6 Months Smoke-Free

    Posted on: January 27th, 2017 by Randi 1 Comment

    It has officially been 6 months since I quit smoking! I don’t regret it. Yes, I have the occasional, “I could go for a cigarette right now” but the majority of the time, I don’t even miss it. I can breathe better. I feel better. I don’t wake up with pain in my chest from the way all that junk settled in my lungs or start hacking at random times. It’s the best thing I could have done for myself and all I did was stop. I quit cold turkey.

    I’m not going to lie, I did not want to quit. I quit because the price was going up not because it was bad for me or because it was the right decision I quit simply because I didn’t want to pay over $8.00/pack. I decided the weekend prior that I was going to quit before the day the prices went up. I told A my plan and since he hated me smoking, he was very excited. I finished that last pack and didn’t buy another.

    The first 3 days were the worst and I would go from being fine to sobbing. I thought of having a cigarette many times in a 5 minute span only to remember, “Oh, wait.” It was a constant back and forth. The first 3 days were the hardest but by 2 weeks out, I was okay. I’ve made it 6 months now. I’m definitely proud of myself and encourage anyone else looking to quit smoking to just stop. It sounds harder than it is. It seems like the worst thing. You don’t want to but you know you should. You can do it and you’ll be so glad you did.

    Interior Design Block

    Posted on: January 10th, 2017 by Randi 3 Comments

    We ran out of soap in the master bathroom, so I started using body wash to wash my hands, grabbing it from the shower. This went on for a week and a half, maybe. Meanwhile, I have a bottle of antibacterial soap in the other bathroom at the sink. The thought never crossed my mind to GO GET IT. No one uses the other bathroom except very occasionally. Why didn’t I just get it? I feel like it isn’t ours. I’ve felt like this is a stranger’s house that we are staying in. You wouldn’t go moving things in a stranger’s house, right? I know it’s ours and I love it. It’s beautiful and I look around and smile. It just doesn’t feel like it’s ours. I haven’t had time to make this place homey yet.

    I’ve still not hung a damn thing. I’m still staring at these bare walls. It’s worse now that the tree has come down. The living room and dining room were painted and look great. I just don’t know where I want anything to go. I want to decorate but I also need a ton of money to go crazy in a Michaels or Target for decor and since I don’t know what I want to do, I don’t know what to buy.

    Things are coming together very slowly. I bought 2 book shelves for the living room to go on either side of the TV stand. I feel like once those are up, I’ll know where I can start with pictures. However, they need to be painted white and not only is it freezing this week but the sun goes down at 5:00pm, when I finish working. Saturday it’s supposed to snow so it’s not happening then either.

    I need to hang some pictures. I’ve got time, obviously, I just want to get to being comfortable in it. Hopefully, in a few months I’ll either having things hung or be used to it.

    Our Pest Problem

    Posted on: January 4th, 2017 by Randi 2 Comments

    I’m not sure how open I was a couple of years ago about a problem I was having in our new apartment. It was embarrassing and I was mortified. I am still am but I kind of want to get it out. Still not sure if I plan to make this private or not.

    We moved into our apartment in June of 2013. It was my first time not living with my mother. Getting our own place was going to be great and we were so excited. When we saw the place, we took my mom with us. We checked all of the rooms, checked cupboard space, and it was in the bathroom cabinet under the sink where I saw what looked like a large ant motel. Red flag #1. I pointed it out to my mother but ants aren’t a problem, everyone gets an ant or two. While talking to the landlord he casually mentioned that he had exterminators coming monthly as a precautionary measure. I thought that was great since I HATE spiders and centipedes. Happy to not have to live with them. I was happy but I should have seen that as red flag #2.

    It was two weeks into our new place when I was coming out of the bathroom and saw a bug on the door frame. It was small and black and brown. I killed it but thought for a moment, that looked like a baby roach. Baby Roaches don’t look like roaches. I know what these things look like because a few years earlier we were living in an apartment pest free until the lady upstairs moved out. That’s when we started seeing these tiny little black and brown bugs. As time went on we saw more and more of them and they increased in size until one day we saw a full size one. Our landlord did not care and when we moved out, we left everything in the kitchen. We brought 2 fridges with us when we moved in (one in kitchen and one in dining room), we left the one in the kitchen so that we didn’t bring them. This was my first experience. So when I saw this small bug in our new apartment, I yelled to my brother that I just killed a bug that I described and he said he killed one the day before. I made an offhand comment about how much it would suck if it was a roach.

