Sunday, December 29, 2013


Tilly, my sweet babu, is a three and a half year old silly kitty. Very energetic, interactive, and cuddly. All was fine as she went to bed one night during the holiday break but the next morning she was having some trouble breathing. It sounded like a hairball. Sometimes it takes a couple hours for the clump of fur to be vomited out so I wasn’t worried. I ran a few errands and came home a few hours later and she still wasn’t breathing well.

I was concerned and called our regular veterinarian clinic. Of course, they didn’t have any more appointments that day so I had to take her to emergency care. They could not figure out what was wrong and had to perform an x-ray. Sadly, it showed a diaphragmatic hernia. A tear occurred in her diaphragm and her stomach moved up above the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. The stomach had a lot of air/gas in it and that is why she had trouble breathing. The doctor said that since Tilly hadn’t been in a traumatic accident, it was probably congenital.

I began to cry. It has been only a couple months since my Mother died and the cats have provided a lot of comfort to me as I mourn. The thought of losing a dear animal companion is just too much. Tilly is young and healthy, she should not have to suffer or die. There wasn’t very much that could be done so they sent her home with me. No stairs and only small meals. It cost $280.25 for the bad news.

Tilly ate a small amount of wet food that evening, Saturday (Day 1). I was so upset that I could not eat. I made sure that she had a warm soft place to sleep. Zozo kept hissing at Tilly so I kept them separated. I couldn’t sleep so I got up several times during the night to check on Tilly. The morning of Sunday, Day 2 her breathing was a bit worse and she refused to eat or drink water. I called the vet and took her in. They took another x-ray, administered oxygen & fluids, and recommended an emergency operation. I had to agree.

They brought her into a small room so that I could spend some time with her before surgery. The fluids and oxygen had perked her up but she still had labored breathing and never purred. More tears. I began to sob. Fear for her and fear about paying the bill. The estimated cost is $2,474 – if all goes well. The diagnosis and procedure will wipe out my merger checking account. I’m not earning enough to pay my bills already (yes, I am ardently seeking other employment). I am panicked and frightened.

Please consider contributing towards Tilly’s bills, which will total approximately $2,754. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. Send it to the account set up as the “Ima B. Musing Fund” at I will keep you posted about to her progress.

Day 3 (Monday, Dec 30) update: She made it through surgery and is still in recovery. Tear in the diaphragm allowed the stomach and spleen to enter the chest cavity. She could have died if we waited... I'm still not sleeping well. Visited her before I went to work and afterwards. 24 hours after surgery she was still running a slight fever so they wanted to keep her for another day.

Day 4 (Tuesday, Dec 31) update: Tilly is walking around and purring. IV has been taken out but they gave her some fluids subcutaneously (under the skin behind her shoulder blades). She is urinating but not very interested in food. I visited her before work and gave a hug to the vet surgeon who saved Tilly's life. I will pick up Tilly after work and skip New Years Eve festivities. Darn cold weather so glad that it is only a short drive home.

Thank you again for sending positive thoughts and donations to Tilly! Please share with your friends, family, and network of fellow animal pet lovers. After I procure a better paying job I will double the amount donated and pass it onto a nonprofit charitable NGO which assists animals.

Thank you kindly! (Photo is of Tilly)
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Friday, December 27, 2013


Voting is magical. As a wee one, I would venture to the polling place with my Mother. I would stand next to her in the huge lever machine and the curtain would draw shut at she lifted the metal arm to start her voting. The rough material of the dark green-gray curtain always smelled a little musty. Clink, clink, clink for each of her choices. I would reach up to touch a lever and she’d say, “No, you aren’t old enough.” I would feel sad but it was like being inside the Wizard of Oz’s booth. The machine would musically tinkle as she pushed down the metal arm to register her votes as the curtain whooshed open. I was entranced.

Mom occasionally served as an election judge. She would leave before I got up for school and I would drop by the polling place after school to say hi. If it was busy she would just smile and wave and I’d go home. Children weren’t allowed to loiter in the polling area. I would have been content to read a book and just watch from the sidelines.

By the time I turned eighteen the magical machines were gone and replaced by paper ballots. I told my parents that I was a Democrat and they were disappointed. My Father was certain that he had raised a Good Republican as compared to a Bleeding Heart Liberal. Oh well, at least I have a heart (Note: not all conservatives or Republicans are callous nor or all Democrats open hearted). I was very fastidious about voting and began serving as an Election Judge during college for a little extra cash.

The pay is poor, hours lousy, but it’s a civic duty. I am generally the youngest judge and it’s important to be involved in the process. I haven’t judged every single election but enough to get promoted to Head Judge. The Head Judge is the supervisor of the polling place. Responsible to make certain that it is a free and fair election. A lot of stress and anxiety to ensure that the laws are enforced to the letter. However, I love knowing that I am making a direct impact on the success of the democratic process. Much has been sacrificed by my ancestors for me to have this right and reasonability. My father’s aunt lived until she was 107 and would tell me stories about being a Suffragette. It is a citizen’s responsibility to vote in every election.

Most of the time, the election goes smoothly. A few minor problems always arise but they are 99% solvable. What causes the most headache are the big problems. During the Minnesota Gubernatorial election with unusually high turnout due to James Janos (aka Jessie Ventura), the ballot counting machine kept breaking down. When it started giving off whiffs of smoke so I quickly unplugged it and called Election Headquarters for help. It was an old-model paper ballot counter and they didn’t have a replacement. We had to pile the ballots in a box. A voter accused me of fraud but we had two judges from different parties guarding the ballots so it would have been impossible to tamper with them.

A few hours later on the same day, an elderly resident fell on some stairs as he entered the polling place. We got him in a sitting position but it was clear that he was harmed. He refused an ambulance but let me call his son. Meanwhile, we set up a privacy screen so that he could vote where he was seated. His son arrived and took him to the hospital where it was learned that he had broken his hip. We were outrageously busy but I could not ignore a voter who was in peril. That night had to schlep the ballots to be counted in the Headquarters’ machine and didn’t get home until after 2am. I was so glad that I took the next day off from work.

To be continued.

Every Vote Counts!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Someday Soon he’ll come around
To sweep me off my feet
Our eyes will meet and our
Arms entwine as love lifts us
Above the clouds
To see the shining sun, where there
Is no rain or gray
How bright our eyes will Sparkle
At the thought of each other
But if I hope too much or
Wait too long
He will never come and I’ll
be left Alone

NOTE: This poem was written on the back of the letter sent to my mother when I was a 19-year-old romantic. I had barely dated and only kissed two guys, lightly. Was it prophetic or a self-fulfilling prophecy? Alas, I’m 40-something now and alone…

Photo by Lisa Jaster

Oh Santa, I'd like a boyfriend or hubby.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


“to: Mom
from: Ima
I love you! mom I kno
w you love me. but I
think. I love you more
than you love me.”
Image of tree, three clouds and a sun below the writing on 4-inch square hot pink notepaper. Due to my dyslexia, I didn’t figure out how to read or write until third grade so this was written sometime after that point during primary school. Oh my poor dear mother, how exasperating. I was the youngest kid of dramatic teenage sisters. My eldest sibling got pregnant during her senior year in high school, married two weeks after graduation, and delivered my nephew in September. I was probably feeling neglected because my parents raised my nephew since my sister and her abusive husband were clueless.

My dad was clearing out my mother’s possessions when he came across these notes. My mother had also kept a letter that I sent while I was in college. I had just moved up the Twin Cities to attend college and wrote because I could not afford to call long-distance. This was long before email was publicly available. I wrote this in January while residing in the University of Minnesota’s only female dorm (which is co-ed now). The first two pages of the letter have been lost. I have added brackets to explain a few items.

January 19th (1980s):
“Speaking of Mike [my best friend], have the pink flamingos [which I ordered for his birthday] come in at the mall? Tell them to hold them until I get down there to pick the pair up. I’ll just give one to Mike as a 20th birthday present. [Mom wrote the store’s name and phone number on the letter]
Gosh, I’m going to turn 20 [soon]! Sounds old - but better than – teen Blah. Thanks for Terry’s [a friend from high school] address! He called the other night and we had a nice half hour conversation. I think he may transfer up here next year but I’ll be forced to quit due to financial problems – oh well.
Its ccccooolllD up here and it’s a good thing the worst was during the weekend. I’d freeze walking to classes, even if I wore tons of clothes so I’m glad I could stay inside. –75 windchill is not my idea of a balmy day.
Well, gotta go – Take Care and I Love You Lots!,
PS Say “Hi” to everybody

My question is why did she retain these notes? Did the love note make her laugh or cry? I wrote a poem on the back of the letter, was that the reason? ‘Tis too late to ask. Poem will be published in the next post. I still can’t unpack her clothes even though it’s been more than two months since she died.

Questions unanswerable.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Thursday, December 19, 2013


The joy of reading was temporarily extinguished by grief. I have begun to read again but it takes a lot to concentrate on the content.

