Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. 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. Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Disjointed Bits and Pieces from Moving Central

 

Remember the U-Haul situation in my last post where I channeled my dad’s peace making skills? I had to go back in to get some more boxes and I explained the overcharge to the counter woman, the same one who made the mistake but she didn’t remember me. She did, however, take my word for it and gave me a $10.95 credit toward my purchase. But can you believe it, she made another mistake with my new box order. I checked the boxes as she loaded them in my car against my list and her invoice and she gave me eight medium boxes when I only ordered two---and there was no chance I misspoke because she had my list in front of her when she punched the order into her computer. When I pointed out the mistake, she started unloading the extra boxes but I said, “That’s okay. I’ll probably need them down the road anyway and since I already paid for them and they fit in the car I'll keep them." It was one of those reminder moments that if you do something right the first time, you don't have to work as hard or as long.

The bank manager called. With all the money sitting in my account from the sale of my house it got tagged to look closer at it and they found my account didn’t list any beneficiaries. I wasn’t about to let this detail fall through the cracks so I compiled a list of my heirs, had to unpack a box to find their contact information and birthdays to do it. Without those names on my account, when I die the money would have to go through probate, a long, drawn out headache for both the bank and my heirs. One hitch, though, they would only let me list three heirs. On my will I listed my nieces and nephew to each get 30% of my estate and the son-I-wish-had to get the remaining 10%. But since the faux son turned into a Trump supporter and anti-vaxxer, it felt kind of good to cut him out with no planned malice on my part. The alternative option was to list as the beneficiary "the estate of  Jean ____" and let it get dispersed according to my will thus back to probate. Listing heirs by name lets them just present a death certificate to the bank and one third gets transferred to them each. Easy-peasy.

I’m still having trouble getting my landline phone number ported to my new cell phone. We’re on the fifth attempt and this is after several conference calls between me and both phone companies with all of us verifying that all the information is correct. But Spectrum’s automated rejections keeps saying the address is wrong. I was literally on the phone from 12:30 to 3:00 with a guy from Great Calls/Lively as we got passed around Spectrum. I peed twice during that time, careful not to flush. I'm pretty sure he peed once. While I was on the marathon phone call we did get some additional technical information that might help solve the problem---stuff I didn’t understand but Steve, my new best friend, thought his supervisor might. 

I’m going to pursue the port to bitter end but I’m also gearing my brain up to the fact that I may end up with a new phone number that no one knows, moving into a place no one knows. Half my friends and relatives don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. It’s a catch-22 situation. Steve said this is the most difficult port he’s ever worked on and he's been doing them for ten years. Near the end of the call he asked his supervisor to escalate the case because, “This is ridiculous that its gone on as long as it has.”---nearly three weeks. Now I have to wait until next Wednesday (9/8 in blog time) to see if the escalation to a higher level of geeks works. 

I also got a phone call from the place where I custom ordered my Amish oak desk. It came in a month earlier than promised. In order for them to hold it in their show room for another month I had to finish paying for it. A trip down to their place would eat up a half day so I paid The $1,200 sight unseen with a credit card. If you can’t trust an Amish carpenter to do a good job, the world is coming to an end. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

I tried to kill a spider in my closet but he got away and now I don’t want to go in there. I can deal with spiders on the wall, floor or ceiling but this one was on a shirt sleeve. I’m glad I hired someone to help pack up my closet and kitchen. I packed up the rest of the house in a total of 120 boxes---16 are full of books---and I could probably do the kitchen and closet without help, but I didn't know that when I booked the appointment several weeks ago.

I’ve been reading a true story set in Amazon called The Puma Years. At the animal sanctuary where the author worked they had spiders the size of dinner plates living in the shower stalls and dorm. I keep thinking that spider I didn’t get to kill is going to grow super-sized and, I’m sorry, but I could not co-exist with dinner plate sized spiders living in the corners. I’d find me a hand gun so I could stand a good distance away and use them for target practice. 

That book is full of scary insects. The sanctuary takes care of wild animals that are rescued from the illegal pet trade---most so abused, neglected and/or unable to forage for their meals in the wild that they have to live out their lives there. The big cats get between a quarter and a half an acre enclosures/cages in the middle of the jungle and many are walked daily like dogs. The descriptions of the rain forest’s vegetation, insects, sounds,wildlife and climate kept me reading even though the insect yuck factor was high. Near the end it became clear why it went into such detailed descriptions because the underlying message in the book was to draw attention to how the logging industry, animal poachers and big corporate farms are destroying the ecosystem of not only the Amazon but the whole world.  

The author, Laura Coleman, is an artist and writer who has devoted her immense talent to bring awareness to illegal wildlife trafficking and environmental justice issues. Environmentalists are cut from a different cloth than the rest of us and that's really sad. We could all do more, care more and think more globally than we do. Every thing we could or are doing helps from making sure the coffee, chocolate and beauty products we buy are ethically sourced to committing to recycling more militantly to not replacing perfectly good stuff just to get the latest and greatest features. 

