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Author Archives: Harmony

Cheeky Rooster (and Cheeky Me): A Finally-Feeling-Good Update (and a barnyard fowl to boot)

Cheeky Rooster (and Cheeky Me): A Finally-Feeling-Good Update (and a barnyard fowl to boot)

 

Happy Health Update: I feel great!

(And I’m saying it with roosters. Well, one rooster. A roostette.)

 

Cheeky Rooster, watercolor on canvas by Harmony Harrison | from Cheeky Rooster (and Cheeky Me) | www.harmonywithanimals.com

Cheeky Rooster
watercolor on canvas board
8 x 10

 

Thanks to good medicine, good nutrition, and good thinking, I am back to feeling fabulous. I’m strong and energetic and capable again. That thick mental fog is gone, and once more my great brain is noggin-ensconced, fizzing and popping with neural verve.

Thank goodness for that! You have no idea how much the brain can change until your own brain takes a change for the worse – and then the better.

I mentioned that good thinking has been part of this grand health switcheroo, and it’s true: I’m learning, tiny bit by tiny bit, to challenge my automatic reaction to any symptoms that waggle their heads at me. Rather than allowing the guard dog in my brain bark up a storm of fire and fear, letting loose the slavering pack of symptoms, I’m paying attention to that guard dog’s alerts, and then making conscious decisions based on multiple factors. The result? I’m starting to be able to dodge those symptoms before they can bowl me over.

Hellooo, prefrontal cortex. I love you.

This new practice, as well as good nutrition and supplementation (did you know that zinc deficiency and hypothyroid go hand in hand? Look here, here, and here), have rocketed me out of the doldrums of dysfunction.

Now I am effervescent, spritely even, so bubbly I might make your sinuses ache. I even walked two miles while editing this post. And I’m celebrating this new dawn of well-being with, as mentioned, a rooster!

 

Cheeky Rooster (detail) watercolor on canvas by Harmony Harrison | from Cheeky Rooster (and Cheeky Me) | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 

(What? Not a kitty? Not a dog? I have recently discovered, much to my amazement, that there are animals beyond cats and dogs. I know – completely shocking. This painting is my first attempt to chronicle my new multi-species awareness.)

Big love and big thanks and big dog kisses to everyone here who wrote, commented, and gave me hugs of support while I healed. (I will withhold the rooster pecks of adoration, though.) I’m so grateful for you!

 


 

P.S. Notice how I didn’t mention much about the symptoms that had been plaguing me? That’s part of my International Love-Your-Prefrontal-Cortex Celebration. I’m deliberately moving my attention beyond symptoms to other, greater things. This is not your barnyard-variety positive thinking — it is a deliberate choice for training my attention, and thus my brain and my life. It seems to stop many symptoms before they can bite.

(And no, I’m not covering up any symptoms or suffering — far be it from me to hide my angst from the world. I actually do feel great — as cheeky as a rooster, my dears.)

 

 

Swimming Brains and Journal Pages: A hypothyroid update and a peek inside my art journal

Swimming Brains and Journal Pages: A hypothyroid update and a peek inside my art journal

 

Hello all! I’ve been quiet around here lately, mostly because I’ve hit more storms and swells in my hypothyroid voyage.

One of the many lovely results: Brain Overboard. I could hear the ker-splash as the little gray cells hit water. Fortunately, my brain knows the doggie-paddle and can steer with its stem till I fish it from the deeps.

Aside from the inability to think clearly and more bouts of fatigue than I care to swat at, I am on the mend. Witness me standing at my computer and typing: this would not have happened mere days ago. I think my sweet cerebellum is shouting instructions from the gurgling depths, and the rest of me, in neuro-wireless mode, is sailing along as best as can be, hollering, “What?” now and then when brain sinks beneath sea.

Good thing brains are made of fat — they operate as their own flotation devices, and up my bean comes bobbing once more.

