Friday, December 31, 2010

My First Painting of 2011 -scroll down for larger pic

Those of you that know me, know its been awhile since I have been back to steady work.  This painting is the start of a new era for me.  I'm having trouble with blogger or my computer, but I wanted to post this today so it in two blogs.

I have always loved to paint, even as a child I remember enjoying the process of making letters and numbers.  This can be a curse more than a blessing, as I have the tendency to overwork drawings and paintings.  So on this piece I tried  (kiss) keep it simple stupid - one rule from one of my first teachers. 

Here is my web page which has my bio and some works of the past (it needs updating)...Thanks for stopping -joyce

Details-- this a original acrylic on acid free heavy duty watercolor paper, signed by me.  It is 29"x21"  I would recommend a 2 or 3 inch white mat and a simple black frame (not included).  As of 2011 I am offering wholesale prices to those in art related businesses.  Anyone interested in this piece can contact me at satisfaction guaranteed-joyce

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Privilege of Growing Old or My New Life

Hopefully this will be the last time I will be bringing up c (unless someone needs something I can provide, has questions or if I can add something that may help someone else).

A little over three years ago I was diagnosed with level 3 colon cancer, had surgery and 6 months of chemo (lost my hair, its back).  I survived all and my doctor say I'm cured.

I was given a second chance at life, it changed me forever.  Life is short please make the most of it.

One thing I realized that if I'm going to be around in the years to come I didn't want to be a burden to my kids, I've been a artist most of my life, and mom about half of it.  For some reason my good health for my kids sake is easier than working on good health for me.  That was the motivating factor, but now good is for me, because it make me feel so good.  This is the truth most days I feel like I'm in my 20ties- inside, mentally and physically maybe even better than back then cause I partied alot.

I have always been thin, except for a brief period when I had milkshakes for a bedtime snack, (gained about 50lbs.), but my lifestyle before was bad.  Red meat daily sometimes twice, lunch meats, fast foods, lots of dairy big chocolate bars, soda, beer, lots of sugar, white bread fried foods ect.  I felt tired and fatigue all the time and could sleep 12 hours at a time, now I only need 6-8.

I painted this self-portrait when I was sick but before I was diagnosed.  Not sure where I put it, may have tossed it but you get the picture.

This next part is for anyone that has or knows someone with c.  When the hospital doc looked me in the eye (this was right after the colostomy and I was still loopy) and said its cancer, I looked right back and thought yea, but I'm a survivor.  At that point I proceeded to do everything in my power to beat this.  This included  1. prayer (mostly thanking God for everything hes given me each day)  2. Green Drinks, please read  the book or visit the web page Crazy Sexy Cancer  3. Visualization - picturing my insides to be clean and c free  4. Positive thinking, this included eliminating negative people if possible  5. plenty of rest  6. found a great onocolgist, surgeon and became my own medical advocate.

OK, back to my new life - With this second chance I kept the Green Drink habit - it really make me feel good (had a recent blood test, everything was perfect).  I have been doing this a couple times a week for about 6 months now.  I call this my 2/6 recipe.  It does not taste too good, I usually chug it, but its sooo worth it.

2/6  (2 of each, 6 items)

2 carrots   2 stalks of celery,  2 apples, 2 tomatoes, 2 leaves of cabbage with a handful of raw spinach rolled inside  Wash everything before juicing.

I saw a Jack La lane infomercial one night (I remember laughing at his pants when I was a kid)  anyway I bought one of his juicers, and I am totally happy with it.  tip-put parts in a sink of hot dishwater after using for ez cleanup.

To continue, still concerned with good health, I saw a doctor on Dr Ozs show -Dr. Ornish he totally amazed me, blew my socks off--he said he knows how to reverse heart disease, (my Dad died of heart disease at 59), stop or reverse early-stage prostate cancer  & diabetes.  He turns off genes that promote breast cancer,and other illnesses, in only 3 months.  Also these lifestyle changes can increase an enzyme that lengthens telomeres (the ends of your chromosomes lenght  controls how long you live. 

I am starting a new blog entry about  "The Spectrum"  Dean Onnish  MD, it will have recipes and helps.   Medicare and other insurance companies are now providing for this program.  I gave out several copies of this book so far, 2 to my docs 1 to my priest, 3 to my kids, and have a couple I giving for Christmas presents. You can do a little bit of this program or a alot, its custom tailored to you by you.  its all good.   Here is a link to the web site.

