"Moxie As A Human" Sculpture

Original Ceramic Sculpture Catherine Twomey
MOXIE As A Human
As I'm recovering from foot surgery, to keep from losing my mind I have finally finished up a sculpture done in the spring. 

The concept is somewhat bizarre, but that's alright. The day before she was to be killed at a high kill shelter in North Carolina, we rescued the sweetest, foxiest most adorable pup. We named her Moxie, and she's owned us ever since.

Moxie is as smart as they come. We think she's chow, shepherd and lab. I knew I had to incorporate that personality into my art. She just barked "sassy retro girl" and that's what she became, in clay. From the bun on her head to her flashy Egyptian tail, there's no messing with Moxie. She sits like that all the time, with that right-at-you stare that lets you know she's got you.

I think I'd like to work on more of these, it was that challenging.

Thank goodness for dogs.

Surgery Is Finished, Back In The Saddle!

Well it's going to be a long, prone summer. That's the price to pay for finally having a long overdue surgery done on an inherited,  unbalanced left foot (hammertoe & bunionectomy). I can see how straight the foot is now, despite the bandages and boot, so I'm going to focus on September when I should again  be back on all two's.

I've already overdone it, according to the doctor. Too much weight bearing, walking, etc. He's told me to rest (almost impossible!), elevate and make friends with the foot. So here goes:

My Left Foot
You just have to have a sense of humor to get through this kind of thing.

I'll be getting back to painting, although in bed, this week so that should help. I have a dog walker college girl coming in daily and a lot to divert my attention from the sheer boredom.

Thanks for your support  - here's to the dancing days to come. 

Making It Thru Kidney Cancer

Cleveland Clinic
Post Surgical Recovery Floor 9, Cleveland Clinic
This was the infamous day of September 18, 2013, followed by recovery and the trip home.

My husband was admitted for surgery at 6:30 a.m. at the Cleveland Clinic. Surgery with the Director of Oncology, Dr. Andrew Stephenson, began at 9:27 a.m. Here is a synopsis of that day as it unfolded:

12:20 p.m.: "At the Cleveland Clinic, surgery is about to end and all has gone well. Will talk to the Dr. soon. Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, mantras, etc.; this has already been a very long day but we're encouraged. Listening to a beautiful violinist next to a waterfall helps soothe the soul."

1:45 p.m.: "Dr. able to save over 90% of the kidney. Clean margins all around, a very good thing. Rick is sleeping & I can see him soon. 

Joyful! Cannot thank everyone enough for pulling for him!"

September 19, 11:00 a.m.: "Rick is doing great! Rick is now in a regular room and has walked a couple of times today. 

The now-removed tumor on the kidney had been pushed up very close against the inferior medial lung/pleura, and when they removed it the very bottom tip of the lung was "pin-pricked" causing a 10% collapse of the lung, called a pneumothorax. They didn't even know it had happened until after surgery & an x-ray. He was breathing just fine, but was put on oxygen just in case.

When I arrived today the oxygen was removed and Rick was alert and conversational. The lung should quickly heal by itself. He's only in pain when trying to get up, but that's to be expected. Rebuilding the core muscles will take some time, but he's on his way already.

We're heading in again tonight to see him. Had a good cry of relief last night, and a long nap this afternoon. No word yet on when Rick can go home, but possibly Saturday or Sunday. Rick is promising not to over-do it, and at the moment I'm personally controlling his electronics. That is, unless you've already received an e-mail from him from yet another new thingy he'd hidden under the gurney!

Thanks again for your thoughtful and delightful notes; it's hard to describe how much they mean to us."

September 21, 5:00 p.m.: "I'm on my way to pick him up and bring him home. All systems are go, and the Dr. has now given him a 95% cure rate. I have nothing but great things to say about the professionalism, thoughtfulness and service we've gotten from the clinic since Wednesday.

I know Rick is feeling much better because he's now starting to ask for his electronic devices (music & earbuds first), which he'd banned from his sight until he could handle them. I bet he'll be commandeering the TV for football when he gets home, and that (for once) will be music to my ears.

Thank you all for your well wishes, flowers, upbeat messages and positive vibes. You've helped enormously and we will never forget it. Hug the ones you love and tell them that. You never know."

And then the bomb dropped....

Baseball Flying

Football Flying

Well it's been a while since I've been able (or wanted to) post. I spent the start to middle of the summer working on a long-awaited project: a horse sculpture project that I will eventually launch on a crowd funding site. I've also been taking a ceramics class. Then, another unexpected bomb dropped.

Three weeks ago my husband called from where he's working in Ohio, starting out with: "I've had a really bad day." That was the understatement of a very up and down year. He'd experienced some intestinal pain, and needed to see a doctor. Not yet having a GP in Ohio, he was sent to an ER. That happenstance probably saved his life.

A CT scan revealed a minor intestinal infection. It also showed a 4 cm probably malignant tumor on his right kidney.

Fortunately, I have friends in Cleveland with deep medical backgrounds. They referred us to the Director of Oncology/Nephrology at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. If my husband was going to have to have cancer, this was the best place to be: they perform over 4,000 of such surgeries a year, and it was caught early. A very unlucky event just became manageable.

We are now two days out from surgery. When I arrived here in Ohio with the dogs, I was not only in shock, but uncertain about what to do with the three weeks we had to wait until surgery. Rick lives in what I fondly refer to as a man-cave, so to cheer us both up I painted the above baseball and football now proudly hanging in his otherwise nondescript house. My brother arrives tomorrow and from there, the rest is anyone's guess. Oh, yes - there's a well-armed friend staying at the house until this is over. And a hungry mama bear in the neighborhood as well, just for added security.

A 90% cure rate isn't a bad deal, however, so I'm pulling for this all to be just a rough, vivid, past memory that jolted us to the reality that no one lives forever. Please think good thoughts. We have no other choice.

Never Finished Learning....and Photo Shoots?

I took another hard look at the skeleton/bone illustration I recently posted; the one of the horse's head and neck. It was drawn back in December - February, right before I went into surgery for a new knee. Therein lay the problem! I can see now I rushed and wasn't careful.

Looking closely at the image, I see several anatomical errors, and they drive me crazy! I'll mark them up and post the image again for closer scrutiny. That's the good thing about stepping away from a piece for awhile: everything that you thought looked just fine before takes on a whole new perspective, and in this case, it needs fixin!

The hospital where I had my surgery (Martha Jefferson in Charlottesville) has decided that I was an ideal patient. They clearly did not talk to anyone involved in my recovery.

Tomorrow Martha Jeff is flying in photographers and a make-up artist to do a photo shoot. That's not something I've ever said before. They want to show me riding Miss Kiwi, a lovely mare at the farm next door, to show how well my knee works and how quickly I've been able to recover. Sure didn't seem that way at the time! Ms. Kiwi will be getting some serious bribery carrots.

Anyway, as evidenced by the photo left, clearly I am used to photo shoots with Brad & Angie, which was taken right after my surgery, at the Academy Awards. Gosh, I love Photoshop.

Hoping to post tomorrow, but it's going to be a busy day, what with make-up artists and all....