Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

The Finch in Watercolor on Arches Cold Pressed Paper

The Finch in Watercolor on Arches Cold Pressed Paper

One week until surgery! This week is going to be a busy one, finishing all the testing to get ready for surgery, and then having a colonoscopy on Friday. The surgeon will do the colonoscopy, remove any polyps, and shoot dye into the surgery site, so that it can be easily identified. By the time I get through with all of the tests, I am not knowing if there will be any blood left in me, LOL. I would stay up nights studying for the tests, but so far it has not helped, so guess I will wing it and see if that works better!

Speaking of winging it, the finch is back! He was so cute, I had to try him in watercolor. Since I started driving again, I spent the last two Tuesdays painting with Candy. She reminded me about “punching the darks” and “stepping away from the painting!” It was so nice to be painting with her again. Soon I will be recovered from surgery and we will be able to paint together again! I stopped into Liberty Wildlife to visit my “Thursday Peeps”. Once again, it was awesome seeing them all, and can’t wait to feel well enough to return to volunteering!

Hubby and I made a couple of weekend trips. The first was to Flagstaff, where we took a side trip to Bearizona and another to Walnut Canyon. The weather was fabulous and we enjoyed the scenery and wildlife immensely. Last weekend, we drove to Sierra Vista spending every hour of daylight chasing down birds to photograph. We were tired little campers when we got home, but very happy as we saw many birds for the first time and got quite a few good photos. I have enough ref photos of native birds to keep me busy for a few lifetimes! Stay tuned for photos. If you can’t wait, check out my Facebook Page for the first installments.

When we returned home Sunday evening, it sounded like a ZOO here. The parrots were all screaming, “You are home, you are home, we missed you, you have been gone forever, we missed you”. And the kitties were meowing, the guy you left to take care of us did not feed us enough, time for food, time for seconds, time for thirds, time for petting and scratching. The parrots started screaming, “No, scratch us first, we are louder and love you more. We love you more than food, but give us treats and let us sit on your shoulder, we have been stuck in these cages and on the stands all weekend!” Well, you can imagine all of the petting, scratching and feeding that took place. Scuze me while I take a nap……..ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Pastel Pencil on Ingres

Pastel Pencil on Ingres

The finch pastel drawing is done de done done! And he is spoken for. Will be winging his way to his new owner soon! He is so cute, I decided to paint him too, so stay tuned!

No blog last week because I was too busy getting pre-op tests done. Everything back so far is looking good. The tumor markers in the blood work are down to 28, and should take a good drop again after surgery, leaving them in the range we are looking for….under 10! The tumors have all shrink and some have disappeared. The chest x-ray was normal-like anything in my life is normal, LOL! So next week should be the new normal, then the following week, medical appointments almost every day, then the following week…..surgery. Hopefully I will be able to make some progress or finish the painting before surgery since I will be in the hospital for 2-4 days and the recovery is expected to take about four weeks. Most of the chemo side effects are disappearing. The chemo tan is fading, my mouth is burning less, the nasty taste is gone, energy is back and my hair is GROWING back. Woot Woot!

In the meantime we will get to see my daughter, Melissa, in “Barefoot In The Park”. Since she is playing the lead, we are looking forward to a great laugh! A group of friends will be attending, so we will probably hurt from laughing and will be in great company!! We will be spending a weekend in Flagstaff, with a side trip to Bearizona. Then will spend a weekend in Sierra Vista photographing any bird that will hold still long enough. So stay tuned for photos! Until we tweet again!

Finch - Pastel Pencil

Finch – Pastel Pencil

We met with the surgeon Friday and the surgery is scheduled for April 28th – with lots of testing until then. Colonoscopy, pet-scan, blood-work, lung x-ray and several other appointments. Fun, fun, fun! At least I will be feeling better for all of this. It gets better each day as the side effects from chemo slowly disappear.

The weather is so gorgeous now, we spent a lot of time today on the patio with the parrots and kitties. We only let Dante out when we are out, so he slinks around the yard acting like we can’t see him. He hides in the bushes, but one loud sound and he is back inside where it is safe. Loki ran around on her branch and flapped her wings and had a great time. The little guys just preen and enjoy the sun.

