Just a Walk in the Park

As many with pets will attest walking the dog pushes you out the door. Ours dogs, Doolin & Kyffin, get at least 2 walks a day. Walking behind them are my husband and me.  I carry a purse that has doggie clean bags, doggie treats and my iPhone. Kyffin’s leash wraps around my waist leaving my hands free to take photos as I walk. Medicine Park is picturesque some days more than others. Our walks take us about a mile. Here are the main routes: 1. Creekside down Charley Wright Trail (AKA The Wright Way), 2. Rex Leath Rd which ambles down the Medicine Creek across from the Fish Hatchery then returning West Lake Drive, 3. West Lake Drive takes (AKA the other side of the Creek) takes us past cottages and houses. From there we turn up the side streets and back again. 4. Forrest Ave or as I call it Upper Wacker (a Chicago reference).  A hilly climb one block west of town center, 5. Big Rock Rd. our mountain (Mt. Cummins) road on the North side of town, 6. Buffalo Street, Longhorn Street, East Lake Drive.

The old stock of shops, fences and cottages were constructed of cobblestones, round grapefruit sized red granite most having been built from about 1910 to the 1920s. The majority have been restored while a number are in various stages of collapse. There are new homes that have been built many in the last 10 years. Most of them are too new to be interesting enough for me to photograph although some of the plantings are impressive. My photographing efforts have on and off depending if brought a camera with me but in the last year with my iPhone handy I have been able to snap what I see.

Some I put up raw, some I run through very iPhone apps like Camera+, CameraBag and iPhoto mobile. And if the image warrants it I will take it in to my Macbook iPhoto and/ or Photoshop. I have owned cameras, Polaroids, Nikons, Canons, Minoltas and Pentax. The first being SRL’s film cameras other being digitals. But frankly I like being able to move the photos without plugging things in. The majority of shots you will see in this slide show are shot with my iPhone, most within the last 2 years.




Salad Days

Chopped Salad with Bengal Tiger Iced Tea
Chopped Salad with Bengal Tiger Iced Tea

Every since I found out I had reflux, returning kidney stones and mold allergies my food restrictions feel like they have had a strangle hold on me. It all began back over 9 months ago. I had to give up on things that have become regular food/ liquids including all fizzy drinks, nuts, berries, some leafy greens, aged cheeses, mushrooms potatoes and more. Now that I have adjusted to new foods and dump the old eating habits I feel I can move on to the next area of conquest…my weight. I have lost and gained over the years, never easy for me (or any of my siblings). Reviewing how I gained so much weight I put much of the onus on high stress over the past 5 years. Ice storm, wildfire that came close to consuming our house, husband with cancer, daughter between jobs, asthma and massive kidney stones. Now that the stress levels have dissipated its time to tackle the problem.

Every morning I eat one of two things, 1. Cereal with fruit, 2. Homemade yogurt with fruit. I don’t seem to get bored of this combo, so I thought what if I take a similar tack with lunch. Going over in my head what make sense to eat that has minimal calories I landed on salad. What if I have salad for every lunch. Realizing there a number things that cannot go on my salad (see preceding list) I am having to be inventive in my combinations. Another factor is that I don’t have much patience for food preparation. Can I do it? And if I, can how long can I keep it going? Buoyed by my being able to stay off of soda/pop for over 9 months makes me believe I can pull this off. (FYI: My current beverages are one cup of coffee in the morning (one of my restrictions), herbal ice tea or hot tea and lemonade.)

Apple, Carrot, & Red Cabbage Slaw
Apple, Carrot, & Red Cabbage Slaw.

Let it begin!

Yesterday’s salad was no lettuce all veggie and feta cheese salad. Today’s Salad… Chopped salad with iceberg lettuce, red bell pepper (I can’t have green bell pepper), cucumber, scallions and a hard boiled egg topped with zero calorie honey mustard dressing. Wish me the will power to pull it off.

Artcestry: The Wunderle Artistic Inheritance

No doubt we are a large family on my mother’s side with somewhere around 300 individuals coming down from my maternal grand parents, Aloysius and Lucille Wunderle. My aunts and uncles and their families all lived in the Cleveland, OH area. As the original 50 first cousins grew to adulthood they moved about country. It is only since Facebook that many of us have reconnected and at the same time we are learning but each other’s families and each others interests. Maybe because I am an artist myself that I find it remarkable the number of visual artists there are among the cousins and the cousins’ kids. I know that in the mix of my mother’s siblings there are those who could draw and some could paint including my mother. Uncle John and Uncle Charles both took art classes. Taking into consideration that only 1% of the US population are visual artists would mean there would mean a total 5 of the cousins might be artists.
Having put the question forward the answer I arrived at was at least 10, double the national average. To compare, there are about the equal percentage of doctors in the US meanwhile in our family doctors number zero as far as I know. Obviously the artists in the family are not show-offs as when ask to submit their art I ended up for the most part hunting for the images on their facebook and beyond. Through no fault of my own and for not trying, I may have missed some cousins and some art. I can always add names and art to this post if the cousins contact me. Please feel free to move about the the images.

