primsong: (rainbow)
I usually go swimming in the morning at the local pool, missed yesterday to help a friend with delivery of some furniture, guess it was a good thing - showed up this morning and they told me one of the women we swim with had finished swimming, gone into the locker room, showered and then sat down on a bench and died. 0_0

The medics came and everyone was sent home and the pool shut for the day. I just keep thinking about how she had spent most of the past year dealing with living in a hotel during a remodel of her home which had flooded, and how happy she was to finally be back in her own home, looking forward to a better year ahead. And now she's gone. She didn't get to be in that remodeled home but a couple months...though I suppose it means its all in order if her family needs to sell it now. We really never know how long we have, it's both a shock and a mercy when it is quick.

Crazy stuff.

Old Trek

Feb. 27th, 2015 10:43 am
primsong: (old school)
Aw - rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy.... what a great contribution he brought to the crazy-mazy world of early sci-fi for television.  Old Trek just wouldn't have been the same without his inclusion in that Great Triumvirate of Cheese, Kirk/Spock/Bones.  A salute to the talented Mr. Nimoy is in order as he and Dee settle in to wait for Shatner.

I was only a low-level Trekkie but I have a friend who really went in for it (classic only, thank-kew) - I'll have to check in with her and see how she's doing, she'll be wanting someone who will listen to her talking about him and his character for a while I expect.
primsong: sunrise over Haleakala (clouds)
In about an hour I have to do one of those rotten Grown Up things and be the one to take in one of our parakeets to be put to sleep... or whatever they do. I'm not sure if the avian vet has something like a little birdie gas chamber or what...

Gradually over about four months her abdomen swelled up until she was a miserable bird-balloon, so we took her in to the vet who drew off a huge (for a parakeet) amount of what is essentially egg white - a malfunction of the bird innards that are supposed to make the occasional useless egg instead filling up the whole bird. She was back to her svelte, bright green and otherwise happy self but I knew we couldn't keep on 'draining the bird', it all depended on how quickly it came back.

One month later and she's a bird balloon again and a very miserable one indeed. She's been well loved and had a good life, but she's only 6 so we had hoped to have her longer than this - still, it serves no purpose to have her panting and fluffing and trying to waddle around full of albumen. Poor little Sherbet. I'm glad Freckles and Millie, her cage-mates, are happy with one another so they hopefully won't miss her for very long. Freckles has been nursing her, cleaning her feathers and feeding her seeds, dear little chap.

Drat.
primsong: (blakeneys)
Went to a memorial this past weekend to say farewell to a wonderful old family friend who passed away, full of life and surrounded by happiness as he always had been. Very positive time, church packed with people who all had a story to tell about how he'd been such an amazing influence on their lives. Would that we all could step out of this life with such joyful acclaim, steeped in love and music. Good-bye, Stan... we need more people like you.

In my teen years he was my church choir director, school choir director, jazz choir director, co-director of drama productions, my humanities teacher, my sunday school teacher... to say I saw him frequently was an understatement. He was instrumental in developing my love of music, art history and most of all, in leading me to Christ. I can't thank him enough, nor could any of the many people there.

Met a lot of people I hadn't seen for nearly 30 years, amazing how some have changed so much you can barely tell who they are and others have apparently been stored away in a time bubble somewhere. It is always a marvel to me how many Good People there are in this world, far too easy to forget it with the media so obsessed with the negatives.

Life goes on, bless those who make it a brighter place for everyone.
primsong: (Default)
When I went to see my grandmother, she simply lay as if asleep, though her breathing was labored. I read to her, knowing the 'ears are the last to go' as they say... scriptures, some that would be familiar, some that were about the ending of life and the hope of heaven. Talked with the cousins who were also there, so many of us coming by and going all this past week.

When it was time to go I could *see* her spirit flickering around her body, I *knew* there was another Presence in the room, waiting to see her Home. It was not a surprise, to hear she had passed away later that night, after everyone had said their goodbyes. My almost-grandfather had finally quietly told her it was 'okay to go.' She died within an hour of being given this gift, his permission to leave.

