Summer Art Camp plus crabby haiku

29 Jul

Instead of buying candy I been saving my allowance for Summer Camp - Carla Sonheim’s Summer Art Camp.  As you might have guessed by now I LOVE Carla, her classes and emphasis on having fun with art.  The first camp assignment is drawing 3 crabs (better than 12 princes!) with non-dominant hand and then a water-color of sea shells (to come).

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Crabby judy!

Deep Fried Crab Haiku

Used to be hard-shelled

Age has marinated me

Now I’m a softy*

 

*Soft-shell crab is a culinary term for crabs which have recently molted their old exoskeleton and are still soft.[1] This means that almost the entire animal can be eaten, rather than having to shell the animal to reach the meat.[2] The exceptions are the mouthparts, the gills and the abdomen, which must be discarded.[3] The remaining, edible part of the crab is typically deep fried.[2] Wikipedia

 

Non-dominant hand, pen

Unhappy Crabs, Non-dominant hand, pen

 

Hooked on Haiku – CLEARly Showing Men How It’s Done

28 Jul

Never been so clear

a new world order is here

bitter, painful birth

judy journal page

judy journal page

You decide: A political post?  a psychological post?  A sociological post? A  post about the sexes? . . 

 Merkel Shows Men How It’s Done

“Would women be better than men at running the world? There’s a case to be made on the example of Angela Merkel, currently the longest-serving — and most popular — leader of a Group of Seven country.”

With an approval rating of 71 percent, far beyond what the leaders of other big industrialized nations could hope for, Merkel shouldn’t need any further justification to stay in power. She has, however, an unexpected one: “I have, at least so far, incredible curiosity.” It’s not just about highbrow lectures. Merkel is the rare politician who listens rather than talks, which is one reason her public pronouncements are famously bland and repetitive. One sometimes gets the impression that Russian President Vladimir Putin calls her so often (he did it yesterday, too) because he finds the sessions therapeutic.

Thanks Sandy W!!!!

Read the entire article: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-07-18/merkel-shows-men-how-it-s-done

Haiku Horizons - prompt CLEAR

Haiku Horizons – prompt CLEAR

Making the Invisible Visible

27 Jul

YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS!

 “Mysteries of the Unseen World, is aNational Geographic 3D Imax that journeys into invisible worlds that are too slow, too fast, too small and too vast for the human eye to see.”

“We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes. At TED2014, he shares highlights from his latest project, a 3D film titled “Mysteries of the Unseen World,” which slows down, speeds up, and magnifies the astonishing wonders of nature.”

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky” 

Buddha

 

A “Don’t quote me” Haiku

26 Jul

Enough said . . .

unnamed

*    *    *

 Renouncing reason

 not very reasonable

It’s just logical

 

 

Year of the Fairy Tale – It’s GRIMM

25 Jul

Our new fairy tale is The Twelve Brothers by The Brothers Grimm.  The Brothers GRIMM live up to their name.  I DO NOT LIKE this fairy tale – BAAAAD king wanting to kill his own kind,  evil x 12.  We are supposed to read it 3 times.  (Thank goodness 3 and not 12!).

I know, I know . . .  all fairy tales have curses and evil and such but for some reason this one unsettled me even though it has the proverbial happy ending. Maybe there are tooooooo many brothers . . . Maybe it is tooooooo parallel to the murdering of “own kind”  all over the world . . .Maybe I’m getting verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry sensitive in my “old age” . . . just maybe . . .

Even the drawing part is overwhelming to me since there are 12 prince brothers to draw.

(This “posing prince” is Carla Sonheim’s son Wes!)

Fast 2 minute sketches

 6 of 24 two-minutes STANDING sketches

Our first drawing assignment is 24 quick sketches of PRINCELY POSES, courtesy of Wes. 

4 more out of 24 (two minute sketches)

4 more out of 24 two-minute SITTING sketches

A look into my sketch book

24 Jul

The Year of the Fairy Tale has been on “vacation” for a couple of months now.  It is hard for me to keep creating without an outside “container” or “reason”.  The other day  I decided to break that pattern and just DO IT on my own. (knowing that The Year of the Fairy Tale was about to start again!)

 I have always been fascinated by figure drawing, probably because I’m fascinated by people.  This pencil sketch was done fairly quickly as I was trying to capture the essence of the figure – rather than realism.  (Also, it’s easier to sketch essence!) Here’s what evolved from my DO IT.

Three “Muses”

Inspired by The Seven Valleys – a mystical book written by Baha’u’llah.  This Baha’i book doesn’t specifically focus on longing, pain or remorse – it’s just what evolved in my psyche.

Longing, Pain, Pencil Sketch

Longing, Pain & Remorse – Pencil Sketch

 

Hooked on Haiku – prompt DRIVE

14 Jul

Don’t drive me crrrrrrrrazy!

be gentle with my psyche

I’m already nuts.

P1020543

"There she goes . . .again"
Bob the Blobfish sez: “Here she goes . . . . . again”

Driven together -

I’m crazy, you’re crazy too

Love is always blind

 

 


JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure

13 Jul

 Wonderful Harvard Commencement Speech.  Listen carefully – it’s much quicker and cheaper than a Harvard education.

“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”

― Seneca .

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/1711302″>J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/harvard”>Harvard Magazine</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Weird Wonderful World – The Elephants Knew

12 Jul
The Elephants Knew* 
. . .THE ELEPHANT’S JOURNEY TO PAY RESPECT, BUT HOW DID THEY KNOW?
Lawrence Anthony, a legend in South Africa and author of 3 books including the bestseller, The Elephant Whisperer. He bravely rescued wildlife and rehabilitated elephants all over the globe from human atrocities, including the courageous rescue of Baghdad Zoo animals during US invasion in 2003.

On March 7, 2012 Lawrence Anthony died. 

He is remembered and missed by his wife, 2 sons, 2 grandsons, and numerous elephants.

Two days after his passing, the wild elephants showed up at his home  led by two large matriarchs. Separate wild herds arrived in droves  to say goodbye to their beloved ‘man-friend’.

