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 31, 2018

Two Restaurants and a Baby


I made a quick trip to see my new best friend---the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office. My Popeye’s elbow didn’t go down with the round of antibiotics---the one that came with a guarantee I’d get diarrhea. (It was not a fun week.) She repeatedly called me ‘sweetie’ and I didn’t even care because she kept a running dialogue going on what she was doing and her voice is like liquid sunshine. She took out a large hypodermic needle and drew 11 C.C. of thick grayish-red pus out of my bursa and put 7 C.C. of steroids back in it. My elbow looked smaller for a half day but now you can’t tell she even touched it except for the black and blue marks I didn’t have before. I’ve got such a busy couple of weeks coming up that I’m not sure when I can get back in but I suppose I should try. She mentioned they might have to schedule me with a specialist for minor surgery if the procedure she did doesn’t work. She also said the stuff she drew out usually looks different than mine did. Good grief, I hate being “special” when we’re talking random medical crap!

On the way home from the doctor’s office I took myself out to the Breakfast Only Café where I love the food and they offer the best opportunities for eavesdropping on my end of town. I hit the jackpot and got to hear a smug, twenty-something girl talk about the baby she’s expecting. She’s doing a home birth with a mid-wife. “I don’t see why I need a hospital or drugs. Women have been having babies for thousands of years.” If I had been her dining companion I would have said, “Hey, Chickie-poo, women have been dying in childbirth for thousands of years, too!” But her companion was a good little listener and she didn’t even laugh out loud like I did when the mother-to-be said her friends with babies tell her she needs to buy a rocking chair but she thinks rockers are “too unstable to trust.” She’s not afraid of having a baby without drugs but she’s scared of rocking chairs? That still cracks me up. 

She also said the baby will absolutely not sleep in the room with her and her husband like her friends with babies did in the first few weeks. Her companion said, “You can use a baby monitor” to which Ms. Mother-to-Be cut her off with, “Not in my house! I’m a light sleeper and I need my sleep.” She’s not going to raise a spoiled child! Yadda, yadda, yadda. One of her friends, she said, even had her baby hooked up to an alarm and the parents took turns sleeping on a futon in the baby’s room. “That’s just crazy,” she said and I’m thinking, Hey wait minute! There must have been a medical need for that alarm. Usually, when I eavesdrop I have no trouble acted disinterested and involved in my own little writing world but this time I was tempted to jump over the pony wall and give her the aunt Jean/Socrates treatment. Would you listen to me, the childless woman who used to say I won’t babysit anyone who can’t say, “My stomach hurts and I need to go the hospital.”

The next day I went downtown with two of my Gathering Girls friends and a bus load of others from the senior hall to the culinary college’s fancy-schmancy restaurant. It’s the 3rd year I’ve signed up and it was just as fun this time as the others. I ordered the “Salvadoran Style Pork and Cheese Pupusa Chismol, rice, platanos maduros, salsa roja, corn relish, curtido and lime crema” not knowing what half those words meant. I still don’t but it was wonderful. It came with a small salad that included steamed sweet potato slices, baby spinach and quinoa with a white salsa plus a three ounce sized bowl of pureed black bean soup and a bread basket to die for. If I were a panda bear I would have used the bread to anoint myself. If you’ve watched a panda cam you’ll know all about how they roll around on the enrichment treats they love better than sex. And for dessert I got a yummy, dark chocolate fix---a wedge of heaven topped with raspberry sauce and chocolate ‘candy paper squares’ and served with a dab of chocolate ice cream and a chocolate whoopie pie with raspberry filling. The five star style service makes you feel great but for half the cost you’d pay at a ritzy restaurant.

