Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright ~
Monday, June 29, 2009
Opie Taylor has a recommendation. Go see what he found.... Kitty (or animal) lovers should see what's hanging out on the couch. And I DO mean hanging..... Sweetness, pure sweetness.
Remember the table I was painting for Superman? (see post on 6/15/09 )
Top of table after painting slats.
Sides with base coat of decorative paint and final view of table after the stain is applied.
The late afternoon sunlight enhances the mood, and the stain softens the colors with warmth.
And having Wonder Dog give you a smile is the perfect cap on the day.
Friday, June 26, 2009
My experience yesterday at the dentist went far better than I'd ever imagined. Did it come without fear, tears and dread? No. I could hardly sleep the night before. I had such anxiety my chest felt like it was stepping on land minds every time my heart beat. The most relief I felt was while blogging and posting pictures of Opie Wan Kenobi. ~~~ OK, that, and yucking myself up at how corny I am. Pitiful isn't it when you laugh like a loon at your own goofiness. But laughing is what helps me most of all to put things in perspective.~~~
I also read an article when researching one of the meds, Triazolam, I was to take the next morning just prior to my visit to dental land, that made me cry, and feel a huge sense of relief at the same time. One of the hardest things to understand about PTSD is that it affects you in ways you don't always connect the dots to with certain behaviors.
I could NOT figure out why WhY? why? why??? why? wHy why.... I was having such a hard time facing going to the dentist. It seemed magnified in my mind, and heart. I felt like a baby, an idiot, unable to control the flooding my mind had with thoughts of doom, and overwhelmed by a sincere wish to runaway, isolate, hide in the tree house forever more--broken toof and all.
Here's an excerpt from the article I read that helped me (below) and a great link to check out if you have dental phobias like me . The medication I used was Triazolam. Sedation Dental Care
Dental phobia is a severe fear of the dentist that over time causes loss of teeth because of the patients inability to go to the dentist and receive regular care. The heart of the matter is that dental phobia can rob patients of their self esteem as they become embarrassed about the appearance of their teeth and withdraw from friends, coworkers and loved ones.
Why do people hate and fear the dentist ? Fear of the dentist is most commonly something that patients learn from traumatic personal dental experiences. If these experiences occur as a child and are accompanied by a real sense of panic, the resulting reaction to the dentist may become deep seated, visceral and life-long. Such patients don't feel safe in the dental chair. Patients recall of their traumatic childhood experiences often includes being held down against their will, being yelled at, pain and terror. A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that people, who suffer abuse as children, may have life-long alterations in their response to stress. If a patient suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, the dental office may be just one of many situations where such patients feel unsafe. Patients who suffer from panic attacks associated with dental care will do anything not to have that awful feeling again. Sedation, which can block the panic response, can be particularly helpful for dental patients with anxiety attacks.
Superman picked me up yesterday morning and had to talk me out of taking the Triazolam close to 23 times earlier than I was supposed to during the car ride to the dentist. I secretly wanted him to carry me into the dental office & plop my drugged, limp body into the dental chair. Being in control is something I fight to have all the time now since the accident. I hate not feeling in control. But the thought of having a drug to help me numb my fears was appealing. I doubt I'll have to go to a rehab any time soon but for this case I was ready to be medicated. I waited until the time I was told to take the med which meant I had to walk into the office on my own two legs, wobbly knees, and all.
It's probably a tell-tale sign you are the patient when the receptionist greets you with, "Ohhhhh, good morning. YOU must be the one with the appointment. Oh my, you look scared. It will be OK. Hi, I'm....." As she introduces herself to me, she shakes my hand, and looks like she wants to hug every little fear right out of me.
I started bawling right then and there, YES I did.... and the tears flowed like a leak in a garden hose for the next 25-30 minutes....until the nitrous and the happy pill, Triazolam, started working. The staff stood by me with compassion, never rushed me into anything, handed me tissues to dab my sprinklers gone wild, and allowed Superman to stay with me the entire time. He never took his hand off my foot or leg. Not once the entire time.
