Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Time Travel

I find it fun to travel back in time and find photos that are interesting to enhance. The original for this enhanced photo was taken at Longwood Gardens in December of 2011. It was a very special day. 


"Christmas Lights" - Enhanced Digital Photograph

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Guardian Angel

"My Guardian Angel" - Enhanced Digital Photo
Sometimes I'm sure I make my guardian angel weep and shake her head with the stress of it all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Move! (Living with RA)

Get out there and walk!
First of all, I want to thank everyone who sent me messages after yesterday's post describing their situation and what has helped them. It has been very encouraging.

I want to reiterate that I have not been "officially" diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but based on my symptoms and the positive blood test result, I want to be pro-active. Nothing that I am currently doing can be anything but good for my body.

My sister-in-law, Nancy Goff, while suffering through joint pain in her knees, was often heard chanting the phrase, "motion is the potion." More recently, my son, Garrett, chanted to me, "rest is rust." Of course, it all falls within the category of "use it or lose it."

Our bodies need to be exercised and those joints stretched out. Walking has long been a favorite activity of mine, but I can also go through long periods of laziness of which I'm recently guilty. My current goal is 10,000 steps a day which my new Samsung S5 so unmercifully keeps track of. I also use the app, Map My Run to track my workouts. Currently I'm trying to take two walks a day, each of about 2.5 miles to meet this goal. It's not always possible and I try not to beat myself up over it, but it feels great when I can do it. It's also conditioning me for when my new puppy comes home. :D

While walking, I try to remember everything I've heard about the way to walk and good posture. I have long walked with rather stilted steps which put a lot of pressure on my knees and I tend to "lead with my head" by bending over at the waist. I keep reminding myself to walk with my whole leg; stretch out from the hips. When I do that I can feel the load lessen on my knees and can sense my thighs stretching. I also visualize that I'm pulling my belly button in and up; that makes me stand taller and opens up my chest and lungs. Walking with my hands no lower than my waist puts an extra oomph in my workout and helps keep my arms toned.

So see? So far so good, I'm not doing anything that I shouldn't be doing anyway; I'm just more motivated to do so now.

I will also be adding yoga classes to my exercise regimen. I have to do a little more research, first. Meanwhile, I spend time each morning doing routine stretches to work the kinks out of my body.

Next time I'll begin talking about foods.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Facing Adversity (Living with R.A.)

At this point, despite the pain, my hands look fairly normal. I can detect the swelling in the joint at the base of my right index finger (the hand on your left) but most other people would not be able to notice it.
I am a very fortunate woman. My life has been nearly trouble free and full of wonderful things for which I'm always grateful. Recently; however, I was struck in the face with a grim reality when I tested positive in a blood screening for rheumatoid arthritis. My doctor's nurse tells me that just because I test positive, that doesn't necessarily mean I have the disease and that more tests will be conducted by a specialist. After doing some online research, though, my symptoms are so text book that I'd be surprised if it turned out that I don't have it.

I went to see the doctor about the aching and throbbing in my fingers and the very strange lumps visible under my skin in the palm of my right hand. These are very telltale symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and, of course, there are many others.

I'm not sure when the appointment will be made with the specialist, I just know that it could be as much as six weeks from now. So, in the meantime, I want to try to find natural remedies and see if I can't control many of the symptoms myself. 

I'm sharing all this so that if anyone else out there can offer suggestions or learn something from my experience, we can all benefit.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blue Bottle

Another enhanced photo from Rose's Folie.

"Blue Bottle" - enhanced digital photo

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Playing With Photos

I am currently enjoying Thanksgiving weekend in a wonderful little cottage on Tybee Island. Everything about the cottage inspires me and I've digitally enhanced some photos that I've taken while here. I'm having a hard time deciding which of these two versions I like better. Maybe you can help me decide. 



Friday, November 28, 2014

Fun Stuff

These photos would be considered "outtakes" from my Art In The City photo album. These are more personal and just for fun subjects that I shot during my recent NYC visit.











