Sunday, February 27, 2011

Springfield and Seattle here I come :)

So this week I am combining two of my absolute favorite things: Art and Travel!!!! First I spend this weekend in Springfield, MO at the MAEA Art Conference. I stay with my cousin Ashley, thanks Ash! Thursday I go to two workshops, one on printmaking with clay and the other on plaster in the classroom. Friday's schedule is packed starting at 8 am with more art sessions and workshops, including a nude drawing session.....Yes! hahaha just like on tv, maybe it will be Will Ferrell style :) (Sat night live reference). Friday night I get to meet up with some old college galpals for dinner and for the First Friday artwalk. I cant wait! I def need these trips in March.

My second trip is two weeks later, the National Art Conference in Seattle. Much more of the same but with a thriving new experience and location. I am staying at the City Hostel Seattle which features murals and an art gallery within. It is also walking distance to the Space Needle and bus stop which will take me to all the local museums. The amount of art conference sessions just on the first day in Seattle is overwhelming. I have hundreds to choose from daily. I have a feeling these two conferences will boost my career in an unimaginable way. I will probably bring a million ideas home to my classroom and school Art department, and also to enliven my career. There is a small tinge of sadness when I think of all the ideas it will bring to my classroom; because the school admin refused to help assist in any way of the costs. Not even the two hundred dollar registration fee..... But I should not complain here, perhaps this is not the place. At the same time, I am never one to sit and smolder silently forever. I need explanation, information, and hope for the future; which I will find on my own if I have to :)

There should be tons of ideas, pictures, and great stories to come after these two great oppportunities....

Friday, February 18, 2011

sunny days

The world is warm, sunny, and full of opportunity - and I am at school dwelling on imperfections and complaining to a coworker. What a negative nancy right?? The truth is though, nothing is perfect, and sometimes things are unfair. This job has made me extremely happy and my solution is to tell myself that it will be different next year. Why? Because the things that are unfair must change and I have trust that they will. I also tell myself to not be a pushover, because sometimes its my own fault for not standing up for myself. All that said, I can not fix these things today or tomorrow or next week, I have to deal with it next year. Bleh, so thats why I complain......and then I feel worse.

Back to the sunny days! Tomorrow I am watching Olympic swimmers with Jessie and Katie! How cool is that?? Some other highlights right now are that I am going to Seattle for sure in a month. My flight and lodging are reserved. I absolutely can not wait to see this city! It is full of art, culture, museums, and sights. It is also full of thousands of fellow art teachers for the art conference. I looked at the list of sessions for the first day, probably over 200 sessions, and picked out about ten I would like.

Other thoughts, I wondered to myself the other day, Who knows the most about diet and nutrition and in an educated healthy sense? A dietitician or nutritionist! And I decided that I want to know what they know so I bought a book for beginners. I am learning about calories, grams, portions, etc. I dont want to read about any trends, just the basic nutrition facts that someone educated would know. Its helping me tons already. I have easily been able to pack lunches, resist junk food, and might know a little about what I am eating. refreshing! Eventually I might know as much about diet as I do about fitness.

More updates later .....

Monday, February 7, 2011

back in the game!

I am finally making art! I found my old college sketchbook from drawing class and was so inspired. In one day I reorganized my art supplies, did the fruit sketch, and began the "bedroom" painting. It feels great, and makes me want to do much more!

The fruit sketch was inspired after browsing my sketchbook and realizing that I wasnt a bad drawer after all. My portraits were especially surprising so now I want to draw Darrin (portrait means from the neck up by the way!). The bedroom painting was inspired by different fabrics and colors in the bedroom. It has been getting more eclectic in the bedroom and I think a painting might bring it all together and make things match more.

The painting is the most fulfilling - I even bought 20 dollars worth of painting supplies to finish it. Now that school is back in session I just have to paint in the evenings....bummer. Take a look at the pics I will post more in the future.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

herbal remedies

So if you have known me very well for the past five years, you will know of a couple times that I have been in the hospital. The first hospitalization was definitely the most severe. In the summer of 2008 I noticed a "lump" in my abdomen. Yes I ignored that lump too, because it did not hurt, because I naively throught it would just go away, and because I was uninsured. I will come back to the "lump" story later.

