edgy art cards, prints, products: Blog https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog en-us edgy art cards info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) Tue, 07 Dec 2021 15:58:00 GMT Tue, 07 Dec 2021 15:58:00 GMT https://www.edgyartcards.com/img/s/v-12/u865576518-o1033601908-50.jpg edgy art cards, prints, products: Blog https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog 90 120 Doggos Dying, Hoomin Hurting https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2021/12/doggos-dying-hoomin-hurting I couldn't save Mizzen. Our sailboat-loving water dog--who a year after diagnosis of incurable degenerative myelopathy (like ALS for humans)--went to his final sleep at the University of Missouri in December five years ago. The loss of this eight-year-young, 125-lb. red-furred gentle giant who loved fetching coconuts left us with a hole in our hearts wider than the Atlantic. The university scientists kept his earthly body, so his death could perhaps help another animal via research for a cure. It was a bitter salve. But better than losing him with no benefit to others: Those who like us must endure as their best pup becomes paralyzed, accepting a giant doggy wheelchair as his only mode of mobility. Strapped into that contraption, Mizzen happily splashed his way into the Chesapeake Bay during his final summer with puppy-like verve.  Bahamas Xmas with Mizzen on SailboatMizzen enjoying a Caribbean sailboat Christmas with author and husband. Staniel Cay, Bahamas. Mizzen Can Dance!Mizzen and Bob dance on the Atlantis pier. Paradise Island, Bahamas. Mizzen: 125 lbs of WheelpowerMizzen learns to walk in his wheelchair, Tighlman Island, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. Special thanks to Sarah and Tim for a special summer on the bay. But I couldn't save him. Haunted, for months I mourned and watched as abandoned dogs on Facebook animal shelters needed homes. It wasn't until my husband and I settled into life abroad outside Naples, Italy, that my heart pounded for a pup I COULD save. He was muzzled and in a dirty cage. Rescued from a field with no mother and eight siblings who all succumbed to starvation. This scrawny cream-colored imp was the only survivor. Blind from an infection in one eye, belly full of worms and other diseases, this long-legged baby was terrified of life and me. Driven to save him, we brought him home from a concrete shelter near the ocean where two older Italian "aunties" tried to explain necessary treatment. Near death, the fragile fellow shrank into our arms after peeing and pooping a greeting as I lifted him and became his mama. We called him Jib. Muzzled: Jib the SurvivorFirst photo I saw of Jib Steven Carl Lindblad. Naples, Italy. My heart yearned to save him.

His first vet trip ended with an IV in the leg and a sad smile from an Italian lady doctor who tried in broken English to explain that she would do her best, but could not promise life. She warned that his ill beginning could belie long-term organ damage. My focus? Save him at any cost.

After many medicines and much love, our new family member #Jibthesurvivor grew stronger. He learned to walk on a leash. We coaxed him from his kennel with a tiny trail of juicy filet mignon. Introduced him to peanut butter. After two months, he wagged his tail for the first time. Baby Jib on LeashJib learns to walk on a leash, Napoli, Italia.

Fast forward five years to today. We live with Jib on the Caribbean side of the Republic of Panama, in the jungle of Dolphin Bay, Bocas del Toro. The years flew past as we flourished along the Gulf of Pozzuoli in Arco Felice, hiking volcano trails and running the beaches of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The once sickly dog lived large, dining on pizza and gelato. He flew to the United States with us, to Washington DC to live on our sailboat. Then, to live on land in Arkansas where we have a second home close to family. Charmed, our lives were. Jib Gazing at the Gulf of Pozzuoli. Jib gazes at the Gulf of Pozzuoli, Napoli, Italia.

Jib at The Wharf in DCSailor Jib on S/V Forward My Calls, Capital Yacht Club, Washington DC. As I type this, my need to save him--again--is powerful. Our Spanish-speaking Panamanian vet says Jib is a happy guy, but even after four months of weekly chemotherapy infusions, lymphoma is raging through his system. He goes by boat to an island for his treatments, tufts of ragged fur blowing aloft. His whiskers lost a month ago. But he smiles and seems glad enough to ride the waves where dolphins play. He licks his lips as saltwater sprays him. Jib on Dock in BocasAfter lymphoma relapse, Jib rests on the dock at Dos Palmas, Bocas del Toro, Republic of Panama.

