wpid-20141201_100534.jpg“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are stronger at the broken places.”

– Ernest Hemingway






A hopeful quote spoken by someone who didn’t have much hope in the end.

I don’t know who reads this blog. My little analytics thingy says people do and that’s so awesome, because since I was little I dreamed of people reading things I wrote. Now the funny part is I’m not so sure I want anyone reading this.

I have to take a break. I’ve barely started this thing and I have to walk away.

I am depressed. I have been depressed for over a year now and had hoped that this blog would provide a form of distraction and relief. It did for a while, but the depression has worsened. It’s becoming harder and harder to maintain the upbeat and cheery feel I wanted the blog to have.

I am taking a break because I feel broken. I hope, as Mr. Hemingway suggests, that I will be stronger in these places somewhere in the future, but right now all the super glue in the world couldn’t hold me together.

So for now, I won’t be selling Jamberry or providing samples. If you have any questions, I’d still be happy to answer those. I won’t be crafting. I won’t be on social networks. I won’t be providing any weird life guidance, because really, who am I to talk? I wish I could be as awesome as the chick over at where I could describe my depression in a meaningful, yet humorous way, but I’m not. If you haven’t read her Adventures in Depression – Parts 1 & 2, go do it now.

One day, when I have something to say, I’ll come back. Until then, here’s my favorite graphic from Hyperbole and a Half that pretty much sums up everything in my life right now.


Welcome Home Otto

I haven’t written really personal posts yet, but I’m about to get personal.


Yesterday we adopted an adorable baby blue Doberman boy that we named Otto. I am already so smitten with him it is ridiculous. I also immediately remember all those things you forget about having a puppy – like how they have to go outside every 30 minutes and how they will find that one tiny piece of plastic in the corner and think it’s a toy. Or basically how they think everything is a toy, like bath mats and Yorkies.

Otto wasn’t a spontaneous decision or a frivolous one.

Many of my friends don’t know this yet, but my Yorkie, Riley, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and doesn’t have long to live. That is insanely hard to type out. He has been my little buddy for 8 years and I can’t imagine life without him. Anyone who has met him undoubtedly remembers him. wpid-img_1507.jpg

Mark and I will miss Riley intensely. That part can not be understated. But here’s where I’ll probably get some dissenters.

We decided to adopt another dog before Riley passes for a very intentional reason. Our Weimaraner, Elsie, is very attached to Riley. Weims have the tendency to attach quickly in general. I am very worried about her and her health when he suddenly goes away. You can’t exactly have a conversation with a dog about why her friend is gone.


At this point Riley is still behaving normally. The vets have him on medicines that are controlling his symptoms very well so it’s almost easy to forget he’s sick. That’s probably the hardest part because I frequently do forget he is sick.


Some may disagree, but we decided that it was best to introduce a new dog into the pack while things were still “normal” and they could acclimate. It won’t cause Riley stress at this point and Elsie can attach to the new dog well before Riley goes away.

And I’m not going to lie, I hope it will help ease my pain as well. No one can ever replace Riley, just as Riley never really replaced my old dog Champ, but you find new love in a new face. I hope my friends understand that during this difficult time.


With that said, welcome home Otto! We will love you with all our hearts. And Riley, you will never leave our hearts.

UPDATE: It’s now May 2015 and Riley is still with us. A couple of months ago we took him to the vet for a check up and got a huge surprise – the cancer diagnosis was wrong! It turns out he’d had an infection with symptoms that mimicked prostate cancer. The vet said that 98% of the time dogs come in with those symptoms, it’s cancer. This was just one of those rare things. He’s completely`healthy now! People have said, wow, that sucks! I completely disagree. I am so thankful for more time with my little buddy. And yes, now we have 3 dogs. 🙂

BLOAT: A Cautionary Tale

hi, i'm elsie

Meet Elsie, the Weimaraner. This is her story about surviving bloat.

: too much growth
1) a : one that is bloated
b : unwarranted or excessive growth or enlargement
2) : digestive disturbance of ruminant animals and especially cattle marked by accumulation of gas in one or more stomach compartments
3) : a condition of large dogs marked by distension and usually life-threatening rotation of the stomach

If you are a pet owner, especially of a large breed dog with a barrel chest, please take a moment to read Elsie’s story. It could save your pet’s life.

this is my barrel chest. now pet it! (please)

this is my barrel chest. now pet it! (please)

It had been a stressful day, but our air conditioning had finally been fixed and I was looking forward to a good night’s sleep for the first time in awhile. But around 1am, Elsie woke me up. This isn’t unusual really. She knows I’m the light sleeper. I pulled myself from bed to dutifully take her outside.

But once we got outside she did nothing. She just stood there. A little annoyed, I took her back inside to go back to sleep.

She woke me up again, this time with a bit more urgency. I took her back outside. Again she stood there for awhile, but I was determined we weren’t going back to bed until she used the bathroom. She began to whine a bit. Suddenly she acted like she was going to vomit and I thought, “ah! Here we go.” But nothing came out. The whining got worse and I got nervous.

I tried to take her back to bed thinking she just had a tummy ache. She’d broken into her food container earlier in the day and had her fill of food so it made sense.

She refused to lay down and continued to whine. I don’t know what made me think to Google it, but I did. I didn’t even have to click on any sites before I was terrified.

“take to vet immediately…”
“serious condition…”

I called our emergency vet and they didn’t even let me finish describing her symptoms before they told me to get her there as soon as possible.

Bloat is a very serious, and often over-looked, condition in animals. In Elsie’s case, the excess food she’d eaten formed a kind of paste in her stomach that sealed off both the entrance and exit. She was neither able to throw up or expel the food. As her body continued the digestion process, the gasses built up in her stomach, causing it to twist and crowd other organs.

We were lucky. Her life was saved by emergency surgery to remove the blockage and set the organs right again. But we were lucky. There had been so much damage to her stomach lining tissue that she only had a 50% survival chance in the first week. Her stomach easily could have ruptured, but it didn’t. We were lucky. We were very lucky.


I had no idea what bloat was before Elsie’s experience, but during our hellacious wait at the vet, another dog was brought in for the same symptoms. That dog was also lucky and got there in time.

If you own a pet, know the symptoms, because early recognition can be the difference between life and death.

– Dogs with a barrel-shaped chest (“deep chested”) have the highest risk of bloat. Breeds like Weimaraners, dobermans, boxers, or rottweilers, just to name a few.
– Bloat can be caused by drinking too much water or getting too much exercise immediately after a meal.
– The stomach may be distended, but it may not.
– The biggest warning sign is an attempt to vomit without anything coming up.

Always call your vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.

I hope this will help others be more aware of bloat and it’s deadly nature so that other precious lives can be saved like Elsie’s. She’s awful grateful for the quick action of our vet!

"thanks doc!"

“thanks doc!”

It’s been two+ years and Elsie is still healthy and happy, though a little frustrated that her food container is no longer accessible.