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, January 3, 2018

The Bachelor vs. Hallmark and their Snow Machine




I’ve officially overdosed of Hallmark holiday movies featuring people walking around in fake Hollywood snow. I sit inside my house wearing silk long underwear, a sweatshirt, quilted vest, sweatpants, leg warmers, wrist warmers, fingerless gloves and heavy socks while watching actors stand on sets with fake snow all around them and what are they wearing? No coats or other outdoor gear! I can hear my mom yelling, "Get back inside and dress for the weather unless you're trying to freeze to death!" Come on, people! They have cooling vests those actors could wear underneath winter jackets to keep their body temperatures in check on a warm sound stage but you don’t have them acting in pretend snow without proper coats unless their teeth are chattering and they’re looking for a cave where they can build a fire to thaw out their frozen limbs. This has been my first pet peeve of the year for the past five years now. At least I’m predictable and there’s value in that. Let’s say I was suspected of building bombs in my basement---which I’m not---being predictable helps the swat team to know when to storm their way in. Note to law enforcement: I can barely make it downstairs to do a weekly mouse check. If I was doing something illicit in the house---which I’m not---it would be in the garage.

It’s been so cold the furnace can’t keep up and I’ve been hearing cracking and popping sounds in the house but so far I haven’t figured out what’s making the sounds. No broken windows from the cold. No broken pipes but people all over the city are dealing with the latter. I’ve had a door freeze shut and my garage door opener didn’t want to work on New Year’s Day but I dealt with those issues without whining. No one can control the weather. But I am whining about a stupid choice I made tonight when I decided I’d had my fill of reading books back-to back and I kicked the dog out of my Laz-a-Boy so I could sit down to watch the first episode of this year’s The Bachelor. Can you believe that program is in its 22nd season! I’ve watched an episode here and there in the past because so many people talk about the show but I’ve never followed an entire season. Crap! This may be the year I get hooked. And I shouldn’t admit that lest it tarnishes my image. I’ve picked my favorites to root for---Sweet Crystal and pixie haired Bekah---and I’ve read the rules for The Bachelor drinking game. Who knew they had one of those? I didn’t and in case you’re interested, if you played the game during the first episode you’ve have gotten way beyond legally drunk. The rules are simple; every time anyone mentions Arie (the bachelor) is race car driver, you gulp one down.

Arie also is a recycled loser from The Bachelorette show five seasons ago and he had a slob story about how he really wants to find love. Blab, blab, blab. Ya, like everyone knows if you line up 29 beautiful women for him to meet and greet in a “game show” his future wife is going to be one of them. (Insert eye rolling icon here.) He spent less than three minutes one-on-one with each girl and at the end of the night he’d kissed five or six women and sent nearly half of them packing, tears rolling down their some of their faces. The season’s villain has already been identified on fan sites as being Chelsea because she managed to get all the other girls to dislike her even before Arie gave her The First Impression rose. 

The show is so shallow it’s not funny but still it gets great ratings. I’m thinking it’s one of those things you love to mock. Well, at least I'm having fun doing it. And it’s got to be better than Married at First Sight. I’ve only seen previews of that show and please kill me if I ever get bored enough to watch a full episode. They’re in their sixth season and the premise of that show is two strangers must live together as husband and wife for eight weeks, then they decide if they'll stay together or get divorced. What kind of nut jobs would do that? What ever happened to the Bob Barker’s kind of game shows? Side note: Did you know he was raised on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, an official member of the Sioux tribe? Google is amazing. 

Hallmark Movie Channel starts their Winterfest movies this weekend so I’ll probably still be whining about actors and fake snow before they move on to their Valentine’s Day fare. Those will be sweet, predictable movies that all end up being giant commercials for Kay Jewelers engagement rings. (Gotta love those corporate partnerships.) With our country so divided and the world a scary place right now with no end in sight, I don’t mind spending a little time using Hallmark movies as the backdrop for other things I do. You can only take so much crazy and with Hallmark you always have a happy ending. ©

Crystal is in the red dress, first row far left. Bekah (in lime green) is in the third row second in from the left and Chelsea is in the same row, forth in from the left. But I'm not getting hooked on this season, she says with a straight face.

27 comments:

  1. One of my pet peeves is idiots opening the fridge and then just standing there, fridge door wide open. Gets me mad even if I see it on TV.

    I loathe those reality TV shows. But, if kids were still at home, and the TV was on, I could have gotten drawn into it, scolding them all the time about watching rubbish. ~ Libby

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    1. I find myself doing that at open refrigerator doors, like I expect to find something I didn't buy. My biggest pet peeve around the house is leaving the water running when it doesn't need to be. I hate wasting water! Drives me nuts.

