Posts filed under ‘humour dark and otherwise’

Ode to a Downspout named Don- Lorain

dye a tribed

Ode to a Disconnected Downspout named DON
don spout
Your very existence was officially heralded on a bleak January day
Detachment was noticed and engage you we must- or a price we would pay
To leave your condition unchanged meant more than a citation
Due to your condition so brazen – fix ” Don” come hell or creation

Through snow drifts and ice we went to inspect our wanton neglect
Your illegal status we wouldn’t be allowed to forget
A week on the Friday was the date we were given
Through fair winds or foul we would be striven
The date just a week hence to put right our shame
We made the calls to men who were handy in name
Our pleas to come quickly – all came to nowt
“Are you insane?” “In this weather to connect a downspout”
It is true at 13 degrees no water was hitting the ground –
just the pond water falls- heated to run- making a sound
The tarps of blue flapping merrily away
marked the time passing – a loss of a day
up  a ladder
Winter winds forecast to howl – the ground covered in ice and snow
Two intrepid fellows plunged through the bracken and ice- it was a go
They hoisted the drill and attached the offending gutter
Whilst women watching – waited indoors – hearts all a flutter
Until success was at last to be found
no more Don discharging himself on the ground !!!!!!

We can go to bed tonight and turn the light out
Don is connected once more – a righteous downspout
I can think of nothing much finer
than pleasing Inspector Klinar !!!!

present and correct

to be continued……

February 1, 2015 at 1:52 am 14 comments

The Chair of WoM- Pass the Hat – Part One

WoM Logo  by  Scott Bakalar

WoM Logo by Scott Bakalar

Back in the days before the “division” there was a blog of note that dealt specifically with Lorain – the old Wom Blog ( Word of Mouth) . I often think of the song Those Were the Days

Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that woman really me

Those were the days my friend
We thought they’d never end

when thinking of WoM- it could have been and should have been but ended up “Not“. WoM collapsed in and of itself . Our “salary” – those that gave of their time thoughts and energy to that blog of note – was the camaraderie, the fun and the making a difference. I can’t link back to that blog because the owner has secreted it into the annuals of cyberspace. The Lost World of Wom.

Even so, there are some remnants left floating around after the implosion. There was such a fondness for one of the characters of WoM- “He” didn’t need a voice or a keyboard – his mere presence told the tale…

Chair Collage

His birth came about from sitting on a bucket ( rather uncomfortably )in 2007 – Brian Hazelett a contributor of WoM- Brian was fighting the fight in 2007 for a better Lorain City Schools and to organize a rally! :
chair schools

The idea of the rally came from Brian Hazelett, Lorain resident and contributing author to The Word of Mouth Blog. In a blog entry Hazelett stated that he was going to “take my lawn chair and a big ol sign” and sit outside of the Board meeting and waive his sign. Hazelett said he would not go back into a Board meeting until he is told a real plan. “I have made the effort to support public education and the educational process in the past, it is time someone shows that same effort in return.”

all aboard chair
The Chair was born but it was not a “lawn chair but a “directors chair”. The Chair took on a fan base of its own thanks to Brian Hazelett and writer/ photographer Mark Teleha- from a rally for Lorain ‘s teachers and students to taking over the government –

chair duo

the Chair lived fully and reputably in its short life – it actually accomplished more than most with two legs .
Mark Teleha:
“(Brian and I have been using this Chair to highlight and promo various events and goings-on throughout our downtown area. We’ve done a few already at Scott’s website that we have the privilege of being a part of: The WoM Blog. The Chair debuted here, did Movie Night, Farmer’s Market, the second Rally, became Mayor,

Breaking News: The Chair Takes the Mayor’s Seat

taking the mayors seat

In a brash display of arrogance and disdain, the likes of which haven’t been seen in this city in years, the Chair barged into Council’s chambers Thursday, hog-tied former Mayor Foltin’s leather chair, and set itself up as acting Mayor. Thumbing its theoretical nose at the posturing and political maneuvering taking place in the halls of power downtown, the Chair one-upped the Party Chairs that were to meet last night, to determine how they would proceed with David Arredondo’s desire to play Mayor, against John Romoser’s actual candidacy on the November ballot.

Chair Takes Mayor’s Seat

An act that should only have left Lorain Mayor-less for a mere 5 days, has developed into a situation where it could be up to as much as 45 days before this City has an actual body to call a leader. Though Romoser was endorsed by early-bailing-on-the-City-for-a-job-paying-twice-as-much former Mayor Foltin, David Arredondo expressed interest in the Mayor’s seat in roughly June-ish.

