My Sisters

It’s always sad when someone you cared about passes away. Even though you knew they had been dealing with illness, it is still shocking to hear those words, “she is gone.” I met Linda in the 5th grade. We sat alphabetically in class. She was in the back of the class, but we sat together at lunch and she rode the same bus I did home. She lived just a few miles down the road in a house that overlooked the river. My biological sister, Kathleen, died when she was newborn, so the girls I knew in school were my ‘sisters’. We laughed, we cried, we fought and we laughed about it when we made up. Linda was one of those ‘sisters”. She was the one who talked me into to wearing makeup for the first time. “It will make you feel so pretty” she said. It did. It helped change the way I saw that teenage me when I looked in the mirror. Linda was a beautiful woman, inside and out.
As a sisterhood of girls now women, we watched each other’s lives unfold, year by year, decade by decade. We are in our early fifties now, most of us had children and some grandchildren. When I look at us, I still see fresh-faced youth running through playgrounds and swinging on swings. I remember volleyball games and dance troupe, plays and pageants. Although life has had its obligations for me that has kept me from joining in with social functions, it doesn’t diminish the love I feel for my “sisters’ or sadness in missing out on getting together. Some of my sister’s I met in college, most in grade school then high school, but all are dear to my heart. When one of you goes away I lose a part of me. A portion of my childhood I dearly treasure. Linda may be gone, but her memory and those images of kids playing will stay with me forever. RIP Linda.

My First Poetry of the Year

I wrote these for my creative writing class. My grades are posted, so I can post them here now. My assignment was three poems, twenty line each. I have a tendency to worry more about the mechanics of writing than the actual writing.

Do What You Must Do 

To say nothing rhymes with Orange

Is a cruel and dirty trick;

It has nothing to do with sporange,

But can certainly be rhymed with Blorenge;

As in, “The orange sunset in The Blorenge

Such as glorious sight to see

The splendorous mountains in Wales,

Especially when cast in sea gales.”

Another example is silver,

This one is hard I admit;

But when given a muse,

The words seem to fuse;

As in “A giver of silver

Has a heart pure of gold,

His gratuitous nature is a gift untold.”

So use a dictionary, expound your words

This will set them free;

Never assume there is no room

For words that seem oddly askew;

Write what you write, say what they say can’t be said

And do ,what you must do.

ACM

 

Twenty Lines 

Twenty lines, the request is small;

Unless you lack twenty lines in all

Give me a moment

For you see;

Nothing seems to rhyme for me;

I am having trouble with my Poetry;

It ends with “aye” instead of “eee”

Maybe a muse would set it free;

Could write about cats all warm and fuzzy

Hell I could write about the tramp down the streets who’s a hussy!

No, that won’t do;

Reading that back, that’s slightly blue;

Let’s give this a try,

Let’s end in “I”

The quicker we’re done and this assignment is nigh;

Oh please forgive me,

For I am quick to wit

I must admit I laugh’s a bit;

Before you know it; it over

It’s through;

My last line of this poem

Well, this makes twenty-two.

ACM

 

The Conch Republic Way 

Heading southbound down Highway 1

Toward eclectic dreams in the south Florida sun;

Warm rays on my skin,

Tropical wind in my hair;

Havana-style Cabanas

The Conch republic way;

I’ll slow the pace

Escape the race;

More good than bad,

More happy than sad;

My soul will sing along

To Hemingway’s song;

It’s not just a scheme

But more of a dream;

For me, I pray it comes true;

It’s as strong as Cubano coffee

As sweet as Key lime pie

That Key West passion burns

I’ll get my turn

And leave this world behind.

ACM

 

Leaving it behind in 2015

I wrote this for my Non-Fiction Short Assignment for class. I sat down to write other things for the assignment but this kept bubbling to the surface. I had intended on posting it to the blog after it was graded but it has set on my desk for a week or so. Looking at the date on the calendar I have decided to post this to my blog today and leave this very painful memory in the past, leave it in 2015.  This is a true story of an event that occurred in my life in September of 1998.

