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, June 24, 2015

Slow Week on Widowhood Lane



Here it is Wednesday already and I don’t have my mid-week blog ready to go. It’s one of those weeks where I have little on my day planner except work projects and a party on Saturday, so there's nothing much to write about unless you want to hear about the two boxes of stuff I skimmed from the house and garage and took to the Salvation Army or the nine antiques I’m dropping off at an auction house on Friday. First, though, I had to take a trip to the dealership and admit I couldn’t figure out the directions on how to get the back seats in my Trax to fold down. I felt foolish and old when the salesman did it in two seconds. Nice young man that he is, he said a lot of people come in with the same issue. It seems the owner’s manual left out a step in the directions.

I love my new car, though. I may have bought it on a whim but it feels like me and, knock on wood, I will probably own it until I can no longer drive. Crazy, isn’t it, to know that day will come and there is nothing we can do about it but try to handle giving up our driver licenses with grace. I had the salesman, today, help me with another issue while I was there. I was having trouble pairing my phone book from my cell to the Trax. After a half hour of the salesman trying to do it, he finally paired his own phone book to my car which helped us decide his smart phone has a higher IQ than mine. Time to upgrade. He deleted his data from my phone book and I told him, “Too bad. I might have enjoyed stalking your friends.” He laughed and apologized for not being able to resolve both my problems. “But you did,” I replied. “Now I know it’s a tech/device issue and not an old-lady-can’t-do-anything issue which makes me very happy.” 

It was a good day all the way around in Old-Lady Ville. While I was away from the house the guys who put the first coat of stain on my deck sixteen days ago---and who got paid in full even though they still had 30 foot of details on the spindles to finish plus apply the second coat---came back to finish the job. I was starting to get depressed about the deck, thinking I’d made an old person, too trusting mistake. When I was younger I never would have paid in full for half a job. I was more business savvy than that. I’d even started writing bad reviews in my head to post online and I’m glad I don’t have a reason to use them. Still, I hope the anxious feelings I had these past sixteen days over writing that check serves as a lesson that I’m no longer on top of my game and I need to be more careful. What next? Will I start writing checks to all the heart-tugging charities that fill up my mailbox with requests?  Old people, you can’t trust them with their own money! But let’s not tell my nieces. Keep them in the dark as long as we can. 

Since this blog is short, I’ll take you on a photo essay of my yard. The nature strip on the back of my lot looks especially pretty right now and most of the photos below are of that. (The French Lilac at the top is in my front yard.) Between that man-made nature strip in the back and the natural cattail bog on the side. my yard brings in a lot of wildlife for a city lot. ©

 
view off my deck of the nature strip


this and the next four photos are close ups of the nature strip

the tall stalks are day lilies, this whole area will be various shades of orange soon


behind the lilies & other flowers queen's Ann's lace will bloom later in the summer

The cattails that separates me from my new neighbor. I love that frog factory.

across from the cattails, along side of the garage with the dog's fenced in area in the distance

I have three of these along my deck in different colors
more stuff along my deck


Another view off my deck. The white fence marks where some of my husband's ashes are buried. I planted a dogwood behind the fence, his favorite tree.
my front patio and view down the street

26 comments:

  1. Ugh. I tried to leave a comment, and it disappeared!!! I am going to follow you...you who walk ahead of me on this journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm sorry! I've had that happened to me, too, on other people's blogs. Sometimes if I've written a really long comment, I'll copy it in Word before I try to publish it so I can do it again if I screwed up.

      Thanks for following me. I'm sorry you are on this same journey of widowhood though.

      Delete
  2. Your garden is beautiful, so green!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. We've had a lot of rain which helps. If you took all those photos on your site, you're very talented.

      Delete
  3. I too love your yard. Ours is dying as is most of the folks that live in the central valley of California. No water for lawns. The rich folks can't understand why they can't just pay more to get all the water they need to keep their lawns lush. They can't seem to grasp that there isn't enough water period. Bless their hearts.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't had my irrigation going much at all this summer....too much rain so I turn it off. I wish you guys would get some of ours! I don't understand why rich people in very dry climates even attempt to grow grass other than native grasses.I saw to a "marble garden" recently and it was beautiful in a different way but still very beautiful without anything green.

      My nature strip never gets anything but rain water, whatever lives, has to thrive on its own or die out..

      Delete
  4. I love the combination of flowers in your nature strip, especially the buttercups with the spiderwort and the bright pink flowers I can't identify. (Do you know what they are?). I'm going to take the photo of your clematis and show it to the blue clematis growing on my fence that has one measly flower -- see if I can shame it into performing better.
    -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are actually three shades of pink in there. The two darkest ones are phlox and cockscombs. A lot of those flowers came up from seeds. When I get floral bouquets from the super market---which I do often in the winter---I dry and save the heads and in the spring I throw them back in the nature strip and see what comes up and reseeds themselves. I didn't take photos of them, but I have a lot of wild geraniums in two shades of pink in a different section of the nature strip. (It's 175 long across my back yard.) They have spread like wild fire with the wind and look great next to heavy red leafed succulent that didn't do well in the yard where it got irrigated with the grass. The geraniums I pulled out of the yard because they spread so much, but back there it doesn't matter. I also put in the day lilies---common orange in the back when we first built the house, and along the edge in front I added several high-breed lilies I got at the farmer's market. about 5 years ago in some great colors, but they aren't out yet. Queen Ann's Lace is back there too, came all on its own. About the only maintenance I do in the strip is in the fall when I have my landscape guy kill all the trash tree saplings and sumac. I hate sumac!

