Spinning Wheel Gotta Go Round

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So where the hell have I been these past 3 weeks? Ahh, if you only knew… 😉 To be honest, I have spent most of that time sleeping. My body and mind just had to escape from the physical pain and emotional strain that I’ve had to endure for so many years, and then try to regain the strength to go the next round. As to my health, while I certainly don’t mind not having to be pricked or to have my blood drained a couple times a week any more, it’s more than a little bit disconcerting to be told that the only reason for this change is because my doctors see no point in it anymore inasmuch as there’s nothing left they can try to treat me with. So while the good (even amazing!) news is that while the past chemo treatments failed to “cure” me, they were able to give my liver, pancreas and heart enough of a reprieve to slow down the rate that they were detiorating at, the bad news is that they are still detiorating and keeping me stuck in a hospital bed 90% of the time. Hereditary Hemochromatosis is such an insidious disease – atleast if you didn’t know you had it until it was too late to prevent major organ damage and other diseases or conditions from setting in. Sucky. I know this rant is in conflict with the promise I made to get back to my cheery self but I AM working on it and am getting closer to a genuine smile than I was last week. So progress is being made!


What goes up, must come down. Spinning Wheel…

Not all the news in my life is bad (as the above makes it sound). I’ve actually had some very good news on a couple of fronts. One, I just received the first edition of a 15-Month Calendar I designed, and however immodest it may be, I must say I’m really impressed with the quality of Zazzle’s printing and materials. They somehow made my artwork look a 1000% better than I could possibly imagine or even realized I was capable of. While I did all of the artwork and layout, without the right paper, ink, or expert application of the printing presses, the artwork would have been totally lost. So, for any of you who are contemplating turning your own artwork into useful products or beautiful prints, I highly recommend Zazzle. And if you’re just one who has a strong aesthetic sensibility and enjoy beautiful things, I hope you’ll consider checking out my Zazzle shop.

15mosCal-FrontCover 15mosCal-Back Cover

“Front and Back Covers of IconDoIt’s 15 Month Calendar (Nov. 2010-Jan. 2012)”

Okay, the other good news is that the Florida Appeals Court finally issued their opinion on my adversary’s attempt to overturn their prior opinion (that had been in my favor) and then my adversary’s attempt to have that Court strike my response to the Motion for rehearing. Not surprisingly, the 4DCA denied both Motions, which secures the awards already granted in my favor and allows me to seek restitution and damages. I’m praying my opponent finally “gets it” that he/she has run out of places to hide and it’s time to stand tall and accept full responsibility for the consequences of his/her decisions. We all f*ck up at times. We’re all human, after all. It is only in refusing to admit wrongs, in refusing to accept liability for them, in refusing to sincerely apologize for them, and then engaging in further wrongs with the purpose of deflecting the blame and consequences onto the very person harmed (unfairly) by the original bad decision, that makes one a pariah to society.

Enough of the monologue – and on to the Goodies! Tonight I’ve got a set of original images that have an obvious practical use right on your desktop. A set of folders that I’ve named “Slick”. 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)

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Slick-Folder #5Slick-Folder #6

Slick-Folder #7Slick-Folder #8

Slick-Folder #10

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The Cat’s Got My Tongue

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For the last six weeks or so, I’ve really had a hard time putting my thoughts into words (written and especially spoken). It’s one of the symptoms (or side-effects?) of both my epilepsy and leftover vestiges of the three rounds of chemotherapy, wherein I know in my conscious mind exactly what I want to say but for some reason can’t get the message to my mouth or hands. It comes and goes without warning and can last for anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours, and has on occasion lasted for several days. It is incredibly frustrating – especially when it creeps up on me in the middle of a sentence! Something in my brain diverts the message from it’s “normal” pathway to who knows where. I think that if I can discover that location which holds all my lost words, I’ll probably find the missing mates to my socks and mittens there as well. ;=)

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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)

Cheshire Cat 512x512px

Dot's The Cat!