It took almost 3 hours to clean my toofs, repair my broken molar, remove 3 old fillings of bad, bad, bad silver, and refill, and shape my new toof. I fell asleep a couple of times with the good Dr. Caring-Kind-Gentle Doggie Houser at my side, and staff, calmly working away....stopping anytime I looked the least bit ready to claw my way out of the chair, and telling me what an awesome patient I was.... (ohhhhhh, flattery and excellent meds will get you anywhere with me... I am such a compliment ho....)
I have never EVER EvEr EVerrrrr had such a pleasant trip to the dentist.
For all of you who expressed the same anxiety that robbed my sleep, and peace of mind, about going to a dentist.... do yourselves a HUGE favor. Find one who uses oral sedation, and go.
Your smile is worth it....
I am learning daily about me and this "Dis-Ease" called PTSD. I'm learning to conquer, cope with it, and am discovering its covert ways. And everyday I uncover a little more about the Whys.... Each time I do, I stop beating myself up for not having control over every single minute of my life. Letting go is growth. Allowing myself to feel is healing. Tears are cleansing. And fears can become little pip-squeaks when you face them....
Sharing the journey with you is the BEST medicine. Thank you for reading.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
He waits on the stairs for me until I come home. See his face peeking through the curtain?
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I need a Relaxation Drill.
Wait... I need another word... drill is triggering my anxiety.... lemme think a minute....
OK how's this? I need a relaxation plan and someone to show me how to relax.
- Find a large pillow.
- Roll over almost belly up
- Curl your hands in an adorable position
- And your feet
- Repeat as needed, and often
The Master Guru of Relaxation Opie Wan Kenobi
even his whiskers are relaxed....
not a care in the world.....
my role model....
my super hero in a fur cape.....
Yes, I wanna look just like this when I climb into the chair tomorrow morning at the dentist.
Wish me luck.... and a huge truck load of Opie Wan Kenobi
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I can't believe I'm smiling about this... Well it isn't a "toofy" grin but it will be. And it is smiling after my visit to the dirty word... errrr... I mean dentist. It could be the nuclear powered drugs he sent me home with to take before I go back on Thursday. Yes... I'm going back AND I'm smiling about it. NO I haven't taken the drugs yet...
I am in shock how technology has evolved and even more surprised how "compassion" in dentistry has evolved. I am giggling so much right now that my cat, Opie Taylor, just gave me a dirty look and jumped off the couch in disgust. He usually thinks I'm funny....wonder if he's going to check to see if I already took my pre-procedure meds... Honest, I didn't....
My new dentist is probably about 12 years old. Nahhh...I take that back. He's probably in his late teens. Nahhh...he just looks really, really young. Point is... he is so different from my first dentist, DR. Freddy Kruger Cranky Pants, Dentist from Hell. The torture that man was allowed to inflict upon people was inhumane, and upon helpless children was even worse. That fear has lingered with me all these years.
Here's something I've shared only once or twice in my entire life.
I remember standing beside my grandmother looking over her shoulder at the Obituaries in the newspaper, and seeing our dentist's (non-smiling) face in a photo above the announcement of his death. He had died suddenly of a heart attack. The only thing that came to my mind in that moment was, "Good. I'm glad he's dead." I surmised on that day I heard our dentist had died that he deserved it, and his own anger had killed him--simple as that. How does a nine year old reason or rationalize something as huge as that?
It felt like I'd said it out loud, and I looked around to see if anyone heard me. That's how loud, and angry, thoughts can be especially when you've been forced to shut up and take abuse. That's what he screamed at me one time when I told him he was hurting me. He stood over me like a beast, and leaned down inches from my face, spitting on me as he shouted "Shut up! And stop moving away from me in that chair or I'll give you something to squirm about!" All I saw was two eyes filled with blistering rage, and his manly-sized hand wrapped so tightly around the drill his knuckles were drained entirely of blood. His other hand was squeezing my shoulder like a ripe orange. What small child wouldn't have wanted a monster like that to go away--forever.
