Author Archives: Sheila

It’s A New Day

Mingus sunrise 7-23-18. SMD
Mingus sunrise 7-23-18. SMD

Three hours. Two and a half days. 5 insertion points & 8 bruises on my stomach, (the size of a quarter). A huge bandage on my neck until tomorrow. And a ghastly bruise on my wrist. More physicians and nurses than I could keep track of. I had my own room, nice. To say that I received excellent treatment is an understatement.

My Mom told me that when the surgeon came out to tell her how it went, she was smiling, and a little teary eyed. Everything went perfect. They considered sending me home the day after surgery, but just to be sure, kept me one more night. I left the hospital at about 11 am on the third day.

I am putting all this in because I have a friend who has two family members who are interested in the details.

I have had almost no pain. Very little. The most painful, was my throat, from having the tube put in. But that was gone by the evening. A little soreness. when I woke up, but nothing that required meds. I was on pain medication, but I did not feel the need for more. Later that afternoon, I just felt yucky in my stomach. Just aware of my stomach. Not what I could really call pain. Sort of like stomach cramps. Just enough to make you aware of that body part.

I don’t have stitches and no bandages. So guessing they glued the incisions. I am eating fine. LOL. Slurping is more like it. I can have non-caffeine tea or coffee. I don’t drink coffee without creme and sugar, so tea for me. Clear broth, and sugar-free Jello. The first day I did not really taste, it was bland to be honest. But the second meal, my taste buds were back, and everything actually tasted very good.

I am not craving anything. I am not feeling hungry or deprived. I thought I was going to be eating thimble-sized portions. But they gave me a good sized bowl of broth, A full mug of tea, and a whole Jello cup. Yum! I love Jello.

I can have as much water as I want. They wanted me to drink four bottles before they would release me. I did that by the first night. I got to 11 bottles by the time I left. I told them, I have a 64 oz. bottle that I drink from at home. And I do four or five of those a day. (14 hours). That was one of their main concerns, dehydration. They want you to drink at least 64 oz. a day.

After the Post-Op class (We had one before surgery as well, 3 hours.) I will go to soft foods. Soft cooked veggies, soft fruits, healthy proteins. That will be for 60 days. There is a specific list. But i can have eggs every day if I want. Yum. Oh and no lifting over ten pounds for 8 weeks. I am continuing the meds I take regularly. But I can not take supplements until they clear it. I am guessing that is because they can not be sure of all the ingredients, and the reactions they may cause.

I had to walk about every two hours. To prevent blood clots. One of the women that was doing the charts couldn’t believe how fast I was doing laps. She told her co-worker, “Either she is really fast, or I am really slow at charting.” How funny. But I could tell I was walking faster. The first time a nurse walked with me, and they had me use a walker. But after that, I was fine on my own, even having to drag an O2 tank behind me. WOW! I did four and then five laps. All without struggling to breathe!! NO coughing!!!

I use a Spirometer about ten times an hour. From WebMD: When you empty out and refill the air in your lungs, you get rid of fluid and germs that can lead to an infection. You also exercise your lungs, so that they’re able to put more oxygen into your body. That helps you to heal and avoid lung infections.

I am not getting the marker to 500 (lowest), but I can already feel like I am breathing deeper. When they wanted to listen to my heart, I was actually able to take five or six deep breaths without coughing each time. WOWzers!

I was so happy to wake up and not find myself in ICU. When I had my gall bladder removed, I had complications, due to the Lupus I am sure. I spent two weeks in the hospital, the first was in ICU. Thank you Lord!

I even felt fine enough to run a couple of errands on the way home. (What? Are you serious!) Mom had to drive. I can drive after five days. Not bad at all.

This short video shows the procedure. It is the first one. Roux-en-Y (roo-en-wy) gastric bypass. I did not have staples, mine were hand tied. She removed the top part of my stomach, as it is not working efficiently. The acid from my stomach will never back up into my esophagus again.

This song came to mind on the way home from the hospital. Still more work to be done. But this is one giant step forward. Huge. HUGE.

