A judy Journey – a Wacky Wick* Bit

15 Apr

WACKY

“Absurdly or amusingly eccentric or irrational”

Day 3 of honoring Rick’s birthday season (birthday season rules)

When Rick and I were growing up (childhood pictures of Rick & me) my favorite fun game was to make him get on all fours on the floor while I would stand over him squeezing his neck between my ankles and rock back and forth.  Mom just didn’t understand how much fun it was and would yell at me, “Stop!!! You’re going to break his neck!”

I never broke his neck but . . .

. . . Wick’s* wittle brain wrattling around in his head may be the reason for some of his “amusingly eccentric” attempts to heal childhood trauma.  Cases in point:

Rick as the Headless Horseman

Rick as a Clown, trying to prove he doesn’t have brain damage and is a fun guy. 

Rick is a Headless Horseman (remembrances of our head rocking game)

Rick as a Headless Horseman (flashback of our head rocking game) and Sheila trying to pretend it’s ok he has no head.

Rick, as the pirate - trying for sympathy, arrrgh

Rick, as a pirate – expressing pent-up hostility from childhood trauma, arrrgh

All I can say is it’s a good thing I’m a psychotherapist . . . he needs my help.

*Wick = Rick 

P.S. PLEASE do not show these pictures to anyone because Rick is a respected realtor in Denver.

A judy Journey – A Bit Daffy

14 Apr

Daffy

Crazy. Madly deranged and completely nuts. Foolish or mentally imbalanced.  The Urban Dictionary

Last night Rick went outside to protect the daffodils from the snow.

Rick's daffodils before they are buried under snow

Yesterday – Rick & daffodils 

The front of the house now looks like a homeless encampment

Daffodils are under there

Today, in the morning – Daffodil encampment

Rick had a chocolate birthday

Sister-in-law Sheila putting 64 candles on the cake (she was 56 candles short)

Sister-in-law Sheila putting 64 candles on the cake (she was 56 candles short)

Snow is cool but chocolate is chocolate.

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All candles and 1/3 of cake eaten

Happy Birthday Rick!  You are as daffy as your dils!

My baby brother

Baby brother & me

A judy Journey – Stand By for Rain, Sleet & Snow

13 Apr

My sister-in-law is a flight attendant and generously offered me a “Buddy Pass”.  $40 one way to Denver, Colorado to visit my bother Rick for his birthday – I jumped at the chance!  

That’s the last time I jumped on this trip.  

Rick, showing off the daffodils he planted – before they are buried under snow*

$40 equals “stand by”.  After a 3 hour wait at the airport I stood by and watched as the plane took off without me (and 4 other standby passengers).  Only one more flight out. My bags were still packed so I stood by for another 3 hours.  Five thumbs went up as my fellow stand-byers and I were handed boarding passes.

This morning I booked a paid flight home.  

Storm front blowing in - Denver, April 12

Storm front blowing in – Denver, April 12

*Rain, sleet and snow is coming in tonight with a 30 degree temperature drop!

To learn more about my journey check  Come Fly With Me . . . 

 

Year of the Fairy Tale – How to Solve Problems, 4 steps

9 Apr

The mark of a REAL Princess isn’t about enduring painful experiences but solving them.

1.  Uncover the source

2. Identify the irritant

3. Simmer solutions

4. Digest what you’ve learned

How a REAL princess approaches a problem

“Shakira meets Muhammad Ali”

8 Apr

“‘I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time,” Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it’s hilarious.) “I’m like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali.” With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.”

If we all had had Maysoon Zayid’s parents . . . stand back world!  

Watch, laugh & be inspired!

 

Sneak a Peek into my Mind

7 Apr

This weeks’ haiku prompt is HOME.  My Haiku is inspired by Gene Autry singing Home, Home on the Range.  

Panic on the Prairie Haiku

Home, home on the range
it’s much more comfortable
when the gas is off

by judy's brain

by judy’s brain

A Look into my Sketch Book

6 Apr

My inspiration for owl sketches is the LIVE feed where the mama owl is sitting on her nest in a hollowed out tree. Click here to see for yourself Audubon California Starr Ranch Live Feed.  (There isn’t a lot of action during the day.  Mom is a night owl.)

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Still picture from live feed

Non-dominant hand pencil sketches

Non-dominant hand pencil sketches

Hypnotic Art – Cellular Doodles

3 Apr

Wish I knew science was so cool in school!

Hypnotic Art Shows How Patterns Emerge From Randomness in Nature.  

See more here (and the science behind the artwork):

 http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/03/turing-morphogenesis-artwork/#slide-id-576631

The left side of this image resembles red blood cells traveling through a blood vessel. Jonathan McCabe/Flickr

The left side of this image resembles red blood cells traveling through a blood vessel. Jonathan McCabe/Flickr

 

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If you stare at this long enough, it might start to move. Jonathan McCabe/Flickr

. . .  and . . . A FREDDIE FAVORITE!!!!

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A psychedelic dog bone. Jonathan McCabe/Flickr

 

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My Poems

2 Apr

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Feeling indignant for taking the fall

For high blood counts & cholesterol

But when all the king’s horses

And all the king’s men

Reversed their decision yet again

He knew he didn’t want to be

Bacon & eggs for breakfast, you see

images-1

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king’s horses
And all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

So let’s get creative
Don’t pine or beg
Make your life tasty
You’re still a good egg.

Check out The Bardo Group.  They’ll “. . . celebrate A Poem in Your Pocket on Thursday, April 24, when everyone is invited to share a poem here and/or a piece about a favorite poet no matter the poet’s time or place.”  

What is National Poetry Month? FAQ here

 

Take-a-look-sketchbook – Year of the Fairy Tale

1 Apr

Here’s a look inside my sketchbook. We’re suppose to sketch, sketch, sketch.

