting over a horrible experience and infestation of scabies which I caught in the hospital where my husband was. Imagine! Now, SIX month later, I am still bearing the marks and assume it will take at least another 8 weeks before I am back to normal. So, kids, life goes on but honestly? I am not impressed right now. And yet: I am grateful.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I want to share some thoughts of mine that were inspired by an article I read from Dean Obeidallah about facing one's own mortality. I adapted and changed it to reflect my own thoughts in view of all that has passed in the last two years of my life.

How often have I been told to 'stop and smell the roses'....and I used to explain or at least try to clarify that what others called 'working', I would regard as my passion and love for what I was doing at the time.

I still feel the same way i.e. not wasting time in sleeping too long or too much because I still have dreams to be fulfilled - though modified somewhat due to the recent events and the loss of my husband.

From the time that my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer to the hour when he actually left this life, I did not realize how much more we could have LIVED life. His death has had a profound impact on me. I am no longer finding excuses to cut short a telephone conversation with a friend or my own children and I am actually taking real time out to talk to my beautiful cat Arabella.

I will never be able to stop completely to smell ALL the roses because after all, I inherited my parents' work ethics being German but there is no more impatience. Well, at least not most of the time. also because my own health has not been great (see previous posts re. hip replacements, back fracture and my most recent adventure with scabies. I would not wish that part on my worst enemy.

How did I catch 'scabies'? Well, the hospital where my husband spent his last months, had an outbreak but of course I was unaware of it. Thankfully and almost four months later, I am slowly recovering but it has been a horrible experience and the recovery will take time.

In the meantime the clock next to me is ticking away and I am aware of time slipping by. Yet the desire to paint or knit or design is reduced for now. Also because amongst other things I have developed carpel tunnel syndrome in my left hand and it stops me from picking up any kind of knitting or work that would involve using both hands (except for typing here on the keyboard.....).

Thank you all for your constant caring and

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wandering around . . .I think about what I should be writing in my blog. Something intelligent or brilliant and letting my friends and family know what is happening in my life. Maybe some witty funny observations.... only somehow time passes and my blog remains silent. Comments from visitors here inspire me, they also remind me that I have a blog and need to update it at times. It's all well and good to have imagination, but mine seems to have disappeared since January 2013. The worst year of my life - it was in January when I had a fall and broke my two lower vertebraes. And then of course I had total hip surgery and then a few months later, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Terminal. I plan grand art pages but life gets in the way..... or does it? I suppose when 'life gets in the way, it is just normal and blogging is just the extension of it. I decided to treat the blog just like a journal. Just writing down inconsequential thoughts and how I feel about what might be happening in my life. I find myself struggling like a fly when it's caught in water trying to get out of it - gasping for breath. It is now seven weeks since Mario was admitted into palliative care - an eternity to both of us. Nobody ever told us just how bad it can get and dear God, this is only just beginning. Well, not really but I have a feeling that it is going to get much much much worse.

I have joined 'Wellspring'.


I bought a gelli plate
sometime ago and
played around with it,
but then life interfered
and I forgot all about
it. Maybe one day
my 'mojo' will
really come back?
oh, and then I read about
using salt and stuff and
went out and bought Kosher
salt. And this was the result.
Of course that's just doing the
ground work. And maybe
soon I will add some stencil
or other bits to it.
someday, in the future?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

It seems that every day is planned and there is just not enough time to relax and concentrate on my computer. This coming Thursday we have another appointment with Mario's oncologist and I just hope she has some good news like perhaps continuing with more chemo. Mario seems to be able to take it and he has not lost weight yet but he is very very tired. He has a bad heart and he keeps thinking that his heart is not going to be able to take more chemo and it is very possible because after the last session he had a heart attack. I am considering moving closer to our youngest one in Toronto when all this is over, even though I really don't know if I will like living there. But Marinella says that basically it's the same as living here, you just have to stick to the area where you live until you are more sure of the streets. why am I rambling like this? It is weeks ago since I wrote this to be entered into the blog and somehow I never got around to posting it. Since then so much has happened and I am jumbling it all up into a mess.

