Thursday, September 20, 2007

A LONG catch up... grab a cuppa coffee

Well, I don't really know how long it's been since I posted last but it's been several weeks. I have been in a "drowning" mode with life stuff and feel that I'm just getting my head above water. I'll try to recap a few things:
1.) Many of you know how close I am to my furgirl, Minya who recently turned 19. Well, her kidney's are failing so I've been going through several weeks of grieving as I watch her slowly die. It's been very hard. This cat is more like a person... or a dog even, and I've had her almost half my life. She was like my child when I went through years of infertility. She's been my shadow. There is nothing that can be done to save her, at this point. There are some drastic measures that can be taken to prolong her life but I have chosen not to do them. It would require IV treatments every other day. I had a choice of doing them myself but didn't want my last time with her to be about that. She's smart and would learn by the second treatment what I was up to and she'd begin not to trust me. The other option was taking her to the vets office for them. Not only is this time consuming since the vet is about a 10-15 minute drive from my house and Minya hates being in the car, it's also expensive. It would be expensive either way but more so if I had to take her in for treatments. She's 19 and has had a great life. I don't want the end to be about IV treatments. I am pampering her and doing as much as I can to love on her more, if that is even possible. I will be lost when she passes away. Isn't this a sweet picture of her sleeping?

2.) Sam celebrated his 8th birthday with his brother and 4 of his best friends at Laser Quest. It was a great place for a party and the boys had a blast!

3.) A couple of days before Sam's birthday, a friend of ours, Susie, flew in from Muncie, Indiana to surprise Sam and be here for his birthday. My kids adore Susie and she loves them.

4.) The evening Susie arrived, I got a phone call from my dad surprising me with his presence in town... NOT a welcome or pleasant surprise. My dad and I have a very strained relationship and we'd not spoken in 5 years. My dad is neither a good man nor an honest, trustworthy man and he wants to live in denial of that and what he has done in our relationship no matter how many times I've tried to mend things. He wants to pretend like everything is normal and just "fine". Well, He claimed to be here to "get back in touch with his kids" (my brother lives out here as well). Well, I didn't buy it. He wanted to come to Sam's birthday party and since my mom decided to come to Sam's birthday dinner on his actual birthday and sit out the party of Laser Tag, I agreed to let my dad come to the party. It was incredibly uncomfortable. Dad was very nice and acted like everything is just great! I hated being so suspicious of him but history leaves a scar and in this case, the scar is so big that it's hard to see around it and in fact, it's not yet a scar at all, it's actually still a gaping wound that dad refuses to see. Anyway, he stayed for the party and I never heard from him again. Uh, you don't drive almost 2000 miles to get in touch with your kids to spend 2 hours with each child for the entire trip! He was up to something and I hesitate to speculate, although I have, but won't share my thoughts on that. They are not good. Anyway, the week he was here was incredibly stressful and disheartening.

5.) Susie left on the following Thursday, the same day my dad as supposedly leaving... then I had to crank into preparation mode. The following Tuesday, Sept. 11, was to be my first day co-teaching Women's Bible study at church. I still had so much to get prepared and now, time was short. I couldn't really get this sort of stuff done while Susie was here... I would have felt rude neglecting her.

6.) Well, Bible study started and we have a full, packed class. There is a total of 17 of us, I think... we can't accomodate anymore due to lack of space! The class is titled "Art Expressions" with a basis of the class being prayer in meditation with art as a response. Most of the women in the class have little to no experience with art and some are just plain scared. My partner, Lori, is doing the first half of the class which is leading us in various meditation exercises using scripture. The entire morning focuses on be quiet and learning to sit still in silence with God. This is a very difficult thing to balance trying to give help and teach while keeping the quiet atmosphere of the room. We're two weeks in though and it is actually working! But we have to be intentional about it. We did not want the art time to become social time. These first two weeks, everyone has worked on creating altered composition notebooks to be used as their journals for the year. Set up for this is huge. It takes about 2 hours of set up due to all the different things I'm offering them to use. We have cut down clean up time by giving a check list for each person to do their clean up. This next week, we will be making beaded prayer pillows... not much for set up or clean up! A nice break! It has been very enjoyable for me though, to watch faces of these women so new to art, as they light up when I show them something they have never seen before. It's very rewarding.

Here is a piece of art I created quickly one day out of sheer desperation for art time (At this point, I think I hadn't gotten to do art for about 3 weeks! I felt like I was dying.) This piece was done on a cover of an old book created with a wallpaper background, paint washes, a simple image and just one word 'willing'. This is my prayer for the women in my class... that they come with open hands and open hearts to be willing... willing to let go, willing to recieve, willing to learn and grown, willing to get out of their comfort zones, willing to take a chance, willing to be true to themselves and to God, just simply willing...
I LOVE this image that I found in a magazine! I made the piece magnetic so it sticks to our metal supply cabinet!

