four minutes

March 3, 2019 | Comments Off

Yesterday Mark came home with a toy from Petsmart. It lasted four minutes until it was destroyed by Oliver. In the end, we had to pry a piece of the toy from his mouth, and I was pretty alarmed by that. Mark said he wasn’t worried that Oliver was going to swallow it or choke on it (of course), but I sure was freaked out that he would. The video cuts off right when we get to discussing his swollen bottom lip (I’m guessing the immune support tablets didn’t make it clear up the first time after all) and what it looks like. I fully expected him to say that it reminded him of Mick Jagger, but he said it looks like he has dsl. If, for some reason, you don’t know what that means, look up dsl on urbandictionary.com. Anyway, I was so horrified, yet we both ended up laughing. So unfortunately (or fortunately?), I stopped recording right before this conversation took place. I picked it back up at the exact moment things went haywire with the toy. Please ignore my toenails. I am well aware I need to get a pedicure.

when things were fun and calm:

when things got crazy:

And, yes, Oliver is just fine. Whew. But poor Lulu didn’t even get a chance to see the toy!

Moral of the story? Always supervise when your pets play.

hitting more turbulence

February 24, 2019 | Comments Off

Mark went to see his primary care doctor for a checkup. Now this doctor is worried about that lung scan diagnosis he got when he had cancer surgery. His scans showed that he has centrilobular emphysema. Mark emailed his pulmonary doctor, but he wasn’t very concerned; he thinks mark was just one of those born with some junk (bullae) in his lungs. He wasn’t even going to get a second opinion, so I am glad this doctor chimed in. He’s scheduling two more tests. Now I have this to be scared about, right after things had just started to settle down.

In other news, I ordered white bedding for my purple bedroom for the spring and summer. I am done (for now) with the trying-to-purple-match madness. Mark thinks white is ridiculous due to the fact that we have cats and that I eat food in bed. I mean, he’s probably not wrong. I just hope it lasts for a little bit at least. I also ordered grey blankets for the living room. Mark alternates between sleeping in the guest room and on the couch, and all these non-matching blankets were driving me absolutely crazy. They just don’t go with the color scheme of the living room! He was using a purple castoff, a homemade Steelers quilt, and a duplicate comforter (white, grey, and black) of the one currently on the guest bed. When the blankets aren’t put away and all those colors are right in front of me, my senses go nuts. Alas, the new grey comforter isn’t heavy enough for his liking. I’ve decided to let the ugliness go for a few more weeks as he keeps using just the duplicate for the remainder of the season. Maybe by next year I’ll get all this stupid shit figured out.

I was planning on going out this weekend, but this time my back pain was the reason I couldn’t make it out, not my crazy brain. Also, the night before, my fucking vape pen started blinking red, and it needed to be charged. It usually does an “every color of the rainbow” thing when a charge is warranted, so I panicked at first. Mark was in the worst mood this same night, and I figured it was due to a combination of his doctor’s visit and that he just spent some time paying the bills. When he gets snippy with me, it doesn’t make me want to be around him, let alone fight through the anxiety I feel just to spend time with him. That aside, I was willing to do it. But I did a bunch of things that night that I never do, and it was too much for my body. I had a feeling that my back might pay the price the next day, so I was super annoyed when he didn’t help me out once he saw me doing them. I did a lot of bending and carrying as I was ridding the upstairs of blankets, putting the wall-high candelabra back together, and such. And now, for two days afterwards, I’ve been in a lot more pain than I usually am in. The pain went from burning to pinching to deep. I eventually noticed that I tensed up my shoulders when I was hurting. Right before bed, I have been regularly trying to scan my body to relax it; I especially need to remember to relax my entire body during these more intense times. It also sucks that the things I usually rely on to help “distract” my mind (reading, writing, watching tv) aren’t doing very much for me right now.

Lastly, apparently I incorrectly embedded 20,000,000 pictures in the anniversary/treehouse/trip post, so now I need to redo them. Goddamnit. It looks like we will be back from our 25-year anniversary trip before I even get this one uploaded.

the friendliest ghost

February 19, 2019 | Comments Off

Okay, so Casper/Sugar, if you’ve been following along, stops by every so often. I had a feeling I’d see him today, and I did! See how much he loves me?

Okay, love may be a bit much, but he sure was happy to see me. He wanted to come in again, but I didn’t think that would be a good idea. I’m not going to do that anymore unless all of mine are squared away. So I gave him some kibble and watched his route home. Yes, I know he has a home because we used our microchip scanner, found one, followed some steps, and called his owner.

Also, he prefers that I call him Casper as opposed to his given name of Sugar. I can tell by the way he moves his ears and responds in general. So here at our house he is Casper. That’s what he ran to when I opened the door in the above video and called for him. And awhile ago when he was out back, I lost sight of him and went to find him. I called for Sugar – and nothing. I called for Casper, and he came storming out of the new (under construction) neighbor’s yard. As he was walking back with me to the carport, I tried explaining that we just don’t know if these people are going to be animal friendly or not and that I didn’t want him to get used to going over there now too. Man, he sassed me the whole time, but I haven’t seen him venture in that direction since.

my own worst enemy

February 18, 2019 | Comments Off

It’s still been pretty quiet around here, and that’s okay by me. I’m a creature of habit, so when shit hits the fan, I don’t adapt well. Years ago, I used to be able to bob and weave easily, but now I find doing so incredibly difficult.

Let’s see. Lulu is eating better again, thankfully. At bedtime I am back to giving her a decent-sized fist full of treats (within reason), and she eats them all! It warms my cold, black heart. The boys are doing just fine, too. Things are tense right now between Mark and me, though. First, he only got me a card for Valentine’s Day because he was too busy to even think about it. I appreciate he’s working hard to pay the bills (and credit card debt), but I still felt slighted. See, when he moved to a new building, their office gave them welcome gifts. One of these was a four-pack of the best fucking chocolates I’ve ever had in my entire life ever ever ever. I’ve been asking him to find out where they came from – for months now. I hinted multiple times about these chocolates and Valentine’s Day. Alas, no. And I asked him to take me to get my hair done and to go out, but my brain said no when my anxiety kicked in. He was very angry that, again, he set time aside and I cancelled the plans. I don’t appreciate him being an asshole to me for the remainder of the day because of something I cannot control. On the other hand, I get it. But, see, I realized that I only took a pot pill when I should have vaped instead. Showering the night before helped because it was one less thing I had to do in the morning before leaving. So I’m trying to piece it all together so next time things all fall into place. So, yes, shower the night before, vape, and give myself time to meltdown and calm down. I never ever want to go anywhere when I first wake up but that can change if I have time to rest my back and medicate myself properly. I’ve noticed maybe twice now that after I’ve taken pills and calmed down that things look a little less daunting. It’d also be helpful if Mark had a backup plan for each time we make plans. This way maybe he wouldn’t pout and be as angry with me.

So let’s talk outside critters! After not seeing my deer family for a couple of weeks, the three of them were literally walking right up the middle of the street! They were slowly taking their time, and it was the cutest. Casper/Sugar, after about a week of not stopping by, finally visited us. He was in a bad mood and scratched Mark. Yikes. He’s been here two other times and is a bit growl-ly with Mark. As he’s such a friendly cat, I wonder if he had a bad encounter with a male somewhere along the way. I gave him another catnip toy, and he lost his mind with it. Moo Kitty stopped by after not visiting for about three months. She ate like a little piggy, and she never eats. I thought we’d see her the next day for food, but we haven’t seen her since. We have a new itty bitty raccoon who has started showing up, and he’s very, very friendly. He even followed Mark all around the carport. He saw Nabi, the neighbor kitty, and ran right up a tree. She is the neighborhood enforcer. Anyway, he lifts his right leg up when he runs, but he seems to walk with it okay. Poor baby. I read that boy raccoons are looking quite beat up lately because of mating season. If a female doesn’t want to get frisky when she’s approached, she will not be super receptive. We had a big, friendly guy show up the other night with wounds on his neck and surrounding his left eye. It’s awful to see. I also saw my twin raccoons after a long, long, long time of not seeing them. That being said, each time we get a couple inches of snow, I love looking at all the animal tracks in it and trying to guess whose is whose. Deer? Fox? Possum? Raccoon? Squirrel? Bird? Cat?

You know how people lose socks? Well, apparently, I lose pillowcases. When the cleaner now makes the master bed, it’s missing two pillowcases. How can this be? I just ordered two more not that long ago. I just don’t get it. And, speaking of covers to things, I had to order replacement cushions for our furniture in the sunroom. When Mark had baseball friends over to bbq, one of them got salsa on a cushion in the two seconds it took him to walk from the kitchen to the patio. And some other things have gotten on the cushions that I can’t even explain because that room is basically never used except by the cats. I guess they have some explaining to do. Two cushions are even ripped because, like a dummy, I didn’t zip them closed before washing. They’re all flipped over now, and the damage can’t be seen. I’ll keep them on until something else happens, and then they’ll go into the garbage. Oh. Actually I don’t have the ottomans in there right now; there’s only one side to them so they couldn’t flip. But these cushions are all made of sunbrella fabric, and now I have a website filled with tips on how to clean sunbrella based on stain. Anyway, I called at the end of December to get a price and called back after a month to place the order. He said he remembered us discussing that they were half off, which we actually didn’t discuss. I said I remembered, though, and I ended up saving $250 on them!

That reminds me of the recent pink sweater saga. This year I set out to buy a pink sweater because I just didn’t have one that fit anymore, and I kinda think my face looks rosier when I wear pink. So I found one I liked and bookmarked it. Once I went back to purchase it, it wasn’t there any longer. I chatted online with customer service and was told that it was discontinued. I asked two other times if it was ever expected to come back into stock and was repeatedly told it was “discontinued.” Imagine my surprise, when in my Facebook feed a month or so later, I see this very sweater being advertised by them – and it’s even on sale! I clicked and there it was. I was pissed because I bought another pink sweater online elsewhere. I left a comment and eventually ended up in Facebook chat with someone who pretended to understand my frustration. In the end, I ended up saying if they weren’t going to give it to me for free that I was going to write a bad post about them at my site. Yeah, I was probably high, and I cannot believe it actually worked. Anyway, she gave me a $25 gift card, and the sweater was on sale for $26.99. That’s close enough. So now I have two pink sweaters, and I never leave the house.

Lastly, my back pain. I don’t write about it much anymore because what is there to say other than it fucking sucks? It’s very limiting to be in this cycle of pain.

Valentine’s Day 2019

February 15, 2019 | Comments Off

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We got Lulu, Sam, and Oliver each a catnip snake that is covered in a Valentine’s Day print – and they went crazy for them! They have played with them, licked them, and laid on them. While I’m writing this, Lulu is taking a nap right on top of hers! There’s nothing better in my whole world than seeing my babies happy. It is everything.

Here are a few pictures and videos:

Valentine’s Day 2019

Valentine’s Day 2019

Valentine’s Day 2019

Valentine’s Day 2019

Valentine’s Day 2019

Valentine’s Day 2019

Valentine’s Day 2019

sweet nothings

February 13, 2019 | Comments Off

Here’s a snippet of our texting:
(I am blue & Mark is grey)

sweet nothings

(click image to enlarge)

the right idea

February 11, 2019 | Comments Off

When there is snow on the ground, this is where Oliver and Samuel can be found:

When there is snow on the ground, this is where Oliver and Samuel can be found!

such a rough life

February 10, 2019 | Comments Off

such a hard life...

stay calm and carry on

February 7, 2019 | Comments Off

It’s been pretty quiet around here lately. It’s nice to not be weighed down by appointment after appointment and worry for Mark or the babies. Now I’m just worrying about all the outside animals. The deer family has stopped coming, so I hope they’re okay. I haven’t seen the twin raccoons on the back security camera in four nights, and I hope they’re okay too. Sugar/Casper hasn’t been by in days either. It was about 11:30pm the last time I saw him on one of the security cameras, and this simultaneously worried and annoyed me. I thought his owner said he was let in at night, so I really hope he was able to go inside after swinging by here so late. The other day, Nabi, the neighbor kitty, basically hurled herself against the sunroom’s wall of windows after she saw Oliver and Sam; Ollie walked right up to the glass, and she flipped her shit! As for my babies, Sam was wearing the Assisi Loop twice a day, and I decided to see if he could use it simply once a day (some use it 4x and some 1x, depending on issue). I thought I saw a difference in him (not jumping as much) and decided to move it back up to twice a day. Mark tried dismissing me right away by saying he didn’t see any changes, but I pointed out what he was doing and he apologized. Progress! Lulu is doing okay, but I think she could be eating more. She did great (translation = basically licked her plates clean) right after she got on the new medications, but now she’s leaving a chunk of food behind. All her other behaviors (playing, chatting, running around the house) are still great, but I’m totally keeping an eye on this food thing for sure. Oliver’s test results came back, and they were the exact same as last time. The specialist said his high lymphocyte count could be an oddity or it could eventually be progressive and turn into lymphoma, but there’s nothing to treat until then. My vet put some calls in to a few holistic doctors to see if they know of issues like this. The specialist said to me that he should be retested once a year, but my vet said she told her that he should be retested every three months. That’s a $600 test, so I need to nail that definitively down for sure. I mean, come on. And Mark has been very stressed lately. He’s just doing too much work stuff and says that he’s not doing any additional projects past April 1, just in time for him to start umpiring once again. Ha. He never stops. I think we’re getting along better, so that’s good. I do have a complaint, though. Whenever we watch tv together, he never fast forwards when the commercials start. Why do I always have to remind him? It makes me both borderline angry and frustrated. Sigh. And I have a complaint about myself as well! I’ve mentioned that I painted the master bedroom a shade of purple to match the purple in a boho multi-stripe comforter I got. The comforter needed washed, and the colors faded. I bought another one and washed it with all the color safe shit I could find. It faded. Since then, I have proceeded to buy purple comforter after comforter (cold months) and blanket after blanket (warm months). Looking for a match, I have held up countless photos to my walls. I did have one that was a pretty perfect match, but my cleaner ruined it; sadly, this blanket is now out of stock. So last week I bought a Soft Plush Sherpa Comforter Set because it looked like it was the same exact shade. Was it? Uh, no. Plus it’s already snagged like crazy from cat claws. Fantastic.

the thief

February 4, 2019 | Comments Off

So this happened a bit ago. Awhile ago. Okay, about fourteen years ago. So why am I writing about this right now? Well, I know that I wrote about this back then when it was fresh, but it was at a site of mine that’s no longer around. See, I got to thinking about the whole situation a couple of weeks ago and looked up my old “boss” – and I got annoyed by it all over again. And here we are. This woman owes me $3000 for the work I did for her. She owes at least two other people that I know of money from this “business” too. There were a couple of other people floating around as well, like a slimy-looking business partner (I don’t remember his name), but I don’t know what they were getting paid, if anything.

When I met her, she was going by Tammy Camper and was trying to get her TammySays! radio show off the ground. Now she’s married and goes by Tammy Williams or Tam Williams. Her self-named hashtag she uses all over online is #thatstam. She currently has a new venture called She’s It, some app she’s now trying to get off the ground that she says will be worth millions in a couple of years. Gee, that sure sounds familiar.

It all started when I replied to an add on Craigslist. I had various skills, so I’m not sure if I applied to be a web designer, writer, or editor. We all met in some hospital boardroom, and I think she invited everyone who applied so that she could meet them face-to-face first before whittling down to her favorites. Mark was so skeptical of this whole thing from the start. I wanted it to work out because I really liked the work I did, and I got along decently with the others she hired too. She got an office space in Moorestown, NJ, and I loved having my own office after years of sharing spaces. I don’t know if the actual recording studio was ever finished before the whole thing shuttered or not. Anyway, my first thought that something was off was when she gave me her credit card and told me to order computers from Dell, and they told me they couldn’t send any because she still owed them $2000. I think the customer service rep said it was from a bill for previous computers that weren’t returned. I, obviously, had to hand that call back to her. Before long, we had computers. The issue was resolved, but I had a funny feeling in my stomach after that.

So she had assembled a small team, and we worked loooong into the nights, trying to get her website, newsletter, and such just the way she wanted it to be. At one point, Mark was getting nervous that I wasn’t being paid what I was owed. Despite that, I kept working. She fed me some garbage about how I was going to be the Gayle to her Oprah after she made it big. I went into the office a few times a week and worked from home the rest. She had me set up the voicemail for the office because I had the most “Caucasian-sounding” voice out of the others.

There came a point when two other employees started asking each other – and me – if we had gotten paid. She owes one something like $1700, but I don’t know how much the other person wasn’t paid. And mine skyrocketed to that $3000 total I mentioned above. The three of us decided we were done doing work for nothing. She and the business partner asked us employees to attend a meeting where they promised investors were forthcoming and that we should sit tight – again. So we quit, but I know there was one other guy who did keep working for her for a bit. Anyway, I wanted it to work out, of course, which is why I held on for so long despite not getting paid. But I walked out of that meeting.

And, immediately after that, I was persona non grata. I had to set up a time to come clean out my office when one of her friends/employees could supervise me. Hahah. Like, really? The funny thing is that the guy she sent to chaperone me told me he was going to take the computers that were in the office (to keep or sell, I don’t know) until I told him they weren’t hers to just go crazy with. I explained the story about the $2000 Dell computers and said these were probably expected go back too. A few weeks later I listened to the office voicemail and heard two messages left by people who had appointments with her to come see the space (maybe even record with her?), but she left them hanging and never showed up or bothered to call them to cancel.

On Thursday, June 16, 2005, she wrote that “the company has folded, I am declaring bankruptcy” when the three of us jointly mailed her about the situation. When one guy mentioned getting a lawyer, she pointed out there’s nothing financially for them to get from her. “There is no obligation from anyone to me or to the now defunct company.” This guy replied that in “situations like that the employees are ALWAYS the first paid. That is fact. You didn’t just go bankrupt, it appears you never had a company at all! As far as I can tell you conned at least five people into doing work for you and have not paid a SINGLE CENT to any of them. At what point did you realize that you had bit off more than you could chew? And why didn’t you come clean then? You took a huge gamble lost, and we shared that loss, but were never made aware of the stakes.” He went on to mention filing a claim in small claims court and with the NJ Division of Wage and Hour, as well as filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. He was doing this “to see that you are held legally accountable for your refusal to satisfy your committment to me and that the appropriate documentation is made detailing your business practices so that future potential employees and contractors who might enter into deals with you are better informed of your payroll history.”

The other one that is owed the $1700 wrote to his lawyer/friend that “the woman who is stiffing me is still stiffing me. Last week I received an email saying that she would have a payment schedule ready by May 6. That day came and went, and no schedule. I wrote to her on the 12 to ask when it might be available — no reply.”

We were all, Tammy too, copied on most of what was above. She mentioned her lawyer’s name as he was copied on her stuff too. At that time, it seemed like he was a young guy with just a few years out of law school who specialized in entertainment law. Since then, he’s had his law license suspended twice. You know what they say: like attracts like.

So, anyway, I recently left comments on her public Facebook page that said she still owes me money, that if she were all about female empowerment like she now claims that she’d pay me back, that she said I’d be the Gayle to her Oprah, and such. All she had to do was block me, but she posted the below and acted like she didn’t even know who I was:

Tammy Camper, TammySays, Tammy Williams, Tam Williams, ThatsTam claims she’s all about women empowerment and speaks at small business conferences. What a joke. This bitch owes me $3000 from all the work I did when she had her radio show.

(click image to enlarge)

I’m sure she’s made a lot of promises to a lot of people in the past and that things could have all blurred together for her. But as soon as I said TammySays!, she should have instantly remembered who I was; however, she told me to “cease and desist” from commenting on her various social media accounts because she doesn’t know who I am or what I’m talking about. Uh, okay. Also, if you google “TammySays radio,” there are still a few sites out there that talk about her show.

Prior to founding this She’s It She app, apparently she had a management consulting firm called Strategic Transformation Partners. The website description says, “My management consulting firm helps business leaders make better decisions, deliver improved business performance and take advantage of windows of opportunity even when the course of action isn’t clear. Our clients value our ability to gather and analyze large volumes of information, identify critical insights and develop the optimal business strategy supported by clear, actionable recommendations. I particularly like working with other women business owners and minority business owners.” The link to this site is long dead, just like the one for her radio show. I wonder if people lost money on that too.

It just kills me that she’s a self-described champion of small business and talks about women empowerment and women doing right by women. How about you do this woman right and pay her what she is owed? I can’t believe she’s allowed to speak year after year at various small business conferences, like recently at the Richmond Women’s Health and Fitness Expo. What kind of wisdom does she think she can impart? I just don’t get it. Now with this new app of hers, she’s expecting big things, of course. I wonder who she got to invest in this thing and if she’s paying absolutely every single person who has done work for the app, its site, and so on. I hope they’re not doing it for future pay or are doing it for free for “exposure” or some such. The Facebook likes for her site and app don’t match the twitter and Instagram follows, so I’m guessing she bought the likes to pad its supposed success. A recent article written about her says the release of this newest endeavor took five years and $300,000. Where did that money come from? I guess she got luckier with the investors this time around.

Just be forewarned that working with her is a risk. And, if things fall apart, she will act like she doesn’t know you and just move on to the next thing.

#thatstam #shesit #shesummit #sheapp #shesitwomen #tammycamper #tammywilliams #tamwilliams


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