Happy New Year

Wow, I can’t believe it’s January already! If time continues to speed up as I age, by the time I’m eighty I’ll be planting the garden in January and putting up the Christmas tree in August.

Hey, now I’ve got an excuse if I ever start to lose my marbles: There’s nothing wrong with my mind; I’m just a victim of negative time flow. (That sounded more sane and reassuring in my head. Now that it’s written down, it seems kinda ‘lost-marble-ish’. Should I be worried?)

Anyhow, leaving aside my precarious grasp of reality (and I do; oh, yes, I do)…

I’m looking forward to 2021, but I’m not going to jinx it by saying ‘it has to be better than last year’. That’s just tempting Fate. Instead, I’ll paraphrase a quote I saw on Facebook. I can’t remember the exact words and I don’t know who wrote it, but the gist of it was this:

“At the beginning of 2020 I thought this would be the year I got everything I wanted. Instead, it was the year I was grateful for everything I had.”

A lovely thought. If we got anything good at all out of 2020, I hope it’s that.

So, thanks, 2020, but I’ve had enough self-improvement and character-building now! Here’s hoping that in 2021 we can go back to enjoying (yes, with extra gratitude) all the things we took for granted before COVID.

Happy New Year, everybody!

The first bloom of 2021: ‘Kramer’s Red’ heather. (Which isn’t red at all; but I didn’t name the plant, so what do I know?)

Book 16 update: My Christmas holidays were taken up by the gargantuan task of hauling my website into the 21st century, making it readable on all devices including phones… I hope. If you encounter any difficulties or weird behaviour (other than mine) on the site, please let me know.

My book progress consisted of editing what I’d already written, but now I’m looking forward to a productive writing week!

26 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. I noticed your blog looked different when I got to it via the email notification for your last post. I even went to your home page to make sure I was were I was supposed to be. Which means I finally read your author bio! 🙂 On my device the new look is missing the right column. Not sure if you intended to take that off on a tablet, as it had all the good stuff about you and your books on it. The new version looks really clean and neat, though.

    I like that quote you saw on Facebook. Very nice and surely something none us would mind reaching in 2021! Something I read from a Belgian family member was great as well (translated here): Let’s hope that in 2021: Corona is just a beer again, Donald is just a duck again, and bubbles can only be found in champagne. 🙂


    • I like that! And I’m sure there will be lots of champagne opened when everything gets back to “normal”!

      I did get rid of the sidebar as part of the update — unfortunately it never did show up properly on mobile devices. I’ve relocated the links to all the goodies under the menu items, but I’m still not happy about the fact that they’re not visible all the time the way they were before. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a theme that will do both versions gracefully. There’s always something… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year! Hah. Isn’t it fun?
    We are having Vancouver weather and Tanya is afraid her crocuses will bloom just before cold weather hits. Gardening can wait.
    Your blog does look different. Every time they improve something…never mind. I am old


    • Yep, I’m beginning to feel that way, too. I used to get excited when I saw “new and improved” and “to serve you better”. Now it just makes me flinch with the knowledge that it’ll serve somebody better, but it sure as hell won’t be me.

      Tell Tanya she’s not alone — our hyacinths are poking their noses up already, and some of the rhododendrons are already starting to bloom along the coast. We usually get cold and snow in February, so I’m just hoping they know more about the coming weather than I do. 😉


  3. Yes best not to jinx it but fingers crossed for brighter days ahead. Last night we received news that my mother in law in seniors care has a vaccination booked mid January! There’s a positive note to start out the year. Good luck with that garden planting by the way. 🙂


  4. When someone says, “There’s nothing wrong with my mind,” a red flag goes up in mine. In your case I’ll make an exception, though. I also hate to jinx 2021 by saying things like, “It couldn’t be any worse.” One thing we know for sure is that hindsight is 2020.


  5. I’m also in WordPress Hell myself at the moment–a long-time client and friend is releasing a new recording this Friday and I have to get the site brought into the 21st Century with something a bit more modern looking. So yeah…under deadline. I typically do work other than WordPress these days, so I totally get the frustrations involved. (Any theme I find needs to be altered for my purposes…and any pre-made theme for musicians look like the musician should either look like an aloof hipster Millennial, or tattooed and pierced. Which definitely isn’t the case here!)

    Looking good here, though! 👍👍

    I figure 2020 was such a poop that 2021 can’t be any which way but up! Even despite our locked-in complaining and getting on each other’s nerves, and missing family and friends we can’t see, we’re alive, uninfected and are way better off health-wise than many who are more unfortunate than we are. Maybe by late Summer we’ll be more back to normal, so, I’m not quite counting on 2021 being all lollipops and roses just yet. But at least the tired old cliché is true–that light at the end of the tunnel (vaccine, yo) isn’t the oncoming train.


    • Yep, like you, I’m not expecting sunshine and roses right away, but hope is a wonderful thing!

