Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Do You Draft Much?

Good morning, Loves.

I know I’ve been off the beaten path lately, but I know you’ll understand. I’ve got an entire draft that was going to explain what’s been going on, but it turned into something else and went off the rails a bit. Sometimes I do that. So that draft needs refining. We’ll see, I guess… I have eight drafts for posts I’ve been working on but I’m never happy with.

I can’t be the only one that does that. I think for every entry that I post, I typically have two or three drafts. I just merged a few of them and deleted several others in an effort to simplify. At one point I had a couple of dozen drafts.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who does that. Right?

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Luna of My Heart

I’m so very sad. No, not sad, I’m feeling grief. My poor, sweet Luna Tinkerbelle passed away in my arms on Sunday. The surgery she had to remove the necrotic cancer gave her an additional four weeks of life she wouldn’t have otherwise had, according to her vet, and so I’m grateful. I’m still upset that I don’t get to have more time with her.

I’m upset that she had to have a recurrence of the cancer, but more than that, I’m upset that the cancer wasn’t enough. Luna had to cope with strokes too. Before that, all she dealt with was some discomfort under her hind legs from the new tumors as she went upstairs. She was still happy, social, sweet. Friday she was still eating and sassy. She didn’t complain about help with the staircase. Luna still enjoyed doing it on her own, and settling on the landing as her favorite perch where she could see and hear both upstairs and downstairs.

I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise, but looking back there were clues. She slept on my bed a lot these past two weeks. She didn’t eat all of her kibble breakfast Sunday. For a few days, her breathing was noticeably heavier. She hid in the basement more two days in a row. She came up when Darling Girl called her, but couldn’t make it upstairs to the bedrooms. Darling Girl started to bring her up, and Luna began to drool. I took her and she had belly pain when there was any pressure there. She struggled in pain, unable to make sounds, and all I could do was hold her, snuggle her, tell her it would be all right, we love her, give her scritches, have her family around her. She was calm in the end, seeing us all. She passed away looking in my eyes.

She was spoiled with treats. She made it to her 11th adoptaversary, officially. On her adoptaversary she was spoiled with her favorite wet food. The girls took a lot of pictures and short videos of her. We made sure she was the happiest, most comfortable cat she could be.

I thought that I would be prepared with knowing how sick Luna Tinkerbelle was for her passing. Logically, I guess so. Emotionally, not so much.

It’s hit me really hard. It’s hitting my family hard. We kept our girls home yesterday, and when we took Luna’s body to the vet in the morning for cremation, we let the girls come with us. We let the girls transport Luna in her homemade cat house that Darling Girl had made with such care. Daisy Pearl did her very best to take care of Sweet Girl yesterday as she cried on my bed. I think that sweet cat needed us as much as we need her; she witnessed the difficulties Luna had at the end, knew Luna was sick, and we let her “say good-bye” before taking Luna from the house yesteday.

There’s so much sorrow in our home. The loss of Luna is felt so profoundly. She was such a huge personality, and made sure that her presence was always known. She talked with us, really thinking she was having full fledged conversations. She understood being told “yes” or “no.” She cussed me out in Cattish a couple of times, mimicking Complaining Teeneager Tones, and I swear she People Toned, “BITCH!” at me in Cattish once or twice. But she mostly let me know she loved me back at least as much as I loved her, as we loved her. I think Luna believed she was one of the girls. In my heart, she was.

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I have a new update on my sweet Bombay cat, Luna Tinkerbelle. I used the GoFundMe as a blog again. I updated the name of the campaign, and the link too, considering the situation has changed, sadly.

Here it is:


Help Luna, Bombay: Necrotic Cancer [Necrotic Cancer in Cats, Luna click here, link for update goes to GFM]


I wish the update were more positive. I love this cat like a child. She’s been a part of our family for 11 years, a very important part of our family.

If you already follow me on Twitter, you may have read this update already.

I hope you’ll forgive me for sharing the GFM. Living paycheck-to-paycheck is difficult, and it still feels like a kick in the teeth asking virtual strangers for help. My main reason for sharing the link here, in my blog, is for sharing the actual update. The story. Not to pitch for the money, or the shares. I simply don’t have it in me to write an entirely new blog entry updating something that we’re still reeling from.

Thank you for understanding. Thank you for reading. Love always.

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Good morning, Loves. I hope that this entry finds you well, with the same for any animal companions that you may have. A couple of Thursdays ago, we brought our beloved Bombay cat, Luna to our vet.