      Delete
    2. My Clematis do so well and are trouble free. They get cut down to about a foot in the fall. I added a photo above to show how the colors mix later in the summer.They got beat up a lot this year because of the staining crew having to move them out of the way but will recover well, I'm sure..

      Delete
    3. Being the master gardener that you are, I know you'd like how my nature strip changes through out the summer. There are daisies later on. Back when the strip was just raw dirt/sand I did seed it will wild flower seeds for the first two years, but that was it besides the flower shop heads mentioned about.

      Delete
    4. I cannot comprehend nearly maintenance free gardens. LOL
      I pray that as I age, or my interest turns away from nurturing my puppy brood of gardens, I can write a check for someone else to pick up their weed poop and mulch groom them.

      Delete
    5. That's the thing. It's really not a "garden"...it's nature doing its own thing and me accepting what it does. By all rights I shouldn't be removing tree saplings but I love the meadow-like nature of my section of the nature strip. My neighbor's haven't done that and they have more of a scary, jungle look.

      Delete
  5. Jean, I'm so glad you have given us a tour. What a cool yard! The space and gardens are glorious! You must hear a lot of sounds out there - frogs croaking, bees buzzing, birds chirping. Aah ~~~~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I have three large pines by the cattails and bird feeder where I can see them from my computer area. I see cardinals, orioles, 3 varies of woodpeckers (my favorite) finches, blue jays, juncos, morning doves and rose-breasted grosbeaks every day. This year I even found a turtle back there for the first time.

      Delete
  6. Your flowers look great. Your hostas look similar to ours...very full. I returned to Northern New York last night after a month in England. The garden here looks incredibly lush but mostly because it is overgrown with weeds except the areas the neighbor boy mowed!!
    Everything was lush in England too. Queen Anne's Lace is blooming along all the hedgerows as are nettles and comphrey and the wild red poppies are beginning to bloom.
    Regards...now that I can post again! (I don't know what the problem was but it was frustrating)
    Leze

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. England for a month sounds incredible. Hope you enjoyed it other than frustrations with computer issues.But I bet it feels good to be back home again, too.

      I think it's the rainy spring we've had that has made everything so lust. My hostas will need thinning this fall. I wish I could find someone who wants some so I didn't' have to just throw them away.

      Delete
    2. I need about 6 more, but--it wouldn't pay for me to drive clear over there to get them. LOL

      Delete
  7. I find myself making some of those bad decisions. I have always done everything on the fly, no need for a day planner--all was stored in my brain. Now, I need to be more careful. I don't like it! Scary even! Thanks for the tour--my garden is lush this year too. Lots of rain and nice temperatures.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is scary when you find yourself doing something you wouldn't have done in your younger days! Especially when money is involved! Thanks for admitting you have done them too. That makes me feel better. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your purple clematis is gorgeous. I had a sweet autumn clematis at my last house, and it performed very well. I like how it's tiny cream-colored blooms cover the vine in late August down here, and how they smell. I plan to plant one on our fence in the backyard. I also want hostas. Yours look like they love their location. And I thought your lilac was a crepe myrtle, which I think cannot live in your colder climate. My lilac at my other house did not perform like yours. I guess they love your cold winters. Beautiful.

    That nature strip is something. How lucky you are to have that to look at. You must take photos as the summer progresses.

    I don't like to think about giving up my license, but I know it will happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That French Lilac smells in credible! I have regular, purple lilac on the side of the house. Lilacs are common up here. I'm taking pictures so I can remember this house when I moved. It was a blank slate when we bought the lot.

      Delete
    2. I took lots of photos of our last house. The yard was in terrible condition when we moved in. It was a divorce situation, and she couldn't keep it up. It was all crabgrass and chickweed. H did such a nice job of landscaping it. When the realtor listed it, I noticed she said that it was professionally landscaped. It looked it.

      I love lilacs. I had French Lilac in Maryland. I had a regular white one at our last house, but it was a disappointment. It survived but I wouldn't say that it thrived.

      Did you and Don do the man-made nature strip at the back of your house? Beautiful.

      Delete
    3. The landscaper who only did the grading, grass and irrigation on our lot suggested we not do anything to the back, just let it go natural. Our neighbors have natural trees with no grass on their back lots. The first two years it was just sand back there and a friend gave me the orange lilies that I plants myself and I sewed wild flower seeds.Then whenever I thinned lilies and other flowers from around the foundation, I'd have my lawn care guy plant them along the edge of the grass, letting the weeds and wild flower grow up between them.

      I actually put more work into the cattail bog. At first it was just grass but the cattails would keep coming up and at times of the year it was too wet to mow. So one weed I put down garage bags to crawl on and I pulled all the grass up by the roots and let the land be what it wanted to be. I absolutely love it for the wildlife it brings in---birds pick off the top;s to build nests, for example. My old neighbors thought I was nuts at first but they came to love it too.

      Delete
    4. Correction: One week not one weed!

      Delete
  10. Beautiful garden! I am trying to be a gardener late in life. My garden is a bit paltry and struggling, but people tell me to be patient and it will fill in. It didn't help that we've been out of town for a few days and it has been unseasonable HOT and DRY here. We came home to brown grass and wilted plants. Today I'm trying to rehydrate everything. I take inspiration from your photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's funny that people are calling what I have a "garden" because nothing is planned, tended or weeded back there.

      Delete