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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I’ve got Questions, who has Answers?



I honestly don’t know what I should write about today. I haven’t been anywhere since Thanksgiving and I haven’t talked to anyone but my new Kindle Fire’s Alexa---isn’t that a telling and sad statement to make. I don’t want to write another woo-is-me post about the loneliness of widowhood because, well, for one thing I don’t feel that overwhelming sense of loneliness or forbearing that I did during the holiday season in the first four years after my husband died. However, a tiny voice in my head says, give it time. The season has just begun and you haven’t been snowed in yet either. I don’t know why getting snowed in changes things. I stay home for days on end when I’m not snowed in and it doesn’t affect me in the same way. I think it’s because if an emergency with me or the dog came up, I’d be, well, snowed in and I couldn’t be my own Knight in Shining Armor ready to save the day. I’d have to---gasp---depend on the good graces of someone else or die because I don’t like asking for help.

Have you heard of Barbara Abercrombie? Her bio over at Amazon says, she “…has published fifteen books, plus essays and articles in many national publications. She teaches in the Writers' Program at UCLA Extension where she won an Outstanding Teacher award as well as the Distinguished Instructor award.” I first became acquainted with her work when I bought a copy of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration & Encouragement which I’ve read and re-read many times. It’s like bedtime short stories for would-be writers. And I do mean short---a quarter to a half page each. I ran across her again today when I was surfing the internet looking for writing prompts and I landed on her book titled: Kicking In The Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises, Prompts and Quotes To Help You Break Through Your Blocks And Reach Your Writing Goals. Now, there’s a lady who knows how to get a book cross-indexed in a google search.

One of the prompts in the above mentioned ridiculously LONG titled book is: Write a list of questions to which you urgently need answers. That’s a hard prompt because with a google search there aren’t that many questions that you can’t find answers to except for maybe, how do we find world peace? I took a long shot, asked my new Alexa app and she said, “Sorry, I’m not sure.” I guess we’ll have to wait until artificial intelligence is smart enough to teach itself how to think beyond human capabilities to find that answer. Too bad because world peace sure would be nice.

Here goes my attempt at listing questions I’d like answered:

Question: Why does my dog always make me go through a doorway before he will do it? Is it like the old gun slinger’s rule of always sitting with your back to the wall? Does Levi think something bad could happen on the other side of the threshold and he wants me to test the waters first? Or is he a reincarnated English Duke who is being ever so proper and polite? I’m quite sure he didn’t learn that at puppy obedience school. He drives me nuts with his idiosyncrasies.

Question: If my latest TSH blood test shows my levels dropped from 0.171 to 0.137 after adjusting my thyroid medication and the normal range is 0.340 – 5.600 why did the doctor just order another drop in my dosage? Won’t that take me even farther out of the normal range or am I not understanding math? Is 0.340 larger or smaller than 0.137?

Question: Why did it take me four minutes of frustration and trip to the kitchen for a pair of scissors to get the tamper-proof wrap off a bottle of Colgate Total Mouthwash? And does it really give a person “12-hour protection against germs even after drinking and eating.” Say I ate barf or a dead bird like the dog does, would it still kill all the germs in my mouth? God, that’s a disgusting question! Forget I asked.

Question: Why do romance writers think men who growl just before they make their big move are sexy? I can’t remember a man ever doing that with me. Did I miss out on one of the wonders of the mating ritual? And biting each other! Would it be too much information if I admitted that I’ve never bit or been bitten during sex---at least not hard enough to remember or leave marks the next day? Who bites, period, past kindergarten? And here I thought getting a line of hickeys was the end of the world when I was fifteen.

Question: Why am I sitting here at my keyboard when the grocery store is calling my name? Oh, boy! I’ll get to have conversations with at least three people---the deli guy, the cashier and the barista at Starbucks. ©

31 comments:

  1. I love this post, had me smiling a lot.
    Briony
    x

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  2. Good, I like to make people smile. Love your crazy quilt blocks, by the way.

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  3. I can only answer the biting one. And it reflects back over 20 years. Not so much biting, but a soft little almost/quasi nibble or two. Can be a bit erotic. Again, just the soft, not real nibble or two. Around the neck. Not even enough to leave a mark.

    Then again, I divorced that man, twice, so....... LOL

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    1. Nibbling I could understand but I just read two romances where growling and biting occurred and in one of them the woman had bit marks the next morning. I couldn't believe that! I was wondering if it wasn't a nod to the popularity of the 50 Shades series.

