Monday, January 31, 2011

Jeggings and other nonsense

I seem to be taking a little heat for my jeggings choices.  Ummmm, they’re just jeans that are slightly more fitted, and go into my tall boots with no problems.  I felt that I needed to defend myself.  They are not, let me make it clear, the kind that look like sweat pants that you see on the infomercial.  (side note:  I got a hit from google on “old navy jeggings” and thought “Oh, COME ON!” and also, the same day, one from google on “widow sex.”  In my world that’s a misnomer.)

I had a great, low-key weekend where several things happened that just made me feel special and loved.  My uncle was in town from Lake Tahoe, and I didn’t know that he read my blog until he told my dad that he wanted to take Ellie (my sis) and I on a lunch date and he didn’t care about "my rack."  (see comments from Dating? )  My cousins were there, too, and it’s just always so fun to be with them.
The cousins and sis

The other fun thing is a friend of mine is doing a project where he’s painting 30 portraits in 30 days, and asked people to send in photos and he would paint your portrait.  Mine came up this weekend, and it’s fabulous!  

Friday, January 28, 2011


“After all that, she was surprised to find that she still knew the words to the song in her heart…and she began to sing along.”

I kept seeing this on a calendar in the paper store that I walk by on my way home from work every day.  It’s one of those sort of cheesy girly ones, but it made me smile every time, and it’s by “Curly Girl,” what could be more perfect?  I mean, does that not describe me?  I finally bought it for myself.  Unfortunately, this is the only page that I like, and I don’t have much use for a wall calendar, so I haven’t opened it, but it sits around my house, moving from pile to pile, and encourages me whenever I look at it.

I’m having a day where I’m singing along.

I bought new jeggings at Old Navy for $4.  Not only were they a steal, but they make my heinie look pretty cute, so I’m stoked.

I started my day having coffee with two girlfriends, one old and one new, and that was just FUN.

I got all my tax stuff turned in to my accountant.  Phew.  That feels good.

I got all the stuff ready to drop off for my mortgage guy.  Phew.  Another thing to check off the list.

In my errand running this afternoon, though, I had to do some phone shopping (my Blackberry is about to bite it) and that slightly deflated me.  First of all, I’m technologically challenged, so learning a new phone seems daunting.  I’m struggling with this new decision.  When it comes to car decisions, I feel like it being hard is understandable.  When it comes to phone stuff, it shouldn’t be so hard.  But ugh.  Sawan handled it for me.  So I don’t know what to do.  I started to tear up at the T-Mobile counter and just left.  I’ll handle it another day.  I was doing so good today…so even leaving feels like a triumph.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


One of the things about being a widow is the constant state of “where am I at” that I feel that I’m in:  I’m constantly taking stock of things.  I can’t ever get out of my head.

So I’m constantly wondering if I’m ready to date again.

For a while last fall I felt I was ready.  Then I started to think through what a date would be like, and I realized that at some point someone other than Sawan might want to kiss me, and I threw up a little bit in my mouth.  I realized that dating again is not just about me, and trying it would not just put me at risk, but also the other person that I was going out with (they have a heart to break and feelings, too) and so, no, definitely not ready yet. 

Before I had come to this conclusion, though, someone on the widow message board had suggested eHarmony as a website that was great.  I thought that I should check it out.  It seemed like a good idea, since I’m in a job where I don’t meet ANY single men.  Once upon a time, in my single days, I had done and had nothing to show for it but two really hilarious stories.  Wasn’t sure I was ready for that again, so something that did a little more “weeding out” before the date process began seemed like a good idea.  Also, if you want to know something about me, I’ll share:  I’m a super nerd who loves to do that kind of personality profiling stuff.  On a night where I was home and bored, I was watching TV with my laptop open and decided to cruise by the eHarmony website and take the quiz.  Fun.  I did the whole thing, you know, the kind of questions like “are you afraid of clowns?”  Choose one of five options ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.”  When finished, it tells you to wait while it searches for your matches.  Picture me anxiously drumming my fingers on my laptop, thinking about what could happen in the next few seconds, and here’s what pops up:  “We’re sorry, but we were not able to find you any suitable matches.”  Read that:  “Noel, no one wants to date a widow in her 30’s, you are un-dateable.”  I couldn’t believe how rejected I felt by an inanimate object.

