Home & DIY Projects

Next Steps

Thank you so much. Your comments and emails, gifts of shared experience, music, and love from all over the world – I honestly don’t know what to say except thank you. Seriously. You are amazing. I felt every ounce of the positive energy you sent my way. I needed it, still do, and I so appreciate you.

See? The Internets isn’t just for porn and cat memes. I knew it!

Collage, FineLineMagazine

A great deal of my mental energy lately – what little left over after constantly finding new ways to creatively wrangle Olive into seasonally-appropriate clothing, I mean – is being devoted to figuring out how to build a new life for Olive and I, and what on earth that will look like in the coming months and years.

It’s an unbelievably disorienting feeling to have the image of what you thought the next 60+ years of your life would look like – growing old with someone, a house full of children, vacations, grandchildren, holidays – just slip through your fingers. I have always been honest about my marriage – it was not always easy, never perfect – but it was mine and I always thought it would be. In my mind it wasn’t an option that it would simply cease to exist.

So, these days I sort of feel like I am scrambling. I am trying to construct something out of thin air, grasping and reaching and fighting to feel some solid ground under my feet again.  A large part of this, obviously, is financial.

I have been at home taking care of Olive for virtually her entire life, barring a few months here and there. As she has gotten older I have taken on a few freelance writing projects – including my amazing gig as contributing writer to Earth911, and writing the Practically Eco column for Pure Green Magazine– but in the months ahead I will need to look harder for paid writing opportunities and make that a priority.

And of course, there is this space. I have never run ads on Sweet Madeleine, although to be totally honest, in the last few years that’s been more due to lack of technical know-how rather than some moral high ground.

My feelings about this have changed since I began blogging. In the early days I did feel like it would be selling out somehow, or commercializing a space that needed to be somehow more…pure, than that. Then in the past few years, as I took this space more seriously, it began to feel like it would be a fair exchange for something I put a great deal of time and effort into. And, well, these days it is rapidly becoming about pure necessity.

I know that this is a touchy area, and I apologize to anyone who might feel offended by me selling out to the man! But my writing will remain the same, and I am hoping that it may even allow me to do more of it –  plus, just imagine rambling around the site, then glancing to the sidebar where you see an ad for penis-enlargement pills, and realizing you were just thinking to yourself that you needed penis enlargement pills except that you couldn’t imagine where on earth you could possibly find them…I mean, win-win, right?

You’re welcome!

In all seriousness, we will play it by ear and see how it goes. Aesthetically it will suck a little of the beauty out of this site, but it will hopefully restore a little bit of my sanity and ease some of the stress I feel hunching my shoulders. So, step by step, piece by piece. Rebirth and rebuilding.




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  • Reply Livia Dittmer February 9, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    We’d be poor supporters indeed if our outpouring of support for your last post wasn’t matched by support for the practical side of what you’re experiencing! Ad away! Or don’t! Whatever keeps Olive flush in weather-appropriate clothes to resist wearing.

  • Reply jamie February 9, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    of course, now that you’ve spoken the words, the contextual ad algorithms are going to feed you those very ads! 😮

  • Reply yvette February 9, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    You’re right. I’ve always wondered where to buy penis enlargement pills. Instead of going to a sleazy porn website I can just come to you. In all seriousness yes advertising is a bummer, but we all understand. We love and support Sweet Madeleine no matter what.

  • Reply Natasha February 9, 2015 at 1:41 PM

    Wouldn’t bother me, and frankly, how else do you get reimbursed for your time? 🙂 Would be great if they were in the same sort of thread as what you do and believe in – natural products, eco friendly etc etc 🙂

  • Reply sweetmadeleine February 9, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    That is my hope as well. I think it would kill me a little inside to be shilling bleach and paper towels… :/

  • Reply sweetmadeleine February 9, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    Oh god – you’re RIGHT.

  • Reply sweetmadeleine February 9, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    Thank you, Livia.

  • Reply littleonemp February 9, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    I agree with the ladies above. It only seems fair to see a few ads to get to read your wonderful writing. Plus it seems much more convenient to get penis enlargement pills from an ad on a site I am am already using rather than searching for some 😉

  • Reply Sam Pereira February 9, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    Do it! I never pay that much attention to the ads anyway… but if you get paid by the click let me know and I’ll get busy!

  • Reply Mikala February 9, 2015 at 2:35 PM

    Ad away! I work in marketing and sales, so I’m not offended by a little side-bar sleazing. Besides, I find all my best corsets and purses from the ads on FB 😉

  • Reply Sarah Milbratz February 9, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    I think is a creative solution and you should go for it…of course you could always write another book too! I would love it…I read your book almost constantly and I’m sure you have even more great ideas to share.