This week, a little finch is the subject of my pastel pencil WIP. He was so cute standing on the bird bath, he was hard to resist. Everything is pretty quiet now, so he should go pretty quickly! Stay tuned!

The Last One!!

The Last One!!

Whooo hoooo! Chemo Over! The last treatment pretty well did me in. Last week I was feeling “Happy Crappy”…..our new phrase for the time you are happy it is over, but feel too crappy to celebrate yet. The mouth sores finally made an appearance after 23 weeks of being told, I would probably get them. The nausea lasted until Monday. Yesterday, the nausea pretty much disappeared, so am left a little tired, but recovering rapidly now. The awful taste in my mouth is SLOWLY disappearing and I even have a little bit of energy. This too will pass, as every day is a little better and soon will be back to the REAL normal – not the NEW normal!!! Of course the tan will disappear, and I have to curb the eating habits, but hey, it is better than chemo! So next month is full of tests and appointments to get set for surgery sometime in April. Stay tuned for details.

The therapy kitties and parrots are all doing their jobs. Loki is getting very spoiled having me home all the time. She will not let me have a phone conversation without interrupting by yelling “Hello! Hello! Hello!” or screaming until I finally walk over and let her into the conversation. She knows – even if I am in the very back of the house, hiding in the closet – when I am on the phone. Her hearing is extraordinary.

Pastel Pencil on Black Canson Board

Pastel Pencil on Black Canson Board

Yesterday, I finally had a enough energy to do some art therapy, so here is the Fox almost done….Oh no there goes the phone…….Ok Loki, just a minute and you can say hello……where are my earplugs?

Little guy protecting hen from pigeon.

Little guy protecting hen from pigeon.

Whoooo Hooo! Last chemo starts today. It will be all over Wed, and then on to surgery. Happy Dance. Since I will be tired the rest of this week, I thought I would post the blog today. Cannot wait to see hair grow back, be able to taste things again, and have energy!!!

We went to the park again last week and I got a couple of shots of the little guys. They think they are just as big and beautiful as the big guys…they vibrate their feathers just as hard and try to protect their peahens from pigeons, LOL.

Another Little guy displaying.

Another Little guy displaying.

Here is the progress on Foxy, I may not get any more done until next week, but it is progressing well. Hope you have a wonderful week, and will blog when I wake up from this week’s chemo!

Fox - pastel pencil on Black Canson board

Fox – pastel pencil on Black Canson board

Approaching the last chemo, it seems like it takes a little longer after each treatment to get my energy back. But next week is the last chemo, so I have 4-6 weeks to recover before surgery. Happy dance! Happy Dance! Feeling a little down this morning when a Facebook Post from one of my dear friends raised me up and put me back on a good path. It is amazing to have so many people in my life who care. Thanks so much Judith Bert! Once again, Thanks to all of you for the FB messages, texts, blog replies, phone calls, and emails, they all lift me up!

Pastel Pencil on Canson Board(black)

Pastel Pencil on Canson Board(black)

Next week during my chemo, my husband and I will be having our 31st anniversary. Just want to take a time out to say that I could not have made this journey without him! He has taken such good care of me and I am so blessed to be his wife. On our first visit to the Oncologist, George told me I would not be alone on this journey, that he would be with me every step of the way. It brought tears to my eyes and I will never to be able to express how much I love him and thank God every day for bringing him into my life. He has taken me to every treatment, appointment, and test and has been there every second of the way. He has seen me puking my guts out, with chemo burn, and looking like a baby grackle with my almost bald head and still tells me I am beautiful and that he loves me. For those of you who think I am brave, let me tell you, I am not. But with a love like that, how could I not face this War on Cancer with ferocity? Love gives me wings.

