Monday, December 19, 2011

12.19.11- Hands + Holidays

"Love, Life, Light: a series of Polaroid transfers made with the help of Evynn LeValley. This series was started on my 28th birthday when I was backpacking in Pine Valley, Los Padres Forest. The idea was to document my hands every year to show my aging. After my car accident on November 1, 2010, when I suffered a spinal cord injury which left my hands impaired, this series has taken another meaning. My hands are changing monthly, becoming stronger, changing shape. Time (along with hard work and motivation) will tell how much function I will regain. I hope for full function and try not to think otherwise. The mind is a powerful tool.

May your Holiday season be filled with Love, Life and Light." - Rachael Elizabeth Short

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 161 Big Sur Ca. 93920***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************

Sunday, October 30, 2011

10.31.11 - Happy Halloween

"I still love you, Halloween. Pumpkins, vampires and zombies; how could I not.

If I knew then what I know now... would I have done things differently?

Live life to the fullest, be safe, have fun, take a walk, hold someone's hand, be thankful.

This was the path I was given. Everything I did leading up to my accident was in preparation for what I am now up against. I've had time to think about this; and it is true.

Help, hope and humor got me through this year... one year down... bring it on." -Rachael

"If you're going through hell, keep going" – Winston Churchill

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 161 Big Sur Ca. 93920***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************

Saturday, October 29, 2011

10.30.11 - The First Year

What's the last year of your life been like? Where have you traveled? Who have you inspired? How have you changed? What have you accomplished?

It was a year ago. Lost behind the tubes and wires, Rachael lay there amongst the medical machines. She was paralyzed but not defeated. She still smiled.

In the last year Rachael did a lot of things for the first time. She breathed without being assisted by a machine. She took her first bite of solid food. She went to the gym, went outside and to the movies. She learned how to operate her body and a wheel chair. She returned home.

Today Rachael stands upright assisted by Sean Cheng, CPT who has dedicated himself to her recovery. A year later the progress Rachael has made is astounding. Looking back at the beginning of her journey it amazes all of us that a year has passed. We all have watched in awe as Rachel turned the countless challenges she faced into her many victories.

Rachael was driving to San Jose a few times a week for intensive acupuncture treatments at Dr. Zhu Acupuncture & Neurology Center. She recently completed this stage of her rehab. While, Rachael loved the treatment and the people there she is very excited to be done with the 3 hour roundtrip commute.

The therapy will continue 30+ hours a week now. 6 hours a day Monday thru Friday and a few hours on Saturday. Now the work will all be done at her home in Carmel. The time she saves on the commute will be happily invested on her continued recovery and spending time with her supportive community.

Rachael is now focusing her vision of the future toward various ideas of how to influence her community in a positive way. One idea is a a shuttle service for the Big Sur area that would provide a much needed option for people celebrating life there as a safe alternative to taking the risk of drinking and driving. Be safe and be the light.

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 161 Big Sur Ca. 93920***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

10.1.11 - Progress and the Pool

Finally some change!

For the past six months, I have been traveling up to San Jose (a 3-hour roundtrip, 3 days a week) for physical therapy and intense neuro-acupuncture, and its time for a change! I'm starting my own in- home physical therapy program, thanks to all the generous support from lots of caring people who've made this possible. A greenhouse-gym will soon be on my grandma's property in Carmel, housing my total gym, mat table, parallel bars, standing frame, and other useful recovery tools. Soon, I can eat tomatoes and work out at the same time! I'm very excited about the greenhouse, and even more excited about moving my physical therapist to Carmel, so I'll spend more time working out and much less time in the car. This will all start hopefully around November 1st, one year after my accident.

My core, arms and wrists are getting stronger, and I'm also having a lot of twitching in my thumbs. My legs have been slowly building muscle back, and I am able to lock my hips and knees, and bear weight. I have also gained some bladder control back, weeeeepeeeeee. The progress is sloooowwww, but constant. I can only expect more with my therapy moved in-house.

I continue to swim one day a week at the Josephine Kerns pool in Monterey, and hopefully can swim more once my therapy is moved to Carmel. I work on swimming, weight bearing and rolling over in the pool. I love being in the water and imagining that I am floating in the Caribbean.

I was given two little magical kitties, Honey Badger and Stiffy Goat, to roam the Carmel property, and hopefully help with our gopher problem. Friends and family have been helping with my garden, bringing some Big Sur to Carmel. I have been staying at my house in Big Sur a couple times a month, which has been really great; I miss it down there a lot.

I really can't say it enough: the continuous support of my family, friends and community is overwhelming, I feel the LOVE! Thank you!

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 6445 Carmel 93921***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at**************

Monday, July 11, 2011

7.11.11 - Art and Acupuncture

Dear blog, It's been a while since I've checked in with everybody; my schedule is still pretty crazy. On Mondays, I have occupational therapy for my arms and hands at the new wellness center in Marina, and work with George, my physical therapist, at home. Tuesdays, I head to San Jose to work with Dr. Zhu, Sean, and Dr. Moyee from 2-6pm. This includes scalp acupuncture, an hour of body acupuncture, and three hours of intense physical therapy. I repeat this on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays, I go to the Josephine Kearns Memorial pool and swim with Irving, and then come home to receive a massage from Jenny, and then body work from Marla.

I'm trying to stick to my Monday through Friday rehab schedule, and take Saturdays and Sundays for myself. I'm trying to stay positive, focus on the recovery, and keep myself busy. There are times when it is really hard, to say the least. I still find myself in denial that I am paralyzed. It seems like a temporary thing, and as long as I work hard my life will return to normal. I miss work, I miss my photography, I miss driving, I miss being alone, I miss gardening, and I really miss me.

