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.

 

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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.

 

I love camping

nothing like sitting around a campfire until all hours of the night! Skeeter (minus his gal), Scooter and Stretch and I camped out. I bought this modified tear drop trailer because tents are not me anymore. very comfy. but no room for Stella. She slept with Skeeter and Butters and cried all night. Other than the killer heat index it was much needed fun away from home in Gods country aka my 40 acres in the woods. The dogs cooled off in the creek. We took nature hikes. We ate walking tacos. YUM!!!

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When you loose someone…

My brothers birthday was yesterday. He was born March 5, 1954. He died June 7, 1971 at the age of 17. I had just turned 14.

Jimmy was my only brother. He was my BIG brother and I looked up to him so much. I am thankful for the memories I still hold in my heart all these years later and always wonder how different our lives would have been if only Jimmy were still here.

Jimmy was a rebel. The thugs forced him and the other employee to the floor at gun point. As Jimmy layed there, face down, he told them they would never get away with it. He was correct. But those few words took his life. The murderers shot my brother in the back for $20.

When you loose someone it is hard. I have lost others. But Jimmy being so young and so full of life and I suppose just being my big brother makes it all that much harder. I miss him every single day.

Happy Birthday Jimmy. I love and miss you so much.

LDP or not…

Sunday LDP came over and brought all the fixings for roast beast. All he needed was an oven and cutting board. I hooked him up. My chili was already cooking. He told me he had won a chili cook off and his secret ingredients were cinnamon and chocolate. Okay…. I thought about it. My sons are very picky and love the way I make chili. I went for it. I could definitely taste the teaspoon of cinnamon and thought oh, oh. While things were cooking we played Wii. He had never done it before. It was fun and really, what else to do for entertainment? I guess I was at a loss.

So, the boys show up and Skeeter tastes the chili and mentioned tasting cinnamon. Well, uh, must be too much “powder” again? I fessed up. He ate it. I sent home most of it with the guys and saved some for lunch at work. Yum. Sitting overnight, it really bought all the flavors together and there was no hint of cinnamon. Of course I always crush up a ton of crackers and everything tastes better with cheese.

Back to the subject…LPD drank lots of beer that night and we had already planned on him staying so he didn’t have to drive 45 minutes home. I told him if he behaved he could sleep in my bed. He hesitated a bit, offered the couch (which is like sleeping on the floor with a steel bar stabbing you in the back). In the end he behaved himself quite a bit and although there was a hint of… well I told him I wasn’t gonna do that. And no, it didn’t happen. I keep my thermostat at 60 degrees while I am sleeping. It felt like 160. That man sends of big time body heat. And we were both dressed in sweats head to toe. HOT as in sweaty all night. Not a whole lot of sleep that night for all the wrong reasons!

So we emailed back and forth and he thanked me for having him at PC and mentioned being available for the weekend after next. This next weekend he has his daughter and invited me to go sledding and to a movie. The thing that bothered me was he pretty much said the WHOLE weekend when he didn’t have her. Well, anyone who knows me, knows I cannot be smothered and having someone here 24/7 for the whole weekend wasn’t going to happen. I mentioned something about not looking for a f-buddy but a committed relationship.

Then came an email that confirmed what I had been thinking. He does want to see me (his exact words were, just what I have been looking for) but went on about the future and he wasn’t willing to move here and etc etc. Hello. It’s all a bit premature anyway. Hell, I have only seen him three times and that was spread over like three months.

So, I told him (via email because of the hearing loss thing), that there would be options down the road IF and WHEN we decide to be a committed couple. And if he is just looking for someone to screw once in a while there are most likely alot of women on that dating site looking for just that.

He makes a killer roast beast by the way!