Remember the post about my very first art class My freshman in college art class?   – where the teacher gave me, just me, a special assignment because I didn’t know how to draw?

That was my first lesson in the value of quantity over quality when it comes to learning . . . ANYTHING.

Carla Sonheim wants us to draw, draw, draw.  I’m still working on my 100 flowers . . .

DISCLAIMER:  None of these concepts/images orginated with me.  

I copied them from various books, pictures and sources to practice drawing.

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Character studies

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There’s a cow in The Frog Princess

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Elephant & Ant study (for the ant not the elephant)

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Boid study

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Character studies, experimenting with watercolor

You can’t see all the erasure marks in my sketches because I cleverly photographed in poor lighting!

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Hands down hands are the hardest to draw whether realistically or cartoonisticlly

How to Deal with Fear vs Danger

29 Mar

REALLY worth watching - Chris Hadfield: What I learned from going blind in space.

‘”There’s an astronaut saying: In space, “there is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.” So how do you deal with the complexity, the sheer pressure, of dealing with dangerous and scary situations? Retired colonel Chris Hadfield paints a vivid portrait of how to be prepared for the worst in space (and life) — and it starts with walking into a spider’s web. Watch for a special space-y performance”. TED Talks

“Good morning, Earth.” That is how Colonel Chris Hadfield, writing on Twitter, woke up the world every day while living aboard the International Space Station. In his five months on the ISS (including three as commander) Hadfield became a worldwide sensation, using social media to make outer space accessible and infusing a sense of wonder into the collective consciousness. Check out his cover version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” sung while floating in his tin can, far above the world …’

Color Test Challenge

28 Mar

I didn’t know:

1.  Color vision can indicate certain medical conditions.
“The Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue Test is one of the most widely used tests in industries where color decisions are critical. The test has been used in clinical applications for the study of ocular disease and other medical conditions such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. It’s also used to determine the effects of pharmaceuticals on color vision”.

2. “FACT: 1 out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency. Take the online color challenge, based on the Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue Test at: http://www.xrite.com/online-color-test-challenge

*     *     *

I lOVE colorespecially bright colors. They make me smile. It’s good that I grew up as a brunette – dark brown, not quite black –  since deep bright color I’ve always loved looked good on me.

Now I have always admired soft colors, neutral colors – on other people’s clothes and in other people’s homes.  But strong contrasting color has always been my “cup of tea”.  Until now.

No longer growing up I’m now growing “down” – salt & pepper grey not quite white. More and more I’m drawn to softer hues of the bright colors I’ve loved.  Instead of red, I’m picking pink.  Instead of forest green I’m drawn to lime.  Instead of deep blue I’m attracted to robins’ egg blue.  

When I found this color test on-line I was intrigued.  How well do you see color? 

P.S.  On the test “Hue” = saturation and brightness

 

 

Year of the Fairy Tale Sketches

26 Mar

This month’s fairy tale is the Princess and the Pea.  If you remember, the old queen tests to see if the bedraggled girl the prince is to marry is a REAL Princess.  She puts a pea under 20 mattresses and twenty eider-down beds.  If the girl is a REAL princess she will feel the pea as she sleeps.

I feel discomfort at everything in bed at night: slightly bunched up night-gown, the buttons on the mattress tufting, a hard pillow pressing my ear.  All this time I thought it was fibromyalgia sensitivity to pressure. Turns out I must be a REAL Princess!

(Assignment is to do vignettes of possible “bed scenes”)

The test of a REAL princess is tenacity and ingenuity, not vegetable intolerance.

The test of a REAL princess is tenacity and

ingenuity, not vegetable intolerance.

Year of the Fairy Tale
Year of the Fairy Tale

Doggie Doings

25 Mar

Why Daisy gets her ice cream first . . . 30 second video.  

It’s a dog’s life.

Fairy Tale Quick Sketch

23 Mar

15  second haiku

It’s true so they say:

all art, reflection of self.

A bit concerning . . .

15 seconds, yes SECONDS) figure drawing from actual people

X-rated naked stick figures

X-rated naked stick figures

PG-rated stick figures

PG-rated, clothed stick figures

Action stars

Action stars

(Next Fairy Tale is the Princess and the Pea)

Mr Sandman the Ostrich – WP prompt

23 Mar
judy's ostrich

judy’s ostrich

I identify with the ostrich. My neck is rather short.  My legs are not refined.  In danger, like my friend the ostrich, I can’t fly.  At my age the best I do is ruffle my feathers and slowly walk away on my short unrefined legs.

My “ostrichness” is above the neck.  I frequently stick my head in the sand. It’s gets more and more gritty the older I get.  

I act like I’m still 30 years old. (I pick 30 because I was a tiny bit smarter than 20 and a lot more energetic than 40).  Now that I’m in my 60′s, after running around like I’m 30, I go to bed for the same number of days, resting my old, short unrefined legs after first washing sand out of my mouth.

Postscript:  I’m going to have to pick another animal to identify with. I just made the mistake of googling; “To dispel the ancient libel, ostriches do not bury their heads when faced with danger–a species that did so would hardly be able to survive for more than 120 million years. They do, however, stretch their long necks flat on the ground when they sleep; from a distance, it can look as though their heads are buried”. (How Stuff Works)

ANCIENT, that’s the last thing I needed to hear.

*        *        *

This post inspired by Rosemary Lee for including an ostrich in her fibromyalgia post at SEEKING EQUILIBRIUM a

The Prompt SANDMAN  at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/daily-prompt-mr-sandman/

My ostrich drawing for Year of the Fairly Tale at http://carlasonheim.wordpress.com

Art EXPERIMENT Challenge

23 Mar

Challenge yourself to do an art EXPERIMENT for 10 minutes. This is NOT about making anything beautiful, recognizable, realistic.  It’s about giving your inner critic time off, and letting go of inhibition and expectation.  Just jump in and scribble, dribble or smear.