The guilt I felt thinking those ugly thoughts were enormous. Today I realize it was probably what every young child who'd ever sat in his chair thought upon learning of his death. Nor could I as a child of 9 stop his voice from raging inside my head. This beast was allowed to torture me and my sisters like a madman with NO compassion or Novocaine and he deserved to die, or so said my child heart.
It's no wonder I have been remiss about going to see a dentist...until my tooth broke off in my mouth and its chunky grit, and gaping hole became bigger than my fear. I called 9458 dentists to see if any of them would knock me out cold even to have my teeth cleaned until I found one nice receptionist who convinced me it was safe to come in by mentioning "oral sedation".
Perk... My ears went perk-ity-perk... like little elfin points on the sides of my head.
"Oral sedation?" I asked as if I'd been offered a trip to the moon. "Even to have my teeth cleaned? I can't stand any noises, smells, drills.... I'm serious. I can't stand anyone even scraping my teeth. I'm a total wuss. I'm a baby--a big baby." I babbled like that for ten minutes.
"Yes," she assured me each time I came up with a silly protest or explained my wussiness over, and over, and over again... Next thing you know I made an appointment. Holy Crap. WTFrap happened to my firmness about not going to a dentist.... Two little words. Oral Sedation.
I was so full of angst from the time I hung up the phone until the day of my appointment. Poor Superman. He had to drive me there. Top off an already overflowing sundae of wussiness with a heaping mound of PTSD, and that adds up to the ride from hell for anyone. My phobia of being in a car on the freeway, and going to a dentist who may extract a tooth, or grind it down to a nub.... Oh baby, the wheels of torture inside my head were spinning like Linda Blair's head in the Exorcist.
I walked inside the dentist's office, sat down on a chair and started crying. The tears ran down my cheeks. My precious Superman never once treated me like a disease, or a "hormonal blubbering basket case"... Or acted like he didn't know me when I jumped five feet off my chair when I heard a blast of air from one of the exam rooms. He came with me inside the exam room when they called my name.
The entire staff, treated me with respect, tolerance, and kindness. My broken tooth can be fixed as a cavity. They will remove the three old metal fillings I have and will clean up any decay before refilling. They are cleaning my teeth. All while under the influence of a mammoth sized doggy downer. Just kidding but it is a powerful pill that will help me sleep through the entire thing or just not give a rip. Plus a pill the night before to help me sleep like a baby.
Sah-weet-sassy-molassy! I'm going to the dentist Thursday. WOW~~~I'm really smiling. Oh and Superman will definitely be driving that morning. Geez let's hope so.... I'll be loaded out of my mind and far, faraway from any monsters, any ghosts and any old notions of the old dentist-- what's his name???
"Watch injured passengers limp away...."
This was actually posted under one of the segments on CNN.com/US today in an article I was reading about the metro crash in Washington, D.C. If you clicked on the link (I did not) you could watch the video of "injured people limping away" from the crash. Is it any wonder we don't all have PTSD? Why did they chose such insensitive wording in this article? Why would we or should we intrude on their pain further by "watching them limp away"?
As my favorite, adopted grandest nephew, Max, would say, "Sowwy." But really.... whoever wrote that caption should be telling the world they're sowwy. Or the guy who approved it. I feel sowwy for the people who suffered loss, a loved one or their privacy by being filmed at such a horrible time in their lives. I feel sowwy for the people who will mentally limp with PTSD after this experience.
OK I'm done now. Sowwy.
Monday, June 22, 2009
But I have to go... I broke a toof. Fortunately it was not my front toof... and unfortunately it does not count toward your daily calcium intake when you swallow the chunk of toof. Bummer...
I'll be back later with an update... and to get to yesterday's comments. There were some great ones! Thank you...
Oh dear Lawd, I'm nearly pooping muhself just thinking about this...... Please tell me I'm not "THE ONLY ONE" who feels this way about going to a dentist????
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I took a plunge.... This end up... Remember that movie with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, "Overboard"???
