Striving to use more social media for our new site…

Tom in the doorway that walks out to the garden at the new holiday home in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy, where we stayed for three months in 2013.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from June 17, 2013, while in Boveglio, Italy. See the link here for more details.
The back of the property.

Almost every day over the last few weeks, I have been working with our web developer to redesign our website, updating its features, and making it easy for our readers and, hopefully, more manageable for me to edit and update daily.

Can you picture this table filled with friends drinking wine, talking loudly, and dining on homemade Italian food? Unfortunately, no one spoke English in Boveglio, leaving us little opportunity for socializing other than a few occasions.

Using the Blogger app over these past eight years has been tricky. Line spacing and editing have been difficult not only to use but often weeks or months later. A previous post will have lost its original editing with peculiar and unpredictable paragraph and line spacing.

This is the clock tower that chimes at odd times, next door to our home.

Our new site, using WordPress, which is a popular web tool used by millions of sites, will make your viewing as easy as it was in the past and our process of preparing the posts less complicated and cumbersome. 

An old wishing well in the yard. No bucket.

Our advertiser’s links will be new, and our links for Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook will be easily accessed with one click. Of course, mine and Tom’s email links will be simple to find and use with just one click.

Another fountain in the garden.

We wrote a new “About Us,” which we shared a few days ago, as shown in this post, which we’ll update each year. Once we upload the new site, it’s normal to find some necessary changes over the first few months with feedback from readers and observations we make. We’ll look forward to any comments from you.

The road outside our holiday home.

With this new site, it will be easy to find our archives on the home page on your smartphone, where, in the past, these weren’t accessible without a few extra steps we’d been explaining and posting each day at the top of each new post. Plus, we’ll continue to have a translator link for our non-English speaking readers.

Yes, we fit all of our luggage in this tiny Fiat we’ve rented for the summer, and this was when we had 18 pieces. Now we have six, including carry-on bags.

We’ve discovered that more readers read our posts on their phones than on an iPad, tablet, laptop, or computer. Many have mentioned they read our posts while sitting on a bus to and from work while waiting for their appointments at a doctor or dentist’s office or other places of business.

The spaces between the houses were too narrow for cars but were suitable for horses and buggies many years ago. Photos of our walks in the area will continue as we explore.

Each time I’m forced to wait for a meeting or appointment, I know that the first thing I do is play with my phone, read various posts, play games, and check social media.

View from our veranda and the best spot for a WiFi signal was impossible from inside the house.

Speaking of social media, as mentioned above, over the past eight-plus years since we began posting on March 15, 2012, I haven’t made any effort to use Instagram and Twitter, although I have an account for each platform.

The view to a part of the garden from the veranda.

I realize I am years behind in using these prevalent forms of social media. Why didn’t I pursue these excellent means of promoting our website? It all boiled down to having already spent so many hours a day online researching new locations, managing photos, and preparing our posts. I was uninterested in spending more time online.

For Euros $23, US $30, we purchased enough food for a few days: four pork chops, one bag of jumbo shrimp, four pieces of swordfish, one pound of sliced ham, two heads of Bibb lettuce, one pound of carrots, eighteen eggs and one tube of mayonnaise (yellow box on the right). The villa has seasonings, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.

Lately, we wouldn’t have much to share when staying in this hotel in Mumbai, India, for the past 87 days. However, in the future, regardless of where we may be or if we continue to remain in lockdown for months to come, I’ve decided to start using both Twitter and Instagram at least once a day. 

Right now, I am too busy to start, but once the site is live by the end of this month, you’ll easily be able to click the links and hopefully, if you prefer, follow me on those sites for snippets of information. It’s an easy way to communicate with all of you.

Continuation of the walk in the area where there are other homes is located.

Of course, my tweets won’t be politically motivated. They will all be about our site, our current situation, and our travels yet to come. Luckily, I am not particularly obsessive about communicating online, so hopefully, I won’t get overly engrossed in posting/tweeting once the new site is up. 

Today? Not much is new. We’ve both been sleeping later, often until 8:00 am, which seems to make the day go more quickly. By the time I finish the day’s post, usually by 1:00 pm, I spend a few hours handling various business tasks and, when done, may play Scrabble online, a quick and easy way to pass the time. With my hourly walks and some reading, the days seem to fly by.

Flowers, herbs, and vegetables were planted everywhere for our enjoyment while there.

