My New Dog

A family friend needed to rehome their black lab and what a perfect opportunity. Ranger is 3 years old. He came with his kennel, a bunch of toys and a wireless fence. What a relief not having to go through the puppy stage. He’s house broken and is a really good boy.

So a couple weeks after we got him, I had him leashed when he spotted something in the back yard. This guy is 93 pounds. I had been sick from acute bronchitis all week, terribly weak and just couldn’t hold him back. I had actually passed out at the doctors office and ended up spending the evening in ER three days earlier. Anyway, I ended up on the ground and Ranger dragged me a few feet but he didn’t get away from me. I heard something crack. Got a little cold sweat going. Stretch was at his fish fry. Scooter was sick too. We went in the house and I pondered another ER visit but talked myself out of it. I was in pain and the next morning Stretch bought me a sling. I attempted work the following Monday but lasted 2 hours. Ended up going and getting an xray and found out my right humerus was fractured. I was sent to an orthopedic surgeon who said no work for at least 4 weeks. So here I sit. Watching videos and reading books on my kindle.

The doctor told me I can stop using the sling tomorrow. Yay! And do some PT at home. He will release me back to work on April 25. Oh joy. In the mean time, as limited as I have been, Ranger and I are bonding.

And I don’t want to go back to work.

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frustration station

I don’t know if it’s just me or what but man, my patience level is at a new low. Case in point…I was told weeks ago that the Keurig coffee pot needed to be cleaned, one of his “chores”.¬†Today, among other things, I decided it wasn’t going to get done unless I did it. First thing I asked is if we had spare filters and he confirmed. I poured the vinegar in and did one cup before it clogged up. Stretch said it was why he didn’t clean it. He was afraid it would clog up again and didn’t want to purchase a new one. The last time it happened when he did the cleaning, I looked online and it said to bang it. So he did and it unclogged. So again, I look on youtube and find a video that said to use a paperclip to poke into the hole in the top, above where the coffee pod goes. I did it and bam! unclogged. When it was time to put it back together, low and behold, an empty filter box was all I had. So pissed. I requested Scooter go get some. He’s living here temporarily.

Tip of the iceberg. Stretch has been doing the Catholic church fish fries (6 weeks in a row). Thursdays after work he goes there right after work, to “prep”, not getting home until after 7. Then Friday he takes off work at 11am and gets home after cooking about 9. No biggie. Other than the fact that he doesn’t do anything else all weekend, except his laundry. He asks. What do you need done today? I mentioned my clogged sink in my bathroom (again)-it’s been months. I can’t dump draino, he insists he has to take the pipes apart. Also, I asked that the Christmas tree be removed (again) from the living room 8ft wall. I can’t reach it and it’s too heavy anyway. With Scooter’s help, all the other decorations were removed by January 5th. Enter tonight. NOTHING. He hides in his office watching woodworking videos and whatever else he does in there and comes out when dinner is on the table. Then promptly gets up, with or without taking his dirty dishes to the kitchen which is like 8 steps away and leaves me to clean up the entire mess.

Scooter announced he was moving to an apartment soon. He has been a big help here, with lawn mowing and garbage removal etc. In fact every time we come home from work, he has already removed the snow from the sidewalk up to the house so we don’t have to walk through it. Thankfully all of the snow is melted now.

Oh, and while I was fertilizing my orchids in the sink today, he reminded me that it was toxic. I bit my tongue because every time he cooks eggs he throws the egg shells in the sink. Salmonella anyone?

As much as I hate the thought, I can’t wait for the work week to begin.

 

My Girl Stella

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Stella’s online photo from petfinder.com

I rescued Stella October 5, 2004, after losing my 13 year old black lab to the road a couple months earlier. I borrowed a travel crate from the rescue and brought her home. I remember it had started raining and she was in the back of my SUV. I had turned a corner and the thing tipped over and I had to stop and upright her. She barely fit in it.

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I had my son watch her as I went and bought her a big kennel. She wasn’t house broken, supposedly 6 months old and the rescue had removed her from a shelter in Muskegon after finding her roaming the streets there.

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That first night, I remember her barking, locked in her crate. I only had to holler at her once to be quiet and she slept through the night without any more noise.

Fast forward to the end of 2015. I had taken the holiday off, Stella was now 12 years old and she was diagnosed with severe arthritis in her back that had started affecting her back legs. By Christmas she was having a terrible time walking. Several times she had to be carried up the stairs. She would stand there, looking but not wanting to attempt them. I had already made the decision to put her down during my time off and never left the house, just hung out with my girl until it was time. I read several scary internet sites that told me what to expect. Wednesday, December 30th was D-Day. I had been balling all day, waiting until the last minute before the vets office closed. She had to be lifted into the truck and instead of watching out the window like she always did, she laid next to me in the back seat. We waited our turn and she was gone within seconds. It wasn’t much like all the stuff I had read. She just went to sleep, with her eyes open. Hardest thing ever. She’s buried where the squirrels run out of the woods. She always loved chasing them, letting them know that this was her territory and they were trespassing.