Saying thank you seems so little an offering. I am so thankful for your prayers, kind words, and good vibes. It all matters. There is power in all of those things. When I woke up I thanked God for taking such good care of me. And I was in tears. And I thought of you, all of you who were thinking of me. Tearing up now. So very grateful.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude
of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
– Albert Schweitzer

“Such lovely warmth of thought
and delicacy of colour are beyond all praise,
and equally beyond all thanks!”
– Marie Corelli

It’s Here!

Day 2. 6 x 6 watercolor on yupo. © 2015 Sheila Delgado
Day 2. 6 x 6 watercolor on yupo. © 2015 Sheila Delgado

I have waited for this day for over ten years. Surgery day. Thursday, July 11th. Check in at 6 am. Surgery at 8 am. I will be so happy when this is done, and I can come home.

Spending a week in Phoenix. Over 110 degrees the next four days. But Awww, I will be stuck indoors. LOL. 🙂 Hoping to only be in the hospital for two or three days, and then home to recuperate. If all is well at my Post-Op appointment I will head up the hill to my bed and my favorite paintings from friends, on Tuesday.

My last meal was scrambled eggs and fruit this morning. Had broth later, and as much water as I want. I am big on water. Very happy I am allowed to have some up until two hours before the surgery. Very happy indeed. The hardest part for me will not be going without food. I dread not being able to have water. But I will be asleep soon enough, so no worries.

So thankful, for your prayers and well wishes, I dearly appreciate them. 🙂
I am blessed to know you!

Dear Lord, grant me joyful acceptance of the surgery which awaits me,
and let this be the relief and cure which I seek.
Make skilled the work of the surgeon and that of his team
for it is unto their knowledge and skill that I give myself for healing.
I pray to you Lord, that this procedure will be without complication,
and that my recovery will be speedy and complete.
Amen.

She Saves Shells Steadily

Petrified Sand Dollar

My first view of the ocean was in 1975. We moved to San Diego. Drove in through the Orange groves. That first night, the fog rolled in. I still remember how bright the sky was. And how moist the air felt. It seemed magical to an eight-year-old. I loved it, still do.

None of these are from that first beach visit, but I did collect the sand dollars above. The dark one is “petrified”. Hard as a rock. The smallest is smaller than a dime. Less than a half inch in diameter.

Glass Houses

I often think, “Hey, I should paint a shell!” Lord knows I have plenty to choose from. Their complexity sort of intimidates me though. But I did attempt the large one above.

Shell in pen and Inktense pencils. 4 x 6. 2015 Sheila Delgado
Shell in pen and Inktense pencils. 4 x 6. 2015 Sheila Delgado
Green Tusk
Purples
Ebony & Ivory – Black Murex.
Thorny
Strawberry top, a sand cookie and more purple.
Sea Biscuit

Above, sand stars, a sea biscuit, and a keyhole sand dollar. The two white Augers below are attached like Siamese twins.

Twins
Assorted Smalls
To The Point
White Stripes
Sincerely Small Shells
Tiny Treasures

I remember collecting these miniature shells. I was at Bonita Cove in San Diego. I spent most of the afternoon walking the beach and sifting the sand. All I had were my hands and a Ziploc bag. The water’s edge was loaded with shells. I remember I filled the bag and then started putting the larger shells in my pockets.

I cleaned out my cobalt jars the other day, and I finally took the time to separate the shells by size. I set aside the tiny and small shells. The medium and large went back into the jars, organized by types. Next, I organized the tiny and smalls by type as well. I lucked out and found mini jars on clearance. Perfect!

All that work to find the tiniest shells I have ever seen! Well, now I can see them whenever I like. They are no longer figments buried at the bottom of a blue jar.

Filing this under things that bring me joy. And calling it done.

Eenie, Meenie, Mighty Tiny
Hummer Nests
Crazy Shell Lady.

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
— Jacques Yves Cousteau

Are you a collector? Tell me all about it in a comment 😉

Soul Art 2019

Soul Art 2019. 12 x 16, Acrylics on Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.
Soul Art 2019. 12 x 16, Acrylics on Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. © 2019 Sheila Delgado.

