If you believe in kindness you’ll be free.


First, we closed on the sale of our first home yesterday.

Second, I spent the last 24 hours doing something I hadn’t expected to be doing.

See, my domain was up for renewal and I have it set up to automatically renew but my credit card on file had expired. I received an email notice to update my info in the midst of selling and buying a house. I called and couldn’t remember my pin so I couldn’t pay. Weeks later, yesterday, I phoned Caleb at Go Daddy who kindly helped me on the phone for hours, found my pin and then told me my domain was inaccessible to everyone until the next morning when it would probably go up for auction.

I was bummed and frustrated but also thought who would want my domain?! Little did I know. I have since learned all about domain squatters. My site was purchased before I could say dig. Or any other single syllable words that come to mind…

Now. Early this morning, after having a little (or big) but that’s so unfair! fit I took a big breath in my small apartment and made myself pay attention. Because, whether I wanted it to be or not, this is now part of my path. So, what next? I opened myself up, really wanting to settle into it. That moment, Margot started singing a piece of a song, on repeat, that she heard at a Cinderella play last month. At first the high pitch and repetition was irritating. Then I realized what she was singing.

If you believe in kindness you’ll be free!

If you believe in kindness you’ll be free!
If you believe in kindness you’ll be free!
If you believe in kindness you’ll be free!

I got the info of the person who bought it. He lives in Illinois. I emailed him. I phoned him. He answered. Just a dude who was all hello? like I was calling to ask him out for a beer.

Me: Um, hi. My name is Nici. Did you buy my domain this morning?
Squatter: What?!
Me: I have a website and I think you bought my url? I am just really confus…
Squatter: I can’t talk to you right now! I don’t know anything.
Me: Well, I really don’t want to let you off the phone just yet. I would like…
Squatter: I don’t know anything! You need to send an email. I don’t even know what you are talking about.
Me: I have a general question.
Squatter: I don’t…
Me: Please, give me just one moment. I am so bummed about this and really need to figure it out. Please help me. Do you buy up domains that accidentally expire and try to sell them back for lots of money? Because, I can tell you right now I am not a contender. Do you…
Squatter: Nothing like that. Send an email and someone will be in touch in two hours.
Me: What is your name please?
Squatter: {very long pause} Chris.

And then he hung up on me.

I did get an email from them and they said “You can just send us your ABSOLUTE BEST AND HIGHEST OFFER in this email and then we will either accept it or reject it.”

I wrote back. I am proud of my email. It was kind and fair. And then I let it go. No more power or energy going to Chris. I might get my domain back, I might not. If I don’t get it back, it will be an opportunity for something else. I don’t know what yet and, yes, it is very disheartening and upsetting, but I do trust it will lead me somewhere else or into something else that is better.

In the meantime! Will you help me?

I have a whole lot of readers who don’t know the new url and I don’t have any way to direct them here. Dig this chick’s new url: www.digthischick.net. To make my new address pop up in search engines instead of the old, I need to get my traffic back. Google ‘dig this chick’ and only click on the new url, not the old. You may have to go to the second page but it is already working as my old site is no longer number one. Additionally, you can click through a link on facebook. You don’t have to be on facebook to see my wall. Or etsy. Or instagram (@nicirae). If you see the old url somewhere, will you let me know? Also, change your bookmarks, blog roll links etc. And, help spread the word if you have pals who read dig. Thank you.

a walk in the field behind our new home, late last night.

Today, I am especially thankful for my work, my family, my friends, my town, my new home, my internet community. I swear, all your supportive energy, your kindness doesn’t leave room for anything else. It is indeed freeing.


122 Responses to If you believe in kindness you’ll be free.

  1. Abby says:

    Luckily, you still popped up in my Google Reader! Good luck!

  2. Amy L. says:

    You popped up in mine, too, but yes, absolutely, I will click on your new URL through both Facebook and Google search. How infuriating and rude!!!

  3. pinkpedicure says:

    I use google reader too and the new one popped up. I googled and clicked on new URL.

