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, August 2, 2017

Life in a Holding Pattern



Everything going on in my life this week will happen in the last half which is a bummer when I have blog posts due on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Well, except for the “running of the bulls” aka the dash to secure RSVPs for all the senior hall events happening in September and October. (I should start calling it the running of the broads, but I’d probably offend someone.) I got my RSVPs in exactly at 9:00 on Monday but it will a few days before I’ll find out if I made it on the list for a fall color tour and in various classes for things like Healthy Legs, Perfect Bra Fitting, Making Soup and Cardio Drumming. The Life Learning Lectures are rarely full so I’ll have those to look forward to for sure---one is titled “Ghost Stories” and the other “Rakish Reeds Lake.” Don’t ask, I have no idea how a lake can be "rakish." Four of us Gathering Girls are trying to get on the same color tour bus, the first time we’ve tried something like that so that put a new twist on the running of the bulls. It’s a gamble, though, because there are four buses and time slots and one of our ladies was only available for one of them…it works better if you’re flexible making your RSVPs. 

The bra class isn’t a class per say but rather a 15 free minute appointment with a company that’s been around town for years. I’ve always wanted to do a fitting with them but I figure I’ll be under less pressure to buy from them this way than by going to their specialty store. I know several people who have gotten fitted there and they love the change a proper fit made in their posture, looks and comfort but it’s a pricy place to buy you undies---they even custom-make bras, if needed. Yes, I will have to get naked on top but I did it for a mammogram last month so I will do it again while trying to keep my mind off why someone would take on a job handling a different person’s boobs every 15 minutes, all day long.

Monday I was going to do re-con mission in preparation for the painting class I’ll start on Wednesday, but I decided to live dangerously and skip it. The woman teaching has a home and studio fifteen minutes north of me, out in the boondocks in between two lakes and anyone who lives in Michigan knows how hard it can be to find houses in "cottage communities." Google Maps wasn’t any help. Their Google satellite shot showed her living in the middle of a giant swamp with no roads in or out, obviously taken before the land was developed. I learned ten years ago not to trust those satellite shots on Google Maps when one identified my neighbor’s house across the street as being mine. The house numbers for the whole street were flipped. I was glad they were nice neighbors otherwise I would have worried about getting raided by the police---not a far-fetched notion. My husband actually witnessed that once where we used to live. A bad-ass, multi-agency swat team took down a large drug ring that lived across street even shot their two, nasty-tempered pit bulls which made all the neighbors happy. Don was tipped off ahead of time when it would happen because he’d been keeping track of license plates coming and going from the house for a month and was calling them in to an undercover cop/friend of his. Can you believe it, they were getting large quantities the cocaine delivered by a UPS truck and supplying half the city! Life is sure full of weirdness and wonder, isn’t it.

In the wonder department, I started back to the YMCA gym this week after not going for two. It wasn’t much of a workout since my chiropractor told me not to do any upper body stuff just yet. Basically all I did was break the ice by going up and down the staircase a million times, walking the treadmill, using the strength training machines for the lower body and wondering why in heck I’m still paying for a membership. I don’t want to be there anymore! I really don’t and it’s not in my DNA to keep doing things that are good for me when there are more fun ways to spend my time. And can you believe it, I dropped five pounds while the UTI and pinched nerve took me out of commission. I’ve never lost that much doing 14 day's worth of workouts. Silver linings, you’ve got to love them. 

Speaking of things you’ve got to love I bought a new landline phone because my old one was getting to the point where it wouldn’t dial out anymore---not a good situation for an old person who worries about dying in middle of the night when stumbling out to the middle of street and yelling “Help!” wouldn’t get me noticed. Oh-my-god, my new Panasonic makes my (four year old) landline look like a dinosaur! It even has a “block caller” button. The best part about the new phone is it doesn’t take an advanced degree in computer coding to program it. So even though I’m in a holding pattern, I’ve still had something to occupy my brain. ©

30 comments:

  1. WOW congrats on the weight loss. I think I found it.

    Do the bra fitting. Having big boobs I only buy bras that way. Even if you don't buy them you will be given the right fit to look for. Your boobs change not only as we are older but even from my 20's to my 30's. Different needs. I pay an arm and a leg for bras but it's one thing that I just won't buy at Walmart.Besides if you don't thrown them in the washer they last for years and then the price doesn't seem so high. I am cheap in other areas. It so makes a difference on how your clothes look and how you feel. Now though, I just need them off my waist. :-)

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    1. Off your waist---I get that. LOL I've never had a professional measure but I did go online for 'how to' instructions last year and I was happy by how the change in size made a different. They say 80% of women wear the wrong size, amazing! I want to get rid of shoulder pain by nighttime.

