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Bertha Venation

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA
Current location: Charles County, MD
Member since: Wed Oct 15, 2003, 08:30 PM
Number of posts: 21,467

Journal Archives

a question about journals

I just noticed that my journal hasn't been recording the threads I've recently marked for journal. Anyone know why? Thanks.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Tue Jun 12, 2012, 01:08 PM (7 replies)

My sister's TLC, my grandma's last days. (May be disturbing to some)

My paternal grandmother, Florence Elizabeth Janzen Harris, was born on Monday, February 19, 1917. She died on Friday, October 27, 2006.

I moved away from my native home in Southern California in 2000. I last saw Grandma two years before she died. I was not there to spend time with her as her dementia progressed. My sisters were, and did. Before she moved to "the home," they each visited her several times a week and helped her with everything imaginable, from cleaning her house to clipping her toenails. After she went to "the home," they each visited her at least once a week, although she didn't know them. She always seemed surprised to see any visitors, usually saying "Are you here for ME?" then smiling when the answer was "yes." She seemed to understand when my sisters explained that she was their grandmother. On every visit, she asked -- several times -- "Do you have a man? Do you have babies?"

I recently asked one of my sisters, Marie, with whom I correspond by email all day through the workday, to tell me about when Grandma died. I remembered only that she had asked them both, as she lay literally on her death bed, "Is it ok if I go now?" This was my sister's reply:

"We were both there, I don’t remember who she asked. There was about half an hour where she was fully lucid and in the right time period, where she knew who we were and was able to carry on an actual conversation (not just “do you have babies?”). That was fantastic, and they say it happens often at the end. I think it was the next day, as they were preparing to take her to hospice, she was really sick and out of it. Feverish and delirious, she kept throwing off her covers and gown and pulling off her oxygen. I went in a little before Denise and found her fully exposed and asleep, so I covered her before Denise came in. Denise said she couldn’t have handled that. Not sure why, maybe because she’s so “proper”?

"I went to the hospice and saw her as soon as she’d been put in a room; she’d messed herself. Nurse cleaned her up and when I went back in, she was fully exposed again. As I began to cover her, nurse said it’s really best not to. She’s dying, at least she should feel comfortable and if she wants to be naked, we’ll let her. So I let her. I stayed for a while, but she never came around enough to realize I was there. She died early the next morning."

I miss my grandma so much.

Grandma in 2004, sharing her cooky

Posted by Bertha Venation | Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:50 PM (2 replies)

THUNK! Or, Let That Be A Lesson To Me

I was so proud of myself. My two major accomplishments in the last week: 1. lost 11 pounds my first week, and 2. did not have hot dogs & beer at the ball game last night (in fact, had only diet iced tea).

It's true, I "fell down" -- ate off-plan -- three times this week, but I'd done that the previous week, too, and lost 11 pounds! So I expected to see a loss when I weighed in this morning.

I saw a loss, all right. Six-tenths of a pound. THUNK!

Besides falling down three times, I've eaten fruit, which is definitely not in the plan. I guess I'll redouble my efforts to stay within the rules of the plan, and stop eating fruit.

I'm a little discouraged, but not terribly.

Thanks for listening.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Sun May 20, 2012, 07:41 AM (7 replies)

A lot of people have questioned me on this.

My name isn't in praise of DW Griffith, or his movie, or the klan, or racism.

It's taken from a play/movie by Harvey Fierstein called "Torch Song Trilogy." It's the name of a drag queen.

That's all.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Fri May 18, 2012, 01:52 PM (2 replies)

Ah, yes, the sign-off. When we stayed at Grandma's

she'd let us sit on the floor in front of the TV (the big black & white console TV, encased in wood and on wooden legs) and watch TV until sign-off. When she heard the national anthem, she'd come in and send us all to bed.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Fri May 18, 2012, 11:16 AM (1 replies)

Can you offer any comfort to two women grieving over torn-out trees?

All around us, for years they've been clearing forest-type land to build houses, townhouses, and apartments. I am furious about this, and there's not a god damned thing I can do about it.

This morning, as I left the house, I saw a big machine with a giant bucket extended, flying (it seemed) toward one of four large trees surrounding an abandoned farm house. Before they began development, they staked the ground around these trees with orange snow fence stuff, leading us to believe that these trees would be spared. Great idea, we said to ourselves. If they have to ruin this land and our semi-idyllic existence here, at least they have these trees to add a little grandeur to the place.

We couldn't have been more wrong. That big yellow machine barely stopped before the bucket fell, stripping the branches off the tree.

I have never been more heartsick. I have no words to describe it.

I doubt there's any comfort to be had; still, have you any ideas on how to ease the grief a little?
Posted by Bertha Venation | Fri May 18, 2012, 09:18 AM (16 replies)

My aunt has right-side congestive heart failure

and is on oxygen 24/7. She is only 60 years old. I just heard a couple of days ago.

We haven't seen each other in about 20 years, and we don't correspond much, so we're not close. But we love each other very much.

Do you have any experience (first-hand or otherwise) with this disease? I'm eager to learn. Wikipedia is on my list for today.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Mon May 14, 2012, 09:03 AM (9 replies)

Eleven pounds lost in my first week on Medifast

I am shocked and thrilled! I had to get on and off the scale four times because I didn't believe it.

Some of the stuff in the plan is vile -- the tomato soup is the worst -- so some of it's going to waste, which isn't good. But as I go on I'll find the stuff I like and it'll get easier.

I am very happy!!
Posted by Bertha Venation | Sun May 13, 2012, 08:49 AM (12 replies)

Catnip Abuse PSAs

Law enforcement officials, cat counselors, and state legislators agree—catnip (called “Nip” on the streets) is tearing apart families and destroying lives. Please take a second to read these important catnip PSAs and share them with your cats or kittens. Nip: Not even once.

More at http://tinyurl.com/catnip-psas
Posted by Bertha Venation | Wed May 9, 2012, 09:36 AM (7 replies)

In sum, because I'm forty-nine years old and I'm still a tomboy.

I’d rather be outside than in. I like getting dirty. I like to sweat. And dresses are icky. Nothing’s changed since I was a very young girl. I’ve always been a tomboy and I will be a tomboy on my deathbed.
Posted by Bertha Venation | Thu Apr 26, 2012, 02:46 PM (1 replies)
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