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MyBoothIowaStateFair

So it’s been forever and I’m sorry,

No really, I am.

But if not for an email from a reader saying they missed me here I probably wouldn’t have written even now. I kinda bit off more than I can chew this year, so things like facebook and the particularly the blog tended to get swept under the rug.

In this instance, I decided to be a vendor at the Iowa State Fair. This was a monumental undertaking for me since I didn’t cut any of my usual events. I quite literally worked 7 days a week anywhere from 10-16 hour days for 6 weeks in preparation and the event lasted 2 weeks. And I’m still working that schedule for at least another month. But it’s all good. Nothing a whole lotta sleep and a really good cry won’t fix.

I survived
I was told repeatedly that I wouldn’t be able to do it alone.

I’d burn out.

It’d be too much.

Which if ya’ll know me I’m like “Hell Yea, I can too do it all by myself!”

And so I did.

And frankly it was exhausting running on 5-6 hours sleep each night and getting up and being to the building at 7am all the while bearing in mind that no matter how crabby I felt, stabbing people was wrong! When the building closed at 9 pm, I’d head back and shower and crash. Rinse and repeat.

It was okay sales wise. I was hoping for more though I’m not sure if that’s not always the case. I made some great contacts, took lots of photos and in general thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Yes, I will do it again and at least this time I’ll know what to expect. The bulk of my stress was not knowing anything about the event, the crowds, the buying patterns, parking etc etc.

I do tend to update on facebook more because it’s not the process I go through uploading photos and such. For those who’d like to see more photos and some horse videos and a work in progress piece that I demonstrated with, check out my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WildFacesGallery

 

MeConnieIowaStateFair

The Folks Who Made Me Look Good

So as much as I’d like to pretend I’m Wonder Woman the truth is there was a whole slew of people helping me out in various ways.

Barb McGee. She saved my butt my bringing a load of inventory down for me as well as helped with set up. Not to mention got me a place to stay with family 15 minutes from the fairgrounds. This was so huge! I can’t express how much both mentally and physically and financially this helped. Thank you dear one.

Amanda and family for opening their home to a complete stranger for 2 weeks.

Louise and Bill Shimon for being my plan B on all fronts and just always being there for me.

Connie Braunschweig (in photo above with me) who helped me navigate the chaos of doing this monumental undertaking, told me I could do it and helped introduce me to the walnut center arts family. Hugs to you. I never felt alone because you were here at my side.

Inee & Diane neighbor artists who I often found Manning my booth and making sales when I’d run off when the allure of horse flesh just outside the building doors got too great. And Bill too. 🙂 You all kept me laughing.

All the folks at the Walnut Center who checked on me, offered help, rides, breaks and support. So happy to be welcomed into the family.

And lastly those at home who made it possible for me to leave for 2 weeks knowing my fur babies are taken care of. Gordon, Cheryl Hawk and Mike.

I am mightily blessed to have such great friends. Thank you.

 

CroppedMiniDonkey

Seen this little cutie patootie at the Iowa horse fair last weekend. I think it’s exactly what I need.

After several hours of looking at all the billowy manes, glossy flanked, leggy gorgeousness that is the Frieians, Andalusians, Gypsies and all manner of equine goodness … this is what I feel in love with.

Can’t you just see it?

Disclaimer

These posts (past future and present) aren’t meant to replace going to your doctor. It is merely a report on what I’ve learned so that you can go seek your own path, chart your own course and make informed decisions along with your doctor’s counsel. If you are having BS (blood sugar … yeah I know what you were thinking BS stood for) issues … go see your doctor!

It’s just like the Matrix … (except without the sexy superhuman stunts) Do you choose red pill or blue pill.

This is some monumental information I just shared in post 1 and 2 about diabetes. I mean not only is the current medical protocol doing nothing to improve this disease but it is actually progressing it! All the while you are patted on the head for having a great A1C.

Let’s face it, the first question is … why?  Why isn’t it common knowledge? Why hasn’t my doctor told me this for craps sake! I mean when the first time the doctor told me I had diabetes, if he told me I have 2 choices. I can take this insulin which will help with my blood sugars but other than that really won’t help anything and eventually will progress the disease until I reach a point where I lose a leg or go blind or some other shocking atrocity upon my body … OR choose to radically change my diet and mindset in regards to food … knowing that it won’t be fun or easy but I’ll live longer and healthier … well I believe most people and in particular myself, would opt for living better and longer. Personally though, I think the medical profession believes we won’t make that choice and so they don’t offer it.