Thursday, November 27, 2014

Art Of The City Part 3

A recent trip to New York City once again lifted my spirits and left me feeling inspired. Here without explanation and in no particular order and without rhyme or reason are a few photos from the many I took this time. To see more photos, visit my Facebook page's photo album entitled Art Of The City.








Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fortune Cookie

"Fortune Cookie" - digital collage
It seems as though my fortunes from my fortune cookies frequently hit home. This was my fortune from dinner tonight. You can tell it's authentic by the incorrect grammar. ;-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Burlap Throw Pillow

"Sea Stars" Burlap Throw Pillow
Available at shop crabulous!


I've designed this pillow with me in mind, but of course I want to share it with everyone!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Melody

"Melody" - digital painting
I'm sure I've mentioned before that I have some extraordinarily beautiful nieces. I'm losing count; especially since these nieces have been "begetting" more nieces. My niece, Melody, is featured in this digital painting. I've saved a number of her photos hoping to do something with them someday. She has a certain "classic" beauty about her. Think, Scarlett Johansson in "Girl With The Pearl Earring."  (OK. Side note here. Although Melody has long been thought of by her friends as Scarlett Johansson's doppelganger, my mother, her grandmother, has never associated Melody with SJ and instead, thinks my son, Garrett (Melody's cousin) is a male version of SJ.)

I hope Melody isn't upset with my digital painting of her. It's part Andy Warhol and part me and all part of this great experiment that we call art. 


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dilemma


I am moving soon and, as with all moves, I ponder what to take with me and what I can best live without. A problem has arisen, though, which gives me pause.

I have become resigned to the fact that there is a sizeable toad who has taken up residence in the left shoe of my LLBean all weather clogs which I keep in the garage. He is quite comfy there and I've been content to let him stay; however, I'm moving the shoes with me!

Do I take the toad with me so he can stay in his cozy home but risk his ultimate shock with his new location or do I leave him behind in a familiar setting and force him to find a new home?

What to do, what to do...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Happy Birthday, Cindy Crabb!

Christmas 2004 with my great-nephew John
"A son's a son till he gets a wife, but a daughter's a daughter all your life"

I've heard this ditty forever and believed it. As a mother of two boys, I just figured I'd one day lose them to their future in-laws. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised.

My oldest son, Jerry, first introduced me to Cindy in 2004. He'd dated a number of gals at whom I'd raised my eyebrows prior to Cindy, but the night I met her, when she came to dinner with Jerry and me, I knew, absolutely knew, that she was the one and I was well pleased.
Enjoying the Crabb family back yard pool.
Cindy is an absolutely amazing young woman. She was born into an adverse situation, but instead of using it as an excuse for pity, she has treated it as an educational experience. And she has pushed herself hard to excel, earning a master's degree in less time than it takes most people to earn their bachelor's degree and excelling in her chosen profession of social work. 

Wedding Day, August 18, 2007

To me, she is much more than a daughter-in-law. She is a very close friend. Having only boys, I never thought I'd have the opportunity to plan a wedding; but, as a matter of fact, Cindy chose me to help her plan her wedding to my son and we spent 18 months on that project; bonding all the way. It helped much that she and I are both natural organizers and a week before the event, we sort of sat back and sighed, because we were ready!

Cashier at my grand yard sale in June 2008.

Joining me at Geocaching in Virginia Beach, VA, 2009. She is absolutely the best cache finder!











With my black shadow, Emmett

She has also continued the legacy of male Crabbs, giving birth to my two grandsons. She has made every effort to include me in every aspect of their lives. I was present at the birth of my oldest, Maxwell, and arrived on the scene five days after the birth of Zachary.

I adore this photo of Cindy and Max, just minutes after he was born. The expression on her face says it all.

Cindy with Zachary. By December of 2013, Cindy was an old hat at "birthin' babies." :D

The year Max was born, I moved a great distance away from this little family that I love so much, but Cindy has been great at keeping me in touch via regular video chats. 


