Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ry Cooder Jacuzzi

Miss the darkroom?
Yellow Kodak boxes with a danger smell,
now bankrupt have a rosy odorant.
Will you ever edit live again?
I sent haikus.
 Your text response:
“they make no sense.”
Old notes played from the jacuzzi is
 a naked soul gently singing in grisaille.
Digital point click ready to eat.
Miss the darkroom?
and Ry Cooder live before mp3. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ammie Palooza

My Mother is Eighty.
Quite a feat, Dr. Annmarie Gerardo, I am proud of you.

Today is my mother’s 80th Birthday and we are having what was originally referred to as the Royal Wedding, but now has evolved into Ammie Palooza. My mother uses the nick name that my eldest child named her some nineteen years ago (she prefers Ammie a derivative of her name Annmarie to Grandmother). I’m not saying my mother is vain, she is different after her major stroke this past December. I am posting the process this morning getting the flowers ready for the tables as a fun break from serious writing.

My younger sister and I used flowers from my yard and we went to the Orange County Wholesale Flower Mart to purchase the spider mums, blue iris and some raffia. The total cost for eight arrangements $ 52.00
1.       Clean vases with vinegar and shine them ( this was my son Carson’s job).
2.       Turn on music
3.       Place marbles, or fish tank pebbles in the bottoms of the vases
4.       Trim Hydrangea and Canna leaves which frame the inside of the vases
5.       Tie a knot in raffia tight at ¾ height of vase, push down and create a simple bow and trim uneven, push the raffia bow back up
6.       Add cold water ¾ full to all vases
7.       Measure the flowers to have 80% of the trimmed same size to reach a few inches above the vases, discarding all leaves that will be in the water, trim any ugly leaves or pedals
8.       Cut 10% one inch longer and the other 10% two inches longer
9.       Arrange one type of flower in each vase at a time
10.   Add minimal greenery at end
11.   Buckets for transportation lined with old towels and the plastic wrap
12.   Deliver finished arrangements to the site
I will load some pictures of the flowers on the tables after tonight’s party

They aren't finished here on the garage floor, but almost there.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Honey's Days Under a Canopy of Sunflowers

I finally heard back from the Vet about Honey our Golden Retriever. She will be fifteen tomorrow, she has been healthy, loving, fast, funny and wonderful until this past July. Her ear infections won’t cure, the pads of her feet seem to bother her so much that she stopped taking her swim in the pool and won’t go in the ocean excepting for the very soft foamy waves. This is a dog that swam with the surfers and rode waves with us until we called her to stop. The last two days she doesn’t want to eat or move around.

Carson had a Lacrosse camp at Whittier College all day in the heat, and I couldn’t take her into 102 degree temperature so I had a couple different people check on her at home. She sun bathed in the morning and enjoyed her routine of watching the hummingbirds and dragonflies hover over the pool but come afternoon she didn’t go into her favorite spot among the Colossal sunflowers. Honey didn’t move all day from the kitchen floor where my laptop is and where she keeps me company to write.

I felt this boulder in my chest calling to check on her, I redialed the Vet’s exchange in hopes he would call in some prescription. Last visit he spoke of quality of life. I’m bringing her in tomorrow, going to ask for pain medicine, something to perk her appetite and a miracle. Are you connected with your pets? I am closer with my children, but our dogs offer unconditional love and joy. If you ever knew or have a Golden Retriever, you know what a funny breed they are. They talk and make noises but are terrible watch dogs. They are afraid of lightening and all they want is to be a nanny to your children and make certain everyone is comforted.

Honey knew when I was sick with chemotherapy, she saw us survive the fire, and she is still diligent in watching for bunnies who steal my flowers and produce. She no longer chases them but they are afraid of the big amber colored dog who once guarded her garden.

I’m home now after a fun day at Carson’s Lacrosse Camp, gave her a piece of cheese with her pills. Then an extra pieces of Trader Joe’s sliced turkey because I know it is yummy. She shook her head and smiled that big dog one but her eyes are cloudy.

My son Carson said tonight, “Mom, you say that when you are ready to die, you will swim out in the ocean to some far away buoy to avoid being a burden--”

I stop him mid-sentence, “No, as much as Honey loves the ocean, Green River or the lake she would panic and be afraid. I don’t ever want any of you to be afraid.”

He nods, I feel a tear in my eye, and blot it off with my shirt. He’s sixteen and life and death are fast as the wings of a dragonfly. I put my hand on Honey’s head so she won’t have to get up to be with us for a group hug. Then we get down on the floor and thank her for being a beautiful girl. Her tail still has some thump in it.

Sunflowers the size of a basketball player
I think this is what Honey sees when she sleeps under the sunflowers, a big happy face full of seeds of promise for next year.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Corn Lily Cure

Surprised by saffron stems,
showing on my stoop with a smile.
In hands of a handsome devil,
really they're lilies,
Do you know where this story begins or ends?
I’ll backtrack for you.
I wrote a text message haiku:
Wild lilies breathe ~ in Yosemite for you ~ open your hands wide.
Flowers John Muir carefully documented,
the full measure of the mountain runs your lungs;
but I didn’t that send that one,
the stamens felt sappy,
with staining crumbs.
Delete delete.
Silent, death destructiion disaster of a heart.
No-one wants to hear about chemotherapy.
Delete delete.
I sent something else:
Crane Flat corn lilies ~ burn upon my memory ~ enjoy your sweet XXXX.
(Keep secrets locked in a jewelry box made by some child in China)
Back track more:
A girl walked through those sequoias in Crane Flat. A funny teen with a sketch book alone drawing flowers and scribbling journal notes in the woods. A watercolor of those corn lilies from this trip is  in my Mother’s downstairs bath. I read that the Cyclopamine in corn lilies once thought to be so poisonous to humans and livestock, actually has life-saving properties. Think of the ranchers who had this scourge pulled and burned at the stake. The corn lily native plant is now being used in advanced cancer trials. The healing aspect of miracles are around us in everyday dandelions you fail to see in the cracks of concrete.

Go fast forward and dance with your shoulders in a figure eight:
If you remove the stamens the lilies last longer, the gold dust won’t mark you like some penance on Ash Wednesday.
"For dust you are, and to dust you shall return."
Delete delete.
Perhaps it is better not explaining my haiku or saving the plate of saffron pollen as some science experiment.
Allow me to dye your gown the color of the sun.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Love Life

Photo from abandoned house on the way hiking to Holy Jim Falls Trabuco Canyon.
Please do not re post my photographs without my permission. Copyright 2012 Caroline Gerardo

Love Life.
Life is not a joke.

I punched Dan after he said, "I would be satisfied with going to sleep and not waking up."
Angry, he feigns slumber making me fly the Beechcraft. I act unafraid.

What is on your dream board?

Plans and expectations for love, family, money, spiritual connections?
Do you have it written down?
Do you have images to touch?

There are no boundaries,
only reaching for new ideas.

Make your goals permeate your DNA.
Waking hours long to train and grow
Growth accelerates progress
muscle memory walks you there
right action creates better ends

There are no secrets to success or happiness.

But damn, I'll punch you if you give up
Snap out of it and follow through.