Archive for the Famiiy Category

Halloween 2010

Posted in ahh geez, Aule lang syne, back to earth, Bewitched, Bring it, Candy!, Cool, create, eclectic, excitement, fabulous, Famiiy, Friends, Goofballs, Halloween, hand of man, Haunted, Haunting, Kids in Costumes, Oh Yeah!, rare breed, rest, Skeltons, Skulls, Smiling, Stupendous, thanks, Uncategorized, Whoo Hoo, wow on November 2, 2010 by anuvuestudio

Terrifically Haunted fun for all. Another Halloween under our belts. Big thanks to Nicole and Julie for helping save the day. To Scott and Josh, candy professionals with nerves of steel. To Steve and Mitch for your hands on help. To Jim for fantasitc photo attention and being brave around both the young and old. Most important, to Micheal, whom without his patience and hard work, Halloween would never be.

iPhotos generously provided by Jim McGill of

Sea Celebration

Posted in Death, Faith, Famiiy, Father, Honor and Remember, Life, Love, Mother, Personal, solitude, Somewhere Over the rainbow on August 5, 2010 by anuvuestudio

It’s been a rough week, but Monday my sisters called to say our Mother’s ashes had finally become available and they were on their way to retrieve them. Apparently, even in death, So Cal keeps people waiting in line.  I thought it would be a bit difficult to explain that I needed to leave work early so that I could join my sisters in a “Dairy Queen Drive Thru” but apparently nothing I say frightens my co-workers any longer.  Mother’s urn was seat belted in the back beside me as we ordered our cones and toasted her in a “High Five Ice Cream salute”. (Our Mother was an avid fan).

Last evening we set sail to scatter her ashes. The location was our Father’s “Halibut Hot Spot” where he won 3 Halibut Derby’s and where we spread his own ashes 4 years back. I did worry about divulging the exact coordinates to the sea captain… but he was a great guy… and I think our secret is safe. Me, being me…I can’t let things just “be”. I have to orchestrate everything into some sort of organized event…and even though my Father’s “service script” was less than perfect (horrendously funny in fact) due to a storm brewing on the Pacific…I did make another effort for my Mother’s sake …and her memory. My Family indulges my need to do this kind of thing. Each of us has “something”. This habit is all mine.

Our boat was a 48 foot Aquila fishing vessel leaving Huntington Harbor Yacht Club. Heck…I’ve lived in Huntington for 20 years and never even knew we had one! We carted our paraphernalia onto the waiting craft and left the dock at precisely 6:30 pm. We had previously sent candles for people to light in a moment of reflection and remembrance. (That’s our kind of service). Leaving the Harbor, I had recorded Scottish Bagpipes such as “Amazing Grace” and “Danny Boy”. I found the recording “allot less drama” than when I hired the actual Bag Piper for my Father’s service. He seemed to have a previously undivulge “problem” with motion sickness…which ultimately became a “problem” for the previous sea captain.

We traveled through the harbor very dignified, pipes blaring, wind whipping through our hair. There was an emotional moment when we noticed 2 birds following us, very determined to keep up. We don’t cry gracefully like in the movies…more of a choked, red-faced, gasping of air…(much like a fish out of water) but we made it through. We are Krishers after all.

When we arrived at the area, the captain turned the boat toward the secret spot and lowered his anchor. My oldest sister (Cindy) gets embarrassed easily… but she was a good sport when I told her she was now “the Matriarch” and, with that title, she was expected to be the first to speak. I had given her some old sea verse previously (reading is easier) and when she spoke, I felt her power and was enormously proud. My middle sister (Julie) was next (I had previously mentioned to go in ceremonial birth order) (again, can’t help this habit) and she spoke from the heart through tears that made her children cry…which in turn made her Sisters cry. The captain stayed composed thank God. I went next with a prayer and then 3 of my sisters’ children spoke about their Grandmother.

What came next needs a little explanation. My dear Mother (born Protestant Christian) was fascinated by the Catholic religion. She made me watch “all things Fatima” while growing up. I’ve probably seen “The Song of Bernadette” 400 times which makes me want to shout  “I can’t make you happy in this world…only in the next“. She collected those sealed rose petal things that they send out to people on mailing lists. She must have had 40 lying here and there. Years ago when I visited Notre Dame, I even brought back a blessed Rosary for her to hold on to. So naturally, when the time came for Julie to spread the ashes, I tuned the iPod to the most wonderful version of Ave Maria I’ve ever heard (by the very talented Josh Groban). If you haven’t heard it…let me just say…it could bring Satan himself down to his knees…something I’d very much like to see.

