Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Coughing is Still my all-day Activity


I will be glad when this coughing stops. My ribs are sore, my nose is sore, and my throat is very tired. My coughs sound as if they are coming from my toes. I really must be sick, sick as today my temper flared.

I went to the pharmacy to pick up some paperwork printed off by one of the technicians. I am still trying to recover a payment we made for the shots I got for blood clot prevention after my surgery. The hospital didn't give me my daily shot they day I went home, and they didn't let my doctor know in time to fax the request to my insurance. Well it cost us $300 that night instead of our $5 or $10 copay.

I had to have the shots daily. I was at high risk of blood clots. I took these shots for 10 days to help prevent them. We had no choice but to pay that night. Well the insurance hasn't refunded us our money and it has been since Nov 9, 2007. Because we had to pay with a credit card, we are also paying interest on the money every month.

The insurance shows...even after I provided original credit card receipts when I applied for the refund..that we only paid the copay. I decided to resubmit everything again.

We have called at least 4-5 times to the insurance company. Each time we have to go thru the whole situation to at least 3 or more people as we get transferred around thru departments. What a fun way to waste an afternoon. And after each phone call, we are told they will process the payment. We wait a month and call again.

In order to resubmit, I need the paperwork from the pharmacy. When I was there today, I was told that I would have to come back when the lady was working who printed out the info. I sat there for 20 minutes hacking and coughing for her to tell me that. Here I am already there, I know the papers are printed out already, and I can't get them. All that and I am sick on top of it and didn't feel like driving over there.

Well my temper flared. I didn't say much to her. Since I became a Christian, I have tried to control my temper. It used to flare easily and calm slowly if at all but that is not being a good Christian. That has been a hard road for me to conquer. But I have been doing a pretty good job of it until today. But since I "control" it, it hurts me worse than anyone else with raised blood pressure and general irritability.

Tomorrow I will once again drive to the pharmacy, wait in line while I hack and cough, and infect all in line with my cold just to collect paperwork I shouldn't have to need in the first place. And another day has passed with no refund in sight.

Oh how I yearn for the customer service of yesteryear. When the customer was always right even if they were wrong. And we smiled and "made nice" even if the customer was not happy. We were there to represent our place of business and how the business was perceived was all important. I am sure glad that I learned that at 19 years old on my first job. It made me a better person and a more polite person, and I learned to handle situations with wisdom beyond my years. I was working for a bank. Their customers expected good service, and we were expected to give it.

Here is what I did today for the scavenger hunt. Tomorrow is the last day of this hunt. A new list will post tomorrow. I finally finished one list after a "way too long" dry spell. Now I am on a roll.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I need more Kleenex or Blow, blow, blow, cough, cough, cough.

No artwork being done here. Just suffering from this dratted cold I caught. Can't put a pencil in my hand for the kleenex in both hands and the hacking cough.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Masters postcard/ATC exchange

I finally worked on another of the Master's exchange items. I still have 8 or 9 to do. I finished one, and it is ready to be on its way to England. I will mail it tomorrow. I don't know if she checks my blog so will wait to post it here until she receives it.

The ones I had done before were fairly easy for me. This one was harder. Maybe because I had gotten away from the project. I did a second one today also and did not like it at all. It won't be mailed. I think it is my first that I totally won't mail. A couple were iffy but finally came around. This one won't. No hope for that. And I really liked the original painting.

I have a summer chest cold. It went directly to my chest. I am coughing like I'm about dead. Really hard and deep coughs. I will call the doctor tomorrow and see if I can get an inhaler. The last cold I had was in Jan 2007, and it was in my chest. Was so bad I had it a month and had to get an inhaler to get rid of it. I can hear myself breath and that grosses me out so I keep clearing my throat all night. The cough and a runny nose is just about all my symptoms at the present time. I hope it stays that way. At least I can still function and haven't had to go to bed.

Well it is just about the time of night that I finally drag myself to bed. I don't have a clue why I fight it so hard. I never have liked going to bed before the wee hours.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

An Afternoon with Mom







I spent the afternoon at my moms today visiting and taking photos. She has her tomatoes really looking good. Lots of flowers in bloom. You can click on the photos to see a larger view.

I needed a body of water in a landscape for the scavenger hunt, so sat and sketched her fish pond. The fish counted as a living creature. Then I sketched her hand and forearm, the back of her head, and a flower. That helped with getting more of the scavenger hunt items done.

