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, August 18, 2018

Another $100 Day in Widowhood City


 

Levi’s day at the doggie foo-foo beauty spa by sheer coincidence always falls on the same day that I run errands. I love errand days otherwise known as my $100 days because that’s what they usually end up costing me. This time I started out by going to a big box store to find a hair dryer and an electric can opener. My old hair dryer still works great but I’ve had it since the 70s and it’s starting to fight with the electrical receptacle when I try to unplug it. When you find yourself googling what to do when a hair dryer catches on fire it’s time to say, “Enough is enough!” It’s a two-step process, in case you’re wondering, starting with unplugging the dryer and ending with putting it in the sink and don’t use water on it. 

The cordless can opener I bought claims it walks itself about the can. I haven’t tried it yet. I need to give up my hand-held old style can opener because my bone doctor wants me to avoid doing any hand/wrist action that torques my forearm enough to cause pain. This is the second can opener I’ve hauled home from the store. When I tried to push the lever down on the first can to poke the cutting blade into the can it didn’t pass the torque test, so I packed it back in the box and returned it. 

On my list of errands I had to get gas and go to the car wash and as I was passing by the cemetery where my husband's headstone is at, I was prompted to turn in for a quick visit. The minute I went through the wrought iron arch between the fieldstone walls I started puckering up, well on my way to spilling tears. But I didn’t. My unexpected melancholy changed to anger as quickly as a blink when I walked over to the stone and saw that is was almost entirely covered over with quack grass! His neighbor’s stone, a veteran of the Korean War, was only showing “KOR” and I had cleaned and edged both these gravestones the end of May! I’m going to go back after a good rain to pull that grass out but it won’t help much. The whole area is full of quack grass. They obviously aren’t doing any weed and feed treatments this summer. I’ve never seen it that bad! 

Shortly after leaving the cemetery the Y2 Country channel on Sirius radio had me smiling. I love the way those country/western song writers can turn a simple idea into a song like Zac Brown’s Keep me in Mind aka ‘call me’ if you’re ever between boyfriends. Or like Brad Paisley singing:

“…I'd like to see you out in the moonlight
I'd like to kiss you way back in the sticks
I'd like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
And I'd like to check you for ticks.”

“I’d like to check you for ticks.” Who knew those words could be so romance. I laughed out loud the first time that line came up in the song. I was still smiling when I went to the bank to get some cash, which I do every time Levi gets a haircut. I was wearing a pair of squeaky cross-trainer summer Crocs that announced my arrival as I walked across the marble floor of the empty bank. I don’t use those ATM machines that dispense cash. God, if we don’t start putting our feet down---literally---and go inside of places like banks and post offices and go through grocery store lines with human cashiers---we’ll all be going weeks without seeing a single person. And people need the greetings and how-are-you-todays, even the have-a-nice-days are better than no human contact!

After the bank I went to Starbucks for lunch---a bacon, Gouda and egg sandwich and a seriously strawberry Frappuccino. (260 calories for the latter and 370 for the former. No wonder I struggle with my weight!) I wanted to eat inside for the human contact but every chair was filled with 20 or 30-somethings all wearing ear bugs and starring at their devices. Clearly they don’t need real people when virtual ones are at their fingertips. I ate in the car with Kenny Chesney singing about a girl who thinks his tractor is sexy.

The outgoing message on my cell phone says, “Please leave a message but be aware I’m old and I might not find it.” When the doggie foo-foo beauty parlor called to let me know Levi was ready to be picked up I must have been out of the car---all three times. Silly people. I always drop him off at noon and pick him up at 4:00. I could never forget to pick up Levi the Mighty Schnauzer. ©

34 comments:

  1. Sounds like you’re going to have to be very careful with that arm. My daughter suffered a bad break at her wrist. Fortunately it was her left arm. It’s been a much bigger deal than I would have expected. Originally the plan was for two surgeries but he wound up putting in a plate and screws so there won’t be a second surgery. He told her it will likely always give her trouble. She has ceramic tile floors and was moving a piece of furniture when she tripped and smashed it.

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    1. Very true. I'm lucky that my original breaks were not in my dominate arm. Hope your daughter heals quickly. I hate ceramic floors! They are way too slippery.

