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, March 25, 2017

Taxes and Treadmills



I’ve been going to the same Certified Public Account to get my income taxes done since Ring was a pup and he’s been died and buried under a rock in the back yard for over twenty years. I’ve never had a dog named Ring but that phrase was a favorite of my husband’s to denote that something happened a long time ago. Don didn’t have a dog named Ring either. He picked the phrase up from his dad who got it from Don’s grandfather who---family folklore claimed---actually did have a dog named Ring that resided in the back pasture with a rock rolled over the grave to keep wild animals from digging up his childhood dog. I love family verbiage like this and wish I had another generation to pass it down to. Today, out of curiosity I googled “since Ring was a pup.” (Or maybe it was suspicion that made me want to fact-check three generations of males who were all gifted storytellers.) I found ten listings for the phrase, three of which were links to my own blog entries, four to other people’s blogs and three appeared in newspapers dated 1911, 1914 and 1922. Oh how I would have loved to break that little tidbit to my husband! He would have laughed and loved to have one of his grandfather’s tales get exposed after so many years of blind faith in its accuracy. 

My taxes are much too simple to require the services of a CPA but he’s been doing my taxes since---well, Ring was a pup and Don and I both owned businesses and rental property. It was complicated back in those days of employees, depreciations and income and expenses coming in from all directions. Simple now or not, as long as I can still drive the dreaded S-curve to get to the CPA's office, I’ll keep going to him. He’s a straight-up, honest guy who plays by the rules and I like that. We’ve never worried about the IRS hauling us off to tax evader's prison.

The next day I had to go to the dealership for my Chevy Trax’s 10,000 miles free maintenance---tires rotated, oil changed and the fluids topped off. “Have you seen the new arrivals in the show room?” asked a salesman who stopped in the waiting room to refill his coffee cup. “Nope. The last time I did that I went home with my Trax." Can’t fool me twice. The day before my appointment I cleaned out the inside of the car of its winter clutter and when I was done I felt ten years younger. Why? Because I found a pair of prescription sunglasses that I’ve been looking for for weeks. I’m not a person who misplaces or loses things and every time I’d think about those glasses it would make me feel old, like it was a sign that I’m losing brain power. I tore up my reminder note about the missing glasses, quit obsessing about them and went back to believing that my brain might live to see another year before it descends into a pile of mush. 

Friday was my 15th time on the treadmill at the YMCA and I’m doing one and a quarter miles in a half hour. I decided not to follow my trainer Julie’s instructions to add five minutes every third time until after I see my doctor in April. He’s the boss of me not that tall, skinny-as-a-flagpole girl with her bouncy black hair and Marilyn Monroe red lips. If she ate an olive she'd look pregnant.

My Treadmill Playlist: From the top of the stairs to the treadmill is about a half a city block and I start my iPod playlist at that point so I can strut down the aisle with the Bee Gees singing, “Here I am, prayin' for this moment to last, livin' on the music so fine…” By the time it’s finished I’m on the treadmill and ready for what comes next, the Saturday Night Fever version of The Fifth of Beethoven. I love that piece! Years ago I used to plow snow to it---windows rolled down and the volume jacked up in an effort to keep myself awake near the end of my shift. My third treadmill walking song is by The Killers, All These things That I’ve Done. Until today when I googled the lyrics, I thought they were singing, “I got sold, but I'm not a soldier” They’re actually singing “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve imagined a backstory for that line and now I have to start all over again. What the heck does that mean? The forth song is my favorite: Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. “Life is goin’ nowhere, somebody help me! Yeah, I’m stayin’ alive.” By then the treadmill is getting harder and I’m wishing someone could help me! 