That was several months ago.  I’m re-visiting the idea of dating again (and not because anyone’s asking, just because I can’t get out of my head).  And I’m thinking about it not just because I’m lonely, but also I realize that I was really good at being in a relationship.  I was really good at being married.  And I’m realizing that part of what I’m missing about Sawan is my femininity crying out to be cared for.  I think this is a healthier spot, and maybe means I’m inching toward being more ready, but I don’t know if this actually means that I am, because the idea of kissing someone else, while not thrilling, is at least not as nauseating as it was before.  So, now the next obstacle will be, (once I get on board) how do we find someone willing to date a widow?

Friday, January 21, 2011


I read a blog by another widow blogger last night where she went through her husband’s stuff and only allowed herself to keep ten things.  She didn’t say what she kept (like does her wedding ring count as one of the ten?).  She spent a whole day getting rid of his stuff and the next whole day in bed.  I don’t blame her.  I’m wondering why she did it that way, though.  That would certainly be my response but I’m just not ready to part with all but 10 objects that Sawan used to own.

Initially, when I moved my stuff from the condo, I just moved stuff that I needed to survive, and left the room that had all of his clothes and fishing gear in it untouched.  When I finally decided I needed to get the condo on the market, I was going to just pack everything up into boxes and deal with it later, but I did give some of it away.  For instance, his shoes.  I gave all of those to Goodwill, except his cowboy boots and the boots that go with his fishing waders.  Those I still have.  I’m not sure why it was easy to part with shoes, and not t-shirts, but it was.   In fact, it was this strange feeling of “I never want to see these again.  EVER.”  So I got rid of them.

The boxes probably would stay downstairs in my storage forever, since I don’t have to look at them on a regular basis, but I’m going to have to move in about 6 weeks.  I’ve decided to buy a house.  (I chose the house, and not the condo, by the way, and part of it, I’ll admit, is so that I don’t have to face getting rid of all of his stuff, yet).  So with the upcoming move, its sort-of lit a fire under me and I’ve gotten rid of some of the stuff.  I’ve done a little sorting.  I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m working on it.

Arthur and Iago
We both had a white dog to comfort us...
Sawan’s sister was in town from LA this week and so I gave her a few things that were his and some of the stuff that he had that was his mom’s and also set aside some things for their other sister, so I’m making progress.  It was a hard, hard day, where we both took crying breaks, but it feels good to be “cleaning house” a bit.  I have fewer boxes in the storage, and that feels good.  And, I’m pacing myself, and that feels right for me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cranky Pants

So I am incredibly cranky today.  I’m pissed.  I’m pissed about everything.  Everything seems to be setting me off.

I normally direct my anger about being a widow at God, or myself (I usually feel like one of us screwed it up, somehow).  Today, I have a new one.  I’m mad at my husband.

How dare he?  How dare he have the audacity to go ahead and die in his sleep?  Without first throwing away his own baby teeth?  Maybe being a little organized with where the title of his f-ing truck is?  He was pretty good at taking care of me in life; he really sucks at taking care of me in death. 

I spend a lot of time thinking about what it would be like if the roles were reversed.   It seems so random, the way he died.  So it seems like it could have so easily been me that died in my sleep, and left him here.  I’ve been thinking about that this morning.  I often think, “Would he be dating by now?”  or “What stuff of mine would he have kept and would he be driving my car?”  So it’s been funny to think about “What would have pissed him off?”  This is actually making me laugh.  Probably my closet (I keep WAY too many clothes that I don’t wear).

Oh, I loved him so much, but he was not perfect.  Even though he’s dead he can still make me crazy.

Monday, January 17, 2011


After looking at nearly 40 houses (I’m estimating, it could actually be more…) I am happy to report that I have it narrowed down to two very good options.

Option number one is a condo. 
Pros would be:  Location, location, location.  It is across the street from one of the hip little blocks of commercial stuff that pop up in the middle of residential areas here in Denver.  This is an “it” spot for people to hang out on Thursday, Friday, Saturday night.  It would be a great for socializing if I did that sort of thing.  I could walk to Wash Park.  It’s in such a desirable location that I think reselling it would be a piece of cake and if I wanted to keep it and rent it I could probably make a profit on it.  It’s very cute.  And it’s in a super safe neighborhood.

