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Shout, Shout, Let It All Out.

I may have less to say this week because I am up to my eyeballs in work – six photos shoots, plus some writing assignments.

Although I seem to have a lot to say right now. Life took on a bit of a yucky tone over the weekend. Mostly in general, and even slightly here. This is a positive place, which is mainly why I moderate comments on occasion. Anonymous comments are mostly welcome. Vague comments are welcome. Constructive criticism is even welcome. Name-calling is not welcome – not when it’s happening to other commenters or even to me. Luckily, it’s very rare and this is a safe place for me, and for you.

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(This “safe place” is Storrs, CT in early May. It’s probably even more amazing right now.)

That said, and even despite that, I’ve been feeling slightly disgruntled with blogging lately which is also rare for me. I might just need to step back slightly, which I don’t often do, or step back with what I put into this. I have felt very restless and disconnected, which is probably due to multiple things. I apologize in advance if I don’t seem to be as active as I usually am. Although, sometimes people can’t tell when I step back! That’s because I pre-schedule and line up my words and photos.

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I have no signs of writer’s block, but I do have a lot of work to finish that comes first. I have no plans to stop blogging.. ever..

I am wanting to feel the love and connection I usually feel again.

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I just need the occasional rest and refresh and to get back the groove. Resting (even in puddles) can be very refreshing.

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And for today, I have a harrowing cat rescue story.

Both of our cats like to hang around the deck and garden. Both come right in for dinner. Bella ran outside early yesterday morning and wasn’t seen again at night. Cassidy was really nervous at night and I was too, because it was getting late and there was no sign of her. We woke up the next morning and she was still gone. Cassidy went for a long walk in the yard and woods and turned up with nothing. We had to tell Scarlet that we couldn’t find Bella and she remained hopeful and made a wish on a candle that Bella would come back today. I was hopeful too, and I told Cassidy. He wasn’t hopeful at all but he has had cats before and knows more than I do. He was very bummed and I was getting to be bummed too. I missed that weird cat.

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As the day went on, I skipped morning and afternoon Sunday plans because I was too sad and scared. I kept looking outside and expecting to see her little face peering in at the door, but there was nothing. She had been gone well over 24 hours. I took Des outside on the deck to look around and I heard the unmistakable sound of meowing in the woods. I called Cassidy out and he heard it too, but it was quickly swallowed up by the sounds of many loud birds. We went into the woods to track sounds and didn’t hear it again for awhile. I went back inside and Cassidy somehow kept going and found her up a tree. He ran to get a ladder and grabbed her, to many scratches on his arm, but she escaped again! However, we knew she was alive, at least, and sure enough – she came peering in the front door and found her way inside again. Where she will STAY.

After our hearts got back to their normal rates, we decided to salvage the day with the kids.

May you all have a beautiful week, and may you savor your days the way Des savors his macaroni and cheese and strawberries.

And all foods, really. And all things, really.

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  1. Am I FIRST????!!! YAY!!!!! I am needing to go back, I know- I have a few or at least one I know of that I still need to read of yours sweetie!!

    So- thank GOD that little kitty was found and is okay! Oh that must have been scary and awful…

    And as for your ‘place in the blog scene and otherwise’… refresh, restore, rest… we all need it. And Lord knows I go through many of those seasons of feeling ‘less than’ what I usually feel. I’m starting to feel it just in the last two days- and this weather change is probably the cause. I would simply like to sleep for about a week. Just blah. Trying to find the passion for anything really…. I told Derek I am just tired of living- but not in ‘that way’- just tired of this and that and doing this and that and another this and that… sometimes life seems soooooo long.

    But anyhoo…

    We march on. And the spirit finds us again…

    It always seems to, right?

    Love you wherever you’re at. XO

    1. Love you too, no matter what!

      You know I really do understand what you said about life seeming too long and feeling tired of it. Of course I don’t mean that from the standpoint of wanting it to end. I just mean that sometimes it’s a little tedious and it’s hard and it’s one hit after another. And mostly, it’s pretty amazing.

      And I get tired too!

  2. I’m glad she is home safe and sound. You are going to laugh, but you know that gazebo we have off our back deck? Several times two of our cats (apparently the dumb ones) have climbed up it and then couldn’t figure out how to get down and I had to climb on top of a tall chair to get them. Caly did it again the other day and sat there cry meowing at me. I watched her for a while trying to figure out how to get down and then I took pity. The first chair I got wasn’t tall enough (because I am short) so I had to go back in to get another. When I came back, she had discovered her way down and it was the funniest thing I have ever seen a cat do. She was shimmying down the wood pole very cautiously. It was hilarious to watch. I hope that is the end of her climbing up there. By the way, the puddle pictures are awesome!

