Wednesday, August 05, 2015

What the drought has wrought

The Rocky fire as it is called, has now spread over 68,000 acres... spanning three counties here in Northern California. The land is dry and brittle from our long drought here in California.It started on July 29th, and here it is the 5th of August and it is only 20% contained. Thirty-nine residences and 52 outbuildings have been destroyed. It has been reported that over 3,400 fire personnel have been employed, with over three hundred Fire engines having been dispatched. This thing is huge to say the least.Hotter conditions are expected as the week progresses.Clear Lake resides in the next county over,which is Lake County. The fire has enveloped an area southeast of a small town called Middletown.People in Middletown are on alert as the fire has been spreading.The cause for concern is that the fire can change direction at any time,all depending on which way the wind is blowing. This is a scary situation for everyone involved.It is hoped that the fire is contained soon, as this is making everyone quite weary and restless.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mourning another tooth loss.

This is the second tooth I have had to have pulled this year. This one was a molar with a gold cap (which I don't know if I was compensated for yet ) It was quite painful, but I am relieved it got taken out. I will have to wait at least six months to see if I am suitable for an implant. My sister Rita is not convinced that implants are the answer. She has not had as much luck with them ( and they were taken out in short order for her ). Implants or not, the truth is that I am getting older and shit like this will start to visit upon me.Teeth are my friends,and I don't like to lose them. Last week I week I got a cortisone shot in my left foot to alleviate planter fasciitis. I doubt that I will ever run again, but at least I will be able to go on hikes. It seems like their are a lot of people my age that are comparing notes when it comes to medical maladies, as each of us grows older.Thank God for Medi-Cal and in the very near future,Medicare. I understand that at least my prescriptions will be paid for; and I only have to call ahead to Smith's Pharmacy to place my order.The saying goes that, "Getting old ain't for sissies!" No truer words...

On a lighter note, I went to hear a Cuban singer last night at Sonoma University's Weil Theater which is gorgeous and acoustically flawless.His name is Carlos Varela. The performance was moving. He spoke about his homeland in Havana growing up in a time-warped country under Communist rule.He sang beautifully and soulfully getting the audience involved through clapping and singing along. His brother, Aldo Lopez-Gavilan provided a solo piece that caught everyone buy surprise.His skills and vibrant expression on the grand Bosendorfer piano was the best I've ever heard.It was jaw-dropping.People gave him a standing ovation, to which they shouted and cheered, Bravo! Many were moved to tears.The trio, which included bassist Julio Cesar Gonzalez made for a evening of unique and thoroughly enjoyable music.My friends,Bill and Veda Florez went out later to Mary's Pizza Shack for a Pesto Pizza before heading home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pursuing Beauty

Here i am holed up, in my hot and sweaty apartment thinking about all the rocks I have to paint to keep my inventory current. If the creative juices were flowing, my work would bring a little more satisfaction. Unfortunately, I have been rehashing a lot of similar designs. Thank God for color variations and the many combinations because it helps provide each rock with a distinctive quality.Staying focused can be difficult when you have a bunch of neighborhood kids who scream and shout, celebrating their long days of summer.My personal code of patience and tolerance carries me through on most days.Staying inspired by finding things that stir the imagination reminds me that art is everywhere. The spillage on the sidewalk seen in the pic below is a sample of found art. Staying engaged in the process of seeking beauty wherever it can be found keeps me in a good frame of mind.Now back to the acrylics.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

To the Beach!

It is important to get away to the coast every so often. My new friend, Robert and I went to collect sandstones over at Russian Gulch. The weather was overcast in the beginning and the clouds began to part as we went back. One has to go through a jungle of sorts to get to the beach. The trail is about a quarter mile, and this time of the year the plants are abundant and lush. The whole area was rich and green, teaming with life. The beach itself is rather small. I would say it is not over one hundred yards, from end to end. Drift wood and sea weed would cover the part of the beach where I took the following pictures. I went back to my car to get a few Spirit rocks to take some showcase images.Robert was content just to lie down on the sand.

Friday, June 05, 2015

School's out for the summer

Today is June fifth and the days are heating up again. The Spring has presented us with lovely, cool days in the 60's and 70's, but when it hits 80 and above... I roast. This weekend is expected to be over 90.The bike rides I've been taking to stay in shape have paid off. I am getting in shape and my attitude has been good. Notice I didn't say great, but good.The Warriors basketball team however, is doing great, and I mean great! They are in the NBA finals, and have already won their first game! That picks my spirits up for sure.

The other day my neighbor's kid(s) graduated from elementary school. I remember Monica (The girl on the left in the picture below) as a cute little four year old playing with her brother, and now they both are soon to become teenagers. These growth spurts get me feeling a little sentimental and weepy.

I suppose that as the days get longer during summer, my time on the planet seems to be getting shorter, I don't know.Kids just grow up too fast these days. I want them all to stay cute and lovable. I suppose they are still lovable.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Grieving a lost molar

Monday I had a molar extracted from my mouth.I have spent my whole life maintaining my smile. Frequent trips to the dentist when I was younger were common place. I never had to wear braces because I was told that if you don't stick you tongue in the space where the tooth came out, your teeth won't come in crooked.I believed that advice.

I used to have mercury fillings, but as an adult I had all of them removed. My health and well-being improved considerably.I have three teeth with gold caps, one porcelain, and have had an assortment of surgical procedures including three root canals and a periodontal scaling.One of the root canal treatments was botched. Dr. Scott did not remove the whole root and over time the pain came back whenever I bit down on my left side.

Eventually the tooth got infected and the dentist told me that I had a choice to make. Live with it, or have it extracted and replaced with an implant. I again, put the matter on hold figuring that I would just tolerate the pain and would have it taken out when the pain became unbearable.Well, that happened. Dr. Politz from Napa's Oral and Maxillofacial clinic had the job of removing the tooth.

Later, I was given a prescription for antibiotics and painkillers.As it turned out, I only took one painkiller and have nineteen pills left over.I don't know what to do with them.If I flush them down the toilet the will leech into the water supply.My plan is to return them to the pharmacy an let them deal with them.

Today i have a gaping hole where my molar used to be.I will have to wait six months before being considered for implant surgery. Great. Well,that will give me time to save up three grand to have it done.I still miss my molar.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hard Work and Manifestation

I like to shop for supplies to add to my Rock Painting business.Going to the beach used to be a regular sojurn. Traveling from Calistoga to Jenner is usually a day well spent. I get out of town, take a relaxing ride to the coast and I spend time in a secluded area to commune with nature.This is where I recharge my creative batteries so to speak. Many times I will find a rock or several rocks to use in my craft.

Returning home, I will have stopped at several art stores to pick up other supplies that I would use. Stickers, paint, brushes, glue, glitter and types of paper are just some of the items I am always in search of;To make something individual and unique. The work is usually the most enjoyable part of the creative process, but that depends.

Today, I purchased a magazine called "Fructose" which contains stories about artists like myself. I read things of this nature, and go to museums and galleries to support the culture from which i draw these ideas. The ideas are the components, not the media which I use to bring them into being.The ideas fuel the fire which drives creative expression. Otherwise, I am just practicing... always practicing.This is true especially when their is no clear idea where or how an idea will manifest, and thereby move this whole process forward.