Category Archives: Family pictures

Death Visits

2 weeks ago I called my mother around mid-day. She was sobbing in pain. This was the day before Mother’s Day. I went to her apartment and spent the next week with her until she died.

*

I told her that she had done well. She could rest now. Her work was done and she didn’t have to stay. I said that God was ready to row her little boat to another shore. I wrote it down on a card and she kept the card under her pillow.

*

My mother was 92 years old. It was fairly recently that she spent a month at my home while I took time off of work to care for her after she broke her shoulder in a fall. It wasn’t a surprise she fell or hurt herself- she’s been living unsafely in her home for quite a while. She was very stubborn, though, and did not want to leave her home.

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My mom and dad in 1941

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At ninety-two, my mother was not the healthiest of her siblings. Her older brother Ernie was 98 and getting around much better. But then again, Ernie was a preacher and my mother was the family black-sheep who smoked, drank and partied into middle age. Ernie is still active. I expect to see him at the memorial.

*

She was diagnosed with breast cancer over 5 years ago. She refused treatment or any further diagnostic tests. There was no way to know how extensive the cancer had become. She always said, “I’m tired. I’ve lived long enough. It’s time for me to go.” But she didn’t go. Not for a long time and many close calls.

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Mom and dad in Corbett, 1942

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 About a year ago she had congestive heart failure. She needed more help. She was put on hospice care. People came to her home. After a few months she was discharged from hospice because she wasn’t getting worse- she was getting better. She still needed help, she still wasn’t safe in her home.

*

She was a “wall-walker” as the physical therapists would say. She didn’t have the strength or balance to actually walk around her apartment. She grabbed hold of things- including things that were unstable or that she couldn’t actually “grab” (like walls).  It was an inherently unsafe situation. She was constantly over-reaching her balance and relying on objects that were not dependable to get her a few more steps. This led to falls on numerous occasions- many falls she never told anyone about.

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My mother has been alone since 1992 when my father died from complications of mesothelioma. She has been fiercely independent since then. Also, incredibly lonely. She moved out of the family home to an apartment several years ago. It is a great apartment- located in inner southeast Portland off Division St. For a time she insisted on continuing to drive her car. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when she stopped driving. Deaf and increasingly blind (from macular degeneration) she finally realized that each time she got behind the wheel she was praying that she wouldn’t kill anyone. Her friend Judy began helping with shopping and other things.

*

This is her obituary:

 Margaret Elinor Snook, known to most as Marmie, entered the world on August 8, 1921, the sixth and youngest child of George and Virginia Chamberlain of Corbett, Oregon. She died at home in Portland, Oregon on May 16, 2014.

Marmie grew up a country girl and graduated from Corbett High School in 1939. She married Rex Snook in June, 1941; their love story lasted almost 50 years until Rex’s death in 1991, and produced four children, Suzy Garman (married to Phil), Becky Sciglimpaglia (Don), Greg Snook (Jackie) and Rick Snook (Candace).

Marmie worked in a variety of jobs over the years, the longest lasting being as a clerk in the Multnomah County District Court, but work never defined her life. She loved to read, enjoyed just about any card game you could name, played in a Bunco group for decades, and loved spending time with friends and family, often built around food. Garage and estate sales were a passion. She was also a long-time volunteer delivering meals on wheels and working in the gift shop at the Hollywood Senior Center. She enjoyed her life to the fullest, and was proud to have remained independent and (more or less) self-reliant into her 90s.

She was a fun person to be around, with an infectious laugh and a sharp and sometimes silly sense of humor. She was a loyal and generous friend and, at times, a fiercely protective mother. She was also a stubborn person who could drive her friends, and her kids, crazy by insisting on getting her way about absolutely everything. In short, she was a complex, amazing, entertaining and aggravating singularity. The world will not see her like again.