For a few months she’s had a bump, which we thought was a cyst that cats her age tend to get, on her left hind-quarters that broke through the skin, in part because she fussed at it, but it ended up growing to become about the width of a silver dollar and almost an inch thick. It was often filled with little blood pockets that needed to be drained, but it always seemed kind of healed.

At one point, the middle of it was extremely soft, formed a little hole, and drained some blood, but it was thick and starting to clot. I cleaned it, and it seemed okay. Then a couple of weeks later, after keeping the area clean and sterile, the area needed to drain again and instead of blood a hole appeared in the center and it drained at least a few tablespoons of what looked like pus. But it wasn’t really.

I feel terrible that we didn’t take her to the vet right then. Unfortunately, money played a part in putting things off. I rationalized it for weeks. Luna seemed to feel fine. She was eating normally, it seemed; and behaved like she always has, it seemed. She sassed when it was time to clean the wound. It healed over, sort of. It would scab. But the cyst never went away. Pieces of it started to fall away, and that was a sign that things weren’t well at all.

And then over the course of a week and a half I noticed, and so did Bunny, that the wound wasn’t healing over. Either she was fussing at it and making it worse, or it had simply stopped healing. The entire cyst was bare of skin and scabs, and not healing over. Luna’s attitude wasn’t sassy so much as,


Not only that, but the hole that had been healed over reopened and it was white. We thought it was pus, but it was the cyst. I continued to keep it clean, but that last week before we finally took her to see the vet it began to smell bad and it was as if it was falling apart. She was also feeling pain and was beginning to limp; it was most obvious seeing her walk upstairs. We finally were able to take her to the vet on Thursday, August 23rd.

As soon as the vet saw her he knew it was Necrotic Cancer. Luckily it’s only on her skin and not attached to bone, muscle, tendon, or anything else. He suggested surgery for today, but let us think about it since our finances have been hit hard over the past year or two, and we’ve been struggling. However, the vet called Friday morning and told us that while the surgery is her very best chance of survival, she needed the surgery the very following Monday.

As soon as we heard all of this, it felt as if my heart stopped. I felt relief in knowing what was wrong, and hearing she had great odds. At the same time, incredible stress at the “what ifs.”

There was never a question about getting it done. There was a question about how to pay. I detest GFM, and yet I found myself starting one for her, and I’ve been using that as a sort of blog therapy regarding Luna. All this time, I forgot I HAVE a blog where I could share the Go Fund Me, ha ha. Initially we were quoted $2,000. We told the vet how much of a struggle that would be financially. He knocked off some of the things that weren’t essential, and that helped. Then during the surgery, due to Luna’s size and what they actually used and needed there, they brought the cost down some more. We brought it down to $1,000 on the Go Fund Me, to try to help defray costs and pay for the CareCredit.

I hope that you’ll check it out at this link here, maybe share it and help us out. If you feel inclined, a donation would be helpful even if it’s only $5 or $1.00. I promise, we’re not anything like those people who defrauded that poor homeless man. That sort of behavior is appalling, and I’m thankful they were caught. I know it makes people wary of trusting, and I understand that too. Thank you.

Saving Luna From Necrotic Cancer – Go Fund Me Link – Click Here

We’re so very lucky that Luna had a successful surgery. We’re so lucky she’s been healing well. She hates, hates, hates her antibiotic with the passion of a thousand exploding suns. Twice a day. But her personality, her real one, is back. She’s doing her catwalk all over the house again, and happy to go up and down the stairs. She’s sassy and silly, versus grumpy old lady. Well, the antibiotic dosing makes her grumpy and she can hold a grudge, but still. Forgiveness with a snuggle and a treat. I think back, and realize how unlike herself she really was. She was still Luna, but a grumpy and muted version of herself, clearly in pain.

If I could do it over, I’d take her to the vet before the tumor became necrotic. I’m grateful we still have her, but we almost didn’t.

Snuggle your pets. Take their weird bumps to get looked at. They might be nothing, and it’s better to pay a $65 visit for reassurance that it’s nothing than a $1,000 – 2,500 surgery for something deadly.

But you know what? Not once did the staff or vet ever make us feel guilty that we didn’t take Luna in sooner. The vet said I did the right thing in keeping her clean, and noting when things changed dramatically. I thought that was kind. We did what we could when we could, and even though it stings the pride, we’re asking for help with the funding. I still feel guilty, but I don’t think Luna holds it against me.

