"This illness is to fatigue,
what a match is to a nuclear bomb.
It's an absurd mischaracterization!"
~Laura Hillenbrand

October 25, 2007

Frenzy and Fall


Yesterday, when I turned on my computer, I was very concerned by the look of the screen as it booted up. I'm worried I may be losing my hard drive... again.

So... I began running diagnostics and found an error... but to complete the diagnostics I have to use a disc that came with my computer.

I love my laptop, but I must admit, I've been through two hard drive crashes - both covered by the warranty - but a pain all the same. So, I've kept these discs in a special place for several years now.

Well, wouldn't you know... I went to find them and they arent' there!

As it turned out, I had an amazing amount of energy yesterday. So, I began cleaning. Then I began searching for these diagnostic discs. I cleaned and cleaned until I was so tired I was ready to drop. I had an amazing cleaning frenzy... something I haven't done in a long time.

No... I didn't find the discs. But I feel so good getting some organization done AND, I also got two ACEO's begun. One watercolor and one Oil Pastel.

I went to bed and awoke with a horrible headache, achy joints and sore muscles (probably from cleaning LOL)


Well, unfortunately, the energy spell only lasted a day. I awoke totally wiped out. It's disappointing to sleep through the night and awake feeling more tired than when you fell asleep. This is one of the issues that we will be addressing with the doctors at Vanderbilt.

But, though I still haven't found the computer discs, and I was completely worn out today, I really enjoyed my day. I love autumn and it was a cool sunny fall day today. I have a lovely fall smelling candle burning, and I was able to complete those two ACEO's!

So... as I say goodnight - I'll share one of the ACEO's with you. It's called "Autumn Romp". I painted it from a reference picture taken by another artist on WetCanvas! (a wonderful website for artists). It's the first horse I've ever tried to paint. It really reflects the feeling of the weather here today!

Click here to see it on eBay

Goodnight everyone!

October 23, 2007

I'm an Otter!

Last night I watched a video about an otter family that lives in a remote lake in Yellowstone park.

It was interesting, watching them go through the seasonal changes... but mostly it was just entertaining to watch how playful those otter are! They roll around, sliding on the ice, swimming circles in the water, playing with everything and they find and everyone they meet - even the methodical hard working Beaver!

As I watched them, I was aching to be free again to be playful and run and swim and twirl... sometimes this illness makes me feel very claustrophobic!

I haven't done much today to tell about. I cut up some Yuppo - a new paper I want to try painting on... but once I had cut the sizes I needed I was too tired to do more.

I had to take a nap - and yet I couldn't completely sleep. My toes suddenly became freezing cold. Once I warmed them up with a rice bag - my whole body was on alert, while at the same time too tired to do anything. I'm sure that sounds very foreign to anyone reading this who doesn't have dysautonomia. It's a strange experience.

I have a lot of favorite videos marked on YouTube. Here's one that always gives me goosebumps and makes me smile! Be sure to watch it all the way to the end... it's not very long. Hope it makes you smile too!

October 22, 2007

Good Morning World!

Good morning to all of you who visit my blog!

We've had so much rain in the past week, here in the Northwest... it's kind of nice to wake up to a brighter morning.

I didn't get any painting done yesterday. Instead - I came down with a cold! Yep! Ellen has been sick all week (thank you Scotty) and I've got it. But though I feel more yucky and achy than normal, it's not too bad yet... so maybe my immune system will kick it without it getting as bad as Ellen's. I just have a scratchy throat and a little congestion. AND a headache...

Yes... as Emily said in her comment yesterday - it IS scary to go off all my meds! Especially the two that keep my heart rate down. So I'm having higher heart rate when I'm up and I come closer to passing out than normal. This is exactly why I could NOT travel to Vanderbilt by myself this year!

So - what did I do yesterday? I did take a nap. (But my sleep is so unrefreshing. It's disappointing to need so badly to sleep - but then wake up feeling as sick and tired as when I fell asleep!)