Marmie was predeceased by her brother Harold and sisters Mabel, Pearl and Katherine; she is survived by her brother Ernie of Turner, Oregon, her four children, six grandchildren, assorted great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, and a passel of nieces and nephews. Disposition was by cremation. A private memorial service will be arranged in the near future.

Mom

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My son Matt loved his grandmother. He visited her often. They played cribbage while she could still hold the cards.

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About a week before the day 2 weeks ago that I went to stay with her, she called my sister and said she hurt so badly that she couldn’t bear it. She had an in-home X-Ray that confirmed that she had multiple compression fractures of her spine. She was put on hospice care (again).

*

When I came over I called hospice and they said I could start administering the liquid morphine that was part of the hospice “kit” left in my mother’s home. The hospice nurse came to see her the next day. They said she might only have a little time left.

*

She was having great difficulty and pain with breathing. The nurse explained that she would be very likely to develop pneumonia. When asked if she wanted treatment in the event that she had pneumonia she clearly and insistently said, “No.” She wanted to be put to bed and made comfortable, that’s all.

*

I called my sons on Monday. Matt lives in the area and he came over right away. He jumped into bed with his grandma and hugged her gently.

*

Over the course of the week several things happened.

  • My mother ate less and got out of bed less, slept more
  • We gradually got her pain under fairly good control
  • My siblings came to visit- one of my sisters came from a trip to Mexico
  • I stayed all day and night and administered pain meds on a schedule, fed her when she would eat
  • I helped her go to the bathroom or use the commode in her room
  • I cleaned her, cleaned up her messes (she had become increasingly incontinent)

*

By Wednesday she was much weaker. She could not walk at all without help, although she tried. The following morning she got out of bed and had a muffin and some tea. She had been cranky with me earlier and she apologized. She went back to bed. She never really got back up (she tried at one point after the hospice nurse had helped change her diaper- but she was weak, disoriented and couldn’t stand… she went back to sleep).

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Hospice had a person who came to her bedside and played the harp. It was beautiful. My mom slept. This is a picture:

photo 2

 

*

The nurse said it would probably be very soon.

*

That evening, in her sleep, she began to make gurgling sounds when she was breathing. There was a thick foam in her throat. I called the hospice nurse. She said it was “end  of life secretions” and to give her atropine, 4 drops, from the hospice kit. I tried first to suction out the liquid with a big dropper, I put her on her side- eventually she stopped making the noise but the secretions were still thick and visible in her throat.

*

The nurse had said that the atropine would stop the sounds- she also called them “death rattle”- but that the sound didn’t mean my mom was suffering. She said the atropine was primarily for the comfort of the caregiver because the sound can be distressing to loved ones.

*

I set my alarm for 2 am so that I could check on her. When I got up and went to her room I could tell she was gone. I felt her head. I put my hand on her chest, I picked up her hand and held it. She was free.

*

I called my oldest sister and woke her. She said to wait until morning to call the others. I did. People started coming over at about 8 am. We spent the next few days going through her stuff, figuring out what to keep and what to give away. She had love letters written by my dad when he was in the navy, overseas. Came upon this little poem written by my dad:

rexpoemhalf

It was written on an envelope he received in reply to a letter he sent to his congressman.

My guess is that he didn’t care for the response.

*

Goodnight Mother, sleep now, your work here is done.

goodnightmom

This is only the husk. The fire that burned here is gone. It may be burning someplace else, I don’t know; but the fire here has gone out.

I see my own death in this- all of us are destined to lose everything we hold dear, even our lives. There is no way out of this. Time will burn us all to ashes.

The past week I have been very reflective. I have thought a lot about my life, my family, my relationships.

What will be left? What is true, lasting? Anything? Any Thing?

Not our bodies. Not our conditioned personalities formed and re-formed in life. None of this really exists except in a flash- passing before we can even perceive it. What is the reality behind this waterfall we seem to live in, this dreamlike world of change, birth, death? I know what the Wise have said. I know what the sacred scriptures say.