A total of 31 elephants had patiently walked over 112 miles  to get to his South African House.

Witnessing this spectacle, humans were obviously in awe not only because of the supreme intelligence and precise timing that these elephants sensed about Lawrence’s passing, but also because of the profound memory and emotion the beloved animals evoked in such an organized way: Walking slowly, for days, making their way in a solemn one-by-one queue from their habitat to his house. Lawrence’s wife, Francoise, was especially touched, knowing that the elephants had not been to his house prior to that day for well over 3 years! 

But yet they knew where they were going. The elephants obviously wanted to pay their deep respects, honoring their friend who’d saved their lives – so much respect that they stayed for 2 days 2 nights without eating anything. 

Then one morning, they left, making their long journey back home. 

Sharon, thank you for sending this.
* I did check this out on Snopes’ Urban Legends and it is listed as” undetermined”.  Despite my checking I LOVE elephants and know they are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet.  It’s well documented that they will mourn and bury their own.  No doubt that Lawrence Anthony was one of their own.

Hooked on Haiku – prompt PARTY

9 Jul

Life’s not a party

Our one chance to learn lesson -

How To Be Humane

 

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Haiku Horizons - prompt PARTY

Haiku Horizons – prompt PARTY

The Fruits of NO Labor

9 Jul

I’m an accidental gardener.  It’s a very inexpensive and quite a suspenseful, way to garden.

Let me explain:

I used to have a ginormous composting bin that was too hard for me to maintain.  Now, I just dig a hole in the garden dirt, throw in the compost “stuff”, cover it with dried leaves and more dirt.

VIOLA!!! All sorts of interesting, unknown, plants germinate and grow from the “compost” seeds.  Some times the accidental plants are flowers whose seeds blows in.  Sometimes the accidental plants even produce a crop.  One year I got  huge crop of bad tasting cantaloupe.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And kitchen refuse all in a row.

Here’s some pictures from my accidental garden for this year!

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Green pepper and accidental weeds

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Plopped a branch from a neighbors fig tree in a pot – baby fig tree!

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Accidental Flowers 

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Accidental Strawberry plant

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Cucumbers that never turn green?

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Accidental “Compost” Garden and a few plant that are still unknown

 

Birds of a feather aren’t necessarily birds

7 Jul

Believe it or not this ain’t no bird!

AreallydThis a woman in full body paint!

  • Her right side is toward you.
  • Her left leg is pointed down like a tail.
  • Her right leg is bent with her foot on top of the stump.
  • Blending into the tail, her right arm is braced on the stump.
  • Her other arm is folded over her head.
  • The bird’s eye is in the center of her forehead.
  • DO YOU SEE HER NOW?
  • Her nose is at the bottom of the right side of the white coloring.
  • The white of the bird’s head is the right side of her face.

Once you see her she’ll just jump out.

Thanks Sharon!

 

Hooked on Haiku & Love

5 Jul

July 4th

Independence Day

when hate and greed are banished

from land of plenty

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 Fireworks of mind

respect, compassion and love 

sparklers of the heart

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It’s freedom for all

when the world is lit in love

until then we pray

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My New Favorite (Polish) Saying!

2 Jul

A client and I were talking how we needlessly take on other people’s “stuff”.  She told me a Polish saying that was a great reminder to separate ourselves from others’ issues, feelings or reactions.  I’d never heard this saying (even though I’m half Polish . . .).  Does this create a brrrrrrrrrrriliant reminder, or what!?

“It’s not my circus, not my monkeys”  

Ponder on that!

Ponder on that!

nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy

not my business
literally: not my circus, not my monkeys

images-2

It sounds catchier in Polish.

Man’s Best Friend LimERICKs

1 Jul

LimERICK by Rick

Dogs are incredibly likeable creatures
with many commendable features.
They sniff and they lick
and rarely get sick
whether named Freddie or Duffy or Peaches.

(couldn’t find a name to rhyme with features)

Duffy, Ozzie and
Duffy, Ozzie . . .  and  . . .  Peaches?

*     *     *

LimeRick by Freddie

There once was a dog named Freddie

he sleeps a lot in his beddie

never wears clothes

checks you out with his nose

much more cuddly than any teddie

Freddie Parker Westerfield

Freddie Parker Westerfield

 

Hooked on Haiku – prompt DECLINE

29 Jun

 Growing old beckons

Decline the invitation

and you will perish

One-line drawing by judy
One-line drawing by judy

“Inspiration Porn”

28 Jun

You gotta take a few minutes to listen to this thought-provoking look at how we objectify people with disability.

Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this funny talk, Young breaks down society’s habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”’

Birds of a Feather – Pelicans & Me

27 Jun
  • Fossils of pelicans date back almost 40 million years ago.  My body is already fossilized . . . can’t imagine what I’ll look like in 40 million years . . .
  • Pelican pouches can hold up to three gallons of water (2 – 3 times the amount their stomachs can hold). My stomach can hold up to 1/2 gallon of ice cream at one time ( 2 – 3 times the amount my mouth can hold)
  • Depending on the species, a pelican’s the body length can range from 4 to 6 feet and the weight can range from 10 to 30 pounds. I only wished my height and weight were in similar proportions.
  • The brown pelican dives on fish from above and snares them in its bill.  I don’t have a bill – have to use my fingers to eat fish.
  • Gulls will often sit on a pelican’s head to steal its fish when it opens its bill to pour out the water.  What can I say?  No one steals my food and lives to tell about it.
  • Pelicans are social birds and typically travel in flocks, often strung out in a line. I am a social creature too but I will never admit to being strung out.
  • Pelicans incubate their eggs with their feet. They hold the eggs under the webs that stretch from the front toes to the hind toe, standing on the eggs to warm them.  There are easier ways to boil an egg . . .
Non-dominant, fish hand drawing
Non-dominant, fish hand drawing

 

Mind over Matter is what Matters

24 Jun

Thanks Sharon!