The Other Side of Fear

By: Arleen Cornelius-McCann

I met John in the fall of 1997. This was a time I was very alone. I was trying to reclaim my life after the divorce. I had made some giant strides in re-establishing a career.  I had everything but a friend and companion. When I met John, we just clicked. We shared similar interests, we laughed a lot. We talked a couple of times a day on the phone. He was my best-friend.

For years, John struggled with addiction. He was clean and sober for over a year when I met him. He was creative and had an immense talent for woodworking. He fashioned the most beautiful pieces out of scraps of wood. He would call every day especially if he knew I had a hard day at work. . I didn’t think I could do rely on anyone after my divorce but with time I trusted him. This is why what happened on September 19, 1998 all the more a surprise.

It was a Saturday. I went about my chores. I kept waiting for his phone call. I called him. No answer. I made a quick trip to the grocery store. When I returned to start dinner, still no message on my machine. I knew something had to be wrong. Years before we met he had a car wreck that left him blind in one eye. He had to take Neurontin every day for seizures. I was worried about him so I called a couple of our friends and no one had seen him. I turned off the stove and got in my car.

When I arrived at his apartment, I could hear this stereo blaring from the street. I climbed the stairs that went uphill to his apartment. The door was cracked open about an inch. It was pitch dark with the exception of the blue light that illuminated the dial of the stereo system. I pushed the door open calling for John. He didn’t answer. I saw him lying on the sofa, motionless. My heart sank as I ran to put down my purse on the floor, and turn down the radio. As I turned on the lamp I saw beside him an almost empty half-gallon bottle of Jack Daniels.  I knew he was drunk.

Hindsight tells me I should have picked up my purse and left. I should have walked away. What I did instead was rage at the situation with shocked disbelief and anger. I grabbed the bottle off the floor and smashed it onto the side of the coffee table. My anger got the best of me. The remaining alcohol spewed everywhere. Shards of glass when flying into the air. Before I knew what was happening he was awake and had his hands around my throat. I had never seen him drunk before, I did not know the depths of his anger. His grip raised me off the ground, my body dangling in the air like a little girl’s ragdoll.  I still had the remains of the bottle in my hand and I knew if I just dropped it he could pick it up and cut me. I didn’t want to hurt him either, as strange that sounds. I threw the neck of the bottle behind the sofa. I fought him trying to free myself from his grip. I continued to dangle as he slowly walked us across the small living room toward the fireplace.

The whole time he cursed me, “I am going to kill you bitch. How dare you? How dare you break my bottle? How dare you come in my house, you bitch?” His eyes glowed with a crazed anger.

I began to feel the effects and started to choke. I mouthed the word, “Mandy”. He knew how much I loved my child. He slowly released his hold around my neck. I closed my eyes for a moment but when I opened them I saw his fist coming at me. His full force blow threw me into the mantle edge of the brick fireplace. I struck it just at the base of my skull and fell toward my left side. When I hit the floor I felt the glass shattering from an oversized Oriental porcelain pot that sat in the corner. For a moment I was still but I could see the outline of the peeling plaster on the wall, then my body tingled with an electric energy. I felt as if I was drifting away.

This time I prayed “God take care of Mandy, take care of my child.” I began to feel pain intensely. I hurt allover. I could feel blood streaming down my neck. The room whirled with confusion. Then I began to seize uncontrollably. My entire body twisted and contorted with painful jolts down my spine.

I could hear John screaming, “Let me find my gun and I will end this shit!” He saw I was seizing because he yelled, “That’s it bitch, lay there on the floor and die.”

When my body stopped seizing, I could hear him throwing things in the back of the apartment. I knew I had to get out of there. I managed to pull myself up to my knees. I grabbed my purse that was sitting across from me in the floor.  I got to my feet and tried to run. It was hard because I was so dizzy.  He grabbed me by my hair and yelled, “No bitch, you ain’t going nowhere.” He threw me on the sofa and walked back toward the kitchen.

I reached in my purse and pulled out a twenty that was stuck in an inside compartment.  “Here John, I’m so sorry,” I cried. “Here go buy another bottle.”

