Friday, October 31, 2014

Fabulous Friday Finds ~ October 31, 2014

More wonderful and whimsical art. These two are from the fertile minds New Zealand ceramicist Cheryl Oliver and San Diego assemblage artist Dan Jones. 

Searching for Trees. cheryl oliver NZ
Searching for Trees 
Cheryl Oliver

Le Helicron by Dan Jones
The Helicron
Dan Jones

Keep your eyes open: any moment can bring discovery, wonder, joy and laughter. Spend more time outside yourself and your everydays, it's good for the soul and for healing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bottom of the Sixth ~ October 28, 2014

I had no idea when I started the baseball analogy for the De-Liver Me Tour that our San Francisco Giants would be in the World Series. Parallels abound. You just gotta BELIEVE and no one knows that better than I do. 

I Believe- Mixed Media Original Artwork Boho Style Girl
I Believe 

I'm on the transplant list at UCSF because of liver cancer. My tumors, Audrey and Carmine, have been kept in check with the six TACE treatments I received at UCSF between May 2013 and August 2014. The next step is to take care of some existing conditions to prepare for the journey to Transplantville.  

I have adult onset diabetes. I don't have the body type but I do have the genes. The HbA1c blood test provides an average of your blood sugar for the previous couple of months and shows how well your diabetes is being controlled. My HbA1c has been on the climb since March 2013. The ideal level is less than 6.0 and mine was hovering at 8.1 range the last time it was checked. There are a number factors that may contribute to the ascent: genetics, age, a tired pancreas, the TACE treatments from Hell or my compromised liver.  I had been able to keep my numbers down with just an oral medication, but that train has left the station.  

Cowgirl against colorful sunset with "Cowgirl Up" 12 x 24 in.
Cowgirl Up

Damn, it's time to Cowgirl Up and take the reins. You know: pay attention, be responsible, take charge. The bottom line is that uncontrolled diabetes can increase your risk for infection and slow your ability to heal after transplant surgery. I'm working with a clinical pharmacist at Kaiser to find a long term solution. I've started doing insulin once a day. I've always had a dislike of needles, but it's a simple and painless ritual. We are also adjusting current oral medications.

I also have Hepatitis C. It's important to have the Hep C virus undetectable in my blood at the time of transplant. On October 17th I started the Ribivarin and Sofosbuvir drug combo. To my delight I am experiencing none of the dreaded or expected side effects and my health plan is covering a majority of the cost. I will be on the combo until the transplant. Having my blood clear of the virus decreases the risk of exposing the new liver to Hep C. We're looking for longevity here, there are still a good number of things on my To Do List. 

So there are definitely some new routines in my life. I've got a system and a schedule set up so I remember what to do when and to track notes and progress. It's a tedious little job, but a small price to pay for long term results. 

I've licked Breast Cancer and I am a Warrior in Pink. Now I'm down to liver cancer, diabetes and Hepatitis C. For some this would seem to be a three strikes situation, but I look at it as only a small part of who I am. Bottom of the sixth, score tied, two out, bases loaded and I need a miracle. Call me Mo'ne Davis in an elder suit. Play like a girl, fight like a girl!

Fight Like a Girl Liver Cancer Throw Blanket

Following my train of thought to the next station I decided to find out what the ribbon color is for liver cancer. Come to find it's emerald green, which seems somehow appropriate for a girl born on St. Patrick's day. I just ordered myself a black zip up hoodie sweatshirt with this logo. Time to wear it proud and encourage others to fight.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Album of the Heart ~ June 17, 1880

This poem from Miss Emma J. Prescott in Great Grandmother Flora's Album of the Heart has stymied my research efforts to find an author. Many of the Album entries have been attributable to authors other than the writer. I've been through every reference I could find from Poetical Selections from Celebrated Authors to the Album Writer's Friend. I've explored and various anthologies, but there's no love at the Inn of Poetry.

May you be blessed with sweet content
In happiness your life be spent
May love and peace with you abide
And heaven ever be your guide
May you have always many friends
And reach the home that never ends
And with your treasure you'll find me
A friend that will forever be

Emma J. Prescott
San Juan South

Though Flora was born in San Francisco, she spent a good deal of time in San Juan, many of the entries cite San Juan along with the date. Perhaps Flora and Emma were friends from school or the Royal Honor Guards Dancing School.

