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, June 8, 2019

Summer Movies and Other Things


It’s closing in on the end of the week and I still haven’t got a draft for Saturday’s blog post. My inspirations for writing comes in stops and starts. In May I had as many as four posts ready to go in my scheduler and now I’m facing a deadline without a single one in the ready or a thought in my head on where to start. Well, that’s not entirely true. The truth is I have too many thoughts going on, in too many directions that I can’t decide what to focus on first. There are movies I could review---Rocket Man and A Dog’s Purpose---a lunch with the Gathering Girls, a Mad Hatters tea, the tour of the continuing care place that I posted about on Wednesday and my renewed, adventures in the land of selling on e-Bay. Get out the violins. Woe is Jean and her summertime downsizing saga. The moral of that story is don’t marry a guy who collects things like vintage lighters, cereal premium toys and hundreds of tiny things the size of buttons. He also collected big things like antique gas pumps, signs and cans but those were e-Bayed off the first year after he died. Ya, I can hear some of you incredulously asking why I didn’t/don’t just throw all that stuff in the trash and the answer would be in year one of e-Baying Don’s stuff I was able to pay off our $40,000 mortgage. He had fun being a real American Picker before there was a TV show by that name. 

Movie Reviews: Rocket Man, most people probably already know, it’s about Elton John and one reviewer said: “Everything was made the way they imagined Elton would remember them, e.g. a little bigger, a little wilder, a little brighter.” Elton was a producer and he told the writers he didn’t want anything white-washed---the drugs, the sex and prescription pills addictions that he went through and finally overcame. It’s a fascinating movie, raw and personal and creative---part musical, part biography, part fantasy and Taron Egerton who played Elton is such a talented actor and singer he blew me away. Elton allowed Taron to read all his journals so he could get to the feelings behind the public antics.

Elton was a child prodigy from an unsupportive, cold family and the way the movie was written they’d show a scene that became the inspiration for one of his songs and knowing those back stories will give you a few Aha Moments. I can’t say enough good thing about this movie and I’ve never really been a fan of Elton John’s---like a lot of the lyrics but I don’t own any of his CDs. Be forewarned: This is the first mainstream Hollywood film that includes a gay male sex scene. Well done, no body parts ‘down there’ showing but I know a couple of people who would have probably walk out. Thankfully, my movie mate wasn’t one of them and she loved the film as much as I did. As we left the theater she said, “That’s a feel good story of redemption.” Why can’t I sum up books and movies in one sentence like that? I’m totally jealous of people who can do that.

And for those preferring a family friendly movie I can highly recommend A Dog’s Purpose with Denis Quaid. IMBd sums up the plot this way: “A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners.” Yes, reincarnation of a dog who was given a purpose to look after the granddaughter of the character played by Quaid. Any time you give a dog a voice in movie or book, I’m hooked because humor is sure to follow. And this movie also has a lot puppies in it and who can be sad when wiggly, nursing puppies are in view? 

The Mad Hatters tea was this week and happens twice a month---formerly The Red Hat Society. We planned a walk-about for our next get-together to a part of town known for their thrift shops. If I never see another thrift shop I'd be good for life but the walk-about also includes Trader Joe's and the Traverse City Pie Company so I might sign up. One of the ladies recently adopted a four year old rescue dog who had a broken leg from being hit by a car and needs medical care. She had it in a baby buggy which I thought was serendipitous since I’d just blogged about putting Levi in one as he ages. She is crazy about that dog and the dog seems to return the affection. 

The Tour: Online I found a list of ten questions to ask at continuing care places which is fortunate since I didn’t have a single one of them on my list and their list was better than mine at getting at the important things. I cared about internet providers, their list cared about who decides when it was time to be moved from independent living to the nursing home wing. But writing about my tour of the continuing care place is going to have to wait until next week when I can devote an entire post to it. I also want to take my time marinating my thoughts on what all I learned. Writing about it will help me sort out the many pros and few cons and I don’t want to short-change the process. I’ve got a lot to say on the topic. How’s that for a cliff hanger? ©


33 comments:

  1. I laughed at your comment about lack of focus when it comes to topics. Been there and done that, as the saying goes. I smiled at the thought of your friend's baby-buggied dog, too. There's an old guy who three-wheel bicycles around here with his dog in a little cart behind him. I love seeing him. He looks like he's about 150 years old, but he's still going strong!

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    1. If those three wheel bikes didn't look so silly I'd love to have one. A few years ago I went to a bike shop because I thought I'd like to join a biking group and asked if they could put training wheels on adult bikes but the salesperson thought I was joking and I never did get an answer. I thought they'd look less silly than the three wheelers.

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  2. I did like Elton's music and will probably see the movie. Great review.
    As for a Dog's Purpose--dogs and Dennis Quaid, I see no reason not to go.
    Have never tried to sell anything on Ebay but you really did well. Maybe I will try. Thanks.

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    1. The Elton movie is well worth the cost of admission. Kept me engaged the entire time.

      Selling on e-Bay has gotten really complicated over the years. Come next February I will have been selling on e-Bay for 20 years. Don't like it, but I make decent money doing it.

