STATE OF THE ONION ADDRESS 2018!! (with lotsa wordybits!!)
HIDEY-HO, FRIENDLYPEOPLES!! 😊😊😊
Did you know!!?? Every yeartimes I like to do a sooperspecial storytimes for talkings 'bout how the last yeartimes went, plus what we are thinkingthoughts will maybe happen for this shinynew yeartimes too!! Yup!! Plus that times in right NOWABOUTS, everybuddy!! Now is the times for my
STATE OF THE ONION ADDRESS!!
YES!! So get soopercomfy, grab some treats, plus maybe somethings to slurp on, then skootch on in 'cuz this is gonna be AMAYZAZING!! Plus also sooperlong. Just sayin'. 😊❤️😊❤️😊❤️
All set!!?? Awesometimes!! Here we GO-GO-GO!!.......................
Okeedoke... like allatimes... what me plus Mirabelly are mostest wanting to say to alla you guys is
❤️❤️❤️ SHANKSH!! ❤️❤️❤️
Yup!! For… everythings. From the basement of our HappyHearts, we luvluvlove you guys. Sooperlots, even. We have lotsa HappyHeartHugs with extra lovings for you guys ‘cuz you put lotsa Happy in our Hearts, plus you say so many soopernice wordybits to us, plus you come hang out with us, plus you send us letterlopes plus boxalopes plus some of you guys even come to visit us at our 'partmenthouse from wayfaraways so's we can be inthesameplacefriends!!
That is AMAYZAZING!! Basically you make everythings we do every daytimes waymorebetter waymorehappier, plus waymorefunner too. Yup. You guys are.... pretty much the BESTEST.
This lastest yeartimes was pretty 'mazing and stuff, don'tchathink!!?? Truestory I got one of only eleventy a'wards in our whole entire province from the ONTARIO FIRE MARSHALL!! Yup!!For alla my workerman work as Fire safety Dog for the London Fire Department!! Plus I was the FIRSTEST canine citizen in all of evertimes to get n'vited to CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS to be recognized by MISTER MAYOR for alla my charity plus community service work too!! Plus I finished my mission to see all 458 parks in my London, Ontarioplace (There are more than that now, so I have to see alla the shinynew ones when it is cozywarm in the outsideplace!!), plus...I got n'vited to a sooperfancy CHARITY FASHION SHOW for the KIDNEY FOUNDATION OF CANADA!! Plus there was alla my HappyHeartMissions, ARCHIEPAWLOOZA, plus getting to hang out with YOU GUYS every daytimes!! Basically it was AMAYZAZING FOR REALS, GUYS!! I am the luckiest duckling in all of evertimes!! Mirabelle too!!
Okeedoke!! Now is the times for letting Mum plus Pop tell you guys alla ‘bout what happened for the 2017times, plus what we are wanting to happen in the 2018times too, K? K!!
So here is, everybuddy!! Say "HI!!" to... MUM plus POP!! ………
(from Mum plus Pop!!)
Although it still feels a little "odd", it really is fun to address you all directly like this and we both want to thank you very much for even just reading through this monsterous post. We both wish it were a little more "interactive" and conversational because we love meeting all of Archies friends and getting to know you and your very unique lives a little better, but for now... this is great.
Once again, we can’t tell you how much it means to us that you take so much of an interest in, and obvious care of both Archie and Mirabelle. It is very difficult to describe the feelings we both get when we watch how you interact with our canine kids. It’s an incredible gift, we are very, very grateful for it and we hope we get to meet many more of you in 2018.
So… where are we now, and where are we going next?
All in all, 2017 wasn't without its challenges, but it was even better than our 2016 and light years ahead of our very challenging 2015. Things are going in the right direction for us and we are genuinely excited about what we think is coming for 2018. You never know, but it certainly looks like the universe is gearing up to provide us with our best year yet!
Wow. As many of you know, Mirabelle really gave us a scare this past year.
Mirabelle has had health issues her entire life starting right from the day we brought her home with a wicked case of Giardia. And we THINK that viral infection has been laying in wait inside her this whole time, getting more serious as time went on.
