Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Ice, Hurrying, and Time Moving into Spring









February 21, 2021 Bluffside Trails near Holzinger Lodge

Do you remember the frozen cold of February in the Upper Midwest?  It was very cold and snowy.  I still got out and walked and hiked with good friends or solo.  And then it began to change.  It got warmer.  There were warm days and freezing nights.  The melting snow created some icy conditions on sidewalks and road ways.

So, here’s the story of how hurrying to get somewhere was not a good idea for me.  It was February 24th and I was making a plan with my friend, Rosemary to take a walk across the East Lake in Winona—the Big Lake.  I was excited; I had never walked across the frozen lake before—though friends have and some friends swore never to do such a crazy act.

On my scurry to get to my friend’s house, I slipped on the ice and went down on my right/dominant palm near my wrist. (I don’t blame this on lack of balance—my balance is good; or on my age or any such nonsense. I was in too big of a hurry to pay attention to the conditions.  No more.) 

The fall hurt like crazy, but I could move all of my fingers and could move my arm—I decided that I was ok and I kept going.  I met my friend and we walked across that big lake on a most beautiful morning. Imagine sunlight on a line of bluffs—there were pinks and blues shining on the bluffs. We chatted and had a grand time. When I came home, called my friend who gave me some good advice about icing it and resting, and taking some Ibuprofen.








When Bob got back from work in the late afternoon, he suggested going to Urgent Care to have them take a look—there are a lot of bones in the hand, he said.  I asked if he’d join me and we went together to get me checked over.  When the physician and her assistant saw the swelling and the pain I had to move the wrist, they ordered an X-ray with an idea that it was broken.  The X-ray confirmed their thoughts.  They put a huge splint on my arm all the way up to the elbow.  Not again—my elbow had been broken in a biking accident in 2018; she did not appreciate this lack of movement. (Read about bringing peace to healing pain and Healing injury through time.)

Bob was scheduled to ski the American Birkenbeiner Race for Friday, 2/26/2021.  He suggested that he not go.  I said, no to that idea.  I was not in that much pain; and he’d trained for months.  He had to go.  And when he was convinced that I’d be ok; he did go. (I had not even seen the surgeon yet to know the next step.)

Our community came in with gifts of food, cards, and so much love.  Thank you to LeAnn, Kim, Kathie, Anne, Mary, Colleen, Greg, Jenni, Carolyn, Lynne, and so many more.  We live in a loving community.  I feel so blessed.

Bob stayed overnight on Thursday, 2/25/2021, at Bill and Kim’s lodge near the race in Cable, Wisconsin.  He skied on Friday, February 26, 4 hours and then drove home to check in on me that evening.  I was home.  It was nice to see him. 

3/1/2021 Bob and I went to see the Surgeon, Dr. Millis. He ordered a CT scan and after looking at the results, he said that the break in my radius bone was about a ½ centimeter.  He recommended surgery to put a plate in.  The plate would secure the bones to grow together in alignment.  The healing would be quicker.  I agreed to the surgery.  It was scheduled for Thursday, 3/4/2021. Before that I needed to get checked that I was healthy for surgery and did not have COVID 19.

On Tuesday, 3/2/21 I checked healthy to have surgery and had a negative COVID 19 test. The surgery was two days later.  The operating team of nurses, anesthetists, and doctors was amazingly kind, thorough and worked so well together for my benefit.  I felt held by some amazing humans.  Bob took me to get all of my pain medications and then off to rest.  It was a time of lots of sleeping or being awoken to take more pain medication and then back to sleeping.  And this time I was able to sleep and rest well.

During my healing, I couldn’t use my right hand—yup, the hand that I use to make art, write, and chop veggies was “on vacation.”  I had to learn in a big way to ask for help.  And I couldn’t drive.   “Bob will you put a plastic bag on my arm to take a shower?” Will you help me set a timer to take meds? Will you make us food? Will you take me downtown?"  Bob was gracious.  I learned it was good to have my voice heard and ask for help.  I also continued to write and paint with my left hand.  In fact, I took a weekend painting workshop and painted all weekend with my left hand.













Top: left hand writing; Bottom: right hand writing












Fiery Lolita with Mary Lee

Luckily a couple of weeks later, 3/15/2021, I had X-rays taken again, the doctor looked at them and gave me a good report that the wrist and thumb were healing well.  They would take the permanent cast off and have a removable cast in its place.  And that is allowing exercises for the hand and wrist, and typing like I am doing now.  Flexibility is coming—on so slowly.  I think this week we’re beginning strength work with my Occupational Therapist.  Those exercises are painful and worth every bit of it to get my wrist back into complete movement.  Another thing that I’m doing is dancing NIA.  Ahhhhhhh, that feels so good.  Pleasure all the way.

On 3/16/2021 Kim came over and put henna in my hair. Oh, the touch on my head; the tender way that she cared for me.  It felt so good.  We wore masks to stay safe.

Now I’m working with an OT, Holly, and she is doing a great job with me.  Kyann reached out to me as well and sent me exercises that I could begin with to get the healing moving forward.  I do the exercises three times a day and then elevate the arm and place ice on the wrist/hand.  It’s a practice in self care and patience.  I’ve cried a couple times at the utter feeling of helplessness.  When I think of how quickly I could do something before, I remind myself that I’m in the middle of a healing cycle.  I remind myself that my body healed from a much more involved situation in 2018.  I send my wrist and hand love and Reiki multiple times per day.