So the question you gotta ask yourself is …do you want to live in denial about your reality and happily carry on … or face a much less pleasant reality, but know the truth. Red pill or blue pill.

Here’s what I think may be some potential reasons they health care providers don’t give you a choice

  • Perhaps it’s because they don’t really have anything else to offer you. Most aren’t trained as dieticians or nutrionists.
  • Perhaps it’s because alternative’s are against medical or governmental protocol. I have been told by actual doctors that they have to follow a protocol or they may be penalized either financially or by having negative reports.
  • And as I’ve already said I think they don’t believe we have the stones to make the necessary changes.

Regardless they don’t. In fact so much of the stuff they do give you (in my case a couple of pamphlets and fliers from the diabetes association) are giving out the exact wrong information on using diet properly to change your course.

  1. Things like eat multiple smaller meals throughout the day. Graze if you will. Unless you’re on insulin this is really bad advice. It means your pancreas is pumping out insulin all day long with no rest and remember insulin resistance is caused by too much insulin. You need breaks from digesting food.
  2. Eat whole grains and carbohydrates for approximately 25-45% of your diet depending on the association. Umm … no, just no.
  3. Artificial sweetners are okay. Well they don’t raise blood sugars but they do stimulate insulin release. This one sucked for me big time because Diet Coke (that glorious liquid perfection) often feels like the only treat left to me. Now I know there’s nothing good about consuming it, other than that sweet sweet artifical flavor goodness.
  4. Sugar alcohols don’t raise blood sugar like actual sugar and carbs do but they’ll give you some seriously rank gas and if you over indulge you could get rather sick and spend the next several hours exorcizing some intestinal demons on the toilets.

My Backup Plan … poof … gone like a puff of smoke. Yeah … I feel totally cheated!

All of this time I’ve worked rather diligently to keep my blood sugars down in the past 20 years. I had a few years I was put on a pill (glyburide) but worked myself off it eventually. But here’s the thing … I always thought, well when things get out of control or I just can’t take it anymore I can always go on medications. In fact I’ve thought many, many times how much easier and more fun food wise it would be if I did so. And now knowing what I know, that the meds are actually what’s gonna progress the disease … well I feel a little like someone told me there’s no Santa Claus. There no fall back plan. It’s just me and dieting and exercise … until the end.

And finally here is my plan of action

Some of you already guessed part of it. I have cut refined carbs out of my diet. The only carbs I’ve consumed with about 4 exceptions in the past 2 months are from fruits and vegetables. My diet plan has been this….

60% raw vegetables

30% raw fruit

and 10% oils, nuts and cooked meats

This is half of the equation of my plan to reverse diabetes. The other thing I’m doing is fasting 2-3 days a week. Yup, that’s right. Fasting. In particular it’s intermittent fasting. I will go into actual details in the final post (I think it’ll be the last one) of my numbers, my progress and what I do actually eat.

I’ll leave you with this final thought

So here’s the thing. It’s not that I think I’ll live longer, though there’s that hope, but that I want my quality of the time I’m here to be better.

I’ve seen first hand what diabetes can do to a person. I’ve seen what happens when a diabetic on insulin eats what they want with the thought they’ll just take a little more insulin to make up for that ridiculous meal they just consumed. I spent several holidays in the hospital watching my dad suffer with various diabetic complications when I was growing up. And in the end I’d like to think had some doctor told them the truth about that strategy. Told them the truth that taking insulin is in the end what will kill them and that the goal is to take less not more. Told them that diabetes is actually reversible all they have to do is choose.

Well I’d like to think they’d have chosen wisely.

And this is for J A. Good on you for looking for a new doctor. That last one was truly an Asshat. Hugs to you.🙂

SiouxCenterHospitalMe1000

So they have been hanging at the new hospital in Sioux Center Iowa in the cafeteria for the past 3 months and yesterday Barb and I ran down to pick them up. Hospitals are often looking for new art exhibitions but I rarely partake of them. Most showings in hospitals (for me at least) don’t have sales though striking up a relationship isn’t a bad plan of action. Sometimes when they do go out for permanent art you might be one of them that they call.  I had a showing at the Mayo clinic like a decade ago which was excellent and did sell multiple works as well as resulted in people coming to the gallery to buy. But none the less, on the whole I usually avoid them.

On the other hand…

It beats having them sitting in the gallery in the middle of an Iowa winter too. The liaison was a delight which is no surprise as she was an artist too and I do like how they look on the green wall. We over packed the space just a little though.