Jib hates it when I cry. I smile through the tears as I curse his cancer. He's only five! Big brown eyes gaze at me trustingly.

Back on chemo and prednisone for swelling and pain, does he know he's running out of time as he runs our jungle property, splashing in the mangroves while howler monkeys swing on bamboo branches above him and sloths inch to higher tree climes? 

Island vet Dr. Gloria didn't say "months" at the visit yesterday, but it's understood. Alone on the dock in BocasTown with taxi rides, injections, and pills behind us for the day, we shared a peaceful moment. Sun-downing, seawater glistening, his tongue hanging happily to the side--I silently weep. So in love with him and so sorry that I can't save him. So proud of him for his tenacity and willingness to adventure with us across cultures, continents, and oceans. 

I try to grin as I whisper to him about a mutual canine pal he will soon meet. Hoping when he leaves us, Jib goes to the coast of somewhere beautiful, where he and Mizzen happily share a coconut and trade the stories of our travels.  

#

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info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) Bocas del Toro cancer Capital Yacht Club degenerative myelopathy dog dying Italy jib lymphoma mizzen Naples Panama sailboat Washington DC https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2021/12/doggos-dying-hoomin-hurting Tue, 07 Dec 2021 15:57:58 GMT
Edgy art cards, prints & products goes INTERNATIONAL https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2021/1/edgyart-cards-prints-products-goes-international Hola—it's me, with zesty news: this quirky artist/writer is off to the Republic of Panama! 

Starting in March, I'll explore the beach-town culture of Las Lajas—a hidden Pacific Coast paradise in the country's Chiriqui province. Click here for a map of this unique isthmus.

I'm dubbing 2021 a year of simplicity. A time to soak up sun and sea after too many months of pandemic-related anxiety, political turmoil, and difficult choices. In a poolside bungalow just off the ocean, edgyart will mix a palette of native colors, music, and techniques while applying for a friendly nations visa. Slathered in sunblock, I'll play in the waves and wander the pristine 12-mile coastline (to burn those unwanted COVID-19+ lbs.), connecting cheerfully with locals and global ex-pats.  

Panama ranks #2 on INTERNATIONAL LIVING'S 2021 Annual Retirement Index. Wondering why? 

  • Greenbacks are bueno currency at the cash register 
  • Residents are kind and many speak English
  • It’s incredibly affordable and offers worry-free healthcare 
  • The weather is near perfect (yay, no hurricanes!) 
  • Lush rain forests, crystal blue waters with amazing dive/snorkel spots, insanely-fresh produce, gourmet coffee that sells for $1K a pound, world-class surfing, howler monkeys, fishing, and challenging hikes in the shadow of the country's highest peak, Volcan Baru. 

Wanna join me on this amazing journey? Look for a blog launch soon with more info. Meanwhile, FAQs:

Q) Are you going solo?

A) Heck, no! Fellow travelers include Bob (part-time) and our two Italiano pups, Jib and Vela. 

 

Q) What about the sailboat?

A) Keeping our 41-foot Forward My Calls ketch docked in southwest DC at Capital Yacht Club as a base for stateside responsibilities.

 

Q) Do you speak Spanish?

A) Not yet! But I do know that PELIRROJA means redhead :)

 

Q) What time is it in Panama?

A) Same as Eastern in the U.S. (Although many argue it's five o'clock somewhere...)

 

Q) Can I still buy your art and products online?

A) Si! For unique nautical gifts; for art canvas and prints.

 

Q) How can I be part of this fantastic quest?

A) Details soon come. Until then, check out Panama Relocation Tours (no compensation for me, just a link to the deets of our recent adventure in Central America) for the skinny on this country that's so much more than a canal. And Facebook for our new friends Glo and Phil of Our Panama Adventure.  Shout out to real estate maven Lauretta Bonfiglio at https://www.casasolution.com/You can also buy my art to add $$ to my travel kitty.

I'm seeking a more synergistic lifestyle: excited to share stories and artistic creations inspired by this chance to slow down and savor the simple!

