Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hoarding at the hospital!

Last week my uncle was admitted to the hospital for being sodium deficient. A couple days turned into a couple more. More tests were needed and then a week went by. And then he got pneumonia. If it's not one thing, it's another!

10 long days and I was there with him most of the time from sun up to sun down, going home in the evening to get whatever sleep I could steal only to go back again in the early morning.

His hospital room was small but cozy. The bathroom, tiled from floor to ceiling, was filled with light and the only area I had any privacy in. A huge mirror greeted me every time I washed my hands and I began turning the lights off so I wouldn't have to keep looking at myself. Uggh!

Here's some shots of the designer bathroom!

Shiny and silver!

I so badly wanted to give this showerhead attachment a try!

Close-up of the glass tiles. I LOVE all those browns!

During his stay, my uncle refused to eat much of the hospital food (at one point exclaiming, "It's horseshit!"). Not liking to see food wasted, I went ahead and ate what he didn't. I must've put on five pounds this week alone!

The hospital also sent condiments with each meal three times a day. Little packets of this and that, which over the course of 10 days added up. Again, maybe it's the OCD in me but I just can't let things go to waste. Surely the hospital discarded any unused items to prevent spreading germs from patient to patient. So everything that went unopened I took home!

The list includes:

53 packets of sugar
29 hand towelettes
2 large wrapped cookies
3 mayonnaise packets
2 syrup packets
25 butters and imitation-butter spreads
18 straws
1 chocolate pudding
3 jellys
9 rolls
6 salad dressing packets
25 individually wrapped crackers (2 per set)
6 ketchups/3 mustards
5 creams
4 salts/5 peppers
2 single servings of frosted flakes


At least I feel better knowing all this stuff will get used up at home.....eventually!

My uncle is okay now. He was finally released from the hospital yesterday and is on antibiotics.

The best part is my cousin drove in from Ohio and is taking my aunt and uncle to Cleveland to attend their granddaughter's graduation ceremony. This will be the first "vacation" I've had from being a caretaker in months! Finally a few days to myself. I'm a free man until Tuesday!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everybody!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Leaves and wood!

It's been such a LONG week for me. My uncle has been in the hospital almost every day now and I've been running on empty a while back. Hopefully things will slow down soon!

While my uncle was getting his chemo this past Tuesday, I did some more walking around the neighborhood the hospital was located in.

I don't know if it's because I'm an artist, a Taurus, or just plain crazy but when I get fixated on something....I get fixated on something! After my last leaf painting, I keep finding myself spotting fallen leaves on the ground.

Look at all my leaves!

It was quite windy and stormy last weekend so downed branches dotted the sidewalks and I started picking up random leaves along the way.

I was especially drawn to the damaged leaves. The more broken and scarred the better. I felt how they looked. I'm not entirely sure what I'll do with all of these yet but when the obsession hit I just had to have them!

Mine, mine, mine!

And on my way back to the hospital, near some ornamental trees that had just been pruned, I found this 12-inch log and immediately thought, I HAVE to take this too! And I did!

A spare plastic bag, my backpack, and a minute later I carefully wrapped up this tree limb and took it home!

I have absolutely NO idea what I'm going to do with it though. Any advice from my fellow bloggers?

What would you do with a thick, 12-inch piece of wood? (I can just imagine the dirty jokes now!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nude Male Ink Sketch - Reclining Pose

Pen and ink on paper - 8" x 10 1/2" (SOLD)

I haven't done one of these in soooo long!

The last time I went to an open studio life drawing class was sometime last summer. I've just been too busy helping my family right now to go back.

Here's one of my ink sketches that I still saved.

I really love this pose, especially the shadows being created from each leg. The figure is almost fading into existence!

One of these days I've got to go back.

God, how I miss it!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I wrote the word "hope".....

I took several deep breaths and dialed the number, trying not to think about it too much. Afraid I'd hang up the phone.

Shaking and trembling, tears ran down my face while I was put on hold. And when the phone conversation finally finished several weeks ago, I ended up scheduling an appointment to see a therapist.

Fast forward to yesterday.....

I was deathly frightened. Breathing as deeply as I could but it still felt like I couldn't get enough air. After being put on a waiting list with the counseling center I had called, I was meeting with a therapist for the first time EVER this past Monday.

It was just an hourlong session but I was nervous the whole time through. I didn't know what to expect. What I'd say. What he'd ask about.

While most of the time was spent going over the procedure, we did cover my basic "history".

It would've been too weird crying in front of a complete stranger so I held back but did tear up when I told him I felt worthless.

After hearing my story, the therapist said, "I think your life defined you up to this point but I see the true Dean inside of you wanting to come out." I smiled. With that one sentence I knew he understood why I was there.

And so I agreed to meet with him Monday afternoons in his office in the Loop. As one blogger told me, "It's long overdue."

Even though it was awkward it felt good. Like I was actively taking healthy steps in the right direction. A light at the end of the tunnel.

Monroe Harbor looking west towards the city!

Once the therapy session ended I didn't want to go home right away. I needed to decompress and take in the emotional experience I just had. To reflect on things.

So I walked over to Monroe Harbor and sat near the edge of one of the docks. Alone like always, occasionally crying to myself as cool gusts messed up my hair.

Walking down the dock

Seagulls were casually circling in the distance as I listened to the water roll onto itself in silky slaps. Anchored boats heavily rocked back and forth.....moving yet not going anywhere. I could relate to that! Maybe therapy will change that though.

While sketching the boats on the lakefront, I noticed some of the wooden posts on the dock had writing all over them. Love notes, obscenities, and little drawings littered each slender support.

Close-up shot of a wooden post!

I must've spent over a good hour on that dock. And when I was ready, before leaving to catch my train home, there was one more important thing I wanted to do.

On the wooden post closest to the edge, I inscribed a message of my own. At the very bottom of the soft timber, I wrote the word "hope".

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Going numb.....

I spent the past several days not caring much about anything. Dazed with a defeated look on my face. Almost as if I were drugged.

No feeling. Emotionless. NUMB.

Watercolors and ink in Moleskine journal - (NFS)

Detached and a part of me died.

Like it was never real. Not acknowledging the truth that it's over.

Staring blankly ahead for long periods as if a zombie. Catching myself pausing in mid-stride around the house.

Maybe it's a defense mechanism. My body's way of protecting me until I could deal with the heartache at a proper time. To mourn love that could've been.

When will I feel again?

When will I give myself permission to feel again?

Or will I always be numb?