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, September 24, 2016

Clean Carpets and Dirty Politics


 


With something on my schedule every day this week, it flew by, but not everything was social or fun. One day was devoted to getting my house ready for the carpet cleaners to come the next day. In recent years I’ve scheduled them to come the day after my monthly house cleaning day so I could get the cleaning service girl to help me stack and move furniture around, but one thing after another got in the way of that plan this year and I couldn’t keep putting it off. Boy, have their prices have gone up in the decade I’ve been using the company. They started out at $20 a room and now it’s $50. I suppose that’s to be expected but the rub comes from the fact that pension and Social Security checks have stayed the same. And young people wonder why old people start letting house maintenance go by the wayside.

This week also included Red Hat Society Wednesday and we had our second meeting at the brand new senior living complex, a very elegant and accommodating place but I was ready to dance on a table top when a vote was taken on staying there, or not. It was ten to one to go back to our old meeting place in the community room above a supermarket in the tourist town near where my husband grew up. I wasn't the only one who missed getting a Starbucks on the way up and a few groceries after the meeting. We also had a good time discussing tee-shirt designs. We’re all having trouble finding purple clothing so we’re looking into the idea of getting purple tee-shirts with the Red Hat Chapter’s name on the front and something like, “Wild and Crazy” on the back with a line crossing out the ‘wild’ part. We kicked around other ideas that had us laughing and talking about the last time we felt “Sassy and Bad Assy.” By the next meeting we should have some design options to vote on. 

Ohmygod, do I dare bring up the presidential election? I can’t take it anymore! I'm angry and disgusted over all things Trump related. He doesn’t have the temperament, knowledge-base, judgement, character or personal ethics to be the leader of the free world. Never before in my entire voting life have I ever feared that if “my guy” didn’t win that the country would be in extreme peril. I blame the obstructionists who have dominated Washington D.C. in recent years for bringing us to this point. There is no excuse, for example, for the Senate not to give Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court---Merrick Garland---an up or down vote. That vote has been blocked for over a year now when the average length of time for a justice vote is 75 days. Mitch McConnell and his band of cohorts are no better than welfare queens; they collect a paycheck but refuse to do their jobs. People are rightly fed up with government, but the solution isn’t to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

And now Trump is saying he’ll implement a nationwide Stop-and-Frisk policy as a solution to big city crime when a 9½ week federal trial in 2013 has already ruled that it’s unconstitutional. And from the other side of his mouth he supports the NRA’s push to make open carry legal in every state. How’s that going to work out? Stop and frisk the blacks for guns but let the whites keep right on walking with their AK-47’s slung over their shoulders? How’s that going to play in Peoria? 

For all Trump’s claims about loving America he sure doesn’t respect our Constitution. How many times has he promised to take free speech away from the media if he’s elected? Once is scary, Hitler-like enough but he keeps beating that drum. Presidents don’t get to cherry pick the Constitution like it’s an assortment of decadent desserts on a cart. Trump also has no grasp of American history. If he did he couldn’t stand on a stage and claim, “African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever!” Worse than during slavery? Worse than during the 100 years of Jim Crow laws and segregation?

And his running mate, Mike Pence, believes all schools should teach Creationism, says condoms are “too modern” and that the government should pay for gay conversion therapy. In other words, he’s a liberal’s nightmare. I need to quit writing before I bust a blood vessel in my head. It’s enough to say that I both dread the outcome of election and wish it could be over with tomorrow. The drama of this election makes me feel like barfing the way the dog did on the carpeting ten minutes after it had been cleaned. ©

27 comments:

  1. CONGRATS on getting the Red Hat space you wanted!! Does your group have a name already and you are just working on the back of the T-shirt? Or are you coming up with a name also? I have a friend who is in at least FIVE groups and she travels around the Western US attending functions. I bet she has a million dollars in clothes and shoes and hats and jewelry. Not sure you can view her Facebook page ... I'll email you her name!

    And in the interest of our internet friendship .... no political comments!

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    1. We've had a chapter name since the being 15 years ago. We're just trying to think of something fun to put on the shirts. One of the ladies in my group is like your friend. She's in four groups and has an entire room of red hat clothing, hats and accessories. she was widowed the same year I was. When my group was younger, they would go to some of the out-of-state events. I've never even been to a city-wide event which they do once a year.

      Yes, in the interest of internet friendship, it's always a gamble to bring up politics. Sorry if I'm offending any Trump fans.

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    2. I don't think there really are any FANS this election, just trying to choose the lesser of two stinking choices! No offense taken!

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  2. I'm doing the happy dance for you. I know there were many reasons you preferred the former location. Thank goodness the rest of your group did, too.

    As for politics, I'm so exhausted. We've watched much of it. I took breaks when I couldn't take anymore, but I always went back for more. I've never been so worried about an election. The hate speech is scary.

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    1. Me, too. I take short breaks but keep getting pulled back in because it's too important to not be an informed voter this time around.

