Thursday, December 31, 2015

The End

This blog was always intended to document my life with The Husband and since he is now gone, I have decided to shut down Cindy's Clipboard.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read our stories.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy July 4th & Memories

I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday today.

The is the first holiday without The Husband. 
I will be spending the afternoon with good friends, 
which is what we have done for the past couple of years.

Here is a picture of The Husband with a small cannon I gave him when we lived in Houston.  


The Husband brought the cannon out for New Year's Eve, July 4th, 
to randomly declare cocktail hour and when ever else he thought it was appropriate.  

I passed stewardship of the cannon to our nephew in Oklahoma City, 
as he and The Husband had a ridiculous July 4th with it a few years ago.

The cannon will be shot off multiple times today 
in remembrance of him and celebration of the holiday.

The start of cocktail hour in the mountains:


The Husband and his brother on July 4th a few years ago:


Doesn't everyone have a cannon?

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Husband is Home

Today has been stressful.

I slept late this morning. My cell phone rang at 9:30 am. It was the funeral home telling me The Husband's cremains were ready for pickup, as well as copies of his death certificate.

I brought everthing home and took the items upstairs to our office. I placed The Husband on a bookcase. I worked all afternoon reviewing various accounts/bills. This work is tedious, time consuming and emotionally draining. 

I had plans to meet up with good friends at a local restaurant. The time we spent together, the conversations about The Husband we had and the stories/photos we shared were just what I needed today, or so I thought.

I showed them the following picture of The Husband, which is the epitome of his love of the porch. The photo was taken several years ago. Notice the iPod in the Bose speaker dock, which means we were listening to his eclectic music catalog (4,000 songs). Also notice the cocktail glass next to the iPod. And, who could miss his head thrown back and his big laugh as he was conversing with our neighbors?


I returned home from being with our friends tonight and decided The Husband and I would have a cocktail on the porch, with music. See the iPod in the Bose speaker dock, the cocktail glass with Johnny Walker Red and water, as well as the box containing The Husband?


I sat there for a few moments, just the two of us with his favorite music and his favorite drink.

I started bawling.

I then asked the next door and across the street neighbors to join us, which they happily did. We laughed and reminisced about our numerous, informal porch parties over the years. The Powell house motto was, after all, "If we are on our porch, COME ON OVER!"

I'm thankful every day that I was lucky enough to be the friend of (and the wife of) The Husband.  

I am also thankful every day for all our friends and family that have helped both of us on this journey.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Kindness of Strangers

The Husband and I were "out and about" in local restaurants frequently. (Frequently = a lot!)

Tonight, I went to dinner at one of our regular spots. Several employees came up to me and expressed their sympathy for my loss of The Husband.

The man I was sitting near couldn't help but overhear the conversations and eventually asked me how recent was the loss. When I told him 13 days, he was very sympathetic.

He told me he lost his first wife 35 years ago. He was very kind to share stories of how he worked through the stages of grief.

He said to me, "You have to walk every step of this road yourself. Everyone wants to help you, but ultimately it is up to you."

I was consoled by my conversation with him.

As he left with his wife (of 30 years), he told me he had paid for my dinner and drinks. I told him it was not necessary and his response was, "I know what you are going through."

I am thankful for the kindness of strangers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sprinkler System

The Husband turned off the sprinkler system a few weeks ago because of the monsoon rains we were receiving.

I never paid serious attention when he had "sprinker class" with me. I always thought, "Oh, I'll never have to mess with that."

Now The Husband's gone and the Brother-In-Law and I couldn't figure out how to get the system on yesterday. The B-I-L read the instruction manual and tried several things, but the system refused to cooperate.

We decided I would just phone the yard service we've used for various projects and ask them to come out to give me a mini class and make sure the system is set properly and works.

I phoned for an appointment today and a young man named Kyle answer the phone. I didn't think I was going to cry, but when I told him why I was calling I couldn't hold it in. Bless his heart, he was so nice to me.

I bet Kyle's really looking forward to our appointment at 3pm on Wednesday.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Grief

The Husband died on June 11th.







I have cried, sobbed, wept, felt very sad and been grief stricken since that day.

Tonight, I bawled.