Sneak Peek – I’m nuts about summer

21 Jun

Here’s how cashews spend the first day of summer in Southern California

(Warning!!!  “R” rated – it’s a nude beach)

Life Chew
Life Shew
Hang-one
Hang-one
Roasting
Roasting

Thanks Sharon for the inspiration!

Where Do Cashews Come From?
Ever wonder where cashews come from?  You might think they grow inside a shell, like any other nut, but their true origins are far more bizarre.
First of all, cashews are not actually nuts, but rather fruits from the cashew tree, a large evergreen tree that thrives in tropical climates.
The tree produces red flowers, which in turn produce yellow and red oval structures resembling apples.
These so-called cashew apples are very juicy and pulpy, and their juice is often added to tropical fruit drinks.  However, cashew apples are not actually fruits in a scientific sense;  the real fruit of the cashew tree is the kidney-shaped formation growing at the end.
These fruits, also called drupes, are harvested and become what we know as a cashew nut.
In their raw form, the outer layer of the fruit contains multiple toxins, including anacardic acid, a powerful skin irritant similar to the toxin found in poison ivy that must be removed prior to eating.
Roasting the cashews destroys the toxins, but roasting must be performed carefully outdoors,
because the smoke can irritate the lungs, sometimes to a life-threatening degree.
When they are roasted, cashews change from their natural greenish-gray color to the light cream-colored nut sold in stores.
Next time you crack open a tin or bag of cashews, take a moment to appreciate the long journey and the efforts of many to get those little C-shaped nuts from the tree to your table!

 

Frankly Freddie – Andy Warhol Goes to the Dogs

21 Jun

Dear all my Human-Beings,

My Aunt Jamey and Uncle Hank gave my human-being an “Andy Warhol” pillow.  She thought it looked like me and laughed and laughed.  (Jamey & Hank are much more cosmopolitan than my human-being and would never see a resemblance)

Before

Before

I immediately called Chris from Maws ‘n Paws to give me a make-over.  

My Human-being means well but I don’t want to encourage her.

(I took off my glasses for the photo shoot so you could see my eyes.)  

Andy, eat your heart out!

images-2

Andy Warhol

Sincerely yours,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT

Canine Dog Therapist

P.S.  Aunt Jamey, Uncle Hank – if you give my human any more pillows make sure they are floral prints.  A new hair-do is expensive.

Despair = Suffering without Meaning

19 Jun

At the risk of jinxing myself I’ve been puzzling over why I do not suffer as much from fibromyalgia than the women (and men) I know who are in more pain, have more co-morbid conditions and debilitating symptoms than I do.

And because they are, for the most part, held hostage by their medical conditions they are unable to continue to work in their professions and live a “relatively normal” life.   I’m not sure my life is “normal”.  I’m often stopped in my tracks by exhaustion, distracted by pain but I’ve been blessed by being able to continue to work in a profession that gives my life purpose and meaning.

What’s prompted all my questioning and thinking?  

I’ve been reading books written by Viktor Frankl an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who was a Holocaust survivor. In his book Mans Search for Meaning he writes about his incarceration in nazi death camps where he observed that those who did not believe their existence had meaning succumbed in greater numbers from starvation and disease than those who held the belief that their life had meaning.

Their purpose didn’t involve grand schemes of saving the world, curing people or groundbreaking discoveries. Purpose ranged from finishing a manuscript of a book begun before incarceration, staying alive for a family member or simply believing God had an unknown reason for them to live.

So?  What part does purpose and meaning play in our lives? in your life?  Does having purpose and meaning help reduce emotional or physical suffering?  I don’t pretend to have the answer, just the question.

Here’s Dr Frankl in an interview about finding meaning in difficult times.  (He talks about his experience in the concentration camps toward the end of the interview.)

“. . .the man on the street knows that meaning may not only be found in creating a work and doing a deed, not only in encountering someone and experiencing something, but also, if need be, in the way in which he stands up to suffering.” Viktor Frankl

 

Brain Drain & Take a Look Sketchbook

14 Jun

Fake Flowers

by judy

Love me, love me true

I ask NOTHING of you!

petals NEVER fall

no watering at all

Don’t be mean

I’m ENVIRONMENTALLY green

gathering dust all the while.

WHEN YOU SEE ME – SMILE!

LIfe is rarely black & white
Flower doodles

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Life is rarely black & white

 

The Frog Princess, A Fairy Poem

8 Jun

It’s a little known fact that not all frogs are princes in disguise . . . there are two genders, you know, one of which is the weaker sex.

The Frog Princess

by judy

DSCN5570

There once was a Prince

With a perpetual wince

In his kingdom alone

No wife for his own.

He looked far and wide

For just the right bride

He sailed the seas

And if you please

Roamed over the land

for a princess’ hand

Not one maiden fit

DSCN5901I’m ready to quit

Many too greedy

Most too needy

A lot too tall

Some too small

None, not one, right at all”

The prince was bereft

The only place left

Was to take to the sky

Learn to fly

He was up for the ride

To find the right bride

“I’ll learn to fly”

he said with a sigh,

“Where I can spy

my princess from on high”

I must find a wife

To be in my life”

DSCN5551

“I’m of delicate sorts

Need to change into shorts

So my legs can kick

Don’t want them to stick

And my knees are free

to fly higher, you see”

Just as he should

he ran fast as he could

landing in mud

With a resounding thud.

Jumping from trees

Catching his knees.

Try as he might

he couldn’t take flight.

Then spotting a cowDSCN5896

“She’ll surely know how

Take me up to the moon

It can’t be too soon!

Yes, a cow will do

Four legs to my two!!”

the Prince cried.

And the cow replied,

“I’ll try, if you will

foot all of the bill

Now with all your might

Hold on tight.

My tail! not my udder!”

She yelled with a shudder”

“How now

brown cow

Run faster please

I’m scrapping my knees!”

 

The prince cried

And the cow replied,

“Ok Prince, guess you’ve found

I’m better on ground

Where grass is green

That’s my scene,”

It’s just not my ilk

I’m going back to milk

 DSCN5899

The Prince spied a spider

who was an outsider.

