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My Life for the Last Three Weeks

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I know many of you have noticed that I have not been as perky or peppy as usual.  Thanks for all of the emails.  I promise I’m not terminally ill, quitting, or pregnant.  I am just exhausted.  Here has been my life for the last 3 weeks.

March 14th – Grandma Passed Away

My stepdad married my mom when I was 6 years old.  He’s my dad.  That said, I never really got to know his mother since she lived in El Paso.   She lived with my parents and then in a nursing home near my parents for the last decade or so, but I was out of the house by then.  She passed away at age 90 after a life full of children and dance.  Even though I did not know her well, I know my family and they were hurting.  My only real contribution was setting up a memorial site for her, but I think that made my family smile.

March 14th-15th – Google Goes Nuts

Right after grandma passed, I started receiving emails from clients about their Page Ranks being smacked down by Google.  I obviously then checked my own Page Rank (PR) as well as those for my other sites, and Google trampled my numbers like a Black Friday Pre-Sale crowd.

For any non-blogger readers (love you!), Google Page Rank generally determines whether advertisers want to do business with you or not.  There are other ranking systems like MozRank and Domain Authority, but Page Rank is usually put first.  So when Google punches a bunch of bloggers with PR hits, an ad rep like myself has a very bad month. 

Mr. BFS and I spent the last 2-3 weeks trying to pacify our clients, our ad rep contacts, and ourselves.  We won’t know whether we can continue with self employment long-term as planned  until the end of April.  This will be our test month to find our new norm.  It’s been extremely stressful to say the least.

March 25th – We Adopt Oreo

You all got introduced to Oreo last week. I know that adopting another pet during all of this stress and uncertainty is border line insane, but Mr. BFS had been wanting his own dog for more than 6 months and we wanted good stress instead of bad stress as the end of March calmed down a bit.  That did not work out as planned.

Oreo has severe separation anxiety and has eaten through an interior doorframe, a towel rack, a heavy duty plastic kennel, and popped a wire travel kennel open in less than 20 minutes.  We bought a kennel to end all kennels on Thursday, March 29th, but between March 25th and March 29th, Oreo got really sick and had to be left at the vet overnight Thursday. 

She was diagnosed with pneumonia that she apparently contracted when she was being spayed.  She was given nebulized medicine several times over Friday, and $600 later she was sent home with us along with 6 new medications – 3 for pneumonia and stomach issues and 3 for her anxiety issues.  She is recovering well. 

As for the new, uber-kennel, it has bested her so far, but a few of its heavy metal rungs have been bent already.  It will last, but it has seen better days.  We are slowly crate training her but it will be a month or more before we think she won’t be as nutso anymore.  And yes, nutso is the non-politically correct term I have decided to use with her.

BUT, one ray of light, Oreo, Mr. Pug, and Miss Doxie get along great now.  They ignore each other completely and occasionally share a couch.

April 1st – Mr. Pug Catches Pneumonia

Yep.  We were told that it would be highly unlikely that the form of pneumonia that Oreo has would be contageous at all, but Mr. Pug laughed at the odds and contracted pneumonia in record time.  He is now on antibiotics too along with visits to the humid shower room to help him breathe.  We won’t know until tomorrow if he’ll need heavier treatment.   We assume that the steroids he was on for his allergy issues left his immune system open to whatever illness it could get.  We’ll see how fast he can get better…

Through All of This, We’ve Been Looking at Houses

Yep, and if life wasn’t crazy enough, we got the house bug.  Even though we aren’t planning on buying anything this year, we can’t stop ourselves from looking around to see what’s available.  I mean, come on, how can you not look at 2500-6500 square foot homes with drool-worthy kitchens and games rooms that are currently being sold for $160,000-$280,000?!  I’m only human!

My Current Life View

I can honestly say that I am exhausted.  I am pooped out.  I have been bitchy.  I sometimes feel very sorry for Mr. BFS because he has been nothing but supportive and is going through the same things, BUT sometimes I want to smack him for convincing us to adopt another dog that happened to be a disease-carrying nutso.  But she’s sweet.  And damn cute.

So my life view right now is a bit dimmer than usual, but I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.  I know Oreo and Mr. Pug are recovering or will be recovering one way or another.  I know that we will not jump into buying a new house unless it is perfect for us.  I know that my parents and sisters are okay.  And I know that we have money on hand for the dog costs and living expenses even if our business takes a permanent hit.  I just hope that we don’t have to use a lot of it.

In short, I am tired but optimistic.  I know I don’t sound optimistic, but I really am.  Really.

How has life been treating you?  Feel free to vent or brag.  🙂  I am reading every single comment even if I am not making it back here right now to answer.  They have been making me smile and think.  Thank you.



FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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31 thoughts on “My Life for the Last Three Weeks

  1. Stress! Hang in there, surely Karma will smile upon you soon. And remember to keep doing the fun stuff too.

  2. Unfortunately when it rains it pours. Sorry about the loss of your Grandma. There’s never enough time to spend with family and loved ones. Cherish the time you had.

  3. Sorry to hear about your grandma. Hopefully everything works out for your business. I am sure it will. I would hate to see you have to go back to work. You and Mr. BFS are doing way too well.

    We’re all routing for you!

  4. Sorry to hear about your grandma! It’s always tough, and sometimes the toughest part is seeing those around you hurting as well.

    And yeah, Google. It sucks that many of us are at the mercy of one corporation. But hopefully the opens the doors and leads us to be more creative instead of complacent.

  5. Oh, and to answer your question… these past 3 weeks have been somewhat of a whirlwind as well as far as online is concerned. I’ve tried to spend as much time as possible to figure out solutions to help those affected.

    I’m working on some new things in the pipeline and making some risky, but exciting changes as well, so that should be a roller coaster.

  6. Life never stays still and often comes at you fast. This keeps you on your toes and helps you always keep perspective and not take anything for granted. Life for me is nuts with my multiple businesses, home renovations and family. I try to take it all in stride and use a few expletives along the way 🙂

  7. Sorry to hear about Oreo and Mr. Pugs.
    House prices in Houston have always gone up and down and are ALWAYS cheaper than most any where else due to the availability of jobs, material, and expertise. You do not need to worry over missing a great housing deal in Houston, just wait and there will be another one. Since New York and California are always in demand, their housing prices are always higher. Demand, of course, causes prices to rise. Supply causes them to get lower, as well as great competition. Real estate has too many overhead costs to be a highly effective investment at this time.
    Make your sites in demand and you will be alright. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, the sites need to stand on their own. Otherwise one site can pull down all of them. If you have inactive pages, either make them more active or get rid of them. If you don’t want one corporation deciding your fate, don’t use it exclusively. Unless sites share a common theme, do not link them.
    Look over where your greatest debt has been in past 3 years. Maybe some of your resources should be put to use in a different manner. Anything that caused debt, should actually end up paying for itself or be ditched. Specialized niches that cater to a select clientele can weather fad type ups and downs.
    You should try to make your business less virtual, more service. You love helping others. You are a fantastic manager, budgeting master mind, quick witted and engaging. A bit of mature self evaluation and you will come to you own correct conclusions. Trust and have faith in yourself, and things generally fall into place.

  8. Oh, wow, so sorry to hear about March. But March is over, so that’s good. Sounds like you need to take the title of your blog into consideration and start to budget for fun!

  9. What a terrible month! I hope it all calms down and that Oreo and Mr. Pug recover. Crate training is never fun as well — I wish you the best in that!

  10. YOu guys ere the first people I thought about when I heard about this whole Google mess. I even told my husband (who doesn’t get the whole blog thing) about how I was worried for the two of you because this is your business. I was wondering if you would ever address it and now I’m glad that you have. You two have come so far and it seems so unfair that the big G would punish a few individuals who aren’t that influential in the grand scheme of internet things (no offense but I mean more like they could have gone after bigger fish to fry).
    I hope that everything DOES workout for both of you.

  11. That is a really stressful month – I’m sorry for all the problems you’ve had to go through. It does sound like you are staying positive which is really important. I hope this next month is much better for you!

  12. Sorry to hear about your Grandmother and all your other dramas this past month. Hope things calm down in April for you.

    I’m doing well, balancing work and renovating my new house so I can hopefully move in May 1st. Less sleep and social life than normal, but it will be worth it!

  13. Thanks everyone! I am always so happy with how supportive this community is! 🙂

    It just occurred to me that I only complained about the hard stuff in this email. I will blog about the fun stuff over the last 3 weeks too tomorrow…we have made sure not to wall ourselves off.

    @Corey, we’ll all know more after April.

    @Joy, thanks for the very wise words. We really shouldn’t rush the housing thing – this area really does have good deals all of the time. And thank you for the compliments. Mr. BFS and I do try to make sure our offered services are truly impressive to our clients so that no matter what, they at least get the benefits of us answering every ad email and handling all of the details. But since we only work on commission from the deals, we have no way of making money if our clients aren’t making money. But I am optimistic.

    @Frugal Portland, I’ll go over the fun stuff tomorrow. 🙂

    @Christa, surprisingly, the dogs are my number 1 concern right now. Hearing Mr. Pug shallow breathe all day is the most stressful thing ever. I simply can’t have kids if this is even 1% of what the stress of parenthood is like. I feel like him getting sick is all my fault.

    @Newlyweds, that was so sweet of you. I hope it all works out too. I did think about not mentioning the subject, but it is a big reason that I am so far behind on everything.

  14. Sorry to hear about Grandma. As the object of Google and the PR nightmare, I am fighting back. I asked Jesse to look into it and I asked for reconsideration. I will keep going despite the setback.

  15. Wow Crystal, I’m so sorry – that’s so much to deal with at once. They say “bad things come in threes” but I think you exceeded your maximum. I have no more than day to day stress, so I can’t complain. Take care and I hope all the dogs are healthy and happy (and you too as well!) soon.

  16. I am really sorry to hear about your loss and your CRAZY 3 weeks…Anything I can do to help out please don’t hesitate to email me!

  17. Oreo is a tough Cookie! 🙂 It is probably because of the “being passed around” part of her/his(?) life that they will have to adjust too (but you already know that).

    We’ve been home hunting and even put an offer on a home (Rice Military area townhome) … but the area is booming and we missed it by $5K to someone else. Life is like that … you win some, and lose some, but does NOT mean you are out of the game. And this home wasn’t one of those “I have to have it” purchases. (Homes are A LOT Cheaper in price up in your area, I wish we lived/WORKED up in that area instead of inner loop/Memorial Park area).

    Just think of those caps and T-shirts that say … “Life is Good!” They’re always overpriced, but someone had to “think” of that idea … and then make it happen (design, market, distribute, sell, etc.) … and there is nothing like having money in the bank (RIGHT?) as a cushion. If not for the past months … just think, think about where else you would’ve been. Things (IMHO) happen for a reason. It makes you rethink priorities, and shed some things/thoughts/wants, even mental, that aren’t as necessary as originally thought. you and Mr. B will just have to rethink some things … mental floss … and decide on a possible plan B if needed. It WILL work out.

    As odd as this may sound … (re: Google stuff) this is a good thing (about what’s happening) because it is all a part of being a success. (it’s that “things that do not kill us, make us stronger” saying?) HA!! Just part of the (long, learning) process.

    You’ll figure it out … your way. “It’s waiting for you.” Not the other way around. Hang in there … who knows what lies over the horizon, just out of view. Makes me think of something someone told me (a mentor) some time long ago .. “What did you learn from it? And how are you going to make that (lesson) work for you next time?” And that will get you to-a-thinkin’. Hmmmm. 🙂

    Keep Focused. FORTI FAVET COELUM (Heaven Favors the Brave) To the brave and faithful man (and woman) … nothing is difficult. 😉

  18. Wow! Things have been a little hectic in your house. Sorry to hear about your grandma. Hopefully Mr. Pug will get well soon and Oreo will simmer down (where’s the photo of the little guy?!)

    Things usually happen in three’s, or so they say. Maybe you’re over the worst of things for the year and the next 8 months will be easy, breezy.

    BTW, you weren’t affected by the tornadoes, were you? Sending positive thoughts your way!

  19. I have to say, we’re having a bit of rain here as well. I got sick two weeks ago for the FOURTH time in 2012…I finally caved and took an antibiotic that just further zapped my energy. I am starting to get my energy back though, thank goodness. And only 11 more hours of sick leave at my job!

    Google zapped me in the same week that my full-time job went a bit nuts, so that was pretty uncool. Then this past weekend we had a $1,000 plumbing emergency!!! Unbelievable.

    I could go on, but I hate to complain…and I think you get the picture.

    Just know someone else is having a down time as well, and we’ll both get through this! I am also just counting my blessings; when lots of things go wrong all at the same time it makes you grateful for all of the things that stay normal, you know?

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