My heart still hurts. My baby girl is gone. I will see her someday again and we will continue our game of stick fetch.

 

2016

So, I have some more bad news. Heartbreaking stuff I don’t want to share it on my first post of 2016.

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I wish you all a great new Year with Happiness, Good Health and an abundance of Love. Because who doesn’t need more love!

I hope this is your best year ever!!!

The day I lost my dad

My father passed away 15 years ago yesterday. But I grieved his death when I was 9 years old. 49 years ago.

My family was small and close. Just me, my older sister and my dad. I had already lost my mother, to mental illness, and my brother was murdered a few years later. We were happy and my dad had a good job in our small town.

Our home had an apartment on the second floor. One day a lady and her 4 kids came and rented it. Her husband was career military and thinking back, I believe because of his alcoholism, she decided to move back to her home town and divorce him.

Seems like right from the get-go my dad and that woman were a bit too “chummy”. They all congregated mostly downstairs with us. Dad would buy the food and feed 5 extra mouths. Her 2 bedroom apartment above us was equipped with kitchen and bathroom. Small for a family her size. Her husband never came to visit.

I put two and two together when they moved out and good ole dad would take us to visit them at their rental home in the country. A tiny 2  bedroom. Her 3 sons crammed into one. Her daughter and her, in the other.

I remember so vividly, my dad announcing they were getting married. I cried. Nine year old me did not want them back in our house. I didn’t want a step mother and 4 step siblings.

So they married, went up north for a few days and the next thing I know we are a blended family. I hated it. The fighting started. Not enough money. Dad worked 7 days a week trying to feed us all while she played the happy homemaker. Ugh

I recall one fight where they got in her crappy car and left. The boys came home with new baseball equipment and the girl new toys. Dad had told me that day I had been right and he shouldn’t have married her.

So to make things all better, she decided they needed their own child. Hell, my brother was still alive and not even living with us. Like we needed a new baby to complete this fucked up family.

This was when I totally, completely lost my dad. I became lost in a crowd of people I didn’t want to be with and everything me and my sister had with my dad was gone as they focused on the daughter they made together and treated her like an only child.

Gone was the promise of the horse he made me since I was 5. Gone was any assistance with a college education. Gone were the braces I had wanted forever because of the space between my front teeth. Everything I desired was wasted on a woman who saw a good thing and latched onto it. I was working and totally paying for all my clothes and whatever else I needed by the time I was 14. Before that, I had next to nothing because we were poor. Not because my dad didn’t make good money but because of choices he made. My dad didn’t even take time to come to my school events, baseball games or my high school graduation.

Funny though, their golden child got everything braces, a graduation party and a college education. I worked, bought my horse and payed the vet bills, bought the hay and took care of my responsibility. My half sister was 5 when she got her pony. Little Maybell was a stupid, mean Shetland and by summers end they had decided to give her away before someone got hurt. My half sister, at 5 years old spoke up and said “if I have to get rid of my pony then Debbie has to get rid of her horse”. And it was like this always.

So yes, my dad died of lung cancer December 15, 2000, alone because my half sister, who wasn’t working at the time, was too busy to watch over our dad. I was by then, a single mother, working full time, paying more in daycare then I got in child support, raising two sons on my own, with next to no help from anyone. I got the call at work. I had already in my mind, said goodbye to my dad, years before.

I miss my dad. But he left me long before the day he died.

 

OUCH

Well, bad news this morning. My cousin died last night. She was diagnosed 4 months ago with stage 4 lung cancer. She is the 3rd person in my family to pass from this horrific disease. My dad being the first, with my uncle a year later. My cousin, Halee, was adopted at a young age. I saw her last at another Uncles funeral a couple years ago. I remember her being late for the funeral and I spoke to her briefly after the service.

Most of my memories of Halee come from when we were young and our house in town burned. We were finally able to move to the country and I bought a horse. Haley and her adopted brother, along with my aunt and uncle (their new mom and dad), lived down the road from us. They had ponies and every spring they would bring them down to our house. Much older and experianced, I would ride them and get their winter “bucks” out.

Halee had a daughter out of wedlock. She never married but I have comfort in knowing her boyfriend stood by her to the bitter end. She had started chemo and had her first radiation treatment earlier on the day she passed. She had returned home after the treatment and started coughing up blood. The paramedics couldn’t save her.

Such a sad time for us all. Halee was much younger than me. She had so much left. My heart is heavy.

Rest in Peace Halee. I am so sorry you were taken away. You will be missed. I will think of your soft soul and bright smile often. Love you…