Then comes the biggie, the 9.52 minutes long Finale from The Lone Ranger movie otherwise known as The William Tell Overture. I really love it but I alternate between wanting to let go of the treadmill to become a made-believe orchestra conductor (which would have me flying off the end of the machine) and trying to figure out which of the false endings is actually the end of the piece so I can slow down and cool down with Helen Reddy’s I am Woman. All I know for sure is when the bass oboes play I think I’m going to die if Finale doesn’t end soon. It doesn’t. I’m going to be three-quarters of a century old soon. I can practically count on my fingers and toes the number of days until it's cake and candle time and I can’t believe I'm doing this gym thing---that I'm actually ABLE to do this gym thing!  ©

23 comments:

  1. +1 to every line, except the listening to music via iPod (via earliest, I assume - hate things poked in my ears). I preferred to watch the news (actually read, via closed captions).

    You're inspiring (again) me to join the gym. I will do next year. Its just I wish it were more productive, like you know generating e-energy for the house or something!! ~ Libby

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    1. At the gym, everyone has something plugged in their ears. I need the pace of the music to help me get a regular speed up. I listen to news from daybreak to bedtime so I enjoy it on the treadmill.

      You could get one of those bikes that generates enough e-energy to run a TV while we watch. LOL

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  2. That cartoon's fabulous. I'm not exactly terrified of spiders, but I'm just as happy if I don't walk into their webs, or find one waving body parts at me.

    If you don't stop with all the inspirational talk about gym life, I'm going to get myself over to our apartment complex's exercise room and hop on the treadmill. I'm so impressed with you, and I have a feeling I'm not quite as sturdy as I should be -- at least, cardio-wise. On the other hand, I just mentally counted some steps yesterday. A round trip from the boat I'm working on to the trash, or the car, is 300-400 steps. Multiply that by an average of ten trips per day, and I'm getting close to half of the ten thousand recommended. Just a little more effort could ensure I'm getting my daily dose.

    Taxes? Oh, yeh. It is that time, isn't it? I guess I ought to get with it. I do my own, and have all the forms sitting here on the desk. Maybe this could be the year I finish up while it's still March.

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    1. I have to ride the wave while I'm in the self improvement mood because I know a shiny object will come by and distract me and I'll lose interest at some point. Getting that ten thousand steps in every day is HARD. What I like best about what I'm doing is that I actually feel stronger and more flexible with every day things like getting out of chairs, picking up the dog's dish, etc. I've always been careful about picking chairs with arms to help me push up out of them but I can do it now without needed to use my arms. That's pretty big in my world.

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  3. I'm with you Jean. Next Saturday I take my Camero, zoom, zoom out of my garage and take it for it's year oil change and all those things that have to be done. One other thing that has to be done is the tire. It has a large screw in it that took all the air out of it. I hoe that they can fix because if they say I need a new tire, it's going to cost me a bundle.
    That cartoon scared me because spider frighten me to dickens. Even just looking at it scares me.
    Have a great Saturday Jean. Weather is improving. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. I hate getting screws and nails in tires! My neighbor stripped their roof and put new shingles on last week and I dreaded them taking their trailer away, expecting nails to fall out and find my tires.

      I don't like spiders, but I'm not especially afraid of them. But I hate it when the dog finds one and plays with it. He picks them up and tosses them.

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  4. Your gym routine is very impressive and it is encouraging for the rest of us to know that you are feeling added flexibllity and strength. I'm still hauling wood from the shed into the house and when the snow clears I will start cutting some more for next year's fires. That's my workouts these days! I really like enthusiastic music on my iPod too. These days I have Pink Floyd and Moody Blues albums to keep me going!
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. Cutting and hauling wood would be a workout! When I was at the gym the other day I was thinking about how much less our life styles include physical work like it did years ago...didn't need gyms back when we all lived closer to the earth.

      Thanks for the iPod suggestion. I will need more songs if the doctor okays my cardio workout. I don't listen to a lot of music so I don't know what's out there.

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    2. Just listened to Moody Blues. Too slow for my treadmill but I it did bring back some memories from my clubbing days.

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  5. When I began reading your post, I thought that "since Ring was a pup," sounded awfully familiar. I wondered if somebody was a close relative. Ha Ha.
    DH has the taxes done, with his varied states and tools and travel etc, it's just too confusing. I tried - years ago - won't anymore.
    So ... You were one of those folks that get caught up in that salesmen's pitch. :-)
    Good picks for your treadmill walking!
    Good cartoon, would work for me.