Through all this stuff, my allergies started messing up and I felt myself on a downhill slide physically. I'm still struggling but at least I'm not hoarse anymore. I'm not a t.v. watcher but in the middle of all this stress, I began just shutting down and going into survival mode, which meant, plopping in front of the t.v. If you guys ever hear about me sitting and watching a lot of t.v., that will tell you my physical and emotional state fast! I just don't do it... however, the Bachelor is starting up next week so I MIGHT have to watch that! LOL! Anyway, I rented ALL of the Harry Potter movies currently on DVD and had a marathon movie day with my kids! We watched the first one when Susie was here and then all the others in a single day! I needed that down time and the boys enjoyed it too. We loved the movies and now want to get the books.

Max came home sick on Monday which apparently was a virus since his throat culture was negative for strep but he had a very sore throat, body aches, and fever for a couple of days. He woke up fine yesterday but since they have to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school, I had to keep him home and let me tell you, I was ready to tie him to a tree! He obviously saved up ALL his energy from the sick days and tried to spend it all yesterday! I'm very happy they are both in school today! LOL!

Yesterday I did work on tearing some hot press watercolor paper to make a new journal. I took a class recently and learned to bind single pages into a book and love the look and how the pages all lay flat. I started painting up some backgrounds. That was fun to just play with watercolors yesterday. I also tried some Yupo paper for the first time. I can't say I'm thrilled over it. It's weird.

Now, I'm going to go see if I can get some art done today while it's quiet in my house! And that's a wrap....


Kathy McElroy said...

Hi Angie, bless your heart. You have been dealing with quite a lot lately. My heart still aches for you over Minya. You are doing the right thing. Love her as much as you can while she is still with you. You have got to be one of the strongest women I know.
I love the Bachelor too. I can't wait for the new season. There is a wonderful article about Trista(the bachelorette)and Ryan in US weekly magazine. They finally had a baby. They are the cutest couple. I never buy this magazine but couldn't resist reading the article. A TV match that finally worked out.
Take Care

Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Angie, you have a very full plate! I'm sorry about your cat. I have an old cat too, 15, who's dying of mouth cancer. Any intervention would could do would only prolong things, so we've opted for pain medication and lots of love. It's so hard to watch them decline, but it's a part of life, and a part of love... MAKE ART AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! It'll help.

Joanne Huffman said...

Angie, it's a lovely picture of Minya. I think you have chosen the wisest course for her. You certainly have had a lot of emotional, intellectual and just plain physical thihngs going on. Hope you get more time for art.


Anonymous said...

What a great idea for a bible study. I'd love to hear more about what the inspiration for it was; maybe my church could do something similar. It's a great opportunity not only to become closer to God, but also for fellowship with other Christian women. Thanks so much for sharing.

Angela Hoffmann said...

Hi Angie..first of all (((((HUGS)))) i know what losing a long term cherished pet is like...give her lots of love and I feel you made the best decision for her...My father in law once said to his doctors about treatment they proposed, right before he died, "please whatever you do make sure it is something to prolong my life not my death" He dies shortly after that in his sleep....I think for Minja this too will happen and she knows she is very loved..dying is a natural part of living..I think my Mitzi knew that too and that is why she crawled under the car for the first time in her life...she was ready to go!

Wow you have a lot going on..I can totally relate..must be in the air or something! Your class at your church sounds so wonderful! How exciting that you are able to bring so many women to a new form of celebration of God..what better way to do it than by creating beautiful art to honor the original Creator! I look forward to seeing some things from the class...i hope you can share pictures at some would be wonderful to see and inspirational for others to see to bring into their own churches~

I hope we see you more back on the Divas..i have missed you and was just wondering what was going on in your life!!
lots of hugs and kisses!~

linda t said...

Wow, you have had a lot on your plate Angie! My heart goes out to you my friend.
Know that you are touching many lives through your art and love for Christ.
Bless your precious kitty. May these last days be so memorable as you look back on the the many years you have shared together.
Love you!

Judy said...

Hope all is ok for you Angie.
{{{hugs}}} to you.

Cindy Dean said...

I too have a father that sounds like yours. I feel for you. Remember, you don't have to be nice...

Wabbit said...

Hey there, Princess! I'm so sorry you've had such a lot to deal with lately. Even so, it is good to finally see a post by you.

The art project sounds wonderful. What a lucky group of women!

I'm so sorry about your Minya. It's tough to deal with. My Jaspy died last year after a long and happy life and to have asked him to hang on any longer would have been selfish. You're doing the right thing and making sure you have quality time with her at the end of her life. She'll always be in your heart.

Know that your friends love you, girlie!

Michelle said...

Hi Angie, I came to visit your blog via Surface Design. Your paintings are wonderful!

I wanted to let you know that I have been through what you are going through ... my two fur boys came into my life right after I got married, they were there right along with me through INF, and I lost them both in March of '96 and March of '97. It's a crushing loss. Love on Minya all you can. She will still visit you in your dreams.

You will be in my thoughts. Michelle