Friday, April 30, 2010

The latest Photo Art Journal has arrived: "The Birds and The Bees". Catherine used strips of silk for the binding, wrapping them around a twig and adding a feather. Below are a few of the pages:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Now that he's home, David's progress won't be as fast, so updates may be more sporadic. He's getting short walks in, and finally lots of naps, and doing very well. 
Fern fronds unfurling: above, Bracken Fern, below, Sword Fern.
A swallow perches high above it all, on top of the flagpole.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I arrived safely home with my precious cargo. David was pretty tired out by the move from hospital to home, but really glad to be home, and able to walk out in the sun. Now we'll have to establish a new routine for the next week, then it will change again after the next Dr.  visit. He'll need some time to settle in, and it's still hard to talk, so we'll let you know when he's ready to have visitors.

Tiny little purple flowers in the grass, lit by the late afternoon sun.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This morning David continued to practice swallowing, and it went better, as did walking. His speech it really improving, too. He even got a bit of sleep last night, which really helps!

AND, he is cleared to come home tomorrow!!!! He'll have plenty to work on at home, and hopefully he'll be able to get some much needed sleep. He's not quite ready for visitors, though, but it should be pretty soon.

Thanks again to all who have sent healing wishes and support!
 Here are some views of the room, and the white board that we all used to exchange information with the ever-changing parade of doctors, nurses, aides and therapists.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Healing continues for David - he's walking with a cane, his staples are out, and he's swallowing a bit. It is much harder than you would think, but he still has swelling around his neck and mouth, so it's a struggle. But each time he tries it gets better. DRs are starting to talk about going home soon!
 Here are some of the art pieces in the corridors.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Although the hours are long at the hospital, still time seems to speed by! I lose track of the days, and my focus is so intensely on David that everything else is pretty sketchy. The time I am home slips by, and I'm anxious to be back with him, especially now that he is getting more like his old self. Today they removed the trach completely, which will really help with less irritation to the throat, and hopefully less coughing, and one less item attached to him. He's wearing his own clothes and baseball cap, getting around pretty handily with the walker and wheelchair.
The apple trees popped into bloom this week while I wasn't looking! The prettiest blooms are on the old, lichen-covered tree that was here on the property. It produces a lot of apples, but they are small and scabby - the tree needs major overhauling. But it sure is pretty!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

David is improving so quickly - the cast is off his leg, he's walking around with the walker, and rolling in the wheelchair, because he has become mostly untethered. He doesn't need to be hooked up to the monitors, oxygen, IV's and feeding tube full time, so we can unplug and explore. I took him outdoors to sit in the sun and roll down the sidewalk for a ways. He was sure glad to get outside! They replaced his trach with a smaller one, and capped it so he is breathing through his mouth and nose. The mouth and tongue are still swollen, so he's not ready to swallow yet, but it's definitely going down. With the capped trach he can talk, although it is muffled and slurred, but at least he's able to do it! The sense of humor has reappeared!
The hospital has a huge fiber art collection. This full size vintage silk Kimono is hanging on the wall in David's room. Below is a detail of the fans in the clouds - some of the dye is metallic, and it was painted on silk with a woven pattern. It is lovely, and so nice to look at!
Every room and all the hallways have framed art pieces - lots of vintage fiber pieces from around the world, as well as contemporary paintings and photography.  There are also many sculptural pieces, including seating benches in the main lobby and along some of the hallways.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Today they removed some of the drains in the incisions, and all the IV's but the maintenance one are gone. He sat up in the chair all morning, and will likely do some walking this afternoon with Suze. I am home again to get some sleep, as neither one of us is getting much in hospital. But he continues to heal well, and the swelling is finally beginning to go down, so he will begin the chore of learning to swallow again. They'll also get the cast off soon, and put a smaller soft cast that can be removed for a shower. That will make it easier to shuffle around the halls....
 My favorite Flame Azalea suddenly popped into bloom, so I had to get some pictures. A few spatterings of rain add my other favorite thing: water drops. One of Caveman's bonsai trees, a Larch, is sprouting new cones.

David continues to improve, and today he got up out of bed four times. Mostly he sat up in the chair, but he did walk across the room and back, too. He can't put his full weight on the leg, but can shuffle it along with the walker pretty well.
This is the view from his hospital room window ( taken between the slats of the blinds). It looks across a courtyard to the third-floor entrance of the Surgery Pavilion. There are some incredible sculptures, and a trellis roof which casts bold shadows in the sun. In the upper left corner is Pacific Avenue, and across it is Husky Stadium for the Univ. of  WA.
The kids are instantly attracted to the colorful shapes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Home for today, while Suze stays with David. It sure feels good to be out of the city! And, being taken well care of by Mark and Caveman, providing me with food. Big thanks!

David is progressing: sitting up, sponge bath, and even able to get some sleep off and on. Still very uncomfortable, frustrated and swollen, but hitting most of the mileposts early. He's a trooper and a very hard worker, even if he is the self-proclaimed world's worst patient. But he's been a model patient so far, charming the nurses even when he can't talk.