I knew I had a head injury; I had to get to the hospital. I pleaded “I’m going to the hospital now, John.”

He said, “Oh, no you’re not.” He kept looking for the gun. As he entered the kitchen I sprinted for the door. He followed. As I got to the staircase I began to holler for anyone that was around to help me. No one was there, no one answered. I got to the top step and he lunged for me, and fell to the ground. I made it to my car, got inside and locked the doors. My trembling hands could hardly get the key in the ignition.  I was so sick. I managed to crank the car and as I pulled away I could hear him hollering at me.

I drove as fast as I could. I felt the side of my head with my hand, as I merged into a small line of fast moving traffic on I-59. My hand was covered in blood and waives of nausea came over me.  Tears flowed down my face. I was afraid I was going to die. I just wanted to feel safe again.  I pulled into the parking deck of Bessemer Carraway. No one was around. It was a Saturday night in September, still warm for this time of the year.  I parked my car and when I got out, I could see blood on the door handle. How surreal; it was mine. I made my way, staggering to the elevator. I pushed the button, leaving droplets of blood behind. When the doors opened, I saw an elderly woman screaming at the ghastly sight of me covered in blood. I hit the floor in front of her.

The next thing I remember is being transported very quickly down the halls toward the emergency room. The room was filled with movement as they started an IV, and the doctor examined me. My clothes reeked of Jack Daniels, the collar and sleeve saturated in blood. The Doctor asked, “How much have you had to drink?” “Nothing!” I cried, “I smashed a bottle and it got on me.” I explained what had happened to the best of my ability. They looked at me with questioning eyes like they didn’t know whether to believe me or not.  I was crying hysterically. I was still in shock and emotionally numb from the experience. They sent me to have a CAT scan. When I returned a Birmingham Police officer was in the room waiting to speak to me. I told him what had happened. He said given the facts that, I had entered John’s apartment without an invitation I could be counter-charged with breaking and entering if I pressed charges against John. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked. I had a concussion, cracked ribs, a broken jaw, a head full of stitches and I could be charged with a crime. He took photos for the file and gave me a card with a case number. The card also had the number of someone I could speak with about the matter, “just in case you need to talk to someone.” I still have that card to this day. I keep it as a reminder of a time in my life when I thought this could never happen to me and how quickly life can change.

Before this happened, I was beginning to trust again. Afterwards, I was filled with anger and self-doubt. I didn’t trust my own instincts. I doubted myself. After all, I had thought John was one of the good guys. I began to doubt my decisions. I moved to the other side of Birmingham, to an apartment that had security at the door. I was living my life in fear. . It has taken me a very long time to resolve the events of that day.

In 2000, I made the move back to my childhood home. My Mother needed help with my ailing Father and I needed to feel a sense of safety and peace again. This is the one place I have always felt safe. This ordeal, left me with fibromyalgia, nerve damage in my neck and jaw. I have physical, emotional, and mental scars but my spirit is beginning to heal. I found out John died in 2011. I don’t know the circumstances. I just know I no longer have to look behind me, I no longer fear.

Now, with this event some 17 years in the rear-view mirror of my life, I can speak about it.  Time has given me clarity- peace.  It has also given me strength. Strength to speak out- to share my story in the hopes someone else will listen and leave a similar situation.  If you or anyone you know is going through a situation in which they are not safe and secure, now is the time for action.  Seek help, it’s out there. Go to your local counseling center for Domestic abuse. Reach out to groups online who can and will give you haven and shelter. Do not let yourself become a victim. Speak up-speak out.  It is in our duty to speak out for those who can no longer speak for themselves. Those who have died from domestic violence.  Life for me, since I returned home, has been filled with countless beautiful memories that would never had happened if I had died on September 19, 1998.

 

My First Fiction Short Story-Catharsis

 

My first assignment in Creative writing was to write a Fiction Short story with a cover sheet. I had never heard of a cover sheet. She told us what she expected on the cover sheet and I must have created it correctly because there were no errors marked on that portion.  The rest- not so much. I had several grammar errors. All I have corrected for this blog post. I mulled the idea of submitting for publication. I guess I am not that brave, yet. I know I will get there. Baby steps. The first step for me is posting to my blog, so here is the cover sheet first then my fiction short story- Catharsis.