Here is Dr. Ornish  twitter id, or you can get there on the above link  

Thanks for taking your time to read this- joyce  

Monday, November 29, 2010


Meeting today online with a group of friends to exchange holiday recipes and tips - I'm bring this delicious favorite to the table, I make it every year - joyce


4 cups finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound phyllo (studel leaves)- come frozen in a box at grocery store
1 cup butter melted
1 (12 oz) jar honey

(follow the handling instruction on the phyllo pkg- cover with wax paper then a damp towel - phyllo is very thin and get brittle when dry) do not get the phyllo wet

Greasse 13 x 9 (I use a cookie sheet) pan 2-3 hours before serving.  Mix together walnuts, sugar and cinnamon; blend well.
Cut phyllo into 13x9  rectangles (I use the sheets the size right out of the box).
Place 1 sheet phyllo on cookie sheet, brush with some butter,  repeat to make 5 layers of phyllo.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of walnut mixture.

Place 1 sheet phyllo over the walnut mixture; brush with butter .
Repeat layers at least 6 time.
Sprinkly 1 cup of walnut mixture.
Repeat  layers 2 times

Place remaining phyllo on tip of the last walnut layer; brush with buttter.
With a sharp knife cut halfway through layer in a triangle pattern, corner to corner about 1 or 2 inch peices.

Bake at 300 for 1 hour and 25 minutes or till golden brown

Heat honey over medium-low heat till hot but not boiling; sopoon over hot Baklava. 
Cool in pan at least 1 hour;
Cover andleave at room temp. untill serving.
To serve, finish cutting through layers with a sharp knife.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Thought I would post a picture of our table,  the china was my great grandmothers sisters.  I had to have 2 dinners (one the day before to accommodate my  families other holiday obligations).  Think I will have leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast-joyce

Be Thankful Every Day

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get A Mammogram

Today is the day before Thanksgiving -  I spent the past two days worried about a call yesterday from my docs office saying they found a shadow on my mammogram.  This news put me and dh in somewhat in a panic because I am a 3 year colon cancer survivor (level 3 with chemo) and still in the watch period.  Checking the internet I found that if it comes back in the watch period in a different place it means it has metastasised, and survival statistics were bleak (10% - 2 to 3 years).  Spent that day feeling sorry for myself, dh came home from work, ect.

So yesterday I started looking for a mammogram appointment.  The place that did the first one could not see me again till Dec. 9.  Dh said keep looking, I found one that would do a mammogram and ultrasound that afternoon.  I was there most of the day.  I was very pleased that when it was over the radiologist sat down and talked with us both.  I was so relieved when he said that this is not metastasised cancer. 

What they found is 3 salt grain size dots, that have a 25% chance of being pre-cancerous.  Next Wednesday they will do a fine needle biopsy with results a few days after that.    Either its nothing or I will have a small procedure to removed the 3 dots.  Here is a web link about it.

These past two days have put me behind in Thanksgiving preparation, plus we are having company tonight and I have to take my cat to the vets this afternoon.
I'm not complaining, its good to be busy, and this year I am again so thankful.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving All...joyce

***Just a quick update from the above, the biopsy results were normal, (they were just some fibroids)---Pheww...back to my new thankful life..joyce *****

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Fall in South Texas, not much foliage color, the  trees go from green to brown.
 But we have a second growing season and local oranges and grapefruit.

This is my attempt at a orange tree, planted it myself last spring, unfortunately the deer and llamas got to it and left me one orange. (This is a accomplishment as ground here is sand, and difficult to keep watered throughout the hot summer).

Here is a bag of local oranges, $5.00 (such a deal)---they are very good. -joyce


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Apple Nut Cake withe Lemon Cheese Icing

This is the best apple nut cake you will EVER taste—(Not a healthy lifestyle recipe)

Apple Nut Cake with Lemon Cheese Icing

Cake -Oven 325

2 eggs beaten

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts

4 cups finely chopped apple

Beat eggs, sugar, & vanilla, -beat in the oil till smooth. Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon and slat. Stir dry ingredients into egge misture. Add nuts & apples& mix well. Turn into a greased & floured 11×7″ pan & bake for 1 hour.