Adios for now,

Staci @ edgyart cards, prints & products

www.edgyartcards.com

https://www.facebook.com/edgyartcards

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info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) adventure art artist beach Casa Solution Central America Chiriqui COVID-19 edgy edgyart cards Friendly Nations Visa Las Lajas Lauren Bonfiglio Our Panama Adventure Panama Panama Relocation Tours Panamanian Pandemic prints products simple simplicity Spanish travel https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2021/1/edgyart-cards-prints-products-goes-international Sun, 10 Jan 2021 17:08:50 GMT
Hungry for the Sweet Pineapple of Retirement https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2019/5/hungry-for-the-sweet-pineapple-of-retirement SV Forward My CallsAt port in Fresh Creek on Andros Island, Bahamas. Sitting behind the desk in my bland office. Dreaming of retirement. Endless sunny days crisscrossing the Caribbean in our 41-foot Irwin ketch. Adventurous nights caught in a cacophony of winds and rain that catapult the boat like a hungry dragon mouthing its prey.

Beyond quitting work (how hard can THAT be?) and moving to the next phase of our lives, my  husband and I consciously remember to manage our expectations, knowing that crystal turquoise ocean sailing can also slump you into a lonely (tropical) depression of boredom and isolation.

We get that retirement won’t be all fruity rum drinks or nights on the dock laughing at shanty tales with fellow expats. We’ve lived that life—almost four years on our sailboat off Andros Island, Bahamas, where we worked on a little-known US Navy base that eavesdropped on undersea submarine sonar sounds.

We know that it CAN be hours slathering sunscreen, glistening with sweat and sandy toes as waves quietly lap the shore. Unlimited time for reading and napping. Exciting to welcome fellow travelers as their vessels sidle up and we catch their line. Fresh tuna caught and sliced on a wet, rickety table and immediately drizzled with soy and wasabi. Meeting the locals and peeking into their culture. We must remind ourselves of the frustration of overseas bureaucracies where nothing happens quickly because island time cares not for our internal American clock. We get that.

Yet it must be better than this 8 to 5 routine where each morning I hear a colleague two cubicles down grousing that she’s not paid enough, and that some other supervisor has fewer responsibilities. (Sometimes she repeatedly crows that one line from a Tracey Chapman song, “Give me one reason to stay here…”)

Alas, for the unforeseeable future I’ll be staring at a computer, sitting in meetings, and toiling away for the “man” (or so suggests my retirement financial planner.)

But today I can almost smell the coconut oil. I can almost swallow the sweet pineapple that messily juices down my chin, drying on my sea salty skin. Parrots chatter in the mangroves, (interrupted only by my griping cubicle neighbor.)

My heart beats like a steel drum in anticipation.

 

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info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) bahamas ocean sv forward my calls https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2019/5/hungry-for-the-sweet-pineapple-of-retirement Wed, 08 May 2019 16:25:45 GMT
Yam, I Am: a grandmother's tale https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2018/2/yam-i-am

I fought it at first. In fact, the afternoon my daughter called (but before her announcement,) our conversation turned to having children.

“Don’t do it. It’s too soon,” I blurted. She’d been married a few years, but I advised her to wait. To take time for herself and to be a couple. Enjoy the freedom. Travel!

After an awkward silence, the crying commenced.

“What? What’s wrong?” I naively inquired.

Then jumbled into my ear the unexpected: she was expecting.

“I’m pregnant, mom,” she said, her long-distance tears super-soaking the telephone lines so much that birds on the wires between us slipped off and hit the ground, hard.

Mortified (for my misguided attempt to dissuade procreation), at age 44, I aged 40 years.

“I’m going to be a grandmother,” I thought, selfishly horrified, conjuring up the ghost of my cranky, late grandma Hazel. Her white hair, her faded cotton apron, and the threat of her wooden spoon on my underserving behind. Then it got worse, when all things old rushed to mind: elderly me behind a walker. Trudging slowly along a bland, urine and bleach-scented nursing home hallway. In my saggy Depends. Lonely, with wrinkled skin and disturbing white mole hairs prickling from my chin. Death stood beside me, nodding with a crazy grin.