Ms. Arleen

Cover Sheet:

I began my fiction short story by sitting quietly. I tried to block out all the noise around me, hard to do sometimes. For this very reason, I tend to write either at night or very early in the morning, when the house is quiet and my spirit is calm.  This story deals with something I struggle with; writers block. As you recall, I used the same subject matter in last week’s post. For me, it’s a recurrent issue.  It’s also something I feel I need to get a handle on, it only leads to procrastination if not dealt with promptly.

I wrote my story in the span of about an hour and a half. Then I let it rest and I did as well. When I got up the next morning I edit with a fresh, rested mind. My thought process is more focused when I am having that first cup of coffee. I had one draft and then I edited that draft. I print out my story and re-read. This particular story when I re-read it caused me to be emotional. This story came from my heart, roughly based on life events; hence the title, Catharsis.  In the story the protagonist loses her mother to cancer. I still have my mother with me but I know that day will come.

The two biggest struggles I have in writing, especially with this piece, was beginning and my worries over grammar.  Writing for me is like running; hard to make that first step but once you get going, momentum takes over. Once you silence the inner critics you can hear your true voice speaking to you. You have to listen to what the characters have to say, listen to them speaking to you. A writer is a person who can translate feelings and thoughts into words. This is my translation; Catharsis.

Catharsis

By: Arleen McCann

 

Suzanne knew her deadline was looming. She had worked so hard to get the attention of the editor of Open Seas Magazine. It had been a chance meeting that brought her and the editor together.

It took several conversations for the editor to say, “Suzanne, we are going to give you a shot. Turn in a travel piece. Something about this little Island off Martinique.”

So Suzanne packed her bags and headed to the island. The warm winds and white sands were just what she needed to help her begin again–a new career, a new life. She settled into the hotel. She went out to sample some of the local cuisine. She listened to a local band play just off the street at a café. This would give her piece interest. She thought, “I’ll write about all aspects of life in Les Anses d’Arlet.”  After a leisurely walk on the beach to watch the sunset, she sat down in her room to begin writing.

Nothing came. No thoughts, no words, nothing. Her mind was a blank page. Writer’s block is such a horrible thing. You stare at the blank screen trying to force the words to materialize. Minutes become hours, hours become a day. She continued to stare at the blinking screen. She made coffee, had tea, and walked the beach again. Still nothing, so she turned on the TV and watched endless hours of shows selling gadgets and gizmos all guaranteed to make her life easier, faster, smarter. She thought, “If they could only make something that could cure writer’s block.”

What is writer’s block anyway? Is it the deepest part of your soul hanging on to the catharsis that the sweet release of words would convey?  Is there an enchanted key that unlocks the secrets of your heart?  She was drained, exhausted. So tired from the desire to create, yet, her psyche was void of passion. She did the only logical thing, she laid down. Maybe in her dreams she could write. She fell asleep and suddenly found herself sitting at her laptop. She looked down to see a USB cable attached to her chest, right below her heart. She plugged the cable into the slot on the laptop.  Suddenly the screen pulsated with rainbow hues then returned back to a glistening pink. She looked down and noticed the cable was filling with this pink glow. Her soul came alive with this flickering, beautiful pink light. She could hear a voice say, “Write what you feel, don’t think, don’t judge, don’t criticize or doubt, just write.”

She closed her eyes and she could see with her heart.  Her quiet mind released thoughts and feelings, hopes and yes, imaginings.  She turned to see an angel sitting at the end of her bed. The angel was leaned back, arms crossed behind her head.

“Hello, who are you?” Suzanne asked.

“Well, it’s pretty obvious by the wings I must be an angel but, to be specific, my name is Jonae. I am your writing angel. Also a kind of angel of confidence. I only appear when you lack the assurance or well, in some cases, courage to write.”

“It’s nice to meet you. I feel like we have meet before,” Suzanne inquired.

