The Friday Five ~ September 22nd

The Friday FiveAnother week has gone by. I made it! I did not just survive it, I reveled in all I got done. It wasn’t just a good week. It was a great one! Here’s what’s been happening.

  1. I now have two new toilets, two new shower heads, and a new kitchen sprayer/faucet. I have wanted to do this for a while, but Jack always found excuses. But like any depression-era kid, he was pretty used to his folks saying it was fine just the way it was. In any case, it is nice to have these new items! Positive #1.
  2. I got a quote from a carpenter to repair the trim on the house. Yay! I am so happy about this. Positive #2.
  3. I went out three times for a meal. Once to Hart’s Turkey Farm, Vida Mexican. It was a great Taco salad.

    And the other at George’s Diner. Poor Harts.


    A very drunk driver went right into the front of the building. Luckily, no one was seriously injured. It was all pleasant and nice to be out. I learned to eat alone and played with my cell phone while I ate. Positive #3.

  4. I got three loads of laundry washed, dried, and put away. And the dishes made it into the dishwasher. Positive #4.
  5. After dying slow deaths, the replacements for my blowdryer and electric toothbrush arrived. Just in the nick of time! Positive #5

So, that’s the list for this week. Have a great weekend, everyone!


The Friday Five ~ September 15th

The Friday FiveThis week seemed to go on forever. I tried valiantly to stay on top of everything, but unfortunately, I failed. So here goes the crazy week that was.

  1. First thing Monday morning, I was off to the Social Security office. The clerks there are very friendly and helpful. I fear the people operating the computers on the other end messed it all up. This was my third trip there; I hope it will be the last.
  2. When I saw my dentist last week to have my stitches removed, they asked about my insurance. I told them that it should be okay now. Ha! I called Delta, and my insurance is all screwed up, despite paying the Cobra amount for myself. They also took a full payment in August for our joint healthcare, and let’s face it, in August, Jack had ceased to have any health at all.
  3. I am fighting it all. Social Security and health insurance that I know I have. It all just needs to be fixed. I am feeling overwhelmed by all of this though. I stopped by the cemetery, walked over to Jack’s grave, and sobbed. I also yelled at him.
  4. This is something that has surprised me. I miss him, I’m grieving, but I am so angry at him. I know that makes no sense at all, but I am. But since he left it’s all been so hard.
  5. Today my plumber arrives to install some new things. After 23 years, a few things needed to be replaced. Call me happy!

So that’s it. I hope everyone stays safe as Hurricane Lee approaches. I am far enough inland, so all I expect is rain.


The Friday Five ~ September 8th

The Friday FiveThis week, I have been so busy. More paperwork, trips to Concord and Manchester, New Hampshire, and to the shipping store to send off documents overnight. Whew. So, here is what happened this week.

  1. On Tuesday, on my way home from Manchester, I stopped in Boscowen, NH, at the Veteran’s Cemetary. I received a phone call from the office informing me that Jack’s headstone had been set. They told me the lot number, row number, and space number. Another funeral was going on in Jack’s section, so I sat and waited. Then, I walked over to his section. I started to count rows and then laughed. I did not need to count.2023-09-05_12-30-22

    I looked up and allowed myself to look for the German Shepherd head I’d put at the top of the stone. It took me ten seconds to find it.

  2. I walked over and glanced down. I stroked the stone, which was smooth and beautifully engraved.2023-09-05_12-32-06

    I think it is something he would have liked. I have no idea about this, as he told me where he wanted to be but not what he wanted on this stone. Jack got his first German Shepherd when he and his first wife got married, and he reported to flight school. That female had a litter of pups, and a beautiful white pup was in this litter—the first of many White Shepherds in his life. Hulda was the love of his life, and it seemed right that this German Shepherd mark his resting place.

  3. Many people gave me a hard time about getting a black car. But here’s the deal. My “black car has silver and blue sparkles in the paint, and the rugs and black rubber mats are all an upgrade. It is beautiful!
  4. Flash forward to today. A friend helped me load up the car to bring my TVs, Monitors, and Printers to be recycled. I brought them in, paid my fee, and decided to see the plumbers to speak to them about a few things. I noticed dirt/ink/something not good on my hand. I went to the Highlander and glanced at where the printer had been on the third-seat floor mat. There was a puddle of black ink. I returned, got more paper towels to sop it up, and then went home.
  5. I parked my beautiful car away from the house. Then, carefully, I rolled the mat up and removed it. I brought the mat down the little hill away from the car, used a cleaner, and washed it off. Black Matt, Black Ink. And none of it got on my car. Yay! I swear to God, I would love to get plastic to cover everything and bubble wrap for the car. I guess we all have disasters that befall our cars. This was the first and, I hope, the last…for a while.


