Surprisingly, I didn't panic, and just a tiny bit of research revealed the problem: the host of the (beautiful) third-party template I'd been using for quite some time needs to upgrade her PhotoBucket account...and until/unless she does, all of us using her images could be essentially locked out of our own blogs.
Of course, I don't know that person; I'd simply stumbled upon her templates and picked one. I could have attempted to email her in an effort to keep my precious template, but I realized that might prove futile (what if she's simply closed up her design shop?). And I didn't like the thought of my blog being held hostage until/unless she responded. Besides, I need to have a functioning site as the editorial team from the Homeschool Blog Awards begins (tomorrow!) to make the rounds among nominees.
I eventually want to hire a blog designer to truly customize this entire site. But, for simplicity's sake (i.e., the third-party template didn't allow me to utilize many of Blogger's Template Designer features), I'd been thinking for some time about doing my best to jazz up one of the Blogger templates to my liking. So, though it was the last thing I'd thought would be on today's to-do list, necessity became the mother of reconstruction!
I suppose it was a good distraction from the heavy thoughts that have weighed me down the past few days. I spent a little time in the morning and then most of the afternoon - while my girls watched their usual afternoon movie and both girls I babysit took naps - clicking from format to format and background to background...only to finally realize that the only background I really like for personal use is the one I'd already been using over at my archive blog, Tina's Take on Things.
But I want each site to have its own identity. So I eventually decided to re-design Tina's Take as well, aiming for a more professional look, and then proceeded to move a version of that blog's former template over here. And, thankfully, I happen to be married to a very talented graphic artist who was willing to re-do headers for both blogs tonight.
The whole process took way too much time, and I miss my old template. But, after much experimenting and adjusting, I (finally!) generally like both sites; for example, this set-up seems brighter and more "open" than the old design. I'm still not sure I'm content with everything, and I certainly would have preferred to spend the bulk of my afternoon and evening on other things. But I think this will work.