The Chair stepped in, it was leaked, because without a Mayor, the City is helpless to progress with everyday business. Union negotiations have stopped, travel and conference vouchers can’t be approved, and legislation must sit idle for 10 days without a mayor’s John Hancock to be enacted. Municipal bonds cannot even be issued without that required signature. (Could the City actually save some money here?)

Word from Chambers was that the Chair was tired of all the sitting around everyone else was doing, and felt action needed to be taken.

More updates to come. Please stay tuned…..

Out of time and no  light at the end of the "tower" Photo Lorain 365

Out of time and no light at the end of the “tower”
Photo Lorain 365

The Morning Journal even wrote an apology to the Chair

You see I am not alone in my worries about the quality of the Morning Journal 😉
there were “issues” even back then


Retraction/Correction Demanded for Error in Local Rag

In the continuation of a reputation of not being worth much more than something to put down underneath the litter box, or something to wrap fish guts in, The Morning Journal (how it pains me to have to mention that name here) once again erred in such magnitude, that it baffles the mind.

The Chair is beyond livid. After reading an opinion piece by the MJ’s liberal hack Richard Osborne, the Chair would not stand still, waving its arms and pacing to and fro.

Osborne said:

a local blogger..wrote a funny piece..about Foltin’s EMPTY chair taking charge.
The Chair had this to say:

I categorically deny ever having even come in contact with Foltin’s backside. His ass would have been lucky to have been swaddled by me. Personally, in his last few months, had I the opportunity, I’d have administered a good swift kick. And with four legs, that would’ve been a helluva kick. I hereby demand a retraction, correction, AND an apology by the Morning Journal for their lack of research, and the negative state of their integrity.

Clearly stated in the mentioned ‘piece‘, the Chair “hog-tied former Mayor Foltin’s leather chair”. Can one hog-tie oneself? Hardly.

Holding the Mayors Chair Hostage- Foltin's Fiasco

Holding the Mayors Chair Hostage- Foltin’s Fiasco

I happened to mention the dearth of coverage by the (you know) concerning the Black River Bicentennial,
ED NOTE: The Morning Journal under John Cole refused coverage of Lorain’s Bicentennial Celebration due to the fact that it was being spearheaded by yours truly( Loraine Ritchey) – shame but the event was extremely successful and photos can be found here-

no Morning Journal coverage of course is available 😉

and the Chair stomped out of the room, waving its arms, muttering about the daily not being fit for (rhyming expletive).

So, we will wait and see if a retraction is forthcoming. The onus is on the Morning Journal, and Richard Osborne is clearly in the hot seat.

Breaking News: MJ Buckles – Apologizes For ‘Chair’ Error

On August 27th,(2007) the Chair took Richard Osborne to task for a gross misstatement. Mr. Osborne, Op/Ed columnist for the local paper (Yes, THAT one!) wrote that “Foltin’s empty chair” took over as the Mayor.

In a released statement, the Chair demanded an apology from the MJ and Mr. Osborne, saying “I categorically deny ever having even come in contact with Foltin’s backside.” Also, that Foltin’s “ass would have been lucky to have been swaddled by me.”

Obviously succumbing to what was plainly a huge public outcry, Richard Osborne printed the requested apology in September 9th’s edition. It is as follows:

Chair Apology

mj apologizes

The Chair, when reached for comment, hadn’t seen the apology, due to the fact that it unsubscribed long ago to ‘that rag.’

Obviously, when you insult the Mayor, there are consequences. Mr. Osborne’s employment status was plainly on the line, and he did the only thing he could do. His apology is accepted, and I wish him well. Though I would recommend he do his homework a little more thoroughly in the future, and he would do well to read this blog, instead of just scanning it.
Having stepped aside as Mayor, after being replaced by John Romoser, the Republican candidate for Mayor, the Chair has taken a vacation of sorts.

It’s been a long summer, and I’ve been busy. I’m working on some things right now that I’d rather not comment on, but they are for the betterment of the City.
I left the Chair, lying under a tree, with its legs stretched out. All four of them.

I wish I could share with you the many links to the Chair’s adventures but WoM is blocked for the most part and with it the adventures of the Chair- But pictures ( thanks to Mark Teleha) can still be found

After months of being missing the Chair did make a brief reappearance
I miss the Chair, the Chair had character, integrity, humour, a curiosity – you could trust the chair but it has gone the way of so many “left us ” collapsed in and of itself, homeless missing ….

