There’s a lot of talk about superpowers these days. Which are the top 10 coolest? Which are the top 10 best?
Frankly, I don’t have enough time in my day to deploy 10 superpowers, but I have acquired a few gems as of late.
First and foremost, I have cultivated the superpower of hydrating Friday the cat at home! Though I’m not as superpowerful as Marla at the vet’s in performing this feat, I’m doing well enough not to have to load Friday into the Subaru and slog through the snow once a week for professional technical assistance. When the current snow accumulation clears I will take Friday in for a top-class fill-up, but in the interim we are A-Okay.
I have also conquered rugged culinary terrain with the aid of another new superpower. That’s right, I’ve steeled myself to cook a chicken breast! This is something I haven’t done for years, probably since the year 2000 when Bruce and I were first dating and I was trying to impress him by putting together a top-drawer picnic lunch, complete with Chicken Cordon Bleu. I’ve never been a huge fan of chicken (among other reasons, because I have a dead bird phobia) but love does funny things to people. Fast forward to the present. At the time of Bruce’s passing the freezer was stocked with half-a-dozen huge chicken breasts from our last Costco adventure. Don’t look at me that way, he’s the one who liked and cooked chicken!
But I digress. What is the one thing you associate with cooking chicken, no matter the recipe? That’s right, salmonella! Raw chicken carries salmonella, which is responsible for more cases of food poisoning that any other pathogen. If you don’t believe me, ask your mother. For me, phobia + salmonella has been an effective barrier to preparing this low-calorie, low-fat source of protein for most of my adult life. What made the change?
- It was snowing (and apparently will continue snowing until the world ends)
- There were six huge chicken breasts in the freezer, enough for 12 meals
- I got hungry
I’ll confess, I handle raw chicken gingerly and try to have every other ingredient measured and at hand when I squeamishly cut open the sealed plastic packaging and deliver this (temporarily) major health menace into the vulnerable world. But once it’s in the oven- -hey!
So that’s two new superpowers. At the risk of sounding boastful, I’ll share one more. It has to do with Bruce’s estate, with tying up those weird and pesky loose ends that get resolved much more rapidly if the estate goes through probate. I have (wait for it!) Letters Testamentary! It is now in my power to insist that banks and insurance companies answer my questions about things held solely in Bruce’s name, because being the surviving spouse just isn’t enough for some people working in highly-regulated industries. It’s hilarious, how cocky I feel having Letters Testamentary. If I had a tall pair of stiletto-heeled boots I would probably wear them when I talk to the documentation jockeys, and barely curb the urge to growl, “You will do as I command!”
My superpowers err on the side of utility but that’s okay. I don’t need to be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive or able leap tall buildings in a single bound (yet). As long as I keep my 4-legged kids healthy, feed myself and take care of business, that’s enough.
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Great post! By the time I finished I was smiling broadly. Like the first time I bought my own house after my divorce.
I can definitely relate to the elation of post-divorce house purchase- -one of the more liberating moments of my life, 19 years ago as of right about now!
Given the shock of Bruce’s diagnosis and the rapid deployment of those lethal cancer cells, he must have had this in place in advance. It is a wake up call to all to have the proper paperwork in place because we really can’t predict the unthinkable. It can save those left behind a ton of grief at a time when they are least capable of handling it. Kudos to you both.
Frank and I are taking a 4 part class on end of life decisions and all the pesky paperwork that goes with it.
I am so glad you and Frank are taking a proactive approach. It really was a very good thing when we had our Wills, directives, POAs and community property agreements drawn up. We did this in 2007, about a year after we got married. Be sure you have the beneficiaries you really want TODAY on your investment accounts, insurance policies, etc. Taking care of this stuff is excellent for peace of mind, and now is a much better time to do it than later for the present and future stress it will save you both. One thing that really helped Bruce and me when his prognosis (and later, worse, conditions were revealed) was that we’d had a bit of end-of-life discussion a couple of years ago after reading Atul Gwande’s “Being Mortal.” We’d been impressed by his writings in the New Yorker (he’s a surgeon who has many interesting things to say about health care in America as well as end-of-life issues), which led us to the book. Fortuitously, we had our discussion when end-of-life was not a hot, urgent topic. It really helped us keep cooler heads as the crises continued to mount.
GO SUSAN!! I applaud you, cuz I couldn’t ever insert a needle into a pet. But I will suggest after finishing off all the chicken breasts in the freezer, that boneless chicken thighs are more tasty and smaller and usually cheaper than breasts, which whenever I cook them, end up dry. Love thighs cuz they are smaller, tastier and less expensive, and often times end up the the “Manager’s Special” end of the freezer compartment at the grocery, for “fast sale” and are still good. Hang in there you are doing great!!
Thanks for the culinary tip, Eileen!
The super power you failed to mention, but exhibit so well in this post, is your sense of humor and unfailing wit under all (most?) circumstances, especially when surviving on many levels. Love to you, and your hydrated cat!
Friday and I say thank you, Penney!
Etate planning when you’re healthy is so important I’m glad you brought it up, as you know my husband passed suddenly much like Bruce did but the one thing I didn’t have to worry about was finances I could spend all my time with him until he left and went to heaven and afterwards I had no real financial issues we had everything in our living trust and/or owned jointly and of course we had the contingencies if we both left at the same time, all i really had to do was update beneficiary forms