- Water was only waist deep.
- My kayak didn't sink although it was a really close call.
- No one laughed at me. If I'd have been watching me I would have laughed.... I looked like an edition of America's Funniest Home Videos...
- I didn't get hurt.
- And two guys fishing came to my rescue. Or rather they sped around to the other side of my island in their boat to get help from one of my neighbors after I asked them to. It was really nice of them to ask me if I needed help (with straight faces...) and they looked like they would have jumped in the water to assist had I merely whimpered. I was close to whimpering...
It was all I could do to keep my kayak from sinking because it filled up with water so fast. My feet sank in sludge...gross sludge. The kind of sludge you don't want stuck between your toes or inside your swimming suit bottoms... But it was that kind of sludge.... Ewwwww!!! Double Ewwwwww!!
I lost a flip flop in the muck at the bottom of the lake. Actually it was a "fit-flop". This may have been when I whimpered. Fit-Flops are expensive sandals that are supposed to whip your butt into shape while you walk. I'll tell you what can whip your butt into shape.... pulling yourself, and a water-logged kayak that weighs about the same as a baby whale out of the water after you've cap-sized.
I am in mourning about the loss of my shoe. I'll bury the other shoe tomorrow. Besides, I can't go around with a half ass firm butt. That's just wrong.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
But it feels like I'm nekkie because I officially posted
my 101 List on the side bar of my blog.... I'm accountable now.
Psssttttt... it's what I said I'd do in my header up above....
I'm hanging my "undies out" for everyone to see.... what were you thinking???
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Slowly but surely, I march on completing creative tasks on my 101 List. I'm still figuring out a way to post completed items, yet to be fulfilled items, and new ones I'm adding. These types of items on my 101 To Do List are not negative for me. This type of inner work calms me. Brings me into focus. Charts my creative process. Fills me with awe, feelings of success, and lets my child art-heart come out to play with freedom. It truly is the best therapy out there... at least for me dealing with PTSD.
One of my passions is putting new twists on old things, especially furniture. I've done this my entire life. The term shabby chic is simply the way many creative types like myself had to live to have anything beautiful around us (or to sit on, sleep on, look at, etc...) We naturally know how to make do with what we have; tweak it if it needs it, slap it with another coat of paint--you can always repaint it another color--cover it with a sheet, grab it off the curb before it goes into the dumpster, and stalk yard sales. Cheap is great...Free is BETTER!
Staging is one of my gifts. I see an area, and I stage it. Staging makes me happy. Every, tiny item in every corner of my world is strategically placed to make one (and myself) feel enlightened, happy, inspired or relaxed when they (I) look at it. It's art... art in a 3 dimensional format. The entire world is my palette, and I love making my world a unique place to be. I call it Woodstock Lily Style, my style--you each have your own. I know many of you reading this understand exactly what I mean in making your environments uniquely "you".... That's the way it should be.
Superman has a table in his back yard at his Fortress. That's it above in it's "before" state. From the first moment I laid eyes on this begging-to-be-painted-beauty-in-the rough table, I had to make it special. So, thus, began our adventure of putting a little love, and color, in Superman's backyard. I'll post more updates, side by side, as it unfolds into a vibrant rainbow of colors for you to feast upon.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I have always drawn, painted, and sketched pictures of women from as far back as I can remember. When I was about 10 years old, I discovered I could create lovely paper dolls--the kind that made my sisters, and the neighborhood girls, drool. I knew I was onto something when they began begging me to make them sets of their very own paper dolls. I'd ask my mother, and grandmother, to save the white cardboard that their nylons were wrapped around inside the packaging. Paper like this was a scarce commodity. White gold. One side was glossy; the other side matte.
On this precious sheet of cardboard I'd carefully draw a voluptuous, bathing suit clad, vixen. Granted I didn't know, or understand, the term "vixen"... I just drew curvy girls with perfect lips, and perfect hips--perfect clones of Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Jane Mansfield. Those were the role models women from my mother's generation wanted to look like. And I could draw them quite well. I wanted to become one of "those" beautiful ladies when I grew up.
