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 9, 2017

Cardio Drumming, Charles Darwin and Training the Girls



Ohmygod! The cardio drumming class started this week at the senior hall and was it ever fun. I was afraid enough people wouldn’t show up and it would get canceled but the opposite happened. They had enough large exercise balls for twenty people to beat on but twenty-seven showed up and the late comers had to beat their drumsticks on chairs. Three bucks for an hour’s worth of trying to coordinate your drumming with the music, the people next to you and the instructor was a challenge that had us all laughing and a few drum sticks flying in the air, not to mention some balls rolling off their platform baskets. And you actually do work up a sweat. It was the most fun I’ve had exercising since I injured myself doing Zumba a few years ago and before that, a belly dancing class I took decades ago when I still had the hip action to make the jingle bells on my costume ring. After drumming class, I went out to lunch with one of my friends from the Gathering Girls and I ate chocolate pudding for dessert just in case I burned up too many calories doing cardio drumming. Can’t risk that happening. I’ll need my body fat to keep me warm this coming winter. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Alan Alda from the old M*A*S*H series did a documentary for PBS and the Travel Club I belong to played the DVD this month. Scientific American Frontiers: Voyage to The Galapagos (season 10, episode 1, 1999) retraces Charles Darwin’s footsteps to the Galapagos Island, located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador that helped him form his Theory of Evolution. They are geographically isolated islands that are actually the tops of volcanoes sticking out of the Pacific Ocean near the Equator and they are home to plants and animals that have evolved completely different than anywhere else in the world. The islands are also the home of The Charles Darwin Research Station where scientists are working to protect the unique ecosystem. I was especially fascinated with how they were able to bring their 500 pound tortoises back from near extinction, going from only eight females and one male to over 100 tortoises. They’ve discovered that it's the outside temperature that determines if an egg will hatch a male or female tortoise. So they keep the eggs they want to hatch as male tortoises warmer than the eggs they want to be females. Going on a cruise that takes in the Galapagos, Peru and Macu Picchu costs $7,250 for 13 days and 12 nights and I honesty can’t ever imagine me spending that kind of money to travel, but show me your photos when you get home and I won’t be bored.

This week was also the long awaited appointment to get a bra fitting. The senior hall director said she had no idea this would be such a popular thing to put on the calendar. Instead of just one day of fifteen minute appointments and one fitter she had to get the company to bring in three fitters to do appointments simultaneously all day long. Apparently, a lot of us ladies wanted to get our girls in bras designed for the geriatric set instead of those bras made for perky little twits who think their boobs will never succumb to The Law of Gravity. 

I was told to go in the dressing room, take off my sweater and leave on my bra. I did. Then a giant of a woman came in who made me feel like a dainty princess-in-waiting and trust me when I say, that’s a hard feat to accomplish. The first words out of her mouth were, “Those girls need to come up” and then she named a bra size she thought I was wearing and damned if she was right. She took out a tape measure and measured from the center of my body in front to the center of my body in back, below my bra band. Just half my body! She sang the alphabet song as she left and came back in with a bra for me to try. It was two cup sizes larger than I came in wearing! TWO! It fit like it was custom made. I wanted it to be more complicated than eye balling my boobs. I wanted to see more bra styles to choose between but she said, "No, that's the one you need." $69.95 for a plain Jane micro-stretch fabric. No lace. Taupe colored. I was floored by that price. I normally don’t spend more than $25 on a bra. 

I told her I’m not a taupe kind of lady and she said they could order me another color. I was torn. I resented the idea of paying so much but the girls were happy and sassy, so I gave in after doing some quick math that told me $70.00 would only reduce my heirs inheritance by $17.50 each. (I can justify anything if you give me a minute to think.) I have to wait two weeks for the order to come, assuming Fort Lauderdale where the parent company is located is up and running after Hurricane Irma passes by. Fires, floods and hurricanes with tornadoes inside. Now Mexico just had its strongest earth quake in a century and is expecting a tsunami. It’s about time Mother Nature takes a long time out. We’ve had enough! ©

Note: The Anita bra at the top is the exact bra I tried on and ordered at the fitting. 

30 comments:

  1. That drumming sounds like fun! How often is the class?

    I think I'd like to go on that trip - IF.

    Good that you found a good fitting bra. I hope it fits, once it comes. Looks very comfy!

