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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Taxes, Shoes and Marigold Movies

I’ve been going to the same CPA to get my income taxes done for decades. I trust him and so I was glad when he got married late in life and had a bunch of kids who are now approaching their college years, keeping him from retiring. With any luck he’ll be in the work force until after I die. The drive through town to get to his office takes from twenty minutes to an hour depending on traffic tie-ups, construction and accidents. It was a twenty minute trip this week and for that I found out I’m getting a large refund. As soon as it comes I’m making another trip through town to the Apple store where I’m buying myself an Apple Air IPad. I’ve been fighting the urge to get one for a long time. I mean how tech connected does a woman my age need to be? I have a great, desk top computer with a fabulously big screen and ergonomic keyboard, a laptop with a light-up keyboard, Wi-Fi, a Kindle, an IPod, three cable TVs with remotes so cantankerous I swear they’re possessed by demons and I’ve got a smart phone which I might as well call a texting machine because that’s about all I do with it. 

The last time the furnace man came to the house to clean it, he tried to talk me into getting a programmable thermostat and I said, “No way! I’m already in tech overload.” If I screw up a TV remote it’s just an oh-well inconvenience, if I screw up a thermostat it’s a hand-wringing service call because it would happen in the dead of winter. When the time changed recently I had to reset digital clocks in devices until the cows came home and there are still two I can’t do---the one on my electric tooth brush and in my CD player. I refuse to spend a half day trying to figure them out because the set up buttons are so tiny a stalk-eyed fly would have trouble seeing them.These Asian flies, by the way, have incredible eyesight and their eyes are at the ends of long antennas. And from the department of Useless Trivial is the fact that the male with the longest antennas always win when two of them go-face-to-face to gain the rights to mate with a girl stalk-eyed fly. I guess males throughout the kingdom of living things are all obsessed with measuring the size of their external equipment. Wow, how did my stream of conscience take me from my CPA to stalk-eyed flies?

After the tax appointment I had another appointment at the shoe store. Yes, you read that right. This shoe store is a specialty place where you go if you need great support for problem feet. I’d never been there before but all the foot doctors in town highly recommend the place. When I got there I had to fill out a history of my feet issues and they took measurements of things that had never been measured before plus I got a lesson on foot anatomy with the help of a moving model of foot bones. That was interesting. It showed how shoe pressure in the wrong place can make your foot hurt and in the right fit can relieve pain. A half hour later I walked out of the store with a new pair of walking shoes, a pair of sandals---sandals with so much support I literally ran around the store!---and on order is a pair of gun-metal grey Mary Jane’s that are made in Israel. I’ve never paid so much for shoes in my life---$168.00 for the Mary Jane’s---but I was way over due for dress shoes I can wear to weddings and funerals that don’t come with three days of pain after wearing them. This is huge because now I can wear skirts and dresses again which I’ve shied away from buying for decades.

Also this week: With my Movie and Lunch Club (which is sponsored through the senior hall) I saw The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I knew the committee would pick that one because of the large assemble of elderly actors and actresses in the cast. It was an okay movie to me, but not anything I’d recommend. It didn’t seem like a stand-alone film to me and of those in our group who had seen the first Marigold movie, they said the first one was better. Even so, I was the odd man out; most of the fifteen ladies loved it. I agree with the movie reviewer from IBNLive who wrote, the film is, "warm and fuzzy…but also over-plotted and occasionally contrived.” And don’t get me started on the romance between Richard Gere’s charming character and a sour-ass woman. Gag me with a spoon then stand back so I don’t vomit on your shoes. But no movie is a waste of my time if I come away with a few great lines to savor, and I did. 1) About being terminally: “There’s no such thing as an ending, just a place where you leave the story;” and 2) about being afraid of taking the offer of love before you: “Sometimes it seems the difference between what we want and what we fear is the width of an eyelash.” ©

Stalk-Eyed Fly


  1. Way to go on your refund and your new purchase. That's what life is all about.

    Yes, good shoes make all the difference in the world. Hubby has issues and does the foot store here too. Helps him immensely.

    Thanks for posting that fly. I was trying to conger up what it looked like and you saved me the trouble. Pretty ugly, but flies are.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  2. As someone who has long had trouble finding shoes that fit me properly, I think you'll find your new shoes more than worth the price. I've often thought if I won the lottery, my extravagance would be custom-made shoes.
    I also thought "The Second Best Marigold Hotel" was okay but not great. I don't really have much tolerance for those farcical situations based on compounded misunderstandings. On the other hand, I'm a big Maggie Smith fan and was quite willing to sit through the silliness for her parts of the film. -Jean

    1. I wore custom made orthopedic shoes from my first pair of baby shoes through my mid twenties when I rebelled, which I never should have done. I went to the store planning on only buying dress shoes but walked out with the three pair. I could tell by the way they measured, fit and puttered with adjustments that I'd found the place I will be buying shoes for the rest of my life.

      The acting was supreme in the film, no doubt about it. I'm glad you validated my feelings about the movie itself being okay but not great.

  3. Is the shoe store a national chain? Oh gosh I would give anything to help these poor crippled up dogs.

    I turned down an offer to see the movie with the Maui widow friends ... for that same reason. I rarely take myself to the movies so when I do, I want it to be worth the $$! Netflix makes life so easy!

    IF I get a refund, which I won't, I want a new lightweight Apple laptop as well. Maybe next year! Have you ever taken the one-on-one offer? $100 for a year's worth of individual classes. Best investment EVER!

    1. No, the store is not a definitely not a chain. It fits a niche market that is needed though, in all large towns. You can order shoes as big as size 16 and they have sources to get shoes if you only have one leg and and only need one shoe. Not a lot of style choices because all their shoes are built with great support or they don't carry it.

      I like to go to the movies with the group but they do pick films that are different than I would pick for myself. Sometimes I'm pleasantly pleased and other times not so much.

      I've never owned an Apple product before and don't know about their classes. I'm sure I'll get the pitch when I go to the store which I'm not looking forward to doing. Not only is it far from where I live I hear stories about how long you have to wait for service when you go. I'd order online but I guess they will set everything up for you if you buy local and that's a big advantage.

  4. I have a hard time finding comfortable shoes. Good on you.

    I want a new iMac so bad. I have the big one now, but it's over six-years-old. What can I say. The heart wants what the heart wants. The new one is even bigger and so thin. The one I have now has gotten a little slow. I don't know when, but sooner rather than later.

    Congrats on the refund.

    That fly is something.

    1. I knew I had over paid my taxes and was getting a refund. I've reached that age where you are forced to take money out of PSAs and they over estimated the taxes withheld. But I don't really mind. It feels like a windfall in my mind but it's really not.

      Love that fly, and how they decide who is the "better man" makes me laugh.