Tag Archives: Gone With The Wind

The Power Of 3 Words

Once words get into your brain, they can hold lots of power over your life.

Here are short stories of 3 words that held power over my mind.

#1 Story
Joe was in a lot of back pain weeks before his back surgery. I was up at least once a night helping him switch positions. Once he got comfortable again I would go sleep in the guest bedroom.

One night he woke up twice in excruciating pain. After getting him settled for the second time I flopped on the bed in the spare room and had one of my talks with God. (This is where I do all the talking and none of the listening.)

I told God I did not understand why he was not answering my prayer for Joe’s healing. Why was he still in pain? Please heal the pain even if it means he has to go live with You. I will muddle through somehow.

#2 Story

The morning after he passed, Rommie jumped on my bed and was all happy and excited because Mom was home after being gone 29 hours. I told her “Daddy is not coming home because he died last night. I am not sure what will happen to us but we will be okay, I do not know how but we will be okay.”

#3 Story

My anthem after Joe passed became “I Will Survive.”  Not sure how soon after his passing I adopted this anthem, it might not have been until 2009 when I got laid off. My thinking was since I survived the first year of widowhood, I can survive unemployment as well.

Key Words

The key word in my prayer was “muddle.”

The key word I spoke to Rommie was “okay.”

The key word in my anthem was “survive.”

Muddle, Okay and Survive – nothing good can come to you when you live by those words.

Merriam Webster (m-w.com) defines muddle:

to think or act in a confused aimless way

Yes, that describes my life since Joe passed. There were moments of clarity (like when I started this blog) but most of the past 6 3/4 years, I’ve been muddling or as another M-W.com definition

to make a mess of 


Merriam Webster defines Ok as

fairly good : not very good or very bad

That also describes the past 6 3/4 years – not very good and not very bad. They were neither because of my muddling.


The definition for survive is:

to remain alive or in existence, to live on, to continue to function or prosper

Yes, I continued to function, to remain alive, and remain in existence, since Joe’s passing and the onset of career upheaval. But that is it – survive, barely keeping my head above water.

This “Dancing Queen” has nothing against Gloria Gaynor and her song. Lord knows it helped me dance again during troubled times. There are times when grief is fresh that one focuses solely on surviving but surviving is not a good theme for one’s life.


Well life changes this year.

Muddle, okay and survive are Gone With The Wind.

They have to be.

I can no longer barely survive.

Stay tuned on Monday January 5th when I will reveal my word of the year, a word I’ve already started focusing on and making a part of my life.

31 Days of Joy: Day 10 – Joy in Exercising

I got away from doing this exercise a long time ago and after the day I had yesterday, I need to do it again – every day.

  • I need to do it because I care about my sanity.
  • I need to know that at the end of the day there are more good people out there than bad.
  • I need an attitude adjustment towards my fellow humans, because right now I do not think fondly of you. (My fellow “31 Dayer’s” excluded). Yes, I realize it is not fair that my opinion of humanity is based on about 75 conversations per day.

So here is the exercise I am doing starting today.  All that is required are black beads, blue beads and a clear container. (If you are a klutz like me, make sure your container is plastic.)         😉

  • For every nice, caring person I have a phone conversation with, a blue bead will go into a clear, plastic container. 
  • For every mean, nasty person I speak with, a black bead will go into the container. 
  • On those days when black out numbers blue – I pour out the beds knowing


“After all, tomorrow is another day.”

Hopefully by the end of my shift, there will be more blue beads than black beads. Although yesterday there would have been more black.

This exercise can be adapted to any job or to life in general.  All you need to do is to define a blue bead moment and black bead moment.

Won’t you join me in doing this exercise?

Sewer Rat Series Part 3: Rommie & Michele Mutate Back To Normal

Today is the 3rd installment of the Sewer Rat Series. Rommie and I are mutating back to our normal forms from that of Michaelangelo and Splinter.

“Gone With The Wind”

The dehumidifiers and fans are gone from the basement so the house is quiet again. Never knew how much I appreciated this quiet house until those silver and blue monsters moved in.

Rommie seems happier and spunkier.  She even ate her breakfast this morning, something she has not done in days.  She would however eat dinner.


Now we enter the in-between stage.  The stage of waiting and getting estimates to tear down the basement walls and rebuild them.  Bye-bye to the wallpaper going down the basement steps and bye-bye to Joe’s wallpaper for his man cave that I never liked.

Wallpaper on the way down the basement steps.

Wallpaper on the way down the basement steps.


Wallpaper in Joe's "Man Cave." (light blue and gold diamonds on white background)

Wallpaper in Joe’s “Man Cave.” (light blue and gold diamonds on white background)

Now I get to pick a color and paint the walls. Most likely a shade of white to brighten up the place and make it look bigger. (No, Mom it will not be Sherwin Williams Antique White as it is too dark for the basement.)

My Vision

My vision for the former basement TV room includes 2 corner cupboards, (sitting on top of concrete blocks because the basement will flood again, it’s just a question of when.) a gas fireplace, and a picture of an Irish castle ruins resting on top of the mantle (I already have the picture).

As for furniture, something comfy with legs. When the basement floods, the furniture can be turned over and the legs wiped off.

What My Vision Does Not Include

I do not envision a TV in the room.  This room will be a quiet place to get away and read books or maybe even take up sewing. I found some old t-shirts and sweatshirts that would make great pillows.

“Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again”

This adventure was stressful for both Rommie and me.  If Joe was here, we would have worked our schedules out so both of us were doing 1/2 days instead of me missing 3 days at work. The stress would have been less as we both would have been shouldering it. But it is not possible to have Joe here and there is no man in my life at present with whom to share this adventure.

So this widow goes it alone, pressing onward everyday and working to rebuild and deal with all the challenges life throws at me.

More articles about the basement’s transformation from “Man Cave” to “Michele’s Cave” will be forthcoming.


All Gone – When A Marriage Ends

(Author’s Note: The idea for today’s post came after reading other blogs where the underlying sentiment was the loss of a child is the only legitimate loss.  Everybody else should just pick up the pieces and move on.  While the loss of the child to me would be the hardest loss to deal with, other losses are also valid and their resulting grief is just as legitimate.

So I decided to do this post pointing out a fact about the loss of a spouse, sudden or expected, that gets overlooked.)

Your Mother Will Still Be Your Mother,

Your Father Will Still Be Your Father,

Your Sister Will Still Be Your Sister,

Your Brother Will Still Be Your Brother,

Your Grandma Will Still Be Your Grandma,

Your Grandpa Will Still Be Your Grandpa,

Your Aunt Will Still Be Your Aunt,

Your Uncle Will Still Be Your Uncle,

Your Cousin Will Still Be Your Cousin,

Your Daughter Will Still  Be Your Daughter,

Your Son Will Still Be Your Son.


Your husband will NEVER be your husband again,

After he moves to heaven.

The relationship you had here on earth will be over,

“Gone With The Wind,”

Never to exist again.

No more quiet, romantic moments together with the man who fathered your children,

The man who loved you so deeply he wanted to spend the rest of his life with you,

The man who was proud to have you take his last name.

All that and more is

“All Gone.”

Matthew 22:30

 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. (emphasis added)