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.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


My mother is dying. The dementia, possibly Alzheimer’s, has been stripping away her memories and personality for several years. She spark faded and she hasn’t always known who I was for the past three years. It has been agony to observe and I have cried many many tears. During my last visit it was clear that she could no longer stay at home. I spoke with my dad about having her move into a nursing home/memory care unit. He reluctantly agreed but wanted to wait until the fall. Well, autumn has arrived and she has moved in.

Mum has been placed in the memory unit of a nursing home. It is a newer facility so the halls are wide and the rooms are large. The nursing home section has artwork and there are lots of activities, whereas the memory unit is quiet almost silent. It is a female-only unit and only half full. There is always at least one PCA (Personal Care Attendant) on duty and a nurse comes in to administer medicine. Sadly, statistics show that half of all dementia patients are abused. Half, how despicable. I hope that my mother will be safe.

Mom doesn’t like her new abode. She has slept in the same bed with my father for nearly sixty years. She is confused and exhausted. She has problems with her blood pressure and iron level. She used to walk five miles a day can now barely shuffle a few steps. It is heart wrenching to hear her plea to “come home” and telling her that we have to wait for her to “get better.” She’s never going to heal; neither her body nor her mind will mend. Her only exit will be death. I cried quietly during every visit. I didn’t want to upset her with my sadness.

Mother has suffered from chronic back pain her whole life. She would unenthusiastically consume painkillers. I urged my father to ask for prescription pain eliminator when they take her to the doctor. She isn’t eating much and sleeps a lot. She is off the warfarin so blood clots will likely develop. There is a DNR (Do not revive) order. I don’t want her to suffer. I reluctantly wish for her to let loose from this mortal coil quickly and peacefully, perhaps from a heart attack while sleeping. I don’t believe in heaven or hell but she does. I hope she moves to the heaven she seeks with no pain and full of personality. She’s been a good mother, I miss her already.

Uncoil Mortality!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Serial books, episodic movies and television series are often based upon these plots, with the exception of the unrateable tome.

Anonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly Three and a Half Worms
Action thriller with a female journalist protagonist. Solid storyline with only a few blips. Of course, the main characters are all devastatingly beautiful. First of many serial books… perhaps.

Capital Punishment by Robert Wilson Three and a Half Worms
Kidnap thriller with an intriguing psychological analysis of the people involved. Lots of twists and turns that becomes a bit bewildering due to the plethora of characters. The ending is too abrupt, another chapter fleshing out the post-event would have been helpful and a map of the city. (Serial book)

The Jackal’s Share by Chris Morgan Jones Three Worms
Complicated examination of greed and consequences. Lacked warmth and enough connection with the characters to care about their fate. Needed another chapter to explain more about the repercussions. (Second book of a serial).

The Golden Egg by Donna Leon Two Worms
Philosophical examination of a tragedy rather than a solvable mystery. Difficult to follow. Nice map included. Title never explained. (Serial tome)

House of Earth by Woody Guthrie Worms Unknown
Gritty depression era story of a hard-scrabble family. Beautiful descriptions mired with extensive rambling. Sexual content is rather crude. It would have been a fabulous book-on-tape if read by the author.
NOTE: Book originally written in 1947 but not published by his estate until 2013. Thus, it’s difficult to provide a rating because the language and cultural mores are from another era. Plus, the author is obviously not able to provide the final edit. Introduction should have been brief with a long prologue instead. I initially skipped the intro and perused it after I read the book.

Read with a kid every day.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Head, intellectual satisfaction (seeking logic in an illogical world);
Heart, what feels right (emotional connection); and,
Hands, doing good (taking social action).
The Three H's of an Adult.

It is important to seek the Three Hs in your life. We each have a responsibility to assist others, as well as, knowing and feeling that we are having a positive impact on the planet. It doesn’t matter how big or small your efforts are its imperative that you try, every day, to do something “good.”

Some days I can only manage to permit others to merge in traffic but other days I volunteer. I donate money and stuff when I have the means (sadly, my budget has been growing leaner for four years). I give my extra garden produce to people who live in apartments and extras to the food shelf.