  Missing- Photo altered to show age progression.)

Missing- Photo altered to show age progression.)

NOTE Chair portraits Mark Teleha


February 5, 2014 at 7:26 pm 5 comments

A New Year thought- Dull days of history- they were all at “it”- and seemingly still are


Gillray’s print, Fashionable Contrasts- But whose feet are those?
Trying to get through this season of happy , happy , joy , joy I have once again tried to escape to “lose” myself in history once more .

I exchanged the WW2 for that boring old history of Kings and Queens and the aristocracy. However I can tell you Reality TV has nothing on these folk! But there is the connection with Downton Abbey fans. Oh! if these old walls could talk ;).

I will never be able to look at another old movie starring David Niven or Douglas Fairbanks in the same way as just two days ago a story in the Daily Mail :

How I lost my virginity to the VERY racy real life chatelaine of Downton’s Scottish castle by Micheal Thornton

niven coll
It seems the late Duchess Of Argyll ( Margaret Campbell) had numerous affairs with many a young man including the writer of the Daily Mail piece mentioned above. Quite scandalous for the 1930’s but then again this was the time of a King abdicating for the “lust” of a woman- Edward and Mrs. Simpson. It seems they were all at it in the “dirty thirties”

He( The Duke) compiled a list of her alleged lovers, believing he could cite 88 men. My name,(Micheal Thornton) and that of Anthony Wallace-Turner, escaped the list.
A note in the Duke’s handwriting, found among the Argyll divorce papers, records: ‘MT and AW-T are both innocent victims of M’s nymphomania.’ The original list contained some famous names. The Hollywood stars Bob Hope and Maurice Chevalier were on it. So, too, was David Niven, who had taken Margaret’s virginity at the age of 15. The 13 Polaroid snaps discovered by the Duke appeared to show two different naked men. Pornographic comments written beneath pictures of one of the naked men were alleged to be in the handwriting of Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Was Douglas Fairbanks Jr. indeed the “headless man” ? A Tale of the headless whores’ man 😉

So what you say old history – not quite my mum is still around to remember the “players”- She remembers the abdication and the scandals of the day – living history or reliving it

and this Duchess and her connections wasn’t alone in my “viewing pleasure of this week- Keira Knightley was on Ovation in her role as “Duchess”.

As I watched because I wondered how close to the “real” story was this “movie “- I was surprised to learn- pretty damned close- WHY WASN’T THIS EVER MENTIONED IN THOSE DULL OLD HISTORY CLASSES in school- I bet I wouldn’t have been alone in remembering this figure of history and the Prime Minister 🙂 The names are sounding familiar to royal watchers of today.

The Duchess of Devonshire -Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (née Spencer) 7 June 1757 – 30 March 1806) was the first wife of the 5th Duke of Devonshire, and mother of the 6th Duke of Devonshire. Her father, the 1st Earl Spencer, was a great-grandson of the 1st Duke of Marlborough. Her niece was Lady Caroline Lamb. She is an ancestor (via her illegitimate daughter Eliza Courtney) of Sarah, Duchess of York. She is also related to Diana, Princess of Wales, who was her great-great-grandniece.
Gerginana col
It seems Princess Diana was not the first in her family to have to endure three in a marriage

In 1782 the Devonshire’s travelled to Bath and their met the woman who would be with them for the rest of their lives, Lady Elizabeth Foster, or ‘Bess’ as she was known.

Bess ingratiated herself into the Devonshire household, became the Duchess’s lifelong confidant and later mistress to the Duke. They lived together as a menage a trois for 25 years, and soon after Georgiana died, Bess persuaded the duke to marry her and finally legalize their relationship

Diana collage

In an interview with Martin Bashir in 1995, the Princess said she had known her husband had renewed a relationship with the then Camilla Parker Bowles in 1986, just five years after their wedding.

“I wasn’t in a position to do anything about it,” she said. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.

Poor Diana – three’s a crowd- and you can find the text to the scandalous “Camilla- gate” or Sqidgy tapes here – says it all-

Well it makes our local scandals seem very tame by comparison! So that is something to be thankful for I suppose- May your New Year be Scandal Free or at least worth the notoriety to be endured !

