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

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The week of Screw Ups


 
It was bound to happen. I had to unpack a box that was sealed and ready for the move. A box that was full of the obscure things we keep under the kitchen sink. At least that’s where I keep my Goo Gone and Dawn dish soap. I don’t actually use Dawn to wash dishes but when it’s not used to remove oil from wildlife it does a great job on my indoor electric grill. To be clear I haven’t washed any wildlife yet unless we’re talking about stink bugs, an invasive species that came to Michigan a decade ago and every fall hundreds of them take up residence on the south side of houses to winter under our siding. In the past I’ve sprayed the stink bugs with soapy Dawn dish water and it wasn’t an act of kindness to clean them. It renders them unable to fly and then they die. I’ve also vacuumed them off the house then vacuumed up insecticide. There is no humane way to kill stink bugs but fortunately for me they are slow and dime-sized so they can’t escape me when I put on my assassinator’s  hat. A hat that will be retired as of now. Yeah!

But my screw up and need for Dawn and Goo Gone had nothing to do with bugs and everything to do with me being clumpy. I had a mirror with an antique, gold leafed frame that I wanted to turn into a silver leafed frame. But first I had to spray paint it black. Easy job. After all, I’m the one who gold leafed it back in 1960. I know this because I wrote it on the back along with I what I paid for the mirror, who I bought it from and the fact that the “old woman” was 80. Eighty doesn’t seem so old now that I’m trying out the age for size. Yes, I tell people I’m 80 when I’m not quite there yet. People overlook stuff when you’re 80 that they don’t dismiss when you’re younger. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I was in the yard spray painting the frame and just as I finished up I accidentally dropped it, fresh paint side down on the grass. I’d been holding it by the wire on the back and I moved so fast to pick it back up again its a wonder I didn’t get whiplash. What I did get was almost worse. I got black paint up my arm, all over my hands, my watch, on the fence gate and deck railing as I made my way back into the house. Before I took a load paint solvents to hazardous waste recycling the paint all over where it didn’t belong wouldn’t have been the problem it was. I ended up cutting the box open to fish out the Dawn and Goo Gone and went to work. After a good 40 minutes of panicked work you’d never know I screwed up as badly as I did. This was a mirror I didn’t think I’d be able to use but with my recent tour of my future home I discovered the intercom by my door was low enough so I could put the mirror above it. It’s going to look fantastic with my stainless steel appliances with their black accents  near by. And I’m so grateful I didn’t attempt this project after moving. I’m also glad I didn’t leave it in the Goodwill donation box.

I used to be good at crafts of all kinds when I was younger. I used to be good at lots of things like walking through my kitchen but the day after my painting disaster I tripped on a box and fell on my bad hip and my bad arm. Talk about scaring myself to death. I had visions of breaking the arm that had already been broken in three places and still gives me trouble. (My bone doctor and I are babying that arm to try to keep me from going back under the knife.) I managed to get myself up with the help of my footstool in the living and to prove where my head was at I remember thinking, This is why I need a footstool in front of my settee instead of the small coffee table. I’d been debating that decorating choice for weeks. I woke up the next day sore with a few bruises but I dodged the bullet and have vowed to slow down when I walk through the Box Canyon formerly known as my house.

Then came the day I had scheduled to do all my change of addresses. I got them all done but I swear Social Security purposely tries to make you crazy. The automated system asks you a bunch of questions but when it asked for my mother’s maiden name I felt like I was playing a video, trying to get to the next level where one wrong answer puts you out of the game. After saying and spelling my mom's maiden name the system would announce that their information didn’t match and then they’d disconnect. I finally looked up my mom’s obituary online to be sure I was spelling her name correctly which I was. On the seventh try I managed to get to a live person but it got crazy around here while we were on the phone. Wouldn’t you know that’s when my irrigation guy showed up to shut the system down. He was new with the company and I had to show him where to find the  control box, the turn off valve in the yard and the way to the basement all while I was trying to give the lady at Social Security what she needed to be sure I was who I said I was.

Nine days to go before the move and guess what! I finally got my old landline number ported to my cell phone. We'd been working on it since August 20th. ©

39 comments:

  1. Please don't slap me, as I laugh with Not at!

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    1. We have to take every opportunity we can to laugh these days.

