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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Widow's Dog and her Diet



 
This past week, the dog had been showing an unusual level of interest in something going on underneath a shrub in the front yard.  Today, I found out why. Just before I was ready to walk out the door to go to the dentist, Levi made a quick trip outside to pee and when he came back in he was chewing on something hidden by his long Schnauzer beard. I almost didn’t check it out and I’m so glad I didn’t make that error in judgment. When I pried his jaw open I discovered he’d brought a bird inside!  At least it was dead. The last time I had to pry his jaw open a live toad dropped out. Thankfully, it wasn’t a species that makes dogs sick but I had a heck of a time catching the thing before he disappeared under the couch.  

Minus the bird prize that Levi wasn’t happy about giving up, he still had a great day. Going to the dentist I drove by (and over in one case) four dead skunks. Nothing makes Levi happier than inspecting the wheels on my car when I return home from an outing and he actually finds something of interest. The minute I unlock the door coming in from the garage, he’s there to do his walk-around my Malibu. I think he was a detective in a former life. He also checks my pant legs for signs that I’ve been cheating on him with another dog or cat. And in the mornings if I sleep later than he’d like he checks to see if I’m still breathing, his lips pressed against mine in case he has to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  Ohmygod, I’m setting the alarm the rest of the week or he’ll give me his dead bird germs!

I had my first weigh-in at the drink-a-diet-shake-and-talk meeting. Five pounds down in five days. I don’t expect that kind of results to last long but it was a great way to kick off my get-fit project. They have me eating high-protein snacks throughout the day so I feel like I’m getting more calories, now, than before. In addition to the snacking and two shakes a day, you have to have one healthy meal of whatever you like and I can honestly say I’m not missing the sugar fixes and Starbucks I’ve become too dependent on lately. I did a bad thing, though. I was at my doctor’s office yesterday for my biannual appointment and I didn’t run this diet plan past him. Not that he’s the boss of me, and I did check the product out on the internet for safety alerts and I couldn’t find much. He’s big on Weight Watchers and I know it works but all that talk of cooking, recipes and counting points whips me into a cross-eyed frenzy. Weight Watcher math is time consuming and you’re always thinking about food! It’s not unusual for me, though, to go on a diet from Halloween through New Year’s. If nothing more, it keeps me from gaining with all the holiday temptations around.

Also on my agenda this week of old people maintenance obligations to do before winter sets in I had my first annual checkup at the hearing aid center. Yes, the little buggers are still annoying in large places with all the background noises amplified. No, I didn’t drop one of the aids in the toilet or otherwise compromise its functionality. And begrudgingly, I bought the insurance against things like that happening, says the woman whose dog destroyed two of her deceased husband’s hearing aids. Earwax is so tasty, mom! Crunch, crunch.

When the Baby Boomers die off, what are younger people going to do for jobs? Think about all the services and products that it takes to keep us old people up and running. The economy will go down the drain. Housing values will plummet with a glut of unsold grandma houses on the market. City budgets dependent on real estate taxes will suffer. But the solution to those problems that the long-range government planners want---increased immigration of younger people to bring on another baby boom---isn’t flying right now. They say we can’t be a strong force in the world without something driving our economy like the Baby Boomers have done for their entire lives. Others argue a larger military complex/industry can drive commerce better than babies. Babies or building weapons of war, what a choice! It’s all too complicated, isn’t it? Thankfully, I’m from a generation of women who can imitate Scarlett O'Hara and say, “I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.” Well, aren’t I little Miss Sunshine today?

Speaking of sunshine, the dog is laying in his own ray of that warm, wonderful stuff coming in through the dining room door. I wish I could do that, but alas I need to step away from the keyboard and make myself useful. I have a garage to clean, perennials to cut back and three door frames to paint this month so I can check them off my fall to-do list. Gone are the October days when I had rake leaves, take down screens and put storm windows up, or to help get snow plow equipment moved out of storage and I am grateful for that. Not having to work so hard is one of the perks of growing older and I’ll take all of those kind of perks I can get. ©

14 comments:

  1. Way to go on the five pounds. That's really great. Really great.

    Levi is a sharp cookie isn't he. A fierce hunter, that's what he is.

