OF FIG TREES AND PARAPLEGIC RABBITS


“HARVEY”

Harvey came to live with us a few years ago, claiming his spot in the jungle of our back yard, with long ears peeking over a small azalea bush which refused to bloom, and giving Charlie something else to worry about in the garden.

Harvey had an insouciant air about him which belied his somewhat physically challenged body. After all, a rabbit with only one leg faces certain defeat in a hopping contest.

We saw Harvey standing at the side of the rode one morning, alone and obviously forgotten by those who had chosen to discard him. As we tucked him into the backseat of our car, we couldn’t help noticing that along with his missing leg, Harvey had lost both arms. Believing strongly that everyone deserves a second chance, we christened him “Harvey” in remembrance of the famous six foot rabbit of movie fame, and propped him up under a small fig tree.

Though I have been a fig fancier since early childhood, Dr. A has never developed the same urgency for them. We planted a black fig tree many years ago which has become a wonderful shade tree, but through unfortunate trimming does not produce figs at the correct picking level. We planted another fig several years ago with lovely soft green fruit. However, it became a rampant grower, sending limbs hither and yon, and sending Dr. A into a tither.

Gardens are forever evolving, and one morning last week Harvey took a catastrophic spill, and both of his lovely ears broke off. Now you might say Harvey had served his purpose in life and deserved a quiet end, but I know there is more to Harvey’s life than we have seen. Dr. A has performed a bit of glue surgery and with a little more help, Harvey will again grace our garden.

However, Harvey will no longer sit in the shade of the small fig tree as it amazingly disappeared a few days ago after Dr. A stepped out with his pruning shears.

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OUR MOTHERS


“PERSEVERENCE” watercolor by kayti sweetland rasmussen

Just as the tiny tree in this painting struggles through rocky soil to reach its independence and achieve its potential, we too struggled to loose the loving bonds of our mothers.

We spread our wings and announced to the world at large “Look! We have listened; we have learned; we can survive”

We have been blessed, and we are grateful.

SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION


“#number 007” kayti sweetland rasmussen

Wouldn’t you know it? I thought the leg surgery last year was the cat’s meow, and would enable me to reengage in all sorts of former activities. Though it was apparently successful, things gradually went wrong during the year and it seemed we were back to square one.

It’s amazing the things the medical profession keeps learning. They soon discovered that the new vein wasn’t as good as they thought and was blocked again in a different place.

I went in for a procedure last week for angioplasty where they were able to open it once more. They don’t call these things “surgery” anymore” as procedure sounds much better.

The group in the radiology room were in high spirits. They had all attended the “Commi-Con” affair in San Jose where people buy, sell and trade comic books. I believe it was started some time ago by Steve Wozniak, the genius who will Steve Jobs, created Apple. I could be wong of course, but I do KNOW for a fact that Wozniak is the sort of person who would do this. During the procedure I asked one of the techs how large his collection was. He said “It depends on how large you think large is. Mine is 21,000 books. The other great conversation was devoted to the rattlesnake bit someone got the day before on top of Mission Peak when putting his hand beside the rock he was sitting on. Naturally the rattlesnake shook hands with him and a helicopter was called to haul him down to civilization. I know for a fact that he was on top of the peak, because I’ve hiked there, and that is where rocks large enough to sit upon are located. Last time I was there an illusive tiny blue butterfly was sunning itself.

Now surely this takes all your concentration away from what is happening to your body, along with the melody playing on the tape, which happened to be “A Horse With No Name”. I’ve always liked that song, though I can’t recall all the words or who did it.

Right after arriving home however, I discovered a large painful area around my middle which was black and blue. Turned out it was a “hematoma” and when I reported it, they sent me immediately to the emergency room where I lounged around in great comfort all day—from noon till eight o’clock, taking cat scans et al and they finally determined that it is resolving itself, so go home with no more worries.

The emergency room is an interesting place. It was Sunday when most people should be out enjoying the sunshine, but there were so many, lying in beds out in the halls, walking around wearing the cool robes which open in the back, visiting, etc. and of course, some who were really sick in the cubicles divided by curtains which can be closed for privacy. A few doctors trying to divide themselves up into many, and many nurses moving from place to place. A busy place indeed.

From the cot that you are placed on after dressing in one of the cool robes, they send you to various places for tests, in my case the room containing the huge cat scan machine. It takes quite awhile after the doctor determines the best way to go, for someone to wheel you down dimly lighted halls, which are vacant on a Sunday. After finding my self parked alongside a lonely wall I was reminded of a favorite trick in the auto repair business of giving someone a “wall job”; by parking your car alongside a wall to take a turn which may take a long while to accomplish.

After my wall job they completed a scan and wheeled me back to my cubicle. We had arrived at noon at the advice of 2 of my doctors, and by now it was mid afternoon with no apparent food or drink in sight. However the woman in the next cubicle was being fed spaghetti and meat sauce which smelled delicious to my hungry self. I plaintively begged for a little snack, but they said no food in case you need surgery. I went to sleep to forget the whole thing, and the young doctor came and said they were going to do another scan. Naturally I asked what they had seen that made them think they needed another one. He seemed surprised that I should ask, but I calmly explained that if I were making a dish of food or baking a cake and it didn’t turn out right that I would have to do it again. My cynical thought was CYA which as you may know means “protect yourself in case something goes wrong”. The carpentry and sewing businesses also have a saying: “measure twice, cut once”.

It was, all in all, an enlightening day, showing the dedication of so many in the medical profession, giving immediate care to so many unfortunates. On the other hand, I think if I were a doctor, the emergency room would be a never ending source of interest.

And a note to Mr. Trump, we are getting the same good care as we have had with Obamacare, so he doesn’t need to worry about us.

ANYONE WOULD KNOW


NUMBER 004, watercolor by kayti sweetland rasmussen

Well, it’s apparent that we all see things differently.

Many of you readers know that I am a retired sculptor, art teacher, who also painted for most of my long life. I have never been a landscape painter, nor has the sight of a perfect hillside set my fingers a-twitter to paint it. On the other hand, the tilt of a head in the sunshine, or the eager excitement in a child’s eyes made me rush for a paint brush.

Now that the passing years have diminished my eyesight, I again have the urge, but no longer see things in the same way.

I find this challenge exciting because I am no longer constricted and can follow my own advice to former students: “Remember, a straight line doesn’t always have to be straight.” Unlike a portrait, perfection isn’t a valued commodity.

My husband, paragon of artistic expertise, is a great critic while peering over my shoulder in the studio. “What’s it supposed to be?”

Well, anyone can plainly see that it is a picture of clouds, rocks, and a tiny tree making its way up through the cracks, seeking the sun.

“But where are snow covered mountains?”

Well I might have taught YOU snow covered mountains, but I’m not ready for them yet. Meanwhile I’m going to continue making wiggly lines.