We have already had 3 new people join in just this week in the scavenger hunts. I really like it when we get new people. It gives us old timers a fresh look. Plus it gives the newbies a nice cheering team. And everyone wins with improvement in their sketching.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Scavenger Hunt


We are on Scavenger Hunt #83. Wow 83. Here are a couple that I did for this hunt which started today.

Monday, April 21, 2008

WDE


I participated in the WDE this week. It was Mithila's photos. The one I did was of her friend.

I won't be going with the plein air group this week. I started therapy again for my knee. I have an appt on Wednesday. For the future ones, I will make them for days other than Wed but this week, I am being squeezed in.

At therapy today, I had a nice surprise. The work I had done at home since the last therapy session maybe a couple months ago, was apparent. I was able to ride the recumbent bike all the way around on the wheel. Before I had to go back and forth because I didn't have enough bend. I was so excited, and felt like a real person again.

Funny how your feelings about yourself can be altered so severely. I have been through surgeries before and didn't have any problems with them. This one was different. And because I didn't expect problems, they took the wind out of my sails. It was a hard recovery and I am so glad it is over. When asked about my pain level, they seem surprised I have none. At least not in my knee. But my ankle is another story. That will never be better. That I have to live with. But at least I can now say, I am glad I had the knee replacement. For awhile there, it was iffy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Project on WC





I signed up for a new ATC project called Spring Fling on WC. It should be fun. Especially as I have taken so many flower pictures lately. And I will probably visit my mom next week to get photos of flowers at her place again next Wednesday. I won't be going with the art group and that will give me an outing.

Here are some photos of the Wind Wolves Preserve. We parked just outside the area where we would have had to have an escort to and from. That uses up too much time. You can walk or hike just about anywhere, but they want to make sure you don't drive where you aren't allowed. So I gave my aching ankle a terrible workout yesterday. In the photo of the mountains, you will notice the little patches of snow still on top even tho I was standing in the hot sun with a breeze blowing. It was very warm in the sun and pretty chilly in the shade when the wind blew. You can click the photos to see larger versions.

Today I went to Aaron Bros and purchased mats and frames for the two pictures I did of Patriotic Art. Purchasing those items gives me the ouch feeling. I have about a week to see if I can get another one finished.

Way too much walking in the last two days. I am on a single crutch tonight. I will have to take it easy for the next couple of days. Oh well I guess the housework (and dishes) will just have to wait.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Patriotic

I started my second Patriotic piece today. I have been working on it off and on most of the day. It is in the style of Andrea Joseph.

I haven't put in a background yet but am thinking of using a patriotic quilt block. I have one in applique that I have made with a blue square with red, white, and blue hearts appliqued on. Some of the fabrics have stars, some have stripes, some solid. I really like the block. It will make the piece look busy, but I think I can pull it off.

I want to wait to post the patriotic art I have been doing, but it is so hard for me to wait. The first piece I did email a photo to a few close friends. All of them seemed to like it. I have just emailed to the same people what I have so far on this one. Waiting for their feedback. Of course with it not finished, and just my hint at what the background will be, everyone won't be able to see the finished product that is in my head.

Freebie in Colored Pencil


Joe in the scavenger hunt thread asked when I was going to do a picture of Freebie. Well I did it tonight. It is colored pencil and done from the photo I posted in the last post.

I finished another picture this weekend. One for the Patriotic competition and show at our local art association (BAA). I hope to have 3 pictures finished before the deadline. One down and two to go. I probably won't post those until they are juried. The one I finished is colored pencil and is 9x12. Hopefully I will find a frame and mat for it on Tues.

Wednesday we will try for Wind Wolves again for out plein-air outing. The weather is supposed to be ok. It may be a little chilly but we will take jackets.

Our weather is fast becoming summer hot. Hubby will get our cooler serviced next weekend. Today and yesterday (especially in the evening) it was "sweating" hot. Cooler outside than inside. As I write, I am sitting in front of a fan that is on high. And summer begins.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Freebie


We have a new addition to our family. A parakeet passed to us from a family member. His name is Freebie. Hubby came home tonight from work and asked how Freebie was doing. So his name just happened and we like it.

Pioneer Jail


On Wednesday at the museum, I did a pen sketch of the doctor's office in one of the pictures below. And with pen, no erasing, so my sketch didn't turn out very good. Well it's not bad, but not good. Make sense?