It really became apparent that something was seriously wrong with her when, for the second time, she broke out with the worst case of hives we'd ever seen. She looked like a monster out of a horror film and it was really upsetting to see her like that. In the end, after running in circles and trying everything, we just couldn't figure out what was wrong. Our DREAM was to give her every possible test that we could to get some sense of what her problem was, but we couldn't afford that and for a little while did what we could with the resources we had. But it wasn't enough.
Mirabelle was suffering really badly, so after our annual ARCHIEPAWLOOZA festival, two of Archie's visiting friends, SUE SMITH and AUDREY KOPOLOW HITCH started a GoFundMe campaign and with YOUR unbelievably generous help, YOU raised the money we needed to give Mirabelle a ton of tests to figure out what was wrong.
During the many tests we learned (amoung other things) that Mirabelle was suffering from:
- Candida (yeast infection) both topically and internally
- Some form or forms of viral infection(s)
- some form of benign recurring cysts (this is what the "hives" actually turned out to be!
- Some sort of muscular condition that makes her regurgitate and even vomit to the point of emptying her stomach
- insane allergies of dozens of things, the worst of which was DUST MITES!!
Because of these and other factors (this story would take all day to tell!), we could no longer feed her the food provided by RAWCO. Sadly their vegetable and fruit ingredients were allergens for her, making things much WORSE. And because of the dust mite sensitivity, we started (and still do) washing all of the kids' beds, blankets, and toys, vacuuming and steam cleaning EVERYTHING every 6 days. We now do it every 10, as she is getting better. We also have to shampoo her with two different special shampoos every other day with one day off. And we rub a Magnesium Cream on her belly three times a day to help with her mysterious muscular condition/vomiting issue. It's an insane amount of work, but she's totally worth it, right!?
After ending our fantastic relationship with RAWCO, we've found another source of raw foods that is going well and we also received a ton of support from our local vet and from ADORED BEAST APOTHACARY which is a supplier of several alternate supplements which actually helped Archie's allergies as well.
So... with a ton of work, and a ton of support from all of you, we've been able to turn Mirabelle around and her happy, saucy, bossy personality is back. The hive/cyst breakouts still occur off and on, but they're nowhere near as bad and all of our consultants agree that as they come and go, her body is adjusting and fighting them off, so we are all very confident she'll be 100% before too long! She is gagging and regurgitating much less and most importantly... she is bopping faceparts again! Thank you everyone SO SO MUCH!! Without you, we really don't know what we would have done!
WITH LOVE STUDIOS
Mum's video production company WITH LOVE STUDIOS, is entering its third season and the business is growing RAPIDLY. WITH LOVE STUDIOS remains a two-woman show with only Mum and Auntie-N doing all the work. Occasionally Pop or another friend will come out to operate "camera 3" or something, but we are fiercely proud of what these two ladies have been able to accomplish in a very short time. They plan, shoot and edit everything themselves!
The vast majority of work produced by Mum and Auntie-N remains wedding videos, but there has been a steady demand for Mum's work as an editor by corporate and not-for-profit clients as well. But, beyond getting inquiries almost daily now, the most exciting thing has been WITH LOVE's entry into partnering with small to medium-sized local business to create promotional videos.
In particular, WITH LOVE's partnership with FREEBORN & CO. has opened a LOT of doors and the response generated by the video that will be the first of an ongoing series has been incredible!
Because WITH LOVE STUDIOS has become so busy, Mum has been able to quit all of her other jobs to concentrate solely on working WITH LOVE!! That is a BIG deal for us!! 😊❤️
Last year, Pop wanted to start his own business and created SIGHTHOUND STUDIO. He has been working for the last 5 years or so as a screenwriting instructor (teaching people how to write movies) for our local university and is really hungry to step out on his own so that he can teach more subjects, more often. (* Pop LOVES to teach!!) SIGHTHOUND was supposed to launch last season by mid-year, but... life got in the way and he had to keep working several different jobs to make sure the bills kept getting paid.
Now that WITH LOVE STUDIOS is busy and growing steadily, Pop wants to take another crack at getting his SIGHTHOUND BRAND on its feet as well, so he's been building an all-new, 16-hour course and is determined to complete it by APRIL so that he can offer his first course by the second quarter!! GO POP!!
