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.