Cons would be:  It’s teensy.  As I think about how I would live there, I’m not really sure how I would get my stuff in, like where I would even put a laundry sorter.  It would take even more of a purge than I’ve done already.  I would probably have to have a storage unit on the side for a while for Sawan’s stuff, until I decided what to do with all of that.  Plus it would mean all of the things that I hated about condo living again, you know, shared walls (when I say that I mean I hate hearing other people having sex), long walks from the car with groceries, no washer and dryer of my own, and going back to buying small packages of paper towels because there’s nowhere to put a Costco size.  Also, I would be fully committed to living alone, there’s no way to put a roommate in this space unless we wanted to do bunk beds.  Also, there’s nowhere on-site to take my dog out to “potty.”

Option number two is a Victorian House in a slightly sketchy neighborhood.

Pros would be:  There’s plenty of room.  It doesn’t have a lot of work that needs to be done:  a little touch up paint and cleaning, maybe installing a garage door opener.  It’s adorable.  It’s affordable enough that I can do it on my own, but the place is big enough that I can have a roommate and there are great bedrooms.   It looks like a dollhouse.  On the inside and the outside.  It’s pink (and I love pink), but not obnoxious.  It has a bay window in the master bedroom.  It has gabled ceilings and beautiful wood floors throughout.  It actually has two bathrooms, which is unusual for a house of that age.  There’s a very tiny yard, which is perfect for the fella, and also not a lot of maintenance for me, since I’m not really that stoked about yard-work.

Cons would be:  It’s a slightly sketchy neighborhood.  It’s just on the “wrong side” of Broadway.  Also, the house was built in 1900.  So it’s old.  It’s just going to require some maintenance.  This scares me.  A LOT.  But Sawan and I always told each other that it’s not brave if you’re not scared.

So that’s what I’m obsessing about today.  I’ll keep you posted about what I decide.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

One in a Million

I got a call on Wednesday from a random number.  I rarely answer my phone in these situations, but I was on my way to get my haircut and I thought it might be them calling me to cancel for some reason.

The man on the other end was from the highway patrol.  He was wondering if I was the owner of a Chevy S-10 pickup.  This was such a weird question.  I never felt like I was the owner, anyway (It was Sawan’s truck), plus I don’t really know if I’m the owner anymore, I’ve settled with the insurance company at this point.  So I tentatively said, “Yes…” and burst into tears.

Bottom line, they’ve found the truck.  The guy driving it looked “sketch” or something, so they pulled him over on I-25 near Castle Rock.  The patrolman ran the plates, which were from a dealer, and they were “legit” but he still felt it didn’t look right, so he ran the VIN number, and it came up as a stolen vehicle.  The guy’s story was something along the lines of “driving it for his brother,” or whatever they normally say, so they had some things to check out, and I’m not sure about him going to jail or what.

So, what I thought was finished is not, and I spent an afternoon on the phone once again.  When I called my insurance company they said, “Yeah, the highway patrol called us as well, and the story has been going from cubicle to cubicle, because they never actually FIND the stolen vehicles!”  I told her, “Of course they found it, I’m always the one in a million!”

There were some things in the car, but no fly rod and no bag of rocks hanging from the review mirror (these were the things I wanted.).  Just some change and a couple of CDs.  They’re likely not his, but I’m entitled to them if I want them (It’s probably not my Beatles CD that I’m sure was in there, but more likely something from whoever was driving it.  Probably something I’d hate like new age piano with whale sounds).  I’m debating about going to look at it or not. 

I still don’t think I’m done.  I probably have a few more phone calls to make, and then deciding if I want to go get the stuff out of it.  Ugh.  What a hassle.  I’m so sick of this stuff.  I’m so sick of being a widow.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Yesterday I finished a really awesome “retreat” for the company that I do education for as a hairstylist.  I had a really great time.  I had taken a year off, a leave of absence, because it’s my experience that you may know “this much” (hold your arms wide apart) but when you’re on stage it shrinks to “this much” (hold your hands about 6 inches apart)…when you add “widow brain” to the mix, it becomes “this much” (hold your fingers about a quarter of an inch apart).  So I wasn’t “representing” the way I should be when I tried to teach a few times last fall as a new widow.

