From to


Several weeks ago, I converted my blog so that it is now a self hosted site.

Prior to that, I used a free WordPress site. Meaning WordPress took care of all the ‘stuff’ I didn’t want to deal with. That worked really well for a long time.

Playing with Perfect might look the same, but a lot has changed thanks to my team of Happiness Engineers. It certainly made me ‘happy’ that they did the conversion for me–sparing me ‘more stuff’ I neither wanted to do and that might have taken me years to figure out HOW to do!!

I’m still using the WordPress software as a framework. (Anybody can download WordPress blogging software for free.)

Why the change?

I needed room to grow…

In being ‘self hosted’ I can do much more with my site. Many more tools (or Plugins & Widgets for those who use WordPress) are available, once I get comfortable using them.

Some might have jumped on my site and wondered “Am I at the right place?”

You are. I’ve been playing with new themes, trying them out and working hard to learn. Playing with Perfect remains a live site–so when I change its look and you click on a link to it, you’ll see all the ‘fun’ I’m having.

Sometimes my ‘fun’ looks pretty–And sometimes its a train wreck. There are also times the process isn’t any FUN at all!!

So…that’s the update.

I’m hoping to be done with the process this week. And then get back to my regular blogging routine.

Many thanks to all the readers who have hung in there with me through the transition…

Barefoot, Barf and Candy Hearts

candy heartsMany would have considered this week a failure…

Early in the week, I spoke in front of a group of about 100 people with less than a days notice. And because Daughter took the shampoo to school, I was stuck washing my greasy hair with a homemade mixture of baking soda, warm water and vinegar .

(See last post for full story…)

Found the recipe on the internet.

At the dinner table that night:

Son: How’d you smell?

Daughter: Were you mad? I saw your text about the shampoo at the END of the day!!

Me:  Not at all.

Thankfully, that isn’t the type of thing to wind me up. I found another way to make it work. I’m really good at that, because I’ve had lots of practice in recent years.

Then came Valentine’s Day.

People get a little silly about the holiday. (In my opinion.) Though I’ll say, I can only remember a few times that I didn’t get something from parents, boyfriend or husband.

And yet, the retail stores can keep their candy, flowers and other fripperies. I’d far prefer a nice fella to curl up with at the end of the day. Somebody I can laugh with, who’ll share my sorrows and who I look forward to spending time with. The Dog and Pony show? I could skip that…

Could care less about the candy hearts, or the flowers…

Which is a good thing, as they were in short supply this year!!

This morning…

I was up early. At 6am, I stumbled out of bed and made my way to the sliding door to let the dogs out. I rubbed my half-closed, eyes as I moved toward my laptop in the dark.

But my foot landed in something cold. And wet. The consistency of pudding.

I hopped over to the light switch, then flipped it on. Barf! One of the dogs puked.


Not for the first time, I was grateful for my catlike reflexes and coordination. I quickly hopped through the kitchen, dining room, down the hallway to the bathroom and got into the shower.

Not exactly the way I was hoping to begin my day, but I didn’t miss a stride.

These things happen to me. Often!

I’m not sure why.

Probably, that’s why it doesn’t bother me to hit a roadblock, because life mostly doesn’t go smoothly for me.

The best part of this week?girl

My cousin and his wife are having a baby—and it’s a girl. Not since Thanksgiving has the family been this excited. (Thanksgiving was a free for all when they shared the ‘big news’)

It’s a Big Deal to all of us…from Cleveland, to Pennsylvania to California and other locations—we’re all filled with joy to welcome another member to our family.

Puke between my toes, baking soda and vinegar in my hair, zero Valentine’s Day candy.

None of that much matters.

The things that really matter are my children, family and good friends. If they are okay, I’m happy. This week, I’m a tiny bit happier than usual—because there will be a new baby girl joining the family soon. Such a gift.

What a spectacular end to an otherwise ordinary week!!


A Weekend Trip With Darling Daughter …

I haven’t blogged in a while because I’m recovering…

Prior to last weekend I was getting ready to go out-of-town with Darling Daughter—and this week I’ve been regrouping from our little adventure.

