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Saturday, October 31, 2020

ending of a month

 by Rain Trueax


 As  so many have said about 2020, I am saying the same thing about October. which ends today with Halloween. I've written about my health experiences throughout it, and have little more to add except I am glad that my problem appears to be nightshade intolerance. I can do something about it if I learn enough and am careful enough...

The bad part is nightshades are used in so many foods; so October has not been a fun month for me-- as we discover one after another the hard way. I am glad to see it go and hope from what I have learned, November will be better. Between that and the loss of a good friend, this will be a month never to be remembered fondly-- despite it being mine and my daughter's birthday month. Since I've never made a big thing out of my birthday, it was no loss on its sake. I won't say the same for the rest-- nor more details, which I am sure you don't want to hear.

So what can I say for a blog, when I want to stay off politics (will be so glad to see this season end) and have no idea where our country will be heading culturally? (hoping for the best) When you are laid low during a pandemic, not much exciting happens. Just getting through some days is enough. I know Halloween is a big deal to some folks but where we live kids don't come and our own kids and grandkids don't live close nor do they probably trick or treat any more-- if their state allows.

But then along came this sunset.  A video sometimes is worth making especially in a time like ours that can be upsetting. (Tucson Autumn Sunset)

Happy November-- I hope :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

by Diane: Update #2 for transitioning into widowhood: Taking license to change my mind

Experimenting to find out how little I need to change to dramatically improve the useage of my home now that it is just for me. I considered making the shop a painting studio. It is big. I would have freedom of movement and no worries about moving the paint around and getting some on the floor or walls.
 I changed my mind. It really isn't necessary to redo everything in Fisherman Hubby's shop.  Maybe after straigntening and cleaning it, the shop will be a good place to learn to make frames. Tuesday, Ocober 27, I was certain that the living room would be my office/ painting studio and I continued to move into my new creative space..
 Saturday afternoon, October 24, Barbbara Levine and I did our second session painting a mandala.

Saturday evening after a daughter's visit, October 24,

 This is the seventeenth day of widowhood.  I am beginning to reshape the house. I was thinking of making the shop an art studio until a daughter changed my mind.  Looking at the shop, it would be nice to keep it a shop because with a little dusting and straightening it up it would be a delightful place as is. Here is part of Fisherman's legacy.  Also great for storing oil paintings in the summer time!   After airing it out, I do not smell heavy gasoline fumes. I might even become expert in framing my own paintings.

Sunday, October 28.

Quickly I write before the wind kicks up and the 22 degree freeze tonight,  these wintry predictions had me anxious at 4:30 AM this morning.  But feel much calmer at noon now that I filled the patio wood box with wood. Made sure I had help after my poor attempt to split kindeling. The hammer was heavy and of course I picked a piece with a knot that wouldn't buge. A neighbor just pulled it apart with his bare hands. The neighbor's kids came too and found pearl like seeds in the Nakid Lady flowers.

When I picked up and carried hoses to the shop I must have accidently hit the Medical Guardian  alert buton.  So I was surpised when two Fire Department EMTs paid me a visit.  They were very nice about my false alarm.

After I cook up more food in case of a power failure, I will paint a little. The easel now in the living room waits to see if  I like the livingroom's natural North light. I think I will stay in this old house. 

Tuesday, October 27

Although my canvas is on the easel and my paints wait in a cart, I did not paint yet today. I went through the entry cabinet by the front door. I  continued to move things like the childhood games to a shelf near the computer. Children's art stuff is still in the entry cabinet.  The cabinet was used as a place to dump greeting cards. The ones from Fisherman brought tears to my eyes. Though not ofton spoken, he signed his name after writing "love". 


Saturday, October 24, 2020


 by Rain Trueax


I am in a nostalgic mood and hence thought I'd share here some music from way back in my life-- as in when I was born, from WWII. Because Blogger improved itself.... I cannot figure out how to embed these. Here though are the links to some videos with music from a bygone era.  The first one is 'I'll be Seeing You' with photos from the soldiers fighting that war for the freedom of the world.

The next is one of my favorites but when it was sung by the Righteous Brothers. A man is singing to his wife that things will be better. When Jimmy couldn't sleep in his own bed, it was because England was being bombed at night. We just think we know tough times.