I don’t believe I am capable of knowing what is true. I leave that up to God.

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Just so you know

I kept it to myself this year. I had a sleepless night.

It snuck up on me- April 5th- I had actually managed to convince myself that it wasn’t even April, really. I saw no date on the calendar. I didn’t realize until about 5 pm on April 4th. Then it was like a bag of bricks. Or an ocean of tears.

Then, like smoke, it was over, gone. No harm no foul. It was something different than my usual coping/ denial. I really want her to move on. I’m concerned for her. She lives in my heart, no matter, but I want her to face ahead. I want this for me too.

“May all be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.”

Here she is laughing with her brothers. They are both grown men.

Here she is laughing with her brothers. They are both grown men.

Yesterday was Andrew’s birthday. I want to give him a Goopymart shirt. but I need to wait until I get my first disability check. I called, he was at work. I texted. Later he texted back, we had a conversation. I miss him- he is so far. Just down in the Bay Area, so I guess not so far. He has a Berkeley PO box. Not certain where he and Chris live right now.

Matt is close by. Just in Beaverton. I went to his house last Sunday night to watch Game of Thrones He made a casserole. It was delicious. He made enough that he can have it for several days. I bet it’s gone now though.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Holding a butterfly in our front yard.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Holding a butterfly in our front yard.

This is in the front yard of where the kids grew up. The house we had from when Matt was born until both he and Andrew were men. It is unfortunate that we lost this house- I lost this house- because after all my breakdowns, after all my years of grief beyond speaking, after all my lost jobs and the ruins of my career we went into foreclosure.

Moved into that rental on Flavel that burned down and took so much of our life with it. No, correct that- it didn’t take any life; it only took stuff. Everyone, including the pets, was safe.

This next is cropped from the huge picture taken at Falcon Crest in the summer of 1989. You can find the original big version around here somewhere.

Even this cropped version is bigger than this- click for full size.

Even this cropped version is bigger than this- click for full size.

I wrote a song. Well, I wrote lots of songs. This one was called “Erin’s Ghost”. It was written when I still had so much anger with God I almost couldn’t pray without spitting. I wonder how it works as a poem… Since I don’t have the right equipment to record it now and I’ve lost the earlier recordings. It’s actually a prayer. If you read between the lines you might hear the spitting. No more spitting for me. God has whispered into my heart, and here, near the end of my life, has opened me to love. Maybe I’ll call it-

Ashes of Your Love

All the labor of my days

All the sweetness of my nights

All the times that I have cursed or have ignored You

The times I’ve touched You

The greatest joy I have ever known

I will undertake to lay these down before You

Because life burns away

As a fire is consumed

Don’t look for me below or up above

Only one thing will remain

Of what is gone without a trace

There is nothing but the ashes of Your love

You brought to me a baby girl

She was tired, she was sore

And You gave me dreams that I could love or even heal her

But for the time that she was mine

We shared too many bitter tears

Lord there were even days I could not bear to feel her

She had more pain to bear than joy

More to teach than she could learn

God she was deeper than her vision could yet show her

Still as my heart counts the years

She is never growing old

I’m left to reflect upon the grace it was to know her

Well, they say, “God cuts the thread”

So it was in her 14th year

That You allowed that she should end

Her own becoming

I could not believe it true

When I saw her lying dead

Though I held until

The chill of her was numbing

And still life burns away

As a fire is consumed

Do not look for me below or up above

For only one thing will remain

Of what is gone without a trace

Lord there’s nothing but the ashes of Your love

It’s hard to believe that she was right

And everything has turned out wrong

There was so much more to life she’d never tasted

I just pray that it’s true

As Your saints have often said

That there is no love in this world that’s ever wasted

But life burns away

Just as a fire is consumed

You will not find me down below or up above

Only one thing will remain

Of that which is gone without a trace

There’s nothing but the ashes of Your love

1992

1992

I love you, my first baby, my only daughter, my life’s greatest teacher, the one I once thought would never abandon me. You are with the loving Friend, move to even greater light, find your heart’s desire. And in all the worlds, the infinite worlds beyond counting, in which you still live, show your fire. Shine so brightly no one can keep from seeing your wild, beautiful fire.