Jewelweed by David Rhodes Four Worms
Another gem of a novel by a talented author. Exquisite prose describing the nuances and internal explorations of the characters. Jumped around a bit too much and sometimes it wasn’t clear which character was being described. Some continuity gaps, disturbing element, and surrealistic touch detracted from this amazing tome.

The Asylum by John Harwood Three Worms
Complicated and confusing story with a creepiness factor but well written. Needed one more chapter to expand the fate of the main characters.

The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon Two and a Half Worms
Potential lost by leaping through time, too many information gaps, and a vague ending. Imagery included smells, which many authors forget. Predictably, all the central characters were beautiful and had fabulous sexual encounters.

My Education by Susan Choi Two Worms
First half of the book is preoccupied with sexual relations. Beautiful prose is sullied with gaps in time and story continuity. Narrator defines herself by relations with others and completely dismisses self-development as a singleton.

Once A Spy by Keith Thomson Two Worms
Mystery with a whole bunch of murder. Implausible for a human can sustain for such a long period without adequate sleep, food, and water. Plus, physical degradation accompanies dementia. Too many leaps of logic for believability.

Never stop learning.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Dear Reader,
This entry marks the four-hundredth posting for this blog. I am utterly shocked that I have that much to say and deeply honored that you are interested in reading. However, I respectfully request that you aid a financially struggling wordsmith. Moi!

I work a low-paying three-quarters time job that does not surpass the monthly bills, even though I live a very frugal lifestyle. Hit in June 2009 with a lay-off and struggled with unemployment and underemployment ever since. Despite having many years of experience and a college degree I have yet to be hired at a job that pays adequately. I have applied for hundreds of positions and been on myriad interviews. I stopped counting because it was too depressing and angst causing.

Blogging is a joyful experience but I respectfully request for a gift this season. If this blog has brought you information or emotion, please make a donation to the Adopt An Ima cause. Zozo and Tilly, the cats, will also benefit from your generosity. They both need a visit to the veterinarian, and vaccinations. They suffering from a skin malady, which causes scabs, and I have been flummoxed with the cause or cure. Plus, I need two tires for my 14-year-old auto and to pay off medical bills. Though I only procure absolute necessities, my reserves have dwindled down to the critical stage. I soon shall run into default, unless you assist.

I actively volunteer in the community, seek to publish an entertaining and informative blog, and support causes on my Facebook account. I coordinate the Art Mob Twin Cities MN group, which promotes local artists. I also guide the Petition to Establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the USA group, which advocates for the creation of a council to focus on healing the wounds caused by Native American Indian Boarding Schools.

Thank you kindly for your time and consideration of this blatant appeal. I greatly appreciate any gift that you can make. I promise double the gift and make donations to 501(c)3 nonprofit non-governmental charities as soon as I am able.

Donation site:

PS You can donate to another person up to $14,000 per year without the recipient having to pay taxes on the gift.

Happy Holidays!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Dreadfully worried about the cat’s continued dermatological issues. They both have scabs and obviously are suffering from the itchy nature of the irritation. Zozo tore out a small section of fur on her stomach and Tilly has crusty nodules scattered throughout her body. First, I returned them to the old cat food and old litter but to no avail. Their behavior has not altered and they continue to eat and drink. The second attempt at a cure was adding a half a tablet of L-lysine to their diet. I ground it in a mortar & pestle and mixed it in with wet food, which they love. After two weeks there was no difference.

Since I am a member of the “working poor” I can’t afford to buy anything more than absolute necessities. Thus, I haven’t brought new items into the home. The only change is a subscription the Star Tribune newspaper. It was extremely cheap at $15 for six months and I do love to read the Sunday edition while sipping tea. I usually toss the newspaper on the floor because the cats like to jump, play on and under it. Perhaps the newsprint is bothering their skin. My third try at a cure was gathering up all the sheets and placing them in the shed. I will use them to cover the garden as mulch in the spring. Unfortunately, it didn’t bring about healthy skin.

I consulted several websites and spoke with a Veterinarian Technologist. As a result, my fourth endeavor was to add a half a tablet of fish oil/omega-3 and a half tablet of anti-histamine (loratadine) to their wet food twice per day. It seemed to reduce their itching. Zozo’s stomach rash has subsided but Tilly has not improved. I don’t want to over-tax their wee bodies with medication. I’d be crushed if I inadvertently harmed them.

The next step is to place an Elizabethan collar on each cat. It will stop them from excessive chewing and licking but make them miserable. Zozo had to wear one for four months while recuperating from leg surgery several years ago. It took her a long time to forgive me. However, I will do it if required. Tilly's anal glands now appear to be blocked, I don't know how to clear them out so I will also have to find a super cheap veterinarian. I can’t afford $200+ for a two-cat visit, plus tests, plus medications. However, I feel terrible that they must suffer from my poverty. Felines are a luxury, which I could afford when I was paid properly. However, they really help my mental health and would be emotionally crushed if I had to get rid of them.

Heal my sweeties!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I reluctantly brought home the boxes containing some of Mum’s clothes to my house. They languished for a couple weeks. When I was switching my warm weather wardrobe to cool weather attire I decided to blend in Mom’s items. Bad idea. I began sobbing and everything got blurry. I had to sit down. I don’t know when I will be able to incorporate her clothing into mine.

Attended a grief support group at my faith community. I am acquainted with one of the attendees but didn’t know anyone else. It wasn’t comfortable. I didn’t say much. I choked out a quick synopsis of my mom’s illness and death but it was difficult to talk. Not an enjoyable experience. I don’t know if I want to return. Perhaps the wound is too new.

Six weeks after the funeral I finally began to feel better. I was finally able to read a book, though in short spurts. Listened to polka music for a brief period of time. Mom liked polka and we had a lot of fun watching the dancers. Sleeping a bit more. I still continue to cry. Managed to finish the yard-work, cleaned the shed and garage. Revved up the snow-blower in anticipation of the winter weather. I still need to winterize the house and clean the back porch.

Bookclub group met and they were very kind. Lots of condolences and hugs. I made several of them cry while relating the story of my Mom. I didn’t intend to spread my misery. A lot of people have been telling me their experience(s) with a parent or loved one dying. At some point it will make me feel connected but right now it only increases my grief.

Missing Mum
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, December 9, 2013


While we were sorting Mom’s clothes, sibling #2 dropped by. I didn’t bother to tell her that I would be in town. We didn’t have a positive relationship before Mom died and I know the truce will be temporary. She is quiet but cold towards me. I strive for apathy.

Mom was “sensitive” and would yell out, “Ima, its for you,” just before the phone would ring. Due to her accuracy, we knew that she was correct long before Caller ID was invented. She didn’t like talking about her abilities because she was afraid that the Devil would cause harm. Sibling #2 and I inherited the ability. I consider myself clairvoyant, I see things that others don’t or else they deny. When I feel safe and secure, I am highly sensitive but due to prolonged financial stress I haven’t been as aware as usual.

A few days before I ventured to Dad’s house to help clear out the clothes closet Sibling 2 was at his house. The home is a rambler with a front door leading into the living room and a hallway leading to the bathroom and bedrooms. She had just walked down the hallway and entered the living room when Mom came through the closed door and said, “Hi Sis, did you miss me?” Mom smiled, took off her coat and dissipated. #2 stood there stunned. I know that #2 would not lie about this apparition. I’m glad that Mom looked healthy and pre-dementia. I’m a bit jealous, Mom has not visited me or else I am too emotional or cut off from the sensitivity due to stress.

#2 wasn’t surprised by my incident with the earring. She thinks it is highly possible that Mom was playing a joke on me. Since #2 has a hubby, 30 year old daughter, and two granddaughters living in her home it would be difficult to determine if Mom is playing jokes on her. Mom was a benign practical joker while she was alive. She loved to “pull someone’s leg” and make them laugh. Nothing mean but sometimes it was annoying.

Life is a joke.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Friday, December 6, 2013


The next day we focused on sorting Mom’s remaining clothes. Siblings 1 & 3 had sent a box home to themselves before they departed. Sister 2 had gone through and selected some items already. I got the leftovers. It was exhausting to look at them all and remember how she liked certain outfits. Her favorite color was teal.

I then had to try on the outfit to make certain that it fit. Sadly, I am a bit too large for a lot of her clothes. I don’t like to wear white and some of the fashions don’t fit my preferences. I still managed to fill a box. Not the method that I wanted to expand my wardrobe. I also inherited some of her tennis shoes and underwear. Disappointed that one of my sisters absconded with the bright shirt that I brought back for Mom from Hawaii.

Opened the hallway closet and found a stash of sugar and flour. Mom loved to bake and must have run out of storage room in the kitchen. It was hard for her to climb stairs so this was her alternative location. There were lots of handbags, which Mom didn’t use. Her mom had a collection, which should have been auctioned off when she died. Grandma Daisy compulsively bought purses.

For a person who rarely wore jewelry, Mum had oodles. I presume that some of it she inherited from her mother who died fifteen years ago. Mom loved butterflies and would occasionally wear a butterfly necklace. She did not have pierced ears and didn’t like to wear clip-ons. I received a pearl necklace that Dad had sent Mom when he was stationed in Japan during the early 1950s.

