This week absolutely flew by. We had out-of-the-ordinary events on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday that definitely changed the flow of the week. All good, but I’m sitting here on Friday morning thinking about the fact that I haven’t posted since last Friday!
Caroline had a very fun week on an outing with the youth group to a church member’s cottage one day and a visit from my parents another day. She is maxed out on fun and I know she will need lots of time to recover. See my posts about highly sensitive children and adults for an explanation of why she and I both need lots of downtime and recovery time after we’ve been busy, even with good things!
This Week’s Artwork
This week’s artwork is an oil painting entitled The Angelus by French painter Jean-François Millet. Wikipedia’s entry about Millet states:
Jean-François Millet (French: [milɛ]; October 4, 1814 – January 20, 1875) was a French artist and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France. Millet is noted for his paintings of peasant farmers and can be categorized as part of the Realism art movement. Toward the end of his career he became increasingly interested in painting pure landscapes. He is known best for his oil paintings but is also noted for his pastels, conte crayon drawings, and etchings.
The Angelus has an interesting history which you can read on Wikpedia if you would like: The Angelus.
Caroline and I decided we are going to do an extensive Jane Austen study that we can include both in her English Literature and World History credits. I have a book we’re using as the “spine” to guide us through, but it won’t be the only thing. We’ll do plenty of other reading, researching, and watching.
I bought The World of Jane Austen many years ago.
Rather than try to explain it, I’m going to quote some of the Amazon reviews.
Love the way this one made me feel immersed in Jane’s world without drowning me in tediousness. There are maps, modern day pictures of the homes and places Jane has been, pictures of her family and others of her acquaintance, organized chapters that zero in on certain aspects of her life and legacy. The bibliography is impressive too in offering avenues of further research.
The pages are glossed and the photos and illustrations are sharp. Nice quick reference or lazy day perusal addition to an Austen lover’s library.
Nigel Nicolson has attempted to find every house and some of the outdoor and public places that Jane Austen might have seen. This approach means that the reader is treated to a much wider variety of buildings than most books, which tend to stick to the houses of the very wealthy. Mostly the exteriors are shown, although there are some interior shots. Where possible, there is a contemporary photograph by Stephen Colover, but in cases where the house is no longer extant, old photographs and drawings have substituted. In cases where the exact address is not known, pictures of houses typical of the time and place are included. Nicolson notes changes that have been made in the buildings since Jane Austen’s time.
Nicolson points out that Jane Austen did not give detailed descriptions of the places in her books, and he believes that her buildings, like her characters, are not necessarily based on real life counterparts. Even so, the pictures give the reader a sense of the physical environment of the time. He briefly describes changes in architectural fashions during the period. The book includes a detailed index and a very useful bibliography, but no notes.
So it’s a book about place and architecture, both topics that interest Caroline (and me). As I said, it’s a spine book that will give us a map through our study. We’ll add in as we go.
We are, after all, relaxed homeschoolers. This is how we do life and learning.
I’ve thought about blogging what we’re learning, but I don’t want to put any expectations on myself because that stresses me out and I don’t need it. But it would be fun to have a series of posts about it. No promises.
I think I did some things, but honestly beyond cleaning bathrooms and doing laundry I have no idea what I did.
Maybe that is all I did. LOL!
I am closing down the Telegram channel for “A Quiet Simple Life”. I’ve been using it for many months and there isn’t any great growth there. I’m determined to simplify and only spend my time on things that bring a good return on my time investment. That one isn’t so it’s going to go. I’ve been pulling the info from it that I want to keep including a lot of memes. I started a Meme Library in the forum where I can keep and share all these things. I have so many scattered here and there and decided to put them in one place. So I started putting that together last night.
It’s likely I’m also going to close down the other Telegram channel, but not yet. I’m working out what to do about that as well. Again, it’s not growing and sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on.
David and I did work on the editable homeschool planners for a bit while we were waiting at an appointment, but he hasn’t been able to get back to them.
I signed up for Ezoic for ads so if I am accepted into that you’ll see that change. A blogger friend switched from AdSense to Ezoic and saw a significant increase in ad revenue. Love them or hate them, ads are part of what pays for this site to exist. I have wanted for years to get into AdThrive or MediaVine, but I seem incapable of winning the Google wars in order to get enough page views or sessions per month to qualify.