2 -3oz. pkgs. cream cheese

2 Tbsp half & half

1/2 soft butter

4 cups sifted confectioners sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

dash of salt

Soften cream cheese at room temperature, add half & half, butter, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt—

beat till fluffy -enjoy, joyce

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Lunch-romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacos, miracle whip on whole grain toast (wish I had some sprouts)-joyce

The Past Three Years or Home on the Range

Hi,  Certain time periods in a persons life stand out more than others, the past three years have been one of those times for me.

I need to back track a bit,  about 12 years ago we moved from Cleveland to San Antonio, Mike was able to get transfer and I was tired of the snow.  We purchased a new home, a builders spec. (it had nice extras)-Here is a picture

I missed having outside space, especially with the wonderful weather here.  We found a 10 year old fixer in the middle of 5 wooded acres, about 20 minutes from the Riverwalk and downtown San Antonio.  It is also in a very good developement with fair restrictions, (no mobiles, your must have at least 2 acres, and no more than 5 big  pets, horses ect.)

So we decided to go for it.  --(If  moving up to a fixer is going for it, we have had fixers in the past so dh was was dreading it)
What happened after that, the market changed and we wound up having two mortgages at the same time for a little over a year.  We had to mark down the above house quite a bit to move it.
I also went to hell and back- I had cancer in this time frame (level 3 colon, +chemo). (I'm three years cancer free, did some lifestyle changes (I'll blog about later)-and feel great, better than ever before. 

Ok, back to life today and progress on my fixer.  Its just a two story brick box (the back and sides are stucco).  Very plain,  so far we put in a porclein sink, removed the dark brown carpet from the downstairs and replaced it with large clay tile, painted the downstairs walls,  added a electric fence around a acre for my big pets, and put in a large patio out back. I'm not sure what style we want to work the outside into, either New England salt box or maybe Tuscany cause of the stucco.
Here are some pics. I'de like to post some pics of my great kids, but I need to ask them first.\\

Our driveway

                                                        Driveway from the house

Front door, one coat of niagra blue so far, the dog already scratched it

Red -waiting to get out

Curly still a baby

LaLa, Llama with a attitude

Lukie (not a good picture, hes cute)

The two acres behind the pen

The tree that came down a few week ago, the back of the house is behind it.

View from my kitchen

I love this place even though it needs work and is going to take some time and money.  There is lots of good nature photos that I will post sometime in the future, (when I learn to use this camera better).These were all taken this am.

I am now getting back to my art business, need to update my web page, learn more about blogging, ect. I plan on blogging at least once a week. - joyce

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Hi, Thought I would share some photos of the items I am using for inspiration in my next set of paintings.  I usually paint at least two at a time (this is a good system to keep from getting bored or overworking a piece)I might use a light cerulean in one, -it is one of my favs.  They will be on heavy wieght acid free watercolor stock, painted in acrylics, all will be a size that fits standard mats and frames. 
I am scheduled to start this series Monday or sooner.-joyce
ps.just spent 2+1/2 hours with my new camera and finally have a ok close up

This is a piece of marble in my kitchen I use for rolling dough when baking.

This is a ring I bought years ago when traveling through Arizona, its a actual vein of turquoise in stone. (sorry about the glare.) 


And these are a couple of rocks I found in our gravel driveway.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My First Real Blog

My word for this week is focus.  With that I have put a weekly blog entry (at least once a week) on my list. 

 I received this letter a little over a week ago and thought it would be a good place to start, (It is also in the art link at the top)  We corresponded and I will send him a link to my blog. -joyce

Subject: Bait shop


Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 5:14 PM

Dear Joyce,

Having just moved to Sacramento, CA, I was hanging pictures in my home office. One of the first I picked up was your poignant water color "Beach Shack," which I bought on February 23, 2001 while visiting in San Antonio from my California home. I had pasted a note on the back with your name, phone number and address (in Cibolo, TX), and I had always intended to send you a note to tell you how much I love this work.

On a hunch, I went on-line and entered your name. Imagine my pleasure when I not only found your website, but a photo of my own "Beach Shack" on the site. So I finally get to say thank you. "Beach Shack" has been on my wall(s) since I bought it---first in Los Gatos, then in Jackson, and now here in Sacramento.

I hope all is well with you, and that you are experiencing the great success you deserve.


M. J. R.