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, October 30, 2019

October Job List Woes


Can you believe it’s almost November! I can’t. I don’t want it to be November because that means we’re getting closer and closer to snow season. I’m not ready for that. I still haven’t done a few things around the yard that I should---divide some plants, cover the A/C unit and what outdoor furniture I still have left, throw out my pots of perennials.. I sent a text to my lawn care guy to make sure I’m on his schedule for a fall cleanup and he’s coming tomorrow. At least that’s what he says. In the spirit of fairness it’s been so wet and rainy and the leaves aren’t all down off the trees yet. It’s just that he doesn’t inspire trust in me after the fiasco over my deck staining project last summer. At least with text communication I have a record of what the daffy-as-a-doorknob guy says. Judge Judy would be proud.

On the good side of fall jobs to check off my list, the furnace guy was here and mine passed inspection with flying colors. That’s always a good feeling with a unit that is almost two decades old. While we were down the basement I mentioned I needed to check my sump pump to make sure it was working and he did it for me. He said I probably need a new back flow flapper so in a week or so when my schedule gets less crowded I’ll call the plumber. I’m so afraid of falling into that sump pump pit and I should have tipped the furnace guy for checking it for me, but it didn’t occur to me until a minute ago. So who’s the daffy one now? 

At least my car is ready for winter. It sends me e-mails so I can’t neglect getting oil changes and the battery, tires, fluids and wiper blades checked. With only 21,000 miles on the Trax she still likes going to the dealership for her bi-annuals so she can say ‘hello’ to the guy who paired us up. I just have to remember to stay away from the new car showroom because the last time I "looked" I bought the Trax with no plans or forethought to replace my 2-3 year old car. It only took one question from the salesman, “How do you like your Chevy Cruze?” And I told him about how I couldn’t get my friend’s walker in it and I hated how low the trunk was and the fact that I missed having a cargo area and, “Oh, did I mention I hate the sick-baby-poop color? It didn't grow on my no matter how good of a deal you gave me when I bought it.”

One of the things I’ve had on my fall schedule was an appointment with my audiologist. My hearing aids are living on borrowed time and I think in the spring I might get new ones. I could afford new ones now but by ordering them in the late spring that will switch my yearly ‘ear checks’ to a time of the year when I’m less busy. I did the same thing with my Reclast infusion for my bones when I saw the internist two weeks ago. The infusion center is so busy that the doctor’s order for my infusion would have put it right at Christmas so we decided to cancel it and start ordering them with my April bi-annuals. I’ll be eating a lot of spinach in the meantime and popping calcium pills like they are candy. Just kidding. I don’t over-medicate but occasionally I don’t get my second calcium pill in for the day because it has to be taken with meals and sometimes I don’t eat after having a late lunch when I’m out and about. So I’m changing to the kind of calcium pills you don’t need to take with food which are big enough to qualify for horse suppositories. I hate them but I hate winter appointments more. 

About the only thing left on my fall job list is to check the expiration dates on my over-the-counter flu and cold stuff and restock my stash of Kleenex, frozen OJ and soup plus buy some foods for the freezer in case I get snowed in. I don’t like fall and how busy it keeps me, I think I’ve established that to everyone’s satisfaction. 

The auction house where Tim, the son-I-wish-I-had, took four loads of stuff of mine has not paid me for the last batch and I’ve been expecting a check for roughly $700. I tried calling a couple of times over a week’s time and got a recording that they “aren’t taking phone calls at this time” and I’ve tried e-mailing but they aren’t answering. So I’ve texted Tim and he’s going to drive out there and see what’s going on. If they’ve gone out of business it’s going to affect Tim’s business big time and it will force me to get another backup plan in the event that I don’t get all my downsizing done it time for my move. There are so many moving parts involved in moving and starting a new style of living and it will be a miracle if something doesn’t put a hitch in my giddy-up. 

One day I got obsessed with wondering where the heat ducts will be in the CCC unit I have a deposit on because it will make a difference on how many and where I can put bookcases when I move in. So I called them up to ask and was told I wasn’t the only one who wanted to know. The answer is they’re in the ceiling. In the ceiling? In the ceiling! Who does that? So now I’m obsessing about how I’m going to dry my mittens and boots in the winter with no register to put them on. Yes, I know, If I wasn’t obsessing about one thing or another I’d be obsessing about not having anything to obsess about.  ©

30 comments:

  1. Oh...! My heart goes out to you. That's way too much to do.

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    1. What gets me is how many things I could have on my daily job list years ago and get done compared to now when I'm lucky to get one thing done in a day. I am SO slowing down!

