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Unfinished

Yesterday, August 27 was the celebration of Jess Jacobs life in California.  A few members of the Walking Gallery were able to attend.  They represented the 396 members who could not be there.   We all cherish her memory. The east coast friends of Jess gathered Saturday, August 20, to mourn her passing and celebrate her life.  I came to Whitney’s house in my usual fashion with a hoard of supplies.  I brought tables, chairs, paint, brushes, and glitter.  We were going to make unicorn art.   I also brought a lot of box tops for education to cut out and prepare to mail to raise funds for my son Isaac’s school.  When someone is very sad it helps to keep very busy. In Whitney’s back yard the cicadas hummed and I stood presiding over a table of industrious friends of Jess. We painted Unicorns and taped down box tops.  We added…

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Color It Blue

I flew to St. Louis, Missouri to attend the Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference August 16-17, 2016.  Xerox Healthcare hosted me and I would be painting in their booth. When I arrived, I walked through the exhibition hall and saw all the usual give-a-way swag: Pens, water bottles, USB sticks, and candy.  I rolled my paint supplies into the Xerox booth and set up my easel next to the item Xerox was giving away.  It was a coloring book and colored pencils. As I painted for two days with the Xerox team, I heard so many conferences attendees eagerly thank the team for bring coloring books.  The attendees said they would color on the flight home, in conference sessions, or color just to let go of stress. The coloring book was such a major part of the conversation that I added it into the painting: “Uniting the Kingdoms.” The upper part…

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The First to Fall

        On August 10, I was so excited to share that we had reached another milestone in the Walking Gallery.  Five years into our patient rights movement we had reached 400 members!   I even shared the post that lists where everyone lives.  I loved the picture blogger chose for the post.  It was me and Jess assembling the Walking Gallery in its lego form. A lot of people read that post and reminded me they had moved to a new state or country.  I dutifully changed the post for each request. Today I added a new country to the post.  I called it Heaven.  I placed Jess Jacob there and cried. Isaac saw me crying and asked me why.  I told him Jess Jacobs died.  Our friend from DC we played legos with and visited in the hospital. Jess had been fighting for her life for…

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How to make a tire planter

This is a medical advocacy blog. So some of you may wonder what does tire planters have to do with healthcare? This summer in Grantsville, MD, colorfully painted tire planters edged the side of Route 40 and delineated the arts and entertainment district in Grantsville.  The students of Grantsville Elementary, their art teacher Kelly Lasher, and other local adult artists created the planter art using rice paper and Dye-Na-Flow dyes. I assembled the art and facilitated the project.  Many a town resident has commented,  “It sure brightens things up!” And it does.  Sometimes at the end of hard day you just want a little something to brighten things up.  Guys Tires, Northern Outreach Center and Mountaintop Truck Driving Institute of Garrett College, and local citizens donated the tires. That makes me very happy.  I love to reuse, reduce and recycle.  These tires were destined to end up as trash and they became…