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, May 9, 2020

Rainbows and Kissing Puppy Dogs


Do you remember last Christmas when I was the recipient of a random act of kindness when someone left a large box of chocolates at my front door? I had posted about it on Facebook, hoping I’d be able to root out the person who did it. No such luck. I asked all my friends and family. No one fessed up. Yesterday I was talking to one of my neighbors---the one I’ve known the longest and who snow-blows my front sidewalk in the winters---and I asked her if she by chance left the chocolates. Nope, but she said she got a box at her door too! She did the same thing I did, checked it good for package tampering before eating it because at first, it creeped both of us out. While the mystery still remains a mystery at least now I know who ever left the box is someone I don’t know at all and who lives on my cul-de-sac…or maybe our local Jehovah Witnesses who do the door-to-door preaching from time to time? Maybe I got a payoff for always being polite and taking their pamphlets?

I was reminded of the chocolates because this past week I’ve been getting another kind of random act of kindness in the form of painted rocks left inside my mailbox. It’s dark inside that box and when I saw the first one I thought it was a wasp nest. Scared more than the crap out of me because I’m allergic to bees. If anyone was watching me with my can of Raid and a long-handled broom poking the rock out through the mailbox’s back door they were probably laughing they butts off. By the time I realized it wasn’t a wasp nest, I picked up that rock with its rainbow painted on its face and I was smiling from ear to ear. No one in my neighborhood could possibility know how much I like stones and rocks. I have jars full and an antique trencher from the seventeen hundreds that I keep special rocks in. My trencher-worthy stones don’t necessarily have to be pretty stones I’ve bought along life’s journey. Some are just rocks I’ve picked up on a day when I was having fun. (I need to look up the words ‘stone’ and ‘rock’. Can I correctly use them interchangeably? There's always something new to learn, isn't there.)

There are ten houses on my cul-de-sac and countless little kids and I don’t know any of them by name. Most of them want to pet Levi when I take him for walks. He’s been taught to sit when little kids approach him and to stay seated while they pet him which has earned praise from my chocolate receiving neighbor who is also a veterinary. The rocks in the mailbox got me to thinking about neighbors and how much we judge them by the way they treat their dogs and kids. Two little girls who live two doors down are not allowed to go past my driveway and two little boys who live down the block on the other side of me are not allowed to go past my neighbor’s driveway which means the boys and girls never get closer than 170 feet apart. One day that will change and that 170 foot kid-free zone will no longer exist. My romance reading soul has me seeing them in the future playing kissy-face in front of my house. If it was the 1950s their parents would then get phone calls tattling on them before they even got back home. They say it takes a village to raise kids and it took me years to figure out why I couldn’t get away with any boy-girl shenanigans as I walked home from school. My neighborhood was apparently filled with spies, busybodies and concerned mothers. Yes, it does take a village so I suppose I should have reported that Levi licked one little girl's face. She then sat right down in front of him and kissed him back. On the lips. Mouth kissing puppy dogs is yucky in some circles, but Levi didn't mind.

I did laundry yesterday. It might not sound like a big deal but I went a total of fourteen days without doing laundry when in pre-pandemic times I did it every Sunday. How do I know it was fourteen days and not thirteen or twelve? I didn’t until I ran out of underpants and I was giving them the Marie Kondo folds when they came out of the dryer. But my first clue that I needed clean clothes came when I had nothing left in my undies drawer but a pair I set aside to wear to doctor appointments and trips to Urgent Care. (You do that too, fess up.) With the pandemic stay-at-home orders in effect underpants are the only garments I’ve consistently change every single day. I quit wearing bras in the second week and I was reminded recently that I need to start wearing them again. The weather warmed up enough to walk the dog without me wearing a winter coat and I got half way down the sidewalk then promptly made a U-turn back into the house. Levi thought we took the shortest walk in canine history but I just needed to get my boobs in a hammock. No one wants see 'old girls' hanging free. And in case you ever need to take a pop quiz on my life, this paragraph contains the answer to the extra credit question.  ©

51 comments:

  1. Catching up on some of your earlier posts, sounds like you’re progressing reasonably well despite some of the glitches affecting your plans due to this virus. Hope all goes well now. Had a person who had been like family from his birth expound some racist comments when Obama was elected. I called him on it nicely but firmly letting him know I didn’t care to hear such talk orvshare his view. Have never heard from him since.

