Category Archives: Prince Charming

A New Normal

The Coronavirus has hit my little part of Ohio . . . almost everything is shut down . . . starting to look like a ghost town around here . . . and not a roll of TP or a can of vegetables to be found anywhere . . .

I’m fine . . . my family is fine . . . I have plenty of supplies to last a couple of weeks.  Yes, I was caught a little unprepared and I swear I can hear Prince Charming’s laughing at me for not taking his “prep for anything” lectures seriously.  Right now my biggest worry (besides worrying that my mom might get sick) is “will I have enough green beans to feed Millie?” and “why the heck can’t I find any canned green beans anywhere?” . . .

The Public Library where I work has closed until early April.  Once the schools closed, the kids were coming into the library to hang out during the day.  And since we couldn’t keep the kids away . . . and since we have several staff members who are part of the “high risk” group . . . the Director decided it was best to “shut ‘er down”.

Even though the library is closed to the public, there is still work that can be done and most of the staff will be able to work partial hours at full pay during the shut down.  I work in the business office and was offered the opportunity to work from home.  For the next couple of weeks, I have to work four 4 hour shifts.  Two days a week at home, and two days a week at the office . . . I won’t have to work on Fridays!!  The library provided a laptop and a mobile hotspot to use as an internet connection . . . I just needed to find a spot to convert into an “office” for the duration . . .

So that’s what I did today . . . converted Prince Charming’s “Ham Shack” in the basement into my new “office” . . . and it broke my heart to tear apart all his ham radio equipment and put it away someplace safe . . . because . . .

And now that I have an organized work space . . . I need to clear out the clutter in the rest of the basement . . . and maybe tackle the spring cleaning . . . and . . . and . . . and

If nothing else, it’s going to be interesting . . .

 

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2,197 Days

313 weeks and 6 days . . .

72 months and 6 days . . .

6 years and 6 days . . .

It seems like he’s been gone forever . . .

It seems like he just left yesterday . . .

Rocky sometimes sits at the top of the stairs when we go to bed thinking that Daddy might come home in the middle of the night and he doesn’t want to miss him . . .

I still expect to see his car sitting on the street in front of The Little House when I come home from work . . .

There are three grandchildren that he’s never even met . . . but they are so much like him that we are sure he’s “seen” them somehow . . .

This year the anniversary of “the day” was on a Monday . . . and it was the Martin Luther King holiday . . . and I DREADED the day so much I took the day off from work expecting to stay at home . . . in bed . . . under the covers . . . wishing the day away . . .

But I got a beautiful invitation from my dear niece to go to lunch and go shoppping . . . how could I say no . . . so I got to spend the day with two of my nieces and my mom . . . shopping and laughing and enjoying the day . . .

The third week of January is still a rough week for me . . . and I’ll always dread January 20 . . . but for once it didn’t totally suck . . . maybe there’s hope for me yet.

 

 

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Crabby Appleton

Crabby Appleton is a term my mom used when we were little kids to describe our attitude when we were having a bad day . . . grumpy, in a bad mood, everything was terrible . . .

Today I was Crabby Appleton . . . in a bad mood for no apparent reason . . . everybody was twanging on my last nerve . . . everything was frustrating . . . if I didn’t know better I’d think it was PMS . . . but do post-menopausal women get PMS . . .

I saw a cartoon on FB that showed a cat as a therapist . . . asking the human patient if they had “tried pushing a bunch of shit off a table?” . . . and I laughed . . . then thought that might make me feel better . . . but I didn’t want to clean up the mess . . .

So I did the  next best thing . . . I got out the lawn mower and cut the weeds in the front yard . . . it hasn’t rained a lot here lately and the grass is dead but the weeds are still growing . . . the yard looked better . . . then I decided I needed to edge the sidewalk and the driveway because, well, weeds . . . and I have this fabulous new mower and trimmer and haven’t used them at all . . .

What do you know . . . it did make me feel better . . . the yard looks nicer . . . even though the grass is dead . . . and the sidewalk is nicely trimmed . . .

Thank you, my darling Prince Charming, for teaching me that yard work can be therapeutic . . . I’ll have to work on the back yard over the weekend . . .

 

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Five Years, Six Months, One Day

This post will probably be a convoluted mess with no real point . . . pretty much like every other post . . . so hang tight, y’all . . .