And bawled.

And bawled.

I bawled as I was cleaning out the refrigerator.

Sorting through the remnants of food brought to the house by friends and family,
I started making decisions about what to keep and what to throw away. 

My thought was, "Oh, this has been here too long. It's no good. Time for it to go."

Suddenly, grief hit me like a ton of bricks.

The Husband has been gone 11 days and he is never coming back.

How can that be?

I ran across this picture of him today. It's one of my favorites. 
It was taken on Johnson Mesa in the early 1990's.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

An Unexpected and Unwanted Journey

I've been quiet on this blog for the past several months because The Husband has been ill.  

I am documenting our journey here:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/stevejedpowell

I don't know when (or if) I will return to this website.

If I decide to retire "Cindy's Clipboard", I will post a notice.

To my readers, thank you.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hashbrowns versus Home Fries

The Husband is firmly in the hashbrowns camp.

He does not care for home fries.

In fact, we don't eat breakfast at some places simply because
 they serve home fries and not hash browns.

In the past, he has attempted to make hashbrowns at home. 
Not good.

I found a nice potato ricer at an estate sale and brought it home. 
The Husband tried again to make hashbrowns.  
Not good.

Strolling through Sam's Club this week, we saw dehydrated hashbrowns.  

This morning we re-hydrated a few for breakfast.


We fried them in hot oil in a cast iron skillet, with just a bit of salt and pepper.
You could jazz them up by frying them with onions or adding a bit of cheese at the finish.


Aren't they pretty!


They were darn good.

We need to be better at looking for convenice foods.

We are so used to making things from scratch, that sometimes we lose sight of the fact
 it would be much easier and taste just as good if we had the right packaged item.

How about you?  

Are you a from scratch cooker?  Or, do you use packaged items to get started?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Characters I Hang Out With at My Office

When I see these guys, they make me happy.



The Happy Clown and I have worked together since 1990.

How do I know, you ask?

Because he is dated "Hallmark, 1990, Happy Birthday."

 Two co-workers gifted him to me.

He stands on either foot, or even on his head!

Perhaps I'll post a pic of him doing a headstand.

The other characters are surprises from German Kinder Eggs.

I went to Berlin, Germany in 2001? 2002? for a business meeting.  

Our hosts gave us Kinder Eggs every day for our afternoon break.

Nothing inspires a conference room full of tired adults 
quite like a chocolate egg, with a surprise inside!

What types of mementos do you have in your office or work space?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Stop to Smell the Roses"

This morning my version of "Stop to Smell the Roses" was 
"Stop to Photograph the Daffodils."

The Husband and I are fortunate to live close 
to a true Tulsa treasure, Woodward Park

Daffodils have been planted on the west side of the park, 
next to Peoria Avenue for years.

Every spring when they start to poke their stems out of the ground, I get excited.

Bright yellow daffodils are one of my most favorite flowers.

This morning, as I drove to Old School Bagel Cafe to get my morning indulgence, 
I passed the daffodils in the park and had a thought. 

What thought, you ask?

"I'm going to take a few minutes, pull into the park, get out of the car 
and take pictures of the beautiful flowers."

Which is just what I did.




Aren't they pretty?  They make me happy.

What flowers make you happy?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"I pooped and peed and have on panties and I'm dry!"

Today has been an extra good day.

The Husband and I:

* Went out for breakfast.

* Went for manicures & pedicures at the mall.  I'll never understand why he didn't have his toenails & fingernails painted purple, with multi colored glitter on top, like I did. He just NEVER wants to match! What's up with that?  :-)

* Bought new bed pillows.

* Stopped in for a short visit with friends at their home. Their adorable granddaughter was there. She proudly proclaimed, "I pooped and peed and have on panties and I'm dry!" Our response? "Yippee! Such an accomplishment!" Of course, we all aspire to that when we are very young and when we are aging rapidly. :-)

* Stopped in at a favorite local restaurant for a late bite of lunch and had a lovely visit with friends who were there.

* Had a 2 hour nap.

* Went out to another favorite restaurant for a light dinner and laughs with the staff.

It's important to appreciate the good days.  I hope your day was also good!