For all of you who say “I can’t draw” – REMEMBER! This is an EXPERIMENT!

Cheap Supplies

  • A box of crayons, or cheap paint or marking pens – anything that you’ve got on hand.
  • Cheap paper – and I mean CHEAP.  Cut up paper grocery bags, junk mail paper  (If you use junk mail just color right on top of the printing), copy paper . . .
  • A timer - kitchen timer, watch alarm or just a clock.
  1. Take a look at the 8 minute demo video that inspired this post OR follow my Negative Space Experiment tutorial below.
  2. Set the timer for 10 minutes and draw, scribble, smush, swipe and color.  When 10 minutes is up stop.  

Here’s the link to the 8 minute demo videohttp://carlasonheim.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/new-tutorial-guest-teacher-diane-culhane/   It’s a quick and EASY way to “make” a picture . . . and learn a bit about positive and negative shapes in the process.

(Diane Culhane, the video teacher, is using expensive acrylic paint. Don’t let that stop you.  Cheap craft paint, crayons, oil pastels, chalk, watercolor – anything works.)

Here’s my Experiment with crayon and copy paper in 5 easy steps (5th is optional):

Color entire sheet of paper w/ different colors

1. Color entire sheet of paper w/ different colors.  Whoops, paper tore middle-top.

Coloring negative space around outline

2. FAST sketch (no thinking) of flowers in a vase. Color negative space around outline. Torn paper ended up on middle flower

Pressing harder with dark colors

3. Pressing harder with dark colors.  Ignoring torn paper on middle flower.

Sorry, just couldn't resist . . .

4. Sorry, just couldn’t resist . . . I SWEAR I sketched “flowers”

Betty Blobfish: "She SHOULD have resisted . . ."

Betty Blobfish: “Hopefully next time she’ll resist” 
5.  Crumble it up and throw it away! or frame it.

5. Crumble it up and throw it away!

 . . .  or frame it.

TIPS:

  • If you use paint: smear paint with your fingers and/or make-up sponges – not brushes.  It’s much freer and stops you from having EXPECTATIONS!
  • Crayons take a bit more elbow grease:  Break them, Peel them and Color with the mostly with the side of the crayon.  Use the lighter colors for the first layer.  For the negative space (second layer) pick dark colors,  press hard to go over the first layer.
  • Continue layering with different colors – as many as you want – just see what happens.
  • For those of you with multiple chemical sensitivity watercolor is the way to goWith water-color, as with crayon, use light colors for your first layer. Use darker/deeper colors for the negative space and splash away!

Thanks Carla and Diane for taking the time to share!

Now YOU share your Experiments – post your pictures on your blog, send your link in the comments.

No blog? Send it to me and I’ll post it here.

Weird Wonderful World

21 Mar
A color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a water bear, which is probably the only creature on Earth that looks like a cannon wearing wrinkled khakis. Image: Eye of Science/Science Source

A color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a water bear, which is probably the only creature on Earth that looks like a cannon wearing wrinkled khakis. Image: Eye of Science/Science Source

It’s a Water Bear!*

” . . . in the microscopic world beneath our feet, (tread softly) where there lives what is perhaps the toughest creature on Earth: the tardigrade. Also known as the water bear – because it looks like an adorable little many-legged bear. (it looks more like my crinkly garden pocket water hose) this exceedingly tiny critter has an incredible resistance to just about everything”

“Go ahead and boil it, freeze it, irradiate it, and toss it into the vacuum of space — it won’t die. (imagine living forever looking like that . . . ) If it were big enough to eat a glass sandwich, it probably could survive that too.”

A scanning electron micrograph of a water bear. Like regular bears, tardigrades have claws, which help in locomotion. Unlike regular bears is everything else about tardigrades, particularly their lack of a totally crappy attitude all the time. Image: Bob Goldstein and Vicky Madden

A scanning electron micrograph of a water bear. Like regular bears, tardigrades have claws, which help in locomotion. Unlike regular bears is everything else about tardigrades, particularly their lack of a totally crappy attitude all the time. Image: Bob Goldstein and Vicky Madden

*I SWEAR I didn’t make this up!  Here’s proof: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/03/absurd-creature-week-water-bear/

A peak into my world – Hit and Miss

21 Mar
"Here she goes . . .again"

Bob the Blobfish: “Here she goes . . .again”

Important background information

I remember the first time I was called “Ma’am”. It was spewed out by a 15-year-old bag bog at the supermarket. I was barely into my 30′s.

Stay with me

 This morning I had a heart halter monitor “installed” (Nothing serious – just trying to titrate off of anti-arrhythmia medication which necessitates 24 hour monitoring just in case my heart protests)  It’s always a bit sobering when I have anything heart related.  It reminds me that while I’m aging on the outside for the world to see my insides are wrinkling too.  On my way back I stopped at Costco for lunch.

Be patient it will all make sense

I often go to Costco for lunch or dinner (for those of you in other parts of the world – it’s a warehouse store where the smallest quantities are packaged for a family of 20).  I  feast on food samples being handed out to market products.  

The best times for dining are Saturdays and Sundays where the aisles are replete with men and women, wearing white things over their hair, dishing out miniscule samples of food.  It is a leisurely meal because it takes time going back for seconds and thirds without looking conspicuous.

Today there was a new product – energy bars. Energy is something I can always use so I stopped to eat.  The samples were being served by a very friendly, manipulative young man.   He was youthfully cute wearing a white thing over his hair .