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Justice Watch – Week 16

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In the process of writing Sunday night’s post, I spent quite a bit of time surfing the ‘net in search of all that I could find about my Uncle and his little family and especially what his two son’s had been up to in the years since I had visited their parents. There was SO much, that I’m sure I hardly made a dent! I was so fascinated by their passions and accomplishments that I stayed up the entire night reading to the point that my brain got so overloaded that I felt my head would explode and so I shut down my Mac and proceeded to sleep until almost 3:00 pm on Monday. I don’t know why I do things like that (staying up all night) but it seems like I alternate between two extremes: from not being able to focus or remain awake for more than 20 minutes at a time to being in hyper-focus mode for 24-36 hour stretches. Before I went through Chemotherapy, I only functioned in one mode which was all out all the time and sleeping no more than 4-5 hours a night without skipping a beat. I hate that I’ve lost that ability as I always thought that life is too precious to waste it sleeping. Sigh.

In any case, I hope to learn more about my cousins endeavors in order to intelligently fill you in. In the mean time, being yet another Tuesday, I’ll be on my “Justice Watch” for what is now the 16th week since the 3-Judge Appellate Merit Panel began to deliberate over my case, and I’m praying that this Wednesday morning will finally shine on a published opinion. As usual, I’ve made some new legal icons for you this week, where one of them, a symbol for World Justice, has been inspired by reading about my cousin, Ivan Sigal, who is the Executive Director of “Global Voices“, an organization of Bloggers in more than 150 countries. Because of that role, he had been invited to be a part of a panel at the 2009 event “Passing the Baton” held by the US Institute for Peace to speak about the powerful influence of the Internet, and blogs in specific, that can be used to encourage and spread peace as well as to foment conflict and terror, and how it is vital for both the government and citizens to actively engage online, both listening and learning as well as building a strong, positive presence. (Forgive my huge simplification but I hope I got it correct.).

Enjoy!

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The following images are reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save a zipped file to your desktop that contains all images in each preview group (each image is 512px X 512px in .png format) or, in the case of the individual icons, do your clicking on each one you’d like to download. 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)

World Justice

Black Justice 2

Black Justice

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July 4, 2010 – In Memoriam: Gerald P. Sigal, Esquire

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This is not the post I had planned for today but life never seems to turn out the way we planned. My paternal Uncle, Gerald P. Sigal, passed away today, approximately one year after he was diagnosed with cancer. Jerry is survived by his lovely and dedicated wife, Norma; their two sons, Peter and Ivan; and Jerry’s lone-surviving brother, Dr. Roland Sigal (my father.) Jerry had been the youngest (by 14 years) of the 3 sons of Philip and Nancy Sigal of Bethlehem, Pa.: Roland (my Dad) was the eldest, Michael (who passed away at Thanksgiving 2002) and Jerry. I did not know either of my Uncles very well, having met Michael only once and Jerry only 3 times in my life. That is a tragedy in itself that plays out in many families where members are estranged for one reason or another, but one which I tried to remedy.

Ivan, Norma, Jerry & Peter Sigal

(l-r) Ivan, Norma, Jerry & Peter Sigal. (May 2010). Photo Credits to Joi, Oso and Clempage,. Composite by Leslie Sigal Javorek.

The last time I saw my Uncle Jerry was almost exactly 7 years ago (July 2003), just a month before I began my first round of chemo. Very conscious of the rather dim odds for survival and having lost the opportunity to get to know my Uncle Mike due to his very early death due to a rare form of Leukemia in 2002, I felt driven to go and meet with members of my family whom I hadn’t seen in years, hardly knew or in many cases, had never met. So I packed up my car and drove myself the 350 miles to Reading, Pa. It’s a small town high up in the Pocono Mountains and while suffering from a distressed economy, it is a showplace for what money can’t buy: incredibly beautiful views of the mountains and valleys, forests and streams that surround the town. While there, I stayed with one of Uncle Mike’s 4 children, Andy Sigal and his enthusiastic, pretty wife, Sandy. This was my first time meeting ANY of my first-cousins and was a real treat. Andy and Sandy not only opened their home to me, but showed me around the town and took me to meet his step-mother (Barbara Sigal), his youngest sister (Flora Spector), and our mutual aunt and uncle (Norma and Jerry Sigal). I was invited to dinner at Jerry’s home (a really fantastic century (actually, I believe it was close to 200 years old) home on the crest of one of the mountains with a flowing stream at the bottom of a ravine on one side and a delightful flower garden in back. We had dinner under a trellis covered patio in the back and afterward, I first got a tour of the house where they had done a considerable amount of work restoring it, making it inhabitable for 21st century living, and making it truly their own, and then had the opportunity to just sit and talk in their cozy little den.

