Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Album of the Heart ~ June 18, 1880

To a Friend

When years have passed away
And change is brought to thee,
I'd have this slight memorial claim
A single thought for me,

And as you glance this album o'er
Where fond thoughts are enshrined,
Let memory's voice in whisper low,
Speak to thee of friends and time.

Your Friend
Ella E. Burnett
San Juan, Cal.
The lithograph is from the Album of the Heart. The actual title is "Bridal Wreath" but I saw two friends, old and young, sharing some moments in time. The beauty of art is that it is always open to interpretation. I researched the poem and could find no reference to an author other than Ella. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

More Homework ~ July 15, 2013

The morning of the 11th dawned with one message "make it up as you go". A few errands out of the way and off we went. First stop was Salvation Army thrift store complex on Lytton Springs just north of Healdsburg. It's one of our favorite haunts.

We found a couple of giant woks that will translate well into great container gardens for our growing family of succulents. We also discovered 20 bins of books next to the checkout kiosk. At bin 18 I uncovered a paperback called "Crazy, Sexy, Cancer Tips" by Kris Carr with a forward from Cheryl Crow. I read the first pages standing in the morning sun and started laughing out loud. This book definitely needed to be in my library.

Kris was diagnosed with a rare vascular cancer called epithelioid hemangio-endothelioma (EHE for short). Though our diagnoses were very different we both had the same reaction on being told we had cancer: Holy Shit! 

She documented her journey with humor and a no nonsense approach of taking charge that rang true with me. She reinforced a lot of what I was already doing: writing, creating art, taking notes and questioning authority. The book is a great road map for all glorious Cancer Babes. It opened my eyes to what more I could be doing. After all we are warriors and it's time to start training.

  • Shake my ass
  • Create a cancer posse ~ more on this later
  • Rethink my diet ~ can you spell China Study?
  • Drink more water
  • Stretch more ~ Yoga
  • List of 10 things you've always wanted to do ~ no jumping out of a plane isn't one of them
The body heals eight times faster with exercise: it floods the body with oxygen, helps rid it of toxins, and releases endorphins to make you feel good. What's not to like? Walking 6-8 miles a week is a start. Now it's time to start shaking my ass with abandon to one song a day on the radio. As serendipity would have this morning's random choice on XM radio was John Mellencamp's Paper in Fire. We open the doors and cranked it up.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Album of the Heart ~ May 21, 1880

On the broad highway of action
Friends of worth are far and few
So when one has proved his friendship
Cling to him who clings to you

Lines to a Friend, Eva Wheaton, Soquel, California

Many of the entries in Great Grandmother Flora's Album of the Heart are not original writings, but rather excerpts from poems and songs. Here is the original poem:
Cling to Those Who Cling to You  

There are many friends of summer
Who are kind while flowers bloom
But when winter chills the blossoms
They depart with the perfume
On the broad highway of action
Friends of worth are far and few
So when one has proved his friendship
Cling to him who clings to you
Do not harshly judge your brother
Do not deem his life untrue
If he makes no great pretensions
Deeds are great though words are few
Those who stand amid the tempest
Firm as when the skies are blue
Will be friends while life endureth
Cling to those who cling to you
When you see a worthy brother
Buffeting the stormy main
Lend a helping hand fraternal
Till he reach the shore again
Don't desert the old and tried friend
When misfortune comes in view
For he then needs friendship's comforts
Cling to those who cling to you

Spring Dresses and Hats,, "Stand By Me" 18 x 24, Limited Edition of Three Girlfriends, BFF's in Lily Dresses and Kentucky Derby Hats
Spring Dresses and Hats
What I find interesting is that ownership of the poem is attributed to a number of authors. And, it's been printed in an interesting array of books and journals. Eva's entry was dated May of 1880 so the earlier citation seems the most reasonable.
  • Utah Magazine, The Home Journal of the People, Volume 3, Oct 1869 ~ poem attributed to Dexter Smith
  • Standard Book of Song for Temperance Meetings and Home Use, National Temperance Publication Depot, London, Editor T. Bowick, 1878 ~ poem attributed to D. Smith
  • Poems for Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, editor W.J. Slater, 1898 ~ Poem attributed to D.M.G.
  • Historical Sketches of the Royal Highlanders, author Reverend J.B. Sharp, Volume 1, 1901 ~ poem attributed to or "clipped by" Della Rohrer
  • The Railroad Telegrapher, Volume 31, Part 2, published by the Order of Railroad Telegraphers, Jul 1914 ~ poem attributed to Harold C. Keyes
  • Boilermaker's Journal, Volume 27, Jan 1915 ~ Poem attributed to Harold C. Keyes
Though the poem was written in the 19th Century, the message is as timeless today as it was then. Flora and Eva were in their early twenties at the time and may have known each other since childhood.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Album of the heart ~ October of 1873

Power and wealth and fame
Are but as weeds upon Life's troubled tide;
Give me but these, a spirit's tempest-tried
A brow unshrinking, and a soul of flame,
The joy of conscious worth, 
It's courage and it's pride!

