Wisdom Captured: Delores and Lorraine

Dolores, 83, and Lorraine, 80, eagerly await the arrival of their friend Rosie. The threesome were neighbors in Grass Valley for nearly 15 years. Five years ago Dolores moved to Eskaton Roseville Manor to live closer to two of her children in Citrus Heights. A few months ago Lorraine joined her. “I missed her so much,” said Lorraine. “I’m happy with one good friend, but I have two.” Rosie moves in soon.

Eskaton Roseville Manor is an affordable apartment community offering rental assistance for older adults with limited resources.

After raising three children and volunteering as an arts and crafts teacher, Dolores went to work in a retirement community for nine years. She started as a prep cook and worked her way up to assistant administrator. She remembers the training she received to work with seniors. “I know how to be with older people,” said Delores who now lives with limited version and hearing. Read more>

Ghost Writer: Have you written your autobiography?

Eskaton Grass Valley

Sitting down to write a book is a daunting task. I tried once, but gave up after a few hours when I got stuck on page three. When I met 93-year-old LaVonne Amaral, I was in awe when she told me about her autobiography: What a Wonderful Life. It’s a three part series of ancestry as well as life raising her family in Nevada County.

As you age, the urge to write down memories becomes greater. It’s the feeling of wanting to leave a legacy to the world and not be forgotten. As Lavonne approached her 80s, her husband’s health wasn’t what is used to be, so she took on the task of writing down all their memories. She and her husband documented both their families’ heritage. They captured an abundance of meaningful stories. She completed her first draft in 2006, seven years after she first began. The editing process took another six years. Read more>

Ghost Writer: For Love and Chocolate

It was my pleasure for a year to be a ghost writer for one Eskaton’s leaders. My voice and his voice became one.

Love, no matter what age you are, is one of the strongest, most beneficial emotions you can have. Love comes in many forms. Love for your pet Yorkie. Love of playing bridge with your friends. Love for your new grand baby. Love of your new partner, or a spouse of 40 plus years. Love produces positive emotions, helps you fight disease and live longer.

With Valentine’s Day now in the rearview mirror, I reflect on the ways people around me tell each other “I love you.” The sweet little peck on the check. Holding hands in public. Hugs. Lots of hugs. In fact, hugging and touching produce a chemical in the brain called oxytocin. According to multiple studies, hugs are a natural stress reliever and can help lower blood pressure.

Last week, while opening the traditional red, heart shape box of chocolate from my mom, I couldn’t help but wonder why this sweet treat is synonymous with love. It’s filled with sugar and nougat. I don’t even know what nougat is made from so it can’t possibly be good for me. Plus, I never eat more than one or two pieces after breaking them all open just to find the ones filled with caramel and nuts. I was shocked recently to find out this box of chocolate is more than a token of love. It has history and health benefits. Read more>

Disruptive Bee Keeper Technology Makes Finalist in Venture Capital Contest

by Lola Rain

SACRAMENTO, CA – June 26, 2014– HiveLogger, selected as a finalist in the Velocity Venture Capitalist Entrepreneur competition, addresses the honey bee depletion crisis discussed by the USDA and President Obama. The USDA reports Colony Collapse Disorder is the cause for a dramatic decline in the bee population. President Obama recently directed government agencies to take steps to protect pollinators, including the honey bee. Bee depletion impacts our food supply due to agriculture’s dependence on healthy bees for pollinating crops. National Pollinators week, which just concluded, brought this crisis to the forefront of news and social media.

In California, the almond industry depends on bee pollination for its $500 Million in revenue. The bee keeping pollination services nationwide are valued over $16 Billion, $5.5 Billion in California alone making our state one of the largest users of bees.

The California State Assembly addressed the needs to tackle this depletion crisis as: Actionable reporting, pro-active communication, collaborative evaluation, and regulatory oversight. HiveLogger uses this methodology in its smart sensor solution for bee keepers to build and maintain healthy colonies. This disruptive technology uses a combination of data analytics software and smart sensors in the hive that captures quantitative, verifiable data that is easily shared for collaboration. The sensors let bee keepers know what is happening inside the hive to evaluate bee performance and health from anywhere at any time, saving hours of drive time to colonies that are hired out across the state.

The number of votes HiveLogger receives during this stage of the contest will determine if it moves forward in the Entrepreneurs Showcase at Velocity Venture Capital in Folsom. To view the HiveLogger video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MniFOpO3jws.

For more information visit www.hivelogger.com or contact Stephen Engel at cybrk@hivelogger.com.


