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, November 18, 2020

Sleepwear and Pandemic Diets

I ran out of cereal bowls this morning and no, smarty pants, it wasn’t because I’ve been using them for ice cream. I haven’t had ice cream in the house since Ben and Jerry dropped off a pint of Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream last May unless you’re counting Purple Cow Cream Pops. Since you can have one of those ice cream core popsicles for 46 calories, I just call them Dessert Without the Guilt. Stick with me, kid, and I’ll teach you how to think like a fat lady.

I’m getting a head start on that January diet I usually do each year only I’m rebranding it as my Pandemic Diet. I hate to admit this but I gained eight pounds since the world pandemic and the American election formed a symbiotic friendship, like an oxpecker riding on the back of an elephant. Thank goodness pandemics only come around every 100 years and elections have never stressed me out in the past or I’d be as big as the elephant in that little visual I planted in your head. Let’s hope 2020 turns out to be an anomaly in the grand scheme of things. By the way, did you know that oxpecker birds graze exclusively on the bodies of large mammals eating “ticks, small insects, botfly larvae, and other parasites” according to Wikipedia as well as earwax and dandruff. Can you imagine a bird pecking at your ears? That would stress me out enough to eat gallons of comforting ice cream.

Back to cereal bowls…when you’ve eaten so much cereal that all your bowls are in the dishwasher it’s time to switch to coffee cups. It would take me twenty days to run out of them because I rarely use them for caffeinated beverages. I have one favorite cup I use for my morning coffee which I rinse out and put next to my coffee pot after each use. Probably not the smartest habit in the house but I have so many bad habits you’d be hard pressed to notice this one should you come to visit. Just know if you do come over, don’t grab the only yellow cup in the house and pour yourself some Starbucks Sweet Morning coffee. Not that you could do that during the pandemic. It hasn’t been in the store for several months. Neither has the Reddi Wip Barista Series Sweet Foam. The last time I found it I almost bought all four cans in the cooler but then I felt sorry for the next addicted person looking for it and I put one can back. Call me crazy, but don’t call me a pandemic hoarding bitch. Or maybe Levi my Mighty Schnauzer is rubbing off on me. He has a highly annoying habit of leaving one piece of kibble behind in his dish when he eats. Why? Is he dumb enough to think he’s leaving it for seed? Maybe. What ever the reason I’m jealous of his self-control. As old as I am, I still feel the compulsion to clean my plate for fear my mom will make me sit at the table until bedtime if I don’t. Light bulb Moment: Could Levi be my mom reincarnated come to torture me with that stupid, single kibble left behind in his dish daily reminding me not to keep blaming her for my lack of self-control? I mean I've had well over a half century since I ate at my mother's table to reprogram my mindset. Aren't I supposed to be the boss of me by now?

New Topic: Levi has me rethinking what I wear to bed. Don’t twist that into something kinky. What I mean is I’m not a person who likes to pop out of bed and get dressed. I like to wake up slow, drinking coffee and not get dressed until mid-morning. But once I move I won’t have that option because I’ll have to walk him instead of just opening up a door and turning him loose. My favorite one-stop-shopping store has a huge display of sleep jammies in stock---pandemic office wear---and seeing them made me think if I started wearing those to bed I could just put a coat over them do take Levi outside in the morning and late at night. For years I’ve worn L.L. Bean long flannel night gowns in the winter and oversized Hanes cotton men’s t-shirts in the summer that fall to my knees, neither of which would look good with a coat thrown over top. While shopping I saw a twenty-something walking around with sleep jammies on and she obvious wasn't wearing underwear underneath. Why is it that kids like her can get away with wearing sleepwear in public but a seventy-something can't do it without others thinking she's lost one too many of the social norms to be living alone? Sure, twenty-somethings have firm and perky breasts under that flimsy fabric but aside from the unfairness of gravity, I am here to protest against young people's right to dress comfortably 24/7.

I bought a set of jammies to try out. And while I was tempted to get a 'Hello Kitty' set, I didn’t. Too many of the heroines in the romance books I’ve been reading wear 'Hello Kitty' jammies while eating ice cream straight out of the cartons when they're on a classic, Ross and Rachel Break. As a widow I’m on a long break from my soulmate but I don’t need another visual trigger for eating my favorite comfort food. ©

54 comments:

  1. Gosh, I saw myself in a few of your scenarios. NEVER WEARING JAMMIES AS PUBLIC WEAR, HOWEVER. But I do use the same insulated coffee mug every day, rinsing it out each day. It's not dishwasher safe, or I'd plunk it in there regularly. And I don't get dressed straight out of bed, either. THAT IS WHY I RETIRED!