“We have,” the angel replied, “many times. You see, some people are given a destiny to write. You were given a destiny to write and paint. You seem to have forgotten what it is you have to do. That is what writers block is; you have forgotten consciously what your subconscious never doubts. You are a writer, you are an artist. You see the world painted in light; you appreciate the pink hues of love, the blue notes of music, the passion of red, the majesty of purple and the sunsets of yellow and orange. You perceive emotions and feel color. Music stirs your soul like a warm pot of soup on a cold winter day. You feel pain more intensely than everyone else. You cry with those who suffer and laugh with the joy of a child. You have felt the darkness of death and the deepness of depression. You have been given every experience you need to write. Your experience is your life! Your life is your canvas; your words your palette.”

Silent tears streamed down her face as she remembered what it was she had been given; joy, pain, love—an empathic ability to connect with the world around her. She realized she had been given a gift to heal with a simple word from a pen and stroke from her brush.  This overwhelmed her for a moment. It’s as if she caught her collective breath and suddenly she could breathe again. The fear slowly subsided.

“I remember” Suzanne said. “I remember when I was a little girl and I would pull the papers my mother wrote out of a weathered shoe box. They were brown with age. A lone staple- that had been placed there some 50 years ago- held them together. I read her words and something inside me wanted to be just like my mother. I wanted my words to be as spellbinding, to mesmerize. The admiration was overwhelming.  I used to say, I am going to be a writer one day, just like my mother. I knew that as long as I had her words, I had her with me all the time. I needed her then and still do. I need her here with me.”  Jonae leaned forward and placed her hand on Suzanne’s.

“As long as you have her words, her inner strength, you have her time immortal. She is with you always, in your heart, in your thoughts, and in your words. Just look and you will find her there. By the way, you will find yourself as well.”

Suzanne smiled. She now knew the source of her hesitance. She was missing that maternal connection she had felt so long ago. Her mother was her best friend. When she became ill, she tried to do the best she could to ease her pain. She felt ineffective and useless as the cancer spread. In the end, she was helpless to ease her suffering.  The woman who once held her hand and soothed her tears, she now had to reassure that it would be okay. The roles had reversed. Suzanne remembered the last days of her Mother’s life. She couldn’t wrap her head around the fact she was physically here, but the smile, the love, the warm laugh was gone. The essence that filled the room with all her memories was so far away—somewhere, but where? She felt her here and then she wasn’t anymore.

She knew she had not been able to write since her mother had passed away. She had been unable to put into words the immense loss her whole being felt. The guilt she felt over wanting to live again when the sweetest part of her soul was no longer alive. She began to cry.

Jonae said, “Its ok, have a good cry and get back to spreading your soul on that canvas, Share your gift. Write the words that inspire. Give hope to others. It’s time to create again.”  Tears flowed like they had not for several years, all the pain, all the hurt came pouring out. Suzanne looked up to find Jonae was gone.

     The next morning she woke to the sound of birds outside and the sun shone through her window castings tropical rays of warmth. The smell of coffee filled the air as she got out of bed. This morning was different. She didn’t feel that awful sense of dread. She knew her deadline for the story was drawing close but she wasn’t empty. She felt optimistic, alive. Her mind whirled with words, so fast she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to capture them all. She felt passion for her craft. She felt like a writer again.  She quickly poured a cup of coffee and made her way to the desk. She smiled. Beside the desk she found a note. It simply said, Believe. Next to the note was a singular white feather.

update

 Trying to update things I haven’t had much time to spend on lately. One of them is my blog, the other is my Fine Art America gallery page. Hoping when my break from school begins on March 27th to have more time for painting and getting some things done.

 Update on things around here. Well, the mine’s is getting closer to mine and Mother’s home.  The dust is beginning to pile up on the porch. I can really tell if I don’t sweep it off for a day. The car is always covered as well. Just things you have to take care of when you live next to a coal mine. At night you can see lights behind the house that look like they are from a belt-line platform. Not sure if they are putting one in yet, but sure appears that way.  Neighbors couple of parcels away leased their land to the mines so they can come within at least an acre off the back side. I had always hoped to grow old in this house but I think that is a far-fetched plan now. The blasting is daily! Just so sad to watch. I know I need to prepare myself for  backup plan in case the house becomes so damaged we can’t stay here.  Planning in my mind what I do want to do as the years tick on. I know if I can’t be here, I want to be near water. I always wanted a place near the beach when I was young, time to look into making that one a reality. For now though I am here, this is home. I learn to deal.