January 1, 2013 at 7:19 am Leave a comment

The journey continues – I long for laughter- Chris Ritchey

In Search of My Son- Part 17

I used to love this time of year- the burst of colour, crimson, golds and green – bright blue skies intensified by the crystal coldness of the air – a time to breathe without the heat and humidity I have never appreciated. I looked forward to curling up with a book in front of a fire as evening drew the curtains of inky blue over the outside world.

No longer do I greet this time of year with past enthusiasm. I read so many books whilst you fought for your life through stem cell transplants and in Texas- all those hours in waiting rooms, reading quietly whilst you tried to sleep in the next room in the Texas apartment. I don’t remember any of the ones I read- except for the one . It still is the most important book in this house.

I have tried reading to escape, I can’t, it just takes me back to that Thanksgiving Day in the Cleveland Clinic and as I read out loud to you – the episode– that is what they called it – he is having an episode– a code blue episode!!!! . Although the Dr. on duty came out to the “empty waiting room” said you were dying and did I want a clergyman- ironically the only time in that waiting room I wasn’t surrounded by the “gypsy encampment”
Circus by Chris Ritchey

I was alone – I couldn’t fathom what this Dr. was saying to me……. a nurse bringing me hot chocolate –

dying – what are they talking about?

But then you rallied -again hope – a chance for laughter once again in my life.

You see Chris was always the one who made me laugh– he could be very naughty as a little boy but it is hard to punish someone when he would make you laugh. Even as he grew he could be so exasperating at times but then that smile and irreverent humour which would make me melt.

It had been known to heal – his humour – it helped his Dad. A few months before Nikki got married my husband suffered an “episode” himself and had to have open heart surgery . He was in ICU at the Cleveland Clinic and was intubated.

He was in an induced coma for a while and according to the Drs. was “completely out of it” – only he wasn’t- although unable to respond he heard every word that was said – he knew I was holding his hand talking to him.

They said he wouldn’t remember anything but he did and told us afterwards everything we were saying and who was there – it was horrible not being able to show he heard and he knew what they and we were saying. It was very frightening for him. He has never gotten over that experience.
I remembered that as Chris lay in his bed those last days hooked up – I ache at the thought that he could have heard the dreadful Sue Lombardi and her daughter, Angela Ritchey DO calmly discussing what to dress Chris in in his coffin– it shatters me to think my son trapped in his body was hearing their thoughts on parking at the funeral home. Imagine that if you will.

Chris’s Dad insisted we say nothing in front of Chris when he was intubated worried he could hear and never to say goodbye because he didn’t want Chris to feel like he did – panicked and helpless. I watched the tears trickle down my sons cheek as they prepared to intubate him – I heard his last words he spoke and I hear them every day …………

My husband, in the ICU had a nurse who quite frankly he didn’t like – she was the sort of officious, all business type , mechanical in her dealings – probably a very good nurse truth be told- but she was “mean” according to the patient. Her bedside manner was definitely lacking.

Candidate for medical degree being examined in the subject of “Bedside Manner.” Punch Cartoon 1914

He wanted the tubes out- he has a phobia about being tied down etc. – they told him so many hours which kept dragging on causing him more distress as time lines came and went. I couldn’t get any answers and being tied down with the tube down his throat caused him so much anxiety and the anxiety – it became a vicious circle -the tube was causing him distress – the distress was causing the tube to stay in…. anyway he eventually got the tube out and although he wasn’t allowed anything but ice chips – this nurse “Nancy” didn’t think it was advisable. All well and good but this healer instead of explaining why would just pull the curtain across with a “no ice for you”. It became so bad that when she would come into the cubicle his blood pressure would soar- I finally requested she no longer be assigned to him -coincidence or not after he found out she wouldn’t be coming back as his nurse he calmed – I stayed – and he was finally released out of ICU.

Unlike the ICU where Chris had the “crowd” I was the only one apart from my daughter allowed in and then only for twenty minutes every 4 hours…… many trips in a day I drove to the Clinic I can’t count in those first days. My husband was moved to the floor but the damage had been done by Nancy Nurse Nancy. He had nightmares about her. I explained to Chris as we went up on the elevator how he had been impacted. As we talked he pulled out a small pad of paper, asked me what she looked like and by the time we got to the room handed his father his interpretation of Nancy Nurse Nancy.

Nancy Nurse Nancy- by Chris Ritchey
It was the first time his Dad had smiled in days and even managed a weak laugh . He asked for it to be put up where he could see it and when he woke from his nightmares he would find comfort in his son’s take on Nancy Nurse Nancy – He chased away the nightmares with his humour .