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  3. Happy for you about the location of your meetings! Maybe the dissenter needs a ride? There are times when change for the better, isn't.
    Last time we had the carpets cleaned it was $99 for the whole house, that's like 11-12 years ago. I haven't seen that company's sale price lately. No, fixed income folks cannot afford the climb in prices.
    Politics - I don't want to think about it. From the time Mr. Obama was elected, he didn't have a chance. I actually felt sorry for him to have to inherit what he did. It's been a mess. There is no right solution anymore. Those that have the power have picked two of the lamest excuses for candidates in the books, there is no 'winning' and we are going down the tubes. Sorry, you asked and this is just my opinion. Think we would do just as well with Oscar and Miss Piggy.
    Hadn't heard that about condoms being too modern - did Mr. Pence have an alternative? Sigh ... I hate politics.

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    1. Yes, Pence did have an alternative. Just say "no." I'm not kidding. He calls himself a "born-again, evangelical Catholic."

      The dissenter liked the cleaner surroundings of the new place. She lives within walking distance of the old place we're going back to.

      I would vote for Oscar and Miss Piggy. At least we know who controls them. I'm hoping this election is a wake up call for everyone, that we can't continue to let big money control what goes on in D.C. We need to overturn Citizen's United! And the Republican Party needs to rebuild from the ground up, if Trump loses and start a brand new party if he wins.

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  4. All I need to do is ask and a free carpet shampoo is mine, instead I say "over my dead body." Being pet free apartment dwellers carpet shampooing is not the job it is for house owners. Apartment carpet is not top grade. My experience is once it's gotten wet it often stretches. It may just be me but I don't think it's ever the same after shampooing. With only two adults we aren't very dirty. For two years I've managed with spot cleaning. Now for some reason I suddenly see several spots. We can no longer stack and move furniture. Instead I use a simple to use rug shampoo machine I own. I can control how wet the carpet gets. It's time for me to use it on some areas.

    The election is beyond awful. Either way we're in big trouble. I've picked the sources/polls I trust and they're telling me things are still on track for a Hillary win. What concerns me more is the senate. It's a very real possibility it could remain in Republican hands. If so we'll be in total lock down until such time as voters wake up and change the make up of the House and The Senate. Hillary doesn't appear to have coat tails.

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    1. My carpeting is old but was good grade commercial that is glued to the pad and the pad to the floor (best combo for wheelchairs). It's been cleaned 20 times and it never stretches. It always looks and smells wonderful when it's done with cleaning though it never looks all that bad to begin with. The Scotch Guard is worth the extra charge because any stains stay on the surface and can be spot cleaned well.

      The Senate, the House and the who gets to appoint the Supreme Court Justices concerns me, too. I hope those polls you trust are right. Others are all over the map. We'll never get rid of Citizen's United without the right combination.

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  5. Hi Jean. I've been checking every day to see if you've written a blog and today is the day. I'm happy to see that you've written and what a blog. Being a Canadian, I shouldn't worry about your American politics but oh my we will a should be worried if that scary person called TRUMP wins and becomes the President of the U.S. He scares me to death. I do hope that there will be more intelligent people in the states who won't elect that weirdo. I've often wondered how those people in the Senate get elected. They are millionaires and yet don't think about the real people. I pray that some day reality shows itself to the United States. I've got my own problems here in Canada. I wonder if the Prime Minister is really thinking about us. My dollar is down at least about $0.25. My cruise is costing me a mint. Oh well, that's my problem.

    Good to hear from you Jean. See ya my friend in Michigan.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. Your Justin Trudeau seems like a straight up nice and competent guy to me. Of course, we probably only hear the nice things about him here in the States, because it's stuff Obama is saying about him. LOL I may have to move to Canada if Trump wins.

      Sorry your cruise is costing more. but you love them so you'll get you money's worth.

      My blogs always go live very early in the mornings on Wednesday and Saturdays.

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  6. How awful Levi barfed on the cleaned carpet! I removed the carpets and got bamboo floors (tiles in wet areas) - easier to keep clean (and rugs take care of winter cold) and no hassles with rip-off carpet cleaners.

    Great win on the venue being changed back to the original site.

    I've already ranted that I'm anti-Trump, ergo pro-Hillary. The "educated" who smugly say that their conscience doesn't allow them to vote either, and that's ok because they're in a safe state, get my goat. Its like letting others take your share of a heavy load. Usually the not-formally educated are quicker to spot a con, so lets see how it all ends with Trump-supporters. I understand your frustration at not being able to vent! ~ Libby

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    1. I think Hillary has gotten a bad wrap on many things like Benghazi and e-mails, and low information voters are buying into the deliberate smear. She's certainly not perfect but she's spent her entire adult life trying to serve for the greater good while Trump has spend his entire life in selfish pursuit of wealth. I agree, people who won't choose aren't doing their civic duty.

