Head(ache) first

I recently made the insane decision to switch from blogger-hosted blogging for both my personal and business website to self-hosting with godaddy and editing with wordpress. I had been hearing about better template design customization, user interface, etc and was getting frustrated with the “bloggy” look of their current template themes (especially for the business site). I’d also been asked by a friend about my knowledge base with WP because he had some work he could pass off to me if I could handle it. Seeing as I’m mere days away from unemployment (sorry, I know that’s a whole new blog post in general I need to catch you up on), I figured a refresher in something that might make me some money was worth it.

I had used wordpress back in 2010 in Maine when I worked for JP Ware Design, doing research and posting content. I dove in head first. I thought it would be like riding a bike. Not so, young grasshoppah. Instead, I feel a bit like this:

I have a friend who runs IT at a firm…I think mostly bc she’s the most competent of the bunch. It’s not what she was hired to do, but she gets it done. Don’t get me wrong, she’s smart…just not super tech-y. Case in point: The other day she PRINTED out directions to a place we were going. I said the above to her as we were driving along and she pulled said wadded print of directions from her purse and tried to find what step she was on.

Well…karma? She’s a b!tch.

I’m slowly getting there; neither site is ready for unveiling entirely. I’m wrapping my mind around plugins, typography, coding, overrides, themes. Hopefully when it’s all said and done, I’ll have two fabulous sites…please just appease me and nod your head “yes”. There are a lot of decisions I need to make for them between now and then, some custom graphics I need to generate, and other goodies like that.

Oh, and find a job.

Let’s hope that happens faster than the headache resulting from figuring out how to override typography settings in a theme. For now I think it’s time to unplug so my eyes don’t revolt from staring at a computer screen since 8am.

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Mmmmmmnope. (Otherwise titled: Crazy Puppy)

I had my insight into dealing with an infant through the end of last week.

On Tuesday evening, around 9pm, I realized that Madeleine’s upper muzzle was a bit swollen on both sides. I had no idea what she might have gotten into, and promptly called the vet to get info for a recommended emergency vet from their recording. I called to see what they thought I should do. Their response was “if she’s had a reaction, you need to come in.” And oh by the way, it’s $100 just to walk in the door.


So I got some Benadryl from the landlord and snuggled in for what I hoped would be an uneventful night.


Around 1:30am I woke up to her rubbing her muzzle, dry heaving, and her left eye swollen halfway shut. I jumped out of bed, called the emergency vet for their address, threw on some clothes, and rushed out the door with the little girl. Two backseat vomits later and a 20min drive (that should’ve been 35) and I was at the vet trying to figure out what was wrong with Madeleine. They agreed that she’d had a reaction to something, but checked her temperature anyway to rule out infection (she’d only had her spay surgery a week and a half ago). No temp meant a steroid shot, wash of the paws (her), orders to continue giving Benadryl (me), and rest.

We finally got home and settled, after I mopped the floor in the kitchen in case the reaction was to a possible spilled chili powder mix flake or two. In bed by 4am, I shot off a quick email to work to let them know I would be working from home later that day.

She slept for most of the day, waking only for water and snuggles with her head in my lap while I worked at the computer. I spoke with her vet on the phone that afternoon, letting them know that the swelling was reducing and she appeared to be getting better. They wished us luck on the continued road to recovery, and said to keep them updated.

Around 6pm, as the third round of Benadryl was wearing off, Madeleine felt like eating again. It was wonderful to see her eating again. Or so I thought.


About an hour later, she vomited…for the first time. I figured she just ate too fast, so I watched her eat when she went back for more, and got her to eat slower when she did. Thinking that would help.


About 5 vomits later, I took her food away from her, remembering that I had some leftover white rice in the fridge from a previous night’s dinner. I set that down for her to eat and she happily gobbled it up. I set up the stove to cook more…

And she vomited at my feet.

A 12hr turnaround and 9 vomits later, I was at work trying to help make a deadline, praying that she had finally vomited the last time and the bland rice was starting to help. I worked until lunch and came home to check on her. Still puny as ever, I emailed in to say I’d be working the afternoon from home due to her state of puny and a vet checkup at 2pm.

The vet said what I had assumed. It was whatever she had gotten into just working its way through her body. They said that the steroid shot and the Benadryl had been masking the intestinal side of it, but now that those drugs had mostly worn off, we were seeing the tail end of the reaction finishing its course. Her swelling was all but gone, but I could tell by her eyes she was still feeling pitiful.

By this time, she hadn’t thrown up since just before work, so I opted not to do the anti-nausea shot and instead just take her home for more Gatorade and white rice. In case you’re ever wondering, dogs will drink blue Gatorade. It’s the adult version of Pedialyte and all I had on hand. 7.5 cups of white rice later, no vomits, and lots of gatorade and water, I think we were finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There were so many times I looked at her over those 60 hours, feeling helpless, asking “What did you get into? What do you need? What do I do?” I’m sure I experienced something akin to what new parents feel the first time(and I’m sure every time after, if they’re good parents) their kid is sick. Do I feel ready?


But I’ll keep practicing with my little lady and hopefully some day I will be.

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Project 365: Week 8 Recap

DAY 47: I think she knows we have a visitor coming in town this week.
DAY 48: Miss M’s first snow. Can’t wait to see what she does with more than a dusting.
DAY 49: Follow-up check for the pitiful pup at the vet after a rough couple days.
DAY 50: Beautiful fall flowers and cuddling with the pup while catching up on shows.
DAY 51: Drinks with the cousins at Libertine. Definitely on the “must return for more” list.
DAY 52: Image of all the Grand Nationals finalists lined up for awards to begin. My baby sister’s awesome band got third! IN THE NATION!

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Shopping cart shenanigans

If grocery stores are a microcosm of the human race…and shopping carts are the way we show our effort levels…I don’t want to be a part of this species anymore.

On two separate instances, I saw things that horrified me in their laziness/stupidity today.

Instance one: At lunch I walked over to the grocery store before heading home to get some food for a recipe I planned to make tonight. Walking across the street and alongside the parking lot, I witnessed a college-age boy come out of the store. He then skip-pushed (you know what I mean…where you run and jump up on the cart to glide along for a few moments) his way to what I assume was his mommy’s Cadillac SUV to unload his groceries junk food. After depositing said food in the vehicle, he then got into the SUV. The cart was still in the empty spot next to him. I shook my head. What happened next is what made my jaw drop. He started the car, rolled down the window, grabbed the cart, and DROVE it to the cart return. It was 5 spaces away. I hope the scratches on mommy’s car were worth your sad sack of lazy bones. If you are the future of our country, I’m moving.

Instance two: After work, because I didn’t have the recipe in hand, I got to go back to said grocery store to collect two ingredients. During this walk over, I saw a guy, my age or older, walk his cart through the lot after unloading his groceries in his car…past another stranded cart…across a lane…to an empty spot…and leave his cart. He just walked the distance to the cart return…in the opposite direction. Not only that, but the stranded cart he walked past? Another patron was sitting in his car waiting to pull into that spot, thinking this guy was going to collect the cart for him so he could do so. So this guy SAW me watch him…saw the person and his wife in the car watch him…and still did a lazy, indecent thing with absolutely no remorse.

Where’s natural selection when you need it? What shopping cart karma god will avenge their stupidity? Get your sh!t together, ‘Murica. I call shenanigans.

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My dog requires more maintenance than me

So when I first got Madeleine, I knew that at some point I would try to teach myself how to groom/cut her hair myself. Not because I find it fun, or enjoying, but because I’m a frugal gal. I mean…I’m the girl who hasn’t cut her own hair since July. No, not this July. I mean July 2012. That happens when your hair trimmings revolve around being long enough for donation. But I also don’t have bangs, like this crazy mop dog.

Morning of grooming festivities.

Anyway. Haircuts. I used to cut my ex-husband’s hair. How hard could it be?

Really hard. 

For serious. I now have a gained respect for groomers and barbers of tiny humans. Madeleine flailed like an epileptic psycho anytime I tried to get near her head or her paws. I was able to get all of her torso and down her legs, with much struggling and biting – her, not me, obviously. I then put her muzzle on her because the bites were starting to hurt, and realized…well…this isn’t going to work, I can’t even get to her face to shave it now.

Soooo….an emergency call to the groomer and a rushed drive to make it there for the last booking, and everything’s all better (Sorry, landlord. I’ll pick up those dog shavings tomorrow). She’s cut a little short for her size. Kind of pitiful-looking, actually. But it’s cut and out of her eyes and should last through winter.

The groomer gave me all sorts of hell. I walked in and she said “you tried to cut her yourself, didn’t you?” Why yes, yes I did. And I will continue to do so because paying more for my dog to get groomed more frequently than my every year and a half hair cut is bag o’ cats crazy, if you ask me.

She actually said I did a pretty good job, that the face and paws are obviously the hardest. She giggled and said, “It looks like she has little boots on”…because of the line on the leg past which Madeleine would begin to gyrate like a person in need of an exorcism. Yes, funny funny ha ha. This isn’t an UGG commercial. Please fix it.