We hope you are doing well, feeling well, and able to get outdoors for some fresh air.

Photo from one year ago today, June 18, 2019:

What a view in Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.

Using social media…Is Twitter or Instgram in our future?…New Facebook friends…Feedback, please…Horses…

These foals are hard to get close for more detailed photos when they’re very shy.

Glad we left Fiji!  Yesterday, there was a Category 5 Cyclone/Hurricane on the island where we spent our last month ending on January 4th. Our love and wishes for the safety of all our Fijian friends we left behind. According to this morning’s local news, that same cyclone may be heading our way. We’ll keep our readers updated.

Both Tom and I are Facebook users. Tom shares his opinions and humor with family, friends, and the many co-workers/friends he made over 42 years working on the railroad. Many of his friends are retired, spending a fair amount of time online, as does Tom.

For me, it’s less frequent, although I usually post a  favorite photo at least every other day. I read what my FB friends are saying, sharing and showing photos breezing through the posts in minutes. Overall, I may spend less than 20 minutes a day. Whereas Tom, a slower reader, can spend hours reading every post. We all have ways of entertaining ourselves.

This farm is close to our home in Taranaki. When we first arrived, we hadn’t seen the foal, only the two pregnant dams. Within a few days we noticed the young horses, hovering close to their mothers.  Both are still nursing.

If you’d like to friend me on Facebook, search at this time, Jessica Lyman, location, New Plymouth, New Zealand. (My location changes each time to move to a new country). There are a number of others with my name so please check the photo and location. 

As for Twitter, I’m on a fence about using it and have been so for some time. Isn’t Twitter more appropriate for younger folks who enjoy sharing their every moment or celebrities trying to build millions of followers to enhance their “brand?” 

I really don’t know what I’d say when I already spew many of my thoughts and opinions right here. It would be redundant. If we were involved in many other activities that took us to restaurants, malls, theatres, or multiple social occasions, as is the case for many active seniors, we may have more to say on Twitter.

They run together playfully as do the alpacas, especially in the evening when these photos were taken.

Instead, we do exactly what we love to do, get out to enjoy our surroundings, staying home to enjoy our surroundings, shopping and preparing our healthy delicious meals, taking endless photos in the process. These aren’t necessarily good fodder for social media.

The bottom line is a lack of desire to be online spending most of my day updating. As it is, I spend considerable time preparing these posts, managing hundreds of new photos, and joyfully responding to emails and comments from our readers. Occasionally, I check into my LinkedIn account, but spending a lot of time on that site, makes me feel as if I’m working.

Although there is a “working” element in preparing a daily blog with photos, I try to keep it within the framework of the pure pleasure it is after uploading 1300 posts. It’s hard for me to fathom, we’ve done 1300 posts. If I’d been told by an employer to deliver a post with photos 365 days a year, I’d have quit my job! The pressure would have been unbearable.

This foal has the same facial markings at it mother. Its elegant gait is amazing to see.

Posting here of my own volition, I feel energized and fresh-minded each morning as I begin. Writer’s block?  Never for more than a few minutes. When we have a TV we need only watch the news for a few minutes for a morsel of news to trigger my mind into a flurry of thoughts and ideas.

No, it’s not easy to manifest a concept for each day’s post. When we’ve been out touring, it’s easier. When we stay home at times for two or three days in a row, especially during rainy weather, we’re subject to sharing the most minute details of our daily lives, which may be of little interest to some readers.

They still stay close to their moms at this stage.

Each day I read our stats and can’t seem to find any connection between our content and the number of visits we have in any one day. I often think when I post a unique event more visitors will come although it’s not the case. There’s no rhyme or reason. In any case, we appreciate every reader that comes our way, whether it’s once, occasionally, or daily.

Please write if you feel you’d be interested in seeing us on other social media. How many respondents will be influential in our decision? I’m assuming many of our readers may be over 40 years old, people who don’t necessarily post “selfies” on a daily basis, nor would we. It will be fun to hear from YOU.

Have a beautiful day! 

Photo from one year ago today, February 22, 2015:

It is ironic that I’d planned to post photos of horses today and when I researched the year ago photo for today, this was our main photo. We took this photo on our way to Poipu Beach in Kauai while on a short holiday for my birthday. This horse seemed happy to see us as I approached the fence, giving us his version of a smile.  For more photos of that trip, please click here.