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April 5th, 2012

19 years ago she died today

annual
anniversary
miss her so much
she broke my heart
they’ve made it real difficult to get to the spot where her ashes are buried,
still managed

click if it doesn’t animate- it

‘s a big file

play this song if you want

lawn full of marigolds by Joshua James

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Enter Title Here

 

Matt and me

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Blue Moon

This Sunday, November 21st, is a blue moon.

It isn’t colored blue. It isn’t the second full moon in a month. Why is it blue?

Back in the July 1943 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine, in a question and answer column written by Lawrence J. Lafleur, there was a reference made to the term “blue moon.”

Lafleur cited the unusual term from a copy of the 1937 edition of the now-defunct Maine Farmers’ Almanac (NOT to be confused with The Farmers’ Almanac of Lewiston, Maine, which is still in business).

On the almanac page for August 1937, the calendrical meaning for the term “blue moon” was given.

That explanation said that the moon “… usually comes full twelve times in a year, three times for each season.”

Occasionally, however, there will come a year when there are 13 full moons during a year, not the usual 12. The almanac explanation continued:

“This was considered a very unfortunate circumstance, especially by the monks who had charge of the calendar of thirteen months for that year, and it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals. For this reason thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number.”

And with that extra full moon, it also meant that one of the four seasons would contain four full moons instead of the usual three.

“There are seven Blue Moons in a cycle of nineteen years,” continued the almanac, ending on the comment that, “In olden times the almanac makers had much difficulty calculating the occurrence of the Blue Moon and this uncertainty gave rise to the expression ‘Once in a Blue Moon.'”

But while LaFleur quoted the almanac’s account, he made one very important omission: He never specified the date for this particular blue moon.

As it turned out, in 1937, it occurred on Aug. 21. That was the third full moon in the summer of 1937, a summer season that would see a total of four full moons.

Names were assigned to each moon in a season: For example, the first moon of summer was called the early summer moon, the second was the midsummer moon, and the last was called the late summer moon.

But when a particular season has four moons, the third was apparently called a blue moon so that the fourth and final one can continue to be called the late moon.

This time, on page 3 of the March 1946 issue, James Hugh Pruett wrote an article, “Once in a Blue Moon,” in which he made a reference to the term “blue moon” and referenced LaFleur’s article from 1943.

Pruett also wrote:

“Seven times in 19 years there were – and still are – 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.”

How unfortunate that Pruett did not have a copy of that 1937 almanac at hand, or else he would have almost certainly noticed that his “two full moons in a single month assumption” would have been totally wrong.

For the blue moon date of Aug. 21 was most definitely not the second full moon that month!

Pruett’s 1946 explanation was, of course, the wrong interpretation and it might have been completely forgotten were it not for Deborah Byrd who used it on her popular National Public Radio program, “StarDate” on Jan. 31, 1980.

Over the next decade, this new, incorrect, definition started appearing in diverse places, such as the World Almanac for Kids and the board game Trivial Pursuit.

For me, this blue moon is also significant because it is my daughter’s birthday. If she was alive she would be 31 years old. Damn, I miss her. But I’m okay- not depressed, not confused… it’s only the second year since her death that I can actually look at a calendar and see the dates correctly and say, “Sunday is Erin’s birthday. It’s November 21st on Sunday.”

For 17 years I couldn’t read a calendar properly around this time of year. I couldn’t see the dates and know the days they fell on. I’ve turned a corner of some kind.

Happy birthday, baby girl. I’ll always remember you. I’ll always love you.

 

pictures from her last birthday party

 

The full moon also means that next Friday, after Thanksgiving, will be Mad Liberation by Moonlight, on KBOO FM in Portland (or kboo.fm on the web). Late late Friday night, 1 am to 2 am.