I also did a pen sketch of the back side of the little pioneer jail and a tree. It turned out better. I started adding a touch of color with watercolor pencil and water brush. And that grew into a lot of color. And it is still not finished. I have started adding some dry colored pencil to give it some better texture. Some parts have that and some don't. It was overcast part of the time so not too good for getting a good sky. But we were out there doing some art and creating.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Kern County Museum








Today our plein air group went to the Kern County Museum formerly Pioneer Village. It is many acres with streets and old houses that moved from various places in Bakersfield and refurbished. www.kcmuseum.org
I sat on a bench on the porch of the Wells Fargo building and sketched the Doctor's Office. That didn't turn out too good, so I moved on to the backside of the jail.
The grounds have some really huge and beautiful trees. I love the white-trunked trees. I love the formations they make with their limbs and the huge bases of them.
Only 3 of us made the outing but we had a good time. Confusion about where we would be today I think caused less attendance. The plans changed twice because of the cooler weather and expected wind. It was windy. As I sat sketching, a very brisk breeze kept freezing me. Yet when I got into my car to leave, I had to run the AC.
Here are some of the photos I took. Poppies, a beautiful rose, several of the buildings, and the bottles inside the drug store. Click on the photos for a larger view.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sketching


I spent some relaxing time in the sun today while the dog waited for 5 o'clock feeding time. It was nice and warm without being hot with a very slight breeze. Just right for sitting and sketching. I worked on 3 pages of scavenger hunt items for Hunt #81.

After I came inside and had dinner ready, I sat at my desk and did a colored pencil of a robin from the RIL at Wetcanvas provided by ceiliog. Great reference photo. The bird has attitude. That is a selling point for me when searching for something to draw. I will mat and frame.

Peas in a Pod


A friend needed a drawing of peas in a pod. She has twins and wanted to put their faces on two peas. Here is the quick colored pencil drawing that I came up with.

I have been thinking of doing a series of fruits and vegetables. Maybe I will section off a page with squares and do one a day. Try to do a very detailed drawing of each.

In one of the exchanges at Wetcanvas, one lady did fruit. She did very simple but detailed drawings in color. I especially liked the blueberries and avocado she did, but all of them were very nice.

Another series in an exchange I found very pretty and interesting was the cacti. Each was a different variety and each was a cute little version of each one. Sometimes with a background. They made very nice postcards. I think each one would have been very nice framed. Or grouped in a multi frame.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mixed Blessing

People who know me, know I was unable to have children. That time in my life was very stressful, in fact there are parts of time that I have no memory of. I was in depression (about 1 1/2 years) and for a short time non functional. You never really get over it, but it does get better with time.
I didn't like not having an answer as to "why me?" I was always wondering why we were not given the opportunity to show how much we loved children and how wonderful we would have been as parents. I finally found an answer in a spiritual book that I could live with. After reading that, it made perfect sense to me.
I write poetry. At least I did. Haven't written anything for a couple years now. I have my poetry interspersed here on this blog, plus on two other sites. Both are listed in my links. Crossway Publications an online site and Sondra Ball's site.
This month Sondra asked to use my poem on her monthly newsletter. She has used many of my poems before, and this time it is the one called "Mixed Blessing" that I wrote about my path and discovery thru that journey. The short version of what I went thru. Here is where you can read my poem and some other wonderful poems: http://www.sondra.net/al/

Battle Scars

My lab Penny was having what my hubby and I call a running fit. It is a surge of energy that just has to be let out by running back and forth thru the house at full out speed. She does this at least once a day. I encourage it even tho it causes the bed to get unmade, and anything in the line of fire may get injured at any moment. But to keep something that strong and powerful bottled up...well you never know how it will otherwise surface.
Well tonight left on the battlefield was my sewing machine. I had just taken it out and set it up so that I can do some mending and sewing. I never expected it to get airborne. And what a trip it did take. Landed about 3-4 feet away with a giant thud.
I took the sewing machine apart last night and couldn't fix it. The part that goes up and down, now hits a roadblock. So today I go looking for a new one. Not my idea of a great day ahead at Costco, but we are in need of staples in the food department, and I need the sewing machine.
It never fails when one thing breaks, along comes other things in the house. My mouse bit the dust last night too. I changed the batteries but still no go. I had to swipe the mouse from the other computer. And today I buy a new one.
Do you think household items get together at night and decide it is time to cause some havoc? When I had my motorcycle accident and was in a hospital bed for 3 1/2 months, our 24 yr old refrigerator decided to quit. Luckily we had just sold my motorcycle so had part of the payment for the fridge. I thought that was a good trade. Bone-breaking motorcycle for a good fridge.
Well it is time to stop procrastinating and get moving so that I can join the endless stream of wanderers at Costco.