“Spin me some webs

to attach to my legs

They’ll catch the breeze

when I bend my knees!”

 

the Prince cried.

And the spider replied

“I’ll spin if you will

foot all of the bill.

Take my web if you please

(To catch a breeze)

Wind ‘round your knees

attach to your tie

(take to the sky)

flap your legs to fly.”

Help! I’m dropping like lead

catching flies. . . . Instead!!”

the prince cried

as the spider replied,

“Have you lost your mind

My webs are fine!

Guaranteed not to tear

No matter where”

You’re no flyer I fear

just a prince, my dear

It’s just not your thing

To take to wing

Stop sticking around

stay on the ground”

 

The prince wasn’t mad

Just terribly sad

Sitting down to mope

He felt like a dope.

When lo! High up in the sky

a frog flying, No LIE!

Breaking the mold

With wings of gold

Froggie swoops down

wearing a crown.

A crown of red

perched on her head

The prince rubs his eyes

Looking up to the skies

An impossible sight

In a golden light.

“I can’t believe my eyes.

From out of the skies

I see a frog flying

without even trying!!”

the Prince cried

and the froggie replied,

“I heard you say

that you will pay.

I’ll fly you high if you will

foot all of the bill.

“Hop on my back,

I’ll cut you some slack

But don’t talkback.

I want no flack.”

So off they go

the Prince in tow

hanging on for dear life

looking for a wife.

What a wondrous sight

From this vantage of flight!

Still, all I can see

None suited for me

Many too greedy

Most too needy

Some too tall,

or much too small

None, not one, right at all”

Not one maiden fit

“I’m ready to quit,”

the Prince sighed,

as froggie replied

“You needn’t fear

Your bride will appear.

Your wish will take wing

IF you say the RIGHT thing.”

 

“Acbracadabra! cried the Prince

Making the flying frog wince

“Let there be light!”

Shouting with might

“No! No! that’s not right!

 

Bippity, Boppity, Boo?

1,2,3 Buckle my shoe?”

 

“Open sesame

Bring a bride to me!”

 

“Ok, let me focus . . .

Hocus pocus?”

 

“Free! no charge!

Small, medium or large”.

 

“I give up, let me go

much too taxing, you know”

 

“I’ve spent my life

Looking for a wife

On land, in the sea

Someone perfect for me”

 

“Now in the air.

“It’s just not fair

None fit to a tee

None suited for me

Many too greedy

Most too needy

Some too tall,

or much too small

None, not one, right at all

It’s an eye-opening site

From this vantage of flight

A perfect bride doesn’t exist

Once again, I’ve missed,”

the Prince sighed

and the froggie replied,

Perfect you’re not

YOU are 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.”

 

And the Prince sighed

as he replied,

“You’re right I fear

I’ve looked far and near

no matter if tall

or very small

Whether blue, red or green

Tall, wide or lean

Please stop my flight.

Maybe all are just right”

For a prince with no hair

I’ve not been fair.”

And lo the skies shook,

not by the book,

A sight to behold

Breaking the mold

comes a princess so fair

it’s hard not to stare

Shimmering green

A wondrous scene

A crown of red

perched on her head.

Hard to grasp

As the Prince gasped,

“From out of the blue?

Too good to be true!

No matter if tall

No matter at all!

No matter if green

You are my queen!!”

The Prince cried!

And the princess replied,

“Well! It’s taken awhile,”

she said with a smile.

And drops the prince,

with nary a wince,

face first in the mud

with a resounding THUD

The Prince spun his head

as the Princess said,

“Now know! When you take flight

morning, noon or night”,

She said with great mirth,

“I promise to bring you . . . back to earth”

 

At last he knew . . .

his wish came true . . .

P.S.  Stayed tuned for the rest of the illustrations.  They are drawn, not colored, and don’t show up very well.

 

Animal Truth

5 Jun

ATT00019 ATT00031 ATT00010 ATT00037

Thanks Lyn!

Hooked on Haiku – Retreat

2 Jun

Retreat from my life?

Wherever I go I’m there

no way  possible

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Year of the Fairy Tale – Fleurs of the Forest

27 May

Doddling while watching mindless TV.  (When I’m fatigued I find myself sitting and watching mindless T.V.  HGTV is my favorite channel – no violence, swearing, mayhem or pestilence.)  Decided to take advantage of my mindlessness and mindlessly doodles.  Through NO intention I ended up with a forest of fleurs which goes with the French Fairy tale  “Blondine, Bonne-Biche, and Beau-Minon”  (My favorites below are #2 & 3 – I like it simpler)

Fleurs of the Forest #4

Fleurs of the Forest #4

 Before #4 I doodled with black marker

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Fleurs of the Forest, #3

 Cut out fleurs arranged on blank paper.

Fleurs of the Forest, #2

Fleurs of the Forest, #2

Doodle #1.  UGLY! – so I cut out the fleurs (hate to waste ANYTHING)

Fleurs, #1

Doodle Fleurs, #1 – SEE! I told you it was mindless.

In case you want to refresh your memory here are links for my other illustrations for “Blondine, Bonne-Biche, and Beau-Minon” 

Ossytrish (Ostrich)

Ducky-Swan takes a stroll

Swan Lake Yupoed

The Enchanted Forest – Yip Yippee Yupo

What a Wonderful World – SPECTACULAR!

26 May

Ya gotta watch!  National Geographic Wild HD (Living Music Action)

Thank you so much Rosemary – Seeking Equilibrium Blog – for sending this!

Can we handle the truth?

25 May

Veteran’s medical care and the private medical system. I rarely post about current events or politics.  After reading  a clear-minded, HONEST and APOLICTICAL post by Dr John Mandrola I’m making an exception.