I wonder what everyone thought about being watched by a couple dozen cows as they ate their roast beef lunches. Which BTW is why I have such a Buddha belly in the photo. I just has some a big lunch of roast beef with taters and salads. Yum.

Okay soon I’ll carry on with my diatribe on diabetes. Next post probably.

 

The Ugly Truth Part 2

SuckItUp

First let me to say to those who asked to remain anonymous I just deleted your comments as requested to protect your privacy. But thanks so much for taking the time to reach out. Blogging is so much just talking to the void so it means a lot that you responded.

Disclaimer

Next I want to say that these posts (past, future and present) aren’t meant to replace going to your doctor. It is merely a report on what I’ve learned so that you can go seek your own path, chart your own course and make informed decisions along with your doctor’s counsel. If you are having BS issues … go see your doctor!

The Vicious Cycle

Okay so I left off with the traditional treatment actually progresses the disease. From what I’ve read diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance. High blood sugar (BS) is just the side affect. So far the only treatment options beyond diet is for treating BS, not insulin resistance. It’s like you have an infection in your leg and you have pain and fever with it. You take Ibuprofin and the fever and pain diminishes but it hasn’t done anything for the underlying cause … the infection. And as soon as the ibuprofin is out of your system the fever and pain returns. So you gotta keep taking it. But after awhile the amount of Ibuprofin you’re taking doesn’t do anything for the pain and fever and the infection is spreading, and so the answer to the problem is not to take more Ibuprofin.

Giving insulin for high blood sugar is the same thing. It’s treating the side affect not the actual problem.

So just in case that’s not bad enough

Insulin resistance is caused by an “abundance” of insulin in the body for extended periods of time. This may have happened because you’re overweight, genetically predisposed or eat a high sugar/carb diet and most likely for many (myself included) it’s all of the above. The high sugar/carb diet leads to more insulin being released into the body which leads to weight gain. Insulin’s job is to pull sugars from your blood stream and put them into your cells by way of fat. That’s what it does. Eventually after this has gone on for awhile your body tries to protect itself by not utilizing the insulin and thus you BS rises. Reread that last sentence again. Go ahead I’ll wait.

So the current medical practice is to get you on a pill for your high blood sugar levels.  Metforman is not  insulin nor does it create it. But the others that do (like glyburide which I have been on in the past)  they either force the body to make more insulin or are insulin. So … when sugars are pulled from blood and turned into fat. Walah! you gain weight. All diabetics know this. Once on a treatment protocol weight gain invariably follows… which leads to higher BS levels … which leads to more meds … more weight gain  … on and on until you die.

Okay that was a little harsh but the facts (and ugly truth) is that diabetes (insulin resistance not high blood sugars) lead to all sort of horrible things at a shockingly high percentile. Here’s the short list.

  • obesity
  • foot and leg amputation
  • blindness
  • kidney failure
  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • cancer
  • alzheimers
  • coronary artery disease
  • PAD peripheral artery disease and nueropathy

I want to stress again if you’ve got high blood sugars you need to go to your doctor!

Why you ask, if the protocol he’ll put me on just makes it worse? Well because the answer is not, not taking meds. You need to see how bad things really are, you need to track organ functions and perform damage control. And if you need to take the meds you should BUT the reason for these posts is to motivate you to take action. To take control in order to get off the drugs as soon as possible. To do some research … lots and lots of research and figure out what you need to do. Here’s what I know. There are multiple ways to reverse diabetes through diet. Find a plan or do what I did which was create my own. Because what ever I do, it has to be something I can do for a lifetime. There’s no fast cure. No magic pill. Just you and your food.

So as my dry erase board says … Suck it up Buttercup. Remember … it’s only temporary. Though perhaps it should say … Remember, it’s only food.

In the final part I will discuss what I’m doing and how it’s going.

 

BunnyKissesPrintImage

“Bunny Kisses”
10×14 inches
mixed media on suede

This was a quickie little painting created specifically for making small prints and note cards. The bunny cards are selling really well at my etsy store. So much so that like I make new Christmas designs every year, perhaps I’ll do new Easter oriented cards every year as well. I already have quite a few Easter designs in my shop to choose from but plan (I say plan but who knows whether it will manifest or not) on making a set of bunny cards.

This is not available on my website yet but they are on etsy if you want to check it out.

Bunny Kisses 5×7 inch blank cards

Bunny Kisses 5×7 and 8×10 print

The Ugly Truth Part1

Warning this is kinda long and has nothing to do with art so feel free to ignore until my next post which has cute little fuzzy bunnies in it. Oh yeah. You know you love fuzzy bunnies.

