Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "A Jar Of Roses"

"A Jar of Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on textured canvas  (20" x 12" x 2") From the archives

"My son, Jett, is out of the hospital and back home in his Tarpon Springs apartment today.  My hope and prayer is that he will do well living on his own with the help of his friends and neighbors.  It's a complicated situation that I can't share but I want to thank everyone again for their prayers and concern for Jett.  He was a breath away from losing his left foot and we're giving thanks galore this evening that he was able to come back home with both feet.  Hopefully,    he will take good care of himself and all future reports will be good.  

Do you suppose that this blog will ever get back to just the arts?  I sure hope that it does but while still crying buckets of tears almost daily I've been knitting too.  The yellow scarf below was knitted from the beautiful cotton yarn that Christy Verity sent to me.  It's 72 inches long and 4 inches wide but I still need to put the fringe on it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Small Still Life"

"Small Still Life"
© Nora Kasten

"The INR number for Jett slipped down and not up as anticipated this morning.  This evening a much larger dose of Cumadin was administered and we're keeping our fingers crossed for a better report tomorrow morning.  Jett, surprisingly, is handling this whole ordeal far better than I could ever have imagined.  God truly does work in mysterious ways His wonders to behold."

Below is an enjoyable video of Robert Liberace's works 
Turn on your speakers

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NORA KASTEN, Artist Oil Painting "Red Geraniums"

"Red Geraniums"
© Nora Kasten

Oil painting on linen  (24" x 30")  From the archives  SOLD

"Tomorrow will be two weeks since Jett was admitted into hospital.  He is slowly healing from the two surgeries and has been walking again now for six days.  I'm a little concerned that Jett is still experiencing sharp pains and regularly taking pain meds. . . . every 5 hours now instead of 4.  He still has the cyst but his INR blood count is slowly inching up as wanted.  It was 1.9 today.  At least 2 but not higher than 3 is the number the doctor is trying to achieve and maintain with the Cumadin.  Some good news today was that the doctor told him that he probably will only have to stay on the Cumadin for 3 months after he leaves the hospital.  Jett and I talk on the phone everyday at lunch time and then again in the evening.  He gets disappointed because healing is taking so long but overall, his spirits are good.  Sure hope he isn't putting on an act for his mother.

It's ironic that another man the same age as Jett, 48, has been in the room next to his for the last week.  That man had already lost one foot just above the ankle and the doctors are trying to save his other one but the prognosis is not good.  He has Renaud's disease too and had neglected his health like Jett but was too late in getting medical help for himself.   Is this just a coincidence these two men cross paths with one another at this time.  The man is alone in life like Jett but is a widower while Jett is divorced."

Friday, November 26, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Onions"

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen on board  (5" x 7")  From the archives

"It's hard to believe my good fortune yesterday to spend Thanksgiving, Italian style, with my friend, Louise Toresco and some of her family.  We arrived at her son, Ben and his wife, Valerie Toresco's beautiful home on Marco Island at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.  Hors d'oeuvres were served as we gathered together on the large lanai and visited .  .  .  .there were 10 of us.  At 3 o'clock what I thought was dinner was only the first seated course.  We all ate heartily of Italian fare . .  . I've started to list all the dishes we were served but there were just too many to count.

I should have started this with how beautiful Valerie's dinner table was set.  After the first course ended around 4:30pm and a quick pick up of dirty dishes, we visited some more on the lanai.  A Skype call to more of the Toresco family in New Jersey was a joy to behold.

We were seated again at 7 o'clock pm for the main course of turkey and a zillion side dishes, each one a delicious work of art on it's own.  By 9 o'clock pm we are all smiling, well fed and happy.  But that wasn't the end by any means.  Dessert was fine Italian pastries, apple pie, key lime pie, two ice creams, Louise's homemade cookies and on and on.  I haven't mentioned the drinks but it was anything you could possibly want including espresso with dessert.  

I am most thankful to all the Torescos' for including me with open arms and the warm hospitality each one extended to me."

The doctor continues to keep Jett in the hospital but the INR is gradually coming up.  It was 1.78 today.  Now, he has developed a good size cyst at the beginning of the first surgery incision that was a week ago last Tuesday.  The doctor said this sometimes happens and it may dissolve on it's own or he may have to use a needle to extract the fluid.  The good thing is that it is fluid and not blood.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "A Wedge of Sunshine"

"A Wedge of Sunshine"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (8" x 10")  From the archives  SOLD

"Today's good news about my son, Jett, is the doctor said he won't lose his left foot. .  .. he said  Jett got to the hospital in time for help.  The other news is that Jett will stay in the hospital for an undetermined amount of days and not be home for Thanksgiving as he wanted.  I know he's in the best place he can be right now and hope my words this afternoon gave him some encouragement.  The INR blood test count dropped since yesterday and it is still not up to the 2 - 3 count range that is required.  