I don’t know if you’ve ever sat down with someone whom you are closely related to but had lived 40+ years essentially being complete strangers. It is both exciting and scary and awkward at first. I knew relatively little about my uncle beforehand, other than that he was an attorney who enjoyed sailing and flying small planes for a hobby (just like my grandfather and father), that he was 6 ft. -4 in. tall with the classic good looks of all the Sigal men, and that his wife was a Hebrew School Teacher and Administrator. Oh yeah, I also knew that when he was a teenager, he had once stolen a sign for a cave that was a big, local tourist draw. (I knew this last fact only because when I was 10 yrs. old, I slept up in a loft bedroom at my grandmother’s farm where that sign was hung on the wall.) My visit with Jerry and Norma was for only a few hours but I found them both very open and easy to talk to and that we had a number of mutual interests. I learned a lot about their sons, whom I had never met, and we even visited their websites so I could see some of their blogs, published articles, news releases, bios, photography, and videos. Jerry and Norma were beaming with obvious (and well-deserved pride. I learned my uncle’s “side of the story” about the family in general and his relationship with my father at various times in his life, and I was surprised by the vehemence (fiercely proud) with which he spoke about my father’s military service and business acumen. There was a 14 year difference between Roland and Jerry and it was clear that my Dad had been his hero while growing up, but unrealistic expectations grew into resentment and clashes with my Dad’s 2nd wife created an excuse to grow distant. I also learned their plans to move to Ocracoke, North Carolina the following year after Jerry retired. I left there that night with a warm and positive feeling and felt that the door now opened would lead to a continuing new relationship.

Unfortunately, my life took a detour I had never expected, and while by the grace of G-d I managed to survive not only that round of chemo but 2 more subsequent rounds and have thus far managed to outlive the original prognosis I was given, the years between 2003 and March of 2010 were devastating to my body and mind and for most of that time, I could not even sit up, feed, or bath myself. What little energy I had been zapped by this lawsuit I’ve been trapped in and so I had nothing left in me to follow-up with my Uncle, Aunts, and cousins, and now I’ve yet again lost my Uncle Jerry and my opportunity to have been a “real family” with him. I’ve no idea whether he felt a loss in those regards but I’d like to believe that he would’ve really liked my husband and son and that we could have helped bring him and my Dad closer together. I guess that will have to wait for our next lifetimes, if such miracles occur. In the meantime, “Fly High, Uncle Jerry! I’ll be looking towards the sky hoping to see you there.”

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The following images are reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save a zipped file to your desktop that contains all images in each preview group (each image is 512px X 512px in .png format) or, in the case of the individual icons, do your clicking on each one you’d like to download. 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)

Innerds

DNA Wheelchair-Accessible

We Speak ASL (American Sign Language)

Telephone Volume TTY

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Small Steps, Big Feat

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I’m baaack! Actually, I got home from my little expedition to my Dad’s a week ago tonight but the trip took so much out of me, both physically and emotionally, that I have pretty much slept for the past 7 days! – To so many of you who had written to me both on and off this blog, Thank You so much for worrying about me and for being patient with me and forgiving me for being “off blog” longer than I had originally planned..The trip I took (approx. 350 miles from my home in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio to my father’s home in Allentown, Pa.) was for only 4 days but was a monumental event in more ways than one.

Forgive me for boasting, but in light of my having been (literally) confined to bed for the last 7 years, the fact that I made it there and back again in relatively good shape feels like a huge accomplishment. For several months before we went, I had to work really hard to build up the stamina to be able to sit up by myself for an hour or so at a time and then to be able to walk (with my spiffy blue Drive Rollator) for short distances (like from a parking lot to my seat at a table in a restaurant). And then, perhaps most importantly of all, I had to work on being able to simply stay awake for more than a 2 hour stretch at a time! In some ways, it sounds ridiculous to be so pleased about having attained such seemingly meager goals, but from where I started, it IS a big deal. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without the help and inspiration from me hubby and son, who were absolutely wonderful in their support and keeping me safe and doing all the driving (8 hours each way!)

Forever Young T-Shirt

“Forever Young” – Image on the T-Shirt I created for my Dad’s 85th birthday features a photo of him when he was 25 yrs. old.

One of the other reason(s) this trip was so monumental was the purpose of it: We went to celebrate my Dad’s 85th Birthday!! Now THAT’s an amazing accomplishment and blessing! Not many folks are lucky enough to reach that age and I’m willing to bet that of those who do reach 85, very few have the honor of throwing out the first ball at minor league baseball game!