  4. Unknown says:

    You popped up in my google reader, too! And, like always, I saved your post until I couldn’t wait any longer (about 3 minutes). :)

  5. Unknown says:

    Nici, I googled “dig this chick” and only your old url popped up (recipes, etc). Hmmm.

  6. Consider it done….

    I love how proactive you were…and that you let it go.

    I think something WAY big and good and decent will come from this.

    It has too. Because you are good and decent.

    Good luck!

  7. kendra says:

    nicely done nici

  8. Cathy says:

    I got your new post thru google reader too! Also did the other clicks for ya. Good luck on all the new adventures.

  9. Kristin says:

    I changed you on my blogroll. I hope your offer is accepted!

  10. @unknown: Yeah, you might have to go to the second page. It is already working though because earlier today, the whole first and second pages were links to my old url.

    Thanks all!

  11. Kristianna says:

    Ugh. I am so sorry. Sometimes you just wonder how someone can stand themselves and what they do day to day. :(

  12. Heather says:

    Chris need a knee to the nads. Ok, moving on. I will do my part :o)

  13. another way everyone can help is to click like crazy onsite on the sponsors, pages, any links that are on the sidebar and navigation menu.

    this is the gold to search engines!!!

    try to avoid links to old posts that may be broken – these will count against the site.

  14. I will be click happy for your new page. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I’m sure in a year this will just be a blip. If people are half as connected to you as I am, they will find you. Promise.

    Love the pic of you and Andy in the house. So bittersweet! Kind of interesting that the url thing came on final moving day…maybe a sign? Hugs.

  15. Ozzy says:

    Super bummer, Nici :( I know several of my friends read Dig, I’ve redirected them on Facebook. I am a web developer and I cannot recommend BlueHost (over GoDaddy) highly enough. Great pic of you and Andy. That’s a big moment there! I think it is martini-thirty. Cheers to rolling with it!

  16. terken says:

    you popped up on my google reader too. i googled and new url was on the first page already.
    good luck!

  17. Chiot's Run says:

    That really stinks – really, really stinks! So so sorry.

  18. clicking, clicking, clicking. And very angry at the dbags who did this. I’m going to start singing Margot’s song:) Clicking, clicking, clicking…

  19. Allison says:

    Your etsy profile lists the old address, btw!

    Lots of clicking! I’ve only commented once before but I have been reading for quite awhile now! Love it all!

  20. Jenn says:

    Some days, I really don’t understand my hormones.

    That pic of you and Andy did me in. I had to stop reading and compose myself. Simply lovely. You remind me of the couple from the movie ‘Up’.

    Then of course, my bitchy side came out, when I read about Chris. What a tool. Thank goodness you were able to center, and here the answer you were looking for.

    I must go click now.

    PS – I have you pinned on Pinterest, in case any one else does, they might want to change to the new webpage on there as well.

  21. Minnesotagal says:

    I just sent you an updated email on how I might be able to help. It may be a moot point but worth considering. I marked it high priority but I bet your inbox in being flooded right now!

  22. Jean says:

    I’m on it, woman.

    I loved what you said to yourself it’s a part of your path whether on not you want it to be. Way to get clear and get moving.

    The photo you and Andy just caught at my heart. It’s one of those goodbye-hello moments.

  23. ctb says:

    no worries, your readers will find you :)

  24. I’m so bummed for you. I had no clue there were crappy people out there who did this. Anyway, maybe a warning to others out there when you click on your big Dig logo at the top it takes you back to the other address and also if you click any of the “you might also like” links under each post.

  25. I can and I CANNOt believe people out there praying on people like that. What a thud! I’m going to google your new url 20 times a day until it’s number one for the search. Hugs!

  26. Done Done & Done! I’ve googled, facebooked, changed your url direction on my own blog & will continue to read your gorgeous posts no matter what your url is :)
    Chin up Nici! Some people suck!

  27. Louise says:

    The new url is coming up as the second link now. Its okay! Everyone will find you. On the plus side, I think dropping the ‘mt’ is a positive thing, I couldn’t tell you how many times I have forgotton those two little letters when typing your url. Breathe!