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  4. p.s. I have a similar question of my own; why do dogs always yawn when 'guilty' of something or being accused of something? Is it a Trumpistic deflection of some kind, or at least in their silly little minds?

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    1. I think they're saying, "Oh, man! How could you think I could that?" Or maybe they are saying, "I hear you talking but you're boring me." LOL

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  5. I'm not a big fan of anyone or anything growling at me, ever. Sometimes Zydrunas, the granddog, growls at me if I pretend to take away his toy, but even then, he is so big and imposing that I am a teensy bit scared even though I know he is pretending, too.

    And I am right there with you on frustrating packaging. I destroy all kinds of packaging because I am terrible at opening things which are supposed to be Easy Open. Also things which are Factory Sealed For My Protection. I leave devastation in my wake always.

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    1. I kid you not, the other day I was trying to open something and I thought I'd end up cutting myself if I continued. It was night and I decided I should wait until day time when I'd have a chance of finding someone to drive me to a med station.

      My dog growls when playing tug of war or he sees a cat. That kind of growling doesn't bother me. But he's only 27 pounds so he's not a scary dog.

      Zydrunas is quite an unusual name for a dog. I had to google it.

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    2. Zydrunas was named after Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the former Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player who my sons both admired greatly. He was not only a terrific center, but he is also a really great humanitarian, too, doing a lot of fine charity work.

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    3. Very creative name for a dog. I like it when people pick pet names that have meaning to them.

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  6. I believe Levi will not walk through the door before you because dogs are pack animals and you are, in a sense, the head of the pack. I've heard that you should make your new dog walk through the door after you when you bring him home for the first time. You are the leader of the pack, the alpha dog. Of course, there are those who think this is poppycock. I don't know enough about training dogs to know for sure. I luv 'em though.

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    1. That never crossed my mind but it makes perfect sense that I'm the alpha leader of the pack therefore it's my place to be first.

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    2. Maybe Levi is just a total gentleman....ladies first!
      Kitchen/utility shears work wonders on that heavy plastic packaging.

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    3. One of these days I'm going to harm myself trying to get into tamper proof products and food.

      Levi is the most stubborn dog I've ever know which is not very gentlemanly.

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  7. oh you do make me smile.
    1. I have always been told that a dog letting you go first is showing you are the leader. I even saw this on a training show on how to teach your dog this. Apparently this is a big damn deal. Who knew?
    2.My TSH number for feeling well is .01. However my T3 is far more important than my overall TSH blanket number. HOpefully you are having that treated as well. As my doctor said for some .01 would be too low, but for you it works. Thryoid should be done case by case not a blanket answer for all. I like this doctor.
    3.eewwww
    4. romance novels are so silly. No I have not had a man growl. Rick would growl if asked....tee hee but no, no to growling and biting. A nibble now, well....
    Enjoy the deli guy. :-)

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    1. I'd bet money on you and Bella being right about Levi and doorways. It IS a big deal with him. Sometimes I have to walk outside and back in just to get him to follow me.

      My T3 was tested as well. My TSH has been as high as 5.51. It makes me nervous to mess with my thyroid meds because I don't want to end up with chronic hives again. I'm allergic to myself and my antibodies.

      I didn't think much of the growling in the first book but when I read it in a second back-to-back I got to wondering about it. I was really into romances back in the '80s but I only read 3-4 a year now.

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    2. Wow what a great post! Now you have us thinking and thinking. NO on biting and growling. YES on humans before dogs. Romance novels but just ones with some depth .... of character and of the era. Like Kathleen Woodiwiss!

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    3. I'll have to give her a try next time I'm in the mood. I'm good for another six months.

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    4. Margaret - I just got an answer back from my doctor and he said he's trying to get me down to .01 then evaluate how I feel at that point.

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  8. Callie always waits to see if I will go out the door first. I think she just wants to be sure someone is out there with her to laugh at her goofiness. I usually oblige even though I don't have to with a fenced in yard. She does crack me up.
    I use box cutters on those tamper proof wraps. Works like a charm.

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    1. I don't have to go out my back door either for the same fencing reason, but Levi thinks I do and I often have to step outside and back in to get him to follow me in. It amuses me sometimes unless it's raining or I'm in a hurry.

