Yesterday morning over breakfast Lee reminded me of a project that we needed to get on the calendar, a project neither of us relished. The project had been on my mental calendar for a couple of months and I have found that as a master of procrastination, placing an undesired task on the calendar is of little value other than codification of something to put off. In olden days, if you wanted to delay an undertaking on the calendar, you had to erase it…rarely successfully, as you could see the shadow of the project as a reminder of your failing as a human being. But today with electronic calendars, there is no evidence of procrastination. However, yesterday I needed no stinking calendar, I was a man of action! As soon as I had read the details of Saturday’s glorious DUCK 77-21 victory for the fifth time, I sprung immediately into action.
The little woman of the house was not prepared for such bold action. She was not expecting me, nor wanting me to do the project myself. She reminded me that we had many friends and neighbors that would be glad to lend a hand. Silly girl, she obviously knows little about MACHO MAN!
Most of you are aware of my challenges of nearly seven decades. But I do not want or readily accept excuses. Obstacles are to be overcome. Even with my life of physical limitations I have usually found “workarounds” to accomplish the task at hand and that results in enormous personal gratification. So what if I am now facing muscle wasting from the combination of cancer, prednisone, and post polio. I laugh at it, ha! But even with my normal predisposition to tackle the task head on, my mental state was amplified beyond belief last week during our California vacation when my friend Max rolled out his Harley Sidewinder, the macho man of all bikes. Look at my macho transformation: hat on backwards, no helmet and a bone-chilling snarl!
I completed the Sunday project with only one bad muscle strain. I had budgeted for much more pain because I am MACHO MAN! All kidding aside, so far I am more than holding my own with the muscle wasting. I put a program in place and feel stronger than I did two months ago. But I know it will be an ongoing battle.
We had a great trip to California. Anita and Max live on the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is gorgeous, inspiring and peaceful. Just what the doctor ordered after two-and-a-half years of stress. The ocean feeds all of your senses. It is cathartic. Lee was enthralled and is currently working on a painting from our seaside adventure.
But the ocean is not the only elixir for stress. I have found fine red wine to be quite effective as well. As luck would have it, Jimmy’s quest for rare treasure was once again rewarded when I spotted a Shafer 1985 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon tucked away along with Marcassin, Colgin, and other liquid loot in Max’s cellar.
We had a fabulous dinner at Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach (a definite must try) where we enjoyed the Hillside Select and a 2005 Colgin Tychson Hill.
Then we were off to a world class art show at the Festival of the Arts along with the Pageant of the Masters. The Pageant of the Masters is a unique and amazing multimedia presentation that has been a sold-out staple in Laguna Beach for eighty years. It runs for six weeks each summer.
The next morning we headed to a rather unusual neighborhood wine shop called Bob’s. Cheap everyday wine along with OMG rare wine and a really large selection of ordinary candy bars. If you want a vertical of Mouton, Bob’s has it. If you want a Cup of Gold candy bar, Bob has it. Ordinary candy bars and the rarest of wine? It is a strange and unique shop. Bob sits in his Barcolounger chair as you meander about. I inquired about a vertical of Heitz Bella Oaks Cabernet. The Bella Oaks vineyard from the 70’s and 80’s was known for luscious fruit and soft smooth tannins. He had some, but not a vertical…not that I would have purchased it anyway. But he did have an obscure wine, “Chercher Trouver” 2009 Blackwood Vineyard Napa Valley, that he claimed was of the Bella Oaks style and flavor profile. I purchased one and boy was he was spot on. Delicious.
After nearly destroying Max’s new mail box as I backed out of the driveway, we said our good byes to Max, Anita, and the cool ocean breezes to head back to the desert to visit Oregon friends, Ken and Susan, who have transplanted themselves in Palm Desert. It was a 35-degree jump in temperature in the two-hour drive from the coast. It was beautiful in Palm Desert as well, at least from INSIDE the house. Yikes was it hot. But it was great to see old friends, toot around Palm Springs and Palm Desert, listen to Frank Sinatra, and reminisce.
It has been a while since I have completed a painting. But that is changing. I’m back in business. The editor of the Green Valley News, who has been very supportive of my mission to help people faced with terminal illness, commissioned a painting with two conditions: 1. A blue background 2. No painting of a Duck. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he is definitely NOT a duck fan. So, I painted him “A Very Wild Cat.” Lee and I got all Ducked out and presented it to him last Friday.
P.S. it says “GO Ducks” on the back. Great fun!
If you get the feeling from this post that we are having fun, you are correct. I am on hospice, this is what early hospice is about, living life to its fullest. I am still in contact with my research oncologist, but until something materializes, I will remain on hospice. Next week Lee and I embark on our next adventure to Monument Valley, Arches National Park, visiting friends in Steamboat Springs, CO and then attending the Oregon Duck game in Laramie, Wyoming. Hospice is taking good care of me as I travel. They will be providing oxygen several days before we leave should I need it for the higher altitude. But I may lend the oxygen to the DUCK mascot to help him with all the push ups he has to do for every point the DUCKS score.
Party on dudes and dudettes!