Soul Art Day ( June 5th) with Laura Hollick is a day of creativity and connection. The insights from taking part in the process usually last long after the art has been created. This is from Laura:

Soul Art is a unique creative practice that uses art and creative expression to commune with spirit to awaken deep healing, soul-empowered insights, transformations, and high-vibe visions for your life and career. This is our annual event where thousands of people gather online from around the world to create art together for the day. as you’re journeying through your Soul Art process, know that you are held in the collective vortex of our Global Creative Soul Art Family. There is something deeply profound that happens when we collectively connect in this way. Even though we are each on our own journeys, our collective intention to create art on this day amplifies everyone’s creative power.

Creativity, Connection, Curiosity, Kindness, Respect, Joy.

Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

The day starts with a video from Laura. Guiding you through the Soul Art worksheets. This is your journey, where you find your intention and action. There are five steps in this process. Intention, Bodymapping, Creative Expression, Insight, and Spirit action.

To warm up, I made marks on a 4 x 6 piece of paper. I used new paint markers. I am not familiar with them, so it was one small step out of my comfort zone. I planned on doing more of these, but I quickly felt limited by the small size.

Warming up with paint markers.
Warming up with paint markers.

I mindlessly filled the paper with marks. When there was no more white to fill, I rotated the paper several times. Is it just me, or does that look like a fish?

Warm up, SMDelgado
Making marks.
Making marks.

A fish can symbolize fertility, feelings, creativity, rebirth, good luck, transformation, health, abundance, serenity, intelligence, happiness, strength, and endurance. Connecting us with the water element, it represents the deeper awareness of the unconsciousness or higher self. How serendipitous.

Angels are all around us, all the time, in the very air we breathe.
– Elias Freeman

I laid out my palette on a butcher tray. Along with what you see, I included white, two blues and green. But this turned into an analogous theme. For my first layer, I took a comb with paint and just made a mess on the clean white sheet. Gone with the “paper is precious”.

Body mapping is often done with the artist, laying down, and having a friend outline their body. For my map, I used a watercolor pencil. I drew my lungs, esophagus, and stomach. The parts that need healing. These layers are under what is seen.

Throughout the day, Laura and her guest artists broadcast their progress in the studio. Watching them work, and listening to the meditative music, lulled me into a relaxed state. Standing, I painted until the sheet was filled.

My only goal for the day was to participate. To put a brush in my hands. I didn’t really think about what I was going to paint. When we post our piece in the Soul Art Gallery, Laura asks us several questions. My reply regarding insight was this:

“It has happened before. I am not sure the insight has revealed itself to me just yet. I have the painting propped up in full view. I’ll see what it reveals. I feel more myself, more whole, having spent the day creating. This piece is about flow. Free flowing, exchange. Breath. Breathing. Taking nourishment in. Energetic movement (while painting). Release. Repair. Prayer. Connection. Healing. Freedom. Independence.”

Inhale the future, exhale the past.
– Author Unknown

Here’s a look at previous Soul Art pieces.

Soul Art SMDelgado

Awesome News!

My surgery is set for July 11th. 8 am. I have one more appointment with the surgeon and a class before then. This first surgery is to repair my esophagus. The procedure is basically the surgery that people have to lose weight. Bariatric. The class is on what to eat and what not to eat prior to surgery. I will have a second class after surgery as well.

I really like the surgeon. She explained everything very well. The image below shows a dilated and narrowing esophagus. In addition to that, my stomach stays open. The little flap doesn’t close normally. Because of this, I have GERD. And that is what has damaged my lungs. My surgery is more about removing the damaged part of the esophagus. The stomach will be brought up and reattached to it.

Damaged Esophagus

Next month is going to be a very good month indeed!