    1. Thanks about the puddle pictures! They are actually from May and I am just very behind on some of my photos.
      I didn’t see the actual rescue, but Cassidy said she was perfectly capable of coming down by herself. I will say that she is a very weird cat. I do love her but she is very, very weird.

  3. Tamara, I know this feeling well and sometimes we really do just need to step away and take a break now and again. Trust me, I have done it and like you said I always come back and probably always will, but still it is refreshing and really helpful from time to time to regroup for our sanity’s sake. That said, I am so thankful for that your kitty is ok and also don’t let those comments get to you. Seriously, you are just too good for that and know you are loved (especially by me). Hugs and here to talk if you need always!! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Always! And when I was feeling a little fried last night, I did text you! And it helped.
      I think I will still be blogging regularly but maybe with less words. Maybe I will do a true wordless Wednesday! And I do have Ask Away Friday already set up. Priorities.

  4. I remember when Kailua got out of our yard and was gone for an entire night. I was so scared he wouldn’t come back. Luckily we found him laying on the deck early in the morning. I cried, I was so happy. And the first part of your post? I feel you. Actually, I just scheduled a post for Monday morning that speaks to the same feeling. I guess we’re on the same wavelength again. (Oh, and you’re in the post too!)

    1. I cannot wait to see your post today after work! I really can’t wait. And this is going to sound slightly mean, but I am a dog person and I feel like I’d be so much more upset if it had been Athena. Or maybe even Dinah. Bella is not my favorite, but I do love her, and I did worry about her, and I’m so happy about her safe return. So I guess I’m not that mean!

  5. Aww. So happy to know you found her! She sure recognizes her home. And Reiko just ate macaroni today too.

    As for blogging, we all probably have our moments. Moments and priorities. I’ve always told myself that blogging should feel good if I do it. Go on and take a step back if needed, I’m always gonna follow your blog though! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you! I will always follow yours too. And my step back is still going to be somewhat consistent, I just might do more photos and less words. But sometimes my step backs do include talking. So we will see!

  6. Glad you found Bella – amazing how much our pets become a part of our family and our heart.
    Yay for your blog being a safe place and for keeping it that way. I feel the same about mine and I need that to stay sane. I can also relate to the wanting to slow down and take a little break – do what feels right for you. No regrets!

    1. No regrets is right! And I will keep saying to people that I will still be here, and I will probably still be commenting. I just might do more photos and less words. Or more words and less photos. Doing both can be very time-consuming!

  7. I’m glad to know that your latest adventure had a happy ending Tamara. Speaking of adventure it seems that Bella was feeling a little adventurous! Time for that nap you mentioned Tamara. A nice, long overnight nap. Sleep Well!

    1. Well I did take an overnight nap! As in, going to bed. And thank you for the good wishes. That weird cat did get into my heart and I would not want anything bad to happen to her.

  8. Aw, Mac & Cheese sounds great right about now. I know that feeling of a missing cat. Unfortunately, ours had a sad ending. That was many years ago now but I always think of Duke and still have his bowl. I’m so happy you found Bella ๐Ÿ™‚ As for blogging, I know that feeling. A break can make all the difference. I’m sorry to hear there was some negativity here, Tamara. It’s amazing what we put out in the Universe as bloggers though and I sometimes amaze myself at what I’m willing to share. There’s sometimes a feeling of vulnerability.

    1. Big vulnerability. And for the most part, it’s well received and welcomed. I am very nonconfrontational, and I have no patience for nonsense. And I seem to find bloggers who are the same way! I love the way you share.
      I’m so sorry about your cat. Cassidy really thought that was what had happened here, but I wasn’t sure. We don’t have a lot of issues with traffic, but there are coyotes in the fall. I think that’s what worried him the most.

  9. I’m glad you found her and that she knows the way home. That’s one of the reasons we don’t let Trouble out – she is strictly an indoor cat. We also have a largely dog-based neighborhood so I really don’t want to spend days saving her from a dog. Also, lots of reckless drivers and road kills… so yeah. Puddle pictures are great! Happy for your photo shoots and I know you’ll rock those.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m sitting here early for one right now, and I am calming my nerves with my WordPress app. It’s amazing how that works. And that is why blogging will always be my safe place, no matter what happens. No one can take that from me.

  10. Thankfully our cat, Leo, is an indoor cat (though I’ll admit I do sometimes feel bad), but Sam’s mom has two outdoor cats and lives right next to the woods and has had to deal with something similar. I’m glad you were able to find Bella!