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  2. Wow, you really had a full day there Jean. I love country western music, Kenny Chesney ,Zac Brown Band,Brad Paisley and the entire group especially Carrie Underwood. It's a shame that they don't take care of the cemetary. It's just disrespect for the dead when they don't take care the area. When I go with my cousin Dan for lunch at MaxDonld I always get a bacon & cheese wrap ( 400 cal ) and a double - double medium coffee ( 200 cal) but I don't have breakfast and I watch what I have for dinner. I'm allowed 1545 calcories a day in my diet and for me that's enough to eat even though I' still hungry. Maybe that was my problem, eating to much. LOL. Have a great Saturday my friend. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. I blame it on my Italian genes, not my eating habits. LOL What are the odds that two Italians like us would be into country western music?

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    2. Paul, your blog link is still messed up. Even trying to go through your Google page with the other link you gave me. Sorry.

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  3. My sister-in-law bought us one of those easy can openers. It took me a bit to get it right, but now I love it. (It does help to have fresh batteries in when you start.)

    I need a message like that on my cell - I would probably never answer it! Ha ha!

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    1. Since writing this, I have opened a can and love it. Do you keep yours plugged in all the time when not using it? I'm worried when I want to open something, the batteries will be dead.

      I used to have a message on my phone that said if I don't answer I was either driving or in a meeting with a Russian spy behind the 7-Eleven...then Trump got elected and it didn't seem as funny as when I put it on there.

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    2. Mine is batteries only. I guess if the batteries are dead, I'll have to wait with that until I buy more and eat something else. I have altogether too many things that required being plugged in.

      Yeah, Trump spoiled a lot of things for us ...

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    3. This can opener has rechargeable batteries that can also be replaced. I should have shopped around a little more. I'd like one that just has batteries. I always have extra batteries in the house.

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  4. pretty full day! I love the $100 Day concept. LOL Been there, done that! If you hadn't replaced the hair dryer, I would remind you to clean the hair lint on the little mesh thingie. That's what usually causes the fires with hairdryers. it builds up, so the either the heat builds up inside, and/or those little hair lints catch on fire.

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    1. Can you believe it, since writing this I found out it was the receptacle that had the problem, not the drier plug.

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  5. Cracked up at your outgoing message and "checking for ticks". Thanks for the giggles.

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    1. It's funny how people react to my out going message. They usually call back if I don't get to them in an hour or so.

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  6. I love having a busy day, complete with food rewards! Then I can actually tick of things that got accomplished!

    Which kind of can opener? I like the kind that take the top off without sharp edges ... I'm almost to the point of getting electrical or battery assistance!

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    1. The walk around opener is a Hamilton-Beach and is quite small and easy to use. Works great but it doesn't cut off the top and it leaves some sharp edges. The first one I dragged home was advertised to do what you want but I don't remember the brand. I like that I don't have to have another appliance sitting on the counter because the battery operated one fits in a drawer.

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  7. This is great! I've been struggling with my hand-operated can opener for a year or more, but don't want an appliance on my countertop for the rare occasion I open a can. Didn't know about cordless! I'll be shopping for one!

    I'm not a CW fan, so don't know those songs, but that tick line is fabulous. LOL.

    I wonder if the cemetery is "going green" and not using weed or grass killer? It's always sad to find the gravestones overgrown, especially when families that the time to tend them.

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    1. The H-Beach can opener measures about 4" round by 3" thick and it does have feet if you want to leave it on the counter. It's cute! I'm keeping my hand-held one, though, because I don't know how long the charge holds. I didn't really look around so there might be other cordless on the market.

      If the cemetery is going green, I'd understand---they are close to a river too, but they should be edging the stones as a trade-off. My husband when he was a young teen he was sentenced by a judge to do stuff like that in that very cemetery. My yard guy uses environmentally friendly weed and feeds and it does run a lot more money.

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  8. Hehehe....nothing says true love and caring like a man professing he will check you for ticks! I don't listen to a lot of country but I would like that song. I have heard the man singing that his girl thinks his tractor is sexy and I think that is a great song too. Leave it to country music to get to the heart of what real life and real relationships are all about. I love that.
    Glad Levi is not only mighty again but also mightily spruced up. I used to take my Lucy about every 3 months with the instruction to "take her down to the wood". We went traipsing in the woods just about every day, and if she was at all furry I'd be spending hours taking seeds and burrs out of her hide in fair weather, and balls of snow, ice and mud off of her in the bad. I did ask the groomer to leave her beard though...but no skirt and no long hair on the legs.
    Does your groomer trim Levi's eyelashes? Lucy's would curl up like she was Cindy Lou Who if left untrimmed. Why do dogs and men get the prettiest eyelashes?

