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Saturday, May 30, 2020

It's HOT!

by Rain Trueax

It's been a scorcher this week and not just Arizona.  For Tucson though it is not 20ºF over normal for this time of year. Maybe 10 though. 

Our first time to experience a Tucson summer was in 1966. We lived in an apartment  off of Silverbell Road. It had only a swamp cooler (evaporative cooler), which is very ineffective whenever the humidity rises. I was heavily pregnant and did not enjoy the way it sapped my energy with the heat of the day. The complex though had a swimming pool and in the late afternoon or evenings, we used it. We did not have a car with air conditioning, which meant you did most things when the sun hadn't risen or had gone down.

These days, with a house, where we installed a/c after we bought it, we have a few tricks to help. One is opening up the windows as soon as it cools off enough, which when the temperatures are over 100ºF, that time doesn't come until maybe 4am

We close everything then when the first warmth arrives, maybe 9am. We bought a fan and get that going which has lets us not use the air conditioning until around 1pm. We try to adjust ourselves to warmer home temps to get used to what will be coming in June.

Thank goodness we decided to put better windows in this year and thank goodness my brother was able to help Paul with some of them when he visited. Those windows make all the difference in less need for the A/C.

Then outside, last year, we bought misters for the patio. We can sit out there when it's even 100 with them going as they make it feel cooler.

We ordered, but it won't get here until June, a small room a/c unit as backup in case our a/c goes out and there isn't anybody who can fix it right away. Also in this area, there is always the possibility of rolling brownouts when it gets like hot. Then it's the pool and showers-- lots of them :)

Paul has also been looking into the possibility of a different coating for the roof. The walls have no options as they are slump block, and it's actually pretty good.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

by Diane: Art Escape update #19, last update

I love the comments from a plein air painter from Hawaii and another one from my co-author, Rain.  The painting of these swallows looked like surfers on a  big wave. Rain thought that the clouds look like waves. How poetic? I am naming it "Swallows Surfing the Breeze"

Although I am not finished interpreting the flight of two swallows, one moving closer and beginning to turn back to circle and the other cirlcling in the distance. The closer swallow is more blurred because it moves across more of my visual field per second.

I am beginning to make the birds being more important than the sun breaking through the atmosphere after a rain storm when bugs hatch and fly.

This is the last update of art escapes. Next week will be my first post for Tiny Respites.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

by Diane: Update # 18; How Covid 19, caregiving, and my art escape are changing me

 Monday, May 25, first thing in the morning, I painted for a few minutes. Finishing a painting takes the longest. For days  many times a day I kept glancing at the painting hanging in our dining area.  Often I looked outside at the swallows in flight. Questions came to mind.  Watching swallows, I saw the closest ones taking up more of my field of vision and their swift flight is more blurred than ones flying farther away. Same as a  picture's surface the closest swallows would be more blurred if I painted exactly what I see. But should I paint what is counter to  the identifiable detail that the viewer expects in the foreground?
          My idea for continued work on this painting  is to turn the front swallow back into the painting. I am concerned about the beginning and ending of their flight and would like to make their flight more circular and continuous like I observe.
           Questioning improves my enjoyment of observing and learning.  Makes me feel more alive. 
          The Covid 19 self quarantine reduces some of the distractions in life so focusing on  what is around our home is proving far more fascinating than I used to think it was.
         Tuesday I made the closest swallow more contrasty and it's path transparent to express speed. I do not worry about overworking the painting. With Covid-19 and my husband's health, I foresee a time when I will need to move. More than ever I want to tie my body of work into a meaningful whole. I am slow to use the new aquaboards that arrived from Blick's catalog on line.

          Fisherman Hubby's blurred vision and shakiness was found to be low sodium according to the ER on Wednesday, May 13. He received a hydrating IV. 
           It hurts to see Fisherman Hubby either too cold or too hot because his body doesn't regulate temperature. While watching television he allows his head to drop down every half minute. Also see his shoulders jerk. His hands are less steady and he talks me into typing for him.
         Gaiter Aid is helping but still he feels that his ALS is worsening. What gardening he could do in one session the first week of May now takes three sessions. Tuesday our 2020 high school graduate Grandson mowed the grass, sprayed poison on the weeds, and removed three upright stepping stones that served as the cement dragon's back because they were a  tripping hazard for me.
         I am, also, doing more gardening which has always been a parnership thing Hubby.  Now gardening has moved from a small part of our  togetherness to our major connection we share.
       On Friday Fisherman Hubby received his Tobindynavox Ipad that will serve as a speech generating devise. If necessry it can be eye activated. It has canned conversation in files like "Can we watch a movie?" "I am not intoxicated. I have a neuro motor disease."  "You do not have to talk to me like that. My ears are fine and I can comprehend like a normal adult." Maybe when he starts feeling better he will take an interest in it.
      We were so lucky that when it arrived Friday afternoon one daughter happened to be here to help with the set up. We are so thankful for the care our daughters have for us. Plus we appreciate all those friends who also do errands for us.