Dad is overwhelmed by Mom’s stuff. Shifting of the boxes made us both sneeze. He is at least taking the time to sort through the items but I fear that he will just start throwing boxes out without looking at the contents. I have offered to return but it is emotionally draining work. I don’t want to erase the existence of my mother.

An individual is not defined by their “stuff.” It is about relationships and being remembered fondly. Dad received almost 200 cards and nearly $1,000 in donations (that he is aware of). Once I heal a bit more, I will strive to write down her stories. You will never have the opportunity to meet my mom, dear reader, but I want you to know her through me.

Tell your loved ones that you love them today!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Tears still grace my cheeks almost daily even though it has been a month since my mother made the transition to the next existence. Sometimes it is only sniffles but other times I sob. Noise still agitates me so my door remains mostly closed at work. I shifted the deadbolt to the extended position so the door remains ajar by a half an inch. I live-stream the Sidney Public Radio classical orchestra Australian music station since their overnight show is usually mellow.

Sleeping a bit better. I occasionally procure a 5-6 hour rest but still plagued by insomnia. It’s pitiful to be tired when I am supposed to be waking up and then falling asleep at my desk at work. I have used some sick time due to exhaustion in the afternoon. I make certain that the vital tasks are completed and then venture home. I nap on the couch with the cats frequently. People have been observing that I appear “worn out.” Sorrow is brutal.

Friends are checking in less frequently. Sporadically receiving a belated condolence card. I am up to seventeen now. I have sent in the donations to Alzheimer’s Association and direct it towards research only. I don’t want the money going to other programming or administrative costs. Utilized the other funds toward gas costs. I spend about $30 for each trip to my parent’s home.

Apprehensively returned to my Dad’s home five weeks after Mum died. Cried as I passed the cemetery, filled with dread. Strange to state Dad’s house, I am accustomed to saying Mom & Dad. They were always an inseparable unit. Singular is an uncomfortable expression. Dad hated going to the doctor so Mom always feared that he would die at a young age. His family has longevity since his fraternal aunt lived to 105, mom to 97, and siblings are still alive at 99 and 97.

Arrived in the afternoon. Dad invited Betty over for supper. We looked over some of Mom’s notebooks. It was apparent that she realized that she was having memory problems nine or ten years ago. She would write over and over the names of the kids, grand-kids, and great-grandkids. She kept notes on all types of things. She always wrote a synopsis of sermons but stopped in January 2011. The arthritis in her back would hurt more during winter so she didn’t like going out in the cold. By the time she returned to church, she stopped taking notes.

Dad was very sad when he came across an envelope marked “music for my funeral.” We only sang one song Mom wanted, “How Great Thou Art.” I wish that the service would have been taped and then the version given to the family could have contained her desired songs with a montage of photos. He had diligently planned his funeral but never bothered to ask her what she wanted. Too late now.

To be continued.

Funeral plans are good.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Support your local artist by purchasing their creations! Art Mob Twin Cities MN focuses on connecting patrons (you) with creative entrepreneurs (artists). You are cordially invited to join us at: Peruse our events page for the most recent update of activities in the area. Please encourage your Facebook Friends to join us, too.

When you buy local art, you assist the local economy. Local artists usually obtain materials for their artwork from other local merchants so your money gets recycled back into the community. Another plus is the cost. I was recently speaking with a well-established gallery owner who has seen an increase in “serious collectors” from the Coast (New York City, Los Angeles, etc) and international arts aficionados coming to the Twin Cities area. They are venturing here to add to their collected works because a comparable piece of artwork is three times more expensive on the Coast. Thus, you save 60+% by buying artwork made by Twin Cities artists! Much better than special deals and discount coupons available for Cyber Monday!

Choose to be unique rather then procuring a one of a million mass-produced item available at a national chain novelty or department store. If you are a fan of PBS’s Antique Road Show you have observed a pattern of people being surprised by the value of artwork. Buy locally-fashioned artwork as a gift for yourself and others. With advance notice, the artist can customize artwork to meet your needs for color, shape, and other design elements. Chat with the artist to discuss timeline and price. You don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to commission artwork.

There are dozens of art-buying events listed on the Art Mob Twin Cities MN events page on Facebook. More are added every week. Please note that I am coordinating the group as an unpaid volunteer. It is my civic duty to assist others and I saw a need for this type of group.

Buy Local Art!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Severely affected am I when contracting a virus. Thus, I procure a yearly influenza vaccination to ward off the illness. Usually, the injection site is sore but this year was different. A couple days after receiving the shot in the left shoulder the deltoid muscle below the injection site reacted. It was a bit tender and then became extremely sore during the next couple days.

I had to keep my left arm immobile from the shoulder to elbow by holding it against my side. Aspirin was not enough to knock out the inflammation. I dropped by the clinic where I received the injection and the nurse counseled me to ice the shoulder and take pain killers. That provided some relief while I was sitting upright on the couch. I could not sleep that night due to the discomfort. I tried to sleep on my right side, back, and prop the shoulder with pillows. To no avail. Tears would leak, not from sadness, but from pain.

The next day I met with a doctor who advised me to take a large dose of over-the-counter Naproxen Sodium. I procured some from the drugstore and consumed the tablets. It dulled the pain for the evening. The medication eradicated the inflammation and reduced the discomfort. I was able to sleep at least half the night. To my great relief, it worked! I had to take it easy for several days as not to stress the arm but it felt better.

My dad also had a reaction to the 3-strain version of the 2013-2014-influenza vaccine. Perhaps I also responded to what had affected him. I will procure the vaccine in the future, but probably in nasal mist form.

Achoo, the flu!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, November 25, 2013


By week three after my mother died, the daily phone calls from friends had dwindled. I received a total of twelve cards and $100 worth of donations to Alzheimer’s. My closest friends contributed funds to use toward gas. Sleeping four to six hours per night. Starting to have moments of normalcy again. Helped a friend take out her kids for Halloween and laughed for the first time in a couple months.

Worked myself into a state of fatigue by cleaning out the compost bins and garden beds. Sat on the couch to relax and glanced at a photo of my Mom. Cried intensely, probably more than I have before this moment. I suppose the physical weariness broke down more of my emotional barriers. Wept myself dry and fell asleep on the couch. Awoke, took a shower, and felt better, extremely weary but better.

Purchased a bottle of wine but only drank one glass. It sits in the fridge. I’m afraid that it will make me more depressed and that is a bad experience. The dwindling daylight hours and cooler temperatures are bad enough without chemically adding to the sorrow. I still need to change out four storm windows and seal a multitude of drafty windows in the house. I must keep as much of the warm air in the house as possible. I can’t afford to heat it over 58 degrees so the poor cats suffer the most. I wear layers and earmuffs at all times.

Continuously rejected on job interviews. It is very disheartening. I try and try and try to no avail. I must procure a better paying job. My dad is struggling to pay bills so there will be no inheritance. My finances are near collapse and I am terrified of defaulting on my bills and mortgage. I have begun to sell stuff and I may raid my meager retirement savings. I will be destitute as an elderly woman, if I live that long. Government programs always seem to end just as I need them so I will undoubtedly be homeless when I am eighty. I don’t expect to be rescued. I want to support myself by working, good honest work. Maybe someone will want to publish this blog….

Time of Tears.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Friday, November 22, 2013


Little kitty cat
Curled up on my lap
What do you dream of, my dear?
With a wiggle of your whiskers
Twitch of the ear
I wonder what flits in your brain
Its diminutive domain

Sweet dreams, Tilly!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


There are numerous opportunities to procure delightful creations by local artists! There is a plethora of events during November and December, too many to list on this posting. Visit the Art Mob Twin Cities MN page on Facebook, peruse the Events section, and invite your Facebook friends to various events. Join our group too!

Remember, you can always talk with the artist about customizing a piece of artwork. Color, design, whatever... Advance notice will probably be needed but be open to negotiation regarding the timeline and price. You don't have to be a millionaire to commission art!

Buy artwork which will someday make your heirs happy! (Think PBS' Antique Roadshow)

Over 10 events are listed on our Facebook page.

BLACK FRIDAY: (November 29th)
Prairie Woodworking is hosting an open house, which continues into Saturday.
Variety of galleries, art centers, and individual artist studios will be open.

AZ Gallery in St. Paul, Lowertown
NKB in Minneapolis, Northrup King Building
Third Place Gallery, Prairie Woodworking, other galleries, art centers and individual artist studios will be open.

CYBER MONDAY: (December 2nd)
Procure items from local artists via
Many individual artists, art centers, and galleries also have online options.

Over 10 events are listed on our Facebook page.
Events are added as I become aware of their existence.

#1 Buy a creation by a local artist (benefit the local economy),
#2 Donate the creation to a NGO 501(c)3 Nonprofit Charity to use at a silent auction, decorate their facilities, or give to clients (benefit the local community), and then
#3 Receive a tax-deduction from the charity (benefit your pocketbook).
Help an entrepreneur, others, and yourself in one play! HOORAY!
Note: Sports euphemisms can be adaptable.