I'll be back for tomorrow's shift . . .

 The violet-greenbacked swallows are already vying for the best nests, and in the evening they take to the insect-laden skies. The setting sun lights them from below under the half moon. Oh, to be able to glide on the wind!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No photos today - spent all day in ICU watching lights and gauges and listening to beeps, tones, hisses, you name it! David is doing great - he was moved into his regular room this evening, after only 18 hours in ICU, instead of the 24-48 they predicted. The pain is under control - the hard part is learning to breathe through a temporary trachea. It's not fun, and he has a lot of swelling in his jaw/neck area. He also can't talk, so communication is a challenge. He's been writing on a pad, but it doesn't help that he's still a bit woozy, but getting better visibly as the day went on. They put a cot in his room, so I'll be heading back there for tonight, and Suze will take over tomorrow. Thanks to all who emailed well-wishes!

Monday, April 19, 2010

David had his surgery today - it was very long (over 12 hours) but they feel confident they got all of the tumor. He will be in ICU for a couple of days, but he was very stable throughout the procedure, and is doing well.

While I was waiting, I wandered around the University Village, a shopping plaza with quite a few kids' shops. They had some great sculptures that the kids loved -  above, a calf and turtle makes a great place to sit, while below, the frogs and turtle wage a wet war. The fountains stop and start suddenly, so the kids are surprised, and a few of them got wet!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Marvelously sunny and warm today, so I took advantage of it and sat in the woods. Birds are everywhere right now, mating and nesting and in general carrying on. As I sat at the edge of the bog, I heard a 'screee' from above, and there was a pair of Cooper's hawks soaring and swooping. I was glad to see them: she has nested here for the past few years, and I was concerned that I hadn't seen her yet this spring. She and I may not get along too well, but I am always happy to have her here. The violet-greenback swallows have also arrived from their wintering place, and are happily gobbling up whatever insect is unlucky enough to venture out. They are already squabbling over the nests - maybe this year more of them will use the nesting boards we put out.
In the woods the Evergreen Huckleberries are blooming their sweet tiny blushing bells, while the new growth starts out a reddish color, adding spots of color to the greenery.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It always amazes me how quickly the dandelions come back after the lawn is mowed. One day you have cut green grass, and the next day it is studded with yellow blooms and white fuzz. Very cheerful!
In the woods, the sun highlights tiny branches growing right out of the side of the tree trunk. I didn't look it up, but I think it's one of our willows. They certainly have a habit of sprouting from just about anywhere.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I don't usually add videos to my blog, but this one is too good to pass up. In the previous post, I talked about our Photo Crawl, where Gwen and Michele brought their PoGo portable printers, and we used them to print out photos on the spot. They are great, and Gwen found this video which shows some ways to use the photos, and abuse them! I loved it, and hope you do, too. And, I've got to get one of these printers!!!

Photo Manipulation: Zink-PoGo from Frenky on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I finished putting together the books from our Photo Crawl with local members of the Yahoo group, Photo Art Journals. Gwen, Michele, Suze and I went to Fremont for the Sunday market, and had a very good time. Below is the cover, and several sets of pages from the book. We all contributed several photo pages, and I created a collage-type cover. Very fun, and a great memento!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I went to the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild meeting tonight, and the program was about collecting and restoring Native American baskets, by Jack Curtright and Ginnie Porter. He brought some amazing old baskets for us to enjoy!

Ginnie shows Karen a rattle-top lidded basket, while Jack begins packing up in the background. Thanks, Ginnie and Jack!!
Loooooong day at the hospital for pre-op meetings. All looks good for next Monday's operation. In the Surgery Pavilion, a spiral stair is the centerpiece of the lobby. A curved mural is bathed in light from a conical skylight.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I had a site meeting to look at a remodel, where I usually get photos of all the sides of the house for reference when I'm doing the drawings. I caught this reflection in one of the living room windows: you can see the Cascade Mountains on the horizon, across Saratoga Passage.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Suze and Jonathan went hiking with me at the Putney Woods. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, calm and balmy. We had a really nice time, hiked up to the Big Rock again, enjoyed the quiet woods in the afternoon sun. This gravel road had mosses on the sides that caught the light and looked orange.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

We had frost last night!!! But, already the early morning sun has melted it into sparkling drops on the forget-me-nots and tulips.

 I really liked this poem that Catherine Anderson put on her blog, by William Davies:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Down in Glendale the hillside is covered in ferns and alder trees, with a few old maples holding court in the sun. The new leaves glow chartreuse on this venerable tree, with ferns growing in any crevice they can find.
Some of the other large old trees are covered with ferns.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another storm coming in today and tonight - very windy so far, but the clouds have all blown away. The big birds are having a blast up there - you can see how hard the wind is blowing the branches of the cedar tree.