A New Year, A New Look

Farm field Lancaster County PA 2019 (1 of 1)
Spent a good part of December and all of January walking in and around the wide-open farm fields of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

My last blog post was written way back in October as I was winding down my seasonal position as a fee collection park ranger in Acadia National Park.  I have not been totally neglecting my blog however! After traveling home to Vermont in November, I started critically evaluating my website and decided it was time for a change.  Since then, I’ve been busy working behind-the-scenes transferring my site to a different WordPress theme.

The change allowed me to add a photography portfolio section and highlight various older blog posts (by category) on my home page.  The home page no longer serves as the “blog” page.  Instead, the home page layout allows me to spotlight other pages within my site giving me more flexibility and creativity with content.  It has been a 3-month process.  Switching themes on an established site is not for the faint of heart!

I started by researching and reviewing a host of potential themes and lay-outs available with my WorkPress plan. Once the best alternative was chosen, I re-worked some existing pages while also building a new portfolio page.  The portfolio page was a challenge and I’m still not sure I have it constructed exactly as I’d like.  I could have easily spent several more months deciding on how to build the portfolio page and, well, enough was enough.  It was time to publish.  As I learn more about what I can do with the portfolio options, I’ll make changes.  The site is always a work-in-progress!  When it came time to actually pull the plug on the old theme, I delayed publishing the update for a couple of weeks.  I was really nervous – mostly about how the new theme would transfer my existing data and how much I would need to adjust it after the changeover.

I’m pleased with the results.  I had to submerse myself in several WordPress tutorials to tweak different areas after the switch-over and learned a bit of CSS stylesheet code along the way! Since I enjoy the challenge of working with code (and I’m a tad rusty), I found this to be fun as well as rewarding. I altered backgrounds and fonts to tailor the appearance of the site and give it some individuality.  Over time, the site will improve with some additional custom coding as I grow and learn new possibilities.  I am still trying to figure out how to modify some fonts – particularly my photo captions – which are not as legible as my previous theme’s text.  I’ll continue to fine-tune different aspects of the overall look, feel and content of the website for some time but the backbone of the site is complete.

What else have I accomplished since November?

  • Traveled back and forth between Pennsylvania and Vermont – spending time with family in both places. While in Pennsylvania, I visited one of my favorite haunts, explored a few new places and connected with a good friend and some relatives who I rarely see.
  • Completed some special holiday gifts and spent time with my sons during both Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
  • Signed up for and completed several online photography courses including an in-depth Lightroom tutorial. As ever, I’m a perennial student!
  • Continued to process photographs from summer in Lightroom and back up all files
  • Worked on my family genealogy. I do not travel with all my genealogy paper files so it’s important to re-connect with my research while home in Vermont.  I’ve been blessed to recently learn of some long-lost relatives through Ancestry.com and have connected with them over the last couple of months.
  • Wrote an article to submit for publication and working on more!
  • Entered the National Park Service photo contest for park employees 😊
  • Researched job possibilities for the upcoming summer season – still deciding what to settle on…..

Some of the sights of my past several months!

MIDDLE CREEK WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA, PENNSYLVANIA

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area PA 2019 (1 of 1)Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area PA 2019 (1 of 1)Willow Point at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area 2019 (1 of 1)

IN AND AROUND WILLOW VALLEY RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

Willow Valley Community Lancaster PA 2019 (1 of 1)
View of the Cultural Center from on of the “ponds”
Willow Valley Community Garden Lancaster PA 2019 (1 of 1)
Resident Community Garden waiting for spring…
Willow Valley Community Garden Angel Lancaster PA 2019 (1 of 1)
“Garden Angel” 

ROCK FORD PLANTATION IN LANCASTER COUNTY CENTRAL PARK

Rock Ford Plantation Lancaster PA 2019 (1 of 1)Rock Ford Plantation 2 Lancaster PA 2019 (1 of 1)

NORTHWEST LANCASTER COUNTY RIVER TRAIL

Veterans Memorial Bridge Columbia PA 2019 (1 of 1)
The river trail starts by the Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting Columbia to Wrightsville, PA

LONGWOOD GARDENS  – WHERE ELSE WOULD MY FAVORITE HAUNT BE!

Meadow sculpture Longwood Gardens PA 2018 (1 of 1)Amarylis at Longwood 2018 (1 of 1)Children's Garden fountain 2018 (1 of 1)Main Conservatory 2019 (1 of 1)Lilies in Conservatory 2018 (1 of 1)

 

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