    I hear you on feeling disconnected with blogging, I’ve been feeling that in waves the last few months. But I couldn’t give it up, at least not now. I know, though, I will likely have to step back a bit in the upcoming months as the holiday season approaches. At least I hope, because that means my jewelry business is proceeding successfully!

    1. That is what is happening here mostly! Too much work, and I enough time. I will still be blogging but it will either be more words and less photos, or more photos and less words. Doing both takes a lot of time and I don’t have it right now.

      The cats are mostly indoor cats. Bella is obsessed with going outside, but Dinah really only has the patience to go outside for a few minutes and then wants to come in.

      Of course I haven’t let them out today and I know they wanted to go! Too spooked.

  11. So glad the story has a happy ending! I can’t imagine having a lost pet. That is heart wrenching. I also hear you on the blogging front. Take all the time you need. Although I will miss you and your words here, it’s more important to center yourself ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with all you have going on this week!

    1. Well I will still be here. I just might have to tone down either the words or the photos. Doing both is a lot of work. And I will of course still be reading and commenting. That is my happy and safe place. Thank you!

  12. Oh, I’m so glad she came back… I was sad with you:( I think blogging is terrific, and you are a gifted writer, and if you’ve got 6 photo shoots, that is just awesome! All of life – including professional life – has seasons. Some may be short, some may be longer. It is important to follow the ebb and flow of priorities and creative inspiration, while maintaining a reputation for being reliable and dependable.

    1. This was such an amazing comment! It is a balance of those two things, and mostly they are both in check. I think the fact that I comment a lot on other blogs, and I write posts with a lot of words and photos is where I can’t be right now. I’m just talking very short-term, though. Like this week!

  13. Meeko does that sometimes, even went on a foray with that Max for several days, probably looking for rats. I guess keeping her outside 24 and 7 and having a barn to run to keeps he rout of trees..for now!

  14. I’m SO glad you found Bella. How scary! Would have been a wreck the entire time she was gone.

    Stepping back from time to time is a good thing. I think it helps to keep blogging fresh, and to remember what you love about it. That way you can focus less on the parts you might not love. You keep up such a rigorous schedule, you have to give yourself space to breathe. Just not TOO much space….because you would be missed if you disappeared! We would have to send out search groups into the blogging woods and look for you in trees.

    1. Well maybe I should do that, just to see this search party! Just kidding.

      It is a rigorous schedule, with commenting and writing and taking photos. So one of those things will have to give for a week or two. I will still post but maybe only choose words or only photos.

  15. I’ll miss seeing your beautiful posts, but I get it. I too had a rough weekend, and I swear – I jinxed myself with my Friday post (about my son). He did something scary that he hasn’t done for years, he has autism, and it messed me up. One of my friends insisted I need to do a follow up blog – and I don’t think I can. It hurts too much right now. Maybe later. I may be hiding this week, too:).

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry about what happened to you.

      Your Friday post was delightful, and I can tell that so is he and so are many people in your life.

  16. I think it’s a fantastic idea to relax and step back especially when you have such major things going on in your life. We appreciate you but never want you to get burnt out by blogging especially when you have your job to do.

    Happy that you found your cat!

  17. I’m glad she came back!

    And sometimes we need a break. It can help a lot.

    I also love mac and cheese and strawberries.

  18. Tamera,

    This is Lena..and I wanted to truly apologize if I offended or hurt you. I guess I am not used to commenting on blogs as this was one of my first times and I messed it up.
    My blog is one large debate. when I share people support and comfort or question and analyze..and this s what I am used to and love.

    But PLEASE don’t let me make you stop writing your beautiful and appreciated blog because of me pushing too hard about why you were not considering meds. I realized by your reaction that I don’t know you and this was territory that did not belong to me.
    Your post today and the fact that you have taken off my comments off your blog really made me step back and look at myself and what I say in my life in general. Has made me reflect on my mothering and partnering and life and it will all change for the better from this experience.

    I live in a very open world…am a corporate executive and spend my days agreeing or disagreeing and challenging and being challenged. I have my own blog where that is expected and welcomed. But what I realized today is that not everyone wants that….and I of course respect that. It is your blog and would be such a shame if you did not express your feelings as you always have because someone offended you (me!)

    There was a big debate on a blog I read this week where a girls is getting married yet her boyfriend a year ago broke up with her and she really publically shared that on the blog in immense detail. Now that they are back together many people are warning her that he could do it again once married. she has been so offended but many of the bloggers are saying that if she pours her hearts out so freely she must expect this. I agree with this view.

