When There is No Cure

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Science and medicine have come so far over the last 50 years that it’s easy to presume there is a “cure” for everything, or at least a treatment that’ll ease any pain or other disabling symptoms and extend your life. But that is hardly the reality for millions of folks suffering from either rare or just simply mysterious illnesses that medical researchers have yet to crack. I don’t know what is worse: to find yourself saddled with conditions in the class of those “un-cracked” diseases or to be suffering from diseases and conditions for which treatments (or even cures) ARE available but you can’t take them because you either can’t afford it or because you have other diseases or conditions at the same time that make you ineligible for such treatment. I happen to be in that last category and can honestly say it really sucks! But I also think that there is no good reason for anyone to actually try to weigh “what sucks more” as that would end up invalidating the frustrations and grief experienced by those in whichever group is found to “suck less”. Nothing positive can come out of being subjected to others who try to deny the reality of your situation and who attempt to invalidate your feelings. All it accomplishes is adding to the frustration, stress, and feelings of isolation you already feel.

While those who suffer from any medical condition in any of the above categories can (and should) attempt to educate their family, friends, bosses and coworkers about the reality of their situation (particularly if does or can have a direct impact on those others), too often those “others” don’t WANT to be educated. Usually, such reactions are out of fear for their own health, comfort, or other personal interest. But IMHO, from my personal observations, any benefit gained from sticking one’s head in the sand is doomed to be short-lived and eventually regretted. (Ed. That’s not intended as a threat to anyone, as it is simply the statistical truth based on experience and the laws of probability). Quite candidly, I’ve finally learned to recognize that the consequences suffered by such Ostriches, due to their deliberately maintaining a status of “plausible deniability”, is THEIR problem, not mine. I am no longer willing to waste my time trying to open the eyes of those human ostriches as experience has taught they will only ever see what they want to see. My mission is not to console the regretful naysayers, but to help myself and others who face no viable treatment or cure available to them. My 2012 plan towards achieving that goal via my blog is to research, explore, blog and share different ways to Live (with a capital “L”) even while we’re struggling just to survive.

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 in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

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Memorial Day Tango

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First things first…

I’d like to offer my salute and prayers to all members of our armed forces and their support teams who bravely gave their lives for our freedom and for the freedom of those whose own governments sought to suppress freedom. To the families they left behind, we can never quite feel your pain, but recognize that you, too, have sacrificed for your country. We are grateful and proud to be the beneficiaries of your dedication to the ideals of a free world and to our country, which forges ahead working towards spreading those ideals and the tools of knowledge and love to achieve it. The struggle is hardly over, but the efforts of our military heros, fallen or disabled, family or in-the-field support, has not been in vain. Their spirits live on and inspire us to be worthy of their sacrifice. To the rest of the civilians like myself, please take a moment to remember and another moment to donate, whatever you can, to the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) who provide much needed support for the soldiers who’ve returned with the scars of war and the families left on their own.

Next…

The old saw that “It takes two to Tango”, while clever, is a set-up for faulty logic when applied to any and all contentious disputes in litigation. No reasonable person would assert that the bloody, vicious battles between the Christians and the lions could have been avoided or should have been resolved by the Christians “taking the high road” by conceding the contest to the lions. What was true in ancient Rome remains true today in our modern-day colliseums: the court house. Like the Christians and lions, not every party to a lawsuit is responsible for the necessity of court involvement nor responsible for such litigation being unnecessarily prolonged and not every case where the adversaries share the same biological parents can be attributed to a mutual sibling rivalry. But it often can be difficult to determine who is the aggressor and who is the victim, which is why it is so vital for all of us to suppress our frustrations and preconceived notions and try to listen and observe anew.

As every judge in every court knows well, the danger in making premature judgments based upon faulty logic is the increased likelihood truth will escape, the merits never reached, justice will be compromised, and public policy defeated. The task we ask of our judicial system is tall indeed as our judges are as human as we. And so, on this Memorial Day, when we pause to remember those who’ve fought for our freedom, that we all resolve to aspire to facilitate justice in this life. Likewise, it seems equally fitting to pray for those men and women who struggle each day to keep the faith of our fallen patriots with their hearts, minds and courtrooms every day. Lord knows, it ain’t easy.

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)

Memorial Day Salute 2011

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Windy 500 T-Shirt
Windy 500 – T-Shirt
Hey Race Fans! Just in time, here comes IconDoIt’s bright red balloon car flying into the Winner’s Circle at this year’s Windy 500! Printed with highly saturated colors for a vibrant look on a high-quality black T-Shirt, we recommend washing in cold water to retain richness of colors. For men, women, children, whatever.
Benevolence - Thank You (Note Card
Benevolence – Thank You (Note Card)
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Aspire (Graduation Card)
“Aspire” Graduation Card – Tell the grad whom you’re proud of just how high you know they can soar! -original design by IconDoIt

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Doris Sigal (neé Charkow) – R.I.P.

