From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Have you visited Paula Kuitenbrouwer’s art blog? She creates delicate drawings; many of the subjects are birds and flowers. Her most recent work is of “still lifes with Killiney Beach stones, succulents, and blue ceramics.” I’ve been a fan for several years now. The other day I picked up my mail only to discover a special gift from Paula, sent from Ireland: a packet of her beautiful note cards. I was so excited I even showed my cats!

 If you visit Paula’s art shop you will see that she has quite a variety of artwork available, including from Buddhist to Pagan to Christian and Jewish holidays.  She even has a lesbian bird couple.

Thanks so much, Paula!

I’m moving forward on the memoir–I’m up to page 130 of 162 (or SO) in streamlining the change in structure. It feels strange to be enmeshed in the story again . . . .

I went to the doctor this week to get my toenails cut (you can stop reading if this “grosses you out”). I had a toe injured a few years ago when my son was dating the wrong person (he’s now engaged to the right person), and I was so discombobulated and clumsy that I banged my toe really really hard and permanently disfigured the toenail.  You should have heard me yell, by the way. Anyway, with my primary lymphedema (which makes me very susceptible to infections), my antibiotic allergies, and my post-tumor foot reconstruction, I figure that I really need the medical help with the old toe nails. Well, they kicked me out of Mayo. I can no longer get my toenails clipped there. And why? They have no room for me. I am considered “moderate risk,” and they only want “high risk.” Notice my tag of #patientabadonment. Well, darn them.

At least they had pretty flowers–a bit on the going out side, but still cheerful. I can probably take them as a metaphor.

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Filed under #AmWriting, Arizona, Art and Music, Blogging, Flora, Garden, and Landscape, Memoir, Writing

50 responses to “From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

  1. The cards are lovely. What a nice gift!
    Your son probably needed to date the wrong person to appreciate the right one. 🙂

    Good luck with the memoir–and the toe nails!

  2. Luanna, I had to smile about you stating that I even have a lesbian bird couple. I made that drawing for a friend after I learned that birds can be homosexual, sometimes by choice, other times because there are too few mates of the opposite gender. Many thanks for your kind reaction on my post. Big smile on my face.
    Also, I wish you good luck with the memoir writing. It is a huge task, isn’t it? And take good care of your toe. Maybe see a nurse taking care of diabetes patients? I know the feet of people with diabetes need extra guarding and care. They should have had a look at your toe.

    • I remember your post about those birds! Thank you so much for the postcards! So so sweet of you!
      The memoir is a huge task. I knew it would be rough, but it just keeps going on. I will be happy when I really feel it is done so that I can work on other projects.
      You are right about the diabetic patients. Those are the ones Mayo considers high risk and will be keeping. So I need to find someone else who treats those patients who will also handle me–and it won’t be at Mayo although my main doctor is there. So rude of them!

  3. There must be somewhere you can get your toes “done.” I have a friend with a fused spine. She can’t bend over to do her toes so she needs to have someone else do them. Also, her feet are deformed so she didn’t want to go to your corner nail salon. Her doc’s office recommended a place and they do a lot of “specialty” nails jobs. Good luck! Making progress on your memoir is good!

    • That’s what I need for sure. The nurse who did them at Mayo is wonderful, but she will probably only be doing them for people with diabetes, etc., now. I’m kind of mad at Mayo for this and because now it takes a month just to be seen by my regular doctor, even if I have problems right now. I think that’s excessive for non-specialty care. Thanks, Kate!

  4. Lovely drawings, and what a great gift. I’m heading to the artblog now. I’ve taken up painting recently and love checking out what others are doing.

  5. Congratulations on your memoir progress, Luanne. You’re an inspiration. About the toenails: My friend Peter has a social services person to take care of his toe needs. (He’s beset by ailments, cannot walk without a walker and, unlike you, in a state of age-related decrepitude.) I agree with Kate. Call around and check resources. Maybe approach this as not a patient but a person needing help. I recently had an attack of plantar fasciitis and heel pain (hellish). Tried all kinds of things and finally a friend suggested acupuncture. It has worked wonders and I can now return to hiking. p.s. I’m working on the plot for my novel-in-progress, moving forward at last. 🙂

    • I will work on finding someone, Elaine. I do know a doctor who does a decent job at UCLA, but that is 3 hours away each way from where we go in California when we are there! I need someone in Phoenix obviously. I’m glad Peter has someone he can count on. Re the age-related decrepitude, I am starting to feel it, let me tell you! I am thrilled for you that you are feeling better and can resume hiking!!! That is so wonderful to hear. And that you’re moving forward on the novel. What good tidings!