About Velocity VC Entrepreneurs Showcase

For over 15 years Velocity Venture Capital has been igniting, educating, and capitalizing technology entrepreneurs in the Sacramento region. Velocity VC helps turn ideas into successful businesses. The fifth annual Entrepreneurs Showcase identifies local start-ups with the most innovative technology in Security, Medical, Energy, and Education. Out of the 23 finalists only ten will be awarded entrance in the 2014 Fall Velocity Boot Camp. Winners will be announced in August. For more information, contact Gary Simon at gary.simon@entrepreneurscampus.org.

Healthcare Service Learning at Clinica de Salinas, Limon Dos, Nicaragua

by Lola Rain

“I’m going to show you something better than any medicine,” said Dr. Domingo to a patient in the little Nicaraguan town of Limon Dos. During most mornings over the last two years the doctor sees more than 20 patients at the free clinic of Salinas, which serves seven of the surrounding communities. Mostly woman and children arrive by bus, taxi or walk the distance on dirt roads to see this young doctor in residency.

In Nicaragua, to repay the free medical education provided by the government, young doctors must do at minimum of one year in a rural clinic. Domingo was at the end of his second year at Clinica de Salinas. He chose to stay the second year living and working at this small eight room clinic.

I could tell immediately he was well liked by the community. Several patients came offering gifts: Tamales, fresh laid eggs, even a plump chicken – dead or alive. Domingo will be missed by his patients and the clinic staff. Recently he earned a new residency in internal medicine. In a few days the doctor will be traveling back to his home in the capitol city of Managua to begin a specialty track which will prove to be much different from the general medicine he practiced in Limon Dos.

ImageOn the morning I spent with Domingo in four short hours we saw 22 patients, ages 2 months to 80 years. Cases included everything from the sniffles and ear infections to pregnancies to heart disease and diabetes. Out of the 22 visits that morning, only one male appeared. He was in his early 20s complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath. After probing the patient with questions, and taking a listen to his heart and lungs, the doctor determined the man was experiencing stress from recent life events including a new job. Dr. Domingo went over breathing exercises with this young man. All four of us in the room (doctor, patient, a medical student and myself) practiced together. Slow breath in. Slow breath out. Repeat three times. This prescription reminded me of the many years of yoga training it took before I could grasp the three breath concept. Three breaths can change a stressful mindset and calm the body. This doctor on the Pacific coast of southern Nicaragua, 3,500 miles from my home, just confirmed that breathing techniques are valuable to almost anyone on the planet.

“They need reassurance,” Dr. Domingo said of his patients.

The medicine practiced in this remote village is similar to the US, but the methods are somewhat antiquated, like that of an old American family doctor in the mid-1900s. Some of the tools are modern – urine strips, an ultra sound machine – but the techniques performed indicated the doctor was doing the best he could with the conditions he inherited. At this free clinic, like most in the country, there is a lack of supplies and medications. The doctor made a cotton swab out of gauze and used it on the child with the aching ear. Urine samples were provided in plastic bags, not sterile cups like we are accustomed to in the US. There were no plastic gloves to protect the hands of the doctor or medical student. And the urine dip stick test was performed on top of the patient chart sitting on the doctor’s desk, then set on the edge of the desk to wait for the results.

If you were to look at these methods through the lens of most US citizens, some might be appalled by the lack of sterilization and others heart stricken on the lack of money and supplies. The truth is, however, these patients were being very well cared for by a doctor with an outstanding bedside manner. It’s obvious Dr. Domingo’s priority is the quality of care he provides to patients. A different doctor may not be able to get past the lack of medical paraphernalia. In a different clinic, half the patients may go unseen if the methods varied, slowing down the process.

Since I have not been on aid missions to places such as Africa or Haiti, I can only imagine what conditions must be like in other poverty stricken, remote regions. The ideal conditions would be having the proper resources for medical professionals to do their jobs. But what this one clinic demonstrated is a doctor who excelled by embracing his rural assignment. The result is a community and clinical staff who respected this young man who once was an outsider but now is a highly regarded physician who truly cares. The world needs more Dr. Domingos and hopefully his replacement will be able to fill his shoes.

Thank you to Casa Verde, Executive Director Amie Riley, and my fellow travelers: OHSU students Joe, Ericka, Jessica, and Karen Shimada of Clackamas Free Clinic for giving me this priceless experience in rural medicine and cultural differences.

Photo by Ericka Acuna

Do you remember little Miss Cherry Rain?

Fairy Cherry, Spring 1994
photo by C. Hope

Many, many moons ago, a spirited child ran around the town of Ashland, Oregon, blessing everyone she met by sharing her talent. As a small child Cherry spent many hours with pen in hand. At two years old she had this intense frustration when the lines wouldn’t take shape the way she intended. I would soothe her and say: “Everything will be alright. Your art is beautiful.”

