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Oct. 27th, 2009

06:23 pm - my uterus

Last night artcarheather shrunk my uterus.

This is why I don't post on facebook. There aren't enough words to fully describe what happens.

We are creating art for a cancer awareness project. A friend of ours has uterine cancer and uterine cancer does not have the publicity that breast cancer does. Therefore we are creating uterine cancer awareness art. The ribbon for uterine cancer is teal. Which is awful because teal is not the easiest color to find. Anyway, as part of my project I wanted a badge of the uterus. So I stole acquired a picture from the internet and edited it. Then I printed it on inkjet friendly shrinkydink with ink intensity reduced as far as possible. I colored in the uterus with gold pen. Then artcarheather baked it in our toaster oven and it shrunk from approximately 8"x10" to 3"x4" The colors intensified so it looks perfect. The shrinking erased my coloring lines so the gold looks solid. I am very pleased. I will post a picture or two when it is done.

As a bonus, my 11yo son can now recognize a picture of a uterus and say "uterus" without embarassment.

Current Location: in the studio

Jul. 10th, 2009

07:37 pm - Poly Twister

At Convergence the local polyamory group had a floor with a twister pattern on it.  They got collections of people to play. It was the most disconnected version of twister I had ever seen with each person in their own little area. So, like the games geek that I am, I thought about how to make it a better game. So here are the rules:

--- start rules for Poly Twister by OhPun ----

Number of players: at least 4 to start, more can join the game in-progress
                           One referee is needed.


Upon joining the game, each player declares whether they are Poly or Mono. Poly people can be attached to multiple others. Mono people can only be attached to one person at a time. At  the time of joining the game, each player's name gets written on a slip of paper, folded, then added to the bowl.

The referee draws a name from the bowl and a card. Then the referee draws another name from the bowl and another card. The cards indicate how the people are attached. The referee should try and draw names without looking into the bowl.

Card drawn = attachment type
Used cards are placed in the discard pile. When all cards are used, they are shuffled and drawing continues from the deck. Names are set aside. When all names are used, they are placed back in the bowl and stirred. If there are an odd number of names, a name is drawn from the set aside name pile for the last  person in the bowl. At the end of each round (when all names have been used), Poly people may declare that they have switched to Mono and release all attachments except for one. At the end of each round, Mono people may declare that they are now Poly.

Poly people must attach to whomever the referee draws as indicated.

Mono people can only be attached to one person at a time. When the referee draws a name that the Mono person is attached to, the Mono person must either switch attachments or make an additional attachment (same as  Poly people). When the referee draws a name that the Mono person is not attached to, the Mono person may switch partners by making the attachment as directed or say "While I am attracted to =name=, I choose to stay where I am."

Any players may use whatever is acceptable to support the attachment structure. Anyone, not currently a player, who supports the structure automatically becomes a player and his/her name is added to the bowl by the referee.

The game is over when the attachment structure is unable to remain sufficiently attached. The referee has final say on this.

There are no winners or losers because attachments should not be judged on how long they last.

---- end rules for Poly Twister by OhPun ----

I'm sure you can think of naughtier versions of this game. At the very least you could add Jacks or some other card to indicate random (not hands or feet) attachment locations.

From this game we learn that Mono people who accept poly relationships can be supportive for their partner and the attachment structure. We also learn that Poly people can get into deeply complex situations by only touching other people's hands and feet. The more complex the attachment structure, the greater chance of falling hard. And we also learn that there is a lot of work and communication to keep the attachment structure stable.

Current Mood: geekygeeky

Jun. 13th, 2009

11:15 am - Surgery results

Not good. The doctor was unable to find the big kidney stone and remove it. He was only able to remove one small kidney stone. Apparently I have a lot of "gravel" he could not get. I was in the hospital from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM because post op, I could not show that my system was working (due to dehydration). Drank 10 measuring  cups of water, 2 cans of pop, and a cup of hot tea, finally peed and they let me go. I don't remember anything after they started giving me happy drugs. Apparently I was coherent and talked, but I don't remember anything. I have a few flashes of the recovery room, but they are not clear.

I came home and slept.

My right arm is sore, like it got hit with something hard. I have other pains. For a minimally invasive surgery this was not fun nor successful.

It is always good when the surgeon signs his work.

picture hereCollapse )

Current Mood: soresore

11:06 am - More surgery humor

My instructions for the surgery said "bring x-rays." However I did not have x-rays, I had a CT (computed axial tomography) scan (on a CD). It plays on Windows computers and is very cool. However, artcarheather  likes to collect x-rays. We put them in the windows during Halloween. So I decided to bring an x-ray of one of our (former) feline pets. When the doctor asks why I brought  it I will say "It's a CAT scan!"