  6. From lesbian birds to toe nail clipping in one post. You made me laugh (not about your pain of course!).

    • Of course not! Haha, I’m glad you could laugh! Check out Paula’s pretty birds and other art! Hope all is well with you and your family . . . .

  7. Your pictures of roses are gorgeous, as is the artwork by Paula Kuitenbrouwer. I love those ducks! I’m sorry your toenails are presenting a problem that Mayo Clinic is ignoring. May you find someone gentle and sweet to care for them.

    Side note: roses are still blooming here in Kalamazoo. On November18!!

    • That is an amazing feat for those sweet (in every way) flowers! The gardener gave my mom a rose bush after my father’s funeral, and she’s been able to keep it going. Now it’s covered in rose hips.

  8. At first I thought you were going to say the ex-stomped on your toe, Luanne. I agree with merrildsmith, it does sound like a Seinfeld episode. I broke a toe a few weeks ago and I’m not even sure how it happened. I hope you’re able to find someone who can help you.

    • I feel so bad for you, Jill! Are you able to walk ok? What did they do for you?

      • Thank you, Luanne. 🙂 My pain tolerance is very high, so I’ve been wrapping it. There’s not much doctor’s can do for a broken toe, so I didn’t bother getting it checked. It’s sticking out way to the left when it’s not wrapped. Quite ugly. LOL! I’m still using my treadmill which might not be smart, but that’s how I relax. Actually, it’s felt better this week than it has in a while. Sometimes the body can heal itself. Have a great weekend!

  9. Good grief. You’re too healthy to get your toenails cut at the Mayo Clinic and I’m so healthy I caught a freakin cold for the first time in 15+ years. (Not now, weeks ago.) These are strange problems to have.
    Well I do appreciate the fleurs.
    Your friend’s work is gorgeous. I love those birds! My mother would REALLY love those birds…Imma check it out. I too have a friend who makes beautiful handmade cards for all sorts of holidays. I buy two every year, a Jesus-y one for my in-laws and a Hanukkah one for my orthodox friends. Because I am special, I receive a charming wintery one myself every year 🙂

  10. I am a sucker for cards – my friend Carol in Texas makes mine for me when I grow weary of the manufactured ones. I have so many cards I’ve run out of people to send them to!!
    Can’t you just get a pedicure if Mayo has kicked you out??
    Not that simple, I guess.

    • In case you want to be a sucker for Paula’s cards or art prints she posted this above:
      “let me give you all this Etsy coupon code, named LUANNE2016 (I considered SEINFELD2016 for a moment). And if you don’t have an Etsy account, ( has direct checkout, same prices.” The Seinfeld reference is a joke above in the comments. Be sure to check out her lesbian bird art in case you haven’t seen it. I remember when she posted about making it for a friend and thought that was such a great idea.
      Re a pedicure: hahahahaha. No. Absolutely no. Those are brutal for many reasons and when you have a risk of infection as with lymphedema or diabetes you have to stay away from those. So, no, not that simple.
      I hope T has recovered. Mom says her knee still hurts, but we are plunging ahead and getting her plane tix to come for a month this winter.

  11. Those cards are gorgeous, Luanne. I cannot wait to check out her site. Thanks for the recommendation.

  12. Such a lovely share and so much joy radiating our in your giving words today, Luanne. Have a wonderful holiday season, to you and yours!

