Perhaps you’ll remember the charcoal of this young lady, or the preliminary watercolor sketches of her. I’m pleased as punch with this final 25″ x 22″ watercolor portrait. Thankfully, her mom was too!
I can’t wait to tell you about our WALK day this weekend…I am composing a post and will send it out soon. But in the meantime, enjoy this little “mantel” piece. These three little “pumpkins” sit on my mantel every October. They were made by my oldest child when she was in preschool many years ago. They are made of fabric, stuffed, with a cinnamon stick for the stem and a green piece of fabric tied around to secure the top and also be leaves. I’ve always loved all those things our children made and brought home from school. They bring back such sweet memories pulling them out every year. This will happen again when we pull out the Christmas boxes. It won’t be long.
I can’t believe how the time flies by.
Are you wondering what the thing sticking out of the pumpkin is?? It’s a ladle! This is a cool soup tureen, with the ladle handle coming out of the lid. I have the tureen sitting on a wooden pedestal with fall foliage around. The orange thing down in front is my Fiesta-ware salt (or pepper) shaker. Depending on where I sat to draw, the background of each drawing changed to include a few of the following: part of a canvas painting on the wall (seen here), my pale pink hoosier cabinet, a white ladder back chair, or the “buffet”~ an oversized dresser. Fun to see just how many drawings/painting you can get from ONE place in your house.
A Happy Fall to all of you today! The above is one of several sketches I’ll be posting of my table centerpiece. I hope you can enjoy the gorgeous weather and colors of the season!
JDRF Walk Update: We have exceeded our goal!! It’s amazing! A huge thank you to all who have so generously given to JDRF in honor of our daughter Maddie! You all are AWESOME! We are on the countdown to Walk Day this Saturday, so if you were wanting to donate, here’s the oh-so-simple link to do so… click here! You gotta click on the link, just to see the cool fireworks go off! So fun!
urban sprawl n. The unplanned, uncontrolled spreading of urban development into areas adjoining the edge of a city.
The above definition could be easily applied to the state of my desk…perhaps even my life! I pitch and purge, as you read here, and within weeks… no, days…it looks like the above jumble of gunk. The actual things ON my desk are all quite important: materials for teaching, latest yarn projects, both finished and in progress, art books, a pile of the stuff we get from three different schools (high school, middle school, elementary school), photos of family, my ukuleles and bag. There is maybe a 12″ x 12″ square in the middle of it all free of stuff.
Oh me…it’s dizzying just looking at it. Time for pitching and purging once again. Or maybe just a little better organization. Or maybe an ability to say NO. Or…….got any ideas??
BTW~the bookshelves in the painting appear empty…HA! They are stuffed to the gills! I just couldn’t bear to draw all the baskets, books, and stuff which feed my creative self. I’m beginning to believe that “clutter sprawl” is a normal condition of a creative life.
BTW2~the wall above my desk was empty when I drew this, but has just come home from the exhibit at AAWS! Perfect for that space!
BTW3 ~We are at 120% of our goal at the time of this posting!!!!!! Yippee!!! A huge thank you to all who have so generously given to JDRF in honor of our daughter Maddie! You all are AWESOME! In case you’re wondering…we will continue receiving donations up until the walk day, so it’s not too late to contribute. Who knows, we might even double our original goal!! That would be cool! If you need the easy-peasy link, here it is!
At long last, I now have our fall decorations out…the wreath on the door, the table is adorned, and various pumpkins sit around the house here and there. Not much, but it makes the home feel like fall, even if our temperatures don’t!
P.S. Don’t forget: if you want to contribute to Maddie’s Mission to raise funds for JDRF, click here! Thank you to ALL of you who have donated! It tickles Maddie to see the little red thermometer go up!:)
Around a hundred years ago, Maddie’s great-grandfather was growing up in Burgaw, NC as the oldest of 10 children. He had a younger brother, three years old, who followed his mama around crying, “wahwah, wahwah!” (that’s baby for “water, water!”). His thirst grew and grew, along with other health problems such as frequent urinating, weakness, vomiting, and he soon died of what was then called “water diabetes.”
We now know so much more about what killed my grandfather’s little brother: juvenile diabetes, nowadays referred to as Type 1 Diabetes. Knowledge of what diabetes is, as well as advances in how to manage it, now allow most people with Type 1 to LIVE and to live much healthier and more active lives than ever before. Most of these advances are due largely to the efforts of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Diabetic Association. So much of what Maddie uses today to manage her diabetes is a direct result of the research and discoveries made by funding from JDRF.
Maddie and I will be walking for a cure for diabetes and for more advances in understanding and managing diabetes. Our Walk will take place at Wake Forest University on October 23rd, 2010. I invite you to take part in providing necessary funding for JDRF to continue their research. “Smart” Insulins, and an artificial pancreas are just some of the incredible advances they are working on now, along with daily progress towards an actual cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Even the smallest of donations goes a LONG way with JDRF!
Maddie and I also invite you to walk with us that morning. It would be wonderful to have a group of folks to walk with her, supporting all she does to manage her own diabetes as well as her efforts to raise money for a cure. Thank you ALL for your friendship and support we have experienced already in the last ten months since her diagnosis!! We could not have made it this far without all your thoughts, encouragement, and prayers!