  28. Laurie says:

    Done. A link to your .net address is now on the first page! We’ll make sure to cost the domain squatter $12.99 (or whatever they paid) to own your domain for a year.

  29. Lola says:

    Changed everything!
    I will continue to read no matter the domain :)
    At least .net was available

  30. I am new to your blog but have already love your blog! perhaps because you live in Missoula….Congrats on your new home!!! I reside in Bozeman with my hubby and 2 little girls and we are planning to move back to Missoula this summer…………..very excited. Using your new URL and its popping up fine.

    Cheers, Jenn

  31. I am new to your blog but have already love your blog! perhaps because you live in Missoula….Congrats on your new home!!! I reside in Bozeman with my hubby and 2 little girls and we are planning to move back to Missoula this summer…………..very excited. Using your new URL and its popping up fine.

    Cheers, Jenn

  32. I am new to your blog but have already love your blog! perhaps because you live in Missoula….Congrats on your new home!!! I reside in Bozeman with my hubby and 2 little girls and we are planning to move back to Missoula this summer…………..very excited. Using your new URL and its popping up fine.

    Cheers, Jenn

  33. I am new to your blog but have already love your blog! perhaps because you live in Missoula….Congrats on your new home!!! I reside in Bozeman with my hubby and 2 little girls and we are planning to move back to Missoula this summer…………..very excited. Using your new URL and its popping up fine.

    Cheers, Jenn

  34. I am new to your blog but have already love your blog! perhaps because you live in Missoula….Congrats on your new home!!! I reside in Bozeman with my hubby and 2 little girls and we are planning to move back to Missoula this summer…………..very excited. Using your new URL and its popping up fine.

    Cheers, Jenn

  35. Christal says:

    Don’t buy it back from the pirates. New year, new digs, new url! It only took me a second or two to google dig this chick and find you. BTW I bought a cowl on Etsy for a Christmas present based on your recommendation and my daughter loves it.

  36. Marty says:

    On my blogroll on my blog, it automatically went to the new URL. Very happy about that!

  37. No wonder! I kept clicking on your blog the other day, trying to look up a recipe. But today, you showed up in my google reader. I’ve changed my bookmarks and am clicking away. Dude, we’re ALL *clicking* so suck it, Chris.

    Oh, and that photo! Just the two of you, sigh….

  38. LaVonne says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I am sorry this had to happen to you, but if it helps prevent another person from having the same thing done, maybe that’s a tiny consolation for you. I checked my web host, etc. and I’m good, so thank you again!
    (Karma, Chris. It will bite you in the butt sooner or later!)

  39. what an amazing attitude you have! i need to be more ‘chill’ about stuff! i just bought my own domain about 2 weeks ago and had no idea about domain squatters! this ‘crhis’ is a very shady character. & margot has impeccable timing! xx

  40. jaymee says:

    your new url popped up on my google reader automatically and I googled and clicked the new url and then I did the same from my husband’s laptop and I’ll do it from my work computer tomorrow as well. Chin up. : )

  41. CLP says:

    You still came up on the second page when I did it just now, but I googled from a few different browsers and clicked through facebook. I’m sure you know all about SEO, but be sure that right now you’re including “dig this chick” in all your hidden text/ structural elements, like your pics and links.

  42. Carly says:

    I was wondering what went down! But really, nothing a quick google search didn’t fix. Your readers will find you in no time!

  43. Hey lady, I know you don’t use it much, but don’t forget Twitter and your email signature too. Spreading the word!

  44. Right on sister! You’ve got the power. Give ’em heck. I’ve clicked on the new url and FB.

  45. Sannah says:

    Love you attitude :)
    Haven’t come across you before, but heard about this via facebook, so I am glad I have found you, I might not have found you if this unfair thing hadn’t happened to you.
    x Sannah

  46. Lucy says:

    I’m clicking away! How sad and frustrating to have to deal with this maddening loss during such a transitional time, but what you have here in this space (the magic your self-expression creates) transcends any URL address.

  47. Emily Lum says:

    I found your new URL through mamalode. Your readers will find you!

