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, July 23, 2014

Garden Tours, Puppies and Exercise

Every so often I get on a kick where I think adopting another dog will solve all my problems which, at the moment, are: 1) Widow related loneliness, 2) Boredom, and 3) The guilt of leaving Levi home alone while I go out searching for a cure to resolve problems number one and two. I debate in my head the pros and cons of becoming a mother to two canines and sometimes I even express this desire to other dog lovers in the family. Today I got a call from a niece-in-law who knows someone who is trying to find a home for a seven month old puppy. Just like that my day-dreaming became a pee-or-get-off-the-pot decision. The age, size and price of the dog was good. However, Bichons are not one of my favorite’s breeds---too much brushing---and I’m not fond of white dogs---too many baths required to keep them that way---but he’s house broke and even rings a bell when he wants in and out. How cute is that? I tried to teach Levi that trick but he prefers to save his bodily functions for when I decide he should pee and poop. He’s such a schmuck. A sweet schmuck, but a schmuck just the same.

Faced with the-should-I-or-shouldn’t-I-adopt dilemma, off I went to Google, trying to find out more about Bichons and the availability of rescue dogs in the area that might be more to my liking. I found out that the breed is susceptible to having skin issues if not properly brushed on a regular basis. Oh, great! Don’t I have enough issues with itchy skin and hives on my own body without having to worry about a poor dog going through the same thing? I knew there was a reason I wasn’t fond of Bichons. Poodles and Schnauzers---they suit my needs best---are few and far between on the local rescue sites and if I was really serious, I’d have to register and put in “an order” of sorts, then wait. It occurred to me that if I did that, Levi would disappear from his dog pen with its white picket fence and his photo would show up in my in box with the caption: “A sweet dog ready to adopt and for a mire $200 he can be yours.” Somewhere along the line it also occurred to me that searching rescue dog sites was a lot like looking at online dating sites for seniors. High maintenance dogs, too old dogs, dogs with attitude and dogs with questionable histories and hidden issues. Needy dogs and dogs that would run away the first time they saw me naked.

The decision still not made, I got up at the crack of dawn to go on a garden tour sponsored by the senior hall. Something didn’t look right when I pulled up to the place…not many cars parked in the lot and there was no name tag table in the lobby. Something was wrong. Turns out I was waiting for a bus that left “the station” the day before. I’d written the event down on the wrong page of my day planner. The director said at least I handled the disappointment well, another woman who had come to the center a day early for the garden tour got very rude and argumentative over her mistake. The director gave me a slide show of the photos she took and it looks like I missed a great tour of garden art, water features and Master Gardener landscape designs, plants and flowers. Boohoo, I missed the bus. In my next life I want to be Weird Al Yankovic so I can write songs about my first world problems and make a lot of money.

As long as I was at the center I decided to stick around and take a Balance class. For a long time, now, I’ve been thinking I should take advantage of one or more of the seven exercise classes they offer every week.---Zumba, Stretch and Flex, Yoga and Pilates, Arthritis, Balance, and Line Dancing.  No sign-ups, no long-term commitments or high costs. You drop in when you can and pay $1 to $3 a session at the door. It surprised me how hard the Balance class was for me---I’m so out of shape! I left vowing I will show up when I have nothing else going on. So missing the garden tour turned out to be a good thing because who knows how it would have been before I would have dropped into a class. Sometimes impromptu and spur-of-the-moment decisions turn out the best. Deciding on a adopting a second dog into the family, however, is not one of those times. I turned the Bichon puppy down with a few second thoughts. Levi is still the only one keeping the house safe from rabbit and robin attacks and I am still feeling guilty that he doesn’t have a brother or a sister to help him with that awesome responsibility. ©

P.S. If you leave a comment will you let me know if you can see the Feedjit at the bottom of the right hand column? I can't see it or those on other people's blogs and I'm trying to figure out if the problem is with my computer or Feedjit. 