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Current Mood: amusedamused

Jun. 10th, 2009

11:04 am - Surgery

I am going to have minor surgery this Friday. It is outpatient so I am also going home on Friday. artcarheather and I made up this song.

The Kidney Stone Song (to the tune of Itsy-Bitsy Spider)

The itsy-bitsy laser
goes up the water spout,
breaks up the stones
then the surgeon takes them out.

Up speaks the doctor,
"Remember all the pain?
If you don't change your diet,
you'll do this all again."

Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Itsy-Bitsy Spider

Jan. 28th, 2009

02:05 pm - Mom's Twin Cities Memorial Service

My mom's memorial service will be on Sunday, Feb 1, at 1:00 PM at Mt. Zion Temple (1300 Summit Ave., St Paul, MN 55105-2601 651-698-3881).

If you won't be there and knew my mom, please take a moment at that time to think about her. If you did not know her, please take a moment to think about the people who have passed out of your life or better yet, contact someone you haven't talked to in a while.

Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted

07:12 am - Busy today (Monday)

This was supposed to be posted Monday. This is not complaining, I'm just trying to lay out how my time has been spent.

Wednesday, January 14, drove back from Winnipeg with my sister. For work she needs a form signed by the doctor at the care facility where our mom was staying. They've had the form for a week, but it still was not signed. So we waited. Once we got the form we left. Stopped at the border. Had a drug dog sniff my mom's cremains. They asked if we were carrying large amounts of cash. My sister said she was, so they asked her to show them. She opened her wallet with the grocery coupons and counted her money. It was a little over $100. They said they were looking for thousands of dollars. Dropped her off at about one A.M. on Thursday.

Thursday and Friday at work. Talking on the phone with artcarheather about her mom's condition.

Thursday night, there is a busted pipe at my house so we have no water in the kitchen. Water is available in the bathroom. I can't go anywhere because I have no car. Friday, I manage a shopping trip on the bus. I  bought too much and all three grocery bags split before I  got home.

artcarheather 's mom is in a dirty hospital in Missouri. After several days, they have not sufficiently cleaned up the the spot where she vomited on the floor. So she wants to come back home. Unfortunately this is not medically necessary so insurance will not pay for it. A medical flight will cost $7,500 and that's the cheap one. We have also gotten quotes of $10,000 and $12,218. Try to arrange to get money for the flight. Martin Luther King Day (no banking, no stock market)  slows this process down. The fastest I can get the money from my retirement account is Thursday. Lots of back and forth calls with the retirement guy.

Fortunately, she is deemed stable enough to be transferred to a rehab facility. So I arrange for time off from work (Wed and Thurs), and leave early on Tuesday to pick up a rental van. We need a second driver, so our friend Gidget comes along. Due to the rental getting stuck in the snow (20 feet from the entry to my alley) we get started late. artcarheather calls to say that despite everything being arranged (we thought) , they are having trouble with the rehab facility. We decide to leave anyway and hope that everything gets resolved by the time we arrive. Twelve hours to drive down, including a shopping trip to buy an air mattress and  bedding in Des Moines. I missed a turn so we took the long route through Ottumwa. We arrive in Columbia just before midnight.

The next morning artcarheather and I picked up her mom at the hospital while Gidget and the kiddo picked up the dog in the WalMart parking lot. The woman at the pound in Booneville did not want to send the dog back by Greyhound, so she drove the dog over to us. She was very kind. We got started around 8:00 A.M. which was two hours later than the rehab people wanted. Instructions were to shift [info]artcarheather 's mom every two hours. We shifted her more frequently than that. It took a while to find a good schedule for her pain meds. Even when she was asleep, she jolted awake from the pain when we went over a bridge. It took us twelve hours to complete the drive back.  So in 48 hours I spent 24 of them on the road.

So where did we take her? The rehab facility is on the 9th floor of the hospital. So we took her to the same hospital that it would have cost $7,500 for the medical flight. After we got [info]artcarheather 's mom into the hospital, Gidget drove the kiddo (in our van) back over to our house, then artcarheather drove Gidget home.

The next day (Friday) before work, I cleaned out the van. After work we returned it to the rental place. Nice folks.

All of the stuff that was in artcarheather 's Mom's car is now in our van. Yesterday (Sunday) we decided to drop it all off at her house. Her kitchen was actively flooding when we arrived. There was about an inch of flowing water on the floor, running down into the basement and also leaking down through the floor so it appeared to be raining in the basement. I shut off the water. The van is still full.

This morning I got up and went to work. artcarheather 's Mom had surgery on her broken (left) foot. They had to immobilize all the toes. The right foot only had bone chips so they put a cast on it to support it. She can put weight on that foot.