  48. memomuse says:

    Walks in the field make everything better. I admire your resolve and patience. Way to make lemonade martinis out of lemons! :) Bummer about the url. Way to go girl with the turning it around. I adore the photo of you and Andy in the empty house. Looks like you are on to greener pastures, or in the big ole West’s case — browner, tan, and whiter (for winter). I am looking forward to seeing you put your plot of land to together.
    Peace & Poetry,

  49. I am going to click, click, click and spread the news for you. Already updated your address. What a clusterfuck. I commend you for not losing it. I was thinking that you could have gotten your mommy bear bent out of shape, seeing that the blog is more of a child than just a means of communication.

    Awesome job for finding the positive in the situation.


  50. Sarah says:

    I’m sorry that happened, impressed with your coping skills, and happy to google you as often as I think about it. I want to hear more about your move!! so you have an apartment but you’ll have a bigger garden? sounds interesting! :)

  51. Sarah says:

    I agree…Don’t buy it back from the pirates. This way they are out the $!

  52. Heather says:

    Beautiful attitude. Thank you.

  53. Sian says:

    Happy to do it! xxx

  54. Your new site (as others have said) popped up in my Google Reader (yeah!!). .net is much nicer than .com anyday! :)

  55. Meagan says:

    Done and done, good luck!

  56. I’ve just been googling you like mad and clicking on all your ads. Will be happy to do this periodically over the next few days to help get your site up to the number one position.

    Kindness always is worth it in the long run. Always.
    Good for you for taking the high road.

  57. pkscott says:

    I just googled dig this chick and your new site was the first one to pop up. Your blog is great, wouldn’t want to miss any of your postings!

  58. melody says:

    i sincerely wish there were more people like you in the world. i will help spread the word friend!!!

  59. melody says:

    p.s. that photo of you and andy saying goodbye to your empty house made me tear up just a little bit. here’s to 2012 and the crazy adventures it brings wherever your sweet family is! :)

  60. On behalf of people who live in the state of Illinois — that guy sucks. You still popped up in my google reader (yay!) and I hope everyone else finds you just as easily.

    Empty house pic = so happy and so sad. Can’t wait to read more about what’s in store!

  61. Amy says:

    In an attempt to help you, but not be weird, I have googled you at least fifty times, and clicked on the new link. What a dickface Chris is.

  62. Annie says:

    I thought something was goofy with my firewall on Monday, so I was thrilled to see it work on Tuesday.
    It works from my blogger dashboard.

    You still came up on the second page, but I’m clicking away too!

  63. Kelly Cach says:

    Aaaw, your photo. Don’t even know ya, and it made me teary :( But sooo excited for you & your new adventures :)

    LOVED what “Sannah” shared; even MORE people might find you because of this!!!

    So neaner-neaner Mr. Sucky “Chris”—if that’s even your real name!

  64. New year, new residence, new url! Moving in the literal and digital sense.

  65. Jenny V says:

    I love the picture of you two…a bittersweet moment for sure.

  66. Shane says:

    DO NOT click click click. If any of the sponsors are paying per click, they definitely won’t appreciate it. And even if they aren’t, it totally throws them into confusion if they suddenly see lots of traffic — especially if that traffic does hang around and actually do anything. Plus, it affects the search engines not at all. There’s zero benefit to clicking on anything.

    Nici, what this guy did is called “buying domains on the drop.” Lots of people do it and most times it happens without incident since the process of losing a domain takes a *long* time of inactivity by the original owner. Cases like this where a domain that the owner still wants actually makes it to the process of being available on the drop are very rare.

    I talked to a good friend of mine who buys domains on the drop (and at auction) all the time. His advice was this: “I suggest she call GoDaddy and give them the riot act. I’ve known GoDaddy to (several times) give names back after they were sold at auction.” Beyond that, if you still want to play nice (which I would), all you can do is hope that Chris gives it back.

    If you have any age and history built up in the old domain at all, though, I would work hard to get it back — unless you really are cool with just starting from scratch from a links and search engine perspective.

  67. I was heartbroke to not find you yesterday… and then I google and found the FB link… and here I am! :)

  68. Yuliya says:

    I always click to you through Google reader but I am writing a post right now on how your “hump day nuggets” series has inspired me and how I am making it into my own thing and Googled you to link to your blog and the series, and clicked on the new link and found out about this. I will happily spread the news far and wide!