Chris’s dad kept that little drawing , it is framed and hangs where he can see it when he wakes. The nightmares of a different sort come now – but it still brings back, if just a little, the gift of a smile and laughter by his son.

How I wish for laughter – how I wish for my son- how I wish we could have peace on this journey with no end save one .

Part One In search of my son- In search of me
Part TwoTourjours Moi-Always Me
Part Three Always Me – Always Chris
Part Four In search of My Son-
Chris Ritchey – Thanks

Part Five Dark Humour- Shedding a Light
Part Six – The Unfinished Portrait

Part Seven– The Unfinished Portrait- The Artists
(2) Part Two – Who Are We Really?
Part Eight– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight

Part Nine– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight – Part Two
Part Ten (a)There is an “I” in Death
Part Ten (b)- I didn’t know my son- Chris Ritchey
Part Eleven- Unfinished Portrait the Artistic Gene
Part Twelve- Unfinished Portrait- the Artistic Gene- Part Two
Part ThirteenA Place of Echoes
Part FourteenAn Absence of Laughter
Part 15 Who I am , the artist speaks
Part 16- The Lowest Ebb- I knew my son- Chris Ritchey

November 3, 2011 at 10:02 am 10 comments

WORDS-( are all I have)- Chris Ritchey

Who I Am - Chris Ritchey

Over the course of this “blog” I have written hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of words.

Words can heal, confuse, cause unbearable sorrow, hurt , laughter, destroy, enlighten, express your deepest emotions. I believe at one time or another I have used up those categories on this blog. The last posts have focused on words and their importance.

Advertising knows the importance of words and telling the story quickly and their visual importance to the “screen”.

During the course of Chris’s education he wrote a book- yes! a book!

The brief as I understood it – limited the number of words to be used ( under 30 ? ) – using different fonts to emphasize each wordtexture of the paper / colours etc also to give visual emphasis to the reader. Subject (of one’s choice) telling the story with a beginning , middle and end- evoking at least two emotions from the reader.

I saw the book at one of his “student shows” along with another of his interpretations of a “social message” which caused a bit of controversy that evening- whereas other students had decided on – sexually transmitted diseases, use of condoms- spousal abuse- aids – my son took on the war in Iraq/Afghanistan and wasn’t on the side of the “anti-war protest” group.

Chris’s humour was sometimes dark and irreverent ( like mine) but he used his humour as described here

Whilst in Texas( end of October) a text came through from Angela with regard to the fundraiser- Chris was told that two funeral homes had donated– Chris turned to me and said :

“You think they are vying for my business?

ED Notevacuous thinking comes to mind when that statement was made by Angela!
WHO???? gets excited about the participation of funeral homes in a fundraiser for your husband who is under a death sentence and to then feel it was important to impart that information to him? In my opinion total lack of thought to the consequences of her words. But like her other words SHE did not have to deal with the results – harbinger of words to come and end results of that sort of vacuous thinking on her part.

Back to the book– I found the book not long after Chris died – it was touchable, tangible and reminded me once again of my son , his humour, talent and how much I miss him everyday.

Obviously jpgs of the pages cannot give you the feel and texture of the paper used, the mere act of turning a page – anticipation for the ending- the process in which the reader is supposed to feel at least two strong emotions with regard to the subject – in this instance a COW– but it is the best I can do with my limited resources to show the power of words as used by in visual communication every day we “watch”

The book cover is covered in
Cow Hide

Did this little book evoke any emotion?Will you be able to have a steak tonight or look at a cow the same way 😉

Did you follow the story of the subject matter?

Can you see the significance of font and the words used?

If you did (even in this format) then his little book is truly an example of “working words”

and “words are all I have”…………

March 10, 2011 at 12:11 am 2 comments

Three Old Ladies Were Locked in the Lavatory- Lorain style

Update: Check out Daniel’s further investigation in the corner stone caper
The recent “miraculous” find of a time capsule- and OH! YES!!! that is the word some were saying ” it is a miracle” and nobody knew it was there. As soon as I heard those words I was transported back to younger days and singing the song

Les toilettes comédie
– photo Chris Ritchey

Three Old Ladies
Oh, dear, what can the matter be
Three old ladies locked in the lavatory
They were there from Monday to Saturday
Nobody knew they were there

The first one’s name was Elizabeth Porter
She went in to be rid of some overdue water
And she stayed there far more than she ought to
And nobody knew she was there.


