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 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!