    It was later that week when I saw a full size one and lost it. I knocked on our neighbors door to find out if she’s seen them and she lied to me at first, badly. I could tell she was lying right to my face before admitting it’s been a problem for months and the house had been condemned previously for it. I called the landlord and tried to explain to him what I saw. He said he’d call the exterminators. I tried to find out why, push him on it because at this point I realized he lied to us and knowingly moved us in with these things. He treated me like a hysterical woman and I called my mother in tears because I couldn’t believe this was happening. (If I am not mistaken this was illegal but it wasn’t something I could push because I would have been on the street with all of my animals.)

    He did send exterminators and I tried to deal. I screamed every time I saw one, I made Andrew come and kill them. I told the exterminators when and where and what size when they came but every month it seemed like the exterminators weren’t helping. We lived in a duplex with the trashiest people next door. We weren’t getting rid of them.  Soon the landlord stopped calling to tell us when they were coming so they’d show up and skip the house that didn’t answer. Soon they stopped coming all together. The landlord didn’t care (pennsylvania has some of the slummiest slumlords) and we were stuck because there was no way we’d find another place to live. When we moved out, we had time to move out, we could afford to move out. We looked and found this place because he took all of the animals. Most places don’t. Finding a place to take even 1 dog was next to impossible, let alone 3 dogs. We knew that we weren’t going to get out of this place unless we bought a house.

    It took us a while but we finally did. Thank god. While setting up the utilities, I also called an exterminator, let them know our problem, that we were trying to move and how to go about it. They were super helpful and the techs I have dealt with are so friendly and understanding. So we have our own exterminators now that I have access to and can call at any time. There was a $200 initial fee but I am paying $44/month to make sure that I don’t have to see these things again. If it cost $200/month, I would have done it. I have such a fear of these things (thanks to that creepshow movie I watched as a kid) and I may suffer from ptsd from it for a while. I can’t open a cupboard without stepping back and reaching from afar. I check everything. My eyes dart around the room if I see anything, even a shadow. I don’t think I will ever be able to stick my hand in something I can’t see into, back of cupboard, under sink. I need a flashlight to climb under my desk if I drop something. I hate them and I just want to be rid of them forever.

    This is oddly written like I am pushing something but I didn’t. lol It’s early and the exterminator just left and I thought I would post something, even if it’s quick.

    Home Sweet Home

    Posted on: December 3rd, 2016 by Randi 2 Comments

    Until this morning, this place didn’t feel like home despite us living here for a week now. Since my mom was in Ohio with extended family, I took Zack and Breya for the week. They are 11 and 14 and while they are better than they used to be, because they are older, they bicker nonstop, don’t clean up after themselves, and can be a tad disrespectful (had to take Breya’s phone off of her). Our house did not feel like our home because it felt like we were in someone else’s home. Home doesn’t feel like home until I can lay on the couch, sprawled out and spend 45 minutes trying to figure out what I’m going to not watch while I play on my phone in the quiet.

    The kids left yesterday and when I woke up this morning, it just felt right. I took the dogs out, said hi to the kitties who are exploring (including Reese!) and straightened up.

    I have no plans for today. I want to enjoy it. Then I may take a bath because my amazingly large tub looks so damn inviting!

    This is Home

    Posted on: November 26th, 2016 by Randi 2 Comments

    Well, we’re moved in and it feels so good. Everything went so smoothly and I can not even describe how thankful I am for Andrew and Zack. Both of them did fantastic and they worked so hard. I didn’t work nearly as hard as they did but I am so damn sore. (I can’t wait to take a bath!!) Andrew’s day started off with him feeling like shit but eventually he started to feel better and move quicker with packing the truck.

    The dogs were moved over first because someone had to wait for the gas people to come. I didn’t want to leave the dogs at the house without me because they go nuts. They did amazing and they love their new yard. Last task of the night was getting the kitties over. They are taking it very hard and a couple are still getting used to the house. Reese has been wandering more and exploring when she’s used to hiding. Loki, my brave, fearless, pain in the ass is prying open cupboards to hide. The bravest ones usually fall apart the hardest. (Last time it was Bella who hid under the fridge for 4 days)

    Overall things are slowly getting into place and this home is coming together. We have plans to buy pieces of furniture and upgrade other. I can’t wait to hang photo frames and such. I’m so excited to make this place ours.


