Day 195 – Apple Love

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Ninety Five

I love and adore my AS friends!

I have been so touched by your courage, strength, and unending hope and love.

Please pass this along to anyone who has showed you love and support. You can right click on the image and save it to your computer.

Print it, email it, or post it to a friends Facebook wall with this note:

“Thank you ______ . I’ve needed your support and understanding because living with AS is very difficult and challenging for me at times. You have given me compassion, you have not doubted me, and most of all you have stood by me – that makes you my cherished friend. This apple is full of my love to you”

Until tomorrow.


Day 195 was created in ink and watercolor – and a whole bunch of love!


Day 194 – My Nest

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Ninety FourMy Mom is my best friend.

Well, my best girlfriend because my husband Doug and my Dad are my best friends too.

I am so lucky that they are all right here with me on this journey to create 365 apples. None of them told me I was crazy, none of them has ever doubted me in my quest. But, my Mom is my mom and my girlfriend and it’s a bit different – and very, very special. She is there for me whenever I need a sounding board or a pep talk. She is there for me cheering me on and helping me come up with ideas. She has also always known when to push me out of the nest and since we are so close (unfortunately not in miles but in spirit) she has had to tip me over that edge over and over and over in my life. I’m just so lucky that she’s also always been there to break my fall.

We were talking this afternoon and like most conversations we have in the late afternoon, I was bemoaning the fact that I had no idea what to create for the day. I think I may be getting to be a bit of a bore on the topic so thank goodness it’s my Mom who hears my frustrations and not all of you! So, today I was wondering what to create and she suggested a bird’s nest – the suggestion has been floated before but I’ve never gone with it even though I love the idea. So we laughed and we said goodnight – and she wondered what I would end up creating for her to see first thing in the morning when she signs on to The Feeding Edge for her “Daily Apple”

Won’t she be surprised that I used her idea!

Until tomorrow.


Day 194 was created in graphite, acrylic, watercolor, and strips of magazine clippings.

Day 192 – The Best Laid Plans

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Ninety TwoI’m sitting in the lobby at the condominium complex near Winterpark Ski Resort. There is a big roaring fire and Ella is laying by my feet.

I take internet access for granted. It appears wherever I am in my home, I have it on my phone and free hot spots exist at any Starbucks, McDonalds, or Panera. So I wasn’t quite prepared for the condo to not have wifi in the room. Humph!

My husband has a verizon card for his business computer but I felt very unplugged yesterday even though that was supposed to be the point and I could see emails and most of the happenings of FB and Twitter – the whole picture of what is going on is difficult to see via my Droid. Now – for a mere (HA!) extra $29.99/month I can make my phone a hotspot. Sorry Verizon I’d have to be in an absolute emergency to pay that!

I knew I would have to post twice from a location away from home and I knew I could do it but I didn’t plan on forgetting to pack my laptop charger. Uugh! Call it too much going on – Call it FibroFog – Call it typical (ask Doug his opinion on the matter) – whatever the “reason” maybe it’s just life telling me to unplug for a bit and apparently the only way I can do that is to have no way to get on my computer once the battery is dead. Oh – and Doug may need to toss my cell phone out the window.

So although it will be extremely difficult –  after I press publish on this post, all my attention will be on my sweet and lovely husband who has put up with so much in the last 6 months. He is my biggest fan and supporter but he deserves at least 36 hours of me off my laptop or phone. He absolutely deserves this from me because I spend all day working on my projects and then I spend all night. Our normal life has been very disrupted and for that I owe him an apology.

I will power them both down until I post tomorrow night because today is my 12th Wedding Anniversary. I slept in – really slept in. Besides being woken at 5am by the dog and  telling her to go back to sleep. There were no insistent cats meows and pawing near my face to get up and feed their poor starving souls. Doug didn’t wake me instead he went to get me a latte at  Starbucks and a beautiful vase of flowers! I love him and thank goodness he still loves me – I think I can be sometimes difficult, demanding, driven and after 14 years of being together – these last six months have not been easy for him. He refuses to let me give up but he also misses me. And he’s right there hasn’t been a lot of room left for him lately. But we will get through it together!

