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, October 12, 2014

Politicians, Art and Stupid Computers



The dog let me sleep until 10:00 on this fine Sunday morning and that hasn’t happened in a long time. But alas one of his stuffies had to pee and so Levi shoved the bear in my face until I got up and let the two of them out the back door. I thanked them both for the extra sleep. I really needed it after the busy week I’ve had, a week that included seeing the doctor, dentist and audiologist and going to an art class and a fund raiser.

The class:  Friday I got up before the sun and off I went into the morning mist along the river to go to a one day class at the sculpture garden on using pastels. Actually, a half day class and, boy, did the time go fast. We all worked on the same, cookie cutter landscape which made it easy for the instructor to demonstrate technique. She had some of her own work on display and it was impressive. I liked working with the pastels and I can see me dabbling in the median on long winter days.  After class, I had lunch at the gardens and wandered around the temporary exhibit of sculptures from around the world, none of which I’d like to own except for the fact I could sell one and use the money to pay cash for a luxury car or two.  I don’t know, maybe I’m getting too old to understand ‘cutting edge.’ Ya, I know Michael Angelo has already been there, done that with realism----it’s old school---but I still like his naked marble men better than hunks of metal that look like they were produced by a bunch beer guzzling guys in a junk yard in the wee hours after last call. “You wanna have a welding contest?” “Count me in, Bubba!”

Saturday evening I went to a political fund raiser…nothing fancy. It was a hot dogs and beer affair with a handful of political figures coming in to pitch themselves or another candidate. I went mostly because I’ve been going to these for nearly two decades and I know a lot of the people who organize the event. It was more fun when Don was alive and we stayed to the end but I mostly just put in an appearance this year and picked up a bunch of literature. I don’t drink beer but I took a break from my diet to eat a hot dog, beans and chips and to shake a few hands, hoping none of those hands I shook came in contact with someone with coming down with the flu. I really don’t like shaking hands this time of the year…especially at doctor’s offices. Why do they still do that? I learned from Facebook a few days ago that I’ve already been exposed to highly contagious virus that gives you severe diarrhea.  Oh, goodie. If I get it you can be sure I won’t be posting an SOS on Facebook for someone to bring me Gatorade and toilet paper. That’s what phones are for. Is there nothing too personal for young people to post on Facebook?

Have I mentioned lately that computers drive me nuts? You get one thing working just the way you want it, then a mysterious force comes along and changes your settings or otherwise messes with programs and you have to start all over again. It took me several weeks to get my email working after my month in Computer Hell, now it’s gone again. Then yesterday I wanted to edit some photos and discovered I no longer have an editing program, presumably a victim of having to have Windows wiped off my computer and reinstalled. I don’t remember the name of the program I used and loved and now I have to research photo editing programs…and I can’t get back to my eBay sales until I do. I wanted do a heavy round of auctions leading up to Thanksgiving, then quit for the winter months. That’s not likely to happen now. I also can’t do the photo albums and genealogy books I want to work on over winter until I get the photo editing issue resolved. I’m too old for this! Woo is me! I need a grandchild to work some magic on my keyboard and say, “There, grandma, it’s all working again.”

I promised myself I would manage this coming winter’s expectations better than I did last winter in terms of signing up for too many activities that are subject to cancellations due to bad weather. But then the senior hall newsletter came out for November, December and January and I put in my reservations in for eleven events. Add nine Red Hat Society outings and, oops, I did it again. They are predicating another bad winter for Michigan so expect me to be belly-aching, again, about being too chicken to drive to interesting lectures, luncheons, outings and classes or they get canceled due to the weather. Oh, well, as long as all my petty problems remain first world, middle-class problems I am still one lucky widow lady, aren’t I. But if the day ever comes that I have to stand on the deck with a shot gun to protect the dog and his stuffie from ending up in the neighbor’s soup pot then I reserve the right to complain and be heard!  ©



Not the greatest painting, but I haven't picked up a pastel crayon in 35 years and the set they gave us to work with didn't have all the colors I would have liked to use.....excuses, excuses.  The class did inspire me to try the median again, though. I liked it much better than the color pencils I tried last spring and quickly abandon as too frustrating.

16 comments:

  1. You really slept in. I love it when that happens and you're right, it doesn't happen very often.

    Busy, busy day yesterday, but sounded like fun and now I'm hungry for a hotdog. I don't have them often either, but I sure love them.

    You did fill up your winter months. You can pick and chose what you're going to do based on the weather and how you feel about any given event. That's what we do.