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Generation Gap

I recently had a conversation with a very intelligient 28 year old woman.
I told her that I felt as if I had become "Ann Landers" 
for certain individuals we both know. 
She got a puzzled look on her face.
I said, "Dear Abby?"
She said, "I don't know who that is.
The name seems familiar, but I'm not sure."

I can't remember if it was before or after 
I explained to her who Ann and Abby were 
that I started banging my head against a hard surface,
weeping and wailing about how old I am.  

Or, maybe I was weeping and wailing about how young she is?!

Have enough years passed that young adults don't know 
two of America's most popular advice columnists?

Good grief!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sewing on a Snowy Saturday and Memories

My very petite mother recently purchased a new pair of pink, fuzzy pjs. I volunteered to alter the pants.  


As I cut and pinned the new hems on this snowy morning, I thought about how lucky I was to have learned the basics of sewing in junior high home economics classes. I believe the teacher's name was Mrs. Wireth at Gilcrease Jr High School in the early 1970's. 

The metal seam gauge pictured above came from my 7th grade sewing kit. The white measuring tape did not, but I do have the yellow tape from that kit as well. It's just not the first one I grabbed this morning. Speaking of my 7th grade sewing kit, I threw it away just a few years ago. The plastic lid was broken and I thought, "My goodness. Get rid of it!"

I thought about my Granny Jewel, who was a great seamstress. She gave me praise (which could be hard to come by from Granny) and feedback on my first sewing attempts. I'll also never forget my Great Aunt Clorine, another great seamstress, who gave me her old sewing machine as my first machine at home.

Thinking of Home Ec, I remember the cooking classes and eating what we cooked. Before we could eat, we had to set the table properly. I always thought the dishes at school were pretty. Fast forward several years and I discovered my soon to be husband's mother had the same dishes, Franciscan Desert Rose.  Her dishes now live with her youngest grand daughter.

Home Ec is where I learned to make Chocolate Oatmeal drop cookies. I've made many a batch of these since that time!

The simple act of doing something for my Mom brought back a lot of good memories this snowy morning.

As I prepare to sign off, I look at the back window and there sits a bright red Cardinal on the fence. Beautiful, with the snow falling around him.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vintage Tulsa Show

The Sister and I went to the Vintage Tulsa Show today. 
We had a great time and saw a lot of beautiful items.
Especially oak furniture.
Oh, the oak furniture.
Be still my heart!

I did not purchase this mega phone.  
I think I may regret it for the rest of my life.  
Especially since I went to school in NORTH Tulsa!



I sorted through a tangled pile of jewelry 
and found one of these fabulous King Tut earrings.


I continued to sort through the pile and found the mate.
I laid them together on the table, outside of the tangled pile.
I told The Sister if they were still there when we went through the show, 
I would take them home with me.

They are FABULOUS, yes?


I would have loved to have brought this beauty home 
to live in the Peacock Room.
Alas, he was much too expensive.
He would have felt totally out of place with his cheaper cousins. 


It was a good show and better than that, is the fact I had a fun time with The Sister!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Be Careful Out There! It's Icy!


So much for leaving work early yesterday, to get home safely on the icy streets.

The washing machine repair man (another story) was parked in our driveway, so I parked across the street. I was almost across when I slipped and fell backwards. The back of my head hit the pavement and bounced.  

I lay in the middle of the street, yelling for help until a neighbor heard me. Soon, there were three neighbors around me. Two (I think) helped me up from the street and walked me back to the car, as one went to get The Husband.
  
I do not remember The Husband driving me to the hospital or the check-in process at the ER. We arrived at about 4pm (?) and I was not called back to an exam room until 7pm (?). One of the neighbors was smart enough to send an ice pack with me to the hospital. Thank goodness. I went through an entire box of tissue in the waiting room as I sobbed from the pain. I was taken for a head CT before being taken to the exam room.

Fortunately, the head CT did not show any signs of a brain bleed. I had a knot the size of my hand on the back of my head, my jaws hurt, my neck and shoulders hurt and I was dizzy, dizzy, dizzy.

We got home and one of the neighbors had shoveled part of our sloped drive and put down ice melt. So, so sweet.

