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, June 7, 2015

From Fire Works to Letting it All Go



My weekend was out-of-the-norm starting with Friday when I had to stay home all day because a power washing company was cleaning my deck, the eaves, driveway and sidewalks. The deck had to be done in advance of a staining crew that showed up on Saturday and will come back later for a second coat on the flat areas. I’ve never seen anyone stain using mitts like you’d use to wash a car and, boy, did they get the job done fast and neat. The two man crew did my huge deck with its 250+ spinals in half the time that it’s been done before. One of the past crews sprayed the stain and another used rollers and brushes. I was impressed with mitt staining. And for the bonus round points the guys didn’t have radios blasting at full volume to annoy me and the dog.

The eaves troughs had to be cleaned well in advance of the 4th of July. You would not believe the amount of dry pine needles they took out of my eaves. Still, I always make sure my hoses are hooked up this time of the year because I live in a neighborhood of people who are in love with fireworks and I’m afraid they’ll start my house on fire. I’m constantly picking up fireworks debris between the 4th through Thanksgiving. Here, they are legal on ten designated holidays plus the day before and after---not that anyone follows the law all that closely---and, yes, I’ve even seen them on Christmas. Praise the Lord, do you think He likes things that go boom at midnight and lights up the night? 

Since I was stuck home two days in a row, I re-read my 2014 blog entries, checking for typos and glaring sins against the rules of punctuation. I’m way behind the time when I had scheduled myself to slurp them all up into a hard copy book. I’ve been doing that every year with my blogs so I’ll still have access to my blog entries when I get too old to remember how to turn on the computer, but not so old that I don’t want to glance back at my past from time to time. Reading through my 2014 misadventures it became clear that in the third year of widowhood my social life got more and more wrapped up in the activities at the senior hall. Not sure if that’s a bad thing or a good thing. It’s just something to put in a jar and re-exam later on. But the scary part is some of the stuff I did last year had already slipped off my memory radar. What next? Will I finish peeing and not remember if I wiped myself? Oh, well, as long as my bladder still holds out and I make it to the bathroom each and every time, it’s all good. 

Speaking of which, am I the only person on earth who is sick of seeing so many ads for Depends Adult panties/diapers on TV? If I believed their surge in the marketplace I’d have to believe half the women at the senior all are sitting around peeing their pants as we speak. The ad that annoys me the most shows a woman at a theater and she’s laughing hard and a voice-over is talking about just “let it go.” I’m surprised they didn’t use the voice of Queen Elsa from Frozen to belt out a verse or two of the Let it Go Disney song. They probably tried but couldn’t get the rights. The commercial probably bugs me because when I go to my monthly Movie and Lunch Club I’m the only one who has to get up during a film to use the bathroom. I’ve often wondered why I'm the only one. Ohmygod, it just dawned on me! Maybe I’m not! Maybe I’m sitting next to a dozen plus women wearing Depends! How am I going to get that visual out of my head before next Friday when we meet again? I don’t mean to make light of people who need them, but do we really need the Depends Underwareness Campaign encouraging every man, woman and child in the world to show off their pee-in-me skivvies? I say, “Hell no!” and I rest my case hoping a jury of my peers agrees. 

Growing old has so many sink holes we all hope to avoid, but deep within we each fear one of them will swallow us up if we don’t keep ever so vigilant. Keeping my brain sharp worries me more than the other sink holes of aging. If one day I’m wandering up the street talking to myself and the neighbors are worried that I’ve finally punched out of reality, I hope I’m reciting the following dialogue from The Help movie: "Every day you're not dead in the ground, when you wake up in the morning, you're gonna have to make some decisions. Got to ask yourself this question: 'Am I gonna believe all them bad things them fools say about me today?'" And if my answer is “no” then I’ll know I'm sharp enough to go back home and find something to do that doesn’t involve training my bird watching binoculars on the neighbors. I’m quite sure that’s listed as a no-no in every etiquette book published in the Western Hemisphere.  ©

 I can't find the commercial in the theater but here's another one for Depends. They have a 5-6 of them. 

