Saturday, July 23, 2016

Long Time, No Post!

It's been ages since I've update and you're probably wondering if I fell off the face of the earth. Almost. I am hanging on by a thread. I became quite ill just over 9 weeks ago and have been either in bed or off having specialist's appointments, MRIs and blood tests ever since. This week alone I had 6 appointments in 3 days. It's still up in the air what exactly is wrong and how it's going to be treated and no one is more anxious to get this figured out than me, so I can recover and get my life back. This is the worst attack I've ever had, whatever it is and it's been brutal.

 As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans."

Let's talk about other things, shall we?
Okay so here are the things that are rocking my world right now:

Listening To:

Spotify! First of all, why didn't anyone tell me about this!?! You guys have been holding out on me! I am late to the party, but I am loving it. It replaces what was Pandora for Canadians. (I had Pandora years ago till some bright light decided to block it in Canada. We still don't have access.)

My go-to play lists include the wonderful Mandolin Orange. Worth checking out if you enjoy mandolins and folk music. (I love both.)

Little Words
Jump Mountain Blues
 Of Which There Is No Like
Wake Me
 Clover Tune
Haste Make
 Bird of a Feather
Little Worlds

I will be adding more of their music when I get a spare minute because honestly, it's all wonderful. Great tunes to make art to. I listen on an endless loop and never get tired of it.

I also love acoustic guitar and there just happens to be a play list called "Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals" that I've subscribed to. That one is also really good for getting into my creative groove. When my husband heard one of my other play lists that I compiled myself he said "You were meant to be born in the 60's." I laughed. He's right. 60's & 70's music is what I tend to listen to the most. Probably not too surprising, since I was named for a Donovan song.

Artsy Inspiration:

I've known about Brian Andreas' art for some time now, but lately, I've rediscovered it through Instagram. He's been posting such beautiful, uplifting work in the face of all the ugliness that's we've been bombarded with as the world seemingly goes off the rails. If you need a break from all that, I recommend following his feed.  (@brainandreas) It will make you feel better. We need more people like Brain in the world. Love needs to be louder. Let's get LOUDER people!!

Brian posted about this project he's started where you order a print of Help Wanted and he will also send you small packet of 3x3 mini prints to give away, as a way to put some love and inspiration out into the world. When I saw the print, it spoke to me so strongly. It was the perfect way to commemorate my 40th year of volunteering. I totally understand what this magic is he's talking about-when you open up your heart and say "YES!" to the ways in which you can serve, the universe will keep presenting you with amazing opportunities. It's the law of attraction. I have experienced this over and over throughout my life. Volunteering has both enriched and informed my life in countless ways.

Yesterday, I covertly gifted my first mini print to one of my specialists who has been working really hard to advocate for me. I put it on her desk and then just tucked it under a bit of her paperwork so she wouldn't find it till after I was gone. I want to leave one for her receptionist who has been very kind to me too, but I didn't get the chance to leave it secretly yet. Next time, hopefully!

I need to see if I can get my hands on some of Brian's books. I'll have to see if our library system has any of them.

Dawn DeVries Sokol has a new instructor video out via Creativebug. I watched it the other day and I just loved how she not only talked about, but showed all the colours, shapes and textures she encounters in her every day life that inspires what she creates as an artist. The video is so infused with colour and I thought it was a really smart way to share what she does.

Later that day, I had time between appointments, so I popped into the big book store downtown and came across three of Dawn's books on the shelves. I always like to try and get photos of friend's books in the wild. I know if I had a book out there in the world, (someday!) I'd love to see it on shelves in cities far away. I also "face" the books, if they are spine out on the shelf so others will notice them. (Shh! Don't tell! I volunteered in the library growing up, so old habits die hard.) It was nice seeing they had a copy of Artists' Journal Pages, which I have work published in.

I had a $20 gift card which was was a thank you gift for consulting on a study UBC is doing about patients who have participated in the medical grant review process. I didn't expect a thank you, so it was a very nice surprise. After seeing Dawn's video, I was inspired, I treated myself to Year of the Doodle. It's got a sort of zine-like vibe and I think it would be a good thing to keep in my bag to help pass the time when I am sitting in the waiting room for medical appointments. All I need is a pen of some sort and I'm good to go. I'm just going to jump in at this point in the year and carry on. It cost me a whopping 94c after the gift card. That's a deal any way you slice it!


Since I have been stuck in bed for weeks, I've watched a lot of good stuff on my iPad. The list is goes:

Game of Thrones-The last two episodes were jaw dropping. It was more like watching a movie than a tv show and it deserves all kinds of awards. It was absolutely epic. The music, the story lines, the multiple moments of shock. WOW! Tyrion made me cry. He is my absolute favourite because he just tries so hard and there is always that sense of him feeling "less than". The vulnerability of that character played so beautifully by Peter Dinklage tears at my heart. If George R.R. Martin ever kills him off, I'm DONE.