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  2. Oh, how I detest wearing a bra. DETEST IT. I am very small-busted, so I try to wear those little shelf-bra camisoles whenever possible, just to avoid wearing a real brassiere.

    I had a bra fitting years ago after a dramatic weight loss (illness and medication), and it was no big deal. Again, though, I haven't la tatas to speak of.

    As far as maintaining your gym membership--I'm the same way. After a while, if I realize that I truly hate something and am deriving no real benefit, I have that AHA Moment and cut it out. Life is short. Why wear a Hair Shirt (or Bra?) for no good reason?

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    1. I actually like the sports bra the best of any I've ever had for comfort but it's so darn hard to get in and out of I wouldn't wear one every day.

      My insurance company is making me change plans and the new plan will include a gym membership across the street from the YMCA, a smaller gym. So that is factoring into my dilemma, too. Zero vs $55 a month. I just need to find out how many times a week you have to go to keep that a free membership.

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  3. You really have some interesting options available. Think you should go for the fitting. I have never had the pleasure but friends of mine who have said it is life changing and wish they had done it 40 years earlier. I'm pretty much at the no bra stage these days unless going out.

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    1. I can't go without a bra, even in the house. I wish! Those girls get too hot and itchy underneath unfettered. I hope I make it on the list for the fitting.

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  4. We get to sign up for activities on Monday starting at 10am. I'm hoping to get in for Chair Yoga (nothing on the floor and a chair is nearby for balance, if needed) and Aging Mastery Program. Nine weeks of 1.5 hour sessions to get tips and info on being your best self. It's a start!

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    1. We have Chair Yoga at our center, too. I've never taken it, though it's very popular. That Aging Mastery Program sounds interesting. Be sure to blog about it!

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  5. Living in rural Maine, I'm all too aware of the unreliability of GPS and satellite mapping systems. My standard directions to my house include the following: "If you are using GPS, it will probably tell you that the first house on the dirt road is mine. It's a lie; ignore it! Instead, continue on the dirt road as it curves sharply to the right ...."
    I hope you and your friends manage to snag the requisite number of seats on the fall color tour bus. -Jean

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    1. That's funny but I sure understand it. The other woman taking the painting class with me today was 15 minutes late following her GPS and getting lost. I used an old paper map and drove right to the place.

      Me too on the color tour.

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  6. It sure sounds like you have options aplenty, I can't speak to many of them as I don't fit into things like bra fittings, so I'll leave those to you fine ladies.

    Google maps is really good if not for the dated satellite images which are good only if there haven't been major changes in the last few years.

    A new phone that you can plug in and use, that sounds like a great deal, when you can use a new product without having to contact technical support in some unknown land, then you are money ahead.

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    1. I didn't even share a 1/10 of the choices offered. I only mentioned the ones I was interested in.

      I wish I knew how to tell if a satellite image is old or new. I do used Google Maps a lot.

      No need for technical support really is a plus these days. The only grip I had is the print in the manual was a little too small but I thought it was written by someone whose first language is English.

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  7. I have a friend who had one of those bra fittings, and she said it was wonderful. She also paid more for a bra than I ever would, but she was so happy, it obviously was worthwhile. In fact, she bought two, and even though that was about five years ago, her hand-washing routine has served her well, and they're almost in perfect condition.

    My friends and I have run into so many situations where GPS and Google maps just didn't get it right. Sometimes, they're substantially off. As a matter of fact, one friend used Uber for trips to the airport this past month, and both times she had to tell the drivers not to use Google maps because her house isn't properly placed. What was amusing is that both drivers told her they don't use Google maps anyway, because they end up constantly looking in the wrong place for their fares. You'd think this would get more publicity than it does, but I suppose everyone thinks they're the outlier.

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    1. Maybe I'll start making my own bras after the fitting. Half joking. There was a day when I would have attempted that. I was a good seamstress back in the day.

      That's really interesting about GPS and Google maps! Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder to buy paper maps for cities and states which I use to do every couple of years. And you're right, you don't hear people grumbling about GPS and Google maps and I did think I was unique in that.

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  8. Boy, I could use that phone. A "block caller" button? Oh, yeah. Funny how much things progress in only a few years.

    I hope you get all the RSVPs you want. You'll be a busy lady.

    Can't wait to hear about the bra fitting. We all need to do that. Such a thing... these boobs that need to be corralled.