Hey! This is pretty cool. (Not the Dude, silly- the link.)

 

abiding

 

Miscellaneous nonsense:

By the way, zombies aren’t the strangest things going on. Check out this.

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The Velveteen Cat

Blizzard, who had her eyes removed last year.

She’s doing great.  Gets around without apparent difficulty,  seems to be very content. (click for full size)

***

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.

***

Listen to The Velveteen Rabbit:

or download:

the_velveteen_rabbit_williams

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…damp, drizzly November in my soul…

Note: this blog will have it’s 100,00th visitor sometime this week. Maybe tomorrow.

 

"Yeah, right. You want your meds now? Or do we have to tie you down and give 'em to ya in the butt?"

Really. But that isn’t the point-

 

When I was about 11 I decided to memorize “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville. I had read the book “Faranheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. I was afraid no one would have the patience to preserve Moby Dick for the book-less future. I made it through the first chapter. Later on I remembered the first page- (goes like this):

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.

There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs – commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme down-town is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there.

Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall northward. What do you see? –

Herman Melville looked like this:


I personally like the movie with Gregory Peck as Ahab- better than the Patrick Stewart one, although I like Stewart as an actor.

It’s just a classic- you can’t compare it to Peck.

Reminds me of another great book, “A Long Way Gone”,  a modern autobiography (by Ishmael Beah) of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone.

When he came here to the US he went to High School. This is an interaction he had with another student:

New York City, 1998

My high school friends have begun to suspect I haven’t told them the full story of my life.

“Why did you leave Sierra Leone?”

“Because there is a war.”

“Did you witness some of the fighting?”

“Everyone in the country did.”

“You mean you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?”

“Yes, all the time.”

Cool.

I smile a little.

“You should tell us about it sometime.”

“Yes, sometime.”

Here is a short audio clip from the book read by Beah:


This is how Beah looks today:

From his article in the NY Times:

Sometimes I feel that living in New York City, having a good family and friends, and just being alive is a dream, that perhaps this second life of mine isn’t really happening. Whenever I speak at the United NationsUnicef or elsewhere to raise awareness of the continual and rampant recruitment of children in wars around the world, I come to realize that I still do not fully understand how I could have possibly survived the civil war in my country, Sierra Leone.

Most of my friends, after meeting the woman whom I think of as my new mother, a Brooklyn-born white Jewish-American, assume that I was either adopted at a very young age or that my mother married an African man. They would never imagine that I was 17 when I came to live with her and that I had been a child soldier and participated in one of the most brutal wars in recent history.

In early 1993, when I was 12, I was separated from my family as the Sierra Leone civil war, which began two years earlier, came into my life. The rebel army, known as the Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F.), attacked my town in the southern part of the country. I ran away, along paths and roads that were littered with dead bodies, some mutilated in ways so horrible that looking at them left a permanent scar on my memory. I ran for days, weeks and months, and I couldn’t believe that the simple and precious world I had known, where nights were celebrated with storytelling and dancing and mornings greeted with the singing of birds and cock crows, was now a place where only guns spoke and sometimes it seemed even the sun hesitated to shine. After I discovered that my parents and two brothers had been killed, I felt even more lost and worthless in a world that had become pregnant with fear and suspicion as neighbor turned against neighbor and child against parent. Surviving each passing minute was nothing short of a miracle.

After almost a year of running, I, along with some friends I met along the way, arrived at an army base in the southeastern region. We thought we were now safe; little did we know what lay ahead.