The Friday Five ~ September 1st

PA090005And just like that, the summer is over, cooler temperatures have started, and some trees have begun to turn. This is a picture I took several years ago, and that one red tree in the picture has started to change color. Autumn is upon us as we head into the home stretch of another year. So, as we start the month of September, here are my thoughts.

  1. I received two letters from Social Security, both denying me any payments. I called Social Security (I waited for one and a half hours on hold.) and finally spoke to a very kind and competent woman. She advised me to get all my certificates and two photo IDs and get to my nearest Social Security Office in person.
  2. The next day, I drove through a pouring rain storm and got to the Social Security Office early. Once again, I was fortunate to get a kind and intelligent young woman. She got my social security number and reviewed the paperwork and my ID. Apparently, they marked Jack dead and me as well.
  3. This made me think of Mark Twain’s famous quote when responding to press claims that he was apparently on his deathbed: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” And so it is with me. If I am lucky, this appointment will resolve the problem.
  4. I’ve been watching a great series. All are tied together because the people involved are members of the Dutton Family. I started with 1883, then onto 1923, and now is the show that started it all “Yellowstone.” The first two are streaming on Paramount-Plus, and Yellowstone is being shown on Peacock and Paramount Network. It’s all so well written and acted.
  5. I am happily watching the US Open Tennis tournament. I was never good at playing tennis, but I love watching it. It brings back memories of watching tennis on PBS, in black and white, with my Uncle George.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


The Friday Five Plus One ~ August 25th

The Friday FiveThis is the last Friday Five of August.  I’ve been feeling entirely lost, but my sister, and especially my brother-in-law, came up and took charge. They helped me go through bookcases and piles of junk, and we filled a huge dumpster, and the house was starting to feel open and lighter. We also brought six large bags of clothing to a charity shop. Here are some of the highlights.

  1. A few weeks back, I ordered a new car. Jack and I had been talking about it, and my new beauty arrived. I got a 2023 Toyota Highlander XLE.a2566a13-73b6-487e-b756-7c5a5c02d4ce She is black with a black interior, a backup camera, and all the bells and whistles. She drives beautifully, and best of all, I got a great trade-in for my old Highlander.
  2. My sister and brother-in-law leave today. They have things going for a few weeks but will be back in October.370031767_10161207672571499_3234463726634511189_n

    I am so blessed to have them. Thank you!

  3. The phrase “No, don’t throw that away! You might need to use that before you die!” is no longer to be used in this house! Ron had me memorize “Throw, Sell, or Keep.”  I also asked myself if this item brought me joy. I threw out a lot!
  4. Some Foxes and Kits have been visiting our yard. Oh, what fun it is to watch them play! I took this picture of one of them.369730574_10161208633771499_7972553987286004413_n

    Probably the best one ever!

  5. We worked hard all day. So, at night, we did our evening meals out. We had Turkey and Lobster, and tonight was actually breakfast for dinner—an all-time favorite of mine.
  6. It’s been wonderful that Heidi is crate trained. In fact, she likes to go in there and sleep. Since Jack passed, there have been days when I have needed to protect her from my crazy German Shepherd! It’s been good. If I had one thing to tell the new puppy owner, is this: Crate train your puppy. You never know when you might need this!

The Friday Five Plus 1 ~ August 18th

The Friday FiveWell, here we are. Another week has passed, and this was a tough week for me. Ah, but like any good New Englander, I soldiered on…

  1. On Monday, I got some help from Elena filling out various documents. This was easy, as Elena is so pleasant to work with.
  2. Then came Tuesday. I had been told I would meet with someone who would help me fill out all of the VA documents. This was not exactly the case. Each time I began to ask a question, he would cut me off. He also started throwing papers on the floor, and after 55 minutes, he announced that he had only scheduled 45 minutes for me, and I had already used 55 minutes! Did I feel bullied? Yes. Did I feel intimidated? Yes. It was not good!
  3. Wednesday, I attempted to get things done, but I failed. I just wanted to crawl into a corner and hide.
  4. Thursday, I went out to our local farm for vegetables. I stopped in and got the mail, and when I arrived home, I started working on some paperwork. I needed to find some dates for documents, and it took me a long time to find them. Eventually, I did. Whew!
  5. Lastly, I needed to find the Title of my Highlander. Usually, we have kept them in the file “Auto Titles,” but it was not there! I searched and searched, and I decided to look into the glove compartment. Yes, there it was!

+1 Today, I have dental surgery. I’m not sure exactly what they will do, but I have a feeling it will be painful.

So there we are. My car is due to arrive soon. I hope my dental work won’t be too expensive and will not hurt too much!

Have a great weekend!


The Friday Five ~ August 11th

The Friday FiveI had hoped to have more downtime this week, but it didn’t happen. Oh well, here is this week’s Friday Five.

