Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I have been blown away by the response to my blog post this past Saturday where I simply sat here and told you how I was feeling. . . . .it wasn't a pity party - far from it - it was just a post that I knew I had to write about my sweet Ben. I had to talk about it.
And, of course, there's a give-away mentioned in the post to help shove me (mentally) back into my happy, joyfilled and blessed life. Giving gifts and writing notes of encouragement are two things that I love to do so having a giveaway to balance a really hard March and a horribly sad weekend made total sense to me.

I checked my email on Sunday and there were a few comment email notices for that particular post. They were wonderful and I felt the care and concern.
Then at 3:00 p.m. we had to do something that I didn't expect to have to do until today or tomorrow.....Saturday night after I wrote my blog post, I went to bed and woke in the morning to a very sick Ben. He had gone downhill very quickly Saturday night and we knew that we couldn't wait any longer. I had said in my blog post that "early this week" we would have to say good-bye to our sweet Ben - I wasn't ready to endure it on Sunday. No way, no how, it was too soon, I wasn't ready!!
But, I took some deep breaths, prayed, put on my big girl panties and dealt with it.
I sat with Ben, rubbed his head and told him how much he was loved, how much he would be missed, how sorry I was that he was so sick and how sorry I was that he was suffering and how it was the hardest thing to do but, that I hoped he understood it was a gift..

A small part of me died Sunday
when I had to tell him good-bye.

But, enough sadness.
Let me tell you something.
I feel just as strongly about writing this blog post as I did writing my blog post on Saturday.
So. After numerous deep breaths, a swipe of my nose (no kleenex and I can't be bothered to wheel myself into the b.r. to snag some t.p.), I came back to my computer early evening on Sunday to check my email.

Finally, we reach the point of this post.
(I do tend to give a lot of information, but I want you to feel like you're sitting right next to me and I'm telling you all of this verbally. Does that make sense to anyone *besides me*? No??)

When I checked my email Sunday evening and then again on Monday and yet again today,
I have been so touched by the support y'all have showered on me. And, how you have wrapped your arms around me, how you've reminded me that God blessed me and my family with Ben for many years. So many comments that I can't recall at this moment what they all said and I still have at least 40 to read.
I must read them slowly and respond with a message of my own, so it's taking a bit to work to get through all of them.(*which is a wonderful thing, btw*)
I am so, so blessed by y'all. I know I've said it before, but, I think it's worth repeating. . . . .some of you I've never met face to face but I feel like we live down the street from each other and we're such good friends! We get together in each other's studio to play "art", we go junking, we go to estate sales, Anne:), we go out to lunch, we take road trips, we go to art retreats together, oh, we just have a marvelous time! *deep sigh*
I can't thank you enough for the outpouring of love and concern that I have felt from each of you - even a couple of lurkers:). The stories of your own pets and the last days of their lives, of how their deaths impacted you, and simple comments telling me that I'm being prayed for, that I'm loved.

Wow. So you can imagine how I felt this afternoon when the Fed Ex truck drove up.
Well, at first I didn't feel anything because the Tank gets lots of Fed Ex envelopes and I didn't pay any attention knowing it wasn't for me.
My mother, however, went out because Mr. Ex rang the doorbell. She walks back in the bedroom carrying this long box but I'm in the middle of answering a post comment and just glance up.
Boy, howdy, I was focused (it's an age thing) because it was pretty obvious what was in the box.
Flowers for the Tank?? Maybe. Flowers for me?? More likely than for the Tank.......and the box WAS for me. Oh, my gosh, someone sent me flowers. I couldn't imagine who would send me flowers. . .I had surgery, but that was 1 1/2 weeks ago......hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. So, I open the box (after checking for a return address on the box - no clue, none).
Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh.
Oh, my goodness. . . . .tulips.
Tulips!! Oh, my gosh. . . .
Tulips for me?
Yes, tulips for me.
Tulips that bloom in April.
Telling me that April will be better.
Don't loose your joy, not for a moment.

Wait. There's more??
The last day and a half of March are lookin' up.
So, let's look at the card and see who has blessed me.
Who has sent me April tulips and March chocolates??

It wasn't funny so you shouldn't be laughing.
"Love, Me"??
My first thought was how in the world was I going to thank whomever sent these gorgeous April tulips and March chocolates to me??? I wouldn't be able to rest until I found out who to thank!
I called ProFlowers and asked real nice for Mr. Pro to tell me who sent them and he told me they have this stupid privacy oath. Sounded more like the Mason's to me.
He told me he could call the sender and see if he could get permission to tell me.
Okay, fine, just don't mess with me, I don't have that many chocolates.
He didn't mess with me, he told me who sent them.
I told him that "she" would have been very high on my list of possibilities.
I said it while I was smiling. Big.

