I’m so over 2020

I know most people are by now, not just me. Things just keep spiraling out of control. I guess I will start with the good news and transition into the bad. We are now on day 16 of no new COVID-19 cases in the province and all cases are resolved, we have no active cases and only 2 people in the hospital recovering. We apparently are doing a good job of social distancing and re-opening the province. The 4 premiers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland have made the decision to open our borders to each other as of July 1st. And all but New Brunswick have no cases and New Brunswick seems to have theirs under control and all cases they do have stem from one careless doctor.

That’s good news in a way because it means we can camp, vacation, etc within the four provinces without having to quarantine for 14 days. We all pretty much have the same rules in place so we can have gatherings of up to 10 people who are friends or family without social distancing but it’s suggested that we stay exclusive and don’t visit anyone outside our groups of 10. We can also have groups of up to 50 if social distancing measures are in place. they suggest that it be outdoors and that we wear non-medical masks but they haven’t made it a requirement. In one way that is good. We are currently in the middle of a heatwave that has been about 5 days so far of 20-30°C weather with the humidex in the mid 30 to mid 40°C.

So it is hot and the next two weeks look like much of the same. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick both have shattered a bunch of high-temperature records over the last few days on a number of days and we are on course I think for the hottest June ever in our history. Thankfully my parents have their pool up. I am not sure if we are even going to get the other one up here because there is an issue with the pump. So we might just use theirs. They are about 15-20 minutes away and the pool is 24ft long by 12ft wide so it’s huge and it’s 52 inches deep and we can go in it whenever even if they are not home.

I feel over the last few days as if I am melting. The humidity is absolutely insane and we get humidity a lot here so I am used to it but this is like days on end of 100% humidity and nights too. On top of all that my parents’ cat Pumpkin went missing on Sunday. They looked for him for all day Sunday and all day Monday and we did when we were over too. On Tuesday night we went looking again and I found him at the side of the road. I don’t know what made me look there cause he never went near the road but I was walking with my brother and he pointed out some rags and I knew instantly that it was him.

I sent my brother to get my dad or husband and Eddie came back and we buried him in the back yard. I had a rough day yesterday and pretty much cried all day over it. He was one of the best cats. Such a sweet little thing. Before anyone says anything about him being outside. He was a stray. He had been outside most of his life when my parents took him (he was given to them to be a barn cat essentially) and he was an outside cat. They always gave him the option of coming in and tried to keep him in but other than cold nights in the winter he just would not stay in. He found ways to get out every time they tried.

Today I am doing a bit better and concentrating on school work (taking a break to write this) and then tonight I am going to write some content maybe for The Great Canadian Housewife if I have the energy as I have neglected that a little as well due to things going on. I am just trying to keep my mind off it. I had a phone appointment with my psychologist yesterday and we talked it over and she said I am dealing well with it and I feel I am, at the moment. Just mostly snuggling with Max and with my hubby when he’s not at work and watching some shows. We watched Unorthodox together over the last 2-3 days and we also watched all of Season’s 3 and 4 of Queer Eye: More than a Makeover as he had not seen those two seasons yet and I want to watch 5 and he had previously watched 1 and 2 with me and wanted to watch 5 as well.

Other then that I got an email yesterday from Athabasca University saying I was overdue on my tuition and that I would be suspended if I did not pay it by this coming Tuesday. The thing is student loans sent them the money directly almost a month ago on May 27th, 2020 and of course, neither Athabasca is not taking calls right now due to COVID-19 and have a wait time of 2-3 weeks on replying to you from pretty much any department (which is ridiculous when you have a question for your academic advisor!) and as far as NSLSC is concerned they sent it and the school got it, so now the school is going to suspend me likely for their own mistake if someone does not read my email in time.

Needless to say, I am not happy. I have tried everything. I have emailed my academic advisor, the student center, the finance department, the BsCIS (Bachelor of Computer and Information Systems) department and so hopefully someone will get it before Tuesday. So in the meantime, I am just continuing with the school as long as I have access and then whenever they do get to it I am going to complain my ass off till they do something about it. I might have to call student loans back and also see if there is some governing body I can call as well. I am sure there is. Just no idea who.

