Changing Times

Coping with change has never been my strong point, which could explain why I’m feeling a bit disoriented these days.  It seems that the very second I adjust to one new “normal,” everything shifts and then I have to adjust all over again.  In my weaker moments, I think that all I want to do is go to sleep and not wake up until this whole mess is over.  Thankfully, those moments are way outnumbered by the times I realize that even though my life is certainly different, it isn’t necessarily bad.

Becoming the primary care-giver for my grandson was a huge shift for me, and not just because he shows up at our door early in the morning, all smiles and boundless energy at a time when I’m just staggering around, still half asleep.  Babysitting my grandson has reminded me of what it means to live in the moment, because that’s the only way that two-year olds know how to live.  It’s given me the chance to enjoy the company of a toddler when I’ve lived long enough to know not to sweat the small stuff, and to realize what a gift it is to be able to spend so much time with a little person that I love so much.

fullsizeoutput_5a0dIf someone gave me the choice, I would never have chosen to add a new granddaughter to our family in the middle of a pandemic, (especially since  she arrived six weeks early) but things worked out just fine.  She’s proven to be a real fighter, spending only two weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit before she was able to come home.  We had to meet her for the first time outside, wearing masks and at a distance, but it was still a moment of pure joy.  Trust me, few things can make your heart quite so happy as seeing your son cradling his new baby daughter.  (She’s not quite as small as she looks in this picture– it’s an odd camera angle and my son has big hands.)

I started this blog over five years ago, and the most I hoped for was that I’d accumulate about one-hundred followers. Sometime in the craziness of the last few weeks, I’ve surpassed the 5,000 followers mark.  I’ve been blogging long enough to know that blogging stats don’t mean much, but that still feels like a milestone, no matter how inaccurate it may be.  Especially since as of June 1, Word Press is changing the system I use to write and edit my posts, which means I have no idea if I’ll be able to figure out how to continue this blog or not.

So if my next blog post doesn’t appear on schedule, or if the format looks decidedly odd, please know that I’m trying my best to learn a new system and to keep my blog going.  I’m not what you would call “tech savvy” and it always takes me a while to learn new things.  But I’m optimistic that I’ll figure it all out eventually, and believe that this will simply be yet another new thing to get used to.  If the past couple of months have taught me nothing else, it’s that I’m far more adaptable and much stronger than I ever would have believed.  And even more importantly, that change isn’t always such a bad thing.

111 thoughts on “Changing Times

  1. Here’s a tip for you. When you see the new block editor, at the top, at the far right, there’s a group of three vertical dots. Hover over it, and it will say “More tools and options.” Click that, and scroll to the bottom of the list, where you’ll find “Switch to Classic Editor.” Click, and Voila!

    From what I’ve seen, it should be comfortable enough for you to keep using it while you play around with the Block Editor and see if it suits you. From what I’ve read, that option for the Classic Editor will be good until 2022.

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    • Thanks! That is good to know. I’d heard that they were allowing us to keep our old editor for a while (although I also heard that they were going to stop providing support for it after a while too), but I had no idea how to do that. I would not have thought of hovering over those dots! I’m so glad….that will give me time to figure out how to use the new one while still posting with the old one.

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    • So much love and blessings to your grand children.
      Yeah You are absolutely right that it is a mess (cleaning again and again , washing hands , sanitizing alot , wearing mask, which irritate alot and still there is a fear somewhere.

      I need to say many things about your 5000 readers too, congratulations Friend,

      Thanks to God that your little grand daughter is doing great.

      You are right changes are good.
      Keep writing friend and keep learning.
      Good luck friend. take care .

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    • I know what you mean. Personally, I was happy with the old editor, and see no reason why they need to change it. Especially in these times, when we’re having to learn so many new things and some of us are turning to blogging as an outlet. It felt as if that outlet was being taken away!

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  2. Congratulations, Ann, on adapting, caring for a toddler (never easy) and on your new family member as well. I do understand the “wake me up when its over” feeling. All this growth is exhausting. And we are learning and growing. Not sure its the class I thought I signed up for, but I guess there’s a lot of that going around, too.

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    • Ha! I feel the same way….if I’d had a choice, I would have opted to skip this particular class. But all we can do is focus on the positive and be patient. I know this won’t last forever, but not being able to plan for the future at all is getting very old, I’ll admit. Thanks!

