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Gauche Alchemy – your spot for everchanging everything

I hope that our somewhat slowed activity over here doesn’t seem as obvious to you guys as it does to me. (I’m A-1 overdriven, head-on worrier, so my perception is a bit off.)

I want to fill you all in on the details because you feel like our family, and I want you to know what goes on behind the scenes sometimes.

Gauche Alchemy has been in business for a little over a year. Whoo hoo! An excellent landmark! Considering where we were a year ago, I am very proud and very gratified to have so many wonderful and creative friends and readers.

Here’s a statistic that may be known only by others who’ve started a business: on average, it takes 3 years to turn a profit. Let’s just say we’re not there yet. i.e., we still have day jobs!

Heather, our lovely Heather, runs an office full of realtors. She’s the top dog of all things administrative in that place… it keeps her hoppin’. Then there’s her four-year-old high-energy, unashamedly cutie patootie daughter. When they say youth is wasted on the young? That’s true. Wouldn’t it be great if the kids were tired and we had boundless energy? That sounds so awesome to me. Alas… reality interferes with such ambition.

Me, I’m a physician assistant during the day. I have a pretty interesting and quite gratifying job. I work in the state institution for the seriously mentally ill – and many times I’ve thought there’s no better to place to feel as though you can make a difference. My patients tend to be the sickest people in our state. I’ll put it this way: there’s rarely a dull moment. If there is, it’s only because I’m not where the action is. 🙂 I love working with these folks – it reminds me daily of two important thoughts. One, it helps me put my own problems into perspective. Two, it reaffirms the value of a human being, regardless of ability to “contribute” to society.

Did I mention I’m mom to a toddler with fiery red hair (and a spirit to match)? And then there’s my beautiful stepdaughter, who just turned 11. The older is no trouble at all. The younger is no trouble at all, but she’s the reason I sleep so soundly at night.

During the emergence of GA, I’ve been working part-time. I’ve worked my fanny off the rest of the time (more than the other “half” of the day, I can assure you) to mold GA into some semblance of the vision Heather and I have for it. However, I’m sure you can guess what the part-time “day job” has done to my personal bottom line. Not pretty. I jumped at the chance to cover a colleague’s 6-week vacation and hopefully will be full-time again soon. I have mixed feelings about that. I mean, money coming in is great. But not having the time I want to further mold and create GA drives me bonkers.

I have to say that the addition of our Team Captains, Nina and Nicole, has brought some much needed relief. Aren’t they so awesome!? Great ideas, great posts, thoughtful creativity – and total sweethearts! What great ladies they are – definitely an important part of the Gauche Alchemy family.

What’s staggering to me is how much these two wonderful women contribute when they both have SO much on their plates. Nicole, as you may know, suffers a chronic pain condition – and she homeschools her kids. Three of them. And she’s a vegan cook. I can’t even keep my kitchen clean. Nina also homeschools her son… who has had an extended bout of pneumonia this year… and she moved her family from Philippeans to Taiwan and back again… and when she returned, there were force-of-nature floods. Wow. And she still finds time to not only CREATE but to POST about it!

The point of this little peek into our lives is to bring you some sad news. Nicole has had a sudden worsening of her condition and needs to have fairly immediate spinal surgery. Those of you who pray, do. Those of you who do not pray, send all sorts of mental good wishes and vibes.

Here is a brief announcement from Nicole’s blog:

My back is bad. I need fairly urgent surgery to un-bad it. The injection plan was a bust and now I need major spinal surgery to avoid permanent damage and disability. That’s about as far as I feel like going on about it right now. But as I wade into the thick of things, I’ll probably post more. Pretty much every fear I have has been realized. I nearly threw up when they said, ” spilling spinal fluid” and let me tell you, when a discectomy sounds like a good starting spot, things are really in the toilet.

What this means for the rest of us: we will likely not be seeing as much of Nicole as we’ve been privileged to see so far. Hopefully she will pop in when she can – we always love her contributions – but we can’t hold our breaths. She is NOT stepping down as Team Captain (we won’t let her). Once she’s feeling a bit more ship-shape, I imagine she’ll be back with a vengeance. *fingers crossed*

If any of you are interested in guest posting, please feel free to ask! If any of you are enthusiastic about Gauche Alchemy but didn’t have the nerve to ask us about upcoming DT calls… let us know. If there’s something you do particularly well that you believe is of benefit to Gauche Alchemy, we would love to hear about it!

We’re still working on a plan to keep GA smooth, consistent, and raunchily fun while we go about living our lives (as if we have a choice?). We love to hear your ideas, see your work, and chat back and forth! Leave those comments! Post those pieces on the Flickr group! Let us know you love us, and we just may offer you a small piece of our pie (cherry pie, of course… oh my… that was kind of horrible).

There will certainly be more changes to announce… and believe it or not, we have some fabulous new kits waiting in the wings… stay tuned, participate, and share your stories with us.


9 Responses

  1. I’ve been thinking about Nicole a lot lately, I’ll be praying for her for sure! Thanks for sharing this with us and you know that if there’s anything I can ever do to help out and support GA, just let me know! 🙂

  2. Women and all that they can accomplish never cease to amaze me. Sending Nicole good vibes and well wishes for a speedy recovery. Keep your chin up GA. We’re still here (stalking your blog!).

  3. Many prayers for Nicole! GA is fabulous…we’re NOT going any where and I certainly understand when life gets in the way of the plans we make. That’s just the way it is sometimes. Be strong!

  4. {{hugs}} and well wishes to Nicole. I hope the surgery works for you and your pain lessens soon.

    Best of luck to GA…I’m so glad I found you guys. You’re all such an inspiration. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  5. Thanks so much for posting this, Amy. You and Heather are such sweethearts as well.

    Definitely praying and sending lots of good wishes to Nicole and her family.

    GA is such a wonderful family. And I’m just glad to be a part of it as much as I can.


  6. I agree Nina – I was just thinking today how much a part of GA I feel.

    Thinking of you all.

  7. i will definitely be keeping nicole in my prayers. i have a chronic pain condition as well, so i can identify some with what she is going through. it is so not easy and it sounds like you are one amazing, rocking chick too! you are a blessing to GA and we will be missing you while you are gone! take care sweetie and hang in there! we are all pulling and praying for you! hugs!

  8. You know I am fairly new, but I am loyal!!

    I am so sorry for Nicole’s “issues” right now. It isn’t fun to be sick, I know.

    I will definately keep you in my thoughts, and send as much good mojo as I can, your way!!

    Keep up this awesome work GA! You know I love you!!

  9. What’s up?. Thanks for the info. I’ve been digging around looking some info up for shool, but there is so much out there. Google lead me here – good for you i suppose! Keep up the great information. I will be coming back over here in a few days to see if there is any more info.

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