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A Significant Loss and a Fateful Addition

 

I wrote the following last year on the day I adopted my new dog, Sadie. I miss you Pudgy; I love you Sadie.

August 26, 2016 8:15 a.m.

16836670_10207811143707529_9142218642613896442_oPudgy and I, Winter 2016

It’s been six months since Pudgy passed away at the age of thirteen and the longest period that I have ever been without having a dog. The void I felt in my heart over losing Pudgy and not having a dog for so long was hard to bear, but I just wasn’t ready. The grieving process is still ongoing, although I finally felt my heart begin to open a month ago to let a new dog enter.

I am a firm believer in fate. About two months after Pudgy passed, I started going to dog adoption events every other Saturday put on by Dogma Animal Rescue, a local rescue that specializes in rescuing pregnant females and puppies from shelters.

Although it was wonderful to hold a dog in my arms again and enjoy the smell of a squiggling puppy, I left each adoption event in tears thinking to myself “I don’t want another dog, I want Pudgy.” At one event I was very close to adopting a puppy named Bonnie. I held her in my arms and felt the bond I had been hoping for. However, another potential adoptee showed up while I was holding Bonnie and said she had come specifically to adopt her. I looked into her eyes and immediately put Bonnie in her arms and said “She belongs with you.” Once again I cried the entire half hour drive home but Bonnie was not fated to be with me; I still wasn’t over Pudgy.

I found myself checking out the Dogma Rescue website every day for two months and finally in July, I saw the following photo and had a strong feeling that this might be the dog for me.

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She was a rescue from a shelter about fifty miles away and was very pregnant. Apparently her owner dumped her at the shelter right before she was ready to give birth. Dogma Animal Rescue took her and she had her pups in their transport vehicle.

About five weeks after her four pups were born, I saw their photos on Dogma’s website and decided I wanted to visit her and her pups with the intention of adopting the mom and her only female puppy, Porsche.

I visited them a week ago and although the mom dog was shy, she let me pick up her puppies without any fuss and when I extended my hand to her, she licked it.

I talked to her foster mom, Jessica, and said “I know the names of the puppies but what did you name the mom?”

Jessica replied “I tried lots of names but she didn’t respond to any of them except ‘Sadie.’ When I called her Sadie, her ears perked up, she wagged her tail and ran over to me.”

I was astounded. Sadie was the name of my mother’s dog. Fate . . .

My mom passed away two years ago and I took her twelve year old dog named Sadie. Sadie missed my mom but had a happy life with me until she succumbed to cancer about six months after my mother had passed. I was glad I made the last months of Sadie’s life full of love and tender care.

I told Duane (Dogma Rescue founder) and Jessica that I would let them know my decision the next day because I was sure about adopting Sadie but wanted to think a bit more about her female puppy. The next day, I told them that I would adopt Sadie but not her puppy “Porsche” (her puppies were named after cars since they were born in one). I figured that Sadie’s puppies would have no problem finding homes but Sadie might not. It was a tough decision to let that darling puppy go.

That night I finally had a dream about Pudgy. I had not dreamt about her at all since she had passed and every night I hoped to reunite with her in the world of dreams. I can’t recall all the details of the dream but it was wonderful and felt so real. Pudgy was alive and with me again, happy and healthy, and at the end of the dream I was sitting on the bed with her and a good friend who died five years ago. Her name was Dian and I would often petsit her dogs. She was a kindred animal lover and absolutely cherished her two golden retrievers. In the dream, Dian told me “You know I petsit now and any time you want to go away, I would be more than happy to take care of Pudgy.” She came to me in that dream to let me know that Pudgy was in heaven with her and doing fine. I felt like they were also letting me know that they approved of my adopting Sadie.

It is also a sign and fateful that I am getting Sadie on “National Dog Appreciation Day.” I had completely forgotten that it was today until I checked Facebook earlier this morning and a photo of my dearly departed dog “Pudgy” popped up with the caption “National Dog Appreciation Day, Memory from one year ago today.”

pudgy1ab                               Pudgy 2015

1:00 p.m. — Sadie’s home! I could not be happier!

