Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Sep 25, 2008


Well, maybe adventure isn't quite the right word....have just had an appendectomy! It all happened so fast I'm still trying to process it. Woke up at 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning with abdominal pain that felt odd -- not bad at first, but different from any tummy pains I've had in the past. As it worsened and coalesced on the lower right, I just knew it could very likely be appendicitis.

So by 9 a.m. I was filling out papers in the ER.

Good thing, too. It was early enough that some of the typical symptoms (fever, nausea, high white cell count ) weren't present. The pain got worse and worse though, and my temperature did start to rise. After ruling out other possibilities, I had a CAT scan and within an hour of that I was headed for surgery. Good-bye appendix!

One sort of funny thing - I had an appointment that afternoon with Stephanie, for a regular foot reflexology massage. Stephanie is also a doula. As I was drinking the first of 6 massive cups of contrast solution for the CAT scan (a drinking binge that stretches out over 3 hours), I called Stephanie to cancel my appointment. I jokingly said it would be nice if she could be my appendix doula.

As I was starting on Cup #3, Stephanie arrived in my ER cubicle and proceeded to massage my feet for the duration, and bless her heart, she stepped right in and acted as an advocate, asked questions I was too anxious (and possibly too medicated) to think of asking. Paul arrived shortly after Stephanie did and I think he appreciated her presence as well. And one of the nurses asked for her card.

I spent a night in the hospital and came home around noon today. All in all, I am doing very well, though have little stamina and find myself quite easily exhausted.

So for now, the Joyful Juggler has to put down the balls and rest awhile.

Sep 15, 2008

Linda, Donna - I'm here!

I'm so sorry to have worried faithful online friends with my long silence - forgive me, please!

I've been SO busy!

And I've been traveling in other centuries as I work on the fascinating treasure trove of family papers that were spared from the floodwaters of June. I try not to think about what was lost -- it seems ungrateful when so much great stuff was saved. Letters and documents and photographs -- some with significant historical value and all with a social history value (never mind the incredible sentimental value of hundreds of letters written by mother, dozens by my father...)
piled into small yellow plastic bags and stacked into boxes, all mixed together in a dizzying juxtaposition that can leap from 1840 to 1970 in the same bag!

I've been sorting them into zip-locks, then in sheet-protectors and filling notebook after notebook.

I'm slowly creating a family tree that allows me to organize and understand the papers in the context of the human lives that they represent and stories told to me by my grandmother and mother. I've also gotten in touch with relatives - my cousin Douglas in Alaska and my second cousin Ann right here in Indiana. A great gift of this project indeed.

In addition to the Family Papers project (which includes gathering together my mother's writing and completing the work on her poetry book) I'm juggling all these things:

1. serving on the Board of the Maple Center (and on two sub-committees of the Board)

2. chairing the planning committee for our second Maple Center workshop focused on healing loss through the arts (AND doing a writing session for that workshop AND doing an opening presentation)

3. organizing a booth for the Arts Fest, which will be about art and healing, to promote the workshop and other Maple Center activities (in addition to creating a display and some handouts, I'm committed to making 250 buttons that say "Art Heals" as a fundraising tool for the booth. That's loads of fun - I have the Badge-A-Minit primitive buttonmaker which requires one to stand to exert enough pressure to snap the parts together, so it's great exercise.)

4. Organizing and performing in a poetry reading in October.

5. Trying to walk and do Tai Chi as many days a week as I can.
And eat right....

6. Finally, my own creative pursuits -- not spending nearly enough time on them...but I am slowly getting my own writing together (I do NOT want my daughter having to do what I'm having to do to gather my mother's work) and getting my older work transcribed to the computer.

Knitting? Fiber arts? Sigh. I pick up a sock every now and then and do a row or two on the Socialist Sweater

(lovely, luscious Dream in Color in two different dyelots of Pansy Golightly) in a size to fit ME!

One of the most wonderful things about getting in touch with my cousin Ann is that she sent me a card with one of her paintings on it....and it couldn't have been more perfect. And yes, I meanted to post it here twice - I love it so much!

It's called "The Juggler", but I think of her as the Joyful Juggler, and she is my stress-relieving image. I invoke her when I start to feel overwhelmed at all that I've taken on recently and she's got amazing magical powers to calm me, to fill me with the feeling that yes, indeedy I can keep all those balls in the air and a big grand smile on my face and joy in my heart!!

Cousin Ann is Ann Farnsley and her website is here.
(Thank you X1,000,000, Ann!!)

And's 4:50 and I have to get my show on the road for a 5:30 meeting. I wrote this so fast, I'm sure there's all kinds of errors, etc. But I really did want to check in and let folks know I'm okay!!