Inappropriate Response Revoked

I snapped back to the moment, full of congratulations and apologies. (Wow, was that an untimely impassioned pep-talk for birth control.)

As her belly grew, the idea of “grandma” didn’t. Grow on me, that is. Deep denial. “I’m still peppy. Spry, even! No need for lady diapers, a wheelchair, Milk of Magnesia, dentures, or any other stereotypically ageist stuff yet,” became my stream of consciousness norm.

At the grocery store I notice the elderly trying to steer shopping cart scooters. I return the bag boy’s “Have a nice day, ma’am,” with a snarky, “Keep it real, sonny: I ain’t nobody’s old biddy yet.”  

Far into the future (or about seven months,) I envisioned myself in amazing grandmapalooza form. Youthfully running and laughing in my raggedy Levi’s and stylish sunglasses at the playground—the cool and hip grandma. (Not the HIP REPLACEMENT grandma.) Driving a convertible with hair full-on flying in the wind (but staying attached to my head. I won’t be the wig-wearing/losing grandma.) An old saw who still rides the see-saw. A prettier Mrs. Doubtfire, who’s also not a man. Can I get a hells yes?! I will be the mother of all grandladies.

Not the spoil-‘em-beyond-rotten-grand, but one who gets a second chance to spend the time I didn’t as a career-minded single, mom. I imagined this as another chance to influence some lucky child’s life. Imparting my quirky wisdom and liberal views. Teaching this new kid what I didn’t know as a shy and gangly, red-haired imp.

Then Comes Baby in the Baby Carriage

The months had mellowed me on the idea of grandmotherhood. I asked this new girl to call me Graham. Baby Girl Young, meet Graham (like the cracker). (Say: GRAHyam. Two syllables. Not Gram. Not Gran. Too ordinary. I needed a unique moniker to match my youthful, en-fleek, on-trend, adventurous style.)

And so, in 2007, I became known to the entire world, well, the family, as Graham (like the cracker). Always repeating the cracker addendum to reinforce my originality and reject being an ordinary, old-school Gram. (The struggle was real.) Stay back, white hair. Don’t even think about it creaking joints. Definitely no traipsing about in graying, elastic-stretched granny panties.  

It was love at first sight. At that point, this young thing could’ve called me anything and I would’ve melted with ooey schmooey gooey love.

Fast forward to talking time for the girl. An exuberant chicklet ready to speak her mind. Letters formed amid kiddly gurgles and smiles. Graham (like the cracker) is a mouthful—and hers could barely fit a spoonful. Nevertheless, from perfect pink lips came the most beautiful sound: “Yam.”

As in, “I want my YAAAAM,” she announced and sometimes screamed, reach arms up for a cuddle in the cradle of my still pert Grahamly bosom. She knew by then that a yam was a tall, ginger, messy-haired lady who made the silliest faces, sang the craziest songs, and spun the most outrageous fairy yarns with big words she’d yet to know. Not a sweet potato this yam.

The girl grew up smart and she grew up right. In an Arkansas town—laughing and crying day and night. And though at age four she ruled the roost with an iron toddler fist, (I think even Elmo feared her); she graciously welcomed a little sister. In fact, she introduced us: Sis, meet Graham, (like the cracker). (“I’ll explain the cracker part when you’re bigger,” she told the slippery, wailing, disinterested newborn.)

She's a Grand Old Hag

It’s early days (the girls are under 11), but this new persona is grand for the soul. Both girls are curious and full of personality. Creative and independent, they are, of brilliant mind and heart. With a knack for quick wit and (dare I say) an inherited, wicked-good, sense of humor. (Humble, self-pat pat pat on the Graham back.)

Although I’d like to, I can’t take credit. Their parents set and enforce a balanced sense of individual and family ground rules steeped in fairness and morality. (Note: parental influence may contributed to the last sentence.) With much love and laughter, they’re raising up this pair of gals to be strong, independent and full of character. With reading. Piano lessons. Soccer championships. Talent shows. Themed birthday parties. Friendships, and of course, learning at school and globetrotting family treks.

