jump to navigation

Dolores Krause- so glad to call you my mother in law April 19, 2010

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

My husband’s family comes from a tradition that does not eulogize their dead.  I find that difficult because for me a eulogy is a gift; it gives friends and families time to pause and remember while crying and laughing about the loved one they lost.  So this is my written gift to my mother in law, Dolores Krause, who died April 15th, 2010.  As I write it I will laugh and cry, because I already miss her.  Dolores liked to laugh and she had an engaging spirit that made even new acquaintances feel like old friends.

She was the epitome of the stereotypical Minnesota homemaker:  baking, sewing and keeping a tidy home both physically and spiritually. We are left with recipes for cookies and hot dishes and memories of frozen snickers bars and layered jello salads.  We can display intricate counted cross stitch and as her eyes aged her embroidered linens.  She was the definition of grandmother.  Each of her 8 grandchildren felt as though they were the sun, moon and stars when with Grandma Krause.  They were.

Dolores was the most organized person I have ever met.  There are records of every purchase- how much was spent on the Kodak  35 mm  camera and the digital one that replaced it. She loved geneology and documented every branch of the family.  She saved letters that John wrote to his elementary school aged brother James, when he was in college. She saved news paper clippings and documented family events. As I write this boxes of records, negatives and photographs sit tucked into every corner of their apartment.  The research was all physical.  She wrote letters. She read newspapers. She sleuthed her tree and those of her children.

Dolores was spiritually centered.  She lived her Lutheran roots and trusted God.  She did not advertise her religion; she never proselytized.   Hers was personal , sincere belief.  At the same time, she accepted people whose beliefs were different from hers-  she accepted me totally as her daughter in law and loved me as a daughter through the years, celebrating our family’s life events in the synagogue without restraint and with total  support.

I learned spirituality through Dolores.

Although I know the dates are documented in the binders we have yet to read, she was a Mayo Clinic patient for several types of cancers starting in the early 90’s.  It started with an ocular cancer, and then breast. In 1993 the diagnosis came back as multiple myeloma.  Until recently, we did not realize what a grim prognosis multiple myeloma is. This cancer of plasma cells affects 3 in 100,000 people each year. Only 35% of diagnosed patients survive the disease 5 years. (American Cancer Society)

Dolores lived a joyful, loving, full life for 17 years after her diagnosis!!!!!!! We attribute this to several things:

  1. She was lucky enough to get into one of  Dr. Philip R. Greipp’s clinical trials.
  2. She did EXACTLY what Dr. Greipp and her support team (including dieticians) asked her to do.
  3. She had the loving support of a husband who adored her.  When she needed help, he completed her. She was surrounded by friends and family who helped her keep her spirits when she needed boosts.
  4. Finally, she trusted God that everything would be okay.

I am so glad we had the gift of all of those years, since statisticians would have bet against it.  As one who has never understood the mother in law jokes, I have learned so much from my mother in law over the past 30 years.   I already feel a huge hole in my heart.  I will miss you, Dolores.

Most of all, I will miss your sense of humor and ability to laugh (at yourself;)  I will miss the lilt in your voice.  I will miss your unquestioning love and devotion to family.  I will miss your pragmatism and beauty that you brought to my life.  I will miss the mother in law I love.  Your spirit will continue to guide my life.

The FURRY TRUTH about Siberian Cats April 11, 2010

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,

It’s been about a year since my utter frustration with Siberian cat breeders advertising that their cats were low shedding animals, because this was not our experience.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chloe, who is about 6.5 years old and 12 lbs., sheds a mountain of fur, as evidenced in the photo.  This is about one year’s worth of fur collected from daily brushings.  If you are considering a Siberian, which we consider to be an AMAZING breed of cat,  also know that whether or  not you  brush your baby daily this fur will not only end up everywhere in your house, but you will also be cleaning up daily hairballs.  (Chloe still gets hairballs, especially twice a year during her fall and spring molts.)

So why adopt a Siberian if they are so fur intense and hairball prone?

Although not all Siberians are created equal, as a breed they produce less of the allergen inciting protein, FEL d 1, that humans cannot tolerate.  Because of our daughter’s allergies, we had pretty much given up ever getting a cat.  When we found out about this breed, it was as if all of our cat dreams came true.  Now Chloe is an integral part of our family. Even when she sleeps with our daughter, there are no reactions.

Talk about playful!   Even at 6.5, Chloe plays hide and seek, chase and other games that most relegate to dogs.  When she was younger, she would fetch and slide down inclined planes with glee, although it has been quite awhile since we have tried either of these.

The doorbell rings and Chloe is front and center seeing who it is.  Everyone is a new best friend, even the pizza guy!

Animal Planet explored siberians on one of their shows. Search animal planet siberian on youtube and you might find their clip (They moved the link that I used to  list here.  I was happy that Cats 101 was truthful about the Siberian coat and shedding, because it was the first time that I had actually seen that.  They did a nice job in summing up the wonders of the Siberian breed.