I look forward to working in the garden this year. This is the first planting season with my new little tractor. It’s a small John Deere  I call “Kermie”. It sure is a work horse for things I have to do by myself. I plan to put it to work as soon as I can. I have to use the tiller first and get the garden ready. I try to remember all the things Daddy told me do. All the advice he gave me before he passed away. He told me how to plant a garden so I think this year is he year I do it right. I will plant field peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions. I want some greens out there for sure. Momma has requested potatoes. I am going to try my hand at growing eggplant. Not sure it will grow but have to learn somehow.  I will also put a small patch for herbs. Things like rosemary, basil and cilantro. Oh an we can’t forget the flowers! I saw the most beautiful dahlias on QVC. They were huge! I would love that.  This part of living in the south I love. I can be outdoors on my own spot and do as I please.  I  can sit outside and hear the crickets chirp. All those days I lived in Vegas I would have never dreamed I would one day be planting a garden back home. Life is full of changes baby. Just hang on and enjoy the ride cause you never know what lies ahead!

 

Life Changes

Well, to say the past month has been filled with life changes would be an understatement.
So the month of April started off with my anticipation of actually getting into the OR, at long last. The first couple of weeks were great. I scrubbed in on several GYN cases, a couple of breast reconstructions, a mastectomy. I even saw a penile debridement ( that was interesting to say the least). The smells didn’t bother me, the sights didn’t either. The doctors were great, even taking time to teach me. The problem came after only 4 days in; I began to really feel the physical strain of it all. Standing in one confined spot for hours was so hard on my knees. They swelled to the point I had to stay off my legs to be able to go back in the next Monday.
The 3rd week I had what the clinic Dr thought was stomach flu combined with a nasty sinus infection. I literally got nauseous in the OR. So by this time I am beginning to think maybe this was not my best idea. This entire year I have gone to class faithfully, great grades (President’s list) but when the rubber hit the road so to speak my body wasn’t having it. So this brings me up to the 5th Week. It’s Sunday. I ask “If I’m not meant for this please give me a sign or strength to endure it” I got a sign alright- heart palpatations with PVC’s, a BP of 158/98 and a trip to the ER where the Dr. tells me I need a heart cath, problem is : no insurance. So the answer was:rest. I withdrew from classes the next day. I will be honest, I am incredibly hurt to not graduate. But I have to be sensible. My momma depends on me too, so I have to account for her well-being in my decision. I had to rest.
Rest has made a world of difference. To try and process all this, I began to pull all my art materials back out. I am painting again and feeling better.
So for me I have to figure out making a living. Central sterile is not as stressful or physically demanding so that is an option. Right now though I’m listening to my creative voice and resting for a few weeks.

Saturday night thoughts

Well actually its just past midnight so it’s officially Sunday morning thoughts. I’ve been up studying, listening to some music. Time to blog a little bit.
This past week has taught me some lessons. One being you are never too old to learn lessons. The other lesson is that even though you think you have figured something/or someone out, it can suddenly hit you that you just thought you had figured it out! Sometimes we live in some pretty veil thin illusions. Maybe some of that is my fault for not wanting to see the truth. I was so enamored by the “wizard behind the curtain”. But tonight I see so clearly and I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt I know longer believe in the “great and powerful wizard”. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me..
This does not mean I do not believe in the magic. Oh it’s real alright. It’s out there and somewhere I will meet a true “wizard”. One who loves Arleen for Arleen. This would be one of those things they use to tell me you can do nothing about Arleen. One of the God grant me courage, moments of life.
I know to all but a couple of people, this makes little sense tonight. But I thank you for letting me air my thoughts. I needed to purge and walk away from a situation in my life. I have done that now. My soul can breathe and move on. I have my career ahead of me. Extern starts in a few weeks. but first I have several tests, a final check off and of course finals to take. Spring is right around the corner and all things begin anew. Time for Arleen to “bloom” again.