***The easiest way to donate to Maddie’s Mission is click on this link here. It will take you right where you need to go to contribute. Thank you so very much!
Picture This: My husband and I are sitting in a room at Brenner’s Hospital on the 7th floor, just a month or so after Maddie going on the pump. Our wonderful diabetes doctor, Bobbi Hackman, asks us how it’s going with the pump.
My answer: “I’m drowning in diabetes. I’m frustrated with her blood sugar numbers, they don’t seem to stay in a good place for very long, and I can’t seem to wrap my head around how to do it better.”
My husband’s answer: “It hasn’t been easy, but I think Jennifer and I look at the numbers differently. She looks at what Maddie’s blood sugar is to tell her whether she judged correctly or not, whether she has done everything right. I, on the other hand, just look at the blood sugar number to tell me how we need to proceed from here.”
A light goes off in my head. And our diabetes doctor says, “You do realize you have a Mars and Venus thing going on there. That’s probably why the two of you were put together.” Amen to that!
This was a wonderful revelation for me. As I said in an earlier post, my need to calibrate my own mind as to how the pump works was just this! Maddie’s blood sugar numbers are not judging me as to whether I’ve cared for Maddie in the way I should’ve. Those numbers are just numbers that say where she is at any given moment in the day. And they are data that helps me know what we can do next, NOT whether I’m being a good mom or a bad mom, NOT whether I’m totally stupid at calculating what is needed to manage her diabetes, NOT whether I should just throw in the towel (or throw out the pump!).
In some ways, I needed to realize that I MUST GET OFF THE ROLLER COASTER! I need to see myself as OBSERVING the roller coaster of blood sugar levels, and having an active part in managing those levels. The more I can observe and learn, the better care-giver I’ll be. But if I allow the numbers to determine WHO I AM, I’ll sink. This is Maddie’s body after all! Not mine. It is her little body that endures the effects of the roller coaster and some of it, even SHE cannot manage. We’ll do the best we can, together, with the information we’re given.
To our Diabetes Doctor, the data says this: “It’s the nature of the beast. This is fixable, we can do something about it.” Ahhhh………
To say that Blood Sugar Levels for a Type 1 Diabetic are like a Roller Coaster Ride, would be accurate especially if you are talking about roller coasters such as Carolina Cyclone, ThunderRoad, and Top Gun, all from the Carowinds themepark in SC. Here’s a one-day roller coaster we ride fairly frequently:
7 am at breakfast: Maddie’s blood sugar=125. Good place. Eats 60 grams of carb, receives correct amount of insulin via pump, goes off to school.
10:45 am: Phone Call from Secretary at school, “Um, Jennifer–Maddie just tested for lunch and she is at 264, is there something we should do other than bolus for lunch?” Me: “No, just let her bolus for the carbs she’ll be eating and include the BG#. The pump will calculate both what she needs for her food AND will correct the high blood sugar.”
2:45 pm (Maddie has to test everyday at lunch AND just before getting on the bus to be sure her numbers are in a safe place for the ride home): Phone Call from Secretary at school , “Jennifer, Maddie is 63, what should I give her?” (63 is way too low–we shoot for her numbers to be between 80 and 180) Me: “Give her two glucose tablets and a granola bar…I’ll come pick her up asap!”
5 pm dinner: Maddie tests for dinner and her blood sugar is 135. Good spot. Now to bolus for her dinner carbs, but must subtract some carbs or monkey with the I:C ratio since she is getting ready to go to soccer practice. We don’t want to give her too much insulin since she will be using up carbs exercising. This was likely the reason for her low at school because they had recess after lunch on a hot day.
7:30 pm: Home from soccer, doing homework, practicing piano…”Mom, I feel shaky, I think I’m low.” We test, and sure enough, her number is 78. We check how much Insulin she has on board, leftover from dinner, and make an educated guess at how much carb she should eat to bring her up to a healthier level, AND be enough to carry her through the night as she sleeps. This is the trickiest part of the day, as if the rest of the day wasn’t tricky. But sending your child off to sleep with the possibility of her going low without knowing it and possibly passing out in her sleep is unbelievably scary, worse than the steepest plunges of a roller coaster.
8:45 pm: Test one last time before she sleeps=134. Hmmm…might be on its way up or might not be enough. I tend to err on wanting to give her a bit more carb, so she drinks a bit of milk, the perfect food for carb/protein ratio.
Midnight: 232 Good grief! Obviously, I overcompensated for her evening low. Other nights this doesn’t happen even with a similar amount of carb given. One never knows. It’s a bit of a guessing game. I correct the high blood sugar using the pump.
7 am the next day: 155. A good place to start the day. Who knows whether today’s roller coaster will be Top Gun, or a small one, like Scooby Doo.
Ok, so this gives you some idea…the above is a print out of Maddie’s blood sugars we keep every day. This is invaluable information for us and for our Diabetic Educator who can look at this and see trends that need fixing, places in her day that can be tweaked on the pump to better manage her blood sugar levels. I think at some point, families stop writing all this down. We’re not there yet.
Oh, and did I tell you, I’ve never been terribly fond of roller coasters?