Today, I am giving thanks to God for Jett's progress, all of my children and their families, you wonderful, caring friends and having the Faith in God that all will be OK.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "The Glory of Roses"

"The Glory Of Roses"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (30" x 24")  From the archives  SOLD

"First, let me say a huge thank you to everyone for lifting up my son, Jett, in prayer.  Yesterday, Sunday, I was able to go to the hospital in Tarpon Springs to be with him all afternoon and evening.  He was in a lot of pain but kept putting off getting more meds for relief . .  .  I told him not to play macho man in front of his mother.  He didn't take the meds though until after I left and the nurse told him that he cannot let the pain get ahead of him like that and to keep taking the pain medication every 4 hours for a while longer.

His left leg and foot are dark, dark gray but thankfully, more feeling is coming back in his foot today.  He was able to finally get out of bed yesterday and walk with a walker so we took a couple of short walks in the hall together.  He's hoping he can use a cane tomorrow instead of the walker.  His INR blood tests results are still too low and he must stay in the hospital until the Cumadin regimen he's on works. His risk of a blood clot is still very high.  I am so thankful the surgeon could help Jett . . .  . especially since he had waited much too long before getting help.  

I often refer to my four sons as the boys, when in fact they are all middle aged men now.  I'm praying that Jett will make better choices for his life and he will understand just how merciful God has been to him.   My faith is ever greater because of all your prayers and the Goodness of God.  I am most thankful and grateful."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Jett, Towing Jay"

"Jett, Towing Jay"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on canvas  (24" x 20")  From the archives

"This painting of my son, Jett, was, obviously, painted from a photo I took on the boat back in 1989 and is very amateurish.  It was my 15th painting.  I used a lot of Alizarin Crimson in those early days of painting and this painting of Jett shows just how fugitive that color is.  There was life in those shadows in the beginning but within a year, the Alizarin was gone.  It was a good lesson to learn early on and then I substituted Rose Madder for Alizarin for many years.  The last 5 years I've used Quinacridone Magenta in place of Alizarin Crimson and have been very happy with it.

The main reason for showing you this painting is to ask for your prayers for Jett.  Jett has Renaud's  disease and was admitted into a Tarpon Springs hospital this past Monday.  He had fallen earlier and couldn't recover from his injuries.  He had surgery on Tuesday to open a 70% blockage in the groin area and then surgery again on Wednesday to open two more blockages (60% and 90%) in his left leg.  There is at least a pulse again in his left toes but no feeling in the bottom of his foot.  The doctor told him this morning that he may never get that back.

The biggest problem now is getting and keeping his blood flowing thin.  His PPT count is much too low and Cumadin plus Heparin are being administered.  The risk of a blood clot is very high and he is not permitted to get out of the hospital bed.  Jett is 48 years old.  I will be with him tomorrow."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Asters"

© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (14" x 11")  From the archives  SOLD

"Another artist, Carol Blackburn, has shared some words of wisdom with me and I am very grateful.  Even more so when logged onto her photography blog.  Her photos are awesome but I especially like her words under the photos.  Click on Carol Blackburn to visit her blog.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "One For Lunch"

"One For Lunch"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (16" x 16") From the archives  SOLD

"Yesterday marked three months since Karl is gone.

"One For Lunch" pretty much says it all for today but this work was painted in 1991 when life was wonderful.  The crossword puzzle is something I've stopped doing since Karl died.  They make me sad now and I guess it's because we enjoyed doing them together for so many years.  The last three years Karl was doing the Sudoku number puzzle too but I never started."


PS:  I just viewed a short video on Don Hatfield's site that I know you all will enjoy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Floral on Battenberg Lace"

"Floral on Battenberg Lace"
Oil painting on linen  (36" x 24")  From the archives  SOLD

New Curtains

" I woke up this morning seeing the new curtains, plaid drapery with Battenberg lace insets, at the windows and the sun shining.

These curtains were my big project undertaken last week and warranted me buying a new Viking sewing machine.  Let me tell you - sewing is not at all like the old days.  Today it is a breeze to get the work done with a digital sewing machine.  Maybe, I'll sew something else now.  When I was a young mother I routinely designed and made clothes for myself and young sons.

This curtain sewing project has made me realize anew that my years of sewing is what gives the sense of measurement that comes easy in painting for me."

. . . .  . Oh, I forgot to tell you that hanging curtains and drapes is as hard as it ever was.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Karl Kasten"

© Nora Kasten
Oil on linen  (40" x 30")

"Today's blog is to share with others who are suffering loss too at this time.

Since being back home (and it's a good place) from The Journey I realize my blog projects a much more recovered Nora than the truth.  

It amazes me how many of my friends and family remark about what a Great time I had on my trip and how strong I am.   They don't have a clue!

Yes, it is very slowly getting better but not easy to just function every day.  The tears easily erupt at any time.  I still feel like I'm just marking time and going through the motions of life.   My intellect knows I must accept the fact that Karl is gone and will never return. . . .  but my heart still pines and yearns for my Beloved. " 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NORA KASTEN Artist Oil Painting "Mother & Child"

"Mother & Child"
© Nora Kasten
Oil painting on linen  (30" x 24")  From the archives  SOLD

"Today is voting day and here in Florida the races are close for governor and senate.  Hope my vote does some good."