Friday, January 27, 2012

Sheep, Sheep

Camp Verde Sheep Copyright 2012  Seven Roads Gallery
I love music.Let me reword that. I love good music.  Good is my opinion.  Nuances in individual tastes toward food, wine, beer, film and art, are as wide-spread as cowboy hats in Texas or assholes wearing cowboy hats in Texas.  Like Tommy at the monthly town meeting who unjustly accused the town board of favoritism and then held up his right paw and forestalled any further discourse with, "I ain't gonna argue,"  I will add ditto to Tommy's spurl ( my own word-a combination of spurt and hurl). I ain't gonna argue.

When I taught in the inner city, as a respite from stress, I'd retreat to a greenhouse I salvaged from demolition.  A neighbor and I drove it from it's defunct business location in the inner city  to my lower east side home along the Milarky River. We managed it without much damage to the glass windows.  I replaced a few rotted frames and hand dug a narrow footing four foot below the ground level. Each window was a separately constructed piece which bolted to it's neighbor and was braced to a free standing roof.  Total dimensions I think were less than 20 feet long and wide enough for two four foot benches with a three foot walkway.  I'd stick a disc in my Walkman and tend to a variety of house plants, orchids and vegetable plants I raised for myself and for sale. It kept me sane. Surround yourself with a hundred plants and you'll know why.

Besieged by technical glitches in the writing of this post, I slip a music disc in the tower. It's an old friend, Music For The Spiritual Tourist compiled by Mick Brown.  I never intended to write about sheep. One of the cuts, the same title as the post, sung by the Georgia Sea Island Singers is an accapella  gospel song. In the liner notes Mick writes that gospel music is the first music "that truly moved me, a sanctified chorus..."

Dawn's painting of sheep sold at Amish auction for a ridiculously low price.  Under ten dollars.  Had I been there at the moment it went up for sale, I would have removed it from bidding in an illegal, but common way at Amish auctions which would have been to bid on the piece myself. Then if the price didn't rise or I wasn't satisfied with the price, I'd buy it and keep the painting, not before giving my Amish friends their meager commission.  I sincerely hope the buyer of Dawn painting enjoys the bargain or the painting drops off the wall and damages their furniture or both. 

 The Camp Verde Sheep acrylic is my title.  Dawn didn't add a title since it originally was planned as a inexpensive donation to help the Amish School fund. Cheap frame, quickly executed commission in which Dawn excels.  My mind's eye sees that sheep in the field across from a friend's place in Camp Verde, Arizona on a dark night when Holly escorted me and Dawn to look at a piece of property up for sale.  The house is pleasant enough, with some acreage.  Holly takes her flashlight to scan the field in front of the house.  Thirty glowing eyes shine back at us.  Memorable. 

The music in the background is wistful and melancholic.  With a black and white landscape outside and the threat of more snow this afternoon, I'm comforted by the presence of Salvatore Pucci, the cat, on my desk and Mandy Mae lying behind my chair. 

The week has been long and stressful.  One reason for technical glitches here is that I tried to find web images for a man stuck in a doughnut.  Use your imagination to see me up in Rochester having a biopsy of my pancreas while the Russian doctor tries to find the exact spot to insert a needle slide past bowel, liver, stomach with the aid of a CT scanner- a machine that looks like a four foot high plastic beige doughnut

Wednesday was a relatively innocuous electrocardiogram ( sonic imaging of my heart) to determine if my heart can withstand the chemotherapy.  Thursday, we drove through dense fog, possible black ice just after dawn to arrive for outpatient surgery to install a port for the chemo, more tests, lots of down time, consultations, medicalese, and 4+ hours of chemotherapy. A Pakistani doctor wearing  a skullcap with really bad breath reminds me to tell him when my fingers go numb or if I can't button my shirt because that's bad, really bad. It can't be reversed.  More worst case scenario.  I'd like to take all the worst case scenarios and...

We left home at 7:15 am and return 12 hours later. Thanks to Jorge, the animals were well kept.

I never mention kind, number and species when talking to the medical folks about my "animals" because they will immediately down play my abrasive reactions to their scheduling process, which seems to be for the benefit of the medical people.  Let them assume I have 300 chickens, ten ducks, forty sheep and dairy cows because all I get anyway is sympathetic looks.  Not much else.  "I'm sorry but that's the procedure."  The most they'll give is  push back arrival time 30 minutes because I'm not 80 years old and don't need twenty minutes to untie my shoes.

The admitting nurse turns white when I tell her to get me a number for the scheduling person so I can inform them what it's like driving in dense fog for 70 minutes on possible glare ice.
I leave Skemp/Mayo with a portable pump attached to the newly inserted port.The pump serves to deliver chemo 24/7 for a week.  The pump hangs on my belt in a fanny pack.  On the drive home we have a laugh up the first hill to the ridge-tops surrounding Lacrosse when Dawn asks why there a flashing green light in the car.  It is in the same area ( outside) she reported lightning ( strobe flashes on cell towers). "Oh come on. I'm wearing that pump."  

If I sit, a line gets kinked and a red light starts flashing. After this happens twice, I make sure that all tubing is exposed for ready inspection.The sleeping dog starts whimpering.  I immediately look down at the pump device to see what warning signal is going off.  At night, it sleeps on the bookcase next to the bed. Nurses warning me of excessive thrashing in my sleep. Of course, they always give a worst case scenario in which a man ripped off the connection, chemo leaked all over the bed in his sleep.  Then, one has to open a box labeled SPILL KIT.  Yup you guessed it.  Full scale haz-mat operation with mask, gown, rubber gloves. Oh jayzus.

Cut to the chase.  I am better. Optimistic even. There are no more trips for at least a week.  Maybe then I'll have more time to be able to comment on trolls, dieting, concrete dishware and singing in the shower ( see blog list).

  Stay away from bridges 'cause that's where trolls wait for fat billy goats.


okjimm said...

Trolls..... hmmmmm I guess I will cross that bridge when I get to it

... a troll with a billy club could be dangerous and gosh it could hurt and .... oh oh...bill GOAT.

never mind.

Gavrillo said...

hehe.In the old R.Crumb comix there used to be a segment called Ducks, Yas,Yas. In my prevented sense of humor I'd transpose the phrase to any humorous situation. Cow walking on front legs only. Duck, Yas, Yas.

Snoring Dog Studio said...

I love the painting of the sheep. I have a fondness for them, actually. An Amish auction sounds like a nice way to spend the day.

I'm glad you're back home and ready to get well!