Go forth and buy local art!
Copyright 2013 (c) Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Due to the forthcoming release of the second film, I thought that I would repost this issue of Ima’s Bookroom Review, Volume IV, Issue 4. Spoiler alert: Characters and plotline will be discussed. Five worms is the highest possible rating.

The Hunger Games (first book) Three Worms
Catching Fire (second book) Two and a Half Worms
Mocking Jay (third book) Three and a Half Worms

Of course, the overall review begins with the first book. It covered the material that I already knew from chatter about the first movie, which I still have not viewed. The main character, Katniss, is filled with internal angst amplified by the horrendous situations that she must face. The storyline is morbid but sadly somewhat plausible. The second book is a bit more hurried. The internal workings of the other characters was lacking. Katniss’ whining and endless physical ailments become rather tedious. The plotline of the final book is foreshadowed so the conclusion is easily anticipated. Katniss would have worn the special suit under her military uniform for the final venture, though.

The series offers a good exploration of the psychological repercussions of war and violence. The final chapters were rushed but show that trauma runs deeply and never truly fades. The three books should have been expanded by at least one more to expose the internal turmoil and make a stronger connection with the second-string characters. However, it the writing is solid with few errors and the series does merit reading.

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami Three worms (Reviewed in 2012)
Disturbingly violent twist on a survival story. Intensely violent with minimal character development. Don’t read if you are prone to nightmares. [Translated]

Ban children warriors.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Week Two was difficult, after the death of my mom. I continued to cry several times per day. I kept the door closed at work because the sounds from the hallway were agitating. I cry every day. I am not accustomed to public display of emotion so it makes me feel uncomfortable on top of the sadness. My co-worker’s mom, who is in her 90s, has begun the transition process so I can provide direct empathy. However, the situation just made me cry more when I got home.

Sleeping a bit better 4-6 hours every other night but I feel exhausted after work. My house is getting messier and I don’t really care. I forced myself to do some yardwork but was totally exhausted after a couple hours. I feel very overwhelmed by the amount of winterization tasks to do. Admitted to myself that I needed assistance so I called a friend who will come to help next weekend. I will pay him with a meal of soup.

On the first day that I didn’t sob, I found the lost earring. It appeared on my dresser. How? I had searched that area before and it wasn’t there. Mom was that you? Or, just my own stupidity? I won’t know the answer until I join her – wherever that may be or not be. The ultimate question I suppose.

It is really good to write all of this out. I had kept a handwritten journal for many years when I was young but stopped in my mid-20s. Writing helps me to process the experience. One-way therapy though I am heartened by the number of people who read this blog. Your kindness and support is worth more than gold to me!

Motherless child.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


My elderly backyard neighbor, Becca, informed me that she is moving in with her daughter and selling the home that she has lived in for 62 years. Becca and several generations of her progeny, who visit her daily, have been good neighbors. They smile, wave, and chat with me over the fence. They have even invited me to their home on occasion. I am sad that she is moving but her health is getting worse and it will be good for her to live with someone. Her hubby died just before I bought my house, over a decade ago. I hope the new people will be nice.

When I first moved in, the neighbors to the north were the first to welcome me. Lori, leaned over the fence and gave me a hug. She and her hubby were elderly but extremely friendly. They frequently invited me over to join in family gatherings. Their daughter lives across the street and she is affable, too. After they died, their grandson purchased the home and resided there for a couple years until his wife demanded a larger home. She is also the person who was smitten by the Twilight series.

There was a single dad with six kids in the house to the south of me when I moved in. They were cordial but not really friendly. Teenage drama can be overwhelming but one of the kids was pleasant and had a beautiful singing voice. Unfortunately, they did not take very good care of their home and decided to move to Atlanta. The new owner rehabilitated the house and was a jerk. He didn’t turn on the water to his house so his contractors stole water from my hose. When I confronted him he played dumb. I threatened to sue since I had eyewitnesses, my other neighbors, so he coughed up some money to pay my water bill. Thankfully, a really pleasant guy purchased the home.

My backyard is actually shared by two neighbors, Becca and Callie. Callie is rather gruff but she will say hello. Callie’s folks live on the other side of her lot so she gets a lot of help from them. I have to admit that I’m rather jealous of people who get assistance from their family. They have a support network that I will never have access to. I might as well be an only-child orphan.

The street that I call home is fairly quiet. I have grown accustomed to the hum and vibration of nearby trains. I can tell when a rail car is out of alignment because it sounds or feels different. It is annoying when the whistle is blown but they only do that when something or someone is on or near the tracks. I hope that there will never be a derailment, especially involving chemical spill or fire.

There is one obnoxious family on the block. A loud mom who raised two loud kids. The daughter got pregnant in high school and just gave birth to child number three. I feel sorry for the kids because the house is always filled with shouts. Eccentrics also reside down the street. They are an odd couple but seem happy together. He likes to ride his bike and sing loudly. She always has a very serious expression but laughs easily. I’ve always been curious about the inside of their home… is it as unique as they are?

I’ve been in my home for over a decade. It is better than renting, despite the challenges. I have never missed a payment though my savings are now almost depleted. I have cut back on all expenses so I now have to sell stuff. I am still desperately seeking a better job so that I don’t have to fear the next mortgage payment. My home is my haven from the harshness of the world.

Domicile Candy Abode.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, November 11, 2013


Judging an election is an endurance test. I arose at 4am to be at the polling place by 6am to hastily prepare for the onslaught of citizens clamoring for a ballot on November 5th. Grumpy residents moan and groan in an extended queue before the sun rises and the doors opened at 7am. The inundation is fierce and the judges do their best to keep up. Thus, begins the 13 hours of open polls and the hour or two of closing after 8pm. Minimum of fifteen hours of intensity, but I need the money.

“What do we want? Voters! When do we want them? Voters!” the chant grows louder by the hour. A throng of weary, bleary Election Judges have entered the final throws of the General Election. We just want the agony to end. After ten or eleven hours of repeating the same phrases, the voters lose their individuality. Some of our judges only served a half day, which made them more mentally alert.

The citizens tend to talk too fast and don’t like to repeat themselves to a partially-zombified judge. It takes a bit longer to locate their name in the Election Roster and they become petulant if you don’t find it instantly. Always, speak slowly and clearly to the judge, be patient and kind. Don’t use your own pen to sign the roster.

We rejoice when the Head Judge shouts out, “The Polls are Closed!” We wait for the final voters to complete their ballot and then rush around cleaning up the polling place. The Head Judge focuses on ensuring that the vote count data is printed in a hard copy, then the ballots and machine transported to the County Election Office. Shout for joy, the polls are bunged.

Did you vote this year?
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Jolted awake in the wee hours. I decided that I might as well travel to the bathroom and glanced at the clock across the room, which is not visible from my bed. It was exactly one week since my mother had died, to the minute. Eerie. Peed, returned to bed and cried myself back to sleep.

“No, you won’t need to pack
You’ve got a reservation
But you don’t have to wait
If you don’t want to
And you won’t feel a thing
All your friends are there already
Once you’re gone
You’ll never want to live again.”
Lyrics from Jeremy Messersmith’s perky song, “Deathbed Salesman,” keeps echoing in my mind. He is very talented at singing about rather somber subjects in a gleeful manner. I’d like to have him perform at my final celebration.

A week after Mum’s burial and I still felt tired and irritable. I continued to cry several time per day. Depleted physical and mental resources. My friends have invited me over to their homes but I am not ready to interact. Spoke with Roopa, she was very understanding about my meltdown on the night of my mother’s death. It is taking all my energy to survive a busy time at work. Thankful that there were few problems during my absence from the office.

Doing the bare necessities at home. Exhausted after running a few errands. Much to do outside/inside to prepare for winter and no chutzpah to do it. Picked the remaining herbs from the garden but was too late for some. Finally unpacked and bummed that I lost one of my favorite earrings, which I wore to the funeral. Searched the luggage, floor, auto, and called both my Dad and Betty to see if they found the earring. It is a simple elegant dangling silver teardrop by Monet, which I procured in the mid-1980s.

Worried about small skin scabs on the cats. I can’t afford to take them to the veterinarian. I had run out of the anti-hairball food so perhaps its because their bodies don’t like the new cat food. Odd that both felines present with the same allergy. I made a special trip to the pet store to purchase some of the no barf food. I hoped that the sores would heal but there was no alteration after almost a week. Their behavior hasn’t changed but Zozo has scratched off hair around the crusty sore between her shoulder-blades. I tried placing balm on it but she went wild and scratched it off reopening the wound. I will have to let it be and hope for the best.

Warmed by the heartfelt response of people leaving messages for me on my phone and Facebook. Tom, a Cree-Ojibwa Shaman, who is the spouse of an acquaintance of mine called me for three days to pray. I am of Dakota heritage but it meant a lot that he was so thoughtful. My employer and others donated in my Mom’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, designated to research. Wrote thank you notes to my friends who got off from work, traveled a long distance to attend the funeral, gave me cards and gas money. Wrote notes to people who donated to other charities and helped me in other ways. Mom always emphasized the importance of thanking people. I will honor her teaching.

