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, January 21, 2017

Tears at the Car Wash



The luncheon at the senior hall got canceled this week but when I got up that morning I didn’t check their website or look for district school closings on TV that triggers that to happen. It was rainy and gloomy but the temperature was a couple of degrees over 32 so it never occurred to me that ice or fog might have been an issue earlier in the morning when they have to send the buses out. Off I went to find the doors to the hall locked up tight and eight or nine others in the parking lot who’d made the same mistake. “Hell’s bells!” as my mother used to say---her only foothold in the world of swearing. A local restaurant chain I’ve ordered breakfast in since before I went through menopause was around the corner, so off I went. I surprised myself and the waitress by ordering the baked chicken special because it seemed like a comfort food kind of day. It was good but not like my mother used to make with a can of cream of mushroom soup. I’ve been craving chicken so much lately that I’m starting to crow like a rooster looking to get laid. Not funny? Not accurate? Sorry, I know nothing about the sex life of poultry. I do know my chicken cravings caused me to sign up for a two-hour cooking class on what you can do with store-bought rotisserie chickens. Apparently there is more than making soup.

The dollar store was my next stop. It's close to home and I often stop there when I’ve got no place else to go thus wasting getting all spiffed up for just a hour’s worth of time away from the house. (I used to joke about my dad’s girlfriend who, when I chauffeured them around on their dates, always wanted to go to the dollar store. Now that I’m the age she was back then, I get it. I get that sometimes a lady just needs to go shopping someplace where she can’t be tempted to spend more than a $1.98.) But Bill Murray, that prolific recording artist of Vaudeville fame---be still my heart---summed it up better when he sang: “When you're all dressed up and have no place to go, how you long for someone near you, just to cheer you, just to dear you. It’s when you’ll understand the meaning of that little word ‘lonesome’ when you’re all dressed up and have no place to go.”

Change of topic. Levi has a birthday coming up soon, his ninth, which meant he got to go shopping at Chow Hound to use the birthday money/coupon they sent him. We picked out a new collar and some peanut butter bones that usually make him barf. He got to smell the rabbits and cats in cages and the other dogs shopping. He loves Chow Hound and it’s sad that his mom (that would be me) doesn’t take him more often. When he’s along on shopping trips it cost more because Chow Hound puts all the plush toys, smelly pig parts and flavored treats down low where the dogs can grab them. With Levi’s long Schnauzer beard and mustache he always manages to smuggle something up to the checkout line where he’ll be coerced to drop it long enough for the cashier to scan it. Thankfully, he waits until I get the plastic off the contraband (usually a peanut butter bone) before he eats it. 

After Chow Hound we went to Starbucks where Levi got a puppuccino and I got a cappuccino. I get my drink free around my birthday but he gets his “drink” free any day of the year. After I pulled out of the drive-thru line I had to park the car to hold his cup while Levi licked up the cream. By the time he’d finished off the puppuccino his beard and mustache were white with cream. But he was happy and raring to go to the third place on his birthday tradition list: the car wash. Some dogs hate the car wash, others love it and Levi is in the latter group. When my husband was alive the three of us used to sing our way through the place but I can’t make Levi howling the way Don could. 

It’s funny how your emotions can change on a dime.  The first half of January leading up to my husband’s sadiversary usually effects my moods but the years when it made me cry, I thought, were in the rear view mirror. Going through the car wash, however, had me wiping a few tears off my cheek. Maybe it was the week of endless rain. Maybe it was the baked chicken disappointment without the mushroom soup the day before or maybe I was just crying because Levi was such a mess I would have liked to hold head out the window while going through the car wash. Nope, the tears couldn’t have been a ‘widow thing.’ I am woman and I’m too strong for that! ©


Levi's old and new collars. From 'Pets for Peace', bought during the Obama administration and
 'psychedelic', bought under the Trump administration.

25 comments:

  1. I'd also be interested in finding out what you can do with store-bought rotisserie chickens, so please let us know too after the 2hours' class.

    I'm not a dog person, so didn't quite understand why buy Levi some peanut butter bones that usually make him barf? if he barfs them, why?! But agree with the "off with the old and in with the new" in regard to changing dog collars under a new administration. The new one looks very colourful and smart. Happy Birthday to Levi!

    I don't think there's a timeline on tearing up. I remember reading of a woman widowed, with young children, who re-married very happily and had few more kids. But she never forgot her first dead husband and still teared up some 60 years' after his death (the second was still alive). I remember thinking: God, does the pain never end?!