Upon release, the ashes hit the wind and gently sailed though the air, falling slowly into the waiting ocean . Cindy followed this by dropping a beautiful heart-shaped wreath that my niece Nicole had made from gatherings in my Mother’s garden. I followed that by scattering handfuls of white rose petals. I must silently thank a neighbor (whom had no idea of their contribution and never will)  because I actually stole them in the middle of the previous night, after having forgot to pick some up at the local florist. I was standing in the shower late Monday night, trying to remember all the things that needed to be done, when white petals popped into my head. I jumped out quickly and retrieved my robe. Armed with cutting shears, I marched around the block until I spied some whites roses growing. I am grateful that nothing embarrassing (like a car) happened by while I stealthily hacked away. I did my best not to leave large, noticable bald spots.

Once the 3 sisters had done their best to celebrate their Mother’s life…we stood and watch that beautiful wreath…surrounded by white floating petals…roll wave after wave through an ocean lit by the golden setting sun. I blame the tears on Ave Maria…but it really was a beautiful, peaceful sight…a fitting end to a beautiful woman’s life.

Ceremony completed, big band Benny Goodman brought us back into a lighter mood. During the next hour I witnessed my sister fall on her bum (she was ok), my niece argue with the sea captain about the merits of the Beatles versus any other lesser band and the captain’s shipmate break out his fishing gear. I felt warmed knowing the world was being set right and that life goes on…even after great loss. I felt my Mother and Father’s presence and I know that they were smiling down on us.

The Heir, The Spare & Me

Posted in Famiiy, keeping positive with tags on August 1, 2010 by anuvuestudio

Dorothy Virginia 1923 – 2010

Posted in Death, Entering New Territory, Famiiy, Father, Heart of the Matter, Honor and Remember, Life, Mother, Uncategorized on July 26, 2010 by anuvuestudio

God Speed Mama. We LOVE you!

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

William Wordsworth

Life, Death & Inappropriate Laughter

Posted in Attitude, Death, Famiiy, Life on July 25, 2010 by anuvuestudio

Mother’s Hand 2010

I’ve had allot of time lately to contemplate life and death  and this is what I’d like to share with you. My Family has been watching my Mother’s slow deterioration due to Alzheimer’s for a few years, and in the last 5 weeks, a major acceleration has begun. In watching the suffering, I’m left with the view that we as people are more humane with our pets than we are with humankind…something I find more than strange. I can clearly remember my Father’s very sensical statement after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was given 6 months tops and asked his Doctor very matter-of factly, “Don’t you have a pill I can take?” I remember thinking…man, that’s bold even for my Father and quite insightful. Why would a man, self-sufficient and strong-willed, want to die without dignity… as his 3 Daughters stood by helpless. As it turned out, he willed himself to die and he went out on his own terms, much in the way he lived his life. And I remember always having a sense of humor mixed with all the tears, to the end and ever after. Humor is the greatest healer in all things and I thank God my Family understands that.

With my Mother, it’s much the same.  She can’t walk or communicate, but insists on being a Lady to the end. Exactly what that means is a private thing but her strength and willpower never ceases to amaze me and makes me smile just thinking about it. When I think about my Parents and the end of their lives, I am left with this view. Yes, we are sad at their loss (even frightened) but we all believe in the next life with God and we know that they will both be happy and healthy again. I also know just how amazingly lucky and blessed my Family has been in that both Parents have been allowed to die in their own home, in their own bed, at a ripe old age. I don’t know one person in my circle to have a Parent that blessed, let alone both. I could not be more grateful and I know this would not have happened without the determination of my sister Julie. Her love truly has no bounds.

For my own future, I have a 50% chance of getting the Disease, since both my Mother and Grandmother were affected, so I am determined to follow a quicker route. If that means wandering into the mountains and being eaten by a bear, so be it. Hopefully I will still be tender enough by then for the bear to enjoy. In the meantime I will continue to look for humor in all the inappropriate places I can find in regards to both life and death.