The following song came from a movie called The Sky's the Limit, coming out in 1943 in the midst of the war. It's been sung by many since then, and I like this combination with Frank Sinatra singing it with images reminding us of the high cost of wars and finally Fred Astaire dancing as he did in the film.

There are times when bringing up the past can help us get through the present-- with a few tears, of course. Crying is actually healing as is laughter.

And, of course, can't leave out-- As Time Goes by

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

by Diane: Update # 1 for Transitioning into Widowhood: Mixed Emotions

Monday, October 19, 2020

My most prominent emotion is Relief:

On day 12 of being a widow, I am mostly exercising my freedom in converting the house from a hospital to my home. I try to arrange it for convenience. Arranged to be welcoming to overnight company. The garage to be a studio and possibly the shop to be a studio for painting large canvases. I am mostly relieved that my efforts in making a repurposed living area is proceeding well. I can look at the well done guest room is neat now even if the center of the dining area, living room and garage have sorting piles that appear chaotic.  I am thankful that Fisherman Hubby  removed many of his larger tools from the shop and has his boat prepared for a fishing trip. I am thankful from the outset of going through his worldly things that the task would be doable.

But if I linger long looking at the remaining piles like electronic phones, computers and cords, or piles of  over the counter medications, numerous shovels and broken handles, I fight feelings of being overwhelmed.

For at least 10 years I often put his health needs ahead of my desires.  I  believed his unreasonable requests came from some disease process he could not address despite my physical therapist saying he should see his primary care doctor about his unusual sensitivity to cooking odors requiring me to cook vegetables outdoors.  I thought it could be an allergy or a fungal infection. I believe I did all I knew how I could do to alert his doctors whoignored my letters.  Just 11 months ago his doctor was reluctant to refer him to a neurologist desite repeated requests and even after coming to his appointments twice. Neurologists, I understand, are few in  our community in comparison to the need. So other specialists came up with wrong diagnoses resulting in needless surgeries which were hard on him. His weight plummeted hastening the ALS process.

I am relieved that he is out of the physical and emotional pain of loosing his muscle strength.

I am hopeful.

  Hopeful that the OHSU Oregon Brain Bank with his brain and spinal cord will help find a cure.  He wanted to be a part of the study to save others.  At the very least they could come up with an early diagnose eliminating wasteful, blundering therapies and surgeries.

I am thankful that I did have mini art respites and I took time fixing and eating my vegetable.It was good that an understanding of my genetic needs results in making decisions right for me. in what foods to eat.

I am thankful for one result of the pandemic. Family and friends had reduced work schedules and they were eager to help. Their help gives me warm fuzzy feelings.

Thankful for family and friends at Beit-Am Jewish community for their support in planning a coforting rememberance meeting Thursday, October 15.

I am sad and tearful when I want to share an interesting happening during the day with my Fisherman Hubby. I love how neat the house is becoming but feel hollow without sharing with him.

Thankfully I learned that the in home care agency's care givers were not a good option for me. Some things are easier to do myself than trying to explain what I want done. Then when I needed 24 hour a day care for my husband, the Hospice nurse said, "The end is near."

Tuesday, October 20

I am angry

Why couldn't I have stopped all those unnecessary surgeries. I should have stood up to the surgeon and corrected him on his appraisal of the cat scan that showed compremised lung capacity. 

I am gratified

Although Fisherman Hubby makes his actions speak his emotions, he did repeat near the end of his life that he had a good life.


I am joyful and very, very happy that I survived and can foresee travel and doing the things I want. 


Saturday, October 17, 2020

going on or not

 by Rain Trueax

This was not an easy week. I don't have anything to share here beyond what I wrote last week as to our feeling of loss. That feeling won't be going away soon. From what I've seen, some can move on easier than others where it comes to such losses. I am in a teary mood and that's just how it is.

Getting old, more of this is bound to be ahead unless we go first. I remember my in-laws saying that was the hard part of living into their 90s-- seen so many friends go on. 

And go onto what? Isn't what we think about at such times? I know it has been mine through the years. I lost someone important to me when I was in my mid-20s and she was a couple of years younger. Actually, I was the one who didn't expect to live past 30 and told my husband that before we married. Turned out I was wrong and quit predicting when it'd be over for me.