Orange is the New Black-I watched the newest season, but somehow I can't remember parts of the previous season, so I need to go back and review. A few of the story lines had me confused about what came before. The snoring girl cracked me up and all the references to current TV programs were killing me. They made a comment about Monopoly that had me in stitches.

Wentworth-It's like an Aussie version of OITNB, but not funny-it's very dark in the most delicious way. That's all I'm going to say about it. Watch and see.

Wayward Pines-This is a post-apocolyptic series that is filmed right here in Coquitlam and also out in the Fraser Valley. One of the places they film at, Riverview Hospital is a place I drive by regularly. It's a decommissioned mental hospital, which is used in all kinds of TV and movie filming.The driver of the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary medal bearer van, (whose blog I started following back then and then eventually met) is a driver (teamster) on Wayward Pines. He's been blogging about the series here. (There's a bunch of posts.) The premise of this show is interesting, especially in season one where they have you wondering what's really going on. M. Knight Shyamalan is the producer.

Alone: Seasons 1&2 were filmed on the northwest end of Vancouver Island. The premise is they drop 10 people off, each on an isolated beach with film equipment and they have to survive and film at the same time. There are bears, cougars and wolves. There is also weather. Weather is always a factor in Canadal The last one wins half a million dollars. Season 1 was hilarious-the whole time people are complaining about the rain. People! You are in a temperate rain forest in the late fall. Of course it rains. I guess no one told them. They really should have named it "BC Weather Kicks Butt"! 

The Last Alaskans-This is filmed up in the northeastern corner of Alaska on a wildlife reserve where there are only a handfull of families whose cabins have been grandfathered in until the current owners last child dies. The people are really interesting.

Port Protection-Another Alaska series about a remote port where the community members rely on one another. 

Bering Sea Gold-Mostly guys and one woman prospecting for gold on the sea out of Nome, Alaska. I watch to see how someone is almost going to kill themselves every episode. It's pretty silly.

Life Below Zero-Yet another Alaskan series set in Northern Alaska. (Are you sensing a theme here?) Everyone lives off the grid and subsistence hunts. There is an Inuit family on the show and I enjoy seeing how they are passing down their traditions to their children. The girls are all learning how to hunt and trap. It's really cool that this young girls will have survival skills most of us will never have. 

The Amazing Race Canada-Because I love TAR and the Canadian version is just as good. Plus it's hosted by Jon Montgomery, 2010 Olympic Gold medallist in Skeleton and a fellow Manitoban.

Master Chef (US version)-Because Gordon Ramsey amuses me and I've watched every season since it started. I am glad the grumpy chef isn't on there anymore. 

 I haven't watched too many movies in the last while-I just don't have the energy to stay awake for them at the moment, but I did see Concussion which was unbelievably good. I will never watch football or any contact sport the same way again. It explains a lot about how much brain damage athletes are suffering and many of them don't even know it. It sure opened my eyes. Well worth watching. (I rented it via iTunes.) I have rent The Witch and I need to watch that one in the next couple of days. A couple friends have seen it and enjoyed it. I love creepy movies!

Tomorrow my best friend and I are going to see a new Viggo Mortenson movie, Captain Fantastic. It will be good to get out for a bit for sanity's sake, hang out with my bestie and of course eat popcorn! It looks like a really great movie. 


Reading has been tough. I am having both blurry and double vision from side effects of the medications I am on, so most of the time, it's pretty impossible. I have small windows of time where I can manage. Right now in the queue on my bedside table are Robert Dugoni's In the Clearing and Linda Castillio's Among the Wicked. I am hoping to be able to make my way through both of them before they are due back at the library. The last pile I had, I had to return unread. I've put them back on my Goodreads "want to read" list so I don't forget about them. 

A number of people have suggested audio books, which I am authorized for at my local library, but to me, reading is an active, not a passive thing. My brain likes to read, not to be read to. I did try it out the last time this happened and I find sometimes the person narrating can be really annoying, which is distracting. In a perfect world, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, John Corbett, Jeffery Dean Morgan would narrate books for me. (Harrison Ford would always be my first choice!)

Okay, I think that's it for now. I have art to share-yes, I've actually been working on some art when I've felt up to it and doing some photography in my travels.
I'll save that for my next post. 


Seth said...

Thanks for sharing on the recommendations. Fingers crossed that you see some improvement soon!

papercracker said...

Sorry to hear you are struggling with your health. Hopefully you will have answers soon. I wanted to share the name of a mixed media artist with you: Amy Maricle. Not sure if you are familiar with her work, but her blog is dedicated to the idea of making art to help us deal with stress and anxiety. She has some online workshops which are very reasonably priced, but she also has a free webinar/workshop Friday, Sept 23rd, at 9:00am Pacific Time. I received an email link to sign up. I didn't see it mentioned on her blog, but if you are interested you could try sending her an email or signing up for her newsletters. The title of the web/workshop is Mindful Art for Stress Relief.