As for Graham (like the cracker), I’ve turned into a more-opinionated, old(er-ish) person, still dancing and singing with the girls at the sound of their favorite song. (Katy Perry should here ME ROAR.)  Sharing sleepovers, vacations, and silliness. A devotee who BOUGHT A HOUSE just across their town so as to spend time with these also-ginger, whippersnappers (while my real home was a sailboat in the Bahamas).

And currently, even though I’m in Italy and they’re not, when we chat and giggle on FaceTime, and when I rub the belly of my beloved Buddha statue—my only and everytime wish is that they live long, healthy and happy—and that maybe the best parts of me rubbed off on them.

Goodbye to Yam of Yore

Alas, as it happens, enunciation eventually ensued. A little sad that I am Yam no more, it’s now Graham with a G. Still wanting to be the creative, not crotchety, adventurous role model I envisioned that strange and wonderful day way back before they arrived. That moment when the word “grandmother” stuck first in my craw, then became part of my lexicon, fulfilling me with the (bitter)sweetness of Graham (like the cracker-y) goodness.             

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info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) arkansas babies baby bahamas birth children family gram grandmother grandmotherhood morals motherhood newborn https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2018/2/yam-i-am Tue, 13 Feb 2018 10:21:30 GMT
Marco Polo? It’s me, Sophia Loren, with a jug of limoncello. https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2017/5/marco-polo-it-s-me-sophia-loren-with-a-jug-of-limoncello NOT Marco Polo.

In August, my new life takes off when our plane lands at Italy’s Marco Polo airport. Then to Naples, a gritty, glorious city you either love or hate—often called, “A beautiful woman with dirty feet.”

Thought bubbles form as I dive into a self-indulgent pool of relocation self-consciousness. I’m hearing whispers. Then a chant that grows to a staccato shout: MARCO. Polo. MARCO. Polo. MARCO. Polo.

Like a wet kid, my neurons splash akimbo. Thoughts lost in possibility and dread about the move. I’m wondering:

1. How much cheese pizza can one woman’s thighs take?

2. Should I re-watch “Under the Tuscan Sun?” (To learn about life in Italy. Duh!)

3. Should I learn the language? (My existing Italian: ciao, mozzarella, gelato, spaghetti, limoncello, tiramisu. Hmmm….mostly words to eat by. See #1.) 

4. Will someone make me an offer I can’t refuse? (I like to swim but not “with the fishes.”)

5. Did 13th-century explorer Marco Polo have a clue that someday his name would pass so joyously from the pruny lips of swimming children?

Like Polo-seeking kids, I’m reaching out for something. Questioning this transcontinental relocation. Crossing days off the calendar, amid fear of drowning in an out-of-country, out-of-body culture shock of amazement and angst. Am I scared? Marco Polo says, “Yes.”

I’ve lived outside the US—four years in the Bahamas. Through rose-colored glasses, Andros Island is white sand, turquoise seas, fruity rum drinks, and fresh ahi. Remove the glasses: few amenities, apathy, and poverty.

Naples, from my rosy viewpoint, is romance, historic art, and intellectually-satisfying wines that finish with an orgasmic mouth feel. Postcard views of craggy ocean cliffs. Verdant, vine-covered hills. A lush outdoor spread of fresh figs, prosciutto, and crusty loaves. With olive oils so virginal they make God beam. Cheeses to cheer for. A bosomy, apron-wearing, tomato sauce-smelling Italian mama smiling, “Buongiorno!” across the balcony as she hangs her loud brood’s colorful laundry. Sipping the lemoniest of limoncello, among casually-fashionable, international friends. With hip music.

But take off the shades? You find unemployment, crime, a bureaucratic government, and graffiti. Mt. Vesuvius rumbling in wait to release lava loads of molten magma on today’s Pompeii. Toss in ancient ruins, a bit of anti-American sentiment, and lunatic drivers, and you get a more realistic sense of the place.

Of course, there’s truth in both descriptions. I suppose it comes down to managing expectations. I’m hoping for the former but aware of the latter, as I say "Arrivederci, Wal-Mart" and "Hello, Prada."