Here are just a few thought provoking paragraphs from his post. (bold/red print is mine)

The VA healthcare system — Can we handle the truth?

by  JOHN MANDROLA, MD

“I am also connected to veterans’ healthcare. For it is in the VA system that I learned to be a doctor—a feeling doctor, an imperfect doctor, a human doctor. It’s ironic, and not often said, that the $48 billion-dollar VA healthcare system gives as much as it takes. It’s impossible to put a value on the benefit to society from the legions of caregivers who emerge from years of training in the VA system. Algorithms be damned; wealthy Americans benefit from what young doctors learn in the VA system. Veterans give when they serve in battle, then they give again as patients, as teachers.”

“And it’s not just the past that connects me to veterans’ healthcare. My wife Staci works as an attending physician in hospice and palliative care at the Louisville VA. When we share stories, I mostly tell of relieving the palpitations of the rich, she of relieving the suffering of dying veterans. Another irony of the VA: you don’t get Staci if you have private insurance.”

imagesIndicting Obamacare:

“This is a huge mistake. Obamacare fails because it lacked the courage to do enough. Its proponents avoided the truth. (Maybe they had to.) What policymakers set out to do was to correct a great American scar—that a country this rich does not provide basic healthcare to all its people. The problem was that Americans were not told the truth. A leader (or leaders) should have said that to get care to all people, excesses and inefficiency would need to be removed. Hospitals would not look like luxury hotels. Medicine and surgery would be for the ill, not the worried-well. Evidence, not eminence, would guide medical care. And prevention of disease would come not from doctors but from patients.”

“But Americans didn’t get the truth. We got magical thinking about metaphorical free lunches, insurance reform, cost-saving EHRs, patient-safety “quality forums,” and the like. Nonsense. All of it.”

“The VA system is the truth. Rationing is the truth. Triage is the truth. Imperfection is the truth.

And yes, death, too, is the truth.”

 

Failure to see the obvious:images-2

“You simply cannot deliver suburban excesses—the antithesis of efficient and honest healthcare–to the growing numbers of veterans. Thank goodness. Both Dr. Harlan Krumholz and Dr. Kevin Pho remind us that if evidence, not hype, is considered, the VA system performs either better than, or comparable to, the private sector.”

“Yet this should be obvious to anyone who reads anything about US healthcare. It’s clear that the private system is broken. If you hold up the US private system—with its humanity-extracting EHRs, expanding layers of bureaucracy, conflicts of interest, expense, inequalities, and geographic and racial differences in care–as a model that the VA should aspire to, you are not mastering the obvious. My colleague at theHeart.org Dr. Melissa Walton Shirley suggests veterans should be moved to the private system. I wouldn’t do that; veterans deserve better than our mess”.

images-1“Yes, of course, patients die waiting for medical care. It’s utter nonsense to call that a scandal. Why? Because patients die regardless of medical care, and too often, as a result of medical care. This death-denying culture has led to a major humanitarian crisis, one playing out in nearly every ICU in this country.

But please don’t misunderstand. I’m not arguing that medical care is pointless, or that we should not try to extend and improve human life. Rather, it is time to adjust the mindset that more care or faster care is always better care.”

Read the entire article click here. Can We Handle the Truth?

 

Year of the Fairy Tale – Free! Princess & the ? Zine!

24 May

Our assignment, should we accept it, was to do a sketch of what MIGHT be under the princess’ mattress . . . other than a pea.  

Here’s just a hint about my sketch and what I know is REALLY under the mattress.  To see my sketch and everyone else’s click here:

The Princess & the Pea Zine

Spot illustrations for The Princess-Zine
Spot illustrations for The Princess-Zine

Scan

You will really enjoy what others in the class drew.  Some of the illustrations are spectacular and all of them are wacky (“wacky” is an artistic term, rarely used). You can access The zine and download it here: http://carlasonheim.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/new-princess-zine/

Watch at your own risk – (and haiku)

18 May

Baby elephant Navann plays in the mud pit and takes a dip in the river with his mother and nanny at Elephant Nature Park in Mae Tang, Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.  

all elephants fly

on joyous spirit wings   

as they roll in mud

Haiku Horizons - prompt FLY

Haiku Horizons – prompt FLY

In the Mind’s Eye!

17 May

There are marvelous and mysterious “things” that exist beyond human comprehension.

This short film explores the philosophical idea called solipsism. Solipsism.  Whether you ascribe to the idea that nothing exists outside your own mind it’s worth watching the beautiful visuals.  (I liked watching how it was made before watching the actual film.  Either way you watch, it’s fascinating and visually wonderful.)

How the video was made

 

Here’s the finished video

“SOLIPSIST is an experimental short film by Andrew Huang that won the Special Jury Prize at Slamdance 2012. 

“Solipsism (Listeni/ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self”)[1] is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist”. (Wikipedia)

Sneak a Peak into my Journal

14 May

There once was  little weird fellow

who looked like he was quite mellow

but his teeth were sharp

always hitting the mark

drawing blood that was lemon yellow

A judy-journal page
A judy-journal page
"There she goes . . .again"
Blob the Blobfish: “There she goes . . .again”

When hungry he will quietly swallow..

Know, his belching won’t be shallow..

He’ll get himself well fed

What he eats is pretty red

Then why would his blood be yellow?

By Ramesh Sood

A Little More Than Ordinary

Freddie Parker Westerfield, All in a Day’s Work

13 May

It’s a big responsibility being a Canine Dog Therapist (CDT).  I take it very seriously.

Me thinking about how to amuse my clients

Me, Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT, thinking about what my clients need today. 

I always know what might be most helpful to my clients.  Sometimes they need to laugh so I do something to amuse them.  Sometimes they need to calm down so I let them pet me.  Sometimes I have to demonstrate what they need to do to make their life better like shake things up a bit or tear into a problem . 

Moosie, my assistant

Moosie, my assistant

Moosie is my therapy assistant.  My Auntie Lyn gave him to me.  Auntie Lyn is very compassionate and knows how stressful it is for me to do everything on my own.

Moosie, exhausted after helping me demonstate how to get your teeth into "it"

Moosie, exhausted after helping me demonstrate how to tear into a problem.