After I finished drawing and coloring the cardboard beauty, I'd carefully cut her out. I'd put a piece of lined-notebook paper over the top of the cut out version or template to trace over. We didn't have access to plain, white typing paper at this time--no one did unless you were a secretary or a teacher. I'd draw 3-4 outfits on each sheet... followed by coloring each one as though I were a famous clothing designer. Soon business was booming, and I needed help manufacturing more. Plus, I got bored with the "finish" work of coloring and cutting--I much preferred to design and create. So I employed my sisters to help me.... or should I say bartered a completed set in exchange for their services. In no time at all I started an assembly line in our bedroom, and soon barked out orders to my sisters of which colors I wanted the outfits to be... and "Be careful cutting that gown out...."
Capri sets, evening wear, glamorous night gowns (lingerie... but again I didn't know the correct terminology for said articles of clothing) delicious dresses, fur coats... The paper flew around the room like colored confetti as I created literally countless sheets of "fancy sh'mancy" outfits. Complete, "I must add", with strategically positioned tabs that folded over the doll's shoulders, and sides, so the clothing would stay on.
For many years I wanted to be a fashion designer. I sewed dresses by hand from patterns I cut out... and I do mean hand stitched each, and every, seam. I'd stay up all night putting a zipper on a dress by hand. I saved up babysitting money for my first sewing machine at age 15. I am still a "fabri-holic". Some of you know exactly what I mean by that... I didn't grow up to be a fashion designer. I pursued a different dream; to become a singer-songwriter, which I did for over 25 years. I made my own stage clothes and wore the vintage clothing I collected for many, many years.
I'm still drawing sketches of women, photographing pictures of women, and painting portraits of women. The painting above is my newest piece. I suppose I could say it's a self-portrait. I used an old photo of me from my early singing-modeling days. I'm wearing a vintage dress circa 1930 and a 1940's black cape. Below is the photograph I used. And below that is an old band shot. Yep.... I'm wearing vintage clothes in that pic, too.
I realized today I'm still that girl hunkered over a box of crayons, and notebook paper...
over a sewing machine and a box of buttons...
with a guitar and a sheet of music...
digging through a drawer full of paints,
reaching for the perfect paint brush...
and living my life from a sketchbook full of dreams...
Yes, I'm still sketching her, and still creating who she's yet to become.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Here is the interpretation from my dream of the rainbow trout I posted a couple of days ago.
A Dreams-Teller said...
HELLO LILLE DIANE,
Nice to have you visit the dreamer's site and leave one of yours. Let's have a look to see what it means:
THE RAINBOW TROUT DREAM
You walk on the beach feeling in the pink. Everything for you is calm and serene at sunset. So night is approaching (in the dark). The cliff looms over you to your left (the heart side). May symbolize a decision you are struggling with which causes emotional issues and feelings. You may be thinking you need to strengthen your resolve, let go of sentimentality and become firm and solid like the rock.
The fish "trout" is out of water. Could suggest the way you are feeling in waking life in a current situaton. Or you may be looking closer at beliefs, attitudes of yours that lie beneath the surface that are being supressed yet arise anyway. They taunt you, you choke them back. The neck of the small animal (a very vulnerable part of the body in animals and humans) means exposure, taking a risk, trusting yourself or someone else and maybe more communication (vocalization) is needed before you proceed.
MY BEST INTERPRETATION...YOU MAY GET SOME INSIGHT FROM IT.
Thank you so much, A Dreams-Teller!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
It's a rainy day at the tree house. This vase of fairy flowers can chase away any clouds.
