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December 2019

An Obituary ~ this one is Joel's - 2015

Well, Shoot!  I’m dead.
Should have told you a couple of weeks ago, but Kate has the only fingers I can use and she just hasn’t felt the creative urge to write like I do.

I left that ratty ol’ body behind on August 7,, 2015, and slipped into the coolest pair of wings you ever saw. But you know me; no plain ol’ white ones for me!  Mine are bright turquoise and hot pinks and huge and fluffy. I didn’t spend a lot of time leaving once I understood just how sick that body was. But we had a grand ride, especially those last couple of decades. Wow!

Just so you know, we thought we were chasing heart valve trouble, but the sneaky thing that actually took me out was liver failure. Who knew?!!
I left a few folks I care about behind. Kate Winner was my wife of 21+ years.  She took damn good care of me over the years, and stuck right by me all the way…well, she’s still living, so I guess she’ll have some catching up to do later on. And I must mention our kiddos, Bearly, Mango, and Maxie.

I was born in Fremont, MI, over 7 decades ago. Still holding down the fort in the Midwest for me are my siblings: my sweet baby sister, Chris Carothers, in Ann Arbor, MI; my brother Curt Carothers, in White Cloud, MI; and sis, Cathy Carothers; two most favorite cousins: Rilee Thompson-Masters in Baldwin, MI, and Jane Thompson, back in Fremont, at last; and some great nieces and nephews: Maya, Luke, Neil, Elec, Alan, Kevin, Dalton, Kelsey, and Cody, and Rilee’s grandkids Leah and Lane.
My Ruidoso posse, aka The Girls, include Kathryn Walker, Marcia King, Carol Freeman, Mary Taylor, Susan Finch, and Nancy Bradford; great friends, golfers, Karaoke Crooners, and Hand & Foot players. And Shaula Cull who never failed to answer the call from Kate about house and cat care, and who took Kate to LOOOONNG lunches when she needed a break; and Andrea Radow in Albuquerque, whose hospitality and support were invaluable to Kate in the last several weeks. If this were Kate’s obit, she’d mention Jim Blackburn and her CheeBees, too. They are helping her out even now.
There are others whose names should be here, but I can’t get Kate to pull those names out of the air, though I’m shouting them at her pretty loudly!

Back in the day, I was a great trumpet player, getting two summer scholarships to Interlochen during high school. I even had a hand in starting the first Gay & Lesbian chorus in Chicago. I loved golf, too, and got to be pretty good at it, playing often, especially with my great friend, Fran, who was waiting for me when I got here. I also enjoyed writing: poems, screenplays, books…may even get one published posthumously. Cool, huh?! I loved travel and am still a little miffed that I will miss the cruise in February! Sue, Chris R, and your partners better have a rockin’ good time, that’s all I’m saying!

Kate and I would like to thank a lot of people. The Angel Team are those friends who stayed in touch throughout this last summer and filled the air with prayer, meditation, positive energy, and help with the chores; our ‘Not Doctor’ Amanda Smithers, PA, who spoke real truth to us at a time when we needed it; the team at Presbyterian Kaseman Hospice in Albuquerque, who took care of both of us in the ‘last days’.  If you need a cool, peaceful place to croak, that’s the one!

And on a similar note, here’s some advice you need. Never miss a chance to have a good time or say I love you. And talk about what you want your ‘transition’ experience to look like with those who may be walking it with you. Kate keeps a “Croaking” folder; it’s a good idea.

And lastly (unless I decide to haunt you), I meant to throw my own pre-death wake with loud music, probably some Karaoke, and always great food. I didn’t get it done, and Kate hasn’t a clue… so, remember me in your own way…on a golf course or a BEACH or a cruise. It won’t matter and I’ll know!

There have been two other remembrances written about me. They both make me smile. And in case you’re interested too, you will find them at these links.
This one published in The Windy City Times: (lots of photos here)
and this one written by my nephew Alan Winner:

July, 2012


Who's going to write your obituary?

Information for this post came from this Washington Post article linked to Facebook.

Obituaries seem almost a thing of the past. And they can get really expensive, really fast.
Most newspapers these days might give you a column inch for free, maybe, but you won't get space for any real information.

