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, March 9, 2019

Silly Saturday and Secrets


I’ve got a tiny, voice activated tape recorder and I used to joke that it was part of my spy equipment. Not that I’ve ever been a spy any place other than in my imagination and in the spoof obituary/booklet that I wrote about myself 2-3 years ago. So what did I use it for? The truth is boring compared to the spy lie. Back when I was shepherding my dad and then my husband around in the medical community I used that recorder to tape doctor appointments. There was no way I was going to remember what was said and neither one of the guys in my life were in a position to recall those conversations. I dug that recorder out recently, thinking I was going to put it by my bed to see if I snore. I suspect I do because there’s got to be a reason why the dog leaves the bedroom part way through the night to sleep on the couch in the living room. It’s on my night table but I’m almost afraid to power it up. I have so many vivid dreams that I’m scared I’ll record some of the conversations I have in the dark of night. What if my voice isn’t the only one I pick up? I know I’m talking to someone, I’ve woke myself up doing that.

I jumped the gun before using the recorder and bought a couple of products that are supposed to help with snoring. First I tried Theravent Snore Therapy Strips. It’s like a bandage that fits over your nostrils with mesh in the center. Wearing one makes you look like you’ve got a pig’s snout. I didn’t like the feeling of having my air flow ‘regulated’ which was its whole purpose. Next I tried Snore Stopper, a little silicone device that looks like two tiny cone-shaped baskets connected by a strip of silicone. You shove the baskets up your nose and surprise, surprise they actually stay in all night long. I’ve been a mouth breather for many years and I was actually shocked at how much air that little device helped me breathe through my nose. If it didn’t look so silly I’d be tempted to wear it in the day time. Hint to an entrepreneur: make one of these with a jewelry-like loop instead of the silicone bridge that shows when it’s inserted. I could bedazzle one myself---they come in a four pack---if I had a glue gun and some glitter, but with my luck someone would make me laugh and I’d end up snorting glitter up in places it doesn’t belong and then snoring would be the least of my troubles. My Fitbit likes the Snore Stopper. It records less restless sleep when I've got the baskets up my nose.

My house cleaner/grad student artist came this week. You can tell she doesn’t do as good of a job as my last girl because she clocks a good 30-45 minutes less time on her sheet. I don’t care. She’s so upbeat and I love our conversations plus she hugs me good-bye. We talked a little about art and I was telling her about a style change I’m thinking of making because cataracts are probably messing with my color sense. “Try it,” she says, “I tell my students the only wrong way to do art is to stop.” That advice could apply to a lot of stuff we do in life, couldn’t it.

This week my Gathering Girls pals had another one of our two hour brunches. As per the norm for our group we laughed a lot which put me in a silly mood. When our cancer patient said she sold her kitchen table, I couldn’t help asking, “You’re never going to eat again?” Everyone laughed, thank goodness. She’s lost a lot of weight and we all knew she has no appetite. Come to find out, her daughter is house-hunting for a bigger place so they can move in together thus her son has started putting some of her furniture on Craig’s list. After she left our group, the rest of us talked about the timing of a move like that. One person said no one should make an important decision like that while going through cancer treatment, another person said she’s probably scared and it gives her comfort to know she won’t be alone. I agreed with both of them but house hunting, moving and chemo piled on top of each other is a Stress Sundae if I ever saw one. 

Speaking of secret lives---I wasn’t? Well, I am now. I’ve been working on a project that I can’t share with the world thus I can’t talk about it with my blogger friends and that kills me. But trust me when I say it’s been taking up a lot of my time and won't come to an end for several months. And here you probably thought there wasn’t any details of my life that I don’t upchuck for public consumption. So why did I bring it up? I don’t know but should probably call my niece and tell her. Someone besides the dog should know in case I die before Project Get-it-Done is finish. 

Change of topics: with any luck my painter will show up today to give me an estimate and put me on his schedule to get my bedroom and bathroom painted. Spring is coming; I need my Beach-Cottage-Bedroom project behind me. When the good weather comes, I want to play……. ©

43 comments:

  1. I'm a snorer. My granddaughters have apprised me of this. Once when she left the bedroom we were sharing and said she could NOT stay in this room with the noise. Another time, another granddaughter - I awoke to her standing beside my bed. She pulled her thumb from her mouth and said, "Grandma, you were snoring just like a bear." I am working on a project get-it-done - gather all the loose photos and get them into albums. It doesn't sound as intriguing as your project.

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    1. Out of the mouths of babies...the truth emerges. LOL

      I have a similar project to yours as well as my 'secret one' but it will wait until next winter. I want to scan a bunch of my favorite photos and put them on a memory stick or whatever it is that powers those picture frames that do slide shows. You've got kids and grand kids so your photo project is probably much bigger than mine. But what a wonderful walk down Memory Lane!

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  2. Dear Jean, I'm beginning to think I might be a snorer also. I woke up the other night in the midst of a snore. Or I think I did. I'm going to look for the device you pictured. I breathe through my mouth most of the time--a habit from having asthma--and I'd like to learn to be a nose breather!

