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