Monday, November 22, 2010

Favorite Tikis (so far)

This is one of the "Boners" I've been talking about. What did you THINK I was talking about?
Now, this "nose-ringer"....well, first of all, he's GREEN and PURPLE, my favorite color combination.
Not sure WHAT to call this type. Sorta looks "alien-esque"...and sorta like a carrot. ....and looks like he had some bad acne back in high school. I dunno...."pock-face alien carrot-boy"? PAC for short?
This is one of those shapes I like. And again, the purple / green combo. Although, these are the light green eyes. The camera flash really makes 'em glow! Like he's putting a HEX on you!!!

You are getting SLEEEEEEPPPPPPYYYYY!This one is my favorite, so far. I LOVE the shape. And I like the color....not pure red, but I'm not exactly sure what I added to it. Maybe gold? Red Sculpey Clay is the hardest one to knead, for some reason....or maybe the brick of clay I had was old or got too warm (sorta half-baked)? The pearlized colors are really soft (almost TOO soft), so they're nice to add to the Red...makes it easier to work with and it gives it that iridescent look. I also like the little holes poked in it around the edges. It reminds me of a (rich, corinthian) leather chair with those fancy tacks around the edges... Well........back to work!

Time for ART!

So, anyway. It's getting cold and time to hang up the yaks and maybe even the bikes for the year. It's TIME FOR ART!

And I've been on a roll! After I made that first Tiki head, that was it....I've been at it for the last few weeks. I did have a bad start though. Seems my oven is off by about 15 degrees. When I set it to 275, it's actually more like 300....doesn't seem like much, right? Well, it's just enough that the first batch I made (about 10 of them)....the eyes sorta boiled out of their heads! About 8 hours of work down the drain! (Dang! Shoulda saved one so I could post a picture of it....if I find one, I will.)

Since then, I've got an oven thermometer hanging off the rack and they've been coming out great! I've been trying my hand at making "boners" again. They're hard to make for some reason, but have a few nice ones.

Well, it stopped RAINING out, so maybe I should bring a batch of them to The Flying Pig.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Well, this summer I've certainly gotten out there to see everything I can WHILE I can. And it seems this summer kayaking has even overtaken biking....hard to believe!

In early summer I joined this club, the Fox Valley Yakkers. It's a site where kayakers can post kayaking ideas and then host a paddle, and everybody in the club is invited to join. I started out slow, but eventually, met more and more people. It's a great bunch of folks....I mean, we're Kayakers....what else would you expect? I've learned of some new great places to go: The Wolf River, WI River, Caldron Falls Flowage, Oconto River....all beautiful places, and this fall, to see the colors of the trees from the perspective of a river...soooo pretty!

I still want to get out when there's snow on the banks. I want to have a picture of that. There's a little place in Waupaca that I go to and have pictures of the same spot in Spring, Summer and Fall.....I really want that Winter picture!

Kayak season is coming to an end, and I guess that's good in a way. I haven't gotten ANY art work done this summer at all....every nice day off was spent out on the water or on my bike. Or catching up on sleep and housework. Hopefully, I'll get some art work done now that it's getting colder outside! I actually made a Tiki head for a necklace last night.....first one in a long, LONG time! The Flying Pig is running low on them so I've got to get in production mode. Now's the time. Maybe some sewing, too, since that'll be something I won't be able to do at all when/if my vision goes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

yak yak here and a yak yak there

I've not updated this for such a long time. I've been out kayaking. A LOT! 14 times this year, which is more than I've kayaked in probably 3 years put together in the past. I joined this Meetup club....Fox Valley Yakkers, and have met lots of new people to go kayaking with, AND now know of lots of new lakes and rivers to kayak on that I might never have tried on my own. It's hard to find someone who is a kayaker that isn't a good person, and is out there for the same reasons I am. My last kayaking trips have been on the Wolf River. Beautiful river!

As for my eyes, I JUST went in for my first checkup after my series of three injections. They put antibiotics in my eye (JUST IN CASE I would hafta get another injection), dialated my eyes and checked 'em out. NO INJECTION!!!!! YAY! Looks like the leak has gone down enough or has disappeared (you know....I didn't even ask!), but if there would've been some leak left underneath my retina I would've had to have another one, so it must be gone. Now I hafta go in in 5 weeks and see how it is. If there's no leak, I can start to stretch my appointments out to maybe 3 months apart, and then at the next appointment, if there's STILL no leak, can stretch them out even further, 6 months, then a year apart.