    You surely do keep busy. Having someone come in to help with cleaning--someone whose conversation you enjoy--is such a wonderful gift to yourself. It's so good when we are good to ourselves. I'm learning to do that. Peace.

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    1. I got the Snore Stoppers at Amazon and there is a wide range of prices on them there...from $5 to $20. I was asthmatic, too, for most of my life from second hand smoke.

      I really enjoy having a cleaning person after so many years of being a jack-of-all-trades around the house. I save up little jobs for them like opening jars, changing light bulbs, etc. I do my own dusty still, though while my service is here.

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  3. Mouth breather here also due to a deviated septum when my nose was broken (3 times). I have found that lying so that my fist is supporting my cheek works just like a breathe right strip. Opens the nose right up. Do I stay that way? Don't know. Maybe a voice activated recorder is the answer.

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    1. That's funny because I start out the night with my cheek supported by my fist. Now I know why. I used the voice activated recorder in the night years ago and all I heard was dog tags rattling over and over again. The dog I had back then was a restless sleeper too apparently.

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  4. I think people start snoring about age 60, if not before. Mr Ralph used the BreatheRight strips ... until the adhesive left his skin sore. But IF it is sleep apnea, that can be dangerous if not treated.

    Amazing that you researched so many new products! And tested them for us. Thanks!

    And try SleepBot! You put your cell phone face down on your bed, next to your pillow ... I’m amazed at how different each day is!!

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    1. I'll pass on SleepBot. I checked it out and I don't want more apps on my phone. Plus you can't receive calls or texts when the app is in play because it shuts off your Wi-Fi. Glad it works for you, but you are far more phone savvy than I am.

      I'm going to upgrade to the newest Fitbit once a bug has been worked out. Last I looked everyone was complaining about it on their community board and there is a fix on the way. The newest Fitbit has more sleep information it can track than my old one.

      I really don't think I have sleep apnea. I spent years working in the middle of the night and got too good at keeping myself from falling asleep. Now the least little thing can keep me awake when I don't want it to. Like a wrinkle in the sheets, a grain of sand in my bed sort of things.

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  5. I don't snore but everyone around me says I do. I don't believe them. I'm always asleep to notice my snoring. LOL. By the way Jean, I've noticed that your name is no longer in my blog. Are you having a problem getting there? Have a great day my friend.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. If people tell you that you snore, believe them. LOL

      No, I haven't been able to assess your blog since mid January and your Blogger profile (that is going away next month for everyone's profile) no longer updates so all I ever see in January 14th so I thought you quit blogging!

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    2. There is a way to get into my blog. Nancy Chan showed it to me so that I could get into her blog.

      Here's how to do it. Get into my blog the original way. Go down on the right side until you reach the Blog Archive. Go down to March. Click on that and it will take you to me blog to where I'm at right now. Try that and let me know.

      Cruisin Paul

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    3. Not working for me, Paul. I'm not even seeing a Blog Archive on your profile page which is the original way I got to your blog. Nancy may have had a different 'original way.'

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    4. I went as far as January and the Blog Archive is there. On the right side of my blog, does it show at the top my picture with Mary Lou first at the top and down it's got Bee's Bandwagon and further the blog Archive. It's always been there. Sorry Jean. If you can't get to me, I'll be missing my wonderful friend's comments.

      Cruisin Paul

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    5. I can't reach Paul's blog either. When he gave us the link I copied and put it on my favorites so I didn't have to find it each time. It won't work that way. I have to go to the folder with the link where I put it. Then copy that link and paste it. Sometimes it is just too darn cumbersome. You may wish to go to blogger forum for help on this one Paul.

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  6. Wow! Will you ever tell us about the secret project? How cruel to tantalize us! :D

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    1. I know that was cruel, wasn't it. I may spill the beans in the fall.

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  7. I heard someone say in an interview recently, "We all live three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life." Thinking about that, even without being dramatic, I would say it's true.

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    1. I certainly agree with that! And that would make an interesting blog topic. A google search turned up just one reference to your quoted line, an article by Ron Gattone, in a magazine called Hoo-Hoo International (2013) titled "We Live Three Lives." If you want to read it it's on page 9 so scroll down. It's well done. https://www.hoohoo.org/images/publications/Spring%202013.pdf

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  8. Oh my Jean, your posts do "give me life", as the drag queens say!!! I have one of those little silicone basket-y things for up my nose too - thanks for reminding me to use it! I think they do work. I also have secret stuff going on in the background - like you I think most people think I throw it all up there on the blog (and I will eventually, with this thing) so good luck with whatever it is! Have a great week,

    Deb

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    1. Maybe down the road we can ordinate our big reveals when our secrets are safe to tell in public. LOL

      I'm glad someone I know has also tried the basket-y and found it helpful. This morning I walked around for two hours with it still in because see it until I got dressed for the day. Obviously, it's comfortable. LOL

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  9. I think I snore too because I wake up with a very dry mouth and throat.