I was studying photo journalism and sociology and wanted to be a war correspondent, but as a single parent with a toddler I made other choices. I put my energy in to developing mine and my daughter’s creativity. Cherry and me spent time under the red lamp in the darkroom learning about B&W processing. By the time she was five we were learning Photoshop together. She helped me design her 5th birthday party invitation on an original Power Mac.

Cherry as Alice in Wonderland June 4, 1997
photo by T. Rain

In first grade Cherry joined an organization I founded called the Ashland Photographer’s Group. She participated in monthly projects and exhibited her first image at our 20/20 Visions gallery in 1999. She not only used my Nikon and studio lighting to take her photos, she printed them herself in the darkroom and framed it. At age seven she entitled her diptic: The Eye of Love and the Eye of Fearless. In retrospect, that dichotomy has been a theme in her life ever since.

Cherry became interested in fashion design when she was ten and took her drawing to the next level. By 12 years old she was scanning her drawings, coloring them in Photoshop, printing them on transfer paper, and ironing the images on skirts she made by hand. The drawings were funky little robots – something you’d see in an animated cartoon. These exposed stitching skirts were purchased by Buffalo Exchange. I tried to encourage her to start a clothing line, but a kid in middle school has other priorities – such as learning the bass guitar to be like her dad.

Cherry left Oregon in 2007 due to the overcrowded, suburban school that lacked creative stimulation because of budget cuts that eliminated art classes. So she moved to her dad’s house and enrolled in Tucson High Magnet School of Art and Science. While I became completely lost without her, I encouraged her spirit from afar. The most growth she has experienced to date happened during those two years at Tucson High. She excelled in photography. She won national awards. She exhibited at Yale and Carnegie Hall. She was awarded a full scholarship to Pima Community College and a partial one to California College of Arts.

Now with nearly two years of college behind her, it is time for Miss Cherry Rain to be further challenged by the University of London, College of the Arts. Cherry is fearless. She has been since she first learned to walk 20 years, 2 months and 7 days ago. Nothing can stop her. The only thing holding her back is the lack of loans available for her to attend school abroad. We can’t let the financial realities keep a dream from becoming a reality. I cannot and will not allow money to be the one thing to limit my child’s future opportunities.

Malcom Gladwell in Outliers wrote of the man with the highest recorded IQ who lost his college scholarship (apparently because his mom failed to sign a piece of paper) and went on to become a bouncer at a bar not able to reach his potential. The man became skeptical of life and the world around him. This happens every day to millions of people. People survive by saying: “It wasn’t meant to be.” But do you know what? It is meant to be. We can all achieve whatever we want. It takes endurance, willingness and tenacity.

I first challenge you to look inward at what you want to achieve in your life. Share that desire with someone. If you say it out loud, it is more likely to happen. Second, I ask that you support Miss Cherry Rain in her artistic and educational endeavors. You can do this in one of several ways:

  1. Write her a letter of encouragement: cherrywrain @ gmail.com
  2. Purchase a reproduction of her art work: $25 for a small print (under 5×7), $50 for a large print (8×10)
  3. Donate $100-$500 and receive an original signed drawing (size depends on donation)
  4. Travel to Tucson before September 15, 2013, to get an original Cherry Rain stick-n-poke tattoo (yes, she also uses skin as her canvas) Price varies
  5. Hire me to photograph your family, wedding, or next event – portrait sittings start at $100 (plus travel) and I ask that you pay in advance
  6. Co-sign a student loan for Cherry – rest assured that I assume complete responsibility for the re-payment of the loan

Become a Patron of the Arts and donate now

I believe that what I put into making the world a better place will pay generously in non-financial rewards. But I also know that when I support others, I feel a sense of community by helping people know they are not alone. None of us are alone in this world, and please know if you need someone now or in the future, you can count on me.

Sincerely with much love,
Tania “Lola” Rain
tanialolarain @ gmail.com
503 867 5244

Lola’s Bucket List

1. Be born (check)

2. Run away from home (check)

3. Have a baby girl (check)

4. Graduate college (check)

5. Go to Hawaii, the Mediterranean, Dominican Republic, Guanajuato Mexico (check)

6. Start a business (check)

7. Go to grad school (check)

8. Invent something significant such as a new mobility device for the disabled or an app for seniors

9. Give a speech to an important crowd (Ignite – check) – Ted.com

10. Become a teetotaler

11. Greet the president

12. Adopt two little girls ages 2 and 4 named Ruby and Scarlett

13.Write a book

14. Be the voice of an animated short

15. Travel to Prague, Budapest, Romania and Istanbul

16. Meet a Hobbit

18. Hold my grandchildren and tell them stories

19. Find my place in life where I feel comfortable and happy – preferably in a beautiful backyard with green grass, a garden, and birds

20. Go to Heaven