"Screen capture" during a recent video chat. 
This woman, with her zest for life, her love of family (especially embracing our zany one), her ambitious goals and her infectious cackle has captured my heart forever. And on this, her 30th birthday, I wish her much, much, much love and joy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What if you fly?


I found this image on Facebook this evening. I'm getting ready to launch into a new part of my life. Sink or swim; fall or fly. But if not now... when? I'm no spring chicken and if I don't reach to achieve my dreams now, I'll live the rest of my life feeling as though I'm a coward. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, right?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Summer Bouquet

Another sleepless night turns into another digital painting.

"Summer Bouquet" - Digital Painting

Friday, September 12, 2014

Digital Painting

Inspired by the digital artwork of Israeli artist, Ish Gordon, I had to try my own hand at digital painting. Of course, as all my artist friends know, I experiment, always, by using a pear as my subject. And here is, Pear Number 1, a digital painting.

Pear Number 1, available at Society 6

The image below is my inspiration, 

Tangled Romantic, by Ish Gordon

Obviously, I have a long way to go! :D

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Time & Silence



Once this post is published, it will appear as an echoing theme on my Facebook timeline tonight. I've lost track of how the publishing sequence goes, but Twitter is involved as well as Facebook.

At any rate, this statement really resonates with me. I feel as though I'm all the time breathing in and forgetting to breathe out. I really must take up yoga again, soon!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Seahorse In Gray

"Seahorse In Gray" - Enhanced Digital Photo - Available at Society 6
Yesterday I added this little guy as my profile pic on Facebook. He's really just a tiny piece from a larger enhanced photograph, but by himself he made a big splash. I was asked about his availability for purchase, so today I made that happen. "Seahorse In Gray" at Society 6.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Faces Of The Homeless Part 2 - Lurch





Tonight (Friday) I was back at work at the Christmas shop. During a lull in customer traffic, I looked in on Facebook and discovered that one of my favorite local musicians, Danielle Hicks, was performing just three doors up from me at Dub's Public House and I decided to drop in and listen to a set after work.


It was shortly after 9:15 that I stepped into Dub's. There was no music playing, but I could see that guitars and mics were set up in the main room and I sidled up to the bar to get a glass of wine and speak with Julia, the bartender for the evening. Then I discovered that Danielle was eating her dinner at the end of the bar while she was taking her break and we exchanged greetings.



I was enjoying a glass of cabernet and sitting at a high top table in the main room listening to Danielle rock the blues, when a very tall, rather dirty and glassy eyed young man entered the room wearing a bright mustard yellow t-shirt and a very, very large back pack. He stood, transfixed, when he heard Danielle sing and kept approaching ever closer into her space. Eventually he was enthusing almost right in her face and I got up to alert Julia and the bar staff about the potential problem. They were very good about getting this stranger to back off and take a seat. Unfortunately, he chose to take a seat with a young couple at their table near the "stage" and they almost immediately fled. 


A young server, whose name I never did catch, immediately came to see if she could take this man's order. He produced some cash and they determined what it was on the menu he could afford. While his dinner was being prepared, the disheveled young man,once again, got up and approached the performer, getting almost right into her face while she was singing. This time, one of her friends went to get the bar help. Julia once again told him to take a seat and came over to tell me that third strike he'd be out.

Danielle completed one more song and went to take a break. I took that opportunity to sit with the disruptive stranger and offer him a dollar to take his picture. As you can see, after a startled moment, he willingly complied. I asked him his name, which he told me was Lurch. I told him I was pretty sure that was not his real name and he agreed saying he wasn't going to tell me his real name. That made perfect sense to me.

I asked him to tell me his story, which he did, and before long I had his real name and had even sent him a friend request on Facebook. I was surprised that he had a Facebook and asked him when he had the opportunity to get on Facebook. He assured me that he had a cell phone.