Here's to healing and warmth and new growth.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Professional Troublemaker The Fear-Fighter Manual By Luvvie Ajayi Jones


Professional Troublemaker, The Fear-Fighter Manual

By Luvvie Ajayi Jones


This book came across my desk via two of my favorite people: Elizabeth Gilbert and Marie Forleo. 

And when two people who I admire so much are saying they are going to interview Luvvie or have interviewed her on Marie TV; my attention is captured.  Marie's segment is a funny engaging one with Luvvie about her new book.  And Elizabeth Gilbert's is coming up on April 8th on Instragram.

I got the book out of our local library.  What a stroke of luck!  And I read the whole book.  Now I'll let you know a little secret: reading a whole book is a big deal for me.  It's not that I can't read; though I have a bit of dyslexia that causes the letters to look a little backwards and switched and makes reading a bigger project for me.  I really enjoy audio books and spoken word.  This book is not there yet.  And I read it, as I rested on the couch, iced my broken wrist--more about that next week--and took time to chill.  

Friends, chilling in not my most popular mode of operation--I'd rather be dancing, hiking a trail, making art in my studio, writing, hanging with friends and family--you get the picture.  So when I'm reading, my body gets wiggly. Deep breath and read on.

Here are a few reasons you may want to read this book: find out more about this amazing human Luvvie Ajayi Jones, her life as a Nigerian born human who landed in the USA at 9 years old.  She shares about her amazing grandmother; her challenges: doing a Ted talk and how to go for the biggest passions of your life.  She is confident, loud, joyful, and a good troublemaker!

Go get her book!


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Embrace Change, Dream

 This quilt was called the Orange quilt; it's new name is 

Embrace Change, Dream.










This wall quilt is filled with color and interesting shapes.  

It has painted fabric, text, machine drawing.

Hand written text in the sun:

Jump for Joy, Create, Dream , Breathe, 

Embrace Change, Radiate Positivity, Inspire, 

Rest, Choose Kindness, Be Happy

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." 

                                                         Mahatma Gandhi

Here's a picture of the stitching that's inside the quilt 

now; it is so cool, I wanted you to see.










If you could add some words to make your life more 

full of passion, what would they be?

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Know Life











Know Life gets it's title from the Vincent Van Gogh quote, 

"The way to KNOW LIFE is to Love  many things." 

This quote resonates with me; I love the arts: music, dance, 

theatre, visual arts, film, spoken word, poetry, literature and 

writing of all sorts.  All the arts enrich our lives and fill us up.

We need the arts in times like these when some of our ways 

to connect with others are more limited. 

Here's how this art quilt came together.  I live in SE Minnesota 

with lots of bluff land surrounding me and the Mississippi River 

flows a few blocks from my house.  I appreciate this land so much 

for its raw beauty and how the light lands on it to create 

a new image every day and in every season.

Here's an image of the stitch drawing close up.  

The bit of blue stitching represents water.

This close up is the pop of color with yellows 

and greens and a variety of thread colors.








Here's the text with a white paint pen before I stitched 

over the text.  I decided that I'd stitch over the 

writing to pop the color more.

Signed and dated 2-2021 with gold pen.

Back of the quilt with a hanging device and card 

with details about the quilt.  It's interesting to see all the 

texture created with the machine drawing.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Fill Up


Fill Up is an art quilt using hand dyed fabrics, repurposed fabrics of velvet and embroidery stitching, text that is stitched over and text that is written with pigma pens and machine quilting that I call machine drawing.

Words that are stitch drawn:



You Got This






In the hand dyed fabric is text that is drawn reads: Fill up with all that feeds your being.  Making, creating, dancing, writing, cooking, caring for people, caring for the land...

Color, light, movement, joy overflowing.

What words would you use to create the life that you desire?  Go after it.  Share in the comments, if you like.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Love is in the Air

 February 14 is soon.  I love all the hearts, flowers, chocolates, poetry and sharing.  

Here's a photocopy of an old fashioned Valentine glued on red paper.  I added the black & white checkered paper at the bottom and the cats punched out of the paper on the left side.

This heart is multiple hearts cut of different colors.  The letters for Love, xoxo heart and small striped heart are stickers.

Puppy love--an old fashioned valentine with heart punches.

Water color painted paper with soft heart and love stickers.

Old fashioned valentines courtesy of the Winona History Center. Paper lace doilies added on top two.  The bottom one with a Be Mine heart has a watercolor background.

Two decorated heart Valentines with colored marker and gel pens.

Lots of fun variety, thanks to the generosity of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts.  Sharing art all around.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Hope and Gratitude


Remember the warmth of a wood fire

to warm you deep into your core of being.

Remember the sun that give you warmth and nourishes plants to grow

and give you breath.

Remember the sweet air in the woods, on the mountains,

on your sheets drying on the line.

Remember the gardens in your back and side yards

that gave you so much joy in the growing, the watering,

and the food nourishing you.

Remember your nourished body--you

choosing the delicious food to give pleasure and sustenance.

Remember each moment is a choice

to live, to grow, to be, to dance, to create, to know gratitude,

to feel sorrow, to live your whole amazing life.

My poem is inspired by Joy Harpo called "Remember."

The quilt image above is called, Know Life with a quote 

"The way to Know Life is to  Love many things." Van Gogh


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