Disappointed that none of my neighbors gave me a card or dropped off food, which is the custom in rural Minnesota. I had done that for at least three neighbors who had a relative die and they did not return the gesture. What is wrong with city folk? I am friendly with all my neighbors. Since I don’t feel like cooking, a meal would have been greatly appreciated.

Sister #1 emailed to say that each of us owe $415 for the cost of Mom’s gravestone. I can’t afford that right now. I spoke with #2 and she doesn’t have the funds either. #2 wants to disperse Mom’s clothes and jewelry. I guess that I should of taken Mom up on her offer for jewelry back in 2011. My siblings will ensure that I get nothing of value.

Healing takes time.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Went en masse to Dad’s after the unfun-eral to sort though the 100+ condolence cards. He had already received about 20 in the mail and was surprised by the outpouring of affection for Mum. People liked Mom because she was kind, generous, and helpful. Dad is gregarious but condescending. Changed clothes. Ate supper. Mom showed up during dessert. I could clearly see her shape and could feel her happiness. I tried to make contact with my niece and sister who are also sensitive but could not get their attention. Surprised that #2 gave me a hug as she departed.

Slept at Betty’s, packed my stuff, and headed back to Dad’s. #1 & #3 were sorting Mom’s clothes eager to send a box full to their homes. I couldn’t handle it. I went into the kitchen and cried into my tea. #1 made nasty remarks and I departed. I can’t deal with her drama. #3 wanted to come with me but I do not have the emotional strength at this time. She did seem sad that I was leaving whereas #1 barely grunted when I wished her a safe journey home. #3 had promised to give me gas money for picking her up at the airport but she never followed through.

Visited the windswept graveside and sobbed. The 1 white and 4 red roses that had been on her casket were tossed aside and onto the headstone of my grandfather. I presume it occurred while they were sealing the casket into the vault, lowering it into the cold ground, and filling the hole with soil. It felt like a sting that the mortician in charge didn’t mind the details. I moved it to be on top of her decaying mortal coil. I know her soul is gone but it hurts so much.

I haven’t felt this depth of pain since Grandpa died while I was in middle school. I had to calm down in the auto for a while before I was safe to drive home. Tilly greeted me with a “Hold me” meow; I gratefully obliged her. Zozo snuggled on the couch later. However, I fell into deep despair. Wept and wept until I was dehydrated. Slept horribly.

When I did dream it was intense. I was attending an opening for a large metal twisting sculpture, which was seven stories high with two observation decks. I had procured free general admission tickets and planed to rendezvous with a friend. On the way to the event I stopped to help an elderly couple whose son who worked on the project. Met with the friend and joined the crowd. After the official dedication, my friend got us special passes to the lower deck. We rode the elevator up to the deck and I was thrilled. We were getting ready to depart when we bumped into the couple that was leaving. They remembered me and gave me their VIP Passes. My friend, unknown identity since I never saw their face in the dream, and I traveled up to the upper deck and were greeted to a special reception with music, food, drink, and celebrities. I was only interested in the sculpture’s details. A gorgeous man said that I had a “childlike response to art,” which made me feel insulted and I yelled at him. I didn’t know that he was the elderly couple’s son and the chief engineer for the project. He apologized and the next instant I was marrying him with the couple smiling in the first row. That is where the dream ended. Very very peculiar.

Back to reality. The morning after returning home I finally schlepped my luggage to the bedroom. Not in the mood to unpack. Decided to harvest my remaining produce before it frosted or froze. Brought in several buckets of green tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and broccoli. Too tired to clean up the outdoor garden mess – it will have to wait. Gloomy weather matches my somber mood. Reluctantly turned on the furnace.

Don’t erase Mom!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, November 4, 2013


The morning of the funeral I woke up and began to lament. Consumed a small breakfast and showered. Dressed and put on makeup and nylons, both of which I despise. No pockets and forgot to bring my small black bag but Betty let me borrow her purse. Went to Dad’s home. The funeral was scheduled for the afternoon. The mortician instructed us to arrive a half an hour before the visitation.

How do you bury the most significant person in your life? My mom taught me so much – how to walk, talk, read & write, ride a bike, the basics of everything. She shaped who I am today. It would probably be worse to inter a child or spouse. I don’t have either so burying my mother is the most tragic experience of my life.

The only other time that I felt this degree of sorrow was the death of Mom’s father. He was of part-Dakota heritage and we were close. I was in middle school and had spent at least one weekend per month with him since I was small. He taught me how to ride a horse, make proper knots, and use horse sense because I was profoundly naive. Grandpa took me to see family who lived on the reservation. He had been talking about death a lot during the year before he died. I didn’t want to see his body at the visitation; I didn’t want him to be dead. He spoke with horses and took his bow & arrow with him to the great hunting grounds. I still miss him.

Drained. Funerals are for the living but it doesn’t bring closure to the process. Mom’s body will slowly rot in a sealed tomb. Perhaps archeologists will dig it up in a thousand years and make wild assumptions about her life and death. Funerals only mark the disposal of the DNA. Her funeral was more than three days after her death to allow for relatives to travel in from out of the area. I just wanted the ceremony to be over, like watching my mom struggle to breathe for five torturous hours. She did not go peacefully into the night.

Dad was so anxious that we went an hour early. We followed the hearse as it traveled to the small church on the hill. Cried as they unloaded the casket, white with roses. Mom had picked it out several years ago. Tears washed away all traces of makeup before the mourners arrived. My blood pressure began to drop so I ventured into the kitchen for a glass of water. Nicked a brownie to increase my blood sugar since we didn’t bring in lunch before the service.

About 130 people attended on a cool autumn afternoon. I haven’t lived in the area for several decades so I recognized only about a quarter of the people. Nice to see cousins though the circumstances were sad. Betty’s son gave me a wonderful hug; he’s a sweetheart with a gruff exterior. A college friend of Sister #2 attended. He spent a lot of time with our family while in college because his family lived too far away to visit. We lost touch several years ago but Mom called him her adopted son. I managed to locate his place of employment and send him a message a couple days before the funeral. #2 even told me “thanks.”

The ceremony only took a half an hour but seemed much longer. I wept at the end of the line, furthest from the casket. Dad was closest to the coffin, with us in birth order. It was nice that statements from a niece and nephew who could not attend were read. #2 wrote a touching eulogy, which was read by the minister. I would have submitted my poem, if I had been notified. The hyper conservative preacher focused on conversion to Christianity. He kept stating that Jesus was the only way to Heaven. Not just once but three times during the service. He never spoke of how involved my mother was at church. All I wanted to do was punch him for his impudence. Mom was a Christian but accepted that I wasn’t. My soul is my business.

Folding chairs had been brought in to supplement the 100 chairs in the sanctuary. The chairs spilled into the atrium and balcony. The service was filmed to send to absent relatives. Deeply touched that six of my closest friends traveled from the Twin Cities. They all knew my Mom because she and Dad would occasionally visit. I would always host a potluck when they were visiting because they wanted to know my friends. Mom said that she didn’t worry about me because I had “such good friends.” That is because she taught me how to choose wonderful people as friends.

Stumbled out to cars to travel to the cemetery. Internment was on the windswept prairie. Mom wanted to be placed near her father and brother. A brief graveside prayer and I broke down while clutching my friends. I didn’t care who heard me wail. I could barely stand so they physically supported me. The wind blew coldly as they held onto me and cradled my head. I choked out a thank you; it was difficult to speak. Probably 20 people came to the internment. I don’t really know because I was awash in grief.

Returned to the church for dessert. Mom loved to bake so we thought it would be most appropriate. Most people had already eaten and departed because we were gone for about 45 minutes. Oddly, I felt relieved. The worst day of my pitiful life was over. Perhaps my relief was due to endless tears and exhaustion. The lead weight felt lifted. I sat with my friends after saying hello to a few relatives. I didn’t bother introducing my friends to anyone.

Friends are my Family!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Friday, November 1, 2013


The Lovebird by Natalie Brown Three and a Half Worms
Sweet and melodic story of a young woman finding her own way. Intertwines Native American teachings in a respectful manner. Poetic prose interrupted by lists. A bit disappointing that the main character didn’t continue education.

The Facades by Erick Lundgren Three and a Half Worms
Brilliant writing becomes fuzzy at times. Librarian storyline is very clever and could be expanded. Ending is disappointing.

Ghosts of Bungo Suido by P.T. Deutermann Three Worms
Military fiction of a submarine during WWII. First half of the book is strong and some of the technical terms are not explained. A glossary and map would have been helpful. Second half of the book seems rushed but at least the characters aren’t perfect.

The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon Two and Half Worms
Fascinating method to learn about mourning and death rituals of another culture amid war. Book isn’t chronological, tends to ramble at times and could use closer editing. [Translated by the author!]