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    1. Welcome back! It's that sad that Obama's election seems to have brought all the hidden racism and racists out in the open.

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  2. Spotted you on a mutual blog friends blog and thought I'd pop in for a visit. It's always fun to meet new blog friends. Got a kick out of your laundry story. Just had a similar discussion with a friend of mine. She lives 2 hours north of me, so we talk on the phone and zoom cocktail times together. She's not a widow, but is divorced. She talks about how she doesn't get dressed, stays in her sweat suit, doesn't wear a bra etc. She talks about how long she could go without doing laundry. I do a load almost daily, that hasn't changed much during this pandemic...except I have to work my times around my husbands zoom meetings. He's working from home and is set up in the basement. Not great office space next to the washer and dryer, lol. But, he needed more space then available in the 2nd bedroom. He's an accountant and has 2 large screens, his keyboard and 2 laptops and that needs more space than the desk in the space room affords. So with an old door (doors are what 7 foot?) laid across 2 saw horses, he's pretty happy with his set up. Think we're moving into wk 7 or 8. It also gives him more privacy and quiet then being upstairs with me. We laugh about his long commute to work. LOVE the rock idea with a rainbow, the chocolates not so much. I'm not a chocolate lover, but also would be uncomfortable eating something not knowing whom it came from. Sad, that in this day and age we think about that. Every year during Trick or Treat there's some report of razors in kids candy or some other horrible thing. Stay well and do swing by for a visit.

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  3. How nice that someone in your neighborhood is sharing gifts to cheer you and let you know that you aren't forgotten!

    I don't have Reserve Underwear, but I do have Second-String Underwear. It's the stuff I wear only when I am behind on laundry. I used to have Third-String Underwear--really awful stuff, including an old pair of maternity undies--but I finally got rid of that junk. I decided I was worth more than that.

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    1. I used to have second-stringer underwear, too, and I probably will again in the future. LOL Since I wrote this I realized I have three more pair in my emergency "GO Bag."

      All my neighbors are wavers, but beyond that I only have talked to the ones right next door, but my front yard is like a fish bowl so they see me when I'm outside which I kind of like because if I fell I wouldn't lay there long before someone would see me doing a spread eagle on the ground.

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  4. I count the days since I last did laundry by counting my underwear also. I always wait until I only have a pair or two left in the drawer. No special underwear, tho, all the same big old white cotton briefs. Geez, why am I telling everyone this?! You get me going, don't ya?
    I live on a cul-de-sac of 10 houses and I have always been a waver. People wave more now since being stuck at home!
    Glad you have someone leaving you treats!

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    1. Sometimes I shake my head at what I share with the world. LOL When my dryer quit in March I vowed never to let my laundry go but there I was waiting to my last pair of undies.

      I'm finding people are waving more too. My cul-de-sac has a hill and I'm in the middle. Joggers and serious walkers love our hill for the challenge, I suppose, so it's been really busy on my street since the pandemic started.

      The painted stones stopped at five but we have a lot of chalk artists working in my neighborhood with upbeat messages. Really does make a difference.

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  5. Had to laugh at your special doctor visit underwear. Yep, me too. Also me too on being a little sad to see the warm weather. I really enjoy going braless except when going to town or for that doctor visit. I'm thinking those good ole days are about to end after this weekend. Sigh.

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    1. You know what's even funnier. The morning I was schedule to do the phone appointment with my internist, I started to grab my 'special undies' like he could see them over the phone.

      I miss the do-bras days!