      The painting is first a landscape and then there are birds flying through. I want the painting to be swallows flying in a landscape atmosphere. On a warm day a rain shower is followed by hatches of flying insects.
      I am hesitant and not sure of my next step in painting so I wanted to do some pruning.

                 The first of three wheelbarrow loads of trimmingsoff the rhodadendron!

             The next job will be to prune back the Fall crocus leaves and the forget-me-not.
It is good to feel the Fisherman Hubby sharing the satisfaction of making beauty together in our garden.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day bonus

by Rain Trueax

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, significant to many for assorted reasons. I thought in a troubled time such as we are in, posting a reminder that nature is not only reassuring for how it goes on in such times, but also good for blood pressure and to relax.

The videos are taken from our neighborhood. The first one came from a wildlife cam that our neighbor borrowed when they couldn't figure out what was walking on their roof at night between midnight and three or four am. The videos it shot gave the answer and we blended them into what you see. Besides the YouTube link, it can also be seen at my nature blog: The Night Visitors

This one is how the honeybees are drawn to the saguaro blooms. In Tucson, all honeybees are Africanized, often called killer bees. They are certainly mellow in the video where they are only concerned with gathering pollen to take back to the hive. The birds also love it when the saguaro blooms.  It can also be seen at my video blog for nature: Bees and the Saguaro Blossom.

To see nature at work, watching the birds, the clouds sail by, it's all a reminder to me that we are part of it. In troubled times, it is soothing to the soul to be reminded there is more out there than us.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

something good

by Rain Trueax

One of the blogs I read suggested that people come up with positive things that have come up for them through the pandemic. I literally could come up with nothing positive in this for me. Adding to the upset for me has been all the bitter partisan fighting. 

I wonder if Nancy Pelosi thought at all how many fat people she offended when her target was the President and she said he was morbidly obese. CNN did an article to explore if he was and turns out, based on his last physical, he'd have to gain 77 pounds to reach that level of obesity. He was barely at the level of being obese, according to CNN-- not exactly a fan of the President. Pelosi, in an interview discussing among other things what she'd said, clearly looked smug that she'd nailed him, but she also nailed at least one of the possible women Biden is considering for the next Vice President.

Another hot button issue this week was-- should the President be taking hydroxychloroquine, about which even doctors don't agree on whether it's potentially dangerous, useless for Covid-19, or might be a good thing to  avoid the virus or get a lighter case of it? The argument is at what level you begin to take it whether it helps. Some believe it has saved lives. Others claim it cost lives. One thing for sure is if it worked, it'd be much cheaper, and it's very available since already used for lupus, etc. Also, Pelosi's excuse for calling him morbidly obese (she also mentioned his age) would make him more in danger if he got Covid-19. Knowing he had an aide who tested positive for the virus, could be why the doctor felt Trump taking the drug along with zinc was a good idea.

One thing they are claiming is wearing masks whenever someone is out around people like for grocery shopping. The problem with this virus is how people can be out ad about before they know they are sick. Think of it as not about fear but what you do for others, like workers in the stores. Some say masks make them have panic attacks and hence just can't do it. I wonder if different kinds of masks would help. I mean if nothing else, the bandit bandana.   

Anyway, back to the first thought-- something positive from the pandemic. Can you think of something that has been positive about it for your life? Share it as as way of being uplifting to others. We all need that.  

  It is the time of the saguaros. The bees and birds love them and suck from more than any other cacti that I have seen anyway. The saguaro gives to many who find good from its blossoms.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

by Diane: Update #17 of Art Escape: Painting BreakThrough

Having a painting project in progress makes me feel good and optomistic. Now painting brings me closer to one of my favorite fellow painters. Via Zoom, last Friday, at home I paint out on the far end of our property.  My sister-in-laws in Portland generated the exciting energy I miss painting with others in groups like Vistas and Vineyards in the Mid-valley here in Oregon or the Painting Out There. The later group is in Kona Kailua, Hawaii.
      My art escape helps me relax when my caregiving worries unneccessarily demand an immediate solution.   Worrying about my paintings is more relaxing than being helpless in the face of my husband's health. .After a while painting, when I think about it, I notice the pain in my joints caused by tension is mostly gone.  When I paint, I am engaged in the beauty of the day.