Paris by Edward Rutherfurd Two Worms
Fictionalized history with a few real characters mixed in with the imagined. Frustrating that it jumps through time, it’s excruciatingly difficult to figure out who is related to whom and how it connects. Females are marginalized and the story lacks vitality.

Keep on reading!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


During November hundreds of local artists working in painting and drawing, sculpture, photography, custom furniture, fiber arts, metal, ceramics, glass, hand-crafted and custom jewelry, mixed media, mosaics, textiles, and more will be displaying their wares. Take advantage to attend these events and procure at least one piece of locally produced artwork, great gifts for others and yourself.

Details at: Events will be added as I receive notice. They must feature artwork by local artists for sale and be free to attend.

#1 Northeast Minneapolis Arts District is hosting a weekend-long event:
a) ART ATTACK is an annual open studio and gallery crawl at the Northrup King Building (NKB). It is an exciting opportunity to gain admission to private studios and to buy original art direct from local, nationally and internationally known artists. Enjoy live music and live demonstrations.

NKB will also be open Saturdays during November so check out their website for details.

Details at

b) CASHE at the Casket Arts Building Open Studios features work for purchase from local Artists and Craftspeople.

Details at

Hours for NKB and Casket Arts:
Friday, November 1, 2013 5:00-10:00 PM
Saturday, November 2, 2013 Noon – 8:00 PM
Sunday, November 3, 2013 Noon – 5:00 PM

FIRST FRIDAY IN LOWERTOWN, St. Paul occurs monthly this month on Friday, November 1st.

FIBER ART FAIR at NKB Building in Minneapolis, starts Friday, November 8th - Sunday, November 10th. Many NKB studios will also be open on Saturday.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY on November 30th, check out our Facebook page for details!

Please join our Facebook group www.facebook/artmobtwincitiesmn

Buy Local Art!
Copyright 2013 (c) Ima B. Musing All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Lividly fuming because the United States Congress and President of the United States permitted the United States Governmental Shutdown to occur. Due to their infantile behavior in the region known as the Washington, DC Beltway Playpen, my Active Duty nephew-in-law was unable to access his military back-pay. They needed the money to procure gasoline to drive from their base to Minnesota because they could not afford to fly. My niece, their three kids, my other niece and her two kids couldn’t attend the memorial service. They were denied the ability to properly grieve because a bunch of morons decided to play games instead of compromise. I contacted some politicians but they could do nothing to access the funds.

Went into work because I had some projects to either complete or hand over to a colleague. It was good to be busy. Noise really bothered me so I kept the office door shut. Exhausting to express my sorrow in a professional manner. I informed my co-workers about my mom but didn’t mention it to any clients and only one community partner. I just told most people that I had to depart due to a family emergency. Since I don’t work full-time I only received 2.5 days of bereavement. Somehow, I managed to complete the projects within a day and a half. My co-workers were kind and a couple of them shared hugs. The grumpy receptionist even gave me her condolences. I handed over the projects to my boss just in case a problem popped up and hoped for the best. I’m not a control freak but I don’t like other people messing with my system. This is an incredibly busy time at work right now.

I returned to my abode after work to begin preparations for the funeral. I had to pick out an outfit. I chose a crushed velvet black dress with three-quarter sleeves and a V neck. Accessorized with simple silver earrings and flat silver chain, which my mom liked. Somber task. Made certain that the cats had food, water, clean litter box, and toys. Harvested from the garden and packed tomatoes to take to my Dad’s house. Informed my neighbors of my absence so that they could watch my home. Took a shower. Went through the motions of normalcy.

My friends have been checking in on me. We went out to consume calories the night before I ventured to the funeral. Good food but a grumpy waitron. I cried several times. I was glad for the companionship. The cats have been extra cuddly, I’m not sure if it is due to the cooler temps or that they sense that I need affection. I feel easily agitated, overwhelmed, and cheerless. I have been forcing myself to eat because I am not hungry, food tastes like ashes. The dreaded Alzheimer’s destroyed my Mom’s personality three years ago and chipped away more each day. She could still sustain a simple conversation until a week before her death, though she did repeat herself. I’m angry at whatever creator/deities permitted her to suffer. I have accepted that she is dead so denial isn’t a factor.

My body felt like it was buzzing. Stress, I presume. Fatigue. I nearly fell asleep while driving to my parent’s home. The route passes by the cemetery; it was eerie to see the mound of dirt piled next to the hole prepared for my mother’s body. I began to sob, again. Siblings #1 & #3 are staying with Dad. They were cool towards me but #1 actually acknowledged my presence. #2 came over with her grandkids. We ate supper. I kept falling asleep on the couch so I went to Betty’s house.

Experiencing a lot of aches and pains besides the psychological trauma. Probably exaggerated by the stress, brief and lack of proper sleep. Took a prescription painkiller but it made me constipated. Betty is more like an aunt than a first cousin. Her kids are older than me. Managed to rest after crying in bed. Dreamt of joining the circus and planting a garden that I would not see for six months. I asked someone to water it for me while I was gone. Odd.

Extra sparkly wings.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Thursday, October 24, 2013


After my mother left to dance with the Ancestors amongst the stars, we wept. My sister #2 pressed the call nurse button and informed the staff of our mother’s death. The staff called the mortician who had to get up and dressed since it was in the wee hours of the morning. I was too wrapped up in woe to see her soul leave her cooling body.

We wandered into the hallway and then returned to the room to begin packing her paraphernalia. Mom was in the nursing home for three weeks, probably had a stroke and began to downgrade during the next week. I was not informed since Sister #1 was in town. They moved Mom to the Hospice Residence expecting that she would live for two more weeks. Sister #2 is a professional hospice nurse; she knows the signs of impending transition. The afternoon of the move, our mom declined quickly so that is when I got a call.

Mom couldn’t talk anymore due to extreme dehydration and she didn’t open her eyes. I know that she could hear me because she did respond to my voice. She flashed the “I love you” American Sign Language sign during her final hours. I would always sign it as I departed my parent’s home and drove away. Watching her die was the most horrific experience of my life.

The cordial mortician arrived about an hour after mom “passed” (what a stupid euphemism). He was gentle and explained the process. We said good-bye to Mum and went to my Dad’s house. The body was taken to the mortuary the embalming process was performed. I had to pull over and cry a couple times during the drive. Sat in stunned silence in the living room as people began to fall asleep in their chairs. After an hour, Sister #2 left for home and I went to our cousin’s house. I’ve often stayed at Betty’s home and she is a sweetheart.

I managed to sleep for a couple hours and then returned to Dad’s place. We choked down lunch and then went to the mortuary to make the final arrangements. The obituary was completed and Dad picked out the service cards, burial vault, and signed paperwork. It took about an hour and we returned to the house. Everybody was exhausted and sad. Sisters were polite but cold and I stayed quiet. That evening I went to Betty’s house. I called my friend Roopa, whose dad died a couple weeks ago, and wept. I didn’t intend to burden her with my sorrow but she was sympathetic.

The next morning I got up, had breakfast at Dad’s, and departed for my home. It took all my willpower to not pull over and turn on the waterworks. I kept singing the song, “These are a few of my favorite things.” I was utterly wiped out by the time I arrived at my residence. I began calling friends to let them know about the funeral arrangements. I left a message for my boss. The day was a blur of pain.

I have been vacillating between tears, numb exhaustion, physical pain, and wailing. Grief feels like a heavy lead body suit is pressing down on me. I’m tired but restless. I manage to sleep for about four hours a night. It is difficult to concentrate – not even able to distract myself by reading a book.

She flies on gossamer wings.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, October 21, 2013


She slipped this mortal coil
To ride the light fantastic
And dance with the Ancestors
Amongst the stars

Fare thee well, dearest Mother!
Remember, I will always love you.

Painting by Alison Price
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Open Studios at several buildings! Relaxed atmosphere to buy local art! First Friday of every month.

The next event will be on November 8th.
6pm - 9pm St Paul downtown

Open Studio Buildings:
* Jax Building, 253 E 4th St
* Lowertown Lofts Artist Co-op, 255 E Kellogg
* Northern Warehouse, 308 Prince St
* Tilsner Artist Cooperative, 300 Broadway St.
* Northwestern Building, 275 E 4th St.
* 262 Studio, 262 E 4th St.

Gallery Openings:
* AZ Gallery, 308 Prince St.
* Black Dog Cafe, corner of 4th and Broadway
* Flow Art Space, 308 Prince St., Ste. 218 above the Black Dog
* Three Sisters Eclectic Arts, JAX Building Studio 100 – 253 E 4th St

More details at The district and buildings often have special events. Search out each of their individual building/studio websites for frequent updates.

Meanwhile, please join our Facebook group, Art Mob Twin Cities MN at

Buy Local Art!
Copyright (c) 2013 Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


With a sigh, it was over. Five long hours of struggling for breath as her heart beat slower and slower and then not at all. My magnificent mother was dead. It was agony to watch her fight to stay alive. Bitter-sweetly, I was glad that both the physical pain and the mental anguish called Alzheimer’s no longer tormented her. I began to sob. My dear sweet mother was no more.

