An Editor’s Shelter-In-Place Diary 9-15-20: 1 Planned Change (Domain Name), and 2 Unplanned (New Website Theme, Creating Second Home Office)

You have a goal in mind, a task to complete. A well-thought out course of action to follow. And everything goes according to plan.

Then there are the times when the opposite occurs, and you just have to roll with the changes.

When a Domain Name Change Becomes a Website Theme Change (and More)

This is the tale of the end-point of my website revamp, and how the exercise – very unintentionally – became a full-on theme change.

The last phase of my website revision / reorientation (i.e. editing and proofreading as the main professional focus, and short-form writing as a secondary offering) involved a domain name change. But the transfer proved challenging. In an effort to resolve this issue, as well as to save some money and streamline processes, I switched web hosting providers … which, happily, did allow for BarrowayEditing.com to become PamelaBarroway.com.

But my website’s existing theme from 2018 did not transition well. Sigh.

In frustration – and with encouragement from a good friend and virtual teammate Jess Dewell of Red Direction – I tried out a couple different, cost-free themes supported by the new hosting services … and, surprisingly, rather quickly found a really great option!

This change also necessitated another: much as I liked my previous logo, it just did not work with the fresh theme. And I actually created a new logo myself using an online design site called DesignEvo. It and the new theme look pretty nifty together:

The mobile appearance of my new website theme.

I am still tweaking the new site, because some elements of the previous one did not make it through intact. But that’s pretty much cosmetic, and now that my son’s middle school is in session I will have the time to put the finishing touches on PamelaBarroway.com.

Fall school openings the perfect segue to that second unexpected project…

Creating a Second Home Office for Your Kid and Yourself, from Scratch!

My husband is still working from home – in what used to be my home office. (Another sigh.) Over the summer my son and I were driving him to distraction whenever entering the office to retrieve something we just printed. Then in early August, my husband and I chose the fully remote school option for our son through January.

All three of us. At home. Through the beginning of January, at least.

We required a second home office setup, pronto … or at least, in place before school began! The procurement and setup of the necessary accessories is a short saga in and of itself.

Printer for my 8th grader (and myself). After much research, I decided upon an updated version of the current printer – an Epson WorkForce ST-4000. The ST stands for “Super Tanker” for the large quantity of toner ink it holds – up to two years’ worth. (We’ll see.)

And apparently every other parent and everyone else still working from home since March snapped up this printer (and every other brand and model too). At the first retailer I ordered from, the printer was on backorder, a fact I didn’t learn till over a week later. Luckily I found one left at GCTECH, and after checking via chat that it actually was in stock I ordered … and they shipped out the very same day. Great service!

Not so great: the printer connectivity on my kid’s computer. But that was an issue with the computer itself, not the printer. After SIX HOURS, though, I got everything. (Seriously, I should get paid for this.)

Printer stand with organizer drawers and castors for all of my son’s school binders and materials).

Ordered one online that never arrived. Couldn’t get through to their customer service line, so I called a local brick-and-mortar location to get help. The store actually had the stand in stock – they didn’t before – so I did a curbside pickup. Set it up … and the next day the online order arrived. Sigh.

(The tardy one is now in my former home office, filled with my husband’s business files. A definite improvement over the unsteady tray table and fold-out chair he was using.)

Low-profile power strip / surge protector for the four different items now plugged in at my son’s schoolwork / study area: computer, printer, iPhone, iWatch. Did you know that some low-profile power strips come with screws to be attached out the way, on a wall? I didn’t either, but now I do!

My son’s completed schoolwork station!

Second desk for my son’s room. Sometimes I need to speak with my editing / proofreading clients at length; other times my son will need to study with zero interruptions. For that eventuality, I purchased a small, fold-up desk for my son’s equally small room.

Why fold-up? My kid didn’t want the desk out all the time. Why? Who knows. He’s 13. But I found a very good option on Amazon that required no assembly; once you fold the legs inward, the desk is only three inches wide and can be stowed behind a door.

I set up my own laptop on this fold-up desk several times this past week while editing / proofing blogs and other copy, and to be able to speak during Zoom meetings without disturbing my son during school. In fact, that’s where I’m writing this blog post, right now!

Chair for the second desk in my son’s room. My grandmother’s old folding chair with a comfy padded seat that was in the basement. Easy and cost-free!

Whew! Reading through this narrative really brings home how much unplanned work went into this now (thankfully) finished endeavor.

But that’s how work and life often are during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So we adapt to those changes, with sometimes unexpected and amazing results!

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