"The gulf between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America is the widest it's been since the Roaring '20s. The very wealthiest Americans earned more than 19 percent of the country's household income last year—their biggest share since 1928, the year before the stock market crash. And the top 10 percent captured a record 48.2 percent of total earnings last year." Article written by Paul Wiseman and published in the Pioneer Press on September 10, 2013

There is nothing wrong with wealth. Unfortunately, the wealthy tend to donate a smaller percentage of their income, not make as many in-kind donations, or volunteer as much as middle-class or limited income people.

I am quite disturbed when I read that wealthy people are less generous per capita than poor people. Poor people donate more of a percentage of their income than those of financial means, which is opposite of what should be occurring. Not all financially blessed people are so heartless but it is perplexing. Why do they fight “entitlement” programs that provide services to the poor and bless tax-loopholes that make the rich richer? It is illogical. This type of imbalance will lead to a 21st Century American Revolution, akin to the French Revolution.

I was raised in a working class lower-middle income/upper-low income household. My parents worked but my sister had a lot of medical bill so we only had necessities. I didn’t realize that we were poor until high school, though I was teased mercilessly in grade school for wearing my sister’s hand-me-down clothes. I worked and took on debt to obtain a Master degree. I have been cursed with unemployment and underemployment in wake of the Great Recession/21st Century Depression. My middle-class income has been reduced to working poor status. I am still seeking a better paying job and fear losing my home. I wonder if my educational efforts were for naught. I am poor like my ancestors, it is heart breaking. Difficult to seek the 3Hs when hopelessness bites you.

Reduce the Gulf!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


"Q: I am thinking about starting a blog for profit on a shoestring budget. I know that Google’s Blogger service is free, but I wonder how using it affects my intellectual property. Would I retain full ownership of what I write on Blogger, both financially and intellectually?

Perkins Cashio, Maringouin, La.

A: Google says yes, but I don’t think it’s that clear-cut. Google gives contradictory statements about intellectual property in its terms of service for Blogger and its other services. As a result, you may not have control over how your words are altered or used.

Google’s terms of service (see say, “You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.”

While that sounds good, Google’s terms of service also say, “When you upload or otherwise submit content to our services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”

So it seems Blogger can use your material any way it wants without consulting you."

Written by Steve J. Alexander of the Star Tribune, published September 10, 2013 at

What should I do?
Copyright (c) 2013 Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Roopa telecommutes for a Minnesota company and was brought back for training. This was shortly after she began to suspect her husband of being a cheater. I was hopeful that it would be a good way for her to get some distance from the situation. Wrong, oh so wrong. All it did was provide time for her to twirl around in the Pit of Despair. Paranoia fueling anxiety and depression. Nasty.

Roopa got mad at me because I would not participate in what I called “Pit Behavior.” She accused me of not supporting her while she spewed hate about her husband. I was stunned by her behavior. I know that she is hurt and angry with Scott but it is inappropriate for her to lash out at me. I reiterated that she should meet with a licensed marriage therapist (who hopefully will prescribe some calming medication) and not make rash decisions.

She stood me up for dinner when she was visiting the Twin Cities. I was angry because I was so damn tired from a horrible week. Later that night we met and she wanted to go out to eat. She was driving and decided to call her family. Her kids were already in bed (they are staying with her sister) and she spoke with her brother-in-law. Whatever he was saying only upset her and we nearly had an accident. When we arrived at our destination I took the car keys and made her wait a while to calm down. She is so wound up in the Pit that she doesn’t even see it anymore. Unfortunately, her sister and brother-in-law are adding fuel to the pit. They never liked Scott and reinforce all her fears.

We didn’t part very well. Roopa accused me of telling our mutual friends about her marriage troubles. I had not but she didn’t believe me. She was irritated that I kept repeating “No pit” whenever she would slip into the negative and stating “See a licensed and experienced marriage therapist.” We briefly spoke before she departed but then she wouldn’t answer my calls. I have known her for nearly thirty years. She holds grudges but I will give her some time. Hopefully, she will see a therapist, get some meds, actually meet with her hubby in person instead of yelling over the phone, and crawl out of the pit.