Time to create again…

Well it’s Sunday night and I am sitting here taking a break from my studies to update my blog. Been awhile since the last post.
Mother had cataract surgery on both eyes the first of the month. She is doing remarkable well. Healing nicely. Corrective lenses in both eyes so she can see to read now with only bifocals. That is wonderful!
Classes started back the 15th. I only have two classes this time and to my glee, I only go Tuesdays and Thursdays! Yeah! I love school but the four day schedule I have been on for the past 6 months left me very tired. Not to mention the drive in from Cordova. I have my last procedure class this quarter, Surgery 2170. We cover Orthopedics, Vascular/Cardiothoracic, Pediatrics and Neurosurgery. I also have the Career class where we create and polish our resumes. I begin extern in April. I do not know yet where I will extern. Hoping for Princeton! Cross your fingers!
I have enjoyed my studies so much but I miss my artwork! I am beginning to come out of the “dry” period. I don’t know what else to call it. It was like all the ideas I ever had, all the inspiration and passion I felt, just went away. Like a book someone closed. I understand now that part of that was from the stress I felt after Daddy passed away. A big part of my life was gone. It was my soul’s way of grieving. It just shutdown. Now though, I am beginning to feel that passion again. I have ideas when I’m driving or working on something and I wish I had the time to just sit down and get it out on canvas. I am working hard to get the homework done so I can sit and paint. I have so many ideas lately; like I said the passion is back. I am beginning to feel like Arleen again. Yeah!
Ms Arleen

Yea! Finals are over…

Finished my finals today. I ended up with 3 B’s. As sick as I’ve been I’ll take it! Now time to rest and recoup! Typing this in bed so I am taking my own advice for once.
I think I will work on some artwork while I’m out. Just put paint to canvas and see what reveals itself! It’s those paintings I enjoy the most. Taking a simple line or circle, just a random shape and go from there. I need to create! So very good for my soul.
Ms Arleen

Catching up…

To say the past couple of weeks have been stressful, well would be an understatement.  I have been on such a fast paced schedule for several months now. I suppose it “caught up with me”.  I am now recouping from double pneumonia. Yes, both lungs.  I am finally able to catch a decent breath and talk at the same time. My fever ran the range of low grade up to 103 then back down to low-grade then back up again. A miserable few days. In all I missed 3 days of class. For a typical college, 3 days is rough, but you can makeup pretty fast. When you are dealing with a Career/Vocational College, not so much. First off for each lab missed there is a required 1000 word essay. I missed two labs. I turned those papers in Thursday. If the papers aren’t turned in you fail, no questions asked. I missed an exam as well. I have my Doctor’s slip, so I can retake the test on Tuesday after my final. That is a blessing. I think the biggest whack I took was missing the professional points. That can lower your grade as much as a full letter. So I went from A’s to B’s but right now I will be incredibly happy with B’s (although Arleen prefers A’s). Some miss a few days and are out completely.  I am still in the ballgame so we are happy with that one. So today I am studying for finals and regrouping for next quarter. Thank goodness I have nearly a month away before I go back on the 15th of January. By that time I should have healed nicely. You know, when your twenty you bounce back so much easier than you do when your fifty. Just takes longer but I’ll get there.  In addition, this next quarter will not be as grueling a schedule as the prior quarters. I only have classes on Tues/Thursday. That does ease the pressure a bit, since I have all the personal stuff going on here with Momma and the house/mining issues.

Speaking of Momma, she is having cataract surgery (phaco’s w/lenses) on the 2nd and 9th. I would have rather her had a little additional time in between but that is the schedule . She will be so much happier when this is over. I can only imagine what it has been like for my sweet little momma the past several months. I had no idea, and she didn’t indicate either, that she had such limited eyesight in the right eye. No wonder she leaves the lights on at night, I would too. But thank goodness this time next month she will be right as rain.

MsArleen