      I didn’t realize you’re a WordPress pro. I’m glad everything looks good to you here! I use both WordPress.com (for this site) and WordPress.org (for my volunteer work with our local Rhododendron Society). Pros and cons to both; but my options are quite a bit more limited with WordPress.com. The worst of this upgrade was the forcible migration to their new Block Editor (AKA “Least-intuitive, most annoying waste of time and resources EVER”). But despite how much I hate being forced to use the new editor, it does create responsive sites; and a bunch of custom CSS fixed most of my issues with the theme. It was a slow and painful process, but I got there. I suspect my update to the Rhododendron Society site will be a lot easier under WordPress.org. *crosses fingers*

      Good luck with your friend’s new site — be sure to come back and drop a link to it here. I’m a big fan of “musician friends of friends” and like to support them whenever possible.

      I’m glad to hear you’re staying safe and healthy — keep it up! 🙂


      • I really don’t like the Gutenberg block editor either, and try to use the classic editor whenever I can. (To put it in other terms–as a content creator, it is easier to work in a word processor than in a desktop publishing program that uses blocks.) Yet for the limited layout I’m working on for the home page, it’s the easiest way to lay things out the way I want them. I think of Gutenberg like a system designed by programmers, not by anyone who uses it to create content. Over-engineered. The Classic Editor plugin does revert WP to its earlier state, but there’s no guarantee they will support the plugin well into the future.

        Like you, I agree that the wp.org version is so much easier to work with. I’ve only used it that way, and always hit a roadblock when I’d try out a small project on wp.com and realized there was little I could customize.

        Today was a bit distracting, as you probably know by now. 😉 So now I’m even more behind!

        Glad to hear you’re doing well!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m with you, I think classic was much friendlier. The bigger issue, is there are a TON of us out there that are hobby bloggers, and we don’t have business plans (and aren’t planning to get one) hence don’t have the option for any plug-ins. So we’re stuck with what they give us, which is the block editor now. It just couldn’t be less friendly. I even tried working with their help desk to have it permanently turned off and was told “no can do.” ARGH.

          After the events of the last 12 hours, Diane, I’m starting to wonder if you DID jinx this year, LOL. How surreal this has been. Happy New Year all.


          • I’ve been afraid to watch the news. Hubby gives me an update every few hours, and it’s like witnessing a car accident: I don’t want to look, but I can’t turn away.

            The Block Editor is awful. Everything that used to be done in a single click now takes two or three clicks (plus ten minutes of searching to figure out where they’ve hidden the functionality). Ordinarily I’d just switch to the Code Editor and do my work there, but the Block Editor adds so much extraneous code that it’s a giant pain to dig through all of it and find the relevant piece. The only thing that has saved my sanity is the HTML block. It lets me write HTML code and shows it as untainted HTML in the visual editor. So… after decades of enjoying WYSIWYG visual editors while they steadily improve, I’m now back to working in old-fashioned HTML code windows. Such is ‘progress’. 😉


            • It really does suck. It’s like I just replied to Beth above–I found the Block Editor OK (yet still frustrating) for static pages, but it’s very clumsy for a content creator since it breaks up the flow of writing into individual blocks to where you simply can’t cursor back to a spot you want to edit.

              Having said that, it took me a while to find a theme I could live with. After figuring out the quirks of the theme’s front page layout (which had its own pre-configured “blocks” that I couldn’t alter), I ended up using a static front page that I laid out in the block editor, created a few more static pages for other features (a purchase page, an about (bio) page, and the “blog” on its own separate page (which is a setting in hosted WP installations). When I get the site owner up and running, I’m enabling the Classic Editor on his account so he can more easily contribute to his own blog. (For that matter, I could create another account for myself so I could do the same and not have to switch back and forth between editors.)

              This project wasn’t without the usual headaches–I pasted my CSS customizations into a separate file as a backup, and it’s over 250 lines long. Some of it is probably redundant or doesn’t work (I had a few fits and starts) but I’m also afraid to remove any of it since I finally got the colors mostly cooperating. I am really happy the theme has the responsive mobile support built into it–checking it on the phone, it has worked perfectly.

              I’ll send a link privately since your spam filtering will probably grab it here in the comments.

              Liked by 1 person

            • But even the HTML block stinks, as near as I can tell. I’ve been doing some online classes at w3schools to learn HTML and played around with some changes, and it wouldn’t take them. And I know I’m doing them correctly because I used them on an intranet page for work. Very odd.
              Wordpress just doesn’t seem to be particularly focused on their base, which while individually we’re small or non-rev, I will bet are a large collective number and probably provide a big $$ amount for them, which makes this all really sad. OK, done ranting. Off to celebrate my 52 hours to “ding, dong, the dufus is gone”.

              Liked by 1 person

          • @Beth I agree–it’s frustrating that you can’t get a choice between the block editor and the classic editor. For Pages, it does make a little more sense as those are usually static and rarely change (like an About page, a Contact page, etc.). But actual blog posts? Anyone I know is familiar with a word processor or an email program–the classic editor offered that. When I sit down and write an article, I open up Word and hammer away at it without any interruption. Blocks make it frustrating since every paragraph is broken into its own separate piece. I can’t just cursor up to where I want to edit–I have to click on it…sometimes more than once…just to “activate” the window so I can edit in it. Enough to cause me more grey hair!

            Liked by 2 people

  6. Happy New Year to you and your family. I hope you and yours stay safe and healthy. We agree that 2020 is now scar tissue and hope that this bright and shinny 2021 will learn from last year’s experiences and enable us to get back on track to use the ‘ lessons learned’.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.