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  3. :’-) oh, Ann.. how hard, but she’s beautiful and we can see she’s a fighter, indeed!
    Congratulations to all. (((A hug for Grandma Coleman))) Also, congrats on the stats, but your posts deserve them! Stay well. And get enough rest. (And cheesecake!)

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  4. I also use the Classic Editor, and see no reason to change. Somebody started a rumor a while back that WordPress was going to stop supporting the Classic Editor as of June 1st, but as far as I know this isn’t going to happen. I have just checked the official description, and it says: “Classic Editor is an official WordPress plugin, and will be fully supported and maintained until at least 2022, or as long as is necessary.”
    (At my age, I’m a sucker for the word “Classic” anyway, and I automatically reach for any product that has that magic word on it.)

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    • Thank you so much for this information! That is very helpful, as I was afraid to stick with classic editor for fear I would have no support if I needed it. And like you, I love anything that is considered “classic.” There’s a reason some things last a long time……

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    • Thanks, Anabel! I know I’ll get to hold her eventually. But between this pandemic and her being a preemie, I’m okay with waiting a while. It was good to just see her, honestly. And to know that I’ll get to hold her one of these days!!!

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    • I’m a little worried about it, I’m not going to lie. But I’ve heard some encouraging news that we can still use the classic editor for a while longer, and also that the new one isn’t too hard to learn. So that helps. And it’s what I love best about the blogging world: unlike most of social media, we don’t tear each other down here. We offer help, understanding and support. I SO wish the rest of the world could be like that! Just think how much better things could be. Thanks, Neil!!!

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    • Thanks, Kathy! That really helps to know. And yes, I’m just glad that my granddaughter is home with her parents, and that I got to see her. The time will come soon enough that I can hold her. But truly, I’m happy now with how things are!

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  5. Joy indeed at seeing your grand daughter! How wonderful Ann. Congrats on reaching your milestone, a fabulous achievement and a testament to how many people relate to your wonderful posts. As for that classic editor, I’m yet to change over too! Have a great month ahead. xx

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  6. Compared to taking care of a toddler, the new block editor is a breeze! I decided to make the switch when I wrote my last post and had very few issues. Watch a few tutorials and you’ll be fine. Those of us with fairly straightforward layouts (text and a few pictures) have it easy. Even though the deadline to make the change seems to have shifted, I encourage you to try it anyway. You may end up feeling pretty impressed with yourself (I did 🙂 ).

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    • That is so good to know, Janis! I haven’t even tried it yet….I saw the invitations to check it out, but was just too busy and overwhelmed to even investigate it. But knowing that others have found it easy to navigate is so encouraging, especially since the format of my blog is pretty simple. Thank you for your encouraging words, they mean a lot!

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    • That’s what I thought, too, Cara! I mean, we’re living in a surreal time, and many of us are using blogging as our coping mechanism, and NOW they decide to change it up? Very bad timing, to say the least. But I do believe we’ll figure it out. And I’m sure you will….anyone who has managed to foster that many dogs and to spearhead a movement to help all the poor dogs stuck in high-kill shelters in the South can definitely manage a new blogging format!

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  7. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photo, Ann. How sweet to see daughters being loved by fathers. I can imagine your joy. 🙂 I’m also not looking forward to the WP change. Honestly, could they pick a worse time? Sigh. And congrats on the 5k followers. That’s awesome! Have a lovely week. Be well.

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    • Honestly, if they were trying to pick the worst possible time to change things up, they could not have picked better. We’ll figure it out, but seriously, wouldn’t it be nice just to keep blogging as usual during these otherwise sad and uncertain times? I love the photo too. Even though it makes her look smaller than she is, I love the way she is clutching my son’s thumb. That is love, in it’s purest form. And so beautiful.

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  8. When I was working my mantra was “Change is hard but not necessarily bad” – I survived 3 new bosses, tons of new regulations, 5 or 6 new software systems and a departmental reorganization. I’m so happy that your granddaughter is home and doing so well! I hope you will be able to hold her soon!!!

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    • Thank you!!! I’m sure I’ll get to hold her soon, but meanwhile, I’m just so very happy she is home with her parents, where she belongs. And I love your mantra….I’m going to steal it, if that is okay!!

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    • I agree! The classic editor was working just fine… not need to change it that I could see. But if they wanted to, that’s fine, as long as it was a choice.