In far less nautical terms, I’m practicing a lot of self-care lately, resting and reading ridiculous books starring kitties (Spam the Cat, anyone? It’s really cute), and of course making art. In fact, art and salads are the only things I’m making these days. The art appears mostly in my journal, whereas the salads appear mostly in bowls. The former I will share with you now, the latter having been munched.

 

pawprints

 

Of all my journal pages, this is the one of which I’m most proud, because I’m wired to be proud of all corgis everywhere.

 

Corgi journal page by Harmony Harrison | from Swimming Brains and Journal Pages | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 

 

Not to be dog-centric, here’s a rough cat sketch.

 

Kitty journal page by Harmony Harrison | from Swimming Brains and Journal Pages | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 

 

Continuing the non-dog-centric theme, the following was an experiment in the Lost Ark’s effects on kittykind.

 

Lost Ark Kitty journal page by Harmony Harrison | from Swimming Brains and Journal Pages | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 

 

In addition to these journal doodles, I have also been drawing on the right side of my brain (my earlier post about it is here, and the wonderful book by that title is here).

Doing this process takes a lot of focus, which is not always available to me at the moment. I have been intrigued to discover that my drawing skills are actually improving even when I’m not able to string words into sentences or do math outside my head, let alone within it. I want to share more about this drawing process soon, but will wait till my cranial roommate drips dry and is seated once more inside my skull.

But here’s a dog-centric peek…

 

 

Drawing on the Dog Side of the Brain? by Harmony Harrison | from Swimming Brains and Journal Pages | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 

 

Till next week, then, ahoy and et cetera. Thanks for sailing alongside me. May all of our brains swim in peace.

 

 

 

 

“Shadow”: A New Watercolor Dog and the Search for My Blue Heaven

“Shadow”: A New Watercolor Dog and the Search for My Blue Heaven

 

A couple of weeks ago, back in the dark ages when I had not yet crossed into the light that is forty, I posted a few watercolor-washed backgrounds that were just itching for a dog, cat, or marsupial to inhabit them.

Among them was the bare beginnings of a pup, picked out in gold paint. Here, that pup is finished. Her name is Shadow.

 

"Shadow" loose watercolor dog by Harmony Harrison | from Shadow | www.harmonywithanimals.com

Shadow
watercolor on paper
about 5×7

 

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is the beginning of her painting.

 

The beginnings of "Shadow," loose watercolor dog by Harmony Harrison | from Shadow | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 

Notice how much darker Shadow became from her inception to her completion. This darkness, I hope, is not some Anakin-to-Vader effect, but rather my continuing exploration into the depths of blue.

Shadow is done primarily in three colors: nickel-quinacrodone gold (a deep yellow), permanent alizarin crimson (a rich red), and indanthrone blue (which wants to take over the world).

I’m in love with the first two colors — gold and crimson make my heart leap and wiggle — but that blue… that blue… Its presence in the background was very dark, so dark that Miss Shadow eventually transmogrified from a yellow lab into a beautiful black lab, haloed by crimson to help her pop from the dark blue beyond.

So, I’m exploring different combinations of blues with some of my favorite other colors, and the effects of more or less water on the blueishness. Here we go, another peek into the odd scraps of paper from my studio:

 

Exploring watercolor combos | from Shadow | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 

Exploring watercolor combos | from Shadow | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 

Exploring watercolor combos | from Shadow | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 
 

We’ll see to what Blue Heaven this adventure leads.

Just Russell and me, and puppy makes three
we’re happy in my blue heaven…

 

 

In the meantime, while we wait for the divine to descend with the blue stuff, we have our beautiful Shadow to watch over us with her dark and patient eyes.

