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Ben September 24, 2012

Mr. D has four children. I don’t know if some of you knew that. I also don’t know if you knew that all of the children lived with us when we first got married. That’s right, I was Carol Brady. I loved it, I really did. I loved every single one of those kids like they were my own children.

Then something happened which made it impossible for one of the children to live with us. He went to live with his mother. Even with the circumstances we still tried to have a relationship with him. He’s made it clear on several occasions that he wants nothing to do with his father or me.

Shortly after he left the other two kids were coerced to leave and live with their mother. Ben being one of them. I was heartbroken, we all were.

Samantha stayed with us. I’ve never asked her why. Her strength, even as a sixteen year old girl helped us get through the adjustment of not having the others there.

Kameron was sad for obvious reasons. He had this big family, then they were gone. It was hard for him and we got him some counseling. I think he’s turned out to be a pretty good kid.

Over the years Mr. D tried to stay in contact with the three that were gone. When the oldest boy said “look I like it when you take me places and get me things, but as far as just hanging out with you, I’m not interested.” The youngest girl said “I don’t want to have a relationship with you right now, and I don’t know if I will ever again.” It hurts me for them because Mr. D is a incredible man. I know from personal experience I would give anything just to spend time with my father again. They are loosing something very precious, I feel they will regret their actions someday.

Then there’s Ben. Benny Boo. The last time I saw Ben he was eleven. With infectious eyes and a sweet laugh, Ben was a charmer. He liked ketchup on everything. Grilled cheese with ketchup and tomato soup. It still makes me shake my head. Ben is the only kid, other than Samantha, that has kept in touch with Mr. D. I guess for about six months now they’ve been having lunch or going to movies. Mr. D always seemed happier after seeing Ben, I encouraged him to keep talking and seeing him as much as possible.

There have been a couple of times that my ex ditched Kameron for the weekend and he would be at home when Mr. D went to go see Ben. He wouldn’t make a big deal out of it but Kameron knew what was going on. So yesterday I asked if Mr. D thought Ben would mind if Kameron went to lunch with them. He called and Ben said that would be ok. Kameron was so excited, and I was excited for him.

As they left, I felt happy and sad at the same time. I thought it was great that Kameron was going to be able to see Ben, but I wanted to see him too.

I knew they were going to lunch and a movie, I figured they would find something to do between their stops. That’s when Mr. D called me and said they were going to swing by the house. “Ok” was what I thought I said and hung up the phone. Anxiously I waited to hear the door come open.

I was in the kitchen when Kameron walked past me with a big grin on his face. Then Mr. D came in, behind him was Ben. A much taller Ben with a much deeper voice when he said “hi” to me. I stood in front of him and said “well I certainly didn’t think I was going to have to look up to you to see your face” (seriously the kid is taller than Mr. D.) Ben grinned and bent down and gave me a hug.

It was one of the best hugs of my life.

Little steps I tell myself, but yesterday was a great start.


Primitive Pleasures Candles September 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 3:55 pm

Move over Yankee Candle, seriously, you’re in Primitive Pleasures Way.

I fell in love with these candles a couple of years ago at Anderson Orchard Pleasant View location. My mistake was I only bought one $12.00 jar candle. That’s right, not a $20.00 Yankee Candle, twelve bucks! After burning my Creme Brulee candle for a day I realized I needed more! Presents, one for every room in my house! (Although you don’t need it – the rich, delightful smell covers the entire house.) I went back to the orchard, apparently the word had spread because they were all gone!

I immediately went home to look up their website – they don’t have one. Looked up a phone number and contacted them. I spoke with a very kind gentleman that thanked me for calling and expressed appreciation for finding their company and my desire to have more of their delicious smelling candles.  I ordered only six (big mistake.) I asked the gentleman about having a website or a Facebook page in order to boost sales. He said he appreciated it, but just wasn’t interested at this time.  I was ready to give him my credit card number when he said he would send the candles and just send me an invoice for the balance. Was he kidding? Apparently not, I got my candles in just a few days with a thank you written on the invoice and a few of their other smaller candles to sample. Really.

This year I planned ahead to go to the orchard to get my candles, and perhaps a caramel apple. Got there, looked around no Creme Brulee candles to be found. I inquired with the people working the counter. They informed me they received a delivery earlier, 24 candles, one woman came in and bought them all earlier that day. Seriously?

So I called (I really love these candles.) Spoke to the same kind gentleman. Ordered my candles, no shipping cost. I got them today, sent out their check. I already have a delicious smell throughout my house. I love these candles!!  My surprise this year is a Cinnamon Bun Fragrance Oil. Smelled it, yum!!

I’m not crazy, I asked them about promoting their product on Facebook. They said they were happy with the business they had, and appreciated my business.

Damn if they don’t have the best candles.
Primitive Pleasures Candles

4871 East CR 900 South

Cloverdale, Indiana 46120



Questions You Wish You Didn’t Ask September 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 1:47 pm

I was driving home with Kameron after picking him up from school yesterday. I’ve mentioned our drives and time to talk or catch up on the way home in previous posts. Kameron isn’t much of a talker unless it’s something he wants to talk about. I’m finding this is typical of 13 year old boys in general.

It’s been a gloomy week. A week of memories from three years ago. My Dad being at home alive, and in an instant gone. Just gone. It’s still hard for me to think about. With the help of grief counseling I can talk about my Dad most of the time now without crying. Sometimes, Mr. D and I can recall something Dad said or did and we can laugh about it, but there is always a pause or a silence after the laugh. It’s still not comfortable for me. I’ve caught myself over the last couple of weeks picking up my phone a few times to call my Dad about something that I would normally call him about. Then I remind myself that he’s not going to answer, and I cry.

Saturday he will be gone for three years. I’ve had people tell me that as time passes it gets easier, that’s a lie. Just because you don’t see someone physically crying, doesn’t mean that they aren’t on the inside.

With my Dad on my mind, I wonder who else is thinking of him. I know my family is, in their own way. I’ve discovered through grief counseling that people grieve in very different ways, my family especially.

For some reason I was compelled to ask Kameron about “Pop” yesterday on our drive home. So I asked “Kam, do you ever think about Pop?” He thought about it for a second and said “not so much anymore.” I have to be honest, I was very angry. I don’t normally bring up subjects that would make Kameron uncomfortable. I thought that we had a connection with my Dad that would never go away, how could you possibly not think about Johnno?

Then I thought back to when my Dad lost his father. It was definitely a different situation. I don’t remember my grandfather even walking. I remember him in a hospital bed in the middle of the living room at my grandparents house. My grandfather never took me golfing, never took me shopping, never really paid attention to me actually. Although, I have heard stories from my older cousins of being spoiled by my grandfather, which doesn’t surprise me, he was a very kind, generous man. I wish I had better memories than a wheel chair and a hospital bed.

Back to Kameron and his passive answer about my dad. I don’t remember what age I was when my Dad’s father died, I’m thinking it’s pretty close to the same age that Kameron is now. I just remember being bored with the funeral arrangements and all the people that were coming to the house. People I have never met before, bringing food, plants, and cards. They were overcrowding our 650 square foot Norwaldo address and I remember being annoyed. Not being shy, I asked when all these people were going to leave. I remember as clear as day my Dad looking at me and saying “I lost my father god damnit.” I never knew how he felt, I never knew that pain. Until now.

I think of my father every day. I wish he was here for me to help me with Kameron growing up. Mr. D is a great father, I was just hoping for extra support. My Dad was everything to me. I miss him more than anyone could imagine. One thing I do know about my Dad is that he wouldn’t want me to be in pain anymore. Although, every day is a struggle without him. He would say “Damnit Baby, hasn’t this gone on long enough?”