This entry in Flora's Album of the Heart was by one of her school teachers, Mrs. Ida Sutherland. With some research I found the lines were excerpted from a poem by Robert T. Conrad called the Pride of Worth, cited in an article in Graham's Monthly Magazine, Volume 25, Philadelphia, June 1844, No. 6.

Robert T. Conrad
He was a man of many facets: attorney, judge, editor, poet, and playwright. He was elected the first mayor of Philadelphia in 1844. In 1852 he published a volume entitled Aylmere, or the Bondman of Kent, and other Poems, the principal poems being “The Sons of the Wilderness,” a meditative poem on the wrongs and misfortunes of the North American Indians. 

Doors are to be opened, lands are to be explored; destinations are but second fiddle to the journey. Talk to your elders and celebrate your history, you never know what you'll find along the way. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Turn Left Go West ~ July 02, 2013

This morning was day seven of the heat wave that has been squatting on California. The only place to be has been indoors with the fans cranked up. However, by now we're both chomping at the bit for some exercise.

Bit by Bit- a  pastel drawing from artist Wendy Leedy's mule collection- fine art print, signed
Bit by Bit

Rod suggests the coast and walk on the beach. I worked in Bodega Bay for 33 years and one thing for sure if it's between April and August it's going to be windy and cold. Never ones to shrink from a shear possibility we throw layers and a picnic in the car, turn left and go west. It was 85 degrees when we departed Sebastopol at 11am.

First stop is Doran Beach. With our Sonoma County Park Pass we got to pull out of a long line and go right in. Well it was simply stunning, clear, 64 degrees and barely a breeze. Picnic on a beachside bench and then a 2 mile walk down to the Jetty and back.

Sand trees.

Jetty Boy 

About 1:30 we left Doran and headed north to Wright's Beach. In the mid 1970's friends lived in 3 cabins down by the old cypress at the south end of the beach. They were rented with the understanding they would one day be torn down. It was a sad day when it finally happened but there are tales that will never be forgotten.

One afternoon, when the tide was fairly low, several of us walked to a spot between these two rocks to watch the wave action. To our amazement a whale came up between them and looked right at us. We stood in stunned silence for a second or two. Too bad it was in the days before cell phones.

Death Rock, Wright's Beach

Rod took this picture of me to prove I was, in fact, in shirt sleeves, in July, in Bodega Bay.

North again and then east on Hwy 116 for the trip home. We stopped in Duncan's Mills for ice cream. It was 88 by the time we got to Forestville. Closer to Sebastopol we noticed wind in the trees. By the time we got home it was 72 and the wind was clocking 20 miles an hour. The natural air conditioner that graces us most summers was finally back. I got to sleep under a blanket last night.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Top of the Second ~ June 23-25, 2013

Early Sunday afternoon and off to San Francisco for TACE II and a return visit to the flat we rented in May. It turned out to be a rainy day so instead of a 2 mile walk, we spent the afternoon curled up reading with a couple of breaks for sustenance. Two doors up we discovered Say Cheese and picked up some scrumptious goodies for an indoor picnic.

Around dusk we toddled a little further up Cole Street to Zazie's for dinner. It's amazing to have so many choices within walking distance. I'm beginning to understand why some folks like living in the City.

Monday was going to start early so we hit the hay about 9:30. I don't know if I mentioned it but the flat is over a restaurant. We had expectations for a certain amount of noise at closing time but we definitely weren't expecting construction, breaking glass and furniture being moved between 10pm and 2am. So much for a good night's rest!

A little aha moment at UCSF heading up in the elevator Monday morning. A gentleman with a dolly holding 3 boxes got on the elevator and someone at the rear asked what was in the boxes. He told us two kidneys and a liver. Three people were going to get a new lease on life today.

16x20 Window Lit Flowers.
Window Lit Flowers
Second TACE went much better, no nausea or pain this time. At my doc's suggestion I brought my own jammies and was able to dodge a second episode of the RASH. Shoulder pain and semi-sleepless nights seem the worst of it.

The irony of hospitals is that they are supposed to be quiet. There are signs on all the doors that say "Shhh" but each one has an automatic closer that slams it shut. Go figure!

Ninja - Shhh Original Acrylic Painting 16"x20"

The recovery room is like a 16 bed dorm with curtains separating patients. There are alarms, announcements, medical staff and cleaning crews working day and night. Nurses dutifully wake you up every three hours to check on one thing or another. There are dramas and laughter, conversations in animated tones and different languages. It's like you've been dropped into parallel universe for 24 hours: educational, thought provoking and at times entertaining. Sleep is not really an option, but reading and cat napping will get you through the proverbial night.

Orange Tabby Cat Curled Up For A Nap print of an original painting
Quimby Cat Napping

The drive home Tuesday was delightful, the world washed from two days of rain. We got back to the cross street just below our driveway and found a fire truck parked across the road. We were told we couldn't go through because there was a tree down on Lynch Road. We told him we could see our driveway and there was no tree down between here and there. No matter, he had his orders. This doesn't make my day. We head for the grocery store to pick up some supplies and head back. There is another truck blocking the road this time. I told Rod to pull the "my wife just got out of the hospital card" and sure enough the young man let us through. Home at last.

I'll need to return to UCSF for a third TACE on July 23rd. Certainly hope that's the last one. Seems like life has been on hold since January.