    I think its the thought that there is now no one who truly cares/worries whether you return home at night, and the lack of loving, human touch that can make us all a bit teary at times. I'm not a touchy-feely person by nature, but do understand that. Then, I remember the squabbling old couples that I see in the mall, and that makes me feel a little better. Its the old adage of it can't be better, it could be worse. Take care. ~ Libby

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    1. Totally agree with the last two paragraphs.

      With Levi and the peanut butter bones, it's two things: One, it's hard to get them away from him in the store and two, it's a matter of quantity. If I break them in half and he only gets a half at a time he won't barf. He only gets them at all 4-5 a year, when I take them into the store.

      I didn't plan on the collars being a political statement but after I photographed them it hit me that they were a reflection of how I felt about the world when I bought them.

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  2. Memories can hit you at any time, can't they? Even in the car wash. Levi sounds like such a spunky little character. I hope he cheers you up sometimes. I smiled all the way through your description of his visit to Chow Hound. How clever are they to put the smelly toys down low so the doggies can reach them, reminds me of how they put all the candy and kid-attractive stuff at the checkout so kids will badger their mothers all the way through the check-out line.

    I am intrigued with rotisserie chicken recipes, too. I saw a recipe the other day for chicken pot pie that used rotisserie chicken. It does cut a huge step out of preparing a recipe if you don't have to cook the chicken first. I'll be interested to hear about what you learn.
    I loved your measurement of time, "since before I went through menopause." Ha! I'm gonna steal it.

    I can't help myself. I love the dollar store. It appeals to everything in me. Lots of cheap stuff, but it's often useful, necessary or just plain fun. Of course, there's a lot of junk in there, too, but junk is fine when it's St. Patrick's Day decorations, or Easter basket fillers or stocking stuffers. My grands love all that good junk.

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    1. You should see me trying to get pig parts away from Levi. Those things must smell really good because Levi isn't the only one who loves them. Those I refuse to let him have. When he was a puppy he crawled right up inside the bin. I've learned to try to avoid walking near them.

      My grocery store sometimes sells rotisserie chickens off the bone...talk about easy! Great for sandwiches and salads. I'm intrigued, too, about the possibilities. I use them to make soup but I'm always afraid I won't get out all the bones and it will end up killing me. LOL

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  3. Happy Birthday to Levi! There's a reason owners let the pets in the store. Dogs have a way of making us all dog pamperers. Nice bright collar for the Birthday Boy.

    Rotisserie chicken makes great chicken salad. I'd be leery of anyone taking the meat off the bones besides myself.

    My mom used to sing about "All Dressed Up and No Place to Go." Good idea to go to the Dollar Store!

    There is no telling what odd situations can make us cry, we all have different memories. I can understand the car wash.

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    1. Levi thanks you. LOL I love seeing how geeked up the dogs all get in Chow Hound. They have a resident cat that is allow to roam and she doesn't back down from any of the dogs.

      I'm glad you mentioned being leery about buying a rotisserie chicken that someone has already taken the meat off the bones. That was on the back of my mind and I dismissed it as me being a bit paranoid. I'll go back to trusting my instincts on this one.

      I was surprised at how many people have recorded "All Dressed up and no place to go" and there are different versions, so I went with the oldest. My mom used to sing it, too.

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  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Levi! I'm ready for another photo of him ... maybe with his new collar?

    I think we may all be like the lady who still sheds a tear after 60 years of widowhood. All dressed up and nowhere to go! Since I've mostly been stuck at the condo, I've not put on my face or sassed up my hair. It makes a difference in how I feel .. so I may get gussied up and go to the Dollar Store! They don't have them on Maui ...

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    1. I wonder why they don't have dollar stores on Maui. Interesting.

      Levi has a grooming appointment next week. Maybe he'll get his photo taken. Good idea, so close to his birthday.

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  5. Oh gee, that is bad to be all dressed up and no where to go. Do I like chicken, not so much, as tasteless as cardboard. I love dollar stores, car washes, not so much.

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    1. I love chicken in its many forms, especially fried chicken that I try not to have more six times a year. But baked, stir-fried and rotisserie I like too. I rarely have chicken in a sit-down restaurants because it's one of the few things I actually know how to fit at home.

      Since car washes went with a machine to put your money in they frustrate me. The menu is too busy to figure out what button to push and where to put the money in.

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  6. I love chicken, but I tend to bypass the rotisseried ones in the store, just because I can't think of what to do with it, and I worry about whether they're really kept at temperature during the day. The solution to that is to change my schedule, and pick one up during my lunch break, or figure out when they're first put out. They have specials at a local store, when you can get them for $5 -- a decent price.