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Good American Jeans: What a Rip Off!

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I reluctantly admit that I watch “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” There, now that’s said and done!

I enjoy watching the Kardashians mostly to see what they are wearing and I was very interested in Khloe’s new fashion line called Good American, “a denim focused fashion brand designed for a curvier, sexier and stronger shape.” It seemed like such a great idea, a niche that was long overdue — jeans and denim products for women of all body types.

Intrigued by the idea, I checked out the Good American website and was shocked at the prices of their clothing. I decided to write a brief email to Good American:

“I love the concept — jeans for women of all sizes and body types. It’s very disappointing that this concept couldn’t also include jeans for women of all incomes. They are too expensive for the average consumer. Nice try but I can’t afford to buy them and neither can the majority of my friends.”

I was pleasantly surprised to receive the following reply the next day:

“Hi Deborah,

Thank you for contacting us. We understand your concern in regards to the pricing of our product and appreciate your feedback. We strive to create jeans with an optimal fit. Doing so requires the most advanced fabric and construction available which comes at a premium price point. GOOD AMERICAN is dedicated to having a positive impact on the community, pledging to sustain the manufacturing of jeans in the United States. Our jeans are manufactured here in Los Angeles using premium imported fabrics. If you any other comments, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Best,

The GA Squad”

My response was as follows:

“Dear Chelsea,

Thanks for your prompt reply. I’m glad that Good American jeans are made here in the USA and I understand that having them made here certainly costs more than having them made in another country. I also understand you use quality products and strive to get the best fit for all shapes; however, I wonder how much it costs per pair to make them and what the profit margin is. I am aware that you have to make a profit and don’t want to compromise the quality of these jeans, but the prices seem exorbitant.

I’m 5’10” tall and my body is athletic but still curvy, so I was looking forward to trying on a pair of Good American jeans. I have trouble finding jeans that fit well but I don’t want to try on Good American jeans because I know that I won’t be able to afford them. I presently buy Calvin KIein jeans and they are half the price of Good American jeans.

I’m thrilled that Good American has taken the initiative to make jeans that fit a wide variety of body types, now they need to make jeans that fit a wide variety of income levels.

Maybe you can forward this email to Khloe so she can check with her team regarding strategies to lower the prices. Perhaps shop for “premium imported fabrics” that are less expensive or buy fabrics made domestically, or maybe have a special seasonal sale temporarily reducing the price.

I really appreciate the thought behind Good American jeans (no pun intended) but unfortunately they are way out of my price range. I guess I’ll just wait for a sale at Nordstrom’s or maybe Khloe and her staff at Good American can figure out how to lower the prices without compromising the quality of what I’m certain are fantastic jeans.”

Unlike my first email to Good American, I was not surprised that I didn’t receive a response.

Perhaps Good American’s jeans are so expensive because as stated in the website “It takes one hundred hands to make one pair of Good American Jeans.” Hmm, I don’t think so!

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Transitions

Transitioning into retirement hasn’t been what I expected. My first thought was “It’s going to be nice not having to work;” however, my next thought was “How am I going to keep myself busy?” I have a very logical mind.

I then began to think about writing and how I’ve been absent from this blog for so long. After my mother passed away last year, I lost a lot of my passion for writing. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t write, I just didn’t want to. Perhaps it was because I was in so much profound grief. Two years before my mother passed, I lost my father and although losing him didn’t diminish my desire to write, after losing my mom, I just couldn’t.

Now I’m back and although I am still grieving over the loss of my parents, I am ready to start writing again.

Transitions, change, retirement. So much to write about.

As I look out the window from my desk (photo below), I am so thankful to be living in such a beautiful area. My husband and I moved to my parents’ former home in northern California three months ago and we are thoroughly enjoying our new environs. In fact, I’m going to have to take a break from writing now in order to join my husband for a cup of coffee on our deck overlooking twelve majestic redwood trees.

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This is a very short post, but at least I’ve started writing again. It’s good to be back.

“That’s Bullsh*t Jenelle!” quote from her Mom

March 14 8:00 p.m.