Found this photo in my stash of our trip through the Italian Alps and
near our home in Prato. Would that we could be there now, surrounded
by absolute peace and beauty. God's Creation.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

small signs of life

I am sorry that it takes me so long from one posting to another but time seems to fly away with me right now and maybe also my priorities have changed. For now. I am still enjoying dabbling in mixed media but also those projects are coming along at turtle speed.
There are times when I am tempted to get back into digital scrapping - less messy, and I would not need an extra room for all my paints and 'stuff'.....apart from the fact that it is a lot cheaper than playing around with Mixed Media. And since I am seriously tackling the idea of moving into a one bedroom place eventually, I cannot imagine where I would put all my shelves and cabinets???????? ..... I still have so much to say but somehow it seems to require peace and quiet and there does not seem to be much around right now.


and sometimes I just
'doodle'.....just for the
fun of it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I am so glad when I am being told that I have not posted in the blog
for some time because then I know that you still care....Sometimes
 I just feel so alone. I am just sorry that it's been a while but life is
keeping me very busy and truly exhausted. We have appointments
 every single day of the week, some for Mario and some for myself.
  Started rehab for my hip a few weeks ago and omg, I am dead beat.
 And of course, everything hurts - not only my hip, but my shoulders,
 knees, my back, my thumb etc. No coffee afternoons
 those days, hehe. But I love all of it and just pray it will help with
 my hip.

  It seems strange but I have started thinking that a lot of my
 digital pages are overloaded. Maybe my direction is changing and / or
 maybe I burnt out but I don't even feel like going back to scrapping.
 Instead I have started looking at Mixed Media and love some of it.
Finnabair does some lovely work and I have started a canvas but will
 not use as much in embellishments. Again, I rather have less than more.

  Arabella started sneezing and coughing and even though she had all of
her shots every single year, she was diagnosed with a feline herpes virus.
 I am going to have to take her for a second opinion and hopefully it won't
 be so bad. Apparently it is incurable but with medication they can still
live for many years. I hope. I try not to worry about it....

On a lighter note: I am ashamed to admit that I am watching 'coronation street'..........dear oh dear, ......!!!! how low have I sunk? hahahaaaaaa.
It's half an hour of 'mindless' TV but it's ok. There are times when we
all need some kind of diversion though I have to admit I don't understand
half of what they are saying.

below is a canvas I have been working on - on and off and still not
sure of the final result (bottom page with color, greens and copper etc.).
The actual photo was taken in autumn of last year and I really wanted
to reflect the colors of the leaves, the gold and the withering of leaves,
but somehow I am not satisfied with any of it. I actually even like the
wishy washy off white effect. I have a feeling that I won't be hanging this
anywhere for a while until I get it right.

I am still working on it. Just bought Lindy's Stamp Gang paints and want to
add some colors to it. Though I don't know how it's going to turn out. I
have  a feeling that I should leave it as it is. Don't they say 'go with
your gut feeling?"?????????


Friday, January 3, 2014

there are many times when I long to feel the passion again that I have
 felt when creating an art page. With photos or without, just painting
 or with some collage. It really did not matter but I did not want to
waste time sleeping and loved every minute of it. Since I had the fall
 in January when I broke my lower vertebraes - I have not felt interested
 in creating anything. It's almost as if there is a message in it and maybe
there is. Maybe I spent too much time on the computer or behind my desk
 and had very little time for my family and friends? Though I am a great
 believer in doing what you want to do as long as you don't hurt anyone
 and creating digital art certainly was not hurting anyone but maybe my
 priorities were mixed up. Then in July I had my left hip totally replaced
 and I am still recovering from that event.