They still had to dialate that eye though, so in the picture, the eye with the HUGE pupil is my "bad" eye, the other one is my good eye. I sorta like the looks of my BAD eye with the big pupil better.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So, today I got my third injection! Last time it was too painful to even talk about. This time, not so bad. I had them put EXTRA numbing drops in my eye 'cause the last time HURT LIKE A MOTHER! I told the doctor that I almost cancelled; I couldn't go through that again... Anyway, they put extra "candycaine" in my eye, and when he injected it, I DIDN'T EVEN FEEL IT!!! Right now, 5 hrs later, it stings everytime I blink....that's because of the I think I'll lay down and close my eyes.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Blind artist, Allan Eddy....

So much for the "pic o' the Day", eh? That's the way I am....I have some ideas, but never really put them to use.

So, last night I was sitting around, feeling sorry for myself, and decided to check the internet for other blind artists. I KNOW I read somewhere about some famous (dead) artist who went blind before he died, and still painted, but all his paintings in that era were dark brown/blue....(if anyone knows who this was, please tell me! It's driving me nuts!)

Anyway, I searched for blind artists, and found an amazing artist...Allan Eddy. Here's his link. I LOVE his paintings....especially the pointillism! There's even a video where it shows what exactly he can see out of his eye....sort of an upside down "U" shape of vision....when he paints, he can't even see his hand. Amazing! And what's even more amazing is his attitude. No pity-parties for him!

This gives me some hope although it doesn't totally clear up my fear of what's to come. Next week I will get my second injection, but this time with a different with an EXCELLENT bedside manner. I'm looking forward to meeting him and asking questions. (I felt uncomfortable asking the first doctor anything after a few questions....he was very short with me...never smiled...never even introduced himself or shook my hand)

More to come...

Friday, May 21, 2010

the Amsler Grid

This is a pretty LAME pic o' the day. It's the Amsler Grid....something I'm supposed to look at every day, with one eye covered, from a distance of about 14 inches away. I'm supposed to stare at the dot in the middle, and peripherally, the lines should be straight up and down, and horizontal. If they look all bent, like a fun-house mirror might make them look, I'm supposed to call the retinologist immediately. If they're all curvy looking, it would most likely mean that I "sprung a leak"....and those abnormal blood vessels under my retina are leaking, causing the retina to bulge....causing the vision distortion. EVERYTHING you always wanted to know....

Pic o' the day.....

So.....I'm not too good at keeping up with this blog thang, am I?

To "fix" this problem, I've decided to post a "pic-o'-the-day"....just some random picture I hafta take every day (for a month). This'll 1.) make me use my camera more and 2.) make me post stuff on my blog more.....or at least, for a month.

It's WAY easier than, say, making a piece of art every day, like I've heard some artists do... and since I'm pretty much LAZY, this is the route I'm going to take for now. Maybe someday, someone will challenge me to do the ART thang.....

What does this hafta do with my vision? Nothing and everything, I guess. I mean, I can only take pictures if I can see....same for the art. Gotta do it while I can! And even when/if I should lose my central vision, who says I can't still make some sort of art???? I might not get to do little, detailed stuff (that I LOVE), but who's to say I can't still paint? I can't draw worth a damn, so my paintings have always been sorta abstract blobs of color anyway....I certainly should be able to still do that......and I'm guessing, if I'm losing my vision, the price of my artwork could triple!!!!!!! Ha ha. I could finally be a mil....uh, a THOUSANDAIRRE!!! Why wait till I'm dead for my artwork to become priceless, like all those other artists???

Ok, so I'm a little full of myself. But I'm in a positive mood.....a little too positive maybe, but positive nonetheless.....

Sometimes I wonder if I might not be a little bi-polar, too. Hmmmm....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

So good.

So....I've had no problems with my eye/eyes since my injection. So far, so good.

My CAR, on the other hand, is having its OWN medical problems....mostly in the brakes. The mechanic said that something (can't remember....brakeline hose?) was so cracked and corroded that all four of my brakes could've failed at the same time. There were some other things, too, but I forget....when mechanics start spewing car talk, my eyes sorta glaze over. The tone sounded serious and important, though. I'm waiting for the call with the ball park figure.

The GOOD news is that yesterday, while cleaning out a closet, I found $130 in a purse! Yay! I must've switched purses, and forgot to take the envelope of money out of the old purse? (Ay caramba! Might need to add another medical condition to the growing list! Ha ha.)

All in all, things are good.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Too pretty to waste

My eyes feel good. Still a little red spot on the one that got injected, but no pain, no scratchy feeling.