Yesterday was a day I’ve been dreading . . . because I have useless stuff stuck in my head most of the time . . . and I realized that July 20, 2019 was the five and a half year mark of the day of Prince Charming’s Death . . . trying to be an optimist . . . I tried to focus on the fact that it’s also the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission . . . and Prince Charming LOVED all things space related (he watched the NASA channel for fun!) so I thought I could get through the day focusing on the space mission and not on Prince Charming being gone . . .

It worked . . . until I got out of bed yesterday . . . and saw that Rocky was a bit “wobbly” and having some problems getting around.  Okay, he’s 10, has arthritis and has trouble getting around sometimes but never as bad as yesterday morning.  The look on his face broke my heart.  A mix of “WTF?” and “Mom, help me!” . . . and I went straight to panic mode . . .

He was FINE when we went to bed!! WTF happened overnight!?

Maybe he has heat stroke (he’s been inside in the AC!)

Maybe he had a stroke! (oh shit!)

We go downstairs.  Millie’s noticed he’s “not right” and is tormenting him.  He’s struggling to get down the stairs.  He’s struggling to go outside.  He does his business but it’s hard for him to be steady enough to finish.

Bad word, bad word, bad word.  “Prince Charming you are NOT taking Rocky today! I need him more than you do!” was muttered under my breath a lot.  Then I called Lovely Vet and got an appointment to have him take a look at Rocky.  The appointment was at 10:30 am . . . a full two hours AFTER I first noticed the symptoms.

Rocky gave me sad eyes, didn’t want to eat his breakfast, and stayed in front of the AC vent in the kitchen.  He did get up and move around a bit and each time he was less wobbly and steadier on his feet.  I almost cancelled the appointment but decided it was better to be safe than sorry . . .

Off we go to the appointment . . . and Rocky gets into the car like a champ . . . and Rocky explores the yard at the vet’s office and hikes his leg and pees on the flowers in the vet’s flower bed . . . and struts into the vets office like the super star he is . . .

“Darn you, Rocky.  Making a liar out of me!”

I explain the problems I saw earlier today to the lovely vet tech.  He doesn’t laugh at me for being overly cautious.  Lovely vet comes in the room and doesn’t laugh at me for being overly cautious.  Lovely Vet does a full and thorough exam and determines that it’s possibly a simple arthritis flare-up.  Adjusts Rocky’s meds.  Gives him a shot of something to help ease the pain in his joints.  Tells me to come back if things get worse.

Most importantly, he tells me I wasn’t wrong for bringing Rocky to see him . . .

So I apologized to Prince Charming for thinking he wanted to take Rocky . . . when he was actually using Rocky to help me get through what I thought was going to be a rough day.

By the way . . . the added meds and the shot to help Rocky’s joints have worked wonders.  Rocky’s acting like a puppy again . . . and wants to go out to play . . . during an excessive heat warning . . .

Bless his heart

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Stronger

It’s been 5 years, 5 months, and 14 days since Prince Charming left this Earth.

I’ve tried to be brave, be strong, to carry on . . . even when I didn’t know WTF I was doing, even when I didn’t WANT to carry on.

I buried him.  And I had no idea what kind of service he wanted.

I settled his estate.  I handled a wrongful death claim.  I dealt with the Bureau of Worker Compensation, a whole bunch of insurance agencies, and some other silly government stuff that I don’t really remember.

I bought a new car.  I bought a new washer.  I planned for a major remodeling project for The Little House.  I had a new driveway installed.  I dealt with the daily stuff of living in a 90-something year old house.

I did yard work . . . winter and summer . . . even though I hate it.

Everyone told me it would get “easier”.  That I would eventually “feel better”.  Life wasn’t always going to “suck”.  I called bullshit on all of that . . . it’s still hard,  it still hurts, it still sucks.

Mostly I went through the motions of doing “stuff” so people wouldn’t worry about the “poor thing” wallowing in her widowhood . . .

Today I think I’ve turned a corner.  I still don’t know WTF I’m doing but I am starting to feel like whatever comes around I can handle it . . . because, surprisingly enough, I have been handling it all along.

And it started with a weed eater.  A string trimmer.  And spending some time edging the sidewalk in front of the house.