I know that death is a just a part of the cycle but it was an incredibly cruel ordeal for Mum and all the people who loved her. Why? She didn’t deserve to suffer. She was a good woman, a loyal friend, and sacrificed herself for her family. The diagnosis of dementia made her so angry and afraid. I called every week but it was emotionally traumatizing to visit. I did my best but I failed her.

The beautiful fall morning was benign. I had the day off from work and puttered in the garden with a lot of physical labor. After exhausting myself, I took a shower and sat down to read a book. The phone rang, Sister #2 said, “You better come down, Mom is near the end.” I queried, “Hours? Days?” She is a hospice nurse and knows the physical signs and responded, “It will be soon, very soon.” I told her that I’d come. I literally threw some clothes in a bag, made sure the cats had vittles, called my neighbors and a friend to let them know that I was leaving, and I went.

Encountered terrible rush hour traffic and two major construction zones. The sun was setting as I arrived at the hospice center. Sister #2, her son, and his wife were there. Mom looked like she was sleeping but they said that she hadn’t spoken or responded for more than a day. My emotions were blocking my ability to see her aura but I knew that she was already “gray.” I whispered to her parents, her brother, cousins, and her departed friends to be present and help her make the transition. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and said, “Its okay Mom, go.”

My sisters arrived with our Dad and brought along my friendly niece, daughter of #2. They were polite but cold. We took turns holding her hand. I thought it was rather disrespectful to watch tv and talk around her. I know that she could hear so I would go over and tell her that I loved her. Mom hadn’t eaten or drank anything so her mouth was dry and lips chapped. My sister would swab out the mucus in her mouth and apply chap-stick. Mom would groan and occasionally wave her hands. She did make the “I love you” sign with her hand so I know that she was there.

My nephew and spouse departed and we settled in for the night. Dad took the comfie lounge chair, Sister #3 slouched on the couch while #1 & #2 guarded the bedside. At about 11:15pm Mom began to struggle. #2 tilted the bed so mom was almost sitting but it still was hard for her to breathe. The duty nurse brought in some medications to help her relax and a morphine dose. It seemed to calm Mom down but her breathing would vacillate between gasps, regular breaths, and pants.

Dad and siblings all managed to sleep on and off but I couldn’t relax. The couch was not comfortable so I had to get up and walk around once in a while. I called a friend to let her know that Mom was dying and she agreed to inform the rest of my friends. Excruciating to watch Mom strive to inhale, the most difficult experience of my entire existence. She is the one person who has always supported me, taught me so much, and provided unconditional love. I didn’t want her to be in pain but I knew that I would miss her terribly.

Mom’s hands became cooler as the hours ensued. Her earlobes deflated, which is a sign of extreme dehydration. Two sisters were sleeping and the other half-dozing. Dad was half-awake in the chair by the bed when Mom’s breath changed. I knew it was the time of her transition. I yelled for the sisters, they jumped up and we were all there as Mom slipped free of this mortal coil to ride the light fantastic and join the ancestors in the stars.

I will always love you, Mum!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Cruel twist to the Government Shutdown, my nephew-in-law who is active-duty is not able to bring the family to Minnesota for my mother’s funeral because he can not access his back-pay due to the inability of the United States Congress and the President of the United States to end the shutdown of the United States Government.

Three adults and five kids are prevented from proper mourning because of the infantile behavior of elected representatives who are playing games in the big playpen of the WDC Beltway. Our family does not have the money to pay for their airfare, car rental, hotel, and food.

Please, if you are a citizen of the US – call, fax, email, or drop by the office of your Congressional Representative, both State Senators, and contact the President TODAY. Tell them to grow up and end the Shutdown. Their cruelty pours salt on the open wound of my mother’s death.

If you want to donate money for their trip, make a donation to the "Feed the Kitty" account and add a note. Thanks.

Grow Up Congress!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Saturday, October 12, 2013


First Thursdays in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District is an Open Studio and Gallery Tour held the first Thursday of each month. With a more relaxed atmosphere, this mini-Art A Whirl is a great experience for the art collector and browser.

The next event will be on November 7th, 2013.

Open Studios from 5:00 - 9:00 PM at:
* California Building, 2205 California St. NE
* Casket Arts Building, 681 17th Avenue NE
* Casket Arts-Carriage House, 1720 17th Avenue NE
* Nothrup King Building, 1500 Jackson Street NE
* Q.arma Building, 1224 Quincy St NE, Avenue NE
* Solar Arts Building, 711 15th Ave. NE
* Thorp Building, 1618 Central Avenue NE
* Two 12 Pottery and Gifts - We will offer our usual store discount, and on top of that, all books are 20% off including books on sale! 212 13th Ave NE 612.331.1556,
* Who Made Who Design Studio + Screenprint Emporium, 158 13th Ave. NE

More details at: The district (NEMAA) and buildings often have special events. Search out each of their individual building/studio websites for frequent updates.

Meanwhile, please join our Facebook group, Art Mob Twin Cities MN at

Buy Local Art!
Copyright (c) 2013 Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Prophet of Bones by Ted Kosmatka Four Worms
Disturbingly plausible portraiture of scientists who do something because they can, regardless of what it may unleash, literally. Only a few minor common sense problems but well written. What happened to the ones that got away?

The Old Man’s Love Story by Rudolfo Anaya Three and a Half Worms
Sweetly melancholic tale of loss and remembrance. Introspective and philosophical approach to aging and continuation of the cycle. Story becomes jumbled at times but perhaps that was on purpose.

Reviver by Seth Patrick Three and a Half Worms
Thankfully, not a story about zombies but what if the dead could return for a few moments? Ethical dilemma is fairly well constructed. Little leaps of logic and endless twists with a classic ending. Methinks this is the start of a series.

Southern Cross The Dog by Bill Cheng Three Worms
Powerful imagery and strong language featuring a disturbing story of traumatized people. Unfortunately, the tale twists so much that it’s difficult to follow.

Duel Inheritance by Joanna Hershow Two Worms
Slogged through the book. There was a compelling story though the weaving was scattered and torn. Foreshadowing unnecessary. Difficult to care about the fate of the characters.

Clarity, please.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Ok, enough about family trauma and drama. I need to focus on an Attitude of Gratitude with a few caveats. It is terribly difficult to look for the positive when so much negative is weighing me down.
Health is good. Caveat: I need to lose some weight.
Home is fine. 100+ house requires a few repairs, though, and a new washing machine.
Love having a garden. It is terrific to share produce. Sad about the arrival of fall.
Cats are wonderful beasts. A purr a day!
Friends are supportive.
Faith community is comforting.
Volunteering to help others draws me out of my self pity-party.
Reading is a wonderful distraction, thank you Public Library!!
Work is okay, desperately seeking a better paying job.
Blogging is therapeutic, thanks for reading!

Positive Rules.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Sunday, October 6, 2013


My biological family is terribly dysfunctional, as you probably have already surmised from my previous writings. Our parents tried their best but my dad is a bully and my mom was a manipulator. He yelled and she cried, though Alzheimer’s destroyed that part of her personality a couple years ago, hence, the past tense. We may have recovered from this environment but a predator caused further damage. My step-grandfather sexually molested my siblings and I. The result is abysmal. I am the only person who sought counseling for the abuse and my sisters hate me for it.

I can’t permit myself to care about my biological family because they wound me so deeply. I strive to ignore them but my family really rattles me because they constantly criticize. No matter what I do, it is wrong, according to my sisters. They scapegoat me for stuff that I don’t even do. I’ve laughed about it but it really does bother me. I would like to cut off all contact. I think that the root of the problem is that none of my siblings have ever dealt with their childhood sexual abuse. They don’t realize that the pain and fear has morphed into anger and directed at me because I did seek counseling. The abuse will always haunt me but it doesn’t control me anymore. They should be angry with the deceased perpetrator, not me.

As our parents aged, I urged them for years to sell the house. My mother’s health has taken a turn for the worse so she is in hospice now. Two years ago sister #2 rented a dumpster and commenced to throwing out items without showing our parents the content of the boxes. My parents were upset but didn’t tell her. I urged them to be honest. They wanted to see what was thrown out and slow down the pace a little. They told her and she sent me a nasty email, which she shared with others. I’ve received a response from another sibling but I won’t open it because it will only upset me. Sister #1 is the Queen of Hate and #2 is close behind. I have decided to never respond to any of their emails. I don’t need to accommodate them so that they feel vindicated. I wish that I could afford an attorney and “divorce” the family.

Holidays complicate the issue. I fear that sister #2, her hubby, and two adult kids with spouses will gang up on me. Fear absolute fear is my response. Their words do cut and harm me. If I am ever murdered, it will be by a family member. I began avoiding holidays about ten years ago. The last holiday that I attended was horrific. I feel especially vulnerable since I have been unemployed and underemployed for a long time. My sisters erroneously believe that my parents are paying the bills. No beau to provide me comfort. Most of my friendships have become tacit. Old friends are busy with their lives and don’t seek constant contact. I have become more active in a faith community but it takes time to build relationships.