We spoke almost a week after she returned home. She sounded a lot calmer and had already decided to divorce him. She refuses to see a couple’s therapist since the relationship is “over.” I think that is wrong but know better than to urge her to see a professional. I fear that her fear/anger will turn into something hideous to harm her and the kids. It’s her life but it is sad to watch. I have to support whatever decision she makes even if I think it may not be wise. Loyalty sucks sometimes.

Crawl out dear!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Friday, September 13, 2013


“Don’t tell anyone,” is the worst phrase ever contrived. Secrets can only lead to bad stuff. Granted, a surprise party is nice but it can actually shock the honoree into an unpleasant experience. My dear friend Roopa called to tell me that she suspected that her husband of ten years was cheating on her. I was shocked. Her hubby, Scott, is an amiable person. He has always been courteous and clearly devoted to her and the kids.

Scott started working out of state a couple months ago and returns home for a long weekend once per month. During his last visit home he chatted on the phone with a female colleague for over an hour, which piqued Roopa’s interest. She confronted him and he denied. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. Roopa probably didn’t help by calling the woman and yelling, “Scott is married with two children” after he had returned to his city of employment.

Roopa is frantic with worry and anger. She is circling the pit of despair. Sadly, I have been there myself. One time I suspected that a boyfriend was cheating and we broke up. He actually was dating another woman and married her. My dad cheated on my mom with another man so he didn’t consider it an affair. Their marriage somehow survived. I could only advise that Roopa see a licensed and experienced marriage counselor, stay away from the pit with positive distraction, and take care of herself.

I hope that Scott isn’t a low down cheater. I hope that they will meet with a marriage counselor to repair their relationship. However, if Roopa does get a divorce I will still be her friend. I am the only person besides her sister that she has told. Unfortunately, I am sworn to secrecy. Actually, this column won’t be published until she has confided in others. I don’t want to be the one to spill these beans.

Your cheatin’ heart
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Enjoying a lovely summer’s day I was sitting on the porch, reading, and sipping water when little Miss Destruction waltzed into the peace. She decided to play with the newspaper that I had discarded on the couch. Not unusual, she is a cat. However, she was scrambling under the pages, jumping, tumbling, and thumping about so intensely that she overturned my water glass. Oh, kitty I cried. Tilly looked on wondering why I was messing up her play area as I threw the newspaper on the water in an attempt to soak it up before it ran the length of the porch.

She commenced to saunter nonchalantly through the puddles as I was mopping them up. She also drank some of the spilled fluid. Most felines do like moving water. Thankfully, the glass did not shatter but it did break up my relaxation time. I had to rush into the house, procure rags, wipe up the water off the painted floor, and move around the floor mat so it would not get drenched.

After cleaning the disarray I acquired more water and began reading again. Tilly decided to walk on me, which is typical behavior that I sadly tolerate. She then plopped down and began to purr. I forgave all her transgressions as she fell asleep. It was impossible to read the book while cradling eight and a half pounds of trouble. Oh, how you use and abuse me! I permit it with full knowledge too.

I may hold her “captive” but she also knows how to manipulate the situation to her full advantage. Silly kitty. I am your pawn. I feel bad when you cry and guilty when I tell you no. I’d be a terrible parent to a human child if I am unable to tame a domesticated feline.

Putty in her paw.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


My boss was out for a vacation. Yeah! Actually, he’s an extremely laid back non-confrontational person. It’s nice to work for someone who doesn’t micromanage but he can be too vague at times. My hours had just increased and the pay per hour by a tiny amount. Our department moved offices in the building. I was assigned a small office with a door and a window. Hip-hip-hooray!

I had endured over a year in a cramped office with a loud office-mate, Holly. Holly is in her 60s and has been working at the nonprofit for a long time. She is the social center of the organization. Everyone seeks her approval and advice, even the Executive Director. Holly is nice but chatty. She would hold court in the office and it was impossible for me to work at my desk with all the noise. We usually worked different shifts so it wasn’t too horrible most of the time.

