Abstract Care Bear


This acrylic abstract ACEO painting was inspired by a stuffed, plush Care Bear toy I received for Christmas. Can anybody guess which Care Bear it was that inspired the painting? Comment below and I’ll let you know if you guess right!


Mystery Abstract Painting Guessing Game

I painted this gouache painting a little while back and several people have taken guesses at what the subject of the painting is, but none of them have been right. Can you guess what inspired it? Feel free to leave a comment below and take a shot at it! I’ll reveal the correct answer in the comments when someone guesses right!


How Accurate are Blood and Skin Allergy Tests?


Well, I’ve officially started allergy shots. Not long ago they conducted a skin allergy test on me to see if that might be contributing to my chronic ear/sinus/respiratory infections. They had already once run an allergy blood test on me (which showed I was only allergic to dogs), but they said the skin allergy test was more accurate and wanted to see what it read. So, I took a week off from all allergy medicines (which was awful in itself in many ways…and who knew that going off Zyrtec could cause withdrawal symptoms???), and then went for the allergy test.

They ended up poking me almost 100 times, checking various strengths of 27 different common allergens. By the time the lady had gotten to the third round of testing (around the 60th shot), I was really struggling to make it through. Fibromyalgia makes your pain response to anything worse anyhow, and getting stuck that many times can begin to feel like some kind of medieval torture device. By the end, my arms looked like cheese graters, with rows of holes all over them.

I waited a few minutes for the nurse to tally the results and found out I was allergic to 22 of the 27 things they tested for, which means 3 vials worth of shots that I’ll have to take for the next 3-5 years. While the ENT doctor does not think this alone is at the root of my chronic infections, she definitely thinks it could help.

The thing that frustrates me greatly is that I was tested for all this stuff by blood test a few years ago and it only showed ONE allergy! How in the world could the blood test be that inaccurate that it didn’t show one other allergen, when I am allergic to at least 21 other common allergens to the point that I need long-term treatment? I know for a fact many of the things I tested greatly allergic to in the skin test WERE also things they tested for in the blood test. In fact, for the skin test, I tested LESS allergic to dogs than many of the other allergens that didn’t show up at all in the blood test! How could the first test have been so inaccurate, and do physicians know exactly how inaccurate the test can be? If so, it sure would have been nice if someone would have told me back then. Maybe it could have helped prevent a few years’ worth of pain and suffering!

I’m curious, has anyone else had both tests and had such widely varying results? If so, did anyone ever explain to you why? I would sure like to know for myself.

Skeleton Creek book #4 ‘The Raven’

I’ve really enjoyed reading the Skeleton Creek young adult series of books by Patrick Carman.  I actually came upon the first volume while looking through the books at our local Goodwill store.  I couldn’t really tell what it was about, since there was nothing written on either cover about the story, but it seemed like a scary tale and I do love horror, so I picked it up and gave it a try.

I immediately liked the main character Ryan, mostly because he is a fellow lover of words who strives to be a great writer.  I was surprised to find how much I liked the secondary character, Sarah, who is Ryan’s best friend and his partner in crime.  Although Ryan is smart and likeable, Sarah is brave, ferocious and determined to a fault.  Her passion for video-making and getting in trouble often puts her in the spotlight and in some ways outshines the reserved, cautious Ryan.

The fourth book in this series, ‘The Raven’ carries on with Sarah and Ryan’s adventures as they seek to unravel the mysteries of a secret organization called ‘The Crossbones’.  Like the prior novels in the series, this book has accompanying video clips that you can actually watch online, a hook to be sure, but an effective one.  Of course, I was halfway through the first book before I figured out that the website was real…guess I’m just too old to keep up with the current trends in technology!

Anyhow, it seems that this last book tied up all the loose ends, so I’m not sure if the series will continue or not, but it has been an entertaining journey.  Several things I have really liked about the series include:

  • The videos…a great tool to get reluctant readers, or those who are constantly attached to the computer to sit down and actually read a book!
  • The journeys that Sarah makes to real-life haunted places looking for clues.  Each stop has it’s own little docu-drama and appeals to ghosthunters like me!
  • The entire series, and the last book in particular, have a real connection to Edgar Allan Poe (my favorite writer of all time).  It is a fitting tribute to the reigning master of horror, mystery and science fiction stories.  It’s always great to see an author who finds a way to interest current youth in classic authors.