My recent absence and recovery

Novmber 23,2018

This time last year, I was taken off life support. They weren’t sure if I would live or not. But I did wake up although I didn’t know why I was in the ICU. Gradually I realized I was in the hospital. I had some weird dreams while there. I had whole stories going on in my head due to some unusual features in my room. On one side of my room there was what looked a prop from a movie. It looked like part of the inside of a ship below deck. It had vertical compartments just big enough to hide young children. And I wondered if it had been used as a prop in a movie about getting children away from Nazis. 

On the other side of the room was a sink with little doodad animals attached to the sink. And there was also an old barber’s mirror, and then there was a very beautiful display of yellow silk.  Those items caused me to have fantastic dreams. I mean I still remember most of them vividly. I became part of a brigade on a kinder transport  train picking up babies and toddlers – we would stop along the way to put on a vaudeville show but in reality, people were handing us babies with their names on their clothes backstage. That’s when the old mirror came in. We would record the name, age, and sex of each baby on the inside of the back of the mirror.  Every morning we would come to breakfast singing a song about what we ate. Eggs, sausage, coffee and bread…..  I guess my Jewish consciousness is very strong.

In mid December, I was sent to a skilled nursing facility, since laying in bed had deteriorated my muscles. Did you know that even non-disabled people will lose 25% of their muscle strength every week they are bedbound? I had also lost about 30 lbs, so I had to eat whatever they served, but we spied a middle eastern restaurant across the street and my attendants would go get me hummus and babaganoosh, and baklava if lunch was too gross.

I had Physical therapy 5 or 6 days a week. The therapists said they had never seen anybody work so hard and I explained that I wasn’t prepared to die yet, or worse be institutionalized in the nursing home. I told them I have a pets and a LIFE to get back to, and making my books of poetry and other writings, and art too! I insisted I wanted to be home for my 62nd birthday.

I finally came home on March 15th 2018, four days before my birthday.  There were minor issues a long the way, but nothing that hasn’t sorted itself out.  I threw myself into painting! Yes, using real acrylics on canvas. I dove into abstract shapes and colors, and continued my love of painting trees, especially deciduous trees in autumn!  I hope you enjoy my art and my poetry. Let me know by email if you do, or if you have questions.

East Bay Mini Makers Faire

I had so much fun vending at this event! I did a live demo so that people could see my creative process, and there were so many interesting and interactive things to do and see! It was a really inspiring and educational event. Here’s some general info about the event, followed by some photos and videos of the event itself.

About East Bay Mini Maker Faire and Park Day School

Sunday, October 21, 2018, from 10 am to 5 pm

Featuring both established and emerging local “makers,” the East Bay Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration featuring rockets and robots, digital fabrication, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music and local food, and educational workshops and installations.

The East Bay Mini Maker Faire follows the “big” Maker Faire model of celebrating invention, creativity, and resourcefulness, but is smaller in scale (170+ makers  vs. 1200 makers; 6,000+ people on one day vs. 65,000) and will showcase the wonders of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and beyond!  We were one of the first “Mini” Maker Faires when we launched in 2010. Now we’re part of a huge, truly global network of Maker Faires spanning 40+ countries.

The East Bay Mini Maker Faire is fortunate to have Park Day School as its host and sponsor.  The event uses Park Day School’s four-acre, “secret garden” campus nestled behind Oakland Technical High School in the Temescal District, as well as the adjacent facilities of Studio One Art Center, Oakland’s only city-run building and program dedicated to studio arts instruction in a wide range of media for persons of all ages.

Here are some short clips of my jewelry making demo

There were so many things to see

the tiny makers were so smart and inspiring

A very busy screen printing station

There were rides and demos everywhere

The Crucible, based out of West Oakland - they had a fiery booth!

a funny mechanical orchestra. This was really fun to watch.