  69. MoB says:

    found you again through Facebook. so glad i did!

  70. Honey says:

    I suspected this when I saw the old site, sorry to hear it happened.

    Found you on google, changed the link, I’ll head off to click around a few times to get that traffic back up for you.

    Congrats on your closing!

  71. Big-time bummer. Love your heart. For what it’s worth, I clicked on your link in my sidebar and it took me directly here. I never changed anything.

    Free with you,

  72. Ciara says:

    Yay! Just found you again. Good for you just letting it go.
    Can’t wait to see how things unfold in 2012.

  73. New house, New Year, new blog address…I’m pretty sure these will all be great!

  74. Melissa says:

    beautiful photo of you and andy!

    as for chris, the domain pirate, leeor and i have this silly thing we say (we borrowed it from pineapple express): he messed with the wrong melon farmer!

    of course it will all work out for you, you positive, light-shining being!

    i love margot’s song, too . . .perfect. xo

  75. Kelly says:

    You came up in my Google Reader too. I’m so glad I read this. My domain is set to expire soon, and I’ve been getting the GoDaddy notices. I wasn’t too worried…I don’t have that many readers, but I would be heartbroken if someone snatched up my name. I hope you get it back! Chris sucks!

  76. Don’t pay that guy any money. He’s a jerk. Keep doing what you’re doing. Digthischick.net is my favorite blog ever!

  77. Bikini By 30 says:

    I’ve been googling today to make sure you’re all good.

    I’m just so sorry this mess happened.

  78. What cocksuckers.

    Sending love and light.

  79. I want to THANK YOU for this post! Because of it I checked, and one of my web addresses had expired as well. Fortunately, it was just a couple of days ago and I was able to renew it. But I may not have checked as the renewal email goes to an account I don’t often check. They were also using a credit card that had an old expiration date. Whew! So sorry for the trouble that you have had with this. Ridiculous that there are those who do this! Margaret

  80. Margie says:

    I googled you to help, and the new site was #1!

  81. Annie says:

    Yay! Now your new site comes up as #1 in Google searches!
    Love the photos in this post. The emotions of leaving your first home, but on to where your family belongs now are apparent.

  82. Judybusy says:

    Done. .net is already #1. Bummer you had to go through this! Good for you for not giving it too much energy, Nici. Can’t wait to hear about all the new adventures in the new home!

  83. Annia says:

    Margot’s songs are THE JAM. That is all. :)

  84. You’re #1 in Belgian Google :)

  85. The Queen B says:

    Phew! So relieved to have found you, was pretty bummed when the godaddy site popped up! So I Googled Dig this Chick, you came up on FB so I scrolled through your page and found your new url. After reading your post I googled you again and the new url came up second on the list!!

  86. Boo's Mom says:

    Yay! I found you!

  87. Brit Girl says:

    I read your blog (found it through Kelle’s) and realised something was up with the url. Just a quick note to say I found you (yay!) and Google UK now lists .net as the first Dig this Chick! Wishing you and your family lots of happiness in your new home!

  88. irelassred says:

    I’m relieved that you didn’t just pull up roots at the last minute! I was worried about that after not being able to access the blog for a few days. Thanks for re-directing me here. I’m off to google away!
    I’m sorry it happened, but I have a feeling it will all workout just fine, if the rest of your readers enjoy you as much as I do people will keep searching until they find you! Hope you guys are getting settled in the new home.

  89. irelassred says:

    When I searched just now this new site came up first! Victory!!!

  90. erin says:

    I’m so glad you got a new domain. Those dicks don’t deserve one cent of your money.

  91. FinnyKnits says:

    Google has followed you to .net, my love. You’re #1 again. Though you were always #1 in my book.

    I will let you know if I see anything funky as I’m out and about on the interwebs, but Google Reader followed you to .net and that squatter can fricken SUCK IT.

    Hate that shit.

    But love you super lots.