    But we all have our limits and we are all diverse. Your blog seems like a place of safety as you said and comfort,
    I will definately continue reading as I love it..but I won’t comment anymore. For me-a blog is not to only get support and agreement but to challenge thinking (but this is what works for me)

    Pls accept my apology and be who you are exactly and what you have always been to your readers. If you change and it has anything to do with me…I will be getting punched in the face by a lot of people! We all love your blog!
    and I have never doubted your kids are happy and well adjusted…that is an obvious fact.


    1. Hi Lena,

      I think it was very brave and awesome of you to come back and write this. I appreciate that very much. Generally this isn’t a controversial blog, and generally the criticism is minimal, but yes, I was hurt and offended here. That could very well be about ME too. I do get defensive in life, but sometimes… I’ve always been under the impression that being defensive isn’t a terrible thing. I know that sounds weird. I’m just saying that sometimes in life, we defend ourselves, and with passion, or anger, or sadness… but all of that is FEELING. And feelings are.. happening.

      Anyway, yes I pour my heart out on this blog but of course, I can’t tell the whole stories. Some things are too personal, or they don’t belong to me so I don’t. I don’t really talk about the therapy side of things. Or bad medical insurance that doesn’t cover pills I can’t afford. Or how I never take medications for ANYTHING, so even Children’s Motrin is powerful in my body. So meds are just not my first choice for that reason and others I’ve listed throughout time on this blog. I fear they’re too strong for me right now, but also, I am doing other things that include the advice and help of psychological professionals. (of course!) And I appreciate what you said about my kids. They are truly happy and well-adjusted and that has to do with their natural genetic makeup, and their calm father, and me working on myself.

      That said, I was referring to more than one thing. I have to step back from the blog this week because of an intense workload and my Sunday was a bit ruined because of the cat going missing. And someone out of the blog asked me about prescription meds and it was someone I only know through town passing, so it was fresh on my mind. I also got a blog comment about it, and yours, and I wasn’t really ready to put this in a post how much I really am working on myself. And I am.

      And I appreciate this. Feel free to write again, or tell me your blog if you want so I can visit. I totally understand if you want to remain anonymous, though.

      This is the longest comment I’ve ever written.

  19. So this weekend someone visited my site and left a comment telling me I was being confused and used by demons! WTH!! People can be so weird and dumb. A few years ago my family had a lot of death threats due to a tragic situation blown up in the media, people just don’t think sometimes before they open their traps and see the situation. Take your break, but please come back.

    So glad you found your cat.

    1. Oh my God! Maybe we are all being confused and used by demons. Just kidding. It sounds like it was spam, or somebody very very strange.

      People have trouble with thinking before speaking a lot.

  20. So glad the cat came back. I dread the day I have to explain that ours is gone (He’s 14 years old). Oscar is an indoor cat, but on occasion he will dart outside if we leave the door open too long. Usually, though, he crouches down and looks around as if to say, “I did it! I got out!…Now what??”

  21. First, congrats on your kitty being safe.But I am sorry you have received some negativity. I agree, we can disagree with a post but it should never resort to insult. So I am sad that it has happened to you. I hope you find your balance.

  22. I’m so glad Bella was found and then returned home safely. Makes you wonder if she all of sudden got a nocturnal hankering or something huh? The picture of Athena playing in the mud is awesome. Pups having uninhibited fun for sure ๐Ÿ™‚ Hey, there is nothing wrong with taking a break and a little time out can often be invigorating to the soul and to writing/blogging, my friend. Yes please on mac & cheese and strawberries. Please have a good day, Tamara ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You please have a good day too, my friend!

      The funny thing about the story is that I wasn’t there for the rescue, but Cassidy told me she really wasn’t trapped up a tree. She had free will. That’s where she was but it was low enough that she could’ve gotten down. If she wanted to do it! This morning she was eyeing the door with passion. I didn’t let her out, though!

  23. Tamara! So glad to be reading your blog again. I feel like we relate so much on a deep level of emotion, and your posts always cheer me up… whether they’re bright or deep. And of course your beautiful children always put a smile on my face! Sorry for disappearing, so much happened, but I’m back now and happy to be reading your blog again : )

    1. I always felt that way about us too. Are you blogging again? I usually am following you but I haven’t seen anything new. I will keep my eyes open, though!

  24. Oh poor little thing stuck in a tree! I am so glad you were able to find Bella! She was probably stuck there for hours. Glad you were all able to celebrate later that day! So cute of Des, I savor my mac and cheese always as well! Wishing you a strawberrys and cream week Tamara! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That’s a nice thing to wish someone! Strawberries and cream. Okay one funny thing that Cassidy said is that he didn’t think she was really stuck in the tree. That is where she was hanging out, but he said she could’ve gotten down if she had wanted to get down. That little punk!

