Author Archives: Andrea R Huelsenbeck

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

Sculpture Saturday

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More Sculpture Saturday.

Post-Pandemic Bucket List

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face mask; hand sanitizer; pandemic; Covid-19

If the pandemic ended tomorrow, what would you do?

Jump for joy! Celebrate! Hug all my friends! Hug all my enemies! (Would anyone even have an enemy in a pandemic-free world? With all that happiness? Not likely.) But seriously, we’ve all missed out on so many things we were looking forward to. Maybe we should make lists and prioritize.

Here are some of the things I will want to do:

  • Help my daughter plan her wedding. Her boyfriend proposed a year ago, and the plan was to be married by now. But Covid.
  • Travel. But first my hubby needs to get stronger. (We were supposed to go to my fifty-year high school reunion in New Jersey this past August, but Covid.) Maybe Singapore, even if we don’t leave the airport. (You saw this yesterday if you follow my Creative Juice. If you don’t, why not?)
  • Have a dinner party. We didn’t do a family Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t know what we’ll do for Christmas. But I’d love to have a big blast when the pandemic’s over.
  • Go to a writer’s conference. It’s been ages since I’ve been to one.
  • Go on a writer’s retreat. I actually dreamt about that this week. I need some undisturbed writing time.
  • Rejoin all my activities that got canceled. Like church choir and handbell choir, the Piecemakers quilting ministry, and Phoenix International Folk Dancers.
  • See all my friends whom I’ve only seen on Facetime and Zoom for so long.
  • Get a mani pedi.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Go out for dinner.
  • Go to the library.
  • Retail therapy. At a physical store. Trying on clothes.
  • Go hiking. I could probably do that now. The parks were closed for a while. A couple of weeks ago I drove to South Mountain Park, and the entire parking lot was packed. Duh—I went on a Sunday. I should have known better. So much for social distancing. I left and walked around the neighborhood instead.

Now it’s your turn. What are you looking forward to doing when there are no longer any restrictions? Share in the comments below.

Creative Juice #218

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Creative Juice #218

Turkey sandwich, anyone?

  • Rust is beautiful.
  • Who knew squirrels were so photogenic?
  • Artist turns very plain buildings into works of art with her wildflower murals.
  • Beautiful zentangles.
  • Ten things every writer needs.
  • Incredibly detailed drawings.
  • If you’re as old as me, perhaps you’re discouraged that the ideal of the American dream that we grew up with has degenerated into nightmare capitalism, where the rich grow richer and everyone else grows poorer. It’s time for a reset. I am so looking forward to reading this new book and hopeful for a new direction for our country and the world.
  • Monoprinting tutorial. I’ve never done this. I would have to buy supplies. Maybe I will someday. Or I could request this stuff from Santa. . .
  • Where do quilters get their ideas?
  • If you love Zentangle, you might like this Instagram page.
  • Sketching around the ‘hood.
  • Something for the Post-Pandemic Bucket List (see ARHtistic License tomorrow for more): a trip to Singapore, even if you don’t leave the Jewel Changi Airport.

In the Meme Time: Visionaries Needed

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Link: Let All Earth Give Thanks

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Link: Let All Earth Give Thanks

Are you thankful for nature? Click the link and scroll down to hear the author read her poem.

Video of the Week #281: Sketchbook Tour

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Wordless Wednesday: Berries

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Flower of the Day: Petunia

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8 Things I’m Thankful for in 2020

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Thanksgiving

So, is 2020 going down in your history book as the Worst. Year. Ever? Yeah, me too. Greg and I had so many health issues to deal with in 2019 that I thought for sure this year would be an improvement. I was wrong.

Yet even with all the challenges 2020 has brought, there also have been blessings. So I humbly thank God for all the good that I have witnessed:

  1. My husband is alive. Greg has been struggling with vertigo for years. He’s tried a variety of treatments, and they’ve all helped a little, but he still had debilitating balance problems that caused him to repeatedly fall and hit his head. His last hope was surgery for the spinal stenosis that the doctor determined was the cause of his problems. So on March 11, Greg went into the hospital for a discectomy and fusion from C-3 to C-6 (in his neck). We were assured that this was a routine procedure and he would be in the hospital for one night, two max. Unfortunately, Greg did not snap back after surgery. To make a long story short, he lost the ability to walk and to swallow, and he was extremely disoriented. Eight days after surgery he went into the ICU with aspiration pneumonia, influenza B, H1N1, and metabolic encephalopathy. The next day the hospital closed to visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It would be ten more weeks before we saw him again. Fifteen days after surgery they inserted a feeding tube into his stomach, and sent him to a skilled nursing facility. He came home at the end of May. He still has many physical challenges, but he is slowly improving.
  2. Greg and his brother have reconnected after very little contact for many years. When I didn’t know if Greg was going to pull through, I realized Peter would be devastated if he didn’t have a chance to talk to Greg. I decided to call and let him know Greg was very ill, so if he did pass away, Peter would at least have a little bit of time to process it. Peter and Greg were eventually able to talk to each other on the phone, and they’ve spoken every week since.
  3. My son is fully recovered from Covid-19. He’s the only member of our family who’s been stricken, and we were concerned because he’s diabetic. He took good care of himself, and we ran errands for him. (He lives nearby.)
  4. Friends reached out to us to offer assistance and make sure we’re okay. If I do have a need, I know multiple people I can call for help. I am so touched by the outpouring of love, not only to me, but throughout the country, as people cared for their neighbors.
  5. We have remained financially solvent through the pandemic so far. We have everything we need. We were able to contribute to the local food bank and also help our son, whose job was eliminated.
  6. Our other son was promoted in his job. It means a little more money for him, and a lot more responsibility, but it’s nice to see him recognized for his dedication and skill.
  7. We have hobbies and the time to pursue them. We are both retired teachers, and I am so relieved we don’t have to deal with the difficulties of working during a pandemic. I pray for all the people who are tasked with juggling extra duties and precautions, and I thank God for the people who are keeping our world running.
  8. Zoom. In March, my Bible study proposed we start meeting again via Zoom. I’d never heard of it, and I was reluctant to learn a new technology. But Zoom and other apps like GoToMeeting have been like a life preserver, allowing me to connect with people I care about (and also to see doctors remotely).

As much as I mourn the loss of life-as-we-knew-it, I am happy that I’m having positive experiences as well. We will get through this rough year if we reach out and help each other.

Thank you, God, for loving us and for your provisions for us. Help us to join in and help our neighbors negotiate this difficult time. Amen.

Now it’s your turn. What are you thankful for this year? Please share in the comments below.

Flower of the Day: Yellow Daisies

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