Sunday, December 17, 2017

An Update

It seems that unfortunate circumstances always bring me back to this blog for recording milestones and significant events. First, I would report that the four-week online workshop, Introduction to Japanese Poetry, went well. Got a lot out of it and am writing haiku and tanka with more confidence.

I did find it prudent to arrange with Hospice for another bereavement counselor, after all. Sorry that I could not continue with C., but J. also has been quite helpful. Listening to someone talk is not the world's simplest thing, after all.

As events have turned out, my cousin Nora (a Moen on the Wicker side of the family) died on the sixth of December, and our uncle Don followed on the ninth. My husband, his sisters, and other family members drove to the funeral, last Friday, and drove back the same day. The snow didn't reach them until they were halfway home, and it seems there was little wind.

 These latest deaths were a shock, coming on top of everything else. My life pattern was disrupted by the failures of both of my laptops and my computer printer. I am trying to sort out files and programs on my desktop computer, which is an old Lenovo IdeaCentre, and delete unwanted files. My photo library has grown to such an extent that it will no longer fit on a 1-TB drive. I know that I have saved many duplicate files, which I need to get rid of. Both of my 2-TB external HDs are over halfway filled, and I must reallocate space to accommodate a working Photo Archive disk and a back-up copy to be kept in reserve in a bank vault. I have been going through the email files, which have accumulated for more than ten years.

I cannot face deleting correspondence between Mother and myself, and yet I do not want to revisit those emails. She is to me still a living person, and I would not care to block that relationship ongoing by trying to confine our relationship to past utterances.  The cause of her death was listed as sudden onset dementia, but the signs of it preceded failure to cope by several years. I would not want to get caught up in the experiences of the years in which she was too often, and for good reason, angry at life. We spent a lot of time together, even after I got married (autumn, 1992), and we laughed a lot as well as discussing important matters and the problems and joys of the world in general. The joy was the "real" her.

This week marks one year since my T2 diabetes diagnosis. My BG is pretty much under control thanks to diet and test-assess-retest fine tuning of the same, as well as the timing of meals and exercise. Lost over 40 lbs., and I am enjoying small meals of variety, relearning cooking from the NY Times online Cooking section.

What I need now, besides a larger computer that's adequate for my writing and art work, is a sane world to work within and peace enough to sleep through the nights.

My relationships, what remain of them, are a joy. And the puppies love to cuddle.

Poetry at quiltedpoetrynet. Resurrected ( will take you to the same pages) and renewed my trade name for another five years. Still acting as the state agent for Center for Conscience and War; pperwork to send to the home office, next week. Christmas gifts are bought, and all can be put in envelopes, this year.

Al's finished with Sunday Night Net. His turn at net coordinator, and our antennas, electricals, &c. are a mess as he continues to work on the workshop wiring. He's removed the antenna from my fixed station, and my handhelds are tucked away.

And I must close this and find some more tea.

Best wishes for the winter holidays and the new year!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

September Update

I copied the following from my other blogspot post, wanting to update both blogs at the same time, but not wanting to write different text for each.

A lot has happened during the past ten months. Following my aunt D.'s death in October 2016 and my mother's death on the 15th of November 2017, my father died, a few months after his 100th birthday, followed by three of his brothers, my last uncle on my mother's side, and on the 5th of this month, one of my last three aunts, my father's sisters. In December of last year, I was diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. I've lowered my weight by 37 lbs. and my A1C by 5.5%, and before the end of this year, my doctor wants to discuss how much to reduce my medication, with the possibility that I can rely for the most part on continuing with exercise and proper diet.

Through hospice, I enjoyed working with a grief counselor, who came to my home every month or so, our last visit being during August's second week. Since I have fragrance and chemical sensitivities, I cannot do groups or other possibly toxic environments. Our meetings have had a profound effect on my grieving process and the ways in which I recognize and can deal meaningfully with the inevitable and unexpected losses of life.

Our parents' estates were settled, the last of the paperwork going through in...August? This month? I have forgotten. The brother and his wife who provided so much help to our mother during her final year bought the house for as low a cost as we could justify; if they have not already done so, they should very soon be moving in, needed repairs having been made. Everyone chose favorite keepsakes from the house, personal papers went to the sister who volunteered to transcribe and preserve letters, family history, and such, and the remainder, clothes and appliances and excess furniture, was given to charity or hauled away by city waste disposal department.

From my mother's trove of quilting creations and supplies, my sister-in-law from the Twin Cities asked me to choose a quilt top or two, which she has promised to make into finished quilts for me as she has time. And so I will have at least one more of Mother's quilts...if only to cover me in my coffin, although I look forward to using it as a bed cover at night. I must mention that to her and to my husband. At the memorial services and funerals that I have attended recently, I have found such things to be meaningful to many mourners. If nothing else, it gives people an extra something to talk about.

In my dreams just before waking, Mother looks happy and much younger. In her forties to early fifties, which is when we spent the most time together.  She was wearing her favorite red t-shirt to which she had added embroidery and her blue shorts, casual and relaxed. When I last saw her, she was coming out of the woodworking shop in the back yard, which my husband and I have built during this summer. She smiled as she walked toward me, just before I awakened.

This post can be found on both of my blogspot blogs, where I place occasional updates, as I do here. More often I can be found at WordPress (themomentsbetween, straycoffee, quiltedpoetry, theartofdisorder). And Mother's website is still RhodaBerry, also at, where there are photographs of her art and her quilts, the family, and a page about the books that she finished and published before her eyesight failed, the last one or two years of her life.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My Father Died

On Sunday, late evening, my father died in his sleep. We had celebrated his 100th birthday, last December.  With Mother gone, he slipped away, for no particular reason; physically, he was active, in good health, with no mental deterioration other than an occasional lapse of memory. Fully engaged in life, the world around him, and still holding solid, fact-based opinions on local to international concerns.

Is still a shock.