Tuesday, October 12, 2010


This may seem odd, but I am happy this morning because I may have found a home for two mandolins and a guitar that were my father in laws.

They have been in our basement forever wrapped in a couple of plastic bags. Jim kept them after finding them when going thru stuff after his mom died. They were his dad's and we didn't want to just toss them and no one else wanted them, so we kept them, intending someday to getting them cleaned up. So, after Jim died, my brothers told me to trash them. I couldn't do that and they have been in the basement rafters for years.

Well a neighbor moved in down the street and he plays in a band called The Bridge, which plays bluegrass and folk music. He was talking about his restoring one of his guitars and I thought of the instruments in the basement. I brought them up and he is going to look into restoring them and what needs to be done. If they can be fixed at all. it was nice to be able to give them to someone that can appreciate them. I mean, his face got all lit up when he saw them and he immediately started trying to tune them and strum them and such.

It was just a nice moment to see something that I have little emotional attachment to (I never met Jim's dad, he died long before I came along) could give someone a smile. I had kept them because I knew they shouldn't just be tossed in the trash and that they would find a home eventually. I will be interested to see what he can do with them.

Friday, October 8, 2010

TV and Books

Watching TV was also a relaxing way to end the day. Jim and I both were TV addicts and could watch that little box for hours. We would curl up on the couch and end up with a dog on either side of us and watch a movie or a few tv shows we recorded when we couldn't watch them live. Gosh I love my TiVo's.

Being that we met in a movie rental store this is not surprising. Blockbuster Video. Remember vhs tapes guys? You know, you would go to buy one and they were 89.99 or maybe on sale for 69.99 for just one movie. Oh those were the days. Now they are 14.99 at Wal-Mart or you can just stream them direct from Netflix.

We were able to respect each others tastes and there were some things we loved to watch together and some shows that we went into seperate rooms to watch. I think I have told the Columbo story in an earlier blog, but a recap - we were married about 3 years and had moved into our first townhouse. I loved to watch Columbo (dating back to when I watched it with my mom when it was on the mystery movie night in the 70,s) and it was on one afternoon. Jim was watching something downstairs so I turned it on and lay out on the bed. About a half hour later I went downstairs to get a snack and there it is on the downstairs tv. Jim and Gryphon (our first Dal) were on the couch. We loved the fact that neither one of us knew the other was a Columbo fan and we went on to learn more about each others tastes.

I do love older classics - film noir and comedies from the 40's and horror movies from the 50's, so we were well suited in that manner.

One thing I have learned is that since Jim died I am binging a lot more on tv shows. Some of this is also thanks to Netflix and some because of the excess time and need to escape the bleh of the home. I am watching tv shows/series that people have been telling me for a few years to watch. Friday Night Lights is my new favorite, Robin Hood -the UK version, The Office and some others. I love watching these without commercials and with awesome picture quality.

Don't get me wrong, I haven't given up my first true love - books. I have taken it up a notch and moved into the 21st century. I bought a Kindle from Amazon. I am enjoying the ease of this and am searching out sites for free ebooks. I went shopping for ebooks on Amazon and felt like I was back in the video store where the movies were 89.99. One ebook for 9.99? no thanks. I wish there was a way to get used ebooks. I mean, I love books, but I rarely pay full price with all the used books stores and things like paperbackswap where they are free. I hope the ebook market goes down sometime soon.

One change that I have made, or maybe a habit I went back to, was to have no tv in the bedroom. I read to put myself to sleep. I have done that since I was a kid and sneaking under the covers with the flashlight to read "My side of the Mountain" or "The Black Stallion". Those are treasures I still have on my shelf.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I am sleeping on Jim's side of the bed now. Or sometimes almost horizontally across the bed.

My side has reached a point where my back aches when I wake up. After a couple weeks of this I realized it must mean it is time to turn the mattress. We used to do this about once a year. Now it has been at least 3 years or maybe 4.

I tried doing this last week but was not able to barely move the mattress let alone lift and turn it. Ugh. And then I sat down and started getting emotional. Not a full crying jag, but one of those where I wonder when does it end. When do I learn how to do the stuff that other singles have done for years. Is it because I did have someone else to help me and learned to depend on them to help me that I feel lost.

It was a pity party, I know, but it brought out some thoughts I hadn't touched in awhile. Like how to get my life more in order. I keep trying and sometimes feel like I have succeeded but then get that set back that throws it all off.

Probably something that everyone goes thru though. Maybe it was just more intense because my back hurt.

In a conversation I had with another widow yesterday, we lamented about missing our husband's and slogging thru all the things life throws at us. She said "It's hard to handle the bills, the job, the decisions after 23 years of talking to and arguing with someone else about what we should do. I end up arguing with myself and I never win that fight."

I am pleased because I have made progress, I have made changes and I have dealt with a shitload of stuff. It's just little stuff that comes along like the mattress or changing a light bulb in a ceiling fan that hits me. But this is life and I am just venting here. Sometimes to stay positive you have to do that once in awhile.

On the plus side, so this post is not all whining. My friends came and helped me clean up the laundry/tool room. It looks nice now. I was able to put a shelf up in the kitchen that freed up a lot of counter space. I have this new rule - if you eat off of it, it gets washed as it is placed in the sink. This is an important rule because I am notorious for letting dishes pile up. It has been in effect for 6 days now and is still working. Hoorah!

Now I need to go clean up and put away the laundry in the bedroom so I can get some help to move the mattress.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Singing in the Rain

It has been raining here for a couple days. I took the dogs out for a walk last night around 10 pm and I put on my new rain boots, my black trench coat, my fedora and grabbed an umbrella.

About halfway to the park I realized the dogs were fine on their own (they were tied to each other on a looong leash) and I let them go. They trotted on over to the park which is a half a block away from my house. And I twirled my umbrella sang a little Gene Kelly and splashed in the puddles!

Later, after we were all settled and asleep a bit, I woke from a dream where I was doing the same thing but looked up at the sky to see lightening flashing. I noticed (in the dream) that the lightening was exactly the same pattern over and over. It was odd that I was dreaming about the same thing I had just done that night.

I love my dreams. I love that I remember them for the most part. I had one dream a few years ago that was me but I looked different, had a different life but I know it was really me, experiencing the events, and in the end I found my true love as I did in this life. It was great and I wrote it down.