The truth is that when it comes to our animal companions, they trust us to care for them to the best of our ability. Sometimes, our ability is a little lacking. The same can be said when it comes to other things in life. We’re not perfect pet parents. We’re not perfect mothers, fathers, friends, sons, daughters, grandchildren, employees, supervisors, teachers, police, doctors, but we all do our very best. We have these ideals in mind, saying we’ll “always” or we’d “never” but the fact is that the only thing we can really do is promise to do our best with our best intentions.

With that, love to you.


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Do you have siblings?

I do. I have two brothers, both younger. BroOne, who has two daughters, is two years younger than I am. BroTwo, who has two sons, is ten years younger than I am. Yes… I’m the eldest. In case you haven’t been able to tell from my writing over the years and my parenting style, I’m an eldest child.

Are you close to your siblings?

When I was growing up, I wasn’t close to BroOne but I was loyal to him. We had a lot of sibling rivalry, which I’m sure my shrink would say is due to the fact that we’re two years apart. [NOTE: That’s what she says is the reason my lovely Dear Girl has rivalous feelings towards Sweet Girl and Darling Girl. SIDE NOTE 2: Eldest of mine, Dear Girl and I chatted, and she shall henceforth be known as Bunny. That is all] We fought constantly as kids. My mom tells this story, which I remember because I was so distressed: I was little and he was a baby. I had this amazing little musical carousel for little kids, and it was one of my favorite toys. It ranked up there with Barbie dolls. We’re talking serious child currency, here. Well, my mom played the musical carousel for my tiny brother and I was devastated she took my toy and “gave” it to him without asking. I took it back, hefted it under one arm, and stomped down the stairs declaring the whole way down that it wasy MY toy, NOT my brother’s, and he wasn’t allowed to touch it. My mom didn’t do that again. She asked to share other toys that had less value to me after that, ha ha. I think that set the tone for our entire childhood and majority of our teen years.

We, BroOne and I, began to fight less frequently in high school. I think it’s because we were both out of the house less, and a lot of our friends were siblings to each other. There was always loyalty, though. We may have driven my mother up and down every wall in the house due to our constant fighting and bickering, but when it mattered we were loyal to each other. I hated seeing him in serious trouble, so I started to protect him at home when I could. Once, I locked him out of the house when my parents were out and he was so angry with me he tried to kick the door in. It was a wood door, and getting old, and it cracked in a few places. We had to press the door back into place but the cracks were huge. We found wood glue, filled them in, and then found wood stain to match it to the door. It was a bonding moment. Ha, see what I did there? Wenever told my parents until I told my mom after they were planning to replace that door. She still couldn’t tell the door had been essentially broken since I was 14/15 years old.

And of course, no one could bully him in school. No one. I’ve always been anti-bully, but to family? Oh no.

We got a lot closer when he met his now-wife. We’re close enough now that he’s Godfather to two of my daughters; I’m Godmother to both of his daughters. I have a great relationship with his wife, and always have. She’s an incredible woman, wife, and mother. I envy her in a lot of ways. I’ll bet she’d be shocked to know that. That said, we have a lot of things in common in our lives including health issues, but mostly in our views on life and parenting. I would do anything for BroOne and SisOne. Their girls are like my own daughters. People say that, but having daughters of my own, I know what that love feels like.

I think I was closer to BroTwo when we were younger. Since he was born when I was a skinny little ten year old girl, and I was thrilled to have a baby in the house, I helped take care of him. I didn’t even mind most nights when he woke up to be fed and changed; I would change him and warm his bottle so my mom could feed him. Sometimes I would feed him myself during the night, just snuggling on my bed. I begged to have him in my room. His crib was in my room until he was three years old. I learned how to care for a baby, and as he got older I learned to babysit during the summers. I loved it. We had a rough couple of years, which I believe I blogged about at one point. We have a much, much better relationship now, but it’s not like it was. We’re still working on it, finding the balance. I’m not sure he feels the distance, but what’s really good is that since his boys were born it’s been easier to relate to his wife. I love them, I love those boys. I love spending time with them. They’re generous and BroTwo is Godfather to Bunny. That’s important to me.

Do you visit your siblings often?

We try to visit with them as often as we can. We live about 18 miles away from my brothers, and around the same from our parents. When we bought our house, we were in a stage where we needed some physical space from the family where no one could simply drop in without calling first. It’s different when family lives anywhere between 2-to-6 miles away. Now, 14 years later, we miss that closeness. I think part of it has to do with the fact that my brothers both have children, and also miss getting to see my nieces and nephews from my Spousal Unit’s side more often too.