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    2. P.S. Facebook has something set up for selling within your community. I see everything listed from clothing to furniture. I haven't tried it but I know people who do it all the time and they like it. Learning the ropes of confusing to me. Some people do what they call 'porch pickup' others meet at public places to exchange a good for the money.

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  3. Thanks for the recommendation to go see Rocket Man! We have been talking about going but haven't done it yet.

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    1. The first 5 minutes or so when he's wearing the costume up above will pull you into his story instantly. (Our mouths were hanging up.) And he'll re-appear in it several times through out the film as sort of flashback to something I won't tell you about and be a spoiler. Do see it while it's still in the theaters. A TV screen won't do it justice.

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  4. You sure fit in a LOT in one week!

    With e-Bay you have to pack and send? I’m thinking about the gas pump!!! And large items! Ugh!

    High pollen count caused big time allergies for me which led to a cold. I better start my blog thinking ...

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    1. Actually, gas pumps are easier to ship than say something the size of a toast. With the big items, the buyer sends a freight company to your house who packs it and drives off with it. With a toaster size item you have to find a box to pack it in before you list it and get it packed so you can weight before it's sold. You have to know the size and weight so the e-Bay software can tell the buyer exactly what something will cost before they bid. Packing is the part I dislike the most. I just bought a $7 box to put a framed cap gun and caps from the 1940s in it and it took me
      almost an hour to get it ready to list. E-Bay rejected the listing because they won't let you sell caps so now I have to unpack it, take new photos of just the gun, write an new listing and decide what to do with the walnut display box. I'll probably re-purpose it for some Cracker Jack memorabilia I'm going to keep. e-Bay can be a pain.

      Everyone is complaining about allergies here except me but I've still got that cough and it's going on 7 weeks.

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  5. Arghh!! Cliffhanger! Lol. Thanks for the movie reviews. Definitely going to make the effort to see Rocket Man, I can wait on the other until it comes to Amazon.

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  6. I LOVED Rocketman. So much I want to see it again. I am seeing the MAN HIMSELF in October. The first time I saw him in concert was in the 70's - 1976 I believe, along with JJ Cale and Boz Scaggs.
    Glad you enjoyed the movie!

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    1. If the opportunity comes up I will go see Rocket Man again. I'm sure there was stuff I misses because it was so mesmerizing.

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  7. I am a huge Elton John fan so I want to see Rocketman for sure. I saw A Dog's Purpose and it's a wonderful movie!

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  8. Have fun on the thrift walk! And I am very eager to see Rocketman, being the Elton fan that I am. Even if the movie was awful, at least we would hear that wonderful music -- so glad to hear you liked it! Looking forward to your post on the care facility quest.

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    1. I know you will feel my pain all the way to Lansing when I start downsizing.! Enjoy the movie on the big screen.

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  9. I plan to go see this movie this week!! We were gonna see it last week but no reclining seats left. I probably would not pay for a Dog's purpose but wait for it as well. I also would not mind seeing Godzilla, judge me as you will. I can see pushing my smaller dog in a stroller - but then she loves to walk so much I wonder about quality of life issues if she can't walk.

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    1. I found a folding wagon that doesn't look as silly as a dog stroller and I can also use it for groceries. I'd put Levi in the wagon until I get him to a better place for him to walk/pee or if he's sick and needs to go to the vet.

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  10. Oh, and I do all my buying and selling either through next door or my Facebok local buy and sell places. Really pretty easy. If you are concerned you could meet at a third party place but I generally actually do allow people to come to the house, and for many items I do porch pickup and leave the cash under the mat or in the mail box.I sold all of my Department 56 Valentines and easter villages through Craigslist, believe it or not and they sold instantly so that isnot passe yet.

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    1. I've really got to try the Facebook buying and selling. It's the new version of garage sales, I think.

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  11. Dropped over from Monday Mural, first time visiting and I must say I am loving getting to know you.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I love that pink bike at the top of your blog!

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  12. I like how Ebay has now become a verb, like Google. We google things to find out information. You ebay items, and it was ebaying items that paid off your mortgage.

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    1. The best part is I still have some good stuff to sell, hoping for a nice slush fund for after I move.

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  13. Since you love wriggling, nursing puppies, I give you: http://livepuppycam.com/

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  14. Like the name change to Mad Hatters — now, that attracts me. Look forward to your post on your continuing care perspective and hope you include the ten questions. Very important to understand before one commits to becoming a resident what the criteria is for moving from one level to another — it’s not usually a decision the resident determines.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll add a link to those questions.

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  15. I should have realized as soon as I saw it that the photo at the top of this post was an Elton John costume! When my choral group sang Elton John music for our spring pop concert a few years ago, our accompanist decked herself out in all the sequins and bling she could manage, including Elton John-style bejeweled glasses frames.

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  16. I'm baaaaccckkkk! Sorry to be absent from comments on your recent blogs. My life went into hyperspeed or something and I'm so far behind on all my regular stuff, I can barely play catch up! I am eager to see Rocket Man and to hear your tour review!!!

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    1. Life happens to all of us. You won't be sorry for seeing Rocket Man on a big screen.

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