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New Beginnings

In an effort to start the new year off well, I am attempting to get back to blogging and boxing three times per week again. Boxes will have to be small, as I have a 20 pound maximum lifting allowance, which may be pushing it. The limit was was raised from the original 5 pound allowance after the surgery, which I think I am healing from quite nicely.  Pain is quite well controlled and I am becoming accustomed to the numbness, all the while hoping and waiting for its swan song.

I didn’t take pictures of what I worked on today, as it was rather spontaneous and I didn’t have my camera with me. Instead, I’ve included my New Years card image. Hope you like it as much as I do. I must confess, I am quite pleased with the way it turned out. This is slightly different from the final version I will be using on the card, but nice here, I think.

There are so many things I am interested in, so much that I would like to do and accomplish in my life that I often get overwhelmed and don’t have a clue where to begin, in much the same where that I don’t know where to begin with my stuff.

My friend Laurel has all of the equipment to start a press. This has been a dream of mine for the last two decades. To be able to print, to make plates, set type, produce finished printed products, possibly even books makes me a bit weak in the knees. Her hope, and mine,  is that this will be a printing cooperative with about five people total at the core.    We are thinking of starting with some broadsides and blank journals. To that end, I’ve been searching high and low for my linoleum cutter, as I have blocks that fit like peas in a pod in the press and want to make some images. I was tempted to buy a new cutting set, but when my son asked what I wanted for Christmas I requested he buy it for me instead. Fortunately, circumstances had not allowed that yet.

I went over to Gran’s this morning to let out the chickens, brush her hair and have a little visit. I was feeling pretty spunky, more than I have since before the surgery, so I decided to go out to the garage and see what, if anything I could tackle. (Just to jog the memory, I have stuff in my house, my grans’ garage an in a storage shed. I am trying, at the moment, to get the garage consolidated to the point that the things from the storage shed can go there and I can continue the consolidation process and eliminate the need for a storage shed.) I worked on small boxes and things that were larger, but light. I worked through quite an area and found some things that rats had found tasty (I threw those away, or recycled them If they were eligible). I found a reasonable pile of clothes that were packed away clean, that we haven’t worn in the last year and a half that I will donate to a local thrift store, possibly the Ark thrift store where my freind Judy works and which supports our local humane society. I found some new clean white caulking, which my dad was just in need of (hopefully he hasn’t bought any yet). I found some things I will donate to Redwood pre-school just up the street,a nd a bunch of other goodies, including art supplies which helped to inspire me to at least think about making art again at some point. And I found … my linoleum cutter, so I have been able to get to work on a pear print I’ve been pondering for quite some time.

I suppose the best place to begin, with stuff, with life, is wherever I am.  I need to be willing to jump in at any given point and go from there. Today was a reminder of that.

I am going to do my very best to get back to posting and pitching three times per week. Wish me luck!

Here’s mud in your eye, and to a very Happy New Year with wonderful surprises and new opportunities!

Greetings and hello.

Long time no see, no write, no nothing.

I know, I know, It seems I’ve been a slacker. In truth my back blew out, to be precise, my L5,S1 disk. I was out of commission, entirely flat on may back, from Halloween night until well, I mostly still am, actually.

I had neuro-spinal surgery at UCSF on Friday, November 13, for what was an emergency condition, of I understand correctly. Turns out the back pain I had been experiencing for quite a while was not something I could just suck it up and get through, try as I might. My L-5 disk ran , like an estuary, into my spinal column and was pressing against the nerves leading to my left leg and foot and up my back. I am fortunate to have a fantastic Neurologist in town, Dr. Glusker.

In fact, let me back up and say, I have been very fortunate and blessed in the members of the medical community who have been looking after me since my move here among them are Dr. Tara Mcleer at the Mendocino Coast Medical Clinic; Dr. Eric Frazier, chiropractor extrordinaire ; Dr. Peter Glusker, Neurologist, have all been so important in the parts they have played in keeping this whole thing from being a complete night mare. I am so blissfully lucky that my disk didn’t rupture, that I am predominantly free of pain and that I seem to have a pretty good chance of having my left leg and foot come entirely back to life. Thank you very much, all you and all of the support staff involved.

I suppose you don’t need a play by play of all the down and dirty details, but suffice it to say that for once in my life, I had a serious medical condition that was taken seriously. It was acknowledged, diagnosed, and dealt with with rapidity and skill. Dr. Glusker examined me and then sent me for an MRI (surreal art that capture the body’s inner working, and I must here thank the fantastic MRI tech for her good work as well as the radiologist who read them at Mendocino Coast Hospital -thank you).The MRI confirmed and possibly even expanded on his suspicions which led to a diagnoses. He referred to me to USCF, to the top neuro-spinal surgeon in the state for goodness sakes, Dr. Philip R. Weinstein.

I am having such resistance to writing/doing the blog again, but feel I must jump in again where I can, so instead of coninuing with this post, trying to get it right, I am simply going to post it.

I am including below, well below, pictures of the progression of my incision healing. There was an internal stick poking out, which was hampering healing. I think that is a nice sort of allegory to what happens with my house, myself, and hoarding. There is an internal bit poking out and getting in the way of progress, surgery and healing aside. I am searching for that protruding stich, so I can deal with it.

Space inserted in case you don’t want to see incision pictures

Space inserted in case you don’t want to see incision pictures

Space inserted in case you don’t want to see incision pictures

Space inserted in case you don’t want to see incision pictures

Space inserted in case you don’t want to see incision pictures

Space inserted in case you don’t want to see incision pictures

Space inserted in case you don’t want to see incision pictures

Space inserted in case you don’t want to see incision pictures

Progression of healing from 3 weeks after surgery