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  2. No television in my house so no temptation to be drawn into those shows!
    I have been leaving the water running (ever so slightly) over night this past week as I did have a frozen pipe the other day. Fortunately it thawed on its own after I turned the heat up but I don't want to repeat that and it doesn't look like its warming up anytime soon. In fact they are talking about it getting even more frigid.
    I brought 3 movies home from the library one day last week but I never even put them into the DVD player. I can't seem to draw myself into a movie.
    The snow is just beginning to fall again to add to the foot and a half that we already have!
    Stay warm
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. Between Christmas and New Years I realized how addictive I am to the TV schedule because all the reruns and holiday specials were throwing me off. I don't think I can go without the TV on for more than four hours, but after that I get anties. Even when I was in the working world I had a TV going in the background.

      Fortunately, none of my water lines are on the outside walls of my house so I'm not too worried about frozen pipes. Leaving the water on in a pencil sized stream is what the news people are recommending and I'm glad I don't have to do that. My relatives without basements are having a lot of trouble with waterlines this year, so they do it.

      I hate being cold!

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  3. Well, you have fun watching that show. I will maintain my Streak of Having Never Watched It or any like it. Not my thing.

    Here's to one day seeing temps hit at least 20! Oh. Boy.

    Sigh.

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    1. I do a lot of multi-tasking so mindless TV programs that you don't have to give your full attention to works for me. But I'm not a reality TV junkie. With Hallmark, a lot of the movies I've seen many times which really works with multi-tasking because I'm never lost in the story.

      20! I wish we had a 20 in our forecast.

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  4. There's nothing like a litte cold weather to increase empathy for people like you who have really cold weather. We did stay below freezing for three days. We're finally at 37, although it's back to the upper twenties tonight. When I was out and about yesterday, I saw sleet, snow, and icicles. It was a trip in more than one way, believe you me. But the sun is out now, so that's good.

    Even so, it's been cold as can be in the house, because I have single pane windows on the north side, and concrete floor and walls. Once they get cold, they stay cold. Beyond that, I just looked out and saw the bird baths are frozen again. You should have seen the pigeons yesterday. The water was frozen, with sleet pellets on top. I think they were convinced the pellets were seed. Poor babies.

    I'm lucky enough to be able to work inside this week. If I didn't have inside work, I'd be sorting photos or reading. I surely wouldn't be working outside. I can varnish down to 50, and sand down to 40. If it gets below 40, I give it up.

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    1. I was trying to type with gloves on and just lost a long reply to you. Won't be trying that again.

      I gave up on my heated bird bath this winter. The birds weren't finding it without feeders near by and the side of the house where I am feeding the birds now doesn't have an electrical outlet. But I swear I saw some eating snow for water today. Not sure if they do that but it sure looked that way.

      I feel for you down there. You guys don't have the supply of warm clothing down there that we have up here. Oh my gosh, concrete floors would be cold!

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    2. We've got the clothing -- at least many of us do. Our biggest problem is exposed pipes. Houses aren't insulated nearly as well, and water pipes aren't buried as they are up there. There's always a problem with them freezing and splitting, so places like marinas will just turn off the water and drain the pipes. Of course, there always are the homeowners who forget that their sprinkler systems need to be turned off, too. There's no hiding that forgetfulness when the water starts spurting, and then ices down everything close by!

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    3. Oh -- I forgot. Have you ever used rock-climbing gloves? That's what I use for work. The gloves themselves are toasty-warm fleece of some kind. They have palms and inside-fingers that are made of the kind of leather they use on soccer balls, so they're supple and longlasting. And, they have the very tips of the fingers cut out, so you can have warm hands and fine control at the same time. They're a godsend, let me tell you.

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    4. Thanks for the tip! I have bicycle fingerless gloves and knit ones but what you're describing sounds better. I did find them just now on Amazon and put them on my wish list there. I'll try the sports stores locally first, though. I'm never without gloves on inside or out. I use heavy ski gloves when I shovel snow.

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  5. I simply can't imagine you watching either of those mindless programs! And why don't you get a portable electric heater for the room you are in? Brrrr ... I couldn't function if the house was that cold. I'd bundle up in blankets and then fall asleep!

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    1. Imagine it. At least it gave me a blog topic and I haven't been going anywhere to find one. LOL I watched and multi-task with the computer or a book. But it's time to get the knitting out.

      I do have a portal heater but I use it in the bathroom. My furnace is set at 71 so it's not really that cold in the house. It's my thyroid issues that makes me so cold and it works better dress warmer than trying to run up the gas and electric bills to warm me up.

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  6. Jean:

    I can't imagine with your intellect you will ever watch those kind of crappy reality shows. our marriage was arranged by our parents & after being together for 25+ years I have become big believer of arranged marriage. We met two times before saying yes to marriage. I feel in arrange marriage parents does do good background checking & since we both are from same community, our upbringing is very similar so we are not that different in lot of our thinking., so it works beautifully for us.
    Asha

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    1. I think your arranged marriage is worlds different from the arranged marriages on that TV show. Your parents knew your personalities and values where I think the people who set up those shows have a different agenda in mind other than the couples finding a good working relationship...at least that's my guess. They want fireworks and friction.

      The Bachelor show might be a "crappy" reality show but it's very popular with college kids and for that reason alone I'll watch for a few weeks. I like to figure out what others like about pop-culture type stuff. My working theory is they like to mock the show. I also don't think it's any less mindless or a waste of time than watching two sports team play a game on TV. People need distractions....