Sounds simple enough . . . but it’s really a massive accomplishment.  I’m a yard snob.  I like the yard to look “just so” but since Prince Charming has been gone I didn’t have the energy or desire to do the work necessary to have the yard look “just so” . . . so I didn’t do it.  Yes, the yard is cut and I did cut down the weeds but it was a half hearted effort.  The weed eater I had belonged to Prince Charming.  It was built for him . . . and he was a foot taller than me and weighed about a hundred pounds more than me.  It was big.  It was heavy.  It was hard for me to maneuver.  It was battery operated . . . and the batteries were wearing out.  That started a whole research project.  Buy batteries for the trimmer I have or buy a new trimmer?  Battery or corded?  Which brand?  How many amps?  What size cut?  It was enough to make a girls head spin.

I made a decision . . . it’s my yard and I need to be able to take care of it myself.  Buy what you want.  Buy what will work best for you.  So I bought a little 4.4 amp, 13 inch cut corded trimmer.  It’s the perfect size for me.  It works like a charm.  It was a birthday present to myself.  And I have been as excited as a little kid to get a new string trimmer as a birthday present.

So today I decided I wanted to use the trimmer and at least edge the front sidewalk and the driveway before I went to a family party.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I had NO IDEA that edging the sidewalk could be so therapeutic.  I didn’t have to worry about the battery running out.  I did have to be careful about where the cord was so I didn’t cut it.  But for 30 minutes it was me and the trimmer cleaning up the messy front sidewalk.  It was heaven.  It’s not pretty.  It’s not perfect.  I need to clean up a few spots.  But it’s done.  It’s not half bad for a first attempt.  And I did it.  By my self.  Me.  The girl who still wants to stay in bed under the covers some days . . .

I still get mad at the universe that Prince Charming wasn’t here long enough.  But then I have days like today when I realize he was here long enough to help me realize that even though it sucks that he’s gone . . . I can do this stuff on my own . . . even when I don’t want to do it alone . . . even if I stomp my feet and curse every single step of the way.  And now I have the desire and energy to actually do the stuff I hate . . . and even look forward to it a bit . . .

Does this mean I’m getting a little stronger?  Does this mean it might not always suck this bad?  I’m always gonna miss him . . . but maybe it will actually get a little easier?

 

 

 

 

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Dear Prince Charming

You know “it’s not a holiday if you don’t have a project” and this year my project was to “do something” with the front flower bed.  I’ve had the same project every Memorial Day since you left.  I would weed the flower bed, put down new mulch, but I never planted anything because I couldn’t make up my mind about what I wanted.  So I didn’t plant anything and half-heartedly tended to the weeds that took over.  Every fall I would say “next year I’m going to do something with that flower bed.”  Every spring I would look at the seed catalogs, scout out new plants at the garden centers . . . and since I couldn’t make up my mind . . . I did nothing.  This year I decided that “doing something” would be tearing it out. 

I want to apologize for un-doing the beautiful work you did to create the front flower bed.  Trust me, this was not an easy decision for me.  I’ve agonized over it for weeks.  I stood in front of the flower bed and cried because I remembered how much precision you put into putting down the weed barrier cloth, how exacting you were in placing the border stones, and the many conversations we had and trips we took to find the right plants. 

I’m not a gardener.  I’m a certified plant killer.  I can kill a philodendron (and have many times).   I don’t like yard work.  It was fun when you were here to share the work load but now it’s a chore . . . one that I dread every week . . . the phrase “I really hate your ass right now” is uttered at least once during every yard work session.  I could do it if I wanted to . . . but I don’t want to . . . so I’m not going to torture myself over it anymore.  

So the border stones were carefully removed, cleaned, and stored in the shed . . . in case I change my mind next year and decide to put them back . . . the weed barrier cloth was taken up . . . and I’m headed to our favorite handyman store tomorrow to get a bag of top soil and grass seed to put where your lovely little flower bed used to be . . .

Your little concrete foxes are safely in place in the back yard . . . because I’m afraid they will be stolen if I leave them out front without the protection of the weeds they’ve been hiding behind for the last five years (gasp . . . it’s been five years . . . dang).  Now I can see them every time I look out the back door. 

Even though I’m sad that another part of “our” life is gone . . . I’m at peace with the decision.  Or at least I will be once the new grass has taken hold and it doesn’t look like a construction site in the front yard. 

I hope you understand . . . 