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  2. I'm exhausted just reading your to-do list!
    Heating and A/C in the ceiling huh?
    I have that some of that on my first floor. I don't often have snow things to dry, but you do have a drying in your personal unit right? Or do you have to share a washer and dryer? So many nosey questions. :-)

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    1. I love nosey questions...gives me something to write about. I will have a laundry room and dryer but I'm so used to putting my boots up against the heat vent after I've been out shoving snow. Come to think about it, all my mitten, hat and boots drying is related to being outside shoving snow and I won't be doing that after I move. Yeah!

      I've never heard of heating in the ceiling in our climate. I'm going to ask another rep from the place the same question to see if I get the same answer. It will make a huge difference if I can't place my bookcases where I want to.

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  3. You inspire me to get with it about fall maintenance projects. I'm behind while you're rocking the to-do lists. I'm sorry about your auction house situation. I don't know a thing about how they run, but if they owe you money, then you need to get it, by hook or by crook.

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    1. I'm hoping we get an Indian Summer so I can divide some plants otherwise I'm done with fall. If I don't it's not too serious.

      I finally got my check. They forgot that I'm one of the clients they have to mail it to, so it was waiting to be picked up. They have a lot of "Tim" types who come there every week, dropping off stuff---stuff they've been paid to clean out of estates, garages and basements. Something was wrong with their phone and they didn't know that message was being sent out. But they were making me nervous because they did go out of business for almost a year when they lost the building they were renting and the guy who owns the auction business was going through a divorce.

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  4. The forecast in our area has made me think about a lot of tasks, too. Our porch and deck furniture still sit out! So much to do...

    I just picked fresh parsley and chives for dinner prep yesterday. But, tempus fugit!

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    1. Halloween is always my deadline for doing the outside and fall tasks. We've already had a hard frost so no picking anything like parsley for us!

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  5. And now I'm wondering if all of the apartments here have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. You check heat ducts; I check for ceiling fans. There's always something. As you say, there are a lot of moving parts to a move!

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    1. I will have a ceiling fan and I doubt I'll ever use it. I've got two fans in this house and rarely turn them on.

      Be sure to check what I wrote about Saugatuck in reply to your comment. I think you'll find it interesting since you live in a tourist town. (on Favorite Places and Widow's tears)

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    2. You'll use them in the winter. Heat rises, so the ducts in the ceiling will need the fan to help move that warm air down. You just put it on reverse cycle to move air downward and slowest speed. You probably won't need them in the summer months unless you are hot.

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    3. I wondered why they'd put ceiling fans in automatically.

      I'm never hot.

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  6. With the heat vents in the ceiling you may have to use the ceiling fan to push the heat back down in the Winter!

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    1. Sounds like that's how it's suppose to work, doesn't it. I've just never lived in a place with heat vents in the ceiling.

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  7. I love your writing style. Daffy as a doorknob describes a few service people we've hired. Oy vey. And our fall list isn't quite finished either. We're looking at selling and moving next spring/early summer, and I wanted to dig bits of some of my favorite irises to take along. And didn't want to dig a hole in the flower bed in the spring, as it would be much more obvious. Ha! Hopefully we get one more warmish blast. Today, DH is in bed on antibiotics, so I'm the dog walker. The heavy wet rain/snow mix was not ideal, although the dog is unfazed, of course.

    The only time I've had ceiling heat vents was in warmer, more Southern climates in a rental house. I always assumed it was because A/C (cold) falls (vs heat rising). But we do have them in our finished basement and they work fine. I think if all is insulated well, it's not a problem. But I do feel your pain re: where to dry my boots and dog walking clothes. :)

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    1. "daffy as a doorknob" was a last minute addition to my last draft. I'm glad you like it. I've had good luck with service people until the last year when it seems like all my good ones retired.