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    1. I've found things that my own dad said with google searches and it's fun to know how things like "do you ride a bike or do you live around here?" or "since Ring was a pup" came from.

      It didn't take much of a pitch to move me out of my Chevy Malibu. It was three years old and I hated it---the color, the lack of trunk space, the fact that it was car---but I felt like I had to keep it two more years before trading it in. When the salesman (who I'd known and bought from for years) got through factoring in discounts, the price of my brand new Trax was dropped down so low I couldn't pass it up. It only cost me $6,000 plus the trade-in and I had tax disbursements that covered it. It was the last day of the quarter and he was only one sale away from being the top salesman in the country. A win-win for both of us.

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  6. AARP will do your taxes for free. You don't have to be a member. Just Google for a location near you. I was very pleased with them.
    You really have an eclectic play list. Kudos on the treadmill and keep stepping to the music. Much more fun that way.

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    1. That's a good tip about the AARP and taxes. Our hall has people who come in and do taxes for free also, starting early in January. There are lots of services for seniors if you just know where to look.

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  7. You are the bomb. Exercise does makes a difference. We have to try to keep what we've got.
    What taxes? Is it tax time? :)
    I love "I Am Woman." What a great one to exercise to.

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    1. I just hope I don't get bored with it too soon. I am getting stronger in a lot of every day things and that is SO nice.

      I always get my taxes appointment a month ahead of time just case I don't have all the information I need of the CPA or I have an emergency. Hasn't happened yet but I'm set in my ways. LOL

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  8. For me, it would be a bag labeled "Snakes." Oh hell, who am I kidding? Just a video of snakes or a high quality picture of snakes would be enough.

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    1. That would do it for me, too! I hate snakes.

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  9. LOVE your playlist! If I went to a gym I'd come up with some great music too. But I have a shiny new super duper at home treadmill and I watch Amazon Prime or Netflix shows on it. I'm in Season 3 of Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Prime....I ADORE it! And it's introducing me to classical music in a fun and inspiring way as it's woven into the engaging storylines about the NYC symphony, their charismatic conductor, and quirky characters of the musicians. (Wow, I didn't intend to do a show review!) Point is, it's great to have a distraction while on the treadmill. Keep it up! Stronger is Better!

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    1. That would be handy to have a treadmill at home. Some of those at the gym can play TV and computer programs of workouts but for some reason that's not the kind I was shown how to use. 'Mozart in the Jungle' sounds wonderful and like something I'd like.

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  10. Woohoo! You go, girl. In my mind, I'm singing the BeeGee's tune along with ya -with "Ha, Ha, Ha, Keepin' it up, keepin' it up" (This has a slightly different connotation, but I thought I'd pass it along anyway.)

    I do love to laugh along with my bloggin' buddies, especially with this "If she ate an olive she'd look pregnant". Anyway... besides the laughs, I've been unearthing truisms in my life like the story about Ring, that have me re-categorizing beliefs from hallowed truth to outright fiction. Very liberating!

    I'll bet your GP will give you the go-ahead to increase your treadmill time, young lady.

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    1. I think older generations that didn't have the benefit of the 24 hour media access were much better at making up stories to entertain each other. My husband's family sure loved swapping stories and yarns for the pure love of telling stories.

      I'm hoping the doctor will do the heart monitor thing. It's been awhile and I want to know I'm safe to push it. He knows a lot about exercise/workouts.

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  11. I'd have to listen to the 1812 Overture. If the Standard Deduction is more than your Taxable Income, you don't have to file a tax return. I haven't filed in years. I don't know whether to be sad or glad about that. LOL

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    1. I do have taxable income so I have no choice but that's actually a good thing so no complaints from me.

      I remember liking the 1812 overture years ago. I'll have to look it up on YouTube. I'm going to need a new song if I start adding time to my treadmill.

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