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

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tax Time and the Dog



One of the pitfalls of tuning out the world, not knowing was is going on beyond my quiet, snow covered yard is I get in a rut where the show the squirrels and the dog put on becomes the highlight of my days. Here’s what happens: The squirrels come to my bird feeding station that’s a foot off my deck, the dog barks and I wait until a squirrel gets greedy enough to no longer be satisfied eating what’s in the ground feeder and he climbs up the pole. That’s when I let the dog out on the deck to chase the furry tailed rodent. Levi comes back in tongue-hanging happy and it takes a few days for the squirrel to get brave enough to try pole dancing again. And while I’m plotting against my squirrels, the rest of the world is doing God knows what to each other. Yup, I’ve joined the geriatric, tuned out set for sure. 

Or have I? A few days ago I tuned back into having media on in the house. The storm out East drew me in and before I knew it I was watching the San Francisco auditions of American Idol. Then I discovered that while I was away the gods of programing have decided to pull Morning Joe off the air. Oh, crap. Apparently, too many of his viewers, like me, had put themselves on a media blackout so now I feel obligated to watch his prolonged death on the air. I hope it’s not as long as Letterman’s exit plan. I can’t wait for him to leave so we can see what Steven Colbert will do with that time slot. 

In the meantime, like many Americans I’m getting ready for tax day---sorting and purging the filing cabinets. I have never minded paying taxes, never grumble about it, or looked for ways to hide income or cheat the system the way a few people do. It would have been easy to do, being self-employed most of my work life. But in my experience, those who do those things eventually get caught and life is too short to spend it arguing with the IRS. Spending your life looking over your shoulder wondering when someone is going to report you for your ill-gotten gains is not my idea of fun either. I knew two people who did that and both paid heavily in the end. One lost a farm that had been in the family for generations and spent time in prison. He was one of those people who believed that all local, state and federal laws and taxes are bad. All guns and resistance to authority is good. I can’t image living that way.

I go to a CPA for my taxes and I don’t have much to gather this year---it all comes to me in the mail from banks, Social Security, the pension administration, etc., but old habits are hard to break so I still designate late January as purge-the-filing-cabinet time.  It hasn’t be as bad this year as the last two when I was still dealing with issues related to my husband dying. This year will be the first tax filing entirely on my own, with his name and details not appearing on anything. The death and dying bills have been paid. Insurance, pension and financial issues are all straighten out. Everything of Don’s that could be donated, was donated and the tax write-off taken. Yadda, yadda yadda. At least the receipts and records I’m sorting, now, aren’t like re-living a sadness too deep to explain. I did find Don’s last billfold, still loaded with his ID, cards, money, etc. and I did my widow's work---I unloaded it. Then I decided Don is going to buy me one last gift with the unexpected windfall. Or maybe it should be from Levi since I found the money on his birthday.

Levi just turned seven. That’s like 21 in people years if you go by that old wives tale. We are having a fight. He’s schnauzer stubborn. I’m old lady stubborn. We’re fighting over how he eats and it’s all my own fault. Back when he was a puppy I read something in a “flaky” (?) training book about how dogs and cats need the mental stimulus of finding their food instead of having it given to them in dishes. For cats, that meant hiding kibble around the house so they’d have to hunt for it. For dogs like schnauzers that like to chase small vermin that meant rolling kibble across the floor so they can chase the food, crawling under and behind stuff when necessary. It’s a fun game, but recently I decided that he might out live me and Levi should learn how to eat the normal dog way. He’s not liking that idea one little bit. He’ll stand next to the bowl, bark and take off running then he'll look back at me like I'm dumber than a plastic mannequin. He’s probably thinking his human is getting senile and needs to be retrained. If I don’t give in (to stop the barking next to the dish) he’ll wait until after the lights go off at night before he gives in and eats from the dish. If it wasn’t so cold and icy outside he’d probably run away from home and it if wasn’t so cold and icy outside, I’d probably go with him. I’m really bored right now! ©

18 comments:

  1. Hubby started our taxes yesterday. We don't mind taxes either. If we are paying taxes then we are making money. Our philosophy.

