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shrine 12

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shrine 12


mixed media on wood: acrylic paint, my photographs of dolls i collaged and assemblaged, collages paper, mirrors, bottlecaps, bone, sequins, jewels, cloth flowers, matchbox retablo, skull, beads, day of the dead figure, stamp, angel charm


23 1/2" X 9 1/2" X 2"




Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 North Union Street

Alexandria, Virginia 22314

30 October- November 2010




i was reading the washington post newspaper weekender section, friday 22 october, with my morning coffee.

imagine my surprise when i turned to page 27 and.........there is my shrine 12, with my name under it.

the article in the section, talking about the "ofrenda" show that i will be in 28 october-9 november, 2010, at the torpedo factory art center.


must admit..seeing it in the newspaper brought a huge smile to my face! i am enjoying my "five minutes of fame"!




i have been making shrines for neal because he has been having problems with his eyes.

i finished this shrine in time for his cataract surgery 23 july.


the surgery went well.

the surgery took longer than expected and the recovery took a long time also as neal was nauseous, dizzy, felt like throwing up. so of course we had to wait. they gave him medicine to help with all that. he was so pale and had the sweats.

when we got home david and i put him to bed after giving him his eye drops (3 kinds every two hours).

neal has to wear a hard, clear, plastic eye patch when he sleeps so he does not rub his eye in his sleep.

neal says it hurts. they gave him medicine for the pain after the surgery and also extra strenght tylenol. it still hurts. i can give him more tylenol at 2pm.

tomorrow he sees the doctor for the follow up visit. at that time we will ask all our questions about travel, etc.

neal did very well. he was not exceptionally nervous. i think i was more anxious than he was.

having david with us was an enormous help. he is the best son!

we are glad it is over.




after neal woke up from his three hour nap (he was exhausted!), at 3pm, he was in a lot of pain and the nausea continued (bad). i called the doctor. he called the pharmacy and ordered pain medication and anti-nausea medication. i had to go pick it up. the doctor became upset when he found out i was walking to the pharmacy because it was 100 degrees outside...but no choice (the car was in the repair shop!).

on my way out i saw one of my neighbors and asked her of she would take me to the shopping center. she said yes and off we went.

before i left the house i called david and he called christine and she left work and decided to meet me at the pharmacy...surprise. she then drove me home and popped in to see neal.


neal took both medications and the doctor called back around 1 1/2 hours later to see how neal was doing. the pain and nausea were worse. the doctor said he would come, from his home, and meet us at his office.


i called david and he came over. neal could hardly walk to the car and had to lean on david and stop constantly. at one point we had to stop driving, go into a shopping mall parking place, because neal though he would throw up.


we finally made it to the doctor and he took the pressure in neal's right eye. it was 150% higher than the left eye! it was a dangerous glaucoma situation. the doctor said if it didn't go down and continued it could cause permanent damage to the optic nerve.


he worked with neal, giving him drops, measuring, waiting, doing it again and again and again and again until the pressure dropped to within normal.


the doctor said that the pressure could rise again and neal could be on the drops for who knows how long.


as david put was like his eye ball was going to explode!


we were there for 2 1/2 hours.


the doctor said to call him before neal goes to sleep and let him know how he is doing. and if the pain/nausea return, to call immediately, even if it was three in the morning, and he would see neal.


neal will see the doctor tomorrow at 10:15 am. david will take us there.


this is a great doctor!!!! and neal was a real trouper going through all of this. the change in his mood and appearance was remarkable once the pressure went down.


what a day!!!!!




david drove us to the eye doctor. we had the extra added pleasure of helena coming along as christine was doing an art/textile lecture in washington, d.c. with a friend.


the pressure in neal's eye has returned to almost normal. in part that is because he is using eye drops to control the pressure. the doctor said that this glaucoma condition was brought on by the psuedo exfoliation syndrome that neal has (think of it is drandruff in his eye. flakes of the lens come off. ugh!).

we do not know if this glaucoma will continue forever or will abate. probably forever. but will he need to use eye drops forever? we do not know and may not for quite some time.

in the meanwhile he has five different kinds of eye drops to use.


meanwhile neal is pain free and has no nausea. however, he still can not see with his right eye. we will have to wait and see how quickly his eye sight returns. the cornea is cloudy.


the doctor will see him this coming thursday. then he MAY want to see him again the following week. we will not know that until thursday.


the doctor also said that anytime pain or nausea symptoms or anything else return or occur to call him immediately, even at 3 a.m., and he will see neal right away.


our trip to the southwest: at this point we do not see how we could start our trip this coming saturday 31 july . we may not be able to leave until the following week and because the drive to new mexico, arizona and utah is so long to accomplish in the remaining time we can not go.


also there is the issue of neal's "comfort" level...staying near his doctor.

we are, as my mother would say "mulling it over". it is possible to leave the following week and just do some camping/easy hiking in utah?. but again, does that make sense in terms of time? probably not.

we will continue to talk about it but i have the feeling that this summer is the summer we spend in our backyard!


we are disappointed to be sure..but....there will be other summers!


at least the surgery is behind us. now to get the rest of it taken care of.


neal says: NO MORE SHRINES! LOL!!!

every time i made one of these recent shrines more "problems developed" .

maybe i will make a voudou piece next and see in my white magic powers work better that way! LOL!!! .





neal just called me to tell me the report from the eye doctor. good news! his pressure is 14. the surgery is healing nicely. neal will continue the eye drops until the four bottles of medication are empty. currently he is on only one pressure medication.

neal will see the doctor monday, august 30, to see what needs to be done next. will he have to continue with pressure drops? he will also need a new prescription for reading as he can not really see out of his right eye and therefore his old glasses do not work anymore.


since neal's eye is doing so well the doctor said it would be all right if we went away on holiday!


we are leaving wednesday, august 4 and will return august 25.


first we are going to sedona, arizona. we will stay in a log cabin. we have been to sedona before, but it is beautiful! we will see, among other sights, the vermillion cliffs, red rock state park, take a hummer tour of the slot canyons, and other assorted hikes. we are also going to the south rim of the grand canyon. the grand canyon is the most beautiful, amazing, awe inspiring place we have ever been (and you know how much we have traveled). when i saw the grand canyon for the first time, several years ago, i burst into tears. i have never seen anything as breathtaking!


after sedona we are going to utah. our first stop is in kanab because it is well located for what we want to see and do.

we are going (again) to bryce national park and zion national park. we are doing the slot canyons in lake powell and perhaps also a tour on the lake. we will see kodakchrome national park and the coral pink sand dunes.

in kanab we are staying in a cottage built out of geodes!


when we leave kanab we are going to canyonlands national park. we have been there twice before. we will camp there. the camping and hiking is amazing! we will also go to arches national park (again).


we will be hiking in both arizona and utah. we are looking forward to the hiking and the camping. time to stetch our legs after this long year. neal has had his share of medical issues (the stroke to the 6th cranial nerve and resulting double vision for six months, his back, and the recent catarcat surgery and complications). he is more than ready to "get away" and relax!


i am sure i have left out many of the things ( we will visit, again, the petrified forest on our drive to arizona) we will see and do but will regale you with stories and photographs when we return.


we will have our laptop with us (in addition to our cell phone), so please feel free to write and let us know how all is going. we love getting "mail from home" when we are away.



art outside the edge

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Taken on July 24, 2010