I’d be happy with a life akin to the quintessential Fellini art house film, in which the real and the unreal merge. Revving a convertible Ferrari on a Fiat budget. Rocking the Sophia Loren, big-sunglasses-hair-in-scarf-wind-in-face, look. Stomping grapes barefooted with the vigor of Lucille Ball. Crooning like Dean Martin about falling in love with a big pizza pie when the moon hits your eye.

Angst aside, when I move from Washington DC boat life to bella Napoli, one thing is certo: a seaside balcony. I need one for my newest writing/art project, a blog I’m calling, Scribbles from my Seaside Balcony.

Part inspiration, aspiration (not the choking type), expatriation, frustration, imagination, humor, distillation (not only the alcohol type), confrontation, humiliation, condemnation, drama…basically, ANYTHING the F*%# I want to write about. Or curate and sell.

Content? International intrigue, expat adventure, foods, truth, lies, friends, cocktails, fashion, relationships, money, politics, culture, wellness, beauty, décor, addiction, photos, bargains, lifestyle, empowerment, shopping, and everything la dolce vita.

Ciao for now!

Staci

PS. Get ready to bookmark www.seasidescribbles.com.

PPS. I will still make designs at www.edgyartcards.com.

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info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) DC Italy Lindblad Loren Marco Naples Polo Sophia Staci Washington art balcony civilian expatriate government humor job limoncello pizza seaside travel wine writing https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2017/5/marco-polo-it-s-me-sophia-loren-with-a-jug-of-limoncello Mon, 29 May 2017 21:29:20 GMT
Fun Chapter Names for "Mizzen: An Aquatic Dog's Life" https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2016/11/fun-chapter-names-for-the-book-of-mizzen-a-water-dogs-life Mizzen: An Aquatic Dog LifeBook in development.

In development, here are some "based on a true story" chapter names about this dog's wacky life:

#1 Sold For Drugs! Two-month-old AKC Chessie recalls finding his forever home after chain-smoking-hoody-people from Craigslist handed him to strangers for two Franklins at midnight one Sunday in a rural Maryland mini-mart parking lot. 

#2 Puppy Survives 11 Days at Stormy Sea: Salty survival story of the three contiguous gulf stream crossings amid 19-foot waves that nearly sent a sailboat, its crew, and one courageous Chesapeake Bay Retriever to an early Neptunian grave.

#3 Part One-He's a Lover Not a Biter: True tale of how Mizzen didn't attack a Bahamian boy and I contemplated doing time in an impoverished, foreign jail. 

Part Two-Police officials offended by offer of $213 (aka everything in my purse) to drop false biting charges. Bahamian complainant, happy to make a few bucks, takes the money and runs.

#4 Dog-Napping at Dusk: Story of how five Bahamians lured an unsuspecting Mizzen into their dirty, broken down car then demanded $40 for his safe return.

#5 Chase But Don't Taste: Fearing for their lives, fully-clothed islanders run, jump into swimming pool with viciously friendly, 125-lb dog/beast barking at their heels.

#6 Ending Pervasive Pup Gingervitis: A redheaded dog's determination to stop canine ginger discrimination here and abroad.

#7 Cuckoo for Coconuts: They're a toy! They're a food! Mizzen's joyous compulsion to peel the hairy orbs, drink the precious milk, and snack on the juicy meat inside.

#8 Don't Drink the (Salt) Water: Top tips to avoid what experts call the "butt fountain phenomena," a liquidy, surprise spewing of anal propulsion. 

#9 Hurricane Danger and Me: Never before told story of a dog's island airlift to safety and how an emergency vet flew in on a charter plane to ensure rabies vaccine compliance.

#10 The Tide is High But I'm Holding On: For the first time, Mizzen shares details of an investigation into his propensity to end up swimming with the (river) fishes time and again. 

#11 Stingrays and Sharks Are NOT a Dog's Best Friend: Exclusive interview with expat animal who avoided death by steering clear of the ocean's hungry mouths.

#12 How a Raw Meat Diet and Probiotics Changed My Life: A dog's fight to remain mobile as an incurable paralysis crept up his paws.

Conclusion--Sincerely, Mizzen: A woofy, goodbye love letter to canine and people pals around the globe.  