    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Posted on: November 24th, 2016 by Randi No Comments

    Today is Thanksgiving and tomorrow is our moving day! My mom had postponed Thanksgiving because everyone in her household was sick. I received a call at 10:00am this morning that my great aunt’s husband became very sick (hoping everything is okay with him) and my mom needed to take my grandma out to Ohio. So, the kids were shuffled to us.

    Because of the holiday postponement Andrew and I decided to still do a very small Thanksgiving for just the two of us and we bought the stuff last night. Today we looked completely unprepared when we located a grocery store that was open until 3:00pm today carrying what looked like a full Thanksgiving dinner to the register. We just needed to double everything we had but it didn’t look like that, I’m sure. (Another reason to not assume things about people) So, the kids are with us and my mom who had planned to take the day off to rest is now traveling 6+ hours to Ohio in holiday traffic.

    This is the first time Andrew or I have ever cooked a turkey and while I’ve helped make holiday dinners before, I’ve never taken the reigns. I guess now that I’m married it’s time that changes since going forward I’ll be taking over holidays (okay, okay, maybe just becoming the venue) since my house is bigger. Moving day is the day right after Thanksgiving and we’ll be spending time with Andrew’s family this Christmas so that won’t happen until Easter.

    Tomorrow we’ll be getting up early to go pick up our truck and get this moving day on the road. With all of the luck in the world (and it’s not looking good with recent events/our track record) everything will go well and tomorrow we will be in our new home!

    I hope you all have a very happy, full, and safe Thanksgiving!

    Dear America

    Posted on: November 9th, 2016 by Randi No Comments

    Dear America,

    Why? You elected a man who does not respect nor care for non-whites, women, LGBTQ+, disabled. He even insulted our veterans and POWs.  I’m horrified and shocked that this is the country I live in, that I have been so proud to be a part of. We went back 50 years today. The fear and tears seen last night on the news, at rallies, on social media, it’s real. We are frightened for ourselves and our brothers and sisters. If you aren’t scared, you have nothing to lose and that’s great for you. We do. I thought we were moving forward and I didn’t truly believe he would win. I’m hurt that half of our country feels this way.

    The only good to come of it is knowing we will get there. Those between 18-25 voted mostly Dem.

    Source: Eliza Byard (@EByard on Twitter)


    9 Years

    Posted on: October 15th, 2016 by Randi No Comments

    aboutmepic9 years ago, Andrew and I sat on my couch, his head in my lap, and he asked me to be his girlfriend. I had been waiting for that moment for a while and as simple as it sounds, it was the sweetest thing. When I said yes, he kissed me and my eyes welled up. I was 16 years old and I thought he was cute and funny and so smart. I never thought we’d be here, 9 years later, getting ready to get married. You don’t meet the one at 16 unless you’re in a movie and I thought it would take me a long time.

    I can’t say for certain when we crossed over from gf/bf to soul mates. I guess I expected there to be a definitive moment. There wasn’t, it just happened gradually. You could say that I knew it was something really special when we made it through months of being long distance when I went away to school. Nobody expected it to work, and as much as I loved him even I was fearful. I watched my friends’ relationships drop like flies around me. We spoke every night and texted all day. It was a rough 6 months but we made it through.  We did it again when he had to move and thanks to my mom and grandma they made sure I never went too long without seeing him. I hated when he would go and one day he came over and just never left.

    He was there for me when I lost my grandfather and couldn’t have been more sweet and comforting. I was there for him when he lost his father. Every single one of his tears shattered my heart. We’ve been through a lot together and we will go through a hell of a lot more. He is my best friend and I can’t imagine not having him in my life. I have no idea where I’d be. He has been with me for more than 1/3 of my life and I have many more memories of us together than not.

    I still get butterflies with him and he makes me laugh uncontrollably constantly. We make bad jokes and laugh at each other. We fight like an old married couple and I call him Walter and he calls me Diane. He’s my player 2 and we yell at each other when we are bad. He does whatever he can to put a smile on my face. The love I feel for him is beyond words. He is my entire world.