I recently had to go sign paperwork at the local Funeral establishment that houses half of my Family that has “gone before”. The other half rests about 5 miles North. Not sure why and when the family lines were drawn but my guess is some were just more frugal than others. I imagine some of them realized dead is dead and no extravagance is going to change that fact. The lady that met me was very sweet and concerned but I don’t think she was ready for a Krisher. She gave me her grave voice until I told her the Dearly Departed wasn’t yet departed and that we are just a very organized Family. Understanding, she went to the business voice. I broke in with my Aunt’s recent internment and explained, that only 40 feet away, her entire bowling team had attended her service in the chapel. I smiled when mentioning her bowling ball and it’s front and center placement at the service. I think her only son was several rows back in the pews. My wonderful spirited Aunt, a Krisher,  died at 97 and had the same voice as the lady from that poltergeist movie. My fondest memory of her service was my Mother’s utterance “oh Bullshit” at some exclamation the Minister made. (She was at stage 5). I had great difficulty not shaking my shoulders.

The Funeral Lady continued by asking me several questions about explosive devises which really got my attention. Apparently if you have a pacemaker or metal in your body, you can explode in the crematorium and “they cannot be responsible for the lost remains”. I kept a straight face when I said “Really?…Cooool. I know my Father would have greatly enjoyed that send off”. She smiled tightly and I signed more papers. She then went on about identifying the departed before the cremation. My sister explained this later ” In case they mix you up with a cat or dog”… I also learned that apparently you can also be laid in a cardboard box (included in the price) or something special (extra cost). I don’t know about you folks, but when I go, I don’t give a rats ass if I’m placed in several shoe boxes that have been artfully masking-taped together. Ashes are ashes.

That leads me to give you a brief visual of my Father’s service. He was heavily into fishing his entire life, and in retirement, he turned into a fanatic. When he knew his life was ending, he ask me to turn his remains into fishing lures, knowing full well, if it was possible, I would find a way. Thankfully, as it turned out I was able to change his mind. My idea was a very respectful boat parade leading out to sea, complete with bagpiper, heading to his favorite fishing hot spot. We would circle the magical place in our boats, leaving flowered wreaths after offering a flaming arrow and  poetic words… and then gracefully sprinkle his ashes. I originally planned to send him off viking style with the flaming arrow igniting a boat with his remains but my Sisters were concerned with my jail sentence.

In reality, the bagpiper sounded wonderful going out… and then proceeded t0 toss his cookies all over the floor of the volunteer boat (poor guy we didn’t know), when we hit the high seas. My Mother started screaming in the tossing waves and then got seasick as well. The flaming arrow that was supposed to sail over a small memorial boat wouldn’t light in the wind and the wreaths were thrown in a strewed mess. I remember being pelted in the side of the head by a big bunch of petals while my middle sister clung to the boat for dear life. My eldest sister tried to gently sprinkle the ashes which caught wind and hit me full on in the face and mouth. I should have known there would be mischief the moment we pulled from the dock and passed a boat christened “Le Max” (my Father’s name). We made it back to shore, but not before one of my nephews fell into the harbor waters, trying to exit one of the boats. I’m sure my Father was laughing his ass off that day from somewhere high above.

When my Mother does pass on to the other side, we will again attempt a boat ride out to sea. I know my Sisters are already fretting over sea sickness and any mad schemes I may be planning to honor our Mother’s life. That’s the stuff that makes life worth living and laughing at. It’s what does justice to the memory of my Beloved family. I hope we never lose our ability to laugh at ourselves in moments of deep sadness.

My Mother’s Shoes

Posted in Diagonal View, Entering New Territory, Famiiy, Hope, Life, Love on July 10, 2010 by anuvuestudio

My Mother’s Alzheimer’s disease is progressing to the point that she rarely leaves her bed. It’s a hard thing to watch and even harder because she’s never had the life that she should have. My eldest Sister came down to visit and while both Sisters and my Niece sat around my Mother’s bed, I noticed my Mother’s shoes. It has only been a few weeks since she was up and walking (albeit…slowly) but then she always did walk slowly. To appreciate just how slow, you would have to be a small child on Main Street at Disneyland…waiting for your Mother to hurry so you could catch up to your older sisters…and your Father keeping a respectable pace, forcing you to stay behind.

I felt a certain poignancy, seeing those white shoes. I know she has never liked them, preferring a darker pair of SAS shoes, no matter what color clothing my middle Sister dresses her in. I borrowed my Eldest Sister’s phone camera to take this. She understood the shot, the deeper meaning and why I took it. I look at it now with so many conflicting emotions. I can smile at all the memories and private, inappropriate jokes between 3 sisters. I can tear up at the losses we have survived, yet find great, enduring love in a Family strengthened from hardships shared within the life of one small and frail women. Sometimes it feels like the sun, just breaking through the rain. Sometimes it feels like a heavy weight tied to one leg. Life does that to you. So does Love.