We live east of Cleveland, but headed to Columbus overnight to watch our high school wrestling team compete in a tournament, then stayed for daughter to do a scholarship competition at a college just outside of Columbus.

And so we watched wrestling on Saturday, and then went shopping at the mall that evening.

At the mall…

Darling Daughter: Mom. I’m stuck! The zipper…

Daughter was in the fitting room and I went in to help.

Darling Daughter: ZIP IT. And I mean that in two ways!!

Later at the shoe store…

Me: I’m hot

Daughter plopped down in a chair.

Me: I need orthopedic heels for work. My black dress shoes are instruments of torture.

Nice Salesmen to Daughter: Long day of shopping girls?

Darling Daughter: No. we were at wrestling…

Poor fella was stunned. Daughter and I exited the store.

Darling Daughter:  Did you see his face when I said we were at wrestling?

Me: No.

Darling Daughter: He looked confused…

Then it hit us. He had no idea what to think. What the hell kind of wrestling were we watching? Where Daughter and I wrestling? We laughed so hard we couldn’t breathe…

As we made our way through the parking lot to our car, I asked Daughter if there was anyplace else she wanted to go. There’s no limit to the shopping that can be done in Columbus.

Darling Daughter:  I’ve had it. I just don’t know if I can look around anymore.

Me: It HAS been a long day of shopping…

Darling Daughter: How long HAVE we been shopping?

Me: Maybe an hour and a half?

Darling Daughter: That’s IT?

More laughter. Less than two hours is a pathetic effort, really.

Thankfully we’re both blessed with a sense of humor, because we spent most of the day laughing. Mostly at each other. And I had a blast with my girl.


Yes. Daughter went to bed in socks, sweats a hoodie—even AFTER completing an extensive bedbug check.

Darling Daughter: Just be glad I don’t have gloves. If I did, I’d put them on.

She was serious. We both knew it.

There were even sticky notes on the headboards…


On the nightstand, there were little, white notepads that said “for your thoughts…”

Daughter stuck one of the yellow sticky notes on the notepad and wrote, “This is not reassuring.” She’s never shy about sharing her thoughts.

Darling Daughter to me: I mean, you assume that’s the case.

Daughter was nervous about the college scholarship competition. I tried to calm her down…

Darling Daughter: Sure it’s no big deal. Only my future. What if my dreams are dashed?

Me: Then you’ll change your dream. Get new dreams?

NOT the right thing to say. (Just a little advice to other parents of seniors…)


gigis cupcakesMe: There’s a cupcake shop.

Darling Daughter: You don’t NEED a cupcake.

Me: I might need one…

She also had to cope with my driving. Not improved now that I’ve got my handy, V6, stick shift, Nissan—good thing the leather head rest is cushy, because her head kept bouncing off of it.

I can’t sit still–NOT helpful when we sat through the college info session and she was so nervous she thought she was going to throw up. And I kept making her seat move, jostled her around.


I plugged 615 Sandusky into the GPS, but Daughter had written 61 S Sandusky in my notebook. We drove around until we were both completely aggravated.

Me: Clearly, we’re at a gas station. NOT a college campus.

Darling Daughter: Yes.

Me: We can hardly MISS a college campus!!!

Daughter finally looked at the directions (again) and as we talked it through, she realized our collective error. I read her ‘S’ as a number 5.

By the time we reached the college, I badly wanted to enroll her—and LEAVE her there.

And had she like the school, I’m sure she would have LOVED to stay!!

Last night at Steak ‘n Shake we discussed the college visit with Aunt Kate…

Aunt Kate: So it went well?

Darling Daughter: No. I failed miserably.

(Or so Daughter thinks…which means that we hoofed it down to Columbus, stayed overnight at a hotel, dropped several hundred dollars…for nothing??)

Aunt Kate: Oh well, it was a good experience for you.

Me: That’s what I said. She doesn’t really agree…

We discussed it a little more and I joked that Daughter could always live at home and commute.

Darling Daughter: No. I can’t!!

Me: I know. No way you can do that.