  25. I’m glad you found your cat. I hope you are able to step back from blogging to get a break. I couldn’t imagine working and blogging. Homeschooling and blogging is a lot for me.

  26. You know, even if I weren’t a big Bella fan, the possibility of never seeing her again and not knowing what happened to her would hurt me. And after recovering her, I would have a new love for the little kit-kat. I’m glad everything worked out and sheesh, Scarlett is such an optimist! Does ANYTHING phase her? Seriously!

    I’m bummed to hear about the blogging cloud but I know you just need a recharge. You’re a writer/photographer/connection maker, throwing in the towel on blogging goes against your true nature! You couldn’t, you need this outlet, it’s sanity! Writers must express themselves one way or another, otherwise suffer the internal crazy of our own voice and that’s pretty painful.

    1. You are so very right. This is my happy and safe place. This is where I go when the rest of the world burns me out. Any kind of break could not last. This is mostly because of my jobs this week. It’s just too much. Two of them are rush jobs too.

      I do have extra love for Bella, and last night when she snuggled with me, I didn’t even mind that she passed gas and drooled on my nice new sweatshirt!

  27. It’s funny you mentioned moderating comments, because I had my first nasty comment on Friday. I let it sit unapproved for awhile, and then I decided to approve it and reply. I think I took the high road, and I just felt like I wanted to respond to Mr. No Sense of Humor. Anyway.
    I can imagine you are a bit burned out – you have so much going on! Three times a week is a lot to post; when I went to twice a week it was much more manageable. Whatever you decide, I’ll be here. Let’s hope we can say the same for Bella!

    1. Haha! Yes, Bella was eyeing the front door today with passion.

      It’s funny when you live in a state of peace in a blog, that even one bad comment can throw off your day. Just remember what we learned at our conference about how the bigger you are, the more prone to hate. I always wonder when it’s all going to end for me. Even one bad comment made me question myself for a full day.

      In my case, though, it was a big misunderstanding and it was talked through and I have a lot of respect for the person.

    2. P.S. I just read the comment. What the heck is his deal? Why does he have a bone to pick? It sounds like he might be one of your neighbors!

  28. Inside cats on the outside world = scary! If you live near the woods (which you do) the “hunter” animals come out at night, which could be what scared her up a tree. Scary! My cat Fiona left the house last year and was gone for 3 days, in the Summer of 105 degree heat. After day 2 I just had a feeling she was gone forever, she has never stayed gone so long. Then one day I was outside watching the neighbor water her grass several houses down and my cat popped out of her bushes and started meowing and wanting attention from her. I went down their and grabbed her and hugged her and told her she was on restriction from leaving the house. I think it scared her enough that she never wanders far when I do let her out, and she always meows at the door when she wants back in. Even those occasions are still rare. So glad your sweet little one was found safe and sound!

    1. It’s so true. They will always tell you not to let your cats outside. If it isn’t traffic and you live in the woods, we do get coyotes this time of year. Cassidy was really really bummed and it showed me a whole new light about how much she really does care for the little ones. All of them.
      They just never leave the yard. And they are never allowed out at night. However today I am so spooked that I won’t let them out and they’re upset.

    1. I was pretty surprised! This isn’t really a negative space. It’s over, though.

      That is the biggest fear around here. Coyotes. Because we are very far from the road.

  29. You. The sweetest most supportive blogger I know. With one of the most rocking blogs I know, so soulful and full of heart and life moments and revelations not to mention gorgeous photos – I’m sorry things got yucky. You don’t deserve that. None of us do, those of us who pour it all out with sincerity and trust on our pages. Rest and refresh isn’t a bad thing. When I was a regular blogger, you know, before I too my big step back, all of the little steps back were helpful.

    And I’m glad about the cat. I had a cat who took off for a day several years ago and I was a mess until she returned. Your furry family members apparently know where home is. xo

    1. Yes! She’s behind me right now, probably dreaming about running through the woods and climbing trees!

      I appreciate all you say. We all have a pretty great thing going, so it’s shocking when there’s any negativity on any blog. It happens, though. It’s the internet! My husband is always like, “And you’re surprised someone said something like that.. because??” When he’s not even talking about my blog, but humanity in general.

      Love you!

  30. Ugh, I’m so sorry to hear you were having to fend off trolls over the weekend. That is not cool. I have been in a pretty active facebook group for over a year and someone made a really rude comment to me yesterday and I was just DONE. I left the main group and all the subgroups… I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life, especially from a complete stranger! I will definitely be on facebook less now, too, which I think is a good thing.

    1. Oh no! Isn’t it weird when it ruins your day or week? I remember being on Babycenter during my pregnancies and those forums were just total fights. You could say, “I love dogs” and no doubt, someone would call you stupid and misguided.
      Glad you’re finding peace without that group!