On that note, I'm going to Starbucks for an ethically sourced Double Chocolaty Chip Creme Frappuccino and if anyone has anything negative to say about their prices or coffee please keep it to yourself.  It's not their coffee that makes their customer base so loyal, it's about the feeling of being part of the solution instead of adding to the problem. It's about rewarding companies with high ethical standards.  And I was thrilled to learn the two restaurants on the campus where I'll be living in less than a month will be serving Starbucks coffee. ©

35 comments:

  1. The only people who think Starbucks cost too much have probably never had one. *winks* So, the Sale finalized and now you have a healthy stash in the Bank with Heirs apparent and cutting out a ReTrumplican with no malice intended. I think that all worked out quite well. *winks* Princess T's 'Friend' got his 1st Jab Today so that he could still be allowed to come over and be the 'Adopted New Grandson' without Issue. *Smiles* Now I only have to work on The Son, who has Promised he will get Vaxxed, but needs to move it way up his Priority List. No use in beating Dangerous Drug Addiction only to risk Dying horribly of a freakin' Virus... he had to agree with that sentiment and knows I will not allow him around us until he's had his 1st Jab at least. As your time grows closer to be moved in I'm so excited for you.

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    1. Just had a long session with the son-I-wish-I-had to go over moving logistics and I'm starting to see how it's all going to come together.

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  2. When I read about your U-Haul experience, I just shook my head. Usually I try to see the positive side of things, and I understand that mistakes are going to happen, but it seems that we're encountering so many errors nowadays. I've started checking my receipts and I'd say at least half of them have mistakes. The good thing is that they probably average out over time. You were very gracious to the sales clerk. Bugs always set me off--especially if I see them inside. The good thing is that spiders can only live if they have other insects to eat, so the one you saw in the closet is probably already dead. Keep telling yourself that...Always love to read about the adventures of Jean!!

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    1. Thankfully, I don't think I have to go back to U-Haul again. But you are right about mistakes happening more often all over. I'm definitely watching more careful everywhere.

      I normally don't see any bugs or spiders in my house, but since moving and packing stuff I've seen a half dozen spiders. I really don't like them and hope I don't take any with me.

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  3. That sounds like a fascinating, creepy book. I'm sure your spider won't grow. Maybe hatch babies but not turn into a tarantula. Hopefully you will leave them all behind. The box place sounds like it could use a better manager! I need to modify my trust beneficiaries, too and write the "personal items disposition" paper to go with it. They say you should look at that stuff every couple of years and I haven't for about eight! I just switched my land line to my new cell phone with Consumers Cellular. So far, so good. We'll see how it flies!

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    1. Moving the spider eggs with me, oh thanks for that image! LOL it was one of those kinds with the see-through body and I hate them more than a lot of others.

      I reviewed my will two years ago. My lawyer contacts me ever three to review it. Next time I do I have to take the care of my dog out of it. His next owner got some money for his expenses. I did make personal notes on my copy of the will, though.

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  4. ooh i hate spiders, I understand how you feel.
    I will not comment on Starbucks per your request. LOL

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    1. Thank you! My blog has had the Starbucks debate several times in the past. No time or energy for it now. LOL

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  5. Wow! It seemed like a long time before you were supposed to move but now it is coming soon. Good thing you were so organized and are on track to be ready! What an exciting time! I hope all goes smoothly now that you are in the home stretch!

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    1. It was a LONG time. Construction got shut down due to the pandemic, plus I was one of the first 25 to sign up---lots of extra perks to do so. It's 27 days now.

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  6. I personally don’t like coffee but understand why people like Starbucks. Glad the move is getting closer. What a relief that will be.

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    1. 27 days! My first boss when I was 17 told me if I didn't drink coffee I couldn't take coffee breaks so I learned to like it. LOL

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  7. I probably would have a Starbucks coffee shop habit if I could have them handed to me while I was still at home in my PJs. As it is, I have a fancy Nespresso machine that makes lattes and cappuccinos, and buy the Starbucks capsules at Costco...which is probably just as spendy but way more convenient for me. Hah!
    It's all coming together now, Jean! Soon you will be in your new digs and let the unpacking/organizing begin!

    Deb

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    1. I hope survive as well going across the county as you did going across an entire country! 27 days for.

      I will be able to get the campus cafe to deliver my Starbucks but they'll only be making a couple of the simpler drinks, not the full Starbucks menu.

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  8. My house is spider central and the little buggers bite me! So I'm pretty brutal when I see one, but I've also picked them up with a glass and piece of stiff paper and taken them back outside too. Hard to blame a spider for doing what comes naturally!
    I'm just appalled at the blatant lack of care and concern most people exhibit these days. That factor alone makes me sure America is on the decline because people have lost sight of how much better it is here than in many other countries of the world. Did she at least act sheepish or apologize?

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    1. Nope, she didn't apologize but did said, "Are you sure?" Every time I've been in there she seems to be totally stress out. Either she is working a job about have pay grade, or she has a nasty boss or something is going on at home. The writer in me has decided or she's got a terminally ill loved on at home and isn't able to concentrated on her job, so I cut her a lot of slack just to keep my own self from jumping all over her.