  It has been an awful year starting with the shingles and ending with my
 husband not knowing if he will be able to celebrate his birthday in March.
 In the meantime we are both aware of time. Time flies when you know
that your life is limited suddenly. Good news: the CT scan came back
improved. It bought time. How much ? nobody knows. Weeks or months?
 We are both trying to think very positive in terms of months or even a

An amazing and unexpected gift from a lady who I have yet to meet.
Thank you, dear Sarah. I want to share it with everyone, it is just so lovely.


Monday, December 23, 2013

(catching up a little bit.I had jotted these lines down a few weeks ago
 and then got waylaid and forgot to post them.)

We had an ice storm here and 240 000 people are still without power in

I keep asking myself why why why I suddenly lost interest in scrapping.
It all actually happened when I had the bad fall in January and broke my
 lower two vertebraes. Wished I could figure it out because from that day
 on I stopped scrapping. It just seems so odd because I loved scrapping so
 much and wished I could get back into it. It would help me over this
difficult time that I am going through right now but alas, I lost it. Maybe
it will come back but maybe it will never come back. Maybe age has
 something to do with it and/or I am bored and need a diversion.

Getting older? well, somehow my left hand is giving me problems and
 next week I have to go to an orthop. place to get a stint fitted to my left
 wrist to hold the thumb. Some days the pain is not so bad but I cannot
have anyone squeeze it anymore, nor even carry much or hold a bottle
 in it or whatever else.

Mario's last CT scan came back and the cells have been reduced. Now for
 one month he is having a break but we were told that the cells could come
 back twice as strong and the next chemo might not be as affective as the first
 one. To be really honest, there is not a day that goes by when my eyes don't
 fill up with tears and I feel like crying. I know it's not the time to cry yet
but I keep realizing what I will be missing. Forty one years is a lifetime
together and when we are not together, we talk on the phone. And of course,
neither one of us ever goes out without the other.

  I am trying to knit. I did finish a long long scarf that you wrap around
and let it fall loosely around and I also knitted one for Mario and Heidi. I
 also fixed a dress that I had bought on ebay and it was the wrong size.
Too small. So I bought matching linen fabric and added a kind of strip on
 the side and made it into a two piece. It's a Marilyn Anselm design for
 HOBBs one and I love it. Lol. I love linen. Anyway, that's done too. Now
 what's next? I suppose I could focus on some journaling?

I wish you all Very Happy Blessed Christmas. And of course, Great Health for 2014.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

recently I started making a draft of what I might like to write. I have accessed
 my blog a number of times but have nothing to say. Nothing clever or smart or intellectual. My brain is dried up right now and I just cannot find the words to
describe how I feel. I cry a lot. I wished the malls would not play Christmas
 Music yet. But we did go out yesterday and brought home a few bottles of
wine, both German and Italian ones. That is an essential in our home anyway
 and we just felt like it. I feel like sharing and wrapping my arms around you,
sometimes I want to just cry or scream and most of the time I am just tired.
 And scared. But I am so grateful for all your support, dear sweet wonderful
friends. It keeps me connected to my laptop and the internet - even when I
don't reply to emails. My blog is like my diary or my journals that I had
started and loved doing though right now I am really not doing very much
other than 'looking' at papers or perhaps a folder - and then kind of just leaving
it wherever.......maybe it's called 'random searching'???

Mario made it home....and I am slowly recovering
from all the hospital visits. My hip refused to adapt those long corridors.
It's a brand new hospital and it's huge.
In the meantime, also my kitty Arabella gave me some stress. She kept
visiting her litter box but without doing anything and of course, a red flag
went up. Stones, crystals, problems or an infection? So off to the vet.
She had bladder stones and needed surgery. Some $900 lighter
she is now recovering and starting to run around again behaving like a little
 kitty rather than an adult seven year old cat. She really is great company and I
 need her as much as she needs me.
Mario is bracing himself for another
 week of chemo next week and all we can do is pray that his heart can take
 it. The last chemo caused a heart attack - thankfully not a massive one, but
his heart is already badly weakened from previous MI's and it's all risky and
stressful. The good news is that the chemo has definitely reduced the cancer,
but we have not talked to his oncologist yet which won't be until next
 Tuesday. One day at a time or so they say....but you just don't realize
 that life is not about one day at a time. Not when you want to buy a new
 jacket or plan a vacation or even buying a ticket to a concert..... How can
you be positive when you know it's all a question of weeks or months? do
 you shut your brain down and stop feeling and thinking? when you hear
the Christmas carols in the malls, do you wonder if you are going to make
 it to Christmas even? how can you not cry or feel miserable?