Spent today sorting family pictures with my aunt and mom, putting together something for her service this coming week. It's sad, but at the same time, it's *okay*... We will miss her, but I *will* see her again, and this is the best gift of all.
primsong: (Default)
Y'know, obscure things you learn along the way can come in useful later.
When my dad passed on my brother and I were introduced to the world of Sticker Shock that funeral parlours have. We shook our head at their prices and got our own container for ashes - a koa-wood box - at a local artist's shop, but I remember the prices for all the geegaws they offered.

Now my grandmother is fading fast and I'm helping my folks to figure out what to do - went along with them to the funeral place last night to sit at a fancy table surrounded by all the fancy things people can indulge in for a funeral, like wedding planning in a twilight-zone sort of way. I'd briefed my stepdad on things I'd learned ahead, like embalming not being required and basic plot liners being sufficient but we still ended up with an expensive casket because one aunt simply would not go for the plainer wood box. SO...when we got home I pointed him to the discount caskets I'd found online and that the exact casket could be had with overnight shipping for half the cost. Whew. It's easy to see how people who are emotionally distraught get taken for a ride by these places, I tell you...! 'Souvenir' crucifixes for $20 a pop? Oy. I mean, I know they're just making a living but... yeah.

My stepdad looks at all of this and says he'll be happy if I just cremate him and stick him in Tupperware.

Only real weirdness moment for me was leafing through the 'sample' memorial folders and finding one for my own great-uncle whom I didn't even know had passed away, the last of my grandfather's many brothers. I only vaguely remember him as a barber from my early childhood, but it was interesting anyway.
primsong: (Default)
It's been much too long since I managed to post on LJ, yikes, though I do get by to lurk at least somewhat, enjoying seeing what everyone is up to. Almost the end of another year!

Lots gone by... dad stuff (we ended up giving away the business for a dollar), lost two of our parakeets and now I'm helping my folks with my Grandma who recently had a stroke and is kind of 'not there' for the most part - plus she keeps undressing, lol... that part is kind of funny. What a year, eh? Sounds par for the course for a lot of you.

The church history class I've been teaching has pretty much sucked up the writing time as I'm constantly having to stay ahead with notes, handouts and essays on the various events and personalities. This next week should be fun - Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation plus one of my favorites, Erasmus, next week I get to tackle Henry VIII. Still, I'm really missing my 'fun writing time', reduced to drabbles and the occasional poem is thin rations.

Also working on a gingerbread creation for our Tolkien-inspired Gingerbread contest - anyone who wants to join in is welcome to, good fun. I've never made gingerbread before in my life, but last night found me installing a floor for the tomb of the Stewards and adding dead kings in marshmallow. Heh. We've had an amazing chocolate-gingerbread Meduseld submitted already. Deadline isn't til Jan. 7, if you want to join in.

Looks like everyone managed to survive Christmas so far - now for New Years! (yay) Here's to a fine year ahead, better than any of us are hoping (or dreading?).
primsong: (hamster)
One last trip to Maui, comin' right up... My dad's internment is this Friday, with the parade following on Saturday morning so my 'farewell' trip has started. Thankfully, I'm not alone - my brother will be on the island most of the time and I have a travel companion, a sweet lady from church who has never been which is a helpful distraction. Better to play tour guide and go parasailing than to mope, sez I.

I'm reading some of my dad's poetry at his internment, couldn't think of anything better than his own words.

Here's a rather nice article in the Maui News about the stick horse race, now in his memory: )

I'm the 'daughter' referred to, by my maiden name - I get to present a fancy prize to little kids and thus finally prove that I am not Don Ho's daughter, lol...

As to the store, we couldn't find a buyer in time and had to do a rapid, interesting liquidation of the inventory that is thankfully over with now - but we still have the business name, logo, client list, etc. so some dribble may yet come in...and believe it or not, someone came and pulled out that blasted huge hot-tub on the last day and hauled it off in his truck, hoorah! Sorry if any of you were planning on showing up this week to claim it. ;-)
primsong: (yay)
Maui is truly another world. We have a big ol' hot tub at the back of my dad's store and you think we can get rid of it? We can't even *GIVE* it away. Seems the islands are awash in hot tubs. Folks pay to have them shipped from the mainland, then they move away or upgrade and it costs too much to ship them again. So they're everywhere, too common. No one seems to want his gas range either for similar reasons.