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    1. That dry mouth and throat is the pits, isn't it. I don't get that when I have the little baskets up my nose at night. I'm going to try the tape recorder tonight and find out what sounds come out of me in the night.

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  10. Baskets up your nose??? ;-) Whatever works! I know your secret -- you're going to sell out where you are living now and spend the rest of your life living on a cruise ship! It's either that, or you're going to get a self-driving vehicle with a mini-house on it, spend the rest of your days traveling all over the U.S. and taking character-study photos for a book you're writing.

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    1. You'll never guess in a 100 years but I've heard of people who say it's cheaper to live on a cruise ship than to maintain a house. Your second guess sounds John Steinbeck-ian and that would appeal to me. Thanks for playing. LOL

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  11. I do not snore but I sure know someone who does. :-)
    I can't wait to hear about your secret project. If you are going to be a spy or an assign, let me know. I have someone orange you can help me with.(as another shut down looms)

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    1. I'm actually surprised someone hasn't attempted that a few times. I guess the crazies in the world like having one of their kind in control. LOL

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  12. Donna testing.

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    1. You made it!

      Donna was having trouble getting her comments to go through, so I asked her to try clicking on "anonymous" instead of old ID she was using. It worked! Google is making changes and I think it has something to do with her using an old Google ID. Anyway, if anyone else is having trouble, feel free to do a test comment, but try to remember to sign your name so we'll both know it was yours.

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  13. Testing again. Trying to set up new ID. Thanks for your patience!

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    1. It worked! Explain what you did for anyone else who might have the same issue.

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  14. I'm still experimenting with changing my Blogger ID. I appreciate Misadventures of Widowhood and her readers having patience with my process. It is revealed to all how my tech knowledge is very shallow. So...what I did was choose the Name/URL option when asked how I wanted to post. I do have a Google account, but I'm still stymied as to why it's not showing up when I go to post a comment. Working in that! For now, I am entering my blog as my "name" and the URL for the blog as my URL. Let's see if that works! (Letting others know here who may also be having difficulty.) Hope to get this figured out soon....like adding my photo back in. Thanks!

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    1. It's not you, Donna. Bloggers is changing things and we can expect more confusing until the end of April when they are finished deleting all the Blogger+ ID's. You should be okay from now on. I made the change you did a month ago and I'm not having any comment issues on other people's blogs anymore and the info I put in, will stay in assuming you clicked on 'save this info.'

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  15. I used to snore but now sleep with a cpap! Yess, it can be a sign of sleep apnea. There are free screening questionnaires on the web like here: https://clevemed.com/what-is-sleep-apnea/patient-sleep-apnea-screener/

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  16. I think everyone is looking forward to good weather!

    I immediately looked up Snore Stopper and pinned it so I wouldn't lose it or forget about it. H has a problem sometimes. When I say sometimes, I mean that I hear him sometimes, but he may do it more than I know. I usually fall asleep before him, still he wakes me occasionally.

    I should get a voice activated recorder... for sure. H is always telling me about the things I say while sleeping. I do know what you mean about it being a little creepy, though. Sometimes my dreams are dark and scary.



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    1. I recorded two nights of my sleep and wrote about it for Saturday's post. I do talk! At least I didn't hear an unidentified voice talking back to me. LOL Now that really would have creeped me out.

      I got the Snore Stoppers on Amazon for $5 for four, but they go for up to $20, not sure if they are exactly the same, but they sure look like it.

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  17. I've never had anyone tell me that I snore, and I'm sure someone would have if I did. I once traveled with a friend who snored so enthusiastically I got up, took my pillow and blankie, and slept in the shower. It didn't occur to me until much later that the experience probably was proof of how well I sleep. It didn't take me a minute to get back to sleep, and I didn't wake up until my friend showed up in the morning to wake me by asking, "Was I snoring again?"

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    1. That's funny. Why else would someone leave a perfectly good bed to sleep in a shower? LOL

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    2. It's odd -- I see that several of us don't have our images showing up now. It must be because of Google's changes. I'm going to change how I reply, and see if that does the trick. As long as my comment comes through, it doesn't make any difference -- I'm just curious.

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    3. Feel free to do a test post, but I'm going to bed now so I won't be approving any thought until morning.

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  18. It's so nice to be back and catch up with you. (We've been in MA). I think the recorder idea is brilliant and I'm going to remember that one. And curious about the snore things. Rick says I sometimes do but I think what he's hearing is the sound of gunk in my throat from my lungs because when I cough I stop. He's been back-sleeping since his leg break and he snores too!

    Boy, house hunting with cancer and children? I don't think I'd have the energy...

    Thanks for the comments on my blog. Catching up with everyone!

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    1. I did two nights of recordings with and without the Snore Stoppers and I wrote about it for tomorrow's blog. Throat gunk would definitely came a sound. I think I have that issue, too.

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