September in Florida is Good and Bad

September is the month I was born. Usually my birthday fell on the first day of school, which made it a lousy birthday for me. This year Hurricane Dorian passed by my Florida home for the celebration. Actually, there was no celebration, just some wind and rain. September is a bad month for hurricanes. We’ll be keeping our hurricane shutters on for a while.

tall weed with yellow flowers
Tall weed with yellow flowers
Continue reading “September in Florida is Good and Bad”

Another Rant, I Hate This New Block Writing at WP

Many years ago when I began blogging I started a Google blog. It was difficult. I went to WordPress and found it much easier to understand, although I had a lot to learn.

Now WP has given us the Guttenberg blocks to use whenever we write a post. I hate it. I have a simple site, without wanting to deal with plug-ins or css or whatever people with experience use to “fix up” their blogs. I’m not a technology wizard, I just want to blog – quickly and without problems.

Now I will go to add a “block” and will have to add the block on top of the block I just wrote because no little “+” will appear where I want it.

Sometimes I will highlight something to make a link and the linking ability will show up right there – at other times it appears all the way at the top of the page! ( Learned how to fix this: uncheck “top toolbar” – use dropdown to access in the top right corner)

Twice now I have tried to schedule a page to post later and boom… it goes live.. right then! Why? I couldn’t tell you. Sometimes the entire right hand side with page settings completely goes away. I can’t make it come back.

Sometimes the “featured image” block doesn’t work. On one of my blogs I can never see the Preview of the page. I get an “Oops, that page can’t be found”.
Adding photos means add descriptions to the right of the page, but it isn’t saved in the media area, so it has to be done twice to the same image, if I want to save it in my media. And so on….

I’ve been writing using the stupid thing for a while now and I still hate it.

I think it makes double the work, triple the aggravation, and makes writing my blogs a lot less fun these days. I was doing fine with the old WP. Now every time I blog I feel like I am in a class where there is no teacher and I have to fend for myself to figure out how to create a decent blog page. A lot of the time I am winging it.

I know I can go back to the old editor, but if I do, and have to make changes on the page, it seems to want me to convert to the new editor. It’s all awful. For people like me, who just want to share their hobbies or local happenings, blogging shouldn’t be a chore. Now it is.

Yuk. No thanks. Guess I don’t have a say.

Good Morning

I’m writing this while I am waking up.  Sleeping in is not a usual thing for me.  I prefer to get up early because I do my best work in the morning, whether that is design work, blogging or house work.  As the day goes on I get lazier.  And by 3 or 4 in the afternoon I am ready for a glass of wine and sit down time.  Or maybe I take a walk or bike ride, but that is the time I stop “working”.

steaming hot coffee
Morning Coffee, Photo by Jill111 @ Pixabay

Today I was still in bed at 9.  Awful.  But I didn’t sleep well, and I usually do.  I don’t feel guilty, but I know my day will seem short.  That’s okay because it’s a Saturday.  The day most people (I guess) go out and do fun things.  I stay home on weekends.  I hate dealing with crowds, and I really don’t have anywhere to go.

It’s a good day to work.  I believe that working and advertising / promoting on weekends is what helps my sales to increase on Mondays.  So promoting often is my goal for weekends.  I also Tweet, add to my FaceBook stores, do some blogging, and so on.

Today I visited some blogs as I checked my e-mail.  Occasionally bloggers will come by and read my blogs – mostly my Seashell blog – and leave comments or “like” a post.  I have more followers and readers there because it’s an older blog.  I’ve updated it recently because I’ve been able to get out to the ocean and collect shells.

I will follow blogs that are good.  Many are photography bloggers, and I do enjoy photos from around the world, and of course pictures of flowers and nature.  If you want to see some nice work, visit Pete Hillmans Nature Photography blog.  That’s where I was earlier today.

I’m tired of food blogs.  Food is everywhere online.  It almost makes me sick of eating… almost.  And animal picture blogs… enough already.  Nature is one thing I never tire of.

And I’ll follow blogs that are written well about subject matter that interests me.  I also like personal photos.  Now that I use my iPhone, it’s simpler to add my pictures.

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-9-27-07-am
My Garden March 2nd

This hydrangea blog is less and less about hydrangeas, sadly.  So I must fill up the pages with gardening information.  And my garden is growing nicely.  I’ve eaten 2 big red tomatoes from my plant this past week.  Oh, were they good.  I’ve never eaten homegrown tomatoes from my yard in April!  In New Hampshire they can’t even go in the ground until Memorial Day weekend, and even then, it may be too cold for them to grow much.

I wasn’t eating ripe tomatoes until August in New England.  The cherry tomatoes were ready sooner and that’s why I always grew them as well.

Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 10.08.17 AM

I make simple salsa with my tomatoes, and use my own scallions, parsley, and basil.  I’m trying to grow garlic, but I’m not sure how it grows in Florida.

My potatoes have about gone by and it’s almost time to dig them up – or dump them out really, since they are growing in bags.  I wonder what they will look like?

Yes, People May End Up Reading Your Blog, So Write Well!

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 2.16.54 PMMy very first blog posts were horrendous. I began writing at Blogger, and never did get the hang of it. The platform was difficult for me to understand, and then I heard about WordPress. I found it easier to write there, and it’s where my main blogs live. It didn’t mean I could write any better though! That is something I have been learning as I go.

Blabbing on about something on a blank page on a computer screen led me to believe that no one at all would ever even see what I wrote. I knew nothing about SEO or social media or tagging. I just wrote whatever came into my head, and it wasn’t very good, but it was honest and probably a bit unique (maybe not in a good way).

People I knew didn’t read my posts, but absolute strangers did, and they sometimes left comments. Those comments gave me the incentive to continue, and to give my readers something worthwhile to read. I wanted to become a better writer, and I had to learn how to do that.  For many years I was too busy raising my kids to read a book much less practice any type of writing!

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 2.13.31 PM
Once you write, get the post out to the world by having posts automatically linked to your other online places.

Then, out of the blue, I was asked to be a guest writer at a site connected to (the now defunct) Squidoo writing site. I had to write a review of a Squidoo page of my choice (not my own), and have it ready to post on a specific day of the week. We each had our own day to publish. It was stressful, because I was not a good writer. Over the course of the week eventually I got the short article (300 words minimum) ready to submit. Then I would sort of cringe on the day I knew it would go live.

Eventually I had to stop guest writing because my own online business needed more of my time.  But, that stint as a guest writer was very good for me. It honed my writing skills a bit, as I had to try to live up to the expectations of the other writers. I wanted to write well. And I knew for a fact, at the very least, the other contributors would be reading it!

Writing with others also taught me what is expected for search engine optimization (SEO).  Each post / article had to be a minimum of 300 words, well written, easy to read, and  contain original text. This is what I think about when writing these days.  That is not to say  that I don’t slip out of that routine every now and then.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 2.16.15 PM

Everything I write contains at least one photo or picture to go with the story. Occasionally the photography is the story, but blogs won’t get far without some text as well. At first I used only my own photography when writing, but eventually I learned how to use public domain images to enhance my posts, like the awesome photos in this article (credit: Pixabay.com).

I have been overlooking the “featured image” option which shows on WP’s improved editor posting page.    Now I am going back through my blog posts to add a featured image to the top of each one.