Free hot tub. You haul. I'll even help you yank it out if you come in July.

In other notes, we found the state claimed my dad's savings as backtaxes for a business tax he had been on a payment plan for. We've now found paperwork to show they should have only had claim to half that amount, they say the rest were 'fees'... more phone calls ahead, and vague, sputtering hope but not much.

Whimper.

Jun. 7th, 2007 02:12 pm
primsong: (beach)
Things are going from bad to grim. The state of Hawaii just seized my dad's entire savings. We have nothing left but the value of whatever inventory we can sell if no one wants the customer base and business. I've contacted our lawyer to see if anything can be done, but I expect not, governments being what they are.

:-(

Someone post me something cheerful, please.
primsong: (Default)
My brother and I had to hire more than one person along the way to make sense of all the records my dad left behind of his business, inventory and contacts. We've finally got it done and all papers, records, affadavits, certificates, etc. done and the business is listed for sale -

Within two days of our listing it, the landlord reneged on his former promises that we could keep the store for the summer at the same rent rate my dad was paying him all these years, to have time to sell the business... but he is now *tripling* the rent as of the first of July.

We've suddenly gone from "whew, listed at last, now maybe things are looking up" to "$@%&@!"

My brother has flown back to Maui to shove things into boxes and arrange a storage facility for the inventory, to find a moving company, to work with our suddenly panicked broker, to rally my dad's friends to help us box and move things.

My dad would have roasted that man over a slow fire, without benefit of marinade. As my brother said to him, "We aren't a retail store! We're just some relatives trying to do what's right to resolve this. We don't have that kind of cash." The response? "Well....er....."

Aiyiyi. We haven't even gotten his ashes interred yet and already we've lost his store, probably to someone very upscale and not at all fitting with the old cowboy town. My heart just hurts. I hate greed. Hate it, hate it!

Bulls-eye!

May. 29th, 2007 08:47 pm
primsong: (Default)
Hooray hooray, calloo callay! Two wonderful things in one day!

When my son went out to get the mail, he came in with a fat manila envelope - "Something from Hawaii" he said. "What? No way!!" was my incredulous reply. We've been calling police dept and mortuary and vital records people so long I had rather given up on ever getting the elusive death certificates we need, they had become something elusive, in the realm of fantasy. But sure enough - I have them, a stack of 40 of them, in fact. Need to call my bro so we can decide if it calls for another flight over to Maui or if the mail will serve.

AND... I finally have a bow of my very own.
*cuddles bow and shiny new quiver and pretty unrumpled arrows*
It's a maple recurve, 20# draw so my kids and I can all use it. We had to immediately go out in the backyard and shoot lots of arrows into our rather beat up foam target we got used at the archery place. Yayness!

:-D
primsong: (Default)
How long does it *take* for the (mutter mutter) Hawaiian government to crank out a stupid death certificate?

*yanks hair*

I mean, I know 'island time' isn't the same as 'mainland time' but... We are completely 'stuck' with this estate until those pieces of paper show up.

Reminds me of the tale in which a city-dweller has his car keys swallowed by a cow and is informed by the drawling farmer that it's not a problem, he just has to wait for it to come out the other end.
primsong: (beach)
So, how do I go about guarding a store and its contents when everyone knows the owner has died...and there's only myself and my brother, and he has to come back to California, can't neglect his own life any longer and still have a business left. I may have to fly over again and just be a 'body in the store' with the lights on, then tag-team with him a week at a time. Looking into sending an unemployed friend over there now - still would be expensive, but at least we could both catch up on our 'real lives' while we wait interminably for the state to get the dang death certificates to us. Can't do a blamed thing without them.

My brother emptied one of the shipping containers in the back (a story in itself - my dad sold fireplaces and woodstoves - lots and lots of pipe...), and then loaded the more valuable stuff into it with cut-proof locks, plus we had a security system installed. Here's hoping there's still something left by the time the state lets us deal with it.