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  9. First of all, congratulations on the latest bundle of joy in your family!
    Second, I am getting close to a thousand followers. I agree with you that numbers are not the most important thing in blogging. Most of my followers have different agendas, some commercial, some political and some plainly outrageous. My aim is to have a meaningful dialogue that goes beyond a mere ‘nice post!’
    Thirdly, I also struggle to learn the ropes with the new WP editor. When I have learned enough, perhaps then I will begin to like it.
    Have a great week, Ann!

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    • I know what you mean about some of the followers who have obviously not even read our posts. I find it easy to tell by the comments who has actually read and who hasn’t, and what I appreciate the most are the people who bring their own, unique perspective to the topic. Even having one true reader is better than on hundred followers who don’t read, in my opinion. I’ve seen some good comments on your posts, and you deserve them! Thank you, Peter!

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  10. Congratulations on the birth of your new grandchild! And I’ve no doubt you are a huge blessing to your 2 year old grandchild, so wonderful you can be there for them at this time and make such special memories (even while exhausted)!

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  11. Congratulations on 5000 followers, Ann. You are a popular lady and for good reason. ❤
    I love that photo of your granddaughter in her father’s hands. Such a tender moment.
    As for the new Block Editor, I am loving it. No-one is more surprised about this than me. Another blogger friend suggested I look at post by beckybofwinchester.com, “Getting to grips with block editor”. It was incredibly helpful. This was after I had sent a cry for help to WP support. I then had to explain to the nice young man that I had panicked too soon. So if I can do it, I am sure you can too.
    PS. I did have my faithful chocolate by my side to give me a helping hand.

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  12. I like the photo of the new baby. She looks sweet and ready to go get ’em.

    I still use the Classic Editor so this change to the Block Editor doesn’t impact me. Why change when things are working just fine as is? Best of luck if you choose to try the new editing system.

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    • Yes, I think I’ll actually keep using the classic for another post or two, while I figure out if I like the new block editor on “practice posts.” I’ve hears some say it is easy to use, while others really don’t like it. I guess I’ll just have to see for myself!

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  13. The block editor is tricky. I’ve lost parts of blogs more than once when going back to edit pieces. Might make sense to make copies of your blogs so if you do lose text, you can get them back if you run into the same problem. What a cute baby!!

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    • That’s a very good idea, thank you! I hate it when I lose something that I’ve just written, because I can never seem to rewrite it to my satisfaction. And thanks, we think she’s cute too!

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  14. Your granddaughter’s timing is proof again that God’s ways are always different from ours. Maybe He sent her a little earlier so everyone has something else to think about during these difficult times, something to be happy about, to give thanks for. Maybe even to give ourselves something new to pray about.

    Thinking about your precious gift, I suddenly see that God understands your weariness so well, Ann. He knows it hasn’t been easy for you to keep up your spirits day after day – not with Finn and your mum on your mind. It hasn’t been easy to listen to the things people feel that they are at liberty to say as and when they please. It hasn’t been easy to consistently be brave and strong about this new way of living.

    So, He sent this utterly beautiful little sweetness a little early, to snag your heart as tightly as she’s holding on to her dad’s finger – because He knows much you need this joy.

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    • I think you are right….once we heard she was coming early, all our other cares and worries just took a back seat, and some just plain went away. Even in the midst of all that we are dealing with in the US now, the biggest part of my mind is on that sweet baby. Sometimes God does send us just exactly what we need, when we need it!

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  15. Ann,
    My plan to counter the new WP Editor’s madness (and it is mad, I know, I tried it some months before) is to write my posts in MS Word and then to transfer them to WP. In that way, I hope I won’t be in any danger of losing portions of it.

    As for the other aspects of the new Editor, it’ll be a learning curve alright, albeit a steep one for me. But we could all share tips and help each other and some day, be able to say, We got it.

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    • You’re the second person who has mentioned that they’ve lost blocks of their writing with then new block editor, so I’ll be extra careful about that. I like your idea of copying and pasting…thanks for that!

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    • You’re welcome, Ellen! Some people seem to love the new format, while others don’t. I guess we’ll just have to see for ourselves. Although I admit that I’d rather not have to learn something new right now, I also know I’m strong enough to cope. Learning that has been a silver lining in this whole mess!

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    • I’m not quite sure, but Word Press keeps telling me it’s coming. It was supposed to come today, but I think they pushed back the date a little bit. I’ve been ignoring it, because it promises to “level up” my layout. Not sure what that means, but I don’t think I want it. I’ll let you know how it all works out.
      And thanks…that number is no where near the actual number of readers as most of those followers haven’t ever read a single post. So it’s a rather hollow achievement, but these days, anything affirming is welcomed, real or not!

