Estate Matters

I saw my parents this weekend and my father wanted to discuss his estate matters. He had this list of things for us to do when he dies but I finally asked him if he has an estate lawyer. He said yes so I said, well, this is a fine list but the first thing to do is call the lawyer. He will be able to take care of many of these things for us and tell us what to do.

That’s my advice for everyone. Talk to a lawyer when dealing with estate things. It really does make life easier. When I went to the widow’s support group, there were often widows who were struggling to deal with finances and deeds and taxes and had no idea what they were doing. It’s hard to deal with at the best of times. Those in the group who had hired an attorney were much calmer about the whole thing.

Sheri Peters helped me and she was the best. I can’t say enough good things about her. If you live in northeast Ohio, or at least in Summit or Stark county, use her.  Her office is in Monroe Falls.

Congregational Church, State Route 77, Riceville, Crawford County, PA Photos from Survey HABS PA-514

Congregational Church, State Route 77, Riceville, Crawford County, PA Photos from Survey HABS PA-514

 

Food basket

Isn’t it a food basket that the economists measure to determine if we have inflation? I think that’s the term. I’ve been pondering food lately.

This weekend I went to Aldi’s, Giant Eagle, and Heinens to buy food for the house. If you don’t know, Aldi’s is a German-owned discount grocery chain, Giant Eagle is a Pittsburgh-based grocery store chain, and Heinen’s is a high-end small local grocery store chain in the Cleveland area.

Aldi’s has lots of canned goods and some produce that I bought. Then I trotted off to Giant Eagle.

Giant Eagle has just about everything that I didn’t get at Aldi’s but didn’t have coconut creamer or Good bars (problem with a Pittsburgh-based store in Ohio: doesn’t sell Ohio based snack bars) so I had to go to Heinen’s.

Heinen’s has beautiful produce and I always end up buying some vegetable or fruit there. I also bought the coconut creamer for my coffee and the Good bars, which my friend Karen got me hooked on.

Here’s the thing. I don’t shop much anymore in grocery stores and when I do, I tend to buy produce, dog food, beer and wine, and household items like detergent. There’s very little in the stores that I eat.

When did eating become so difficult? I want to buy meat but I want the grass-fed kind. Aldi’s has some but I looked at it and it comes from three different countries and then is combined in the US. That creeped me out so I passed on that. Then I looked at Giant Eagle’s meat. The chicken lists all of the things not used (antibiotics and cages mainly) but it says the chickens were on a vegetarian diet. Well, chickens aren’t vegetarians so I stood there debating what to do. Finally I reluctantly picked out a package.

At Heinen’s, I always wait until some meat is on sale before I buy anything but I checked the bison and the grass fed beef just to be safe. No sale this week.

I buy my eggs at the Trapp Family Farm and I often buy meat at Brunty’s Farm and I buy produce at the Hudson Farmer’s Market during the summer. Winter time, I’m back to the grocery store.

I felt very out of place in Giant Eagle because I eat so little of what’s there. There is a new Giant Eagle in a neighboring town that is going after the Whole Foods market. I like shopping there because they have really good seafood.

I’m not sure what my point is but since I only have to shop for me, I can have these quirky eating habits. If I had to cook for someone else, I bet I’d revert to a more traditional shopping and eating pattern. In case you’re wondering, I’ve quit eating most prepared foods, most grain-based foods (like bread), food with added sugar, and most dairy products. They occasionally make their way into my food basket but not often.

 

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Nora Webster

I read Colm Toibin’s Nora Webster a while ago. Actually, I listened to the audio version of the book. I loved it. I felt like it described life as a widow perfectly. I so identified with Nora even though she was younger than I and lived in a different country and time.

There were a few things I really enjoyed. I liked how angry Nora became with people who she knew were just trying to help or be kind. I really understood that. Also, her reluctance to emerge back into the world and how she eventually manages to do so felt very real to me.

Colm Toibin manages to describe exactly what it’s like to have a husband die. I’m not sure how he managed that but wow, he sure did. I highly recommend this book.

By Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium (enhanced Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium (enhanced Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Widows

There’s this secret club that you hope never to become a member of and that’s being a widow. I’ve run into a couple of women who have been widowed recently or within the past year, which is still recent.  I’ve pointed them to the services at The Grief Center and the widow’s support group there.  It really does help to hear that you’re not the only person going through these things.

It doesn’t seem to matter who we are; there’s a common bond to this.

I’m doing well and am keeping busy. I’m running and working out and eating well and I feel good. That’s great but I still find myself missing Dave. There are days when I feel so very alone or that I just want to tell him something. I’ll say that those days are further apart these days.

I finally emptied that laundry basket of Dave’s clothes that’s been sitting in my bedroom for over three years.  I still have some of his clothes to donate; that man was a clothes horse. I just discussed this with a woman at the library. She’s working hard to donate her husband’s clothes. She said he was a clothes hoarder. I said I knew the feeling.

I found it easier to get rid of my own clothing. Slowly, most of these clothes will go. This might have been a good task for someone to have done for me shortly after Dave’s death.  Oh well, I’ll make it through them eventually.

 

Stuck in the Corner

I found this blog post recently: Time to cast the line: Dating as a Widow and thought it was good, though it doesn’t quite address the big problem which is how to FIND someone to date.

It’s been over three years since Dave died and I think it’s time to start dating again. I find that to be easier said than done. I tried the online dating sites for a little while and went on a couple of dates with a man. That was pleasant but not earth shattering and at some point I realized I wasn’t hearing from him again and decided that it was no big deal.

I talked to a one man on the phone who I decided was not a good fit–if you’re going to complain about the women you’ve met on a dating site, the odds are good that you’ll complain about me too. I too probably have rolls of fat and look like a mother. I am indeed a mother. And really, this is what you discuss with a potential date?

A lot of the men on the online dating sites look like they’ve spent the last 30 years in a recliner and now, for some reason, they’ve been forced out of that chair, and are trying desperately to find someone to let them get back to reclining. Those are not for me.

Then there are some who are obviously very active and fit and are looking for younger, very active and fit women. They frighten me and I eliminate them from the list too.

And then there are the sad cases where of course my first instinct is to try to fix things for them and then realize down that path lies a lot of pointless work. What I also realized is that there are women who will go down that path happily so I should leave them to it.

People told me to join groups where I could meet men so I joined a hiking group and sure enough I met a man who I then went out with a couple of times. He very quickly veered into crazy land by criticizing my “lack of hormones” because apparently I wasn’t passionate enough while at the same time talking about the “L word.” I was sorry that one didn’t work out any better because I really thought that having met the person first was a better way to go.

I love my friends but I find that widowhood sort of consigns you to the women’s corner. Actually I love the women’s corner but wouldn’t it be nice to explore other parts of the room too?

I’m sharing one of my hiking photos because it’s a LEDGE, which seems appropriate, though, of course, I used a room metaphor so this isn’t quite the right theme. Still, enjoy the picture.

 

CVNP Kendall Ledges

CVNP Kendall Ledges