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  2. Yay!! I am so happy for you finally getting your landline phone number on your cell! You and Juhli from Boomer Girl Guide both have a reason to celebrate this week. It sounded like you both finally got things resolved in cell phone land, over the last few days. Sorry about the mirror-painting frustration. I'll it will look wonderful in your new home. So exciting that you're only 9 days away from blast off!!! Take care, Jean

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    1. You have to look really close to see I've painted over a few blades of grass. LOL

      I can send text messages and call out but apparently when people call they get a busy single, so I'm not 100% on the merry road to cell service only yet.

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  3. Your experience with the social security system reminds me of my very recent experience (like, yesterday) trying to use my bank's automated system with my new iPhone. With my Samsung flip phone, there were real buttons to push, and it worked like a dream. The stupid iphone, with its touch screen, is a whole different animal. After about six tries, and multiple "I'm sorry, we cannot verify" messages, I tried voice recognition. That didn't work, either. Apparently there's a certain speed and pressure that makes a touch screen keypad willing to communicate with other digital systems, but I'm not sure what it is. I could it pure luck that I finally managed to get through. It wasn't really important, but just the getting through eventually became the challenge.

    I'm so glad you can cross your phone off your to-do list. I hope it works perfectly.

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    1. I have that same issue with cell phones and my Kindle. I tend to beat on them but the softer touch is what they response best to. I don't have the knack.

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  4. Oh my! Let’s unpack the good things here. You are only bruised not worse, the mirror is going to look great in your new home, you are incredibly persistent and resourceful AND you phone number has been ported! Whew.

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    1. If you look really close you can see where I didn't get all the grass off the mirror and it got painted over. Please don't tell anyone. lol

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  5. A big congratulations on getting that telephone line successfully ported. It's scary, frustrating, and even humiliating when we realize that we're falling more often and that our joints are not quite as rubberized as they once seemed to be, isn't it? You're in the final stretch now, and I wish you a smooth move.

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    1. Me too. If things go wrong it won't be from me not trying.

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  6. Fasten your seatbelt. We're in those couple days leading to Mercury retrograde. Or, as google says, Hold off on signing any contracts; Making a big purchase; Be prepared for traffic and other travel mishaps; Avoid situations primed for misunderstandings; Don't rely on technology;Refrain from starting anything new. (Well, at least all your docs are signed and the phone is straightened out!)

    Honestly, it sounds grim. I live in terror of having to change SS data. And what a mess with the black paint. The last thing you need. I hope the arm/hip are hanging in and start to ease up fast, but it sure sounds like an awful time of it.

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    1. Being a "dish and china" person too you'll be interested to know that I ended up unpacking the only box I didn't pack. I got three smaller divided dishes boxes and put all my cups, glasses and stemware from that one too heavy box into the smaller boxes. Let Mercury retrograde, I'm ready!

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  7. Just think of what a mess things would be if you weren't as organized as you are. Great news about your phone number getting sorted at last! Hooray! Pretty soon, you'll be able to breathe again. (And someone else will be doing all the pesky chores!)

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    1. That thought ran through my head too, that I was at a point where someone else good move me and unpack and know exactly where to put everything.

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  8. Be careful! Let others do the rest of the work for you so you are healthy and happy and ready to enjoy your new home. Watch where you walk and take your time. Hope it goes smoothly now...

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    1. Watching where I walk has become a major deal in the Box Canyon since the fall. I'm not planning to help load and unload the truck. But unpacking that's another story. It will be mostly my niece and I doing that.

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  9. Ouch, that fall sounded scary. Well the getting up for sure did. Know the feeling. I dread getting just on my knees to do something. Glad you were OK.
    As for the painted over grass, hey that was part of the original design. Your story and stick to it.
    I really thought your phone switch was never to happen. Way to go.

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    1. Now the phone is working correctly---wasn't early this morning---and I checked my account with Lively. They did put the $100 credit on my account for all the trouble.

      I have two fake knees and the surgeon doesn't want you on your knees plus it's a really weird kind of pain/feeling. Only do it in situations like the fall.

      No one but someone in the blog community will even know about the grass on the frame and you guys will keep my secret.

