Saturday, May 28, 2011

Heed Life's Lessons

As mentioned in my very first post, I am nearing 4 years out of a 40-year relationship with one man.   Thirty-six of those years as married.  After an agonizing tumultuous first year of barely surviving my divorce proceedings, I began to turn my focus to the internet for helpful suggestions, and to search for others who had been through the same ordeal as I. 

Now…before I go any further, I want to tell you that I had PLENTY of suggestions, counsel, and advice in REAL life.  I had the most amazing support from my family.  Without them I am not sure what would have happened.  And, not to depart from the theme here (I hope there is a theme buried somewhere in here) but, and that’s a big but, AT THE TIME, I dropped exactly one pound for every year married!  You do the math!

Only 3 short years ago, during my much-protested (by me) divorce, I had just begun a new part-time position at home.  I had "retired" from my 18 year stint as an office manager at an engineering company (with full support of my ex) to start the next chapter of my life and to babysit for grandchildren.   During this same time, my dear mother was nearing the end of her life.  Her loving husband of 67 years took care of her every need until he was no longer able (at age 97).  It was then that, again, my supportive family came to the rescue.  We kept my mother in her own home until she died.  Lots of work, stress, and long hours.  We did it though, and, for that, everyone is thankful.  And now, this June 3rd, 2011, my dad will be celebrating his…….get this……100th Birthday!  Since my divorce, my dad gets around more than I…and I am beginning to get jealous!   

The reason I mention my family issues is because I want to let you to know the tremendous amount of pressure and anxiety that was taking place in my life all at once.  Betrayal.  Death.  Divorce. New Job.  

Alas!  Not all was on the down side though.  In that same time period, I also had 3 more precious grandchildren make their way into the world!  I have a total of 5 now!  And I am soooo thankful that I am involved daily in their lives.  It’s been a blessing...a Godsend.

But back to my theme(?).  In cyber-space, everything you (n)ever wanted to know about divorce is out there… advice for young couples, advice for couples with children, advice on “how to get back with your ex,” advice for coping.    

But I was looking to communicate or read the blog of…of…someone like ME...a “reasonably” intelligent woman, “slightly” older.  Someone with a wealth bit of humor and practicality.  Someone family-oriented, but had lots of a limited amount of time for herself.

I wanted to communicate with that person who thought she’d had a somewhat “normal” marriage.  Now, don’t get hung-up on the words “normal marriage”.  All marriages have their faults.  I am fully aware of my faults, the faults as a couple, and “the ex’s” faults.  I am also aware of the good, and sometimes very good, strengths that I, and even “the ex,” sometimes brought to the marriage.

I was searching to share life-experiences or read about a woman with a long-term marriage that ended as abruptly as mine, and whose grown, adult, out-of-the-house children were content in their lives, as mine are.  I was searching to communicate with someone who was at the brink of embarking on a new chapter (the wonderful “golden” years) in her life and then suddenly had it all ripped away.

I still haven’t been able to find that person...not quite.  Perhaps there is no one with an experience quite like mine as everyone's life travels a different path.  But I believe people are out there.  People who have not come forward to talk about their heartache.  Hence, this blog.  Slowly but surely, as one gets to know me…the real me…perhaps they, too, will come out of the woodwork to share their story and begin the healing process.

I think it’s necessary to meet women who share the same interests/background as me.  That's important. You want to really start figuring out who you are and what you're all about. Most men dive back into dating too soon after a divorce and find the same woman again...many before leaving the first one!

I am finding that most men NEED a woman in their life.  Most women do NOT need a man.  Unfortunately, sometimes finances play a part in what a woman needs.  For those younger who can sustain themselves and their families and do it ALL alone?  I give you so much credit.  You show how capable you really are and should be proud.

Learn from your experience and from your last relationship. Welcome those lessons learned.  You will be satisfied with YOURSELF. 

Beware:  If you are divorced or out of a long-term relationship, it’s necessary to experience the pain.   A new relationsh­ip takes away the pain, BUT the step to recovery that you are skipping over by entering into a too-soon new relationship, is a most important one. 