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    1. I try to remember to put my yellow cup in the dish washer when I run it but that doesn't always happen.

      I can't imagine wearing jammies in public either but we'll see if I can get away with it to take the dog out for a quick pee. I've never even been to my mailbox in my robe because I've always associated doing that with being really old or the young neighborhood whore who'd do it in her see-thru nighties.

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  2. Levi as the reincarnation of your mother!!! That is a great image. I admit I do step out in pajamas and robe so the dog can pee early morning and late night. Not the only one where I live but we don’t take a walk then. My DIL used to lip on yoga pants or sweatpants to look like she was dressed.

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    1. I love sweatpants in the day time but I can't sleep in them. I toss and turn too much.

      I'm hoping other dog owners in the complex will take their dogs out early in the morning and late at night in PJ and a robe. I plan to walk Levi in the late afternoon.

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  3. Except for snow or home-cranked ice cream, there is no way to eat it except from the carton. That's why it's been a few months since I, myself, have bought ice cream. (I've been reduced to buying Haagen-Dazs, Vanilla since no one in my burg carries Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Chocolate Chip.)

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    1. I love Haagen-Dazs! Don't buy it often though because we have a local brand that cheaper. I rarely eat it out of the carton, though, because it's too easy to keep eating until it's all gone. God, I miss having good ice cream!

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  4. This post cracked me up! I've seen you on a few blogs I follow and stopped by to say hello. I should add that all my cereal bowl are dirty at the same time because I used them all for ice cream, I've gained 14 pounds during the pandemic, and these days I never put on real clothes other than once every two weeks to go grocery shopping. At this point I don't even care. I'm going to be comfortable 24/7 just like the young people!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Martha. I'll check your blog out as well. We have much in common, I think. LOL

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  5. Interesting...I've not tried the Purple Cow pops, but now I must look for them.

    As for my wardrobe - I am living in leggings and comfy jeans most days. Like you, I don't like to get dressed too early, so when I had dog walk duty I usually moved from pj's into leggings and just stayed in them unless I was going "somewhere." That said, my pjs are much too loud to walk around outside in them. I did occasionally step out into the driveway with doggo on a leash (he liked to run away given the chance), but usually had a vest or jacket thrown on top to avoid showing my neighbors just how far things have slipped as I have aged. LOL.

    I love ice cream and can't buy my favorites because I'll just eat them daily until they're gone. I am also finding the lactose and fat combo isn't agreeing with me as I get older. Man, ain't aging fun?

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    1. Purple Cow is a Meijer brand and most of the time they satisfy my craving for ice cream but not always. Last time I was at the store they were out. But like you, I can't have my favorite ice cream in the house because I'll eat it daily. I usually buy ice cream as cones when I'm out and about.

      Leggings are so popular and I've never owned a pair, they look so hard to put on. I had a pair of spanks on in a store dressing room once and I really thought I'd have to get them cut out of from me, I was getting desperate!

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    2. LOL. Spanx are painful. Leggings are like pjs to me. But I can see they're not everyone's cup of tea. I even have a pair that are fleece lined for winter. hahaha.

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  6. Still wondering about Levi leaving that one kibble. What restraint. Callie often tries to lick the pattern off the bottom of her bowl she is so thorough.
    They do have outside PJ's that your could get away with but I can't stand sleeping with something on my legs. I'd just keep a pair of jeans by the bed I could slip into for the dog walk.

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    1. I don't like sleeping with things on my legs either. I wish moo moos were still acceptable fashion, I'd keep one of those for morning dog runs to pee.

      It really annoys we that Levi leaves that kibble behind. I have to take it out to wash the dish and if it's been soaked in some kind of 'dog-sauce' I have to throw it away.

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    2. So I just googled "Muumuus" and they are still popular! Also, caftans! Which reminded me of housecoats! My Mom and her friends would go out into the backyard to visit in their housecoats which were really just colorful cotton robes that snapped up the front. I had forgotten about those!

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    3. Gosh, they have some cute ones, don't they. I remember those garden parties from my mom's era when women wore them. I might just have to start a fashion trend where I'm moving. Thanks.

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  7. I wear men's flannel pj's when it is cold and men's cotton jammie pants with a big t shirt when it is not. But, I don't go out and about in them. They are large and comfy which is all I need.
    I love vanilla ice cream but do not buy it often as I have no will power if it is in the house.

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    1. I like men's tee shirts to sleep in (rather than women's) for the same reason---large and comfy and you can't get women's long enough.

      I live French Vanilla, one of my favorites.