He informatively explained, “WE only use the best ingredients.”  WE don’t use additives”, “OUR bars have low sodium  . . . ”  If I hadn’t been around the aisle a few times (figuratively and literally) I would have thought he owned the company or at least was a major imagesstockholder.

He encouraged me to try all the three flavors and sample as much as I wished.  What’a treat not having to sneak back for second and third helpings.  Instead of reeling down the aisles looking for the next food cart I lingered at the table slowly savoring each sample – very tasty. I read the label – good ingredients. Checked how many bars a package – good price.  I threw a box into my cart.  “Thank you, Miss”, he called out. The “MISS” ricocheted off my psyche just as the MA’AM had done decades earlier.

images-1I’m seriously thinking of going back to help him fine-tune how he markets to MATURE women.  This is what I’m going to tell him: Call women “Miss” from  20 to 50. Those are the ages when we desperately care and love the recognition that we still look youthful;  Call women 50 years and older Ma’am.  This is when WE crave respect, know how we look and NEED ENERGY to care.

If this helps him sell more energy bars I may ask for a cut.

I TOLD you if you stuck with me it would make sense.

Betty Blobfish: "Growing old is not for the faint of heart"

Betty Blobfish: “Growing old is not for the faint of heart”

 

YOUR Brain in Living Color*

20 Mar

The stunning complexity blows my mind! (pun intended)

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Cross-section

substantia nigra, which is involved in addictive behavior.

Substantia nigra, which is involved in addictive behavior.

Trunk lines: Nerve fibers in the human brain are arranged into bundles

Trunk lines: Nerve fibers in the human brain are arranged into bundles

Wiring

Wiring

*Not actually YOUR brain but verrrrrrrrrrry close. If you are curious click here http://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow/new-view-of-the-brain-slide-show/#3 to read the interesting details of what you are seeing.

Memories Lost and Found

19 Mar

l60699-coca-cola-bottle-18609As a therapist  I know a lot about memories. In some ways you could say my bread and butter is helping people move past, untangle and reframe painful memories.

I know that memory is tricky, a slippery slope of bits and pieces of information that we think is a whole truth.  And know that we each often remember the very same incident differently with unique meanings, feelings and implications.

Yesterday, Rick Clarke (my first 7th grade crush) sent me an e-mail that he had just attended a memorial service for a high school classmate, Bob Blakey

The information hit me in the gut and sadness washed over me.  I had forgotten Bob.

Rick’s e-mail instantly triggered a memory from my 40th  high school reunion where Bob approached me. I didn’t recognize him. He saw me squinting at his name tag and said to me,  “Bob! BOB!, remember I spilled coke all over you after the dance?!!!” I hadn’t remembered . . . until that moment.

I flashed on the scene after the dance sitting at Googies, a local coffee shop that served hot Unknownfudge banana royals and Bob spilling his coke all over my splendiferously gorgeous peacock-blue taffeta gown with lots of petticoats.

I don’t remember if I asked Bob or he asked me to the dance. I don’t remember the dance. I  know it must have been a BIG important dance – like a junior-senior prom – because I wore the splendiferously gorgeous peacock-blue taffeta gown with lots of petticoats.

But Bob remembered, remembered me, remembered my splendiferously gorgeous peacock-blue taffeta gown with lots of petticoats, remembered knocking over his coke.  He remembered my mortification even though I didn’t remember being mortified.  

Tonight I’ll drink a coke in remembrance.  Here’s to you Bob.  

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/prompt-moments-to-remember/

The Year of the Fairy Tale – Ossytrich

18 Mar
In sand
In sand

This is what it looks like after you pull your head out of the sand (her head is larger than normal because it absorbs ground moisture):

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Remember the 100 flowers, of which I’ve not drawn all 100?  Well, you probably don’t, but I traced one of the “flowers” I drew for her feathers.

The Year of the Fairy Tale – Duckie-Swan takes a stroll

17 Mar

Amusing myself . . . again . . .

Step #5
I drained off the pond water so Duckie-Swan and her 3 ugly ducky-swanlings could dry off and take a stroll.DSCN5668

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Year of the Fairy Tale – Swan Lake Yupoed

16 Mar

It’s Yupo Time.

This is a backwards post.

Step #4.  Decided to make a few scratchy pencil marks so that the ugly ducklings knew they belonged to their Ma.  Here’s what I ended up with – Ta DA!

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Step #3.  Duckie-Swan and her ugly ducklings.  Fishies swam away.

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Step #2.  Decided to add more critters and stuff cuz it was fun playing with the Yupo paper

DSCN5664Step #1  Loaded (that’s an arty expression, not an artist’s condition)  a brush with several different colors and smushed them on the Yupo paper.

Our Weird Wonderful World – Starling Murmurations – LIVING art

14 Mar

Thanks Sharon!

Scientific Research: Lose Weight with Sex (parenthetically speaking)

13 Mar
"Here she goes . . .again"

“Here she goes . . .again”

It’s very difficult to design VALID research studies and this one is no exception.  Read on for my scientific reasoning.

“German researchers gave a group of men a dose of oxytocin thought to be roughly the amount released by the brain after breast-feeding or sex, (I think it would have been a more valid study if the researchers tested NATURAL levels of oxytocin while  the men breast feed or had sex but they probably couldn’t figure out a lot of stuff I’ve identified) according to lead author Manfred Hallschmid of the University of Tübingen”. (I’m sure the researchers surmised it would be nearly impossible to get a release of liability from the mother’s who would provide infants for men to breast feed.)

“These men and another group who took a placebo then had a chance to eat as much as they wanted at a breakfast buffet, and later the same day they were offered snacks”.  (The difficulty with studying actual sex is that it would have been impossible to get a valid measure of AS MUCH AS THEY WANTED .  Further complicating the research design would be getting a consensus on what is a sex snack).