A very old, one inch wide sable flat brush seperates at even intervals. With almost dry paint the brush makes parallel lines that reminds me of cubist painting "Nude Descending a Staircase".  

                                                                    Second detail
             Second break through is making the fast movement
                       a little transparent.


Tuesday, May 19, I had a few minutes to work and it might be closer to resolved.

Monday, May 18, 2020

is this true?

This was on FB. Is it true? Some of it fits what I've read but what about the rest? Here's the thing-- shouldn't we check on what is out there and make our own conclusions based on experience and what we read.  Right now, what I read changes day to day. 

Autopsies Prove that COVID-19 is a Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (Pulmonary Thrombosis)

It is now clear that the whole world has been attacking the so-called Coronavirus Pandemic wrongly due to a serious pathophysiological diagnosis error.
According to valuable information from Italian pathologists, ventilators and intensive care units were never needed.

Autopsies performed by the Italian pathologists has shown that it is not pneumonia but it is Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (Thrombosis) which ought to be fought with antibiotics, antivirals, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants.

If this is true for all cases, that means the whole world is about to resolve this novel pandemic earlier than expected.

However, protocols are currently being changed in Italy who have been adversely affected by this pandemic.

The impressive case of a Mexican family in the United States who claimed they were cured with a home remedy was documented: three 500 mg aspirins dissolved in lemon juice boiled with honey, taken hot. The next day they woke up as if nothing had happened to them! Well, the scientific information that follows proves they are right!

This information was released by a medical researcher from Italy:
“Thanks to 50 autopsies performed on patients who died of COVID-19, Italian pathologists have discovered that IT IS NOT PNEUMONIA, strictly speaking, because the virus does not only kill pneumocytes of this type, but uses an inflammatory storm to create an endothelial vascular thrombosis.”

In disseminated intravascular coagulation, the lung is the most affected because it is the most inflamed, but there is also a heart attack, stroke and many other thromboembolic diseases.

In fact, the protocols left antiviral therapies useless and focused on anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting therapies. These therapies should be done immediately, even at home, in which the treatment of patients responds very well.

If the Chinese had denounced it, they would have invested in home therapy, not intensive care! So, the way to fight it is with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants.
An Italian pathologist reports that the hospital in Bergamo did a total of 50 autopsies and one in Milan, 20, that is, the Italian series is the highest in the world, the Chinese did only 3, which seems to fully confirm the information.

In a nutshell, the disease is determined by a disseminated intravascular coagulation triggered by the virus; therefore, it is not pneumonia but pulmonary thrombosis, a major diagnostic error.

Some world leaders doubled the number of resuscitation places in the ICU, with unnecessary exorbitant costs.

According to the Italian pathologist, treatment in ICUs is useless if thromboembolism is not resolved first. “If we ventilate a lung where blood does not circulate, it is useless, in fact, nine (9) patients out of ten (10) will die because the problem is cardiovascular, not respiratory.”

“It is venous microthrombosis, not pneumonia, that determines mortality.”
According to the literature, inflammation induces thrombosis through a complex but well-known pathophysiological mechanism.

Unfortunately, what the scientific literature said, especially Chinese, until mid-March was that anti-inflammatory drugs should not be used.

Now, the therapy being used in Italy is with anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, as in influenza, and the number of hospitalized patients has been reduced.
He also discovered that many deaths, even in their 40s, had a history of fever for 10 to 15 days, which were not treated properly.

The inflammation does a great deal of tissue damage and creates ground for thrombus formation. However, the main problem is not the virus, but the immune hyperreaction that destroys the cell where the virus is installed.

In fact, patients with rheumatoid arthritis have never needed to be admitted to the ICU because they are on corticosteroid therapy, which is a great anti-inflammatory.
With this important discovery, it is possible to return to normal life and open closed deals due to the quarantine, though not immediately, but with time.

Kindly share so that the health authorities of each country can make their respective analysis of this information, prevent further deaths and redirect investments appropriately; the vaccine may come later.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

aging and releasing

by Rain Trueax

May 2020 and the high temperatures have reached Tucson.