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  10. Now that I'm older, my motto has become "Stay vertical!" That's how I used to admonish my mother when she would admit to me that she'd taken a tumble. A couple of weeks ago I was at my art desk upstairs, sitting in an office chair that has wheels. I leaned over to put something in the wastebasket and the wheels caught on the rug and I went over slowly to the floor. It was pretty comical, really, because it was like slow motion. I couldn't do anything to try to minimize the impact except relax and "go with the flow." I'm glad you weren"t injured. Stay vertical!

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    1. That's a good motto to have. My fall was slow motion too and I had the presence of mind to tuck in my elbow and try not to stiffen with the fall.

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  11. Oh my gosh. I hadn't even thought about changing my ssa. Is there no end to the trauma of moving?

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    1. Hope you have an easier time than I do. Once I got to a live person it was fine but I was so sure she'd hang up on me because I kept had to deal with the irrigation guy.

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  12. So glad you got the number ported. Finally! Some things just take SO much more effort than they should.

    I am also a member of the Mysterious Bruise Club, and I also took a HARD fall while moving. I took pictures of it, because I knew it would probably be the queen of all bruises. Glad you are ok and good luck with the rest of the move! Exciting times!

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    1. Falling while in the process of packing to move is not something anyone tells you abut. But I did even worse today. I couldn't find my car keys and was sure I packed them in a box. An hour later I found them in the bottom of my purse where I'd already looked. I was about to start opening boxes up.

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  13. I read and laughed a tad and felt good,for that I thank you

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  14. Congratulations on persevering with the phone number kerfuffle, and sending you a hug on the mirror/paint mishap! I can so see me doing the same thing and frantically digging through boxes so I can (also frantically) clean up the mess. Sheesh! Who needs that aggravation?!?!?

    Deb

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    1. I was so happy to get that phone number it isn't funny. Now I have to get used to using the cell for everything. Putting it on speaker phone sure helps a lot, which one of my blog readers suggested.

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  15. I'm glad they were finally able to give you your landline number.
    A few years ago I had a proximal humerus fracture. I broke that bone in 3 places and couldn't move my arm for almost 3 months. It was my first broken bone but that hurt. Breaking an arm hurts like heck.

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    1. They really do hurt! Mine was 20 years ago. I was in a turn bucket cast for months and therapy for lots of weeks after that. for several years I couldn't turn my hand over to accept change because ti would fall right out. In recent years it's been giving me a lot of issues. Hope you don't have any long term issues with yours.

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  16. Yay about the Landline Number Transfer porting successfully after trying for so long. Boo about the Box Gauntlet mishap and the Mirror update debacle. Isn't it amazing how far a little Paint can go when you don't want it to? It's like trying to start a BBQ with what should burn a Forest down and won't light, but a smoldering match would surely do the trick and burn down half the State with no effort at all. I'm glad you're okay after your Fall, I'm still favoring that Shoulder Injury I had at the start of Pandemic, I suspect it Healed so Wrong that it will be a permanent situation now, since I never could seek medical treatment for it, they weren't taking those kinds of Emergencies during Pandemic and still aren't. So, us Old Folks apparently have to be very selective now about our Emergencies and have none that don't 'qualify' to be seen. We must Save those Emergencies for when Pandemic is ever over enough to actually get other Appointments or be seen in the ER I guess. *Eye Roll* As for adding to my Age, Mom always added a Decade and that is looking like a good Idea to me now too, I need the Compliments it would surely glean and would boost the ole' Ego. *winks*

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    1. Going to a hospital during a pandemic is almost as scary as not going when you really need to.

      My husband had the best time lying about his age until someone actually believed him. LOL

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  17. PS: I HATE when those automated systems tell us our Correct answers are Wrong to their Questions, WTF?!

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    1. The worst part is with names from my grandmother's era names did get spelled different ways in census records and I have know idea where S.S. got the name in the first place.

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  18. Just want you to know I'm back from my travels and catching up with your posts: the old and the new. Funny, clever, touching, real -- as always entertaining and revealing of the wonderful human you are. The move is almost here! Oh my!

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    1. Aw thank you! I could not travel as much as you have been doing without a mini meltdown. 2-3 weeks away from home was always my limit.

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  19. Congratulations on getting to keep your landline number! Persistence pays off.

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    1. I didn't think it was going to happen but I think the techies at Lively wanted to solved the mystery of why it wouldn't work and they kept at it and would have kept going until I the clock ran out. I'm SO glad I didn't attempt this a week or two before the move when I would have been forced to accept a different outcome.

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