Like a phoenix, we rise from the ashes! aka: surviving blog failure

Last Tuesday, sometime in the late afternoon, the Feeding on Folly site went down.

A light within the blogging universe was extinguished.

Did you sense it?

Alas, it was a dark day, my friends. A dark three days, to be exact. Our Feeding on Folly Lady was not seen again until late Friday evening, when she reappeared right before our bedtime.


Where did she go, you ask?

We do not know. The story from WordPress Support is that she was being held captive by an entity only known by its initials: DNS. What indignities she must have suffered during this time we can only imagine, for as of yet, our Lady remains silent.

In any case, she is back now and I for one am glad of it. Her time away caused me great sorrow. Without her, I felt an empty shell of my former blogger self.

Perhaps this feeling was unreasonable given my current haphazard posting schedule. Those of you who have been with us since the early days, back when we were first pressing that “publish” button with nervous trepidation, you remember how regularly we published then, yes? Some of you set your clocks by it.

But lately our posts have been irregular. Maybe a Wednesday, maybe a Thursday, maybe nothing at all.

Worse yet, I began to neglect my poor Lady. Allowed her side bar to get dusty, cobwebs collected in her corners, and let’s not even discuss her Facebook page.

Actually, let’s do.

Not that long ago, Facebook emailed regarding it:

Hi Christi,

We noticed it’s been a while since you last visited Feeding on Folly. We want to make sure that your Page continues to provide value for you.

If you’d like to know how to make your Page work better for you, please take a moment to answer a quick question so we can help guide you.

So you see? Even Facebook was worried about us. We had to change our relationship status with them to “It’s complicated.”

To be honest, these past couple months I’ve been wondering why I even have a blog. In the past, my reason was simple: My work life was in a rut and I longed to do something creative. I needed to open a new door and I thought this blog might provide the key.

And for a while, it did. It stretched my thinking, got me trying new writing forms, challenged me to start drawing and best of all, got me involved in a community of highly creative, beautiful people. I don’t regret a single moment of it.

Then Husband and I moved to Minnesota. I started a new job that is keeping me both intellectually and creatively stimulated. And one morning I wake up and realize something.

I’m content.

No, more than content. I’m happy. My home life, work life, spiritual life, creative life – it’s all being fed. Things aren’t perfect, of course. Nothing ever is in this world. But it’s good. It’s really good.

Which then brought me back to our Lady. If my needs are being met elsewhere, why do I have this blog? Maybe it’s just wasting my time.

And then my Lady vanished and my heart broke. Dear God, I thought, she matters to me! I wanted her back.

That’s when it occurred to me. Rather than considering what I need from this blog, I should focus instead on what the Lady and I can provide: a place to look at life (and ourselves) a little less seriously and a little more lovingly.

Not that we won’t ever be serious. Some things require a serious touch. But in the main, offer a lighter outlook as we learn about life. And have a little fun in the learning.

So as I worked with WordPress Support to recover our Lady and awaited the list of demands from DNS, I prepared for her return. I updated her home with a new theme, created a new heading, tidied up her sidebar and even added an additional one so she could see her friends from the Community (though if you’re reading this on a tablet or phone, they’re probably hanging out somewhere underneath).

I also changed a few things to better reflect the direction this site has taken. For instance, the tagline no longer reads, “Laugh a little, eat a lot!”

That was created long ago when this site was offering recipes with every post. Since I no longer do that, I fear it was just confusing people. However I left the recipe page because I know people are still clicking on that. Besides, there’s always a chance I’ll offer a recipe now and then. I’m not giving that up completely.

And now that our Lady is back, we are excited about our new digs and the possibilities our new outlook is giving us.

So if, by chance, you visited during our down time and saw this:

future home

Now you know why. And now you see the future home that was promised.

Ain’t it cool?!

29 thoughts on “Like a phoenix, we rise from the ashes! aka: surviving blog failure

  1. Glad you got the DNS thing fix (by the way, it stands for domain name system and it connects you domain name to an IP address – yeah, it’s complicated). Blogs are complicated. I often wonder why I still do it, but mostly I have nothing else todo while the pizza is baking on a Sunday afternoon.

    and I always like a new outlook – newness smells like fresh baked cookies … yum.