I had bed spins last night. I hate bed spins. 

Swelling of the knot went down significantly over night, due to regular ice packs. My head is so tender and hurts to touch. I have just a slight headache, not too bad. Neck and shoulders hurt. Jaw really hurts when I eat. I think I knocked it out of alignment. Probably means a visit to the dentist and/or chiropractor in the future. 

I told The Husband I woke up in the middle of the night and all I could think of was the old Hee Haw song:

Gloom, despair and agony on me!
Deep dark depression, excessive misery!
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!
Gloom, despair and agony on meeeee! 

Dizzy, dizzy am I. The Husband won't let me walk anywhere by myself.

Between spraining my ankle last month, banging my head this month and The Husband not feeling well, I'm about to throw in the towel.  

Be careful out there!  It's icy!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Flowers

The Husband was recently in the hospital and received 
this lovely arrangement of flowers from my place of employment.

They were delivered on January 20th.


They were still beautiful on January 27th.


And here are the final few on February 1st.


We have certainly enjoyed this bouquet. 
I need to get in the habit of purchasing flowers for us to enjoy.
Do you purchase fresh flowers for your home?

P.S. The Husband is doing fine now.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter Decor

Today, January 18th, I packed away the last of the Christmas decor. 

Fortunately, it had been staged in the basement, so it was out of sight.

Today, I also decorated our mantel for winter.

I have a small collection of winter paintings and pictures.





A few pine cones.


I'm glad I have until March 20, 2015 to design my Spring mantel!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Coats to be Donated

On Saturday, I tried on several of my jackets that I have not worn for a while.
 
Several of them have now been donated.  

I'm consolidating my remaining jackets/coats/capes and 
scarves/gloves/hats into one closet.

I've had a donation sack in my clothes closet for the last year that I put things into when I:

1) Try a piece of clothing on and then take it off because I don't like how it looks. 
 
2) I purchase a new clothing item and before it hangs in my closet, 
an item has to be taken out for donation.

I feel quite happy with my donation/organization efforts.

I'd love to be as disciplined and minimalist as people who have only 
33 items in their closet, but I have a way to go before I hit that milestone!

How about you?
 
Are you cleaning out your closet in 2015?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Watch Your Step, #2

A short update on my twisted ankle:

  • Multiple x-rays revealed no fractures or breaks.
  • My three middle toes turned black.  Can you say "Attractive!"?  My toes are now green and yellow.
  • The top of my foot, the side of my foot, my ankle and half way up my leg turned purple, then black, then green.  They are all still green.
  • There's a strange lump on the top of my foot.  It's not hard, it's squishy.  It HURTS to touch and is preventing me from wearing regular shoes. I'm wearing sandals in January!
  • My foot and ankle swell every day.  Today, Saturday, I've laid around most of the day.  The swelling is down significantly.  
  • I'm planning to lay around on Sunday.
Do you have a twisted ankle story in your past?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Watch Your Step!

These are the steps into our kitchen.


Notice how the steps curve?
Notice they are wide on one end and narrow on the opposite end?

We've lived in this house almost 12 years.
I know you must be careful rounding the curve, watch your feet
and stay close to the wide end of the steps.

I forgot all of that Tuesday morning.

I had my arms full of stuff, wasn't careful and missed the bottom step.
I landed in the floor with a twisted right ankle.
The Husband came clattering down the stairs,
"Are you alright?  Are you alright?"
"I don't know.  Let me sit here a minute. Here, take this."
I handed him all the stuff in my arms, because I didn't drop any of it.

I managed to stand up and then became light headed.
I hobbled to a chair and sat for a few moments until my head cleared.
I got up from the chair and my left knee started hurting, as well as my lower back.
  
Year end in Human Resources is always very busy.
The person who has the same system access as me and could have done my work, 
also had a long list of tasks to complete.

I had no option but to shake it off and go to work.

The Husband suggested I take the re-usable ice packs with me.
Thank goodness, I did.
I managed to keep my ankle and knee iced for most of the day
and also managed to do the work that needed to be done.

I'm ready for the pain to be gone now.  
Who has a magic wand to wave over my foot and knee to get rid of the pain?


P.S. Happy New Year!