Anyway, all I can offer today are images from the desert and my own inner feelings that nature is the greatest healer. I have no words. I'd love to have words and certainty about loss. Maybe some of you do and will share what you believe. Nobody will find fault. If you are open to such thinking, I'd love to see it.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020


 by Diane

Up Date #1 for my transition to Widowhood
I am consumed sending out invitations for Fisherman Hubby's  zoom remembrance and closure meeting.
Have the house almost repurposed for my next step in life.
I am feeling really good. No more constipation. Almost perfect in the colon. I am relieved.
Tomorrow my painting granddaughter and her fiancée are coming to paint with me.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

A lifelong friendship

 by Rain Trueax

Oregon Coast at Yachats

There are things that a person just does not know how to write. Losses are among the hardest of those. Sometimes we prefer to let such times pass without words. Sometimes words are needed.

We have had a long time friendship with a couple that goes back to 1962 (we think) for one of us and him. Fisherman and Ranch Boss met as freshmen through a combination of working for a chemistry professor at the college and a fly fishing class. The class required taking some fishing trips. Twist their arms. From that time, they formed a friendship that lasted until he died this week. 

In the fall of '62, I met what would be my future husband from my making up a dance class due to schedule change. We were pretty instantly attracted with dating, though not going seriously for a few months at least-- neither of us remember the exact date. I though, of course, met his fishing friend through him and later his girlfriend, Diane.

The relationships processed though the usual stages from engagements to our wedding in September-- theirs in June. That summer, we got together at their town apartment to discuss future plans since both men had applied at University of Arizona to work and study for a Master's Degree. In Tucson, we found an apartment complex that suited us all (can't remember who found it either). 

From Oregon, we caravaned down the small roads of Oregon, Idaho, Utah, to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon where we shared a cabin along with our small black cat, Sheba.

 Once in Tucson, life settled in very comfortable routine. They'd go to class and after a while, Diane and I would meet every morning at either her apartment or mine for coffee and to talk for a while on politics, culture, life, art-- not always agreeing but always stimulating. Then we'd break for the day while she painted and I wrote. 


A painting Diane did down there and gave us for Christmas.

We each had a small patio, which they did theirs one way and ours another. The four of us played in the desert washes, even took an Easter break to rent a log cabin on the Rim (along with our black cat, of course), which led to this painting, which we have in Oregon.

Diane painted this one in the White Mountains on that trip. We bought it at a price she generously made possible for what we could afford.

Eventually, the four of us headed back north for jobs-- us first to Oregon-- later, them to Washington. We continued to get together as our babies were born. We shared interests and differences. It worked. Then he also got a job in Oregon which led to more opportunities to get together. For years, it led to sharing cabins on the Oregon Coast, going for hikes, and a lot of dinners together. And then he got sick and...

When you lose one half of a partnership like that, it's a hole out of your heart. You basically have shared your lives and done so much together-- always free to have other friends and other interests.We didn't expect it to end this way until we learned Fisherman had ALS. It is a disease that isn't easy to diagnose in the beginning. Later it meant an inevitable end. He fought it though as bravely as he did everything else. Finally it ended his life but not his spirit. He smiled to the end.

He was a good, strong friend. He contributed to the community by his volunteer efforts to help more people find joy in nature and fishing. He was a mountain climber, part of rescue teams, a scientist his whole life, and of course, always a fisherman to the very end as he shared its satisfaction and joy with others-- especially his family, which was always at the heart of his life. 

Sometimes saying someone was a good man just isn't enough to describe all that means. He expanded his life with travel and always with his life partner, Diane, with whom he shared a long marriage from being virtually kids to old age. They were the kind of partnership; where he encouraged and helped her with her art as she did him with all his outdoor interests. To say he will be missed isn't to say enough. It's a loss but also a blessing to have had him in our lives.

I decided to  create a small video of the photos we had with them. I don't have all the pictures I would have liked as most are still in Oregon but this represents part of a long friendship. Three of us go on, but he will always be part of who we are.

We were no longer in Arizona when Diane painted this one. Years later I had told her my regret at not having one of her big cactus paintings. It turned out one of her family members was redecorating and this one didn't work. We bought it. Later we brought it back to Arizona where it is hung in the living room.

