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

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Programing Gadgets and Walk-Abouts



I’m sitting here waiting for the irrigation guy to come fix my springer head that got broken by a friend of my new neighbor. I can’t use the system until it’s fixed because water gushes up like a decorative fountain in a park. I don't mess with the control box enough to know how to isolate and close down just one of the ten zones so I turn the whole system off. It’s been raining off and on so the lawn didn’t suffer with my stubbornness to get tech savvy with Toro. People in my generation are going to have a hard time keeping up with things like this as we age. It used to be so much simpler for my parent’s generation when all they had to do is drag garden hoses around and then remember to turn the water off before their lawns look like marshlands.

On the same topic of keeping up with programmable things, this week I managed to change the batteries on my electric tooth brush and reprogram the darn thing in less five minutes and it even gives me orders in English. One time it took me a half hour and a Google search to do it. And I also figured out one of the big mysteries of life...at least my life. I’ve figured out why one of cable TV’s seemed to have mind of its own. When the cable boxes were installed last July I was told that the 57 button remotes are not interchangeable which turned out to be a lie. I just figured out that when I’m in the bedroom, the remote marked ‘bedroom’ controls not only the bedroom TV but also the one in the kitchen. If it's aimed just right, yes, the signal goes through an open door and across two rooms. I’m not forgetting to turn off the darn thing when I leave the kitchen! I’m not going bonkers. It’s not possessed by a spirit. Now if I could figure out how to get my CD player not to come on, then turn off five minutes later every day at 10 PM I’d been a happy camper. Actually, I do know why it does that and what I’d have to do to reprogram it but the icons I need to see on a screen to fix the issue are so tiny and low to the floor I physically can’t do it. People with grand-kids don’t know how good they’ve got it. Kids are fearless about programing gadgets and I'd rent a kid to do it if I could.  

New Topic: I’m not a woman who enjoys shopping, never have been unless I was in an antique mall. Even that has lost its charm since Don died and I went into downsizing mode. But this week I needed stuff. Printer ink for one and a Culver’s North American cod filet sandwich for another and I knew I’d die soon if I didn’t get them. (Those darn late night Culver’s TV commercials work!) If Amazon.com could drone drop a hot sandwich at my house, I could happily order most of my ‘wants’ online. But that’s a few years in the future so off I went to shopping roe---a five lane street full of malls and nationally branded restaurants and stores.

Wednesday I went on a Red Hat Society walk-about but I wish I had stayed home for a sit-about. We went out to the boondocks to a farmer’s barn-turned-sandwich-shop and produce stand. Lunch there was slow and so-so, the conversation was so-so and I didn’t need any asparagus or Michigan made jam which is all they had besides tomatoes from Canada. After leaving that place we went to another place that was an apple orchard/ice cream shop/gift shop/wine shop and bakery combo---oh, and a cross-country skiing location in the winter. The gift shop had quality made things but after fifteen minutes I’d had enough of looking at scarfs, jewelry, purses, pop-up greeting cards and other stuff no one knows they want until they see it. Between the shopping, wine tasting, eating ice cream cones and donuts it took FOREVER to get all twelve us on the same page to go back to the car pool lot so we could head on home. We were like red and purple ants going every which way. Oh, well, you can’t win them all. What I’ve got lined up for the end of the week will more than make up for the uninspiring walk-about. My Move and Lunch Club on Friday is going to see a film billed as, “A widow and former songstress discovers that life can begin anew at any age.” And I got invited to a Father’s Day cottage party where my nieces and nephew and their families, my brother, and assorted others will be. So, out to the boondocks I’ll go again but this time I know I’ll come back high on stimulating conversation and yummy food. ©

13 comments:

  1. Hubby does almost everything gadget around here. I finally learned how to turn on our smart TV. We only have one television so I don't have to wonder about them being possessed. That's some strange happenings you're experiencing.

    I've only seen the red hat ladies once in my lifetime. I've a friend in Florida that used to be a member. Not sure if she still is. Empress Bee.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. No, she's not still a member but she says she still had fond memories. I think yesterday I was just in one of the moods where everything was moving in slow motion and I was too impatient.

      Gadgets will get my brain one day. Beware if your husband ever loses him over gadgets. LOL

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    2. P.S. This topic came up with the Red Hats this week. One lady pays her grandson $10 an hour to help her scan slides to the computer. I'd pay that and have many slides that need doing.

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  2. Any man I have ever lived with had less knowledge about electronics than I did, so...I'm still okay about most things. I now pay $4.00 a month for Comcast support--they will come to my house!! and correct whatever, without any charge. Plus, I have Appliance Repair Service through my electric company. The repair guy came yesterday to fix my dishwasher. Ordered a new pump and will cost me $000.00. The Service is $20.00 a month.

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    1. I love that Comcast has a plan like that! I wish Charter did. Although I've learned that if you tell them your age they usually wave the cost of service calls. LOL

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  3. This post suggests a new "Adopt a Grandparent" program in which tech-savvy kids volunteer to spend time with grandchild-less elders and help them program their gadgets. :-)

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    1. Wouldn't that be a great thing! Our local high school requires students to do x-number of hours doing community service to graduate and that would be a good suggestion to make to their coordinator, who I see on occasion.

      If it's a tech gadget that you can carry like a phone, tablet or computer the senior hall has a "geek session" once a month. It's staffed by people from the library who come over to help anyone who needs it.

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  4. I'm not so good with gadgets and I'm a man. I was always the artist individual. drawing. beautiful flowers & cooking. I almost executed myself using a screwdriver once and after that my wife told me to left it to her. Ha,ha,ha. Have a great day Jean. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. Your wife is a lucky woman. I'd take an artist and chef over fix-it guy any day. You can always hire the latter but artists and chefs are harder to find.

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  5. The Father's Day party sounds like something you'll enjoy.

    I don't enjoy shopping either, but I do enjoy antique shopping. You made me laugh again about programming gadgets, especially about the icons not being big enough and too low. I've gotten so grumpy about print being too small. I can't understand why they can't just make it bigger. I also don't understand why store clerks can't speak louder and slower. No wonder we get grumpy. :)

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    1. I am so excited about my Father's Day party which is actually on Saturday instead of Sunday.

      I know the answer to how we can get store clerks to speak louder and slower. Wear our hearing aids. It works every time I remember. LOL

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  6. Remember when we thought using a TV remote was utterly silly? Really... why couldn't someone get up to rotate the TV dials? The world was going to lazy couch potatoes.

    About programming gadgets. I have a universal remote. Once it worked perfectly. Then I switched out the CD player, and haven't looked up the new one's code to reprogram the universal remote. I'm back to using three remotes to watch TV. Every once in a while I hear this little beep beep beep on the shelf behind me. The universal remote is telling me it needs its charging cradle. Being such a sweetheart, I faithfully oblige. .

    I love your description of your RHS walk-about. So glad I got to sit that one out. What a super image of you gals - 'We were like red and purple ants going every which way." LOL!!!

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    1. We were like ants! The different elements of that stop were in various barns and buildings at what was one a farmhouse and out buildings. The wine tasting took some of the ladies a lot longer than those of us sampling fudge and ice cream. LOL

      I take the batteries out of remotes I'm not using. No beeping at me!

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