“Those who took oxytocin ate fewer snack calories, but the hormone did not change how much the men ate during the main meal,suggesting that oxytocin affected pleasure eating without suppressing normal appetite mechanisms.” ( if sex was used in the actual study it would be nearly impossible to come up with a valid measure of PLEASURE vs NORMAL or consensus of main vs snack)

Scanned Rats_4

Male Mammal

“The researchers hypothesize that the hormone diminished reward-seeking behavior initiated in the ventral tegmental area of the brain, a region found to be highly sensitive to oxytocin in rodent studies (I do agree with this hypothesis. Rodent sex and human sex are valid comparisons as we are both mammals).

The effect may also be stress-related: subjects who took oxytocin saw a drop in their levels of the stress hormone cortisolaccording to the paper published in 2013 in the journal Diabetes. More work is needed to understand whether oxytocin could be used to treat obesity, but until then the finding at least hints that it may be possible to curb your cravings by having more sex.” (giving you less time to eat)

 (My reasonable conclusion:  It’s very stressful for men to breast feed because of performance anxiety . . . raising cortisol levels . . . thus necessitating the need to have sex snacks in addition to regular meals . . . which results in weight gain) 

If you don’t believe me read the article: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sex-hormone-lessens-snacking/

The Year of the Fairy Tale – Yip Yippee Yupo

10 Mar

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Experimenting with Yupo paper is part of this month’s assignment. Yupo is slick, non absorbent – kinda like photo-paper – and “not cheap”.

The water-color paint does strange and interesting things on the paper and most of it isn’t in your (read MY) control.

I started with the intention of doing flowers (from the 100 flowers we are to draw – I’ve not done 100 but am pooped out on flowers for the moment).

I “flung” water-color at the paper in a devil-may-care manner pretending it didn’t matter if I ruined a sheet of expensive paper . . .

The more I looked the weirder it got.  I saw all kinds of faces & critters in the strange shapes. So I emphasized the faces I saw with pencil and here is Yupo #1, my kind of fairy-garden . . . and I am, I swear, completely sober.

The Year of the Fairy Tale – Recipe for a Prince

8 Mar

1.  Take one frog

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One Frog

2.  Place carefully in a container (does not need to be microwavable)

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3.  Add water (does not have to be distilled)

DSCN55904.  Let steep for 72 hours before carefully removing from container

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5.  Dry Prince off (prior to wedding).

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Thanks Phylor for sending me my very own bottled Prince.! (beats internet dating)

Year of the Fairy Tale
Year of the Fairy Tale

A whale of a tale

6 Mar

For 30 years I’ve lived about 10 minutes from Dana Point  15 minutes from San Clemente ( about 25,000 miles from Hawaii)  AND this video is the closest I’ve gotten to whale/dolphin watching.  Go figure . . .

“Dave Anderson, who runs whale-watching charters out of Dana Point, Calif., used a small camera-equipped drone to capture video of a “mega-pod” of hundreds of common dolphins as well as three gray whale migrating off the coast of San Clemente. In a separate sortie, the drone returned footage of a family of humpback whales off of Maui.”

“Anderson, who runs Capt Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari produced the footage into this stunning five-minute video.”

According to AOL Travel:

“He filmed off a small inflatable boat, launching and catching the quadcopter drone by hand, risking injury from the four propeller blades or loss of the drone.”

“He actually lost one drone in January on takeoff when it nicked his small VHF radio antenna on the 14-foot rigid inflatable he was filming from and it went into the water.”  (ouch – those camera equipped drones are expensive)

The Year of the Fairy Tale – 68 fleurs, but who’s counting?

5 Mar

In my loooooooosening up efforts I’ve added 18 more fleurs to my botanical collection.  I’m trying to do them more quickly and not focus on doing them “just right” – but I notice I get tighter the more I draw. Herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre they are!

DSCN5588DSCN5586In case you’ve not noticed, we are encouraged to use flower images that are a bit non – traditional.

Several have asked what The Fairy Tale Assignment is for this month.  It’s French:  “Blondine, Bonne-Biche, and Beau-Minon”   I’d never heard of it so it’s a nice discovery.  It’s full of flora and fauna.  And that’s what we are drawing flora and fauna.

32 fleurs to go . . . but who’s counting . . .

Year of the Fairy Tale
Year of the Fairy Tale

The Year of the Fairy Tale – Holy Cow!

5 Mar

Who said a leopard can’t change its spots!!!!??????

DSCN5582

DSCN5584

Whoops . . . wrong mammal . . .

Talk about changing spots: I’m trying to loooooooosen my grip on the pencil a bit.  Find I’m concentrating too much and taking too much time trying to “get it right” and that’s NOT FUN, it’s work.  Moo cow was my first sacrifice to looooooosening up.  He doesn’t seem to care if he has spots or not.

Something to Crow About

4 Mar

Right outside the window of an upstairs office I once had was a huge pine tree.   Crows often flew in to sit on the branches.

I was used to seeing them preen and hopping around but one day I sat in amazement watching a crow quickly solve her dilemma of how to eat the berries she had collected.  

Putting the first berry down on the tree limb she watched it roll off.  She cocked her head and quickly hopped over to the crook of two branches where she lodged a second and third berry.  A fourth berry she held under her foot.  She swallowed the remaining berry in her beak then ate the one under her foot before proceeding to reclaim the first two.

I would have just swallowed all the berries at once . . .  but then again I’m a gourmand not a gourmet.

I don’t know if the crow in the video is as smart as “my” bird . . . you be the judge.

Thanks Sharon for sending this video!

