Don’t Stop Believing…..

Since I was a wee lad…..I have always had a love of art (for some reason I love saying that, maybe its the influence of St. Patty’s day on Monday..lol).  Painting specifically was something I absolutely loved to do. I took art classes all four years in high school and I remember I would sit in our kitchen and paint for hours after school.   I still remember entering my work in an annual art show and although I didn’t think anything would come of it, I won 3rd place. It was a really exciting moment and I still remember it to this day. Especially since I wasn’t a very sporty person and goodness knows I never brought home any field day ribbons. 😉 I guess this was my way to shine. Fast forward about twenty years (give or take), college, jobs, two kids, etc etc. and yes I had been negectling one of the things I most loved to do.  It took a few recent hardships and an illness to be introspective, reflect and motivate me to once again pick up a brush.  Since beginning to paint again almost two years ago it has been very therapeutic.  It is a way to express myself, be creative and to inspire (if only myself).  When I paint I feel connected to my parents who have past, as it was my dad who bought me my first paint set and easel in high school and always loved my paintings.  My mom who thought I could do anything and even if it wasn’t good she would always give me words of encouragement and love.   That is probably why I feel inspired to paint angels as I feel them surrounding me everyday and I know they watching over our family.   I often think of things that my mom might say to me when I paint and it encourages me to paint beauty and positive messages.   With much encouragement from friends and family I am continuing my passion and painting as often as possible and recently had a a great thing happen.  Although it wasn’t anything elaborate I recently put my work on display in an art gallery in Prescott called Textiles and Textures.  It was amazing to show my work, and a little scary and vulnerable.   The response has been great!   I still haven’t reached total confidence as I still have that feeling people are “just being nice” when they compliment my art but I know that confidence will come in time.

1796670_648706651861877_703334603_nMy Gallery Display! Hoorah!!

The main thing I’ve learned through all this is that you never know what life has in store next and if you have a dream, GO FOR IT.  You will never regret it.  As for me I’ll keep on painting and sharing my crazy adventurous  journey and life along the way.

Shelley

Birds of Feather Phlock Together

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For any who know me,  you know that my husband and I are self-proclaimed Parrotheads.  A Parrothead is what many fans of Jimmy Buffett call themselves.   It however is so much more than being a fan.  I like to call it a state of mind. Parrotheads love and live the life style of Jimmy Buffetts music. The party, the ocean, the sunshine, the freedom to have fun and escape to our own little tropical paradise if only through his songs. The thing I love most about being among fellow Parrotheads at gatherings, tailgating, pre-parties, tiki bars and concerts is their attitude. Parrotheads are people of all ages from kids to seniors and everywhere in between. All who come together to embrace living the good life and more importantly having fun and relaxing.  I don’t think I have never been around more friendly, more caring people in my life. We gather in our tropical shirts, flip-flops, outrageous hats, beads, leis and no one is afraid to express their creativity.  At a Parrothead gathering or a PHlock of Parrotheads as some may call it, it is all about escaping and being exactly who you want to be without the restrictions of the same ol’ rut and day-to-day grind.   There is no drama, no pressure, just like-minded people who want to have fun and for those of us who love vacations and the ocean (who doesn’t) we can live the beach life vicariously through his “songs we know by heart”.   When I hear the words  “Mother, mother ocean I have heard your call”, from one of my favorite Buffett songs,  A Pirate Looks At Forty,  I feel like I am sitting on the beach and just imagine either being on the ocean sailing or sitting on the beach with a margarita in my hand with not a care in the world.   After all don’t we all want to be at that One Particular Harbor, or waisting away in Margaritaville, or be with our Brown Eyed Girl on a Lovely Cruise just knowing that Come Monday it will be alright because guess what….. usually it will.  Life is too short to stress about the small stuff, just treasure what is important, have fun and be a little crazy because “if we aren’t all crazy we would go insane”.

I found this definition of a Parrothead in the urban dictionary and loved it.  Fins Up my friends!!!!!!

1. Parrothead

A Parrothead is a fan of Jimmy Buffett (there is no other meaning). The typical parrothead is pictured to wear a Hawaiian shirt, flip-flops, and other tropical attire, and to enjoy drinking margaritas on the beach. Parrotheads often decorate their homes in tropical motifs. In general the life of a parrothead is one of relaxation and being on a permanent mental vacation even while at work.

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Domo Arigato Mr……. Hashimoto….?????

Ok, yes for some reason every time I think of the word Hashimoto’s, I think of the song Mr. Roboto from the Styx.  I’m sure it’s the Japanese connection.  I also get hungry for Sushi so go figure. LOL  Going back over five months ago and I had never even heard of that word.  As a matter of fact when the Dr said it, I kinda laughed like he was making a joke.   “You have a disease called Hashimoto’s”… “Oh really ha ha ha.  Now really what is going on?”.   He said you have the highest TSH I have seen in 30 years of being a Dr.   He said it is so lucky we caught it today or you could have went into a coma and the mortality rate is really high from a Myxedema coma. WOW,  so If I wouldn’t have forced myself to go to the ER that day everything could have been much different.

Well,  now that I knew what was wrong  I thought I would take the little thyroid pill and it would all be better but it was far from that easy.   I have found that there are so many other things that go along with this disease like aches, pains, fatigue, headaches, rashes, migraines, weight gain,  gluten intolerance, hair loss, possibility of other autoimmune diseases like Lupus and too many more to list.  You know all the FUN stuff. LOL   I came close to giving up many times but I know that I need to be here for my family and make their life complete.  So I am pulling out all the stops.   I went gluten-free,   I researched the heck out of the disease,  I am taking all the supplements recommended by the Dr,  exercising,  and trying to remain as positive as can be.   It sure is hard some days as we are all tested by life’s drama etc.   But I know that I want my time here on this fantastic place to be lived to the fullest.  I have seen several members of our family pass on too young, including both of my parents.  You really just never know what could happen at any given day.

I’m taking a few months off work to get my health back in order.  Getting back to doing things I love like painting and you will also see that we travel a lot, follow Jimmy Buffett as avid Parrotheads and spend our time “livin it up”  We may die broke but we will have a lived a full life with lots of love, travel, and good memories.   To anyone out there struggling with chronic illnesses or really anything in life just try to keep your head up and keep truckin, its hard but you can do it.  Heres to good health and positive vibes to everyone and to beating the heck out of this autoimmune disease.

I’m Kilroy, Kilroy, Kilroy, Kilroy….. 😉

Peace and Love

Shellbell