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    1. He's got great eyelashes too. His eyebrows get trimmed but not his eyelashes. He's a sidewalk dog but if he had Lucy's life he'd be getting a different cut. Up until the hair cut before this one he always had a traditional schnauzer cut with the long legs, skirt, long beard and chest hair. Then he got too matted and his groomer took "him down to the wood" and we're trying to grow him back out again. He goes every 6 or 8 weeks depending on the season. His cuts cost more than mine. LOL

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  9. I laughed at your reference to your hair dryer. Mine's ancient, too, and I can't use it on high heat any more because it heats up so much it shuts off. Low's good enough for me, but I'm going to check that screen like one of your other commenters suggested. I've never done that in my life. Things we never know.

    I'm still using a manual can opener, but I've moved to one of those with the big padded handles. I had no idea there were battery operated ones now. One of those would be good, because you were out of luck with the first electric ones if the power went off -- precisely the time when opening a can of beans might be a good idea.

    I've noticed that the big deal around here now are the mobile pet groomers. One of my friends say she used the services of one when she was recovering from surgery and wasn't able to drive for a time. That's when she first used a grocery delivery service, too. While I prefer going to the store and picking out my own veggies, I can see where that would be a great option for someone who's been "grounded."

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    1. I never knew about the cleaning the screen either. I don't know if I mentioned it in another comment or not but I found out that it wasn't my dryer plug giving me problems, it was the receptacle in the wall. So I didn't even open the new dryer. It went back to the store.

      I'm keeping my hand-held can opener as a back up in case the power goes out at the same time the battery is dead.

      I am keeping a list of all the things like mobile pet groomers and grocery deliver we can get just in case. I really love that it's getting easier and easier to be without a car should life come to that. I like going to the grocery store just to be around people and Levi loves the groomer for the same reason. LOL

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  10. Love your outgoing message. LOL

    I had to look up quack grass. Crab grass is more common around these parts. It dies off in fall and always shows up again in spring. I read that quack grass is a perennial. I don't want to meet it.

    The first thing I thought when you wrote that you were getting a new electric can opener was that you probably shouldn't use the manual one anymore. I've thought before that one day I might have to go electric, but no problems so far. I really like the manual because it doesn't take up counter space.

    Who could ever forget Levi?

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    1. Quack grass will take over your yard in no time if you don't aggressively fight it. You can pull it out if the ground is wet or spot spray it.

      I always loved my Russian spy message better than the one I use now. I got a lot of people tell them they'd hang up and call again just to hear it and laugh. Now they just call back to make sure I got the their first message.

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  11. i found your profile piece of writing so heartbreaking and touching dear Jean!
    i feel proud of you as you are absolutely an inspiration for others!

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    1. You are too kind! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll check yours out later today.

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  12. What pray tell is quack grass?
    Remember a while back I asked you all for a great can opener because I was having such issues with each one I'd buy.
    I love the one recommended and will never buy another kind.
    Another sign of old age that I get such a thrill from a new can opener! Who knew this gal could find such happiness with a can opener for less than $20. I think I'm easy Jean.

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    1. "Quackgrass is a creeping perennial grass that is considered to be a weed. ... Unlike the shallow roots of crabgrass, quackgrass has very deep roots." google

      Okay, what kind did you get? I tried to google search your blog but found out you stole your blog name from a musical group. LOL

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  13. I never knew that's what that obnoxious grass was called. It's taken over everyplace around here. Terrible.

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    1. It is obnoxious, really spoils the look of lawns and it spreads so FAST! And the seed heads are so low they miss the lawnmowers pass right over them.

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  14. It sounds like a productive day! And a pricey one! I'm going to have to look up that tune. That would make me laugh, too. GOod advice, though!

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    1. It was productive...and I can be gone four hours without feeling guilty about Levi being home alone.

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  15. The "I'd like to check you for ticks" line made me laugh out loud! Great post.

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