So not impressed with 2020… I’m over it.

It’s mid-year already!

Okay so it was mid-year on the first of the month, but who’s counting? Especially this year! At this time last year Eddie and I took a short trip to the Islands (Briar Island & Long Island, NS) and I took this picture. I don’t remember the exact date but I am pretty sure it was near mid-June. What a difference from last year to this year. It’s a reminder though, that things will be okay. We just have to keep on movin’ on. I am hopeful though for the remainder of the year. I am always hopeful though, it’s sort of in my nature, at least when I am not suffering from depression or anxiety.

January was rough and really all I remember of it was the fires in Australia and the plane crash over Iran in which our dentist Dr. Shari was killed. I was still off work from everything that went on in November and December of 2019, you can read some of those posts if your new or interested in reading more by going to my 2019 archive which goes backward (not the right word but can’t for the life of me think of it right now). February was okay and I applied to Athabasca University and got accepted (not that it’s hard, you pretty much just have to be 19.

March, well we all know what March, April, and May were like for most, if not all of the world. Lockdowns, Coronavirus & COVID-19, and people dying by the hundreds. Not going to go into any of that because there isn’t likely one person on the whole planet who doesn’t know what went and is going on. April took another horrible turn on Saturday, April 18th, and Sunday, April 19th for the people of Nova Scotia. Again not going to write about it as I wrote all about it here other than to say a man dressed as an RCMP officer (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and drove a replica RCMP car across the top of the province and murdered 22 people.

The second half of April and all of May was mostly just being in lockdown still and trying to come to grips with the above situation as well as COVID-19. Thankfully the end of May and through till now in mid-June we have been seeing some restrictions relaxed and lifted around the province as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Our province lost 62 people, most of whom (50-something) were from one long-term care facility in Halifax. We’ve had 1,061 cases (we are a small province of about 940,600), 996 of those who are recovered, which if you do the math means we only have 3 active cases in the province at the moment. We have not had a new case in 5 days.

And that brings us up to today. All I have done today was we took a small drive on a loop through Annapolis Royal (Lequille actually – not that that probably means anything to anyone outside NS), Bear River, Smiths Cove, and back to Deep Brook. I am totally just guessing but I would say 20-30 km maybe if that. We got beef jerky, grabbed a steak from the store, and came home.

Eddie got the bathroom cleaned while I read a chapter and did an assignment in one of my courses and then worked on re-writing all the pages and fixing images on one post on The Great Canadian Housewife and finished tweaking the new theme I am using. Too lazy (and no time) to make one from scratch so just found one that I could easily make look how I wanted which was fairly easy since it is a beautiful and well-made theme by the very talented Tiffany from Beautiful Dawn Designs which I only changed a little bit to fit in with my color scheme and font scheme I want to try and use for a while.

And that’s it. That was the first half of 2020. Mom & Dad have both had their birthdays this month and last, my brothers birthday is on the 21st of June, he’ll be 29 (being 11 years older than him that makes me feel really old!), and myself and Eddie have birthdays on the 6th and 11th (respectively). We are having one party for the two of us at mom and dad’s, a pool party hopefully with an ice-cream cake.

We are unsure yet if anyone else can or will come or not. We are officially allowed gatherings again up to 20 people as long as social distancing (2m/6ft rule) is practiced. At the moment pools are not allowed to open and even though it is a back-yard personal pool we are following the guidelines that if they don’t think it is safe to open pools then we are not having anyone else in the pool but us meaning that we can’t invite anyone, because obviously it would not be fair to invite people and not let them in and we really want to spend the day in the pool if the weather co-operates.

We may invite a friend and her family (hubby and 1 child) over for cake after outside away from the pool (they have their own anyways but I don’t want to have it near the pool as it is not fair to the child even if we are not going in and I am not sure about safety and if it’s safe for her to swim in a pool that we were in previously so no point even going there. So somewhere away from the pool. Luckily we have 3 acres to choose from (well about 1/2 unless we want to be in the woods).

I meant to end this post up there where I said and that’s it… so yep, that’s really it, 2020 so far.