Having said that, Pop can't concentrate on SIGHTHOUND 100% of the time just yet. He wants to more than anything, but that's not possible right now. In fact, he's got TWO other jobs he needs to keep working at until SIGHTHOUND can replace the income those jobs represent. So... Pop also works as an automotive journalist and he writes between 25 and 30 articles on automobiles, automobile culture and technology every month. He ALSO works a third job maintaining a busy automotive website by creating content for a local dealership.
And of course, Pop is Archie's primary partner on HappyHeartMissions and public appearances AND he helps the local Film Festival every year as a panelist and judge in their annual screenwriting competition and his filmmaking partner would love him to help get another documentary film production on its feet as well (Pop is going to have to say "no" this time it seems) so, In short... Pop is BUSY. Happy, but busy, so wish him luck!! 😊❤️
We know a lot of you are interested in understanding WHY we would choose to move again so soon and why on earth we'd want to put all the effort into just moving ACROSS THE HALL.
It does seem pretty crazy, but it's become something very important to us.
The woman who used to live in that unit was named Margaret. And she was an incredible human being. We felt so lucky to move into a building like this one at all, but to have the opportunity to move into a unit like ours and to live across the hall from someone everyone considered an angel on earth was an incredibly lucky turn for us. Sadly...
Margaret has just recently passed after fighting cancer for several years.
We miss her very much. She brought a warmth and relentless positivity which we rarely see -especially these days. During her life, she was a local champion of women's rights, college teacher of women's subjects and generally lived as everyone's "guidance councillor" when they were having troubles of any kind. Her husband, a history professor at the local university spoke at a "celebration of life" gathering in Margaret's honour and he put it best:
"For many years I have studied and taught history,
but Margaret MADE history."
During her finals weeks we would sit with her and talk about a lot of things and one day we started talking about her beautiful apartment that she loved so much. And after circling the subject a few times, both she and her daughters declared that they would love to see us move in and occupy the space after she passed on. Initially we said "no", because we were uncomfortable with it and we were just not accepting her inevitable passing, but now... we love the idea.
We can't do her memory and incredible legacy justice to you here, but we want everyone to know that when we get a chance to live inside a space filled with Margaret's beautiful, loving energy, we are going to jump at it. And we have.
Some of you have also been speculating that we are moving to make room for a two-legged babyperson. (* It's so fun to watch the speculation unfold in your comments!!)
Well...... the answer is NO. Not just yet, anyway. BUT... we must admit that if all continues to go our way, it seems very possible that could happen in the next couple of years. This is not something we've talked about very much -or ever planned on!!- and it has not been a possibility with our very busy, near-starving artist lifestyles, but things are changing. And we've started to talk about it.
For some reason, Mum thinks our baby will be a girl, so if there was ever a perfect place to raise a baby girl (or boy for that matter) it would be in a space long-occupied by one of the most incredibly loving, compassionate and inspiring champions of personal empowerment.
And the light on that side of the building is crazy beautiful. It's like Margaret had her very own sun or she WAS the sun or something because although the apartments are almost mirror images of each other, hers is infinitely brighter and warmer. And where we are now feels wonderful compared to any we've lived in or even SEEN before, so that's saying quite a bit!
Anyway, we will be moving in across the hall on April 1 (NO FOOLING!!) and we'll be working on some minor renovations and updating the kitchen over there starting immediately. So... for future reference make note of the very minor change to our address:
Archie plus Mirabelle
Unit 3, 473 Baker Street,
London, Ontario, Canada
(* NOTE - this is very similar to last years comments on Facebook, but we are reposting them for anyone not yet aware of the changes on that platform)
Not much has changed on Facebook. Our "LIKES" continue to crawl upward, but not at the rate we enjoyed during the heyday before the new algorithm was introduced in 2015. For those who don't know, Facebook introduced a new algorithm that changed how pages like Archie's could be shared with Facebook users. It was also was designed to encourage people to PURCHASE "likes" because free, organic growth all but stopped overnight. We went from 100-200 likes a day, to something around 10 a day and now days will pass without anyone finding or liking the page. We experimented with buying likes, but discovered quickly that this kind of follower is not at all loyal anyway, and that they just drop back off again very quickly.