I've been down to the Henry Miller Library for several concerts since April, and I've made it home to Big Sur. These "fun" things always bring up a roller coaster of emotions, reminding me of my past. Working with my camera is still a challenge. I've tried different things with my digital and film cameras, but have yet to find an easier way for me to do my photography. All in good time, I guess.

Regis and Kelly is no longer on the schedule, nor is playing angry birds on my ipad. I have bigger things to deal with now, like, do I have True Blood season 3 at my PO box right now? And, who will Ashley choose to marry on the Bachelorette?

Until the next post, thank you to my family and friends for your continuing support. I will walk for you.

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 6445 Carmel 93921***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

04.14.11- Rachael's Video

This short film of Racheal's recovery after her spinal injury is a look into her spirit and determination during the first stage of her new journey. She is an inspiration and continues to amaze us all.

Please watch/share and be the light.

A film by Campfire Creative
Filmed + Directed by Guru Khalsa
Produced + Edited by Dugan O'Neal

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 6445 Carmel 93921***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************

04.10.11 - Rachael's Benefit

Rachael's first words on the microphone at her benefit, "Holy Shit!"

I think everybody was thinking the same thing at the sight of a community doing what it was made to do. Supporting each other. Laughing with and loving each other. And picking each other up when we fall.

Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate and support Rachael at the sold out Hidden Valley venue. Volunteers, chefs, winemakers, musicians, artists, friends and family all came out to do their part and support Rachael any way they knew how.

Working as a team we all raised over $100,000 to help support Rachael's journey!!! Donating time, art, music, food, wine and beyond everybody did their part in setting a stellar example of the good we can accomplish in this world when a community comes together. From the silent auction and food and wine to the entertainment and shirtless live auction the evening was a complete success.

This event was made possible by the generous loving efforts of Mollie O'Neal, Michael Jones, Gina Weston, Evynn Levalley, Alyse Levalley, Marika Anderson, Jay Auburn, Toby Rowland Jones, Ashley Downing and Erin Kenyon.

In the poetic words of Rachael Elizabeth Short the food and wine at the event was, "Holy Shit!". The palette was vast, boasting a menu fit for royalty, featuring locally acclaimed Executive chefs Cal Stamenov from Bernardus Lodge, Tim Wood from Carmel Valley Ranch and Chris Caul from Christopher's restaurant, as well as Michael Jones from A Moveable Feast (to name a few) and top wineries such as Silvestri and Talbott Vineyards. Sprinkle some live entertainment ontop from Nico Georis and Rick Chelew and we had ourselves a night to remember.


Photographs by Nic Coury
More Photos from TGO Photography here:

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 6445 Carmel 93921***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************

Sunday, February 20, 2011

02.20.11-Rachael at Home

"I've been back in Carmel now for five weeks. It's been a whirlwind with me in the middle, trying to stay focused on the journey ahead. Between ordering medical supplies, scheduling doctor's appointments, lining up caregivers, massage, acupuncture, physical and occupational therapy, catching up with friends, cruising to the beach, my gallery and the post office, playing "Angry Birds" on my iPad, and watching "Regis and Kelly" and "Jeopardy," I have little time for much else; but that's a lot.

I love my newly-retrofitted little cottage among the trees. My grandma comes down every day to see if my legs are working yet: "Not yet, Grandma."

I have two benefits coming up.
The first, The Big Sur Chanterelle Festival, on Saturday, Feb. 26th.

The second, a family-sponsored food, wine, art and music event, at Hidden Valley Arts Institute, is scheduled for Sunday, April 10th.

I hope to see you there!

To my wonderful community: Thank you again!" Rachael Elizabeth Short

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 6445 Carmel 93921***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************

Monday, January 10, 2011

01.04.11- Rachael Returns

And she is home. Finally home.

No more stale hospital. No more beeps, buzzes and hisses from machines. No more bad food. No more tubes. The transition to the Pine Tree House will be another challenge in itself, but for now it is a welcome change of pace and environment. Same family. Same friends. Same sense of humor.

The first day back home was joyous controlled chaos. Covered by balloons her little sister eagerly wanted to show Rachael every last detail of her new Carmel studio. I think we all felt as excited as Racheal's little sister for her return home.

The new path that was built by Rachael's community worked perfectly on the first run and upon entering her new home she was overwhelmed by loved ones. There is still work to be done to finish the renovation but on this crisp day the fire and the community was keeping it nice and toasty inside.

This new stage of being home is where her next fight begins, without the daily help of doctors and nurses. Without the machines. Without the cameras. She will need her rest and her determined character will guide her forward.

All though Rachael is not at the hospital, on their schedule, she is still incredibly busy and she has heaps to attend to. She would love to see all her friends but has requested that you call first to make sure she is available or up for a visit.

Let the warm Carmel light filter through the trees and come shinning through the window. Keep thinking good thoughts. Be the light.

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 161 Big Sur Ca. 93920***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

01.03.11- Pushing Off and Moving On

Rachael waits patiently as her mother prepares things for her last day in the hospital. Waiting is the operative word. She waits to eat. Waits to have her teeth brushed. Waits to be helped into her chair. And she has been waiting for over two months to return to her home.

Her room is often empty now. She seems to always be on the move. Little movements have become so important to Rachael. She has been learning to use a power assisted wheelchair and gaining dexterity and strength. When I ask her what she is most excited about in regards to movement she replied, "Picking my own nose!"

Rachael Elizabeth Short, after 66 days of staring at the hospital walls and breathing the stale air, she is returning to her new home in Carmel Tuesday January 4th!!

***Any donations can be sent to Rachael Short at her P.O. box 161 Big Sur Ca. 93920***

***************You can view Rachael's photographs at***************