Google just did a massive core update that started in late May and ended this week. My traffic has dropped significantly – again. I’m convinced it’s partly because I have conservative political content on here, but I refuse to remove it out of principle. I’m not the only one who has significantly lost traffic and ad revenue. It’s happened to so many people. Remember that Google is an ad company that also does search. Most people think it is primarily a search company. No, it’s an ad company and that drives the changes they make. Their goal with search is to squeeze every bit of ad revenue they can. These are comments from a discussion on Webmaster World Google Broad Core Update May 2022:
Like @renatoviera and @redbar my traffic fell off a cliff at 10am sharp. UK traffic is down 46% and USA is down 28%. For me since the update these drops have been reflected mostly in Direct traffic (down 51% today) and to a lesser extent search traffic, down 15%. Many days I see this and reverses again later in the day (after work) and cuts some of the losses.
As many of you have noted, this appears to be Google experimenting with more ways to skim the cream leave us the leftovers. I have not had one conversion since the 29th. That’s not just summer doldrums…summer is typically one of my busiest periods. This is mostly just traffic manipulation on a mind boggling scale if you think about it. I also do believe that the war and economic uncertainty have a lot to do with it right now. I’m hearing from bricks and mortar businesses in my field that they are having a full blown crisis in sales this year.
SERPs are not correlating very closely with traffic. I am having very small moves in ranking this year, in a generally upward trend of gaining more top 3 / top 10 spots…but traffic is fluctuating wildly from day to day now. Checking the SERPs shows why…Google is adding so much to the page that ranking highly doesn’t mean traffic. And Google is clearly constantly experimenting with layouts and features on the fly. People mistakenly assumed that the goal of Google’s AI was to provide better results…it’s actually to find the best ways to raise revenue and keep all the traffic while alienating as few people as possible. Many days the results just look like a jumbled mess…information overload.
My US traffic today is at 50% of average with just over 3 hours to go.
Waiting to see if anything changes on my site. So far, 55% drop in traffic and keeps on dropping. Quite surprised if it turns out this way, as it’s a very helpful site on which I worked a lot.
I’m seeing much higher non-usa traffic again today. UK / AU / CA / EU and Asia are all unusually high…meanwhile USA is -60% at 10am! The same thing happened yesterday….USA traffic is low until the early evening and then suddenly rises.
I believe that Google is throttling USA traffic in the extreme because they know they can get away with it without any government oversight or opposition and because it’s the most profitable market in terms of ad spend.
Alternatively, could we be seeing the reduction of traffic in our respective local markets? It would make sense that Google would reduce traffic in a site’s home market to force ad spending, while allowing unrelated traffic through so that it appears that traffic hasn’t been reduced completely.
ALT B – the high level of foreign traffic is mostly bots.
In any case, with my USA traffic perpetually throttled Google has effectively killed off my business. I am only getting inquiries on rare days when Google appears to remove the throttling for about 12 hours….then I get multiple inquiries in a row and off again. It’s been this way for a while now…since mid 2021
I will spare you a rant today about the control Google has over business in this country. I recommend and use Brave Search and Brave Browser.
I signed up for Made By Teachers. You already know of my decision to quit Teachers Pay Teachers last year. I have said for years that I would like to see other platforms flourish so after emailing with the company to understand how committed they are to the website I am going to put many of my products on there. I hope to add 4-5 a day over the next several weeks so the most timely ones are ready for the start of back to school in early August. I don’t expect to get rich off it, but multiple income streams is so important today. That goes not just for the self-employed. Even if you have a job, adding another income stream to your life can only help in the months and years ahead.
I created an easy-to-use Category page that can be accessed in the drop-down menu. I wanted everything in one place for new visitors and/or people who are working their way through different parts of my content.
Hey, I got more done this week than I realized! LOL!
That’s it for now. I need to publish this and send out a quick newsletter. What did you do this week? I hope you’ll leave a comment and share with us!
I’ve determined this is my new blogging anthem (minus the drinking part). LOL!