Dr-Sigal-Anticipates VIctory

“Dr., Lt. Commander, Roland L. Sigal, throws out 1st Ball at game between the AAA Phillies Iron Pigs and AAA Wilkes Barre Yankees. And,
Yep! That’s Ron Shegda, our Republican Candidate for PA. State Representative, 136th District, guiding “Rolly” onto the field.”

I’ll have a lot more to share from my trip in future posts – right now my head is still swimming and trying to sort out my thoughts and feelings. Rather deep things to think about first. In the meantime, being yet another early, early Wednesday morning, so I leave you with a few more law-related icons. Praying today will be Justice Day!

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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)

Sections-Rules-Statutes

Statutes And RulesStatutes and Rules on Background

Dewey A Gree

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On Being Real (I FELT your pain)

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So many things are on my mind that I’d like to talk about. My brain is not cooperating though. It is as if there is a Ticker Tape Parade going on in my head with shredded gray matter instead of paper. (Oh, Yuck!) Hopefully in the next day or two my brain fog shall lift and my tongue become untied and I shall have all kinds of intellectual crap (er, wonderful things) to share with y’all. In the meantime, I’m going to let some other folks talk for me, as they seem to know what’s in my heart and mind. And then it’s off to some brand new FELTED Freebies I’ve made for you. Enjoy!

“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

– Margery Williams (Bianco) Author, (1881-1944), from “The Velveteen Rabbit”

• • •

“Three passions have governed my life: 
The longings for love, the search for knowledge, 
And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].
Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness. 
In the union of love I have seen 
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision 
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. 
I have wished to understand the hearts of [people]. 
I have wished to know why the stars shine.
Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens, 
But always pity brought me back to earth; 
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart 
Of children in famine, of victims tortured 
And of old people left helpless. 
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, 
And I too suffer.
This has been my life; I found it worth living.”

Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM FRS, (1872-1970,) Nobel Prize Winner (1950), philosopher, Mathematician, Historian, Socialist, Pacifist, Social Critic”

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Damn the Facts and Full Speed Ahead!

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My little family tends to be rather irreverent. All in fun, of course. It’s our way of not only laughing in the face of death, but getting the Reaper himself reduced to such peals of laughter, that he wets his pants and then melts in his self-made puddles. Does this really keep death at bay? Most Actuaries, Religious Leaders, Doctors and just about everyone else would say “NO!” At the same time, there is a dearth of credible research suggesting that laughter and optimism are the only common denominator for those who have recovered from grave circumstances and extended their ability to survive beyond any other medical explanation.

I can surely testify to that enigma. The quantity and complicated mix of diseases and conditions that have kept myself and my doctors jumping hurdles and running in circles for so many years should have killed me long ago; yet here I lay in my bed tonight, writing this blog. Where science leaves off in it’s ability to explain that which is undeniable, is where Faith begins. Yet while I have a very deep and rich spiritual faith in a “higher” power, I have a just as deep need for rational thought and logic. So I ask myself, what good would it be to have God looking over your shoulder with his grace and blessings, if you either didn’t want to go on living or were so wrapped up in self-pity that you didn’t even notice He was there by your side? And that’s where I figure optimism and laughter come in.

If having the compulsion to draw “Happy Faces” or rolling on your heels guffawing has the potential to be so powerful, does this mean we can one day achieve the ability to be immortal? Some folks believe it and some scientists are even trying to make it happen. Personally, as much as I’ve always wanted to live to 200, I’ve come to the conclusion that immortality is probably not a wise thing to strive for. Just like a successful farmer doesn’t try to get corn from stalks left untouched after last year’s harvest, nor plant oats in the same field year after year without rotation, people need to be rotated as well to ensure our species remains strong and able to adapt to the changing physical world around us. Evolution didn’t end when the first human placed his feet on earth. If it had, mankind as a species would’ve become extinct thousands of years ago. So in a way, I figure it’s kind of our duty not interfere too much with the natural order of things. … But not today. Heck, I’ve still a couple thousand e-mails in my in-box from people who’ve sent me the latest jokes, silly photos, or ridiculous news stories to keep me laughing and a life filled with a handful or two of dear and loving family and friends that keep me smiling, and too much left on my list “To Do”. I just haven’t got the time to give up now!

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Tonight brings an eclectic mix of images related to life, death and what makes it all worthwhile. Enjoy!

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)

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