Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Warmth

Summer Warmth
digital art

As July comes to a close in a few days, I sit thinking about all that has happened in this month. I've began treatment for Bartonella yet again and have had a horrible reoccurrence of health issues including a jaw infection (that I had surgery on last year to correct...it's back), severe shoulder pain (now thinking it is a possible torn labrum from my fall in March), and continued pain in the hand that I fell on in March (need another MRI to see if there is debris still in there even after surgery in May to remove it). I feel like this month has been filled with doctor's appointments, MRI's, x-rays, blood-work...rinse and repeat. It could be worse, so I am thankful for the overall progress I've made since learning how to detox better (since I have a MTHFR mutation) and remediating for the mold in the house (I am also HLA Multi-susceptible 4-3-53). I was thrilled to make it to my first Harford Lyme Advocate meeting at Upper Chesapeake Hospital last week to share my story and hear other stories of people with health issues similar to mine. It is great to know we are not alone. If you are interested in coming to the meetings, we meet the third Thursday of the month at Upper Chesapeake Hospital. You can contact me via the contact button for more information.

Despite my relapse of health issues, we've managed to have lots of fun as a family this month. My oldest daughter had an amazing opportunity to go to NYC to attend a high school leadership conference in the area of digital media, journalism, and film. She stayed at Manhattan College in a dorm for a week while working with some of the most high achieving teens in the country. This experience confirmed even further that she is passionate and determined to make the film industry her career. We are in full swing of looking at colleges and film schools for her to attend next year. She is getting her senior portraits taken today (sniff!) and we just received confirmation that she will attend half-day high school her senior year while taking college courses the other half of her day at the local college. She is taking television production and hiking her first semester, which she is thrilled about. In addition to that opportunity, our family has had local day trips including to spend lots of quality time together including Independence Day fireworks, a combine demolition derby, and several library programs.

The twins and I have been continuing our homeschooling this summer, just recently beginning third grade for them.  This year has FLOWN by in that aspect. They have made amazing progress and we are all excited for this year. While we school year round, in the summer months we do slow down. We've been knocking out health, reading, math, and mythology and will begin our full-day schedule again at the end of August. I was honored to be interviewed by a local children's magazine about our homeschooling experience and I'm looking forward to that article coming out August 1 in Baltimore's Child magazine, which you can pick up at local restaurants, bookstores, newsstands, and other places distributing free local publications.

My oldest son is doing well and working hard this summer. He has decided to take the fall semester off from college, trying to save money, and then return for the winter semester. He has a wonderful girlfriend that fits in nicely with our family and they have been having lots of fun this summer hiking, kayaking, and fishing.

Professionally this month has been great. I had the honor of selling several pieces of art in the gallery and also a few private sales. It is always an honor to hear how my art personally affects someone. I've had the opportunity to interact with two my my buyers personally and hear the stories as to why my art touched them. I've also had one of my images featured in a Flickr group this month, showcasing pieces that connect health with art. I'm looking for more opportunities to have my art published, so this fall I am looking into submitting to other art magazines again.

My other love this month has been my organic garden. I'm gardening in a raised bed with organic fertilizer (I do have a horse after all) and I have never seen plants this big in my life. I am growing Juliet Roma Grape Tomatoes, heirloom Cherokee Purple Tomatoes, and Beefsteak Tomatoes. I am also growing organic cucumbers, green bell peppers, pumpkins, and strawberries. I began harvesting strawberries in June and cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes this month. I have one pumpkin that is almost ready to harvest and it is HUGE. I plan on making pie with it. There is no way we will be able to eat all of this produce, so I will be giving lots away to family and neighbors.

That's about it! I am looking forward to an upcoming much needed vacation and then I'll be back at it again. I hope all of you are having a wonderful, safe, healthy summer.


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