I have to admit that there is a huge part of me looking forward to October 1st – don’t get me wrong but true relaxation and a day off don’t exist for me right now. My mind will not let go. I guess that is just what happens when you work on something so passionately but I’ve become a bit obsessed and driven beyond what is healthy. I’m trying to find a better balance for myself but also for my husband who had been a rock through all of these years of helping me through a life with AS.

Come day 366 – I will still be working for AS awareness and I will still occasionally create an apple but I will also be sitting on a beach somewhere drinking Mai Tai’s and waiting for my massage! I think we may need to start planning that now! Where should we go because with me – the best laid plans need lots of planning!

Until tomorrow.


Day 192 was created in acrylic and watercolor.

Day 191 – Saturday Apple No. 5

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Ninety One

Sometimes you’ve just got to get away!

Doug and I packed up the car, loaded Ella our Aussie-Border Collie mutt in the back, and headed for the mountains this afternoon. The drive up was just beautiful and we would have played “Yellow” the entire way if Doug had had his way. I made it through Denver and managed to tie up the game when I realized that by playing I wasn’t relaxing – I was on alert.

We love playing car games, we’re geeks that way, but the entire  point of our trip was to get away from the intensity of our lives. So I called a time out.

It can be so difficult to recognize when in our lives we really just need to say “stop!”

Until tomorrow.


Day 191 was created in watercolor.

About the game Yellow : Yellow is sort of like slug bug. My nephews Nate and Jarod introduced us to the game. When you are in the car – you yell out “Yellow!” whenever you see a yellow vehicle. Heavy equipment like Caterpiller yellow bulldozers and backhoes are excluded as well as yards or lots of schoolbuses or Ryder trucks. Singles are acceptable and you automatically win the game if you see a yellow bug. Now – we’ve added a recent new rule – if you see one of those three wheeled motorcycles in yellow – props for ever – well until they are everywhere anyway!

Day 190 – Gidday Australia!

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Ninety


A shout out to all my Australian friends!

I have met just the nicest people on this apple journey and I never thought I’d know anyone from Australia.

But, in fact, I’ve met a number of wonderful people. Naomi Creek was the first person to sign up for the Daily Apple email and her mother-in-law Betty has been such a lovely and unexpected jewel. On top of Naomi and Betty, I recently met Kate, a fellow AS’er, gluten free chef, and blogger. These three ladies make me crave a visit to the land down under – not for their amazing sights or connection to AS, but to meet my friends.

In addition to these new friendships, I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to provide my Day 135 Calligram Apple for a poster being given out at a seminar on Sunday in Melbourne for physiotherapists. I also did a video telling them about the Apples for AS and Hope & Apples Awareness Campaign.

Gidday and thank you to Australia and my amazing new friends!

Until tomorrow.


Day 190 was created in mixed media.

Day 188 – Spring in the Rockies!

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Eighty Eight

It finally feels like spring has hit the Rockies!

My tulips are up and blooming and the rhubarb is going crazy. I cannot wait for gardening season to get some much needed sun and exercise.

I hope you don’t mind that my posts have been small lately – the Hope & Apples Awareness Campaign is keeping me super busy but I promise you I will not miss a day of posting my daily apple! Check out the amazing stories at the new Hope And Apples website!

Until tomorrow.


Day 188 was created in watercolor.

Day 186 – Ace of Apples

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Eighty Six I’m not working with a full deck tonight!

It has been a busy day here because there is so much going on in the world of Apples for AS and the new amazing Hope & Apples AS Awareness Campaign. More great and big news happening all the time – I can not wait to share what I was working on today. Stay tuned!

I want to take a minute to thank Rick Pokerwinski for his amazing efforts and welcome him to our team. Kelly, Rick, Sean, and I look forward to a great April and with your help our united voices will be heard!

Until tomorrow.


Day 186 was created in black, brown, grey, green, and red ink.

Day 185 – Sundae Apple

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Eighty FiveWhat a crazy glorious day!

Google had an image of a sundae today on their page to honor of the 119th anniversary of the first documented ice cream sundae (see below).  A Sundae for a Sunday afternoon seemed fitting and with an apple on top it’s even better!

The first job I had in high school was scooping ice cream on Cape Cod at a place called Steve’s Ice Cream. The ice cream was homemade in the store and you would feel the butter fat on the roof of your mouth for ages after finishing a scoop!