I wasn’t a fan of MTV’s “Teen Mom” until I began watching the trials and tribulations of one of the most idiotic teen moms of all – Jenelle Evans (Teen Mom 2).

I know it’s kind of pathetic of me to keep watching Jenelle make the same mistakes over and over again, but I find her stupidity entertaining. In addition to never learning from her mistakes, Jenelle always plays the victim, blaming others instead of taking responsibility for her countless mis-steps in life.

Her first mistake of course was not using contraceptives and getting pregnant at the age of sixteen. Very soon after her son Jace was born, Jenelle wasn’t willing to give up getting high and partying, so her mother took on the responsibility of raising Jace. Jenelle gave her mother full custody of Jace, which as far as I can tell was the only wise decision she’s ever made.

In 2013, Jenelle met Nathan Griffith, a guy she found on an online dating site, and after two months they moved in together and decided to have a child. Great – another child that her mother will probably have to raise. In fact, Jenelle did get pregnant even though she was potentially facing eight months of jail time from a previous drug arrest. I guess being pregnant and perhaps giving birth to a child while in jail didn’t bother her. Turns out that her jail time was waived due to a plea bargain in the case. Nevertheless, who in their right mind would plan a pregnancy knowing that they might be facing eight months in jail (not to mention only knowing the father for a couple of months)?

In addition to her many bad decisions, Jenelle has an illustrious criminal record:

October 15, 2010

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Arrested for breaking and entering, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

March 27, 2011

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Arrested for misdemeanor accounts of assault and affray.

August 8, 2011

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Arrested for probation violation after testing positive for marijuana and opiates.

January 10, 2012

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Arrested for making harassing phone calls and threats to former roommate. She seems happy and proud of herself in this mugshot.

January 16, 2012

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Jenelle didn’t make it a week before being arrested again for violating a domestic violence protective order. Another happy faced Jenelle in mugshot.

March 5, 2012

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Arrested for cyberstalking charges (on her former boss). It seems like she gets happier the more she is arrested based on this and the last few mug shots. Cyberstalking is fun!

June 24, 2012

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A more serious Jenelle in this mugshot and more serious charges: possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance. Obviously, rehab didn’t work for Jenelle.

April 23, 2013

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A very somber looking Jenelle in this mugshot. Not so much fun anymore, particularly when facing charges of heroin possession (with intent to sell/manufacture/distribute), possession of drug paraphernalia and simple assault.

May 20, 2013

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Arrested for missing a court date. She turned herself in after a warrant was issued and obviously was happy to do so as evidenced by the grin on her face in the mugshot.

August 12, 2013

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Despite reaching a plea to keep her out of jail for heroin and Percocet possession in April 2013, Jenelle was back in the clink again for failing a random drug test. Jenelle was smiling again in the mugshot most likely because she was stoned. She only tested positive for marijuana.

December 14, 2013

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A not-so-happy and pregnant, 21 year-old Jenelle in mugshot. This time she got into a fight with her current boyfriend (Nathan Griffith, apparently the baby’s father) and locked him out of the house. She was arrested for “breach of peace” after the neighbors called the cops.

Maybe one of these days Jenelle will start learning from her mistakes but until that happens (or MTV boots her off the show), I will keep watching her on Teen Mom 2. I have a feeling I will be watching the show for a long time.

Last Night’s Dinner

March 14 9:45 a.m.

Once again it was a frozen dinner evening. I wasn’t really that hungry and didn’t want a big production, so I popped the Michelina’s $1 special “Beef and Peppers” dinner into the microwave.

The picture on the outside of the container looked pretty good:

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However, this is what was actually inside the container (I was super disappointed at what I saw):

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Well, at least there were only two miniscule pieces of “beef,” thank God, as they were very chewy and tasted rancid. However, the ten or so tiny pieces of bell pepper were definitely real, not so much because they actually tasted like bell pepper, but because I was burping them up all night (which is what always happens when I eat them — love bell peppers but they don’t love me). Bell peppers must be cheap as I’ve noticed that they are abundant in a lot of frozen dinners and frozen pizza.