1994: The First Battle

I have never been so afraid to go anywhere in my life as I was that first day. As we walked into the arms of the forest, tears began to form in my eyes, but I struggled to hide them and gripped my gun for comfort. We exhaled quietly, afraid that our own breathing could cause our deaths. The lieutenant led the line that I was in. He raised his fist in the air, and we stopped moving. Then he slowly brought it down, and we sat on one heel, our eyes surveying the forest. We began to move swiftly among the bushes until we came to the edge of a swamp, where we formed an ambush, aiming our guns into the bog. We lay flat on our stomachs and waited. I was lying next to my friend Josiah. At 11, he was even younger than I was. Musa, a friend my age, 13, was also nearby. I looked around to see if I could catch their eyes, but they were concentrating on the invisible target in the swamp. The tops of my eyes began to ache, and the pain slowly rose up to my head. My ears became warm, and tears were running down my cheeks, even though I wasn’t crying. The veins on my arms stood out, and I could feel them pulsating as if they had begun to breathe of their own accord. We waited in the quiet, as hunters do. The silence tormented me.

The short trees in the swamp began to shake as the rebels made their way through them. They weren’t yet visible, but the lieutenant had passed the word down through a whisper that was relayed like a row of falling dominos: “Fire on my command.” As we watched, a group of men dressed in civilian clothes emerged from under the tiny bushes. They waved their hands, and more fighters came out. Some were boys, as young as we were. They sat together in line, waving their hands, discussing a strategy. My lieutenant ordered a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) to be fired, but the commander of the rebels heard it as it whooshed its way out of the forest. “Retreat!” he called out to his men, and the grenade’s blast got only a few rebels, whose split bodies flew in the air. The explosion was followed by an exchange of gunfire from both sides.

I lay there with my gun pointed in front of me, unable to shoot. My index finger became numb. I felt as if the forest had turned upside down and I was going to fall off, so I clutched the base of a tree with one hand. I couldn’t think, but I could hear the sounds of the guns far away in the distance and the cries of people dying in pain. A splash of blood hit my face. In my reverie I had opened my mouth a bit, so I tasted some of the blood. As I spat it out and wiped it off my face, I saw the soldier it had come from. Blood poured out of the bullet holes in him like water rushing through newly opened tributaries. His eyes were wide open; he still held his gun. My eyes were fixed on him when I heard Josiah screaming for his mother in the most painfully piercing voice I had ever heard. It vibrated inside my head to the point that I felt my brain had shaken loose from its anchor.

But that isn’t what I’m here to talk about today.

First up: Rainbows

I saw a brilliant rainbow on my way home from work the other day. It spanned the sky. I was able to snatch a few pictures from the commuter van in which I was riding. They don’t capture the the thing but I show them anyway. As per usual, click for full size (we aren’t chintzy about picture size at Moonsoup!).

 

rainbow leaving Salem

 

Now, some may call me cruel. I love cats. We have 5 cats in my home. Is it so wrong that I would want to dress them up for Halloween?

 

hats on cats

 

Self-explanatory. This is not a flattering picture of my wife.

She’s really much prettier. Terrible photo, my bad.

 

the kids grow- we grow old

 

Other pictures that have caught my fancy-

 

Bill Murray

 

 

Angel Falls, Venezuela

 

 

This is why

 

 

Hey Jude flowchart

 

 

Sky at Powell Butte

 

Let Grandma see that smile, deary (click it if it doesn’t animate)…

 

"Good morning, default food-bearing large thing."

 

denied

 

 

Lemur Meditation

 

 

 

Really cool zodiacal picture from ESO

And if you want to see more amazing pictures from ESO go here.

 

 

no comment

 

 

infographic

 

 

 

mmmm... ahhh... oh, crap- time to wake up

 

Halloweeny

 

 

zoo babies
More cutenesses:

maybe not so cute, perhaps grotesque…

…okay, back to cute

again, not cute has slipped in

I remember seeing this cat…

Music break-

Click on the barbarian if he doesn’t animate. Also the ring of hands.

I don’t know why this happens sometimes.

