On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Moving forward no matter what

Wah, wah, wah, I'm still whining and carrying on. Day Six.

In the meantime, classes resumed yesterday and I was glad to be back. Our assignment was either to draw a landscape or a nature study. Nudging myself forward would have been to tackle the landscape because I never know how to start one or what to draw.

Instead, I used my feeling poorly as an excuse to stay in the room and draw a botanical, my truest comfort zone. I could sit and draw botanicals all day long!

This afternoon I saw the girls at Juvenile Hall as usual. Demi was with me (always). Great news! I was invited to be a classroom assistant to a mural artist! I am so excited. I have worked and volunteered at Juvenile Hall for almost six years doing lots of different things -- facilitating the girls' psychotherapy group, teaching arts and crafts on several units and tutoring individual kids. As much as I hate to see kids locked up and as much as I disagree with so much that I observe, the truth is that I have always liked working there.

This time someone else will be at the helm and I'll do whatever is indicated -- help keep the kids on track, keep track of the materials (that is so hard!), encourage the kids to participate and to follow directions. But I'll also be the fly on the wall and I'll learn something about mural construction. What an opportunity!

In the meantime, my first Square Foot Garden is completely planted. This morning I constructed the grid over the mixed soil. Then I planted each square foot section, one seed at a time, and drew a paper map of what I planted where. I cannot. wait. to. see. something. grow!

Now that I've gotten that one underway I have three next projects. I want to construct the second 4 x 4 and begin all over again. I need to start a compost area. I need to figure out how to build a chicken coop.

That last one has Steve in dithers. He's already in shock that I managed to build and grid and plant the first square. I'm notorious for not finishing projects I begin. When I was hauling in construction materials for this one he was busy making pronouncements: "I know your projects, they always end up with me finishing them, blah, blah, blah."

So I didn't ask for any help. Well, I asked him to carry two bags of purchased compost and used my I'm-a-64-year-old-heart-patient line. So he did. And I asked him to finish pounding in the four corner stakes that hold up the wire that will keep the dogs out of the veggies. He did, in fact, work for three or four minutes. But everything else I did myself. So there!!

While he's in shock over that I want to find a very easy chicken coop design and work on that. Our community has recently rescinded old laws barring farm animals from town and chickens are now allowed. I only want two or three and I want them for the fresh eggs. I won't eat them.

I figure it will take me the next hundred years to build this coop before I can even look at the chickens, but that's the plan. For the next hundred years.

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