  • Reply Megan February 9, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    If you can show Olive how to do what you love and earn money at the same time, you will be setting her a very fine example of what it means to be a strong woman.. and I’ll smile every time I see an ad… (Besides, since I work in advertising to help support my daughter might be a teeny weeny bit hypocritical of me to object!) ….p.s. I think the biggest hit you’ve yet to write is your new future..

  • Reply Patti Miller February 9, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    I’m sure we are all behind you…we admire your strength and willingness to share with us at this unpredictable time that is now your life… We want only the best for you and Miss Olive…..and believe that what makes you stronger will also help us be stronger in our lives as well…thank you

  • Reply Kate February 9, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    100% support from me. Pack as many adds on here as you like! If it means another piece of income for you and Olive, while we still get to read your writing brilliance, then absolutely do it. And like someone else said, if you get paid per click, we’ll get busy clicking too!

  • Reply Allison February 9, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    Get it girl.

  • Reply ericast1 February 9, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    No worries about ads, you gotta make life work. And my blessings to you through this difficult journey.

  • Reply Fiona February 9, 2015 at 6:12 PM

    I don’t come here for the visuals – though the intrigue of penis enlargement ads yeah!! – I just love your writing. I would come to your page regardless of how it looks. Ad away I say. I can’t wait to see it.

  • Reply Spring February 9, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    Oh, for goodness sake, go for the ads. Have you considered or tried “sponsors” in the way that Amanda Soule uses on her site (www.soulemama.com)? Might be a way to exert control over the kinds of ads you use, plus negotiate barter/trade arrangements? If it’s too much trouble and you end up with crazy flashy ads popping up on the side bar, I’m sure I’ll still visit 🙂

  • Reply Maria February 9, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    Those first few paragraphs just made me cry. I suppose that’s your art, putting into words how you feel in a way that resonates. I haven’t really talked much about that aspect of the disintegration of my marriage, but you hit the nail right on the head. Thank you. And yes, I think I do desperately need some penis enlargment pills, any ideas how to find them? 😉

  • Reply Jen February 10, 2015 at 2:14 AM

    Your post reminded me of a poem my friend wrote after her husband died young – she described the imaginary future lives we all picture for ourselves as being like snail trails alongside our actual lives. I can hear a lot of her pain, confusion and loss mirrored in your writing. It was a few years ago, she’s doing really well now, I’m sure you will too.

    Thought you might like her latest poem -http://mrsmusingsmusings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/reincarnated.html?m=1

    P.s I wouldn’t mind ads at all xx

  • Reply Penny February 10, 2015 at 7:02 AM

    We would absolutely forgive you for adding a few ads. Nothing wrong with a little give and take. We all take so much from your amazing words.
    P.s. I’m running low on Viagra…any suggestions?

  • Reply Niamh Osborne February 10, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Go for it girl! Ads are a fair exchange for getting to read your awesome blog posts.

  • Reply Alison February 10, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    Fair exchange I think. Chances are the majority of people who visit your site share your views so would probably buy the things which might end up as ads anyway. I never trust those emails which offer penis enlargement pills but I’d trust an ad on your sidebar!

  • Reply Stephanie February 10, 2015 at 12:47 PM

    Olive’s how old now? Time to put that girl to work! I’m sure she can get a job to help bring in some cash.

    …only kidding, naturally. I never notice ads on webpages if the content is compelling enough. So get to work!

  • Reply fiona February 10, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Do what you have to do. Your writing is worth ignoring a few adds for <3

  • Reply Cynthia Barnes February 11, 2015 at 12:57 PM

    no need to let go of your dream as it is precious and sometimes dreams disappear .

  • Reply Anke February 18, 2015 at 7:45 AM


    I see you really went for the ads and they are no problem at all – I hardly notice them at the top of the page and they are for sites/shops I recently visited anyway.

    I hope there really is some money in them for you and Olive. Should I now go to sweetmadeleine.ca a couple of times a day?

    Alles Liebe from far away


    • Reply sweetmadeleine February 19, 2015 at 8:56 PM

      Hi Anke! I am so glad they aren’t too hideous! I have found the content of them to be pretty inoffensive, too 🙂 No need to become a compulsive site-checker (but seriously, how amazing are you for offering??). If you do see something advertised that you were thinking about getting anyway, then clicking the ad definitely helps out 🙂
      xoxo, and thank you for thinking of us!

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