The one below is also supposed to animate. Click if it doesn’t.

stitched panorama

Alright. I want to talk to you about something. I have had a whole page dedicated to Roger Ramjet cartoons for quite a while. It’s not like it’s easy to come by these vintage, 1960s shows. I’ve even put them in order. So far I have had zero views. I’m beginning to think I’m wasting upload space. (Speaking of “space”, that’s where I moved the cartoons.)

So, I have a poll. I expect to get about as much response to the poll as I have from Roger Ramjet. But here goes. Vote!

Cute white bats

Loose Talk-

Seriously now…

Free e-books for download (legal, beyond copyright):

Project Gutenberg ebooks-

Get Free Books-

Listen

download: Stop Being a Victim

stream: 

download:  Don’t Take It Personally

stream:  

Literature download: Part 1-

01-04 Crazy Sunday – F Scott Fitzgerald

Part 2-

02-01 Crazy Sunday_2 – F Scott Fitzgerald

Closing shots:

Venice

 

Dubrovnic

 

 

Sunset boat

 

 

Owl photobomb

 

panoramas above- click for full size, okay?

That’s all for now. Be well, be happy, dwell in your heart

and may your day be sweet.

-Rick

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Filed under animated gif, animation, cats, comedy relief, Family pictures, Free Audio Books, Free E-Books, Free Music, mp3, Music, Nature, pictures, silly, songs for my children

Mozart sandwich with Birthday Cake

I just had a birthday last week. I was born in 1955, 55 years ago.That makes me 5,555 years old! Below is a twenty dollar bill in circulation at the time of my birth.

(click for full size, as usual; you know I never skimp on picture size-always the biggest pictures here at moonsoup!)

Beatles-Birthday

I have a variety of things to share today. Music, pictures, animated gifs, personal history, stories from where I work, other things.

Enjoy! or not.

Okay, some of the Mozart promised in the title:

mozart-sinfonia_

concertante-allegro

mozart-snfonia_

concertante-andante

mozart-sinfonia_concertante-presto

So, this is an odd time of year for me. My birthday last weekend, April 11th will be my older son’s 25th birthday (he’s coming to visit from SF this weekend- riding the dog, ought to arrive by tomorrow morning), and smack in the middle of these things is the anniversary of my oldest/ youngest child’s death- April 6th. I often dread this time of year- if I’m going to be symptomatic mental health wise, this is the time I would do it. These days, however, I’m not expecting badness. She has mellowed in my heart. I experience her as a kind, gentle angel of death; reminding me of the preciousness in each moment. Thank you Erin.

Here’s a doodle by Andrew, the oldest living child,

and one of the most coolest people I know.

One of our cats- Blizzard, has been suffering from glaucoma for years, gradually going blind. Last month she had surgery to remove her eyes- it’s called “enucleation“. Anyway, these are some shots of her recuperation. By the way, she’s doing great. She’s way more comfortable and happy and since she’s been blind for a while she has no trouble finding her way around. My younger son paid for the surgery- over $1000- because he is also a really great guy. Blizz gets the cone off her head later today.

Here’s Blizzard today, sans cone head,

in the arms of my youngest son.

The Jupiter Symphony is one of my favorite Mozart compositions-

mozart-jupiter-allegro

mozart-jupiter-andante

mozart-jupiter-allegretto

mozart-jupiter-molto_allegro

I wrote a while back, I think, about the death of a patient at Oregon State Hospital where I work. The Oregonian newspaper just did it’s first major story about it (better late than never).

From the article linked above:

The body of Moises Perez, 42, was discovered in this bed located just to the left of the door of a room he shared with four other men. The Oregon State Hospital patient had been dead several hours before he was discovered during evening medication checks.

Below- some great pictures of/ from the ESO Paranal Observatory in Chile, high in the Andes. The top picture is a full-sky, 360 degree panorama. The other pictures are of the observatory itself in summer and winter.

Richard Harris is the state Director of Addictions and Mental Health. He wrote this to the Oregon Consumer Survivor Coalition, our primary collective voice as survivors of the Mental Hell treatment system. I don’t know if it’s serious or comic relief. Time will tell. Anyone can yak yak yak.