    I hadn't thought about the baby boomers but you're right. I'm one of those grannies too.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I have a cattail bog close to the house and when Levi was younger he was constantly catching toads. I had to stand outside with him at night to stop him. Now, he usually just touches noses with them. Pets sure add to our lives, don't they.

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  2. I like how Levi lays on his tummy with his hind legs out behind him. I wish I could sleep on my stomach, but alas--it makes the hips and back hurt. Good job on the weight loss--I could be a Debbie Downer and tell you it's just water weight loss, but I won't. WW drove me stark raving nutz too.

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    1. You're not telling me anything I don't already know. But that 5 pounds of water weight loss sure brought my blood pressure down and that's a good thing. Until weight loss shows up in the form of looser fitting clothing, I don't get excited. I am drinking so much water it's not funny---121 oz. a day.

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  3. It's interesting to think about all the jobs that are being created in order to care for people getting older. In our little rural area, medical services have been expanding, as have independent and nursing homes. All the social service jobs and technical medical jobs have also been expanding. Unfortunately there isn't much else to keep employed people in this area, so most young people graduate and move away. It does not make for a very viable ecomonic structure.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. It doesn't because we all know the Boomers will die off and those jobs will go away. BUT that will take place over a twenty year time period before those jobs and building will dry up again and they need a new growth industry on the horizon to take it's place. No one worried about that when the Boomers were being born and all the baby product manufactures took off, and when they became of school age and new schools were going up all over, new teachers being trained.Then the teen Boomers drove the entertainment business, and so on until now when it's medical the Boomers need.

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  4. I have been fascinated by how we Boomers have shaped the economy and culture of the US. Did you watch that CNN series on "The Sixties"? It was a documentary of my childhood to early adulthood. Anyway, I always said all would be well because "we" would make growing older cool. Hmmm…perhaps another of our characteristics is naivety?

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  5. I saw part of the series and it blows my mine all the things one witnesses in the world over one life time. I don't know if you go to any of the political debate sites but I have been shocked at the hostility many younger people show towards the Baby Boomers including calling them 'selfish....as if the Boomers choose the influences their numbers brought to our culture.

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    1. I have not seen those sites, nor the "selfish" accusation. Every generation thinks they have the market cornered on ingenuity, compassion, intelligence, etc etc. The wisdom that aging brings is humbling in that regard. They'll understand one day (which is a condescending comment, but hey, I'm old and selfish!)

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    2. It might sound condescending to some but it's very true. One day they will all understand.

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  6. Levi is a good hunter. Unfortunately, I (Hershey) am not. I would love to chase a squirrel.

    I tried laying down like Levi does once. I don't stay still long enough.

    Mama says congratulations on losing the 5 lbs.

    Love -

    Hershey and Kaci

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    1. Thanks you Hershey and Kaci for commenting. That's Levi's second favorite position. On his back with his legs spread out is his first....doesn't embarrass him a bit to show all his 'junk'. LOL I'll bet you'd catch a squirrel if you ever got a chance to chase one.

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  7. I'm still catching up on your blog. I can't miss a single post.

    Levi is adorable - great name for a liberal's dog (Bristol Palin's baby daddy). Remember him and his five minutes of fame?

    The demise of the baby boomers will have a huge impact. That's for sure. We are great in numbers and we are consumers. I remember reading an article about twenty years ago about how baby boomers would drive inventions, research and production of old-age products and services. I guess we should have invested in such things. People in health care certainly do have job security.

    I've experienced significant weight loss on W/W (in the past), but I agree about the point-counting and attention to recipes, etc. Especially the point-counting. It's too cute by half. Give me a break. Just count calories or give portion sizes and leave it at that. And they love to sell you the little thig-a-ma-bob that calculates the points. But I have to admit that it's a good program, and I need to get my butt back on it. Good on you for your weight loss.

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    1. Levi was named after blue jeans because it was one of few words my husband could say after his stroke and that wasn't until the second year. I do love the name, though.

      The problem I have with WW at the moment is how expensive it's become, plus the counting points. But it is a healthy program. The diet I'm on now is the only one I've tried that counts proteins and I doubt it's a healthy one to do long term. But come winter I stop anyway so I'm not worried.

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