21 comments:

  1. I've not seen those commercials, but I'm sure they would be annoying. Like many commercials are. Getting old isn't for sissies. It is what it is and we get what we get. We can just hope we're one of the lucky ones that isn't riddled with a host of old age issues.

    I'm glad you've got your deck, eaves and drivewaysidewalks all done. That rocks.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. I probably watch a lot more TV than you do. With the Baby Boomers reaching a "certain age" we'll start seeing more and more of the marketplace ads directed to products to deal with aging. It's just the way it's always been since the mid '40s.

      I try to do one big maintenance project each summer. The deck was it this year.

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  2. I can't pee unless I am sitting on a toilet, so....Depends wouldn't work for me. Who would want a full diaper anyway? I do wear panty liners for that occasional sneeze or cough, but.......................why are we talking about this??????? Love the idea that you make books out of your blog posts--like a journal, but typed so it is readable!!! Love it.

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    1. That's what annoyed me about the lady laughing in the theater. If you were in the process of filling a diaper I don't see how you could just act as if nothing was happening. Knock on wood, we'll never have to find out how it works. LOL

      I like the blog books, too. They are trade size 6x9 and soft covered. I put an index in the back of the titles of the blog entries so I can find things if I want. Next winter I hope to be able to put some of my teen diary entries into book form and get rid of the originals.

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  3. Now you've reminded me to start to make books of my blog posts too! It sounds like you do them by year. I was wondering if I should do by year or by subject, but your index idea lets the subjects be found within the year. Nice! Can you remind me what service you use? And will they publish the clipart too? (I've heard some won't due to possible copyright issues.) I'm happy to pay you for this consultation -- put it in your Depends fund. :)

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    1. Yes, I do them by the year but I've also done a few short books by topic. I remove the dates on the posts but leave the titles and in the back I list the titles and pages where they start. (I don't do the index in the front because once you slurp the pages in place, adding to the front of the book changes the page numbers where each post starts....doable but a LOT more hassle.) I don't include the clip art or comments. It cuts down on the cost but also because I don't want an issue with copyright on clip art. One year of my blogsends up with around 180 pages in a trade size 6"x9" soft cover book and costs around $12-14. If you plan to give books away or sell them, you can get discounts. If you want to sell your book online you're also going to want to remove song lyrics, too. If I was doing a poetry book (like you're probably thinking of doing) where they're aren't many pages I'd include photos I took. I did that with my 24 page obituary (spoof on myself). I design covers with my own photos.

      I use Blurb and MyCanvas. I use Blurb for text heavy books and MyCanvas for genealogy and photo heavy books. I'm happy with the quality of both. With Blurb, you download their software, put your book in and they upload it back to them. With MyCanvas, the software stays online and when you're done uploading photos. With both you can play with their fonts, backgrounds, colors and other bells and whistles to your heart's content. MyCanvas costs more but there are less glitches with their software. There are several other companies out there to explore. These are just the ones I have experience with...oh, and one other one whose name I don't remember. I ended up not using them because once you slurp up your blogs to their pages you can't edit ANYTHING and I hated that. You can try these places out without paying anything until you print.

      I do not have a Depends fund. I'm not falling in that sink hole. Not me! LOL

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    2. P.S. It's really a lot of fun to build a book. My niece has used Shutterfly (I think it was) but I don't like their "canned" pages and photo lay-outs. I prefer to size my own photos and decide where on the page they should go. The companies above have templates you can use BUT they also allow you to customize your layouts of photos and/or text. I also believe a lot of people get carried away with all the bells and whistles and add too much junk to their pages.

