Sharing a little about my thoughts and about myself

I have not written a blog yet, but I thought I give it a try. Also, I'm fairly new to The Art Colony, but have never encountered such a wonderful group. By accident, I found The Art Colony, when I posted a question online and was led to this site. The comments and assistance I get from other artists are so encouraging. My wish is that I can share my knowledge with others for their advancement in art. We all have a common goal and enjoy what we are doing. It is really great to be a member of this community. Every day now, and not just once but several times, I check what is new, admire the various artworks of others, and try to learn how to get around. Quite a lot is being offered.

I'm a grandmother, and my husband and I raise our two grandchildren. Christian is ten and Malinda is fourteen. Assisting with homework, dealing with schools and teachers, is a different ballgame than doing art. It is good that I have a variety in my daily schedule. Having these two children around keeps me up to date in today's world. Beside this, I also enjoy cooking. An additional entertainment I have are my five birds, Nikki -  African Grey, Kirby and Lacey - lovebirds, Snow White and Peppi - budgies, and Lacy, the dog. My life is pretty colorful. Yes, I find the time for painting, drawing, and designing.

I'm a self-taught artist and painted on and off for the last 40 years, but never seriously. In 2011, I had my third spine surgery, which was the result of an automobile accident, caused by a drunk female driver. This last surgery left me paralyzed from the hips down. What a rude awakening. Now, I almost, but not quite, see it as a positive happening. Do you know WHY? I discovered anew my love for painting. I was no longer able to drive, so most of my time was and still is spent at home. I have sold paintings, participated in shows and got awards, and one painting was accepted at the International Peace Exhibition at the Nagasaki International Peace Museum in Nagasaki, Japan. I belong to an Artist Guild. Other artists, including myself, meet once a month, critique each other, and have a Japanese artist as a guide. 

In the meantime, I also accomplished another mile stone. For close to two years now and with hard work, I learned to walk with a walker. My left leg can push 188 pounds on a leg press, which is normal. The right leg is much slower, but is still improving. As you can see, what hard and disciplined work can accomplish. My physical therapist, whom I see only every other month now, told me that he had never experienced a process like mine in his entire career. I still continue with my daily exercises, which are so important. This is only one part of my life's journey.

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Comment by Pat on October 29, 2014 at 11:15am

Wow Rita.......I'm glad that you found us too. You accomplished so much, you should be very proud!

Comment by Rita Lulay Malsch on October 29, 2014 at 11:20pm

Pat, Yes, I'm very happy that I found The Art Colony. You moderators are such selfless and wonderful people. The artists are really nice, too, and the comments are always appreciated.

At times I really walked on a rocky road, but the people who know me personally, as well as my doctors, tell me that it is my attitude that got me that far, and that I always smile. I'm proud of myself. The adjustment was not easy at all. Getting out of anesthesia and realize that you cannot move your legs and be unable to walk, was just plain unbelievable. I then spent three months at a Rehabilitation Center. This was also hard work to learn to be self-sufficient, which I'm now. I'm not able to drive , but I have adjusted to that. Beside my walker, I have a scooter, which is also fun.  This helps me to get around. I'm also glad that I found my love for painting. This is very therapeutic and fun. I actually feel no longer handicapped. Maybe one day I will be able to walk without a walker. I manage now to walk one-handed. 

Comment by Pat on October 29, 2014 at 11:26pm

I'll be waiting to hear you say that you just walked without a walker Rita. Glad that you're here.

Comment by Jess on October 31, 2014 at 8:31am

Rita, I admire your courage and determination, I am so glad you have achieved so much in such a very little time. I am confident that you will be walking without the use of aids in no time at all. But most important to all of this is your positive attitude, which I agree is the key to you achieving so much so very quickly, and think what an amazing role model you are to your grandchildren - to believe that no matter how hard life gets you just keep fighting. Thanks for sharing with us Rita, and keep fighting and painting. I look forward to seeing your next artwork.

Comment by Rita Lulay Malsch on November 2, 2014 at 7:14am

Jess, Thank you for your encouraging comment. Yes, I keep on fighting. Guess what? Today, I made my first three steps without the assistance of the walker. I stood inside the walker, just in case. I will now try this more often. Tonight, all of a sudden, I decided to give it a try. Well, it worked. As I mentioned before that my left leg is normal, but my right leg was very far behind. It seems to continue to get stronger, otherwise, I would not have been able to do this tonight. Also, in the evening the legs are tired, but I still was able to do it. 

Comment by Maureen Craddock on November 2, 2014 at 4:22pm
Rita, thanks for sharing yourself with all of us. What a wonderful story about turning life's challenges into positives.It is inspiring to hear a story about someone like you who has so much strength. I was impressed that you raise your grandchildren. It can be exhausting raising children, especially after you raised your own already. Dealing with homework these days is no easy task! So when I read on and saw that you are doing this while working through your own challenges I was so in awe.Your family is blessed to have you! I wish you continuous health, and happiness, and many more happy days creating art. Namaste, Maureen
Comment by Rita Lulay Malsch on November 2, 2014 at 5:36pm

Maureen, Thank you so much for your comment. I never realized that I did all these things until I wrote it down. Guess what? Last night, I accomplished three steps without the assistance of my walker. I was surrounded by my walker, just to play it safe. It was a wonderful feeling to experience that..

Comment by Maureen Craddock on November 4, 2014 at 6:10pm

Rita I am so happy for you that you took those steps.Your comment is so true about not realizing everything until you write it down.  When my daughter was in kindergarten the nurse called to ask if everything was ok at home because Anna kept going to the nurse.I said not really. But I stopped by to see the nurse anyway. As we talked I realized there was a ton of things going on in our lives, in the moment it was a bit overwhelming when I  laid it all out. So I could only imagine how my five year old felt . Not all was bad but it was a lot of changes. I guess sometimes it can work to our advantage that we are so busy we don't realize how much we have on our plates. I know when my mom passed away it was really good for my Dad to have his grandkids around, he lives with us. My youngest was just born at the time and she was a huge comfort to him. Its been 15 years since my mom passed and my father and my youngest are thick as thieves!  Continued success with those steps Rita, I will defiantly be rooting for you!

Comment by Rita Lulay Malsch on November 4, 2014 at 9:56pm

Maureen, Thank you for your encouraging comment and sharing about your own life situation. It is not always a smooth ride, but if we face it, most of the issues are no longer issues. I keep on with my given journey. I cannot complain, and I think that God was with me and is with all of us in all our life's challenges. Also, I believe in the power of prayer. Many people prayed for me and continue to do so.. This gives me comfort, too. When dramatic things strike us, to whom can we turn? If we have a supporting family, this helps, yet we are still alone in our journey. Our Lord will never abandon us. During the years after my paralyses, I felt comforted by a higher power, despite everything. I think that I was also open to it.

Comment by Robert Wiegand on November 5, 2014 at 8:23pm
Rita, you're my shero! I'm a 65-year-old male. You are inspiring to me. I laud you for working your way back to not having to use a chair. I'm sure you've put a lot of work into your progress. For this, I admire you. May you continue to make even more progress, and may you become as good an artist as you aspire to be. But we all know that it's endless. We can always get better, and you're a great testimony to that. Than you for the inspiration.


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