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  6. You got me. I definitely have doctor appointment underwear. Ha! I have a big supply of undies and have been purging them lately. I bought a couple of more 'comfy' styles when I retired - haha - and after wearing them for a while, I've settled on my favorites. So I could get rid of the others, but there's really nothing wrong with them. Oh well, the Marie Kondo fold allows me to fit a lot of them in the drawer, although keeping that many really goes against her philosophy, doesn't it?

    I would be digging in the mailbox and covering it with Raid, too. I've been stung a few times when I hit an underground wasp's nest while weeding the garden and it's ugly and the bites hurt! I'm not allergic but that would really be bad. The painted rock is so cool though.

    Well, we sold our house. What a relief!! We had two offers and went under contract yesterday. I have all fingers and toes crossed that it all works out the way it's planned. Today we went back to the condo and did more measuring, noted a few issues and we are hopeful we'll actually be living there in the not-so-distant future. So there is hope and you will get there, too, eventually. Meanwhile, I think you should have some chocolate. I plan to. LOL.

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    1. Marie's underwear folding is the only thing she preaches that I listen too. I love being able to take one pair out without disturbing the rest.
      Those underground wasps are vicious! Had run-in with them when a dog dug after them, then my husband pour gas down the old and lite it on fire.

      That was quick, all things considered, given the market just opened up. Hope all the banking/financialing part goes smooth!

      In a couple of weeks I should have a new timeline to work with. I'm stressing now whether or not to put a new roof on the house this summer. It's 18 years old. The realtor told me 'no' when it looked like an early spring listing but what if we had another round of the virus next spring and mid summer drifts into fall? I don't want a roof to hang up a sale or to start leaking on me.

      So happy for you!!!!!!!

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    2. Thanks! I look forward to your happy story, too! :-)

      We actually did have to buy a new roof a couple years ago because ours started leaking in one of those incessant, days long rain events we had in fall of 2017. I can't think of a less fun way to spend money unless it's on a furnace. But I can say if you think it's iffy, the mess we had to fix inside was worth avoiding.

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    3. Thanks. I'm definitely leaning in that direction because one way or another I'm going to end up paying for it whether now or at the closing.

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  7. Good luck with your roof! I don't fold my underwear, just throw it in a drawer. They're all the same so I just have to grab one of the top ones in the morning. Yes, it's messy if I look, but closing the drawer is easier. :D

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    1. I got an estimate on my roof two years ago and I got sticker shock at $14,000. Wish I knew someone I trusted to do the work. My husband and Dad roofed 4-5 houses in my life so hiring a roofer is hard for me.

      I used to do what you do with your undies until last year.

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  8. A couple of years ago, I fell off a ladder and broke my hip. I hadn't yet showered and was wearing yard work clothes (including yesterday's panties and no bra) because my husband and I were trimming some bushes in the early morning. Anyway, despite some considerable pain, I think I was most focused on my embarrassment. You'd think I would have learned my lesson and have "doctor underwear" at the ready... but I do not.

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    1. You made me laugh out loud. Thank you for sharing that story. growing up, mom used to tell me all the time to change my underwear in case I got in an accident. She was right. LOL

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  9. I love that you are getting little gifts! When I moved into my house 10 years ago, I started leaving gifts of baked goods for 5 of my neighbours on Christmas Eve. This year two of them showed up to thank me - they didn't know it was me until this year! I hope they were not too freaked out for the past 10 years!

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    1. Ten years is a long time to keep a secret gift giving like that going! I'd call it a random act of kindness but there was nothing random about your kindness. I'm glad their mystery was solved and if they are like me I'm sure the after glow of receiving the mystery treats kept them smiling long after they the bake goods were gone.

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  10. When I take my little dog out for a walk around town in his stroller (yeah, I'm one of those people) we pass by the garden in front of our local Catholic school. The school is closed for the year because of the pandemic, but before they left some of the kids had painted a few rocks with inspirational sayings. One that I especially liked simply had a white surgical mask painted on a blue background with the words "We're all in this together." I thought it was kind of sweet.