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    3. Thanks so much, Jean! On my "to do" list, but might be a rainy season project. When the sun shines in the Northwest we HAVE to take advantage of it! (Our weather this week is spectacular and we all get snooty about living in the most beautiful state in the Union....until the clouds roll in. Then we move back inside with a book and a latte (we're #1 for both (reading and coffee drinking) in recent surveys. Easy to know why....) :)

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    4. We do same here, only we call them winter projects. LOL

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  4. Hi ya Jean. Those fireworks can be very dangerous. Aren't there rules that don't say no fireworks near homes? I have to clean my deck also and clean my BBQ soon. I want to BBQ steaks soon.
    Have a great day Jean. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. Nope. The law I quoted in my post is for my township and they don't have anything in the law about doing them near homes. The law makers here changed the laws 4-5 years ago so people could sell stuff that goes up in the air but they didn't tweak the laws on where you could set off this stuff. On the 4th of July I can literally see fireworks going off all around me. Very scary. I make sure my irrigation system has soaked the lawn that week.

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  5. Wanna know a secret? I've toyed with the idea of getting one of those undergarments. Every morning I go out to breakfast, drink my coffee, visit the bathroom before leaving, and then head out for my hour long walk through the woods. I never make it to the end. I find somewhere to pee in the woods, hoping no one happens by...

    I hear tell, the female 'Viagra' is on its way. Ooh! Cougar time. See the old gal in heat, in a darkened movie theatre...

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    1. I've been known to pee in the woods, too. LOL I actually prefer the great outdoors to some of the public bathrooms I've seen. I heard that about Viagra for women. I'll be there will be guys wanting to buy some to slip in drinks. Remember the old Spanish Fly in the '70s (?) that they did that with. I remember bars warning women about that.

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    2. Darn, I don't remember the Spanish Fly in the '70's. What'd I miss?!

      When that female Viagra hits, I hope they use the Searcher's hit as their theme song - "Love Potion #9" ...I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink... I don't know if it was day or night, I started kissing everything in sight...

      A few old geezers will slip that in our drinks LOL

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    3. Ya, and probably give some unsuspecting lady a stroke or heart attack.

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  6. Laughing...I haven't seen the ads, but this cracked me up, "The ad that annoys me the most shows a woman at a theater and she’s laughing hard and a voice-over is talking about just “let it go.”

    It sounds like a scene a comedy writer would write for a skit. I'm with you, the diapers are meant to help with accidents, not just to pee in like a toddler, geez. "Let it go,?"-Still laughing-

    You cracked me up when I thought about you envisioning people peeing about their business at your movie and lunch Club ..." And I'm with you on keeping your wits about you as you grow older. Losing my ability to remember or think clearly frightens more than anything else. Plus, I'm not sure I have the guts for aging...so I've decided to remain in denial about it.

    Great post Jean,

    Have a great evening....

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    1. I have seen those commercials so many times, I have them memorized. I think the one with the let it go line in it had to have been written by someone young and stupid. LOL

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    2. Annie, let us know how that "remain in denial" stuff works out.

      Genie

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    3. I was going to ask, too, Gene but I chickened out. LOL

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  7. OMG! I laughed so hard during your perspective on Depends I almost cried. I think I woke H. You are so funny sometimes, especially when you zero in on something that's so relatable with your laser wit. I thought the funniest was when you mention the Disney song, "Let It Be" but when you got to the part about imagining your friends all sitting there at a movie and possibly peeing in their depends, I really lost it.

    When I first read about the mitt staining, I couldn't wait for H to wake so I could tell him, and then I remembered that we no longer have a deck or porch floor that needs staining. :) There is a bench out back that I will probably stain.

    H needs to clean our gutters. We paid someone to do it before, but these gutters are not very high so he says he's going to do it. I'd prefer that we pay someone, but... We have gutter guards, but even still they need a little cleaning.

    Keeping the old brain sharp is my biggest concern, too. I can't stand it when I realize that I've forgotten something, and don't even get me started about repeating myself. Don't even get me started about repeating myself.

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    1. I have a bench to stain, too. Want to take bets on which one of us gets theirs done first?

      I've wondered about those gutter guards. I can see where they would work good on maple or oak leaves but I'm thinking those pine needles like I have would just go down inside the little holes and I'll have spent all that money for nothing. Guys and ladders. What is it about ladders that guys don't want to give up? There should be a law: if you're over 72, you can't do ladders. My niece's husband fell off one and ended up in the hospital for a very long time and in a wheelchair after that for some time before get got back to full health.

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