    Yes, my hands are up in the air for everyone. We have had enough. Yet so much is still burning and Irma is heading steadily our way. It will be a tropical depression by the time it gets to my house, that's bad enough.

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    1. The class is once a week but if it remains popular, the instructor says she'll add a second one.

      That's a big IF, you'd have to be fit to do those islands. But they sure would be interesting. They said the animals there don't run, hide or threaten people because they see so few.

      I'm glad I opted not to pay for the bra until it gets delivered. From the looks of Irma, it might be a long time. I did find another brand online that looks like it in the (weird) cup size and I ordered it...for only $35.00.

      Stay safe where you are, Sharon!

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  2. Drumming does sound fun and if I ever win the lottery the Galapagos are my first choice.
    Cracked up at your justifying the cost as related to inheritance. Makes it a no brainer. I need to think like that. Thanks.

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    1. I had no idea where or what the Galapagos Islands were when I walked into the room. It was fascinating. In the video they even read pages out of the book Charles Darwin wrote about them and the animals there. Had me spellbound.

      I will probably use my Quarter Rule of Inheritance again on future purchases. LOL

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  3. Medicinal chocolate pudding. I like the sound of that. LOL

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  4. The drumming sounds like a blast.
    My son's fantasy at about 12 was to go to the Galapagos Island. He was fascinated by it. Who wouldn't be?
    The bra fitting sounds like a hoot. I'm sure I'm wearing the wrong size. Most of us probably are.

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    1. It was really different, crazy. I was early and got to watch others come out, all of them walked out with a bra to pay for. I had lace envy.

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  5. I just went to the Anita site and this is what I found:
    "Due to the Hurricane Irma warning in our local area, our corporate office and warehouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida will be closed Friday, September 8th and Monday, September 11th or until further notice."

    The part about "until further notice" is the important part.

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    1. I had my checkbook out to pay for my order when I remembered the hurricane and then asked if I could pay for it when it comes. I'm glad I made that judgement call. I can't imagine this hurricane not effecting everything down there. Even if the warehouse stands, their employees might have their homes to look after or their airports or roads damaged. So sad for those people.

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  6. Gosh, didn't I laugh at your chocolate pudding story. During the years I was caring for Mom, the pharmacists always would know how things were going by whether I showed up to collect her prescriptions with ice cream in hand. The first time I did it, the pharmacist said, "I presume this ice cream is for medicinal application only" and I said that of course it was. It became a running joke.

    I know a couple of people who've been to the Galapagos -- one is a young man who reads my blog. They both can't stop talking about it. Another friend is going to Ecuador and the Galapagos on an eco-tour. I'll never be able to afford the cost, although there are ways to do it that might cost less.
    It sure would be fun!

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    1. Ice cream does have a wonderful medical application. I use it far too often.

      A woman who lectures around Michigan volunteers on research projects to remote areas. She's a photographer and an adventurer like you. In the video on the Galapagos they mentioned volunteers who do, I think, 4 or 6 weeks helping at the research center. If a person has the time, there are great ways to both travel and do something rewarding at the same time.

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  7. Oh, I am a taupe kind of lady. I really dislike the stark white of underwear. It shows through everything. I prefer black, taupe, nude...and if we're talking undies, I like all different colours. Life is too short for plain vanilla in anything but Ice Cream (and there, too, I eschew vanilla, usually).

    Your drumming class sounds like a lot of fun, but like it would be too noisy for me, a migraineur. Maybe I would benefit from it, but with earplugs!

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    1. Drumming on those big plastic balls doesn't make as much noise as on regular drums.

      Undies: I won't wear any other color bra but nude because when I get dressed in the morning, if I change my mind or have to change clothes later in the day I don't want to have to fact in whether or not my bra will show through, like red under a white top. I was cracking up at the fitting when a woman probably 20 years old than me came out with a sexy, black lacy bra. And I'm glad I didn't say what I was thinking.

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  8. I like the bra - please pass on the brand and model, if you're happy to do so. I find that the more upmarket bras ARE better. If handwashed, they last so I'm happy to pay the $.

