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, December 26, 2015

Okay, It's all Over but the Christmas Memories



In the wee hours of the morning of Christmas Eve a wind storm woke me up and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Just what I didn’t need. A long drive out to the boondocks was on my schedule for later in the day, to go to my niece’s annual party, and I didn’t want to be slaphappy sleepy to do it. I wasn’t, but coming back home again I can’t say the same. I didn’t run myself or anyone else off the road so I thank the gods of good fortunes and open windows for that. 

I never trust myself to make coffee in the morning without setting things up the night before. My cup must be on its Keurig pad, the water is waiting in the refrigerator in a measuring cup and a fresh k-cup pod is loaded. If I don’t remember to do these things the night before, I’ve been known to skip a step. I especially hate it when I forget the coffee cup or place it upside down on the pad. Once my coffee is ready, I sit down at the computer. I do my most productive writing when my mind is a still half in the sack, so to speak, and I never know what words will appear on the screen. Christmas Eve day, however, I had other things to do. No computer time for you, widow lady.

I was assigned to make a dessert for the party. They do that to me every year in case the weather prevents me from making it out. People can live without dessert but not meatballs, wine or something else uniquely traditional to our tribe. This year I decided to make a variation of the Rice Krispies bars. I found a recipe on their website that called for caramels instead of marshmallows and with the addition of a cup each of white chocolate chips and cashews. I don’t like white chocolate so I bought dark chocolate chips. Mistake number one. Mistake number two: Poor timing. Have you ever tried to buy a bag of caramels two months after Halloween? I tried three stores before I gave up and finally bought Wether’s Original soft caramels instead of the square Kraft kind the recipe called for. That morning, I unwrapped all three bags before I decided I should do a test to see if Wether’s melt the same way brown caramels do. They don’t. I had a crystalized mess in no time at all that made thin, solid strings when I tried to take the spoon out. No way would I have had time to mix cereal in a mess like that before it set up like peanut brittle. So it was back to the store I went to get a bag of marshmallows. The finally product tasted okay but it would have looked so much better with white chocolate chips.

The dessert finally made, I got my shower out of the way and cursed the fact that my hair dryer picked that time to go bad. It’s so old the plug has two narrow prongs instead of just one, so I wasn’t surprised. A few minutes of towel drying later, I discovered my hair dryer was just fine. I’d plug in my hair straighten iron instead. Oops! Moving on to my closet, I changed my clothes three times before I decided on something that would keep me warm if I ended up in a ditch on a country road driving home in the dark and cool enough that I wouldn’t sweat to death during the party. We’re having a heat wave in my part of Michigan so every day it’s been an adventure figuring out how to dress. For once, the twenty-somethings didn't look foolish wearing their shorts out Christmas shopping.

This year everyone in the entire family---even those who live out-of-state---attended. Twenty-three of us in all from ages eighty to eight months old. And, no I wasn’t the oldest person at the party. With two little ones who just learned how to walk and another one who’s been at it a few months longer, it was fun watching them interact with each other. The youngest, a girl, was dressed in red and white striped tights and looked like a little elf. Surprisingly, she didn’t mind getting passed around to any adult who wanted to hug her close. The boys were weary of those of us who don’t see them often. I'm sad to think I won't get to know this baby generation as well as I'd like but it gave me pleasure to watch my nieces in their grandmother modes. They learned from the best. My mom was a great grandmother so it was like watching her again. Even my dad's memory was present at the party when I saw one of my nieces drum role her fingers on the table to entertain one of the babies. Just think, that drum role has been passed down five generations, a family traditional that may last long after my dad and his dad are forgotten. Parents and grandparents can probably all claim something like that---a gesture, a mannerism, a pet saying they enjoy seeing in their descendants---but not childless aunts like me. Boo-woo. If I had a beer I'd cry in it.

Christmas day was much lower key. I spent four hours with my brother, his lady friend and her brother. We snacked, played a couple of games, snacked and snacked some more. For that party I was also asked to bring a dessert, finger food style. I’ve never used phyllo shells before but they are my new best friends. A little brie cheese, walnut chips and raspberry preserves popped into a microwave and they turned out great. 

