Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A friend in need

This is my good friend, Michele. I met her when she came to work with Tucker as a caregiver. She's been with us for 15 years. She is a good friend to me and a good friend to Tucker. She is near and dear to us. This picture was taken of her at her wedding last week.

Recently Michele was diagnosed with lymphoma and today she began treatment. Her treatment is 8 hours today and 6 hours tomorrow and then she turns around and does it again in 2 1/2 weeks. 

After talking with her today, I asked her what she had brought with her to fill her time. She said magazines, bills (!) and her computer. Then a few minutes later, she texted me to let me know that there was no open wifi at her facility (and she does not have a smart phone). No wifi? What's with that? And she can't have visitors sit by her side, they have to wait in the waiting room, where there is no tv either!

So then I started thinking that I need to something about this. She needs wifi, she needs to surf the net. She could be playing "words for free" right now with me, lol. I want to help make this easier for her.

So i've decided to try and raise $500 for her so i can go buy her an iPad  with wifi. whatever difference I can't raise, I'll just cover myself. But she will have an iPad!

there's a widget on the right side for you to "ChipIn". any amount is fine. there's no dollar amount small enough to let her know you care.

thanks and i'll keep you posted!

update: Evelyn had a good question about how the iPad will work at the facility with no wifi. The  iPad  i will buy her will come with wifi and a data plan. A monthly fee will pay for the wifi, so she will always have wifi whereever she has her ipad.  Right now she's using a laptop that needs access to someone elses wifi and the wifi at the facility is "not for public use". 

UPDATE: it just less than 4 hours, we all combined forces to do something really special for someone who will benefit greatly for all our generosity, wishes of good will and kind thoughts. I am blessed to be surrounded by such good people. 

another update! i kept the ChipIn going until 9:00pm tonight. When I closed it, we had made $982! so amazing! my plan is to buy her iPad, headphones, iTunes gift card and then apply the remaining monies towards her data plan. So excited to give this to her! thanks again for all your help!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Valley Ridge with Flora Bowley

 My friend Pam and I have just returned from 3 days of painting with Flora Bowley. The workshop was held at beautiful Valley Ridge,with amazing hostess, Katherine Engen. I've been to Valley Ridge once before and the property and studio are just amazing. So beautiful and peaceful. Katherine is moving onto new adventures, so Pam and I took advantage of the studio time, knowing that things are changing for Valley Ridge.

Flora's class was just amazing. It was not about pressure or perfection. It was very calm and peaceful, full of gratitude and appreciation. A wonderful way to look at life and present a workshop.Makes me want to incoporate things differently when I teach as well.

Her painting style is a process. It might take 3 days to paint a picture, it might take a week, a few weeks or more! In the beginning of the class, we were all ask to make a commitment about our goal for her class. Mine was to not to get caught up in walking away with a "masterpiece" (just not realistic). I can get easily frustrated when painting for the "magic" to happen and my goal was to just be patient. Every morning, we would recommit or remind ourselves to our goals. great philosophy to keep  yourself on track! I left feeling peaceful, content and grateful.

It was also a treat for us all to have Flora's mom and sister, joining in on the fun. It was their first time taking a workshop with her - how cool is that?

 here's a little section of one of my paintings, a bird soaring to new heights.

 I flew into Chicago, where Pam picked me up. Then we drove 4 hours to Wisconsin. We had fun along the way and of course did a little antiquing.

 for my birthday present (Happy Birthday to me!), Pam painted this sweet little picture for me. I feel so lucky to have a piece of art created by my dear friend. It's titled, "She waters her garden daily". yep, that's me!


The rest of the post will be visual . I'll let you imagine the rest of the story as it unfolds through my photography. enjoy!


As always, thanks for tagging along!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Fall is here and it's a busy time for me. Lots of teaching and traveling again. My 48th birthday is fast approaching and of course, another year of aging, causes lots of reflections on the past, present and future.

Tomorrow for my birthday, I am leaving for Wisconsin to play with friend, Pam. We are heading to Valley Ridge to spend a few days painting with Flora Bowley. Really looking forward to it.

As I was reflecting, I realized that I never finished up my few last stops on my cross country trip, nor did I really sum up my feelings about the trip.

I'd sum up my trip by appreciating the time alone. Yes, it was long stretches of driving, getting bored, getting tired, getting sick of public bathrooms (yuck) and eating gross on the road food! But I really, really, appreciated the time of being by myself. I was in charge. I did what I wanted, stopped wherever I wanted and didn't have to answer to anyone other than myself. It's rare thing for sure!

The only thing that was a bummer was I found some of the mountainous driving to be a bit scary. After I drove through Yosemite National Park, I had to drive over the Tioga Pass to get to my father's place. It was, in my opinion, harrowing and nerve wracking! Driving a mountain road with no guardrails at 9000 feet with other drivers tailgating was scary! My brakes started smoking because I was braking so much. I found my SUV to not handle well driving on mountain roads. Getting through that was the most challenging aspect of the trip. I was happy to finally hit the flat plains of Kansas!

The hardest part of the trip was to say goodbye to my parents. As I grow older, so do they. It was hard to say goodbye, not knowing when I might get a chance to see them again. (my parents are divorced with my dad living in Nevada and my mom in California).

If I could add a wish, I would wish for more time (and money!) to spend alone, exploring my home state. There is so much to do there and alas, I didn't have enough time to do 3/4 of the things I wanted to do while there. I think fondly of my time on the road and look forward to my next trip.

slide show!