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If you’re an old-timer like me, you probably remember the old Morton Salt trademark phrase “When it rains, it pours”. Sometimes those Madmen accidentally told the truth. And so, it is with a heavy heart that I write this post to honor the memory of my step-mother, Doris Charkow Sigal. Married to my father, Dr. Roland Lee Sigal for what would have been 50 years next month, Doris passed away peacefully in her sleep at home, yesterday. (Thursday May 19, 2011)

Doris & Dr. Roland L. Sigal - Doris, We’ll Miss You!

My most favorite memory of Doris is of Thanksgiving of 2005 when she and my Dad came to visit us from their home in Allentown, Pa. After gorging ourselves on a wonderful meal prepared by my hubby, Don and son, Robert, we sat around the table listening aptly to my parents reminisce about their various adventures traveling around the world. Mostly, it was my Dad who did the talking. But as he spoke, Doris cuddled up to him and look rapturously into his eyes the entire time. I don’t know that I have ever seen a woman in her 70’s so obviously still in love with her husband. That was the one and only time that I was permitted a glimpse into their private relationship and it had a profound affect on me – and on my husband and son.

In her 20’s, Doris dabbled in painting and I’ve heard she had promising talent, but have never seen any of her works. That’s at least in part because she chose instead to make a career of cheering her husband (and daughter, Marcie Friedman, from a prior marriage) on, as they went on to fulfill their personal dreams, shared dreams, and far exceed what any spouse or parent dares to expect. Doris was my father’s enthusiastic partner in sharing the fruits of their hard work and good fortune with others through numerous generous donations to hospitals, The Sigal Center (a top-notch primary health care center to serve the poor), colleges, art museums, and the symphony (among others) – all within their local community.

Doris left her stamp on many lives and her spirit shall live on forever through the lives and accomplishments of those she helped or inspired.

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)

Memorial Headstone

3 Red Gerbera Daisies

3 Gerbera Daisies

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Scrapbook - Epiphany binder
Scrapbook – Epiphany binder
Scrapbookers Alert!! This customizable 1.5″ 3-ring Scrapbooker’s binder is IconDoIt’s latest original digital artwork. In luscious melon, violet & cerise colors, it emulates the look of stained glass on embossed leather with Art Nouveau flavoring. Holds up to 275 pages. You can change any or all of the text as you please to make it your own. Makes a great gift along with a selection of IconDoIt’s unique scrapbook papers.
Scrapbook Paper - A Peachy Photo
Scrapbook Paper – A Peachy Photo
Upload Your photo to have it placed in the frame Scrapbookers Alert!! You can upload your picture & change the caption to make this peaches & cream hued original paper design your own. Part of IconDoIt’s fabulous new line of unique, fun & inspiring heavy-weight paper for all your scrapbooking projects! All papers in this series are 8.5″x11″ & printed on 100 lb felt or 110 lb linen. Be sure to check out IconDoIt’s original Scrapbook Binders, too!

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This Blog Has Eyes

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It appears that my little ol’ blog has made it into the big time! In the latest turn of events from the decade-plus lawsuit I’ve been weighted-down with, my adversary has credited my writing with having such credibility and influence, as to deserve a number of hyper-linked citations to it in his/her latest pleadings. I suppose I should feel honored to some extent that my adversary not only extended the effort to track me all over the internet, but then spent well over 30 hours to read each and every one of my 158 posts. Does he/she simply find my posts and artwork to be that excellent and entertaining that it deserves so much time? Or was the time spent as part of a vitriolic and cynical hunt, looking for (and expecting to find) the type of vitriol and false accusations directed at him/her that my adversary has made a career of flinging at me?

As I’ve lamented many times before, it is virtually impossible to relate to someone who is either unable and/or unwilling to recognize where they end and others begin. Such persons (whom I’ll refer to as “Vlad” for the sake of convenience) project upon others, their own motivations and morality (or with either the prefix “a” or “im” as may be appropriate) and therefore fully expect others to take the type of actions that they would under same or similar circumstances. The biggest problem with this is that Vlad is apparently clueless that Vlad’s arguments are with a person created in their own imagination and have no accurate relationship to the thoughts, motivations or actions of the very real, flesh and blood person at the center of Vlad’s private hurricane. Case in point, are Vlad’s insinuations that my blog reveals my “true” feelings, motivation and intent which are allegedly vengeful, fanatical, obsessed, self-righteous, malicious, and that my motions before the Court(s) have been persecutory, legally improper and without any reasonable basis in fact.