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    • Thanks, Kathy! And now I’m getting curious. I’ve heard so many different opinions about the new editor that I’m starting to look forward to trying it out, just to see what I think!

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  16. Congratulations on reaching the 5,000 followers mark. Your posts are inspirational and you deserve that and more. How wonderful for you to see your granddaughter! I’m happy for you, that you have the pleasure of taking care of your grandson. Especially during this disorienting time, it’s good to have those things that help you get out of bed. 😕 Life certainly is off-kilter at the moment. When my mind goes … well elsewhere … it helps to have a routine of delightful distractions and routines. Stay safe, stay well!

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    • Thanks, Brenda! And you’re right, taking care of my grandson and celebrating the birth of our new granddaughter does help take my mind off of all the strangeness, and I’m grateful for that. I know our lives will go back to normal some day, but meanwhile, it is sometimes hard to stay patient.

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  17. Congratulations on your beautiful granddaughter… 5,000 is pretty cool but no match for a newborn! I tried the block editor a few months ago and hated it but I’ve created my last few posts with it and all has gone well. Let’s hope it stays that way. I think they smoothed a lot of the edges.

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    • I’m hoping that it’s easier to use now! I’m not good with new technology, but I plan to give it my best shot. And thanks for the good wishes on my granddaughter. We are thrilled!

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    • Thank you so much! And yes, it is going to be interesting to see how quickly, if ever, we manage to master this new format. At least we have the classic editor option for a while longer!

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  18. I am guessing they (WP) are making us all use block editor now… not a fan and one of the main reasons I haven’t blogged in weeks. I am considering other options. I had a blog friend who went to WIX and seems happy but lost all or a majority of her subscribers. I am not as worried as I have so few that a change who not affect my numbers. I figure the loyal ones who comment will follow all others will fall off. Maybe not a bad thing…

    Picture of your new grand daughter is adorable!

    Glad to know that St Louis was spared the brunt of the protests. My son told me there were a few but nothing like what happened a couple of years ago around Ferguson.

    Please keeps positive thoughts of peace and calm solutions from smart leaders for my fellow Minnesotans.

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    • I’ve heard that you can still use the classic editor for another year or so if you want to, you just have to switch to it. (Hover over the three little dots and the top of the page, and then pick classic editor, is what I was told. I haven’t tried it yet…there’s a reason I wrote this post on the last day of May!) But if you choose another format, of course I’ll follow you there.
      St. Louis was doing very well until last night. There was a peaceful protest downtown yesterday afternoon, but as night hit, things turned very violent. Four police officers were shot and lots of fires set. Sadly, a retired police officer was shot and killed by people looting a pawn shop in north county. As of tonight, the city is under a curfew until further notice. It’s very sad, for everyone.

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    • Thanks, Lisa! And yeah, I keep thinking that Word Press could have waited a few more months before the implemented a change in our editor. We’re dealing with enough right now as it is.

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  19. I’m with you on that, I’m not great with change either and it seems that just as we’re starting to adjust, the landscape changes once again.

    It’s wonderful that through the time with your grandson you’ve been able to slow down, to not sweat the small stuff as much and to enjoy the moment. I find children can be so grounding like that, animals too.

    A huge congrats on the followers milestone – 5,000+ is absolutely incredible! With the new WP format, the blocks do take some getting used to. I’ve been using them for a while and I was so reluctant at first. Honestly, it now seems so much easier and it’s another new normal that has its own benefits, especially as they’ve made slight improvements to it. I’m not saying I’m a tech whizz at all but if you ever need help with anything just give me a shout. I have a feeling you’ll get the hang of it though and with time it’ll become ‘normal’ for you.

    Sending love to you and the family, and your sweet grandbabba.

    Caz xx

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    • Thanks so much Caz! Trust me, 5,000 followers is not 5,000 readers, but at this point, I’ll take whatever encouragement I can get. And it’s good to hear that you’ve found the new Block editor not so bad once you got used to it.
      You know, it’s kind of too bad that we have our own children when we’re young and still somewhat immature. I did the best I could, but I didn’t have nearly as much patience with my own children as I do with my grandson, and that makes me a little bit sad. I guess grandparenting is a chance to “do it over” which is a good thing at least. I hope you are doing well!!!

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  20. Congratulations on the arrival of your granddaughter! Indeed this is a strange & wonderful time.