    Any activity that gets you moving is good, and if you enjoy it, double bonus! Re Galapagos, I'm a city type, so I'll pass on that. ~ Libby

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  9. The brand is Anita and the model was Rosa Faia. Find it here: http://www.anita.com/shop/en_us/underwired-bra-serie-twin-3be48f.html It you back space on their home button, you can see all the styles they make. I can't find anything on the site that tells you how to get a good fit, but I didn't look very hard either.

    Galapagos would have been fun when I was young, but out of the question now for me. But a fascinating place to learn about.

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    1. Thank you for the information.
      (My bad - I meant the name given to that particular bra-type, as opposed to the lady modelling it.) ~ Libby

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    2. I knew what you meant and the model/style of the bra is Rosa Faia. That's not a person's name. LOL

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    3. My bad #2!! ~ Libby

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  10. You've found it -- the argument in pictures that graphically demonstrates the climate warming concept -- especially likely to garner the attention of a certain gender and type of naysayer.

    Glad you enjoy drumming -- sounds interesting. I agree the bra price is more than I'd care to pay, but the fitting sounds like a fun informative experience. Recall visiting Quito (Ecuador's capitol) in the '50's and interacting with a couple of those huge tortoises on a hotel's grounds -- when there were more of the creatures in existence. Would have loved to visit the island.

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    1. I don't remember what I was looking for when I found that climate meme, but I knew I had to find a way to use it.

      Unfortunately, the cup size the fitter told me I need is not one that can be found in local stories. I did find a similar bra online from JMS brand that was MUCH cheater to try.

      I guess those tortoises were the favorite food of ship crews back in the day and they in turn introduced rats to the island who also ate turtle eggs. They are working to reduce the rat population. And that's reason enough for me not going. LOL

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  11. That is on my bucket list--to get a personal bra fitting.

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    1. I'll bet after this hurricane is over and they parent company is back up and running you could email them to find the nearest representative. I guess they have them all over the place. They do a lot of fittings for women who've had cancer.

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  12. Wow Jean! Finally you're back to writing your blog. I was so worried about you.
    Now this cardio drumming class with these balls, I saw it in a video and it just looked so much fun. I showed to my wife and she loved the idea. The music was fantastic, so much fun.
    Now the next part of your blog, well bras aren't my thing but being a man, an Italian, I love breast, Sorry about that. I will say, listening to my wife, wearing the correct bra will help the woman looking beautiful and also feeling great. $70 is a lot but hell, if it makes you feel great, get one.
    I Feel so bad for the islands after the hurricane. I've been to many of them and Oh my God, How can they ever come back from this but they will and I'll go back to visit them especially St. Maarten.
    Have a great day my friend. See ya.

    Paul

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    1. Paul, there must be something wrong with whatever method you get notifications of my blog entries. I have been blogging twice a weeks for several years, not...not missed a single deadline. A new one every Wednesday and Saturday.

      I just got home from my second cardio drumming class. It was so much fun, but also a great workout.

      The hurricanes is going to effect a lot of businesses that depended on the tourists and cruise ships.

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    2. Yesterday was the Wednesday 13th and the blog I read was on the 9th. I do enjoy your blogs great day. See ya my friend.

      Cruisin Paul

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  13. Love this post! I'd have loved to be with you for every activity. That drumming sounds awesome. I've looked for a similar class around here but no luck so far.

    The bra fitting story is great too. I have been measured "professionally" -- the saleswoman at Macy's -- and I too was shocked to discover I needed to go to a significantly larger cup size...made a world of difference in my comfort and appearance. I'm always stunned at the cost of a good bra, but I justify it by knowing I have built a good foundation upon which to hang my less expensive window dressing. LOL (I do the expenditure justification dance too....I equate everything to "How many mocha's is that?" As if I'd sacrifice my mocha habit in favor of paying for a new bra. Fat chance.

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    1. I have a knock off bra coming in the mail. I hope it feels as good as the one I tried on. It might be a very long time before I get the one I ordered out of their operation down in Florida. I couldn't give up my Starbucks for a good bra. I'd have to give up something else like ....let me think.

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  14. OK Jean, I have no experience with trying on bras, but I say if it fits well, feels good, and is comfortable then you have spent your money well, I have no problem paying up for comfort.

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    1. What surprises me is how many women are wearing the wrong size. They say 70% and I believe it from what everyone says about these fittings. I can promise this is one bra the dog wouldn't be dragging around the house. Oops.

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