 

Detail of "Shadow," loose watercolor dog by Harmony Harrison | from Shadow | www.harmonywithanimals.com

 

To all you painters out there: Got a favorite blue — one that is both earthy and, um, sky-y? (Like a manganese blue with a bit more depth, perhaps?) Do share. :-)

 

 

Happy Birthday to Me, and to All You Lovely Glaciers Out There: In which, you will be relieved to know, my life wisdom is not shared

Happy Birthday to Me, and to All You Lovely Glaciers Out There: In which, you will be relieved to know, my life wisdom is not shared

    Today, I’m leaping out on a limb to publicly wish myself a Happy Birthday. And happy it is: I’m turning forty!       Though I am tempted to proselytize my profundity with deep and moving thoughts on the past four decades, not to mention the four-plus to come, I’ll rein myself in withContinue Reading

Some Background and Some Backgrounds: Where I’ve been, how I’ve been, and a little bit of paint swished on paper

Some Background and Some Backgrounds: Where I’ve been, how I’ve been, and a little bit of paint swished on paper

        For all those who are following my thyroid saga (here and here), thank you for all the great words of support. I’ve gotten emails and comments from so many wonderful people I’m grateful to call friends. I’m savoring all your comments one by one right now. Thank you. ♥ Soon we’ll haveContinue Reading

The Dog Blog Clowns Ride Again! While My Thyroid and I Sneak Off to a Corner to Sleep

The Dog Blog Clowns Ride Again! While My Thyroid and I Sneak Off to a Corner to Sleep

    Every now and then, something happens in my life or on this blog that requires the presence of clowns. Not just any clowns, but Dog Blog Clowns.         The Dog Blog Clowns are like rodeo clowns, but for bloggers. When things fall apart, they ride in to distract us while I call for a clean-upContinue Reading

Oh No! Another Nameless Dog! (a.k.a., Name That Pup) (A post in which I am not as wordless as I make myself out to be)

Oh No! Another Nameless Dog! (a.k.a., Name That Pup) (A post in which I am not as wordless as I make myself out to be)

    My last week has been packed tight, which earned me the American Badge of Honor for Extraordinary Busyness. (Note: apparently, you’re no one in our culture if you do not bear this badge. Want mine?) The result has been odd — a strange, burbly wordlessness — the feeling that, at the end of theContinue Reading

Intuition and Paint and Birthdays, Oh My! Exploring the connection between intuition and art (with our party hats firmly in place)

Intuition and Paint and Birthdays, Oh My! Exploring the connection between intuition and art (with our party hats firmly in place)

  It’s birthday season here. A couple of weeks ago, I painted Two for You — two loose watercolor dogs on canvas — for my sweetheart to celebrate his birthday. Just this past weekend, my sister-in-law’s birthday popped up — and my own (fortieth!) is soon to come. (Want to see what I made my sweetie’s sister lastContinue Reading

“Two for You”: Celebrating my Sweetie’s Birthday with Two New Dogs (of the painted variety) and a Tropical Storm Named “Carrot Cake”

“Two for You”: Celebrating my Sweetie’s Birthday with Two New Dogs (of the painted variety) and a Tropical Storm Named “Carrot Cake”

    This week was my sweetheart Russell’s birthday. My gift to him was dogs. Watercolor dogs, of course.       He unwrapped his gift on the couch before a recently-blazoning carrot cake (more on the carrot cake later). When he pulled the canvas from the gift bag (more on the gift bag later), his faceContinue Reading

The Ridiculous Strikes Back! Two Acts of Artsy Silliness Revealed (plus a possible third, if you dare)

The Ridiculous Strikes Back! Two Acts of Artsy Silliness Revealed (plus a possible third, if you dare)

    Ridiculous the First In last week’s episode, you joined the intrepid artist as she revealed her serious side. Turns out I can’t be serious for too long at a stretch. This is what recently happened:       From across the room, this kitty looks like she’s underwater, hunting, of course, for sardines. I’mContinue Reading

 
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The Beginner's Guide to
Animal Wisdom

is a little ebook that will help you listen to your animal pals.
Want the book & occasional newsletter? Sign up below.

(Or visit this cute little page to hear me fizz about why this book is fabulous!)

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