I watched a most interesting movie - about Cuttlefish! I've never heard of them and wondered how in the world NOVA would make a full show about one fish. But wow - they are SO unique and interesting - the most unique of God's creations that I have ever seen!!!

Bill and I had some time together - but it's a challenge to find things to do when I feel crummy. We used to love to play Backgammon, but after playing it for 6 hours at the beginning of my labor with Ellen... we were very Backgammoned out! LOL! But seeing as it's almost been 18 years... we pulled out the old Backgammon board from under the bed and had a fun time playing - except Bill won both games. (I'm just a little competitive - that's sarcasm LOL)

Last night and this morning, I've been thinking a lot about the verses in Zephaniah 3

14 Sing, O Daughter of Zion;
shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O Daughter of Jerusalem!

15 The LORD has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.

16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
"Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.

17 The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

What a comfort to know that the LORD my God is with me. That he delights in me. It's almost overwhelming to imagine him rejoicing over me with singing - but it sure inspires me to live up to being the woman He has asked me to be.

It draws me to love him even more. And as I do... His love quiets my heart and helps me face one more "sick" day.

So with Hope in my God, and as I treasure his delight over me... I say goodbye for now as I head off to see what this day holds.

Thanks for sharing this time with me.

October 21, 2007

What is Melanie up to?

I really struggle in getting these blogs out. My days don't hold a lot of distinction and I wonder what kinds of things my blog readers would like to hear about.

So I thought I'd start just posting some short posts... "What I did today" or "What I thought about"...

This morning is Sunday. I'm currently listening to my iPod with a variety of music by David Crowder, Chris Tomlin and a variety of other worship songs.

I listened, online, to Bill's sermon from last week. I thought about one of the songs I have on my iPod. "When God Ran" (sung by Phillips Craig and Dean). Here's a beautiful YouTube video with the song:(you'll have to pause the "Background Music" on the right to watch it)

I like to needle felt while I listen to sermons. So I worked on a new Wool Painting - a fall leaf on a dark brown background. I'll post it when it's done.

But my eyes are very dry and stinging today so it's hard to focus on such details. I don't know why this is - except - I am in the midst of weaning off all my medications in preparation for my trip to Vanderbilt. I have to be off all medications that affect my any part of my nervous system - but especially the Autonomic nervous system. Maybe this is why... I don't know.

What will the rest of my day hold?

Well, I have several autumn watercolor paintings planned in my head. I have one ACEO sketched. But I don't know if I'll be able to focus and do any of these or not... we'll have to see. I know I'll watch some football and some Little House on the Prairie. We've checked the DVD's out from the Library which has been fun.

Hope you all have a blessed Sunday.


PS: The painting above is my second Oil Pastel Painting! I finished it last week. You can check out my eBay store to see if it's still available for purchase.

October 5, 2007


ACEO - Oil Pastel

I don't often create abstract - but every once in a while it just seems to come out. This is my first attempt at using Oil Pastels. As I began, I knew I wanted to paint a cross - as I listened to a new worship CD a dear friend has sent me. But what exactly it would look like I didn't know.

It's titled "Strength". Though the cross at first appears to be falling over, you can see it's solidness in the shadow. And the clouds over head, though darkening the sky, are highlighted with bright gold and sunlit streaks are allowed through. The golden streaks appear as rain - and yet are lit up like sunshine.

Though life is difficult and we may face unexpected trials, the power of God is strong and holds us secure. This irony - things look bad, but God has a good plan - is what this piece of art represents.

I continue to hold onto this hope. Here are the words of a song on my new CD that have really encouraged me this week...

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer
words by Margaret Becker
music by Keith Getty - recorded by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Jesus, draw me ever nearer
As I labor through the storm;
You have called me to this passage,
And I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing.
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest
Keep my spirit staid and sure;
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go-
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

Another friend sent me this wonderful YouTube video I also wanted to share. It's beautiful and creative art! Enjoy!!

The "Strength" ACEO is up for auction - Click Here