Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oofie update

Rufus is doing...OK. We took him in last week (Friday?) for a bandage check - his toes (where they were a little raw) are looking really really good - no inflammation or redness, just happy little scabs <---ew, gross, I know, but hey, they're nature's band-aids, LOL.

That's the good news.

The not-so-good news is that he's got some contracture going on with the muscles, ligaments, and tendons (because he's not moving the leg), which, if it keeps up, will limit his mobility, possibly permanently. Dr. Salloom says it's possible stretching and v-e-r-y careful PT once the cast is off will remedy this complication.

The other not-so-good-news is that the bone density in his broken leg is not what it should be - the vet told me that it should be a bright white on the x-rays, but on the films they took 4 weeks ago (upon his re-injury), they looked dull, which indicates calcium depletion...not due to a lack of calcium in his body, but due to non-use of the leg (he's not using it, so the bone doesn't think it needs to rebuild itself).

So...we're looking at once he gets out of the cast, his leg will be incredibly fragile, and the slightest wrong move could re-break his leg in a new location...

I have to say I'm pretty stressed out about all of this - and really concerned that once the rigid cast is off, he'll re-break his leg. He's already trying to run with the cast on, and when we let him out of the mosh pit to go potty (on-leash), he gets very excited and bounces around, even though I've got him on a 2' leash and am holding him.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Today is September 1, and in the northern hemisphere the frenzied growth and action of spring and summer are slowing down. While autumn doesn’t officially begin until the equinox on September 23, it sure feels like fall – the leaves on the trees are turning color already, the days are growing shorter, and “back to school” sales are everywhere.

Everything appears dead or dying, yet this external appearance belies the action happening behind the scenes. Autumn and winter are seasons for the earth to rest and renew itself in preparation for next spring and summer’s bustling activity. Nothing will happen in spring if the earth doesn’t rest and renew in fall and winter.

What about artists, or any human being for that matter? We live in a “produce or perish” world…but I suspect it’s difficult, if not impossible, to continue producing without rest and renewal. In fact, I think constant production, without rest and renewal, can lead to burnout.

I believe allowing time and space for renewal is an essential practice for every human being.

Recently, I’ve been struggling with finding the time to melt glass. Many of the beads I’ve designed in the past year or so, such as my tulip beads and my fractal swirl beads, are labor-intensive, and take anywhere from 20-45 minutes per bead. While these beads ARE gorgeous, and I’m delighted to be able to make them, finding 2-3 uninterrupted hours for torch time has been a challenge lately.

I decided to consider making beads from a different angle: what if I make beads with simpler designs? I’ve found that I can make a decent batch of plain spacer beads, plus a couple of larger focals, in less than an hour.

My renewed strategy is to warm the kiln up in the morning, and bounce back and forth between my Mom/Writer duties and torch time – this enables me to get some much-needed fire therapy while still meeting my commitments to my family and my clients.

Pictured below is a bracelet I recently made, using lots of my simple beads and a few more complex beads. I love the way the colors play together!

Renewal takes many forms, and will be a different process for each individual. Renewal might be a re-assessment of your priorities, viewing a situation from a different perspective, or a refreshed commitment to who you want to be as a person. Renewal might be a hike on your favorite nature trail, a night out with friends, or a long bubble bath with a glass of wine and a good book. The most important thing though, is to give yourself permission to rest and renew.