baronessekat: (quiet)
Last night as I was working on a scroll due this weekend, I found myself having the following thought.

Calling hours tomorrow night and funeral the next day is seriously hampering my schedule. I'd much rather stay home and work on the scroll. I like the recipient much more than I liked Uncle Dave.

Then I had this wave of guilt for not being a good family member. Then the realization that I had a more of an emotional reaction to Dave Cooper's passing than I did my Uncle Dave's.

Still working on processing those thoughts.
baronessekat: (family)
Apparently, according to the obituary,

My mother was NOT my uncle's eldest sister. But just his sister-in-law.

It's going to be a struggle to make myself go to the calling hours and service.

I'll do it. But it's not going to be easy
baronessekat: (quiet)
There has always been a slight tension in my mother's side of the family. At least it always felt like that. I tried to ignore it as I grew up. Up until I became peripherally involved.

For me it started at my father's wake. My Aunt Donna and Uncle Dave, my Godparents, indicated it was too far to drive to come to his wake/calling hours. 45 minutes to an hour was too far. Yes it was February but it was an incredibly mild February. Friends drove 4+ hours to come for the calling hours but my own family couldn't drive 45 minutes.

Then my Grandparents were put in a nursing home and the great clean out of their HUGE farm house began. My grandparents were old school and named my Uncle Dave the executor because he was the eldest male child. Not the eldest child. Not necessarily the most competent. Needless to say that my mother, the eldest, was annoyed. On top of that things started disappearing out of my grandparents' home. Some of which another uncle saw at a local flea market.

Then my grandparents passed and other items that had been verbally promised to certain members of the family ended up in my godparents' home because "there was nothing in the will saying they were specifically to go to you". Then if there were things that we did want from the estate we had to buy it. There are pieces that my grandmother had told me that I should take that I ended up not being able to, because I could not afford the appraised market value of the antique.

There is more I could go on about on how the tension between my mother and her brother increased. Mostly... no completely revolving around the execution of the estate. It was ugly.

Flash forward 5ish years and my mother passes away. I honestly do not recall my Uncle Dave ever once coming up to me at her memorials to say anything remotely like "I'm sorry for your loss" or offer any kind of condolence. To be fair he might have, but I don't remember it. There certainly wasn't any offer of help with dealing with the estate/cleaning of the house, my own move back to the Doma like my other Uncle did.

That was the last time I physically saw my Uncle Dave or any of that side of the family, though I am facebook friends with his children, my cousins - not that we ever really converse there.

My only contact with them has been through the mostly impersonal Christmas Cards every year. Just signed. No note or anything. Except for 4 or 5 years ago when the card had a message in it. "Your uncle is still in the hospital after his second amputation due to problems with his diabetes." That's how I found out my Uncle, my godfather, had been in the hospital and had had his second below the knee amputation. When I asked my Uncle Alan why no one had called me or Sis to let us know about the situation, he said he told them to call us as it wasn't his place and reminded them that they were my godparents and they should reach out. Never happened.

I sent him a get well card and some activity books to help him during his hospitalization. Never heard a peep from anyone. To this day I don't know if he even got them.

After that it was back to just signed Christmas Cards. I stopped making overtures. It was a why bother.

Then last night my Uncle Alan called. Dave had died that afternoon. He apparently had been in the hospital for over a month due to congestive heart failure and out of control diabetes. As before, no one bothered to let me or Sis know. I had seen via facebook that my cousins were in town, but had written it off to just visiting family. Had I known he was in the hospital, I would have gone. Buffalo General is not that far from me. Hell, of all the blood kin, his eldest son and I are the ones that live the closest to the hospital. I would have been there, helped to sit vigil. I may not have respected the man anymore, but he was still family. I could have put aside differences for duty, responsibility, for what was right.

But that is now one more drop in the bucket. I doubt now that there is anything more I can do.

I will go to the services when they finally make plans. That I did tell my Uncle Alan to please let me know when and where. I will go. I will say goodbye and mourn not just a lost family member, but a lost relationship.

And as I told Sis, when I called her with the news. At least we didn't find out via a Christmas card months later.
baronessekat: (trio)
I have the best girlfriends ever.

I'm in a panic because I still can't find Tzar. He's never been "gone" this long and I can't hear his tags or any other sound of his presence.

[ profile] dicea messaged me and asked if I was still up. I messaged back yes. The next response was "on our way".

She and Kate came over and spent almost 1/2 an hour looking around in the dark for a dark cat, calling for him. They also helped to a look in the garage.

I have put a cat cube with a blanket and a bowl of kibble out on the front porch, in case he got out out. There is a bowl of kibble with gushy food in the garage and lots of soft warm things in the piles for him to sleep on if he's out there.

I sent the girls home with a flier that has two pictures of him, his physical description and my contact info to drop off at the SPCA tomorrow morning (they live a couple blocks from the main building).

We've done the best we can. While we still have not found him, the fact that they came over to help me, made it easier to deal with. That they were willing to come over at 11:40pm and help me look for my cat means the world to me.

So thank you to my Boo and Boogie. It really does mean a lot. Love you.

Dear [ profile] apidae

Sep. 5th, 2007 08:25 pm
baronessekat: (Default)
Could you ask your dear husband if by chance he has any family relations to any of the following:

Van Burean

(or any variation of spelling)

The reason I ask is that while going through an OLD box of family photos I found this one:

And damn if I didn't first wonder why my grandmother had a picture of your husband. I have no idea what relations this gent is but it's got me wondering if there might be a distant family relationship between him and I
baronessekat: (candles)
Happy Birthday to

[ profile] eternalmusings!!!!!

Hope the next quarter century is better than the last.
baronessekat: (eeyore)
Today was an absolutely splendid day. The girls and I went out and visited Aunt Patti and Uncle Alan at their home.

It was a nice drive - especially because Dicea drove so I didn't really need to try to remember how to get there (though I had mapquest and mom directions).

The day was perfect - light breeze, enough shade to not be hot, not a rain cloud in the sky.

For the first time ever I got to see what is in one of the outbuildings on their property (lots of cool toys tools and the like. Alan showed off his garden as well.

We were treated to an array of cool nibblies and then dinner. OMG I don't know what the butcher they go to does to the meat but WOW let me tell you WOW. Steak was (to quote Rachael Ray) "delish" (even if a bite went down wrong for me and tried to kill me). For those who were there for my move weekend it was the same place they got the roast beef and hamburgs so you can guess how wonderful the steak was. We also had fresh from the field sweet corn - fresh as in picked that morning, salt potatoes and melon that was sweet and melted in your mouth.

I sooooo have to get the recipie for the peach thing Patti made for dessert. YUMMO.

It was so nice to just sit on their back porch and hang out with them and the girls and enjoy one of the last sunday afternoons of the summer.

I am very glad I and my family were able to reconnect with Alan and Patti a couple years ago. I really enjoy their company and hope to get more time to just hang with them.

We've already been invited out for their halloween bash. So this means the three of us need to work on costumes. Hehehehe, it will be fun


Jun. 17th, 2007 07:23 pm
baronessekat: (eeyore fountain)
update on Doma stuff )
Today was sunday which I've tried to hold sacred as the "thou shall take time to do something fun during this maddening time". This resulted in me and [ profile] dicea going up to Niagara Falls. Something for the last couple weekends has been pressing into the back of my mind that I need to go there. Just to walk around, mingle with strangers who don't speak my language and partake in the natural beauty of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

I expected a lot more people there. I mean today was Father's day. And it can be a VERY inexpensive thing to do. Especially if you don't park in any of the paid parking and stick to the park and the falls and not do any of the touristy things.

We got there and first discovered that the Falls must be a big thing for subcontinent Indian vacation spots. To the point that instead of the standard Hot Dog venders and the like on the corners, it's Indian food. The smells were wonderful.

We walked over to the Falls and decided that since Boogie was not with us we would not do the Maid of the Mist (like we were going to do if she was joining us - unfortunately she did not sleep well last night and sent us on our own). We opted instead to do the American Falls Cave of the Winds. I have done the Canadian ones before and that was cool. The Canadian side you literally go behind the falls in the caves and see the falls from behind. at first I wasn't so jazzed about the American side. You don't go behind the falls at all. You do down to the base of the falls on little walk ways and stuff. I was like "Yeah, how cool is that? Not much" Boy was I wrong.

It was soooooOOOOOooooo much fun. If you've ever heard me or Dicea talk about our experience at Diseny withe the Kahli River Rapids you will understand when I say "AGAIN!". We got drenched, despite the slickers they give you. You literally are at the base of the falls. And if you go on the Hurrican Deck as they call it, the water falls onto you.

Let me say, Shower Magic has nothing for clensing of the soul and spirit like a real Waterfall Magic experience. I know now where to go when I need a cleansing and recharge. Also learned that the rocky outcrops between Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls is the rookery for the largest congregation of Ring Billed Gulls in the Northern hemisphere. What this means in TONS of seagulls. And the babys. Baby Seagulls are adorable and cute and look like little fluffy rugby balls.

I had fun. And that was the point of everything.

When I got home I talked with my Uncle Alan. Wished him a happy father's day. He told me of their ordeals with getting home from their cruise of a lifetime.

The two fo them are coming out next weekend to grab all the geneology stuff from the Doma's dining room. This is good. That means I can move my sister's big-assed cabinet out of the living room and into the corner where the geneology stuff is now.

Long but good weekend.

Gonna go find some dinner now and relax.

baronessekat: (thistles)
Sunday Sunday.

This morning was waking up way too early for having fallen asleep way too late (fell asleep around 4:30ish and woke up at 7:15).

Went and had brunch with the Dicea and we got moderately horrid service. Had worse, certainly had better.

After we parted I headed to Wal-mart to get some laundry detergent. While there I picked up the base coat paint for the kitchen (with hopes of getting it on the walls next weekend). Also found a painting I loved for the 1/2 bath that was on clearance from $79.99 to $20. And a laundry hamper/sorter that I had been eyeing for a while that had been marked down from $85 to $30.

Went then to the Doma and did laundry. Also got the curtains for the guest bath made. The pleats in the curtains for the 1/2 bath ripped out and the curtains for the kitchen made. The ones for the kitchen need to be pleated and hemmed but that's waiting until I can hang them and see where the pleats need to be and can hem them while they are hanging.

I still feel like ass (my fever still keeps spiking without breaking) but I promise I did not do any big strenuous stuff. Sitting in the kitchen at the Doma sewing while watching TV is about as strenuous as sitting at home in bed, arguing with the cats for bed space and watching TV. Trust me on this one.

[ profile] eternalmusings got my flight booked so I can go to her graduation in May. Looking forward to it. Just now have to make arangements to make sure I have a ride to and from the airport here in Buffalo. Will have to see if the Boo is working that friday and can take me and if she can pick me up on Sunday night. Otherwise, it's not that far from the airport to my apartment that a cab is not unreasonable.

But for now, I'm going to go get some dinner and go to bed.

baronessekat: (rose)
They also have an online guest book

eventually I will have the brain ability to actually write about the last three days.

But for now, thank you to all who came, all who would have but not for mother nature, and all who couldn't but sent their love and well wishes.

I am probably going to be away from posting for a bit until I get things settled for myself. Or I get bored at work.
baronessekat: (rose)
I'm too exhausted to give details. But we survived day one. It was nice and fairly low key, I think mostly due to weather.

Dicea was there for almost all of it and can give her impressions when she gets around to it.

Thank you to those that came out. It meant a great deal.

Tomorrow starts with meeting with our lawyer (who ironically was the ONLY person I walked up to tonight and said "I'm afraid I can't place your name at the moment". Oops.) then a little bit of down time before going back to the funeral home for calling hours day two and the service immediately after.

But for me, right now, I'm going to find a bit of food like stuff and go to bed.
baronessekat: (rose)
For those who would like to send a donation in my mother's name to her chosen charities
the particulars )

[ profile] dicea has posted the details for the calling hours and memorial service. I still request no flowers. I have a small apartment with 3 cats. Keeping flowers and plants safe is difficult and mom would have much prefered the donations.

I can't begin to express the amount of awe I feel for the outpouring I have received both directly and through [ profile] dicea. It amazes me the extent of the generosity that is out there in the world. I wish I could send individual thank yous to everyone but I do not have the resources nor the time to do each justice. Please know that I and my sister thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.


Feb. 14th, 2007 11:33 pm
baronessekat: (rose)
rest well )
baronessekat: (rose)
While I am really happy with the general staff at the hospital and all I'm starting to get frustrated.

I have lost count how many times I have been asked what medication she was on. Last night while talking to the transplantation coordinator she asked. I said I had already toldlike 12 people and saw a nurse write it down at least once while she talked to mom's PCP.

But there was NOTHING in her chart.

This morning I get a call and expect it to be word about her pulonology consult for whether or not she will survive past the one hour window for organ donation after she gets off the vent. No it's the morning call from the neurology team to say there is no change. The nurse says she saw nothing in the chart ordering the pulonology consult or anything from "units" (aka the transplant coordinator)

This whole ordeal between the hospital and still not being able to find mom's life insurance policy has had me wanting to scream at the top of my lungs the immortal words of Mairi


In a little bit I'mgoing to head back over to mom's to continue looking and make more phone calls to see if I can locate someone who is holding the policy.

Yes we called State Farm (where mine and my sister's is through), we called First colonial (that dad's was through), we have gone through 7 years worth of pay stubs and check books. NOTHING. But I am still not ready to give up hope.

I also need to talk to our lawyer today about how to we get the estate expidited and funds freed as quickly as possible in case we can't find the policy and have to pay the $7k out of pocket.
baronessekat: (rose)
1. Make sure you have a a health care proxy on life with your PCP or lawyer.
2. Make sure family/friends/etc know where the F your life insurance policy is. If you don't tell them, at least keep it in a fairly obvious place, such as strong box with your will and other important documents.

Number two is the current stress at the moment.

Terri and I went and had our meeting with the funeral director and have taken care of everything we can for now. The issue will be the roughly $7,000 that the funeral will cost. Normally you would have the life insurance take care of it. Mom swore up and down to me and Terri that she had life insurance. But we haven't been able to find the policy or any reference to one. We found the insurance policies on ourselves, and the references to the one our father had, but NOTHING for mom.

Unfortunately the funeral home will not wait for the estate to clear. If we can't find the insurance policy, we may have to go to our Aunt and Uncle and maybe paternal grandparents and ask for a loan to be paid back when the estate clears. Which can take up to 18 months according to the funeral director.

Let me tell you... this sucks.

We leave in roughly half and hour to head back to the hospital to take mom off the respirator. I signed the DNR paperwork earlier this afternoon. Yes, I know she may yet linger for days after. And the resident on duty did say that by agreeing to donate organs, it may take longer as well deending on how long it tkes transplant teams to get there and harvest.

Anyway, just needed to vent about the frustration with not finding the policy.

More updates later
baronessekat: (rose)
To add to [ profile] dicea's post Read more... )
baronessekat: (rose)
Today has been tough

the details )


Feb. 10th, 2007 01:21 am
baronessekat: (rose)
For those who did not see [ profile] dicea's post, the news )

But I ask all of my friends, if you have not already done so, sit down with friends and family and let them know your wishes for health care, DNR, no heroic measure, etc so that if something happens like an unexpected brain bleed, they know what you would want to happen. Get a health care proxy signed and kept some place safe. And don't think "Oh I'm in my 20's or 30's. What's going to happen to me?" Anna Nicole was 39. Car accidents happen. Wierd birth defects long dormant surface. If not for yourself, then for those who love you and will have to deal with too many other things in a time ofhigh stress and crisis.

I['m going to go try to get some sleep and I will update as I can.
baronessekat: (rose)
Please be at peace and free of pain.

Robert Eugene Loper, Jr.
12/16/70 - 12/15/06


baronessekat: (Default)

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