  1. Yes, Feedjit is in this blog, right where it's always been. Hmmm. Dogs or men... Men or dogs.... I wonder. Are dogs really any less complicated to take care of than the two legged creatures? Both can be invited in, but only a dog stays.

    It's neat that you tried the balance class. No annoying music, I presume?

    1. Thanks for the Feedjit info. I think I accidentally disabled my Java and that might be why I can't see it? I also accidentally disabled my keyboard and it took my over an hour to get that working again. I was very proud of myself because I was just about to pack it up and take it into the computer repair place.

      There was no music in the balance class and I did like it. I only wish I could remember what we did so I can do the exercises at home.

      I'm sort of sorry I compared the dog rescue sites to the dating sites. I really do like men and dogs equally and think they are both worth the maintenance they require. LOL

    2. Yep! Feedjit works for me too.

      I think one dog is just fine. Two would be like work, in my humble opinion. I'm lucky because I can just borrow Bosko while I'm in Oregon (with two little kids they hardly miss him). And I babysit dogs of friends while I'm in Maui. Small dogs there (old dog here) because I don't give them enough exercise.

      I need to take some exercise classes at my Adult Center. My arthritis "approved" walking class was postponed. We started water exercise twice a week here at the condo. And I'm finding someone to walk with every other day. Slowly but surely.

      Today has been a rainy, rainy, gentle rainy day. I had to force myself to go out. SOOO thankful I can snowbird to Maui during the worst five months!

      Dear MisAdventure ... do talk to Social Security. I talked to a real person today who INFORMED me of the ability to take mine now and Ralph's later. I didn't even have to tell him I had the link to the page in their manual! PLUS he noticed I didn't apply for the $255 lump sum benefit which he did for me over the phone.


    3. All the classes at the senior center are taught by certified occupational therapists and two are designed for people with arthritis, kind of impressive for what they charge.

      I will talk to S.S. soon. What they told me before didn't make sense at the time but it's time to revisit the issue.

  2. I do so relate to two of the First-world problems you named: 1) Widow related loneliness, 2) Boredom. My sweet husband died eight months ago and I'm still struggling to get my life into some kind of shape. Two kids and their families are only an hour away, and always happy to see me. I've joined a Chorale, a French conversation class and taken a bit of freelance work at my old trade (editing) to supplement my small pension. But still I don't feel my life is anyway full. I think years of being a full-time carer, however difficult that may have seemed to my friends and family, so totally filled up my life that losing that role has left a huge void. And that emptiness lingers on even now that I've come to terms with the worst part of being widowed - the loss of a much-loved partner.

    1. Eight months out is such a short time in the grieving and recovery process. Like I've been trying to do, it sounds like you're keeping busy and I'm sure that helps but the lingering emptiness is so hard to over come, isn't it. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I loved my yoga class - given by the county. It costs more than your balance class, though. That's a crackerjack price. The teacher was great and I was so relaxed after class. You probably made the right decision about the doggie. It's a big decision. I sometimes think we should get a dog. It's been a long time since we had one.

    1. Today I took the stretch and flex class and I found you how much I need that one! But I'll write about it later since something weird happened at the end.

      Ya, a second dog is a big decision and it's got to feel right. The Bishon didn't.

  4. Yeah--the FeedJit is there. Don't take the Bishon. Get another pup just like Levi--they just might be related.

  5. I am still going to have my eye out for another dog and I do like the idea of another schnauzer or poodle because I understand those breeds the best. But it's got to be the right fit. My sister-in-law would dearly love for me to take her dog but her dog won't have a thing to do with Levi. And he tries so hard to get her to play.

    Feedjit is really frustrating the heck out of me. I reinstalled Java and Adobe Flash thinking that would help. I discovered I can see it from Internet Explorer but not from my preferred Foxfire. I cleared out my Foxfire cashe and restarted my computer. That didn't work. Then I wrote a 'help note' to Feedjit support but they haven't replied and probably won't since it's obviously an issue with Foxfire. I really don't know what to try next.