  31. Sometimes I think stepping back is the best answer. So sorry that you were targeted with negativity. Take all the time you need to regroup to write again. Lately, I’ve scaled back on putting up posts – maybe it is burnout or writer’s block or just a general feeling that I need to regroup. Know that you are not alone.

    1. It seems to be happening more lately. I wonder if it’s the time of year or just a time of great change for us all.
      I know I’m not going to stop blogging.. it seems like ever.

  32. Most bloggers I know invest a lot of time and emotion in their blogs and stepping back is an absolute must. I was starting to notice something was wrong but since you have been so overwhelmed lately, I figured it had something to do with that. Step backs are helpful to relax and come back refreshed!

    I’m so glad Bella is OK. I was freaking out as I was reading. I know how hard it is to lose a pet.

    1. Totally overwhelmed, Ida! And I have so much work to do that it’s crazy.
      Thank you for your words. I’ll still be reading and posting, but maybe a more gentler workload for a week or two.

  33. Close call huh? Glad Bella returned – lock her a$$ up Lol. Now you know you have a runner – when you open doors and such be mindful of her, is she chipped? we’re going to chip our cat just cuz better safe than sorry. Taking a step back is always good – no matter the reason, it’s nice to listen to your mind and body ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs Tamara! -Iva

    1. What’s funny is that she isn’t chipped but we were asked to chip her! Now we will. I used to think those chips could locate them in the world… Like lost in the woods… In a coyote’s den.. Now I realize they only work if someone brings them to a shelter or vet.
      I like my sci-fi theories better.

      1. LOL Who asked you to chip her? Ours will be an indoor cat but either way if situations like that arise – someone better find him/her! Glad your Bella is safe and sound (oh cue the music!)!

        1. That is funny because someone else said the same thing about my favorite song! And what makes it even better is that when I read your email, it was playing on my Pandora. Cue eerie music.
          The vet asked me if I wanted to chip them. Next time I will!

  34. Oh, how frightening! I can recall the panic in my house whenever a pet got out for even a few minutes, much less more than 24 hours. I understand what you mean about needing a step back. Whatever that means for you, you can be sure you’ve got many here waiting for you.

  35. Glad you found your cat and that all was well!!!
    I can’t imagine anyone having a single negative thing to say to you – you are amazing in all ways!!!

  36. glad you found the kitty! as you can probably tell, I dialed down on the blogging in the last month or so.. it felt good, but I felt the itch to write.. but at the same time, I’m so glad I dialed it down.

    1. I think you really had to! Something had to give with all of the moving and working and parenting. People say I multitask, but I think you’re much more on top of it!

  37. There’s a reason why the hubby can’t have pets. He was heartbroken once and will never happen again. Same as I…when my cat named Snowhite passed away, it was painful to my childhood.
    Your boy is growing so big! You are his reflection on the 2nd to the last pic!

    1. What a beautiful name for a cat! I am so sorry about that. I have only ever had dogs, so I find the love to be very powerful, but I’m giving these cats a chance.

  38. I remember when my kid loved mac ‘n cheese and strawberries! But somewhere along the way she became a picky eater…I don’t know what happened! So glad your kitty is Safe and Sound. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I love the way you capitalized safe and sound, like the song!

      I never really eat macaroni and cheese but I had some last night! It was very comforting.

  39. macaroni and cheese and strawberries – good call Des!
    this is my new fear now that we have a cat. they even told me at the shelter that if he got out – he wouldn’t likely come back. at least not until he had been with us for months to a year. and with 3 kids running in and out the house, my new holla be: watch the door!! watch the dooooorrrr!! the cat!!! the caaaaatt!
    I swear people must think I am bat crap crazy.

    1. Ha! It makes sense, though. When you have kids and a dog, like we do, the door is always opening and closing. Those little buggers love to run out.

  40. Oh my goodness – why do our pets do this to us? So glad you got your sweet kitty back. If we could all just enjoy our macaroni and cheese and strawberries like Des, life would be so good :)!

    1. And the way he enjoys everything! Even the cats.
      It was so weird because she wasn’t even really trapped. She just decided to stay in a tree overnight? Strange creature.

  41. Ahh I feel that too sometimes. The needing to pull back. So excited for you with so many photo shoots and writing assignments though! That is all so good and I sort of like when that happens and I feel more of the balance and less of the all-blogging-all-the-time. The balance is good.
    Glad the kitty made it home ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It is certainly interesting! I mean moneywise, this is ideal. Sanity wise? I don’t think I could live like this consistently until the kids are older.