I figure, if I AM going to lose my sight eventually, I'd better get out and see and do all I can while I can. (even if I don't ever lose my sight, I should live my life this way) Today was a perfect day...I decided to celebrate and take the kayak out and look at the spring green colors out there. For my first time this year, I decided to stay close to home and went on the East River for a three hour tour......a three hour tour.... It was nice to be on the water again. Some guys fishing near the boat launch even pulled my yak out enough where I didn't have to step in the muck at the edge. A good day.

It seems now that I've started talking about this M.D. thang, everybody and their Grandma seem to have it, and the news doesn't seem to be quite as dire as I first thought it might be. One of my brother's co-workers said she had the same stuff injected for HER eye problem, and it seems to have worked. She hasn't had any shots for a year now and only hasta go in yearly for a checkup.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stick a needle in my eye..., I got an injection of Avastin in my eye. They put some antibiotic drops in my eye, dialated it, put numbing drops in my eye a few times (lidocaine), washed my eye with betadyne (stings a little), then put this wire contraption in my eye to hold my eyelids open. Then the doctor put a q-tip in some lidocaine, held it on my eyeball for a second, said "you might feel a little pressure", which I did, but it really wasn't too eyes did try to blink around that contraption though... Now, 7 hours later, my eye feels like there's sand in it, but that's from the betadyne, they told me. The feeling should go away by morning.

I never realized how crooked my eyebrow is. Hmmmm.

Oh, the cost of the drug? $67 The cost for the doctor to inject it? $2,300. I don't care. I just hope it works. The doctor said I will probably hafta have 2 more injections, (every 6 weeks) then as needed. I'm guessing they'll take another angiogram to check out the progress.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blind artist?

Macular Degeneration. Two ugly words.

I recently found out that I have it, and that I will, eventually, lose my central vision. I have since looked at a few books from the library, and posts on-line, saying that I WILL NOT BE BLIND, that I will still have my "peripheral" vision. Well, screw that! It's still blind to me!

I guess right now, I'm in "pissed-off" mode. It's either that or the "crying-mode" or the all time favorite...."scared-shitless" mode.

I don't know if this'll help anyone else, but maybe it'll help me. I want to at least write this down so I can remember things down the road.

Maybe 4 or 5 months ago, I started having a problem reading...couldn't focus on the words. I thought it was because I had switched glasses; I had two pair of the same perscription, but had worn only one of them till I stripped the little screw in the bow and started wearing the other ones. I thought maybe my vision was funny because the new ones maybe sat on my nose differently, altering the angle of my glasses and/or thought maybe I just needed some stronger bifocals. About a month ago, it really started bothering me, things seemed a little dimmer, and I started seeing flashes of light, especially when I blinked my eyes. I made an appointment with my eye doctor. She said she saw some bumpy stuff on my retina which COULD be the start of macular degeneration and referred me to an ophthalmologist; said I should at least have a "baseline" test to compare future tests to. She didn't seem too worried about it, and because she said I should just get this baseline test, I wasn't either.

I went to the ophthalmologist. He dialated my eyes (a freaky thing) and took some extensive tests with bright, bright lights. He said this wasn't too bad, and that wasn't too bad, but there were some little white things in there, and what looked like maybe a blister on my retina, which COULD be the start of macular degeneration, but he didn't sound too worried about it either. He referred me to a retinologist to do even more extensive testing.

I went to the retinologist's office and had my eyes dialated again and this time had a fluorescein angiography, in which a dye was injected into my arm and then pictures were taken of my eyes every ten seconds while the dye was going thru the blood vessels in my eyes. Apparently that told the story. The doctor told me I do, indeed, have it. I have the "dry" macular degeneration in my left eye, and "wet" M.D. in the right. The dry kind is better....still no cure for it, but I will lose my central vision "gradually". The WET kind means there are some abnormal blood vessels underneath my retina that are leaking. Mine is very tiny, but if it were a big bleed, vision loss would be sudden and severe. So.....I have an appointment for tomorrow, to have an injection in my eye! Yikes! He's going to inject a very expensive drug into my eye, which will dissolve the leak, or the blood vessels or something (sorry, I had so much info coming at me, I couldn't retain it all)....anyway, if this injection works, the WET M.D. could go back to the DRY form, giving me some more time.

Time is another thing I'm really not too sure about. What "gradual" central vision loss means exactly....months? Years? DECADES Hopefully??? I'm hoping it'll be long enough where maybe someone will come up with a new treatment that cures it...or at least stops it where it's at.

So, tomorrow I turn 52, and while some people would say they'd rather have a needle stuck into their eye than turn another year older....I'd gladly take the year older part WITHOUT the needle, thanks.

More fun to come!!!