    Have a fabulous Sunday. :)

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  2. The way the senior hall events go is you have to pay in advance for reservations and they are non-refundable. But cheap. It cost me $33.00 for the 11 things I signed up for (a few were free). The more expensive things like dinner and plays and concerts, day trips I didn't sign up for because it will be winter. A lot of their things are so popular if you don't get your reservations in the week after the newsletter comes out, you get put on a waiting list, hoping someone cancels out or they get enough people on the waiting list that they can fill a second or third bus, which they frequently do. This year, I'm just being more prepared with projects I can do at home so if I do have to cancel, I won't feel so bad.

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  3. Your pastel is nice. I only wish I could do that. Your winter looks busy. I hope it snows in between your events so you can attend. Twenty events is plenty to keep you busy. Your winter was so snowy last year, I can't imagine it being worse this winter, but...

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  4. The forecasters and Farmer's Almanac both say this coming winter will be just as bad as last year and last year we set records. The following year should start to see them taper back down to normal. I hope! At least I'm lining up stuff to do in the house this year so that should help.

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  5. I think your painting is fantastic!! I love winter, but then, I don't sign up for any events, so it matters not to me if we have a blizzard with 3 feet of snow. BTW--you are a Liberal, you aren't suppose to own a gun!!! and thanks for the reminder--gotta get my flu shot this week!

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    1. My husband was a bigger liberal than me and he collected guns. I know that's the way liberals are portrayed but lots of liberal who grew up on farms like he did hunt and own guns. I did sell them all after he died, though, except for a Daisy. I'm watching Hunger Wars right now and wish I had a bow and arrow set, too. LOL

      Don't forget that flu shot. It's people like you who stay inside all the time, then venture out to the store who will catch it first.

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  6. I first started reading your blog last winter when I, in northern New York State, was feeling like you in Michigan! People were posting pictures of flowers beginning to bloom in March and we were still in a deep freeze. I was a little sad the other day when I felt that I had to pull out my winter jacket (fortunately later in the day I didn't need it).
    Your picture really is lovely
    Regards, Leze

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    1. Thank you! My picture isn't great but I held my own in the class.

      What would we snow bound people have done without the internet last winter? I'm better prepared this year, but I'm still dreading the months to come. I haven't gotten my winter coat out yet by I need to soon.

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  7. i love your art! i need to find some nighttime classes or something, that's when i get so antsy being alone all the time. the days are great but those long lonely evenings...

    smiles, bee
    xoxooxoxox

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    1. Thank you. I'm just the oppose as you. I get antsy during the day and the nights don't bother me. Probably because I grew up with a dad who worked nights and then when I met Don he worked nights as well, so I had a lot of practice being alone after dark.

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  8. That's a cool pastel landscape. You have the touch, girl! Oops! May I call you girl?

    I took a couple welding classes an a local art school a few years back. Yep, you got it right - a lot's produced by a bunch of hooting bubbas in a junkyard. I myself wore my rusty jeans grazed by molten sparks with pride, kind of an 'in your face' feminism. I made a 12 foot sculpture that's still in my backyard. The clematis have climbed all over it, and the lilac bush is almost as tall, but I love it. Back when I made it, I hoped other people would love it, and I'd have a whole new career, and be featured in magazines, and make millions and

    It's super that you've signed up for so much. The triumph of hope over reality LOL

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    1. I don't mind at all being called a girl. I often say, "You go girl!" to other women. But you are too kind in your critique of the pastel. It lacks the brighter tones.

      My husband did a lot of welding to keep his equipment maintained and always wanted to try making sculptures. He knew good art but had never tried anything...too busy living. He would have taught me how to weld but I was actually afraid of having a flame in my hand, thought I'd burn the garage down. I love that you tried your hand at it and still have the proof.

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  9. Wow! I love your art!! I signed up for a watercolor class at Adult Center ... but when the teacher sent me the supply list (over $250), I called to ask for the bare minimum in case I didn't like painting. Nope. All or nothing. But pastels ... hmmmm ..

    I have to get my flu shot also!

    And I hate when the computer does mysterious things! I dislike getting new operating systems more than every few years.

    Feel like coming to Maui for a week or two to escape the snow???

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    1. Pastel sets and paper aren't very expensive. Your watercolor class of supplies reminds me of the ones I bought for pencil drawing and didn't like.

      I wish the computer systems would stagnate and not keep expecting us to upgrade every two years! It drives me crazy.

      Maui sounds tempting but my dog would not give me permission to go. LOL

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  10. Love your pastel. Gotta run…busy day, but not as busy as your winter's gonna be! :)

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  11. I think I'm going to enjoy exploring the median more this winter. Have a good day!

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