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  8. I don't get dressed as soon as I get up, and I don't have a pup so it doesn't matter. I love being retired and Covid hasn't affected us much. On the whole it's been very peaceful.

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    1. You are lucky the Covid-19 hasn't changed much in your community. My state has 28,000 cases right now and the 5th highest death rate in the nation.

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  9. The only place outside of the house where I wear my jammies is around our property. And I have hours during which this is acceptable: from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. Limits allow me to feel like I'm not being slovenly.

    [LL Bean has nice flannel jammies, btw. Still they are not for daywear in my worldview.]

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    1. L.L. Bean flannel jammies cost as much as street wear and you can't see through them. It makes no sense that it's against the norms of society that you can't wear them in public but most of us follow those unspoken rules. crazy, isn't it.

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  10. When I had my Healthy Choice Mexican dinner the other night I noticed I'd dropped one of the refried beans on the rug, so when I went to feed my Chihuahua, Kelso, I put it in his bowl, thinking he'd like it. After he finished eating I saw that his bowl had been licked clean except for that one bean, which he left smack dab in the middle. Everyone's a critic.

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    1. Chihuahua, a Mexican bean he wouldn't eat had me laughing out loud.

      I like those Healthy Choice Mexican dinners, too.

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  11. "Stick with me, kid, and I’ll teach you how to think like a fat lady."
    Not only did I fall about laughing out loud when I read this, I made a snap decision. This fat since COVID lady is sticking with you.
    Hope this attempt to chat doesn't disappear before my very eyes like the last one did. I still haven't got the hang of using Blogger. Very discouraging. But I love reading your blog.

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    1. You're the "Waiting for Covid" lady blogger! I love your writing style. I wish you'd post more often and glad you found something to laugh about in this post. That makes my day.

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  12. Thanks for the laughs! It's not every day that you can learn about oxpeckers. I've been retired awhile, and my clothes get more and more casual, esp since Covid. I used to rely on Lands End and LLBean for high quality clothing, but I don't think the fabric comes close to what they had a few years ago. Don't feel too badly about an 8 lb gain. I can do that over a weekend.

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    1. If I can't stop gaining weight, though, I'm going to have to start buying a larger size and I really don't want to do that. But it sure seems to be a common occurrence for a lot of us. January---diet season---is going to be interesting in the land of blogs this year.

      Clothing fabrics everywhere are getting weird! Hate that! Those are my two go-to places for quality clothing too.

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    2. Count me "in" for Lands' End (agree on fabrics) and Hunky Husband likes LLBean; but, their clothes don't fit right on me.

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  13. Hehehehe! This post is pure blogging comedic gold. Keep ‘em coming, Jean.

    Deb

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    1. Thanks, Deb. If only I could I would. Maybe after January 21th which as a Canadian you might not know is the day Biden actually takes over our country I'll get my sense of humor back more often.

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  14. As it happens, I just read this article by Arthur Brooks. I like his work generally, and thought this was especially interesting. I don't know what he'd think about street pjs. Even on days I'm not working, I'm dressed within ten minutes of getting up. That's how long it takes to start the coffee and wash my face. Even if I'm not going out of the house because of weather, etc., I get dressed, put on lipstick, etc. I guess it's my way of saying, "OK, Life. Bring it on!"

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    1. That's the way my husband was. He didn't even own a robe or PJs. His most causal wear was just wearing a pair a jeans without shoes or shirts. He took his showers before going to bed and I have to do mine in mornings to look and feel human.

      Interesting article. I only know one person who hasn't gained weight through the pandemic and for me it's not a change in activity. Mine is from stress eating.

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  15. Lizzie does that too -- leaves a kernel or two or three. I don't think she's reminding me of self-control. I think she always wonders where her next meal is coming from and she saves it "just in case." Hang back from her street days.

    I was going to put this in a post but I haven't found a good way to incorporate. Mid-pandemic, warm day, I got up and just started computing and doing stuff and never got out of my pjs. Not just pjs. The rattiest sleepshirt I had -- pocket half falling off, printing on the front so washed out you can barely read it, unfashionably hanging down to my knees (OK, it was meant to be a Myrtle Beach swimsuit coverup.) So, around 11:30 (I know -- bad), my most fashionista friend (who is tremendously stylish, knows it and never lets anyone forget it) showed up at my pandemic door, dropping off a treat of some kind or another. I don't even remember what. She's moved out of town and just in for a second, so of course we go sit outside and talk. But point being, you never know who is going to drop in and catch you in your pjs. And while she never said a word, I know what HAD to be going through her head!