Julie Ann Grakowsky of Kitchen Floor Creations,
my past blog "lurker", my present day dear friend that I met through my blog.
I simply adore her.
She is precious to me.
And she blessed me today in a way that is rare.
She reached out for my hand and touched my heart.
If you have managed to stick with me to this point, you deserve one million dollars.
I don't have one million dollars, but I've got lots of hugs for you when we see each other!


If you have never visited Julie Ann's blog, oh, you just have to!! You won't be disappointed! She
has a wonderful blog and you'll enjoy yourself!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Just when I think I'm going to get a break
God throws me another life test.
I wonder how many I'll have to experience
before He thinks I'm all that I should be.
Actually, I know the answer to that.
It will be until the day I die and join him in Glory.

March of this year has been an adventure.
An adventure on top of five years of medical adventures.
(Don't age. It's not worth it.)
I long for April and tulips blooming.
April will be better even with a cast and
no weight on a leg instructions.
I long for April.

March. . . . .
I passed out and fractured several bones in my right foot and tibia.
That's adventure no. 1.

My studio has a mind of it's own
and is determined to keep that crack house persona.
That's adventure no. 2.

I checked a give-away today that I participated in;
it was so involved and so very time consuming.
I thought I would win something.
I didn't win squat.
That's adventure no. 3

Adventure no. 4??
We must have our most precious
 Ben put down in just a few days.
*Now I'm crying
and I didn't even cry in the hospital when
I found out that I couldn't be discharged until
I pooped.
And that took three delightful days.*
I digress. Back on point. . . 

You know Ben.
My studio dog.
Always by my side.
He never did learn that if he laid that close
to my chair that he'd be told to
"jump up" when I had to roll down my work table.
Up and down, up and down, all day.
Remembering that makes me smile.

He came to us from the Humane Society Animal Shelter.
When I adopted him, he had had heart worms twice.
He was adopted and returned twice
because his new owners thought he was too aggressive.
He was older, no longer a puppy.
He was a yellow lab mix.

I adopted him.
He isn't too aggresive.
The UPS man is afraid of him,
but I like that.
When he doesn't think I'm home
he'll throw my packages onto the
office porch if Ben's outside.
He doesn't know I've seen him do that.
That makes me smile as I cry.

Ben is very protective of me.
He loves me unconditionally.
He never judges me.
He always wants to be with me.
He's a dog, not a person, and that's why.
I wonder if
that make sense to anyone but me.

That's why I rescue shelter/abandoned/mistreated/etc. dogs.
And my beautiful master bedroom smells like a kennel.
I don't care because
they love me every day
all day
and all through the next day.

Ben is my dog.
He's always been "my" dog.
And early this week we have to have him put down.
I'm crying again.

He has been sick for a while now.
We knew something was wrong,
just not what.
He's going downhill so quickly now
that I constantly look at him
to see if he's breathing.

He has lymphoma.
"Oh, God", I cry
"my heart is breaking and I hurt so badly."
And, I wonder if Ben
hurts as much as I do.
Is he in pain?
His lymph nodes are enlarged.
He never whines.
But, he's not eating or drinking
much so I wonder
in my heart of hearts
if putting him down isn't the
best gift I can give him.

So, pray for me, won't you?

Okay. Deep breath.
So. I thought I'd have a giveaway
to take my mind off of things. *happy face*
I love to have giveaways and
I haven't had one in quite a while.
And, I'm going to make this really easy
so that lots of people will enter
without having to spend hours
jumping through hoops
in an effort to win my giveaway.

Claudine Hellmuth.
One of my artist queens.
I'm going to gift one special
reader of my blog, her amazing book,
Collage Discovery Workshop,
along with lots of treasures. Lots!

I ordered it 'specially for this giveaway.
I love this book and wasn't
willing to gift mine to anyone, so,
you're getting a new one.
It's a virgin and you don't find
many of those anymore.

All you have to do to enter is
to, well, enter. *smiley face*
If you want to start following my blog
because you read a couple of posts
and think it would be a good idea,
then I can't wait to get to know you.
If you want to be a fan of my blog
on facebook, I thank you.
If you want to sign up for
the newsletter that I have yet to start,
If you say something about it
on your blog, let me know and
I'll throw in another entry for you.
If you buy something in my Etsy shop
then it will help me afford
to go junking when I'm allowed to walk
See? it's all good.

Life is good and I am so blessed.
You have until April 1st to enter.
That's when the tulips will be blooming.


Thursday, March 18, 2010


Oh, yeah, this is a good one.
My sweet friend, Anne of Fiona and Twig, is having a wonderful giveaway over on her blog.
Of course, the fact that I donated some of my best vintage linens has pushed her giveaway over.....the.....top.
Of course.
And, then there was the amazing donation by Jackie of Bliss Farm Antiques, of a generous amount of French ephemera.
Now, to get you to go over to my bff's blog and enter her giveaway, I'm not going to tell you what she's putting in. It's going to be a surprise.
Yeah, a surprise and not a bad surprise like you're driving through the vastness of west Texas on Hwy. 10 in the middle of nowhere and you suddenly have to *whisper* "go not #1".
Anne's giveaway is a good surprise so get over there and enter my name so I'll have a better chance of winning my linens back.