We also discovered that if Archie's followers don't interact with his Facebook posts daily (meaning if you do not like or leave a comment every day), then eventually Facebook will decide that they are no longer interested in Archie and remove him from their newsfeed.
We get messages all the time that include some variation of "WHERE'D YOU GO!!?" "YOU DISAPPEARED ON ME!!" and that kind of thing. It's very frustrating because we know for a fact that many of Archie's followers are what some people call "LURKERS" who simply want to read his posts, but do not want to comment or LIKE anything, and we have no problem with that, but Facebook cannot track people like that, so their algorithm punishes both them and Archie for a lack of more open interaction. And that's not cool with us.
More importantly, we discovered that we can't count on Facebook preserving old posts. Some of our favourite older posts have disappeared and there's nothing we can do about that. They are gone forever. We have all of his photos in storage, but his and your comments are gone. We're not sure why and we won't ever know, because Facebook won't ever comment on policies like that. That was why Archie launched his blog (archiebrindleton.com) and why his stories are posted there first and then go to Facebook to appear on his wall. It's the ONLY way we can control and protect his work. We still have NO PLANS TO LEAVE FACEBOOK, but we aren't going to bother fighting with their algorithm either.
Many people are leaving Facebok because it's often a toxic environment, so if you do, just remember that you can still hang out with Archie and follow his adventures by visiting his blog directly: archiebrindleton.com
Archie will continue to post TWICE DAILY on Facebook. He may post a few "special" posts mid-day on Facebook, but for the most part, GOODMORNINGTIMES and NIGHTYNIGHTIMES work best and we will continue to take Saturdays and Sundays off for family time. 😊❤️
Good grief are we (especially POP) frustrated this has YET to happen!! It's crazy and embarrassing that we haven't been able to get it done. Apologies, everyone. It seems like such a great idea and we have everything we need except... TIME. There's not much else to say except that we just won't start publishing it until we can do it right and until we have the time to continue to do it. It would break our heart to start and then let it die because we didnt have the time to stick with it, so for now, the newsletter will remain "mothballed".
But, if you'd like to be on the mailing list for when we finally make it happen, sign up HERE:
INSTAGRAM & TWITTER
These platforms will continue to be very secondary and inconsistent for us. It's just the same issues as with everything else: TIME. Instagram is fun, but time-consuming and Archie's "long form" storytelling doesn't really fit into that format very well. But we'll post when we can, just for some extra fun.
Archie's Twitter account will focus on Archie's work as a Fire Safety Dog and again, we'll post when we can, but be aware, it won't be daily.
HAPPY HEART MISSIONS
We remain very committed to taking Archie on as many HappyHeartMissions as we can for his partnering HOMES, WESTERN UNIVERSITY, FANSHAWE COLLEGE, and basically anywhere we can get to with the time we have. We LOVE watching people interact with Archie and we especially LOVE meeting as many people as we can, so no changes here!!
HappyHeartHugs for everyone!!
H❤️ H❤️ H❤️
OTHER NEWS AND SPECIAL PROJECTS
There are still dozens of projects like books and comics and games and videos and movies and merchandise of all kinds that we want desperately to do but... they likely won't happen with both of us so busy with other responsibilities right now, HOWEVER........
There is a VERY unique opportunity coming up this year and we are now trying to determine just how much time we can devote to it and just how far we can take it. We won't let it out of the bag just yet, but we can tell you our city is going to have a municipal election this fall and...
ARCHIE MAY BE INVOLVED!!
Yup! So get excited and stay tuned!! We will let you know what is (or is NOT) going to happen in the next couple of months!
And that is about it, everyone!! Looking back at this massive post, we both need to thank you again, for your time, interest and compassion. It's a little weird to say because our relationship with you all is...UNUSUAL to say the least, but we really do hold a great deal of love for you all in our hearts. We hope you all have a wonderful 2018 and that we get to meet and spend time with as many of you as we can because it means so very much to us. You make the most wonderful friends!!
When we started sharing Archie online back in 2013 we had no idea what was to come or even what we were doing! But it's been wonderful. And it's been a strange, surprising, and wonderful experience every single day since and e can't wait to see where our kids will take us next!
Thank you very much for... EVERYTHING.
And with that, it's finally time to say...