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Not posting much

I am updating some personal info but I have been too busy to attend to my blog for some time. Luckily, there’s a lot of material already in here and many folks who come to the site go directly to what they’re interested in.

Just so’s you know.

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
Rita Mae Brown, Alma Mater

 ExperienceRUX1993

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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

 

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The nurse said it would probably be very soon.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 31,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The shipwrecked sailor

Ancient History Sourcebook:
Tales of Ancient Egypt:
The Shipwrecked Sailor, c. 2200 BCE


THE wise servant said, “Let thy heart be satisfied, O my lord, for that we have come back to the country; after we have been long on board, and rowed much, the prow has at last touched land. All the people rejoice and embrace us one after another. Moreover, we have come back in good health, and not a man is lacking; although we have been to the ends of Wawat [Nubia], and gone through the land of Senmut [Kush], we have returned in peace, and our land—behold, we have come back to it. Hear me, my lord; I have no other refuge. Wash thee, and turn the water over thy fingers; then go and tell the tale to the majesty.”

His lord replied, “Thy heart continues still its wandering words! but although the mouth of a man may save him his words may also cover his face with confusion. Will you do then as your heart moves you? This that you will say, tell quietly.”

The sailor then answered, “Now I shall tell that which has happened to me, to my very self. I was going to the mines of Pharaoh, and I went down on the sea in a ship of one hundred and fifty cubits long and forty cubits wide, with one hundred and fifty sailors of the best of Egypt who had seen heaven and earth, and whose hearts were stronger than lions. They had said that the wind would not be contrary, or that there would be none. But as we approached the land, the wind arose, and threw up waves eight cubits high. As for me, I seized a piece of wood; but those who were in the vessel perished, without one remaining. A wave threw me on an island, after that I had been three days alone, without a companion beside my own heart. I laid me in a thicket, and the shadow covered me. Then stretched I my limbs to try to find something for my mouth. I found there figs and grain, melons of all kinds, fishes, and birds. Nothing was lacking. And I satisfied myself; and left on the ground that which was over, of what my arms had been filled withal. I dug a pit, I lighted a fire, and I made a burnt offering unto the gods.

“Suddenly I heard a noise as of thunder, which I thought to be that of a wave of the sea. The trees shook, and the earth was moved. I uncovered my face, and I saw that a serpent drew near. He was thirty cubits long, and his beard greater than two cubits; his body was as overlaid with gold, and his color as that of true lazuli. He coiled himself before me. “Then he opened his mouth, while that I lay on my face before him, and he said to me, “What has brought you, what has brought you, little one, what has brought you? If you say not speedily what has brought you to this isle, I will make you know yourself; as a flame you shall vanish, if you tell me not something I have not heard, or which I knew not, before you.’

“Then he took me in his mouth and carried me to his resting-place, and laid me down without any hurt. I was whole and sound, and nothing was gone from me. Then he opened his mouth against me, while that I lay on my face before him, and he said, “What has brought you, what has brought you, little one, what has brought you to this isle which is in the sea, and of which the shores are in the midst of the waves?’

“Then I replied to him, and holding my arms low before him, I said to him, “I was embarked for the mines by the order of the majesty, in a ship, one hundred and fifty cubits was its length, and the width of it forty cubits. It had one hundred and fifty sailors of the best of Egypt, who had seen heaven and earth, and the hearts of whom were stronger than lions. They said that the wind would not be contrary, or that there would be none. Each of them exceeded his companion in the prudence of his heart and the strength of his arm, and I was not beneath any of them. A storm came upon us while we were on the sea. Hardly could we reach to the shore when the wind waxed yet greater, and the waves rose even eight cubits. As for me, I seized a piece of wood, while those who were in the boat perished without one being left with me for three days. Behold me now before you, for I was brought to this isle by a wave of the sea.’

“Then said he to me, “Fear not, fear not, little one, and make not your face sad. If you have come to me, it is God who has let you live. For it is He who has brought you to this isle of the blest, where nothing is lacking, and which is filled with all good things. See now, you shall pass one month after another, until you shall be four months in this isle. Then a ship shall come from your land with sailors, and you shall leave with them and go to your country, and you shall die in your town.’

‘”Converse is pleasing, and he who tastes of it passes over his misery. I will therefore tell you of that which is in this isle. I am here with my brethren and my children around me; we are seventy-five serpents, children, and kindred; without naming a young girl who was brought unto me by chance, and on whom the fire of heaven fell, and burned her to ashes. As for you, if you are strong, and if your heart waits patiently, you shall press your infants to your bosom and embrace your wife. You shall return to your house which is full of all good things, you shall see your land, where you shall dwell in the midst of your kindred.’

“Then I bowed in my obeisance, and I touched the ground before him. “Behold now that which I have told you before. I shall tell of your presence unto Pharaoh, I shall make him to know of your greatness, and I will bring to you of the sacred oils and perfumes, and of incense of the temples with which all gods are honored. I shall tell, moreover, of that which I do now see (thanks to him), and there shall be rendered to you praises before the fullness of all the land. I shall slay asses for you in sacrifice, I shall pluck for you the birds, and I shall bring for you ships full of all kinds of the treasures of Egypt, as is comely to do unto a god, a friend of men in a far country, of which men know not.’

“Then he smiled at my speech, because of that which was in his heart, for he said to me: “You are not rich in perfumes, for all that you have is but common incense. As for me, I am prince of the land of Punt, and I have perfumes. Only the oil which you say you would bring is not common in this isle. But, when you shall depart from this place, you shall never more see this isle; it shall be changed into waves.’

