Friday, March 31, 2017

My least favorite color is green.

Mom has been back home for a while now.
She hasn't gotten any worse, although she can make some understandable words now.

This week we talked to the oncologist, Mom, and the family.
Mom still wants treatment.

The latest chemo medicine might take weeks before we see results.

We all decided we would try radiation, which has all kinds of side effects.
We had put it off until now, but now we have run out of options.

Everything is just a mess of appointments...

I found some time to visit the painter earlier this week.

He said he had ordered the paint, but he wanted me to check it out first before painting the car.

I am not unhappy about the delay!
In fact I am grateful that he can store my car, while working on his regular business.

He opened a can of paint and it was green!

He said "this is the factory color this car was, plus you said you wanted it one shade darker."

It was just great!

I showed him pictures of the original car.

This was the car I had for 15 years, that I wrecked (almost exactly 2 years ago.)
It looked black from some angles, but in fact it was a metallic, changeful green.

I bumped up the saturation on this old photo so you can see that it was in fact, green:

(Why aren't my rims that shiny anymore?)

At one point, the paint began to fall off, and I took it to a One Day Paint And Body.

Although I picked out the color from a book of samples, it ended up "Army green!" or "Waste Management Green."

All my car club friends made fun of me for years.
The shop made a good job of it, though, aside from the color, so I didn't ask for a refund.
They are out of business now, anyway.

I brought the sample stick home and when it dried it was super dark!

I don't have many pictures of that old green car, after it had been repainted.

I have many parts left over, all over my backyard, like this headlight cover.
As you can see, it is the color of garbage cans all over the world:

In direct light the color on the stick looks only slightly darker.
But this new paint has the right kind of changeful sheen.

I can't wait. The color was the only thing I had my doubts about.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mom was in the hospital this week.

Mom's brain tumor(s) continue to grow, and she had swelling on the brain.

She lost a lot of function on the left side including chewing and swallowing.
We took her to the ER on Weds. morning, basically because we could no longer give her any medicine.

Luckily she got a room and a bed in the ER right away.

I saw many sick people who had to sit in chairs the hallway to get treated.
I heard from the nurses that ER's are like this all over the place, and even worse in LA.
According to them, in LA you have to sit in the waiting room for 24 hours before anyone even sees you, and in other hospitals there is only one doctor in the whole ER.

We were in the ER from about 8 am Weds until about 1 am Friday.

I used to take care of mom's brother, who had heart failure and no immediate family.
He was hospitalized often, and the long stay in the ER was not a surprise.

Staying in the ER was kind of interesting, since most of the drama was with everyone else.
OD's and stabbing victims with their police escorts, and Very Loud people who want a place to sleep but refuse treatment, and a few old people with heart attacks and strokes, and more OD's.

Apparently, Pot isn't as "edible" as advertised.

They gave mom fluids, and steroids to help her brain swelling.
She got a nice room in the Neuro part of the hospital for a short while.
Although she still can't talk right, and needs to eat puree now, she was deemed ready to go home.

We will postpone her new chemo (which she took for a few days last week) for about a week, meanwhile she qualifies for more hospice care now that she can do less for herself.

I didn't draw anything or make jewelry, not since whenever.

I was glad the guy painting the green car didn't call me all week...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mom, yesterday

This week I went through photo albums and boxes looking for pictures of Mom.
I started scanning them in to my computer...

I'm working on a memorial.

Here's Mom at the office, sometime between 2005 and 2012.

I know it seems a little cold- to start working on a memorial, without knowing the results of the latest chemo.
My boss was shocked when I told her!
And I'm sure my family might not like to have family pictures, online.

But I'm just glad to have had so much time with her, and be able to do this now...

She has such a great personality and I hope to share that with people, through her photos.

With my art background, I'd be ashamed not to do a proper memorial, when the time comes, and there are a lot of photos!

The pictures I scanned this week were the ones that were most accessible.

I didn't get into any of the really old photo albums, like of her childhood, yet.

Here's mom and dad, and my godparents. Late 70's or early 80's.

(I saved that 70's lamp back there, it has awesome amber glass, and it holds my hats and purses.)

My dad has family in Ohio, and my sister moved to Kansas after high school.

This was taken somewhere in the Midwest, in the early 80's.
Me and my brother, Mom and dad, and her mother.

Grandma died in 1989 and we were really close!

At work, I meet people all the time, who don't even know what happened to their loved ones in Mexico.
People who just disappear.
Or, the person's family is unable to travel to the funeral, due to issues with their VISA.

I'm just altogether grateful...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Just a quick update

This week has been especially difficult.
Mom was approved for the new chemo treatment, which she started on Thursday.
However, she has been extremely weak all week.
We have to spoon-feed her now, because she can't hold her utensils anymore.

