Pollyanna Lives!

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It’s been so long since I’ve been able to post. So much going on in my head. So much going on in my life. While my body continues to fail me, my efforts to beat the clock have succeeded beyond what I ever dared to hope for, and I’ve somehow managed to continue to grow while dying. (Is that a Dylan song in the making, or what?)

Optimism is an odd but powerful creature and my religion of choice. I’ve been labelled a “Pollyanna” by those who intended it as a derision, but I have always worn that as a badge of honor. To me, the label means that nothing is impossible. Improbable, yeah. But not impossible. Even when I’m overwhelmed, have good reason for feeling sorrowful and afraid, a voice inside nags at me to “just hang on, as this, too, shall pass.“ Without that voice, I would have succumbed long ago. Without that voice, I would not even want to survive. But with that voice, I will always look forward to tomorrow and whatever it may bring.

While I have never really made specific plans for the future, I learned early on the importance of being open to whatever came knocking on my door. It’s taken me in so many directions – wonderful directions – which were well beyond my ability to conceive of beforehand, and led to a rich and enjoyable life filled with interesting and wonderful friends and associates. The only downside (besides my health) has been in trying to keep up with all the plates I’ve got spinning. I have tried to give 100% to everyone and every cause. I know that in my heart, the commitment is there, but have yet to be able to consistently show it. Never enough hours, never enough energy. But as I truly believe that nothing is impossible, I’ll keep on trying and hopefully my friends will continue to understand and put up with my sporadic bursts of activity and periods of quiet.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day: ”Brass Balz” Series, Part 1

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Brass Balz_Address Book

Brass Balz _ DayPlanner

Brass Balz _ Generic FolderBrass Balz _ Downloads

Brass Balz _ Notes

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Easter Tiger Lily (card) card
Creepy Friends (3-ring binder)
Easter Bunny in Pink (card) card

a.k.a. “Rip Van Winkle”

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Geezus Frog! Is it 2011 already? I seem to have overslept a bit… 🙂

For those of you wondering where the heck I’ve been for the last month or so, or those who were worrying whether I had gotten too big for my britches and abandoned this blog in favor of fame and fortune in the world of commerce: I thank y’all for caring so much, for the many private e-mails, for your patience and forgiveness, and assure you that my feet are still squarely planted on the ground (or at least metaphorically as they are actually at a right angle to the ground and hiding beneath several layers of quilts and blankets).

As the subtitle of this blog declares, the theme here is “The Art of Survival”, and that is what I’ve been doing: Just trying to survive. If you’ve ever been pregnant or observed it from afar, there is an odd phenomenon where a few days before the babe makes his grand entrance, Mom2Be gets a splurge of energy and accomplishes incredible feats of creative and physical effort. It could be anything from chopping enough firewood to keep the kid warm through kindergarten, wallpapering the entire house as well as the neighbor’s, or stripping and finishing an ancient grand piano. Well, my body, for some weird reason, adopts that routine whenever I’m just about to suffer a relapse, and that’s just what happened this time after enjoying a flurry of creative activity from Sept.-Nov. I’m still having a hard time of it and really have no way to predict how often I’ll be able to post but I’m hoping to get back here at least once a week for as long as I can.

In any case, while I’ve been “away”, if I hadn’t known before, I was reminded once again of the riches I’ve been blessed with in friends. Janie, Mi’chele, Art & Enid, Steve & Sue, Barry & Sharon, and Michelle B. too, are each the jewels I shall always cherish. In goodtimes or bad, in silence or song, these are friends who linger long, whether close or far away. What I’ve done to deserve you I have no idea but pray I can live up to your example.

“But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

”There is nothing worth the wear of winning, but laughter and the love of friends.” Hillaire Belloc

”Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.“ C. S. Lewis

”If you think that the world means nothing, think again. You might mean the world to someone else.“ Unknown (fun link but I doubt this quote was his)

“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” Euripides (408 B.C.)