If you type "How to Write an Obituary" into any search engine, you'll get a boatload of articles. Blogger, mortuaries, death doulas, etc. all have opinions on how it should be done. When I searched for HT publish an obituary for free, I got only 2 links.  You can hire a professional to write one for you...for a cost that could be $100 or more.

I didn't use a professional.
Joel had always meant to write her own. Did she?    no.
Had no real clue as to what...  knew I wanted her to have one. Turned out she got two. :)
I had to wait for inspiration before I could write hers, though I started it many times.  I started it first in the weeks not long after she died.
But she didn't actually inspire me toward the right words until November. We celebrated her on what would have been her 75th birthday in 2015.

Joel's obituary was published in the Ruidoso News (at almost $300 - she paid it from her life insurance!) and was published online here.
I'm proud of it. :)
And I've started my own. Its tentative beginning sounds like this, and includes notes:

"Title: Hallelujah! I’m finally dead!
I died contentedly on _________, from the consequences of the choices I made in my life. What a Ride!   (you can edit in a disease, if you must, and if I had one.)"

It goes on from there, but you'll have to await publication to read it all! :)

So, what do you think? Are you writing your own? want to?
Let's talk...


December 13, 2019 ~ Supplements +

Ten of us were present yesterday; that included our guest, Kim.

At the start of the meeting, we reviewed our 'Rules' and had her introduce herself to us.
LB was the only one who did not already know her, at least casually.

I called for any Leftovers but we had none.

Then we turned the conversation over to Irma who facilitated our discussion on Supplements. Her primary resource was Consumer Reports Magazine, Issue of December 2019, which focused entirely on that subject. (The magazine is in our lending library if anyone wants to read it.)

The CR issue also includes evaluations on some of the supplement manufacturers and whose products are best/purest.

I made notes of 4 types of supplements the magazine suggests that most of us need:
Fish Oil
Vitamin D

Our group includes several women with varying degrees of knowledge and experience with similar products and we learned a lot from each other.
NE noted that she has dropped fish oil and is using hemp seeds instead, for the taste and for the burping taste later on, and because the seeds are a food product, not something extracted from something else. My words; made sense to me!
There was considerable discussion of Vit. D, and NE (resident medical expert) made clear that D3 is preferred to any other.

Several of us use turmeric or have used it. We learned that it is best absorbed when combined with black pepper! Never heard of that, but will check it out.  LB told us that supplements in LIQUID form are more quickly absorbed and, because the gut has less work to do, it is less likely to cause gut issues.

The discussion included PRE-biotics as well, and we learned that these are really the foods on which the PRO-biotics live. I learned that pre-biotics include fermented foods such as yogurt and keffir; gonna have to retrain my palate for that! :)

NE also listed the blood tests that we, as women, should have done on a yearly basis. We would ususally have to ask for them as they are not included in traditional blood tests.  These tests include:
Chemistry - electrolytes & liver function
Thyroid panel
D-3 levels
Lipid levels

Online resources say these tests measure the following things (links provided).  I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Take care of yourselves.

The CBC (complete blood count) measures white & red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, platelets, among others. See details here.
Blood Chemistry Screening measures electrolytes, other chemicals found in blood, and information on organ function. Details here.
A Thyroid panel measures thyroid hormones and their components. More here.
Vitamin D has to do with bones and teeth. Info here.
Lipid Levels are tests to measure cholesterol. More information here.

Some of my key take-aways from this discussion are these:
The source matters. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA. (not that I consider the FDA to be the "last word".)
Nutrition from food is always preferable to non-food sources.
We will be better served to pay attention to our own bodies. and learn how they inform us about what we ingest.
I don't know nearly enough about my own health.
I remain unclear about how much change I will make/tolerate in my current pantry and fridge.
I am old enough to die.   :)

I will restate the disclaimer: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. 
The meeting yesterday, and this posting, are for your evaluation only. Nothing is being recommended to you by me. And even though our group includes a doctor, she is not mine, nor yours.  I value her opinions a Lot, but she does not know my body. I think she would say the same.
(NE; add a comment to this post if ....  )