The culinary college outings always come with a mystery tour and this year our senior hall director took us to a 75,000 square feet warehouse called ‘The Store’ that is run by a mega church. They get shipments from World Mission of school supplies, hygiene products, diapers, cleaning supplies and overstock goods that could be anything from chairs to vacuums to boots. All brand new. The church opens the warehouse to people on a fixed income including college students, charity groups and school teachers who all pay a $50 fee for a year’s membership and members can go to ‘The Store’ twice a month and take whatever they need for free. Our tour guide told us a lot of stories about how they’d pray over a large shipment of say pillows and the next day someone would come in who was setting up a shelter. What a HUGE and curious place it was! ©

30 comments:

  1. Sounds like this girl shouldn't be having a baby

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    1. She was very smug and opinionated that she's going to be a better parent than her friends. I hear/see a lot about babies on Facebook with my 7 (soon to be 9) babies in my family and know that girl has a lot to learn about what babies need during the night. LOL

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  2. In regards to your elbow. OMGOSH!!! I couldn't take it! Are they going to have to lance it?
    In regards to the baby mamma--I wish I could be there when she is about 10 hours into labor and screaming for any drug or to "just cut it out and get it out of me!" WOW--is she in for a surprise.
    In regards to the warehouse--when you wrote 75,000 square feet building, all I could think of is, I would never be able to walk around that place, and just take a seat by the door. LOL

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    1. It didn't really hurt to have the junk taken out of my elbow and I guess they do a little more than lance it. They remove the sack that fills up.

      I hope I run into that girl again! After the baby is born. LOL

      The warehouse was HUGE. To me, it had too much stock inside, considering she said the community need is "overwhelming." Why not find a better way to get it to the needy than a required membership? But in answer to that she said they believe in a hand up, not a hand out.

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    2. They might need a hand out first before they can even imagine getting a hand up.

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    3. Couldn't have said it better myself.

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  3. Oh, my gosh! The culinary college’s fancy-schmancy restaurant sounds divine... especially the bread and dessert.

    I loved your overheard conversation between the expectant mom and her friend. Hilarious. I'd love to hear a conversation between her and her friend about six months after the baby is born. The first thing babies teach you is that you don't know everything about babies.

    I really hope your elbow improves. What a pain in the... um... I almost said pain in the butt, but that's not quite right... pain in the elbow, I guess. Anyway, I really do hope it goes away without the need for surgery. I completely agree that we don't want to be special when it comes to something medical. Just ordinary old Joes.


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    1. I was surprised that I got through her conversation only laughing out loud once. She was so full of herself.

      Me, too, on the elbow. I'm supposed to use heat on it 4 times a day and I'm stepping that up to 6 times.

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  4. Your blogs are so interesting! Yeh, new Momma in for a rude awakening ... or maybe the Dadda will step in and do most of it AND work full time ... I do love eavesdropping, though!

    WOW! On the mega warehouse. And I do like the "hand up, not a hand out"

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    1. Her husband was in complete agreement about the baby never sleeping in their bedroom. Wouldn't you hate being her mother-in-law, knowing you need to hold your tongue and opinion but wanting to give it anyway.

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  5. Definitely feeling sorry for that baby. Hope Dad isn't so self centered. Eavesdropping is fun and makes for a good post.
    That warehouse is a great bargain for $50. Hopefully people who need it use it.
    Sure hope your popeye elbow responds to the latest treatment. That sounds painful.

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    1. It sure is a bargain. She said half the members of the mega church are members of the warehouse. Heck, anyone who is retired is on a fixed income and technically qualify even if you get huge pension. I could see a lot of room for abuse...go there and scarf up the high ticket furniture, etc., and selling it. We used to have a neighbor who worked for Goodwill picking up donations and everyday he'd unload stuff at his house that he'd sell in garage sales. Finally, someone turned him in and he lost his job there but it went on a long time.

      The elbow is only painful if I try to lean on it, but it sure looks weird!

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  6. HAH! I love listening to people who've never had kids speak as experts on the subject. If only they knew how hilariously uninformed they sound! I hope you run into that girl after the baby is born, too.

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    1. You really would have loved listening to her. She thinks she's got it all figured out and the baby is going to be on HER schedule, not its own.

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  7. I guess she thinks she's going to have the first baby ever who sleeps through the night from birth and only needs to be fed once every 8 hours.
    I'm finding that my new hearing aids are encouraging my eavesdropping habit. Because the receivers sit on top of my ears facing backward, I can hear what people behind me are saying especially well ;-) -JeanP

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    1. Hearing aids and eavesdropping are great tools for bloggers. I'll bet your aides have helped with your enjoyment of choir.

