Eventually, I’m going to fix this place up.  The blog, I mean – not the house !  Fix up the house, are you kidding?  The most I’ve done to improve the decor around here is to cheer rowdily as my husband dragged the couch out of the house and tossed it into the garbage pit in the side yard.

It was a perfectly good couch, objectively; it was just, for reasons too complex to go into here, pissing us off something terrible.  Now we have our stupid old rickety futon back in the living room again, and it’s making us very happy.  For reasons too complex to go into here.

Things they don’t tell you in Pre-Cana:  in a good marriage, you offer unconditional support for each other’s craziness.

(image source)

About the blog:  Once I can afford the paid version of WordPress, I have all kinds of wonderful ideas for things I’m not currently able to include.  I thought this would be a good time to ask you, dear reader, what you’d like to see here.  Or, if there’s something about the blog that you hate, or which doesn’t work right, now’s the time to let me know!

I definitely want a blog roll and/or a reader, so I can share other people’s blogs, posts, and articles.  I’ve always felt bad that I don’t have a way of doing that, other than by dedicating a whole post to it (which I can’t do, because it’s urgent that I dedicate a whole 900 words to why the couch smells the way it does).  I also thought of doing a weekly link roundup like The Anchoress and others do, but that would take some organizational skills.

I think I’d like to have a tab where people can contribute book or movie reviews, like a little club off to the side where people can drop in and get recommendations from each other.

Heck yes, I’m going to have ads.  Bloggers:  any agency or program you recommend?  It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of revenue, but a steady trickle would come in handy.

I would like to have a little “bulletin board,” where I can put announcements or, um, jokes or something.  Just a place where I can draw something to your attention, without having a whole post about it.

I would like to have the whole thing load more slowly, for a more elegant feel.  (Just kidding – that was from this funny blog, Clients From Hell, where web designers share the stupid and awful things their clients want them to do.)

Would you like occasional posts about crafts or recipes that actually turn out well?  I don’t suppose this blog is in any danger of turning into one of those holier-than-thou-perfect homemaker blogs that makes people feel bad about their crappy lives, but still, maybe it would be annoying.  On the other hand, there is nothing better than a project that has been tested by someone you know, even if it’s only someone you “know.”

I live to serve you, so whaddaya think?


  1. I, for one, wanted to hear more about the couch.

    I SO understand dreaming The Impossible Dream for the blog thing. As time and budget permit, you do whatever you want to do here. All I know is that I will always stick around for the content. You can stick with this basic WP template without a bell or whistle in sight and I’ll still be here, laughing my big ol’ Baptist butt off (and occasionally being pierced by the occasional profound insight).

  2. I’d love a crafts and recipes section, but if you’re at all worried at all about giving the ‘perfect homemaker’ impression, just take a picture or two of the mess that accompanies it or the frozen pizza that you have for dinner because of all the time you spend on it. You know, show the chaos. It could become a new meme: chaotic homemaking.

  3. You don’t know me from anyone, I’m just a long time fan of your writing and a more recent reader of your blog. But here’s my two cents. I personally like your bits on issues– eugenics, politics, pants. There are not enough intelligent women who speak on such things from the perspective of a mother, and a Catholic one at that. And your posts on mothering are always encouraging to me and I’m sure to others as well. Thanks!

  4. As somebody who wants to eventually get my own blog off the ground and hopefully make a little income in the process (then I won’t have to feel guilty about how much time I spend doing this..”shhhh, Mama is WORKING…” ) I am interested to see how one goes about putting ads and which ones, indeed.
    I reposted your “you can’t be poorer than dead” and Boy did it start a ruckus!, on the pro life page AND on my facebook page. I think I alienated some of my cousins.

    But I like reading whatever you write. I wouldn’t want to limit you. 🙂

    Recipes sound great, though, and the book and movie idea..good.
    The blogroll thing I have found essential to finding blogs I like to read, and requesting to be included on some, greatly helps my own traffic.