I begin to understand how these things can take years to completely resolve, if this is considered a relatively simple one. Flying back and forth from Hawaii may become my hobby this summer. 0.o
primsong: (Default)
I'm back, sort of! Just crawled in very late last night from Maui, my head feels half stuffed with cotton like a Pooh-bear from the time changes and multitude of details still going. Spent a week dealing with people in shock - my dad was a BIG part of his community and everyone knew him, even when I would call up the utilities to get them disconnected or changed, the people on the line would all be "What? He died! But...but..." Always followed by some crazy story about him. Everyone, but everyone had a story. Two guys gathering notes, talk of putting together a book.

They did a couple different articles in the paper for him - my brother called and said a third one just came out, though I can't find that one online yet. Various snapshots in my head )

It's been really wild and very, very surreal, no connection to real life, and very tiring. I spent hours and hours on the phone trying to sort out his papers and get stuff for his business taken care of, trying to figure out the handwritten system he had going in assortments of crates, deciphering scrawls on boxes and trying to find whomever it is so they can get their stuff. My brother is still over there for a few more days and I may have to go back again if the legal stuff gets tangled up. We're trying to sell the business - anyone want to run a bbq/woodstove/hot-sauce business in Makawao, HI? Call me. We have a broker, and he (what else?) knew him.

I thought about you guys - had almost no comp access or extra brain cells to spare while there, but hope all has been well here. Seems like it's been forever to me - hard to believe its only been a little over a week!

A couple brief articles online, if anyone is interested:

http://www.mauinews.com/story.aspx?id=29496

Another I liked - can't find the online link right now - though I must say this reporter got a few of the facts a little scrambled, I met him at the memorial and he was an extremely nice man and really missing his friend -
Maui Nei for Gary )


I'm going back in July, we're putting him in the Veteran's memorial with flag, guns and all right before launching the 4th of July parade he started up. I know I'll miss him - thanks for sharing this time with me.
primsong: (Default)
How do people who constantly live under stress survive that way? This is insane. I'm usually so laid back I don't experience the pressure-cooker effect very often.

The witness portion of the courtroom this morning went all right, a bit surreal but nothing too complicated. The initial verdict however is hard, as my friend lost custody of her girls at least until the divorce proceedings are further along and the girls, whom I had with me in the hall, immediately burst into tears screaming they didn't want to go with him and hated him.
Hard, hard, hard...

Lots of tears later, I got home to pack, answer innumerable phone calls, write obituaries for Oregon and Hawaii, notify more relatives, track down details for the obits, find a picture for said obit to send to local papers, make flight reservations, etc... I'll head out first thing tomorrow a.m., still don't know where I'll stay when I get there. At least we did find a probate lawyer person and have kept his store from turning into an instant 'garage sale'.

On the good side (there has to be one somewhere), we have a good home for my dad's dog and the local aquarium shop has taken care of his tropical fish tanks. All living things are cared for. The entire town loved him, and they are all rallying around to help us and want to hold a big party for him up in the polo fields where he died.

Thanks for everyone's condolances and support - next phase of the adventure begins.
primsong: (Default)
Just found out that my father was watching a polo game on Sunday and had a heart-attack.... it wasn't his first... he's gone.... He has not been a daily presence in my life since I was a kid, but we always wrote, emailed and exchanged gifts as distant friends might - my brother and I are making what arrangements we can now to find out what is happening with his dog, his store, his friends. Police tracked info to my ex-step-mom, who gave them my info as next of kin. Not much mourning yet, just trying to deal with all the details.

Looks like tomorrow I may have my second shot at being a witness in court, then may be going to Maui to help my brother tend to my father's estate - both of us are somewhat clueless. What a spring! I am just so thankful that we managed to get over to Maui to visit him this past September, that he had a chance to meet his grandchildren and they met him before he was gone.

Anyone with advice on how to deal with an estate when it was someone who you hardly knew the private life of living far away from you, do pipe up.

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