The Year of the Fairy Tale X 100

2 Mar

Forty-one (41) “flowers”, only FIFTY-NINE (59) to go . . . 

DSCN5578 DSCN5580 DSCN5581

(can’t find the sheet with my first 13 – I swear! I swear! I SWEAR!  I DID DO 13 MORE “flowers”)

6 word stories and Stephanie – The Foundation for Art and Healing

1 Mar

The Foundation for Art and Healing  is a great organization.  They are asking for submissions of six-word poems for National Poetry Month in April.  Click on this link The Foundation for Art and Healing to submit yours!

Here’s 2 of mine and 1 of Freddie’s:

*      *     *

Hello.

Long time no see.

Adieu.

*      *     *

The earth gets drunk on rain

*      *     *

Need to pee?
Find a tree.

*      *     *

AND read Stephanie’s story on the The Foundation for Art and Healing newsletter.  Here’s an opening paragraph to whet your curiosity:

“When I was sixteen years old, I unexpectedly went through severe heart failure. After waking up from a month-long induced coma, my UCLA doctors told me that in order to survive, I would need a heart transplant. I was stuck in a room with four blinding white walls, tethered to machines on full life support. In the process of suffering, with death just around the bend, I made the conscious choice to continue. I asked my parents if there was any way I could write. I knew in order to find strength I needed the tools to soar above my sixteen year old body, and I needed words to set me free.”

My friends in the Midwest & Northeast – You are finally going to get some Southern California weather

28 Feb
NOAA’s GOES-West satellite took this image of a Pacific storm approaching California on February 28.

NOAA’s GOES-West satellite took this image of a Pacific storm approaching California on February 28.

“This shot was captured less than an hour ago of another big Pacific storm approaching California. The impending rain is good news for the drought-stricken state, but may also cause dangerous flooding.”

“Californians haven’t seen rain and wind this powerful in 3 years,” climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a press release.”

“And the rest of the country will have a chance to get in on the action as well. By early next week, as this system moves east, this powerful system will wreak havoc causing snow and ice storms through the Midwest into the Northeast,” Patzert said.”

Sorry guyz

Yoga Dead Mouse Position (parenthetically speaking)

28 Feb

Untitled attachment 00052

Corpse Pose – also called Savasana*

Benefits: Allows the body time to process information at the end of a long day.

“No yoga session is complete without the final pose – Savasana. The body needs this time to understand the new information it has received through practicing yoga. Even though Savasana is a resting pose, it’s not the same as sleeping . . . ” (because you should never eat when you are sleeping).

Basic Instructions:

1. Lie down on your back (while your mice are climbing into the chocolate).

2. Let your feet fall out to either side  (comfortably tuck in your tail).

3. Bring the arms alongside the body, but slightly separated from the body, and turn the palms to face upwards (to catch any chocolate that might not be accurately thrown)

4. Relax your whole body, including your face, (but not your mouth which should be ready and open wide). Let the body feel heavy. (notice it getting heavier and heavier the longer you stay in the savasana position) 

5. Let the breath occur naturally. (chew only on the exhale to avoid choking)

 My wonderful friend Sharon just sent this new yoga pose to me. I hope she follows up with chocolate.  I’ll provide my own yoga mat and mice.

Ratie by judy

Mousie by judy

* Instructions borrowed  from various Yoga instruction sites.  (Parenthetical edits are in RED)

Frankly Freddie – Do We Dogs Feel Shame?

27 Feb
Caught mid-bath, a wet dog tries to save the last bit of dignity he has. (© Sophie Gamand, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

Another example of a human being WRONG about what we are thinking: “Caught mid-bath, a wet dog tries to save the last bit of dignity he has. (© Sophie Gamand, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)”

Dear all mislead, clue-less human-beings,

You need to read this article:

Dogs feel no shame despite the look

“Humans have a natural desire to know what an animal is thinking, and yet we are limited to reading body language and measuring physiological reactions,” Beaver said. The bottom line is: “We will never truly know because we cannot ask them.”

YOU DO NOT NEED TO ASK US.  We’ve been TELLING all you human beings for eons (and that’s a long time).

You think we feel guilty when you don’t like what we’ve done - WRONG.  There’s nothing to feel guilty about.  Guilt is when you think you’ve done something wrong and shame is when you think there is something wrong with you.

We canine dogs never do anything wrong and there’s NOTHING wrong with us.  We are all perfect and do what we were created to do.

It’s pretty simple what we think:  There’s a smell to smell; I’m hungry; Time to sleep; Time to pee; Time to be petted; and what on earth is THAT human being thinking?

DSCN5424Read this because Bonnie is a very smart human being.

“The next time you start shaking your finger and shouting “Shame on you!” because your dog chewed up your favorite fuzzy slippers, just remember that no matter how guilty your dog looks, it doesn’t know what your rant is about”.
“Behaviorists insist dogs lack shame. The guilty look — head cowered, ears back, eyes droopy — is a reaction to the tantrum you are throwing now over the damage they did hours earlier”.

“Just get over it and remind yourself not to put temptation in the way next time,” said Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

You should follow Bonnie’s advice . . . except for not to put temptation in the way.  We really like temptation and are appreciative of you human beings putting it in our way.

Sincerely yours,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT

Canine Dog Therapist

First and Last Haiku

25 Feb

No-brainer

First things first

Last things last

Humph! Not a traditional haiku . .  but no one ever accused her of being traditional . . .

Humph! Not a traditional haiku . . but no one ever accused her of being traditional . . .

One night, One photograph, All One

23 Feb
John Stanmeyer, Photographer

John Stanmeyer, Photographer

“The photograph “Signal” was taken along the shores of the Red Sea on an evening of a full moon in Djibouti City, Djibouti. I was there on assignment photographing the story “Out of Eden”, a project with National Geographic explorer Paul Salopek related to our collective human migration out of Africa that began some 60,000 years ago.”

