Thursday, October 31, 2013

10.31.13 - 3 Years Down

As I reflect on the last three years, I remind myself that it wasn't so long ago that I was lying in a hospital bed unable to move my head, not able to breathe on my own, not able to take a sip of water, and not able to speak a word.  These are the things I remember when I start to lose hope.  I forget that all of this hard-work is worth it and will pay off. As painfully slow as the progress may seem, the days and weeks fly by. I look in the mirror now and I am happy when I see more gray hair because I know this means time is going by. More time means I am closer to more movement and more strength. My body wants to heal itself, and will, if I allow it to. The process of healing takes time, patience, hard-work,and dedication. My life is my recovery, and as boring as it gets I know I'm doing what I need. I am getting used to my monotonous routine and the joke around here is "it's Friday night again!". Then you will find me standing in my glider, a standing frame elliptical, that my physical therapist, George, helps me push. Three years seems like a life time ago and the further I get from my old life the easier it is for me to learn to live again. Three years down...bring it on.

The constant battle outside of my physical therapy is finding good caregivers.  I need 24 hour care.  Dealing with scheduling becomes overwhelming and consumes my days.  I constantly worry if someone is going to show up. I have had seven caregivers this year come and go!  For the caregivers I have I am so very grateful. My family; my mom, my dad, and my auntie Erin have helped me since the accident.  There's Andy, who so graciously donates her time during the week and travels with me, Tammy, who I was lucky enough to find as the replacement as my main caregiver (4 months later we are finally in sync :). My cousin Jamie spoiled me rotten and was with me until June when she was too pregnant to move me anymore. In addition, Shae, who worked with me until April and I miss dearly and her "out-side of the box" way of thinking and Lauren, who just moved to the east coast. Now, who will paint my toenails?! Without a solid group of positive caregivers who keep me moving through my days I would be nothing. Thank you all for your hard-work and patience!

I did a little traveling this year, nothing compared to my sojourn to Cuba before the accident but it's a start.  I flew to Mexico for five nights and enjoyed swimming in the pool, soaking up the sun, and laughing with friends. This was an amazing first trip, but I am in no rush to get back on an airplane anytime soon! I also did a road-trip up north to Santa Rosa and a recent trip down to LA and Santa Barbara. It was good to take a little break and get out on the road again, but they wipe me out.  Trips take me at least a week to recover from.  Traveling means more sitting in my chair and less exercise, which makes me feel like poop. The opposite side is they also make me grateful for my quiet little home tucked under the trees in Carmel where I can focus on my rehab.

I would not have my rehab without people who care like you and donate to Relay for Rachael every year. Thank you! This year we raised $10,000 towards my physical therapy costs and had a ton of fun doing it!  Keep an eye out for next years teams at

My show at EXPOSED in May was so much fun, thanks to everyone who came out and supported me and witnessed my step back into photography.  I did not take a single picture for a year and now with my increased strength in my arms I am able to take photos again with my iPhone and hopefully with other cameras soon.  Currently our hours at EXPOSED are by appointment only but please check in for current hours and upcoming events.

My 2014 fine art photography calendars arrived and they look great. You can buy them online at, or come by the Big Sur Crafts fair Thanksgiving weekend Saturday, November 30th and Sunday, December 1st 10am-5pm at the Big Sur Grange Hall, I will also be selling them at EXPOSED in Carmel,

This summer I taught my first iPhone photography workshops at Garland Park in Carmel Valley and I have two more coming up in March at Palo Corona Ranch  in Carmel. To sign up go to, the class is $25.  The dates are: Sunday March 2nd,  3:30-5:30pm and Sunday  March 30th, 5-7pm.

Check out my interview and photographs with rfoto about my new iPhone photography:

Also listen to my story about getting back into photography on the podcast "Re-seen: Stories about inspiration":

Meet Shadow Bruno Mars.  Shadow joined our team in August when I adopted him at the SPCA at 5 months old.  We believe he is a black lab, German Shepherd mix and he is a big lover.  I am working on training him to be my photo assistant, so far we have accomplished sit and stay :) **************PO Box 6445, Carmel Ca 93921 831.238.0127 ...BE THE LIGHT**************