I will not attempt to use this blog to defend any of those allegations (which I have only paraphrased above for sake of brevity), as that will be properly addressed in the courts. What I will say here is that Vlad is correct in the claim this blog reflects my “true” feelings, motivation and intent. While I completely disagree with Vlad’s conclusions, I think my postings to this blog speak for themselves, especially when taken as a whole and not snippets without context. And I’m very proud to stand on that record.

Because this is an active case now before two separate courts, it is not in anyone’s best interest to make suppositions or to prejudge the parties or issues. So, while I greatly appreciate the support I’ve received from many of my readers both on and off the blog, I specifically ask that such commentary be either kept neutral or communicated privately off this public blog. Thanks so much for understanding.

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)

Tonight’s freebies are not my typical fare. They are my heartfelt tribute to a very special and important woman in my life, my mother-in-law, Catherine Ann Fath Javorek. “Katie” as she preferred to be called, passed away last week, peacefully in her sleep, at the age of 92. Almost everyone who knew her, described Katie as a “Sweetheart”. She was caring and funny and always ready to stuff you with food. A deeply religious woman, dedicated to her Catholic faith, she nevertheless graciously welcomed me into her family and cheered when our son became a Bar Mitzvah. Katie introduced me to quilting while I was pregnant with Rob and shared her “Quilting Buddies” with me at monthly get-together. She loved flowers – outside, and enjoyed when I would read out loud to her from her favorite poetry book by Edna St. Vincent Millay. But most of all, Katie loved and lived for her 3 children, 4 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. I will miss her greatly but am comforted by the thought that she is now off dancing somewhere among the stars with her beloved Eddie.

RIP Mum

Cross & Jesus Relief

Cross & Shroud

R.I.P. Catherine Ann Fath Javorek

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

Hydrangeas Batik (Blank Card)
Hydrangeas Batik (Blank Card)
Beautiful hydrangeas are the subject of this original digital painting by IconDoIt, that has the look of a hand-dyed fabric batik. A coördinated colored interior, the inside is blank. What occasion will you use it for?
Hydrangeas on a Fence (blank card)
Hydrangeas on a Fence (blank card)
Hydrangeas on a Fence (blank card)
Profuse hydrangea blossoms escaping over and through a white picket fence, this card features the 2nd in a series of original, batik-look hydrangea paintings by IconDoIt. Coordinated color interior with no text means no limit on it’s use!

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A Summer of Hummingbirds

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First things first. Over this last weekend, I created a new page for this Blog, titled “Hot Links” where I have gathered some of my favorite websites, blogs, and resources on the Internet. While I’ve still kept links already in the right-hand sidebar of my pages, I just had so many more that I wanted to share with my readers – and hope you’ll add to it, too. I’ve kept the links there as text-only to cut down on the loading time. Hop on over there when you get a chance and let me know what you think.

As for the title of this morning’s post, “A Summer of Hummingbirds”, this is the title of a fascinating book I’ve read by author, Christopher Benfey. Published in 2008, it has the intriguing sub-title of “Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily DIckinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, & Martin Johnson Heade”. Anyone who is a history, sociology, or biography buff will enjoy this easy to read treatise that interweave glimpses of pre and post Civil War American society through the eyes of these famed authors, artists. Their lives not only touch each other in unexpected ways but Benfey has managed to reveal insight into these personalities, the influences upon them and the imprint they left for future generations without resorting to heavy-handed background detail or moralistic commentary that historians and biographers often fall prey to. The central theme of hummingbirds not only runs through the lives of the central characters, it is a theme which those characters and this book’s author view[ed] as an allegory for the entire era that saw the social fabric of America (and much of the world, as well) brought into question and literally torn apart. Suddenly, the “younger generation” growing up in the 1840’s began to question and discard the old traditions and attitudes of their parents regarding the concepts of nature, religion, sexuality, family, time, eroticism, and beauty. Not being familiar in the least with anything to do with Hummingbirds, despite having enjoyed Dickinson, Twain, Stowe and Heade for years, I had never picked up on this common thread between them much less recognized that every one of them had been drawn to this species and beheld it as a symbol in their works where the bird was never just a bird.

So whether you’re into history, sociology, biography, birding, the US, or Brazil (which was not only a newly sovereign nation back then but it’s Amazon River and Rainforest serves as home to the world’s largest population of Hummingbirds), this is a book I’m sure you’ll take pleasure in. You can buy it here.