Epiphany Isle 8.5 x 11 inch Original Fine Art Photography Print, landscape, nature, canvas, painting, Australia, countryside, water, island
Epiphany Isle

Doing a little research yesterday I found Emma's grave marker: Jan 1858-Dec 1922, a native of San Juan, daughter of William and Catherine Hobson Prescott. Then the middle of the night epiphany (who needs sleep anyway?). Great Grandmother Flora married a Hobson. Were Flora and Emma somehow related? Yet another mystery to unravel. This just keeps getting better and better. Stay tuned for further developments and needless to say if you can attribute the poem to an author please let me know. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ode to a Serious Sunday NOT! ~ October 19, 2014

While exploring the world of Pinterest 
I discovered the wonderful and whimsical pottery of Mitchell Grafton. 

The creative mind is a wonderful thing. 
Let your's out of the box to explore. 
You may just find a new path to travel. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oh Baby We've Been Floored ~ October 13, 2014

The new flooring and kitchen remodel took us about two weeks. Mayhem and laughter were the watchwords of the adventure. We discovered things we hadn't seen in years, created a vision of how we'd like to resettle and in the process got a whole bunch of exercise moving boxes and furniture out of and back into the house. 

Our home of 26 years went from Holy Crap to Stunning. We moved the last of our stuff in today, consigned the potential rotating art and furniture collection to my shed and filled up the Honda with one more round of donations. It's hard to remember how it was.

And so it begins

The Hall of Shame and Bad Carpets

Old Kitchen

New Kitchen Floor

New Chef's Central for Rod

Old carpet and collections circa 2010

New living room incarnation

One of the bedrooms

The other bedroom

There was method to our re-floor madness.. Those ancient carpets were a playground for who knows what. Once I have my liver transplant I will be on immunosuppressants for life and my warrior's immune system will be compromised. The house will be a lot easier to clean and thus keep me healthy. Of course, the other plus is that we created a thing of beauty to enjoy for years.

Someone once told me life is short: eat dessert first, dance in the kitchen, be spontaneous, don't look back and damn the torpedoes full speed ahead. We live that mantra. If you're thinking about taking a leap of faith, just do it. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Can of Worms and Silver Linings ~ Sept 29 -30, 2014

Sept 29th ~ The new flooring project is underway. The crew started tearing out the old living room carpet and installing the Rustic Koa laminate. It is simply gorgeous. However, they got half way across the living room and discovered the proverbial can of worms at the base of the alcove wall. We've always thought our home started out as a cabin and this seems to support that premise. The living room, kitchen and bath are all on a perimeter foundation, the bedrooms are a cement slab. 

There was a floor furnace here at one time and when it was decommissioned (and left in place) the space where the grate had been was framed in and covered with plywood that extended to both sides of the wall. We're thinking the wall was added when the wall heater was installed. 

Oh Boy! So everything comes to a halt for the day until we can get the framing and plywood lowered to sub floor level. We made a lot of phone calls this afternoon and late evening we got a phone message that our friend Paul would be at the house at 8 am. We must be doing something right! 

Sept 30th ~ Paul to the rescue, done and done just as the installers arrived. The laminate installation continues today and Wednesday and the new vinyl for the kitchen gets installed Thursday. 

Timing is Everything

Highlight ~ We found some provenance on the house when we moved everything out into my studio. Each closet has four large drawers. We've never pulled them all the way out before. One in my room held a surprise:

This house built by P.J. Anderson
February 1959 

Post Script ~ It seems that whenever you get into a major project the natural thing to do is look past your initial goal and move on to "as long as we're here, we might as well address this" mode. We embraced the notion with abandon. The stove is 25 years old and having issues, the refrigerator is 15 years old. So off to TeeVax, our favorite appliance store, on a recon mission. We find exactly what we want, get a great deal and they'll deliver and install both on Saturday. 

We've never had a "back splash" behind the stove and counter. A painted and textured surface is not easy to keep clean and it tends to fall into the overlooked category by choice. My chef is the best in the world, but he's a messy one. I won't even tell you what was behind and under the stove after 25 years, thought we were going to need a whip and a chair. 

I was over at my neighbor Carol's house and noticed she had a stainless steel back splash behind stove and adjacent counter. There go my wheels again. Call Simpson Sheet Metal, they came out to measure and will install ours next week.

Camping at Home ~ We grilled vegetables outdoors Monday and Tuesday, figured out how to hook up the TV and camped here: sleeping bags on the mattresses on the floor, a step back in time.  

Go Giants!