One thing we BOTH agree on.

Daughter cannot live at home. We love each other, but she is 100% ready to leave the nest. Has been most of her senior year. And I’m ready (or at least I think I’m ready??) to let her go…

This morning:

Mom: Can I take shampoo to school?

Me: Sure. I don’t care which one you take, just leave something…

Darling Daughter has late arrival, yet she gets up at 5:30 and does a 6am morning run (and workout) with a couple of other girls crazy enough to run at the crack of dawn. She showers at the school, then heads to the library to study and do scholarship applications before her first class at 9am (ish).

And so there was NO shampoo in the shower this morning…

That’s why I was on the worldwide web at 7:30am looking for a recipe for making your own shampoo. Which I created with a combination of baking soda and warm water, then rinsed with vinegar per the instructions online.

On my agenda today? A lunch event where I’ll be speaking in front of nearly 100 people—making clean hair a must. How clean it really is, I’ve no idea!!

There you have it. My life is kind of a crazy comedy of errors. Bound to happen when a 42-year-old single mother lives with her 18-year-old daughter. (And I’m not even counting the teenage body, the dogs, etc.)

Tomorrow, I’m just hoping to have shampoo…

Teaching the ‘old dog’ (That’s me…)

I had to capture this with my iPhone because I can’t be the ONLY person with this going on…

Mind you, I’m the worst videographer in the universe.

NOBODY asks me to videotape. When I tried to record a football game last year, my son and his dad got so angry, they had to turn it off!!

I had the camera turned on while it was sitting on the bleachers. (I thought it was paused during a time out) Then found myself watching the football sail through the air through the camera lens. Completely missed the formation, players on the field. And when I saw the receiver in place (my son) I jumped up to yell and forgot I was even taping. Oops…

Imagine my poor son watching the tape and every time a good play got started, I got all excited and MISSED IT. Instead, I captured the sky, the ground, the bleachers, etc.

Anyways, this is my first ever video. With music. And even credits!!

We’ve had some snow in recent weeks and the Red Dog wants to go outside every 3 minutes. He doesn’t drink water, he eats snow. He curls up and relaxes in the snow.

He won’t come inside unless I yell “cookie” or “cheese.” And because he’s 8 1/2 and a little stiff, I think he might like to lay in the snow to ice himself down?

No idea what his deal is, but he sure is happy in the snow…


Anyways, I’m the ‘old dog’ learning new tricks. Enjoy my first video. And go easy on my skills (or lack of skills…)

What is a Happiness Engineer ???

sunshineI use WordPress to write this blog.

In fact, I love WordPress. is the free version of WordPress and the one I’ve used for several years. is the self hosted version and the one I’m now using.

Why the change? The free version is fantastic, but the self-hosted version has more bells and whistles. I’ve been blogging for long enough to know what I’m missing. There are lots of fun Plugins and Themes I could use to add a little something extra to my blog. To jazz it up.

Kind of like sprinkling glitter on a child’s school projects.

(Not that I did that when Daughter was in elementary school or that she EVER had to wrestle the glitter away from me…)

Anyways, my blog was off-line for several days last week. The process of moving my blog went smootly…for about an hour!!

WordPress has Happiness Engineers. (And Thank Goodness for it!!) Due to my budget, or lack there of, I tried to convert the blog on my own. But there were details that confused me. Three years, nearly 20,000 hits, 303 followers, tons of comments, over 125+ posts and lots of pretty pictures seemed a lot to lose. After a couple of hours, I got sweaty thinking about what I put into building my blog.

That’s when I contacted WordPress, paid the fee and got a Happiness Engineer.

And its been smooth sailing ever since!!

The transition isn’t quite complete. There will be more changes this week. Please hang in there with me as I continue through this process.

And know that if the colors and layout change, it’s still me. The look of the blog might change several times this coming week as I work to get it just right…

To my email followers: You made the move with me.

Glitter....For those who use Facebook, RSS feeds, Readers, WordPress and other methods to subscribe: You might have to re-subscribe.

Thanks for sticking with me as I sprinkle a little bit of  glitter on my blog…