This one is always in my favorites list. 🙂 Thanks for all you do!
Glad you liked it! Thank you for the words of encouragement.
You might try out GAB. It’s an alternative social media network run by a Christian who has built GAB up from the ground. It’s Christian, conservative, and is a good alternative to the other sites. It also has advertising, and its own marketplace. I’ve read that they’re working on their own search engine. There are groups you can join or start your own group based upon your interests and focus. Some of the groups overlap. The site is also very vehemently free speech; so you will see posts which can offend you. However, they ban pornography and criminal activity.
Thank you for the suggestion about Gab. I’ve been on Gab since the Great Twitter Purge of January 2021. I like it. It’s a unique platform. While I don’t agree with everything Andrew Torba says, I greatly appreciate the work and investment he’s put into the platform. A free speech platform like Gab is sorely needed – warts and all.
Thank you for the latest update. “The World Of Jane Austen” sounds like an interesting book. The cover is lovely. We have had a busy week. Mowed the grass and cleaned and trimmed some of the front and back. It was a hot day. We over did the work. Marion had to rest because of her asthma and fatigue. We are now in the process of putting the legs on the new dining room table. Glad Caroline had a good time at the camp and with her grandparents. Looking forward to your next simple living. Have a good week end.
Joan,Marion and Marilyn
It’s good to hear from you and I hope Marion is feeling better now. Heat is so difficult. We’re supposed to be into the 90s this week which is quite hot for West Michigan. We’ve had a mild spring and summer so far so I can’t complain!
I hope you have a good week!
I’m glad you restarted your email updates. Please let us know how you and Caroline are doing with your Jane Austen study. It sounds so interesting. The Regency period is a unique time in British history.
You’re right, this was an exhausting week. I’m glad it’s Friday. 😊
I hope you are having a relaxing weekend before jumping back in. Thank you for letting me know you like the email updates. It’s always good to hear what people like.
I will try to share about the Austen study. I’m very interested to see where it goes. After finishing up Pride and Prejudice the other day, Caroline said she wants a dress with an empire waistline and a pretty nightgown and dressing gown like Jane’s which surprised me, but made me happy! LOL!
Thank you for sharing this artwork! My grandparents, who are no longer living, had this hanging in their home. I spent a lot of time at their home when I was young, and I reflected upon and pondered this piece quite a lot! Seeing it today brought back very good memories! 💗
That’s so neat! Thank you for letting me know. I wasn’t familiar with this painting, but I thought it fit the times we’re going through right now – dependence on prayer and God’s provisions.
I noted your partial move from telegram and immediately went to Gab to make sure I had you followed. I did have you followed but I NEVER see your posts. This is a downside to Gab. I do not see the folks I follow but rather some array of “popular” posts.
Truly distressed if you leave telegram all together but I will pursue your posts on what ever forum necessary. The Lord truly anoints your work in both the political and home posts.
What I am doing: Exercising my brain using God’s Word, growing the garden (tough in mountain altitudes), raising guernseys, raising fowl, preparing myself physically and spiritually for the day at hand. Your work and efforts, Sallie, are deeply appreciated.
I don’t share a lot on Gab mostly because of time. When I do share, it tends to be to my Relaxed Homeschoolers Group or a Christian Encouragement Group. Sometimes I drop things in the biggest News Group. I kind of like Gab being my happy social media place where I find info, but only post non-news things. I don’t see myself using Gab for things like I share on Telegram. I guess that could change, but that’s not what I see at this point.
If I stop using Telegram for news, I have two options. I can either post a daily blog post with info or start posting again in my forum. I’m not sure which I’ll do. I’m leaning toward the forum, but really have no idea. My Telegram channels simply doesn’t grow so I’m either shadow banned or just not connecting with people. Now with Truth Social available, Telegram is less necessary for many people. I feel like I would be better doing something on my own website where I get the page views and ad revenue, to be totally honest. Telegram isn’t benefiting me for the most part. I do it as a service.
That said, I’ve found some channels on Telegram I personally enjoy that are more culture, family, etc. So I will probably still use it for that personally regardless of what else I do.
But thank you for the kind words about what I do. I truly appreciate it.