    BTW: I’ll be in MT starting next Saturday…:)

  92. Jane says:

    I found you too!

  93. hyzen says:

    Glad to find you again through google–I figured it was something to do with the craziness that surrounds a (physical) move, but didn’t consider that somebody might come along and snatch up the old url away so fast! Now that the new site is a top google hit, I think most people should be able to find you pretty quickly again! Good luck!

  94. hyzen says:

    Glad to find you again through google–I figured it was something to do with the craziness that surrounds a (physical) move, but didn’t consider that somebody might come along and snatch up the old url away so fast! Now that the new site is a top google hit, I think most people should be able to find you pretty quickly again! Good luck!

  95. Dara says:

    I’m googling like crazy!! Hey, your #1 again…and that’s where you’ll stay :)

  96. Wendy says:

    Just found your blog — LOVE it already! Sorry about Mr. Stinky Domain Name Stealer. You’ll do great! Sending happy thoughts!

  97. jrosie says:

    oh, bummer about your site. your followers will find you, don’t worry. Good luck with the new living arrangements. We recently relocated and we had to rent an apartment while our house sold. It was insane how easily it was to live with less than half of what we owned at the apartment during the week. When we headed to the house on the weekends we only had to bring perishable foods. crazy!

  98. Evelyn says:

    Found you! Thanks to Kelle Hampton

  99. Jane says:

    Yes, Kelle Hampton has posted it so I expect that will help. :-)

  100. Melissa says:

    Googled you! Kelle Hampton sent me :)

  101. A.S. says:

    Found you for the FIRST TIME because of the url switch :) Maybe things happen for a reason.

  102. Sara P. says:

    Found you!!! I’ll link out and bump you in searches too, best of luck & much happiness to you all.

  103. Mendie says:

    your new URL was my first option in google! It’s working! =)

  104. Stacy says:

    How did Google Reader know that you changed your URL.. I don’t even know what your URL was before. Welcome to your new blog home!

  105. Kelly Cach says:

    So glad Kelle Hampton posted your URL!!! Now you’ll have even more followers :)

  106. Sarah says:

    Hey girl, doing my daily google search for you, and digthischick.net is at the top! :)

  107. Suzanne says:

    Kelli from Enjoying the Small Things rerouted me to you!!

  108. I got cyber squatted about 7 years ago now. This was before google reader, etc. so I lost all my readers, too. I’m glad you were able to retain everyone!

  109. This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. April says:

    I lost my website to a personal photography page I’d been advertising last year – it sucked! Stupid squatters. Oh well, bigger problems lurk and you still showed in my reader, too! Good luck and congrats.

  111. pakosta says:

    that just STINKS!
    I hope you get it back!

  112. A says:

    Dude, that is such a shitty thing to have done to you!!

    You’ve got a new reader because of the url switch though :) (Through Kelle Hampton).

    May you flourish from this guy’s douchbaggy actions.

  113. clarita says:

    can i just say i’ve been through your whole blog. i confess i didn’t read much but just loved seeing the developments of your photos bc i’m a visual person and i love photography. people say i’m a “jane of all trades” but one thing that i’m not good at is gardening! i have 4 cacti in my apt, and i think one is standing at death’s door :( anyhow, i love how you garden and can foods…that’s an awesome skill to have! thanks for sharing!

  114. Jaim says:

    You’ve been movin’ and shakin’ a lot this month. It seems like it’s been a good move anyway though, more people have found you.

  115. Tanya says:

    Love your blog. I just did the google-thing and your new url showed up right away and on top!

  116. immaculate says:

    So glad you’re not gone!!! I was worried, until googling you showed up the new URL. Don’t worry, all will be well. This made me realize how devastated I would be if my favourite bloggers just up and disappeared though. Man, that would be rough!

    The photo of the two of you in your first house is beautiful. Poignant, moving, timeless, a clear milestone. I love it. I can’t wait to someday stand in a house like that and take my “first house ever” picture.

  117. as of right now, your new url is #1 :-)

  118. rebecca... says:

    ,,,i found you, i did, i book-marked you and i’m happy!,,,and by the way, “chris” is a dick-head!,,,

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