I don’t have many financial assets but I do have a Last Will and Testament. My closest friend, Allie, is the executor. She is my Logical Family, my family of choice. My parents and a few friends receive 10% each but I am thinking about removing my parents, especially since the money would either be directed to medical bills or into the pockets of my sisters. Plus, I want to make certain that my siblings get nothing. My nieces/nephews get 5% and grand-nieces/nephews get 2% each but I wonder if they should be removed, too. I have designated a charity to receive the remainder and perhaps I will just cut out the family entirely and give everything to friends and charities. I need to add the cats and some funds to take care of the felines for the rest of their lives.

Logic wins over bio any day!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Mischievous, she delighted in the proverbial “pulling of the leg.” My mother especially liked it when someone asked for a “little” of something. She loved placing a teaspoon of ice cream in a large bowl. The extremeness of Minnesotan politeness caused the person to thank mum which made her laugh and then return with a single scoop, per the person’s request. It was her favorite joke.

July 31, 2011 was the first time we cried together about her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. I had visited for a couple days and was packing to leave. She came into the guest room to say that I should look through her jewelry (costume, nothing expensive). “I don’t know how long I’ll have my mind,” mom stated and I burst into tears. She began to cry too. We sobbed into each other’s arms for several minutes. Oddly, it felt good to release the pain.

She had been so angry about the diagnosis two years previously and would not say the word Alzheimer. I’ve told her repeatedly that she did nothing wrong, she does not deserve to have this disease. During 2011 she began repeating herself more and only remembered about half of what occurred during the day. I’ve already written about when I cut my hair in May 2011 and she didn’t recognize me. In a way, this is worse than a terminal illness like cancer. I will be losing her twice, first her mind and then her body, which could be years later. Prolonged grief.

Mom said that she didn’t have physical pain in 2011 but not being able to remember hurt her heart. I feared that she would slip into oblivion quickly, but it was gradual. The twinkle in her eye, her personal spark, dissolved and the confused look became permanent. I hoped that she will fade into happy oblivion but she is fearful and confused in the nursing home. Her physical pain has grown and I worry that the prescription of Vicoden won’t be strong enough. It might be easier for her to be medicated into a coma. I hate to see her suffer.

I hope that a cure or vaccination for Alzheimer’s will be developed soon. I know that it is too late for my mother. I fear that my siblings, their kids, grandkids and I may carry the gene since my mother’s older sister also has the disease. I wish that the US’s National Institute of Health would provide guidelines to reduce the possibility of this awful condition. Are there herbs or supplements that I should take? Are there things that I should avoid? I am not interested in folklore but actual studies that have proven that these alternative medicines work. Somehow we are causing the gene to activate, what is causing it?

Don’t waste a day.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, September 30, 2013


My mother has always been a bit “flighty.” She was considered to be of lesser intelligence. My father and sisters derided this trait. I considered it a ruse because she really was smart but did not show it on purpose. My father is the domineering type and would be threatened by her brain. She submitted since she did not want a divorce like her parents.

About ten years ago my mom became absent minded. She would occasionally forget things and would be easily distracted. She was in her late 60s so no one was worried. About six years ago the condition became worse and I urged my dad to get her to a doctor. The regular doctor was an idiot and he finally took her to Mayo Clinic. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia in 2009.

Mom was angry and denied that the doctors could be correct. It took her almost two years to finally accept that she was “losing her mind.” Her sister has Alzheimer’s. Dad was angry that he would have to take care of her. He blamed her and was rude. He implied that she got sick on purpose. I convinced him to attend a support group and he has finally accepted the prognosis. Unfortunately, his health is becoming frailer.

I live a couple hours away and call every week or so to check in. I always offer to come down and help with whatever they need. My sister #2 lives in town but her hubby despises our parents so she doesn’t see them very much except during times of need. I haven’t had a good relationship with my sister for about a decade. Our oldest sister makes up lies about me and has managed to alienate me from the family. I get along with our parents but I don’t even attempt to contact my sisters. No matter what I say or do, its wrong.

This all came to a painful point last year. Mum hasn’t been feeling well for months. I kept urging dad to take her to the doctor to talk about exhaustion but he wouldn’t. Neglect, maybe. She stopped eating and wouldn’t get out of bed. Emergency room. Diagnosed with pneumonia. Wrong. Diagnosed with blood clots in legs and lungs. Life threatening situation. She spent three days in the hospital and was released with intensive blood thinners. Factor V diagnosis.

I spoke with dad daily and he wanted me to come down after she was released. I made the plan. My sister then called and started yelling at me. She screamed that we were “at war” and that I “hated her husband” neither of which are true. I feel apathy for her and her husband, which is probably worse than acrimony. I asked her to calm down and said that she was over-reacting. I told her that I take orders from dad not her. Oops. She screamed, “You’re an asshole.” I hung up.

With great trepidation I traveled to my parent’s home. My sister is volatile and her family has guns. I am afraid of them. I am in fear that they will shoot me. I helped my parents that afternoon and my sister came over during supper. I was grilling outside when she came out. Panic. At least I had the meat pitchfork to defend myself. She didn’t mention the horrible conversation and was almost demure. I told her again that I was there to help mom and dad with whatever they needed.

I stayed busy with grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, washing clothes, baking, and other chores. Mom needed help to the bathroom and bed. We had to keep her awake and entertained because she wasn’t supposed to sleep too much. She was on oxygen and that was the biggest challenge to refrain from tripping on the cord. The machine made a loud whirring noise so it was stored in the bathroom. It was a big production to get her to the clinic for a two-day check-up and determine her blood-clotting factor. It was up to 1.7 and they wanted it above 2.0.

All went well until the morning of my departure. At 4:30am mom got up to go to the bathroom. She went okay and was returning to bed when she lost her balance and feel down next to the bed. I heard a noise and went running into the room. Dad and I had been sleeping. Thankfully, she wasn’t bleeding and seemed okay. I was worried because she will bruise due to the medication and could bleed internally. I asked dad about calling the hospital and he said no. I helped mom into bed and hoped for the best.

I was too upset to sleep so I packed my gear. I waited until mom was awake at 7am and checked for bruising and tenderness where she fell. Great sigh of relief that all seemed fine. I was jittery so I departed. I was so happy to be returning to my home. I am poor, underemployed, and lonely at times but at least I feel better when away from them. I have an intense fear reaction to my siblings who are bullies. They are kryptonite to my self-esteem. They have husbands and children to back them up. I have friends but my friends would not join me for family events.

Utterly exhausting experience. I was rattled from the unrelenting stress. I knew enough not to isolate or I would fall into depression. I joined my book-club for lunch and friends for dinner. I had to talk about the trauma. I had to get it “out” and writing is helpful, too. I mourn for a positive relationship with my siblings. It pains me to be distant from them, my nieces-nephews, and grand-nieces/nephews. I am not perfect but I have done nothing to deserve this treatment. I’ve tried to mend relationship with my sisters but they won’t listen. I gave up. I might as well be an only child. It hurts to be so alone.

Family divorce needed.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


As you may know, I have been administering a Facebook based Cash Mob group, which focused on supporting small independent businesses in the East Metro area. As you may also know, I am an arts enthusiast. Combine the two and voila, Art Mob Twin Cities MN was born as a Facebook group. You are cordially invited to join us at: Please encourage your Facebook Friends to join us, too.

Our mantra is BUY LOCAL ART!

Art Mob Twin Cities MN (AMTC) goal is to encourage the purchase of locally produced visual art. We strive to bring together patrons with the creative community. Attendees are strongly encouraged to purchase at least one piece of artwork at each event (minimum of $20) that they attend.
* The Twin Cities area will be defined as Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington Counties,
* The artist must reside within the Twin Cities area,
* The event must occur within the Twin Cities area,
* The event must be free and open to the public, and
* Artwork (at least 50% by local artists) must be for sale at the event.

Minnesota is blessed with a multitude of talented people. I would also love to highlight all forms of creativity but this group will focus on the visual arts. Visual arts is defined as a two or three-dimensional object which can be transported. Medium (glass, wood, fiber, paint, et al) can incorporate sculpture, painting, weaving, carving, arts-n-crafts, large, small, and everything in-between. Artists may combine mediums and media. The creative soul can dream large.

Events may include art crawls, art fairs, open studios, gallery activities, and any soiree where locally created artwork is for sale. If you would like to post an event, send me a message via the Facebook group AT LEAST TWO WEEKS before the gathering. It is acceptable for a gallery/studio to host a visiting artist, but the visiting artist must be a resident within the Twin Cities area. We must exclude all fund-raising events for charities and other activities because, though worthy, they do not match our goal.

I am coordinating this group as a volunteer, my civic duty, and I am not online every single day. My telephone is dumb (it doesn’t even text). Plus, I have to work and sustain existence. The Art Mob group based in Omaha, Nebraska inspired me.

PS I am still seeking another person to take over the Cash Mob St Paul MN group.

Buy Loco Art!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.