Of course, how can I not offer with this review a selection of Hummingbird art? 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 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Hummingbird 3

Hummingbird & Flower 2

Hummingbird 4Hummingbird

Hummingbird & Flower

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Can Art & Poetry Serve A Purpose Without the Story Behind It?

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When I was a young teen, I always kept a small spiral notebook and several Bic pens close at hand in the event I should get the urge to dash off some prose. Society was different back then. It was before “After School Specials” and was when the Victorian-Era attitude that “Children should be seen and not heard” was still pretty much the norm. Anyone who knew me back then would probably tell you I was this happy-go-lucky kid, always ready with a smile and some absurd observation geared to make people laugh and forget their woes. Very few, if any, had a clue what was really going on in my mind and my life. Of course, the same thing was likely true for the other kids at the schools I attended. It’s just the way things were back then. But keeping up the façade of “all is right with the world” was at times an unbearable burden and that’s where my poetry came in

Writing prose was a life-saving outlet back then in the same way that visual art serves me today. It allowed me to vent, to dream, to cry, to wonder, to argue and even to pretend. Early on, I discovered that I had the natural ability to assume the literary voice of any character I read about in a book, saw in a movie, or dreamed up from scratch and write about their feelings as if they were my own. It was really no different than what most authors and actors do, but because I recorded these creative ramblings in a book that had the word “Diary” on it’s cover, anyone who picked it up to read assumed it was all about me. Of course, I hadn’t intended for anyone else to read it but it happened nonetheless, each time causing great suspicion and worry or ruffled feathers or outrage on the part of the unauthorized reader(s). Had they only asked me what the poems were about or what inspired them rather than jumping to erroneous conclusions, a lot of grief could have been avoided. But, as I was still considered a “child” then, it never occurred to my elders that I could possibly have something intelligent to say or that my feelings mattered.

Thank God our society (for the most part) has finally woken up to recognize not only that children DO have opinions and feelings and that they deserve the respect to be heard, but also, most people today realize the importance of being able to share their feelings with others. As a society, we’ve still got work to do in learning how to listen to each other but it is getting better, one individual at a time. And as long as we’re moving forward in the right direction, regardless of how slowly, there is hope.

For tonight’s Freebies, along with a few empty frames for you to fill with your own content, I’ve mixed together a couple of my shorter prose, written when I was teenager with decorative backgrounds I created close to half a century later. These poems served their purpose for me at the time they were written and so now I hope they can serve some purpose for you. It really doesn’t matter any more what or who I was actually thinking about so feel free to interpret them in whatever way you choose.

Free Icons and Clip-Art 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 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Children Play

“Children Play Games” – 1973 by Leslie Sigal Javorek – (600 x 309px)

Nouveau-FrameNouveau Frame 2

“Art Nouveau Style Frames” – Download size: (600 x 763px)

Listen

“Listen” – 1973 by Leslie Sigal Javorek – (600 x 763px)

Book Opening

“Book Opening” (600 x 595px)

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Connecting Sole To Souls

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There is a part of me that feels heartsick over the fact that relationships I have with people I’ve never even had the pleasure of meeting are closer and more fulfilling than what I have with my one and only, flesh and blood sibling. My sensible side screams “BULLSH*T!”

The old maxim that “Blood is thicker than water” may be scientifically true but fails miserably as an analogy for the strength of the bond and loyalty from kin. While the opportunity for family to develop deep love and respect generally is greater than outsiders may get, there is nothing inherent in our DNA that guarantees friendship or trust. We may wish it so and delude ourselves that memorizing platitudes will make them come true but all that nets are foolish expectations and energy wasted for naught. Sadly, I don’t stand-alone in wrestling with such farce. It is exactly because this conundrum is all too common, that it’s occurred to me lately, we need to change the message.

Nature and nurture have long been debated as to which most controls who we are, yet significant as those factors may be, the most important element is choice. I suppose some believe that by drumming the sentiment that family sticks together through thick and through thin is all that it takes for self-fulfilling prophecy to flourish, but the history of man has proven that false going back as far as Cain and Abel. Genetics and training are no more than the canvas and palette upon which our individual choices build, layer upon layer of rich colors and light or the monotony of a single tone. Focusing in, one only sees their self and forfeits the depth of experience that connects sole to souls. While blood may serve to help create our potential, what we choose is who we become. So perhaps the loss we may feel over blood that is heartless should be no more and no less than the effect of a stranger, and so too, should we cherish the love.

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 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

City Blooms On Black Velvet

“City in Bloom on Black Velvet” – (600px X 804px)

The Fence Sitter, v2

“The Fence Sitter – v2” – For the story behind the image, read this post at Dogkisses.

The Fence Sitter

“The Fence Sitter” – For the story behind the image, read this post at Dogkisses.