But she wanted to give Madeleine poofs and crazy bananas stuff. No ma’am. I don’t plan on bringing a high-maintenance dog into my life and I’ve done pretty good at preventing that so far. No poofs, or pink, or bows of any kind. She sulked back into the grooming station and said she’d call when Madeleine was ready. Maybe that was why she buzzed so short. Revenge of sorts.

My pretty girl is quickly growing into her new haircut…which is also growing as quickly as she is. She’s like the velveteen rabbit right now. The short chop is soft and cuddly. Which is good because I feel bad that she looks naked and appears cold and am therefore letting her break rules and cuddle with me at night. Bad mommy, I know. You can slap my wrists later.

For now, I’m going to go cuddle.

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Project 365: Week 7 Recap

DAY 42: Bigger cone of shame! No more licking the incision site for this little gal.
DAY 43: Fall beauty in Woodruff Place
DAY 44: I love running across reminders to keep your fire burning.
DAY 45: No matter my day, she makes me smile.
DAY 46: Post-mop chop. Cuddling with Amy at girls’ night.

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Friday Fun-day with words of action

A follow-up to yesterday. MAKE this weekend great!

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TED Thursday: The investment of action

Forget about having an identity crisis & get some identity capital. Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next.” – Amy Cuddy

I posted this quote over the weekend. It spoke to me in the sense of moving forward and all of the steps you take to create the person you are, and the person you will become. Your actions are your investment.

A friend commented on the post that Amy had presented a really good TED talk…and after watching it – I totally agree! Thanks Charlotte!

In the talk, Amy speaks on the inverse of the age-old idea that our thoughts influence our actions. While the old adage “happy thoughts make happy lives” makes me grit my teeth sometimes, I understand that if you only dwell on one thing, it can become overwhelming. She chose, however, to look at the inverse. That your actions, the physical way in which you present or carry yourself, affect your thoughts. 
In a non-experiment scenario, read: the real world, this almost feels like a chicken-egg debate. If you’re slouching in your seat, is it because you subconsciously don’t want to be seen. Or is it because you don’t want to be seen that you slouch. Does the person who is confident think confidence and therefore walk taller, or do they walk taller and therefore feel more confident?
Not the point right now.
The point, to me at least, is that actions count. Everything affects everything. Non-actions have an affect too, but what is the investment in your future when you do nothing? Are you creating any future by sitting still? Probably not.
These actions are also, as she mentioned, really good social cues. Especially when words can be so overused and under-meant nowadays – and yes I say that fully aware that my blog could be considered an overuse of words. The thing is, I try my hardest to back my words with actions.

But when people aren’t good with words, all you’re left with are actions. Your actions, even just the crossing of your arms, the way you sit in a group of people, the nod of a head…they’re all social cues to the people around you. And they all affect how those people perceive your intentions and act towards you. Your actions are your investment in your future. They are the possible transaction of value to a better you…or a worse one.
Every day is a transaction. How are you investing in your future?
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Dance party Wednesday

For this week’s music Wednesday, I thought I’d share a track with you that immediately lifts my mood and always gets me up bouncing around. Even if I’m by myself, in the car, it’s my own little dance party.

This past week has been stressful and this song helps remind me that sometimes you just have to shake it off and dance it away.

Happy dance party, everyone!

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So after my “bring it, dating world” post, I began thinking about the data points the single men on the market (who are worth dating and spending a future with) might also have. And wondering if I would live up to those standards. Like I said, “Divorcee with dog and no steady income”…doesn’t really attract the men.

I would’ve never expected to be divorced, still not licensed in my field, and without a full-time job at this point in my life. I wouldn’t have expected to be sleeping alone, spending holidays with friends and family instead of a man who holds my heart. I think as a child I would’ve pitied my current/then-future self. The outsider sees loneliness, a woman unloved.

If only I could tell her that her heart is worth treasuring. That the life she sees shouldn’t be pitied, but aspired to – maybe lacking the divorce and adding jobs.

That life is worth living…fully…not just surviving.

That sometimes the road worth taking isn’t easy, but that she has enough in her to make it through the rough spots.

That she should never let the fire, the strength, in her die. It is the sparkle that sets her apart. It should be cherished by herself and should be respected and cherished by the man who will someday hold her heart.

Those are the things I hope little girls growing up now know. They are the things I grew up being taught. And they are the things that, when faced with the possibility of a future of bad dates, remind me now that I am worth the work. I should be treasured, just as I will treasure the man who will have my heart.

I am enough.


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