Hey there, dear reader. 2020 has been an absolute clusterfuck in so many ways and I hope that as you read this, you are in some semblance of well-being, well, as best as you can be all things considered. As for me, well, I have some news.

Cactus Hugs is taking a little break. Yes, you read that right, things on this here website are going to pause for a little while and I wanted to let you know why.

First, as you know, these are some weird times. When Cactus Hugs launched in 2014 (yeah, 6 freakin’ years ago!) it was intended to be a lighter, different take on things in, around, and pertaining to the Coachella Valley. There have now been over 10,000 posts on Cactus Hugs and I think maybe 3 or 4 of them attained that initial goal, so, yeah, great success!!

I had no idea when I posted that first article on Cactus Hugs what the future might hold and now, here we are are 12,393,157 pageviews later. I am no expert here, but that seems pretty good 😘.

When coronavirus broke out this year everything changed for you, me, and everyone else. The world quickly became a very different place.  As we got locked down and the heroes on the front lines of things kept doing their thing, Cactus Hugs transitioned to more of a quick digest of the news, as there was just so much going on and it just seemed like the least I could do was spend some time summing things up and presenting them in a quick and easy manner.

That has continued in a few different forms since the outbreak and up until yesterday. Now, this may come as a surprise to some of you clicking over from Facebook – as Cactus Hugs stopped posting links there some time back. Why? Well, I just didn’t have time any more to break up internet fights between people, oh and there were also those direct messages with threats or nonsense about how masks cause coronavirus and how it’s all a scamdemic and, well, for my own sanity, I just stopped the posts. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed messaging and commenting with many readers through social media, but the vocal minority just made it so I couldn’t do it anymore.

I also stopped going on Facebook for anything other than business and it has been blissful, but that’s a story for another day.

So while all this was going on, like many of you, I was trying to make sure that myself and my family had a roof over our head and food to eat. I will be honest, Cactus Hugs has never been anything close to a big moneymaker. You want to lose a lot of time and money? Get into blogging, baby!!! Through the years some local sponsors combined with donations from amazing readers have really helped with things, however, like with many businesses, the pandemic has really seen that bottom out.

So what’s a guy to do? Pay his bills, of course! So I have doubled-down on “my other job” that you may or may not know about. You see, ever since my days as a full-time radio person came to an end, I have been serving as a digital media consultant, first at a marketing agency and then, a few years ago, hanging my own shingle – to where I now help local businesses of all types build rad websites, post awesome internet content, improve their social media, and other web-related things which have become even more important during these times.

These past few months, as I have worked with a few more clients, I have seen my time available for creating quality, daily content on Cactus Hugs decrease quite bit and, it’s just not feasible to try to do it on the daily anymore. Also, to be honest, after over 20 years in radio and 6 more in blogging, I can use a little break from the day-to-day content grind.

To be clear, this isn’t a goodbye. I still plan on creating things here on Cactus Hugs, but just a little differently going forward. So what will it be? Well, I really don’t know yet, but I promise to keep you posted after taking a little time off to unwind from it all.

This has all been very weird to type, as this post has been all about me, and Cactus Hugs has always been about you. Your support over the years is so very much appreciated. All of you who have sent news tips, messages, donated, and read articles over these past 6 years, I can not say thank you enough. You made Cactus Hugs what it is and I will forever be thankful.

Until we meet again,

Casey