  42. I’m sorry that negativity creeped into your space. I love it here, so I am kind of pissed off for you at anyone who dared to try to make it less wonderful. I feel like you described when it comes to blogging ALL THE TIME. Especially lately. Taking a step back often really helps. I find that I miss it when I’m gone too long. Maybe that will change at some point, but for now, I’m riding out the wave as long as I can.

    Also, isn’t it funny how we come to love things that we never really thought we would? I remember us discussing how annoying cats were a few months ago, but then when it comes down to it and we’re afraid that something might happen to a member of our families, all bets are off. I’m glad your kitty is back safe and sound.

    1. You’re the second person, or third, to use the term safe and sound. I love that!
      It is funny because I still don’t consider myself a cat person. I still think they are creepy and weird. Of course I do love ours and the happiness they bring to my kids and even me. They are always all over me. I am the lucky chosen one.

  43. Awww, this is such a positive space, I’m sad to hear someone brought negativity here. As you know, I fully endorse taking a step back to reconnect. We all have lives outside of blogging… and taking a break is far better than breaking down.

    I’m so glad your kitty was found. Yay!

    Mac and Cheese… and strawberries?! Sounds like my kind of lunch.

  44. I think it is perfectly acceptable to step back from time and time to reevaluate and see how you are feeling. Sometimes it actually helps you get more energized. Am sorry you are feeling off.-Ashley

  45. I’ve never had a controversial or hurtful comment on my blog. Am I doing something wrong?

    Kidding aside: I once had a midfielder who knew no other way than all out. The way you write, emotionally. It’s not wrought with emotion, but it comes from a powerful source. What you do must tap the reserves. That’s how she was. And she worried (as did her mom) that such abandon, although it was her nature, could sustain.

    So I told her not to change a thing. Play with that abandon because that’s who you are. when you need to, rest. Come to me on the sideline. Sit a while. And when you’re ready, pour it out again. I feel like it’s that way with you. You do a remarkable job of pacing yourself so that those periods are hardly detectable.

    Some of us, know, though. And we love the way you’re Tamara.

    1. At BlogU, we learned that you aren’t someone until you’ve had a troll! I guess I’m not really someone because I’ve been pretty lucky. I did have a Facebook incident once with an in person “friend” but she was swiftly blocked.

      I think I’ll sit and rest on the bench for awhile, if you don’t mind. I’ll come in and out in spurts, for sure.

  46. I am all about the stepping back (lol). I’m sorry it was something so negative for you that either started or contributed to the decision though. You have created a good, safe place here for yourself and your readers. Trust in that. Let that help you fight the negativity/doubt. Good. Safe. Genuine. Always beats negativity.

    1. I think I found my new mantra in life, thank you.
      Honestly it was only slightly that, and just that I have so much work to do. I will still blog this week, but it won’t be the type of posts that take me hours.

  47. Poor kitty. Glad she came back home! I think stepping back is necessary from time to time. You pour so much of yourself into your posts and that is wonderful but, also, so exhausting. I enjoy reading your posts whether they are short or long ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. It sounds like you know what you need to do and you’re willing to do itโ€”double win! I’m sorry to hear about a negative situation though. I hope that pulling back the reins gives you the refreshment you need.

    1. Thank you so much. All of these comments have been so refreshing too. I just have so much work to do and that is the main reason why I can’t really do the long posts this week.

  49. I’m saddened that negativity imposed on this space!!! Shame on them!
    I think we all know what it’s like to need to take a step back. I mean, you’ve got 6 photoshoots to catch up on! That’s alot! Plus motherhood, wifehood, and all the other hats.
    Glad you found that “weird cat”, as you call her.

    1. That seems to be the general consensus, which makes me very happy.
      The photoshoots are insane. I’ll still blog but I won’t spend a lot of time on each post like I usually do. Not until I catch up!

      (she’s a very weird cat)

  50. Such a big boy sitting in that chair! I’m happy you have a lot of shoots since it’s what you love and you are always ON when it comes to blogging so stepping back for a little is totally understandable though. I barely notice when you step back like you said though. Glad you found Bella!

    You know…I’m feeling more disconnected lately. I had more regular blogs to follow. I want more. It’s not a lot of people that I’ve made the lasting connection I’ve made with bloggers like you and the few others that I have who want to create a relationship with me I guess. Not sure how I will go about creating that connection. I guess commenting on other blogs to see if people began to reciprocate and it turns into a regular thing? I don’t really know. It would be nice if I just knew who I would “click” with.

    1. He’s totally not handling the highchair anymore! Big kid ready for the table.

      It’s weird that we’ve ALL been feeling disconnected. I really want to know why. It could be the start of the school year, but it didn’t happen last September/October.