    Have a fabulous weekend. ☺

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  2. Oh Levi! What a fun life you have. I say keep making him hunt! Leave instructions for whoever will be his guardian. It sounds like a really fun routine ... for both of you!

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    1. I have an 'In Case of Emergency" booklet written for Levi of all his habits and foibles. When Levi goes to his boarder---which he does once a year, just because---I do give her instructions and he'll do the game with her, too. He won't starve. He likes to eat too.

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  3. Jean,
    Your last paragraph got me again - "dumber than a plastic mannequin." Too funny!

    H has a lot in common with Levi. He watches at the backdoor until a squirrel comes out on a limb and down to the suet feeder. Then he opens the door, runs out onto the deck and claps his hands together like a mad man until the squirrel runs away.

    H did our taxes on Thursday. I believe this is the earliest he has ever done them.

    Okay, about Morning Joe? I can't believe I didn't know they will be going off the air. When? I had no idea. I've pretty much boycotted the news recently, too. Sheesh! Look away for a second, and see what happens.

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    1. I like to reward people who have read all the way to the last paragraph when ever I can. LOL

      Bella, I can't remember which program I was watching when I heard that Joe is getting cancelled. Now, I can't find conformation online anywhere!!! Now I'm wondering if I was it at an unreliable place. I hope not, because this is how rumors start. LOL

      My squirrels are getting smart enough to start running the minute they hear the lock turn at my door. Though one time the dog and a squirrel was within 3 feet of every other. The squirrel was on top of the railing and he froze in place, not knowing where to run. That was kind of scary.



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    2. LOL about Levi and the squirrel.
      I've looked for information about MJ, too, but I can't find anything. I guess time will tell.

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  4. Uh-oh, it's too early to be suffering from cabin fever! February (that longest shortest month) hasn't even started yet. Hope you are able to get out and do something stimulating this week. -Jean

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    1. Me too, but it doesn't look promising the first part of the week.

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  5. I can definitely relate to the cabin fever feeling. I have had it for weeks (and I know that February is just upon us!). So much more light in the mornings and evenings and yet so cold. But, this too shall pass!
    Stay warm
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. You too, Leze! But I fear it will be spring before I feel warm again.

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  6. What would it take for you not to be bored? Hmmm, that's a good question to ask myself, though I am utterly charmed by the trivial and the mundane. I would fit in with the geriatric set - except that my bod feels 40 years young. LOL

    I remember Morning Joe. I watched him way back when. Maybe Rachel Maddow will take his time slot?

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    1. Rachel Maddow's rating are slipping, too. The problem is that Liberals get their news from 3-5 news sources every day and Conservatives concentrate on Fox for their news. Then when they compare viewership between MSNBC and FOX NSNBC is always going to be lower.

      What would it take for me not to be bored? That's a big question and maybe we should both write an entire blog about it someday. LOL

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  7. Sorry--but I am not hiding cat food around the place--good grief. My cats are as trained as I can get them--just like my kids were trained! You eat a certain times and if you don't eat then, you have to wait. How can you be bored? It's a shiny day! Your driveway is probably cleared, get in your car and gooooooooooooooooo!

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    1. The sun is shining but the roads aren't all passable. We had a lot of wind last night and have serious snow drifting here, Judy. I have several four foot drifts across my front door and sidewalk leading to the door that will take me all day to dig out. And I have to do it, I have an expensive medication coming tomorrow that will spoil if it sits outside and freezes or has to be held by UPS.

      I've always let my dogs be free feeders meaning the kibble is always down. My hours were crazy when I was involved in snowplowing and I never had to worry about getting home for a feeding time. Dogs don't over eat when they have free access 24/7. I wish that were true for people. LOL

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    2. Just hear we got 9 inches of snow! Where my niece lives, it was 12 inches.

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  8. I've been away...so much fun catching up on your blog. Letterman's last day is May 20th. This is the kind of trivial thing I keep in my head instead of how to do taxes and such. I'd probably chase kibble across the floor too, if only to pass the time until Colbert debuts on September 8th.

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    1. I can't believe I have to wait until Sept to see Colbert again! But I'm glad to know the date because ever few days I'd tune in to Letterman to see if he was on the air yet.

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