Monday, May 31, 2010

Cousin Cousine

Cousins have, through the magic of social networking, reappeared in my life. Actually, some of it was ordinary telephone networking. I have looked for one cousin by her maiden name having no clue about her life so got no where at all. Her "little brother" I remember him as a tow headed little boy--called and we have had a couple of fun conversations. I got the FB of the girl cousin who is close to me in age, and wow! does she do interesting work. I have not seen her for about 33 years, my girls were babies, and the time before that we were in high school. We have lost all our parents now and that reignites the curiosity about family. Talking to my daughter, I realize how little my kids know about my paternal family. My parents broke up early on in my kids' lives and things were never really fixed between me and my dad before he died. His last words to me were "You are all liars, all 4 of you." There were 6 of us so I don't know which 4 of us were liars. At that time I was leaving toxic people alone and said goodbye. One aunt said we siblings were not allowed at my dad's funeral, but I didn't feel the need to be there anyway. so I didn't go. In the last couple of years the remaining aunt, the most fun aunt EVER really, said that was also a lie.Aunt D would not do that. I guess those two didn't tell each other everything. The aunt who "forbade" us from going to Dad's funeral also told us she had him buried at sea. The remaining aunt now says that was a lie, too,(on our part) that they really dug a hole on or in his mother's grave and put his ashes there. You can't make this stuff up. Even my mom thought he was buried at sea, boy was she surprised when she heard the truth. The same two aunts and my grandmother buried an older sister of mine who died as a baby and never told my mom where she was buried. So, can you see, there's not a lot of talking going on. Why did she accept that? We kids had never heard a word about this sister until I was a young teen and saw a picture that looked almost like me that I had never seen before. Oh, there was another baby. Many many years later when I was the mother of one, my mom and I were driving down first street when a story came on the radio about how many babies died in the 40's from a nutritionally incomplete formula, after 30 years my mother learned why her baby had died. That was her formula.
The last time I saw my uncles Charlie and Bob was when my grandmother died. Or maybe it was only Charlie... Charlie had had some tooth implants and was having trouble with them. The photo my cousin sent to me shows a guy who looks so much like his dad I might recognize him on the street.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I discovered a colored pencil artist with a couple of wonderful books on the artrageous site. I purchased two books and a really big box of prisma colored pencils, the Cadillac of colored pencils. I wish my 8th graders could use prisma on their repeat design, but they are too expensive for school. I have also tried a few oil pastel landscapes at school and am finding I like it, don't know a lot about it but am having fun with it. The colored pencil artist I found in my search for a smaller format art form that wouldn't take up every square inch of our house, what is left of it....meaning it is already packed with our art from over the years. What can I do to stay creative and even call myself an artist that doesn't take up that much space? This might be it. We shall see. Ann Kullberg, "Capturing Soft Realism," in colored pencils is a very step by step book and she is very step by step, I have always been rather slapdash, but I am so intrigued by her beautiful results that I am going to give it a try. I have been accumulating stocks of art supplies for the last couple of years in anticipation of my retirement which is not exactly looming. Best just get started. Restarted. Going. I do acrylic landscapes with my 8th graders and have learned to enjoy them myself, we did not do landscapes in college, period. So here I am, playing with it now.

Weight Loss Report WLS

I have bumped along here for a month and am now officially down 140lbs and need to lose zero. My workouts are making me stronger by the week and I am stepping up on two steps now, not one. In the past, no matter how much I worked out, step ups were just too painful. I am lifting more and more compared to when I re-started weight training. My trainers are great, we get them through a school wellness program in our town and they do a different workout each and every time. There is always something new. Support meetings for St. Vincent's have started up again with new leadership and it is good to be back, though I do find myself impatient with a person who repeatedly says and asks the same thing over and over again. I finally told him he may not be ready to make this choice. Choosing WLS is definitely a life changing decision with lifetime commitment to vitamins, minerals, and other aspects of health. One must really make up one's mind to follow the rules after going through this. My surgery has been 15 months now and I am still doing great with no bad after effects or incidents. yet. I say yet, because I have read enough to know that things can happen a year or two out that are still related to the surgery. At the moment, and I am not complaining, my family doc wants me to get my calories up and the first few days I made a big press for that, I lost two more pounds after being stagnant for a month or so. I am wondering if I should get the shots in my knees again now that I am normal weight. Yes, you read that right, normal. I think I might ask the arthritis doc this summer what he thinks.