This is the time for self-examination and to understand what your contribution (or lack of) did to the relationsh­ip.  YOU will be the one to succeed.  Why? Because then you have a chance to LEARN and to do BETTER.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I came to the rescue of a couple ducks the other day.  The two mallards were waddling across the median on a side street I was driving down on my way to the post office. 

I slowed, thinking the birdies were surely going to reach the curb by the time my car approached, but nothing was fazing these two “love birds.”  The ducks continued taking their sweet old time.

Suddenly, I spotted a serious problem.  Oblivious to the large cat stealthily creeping up behind them, the ducks, a male and female, continued their waddle across the street directly in front of my idling car.  The cat’s body, prepped for a pounce, inched closer to his prey until I opened my window and “hissed” at it.  And I can “hiss” with the best of them!

Perhaps my concern for those two ducks helps negate my feelings of guilt for chasing out the ducks that take up residence in my pool from March through mid-June.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Bridesmaid but Never a Bride?

I first saw the trailer for BRIDESMAIDS while in the theater to see another movie a couple of weeks ago.  The small snippets seemed as if it would be funny, but I dismissed it, thinking the movie was trying to be a “guy” movie for gals.  I thought it would be the typical “junior high” humor…something I am not usually a fan of.  

However, on a rainy day (one of many, recently) with a few hours to spare, I decided to see what this movie was about.  Besides, I needed a light-hearted comedy to chase away a light case of the blahs.

And guess what?  It was worth the short trip to the theatre. I was pleasantly surprised that the movie actually had a story line, and I was interested in seeing how it would play out. It was a hilarious comedy to be enjoyed by all…not just for women...although it was written by a woman.

The characters, especially the main character, Kristen Wiig of Saturday Night Live, were genuine (in a slightly over-the-top kind of way), despite some gross-out gags, and profane language (hence the “R” rating).  I thoroughly enjoyed Kristen Wiig as Annie. She is absolutely wonderful and soooo funny!

Annie is the penniless main character whose messed up life is crumbling as she tries to make good on her expensive duties as Maid Of Honor for her best friend.  

See it and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

To Wipe or not to Wipe…that is the Question

Today I made my way through the grocery store.  My usual trip for food and other household necessities.    I try to limit my shopping to once a week.  I would prefer going even less often, and sometimes I manage that.  When I do, I feel proud that I s-t-r-e-c-h-e-d my dollar just a little bit further.

I have 5 grandchildren I watch, so I am always on the look-out for goodies for them.  At the moment, lunch has come full-circle.  It’s back to buying peanut-butter and jelly (strawberry jam at grandma’s) after a 30 year long hiatus when MY two were little ones.  Mostly though, the grandkids get turkey lunch meat with green beans, fruit, and…mustn’t forget the dessert.  They seem quite satisfied with that menu, right now, so all is good. 

It used to be that Macaroni and Cheese was the lunch of choice, but they tired of that.  Suddenly, what they proclaimed was their favorite, they now whine  they “don’t like it anymore.” 

Besides.  Grandma (a.k.a. Bob Evans) had the “traditional” macaroni noodle.  One wanted the “spiral” noodle like they get at home, another wants the skinnier, shorter noodle.  It’s hard to make everyone happy.  And who do we want happy?  Grandma…that’s who!  When Grandma’s happy…….everybody’s happy!

So, while I am in the grocery store picking out necessities, I am, again, in the toilet-paper aisle. Oh.  I guess it’s called toilet-TISSUE aisle.   Anyway, I say “again” because I swear I was just here recently spending almost $20 for the “BIG” size tissue.  And now here I am shelling out another $18.50 for more.  What is going on here?  These rolls that claim to be “double?”  No way!  I know that in a matter of a couple of days, that roll will be empty again!

Excuse me for the visual, but I pride myself on being clean in ALL my personal hygiene habits, but (no pun intended) changing a toilet paper roll every two days?  In my personal bath?  It’s not Grand Central Station, after all!