The second one’s name was Elizabeth Pomphrey
She went in and made herself comfy
Then she said: “Girls, I can’t get my bum free.”
And nobody knew she was there


The last one’s name was Elizabeth Carter
She was known as a world renowned farter
She went in and played a sonata
And nobody knew she was there.

“Leave the lid up” photo Chris Ritchey

Now my version:

Oh dear what can the matter be
A corner stones miraculous recovery
Cause NOBODY knew it was there???

The first flush told of heroes The 2nd flush turned into zero’s
The stone that was for safe keeping taken
Turned up a time capsule when shaken
And NOBODY??? knew it was there

The third flush a media scoop
When one newpaper got the rest of the poop
The smell becoming somewhat putrid And fingers pointed ” No you did”
And NOBODY knew it was there

The tale it continued for more than a bit
Nobody wanting to step in the sh-t
But the miraculous recovery became a tale of possible skullduggery
But again “Nobody knew it was there!

However, just as the song Three Old Ladies morphed into Seven Old ladies I am not sure that this “flush is finished-toilet tales in Lorain ????

November 21, 2010 at 10:50 pm 12 comments

When Vanity and Mum’s advice combine to save a life!

There are those of us that grew up with

“Make sure you always put on clean underwear in case you get into an accident”

I was never sure why having clean underwear was needed in case of an accident- I thought perhaps it would help , the nurses, doctors, etc. might take better care of me. I didn’t argue with my mum – I have just made sure that I have clean knickers on all the time- you never know!

Although the Eat your Brussel sprouts there are starving children in India” usually brought forth ,

We could send them my Brussel sprouts!!!!

Monday night was a bad night in this house. I was having a hard time dealing with the events of recent days .

Now every Christmas , birthday etc I receive pajamas ( big ones- ones you can get lost in – cuddle in -expand in) . I have lots of pajamas. I would live in them if I could -just like Hugh Hefner .

However, something strange happens in this house when a matching set of pajamas disappear down the laundry chute in the upstairs bathroom somehow when they reach the basement- something happens- they never come back upstairs as a set.

I have given up over the years –so what if the bottoms and jackets don’t match– I am sure my husband of many, many years no longer is looking for me to “match”- He would probably be more impressed if my hair stayed the same color from week to week or I purchased “snore no more”.

So Black Mood Monday found me wandering the house unable to sleep , trying to deal with the flood of emotions that were beating me up. I finally headed for bed at 1:30 am. hoping that the sheer emotional exhaustion would act as a sleeping pill. I lay staring at the ceiling, the walls , trying to rid my brain of all the thoughts and hurt and listening to my heart beat pounding in my ears.

” I will never get to sleep with this pounding in my chest… Wait a minute!!! SHOULD I be hearing my heart beat in my ears? SHOULD my chest be pounding … Oh horrors….my pajamas were clean but mismatched… what should I do? Should I get dressed put on clean underwear? Supposing the ambulance came and horrors of horrors they would find an overweight woman that they would have to get downstairs in mismatched pajamas. Aren’t you supposed to cough to get the heart in rhythm when having a heart attack? Damn the aspirin are downstairs- I can’t be carried out in circus tent like pajamas for all the world to see”

Someone tell me – are these the thoughts that flash across your mind when you think you are dying? – I thought it was supposed to be your life flashing before your eyes in your final minutes- not the state of your pajamas ( or underwear) . Come to think of it that may happen when you are drowning- Note to self the next time I fall in the pond I will try to pay attention!

Well I got up , coughing with every step to counteract the dreaded heart failure before I found matching pajamas My heart racing even more now with the added worry of where I could find a good pair of matching pajamas at 2 in the morning in the laundry area that has been likened to “Ohio’s latest disaster area”..

Would I be found in the light of day face down in a pile of pajamas – ?

Success!!!! I found a pair that matched, showered again and changed ( which totally woke me up) and I realized that the effort and focus of finding pajamas had helped the anxiety and blackness I had been feeling to dissipate . My heart was no longer pounding in my ears and now wide awake I went to the computer and wrote another post.

How many people can say their life was probably saved by mismatched pajamas and their mother’s advice of “clean knickers”?

But I now have my emergency kit packed and ready to go. Also I have written “my own Obit”! I certainly don’t want published what others may think of me 😉

NOTE: “He who thinks he should be obeyed ” and Misty slept through the whole episode! Of course in my husband’s defence he probably thought I was snoring!!!!