      Some spiders are to fast to catch in a glass with paper but I do that with lady bugs that get in the house from time to time.

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  9. I have noticed more mistakes also lately. Perhaps it is the inexperienced workers due to the pandemic.
    As for spiders, Don't ever go to Key West. There is one down there that reminds me of a 3 week old lab puppy only not cute. They can jump 16 feet and kill birds. I had one land on my shoulder one day. I was 10 years old, still not over it.

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    1. Jumping spiders would be my worst nightmare. I've seen ones around here that can jump 1-2 inches and even they creep me out.

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  10. My husband's uncle was stationed in Hawaii after WWII and was living off base. He was in the shower one time and saw a spider that was so huge he involuntarily let out a yell that his landlady heard because she yelled back "Don't kill it!" Supposedly it was a beneficial one that ate bugs. But still...

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    1. They didn't kill the spiders in the book either. On the other end of the scale I guess the Amazon has spiders so small you can't see them and they lay eggs in your pores.

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  11. I hope you and the Amish carpenter don't end up on Judge Judy.................
    Some people can't read what's in front of them instead seeing what they want or imagine.

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    1. I trust the store that placed the order for me. I've gotten quite a few pieces of furniture from them over the years.

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  12. best wishes as you are in the final stretch to your move. Regarding people making mistakes, we go to a Taco place on 'Taco Tuesday' when they offer the tacos at a discounted price. We have encountered multiple weeks where the price is the regular price, we have to point out that it is Taco Tuesday hence lower prices. We are usually there about 6:30 pm so they have had all day to realize that it is indeed Tuesday. Odd.

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    1. Thank you.

      I see the same kinds of thing with food specials all the time. People get on auto-pilot sometimes and other times they just don't care.

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  13. I had pretty much the same opinion of spiders until I found these Peacock spiders. Don't click away too quickly -- they're dancing to the BeeGees! I wouldn't mind having some of them around, especially if they brought their own DJ.

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  14. Glad you're close to getting your show on the road. Do hope you get the phone matter resolved as you want. Appreciate your anti-spider attitude. My niece had a bit of an issue on one finger only to finally find out a brown recluse had bit her. She was able to eventually resolve the problem, preserve her finger. I had never heard of that spider but guess they're around. I try to stick to decaf after years of regular coffee so not much for me at Starbucks.

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    1. Starbucks has decaf and drinks without coffee in them, blends teas fr example.

      I know two people who were bitten by brown recluse spiders and got very sick. People in certain professions run into them more than others. I've never seen one and hope never to do so. Wolf spiders, though, I've seen two and they are scary.

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    2. Interestingly, my Starbucks discontinued brewing decaf coffee. They tell me to order Americano which they say is the same. However, a search I did says Americano has 75 mg of caffeine and decaf coffee has only 2 mg. Hm-m-m!

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  15. I'm not sure why so many people love to have the Starbucks Debate. It's a personal preference. So what?

    Our lakehouse is Spider Central, and I will hear ZERO arguments about killing each and every one I come into contact with. I squash them ALL. They are on MY TERRITORY, and I will NOT coexist with them. They and their webs need to get off my deck, my deck furniture, my boat, and all my stuff, PERIOD.

    UGH.

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    1. The whole thing with Starbucks was started by Hannity and Rush as part of their so-called War on Christmas campaign, but was really an attempt to defund Starbucks whose owners spend a lot of money on climate issues and establishing ethical farming practices.

      Cottages are notorious for being havens for spiders. I remember well opening up our family cottage every spring.

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  16. There was a time when a Starbucks Frappacino was my personal reward for getting through another day. Or finishing some tough work meetings. Or a celebration of a fun afternoon shopping. Or anything really. LOL. I don't have the same animus toward Starbucks that some do. I support you rewarding yourself whenever you'd like.

    I hope I never need UHaul again, but that seems unlikely. I once drove back from Florida in my daughter's car while she drove a UHaul truck. So now when I see them on the road, I just feel grateful I'm not involved.

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    1. There is such a vast difference in the people who work at U-Haul here in town and those who work at Two Men and a Truck. But the latter is out of the beaten path for me and their boxes cost more. One the good side I shouldn't need to go back.

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  17. Dear Jean, never in this posting did you use the word "overwhelmed." That's what I'd be feeling if all that you described had happened when I moved from Minnesota--where I'd lived 38 years--to Missouri. I'd be absolutely overwhelmed. Unable to unpack the boxes. I did have a long span of time pass before I finally stopped using one phone company and shifted to another. And I gave up only when one of the tech accused me of lying about something.

    You do not seem overwhelmed. You must truly be a feisty woman who's independent enough to know her mind and follow it. Congratulations on being true to yourself. Peace.

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    1. Thank you, Dee. But I do have my moments of feeling overwhelmed. I'm a list kind of person and writing and following my plans keeps me on track.

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