Saturday, October 30, 2010

A birthday surprise

On Thursday, my art friend Kathy came to Wichita and picked up my other art friend Dana. Kathy and I planned a birthday surprise for Dana, whose birthday is next month. Kathy's only day to come to Wichita was Thursday, so we made the most of it, even though I was in pain much of the day.

Before Dana and Kathy got to my place, I started the coffee, which I ground just before I made it.

I also supplied the party atmosphere as much as possible with "Party" napkins.

I started snapping photos as soon as Kathy and Dana pulled up. I have not made this public before, but my dear friend Dana gave me permission to share this on my blog. A few months ago, right after Dana and her husband moved to their new home, her husband was diagnosed with massive organ failure. Her husband died in August, not more than three weeks after the diagnosis. Although I have seen Dana since the memorial service, this is the first time I've taken photos and shared her loss on my blog. Today was to be a happy day, a day when we can enjoy each others' company.

Dana is on the left in this photo, and Kathy is on the right. Kathy is emptying her car

and it looks like Dana is the pack horse.

As an aside, Thursday was also Bleubeard's birthday. But I couldn't give him a proper birthday celebration due to the gals coming. However, you can see his bright new blue collar, my gift to him.

He will join us in the celebration and leads the way to the festivities.

Here's the birthday girl. Although technically not her birthday, we're acting like it is.

I'm not sure what Kathy is digging for, but it sure isn't the rolls.

They would never fit in her purse! Dana doesn't stand on ceremony, but jumps into her roll.

What a lousy photo! Dana brought out her camera to show us the trip she took recently to Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico, where she spread a small amount of Richard's ashes. Ghost Ranch is where Georgia O'Keefe lived till her death, and where her ashes were also spread.

I managed to get a decent shot once I switched to macro (often known as the "tulip" setting). Here is one of the alters Dana built and placed some of his ashes under.

Dana is trying to get her camera to advance to the next photo.

I don't remember what was said, but I know Kathy and I thought it was funny enough for me to get a blurry photo!

Here is another alter made from rocks that Dana made to hold Richard's ashes. There were several places Richard wanted his ashes spread and Ghost Ranch is just one of those places.

Dana explained that there were lots of ashes left for the other places she had yet to place his remains.

She also showed the chapel at Ghost Ranch where they were fortunate enough to get there just in time for Sunday services.

After our "party" at my house (where Kathy and Dana showed me I actually owned a zipper foot for my sewing machine) Kathy wanted to go to Fashion Bug, a clothing store in my neighborhood. We were there over three hours. I've never seen anyone who could look at everything in a store before deciding what to buy. At this point, Kathy wanted some jeans like Dana had on.

Unfortunately, she didn't seem to find her size in the color she wanted.

I wandered around the store and found a sweater I decided to try on. I even took a photo (actually about a dozen photos) of me modeling it in front of the mirror, but all you can see is my head and arm sticking up over the sweater. I didn't realize how lousy the lighting was, but at least I took a photo of myself for once!

Instead of going to the local craft store, we spent so much time at the clothing store, we only had time to eat and head home. I told the waitress Mica that we were celebrating Dana's birthday and she brought Dana a birthday shooter.

Kathy and I learned it was a hot fudge sundae in a shot glass. There was no alcohol, though!

And I leave you with photos of my dear friends who brightened my day.

What more could I ask for while trying to heal my back?

Well, maybe I could wish for a peaceful Saturday catching up with my blogging friends. Thanks SO MUCH to all of you who have left such awesome messages these last few days, while I stayed away from the computer. Your love and generosity have shown through, even when I was in too much pain to visit you. Just know my thoughts are with each of you, though. By the way, I hope you aren't tired of the Old Cowtown Museum photos. I have a ton more and will be sharing them again tomorrow.

Today's blog pick is Antony Gormley, another British artist. His art ranges from abstract geometric drawings and sculptures to the human form. He is famous in England for his life sized sculptures and is taking them to other places like Austria. Be sure to check out his other projects, too. There are enough photos of his drawings, sculptures, and projects on his site to keep your interest well into next week. He is the most prolific artist I have seen in a long time. Be sure to check out Antony Gormley's site today.

24 thoughtful remarks:

MOLLYE said...

Hi Elizabeth, There is just nothing that can help heal a hurt like sister friends. I can just feel the love between you three and I'm glad you all got together. I will pray for Dana and also for your back pain. Love and hugs, Mollye

Jaime Haney aka ArtsyFartsy.Me said...

It looks like you had a fabulous time with your friends. Life is good when you have good friends.

Happy Halloween to you and Bluebeard (and Happy Birthday to Bluebeard!)

Lynn said...

What a fun day!!!! Happy birthday to friend and cat! ;-)

Steph said...