So anyway, it was so nice to see all my friends that I only see at the retreat every year, and so validating that everyone was so happy to have me back.  We did some really awesome stuff, like we had a group of people come to help us on our presentation skills, and they filmed us.  I look a lot like Penelope from Saturday Night Live on camera.  A lot of “umms” and dancing around, playing with my hair or something.  I need to work on looking more confident and definitely being more interesting!

If I’m really being honest, the true highlight of the weekend for me?  They feed us.  I was just reflecting on this. 

Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs, fruit salad, turkey bacon and coffee.
Snack:  Blueberry muffin, bottled water
Lunch:  Two different salads, one that had blue cheese and walnuts (yum!), sea bass, and roasted vegetables, a cup of corn chowder and cheesecake for desert
Snack:  Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie

Breakfast:  Does a latte count?  It has milk, right?
Lunch:  piece of string cheese
Snack:  handful of raw almonds
Dinner:  Green Giant steamed broccoli with cheese sauce

This place is a dump.  I wanna go back.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

House Hunting

I’m not sleeping again.  I’m actually feeling like I have jet lag.  I pass out at like 8 o’clock; unable to keep my eyes open any longer, and then wake up several times throughout the night for an hour at a time.  It’s frustrating.

What’s on my mind is house hunting.  I’m trying to figure out where I’ll live in 6 weeks.  My lease will be up, and I’m thinking that I need to take advantage of the low interest rates.  It is becoming more and more evident that I am a princess.  What I would like is a $300,000 house, but I only want to pay around $1000/month for my mortgage payment.  These numbers just don’t really match up, and clearly I’m not very good at compromise.

What’s really annoying is how being a widow plays into this whole deal.  I used to be awesome at decision-making.  I owned my own business.  I knew what I wanted for my life.  When you make a multi-thousand-dollar decision, like buying a house, it seems like it should be a pretty long-term decision, and I have no idea about my future.  I have no idea about a future husband, or kids, or even roommates, so trying to make those decisions is super-hard.  Also, I used to have someone that I bounced all of these ideas off of, that helped me make these kind of decisions, so now when I get bogged down, I can really start to feel sorry for myself because I don’t have him to talk to about it. 

In spite of all of this, I seem to be holding up pretty well.  This seems like the formula for disaster:  no sleep+the possibility of being homeless in 6 weeks+super busy schedule with very little recovery time=CRAZY WIDOW!  But I don’t feel crazy…yet.  I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Fiesta Fotos" or "Phiesta Photos"

The Fiesta was a blast!  One of the most fun birthday parties, EVER.  We enjoyed margaritas, nachos and multi-layer dip (lost count of how many layers it was, with what we liked and wanted to leave out) and also, lemon cupcakes with fluffy white frosting, (and the same for the gluten free eaters in the group).  Clearly I’m not really a grown up, even though I’m 32, because I still like little kid food.

It’s hard to decide what the highlight was, if it was the fun dinner conversation, the butterfly piñata, the hilarious party favors/face costumes, or the original rendition of Happy Birthday, *whistled* this time instead of sung.

"Jefe, would you say that I have a plethora of pinatas?"

My Cousins and My Bestie:  Faith, Nick, Ingrid, Eli

Mom and Dad.  This ought to be next year's Christmas card shot.

Man, the Anderberg men are so manly they can grow facial hair even when they're babies!

The butterfly pinata.  It was slightly chilly out there, but worth it!

The handsome fella.  "But I can't pay the rent," " But you must pay the rent!" " But I can't pay  the rent,"  Arthur:  "I'll save you!"

You know the cute baby photos in the back of the yearbook?  I think this one's Asher's.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Today has been a hard day.  I can’t explain it.  I woke up crying this morning, just missing my baby.  I’ve had little moments all day of missing him.  It’s weird how it just shows up.

My nephews are still in town from London.  We had an epic Target trip.  They had to try on pants, needed all kinds of staples, and before you know it, two hours had gone by.  At some point their mom was doing something else and we decided to cruise the “dollar spot.”  I told them they could each pick out one thing.  Bridger chose Batman crayons.  Caid chose a yo-yo.

