In so many ways. Again.
There are changes with the blog and changes with my own personal life. Let’s begin at the beginning.
I’ll get the personal life change over with first since there’s not much to tell.
I’m no longer working as a classroom aide.
I knew when school started last year that my position was a test run. By the time school ended last year my position was tenuous at best for budgetary reasons. I was having doubts about returning as an aide so a small part of me was hoping the decision would be removed from my shoulders. It was!
I’m still the school’s (volunteer) librarian.
Several people have questioned my decision to return as a volunteer, but I believe the children are worth it. I have a unique opportunity to expose them to books in a way only a school librarian can. Me, someone who isn’t even a “real” librarian! It’s amazing to think that decades from now there may be an adult who credits me for their love of reading. I’d be happy with just one adult! School libraries are important. I believe I’m making a difference. If the only way I can do that is as a volunteer, then so be it.
I’m sad about the news, but I’m also happy. It’s going to give me much more time to write here, which brings me to the other news.
I changed up the site and didn’t break the internet (permanently).
A number of you wondered why I returned to my old PFF url and redirected my Mrs. Kendall blog/url to PFF. If you didn’t notice I did that–surprise! I did, for many reasons, though I’ll only touch upon the top 3 to keep the tears of boredom at a minimum.
First, I was having too many technical issues over at blogger. Like many of you predicted, problems with engagement were frequent and numerous. Comments disappeared, or went into spam folders, or were never published. I pride myself in responding to most, if not all, comments, so to see engagement drop like it did killed me.
Second, I missed my plugins, especially Ultimate Book Blogger. I rely on that plugin for all my book posts, and since I couldn’t give it up, I would write the post in wordpress, copy it, and then paste it in blogger. It was an ineffective use of my time.
Third, The Mister hated the blog at blogger. When your biggest fan doesn’t want to read your blog, that’s a problem. He does all his reading on his phone and the site’s mobile responsiveness was pathetic.
The move back here was the easiest route to take, but it also made the most sense. I have more readers here and far better engagement. Redirecting everyone over to another url in less than a year was too much for me to ask. Yeah, the url switches to Pancakes and French Fries and that drives me nuts (I like everything to match) but I’ve been told there’s not much I can do about that without compromising 8 years of links.
It’s been suggested that I return to the old blog name, Pancakes and French Fries, but it’s not an option. That name represents an excess I’m no longer about and is linked in my mind to a shared experience I had with a childhood friend I no longer see. In short, the name represents someone I no longer am and a friendship that no longer exists.
Facts about the new blog.
Mrs. Kendall is who I am–at least to the kids at school–and the new design reflects, I hope, the path of easygoing simplicity I started a few years ago with this post. (A post very dear to my heart.)
The logo is premade from Marusella on etsy. My boys love origami so one day, after trying countless different logo options, I searched for “origami logo” just to see what came up. Success! I chose a bird because of Buttercup, of course, but also because most birds symbolize freedom, transition, and closeness to God. All good goals in my book. My bird is yellow, the color of joy and intellectual freedom–it’s also my favorite color.
The theme I’m running is Foodie Pro by Shay Bocks. It’s simple in appearance but has quite a few handy…things I don’t fully understand that make it easy for me to fiddle with.
The blog is mobile responsive. At least it should be–let me know if it isn’t. I can’t read anything on my cell phone–not even texts! If someone texts me while I’m at home and they have an iphone, I immediately switch to my laptop and text from there. I’m too farsighted to take any pleasure from using my phone for anything more than taking pictures–and I only view instagram from my ipad.
Navigating the site should be easier. I spent 4 days deleting hundreds of categories down to a respectable handful. I’m still putting posts in the correct categories! I have 300 posts to go. I told myself that if I recategorized 10 posts per day I’ll be done in a month.
- Animals: posts about our pets over the years, though there are some posts about animals in general
- Books: posts about books, book reviews, book club, etc.
- Catholic: posts about religion in general and Catholicism in particular
- Diet: posts about weight and allergies
- Entertainment: I was surprised to see how often I post about TV shows and movies
- Family + Friends: stories about us, for the most part
- Greatest Hits: these are some of my most popular posts or posts I’m proud of
- Instructions: DIY posts I’ve written
- Jumble: everyone needs a miscellaneous post category for posts like…this one
- KonMari: I’m following her book for the next 6 months at least, so it seemed practical
- Library: my work as a volunteer librarian
- Mind + Body: my walks, my Happy, Happy posts, my attempts at personal transformation
I know this doesn’t seem like much, but for me this has been a huge undertaking two months in the making–and I’m not done. My friends Carey and Deanna were instrumental in putting it all together. Deanna, especially, helped me not only with the theme, but in bringing my site back online when I did something that resulted in my blog disappearing. Literally disappearing. Lesson learned: never mess with function codes.
And that, my friends, completes my state of the blog address. If you see anything wrong functionally or aesthetically, please let me know. I will what I can and hire out what I can’t.
p.s. I’m sorry if I seem a little off. I’ve had a headache all day that I can’t shake! I think it’s the triple digit heat we’ve had this week. Boy, I sure am looking forward to folding 2398438 shirts into little KonMari rectangles. O_o