April 27, 2010 at 8:39 pm 6 comments

Going Green whilst daisy pushing

Part One-Burial – Not Green The Embalming
Part Two – The Visitation-or what to decorate is the question
Part Three – A Tisket- A Tasket What type of casket?
Part Four -Going Green whilst daisy pushing

There really isn’t a pleasant way to deal with our earthly remains. No matter the way we choose – eventually what is left of us “morphs”. It really is a matter of “how long do you want it to take”?

We have learned that in the “What type of Casket” that it may take the longest time for you to eventually morph, unless you can get hold of some of those Egyptian Priests.

Now lets us talk green and coffins ( as opposed to caskets – which depending upon where you live also have some differences and where you can be buried .)

Why should it matter to us that are left for you to consider going green?

Each year, 22,500 cemeteries across the United States bury approximately:

30 million board feet (70,000 m³) of hardwoods (caskets)
90,272 tons of steel (caskets)
14,000 tons of steel (vaults)
2,700 tons of copper and bronze (caskets)
1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete (vaults)
827,060 US gallons (3,130 m³) of embalming fluid, which most commonly includes formaldehyde.

What is meant by going green when you pass?

The goal of a natural burial is to return the body to the earth in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition and allows the body to recycle naturally. It is intended as an environmentally sustainable alternative to existing funeral practices that may pose future hazards to public health and run counter to modern resource-conservation activities.

It seems it is the ultimate in recycling- cremation doesn’t actually fit the ultimate green requirements so we will leave that for another post.

Toe Pincher Coffin UK

and Willow Coffins are becoming increasingly popular in Europe due to the Willow’s ability to regenerate quickly

There are any number of biodegradable “coffins” if you wish to go back to earth .

Eco Pod – Source
Or even Coffinless- The Shrouds “you could be in ”

Shroud Source

Of course the process does involve more bacteria and creepy crawlies-

I was going into the process and pictures of the insects involved BUT it might put you off saving the planet altogether- it is hard enough to get people to put their recyclables into those blue bags around here as it is. But you can find all the info by clicking on the insects picture at this site

As gross as the creepy crawlies are they are very beneficial really and you don’t want to end up with
adipocere ( grave wax)

There is another way to go green – and this latest from Europe sounds interesting

1. The corpse is frozen down to -18 °C.
2. The coffin with the deceased is lowered into liquid nitrogen. The body becomes very firm and brittle.
3. The coffin and the body are exposed to a light vibration, disintegrating into dust.
4. Mercury and other metals are separated using and induced magnetic field.
5. 25 – 30 kg of the powder now remains. This is put into a coffin made from maize starch of potato starch.
6. The starch coffin is buried shallowly and will turn into compost in 6 – 12 months’ time. A tree can be planted on the grave. It will then absorb the nutrients given off.

If you want to go Green there are many “Green Cemeteries ” world wide -Here in Ohio you might want to look into
Foxfield Preserve, Wilmott , Ohio
from this
Foxfield burial and in a couple of months

Green burials rely on GPS – isn’t technology wonderful- you can be put into your loved ones Sat Nav.

Foxfield Preserve is a nature preserve cemetery operated by The Wilderness Center. It is the first “green cemetery” operated by a non-profit conservation organization in the U.S. and the first of its kind in Ohio.

You can also check out the site for Funeral Consumers Alliance of Central Ohio
and lastly to find a”green cemetery world wide”


January 20, 2010 at 8:56 pm 5 comments

A Tisket – A Tasket – What Type of Casket?

Part One Burial – Not Green The Embalming
Part TwoThe Visitation-or what to decorate is the question

Part Three – A Tisket – A Tasket_ What Type of Casket


EVEL KNIEVEL– photo with permission
Steve Mandich

You have opted for – the embalming , the visitation and now your family ( unless you have made your wishes known) choose the vessel that will hold your vessel.

In North America things have progressed…. from this to sometimes this plain pine box

to possibly this:
Fiske Metal Burial Case SOURCE

and more recently to this :

You can even buy your casket on line from Walmart ( search caskets)
in the price range from $750.00 to $3,000 but shop around because Cosco was selling at least one model cheaper.

OR perhaps you would like to opt for The Promethean, only set you back about $25.000 –

Micheal Jackson opted for this one
Inspired by James Brown’s 2007 funeral, the late King of Pop ordered a coffin called “The Promethean,” the same model chosen by relatives of the Godfather of Soul, from Batesville Casket Co. in Indiana—Jackson’s own home state.

