Yahrzeit

Today is the one year anniversary of my mother’s death.

My mother died on the day of the summer solstice, a month and a half after her 75th birthday. I wouldn’t remember the date so well if it weren’t for those memory joggers.

Her death did not come as a shock. She’d had a stroke the previous October (that was the shock), and had been in various levels of inpatient care ever since. From ICU to transitional care to rehab facility, with a few trips to the emergency room and back to the ICU when she had severe infections. During that time, she was definitely aware of things, and could speak words clearly, but couldn’t really converse with us. She never became herself again.

Any readers who are Jewish will know that I’m using the term “Yahrzeit” incorrectly. The only thing I knew about Yahrzeit before today, was that Jews have an observance on the first anniversary of a loved one’s death. I read up on it (at this link), and learned that it is normally calculated as the anniversary of the Hebrew date, not the Gregorian date. But that’s not important to me right now.

What does matter to me about Yahrzeit is, I like the idea. I like the idea of observing the anniversary of my mother’s death, because, well, there’s a lot of adjustment to be made when someone dies, and it takes at least a year for it to sink in.

I miss talking to my mom. I missed her during the eight months she was in the hospital, but it wasn’t permanent yet. We had hope that she might get better. After she died, I had to adjust to the fact that I would never talk to her again. I don’t have any regrets about things I said or didn’t say; I think Mom and I had pretty well settled our issues a while ago. I’m glad of that, and I’m glad that I called often and kept talking to her.

Rest in peace, Mom. I love you.

The Bunnies Have A Strong Union

{Carole and Jay, outside working on the lawn. Jay is mowing; Carole is mulching and manuring roses.}

Carole: Why didn’t you mow everything? You left these patches with the little yellow flowers.

Jay: The bunnies insisted.

Carole: What?

Jay: The bunnies insisted I leave the flowers alone. You don’t want to piss off the bunnies. They have a strong union.

Carole: …

Carole: I guess having a bunch of bunnies picketing our house would be damaging to our social capital.

Orchestrating Change: Final Push

Many of you know that a documentary on Me2/Orchestra and mental illness has been in the works for a couple of years. The film will be called “Orchestrating Change” and I was one of several members of the orchestra who were interviewed for it.

The filmmakers are getting very close to having it finished, but need funds to complete post-production.

Please consider contributing to their Indiegogo campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/orchestrating-change-phase-3-post-production#/

They have a donor who will donate $1500 if they can get $1500 from other sources first. Please help out!

Cornhole Glory, Follow-Up

A couple of months ago, I bragged about my amazing skill and unparalleled mightiness at the greatest of all tailgating sports, Cornhole. Yesterday, the Match of the Titans took place at the park opposite the Burlington (Vermont) airport, where the Lund Family Center pitted 64 teams against one another to crown the Ultimate Cornhole Gods (2018 edition).

Jay had signed us up as a two-person team (“Otter and Lemur”, naturally) more or less for the heck of it; neither of us had actually played Cornhole before. The Lund Family Center is a vital part of our community’s social network, so the money raised and donated goes to a good cause, but I don’t think that really had much to do with Jay’s decision to enter us. Random whimsy plays a large part in his decision-making.

Upon signing us up for the tournament, Jay did order a Cornhole set (boards and beanbags) and told me we’d train like madmen so I’d be ready for the tournament. Unfortunately, with the late arrival of spring weather, we didn’t break out the set until last week. I think we practiced about 4 evenings, from after we ate dinner until the mosquitoes started to eat theirs (us, that is). Well, it was better than nothing.

We wound up in a round robin against three teams:

  • The Corn Dogs, a team of young girls, I’d say about 12 to 16 years old, whom we managed to beat on points (meaning we didn’t make it to 21, the official game score; the ending score was 9-3 in our favor).
  • The Kernal Sanders, a team of five guys who didn’t have a ton of experience either but still managed to whomp us fairly readily.
  • The Unicorns, a mixed team of five employees of the event’s main sponsor, North Country Federal Credit Union. They beat us soundly. We threw in the towel when it was 20-9 and the organizers were making ever more strident remarks about how the third round games needed to get finished, like, now. Nevertheless, I DID get one ringer shot in that game (see video above).

The elimination rounds were to take place after the round robin, based on the results thus far. We didn’t stay around for them, having worn ourselves out over three rounds of HEAVY aerobic activity; also, we didn’t want to exhaust our wildly cheering fans.

But we had fun. And I got a great sunburn on one arm and one side of my neck. 🙂

CORNHOLE GLORY

GREETINGS FLESHLINGS

I WILL BE COMPETING IN THE 2018 LUND FAMILY CENTER “PITCHIN’ FOR A PURPOSE” CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT.

CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR ME.

I WILL CRUSH YOU ALL

YEA VERILY THERE WILL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH. AMONG MY FOES, THAT IS

THE LUND CENTER DOES VERY GOOD WORK TO SUPPORT FAMILIES, PREGNANT AND PARENTING TEENS, YOUNG ADULTS, AND ADOPTIVE FAMILIES. NO NEED FOR GNASHING THERE! HA HA HA

PLEASE SPONSOR ME AND IN SO DOING HELP FUND THE VITAL PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT WOMEN AND CHILDREN ACROSS VERMONT.

I SHALL BESTRIDE MY OPPONENTS LIKE A COLOSSUS OF YORE. COME WATCH ME AT BURLINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON MAY 12 STARTING AT 11 AM. BRING SUNGLASSES TO PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM THE MAGNIFICENCE OF MY CORNHOLE BAG PITCHING GLORY

OH MY YES

RIP, Starlight “Torbie” Furr — 2002-2017

Rest in peace, Starlight “Torbie” Furr, 2002-2017.

Starlight was a wonderful kitty, from the very first day she hopped into my lap in the visitation room at the Chittenden County Humane Society in October of 2002, right up until the end. She was suffering from bladder cancer, in pain, obviously suffering, and nothing we did (even two sessions of chemotherapy) helped. We realized that there was nothing else we could do other than say our final goodbyes. Our veterinarian was good enough to make a house call so that our baby passed on in the house she’d lived in for 15 years, with me by her side telling her that I loved her.

I will never forget her. No other cat I’ve ever had has been as sweet and affectionate. I called her my “teddy cat” because I could grab her and cuddle her in bed, and she loved it and purred like crazy. I’d hold her on my chest and she’d purr even harder. On cold nights, she’d come to my bed, where I was sleeping on my back, and curl up on my “lap” to keep warm. She loved all kinds of touch, and she somehow knew how important eye contact was to us primates. She also loved all kinds of people, and she’d colonize the laps of our visitors, even (maybe especially) those who didn’t know what to do with a cat on their lap.

Goodbye, sweetie. We will always love you.

Stop Domestic Violence: Take Steps In Their Shoes

On June 3, the Burlington, Vermont-area’s annual fundraising walk/run to raise money and awareness for the fight against domestic violence will take place. Last year it was called “Run for Empowerment” — this year it’s called “Take Steps In Their Shoes”. Regardless, the funds raised will go to fund our local anti-domestic violence charity, formerly called “Women Helping Battered Women” and now called “Steps To End Domestic Violence”.

I am taking part in the event and hope to raise a lot of funds — it costs a lot to pay for emergency shelter, legal assistance, food and clothing, and the 24-hour hotline that battered adults and children across the area depend on in time of need.

Last year, incredibly generous donors sponsored me to the tune of $1025, which made me the second-ranking event fundraiser overall. This year I’d like to raise even more! Will you sponsor me and help out?

You can donate at this link:  https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/carole-furr-1/take-steps-in-their-shoes — and thank you so much for your support!

2016 Run For Empowerment

Strangeness at Night

Last night I woke up around 2:30 am, sitting upright in bed, with the light on, having been dreaming of trying to sign someone up for Vermont Health Connect. I think I was trying to sign my cat Starlight up for health insurance, only she already has it, so that’s okay.

I knew it would happen sometime. I’ve been doing this (signing people up for insurance, not somnambulating) forty hours a week for I guess about 3 months now. That stuff gets into your head.

Berry season

So I’ve just discovered that berry season has begun. And it looks like a good one!

I went outside for a few minutes, to check my raspberry and blueberry plants. The raspberries are now bearing abundantly enough that there are too many to eat for a single morning snack. It’s time to go out there with the Tupperware.

And the blueberries! All the plants are bearing. I was smart enough to cover them all with bird cloth a couple weeks ago. And my prize plant is producing berries almost as large as a quarter!

So from today until it’s done, I need to spend at least an hour out there daily. There is picking to do and there is weeding to do. (Some of my plants are in what’s practically a wild field now.) And I’m gonna have to wear a whole lotta DEET.

Photos will follow.

Run For Empowerment

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I wanted to thank everyone who sponsored me in the 2016 “Run for Empowerment”, a fund-raiser event to benefit Women Helping Battered Women. The run took place a couple weekends ago on June 18 and raised over $20,000 for the WHBW programs.

Thanks to my 35 sponsors (wow!) I raised $1025 for the event. This was enough to make me the second highest fundraiser. I can’t thank you all enough for your support. You helped make possible the many programs WHBW offers — their emergency shelter, their 24 hour hotline, their support and counseling programs, their legal assistance program, and so on, and so on, and so on… it’s a huge list and it all costs rather a lot. You are all amazing and I’m so glad you appreciate how important WHBW is to our community.

(Technically speaking, WHBW doesn’t exist any more — they changed their name to “Steps to End Domestic Violence” right after the event. But at the time, they were still WHBW!)

Most people who took part in the walk were 5K or 10K runners. I’m not much of a runner, so Jay and I walked. Amusingly, we got recognized for being fastest in our respective age groups, and Jay was fastest overall male walker… out of two. But we got ribbons!

Thank you again, not for making me the second ranking fundraiser, but for the wonderful support you’ve provided for families affected by domestic violence!