Since I can't go kayaking as planned with Superman to meet Dylan, Melissa and Max, the Wonder Boy, on the lake shore beach... I'll paint instead. I realized I've only been out of the house once in a car (as a passenger) since Saturday when I experienced the "push forward" (new name I'm giving to the word "set-back" for PTSD side affects)
I've taken a couple of walks around the lake, and on Sunday night had an unexpected offer from my neighbor, Mr. J. to take a moonlight ride on his pontoon boat around the lake. How could you say no to an offer like that? Within minutes we were skimming the surreal waters at a gentle pace, and soaking up the rays of a bold faced moon. Suddenly we saw several mysterious things floating on the water. We strained our eyes to see what it was. It was a flock of geese swimming, and their bodies appeared as though they were wearing reflective clothing to alert boats at night where they were. I must say the geese looked eerie and cool at the same time. Later we determined it was their brilliant, white tail feathers that reflected the moon light, and glowed like beacons. Smart little guys, those geese are....
Nature is always surprising me... Leaving me scratching my head, and saying, "Wow. I never knew that." Or, "Wow...that's the first time I ever saw one of those...."
But other than that I have not ventured out this week. That's OK, I suppose. I'm just not feeling secure enough to drive right now. That's OK, too. I have enough to be awed by right here in my own back yard. I'll have to find some reflective gear to put around my car, my mind, my fears. Hmmmm.... maybe wearing some white tail feather's would cushion my thoughts. Hey, white tail feathers AND monkey pants.... now that's an idea!!! That combo would surely keep the clouds of dread away.... don't you think???
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
A dream I was awake in.
A vivid dream I'll never forget.
I know it has a meaning, and want to find out what it meant. I'm sending it to a woman who interprets dreams, A Dreams Teller. I found her on the blog, "Fool Stop" by Jase. I'll post the link to her, and her interpretation of my dream after she analyzes it. I have a few ideas what it means but I am curious to hear what she will find hidden in my dream. This is her gift, her calling. I hope you are as curious as I am to hear what she finds.
Here is the dream;
I was walking on a beach with cliffs above me to my left, and large boulders at the base jutting up out of the sand. The sand, the waves, the rocks, my skin, and the air was washed in an iridescent, warm, pink glow from the sunset. The atmosphere had a mystical quality to it and I felt at peace. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw a huge rainbow trout flopping on the sand, trying to hide from me behind the boulders. It was larger, fatter than normal and it was the most beautiful rainbow trout I'd ever seen.
I could read its thoughts and it was taunting me. It told me I could never catch it. I instantly knew I must catch it. I began chasing it, and caught it with my hands.
It was larger than I expected once I caught it. As if by instinct, I knew I had to choke it; choke the life, the air out of it. I was perfectly calm reasoning with myself that I had to do it. I am not by nature a killer in any sense. I am a huge animal lover so it was not killing it for the sport or challenge. With each
second that passed I knew I had the power to let it go. I could stop the process of taking it's life, taking its energy away from it--the choice was literally in my hands to decide. But I knew I must not stop. I held on. Never once did I look at this great fish eye to eye while I choked it. I suppose I knew it would try to reason with me if I looked it in the eyes.
I was poised, strong, and never wavered. After what seemed like a long battle, the fish changed in my hands. I was now holding what felt like a small mammal with a tiny neck, so fragile in my hands.
It was here the dream ended. I did not feel remorse or like I had murdered anything.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I took some shots a couple of weeks ago of some poppies I saw growing in a neighbors front yard. I've been working on a series of poppy paintings ever since. I hope they cheer you up as much as they do me.
I know they're bright... But wait till you see the pants I'm wearing today....
Yep... I posted them below, as well. Grab your shades. :-)
Many of my friends know I use the expression, "monkey pants". I tell people that Opie Taylor, my kitty, wears monkey pants because from the back it looks like he has shorts on that fall just below his "knees" (if cats have knees....) If you've seen a cat scamper suddenly like it has wild hairs... that's putting on your monkey pants. I tell my friends I have my monkey pants on if I'm feeling sassy. I am definitely feeling a lot sassier today than I was the last couple of days. It's probably due in part to my choice of britches I put on to paint in today. Thank you everyone for the good vibrations you sent my way. I could feel your hugzzzz.....
If you didn't heed my warning above about the sunglasses you may want to now....
And here's what Opie Taylor has to say about wearing monkey pants....