Friday, October 09, 2020

by Diane: First Post on being a new widow:

FIRST COMFORT FEAST Can a spirit ride on a song bird's wing? Looking through the glass as we dine. Then flying towards the dry bird bath only to quickly return longer tapping the window with wing admonishing us. A new ceramic bird bath filled in honor of his caring spirit.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

by Diane: Update 27 of mini-art respites from caregiving: Addressing changes

 I love our home especially now.  With Fisherman Hubby's neuromuscular decline, a two story house with stairs would be awful. Our rooms are large enough to accomadate all the necessary equipment to make him more comfortable.  The house is small enough to be kept clean. The largest area is the kitchen dining area. Behind the table in the center of the wall is a bulletin board where I can pin up new work. Food alone does not nurish.  Living with my paintings nourishes my need to be creative.  Currently I pinned up  two pieces on  from my painting companions.  The letter"T" composition is by an Oregon granddaughter's boyfriend. The letter "Q" composition is by the granddaughter from Utah. The Q could also be seen as the capital "A" on it's side.  The two negative areas left by the letter "A" could be seen as one piece woven behind. Simplifying the landscape into letter shapes is not easy.  I am proud of their process.

These are stressful times.  Two of my own readers said that personal stress bubbled over with strong negative reactions to this blog when some topics angered them. Or they were not interested unless photos were accompanied with explanations. They just wished I would have a blog just about Fisherman Hubby and our ALS journey.

I made an attempt to recover from a UTI and post on a Word Press blog that I quit in 1914.  It recognized me and I began to compose a blog but kept making blocking errors.  So working another blog will be a learning curve.

Maybe next week I will continue updates on my Word Press blog and then for other topics I will post here.

Fisherman Husband is needing more care and again I am seeking help.   If visiting Angels can not find help , I may try private individuals looking for work. Every day there is a change in his needs. We are accomidating so far with the help of many friends and family. We are blessed.


Saturday, October 03, 2020

times of misery

 by Rain Trueax


September was a tough month for me with the disastrous fires in my home state. Some of my favorite Cascade Mountain areas to camp or hike were destroyed. People lost their lives. Small towns like Talent and Phoenix were burned almost to the ground. My daughter said half the children in those school districts had lost their homes. California has suffered the same devastation. It's hard to get your head around the misery,.

Then came October and I made a big mistake. Tuesday, we ordered a chicken enchilada dinner from a nearby Mexican restaurant. Delicious.I knew that for me there was some risk as I learned a few years ago that I am nightshade intolerant.  I mentioned it in the last blog I wrote for here. When the symptoms hit you, it's one or two days after the meal. You have just taken something toxic into your body-- in short poisoning yourself. It got me Thursday which led to physical weakness, terrible headaches, throwing up-- in short, misery, a day mostly in bed as nothing helps-- well, except your partner sometimes also lying in bed to keep you company. Yes, misery does love company.

In researching nightshade intolerance, we did learn it's genetic and comes most to those who live or migrated from certain parts of Europe (happens to fit my ancestry).

Having invited a bout of it myself, always hopefully it won't be so bad,  that basically meant another day or two, when the worst of the misery subsided, that I have little energy. I am hence going to use something I wrote in September for a group blog. The one plus I can say about such a miserable experience is first, it makes a person very sympathetic to people with longer lasting illnesses and second it makes one appreciate of feeling normal. It is something that it's easy to take for granted.

You might think what do you care about covers for books if you haven't written one yet, but you might someday decide to write a book of poetry, a memoir, the great American novel, book on nature, photography, painting, etc. The tips apply. The covers below will change for their title fonts (we bought some new ones to try), but my energy is depleted again. I'll  write more about them next Saturday when I will have been a lot smarter about what I eat.

Friday, October 02, 2020

By Diane: Update # 26 for mini-art respites from caregiving; some family pictures

Friday, October 2

My infection is hardly noticeable but must continue taking the anti-biotic.  I have more pep than I expected.

I am feeling unsettled, though, from having my worst fears materialize for our president. Early on in Trump's Presidency I wrote him pleading with him to set a good example and loose excessive weight.  He didn't as far as I can tell. I hope he recovers without complications in the near future.

This evening we said good by to our visiting Utah daughter and granddaughter. Their stay uplifted our spirits. And painting with my granddaughter was priceless.