Although I have called myself old for some years, I am only now getting to the age to recognize that being old is about more than looks. It's about changes in ways I had seen with others but not experienced until more recently. It is about accepting change and moving where it leads if one wants to have a happy old age-- one not filled with regrets and even bitterness. It means accepting what is and making the most of it. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

by Diane: Update # 16 of Art Escape: assessment and new plan

Pinned up drawings and hung new and years old paintings of swallows in preparation for a paint out this morning. The plan is to paint via zoom with sister-in-law interested in pushing color on surfaces like umbrellas in her Portland, Oregon back yard. I will try pushing color spectrum shifts to  the very fast flights of swallows. I will paint the swallows bluer as they fly away from me and more red as they approach me.

I am off to set up on the far end of out property. Will post results on my next blog next Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

by Diane: Update #15 to Art Escape; How painting the flight of Swallows reminds me of painting waves

Painting movement has been an interest as long as I can remember. When I was very young preschooler, I had an activity book with wildlife birds printed on stamps.  I still have one with ducks in flight.  Then my first painting in an 8th grade art class I painted falling leaves in front of a doe.

So later I tried to draw my children moving  and as they grew I painted them roller skating. I try for showing movement like I perceived it as opposed to what a camera would do. In recent years I am fascinated by the motion of waves in some paintings. At home I do not have an ocean in my back yard but I have the beautiful flight of swallows. I have lived in the same home for over 30 years and just found so many beautiful subjects I could have seen through painting.

by Diane: Art Escape #14, On changing direction a little

"Flight Patterns"
Graphite on 14' x 11" smooth bristol paper


Friday, May 8
Have not painted or sketched since Tuesday. Been trying to change my cooking approach with more do ahead preperation. Still just looking through out the day at the wind waves across seeding grass field, while cotton wood fluff is blown about by the wind. Just memorizing the look of swallows flying. Moiving the jet sled into the garage near the gas pilot light in the water heater. Bad decision. Husband does not see this move as his need to stake out his area as opposed to where my art would take over. We have agreed upon boundaries between my stuff and his.
        Well so much for writing today: I am going to sketch the flight path of swallows in preperation of painting over the entire surface of my most recent painting. It is windy enough that the swallows are not gliding as much.
         At about 11:00 AM one of my wonderful daughters came with groceries and we prepared rice and chicken dinners for two days and some to freeze. One was sweet and sauer and another honey and lime. From her food prep for fisherman hubby, I learned an easy way to remove chicken skin. Then in the late afternoon I was finally able to prepare my own food.
     In the evening I watched the swallows in our front yard. Don thought it was jouvenal flight school because some kept having to land on the driveway.

Sunday, May 10, 1:30 PM
Wonderful to get mother's day greetings from my children and even some surprise ones from others. My sweet fisherman husband started working on my request to fix the fumes in the garage. His jet sled boat was just parked in our garage near my painting storage and the gas waterheater and furnace pilot lights. As it warmed up these hot days, it made me fearful of combustion. And I did not want to expose myself to these fumes when I cook or paint in the garage. Because fisherman hubby cannot tolerate cooking odors, I struggle to accomidate his likely allergies and cook outside the main house.
    I am so thankful that removing the older of the two full gas tanks reduced the odors noticeably.

Monday, May 11
"Flight Paths", Graphite on 14"x 11" smooth bristol paper

Tuesday, May 12,
The dead line for entering the art About Agricultural competition " "Tention/Harmony" is June 27.  A sigh of relief!!  I have enough time to make something to enter.  I need a break from sketching and painting like I have been doing.  So my sister-in-law and I will do a virtual paint out.  She will be painting near her home in Portland and I will take a wagon of my art plein-air paraphernalia to a location near my home. On Zoom we will enjoy each others creative energy. Our daughter will be taking fishing hubby to physical therapy while I take this painting break.

Finished Tuesday, May 12
"On the Wings"
Graphite on 11"x 14" smooth bristol paper

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Ordinary days

by Rain Trueax

Trying to cut down the photos to a few for this blog is proving very difficult-- and that just for the ones from May-- a very colorful season for the Tucson area. Cacti are in bloom along with the ironwood and palo verde trees. It's a sea of pink and yellow all around our home.

Ironwood are particularly interesting as they don't grow everywhere in the Santa Cruz valley. Generally they are on ridges and maybe have soil requirements that I know nothing about. It is one of the blessings of this property that it's in one of their zones; so we have quite a few. They drop tiny slivers, which definitely are no fun to get one in your hands or feet. I have suspected the cats have gotten a few in their paws as they'll be licking and biting at it to get it out. 