So after I picked Kameron up from school today he asked why I had candles lit at home. I just said I thought it would be nice. He said “it’s because of Pop isn’t it?” I said “yes baby it is.”

He looked at me with his 13 year old eyes and said “I’m sorry mom.” Then he said that “we should keep the candles going  for Pop.” I said I would.

The loss is indescribable, the pain you hide from everyone else is worse. It’s a silent hell that you trap yourself in. I wish I would have been able to make things different, I couldn’t.

I miss your hugs Johnno.


AR = Average Replacement September 10, 2012

I know…

I already know ok?

Packers fans are going to come down on me. I’m not a real Green Bay fan. I’m a traitor. I’ve been accused and called every name in the book. You aren’t going to shock me. Your material is old, and so is Brett Favre. The difference is Favre is laughing all the way to the bank propped up with a cold one in Mississippi and you’re still deciding whether or not to get your kid the Bronco Manning jersey they’ve been asking for. Go ahead and buy the damn thing! It builds character.

This post is NOT about Brett Favre. It’s about being a Packers fan.

I’ve been a Packers fan my entire life. It just so happened that Brett Favre was my favorite quarterback. When my favorite quarterback left the Packers I followed him, with a jersey to wear, and a Direct TV package so I wouldn’t miss a play. I also watched the Packers games. I talked a lot of trash, but the year my Dad died was the year the Packers won the Super Bowl. Of course I wanted the Packers to win. My Dad would have loved to see it with me.

I’m a Packers fan.

It’s been a few years since Favre has been gone and I’ve had to adapt and adjust to the new quarterback in Green Bay. Although, I will never forget a phone conversation that I had with my friend Ryan Cox. It went like this:

Ryan: “You hate Rodgers don’t you? You really hate him!”

Me: “Yes I do.”

Ryan: “I’ll bet you’re the only Packers fan on the face of the earth that gets mad when he throws a touchdown.” (He was giggling at this point.)

Me: “A rushing touchdown is ok, but when he throws a touchdown…” At this point Ryan is laughing hysterically.

It wasn’t Favre. Ok, it was mostly Favre. I just didn’t like Aaron Rodgers. I’ve always thought he was just an average quarterback. Argue with me all night, it’s what I’ve always thought Favre or no Favre. I always liked, and my Dad did too, Matt Flynn. Who now plays for Seattle. Flynn didn’t get any playing  time in last nights game, and the Seahawks lost.  There was no way Flynn was ever going to get some playing time in Green Bay except pre-season, that’s just the way it is. So of course he left.

Think of AR’s situation. You’ve road the bench for I don’t know, 13 years behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Promised, obviously, that some day it would be AR’s time to shine in the Green Bay sun. AR’s got patience, I’ll give him that. Ask yourself is he the brightest star on the block? I’m sure he could have gone to other teams and had a very successful career, but good old Ted Thompson promised his golden boy someday it would be his time.

And in 2010 it was his time to shine.

Can you imagine how pumped up that guy was to play football? I mean I wouldn’t have been able to sleep for a week. He came out guns blazing. Amazing stats. He looked like he couldn’t be stopped. AR wasn’t stopped, he went all the way to the dance and won. Bravo AR, bravo.

One thing I do know is if you win the Super Bowl and the hearts of Green Bay fans everywhere, that has to be one of the biggest ego boosts in the universe. Baller doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The dust settles. AR is the man in Green Bay. Last season Packer fans were so certain that they would be going to the Super Bowl I know people that had booked hotel rooms to come to Indianapolis to see the Pack win another one. Thing is, they didn’t make it. From the looks of last nights game they won’t make it again this year.

Really? San Francisco hands you your ass at home? I watched the game intently and AR looked like a deer in headlights. Meanwhile people are AR is the greatest QB, he has ice in his veins, strength like no other in his throwing arm.

He’s average, that’s it. When the hoopla is over AR is just average.

Hey, maybe I’m wrong, as the season goes on we’ll see. They play again Thursday night.

Go Pack!