He said that he chose to be homeless so he could get to see humans as they really are. He also told me that he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. He told me the name of the medication that had been prescribed for him, but I seriously doubt that he's been taking it.

Lurch, or rather, Jason, told me about coming from a small town in Florida outside Orlando and about his mother with her 31 cats. He said that one cat, Snuggles, was really his. According to him, he's been homeless for 15 years and rides the rails (he said this while pointing to what looked like a self inflicted tattoo on his wrist that looked to resemble barbed wire or perhaps railroads.) Then he pointed to his beaded bracelet with a single Hello Kitty charm. He loves Hello Kitty. She always makes him smile.

Apparently he's lived all over, but plans to spend yet another winter in upstate New York. I was quite alarmed at hearing this and I told him he couldn't survive. But he seemed quite confident, saying he's done it once, it got to 15 degrees below, and he can do it again.

What a life story for a man of only 31 years of age. He tried to talk me into buying him an "alcoholic beverage" but I refused. I told him I'd buy him a soft drink or an ice tea and he chose coffee instead. He said he'd like hazelnut creamer, but in lieu of that would settle for lots of sugar and creamer instead. Dub's doesn't have hazelnut creamer, so they eagerly supplied the requested sugar and cream.

I was tired and needed to call it a night. Danielle was taking the stage again and I told Jason of my concern with him entering Danielle's personal space and intimidating her (although I admit that she and everyone at Dub's handled this man with the utmost grace). He apologized, saying that he hadn't realized he'd done that, he just loved her voice, and promised to stay seated for the rest of her performance. He also promised to visit the Christmas shop tomorrow as his mother loves ornaments and he wants to get one for her.

What a night.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Faces Of The Homeless


For whatever reason, I've always had a heart for the homeless. I never realized there were homeless people until I moved to Washington DC when I was 18. It was a heartbreaking eye opener for me. And while I drove past these people every day and heard stories about certain of these individuals, I had no personal interaction with them. I was afraid.

Many, many moons later, while participating in "gallery sitting" while a member of an artist co-op in Baltimore, Maryland, in the Fells Point neighborhood, I became reaquainted with the plight of the homeless and even got to know many of the locals by name and would chat with them, if ever so briefly.

Now, living in Savannah and working on River Street, I've come in contact with many homeless; alarmingly many. I'm almost overwhelmed by their numbers and more shocked by their youth. One in particular, named Tim, used to visit with me regularly where I work at my part time job at Christmas On The River. And from time to time he'd bring his friends in to meet me as well. I haven't seen Tim in a while and I find myself wondering if he's all right.

Yesterday, while walking down River Street, I became intrigued with this young man. When I first noticed him, it was via sound, not sight. He was playing a harmonica. Always fascinated by the harmonica I looked toward the sound and found him playing to an interested group while his cat, wearing a pink leash, sat serenely on his shoulders. I knew I had to have their picture.


I approached the fellow and offered him a dollar if I could take his picture. He pretended that he'd prefer to have a good idea given to him or some souvenir that would be of sentimental value. But, after I took what I thought was only two pics, he relented as I handed him two dollars. 

We talked for a bit. He referred to himself as Savannah something and his cat had an unusual name, something that reminded me of Chewbacca. He said the cat was an Egyptian Mau (I don't think so) and as we were talking, the cat, without forewarning, leaped from Savannah's shoulders to mine. I held very still as she walked across my shoulders and then climbed down my clothing, head first, making her way to the ground. 

I would have loved to have chatted at length with this young man and heard his story and what led him to his current place in life; however, my friend, Tuna, was visiting from out of town and we were on our way to the next tourist destination. So we made our farewells and shook hands.


I hope that I get the opportunity to meet Savannah and Chewy again and get to talk with them some more.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sitting Pretty

"Sitting Pretty" - Enhanced Digital Photo available at Society 6
I had a touch of insomnia last night so I decided to create some art instead of tossing and turning. :D