I have no scientific evidence, but my experience tells me that the rolls today are much smaller, nor are they wound as tight.  And the cost is exorbitant.  Will we have to return to the Sears-Roebuck Catalog in our hour minute of need?

And it’s not just toilet paper.  Have you seen the Ice Cream containers?  They are not all 2-quarts anymore.  The one is got today is 1.5 quarts.  My favorite Keebler Chocolate Chip Cookies that I have been munching on for years and years and years, suddenly look as small as silver dollars…and each almost as expensive! 

How about potato chips?  You are buying a bag of AIR!  And look at the price!  Unbelievable.

Companies are camouflaging their price increases by selling their products in smaller packages. 

But hey, look on the bright side…it’s less calories….except for that darn toilet tissue!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sprucing Up the Yard

I have a medium-sized Weeping Cherry Tree in the landscaping outside my front window.  You know the kind.  The branches grow up and then bow gracefully towards the earth in a “weeping” style.  I love that tree and wait anxiously every year for it to bloom.  And not until I witness those delicate pink flowers blossoming, does it signify the official start of the spring season.   

About five or six years ago I added one of those whimsical faux-stone faces to the tree.  With my help, my grandkids have had fun letting their imaginations come up with silly stories about Mr. Tree.  Mr. Tree has been spotted by friends, neighbors and visitors over the years. 

But poor Mr. Tree’s character began to fade right along with his appearance.  Still, he stood stone-faced through all types of weather keeping watch and greeting visitors as he stood guard outside my  window. 

My front window has always been a favorite spot for my 5 grandchildren.  We sit there and watch the world go by during the long winter months.  Then watch spring come alive with the arrival of ducks, squirrels, all types of birds (my neighbor lovingly feeds all critters), and bunnies, Bunnies, BUNNIES.

I visited a dollar store the other day looking for nothing in particular.  Occasionally I discover trinkets for the kids, or I spot some small, fun, do-hickey for the pool or yard.  It was that day when I came across 12 colorful Sharpie permanent (at least I hope they are permanent) markers.  I picked up the pack of felt tipped markers and headed for the checkout.  Five Dollars total?  Great.  Three coloring books, sidewalk chalk, and those markers.  Such a deal!

When I got home, first… the blue marker to color Mr. Tree’s big googly eyes.  Second?  Pink for those luscious lips.  Mr. Tree…oops MRS. Tree…….now how am I going to explain that?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Let's Go See a Flick!

Took a couple of hours this afternoon and headed out to see a movie.  “Water for Elephants.”   I enjoyed it… thoroughly…a Two Thumbs Up!  The movies I REALLY like, or those that leave a lasting impression, are often too few and far between.  So when I see something that I think is good, I recommend it!

I go alone to the theater.  I like prefer it that way.  And I prefer catching most movies late on Sunday mornings (when everyone is in church), or seeing an afternoon matinee during the week.  

First.  It’s only $5.   

Secondly?  There are usually not too many movie-goers in the theater.

And Thirdly?  I don’t want to share my armrest…not with a stranger…unless it’s Kevin Costner who happens to be there previewing a flick.  And THAT ain’t gonna happen. 

I really enjoy the early shows because most of the time I feel as if I am getting a private showing!  Gotta love that!

And the best part?  There will be no one in close proximity crackling cellophane off the candies that they are e-v-e-r--so--s-l-o-w-l-y unwrapping thinking no one can hear.  Or how about the chump chewing vigorously as he stuffs down a bucket of popcorn?  SOMETIMES I can forgive little eating sounds during a comedy. But when I am engrossed in a who-done-it, or a drama where I NEED to hear every word of dialogue in order to follow the story?  I cannot stand the unnecessary noise. 

How can someone continue to eat at the most critical points in a movie?  Popping candy and popcorn in your pie-hole while watching “Schindler’s List” or flicks like “Dances with Wolves,”  “The Godfather” or, heaven forbid, while Paul Newman is boasting in “Cool Hand Luke” is downright annoying.  What ARE these people thinking?