I often use Moosie to demonstrate concepts such as:

  • No matter how life shakes you up  you can survive gut wrenching experiences
  • What we show on the outside is not always what is inside.
  • A broken heart is the least of your worries.
  • If you want to be inconspicuous don’t wear red.
Make an appointment if you want me to help you.

Me, Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT, after a hard days work. 

It is gratifying to know that I help my clients . . .

while my human just sits there and watches.

 

 

How many times have I TOLD you to do something creative!?

11 May

I’ve reposted almost the entire NPR article for you because you might not remember how to

click here to access the URL.  You’re Welcome.

mandela 11

Detail of a Mandela, by Ida

“Brain training is big business, with computerized brain games touted as a way to help prevent memory loss. But new research shows you might be better off picking up a challenging new hobby.”

“To test this theory, Dr. Denise Park, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Dallas, randomly assigned 200 older people to different activities. Some learned digital photography. Another group took up quilting.”

Quilting, which requires measuring and calculating, also helped improve participants' memory.

Quilting, which requires measuring and calculating, also helped improve participants’ memory.

Courtesy of UT Dallas

“Quilting may not seem like a mentally challenging task,” Park says. “But if you’re a novice and you’re cutting out all these abstract shapes, it’s a very demanding and complex task.”

“The groups spent 15 hours a week for three months learning their new skills. They were then given memory tests and compared with several control groups.”

First Magnolia by Cathy

” First Magnolia by Cathy

‘”Rather than just comparing them to people who did nothing, we compared them to a group of people who had fun but weren’t mentally challenged as much,” Park says”.

“That “social group” did things like watch movies or reminisce about past vacations. Another control group worked quietly at home, listening to the radio or classical music or playing easy games and puzzles.”

“Park’s research, which was published in the journal Psychological Science, showed that not all activities are created equal.”

“Only people who learned a new skill had significant gains.”

‘”We found quite an improvement in memory, and we found that when we tested our participants a year later, that was maintained,” Park says”.

“The greatest improvement was for the people who learned digital photography and Photoshop — perhaps, Park says, because it was the most difficult.”

“So how does learning a new skill help ward off dementia? By strengthening the connections between parts of your brain, says cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman. While brain games improve a limited aspect of short-term memory, Kaufman says, challenging activities strengthen entire

Icicles, by Ida

” Icicles, by Ida

networks in the brain.”

‘”It really is strengthening the connectivity between these team players of these large-scale brain networks,” he says.”

“Denise Park likens it to an orchestra.”

“Players come in and players go out,” she says. “Sometimes when something is really demanding, the whole orchestra is playing, but they’re not playing harmoniously.”

“The goal is to keep each individual player in best form, and make sure there’s coordination. And improving your own coordination, through quilting or learning to play bridge, may be a way to maintain your memory, and have a bit of fun, too.”

‘”We hope that by maintaining a very active brain, you could defer cognitive aging by a couple of years,” Park says.”

“There’s one more important thing you can do to ward off memory loss: exercise. Art Kramer, a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois, studies the impact of exercise on the brain”.

“In one study, he found that just 45 minutes of exercise three days a week actually increased the volume of the brain. Even for people who have been very sedentary, Kramer says, exercise “improves cognition and helps people perform better on things like planning, scheduling, multitasking and working memory.””

“So if you’re looking to boost memory, there’s reason to challenge both your body and your mind.”‘

I won’t say I TOLD you so . . .

Wordless Fairy Tales . . . Speechless Images

10 May

There are few people whose life’s work honors their mothers.

This spectacular photographs by Kirsty Mitchel are all inspired by her mother.  An excerpt from her biography:

“I was born in 1976 and raised in the English county of Kent, known to many as the ‘Garden of England’. My earliest memories were always of the stories read to me by my mother as a child … how it felt to be curled into her side, listening to the rush of her breath as she paused for effect, before launching into yet another characters voice. She was an English teacher, and read to me almost everyday, to an age I could no longer admit to my friends. She instilled in me the most precious gift a mother could, her imagination and a belief in beauty…… it became my root, and the place I constantly try to return to in my work, and my dreams.”

“Tragically my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and my world fell apart. Photography became my only escape when I could no longer talk about how I felt. I lost myself in street portraiture, focusing on those who reflected my own sadness and loss. I later turned the camera inwards, and began photographing myself throughout the hardest year of my life. It became an utter fantasy that blocked out the real world, and a place where I could return to my memories of her, far away from those hospitals walls.”

“She died in November 2008 and that was when photography engulfed me, becoming an overwhelming passion that I could not stop. I found myself producing pieces that echoed the memories of her stories, and the belief in wonder I have always felt since a child.”

http://www.kirstymitchellphotography.com/

article-2613030-1D48F1FF00000578-518_964x570

This is her website where you can read about her WONDERLAND project and see all her portfolio:  http://www.kirstymitchellphotography.com/

or check out her flickr gallery:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/kirsty841/with/3500479250/

 

Sneak a Peek . . . into my mind

9 May

Murky recesses of my Mind

haiku & doodles too

Now you know what lurks

it’s always one-of-a-kind

deep inside my mind

DSCN5877
Doodles with one continuous line . . . or two . . . or three . . .

Long Lost Ancestors of Blob Critters

7 May

My Blob Critters have never before been seen by humans (you are the FIRST) and are an unidentified species. It appears that their long-lost ancestors  live on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico   

(Using high-def camera of a submersible, the scientists captured footage of parts of the ocean floor never before seen by humans, including ancient shipwrecks, unidentified species, and rare geology Okeanos Explorer.) 

Take a look at 9 more pictures.  

Dumbo Octopus

A Dumbo Octopus

Blob Critters, by moi

Blob Critters, by moi (They are not dumb)

Thanks IDA!!!!!!

Riley isn’t just a dog – he’s a service-dog-to-be

5 May

A poem for Riley, by Freddie

Donate if you can.

help train Riley be a man

One dollar will do

even better is two.

It’ll all add up

for the pup!