    Blog on! Looking forward to hearing about the couch.


  5. As someone who’s been down the “website improvement” road more times than I can count (it’s sort of an obsession) I’d recommend that, when you do upgrade, you add one new element at a time. I’ve been known to upgrade blogs/websites and launch all these epic features that nobody ends up using, and it’s kind of awkward when I just take them down one day.

    But, in general, my feedback would be, just keep writing whatever you feel like writing. As long as you’re having fun with it, we will too.

    • I agree with Jen. One item at a time, for a trial run and see how it goes. I think you might be able to do a blogroll or something similar now without any money (I don’t pay for my blog on wordpress and I have a huge blogroll!) so maybe that’s a start and build from there. Maybe that and a favorite Catholic links or something similar.

        • Okay. Go to your wordpress dashboard. There is a list of categories down the left hand menu. Click on Links.

          Links expands to add two new child categories, Add Link and Link Categories. Click on Add Link.

          This opens a new link screen. You type in the Link Name, which is how it will appear on your blog, the URL, an optional description, and select a category for the link to appear in. The default category is Blogroll.

          If you look at my blog, you’ll see that I divide my links up into categories. Use the Add Category link at the bottom of the Link Category list to add more Categories. Or you can click Link Categories on the left hand menu and work from there.

          Now to get the links to show up on your blog, click on Appearance from your left hand menu. Then click on the child category Widgets.

          The middle of your screen now shows you all the widgets that will work with your theme. To the right side is a box labeled Sidebar 1 (we have the same theme, so I know.) Drag any widget you want to use into the Sidebar 1 box. To reorder widgets in that Sidebar, just drag to the right place.

          To put a blogroll there, drag Links to Sidebar 1. This will put your links, divided up by their category, into your sidebar.

    • I, too, have a blog roll. I did even before I paid for WordPress. So it’s in there. Somewhere. My gripe is, I created a tab for recipes. And can’t for the life of me figure out how to put a post there. I’m a loser. It’s frustrating. me. And since I spend no time actually trying to figure it out … I guess I never will. I was able to have an “about” tab. Oh, whatever. Write what you’re compelled to write. That’s good my me. You crack me up, and you’re thoughtful. Go figure. Do what you do. Love those kids. Strapped in and screaming or wreaking havoc. All good. I don’t often share my strapped-in-and-screaming stories or my oh-my-gosh-I-could-use-a-drink stories. I’m glad you do, so I know I’m not alone.

    • Good advice, Jen. And the last thing I want is to have something so fancy that people won’t read it because it loads too slowly. There are blogs I liked but have abandoned because I’m just too impatient.

  6. Don’t you dare start spouting recipes! As if there aren’t enough of those out there already. You just keep doing what you’re good at. That’s why we read you. 🙂

    • The only reason I don’t want her spouting recipes is because that Columbus Day recipe made me feel woefully inadequate, and posts like that defeat the whole purpose of me stopping in to read what Simcha writes.

  7. I’m just so touched by the fact that you live to serve me/us, I have no other expectations.

    No bells, whistles, or recipes (=guilt, unless it’s a “How to Serve Hebrew Nationals for Thanksgiving” tutorial) necessary, unless you happen to want to. It’s kind of nice that it’s just all Simcha, all the time, and your band of hilarious commenters. And The Jerk. Plenty.

  8. I must say I would enjoy a “Simcha’s Shared Items”. I mean, IF you can take the time to surf around the web and see what’s being said elsewhere of interest….I would definitely click on your “links of choice”. 😉 I would look forward to that. Thanks for asking. Oh, and a good recipe for large families (and/or loved by small children) I am always eager for. 🙂

  9. I want more pictures! Lots of them! Of everything from the couch, to the side yard garbage pit, to the insane three year old during one of the car ride fits (which is a tricky one to take, since I assume you’d be the one both driving and photographing. I’ll let you hammer out the details of that one).

