Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Widow With a Bad Memory and a Full Day Planner


I’ve been so busy this week and yet I can hardly remember what I’ve been doing.  One thing I do recall is that this week brought with it the best quesadilla I’ve ever had in my entire life and on the same day that I saw one of the biggest, waste-of-money movies of my life. I could live on the Fajita Republic’s chicken and lime quesadillas and I nearly had to because I was so busy I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store. I ran out of everything except oatmeal, bananas, lemon ice tea mix and pickle relish and that’s what I lived on for three days. (See why that ‘doggie box’ came in handy!) I’d like to see the HGTV Chopped cooking show offer up that combination in one of their mystery baskets. Today I finally went grocery shopping and came home with a receipt that reached from the tip of my fingers to my elbow listing things that are too mundane to share.

The highlight of yesterday, I do remember, was having an electrician/nephew-in-law come to the house to install five new smoke detectors. I am now the proud owner of smoke detectors with lithium power cell batteries in them that don’t have to be changed for ten whole years and the piece de résistance of the deal is that they are no longer hard-wired together. As a widow with bad bones and an aversion to standing on ladders, it’s a huge deal that I no longer have to go through the twice a year ordeal of finding someone to help me do the despicable job of changing batteries on the ceiling. This last time---that prompted the new installation---a friend and I spent two whole hours trying to get the stupid old detectors to quit beeping after the new batteries were installed and that included getting online to find a troubleshooting website and calling the fire department for advice. We finally took them all down from the ceiling, took the batteries out and even then they each had to give out one final wail of disapproval. I was ready to bury them in the back yard. My sweet nephew-in-law wouldn’t let me pay him but did request a batch of cookies. Oh, great. I haven’t made cookies in fifty years. I wonder how many I’ll have to bake before I make a batch worthy of bringing over to his house. Thankfully, he wants peanut butter cookies “like his grandmother used to make” and I seem to remember they are quite easy to do.

This past week I also volunteered to help do spring cleaning at the senior hall. I won’t be doing that again. I had forgotten how much the smell of bleach bothers my asthma and breathing. It’s been years since I’ve had it in the house. I half expected I’d be making a trip to ER that night, but by morning I was fine again. The senior hall director would like everyone who goes there to volunteer twice a year to help with something and I’m getting my second work commitment done next week when I’ll help set up and serve refreshments at an enrichment lecture about South Africa. I’m really not good with serving people but I can fake anything for a couple of hours. They will never guess I never went to the Nancy Reagan School of Charm and Decorum.

e-Bay researching, listing and closing auctions and finding stock for my mall booth took up the better share of two days this week and probably will continue to do so until fall when I’ll wind both activities down. It’s a lot of work but I’m good at it and it’s kind of fun at the same time. So far, it’s not as emotionally taxing this year to see Don’s stuff go up for sale as it was last summer so that’s a plus. And I know he’d be happy with the judgments I’ve been making. For example, I have a one inch can cap up for auction right now that has 78 watchers on it so tonight I’m expecting a bidding war on something that most people---including my heirs---would throw out. It belongs on a can that goes for upwards of $2,000. Some guy with a cap-less can will be really happy when the auction is over and he can upgrade his can’s value and its coolness factor. If you happened to have watched American Pickers this week and saw Frank pay $3,500 for a rusty can you’ll understand how much fun it can be to make a crazy collector guy happy. Tonight I’m also testing putting some of Don's collector guide books up for auction. I would love to be able to make room in the library for all my how-to crafting, cooking and quilting books. I have not been able to lay claim to that room in the house yet...it still belongs to the dog and Don.

This is how my world turned this week and as a country song I heard today said, “Busy doesn’t mean I’m happy but I’m happy I’ve got something to do.”  Well, that not exactly what the song said but I lost the scrap of paper I wrote the line down on, so this paraphrasing will have to do for now. ©

9 comments:

  1. A busy week is a good week--most of the time. I do get worn out if I have too many places to go in one day or appointments two days in a row. I am a Monday person--like my appointments on Monday's, 2:30 in the afternoon. We are having a lot of rain this week, so--perhaps you can get to the DD room (Don and Dog). LOL

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    1. I'm the same way about appointments, I also have a favorite day and time I like to schedule things. It helps in retirement to still have a rhythm to your week.

      I can't believe all the rain and cold temperatures where still getting! the end of April and my furnace is still running and I'm still wearing my winter coat!

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    2. Still have ice on Lake Michigan and Superior is still at 60% covered in ice. Never been this way before. Amazing.

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  2. You have had a busy week. Good for you on getting those smoke detectors changed. What a good idea. Ten years!

    I think your antique business sounds very interesting. I used to love to hunt and pick in antique malls, but I never had the knowledge you do.

    Peanut butter cookies are good and easy. Do you put chocolate kisses on yours?

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    1. I saw some P.B. cookies when I was looking for recipes that had chocolate kisses on them but I'm going to stick with something as close to the nephew's memories of his grandmother's cookies as I can get.

      I still love to look in antique malls but I rarely buy anymore. I want to go from a cowboy/western themed living room to a beach cottage theme someday. Then I will have fun buying again.

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  3. Quesadillas and caps. I like the sound of that. It will be nice when you claim shelf space in the library. I get how difficult it is to relinquish things - it drives home the fact that someone isn't coming home any more. On the other hand, filling those shelves, and your days with subjects of interest is pretty inviting.

    By now, have you sold the can cap and baked the cookies and served refreshments? Here outside NYC, I'm still cleaning the gardens. Plants are at least a week behind, probably two. And I'm in the midst of remodeling a bathroom, playing general contactor, painter and bank ATM.

    I'm praying for an unforgettably wonderful summer, and I think it's coming, for all of us. Don't we deserve it?


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    1. I have not baked the cookies yet---I have to buy ingredients and find a day to be home. But I will do it. I thought of cheating and buying them but my nephew-in-law went out of the way to help me so I won't cheat. I did set up and serve at the senior hall and that went well and the time went fast.
      And I sold the cap for a great price. I have to get through all Don's stuff before I go blind with all the tiny things he liked. LOL

      Lucky you! I would love playing general contractor. I would to build another house, too.





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  4. 78 watchers on a cap can? Count me fascinated. I may Google it and be watcher 79! (Although I expect you've gained more watchers.) Fascinating stuff.

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    1. It's been sold and shipped already but I'm sure I'll run into another. My husband had collector "bug boxes" full of tiny things for me to send off to eBay hell. Got all the big stuff sold last year.

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