I did get a day off to get the fuel pump fixed on the Red car.
It runs great, now.

I visited the painter too, and the green car is covered with white primer.
He said he would paint it very soon.

Monday, March 13, 2017


Morale has been pretty low at home lately.
We still don't know the status of Mom's cancer, or whether or not she will get the chemo.
We have an appointment on Thursday.

In the mean time I have been working in my garden.

I pulled weeds and replaced them with rocks, around the fish pond.



I had done this a few years ago, but the rocks had become buried over time.
I added a 3 square foot bag of "pond pebbles."

The larger rocks (collected at parks, beach, etc.) help to discourage the dogs from trampling the plants.

I was scared of spiders so I didn't get to the center of the plants...

On the other side of the pond was a large overgrown fern. And grass.
I don't have "before" pictures, but it was hanging into the water.

It was hard to get to, so I put a patio chair in the middle of the pond.
That way I could dig in the plants without leaning on them (and have bugs crawl on me)

When I got up, the cat had to inspect my work:

I added another 3 sq ft bag of rocks, and it covered some of the back side, too.

Another thing I did this week put a trellis for some jasmine to climb up over the statue:

Dad made a nice arch many decades ago, but it fell apart over time.

I found this cheap trellis for $15, and added some wood stain to make it look nicer.

I need a third piece to go across the top.
It looks kinda flimsy...
I didn't want to buy a really fancy arch until I saw what it looked like.

Maybe I will use these for my tomatoes, and buy something else...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Two steps back.

Today, we were all set to start Mom's chemo with the new drug.
Unfortunately we got some bad news.
Her platelets were low, so we couldn't start the treatment today.

I thought maybe it had to do with lack of eating or lack of blood (they take a lot of samples every week) but her oncologist said she isn't anemic, and everything else is OK.

She's either fighting off a virus or there is something going on in the bone marrow.

We are going to do more tests.

At the same time, we saw her latest MRI.
Although the tumor hasn't grown in the past few weeks, there seems to be a bunch of new spots!

It isn't looking good, but we are still hopeful.

Yesterday I made a bracelet and earrings.

My sister sent a package in the mail.
It was a set of watercolors and a brush and a pad of watercolor paper!

I figured it was for Mom, because she likes to color in her coloring book.
But my sister said it is for me...

I guess she has ESP, or maybe she follows my blog.
It's been too long, so I decided to do some watercolors of flowers today.

I've been working on my garden lately but I didn't see anything good for cutting.

I picked a bit of orange blossoms, and some flowers from Mom's latest "get well bouquet."

It has been a really long time since I have drawn some flowers.
I used a watercolor pencil to sketch it out:

Then some watercolors (I had these already in a dish from some tubes)

I added more watercolor pencil to the background.

This is what I ended up with:

It doesn't feel finished, but it's way more drawing than I've done in many months!

I'm still using the same cheap sketchbook, since August, but it's finally almost done.
I'm looking forward to my new sketchbook with some better paper.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

This past week wasn't as bad as I imagined.

If I don't blog, does that mean nothing good happened all week?
I thought so, but when I looked in my phone I found some interesting stuff after all.

On Monday I noticed that all of my caterpillars were gone.
They didn't turn into cocoons, either...
Some of them were on the ground, dead.
Maybe a bird tried to eat them, or maybe the plant came with some kind of pesticide on it from the store.

Later, I found one tiny caterpillar alive.

I bought four square seat cushions at Daiso the other day, and put them on a bench outside.
They fit perfectly!

I sewed them together so the dog doesn't drag them away and chew them up.

The hanging baskets I made last Memorial day needed replanting, so I bought plants and did that.

I found four matching hanging baskets at the Dollar Tree, but I don't like the bright, white twine they use to hang it with.

This week, I was also busy helping a fund raising committee at our church.
I didn't volunteer at all, but somehow I am now on the committee.
I was given a list and had to call 70 parishioners this week, and invite them to church.

Also, Ash Wednesday happened.

We had over twenty services at the church (one every hour in two buildings) and also delivered ministers with ashes to ten neighborhoods.
I didn't take pictures, but the light-saber vendors were there.

I was also busy with Mom's appointments.
She was supposed to get an MRI yesterday, to begin her next chemo treatment.
The machine broke down so we had to go back home!
Another delay.

This tutorial about making a dragon's eye ornament came up on my You Tube recommendations.

I happen to have all kinds of nail polish, and glass cabochons too.

You paint layers of nail polish on the back side, and make an eye.
Here is the pupil.
I was trying to make it look like a crocodile eye. They have a funny looking pupil.

I realized I don't own any truly black nail polish anymore. That's sad!

You paint a few layers of polish, and scratch into it with a pointy tool.

Kind of like drawing on scratch board.

Here's the finished result: