So Long Etsy

Last month I closed my Etsy store for good. Sales had been in the crapper for about two years so it was way past time to pull the trigger. Looking at the shop stats confirmed what I already knew and that was that out of 10 years on Etsy the shop only had 3 years where it was kinda profitable.

So, in August I moved the store to Weebly. It’s still a work in progress but so far I’m pleased with the results. Without the coattails of mother Etsy to hang onto, promoting the site is all on me now. IMO it can’t get worse since for the entire year of 2020 there were only 3 sales. Haven’t had numbers that bad since my first couple years on Etsy when it was just a whim and not a full time business.

I’m excited because this will force me to learn more about SEO and promoting on social media. Earlier this year I finally wiggled free of Godaddy’s slimy grip and found new web hosting. Right now this blog and alternativecitycomics.com have the same hosting while the store is hosted by Weebly. For now that works because they handle all the financial transactions since they are owned by Squarespace. Depending how things go I may move them all to the same host but for now it feels like we’re moving forward.

Check out the new Psychic Unicorns online store!

Going Paleo

As I write this it is day 28 of my 30 day Paleo Reset. What makes the Paleo Reset different from the Paleo Diet is that during the reset you’re forbidden from eating any dairy, grains, legumes, sweeteners, refined foods, industrial seed oils, soda, alcohol or any processed sauce or seasonings. Basically all the things that we both love and are killing us.

What is permitted: meat & poultry, organ meats, bone broth soups, fish, starchy tubers like sweet potatoes (which I now LOVE), leafy veggies, fermented vegetables and fruits, healthy fats like coconut, olive oil and even animal fat. These things you can eat as much as you want.

Broccolini, Amber Cup squash(which is to fucking die for) and under all those mushrooms & onions is a burger.

One of the biggest adjustments was redefining what breakfast is. Eggs are allowed but I gave them up just in case I have an allergy to them. So breakfast is now a chicken breast and a sweet potato. There were some cravings early on but not as bad as I thought they would be.

Amber Cup, spinach & pork chop.

You can listen to people give testimonials about how a diet changed or improved their lives but unless you experience it yourself it may be hard to believe. I am a believer.

An all vegetarian option of broccolini, zucchini and delicata squash.

I didn’t weigh myself before but I know I’ve lost some weight and lots of belly bloat. I feel more energetic and have no pain in my joints whatsoever. My mind is even clearer.

The idea is to introduce some things back into the diet one at a time after the 30 days is up. Then you ‘ll be able to identify the offenders your body can’t tolerate. Be prepared to say goodbye to some old friends.

This has changed my outlook on food 100% and I’m never going back to the way I used to eat. Am i going to occasionally cheat once the reset is over? Hell Yes! But I’m going to treat that cookie or that slice of cake like the tiny dose of poison that it is and only have a bit rather than pigging out like I used to.

The Magic of Vinyl

I love that the vinyl record has made a comeback. For me it’s mostly a nostalgic thing since I know that digitally recorded music is a more accurate presentation of sound, but with vinyl it’s all about the experience.

Growing up in the 60’s & 70’s  playing records was kind of a big deal. When you broke out the albums and started playing them back to back that was an event. Usually there would be friends over or it would be the weekend. Otherwise you’d just turn on the radio. There was no streaming or mp3 players.

Just watching the record spin on the turntable is kind of hypnotic. Not to mention all the extras, lyrics and artwork that come inside the album jacket.

We are blessed with one of the coolest record stores on the planet here in Olympia, Rainy Day Records. I have spent hours on my hands and knees going through their 98 cent records. New vinyl is more pricey than I remember. A single album today can run as much as $30 so it’s worth it to look through the bargain bins.

Along with used stereo equipment, used & new cds and dvds, there’s a wall of rare records displayed as a comic shop would show their prize silver and bronze age books. They even have 45s!

Rainy Day is going to get a lot of my business in the months to come as I replace my record collection that was mostly given away before our move. Any records new or old I’ll get buy from them because places like this are a treasure and should be around forever.

The Good Son

August was a hard month. We lost both of our dogs to cancer days just apart. Last August our youngest dog Lily died so August has not been kind as of late. One good thing did happen the last week of this past August and that was us adopting an eight year old beagle named Abel.

Janet and Abel under the apple tree.

Abel comes to us from Kindness Ranch who have many animals in their care as well as beagles that survive laboratory research. These people are truly doing the lords work. Beagles are the preferred dogs for laboratory research partly because of their mild temperament which ironically is the thing we love most about them. Abel was being fostered by a family in Redmond Washington and we found him on Petfinder.

Except for a few minor dust ups with our cat Smokey trying to be a bully, Abel’s first couple weeks with us has been pretty smooth. Janet had the brilliant idea of letting both of them sit with her in the reading room during the day. Since then Smokey has become less fearful and more accepting of Abel’s constant pacing in circles, a habit we noticed in our now angel dog Lily. They were both caged for the early years of their lives.

Wednesday we had his first vet appointment with our vet Dr. Martin who is super cool. Although she can not prescribe or recommend CBD for animals, I ran it by her and she agrees they can do no harm. Dogs have to ingest lots of toxins in their lifetime so maybe this will help even things out a bit. We want to do everything possible to make sure that Abel has a long and healthy life.

 

 

Remembering Odie

Years ago I used to keep a journal. It helped me work through a lot of things that I was going through at the time. For some reason I got away from doing that, but since nobody reads this blog I’ve decided that this is my journal now and plan to make more frequent entries. If someone reads it, no big deal. I have no secrets.

One week ago we were at a vet appointment for Herbie. We always brought Odie along for because he hates to be left alone with just the cats, plus it’s just nice to have him around supporting Herbie. We mentioned to the doctor how Odie was having some  stool issues and she noticed that he had some muscle wasting in multiple areas that was an indication of a very old dog or a very sick dog. Suddenly the conversation was no longer about Herbie.

The doctor ordered a set of x-rays and they confirmed the worst. His intestines were being smashed to the back of his body by huge tumors that had been growing for some time. Some calcification of the organs had already begun. He didn’t have long.

I felt numb and heartbroken. We had just spent hundreds on expensive tests and even a dental only a few months ago where they told us he was fine. I’m still trying to not be angry about that. If they had done the x-ray when we had the senior blood panel done on him in April, maybe we could have done something to slow the process or at least make him more comfortable.

His last day was not comfortable. That was Monday. We said goodbye to him at 3:00 Monday afternoon, less than a week after the diagnosis.

The last few days have been really shitty. When you adopt older dogs you have less time with them. That’s the trade off, I get that but that doesn’t mean that you don’t feel like you just took a baseball bat to the gut every time you lose one.

And you know what, I’d do the same thing all over again.

It’s not about us it’s about the dog.

If I see another older dog in a shelter in the near future, I’m probably gonna adopt them. Especially if they’re a beagle.

Right now, little Herbie is the last man standing. I always knew he was a tough little guy but I had no idea he would outlive our other dogs.

I’ll always remember Odie as being such a diplomat. He ignored the cats even when they were acting crazy. Lily was so nervous that she would often trip over him and even lay on top of him but he never protested. And he was always careful to not trample Herbie even at dinner time.

I’m really gonna miss my buddy. He was something special. Right now I imagine him and Lily in heaven snuggling together. Saving a space for Herbie.