Tag Archives: tree

Working things out with paint

Last week I went into my studio with certain things on my mind.  Usually when I pull out my paintbrushes I’m able to push those things aside and just be in the moment.  I thought I was accomplishing this quite well when I completed my last painting.  Until, that is, I realized I had just painted a self portrait – in the form of a tree:




At first it hadn’t occurred to me that that’s what I’d done.  In fact, I had no particular vision of what the end result would even look like.  I just knew as I progressed that this subject had faced turmoil. The end result shows a mature and weathered tree as opposed to one with lovely leaves and/or flowers to look at.  There is no new life springing forth from its branches, either – not that its beyond repair, but rather awaiting a sign from Mother Nature.

This tree is waiting for its new life to begin.   And so am I.


I’ve discussed my surgery enough on this blog.  You get the idea of how much I’ve struggled in my recovery; how difficult its been to see the forest through the trees (no pun intended).  What I’ve been too embarrassed to share until now is that even though I’m noticing small amounts of progress, I’m feeling less and less attractive.  Grateful for the colder months, I am taking comfort in knowing that I can hide my body; the swelling and bloating at my incision site is something I simply cannot stand to look at anymore.  I’ve started wearing scarves or turtlenecks all of the time as well.  Hiding my neck, of course, because of the cystic acne that’s become a problem since surgery.  If I keep this up, I’m going to be wrapped up like a mummy by Christmas.



Sometimes a girl just needs to to think positively about herself even though she doesn’t necessarily believe what she’s selling.  The quote I chose as a finishing touch to my painting depicts what I am trying to embrace about myself.   I can certainly use a bit of positive reinforcement right now.  And who knows; maybe when Springtime comes around and I’m forced to peel off all these layers I’ll paint this tree a second time, with tiny leaves and flower buds – just to make it pretty again.

Gratitude in Abundance


I am all about it, lately. 

I was with my mother yesterday as she went to see her surgeon about her recurring leg pain.  Despite the fact that she is physically healed from the horrific accident that almost ended her life, it is over two years later and she is in daily pain.  Yet, for my mother, she rarely complains about it.  It appears that removing the screws that are in her knee may just relieve some of the pain she’s experiencing, so as a family, we may be gearing up for another rally as Mom goes through her 4th surgery.  Luckily, this one will be minor and outpatient compared to the others, but surgery is still surgery and no one knows surgery better than she.  And I. 

In two days it will be 4 months since my own surgery and I have dedicated myself to writing a gratitude list every night before bed.  Some nights as I shift underneath my heating pad I don’t feel like being grateful – especially when ‘heating pad’ is one of the things I’m grateful for, but the more I write, the more grateful I become.  It’s true.  Habits form and it feels like the brain is slowly being rewired to see life differently. 

So, in these days of heating pads and ibuprofen, I cannot tell you how lifted I felt as I read from Teresa’s post that I was on her gratitude list – me!  (I know, right?)  What a beautiful thing to know that you are a presence in someone’s life.  She is certainly a presence in mine. 

You must know this about yourself.  There are people who look to you, believe in you, admire you, feel comforted by you and love you.  Yes, life gets in the way and words go unsaid, but they come when you least expect it and when they do, let me just say, it feeds the soul.   

Of course, to receive we must also give, so today I give my gratitude list to Teresa for her Monthly Gratitude Post instead of leaving it my personal journal:

1.  I am grateful for the fact that I feel my body working hard to recover from my surgery, and to know that soon, I will be in a much better, stronger place than ever before.

2.  I am particularly grateful to see nature in the form of compositions like this around my neighborhood:




3. I am grateful for this blog and for every single one of you who reads it. I realize that it has gone though a series of multiple personality changes over the past few months as I search for a new writing voice, but to those of you who’ve hung in for the long haul, I am beyond humbled.

4. I am grateful that my mother continues to provide the kind of example I want to live by. She carries on despite her pain, and tries to make the most of every single day.

5. I am particularly grateful for my husband, Craig. The unwavering support he’s given me as I attempt to start my own business and work from home has been amazing. His faith in me gives me faith in myself.


Speaking of gratefulness, I’m both grateful and excited for Laura at Laura Lives Life to have generously donated some of her blog space to host a giveaway with one of my art prints being the prize:



The giveaway is still going on by the way, and a winner will be announced on Friday, so head on over to Laura’s blog and if you like this particular print leave a comment so you can be in the running to win it! 


What are you grateful for today?