You can get veterans / fire and police caskets dressed or “art worked” caskets specified to your branch of the service .

You have now been embalmed, laid out in your casket , been viewed and you are off to your final resting place. The cemetery – Here, you – in your casket- will be placed (more than likely ) inside a burial vault, liner etc.


Ever wonder why a burial vault?

Most think it is to give you added protection against ground water and creepy crawlies ( that will be dealt with in Going Green) etc. and to seal you in even further and that is possibly the case but that isn’t the only reason

Most states do not have laws or rules requiring the outer burial container, it is the Cemetery that mostly does. That is because the unit does offer use. It prevents ground collapse around it when a casket fails. The easier maintenance of the lawn and safe walking is assured, as is the safe excavation of ground around a grave liner, for new burials. It prevents unearthing an urn, casket or body when another grave is being dug.

And there you are – lying beneath the surface – all embalmed and made to look wonderful, snug in your casket with its pillows and blanket, protected by seals and concrete and styrofoam liners from all that could reach you for eternity or exhumation ( which ever comes first) ( hey you never know they might need that plot of land one day)

but who is going to save you from yourself?

Sometimes it is not such a good thing to be sealed in –

you could end up in a mess of your own making

. In some cases, a sealed coffin may actually accelerate the process of decomposition. An airtight coffin, for example, may foster decomposition by anaerobic bacteria, which results in a putrefied liquification of the body; all putrefied tissue would remain inside the container, only to be exposed in the event of an exhumation

SOURCE ( can also cause bad breath)

Ah! what lies beneath indeed????? Well another box ticked. I know that I don’t want “me or mine” to take that chance –

Whew!!!!! dodged a bullet there from the “extended family”- !!!!!!


January 19, 2010 at 2:11 am 3 comments

Dark Humour- shedding a light?

Theodore Gericault – “Insane Women”, 1822-1823.

I know some of my friends and acquaintances are becoming quite worried about me – especially considering this latest series. Let me assure you , apart from the physical and emotional pain of losing Chris. I am not yet ready for bedlam – there is a method in my current madness.

So for those who haven’t “twigged it” yet – I have taken a diversion from the main road of “In search of my Son – In search of Me” -whilst trying to give readers a “sound bite” of what you need to know before you make your wishes known. ( especially locally and in the USA).

I am, in fact, exploring my own reasoning for my current “despair” and to give some insight ,for those that care, as to why certain decisions have more than “creased this family with grief and doubt” . I am ticking the boxes of 2nd guessing one by one – SOURCE

Chris had an irreverent sense of humour ( just like his mothers actually) . In fact we even shocked our immediate family from time to time. My “search” and journey to confirm the “essence” we believe was Chris ( since I can no longer ask him ) has to rely on how he still speaks to those that loved him from the day of his birth. These very recent “quips” may give some further insight………

Whilst in Texas( end of October) a text came through from ” she who will remain nameless” with regard to the fundraiser– Chris was told that two funeral homes had donated- Chris turned to me and said :

“You think they are vying for my business?”

Also during his last hospital stay I noticed a chord around his neck ( it was bit like the soccer one he used to wear but a little different) . I hadn’t noticed it before so I thought

“This is a recent addition.??”

I asked “she who will remain nameless”

“What is he wearing on that chord around his neck, I haven’t seen that before?”

Her reply:

“Oh it is a “healing cross necklace” -but don’t worry Chris hasn’t all of a sudden turned Catholic”

I said

Oh! I thought it was ‘T’ FOR TEXAS !

( as of course Texas is where he got the good news that the SGN 35 was working and the Pet Scan showed clear)

Thats funny

( said she who will remain nameless)

When I gave it to him – Chris thought it stood for ‘T ‘FOR TUMOR

but it is a “Healing” cross.

Healing Cross – I can hear Chris saying , as clear as day in my head.

Well – shi*! that didn’t work either!!!!

So you see Chris never lost his irreverent sense of humour even through the Cancer and all that went with it . He was my Chris

and we are who we are……….

“Transatlantic survey of identical twins shows our taste for biting satire and withering one-liners is in the genes

A survey of more than 4,000 twins suggests that humour regarded as typically British – sarcasm and self-deprecation – is linked to genes found in British men and women, but not shared, for instance, by Americans.

and I will be visiting Chris’ humour later as I make the method of my madness clearer. In the meantime the next up in the series will be


January 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm 11 comments



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