    Every time I stop by the pet store for some reason, I see all the dogs, and think about what it would be like to take my kitty there. It's never, ever going to happen!

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    1. The store I go to puts the time on chickens when they come out of the rotisserie and they are kept in a case where you can see the temperature, not that I've ever bothered looking at it. I usually eat off it once or twice then make a batch of soup and freeze part of the soup.

      I've never seen a cat, other than the one who lives there and are there to be adopted, in the pet store but plenty of tiny dogs ride around in the shopping carts.

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  7. Yes, maybe this is all a bad acid trip! Levi is on to something!

    Funny stuff about the chicken sex lives. I have no idea how that works either.

    Tears are signs of strength. Let them flow.

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    1. I couldn't stand it any longer. I finally googled why roosters crow and I read a scientific study that concluded they aren't entirely sure why but it has something to do with an internal clock rather than light. No sex involved. LOL

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  8. Hey I'd cry and be in a fetal position so I think you are doing well. Don't be hard on yourself.
    As for rotisserie chicken, I make a ton of stuff with it. It is a life saver and time saver for me! Enjoy that class and then share with this class. :-)

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    1. Thanks. Now that the 5th sadiversary is over I'm back to 'normal' whatever that is.

      I will for sure write about the chicken class but it doesn't come until March. I sign up the minute the classes are announced, otherwise they get filled up to quickly to get in. Next is a tour of our public museum's back rooms to see where they store and restore stuff, and whatever else they do back there.

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  9. Are you the trickle down cheek cry-er, or the snot nose bawler? I'm the latter, when 'all dressed up and no place to go' meets 'still here and no one to listen', typically after I've watched a kumbaya moment on TV. Call the Midwife on PBS gets me every time.

    To Levi you must be a combination of God, Mommy and Santa Claus on his birthday. Does he celebrate half birthdays?

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    1. I'm the trickle down the cheek cry-er. I love that phrase, "Still here and no one to listen."

      Levi doesn't celebrate half birthdays but he does celebrate it's-a-nice-day-for-a-ride days when he'll get to go to the park and Starbucks. LOL

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  10. Wow!!! What the heck is a puppuccino and what is in it? Is there one there called CruisinPauluccino? Well, if a dog can have one, so should I. Ha,ha,ha.
    " I'm not a touchy-feely person by nature, "Cruisin Paul sure is so if I ever meet you Jean, the first thing I will do is hug you and kiss you on both cheeks. ( The Italian way )
    That'a about it for now my friend. I've a;ready begun to start paching for my cruise. I must be silly because I'm so excited. Is it normal to be that excited? Oh well, that's me. See ya Jean.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. Puppuccinos are just cups of whipped cream and sometimes topped with a tiny dog bone treat. Banks give out dog treats, and some fast food places also around here. Levi's got it all figured out where he'll get stuff.

      I grew up with a lot of Italian uncles straight from the old country. I would like your Italian hugs and cheek kisses...has long as your wife was in view. LOL

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  11. I never know what may trigger a tear, or when and sometimes even why. Gradually lessened over the past ten years since my husband's death, but have concluded they'll probably never completely cease.

    Sounds like Levi leads quite the life and must thrive on all the attention, affection and pampering. Wouldn't be surprised if he thinks he's a person. Fancy collars!

    A few years when I was young and we lived in country, we raised chickens, had several different kinds. DT reminds me of roosters who strutted about, cocky, sounding off, suddenly grabbing feathered heads with beak the hens who caught his fancy so he could flop on top briefly, then he was off to more scratching in the dirt, couldn't stand others getting more attention than him so would bully and flutter about, could squawk a lot.


    ,

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    1. All the 'seasoned' widows I know say something similar to what you're saying. Guess it's just something I need to accept.

      Levi loves people, other dogs and going to the groomers. He has a guy groomer and they give each other kisses like long lost friends. LOL

      Great description of rooster behavior. I never knew how that worked and I agree, it also is a prefect description of DT.

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  12. Joared: I was able to google Rachel Rays + 7 dinners from Rotisserie Chicken found this article. Thanks for the information.

    http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/20529_these_7_easy_dinners_using_rotisserie_chicken_will_save_your_sanity/

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  13. I must live under a rock. When you mentioned that movie I had not one clue. Then I watched the trailer and yes, I have of it. UP for an Academy Award I think?

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    1. Oops, you posted this on the wrong blog entry. I've done that a few times. too. Yes, Hidden Figures is up for a few Academy Awards and I will be pulling for it to win.

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