This week the new WIP is a fox. We have visited Bearizona several times and this little guy fascinates me. He is so cute and furry that I just have to give him a go. Hope you enjoy! Last chemo next week… happy Dance…happy dance……

Mountain Chickadees Pastel Pencil on Ingres

Mountain Chickadees
Pastel Pencil on Ingres

Before I fall asleep, just wanted to say, this is the Next To The Last Chemo Treatment!!!! Whoooo Hoooo!

The Mountain Chickadees are matted.

The birds and kitties are fed.

Peace out!!!!

Chickadees almost done! Pastel Pencil on Ingres.

Chickadees – Pastel Pencil on Ingres.

This has been a good resting week. As it moves along at the speed of light, I am feeling energized and ready for next week. Especially since there is a BIG light at the end of the tunnel.

The chickadees are almost done, I just have to do some color adjusting on the second one, so that they will look good together in a frame, and do the shading at the outer edges. These guys are just so cute, they have been fun to work on.

Hope you all have a wonderful, fun, happy weekend!

First Chickadee - Pastel Pencil

First Chickadee – Pastel Pencil

Whew, last week’s chemo really took it out of me. Didn’t get back to the “New Normal” until Monday. Am feeling much better this week, nausea finally cleared up and have some energy. Now I feel like celebrating “Only Two Chemos Left!” Even though I was happy, was just too tired to celebrate last week, so let’s party now! Whooo Hooo! Thanks SO much to all of you who are praying, sending positive thoughts and good wishes. You are the wind beneath my wings!

A shout out to say: Happy Birthday to my talented, intelligent, beautiful daughter, Melissa! Thanks for all of your visits, prayers and support! Also Happy Birthday to Debi, my wonderful sister! Thanks for all of your prayers, support and packages! You guys are a great part of my family team!P1S

Am back to work this week on two pastel pencil drawings of Mountain Chickadees, here is the progress on the first one. We saw them in Flagstaff last year, and I am just now getting around to them. I am thinking of framing them as a diptych since the Ingres pastel paper is smaller than the papers I usually work on. I was a little disappointed in the Ingres Paper as it came with a little fold in it, but I guess that is what happens on the long trip from England. It does not disappoint as far as working with it though, it takes the pastel layers wonderfully. So you will be seeing a few drawings on it, LOL.

Talk to the Tail!

Talk to the Tail!

Hubby took me to Sahuaro Ranch Park the last couple of days to see the peacocks. The males are starting to display their gorgeous tails and vibrating like crazy to get the females attention. The peahens are still ignoring them, lol. Most of the males have big, beautiful tails, and the display is amazing. There was one little guy who must be this year’s clutch, his tail was only about a foot long, but he was strutting his stuff as proudly as the big guys. We had a good chuckle at his expense, but he was just so darn cute!

Display

Display

It has been nice to sit out on the patio in the sun and watch the backyard birds since it is in the 80’s here. We( I should say hubby, I just watched,LOL) took all of the parrots out on the patio this weekend, and they really enjoyed it! A hummingbird kept buzzing Loki though, and she was getting a little annoyed with him. I think the hummer thought she was some kind of big flower with her bright blue and yellow. It is a good thing the little guy did not slow down or, he would have been caught by a BIG parrot beak.  Well….guess it is back to the birds for now! Update soon.

China silk scarves

China silk scarves

Sorry to take so long to blog this week, but after chemo treatment # 10, I am tired, tired, tired, exhausted. Have slept a lot this week – pretty much waking up to take nausea meds and occasionally check in on Facebook. Hopefully will have a little more energy next week and will do a little longer blog. Since this was treatment # 10, the GREAT news is ONLY two more to go!!!!! Whoooo Hoooo. Will have a new tumor marker numbers next week, as they only do them once a month, but am sure it will be good news. Cancer take that – POW!!! POW!!!! POW!!!!

Sister Debi, this photo is for you – the silk scarves from China you sent. With the hair slowly disappearing, it is nice to have something pretty on my head! You can see the port really well too. It saves me from MANY bruises!

ElkFs

Elk on Black All Media Board – Pastel Pencil

The elk is about finished, I definitely am liking him better on black, but take a look and decide for yourself! Nap time, catch ya next week.

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