      We have to bring blogging back!

  51. Your week definitely sounds full!! It always helps me feel refreshed when I step away from blogging just for a bit, for whatever reason. I’ve been feeling a little bit of a lack of interest in blogging here recently, so I’m glad that I’m going to NC for a couple weeks. I’ve already lined up my blog posts but I think it will be really nice to just not have to think about blogging for a bit. That always makes me come back with a passion for it!

    And I’m so glad your kitty was found! That sounded scary!

  52. For once Tamara I actually looked at your photos before actually reading your post then went back to read it. That first photo blew me away and I would so love to visit there. As for breaks, we all need it ever so often. I have been taking more and more time off from blogging lately to spend more time with the kids. After my surgery scares this year I realize that my time is fleeting and I need to cherish every moment of every day, so I schedule ever so often and then I get online ever so often and visit my besties you and Janine. Here’s to a beautiful week!

    1. That first photo is my in-laws’ house! And that’s in early spring when everything was still a bit dead. If you came in the fall, oh boy. It’s GORGEOUS!
      I’ve been following along with your health scares and I agree that time is precious.

  53. I am so over blogging lately! I don’t ever want to quit it, but I have been so swamped with life lately that blogging and everything associated is just another stressor to add to the list. When I don’t do it, though, I miss it. I know I’ve miss dose of your posts and some of others’, too. I remember this summer I took a week off entirely – no writing, no reading or commenting, no social media. It was so refreshing. Maybe we need to try that again???

  54. So glad that Bella came home! I can’t imagine how stressful that must have been. And I’m sorry about the negativity because this place and this space because it’s always felt like a refuge to me. I hear you about blogging. I definitely feel more disconnected lately and I know that I’ve pulled back too. I hope your week is going smoothly. xo

    1. Thank you so much. Still a refuge. For all. I’ll make sure of it.
      The disconnect is nearly viral here. I wonder why?! So many people are talking about it.

      1. I’m not sure why but I definitely feel what Chris Carr described as just overall tiredness – tired of this and of that and yes I would love to sleep for a week! Maybe it’s the seasons too and settling into October, soon to be November and December and winter kind of feeling.

  55. I’m sorry you had a tough weekend. I’m happy Bella is back ๐Ÿ™‚ I hate that your feelings were hurt especially since you share them so freely with us here, I hope I’m never offensive when I comment on blogs, I don’t think so, but perhaps I may suggest unwanted suggestionsโ€ฆ
    If you need to pull back I understand, I think we all need that at times, it’s good for the soul.
    All the best, my friend!

    1. Sometimes you have to be really careful not to offend, but you never really know what will offend people and on the wrong day. So probably you take great care. I’m sure I’ve offended people without meaning to do so!

  56. I get that way sometimes, too. Rest up and recharge Tamara, you’re wonderful! Much work, stress, and sometimes even blogging big or important things takes a ton out of me, even if it is relieving, so I get it. Nonetheless, here’s to great photo shoots, some quality time with yourself and your family, as well as a re-centering! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hear, hear to all! You are wonderful too. And I think even doing this shorter post was so refreshing, because it took me 20 minutes, as opposed to the hours it takes to do others!

  57. Don’t feel bad about taking steps back when you need to. It’s your space and you can do with it as you please. Congrats on all those shoots, and I’m sure they were fabulous. But no if you skip a blog or to…we’ll still be here…just look at the almost 200 comments you get every post. You’re a rock star ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. A. Glad Bella came to her senses and came home. Darn cats. ๐Ÿ™‚
    B. Disgruntled about blogging? Yes, been there. Sometimes, I’m still there. I resent many things about it, but I can’t leave it altogether, so I step back. A lot. I stop caring about numbers and the like.
    C. I know about comments that hurt. My vaccination post? I had loads of that on my blog, on Scary Mommy’s blog, on Facebook. People even said they wish I’d die. I had to stop reading them, step back, and look at my life, my family, my choices, my writing, and know that I’m comfortable with them, and with what I put out there. Eff the rest.
    D. LOVE YA!

    1. Love ya back!!!

      I remember you telling me about the vaccination comments that were hurtful. Of course you rose above, because you are strong.
      I don’t even know what’s wrong with people. But it’s scary.

  59. So glad your furbaby came back…I was all set to write something about having your back against a blog troll… but I see that things have semi-resolved them self and that makes me feel better. Take your repreive. Soak it in, enjoy. We all have these times. Dude, I took like 6 weeks to eve kinda comeback and I KNOW your blog hours must be insane compared to what I allow myself. Anyways, blog or no blog post… you always have a friend here (and according to this post alone about 50+ others- too)

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