Dear Human and other Beings,

20140308-203729

This is a ferret

Riley is adopting Lydia.If you can help my friend Riley it would be very nice.   Lydia was a member of the armed forces when she suffered a head injury in a crash.

Lydia has ferrets whose job is to entertain her.

Riley’s job will be to help Lydia be more independent.

Riley will help Lydia when she is overloaded by sensory input. He’ll learn to remind her to take medication, how to balance her when vertigo hits her and help her be more involved in living life.

His training is expensive and he’s very smart like me. Riley, it appears, is all poodle.   I’m part poodle. I’m very smart, even the part that isn’t poodle.

There’s an online fundraising project to raise some of the expenses to train Riley.

GIVE FORWARD – Service Dog Fund

Thank you for Riley,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT

Canine Dog Therapist

You can read more about Riley and Lydia HERE and HERE

http://ferretrunner.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/service-dog-in-training/

Hooked on Haiku – Philosophically yours

5 May

Lives & Living

 

Mind and faith marry

a spiritual bell heard 

with the ring of truth

 

Oil Pastel on black paper

Oil Pastel on black paper

Entering the ring 

with apprehension and fear

feel the knock-out punch 

 

 *     *     *

Encircled by love

in  life, death, eternally

it’s all that matters

 *     *     *

 

 

Speaking from the heART

4 May

This is not your-mother’s-cut-‘n-paste!  Do take a quick look at a perspective on life and living by a self-taught artist, Nikki McClur.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/3627466″>Nikki McClure by Dicky Dahl</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/patcastaldo”>PatCastaldo</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>e

A few examples of paper-cut art using color

Papercut art by Xin Song

Papercut art by Xin Song

 

Papercut art by Annie Vought

Papercut art by Annie Vought

Papercut by Ueda

Papercut by Ueda

Year of the Fairy Tale – Wolfies

3 May

Three different techniques, 3 wolfies for Little Red Riding Hood

DSCN5853

DSCN5854

DSCN5855

Earthrise – a spectacular perspective

2 May

Often the best thing you can do to heal relationships or face painful experiences is to take the position of an “objective observer”.  It’s kinda like being a news reporter on the scene – watch, listen as objectively as possible and not enter into the dynamics of the situation.

It puts everything into a totally new perspective.

This video shifts my perspective to more objectively observe my place in the universe.  Humbling.

Earth rising “. . .  a grand oasis in the  vastness of space”  Jim Lovell, astronaut

Year of the Fairy Tale – Little Red Riding Hood Story-Board

1 May

Here’s my story-board for Little Red Riding Hood, The REAL Tail (you’ll have to click the link for the story)

Little Red Riding Hood - The Real Tail story board
Little Red Riding Hood – The Real Tail story board

Story-boards are suppose to be little sketches that go along with the story.  The sketches are suppose to be on a “board”.  Mine are on a piece of paper.  That means I made a story-paper.

 

Year of the Fairy Tale – The Untold Story of Little Red Riding Hood

30 Apr

Our next fairy tale is Little Red Riding Hood.  

Warning!  Do NOT read the original.  It’s filled with violence and death.  Here’s the real version:

The Untold Story of Little Red Riding Hood

by Freddie Parker Westerfield

Once upon a time in a land far away lived a little orphan wolf. How he became an orphan is not known, the records being lost long ago in the archives of the forest.  All the tales simply begin: Once upon a time, in a land far away lived a little orphan wolf.

Never having been around others of his own kind he didn’t know what big teeth he had. He didn’t know what big eyes he had. He didn’t know what a bushy tail he had. He didn’t know how hairy he was. He didn’t know how scary he was. All he knew was that he was alone in a big, big forest filled with creatures that ran away as soon as he approached.

Day by day, so the birds wouldn’t fly away, he sat far, far below the tree tops listening to them sing to each other from high above.

He watched from far, far away the forest creatures playing so they wouldn’t leap out of his sight.

He snuck peaks at all the critters sharing their meals from behind the bush so they wouldn’t know he was there.

Every morn he dined out for breakfast, alone. Every eve he dined out for super, alone. Every night he settled down to sleep, alone.

One day the little orphan wolf decided to set out from his forest home to find someone, somewhere to be his friend.

Along the way he came upon a little girl. She had a little curl and wore a red cape and hood. Why she wore a red cape and hood is not known, the records being lost long ago in the archives of the forest.

Because she was so young she didn’t know how scary the orphan wolf was and asked.

“Where are you going Mr. Wolf”?

“I’m off to find a friend so that I am not alone. I’m off to find a friend to dine with. I am looking for a friend to play with and most of all I want a friend to talk with. I am very lonely.”

The little girl, feeling sorry for the little orphan wolf said,“Do come with me to Grandma’s house. She makes delicious  muffins from berries I pick in the forest. She sits at the table and listens to me talk. Grandma loves all of God’s creatures. Although she can’t be your grandma, perhaps she can be your friend”

“I don’t know what a Grandma is,” replied the little orphan wolf, “but she sounds exactly like the friend I’m looking for.”

And so the little orphan wolf set off with the little girl with a curl, wearing a red cape and hood to Grandma’s house.

They passed by a giant berry bush. “Stop here to pick berries for the delicious muffins Grandma will make.” They picked bushels of berries and carried them in the little girls red cape and hood.

They passed by a field of flowers. “Stop here to pick flowers for Grandma to put on her table where we sit and she listens to me talk.” They picked bouquets of flowers and carried them in the little girls red cape and hood.

They passed a bubbling brook where cool waters ran. Stop here for a drink to refresh ourselves after all our work picking berries and flowers.” They drank from the bubbling brook and rested on the little girl’s red cape and hood so as not to get dirty.

As they passed over the crest of a hill the little girl cried, There’s Grandma’s house. Let’s see if she will be your friend.”

Grandma greeted the little girl, the little orphan wolf peeking out from behind not sure what a grandma was, with a big smile, the biggest smile the little orphan wolf had ever seen.