During the morning artcarheather  arranged for blowers to be put into her mom's house to dry it out. The contractor, insurance adjuster, and mold inspector will be out tomorrow.

At 1 PM, I was on a speaker phone with my sister and the local rabbi to arrange our Mom's funeral in the Twin Cities. She will be buried in a private ceremony in the spring. Talking with the rabbi took an hour.

The funeral will be on Sunday, Feb 1, at 1:00 PM at Mt. Zion Temple (1300 Summit Ave., St Paul, MN 55105-2601 651-698-3881).

I tried to fix the dishwasher at our house when I got home, but I could not get it out from under the counter.

Tuesday update:   Mom-in-law is in a lot of pain from the surgery and running a slight fever.

Wed:   meeting with the contractor who did not show up when expected.

Current Location: home
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted

Jan. 12th, 2009

01:29 pm - Mom's obituary

Marianne Willenson
May 17, 1930-January 10, 2009
photo to come later

Marianne died on January 10, 2009 at the age of 78, after her third recurrence of ovarian cancer. Despite being born in Berlin, Germany she had Austrian citizenship because of her father. She immigrated to the United States in 1938, and became a U.S. citizen in 1944. She earned her first degree as an occupational therapist, working in New York, Texas, Louisiana and Minnesota.

She married David Willenson in 1952.  After David earned his Ph.D. in 1959, they moved from Louisiana  to Brainerd, Minnesota  where they had two children. Marianne was very active volunteering in the Minnesota community through charitable, political, educational, and service organizations. In 1976, she moved with family to Duluth, Minneosta. She completed a bachelors degree in elelmetary education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and taught at three schools in the Duluth. Shortly after completing her masters as a reading counselor at UMD in 1986, she was hired by the Child Guidance Clinic (Winnipeg, Manitoba) to serve the Winnipeg School Dsitrict. Marianne became a Canadian citizen in 1995 and held dual U.S./Canadian citizenship. For twelve years, she served many schools, working with elementary through high school students and staff as a reading clinician before retiring in 1998.

In Winnipeg, Marianne again was an active volunteer for the Manitoba Naturalist Society, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and Agassiz Festival. All her life, she pursued her interests in the environment, education, travel, world cultures and the performing and visual arts (music, opera, theater, ballet, art museums), and recreational reading. She is survived by her son Keith and his family: Heather, Jayden, and Dottie; by her daughter Katherine and her family: Daniel and Sarah. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to your favorite charity. Her children are very grateful to the staff at Cancer Care Manitoba, Women's Hospital, and Riverview Health Centre for her excellent care.

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Current Mood: sadsad

01:05 pm - Mom made the sports section

In the Winnepeg Free Press, obituaries are in the sports section. Not exactly where we expected to find them.
It was exactly as we wrote it and I will post it later.

My mom's first funeral will be Tuesday (that's tomorrow) at 2:00 P.M. at  Temple Shalom, 1077 Grant Ave. in Winnepeg, MB, Canada.

We were going to have the next funeral (and burial) in the Twin Cities this week, but while we were making funeral arrangements, artcarheather called and told me that her mom was in an accident in Missouri. We don't know what happend except that she crossed to the other side of the road/highway and was hit by an oncoming car. She broke her hip (femur is okay, but the socket was split) and broke her arm. Apparently the car is totaled. The accident occured near Springfield. The doctors in Booneville thought she needed better care so she was moved to the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia. Apparently she got out of surgery last night. artcarheather is on her way to take care of her mom and rescue the family dog that was in the car with her (now being held at the local pound, I assume in Booneville).

Since we are not sure what is going to happen next, my sister and I are not making plans for our Mom's next funeral.

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Current Mood: sadsad

Jan. 10th, 2009

10:58 am - Mom died

I could not get on a plane because I have no passport. I could not get the necessary documentation (passport in process) quickly enough. So I drove up to Winnepeg (10 hours including food and rest breaks) and arrived late last night. The border crossing with driver's license and birth certificate went smoothly. This ends June1, 2009 when passports will be needed. My sister said that Mom talked to her before she left the Hospice/Health Care Center. Since it was late a night and I was tired, I decided to visit in the morning. Don't make the same mistake I did. Visit while you can.  We got a call at about 5:10 A.M. this morning that she passed away in her sleep at about 5:00 A.M. She looked very peaceful, as if she had been asleep and died in mid-snore.

She will be creamated. The earliest memorial service we can arrange in Winnepeg is Tuesday. There will be another memorial/burial service in the Twin Cities in the near future.

Current Location: Winnepeg, MB, Canada
Current Mood: sadsad

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