I never thought, growing up, that I would feel a need to be physically close to all of our siblings. I guess we’re lucky that they’re only about 20 minutes or so away, for the most part. One of my husband’s sisters lives about 40 minutes away. They’re all in state, so there’s that. We mostly see each other at my parents’ house but that may be changing. We also see each other for events we might host at a restaurant or something, or another family member does.

Do you babysit your siblings’ children?

Most often, when I do babysit, it’s BroTwo’s and SisOne’s girls. Recently, Darling Girl [my youngest, 13 years old] and I went to BroTwo’s house to babysit all four Littles. Both of my brothers and their wives had an event to attend, and it made sense. GoddaughterOne is seven years old now, so she’s not quite so little, but her sister, GoddaughterTwo is three years old. NephewFour [we have three nephews on my husband’s side of the family] is also three years old, and his little brother, NephewFive is two years old.

My brothers left pizza and we had a lot of [tiring] fun that evening. It had been awhile since I’d cared for multiple toddlers before; not since my best friend’s children were toddlers at the same time Bunny and Sweet Girl were toddlers.

While watching the kids, I was thankfully able to use the ladies’ room due to having brought my youngest daughter. LIFE HACK: When you babysit multiple toddlers, limit your fluids that evening.

BroTwo has crucifixes on nearly every wall in his home, and images of Jesus on several walls. He’s very, very dedicated and passionate in his Faith. He has several statues around the house too. Upstairs he has a beautiful, simple, distraction-free prayer room.

While in the ladies’ room, I noticed one or two religious inspirational quotes sticky-noted to the mirror. One says, “God, Others, Self,” which is kind of nice.

As a child, whenever my parents or the priest during homily or my CCD teachers would say,

“God is always watching you; Jesus knows your heart and is always watching,”

I would always, always get nervous not because I have something to hide but because I wanted to ask if that included showering and using the toilet and changing my clothes. Therefore…. The statue of Jesus on the window sill of my brother’s bathroom gives me heebie jeebies.


Jesus Statue, image from Amazon

Jesus, with a kind, loving expression on his face, one hand raised to his Sacred Heart and the other palm facing outward, is facing the toilet most often; sometimes the shower. I swear the eyes on that statue, that particular statue have a mischievous glint in them. He knows what I’m about to do, and it’s like He’s daring me. Or maybe He’s begging me, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s a bit of both. Based on stories told about him in the Bible, and stories Jesus told, I know Jesus had/has a sense of humor. Plus, if he would never force his way into anyone’s home to witness, he’d never, ever force his way into someone’s toilet.

Just sayin’.

So I take up the dare.

Every time I’m in the bathroom, I turn Jesus to face out the window to get a nice view of the trees and creek in the yard. I love Jesus and all, but I doubt he really wants to see me peeing. I say a quick prayer when I turn Jesus.

“Hi Jesus, it’s me, Jessica. But you know that. You’re Jesus. So hey, here goes.

Dear Jesus,

Most holy, he who sacrifeced his life so that we could have eternal life in Heaven, I have the utmost respect for you. My brother has this statue of you in his bathroom. Please don’t be offended when I turn it away from the toilet. I know you’re not in the statue, but it feels like a privacy thing. I’m sure you can understand. Toileting stuff probably isn’t even your thing anyway. I apologize for any offense I may have caused you. You’re still awesome.


P.S. I love you

Double Amen

And every time I come over, there’s Jesus facing the toilet. Again.

And every single time, I get the overwhelming feeling that I have to turn Jesus away from the toilet. I’m not turning away from Jesus. No, no I’m not. I’m turning Jesus away from something he doesn’t need to see. I stay out of Jesus’ toileting business, he can stay out of mine.

I finally admitted it to my brother when we were about to leave after babysitting. He chuckled. So I’mma keep on doing it.

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We all have rainy days, right? Sometimes those rainy days last a long time. We’ve been dealing with some rainy days since I had to stop working a year ago, as we expected. We had hoped that by now my SSDI would’ve kicked in.

There were some issues on my end and with losing a doctor last year that made it so that when I received a denial, I couldn’t simply appeal. I had made a mistake in paperwork that I couldn’t fix in the necessary timeframe. The added nuisance of having a doctor leave the practice made things worse, especially since there wasn’t another doctor subbing part time until the new one took over.

I had to wait it out until I knew I had at least one appointment with the new doctor; I had to have all of my paperwork, documents, records, etc. in order. I had to make certain that all of my doctors had things in order and would agree to comply with my wishes to turn over files and speak to SSDI.

I applied this past March. I knew I was missing a couple of things, but the application online wouldn’t allow me to go back and fix certain things the way it had in the past. That’s all right. I knew that if I received a denial letter then I would just provide the documents necessary and I’d finally get the benefits. Right?

No. I had everything in order, the denial letter stated. The problem? I didn’t have enough work credits?

Oh yes I do.

I filled out the Reconsideration Paperwork with an explanation of why I believed they needed to reconsider accepting my application ie. reopen the damn thing and appeal their decision. I had the paperwork to prove I have all of my work credits AND that I’ve been disabled long enough to be covered under the SSDI disability insurance.

I received a phone call within a couple of weeks from “my worker” who received the copy of my W-2 form. She looked up my work history and lo’ and behold, there it was. My 2016 and 2017 work history proving I not only worked but earned all credits. The worker was surprised since they “don’t usually overlook things like that.”

Was it my fault they overlooked two years of work history? That someone didn’t bother checking to see if I had earned all of my credits, had my documents in order, and simply denied my claim with a reason that wasn’t true?

The issue was enough to reopen my case, and make certain that if/when I get approved for benefits it’s the March application date. I was so relieved, it felt like a weight I’d been carrying around for years had been lifted. Then she said,

“There’s another problem. It’ll be treated like a new application. It’ll be prorated back to March of this year when you applied, however… it must be treated like a brand new application instead of an appeal. You can fill out a paper application or have a phone interview in a few weeks.”

“What do you mean, a new application? I thought the only issue was finding the proof that I had worked and was qualified for the insurance?”

“Well… yes, but because of how it happened on our end, it has to be treated like a new application. Just make sure that you have records of all of your medical tests and hospital stays; broken bones, serious illnesses; your specialists, doctors… okay, pretty much everything. If you have the printout of your March application that’ll help too.”

“But won’t you guys have my application in the system to refer to?”

“Um… yeah. They should.”

“I’m not feeling very confident right now. Should I just make an appointment in the local office so I can make sure this is all done?”

“Oh, no, no you’ll end up sitting with the representative for an hour or more. On the phone it should only take a few minutes but no more than half an hour.”

“I thought you said they’ll treat it as a whole new application? It took me, like, five hours to do the online application, maybe more. I had to do it over a couple of days.”

“You ask a lot of questions! LOL”

“Consider it a career hazard of being a mother and former disability advocate.”


“So is this a brand new application? Or an appeal?”

“It’s an appeal that must be a new application. But it’ll be prorated to March.”

As you can imagine, there’s nothing in that conversation that reassured me. I did what I needed to do, or what I think I needed to do.

I had the phone appointment this morning with a very nice woman.

She was under the impression that it was a brand new application, but she was, thankfully, able to pull information from the March application. I didn’t bother asking her about the prorating. She said she read all of the other rep’s notes.

It took an hour. She added new information. I ended up crying, and I could hear her typing what I was saying while crying. She was really sweet and understanding, and very patient with me. I had some issues with my speech and word recall, but she was understanding. She didn’t help with the word recall, but she couldn’t.

Basically, we went over my doctors, medical records, tests done, hospital stays, surgeries and reasons, how my daily life is affected, when my hours were cut at work, when I was forced to stop, etc. She asked a lot of questions. I answered them all as best as I could, and if something felt related I asked if she could use that info. She took down everything.

She didn’t mind when I became emotional. She was very empathetic. I appreciated that quite a bit, because this has been something I’ve been far more anxious about than I realized I would be. It’s different being the one going through this than helping someone go through it. I know what to do and say intellectually. It’s far different when suddenly, my disabilities are affecting what I’m saying and contributing to in my own application. I worry that I’ve made a wrong or contradicting answer, or messed up in a date.

There’s so much more floating in my head I want to say, to purge, but I have an impending headache. I think it’s partially stress, partially “about to rain” going on. I feel something going on up in the clouds.

I also feel as if I may just get something done with SSDI now. The woman did tell me that the doctors will now get paperwork to fill out, possibly get interviewed. I’ll also be receiving more paperwork to fill out for further details. Kind of like testimony. From here on out it should take “no more than five months” but it depends on me getting my paperwork in for the decision to be on time.


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Don’t normalize President Elmo. Just because he can only count to five doesn’t excuse the poopy news he puts out. Granted, while being a poopy doody head explains some things, it doesn’t excuse anything.


I have my 17 year old daughter to thank for this. I really had no choice but to share the laughs. Imagining Trump as a spoiled toddler most days is a coping mechanism and then here comes Elmo. 😀 I’m dead.

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