“I’ve been asked often over the past few days what this photograph means to me. Very simple — it felt as if I was photographing all of us — you, me, our brothers and sisters — all desperately trying to connect to our loved ones.”

“In this tenuous period of human migration where despair and hope simultaneously intertwine, we seek to find comfort, a sense of balance, a desire to be home, reconnecting to something stable, reassuring. This photograph of Somalis trying to “catch” a signal is an image of all of us as we stand at the crossroads of humanity, where we must ask ourselves what is truly important, demanding our collective attention in a global society where the issues of migration, borders, war, poverty, technology and communication intersect.”

John Stanmeyer, Photographer

Click here to read the full article and what is taking place in this photograph.

Thanks Rick for sending this link.

Year of the Fairy Tale – Freaky Froggie

17 Feb

Have looked at thousands (well, maybe not thousands, but a lot) of pictures of frogs.  This one absolutely is without parallel . . .

Toad grows spikey mustache to stab rivals for the ladies . . .

Spikey Moustached

Spikey

I was so excited to learn that the toady’s skin expands and gets wrinkly to absorb more moisture. I feel much better knowing that my wrinkles are keeping me moisturized.

There’s more pictures of him, click HERE

Here’s another froggie – She had her mustache lasered off.  She can afford it because she’s a princess.

DSCN5571

Chalk pastels with collage arrow

Year of the Fairy Tale
Year of the Fairy Tale

The Year of the Fairy Tale, character study – mine and theirs

16 Feb

DSCN5570

Froggie turns into Princess and The Prince

The Froggie/Princess says to the Prince:

“Perfect you’re not

You’re lacking a lot

Can’t even fly

On your own in the sky.”

“You’re not very fair

For a prince with no hair

And it may be moot

But you’re short to boot”

These will probably be the characters in my fairy-pome because I’m LOOSING PATIENCE . . . not that I had much to loose . . . trying to find JUST The RIGHT characters.

Year of the Fairy Tale
Year of the Fairy Tale

New Findings! The Sun Revolves around the Earth . . .

15 Feb

(Parenthetically speaking: Human beings as we know them today maybe wired to their cells but their batteries are dead).

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says
by SCOTT NEUMAN

th
A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, (100% of those surveyed read the National Inquirer for  science information) according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.”

“The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.”

“To the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth,” 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.” (ah, this explains why men don’t like to ask for directions when they are lost)

“In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that “The universe began with a huge explosion” and only 48 percent said “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals”.  (Human beings as we know them today will end with a huge implosion)

Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses. (The 50% that didn’t understand thought Anti Biotics was a rock band)

If you want to see how American’s understand fared against the China and Europe you’ll have to read the rest of the article because I’ve just lost my faith in human beings as we know them today and I’ve got to go find it . http://www.npr.org/

Frankly Freddie – My Valentine Monkey

14 Feb

Dear Human Beings,

I’ve already had the best Valentines Day.  Auntie Susan brought me a Valentine present. (It was actually a belated Christmas gift because she forgot me at Christmas – I forgave her because she is sometimes forgetful and I love her.)

DSCN5554

Me and Monkey

DSCN5558

Monkey and Me

I needed this monkey because I gave  Moosie, which Auntie Lyn gave me last year, a lobotomy.

DSCN5557

Moosie resting after having his brains stuffed back in.

I hope you get a monkey for Valentine’s day too.

Heartfully yours,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT

Canine Dog Therapist

My Birthday Season or You can have your doughnut & eat it too

13 Feb

ptg011093681Repost from a repost I reposted from an original repost – as my birthday seems to come around on the 13th every year!

“Age is not a particularly interesting subject.  Anyone can get old.  

All you have to do is live long enough.”  -Groucho Marx-

Many years ago my good friend Bernice and I were sitting in a motel room (don’t go THERE – we were at the motel, attending an imagery conference) eating doughnuts for breakfast.  We picked this motel because it had FREE doughnuts and coffee every morning.   It was just before our birthdays which are a few weeks apart.

A bit giddy from not sleeping well on motel mattresses and slightly inebriated on chocolate covered doughnuts, we decided that if we were going to get older each year we would at least take advantage of our accumulating age.  We created OUR BIRTHDAY SEASON.

Here are the rules in case you’d like to have your own Birthday Season.

  1. Beginning on the day of your birth your season lasts the number of days you are old.  Consequently, every year your Birthday Season is one day longer.  With me so far?
  2. You are to celebrate your birth the entire season by choosing whatever you wish to do, or NOT do,  each day.  So far so good!
  3. People give you presents the entire season.  SO GOOD, so far!
  4. You must be over 50 to qualify for Birthday Season status.  (Over 50 you need more time to celebrate because it takes you longer.)
  5. You may start your Birthday Season before the day of your birth.  But you cannot exceed the number of days you are old.
  6. Those who are under the age of 50 can celebrate a Birthday Season as long as they don’t tell anyone or demand presents. (Gargle thoroughly after breakfast to eliminate tell-tale “Birthday Season Breath”.)
  7. You must eat doughnuts everyday for breakfast during your season. (If you don’t like doughnuts you can choose anything you want as long as it isn’t healthy).
  8. Every day of your season you must be grateful for being born and still being alive.  (After your Birthday Season is over you can revert to moaning about your age).

The Year of the Fairy Tale – Loosening up

12 Feb

To PLAY a bit and loosen up a LOT I took a cheap sheet of paper and threw watercolor on it randomly, ala a “Carla-Blob”. (Carla will put a “blob” of color(s) on the page and then discover an image inside the “blob”). I was deliberately looking for a frog image. 