The second time I visited the hospital was just this past October for a week long migraine which eventually healed on its own, although not before racking up an $1800 hospital bill.

So the reason these two hospital instances are on my mind are because I have an idea on what caused both illnesses, although both times the doctors involved thought nothing of what I considered to be the potential cause. I mentioned what I thought they should know in each case and was told that my concern was not related.

So here goes my idea (however crazy it might be): I think both sicknesses were caused by an over the counter herb.

Sickness number one "The Lump": So after a couple yeast infections, a friend told me about Acidophilus, an herb that prevents yeast infection. I researched and she was right; Acidophilus is frequently prescribed to balance good and bad bacteria and prevent yeast infections in women. Guys if you dont know what a yeast infection is, look it up :) Usually you take 1 pill a day to balance the bacteria. So I went to the store, either walgreens or walmart, and bought a bottle of Acidophilus. I read all the info on the bottle, and noticed it said it was intended to balance the intestinal bacteria of the elderly. I looked for any other bottle more specifically geared for women, and it was the only bottle that specifically said Acidophilus, so I took a pill a day for a month. Within that month, I experienced the most painful abdominal gas ever, which for me was really my first experience with abdominal gas. When I linked the gas to the Acidophilus, I immediately stopped taking the pills, and the gas cleared up within a week. whew!!

So two months pass where my tummy hurts from time to time unnoticably, then the lump appears, and less than thirty days later they cut out the "lump." The surgeon is perplexed; I have either Crohns disease or a rare form of appendicitis. He goes with Crohns disease, although I never had symptoms of Crohns and it is genetically linked to Nobody in my family history. hmmpf. Since the surgery I have had no significant problems,

The other medical instance - weeklong migraine: This story is not as crazy, or funny even, but I will explain. During last summer I was very depressed and opened up to a good friend. She told me about 5htp, an over the counter herb that helps boost mood and fight mild depression. I researched and noticed 5htp is used in European antidepressants, but is more flexible and available here in the U.S. It works like all other antidepressants by increasing the amount of seratonin in the brain. I started with a very low dose (half dose) for a couple weeks and felt better. I took a regular dose for another 4 weeks probably, then reduced again to the half dose for 2 weeks, then stopped because I was no longer depressed. All in all, I took 5htp for no more than 8 weeks. My headache began during the 8th week, and became severe during the week after 5htp. Once again, I brought the bottle when I spoke with the doctor and he viewed it as unimportant. He had a couple other ideas of the possible cause, but as the week progressed the migraine peaked and then went away. And believe me, this migraine was serious: the migraine shot at the ER only weakened it for 2 hours.

So, am I making connections out of nothing? I dont think so, although the doctors might disagree. My conclusion is to stay away from anything over the counter except for cough drops :)

home sweet home

It is the end of snow day #1 of the superstorm and I have done very well. Today I cleaned the house quite a bit and feel like I can definitely be stuck here some more. When all was scrubbed and cleaned, it really makes me like this small country home a little. It also makes me wish I could revamp it some more. I have a couple things in mind: First idea is to lighten up our narrow and very dark hallway by using paneling paint. Of course, nobody likes wood paneling, especially how it has been used in our poor little hallway. The other idea is, of course, to paint the kitchen. The actual painted wall space is not that large because the kitchen has a couple walls that would not get painted. Currently, the kitchen is splatter paint and roosters. Yes, I said SPLATTER PAINT AND ROOSTERS. Really, that should mean "enough said". But alas, Darrin has somehow become attached to the kitchen for one simple reason: He is resistant to change. He has to be convinced that change is good, Geez he is old :) haha. I also have to convince him that painting a couple walls will not put our lives in chaotic disarray, it will not be terribly expensive, and it will feel AWESOME when it is finished, which wont take that long to be finished either. Most importantly, it will become Home. Right now, this house still belongs to the previous owners and I am staring at their creation every day. It is unsettling to me to not feel like I am home, and not be proud to show off our own creation to visitors. Until then I continue to wait and just clean clean clean. maybe the snow day made me more neurotic than I thought.