Holly adored the person whom I replaced. Sandy was a perky 20-something and I cannot compete. I am “too formal” for Holly. Sandy is returning to our department after being gone for over a year. She is sliding into a new position that is technically at the same level as mine. I suspect it will be more hours and more pay. I wasn’t even told about the job, let alone provided the opportunity to interview for it. I am rather pissed off. I was not impressed by the work that she had done. She didn’t leave paper or computer files and I had to start from scratch. Intentional sabotage or unprofessionalism? I know that Holly loves Sandy and obviously our boss was bold enough to lure her back to the agency. I hope for the best but fear that her presence will cause problems for me.

I was happy to move into a nicer office space, increased pay, but disappointed that the pay is not enough to cover my bills. I am still bleeding financially every month and must continue to seek services for low-income. Ironically, I refer our “needy” clients to the same services. Due to the move our phones lagged because a technician had to come in and change them around. Holly was supposed to retrieve our boss’ messages and call back the clients. After two days she hadn’t done it at all and one irate client called the Executive Director to complain. I got in trouble for Holly’s lack of work. She finally called the person and smoothed out the problem. I had to devote a lot of time checking messages and responding to clients that she should have called. I am already stressed trying to do my job without having to add on her responsibilities. Yet another reason to get the hell out of that office. I need a well-paying meaningful full-time job with great benefits in the Twin Cities now!

Hire Me!
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Mmm, tea I do adore drinking tea. During the winter it’s great to experiment with different flavors. Warm weather dictates ice tea. Actually, I don’t really like ice so refrigerator chilled tea is delightful. A friend of mine who is originally from Chennai, India showed me the proper way to make chai (generic word for tea). She thinks it’s hilarious when American stores declare that they have Chai Tea, why call it tea tea?

Procure whole dried cardamom pods. Measure out about two tablespoons of pods. Cut each pod lengthwise. Boil quart of water, add pods and twice as much tea as usual and let it steep. Pull out tea bags or filter out loose-leaf tea. Add sugar, stevia or honey to taste and mix in 1:3 ratio of milk (1 cup milk to three cups tea). Make sure you filter out the tea and cardamom. You can drink it hot or place it in the fridge for a couple days to drink chilled. Delicious!

I’ve tried spiced chai at a variety of coffee shops. You can always add cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg or other spices to the recipe. I’ve never liked purchased chai as much as plain old sugared cardamom tea. The fragrance of the spice masks cheap tea and it is very soothing. I actually prefer to chill the sweetened cardamom tea. I then add milk just before I consume it during the summer. That way it takes up less space in the fridge.

Spice of my heart.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Cereal, not the kind that you consume for breakfast but the homonym. Serial vs. series: each offers a different method for authors to continue the adventures of their main character(s). Serials tend to be stand-alone plots that develop the main character but do not always include a clear “big picture” or overarching storyline. Oftentimes, it involves law enforcement, private detectives, or lawyers.

Successful books of either type offer a problem and resolution within each novel. The conflict may or may not directly feed into the “super” story in a saga but continue to develop the characters. Unsuccessful series chop the overarching story into segments so that you can’t read just one novel and have a clear understanding of what is occurring. Science fiction often falls into the badly cleaved storyline mode. Nevertheless, I continue to peruse the creation of authors.

Necessary Evil by Ian Tregillis Three Worms
Prologue is creepy but enticing. Quagmire develops in first chapters until the story becomes clear. Good solid writing but it doesn’t resolve how the “elder” sustained himself financially. Third book in a series. Title mentioned too many times in the book.

Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear Two and Half Worms
Second book in a series that does not provide adequate summary of the prequel. Story jumps around from character to character within the same chapter. Beautiful imagery pepper the novel, the author should publish poetry.

Order of Darkness by Philippa Gregory Two Worms
Very little character development and minimal plot. Didn’t explain the series efficiently. The woodcut artwork was very nice with some historical references. Book Two of a series.

Fuse by Julianna Baggott Two Worms
Continuation of a series does not sufficiently explain the previous volumes. The text is convoluted and difficult to follow with people who have had their names changed. Took a long time to clarify what was happening and then it ended abruptly. There is good storytelling but it’s an unsatisfying science fiction tale.

Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard Two Worms
Romance murder mystery with an obvious plot. Interesting to weave in homeopathic remedies into the story. Faith references were a distraction. First book of a series.

Fragment of fiction.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.