Later, Caid was working on his yo-yo form, and I was sorry that I couldn’t help him.  I never learned to play with a yo-yo.  My dad, however, is exceptional at yo-yos (He can walk the dog, go around the world, and rock the baby.  I can’t even make it come back up.  I tried again tonight.).  As he was trying to throw it and catch it, I said, “You know who’s really good at yo-yos?”  I think it must be that I say stuff all the time about Sawan.  I’m always telling them stories about him, I’m so afraid that they’re going to forget him, and they loved each other so much.  He answered, “Sawan.”  I burst into tears.  I told him, “No, it’s Grandpa, and he’ll be home soon to show you.  I don’t know if Sawan was good at yo-yos.”  (I’m sure he was thinking, “Jeez, Noey, it’s a yo-yo…try not to freak out.”)

I know it seems so ridiculous that this would make me so sad.  It’s such a silly little detail, but it’s so sad to me that I was the one who knew him best, and I don’t know the answer to the yo-yo question.  Was he a child prodigy at the yo-yo?  Did he even know how?  It’s just one more thing that I never asked him and now I’ll never know, and this can feel overwhelmingly sad on a day like today.

Wanna know some silly details that I do remember?  When he trimmed his fingernails he would leave his index fingers on the longer side.  You know, for scratching.  He wrapped presents like a little kid.  The paper would be cut all jaggedy (I usually make a fold if I do this…I don’t think that ever occurred to him.), and that part would be on the front of the package, with the bow (I always put the taped part at the back…).  This was actually really cute and endearing.  He almost always got me a card on holidays (this is usually a step I skip, especially if I’ve bought a really awesome and thoughtful present), and they were always the super-sentimental, really flowery ones with lots of words on them.  (If I ever buy a card I always try to get the funny ones.)

I don’t feel guilt about this lack of detail knowledge.  It’s not that I wasn’t trying hard enough to get to know him; it’s just that we didn’t have enough time.  This is why a yo-yo can make it such a sad day:  I’m just feeling that this complex, amazing man left me way too soon.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Birthday

Today is my 32nd birthday.  January 3.  Some people think of New Years as a time to take stock of their lives, and some people use their birthdays, but for me, they’re kind of one and the same.

I’ve never really liked my birthday.  By the time the 3rd of January rolls around, no one has any party left in them.  Plus, I’m more of a summer girl, so when people would ask me what I wanted to do for my birthday the answer was always to have a party at the water slide or the swimming pool but it might be a little chilly on a January day.  My parents solved this problem by giving me a party in the summer; they were really cool like that.

Last year on my birthday I was such a wreck that I told everyone we were skipping it.  I didn’t want anyone to tell me “Happy Birthday” or anything.  I spent the day actually feeling very loved, a bunch of my friends helped me move my stuff from my condo into the place that I’m currently living.  None of them knew that it was my birthday.

So this year, actually wanting to celebrate is movement!  My sister and her family from London are here visiting.  With a 6 and 8 year old in attendance, we decided to have a Fiesta, complete with a butterfly piñata.  I’m stoked.  My mom and the sister that live here went all out when they found out that I actually wanted to celebrate, and they are party planners extraordinaire.  We have silly hats and mustaches.  Also, I still love lemon cupcakes with fluffy white frosting, the same birthday cake that I’ve chosen since I was a little kid.

I’ve had hard birthdays before.  It was hard for me to turn 25, for some reason.  Well, I think I know the reason.  I always think it’s hard when you’re not where you think you should be in your life and a birthday just seems to highlight that.  At 25 I was in a job I didn’t love, and not dating anyone at a time that I thought I should already be married. 

Turning thirty was not really a big deal to me.  I was married to a man that I loved, we were starting to talk about starting a family, and work was going reasonably well.  I was content.

At 32, life certainly looks nothing like it did at 30.  I’m not having a freak-out, though.  I’m not thinking, “OMG, I’m so old, and this is not where I want to be in my life.”  I guess I think that on a daily basis, that this is not the life I was dreaming of, so I’m just used to it.  It makes birthdays much easier.

Arthur's ready for the fiesta!
All that to say, so far, I’m having a delightful birthday, surrounded by family I love, not freaking out about being old, and actually I can’t wait ‘till next year, when I’ll be 33, because, I love the years that are divisible by 11.  That was my favorite multiplication table.