Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. 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. (Just remember I'm looking through my prism which may or may not be the full story.) Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Twenty-FiveThings That Make me Smile

Before me is a blank computer screen and it needs to be filled up with words about what I’ve been doing, seeing or thinking. The problem is I haven’t done much of anything except work on the makeover project in my old guest room. I'm turning it into a multipurpose room where I can paint, sew, quilt, read and still---on rare occasions---host an overnight guest. But it’s time to write my weekend blog which means I need to look at writing prompts to kick start the process or I'll still be sitting here ramble writing until the cows come home.

I found a prompt that reads: “If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is______.” That would be short essay. I’d tell my teenage self to cut my mom some slack. We were both hormonal at the same time---her going through “the change of life” and me “becoming a woman” as they said back in those days. As most mothers and daughters do, we butted heads a few times over stupid stuff but she was good mom and I still miss her whenever I can't spell a word.

On to the next writing prompt: Make a list of twenty-five things that make you smile. Okay, I can do that. It will get hard around the halfway mark---lists like that always do---but I can accomplish this blogger’s challenge. (Can you?)

#1. The panda cam Facebook posts by Doxie M. Panda make me smile. It’s been over a year since I friended her and I’m still not tired of Bei Bei the baby panda and his mom. He's at the stage now where he tries to sit up but he falls over backwards.

#2. Levi my mighty Schnauzer makes me smile when he leans his body against my leg as I sit at the computer. He can be sweet and ‘sweet’ gets me every time.

#3. I smile when I finish something creative like a knitting or quilting project and I’m sure I’ll smile when I finish this list. 

#4. I also smile at baby photos of the great-great generation of my family on Facebook. Such sweet, innocent faces how could you not smile? Though I will admit a shared a gene pool does up the amps on the sweetness scale.

#5 through #13. I smile when I eat Diana’s Bananas Babies with dark chocolate, Bryers tiramisu gelato, rib-eye steaks, tomatoes, Endangered Species Chocolate and pretzel rolls, and when I drink Coney Island hard root beer, Starbucks caramel macchiatos and grasshoppers.

#14, #15 and #16. Is there anyone who doesn’t smile when Pharrell Williams sings Happy? You can’t help it. I also smile when I hear Singin’ in the Rain. That song reminds me of my dad and thinking of him brings on my happy face.

#17 through #20. And how could I forget that I smile when I see my two nieces, my nephew and the son-I-wish-I-had. They all grew up to be such neat people and it’s fun to be around them. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

#21. I wish this writing prompt was about things that make me laugh instead of what makes me smile. Laughter would be easier. I could start making stuff up like I smile at sun rises. They used to but I haven’t seen one in ages so I don’t know if they still make me smile. I do smile at the giant blue iridescent butterflies I see when I do my annual, spring pilgrimage to see the Butterflies in Bloom exhibit. I go in honor of my husband’s birthday and our anniversary.
#22. When one of my blogger friends has a new entry to read, I smile. I love it when I can spend the first hour of my morning reading blogs while I drink my first cup of organic coffee---yes, it does taste better than regular. I've been hooked on it since Christmas.

#23 and #24. I smile whenever I get a chance to see one of my two all-time favorite movies: In Pursuit of Honor and A River Runs Through it.

#25. And finally, I smile when I stand in the doorway to my new room---my future art studio/guest room. The sleeper chair is due to be delivered on Wednesday. I can hardly wait. ©


  1. #24--my fave. I am impressed you only spend the first hour. I am stuck here, reading and thinking until Noon!!!

    1. Oh, I read longer than an hour in the mornings, I just don't drink coffee after that first hour. 11:00 is my cut off time to go get ready for the day, 10:00 if I have to go somewhere in the afternoon. I've been known to stay at the computer until noon, too.

  2. My ringtone is Happy! And I let it ring for a little longer than I should just because I love to listen to it!

    We all have the same morning routine. Coffee and reading the computer. No newspaper so i get The Skimm, Maui News, email, Facebook, and then my favorite ... great blogs. I'm addicted to the morning routine. Especially because I'm outside in warm weather listening to all the sounds that make me smile.

    Maybe I'll do a list as well!

    1. I thought about getting that ring tone but I'm not sure I'd recognize it as my phone ringing. I'm too old school. LOL

  3. Neat window into your 'warm and fuzzies'. You are the very picture of contentment. ;-) So many of your smiles are right by your side, or at the end of your fingers. No drive required. LOL Hmmm, you didn't list any of your senior hall activities. Do some of these give you the warm and fuzzies, too?

    Same morning routine here! It would be fun to share snapshots of our 'morning spaces'. No clean-up allowed!

    1. Interesting observation that you picked up on the fact that I didn't list any of the senior hall activities. Many of them provide me with laughter, but smiles are different to me. Smiles touch your soul---where you live---but laughter is external stimulation. Does that make any sense? Others might not make that distinction but I did when I wrote this list.

  4. Jean :

    I love your definition of smile, I think for me I smile when I am able to go to bathroom on my own without audience & able to do everything on my own, simple things in life brings so much joy in life now. to be able in control of your own life brings smile.

    1. Don used to have those same kinds of smile when, post-stroke, he'd accomplish something again. People take it privacy in the bathroom for granted, don't they. But it's a big thing when you get it back again.

  5. Yes that definition of smile is lovely. It in itself makes me smile! A smile is so personal: I smile in the morning when I wake up...I don't know why but I do...It amuses me when I wake up and so many hours have gone by! And I smile!

    1. Oh, I know that morning smile! It's fun to wake up with a feeling that puts that on your face.

  6. This was a fun list. I love reading blog entries in the morning with my coffee, too. I've been very lax lately, though. I've really missed it. Your new studio/guest room sounds perfect for you. Use it in good health.


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