Blogging & Monetization

I have been struggling a little bit with The Great Canadian Housewife. Not so much with content, well maybe a little, but more with just knowing where to start. I have exactly 20 posts since my first one in February this year. Most of those in April, May, and June I think, which is when I really started to get serious about it. As I said I am not really struggling so much with content, at least not yet, but I am sure that will come soon enough.

Right now my biggest struggles with it are driving traffic to it. Which I am doing somewhat okay at, but honestly I have nothing to compare it too as this one I never cared a whole lot or paid attention. It was more for me than for anyone else. Maybe that’s a bit selfish to say but it is a personal blog after all (this one).

I don’t care so much about SEO and that with this as I mostly just seek out other bloggers that I enjoy reading and comment on their blogs and probably 8 or 9 times out of ten they then come comment on mine. Which is sort of what I am doing with the other one, but I am not sure if that is the right way to go about it. It seems to be working okay but I am just not really sure.

I am struggling a lot with monetizing it and also with social media. Starting with social media I made a Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram account for the blog. Facebook was not too hard and I already have about 40 people following it but I am more active on Facebook than anywhere and most of those are my personal friends, a few bloggers, and some former work acquaintances. Not all of which are the right audience for the blog I don’t think,

I am unsure if I should narrow down my “niche” for it a bit more. It started as a place for me to share my “learn to be a housewife” kinda lifestyle I am sort of now living. But let’s face it, I suck as a housewife lol. I still love the name though and it still sort of fits so now I am trying to make it a product review (household products, beauty products, cleaning products, etc), book review, crafts, recipes, DIY, etc type of blog which I guess could fall more under “lifestyle” maybe?

I want to do some sponsored posts, mostly about makeup, haircare, skincare, bath & body, and those kinds of products as well as cleaning and household supplies, gardening, etc. So yeah, basically “housewife” type stuff. As well as some book reviews. I found a good site for that where I can get free books (popular newer ones at that) in exchange for reviews. I don’t get paid but I spend a lot on books so it seems a fair trade-off.  I am struggling though on how to start out with getting my first few sponsored posts. I joined some influence/sponsored post networks but they either have nothing, or it’s crap for lack of a better term, or I don’t qualify.

I did get one person email me and ask me to collaborate with her brand (hair wigs) in which she wants me to do 2 posts, shared to social media and a banner for 3 months on my page all for $12 US. I’m not a genius but even I know that’s too low. I am not afraid to reply back and say that but I am unsure even remotely on what to ask for for that. Not to mention I have never worn a wig in my life and will not lie so I am wondering what exactly the post entails. She has not mentioned trying a wig or anything like that and her wigs are expensive so I can understand.

I am okay with doing a post where I do some research maybe and write a post about it and link to her site but I won’t be saying I have tried one of the wigs when I haven’t. She’s not offering up a lot of info and I am not sure where to start to ask. I would love to collaborate but I am just unsure where myself and my blog would fit in in that scenario and don’t honestly really know how to ask.

I know my lack of knowledge and inexperience could become an issue when trying to get a sponsored post but you have to start somewhere right? And I am good at researching and have been trying to gather as much info about monetization and sponsored posts as I can. If anyone has any knowledge I would be more then thankful if anyone wants to share. I need a mentor lol.

I keep getting directed to these online courses that sound too good to be true in the groups and things I am in and I refuse to pay $300 for something that could literally be a flop or “scam”, not to mention I am broke as hell again and we are living off of Eddie’s part-time job and my student loan so I couldn’t afford it if I wanted too.

One last thing I am struggling with is affiliate links/banners. I did not want to go with Google Adsense for one because I want control over the ads I put on my site and only companies I either have dealt with or research and two because I can’t seem to get approved by them for some reason anyways even though I keep following all instructions. So I joined Rakuten Affiliates, CJ Affiliates, and Amazon Affiliates and figured out how to use it as far as banner ads on my site or pointing to specific things with their link codes but I am not getting any clicks, not one single click. Some impressions but no clicks. Not sure what I am doing wrong there either.

Sorry, this post got long, so I am going to end it here. Hopefully, I can figure this all out. And juggle school at as well. I so badly want to make this work in the long run for some additional income, not expecting miracles or anything but just a little extra every few months would be nice.