When we bought the place we had three big ones right near the house, which provide shade and shelter for the birds. We lost one of them and couldn't do anything to save it even by giving it a waterer. Maybe it had lived its life. I will hate it if we lose either of the others even though smaller ones are coming up.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

by Diane: Art Escape update #13, Near disaster, but saved beef gravy to make a tasty meal

Monday, May 4

Up early! Watched a fledging swallow being fed and Red Tail Hawk also watching with interest. Had a leisurely breakfast. My good breakfast was a good start following an anxious night of feeling inadequate to mounting challenges. I had many ideas of what I could do as the primary care giver of my husband.
 Ignored the urgency I felt during the night. Reduced theplan for the day to one enquiry on Don's ALS medication. Continued painting,  reading Facebook, exercising and walking relaxed me after an anxious night not sleeping after 4:00 AM. Being relaxed was more important for my caregiving than acting on all my night time plans.
Today marked a landmark life changing event in my and my husband fishing life. We sold the fiberglass Slidrite drift boat. It makes us a little sad. I started to tear up as the new owner and his boy drove it away.  At the same time we were feeling good. It was sweet to think that the boat will play an important roll in a boy's awareness and caring about the future of fisheries .

Fisherman hubby on the Deschutes late 80's
One daughter on same Deschutes trip.
We have many memories of the 34 years of drifting down some of Oregon's rivers. White water on the Deschutes, Grande Ronde, and Salmon. The oh so many drifts from Sweethome to McDowel Creek on the South Santiam where even I could catch Steelhead but mostly I painted. Also the longer run from Sweethome to Waterloo. Fishing trips included the North Santiam, the Siletz, the Alsea, the Nestucca and the Trask.

We still have the jet sled that will now have a year round parking place in our garage.

Our dinner was a celebration dinner. I made broth from a WinCo 4 pound bag of soup bones. Carrots, celery and parseley addition was tasty without using onions or garlic or pepper which bother my husband.  The intention of making the broth was to make gravy to pour over steak that had to be tender, tasty and easy to swallow. Timing the gravy to be done the same time as a Fred Meyer meat and baked potato was slightly problematic. Usually I cook beef from Rain and farm boss's ranch and know how long it takes to cook it until tender.  The Fred Meyer meat turned out to cook faster than the rest of the meal. The gravy of broth, whole wheat flour browned in butter had too much fat so I tried to pour it into a fat seperator. Unfortunately I tried to pour it over a cooling but still hot stove glass top burner. Happily I scraped it off the burner before smoking the kitchen and setting off the smoke detecter. The detecter's alarm spoils the relaxing atmoshere we need. I get frazzeled trying to turn on the fans and opening windows.

Tuesday, May 5

Five is a good number for us. Last night fisherman hubby put on his mask and started his VPap all on his own. He only woke twice during the night and I slept well too. My VPap concerns evaporated.

A supplier of a speech generating devise contacted us with the news that the co-pay for this very expensive machine can be completely covered by Team Gleason. Filling out a form that only takes five minutes to fill out. Of course not so easy for us. There wasn't a courtesy e-mail saying they received the form. Precious time lost for painting or drawing.  Maybe now between 2 and 3 PM before starting dinner I can paint and post my week's painting here. I am still working on the one I started last Wednesday.

Last week it had the nice directness of having been done all at once.
This freshness was lost this week but I am learning and seeing  which is more meaningful to me.

Just might paint over 80%.  But first will do some more watching the swallows.
This is an early morning and they fly differently in the still morning air.


Monday, May 04, 2020

a bonus post and a different view

by Rain Trueax

Because I got this from Facebook, I wanted to share it widely. As countries and states open up, each of us will need to decide what that means for our choices. Do we go back or do we continue to self-distance? If it's a job, where we have no choice, do we demand protected working conditions, some changes that take the virus into account?

Having all the facts helps us make those decisions. That means hearing diverse opinions and weighing which seems best for us. Below is a different opinion from something I posted earlier. I believe it's worth reading. It made sense to me and pretty much is what I have believed is my personal choice when governors lift the various bans. 

One thing I have learned from my many years of following what should or should not be done. Experts constantly change their minds or disagree with other experts. In the end, it's your life and body. Get information and don't be afraid to look at different ideas for what might be best. Then make a choice. If you click on Read More, you will find what I consider to be a reasoned and non-partisan view of the situation.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

making a life

by Rain Trueax

sunset April 30th from Casa Espiritu

With the self-distancing and quarantining going on, there has been talk about how introverts handle such times better than extroverts, which does make sense. We tend to need a lot of time alone even when there isn't a virus running around. BUT I began to realize, as a lifelong introvert, that with this need for isolation, it's bothering me too.