The little girl announced, “Grandma, I’ve brought you berries so you can make delicious muffins. I’ve brought you flowers to put on the table where we sit and you listen to me talk. I’ve brought you a little orphan wolf who is lonely and looking for a friend”

Now the little orphan wolf’s eyes grew big, having never seen a Grandma before. Not knowing what to do he opened his big mouth, showed his big teeth and wagged his bushy tail.

“My! What big teeth you have”, gasped grandma. The better to protect you with” replied the wolf.

 “My! What big eyes you have”, marveled Grandma. “The better to lovingly look up at you.”, replied the wolf.

My! What a bushy tail you have”, exclaimed Grandma. “The better to wag with happiness,” replied the wolf.

“My! How hairy you are”, said Grandma. “The Better to cuddle and keep you warm,said the wolf.

“My oh my”, Grandma sighed. “You may stay with me. I’ll feed you delicious muffin treats, and you can sit and listen to me while I talk”.

 “And because you are one of God’s creatures I will call you Dog.”

Where upon he looked up at Grandma with big eyes, opened his big wolf mouth, showed his big wolf teeth, wagged his bushy wolf tail, stuck out his wet wolf tongue and gave Grandma an appreciative lick.

He had found his friend.

Non-dominant hand wolfies

Non-dominant hand wolfies

Sketchies of Wolfies

Sketchies of wolfies

Hooked on Haiku & George Clooney

28 Apr

Rats! George Clooney is off the market!  I rarely write about celebrities but Clooney is an exception.  I was in love with him before he was famous.  He played detective James Falconer on the TV show Sisters in 1993. I didn’t have a clue who he was. I only watched the show to see him.

Unrequited love

messes around with the mind

not with the body

Clooney Rat

Clooney Rat

You’ll have to read my only other Clooney post: You Mean I Could Have George Clooney’s Baby (and a Hacked Haiku)

George Clooney and me

(Science or idle fancy?)

rat baby makes three!

 

 

Hooked on Haiku – Empty

28 Apr

body sags,  mind drained

my soul never on empty

completely filling

a judy doodle

a judy doodle

Empty, tired, old

facts and names escaping me

Fill me up anew!

Sneak Peek into my mind – Year of the Fairy Tale

26 Apr

I never know where I’ll find inspiration. 

The last Princess & the Pea assignment was to create 20 different compositions and then pick one to paint using a credit card.  I was stuck – none of my compositions appealed to me.  Well . . .  truthfully there were a few that I liked . . . I just didn’t think I could paint them with a credit card . . .

Looking through my stash of  paper I came across this unfinished watercolor from Jan 30, 1989.

The date of the class I took was on the back (I remember I dropped out because watercolor was too difficult)  The paper tape that held the wet paper on the board was still there.

I was trying to paint a lemon.

Giant Pea and Green Princess

1989

Inspiration!  A giant pea! (aka lemon).  There was my composition for the Princess and her PEA! (click if you forgot how my credit card painting turned out)

Moral of my tale:  Never throw anything away and

some fruit should be a vegetable.

 

 

Hooked on Haiku – CLOSE

22 Apr

Social Commentary

What’s up

when minds close down?

Ignorance

images-1

 •      •      •

Technological Reality

Tech humility

When computer closes down

my mind follows course

My computer’s been in the hospital.  Aliment unknown.  (using my Husband’s computer – when available).

 •      •      •

Close Calls

It’s open or shut

either it is or isn’t

neither here nor there

 •      •      •

Your Gamble

Behind all closed doors

there lurks possibility

or nothing at all

 

 

 

 

 

Year of the Fairy Tale – Vegetable Love

20 Apr

The Princess loves her pea
For without it
you see
She’d be like you and me.

Pea Love, cheap acrylic paint & cheap paper

Pea Love, cheap acrylic paint & cheap paper

Assignment was to do an illustration for The Princess & The Pea using a credit card as our “paint brush”.  The horizontal lines represent the mattresses and the big round green thing is a vegetable.

I started the illustration by smearing paint with a credit card over the entire paper:

DSCN5830

 

 

 

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pain, poetry, bipolar, prose (and a little whimsy on the side)

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Bariatric, Bypass Surgery, Emotional, Psychological and Spirtitual Healing for Success

alisaburke

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." -Baha'i)

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Curious to the MAX

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." -Baha'i)

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Plum Tree Books Blog

"Where Words Grow On Trees"

Begin Again

Slow Down, Begin Again: Spiritual Practices in Context

Oh Pithy Me

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.

Haiku Horizons

A Haiku prompt/meme site

Global Dashboard

A way to keep track.

CREATIVE JOURNEY

We have miles to go....

Design of the Picture Book

the intersection of graphic design + picture books

Welcome to the OLLI at UCI Blog

Exceptional Learning for Infinite Minds

THE BARDO GROUP

an international collective fostering peace, proximity and healing through our love of the arts and humanities

Support

WordPress.com Support

SEEKING EQUILIBRIUM

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." -Baha'i)

A Little More Than Ordinary...

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." -Baha'i)

Unbelievable to the Max

Poems, Plays, Pictures & Prose from the Murky Recess of My Mind

Picnic with Ants

My life disABLED with Chrnoic Ilnnesses, it just IS. Taking one moment at a time.

poetry diary

Reflections of the moment

Day by Day With My Adrenals

Fighting the monsters everyday of my life

Ping-O-Matic

New offsite pingomatic.com blog

Whyteferret's Blog

Embracing life: challenges and blessings

sunshine and chaos

Things that amuse and bemuse me as I wander the wilderness that is invisible chronic illness.

Hibernationnow's Blog

FOOD, LOVE, FIBRO, FUN

Mo is blogging...I think

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Real Life Artist

An unapologetic marching band against the forces of darkness!

Phylor's Blog

pain, poetry, bipolar, prose (and a little whimsy on the side)

Ask Daru

Bariatric, Bypass Surgery, Emotional, Psychological and Spirtitual Healing for Success

alisaburke

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." -Baha'i)

Sara Fryd [author]

Painting With Words

Curious to the MAX

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." -Baha'i)

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