    • No kids this holiday! I found a place to pick up some gluten free Thanksgiving items and am NOT cooking woohoo!!! Happy Thanksgiving, Robin!!! xoxo

      • Not cooking I’d a big deal and reason to rejoice, Luanne!
        I didn’t quite know what to say about the nails and you do need to have a caring physician! They should never turn down patients when you have an authentic, documented lymphedema and your surgery “to boot!” I don’t like the idea of prioritizing diseases and afflictions. Hmmm. . .
        My son, DIL and their combo family, my oldest daughter, her boyfriend and two boys and my youngest daughter are going up to my brother’s house, while they are out of town.
        I will go up Wed and stay in her senior living apartment.
        My artist brother, Randy, stays there watching house and pets, while they head to visit my SIL’s grandies. We have permission to use their kitchen and dining room area to hold the feast. This is all so Mom may have her big family around her. If it were a different time period, she would come down with Randy to my house I used to live in. . . Somewhat liberating in many ways! 🙂
        Have a wonderful and delicious, safe for the gardener and you, Thanksgiving, dear friend. <3

        • I can’t wait to hear all about your lovely time with family and yummies, Robin! I’ve been sick with the flu this week, but started feeling better yesterday (yay!), so all was not lost (well, no writing this week). I made some gluten free stuff for the gardener and we ate restaurant takeout gluten free Thanksgiving for the rest (the restaurant is a long way from us but offered gluten free turkey and a few fixins plus the biggie: gluten free gravy!!! Thinking of you on this holiday weekend! xo

      • I’d seems to be a replacement for “is” lately on my cell phone.
        Quick p.s.
        I have one singular rose tomorrow, which has withstood frost, on a neighboring yard by the house. I am passing out awards (drat those award givers, ha ha just kidding!) Your blog is on it, don’t have to post just like to keep you in my group! You are one of my favorites! 😉

        • Aw, you are so so so sweet, Robin. So amazing, that rose! Did you see that episode of Hot in Cleveland from season 4 with all the Mary Tyler Moore ladies? It was on again the other night. I was thinking how fabulous Cloris Leachman looked–she must have been 86. That is one singular rose that has withstood frost!

  13. Gorgeous cards Luanne, what a great gift and I’m glad you’re making progress on your memoir.

    • I do feel that I am getting somewhere. It might not be the book I had envisioned, but it’s capturing what needs to be captured of the actual/real/true story itself ;).

  14. Beautiful roses. I always enjoy dropping by your site to catch up on what you’re doing. I go into total hip replacement surgery on Monday. Doc tells me she hasn’t had anyone die on her table. Sure hope I’m not her first!! So either you’ll see me a lot on my blog, FB because I can do little moving around, or you won’t see me at all. LOL!

    • Oh, Eileen, that means one hip or both? I’m sorry, I don’t know what total means. This rings a little bell for me because my hip has been bothering me a lot lately. Years ago, my dad had both hips replaced (he’s now passed away but not from his hip surgeries!), and it all went quite well, so you can add that to the list you’re probably mentally collecting of anecdotal stories :). I will be sending some strong healing vibes your way–and prayers as well if that’s ok with you. xo

      • Thank you, Luanne. Fortunately, it’s only one right now. Hubby is 89 and I need to be his caretaker. If I wait too long, we won’t be able to do anything for himself. My doctor told me she hasn’t lost a patient in her 30 years of surgery. Encouraging. Just hope I’m not her first. Thank you for the prayers and positive healing vibes.

        • When a doctor says something like that they are usually really sure that what they are doing is very routine, if that’s any comfort. You will be in my prayers!

  15. Thanks for including examples of Paula’s note cards. How lovely they are! Will be praying for you; you certainly maintain a great attitude despite the difficulties. Excited for those feelings you will have when you complete your memoir!

    • Carla, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! I’ve had the flu so haven’t been writing this week :(, but was feeling better yesterday and had a sweet little dinner, just the two of us–part bought and small part made.

      • Thank you, Luanne! We had a beautiful day at the Descansco Gardens for their Thanksgiving Brunch with my brother and his wife. A walk through the gardens capped off a great meal, and we enjoyed the whole thing. Later, stopped by the home of friends for dessert and drinks. So blessed! So grateful!!! Tomorrow I will cook a turkey and a few side dishes for a nice Sunday dinner. So sorry you have had the flu! Sounds nice just the two of you! We do that a lot. Love and blessings!

  16. What a lovely gift! You’ll be writing beautiful cards now (but not to the Mayo clinic). I don’t mind cutting toenails and am not grossed out at all. I really hope you can find someone to do them for you xxxx

    • Haha, definitely not the Mayo clinic! So why am I scheduling a colonoscopy with them? Yikes. I ought to take all my business elsewhere! Dianne, I hope all is well by you! I had the flu this past week, hence my late response here.

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