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  7. You have to wonder about someone sobbing when they don't get a rose after the first show, but aside from that, I agree it's a good way to keep in touch with what's going on amongst the younger generations. I got hooked on a few Bachelor/Bachelorette series at first but gave it up after that. Then I got hooked on Super Nanny. Now that show always had a positive, happy ending for everyone. I was sad when it stopped. I liked Wife Swap for the same reason. Call me a mindless heathen. Doesn't bother me.

    Glad you liked the videos. YouTube is an amazing resource. I learned how to change my battery, drain my water heater, install a garage door opener....you name it! I found my second art education there, and there's even a life drawing channel. Amazes me.

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    1. Finally, someone else admits to watching a few of these kinds of shows! I've seen Super Nanny but not having kids, I didn't relate to it but could see it as teaching some good parenting techniques. I watched a few episodes of The Wife Swap, found it interesting and believable but politics is still my choice of mindless viewing. LOL I used to be the same way with buying magazines. I just like to understand their appeal.

      I LOVED those art videos and have to get back to watch the others. (need time to absorb them one at a time.) If anyone is into art, you should go check out Lauren's blog, PerPETuity.

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  8. I don't care for those reality shows. I am a totally boring person and watch documentaries ...
    Got our electric bill, shocking. I guess I was pampered by the mild autumn. I live in a jacket most days now!

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    1. That's not boring. Documentaries are great but I have TV on during my every waking hour and I can only stuff so much education into my brain before it wants variety.

      I can't imagine what my gas and electric bills will be with so many days with sub-zero temperatures. They were in the hundreds already last year. I don't think you and I are the only ones bundled up in the house.

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  9. Twenty-two seasons! That shocked me. I've never watched, but of course, I've heard about it. I hope one of your picks wins. :)

    Our lows are in single digits and our highs are in the twenties. That's pretty cold for this neck of the woods. It snowed half the day yesterday. They still haven't plowed my street. I think we are the last on their list. At least we are warm inside. I can't imagine wearing all those clothes inside. I hope it warms up for you soon.

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    1. When my favorites, leave so will I, I think...depends on what they put on the other channels for their new line up next week.

      The whole country is getting hit hard this year. A bunch of people in my town lost their power which is serious...damages water lines and you have to go to a shelter. That's a terrible fear I have. The vest and the wrist warmers will come off when it gets in the 20s but the rest of my layers of clothing are just normal for my wintertime in the house clothing. Leg warmers, especially, help keep your hold body warm. The silk long underwear comes off when the temperature is above 40 but it's like wearing a second skin...it's so thin you could practically read through it.

      Stay warm everyone!

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  10. The cold has frozen your brain!!! Just say no to "reality tv!" Guess I'm not a fan. I've caught glimpses of the Bachelor, Survivor, Dancing w/the Stars, The Voice and what was that other singing one that was so popular???...See?, No staying power. But I never watched a full season of any of them...barely a full episode. I'm watching The Crown on Netflix now.

    I feel sorry for those in parts of the country where the deep freeze and many feet of snow are wrecking havoc. I tire of the rain and gray here, but I'm happy for no shoveling and our 40-some degree days are cold enough for me!

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    1. When I spend the afternoon debating on political sites a little brain numbing TV can be therapeutic. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. LOL I'm really good at watching half episodes of reality TV if I'm trying to figure out their popularity, but most of them just the previews are enough for me to "Just Say No!"

      Minus nine last night! That hasn't happened for 50 years on this day and minus 4 as I write this---the weather is on. Monday we're going up to 30 briefly! I can't waitttttttttttttttttt!

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  11. I subscribed to Sling TV just so I could get those Hallmark Christmas movies. (Did away with cable.) I have seen many of them before and realize how shallow and repetitious they are, but they are still my guilty pleasure. Since I live in Texas and see very little snow, all that fake snow adds to my Christmas spirit! — As for the no coat situation, we have plenty of that in Texas. I think for macho reasons no one wants to put on a coat. Just my theory. Lol

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    1. Me too on the guilty pleasure of Hallmark movies. I even like the repetitiveness of them. Your "macho" theory about the actors not put in coats makes as much sense as mine. I think the people making those movies out in Hollywood either forgot how cold it is when it snows or they never knew. LOL

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  12. Yuk, the Bachelor. This ha to the worst show on TV. The greatest beautiful women with no facial problems and of course beautiful boobs, butts and legs. The men, well of course they are also the greatest handsome, men with muscles and the whitest teeth in the world. Yuk again. At the end they love each other and want to get married but of course at the end, of course we know what happens. Yuk, yuk, yuk. The everyday person is the real individual who isn't person. Of course I watch " Big Brother " . Ha,ha,ha. See ya Jean and keep warm my friend.


    Cruisin Paul

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    1. You got that show nailed, Paul. LOL I've only seen a half an episode of Big Brother. I watch a few reality shows like Dancing with the Stars and American Idol but I wish the networks would back off from these kinds of shows and come up with better programing. There are way too many of them!

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