Hello Again, From Mingus And Me

Soft Mingus Sunset. 4 23-19, SMD.
Soft Mingus Sunset. 4 23-19, SMD.
Mingus Missing Again. 2019, SMD.
Mingus Missing Again. 2019, SMD.
Two Of A Kind.  3-12-19, SMD
Two Of A Kind. 3-12-19, SMD

It’s been too long since Mingus made an appearance. I know a few of you will welcome these photos, even if they are slightly dreary. I love watching the sky change.

Yesterday’s high was 93 degrees. Will be again today. The heat has come on quick. We are in our Monsoon season now. Continues through September. I am looking forward to it.

Something New And Blue

I replaced my table. Woo Whoo! I searched the internet for about a month before I found one that was “just right”. It is shorter (length) than what I had before. By about a foot. I really didn’t use the extra space much, except for storing my to-do projects. I always sat to the right, and that extra foot was out of reach. Ha-ha. Now I find myself sitting fairly center, and I can reach just about everything I need to.

This led to relocating my art supplies and do-dads. I have two drawer units on the right side of the table, (3 drawers, the plastic cheapo’s from Walmart). On top of them, I have my printer. So much easier to access, before it was under the table. Now it sits a couple of inches higher than the table top.

The table is from IKEA. Solid pine. The top has a clear lacquer that is “easy to clean, resistant to liquids, food stains, oil, heat, scratches, and bumps”. It is warm and, welcoming. It came with white legs. I painted them Prussian blue. But honestly, they are in shadow and look black to everyone else. Ha-ha.

I ACTUALLY managed to build it myself! HA!! The aprons and legs had to be attached to the top. Here’s an interesting tidbit. Prussian blue is used as a medication to treat radioactive cesium poisoning. Good to know.

New Studio Table.

Was A Bear

I have been in hibernation mode. Two months since my last post. I started writing this one over a month ago. Well, I thought I had started. I really had just prepped the photos, and placed them in the post.

I had three long days chauffeuring my folks around Phoenix at the beginning of my “hibernation”. I knew I would need a few days recovery. But the tired turned into a flare, and that turned into me having cold symptoms. The recovery from that was another two weeks. A month and a half later, and I am still feeling more tired than my Lupus usual.

As a result, I am not creating much. I am managing to stay productive otherwise. I started two pieces about a month ago. Mixed media on panels, they will be gifts. I applied scraps of papers, part of a decorated tissue box, and some leaf skeletons I have had for over ten years.

WIP, starting with scraps.
WIP, starting with scraps.

I used a comb, stencils and various tools to apply paint. That was a week ago. I’ll get back to them later this week. (I had another busy three days in Phoenix, with friends from So. Cal. And of course, that meant recovery time as well.) The pieces are close to being finished, I am hoping to complete them this weekend.

WIP still. Adding layers of paint.
WIP still. Adding layers of paint.

I am still not sure what these two paintings will become. I will keep you posted.

Surprise Spring Snowfall

Late Snow on Mingus. 5-23-19, SMD.
Late Snow on Mingus. 5-23-19, SMD.

On the road at 5:30 am, I saw this. Snow on the hills. On May 23rd! Halfway to Phoenix, it was sunny and warm, and the sky was clear.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Rabbit

Bunny Huddle. 6-10-19. SMD
Bunny Huddle. 6-10-19. SMD

It’s been a long time since I have spotted a rabbit. This little one was tiny. Just before dark, he was hanging out. A couple came walking by, they were on the other side of the street. As soon as he heard them, he crouched down. Like a cat stalking its prey. He tucked in his ears and got as low as he possibly could. He became one with the earth. Ha-ha.

When it was safe, he slowly, very slowly, began to rise. He looked like a balloon that was being inflated. Finally, one ear popped up, then the other. And then he was gone.

All Clear. 6-10-19, SMD
All Clear. 6-10-19, SMD

New Designs Available In My Spoonflower Shop

Thirty of my designs are newly available for purchase. That brings my total offerings to 112 fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap offerings. I am happy with how they all printed. Pardon the wrinkles, I still need to wash the fabric.

Small Spoonflower Fabric Sampling, SMD.
Small Spoonflower Fabric Sampling, SMD.

Blessings And Best Wishes!