Who loves you?? I DO!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Well, I do!
I love garland!!
I love them so much that I have a "MERRY CHRISTMAS" garland hanging in my studio year round. It was a gift from my friend, Keesha and I would never take it down; it would feel like I was totally taking Keesh down to the basement. I have other garland in my studio, too. Some from friends and one that I made ("NEST" - precious and always for sale *hawk - hawk*).

I love garland so much and I love you so much that I'm going to tell you about a garland giveaway. I know, I know, I'm too nice.

Before we get to the giveaway may I just say that I wish I was the one that thought of this?? Why couldn't it have been me??
Okay. *deep breath* I feel better............now for the giveaway:
GIVEAWAY - Gorgeous Kristina Marie Recycled Paper GARLAND As Seen in Martha Stewart Weddings (Don't you just die for Martha?)

KristinaMarie is the amazing Etsy shop where the most beautiful recycled paper garlands are created.

Kristine Osborne's gorgeous work was recently featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2010 issue as a stunning example of an amazingly unexpected way to decorate ceremony chairs. (featured in Martha??? Dying. I'm dying.)


One lucky winner will receive this Gorgeous Recycled Hymnal Paper Garland Strand in Color - 10 feet / as seen in Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2010!
Go over to  olivebites blog to enter the giveaway! (And while you're there, check out her blog - you'll have a great time!)

Only because I love you all so much!
. . . . . . . ..xoxo, Jan

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Is it any wonder that I count y'all as friends?
Is it any wonder that some of my closest friends are women that I've never met face to face?
Is it any wonder that I count several of my blog friends as "BFF's"?
No, it's no wonder.

A lot of you have been with me for several years as I've blogged about everything from my art, the things that I think are funny, and my medical adventures *though I admit that I haven't been as open with those as I have with other things* because. . . . .
I have always felt that if I was too open with y'all that I would be setting myself up for your distain, that you may feel like my blog isn't the place for me to tell the world (yeah, the whole world reads my blog - I have a lot of lurkers) about my boo-boo's;  you all have your own problems, you don't want to read about mine.

And, worst of all, I was a bit concerned that you might think I was complaining. I try so hard not to complain that it would kill me to have someone think *or worse, "comment"* that I was complaining. But, slowly I have started sharing my many medical adventures, though I will admit that I don't share them all, and so far no one has said anything negative.
And, the pictures you're looking at are representative *to me* of the friendships that I have made with other like minded artists through my blogging.
I happened to receive all of these treasures from my good friend, Deb Christensen of Dye-ing to be Yours, and when she read that I was having pretty serious surgery last week, she put together a box of well wishes to make me smile! She is someone that I met through blogging and I simply adore her. See what I mean??

I had foot surgery last week and spent three delight (Vicadin) filled days in the hospital, coming home on Friday afternoon; and I understand the fun is just beginning.

Deb's gift represents all of the kind words, cards, phone calls (my precious friend, Julie of Kitchen Floor Creations actually called me from New York. Shut up!) and one of my closest friends, Anne of Fiona and Twig, has called several times and has posted updates on my condition on her own blog.

And the one thing that touches my heart more than anything else?
All of the prayers that have been lifted up on my behalf by many of you. (And don't stop praying, heck, don't stop sending presents, just because the surgery is over - there's lots more to this medical adventure.)

(If you don't know exactly what I'm referring to, scroll back a couple of posts and read IT SUCKS TO BE ME.)

All of you are so very precious to me. I hope I've been able to convey that; my words seem inadequate to me somehow. 

Anyway, I love you and I cherish the friendships that I have made through blogging. (And lurkers, I love you, too.....pssst...Julie used to lurk...)

xoxo, Jan
.....love the Lord with all your heart.....

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Here is an awesome giveaway I stumbled across! One with TONS of chances to win!! What will you win, you ask? Well, look below!
The Office Box is a new piece at The Original Scrapbox!

And a signed copy of Wrong Number, the newest Thriller from Rachelle J. Christensen!
Here is a trailer to find out more...

(a trailer for a book....who would'a thought?)

This is a fabulous giveaway - you'll be glad you took the time to check it out.
There's several places to enter, why don't you start with Heather Justesen's blog?

See?? Even though I'm "down" I have still found things to do. LOL


Thursday, March 4, 2010


IT SUCKS TO BE ME .....oh, that's silly!
I never think that.
Oh, wait, I thought it on Monday.
But just for a moment.
Okay, I had a few moments. *I'm smilin'*

So, here's what happened, yet another chapter in the Medical Adventures of Me. And, this Medical Adventure has a title, IT SUCKS TO BE ME.
You'll understand in a moment.