HI E, hope you're feeling much looks like you had fun!! take care dear friend....back soon...

~*~Patty S said...

Glad you were able to celebrate with Dana and Kathy E! Looks like you all had a grand time.
My heart goes out to Dana, sending kind wishes to her on her grief journey ... living with loss and trying to start your life over is no small thing

Take care of that back E ...I take it you are not one to take it easy! ;)

Ann said...

I'm glad you were well enough to spend such a lovely day catching up with good friends. And get well soon.

~*~Patty S said...

Happy Birthday to Dana AND Bleubeard!!!

La Dolce Vita said...

happy birthdays all around, and so glad you are working on healing your back! I have been to Ghost Ranch of course and it is a great place to leave the ashes, a wonderful mesa, light filled!! xo

Halle said...

Oh my goodness! Looks like you had a great day...even if hours were spent in the clothing store. ;)

jackie said...

So sorry to hear about your hurting your back! I know how painful that is! It makes it hard to do everything from putting on shoes to brushing your teeth!!

Also so very sorry about Dana's husband - I had no idea! That is very tragic!

Diane said...

Oh Elizabeth, I hope that back is getting better--it makes you appreciate the little mundane things that we take for granted, doesn't it? Every once in a while this will happen to me--I feel for you! I'm so sorry for your friend's loss--how sad--I know you 2 made her day happy though.

Sarah said...

What a lovely day you had with your friends! I hope your back gets better soon. I love Antony Gormley and willgo to have a look now thanks!

Healing Woman said...

I remember when you helped Dana move into her new home. I had just meet you then and wasn't even sure who Dana was. Since then, you have been kind to your friends by showing your outings on your posts. I feel as though I know Dana and Kathy and want to share my sympathy to Dana. This had to be very rough. It sounds like it came up suddenly and that usually is even harder to bear. You are a wonderful friend Elizabeth and I'm sure Dana appreciated her birthday outing.

Doone said...

so good to see girls partying and having fun, hope the pain is lessening


Debby said...

Looks like you had a fun day, always fun to be with friends. Happy Halloween!

Batu said...

Happy Birthday Bleubeard! And Happy Halloween too!

akilli melek said...

sounds like you had a great day. glad you managed to get out and about. It's not easy with back pain but moving does help mine, so hopefully you will have a double benefit from the day. caroline

Terri Kahrs said...

I just LOVE Birthday celebrations!!! Happy, Happy Birthday to Dana AND to Bleubeard!!!! And a very Happy Halloween too!!! I'm happy that you had such a wonderful time with your two dear friends. Love & Hugs, Terri xoxo

Marlynn said...

Ahhh, you all had one of those GREAT days that come along and you just don't want it to end. Happy Birthday, ahead of time, to Dana, love those two, especially Kathy's face when she didn't find her size. OK, I admit it, reminded me of me. You are so precious to be such a wonderful and caring friend to your cohorts! It is wonderful that Dana is able to carry out her husband's last wishes and spread his ashes in the places he held dear. Love to all. Marlynn, PS - Harley sends birthday wishes to Bleubeard and hugs to Wendy!

Julia Dunnit said...

How utterly lovely a day - it helps to laugh and move about; breaks the concentration and the pain can be set aside temporarily; am so sorry that you're still suffering. I love the picture you took as Dana and KAthy arrived, your garden frames the shot beautifully - and you're still enjoying some bright weather! Isn't Dana brave and lucky to have such friends to give her the love to go on. Her idea of the little cairns is lovely - Ghost Ranch looks like a mis-named place - that chapel just sits agaisnt the rock so solidly; you can't help but want to go in and whisper a prayer. Am so glad you three had a great day together...worth so much, huh.
Am lucky enough to have encountered some life size Gormley works..truly amazing.

Dianne said...

thanks for sharing your day...wonderful to have art friends to share it with. lovely idea to leave ashes at Ghost Ranch...that is awesome. so glad Dana could fulfill that request. I do hope you are feeling better. Thinking healing thoughts and sending them your way!

Ingrid Dijkers said...

Sounds like you had a very good time with very good friends. Thank you for sharing, it was such a pleasure to read. Hope your back is feeling better.
All my best-

voodoo vixen said...

Yay, so glad you are up and about again and spending time with special friends is the best use of time there is! You look like you had a fab day... I should point out that the size of your rolls (is that a roll for savourty stuff or is it a term I am unused to and its a sweet cake?) are mahoosive!! They look like they would serve a family of four!!
Happy Birthday to the lovely Bleubeard - hope he likes his new blue collar!

JoZart said...

Lovely to read about your special day for your friend. Looked good fun!
I'm so pleased to see your mention on Anthony Gormley as I love his work and will email you privately re this.
JoZarty x