I am an ice cream fanatic. My favorite flavors are pure and not over sweetened or candied. Sweet Cream is my all time favorite but I’ve never met one to match the sweet cream from Steve’s. I think you can still find Steve Herrell making ice cream in Northhampton, MA – he was there for years at a shop called Herrell’s – I’d drive the half hour from UMASS in Amherst where I went to college when I needed a fix!

The Hope & Apples AS Awareness campaign is starting off in an amazing fashion – perhaps it’s Hope with an Apple on top! I think so anyway – the apples are just the perfect accompaniment to our stories and the power of our collective voices.

Until tomorrow.


Day 185 was created in brown ink and watercolor!






*** Update*** I googled Steve Harrell and he is still in Northampton at Herrell’s – and he’s now franchising his ice cream shoppes – now that is calling my name!

Day 184 – Saturday Apple No. 4

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Eighty Four

Saturday may be my favorite day of the week.

It’s a bit of a celebration around here. Doug and I catch up, run errands, go to lunch and through the spring and summer – garden and grill!

For the rest of my year of apples – expect a “Saturday Apple” – just something pretty.

Until tomorrow.


Day 184 was created in watercolor.

***Update*** The Hope & Apples campaign is in full swing – for more information about the project please visit the Hope & Apples page at the Hurting But Hopeful Blog!


Day 183 – Hope & Apples

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Eighty is proud to announce a partnership with with the launch of a joint effort.  Our “Hope & Apples” Campaign is only the first project of many to come.

ASAP and Apples For AS are proud to present our community outreach project in honor of  Spondylitis Awareness Month. We have joined forces to sponsor the largest, and most powerful awareness project to date.  What makes it so powerful?  YOU DO.  Everyone knows the power that each AS patient’s voice has.  Our goal is to have you join us in teaching the world what AS is and how it affects each person’s life.  We want to hear your story!  By sending us your personal experiences with AS and how it has affected your life, you are taking a stand.  You are standing up and telling the world that we DO have a voice, we DO exist.

Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  Art is a way for many people from all over the world to deal with the stress and pain of a chronic illness.  By being creators, by becoming artists we can express our emotions and convey a message.  By combining a visual message in the form of an apple for AS,  with the stories you create about how AS affects your life, then we are portraying an accurate picture of what it is like to have Ankylosing Spondylitis.  Can you imagine having 1000 different stories, and 1000 different apples, but they all have one thing in common; AS?  Powerful.

AS isn’t just a disease that affects 33 million people world wide and 2.4 million people in the US alone.  We have heard this statistic before, but what does it mean?  It means that no one is going to listen until we all speak up.  It means that our collective voices should be heard.  We are not getting our message out.  There is power in numbers, YOU do have a voice.  When you participate in “Hope & Apples” the entire AS community stands in unity against AS.  Our voices will be heard!

How can you help?

  1. Decide on a topic about AS then write us a story connecting the topic you chose to your personal life.
  2. Create an apple using your imagination and your hands.  Once your apple is complete, upload it as an image to the ASAP Facebook wall.
  3. Share the “Hope & Apples” Campaign with others!

As a thank you for participating in our “Hope & Apples” campaign, upon completion of your story and your apple, you will be entered for a chance to win some awesome prizes!  We will randomly choose 10 participants to win ASAP and The Feeding Edge T-Shirts.  Also, a grand prize for the most inspiring story/apple combo will recieve an Apple Iphone 3G with a custom case designed by Jenna Visscher.  The deadline for entries is May 5, 2011.

Please email your entry to and post your apple to the ASAP Facebook page too!

Topic ideas & links

For inspiration we will be posting ideas daily as discussion topics on ASAP. To get you started here are a couple of questions to stir the creative juices. For writing topics:

What is your diagnosis story?

What does a life with AS look like?

What do you wish people knew about AS?

For creative apples ideas you can go to The Feeding Edge where Jenna Visscher has already made over 180 daily apples for AS awareness as well as guest apples from some of your favorite spondys and their family.

You can also get thoughts on techniques here.

Until tomorrow….. hope & apples!


Day 183 was created in black india ink & watercolor – oh and a touch of metallic acrylic ink!

*** By submitting your story and apple to the “Hope & Apples” campaign and contest, you are giving ASAP and Apples for AS the publishing rights to print, reproduce and license your story and art .