    From someone else who also doesn’t deal with change particularly well, I hear you and I empathise. I recall when this madness began, I heard many accounts of flurries of activity by friends & family (cleaning out clutter, taking MOOC classes, embarking on projects long awaited), and it took me almost a month to rouse from a state of stupour – it seemed like getting meals on the table was all I could manage at the time.

    Thank you for sharing your struggle – it has given me pause and a chance to be grateful yet again for reflection.

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    • I understand…I didn’t do get much accomplished during the first few weeks of this either, as I was mainly just trying to adapt and wrap my head around what was going on. And I think that’s okay: we all react to this differently. Thank you so much for your comment!

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  21. Pingback: Changing Times — Muddling Through My Middle Age – Gremi's Garden

  22. Congratulations on your new granddaughter, Ann! I always look forward to your posts but totally understand current priorities. Enjoy the time with your family’s newest addition!

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  23. Aww, she is so small and precious. Who would have guessed that something like this will happen? Even as late as March I was making plans with my university colleagues for May. It’s amazing how fast things changed and how easy we’ve adapted to them, isn’t it?

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    • It really is amazing! We have adapted to so many different things, and often easily. Other changes have been much harder to adapt to, and have long-range effects that we haven’t yet figured out. But some of the changes….like a new little baby to love….are wonderful, and some things have remained the same, and that helps me adjust and adapt!

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  24. I too have been very disoriented with all the changes-and odd weather! Your darling little grand daughter is so precious! Now. look at my comments on my last post-testing post. There are directions on how to stay with the current classic editor way we both use now. Made all th difference to me! Best wishes and stay well! love Michele

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    • Thank you, Michele! For both the kind words and the directions on how to stay with the classic editor. I don’t mind them adding the block editor, I just don’t understand why they want everyone to use it. Some of us are perfectly happy with the way we are blogging, and this is not a good time to foist yet another change on people, I think.

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  25. Congratulations on the new granddaughter! What a blessing in the middle of this mess! I don’t like the Block Editor either but have managed to stay with the Classic so far. But I guess I should experiment with the Block as change will be coming. 2020 has already been full of changes. Love of family does not change. Enjoy the two-year old!

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    • Thank you!! And yes, there have been so many changes in this year, and some of them are good and some not the least bit good. I’m at the point where I’m not even allowing myself to think, “how could things get worse?” because then I find out! But the good changes are also very, very good….and you’re so right that one of the constants is love of family. That has been my rock!

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  26. I think the word joy is the perfect word to express how you feel seeing your baby granddaughter 🙂 And I like how you describe that a 2 year old only knows how to live in the moment. That’s a wonderful thing. I have great memories hanging out with my kids when they were that age. The simple conversations are always beautiful. Great post, Ann.

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    • Thanks, Barb! He has been such a good distraction from the craziness of our days, and a good reminder to just enjoy what is right in front of me. When I first started watching him, I thought I would never have the energy to keep this up for more than a few weeks. But it’s been two and a half months, and we are doing fine. His daycare opens next week, and I’m actually sad about that. And thinking that I’m going to get him for the afternoons on his first week back and at least one full day a week from then on……

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  27. Change is a good thing, more often than not. I’m not sure I’d be saying that if I had to babysit a toddler (considering I never had kids in the first place), but it usually fair to give something a chance. But not carte blanche.

    As for the new editor, I don’t think it’ll be necessary to learn all its ins and outs, which is good because it seems like overkill for the average blogger. But I don’t know that it’s really aimed at bloggers. I’m hoping they’ll build a new skin on top of the underpinnings that hides some of the bells and whistles that are really more of interest to folks trying to build commercial web pages, and let the various parties pick the appropriate one.

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    • Yeah, caring for a toddler is challenging, both physically and emotionally, but it helps when they are your child or your children’s child. As for the new editor, I couldn’t agree more! Like you, I use my blog just as a creative outlet. Those of us who are mostly writing our posts, or posting our photos, don’t need all the bells and whistles that are clearly designed for business blogs. I hope they wake up to that fact and give us our own little corner of the blogsphere….but only time will tell!

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  28. Congratulations on both accounts, Ann! It must be a little bit frightening to welcome a child into the world these days and yet this is so heart-lifting and hopeful at the same time. All the best to you and yours!

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    • Thanks, Sarah! I do feel sorry for her sometimes, being born into the middle of a pandemic, six weeks early. But she has no idea about any of it, and that’s a good thing. All she knows is her parents love her, and hey, this will be a good story to tell someday!

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