    But I’m a super visual person. I love it when you illustrate your posts. They don’t even have to be personal pictures- the crazy Quentin Blake-looking picture up there.

    • Yes, it makes a big difference to me, too! Unfortunately, I spend more time looking for pictures than I do writing, so these days I often just run out of time. I agree that pictures make the text more readable, though.

  10. More features don’t necessarily make a better blog. In fact, there often seems to be an inverse relationship between how “busy” a blog is and the quality of the content.

  11. As I am a new reader, I can only think, why would you change anything? It’s your writing that’s the attraction!

    Oh my, are you funny and ascerbic in all the right places.

    Of course, as the parent of a similar sized family,part of me wants to know about your kids (like, ages and sex – as in gender-), but I am guessing you have made a commitment not todo so, and so I must repsect that.

    Musn’t I?

    Obviously, you have enough material to work with anyway 🙂

    I would like to see your blog roll-and am glad someone explained the free way to do it. I need more reasons to stay glued to my computer while my children repeat my name 67 times and act neglected.

  12. Why don’t you put a donations button up? Lots of blogs have them. People will either give or they won’t, but it wouldn’t hurt to put it up there.

  13. I’m new to your blog but I say – just keep doing what you’re doing. There are plenty of blogs with recipes and crafts and homeschooling ideas and such – but your blog is just plain hysterical and thought-provoking at the same time – a great combo.

    • I agree! Leave it as it is. You can write. Most people can’t. So write, and leave mommy-blogging for the ones who can’t. I have recipe books on my bookshelf. What I come here for is my daily Catholic Dorothy Parker fix. I don’t think Dorothy Parker would have wasted her time on a blogroll.

  14. Oh, ho ho heee heee! Simcha, you’ve got to keep it just like it is. It’s my daily dose of humor, and I love it. I often forward posts to my husband. This part gave me a good giggle

    “I would like to have the whole thing load more slowly, for a more elegant feel.”

    Keep doing what you’re doing, lady!

  15. It’s all about the posts, I don’t care what the rest looks like! I tend to not pay attention to all the extra fluff on blogs. However I might be interested in what your favorite links/blogs are. This next one is random but somewhat related: a picture of yourself! Other than the one you posted on your anniversary, I don’t really know what you look like! It’s not really from a shallow perspective, but my mind’s eye always demands of picture of the person whose words I’m reading.

  16. Reflecting on this again…not to dissuade you from doing whatever you want to do, I mean it’s your blog, but…I think the unfussiness of your blog reflects the theme of the blog itself, know what I mean? It seems you make a point to be a bit different from other bloggers by what you post, and so perhaps you attract a readership that couldn’t care less what the background decoration is. Not that I think you’ll put fluffy clouds and daisies in the background anyway. 🙂

  17. Count me as another vote for continuing your blog pretty much unchanged. It’s all about great writing! I’ve come to you from The Anchoress, so I do like links to other interesting stuff…I’d never find it otherwise!

  18. Dear Simcha,
    I love your writing, it really is refreshing. Out of all the blogs written by Catholics I come back to yours to get me through my day, to live! I second the fact that, whatever you do, I will be there. Write and rock on!

  19. Hey Simcha,

    I’ve been following for a few months now and I love your writing style and all of the great things you say to me. I’m a newly wed and working on finishing my phd before having kids but we want a bunch of them! And your blog is very inspiring.

    Anyway, I read most of your posts through and rss reader so I don’t always come to your blog and get the whole feel of the place. My request for your updating is to continue to allow your rss feeds to be full-length with pictures, videos, etc on them. Some people only allow rss feeds to take the first few lines of an article and then I always have to go to the site to read it if I want to see it all.

    Keep up the awesome work!

    Oh and you should include a link to Mystic Monk Coffee on your site! They pay you when someone buys something from them after clicking from your site!

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