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  7. PS - great title for the post, btw. ~ Libby

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  8. Jean, This election terrifies me. I keep reminding myself that presidents don't have anywhere near as much power as we think they do, and that they are always shocked by how little they can get done. (One advantage Hillary Clinton has here; she knows from her husband's presidency just how limited the powers of the president are.) I worry how Trump would respond to discovering that he can't just order everyone around and have them do his bidding. Government doesn't operate like a business, and a president can only fire political appointees (nor civil servants) in the Executive branch. -Jean

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    1. I share those same concerns and I can't imagine going through four years of what we've gone through this past 18 months with Trump's outrageous stuff filling up the news. He's already said he won't do the normal presidential stuff, he'll be more like a chairman of the board and appoint someone to do the actual president's job. I fear that will be Pence. He'll also cause us a lot of trouble with our allies and friends around the world and the way he lets conspiracy websites influence his rhetoric is scary, too. One of the guys working on his campaign is a Sandy Hook denier!

      The debate should be interesting. Trump has invited Jennifer Flowers to sit in the front row (the woman Bill admitted to having an affair with). I hope that blows up in his face and women voters think it was very sleazy and low for him to do that.

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  9. One thing that I have, thus far, failed to understand is why the polls are showing the candidates so close. I agree with you that there have been too many comparisons that are unjust and many media people have ignored the hard work that Clinton has done over the years to improve social programs in this country. Given that she has strengths and is an intelligent and competent candidate, why is she not vastly outnumbering him in polls? I was not a supporter of hers in 2008-2012. I preferred Obama. And if Sanders candidacy got further, I would have supported him, but she is the one now who will get my vote and no, I do not think she is horrible. I see her as competent and capable and I am willing to give her the chance to move our country toward more social programs that benefit all of us.
    And I want her to win strongly and powerfully to take down that f**ker hard.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. Every word you've written I completely agree with and wish I had written them. I also think there are a lot of us who feel this way. While I might not be vocal about it in public I trust Hillary and think she deserves a chance. I, too, voted for Obama in the last two elections and think history will judge him well.

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  10. Right on, sister! Beautifully written piece about this election. At least sanity and voting aren't dead. The Red Hat Society results are fantastic.

    Love reading the comments here. Ditto and kudo's to so many!! That's a great point Linda made - that Hilary doesn't have coat tails. Lack of visionary charm, I guess. She's like the general manager that actually builds things the visionary fires our imagination with. One thing I can say for Trump - he's a visionary. Sells the sizzle, not the steak. His loyalty to the constitution, and our liberties is as thin as the gloss on a soap bubble.

    I'm fascinated but not concerned about the election. I trust that these three debates will unmask both candidates for who they are. What I AM concerned about is the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he's inducing in kind, caring people like you. People do crazy things when stressed out.

    As Julian of Norwich said during the Black Plague, "All shall be well. All manner of things shall be well." And eventually, they were.

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    1. I love the commenters here, too, even if they disagree with me all are welcome.

      I was fascinated at first when Trump first entered the primaries but that wore off fast. Unfortunately Julian of Norwich had to wait a very long time for the Black Plague to end and people's heart to mend after losing half their families. I don't know if I'd live long enough to see our country recover if Trump wins.

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  11. About presidential power..I watched 60 Min last week with the continuation tonight about nuclear war. The president can make the call to one selected high up man in the military and orders are sent to bomb wherever and to what degree. If I understood the program correctly, the president has sole power to do that. Congress doesn't have the power to override. Of course they can advise. But sometimes you only have minutes to make the call. Not if that ain't scary!

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    1. Wow, that sure is scary and considering how Trump uses twitter in the middle of the night, I'm afraid we'll wake up some morning to very bad news.

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    2. I had to laugh about Levi. My dog chose to get diarrhea an hour before my house was to have a for sale open house. Thinking back, it was funny. Not so much at the time!

      I agree 100% with you about you about the election. Although, I love politics and am thrilled I recently retired and get to watch so much more of it.

      I'm not a Bill Clinton fan and don't like the thought of him back in the White House and the news. My dislike of him won't stop me from voting for Hillary though.

      I'm less enthused about voting for anyone really because it means the end of President Obama's term. I view him as the best president we've had since FDR.

      I can't wait for tomorrow nights debate!

      Peggy

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    3. Diarrhea Dog had quite the timing. LOL

      Bill Clinton's sexual history is no worse than what Trump's sexual history is only Trump bragged about his in public. I just don't think Bill would make the same, stupid mistakes because he's got a legacy to redeem and he's got grand-kids to make that important to him. The Clinton Foundation was all about redemption.

      I am so going to miss President and Mrs. Obama. They have served with such class and decorum and I think you are right about his legacy. History will judge him well.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  12. Sassy and bad-assy has my vote!

    You know how I feel about the Republican candidate -- he is despicable but more troubling are the numbers of people who support him inspire of it (or because of it?) That is shocking and so demoralizing to me -- that such a considerable number of our citizen find him appropriate for the Presidency -- find him a person they would be proud to represent us on the world stage. Unbelievable.

    Love your last line...still laughing.

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    1. That's what is demoralizes me, too, that so many people support him. We don't let our five years olds act like him without correcting them for name-calling, bullying and lying. Why is that acceptable in a president?

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