Lupus is a chronic, auto-immune disease in which the body's immune system forms antibodies that attack healthy tissues and organs. If left untreated, lupus can be serious and even life threatening. Here I share how I am using my artwork and learning music to navigate me towards a simple goal of daily peace~

Bright Bird

Bright Bird
scroll way down to view my Hawaiian photos and don't forget to feed the fish!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here's Gracie!

On June 22 after several weeks of waiting Paul and I drove to St. Louis to meet our new pup and bring her home. She is a special companion dog for me and comes from Atlanta, Georgia being bred by Donna Truit of Anticipation Dalmatians in Tennessee.
This year in January and again in March we were greatly saddened to put down our Dalmatian girls Rocket and Lucky. Both were 14 years old and they just got too old and let us know it was time for them to leave us.
This was very stressful as many who have gone through it will tell you. We first said no more dogs! and just pretended to live. But after a few months we decided that our lives just sucked with out a dog and began to search for a rescue dog. All my applications in three states were rejected due to us being renters and not having a fence on our property. I was very down and frustrated. We kept looking at Dalmatians on line because we just love Dals and I was then recommended to Donna and we came to an agreement for a new puppy and she picked our pup out for us. I liked the name Bebop when I saw the first picture of her and Paul liked Bingo... after looking at a new picture of her on the computer we agreed on the name of Gracie and waited to meet her to see if it fit.
She is a female liver 'patch' so not a show dog, but all her markings and standards are just so show quality. The thing is she has a patch on her face instead of her ear. This is like the best patch ever as it makes her so unique and totally adorable. And it brought her to me!
These dogs are specially breed to do agility training and I would like to train her in it even if we do not compete. It is pricey, but I think I can make some of my own training equipment.
The point is that it gets me moving. I am so busy now with a new pup and painting for the next art show. Dalmatians are runners and I need to get Gracie out twice a day at least for some hard exercises.
It gets me some hard exercise too! Just what the doc recommended. And since this is my 60th birthday month what a great present to have for health, love and sharing our lives with a dog named Gracie with the green eyes!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

the GOOD triggers

What makes our minds comfortable is a key to the depression in the struggle with pain when you have Lupus. It is all about what turns you on. The tiniest thing that makes you happy, you look forward to, you enjoy or you relax with is now going to be your new bag of tricks. A routine is what you need to develop that runs in a loop so you can keep the good vibes running in the back ground of your daily life.
Personally I get a feeling. A warm fuzzy one I guess you might call it. Or I feel a security when I do certain things or I feel like I have some control over a body I live in that has decided to jump off a health cliff and take my brain with it. What I do are simple daily things that makes me feel good..... because I feel so bad most of the time.
Here are some examples of my bag of tricks. I make sure I have them as best I can even if I travel.
*I found early on in the battle with my Lupus that I like lights. This is candles and strings of lights. So I looked up in my favorite feng Shui book the best placement and the worse placements of strings of lights in my house. Then I decorated. So in the evening or cloudy days I can plug in my lights and just be all lite up. I also have a wide collection of candles that I burn at night when watching TV and movies. When I was ill with my 1st Lupus attack I did this like relentlessly. Now, I have eased off. Some days and nights I am more 'needy' than others.
** I burn a lot of incense. Oh what a basket of delightful selections I have. But I am careful to have open windows or in a room that I am not too clogged up with it as I developed asthma last fall. And that also helps me to choose the right one for the mood or cleansing I wish to do. Sometimes I just put 2 sticks out side in the garden to lighten the chi energy around the house. I always take two sticks out to offer good energy when I go to visit my departed doggies Lucky and Rocket. By making a blessing I am comforting my mind and I look forward to it.
*** Visual colors are another real mind impression I like. So I found these lime green curtains at TJ Max and hung them in the two front rooms of the living room. When the sun sets in the west it gives a beautiful green glow. This reminds me of living in the jungle in Kahalu'u O'ahu, Hawai'i. That gives my mind a calmness that I enjoyed so much when I was living there. It is hard to duplicate the lush greens of my island home. But these curtains do the trick. Now I really look forward to that time of the day.
****Music is a must. I need lots of music and many kinds. I paint to Hawaiian music always with out fail. There is no washer or dryer going, nothing to interrupt the flow of rhythms and sounds. I sleep to music starting off to the sounds of ocean waves playing as I read before bed, then just fall asleep to it. I use to play slack key guitar so I have changed over time. I think this is natural. I stream in my favorite radio when I want variety too. In fact I know the Hawaiian traffic report before my friends do in da islands because they are still asleep due to the 4/5 hour time changes. Heheheh. When we talk later in the day they are always saying "how do you know this?" when I ask about something big happening there.
Also do not rule out meditation chants during the day that you can get. That works for me, maybe classical music works for you. There are music CDs that have a special rhythm set to them for the health of your heart or special wellness promotion.
Make a list of your special brain happy requests. These are just little things that you maybe already do, just make sure you actually do them. Maybe that special scent of a body wash is just the ticket for you. You may not be able to do them all, but you can fluctuate between them too. And I notice I do so naturally and do not worry about it. And that is important too. Just try some and see what works, if you force yourself then just let it go.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hagen's newest urls

My youngest son Hagen Miller has a new interview available. He also has a blog titled 'swing shift'.
Go check it out!
mahalo, the Mom

Keeping Busy

Now that the spring Hawaiian Kine show is over I was planning to return to some selfish painting to clear my head of all those paintings I think I am going to do some day.
If you missed the Hawaiian Kine show in the months of March - April you missed a packed room of happy people in Hawaiian shirts feasting on fresh pineapple, fruit salsa, scratch Hawaiian cakes, mango mojitos and Kugler Vineyard wines!
This show was the creation of my High School pal and fellow artist Marty Olson. Once Marty saw my work he simply said " you need to have a show" and that is exactly how he snared me. I was happily painting away at home and stacking up paintings in piles and rows not really looking to do an art show and put myself out there........
ahhh, but there was a catch. This year all the showings Marty is doing in his Do's Deluxe hair salon location is the theme focus of obsessions. ummmm that would be me and da mangoes I am sure..... if you know my work you know that I am happy to paint mangoes.
Marty's venue was perfect for me. The rooms are well lite and warm, perfect for my colors of works. Then there is Marty and his mom Betty. They are like the mellowest most supportive people I actually get to have as friends. It was wonderful and totally exposed me to new Lawrence artists and allowed me to show what has been in my head all these years.
Behind the scenes I have other mellow supportive people all doing voodoo to make this show a success. Am I lucky or what? I am thinking there are some forces here working in my behalf~~ spirits or people are the positive force that is keeping me busy! And now I will be doing another Hawaiian styled show of works at the 1109 Gallery in Lawrence, Kansas. The dates are the end of August through the end of September. I will get back to the exact times and maybe give you a preview!
For now big kudos to Marty for his faith in me! And mahalo to those secret squirrel people and spirits that are out there... I know you are out there...

For more about Marty Olson and his art work go to: