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A PBS donation has benefits beyond keeping KCTS alive!
In 2000, my donation's bonus premium was to tour
Dale Chihuly's Boathouse.
I could take one guest.
My choices? Mom or Gordy.
admit 1
Guilt abounds, but Gordy won the "coin toss". It was a brilliant time.
Join us now..!

I purchased
"The Wild Divine"
a while ago, and
have revisited it recently.
This is exciting biofeedback work that I recommend you check out ASAP! ..Zoe

Enchanted Journey Meets BioFeedback
Check out Wild Divine NOW!

Visit my
Amazon Storefront

Search Amazon.com
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We salute the Grammy nomination of the late great Dave Van Ronk's final concert album:
". . . and the tin pan bended and the story ended . . ."
DVR Grammy CD
Watch the 47th Grammy's and look for DVR's Wife and Producer, Andrea Vuocolo Vanronk, and our beloved Christine Lavin [who helped edit it]
February 13, 2005 8PM on CBS.
Free Speech Radio
op sack lunch
Operation Sack Lunch
Beverly Graham! Music
don't recycle bush


Listen to Hober

US Faces of the Fallen:
•US Fatalities in Iraq

•US Fatalities; "Operation Enduring Freedom"



My Father's Eyes (..Shirley Temple's dimples)... I finally motivated myself to create a banner for my 'blog. I tend to avoid having my photo taken, so this is a rare occurrence.

As I edited my banner in Photoshop®, I noticed that my eyes truly are my Father's! The color, the shape, the furrowed brow.

If I look really hard, I see his compassion for others, his pragmatic outlook on life, his work ethic, his sense of the ridiculous, his wisdom, his worries, his striving to be the best he can be (but never feeling he ever succeeded) his tenacity (read: stubborn), his rare but wonderful laughter, his love of all living things, his music and art appreciation, his curiousity about new technology, his belief that one's word is to be taken as a binding truth, his putting his family & friend's needs before his own, his ability to figure things out, his intuition, his love, his innate sense of style, his "happy girl".
People think I look just like my Mother, but I don't have her effervescence, her joie de vive, her artistic talent, her ability to live life so completely and fully without fear, her ability to explode, on a moment's notice, into anger or into laughter with equal exuberance. I don't have her talent to draw people into her world without even trying; people want to be near her, want to make her laugh, make her happy. I don't have her exquisite beauty, her sense of style or creativity. Nor do I have her her youthful appearance; her energy, her sheer brilliance.

But, all things considered, as I look at this photo on the banner, I do note that I really do have Shirley Temple's dimples after all.

Huffington Post's "War Wire:
Some News Is So Bit It Needs Its Own Page"

My personal hope is to be able to take this link down forever
with a world policy of peace through dialogue

Click for Greenbank, Washington Forecast


 12:29 AM - link -    

  Monday   November 5   2012

Congratulations William on your promotion to Sergeant First Class!!

We are stinking proud of you and love you to pieces and bits!!!

>^^< peace

 02:38 PM - link -    

  Thursday   October 25   2012

Watch this video of Colin Powell. Very insightful!

>^^< peace

 01:30 PM - link -    

  Wednesday   October 24   2012

This is the book that McCain put together against Romney during his campaign for presidential candidate in 2008:

McCain 2008 Oppo File

Be careful and thoughtful with your vote.
>^^< peace

 11:24 PM - link -    

  Monday   October 8   2012

This is for Marilyn most especially -- and y'all too.
Meet Neil deGrasse Tyson:

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stephen Cobert discussion

>^^< peace

 01:53 PM - link -    

  Thursday   October 4   2012

So, it's hitting me hard of late. I really really am missing my Mom.
I know, I know, so many think that Mom was gone a long time ago because of her insidious battle with alzheimer's, or that "she better off now", but it is not the truth I've shared with her.

You've read about my frustration in trying to understand her--to figure out what she was trying to communicate. Yet, among all the angst of that, she would inevitably shine through with a twinkle in her eyes, or a grin, or a tease aimed at one of us. Even her last words to me the visit the week before she died, was while looking at this old, wild curly-headed, overweight cat-lady of a woman, were, "You are adorable!". That can only come from looking through a Mother's eyes at the youth I once was to her. Her words when they were spoken were precise and well chosen. I berate myself for not fighting the Labor Day Weekend traffic off-island for what would have been "one more visit".

I have become pretty much a recluse, and feeling so heavy, dark, and weighed down. I hurt. I want to crawl out of my skin, like those worse days of my FMSpain and fibrofog. My hair hurts, my eyes, my teeth enamel, my total self, soul to physical. Marilyn assures me that this pain is still within the realm of "normal grief" not something that has turned a corner into depression, but it is so hard to believe that this will diminish at some point. I want to take a drive to BFH and just steal a hug or a kiss. Perhaps make her smile. Oh, how I miss her!!!

The guilts reign supreme still -- shoulda woulda coulda.

I love my Mother.

 10:26 PM - link -    

  Wednesday   September 5   2012

This entry is for Rabbi Jim Mirel to know a bit of who Mom was
>^^< peace and thank you:

Everyone loves Gerry.
Sure she married Raymond, and the TV show was called “Everyone loves Raymond”, but in our sphere, the sitcom would’ve been called “Everyone Loves Gerry”.

She was born June 19, 1924 to Martin and Lillian Cohen; a Gemini and left-handed. Eight years later, her brother Jay was born. There are stories about when Jay scribbled on the wall, but insisted Mom did it. That difference of opinion lasted generations, and was told at Thanksgiving and Passover for as long as I remember. Mom also loved her “real live doll” she had in Jay, yet she still teased him by telling him he was adopted. That “wee devil with a smile within” stayed with Gerry throughout her life. She was such a lovely and polite little girl, so how could anyone ever tell if she’d done something wrong? Well, the “tell” was when they’d find her standing in the corner.

One way that Everyone Loves Gerry manifested in her youth, was when Molotov’s niece befriended Mom, and when it was time for her to return to Russia, delegates approached Lillian and Martin to ask if they could adopt Gerry as a companion for the niece, in Russia!

Mom was always incredibly smart. As she grew up in Bridgeport, she skipped a grade. Later when the family moved to Hartford, she skipped another grade. In her High School year book, they wrote “Gerry Hit Weaver with a Bang”. Mom was gorgeous. Before she had her gorgeous white hair, she had a deep auburn mane of thick waves. Her baby blues twinkled as if she knew something you didn’t. But, if she got angry, really angry, they’d turn almost white -- time to look out. Mom was quick to laugh and quick to anger. But after the explosion, she would move on, it was the rest of us that still shook a bit.

My Mom went to RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and lived with her Uncle Bill (the inventor) and Aunt Anna Herman in Providence. She commuted to RISD and took her standard curriculum at Brown. She was the youngest one there because of the grades she skipped, but she was popular as well, because “Everyone Loves Gerry!”. Her cousin Susan was around Jay’s age, and envied her “virtual big sister”, Gerry, and wanted to be like her. Aunt Anna was a great stabilizer in her life. With Lillian and Martin, their lives were an adventure, with Lillian singing on the radio, and Martin changing jobs frequently from theater, to art, to salesman. Some days they lived the high life and others where Mom would be asked to go to neighbors apartment for bread. But Anna gave Gerry security and constancy. Mom excelled at RISD.

After graduation, she worked at a Coat Manufacturer in Manchester CT, called Mardi Modes. They didn’t have an opening, but were so enthralled by her, they hired her to design and model coats. Yes, she was that gorgeous and talented.

She had many people courting her, but she and my Dad found one another, despite their both having been previously engaged. After the war, he saw this gorgeous redhead walking down the street with a friend, and she saw his gorgeous red convertible. He knew her friend and introductions were made. Ray asked her out twice and she refused due to prior engagements. The 3rd time, unknown to Mom, Dad had decided it would be the last time he’d ask her out. But the universe knew they should get together, because that third invite, Mom decided to say yes and break her previous date. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and love story that lasted 52 years; until my Dad died.

One way Raymond courted her, was to rent an airplane and show off, buzzing her house and tipping the wings at her. Mom phoned the police! Ray took her unexpected places on dates. He didn’t treat her as a “goddess” with kid gloves. Perhaps this was part of the appeal. Well, this and the red convertible.

When Dad asked her to marry him, she said romantically, “Yes, but don't tell anyone”. The deed was done when their license was expiring, and they drove to upstate New York that weekend. On their way driving north, they stopped for a much welcomed Ice Cream Sundae. When they arrived, there was a Greek wedding downstairs. They needed a Minion, so they invited some of them up stairs as witnesses, and later was invited to join the reception below.

Then they went on their Honeymoon. Mom was packed for the Virginia honeymoon they planned, but somehow they ended up going to Canada. That creative whimsy earmarked how they’d have the most fun in their marriage. Infamously, Mom had an adventure where she “skiied uphill” amazing even my father.

Three years later, Jim was born. He was exactly what they hoped for, a baby boy. He was the most perfect baby ever. Sometines she tied him in a harness to a tree to keep an eye on him, that’s just being creative. They lived in an apartment on Loomis street, until three years later, they had a baby girl, Jonni. Jonni? They couldn’t find a name they both agreed on, so when the hospital told them they had to name “baby gillman” to go home, they wrote a list of names down, and the nurse chose Jonni. They called her Joann so they could use the nickname Jonni.

For the next 18 years they lived at 36 Iroquois Road, their first home, in West Hartford. Dad owned a women’s clothing store, Gillman’s, and Mom worked part time there doing most everything. Mom also volunteered to do costuming and scenery for local theater groups. She did the NYTimes double-crostic in ink, and would phone her friend Poppy Richman to discuss the hard ones. Gerry and Ray also gave great parties. In West Hartford they were looked forward to by many.

There was “Christmas in July”, and “Gillman-A-go-go”, and the infamous Luau party that had 2 shifts of guests. Infamous because of the punch. The Gillmans and the Sunkins did this one together. The theme was the luau, and Dad took real cocoanuts and halved them and hollowed them out to use as drinking cups. They decorated the outdoors with lights and lanterns. They purchased a garbage bin for the punch they made. Despite the yummy factor my father decided after another taste that there wasn't enough booze, so he added more. Dave Sunkin walked by and tasted it and decided it didn’t pack the punch it needed, and added more. This continued for a while before “shift one” showed up and the party began. As hosts, they didn’t drink much of it, but they noticed that some guests started to lean against the garage, or house, and ever so slowly would sliiiiiiiiiiiide down to the floor, legs in front of them. And there was the scandal of that one couple who were not married to each other that came out of the house dressed in some of their other half’s clothing. By this time Dave and Ray talked and figured out what happened, and despite the 2nd shift’s anticipation of the wild party antics, they didn’t make the same mistake.

As her kids grew up, she explored graphoanalysis, astrology, sculpture, soapstone carving, oil painting, joined the 100 Books Course, helped publish cookbooks, and played tennis, especially with her sister in law, Joan, who remained her true “sister” and confidante all her life. Later they moved to Farmington Woods, a condo community on a golf course. There she also became an integral part of the community.

Gerry and Ray did more traveling, going to England and Amsterdam, visiting St Martin, and taking a cruise on the Inside Passage of AK, and soon annually rented out a condo for a month or more in winter on Hutchinson Island Florida. They rented out their home to help defray some of the cost. In Florida, Gerry made fast friends that have lasted all her life. Everyone Loves Gerry!

Time passes and her son, Jim got married to Mary, and they had Gregg, who Gerry and Ray adored and babysat often. Ray became “Papa” and Gerry became “Nina” because Gregg, with his arms outstretched towards her was asking for a “banana”, but Gerry thought he was calling her “Nina”. They had fun taking him to Disney World, and Ray loved teaching him to swim in the Farmington Woods pool. Then came Andrew! More babies to “squish” and adore. Unfortunately, Jim’s job had him moving a lot so visits became less frequent.

Jonni ended up relocating to WA from CT for an engineering job at Digital. It took about one and 1/2 years for Gerry and Ray to follow. Gerry and Ray found a home in Redmond and again, were soon the house to hang out at. Gerry and Ray attracted friends of all ages, but mostly younger folk. That made Gerry particularly happy, as she always loved the energy of young and attractive people. One bit of joy, was when they moved here, they connected with Deb and Dave! Debbie was our neighbor, 2 houses down, on Iroquois Road!

In WA, Gerry started a cottage industry where she made ceramic envelopes and would locate and collect special stamps and personalize it for customers. Ray insisted it lost money, but he was always supportive in action, and would do craft shows with her, and help her sell her product to resellers. She signed her art, “GiGi”.

Ray was 8 years her senior. And in 1995 he was diagnosed with melanoma in his calf. Extreme surgery took away most of his calf, and it was hard for him to walk. Ray finally was showing his age. Although Gerry was afraid of the ocean, she almost drowned when she was a little girl, she encouraged Ray and Jonni to buy a boat since the place Jonni rented on Whidbey Island had it’s own dock. That was one of her most fine and selfless moments. She gave Ray “his legs back” and he got his “convertible” again in their boat “The Rainy Day”.

In 1999 Dad died. Mom soldiered on, partly with the help of his organizing things so well for her, but also her lust for living, and her smarts. She still had her friends who stayed in her life and she went places with them. It wasn’t until she had a fall one night that we realized her living in Redmond, while I was on the the Island, wouldn’t work out. We found her a home in Freeland, an adult community, and she moved here. Again, she found fast friends, played bridge (she was a bridge master) and she would go for night drives with her friends to DQ, and she made a home. She also became close with Kim who was also my friend. Gerry had that knack to become friends with both her kids' friends. She had that youthful spirit.

Gerry always wanted a big family. Ray said he already had 3 kids, Jim, Jonni and Gerry! So that was never realized for her. Until Jonni met Gordy. She now had the opportunity to embrace a large family with huge gatherings and many babies to “squish”. And, the extended Coale family kept having new babies for Mom to enjoy. They all invited and welcomed Gerry to every family gathering which made her so happy to have her dream of a large family come true.

Life was good again for a while, until it became evident that something was wrong. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She moved in with Jonni and Gordy for about a year, and later went to a private facility in Oak Harbor. Everyone loves Gerry! But then there were issues and she was “streeted” and then spent many years at Western State Hospital. Despite the environment, the people who worked there spent extra time with Gerry to calm her down, or walk with her, or invite her in their offices. Everyone loves Gerry -- at least those who cared enough to know her.

Finally, overmedicated, and totally unable to speak clearly, she was to be released due to budget issues. That was the turning point. At that time it seemed terrible and frightening, but it turned into a huge blessing. We found Nic and Sable’s “Bright Family Home” in Lynnwood.

At first Mom was still in great pain, and afraid, and needed to sleep in the dining room with the lights on with an aide, but with Nic’s loving ministration, Gerry was soon off most of her medicine, even the narcotics, and she slept the night through in her own room, with the lights off. She would walk and talk and engage with the other residents, and of course, she loved the good looking, young staff. Frankie the cat living there that also made it home. To Mom’s total delight, Nic and Sable had a beautiful little girl, Saron, who visited and was yet another baby to “squish” in this new family.

She loved when any of their kids, Jonathan, or Able or Saron (and soon there was a new baby girl, Amen) visited. She adored Sable’s style and beauty. And later she had the loving Howie (Hewett) as caregiver and friend. She had a new home, and yes, Everyone Loved Gerry. And her special guy was Nic! Everytime he entered the room, she’d light up. I must say it’s a toss-up as to who she lit up more for, Nic or Gordy.

Throughout this difficult journey, Gerry and I both were lucky that I had such a loving partner to help care for Mom, help drive me the long distance when she was at Western State, and who Mom grew to love and delight seeing each visit. Gordy was my “sanity check”, and she was Mom’s very special guy who knew just how to tease her and make her smile. Gordy’s constancy was probably a godsend in her ever-changing world of alzheimer’s. Gerry always did gravitate towards the good-looking men.

Despite her aphasia; the inability to speak coherently, the twinkle in her eyes never left her, and it spoke volumes, as did her smile. She also kept trying to read, even the titles on the TV. After one particularly scary hospital stay, I recall Nic telling me he was happy when she was “loud” and resistant again, as it showed her spirit was growing strong again. She found unconditional love at Bright Family Home.

On Sunday, September 2, Gerry had breakfast in the morning. I’m not sure, but I think she probably had the TV series “Peyton Place” playing on DVD. When Howie came in to feed her lunch, Gerry was unresponsive. She called Nic and they called 911. The EMTs came but it was too late.

There is a light that has gone out. There is a hole in the planet. But there are the memories she made and the life she lived and the lives she touched. I hope there is a reunion happening where she’s with her many family and friends that have passed, that’s how I like to envision her. And if there is another plane she’s gone to, I’m sure she’s making new friends still, with the twinkle of her baby blues, her sense of humor, her beauty, her wit, and her whimsy, because Everyone Loves Gerry. And so do I.


 09:56 AM - link -    

  Sunday   September 2   2012

Today I lost my Beautiful Mother.

I didn't go visit Mom due to an especially lovely Labor Day traffic weekend and all the horrific ferry traffic it would mean. For that I will not forgive myself.

Mom had a MD appt. on Friday and nothing indicated that she'd go. I had phoned Nic earlier after our visit on Friday last, to see if he thought Mom was "leaving" (all euphemisms will prolly be used in this post) as she kept going to sleep during our visit. She seemed out of it, and it scared me. I thought perhaps it was the drugs she was now taking, the vicodin BID for pain, and was going to ask Nic to see if he could back off on them and perhaps she'd be more alert.

I woke up this AM, then fell back to sleep to hear my special ring tone on my phone, which Gordy answered for me. I heard him say "oh no" and then get proper in his speaking. That scared me. As he walked upstairs, I kept saying "What?", but he waited 'til he was by the bed and told me Mom died.

I couldn't "hear" it; believe it.

He said that this AM, Mom had her breakfast, and then when Howie, the lovely lady who adores Mom, went in to give her lunch, couldn't get Mom to respond. She phoned Nic who asked her to check her breathing, and then call 911. There was nothing they could do.

Evergreen Washelli is on their way to pick Mom up which is killing me to think of it happening. I want to see her on an emotional level, but I'm refraining seeing her like this. I asked Nic to change her out of her "depends" and put her in a long purple plush sleep shirt instead. I just think Mom would prefer to be in her "caftan" and comfy.

I've managed to reach a lot of the family, but still need to contact my Aunt Libby and my Cousin Terri. Their being back east, I probably will have to wait until tomorrow. My appt. for the paperwork and arrangements is on Tuesday at 2:00. I don't know who and how to contact Medicare and Social Security. I don't think she has any funeral benefits, so it's out of pocket. She did say she wanted to be cremated like Daddy was. I also want to contact Rabbi James Mirel, who said Kaddish for Dad, to do the same for Mom.

It's hard to move forward and do things on a long weekend.

The one silly smile I have is that apparently this is Nic and Sable's anniversary so he wasn't there. Knowing Gerry like she is, it would not surprise me if she chose this day so he'll always think of her--she did adore Nic!!!

It hurts so badly in waves right now...it's so hard to grasp the truth of this. I love my Mother!
>^^< peace and Jellybeans


 03:28 PM - link -    

  Friday   June 1   2012

This is a fine Kickstarter project that I've pledged, and they are looking for more backers so that they can produce it completely! Check out "No Mouse Music" and enjoy and sign up!

>^^< peace

 05:14 PM - link -    

  Tuesday   May 22   2012

I highly recommend that you take the time to watch this discussion of Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Stephen Cobert. It is incredibly thought provoking and Neil speaks his truth in an easily accessible way.

It matters (all puns intended). Science has to be supported beyond an election cycle. Enjoy, peace:

PS You can also link to youtube here instead.


 11:31 PM - link -    

  Tuesday   May 1   2012

As having gone to the University of Hartford Art School, I'm tickled and proud to know they were one of the 28 who pledged!!!

The President's Pledge: 28 College Presidents Commit Portion Of Salary To Fight Poverty

Twenty-eight U.S. college presidents are teaching on a global scale as they sign on to The President's Pledge Against Global Poverty. The pledge is a public commitment from current and former college presidents to donate 5 percent of their own salary to fight global poverty both nationally and internationally to organizations of their choice. Link herefor the pledge and list of presidents.


 11:17 PM - link -    

  Thursday   February 2   2012

I'm just too drained to write about the latest health horror story regarding Mom's recent hospital stay at Swedish in Edmonds, but after a 12+ hour day of constant maneuvering and phoning and scanning and phoning, and emailing and phoning, and begging and threatening and phoning, and going online researching and phoning ad nauseum, Mom is back at Bright Family Home again, with a private nurse coming in twice a day to give her the antibiotics via IV.

I am going to contact Mom's physician tomorrow to see if /what he can do to have Medicare /Medicaid pay by ordering it for the rest of the course (it's out of pocket now due to bull caca) and, I'm also going to have him do what needs to be done to refer me to Hospice.

I'm so afraid. Seeing Mom back at Bright Family Home, and her contrast in health back on her turf, truly revealed just how unwell she is. But, she's back again in a loving environment, surrounded by *her* things, and pretty comfortable again in the fuzzy blue sheets I gave her, a hug of warmth (with no wrinkles). She has a hard and bad cough, and it's hard for her to expectorate, so she tires frequently, drifting off to sleep.
I hugged her to sleep one time whispering my love for her, and telling her how amazing and beautiful she is.
Her breathing is not good, and the ability to eat w/out aspirating is not secure right now.

I still am hoping that pure love and nurturing (and the IV of antibiotics) can pull her through this current ordeal, but I'm not certain it is enough no matter how hard Nic and everyone tries.

I am trying not to let my mind wander there, but it does anyway.

I love my Mother so much -- I am straining to hold myself together and think healthy, hopeful, loving thoughts instead of letting the fear and grief overtake me.

As Julie says, breathe in (and out) while counting to reign in my thoughts;
inhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ... exhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 .. inhale... 1, 2, 3 ....


 07:59 PM - link -    

  Tuesday   January 10   2012

I've not been posting for a long long while -- mea culpa.

I currently have a bear of a bug, cough, hack, headache et al since Jan 1st 2012! I went to JanGaard today per Julie's recommendation, and yeppers, I'm on some anti-biotics -- kickin' it's butt!

Christmas 2011 saw the whole Coale Famn Damily here chez moi.. it was very wonderful to have all the chillins and grandkids here.

It's been a tough time economically and legally for all but the top 1% and it's scary how they are taking all the rights away.. here's today's topper of a post from the AP to give y'all a taste of the bull the Reps and even the Dems are pulling:

"Associated Press: "A Senate panel advanced bills Tuesday that would require people laid off in South Carolina to pass a drug test to receive unemployment benefits, then volunteer 16 hours weekly with a charity or public agency to keep receiving a check. Though the panel heard testimony that both proposals would likely conflict with federal law, its chairman, Sen. Kevin Bryant, said afterward that doesn't matter. 'It's time to start pushing back,' said Bryant, R-Anderson. 'I can't base how I vote on a bill on what some activist, liberal judge is going to do.'" Some liberal judge is going to stop this sucker with an injunction...because of the Constitution... [AP]"

oh well.
>^^< peace

 08:53 PM - link -    

  Wednesday   August 31   2011

A very clever puppy apparently giving a "dog show"!

>^^< peace

 08:34 PM - link -    

  Saturday   August 27   2011

This is one of those times when I feel so disconnected from family and friends back east, aka from "home". I'm sending light and love to y'all, and hope you make choices erring on the sign of caution, and stay safe. Don't forget your 4 and 2-legged family as well, they are depending on you to provide for them.

Irene tracking page

Be safe, come home soon! >^^< peace.

 12:09 PM - link -    

"walk this way..." Igor [prnounced Eye-gore] from "Young Frankenstien" [pronounced Steen] -- there's more!

  Lijit Search

Suggested DVDs Books et al -- [not always current, and subject to whim(sy)]

With the latest DVD players coming out with all formats compatible -- I delightedly found the funny and full version of Season one of Ally McBeal at Amazon.uk

[the US didn't release any full seasons] -- enjoy!

Yet Another (and another...) Must See Flick (YAMSF):

[Blazing Saddles - Limited Edition is the one to get because the Commentary by Mel Brooks is priceless ..enjoy!]