    Neither of us is really interested in an extravagant display of a wedding. We aren’t comfortable with getting up in front of a bunch of people and prefer to avoid public displays of affection. Weddings are expensive and a lot of work to plan. Sure, I’d be happy to have a wedding if someone else planned and paid for it. That’s not happening for us and both of us would much prefer to put any extra money towards a house. So, that’s what we planned to do.

    Andrew and I have are having a self uniting marriage1. We are tying the knot ourselves. I’m not worrying about possibly regretting not having a wedding. If we decide we do want one, we can do a vow renewal down the road. What’s important is we are married. What’s important is that I finally get to call the man I love my husband. We applied for the license yesterday and will get our license on Monday. Even if we need to wait until Monday for it to be “legal”, for all intents and purposes we are married and I haven’t been able to stop smiling since.

    1. A self-uniting marriage is one in which the couple are married without the presence of a third-party officiant. Although non-denominational, this method of getting married is sometimes referred to as a “Quaker Marriage”.

    A Trip to Jersey

    Posted on: September 20th, 2016 by Randi No Comments

    Andrew and I ventured out to get my iPhone yesterday. The night before, I noticed an Apple Store about 2 hours away had my phone. After talking it over with Andrew, I snagged one and we were off.

    We got there within the window, perfectly. The guy that helped us was really cool. We went through the process 3 times because his device was having trouble connecting to AT&T. He kept apologizing and after the second time, he offered the case I planned to purchase on the house. A $40 case for free? Yes, please!

    Here are some pictures I took after walking out of the mall.


    Our free appetizer from California Pizza Kitchen.


    It was a dreary day. Would have liked a better day for camera testing.

    I hadn’t been able to get my phone backed up to iCloud and did a backup on iTunes. Before updating to iOS 10. I never backed up again after updating. After 4 hours on the road, we were home and I started to restore my phone when I discovered it was “incompatible”. Blerhg. So, I ended up keeping it set up as new. Thankfully, I was able to back up my photos to iCloud (what was important) and crack my backup for some notes I needed, thanks to Andrew.

    So what I’ve learned is I needed to upgrade my iCloud storage so I can make proper, regular, FREQUENT, back ups.

    New Hobby

    Posted on: March 17th, 2016 by Randi 3 Comments


    A couple of weeks ago, I did a research project to help out another VA. It was on setting up an aquarium. I started looking into it and I wanted one. I have always wanted a nice aquarium but never put much thought into actually getting one. As I read and researched, I wanted my own.

    From then it took me about a week to decide on a set up and I went to buy it. It’s been sitting in my living room cycling for about 4 weeks. It felt like forever. Finally on Wednesday, I was able to get some fish.

    My centerpiece fish was going to be a betta and I picked out a really pretty all black crowntail with white in his fins. I also got corydoras and neon tetras. Unfortunately, despite cycling, I had an ammonia spike because of the debris and junk in the substrate that I accidentally stirred up and I lost 3 of them. My betta also developed a fungus last night (which in 24 hours is pretty spectacular so I’m going with he was sick when I got him) and died this morning. There is a learning curve with aquarium keeping and I will know better next time. Currently, the other fish are as happy as can be and I am doing my best to manage the ammonia spike and bring it back down.

    Anyway, I love it. I’m sad that I’ve already lost 4 fish because they were all so cute and fun to watch. It’s even more frustrating that I spent 4 weeks cycling to prevent unnecessary deaths and people can irresponsibly (or more accurate, “ignorantly”) bring home fish and poison them with their own waste or keep them in too small habitats and they survive. *Sigh* It happens and the goal is to take it as a lesson and try to avoid it going forward. At this point, the goal is to get my ammonia back down and replace them this weekend.

    This was supposed to be an exciting blog and I’ve ruined it. But I’m sitting in front of my laptop looking over at the tank and 3 of the cories are chasing each other up and down the tank. 😀

I’m Randi, short for RandiLynn. I am a 25 year old blogger, web developer, furmama, and gamer from Northeast PA. I live with my husband and 7 animals. I live, eat, and sleep HTML & CSS. I spend my time creating pretty web stuff, blogging, gaming or binge-watching TV shows.

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