Here’s a bit of my process: (wasn’t on planning on sharing this so I didn’t take a picture of the original blobs of watercolor without the froggie – )

Ah ha!  There's my frog

Blob of watercolors, aha! there’s a frog! Outlined with pencil (I made up the feet) There are other critters there but I ignored them because I WANTED a frog.

Deepen color with pastel chalk to highlight froggie

Deepened color with pastel chalk to highlight froggie and used white chalk on some of the other areas to make them lighter. Added yellow chalk so Froggie isn’t floating in space.

Tear scraps of paper, move them around on page.  Wanted the orange to bring out the orange in Froggie

Tore scraps of paper, moved them around on page. (Liked orange to bring out the orange in Froggie).  Drew white lines just to anchor the orange reeds – thought black lines would make it too busy and confusing and just wanted it simple.

wanted more "reeds/trees" to be in distance so I tore smaller pieces

wanted more “reeds/trees” to be in distance so I tore smaller pieces

No more time to play and Froggie “felt” finished  . . . I’d better get back to my office paperwork now so I can feel finished too!

The Year of the Fairy Tale – Princely attire, the long & short of it

11 Feb

Excerpt from my Fairy-Pome (as yet unnamed)

“I’ll learn to fly”

he said with a sigh,

“Where I can spy

A wife from on high”

 

“It looks like fun

Just not too close to the sun

I must find a wife

To be in my life”

 

“I’m of delicate sorts

Need to change into shorts

So my legs can kick

And not stick

And my toes are free

to fly higher, you see”

DSCN5551

Experimenting with the prince.  He’s a bit too cartoonish . . .  

. . . but then again so is my fairy-pome.

Award Winning Photos – Incredible!

9 Feb

Sony World Photography awards.  Click here – Ya gotta take a look at all of them.  But for those of you with click-a-phobia here’s just a few:

When you see these award-winning photos your face will look like this!

A baby Orangutan peeking out from his mother's embrace. (© Chin Boon Leng, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

A baby Orangutan peeking out from his mother’s embrace. (© Chin Boon Leng, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

Prototype for Year of the Fairy Tale Princess.

The knight and his steed, a tropical capture in Costa Rica. (© Nicolas Reusens, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

The knight and his steed, a tropical capture in Costa Rica. (© Nicolas Reusens, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

Leap’n Lizards!  er . . . wildebeasts

In July each year, this heart-pounding scene of wildebeests migration repeats itself in Kenya. (© Bonnie Cheung, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

In July each year, this heart-pounding scene of wildebeests migration repeats itself in Kenya. (© Bonnie Cheung, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

Leap’n . . .

A muddy face from the mud bath, going into the lake. (© Alpay Erdem, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

A muddy face from the mud bath, going into the lake. (© Alpay Erdem, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

Dancing with the Stars

That's dance. (© Hasan Baglar, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards) #

That’s dance. (© Hasan Baglar, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards) #

Magnificent aerial view

Aerial image of river delta in Iceland. (© Emmanuel Coupe, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

Aerial image of river delta in Iceland. (© Emmanuel Coupe, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

Caught mid-bath, a wet dog tries to save the last bit of dignity he has. (© Sophie Gamand, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

Caught mid-bath, a wet dog tries to save the last bit of dignity he has. (© Sophie Gamand, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

The Year of the Fairy Tale – 3 Frogs, flying in the face of reason

8 Feb

And lo! From up in the sky
a flying frog, No LIE!
Breaking the mold
with wings of gold

Froggie swoops down
sporting a crown
A crown of red
Perched on her head

DSCN5542

Here’s my first attempts at Flying Froggie in color.  Try-outs are still open.  Can’t decide which one should be cast as the heroine.  Do you have a favorite?

 

VARIATION ON A THEME

And lo! From up in the sky
a flying frog, No LIE!

Froggie swoops down

sporting a crown

on her royal head

flying in on wings of red

DSCN5541

DSCN5544

Frowning in Bright Sunlight Can Make You ANGRY

4 Feb

For years I’ve told clients to put a “smile” on their face (gotta crinkle eyes too).  I am not being flippant.  Many years ago I read a research study that showed that the muscles involved in smiling signal the brain to release “happy” neurotransmitters.  Now it turns out facial muscles signal the brain to release neurotransmitters for both “happy” and “mad”!

IMG_0021

judy’s scribble drawing

Excerpt from: Frowning In Bright Sunlight Can Make You Angry

By Douglas Main

(Particularly in Italy . . .)

“Recent work has shown that emotions can be influenced by facial expressions and body posture. For example if you instruct people to smile or frown in a laboratory setting (without explicitly telling them the true nature of the experiment), they are more likely to report feelings of happiness or sadness, respectively. Neuroimaging studies (like this one) have also shown this link.”

Now I’m telling all my clients to go to the Italian Riviera.  I might have to go to make sure they are walking in the right direction . . . 

The Year of the Fairy Tale, Moo Cows

2 Feb

An example of how circuitously my mind works. Year of the Fairy Tale’s first assignments focus on a well-known fairy tale – The Frog Princess.  

Reading that fairy tale inspired me to write a Fairy-Poem which inspired me to draw cows  (My Fairy-Poem  has a cow) which inspired me to write a “pome”.

Here’ my non-dominant hand moo-cow drawings which were inspired by my fairy-poem which was inspired by The Frog Princess which was inspired by The Year of the Fairy Tale which inspired the new “pome”. (as you can see – not only is my thinking circuitous it’s also redundant)

DSCN5538

DSCN5534

Moo Cow Pome

Hey diddle diddle
the cow in the middle
is strange as she can be
She has no udder
tho she’s a mudder
and as oblivious as can be

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