Thank you ALL, thank you for your love and support.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We were sure Daddy would be coming home today but alas, it is not to be - yet. I have to update my blog and I am sorry to say that it will have to wait. Just not sure what to say yet or what to hope for. My husband is fighting for his life or better said perhaps 'for time'..... I am feeling drained and empty and it is getting late here - time for bed because tomorrow will be a new day and a new fight.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I am sorry, so sorry for being quiet but I am in a dark corner right now and have nothing to contribute. Empty like a hole. Below is a digital page I created what seems like 'ages ago'......


Thursday, October 10, 2013

people, me included, often talk about 'privacy' and that they don't want
to expose themselves to the internet or talk about how they feel. And yet I want
to keep the blog going because it is one way to connect to family and friends
 that live far away from me across the Atlantic.

a note to my family, my children, my wonderful friends who in spite of
  my continued silence keep checking on me hoping that I might jump back
 into creating. Alas, I am hopelessly caught up right now in my life feeling
 totally empty and unproductive with no incliniation to touch either a paint
brush or my formerly beloved digital photo editing software of which I have
 so many that they are half filling my desktop.

My husband has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. The key word
here is 'small cell'. Mestastasized. I need to keep my words to a minimum
 because for one thing I don't have words right now and for another
I am trying not to think. But I will try and find the courage to update my site
when I have the strength. The chemo he had last week went by almost uneventful.
 He was joking about it wondering if he had not been given a 'placebo'.....but
yesterday he was suddenly in agonizing pain and fell down or collapsed several
  times. Since then we have had various appointments and meetings with our
Cancer Center. Tomorrow there will be another Scan. I pray to God it is not in
 the bone. Anyway...... please no need to say anything. You can't. Nobody can,
because I don't know what to say back. I don't know much right now.
Love to you all, always.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

somewhere today I listened to a pastor talking about gratitude and
 finding it in the most distressing circumstances. Let your choice
 be gratitude even if you are confronted with death in any way.
So he said. Well, today is the beginning of a 'new life' for my family.
We have just had some devastating news concerning my husband's
health or ill health and it could not really be worse. I fail to find gratitude.
 Not even a tiny bit of it. This year has been a lousy one all starting off
 in January with a very bad fall when I broke my lower vertebraes and
 could not move for months. And slowly, as I was recovering, I was told
 that I needed major surgery. My third one replacing my left hip called a
 'revision'. I am still recovering though it's not a fast recovery this time.
My surgeon is now sending me to rehab to improve the movement of the
 joint. And if that is not enough, yesterday topped it all. And I definitely
do not feel grateful. I feel angry just like I did when I had my first child.
A son. And lost him. The same kind of anger. And yet there are millions
 of people out there that are far worse off. I know that. I don't need to be
 told it and it does not make me feel better. Whining and kicking makes
me feel better though the kicking part might be rather impossible since I
 can't kick with my leg right now.....
anyway, I felt like venting and just hope you understand.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dear friends have been very encouraging, helping me to find my 'mojo'... 
To post when I have no artwork to show . . .
No travel details to share . . .
No clever stories of family or garden.

So today I just write! or pretend to write. It helped to find an article about
 being an introvert. It's what I called myself sometime ago but it was disputed
 and consequently made me think about my assumption. Here is what Carol
Bainbridge wrote:

"....Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who
 is shy. In fact, being shy has little to do with being an introvert! Basically, an
introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained
 by being around other people. Introverts are more concerned with the inner world
 of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They
 often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy.
This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any
length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to "recharge."........"

