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Friends -

There are a few times in my life where things have happened that change me. There was about 10 days this July 2010 that did just that. It had to do with work, poorly done, from a profession that I used to respect and trust -- surgeons who were treating my daughter for her hyperthyroid condition. Suffice it to say that the surgery was not done correctly, and worse - the post-surgery response to the severe symptoms of tetany that my daughter experienced was cavalier, incorrect and incompetent (at best).

At the same time, my house was under siege by ants. At first (pre-surgery) there were just a few little ant scouts looking around for goodies. But as the days went by and the agony of watching my daughter's unnecessary suffering continued, the ants got worse and worse. I wiped them away every night and cleaned the kitchen up and down, stored even cereals in the refrigerator. It stays in my memory that, as things were going worse and worse for my daughter, the ants were multiplying and taking over my kitchen. And when she finally got a competent endocrinologist to prescribe the correct therapy, my daughter recovered completely. It felt like a miracle. And strangely, at the same time, the ants in my kitchen disappeared.

In my mind they will always be connected, and I had to do this gourd as a result. Very difficult to photograph -- every angle of it has an expression of what took place and the photos just don't do it justice. You will have to come and see it to know what I mean. El Dorado County Artists Studio Tour - September 24 & 25, October 2 & 3.

Please let me know if you need more details about the tour -- or the ants.

margie lopez read