I know, I know it’s been awhile…

I have been creating but mostly little stuff designed for mini prints or cards. Not really much that is blog worthy though I will post shortly a bunny piece I just finished which is revoltingly cute and titled appropriately “Bunny Kisses” Oh yeah …

But I tend to go off on personal quests when I’m MIA from the blog and this time has been no different. Being single with my own business and a small acreage to tend (not to mention my critters) when I’m on a quest there’s not much time for extras like blogging.

So I pondered heavily whether to even bring it up here. Quests are usually personal and the blog is about art so mostly I don’t cross over, but this time I figured I’d share just a bit. Because I think it’s really important.

Those who know me …

know I’m a diabetic. I have been for 20 years now (man time flies) some of that time I’ve been on medication, most of it however I’ve not. Diet controlled as it were. The older I get the less I have to weigh to stay that way. And because God is a very funny being, menopause also raising resting blood sugar levels. (Because menopause is a huge hormonal shift and insulin is a hormone) So recently I gained a few pounds which I always do in winter because I’m not slogging around a ton of stuff at art fairs. And now with no horse and elderly mother to keep me hopping I gained a little more than my usual 10. As a result my BS (blood sugars) began to rise.

I’m like “Okay, time to rein this in” so I began to diet and walk. I bought an elliptical for myself for Christmas and upped my regimen there and … wait for it … my BS kinda skyrocketed. They went from a bit elevated to high. Crap! I went to the doctor. Got labs done. Got back on medicine. I told my Dr. that I just wanted something to drop my BS until I lost the weight. He put me on a drug which takes 2-3 month to reach full efficacy. I’m like what? Really?He also put me on a very serious drug as a “preventive” for my kidneys, not because I needed it but because it was standard protocol (cholesterol lowering drugs are also par for the course but my numbers were crazy good so he passed.) The extra drugs thing … that’s another story though. And to be clear I like my Dr. He’s not the bad guy here.

At first I was annoyed. I’m like Geez … I’ll have lost the weight by the time they kick in what’s the point? Turns out now I’m grateful. It gave me time to try something and know the results were successful because of what I’m doing not because the drugs are working. For now I’m still taking them. I’ve only been on them for 2 weeks so we’ll see what I want to do in another 2 weeks when I see my Dr. again.

All this led me on a journey. I am so very grateful I live in a time when information is so readily available. I googled “Reversing diabetes” and after months of reading several hours every day, watching you tube videos and movies, (like Fat, sick and nearly dead and Forks Over Knives) webinars, buying books, reading scientific studies … you get the point, I learned a few things. A few horrifying things but more importantly a few wonderful things too.

Let’s start with wonderful

  • Diabetes is totally reversible for nearly everyone. And guess what … it doesn’t cost anything.

Um … Well really that’s all there is I guess on the wonderful side but it’s a biggie wouldn’t you say?

And now for the Horrifying

  • The traditional treatment for diabetes actual progresses the disease
  • Elevated Blood Sugar isn’t what will kill you, it’s elevated insulin.
  • Much of the diabetic guidelines put forth by the medical and diabetic association will in fact make it worse. But they’ll say don’t worry, it’s just the natural progression of this chronic disease. Here have some more insulin.
  • They “know” it’s a lie but they all tell it anyway.
  • A diabetic on insulin with an A1c of 6 (considered quite good)is just to likely to suffer a cardiac event as someone with an A1c over 10. (considered quite bad) That right there was enough to make me faint. A diabetic on insulin has a much higher chance of dying from a heart attack. And by much … over 30%. Depends on the study really, 30 is low balling it.

Now just in case you think I’m a nutter or drank the kool-aid from some cult there are many many acclaimed doctors who support this. But the one who made it all make sense to me was Dr. Jason Fung. He’s a kidney specialist who is sent the worst of the worst diabetics. The ones taking tons of insulin, very obese and kidneys were failing. Guess what … his protocol reverses the disease. And quickly I might add. He calls it cured, but no, I don’t think so. Cured to me suggests I can go out and eat cake, bags of cheesy poofs and pot roast for months on end and be fine. But … it can be put into a kind of remission where the occasional cheat will be fine as long as for the most part you follow the rules.

Well this has gotten crazy long. So I’ll give more details in another post. But for those of you interested google Dr. Jason Fung, read his blog watch his seminars. They are not as flashy as many of the diet gurus out there, some are actual seminars for other Dr’s but he’s also not trying to sell you something. That alone gives this guy some credibility in my opinion.