Love you forever and forever, Pammie

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Me . . . eee . . . eee

I’m not a huge Taylor Swift fan but I do enjoy her music. I was not thrilled to hear the new song every hour on the hour the other day for it’s debut . . . until I realized that Brendon Urie was singing with her (that dude could sing the phone book and I’d listen to him!) so I paid closer attention to the song.

That’s when I heard the line “I never want to see you walk away” . . . which reminded me of the promise that Prince Charming made me when he came back into my life “I will never willingly walk away from you ever again” . . . .

So that’s the story of how the new Taylor Swift song turned me into a puddle of snot this morning . . .

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#singlegirlproblems part two

Finished the research to pick a mower . . .

Picked the brains of Little Brother and Older Brother In Law . . .

Thought, re-thought, agonized over the decision . . .

Finally made a decision and ordered the mower . . .

Arranged for in-store pick-up . . . prayed that the mower would fit in Hal . . . worried about how the heck I would get the mower OUT of Hal once I got it home . . .

Mower fit in Hal . . . wasn’t too hard to get it out of Hal once I got home . . .

Now I have to put it together . . .

But first I have to make sure I “read, understand, and follow all instructions” in the manuals provided . . .

Stay tuned . . .

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#singlegirlprobs

Another first for me. Buying a lawn mower!

First of the season lawn care stuff . . . the yard looks like poop and the grass needs cut . . . I really should get the mower serviced . . .  I’ll mow the yard one quick time before I send the mower out for a tune-up . . .

Starts up on the first pull . . . yay me!!  Take off to cut the back yard . . . holy crap I can’t believe it’s time to do this again . . . all goes well until (you knew there was an “until” didn’t you) . . . the mower decides to be stupid after about six passes . . . self-propelled thing isn’t working . . . curse, swear, filth fowl . . . heck, I’m too old and too tire to push this mower without the self-propelled thing . . . curse, swear, filth, fowl . . . I didn’t want to mow the dang yard anyway . . . put the thing away and go have a beer . . . Prince Charming would be so proud . . .

Next day . . . call the mower guy and arrange to have them come get the mower.

Few days after that . . . mower guy calls me with sad news . . . the little mower that Prince Charming got from his dad is broken beyond repair . . . time to buy a new mower . . . holy shit . . . I’ve never bought a mower IN MY LIFE . . how the “bleep” am I supposed to know how to do this?  Nobody ever taught me about buying a mower!  This is not how this is supposed to be . . . I am not the one that’s supposed to be buying a mower.  Curse, swear, filth, and fowl . . . (and yes I said this to Prince Charming . . . out loud) I really hate your ass right now . . . I know you’re not really happy with the whole “being dead” thing but dang dude . . .

So what’s a girl to do . . . she asks her little brother for help . . . and he finds me a mower!!

I do some research of my own.  I read reviews.  I read owners manuals.  I research the option of having it delivered and assembled.  I ask little brother a gazillion questions and he patiently answers EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. like I’m one of the guys and not his stupid sister that has no idea what she’s doing . . . bless his heart . . .

Now I just need to make sure I can fit the mower in the car . . . and have the patience and skills to assemble a mower . . .

There’s no stopping me now!

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I Saw You First

I did a 5k on Saturday . . . the second one of the season . . . I am so out of shape it’s not even funny . . .

But I started the race . . . and I finished the race . . . one step at a time . . .

And, like always, about half way through the race I thought to myself . . .

“Why the hell do I do this to myself?”

“I don’t even like doing these things!”

“Isn’t there a statute of limitations on doing these stupid things in Prince Charming’s memory?”

Then I hear a voice tell me . . .

“No.  There is no statute of limitations on your love for him, so yea you keep doing them as long as you have breath in your body and you can walk.”

“Walking is good for your blood pressure, your cholesterol, your weight, your bones . . . ”

“You know he’d be here doing this with you if he could.”

And then when I thought I didn’t want to do another race ever again . . . I heard this song on my iPod . . .

 

It was the song playing when we walked into the restaurant on our first “adult” date . . . when it gets to the part where John sings “everybody was looking, but I saw you first” Prince Charming turned and looked at me with that mischievous smile and the devilish twinkle in his eye . . .

“Damn you, Bowman, you always know just how to get me to smile and stop bitching about something . . . ”

So now I’m looking at race schedules . . . .

 

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