      I'm sure hoping for an Indian summer and we do often get one around deer hunting season. I have irises to thin, too, and can find plenty of people who'd take them if I dig them up and deliver them. Can't trick anyone into coming to dig them up. LOL

      I've forgotten about finished basements having ceiling vent for heat. Okay, that makes me feel more confident. But nothing feels better than putting on boots that have been warmed over a vent. Everything is a trade-off.

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  8. "Aren’t taking phone calls at this time,” sounds terribly sketchy. Hope Tim can shake them up.
    Vents in the ceiling is kind of odd since heat rises. Would work great for A/C though.
    Don't envy you your list. I don't even have one. I'm kind of a wing it gal.

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    1. I've never heard that message before calling anyone, You couldn't even leave a message.

      If I don't have a list, I will daydream the day away and not get anything done.

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  9. Sounds like a long list of to do similar to mine except I already got caught behind. We have had snow and ice and bitterly cold weather.
    So nice of that fella to check your sump pump pit. Maybe send a card and include a little gift card?
    There are so many shifty folks out there looking to cheat older women. I have had my share and am much less trusting than I once was.

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    1. It was nice and he seemed to know what he was doing, said he has two sump pumps and they run year-around. I thought about mentioning it in the online review but thought better of it in case his parent company would frown on it. Just gave him high marks with no details. I've used the same company for over a decade and they've earned my loyalty with great servicemen. It's a big company with two dozen trucks on the road that just work on furnaces.

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  10. You are in the snow zone -- smart about being sure you have your meds. I'm pretty together for winter apart from the gutters but I'm waiting for one more tree to fall (right over the gutters) before I call my fellow. They got the cottage water turned off (yay) so that's a big relief.

    Just wanted to add a long overdue thanks for all your visits and comments. If you weren't a no-reply blogger, I'd tell you every post in email but I just hope you know how much I value your stop-ins!

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    1. This may be a year you won't be able to get your leaves cleaned out of the gutters in time for winter. This time of the year when you have a cottage and house to winterize, I don't envy you but come summer when you get to open up the cottage I'll be wishful that I don't have a cottage to open up.

      No need for thanks, your blog is one of my very favorites to visit. With all the commenters you get, I don't know how you keep up with emailing responses to everyone. Do you have a separate email account just for your blog?

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  11. Oh good luck with the auction place, Jean! It doesn't sound good, does it? As for the ducts in the ceiling and not being able to dry stuff on them, you can purchase specific boot and mitt drying units - at least you can in Canada so why not in the US?

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    1. I did get my check. They thought I was one of their regulars who picks their checks up because they go their so often. But not having a way to contact them really makes me insecure about the place.

      I think I've seen those boot and mitten dryers in catalogs. Thanks for the reminder.

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  12. Dear Jean, the truth is--I'm finally able to admit this at age 83--that I am somewhat of a worrywart. I'm Irish and I can take any set of circumstances and make an Irish stew from them! Yes, that is to say, "I stew a lot!" Well, the truth is that I stew and worry much less than I used to. I've come to the point where I simply know truly that "all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be exceedingly well" (Julian of Norwich) if I do my part gracefully and gratefully. Peace.

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    1. I'm the opposite, Dee, in that I worry more the older I get and the less control I perceive I have over things than I had when I was younger. I like your attitude, though, of doing your part in the grand scheme of things gracefully and gratefully. That's a good goal for me to think about adopting.

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  13. You are wise to make a fall list and to plan ahead. I tend to react rather than act on those seasonal things. I also think there is plenty of time....until there isn't.

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    1. Lots of people here got caught without their fall things done because we're into winter already with no Indian summer in sight.

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  14. Your Downsizing residual income sounds like it's going strong... mine has now halted considerably since Industry Friends just aren't Buying right now and I have no room left in my Rented spaces at the Antique Mall so I'm in a conundrum of how best to Sell Off the Good Stuff and profit from it? There is going to be a LOT of it if the City House goes thru so I've got to sort that list of Options out quickly since we should know by as early as Tomorrow if that is going to be The One?

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    1. I don't know which is better, putting stuff in storage to get your house ready to show for a quick move like you're doing or having a move drag out over a year away like I'm doing and trying to purge as I go. Both are like pulling a Bandaide off a wound. Hope you get good news on your offer on the city house.

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