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    1. Interesting theory on Lizzie. We once had a dog who'd bury extra kibble in the couch, probably came from food insecurity like Lizzie's.

      Funny story about being caught in your pandemic wear. If someone gives me a 15 minute warning that they're coming over I have to choose between picking up my house or changing my clothes...I always pick the house. I rarely get caught in my sleepwear but I've made it clear over the years that I don't do mornings.

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  16. I don't eat ice cream when the temps drop. I hate sitting and freezing. Oh, but I do love my flannel jammies - long pants and short sleeves. They never come that way. I cut and hem them.

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    1. I would cut my flannel jammies just the oppose...long sleeves and short pants. And thanks for the idea!

      I can eat ice cream year around.

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    2. I remember in about 1943 being in our only vehicle (flat-bed Ford truck) on a drive between Tulsa and Missouri. Mom stopped at a truck stop and told me that I could come inside with her (out of the winter cold) or she would bring me an ice cream cone to sit in the truck to eat. I got my ice cream!

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    3. Your mom played you, knew you and used your weakness for ice cream to give herself some alone time. LOL Nice memory.

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  17. No cereal bowls ... all in the dishwasher? Do you have running hot water & a sink?!! (Kidding) I wear jammy bottoms & t-shirt to grocery store. Why not? And trust me, I'm no longer perky OR shapely. If they don't want my money...tough cookies. I'll go somewhere else.

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    1. I do hand wash spools, fork and knives and small plates that have had sandwiches on them.

      I admire your free spirit with wearing jammy bottoms in public. I wish you were my neigbhor so I could follow your example. LOL

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  18. I am a up and dressed straight off the bat type of woman, not one to lounge around in my pj's all or part of the day. I haven't gained any pandamic weight

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    1. I am jealous you haven't let the stress of 2020 get to you and make you gain any pandemic pounds.

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  19. OMG What a fun and funny post! Thanks for the lift!

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    1. Glad it gave you a lift. I think a few lines in my Saturday post will do the same.

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  20. Dear Jean, I so enjoy your wit and your sense of the ridiculous. Thanks for making the day a bit more joyous. And I do find myself joyous because my friend Donna who has stage 2 breast cancer and was operated on yesterday had good news from the surgeon that the three lymph nodes looked fine. There's so much for which to be grateful each day, but sometimes it takes me to early afternoon to realize that because I'm a late sleeper and a slow waker-upper! Peace.

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    1. Thank you. I saw your post about Donna. I'm so happy she got good news!

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    2. Dear Jean, I think that every bit of happy news we get right now needs to be shared. We all meet, as I've said before, in the Oneness of our being part of all creation. Peace.

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    3. Dee, I will try to remember that about sharing happy news, it is important right now with all that is going on in the world.

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  21. I think I've put on more pandemic pounds than you have; I'm not sure because I was already stress eating before the pandemic hit. Yesterday, I was in a shoe store and I happened to see myself in a mirror and was shocked by the fat lady who was looking back. Oh, dear; time to try to get my eating back under control.

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    1. The nurse at the doctor's office who weighed me in said just about everyone was coming in with a gain, doctor too. I can't wait to see what kind of ads the diet industry will com up with in January.

      Your wood stove generates plenty of exercise for you, I can't imagine a few extra pounds on you won't soon get worked off with the winter heating seasons.

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  22. I'm still trying to get past an Animal having to eat Ear Wax of another Animal as part of their Diet! Ewwww! As for Jammies, I wear my Hippie Jammies outside around our property all the time, I think everyone is now used to that even if they might need Therapy now due to it? Since nothing has been perky for Years! *winks* I bought some Liquor flavored Ice Pops Months ago and I don't even like Liquor so I think Pandemic thinking got the best of me, I haven't even tried one yet! They did have an Age restriction on buying them so now I'm also wondering if you can catch a Buzz from eating them and have it take the Edge off when Political Theatrics coupled with Pandemic surges starts to fray the nerves? Can you only tell I'm just now catching up on Blog Reading?

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    1. Hey, I'm glad you're catching up on blog reading! I enjoy your comments.

      I've been thinking I'll be among the first 27 to move into my new apartment building so I can be a trend setter when it comes to wearing jammies take the dog out. LOL

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    2. Go for the Trend Setting when you move in, buy some outrageous Jammies in fact and if you can find some matching Dog Jammies, all the better! *LOL* I read Blogs in binges even tho' I Write mine daily for Therapy to my Soul. I've never been much of a Reader, my Library is vast but mostly Picture Decor Books. *Ha ha ha*

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    3. This is scary! My library before the big purge was also full of picture books for grown up. We could be twins by a different mother. LOL

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