It’s been a wonderful holiday season for me and most of my good cheer comes from the fact that I didn’t get snowed in like I did the past two years. But now that it’s the day after the parties I have to go down the basement and look for the mouse in the house. Hopefully, dead. I gave him D-con for Christmas. ©

14 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. Good for you and no snow.

    I hope the mouse is resting in eternal peace.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did have a wonderful Christmas.

      I just came up from the basement and the mouse is now in the trash. I just hope he didn't move his whole family in. I will be on mouse patrol the rest of the year.

      Delete
  2. Sounds like the perfect amount of socializing! And a lot of cooking! YUM on both dessert ideas. Dessert is my weakest area but I did have cookies this year.

    I may take myself to the movies today. It's hard to get motivated to do that because it is so sunny and bright I had to go inside. Maybe the beach!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I vote for the beach and save movie day for when it's raining. Don't even know if you get much rain on the island, though.

      Delete
  3. I am truly amazed and impressed(?) that you would try a recipe on the day that you need to take it somewhere! I like to try recipes a few times first just in case I put salt in instead or sugar or that I leave it in the oven too long or that it doesn't look like the picture in the recipe book...or one of many other possible disappointments!
    My little creatures (mice and chipmunks) are currently being fed little blue pellets but they have not been eating them recently which makes me suspicious and wary. It has crossed my mind, though, that they are still playing out of doors as the weather has been so mild.
    Regards,
    Leze

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I had a store-bought, backup dessert in the freezer in case one or the other of the recipes I made didn't turn out. Plus both of the recipes seemed pretty straight forward without room for error. I was obviously wrong on the Rice Krispies and Caramel bars. LOL

      This has been a bad year for mice finding their way into the house. I hear others complaining about it too so I'm guessing the mild weather does have something to do with it. I even quit feeding the birds after finding some seed down the basemen. The nice little stockpile got replaced with D-con.

      Delete
  4. As I age, no snow on Christmas Eve/Day is a delight for that also means, no fear of driving and sliding off into the ditch. Disappointing to the young perhaps, but they have a lot of years left to have a lot more White Christmas'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel exactly the same way, Judy. I just hope we don't get dumped on in March and April with the snow we aren't getting now.

      Delete
  5. Well, you can count your blessings that you don't have our weather tonight. Texas is getting slammed with terrible tornados. It's really bad up by Dallas. We're supposed to have "Weather" tomorrow, but I'm not sure what it will turn into. Rain and wind, I hope.

    It sounds like you had a great Christmas. The Rice Krispies recipe sounds good, too. I made a pecan pie for our dinner. It always turns out good - and I can whip one out Christmas morning, so that's good.

    Now, it's onward. I'm feeling a little tired out mentally, but a couple of days of not thinking ought to take care of that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to make pecan pies decades ago. They are really expensive up here but if I'm not mistake pecans farms down your way make them cheaper to get. Store bought pecan pies are a waste of money...very few pecans!

      I've seen the reports on the tornadoes. They are so scary and do so much damage. My heart goes out to anyone who suffers the results of one. My husband's family lost their farm to a tornado.

      Stay safe!

      Delete
  6. So happy you got a near perfect Christmas season! Now, if they'd only make red and green chocolate chips. I tried a new recipe - carrots baked with diced horse radish. So yummy I'm going to make it for myself one of these days.

    I loved the warmth - 59 degrees in Western Mass!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised they don't make red and green chocolate chips.

      My husband love anything with horse radish in it. He would have come over for your carrot dish. LOL

      Almost 60 in December in MA? Crazy. Unfortunately, Texas is getting some bad stuff down there. Eleven dead so far.

      Delete
  7. Ha! Love the ending -- D-con for Christmas! Hope you found your mouse. Those phyllo shell raspberry pastries sound delicious. My oldest granddaughter loves all things raspberry. I'm so glad you had a wonderful Christmas. It sounds like it was full of nice memories. Now on to the New Year! Let's hope 2016 is good to us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I got my mouse and his brother. I don't like to think of them as being females that could have left a litter behind. LOL

      Delete