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

My Favorite Things

Notes Folder

Troubleshoot Folder

Upload Fldr

Fitness Routines Fldr

Utilities Fldr

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Get Your Red Hots Here

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I don’t know whether this is solely an American (er, USA) experience or if there is something similar in other countries and cultures, but if you’ve ever been to a Major League Baseball Game you’re likely familiar with the sounds and smells (and frequent splats of mustard) coming from the vendors trolling up the aisles, flinging hot dogs over your head while chanting their anthem, “Red Hots! Get Your Red Hots, Here! Red Hots!” It is one of those silly things that old folks like me wax nostalgic over. And while the intent and purpose of those vendors with their theatrical delivery and sing-song announcement of the goods they’ve got for sale is absolutely no different from Billy Mays shouting (as if he were unaware of the invention of microphones) and doing whatever else it takes to grab your attention just long enough to plant in your subconscious a sense of familiarity with his products and name. The theory being that the next time you go down the cleaning supply aisle at your neighborhood grocery, you’ll naturally pick up the familiar bottle of Oxi-Clean your annoying old friend Billy told you about. The selling style of the Billy Mays of this world (G-d Rest his Soul) seemed so crass and irritating that I grab the remote and shut off the TV the minute his puss appears on the screen! My reaction to loud-mouthed, hard-sell tactics is not exclusive to me but it’s not exactly reasonable or fair to the extent that you really can’t judge the quality of a product by the volume of the salesman’s pitch. So as a consequence of my delicate sensibilities, I’ve probably missed out on some worthwhile goods.

I’m a little ashamed to admit that what lies at the base of my discomfort with “In Your Face” sales techniques is most likely remnants of snobbery hidden in the recesses of my brain, assimilated as a child from relatives a generation or three older. For various reasons (some good, some sad, some downright idiotic) certain members of my family wanted to distance themselves from their Russian or Roumanian peasant heritage and one of the ways they chose to do this was by trying to mimic East Coast Old Money crowd. The so-called “High Society” set that my parents, grandparents and great grandparents looked up to, acquired the things they wanted through private appointments with exclusive shops or by commanding a private showing in their homes by the designers, jewelers, artists and craftsmen directly. The difference between acquiring treasures (and even ordinary goods) in the way a Vanderbilt or Astor did was considered the epitome of class and taste. In their rarified stratosphere, it was beneath them to even consider letting themselves be “sold” something by a grimy street vendor who obviously needed the money to feed his family and so didn’t care who you were as long as you paid cash. Such an unseemly, distateful situation naturally cast suspicion over the quality and value of anything bought from such a wretch. Or so their societal biases lead them to believe. Please don’t get me wrong: I do NOT condone such irrational and cruel prejudice or the vain, shallow persons who believe themselves to be superior human beings simply because they have the luxury of not worrying about where their next meal will come from or whether they can scrap enough together to make sure their children have a pair of shoes of their own. I’ve lived on both sides of that aisle and don’t want to let myself ever forget that. Nevertheless, if I am to be perfectly honest, I often have to consciously remind myself that there is nothing shameful about commerce and trades, or in asking people to buy your wares.

You may already have guessed what brought this subject up tonight, as I’ve talked before about my recent decision to place my artwork for sale on the open market. Despite the fact that I’ve owned and operated a number of businesses over the past 40+ years, it’s taking me some time to get comfortable with the idea that promoting is not the same thing as bragging and I shouldn’t be embarrassed to say “Look at what I did! Ain’t it great? How many do you want to buy today?”. Well, okay, maybe if I insisted on reciting those words out loud, I should be embarrassed. But I think you probably get the idea I’m trying to express here. I started out with only one (1) poster for sale back in May 2010 and now, five months later, I have over 80 different products in my store, with new ones being added weekly!

Despite this breakthrough in finally recognizing the value of my work, I still find myself feeling awkward and shy about trying to promote it. Yeah, I’ve mentioned the store a 3 or 4 times on this blog and have a Flash widget displaying thumbnails of my products in the right-hand column, but according to all the marketing gurus, I’ve done a woeful job of spreading the word about how the content of my store has grown and inviting people to check it out often to see what’s new. A part of me feels like I’d be violating some trust between myself and my readers who originally came to this Blog for a handful of free icons and a few minutes of reading the down-to-earth thoughts of a person just like them who lives with incredible challenges yet despite the pain and fears is determined to smile, find joy in the life that she has and even dare to dream of a future. So I’d like to assure my loyal readers, that I have no intention of abandoning my original mission in starting this blog and will continue to share my feelings, thoughts and discoveries and, yes, continue to post as “Freebies” various icons and clip art I’ve created. But rather than only publishing a new post when I’ve had the time and been well enough to write something of substance and being silent and visually absent for days in between, I’m going to starting filling those empty days with posts introducing news, photos and links to my latest products available at my Zazzle Store. While I hope you see something you like and will buy and that you will even pass on your recommendations and my links to your family and friends, I hope you will think of such posts along the same pleasant line as the Old-Time Hot Dog Vendors at an exciting ballgame. 😉