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  9. BTW Jean your TSH normals a bit different than mine. I read where 15 yrs ago the range was changed to .03 - 4.5 but my doctor says anything over 3 is usually an issue. Sure was for me. So normal is what is best for you I suppose. And Bella Rum you can read huh? I guess she just blocked me then.I feel badly I wonder what I did. I
    I also saw this thing about the dog on Ceaser Milan as well.

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    1. I don't know what is best for me and I sent that question to my doctor through my patient portal. I hope to get an answer.

      No, Bella didn't block just you. I had to register at Wordpress and send her a request to let me read there and she was only granting requests to names she recognized. Her last post was about why she's closing her blog and saying she'll post again when she finds a new blogger platform.

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  10. I have a question to you Jean. Why are there so many women coming out of the walls with these accusation about just about everything in the world? To tell you the truth, I don't know who to believe anymore. I feel sorry for the women. These men don't have the right to do what they've done but suddenly it's going crazy and I'm scared for any man out there. If this is going to be the standard of today, they better get Trump because I'm pretty sure that He's enjoyed all of these situations with women. He keeps attacking others but what about him? Your United States is going crazy and I'm worried about the people in there and for all the countries around the world. My friend, we're in a world that no longer shows any respect to both men & women. My dad taught me to always respect women especially my mother. I believe that all ladies show be respected by all men. Have a great day my friend, Jean. Enjoy your day. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. That's a hard question with a long answer. But I'll give it a try---when the USA electing a man who joked about grabbing pussy on the Access Hollywood tape, women in this country got really mad and organized online. Then after the Harvey Werner story broke those organized woman started the #Me Too Movement where anyone who'd ever been sexually harassed in the work place posted just the words 'me too' (me included) which gave a scope of how wide spread this problem was/is. As the stories started coming out, more and more women got brave enough to take those stories public because their private complaints in RH departments of major places like the news organizations, Hollywood and our government have been ignoring them for years. I don't know where it's all going to end but I do predict if that judge Moore gets elected after so many woman have accused him of preying on them as young teens when he was in the 30s all hell is going to break out in the young, organized women's groups.

      I had a debate with a male friend of mine about this very topic. He was saying that if women don't complain about sexual harassment right after it happens, then they are lying about it now which I say is total bull in 95% if the cases. I do believe that SOME guys can think what they are doing is consensual when they try to have sex in the workplace, not factoring in the fact that women feel their livelihoods are threaten if the complain and knowing going to HR doesn't get them any place in some until very recently. I just hope no more high profile guys get accused and fired because I'm sick of this topic but until Trump is out of the White House, I think younger woman aren't going to stop the movement to root out the sexual workplace abusers. I'm worried the pendulum is going to swing too far in the oppose direction and people are going to be afraid to engage in harmless flirting.

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    2. Not only should Trump be among those jettisoned, but so should Clarence Thomas — a disgrace he was ever put on Supreme Court.

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    3. He'll retire out of the Court. Ms. Hill, his accuser, was in the news at least once this past week.

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  11. Great post. Your questions really had me laughing. Growling and biting...what are we involved with here? Lions and tigers and bears...OH MY!

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    1. I wouldn't have thought much about it if it had only been one character in one book, but when I read two romances back-to-back it got me thinking of my own history...

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  12. When I got to that danged packaging, I laughed, but only in recognition. I swear to goodness: everything from my eye drops to batteries to toothbrushes is almost impossible to remove from packaging these days. I suppose some of it's to prevent theft (batteries, especially) or ensure safety (medications) but toothbrushes? Who's going to steal a toothbrush, or use it as a weapon: well, apart from those doing hard time in a prison. I finally bought an Exacto knife to deal with the stupidity. It works quite well.

    As for questions I'd like an answer to? Only one: how can I get the cat to stop howling 24/7. During the day, she mostly sleeps, so it's not much of a problem. But from midnight to 6 a.m., it's a problem. I'm pretty sure it's an attention thing rather than a pain or hunger thing, and I'm trying to reduce it by not paying attention to her when she does it. But honestly -- it's very hard to ignore a howling cat in the middle of the night, especially when it's at the top of her little kitty lungs.

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    1. I bought a tool advertised for opening any packaging designed but they failed to mention in the ad that it's a tool made for right-handed people with no cutting capability to cut for lefties. I have a razor blade that I use sometimes but I worry that I'll cut myself or the counter top. LOL

      I think your cat needs a night job hunting mice. Seriously, have you tried popping a cat video/screen saver in to keep her attention or one of those electronic motion spinners or interact towers? Cats are by nature night creatures who need something to do then.

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