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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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  • E-mail me at:

    sara at saraarts dot com

    Make sure the subject line of your correspondence is clear and specific. I do not open e-mails from strangers unless I can tell in advance that I want to read them.

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  • I Took The Handmade Pledge!

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Whoah. That was a big golf ball. And whoah, you have a butterfly in your brain! I was looking at brain illustrations yesterday (looking for a coronal illustration of basal ganglia because the client specifically requested a coronal view - schizophrenia project I'm working on). I'll have to take another look at them and see if I can see what the butterfly is! My understanding of brain parts is pretty minimal, but it looks like where the left and right hemispheres come together.


Yes, I think you're right. I just don't know what those spaces are for or what they're called. Maybe it's just reserve space specifically for the advent of brain swelling!

Just think: You probably have a butterfly in your brain, too. I've looked at hundreds of MRIs of the brain, and most of them revealed one. Does it make you feel all fluttery in your head to think about it? It did me the first time I saw this, and still kind of does -- happy fluttery, though, not creepy fluttery. Like, wow, beauty everywhere, you know? What a gift to be able to see it -- even though I am sore in both hands and arms from the experience!

And my, Leslee, your job really does give you an interesting range of projects! How fun.

The Goldfish

What a lovely parietal lobe you have! And that really is kind of amazing; I mean that the brain was so squished to one side and now, a month later... wow....

I think the butterfly is made up of your lateral and tertiary ventricles (the tertiary one being the butterfly's body, as it were). That's what I think.


It is amazing. It's like, "SPROINGGGG! All better!" Wild, right?

There's also this stuff underneath the probably ventricular butterfly that all together looks almost like a bearded iris. In the top picture, it looks like a very much trampled bearded iris. In the bottom picture, it too is back to a balanced, serene pose.

Ah, peace in the garden, my little brain garden.

Thank you for complimenting my parietal lobe. Not everyone can appreciate it. ;)


'Sproing!' is pretty much what I was going to say! Isn't that weird...Out comes the golf ball and everything springs back into place. Human anatomy is so bizarre.
And sorry about the poking. I get so stressed before my CT scans because I know that finding-the-vein is not a fun game at all.


OMG, me too! I was telling my true love that I was far more worried about the gadolinium injection than I was about whatever the MRI would reveal.

I just got done talking about my frickin' needle-phobia over at Jeanne's place in the "What Embarrasses You?" post. Yeah, it's embarrassing. But it also drives me crazy that we don't have a better way of delivering this particular type of contrast into our bloodstreams yet. Seriously, does every little thing have to be put in or taken out via needle or knife? Everything? Gah! It's the 21st frickin' century already! Why don't we have something better yet?

Sugared Harpy

Oh my lands, Find the Vein is a game I hate. I always want to throw my game pieces and say, "Screw you guys, I'm going home!"

Your butterfly and SPROINGGGGGED brain is utterly beautiful, my dear.


Thank you, sweetie. I'm sure your butterfly is beautiful, too, and I hope your brain remains perfect and never has to be SPROINGGGed.

I have thrown my game pieces and gone home before. While it soothed me in the moment, I have to confess that it is just not a good long-term solution, because whatever it was that put me in play in the first place would always still be there tomorrow and not getting any better, so I would still have to go back and finish the game, and it was always harder and worse later.

So yesterday, I told the nurses several times that I was completely done, totally over my limit, and needed them to stop. I think I told them this three times. "Okay, so do you want to schedule the contrast for another day?" asked the very kind and accommodating MRI tech.

"No. See, the problem is, I really need this study, but I don't think I'll be able to drag myself back here any time soon. And we are trying to get a one-month-post-surgical baseline study, and we won't have it if I don't do it today. So just give me five minutes, and let's try it just one more time." And then they all went away, and while they were gone, I breathed the way my therapist taught me, but also with my hands in yoga mudras because it felt right. And then they came back and we tried again.

And it was worth it. It really was. Not for this blog post, of course, but see now we'll be able to tell when/if the mo-fo ever tries to grow back.

Still, it's a stupid, stupid game, and I would very much like medical science to devise a better one.

kathy a.

ah, sara. you have a beautiful brain. and i'm glad the nurses hung in there with you. stupid poking, icky contrast.

that golf ball was Not A Good Thing, and i'm glad it is gone, and everything has gone back to happiness and butterflies. xoxo


Thank you, Kathy A.! And no. Things that crush poor unassuming butterflies are definitely Not Good. I'm glad the mo-fo is gone, too.

And I'm sure you also have a lovely brain, though I hope no one has any cause to look at it, if you know what I mean. :)

Ron Sullivan

I love "Sproing!"

I also love "gadolinium." This is the element that, in sufficient concentrations of uptake by the gadbladder and activated by a seasonal upsurge in Vitamin D, causes us to want to gad about here and there to different places to frolic in the springtime, right?

Go, butterfly!


Massive hugs, and my apologies for only catching up on your site today. Sooooo glad that you are ok.


Ron -- Yes, my butterfly gads about much better, or at least more visibly, after an injection of gadolinium. Too bad about my arms, hands and wrists, though, which are STILL sore from all the puncturing. Oh, well. At least I've got the power of SPROING. In a month or so it'll be for even those poor pierced parts as though none of this ever happened.

BLC -- No apologies necessary! In fact, because you are one of the people who paid for my brain surgery, THANK YOU!

Berkley Bird Lady

Sara, your skull MRI shots are beautiful- having a pin head myself, I always envied a good sized, well shaped noggin. That size golf ball in my skull would have been worse. Much trouble as it caused, the tumor is amazing- nicely shaped, and in the outskirts of town, looking well walled off, to my untrained eyes.
If I were a brain surgeon, I couldn't wait to get my scalpel on that thing!

Phyl van Ammers

The URL is just for the courses I teach at CSUN. I don't really know how to do much on the computer.

Does you need any yellow chintz fabric?

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