“And behold, when the ship drew near, according to all that he had told me before, I got up into an high tree, to strive to see those who were within it. Then I came and told to him this matter, but it was already known unto him before. Then he said to me, “Farewell, farewell, go to your house, little one, see again your children, and let your name be good in your town; these are my wishes for you.’

“Then I bowed myself before him, and held my arms low before him, and he, he gave me gifts of precious perfumes, of cassia, of sweet woods, of kohl, of cypress, an abundance of incense, of ivory tusks, of baboons, of apes, and all kinds of precious things. I embarked all in the ship which was come, and bowing myself, I prayed God for him. Then he said to me, “Behold you shall come to your country in two months, you shall press to your bosom your children, and you shall rest in your tomb.’ After this I went down to the shore unto the ship, and I called to the sailors who were there. Then on the shore I rendered adoration to the master of this isle and to those who dwelt therein.

“When we shall come, in our return, to the house of Pharaoh, in the second month, according to all that the serpent has said, we shall approach unto the palace. And I shall go in before Pharaoh, I shall bring the gifts which I have brought from this isle into the country. Then he shall thank me before the fullness of the land. Grant then unto me a follower, and lead me to the courtiers of the king. Cast your eye upon me after that I have both seen and proved this. Hear my prayer, for it is good to listen to people. It was said unto me, “Become a wise man, and you shall come to honor,’ and behold I have become such.”

This is finished from its beginning unto its end, even as it was found in a writing. It is written by the scribe of cunning fingers, Ameni-amenaa; may he live in life, wealth, and health!


Source:

From: Eva March Tappan, ed., The World’s Story: A History of the World in Story, Song and Are, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914), Vol. III: Egypt, Africa, and Arabia, trans. W. K. Flinders Petrie, pp. 41-46.

Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton. Prof. Arkenberg has modernized the text.

Don’t forget to …

these animations are huge, click on them if they aren’t animating in your browser

recent path of comet passing very close to the sun-

cor2b_anim

cor2a_anim

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Shameless

Merchandise.

bee-cherryblossoms

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Controlled by our Imagination

Just discovered this today, thought it worth passing on.
-r

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Picture/ Gif Dump, Poem at the end by TVD

orianima

Bird Circle

briefchase

Scared Bear

Cat Box

Cat Done Fall

Dog Catch

Too Much Socks

Caught in the Act

babyDragonDarker1600D

FWHLW

the-most-extreme-thing-you’ll-ever-see

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bunnyfood1

illeagle

kaleidoscopicmind

headlikeanorange

fat-birds

prickly-

coolerthan

wolfpack

smartyass-graffiti-25

ibmxmUk8LFvyEo

Mfbdq

I_am_the_walrus

sheepish

santa

nic_cage_cat

juliaroberts

penflip

best_deathmetal_bandname

hi_bears

bieberface

catswanttoreportweather

notwaving

ice-cannonball

goosepress

spiderman Tiny-Hippo1 smartyass-graffiti-23

A Shade of Brown

At the end of my rope, for convenience I rely on my phone.

You disconnected your number. I’ve never felt so alone.

Tonight my mood dropped even further. I miss you friend.

The operator told me I made an error, looks like it’s really the end.

Lady we used to talk for hours, about days- gone-by.

Labor Day weekend is gonna be scorching. Your humor is so dry.

You were the only person that believed I’d see success.

Fame and Fortune escaped my grasp. Bad luck has such finesse.

Maybe I could see up together accepting an academy award.

Fall is fast approaching.    Feels like I swallowed a sword.

As the leaves fall from the trees, the gold is a Shade of Brown.

This single bed feels like forever. I can’t drag myself to town.

Anxiety explodes to depression. Is there a life lesson to learn?

We walked together in the meadow. It’s time to let it burn.

Even though the pain is fierce! Maybe it has nothing to do with me?

Without your enthusiasm I’ve been seduced by self-pity.

Don’t ever remember falling off a cliff at such an elevation.

Insecure territory is a tragic playground!!! I’m plagued by procrastination!!!

Rewind this fatal scene in slow-motion. I need to change lanes.

How can you measure misfortune? In the end I’ll take the blame.

The fast lane seems to have invited, confessions stained with tarnish.

You try to break-free, reflection mirages a

death-wish.

Everybody hears bad news.   I’d knock, but there is no door.

Scorn is the opposite of forgiveness. I never thought you’d keep score.

As I go about living life.

Love is a dangerous proposition. Common sense has its purpose. Fools live by intuition.

When a thief robs a bank, a bag of cash is his goal.

I found your consolation at the bottom of this hole.

By T.V.D.

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Persian Love Poetry

Thank you to Leroy for sharing this.

Riding effortlessly on a large green turtle

 

If you wish, I shall put my fingers together

And form a stirrup with my two palms

So you can put your foot in my hands

And warm yourself in my heart

Or put the soles of your feet on my shoulders

And slip down into my arms.

Softly and lightly, let me embrace you

So I can spread you like grass on the ground.

 

Iraj Mirza

 

Without you at a night of full moon, once again I walked through

that lane

I was all eyes, bedazzled I searched for you.

The joy of seeing you overflowed the jug of my existence

I became the same mad lover I was before.

 

Fereydoun Moshiri

 

I said there would always be a bench

Under a tree

In the mystic solitude of a garden.

And I did not say that without you the garden would die

And in…

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When Galaxies Cry

More great poetry from someone I didn’t know of before.

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SUICIDE- REDEMPTION OR HELL?

SUICIDE- REDEMPTION OR HELL?.

 

as many of you know, my teenaged daughter killed herself 20 years ago. this speaks to my heart

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