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    1. I know! I'm sitting here in my nightgown and robe and everyone once in awhile I have to lift the girls up by hand but, boy, my shoulders feel good without the straps digging in.

      I was fighting the idea of buying new landline phones because I thought the old one should have lasted longer, but once I got it I wish I'd done it before. My only phone would only store 10 numbers and the new one stores 100, plus any numbers I put in one unit automatically get into the other unit. Couldn't do that with the old one.

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  9. +1 to the sports bra being the best, but difficult to put on / take off.

    I'd think the YWCA would be a better gym, despite their charged fees. But free gym membership is nothing to sniff at!

    +1 to a good bra (and well cut clothes, and haircut) changing appearance. With old age, I'm appreciating quality over quantity. ~ Libby

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    1. The YMCA gym is the best which really makes the decision hard. But I have a few months before the free gym will be available to me and I don't know, yet, how many times I'd have to go to keep it free.

      I wish I'd lose enough weight where I could feel good about buying quality made clothing. My closet needs an overhaul.

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  10. I just now got the joke in your title: life in a holding pattern. That certainly could apply to the bra fitting, now couldn't it?

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    1. My jokes are often so obscure that no one gets them. LOL Seriously, I've always had trouble putting titles on things I write and used to paint. My husband was good at it and he got the job.

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  11. By the way... I just figured out a little mystery, and learned something in the process. The post that shows up under my name in your blogroll is one from 2009, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how it ended up there.

    Now I know. I had shared it with someone who wrote about bottles tossed in the sea, and decided it would be a good one to re-write and re-post. Apparently, when you click "update" on an already published post, it gets sent out in the feed. I'll know not to do that again! Just when I think I've got this stuff all figured out, something new pops up.

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    1. Interesting! If the 'message in the bottle' post doesn't disappear I'll re-add you and see if it updates the title correctly. Crazy that happened!

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    2. P.S. When I just clicked on your name, thinking it would take me to your blog it took me to your profile and your 'Task at Hand' blog is not listed...ah, just figured it out because that blog is not on Bloggers. Never mine. LOL

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  12. You'll have to share the how to's of the bra fitting if you get one. The various instructions try to put me into a size smaller than I'm comfortable in, and at this age a bra is an instrument of torture.

    How was the painting class? Enjoyable? Daunting? Have no idea yet?

    Go for the free membership. There's bound to be a few machines you enjoy using. I prefer to exercise at home, but that can get very hit and miss. It absolutely helps to have some kind of regular routine that uses all the muscles though. You did really well with your strengthening efforts so don't pick on yourself. I'll recommend Peggy Cappy's videos for a good home routine. She has a lovely gentl 20 minute seated warm up on her 'Yoga for the Rest of Us' video and it uses every muscle in your body.

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    1. Patience, L.S. LOL I am in the process of writing my Saturday blog about the art class. And I can imagine the upcoming bra fittings---I did get the RSVP approved---will take up part of a future blog post.

      That's the way I'm leaning---go for the free because I can always go back to the Y if it doesn't work out. I really wish I could exercise at home but I'm not a self-starter when it comes to exercise plus you really can't duplicate at home what those strength-training machines can do.

      I am going to look up that yoga video though. I hear so much about it and they do have classes at the free gym and the senior hall so I owe it to myself to at least watch a video. Thanks!

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  13. I really would like the bra fitting. We have one of those places in Brighton. I can't decide what size I am, so I am still stuck buying the model number I used to wear and it just doesn't fit right. Wouldn't you think after all this time, our body shape would just stop changing?

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    1. I wish they'd stop changing but that's not going to happen. From what I understand is that most women need to go up in size, rather than down. Should be interesting...

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  14. My fountains of youth -- good haircut, good-fitting bra, yoga. I now also have a Silver Sneakers membership and can go to the Y for free and also a small fitness club next door to my yoga studio. I super duper HATE most aerobic exercise, but my recent physical revealed a creeping up there BP issue, so the doc gave me 3 months to lose some weight and get my butt moving faster on a regular basis or I have to go one more meds. So....off I go to the fitness joint and see what I can do. I've admired your Y dedication; don't quit now! You're my inspiration! LOL

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  15. I wish our YMCA's would accept Silver Sneakers payments from the insurance company but I've asked twice and got the same answer of no. The website for Silver Sneakers doesn't list them either. Ohmygod, this afternoon I decided to quit going to the Y and now you're going to make me feel guilty if I go through with it.

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    1. Ha! No guilt. Just know it's good to be strong and flexible and enduring. :)

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