Raising a Blended Family

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

on November 18, 2013

Y’all. I know this blog has been pretty quiet around here lately, and I think you deserve an explanation.

The defeaning silence around here has been the sound of us getting our asses kicked, on so many fronts… quietly.

And by “quietly,” I mean several different things. First, that I have not posted here much because I have been tired/downtrodden/not felt like it/etc. When life gets so hard it just doesn’t leave a lot of desire for a social life leftover, including social blogging.

But second, I literally do mean we have been getting our asses kicked quietly in that we have not talked about us getting our asses kicked, or just how much we are getting our asses kicked, to many people or to great extent. Mostly we have been silent about it and suffered through it all quietly, and people who would normally be our support network have been left out of the loop or told the barest extent, or only recently let in on the gig.

I think this is because all of this has to do, largely, with money. In our society money is something that is taken for granted a lot of the time. You plan a day out with your girlfriends and you go out to eat (kaching), walk around downtown, poke into shops (kaching kaching) and drive all over (kaching empty gas tank kaching) in the name of fun. Or someone invites you out to the local high school production of the latest musical (kaching x 3 family members) as a fun way to spend a Friday night. In the summer there are parks and free open outdoor spaces to hold gatherings, but even those involve money when someone says hey! Let’s do a pitch in! Can you bring ________? (Grocery trip to the store, kaching). My point is, a lot of being social involves spending money. No one wants to be the person who just.can’t.afford twenty for those high school musical tickets, or even TEN for that pitch in, and so you say “oh, I can’t, I had plans” or “no, I think we’ll stay in tonight” and before you know it you’re wedged tighter in your shell than a damn hermit crab.

It is shaming to be broke. It is shaming to have NO extra money to spare. Society tells us that worth is based on money and you never realize how ingrained this message is until you don’t have any dollars to spend and your bank account starts with a negative sign.

So, we have stayed silent, hoping for things to get better and wanting the world to right itself again without our having to out ourselves. I finally had a sobbing conversation with my mother in which I admitted to her the hole we were because we had some bills that had to be paid and we had to have help. Even then, I felt terribly guilty and horrible admitting it- and this was to my own mother. It was shaming to have to ask for help.

Since then, things have started to look like they are on the upswing, thank god. We had to have some hard conversations and change some things. And, I am going back to work. I start next week and while it is not my ideal job and certainly not a career, it will pay the bills and put food on the table while I look for something else and for that I am thankful. Another result of our hard conversation is that I will be going back to school sooner rather than later. I need a CAREER, not just a job, and for that I need to go back to school. I’m starting some prerequisite classes in January and hoping to start my actual program in June. We will have to figure out childcare now that I will no longer be a full time stay at home mom, and I am mourning the end of that time period (whole other post!) but we will do what we have to do for our family. The bright streak (well, more of a glimmer) in the middle of all this gloom is that Shorty finally heard back from
Federal and was told…a timeline. Not a start date, but a timeline of when she will HAVE a start date by. It is frustrating but the point is, she WILL have a start date. She WILL start this job. We just have to be patient a bit longer (they said by January 1).

So that’s the money stuff starting to look up. Unfortunately, though, the ass-kicking is not all about money. We had a bit of tragedy strike our family last week and it sucked so hard. We were fostering a dog (remember my last post) who didn’t work out (because she would not go to the bathroom OUTDOORS) and when we returned her, they asked us if we wanted to foster another dog. We said sure, which is how we ended up with Lokey. Lokey was part Husky, part grey wolf (they think) and he was the PRETTIEST dog I have ever seen.



We picked him up Thursday night and took him home, but the lady lived out in the country so we didn’t get home until late. We brought him in, let him sniff around the house and meet everyone, and then I took him into the yard to do his doggy business. He was more interested in sniffing than going pee so I figured a bit of a walk might help to get him to go. We went on the walk around the block and he stayed calmly at my side the whole time, not pulling on the leash at all. On the corner of my block though, a mere three houses from home, a person on the other side of the street walking two little dogs spooked him, and he jerked hard away from me. He jerked once, twice, three times and on the third time he slipped his collar and took off like a bat out of hell. I knew I wouldn’t catch him so I ran down to the house, grabbed my keys and took off after him in the car. By then (9pm) there was no sign of him and Shorty and I spent the rest of the night searching on foot and by car in our neighborhood and surrounding areas. I was literally up until two am, searching for this dog and hoping we would find him. We never did and I contacted our foster coordinator to make a plan for the morning- fliers, checking with each humane society, Facebook, and more searching. It never came to that though- I was up early the next morning and as I drove under a bridge a mile from the house I found him. He had been hit by a car and left there. It was HORRIBLE and I literally stood there sobbing while traffic slowed around me. I called Shorty at work and she rushed over to me and helped me to take him home. It was horrible. We had been looking forward all week to getting this dog, he was AMAZING and well behaved and beautiful, and I just really really wanted him to be our forever dog. Compounding the fuckidyness (yes, I made up my own word) was that his former owner had only surrendered him because she had to and had been in tears over it… and I got to be the one to call and tell her her dog had escaped us and been hit, on his FIRST NIGHT HOME no less. Seriously, it sucked. I don’t think it could have sucked any more.

And, the final shoe contributing to the giant ass kicking we’ve been recieving is that the 15th, the same day we found Lokey, was also the five year anniversary of Shorty’s father’s death. He died suddenly in a hunting accident five years ago and every year, November is hard… But this year and that day especially sucked, especially for my poor wife. Let’s just say that I was not a happy camper that day and she was really REALLY not a happy camper. We were both relieved when it was finally time to go to bed and put that day behind us.

In summary, we’re kind of a hot mess around here. November has sucked and although December looks to be kinder, I am quite frankly excited to see the end of this whole damn year. Fast forward to January, please. I’m ready for a new start.

/end blog silence.


3 responses to “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

  1. meridith says:

    Oh my goodness – that is a lot. I’m sad for the loss of Lokey. I can’t imagine how you must have felt meeting him, losing him and finding him. Just that one thing would be enough for any family. In fact any one of these things would be enough for anyone. On the money front, I completely understand. It’s the hardest thing to have nothing to spend or worse, to watch the hole growing bigger. The economy has been brutal and the prices of even the basics keep going up. It makes it hard to keep up when milk costs more every other week. I say all that to say that I get it and I’m sorry it has been so hard. I’m thinking of you all!

  2. I’m so sorry that you guys have had to deal with all of this. *big, long-distance, hugs*

  3. Isa says:

    I’m so sorry. That’s just terrible about Lokey–all of it. And I’m sorry about the money stuff, too. It’s just really hard to balance everything these days–even though the economy is supposedly back up, I feel like a lot of people are still in your position and struggling still. January is soon, though! And the one thing about daycare is that at this age, it’s really fun for them. We cajole E out the door by offering to take her to daycare. Which doesn’t help you being sad for not being able to stay home, but at least you can know that he’ll be getting something good out of the situation.

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