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    1. I really wanted to get a dog stroller for Levi until I realized I could push it and my husband's wheelchair at the same time. And I didn't want to walk them separately. LOL

      When I was looking for a photo to go with this post I realized rock painting seems to be popular these days. My neighborhood is filled with sidewalk chalk art with inspirational words. So sweet! Love your mask on a rock!

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  11. Happy Rocks, Free Swinging Girls, Dog Lip Kisses... it just doesn't get any better than that!

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    1. I was Glad to hear it was for you, I know it's been tough all around, but finding Joy where we can is Priceless right now particularly. The Prodigal Daughter just sent me another pix, of her wearing a Mask, and I'm Glad she was able to Source one, given her particular circumstances such that they are. I Posted it on my last Post just now and added a bit to that Post about how relieved I am when my Adult Kiddos are taking this Seriously, so many people aren't who are Mentally Well yet Stupid... so knowing my SMI Adult Kids are Smart enough to Get It and be Lucid enough to follow Guidelines and be Aware, is such a huge Relief to me! With their Impairments/Disability I am not always sure they will make Safe decisions, so when they do, it gives me more Peace about their Safety and Well Being. I don't think you ever stop worrying about those you Love and Care about.

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    2. You've got a lot on your plate to worry about, Dawn. One day at a time...and we'll all get through our trials and tribulations.

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  12. I was never able to take our dog Dot Dot for a walk she was too uncontrolable

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    1. Mine is a handful when he sees other dogs but he's great around people, especially kids. Trouble is my neighborhood has gotten a ton of new dogs lately.

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  13. well, you've had an interesting week, boobs, brooms, rocks and so forth...

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  14. I also had a laugh about your underwear, and the special ones for doctor visits. I used to work for a specialist doctor and when he looked through the list of patients for the day he would occasionally remark about Mrs xxxx who always wore that lacey underwear!!! I imagine he preferred that to the old, worn undies but I never asked him, we just had a laugh. I have a special back pack with underwear and other essentials just in case I ever end up in hospital as when I had a stroke and got rushed off in the ambulance, my husband had to hunt around to find things needed for my hospital visit and he was not aware of my Good, Better, Best underwear and of course he found the ones that were in the Ugly category. Hopefully they will still fit me after our time in isolation.

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    1. My doctor special underwear is just a pair in nearly brand new condition, nothing lacy. But that's a funny story about the doctor you worked for.

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  15. Special underwear for the doctor? Never thought of that. The last time I had “special” underwear it was for...well...you know šŸ˜‰. I predict a surge in women buying much more comfortable bras once we are back “in harness” again. We’re going to realize just how damn irritating those things were, on a daily basis. Since retirement, I practically live in sports bras (those things that give you uni-boob) when I have to wear one at all. Great post, Jean.

    Deb

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    1. Special as in fits well and in good condition. Been a long time since I needed the other kind of 'special.' LOL I heard there was a surge in online sales of sports bras because of the pandemic. I even looked for one but decided I'd have a hard time putting it on or off over my head.

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  16. What a delightful discovery! I love that they put the painted rocks in your mailbox (a wasp's nest? Oh my!). That's such a lovely gesture and what cheer it brings. There is something about painted rocks -- they are a little surprise. Someone put some at different places by my ditch -- a fence post, by the bridge, in a clump of daffs. It's always fun to find one and think of a child (probably) like my cousin and me, as I remember our painting rocks all summer long. I still have a few! Thanks for the video!

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    1. There is something special about finding painted rocks and rainbow chalk art on sidewalks, isn't there. Brings out the child in us and never fails to make me smile.

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  17. I have many rocks/stones too. I think stones are the larger ones, but I'm not sure.