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info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) Bahamas Chesapeake bay dog friendship ocean retriever sailing sea https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2016/11/fun-chapter-names-for-the-book-of-mizzen-a-water-dogs-life Thu, 24 Nov 2016 15:15:21 GMT
Letter to my Granddaughters https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2016/11/letter-to-my-grandaughters Dear Girls,

Please be scared, sad and angry. I am. When I was your age I didn’t understand politics. But I knew right from wrong. I cry today after hearing the 2016 presidential election results, grappling with the idea that the things I learned as a little girl apparently don’t matter anymore. You’re only 5 and 9 years old but I know you recognize honorable conduct. And like many, you are struggling right now with how America could elect a man with a dark heart, one who breaks all the rules of acceptable human behavior.

Please know that because he won the presidency does not mean you can:

  • Lie
  • Be a bully
  • Hate people a different color than you
  • Ridicule handicapped people
  • Act without consequences
  • Allow anyone to grab your pussy (pretty sure you don’t understand the P word)
  • Promote inequality
  • Support the idea of guns, guns and more guns
  • Hire people but not pay them for their work
  • Let someone else control your reproductive rights
  • Commit fraud
  • Be judged and shamed for your looks
  • Hurt innocent people
  • Believe you’re safe.

A friend just advised me that now more than ever is a time for unity. A time to continue doing good and decent things with a positive attitude. I don’t disagree. I’m surrounded by friends also brought to their knees who share this angst. But even knowing this I’m knocked back with a wave of soul-aching sadness. Because even if I remain upbeat and promote morality, it feels like a lonely, uphill crawl with ignorant people throwing sticks and stones down from atop a hill.

Consider this: as a nation for the last eight years we’ve had some of the most brilliant minds working to keep America safe from international terrorists, make our healthcare system better, reduce homeland violence, build a strong, stable economy, protect and preserve the environment, and generally just fix things that aren’t working.

Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, even these passionate, educated intellectuals faced challenges. So many things that affect you and our world remain broken.

If the smartest of the smart can’t find and implement solutions, imagine the damage to come from the incoming administration, led by someone far from brainy, ethical, experienced, or even able to control his impulse to shame people and unrelentingly seek revenge. Consider what will happen to life as we know it when our leader believes climate change is a hoax perpetuated by China. That it’s okay to put his unwanted hands on women. And judge us by our body shapes and size. Someone who thinks winning at all costs is vital. If he thinks his words are bigly acceptable and doesn’t recognize that serious problems are real, we are in danger.      

Girls, who knows what will happen in the next few weeks or four years. We could forlornly circulate condolence cards to like minds, silently nodding amongst ourselves a “sorry for your loss” sentiment. Or learn to speak Russian.

Or we can be strong. Together continue to fight for what’s right. Believe in equality. Keep a positive attitude. Stand up to bullies, be they the president or that rude kid in the school lunch line. Know that even though we didn’t make history this week by voting in the country’s first female president, it is possible. Because people like us will make it so. And remember to do unto others—even as they snark at you and make ignorant choices that breed hate.  

Love Always,

Graham

November 2016

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info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) Trump bigly despair election november voting https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2016/11/letter-to-my-grandaughters Wed, 09 Nov 2016 21:11:11 GMT
Saying "Yes" to Coffee, "No" to Guns https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2016/9/saying-yes-to-coffee-no-to-guns It was a Monday morning like every other. The short commute to work. A quick stop at his desk, then down the hall to fill his favorite mug with coffee. That’s when the shooting erupted.

Bullets tore holes. His new boss, just five days on the job, slumped to the floor—lifeless. Colleagues hid under desks and behind not-bulletproof cubical walls. Doors became barricades. Hearts raced and pulses pounded. But some slowed to a stop, as NAVSEA employees—husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers died that ordinary fall morning—victims of a delusional gunman aiming schizophrenically at shadowy low electromagnetic frequencies.

At 8:08 am, the 30ish security-cleared former government contractor entered NAVSEA Building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard in DC. He went into a fourth-floor bathroom and minutes later emerged with a Remington 870 shotgun, sawed-off barrel and stock.

He shot his first victim at 8:16 am, and for more than an hour, he shot indiscriminately at people on several levels. At 9:25 am, police killed him.