This sounds a lot like me when after having been together with people, I am
 quite happy going back home either to regain my energy or simply wanting
time to be with my own thoughts. I am simply being more introspective. Being introspective, though, does not mean that an introvert never has conversations. However, those conversations are generally about ideas and concepts, not
about what they consider the trivial matters of social small talk.
And this, in a nutshell, IS ME. I love my own company. But after many weeks, months, I am tired of being an introvert. And I am definitely glad that I created
this blog so at least I can chat when I feel like doing so and retreat into my shell
 when I feel overwhelmed.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

It has been almost six weeks since my surgery, my third total
 hip replacement on the same hip and hopefully this time is
 successful. It is still hard to judge. I will be seeing my surgeon
 this coming Thursday and only then will I have an idea about
 success (or not).

Life is becoming easier as I go along. Each day
 I find a little relief - for example being able to finally get into the
 tub and have a shower without fear, walking more and more with
 just a cane and generally being more independent again. It's been
 a bad year for me so far with the fall and breaking my lower
vertebraes in January. I must admit that the pain of a broken
 vertebrae in the lower back is much worse than hip surgery.

But what really shocks me is the lack of interest I have since both
 the accident and now my hip surgery. With the exception of
checking my email, I am rarely using the computer and it saddens
 me because I loved waking up in the morning with impatience to
 start working on some digital art pages or writing and journaling.
 I seem to have lost my muse or my mojo. Whichever it is, I am most
 certainly not motivated at all.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

So much has happened since one of my previous postings and my rather extended silence since. It all started with my new kitchen. I am delighted with it but of course on hindsight, I should have had it installed AFTER my surgery rather than before. It is unbelievable just what you find when you need to need to clean out your old kitchen cabinets. Amazing 'stuff' to be found tucked away in corners.

I still have not put all my kitchen 'stuff' back because after complete installation
I had my third major surgery, another total hip replacement. Walls and finishes
will just have to wait a little longer.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

dear oh dear, I am remiss in not updating my blog. Believe me, I am working on it but life has taken over right now and my heart is not in it. I took some photos of my ugly scar but have not bothered uploading any and each day seems to add more challenges to my already overloaded basket of tasks. Will try and do better perhaps tomorrow. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

to all my dear friends who have followed me along: I am home after major surgery. I need to take a break right now but will try and update when I feel a little better. Love and hugs.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

genealogy and researching my roots

My research for my family tree started many many years ago. Actually it
 started when I discovered that my dear mother had drawn up our family
 tree in her own cookbook. (another long story for another time!). I treasured
 it. I was very young then and didn't really think about it until I went to England.
 And then I really slithered into it wholeheartedly and never actually stopped.
 Not just researching and collecting dates or names for the sake of enlarging
 the family tree but I studied the history. I wanted to find out for example
 how my great great great grandfather or ancestors had lived back in the
 1700s....or even earlier. The digital layout below was possible - finally -
 after many years of frustration trying to find the link to my paternal great
 great great great grandfather. German authorities are not very helpful in
assisting you to find your roots and eventually it was just a 'hunch', a
 feeling that eventually led me to the right town to locate all I needed.
The photo was taken from a helicopter. The house is still standing and
there are no words that can describe the feelings when you are actually
walking over the doorstep or the floors, touching something that one of
 my ancestors might have touched or walked on. Just amazing.

Friday, June 21, 2013

I seem to have meandered from working and creating digital pages to loving painting and working with real papers. It is amazing just how much this kind of hobby or passion can get hold of you. Time flies. However, since I have had the accident back in January my lifestyle has changed. Totally. My priorities are different, more focussed on living and less time on the computer. There are times when I think that having gone through so much pain that all this was for the better and I am grateful that once more I take the time to be conscious of a bird singing outside or even listening to the soft rustle of leaves or the wind blowing into my window.
(some pages are still left unfinished though I like to prepare them
with gesso for basis though I don't use gesso on each page, only really when
I know that I might be using inks and maybe a coat of paint.)