Friday, August 31, 2012

Nathalia Edenmont


WG_Edenmont_Nice Surprise_2011

Nathalia Edenmont, Love


WG_Edenmont_Piece of me





Nathalia Edenmont

Edenmont’s photographs feature ostensibly beautiful subjects, such as children wreathed in flowers or constructions of butterfly wings. But they’re akin to 17th-century Dutch still lifes, as reminders of the fragility and brevity of life, Edenmont said.

images found here
text found here

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Colbert on Todd Akin and the Female Anatomy

OMG, so many laugh-out-loud moments in this clip!!!!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Todd Akin's Abortion Gaffe
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Parental Guidance, Part II

First up, thank you so much for your comments on yesterday's post!!!! Difficult news is never easy to receive, but sometimes it is good to have an initial freak-out, then blog about it, and then wait to receive useful/helpful/insightful/informative comments from fellow bloggers! So thank you for helping me!!!! AGAIN!!!!

Here's the latest:

I emailed my Mom and asked if it was okay to call her to discuss my Dad's health concerns. She said that was fine, so we spoke last night. Basically Mom wanted to discuss ANYTHING but my Dad. SHOCKER. She kept saying EVERYTHING IS FINE and that we just needed to wait and see what would happen next.

I also spoke with my Dad. He sounded pretty freaking happy and pretty freaking chipper to me, so add that to the mix. We did not discuss his health, as I wasn't sure how much my I was "supposed to know" about his health concerns. LAME. My family is notorious for keeping secrets and "protecting" others from bad news, but this is stupid, counterproductive, S-H-A-D-Y, and needs to end.  I/we must work on having clear communication if we want to get anything done.

Side note: I spent a few days with my parents in July. They both looked pretty good to me, and they both seemed to be pretty WITH IT. Sure they are both older and slower and rather scary to drive with (but I think it is scary when anyone but ME is driving), but I didn't really see anything amiss. Humph.

So...I am trying to organize my thoughts (both for my sake and for the reader's sake). Here is what I have come up with:

1) My parents are taking proactive steps to possible/perceived health issues by visiting the DMV to see if Dad is still safe to drive, and by mentioning all health concerns and fears to a doctor. This is good.

2) My parents are getting older. Health problems are inevitable. I think we just have to do the best we can and HOPE my parents' health situations are never as bad as what happened with my Grandpa M. Grandpa M had dementia and Alzheimer's and his decline/demise was A-W-F-U-L.

3) I have to be sympathetic to my Mom and her perspective. Grandpa M's horrendous deterioration and death is still very fresh in her mind. She went through hell dealing with Grandpa M. Mom is also still dealing with my 93-year old Grandma M's terrible health, which has been B-A-D for about 10 years (Grandma M can't walk or talk, she is bedridden, and it doesn't seem that she recognizes anyone). Grandma M has round-the-clock care (which costs $5,000 a month!!!!). Grandma M's body keeps ticking even though not much else is. Mom visits her daily. I am sure Mom must be thinking first she had to take care of her Dad, she is still taking care of her Mom, and now her husband is falling apart, too. This has to be incredibly stressful.

4) Gotta keep Dad's perspective in mind too. He freely admits he is slower and can't do all that he used to, but he still seems like he is pretty mobile, pretty happy, and very busy with all of his projects. He also says Mom is RIDDLED WITH ANXIETY and LOOKING FOR PROBLEMS, and I am sure there is some truth to this. However, Mom's concerns have to be addressed as some, if not all of them, are probably legitimate.

5) A family meeting is in order. How ominous does that sound?! It is rare that we are all together, but this Thanksgiving or this Christmas we should take the opportunity to discuss ALL of my parents' health issues and concerns, as well as assistance/care they will need in the future. This HAS to happen. I sensed a little RELUCTANCE from my Mom when I floated this idea, so we'll see how it all shakes out.

6) Like most families, our family is busy. And spread out. My brother and his wife and three young kids live about a mile from my parents. They are overworked, underpaid, in debt and stressed to the max. My sister, her husband and her two little kids live six hours away from my parents. I live six hours away from my parents, and I don't have a spouse or kids, although I am in a committed relationship to a man with kids. My other sister lives the furthest away -- in Texas. She is single without kids. is tricky. I don't think any of us would jump up and down at the notion of living with the parents when they need full-time assistance (ACK!), but I guess we all need to talk and figure out what to do. This stuff is not easy, but most of us end up facing elder care issues if we are lucky enough to keep our parents into their golden years.

7) I am trying to keep perspective on all of this. My first reaction was bawling, quickly followed by WAILING that life just seems to be a S E R I E S    O F    P R O B L E M S -- you knock one problem out and two more follow. UGH. Such is life. I think all we can do is try to get the most out of life and deal with problems as they come along. Not exactly a great working plan for life, but that's all I've got.

So. We'll see what happens.

P.S. I mentioned to my Mom that she must be stressed, and that there are medications available for stress and anxiety. She was angry when I mentioned this and she curtly replied that she "KNOWS HOW TO MANAGE THE STRESSES OF LIFE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH". !!!!!! Well, alrighty then. !!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Parental Guidance

My Mom has been worried about my Dad's health lately (he turns 70 in October).  She sent this email to me and my siblings the other day. 


Thought it the best way to convey my thoughts, observations about your Dad.

We have read the drafts for our trust, power of attorney, health care directive and will set up the appointment to have notarized today. Glad that is more or less taken care of.

I am awaiting a call from DMV to set Dad up with an appointment for a behind the wheel test. It is challenging to get such an appointment -- it seems since I have tried about 10 times only to be told unavailable, both on internet and phone. Testy!

