Friday, March 28, 2014

"March"ing to a Different Drummer

Here it is the end of March, and the whole month stretches out in my memory as an unnamed symphony. What started out as an occasional deep deep cough prevailed till I could no longer eat or sleep or keep food in my gut.
Two different antibiotics produced little relief and on my third trip to the doctors' he sent me directly to Sutter hospital. There they poked and prodded and x-rayed and explained and poked and prodded some more. It seemed my electrolytes were engaged in internal war. Sodium in particular was dragging to the point I should have been having seizures. My lungs were full of fluid, my belly was rebelling and my thoughts delirious. Friends Sue and Jeanne closed up my house and brought me a suitcase of clothes. Six days later I was transferred to Park View Acute Rehab where I malingered another seven days.Many friends called or visited, but most of it is a blur to me.
Now I am home, still with gunk in my lungs, on still a different inhaler and cough meds. My doc says I should be feeling much better by Monday and if not he will send me to a pulmonary guy.
Meanwhile the orders are to eat, drink, and avoid talking. All three challenges to me.  I have no appetite, but I sure am eager to talk. Especially to thank my friends for their caring and devotion. I am not contagious, so I may venture out to Current Events today.
While I was in the hospital, Spring emerged with glowing color and extreme pollen counts. My landscaper came and finished (almost) the back yard landscape. I'm tickled pink, pink and lavender being the primary colors of the flowers in bloom.  Below are some new photos.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Water Surrounds!

Though the drought has not ended, a welcome series of storms has greatly blessed us. In my backyard sit about 40 buckets of plants which will go into the soggy ground on Monday. By then I expect the soil will be just right.
Last weekend I enjoyed two days of water color painting here on the grounds with teacher Birgit O'Conner. The subject was big, bold beautiful flowers. She uses generous amounts of water sloshed around on 300# paper. The class chose to trace and emulate her beautiful hibiscus photograph. She carefully demonstrated every step. Below are some examples of their finished products.
I thought they were all stunning. Being the contrary spirit I am, I chose to do my own from a photo  I'd taken of a yellow hibiscus in Hawaii. I think the result is not nearly as stunning but at least it is my own, and I prefer 120# paper. . 
The second day we chose to  do a photo Birgit had taken of calla lilies. Most of us did not finish, and I expect mine will go down the drain, but it was still fun. Here is patient Birgit teaching us. For her, there is much emphasis on which brush to use for each stroke. (Natural bristle, half and half, or our synthetic). Not something I usually pay attention to, but perhaps I am not too old to learn.