    1. I know you’re a computer guy, but are you sure about that name? Might it not be Do Not Slumber?

      I probably wouldn’t have been down for as long as I was if the first support person didn’t freak me out by suggesting (after other steps failed) that I uninstall and then reinstall WordPress. I made two back up copies of everything, lit a candle, offered a sacrifice to the god of bloggers, went to press the button and… couldn’t do it. I opened up a new support line and Darcy fixed the issue within a half hour. *whew!*

    1. Well, I now know more than I did, but it’s still not much. The bright side is that it got me to finally make some changes to the place, change a few light bulbs and splash a fresh coat of paint on the walls. I might tackle the flooring next. 😉

  2. I’m so glad you posted this story. It hits on many things I’ve been thinking about – like why I blog and if I’ll keep doing it and if yes, how often. Maybe, like you, I’ll find the answers.
    I like your idea of a ‘facelift’ too. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest, they say.

    1. A little renovation can do wonders for blogger malaise. I recommend it highly. (Though looking through all the various themes can get a bit daunting. You may want to grab a cup of coffee first.)

  3. Although I fully understand your contemplation of a blog-less life, I’m certainly happy that you decided to stick it out, at least for a bit more. We’ve been together many years now, and it would be a great loss for me if I didn’t have our lovely interactions to brighten my day…

    Mushy love-fest aside, you’ve also convinced me to do my own “what am I getting out of blogging” post, something I’ve been considering for a week or so. I need a shake-up of some kind, I’m just not sure what that might be…

    1. You know, how this whole situation started was that I first lost images, then lost the ability to read other blogs. For some reason they weren’t visible to me, and clearing my cache and rebooting was getting me nowhere. Then eventually my site went down too.
      So you see? My first line of panic was losing you guys. I neglected to mention that because I’m shy. 😉

      I’m intrigued by your thoughts of a shake-up. Wherever it leads you, I’m convinced it will delight us all. Shake away, baby!

  4. Love the new digs – nice light and ambience. Also like your perspective – on blogging and life. I know I have been not visiting WP as often, but I would miss it terribly if you weren’t here.

  5. I noticed the new banner right away. The rest? Well, you know what they say about oblivious guys…

    I’m glad you decided to stick around. The world needs less self-absorbed Kardashians and more gentle humor.

    1. Yeah, I understand. I had to point things out to my husband too, and he’s here all the time making sure I’m not giving away any secrets. 😉
      I wasn’t thinking of quitting all together – just going through my annual existential crisis, that’s all.

    1. Oh hey, hi Margo! Thanks for stopping by. For some reason you left my reader and I thought you quit. (This happened to a few others, not just yours — I swears, I must have gremlins in the place.)

  6. Love this! Your new tag line is awesome too; more reflective of what your blog is about. As I was reading that you are all nice and content, I started to wonder if this was your last “hurrah” and at the end of the post you were just going to say “Byeeee!” but alas, you are not. And I for one am very glad about that 🙂

    1. Haha — no, not ready to retire yet!
      Thanks for noticing the tagline. I’d been fretting over it for a while and then it just came to me. I think I was in the shower at the time!

  7. SO glad you’re back, Christi (guess I’ll have to get used to calling you that now)!! And glad none of your original content was lost, too! I notice you mentioned making back-up copies of your posts; I’ve never been able to figure out how to do that, outside of laboriously copying and pasting each one to a Word doc.

    1. Oh yeah, that was another change. I finally decided to shake off the initials and use my name. That’s probably worth a blog post in itself.
      All you have to do is go to your Dashboard and click on Tools, then Export. You can select what you want to back up from a list, or just back up “all content.”

        1. Oh, yeah I guess it does. I was only concerned with it being in a format that I could upload back to the site should it be necessary.
          Typically I write all my posts in Libre Office so they’re saved anyway, and my pictures are in the cloud. The backup is to ensure I keep all my formatting and such.
          Sorry for the confusion!

            1. Well…I re-tried backing up a post, then copied and pasted the HTML code as a new WordPress post. What I got was a mix of words and code (without the photo that was part of the original post). Is that what you get when do this, Christi? Sorry, don’t mean to treat you like a tech advisor, just curious. Thanks!

            2. Full disclosure: I never reached the point where I had to upload my backup, so that part I don’t know. I guess I always assumed I’d have to use the import tool – as the reversal of the export – rather than a copy/paste. So not really what you’re looking for.
              My guess is that it requires some sort of plug-in that we at won’t have access to.
              At least, that’s my highly untrained tech adviser opinion. 😉

Leave a Comment

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s