These are the days

Posted in Famiiy, Father, Honor and Remember, Life, Love, Memories, Personal, Smiling, Teacher, Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 by anuvuestudio

I lost my Father 4 years ago today. During his life, the lessons, love and guidance he gave… molded me into the person I became. He was and always will be my Hero and I was so blessed and lucky to have him. I continue to honor his life by living and creating my own memories…keeping him close to my heart.

these are days you’ll remember

never before and never since, I promise
will the whole world be warm as this
and as you feel it, you’ll know it’s true
that you are blessed and lucky
it’s true, that you are touched by something
that will grow and bloom in you

these are days you’ll remember

when May is rushing over you with desire
to be part of the miracles you see in every hour
you’ll know it’s true, that you are blessed and lucky
it’s true, that you are touched by something
that will grow and bloom in you

these are the days
that you might fill with laughter
until you break

these days you might feel a shaft of light
make its way across your face
and when you do
you’ll know how it was meant to be
see the signs and know their meaning

you’ll know how it was meant to be
hear the signs and
know they’re speaking to you
to you

Can we go yet?

Posted in ahh geez, Attitude, baby blue, Famiiy, Images, Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 by anuvuestudio

Family Sitting

Posted in Bring it, Cameras, Famiiy, Generation, Images, photography, Portraiture on March 23, 2010 by anuvuestudio

My Mother Dorothy Virginia, at 87, is still glamorous in whatever new hat we choose for her.

My Mother’s Impish Grin

My Sister, Juliane, sporting a new hat I picked to match her personality.

2010…let’s begin again

Posted in Attitudes, Choices, clutter, Diagonal View, Dreamer, Entering New Territory, Famiiy, Friends, keeping positive, Life, new beginnings, New Year, old endings, Personal, slow down, the story unfolds, Uncategorized, Whoo Hoo, wisdom on December 30, 2009 by anuvuestudio


As this year ends, I find myself anxious to begin the new one, like no other I can ever remember. The actually saying “2010” aloud makes me think of renewed hope, new beginnings, rebuilding, reinventing, while maintaining all I’ve learned from the past year. Some people weren’t affected by the recession but those folks are few and surely fortunate. The majority of us learned hard lessons about extravagance and living beyond our means, taking things for granted and never believing lives can change (and do) in the flash of a moment. In the past weeks, on my travels, I’ve seen and experienced the peoples will to survive under the most dire circumstances…with ingenuity, honor and dignity. I’ve seen some give when there was so little of their own left to give. My belief in the goodness of mankind has been renewed just when I began to forsake it. I find selfish strength in numbers, in mass understanding that we share these difficult times as one world. I know I am not alone in my fears.

I think, we as Americans, have long been spoiled and “over-blessed” with a multitude of unnecessary “things”… failing ourselves… our children and our neighbors on the most basic levels. We must pay more attention to loving, understanding and accepting one another than we waste on arguing our own opinions, religions and staunch beliefs. All the politically correct words in the world don’t feed those who go hungry at night nor hug the loneliest among us. We must be willing to not only listen to those suffering most but to offer our hands in ways that actually do make the difference. We need to leave behind wasted time on the unimportant fluff.  We’re just now re-learning the simplest things that make us the most happiest with the least cost to our pockets…and souls. It’s time to relinquish the cells phones long enough to breath the fresh air and see the magic that God gave us with appreciative eyes. It’s time to finally “see” the beauty and wonder around us and live our lives in simplicity.

I look back at what I’ve lost in a year…my Gallery, my job description, my uterus, the curve in my left cheek, three-quarters of our combined income, a fancy car, two mentors and one very dear friend. To that, I compare what I’ve gained…white eyebrow hairs, simplicity, fairly impressive barbeque skills, some weight, a new group of artistically gifted friends, a mysterious pirate scar, more patience, old wisdom and renewed eyes to finally see the world around me. I thought I’d be older when this epiphany happened. Maybe I just needed to be forced to choose to. I am grateful for all the winding roads that lead me to be a stronger woman, a wiser person and a better human than I ever would have been without being shown the way. Low and behold…I find I gained even from all I’ve lost.

I wish for all of you, those I’m blessed to know, those I don’t know yet and those I never will…a happy, happy New Year full of all the love and happiness you deserve, the eyes to notice it when it’s in front of you and long arms to reach out and grab it when you realize you actually can.

2010…to new beginnings.

Love Heather