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  8. It's easy to be an Expert in anything you've yet to experience. I thought I was amply prepared before my first baby. Since I was a natural student (and a teacher), I read and studied everything about babies and motherhood and felt quite ready.

    Problem was, the baby hadn't read a damn bit of any of those books.

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    1. LOL So true. This girl, however, seemed to delight in not believing anything the baby books and other parents say.

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  9. OMG, OMG and yummy! The only place in town for a surprise, well prepared meal here in a town of 1200, is Senior Meals. Those ladies do an incredible job with limited resources. I hope the cortisone and heat does the trick for your elbow. That sounds downright miserable.

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    1. The way they plate their food is amazing. So labor intense with over-sized plates with drawing with sauces and pastry bags used to pipe potatoes, etc. Every year I try to take pictures but I don't remember.

      The elbow doesn't hurt unless I lean on it. I'm more concerned with getting an infection in my blood stream...not even sure if that's even a possibility but I've got to worry about something. It's in my personal Instruction Manual.

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  10. Oh this baby mama was too much! The things you said where exactly where I went, a rocker is scary but childbirth without drugs isn't?
    And when you said, and dying from childbirth - I was saying that out loud at my desk. Damn Jean I was mirroring you!
    That chocolate sounded divine!!!!!

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    1. Thanks for the information in the private comment. Not sure it applies to me because of the pain and black and blue mark I had on my forearm the week before the elbow issue appeared but I will definitely ask!

      I still laugh about being afraid of rocking chairs. Growing up, we used to fight over who gets to sit in them.

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  11. Oh, boy -- that elbow thing sounds just miserable, Jean. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this, especially at busy times.

    That pregnant woman needs to watch a season of "Call the Midwife." That'll scare her into common sense.

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    1. Thanks. I'm just glad it's not short sleeve weather yet!

      I've heard of that show. I just assumed it would be pro-midwives.

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  12. That mom to be ... so full of herself and theoretical opinions. I hope she will be open to changing her mind when reality hits about parenting. I hate when parents make their kids suffer on principle. As for labor....I know a ton of young moms who have gone the natural/midwife route quite successfully. Real earth mother types. My DIL had a hospital birth with an epidural. And we still have a happy healthy little one, so whatever works, I guess.

    I'm gonna ask my husband about that elbow thing. Did I tell you he recently aspirated and injected his own knee. Warrior! LOL

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    1. I have never heard a mother-to-be talk like that before. She was like a book that I wanted to skip to the last chapter and see how it all worked out.

      From what the phyican's assistant said, what I had in my elbow is very similar to what people can get in their knees and some other joints I don't remember. I could see your husband doing is own. The aspiration didn't really hurt unless you're afraid of needles.

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  13. So sorry about that elbow!

    And that chick's got a heavy dose of karma coming her way. My eldest grandson wouldn't be alive without that monitor being worn 24/7 his first two months.

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    1. Thanks, it doesn't really hurt. Just time consuming to get rid of it.

      I was shocked that someone in this day and age didn't know that monitors with alarms that go off that they put on babies are a medical necessity.

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  14. The generations after us have been so conditioned to be afraid of everything that moves, and cautious about everything else, what she said about that rocker makes perfect sense. Well, it makes sense in terms of her context. It's one of the most abysmally stupid things I've ever heard, but to each her own.

    I just heard the new ad for Alexa today. They're advertising it as a way to have stories read to your kids at night. No need for mommy or daddy to snuggle up and read to the child. Just say, "Alexa, read a bedtime story."

    I'm glad I'm going to die before this goes much farther. LOL

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    1. I had the same reaction to hearing that Alexa can read bedtimes stories. That's just wrong to cut mom and dad out of that ritual!

      The rocking chair comment was stupid enough to make me laugh out loud. But I don't think it's a generational thing. I have five new-ish mothers (kids under four)in my family and they have rocking chairs. That girls was just a screwball.

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