From: “Richard HARRIS” <richard.harris@state.or.us>
Date: 18 March 2010 12:14:23 PM PDT
Subject: Re: Consumer Voice—-REVISED MEMO

Revised

DATE:        March 18, 2010

TO:            All AMH Staff

FROM:      Richard L. Harris
Assistant Director

RE:            Consumer voice

Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to meet with
many people representing many mental health consumer groups. From
these meetings it has become clear to me that there is a need for
increased consumer voice within local and state government. Len and I
recently met with the Oregon Consumer Survivor Coalition (OCSC) and
together we have identified four ways by which consumer voice can be
amplified:

1.    Increased public education on addiction and mental health issues;
2.    Increased training for those providing addiction and mental
health treatment;
3.    Continued and increased peer support services and;
4.    Supporting and promoting an independent voice in the addictions
and mental health consumer community.

My initial commitment to increase consumer voice and to support and
promote peer delivered services will be for AMH to provide phone and
video support to the upcoming strategic planning summit sponsored by
OCSC. The summit will identify a clear pathway to establishing a
formal mechanism to support consumer voice statewide. In addition
Oregon’s Olmstead Plan calls for increased consumer participation in
all aspects of transition from residential facilities to independent
living with people having a key to their own home with access to
addiction and mental health services when needed.

To further consumer voice and increase consumer visibility in the
community, OCSC will reach out to the addictions community and attend
and participate in the OHA/DHS statewide budget forums scheduled
around the state later this spring.

These are important first steps in creating a solid foundation to
promote consumer voice and visibility within local communities and
local and state government. I look forward to continuing dialogue with
the OCSC and others to develop a highly visible and robust consumer
voice as part of AMH and the developing OHA.

Richard L. Harris
Assistant Director
Addictions and Mental Health Division
500 Summer St NE E-86
Salem, OR 97301-1118
richard.harris@state.or.us
Blackberry: 503-569-3183
FAX: 503-373-7327

Heads up: may contain graphic violence–

By the way, you can’t outrun a Samurai!

My personal favorite by Mozart, his unfinished “requiem”. This is the whole shebang, huge file, high quality-

Mozart_Requiem_July_4_1985

A couple weekends back my wife and I went hiking at Catherine Creek to look at the first wildflowers of spring. You get there by going to Hood River, Oregon, crossing the troll bridge (don’t look! you’ll turn to stone!) into Washington, driving east through the town of Bingen, Washington and at the second roadside lake take the old state road that climbs the hill. You’ll know you’re there when you get to it. There are a few waves of wildflowers that bloom and pass relatively quickly in the stony volcanic earth. By now there’s a whole new batch. By the middle of April they’ll almost all be gone. I hope we get back up there before the end of the season.

Mozart plays the bassoon!

mozart-bassoon_concerto-allegro

mozart-bassoon_concerto-andante

mozart-bassoon_concerto-rondo

Bye for now, have a great day.

-Rick


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Filed under animated gif, animation, cats, Family pictures, Free Music, Mental Hell Treatment, Mozart, mp3, Music, Nature, Oregon State Hospital, personal story, pictures, Ward F

Beach Pictures

Spent most of last week at the coast, Rockaway beach, with my wife and both sons. Number 1 son came up from SF/ California, went back Sunday. Wednesday we went to Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park.

About a half mile down from the road is a smallish beach between two capes. The trail is guarded by old, wonderful trees and green green green with a stream rushing alongside. Short Sands is prized by surfers for the way waves are focused into the narrow beach.

Also features a severe riptide/ undertow and “sneaker” waves. A friend of mine lost a child in 2000 who became trapped under a log that rolled in the surf. There is a bench dedicated to her.

Pictures are big. Click for full size, as per usual.

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Filed under Family pictures, personal story, pictures

meet chloe

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Filed under Family pictures, personal story, pictures