I think most of you know I have colitis. If you didn't know that and don't know what it is, well, you're just gunna have to google it - I'm not going there in pen.
(And, if you didn't know it and never wanted to know it, oops. But it explains the whole IT SUCKS TO BE ME.)
I have been in remission for a couple of years or so and then about a month ago I had a flare-up. It's still going on but I'm on a steroid that works hand in hand with my daily C. meds and it's been going pretty well; much better.
Well, I made a *really stupid* decision that I shouldn't be eating, just drinking Gatorade and water to stay hydrated. It made sense to me ("Not one word, Annette." :o)
So, for four days I did that. Oh, I had my moments of feeling a bit faint when I would stand up, but I chalked that up to my diet (I have wondered a bit about the contestants on Survivor - do they get faint because they don't have  food for a few days except for maybe a bug? Should I have been eating a few bugs?).

Everything was rockin' along until Monday and when I was walking to the bathroom...hurry, hurry...I became really faint so I leaned my forehead against the wall to wait for it to pass.
The moment didn't pass.
I did.
I passed out
It's an odd sensation.

Well it's me we're talking about and you know I don't do anything half way, but the fact that my right ankle swelled up like a balloon wasn't a big concern for me. I simply thought, ah, heck, I'll bet I bruised my ankle bad.
So I hobbled around the rest of the day. My ankle hurt so I KNEW that bone was bruised pretty badly. The pain radiated up the side of my calf and down to my toes. Ouch! Finally, bedtime and time to get off of my foot.

The next morning God nudged me and told me that perhaps xrays would be a good investment of my time. (He's so much smarter than me. lol) So I called my doc, Debbie, got her to do a lab request, got the xrays and then saw debbie in the exam room.
The news wasn't good. In fact, Debbie (and several of the smart mouthed nurses *said with a smile*) couldn't believe I had driven with my right foot.

What's the big deal??
They couldn't believe I'd been walking around on that foot.
What was I thinking??
Well, I wasn't thinking my foot was broken.

Debbie sent me to a really good ortho' surgeon in Kerrville and they fit me in that afternoon. Dr. Mitchell looked at my xrays, spoke to me in tongues and told me he was sending me to a specialist in San Antonio.
In this...
That sucker weighs as much as a small turkey, I swear.
And there was no color chart - just black.
Talk about adding insult to injury.

Off to the specialist in downtown SAtown we go the next day.
His office is in a beautiful hospital, Nix Hospital, built in the 30's.
The outside of that building is a dream.

So, I spend 5 1/2 hours sitting in a wheelchair (I was told by Dr. Mitchell that under no circumstances was my foot to meet the floor) that had a board for a seat (not really) waiting....Waiting for the appointment...waiting in the exam room for the doctor...waiting for the CAT scan...waiting for the doctor to explain the CAT scan...waiting for the scheduler to tell us what time to be back on Monday.................no food................no drink...................no water. We were exhaused, it was such a long day.
The Tank (staged picture) in the exam room
I loved everyone at this Foot and Ankle Center of South Texas. My doctor is Dr. Casillas, whom I really liked, and his P.A. is Ryan, who was wonderful.
P.A. Ryan and Dr. Benavides (Dr. Casillas had disappeared and I needed a picture so Dr. B. stepped in)
Okay, so here's what I learned...
I had fractured and dislocated four of my metatorsals (at the base).
That's the long bone connected to the toe bone or something like that.
The base of the metatorsals is in the middle of your foot.
Three of them were fractured, with one being "pulverized" (not my term) and two were displaced.
I also have a spiral fracture of that smaller bone in my leg, right above my ankle.

It was starting to make sense.
The fact that I was sent to be treated by these brainiacs was making sense, too.
I really destroyed my right foot - they considered the fracture above my ankle no biggie. *holding face in hands, screaming*

I was sent home with a splint that goes from my toes to the back of my knee and wrapped up like a cold mummy.
I cannot touch the floor with my right foot.
I must keep said foot elevated so that the swelling will go down and they can OPERATE. *I had been forwarned by Dr. Mitchell so I didn't cry*
I have to use a walker to get from my chair to the bathroom, to my bed, to my chair.
Oh, my gosh, no wonder I can't beat up my mother. I have no muscles.

On Monday, I return to the Nix to see if my swelling is gone, which they're anticipating, and if it is, I will be admitted to the hospital, have surgery on Tuesday and be sent home Wednesday or Thursday.

I'm thinkin' the real fun will begin after surgery.

Love you all,

P.S. Dad, I tried to call you, got your machine but wasn't allowed to leave a message and now it's today.


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