Tuesday, September 29, 2015


"Only good girls keep diaries. Bad girls don't have time." - Tallulah Bankhead 1903-1968

Monday, April 27, 2015

On My Mind: #MindsOnMain

In 2014 I worked with an almost singular focus to raise money for NAMI via Team TryJen, and hovered around $3500 the day before the walk. Team TryJen would ultimately take home the award for Top Friends & Family Fundraising Team(!).

Today, with under 5 days to go to the 2015 event, we total $215. I don't have the energy to campaign aggressively, these days. I spend most of my energy trying to avoid pain and flareups these days than anything else, and right now I'm trying to conserve energy in order do my part for the NAMI Mid-Carolina ‪#‎MindsOnMain‬ Parade & Block Party on Saturday so that I can walk 5 blocks AND volunteer during the party at Soda City NAMI Mid-Carolina serves such an important purpose in our state, and it relies on fundraising from this event for the majority of its operating budget.
#MindsOnMain Parade & Block Party, 5/2 at Soda City
If you, your employer, or someone you know can help us help the cause, please consider making a donation and/or sharing this post. EVERY dollar helps. Mental illness will touch the lives of 1 in 4 people in any given year [1], and it will do so without discrimination. Professional athletes [2], Beloved and award-winning famous actors [3], your little sister, your dad, your friend, yourself. Depression, anxiety, dementia, addiction, postpartum depression, autism, bipolar disorder... any of the nearly 300 disorders listed in DSM-V - will affect 20% of us PER YEAR. Organizations like NAMI Mid-Carolina are there when we are in need, but they can't be there without crucial funding.

Donate via or sign up to join Team TryJen.

1: WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) 
2: Article by Hayley Wickenheiser, 5-time Olympic Medalist
3: Robin Williams, Suicide

Monday, January 26, 2015

Two Adult Cats Need New Homes After Owner Passed Away

UPDATE 5:10pm Thursday January 29, 2015: Sammy and Baby Girl are safe and adopted!

My friend Nick lost his mom right before Christmas. He didn't hear from her over a weekend, which was weird; they were very close. The following Monday, he went to check on her to find his mom's body; she died sometime early in the weekend. Nick is an only child. He lives alone, in an apartment, and he has a kitty of his own. He loves his kitty, his kitty mostly tolerates him, but his kitty will not tolerate any other cat... and neither will his landlords. Nick has until the end of January to finish cleaning out his mother's apartment, and as he does that, he's been visiting the cats daily to feed, water, scoop, and play.

Time is almost up, though. These two cats suffered the loss of their person, and now with 5 days to go they are losing their home with nowhere to go. We've been trying to home them for a month and a half, but nobody wants adult cats, and the shelters and rescues we've asked have regretfully declined - they're overpopulated with adult cats, as it is.

Please, if you can spread the word, share the post, if you know anybody who can take these cats in - please send them my way. Comment here, email jenniferbaileybergen at gmail, tweet @tryjen. These two don't even need to be homed together, since the tuxedo girl sort of totally hates the Maine Coon, but they need homes.

This is Sammy. He's a 10 yr old Maine Coon.

This is Baby Girl. She's a 6 yr old chubster.

We don't know what to do. These cats deserve a home where they will be loved, but we can't find anybody who has a place for them to go. We have offered donations of money and goods to local no-kill shelters, we've asked everybody we know... Nobody can take them. 

There are five days left until these cats are homeless. 

Ideas? Thoughts? Help? 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It IS A Great Day In South Carolina

Did y'all hear that bell? The ding you may or may not have heard was just me, leveling up my authority to perform weddings in the state of South Carolina.

It is pretty cold out there.
As a Notary, I am already authorized to "certify the solemnity of marriage" in SC (one of three states in which Notaries have this ability, the other two being Maine and Florida). In an attempt to minimize any potential loopholes in filing wedding documents for same-sex couples, I was ordained as an active Minister in Good Standing with American Marriage Ministries on November 19, 2014. The very same day marriage equality finally arrived in South Carolina!

For the foreseeable future I will perform wedding services in the Columbia area free of charge for any same-sex couple who have obtained a valid wedding license.

Email me if you have questions or would like to schedule your wedding date.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Meet Scout and Sidney

September 12, 2014, Tim brought home two dogs from Pawmetto Lifeline for us to foster. Adult Maltese boys, a bonded pair nicknamed Antonio (7lb) and Giorgio (4lb), in pretty bad shape. Shaved nearly bald to remove a ton of gross matted fur, each had open sores on their backs and hindquarters, swollen and injured paw pads, and infected toes with horrible claws grown so long that they curled back up around in an S shape. Giorgio has rings on one leg where he grew around a rubber band, and the sores were still healing. Antonio had ear infections which were untreated for so long he developed cauliflower ears; one ear canal & drum is calcified and will likely require surgery. Giorgio arrived with no upper front teeth and two remaining bottom front teeth which he lost the next day. The rest of his teeth were like nothing I've ever seen, except for a few of Antonio's, which looked the same. Their back legs make popping crunch sounds when held. Giorgio's left eye was injured, at some point, resulting in a healed but permanently dented lens. 
We administered antibiotics and antihistamines round the clock, soaked their healing itchy feet and legs in oatmeal baths, doled out eardrops, rubbed ointment into paw pads, brushed, snuggled, and spoon-fed them. I discovered that swaddling relaxed both dogs and immediately interrupted their frantic scratching/chewing; they get swaddled at bedtime now to help them ready for sleep. We visited the Pawmetto Lifeline Spay/Neuter Clinic for ears and paws checkups along the way, dropped them off there again for their dental appointments (as you can probably tell, they do SO much more than "just" spay and neuter, including offering a variety of vaccinations and pest preventatives at major discounts) and then picked them up loopy from sedation and with only a handful of remaining - but healthy! - teeth and mouths full of stitches. We spoon-fed them again, baby food this time, and administered painkillers. 
Over the course of their weeks in our care, we have come to love these little guys. They found the ability to trust us, which amazes me after what they've endured. Where once they were nervous and sad, in pain and scared, we started to see playful and even happy dogs. They hobbled to greet us with joy and wagging tails when Tim or I arrived home. We watched Giorgio cry and shake if he couldn't find Antonio, and knew they need to stay together in a forever home. Near the end of September I spent two nights out of town, and Tim reported a sad Sid, tail down most of the time, but he was right back to normal when I returned (later, he would try to follow me out the front door to work, because where I go, he wants to go). Oh, you guys, the feels.
A couple weeks into this round-the-clock care, Tim said, apropos of nothing, "I've come up with their S names."
So, on October 1, 2014, we made it official with Pawmetto Lifeline. Antonio and Giorgio Foster are now Sidney and Scout Bergen. We are happy "foster failures", we are the forever home where these abused and neglected little boys will spend the rest of their days loved and adored, and they're never going back again.