I guess I shouldn’t have expected much for a dollar. It really made me wonder how much this entrée was to produce. I should have known that if it was selling for a dollar, the ingredients probably were much less than that. I bet the packaging cost more than the meal.

No more Michelina’s for me!

Dear Blog Letter

Feb. 5, 2014

Dear Blog,

Sorry I haven’t written in so long – almost six months as a matter of fact. I have no excuses; I’ve just been lazy. Kind of into my winter TV watching and hibernation mode.

Guess I have a little catching up to do. FYI, I recently printed up my past letters/posts to you for my mother to read. I was a little apprehensive to give them to her, but so far she likes what she has read.

Damn, I have to take a quick break. That overactive bladder commercial just came on and every time I see it, I have to pee.

Better now. Well, what’s been happening; gotta pause to think for a few.

Oh, I had a really nice rash for about five weeks in October and November. Nice subject, just filling you in on my exciting life. I thought the rash was ringworm (what a horrible name – it’s actually not a worm thank God, but a bacterial infection); however, it wasn’t ringworm but something called pityriasis rosea. Terrible rash that covered almost my entire body and it got a little itchy toward the last week or so. Went on the internet for the diagnosis and remedies – started taking multi-vitamins and used Head and Shoulders shampoo on the the rash and it was gone in one week. Thank God for WebMD. Turns out pityriasis rosea is a rash that is caused by a virus (due to a weakened immune system). I was super busy with dog walks during the month preceding the rash and also wasn’t sleeping well or eating right, hence the compromised immune system. Well, enough about that enthralling subject – I’m sure you’re thrilled to hear about my red, scaly rash (now you are certainly visualizing it – sorry . . .).

Christmas was all right, it’s always nice to spend time with family but not having Dad there always makes me a little melancholy. Hard to believe that Dad will have been gone two years this September. Christmas really is for kids you know, and being that there are no kids around during our Christmases, I suggested that our family should just draw names for gifts instead of spending so much money on multiple gifts, but no one really wanted to do that except one of my sisters. So, everyone is getting a Chia Pet this year.

I remember when I was a kid I knew it was really about to be Christmas when I saw the commercial with Santa riding down snow-covered slopes on a Norelco electric razor (lucky he wasn’t electrocuted). Over the last decade or so, I always knew that I had better start my shopping when the Chia Pet commercials came on. This year, I was horrified to find myself subjected to the Michael Bolton Honda commercials which seemed to air every five minutes. Thank God that yelling, copy-cat “singer” is no longer screaming at me from the TV. I am reminded of a great Michael Bolton impersonation by Jim Carrey. I searched youtube and they have it – check it out (just search Michael Bolton, Jim Carrey. It’s a video from the series “In Living Color”). The ending is a crack up (literally).

I reluctantly watched the Superbowl this year even though the 49ers weren’t in it and speaking of commercials, I was looking forward to seeing them because the game was so boring. Talk about a run away by the Seahawks. I didn’t really think too many of the commercials were noteworthy except the Budweiser commercial with the Clydesdales and the lab puppy. So cute, made me tear up a little at the end. Funny, I haven’t seen that commercial again and it was the best one.

I hated the Jack in the Box commercial for the “Bacon Insider” burger that featured a pig with horns (not in the burger that is, in the commercial). Some things just don’t seem right – you know, a pig with horns galavanting around to country music with a jack-in-the-box guy and people in red checkered shirts is “just not right” (not to mention, a hamburger with bacon inside the burger, strips of bacon and bacon infused mayonnaise which most likely results in bacon barfing).

That pig reminded me of when I was at a party and the family’s pet, a pot bellied pig, was snorting around the food tables. Someone was feeding it bacon – another “just not right” moment. Never liked cannibals. And, warning, this may gross you out but I just recalled yet another just not right moment. I opened our bathroom door, not knowing my husband was in there, and I was shocked at what I saw. He was sitting there, taking a crap (I assume, because he was sitting) while eating a Fudgsicle. That was definitely a just not right moment. With that visual, I will leave this subject behind (no pun intended).