After the chaos? Eight injured and 12 dead—in 2013, the second-deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. military facility, and one of the deadliest single events in the nation's capital. If you attended the memorial you heard the tragic echo of 12 bell tolls. And a phrase we’ve now become numb to: “Our hearts go out to the victims and their families…”

Nevertheless, each September when the air begins to cool, I think about that Monday and how I feared the worst for my husband, who says that cup of morning coffee saved his life. I’m sad for everyone involved, and those affected by ANY gun violence.

In the building today, there’s a “Remembrance Area.” He doesn’t talk about it, but I believe there’s a remembrance area in my husband’s soul—a part of him that can’t unsee the carnage and unfeel the despair of that uncommonplace day and its aftermath. He’s a hero to me, not because he survived, or helped others stay safe and communicate with their anxious families, but because most days in the years since the tragedy, he turns away from turmoil of the past and walks up the steps of building 197, where his colleagues are no more.

I wish coffee could save everyone from merciless shootings. Please consider the horrific role that firearms and lack of widespread mental health initiatives continue to play in our lives. 

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info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) NAVSEA Navy Washington Navy Yard coffee guns hero violence https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2016/9/saying-yes-to-coffee-no-to-guns Thu, 08 Sep 2016 19:37:32 GMT
How a Sea Bird is Born: Me Making Art https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2014/12/how-a-sea-bird-is-born-me-making-art December 16, 2014 A bird is barely born at the Edgy Art Cards floating art studio/houseboat docked at Washington DC's southwest waterfront.Inktense pencils, charcoal together make up the bird's humble beginning. He later gets a treatment of acrylic paint, collage and Photoshop. A bird is barely born at the Edgy Art Cards floating art studio/houseboat docked at Washington DC's southwest waterfront.Inktense pencils, charcoal together make up the bird's humble beginning. He later gets a treatment of acrylic paint, collage and Photoshop.

The eclectically-feathered guy stares longingly toward a sailboat at sea. His friends are already airborne, headed for that nautical perch. “Should I fly?” the bird wonders. The weather is patchy. The ocean is rough. “What if I don’t make it,” the little bird voice in his head chirps. “Is it worth trying?”

Yes, little bird. Yes.

I’ll tell you a story: when I sat down with a huge blank canvas the day this bird was “born” he was in my mind. I needed to get him out. Inktense pencils to the pad, I sketched, colored and shaded him. All the while wondering if I had the talent to draw this fictional fowl. Would people laugh at it? What if people hated the finished piece? What if they whisper that my art is unreal--uber ugly--and they refuse to ever speak to me again?!

Once I got into the creative-art-focused zone (and after a glass of Charles Smith’s smooth, red Velvet Devil wine), the scared little Staci voice in my head shut up. And so, with Spotify blasting Pink Martini hits, I finished birthing the bird. Now to take the initial watery-colored drawing, and funk it up with some collage. Snip and snip papers aplenty. Add glue. Then time for fun with acrylic paints.

After digitizing the pic (and another glass of wine), my computer pal Photoshop jumped onboard to add the finishing touches: the finished Sea Bird finally stared longingly toward a sailboat. Sheer happiness overtook me. I LOVED this piece of art! “Amazing. Unique and cool,” I knew confidently. “I don’t care if people hate it. My heart was dangerously joyous during the process--making it a worthwhile endeavor.” And the Sea Bird took flight.  

Just goes to prove that you can make a thing where no thing existed if you just turn off that meddling mental naysayer in your noggin. Available as a print up to 24” x 36” and a nifty pack of 6 flat, 5” x 7” notecards with accompanying envelopes for $10.95. http://etsy.me/1AsTFy6

Staci Lindblad plays with paints, pens, pencils and paper aboard her floating art studio/houseboat docked at DC’s Washington Channel. “I am edgy art cards,” she admits smilingly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@edgyartcards.com (edgy art cards, prints, products) Charles Smith wine art bold eclectic edgy art cards ocean sailboat seabird https://www.edgyartcards.com/blog/2014/12/how-a-sea-bird-is-born-me-making-art Tue, 16 Dec 2014 20:59:56 GMT