  1. My face began to swell over the weekend, on the side of my face where the lousy tooth is. It was then I started to panic.  I got in first thing on Monday morning; sure enough, it is infected.
  2. Next week I go in for dental surgery. I blame my mother for this. Although she was good in so many ways, dental care was not one of them.
  3. The “Oh, so simple” signing up for Medicare and Social Security was not so simple. So I gathered all my documents and headed to the nearest Social Security Office, where I got both done in less than an hour.
  4. Next week is a crazy week. The biggest pain is I have an appointment with the VA to fill in a 40-page document so that I will receive my Widows Pension. The thing that frustrates me the most is that they already have this information.
  5. Lastly, as I have thought about Jack’s passing, I realize that there were several phases of his life with me.Wedding

    The first was when we were both younger, healthy, and running mini-road races. We did so much, and we traveled the world. Life was one big adventure. That’s the Jack I am missing. That’s the Jack I wish would saunter in the door with stories about his flight patterns and jokes he’d heard along the way. That’s the Jack of my heart.

The Friday Five ~ August 4th

The Friday FiveTime is going on. I am determined to find a new life. Mostly I am doing okay, but sometimes I feel tied to the house as if waiting for Jack to come back or appear in his chair. So as the hours die on Thursday night, here is this week’s Friday Five.

  1. I started my week meeting up with Amanda, Matt, Savi, and Quinn for dinner. It was so wonderful to see everyone and have a relaxed meal.2023-08-01-19-23-34-147

    My grandson Quinn is still in the world of fun and adventurous little boy stuff.


    On the other hand, Savannah has grown so tall and is on the verge of being a full-fledged teenager. Lovely and sweet.

  2. My daily joy is my trips out to the farm. Each day I go and buy fresh corn, Thai Spring rolls, and their homemade bread.20230724_170803

    I eat only when hungry, and my weight has been falling off. It’s a relief only to eat when I feel like it and then only what I like.

  3. I went out on Wednesday and bought two new pieces of furniture. A recliner to replace Jack’s chair and a small love seat to replace my 30+-year-old ginormous sofa. The sofa I have wanted to get rid of for a while, but since Jack’s death, his chair hurts me every single day.
  4. I had my physical on Thursday, and I am mostly okay. Right now, just a few minor things and my hips.
  5. I raced home to take care of the dogs to find Lili’s front ankle to be swollen, and she was limping. Should she still be in the morning, it will be off to the Veterinarians we will go.

So, I wish you, Gentle Reader, a very happy and wonderful weekend!

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The Friday Five ~ July 27th

The Friday FiveI took some time off right after Jack passed away. I figured two weeks, and then I’d be able to face life again. What I have found is that perhaps I need a little bit longer. Okay, folks, here is this week’s Friday Five.

  1. I want you to know that your loved ones will need the most ridiculous documents when you die. Some papers I understand, but other companies require a notarized Death Certificate mailed to the corporate office. This I do not understand.
  2. For instance, our Cell Phone Company wanted all that and my right arm. I tried calling corporate with no results. So I went to the local store. They had a hard time, too, despite their ability to go in and see that I have used my credit card since 2018 to pay the bill. Also, we have used my email address for paperless billing.  It is still not resolved. But at least I can pay the bill.
  3. Some good friends of mine gave me a wonderful bereavement gift. Instead of a floral arrangement, they sent me a gift card to our local farmstand. I get out each day for a ride to the farm to pick up their fresh corn! How wonderful. Another neighbor brought over some zucchini and summer squash! Vegetables are so much better for you than Lasagna or brownies (although those would be gratefully accepted!)
  4. So, I am looking for a new car. I want another Highlander—one with all the latest safety features. I am going to a Dealership tomorrow.
  5. Aside from that, my chilling out starts right after this visit. I need some time off.

That’s it for this week. I hope where ever you are; your weekend is a good one.

Friday Five July 21st

The Friday FiveAfter my first good night’s sleep in a very long time, I sat down this morning and said, “Oh my, it’s Friday!” Time for the Friday Five.

  1. Often I have heard of paper reduction acts. I am all for them, especially when I got my Widows Pension Pack from the Government. This pack is forty pages long, and nearly every page contains information that they already have due to Jack’s status in the military. I have called for help every day and no one answers. Today I will call again. However, I will call a different department and beg!
  2. I stopped in to check with someone who knows my cars and got an idea of what I can get for the Cadillac. He’s been a friend for over twenty years, so we talked a lot about Jack and things.
  3. Actually, yesterday I also had my hair done. I do not want a fussy hairdo. I want to shower and scrunch and go. These are natural curls.july 23

    Why not use them? I am so lucky to have Becca. She is a young friend and stylist. Didn’t she do a great job?

  4. Today I’d like to sit and actually do some paperwork. Pay bills, write a few notes, and organize my certificates folder. Jack’s original social security card and birth certificate are in this folder. They are very old and are in tatters.
  5. Since Jack’s passing, I have not watched any TV. I put on music in the morning and let that calm my soul. Life has changed. This is new territory for me.  My world is different, but life is going on.