Artist Cousins…

Michelle Losey Nazzaro, Painter, drawing. Cooper School of Art, Cleveland, OH
Mary Losey Kevdzija, photographer, painter / drawing. Cleveland Institute of Art
Laura Losey Faulkner, Artist, Pencil/ charcoal and pastel
Mark Losey photographer
Andrea Wunderle Coble, Artist/Illustrator/ Interior designer. Andrea Coble I received my under graduate degree in illustration at Utah State University. I did cover art for a small magazine in Germany after working for MEM Art Services in the USA, right after graduating. Then for about 5 -6 years I switched gears and fell in love with interior design and worked in high end designer galleries. I also received an award in Germany for my large abstract prints depicting Cleveland of all things. Now I paint on gourds and love to plan a good party. I throw one a month it seems.
Paul Wunderle, Photographer
Susan Norris Trentel,Drawing, Plush and Doll plush design, Clothes designer, pattern maker. Cooper School of Art
Muriel Norris Fahrion concept Illustrator, 3D, cute character developer and photography. Cooper School of Art
Sheila Franczak Tolbert, Painter of portraits, nostalgic images and dog portraits/ Interior Decorating. Dog Portrait is of Tank, he passed away last spring and my friend asked me to paint it for her husband as a tribute. I paint in acrylic on canvas. I do not advertise, I paint for friends, family and an occasional referral.
Patsy Norris Welsh/ stained glass

Cousin’s Kids

Colin Fahrion Concept Graphic Art, Medical Illustration, website design and random acts of creativity, Cleveland Institute of Art
Ted Intorcio Comic Book illustrator, commercial design. Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh
Bill Trentel, Graphic Designer and owner Trentel Graphics. Carnagie Mellon, Pittsburg, PA
Rachel Welsh Igas/ Graphic Design/ Computer design Rachel Welsh de Iga BFA in Graphic Design from WVU and have worked as a graphic designer, multimedia designer, art director, etc. I still love drawing the best. I currently have a client who requires me to create works of art on her brown paper lunch bags every morning before she goes to school. I get a kick out of the fact that her friends clamor to see what she brings in (realistic or abstract) every day.
Denise Ginley, Photographer, Food Design. Evergreen State College. Visit her at Little Market Kitchen Blog
Kim Fahrion – Interior Design/ Poster design/ crafts, Has taught these subjects to High Schoolers Nancy Gebauer paints and draws. Teaches art classes.
Mary Trentel Hall– Quilter/ Crafter
Julie Norris, Photography

Cousin’s Grand Kids

Kendall MacKeigan Fashion Design/ Art (cousin’s granddaughter)
Morgan Shina Hosokoawa Ward, fashion design (cousin’s granddaughter)
Cassandra Kelemen Kling, Nature photography

Note: Thanks to Rachel Welsh Igas for the original title “Artcestry”

Giving Up

There was a time I would actually think about coming up with a New Year’s resolution but that was before my health conditions came along a dictated them for me. First was the news that I had LPR (silent reflux) in October. It was serious enough to totally affected my sinus cavities. On the laundry list of things that I had to change were the following: stop eating 3 hours before bedtime, no alcohol, no caffiene (nurse gave the go ahead for one cup a day), no pop/soda, restrict dairy other than yogurt, little or no citrus, no tomatoes, no chocolate (no big problem since I am not a big fan of chocolate) no spicy anything, eat in small portions, don’t sit down after eating and lose weight.  And I am doing pretty much all of that but the weight is coming off very SLOWLY.

I was adjusting but still not feeling tops. And then, and then… my body was building kidney stones, huge ones blocking my urinary tract combined with massive infection that ended me up in emergency procedure to put a stent in place then wait of 2 1/2 weeks over the holidays before the stent could be removed and stones blasted. Tomorrow I will see the urologist tomorrow to see what other restrictions he will put me on. (I had already changed my diet because of kidney stones  passing through).

This week I returned to Ears Nose and Throat doctor to get the results of my allergy test. I was surprised to find out that I WASN”T allergic to pollen because my allergies/asthma appeared to be seasonal then I started reading up on the numerous molds (8) I am allergic to. Aha! 3 of them coincide with the high allergy seasons. One with cedar pollen, a different one with ragweed and a third with wet Springs. Just when I thought I was living healthy as I could. Grapefruit seed nose spray was added to my list of things I had to use. More food restrictions mushrooms, blue cheese, roquefort cheese, bleached flour, refined white sugar, white rice.

Do I feel I’ve been treated unfair? You bet! I am adjusting alright. I’m starting not to miss the soda but I would like to have a drink now and then. And it is hard to say no to the second cup of coffee but I have. Desserts are few and far between these days and I miss them. And what is life without tomatoes? Honestly! And Mexican without peppers?

The answer it is my new normal and what I will pay to not have any of the symptoms or at least a great reduction of the symptoms I have dealt with for a long time. And being able to take a few meds off my daily routine is a bit of a trade off. Yes, I wish I could go back to those days of eating food without worrying about the repercussions but that isn’t in the cards.

Here’s to better health to come as I lift a cup of ginger tea to toast the new year.


Kyffin the Welsh Terrier Puppy

After the crushing loss of Cordy, our little Aussie Terrier, of 13 1/2 years we took a month breather before considering another puppy. We still had our terrier mix, Doolin, who was nearing 9 years old. He too was missing his Aussie friend. He wasn’t eating and would go around the house looking in all the Cordy’s corners.

We are senior citizens now (whether we want to admit it) and knew this would be our last chance to get a puppy. We also knew size mattered as we needed to be able to lift, and chase after a dog. Although we loved our Aussie we believed we would always be comparing a new Aussie to our first. So instead we went for another small terrier. A terrier because we like a terrier’s spunk but also because generally terriers are non shedding. We picked a Welsh Terrier. We believed getting a puppy would help our Doolin maintain his place in the household.

It has been a hectic and exhausting 5 weeks since Kyffin (Welsh for border land) came to live with us. We are dealing with nights interupted with trips outside, old dog getting used to new dog, clean up duty and training not to bite, when to sit, when to stay, how to walk on a lead and much more. We have introduced him to as many folks as possible. It is an understatement that he likes people. He seems to be relaxed with everyone he has met. Kyffin is proving to be a smart, difiant, funny and cuddly critter. I know there will be lots more adventure to come.