Well, I’ve gone on long enough with this portion of my letter. Will resume later. As you know, Blog, my posts can be rather verbose.

March 7 9:30 p.m.

God, what a strange letter (what else is new?). Sorry about that Blog. I’m deciding whether I should post this or not. It’s not going the way I thought it would and I’m getting negative feelings about it. Well, that’s it for my first post in over six months. I will write again Blog but not in letter format. It just wasn’t the great idea I thought it would be but rather corny. Oh well on to better posts (hopefully) in the future . . .

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Plastic Surgery Clones

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Oct. 10 Noon

This post might get a little a ranty* so be forewarned! I didn’t originally plan on posting a rant about unnecessary, purely cosmetic plastic surgery as I could go on forever, but when I got my first look at the “new and improved” Snooki in the Sept. 16, 2013, issue of “In Touch” magazine, I couldn’t help but write about it. *Thanks to The Bloggess for coining the term “ranty” and proclaiming it a real word!

Snooki was my favorite cast member from “Jersey Shore” (yes, I admit it, I was a big fan of JS) and I was happy that she looked so good as a result of losing almost fifty pounds after having her baby (her body looks great); however, I was shocked when I saw the following photo which accompanied the “In Touch” article:

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Where is Snooki? I don’t recognize the much older looking woman in that photo. What happened to the innocent faced, carefree girl with that big genuine smile (pointy teeth and all). She has been replaced with a plastic looking “Snooki” with perfect teeth, what looks like an altered nose and slightly elevated eyebrows (her eyes look rather odd also). Why do eyebrow lifts always seem to make the person look like they’ve just been goosed? (“Goosed,” if you don’t know what it means, is when someone grabs your ass or other parts in that general area).

Obviously, I don’t really know if Snooki had facial plastic surgery (new teeth for sure) and my tendency would be to believe her recent denials about it instead of believing what the media says, but she just looks so different in the following before and after photos:

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(Some of the differences are obviously due to weight loss)

After reading the “In Touch” article, I Googled “Snooki plastic surgery” and in addition to the above photo, I found the following shot of Snooki and Jwoww which was posted by Snooki on her Instagram account (the photo she posted did not have the comments in the “clouds”). Snooki looks pretty damn good compared to the plastic surgery nightmare that once was Jwoww.

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Jwoww’s before and after photos below are shocking. The plastic surgeon succeeded in making a woman in her mid-twenties look forty.

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I am reminded of another plastic surgery disaster while writing this. Heidi Montag (TV series “The Hills”) is yet another young woman who chose plastic surgery to alter her already beautiful visage (before and after shots below).

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(I spared you full-body before and after photos)

Two months after her ten plastic surgery procedures, Heidi visited her mother (Darlene Egelhoff) in Colorado and it was not quite the happy reunion and reaction that Heidi expected. Darlene was very upset at the way Heidi looked and didn’t hesitate in telling her so.

Darlene asked Heidi “Why would you want to look like Barbie? To everyone else that saw you, you were Heidi. Noboby in the world could have looked like Heidi Montag.”

Heidi then asked her mom “Do I look good?”

Her mother replied “How do I go and say that of course I thought you were more beautiful before? I thought you were younger, fresher-looking . . . you were much more beautiful before and I hope that some of this will fade away.”

After the upsetting reunion, Heidi said about her mom: “She was looking at me almost like a zoo animal. It was like I wasn’t her daughter anymore. She was looking at me like I was a circus freak.” (I wonder why . . . )

Heidi went on to say “I think she was most upset because Spencer was there for me (after the surgery) and she wasn’t.”

No Heidi, your mom wasn’t upset about that at all. Get a clue. Your mom was upset because that pretty little girl, who she raised and watched grow up into a beautiful woman, didn’t look like her daughter anymore, but more like a circus freak.

It’s sad that so many young women go under the knife, to become a plastic surgeon’s cookie-cutter version of the perfect woman, instead of embracing their own unique beauty.

When I showed my sister the before and after photos in this post she said “It’s like they sucked all the character from their faces. They look generic.” I couldn’t have summed it up better myself.