When Dad came back from LA he asked if I thought he should have a doctor appointment about some of his memory problems. I said yes and we set it up. Previously he asked if I thought he had Alzheimer's. I said no, but thought he had had some mini strokes like his Mom and that a doctor might prescribe some meds or suggest some diet changes. 

I made up a list of problems and showed to Dad before the appointment. He said he would give to the doctor.  He did not dispute any item. Later he said I should go in to the doctor's office with him so I did.

Here is my note to the doctor:

August 23, 2012


Regarding my husband:

Toughs it out all the time!

Concerns about these symptoms:
Shortness of breath, tiredness, rapid breathing with exertion
Some blocks of memory gone; recent example:
Tuesday we went to Berkeley, a frequent stop. I mentioned a store there and how they had changed it. He said he had no memory of it and did not know what I was talking about. We have seen it more or less monthly for past 15 years.
Chronic cough
Some movements seem involuntary (hand twitching)
Walking changes: feet sensitive, painful/balance
Driving: episodes with concentration problems; incidents where pavement markings ignored, vehicles in adjacent lanes not seen
Speech: slurred during some class presentations
Uses wrong word or inappropriate words on occasion
Simple spelling, math challenges, confusion*
Hearing loss

I will be available in waiting area if needed.

Suggestions?  Blood panel? Cholesterol? Blood pressure?

Thank you, XXXXXX (wife)

*Yesterday your Dad asked how to spell rectangle; he said I'm a complete blank.

So, I'm trying to maintain a balance, be objective, not overreact, protect grandchildren and others, while being sensitive to Dad's independence and any effect on our perceptions. When we got in the doctor's office Dad gave the doctor my list and introduced me. After taking notes and entering in his records doctor said: First, let's rule out Parkinsons and had him walk in the hallway outside the office and did a few tests to his arms, swinging them. I do not know what conclusions he drew, if any. He then said we would concentrate on one problem at this visit and see again in 6 weeks to see how things are going. Next he said,  "Are you ready to give up driving?" (I think this took us both by surprise). He said you do not want to be a danger to yourself or others.  He then gave Alzheimer's statistics, which I thought might be too high. Like, 40% of people age 70, 60% of those 80 and up are affected. Dad of course said no he is not ready to give up driving and said he drives to Berkeley, etc. all the time and recently drove to LA. The doctor said freeway driving is different than familiar territory. Dad then said my list was only my interpretation* and that when Grandpa was scaring us he was tested. The doctor asked if I would be comfortable with that solution - being tested at DMV. I said yes. The doctor then asked if our affairs are in order, etc. So that is the current situation. I finally got through to an Oakland office of Driver Safety and they said a letter is required by doctor for a test. So I have emailed Dr. XXX with that request. 

* I did not "interpret" anything and was waiting for doctor to interpret.

So that's where we are. Dr. XXX did prescribe a cholesterol med which we pick up tomorrow.

This of course could all just be a little "blip" and of minor consequence, but thought a full disclosure would clear the air. And, maybe Dr. XXX was just trying to insert a "possibility" that driving may not be an option at some future date and the test would ease my mind. 

Rather a difficult week.  



Needless to say, this email made me burst into tears.  I can't stand that my Mom sent this email out with a DO NOT REPLY TO THIS message.  But I guess I should be grateful that she has communicated with us about my Dad's health concerns AT ALL, seeing as when I was a teenager I found out my Mom had breast cancer via a family friend. @#$%!*&!@#$%!

Seeing as MY communication skills aren't all that great, I am not sure what else to write here. I guess I am feeling what anyone would feel if they received this kind of information about a loved one.  :[  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tiny Hands

The tiny hands on this Lanvin dress made me laugh. HELLO TINY HANDS!

lanvin red peplum dress with tiny hands -- elle september 2012

If you like tiny hands, here are many more. :)


Tiny Coco Tiny Hands Tiny life Tiny Hand Tiny Elvis Wild Raccoon Cubs - Hold My Hand BABY SQUIRELL Tiny paw! Tiny monkey Tiny Hands Grumpy Parakeet A mass of very pink piglets tiny gecko Tiny Praying Mantis Hands (That I Will Remember) Tiny Hand Teeny tiny hands Kangaroo paws Chicken Feet monkey paw (a real one) Tiny Hand, Big Grip The Monkey's Paw The Feet! Bath TIME!!! Feet! Hamster In A Coconut sloth fingers Petite Lapin! Kathleen Maynord's teeny tiny hand Gekko feet in Reptile House


And for those of you who requested this, here you go:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Matthew Cusick

Art made out of MAPS!  Genius!

Matthew-Cusick Oceania, 2012

Matthew-Cusick_206, Course of Empire (Mixmaster 2), 2006

Matthew-Cusick_222, The Rachel's Wave, 2011

Matthew-Cusick_221, Shauna, 2011

Matthew-Cusick_203, Kara's Wave, 2009

Matthew-Cusick_210, Patriarch (original), 2006

Matthew-Cusick_207, Course of Empire (Mixmaster I), 2003

Matthew-Cusick_208, Fiona's Wave, 2005

Matthew-Cusick_205, Bonnie, 2004

Matthew-Cusick_202, Many Rivers, 2009

Matthew-Cusick_199, Geronimo, 2007

From the Artist:

I am a painter and a collagist. I work with glue and printed material as well as acrylic paint and ink. The printed materials that I work with derive from archaic educational and cognitive sources, such as maps, atlases, encyclopedias, and school textbooks. I am drawn to the ephemeral nature of this printed information and the latent content that surfaces over time. I like to catalog, archive, and arrange information and then dismantle, manipulate, and reconfigure it. My creative process is informed by the visual properties and informative complexities of the material I am using.

Artist Website:
Artist Statement/Bio: here