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    1. I did end up looking it up and it's the other way around. Rocks are bigger than stones as in the Rock of Gibraltar. But one source said common usage has been blurring the line, making them more interchangeable in speech but not in definition.

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  18. I keep my 'special rocks' in a copper basket in the living room. I swear it's going with me if (when) another hurricane evacuation comes. Now that I don't have my mother or the cat to worry about evacuating, I'll have room for a few extras.

    I laughed at the implicit connection between your rocks and your bras. I don't know when or where I first heard it, but I've never forgotten the definition of a bra as an "over the shoulder boulder holder."

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    1. Isn't it interesting how so many of us adult still have form attachments to stones and rocks.

      I have never heard that definition of a bra but it sure had me laughing out loud this morning. Thanks for sharing that.

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  19. I'm going to try to post one more time. Yesterday it crashed and didn't send!

    I would be too phobic to eat something made by an unknown person. Or ANY person whose home/kitchen I have not seen. My former next door neighbor lets her cats up on stove and table. Gerbil spinning in his cage on dining room table. I babysat for her once and she had a frozen pizza for me to make for the kids ... her oven was SO crusted over it was about 10"x10" and smoked! And of course, she was one of those really thoughtful bakers who brought something all the time. Try explaining to your 5 year old why we had to toss out the beautiful creations ...

    I'm totally in to comfy granny panties but do wear a bra every day. Lip gloss and mascara also.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. I've been in some kitchens that I would not want to eat anything that came out of them. I'm not keen of pot lucks for that reason.

      You live with too many people to go braless. Trust me, it's the best. I don't even do lip gloss know. No one could see it under a mask,if I go out.

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  20. Oh gosh, putting painted stones in people's mailboxes is just the sort of project I would have gotten into as a child. Someone in your neighborhood should be a proud parent.

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    1. From what I've seen there are a lot of good parents on my street. The painted stones was such a sweet gesture.

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  21. I recently bought all new underwear and tossed all second best. I could go a month? Lol
    I had to laugh when I read about you going to war with the broom and can of wasp spray. I would have called the fire department.
    The painted rocks are wonderful. What a nice way to get people to smile. We are all so tense these days. I am a rock person, too.

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    1. I decided I need to buy more but I want to hold off until fall when I'm more likely to get dark colors. I have a pet pee of the underwear makers making us buy packs online with no idea what colors we're getting.

      I had my cell with me. I figured if a wasp got my the fire department be there withing 4 minutes because when you place a 911 call from my neighborhood they are closer by than the police department. LOL

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  22. For some reason Jean your posts are not appearing in my feed this last couple of weeks. Good ole blogger.
    I love painted rocks. I have a friend who makes beautiful ones. She is a great painter. Chocolates and rocks. As Bohemian said, hangin' girls, puppy kisses and rocks is a pretty good week! Yes, the fact that it is warmer is the reason I had to start wearing a damn bra again in quarantine - to walk the dog. As if my dog understood I told her I was doing this for her as she watched me get dressed. She looked at me and came over for a hug. It made me laugh. Sometimes I swear that dog understands me.

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    1. I'm pretty our dogs do understand. I test Levi all the time. He's a mind reader who also channels his thoughts in my brain.

      Bloggers was having some issues over the weekend. Hopefully, they are okay now. I still haven't backed mine up. Have you?

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  23. Left easy instructions for a voodoo doll on Dawn's blog for you. ;)

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    1. Love your sense of humor and if wasn't meant to be funny, you are freaky scary. LOL

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  24. First, wow. I'm going about underwear folding all wrong! Painted rocks being all the rage with my granddaughter's age group, I've got a bunch of 'em in my garden. A couple weeks ago they painted a bucketful and "hid" them in their neighborhood too. I wonder how many folks thought they'd come across a hornet's nest???

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    1. Folding underwear Marie's way is the only thing of value I got out of her book. LOL

      If they hid the rocks paint side up it and not in dark places, I'm sure their neighbors loved them and didn't jump to the hornet's nest first.

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