On today’s menu of Freebies, I’m serving up a gumbo of application icon designs I’ve done over the years for my own personal use. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

agentorange-1

vacuum6vacuumBlue3

Cenon-Alt

addressbook6A-Song-Sung-Blue

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

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Therapeutic Bear Hugs

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A couple of days ago, I got together with a friend that I hadn’t seen for over 40 years. While the occasion was a sad one (he had come up to Ohio from his home in Florida for his father’s funeral) it was really wonderful to see him. Of course, when you haven’t seen someone for many years, the first thing is to try to catch up on all that’s happened in each other’s lives. My favorite part is in hearing all about the other person as it gets me out from under my life and I get to imagine what my friend has seen and done and felt. When the focus turned to me (as arriving with a walker or in a wheelchair that the friend wasn’t expecting is bound to do) my tongue seems to trip on my words. After all these years, I still have not figured out how best to respond to the question, “So, what happened to you?”

Not to make light of the pain of those who’ve fallen down a flight of stairs or been in a car wreck, but I wish there was some simple one sentence statement like that I could use to reply to such questions. There are some people who ask “How are you?” that are merely being polite and who really aren’t interested in details. Those are easy. To a friend who really does care, I feel that it’s a matter of respect to tell them the truth. Of course, I also don’t want to come across like a whiner or to depress them or cause them to feel badly for me. And there lies the problem, because the answer to “What Happened to Me” entails a recitation of a long series of illnesses and circumstances that built upon each other over a period of 56 years to land me in the condition I am now. While there is one cause (Hereditary Hemochromatosis “HFE”) that has been at the core of every other major condition or disease or disability that I’ve suffered, most folks have no idea what HFE is but they do know what Epilepsy, Stroke, deafness, Uterine Cancer, Hepatitis C, Non-Alcoholic cirrhosis, Arthritis, Haemolytic Anemia, Osteoporosis, Esophagitis, Peripheral Neuropathy, and chronic pain are. So whether I start with HFE or end with it doesn’t much matter and it doesn’t much matter whether I spend any time at all on the details of any of those conditions and how they’ve affected me or simply just stated their names in a single sentence. The result is still the same. People feel overwhelmed simply hearing that list, can’t imagine how any one person could have endured all that (much less still have a smile on their face) and wonder what kind of hex was put on me while still in the womb. Their reaction is understandable but for some reason I tend to feel a bit embarrassed as I know it has to be difficult to think of “the right thing” to say after someone has answered “What happened to You?” with such a mucked up laundry list.

The best friends I’ve found are those who can hear that list and then go ahead to tell me a joke or can be comfortable laughing at one of mine. People who have such a generous nature as to be sensitive enough to know when to just listen, when to ask for more info, when to laugh with you, when to share with you their own troubles and dreams, and know when you just need a great big bear hug, are priceless. (Thanks, Mark!)

Listen To Simon & Garfunkel’s “Old Friends”

On the menu tonight is a smorgasboard of orphaned icons and clip art that have little in common with each other as far as style or theme but they are easily usable as application icons, avatars, or a variety of scrapbooking or illustration purposes. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

chat-a10chat-a11

My Mammy 2

Speech IconVoices Folder

Cenon-Alt

The Waiter-Fatchef's hat

NetFlix LiveNetFlix Downloads Folder

Work In Progress Folder

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Get Neue-Melamine in One Swell Foop

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This evening’s post is a quickie just to let you know that I’ve put together all of the images I created for my “Neue-Melamine” series into one gigantic zipped-up package for your convenience in downloading. It includes all that were posted here individually along with a few extras. The only categories it does NOT include are “devices”. If any of you are interested in having a set of those as well, or desire an image in the Neue-Melamine style for some other function or application not already posted, let me know via a comment to this post.

Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

Simply right-click (or control-click) on the link below to save a zipped file to your desktop that contains the complete “Neue-Melamine” series. Each image in the package is a 512px X 512px image in .png format and the entire zipped download is 6.63mb. Usage of these images is strictly per terms of my Creative Commons 3.0, Non-Commercial-Attribution-No Derivatives license applies (see sidebar for details)

Download Neue-Melamine Now

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Countdown To Justice

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The count down to justice continues… In the Fourth District Circuit Court of Appeals in south Florida, the judges publish their rulings only once a week, on Wednesday mornings. It has now been 5 weeks since the three member “Merit” panel met and made it’s decision on my case, but I will not know what that decision was until they publish their written decision. And so, it is yet another Tuesday night that I will go to sleep wondering whether the morning will bring news that the legal monkey is finally off my back. Try as I might not to dwell on the negative, the continued burden of this case weighs heavily in my mind and heart. It is a sad situation that never had to be, yet at the same time, it was inevitable. Math was never my strong suit, and perhaps that is at least one reason why I had not been able to see the simple equation that set this nightmare into motion:

PARTY “A” = PARTY “B” =
+ bitterness + trusting, forgiving nature
+ sense of entitlement + believes no one is “entitled” to anything that they haven’t earned or at the expense of other’s rights
+ law degree, member of Florida Bar: 20 years experience dealing with Florida legal system, connections in clerk’s office, knows system’s weaknesses and how to use them. + no legal education nor relevant experience.
+ forced into early retirement from civil service job + self-made entrepreneur with long history of intellectually satisfying and financially rewarding business.
+ opportunity to obtain assets, status, power and revenge through appointment as fiduciary. + believes revenge is foolish & morally wrong
+ believes fiduciary duty, rules of attorney ethics, and “inconvenient” laws apply only to others. + strong sense of ethics, personal responsibility and that one’s good name & honor must be earned & is only “possession” of true value.
+ lacks willingness to recognize own wrongs or the unfair, harmful effect of those wrongs on others. + Self-Esteem not tied to superficial facades and holds no interest in having power over others’ lives.
+ lives in south Florida, where case is being heard, in relatively good physical health (able to walk, drive, travel, lead a “normal” active life. + lives in Ohio (1500 miles away) and can’t travel due to being confined to bed for last 7 years.
+ lack of ability to feel true empathy. + in a particularly vulnerable position where person “A” had sole possession and control over critical medical information that could be used either to help or hinder “B’s” chance of survival.

Now give judicial oversight of PERSON “A” and determination of what to do when “A” breaches fiduciary duty and willfully engages in a number of serious incidents of misconduct that caused serious harm to PERSON “B” (and “B’s” family) in the hands of the trial court which has for years held position as one of the top five “Judicial Hellholes” in America, and in particular put this case in the hands of one judge who has been fodder for late night talk show hosts as the “Weeping” Judge and for the last two years since he resigned as a judge, has been battling a law suit against him for his own (alleged) breaches of fiduciary duty and fraud in regards to an 82 year old neighbor, and our second judge who was subsequently forced to step down as “Chief Judge” due to political pressure over a number of (alleged) legal and ethical violations (yet still presides over this case at the trial level), and where more than a dozen other judges and prosecutors have been either forced to resign after being found guilty of various legal and ethical misconduct or in an effort to avoid facing trial for such charges or whom are still currently under active investigation for either ethical or even criminal misconduct.

Yet, despite all this, I still believe in our system of justice and I believe that Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals in particular takes their job and their duty to the honest citizens who rely on them to ensure that they’re legal rights are protected, that the “bad guys” are held accountable, and that “justice” is done as well as humanly possible. I pray that THIS time, my faith is well placed.

On a much more positive and fun note, I give you tonight’s freebies: Part 3 of my multi-part series, “Neue Melamine”. Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

NM_TB-Public

NM_UFLD-PublicNM_UFLD_Developer

NM_UFLD-Users

NM_TB-MusicNM_TB-Music2

NM_UFLD-Library

NM_UFLD-DOCSNM_UFLD-Burn

NM_UFLD-PicturesNM_UFLD-Movies

NM_UFLD-SmartNM_UFLD-Favorites

NM_UFLD-PrivateNM_UFLD-Applications

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Busy, Busy, Dizzy!

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The past three days have been a whirlwind of activity around “IconDoIt Palace” (Hey, if “a man’s home is his castle”, a woman’s home can surely be her palace, eh?) In any case, as the requested quotation mentioned in Requested Quote for Custom Icons – Real or Scam?Friday’s post was indeed legitimate, I have been not only working up a formal preliminary quotation and estimate of time, but also created three different preliminary layouts for two different pages, as well. And on top of that, my sister-in-law who lives in St. Louis, Missouri just retired and drove up to Ohio to visit and has been staying with us. All this focused, rushed activity has been both exhilarating and a drain on my physical energy. The cold and rainy weather and my Hubby suffering from a severe chest cold haven’t helped any. So now that my estimate and samples have gone out I’m going to take the opportunity to get some much-needed sleep.

Tonight’s free offering is the third installment of my multi-part series, “Nueu Melamine”. Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

NM_App-Clock

NM_TB-CustomizeNM_TB-NewFldr

NM_App-Keychain

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